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He Butt-Dialed Her from the OW’s

buttdialDear Chump Lady,

I left my fiancee after finding out he had an affair with a subordinate of his at work. I still haven’t gotten the whole story out of him (to this day, he still sticks by his story that they only “made out a little bit” even though there were nights where he wouldn’t come back home). Through a lot of emotional roller coasters these past 4 months, I feel like I really achieved “Meh.”

Then, last weekend, I get a text from him out of nowhere saying how much he misses me and how he regrets hurting me. When I didn’t respond, he sent me another text saying how I was all he could think about while he was at the hospital. When I didn’t respond to that, he sent another text saying how he’s all alone with no friends and no family in his life.

I caved. I started texting him, cautiously at first, keeping it short — asking why he was in the hospital. Eventually, the conversations turned friendly and nostalgic — back to the days when we we first met. I stupidly got my hopes up for the possibility of a friendship, then a couple hours without a response later, he butt-dials me from the OW’s apartment.

“All alone” my butt! Before I realized what was going on, I heard laughter and giggling, and what sounded like her saying “I love you.” Even though I don’t want him back, it was a harsh reality check that he is still the pathological liar I remember. I sent him one more text of “F*ck you” and he sent a flurry of texts back trying to do damage control.

He said they were “just friends” and that he doesn’t love her, he loves me. He said he was “all alone” because even when they were hanging out, he FELT alone. Yadda Yadda Yadda. I don’t know what happened, but about an hour later, he texted me saying the OW kicked him out of her apartment — that sounds like something a “girlfriend” does — not a “friend.”

Which led me to this thought: I felt like the OW. The girl he texts while he’s with his girlfriend, setting up a lunch date or dinner date. The girl he says “but I really love YOU” as he says “I love you” to his current girlfriend. The girl who causes the fights that end in him being thrown out.

Ugh… Please help me, CL. I need your sassy insight about what I should do. Is friendship really impossible?

Shocked and Confused

Dear Shocked,

Well that depends on exactly how desperate you are for friends. Is it possible? Sure. And I could walk up 6th Street in Austin with $100 bills stuffed in my pockets buying hipsters tequila shots and have a lot of “friends” too. Alternatively, I could get a cardboard cutout figure of Stephen Fry and we could watch Downton Abbey together. More trifle, Stephen? Oh, don’t mind if I do, Tracy. Or I could tell all my deepest secrets to the green scum in my fish aquarium.

It really just boils down to your definition of friend.

Personally, I prefer not to befriend people who promise marriage to me and then fuck their co-workers. But I’m peculiar that way.

If you’d like a quality friendship with someone who cares for you and reciprocates your affections — aim higher. MUCH higher. You’re just a kibble dispenser to this idiot. He has shown you many times over exactly who he is, you’re just refusing to see it. You think there is something there to work with. I don’t know… is there? The philandering. The mindfuckery. The self pity. What exactly is there to miss? The way he looks in a starched shirt?

Have some deal breakers, Shocked. Raise the price on your friendship. Don’t be so easily bought, that all he has to do is pester you with some texts and you’re mush. Standards, woman! STANDARDS!

How’s this for a deal breaker — he CHEATED and he LIED. He abused your trust. If you reward this behavior with your friendship, you’re sending him the clear message that what he did to you Wasn’t That Bad. Which is exactly what he wants — a chump who will take him back and dispense kibbles again and again regardless of his behavior. When things get dicey, he’ll do his little sparkle schtick, and you’re right back in place.

What’s in it for YOU? Feeling like the OW, because unwittingly you ARE the OW? Do you feel special? He’ll fit you in between whatever other piece of tail he’s chasing that day. He’ll reward you with more drama and chaos and he’ll bust your heart into little pieces — because you’ll be expecting a pay off for your loyalty and friendship — and there won’t be one.

You’d get better results with the aquarium scum. So stop being confused and dump this loser for once and for all. When you feel weak, listen to this song by Sister Rosetta Tharpe “Don’t Take Everybody to Be Your Friend.” Repeat as necessary.

This column ran previously. 

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  • Shocked and Confused… where, the in the info you’ve shared, does it even indicate your ex is on the market for a friend? Telling you that you’re all he can think about in hospital, telling you he doesn’t love the OW, he loves YOU etc etc yadda yadda yadda. Why kid yourself? Friendship isn’t what he’s after – as Chump Lady says, he’s after KIBBLES.

    For all the reasons Chump Lady says, plus this obvious mismatch of supply and demand, demonstrate you cannot be friends with this person! Why would you even want to go there?!

    • Honestly, you offering friendship – your time, your attention etc would be like a fissure in a rock. Over time, like ice expands cracking the the fissure, he will try to chip away at you with protestations of love and better times in order to get more and more from you – until you crack. He won’t stop at friendship if he’s telling you all that guff. He’d happily reinstate you as chump – or worse, as a OW. You know it’s true.

  • Read up on Narcissists and hoovering, this is so textbook. It is all planned manipulation to get attention from you.

    You don’t have divorce or kids to manage. So BLOCK!!! Block his cell number, email, FB, etc… Be free of him.

    Research trauma bonding. It is real and intense in the beginning. If you are considering friendship with your abuser, you are definitely stuck in it. He’s a toxic manipulative abuser, not a friend, never a friend.

    • You are exactly correct. No divorce matters? No kids to deal with? Run!!! Block and never look back. I look back at times I was hoovered and kick my own ass for being so dumb to fall for it. Here I am, 20 years invested, trying to claw my way out. And with his child. F me. I mean, I LOVE my son, but damn. I only wish I had someone to tell me to run instead of my best friend, who had been divorced, who told me that her ex had cheated but had wanted to reconcile and she regretted not giving him another chance and walking away. How dumb I was to apply her experience to my situation. Ugh.

      Run, Shocked, Run!

      • My exH pocket dialed me when he was on a coffee date with some other woman. I listened in to the conversation. The best part about it was the girl was trying to get rid of him 😂. Shocked, lucky you! You don’t have any ties to this pos so remove him from your life to make room for someone worthy of your friendship.

  • For all the moments I craved the cheater to have some contact with me, he abandoned and I went pretty good no contact fairly quickly, I am so glad he never tried. So glad I don’t know him, never say his OW/wife, and know nothing about him now.

    This type of interaction (a cheater “grabbing attention booty call”) is all you are going to get when a cheater contacts you. More lies, more invitations to pick me dance and more proof that your only value to a cheater if for what they can get from you.

    Shocked, I am glad you got the truth, glad that you found CL.

  • S&C,

    You ask whether the “friendship” is possible. In your shoes I would ask myself “is this friendship appropriate and is it good for me?” It doesn’t sound as if he has your interests at heart; just his and what you can do for him (Plan B if Plan A doesn’t work out?). Assuming that you have no ties to him (you don’t mention finances, property or kids), I’d put it down to experience and walk (run?) in the opposite direction.

    Trust me that in time you will come to see that you deserve and can do so much better than this wretched excuse for a human being.

    LFTT

    • LFTT, I have been working hard in therapy on that very point. The question isn’t ‘could this happen’ but ‘is this good for me, will it enrich my life, nurture me, support me, nourish me’. I find reframing in this way difficult even 20 months down the line, divorced and no contact for nearly a year. In my case, my needs had become so minuscule that it had stopped occurring to me to ask whether I was ok with his behaviour, regardless of the affair which I didn’t find out about until after he had gone. 26 year habits die very hard. Now I challenge my thinking whenever I can, by asking ‘ how does this action serve me’ whether that’s the action of someone else or myself. It’s taken me time to recognise this as not being selfish, but as caring for myself so that I can care for others appropriately.

      • MW,

        I am 6 years out from D-Day and 4 year out from the divorce being finalised. I find myself borrowing a phrase from Marie Kondo and twisting it a little. I ask myself “Does this person spark joy in my life?” The answer is often illuminating and helps me understand who to cut out and who to stay in touch with.

        Those that fail the test but whom I must stay in contact with (eg Ex-Mrs LFTT, as a result of our youngest still being a minor) are on borrowed time; in each case I know preciselt when I can cut all communications.

        LFTT

  • Shocked and confused: This prize FW is playing his crappy games with you. He hasn’t changed. Don’t fall for it. I’m more than 3 years after D-day after a 40 year marriage and he found a hooker serving in a bread shop. I finally gave up when reality hit that he ain’t going to change…once an entitled scumbag etc. I wanted so much to believe him after a lifetime. My experience is to let go, go no contact, otherwise he’ll keep trying to get what he wants from you. We are big-hearted chumps remember? Don’t believe him. You deserve so much better and you sound like you have plenty of time to find it. There are good men out there. He isn’t one of them. It’s hard now but I’m sure it gets better. Let the FW go. Take good care of yourself.

  • I’m so very glad your ex accidentally butt dialed you Shocked. Sometimes it takes a 2×4 to break the hopium habit. You were dipping your big toe in the “we can be friends” delusional pool which we all know leads to getting back together. Pick yourself up, dust yourself off, mentally thank him for showing you once again HE IS NOT WORTHY. Thank your lucky stars you’ve not combined finances, properties, or reproduced with him. I promise in a few years he’ll be a funny cautionary story you tell your friends. A strict no contact policy is your new best friend. You got this!

    • I agree. That “butt dial” was pennies from heaven. Shocked and confused should be elated that she received this sign before falling into his narc trap. I would be tempted to give the OW a copy of all his text messages but better to just walk away.

  • “How’s this for a deal breaker — he CHEATED and he LIED. He abused your trust. If you reward this behavior with your friendship, you’re sending him the clear message that what he did to you Wasn’t That Bad.”

    My cognitive brain knows this and doesn’t think it needs such a reminder. But then there’s my traumatized, emotional brain that’s curled up in a fetal position.

    My ex knows my weak spots. Recently he sent an email about alimony and then dropped an acknowledgment of the 10-year anniversary of my mother’s death. I felt that I had to respond with a “thank you.” But, dammit, then he’s got me. I responded. Another email from him followed. I dispensed kibbles, and, in doing so, I minimized the abuse.

    He’s a slippery SOB. I would think I’d be savvier by now.

    From now on, I won’t respond. But if I’m feeling the urge to send something, I will have to run it by one of my badass, don’t-put-up-with-BS friends/sisters who look after my best interests. After years of abuse, my weakened endoskeleton occasionally needs this kind of external buttressing.

    • I write texts and emails but just don’t send them. I find just the act of writing my feelings out, knowing that I could send them if I wanted to, is cathartic enough that I feel some relief. I won’t send them because, like you, I know that anything, even a reaming out, is kibbles to a fw, and he’ll just think he can ooze his way back into my life. Give it a shot. It find it better than journal. In a journal I feel like I’m just ranting to myself, but if it’s addressed to the fw, it feels like I’m telling him off even though he won’t see it.

  • I find it interesting that when the first round of begging got a solid “no contact”, then he was suddenly “all alone in HOSPITAL” – so he upped the ante. Was he even in hospital? I bet not. I know this is a re-run but I sincerely hope you ran from that AH like your hair was on fire! As a side note, thank you so much CL for putting that song out there – just downloaded it and I love it!

    • Good point. It sounds like he was in good enough health to have some fun with OW shortly thereafter, so at the very least it couldn’t have been anything too serious. Possibly it was a day procedure which required no recovery time and it gave him an idea about how to use a fake hospital stay get under Shocked’s skin. There’s no low they won’t stoop to.

    • The hospital thing got my attention too Attie. The disordered like to play these games – it’s a huge Red Flag that you are probably dealing with a BPD man, or a narcissistic nutter.

      I dated a guy shortly after my divorce. I didn’t know the signs. I had to break up with him 3 times and I still came home one weekend to find that he had broke into my house and was sleeping in my bed.

      This guy would Hoover back every once snd a while and test the waters. Many years later he still pops up in a strange way and I have to tell him I will call the police. ( his last attempt was a text from an unknown number that he was living in his car and needed to stop by to shower). Nope. Delete.

      All I can say is that he will continue to make your life miserable until you end things. No contact. No kibbles. No anything.

      He might get bored ( or lonely, horny, broke, etc…) and Hoover back. Build a strong wall of defence and stand firm.

      You owe him nothing.

      • Oh, Geez. If you had let houseless Ex-boyfriend back into your house to shower, you’d never be able to get him to leave. You’d need dynamite to blast him out of there!

        • LOL 🤣 This is so true! The laws make it so hard to get someone out. It can take 90 days! Who needs that stress?

  • I know this is a rerun, S&C, but why would you want a friendship with someone who so blatantly disrespect you?

    I hope you read CL’s response, and kicked this piece of shit into touch. xx

  • Mr. Sparkles could never (and can never) be alone. He can’t bear to be still in his own thoughts… whether it was playing XBOX, setting up his upteenth online personal ad, stroking one off to a “friend” on AFF, or always being on his phone texting someone… anyone… just to keep him from the black hole that is his sole.

    Like your guy, this isn’t someone who is friend material. Do you like a friend who abuses you? Do you like a friend who gaslights you? Do you prefer daily manipulation and mindfucks from a friend? If so, by all means, stay in touch with this fuckwit.

    BUT – for me, the bigger question is this… WHY DOES HE STILL HAVE ACCESS TO YOU? You never married him (‘cuz he’s a liar and cheater)… but he isn’t BLOCKED on your cell??? What about your social media, is he blocked there? Or are you still smoking the hopium pipe. What are YOUR ACTIONS telling you about where you are on your road to Meh. Many of us who are in Meh now planning our July 4th picnics have NO CONTACT with our cheaters (or as much grey rock as possible with co-parenting). You have the ability to skip off in to the sunset without your cheater, but you’re not doing it.

    Meh is out here (sadly, not likely after only four months)… fix your picker… block your X… get honest with yourself and what you want (and deserve) and then go build that mighty life!

    • lol… noticed my likely subliminal misspelling… I meant “soul” but also ironice that he cannot be sole – anything 🙂

    • I believe 4 months is not long enough. MEH is a spiritual destination, you don’t search for shortcuts. You take the time YOU need to heal, to get where you want to be. Each individual has a timeline, it is not a race.

      I believe other people can offer guidance to you along the way, but you have to make the journey, basically, by yourself. You have to discover you are enough, and can exist without a guide. You are capable of your own thoughts, and entitled to your own values .

      • This👆🏻👆🏻👆🏻👆🏻 At 4 months, while you’re still asking questions like this and thinking of him this much…. not Meh! Keep going! In a few YEARS you will get there. I know that’s a long time and you want to feel better now, but what other choice do you have? There is no way through this but through it and that takes time.

        • At 4 months, while you’re still asking questions like this and thinking of him this much…. not Meh!

          You got it.

          She is nowhere near meh. You know you are at meh when (first) there is no way you would bother answering to a text, and (second) there wouldn’t be a text at all because you have cut off contact completely.

          My ex and I will always have to have some sort of interaction because we have kids, but I keep it grey rock. We discuss the kids, keep it to email as often as possible. But, the real meh that I feel coming on is that it’s bothering me less and less when there is interaction. It’s starting to matter less, much like the interaction with a stranger. Just extend basic courtesy, wish them well and send them on their way.

          That’s when their power is gone. And, boy is it starting to get more real. Now, when he pulls a little stunt, , I just chuckle and think, “Loser.” For example, I call my kids every Saturday morning that they are with their father to just check in. For a few months, I have noticed that he no longer answers the phone and has the kids call me 20-30 minutes later, regardless of what time in the morning I call. It’s a game he’s playing. It’s become a running joke for me. Last week, I met a friend for a hike and called just before I left. When we met up, I let her know that my kids will probably call me back in another 10-15 minutes, and I told her why that would happen. Like clockwork, the cell rang. We had a good laugh.

          Meh is when none of it matters anymore. You see the bullshit clearly from a mile away and give it a smirk. There is nothing that they can say to reel you in. Just smile, nod, say, “That’s nice,” and go on your merry day.

      • Too many people try to convince themselves they’re at meh. No way. I wouldn’t believe you after a year let alone four months. I believe you can reach certain stages like it might not physically hurt anymore after four months but being indifferent? No way.

  • You need to go no contact for your own sake.
    4 months and you think you’re at MEH? Hunny you’re not even in the solar system of reality- so you’re not even close to the town of Meh, country of Onatuesday, continent of Thisisnotarehearsal planet real life.

    You still consider that he might be honest sometimes. He has proved again with the butt dial that he lies lies lies and doesn’t value you as someone who deserves the honesty you do. So his ‘We just made out a little’ … it’s probably also in the hospital with terminal falseness.

    Also- why the hell is ‘just making out a little’ suddenly supposed to be ok? Is that in your agreement as a couple? As long as his bathing suit parts stay covered he had free reign? Last time I checked making out is still putting parts of him into holes that don’t belong to you- I don’t really know why the idea of kissing is less intimate than sex- it’s basically the same activity. And add to that- that it’s a full on lie… ew. He can’t be honest with you and he thinks that somehow it’s ok for him to make out with other people while promised to you.

    So- let’s unpack that a bit more. How long after being promised to you does he get to stretch that rule even further? How many of chump nation can tell you they were handed the line ‘but it was only sex.’ (Raises hand) see- I and many here were supposed to accept that because there was intimacy of body parts including bathing suit bits, but ‘hand to God’ no feelings were exchanged (just fluids and potentially diseases and maybe toys depending on their level of gusto) it’s somehow less important or more ok than if feelings had been exchanged. I can tell you- a) level of feels has nothing to do with level of betrayal, b) trying to tell you that X (something) is better because it’s not Y (behaviour) is just part of the manipulation of moving you up the road to letting them off the hook. If you can agree in the philosophy that kissing would be better than sex, then whammy, they basically feel absolved of being a douche and they essentially take it as a ‘nothing happened’. Suddenly- you are the person who has now kindof said that kissing someone else is ok.

    But… is it? After ten years being married, is it all going to be a sliding scale? Hands up for who heard ‘it only happened once’ or ‘I just like talking to them I would never go through with booking and seeing an escort. This thrill is enough’… Youre going to be asked to weigh the value of your 10 years and current life with potentially ‘one fling’ and of course that ‘sounds’ silly. It sounds unreasonable to shut it all down for the sake of ‘one mistake’. But it’s all false in those ‘decisions’. Someone who loves you would never ask you to rationalize their behaviour and weigh their actions like a bag of plums. This person thinks it’s appropriate and logical to bargain intimacies- and it won’t stop. And – news flash- he lies like a carpet. So he’s always going to be feeding you the least objectionable story. The most guilt he has to admit based on the evidence you stumble on, amid circumstances that you might accept, while keeping his behaviour as whitewashed as possible.

    You’re not at meh, your shuttle still needs to fly through the asteroid belt of ‘I was mindfucked beyond measure’ and then circle the moon of ‘ifhestalkingheslying’ and take some telescopic shots of the meteor shower ‘friends is possible’ so you can investigate from afar and confirm that while it looks nice it’s actually : many many many flaming bags of poo.

    He was absolutely setting you up for plan B knowing his other girlfriend (yes, the one he was cheating with, and then living with) threw him out of their home (probably because he was tasting other peoples saliva) he was hoping you would let him moonwalk back into your life. And… guess what? You’re too smart for that and your shuttle is built for one.

  • This was exactly what I needed to see today. I really wanted to break NC yesterday and again this morning. I miss being his friend, and was crying when I was journaling about it. But then I realized that if he had any respect or regard for me at all, even as a human being, he would have broken up with me FIRST before telling his ex-girlfriend that he loved her. He didn’t. We were together about 5 months and he’d been back with her for over 3 months of that time. I don’t know if he thought he was the star of his own private “Bachelor” show or what, trying to decide between us.

    So what kind of friendship would be possible between us now? I keep reminding myself that I miss who I thought he was, not who he really was.

      • This. A person who is not married and is at Meh would have blocked this guy from the get-go.

    • And, like, why do you miss being his friend? That’s what you ought to explore, maybe in therapy. Why is it that you miss being friends with a liar and a cheater and how can you fix that broken part of you that desires that type of friendship. Like, why are you selling yourself so short and valuing your friendship so little? Worth exploring. Maybe your time is better spent finding ways to bolster your confidence and self esteem then thinking about this loser.

  • “I stupidly got my hopes up for the possibility of a friendship”

    Why on earth would you want to be friends with someone who lies cheats and deceives?

  • “When I didn’t respond to that, he sent another text saying how he’s all alone with no friends and no family in his life”.

    Two more red flags. Not respecting boundaries and not having family or friends.

  • Ahhhahahaha! (not laughing at you of course) but him vaguely texting you about the “hospital” is classic cheater manipulation!!

    Because any reasonable person would inquire why he was in the hospital – which you did, you seem to be a reasonable person.

    He had no reason to drop “hospital” into the conversation expect because he wanted to use it to hook you back in.

    These people are all the same (face palm).

    Trust your gut, or better yet, trust us.

    • Yes, “the hospital”. I left my ex in March; in October he called for me to come over and sign the income tax return (files with extension every year). He told me he was in a bad car wreck and “was almost killed”. Sad sausage looking for attention. No obvious injuries at that time, and I never asked him to explain, I didn’t want to know. Never saw or spoke to him again, our attorneys did all the work of divorce for us. Fast forward 2 years and I pulled up to pay toll at NJ Turnpike and the man in front of me waves to me. I was annoyed, like who does this guy think he is. I didn’t even recognize it was ex for a few minutes. But there it was, his vehicle with his stupid graduation tassel hanging from the rear-view mirror. Same damn vehicle he was “almost killed” in. Asshole liar.

      • Yeah. Every once in a while I think to myself “well, XW hasn’t lied to me more than a dozen times in the last few years. She’s not as bad as all that”. Then I remember that we have virtually no contact – I really have no idea part of the country she’s in most of the time – and even so I run across evidence of dishonesty every few months. Who knows how much lying she’d be doing if we actually interacted regularly!

        I bet there are lots of undiscovered lies (like his wrecked car) that you just haven’t clued into yet. Once you have enough information to know you don’t want them in your life, additional facts don’t change the situation, but they can re-open the wound. No contact is the only way.

    • Yeah, I saw through it immediately. They love theater. True story. My ex claimed “I will probably end up in the hospital. Lost a lot of blood and some of this damage is irreversible.” I asked her parents about it and it was simply spotting. That’s how deceitful this woman is.

      Once you know the playbook of a cheater narc and their constant manipulation, you see right through it. It’s cringeworthy to watch their schemes. It’s like being the defense and knowing the exact play the offense is going to run while they’re super cocky they’re going to get you to fall for it. lol

  • If I were building a baseball team, and I could pick anyone I want, and they cost me nothing, I’d be picking the greats. There are only so many spots available on my team and I cannot afford a weak player. This man is a weak weak weak weak player. One weak player can do a lot of damage.

    A circle of friends in life is even more important and I don’t need that many. I just need really good ones. It’s also nice to have good acquaintances. In the age of 500 Facebook friends, I have had to be very on top of teaching my daughter the difference between a friend and an acquaintance.

    The loser in the letter has spectacularly failed the friendship test as I define the word. There are billions of people on the planet. Why do I get so hooked as if people were as rare as Hope diamonds?

    (Well….cheese….mousetrap….intermittent reward…..denial…for starters….)

    Cheaters are common. It seems nowadays that loyal kind people are Hope diamonds.
    And you can polish a lump of coal daily for the rest of your life and it won’t turn into a Hope diamond. My polishing efforts are better spent on me. There are also a lot of counterfeits and forgeries out there….I need to practice letting go as soon as I discover someone is hazardous to my mental health. I was confused by all the nice (con-artist-y) things he did and dismissed the totally fucked up as Problems To Be Resolved instead of Let’s Make A Dealbreaker.

    Years ago there was a magazine called Lifestyles of the Clean and Sober. One of the articles was A Recipe for Friendship. I used that article for many years to determine if I should choose someone for my “baseball team”. I actually never used it for the traitor I married until he left, and like the man in the letter above, he was a spectacular fail.

    From now on, if someone hurts me intentionally, I’m using the launch codes. The sooner, the better.

    Second chances are only for people who hurt me unintentionally and make amends.

  • “It was a harsh reality check that he is still the pathological liar I remember.”

    Oh, no doubt. I had the ability to see my ex wife’s convos with her AP where she was simultaneously telling me and the AP, “I love you” “You were my best friend” (I wasn’t responding). It was a good reminder that she is and will always be a snake.

    They’re all like that. That’s why reconciliation with a cheater is dumb. When you inevitably get bit in the ass again, it reminds me of the tell of picking up the snake “Now you knew darn well I was a snake before you brought me in.”

  • I also am skeptical that he “butt dialed” you. Call me crazy but I wonder if he wanted to also goad you into the wonderful sparkly turd that is him so he can have the attention of two women fighting for him. What a piece of work. Trust us from CN, you don’t have kids/ties to this clown – run for the hills like your feet are on fire. Write down a list of every messed up thing he has done to you and refer to it – not to stay in the bitterness/trauma but as a reminder of the levels of low that he has gone to. Also, have friends that are no BS/UBT detectors if he still tries to Hoover you and laugh. The right person will come along and even if they don’t, you aren’t going to be playing relationship police, losing sleep, more youth/time over someone who thinks that they can get one over on you. You are free!!

    • >>I also am skeptical that he “butt dialed” you.

      You aren’t the only one. I thought that too. Either he was trying to goad her (or OW) into a pick me dance, or else he’s fishing for ego kibbles. Upsetting her feeds his ego & sense of superiority. He’s central again, even if it’s only for a few days. He wants to keep her wounds open so she keeps giving him attention.

    • I don’t know what type of phone he has but most modern smart phones make it near impossible to butt dial. I have an iPhone and you need to do facial recognition to sign in or type in a 6 digit pass code then you’d need to go to the phone section then contacts and then you have to select further option to even phone a contact. Near same process on all modern non Apple phones so it would be hard to believe someone accidentally butt dialled.

  • As the saying goes…

    “With friends like that who needs enemies?”

    The saying goes and so should he. Be done with this dead weight anchor who will drag you down and never let YOU go. Be free of that toxicity because once you clear out that clutter there will be vacancy for new, sincere, genuine FRIENDS.

  • I tried to be friends… for years. I finally decided it messed me up too much and prevented my own healing. We would talk (he works in the neighborhood and would help out around the house) and text, we would quickly fall back into “us”. Of course he would tell me how he missed me, how She was just “free rent”, and hint/ask to come home. However he would give a million excuses why he couldn’t do the 3 things I asked… completely leave Her (not even FB friends), get his own place, and get into therapy. I too started to feel like the OW.

    Each time I would think…. ok, I am good enough to marry and cheat on, good enough to be friends with, but not good enough to put in the same efforts he made to leave me, to make the effort to come back to? WTF? I would get triggered and act like a crazy person, bitching him out via text & block him. He would eventually worm his way back and it would start all over again. It really messed me up.

    I do miss him, I miss our connection and banter. Deep down, I still love him but I can’t trust him… with ANYTHING! I finally I decided I love ME MORE! He’s not allow to have just part of me. It’s either all or nothing. He’s made his choices and decisions; he’s not allow to have “his cake too”. I blocked him, threatened to call the police if he came to the house, told him that any favor he asked the answer is always “no”, and now completely ignore him when I see him in the neighborhood. He makes sure he looks sad and pathetic, but I just look away and keep on going. He’s made his choices and I will no longer allow him to use me ask kibbles. He’s officially stuck with the lying, cheating “rock” he picked up when he threw away THIS diamond!

    The question to ask, is why would you want a “friend” who constantly lies, manipulates, and cheated on you? Block him and move on. Life is SO much better without the drama and being able to completely heal.

    • Fully agree. We need strong boundaries when it also comes to friends. Example in my life was a “friend” I grew up with who broke up with his partner in 2019. We also worked in same office and I listened to him everyday about his depression, the break up, the kids, the whole ordeal and even when it was his first xmas not in the family home I made sure to contact him on xmas day to make sure all was good. Then 2020 rolls round and I go through my marriage falling apart and not a peep out of him. Zero support, no asking anything, nothing at all. It was a huge slap in the face considering we go back over 30 years. Needless to say I don’t talk to him anymore. We should not waste our life on abusive cheating partners so why waste our life on fake friends.

      • Ah yes, reminds me of my own Tale of Two Friends, both guys I have known since college, long before I met the Dollar Whore.

        My divorce was finalized in February. Friend #1 still checks in with me on a regular basis to see that I’m doing okay. He is gay, so he has no ulterior motive for wanting my marriage to break up. He is simply happy that I am happier since I left Dollar Whore. When my mom was diagnosed with cancer he was very sympathetic and regularly asks about her and if there is anything he can do.

        Friend #2’s first reaction to news of my divorce was, “So, you’re single now?”. I have made it very clear to him on multiple occasions that I am not interested in him as anything more than a friend. I told Friend #2 how I spend weekends taking care of my mom and he still asked me if I wanted to take a Vegas trip with him!

        Friend #2 clearly has boundary issues and I suspect he’s an alcoholic as well but unfortunately I introduced him to Friend #1 and I don’t want to make things awkward within our little trio.

  • Once a complete ass of an ex kept calling me from the OW’s house. I called her and told her that if he kept calling me I’d get a restraining order against him, and since it would not be the first he’s had, that the police would pay attention to that. The OW clearly knew nothing about his pestering me or the other restraining order (from another woman), and I must say it was very satisfying to upset his pretty little dishonest life.

  • Wow! Come on Shocked. Feel manipulated much! Kick that guy to the curb. Take a long hot shower to wash the slime off. Love yourself!

  • I’m not sure the butt dial was an accident because it happened to me, too.

    Several months after I filed for divorce for verbal and emotional abuse, and after he had moved out, I got a call from him. I answered but he didn’t say anything so I recorded it, which was legal in my then-state. It went on for over 30 minutes and when I first listened to it I heard some suspicious stuff but couldn’t figure it out.

    A few months later I had the recording professionally cleaned up. It was a shocker, because it was finally the proof that he was having sex with men. Although I had suspected it for a while, he always denied it. Anyway, at one point in the recording, after he asked some man for a young guy with an uncircumcised penis that he could fuck (all said in slang that I had to look up), he said my name three times and then joked to the guy about the phone.

    He then proceeded to have sex with the man/boy and I heard the unmistakable sound he always made when he came.

    So, although I first thought it was a mistake, now I’m not so sure. Why didn’t he turn off his phone after he said my name? I think he did it on purpose. In a way I’m glad I have proof but he’s still in the closet. And the recording is still on my computer.

    • It can also be a subconscious desire to be exposed/caught/stopped/ changed.

      One interesting and lesser known statistic about domestic abusers is that they more often seek primary partners with higher than average pre-abuse self esteem. It’s quite the reverse of the old theory that victims tend to be “psychologically deficient.”

      I haven’t seen a lot of speculation about why abusers prefer “big game,” but from my time as an advocate for survivors of dv, my gut tells me part of the inexplicable hatred abusers show towards victims in the DARVO stage is disappointment that the victim broke.

      It’s an axiom that all abusers were once victims as children and I suspect some choose the type of partner that they fantasize would have been strong and fabulous enough to “save” the abuser as a child and consequently strong enough to save the adult abuser from themselves, “inspire” them to be better people, etc. When we turn out to be breakably human and not omnicient, all-knowing mommy/daddy savior figures, abusers feel cheated and enraged like infants who detect lack of parental boundaries.

      None of this is a bid for sympathy for poor sad sausage abusers, just clarity. They detest themselves and their own behavior on some level, and who are we to argue with basic common sense? They’re detestable.

      • >>When we turn out to be breakably human and not omnicient, all-knowing mommy/daddy savior figures, abusers feel cheated and enraged like infants who detect lack of parental boundaries.

        I love this! It’s so true. Being human wrecks their sense of reality. Here they felt that they had the security of a parental figure taking care of them, and it turns out they don’t. Their entitlement is like a baby’s clueless entitlement, but held way past expiration date, and therefore toxic. They probably have some big epic in their heads about how they won control of a god, and reality just ruins narrative.

        • I just remember how my kids would calm down into sweet peacefulness when I noticed the risky shit they were up to as infants and set limits. If I ever failed in this regard– as we breakable, non-omniscient humans can do from time to time– my God, the heartbreaking existential angsty tirades.

          It reminded me of how FW flew off the handle before D-Day and became a 175 LB 2 year old. Because super mommy didn’t stop him wrecking his liver, breaking the bank with a risky, creepy affair and breaking his dick (Google Peyronie’s disease) on porn. He looked downright relieved on D-Day, though not so much when consequences hit.

            • More and more support groups on the web for porn addiction since the advent of streaming porn. It’s a thing, ack.

          • >>I just remember how my kids would calm down into sweet peacefulness when I noticed the risky shit they were up to as infants and set limits.

            Fascinating. I’m glad you shared that. I think you’re on to something.

      • This explains so much, Hella.
        Knave-man extended this behavior to his APs – he only went after intelligent and highly accomplished women, but then quickly tired of most of them. The longer-lasting affair was with a fellow wordsmith who was evidently sufficiently able to be manipulated. He later praised my behavior at D-Day, when I presented to him undeniable evidence with a calm voice, a steely expression, and within a logical framework of consequences. I was trying my to remain unbreakable. He was looking for sanctuary from himself. What a disordered jerk!

        • Sanctuary for Quasimodo!!

          Why don’t they just trot around in diapers and sucking a binky? Is straightforwardness too much to ask for? Why dissemble actual maturity, cognitive function and wordsmithing?

          FWs seem to either side-fuck the peasants in their fiefdoms or seek temp mommy-savior replacements. I can’t decide which is more degrading. Anyway, unless FWs lie to the AP about marital status like Scott Peterson, no matter how close to the delusional ideal some APs seem in certain respects, FWs know the AP is a cheating, lying co-creep so misses the “savior” mark.

      • Wow – we are on some level picked for our goodness – then hated for not being a perfect fantasy figure
        It fits

    • That’s disgusting.
      I have a close friend who is gay and he was telling me the sheer amount of married men who hit on him and his gay friends and tons of married men in the area who are secretly having gay sex was horrible. Married men meeting up with each other and pretending going fishing or football and then pretend they are straight men to their wives and the world.

      • It’s no longer Brokeback Mountain days in most of the first world so I have ZERO sympathy for the deceit. Maybe if they were living in Uganda but still– a horrible spreading of misery.

    • Yikes! That’s beyond sick and disgusting. How terrible for you to hear that filth, with your name and mocking laughter thrown in to boot. The man is evil.

      I had a similar, but thankfully tamer, experience. I found two “mistake” recordings on the fw’s phone. One was audio of him talking to OW, sucking up to her. The other had video as well and was them on a date, also with him sucking up to her. It was heart wrenching to watch. What cheater is really so “careless” as to leave such iron clad evidence? Unless he spent every single second of every single minute of their time together for years groveling and ass kissing, how did these “mistakes” just happen to catch him doing so twice, conveniently emphasizing the difference between how he treated her to how he treated me? I’m sure they wanted us to know, and to be hurt. Maybe it was a subconscious wish which caused the “carelessness” and maybe it was fully consciously done. We’ll never know and it doesn’t matter. They are vicious sadists at heart. That’s what matters.

  • One of the most memorable events during POP’s (Predatory Opportunistic Parasite) tenure was a butt dial. He was living w me and I’d previously discovered his harem. The most aggressive/possessive/colludy and encouraging of them all was his ‘former girlfriend’. The previously married 6 time, town bike named Karen, but I digress.

    He was supposed to be out of town visiting his son, an honorable Marine–with my car. I was already 99.5% sure he wasn’t in Houston. When the butt dial came in, knew he was 12 miles away.

    Over an HOUR of inanity. She was literally in control of his wine, like mommy and a sippy cup.
    (He was an alcoholic but to hear this dynamic was mind blowing) At one point, she asked “what about HATC?” and his reply was a slurred “fuck her, I don’t care about her”. He had NEVER used that language around me so that was far more shocking than the actual (truthful sentiment) ‘fuck her, I don’t…’

    On and on their conversation went until I could sense an oddness in the air>>silence. And then “Oh my god!”–apparently Karen had seen his line was open to my home phone’s #–and it was disconnected.

    Oddly, he wasn’t set to return from his ‘trip’ until the next day but he rolled up at my home about an hour later. Flustered–and REALLY REALLY DRUNK. He had no idea that during his drive to my house, Karen had called ME– explaining how/why they had been together (lying of course about the reason) and at the same time ratting him out. One odd duck, that Karen.

    It’s been so long and I lived with such chaos before I could finally get him out of my life, I honestly don’t recall what happened next. That’s what severe PTSD does to you.

    I’ve kept up with goings on in his life since by way of viewing online court records. Doing so lets me have an idea where/what his status is–I live in fear of him.
    He’s had a couple of DWI’s with lengthy/severe penalties and currently he’s awaiting a preliminary hearing for an assault he committed against a woman he was (maybe is still-he’s an ageing charismatic manipulative weasel with no prospects) involved with. Details are minimal, but apparently it was pretty harrowing for her. I have a lot of sympathy for her, would commiserate with her to offer support if I had the chance. If he’s convicted, as evidence of prior bad acts, his conviction for assaulting me will be used. That prospect is a bit unsettling because, as I said, I live in fear of him.

    He truly is reaping what he’s sown his entire life.

    • I keep track of a long-ago violent workplace stalker in the same way. Not out of any sentimental interest but because if there’s a poisonous spider around, I like to know where it is so I can bring out the shovel, flamethrower and SWAT brigade.

      So sorry you went through that. The fear never quite dissipates.

  • 1. BLOCK: He should have been already blocked. Block him now and go strict No Contact for the rest of your life. He will never be the one to end it.

    2. HOOVER: This is nothing special. Just standard cheater hoovering. You and cheater’s new girlfriend have just changed places. She’s the starter, and you’re one of the second stringers (backups, plan b’s, OW, kibble dispensers…).

    3. FRIEND: This is a you problem. You can’t be friends with a cancer, nor should you want it. He does not want friendship, nor is he capable of it. This is your mind on hopium. Move on.

    4. PATHOLOGICAL LIAR: As well as reading Chump Lady’s book, you need to read the book “WHEN YOUR LOVER IS A LIAR” by Susan Forward. When I read the chapter on pathological liars, I could have sworn she wrote it about my ex. I thought he was unique. Very eye opening. This book is an oldie, but goodie. The intro about the frog is also a very good lesson to remember.

    I was you back when I was thirty one. I let a pathological liar/cheater/player guy like this, jerk me around for nine years and chew up my prime years. He will never leave you alone. And thus I am now forever childless and never married. Don’t make the huge mistakes I made. He is cancer. Do not ever let him get even one cancer cell in the door. Cut him off from you, your family and friends, and places 100%. If he persists, take measures. If he shows up at your door (he will), do not open it. Threaten to call the cops. Anything that he says is a lie to get you to engage. And even if it is not a lie (his mom died or whatever), it is not your concern. Block him. And be glad that you dodged a bullet by not marrying and or procreating with him. Do not waste one more minute.

  • The butt-dial is such an apt analogy for how so many cheaters go through life: a combination of mistake, conspicuous failure, and obliviousness. My cheater ex-wife butt-dials pretty much everything she does: not just in romance, but also parenting, career, and finances. I cringe to think I ever claimed such a person for my partner in life. But she is quite certain she’s COOL. #CanYouHearMeNow

  • This guy loves to triangulate. Thst’s why he texts you. Guaranteed it wasn’t your friendship he was after, but to use you for a hypotenuse. Relationships just don’t interest him unless he can deceive and betray, which is why he’s already trying to cheat on OW with you. This guy is a sick, creepy individual and not friendship material at all. Go no contact now and forever. Block his number, his email and thank your lucky stars you found out before you married him and invested many years of your life in this worthless individual. Don’t waste your friendship on him either. He’s completely self centered with no capacity to reciprocate it.

  • omg. after six years of living with my then bf, i discovered his serial cheating with SO MANY WOMEN!! i had the good sense to kick him out immediately. I did not know what hoovering was at that point, and when he did, i thought, “wow, he’s making such an effort, he must really want to work this out”. I had him out of our place for several months, then he booked us a trip to Mexico (with his PARENTS, mind you), and when we got back he said “I booked city hall for us, we’re getting married” Control issues??? God, i so wish i had someone tell me then how much more I deserved. If I could go back….. 17 years I invested—-and I thought 6 was a lot. I married him, had a baby, moved across the country….and was so fucking miserable with his cheating ass. He made me give a ride to one of his ho-workers one day i picked him up from work. i am so glad to be away from it all but the regrets I have about the shit I put up with and the way I thought about myself will haunt me forever. Run. Run. Run. TRUST YOUR GUT! IT’S SCREAMING AT YOU!

  • As I’m sure many people above pointed out, you got a bad case of “love a loser/save a ho” disease. You manage to ignore this guy’s pleas for attention about missing you, then you ignore his pleas for attention about being in the hospital, BUT then feel compelled to respond when he tells you what a lonely loser he is? He literally just told you what a total loser he was, and your response was to try to save or help him.

    This is a reflection of either or both your feelings about what you believe you deserve (as in, a true, lonely, sad sac loser is what you think you’re worth) and a desire to be a savior. Both urges should be nipped in the bud. Like many of us in CL Nation have done, I recommend you do some soul searching on, and probably get some therapy around, why you think this type of guy is who you deserve and why you feel compelled to save him from himself. I promise, you are created for far greater things than all that!

  • In other news– Bill Gates’ divorce.

    People in Miami and Seattle are full of stories. Since Gates has media clout, you can imagine how most of these tales are limited to web whispers, or, like most of the negatives about Gates’ many corporate misdeeds (oil train deaths, school privatization schemes, Nigerian children with lung disease from Gates’ oil investments, etc.), relegated to Q-Anon conspiracy woo regardless of how cautious or mainstream the sources. But bits of ick float about. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=H6Mg-O7Gnzw&ab_channel=TMZ

  • Ignore red flags at your own peril.

    You can pretend a turd is a diamond, but it remains a turd.

  • I watched a female comedienne the other night talking about her lifelong relationships with men, beginning with her father and going from one disaster to the next. It was like playing dominos from Hell, all because she thought she had to accept whatever was offered, no mater how pathetic it was. She didn’t realize until late in life she had a lot to offer and was worth much more. She thought she was ready to close up shop, for good reason. She had never fixed her picker, and had endured so much she actually didn’t think any effort was worth the cost, for her.

    It was sadly funny, but I don’t exactly agree with her conclusion. I think I have fixed my picker, and I don’t close the door to the possibility. But I don’t necessarily want to search. If it ever happens, it will be because the right person is in my right place at my right time, and will reach out with an open and reciprocal heart. Because I am worth it. If it doesn’t happen, I have had an extraordinary life, and met some interesting folks along the way. I don’t have to take whatever is offered, I have boundaries. I am too old for fixer upper’s. I need a full grown, fully formed mate (or friend) who has a lot to offer on many levels. It’s not about money, or education, or status, it’s about smart, and funny, and engaging, and self sufficient. Experienced, but not worn out. Growing finer with age, like a fine wine.

    • Very wise.

      I am shocked by the men and women who will accept a relationship with the only criteria being that the other person wants them!

  • Look yourself in the mirror and say out loud “He’s a chronic pathological cheating liar and I deserve better , and better is out there for me.” Change your phone number , go medieval on his ass and don’t bother ever speaking to him again.

  • Would you want to be friends with a man who did this to someone you cared about? A man that mistreats women? A man that is abusive? A pathological liar? Of course not.

    Your ex-husband is not friend material.

    There’s a reason your divorced.

    Hang out here. CN has some pretty cool peeps.

  • I’ve only gotten four or five butt-dials in my life and all but one from my mom was from cheater bfs, and in all those cases it meant a listen-in on some good time that was being had with some other woman friend. None of my normal, drama-free friends have ever butt-dialed me. I’m suspicious of how unintentional those calls actually were.

    Also had an ex spend a fair bit of time telling me on text how scared he was about an upcoming surgical procedure, so we had a video call, and he looked all forlorn/stoically suffering and said how he had no one, no family or anyone, to take him to the hospital. I was horrified and offered to take him. I picked him up at 5:30 am to get him to the hospital before six a.m.. Later that day, I went back to visit him after he got out of the recovery room. His sister was there and some other woman left just as I was getting there. He was surrounded by gifts: stuffed animals and other toys. It felt a bit awkward and his sister said something about having offered more than once to give him a ride. He made a comment implying he didn’t even know why I was there and that I’d basically begged to help him and that he’d had to accept!

    I was shocked and hurt then; now I just shake my head and laugh. There were so many red flags before we even dated. I don’t even bother blocking him anymore (he’s part of the local music community, so I see him around). He seemed so warm and soothing when I was lost and vulnerable; he just seems kind of sad and definitely shady to me now.

  • This is a case where you tell the other woman… Just get some screen shots of those text with a date time.
    Let Karma do the rest.

  • Shocked lost me at “I’m at Meh” after 4 months while indicated that she still talks to this loser (“I still haven’t gotten the whole story out of him (to this day, he still sticks by his story”). And of course he’s still able to text her.

    The hovering this guy does is why cheaters need to be blocked, especially when the chump doesn’t have kids with them. If you’re really done with someone or even just trying to get there, you have to limit the ways they can contact you.

    Here’s my definition of Meh with Jackass: He can’t text or message me–blocked. If he showed up at my door with a $400 million dollar PowerBall ticket, I’d run him off with a shotgun.

    • Here’s another story about not getting sucked in by hoovering. Early in COVID, a young person I know called to say she and her grandmother were about to be evicted and she needed $200. She had been laid off but got another job and would get paid Friday. She could then pay me back.

      I was pretty sure it was a bullshit story. I checked it out as best I could and then I sent her the cash. That was almost a year ago. Never saw a dime, never heard a peep–until last week, when she texted me that she was in a bind and needed help…

      Deleted the text. Then deleted her number (I don’t respond to texts from people who don’t show up as in my address book). When people show you who they are, believe them.

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