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Sex with the Ex WTF?

Hello Chump Lady,

I feel like I am reporting to my mom after doing something horribly wrong and looking for her to tell me it will be okay.

It’s been years since my ex and I broke up, we haven’t even talked, he does not see our kids at all (the OW doesn’t want him talking to me therefore the kids must be out as well.)

So it has been easy to stay no contact really, it felt like I had gotten to MEH. He was happy with the girl he left me with, while I was devastated at the time, the healing process began and recently I have been the happiest I had ever been, a girl honestly thought she had reached MEH.

I was happy with my children doing everything by myself, being in control of my own feelings, not being with an abuser, manipulator, asswipe — so tell me why when he calls me at 1 a.m. on my birthday to have birthday sex I SAY YES.

AHHHH, am I doomed? Has all the progress I made been ruined? Has my life gone to hell? Was this just revenge sex in some weird sick way to get back at the OW? And the worst part of it all was I did not even enjoy it, lol.

Chump Lady tell it to me straight did I ruin the progress I made?


Dear Abby,

No, you’re not doomed. You’re just temporarily insane. Get yourself tested (you don’t know where that thing has been, I’m sure you’re not the only special birthday girl he bootie calls). Dust yourself off, and get back on the no contact wagon.

Sleeping with your cheater ex is performing the Pick Me Dance naked. (Cue Diana Ross “I’m Gonna Make You Love Me“). And I’m sure it’s absolutely top-shelf kibble for him. You’re the taboo one now. He’s “forbidden” from speaking with you, so what a way to demonstrate to both of you You’re Not the Boss of Him? He’s fucking you behind her back, and rejecting you again, going back to her. Oh, the delicious cake! The centrality!

One incredibly stupid decision does not a doomed person make. Figure out what your motivation was, and shut that shit down. Bargaining stage of grief? Like, if I can’t have my intact family, I’ll settle for side dish? Grieve, but don’t touch him with a barge pole. Did you think you could flip the script and use him? Do you really want to be one of those shallow creatures who uses people?

Revenge on OW? Why be dragged down to her level? The best revenge is letting her HAVE him.

Seriously, let her live with the paranoia and the relationship policing. The devaluing. If she was okay being the affair partner to a guy with kids, let her puke on that carnival ride.

Now I’m stuck with the ethical dilemma if whether you should tell her. I’m sure she didn’t give you that consideration. But, STDs. I’d err on the side of telling her. Not in a spiteful, spike-it-over-the-net way, but in a “I’m sorry you should know” way. Screen shot that 1 a.m. text.

She already knew he was a cheater. But she probably thought she was special. She may not believe you, and that doesn’t really matter. He already doesn’t have a relationship with the kids (and that should be mediated by the court, not his complicated love rhombuses.) What do you have to lose?

Your dignity? That got fucked on your birthday.

Now, going forward (bathe in Borax, delouse, have a week of scalding hot showers…) straighten up and fly right. There are a bunch of innocent horny men out there who’d probably be thrilled to have recreational sex with you. You don’t need your loser ex.

Block his number. Parenting software. Boundaries.

Now go to your room and no video games for a week. It will be okay.

Ask Chump Lady

Got a question for the Chump Lady? Or a submission for the Universal Bullshit Translator? Write to me at Read more about submission guidelines.
  • I think we have all been there at some point in the healing process. CL is right dust yourself off and go back to no contact. As far as telling the OW I wouldn’t because then you could end up in a triangular mess. Just move on. Also do not bath in Borax, CL was joking. Just in case…..

    • Though I think true chumps should always be informed, I agree about not telling the OW in this case because, in my experience, the guiltiest people can have the most violent reactions when subjected to their own medicine. If OW so far hasn’t boiled any bunnies, that could change.

      FW might leave narcy hints and smear OW’s face in it all the same. I’d consider increasing home security just in case.

      • I agree with Hell of a Chump on this one. What’s good for the goose is never good for the gander. My cheating lying drug abusing soon to be ex ran away for 4 days and f@cked an old boyfriend while enjoying her pot smoking self. When she came home I thought it was a mental health break down similar to ones she had before she met me. But as we were trying to “work things out” I once asked her if it was okay for me to start dating on the side. She wigged out, started crying and sulked for 2 days – how dare I say that! But it was okay to her for her to run away for 4 days on a bender and f@ckfest with an old boyfriend and I just needed to get over it. To me the best thing to do is go back to no-contact and let him and his new thing sort out their relationship. Given that he came back to you I’d say he is dragging you back into the drama that he loves. Forget it, take a bath, get tested and stay away from the both of them forever. Sounds like trouble you don’t need.

  • Everything CL says is spot on. Don’t beat yourself up too much. I often wonder what I would do in the same situation. Part of me wants to say, see what you’re missing FW! Boi bye!

  • Abby,

    We all make mistakes; the trick is not to make the same mistake repeatedly …… or even twice if you can manage it.

    Don’t be too hard on yourself and treat this as a learning experience.


  • Of course — on a day I have back-to-back meetings most of the day, CL throws me a softball, and I can’t even get to the plate.

    A fuckwit/cheater parody of “I’m Gonna Make You Love Me” about booty calls would have been a great way to start my day. 🙁

  • Dear Abby,

    It’s ok. Self compassion and self forgiveness are essential for healing. You are human and
    and we all have relapses. Two steps forward. One back but you’ll get there.
    Just keep moving forward.

  • Thanks for sharing.

    It’s an important reminder that FWs continue to be motivated by deception, use sex to hint at affection and rely on the chump to struggle with disclosure.

    Just like the first time around.

  • “He does not see our kids at all”

    I would not give such a person the steam off my piss, as the English say.

    Chalk it down to a mistake and lose his number

  • Of course you aren’t doomed. It takes a lot more than one backslide with your ex to make a person qualify as doomed.


    When we become what we abhor, we hurt ourselves — and I understand that we sometimes have to cope through humor, yet that casual LOL is a bit worrisome to me. Neither the cheater ex nor the AP deserves any sympathy from any of us, but our choices aren’t about them. My choices are made with my own agency. Why would I use my own power to harm myself?

    And this happened via a phone call. There was time to think. Separation of physical space. Time for agency.

    So, just one backslide, absolutely not doomed. More than one incident, though, would become more of a character trait than a mistake. The proof will be in that pudding, and I hope it stays at one because you deserve goodness.

    I say all of this not to berate or to judge, but to lean in to solution mode. I think sure, it might be important to know why the one backslide happened — but the bigger question in my mind is, why does a person ever act outside their own values in harmful ways? In my personal case, it’s always one of two reasons.

    Option 1) I don’t clearly understand my own values (I’m looking at what I think they should be based on others’ views and not being honest with myself.)

    Option 2) I’m broken, deeply, in a place that needs a LOT of care, and if I don’t work on that, the acting out will for SURE get worse.

    We don’t need to know those answers, but as the person whose own well being is at risk as well as the well being of some kids, you’ll need to know it. Worrying about being doomed (beating yourself up, wry humor about hard things) might be a bit of an unconscious distraction from the need to do that work (it usually is for me).

    Don’t let your very smart brain trick you. (Brains are super good at that. They’re made for it.)

    • (Also, now that you know how you respond to him, watch for a time when you’re grossed out that he even asked the question — irritated that he even called — and you don’t want to give him enough phone time to ask you something like that. That will be your meh. As long as you’re saying hi back, you’ll have a clear message that, for you, it isn’t complete meh just yet. You’ll get there, but it takes time for it to be complete.) ⭐

      • Well, as long as the question of “why” came up, chumps should be thoughtful if alcohol use is ever involved.

        • This is true. On the other hand, I’ve made plenty of shitty decisions without alcohol — including deciding to drink too much alcohol — so it’s often a factor, yes, just more of an excuse and/or a contributor than as a root cause. Accountability remains, even if we aren’t clear-minded when we choose the action, because the substance use was also a choice.

    • Amiisfree-this is very helpful, and #2 speaks deeply to me. Big traumas in childhood and just now at 54 learning what my own thoughts are explains a lot of my actions in life.

      Thank you!

        • I read an article yesterday about being the subject of narcissistic abuse. It puts you in flight/fight mode and shuts down your the part of your brain used for reasoning. This is why no contact is essential…once you have made that decision. It’s another thing to make the decision to block.

  • Oh Abby, block that cheater. Send the booty call text to his OW and then block her. Block them all. Blockety block block. Yes, you made a mistake. The good news is you don’t have to again. You can be one and done.

    Enjoy sending the OW his booty call text.

    • None of that is no contact.
      No contact is the way to recovery.
      No reason to jump into that putrid stink.

      Go take a shower and then rinse twice get into bed and shake it off.
      An unpleasant memory that hopefully will add to learning about yourself.

  • Yes, it would be helpful to understand why you did that. But the answer may also be as blunt as: you were feeling like having sex at the moment he asked for it. Basta. Sometimes we’re still animals.

    So don’t beat yourself up too much. But just block him straight away and protect yourself of any future proposals plz!

    • “Sometimes we’re still animals” — agreed! Honestly, probably the hardest part about finding myself single, sigh. Despite this, on the whole some of us can be more dignified than other animals. Cheaters, it seems, are animals/lizard brained through and through.

  • I don’t believe he is happy with the girl he left you for.

    I don’t believe cheaters are happy in the first place. I don’t believe truly happy people are dishonest and deceitful and hurt other people. IMHO, cheaters are happy the way a miserable person is “happy” when they’re under the influence of a drink or a drug. That explains the booty call boomerang to me.

    Happiness is a big deal around here. Who is happy and with whom is the source of a lot of angst as a chump.

    My experience with this is getting a letter from the cheating boyfriend from my senior year in high school wanting to date again….EIGHT YEARS LATER. I wrote a letter back to him telling him to buzz off permanently and why. It took a few drafts and the assistance of my therapist to get all the expletives out.

    I do know of babies that have been conceived this way, so I don’t know if I’d use the word “doomed” about the consequences of one decision, but I do know it is possible for one decision to have serious consequences. It depends on the decision. So be careful!

    This is another common cheater party trick and it’s a trap deeply hurt people understandably fall into.

    You can trust that they suck. You can also trust they are not happy. You can also trust that they might be dangerous. (I watch a lot of Investigation Discovery). The jury is out for me on telling the OW for that reason.

    Rather than selling the cars I loved after learning they had been slimed by the presence of his lower companions, I went for seriously expensive detailing.

    Get detailed Abby, and don’t let slimy creepy icky man back in.


    • PS….

      Cheaters are unhappy because of themselves, not because of partners or marriages or relationships. The cheating is the proof and this letter seconds it.



    • “I don’t believe cheaters are happy in the first place. ”

      I absolutely agree. Even if I hadn’t found out some of the shit my ex and schmoops pulled after they married; I would know they weren’t happy. He was a lying con man who not only connect me but a lot of other folks. I don’t think my situation is uniquid either.

      But I knew what they had done and for how long, and they both lied and conned folks. That does not a happy person make. Just doesn’t. Doesn’t matter what kind of image they try to paint, they know who they are.

      Are there exceptions? Sure why not; but I doubt very many.

      • The true happiness and peace of
        mind and contentment and self-esteem that comes from acting with integrity will forever be off limits to dishonest deceitful self-seeking people who hurt others to get what they want.

      • Yes, they con others and they con themselves. It’s sad, but I truly believe that they don’t think they’ve done anything wrong. And that they think that by showing other that they’re “happy” (new schmoopie, money, lifestyle, etc.) that they are happy. Trust that they are not. Happy/good people do not do what they have done to us. They don’t lie to or steal from others to prop themselves up. There is no change coming. So deny them the ability to use you again. Best way to achieve happiness and closure for yourself is to not have anything more to do with that black hole. Don’t even give them the mental real estate.

        • Yes, they judge whether something was a good idea by their happiness (which is, as you point out, a self deluded, shallow one).

    • Velvet, I absolutely, unequivocally relish your posts. I think that you are fabulous, witty, insightful…a ruby! Not necessarily, in that order.

  • Yep, let it go. Next time he calls just say, no thanks I had forgotten how bad you suck at that.

    I let my ex come back a few weeks after he left. He gave me some story about “trying again” I was still in get my old sucky life back mode.

    Honestly; the sex was awful. (It had never been awful, in fact we had a good sex life) Oh I am sure he enjoyed it; but try as I might I was dead inside. Luckily for me he was treating me like shit within two days; so it didn’t even last a week.

    Still pisses me off that I let him back in my house and my bed, even if it only lasted a few days.

    • “Next time he calls just say, no thanks I had forgotten how bad you suck at that.”


      So funny.

  • Abby,

    I look at this a different way. You didn’t resist temptation and gave in to your desires and lost will power.

    And how did that feel in reality? You feel bad. You feel guilty. And the sex was eh. That’s the big thing here — remember that the sex wasn’t worth it.

    Awesome! Lesson learned. Now if (when) he tries again — you won’t be tempted.

    You got it out of your system. So look at that as a positive outcome of a bad choice so that you don’t repeat the mistake.

    But I’m also with CL that you should tell OW. Just a simple screen shot of the email of him asking you and you accepting. Let her know that you had an error in judgement and slept with him but now need to get STD tested and that she should as well. Whatever she does with that info is up to her.

  • Yeah, it was a lapse of sanity no doubt, but also agree you can reset and get back to the good place you were already in.
    The cheater ex got some cake on your birthday this year, but that’s the very last piece he will ever get from now on. Will make it somewhat easier when it wasn’t even enjoyable sex to boot!
    It probably really frustrates him how amazingly well you and the kids have been doing without him. He doesn’t want to imagine for a second that anyone could survive without him and that he is not still the sun in your solar system. That would be a gargantuan kibble he would love to own. Just shut it completely down, he is nothing to you and should remain that way. Sounds like he is bored to tears with current plaything and needs some new thrills to feed his endlessly draining ego. Nothing will ever fill it, that’s a bit of the magic of karma, he will never get what he
    seeks in life to hold any value for him for any length of time, but you enviously will.
    A good friend of mine was left for the younger secretary scenario story after a 29 year marriage. She attempted suicide twice after and sadly never did find her reset. The creep married the secretary but would come by almost weekly to do repairs in my friend’s house and also conveniently sleep with her. I so wish she could have changed her locks and been able to move on, but that never happened and they both have since passed on.
    I wish I knew then what I now know from the strength of CN and I could have helped her more, I was early 20’s myself and had no knowledge of manipulators and the dangers of toxic people who will destroy anyone to get their needs met.
    Instead, I will try to build a wall around myself that no low life cheating ex could possibly manage to scale. I’ll do it for me, my kids, my friend, and for all the chumps that couldn’t get their walls high enough to keep themselves safe.
    Get some additional bricks and cement, Abby, and make that wall completely unscalable. Sounds like you are almost there. We will hand you some bricks if you need any help.

    • Agreed. I so wish there was this knowledge about cheaters and manipulators back in the day. So many of us had to learn the hard way. We called them selfish, greedy, pushy, and so on. It would have helped to know the current labels and disorders behind the labels for these disordered jerks, that there are so many of them (that we weren’t the only ones experiencing them) and what to do about it.

  • I don’t understand why CL thinks the OP should tell the whore, because of STD’s?

    I think the only person in danger of an STD is the OP, as CL says, God knows where that thing has been! ????

    Abby, one of the things *I’d*be asking myself is, why the fuckwit thought that a text request for a birthday fuck would bear fruit?

    Two things immediately come to mind, 1) you *really* have to work on your boundaries, and sense of self-respect, and 2) this fucker has absolutely *no* respect for you as a human being; he thinks all he has to do is call and you’ll drop your knickers. And to be fair, that’s exactly what you did!

    I could understand it in a way, if DDay/divorce was very recent, but you say yourself it’s been years, so I’m struggling to understand your motivation here. Is the clue the OWhore controls fuckwit’s contact with your children, and this is a fuck you whore, fuck? If there’s an element of that, I’d remind you that fuckwit is an adult, if he wanted contact with his children he would have it, whatever his skank wants or thinks.

    No, you’re not doomed, but if I were you I’d take some time to really get to the bottom of why you did such a humiliating and ultimately self-defeating thing, you don’t really give us an inkling as to why you would do such an, I have to say, utterly daft and self destructive thing!

    And you really must get yourself checked for STD’s. And it’s rare I would disagree with CL, but I wouldn’t waste a second on the whore, if she get’s an STD from that piece of shit? Too bad, how sad.

    I can’t say I understand at all, but as others have said, pick yourself up, dust yourself off, and reset the NC clock. And really, *really* think about *why* you did this. ((bemused hugs)). Xx

    • I’m not sure about telling the AP either for the simple reason that if she dumped him and FW came crawling back to the letter writer would she be tempted (feel obligated?) to take him back?

    • Yeah, it’s not like OW doesn’t already know he’s a cheater. If she’s not protecting herself, knowing that, it’s on her. It’s not Abby’s duty to remind her he cheats, and it will likely bring Abby nothing but trouble. I rarely disagree with CL, but I say Abby should stay the hell away from this train wreck altogether and block his number.

  • I respectfully disagree with CL’s advice. Going full 100% NC with FW and the OW is, in my humble opinion, the only way forward. OW already knows what FW is capable of and that’s her burden to carry. You owe her nothing. I bet she wasn’t telling you your health was being compromised back in the day! Regardless, being in contact with either one just ups the stakes for drama and worse. I would chalk it up to a momentary lapse of sanity and “go forth and sin no more” as religious texts say.

    UX said it perfectly…reset the “days without loss incident” counter to 0 and commit to not having another. Feel like you have to leave some sort of an open channel with FW because of the kids? That’s what email is for.

    You got this!

    • Yeah, I’d also say telling OW is risky. If she fell for fw and is staying with him for so many years already, what guarantees she will react in a reliable/adult way? Plus you have to go through the painful confession that you gave in to his unhonorable proposal. No one comes out of this in a good way, whatever the best intentions are.

      Imho, I’d disengage and go on with your life. You’re for sure not the only one this happened to.

  • He showed you he will never stop cheating on anyone. He doesn’t care how he plays with your life, emotions or self esteem. You lived on hopium, apparently still had a small sliver left. You choose this, unlike before when it was done to you. In the whole scope of wrongs in your entire relationship, this was small. Damaging to you but small. Give yourself a hug, forgive yourself and move on.

  • Abby,

    You make the point that no contact has been “easy” because your X is not allowed to talk to you. That’s a big part of the problem. You aren’t no contact because it’s healthy and smart for you to do; you’re no contact because OW won’t “allow” it. So the first step is to DECIDE, to CHOOSE, to be no contact. Why is he able to text you in the first place? Block his number. You can unblock if you need to call him because of some emergency. If he isn’t doing the right thing with the kids, you can just use email.

    CL says it best.
    “Sleeping with your cheater ex is performing the Pick Me Dance naked. (Cue Diana Ross “I’m Gonna Make You Love Me“). And I’m sure it’s absolutely top-shelf kibble for him. You’re the taboo one now. He’s “forbidden” from speaking with you, so what a way to demonstrate to both of you You’re Not the Boss of Him? He’s fucking you behind her back, and rejecting you again, going back to her. Oh, the delicious cake! The centrality!”
    Why would you want the OW’s leftovers? You aren’t the Booty Call. Don’t feed this Fuckwit kibbles.


    Cheaters are not well people. People who cheat are also juggling with dynamite. My own mental and emotional health went out the window in the wake of being cheated on.

    The emotions are off the charts high in the infidelity arena and lots of people lose sight of how volatile it can get, reality obscured by the conventional idiocy romanticizing and minimizing cheating. Romantic comedies featuring cheating do not help. It’s all fun and games until somebody gets hurt, and cheaters know going in that they are hurting people and they do not care.

    No one thinks the worst can happen to them until it does. The worst happens often enough that my top rule with an OW is Do Not Engage. Just like my response to a driver road raging at me. She’s already proven she’s a disordered wingnut with no boundaries. No one would have ever thought that Chris Watts would kill his pregnant wife and two children. I’m sure Nichol Kessinger never saw the karma freight train coming her way.

    I’m all for erring on the side of caution when deciding whether to engage with anyone who has proven they have no problem hurting me.

    Just a thought.

    • I always love reading your insight… it’s very true. I feel insane many days. I can’t make decisions I’m anxious. I’m telling myself he’s not doing anything (which he’s not RIGHT NOW) but he did. Period. And why can’t I get this through my head. This is now damaged. Why do I even consider taking the challenge of a REBUILD? Because I did it before? In the beginning. Do I truly need such a challenge? Why don’t I respect my life more? And my grown daughters? And nieces? That I continuously counsel on how to be and what not to accept. Because I know how much it hurts. Because I know how difficult it is to live with this weight in my chest.
      And for the ex that he cheated with- she’s always being cheated ON by her live in boyfriend. And she most likely cheats as well. So all of these people are used to this!
      HOW did I end up here
      THEIR daughter calls me mom. She’s 13 now. It’s a mess. I’d be the bad guy. But why?

      • Why are you worried about being “the bad guy”? Why does it matter what others think of you when you have a crushing “weight in your chest”? Why does it matter what others think if you are anxious, if you feel unloved and disrespected?

        Is this situation acceptable to you? How can you begin to imagine a different life for yourself? How can you model being an independent woman with self-respect for your daughters, your nieces and “their daughter”?

        • By doing the right thing. Taking the action is where I need to be.
          Him being sweet and providing things doing things “trying” to just be here and be more open and honest but damn if I’m telling the truth I could do a lot better in his shoes
          Thank you????

      • So his daughter sees you as her second mom? I can understand you not wanting to leave her to the not so tender mercies of those two cheating creeps.
        But she’s 13, and she can choose to still have you in her life. You can talk on the phone, text, even have her over for a visit perhaps? Explain to her the pain you’re in and that you just can’t bear it anymore. Chances are good that she will understand. Don’t model dysfunction to her. If everyone in her world is a mess, what chance does she have? Assure her that you will always be there if she needs you and she can call you anytime and come to see you. Hopefully her parents will allow it. For this reason I say don’t burn your bridges with the fuckwit and his ex. Keep it civil so you can still have the girl in your life. But do get out of this agonizing situation.

        • Thank you OHFFS I’m in tears because I know what broken families feel like and always tell her I wish I could do more… she didn’t deserve this life but is so very resilient
          I would hope she’d understand
          Part of my fear is she will see “daddy’s pain” caused by me.
          But I do have to think about myself as well and I know it.
          My grown daughter is very insightful and says he doesn’t do all these nice things out of pure love it feels to her like getting me to hang on. In a way I feel that too. That he knows I am good for them but are either of us truly happy? I know we have lots of love for each other but isnt what I need for a strong future. If I’m going to be married. That (the past ten years)was pretty weak:(

    • “People who cheat are also juggling with dynamite. ”

      Exactly. I know each situation is different and likely some more volitle than others.

      My fw was not only exposed to me, and family and friends whom he had successfully fooled for a long time; he was frantically trying to save his job, and his promotion. He did save his job, but he lost his promotion and all the ground he had gained.

      Sadly for him, had he just divorced me when he realized he didn’t love me; that would have been I assume years before and he could have saved his promotion. But, my guess is he needed me and the image of decent family man to get to the promotion, so he went underground.

      I am sure he was living a thrilling life; fooling me and a lot of other folks. But, someone always knows and on a police department they don’t tell until it provides them with the maximum bang. And so, someone finally dropped a dime. Kaboom.

      It would have been so much better for me had someone who knew told me (even covertly) years before; but it is what it is.

  • I made that mistake once…when I thought we were going to reconcile (so technically still married, but after I found out about the lies/prostitutes/diverted funds). It was awful and I stifled crying during and afterward. Then he had the nerve to casually mention that because we had sex, I legally forgave him. I yelled at him why he would say such a thing. Because it was a motherfucking trick. He honestly had no desire to do what it would take to actually reconcile and likely knew he was on borrowed time. They are spineless weasels, but because we were bonded with them, we are blind to the horrible people they truly are. They are parasites, takers. They will take what they can get, and they will keep taking as long as you let them. You need to shove them the hell away from you and slam the door in every possible sense.

    • The thing is, he can’t prove you had sex with him, so the “you legally forgave me” ploy in a fault divorce situation really has no teeth. I’d just deny it happened and go ahead and file for adultery. Gaslight him that he must have just dreamed it. Unless he took a video of it, he can fuck off with that.

  • Oh Abby! Have I been there… I think of sex as self care and after taking care of kids and adulting it has its appeal. You got an offer that (at the time seemed easy—easier than Tinder) and took it. Lesson learned—now go find yourself some safer less drama filled self care!

    Before I did the work and found healthier providers of self-care, I did sleep with my ex more than I care to admit to. In my case, he has always been generous about $ and time with the kids so I didn’t have that conflict. The AP, who was my close friend of over 25 years never knew and there was no way I was going to tell her as I want nothing to do with that circus. Not my finest moment as I’m sure there was a revenge aspect of it (as you mentioned in your letter).

    We chumps go through a lot and mistakes will be made. Dust yourself off. Hopefully you will laugh at this in the near future and use it as a measure of how far you have come. Sending non judgmental hugs!

  • Bow chicka wow. ????????‍????

    1) Blockage: The kids are with you…why is this fuckwit not blocked. Email only. Just like your favorite toxic junk food…keep him out of your house and far away, so you’re not tempted in times of weakness…like birthdays.

    2) TELL the OW: I’m firmly in the tell camp. Take what positive there is from this incident. 1) Your kids didn’t see/know (hopefully)! 2) The OW will see/know! Altruistically, of course, inform her…replete with screenshot of call log/texts and the exact day and time. The fact is she wasn’t with him in the middle of the night on your birthday! Oh, she’ll believe you. You can be sure that he gave her some stinking pile of bullshit lies to be out that late or get out of the house. Or she’s a really heavy sleeper (not), or she was out of town! ???? So, you’ll be doing her a favor to fill her in on her prize turd, and you’ll be helping him with his honesty growth hahahaha

    3) It will be great…informing her of the “STD risk” will shorten his leash and keep his boners???? off your porch. ????????????

  • Abby here, thanks fellow chumps for the encouraging words! This was over two weeks ago and since then I have blocked him and haven’t talked to him since. I find comfort in knowing you guys don’t judge me regardless of why I even did it I still don’t know but I am moving forward and leaving it in the past!

    • Hey Abby,

      Congrats! Here’s to the healing powers of NC!

      Be gentle with yourself. Have compassion. But also perhaps consider therapy to help you figure out what motivated you and how to process it all.

      All the best!

      p.s. When our dog died suddenly only a few weeks after D-Day, we were devastated. In this state of heightened emotions, I actually asked him to kiss me.???? I don’t even know why except to say that I was not in my right mind at the time. During what amounted to a wet, creepy-uncle kiss, I could feel my body recoil. It knew to get the hell away. I think it’s interesting how our bodies can sometimes be “smarter” than our minds.

      • “I think it’s interesting how our bodies can sometimes be “smarter” than our minds.”

        Yep in my case supposedly he was coming back home, so there was no shame. And I had had an empty bed since he left; so I was ready. But, my body had shut down and I realized it once it started.

      • “I could feel my body recoil. It knew to get the hell away. I think it’s interesting how our bodies can sometimes be “smarter” than our minds”

        Yup! Sometimes our bodies know before we do.

      • “…our bodies can sometimes be “smarter” than our minds.”

        Yep. I am not a spitter. I hate casual spitting and casual spitters. I have told off not a few college aged boys at the university where I worked for spitting on the university sidewalks or, worse, in the drinking fountains in the gym. I am, truly, the Singapore of spitting–I’d be happy to cane people for it.

        To me spitting is an extreme expression of disgust, and saved only for the worst offenses/offenders. The only time in my life I have ever had a visceral disgust reaction that moved me to spit was right after I left my marriage, when I had to see my now-ex over divorce negotiations. It’s as if my body was finally able to express itself.

    • ????
      Go Abby!
      Of course we don’t judge. You harmed nobody, except maybe yourself a bit, which we can’t fault you for as we’ve all done it. We have to forgive ourselves for that. We were targeted by manipulators and succumbed to their mindfuckery. It happens to the best of people.

  • Good morning CN
    I had to respond to this post in particular because some may remember my husband cheated on me with his ex. Once in the dating phase (you know the crucial part where you’re bonding and building a foundation) and later learned it occurred AGAIN nearly FOUR years in.
    This has been both a mindfuck and total shit sandwich I’ve been trying to barf up since last April when he “confessed” only because he was backed into a corner and thought she’d do that for him. Why she never did? Maybe to keep it over his head? Perhaps to not ruin a future chance of hooking up? It’s all the blender that CL speaks of.
    So my comment is because this maybe what the whore would be writing in about the times they were together. Who knows what she’d say. Sadly I’ve said I do not want her around anymore.
    I used to welcome her to my front door. I’d prompt adult conversations as the parents we were to one child(theirs). She’s actually kept the child away many times. It’s a sad situation. It seems I’m with a lot of emotionally immature adults and one child now thirteen who calls me mom. What a mess.
    It just triggered me. That 1. He texted on her bday. And 2. She agreed.
    That was probably me sleeping in our bed dreaming of a family’s d happy marriage we would one day build. Which is all in MY head. Clearly
    And now, it’s in his. For thinking this is still possible. Ex: today he’s taking a physical interview for the fire dept that hired him two years ago and he backed out because the money wasn’t right. Yes, that position that could’ve given me some freedom from holding onto stressful underpaid jobs for benefits and retirement-
    What day and how do I finally rip off the bandaid? It’s getting infected????❤️

    • Reading today it’s been on my mind that if an X is in a new relationship, even if it is with an affair accomplice, having sex with X makes me a cheating accomplice (someone I never want to be!) Is this what you are saying above?

      If I have sex with an X who is in a relationship, I don’t get a hall pass because he is my X and his partner is an affair accomplice….

      The boundary I was taught is “Hands off someone who is in a relationship.” They are unavailable.

      • Exactly. And “hands off someone who is in a relationship” because you respect relationships, because you aren’t going to wound people like you were wounded, and because you have values and standards for yourself.

        • Yes! Agree.

          Hands-off someone in a relationship, even if that relationship started as an affair.

          Two wrongs don’t make a right…and all that.

          • I normally completely agree with chump
            Lady, but this post confuses me, her husband is a cheater, the Ow he left with is a Cheater,
            And now the lady who was originally on is a cheater.
            All three of these people are cheater,
            Cheating is not a mistake, it takes
            A lot of
            Co ordination in any circumstance,
            I don’t think just because it was her ex we get to look at it as righteous excusable cheating

            • I suppose when there isn’t a proper break up it might feel like you are still the primary relationship and he is still having an affair

            • I have to disagree on this point. The doctrine of Be Done By As You Did is just as valid as Do As You Would Wish To Be Done By. Once people screw you over that badly, they lose any right to expect to be treated respectfully or kindly by you. They should expect the opposite, actually.
              I guess if one is a strict moral absolutist, if something is wrong, it’s always wrong under any circumstances. To me this is a 100% bullshit “relationship” between a scumbag cheater and his nasty OW which was brought about by abusing Abby. It, and they, deserve no respect or consideration by the person they abused.

              • I felt like you did before someone pointed a loaded gun at me. And before I helped a friend clean up the crime scene at her home, the back yard where her daughter’s X beat her to death with a baseball bat during their child’s first birthday party.
                (The Mitchell case made national headlines).

                I no longer assume anyone is harmless or that I am bulletproof. I don’t think it’s wise to provoke anyone, especially when the sky-high emotions of cheating are involved.

                If you don’t remember Mary Jo Buttafuoco, Google her.

                No one thinks it will happen to them until it does.

              • Totally agree. But I wouldn’t tell the skank whore, let her get an STD, she signed up for it! ????????

                Also, appreciating what others have said, the fuckwit would get a frisson of delight over it, and the skank whore might be a bunny boiler.

                Much better to do as Abby has done, block him, and put it behind her.

              • I tend to agree. I didn’t do it, but I can’t really fault anyone if they did.

                For me it is just about the ick of letting him get a thrill at my expense.

                Even though he had moved back in and I was doing nothing wrong. I still get pissed that he got to have sex with me one more time.

                And while I thought he was really coming back to work on the marriage, the whore had to know he was pulling a con. Yet she was ok with him coming back. Those two really really deserved each other.

              • Interesting take. I have zero respect for x and wifetress (formerly AP). I hope they are miserable together. I hope that they are forever suspicious of each other. (Each cheated on his/her spouse.)

                That said, I wouldn’t interfere in their relationship even if I could. As we know, NC bothers the shit out of cheaters, so does maintaining one’s integrity. It just makes them feel even worse about themselves. X knows he can’t attack my integrity.

                Wait a minute! What am I saying? Of course the lying liar attacks my integrity with baseless claims. Oh well.

                Forget him. The bottom line is that I like to be able to look at myself in the mirror. I have faults, but I don’t lie and cheat. I don’t sleep with people in relationships. He can say what he will, but I own that high ground.

                And fuck these cheaters (not literally)! #almostatmeh

              • Sorry VH, I can’t seem to reply to your comment directly for some reason. I wasn’t saying it’s a good idea to have sex with the ex. Yuck, no. I was saying it isn’t a moral issue because the OW is only getting back what she gave Abby. The only innocent person it can harm is Abby herself, so for that reason alone it’s a bad idea, plus for the reasons you cite.

                Of course one shouldn’t provoke creeps like this and should stay as far away from them as possible. So I vote she should not tell OW. That’s not only playing with fire, it keeps her enmeshed in their sick psychodrama.

            • YES. Exactly my point as well. I was new to this relationship. He cheats with the ex who cheated on him which is why he left and ended up dating me in the first place! Fast forward four years- were married and he messes around with her again?!? After four years together and married?!? Fast forward about SEVEN years he “confesses” that “six years ago I cheated on you with her and regretted it ever since” I “just wanted it to go away”.
              Thanks dude.

        • I have values and standards and have zero problem wounding people who have wounded me. I wouldn’t do it this way but I give zero fucks what happens to them.

          These aren’t strangers or random people. These are the exact people who abused and damaged her. Fuck them. They deserve zero consideration from their victim.

    • I’m not a believer in the ripping off the Band-Aid.
      I’m a believer in keep changing the Band-Aid as needed very very very gently carefully looking at the wound
      and then one day the Band-Aid’s not needed anymore.

  • I would caution against OW contact. FW will just say you’re jealous, crazy, and trying to cause problems.

    Also, OW, in many cases, are unhinged. Don’t poke the bear. In order to preserve her fantasy (you against the love story of the century), she might push for an order of protection or file a claim of harassment against you.

    Don’t beat yourself up. YOU now know something SHE doesn’t know. Enjoy the feeling, but don’t repeat the scenario.

  • I’m going to guess that the reason the sex was “eh” was that you were less than even half-heartedly participating it. That’s actually a good measure of your “meh.” I’m going to also guess that your ex was expecting a frenzied pick-me dancing effort on your part (that or your effusively gratitudinous one for his fantabulous birthday gift of his attention). That the whole thing left you feeling sullied means, as others have pointed out, that you’re no longer vulnerable to this kind of manipulation by him in the future.

  • Abby, I don’t think you’re doomed as long as you start acting in alignment with your values. If you find yourself doing things you do not want to do frequently, you may want to get some life coaching to help yourself notice your thoughts and change your behavior.

  • Abby, you fell for the mindfuck again. This is what they do the best. No shame in falling into the sticky web of predatory mindfuckery. It seems like we are carefully chosen by our ex partners because we are vulnerable in mind, body, and soul. We love deeply, forgive easily, and assume folks have our best interests at heart. This loss of innocence is really hard to accept, that there are humans with powers to make us cray cray. It sucks that we must be on guard for this and it’s also why no contact works for most of us chumps. I’m sharing 3 dogs with my ex (we are separated-divorce pending), and I usually leave when drop off is necessary. Just seeing him is painful. My brain knows it can’t work but my physical body longs for what I thought we had before discovery day. A tornado of feelings, a push and pull mind game. It’s a long game, learning to say no to acts of self punishment. You’ll get there. You survived living with the ex and you will most likely thrive away from him. Keep your supports close by and let others know when you fell vulnerable. You can be free. It often takes longer than we would like.

  • First time commenting but reading for a while.

    And this is a timely post as I was just musing that I am so close to meh that I’m not sure whether I would even care if my ex was here or not. If he came back or not. If we decided to be together or not. I don’t even care. He is so insignificant to me, why even bother with tiring myself putting up boundaries or fighting to stand up for myself.

    But I think I’m not at meh. I’m just tired. I’m disconnected. Ive breen distancing myself and im a bit numb from the process.

    I’ve removed his power in my life and in the process accidentally removed the threat and risk he still poses.

    For the first time since dday and being discarded along without kids, I felt today like why even bother to refuse him if he comes back.

    So i jumped on here to remind myself that meh involves directing energy into me. Not giving up on everything.

  • “There are a bunch of innocent horny men out there who’d probably be thrilled to have recreational sex with you.”

  • PPS….

    I am always looking to avoid handing him/her/them any ammo they can use against me. When thoughts of vengeance visit, I remind myself that if I stay on the high road, no one can touch me. Any smack they say about me will be a lie. They would love nothing more than to be able to justify pointing a critical and judgmental finger at me to rationalize and excuse their conduct. I do everything I can to keep my side of the street clean. They ruined so much I held dear. I can’t let them bring me down to their level.

    I found out about their secret apartment a year after he moved out. The whole time he was lying lying lying to my face about where he lived. I showed up at our offices and sat calmly in front of him and said nothing. Just showed him a screenshot. When he tried to spin another whopper, I said, “That is complete horseshit. I want the truth. Now.” He was taking money out of our business to pay the rent.

    Like rats, they vacated within a week.

    That’s power.

    I aim for the move which puts me in the power position when I have to engage with the people who violated me. If I don’t know, I wait 24 hours before doing/saying/responding and consult with my wise elders. It’s always a power move to PAUSE.

    I have not been mistake-proof in my responses. I have regrets for those times I fell off the beam because of how it damaged my credibility.

    • “It’s always a power move to PAUSE.”

      Amen to this!

      Power moves in relationships (i.e., what I’m working on):
      1. Pausing
      2. Being comfortable with silence (making others squirm a bit when there’s a void)
      3. Thinking twice (thrice!) before saying, “Sorry.” (90% of the time, it’s not warranted.)
      4. Treating “no” as a complete sentence. (I often feel the need to explain myself, but it’s unnecessary most of the time.)

      • When I was a landlord, I can tell you that I hated getting complaints about my tenants and always responded immediately. If you live in the proximity of people who are renting and causing grief, the power move is to call the landlord rather than address their problematic tenants directly. The latter results in turf wars and fights. Phone calls to landlords get solutions (if they have have integrity) and maintain your anonymity so personalities ruin the neighborhood relationships.

        I call the police to handle situations. Or store managers. Or the appropriate authority. It’s better if the proper authorities set strangers straight.

        In the case of a cheater, I don’t engage with the OW. If there are any problems around her, putting the heat under the feet of the offender who brought the interloper home is my MO.

        The Godfather didn’t get his hands dirty.

        Neither do I.

        It sends a way better message.

        I do wish I could have seen her face when she all of a sudden had to quit her job and pack up and move.

        • TYPO

          “So personalities DON’T ruin the neighborhood relationships. The focus is the problem that needs resolving and doesn’t become the people involved.”

  • OP, if you haven’t been sexually active outside of this, then you can’t possibly contribute to the OW getting a sexually transmitted disease due to your rendezvous. So no need to tell her. She already knows what FW is capable of, anyway.

    You letting the OW know just reinforces the FW’s centrality, so he can enjoy the perception of his OW & ex fighting over him. I’m sure he will perceive it that way, as your attempt to break them up to get him back. Don’t hand him that gift, too.

    Total, 100% no contact is a necessity for you. Block his number & email. Never respond to anything. Don’t even stoop to tell him off. That just keeps him central & puts you in danger of being compromised.

  • I just can’t imagine ever having sex with my ex again. He’s just GROSS. At least when I married him he was a good looking man… now he’s got rotten teeth, scraggly hair and beard and stink of BO and cigarette smoke.

    She can HAVE him.

    Although, I would LOVE it if he texted me with a 1 am booty call…. Because you can BET I’d be plastering screen shots of that EVERYWHERE. His whore, his family, his friends, his co-workers.

    It would be absolutely delicious.

    • A former patient messaged me she saw former spouse at convenience store. She said he looked like a scarecrow and had pus running down his arm. When I told my son he said was he looking for a brain? He’s losing teeth from illicit drugs. No thanks, I’m good.

  • I think it is very likely that the paranoid OW is finding ways to monitor his texts/emails. If you make a clear reference to the birthday sex…like saying it shouldn’t have happened or asking about the possibility of STDs…she will find out, without you seeming to have directly told her. Part of her having won the turd prize is that she will always be suspicious.

  • I am sure CL will roll her eyes at this and I know it’s kind of tacky, but not too long after he left me for another woman, I seduced my ex. When we were done, he says “what was that?” I told him, “That was to prove that if you’ll cheat on me, you’ll cheat on anyone NOW GET THE FUCK OUT OF MY HOUSE.

    Gotta tell you, I don’t entirely regret it.

    • Having sex with a guy isn’t the best way to teach him a lesson. It’s giving him a gift. He already knows he’s a cheater & doesn’t care. I hope it at least made you feel better.

  • Live and learn. I also vote for no-tell. Move on.

    I did once during separation because it seemed right at the time. I was OK with that. He was getting the last of his stuff and was going to file for divorce soon.

    However, I also knew from a previous consultation with a divorce lawyer that the act reset the separation clock. In my state, sex resets the clock in terms of how long you have to be separated before a divorce is final. So if he had immediately filed a contested divorce, it would have been another six months before it could be final. So in a way, it bought me time. So ironic though.

  • You’re human. We make mistakes. First lesson for all chumps in this. Grey rock is grey rock. Absolutely NO reason to answer a phone call at 1 AM from anyone but trusted family or friends. If there is an ACTUAL emergency, they’ll leave a voicemail, which in this case I’d bet my retirement savings that he wouldn’t have left one. Mine tried this a few times in the early years…….late night phone calls, no voice mail. That’s pretty telling as to the content of what that conversation was gonna be. Oh but what if they’re in a car crash and dying?!?!?! Well, sane people call 911 or Onstar, not their estranged ex.

    • Yeah, the ex calls at one in the morning and the kids are not with him? That’s nothing but trouble. I suppose it could be some emergency with his family, but that’s no longer her place to intervene in anyway. That’s for his new spousal appliance to deal with. He lost the right to ask for any help or support when he fired her as his life partner.

      • Even if the kids are with him. What would you do on the way to the hospital with a sick kid at 3AM if someone you called didn’t answer? NOT leave a frantic voicemail or text? Once again, no reason to answer.

  • I should have added that I’m a really stickler on the phone call shit. What do cheaters hate most? Accountability. Voice mails and texts and emails they can be held accountable for. What is said over the phone is he said she said. Don’t give them that power. We already know where that leads time and time again.

    • 100% right here. I’m also not a fan with tolerating texts; they’re a pipeline straight into your life, your day, your brain. Even voicemail is something you can more or less ignore until you are ready.

    • Yes, I went to email-only when I had a job where I could get fired for pulling out my phone. Frankly, it was a relief and what my attorney recommended email. There were no custody issues, so nothing required immediate coordination anyway. It was an old family email account, so I checked it when it was convenient for me, nearly always once a day. If I missed a day because I didn’t want to look after dinner, oh well. Of course, there was and still is rage which I ignore.

      I decided at some point that separated wives and now ex-wives don’t have to be available 24/7.

  • We all have the right to start every day fresh and just try to do better than yesterday .
    Sex with the ex – nobody actually got hurt ; there were no kids who saw dad coming out of mums bedroom . You worry about your dignity but in reality – you realised your error and will do better next time .

    It’s funny – my ex since our divorce has paid a lot of attention to her appearance . Exercises , lost weight ( and she was never overweight ) , a lot of attention to hair and make up . She is attractive for sure .
    I find her repulsive and completely don’t understand why I was ever sexually attracted to her . If she would make any suggestion like that I would scream and run .

    • Yes this!

      I feel exactly the same about my FW. When I loved who I thought he was, he was tall and handsome. The last time I saw him he looked as if he’d been through hell. I recoiled when I saw him. Definitely wouldn’t be engaging in booty calls with it. ????????

  • abby, it was your birthday and you were feeling vulnerable. i wonder, was this birthday a significant one? sometimes those make a girl feel vulnerable. i suffered on the following: 33, 44, and 55. that’s just me. the rest of them were fine but the duplicates? fucked me right up.

    a learning experience, yes?

    • Yes it was the big 25 lol! Definitely regret it I was really just waiting for it to end and the worst part was TMI guys but when he was cumming he told me happy bday yuck what cringe

  • I’m D-Day I became repulsed by the FW. I knew I could never reconcile because I could never have sex with him again.

    But Abby, you were vulnerable and you did and it sounds like you learned your lesson.

    Don’t give any more oxygen to this fire. Block him – no contact at all. Block the OW. Don’t speak of it at all.

    If you haven’t been sexually active otherwise then there’s no need to start drama with the OW. If you have been sexually active, you can anonymously text her then block her.

    And then go find available and unencumbered sex. Nothing wrong with that. Be safe.

  • Don’t beat yourself up too much. Even though you’re happy and have reached meh, as a human woman you still like sex. When we neglect this basic need it can come out sideways and result in sleeping with ick people – at least it has for me 😉

    Best, to take an honest look at whether you need to address your sexual/romantic needs more proactively so you don’t fall into a regrettable tryst again in the future.

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