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Why Are They So Petty?

Narcissist GoldfishHi Chump Lady,

I’ve been reading your site for a long time now and it’s been really helpful to me especially after my wife left me for another man and took our daughter with her.

We’re both in our thirties and married for 7 years with one child who is 5

I’m in the military so we were on the same base — turns out he was also married and had 3 children (all very young) and a wife.

Prior to this happening, I had managed to get a posting to her home country, which was not easy but I made a case for it because her mother was ill and we wanted to be closer as a family.

When we got there things started to change — she started going out more in the evenings and I couldn’t get hold of her — a couple of times she returned in the morning, it makes me sick to my stomach just thinking about it.

Anyway I had to fly home briefly — and after a few days she basically told me that she was seeing someone else, obviously I was devastated — but she did a u-turn and basically said that she’d only been to the cinema with him (less than -1% of the actual truth). I flew back and began pick me dancing furiously.

When it came out, I found out it was another military guy who was posted there too and they had been carrying on for months.

Fast forward to the end of my posting (and a lot of pick me dancing) — she never stopped seeing him or talking to him. We spent months in court after she took our daughter and refused to tell me where she was and eventually I ran out of money.

Long story short, I now have to fly internationally on a 12-hour flight and then bring my daughter home on another 12-hour flight to see her and then repeat after a few weeks. So four flights every Easter, summer and Christmas — which I do because I love my daughter so much — I talk on the phone to her 3 times a week and have good contact with her school.

I am proud of myself for fighting back — my ex-wife wanted me to have no contact with my daughter and tried to go for full custody and take all of my pension, she said she wouldn’t have minded if I was hit by a bus

I thought several times of taking my own life it was so bad

Everything I have now with my daughter – is what the court has given me – if I didn’t have that I would have never seen my daughter again.

I am doing ok – but I am constantly in debt trying to pay for flights to visit my daughter and the pressure is immense, if I can’t afford to pay for a flight then I won’t be able to be in my daughters life

My question to you and to CN is: why after all of this are they so petty?

I have had to take her to court several times to enforce the order, she refuses to help facilitate the video calls properly, she cuts me off or makes sure the video quality is so bad I can’t talk to her.

She’ll pack my daughter 4 things when she’s visiting me for 4 weeks, why after everything she’s put me through is she trying to hurt me through our daughter?

She’ll often say — I have to do this or he’ll (the other guy) will get mad.

Chump Lady, every single part of me seeing my daughter is in a court order — why does it have to be this way?

Kind Regards

StressChump

Dear StressChump,

Why does it have to be this way? You bred with a fuckwit. That’s why. I’m so sorry. I can’t imagine this level of heartache on an international scale. I don’t know how applicable my usual advice is — to document, document, document every time they fail at the parenting order, and when you reach a critical mass (after consulting with your attorney), go to court.

Also — pro tip from the co-parenting with a fuckwit trenches — always get written into your decrees what happens if the other side FAILS to abide by the order. Do they pay the attorney fees? Court costs? Forfeit time? Custody? I’m not a lawyer, but I do hope some of them will weigh in today.

This way the consequences are laid-out in advance. You’d think that most people would have the decency or common sense to abide by court orders, but many do not. And then you get into this hell you are living — you have to expensively go to court to get what you already fought hard to have.

I hope some day you can get custody. I hope when your daughter reaches an age she can decide, the scales tilt in your favor. Meanwhile, keep up your sane parenting and connection with your daughter. Parenting has a long arc — a loving father who wants to be in her life, will pay dividends.

My question to you and to CN is: why after all of this are they so petty?

Classic Untangling the Skein of Fuckupedness question. Because they can be. Because you’re no longer of use. Because it doesn’t hurt them to hurt you. Because you’re an annoying buzz ruining things, go away. Because they get a thrill getting away with stupid shit and not being held accountable. Because, because, because…

None of these explanations make this crap any easier to bear. You just have to steel yourself for it and not expect them to be invested, considerate partners. If they do? That’s gravy. Go forward by working around your fuckwit ex and don’t expect cooperation or consensus. (Yes, even when it is court-ordered.)

I’m not saying don’t enforce these things in court, DO, I’m saying don’t get broadsided by their petty aggressions. Don’t be surprised by it. Try very, very hard (I know it is SO HARD) to not let it steal your joy.

That’s your child. You love her. You’d go broke for her. You’ve fought so hard for her to be in your life. Enjoy every glitter glue project. Every rambling story. Every sticky embrace. Your ex can play Obstacle, but she cannot steal your joy. You will love your daughter. You will remain in her life, whatever the video quality. Your ex can go fuck herself.

I have had to take her to court several times to enforce the order, she refuses to help facilitate the video calls properly, she cuts me off or makes sure the video quality is so bad I can’t talk to her.

Could you get your child her own tablet device? Perhaps she could be in charge of calling you directly and doesn’t need mom’s help? All I’ve got here is document, document, document. Keep trying.

She’ll pack my daughter 4 things when she’s visiting me for 4 weeks, why after everything she’s put me through is she trying to hurt me through our daughter?

This is one thing you can get in front of. Supplies. I know it’s another expense, but at 5, you can do clothes swaps with other parents, yard sales, thrift shops. EXPECT this bullshit. (And document, document, document.)

The Unpacked Bag stunt is classic. I remember my son’s father once dropped him off at my house without his SHOES. It was like November. The kid was 7.  I said, “Where are his shoes?” And the creep turns to my son and says, “How could you lose your shoes?!”

No, Fuckwit. It’s YOUR JOB to know where his shoes are and PUT THEM ON HIM.

I can’t say if your ex is doing this out of malice or air-headed neglect. But the result is the same — you have to step up your game because their game sucks.

In time, your child will learn the self-sufficiency to pack her own bag. And that’s a hard blessing — children who have a fuckwit parent usually become very self-sufficient. A skill that will serve them well later in life.

As for why is she trying to hurt you through your daughter? Or blame her Schmoopie?

Because these freaks have to triangulate for kibbles. Because she probably needs you to be the Bad Guy to justify abandoning her marriage and breaking up another family. Because she needs to blameshift and can’t accept responsibility. Because…. skein untangling.

Thing is, she can TRY to hurt you, but you can deny her that power.

For every lousy video call and unpacked bag, she will be met with Sane Parent Defiance. You are not going away. You will not give up on your child. You will meet your daughter’s needs. And if ex is looking for an emotional reaction? She won’t get one. Grey rock. Sane Parenting is job #1.

Hang in there, StressChump. Keep fighting the good fight.

Ask Chump Lady

Got a question for the Chump Lady? Or a submission for the Universal Bullshit Translator? Write to me at info@chumplady.com. Read more about submission guidelines.
  • 1. I would argue they actually GET OFF on hurting us (narcissism)
    2. Have you a “Buy Nothing” community near you? If so, try it, it could really help you. You could put an abbreviated version of your story in there (crappy ex mom won’t send supplies with daughter on international visits to see her dad) and see if anyone has clothes, toys etc. for your girl.

    Sorry this sucks so much.

    • As a former Army lawyer, I’d like to know where the divorce decree came from. God I hope it’s an American court – in which case, the next time you have your daughter, you file to change custody WITH ALL the documentation of your ex FW wife’s violations and because IF she’s really under the control of an evil OM who interferes with YOUR relationship, it’s not in the child’s interest.

      Your circumstances must have “substantially changed”, AND OR you must show your ex’s violations AND as always, the “Best interests of the child” is the final arbiter in all 50 states. Adultery is grounds for divorce in some states and in many countries. It CAN sometimes affect custody but in the USA it’s only when the kids are dragged into witnessing too much cheater behavior.

      However, if the divorce AND custody were finalized overseas, then there are still avenues for you to pursue. But since I don’t know which country that is, all I can suggest is you visit the local JAG Office there (assuming you’re still military) and THEN – depending on their advice, hire local counsel. It’s also valid to point out the unilateral hardship the arrangement makes for the innocent partner here and that you are strugging to make a living AND fulfill your fatherly duties.

      After all, there’s more to being a father than writing a check and YOU are a beautiful manly example of that.

      (I’d give anything to have an ex who wanted to just spend time with our kids for TIME sake, not image management or to avoid paying money.)

      If the OM is still in the picture as she claims AND if he is still in the military, then there are fairly delicious options available to you for what he’s doing.

      I don’t suggest hurting his career to the point where HIS wife and kids get hurt, but you can darn sure intimidate him.

      Adultery IS still prosceuted in the military regardless of what others claim (I had to defend several of them who were actually courtmartialed and JAILED or dismissed). But it usually happens when there are aggravating factors such as cheating with subordinates or other married soldiers OR their wives. And here, you have a few aggravating factors. If he’s an officer, it’s extremely damaging to his career.

      Please call the local JAG Office if you’re still active duty. If not, a lot of this depends on which country she’s in. But all is not lost.

      Keep us posted or get my email from CN.

  • Let’s start with a good laugh, Chump Nation! This just in!

    My daughter, who lives with me, forgot to go to her last class of the day on Monday. (They changed the Zoom schedule of classes recently).

    I got the computer generated email from the principal about her absence, which asks you to call. I called the principal, who is an acquaintance, and told her what happened. Of course, because I am the mom who stayed after X threw us overboard and sailed off with a woman who was a stowaway on our Sailboat of Life and overnight became Ghost Dad.

    An hour later, I got an email from X, who is copied on school emails because he is BioDad, telling me to follow up with the principal about daughter’s absence. Thanks, bro. We’re on it over here, and have been, very well thank you, in the pile of rubble left of our life that you ran away from three years ago

    I am not even going to try to explain why.
    The only “why” is that they are not right in the head, of which an affair is proof.

    • Over to Stress Chump……

      I am very sorry and when you come here on a daily basis (this is my third year here) you will find that you are not alone, and that your X is not unique. I have found comfort in that, especially when my mind goes down that dark alley. It really helps me to remember there are a LOT of people going through what I am going through, who feel like I do, and they are making it, and have made it through. The old Winston Churchill quote about when you’re going through hell, keep going.

      Our beloved member Tessie paid the ultimate dues here when her husband killed their son and himself…..and here she is. Thank you Tessie, for sharing your experience, strength, and hope. If you can keep going, I can keep going.

      The “why” is that they are super effed up. The good news is that everything changes and nothing stays the same. This is a temporary situation. No one knows how long, but DO NOT apply a permanent solution to a temporary situation!

      My plan today, and my best advice, is to do the next right thing, one moment at a time, JUST FOR TODAY, and stay in close contact with my regiment….lawyer, trusted friends, therapist, fellow chumps, and Chump Lady. To remain MINIMAL contact with the enemy.

      As for your “wife”? I like Napoleon’s quote:

      “Never interfere when your enemy is making a mistake”

      (Of course, interfere if a child is being harmed).

      • ((((❤️Tessie❤️)))))
        We never forget you!

        VH,
        Thank you for your always wise and very kind words to Chumps, ALWAYS!!
        You, VH, are a Superpower!!!

      • Thank you for your insights VH—-Today is a rough one for me and your words, as always, give ME comfort ansd strength

      • I feel the same way about Tessie. Even though I was a puddle of pain, confusion and misery, when I read Tessie’s story, I knew if she could live through that and have radiate such life force, I could survive a jackass.

    • Oh Velvet Hammer-you touched a nerve on this one for me!

      Our shared dog had to go to the vet so I told the ex to make an appointment (since he pays the vet bills for that one and I pay the vet bills for the other 2).

      Of course he couldn’t even do that right! The dog had a lump on his face and with all of the franchised vets we go to-the earliest he could get him in was 5 days from then!

      I made a few calls and was able to get him into a vet branch the next day and let him know.

      The next day I get a voicemail from the vet office he had called telling me that they had an appointment for the dog that Saturday but noticed the dog was coming in sooner to another office.

      I texted stbx to tell him to cancel that appointment. He proceeds to text argue with me that he never made that appointment and that they are wrong. I just said-whatever-leave it then and they can charge you for the missed appointment.

      Well-when the issue became his money-he texted back and said he had called them and that “We’re good to go.”

      Oh-thanks for taking care of that you shit stain 🙄. Is at all good now? Are we good to go because you said so?

      After all of that-he refused to pay the $1500 vet bill for my kids’ beloved dog-even tho he always paid before.

      Yeah-I got the narc who is never wrong, takes no blame, is a complete control freak and is cheap as Hell.

        • Thank you AllOutOfKibble-he’s doing great! Plus-since he spent the first night after surgery at my stbx’s and pooped and peed all over the house-I’m doing much better myself 😁.

      • ^^ Yep, that’s my situation too. Except that STBX is mainly cheap when it comes to me and “my stuff.” When it’s her stuff, like flying her affair partner around and life coaching and meal boxes and all kinds of Amazon crap, STBX has a very different financial standard.

        • We got a life insurance policy for EX while married and when he was deployed (since the regular life insurance wouldn’t cover combat death). The monthly premium payment came out of my checking account, which I had not noticed until a few years later.

          During the divorce, the DOCTOR cancelled the policy – even though I was paying for it, – and even though they informed him of this – AND even though that violated the court orders to touch or change NO insurance policies pending the divorce finalization.

          The ex first flatly denied that I paid it, but I had the bank records. THEN he still denied it (insane, I know)

          AND he also argued that it motivated me to kill him (wow, project much??)

          But the shittiest part of all that lunacy was that IF he really projected HIS murderous intentions onto me and truly believed them,

          why not change the beneficiaries to our kids?

          I would have still paid the premium b/c I give a shit about our kids! It would literally cost him NOTHING!

          OUR kids (HIS KIDS) would have gotten something if he died.

          Why DID HE DO THAT??? To punish. To control.

          In short, there’s simply “there is NO ‘good’ reason” so I forced myself to stop wondering. Oh, and now the DOCTOR has cancer and is uninsurable.

          Nice legacy…

        • Oooh LezChump-that would piss me off!

          Mine is so cheap that the most expensive thing he bought his girlfriend is a $49 air fryer for Christmas 🤣🤣🤣

  • Wow StressChump! My blood boiled reading your letter. My life as a chump is a bed of roses compared to yours.
    Remembering CL’s story yesterday, I wish MacKenzie Scott could support a charity for parents in your situation.
    Besides what CL advises (document, document, document), please accept that your ex is a bad person, she will NOT change. This way you don’t waste any more energy on her so you can NEVER GIVE UP.

  • These people are just screwed up beyond anything. I went through some similar issues with my now ex wife. Back just over ten years ago she started sneaking out of the house and we had a baby less than a year old. We would go to bed at say 10pm and I’d wake up at 1am and she was gone, car was gone and no answer to phone. Would then come back at 4 or 5am. She also started having to go to her female friends house more to help her. I went there a few times and car was not there, listened through the door and no sound of her. I phoned her once and asked where she was and she said at friends apartment. Was all lies. This went on for months. Another point to note is she had lived with her ex boyfriend before we ever met and she cheated on him with multiple guys too, including two guys at once whilst he was at work.

    Like yourself I was in the Army and had shipped to basic and within six weeks she tells me she is pregnant. I had hardly touched her but stupid me being focused on the Army I never tested for paternity. I’ve now spoken to my lawyers and I will be doing a paternity test within next few months. I left military and we moved to the UK. And all seemed fine until last year when I caught her cheating with nearly 20 guys. Asking four when they be in the area to meet up. One other guys last message was “now you can go home and finish yourself off”. She was also seeing one main AP and despite being caught she kept on doing it. She deleted her Snapchat and opened a new one under her maiden name and only had him on it. At this stage I had already filed for divorce which she did not know.

    Then we found her on tinder and it said she had a boyfriend who wants to watch her with other men. I confronted her about that and of course got a whole string of pathological lying. It was someone cat fishing, despite knowing lots of things about her and same spelling mistake her phone made. Ok let’s phone the police then and she said she had others worries such as our marriage.

    Then came the false accusations of domestic violence. I was arrested and removed from home by social services. Then she wants me and then she blows cold then she regrets everything and then she says I’m the one who left. So I agree that grey rock is your best tool. She is a cancer that needs removed completely. As CL says, document everything. My lawyers have enough of her admitting to serious things to sink her. Our divorce is now thankfully finalised and I’ve got my new home and new life but damn these personality disordered scum really destroy everything. As CL says, they need to make the victim seem like a bad person to try and control the narrative and play victim.

    • So much of that is just awful and I cannot imagine the pain of looking into paternity testing, but…if one ever needs an idea of the caliber of guys that a married, cheating woman attracts “now you can go home and finish yourself off” is a pretty good summation.

      • The calibre of these “men” is right and I did say that to her once. What sort of a “man” knows a woman is married and his young kids at home and still decides to play their part in being a home wrecker because home wreckers is all they are. These types of “men” don’t even have the balls to go face the husband. Just vermin. Such a low life specimen that they can only get married women? She belongs to the streets and not one single day passes were I don’t regret I ever met her. She truly sickens me and knowing I brought kids into the world with her is hard to stomach.

        Paternity test wise, we found the guy I suspect on social media and my little girl looks more like him than me. I have some professionals supporting me with this and I’m honestly terrified that she won’t be mine.

        • “Such a low life specimen that they can only get married women? ”

          True, and the same for OW. They can’t compete for successful available men, so they go after the married men.

    • “now you can go home and finish yourself off”. That is gross! These guys are complete jerks and are treating your X like dirt. You’ve done all you can to help her and keep your family intact. It’s high time to focus on you and your kids.

    • ChumpyNoLove – this made me cry – I am sure you didn’t write this for that effect, but please know I understand your pain. The layers and layers of deception are unimaginable to those who don’t know what it is like to be a Chump and know a cheater and liar intimately. You were sleeping with your enemy – I am so glad you are out. Best, Peregrine

      • Yes, and then we are told ‘don’t you say one word bad against the other parent’ to the child! Which is generally good advice.

        Mental torture.

  • She’s a horrible human being – that’s why she does what she does.

    Check out the freecycle sites, see if there is a neighborhood/base swap meet of some sort so when you do have your daughter in your custody you can find things that are appropriate for her to wear at that time and at little to no cost.

    Plan on providing your daughter with a device of her own in a few years so she can chat with you reliably. Age 5 isn’t the time to do it. Definitely time to think about it though.

    I’m so sorry that you are literally being impoverished by your FW ex-wife but perhaps your salary will soon increase to the point where this isn’t financially dropping you to your knees.

    Document document document. Even if it doesn’t help you legally, you never know when it may be handy later.

    May a house drop on her head.

  • Dear StressChump,
    I feel your pain and am so sorry about the unfairness of what you are going through.
    Your ex is clearly an unhappy and twisted individual and you have to”work with her”. The part about the flights made me sick to my stomach-I’m so sorry.
    I’m a year out of leaving my STBX and have 3 kids. I rented a condo in our neighbourhood ( expensive) and my parents have helped me out with lawyer bills and groceries. Now, STBX is unemployed ( narcissist got fired but doesn’t think it’s his fault) and so it seem as though I’ll also be my parents will be paying exorbitant child support cost each month too. I work full time. These losers don’t care. At Christmas he wanted me to pay half of ski equipment present for two of our kids-1 said no. ( Skiing! As if the idiot can afford this luxury). He said that the kids would not be allowed to equipment if I took them skiing. That said it all to me-our exes have poor judgement, are unkind and don’t even know what a gift is. Stay true to yourself and the values and morality you want your daughter to have -she will know this-kids instinctively do know what is goodness and faithfulness.

  • This woman is deliberately tormenting you, with the ultimate goal to drive you away from your daughter’s life. She thinks if she makes access to your child difficult enough, you’ll eventually give up trying to see her. Then she’ll have her happy family with her kid and this other guy and your CS money.

    I don’t know what countries you or your child are in but maybe there are court remedies you can seek. You may be able to have the CS lowered to help with the extreme access costs.

    This sounds so hard. I suspect I’d be trying to leave the military and emigrate to my kid’s country if this was me.

  • This isn’t at all helpful now, but it’s true anyway.

    Eventually your daughter will be old enough to choose for herself. She’ll understand her life as an adult. She’ll have one parent who transcended incredible odds and never gave up and thought creatively all the time to make sure she had good, solid, happy, well cared for time with him. She’ll have another parent who was petty, triangulating, manipulative, and probably breaks her home life into shambles more than once (because cheaters cheat, it’s what they do).

    I firmly believe that sanity wins in the end the lion’s share of the time. Excepting cases where the child-turned-adult also has untreated disorders, by and large children see which parents have their best interest at heart in the long run and, when they are able to choose for themselves, choose to connect deeply with sane, loving parents.

    So I guess I’m saying, let this be a thing that helps support you as you hang in there. Nobody can control who our children become, but we also never stop loving them and we never stop trying to do the best for them, and with them, that we can, and that’s really all you can ever reasonably ask of anyone.

    Your beautiful, never-ceasing love is a gift to her. Your tenacity in reaching through all these insanely hard times absolutely matters. It’s everything.

  • We’re with you, buddy — keep fighting the good fight. You’re doing the right things.

    Hope this helps alleviate the stress even a little.

    ———————-

    (music by Roy Orbison, lyrics by StressChump)

    Petty woman, sabotaged our plan
    Petty woman, she fucked a married man
    Petty woman, I can’t believe you,
    You piece of shit
    You used me to get home, then split
    Mercy!

    Petty woman, look at what you did
    Petty woman, you kept our daughter hid
    Petty woman, you’re as malicious as can be
    Lacking any decency
    Rwar-r-r-r-r-r-r-r-r-r

    Petty woman, acting bad
    Petty woman, I’m her dad
    Petty woman, pack the fucking bag
    Petty woman, cuts calls short
    Petty woman, off to court
    Petty woman, everything will drag . . .

    • I wish you and ChumpLady could compile all your songs into an addendum for Leave a Cheater Gain a Life

      • Thanks for the kudos, but I really think they need the context that the links back to the blog entries and comments provide. I don’t think that would work well as an addendum to the book. But, again, my humble thanks.

      • The good news, if you missed it, is that most of the songs posted to date will be featured as a page in the relaunched CL site, coming this weekend, under the heading “Fun & Games.” I believe there will be 21 parodies there to start.

  • StressChump,
    The more monstrous the offence, the more they blame the other party.
    Guilt does not transform in remorse, it stays guilt ever more fueled, and so the blame-shifting on the other is all-encompassing.
    If they can destroy you, get you out of the picture (literally), then mission is accomplished.
    In the meanwhile there is reward from the ongoing supply of hurting you. It is a succulent sort of supply.
    Yes, they get off on hurting.

    Two narcissistic grandmothers here (international situation) who spewed their hidden hatred (vulnerable/covert narcs) on the progeny (except golden children). And it came down the generations, in murderous hatred that found no bounds and teinted the lives of their children.

    You daughter is so lucky to have you. Stay strong. You are an amazing dad. She could not wish for better. My goodness, a dad that does all that you do. I would say, just don’t exhaust yourself, because it seems to me you have to be there for the long haul. Your opponent is trying to wear you down.
    Thing is you exist and are present because that is who you are. Never, ever forget that.

    I wish my father, or my mother, had been there for me and my sister. But they were under the narcissistic “spell” of their families, and were murderous themselves having been so betrayed and maltreated (unaware scapegoats).

    I married also somebody under the narcissistic “spell” and was abandoned. An international situation where he had the geographical advantage. All the power and control.
    They intentionally position themselves -unbeknownst to you- in such manner that they have the power and control.

    • In truth, my father cheated and betrayed us horribly. Then went murderous against us for what he had done to us. And all that playing the victim.

    • “The more monstrous the offence, the more they blame the other party.”

      Truer words were never spoken. This woman knows, deep down, underneath her narc bluster, that her behavior is atrocious. She dares not face that. So she projects and deems her ex the evil doer. They all do that to some extent. It would destroy them to face who they are. They’d melt like the Wicked Witch.

      • Yep, my ex kept talking about me committing suicide. I found an email where he and his girlfriend were talking about how I needed to serious mental health help and they were researching places I could “go”. Ha! I’m still alive AND haven’t been in a mental health ward. I’d find this funny if it weren’t so scary.

  • Yes, trying to figure out why and remain upright is a useless exercise. We had a saying during my divorce — the man has no empathy and no regard for the law. I’m convinced that my ex could not begin to grasp the impact of abandoning us and then the ugly, drawn-out divorce. If I complained to him during separation about the mess he left behind for me to deal with, he said, “And what about me? I have to find a place to live and start over. You are responsible for this.”

    Yes, and who had to deal with a boatload of ugly in his absence. I had to handle all the questions from the locals, slash the budget to barely living, look for work, deal with upset teens, manage house/vehicles, and somehow remain upright. No wonder I lost a huge amount of weight. Then he wanted the house sold, and I figured that I needed the money. So I found a not-nice rental that I could afford in a safe neighborhood, moved out all of our stuff with the help of friends, found three decent realtors, made countless dump runs, and then he showed up with a moving van to get his stuff and meet with the realtors. Then he left, and I kept up the for-sale house every day in addition to working, managing our rental house, and dealing with various upset family members and friends.

    Then the divorce was messy and long and ugly. It should have taken months. LOL. Nope. Never mind that I had to hire a superstar to counter his celebrity attorney while earning minimum wage. I took a deep breath and convinced myself that there are certain efficiencies with hiring the best. There were, and he got so irritated with how my ex was acting that he wrote off thousands of dollars of work. Then his associate took over closeout, and it was crazy all over again, but the associate was steady and cheaper of course. Ultimately more work was written off.

    Never a hint of consideration about the impact of so much drama on us. Thankfully both kids were over 18, but I wasn’t at all shocked when they decided to cut him out of their lives. He had very little to do with them after he left, and of course blamed me. I always took the stand that they had to define their relationship with their father, and that I would never, ever get in the middle. Then I focused on my relationship with them and largely keep them out of the drama although they of course knew about the financial realities and how the divorce went on and on. They saw me bawling my eyes out at times and how thin I got with worry.

    And so there we are. Thankfully he stayed where he ran to and is doing who-knows-what with his time. One kid finished college and is preparing to start working, and the other finishes soon and is interviewing. Both are doing well.

  • I’ll offer some hope here I hope. My kids were grown when fuckwit and I split. My son amd I were always close because ex treated him like a mistake but daughter was fuckwit’s mini me. Daddy’s girl. We were close but daddy was everything . Well he has shown himself to be a sparkly turd on so many occasions and I just kept plugging away being there for her and being the sane parent. She even refused to visit me at my home for 3 years. That’s marginally better but our relationship is very close. She wants us to buy a home together and she is well aware I want fuckwit nowhere near me and we are no contact. It does get better. Just keep being the sane parent as chump lady says.

    • New lady, this is very helpful for me. My daughter is an adult and I left her dad about 6 weeks ago. She is not real happy about it and I told her why I left without too much detail. I’m trying to stay in her life and I told her I won’t interfere in her relationship with her dad. I sort of feel like I’m losing her even though I make it a point to spend time with her and stay in contact. She does not initiate contact with me. She has not shown interest in visiting me at my new place. It breaks my heart. I hope she comes around some day.
      I have no idea what he is telling her. He has insulted me and called me names to her when I was there, so who knows what he is saying now. And for the last almost year — yes even while we were together—he will only text me through her. He won’t text me directly. I just hope she sees through this crap at some point.

      To StressChump, I wish you much luck in dealing with this. You sound like a great dad.

      • Ready to move on: as hard as it is please resist saying anything negative to her about her dad. It’s been hard I have to bite my tongue a lot but now she will tell me things and I just listen. I don’t think her dads new life is all that great. He discarded a beautiful life. More importantly she knows she can turn to me for support when her fuckwit dad dumps his garbage on her. They do end up coming around eventually hopefully. Hang in there.. we are all here together.

        • Yes Newlady! I know it is so hard not to say anything about her dad but I totally agree with you about keeping that in check!
          She has said a few things about her dads somewhat dismissive behavior towards her over the last two years and it was really hard not to add a lot to it!

      • This texting only through your daughter has to stop NOW. Neither of you should be doing that. If he won’t text you directly, just don’t answer. Never use a child as a means of conversation – no matter how old. Stick to your guns on this. Using your daughter for communication is WRONG. Have your attorney send him a letter that you will only reply to communication by text (or you can choose email) that is sent directly to you. If you don’t have an attorney, then send him a text/email yourself and tell him you will not answer unless sent to you. Leave your daughter out of this triangulation as it will do so much harm to her, even if she doesn’t realize it yet.

      • Ready to move on. You can and you must stop the texts through your daughter from your ex. That stops immediately. Even though she is an adult do not let her continue to be in the middle of this. One it isn’t her responsibility and it is damaging to her and probably has a hand in the issues between you and her. To text or call or whatever and tell him how he is to contact you. You will not respond to any other way.

  • StressChump, stay strong. Keep showing up for that beautiful little girl, and for yourself. You can do this. You are doing this. As they say about parenting, the days are long but the years are short. Send an update to the CN once in a while. There are lots of us rooting for you here. We can’t wait to hear that your 13 year old has come to live with you forever!

  • I’m sorry you have to have your heart stomped on, by a POS. A friend bought a travel pass from an airline employee. He paid $5,000, goes standby often depending on availability. On the good side, he travels as often as his time off allows, for that finite amount. You only have about 7 years till she is a teenager. Teen girls adore their dads, crave their attention. Also, have a need to make their moms, the enemy. Trust me when I say the next ten years will fly by. Children love being the center of your world. Show her a picture of herself, tell her you take her everywhere you go, telling people how pretty she is. You read her a a story every night and kiss it good night. Little girls especially love fantasy that includes them. Be creative, ask moms for suggestions. Everyone here married these fake people. They seemed real enough, but are not human. We support you.

  • Hi StressChump

    There really is no why, but I’ve learned that a narcissist will never forgive you for the horrible things they do to you.

    I am so thankful that your little girl has a sane parent who loves her. You are the steady rock in the world of turbulence her narc mother creates, and a safe foundation on which your baby can stand. You may not realize it now, but you are saving her life. My father was a wonderful, moral, loving man and I consider his presemce in my life one of my greatest blessings. I wouldn’t have survived without him.

    My guess is that when your wife has other children, or when your daughter turns 12 or so and starts voicing opinions of her own, you will get custody. It seems like a long time now, but when you look at it from the perspective of a lifetime, and decades of parenthood, it isn’t. Good luck to you, my friend.

    • “I’ve learned that a narcissist will never forgive you for the horrible things they do to you.”

      This is profound.

      • Agreed, Spinach. I think this gets to the root of the inevitable discard – as well as the neglect and resentment so many of us tried to understand and and fix before we knew about the cheating or were fully aware of the abusive dynamics in our relationships. And oddly, the better we are, the more they can’t forgive us. Their hatred is inversely proportional to our goodness. At first I was heartbroken by this realization. Now I see it as irrelevant because even if cheaters could hypothetically not hold chumps responsible for their crimes – they’re rotten humans at the core.

        Thinking about my own experiences and what I’ve read here, I’ve also been thinking lately that the term ‘discard’ is revisionist:
        1. I left, even though that fact was obscured by scorched earth, the lingering effects of gaslighting and my ex’s constantly shifting stories.
        2. I never would have been friends with – let alone chosen to build my life with – that person if he’d been honest about who he was.
        3. Reconciliation, for me, revolved around figuring out whether my ex was a man I could love, respect and trust. I did not want him if he was the cowardly, selfish, phony, immature, dishonest dirtbag he “had been.”

        • Same, Spinach. I felt that sentence.

          bread&roses, your three points are so similar to my experience. The hardest thing for me to come to terms with right now is that the man I thought I married wasn’t real, and if he had been honest about who he really is, I would not have selected him as a life partner. It makes me feel angry, sad, and so many other feelings. On the bright side, now I know.

    • “There really is no why, but I’ve learned that a narcissist will never forgive you for the horrible things they do to you.”

      Ain’t that the sad truth.

  • As a father dealing with a narcissist/BPD ex wife you have to stay steady in her life. My ex is constantly trying the parental alienation and brain washing thing. Be the sane parent and paternity test your daughter. They will punish you for divorcing them. Doesn’t matter they were cheating on you or asked for the divorce. They will make your life a living hell because of it. I go to therapy which helps. I also rebuilt my life and compartmentalize my ex and the difficulty of parallel parenting with her.

  • Narcs do the scorched earth approach to almost anything. They do get a thrill out of sticking a pin in people and their plans. I have seen it first hand too many times. They get their jollies this way. And from making out that you are attacking them if you dare complain.

    BUT kids do grow up, and then the narc has less chance to play puppeteer to try to get under your skin. Narcs don’t improve but circumstances eventually change.

    Try to see this as temporary in its bulk. Get a dated journal and write down every incident as CL says.

  • StressChump, you are a saint in my book. I hope you can stay strong!
    Not sure if anyone else has commented this, but she has kind of threatened you, wishing you got hit by a bus. Please be careful. Since you have to travel, to pick up your daughter, stay in public places, and don’t let her, or her cronies, isolate you. I’m sorry, but she sounds dangerous! I really hope you can navigate all this, and bless you for the deep love you’re showing your daughter. With a ‘mom’ like that, she will need you.

    • Especially since her parents bought her a house in a remote area somewhere in Canada. Does Canada have the American equivalent of social worker supervised pick ups and drop offs of children of divorce ?

  • I love CL’s idea of getting in front of some of the simple yet inconvenient obstacles your x causes. Find a military mom with a daughter about the age of yours and ask for first dibs on outgrown clothes and toys, she’ll likely love to hand them over and it could be something your daughter may even get excited about. My kids have always loved a bag of a friends hand-me-downs, despite what I buy for them. Also, the ipad for communication could be good too, and set up messenger kids for her. That way she can contact you anytime and you can send her a little message whenever you’re thinking of her (even a picture of something cool if she can’t read yet). Kids know the parent that is stable. I am trying to not react to my fw’s current games, like a toddler I am choosing not to give his bad behaviors any attention. FW’s thrive on attention and our grief, starve them of that. Better yet turn a negative into a positive and nothing will make them stop faster. Hopefully, I can take my own advice here.. easier said than done.

  • Oh StressChump, I’m so sorry for you. And yes, CL is correct. The reason is that you bred with a fuckwit. But another reason she’s the way she is … is because as long as you’re around, you remind her of what an absolutely shitty person she is. She hates you for that. “Why don’t you just get hit by a bus!?” If you ‘went away’, then she could ‘start over’ and pretend to herself that she’s a nice person and no one would know the ugly way that she treated you. But the longer you remain in your daughter’s life, the greater chance your daughter is going to find out what a shitty mom she has. And that’s why she wants you to just go away. Stay in your daughter’s life no matter how difficult it is. This is a short time in your life. Someday your daughter will be an adult and will realize the efforts that her dad made to be involved…, and someday she’ll know that those efforts mean ‘love’. You’re the most important person in her life right now. Don’t give up. Hugs!

    • “Why don’t you just get hit by a bus!?” If you ‘went away’, then she could ‘start over’ and pretend to herself that she’s a nice person and no one would know the ugly way that she treated you”

      Absolutely, my fw’s version of that was “I figured you would move to TX (from Indiana) to be near your dad” Translated = If you left the community that you lived in, and raised our child in, everyone would forget and Schmoops could easily slip into your spot, and no one would notice”

      Funny a few years later I did actually leave the state because my DoD facility closed, and he and schmoops still didn’t get to erase me and maintain his standing in the community. Hmmm, who knew; guess I wasn’t the problem.

  • This is a really awful situation.

    One thing I know about the military is there’s a program within it that gets really discounted flights if you are active duty. Are you already aware and using that program?

    • I never used the flights myself but I remember there was for us in the Army to be able to use Air Force flights. Almost sure it was via the Air Force. As said I never used it so may not have exact memory on it.

  • Dear Stress Chump
    You’re daughter will know your love and that you never gave up She will come to understand your effort.
    Stay strong. God Bless.

  • It is next to impossible for people who have a functioning conscience to comprehend the behavior of people who don’t.

    They don’t have pangs when they do bad or cruel or thoughtless things. It just doesn’t bother them.

    It’s hard to wrap your head around their inability to care about doing the right thing. Best to expect they will often do the wrong thing – you won’t be as disappointed if you just expect her to be an asshole.

  • I had the same thing my ex husband is a fuckwit also that has affairs everywhere it’s disgusting! Now he just recently contacted me for money, again his new wife is very “MATERIALISTIC” and he wants out! I don’t give a shit I just want my kids!🙏🌷

  • Hi everyone thankyou for you messages of support! Chump air that’s a really good shout – I can but they can only tell you last minute and if I don’t get one it’s really expensive to book

    • So sign up for a military flight but also book. You can change the airline ticket for a fee if you get a flight.

      • Good idea! Book and if you can get the military flight, pay the fee to change the commercial flight you booked. Then next time book to use this changed flight but sign up for the military flight also. Then if you get the military flight, pay the change fee again. If it works out for you, you would still save a lot of $$. Sometimes people who travel fairly often to the same location, keep a ticket in case they need it and then when they see when they need to go, they just use that ticket they are holding. (change fees apply but it is less expensive). Another idea is maybe the Red Cross or a charitable organization could help you if an emergency comes up and you need to see your child (i.e. illness, etc. Hope that doesn’t happen). Maybe post on a military single parent blog (if there is one)–network and get ideas of what other people do in similar situations. Best of luck to this great Dad!

  • I’m so sorry this is happening to you. Stay the course – your daughter will one day be old enough to let her mom know that she wants to see you more often. She will pack her own bags. They are petty assholes. This is the long game – stick to your daughter. The pain of this must be torture. And yes, they are petty beyond belief. I, like you, sit around and think, “he got what he wanted, why does he hate me now?” I’ve asked my friends that, my family, my therapist, his family…and the answer is that he’s a manipulative fuckwit. There is no logic to it. In my case, Mr FW left for the woman who could fulfil all of his sexual fantasies. He was quite happy with himself. He was horrible to me in the leaving process, saying things like, “she’s a lot younger than you so we can have a new family together.” Why did he say that? He was already leaving. Did he need to make that one last hideous remark? Why does he insist on hiding his money so that I get almost no child support? Why won’t he separate our property? Why won’t he come collect his things? Why does he spread lies about me? Be careful asking why – your brain will look for answers. Mine kept answering me – because you’re not good enough, not sexy enough, etc. etc. My friend taught me a technique. Instead of asking yourself, WHY, just start the sentence with…For whatever reason…
    So, for whatever reason your ex is being a hideous parent. For whatever reason she won’t pack enough clothes. See the difference? This has helped me a lot. The WHY will never get us anywhere because they are fucking assholes with no morals and they want to punish us for their shit.
    Hang in there – you are good.

  • When my ex FW left me and my 9 year old son for his coworker AP in 2015, I thought “well, clearly he just hates me… but he’ll still be a good dad.” Ha! I didn’t realize the depths of crazy and petty that these narcissistic wackos will do.

    When FW couldn’t get me to react… he’d do terrible things to the kid. FW (who never was violent with our son for 9 years), now would purposely trigger him… and shove him…. and hold him down… and call the police on him (yes — on his own son when he was just 9 to 13 years old!)…and lock him outside… and call him names… and wouldn’t wash his clothes (the kid was foul smelling and unkept after 4 day custodial periods with dad)… wouldn’t buy him clothes (kid would come home in pants and shirts several sizes too small… FW dad would keep the new stuff kid arrived in and send him home in things that didn’t fit so that I’d have to replace for him). And FW and his idiot AP would gang up on son. So my son stopped wanting to be there at all.

    I tracked it. I emailed FW so I had proof in writing. I reported it to therapists, coparenting coordinators, attorneys, the school, the police, CPS, doctors. FW wouldn’t stop. And all the therapists and coparenting coordinators backed FW — because in my state it’s all about giving both parents access to their kid NO MATTER WHAT. CPS literally told me that if he didn’t have broken bones or bruises, they couldn’t do anything. I was frutrated but wouldn’t back down and kept tracking it all.

    But I also had a male therapist for my kid. He became my son’s advocate. So that was one wrench that FW couldn’t get past.

    Still, FW kept on. He knew that if he wanted me to react, to take things out on the kid. Petty petty petty

    So I kept tracking. And when things got super bad, I would prepare to take him to court. I had to go through this garbage 3 times with him with attorneys (post divorce). He kept thinking he’d wear me out. Nope. I would bring my huge stack of proof and info. FW would scream at me about “wasting money” ….whatever dude… going to court.

    And his attorney would write up impossible to interrogatories… 28 questions that needed to be broken out into 18 parts under each question. And I’d work nonstop at night and weekends answering. And his attorney would be so angry at me when my attorney would hand over my 80 page response. LOL
    And guess what? After meeting number 2 with his attorney where she tried to show that I was just trying to make her client look bad and turn his son against him (based on his lies)… she then read through everything that I wrote up… and finally realized FW was full of sh**. And suddenly… she was no longer his attorney.

    Even when my son was 14, in my state, they still didn’t want to allow him any say — not until 18! (again, a protection for dad to have access no matter what)

    So I put a camera on my door. And I recorded phone calls (legal in my state). And I had my son record too.

    SO the last court dealing was resolved (signed just before COVID last year) when my attorney proved that this was worth taking to court to protect my son…. and FW and his new attorney backed down just before we were headed to court. I told my attorney to keep moving forward and not back down — I was done with his petty cruel games. I wasn’t going to budge. For me, this wasn’t a game of chicken. It was about protecting my son and I was beyond ready to take it to court. And they flinched. FW had to agree to let my son have a say… let my son have a break and go home when things escalated during FW’s custody. I didn’t take custody from him… I took away his power to abuse his son during custody.

    As soon as that document was signed, FW was basically a eunuch. After 5 years of fighting and being an angry a**hole, FW stopped. I think the new attorney he got finally shut him down. Without the power to abuse my son, he knew there was nothing left. He doesn’t even take my son for custodial weekends anymore… just a few hours to lunch or dinner here and there.

    StressChump…. I know this will feel like forever… and with the international element it will feel impossible (financially, timewise and everything)… but you can do this. Keep fighting for your kid. She will flinch at some point. She will lose her power at some point. And then those FWs have to stop. Praying that you stay strong and beat her at her petty games.

    • Wow! What hell you and your son went through. I bet StressChump was inspired by your incredible perseverance.
      It’s sickening what the courts will let these scumbags get away with.

      To StressChump; research the laws in the ex’s home country. Perhaps they are stronger when it comes to parental alienation.
      As for why she does it- she’s the kind of malignant, toxic person who will make her own child’s life harder just to make yours harder. Expect the worst and be ready for whatever she pulls from her bag of tricks. A bogus child abuse allegation is something she might try when her current techniques fail to discourage you. It might be worth investing in security cameras inside your house so you can disprove things like that.
      This is a tough one. I hope it gives some comfort to know we all feel for you and are rooting for you.
      Another idea is starting a gofundme page for your travel costs. If you tell the same story you told here lots of people will probably want to help.

    • Michelle,

      What a mighty mama bear you are. This is an amazing story. I’d consider writing it up and asking CL to run it as a main post on the board. Today, it will reach many people. As a main board post, it will reach many thousands more. There is so much inspiration here.

      Your X is one terrible man but you brought him down. Bravo.

    • Amazing story!

      It feels really comforting to know that there are others out there struggling like me,

      I’m going to keep fighting and going for my daughter – I know it’s hard but it’s so rewarding – my daughter is starting to figure things out too – she always asks me when I’m coming to fly (rocket ship to her) so I can come and get her

      I feel like it’s attrition – but she can’t wear me out !

      • StressChump — you can do this! You’re doing great!!! And your daughter will keep figuring more out and appreciating you more. I ran out of money too… and it still didn’t stop me. I begged for spread out payments from attorneys… I borrowed from friends and family. And once my ship was righted, I paid it all back. Hang in there. We are all cheering for you.

  • I just thought of another idea. It’s stomach churning, but it might yield results. Suppose you throw kibbles her way. Tell her you understand why she’s angry, you know you weren’t enough for her, and that you only left the marriage in order to pave the way for her to be with the man she really loves, because you care so much about her happiness. You still think she’s awesome, bla bla bla, and the only thing you ask is to see the beautiful child you two made together and for her to make it easier to be in your daughter’s life. Try the “We can still be friends, can’t we?” gambit.
    It’s gross, but you may only have to throw her the occasional kibble to keep her coming back for more flattery, meaning she’ll be motivated to do what you ask. When your daughter is at an age to choose for herself, you can drop the bomb that it was all lies. “Jokes on you, bitch!”
    I don’t know your monster ex, so I have no idea if this will work, but she sounds like a narc, and they are very easy to manipulate through flattery.

    • Ready to move on. You can and you must stop the texts through your daughter from your ex. That stops immediately. Even though she is an adult do not let her continue to be in the middle of this. One it isn’t her responsibility and it is damaging to her and probably has a hand in the issues between you and her. To text or call or whatever and tell him how he is to contact you. You will not respond to any other way.

    • For stress chump. I think it is a great idea about the cameras. I don’t trust her and I would put nothing past her. On the other hand the message to her being nice and all this other stuff you said. Bad idea. You don’t play let’s be nice games with a narc. Nothing good comes out of that. Let that be. Don’t do it

  • Tough story to read. Joining this site makes me realize how horrible so many people are, but also how good and strong people can be. It’s no wonder many consider these times the end times.

    I thought people in the military could be tried by a military court if they cheat?

    Also, stay strong with your daughter. One day she will likely leave your ex to come live with you!

  • So a little more background – my daughter was born and grew up in England but we moved temporarily to Canada for the posting (military) as that’s where my ex is from originally but we kept our house for the return when my posting was up so it was always short term.

    When it came to leave to go back to the UK as the posting was at end (post D-Day and her saying it was over etc)she refused to return – and so afterwards when I was back in the UK I thought she would come back because this other guy has 3 children that live in the UK all young, I think 5, 7 and 9. This way whatever happened at least I would get to see my daughter.

    What I didn’t know was that the plan all along was to leave me in the UK whilst she stayed in Canada, my daughter is a dual citizen.

    He (the other guy) basically doesn’t see his children etc which is really messed up – but you can see the thinking behind thinking my ex wife would return to the UK

    Basically the way it worked out it was child abduction, she moved in Canada to an address which I didn’t know and she refused me access, so I filed under The Hague convention but I quickly realised that even though what she did was illegal – I didn’t have the money to pursue.

    The other guy left his family in England and shacked up with her – she got pregnant basically a week after I left for the UK

    In the end we got an order for joint legal custody with her getting primary residence of our daughter.

    She pays my daughters plane fare – best I could get. My lawyer said the best I could hope for is to move to Canada and renegotiate terms so I could see her as I didn’t have the money to fight the jurisdiction element.

    There isn’t a clause in the order which says if she fails to do this etc… that’s actually a really good point – I’ve basically had to take her to court continually to get her to comply

    Relationship wise my ex basically used the whole ‘reconciliation‘ period as a stalling tactic, it was so she could make use of me and she did.

    I was so scared I wouldn’t see my daughter I believed her

    As of right now they live in the middle of no where in Canada – the kind of place where it’s – 45 in winter, in a house paid for by her parents who for some reason supported and aided this entire enterprise

    My daughter tells me that this other guy and my ex wife make her call this guy ‘Papa’ which to be honest makes me sick.

    My daughter doesn’t understand why she can’t see me all the time. We make the best of the time we do have – I won in court over Christmas so I could see her and before that.

    I don’t think I’ve ever seen another parenting situation like this

    Thank you so much for your support CN!

    It’s just constant drama – pettiness, I did do anything wrong yet I’m almost made to feel like I was the one who left her?

  • So a little more background – my daughter was born and grew up in England but we moved temporarily to Canada for the posting (military) as that’s where my ex is from originally but we kept our house for the return when my posting was up so it was always short term.

    When it came to leave to go back to the UK as the posting was at end (post D-Day and her saying it was over etc)she refused to return – and so afterwards when I was back in the UK I thought she would come back because this other guy has 3 children that live in the UK all young, I think 5, 7 and 9. This way whatever happened at least I would get to see my daughter.

    What I didn’t know was that the plan all along was to leave me in the UK whilst she stayed in Canada, my daughter is a dual citizen.

    He (the other guy) basically doesn’t see his children etc which is really messed up – but you can see the thinking behind thinking my ex wife would return to the UK

    Basically the way it worked out it was child abduction, she moved in Canada to an address which I didn’t know and she refused me access, so I filed under The Hague convention but I quickly realised that even though what she did was illegal – I didn’t have the money to pursue.

    The other guy left his family in England and shacked up with her – she got pregnant basically a week after I left for the UK

    In the end we got an order for joint legal custody with her getting primary residence of our daughter.

    She pays my daughters plane fare – best I could get. My lawyer said the best I could hope for is to move to Canada and renegotiate terms so I could see her as I didn’t have the money to fight the jurisdiction element.

    There isn’t a clause in the order which says if she fails to do this etc… that’s actually a really good point – I’ve basically had to take her to court continually to get her to comply

    Relationship wise my ex basically used the whole ‘reconciliation‘ period as a stalling tactic, it was so she could make use of me and she did.

    I was so scared I wouldn’t see my daughter I believed her

    As of right now they live in the middle of no where in Canada – the kind of place where it’s – 45 in winter, in a house paid for by her parents who for some reason supported and aided this entire enterprise

    My daughter tells me that this other guy and my ex wife make her call this guy ‘Papa’ which to be honest makes me sick.

    My daughter doesn’t understand why she can’t see me all the time. We make the best of the time we do have – I won in court over Christmas so I could see her and before that.

    I don’t think I’ve ever seen another parenting situation like this

    • Contact your ex’s parents directly and tell them how the marriage really unraveled. And state how important it is that their granddaughter has a relationship with you, her real father albeit a long distance one for now.
      Hugs to you.

      • They for “some reason supported and aided this entire enterprise” Surprise, surprise she lied to them. Like any good cheater

    • Stress chump. Good on you for being there for your daughter. I am in an entirely different country than what you have to deal but I can tell you this. Please be sure to document and have a running log dates and times and details when there is interference on you phone, video chats whatever. If you can take pictures. Document and take pictures of her suitcase when she arrives. Continue to fight for this if it means taking a second third job temporarily to pay legal expenses. I know where I am a running log of proof of interference and proof of neglect can get custody changed but I have no idea about the 2 countries you are dealing in. I know document is good everywhere so continue to seek your legal options and keep up the good work.

  • I am getting down to basics. Anytime anyone wants to give you a present ask for money. If you have family or friends with frequent flyer miles ask for them. If you qualify for food stamps get them. Watch sales in your grocery store including on base. Don’t shop anywhere that caters to tourists. I just recently found out that our local Walmart and grocery stores have higher prices because of tourists in the area. That pissed me off big time. Eat beans. They are unbelievably good for you and so cheap. Watch yard sales. Lots of children’s clothes. Reach out to local churches. There are so many sad stories on here that we forget the good guys.
    Thank you for your service and for being the Dad every child deserves.

  • Also everyone my new plan is to emigrate to Canada to be closer to my daughter – I’ve met someone new and she supports me and says she’ll go with me !

    Im not going to let her win, some really great comments here – absolutely I agree – it’s a long battle and I think her goal is to make it so difficult that I’ll just go away

    • The idea about air miles is great. Post on social media for friends and relatives if anyone has extra air miles (to donate to you and there is a fee for this unfortunately). Lots of people have extra air miles now since some people have not been traveling, etc. Again best of luck.

    • If you do move to Canada, I suggest filing for a change in custody and visitation with the court. This big of a move would count as a significant change in your circumstances and I think you’d be able to fairly easily argue a case for 50-50 custody. Best interests of the child is the angle to use (sorry to put it that way but that’s how I had to look at it to succeed in my post divorce revised court orders). Equal and consistent time with dad is a VERY good thing for a child.

      You are tremendously mighty – you got this.

      • Thankyou !

        Yeah that basically what my lawyer advised – I have two now one here in the UK and one in Canada

        He said go for more custody when you get there – and that they probably won’t expect yon to actually move

    • Just imagine! Don’t even tell her in advance.

      “Hey, cheater-ex, I’m just letting you know I’ve changed my phone number. It’s YOUR-AREA-CODE-###-####. I’ve moved to Canada! It will be awesome to see Daughter more!”

      She’s going to freak. It won’t be pretty. After she gets over the shock, be prepared for more refusal of access.

      PS Canada is great.

        • Tell her nothing about your plans! Do not tell your daughter or anyone else who could let it slip! No to soon we will see each other more, we will be closer nothing like that. Please keep this close to the best until you are moved in. I would put nothing past her. The documentation of her interference we talked about might really help you so keep up with it.

  • Here are a few ideas:

    Consider vacationing with your daughter in the country where she lives (or nearby) once a year. You could have some great adventures together during one of your custody periods and spend less time and money on flights.

    Try to develop some relationships with reliable people in the country where your daughter is living who could accompany her to visit you. You might contribute to the chaperone’s flight, but you would not pay as much as you would if you flew yourself.

    Even though your daughter is young, start now teaching her how to fly herself. Talk through the steps you take to find a gate, check in, manage a small carry on, etc. Once you’ve done this several times, make a game of having her lead both of you through all the steps of the flight. You’ll be there to help her problem solve if she makes an error, but don’t immediately tell her what has gone wrong, ask her questions and help her think through the steps she would need to take to get to the right concourse or find the right flight on the departures panel, etc. Show her all the places she can ask for help in an airport if she is lost or has a problem. The goal is to make her comfortable and competent to fly alone as soon as she is old enough. I did this with one of my kids beginning at age 10, and the child was comfortable flying alone as soon as the airline would allow it.

    Your daughter is lucky to have you. This will be true during both the years where she places you on a pedestal and the ones where everything you say is “stupid.”

    • Don’t most airlines have a service for unaccompanied minors, an airline employee that navigates the airport with them and then one of the stewards who keeps an eye on them during the flight ? I don’t know what the minimum age is but his daughter seems too young for that. Something to think about in the future if Stress Chump doesn’t move permanently to Canada with his new g.f.

      • I remember flying by myself to England to join a European tour when I was 13 or 14 in the 1970s and managing Heathrow. Times have changed and I would advise against this for a young child, male or female. Too many predatory weirdos.

        • True, and also airports were not as complicated then, they were big of course but not anywhere like they are now. Many now are like small cities.

  • In time your child will know and appreciate your effort to stay connected. As your child starts school you may be able to sign up for parent info, reports etc to keep in touch with how her education is going.

  • Not that this might help but I have to ask. Did you report the affair to the military authorities? In the US military adultery is a punishable offense and could lead to a dishonorable discharge for Schmoopie. That in and of itself could have wedge worthy value in keeping them “honest “

  • Hey everyone – some great ideas! Basically going over and staying near her is actually more expensive ! I had to do it in the summer and it all added up to be even more

    So the other guy left the military – to be honest it was handled very badly – they basically did nothing – in fact after his posting ended they allowed him to go back to Canada for another posting and refused me, I think they saw me as this huge problem etc

    Even though I had done nothing wrong – from the Canada side – they hadn’t said a word to his unit back in England ( I only found this out later ) so they just let him go back

    Which I found out later he was bragging about

    By that time my lovely ex had then said – this was may – that she wasn’t going to come back and maybe if I behaved she would come back in December – but I now know this was all a lie

    It was to keep me from going to court – which ironically protected me more

    He left his three young children in England and basically that’s it for them – I couldn’t have imagined not seeing my daughter for more than a week or two let alone months at a time – so I just don’t get it

    My family and I thought that they would return to the UK – we were all absolutely shocked when she just refused to come back especially for all these kids involved !

    She now has a baby with schmoopie – it’s all messed up –

    Last point – this how her mind works – when I went to fly the 12 hours to Canada ….

    “When you come to pick her up – can you bring his (other guy) kids with you”

    Sickening

  • Sorry-posted on wrong thread …

    I went through the international wringer
    after Xcobra did this when my kids were 4 months and 1.5 years old. One time I went 3+ yrs without seeing them – despite visiting 2-3x a year for weeks at a time and doing endless court battles while holding down a job + massive student and other debts he’d helped to incur.

    After he returned to US 8yrs later, at least there’s a court order but don’t think the court cares whether it’s obeyed. Lawyers are marginally helpful. He absconded to a new state. No one cares. The only positive from this nightmare is that I just don’t fear or care about things. I find pleasure in simple stuff. I did soul-searching and found faith in God. Otherwise the trauma is not anything I could describe.

    Best of luck, OP. Please master the art of gray rock. Your child will eventually see. Mine are teens, they resent me despite my efforts… it’s literally a cult … But they’re finally, slowly waking up as he now discards them and OWife for the next. It will pass and it will build your character.

  • When I start wondering or going insane from his irrationality, I try to go back to “you’re trying to rationalize that which isn’t.” Or “you’re applying ethics, decency, and sanity to someone who has none of it.” You can’t make a square peg fit into a round hole. You are round. I am round. Lots of us are round. They are not. Try to not waste your time trying to force a cow to fly.

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