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I Unfriended Him

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no contactDear Chump Lady,

I unfriended and unfollowed my cheating husband on Facebook and Instagram. Apparently, he just found out and sent me this text, “You really unfriended me?”

How should I respond?

Thanks,

Kathy

Dear Kathy,

You should not respond. Welcome to no contact, Grasshopper.

No contact is a discipline. You’ll get the hang of it. You don’t owe him your attention or a defense for your boundaries.

Apparently he wants some explanation for this abrupt interruption to his kibble supply. What? You don’t want to admire the steak dinner I had with Schmoopie? My shirtless selfies? My artful still-lifes of bike skeletons?

No.

You really unfriended me?

You really cheated on me?

“You really unfriended me?” is the mindfuck set at the self-pity channel. You’re the baddie, unfriending him. It’s classic It’s Not What I Did, It’s Your Reaction To It. Aka DARVO (deny, attack, reverse victim offender).

Because you have a conscience, and don’t want to inflict harm on anyone, especially your partner, you’ll feel shame and second-guess yourself about “hurting” him with your boundaries. Having a heart makes you easier to manipulate. This isn’t an argument against having a heart, I’m just pointing out how it’s easier to mindfuck people who care. It’s okay to protect your heart, and your social media feed.

What he’s hoping for is a pick me dance performance where you apologize. Explain. Defend. Restore the toxic power dynamic of His Kibble Needs Are Very Important, yours not so much.

So, nuh-uh. Don’t do it.

no

I will permit you, however, to imagine how you would respond.

“You really unfriended me?”

Dear Cheating Husband,

I am confused by your inability to understand this basic function of unfriending. I had assumed you were adept at social media, what with the dozens of pictures of your business trip fuckfests and clandestine Facebook messaging.

While your second cousins, former associates, and Schmoopie may “like” your feed, I choose to unsubscribe.

The cognitive dissonance of who you actually are (a man with male-pattern baldness and even spottier character) and who you present yourself to be (a virile douchebag posing next to a boat he doesn’t own / a family man with child props / a guy who can afford a steak dinner…) is exhausting.

You cheated on me. We are not friends. I’m saving my feed for more worthy content like novelty socks and colostomy bag ads.

Consider yourself untagged from my life.

Kathy

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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.
  • Who unfriended whom?
    Not unlike debating who is responsible for the divorce:
    The one who files
    or
    The one who breaks the wedding vows?

    • I remember this one.

      My XW had a years-long affair; gave me the ILYBINILWY speech; told me she could never love me again; moved out of the marital bed; pointblank refused marriage counselor’s request to spend 60 days working on the marriage; (also, unbeknownst to me, her AP had already left his family after telling his wife that he loved mine); finally we had a conversation where we agreed that we would not maintain a fake loveless marriage “for the kids”. I said, very tentatively, “well, it seems like the only option is to divorce”.

      XW threw this in my face for years afterwards, saying “I’m not the person who used the word ‘divorce’ first”. Because, you know, it’s the act of uttering those two syllables that doomed our marriage – not her active pursuit of its destruction in concert with her affair partner, while refusing the slightest hint of reconciliation.

      I’m not even all that angry about it now because I can see that if I hadn’t used those words she would have found some other excuse to make it my fault. However, it does remind me that she will find some way to justify anything she wants to do, which frightens me. She’s said “I would never try to take the kids away from you” and I’m sure she will believe that up until the day she wants to move, and then she’ll find some reason why *I* am forcing her to take full custody. She would find a way to break her promise and screw me over, and still honestly believe that it was all my fault.

      • I remember asking my ex wife when she thought she would finally move out of the house, since she already had the keys to her new hous for a couple of weeks.
        She responded “you really want me out of your life as quick as possible, don’t you?”. She didn’t consider that I was living out of a suitcase, switching friends to stay with for already 4.5 months…
        They really think they are the center of the universe

        • GuideDog, same. Mine was set to move overseas anyway, so I didn’t make him move out for the two months between DDay and his flight, so he could be with the kids – and told him this very clearly. He spent the time at home (more than ever before) following me around and trying to make me hug him (I had to ask him to vacate doorways and let me pass). At one point he said “I feel like you’re just waiting for me to leave.” I just looked at him and said, “Yup.”
          In the 2+ years since he left and returned, his narrative has been that I “changed” after he left (I filed after 4 months of useless virtual marriage counseling). I’m not even sure what he’s trying to accuse me of, but it’s preposterous. I guess they just have to create some narrative that makes the Chump the disordered/mean one, because they can’t accept that someone wouldn’t want to be with wonderful them.

      • I hope you have a lawyer on alert who can help you be prepared and two steps ahead for the day she tries to mess with custody. Abusers assure their victims “I would never do X” (when X is something a decent person would not do, like hitting you, or trying to take your kids away) because they are ALREADY thinking about doing X. Then they’ll gradually escalate their behavior until they are in fact doing X, or they’ll do other things and self-righteously tell you they didn’t actually do X so you have no right to complain.

        • Yep. Two years ago XW told me she had a job offer on the other coast; would I consider moving as well, and (by the way, in case I thought this was a friendly heads-up) she had already retained counsel. I dropped $5k to retain a lawyer immediately. (Turns out that this plan was wildly impractical for a number of reasons, but XW needed me visibly involved to make the threat of moving more plausible, as her ultimate goal was to use it to get a raise at her current job. Kind of a bummer that I paid $5k and spent weeks worrying about the strength of my custody case just to enable my XW to get a raise).

          Due to timing, I know that XW was actively pursuing this job while literally promising me that she had no intention of leaving town, and telling me I was stupid for being concerned about my legal position in a potential custody case. This is just one of many reasons I don’t trust anything she says. It makes it very hard to coparent, to be honest.

          • IG,
            Your XW sucks.
            This is just a friendly opinion, not worth the cost of a cup of coffee
            Your patience still amazes me. Your kids are so lucky to have one sane, reasonable parent.

      • It’s truly bizarre how they think. My ex wife said “you’re the one who left us”. Despite her cheating with dozens of men and continued to do so even when caught and framed me for DV and had me arrested and the removed from home by social services and made homeless but I’m the one who left since it was me who filed for the divorce. Olympic gold medalist for mental gymnastics.

        • Yeah, I got the “you’re the one who left me, I didn’t leave you” line by my ex. I asserted to him that when you cheat on your wife for years, lie, steal marital assets for hookers, that’s the definition of leaving your wife.

          • I agree, FKA. He murdered the marriage. Once I found out the relationship was dead (only took me 11 years…), I then handled the estate. Simple. I am now proud of the fact I filed, he can continue to bottom-feed pity points out of it all he likes.

      • I was blindsided by XW’s request for divorce, until I discovered her ongoing affairs. She wanted me to file for divorce. Still being shell shocked and smoking hopium at that point, I refused. Only later I realized she was trying to preserve some kind of distorted pretense of me being at fault by being the one to do the filing. Preserving her good girl image was paramount. (Her AP took her to church the morning after their drunken hotel fuck fests) Her family bought it, but nobody else did.

      • Would she *honestly* believe it was all your fault?, or absolutely know what she was doing, and just hope she’d convinced *you* to believe it was all your fault ?

        • I think she really believes it’s my fault. But – if I’m honest – I have given her the benefit of the doubt over and over again, and I’ve basically been wrong every time.

          For instance, I knew XW was having an affair and I knew she’d hidden it from me for years … but I still could not conceive that she would be having an affair with a married man. I just couldn’t imagine that she would destroy *another* family. I was absolutely gobsmacked when my kids returned from Thanksgiving with XW and AP and reported that he was still married to someone else. Maybe I’m still being naive about her true nature, even now.

          • Sometimes I think the married cheaters deliberately choose to cheat with another married person because they are shallow people looking for a shallow, temporary, secret fling; and they figure it will keep the relationship shallow and secret if they are both committed elsewhere.

      • No she doesn’t honestly believe its all your fault she knows its her fault. Shes doing damage control so she can try and make you out to be the bad guy. Smear campaign. They are totally twisted and self absorbed. Bat S*** crazy. You seem like a nice normal guy.

        • Agreed. My x tried to make the claim that we both made “mistakes” that caused the demise of our marriage. I challenged him with answering what on Earth could I have possibly done. He stood there for at least 2 minutes. Finally, he came back with how I cleaned and cooked so much that I didn’t have time to pay him any attention. To which,, I informed him that he must have really reached far to come up with that one. Trust me, they know it’s all their fault. Lol, Karma is a MFer, cuz she saddled him with an affair partner who never cleans or cooks. Not only that, but the kids have told me she rarely showers, and they fight over that…and the dirty home.

          • Due to FW’s escalating physical and psychological abuse, I had to leave my home abruptly for my own safety. This, after FW had begged me to come back so he could prove his love and make me happy after all the pain he’d caused. Such mindfuckery: “Close your eyes and open wide… so I can cram a shit sandwich down your throat!”

            His response to everything, the next day (I was unable to sleep or lift my arm because of the serious shoulder injury he’d given me, and was living at a friends place with only a backpack’s worth of belongings): “We’ve both hurt each other in inimaginable ways.” I was fucking furious. I wish I’d understood NC. Continuing to engage with that POS only prolonged my misery.

      • This is a great description of the mindfuck. And then when we assume the worst about them (yes they will take the kids) they act all confused and offended. Like they honestly don’t know what they ever did to make you think that.

        Ex was so confused when I didn’t want to chat at kid’s hockey game. Idk, maybe because you wrote all kinds of demeaning stuff about my career and submitted it to the court? Maybe because you wrote a proposed agreement that had you paying child support for one year (not even legal)?

        When fuckwit was still processing the idea that someone would actually want to divorce his wonderfulness, I pointed out that he had taken a vow “forsaking all others.” He yelled back, “well YOU said till death do us part!” I’m sure he was just trying to blame shift but my lawyer said that could definitely be a threat. I don’t bother with those kind of conversations anymore but keep it in the back of my mind. As infuriating as their entitlement is, sometimes you just have to stand back and let them dig their own grave.

    • Preach! That who is responsible for the divorce crap nearly killed me. My ex told me he hated me, he had never loved me, he fantasized about killing me, all kinds of nasty things. And then he wouldn’t leave the house or file and expected me to keep cooking for him. He even said he expected us to live together for the remainder of the lease, which was 8 months! I was sleeping with my door locked and a gun under my pillow and had a bag packed in my car so I could escape quickly just in case he decided to act on all those fantasies he had about murdering me. I literally made videos about if I end up dead, my husband did it and gave them to family members. It was like a horrifying lifetime movie but it was my actual life.

      So I filed and made him move out and went no contact with him. I don’t need “friends” who want to murder me. And he went whining to mutual friends, “Why is she so upset? She’s the one who wanted the divorce! All I did was give her what she wanted!”

      And they all bought it. I tried to tell one about what he had said and she wrote me off as dramatic. I’m the one who divorced, it’s all my fault, I have no right to be hurt by anything because I broke up my family. This was my choice. It was a hardcore mindfuck at a vulnerable time in my life. I hate that people do this to people who have to divorce due to abuse. It’s so evil. But also so common.

        • Agreed. It helps me believe myself, for that matter. The gaslighting, spackling, double life, and the sudden and major life transitions – it’s all still surreal. Oh, and the pandemic. There’s that!

      • Katie, I can empathise. He’s the victim. The fact that I divorced him on unreasonable behaviour grounds (UK) is meaningless. He had the 10+ affair with the ex. He financially lied to and cheated on me. He used me shamelessly to build up equity in the home, so that he would have a lovely pot of money to move on with when he decided to ramp up the discard. He was cruel, abusive, frightening, and an alcoholic. But he was the victim. Mutual friends were told by him ‘I want to talk to her but she won’t talk to me’. Why would I talk to him. He did not have my interests on his radar let alone in his heart. And the ex was in his ear all the time. He dismissed 26 years of my life as worthless. He ‘couldn’t think of anything he liked about me’. Why would I ever want anything to do with anyone who did that to me ever again? I hope that special place in Hell is warming up for him and the ex. And I hope that Hell is a place on earth for both of them. I wish nothing good for them or his family. If that makes them victims, I can live with that vision happily. Let them be victims, victims of themselves and their bad character to the end of time.

      • You do not need people in your life who believe those lies. He’s his own best advertisement. They will figure him out but in the meantime you get on with your life away from all of them. You’ve got this one life to find the joy in it and leave that bunch of yahoos behind.

        • Oh, I left them far behind. The conversation about me being dramatic was the last straw and that was only a couple weeks after the divorce. I have zero mutual friends with him since then.

          • Funny story. A couple that I do not know personally (friend of a friend of a friend) were divorcing due to the husband’s cheating. The husband was good looking, successful and had charisma. Typical narc. The wife from what I hear was lovely but had finally had enough. Another couple they were friends with sided with the husband and were frankly quite cruel in their discard of this woman (chump). They told the chump they would no longer be associating with her and she should understand. Very smug like. The chump then said that was fine and dandy with her but they should know her ex’s opinion of them…her ex said the wife (of the couple) was a fat ugly pig and how so & so (the husband) could stomach her was mind boggling (I’m giving the gist of the story) but then again the husband was a complete bozo and I guess she made some detailed comments that basically verified this came from the ex. The ex was a chronic backstabber so what the chump said was all true. I’m guessing it took the wind out of that couples sails…

        • Anyone who would believe my ex doesn’t really know me. That was a helpful epiphany. And if someone doesn’t care enough to reach out to me with genuine concern, let alone stand by me and show support, then I really don’t want that person in my life, either. Aside from the sweet older neighbors and family friends, I do not have any remaining “mutual friends.” This has been bad enough that any decent person, anyone who cares about me, would not have wanted to continue to be friends with my ex. He’s a physically and emotionally abusive lying, cheating dirtbag who destroyed my life and then, sitting pretty, pretended he was the victim. Few people know the full story, but everyone knows enough to know that he sucks and I got totally fucked over. It’s dishonest, dishonorable, and unforgivable. Literally criminal.

    • #metoo. XW refused to stop cheating, didn’t want to fix the marriage, wanted me to rent an apartment for her to set up a love nest while she “found herself” (she kept looking in other guys trousers), said she might go to therapy only to facilitate a “friendly” divorce.

      So I filed. Then she tells anyone who is stupid enough to listen “Quantum gave up on us”, “Quantum didn’t fight for me”, “He wants the divorce”. I’m pretty sure she has a monogrammed bench waiting for her in hell.

    • The FW claimed I broke up with him. I never let him get away with that narrative – I told him he left the relationship the first time he texted her. I just finalized what he started. In fact I gave him the revised timeline of our relationship, in which it ended July 2019 when he first started seducing her. I know that made him consider it differently.

  • Perhaps the best response would be to block him on your phone too. If that doesn’t get the point across I don’t know what will.

  • And as a person with an ostomy bag, I can attest, such ads are MUCH more interesting, useful, and worthwhile on the planet than any cheater, and that’s a fact! 😆

    Seriously, though, CL nails it square: “You don’t owe him your attention or a defense for your boundaries.”

    Nobody is entitled to any part of you. What you give from the heart is a gift. Hell, what you give out of a sense of ethics or duty is a gift. People who abuse you, they don’t deserve your gifts, full stop. The fact that their gums, literal or virtual, are flapping does not entitle them in any way to a response from you.

    If YOU see purpose and importance in responding (coparent dropoff time and place agreement, for example), then YOU decide whether to respond and to what degree. If the cheater asks five questions and four are BS, you can answer just the one and ignore the BS.

    You don’t owe him your attention or a defense for your boundaries. Period.

    • The saying “you don’t owe anyone anything” gets used far too liberally. However, it is absolutely true here. I think about the lack of reciprocity, reparations and consent, false promises, trampled boundaries and broken agreements involved in infidelity. In the face of tenacious, patient, generous love and loyalty. A chump doesn’t owe a cheater anything. The cheater *should* be forever indebted to the chump he/she harmed. Even if my ex was truly remorseful and compensated for my financial losses, there are some things he did to me/took from me that will never be righted or healed. And think about chumps who’ve had 40 years stolen… there’s no adequate repayment. Alas, entitlement is at the root of the cheating, and it’s the reason we never get what we deserve when it all comes crashing down.

  • He unmarried you, and he’s offended at a Facebook-unfriend? Entitlement at his finest. If you don’t have kids with him, you should block his phone number, too. Either way, don’t respond to rude or demanding messages from an ex.

  • Lol! Perfect.

    In my imagination it would not be quite so polite, because I am a big meanyhead.

    Fuckwit; “You really unfriended me?”

    Kathy; “I unmarried you too. Suck on that, bitch.”

    Kathy, it’s tempting as hell, but not worth it to get a dig in. Ignore and block. All communication should be through your lawyer, a family member or a friend, not direct. If you need to communicate about kids or finances and fuckwit balks at indirect methods and refuses to cooperate, his missives can go to an email you don’t use for any other purpose and can choose only to look at when you are feeling strong. Just email him from it and say it’s your new email address, leaving out the part about how you may not even see his bullshit. He’ll likely stop sending whiny complaints eventually if you consistently ignore them. You need to take these measures to insure that he can’t manipulate you and intrude on your glorious fuckwit free peace.

  • I unfriended. One of our mutual friends (I assume my sister-in-law) takes screenshots and sends them to him.

    There’s nothing about him in my posts. He’s not a part of my life other than that he’s the father of my children. I never mention him. There’s absolutely nothing to hide

    But, it amuses me that he thinks there is something to hide so his flying monkey does it. He told my son what was going on, I presume so I would respond and throw a fit. I just shrugged. Okay whatever floats your boat.

    • My two cents: unfriend and block anyone (like in-laws and Switzerland friends) who might be reporting your stuff to ex. No relationship is worth that.

      I like my SIL. But she hasn’t reached out to me recently. So, it’s probably time for me to unfriend her. And I have nowhere near the evidence you seem to have, Swisschump.

      All best to you!

      • I blocked the FW and all our mutuals after 1 Switzerland friend sent him a screenshot. That’s all it took. I have enough friends.

    • Same thing happened to me. I unfriended everyone connected with him (even some of my family members) and blocked a number of people. I set my feed to super private and actually stopped posting anything for about a year, so even if he had someone spying on me, there would be nothing to see.

      He killed himself about a month ago. It’s weird to no longer feel like I’m constantly being watched.

      • With his final act, he made that story even more untellable to the average person who might absurdly judge you as “heartless” for recounting the story dry-eyed.

        So strange being made to live through things few understand or are objective about and which no one really wants to hear about or be reminded exist. We are burdened with someone else’s ugly secrets and at risk of being tainted by them.

      • Holy crap! ISTL, I also minimalised my presence on social media because he’d stalk and mindfuck me well after we broke up (up to a very bad level). I have to admit I’m still super aware of posting in public groups (which sometimes I really need to) because it feels like he’s still hunting on me, even though in reality this might not be true. (He’s busy with his sparkling new life, of course.)

        I have come to think I really no longer want to exist for him, and that it’s too bad he still physically exists, as I don’t want to ever run into him again, and he’s taken my carelessness about social media. But then what if suicide truly happens? I very much agree with what Hell of a Chump says, but also it could feel like a very macabre karma bus. I tend to think the ugly secrets you keep with you, whether he’s alive or not.

  • A list of possible answers to “You really unfriended me?”:

    “Yes.”

    “Yes. And blocking because apparently I have to do that too now.”

    “You cheated on me. We’re not friends.”

    “BEEP…The person you have cheated on is no longer in service, please fuck off and do not attempt contact again.”

    *confused black man meme*

    *Kermit drinking tea meme*

    Or simply just don’t respond at all. Get the point across by blocking with no other words.

  • No Contact is a daily practice. I think about how animals mark their territories to claim their space. No Contact is a mental exercise akin to marking those boundaries.

    No, I will not speak to you. No, I will not put you back in my phone. No, I will not accept messages you send using an adult son as a courier. No, I will not look at pictures of you. No, I will not have reminders of your presence in my home. Then I circle around and mentally trot home feeling slightly safer from his abuse.

    No Contact created the space for me to back up and see LTC Fuckface as he truly is, a dishonorable lying, cheating abusive user. No Contact made it possible to escape his clutches. When he can’t mindfuck me, leaving me bewildered and wounded, I can heal.

    I went Nuclear Winter No Contact. He has been reduced to sending me a postcard via the US Postal Service. Which I promptly sent to my lawyer. Then I disinfected my mail box.

    I love NO Contact.

    • I love your analogy! I also went nuclear winter and got a Personal Protection Order within a couple weeks of DDay for his so far nonviolent (thankfully), but nonconsensual attempts at contact- finding me at the park, following me to my car, catfishing me on facebook etc. Disinfection complete!

  • Dear Kathy,
    Welcome to CN and glad for your mightiness here.
    Why over complicate the matter? Do as CL says— no contact, remember he sucks. Sounds easy? No it’s not. But, the rewards come like crops as long as you tend it. No contact, remember he sucks.

    Social Media is a bio-weapon for FWs and Twu Wuvs— in order to keep those organism tingly, these freaks need to parade the lie for all to see— especially you. Why? Because when you’ve had your fill and can’t take it anymore and you check their feeds, you are going to do something you regret but gives FW and Twu Wuv ecstasy as never experienced before— it will never stop until FW cheats on the next etc.
    Would you follow R Kelly’s feed? Why follow something just as vile, you EX?
    Don’t engage with these freaks. Let them do their thing and No Contact remember he sucks.
    Xioba Xioba

  • My husband and I decided to call it quits today because he still have feelings for his girlfriend with whom he cheated on me for 2 years. He cried and hugged me while i comforted him. Then he left and ran straight to tell her. She emailed me asking what’s going on because she didn’t believe him. So my husband messages me and asks me to confirm to her that its over.
    The end of 7 years of marriage and all he can think about is getting her back and asking me for help.
    So i told him now that he has everything and i have done what he wanted, which was a little insensitive, I dont have anything left to say to him and he shouldnt contact me. He then launches into a rant of self pity of how cruel he is.. how he cant think straight.. how guilty he feels and so on and so forth. By then i had had enough and told him not to contact him again. He desperately calls me to not cut him off.. crying.. till i am comforting him again.. and made me promise that i wont block him or cut him off. Idiot that I am.. cant see him in pain so i promised to read his messages and pick up when he calls. Then he went right back to talking to her.

    • Hello Sherry and welcome to CN,
      Do as CL says.
      No contact and remember he sucks.
      He cried to you then ran and put his dick in his girlfriend’s… why waste your life with that garbage?

      No contact. Remember he sucks.

      Do as CL says and your life will open up and broke awesome.

      Xioba Xioba

    • Sherry – NO CONTACT STARTING NOW (or gray rock for kids/shared business). Read all Chump Lady articles regarding early days starting with What Not to Do. See bottom of home page.

      If it makes you feel better, there’s NO DOWNSIDE to no contact. You can begin to clear your head, he can’t mindfuck you or triangulate you with girlfriend.

    • Sherry, this is your moment.

      He’s at his most desperate state for the moment, so I say gather the strength you have and strike for a generous settlement ASAP (if those things still need sorted).

      He wants you to confirm to the OW the marriage is over? Nothing says over quite like divorce papers.

      Then once the finances are settled and signed, Blockity book BLOCK!

    • Sherry so sorry you’re here. The early days are the toughest and you’re at your most vulnerable. He knows this and is trying to capitalized on it. Please please don’t be the shoulder he cries on. He and his girlfriend conspired against you. He will very likely conspire against you in the divorce proceedings, preying on your pain and big heart in order to screw you out of what is rightfully yours. Don’t make any more promises.

      In the words of my very wise attorney “it’s not a him you’re dealing with now it’s a them, and you don’t know them.” And you also don’t owe them anything, especially your kindness. Sending hugs and energy to get through one day at a time.

    • OMG. OMG! Your cheater is actually asking that you help him out with his girlfriend and needs you to be available to comfort him as needed. This is just so sick. You need to go no contact immediately and block BOTH of these cheater asswipes.

    • Hugs Sherry. What a tough time.

      However genuine he seems, they are crocodile tears. Anything to keep the drama and attention swirling around himself.

      How convenient that his promises to you mean nothing and can be broken, but he makes YOU promise not to stop showing up for his abuse.

      Stop hurting yourself to help him. You are the one who needs love and care and support! He fired you. You wouldn’t go back to a job that fired you and work there for free, or call and chat with your old boss and give him business advice.

      He put the boundary between you. Boo hoo if he would rather everyone swoon and worry over him.

    • Oh Sherry, what a horrible day. I’m sorry you’re going through this painful situation.

      I agree with the others who have said now is a time to get a favorable divorce settlement. My ex was so eager to start his life with schmoopie that he was willing to agree to a lot of things in my favor. It was hard, but I played nice through the divorce process, and it paid off in the end. Grey rock once the papers were signed.

      Sending you love and the courage to muster your mighty. It’s in there, and we’re here for you. Good luck!

    • Wow, what a monumentally creepy man-baby. You can break that promise. After all, he broke his vows.
      Making you feel sorry for them is just a trick they employ to keep you around in case it doesn’t work out with schmoopie. Don’t be his plan b. Block and ignore.

    • Tried to change the interactions this way. Every time you have to talk to him it’s like he’s shooting you. Every time you have to read a text or email it’s like he stabbing you. Then look down at all the bullet holes and stab wounds you have and you will understand the damage it’s doing to you by interacting with him.

      • Yes, leaving isn’t enough. I was terrified to cut ties (bargaining stage of grief/survival mode are apt), but continuing to engage was a downward spiral and every communication made my life and mental state worse. Furthermore, resisting No Contact/Grey Rock is a red flag that you’re still vulnerable, even if you think you’re fed up and safely out! Abuse is a cycle and while you may feel like you’re fighting to regain some amount of respect and control and “love,” any progress is temporary and phony. Stick around too long, you risk allowing yourself to be Hoovered… and the cycle begins again. We’re in your team, Sherry! Take care of yourself.

  • My husband and I decided to call it quits today because he still have feelings for his girlfriend with whom he cheated on me for 2 years. He cried and hugged me while i comforted him. Then he left and ran straight to tell her. She emailed me asking what’s going on because she didn’t believe him. So my husband messages me and asks me to confirm to her that its over.
    I do that.
    The end of 7 years of marriage and all he can think about is getting her back and asking me for help.
    So i told him now that he has everything and i have done what he wanted, which was a little insensitive, I dont have anything left to say to him and he shouldnt contact me. He then launches into a rant of self pity of how cruel he is.. how he cant think straight.. how guilty he feels and so on and so forth. By then i had had enough and told him not to contact him again. He desperately calls me to not cut him off.. crying.. till i am comforting him again.. and made me promise that i wont block him or cut him off. Idiot that I am.. cant see him in pain so i promised to read his messages and pick up when he calls. Then he went right back to talking to her.

    • Sherry – NO CONTACT STARTING NOW (or go gray rock for kids/shared business). Read all Chump Lady articles regarding early days starting with What Not to Do. See bottom of home page.

      If it makes you feel better, there’s NO DOWNSIDE to no contact. You can begin to clear your head, he can’t mindfuck you or triangulate you with girlfriend.

    • Keep coming back.

      My sincere condolences.

      Remind yourself…he doesn’t care AT ALL about causing you horrific, terrible, awful pain. And anyone who cheats with someone is an idiot for thinking the cheater is a prize.

      If I were buying a used car, I wouldn’t buy one with glaring obvious major defects.

      Wonderful people don’t cheat with married/committed people, and wonderful married/committed people don’t cheat.

      It takes a very long time for that to sink in. Coming here every day has been essential for my healing.

      ❤️

    • You are, right now, out of your mind.

      Block or Mute him on phone, text and social media. If you have kids, use a parenting service like Our Family Wizard. Put “DO NOT CALL, TEXT, or PICK UP as his contact name in your phone.

      YOU SHOULD NOT BE COMFORTING YOUR ABUSER.

    • Oh Sherry, that’s what I’d call a bad day. Don’t worry, we’ve all been there, but the good news is now is your chance to get rid of that dead weight. The shock makes us do crazy things. You don’t owe him anything. He made his bed, now he needs to sleep in it. What he deserves is a big fat helping of CONSEQUENCES. Block the hell out of him and start getting your ducks in a row. Good luck. Take a deep breath, it’ll be OK.

    • Oh Sherry, I am so, so sorry. My heart goes out to you on your totally super-crap day. I understand the choices you’re making in shock, I remember feeling the same way. But listen to the wise words of CN, and protect yourself, because he will not. Now is the time to get a good divorce settlement, and work your way towards grey rock as fast as you are able (a good therapist helps). It’s how you heal, and you have every right to healing after what’s been done to you. Please stop making promises that only help him. It’s time you start thinking about you, and what you need.

  • This reminds me of THE DAY AFTER DDAY… WHEN FW WALKED OUT AND MOVED DIRECTLY IN WITH HIS COWORKER (leaving me and our 9 year old son)…. And then he called the police on me that night for good measure.

    Yes, the day after all that… he emailed an article to me about the Chicago Cubs making the rookie players go to the Starbucks across from Wrigley field to do coffee runs. I was still in trauma (clearly!) but responded “I think you sent this by mistake.” He responded with something like “no, I thought you’d enjoy this. We can still be friends.” And I answered “are you insane? You cheated on me and left us. We are not friends.” And he was served with divorce within 2 weeks.

    Now I wouldn’t respond at all. (Ok, I lie. I’d probably respond with a meme of someone like the actor from Dawson’s Creek putting an L on their forehead)

    Let it go. You unfriended him. He’s an idiot. No response.

    • Oh my god, MichelleShocked. I got those, too. Immediately following horrible rages and heartless discards. Sick joke or totally unaware? Freaked me out… almost psychopathic.

      • Right??! I think that they wear the mask for so long, that even when they are unmasked they think they can still manipulate and gaslight you.

        When FW left, he felt all powerful and like he was in the drivers seat. The day he sent me a “cute article,” I sent an email to his bosses letting him know that FW had run off with his coworker and abandoned us.. And served him within 2 weeks for adultery. I remember my own therapist said “wow. You took back your power immediately.” <> I guess I did. But I was falling apart and in major trauma. Just in survival mode.

        All I knew was for me, it was like when Dorothy sees the man behind the curtain is actually a weak old man. There’s no way to get her to close that curtain and believe in the false Wizard again.

        FWs mask was off but he was still trying to say “pay no attention to that man behind the curtain!” Creepy ENTITLED manipulative idiots. They think they can still control you and “be friends” — um nope.

        • “ All I knew was for me, it was like when Dorothy sees the man behind the curtain is actually a weak old man. There’s no way to get her to close that curtain and believe in the false Wizard again.

          FWs mask was off but he was still trying to say “pay no attention to that man behind the curtain!” Creepy ENTITLED manipulative idiots.”

          ^^^
          That’s totally it. Basic bitches. Just more evidence that cheaters are total idiot and not at all how we imagine them. FW cranked out some Friday Challenge-worthy material from those days. I would show my sister because I needed someone to witness the lunacy with me. We would laugh but it was outrageously fucked up.

        • Yes! Mine did this too! Right after telling me how much he hated me and smirking at me “Sorry for wasting your youth” he sent me a video of music videos with my face plastered on people like Britney Spears and Katy Perry. I sat in a grocery store parking lot and sobbed while calling my best friend and asking, “Why is he doing this? Is he a fucking psychopath?!” And she was all yes, he’s a psychopath! He’s a sick fuck!

          You’re so right about the mask coming off but them thinking they can still manipulate us. Mine told me how the divorce was going to happen and what I would get and how he was so nice to give that to me and was stunned when I said no, that’s not how the law works. This is what I’m entitled to. This is what my lawyer says. He was completely shocked he had no control over me anymore. Like dude, I know you’re a sick fucking psychopath now. I’m not going to fall for your nice guy bullshit ever again. I saw your gooey, rotten middle. I can’t unsee that.

  • “Apparently, he just found out and sent me this text, “You really unfriended me?””

    Wait until he gets a load of the other ways in which you will (hopefully) initiate No Contact.

    Like not responding to that text.

    That’s a personal text about personal things. No response needed. I really try to only respond to business/professional/administrative texts from my FW. I assess each one: “Is this a business matter?” If so, it necessitates a professional Grey Rock response.

    “I need to pick up the kids a half hour early today. Is this okay?”
    (I read it… assess it… yup, this is administrative)
    “Yes, early is okay. They’ll be ready.”

    “Why did you unfriend my social accounts? I really enjoyed having your avatar there because it makes it look like I’m still a really great guy and that you support my new relationships! Did you really just do this to me?”
    (Read it… assess it… oh heck no, this is personal. Nope, nope, nope.)
    Only response: no response

    Take it from someone who weaned herself off of personal contact with a cheater. I made many errors. I got involved with many texts that I didn’t realize were personal ones until we were knee deep into it and they never, ever, ever, ever made me feel good. Most of the time personal communication with FW left me in the fetal position and it would take me a few days to recover. I think I was hoping for some semblance of emotional maturity or empathy from him but, every person communication from him invariably settled down into how right he was and how living with his mistress was awesome and how he just couldn’t understand how I couldn’t get with the program. Every. Single. Personal. Text. Even the innocent looking ones.

    No, I couldn’t get with the program, so I turned the program off. Eventually, I finally learned about the blessing that is going Grey Rock and No Contact. The effect of spending less time on the floor in the fetal position was immediate.

    We have kids, were going through a divorce, and still have to arrange for him to pay child support each month, so I can’t fully go NC yet but I now assess each text as it comes and think for a loooong time before I choose to respond. Will engaging in this communication make me stand taller or send me down to the floor? Does it *need* a response? Is this business or personal?

    FW pushed the boundaries for years trying to get me to engage. I got better at my disengagement game. Eventually he stopped trying. He’s now 95% business only texts and it’s fantastic.

    CL is right. This new communication arrangement takes time. It’s a discipline. A learned skill. I’d start with not responding to this text. (I mean, of course you unfriended him! If he can’t understand that then he has the emotional maturity of many of our FWs and you will tie yourself into teary, snotty knots trying to explain it to him and he will accept none of your explanations. Don’t fall for it. Ignore it.)

    Good job, by the way, of unfriending him. Excellent first step. Next, block all his social accounts. Find out his girlfriend(s)’s accounts and block those as well. You may find you have to block some of his friends and family as well. I did. Not because I hated them but because I didn’t need to see them all post about how much FW and GF were. Finally, I had to train my friends to STOP sending me photos of FW, GF, and my kids and what they were doing on the weekends together. That all took time but it was well, well worth the effort.

    Good luck and don’t get sucked into personal communication with a cheater. It never has an ending where you walk away feeling good about yourself.

    • 💯 Fourleaf. I, too, wound up in fetal position after each and every interaction with FW.

      NO MORE! I am NO CONTACT and it is Heaven.

      Knowing that the bi-product of NC is that it drives FW up the wall is sweet Justice. FW is no longer central. Has a sadz because of it. Can no longer triangulate with Live-in mistress and now has to stare at AP 24/7 as the sparkle and shine evaporates. Fffffffffttt

  • Mine tried stuff like this too. It was part of his phony image management where he pretended to be a nice guy, and he’d continue to try to extract kibbles out of whatever women he could by stroking their ego.

    He didn’t know how to handle someone like me who cut him off and has no use for his pathetic kibbles.

    Moron actually sent me a bday card after I divorced him. He knew very call that cards weren’t important to me….they were important to HiM. Fucker didn’t even throw in a gift card…just some phony message along the lines of “some women are unforgettable”. It was an attempt to reel me back in.

    Even though I hadn’t responded to any communication attempt he still emailed me and wanted to know why I didn’t thank him. Ha ha ha….he said I should thank him because it was a “nice gestures given all that’s happened”.

    Yeah…a bullshit bday card with no gift card is a lovely gesture from a guy who treated me like shit and kept a trash ex gf around our entire relationship. He sooooo deserved to be thanked.

    The whole thing is so ridiculous I’m chuckling as I type this.

    Do not respond.

    • I second this. Part of learning how to go No Contact /GreyRock is understanding that you don’t need to respond. At. All. Learning how to refrain from responding and squelching the urge and the habit of responding until you no longer feel it is so key. I always ask myself if it will change anything or add something if I respond. He gets kibbles from responses even negative ones (ooh I pressed her buttons! Oooh she CARES!!). He has proven that he will gather information and use it as a weapon in any way he can. My thoughts and opinions are no longer his privilege to know and are not his concern.

      As a nice person, I always used to respond when I was spoken to, emailed or texted. Ignoring people is rude! Like a good girl, I answered questions thoroughly and did due diligence. With everyone! I even expounded and added helpful extra information. With the FW, like many others, I thought if I just explained things the right way (or the millionth time) he would finally see the light. No more.

      I owe nothing to anyone especially the FW who did his level best to destroy my and kids life. It’s the bare minimum to get the job done, or nothing. I don’t argue, cajole, expound or try to convince. I do not repeat myself. I DO NOT EXPLAIN ANYTHING ANYMORE. It never changed his mind about anything anyway; he just did whatever he wanted without telling me. Brevity is key. I don’t use adjectives. I say yes or no with out embellishments. I don’t ask for anything either because even if he says he will-he doesn’t actually do it. Since I have weaned myself off of needing anything from him, I never have to contact him. I also do not respond to demands. It helps that my kids are older and their dad can put himself on the school notifications list and check the sports notifications on public forums himself. I never remind him about anything including visitation. If he wants to see them he can make arrangements with me, I don’t do ANY of that stuff anymore. He fired me as wife and he will not be allowed to USE me in any fashion ever again.

    • Hahahaha. Ohhh this FW truly does like to add to his collection on X’s. How pathetic.

      Kim, You are unforgettable and FIERCE AF!

      Him, not so much. Snark. Lol. Boy byeee

  • Sherry – it’s time to put on your oxygen mask. It’s time to save yourself. It’s time for 100% no contact. A better life is ahead. You are mighty and you can do this!

    We are all pulling for you.

  • Sherry sweetheart, you have to be – and you are – stronger than that. As Chumplady says, it’s easy to manipulate someone who has a heart. He manipulated you into promising to not block him. Now block him. He broke his promise, so you can break yours. If you allow him to exploit you, use your honesty and compassion against you, he’ll do it forever. You may still love him but now’s the time for tough love, show him that there are consequences for his behaviour. Protect yourself please, and cut that ugly spiderweb of drama that he’s constructed up. You don’t need to talk to his girlfriend either. You need No Contact to see him and the situation for what it truly is. Even if you love someone, if they’re willing to manipulate, use, betray and distress you, there should be no place for them in your life.

    Believe me, when you see him and his actions with clarity because of no contact, things become 1000% easier. Rooting for you! X

  • My ex sent me a song with the lyrics “don’t want your body but don’t want you with somebody else” and then acted like I was crazy for being offended. Go no contact or they’ll just find ways to make you feel shitty and call you the defensive one.

    • FFS. what fantasy world do these people live in? that’s a rhetorical question.

      they live in two-dimensional spaces with putrid trees spewing murky sap, a sure sign of disease, in a house carpeted with dirty shag, and there’s a bad soundtrack playing 1975 ‘Somebody Else’

      • Funny because the subtext of that song is that ‘he’ is actually the bad guy and has created a false narrative. Which I’m guessing your ex didn’t get!

  • No contact to so hard, but so worth it. Unfortunately, I share a child with FW, so I have to have some contact with him. My lawyer even told me that I don’t have to respond to him outside of coordinating for our child’s immediate care. I send him medical expenses for reimbursement (which he ignores-he’s cool like that), and that’s pretty much it. He recently sent me a multi paragraph missive complaining how whenever I ground my teenage son, he calls his dad to complain about it. FW also told me to stop arguing with my teenager. Lmaoooooo I left that one in read.

  • Dear Kathy, everything CL says is spot on, as always.

    I would just add, why is he able to text you? If you have children with this super entitled fuck head, and therefore have to communicate at times, do it through your lawyer, or that app Family Wizard. Block him from your phone, email, every fucking where.

    Like CL says, he wants more kibbles, negative or positive, doesn’t matter, it’s all food. Don’t give him any. Don’t respond. Xx

  • Current world population?

    7,753,000,000

    Minus one?

    7,752,999,999 (not counting those arriving every second)

    Using the launch codes on a traitor?

    Priceless.

    A cheater, when presented with these stats, salivates and sees no shortage of potential schmoopies on Planet Earth. In the same way, I should realize there will never be any shortage of loyal friends.

    Current topic in therapy is the blind spots created in my FO with all the denial and speckling. Which very nicely set me up like a king pin for the 800 pound bowling ball I married because I wasn’t raised in a family that acknowledged and dealt with reality and allowed feelings.

    I am amazed by how tightly and how long I stayed in the ring considering how many other people are on the planet. Well, my psyche was handicapped.

    I am glad to see my daughter has no problem letting go of friends who exhibit dealbreaking conduct. The zillions I have spent in therapy are hopefully minimizing her time on the couch!

    I told her she doesn’t need 800 friends. Just a few really good ones.

  • Yes, it’s a sad commentary on our society that folks think that you have to be friends with everybody, even people who blew up your life. Thankfully at this point, nearly everyone around me gets that.

    There’s still a man at church who can’t wrap his mind around why I’m not friends with my ex. This is not a young man, but he’s taken it upon himself to periodically ask me how my ex is doing and to say something about people he knows who are divorced and are friends. From what this man has said, he has never made any effort himself to contact my ex at all. My ex has lived in another state for four years. I always explain that after the difficult divorce, I have chosen not to be in contact.

    So he asked again Sunday and finally said, “I just want to know how he is doing!” This guy doesn’t care about my ex. If he did, he’d have made some effort to stay in contact himself. He’s uncomfortable that I’m not friends with my ex, plain and simple. I’ve also heard him talk about “unconditional forgiveness” which of course is what I tried to apply to save my marriage. It didn’t work.

    Thankfully most people at that church understand that you don’t have to be friends with everyone. In fact, you SHOULDN’T be friends with everyone, not even at church.

    • That guy is an abuser. It may be time to put him in his place and tell him you are not his secretary nor his servant and if he wants to know how your ex is doing he can contact him himself.

      • Spot on Katie ! I liken it to somebody who sees you have a broken arm or a fresh wound and intentionally jostles the arm or rubs the wound. A psycho, in a religious setting no less.

        • I agree. There’s something horribly wrong there when you ask a divorced woman how her ex is doing when you’ve made zero effort to stay in touch with her ex yourself, especially given how many years it’s been. He’s got another agenda that isn’t good.

          Thankfully he’s not around much because he preaches at other churches. I find his sermons to be legalistic and uninspiring, so I usually tune out or leave early if he’s preaching.

      • Yes, he is an abuser. I’ve repeatedly cut him off when he brings up my ex and told him not to bring up my ex ever again. After he did that again on Sunday, I determined just to completely give him the cold shoulder from now on. It’s not worth engaging him on anything at all at this point.

        My gut says things are not happy on the home front because the wife is beaten down and uneasy in his presence. She acts differently on her own. I’m not going to assume anything, but something is wrong there.

        • I would no longer repeat myself to this abusive person. Another entitled male who does not respect boundaries. He knows you don’t want to talk about your ex and he DOES. NOT. CARE. What you want or what you think. Do not engage with this person. If he approaches you, look him in the eye and TURN AND WALK AWAY. That’s women not playing nice and saying No means No. Be mighty!

          • Yes, he’s not a safe person, so no more. He truly does not care how awkward those conversations are for me because he keeps opening them up four years after my ex left. It’s deliberate. He’s not young so young as to be naive, and not so old that he’s not tracking.

            As I said further up, thankfully he’s not around much, so it’s easy enough to walk away when he is around. My daughter picked up the vibes from his wife one time as well and has commented that he reminders her of the ugly parts of her father. Yes, the entitled and controlling parts. Not a safe person, period.

    • “ Yes, it’s a sad commentary on our society that folks think that you have to be friends with everybody, even people who blew up your life. ”

      Agree.

      A few months back -prior to D-day 2 and while I was still reeling from D-day1- I was watching Raya and the Last Dragon with STBX and his daughters. The girls love this movie and were dying for us to watch it with them. So we did.

      I have to admit – I was actually offended (triggered, whatever you want to call it) by this movie. Spoiler alert for anyone who cares….get ready.
      So Raya is betrayed by a girl from another tribe in the beginning of the movie and this betrayal ends up causing problems for everyone in the land. Obviously, given the movie title, Raya eventually finds “the last dragon” and they set out to correct everything. It’s your typical Disney flick – trying to teach a lesson and morals and all that crap. The issue I had with it was the Dragon’s insistence that Raya FORGIVE. Granted, this dragon is just that….a fucking dragon. What does she know? She’s pure so she doesn’t understand that humans will lie to you to get what they want and continues to push Raya to let bygones be bygones. But Raya lost a LOT due to said betrayal and spent years alone because some little bitch pretended to be her friend (for her own gain as well as her tribe’s), pulled a bait and switch on her, and acted with no regard to the ultimate consequences for *everyone*.

      It left a bad taste in my mouth. I actually googled reviews on this movie before I went to bed that night and saw that I wasn’t the only person that saw this story as ‘problematic’. A lot of people have weighed in on the internet about how Raya, like many that have been betrayed or have been victims of various kinds of abuse, DON’T OWE THEIR AGGRESSORS SHIT. Sure, the Dragon is kind and innocent and has a good heart. But the Dragon doesn’t have direct experience with the kind of betrayal Raya had to live with, ALONE, for years and doesn’t realize that her insistence on forgiving and trusting the girl from the other tribe, when she’s given ZERO reasons to be trusted again, is actually HARMFUL. Raya shouldn’t be made to feel bad about hating that twat that blew up everyone’s shit!

      Yes. I know. It’s a cartoon. And it wasn’t horrible, all in all. It just struck me hard (being smack dab in the middle of wreckonciliation at that very moment) and I recognized the dragon as all of the people that will crowd around and push and prod someone that’s been a victim to Forgive and/or trust again.
      No. None of us HAVE to do ANY of that. It doesn’t make me a bad person because I refuse to forgive and forget after one of the worst times of my life. I am not a bad person for not wanting to continue being berated, devalued, disregarded, and LIED to. None of THAT makes ME the lesser person.

      Raya didn’t owe that other bitch ANYTHING. And I don’t owe STBX anything, either.

      Thankfully, those that I’ve recently informed of my situation haven’t tried – at all- to teach me to forgive this man after what he’s done to me. I’m grateful that they’re all in my corner and not pushing for us to make up or for me to “understand my part”.

      The first person that does might get a punch to the throat.

      *off my Disney soapbox now lol*

      • You could argue that the other girl was good at heart and only misguided by her power hungry mothers. The mother used her daughter who was young and impressionable.
        And Raya saw this goodness in her .

        But that’s just one point of view; and I’d be pretty pissed too if I would get backstabbed in such a way.

        Cheaters have no good inside them and there is no one externally manipulating them . I’d say there is a difference.

        I have internally forgiven my cheater .
        No for any of those airy fairy reasons or to find closure.
        – I’m just grateful she declared herself . My life is better without her .

        • Yes, I’ve forgiven my ex too, but for me and for peace in my life. I closed the chapter with a big slam and OVER-AND-DONE. He was the one who took off, and it was a huge positive because it gave me the space to figure things out. All these people around me were shocked and upset, and I’m thinking — OK, now I can think. It still took me an inordinate time to get upright, but it all had to be.

  • I got the same complaint vis-a-vis our children: “your mom drove right by me & didn’t even wave! And I waved at her”. When my kids relayed that to me, “yeah I tend not to wave at people who tried to destroy me”. There are people out there who will say or think “if you can’t say anything nice don’t say anything”, well goody goody gumdrop, you’ve been programmed well by the niceness & superiority cult. But just know this, I never bring that guy up unless someone does first. So everyone around me knows if you do, then you’ll get my blunt & honest answer.
    Kathy, get deprogrammed. From your ex & the niceness/superiority cult.

    • The rare times I drive by my ex, usually when he’s waiting for the kids at pick up, I subtly flip him the bird like while straightening my hair or adjusting my mirror. I know know it’s petty and he may not even see it but it makes me smile.

  • He wants you to still be friends with him. Its image management. If your mutual friends think that he’s a good enough guy that you are still friends with him on social media, then what he did couldn’t be so bad. It’s also a MASSIVE hit to his ego. He can’t believe that you don’t want to be friends anymore. My ex said as much to a therapist who responded: I guess there’s consequences to your actions. He couldn’t believe that I had cut him out of my life. Even after a whole year! That I hadn’t gotten over it and that I am no longer admiring and supporting him etc, etc. It’s been longer now. Think he finally got the message. No contact gets easier. Hang in there.

  • You can always send him this…

    Learning to Be a Good Friend: A Guidebook for Kids (Elf-Help Books for Kids) https://www.amazon.com/dp/0870293885/ref=cm_sw_r_cp_api_glt_fabc_DVYA55GVQJ9NBWZMPXR3

    Or this….

    Why Will No One Play with Me?: The Play Better Plan to Help Children of All Ages Make Friends and Thrive https://www.amazon.com/dp/1538714833/ref=cm_sw_r_cp_api_glt_fabc_3GVK050SY4A0ZED5ZEFK

    Or this….

    Miss Manners’ Guide to Excruciatingly Correct Behavior https://www.amazon.com/dp/0393058743/ref=cm_sw_r_cp_api_glt_fabc_3NN5QRWJNZWM6S2YN678

    With a nice note:

    “Since you asked, I thought I’d send you these because it looks like you missed basic training. Best of luck to you!”

  • I am just starting to learn the value of not responding to questions and feeling like I have to flop and twitch to explain anything. I remember asking klootzak direct questions and him changing the subject or pretending he didn’t hear to not answer. His favorite move is to lie by omission. He will say he can’t answer his son calling him to say goodnight because he is out to dinner. Then he will call late and rake kiddo over the coals with questions about what he ate and the details of his day. He conveniently fails to mention anything about his day or where he ate or who he dined with. So I have started doing the same thing. I conveniently don’t answer. I let the silence hang thick in the air. It will be even better once he is moved out (G-d willing) and we are limited to cursory child-related contact.

    No contact is a gift OP can enjoy. The more you use the muscle the stronger it becomes. You can vent about it here or with a friend or therapist. Block him everywhere. It will get better.

  • Thank you. I really needed this today. My divorce is (hopefully) nearing its end. FW has been disputing the fairness of having to pay alimony after a 40-year marriage, and upon learning that he can’t get out if it, is furious that it will not entitle him to an ongoing friendship with me.

    “You cheated on me. We are not friends.” I’ve said these exact words. But oh, how I needed to be reminded that it’s okay to protect my heart, that I don’t need to feel bad for FW. He feels victimized by the consequences he’s now facing, but he is NOT the victim.

    I woke up at 4:30 this morning. Long-term disrupted sleep is, as we all know, one of the many ongoing trauma responses.

    While I waited for today’s new CL post, I thumbed through my well-worn copy of LACGAL. Page 211: “Most people divorce for really painful reasons… This is not the stuff of bonhomie. You’re not obligated to remain friends with those who grievously hurt you. The goal is detachment.”

    It occurs to me that my daily dose of CL is a more helpful and efficacious daily devotional than all my years of Bible reading ever were. I thought of Ephesians 6:10-18, memorized in my youth, and modified thus:

    Finally, be strong in Chump Lady and in the strength of her might. Put on the whole armor of Chump Nation, that you may be able to stand against the schemes of the FW. For we do not wrestle against flesh and blood, but against conduct disorders, entitlement, and narcissism, against relational abuse, against the cosmic powers of complex trauma shaping, against the forces of evil in our very own homes. Therefore take up the whole armor of Schorn, that you may be able to withstand in the mindfuck blender, and having done all, to stand firm. Stand therefore, having fastened on the belt of truth, and having put on the breastplate of snark, and, as shoes for your feet, having put on the readiness given by the gospel of sanity. In all circumstances take up the shield of self care, with which you can extinguish all the flaming darts of the evil one; and take the helmet of wisdom, and the sword of wit, which is the word of salvation . . .

      • 😂
        His rationale for not wanting to pay alimony? His future plans include being free to do mission work 🤯

    • 40 years here, too. I’m happy to know about you and yet so sad we are here every day for the same heartache. It’s become a ritual for me, too, to check in a CN every day.

      My FW was furious when the judge gave me alimony. I like to remember that moment in court because it was a snippet of reality – how the rest of the world should see his actions and his whiny reaction to consequences given by someone who popped into his fantasy world with power over him to enforce consequences. He really expected to skip off into the sunset with schmoopie. And his flying monkeys were all in glee looking forward to his wedding (well, as soon as he could get his settlement from his divorce so he could hire an attorney to file for her a divorce).

      Yesterday, I signed a contract at a fitness program thinking my alimony should rightfully be spent on making me healthier (and maybe a little hotter) as a bonus. It’s the least he can do.

      • Tallgrass, I’m so glad you’re able to do something just for you. I sincerely hope you enjoy every minute of working his influence out of your body, mind, and heart. Cheers to a new day and a new you!

      • I like this: “a snippet of reality — how the rest of the world should see his actions.”

        My moment of clarity was when both attorneys (70+ years of experience between the two of them) decided together that I had to be a saint to have put up with my ex for so long and had my attorney tell me so. After that, his attorney would periodically send mine emails that he said to forward to me that he felt sorry for me and was doing all he could to rid me of the jerk (or a more colorful term).

        I purposed to send his attorney a thank you note after it was all truly over, but he sadly died of COVID late in closeout. We had some more crazy after that when my ex went pro se, but it was mostly over. My legal team rose up strongly and got that part beat down as well. My attorney’s paralegal called me one day just to rant about what a wreck my ex was off the record, no charge. I said thank you, yet more clarity.

        • Elsie,

          Have you read Bill Eddy’s newest book on understanding what he calls High Conflict Personalities, and how this understanding informs managing negotiations? HCPs have a lot of overlap with personality disorders, including social impairment, lack of self awareness, unchanging behavior, externalizing responsibility, being preoccupied with blaming others, all-or-nothing thinking, unmanaged emotions, defensiveness, and extreme behavior.

          I wish this book had been available at the beginning of my divorce; it could have saved thousands in legal fees if the attorneys and I had been prepared to deal with FW’s deficits in rationality.

          I’m sorry for your loss of the kind attorney. COVID has taken so much!

          I wish you the very best going forward in your new life; may you be rewarded with the peace and joy you deserve.

          • Yes, I read Bill Eddy’s original edition of “Splitting” during separation before the divorce process started and knew to find a high conflict divorce specialist. I ended up with the founder and managing partner of a firm with that specialty. He had read everything Bill Eddy wrote to that point and had gone to a live seminar with him.

            I knew to do that because after my ex settled many states away in separation, our mutual therapist told me that she had formally diagnosed him with aspects of narcissism and borderline personality disorder. She was the one who told me about Bill Eddy. Her advice at that point was RUN, but I took hopium for many more months and then finally refused reconciliation. My ex kicked off the divorce process some months later, and I had to agree. Thankfully I’m on the other side now, but it was indeed a mess. I needed a specialist attorney.

            My ex’s attorney concerned me by reputation. He charged $700/hour and hung out with all the rich and famous in our area and did their divorces. I heard stories of him arguing for and getting all kinds of insane things for his clients. People told of him reducing witnesses, the other side, and even attorneys to tears in the courtroom and digging up all kinds of dirt on ordinary people that he used against them. So I was scared and asked each attorney that I interviewed about that attorney. Two were neutral, two seemed nervous, and one said, “It will be tough indeed, but you will get a good settlement despite that if I’m on the job. I always go out for a beer after court with him where we toast each other for the good fight.” Yes, I hired the last one.

            So that was what tipped it. His attorney was a lot of bluster at the beginning and then got sick of the case and told mine that he wanted to quit because my ex had become “the worst client ever.” Mine convinced his attorney to stay in the game as a personal favor and to work to get it settled out of court so everyone could be done with it. So that’s what happened. The attorney I feared was a decent guy at heart. I wish that I could have thanked him for that, but closeout was still in progress and actually continued for another five months after he died. I finally closed the file with my attorney in April.

            Yes, Tuesday at long last arrived!

  • My ex did the same thing. He had unfriended and blocked and unblocked and refriended me many times, but when I finally unfriended him and blocked him, I got the angry text demanding why. OBVIOUSLY it was because I wanted to post awful things about him (I wasn’t posting anything about him, actually).

    He also got really upset when I stopped wearing my wedding rings about a year after we split. I mean, he had taken his off while we were still married and living together, and he had no problem fucking his whore while we were married, but when I stopped wearing my rings he called me crying and asking if I was dating anyone. Geez. No, I wasn’t, but the hypocrisy was astonishing. I told him I stopped wearing them because they didn’t mean anything anymore. I hadn’t gone no contact at that point – once I did, my life dramatically improved.

  • How about this as a response: “Is that a real question?”

    Then silence no matter what he comes back with. Shows how absurd you think he and his questions are without making you look hurt (where complete NC does give them a little kibble or challenge I believe)

    • IMO, any contact is a kibble. No contact may be a challenge, but it’s also devastating to a narcissist. If nobody is watching it didn’t really happen is their mindset. Any response gives them an opening for further contact.

      I trained my ex to only contact me via email and to expect a wait of several hours before getting a response. And sometimes I didn’t bother to respond. It forced me to wait until I was past any initial emotional outburst and decide if the email was about business/child stuff or merely personal. Once child support ended I blocked him everywhere, including on email.

      • This is absolutely the correct approach. (Well, I’m not past child support so I haven’t reached the end stage, but that’s the plan). It’s very much like trying to train a toddler: you know that, as the adult, you’re responsible for teaching the other person; you know what the end behavioral goal is; you know what actions you need to take to get there; you know that it will take a long time to gradually change the other person’s behavior and progress will be irregular; you know that it’s very important that you be consistent in your message; also, unfortunately, you know that you need to be particularly careful when you’re tired, frustrated, or angry because you’re liable to slip up.

      • Yes! Me too! A wait of at LEAST 24 hours before a response unless an emergency concerning children. Since I have full custody that has never happened. You can type out whatever rant you want but it all seems so unimportant after 24 hours. Then I delete my rants and reply or not depending on nature of his comments.

  • When it was all new and raw and I had left and she had moved in, I started seeing her tagging and commenting on my son’s FB posts. Her avatar was him kissing her cheek. Not going to subject myself to that BS so I blocked her. The then separated, but not divorced, self-centered idiot immediately blocked me from all his social media. (As punishment I think) LOL. First favor he had done me in a LONG time.

    I unfriended him, but didn’t block, as I would allow him to see pictures of his son if I tagged his son on them, but that was all he was going to get from me. I’m sure it annoys the XAss off to this day that he can’t see my feed, and I could care less what he’s posting (It’s all the same poor pity whiny me, or aren’t I wonderful posts, that’s his MO.)

  • I unfriended and blocked the ex, wifetress, and ALLLLLL their crazy family. I have enough crazy in my life due to working in an ED during a pandemic without them contributing to it, thank you very much.

    I don’t care about them. I don’t care about the “life is so wonderful” narrative they want to portray. We all know it’s a sham. 🙄

  • I have to do Minimal Contact as we have a child and own a business.

    NO texting for sure! Email email email.
    Then everything is automatically documented. Emails have been coming back around to bust his trip and his lies, much to his chagrin and my vindication.

    I use the phone only if absolutely necessary. His name in my phone is BIFF Kenda. It stands for Brief Informative Friendly Firm. “Kenda” is for Lt. Joe Kenda (Homicide Hunter) who reminds me to stay polite, keep my voice low, stay calm, cool, collected, and listen, which keeps me in a stable power position. It’s essential to keep your poise when dealing with perps. When I see “BIFF Kenda” when my phone rings, it’s an instant reminder on how to conduct myself. If I stay on the high road, no one can touch me.

    I treat unwelcome thoughts like an unwelcome person who rings my doorbell. I tell the thought it needs to leave and then listen to something (TV, podcast, YouTube video, audiobook, music) that replaces the unwelcome thought. I have to practice NO CONTACT in my mind as well.

    The less I have to do with him, the clearer the reality of the jerk he is gets, the easier it is for me to detach from him, and the sooner I will get to the blessed land of Meh.

    There are billions on the planet and the last thing I need is to stay in the punching bag position for anyone. Step aside and gladly let the new target take your place.

    More alternative definitions of “friend”?
    I remember on DDay he said he thought the Craigslist “Sole Mate” and I would be friends. I think I actually laughed. That comment alone proves to me how Olympic gold medal winning fucked up cheaters and their accomplices are.

    • “I have to practice NO CONTACT in my mind as well.”

      This is so important Velvet. It took me a long time to realize this.

    • Great reminder of appropriate name change in my phone. Although I would NEVER respond to ANYthing he texts me (I almost never respond to emails at this point). But, it is appropriate to be clear on who he is if he does text. I used to have “X” as his contact. But after studying a crap ton of evidence in the evil behaviour FW exhibited during our mirage and post-separation abuse… I will change contact name to Chris Watts. Highly appropriate reminder in exactly who FW is.
      Wish I was kidding but I’m not. Poison in my coffee and screw in my truck tire says it all.

      • Fun Friday Challenge

        For all chumps who have to maintain minimal contact, how do you have the fuckwits listed on your contact list ? Did you program an appropriate ring tone if you HAVE to speak to them (but why would we ?) ?
        This share fest will be 😂

        • Mine is blocked everywhere – but nonetheless, I took the liberty of screen shorting CL’s picture of the acne marked ass face as his now current photo and named him “Parasite”. 🙃

      • I used “Chris Watts” for a while, and had the Watts family picture as the photo in memory of Shanann…

  • No Contact and block all his flying monkeys. Silence is power – and it stings more than the wittiest retort. Silence is the last word. If a bit of schandefreud helps, know he will be checking his phone looking for a response from you that will never come.

  • One problem for women, in particular but not exclusively, is that they are trained from a young age to be polite. For some of us that lasts until my age (61). However, the shattering of my trusting heart into millions of tiny pieces, the damage to my body and mental health from the dramatic weight loss, lack of sleep and crying, the almost ruination of my financial health, all caused by one selfish, entitled, pathetic little man and his toxic ex, also married, gf have made me much less polite. I used to feel that if someone I had no time for contacted me, I had to respond in order to be polite. Not since DDay. My therapist reminds me that many social mores do not serve us well, particularly when we are emotionally and/or physically vulnerable. I do not have to care what the ex spouse thinks of me, says about me. He can curse me all he wants or not mention my name (more likely). That’s ok. If he happens to think that I am rude, well, as he was so fond of saying including about the breakdown of our marriage, ‘it is what it is’. I’m rude. I can live with that opinion from a liar and a cheat for whom I have no respect. We do not have to communicate with people unless it serves our interests to do so. And if we choose to communicate it is worth asking ourselves before we do so ‘how is this serving my interests’. That’s not selfish, it’s wise, and a good example of self-care.

    • To add, a less subjective example of this is the constant request for feedback from every single service used, shop visited, online store accessed. I felt pre-Day that I had to respond. Now it’s ‘delete’ unless I want to praise excellent service or comment on poor service. At first I felt guilty but not any more. Now I feel liberated from the tyranny of feedback. Not responding to FWs is on a par.

    • “One problem for women, in particular but not exclusively, is that they are trained from a young age to be polite.”

      This is very true and actually an understatement. We are trained to be polite but also “NICE,” even to our abusers.

    • Good for you! That’s excellent advice. I also have no fucks to give about whether or not people think I’m rude. I tell the truth with no sugar-coating and I refuse to deal with traitorous Switzerland relatives and toxic people in general. We do need peace after what we’ve been through. If I’m not liked because I won’t be fake to make insecure people feel more comfortable, oh well.
      I am not nice. Nice is bullshit. It’s genuine *kindness* that matters, not niceness. Niceness is a trap for women. It keeps us from protecting ourselves.

      • Right on, OHFFS. I have a zero tolerance for abuse policy in place now. It’s often someone pretending to be “nice” that is the quicksand all too easy to step into. Be aware of foul, uncertain grounds eager to swallow you up.

    • Yes, I’m in the same age group and got nagged by my attorney to “stop being nice.” At signing, he joked with me that it was time to be “nice again.” He retired the day after my divorce was final, and his associate took my closeout to a new firm.

      However, I had to pick up my “stop being nice” persona because it immediately went all kinds of wrong. Thankfully the associate got that and didn’t have a heavy caseload at the time because he was at a new firm. So he pestered my ex’s attorney via email and messages and finally used the threat of a contempt motion three times to keep things moving. At long last, pandemic and all, we got it done in March.

      Now that I’m on the other side, I can choose “stop being nice” when I want to. Or I can be nice…my choice!

  • On the other hand…two can play the sadism game. I’d be tempted to leave him unfriended, make no responses whatsoever, and leave my profile set to “public”. And then I’d post photo after photo of myself in bars with other men – even if I had to hire models to pose with me, even if I had to ask strangers for help. I’d give him some things to stew over! College campuses and college sports bars are full of handsome younger guys who would pose with you for $10-$20. I’d be buying a little torture for his entitled narcissistic self. Get creative ladies.

    • Never never give the narcissist FW centrality in your life. Revenge is not moving on, it just keeps you stuck. Stuck thinking about them, wondering what they think, trying to think of ways to one up them ad nauseum. The best revenge is a life well-lived (without the FW). You don’t need them and never think of them.

    • Yes, a friend of mine (mid-50’s) who is still working on her issues post-divorce actually did that. She hired several hunky male friends of her college daughter’s and posted it on Facebook, and then felt awful about the deception and took it down. I had to give her a big hug when she told me. Poor dear!

      Her supposedly pious ex had six different girlfriends during the separation/divorce and told her that s*x was glorious with each of them, and then married a seventh who is in her late 20’s that he had never told her about. My friend’s son told his mom that Dad met that one literally when they were waiting for the court to sign off, and then married her 30 days after the order, just as state law says. The son (17) was so disgusted that he has refused visitation after that. That’s when my friend put up and then took down the picture.

      I get the emotion. I’ve certainly spent that emotion in other ways.

  • There are so many great comebacks for cheater being upset that he was unfriended by Kathy. The best one, the one that will resonate the most, is no response. When he reaches out again after no response just block his number.

  • I should also say that when I communicate with the X, I keep in mind that I am interrogating a criminal. Listening very carefully, playing dumb, acting like his friend, being polite, parking my emotions at the door, staying calm and neutral-voiced, has paid off tangibly for me. For one thing, and not a little thing, it led to the discovery that he had hidden money from me, a LOT, the entirety of our marriage, some of which I recovered in the divorce. If you need to gather necessary intel, or require their cooperation for anything, the last thing you want to do is act in a way that makes the suspect clam up. When people relax they start talking, and some very valuable information might come your way. There are situations when it benefits a chump to ACT friendly. You can be friendly without being friends, and you can certainly benefit and beat them at their own fake friendly game.

    There’s plenty of time to be Former Spouse Antichrist or Ghost X when you no longer require any kind of cooperation from them.

    I took my “fake friend” lessons from him
    after DDay and use them in the ongoing contact I have to have with him for my own benefit.

    This is how I have de-activated the “be nice” programming installed when I was growing up.

    • I am all about being like a Venus flytrap. Using honey instead of vinegar to snare prey….

      That’s Ms. Velvet “Venus Flytrap” Hammer to you, Cheater X.

      Heheheh. .

    • I thought I had a marriage.

      What I saw that I had after DDay was a mirage and a crime scene.

      Divorcing Mr. TLC (thief, liar, cheater) was like solving a homicide.
      I needed to remember he is a predator and a perpetrator and act accordingly. I had to be detective and prosecutor. I called on my years of true crime reading and documentary watching to assist me.

      I found an episode of Homicide Hunter: Beyond the Badge (the episode entitled “Most Dangerous”) to be a very helpful training video for reminding me how to communicate with Mr. TLC. It’s only a few minutes long but really helped me to review it before sessions with lawyers or business meetings with him.

      Cheaters are cunning. They are con artists who lull their targets into complacency and compliance with their Nice Guy/Nice Gal act. I see a lot of wisdom in taking a page from their playbook to use against them in protecting and standing up for yourself.

      I guess I’m not quite in the realm of WWJD. I find it very gratifying to leave a cheater wondering if anybody got the number of the truck that blindsided them.

  • No contact is pretty difficult after an entire life together. Been divorced 3.5 years following a 38 year marriage to a serial cheater, who spent decades looking before he finally found my replacement.
    Chester got married during covid last year to his 5 year, 40 something y/o mistress( we are both mid 60’s). He would stand on the top of Mount Everest if possible, to shout to the world on social media( asks our kids all the time to check out his FB posts, he’s a big shot at a prestigious learning institution) how much life is working out for him and his one perfect woman, it’s just paradise on earth people!!
    We have three beautiful adult kids together ( the loves of my life) and last year he called them three days before his planned wedding to let them know it was happening ( he told them prior he would NEVER remarry, but I prepared them, he def will, it’s image management 101) Then he called all a week later, very angry and disappointed that they never called to congratulate him! ( who the hell ARE these ppl?!)
    He tries all the time to get me to reengage with him. (Really fought it when I shut down texting.) Come on, where’s the fun in it all if he doesn’t get to continually rub it in my face?! The fountain of triangulating pond scum has finally dried up buddy, you will have to get your divining rod out and locate another.
    I email only, maybe 2 times a year business type communication and even with that I suffer weeks and weeks from rumination, any contact will set you back.
    He attempted to host my family at our joint beach house three months after the divorce for 4 th of July week. ( it’s traditional and I was on a 6 mos hike) He has no clue of how unwelcome he has made himself in my family, the narrative that runs in his head is fascinating and incomprehensibly delusional. I suppose he views himself as just a poor little dove waving a tiny peace twig ( DARVO anyone?!?) and I am the vicious soured bitch who is keeping all the joy from flowing forth for everyone. Fuck you, dim wit loser. Real people don’t buy that narrative.
    So, no contact, critical to get yourself to much safer ground. Build your wall high and establish your zone of safety.
    You’ve got a lot of company on the road to healing. Good luck to you.
    You owe him nothing in this lifetime or the next.

    • I wonder if he’ll yell from the roof tops when his 40 something y/o decides she doesn’t really want an old man within 10 years. These younger mistresses are attracted to financial security and the cheater’s position. A retired old man (not knocking old people I’m long in the tooth myself) with a lot of time on his hands will get on her nerves. She’ll feel penned in and she will bolt, with half his shit.

  • Cheaters have no guilt or shame about what they inflicted on us, that does not count

    But what we do to them is magnified, and they will act hurt and angry if we dare set boundaries or find them repugnant

    They are repugnant

  • My question is whether she’s DIVORCING him. It’s essential to unfriend and unfollow and BLOCK social media. No contact, as AllOutofKibble tells us, is the path to the truth and the light. But stepping away from the cheater’s social media BS is necessary but not sufficient.

  • Proud Luddite here. Not being on facebook at all made this a non-issue for me.

    I don’t trust Mark Zuckerberg as far as I can throw him.

  • When I first divorced my sons father, we still had business interests to sort out as well as child care issues. I don’t know if he ever used social media, and it would all be lies if he did, so why bother? I have never been a social media person. My friends have been after me for years to join Facebook, but it never appealed to me. I am not a poster as far as family business and photo’s go, I don’t like selfies, but I will endure them for my friends to post. Maybe it is due to my age, I didn’t grow up with that stuff, or video games, and I am basically a very private person. I post here because it is my way of trying to pay it forward.

    However, when we first divorced, I learned to let my ex leave a voice mail. That way I could listen, and consider my response. If he left a second, and asked me why I had not responded, when I did decide to respond I would simply say I was doing something else. In the days of land lines, I rarely answered my phone. Some people got offended by my screening — but seriously, just because it is convenient for you to call doesn’t mean it is convenient for me to answer.

    There is no reason you should be immediately available to your ex. Even if he has the kids, he can leave a message. You can call back for an emergency. You can always say “I was in the bathroom.” You really don’t have to explain why you don’t want to talk to him. It is a waste of your time, and you are divorced. Same goes for inquiring minds of so called friends, and relatives. I have actual asked them when my private life became their business?

    You can be courteous with out being a friend. No explanation is needed. Further conversation is usually not helpful to either party. If you consistently do this, your life will become much better. Ask me how I know.

  • “Listening very carefully, playing dumb, acting like his friend, being polite, parking my emotions at the door, staying calm and neutral-voiced” … this.

    I wish I hadn’t had to learn this way of relating to people. It feels strategic, mercenary, even somewhat false. But it’s a pretty important thing to know how to do. But these FWs, in love and at work! They make it necessary! Now that I experience relating in this guarded way, the whole world feels different. Less trustworthy, scarier, but also probably more realistic, potentially more predictable. Maybe now I am better equipped to assess threat, do due diligence with people and take my time to see what people are about.

    The most recent ex, the one that had me find CN, is part of the music scene in the little town I live in. Since bars have opened up and open mics / concerts are back, he’s around. There are two local open mics I use to try out new work and build my performance professionalism; he is always there. These are small rooms and when he comes by and asks to sit down, I gauge what saying no would cost. I usually go out to these things alone. If I say no, I have to sit in the same small bar having asked for physical distance and then sit by myself for two hours not making eye contact. To do that, it feels like, signals way more not being over him than just saying ‘sure, whatever.’ I don’t want to give him the kibbles of seeing me “all alone, still so hurt.”

    (I never caught him cheating. It just felt like there were EAs on the horizon and I often felt gaslit and triangulated with other women. I broke up with him once, got back together, dumped him again. Both times, after the break ups, he has never seemed hurt or particularly sad. He’s always had lots of apologies/explanations and stays upbeat and eager to stay friends. When we’re off, he shows lots of interest in my work and reads my stuff and comes to my gigs. In the relationship, he’d sabotage simple interactions by forgetting to do stuff, saying he’d call and wouldn’t etc, and basically being a man-child. He got into my heart in the first place by me opening up about struggles and him being this intensely interested listener who declared his undying support and respect for me.)

    A couple of recent interactions at the bar have been tough (he introduced me to the young female roommate he now has and it felt like I was being watched like a hawk for signs of being upset and jealous). But I have taken to heart the idea that these guys’ lovebombing and hoovering involves mirroring, so in these interactions I keep it entirely professional. We talk about what we’re doing musically, what gigs are coming up, etc but nothing personal, nothing emotional. He’s indeed mirroring. It’s actually amazing to watch. He’ll keep it at whatever temperature I set. I don’t give him the glimpse into the things that set my heart on fire unless it’s with the fourth wall of a stage between and me saying it in lyrics that are way better than anything he could write. FWIW, this ex is still blocked on all social media. He takes that as me not being up to seeing him move on, and seems fine with that.

    It sucks so much to have questions and interactions that could build intimacy be used like weapons. Now I’m super aware of when he asks questions like, “what are you looking forward to?” or says things like, “oh, thank you for sharing that with me.” Grr. I do slip up; I tend to be an open person. And I’ve been angry with myself for letting any emotional information through, but I tell myself that an emotional boundary is a skill. I WISH I had learned this skill earlier. My mother always said “I wear a mask at work,” but that always sounded inauthentic to me and I didn’t know what she meant. Re FOO, I think my parents see eating a degree of shit without grimacing and numbing out to injustice as emotional maturity, which is not the same as gauging people for their level of openness and integrity.

    But this skill of listening carefully and playing dumb! Oh god! If this is what people do with each other (either for good — self protection from narcs and players or just boundaries, or for bad — opportunistically reading other people to see how they can be manipulated), then I have been such a chump! My whole life!

  • All you can say is: cheaters do stupid stuff. Sounds too cliche, right? But unfortunately, so, so true.

    My story:
    My soon-to-be ex, before we separated but were filing for divorce, asked me to help her turn off her FB account. I kid you not, she didn’t know how to turn off her account, because she knew she’d get bombarded by friends/family asking “what’s going on?” if word got out that we were separated. So, we turned off her account, and I could tell she was relieved that she would not be pinged on FB.

    Fast-forward to 2 weeks, after she moved out of the house to move back in w/her parenters. I start getting pinged by friends and family to ask what’s going on w/my “wife’s FB account.” I assumed they were referring to why she was no longer searchable, but instead, I received screenshots where she had removed her married name, had marked herself as divorced, and had purged any and all photos where I was in. So, I then found myself being asked a ton of Qs about what had happened. Originally, I had planned to keep things quiet to bear her the embarassment of not looking like the scum that she was for cheating, but after she pulled this stunt, the gloves came off and I was free to rip her a new one to our respective friends and families.

    In hindsight, after I had closed her FB account, I should’ve just gone in and changed the password on her. But, I’m not as petty as a cheater.

    Have a good day all!

    • Wow that is some low act.
      Mine changed his status to ‘it’s complicated’ literally as he walked out the door, what a immature dickhead. So embarrassing as I am a very private person but was clearly an attention seeking move on his part.

  • I’m a scientist. I found out the “no contact” rule by trial and error early on in our separation

    Contact with FW -> pain
    No contact with FW -> no pain.

    I wonder if it was a fluke, let’s repeat the experiment… 10 times. Still the same, 10+ data points, error bar basically zero.

    Then I found Chump Lady and realized chump nation had already tested that theory so I didn’t have to.

    NO CONTACT is the way.

    • Yep NC is fast track to healing for sure. I healed more in 1 year of NC than I did in three still having contact with him . Have officially left the twilight zone, thank fuck!,,

  • Would she *honestly* believe it was all your fault?, or absolutely know what she was doing, and just hope she’d convinced *you* to believe it was all your fault ?

    • Wow. My “reply” showed up nowhere near the original post. I was *trying* to respond to Involuntary Georgian.

  • My life has been a major DARVO fest. I thank CL for cluing me into that one. I recently asked my husband if he was gay, he then said “you’re a lesbian”. Geezus, I just cannot with this guy. I’m old enough and self aware enough to know my sexuality. I hate the mindfuck channel and just want away from this guy.

  • Fully blocking my ex, his girlfriend, amd his family members on FB was my only choice, in addition to blocking across other social media platforms: LinkedIn, Instagram, and Venmo. I found out the hard way on Venmo when my ex and his girlfriend started popping up on my Venmo feed and they were “paying” each other for things like “walks on the beach” and “Love”.
    I was horrified, who makes venmo transactions like that Public? It’s all about the kibbles, so I had to block them on Venmo, too.

  • I’m going to put in my two cents before I read the 100+ comments.

    I have friends. The FW is not one of them. When I think of the FW I think of the song “Somebody I Used to Know” by Gotye.

    If I’m triggered by something that gets through the blocks, I’ve found it helpful to craft an email response that I never send. Sometimes I send it to my bestie. I am over a year out and my no contact and lack of response has finally made him stop trying to contact me, at least as far as I know. We have no kids together so there is no reason to ever talk to him again.

    I’ve blocked him and his friends and family on all social media (except for his b-i-l who admins the local running group, I just unfriended him because his running info is necessary). I can still see his emails but he doesn’t know that – I’m not changing my email when it’s easy to ignore. Just mark his account as spam.

    Also, this is a great time to do a social media privacy tune-up. You don’t need to have any public posts. Curate your followers and friends and who you follow. Mute or block upsetting accounts. It reduces stress so much.

    *I must confess, I have a 2nd facebook account with nothing at all, and occasionally I creep on whatever is public on his account, which isn’t much. It doesn’t trigger me, and he doesn’t know I can see it. The internet has made nosiness a hobby. 🙂

    Now I’m going to read the many insightful responses from CN!

    • I didn’t see your post when I linked this same song up above . Weird coincidence.
      I guess songs mean different things to different people!
      My equivalent song is “praying” by Kesha. There were times I wanted to send it to my ex, but I’m too grey rock.

  • No contact is very hard when you have kids though.
    I put all kids activities on a shared online calendar .
    Our divorce settlement covers all aspects of custody and financial separation .
    There is very little to otherwise talk about.
    We share extracurricular costs 50/50.
    I pay for all health and school costs; as per court order.
    Recently child services sent a letter detailing my and her income to explain how they end up with the amount of fortnightly child support I have to pay.
    I have been working very hard since the divorce , so my income is higher than what it was 2 years ago when the settlement was reached.
    She emails:
    “It is unfair that I have to pay 50% of the extracurricular costs, given that you earn more than me. Pay more or the kids have to stop activities !”
    Our kids play an instrument and have two training sessions a week for their chosen sport ; hardly exceptional.

    I had to think hard.
    Obviously she uses the kids as a leaver.
    Do I lower myself to a discussion about fairness? Do I even want to spend the time and energy telling her that I’m paying her child support already and that is where the difference in income is considered ? That in her case child support is really for housing, clothes, food and extracurriculars, because I’m paying for school and health ?

    If you write all this down in an email, you can be pretty sure that there will be another email and and so. And all of a sudden you find yourself discussing finances and fairness , but not in no contact or grey rock territory.

    I wrote :
    I’ll pay this term for music lessons 100% as an exception to our binding agreement. Sport will be split 50/50. At the end of the term you will make a written proposal of how you will contribute in future.

    I have yet to hear from her.
    Grey rock is the alternative to no contact.

    • You’re kinder than me. My version would have been:

      “You agreed to these activities. You signed a binding agreement. If you require a change to agreement, send it through your attorney. If you withdraw the children from their activities or refuse to pay your agreed upon share, you will hear from mine. Thanks”

    • I agree with Michelle – that’s a potential breach of the custody arrangement on her part, surely?

      I know it’s tedious and expensive, but if you teach her that every time she does this, she has to deal with the Family Court, she may back off.

      • I share your sentiment !

        I am in a very weak position.
        She can always say “I can’t pay for this , therefor I cancel the kids’ sport or music lessons”
        And because I want my kids to enjoy their hobbies, I would pay anyway.

        If we would take the matter to court – a judge will look at our difference in income ( doctor vs nurse ) – and tell me to pay.
        Judges don’t like doctors. The cheating will never be taken into account. Or the fact that she is willfully underemployed. She only works 7 days a fortnight, never does weekends or nights and has a below average nursing wage.

        So all I can do is :
        Show that I have been reasonable in my approach and suggest a compromise.
        The other thing is that I asked her to suggest how much she can pay in the long term:
        Cheaters never show their cards. She will always complain but not suggest that she would pay 40% for example.

        I just have to accept that I have 3 dependents – 2 are my children, and 1 is the childish cheater I stupidly married.

        • Can’t you simply ask the court to enforce the existing custody agreement?

          And if you stop paying for something, can you also communicate clearly to the children that it’s because their mother violated the custody agreement?

          I’m genuinely curious because I am not sure what you can and can’t do in Australian law. I’ve never been divorced, so I have to ask divorced people about the realities here

          • Going to the court cost money.
            I have to my lawyer to write to her lawyer .
            We would try to reach an out of court settlement, would be encouraged to mediate and only if that fails , you go to court.
            You would spend many thousand dollars to argue about the $400 per term for music lessons .
            It’s not worth the money or the energy .
            The binding court agreement is useful for the custody .
            And it is useful in her case – if I’d stop to pay child support, the child services would come after me .
            But for matters like who pays for music lessons – it doesn’t give any protection.

    • God I simply can’t fathom this attitude “Pay more or the kids activities have to stop”. I grew up poor in a third world country. My mom stretched every dollar to the cent so we grew up taking piano classes, dance classes, swimming classes, tons of extracurricular activities. I think my mom would have preferred to sell her clothes than stop our piano classes.

    • Hello from West Australia
      If you are contributing more than child support you can upload evidence to the child support app on myGov. You may already know this. CS agents will take this into account when calculating child support and it can be considered an extrodinary payment.
      As far as CS and the law goes, you do not have to pay anything beyond your calculated child support. She is probably not working more than she can to lower her taxable income and maximise what you pay in child support.
      Hope this helps and isn’t just stating the obvious.

  • I cannot believe this is seriously a question!!! It should be a no Brainer not to respond. If no kids, block his ass on EVERYTHING. Xhole, after the divorce was final, called (because we were trying to still sell the home I answered). He proceeded to talk about our “relationship ” and how we could start working on it if I moved to another country with him. I laughed so hard and hung up, I never even got to respond. Wait, I guess that was my response. I ignored virtually everything he emailed or texted unless it dealt with the kids, the house, or the divorce. Hell, half the time I ignored all of the valid shit too!

    • For reals. And it doesn’t stop. I’m several years out of our divorce and my ex still brings up how he believes our settlement was unfair (it wasn’t, he got more, I acquiesced to get it done) and that he wants to renegotiate so he can get more (haha, the deal’s done pal). He brings this up at every opportunity, including at school events for our child and even once when I was texting with him about a mental health problem involving our child that I, the reliable parent, was dealing with while he twiddled his thumbs. These entitled people are unbelievable.

  • It’s funny how much Facebook means to some people.

    I unfriended someone after a torrent of email abuse, and then received another torrent of email abuse about how petty I was to unfriend her.

    I didn’t respond. But I then blocked her and unfriended any secondary connections as well. I also blocked her email address.

    People who abuse me don’t get to snoop on me and my life. I enjoy using Facebook, my page is private, and my Facebook friends are carefully chosen.

    This is called ‘having boundaries’.

  • During the trauma days following D-day it was literally like I did not exist. She carried on with her AP with impunity.
    It took awhile but when meh was reached it was easy to do likewise.

  • It’s hard to read tone, but this could also be the condescending channel. I absolutely experienced that.
    It could be “this is how you’re reacting… you really had to go ahead and unfriend me over this?”
    I could be the “I’ve moved on so why can’t you ?” clueless no empathy mindset.

  • I’m truly sorry you have to be here, but know this. Now you DO have to be here, this is the right place. The thing that popped up for me tonight in a scary way is that, you’re very new into this. I wish I had realized that when first D-day hit. I own my own business and I my job is to be out in front of everything. By the time a chump begins the game, hopium, pick me dance….whatever you want to call it. Cheaters are already ten steps ahead of you. Yes, you just discovered he’s a liar……not just a liar…..a pro. That’s where chumps falter, because we simply can’t believe it and don’t want to. You need a lawyer now. Cutting him off was a great step….it’s like cutting off a piece of yourself and it is….sorry about that. If you listen to nothing else then please listen to this……..there’s shitty lawyers and shitty counselors out there so be picky, but so far no one has been shittier to you or more untrustworthy than this man who you trusted with everything and every part of you. He broke that and now questions why you don’t trust him. He didn’t even try, he just blamed you instead. Seeing the pattern here? He’s not some lost puppy that pee’d on the rug and wonders why you’re mad. He’s a fully functioning human being and fully in control of himself and his “urges”. He chose poorly and you didn’t lose his love…..you found life….the hard way. I’m a hugger so hugs to you.

      • Yes, it’s hard.
        What you’ll find out is you are enough.

        And that you don’t need a cheater liar abuser fraud (who doesn’t like being unfriended. Poor sad sausage playing the manipulation game.)

        These people aren’t friends.

        Regroup. Know your tribe. He ain’t it.

  • It took me quite a while to read LACGAL. I was scared to in the beginning because I so badly wanted FW. I bought all the shit RIC books from Amazon. One book was titled ‘How to save a marriage Alone’ WTF!! I filed for divorce, in the hope he’d come back. What a chump! I finally read the only book I needed to propel me to sanity. NC rules and you do need to discipline yourself.

    Tonight I am going out out for the first time since March 2020 (lockdown happened in the UK then and that’s when the strange became really noticeable with DD#3 – first 2 were friendships apparently – happening in July 2020). I was on social media and a few friends reached out and I was able to tell the truth to them. I am no longer on any platforms now, felt it to be better for my healing. Some mutual friends are strictly in my camp. I’m curious to see how tonight will pan out with seeing mutual friends I haven’t seen for nearly 2 years. Our Marriage was 31 years and together for 34. Im still finding myself, still in Battle Royale (FW wants it all!! Yeah good luck with that dickhead). I seek solace here, this is my therapy. I’ve learned to let go of the crazy. I see more and more glimpses of my Tuesday. I’m happy.

    Thank you to everyone’s input, I’m sending hugs to you all. I read here everyday while in bed sipping my coffee. Would love to have real coffees with you all…. What a great coffee morning that would be. ❤️

  • He is blocked everywhere. Last year his mother wrote me a very sweet message to wish me a happy Easter. I always liked her, so I replied. This opened the flood gates of investigation. She was asking so many questions that it was obvious she was mining for information for her son.
    She got the block too. After getting chumped, I learned that the block button is my best friend! I take him out everywhere with me and am never ashamed of him! Long live the block button.

  • He cheats on you, and you unfriend him. There’s a concept most people can understand. He’s a jackass. You know this. I would block the hell out of him, and let him stew in his own crap. I’m sure there are people he knows that will commiserate with him.

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