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UBT: The Couple Bubble

Dear Chump Lady,

I got the following text from exhusband over the weekend:

First: How to Create a Couple Bubble in Your Relationship


Hi, I’m checking text to see if there is anything new with today’s visit, and see that I unintentionally sent you this link. I got upset because I don’t want to bother or confuse you with things like this. I’m working on my anxiety and was reading this. You were on my mind and I meant to send it to myself. We don’t talk much now and I understand why. I’ve been working on understanding and processing this in therapy, and this article came up in my research. I’m sorry for a lot of things. I appreciate you bringing the kids today. I’m working on ways to make my time and space with them to be comfortable for them. I really appreciate your feedback and insight for the children. Just so you know, my appointment with Blah (co-parenting life coach he found) is next Monday 6/21. If you have any food, drink, snack suggestions for my place for the kids, will have those things on hand for them. Thank you.

Article on making a “couple bubble” — really?! Thought the UBT might enjoy!

He must have broken up with his latest Schmoopie and is trying to hook me.

It’s been 2 years since D-Day — discovering 5 or more years of a double life — premeditated planning (he hired a coach to teach him how to get women) and cheating with prostitutes and young, young women including the 21-year-old ballerina. Since then I’ve parented 5 kids alone with him seeing them once a week for dinner if that. With your help I’ve been no contact for over a year and that has been the most healing choice I’ve made. I’m now able to clearly see how abused I was by a covert narcissist. I’m now able to see that this so called accident over the weekend is a further attempt to manipulate me.

Mighty Momma

Dear Mighty Momma,

Perhaps your ex could hire a Snack Coach to help him with the all-consuming question of Doritos versus apple slices?


The Universal Bullshit Translator is emerging from its pandemic stupor and is having a hard time getting motivated.


Grokkkk! Whirrr.

(The UBT appears listless.)

Snarking about life coaches?

It pricks up its antenna, intrigued.

Oh all right.

Hi, I’m checking text to see if there is anything new with today’s visit,

A flock of dirigible Pegasi? Leprechaun footmen? Persistent ghosts?

Just checking if there’s anything out of the ordinary.

and see that I unintentionally sent you this link.

Oh HEY, I intentionally sent you a link. (Blame the leprechauns.) A gooey, self-help article about sacred Couple Bubbles. Enjoy cringe-worthy advice such as:

Only use the power of the couple bubble for good! You must agree not to use the bubble to manipulate or test each other.

In other words, you can’t get mad at your partner and push him out of the bubble until he “does better.” Doing so defeats the whole purpose of the bubble.

I feel that you have defeated the entire purpose of the bubble.

I got upset because I don’t want to bother or confuse you with things like this.

I absolutely want to bother and confuse you.

Like bubbles have powers. Or that we’re a couple.

I’m working on my anxiety and was reading this.

I was perfecting my self-help mindfuckery. The motto of the couple bubble is: the couple comes first. Words I’ve lived by, what with my abandoning five children and you.

But really, the problem here isn’t my wandering dick, it’s my anxiety. And isn’t it nice to know that I’m searching the interwebz for a cure? That could help US? Like being together in a suspended gaseous globule?

(The UBT thinks your new cell phone name should be: Gaseous Globule.)

You were on my mind and I meant to send it to myself.

I always send myself improving articles. Have not seen any improvement, but I have them bookmarked just in case.

We don’t talk much now and I understand why.

I have no grasp of why my mindfuckery isn’t working on you. Could it be that we don’t talk much? What is this no contact? Oh, oops! I sent you a link about how you should create a sacred couple bubble that never holds anyone accountable for bad behavior. First Bubble Rule — NO ONE LEAVES THE BUBBLE.

I’ve been working on understanding and processing this in therapy, and this article came up in my research.

I am a learned scholar, not a creepy man-child with a hooker habit.

I’ve been working on understanding and processing how to break down your boundaries with therapy gibberish.

I’m sorry for a lot of things.

Just all the things. Whatever they are. Inflation. Smog. Split ends. I apologize. Sorry means never being specific.

I appreciate you bringing the kids today.

Thank you for bringing the kids. What a surprise. Whose kids are these? Do they have names?

I’m working on ways to make my time and space with them to be comfortable for them.

Do children live in time and space? Do the basic rules of physics apply? I want them to be comfortable. Do they require oxygen?

I really appreciate your feedback and insight for the children.

Which is why you have them 99.9 percent of them time.

Just so you know, my appointment with Blah (co-parenting life coach he found) is next Monday 6/21.

Blah has really improved my pick-up lines. “Nice tits!” or “If I could rearrange the alphabet, I’d put ‘U’ and ‘I’ together.” I paid $180 a hour for that! Works on the underaged.

Oh, wrong life coach.

Blah thinks I’m an awesome dad. I paid $180 an hour for his affirmation!

If you have any food, drink, snack suggestions for my place for the kids, will have those things on hand for them. Thank you.

Thanks to Blah’s trenchant guidance, I have recently learned that children eat and drink. But what? I must wait for our next session to find out. Meanwhile, perhaps you could advise.

Air? Moss? Do their needs cost anything? Presently, all my disposable income goes to Blah and sex workers.

Are you still there? Don’t burst my bubble!


Ask Chump Lady

Got a question for the Chump Lady? Or a submission for the Universal Bullshit Translator? Write to me at [email protected]. Read more about submission guidelines.
  • The “couple bubble” article was probably supposed to go to Schmoopie.

    In any case, it would be irrelevant after D-Day. Agreements that require mutual trust are not relevant to relationships in which trust has been broken.

    • Yes, it was clearly meant for Schmoopie. But why miss a chance to mess with Mighty Momma’s head?

      A while ago Ex sent me a text with kissy emojis asking for a recipe. I’m not into cooking (except for survival) but Schmoopie is. He then apologised. I ignored the whole thing.

    • Nah, he sent that to OP on purpose. That wasn’t meant for Schmoops.

      It’s one of those “Oops, I ‘accidentally’ sent you this article about relationships…but since you’ve seen it…”

      It was supposed to illicit a conversation about them, their relationship, etc. He was thinking she would see it, read it, and start talking to him. It’s a hoovering method. It was a hook to get her to start talking to him. That’s it. I had an ex who tried to pull the same shit.

      But of course, he’s a fuckwit so it didn’t work. Ignore is the best option with this crap.

      • I am with you. It is a charm channel tactic, “See, I have introspection now, I am reading a WOMEN’S therapy site all on my own” piece of bullshit. He could never be direct but instead he has to oopsy-daisy it and then follow up with an “I care about the kids food” line in there to appear to be all Good Dad about things.

        Manipulative crap.

        He doesn’t seem to know that if he hauls 5 kids to the grocery to pick out their own things and there loudly pretends to be the “fun, overwhelmed, so shiny and wonderful dad” in the store there certainly will be some chick watching who will give him her number, dreaming of a Yours, Mine and Ours fantasy future. I guess he hasn’t perfected using his kids as pussy bait yet, but he will.

      • It could have been written by my ex Fuckwit. Same sad sausage tone. People like me who take people at face value miss the obvious manipulation inherent in their witterings

        • Wittering: to talk for a long time about things that are not important

          Thanks ChumpDownUnder for a new favorite word!

          • love that word. I could have used it a few minutes ago for a twit of a (silver spoon) talk show host who was psycho-babbling on and on.

    • My first thought was also that he meant to send the article to someone else and now is covering is tail.

  • Priceless CL…”..I pay him $180 for the affirmation”…..,”it’s not my wandering Dick…it’s my anxiety.” ????????????

  • Lol at the “we don’t talk much”. I got that in a random email (several times now) from ex wife. She complained I don’t “communicate “ with her nor talk to her. Geez I wonder if fucking dozens of men, being caught on tinder, accusing me of DV, having me arrested, removed from home by social services and eerrr continued to cheat and cheat and now parental alienation might have a slight thing to do with it. Maybe I’m just imagining all that.

    The biggest thing that gets me with how horrid life is and can be is people like my ex wife get to live whilst little kids are dying of cancer and all the other horrors inflicted on innocent lives around the world whilst these pieces of trash just carrying on their day to day.

    • CNM…. Your X sounds like a verifiable monster. I’m so sorry you were abused by her.

      • She will forever be the biggest regret of my life. I beyond wish I had never met her and if I had listened to my gut instinct I’d had avoided all of this. She is beyond the biggest mistake I’ve ever made.

      • Meant to add:

        During the divorce and me leaving for my new home, she looked me in the eyes with sad puppy look and asked “I was a good wife for many years wasn’t I?”. I’m still speechless at that. It’s like she wanted validation or some mindfuk. Who knows.

        • I would have stared back, unblinking, and said “What the fuck kind of bullshit question is that?”

        • After leaving me and kids to move 3000 miles where he got an apartment, furniture, tv and had a double life with Schmoops, shortly before he died, he got a very proud look on his face and said “despite everything, I am glad I can look back knowing that I never left you”

          Never left?

        • CNL: Narcissists need validation. It doesn’t matter whether they deserve it or did anything to warrant it. They expect to be validated for taking a dump. They’re horrible people stuck in toddler mode. Everything is for them and about them.

        • My soon to be ex told me he was an amazing doting husband except for the affairs!! Really. And wrote me on our anniversary (last week) that he hopes we can one day look back with fondness and RESPECT a for all the great times in our marriage. ????????‍♀️

          • Lol wow, such a nuisance- affairs in monogamous relationship
            How about – leaving clothes in the bedroom? Not washing the dishes every night? Nope
            Cheating it is.????????????

        • Yes, she is/was crazy. Like my ex within; minutes after telling me he “dated” (out of a 20 year marriage) for the last ten years, had never loved me and had been unhappy for ten years. I was stunned and said “I loved and supported you our entire marriage” he said and I quote “I supported you too”. By support I meant that pretty much everything I did was to support what he wanted to do, get him his boats and including helping him get his coveted promotion, by community and political volunteering to exhaustion.
          In what world is committing adultery for almost an entire marriage, and not loving your spouse “supporting” them.
          I just stood there with my mouth agape, and fortunately he left.

          He got his, but still it was painful in real time.

        • Reminds me of a funny(?) mother’s day card I saw this year. On the front, a mother leans down to her eight or nine year old daughter and says, “I think I’ve been a pretty good mother to you, haven’t I, Barbara?” You open the card and the girl says, “My name is Amy.”

    • It’s awful but that last thought you expressed, I just had the other day. A married young nurse with three children tragically died in an accident and a friend posted the GoFundMe for the grieving family. It struck me as I was reading about her that this poor woman who was so loved by ger family and was a good and contributing member of society was tragically taken from the earth and yet FWs just mosey around using up oxygen. Life is random. Justice is never guaranteed and this is why we can’t hold our breath waiting for the karma bus. Their inauthentic lives suck as long as they live. Seems there is some truth to only the good die young. I had a grandfather who cheated on and physically abused my grandmother for the 42 years they were married. She died at only 62 and he lived to be over 90. It’s just sad.

      • That’s an awful thing to have happened to that young mother. A female friend I had growing up also tragically died in a car crash. The driver that killed them had diabetes and went hypo whilst driving and killed her and two others head on. She was 24 years old and had a toddler. Just awful stuff.

      • The difference in age at death doesn’t surprise me. Abusers suck every last drop of life out of the people they are abusing. It is a true life vampire story. The abused get weaker and weaker and develop illnesses that can kill them. They become less fun, more tired, helping the abuser to justify the abuse to themselves. The abuser, meanwhile, thrives on the abuse, getting new supply whenever they need it, either from the abused or elsewhere. I was a husk by the time ex left me (for ex gf but I didn’t find out about the affair for another 2 months and it has always been denied). I would sit in therapy sessions, with what was left of me rattling inside a dry husk of a body. Touch me and I would crumble into bits. There was an article in The Guardian (UK) yesterday about the physical reality of a broken heart caused by trauma. Betrayal kills, slowly, one cell at a time. It’s about time this reality was recognised by society. It’s not a joke, a bit of smut, a Carry On film.

  • Oh sure. Sure he accidentally sent her this “couple bubble” link. This master manipulator doesn’t do anything towards his ex wife accidentally. This cheater is missing his “pick- me-dancer”, LOOK I sent you a link that explains how you weren’t there for me when I decided to fuck other people. Get back in the bubble, bitch. And wife for me, make a list of snacks for your children because I sure as hell can’t be bothered to ask them. That is just manipulation too. This is all a stupid ploy to suck in his former wife. “See, she still cares, we talk all the time, we are friends.” This is just another attempt by a cheater to absolve himself of any responsibility. It is just another cheater attempt to polish his image.

    Mighty Momma, you are brilliant for recognizing this bullshit as just further manipulation. Thank you for sending his stupid little attempt to Chump Lady for the UBT to dissect. I love waking to the sound of Chump Lady’s 2×4 of Truth. Don’t be bullied by the co-parenting life coach. I suspect you are ready for any bullshit from that source too.

    • I “accidentally” sent a Chumplady article to the Douchecanoe and one to his flying monkey sister. Of course, I followed it up with the requisite “Sorry, wrong window.” I had no expectation they’d change their ways. I just wanted them to know the model I was following and why.

      I also purposely sent a Chumplady article to my young adult children so they would know that thousands of folks have rejected the cheater narrative and taken measures to protect themselves just as I had. Now that they’re in relationships themselves, they’ve told me they understand.

    • “Get back in the bubble, bitch.”

      ???????????????????? I shouldn’t laugh but that’s so on-point.

  • Ah, email mindfuckery on the top of bubble article mindfuckery.

    Years ago – Persephone, something is wrong with you. You’ve got trust issues and because you can’t trust you attract all those untustworthy men (self-help + societal claptrap).

    Persephone now (to herself) – Persephone, you’ve got no trust issues, t’s your healthy part telling you that this person can’t be trusted. No, you don’t need to let untrustworthy people in your life, it’s fine to reject people that you don’t like/ don’t feel comfortable with. You don’t have problems with trust, you have problems with untrustworthy people.

    The last sentence is from CN and one of the most healing sentences ever.

    • Persephone,


      A long haul getting here, decades, and now that I am finally seeing the light it is an interesting new walk into an unknown world.

      Perception is the only thing that has shifted…Indeed, ‘The truth will set you free but it will make you miserable first.’

  • He doesn’t know his own children’s favorite foods, drinks and snacks. That about says it all.

    • If he’s like my ex, his next message will be whining about how her lack of response is not good co-parenting. Co-parenting life coach – good grief! How about a coach that helps him be a better man and father and leaves her out of it.

    • If I had received this from klootzak and responded with a list of food and drinks, I would get a response criticizing everything I feed the child and sending articles about how I am poisoning him with non-organic foods, nitrates, artificial colors, or who knows what. Did I microwave something in plastic? Did I cook something on nonstick cookware? Did I feed kiddo ice cream under the light of a gibbous moon? Clearly I am unfit and he is superdad.

      I wouldn’t respond to this kind of question in a million years. It seems so simple but will easily be used as something to attack her or open the door to further unwanted dialogue.

      • My ex got upset at what *I* was eating. Like, if I had a nice meal, it meant I was starving our kid. Uh…

        • Food is a zero sum game? Wow. That’s a special kind of effed up thinking.

    • Not only does he not know what foods his children like, he’s unable to ask them. And too oblivious to guess. Seriously? There are five of them for goodness sake! Take a wild stab in any grocery aisle and you’re bound to hit on a few things. What a loser! He reminds me of my ex FW.

    • LOL, right?! This was my ex’s M.O. in the beginning…I think he thought it made him look like he was trying his hardest to be the Best Dad Ever. In actuality, it made him look like he had been an absentee dad with nary a connection to his kid. I eventually started responding with some basic answers (strawberries and cheese), followed immediately by “…but how do you not know this?! She’s your kid too. Where’ve you been that you don’t know these things?? Rhetorical.” He stopped asking these stupid questions real quick once he realized how bad it actually made him look and that his impression mgmt efforts had failed.

  • Yeah my ex appears to be between shmoopies as well.

    I’m suddenly getting carefully posed photos of him and the kid telling me what fun they are having on his parenting weekends. Like the kid doesn’t tell me the real deal when he gets home? “Fishing with dad? No I went fishing all day Saturday with grandpa and dad stood next to me for a picture when he got home later after grandpa and grandma and I went out to dinner. ” I don’t even bother to acknowledge them. I’m like, whatever dude. Throwing your son and I out of the house so you could move your 20 year old shmoopy in 5 years ago told me all I will ever need to know about your quality as a father.

    I only get this crap when he’s between women. Hopefully he will find another soon.

  • The couple bubble article was this clown’s not-so-clever attempt at getting Momma to do the pick-me-dance as well as pressure her into accepting cake. I can just hear it.

    “Oh, oopsie! Look it here! An article about how two people can be transformed into a LOVING COUPLE! Where ever did that come from? Oh, and what does it say? It says that of you want to be this magical perfect couple, all you have to do is NEVER EVER PUNISH ANYONE FOR THEIR ACTIONS, JUST SIT THERE AND KEEP BEING A LOVING WIFE AND PRESERVE THE RELATIONSHIP AT ALL COSTS NO MATTER HOW SHITTY YOUR MAN BEHAVES! That’s crazy, right? I can’t put my finger on it, but it kinds of reminds me of something… *casually gestures between the two* ”

    Mighty Momma, behind all the fake melancholy, the message is clear: He would like you two to get back together with the understanding that you will be his comfort/pleasure slave who will cheerfully wait on him hand-and-foot while he is allowed to do whatever he pleases.

    • The article doesn’t mention the couple keeping their genitals in the bubble and the genitals of other folks out. Probably written by a cheater.

  • I am surprised the UBT didn’t pop a sprog over the Jackass’s “anxiety.” She parents five children all but a few hours of the week, and he has anxiety? Of course, it is hard to spend too much time massaging your anxiety when you are trying to feed 6 people 3 times a day, makes sure everyone has at least one clean garment, and adequate toilet paper. Figuring out how Child 1 will get to and from sports practice while Child 2 and 3 are being transported to a birthday party and Child 4 is meeting a friend to work on a class project that Child 5 would like to “help” with but is too young to do much but create friction, might also cut into the “me” time one needs for anxiety, bubble articles, life coaches, and ego mania.

    Three cheers for “Mighty Momma” whose name is still a vast understatement!

    • You are too kind and very perceptive. Running our household and loving/ supporting the kids the past two years since D-day and then Covid has been daunting. His mention of his anxiety in the face of one of our kids being hospitalized for major depression is abominable, to say the least.

  • Eeeewww!

    I realized several months into a long-distance separation, that my marriage had a lot of “you’re on your own” and now the distance between was “you’re on your own” on steroids. Like a “good” wife, I tried for a year to patch things up, but that distance was a bigger message than anything else he said. I was going crazy with the kids, the house, friends/relatives who were asking questions, and trying figure out my own feelings and plans. He was absent from the chaos he created other than a phone call or email here-and-there. So after a year, I took reconciling off the table. There was a fundamental problem of disregard. His version of reconciling was for all of us to live where he now lives or to pick another place of my choosing. As if starting over in a new place would wipe the slate clean. I truly had no reason to believe at all that anything had fundamentally changed.

    Of course he didn’t own any of that, and we are divorced. The legal process drove every legal professional involved crazy because he had no regard for the law and repeatedly dug his heals in until there was truly nothing left to fight over two years later. His attorney kept telling mine to tell me that he felt sorry for me and was doing all he could to get it done.

    My therapist commented one time that certain individuals have a dream of what a good marriage looks like but are lacking in the skills to accomplish it. When we were engaged, a mutual friend who had known my ex since childhood expressed some concerns that way. Of course I blew it off. Decades later, here we are…thankfully I had no custody issues, so no ongoing contact.

    • “My therapist commented one time that certain individuals have a dream of what a good marriage looks like but are lacking in the skills to accomplish it.” This feels painfully true. Also, certain individuals’ ideas about what is a good marriage are so flawed it’s laughable. I realized a little too late that my ex’s idea of a good marriage is where the wife does all the housework and family work and marriage work and also brings in a good income…but not more than his or that’s threatening. Hard pass. But…that’s how he was raised. And, of course he’d want that…it completely benefits him!

      • Mine wanted a slave 100% devoted to his preferences and needs, plain and simple. He once told me that if he strayed, it was my fault. If I strayed, he would drop me like a hot potato. He was jealous of the kids, jealous of anyone I talked to other than him, jealous of my part-time work, etc. etc. I couldn’t win.

        I turned myself every which way and couldn’t please him, so then the contempt was laid on thick. Then the hints of an old girlfriend and wanting to “play” because of my failures.

        It was telling that after he left, I found myself not missing him. He had been so difficult and even cruel, that there was just a strange silence where he had been.

        I think in the divorce, he ultimately saw it as a way to set fire to anything good that we had and burn every bridge on the way out. I guess that made him feel vindicated somehow.

        • There is that little perverse gift of being grateful when they’re gone, instead of feeling forlorn and wanting them back. I had a similar experience. I was so exhausted by the time he left, I relished in the peacefulness of his absence. Now, it’s hard it’s hard to imagine that I ever lived in such daily stress.

  • Men who write things like this after leading secrets lives with sex workers for years deserve a special ring of hell. The audacity. The bottomless pit of self-absorption. He is a black hole of need, of lies, of manipulation. He is a whiney, feeble-minded leach, but much worse. He not only sucks the life out of you, he denies that he is soul sucking while he is actually doing it. Imagine people so warped that they are clueless about their own toxicity. Imagine someone who actually believes that the woman they married is stupid enough to fall for “whoops! I sent you this article by accident! But somehow in 5 years of leading a double life while married to you I managed not to accidentally send you the prostitute bills, my motel charges, the 387 sexts I sent to other women, or the lab results. I kept the mystery fluids and odors out of our sacred bubble all that time. Imagine that! Anyway, I’m such a good guy now that I am willing to procure snacks for my 5 kids! As long as you tell me which snacks to buy. Hey! Let’s talk about me some more. Me! Did you hear me say Me? Me! Me!”

  • Chumpety, that was my first thought too. Definitely says it all concerning his involvement in family life. I also think they vomit empty words that come into their heads. Let’s see…. I’m thinking kids, time with them, oh, I’m hungry! Thus a sentence about the kids and food is born because it shows my interest right?
    I got the bullshit about not speaking to him in court a couple months back. That was the last question his attorney put towards me. I haven’t spoken to him since 15 that I can remember and that was not even to him. It was with the child mediator. The ex was in the room dominating the time with bizarre rambling until the mediator said I’d been quiet and what do I have to add. I got one sentence and the ex interrupts and went into devaluing me.
    My therapist said I should have told the judge he was abusive and it’s not safe but I was confused about the question because it had nothing to do with his case against me. After the shock of having to be near him, I later realized that it was part of the driving force for his case but he couldn’t put she won’t talk to me in his filing.
    I had to think and asked what she meant. She said, “you know talk about life and the kids..” I said last time was parent mediation. She said, “so you haven’t spoken since 15?” I said – yes and it was over. That was the second time he was on the edge of his seat that day. I tried hard to look and speak directly to the judge but did catch glimpses. A mask can’t hide the dead angry eyes or body positions.

    • Also, when we were in court in 17 he fake cried that no one will talk with him. That was just before DS decided to interact with him.DD is no contact and changed her last name.
      NC must be hard on them.
      On the other hand I would be heart broken if no one would speak with me. They have no insight to actions and consequences.

  • His supply of schmoopies must have dried up. Since when does a serial cheater want to live in a bubble with one person. I can see why UBT feels like blowing a gasket.
    Him: “I am over here, my widdle self, yearning for a safe bubble…….oooooh, wait! Women! Millions of possible willing women. I’ll get back to you on that bubble thing.” You: “Shut up.”

  • I was watching a streaming program last night about deaths caused by needless, clueless actions of others. It occurred to me that the deaths were related to unbalanced attitudes about control and compliance. Entitled and privileged people feel they have the right to mind other people’s business, interfere with their lives, and order them to comply with their restrictions.

    So these self proclaimed kings of everything can observe something you are doing, or not doing, and accost you, sometimes with deadly force in hand, and demand that you stop and explain yourself to their satisfaction, and by the way assume a subordinate position while doing so. Be compliant and useful, and maintain a pleasing attitude. Even though they have no authority, or they are abusing authority. Because they are the boss of everything, and should never be responsible for anything they do, and they are just defending themselves from some possible harm you might be doing.

    When a controller wants you to be in a bubble, and never push him out, and act the way he wants you to act, while he has free agency to do anything he wants to do, and you have no right to question him (because, Bubble), and you just don’t want to go for a bubble ride, then you are guilty of not wanting the bubble to work. Imagine that!

    Since the dawn of time manipulative cons have used language to try to control our actions. No contact is our only protection. Use it wisely, and save yourself.

  • I’m sorry – I couldn’t read through my tears (from laughing) after this line “he hired a coach to teach him how to get women”


    Know how I caught mine? He was on an OPEN message board asking for advice on how to meet women!


    What a loser. As much as it hurt what I went through, I will always remember that I have never, NEVER needed advice on how to meet people because I am such a fucking loser who no one will talk to voluntarily.

    Here’s a tip: how about you stop spending all of your time on car message boards objectifying women? How about you try honesty, transparency and listening? How about you stop viewing women as having something you want and keeping it from you?

    Thanks for the chuckle, always good to remember who these pathetic losers are.

    • okay, okay, I read the rest of the article. I will say this: he seems to be demonstrating remorse and humility, those are good things. Don’t take the bait and don’t take him back but glad he’s working on himself and hopefully this translates into making things easier/better for both you and the kids.

      But no, his chance is over. Trust violated. Hope he takes these new lessons into the future with him.

  • MM: Where was that bubble when the two of you were married? Makes me want to kick him in the butt. Hard.

    • Too bad she can’t take a giant pin, pop that plastic bubble and let him suffocate in it. Alone ????

    • Thank you – me too! To say that I provided a safe supportive couple bubble for him for many years to accomplish a prestigious MBA, successful career, etc, etc is a massive understatement. I ambitiously propped this guy up to everyone everywhere. He chose to violate the bubble, not me.

  • Ah, the couple bubble… I was caught in this for almost a year after Mr. Sparkles discarded our family for the OW. I’d still “host” him and my two adult stepchildren (17yo an 18yo who were also living with us when he left) for dinner with me and our son 2-3 weeks and go to movies and what not on “visitation” weekends… but only when Mr. Sparkles couldn’t be with the OW. Talk about hopium and pick me dancing.

    12 months in, I got asked to join their couple bubble – can’t we all just get along – I declined. Another 12 months later she dumps him because she found out he was cheating on her.

    No worries, he had another woman from the CrossFit gym waiting in the wings… 6 months in to dating her, he again asked if I was ready for “bygones”… this time I declined because I knew I couldn’t watch him be covertly abusive to this new woman (see CL’s articles about NOT trying to tell future girlfriends/wives what they are getting in to – not your monkey, not your circus)… so I was not surprised when he proceeded to move in with her, buy a house with her, and has recently become engaged to her… all without telling me and how it impacts our son… no bubble, no adult exchange of information. It’s a conundrum

    Stay no contact, be the sane parent, avoid the couple bubble and live your own life. I assure you, the air in the bubble is toxic.

  • Be glad you’re not in the couple bubble with him. It sounds like being with controlling person. I feel/felt like I was living in a cage. My cage door my swing open a bit in a few day if we can successfully mediate.
    Did any of you all of a sudden become really sad and start regretting the decision? All of a sudden I feel myself falling back into old thought patterns. I think I’ve been “caged” so long it’s terrifying to step out.

    Back to the couple bubble, sounds like a trap, no couple and no bubble with him!

  • My problem with the RIC in general, and ideas like the bubble is that you have to believe you and your partner are both special people destined for love that will be denied to all the other people you know. (People who are at the party, but outside the bubble.) You also need to believe all past actions were “horrible mistakes that won’t ever happen again” to wipe the slate clean. It would also be helpful to believe the check is in the mail, and you will still be loved the morning after.

    If you are a normal functioning person, you know neither you nor your partner is perfect or special. Normal people have arguments, normal people do make mistakes, and normal people learn as they go. You cannot keep doing the same things and expect a different outcome. You don’t float around the room expecting all others to be envious of your special life. Life is gritty and real, and sometimes tedious. Life can be good, and enjoyable, and it is nice to have a reciprocal companion But dreams based on fairytales of “they lived happily ever after” are doomed. In my part of the country our marriage ceremonies usually address things that can happen (in sickness and health, for better or worse) and include “forsaking all others.” The bubble concept is just too nicey nice for me to believe, especially if all trust has been violated and all promises broken in the course of the relationship. Believe in the facts you know, and forget the fairytales. You might find a partner that has your back, but it won’t be the one who has already cheated on you.

    • Portia, you got to the root of it with your post. You’re exactly right. You see the big picture. After a betrayal, healthy people need to step back as far as they can and try to lift the veil from their eyes. Seeing reality is necessary. There is no healing without the truth, and the truth is that this kind of betrayal cannot be undone.

  • I’m an introvert so a “couple bubble” sounds incredibly claustrophobic to me. Especially now, just coming out of a pandemic year, I can’t imagine anything worse than being trapped in a bubble with ANYONE much less a covert narcissistic fuckwit. Aren’t we just now getting our lives “unbubbled”?
    On top of everything else that’s wrong with this dude he clearly doesn’t know how to read the room.

    • This article just seems like an obnoxious new-school way to say “connection, intimacy, loyalty, reciprocity, and accepting your partner for who they are.” Maybe those straight forward terms aren’t “cool” enough for the article’s audience, lol. Bubble does sound terribly isolationist.

  • LMAO, asking for recommendations on snacks. Dude has FIVE kids and no idea what to feed them. He has them once a week or every other? I’m sorry, Anyone could figure this out in ten minutes if they cared to. Does he never feed them in his 24hours? My guess is this, he feels that his life is so woeful now and he HAS to take his kids and try to be the good dad and that’s just not fair”stomping feet”. This is not an adult you’re dealing with. I can tell you this. If I ended up with very little time as he has with them, I’d be doing a lot more with it than feeling sorry for myself. Great material for the UBT, sorry you have to endure it though. And please, keep the no contact in place. It’s a sanity barrier.

  • Thank you, CL and the UBT! You nailed it as always! I can’t tell you how appreciative I am to have your support in calling out FW’s artful, manipulative BS for what it is – abuse. Thanks to all of Chump Nation for your posts and insights; you’ve been the daily boost I need to navigate this nightmare.
    Sorry, it took me so long to respond today – never a dull moment around here with kiddos shouting “Mom!” constantly – I hear someone even now!

  • Quick addendum regarding FW:
    He didn’t see his 5 school age kids on Father’s Day. He didn’t ask to see them, nor did he explain in advance why they wouldn’t be getting together. He was just MIA, maybe out of town, I think.
    On Sunday, my youngest daughter said – “it’s Father’s Day – I thought Dad would want to see us today” – to which I replied – yes of course you think that, he should. After acknowledging a moment of silence/grief, we made plans to go see our first movie post Covid as a family.

    • Mighty Momma, as a fellow-mother-of-five with a monumetal f*ckwit I can attest – the power of the silent mumhug in the face of f*ckwit casual cruelty to your children is beyond any words. And I KNOW how hard it is to bite back those harsh words about their father when he is hurting your children.

      Their contact with their father without my mediation exposed the reality of who he was and destroyed him in their eyes far more comprehensively than I ever could have. It sucked for them but truth is always better. And it came from him not from me.

      Yes, you are truly a Mighty Momma. I hope you had a great time at the movies!

  • Awesome, you’re doing great super mom!!! Don;t ever defend him, but also just maybe change the subject. Kids are smart and they’ll realize who the sane one is on their own. Going to the movies with popcorn and slushies saved the day!!! You can tell her when she asks at 30 why dad didn’t show, but I’m pretty sure she won’t ask that question as she’ll already know. Stay strong and be the best you!!

  • Interestingly, my ex has a bubble going on with the OW he left the marriage for 3.5 years ago. I think all his time without the kids is with her and only her. She has still never met his family, nor most of his friends (whose wives I know and no one has ever seen this woman). My kids have rarely seen this woman, and mostly it’s her stopping by for supper and leaving shortly after.

    I see his family more than he does. I see the wives of his friends more than he sees his own friends.

    It’s the bubble (and the further bubble that COVID has created) that I think has made the relationship last this long at all. After all, there has no been any actually testing of the relationship with real life adulting. They only see each other without kids, maintaining single life status with one another.

    If they actually tried to forge a life together, that would mean combining five kids. Her two oldest do not like my ex (I’ve heard through the grapevine). My kids know that this is the OW and don’t like her. It’s a matter of time before my kids let her kids know that that their dad cheated with their mother. Then, there is his very Catholic family and how she would have to face them. None of them are too keen on ever accepting an adulterous relationship. Plus, the entire family is very highly educated. Every woman has a Master’s degree (every single one of them). Conversations are about politics, literature, faith. People I’ve spoken to who know this woman have all described her as not being very bright.

    The “bubble” is a huge red flag. If after several years the person you are with has not let you in to all aspects of his life to allow you to see him in every element, then time to move on. He’s using you for his own gain without actually investing in you.

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