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UBT: Our Relationship Is Over, I Suppose

mindfuckDear Chump Lady,

Your blog helped me to cut through the nonsense about staying with a cheater and I can say that I am now divorced and at peace with it. I am happy to report that I am doing so much better and am gaining a life day by day.

I would like to submit this to the UBT for proper roasting. Husband had an affair with a woman 12 years his junior (I believe she was 19 and he 33) and they both maintained a 3-year affair behind my back. I found out about the affair in 2020 and I pick me danced (I have since retired my tap shoes).

Ex-H did the typical cheater stuff. I did confront the OW several times PRIOR to me reading your blog [in hindsight, I wouldn’t recommend it because you can put your personal safety at risk AND they know exactly what they are doing and just don’t care). Essentially, she confirmed to me that he lied to her as well many times. Even when I went no contact when I first found out -– I found out he had filed a police report on her because he sent me an e-mail professing his confusion about wanting to be with me, and she playing relationship police, looked through his phone and found it.

Now that we are divorced, my ex had tried to get me back –- with constant text messaging and phone calls. Everything was half-assed and he did none of the things required –- when I asked him if he was going to pay me and our son all the money he stole for his affair, he said, “Are you going to pay me all the money in rent you owe me from not living here?” I left due to his emotional and mental abuse and his neglect of our child which he fails to acknowledge still.

We communicate through a parenting app and I noticed that he began texting me things about our past marriage at 11 PM, 3 AM, 10 AM – either late at night or during the weekdays during working hours trying to convince me to get back with him – even sending me articles about the of divorce on children.

I think that he is trying to contact me while she is not around and I feel as though I am being treated like an OW –- even though we share a child and I have to keep some sort of communication open. I am practicing no contact when possible and gray rock when needed. He thinks that I am being condescending when I only respond to him about our son and practice BIFF (brief, informative, friendly, firm).

I received this text from the OW a few weeks ago from a different number (I never responded and blocked her number and also filed a police report).

“Hi Chump,

I’m reaching out because I feel that you should be in the loop of some things. I’m aware that asshat has reached out to you crying out for forgiveness and begging for a second chance with you. Although I am not aware of your response or any conversation after because he chooses to keep that conversation private. Which is fine, maybe it’s better I don’t see. But I think you should know that he came to me asking for another chance and to rebuild our relationship a little after the divorce. We’ve been together since. As of today our relationship is over I suppose. But this is me being “woman to woman”. Also maybe since you have his best interest, since I was upset about learning that he’s been reaching out to you, he’s threatened and is in the process of exposing explicit pictures of myself and maybe you can talk him out of it lol. If not that’s cool, I’ll just report him.

Thanks,

OW

Also, for additional laughs for you and CN – he plays in a band and uses that band account to communicate with the OW. In my day of relationship police, I uncovered a few conversations that he was trying to solicit sex from someone else while married to me and dating OW (he claimed up and down that he was messing with a scammer to see how far it could go) – when I confronted OW, she also informed me that she caught him trying to solicit someone’s phone number for a hookup.

If she “won” him, why contact me? And if he is so secure in his relationship with Schmoopie — why feel the need to contact me clandestine at certain hours of the day? I do not want to be a hypotenuse and am not falling for the BS.

Thanks!

Chump

Dear Chump,

I think you’re well aware that he’s not secure in his relationship with Schmoopie. Or anyone. And face it, you’re experiencing a delicious schadenfreude that things aren’t going swimmingly for either of them. Thank the sweet Lord Jesus you’re well clear of their steaming pile of dysfunction. Stay no contact, and IGNORE all your ex’s non-childcare messages on the parenting software. (Geez.)

But thanks for the OW snack. The Universal Bullshit Translator could use a workout. Its transponders are all flabby. It blames the pandemic, but really all it wants to do is lounge about, eat cookies, read P.G. Wodehouse novels, and imagine its retirement. “I’ll get a corgi and name him Bertie Woofster!”

Back to work, UBT! No corgis today.

“Hi Chump,

I’m reaching out because I feel that you should be in the loop of some things.”

Unlike that three years I spent clandestinely fucking your husband. But now I’m consumed with thoughts of your welfare and would like to give you daily progress reports on my relationship status. You seem to be startling indifferent to my suffering.

I’m aware that asshat has reached out to you crying out for forgiveness and begging for a second chance with you.

Clearly, you forced him to do this. What with your mind-melding powers of telepathy.

Although I am not aware of your response or any conversation after because he chooses to keep that conversation private.

He could be conspiring with YOU against ME. The cosmic irony of my outrage about this is completely lost on me. #intheloop

Anyway, I am not presently aware of your response. Did you have one? I’ll find out.

Which is fine, maybe it’s better I don’t see.

I GPSed his underwear.

But I think you should know that he came to me asking for another chance and to rebuild our relationship a little after the divorce.

I’M THE ONE HE REALLY LOVES!

We’ve been together since.

Off and on for three years. Plus a little after your divorce. Okay, more on than off. #rebuilding

As of today our relationship is over I suppose.

I dunno. Convince me. You want him? I’ll dance harder. I really didn’t expect you to abandon the field on this semi-employed leech with delusions of rock star grandiosity. Am I just the average groupie or am I his muse? I’ll never know unless you play unwitting hypotenuse to my drama. Come back, Chump! Fight for him, so I know he’s a prize!

But this is me being “woman to woman”.

I fuck your husband because I believe in Universal Sisterhood.

Also maybe since you have his best interest, since I was upset about learning that he’s been reaching out to you, he’s threatened and is in the process of exposing explicit pictures of myself and maybe you can talk him out of it lol.

Nothing says true love like revenge porn.

Do a sister a solid. Talk him out of harming me, because you should absolutely expend all your social capital and good will on a woman who conspired in your abuse. This is MY abuse we’re talking about. And that’s VERY different.

If not that’s cool, I’ll just report him.

Enjoy this veiled threat.

Thanks,

OW

Thanks! Just thought you should know! I’m here! I matter! I am MONITORING THE SITUATION and I’ll have reports! #intheloopwoman2woman

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.
  • One of my favorite things about this site is the reality checks, and I need a LOT of them.

    I had an amazing insight yesterday that astral-projected me forward on my journey to Meh.

    The OW and I have actually done a Freaky Friday. She is who I was when I was Chump in the Dark.

    Before DDay, I thought I knew him. I thought he was a nice guy. I was sparkling and buying his bullshit by the pound, in denial and selling myself the story I told myself about him.

    They were getting off on their secrets. She thought she really knew him. Nope. All she knew was what he was doing and where he was and who he was doing it with. Sometimes.

    Post DDay?

    The OW is now the one thinking he is a Nice Guy, sparkling like crazy, buying his bullshit by the pound, in denial and selling herself the story she is telling herself about him.

    I know who he really is. Where he is and what he’s doing and who he’s doing it with is not knowing who he IS. It’s a bunch of useless information that just a load of spackle.

    Knowing who he IS is where the power is at. I know he was on Tinder while living with her, still going to the massage parlors.

    The queen is the most powerful piece in the chess board. I am the Queen, and I am getting off on the secrets they don’t know J know about them.

    I was Duped in the Dark and she is now Dope in the Dark.

    I hope you enjoy the taste of spackle, OW. I’m not eating it anymore and you’ll need to eat a LOT more of it than I did. Welcome to my seat in hell. I’m on my way to peace and freedom.

    • TYPO….”spackling”, not “sparkling”.
      Although I was probably trying to sparkle. Dadgum auto-correct!

      All that glitters can be a sparkly turd. Best to know what’s INSIDE before you pick it up. I was duped. She dove in head first and volunteered.

      Big difference. Big.

      😂

      • Yep, I always said she knew exactly what she was getting. She had a choice, I didn’t. Bet she missed all those flowers and dinners that I helped him buy for her.

        • Hahh to the flowers and dinners
          Isnt that the truth…
          Hope new woman enjoys sleeping in the bed I paid off
          They have no concept
          Its gross…
          but freedom is priceless

    • Cheating and poaching seem to be a way for entirely forgettable people to get themselves remembered somehow. The personality disorder credo: “Love me or hate me but don’t ignore me.”

  • God, that’s complicated. I don’t have the headspace to follow who, what, when? Hugs, though. To both the strong lady who got out, and to the UBT.

  • Dear Chump… couple of things really hit home for me (because yes, they do all follow the same cheater playbook)…

    – He is triangulating STILL with you and the OW. Don’t play. I know you have to co-parent, but the less you engage with either of them the sooner they will look for a new hypotenuse. Cozi.com was my favorite parenting software and I ONLY communicate with Mr. Sparkles via email (99%) and text (1%) since our son was in third grade. It can be done.

    – He was using his band’s email account to play with a scammer to see how far it would go? They seriously expect us to believe this shite… mine was “I’ve been phished… someone set up a dating profile in my name and stole my information”… Mic drop… the further you are out from the toxicity the more you can see how f*cked up they really are mentally (NO – you cannot fix them!)

    – The OW always thinks they’re the “special one”… the one that he really loves… but we all know what happens when we divorce the cheater and they marry the OW/OM… they’ve opened up the job for a new OW/OM.

    Celebrate your freedom – go grey rock with your X; block the OW altogether; and document the hell out of his and her crazy… .you made need it for court someday.

    Keep working on your cheater free life and being the sane parent! You’ve got this.

    • lol at the dating profile. My ex wife was found on tinder stating she had a boyfriend who wanted to watch her with other men. When confronted she claimed it was cat fishing. They knew her age, how long she has lived in the UK and same spelling mistakes she always made and same emojis in same sequence but hey it was someone cat fishing and tinder shows distance and they also happened to be within half mile of us and within 20 minutes of it being discovered it was hidden. My friends also checked and it was gone. Nope, definitely was not her. Should have seen the look on her face when I said well we need to phone the police to have this looked into. There is no fixing disordered people like this.

      • CNL… I said something similar… “good heavens, that is one scary stalker you have”… sadly, their own narcissism is so deep they think they are goodlooking/sexy/rich enough to be phished in the first place… ‘cuz their add is really good bait! LOL… just thinking about Mr. Sparkles plucking his knuckle hair makes me laugh out loud at this insanity!

        • Exactly.
          My lawyers were amazed at how stupid my ex wife was. She admitted to so many things in messages and I don’t think it ever dawned on her that maybe for talk sake I could have had a “friend” message her on tinder and then get sexual photos sent to us via Snapchat or watsapp with her face clearly in it and that those images would then be supplied to my legal team and used in my divorce. Thankfully with even just some of the evidence my lawyers submitted to the court, my divorce in court took ten minutes and the judge apologised to me for how sensitive and embarrassing it must be for me. Divorce was granted instantly that day. Good riddance to the trash.

          Just think, she can sit there as a single mother of three young kids knowing she destroyed their little world and tore the family apart so she could sleep around with tons of men. Then she meets one main AP who basically pimped her out for cuckolding. Can we all say out loud about her “personality disorder “.

    • These two fuckwits sound desperate to draw you back into the drama to add a little spark to their craptacular union, which is nothing unless someone is suffering over them. Stay gray rock – you are the rock star, and they know it.

    • I also use Cosi….. at one point I was accused in court of not providing information as required. The mediator said yep its on the ap, entered when she said it was. You have access to the ap, you cant expect her to hold the phone and push the button for you surely? well actually he did….. lol

  • I remember the quest for information. I remember the futility of trying to figure it out. The answer, he does it because he can, and he truly has nothing else to offer, is so disappointing. Also so simple. Also so accurate. Once you realize that the best part of your relationship was in the beginning when he was acting like he was a real caring human who valued you, and that was a con, you really understand you have nothing to work with, and you can stop trying.

    The quest for universal sisterhood is also futile. I remember a wonderful saying that I believe was attributed to Ann Richards, a past governor of Texas, about one of her political opponents. She said he kept shooting himself in the foot, and then reloading. This is what OW/OM do –if you knowingly go after another person’s spouse, you have chosen to pursue a person you can never trust. In addition, no one will ever trust you. Ouch. Where do you keep the extra bullets?

    • “Once you realize that the best part of your relationship was in the beginning when he was acting like he was a real caring human who valued you, and that was a con, you really understand you have nothing to work with, and you can stop trying.”

      You’ve said this so brilliantly. I just recently had my second DDay. I am now initiating divorce, but it made me confront what I suspected/should have known all along — that he was cheating the whole entire time. And now that it’s clear as day, that the whole thing is built on a lie, that he’s never going to change and that this is never going to work, I can let go and move on. It’s so sad, but now I can put down the hopium pipe I have been toking for 5+ years; I am no longer clinging to something that never was.

  • I read this and think she’s just an immature child and he is every bit a predator. I know she’s of age and has agency but obviously she has issues. Good grief. I probably wouldn’t have this mindset if I didn’t have a DD19 and can’t imagine her ever getting caught up in something like this.

    He is a turd that needs to be flushed. She’s just the toilet paper that needs to get flushed too.

    • Older men who troll for much younger women know there’s a power imbalance there. They have money and can count on a certain awe in younger women that they like. But the women aren’t stupid. There’s manipulation there too.

      When I was young, I couldn’t imagine dating a much older man. I had a friend in college who was dating a professor in his late 50’s. The word was that he spent so much time in the lab that his first wife divorced him. In those days, dating a student wasn’t a problem. Behind her back, we were all like — eeewww! They married her senior year, and she took his last name. It was a small college in a small town, and I guess it worked for her at the time.

      Then ten years later, I saw in the alumni magazine that she had taken back her maiden name and was living in a different state in a major metropolitan area. He became an emeritus professor and is still associated with that college. Seemed sad, but yes, they chose each other.

    • As much as I’d like to think different, I could have easily fell for this at 19. I was love starved, due to a neglectful and abusive childhood, and so so trusting of everyone. I bought every lie anyone sold me.

      I would have been totally star struck by an older guy with any amount of money, and probably doubly so if he played into my need to be taken care of after no one ever caring for me. I would have believed all the classic lines “we are getting divorced” “she doesn’t love me” “she’s crazy’

      Instead I fell for a dumbass my age who cheated and lied and told me I was fat, and was DEVASTATED when he left me. 🤦‍♀️ I would have married that abusive POS even after the cheating.

      I know better now, so so much better. But when I look back I can see I was totally the “type” older manipulative abusive creeps seek out. Young. Accustomed to being treated badly. Poor. Trusting.

  • “Come back, Chump! Fight for him, so I know he’s a prize!”

    So on the mark. My fw walked away and except for a couple phone calls re: divorce stuff. I never called him, attempted to see him nothing. Quite honestly I never eve gave the whore much thought. It was all I could do to keep going, I certainly didn’t want to know what they were doing.

    So what does he do, he comes over after a few weeks and accuses me of calling the whore. I said, first of I I wouldn’t give, either of you the satisfaction, second of all I have not ever called her and you know it. He slunk away. Asshole couldn’t take it that I didn’t beg and please. This all went down in 1990, long before CL. But, I did get a few things right instinctively.

  • No contact is your best friend. All you’re getting is breadcrumbs.

    Never open that door and break NC. All that does is move you back to square one.

    For what? Just more of the same. He’ll never change.

  • Wow – OW is still so young, without boundaries or insight. Remain no contact and keep documentation. The only value of this communication is that it underscores the poor judgement of your child’s father. You may need to refer to it in future custody arrangement if/when he continues to be such a jerk.

    • He qualifies as a predator on multiple levels – if she is just 19 now the ick factor of that guy is off the charts.

    • Thanks for this reminder. Attempting to communicate with a cheater always makes whatever you are hoping to resolve worse, and it perpetuates the cycle that causes further damage.

    • My question: How is it that the OW can text Chump? This person should be blocked EVERYWHERE.

      And the X should be blocked as well, other than for emergency purposes if the kiddo is with his dad. If Chump is using a parenting app, then she can safely ignore all of these attempts to reconcile. There’s a bit of untangling the skein here.

      All chumps should remember that disordered people often refuse or resist giving up kibble sources (see, for example, how grimly KK hangs on to our dear UXWorld, after years of his masterful gray rocking). One version of “kibble preservation” is HOOVERING, the pivot back to an old kibble source to see how available it is. That might involve throwing lures out about reconciliation or lots of sad sausage stuff designed to make the chump feels sorry for the cheater. It also might involved a full on attempt to come back to a familiar situation with the chump as Plan B or C.

      This is why no contact (or very low contact with great boundaries) comes in. Chump here has a situation where she could have very low contact with great boundaries, and she says she doesn’t want to be a hypotenuse, but leaving lines of communication open to the OW and untangling the skein just keeps the cheater and the OW central. Block the OW everywhere. And tell Cheater via the parenting app: “If you continue to use this parenting app to pressure me to reconcile, I will delete the app and limit our communication regarding Kiddo to email only.”

      Then take him to court to get past-due support.

      • Hi! It’s me – the LW. I completely agree with you. I did not leave any lines of communication open. Initially I kept the number unblocked so our son could speak to his dad through FaceTime when he wanted since it’s stated in our agreement but that quickly was thrown out the window since he was using that opportunity to not leave me alone about our divorce.

        I went scorched earth with both the ex and the OW. I blocked the phone numbers that I knew she had as well as the email she tried to contact me from as well through iMessage / blocked her from social media as well. She messaged me from a new number that I didn’t recognize and I immediately blocked it. I’m at a point where I may need to change my phone number. I have filed a police report against her to start the documentation process and have receipts of her contacting me if I need to use it in court.

        I also did tell him while he was in the throes of reaching out to me on the parenting app that he is harassing me if he continues on with his antics and only to talk about our child. I am going no contact and gray rock with him. I live with my family that has been great at assisting me when it’s hostage drop off time with our son so I don’t have to see him.

        I definitely do not want to be a hypotenuse. I’m fine being a singular and happy dot bouncing around where I am free 😁

        • Also to add, OW has a habit of creating multiple accounts which is why the numbers had been able to get through to my phone. During the throes of my pickmeisha dancing days – when my ex husband discarded her and was lovebombing me – what ensued was multiple phone calls, texts, new emails from new email accounts, and her creating various social media accounts to comment on towards him to get him back.

          As I said, I’m glad I’m free.

  • Ah, schadenfreude! Even the vicarious stuff tastes good.

    I appreciate this letter because it’s a reminder that my ex and his OW know the other cheated and lied to their respective spouses and families FOR YEARS. There’s only so much that sparkles can do to cover that shit up.

    And, let’s face it, sparkles do nothing for the stench.

    • “And, let’s face it, sparkles do nothing for the stench.”

      Yep, like it or not; there is not a day that goes by that they don’t look at each other and know exactly who they are. They can post FB shit of sunshine and lollipops, they can cover it with bigger boats and RVs; the underlying stench is always there.

  • If people can hack into a pipeline, the government etc. they can get to uploaded pictures. Who, in their right mind sends nude pictures. Oh, wait. Right mind. Never mind.

    • Letgo……

      Good one! Thanks for the chuckle….

      Love to all the right-minded Chumps here in this fine Nation!

    • I’m so glad I grew up and dated pre-cell phones. Boyfriends can apply all sorts of pressure to solicit nudes out of young girls and often they do it to have those photos for blackmail and leverage. I was a co-dependent people pleaser when I was young, it wouldn’t have taken much pressure from someone I “loved” to do something comprising to make them happy.

      There is a good Op Ed in the guardian this week about how even female-centric dating apps are still tremulously dangerous places, based on rating women like objects with a veiled implication of guaranteed sex. One line that stuck out to me was “I don’t think there’s any question that dating apps are rape culture.”

      https://www.theguardian.com/commentisfree/2021/may/17/apps-tinder-dating-women

      • One young man was getting tested at a clinic in GB and shared his concerns about venereal diseases. Yet he had hooked up with 100 women via Tinder and NEVER used a condom. Not one of these young women insisted he wrap it up. 🤦‍♀️

  • The fact that these swine think that respectable people give a shit about their self created problems………..

    They are pig excrement in a humanoid form

    Stab you in the back then want your sympathy. I just can’t.

    • Unfortunately, they get sympathy from everyone else, even after we stop buying the sad sausage act.

      “Our” friends were shocked and disgusted by what FW did and had been doing to me for years (they don’t know much of the story, but they do know he’s a selfish, lying cheater who carried on a double life for at least seven years). Then FW went on a crying tour of “remorse,” and so these friends decided the poor, sick guy needed friends and comfort. They’ve made it clear that I get dibs on get togethers, but he’s still on the invite lists. Why would I want to be around people who want to spend time with the man who emotionally, financially and physically abused me for years while conning me out of the authentic life I could have been leading without him all that time?

      • Maybe they need to get the rest of the story. Most people tend to think it’s “just” an affair, that the fw fell in love with somebody else, cheated, is sorry, and otherwise treated you well. They generally have no idea about all the other abuse that goes along with it, nor do they understand that cheating itself is abuse and done for the purpose of a depraved power trip.
        I’d tell your Swiss non-friends what you said here; that you don’t want to hang around with people who support spousal abusers. Then tell them exactly what he did.

        • Thanks, OHFFS. You’re absolutely right. I can’t, for too many reasons to explain at this late hour, but I appreciate the validation.

  • UBT, I’d love to meet you! First, we both love lebkuchen. Now you say you love P.G. Wodehouse! Do you know how rare that is? Although I haven’t read him in years, I spent my twenties and thirties tracking down his lesser-known books. I’m particularly fond of the Empress of Blandings.

    So, what do you think about another of my favorite books – A Confederacy of Dunces? Each time I read it I laugh out loud. Just think, we could be soul mates:)

  • Yes, we just have to cut ourselves loose from all the crazy and manipulation. It got to the point a year into separation that I was just so done with it that I closed the door to separation, knowing that divorce was on the horizon. The family house had been sold, and I began researching divorce. I was so very broke, so I took my time.

    He tried one last disordered round of love bombing which I didn’t respond to his satisfaction. I knew by then that true love had fled the scene and that it was just manipulating and trying to look good on his part. Then he sent me an “or else” letter via registered mail, and I started seriously looking into attorneys. He had been talking about which one he’d use for over a decade, and I knew that attorney was a “I’ll fight for anything and everything” one with questionable ethics. I sent him a brief letter via regular mail that reconciliation was off the table for me.

    So he said he wanted to talk to me on the phone about “something important.” Yes, manipulation. He wanted a divorce because I had stopped the pick me dance. I knew. I wasn’t available the night he wanted, so he blew up. Predictable. Then we finally talked, and it was all I expected to be. I had in front of me a piece of paper with my answer to everything. He said it would be quick and merciful. I knew better.

    Both attorneys decided that my ex was crazy and a world class manipulator, and his attorney threw him to the curb in the end. His told mine mine that he truly hated his client as a person and couldn’t wait to get rid of him. Thankfully he didn’t quit as a favor to mine because they respected each other as litigators. We did settle out of court, but it took over two years total versus a matter of months as it should have.

    I kept wondering why he had to burn every bridge on the way out. Of course he had lost his supply and had to punish me, but I also realized that by burning the bridges, he could remove from his life the spouse and young adults who really knew who he was. He could project the crazy and manipulation on me, and no one would know the difference because we of course are no contact with him after all the chaos. It was a “solution” that kept him blameless and free. He could be a hero.

    What a relief when I signed the closure letter with my attorney and paid the last bill.

    • You really hit the nail on the head when it comes the burning every bridge and how it works to their advantage in their new life. I like to say mine nuked all of his bridges. Since I don’t talk to him and neither do his adult children he never has to worry about his new source – oops I mean wife (not schoompie she dumped him) – learning about who he is from the people who suffered in his presence for 20+ years. He is able to write his own hero story while painting himself as a sad victim – “I abused him for years on end and his most proud accomplishment as a parent never letting the kids see it happen.” This logic is actually insane – when you think about it the only way that could be true is if he was somehow controlling my behavior to a point that I never slipped up and abused him in front of the kids…..ever. Total idiot but he is a very convincing idiot. As a serial cheater he sold quite a few women this story.

    • “I kept wondering why he had to burn every bridge on the way out. ”

      That burning of bridges is weird, but in my case the burning of bridges was on the day he left. It was like he couldn’t just say it is over, I am in love with schmoops. No he had to burn down all our memories, he had to make sure that he couldn’t come back, or at least that is how it seemed to me.

      I have decided as I got further away from it, that he was acting very much like a teenage boy. That is what they do, they don’t want mom and dad to change their mind so they burn it all down.

      It didn’t matter that later he came back and said, “I just said all that to get you to hate me”. It was done, the bridges were gone.

      • Yes, mine I think had a plan conscious or unconscious to make sure it was forever over. It was like several decades together didn’t exist at all. I have no doubt that he has some sort of explanation for why such a “good man” is single in retirement that plays into the sympathies of whoever listens. Where he lives now, no one knows any different.

        My divorce attorney began calling him “the boy” part way through. He’d say, “I’ll call his attorney and tell him to put pressure on ‘the boy’ because a judge would never agree to this in court, and we don’t have to agree either.” I asked why the change — no name, no “ex,” no “husband.” My attorney said because my 60-something husband was acting like a child and didn’t deserve anything else. He added, “Mature men don’t act this way, period. When he mans up and takes responsibility for what he did, I’ll consider calling him a man.”

        Never happened. At signing, my attorney regaled the office manager who was serving as the witness/notary with stories of “the boy” and the case that he said was “memorable and unprecedented” in his four plus decades of divorce law. Yup. Burned bridges.

        • Elsie, your history is so similar to mine. All the bridges were well and truly infernoed. He did me a favour in that regard; he made it much easier to divorce him.

          I have a lovely hairdresser who is now a very, very good friend. Ex went to him too, including after he left me and once I knew about the affair. That has now stopped, of course. How we laughed (amongst my tears) about the ridiculous things ex said to manage his image with my friend. Gifts, flattery, fake empathy for me. My friend calls the ex the Grand Bambino, and he called him that before the split. The ex was just that, a big man-baby, ever seeking his adoring narcissistic mother cooing over her ‘miracle baby’, an extension of her wonderfulness. Good luck OW, ex GF. She will be living with that into their old age. Seeing that jutting lip, that petulant sulky expression every Saturday morning. And if they do not last (for the third time), some other woman will be taken in and find herself looking after his baby needs. My hope for the sisterhood is that he ends up alone because I would not wish him on anyone!

          • Yes, the bridge burning does make it easier.

            I help with twelve step group, and there’s a lady there who is struggling with an upcoming graduation because her ex and his lady friend will be at the open house at her home and the event. She’s told him to expect minimal interaction with her, period.

            She asked me how I handled that sort of thing. Well, I didn’t. For the first graduation that came up, my oldest said not to invite him. So I flew out alone. We wondered if he would just show up, but he didn’t. Two more handled the same. I went alone. My youngest has a serious boyfriend and has already said that it will be a very small wedding if they do it, and he will not be invited. Problem solved.

  • Ok, my comment is sort of off-topic to the main point here, but what IS it with Cheaters and their constant use of “lol”???? (See above OW letter inserts it). The “lol” was actually my first clue something was up – months and months before Dday, you can see Cheaters changing in their texts. And it always includes “lol”.

    I’ve now been divorced 6 years, Dracula has been out of my house for almost 8 years. And he STILL uses the “lol” in emails about the kids. And it’s never inserted where it’s appropriate. It’s almost like some nervous tic, or kids that insert the word “like” in every sentence.

    • It might be a nervous thing now that you mention it. I’ve noticed that since d-day I’ve been using LOL in texts to people I’m maintaining a polite relationship with but don’t really want as friends anymore.

      I just did it the other day and after I sent it I thought why did I put LOL in that? But it’s like I’m trying to be all “everything’s fine, don’t worry about me, don’t pry. I do not want to answer any questions.” Maybe that’s why cheaters do it. Because they’re hiding things and don’t want to answer questions so the LOL serves as a “nothing to see here” kind of thing. I think that’s why I keep finding myself putting it in texts lately.

      • I’m so turned off on “lol” that I never use it now. Even in situations where it’s called for. And my friends know my disgust for it now, so they’ll use it as an “inside joke” with me, and now most of them never use it, either.

        Who would have thought a Cheater could turn you off even a word/expression/abbreviation!!!

        • My ex turned me off of some of my favorite things in the world. I realized that this evening, out on a walk, when I passed a magenta blossoming crab apple tree and shivered in disgust.

    • This was my first clue as well! His texts and they way he spelled things changed. His OW was 10 years younger and just out of college. I’m big on punctuation and correct spelling…and was so confused why all of a sudden he couldn’t use whole words anymore.

      • Agreed. Cheater suddenly didn’t know the difference between “your” & “you’re”. Before I blocked his texts, I’d get “Your a bitch” and I’d stare at it thinking “what is he even saying?” Before I realized he was mis-spelling “you’re”. (We need a rolling eye emoji right here)

          • Apart from a sudden desire to watch ‘Fleabag’ (someone! told him it was good when the second series started), his texts changed. He started using the purple alien emoji as a sign off (I didn’t know what it meant and I still don’t. I refuse to be bullied by emoji 😆). He also spoke in interrogatives, with an uplift at the end of every sentence, about 2 years before he left. One night I laughed and said ‘have you noticed that …’ He became extraordinarily defensive, the lip jutted out and the response ‘I work with a lot of young people’, #sulky face. He stopped immediately, that very night. Ex GF OW has lived in Canada for many years (we all originate from the UK). She has teenagers. She speaks with an upward inflection and he was mirroring her. Looked at objectively, it’s very funny. What an idiot!

            Ref: Confederacy of Dunces above. One of my favourite funny books. Reader, I married Ignatius and his valve was constantly playing up. It almost certainly still is, but the stench is no longer mine to endure.

    • I’ve made an informal study of the use of lol over a long period of time, because I’ve met some people who use it constantly and it has perplexed me. I concluded
      it’s usually a way people have of conveying that they mean no harm. Cheater thinks; “If I put lol in here and there, I won’t seem like I’m an asshole. I’ll seem jolly and loveable.” Cheater subconsciously knows he/she really is an asshole but the lol is a way of reassuring both others and themselves that they’re just fun loving people.

      Non-malignant people use lol inappropriately when they are unsure of themselves, because they fear judgement. It’s meant to convey the same harmlessness, but in those cases the person actually is harmless.

      Lol is supposed to indicate that something you say, an anecdote, a joke, whatever, is being told for humor value, or that you find somebody else’s comment humorous, but lots of people use it for impression management as well.

  • Eeewww! These people are seriously f***ed up! Really immature, messed up hypocrites. Walk away as far as you can and don´t look back. I know you have to think of your child, but you really dodged a bullet getting out of this situation. Good on you! They are nuts!

  • Wow! What a whirlwind of activity trying to pull you back into their sick drama, and well after your divorce is said & done!

    This convinces me that “abusers are confusers.”

    What does either of them really want, other than you as an audience? The police, or not ? Rebuilding a relationship, or not? Together, or not? Woman to woman, or not?
    Geez, even after you sorted out that your x’s actions & words didn’t match up (you are mighty!) they are still playing word games.

    • Are:. ‘abusers are confusers’. That is great. Years ago I was crying and told someone ‘I am so confused!’. She said to me, ‘That means someone is conning you and you are fused into it.’. Bingo! That has been so helpful to me over the years.

  • “We’ve been together since.”

    #rebranding

    I’m laughing at the OW reaching out to you. Also your ex-husband wanting you to pay rent on a dwelling in which you no longer reside.

    Glad you’ve scraped most of the shit off your life. Sorry you still have to deal with him at all.

    • I think he wanted LW to pay rent on the apartment that he “had” to rent because she kicked him out of the marital home. hahahaaaaaahhhaaaaa!

  • I died at the Universal Sisterhood comment. That is just completely hilarious to me and then OW asking for a solid to save her reputation. Oh my gosh…

    I have proudly been banned from two forums for women because I refuse to embrace my ex husband’s other women in sisterhood. I am told they owe me NOTHING! ABSOLUTELY NOTHING! They made no vows to me, they’ve done NOTHING to me, and they owed me NOTHING, and I am wrong and anti-feminist for thinking they did anything to me or conspired in my abuse. They owe me nothing, I’m basically a non human thing to them, like a lamp in their married boyfriend’s house. They shouldn’t consider me or think about me in any way at all.

    And yet I owe them forgiveness, and understanding, and compassion, and I’m supposed to embrace them as my sisters while they scream at me, “WE OWE YOU NOTHING, YOU AREN’T EVEN HUMAN TO US, BUT WE’RE WOMEN SO YOU HAVE TO TREAT US LIKE FAMILY! HOW DID YOU ENJOY OUR CHLAMYDIA BITCH!”

    Right… yeah, no thanks. When I ask why they are my sisters and I owe them these things but I’m not a sister to them and they owe nothing I’m immediately banned. I guess that question is just too uncomfortable for women who cheat and screw married men.

    • Enjoy your chlamydia. And trich. Genital warts that can cause hpv➡️ Cancers. Have fun with your herpes flareups for the rest of your life ( 🤕) Which one did I forget ? 🦠🤣

      • Thankfully I only got the chlamydia but God only knows what they’re passing around to each other now with me gone. And with all the unprotected anal sex I unfortunately heard about, they’re into HIV and hepatitis C territory.

    • Exactly KP. I get so pissed when folks say, oh they owe you nothing, but you must forgive them and not blame them. Bullshit, if they owe me nothing, I sure as hell don’t owe them anything.

    • It’s such BS. The OW might not make vows to you, the wife, but that doesn’t mean you’re not allowed to be pissed off at them. Unless your marriage is completely hidden from them and they dump the FW when they find out, they are indeed complicit in your abuse, and it just smacks of entitlement/I-am-also-a-cheater-speak when people say you should be lenient because they weren’t included in the vows you made. It’s also just funny how *they* get pissed off at the other women when FW cheats on them in turn. It’s ok for them to do it, but not go through it!
      Not that you need me to tell you this of course, but I seriously have to wonder if these people’s brains haven’t fallen out.

      • We’re all supposed to have implicitly vowed not to hurt other people or participate in abuse. It’s part of the social contract. If APs don’t want to be part of the social contract it’s only fair and just that they should be shunned by society.

    • Same here, I had therapists tell me not to blame the OW. Wtf. She was in her 40’s and damn well knew he was married with kids.

      He conspired with her, she conspired with him.

      • Yeah fuck that. The affair partners are totally responsible. That’s a cop out. Sure, if it wasn’t that one person it would be another, but that doesn’t mean the fuck buddies have no culpability. That’s complete bullshit. They know exactly what they’re doing- getting kibbles from meddling in a marriage makes you a complete shitbag.

    • Respecting boundaries has nothing to do with anyone making vows to anyone.

      This “I didn’t make vows to the wife”, which seems to be the kind of idiocy only women come up with, is lowlife bullshit stinking thinking at it’s finest.

      It’s my idiocy to expect cheating cohorts to have brains, integrity, dignity, manners, emotional maturity, and a working moral compass.

      • ” which seems to be the kind of idiocy only women come up with,”

        I think that is unfortunately true. You don’t hear men when talking about a friend being cheated on, saying hey don’t hate the OM, he didn’t make vows to you.

    • Yes, that’s interesting and explains something my therapist once said. She said that if a woman involved with him ever calls, tell her never to call again and hang up. She said no good can come from such calls; whoever he chooses to align his stars with can’t be at all good if they are with him, so cut them off.

      That kind of shocked me, but I see the wisdom from this thread.

    • My ex actually told me that I should apologize to the OW. Why? Well, he said that his lawyer was impressed with his net worth, and I replied, “I bet the OW is, too.”

      Oh, he got very defensive. “You need to apologize to her, Spinach!”

      Soooo, I needed to apologize for a remark that he found insulting, and yet, the OW, who was complicit in my abuse, who helped toss the grenades on my family, who risked my health, didn’t need to apologize to me for ANYTHING. Got it! #eyeroll

  • This reeks of desperation. Why on earth would they think you’d care about them or what’s going on? Another one of the million things we could never fathom about these people.

    The temptation here, if one felt inclined, you could make her pour out her broken little heart and find out all other levels of juicy schadenfreude-laden gossip and really pull it out of her, get her to confide in you and then go in for the jugular.

    But of course, it’s not worth the effort and nothing is rewarding as them knowing you simply don’t care.

  • My humble opinion : The relationship is over. He shouldn’t even be allowed to send texts.
    Why expose yourself to this bullshit?
    The boundaries need to be so strong, that the cheater knows not to send stupid messages like this.
    I explained to my ex:
    Text messages only if there is danger to then children’s health or safety.
    By far the most things can be done with a shared online calendar. ( The best on belongs to the famous search engine which most people use)
    I have looked at many co-parenting app.
    They are complicated and have chat features like some social app.

    You don’t need another inbox !

    -No text messages, unless the conditions above apply.
    -All organizational stuff can be put on the calendar which both of you can edit. And if swimming lesson change their start time from 3 pm to 4pm, change it on the calendar, there doesn’t need to be a text/phone call or email.
    – Emails only for matters relating to children or finances.

    Everything else is not welcome.

    Initially my ex texted a lot. That much that I got a secretary to hold my phone and text her back.
    “AFS is busy right now, I will forward the message”.
    Not everyone can replicate that, and it worked only during office hours, which she quickly figured out.

    You time is important . Your privacy is important. You don’t want to get a bullshit text message whilst you are busy living your life.
    Auto-direct the ex’s email into it’s own folder and read it at the time of your choosing.

    If the cheater thinks that they can still text you , that means that they still see you as kibble supply.

    • Thank you for the last sentence AFS. Needed that CN kick in the ass.

      Cheater calls and shame storms all over me yesterday. I was exhausted from The Everything and bit down hard on the sandwich he offered. I informed him that he no longer had the right to speak to me like that (threats, unfounded/untrue accusations about parental alienation, money hiding, All The Things) and he should be thankful I still answer his calls. Then–OH–Then he takes the “high road” and lets me know he’s “not my therapist” and that it sounds like I’m “finally” unleashing what has been in my heart “all along”. (OH FUCK YOU!!!) I stopped what I was going to say and instead LISTENED to the sad sausage and his litany. “You stole the kids from me” (nope). “You made me fuck that woman.” (nope). “If you’d been better [insert latest fuckup here], I would not have fucked those women.” (nope). “You have all the power. Just the way you like it.” (yep and nope). “I have nothing because you took it from me.” (yep and nope). “My life is an endless sadness while you and the kids live like Kings.” (yep and nope–they live well because I WORK motherfucker.).

      After listening for way, way too long, I apologized for not keeping my cool and knowing my value. I told FW I was not going to discuss any of the issues with him, alone, any longer. If he wants to “co-parent” with me, then he needs to find the support coordinator, set the appointment, pay for it, attend and if the kids still don’t want contact, so fucking be it. I was his literal and proverbial punching bag for 23 years. I’m done.

      So thanks for the reminder AFS. Grey rock because of the kids. Grey rock because of the money. Grey rock because. Period. N/C in 52 months and counting. Glory BE!!

  • Unfortunately, since she’s 19 and technically of age, there’s nothing legally that can be done in terms of age gap there.

    HOWEVER…

    That doesn’t mean it isn’t still disgusting. A man in his 30’s really has no business sleeping with a 19 year old, married or no. …God wtf is wrong with these people…I’m about to turn 34 and the idea of having a 19-year-old partner is just skeezy. That’s not a partner. There’s no way a 19 year old can be a real PARTNER to a person in their 30’s. It’s not an equal playing field. That’s an unbalanced power play and that is exactly what the ex wants. Someone young, easily manipulated, inexperienced, and mentally pliable. GROSS.

    I digress…
    The way you respond to this nonsense is save the message (you never know what you might end up needing in court) and you IGNORE. It would be highly tempting to come up with some kind of snappy retort to this nonsense but she wants the attention, so don’t give it. You communicate with your ex about your child because you have to, but you have no obligation to maintain contact of any kind with this girl. She’s not your child’s stepmom, and I doubt she shares any kind of child-rearing responsibilities with your ex. You may have to just be grey rock with your ex, but you can be full on Brick Wall with this twat.

    • Well, the relationship “started” when she was 19. Really? Says who? A lying, grooming cheater? An OW who wants nothing more than for her relationship to be legitimized and her “new” boyfriend to be embraced? Now that things aren’t going well for her and FW, she might be less willing to “protect” him. It’s entirely possible that there is more to this story.

      • *Not disagreeing with your comment, Kara, which is right on. The 19 thing just crossed my mind when I read the first sentence.

    • “A man in his 30’s really has no business sleeping with a 19 year old, married or no. …God wtf is wrong with these people…”

      Yep, my best friends husband cheated on her for years (before I knew mine was also a cheater) He finally divorced her at age 38 and married a woman who was 22. I assume she was a badge bunny, and won the turd.

      Actually they are still together, and I saw their picture on his/my friends daughters FB page, and he looks like a broken old man, and she is 55 now and has big white blond hair, heavy make up and wearing of course a shirt that shows half her boobs. She is not an unattractive woman, but she definitely has the look of an older woman trying to still look like a 20 year old trophy wife.

      My friend is fine, she met and married a fine man and they have been together for years now.

  • Gavin de Becker wrote, “ if you tell someone 10 times that you don’t want to talk to him, you ARE talking to him – nine more times than you wanted to.” When dealing with persistent pursuers, we chumps must steel ourselves and not respond. “it takes time and patience… You don’t want him improved — you want him removed.”

    I’m amazed at my STBX’s ongoing bids for engagement. It feels like it will never be over, and I’m so glad to have the support of CN to stay strong and clear-eyed.

    • In an internet changeover, I lost access to the email address my ex used to email me. It was a family account, and I made a personal account for use during separation and the divorce process that became my main account.

      I put on my list to call the provider to see if I could get it back, and then I decided — why? There is nothing in the divorce agreement that requires contact. So that email address is dead. I did save the archives, but that’s all I need.

      Over.

  • Fixed it for her.

    “I’m reaching out because I want to make you feel responsible for my problems. Asshat made sure I am aware that he has reached out to you for triangulation purposes, crying out for forgiveness and begging for a second chance with you. I am keenly interested in your response or any conversation after, because he chooses to keep that part private to torment me. So why don’t you just tell me. Because sisterhood. Maybe it’s better I don’t see, but goddammit it, give! I’m being malicious and smug and letting you know that he came to me asking for another chance and to rebuild our relationship a little after the divorce. We’ve been together ever since and I’ve been shaky about his level of commitment, as has he, seeing as we’re both cheaty cheaterpants cheaters from cheaterville. As of today our relationship is over I suppose. Or maybe not. It depends on what he’s up to with you, my whim of the moment, the phase of the moon, my astrological chart- you know how it is. But this is me being “woman to woman”. After all, we both rode the same dick for three years. That makes us friends, right? Also, maybe you might want to prevent your kid’s father from going to jail, because since I kicked his ass after learning that he’s been reaching out to you, he’s threatened and is in the process of exposing explicit pictures of myself and maybe you can talk him out of it lol. The lol is meant to defuse my threat by implying I’m just kidding. Is it working? Because I’m not kidding. If you won’t do it, I’ll just report him and your kid will have a jailbird for a daddy. Lol.”

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