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Attempted Hoovering Fails

You don’t happen to have that 19th century book on West Virginia coal mining, do you? How about my fountain pen? My grill brush?

I don’t know. If you weren’t in such a hurry to boff strange, you might remember where you kept things. 

Hoovering. When the centrality is slipping and they need to make some shit up. Can’t let those kibble reserves run dry.

Today’s Friday idea came to me from another thread I read. Someone posted a ridiculous request from their ex. It was something like:

As you know, Wednesday is the 12th Day of Epiphany. And as such, we will be celebrating St. Ethelbert’s Day. Traditionally, St. Ethelbert rides into town in a goat cart and all the children pummel him with sticks. I will require the children stay with me on Wednesday through Saturday. Please ensure that their sticks are sharpened.

Is this your custodial time? Did you have plans? Have you never heard of this holiday?

Hello chaos my old friend.

I’m not sure if fuckwits do this consciously or unconsciously — but the result is the same for the chump. DIRECT YOUR ATTENTION AT MEeeEEEeee. KIBBLES!

Kibbles come in all flavors! Charm, rage, and self-pity. Booty calls. Threats. Sad sausage missives that they’ve lost their library books.

Today’s challenge is to share your best bizarre hoovering and how you deflected it. (A simple no should suffice.)

TGIF!

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  • Ex keeps telling me I can come by and get in his new hot tub. Unfortunately I have to wash my hair.

    • Plus, you don’t want to get into water contaminated by whatever cootie queen was in there doing God knows what in there with him.

      Blecch.

      🤮

      • Yes, now that put it that way, Someone online’s ex sounds like the demonic character from tjat pulp novel “Perfume”– this time one who was soaking hoochies in his cauldron to get the ultimate office bimbo-scented fragrance but went too far and got “eau de Craigslist crack ho.” So he was seeking some essense of “faithful wife” to counter the stench.

  • An email received several months ago: “Spinach, I haven’t been able to find my military medical records. Is there any chance that they ended up with your stuff?”

    I responded with: “No. I left them for you.” I wish I had stopped at “No.”

    Knowing him, I think this was his way of getting me to: 1. think about him, and 2. worry that he might be sick.

    When married, he used to get me hopping when he needed something. The timing was always terrible. I’d be out with friends or at the symphony with my daughter and I’d get a call or text.

    Him: “Where’s my social security card?”
    Me: “Did you look under “S” in the file cabinet.” 🙄

    The man could not be alone. And he couldn’t seem to stand my being with someone else, even our kids, so he sabotaged those times. He needed constant attention from me….until he didn’t when he secured another source (the AP). I’m SO happy not to have to deal with his neediness or hoovering attempts. #divorceperk #patheticman

    • “The man couldn’t be alone”. 🙄 I had this, too. It was exhausting.

      He reminded me of classmates in high school, who at the end of class would tap me on the shoulder and say “walk with me to my next class so I’m not alone in the hall?” And I’d say to those people “math is 10 feet away, and there’s hundreds of people in the hall also changing class. I think you’ll be ok” 🙄

    • This is painfully familiar. I’m sorry.

      I dated a malignant narcissist in college. We dated “on and off” for years until I realized I wasn’t crazy, he was abusive. My experience with him made me reassess my religious beliefs, particularly the concept of evil. He was that awful.

      Five years after I last spoke to him, he emailed me out of the blue demanding to know why I’d blocked him and all his enablers on social media. He claimed to be deeply worried about me, maybe I was having a breakdown? Apparently he’d traveled across the country to visit people and get intel on me because he was “so worried”, obviously something was wrong with me if I wasn’t responding. He begged me to please respond and let him know I was okay.

      Keep in mind, he was married to someone else by then, and I hadn’t spoken to him or any of his enablers in years, but he was acting like we’d just had coffee the previous week.

      He also mailed a package to my previous address containing earrings I’d forgotten at his place years earlier and a 10-page handwritten letter waxing poetic about our time together.

      I never responded. He tried contacting me for a year any way he could – text, email, even LinkedIn. I blocked him on every new platform he tried and never responded. Eventually he gave up.

      My worst hoover experience. He was unhinged and very, very dangerous.

  • The X was off his game in the end. He left a garage full of junk and was supposed to have cleaned it out, but instead came over every day and piddled in some drawers. As he slowly inched through mounds of tiny nuts and bolts, I had enough and dumped what was left on the street. I guess he thought hanging around would endear me to him, blah. One day I saw his house shoes on the hall floor and almost had a panic attack. I shut that down quick.

    He hoovered me for twenty years, always promising it would get better. It only got worse. He had nothing left to promise after Dday #3. Guess he was conditioned to believe I would take him back no matter what. He was wrong.

    • Mine kept driving back from his new home with the schmoopie (800 miles away, so god knows what it cost in petrol) in order to spend entire days sorting through boxes of rusty old nuts and bolts in his old workshop. I wondered why he was so keen on doing this. He got progressively more angry and tearful and eventually stopped. I realise now that I was supposed to go in there and beg him to come back!

    • I felt the same after D-Day #3. That was on October 5, 2020. He started therapy (good therapist) on October 20, 2020 after I found 5/6 child porn disks in his collection (there is no excuse for that crap). Shortly thereafter, I was invited to therapy so that therapist could get my side of the issue at hand (incest, child porn, torture porn and rape porn are his favorites). I said in that meeting that there is a 100% chance of divorce if this behavior continues.

      He made no progress in a year. Therapist told me so after therapist dropped him the 3rd time, for lying to the therapist. That husband hoovered for a year with SA meetings and a good therapist, eating cake in my house – I swear the guy doesn’t know how to adult at all.

      He moved out 11/1/2021. I retained an attorney after encouragement in this blog. The divorce paper drafts are delivered to him, by me in person on 1/16/2022. I should be divorced end of February or March 2022.

      He can try to fight me, not over assets (strong nuptial in place) but on the grounds I refused to go to therapy. I was willing to go, but only after his porn/lying/manipulation stopped – as per the recommendation by the therapist. Behavior never did stop. If he fights, I will pull the Police Report out (already have it) and tell him “I got this” and his Child Porn desires will be exposed further. We are in a no fault state so he will lose anyway. Checkmate.

      I guess he never thought I would pull the trigger. Well, duh….I told him 16 months ago. I gave him a chance and he blew it. I guess his cheating, lying, porn damaged brain can’t wrap itself around the idea that one of his objects (women/me) doesn’t do what he wants, when he wants, and how he wants. He is going to learn the hard way that his fantasy will not work with me.

      As soon as divorce is final, no contact is permanent. I am strict on contact now, very strict.

      PS: I already have a wonderful vacuum that doesn’t lie, manipulate, and deceive.

      • I’m sure that you know even being in possession of child P is a federal offense. I would not EVEN share a server with this man.
        How did all those therapists excuse this?
        Illegal activity is not part of therapy.

            • I am not arguing, but I would have pursued it with the district attorney or even your local FBI. For your police not to do anything also needs to be investigated. I know you have a lot on your plate, but child porn harms children and that’s clearly illegal. Keep doing what you’re doing but also don’t forget that.

              • The FBI. I have worked with a lot of local police departments to know unless they are huge and well-funded they just don’t have the capacity to deal with this. That’s why the FBI is so good at it because they have the money, the training, the skills to set it up and wait for him to hang himself, not literally of course.

        • “Sex Addiction” therapists, and I met 6 of them during the 11 months I tried to stay with Ex after discovering his secret sexual basement (and car and office), excuse just about every kind of perverted behavior, including having sex with the family dog. I’m not surprised the criminality of the child porn was never the driving issue with Spedie’s therapist. CSATs are the most dangerous branch of the RIC.

          • He raped the dog?!!😱😡
            Monster!
            And yes, CSAT is snake oil, and the therapists are often perverts themselves.

      • Good for you standing firm and strong!

        I laid down very firm boundaries the year before I left. Told him he was to step up or I was going to go out. He LOL’d at me and ramped up his dismissive and abusive behavior.

        When I actually walked he couldn’t believe it. A week before I physically moved out, I had been making plans, moving shit, etc. for several months by then, he comes to me with “I just can’t wrap my head around the fact that you are leaving for (town) and don’t want me to come”. This after over a year of him delaying, denying, refusing to acknowledge in anyway his sins, or try to support me. They really never believe that we will actually make them suffer consequences for their actions. We’re so mean!

        • Yes my FW did this to me too – saw me packing up my stuff and leaving and did nothing to stop me. Then a year after I was gone finally said “I didn’t actually think you would leave” – after his abuse, cheating, devaluing, etc 🙄

        • Mine informed me he was leaving me. Unbeknownst to him, he was being served the next morning. He got up early, purposely got in my way while I was trying to get ready for work, and reminded me he was leaving me that day. I promptly went out to the garage and grabbed my giant suitcase and Army duffle bag. I then proceeded to help him pack so he would get out of my way. As I was starting to walk out the door to head to work, the process server arrived. The look of shock on his face that I was daring to divorce HIM, priceless. I them informed him not to worry about sending me the keys. The locksmith was coming at 2 and I was changing the alarm code remotely after the cameras showed me he was gone. I didn’t catch it on the cameras, but my neighbors husband witnessed him crying like a little bitch when he finished loading up his SUV and driving off. Unbelievable how THEY expect US to be the ones weak and crying. You know, somehow like they’re the prize or something.

      • Wow, you both have major moral and legal problems here. Child porn is illegal. As in FBI and jail, not “another chance to stay married” and therapy. I really hope that you and your husband are not parents.

      • Do you have children with this man? I am horrified. In my state, possession of child porn gets you convicted and on the sex offender registry.

        • No kids. I reported him and cops were not interested. I considered going to FBI but he destroyed it all. It was hard copy. Cops blew it. And BTW for my critics: I reported him the following morning, after a night with no sleep, in person. I want him in prison.

          • You have done as much as you can do for now, and it’s a LOT to deal with for anyone. Give yourself time and kudos for bravery so far. It’s a ghastly, unimaginable situation you were thrust into and you have done everything in your power to get it resolved.

            That has to be enough.

          • Suggest you contact the FBI anyway. That will put him on their radar. I had an agent explain to me one time that they take every single phone call seriously.

          • I understand the part about not being able to make law enforcement do anything, but not the part about “I said in that meeting that there is a 100% chance of divorce if this behavior continues.”

            If I found out one of my partners was looking at CP, the “100% chance of divorce” would be INSTANT and without qualifiers or chances at redemption, ever, completely independent of whether or not police/therapists were involved.

            CP is 100% child sexual abuse and consuming it is UNFORGIVABLE under any circumstances- full stop.

            THIS is what your critics are responding to – the fact you stayed and gave him a chance in therapy- not the fact you couldn’t make a corrupt/uninterested police department do anything about it.

  • I get pictures daily of the kids when they were younger. I think this is strange, but in the framework of “Hey look at me”, it makes sense.

    I ignore her or keep my answers short like “cute” or “aww”. Eventually, I need to ask her to stop, but whatever. I’ve already asked her to quit being my wife; my quota for boundary setting is fulfilled for a little bit.

    • Hey Dude!

      Can you simply stop responding?

      I know you probably feel it’s required to comment on how cute the the kids are, but she’s just looking for a connection for herself. I suspect this has nothing to do with the kids.

      My two cents.

    • Hoovering by children. Trying to suck you in by softening you up with appeals to a happier time in the marriage.

      • My ex does this – in our coparenting app – there is a spot where you can upload photos in album – I have put a couple of only our son. He uploads pictures with him and our son together as if to say “look at me!”

  • A month after moving out (by court order), following a minor snow event in our town, she tried through OFW:

    KK: “When you drop off (M the Younger)’s hat and mittens, would you be at all willing to drop me off at the garage, so I can pick up my car without having to walk in the street?”

    UX: “No”

    KK: “Thank you for your kind understanding. It will be remembered.”

    For a few years after, every rebuff at her attempts at hoovering — and there were oh so many — was met with this passive-aggressive threat of “It will be remembered.” It never once occurred to her that I had no intention of ever asking her for any favor of any kind, outside of the occasional child coverage due to necessary work travel.

    • Uncle UXworld, can you please tell us the story about the family heirloom tables?

      😂

    • I’ve had many exchanges like this. Unreasonable request from XW. Reasonable, polite refusal from me. Anger and veiled threats of future reprisal from XW.

      For a while I was kind of concerned XW would follow through and be less accommodating towards me out of revenge, but I eventually realized that she was never going to do anything for me without extracting a concession anyway, so I had nothing to lose. Basically, you can only lose someone’s goodwill if the person was capable of goodwill in the first place.

      Just an FYI for you (since I think our XWs’ characters are pretty similar, but I’m a couple years ahead of you): as I have perfected my minimal contact strategies, XW and I have had demonstrably fewer and fewer acrimonious exchanges. We almost never speak, rarely text, and email only when necessary. To me, this is all good and in fact my hostility towards XW decreases every year. However, XW’s anger is noticeably increasing (as confirmed by the kids, who report more frequent nasty comments), and she has recently started violating parts of the custody agreement (things like not notifying me about kids’ travel plans – no practical impact but she is making a point), which she never used to do. So: be aware that what feels to you like an improvement in your relationship (fewer angry exchanges) will be paradoxically interpreted by her as a worsening.

      • No worries — (a) kiddos are now both over 18, so the issues that used to cause these outbursts are now almost non-existent; and (b) she’s got the Chlorine Special to catch her wrath now. Now if something were to happen to him…

  • It took me 33 years and repeated attempts but I am now the self declared Queen of No Contact. My boundaries are so firm that LTC Fuckface was reduced to sending me a postcard to ask a stupid question. Was that a Hoover?

  • Well, all I have today is the tale of Traitor X’s failed attempt at self-pity and a grab for the Victim crown from yesterday with Dr. Kickass CoParent.

    He “feels like he is being cut out” and is “angry about it”.

    Uh, you LEFT, bro.

    It’s worth the hourly rate to watch her put him back in the frying pan when he tries to get out.

    (I attend co-parenting therapy to protect my daughter. Making decisions with her presiding over negotiations cuts the BS out of it, for which I am extremely grateful.).

    • Now that I think about it, I did get a phone call recently asking if I could locate a five-dollar bike tool on the workbench. That he left behind four years ago with everything else along with his wife and child.

      Nope. Sorry, dude.

      🙄

    • “It’s worth the hourly rate to watch her put him back in the frying pan when he tries to get out.”

      Hahaha!! 🥓 🍳

      Oh to be a fly on the wall at these sessions!! Here’s to kickass therapists!!

  • My FW tried to occupy my headspace:
    Upon being served his papers, he called and asked “does this mean we are getting a divorce?” WTF
    My nice answer was “talk to my attorney”. That is now my standard answer for anytime he tries to communicate. FW hates it but I will no engage in conversation. Pretty much everyone is told not to engage. At least my attorney tells his clients that should be the standard answer unless it is a child issue or emergency.
    If he wants conversation that is for Schmoopie to handle. I am not feeding him kibble and I am through pick me dancing.I don’t have time for liars and cheaters.

    • Mine did the same thing with the divorce papers. When he got the final paperwork signed by the judge, he sent me a photo of it and said “I guess you were serious.”

      Umm, yes. Yes I was. *insert eye roll here*

      • These responses are priceless. I served Xhole LS first. Later, when he thought I didn’t know where he lived because he was avoiding the Divorce serving, the PI knocked on his door and served him in front of Shrek. Having told Shrek I wouldn’t let him go and I wouldn’t give him a divorce, she was happy as a lark and he had that dear in the headlights look. The PI/process server had to explain 3x that he was being divorced. Lol.

        • Ha Shrek, though in all honesty fws whore looked more like Princess Fiona, though both P Fiona and Shrek are from my memory decent sorts, so really an insult to them.

  • Ooh this is a good one – I’m still caffeinating this AM.

    *has asked me where his car registration title was (after I had moved out a year ago due to his assholery)
    *invited me to go and eat with our son after baseball practice – I walked away (it was during his custodial time)
    *asked me where I bought a Bible (bookstore – duh!)
    *has left his personal items in our sons backpack when traveling between houses so I could reach out to him to make him aware
    *has left cat food outside of my house for the strays – (OW has a cat and has since moved in with FW) after I refused a gift for our son that he expected me to gift wrap (as a favor)
    *we work for the same company and he works in the technology department and I’ve put in requests for certain things or my name has come up on reports for updates and he will reach out in the coparenting app to “help” me
    *has given me sad sausage tails that he feels he’s in inactive parent in his sons life (ya think? Sacrificed your son for strange 🤷🏻‍♀️)
    *has signed my work email up to receive promotional emails from a Children’s clothing store (never had that occur until after our divorce was finalized)
    *has purchased items from a clothing store in the town where I used to live and put my email down to receive the e-receipt
    *signed me up for a men’s facial for a hair salon that I hadn’t been to since I was pregnant with our son that I didn’t even know he knew about with the first three letters of my name
    *reached out to me with a fake account on IG
    *has asked me if I have fed our son before his custodial time with him and when I respond ‘yes’ – starts on a dialogue with emojis like these “:/“ and what he wanted to cook for our son
    *has told me it’s impossible to Coparent with me (baiting me to get into an argument because I don’t check the co parenting app every single day while son is with me and I respond direct, succinct and close ended way.)

    Funny how they don’t like it done to them the way they treat us – like he said to me in the throes of his mindfuck and confusion – “I only tolerate you and will speak to you when I have something to say.” How do you like those 🍎🍎🍏 Fuckwit?! 🤣

    • I have an identical experience with the feeding issue. He actually wanted it written into the settlement agreement that I was not to feed her dinner on his days with her.

      Traitor X, who never, ever cooked for us, as a husband, as a father, is now the Galloping Gourmet whose child is deprived of his culinary genius because of selfish self-centered mean ugly horrible evil awful Velvet Hammer.

      I ignore the settlement agreement. People in my world eat when they’re hungry, not according to MSA’s.

    • yep, “car registration title”
      between D-day 1 and 2, I had completely forgiven and was clueless to my husband’s double life of being a closet bisexual and fucking strangers he met on Adult Friend Finder.(so hard to believe I was so naive). Anyway, during that time, he was usually distracted, and passive-aggressive, but I was so conditioned to it, thought it was normal.. My best friend and I went on a 11 day hiking trip to Italy which FW completely supported.(of course, he did), but he actually called while I was in Florence, looking @ the statue of David to ask if I knew where his boat trailer registration was located…he always needed help with the most basic things but was somehow able to juggle 2 lives @ once!!!

      • I could have written this paragraph, kathy. My experience exactly (except I only wish I’d gone on an 11-day hiking trip to Italy).

        Which reminds me that my x hated when I left him, so I rarely took trips alone. Of course, he took frequent trips…for work.

        During the affair, he didn’t mind at all that I took a 5-day trip with a few girlfriends. Of course he didn’t mind!! I still get a trauma reaction when I think of how what I thought was an example of his making progress (being able to be alone for once and not throwing a fit when I wanted to be with friends) was actually his fucking strange in *our* bed. I was so clueless. It gives me the shivers.

      • Omg, I was visiting my family while son stayed with FW when we were still married. We were walking into a restaurant when FW called. His grandmother was in the hospital, so I took the call thinking it might be important. Nope. He was calling me asking where the mailbox key was. We had lived in that house for like a year at that point, and apparently I was the only one checking the mailbox that whole time, and he had never bothered to even know where a key was that whole time. Dumbass

    • I wonder why he didn’t just grab a bible out of any of the illicit hotel rooms he was probably romping around in? Or was he just not thinking about Jesus at that time?

  • My ex walked out very suddenly, hired a moving van and took our bedroom set and most of his stuff, and my attorney intelligently drafted a settlement agreement that said everything he left in the house belonged to me. Because he left it, right? So months later he wants his Australian riding coat back (think Neo’s trench coat in the Matrix, it’s for horseback riding in bad weather) – I told him he could look in the local thrift store, because that’s where I took everything I didn’t want. He told me my not holding onto it (because I should have known he would want it later) was symbolic of my “not supporting his hobbies.” The “non support” he was referring to was my noticing that motorcycle riding is dangerous and from time to time begging him to be careful, also buying him very expensive safety equipment in the form of helmets and what they call armored leathers (there are flexible steel plates in the arms and legs for protection if you’re thrown off the bike). Mind you, when he was in a serious motorcycle accident a year later, his life was literally saved by the $800 state of the art helmet I gave him. I do mean literally, he suffered head trauma, and he would have been dead but for the excellence of his helmet. I remember thinking at the time, Wow, I would LOVE to be so “non-supported” by other people that they just save my life without meaning to. The whininess and arrogance of these people is astonishing. Fortunately, the saving grace of this is that the accident happened on our anniversary. Sometimes you really DO get hit by the karma bus, or in this case, the karma other motorcycle rider. 🙂

    Anyway, hugs to everyone here, and happy weekend! So happy to be free of all that crap!

    • Maybe next time take the opportunity to remind him that you supported his hobby of fucking strangers?

    • I remember those days! XW left some clothes in our walk-in closet (not sure why, as she had an entire moving truck when she vacated), and then – when I pointed this out – forbad me from touching them. After a couple months I grew tired of seeing them and realized that it’s my house … so I packed them in boxes and brought them out to her car one day when she picked up the kids.

      She thanked me and took them home. Just kidding – she accepted them stone-faced and drove away. Just kidding – she started screaming at me that I had no right to touch her things and that she was going to contact her lawyer. The kids were in the car already and overheard her ranting and started to cry.

      • The creative way you relay her reaction made me smile IG. I was reminded of when I tried to give Douchecanoe his garage stuff back. I’d packed up his things from the house during the divorce and had boxes for him until I’d gone through the entire house. He grumbled a bit since he was living in a small condo at the time but took them. A few years later I finally got around to deep cleaning the garage and I found more of his things like high school mementos, a groomsman’s gift, a tablecloth his grandmother had embroidered, books from his apartment, miscellaneous tools he bought but I’ll never use and other things. Clearly his personal stuff. I packed all this into 4 brand new Rubbermaid totes and left them out front on a Wednesday. In those days my mom watched the kids after school and handled pickup since I was mid-commute. Apparently Douchecanoe threw a fit and refused to take his stuff. He yelled so loudly at mom that my neighbor heard and tried to intervene. When I got home my neighbor told me what had happened and commented that Douchecanoe should’ve taken his stuff if only for some new storage bins and to not upset my daughters who were waiting outside his locked car, mortified and in tears.

  • Cold Slab O’ Meat took my children’s baby book photo albums with him when he left. Not even his kids! He tried to schedule appointments to bring them back. And to fill out dissolution paperwork TOGETHER.

    OK, what time is good?

    Great! I will leave the storage shed unlocked and you can place all the things on the workbench. Get your Christmas decorations too!

    Miffed, he left empty Kroger bags in the shed as well with receipts showing he was living on Big K soda and Buddig Luncheon Meats.

    Sorry fool. That Love Shack apartment you gotta have to impress the Sluterus sure eats up your salary in a way sponging off me didn’t!

  • We had a real problem with my husband’s ex wife. She left him for his best friend and just couldn’t stand it when he met and fell in love with me and we got married and had a child. She would always send him selfies of her doing the duckface and maybe half their kid’s face would be cut out of the picture and not even looking at the camera. It would be the ex wife going, “oh i am just sending you pics of the kids. I’m sure you want me front and center of the photo in full make up doing duckface.”

    • Oh gosh, ex will send me pictures of our kid as well. Only he is front and center and she is off to the side. I also know from talking with said child that she doesn’t like having her picture taken most of the time. Geesh.

  • Not sure this is an example of hoovering, but he gave his car mechanic MY phone number. So I got a call about the car needing a new hose or whatever.

    I regret not telling the mechanic: “Do it all. Also, replace the brakes and tires. Take your time. I don’t need the car for a week.”

    • Last month, Ex, a physician, provided my contact info to WebMD. So for a couple of weeks until I blocked them I was getting emails and phone calls asking when I’d like to discuss my interest in their services.

      Ex hoovers every year around the holidays for 6 years and counting. Last year my nephew received a phone call from “the doctor” claiming someone kept calling him from that number and he was returning the call. The year before that my younger daughter received a Merry Xmas text and then a “whoops sorry wrong chat” as he had been instructed to never contact my minor children. Before that my son, who’d turned 18 in December, received a happy birthday email.

      While we joke every year about who will be the lucky one, we’re reminded of how pathetic he really is. And it gives me another natural opportunity to remind my family that the disordered walk among us.

  • My phony, conflict avoidant passive aggressive ex used to send cards for everything because he was super concerned with image management. I have never cared that much about cards and he knew it, but I’d get then because I knew it was important to him.

    After I found out about his ex gf being on the side our entire relationship and him acting like a complete douchebag about it because I wouldn’t rug sweep I filed for divorce. Once he realized I was going to divorce him the begging and pleading started but by then I saw him for what he was.

    Even after the divorce was final he continued to send me texts and emails which I ignored.

    So on my birthday about 4 months after the divorce he sends me a bday card. It’s a big, elaborate card with print about how I was unforgettable (phony, just like everything about him). Remember that he knows cards were never big for me bit HE liked them so nobody else mattered. When I ignored it I got an email that says something like this:

    “Assuming it didn’t get lost in the mail I assume you got the card I sent. I was just wondering why you didn’t thank me? I thought it was a nice gesture given all that’s happened”.

    Notice how he insinuated that HE was the victim? Why wasn’t he thanked? Poor baby was treated so badly and sent a phontly card and mean old me wouldn’t even thank him.

    Fucker didn’t even include a gift card. I might have thanked him for that.

    Maybe 😅

    • Manchild used to send my kids gift cards- they had a great time wandering around the stores (often lowes or Homedepot type) handing out the cards to random people in the store

  • 2 days before Xmas, Cheating Bastard Ex sent me a link to an ESPN magazine article. I promptly deleted it without reading. It was the first time since I walked out in July that he has initiated any kind of contact with me at all. I blocked him on phone and text the day the divorce was finalized in August, but I doubt he knows it.
    He was awfully good at pretending I didn’t exist for some 36 years, so hoovering was never gonna happen.

  • Love this question! It’s such an annoying habit of narcissists and much suffering could be avoided when understanding it. In my case there were many before I understood the dynamics and could resist.

    Clasically:
    “I went to the dentist in your neighbourhood …”
    “I just wanted to see how you’re doing.” (He never cared about how I was doing.)

    But especially social media: he would post something that related to our relationship. Social media has the advantage of ambiguity, which was much more of a convenience to him than writing me directly.

    And then ultimately, when nothing else worked, he came with the big “finally I do think I want a baby with you” (which was the main issue in his mind for us breaking up), but when I resisted to that he got someone else pregnant instead. So not sure that finally counts as hoovering…

    • “finally I do think I want a baby with you”

      Wow

      Stay strong, Giraffy! And, yes, that’s hoovering. Yikes.

    • Can you image how he’d treat that poor (imaginary) baby? Might as well name the baby Bargaining Chip. I guess to him, he couldn’t foresee that the baby would be a real person! Plus, that was cruel to you. Not nice!

      • Right? This reminds me about my XH not letting me have more than one child (he had 2 from first marriage). I had friends tell me that *I* was in control of that. But my theory was tricking a man into having a child he doesn’t want would be absolutely counter-productive. Such as a Bargaining Chip baby. When I reached the 38 years of age mark, he then started saying he never said he didn’t want more kids. Gaslighting!!! Mindfuck!!! At 38, that ship had sailed for me! And then the final dday and discard at 40, when I’m now too old to remarry and have any more children. That bastard. Stole my youth AND my chances at having more children. Should have left at the first dday when I was 34.

        • Yes similar story here: came with the baby hoover when I was 37 and just before Covid started. Then went into lockdown with OW and got the baby. Well you know how chances are to meet people since the pandemic.

          Although we might not get any children, I don’t think we should give up on love though, ImmaChumpToo. We can still marry if we want. It just may not be the whole picture we had in mind, but it could still be a happy place.

          • I’m sorry, Giraffy. Going through that during lockdown had to be 100x harder. If my XH has another baby in the future, my fist may meet his face. He’ll be 50 this year, but that is apparently not a hurdle for men.

            I’m definitely not giving up on remarrying, but I wouldn’t have a child without being married. So there’s just not enough time on my lady clock to meet someone, marry them, and then have a baby before time runs out. Now, if I had had someone waiting in the wings, I may have had a head start, but alas, I was a faithful wife and therefore have ZERO prospects. So the pressure is on my one son to crank out a bunch of grandbabies for me! 😉

            • But you do have one son 🙂 Who will need to figure out what he wants in life and how healthy relationships work…

              In general I think we should learn to detach of classic ideas of what gives us happiness. But I do believe having children can be an enriching experience.

              As for me, I’m 39 now so who knows a miracle might still happen. But I’m afraid the time I need to be able to trust someone again outpasses my biological limits. 😅

              • You sound very grounded, Giraffy, and I agree with what you wrote!
                Happy lives comes in many shapes.

      • “I guess to him, he couldn’t foresee that the baby would be a real person!” Yes that is what I thought too!

        He already had two kids and actually seemed like a good dad to them, having full custody and everything, that’s why initially he didn’t want more. He was covert narc who seemed a nice guy at the beginning, so maybe I should be second-guessing his fathership too, (I don’t know what’s true anymore.) I am just perplexed by the rapidity of how he replaced me, and wondering who the hell must have been the woman that agreed to get pregnant from him without being in any stable relationship. But it’s no longer my problem…

        Although I’ll never know what exactly happened in his mind, I’ll however forever remain baffled by the reasons some people decide to get children.

        Thanks guys, for your replies. ((hug))

        • I’m a little confused here, because it appears that 1. Has full custody of his two children 2. He Used His Words and told you he did not want more children 3. You DO want children 4. Knowing this man would not father children with you, you stayed with him 5. You think it’s his fault you don’t have biological children 6…having the chance to be a mom to his already existing kids apparently wasn’t enough for you?

          • Wow that are a lot of assumptions! Only number 1 and 3 are true.

            I left when it became clear we had different wishes for the future and when he was discarding me (which happened at the same time). Then the hoovering started. I was not with him anymore but did not succeed in finding a new relationship with another man.

            • #Sometimes — “Be a B*tch Delores, Sometimes all a Woman has is to be a B*tch…”

              @Giraffy — My (Un)Husband had gotten “fixed” before Divorcing Me… And got (Un)fixed (painful surgery) to have children with “The Barbie Doll”

              1. Never TOO OLD to have children if you want! I am 40, and my Husband and I are ramping up because I just graduated from College.
              2. Simply.Tanika on Instagram/YouTube is telling her story of Being a Single Mother By Choice.
              3. You could adopt children or foster if you wanted. I have had sisters who fostered little people for a long time now.

              @SideEye — 1. It is EVERY person’s right how and when they have a “Family” …
              2. There are “LOTS OF THINGS YOU PUT UP WITH WHEN YOU “LOVE” SOMEONE…
              3. In Life — As a WOMAN my “Wants” and “Needs” CHANGE!! Things I could tolerate because I was “COMMITTED” to my Marriage… You REACH a Point when You Can’t Anymore!!

              This ENTIRE Blog is here to allow us to voice “things” that happened before, during, and after the infidelity, separation and divorce.

              So please don’t make comments at 3:57 am in the morning when your brain isn’t working.

              • Sometimes: I offer sincere congratulations and am always happy to read about chumps’ accomplishments and healthy new relationships; these inspiring stories of GAL are what keep me going. However, in light of the topic of childbearing, I have to point out that having a husband at 40 is very different from finding oneself recently chumped and alone in a pandemic at 40. I know because I am in this position. At age 39, I left a fifteen-year abusive relationship with a serial cheater and moved away from my friends, job and home to start over in a new community. I have met many wonderful people and am making the most of what the area has to offer, but I have not met any men that I am genuinely interested in. I am lonely, but I am not willing to sacrifice my expectations and autonomy or to go against my gut just so that I can have a partner. Even if I do meet someone, I will need to take it slow. I was a real chump, and I have work to do. Years of abuse and the trauma of discovery, wreckonciliation and the dramatic and drawn-out end also did a number on me. I will not rush into cohabitation and long term commitment, and I definitely will not rush having a child (which I would, realistically speaking, need to). Dating with these goals in mind seems like a recipe for rose colored glasses, confirmation bias and spackling – in other words, disaster.

                I know that words of encouragement/advice to childless chumps are usually well-intentioned and supportive, but my PSA to Chump Nation:

                We all know it’s possible to adopt, freeze eggs, become a single parent, meet Mr. Right and become a mother at 45, be a doting and involved step parent or auntie, volunteer or work with children, etc. This isn’t news and I guarantee that any chump who wants children has agonized over all of these possibilities, probably for years. I have, and I am in fact a doting auntie who works with children as a career. At the end of my relationship with the manipulative cheater (but before dday), worn down by games and hollow promises, I had even accepted that I wouldn’t have kids and determined to embrace that path with gratitude, without resentment. I learned to shove down feelings of grief in order to stay motivated and positive. (On the bright side, at least I wasn’t starving in a war-torn country, as my ex once pointed out when I attempted to talk about my desire to have children.)

                I am surprised and sometimes triggered by the assumptions people make, even on this blog. I don’t want pity, but validation of the reality and room to grieve would be helpful. Let’s be honest, kids probably aren’t in the cards for many of us. Finding companionship is not guaranteed and requires vulnerablity – something I’m not yet ready for, and may never be. It’s not easy to let go of what you most desire, and a major and unplanned midlife transition that leaves you where you were at twenty is hard, no matter how mighty, resilient, independent and motivated you are. I’m trying to gain a life but I have no idea who I am or what I want anymore. Don’t all chumps face some version of this? I’m not going to be gaslighted into saying everything will be fine or that I don’t want or care about what I genuinely do care about, just because I can never have it. It takes time to let go of dreams and to kindle enough hope and creativity to fully embrace and commit to new ones.

                I know that there are many ways to find meaning and fulfillment and connection without having kids, or even a partner. Many people choose not to have children, and I respect that. I just don’t appreciate being judged or questioned for wanting them myself – or for not wanting it enough to become a poor, single mom at 40. (I’m having a hard enough time getting myself theough every day, alone.) It’s a deep desire, something I’ve known forever – not a whim. Yet, I wasn’t and still am not willing to jump into motherhood, regardless of the cost or my personal circumstances. I was in a financially abusive relationship, and I took a massive financial hit when I left. This is daunting when paired with the economic landscape and housing market of the pandemic, and it is going to take me years to be where I want – best case scenario. I have a good education and job and work overtime and I have no debt and make enough to pay my bills, but saving is slow. Having a kid solo right now would place me under unimaginable financial and emotional strain.

                Winning the lottery would solve my financial woes. It could happen, right? Snark aside, future faking is a very real part of abuse, and it manifests in a variety of ways. Kids were a major bargaining chip in my abusive relationship; to say that my ex sent mixed messages would be an understatement. I would never write to someone lamenting the challenges of having children with an abusive cheater. I would never comment, “That’s what you get for choosing to have babies with a fuckwit.” Or, “Don’t complain. At least you have kids. Look on the bright side, they’ll turn eighteen and then all your problems will disappear. Or maybe the cheater will die soon.” It would be insensitive and ignorant, and even as an outsider, I understand that the dynamic of parenting with fuckwits is hell, no matter how much a chump loves their children. My heart breaks for the chumps and children who have to deal with this.

                We all have different backgrounds and our circumstances vary widely, but all chumps were trapped in similar abusive cycles. I wish people could understand that those of us who wanted kids aren’t to blame for finding ourselves childless; rather, we were coerced and manipulated by disordered cheaters. I was a chump but I didn’t deserve to be abused and I didn’t deserve to lose almost everything I cared about and invested in. I did not “ask for” being childless, and I did not agree to everything that happened to me.

              • Sorry, Sometimes. My comment wasn’t an appropriate response to you/your comment. It was a rant about something that I struggle with. I know you were just sharing words of encouragement and sticking up for Giraffy in response to the nasty and ignorant comment from Side Eye.

              • @Sometimes, thanks 🙂 It’s ok to get a critical eye from time to time too, but as you say this is place is a kind of a safe haven and when we comment on each other we cannot know where people are in their healing process. (And if you see a weird posting time, please note that I’m in Europe :))

                Growing up with a difficult, narcisstic mother and a wonderful but enabling father I’ve never considered becoming a single mother. But this is personal and I respect women who choose otherwise. The whole idea of becoming a mother has actually always been frightning to me: I had experienced so much anger towards my mother that the idea of taking that role was terrifying. Yet, with the right partner, I would have been super happy to help a little creature grow.

                So when I met fw, I admired him for the kindness he showed towards his sons. The whole idea of being a mother suddenly became accessible and I discovered I actually loved the family life. Not seeing his children any longer was one of the hardest things of leaving fw – by the end my relationship with them was much better than with fw.

                At the beginning of our relationship fw actually played with the idea of getting a child together. The mother of his children had resettled and got a new baby, and as he seemed not very creative in his life goals, I think he saw that as a mark of success in his post-divorce life. For me that happened way too early in the relationship (which I could now see as a red flag), but at that time he hadn’t done anything bad yet. Then later he changed his mind overnight and I seemed to mostly serve as sex supply. He started flirting elsewhere and I quit.

                Anyway, to come back to the topic: like for bread&roses, the baby thing became a negotiation point to play with. Somewhere I read that narcissists intuitively know their way to your weakest point and this was mine. So he would come hoovering me, desiring me in all ways except in a sincere one. If he would have been a person of integrity, he would have considered my boundaries, leave me alone and stick with ow. Now it’s easy to see the hoovering for what it is, but after so many times I started doubting about whether I’d been too harsh. And then, one time I gave in, leading to a heap of drama.

                Sorry, this is my rant, but like for bread&roses this has been my struggle.

                Bread&roses, deep thanks for your message. I wish we could meet in another way somewhere, I always relate to your posts. And now we seem to be in quite similar situations, too. Take good care, sending lots of hugs.

              • LOL, I’m a night person, so being awake at 3:57 am is my normal hours, but thanks for the roundabout way of saying that you think I’m stupid…sounds like you learned a thing or two from your manipulative ex, lol!

                Ever consider that he got fixed/unfixed because he didn’t want to have children…with you, specifically? You said it yourself, peoples “Wants” and “Needs” change! Or is that only valid when it applies to YOUR wants & needs, around children, not his?

                And sure, you can choose to “tolerate” or “put up with” whatever you want when you “love” someone, but if you can’t do so without holding onto blame, bitterness, and/or resentment over it, you are better off breaking up and finding someone with whine your wants & needs are compatible, or who compensates with so much wonderfulness in other areas of the relationship, that not getting The Big Thing You Really Want doesn’t leave you hurting.

                And like, “wanting children” and “not wanting children” is such a MAJOR difference, with LIFE-CHANGING implications for the person who does not get what they want, and no possible way of compromising/meeting in the middle, that whoever you (general ‘you’) decide to make that HUGE sacrifice for, is going to have to be extra superlatively awesome, even more over the top amazing than someone you’d make lesser compromises for, or you ARE going to have bitterness, blame, and resentment.

                In my book, “putting up” or “tolerating” something in a relationship is reserved for things that are inconsequential- irritating habits or insipid/boring/etc interests or no sense of personal style or other things that don’t actually affect the quality of the relationship, and I don’t actually understand why someone would put an abstract concept like “being committed to marriage” over the concrete reality that their marriage partner is an unrepentant a-hole who makes them deeply unhappy and will never give them what they most deeply desire.

                When you CHOOSE to stay in this situation because you have CHOSEN to deny the reality of what is right before you, that is the literal definition of a “broken picker”, and it will continue to be “broken” until you CHOOSE to own the part you play in the situation.

                When a nark lobs a cactus at you, you don’t have to sit in it. And doing so in the name of ‘love’ or ‘commitment’ or whatever you personally call your personal flavor of hopium, is what makes all y’all chumps into the first place.

              • So, separate comment for a separate issue.

                I’ll be blunt- as a female bodied person whose never had any desire for children (but fully support people that do-if it makes you happy, it makes me happy) I’ve been on the receiving end of so much weirdness around simply stating “no thanks, not for me!” that I’ve had to purposely cultivate a humorous “lovable grouch, female version of Mr Wilson, neighbor of Dennis the Menace” aspect to my personality to get people to just STFU about it.
                What people who DO want kids don’t seem to understand is that a very, VERY large proportion of people who do want children hold a deep and mostly unconscious belief that, given the right person or ideal circumstances or own biological babies, EVERYONE who says they don’t want kids would actually change their minds and want them just as much as they do…and it just doesn’t work that way. And most of the people who feel this way don’t realize it, don’t believe people who point it out, and really, REALLY don’t have any idea how even an unconsciously held bias like that can affect their words and actions and choices they make in their lives…and this is a situation where your unconscious bias is actively harming you.

                Like staying with someone who is not 100% jump-up-and-down enthusiastically on board with you about having children right from the get-go. It’s not that we don’t *understand* that people get manipulated by abusers who play yes/no games; it’s that we realize that someone who plays the yes/no game, who is not 100%, enthusiastically all in on having kids from the get-go, is clearly and objectively unsuited to be a partner to you or anyone else who wants children, whether or not that person is a good partner in other respects, and that you are better breaking up (yes, even if you love them) so that you BOTH have the chance to find new partners with whole your Values and Goals are more closely aligned.

                Because we are not vulnerable to that particular brand of hopium that makes people who want children hold on to that deep unconscious hope that an intractable partner will change, we can see more clearly than you that there is exactly zero value in remaining with an unsuitable partner that makes you unhappy, and exponentially so when that partner is not just unsuitable, but manipulative, abusive, etc on top of it.
                I *KNOW* it’s incredibly hard and shatteringly painful to get up and walk away from an unsuitable partner that you are still deeply in love with/committed to, because I have made that choice and done it. It hurt a lot and it hurt for a LOOOONG time. But the games he was trying to play with my head were crazy-making, and to put it simply, I don’t have the spoons to tolerate them. I pulled away, went full no-contact, and as the next 20 years rolled by, it became obvious that by RUNNING, not walking away from an unsuitable, hurtful partner instead of suffering in the hopes that he’d change…I hadn’t just dodged a bullet, I’d dodged the emotional equivalent of a flight of intercontinental ballistic missiles. Being an a-hole was his choice, but whether or not to stay? That was all mine. If I’d put up with his sh!t for months or years, I certainly wouldn’t have been able to put the blame on him.

                (NOTE: I realize that many people do NOT simply have the “choice to leave” an abusive relationship, but it doesn’t sound like these are situations where that applies)

            • @Giraffy Thanks for clearing that up, because it was not what came across in how you’d originally written it.

              • I read your entire thread of responses. I think you are projecting and taking a very defensive stance because of how society dismisses people who say that they are childfree by choice and desire to stay childfree. So you wanted to defend the legitimacy/veracity of FW’s statements of not wanting a baby. And you wanted to discuss of the accountability of @Giraffy who wants children, for staying in a marriage with someone who does not want children.

                This is my optimistc interpretation of your words.

                There are some truths in what you wrote, but they were overshadowed by the unkindness of your words. I am not eloquent enough but I am calling you out on your unnecessary aggression towards @giraffy and @sometimes.

                My interpretation is that you were not being helpful towards either. You were just venting your own frustations out. While I get that and your frustrations are totally valid, every person who writes on this blog is a person struggling because of a traumatic event (infidelity, separation). As CL says, it’s not the pain olympics and let’s try to all support each other, instead of tearing each other apart.

              • @chumpedlindyhopper —

                Thanks for the final note … I wish I could come on here and do a video to describe the 16 years of “Bully-i-ness” I have had to put up with from my Un(Husband) and his AP/Wifetress now. Especially because I STILL have 8 years to go!!

                TO ALL:

                Every Human Being is a 4-Trillion DNA Combination. With ALL UNIQUE Perspectives.

                Maturity and Growing in Life best definition: CAN & SHOULD

                Just because I “CAN” go Anywhere online and voice my opinion or complaints…

                Does not mean I “SHOULD” …

                The language we use and word choices to convey a story, idea, and convictions say a lot about us.

                My Conviction is I do not “Listen” to anyone who uses “Devaluing language” … Which was the Major Takeaway from how @Sideye responded to @Giraffy conveyance of her real-life and time experience.

                I would never want to “Put-Down” anyone’s ideals, how they pursue relationships or motherhood. In 2021, I almost bled out from a miscarriage. I also know how difficult it can be to get pregnant.

                GOOD LUCK TO EVERYONE IN PURSUING “HEALTH”

              • Dear Sometimes,

                I’m sorry to hear about your miscarriage. I can only imagine what that must be like.

                And why still 8 more years?

                In any case, thank you for your wise words and it is really heart warming to see there are people looking after each other here!

  • I really do need to start answering his phone calls with, “I’m sorry; who is this?”

    😜

  • Is it hoovering-by-Munchausen if the requests come from the new wife?

    “Timothy would love to have photos of his children when they were younger”
    I gave him a shoebox of half the family photos 10 years ago

    “Could you send the details of the next performance?”
    Details are on the school website

    • Hoovering-by-Munchausen sounds like flying monkeys to me! (although I love the term “hoovering-by-Munchausen” even better :))

    • May or may not be a clever hoover on his part. Make the ex-wife jealous by sending the OW into battle?? However, she’s asserting herself to you… how central & important she is & that you are to answer to her, not the FW father! Gray rock the beotch! Get that parenting app & use that so you aren’t finding yourself kowtowing to her.

    • I don’t respond to spokespeople in any circumstances. Grownups need to speak for themselves.

      #codependentrecovery
      #boundaries.

    • New entry in the Urban Dictionary

      Scumgrousing-by-proxy

      Actions performed or sentiments expressed by an assigned representative, for the purpose(s) of focusing attention on a fuckwit

    • New entry in the Urban Dictionary:

      Scumgrousing-by-proxy

      Sentiments expressed or actions taken by an assigned representative, for the sole purpose of focusing sympathetic attention on a cowardly fuckwit

  • I booted my fiancee after I caught him having sex with a mutual friend while I was at my wedding shower.
    A couple of months later, he called and wanted to if he was going to be to invited my family’s annual July 4th cookout because he thought “it would be good to see everyone.” Nope. He wasn’t invited. When I told my mom about his call, she threatened to call the cops if he came anywhere near our front door.

    • Their disconnect from reality is astounding. Similar to your experience, we were 2 months into divorce proceedings and Ex thought he would “support the family” by going to MY grandmother’s funeral services. After all, he’d always liked Grandma and her beach house. I told him my cousins, 4 guys twice his size, would take care of him if he showed up.

  • First cheater tried:

    1) Telling me his parents had new puppies and I should come see them. (I said Im not going to your parents house.)

    2) He remembered I like buffalo wings so we should get some together. (My new boyfriend at the time asked if he was invited too.)

    3) He’s going to join the military! (I said go ahead.)

    The real kicker on number 3 was when I said go ahead, he completely deflated and said “Wow, you really don’t care about me anymore do you?” I replied “You always wanted to do that anyway when we were together so what?”

    Then he confessed he never wanted to join for real, he just always said that to get me worried about him going away. He tried a few more times and when I stopped answering him (no contact) he got really mad and started telling all my friends I was obsessed with him and wanted to ruin his life. Nobody believed him.

    Hoover faaaaail.

      • Yep he was a giant bum. I believe what he did is called “crazy making.” Making a huge decision that will heavily impact the relationship without talking to your partner, just to get a reaction out of them. Cheaters, abusers, and narcissists do this all the time. They don’t intend to actually follow through, it’s just to cause chaos.

        Things like considering a job in another country, buying a new car when you don’t need one, or joining the military.

        • This is so true! Like moving to a house clear on the other side of town! XH picks our son up at my house every morning to drive him to school. He’s been telling everybody he’s looking for houses to buy an hour away from my house and son’s school. Which sent me into a panic about how son was going to get to school since I would not rely on his dad getting up at 5:00 a.m. to drive an hour to come get son for school every day. Turns out (so far anyways) he is NOT buying a house at all, anywhere. He’s staying right down the street with his parents. It’s all to get me in a panic…. Loss of centrality. A little offer to pick-me dance maybe? Definitely crazy making. No intention of following through.

        • Kara mine isn’t hoovering, but My ex announced out of the blue one day he wanted to be a priest. When I stated flatly I didn’t want to be married to a priest he was so shocked. He actually got angry and whined that we married too soon after his conversion and I should have given him more time to discern his vocation.

          Being a chump, I actually felt guilty.

          You know I read that back and – *facepalm*.

    • I dated someone when I was 19/20 that my dad later told me he thought was a sociopath, that. after we broke up & I threw him out. called us up at the crack of ass one morning sobbing that if I didn’t get back together with him, he was going to unalive himself.

      I told him “go ahead”, hung up the phone, and went back to bed.

      My mother, an objectively better person than me, called Local Police to do a welfare check at the dump motel he was living in.

      They reported that he was alive, whole, and well- they’d found him drunk off his ass in a filthy room carpeted with wall to wall empty pizza boxes, beer cans, & liquor bottles, and was on the whole pretty irate that his little sulk had been disturbed by a bunch of nosy cops on behalf of my kind, tender hearted mother (I honestly wouldn’t have cared.)

      Never heard from that one again.

  • During the divorce process and only months after D-day, I decided that I should block him from being able to text me. It was too immediate. I told him to email me instead. “Oh, and keep it to business matters only.” Plus email is easier to document in court.

    He threw a fit. Emailed me 8 times in 10 minutes.

    What don’t these cheaters get? I mean, they discard us and then get upset when we actually leave. “I hate you; don’t leave me.” Wanting cake. Unable to accept consequences. Entitled.

    It feels SO good to shut off the spousal spigot.

  • My ex loves sending me multi-paragraph word salads that are ostensibly about our child, but are really just a bunch of nonsense. I remember feeling totally flummoxed the first time I got one, and I spent a stupid amount of time coming up with a “reasonable” response (even though “WTF” would have been a perfectly reasonable response). Fortunately, both my lawyer and therapist assured me that I don’t have to respond to that crap.

    The dumbest attempt at hoovering was just a few months ago. Ex and I have been divorced for over 4 years now, and he moved out 6 months prior to the divorce being finalized. Ex took very little from our 4 bedroom house, even though I was practically begging him to take one of our 2 full living room sets (we had a living room and a den). He left his childhood bed and his family’s grandfather clock (fortunately his aunt and uncle came to collect the clock, it I still have that damn bed). He wanted all new leather furniture for his bachelor pad. Anyway, ex contacts me saying he wanted to collect his Dremel tool and socket wrench set, “if I still have them”. I didn’t respond to the message, but the next time he came to pick up our son, my husband, who is apparently fairly intimidating, went out to ex’s car and beckoned him to come to the garage. Husband put a box in ex’s hands with the stuff he asked for, plus some other stuff he left that we were never going to use—like a bocce ball set ex purchased but we never used even once. Husband asks ex if there’s anything else and ex goes, “uh for now….” Husband says, “Nope. This is it. This is your last chance to get items from the house. There is nothing here that is yours.” I think ex had expected that I would gather the items and hand them to him, or our son would be the mule. I doubt he expected that my husband would take care of it and deal with him, so the hoovering attempt failed. I got a long screed from ex a few days later, so I know his failed attempt upset him.

    I actually really enjoy simply not responding to hoovering attempts. Our parenting software shows when messages are read, so he knows I read some things but don’t answer.

  • About a year after abruptly discarding me a former friend sent me an email proposing a get together and saying he didn’t even remember what we talked about last. I replied I did remember. I never heard from him again.

  • My ex FW thinks that by just suddenly appearing in front of me & then running away or driving off will make me want him so bad that I will chase him lol. He must be utterly dumbfounded and confounded that I haven’t gone screaming after him whilst tearing away my bodice to entice him! I believe he needs the triangulation kibbles because he’s probably reached the boredom stage and oh-what-the-fuck-did-I-get-myself-into? stage with the nutty, drama queen. The thought of him realizing that his little head was making big decisions for him gives ME kibbles hahaha

  • I guess I’m the lucky one. I only received contact a few short time. Shot down.
    I guess he forgets he tried to rip me off the entire divorce.

    Our adult daughters do not speak with him. I always thought he would contact me to “fix” this situation, well, because I always had done it before. Nope.

    I guess him being local and not being invited to either daughter’s wedding finally sunk through his his thick head. So, on this one, I guessed wrong. > except he did send a wedding card to my house…< But I'll happily claim that.

  • I think the only attempt at kibbles I got was when he dropped by while I was weeding my daisy garden. He got out of his police car in full uniform and squatted down and said, that guy you went out with is too old for you. I said “what do you care” he said, and I laugh when I type this “I just don’t want you to get hurt” I said, “what do you want?” He said, I just thought you might like to go see my apartment. I said “I have no interest in that”. Then I got up and walked away.

    Asshole hadn’t shown me any concern, I hadn’t even seen him in months; and just by chance he was worried about me. He tried three more times that I remember to get me to “try again” Not one of those times did he ever drop the whore.

    He just wanted to destabilize my life, and possibly get me to compete for him again. Yeah, no.

    It took me the second time of letting him shit on me, but I did learn.

    • He’s a little too late with the “protect and serve”. And very unclear that it
      begins at home. ☹️

    • You should have told him: “And that woman you went out with is the town whore, but unlike you, I won’t suggest anything, like maybe stop seeing her, because she’s perfect for you. Excuse me for finding someone grown up and mature to spend my time with.” What a patronizing ass.

      • Yep, he absolutely was that.

        What I wish I had said was: You are the last person to be giving me advice on life choices. But, I didn’t have CL or the internet then; I mostly just stared at him when he said stupid stuff.

        I did get a couple zingers in, but not many.

    • “I just thought you might like to go see my apartment.”
      🤣
      Off the charts cluelessness and entitlement.

      You got rid of the biggest weed of all, Susie Lee. 💪🌼

      • Right? Like I was too stupid to get what me seeing his apartment was about. No, it wasn’t about winning me back, it was about creating doubt in my mind and letting new guy know he got me in his apartment.

        I honestly don’t think he ever really matured beyond high school socially. I can’t believe it took me 20 years to notice, but then I was pretty busy raising his son and helping him in his career.

        Yes got rid of a big old stink weed. I do miss my daisy garden. It was huge Alaskan Daisey’s and they won’t grow properly where I live now.

        • Some cops are quite adept at entrapment. More insulting is that he thought you would fall for it.

          • Yep, I think one of the positives about getting worked over by a fw is how clearly we see them once they out themselves.

            I just don’t see how one can go back after the curtain falls. I just don’t. I get that it can take a bit for the curtain to fully fall, but once it does…

  • Not sure if this is considered hoovering. Not sure what you would call it.

    I received a Court order asking me to return cheater’s meat thermometer and an old Aerosmith CD of his from the 80’s.

    My attorney called laughing asking if I knew where they were. At the time I didn’t but after some searching I eventually found the meat thermometer and beat up Aerosmith CD in the garage…

  • Nope. Both fws were covert narcs, one especially afraid of his own shadow. Both seemed to fear me, as once I’ve had it with someone I don’t back down when attempts are made to reconcile (or for attention) and am blunt and say exactly what I think, to the point of cruelty. Fuck around and find out. One did come around when his marriage started falling apart (suprise) and apparently he remembered the good times and thought surely my attitude toward him would have softened over the years (literally decades). Nope. He “found out,” so to speak, and then was furious when his wife came across what I had to say to him and read it.

  • 7 years after Dday – 5 years after divorce. I still occasionally receive waves of hoovering. Months will go by and then random texts late at night: “how are you?” I’m fairly sure OW is laying next to him when he does this… ewww. . . She deserves what she got, but his behavior just proves he hasn’t changed, isn’t committed to her or anyone, and I’m way better off without him.

    Latest Hoover was him choosing to book a vacation (with OW) literally next door to the resort my fiancé and I and four of our adult kids were staying at in a locale with thousands of options— definitely not a coincidence—my youngest apparently told him where we were staying. Weirdly, when he arrived he spent most of the day and evening partying with some old acquaintance who lives there and didn’t reach out to our child until 11 pm – we were leaving the next day. Thankfully he didn’t reach out to me — but the idea of him (and OW) possibly lurking around the beach and pool to get a look at us was disturbing. What losers!

  • My ex’s preferred mode of soliciting the kibbles of attention from me while we were married was the sad sausage (often the noble sad sausage). (I was a sucker for it.) He tried that out a couple of times after I had moved out and we were in the process of divorcing, along with the self-serving “When we’re over the worst of this I hope we can be friends,” but by then I had internalized the mantras of “I’m no longer the person you go to for sympathy,” and “I’m not friends with someone who could do to me what you did,” and didn’t respond. We divorced, and I went as no contact as I could (we shared some expenses relating to our son).

    Fast forward to about a year after the divorce, when out of the blue one day he emails to say he has a framed historical photograph of a town where I had once lived and wonders if I would like it; he claimed he had purchased it to give to me for a Christmas present while we were married but had forgotten about it at Christmas. I figured he was finally getting around to cleaning out the house, and as he had never lived in that town didn’t want it, so I said Yes, I’ll take it.

    How surprised he was when he knocked at my door with the photograph, and I took it from him but didn’t invite him in. He then expressed his disappointment at my failure to respond to his hoovering, heaving a sigh as he raised his shoulders and spread his hands in a gesture I think meant “You mean this is how you respond to my generosity and overture of friendship?” (I later gave the photograph to my niece, who lives near the town.)

    • “You mean this is how you respond to my generosity and overture of friendship?”

      I think this is, in part, a move to level the playing field by using false equivalence: “I cheated and lied, but now you’re the bad guy because you didn’t thank me enough. We’re even.” In this way, he can remount his moral high horse. And he probably told others about how he was rebuffed, gaining pity points and casting you in a bad light.

      Sucks!!

      All cheaters seem to do this in one way or another.

  • My ex has gone about this somewhat indirectly. Please bear with me. The first one needs some context.

    Pre-pandemic, I used to join feminist demonstrations. First year I went, I invited my then husband to come along, he said there would just be a few people and it would have no practical effect, so there would be no use in going, so I went with a friend. It was hugely successful, the town was entirely flooded by people, so the following year I invited him again. He said it would have no practical effect, so there would be no use in going, so I went alone again, and it was hugely successful again.

    Third year, I was recently divorced and still very raw, but I went to the march anyway, confident that if there was one place on this earth that I wouldn’t bump into him, it would be the march. He was the first person I saw, just a couple of metres away in a 30,000-people demonstration. I couldn’t manage grey rock and walked away crying (no talking though). My friends convinced me to stay. I felt humiliated. He disappeared. I read Chump Lady during the march on my phone. I untangled a lot after that.

    Right after this, lockdown began. I signed up for a board game simulator website which works a bit like Facebook. Since we’re both board game players, I was sure I’d see him, as we would have common contacts. What I did not expect was him to use one of our (extremely specific) pet names as a username. An embarrassing one at that. I am still scratching my head at this one, and was extremely mad that he managed to get to me in spite of grey rock/no contact, and in the middle of an unheard of lockdown. I’m sure this takes some specific skill.

    • Sounds more like stalking, though sometimes it seems like there is a fine line beteern hoovering and stalking. Be careful.

      • WeAreTheChumpions,

        Thank you so much for your comment. It hadn’t occurred to me to think about it like that. Fortunately, after those things, he stopped. However, if he ever picks it up again, I’ll make sure to document things just in case.

        I always chalked it up to him being so concerned with image management that he needed to provoke me so I would explode, and he could have facts to defend the “she’s crazy” narrative (because he doesn’t really have much to go on), so he went for things that would very likely cause an angry reaction, rather than texting or calling directly, which would be met either with no response or a Yes/No/Okay if something really needed an answer.

        Also, let me I just say how much I love your alias here!

        • Thank you, the song “We Are the Champions” by Queen runs through my head everytime I type it out.

          You are probably correct in the assesment that he did these things to provoke you to make you look bad. He most likely ceased this behaviour because you didn’t react.

    • Hey Pink_Nora_Rose,

      Fellow 2020 IWD march (if that’s the one you mean) ex story here. I missed the opening speeches and the actual march for the 2020 Mar 8 IWD demo in my city, just before lockdown (I remember those conversations about should we have the march? should we not have the march?) because we were busy breaking up. Dude had let me down again and failed to do what he said he would again and I ended up having to drive him to where we were supposed to meet and as he got out of the car I was like, we have to break up. Almost a relief for him to fuck up women’s day because that extra insult just pushed me over the edge. We had the tearful conversation in the parking lot to the sounds from megaphones and slogan-chanting in the background, then the conversation continued as the march happened a stream of women moved along the sidewalk behind us (it felt very cinematic), and then when I’d said everything I had to say, I drove to where the women had met up, cried in front of a bunch of women who were like, “been there; why do you think I come to these marches?” and then I sang a song.

      I am angry on your behalf that your ex used that space, of all spaces, to try to get to you, and I think it makes total sense to be particularly jarred and horrified by it. It’s particularly heinous, I mean … I had someone who raped me show up as if a supporter to a political event that was in part about supporting women and femmes of colour, where us being targetted systematically was of course a dimension of the whole raison d’être of the event, and to me that mindfuck was just … I have no words.

      The pet name thing is gross, too. These douchewipes take the most intimate of intimacies and vulnerabilities and weaponize them to show they know exactly what’s most meaningful to us and how they know exactly what will most deeply rattle us.

      I do think hoovering can often be motivated by the simple, sadistic urge to see how much seeing them will bother us.

      Anyway, it doesn’t necessarily always have to be so gross and terrifying an experience once we’re out and feel safe. Another ex has been texting me the past couple days to tell me he’s leaving town (I haven’t spoken to him in maybe a year) and I might have forgotten it even happened if not for today’s challenge!

  • I love that I can now see this as hoovering– four months after dday and after moving in with Schmoops (who had to quickly dump and evict her own chump), I received a long letter in the mail. The first line was “I’ve wanted to write to you so many times,” or some such.

    I didn’t read it but returned it to sender with “I read the first line only. Actions say it all. Keep your words,” written on envelope. I wondered for a while if that was the right move, but after seeing all the poison you guys describe from Hoovering, I am so glad I did it. I had a stress seizure the next morning, so my body was literally rejecting the whole communication I think.

  • The religion stuff, ugh. My ex and his AP became somehow uber Catholics after abandoning their families to be together in true fulfillment and happiness. My ex wanted our sons to do their sacraments (first communion, confirmation) – I said fine. The day of my eldest son’s confirmation, I arrived at the church early to ensure that my request for two designated pews (one for his family, one for mine) had been honoured. I was told by church lady that called after she and I spoke and he had explained he didn’t want me to “burden” the church by being “difficult” and “we would all sit together for the sake of our son and the other families”. She was all, “isn’t he so thoughtful.” I was like, um, no, I requested a separate pew, was told that was no problem and the children are with me, so if there is no 2nd pew, the father will have to sit in the back pews for non-family. I suggested they make us the last row of families and give us two pews opposite the aisle. With much huffing and puffing, church lady accommodated and I saw a lot of eye rolling when she and ex-h had a confab upon his arrival. Of course within two days I received a lawyer’s letter about the “major scene” I created at the church and the “humiliation” our son faced at my “hysterical” behaviour and at having to sit ACROSS THE AILE from his father and father’s mistress and love child and their parents. F that liar. I am not sitting in a cramped pew with that commandment-flouting abomination EVER.

  • My first year of separation from FW after he left us to live with secret GF was a hoovering marathon…

    First every single Monday morning that FW was in charge of the kids I would get texts around 8 am with “panicked” questions: what time does the school drop off start, what do the kids eat in their lunch boxes, etc? I answered at first, but got increasingly irritated when they kept coming week after week, and becoming more absurd like “why don’t any of their clothes fit?” At 8 am, right before leaving for school? (You need to buy clothes that fit them, the kids grow, not their clothes?). After a while I stopped answering, or answered 2 hrs later to get my point across: figure it out, that’s what parenting is.

    The other favorite was when I started getting my FW’s medical bills in the mail after I took him off my insurance. At first I thought he forgot to inform one doctor’s office of his change of insurance and I called him to let him know. But it kept happening. So I called the doctor’s office instead to let them know of his change of situation and to call him to get his insurance info because it’s not mine. That shut it down.

    The best though was when he texted me from the ER that he couldn’t call the kids tonight because he just split his foot with an axe, with gruesome picture of his foot attached! Then he called me to tell me the details! I asked if he was ok and quickly ended the conversation. I wasn’t that concerned for him because 1) he already was at the ER 2) I damn well knew who drove him there and it wasn’t his “sister” like he wanted me to believe 3) I also knew why he was probably splitting wood, bc he didn’t have a fireplace but “hidden” gf did. He milked that injured foot for a while though with the kids, and he tried with me but I didn’t bite past the minimum polite question.

  • I got a text message one time about six months after we split which went something like “Wheeeeehh,,, haz ba we adob a gibble. Be niz to av a gibble. Wheeeehhhhhh”! I figured that meant “how about we adopt a girl together” (we have two boys) and I also figured he was off his nuts drunk!

  • Oh, I just remembered he called me the other day to ask if I knew where he could
    get a COVID test. Like there is no one else in the universe he can ask? That must have been a Hoover now that I think about it.

    No. But I thought, “But if you got it I couldn’t care less.”

    I am Minimal Contact because of child and business interests. I tell him, ask him nothing personal, ever. Zero zip nada zilch.

    He usually goes on and on with details from his private life. Shoulder surgery. Boohoo. Poor widdle Twaitor X had to end a coparenting session halfway through because his shoulder booboo hurt. Man, if I had to leave a meeting with him because I was in pain, I would not have made it through a single business meeting, mediation session, or coparenting session. In four years.

    I respond with the silent, cold, blank, IDGAF stare that he gave me when I was kneeling, hanging onto the kitchen counter because my legs gave way and I could not stand, on the night I discovered he was having affairs.

    (words I despise: 1) playdate 2) co-parent)

    • That gave me a flashback to my first D-day when I collapsed to the bedroom floor with his burner phone in my hand. I felt the blood drain from my face. I wanted to vomit. I will never forget that moment as long as I live. I understand a bit of what you felt.

      I’m sending you virtual hugs from here. Madoff is a sick FW. How they think they deserve unending kibbles and forgiveness is beyond me.

  • Not his best hoovering, but his most recent:

    We’ve been separated since 9/18, divorced since 5/21 and I always have the kids (19,19 and 17) on Christmas Eve while he has them on Christmas.

    He shows up at my house while the kids, my guests and my boyfriend are here in order to pick up my son so he can drive to the ex’s friends house to give him money for a car he bought (because evidently the friend needed it THAT DAY and clearly my ex has no other friends to ask for a ride to pick up the car).

    He NEVER comes into my house-and yet comes on on when he knows that we are all there and tries to act like “Mr. Friendly/Nice Guy” to everyone.

    All of us there know exactly who he is-and he got a very lukewarm welcome 😂😂😂😂.

    If he wasn’t such a Narcissist it would have been embarrassing for him.

  • My STBXFW is the king of crossing my boundaries. We have a rule that we only talk about “bills and boys (our sons)” but the moment he needs to text/call me about one of those things he will immediately add on “How are you? How’s your health? Did you teach your class today? etc” and then it’s always, always, always followed by “I miss and love you so much. I’m different now.” blah blah blah. I don’t answer his personal questions. I only respond to the appropriate topics and ignore the rest.

    What’s worse is that the moment we’re alone (it happens infrequently) he will instantly hit on me. He will waggle his fingers (think Ross on Friends) and say “I can pleasure you.” BARF!!!! I have never taken him up on said hoovering. And have to remind him that he’s crossing a boundary AGAIN. Offers of hand jobs are not “bills or boys”!!! And how stupid is he to claim to be a recovering sex addict (eye roll) but then talk about sex the moment we’re alone??? Dude is so ridiculous. Can’t believe I have been with him for three decades.

    • Yuck. He’s awful. I’m sorry you’re dealing with that. If you’re ever alone with him again (I hope not)… I’d be tempted to record it! Literally hit record on your phone right in front of him. If he asks, say “I’m recording this to ensure you only discuss bills and the boys. I’m sick of your sexual come ons and harassment.” Tempting!

    • Take a page from Thelma and Louise–next time he waggles his fingers at you you think about what Thelma says to the trucker before they shoot out the tires on his truck: “That business with your fingers? What is that? That is disgusting!”

  • The douche FW hoovered a lot in the beginning. He had left me and my son and our entire house full of everything to move straight in with shmoopie and her kids. Then he tried to swing his dick and treat me like his storage unit. He figured that there was nothing I could do but keep his stuff for him. But as soon as the divorce was final I wanted his stuff out and without contact. I had made sure to include in the legal agreement that we would need to use a hired arbitrator to divide our property because FW wanted me to stand next to him and say “this is mine… that is yours” together. No fucking way.

    So after the divorce, FW contacted me to get together and divide our stuff. I referred him to our legal agreement and said we’d hire a guy to split it for us – per the agreement. I was initially afraid to lose stuff I wanted, but realized it was a bigger fear of FW to be stuck with half — shmoopie had a house and wouldn’t want all his shit in it 😂

    So he backed down and just said he wanted his desk. I gave it to him (put it in the driveway — no contact).

    I had also asked if there was anything in our storage unit but he turned it down… in writing. So I emptied the storage and threw out or donated anything I didn’t want.

    About a year later, FW asshat asked for the weed wacker (??? Did he think I was giving him tools to work on shmoopie’s yard? That idiot). I replied “don’t have it.” Then I took the weed wacker and gave it to a neighbor.

    Soon after FW asked for a trunk of his memorabilia that used to be in storage. My reply “I gave everything to you.”

    He then tried to complain that he was missing things and I referred him to the email where he said he only wanted his desk and nothing from the storage unit either. Then if he asked for anything more … no response.

    He recently hoovered by sending me a picture of my son when they were together over the holidays and visiting with his parents.

    The photo was of son at the Field Museum by dinosaur bones, with grandpa in the photo too.

    I texted back “I wouldn’t send you pictures of my mom. Why would you send me a pic with your dad? I’ve had to remind you not to send pics with you in it too. You really should get some help with social skills. Even late in life they might help. “ (he’s 52 and sensitive about it)

    Yes I know, I know… bad bad MichelleShocked. (hangs head in shame) 😊

    Honestly I’d rather shut FW down then get any pics at all. Son is 16. FW doesn’t need to send pics… son can send selfies if he chooses

    • Just remember all the little (and big) jabs and putdowns they threw your way during the discard. There is nothing wrong with a little turn-about-is-fair-play, especially from you, who they thought “would never do that.”

    • About 3 months after I moved out-I was dropping our daughter off at the ex’s house-and he handed me all of our wedding pics and said he thought I would want them. I took them from him-and in front of him-dumped them in his trash can in the driveway and drove off without a word….

      It still feels good 😁

      • When he tried to give me more pics of us-I told him, “No thanks-anytime you think I might want any pics of us together-you can go ahead and throw them away.”

      • That’s so EXCELLENT !!! It’s like a Hollywood movie scene – that everybody would watch and just *wish* they would think that fast, and be that strong, and that *in control*, but would say to their friends later, “Of course, that kind of thing only happens in the movies… ” And it would definitely be one of those few scenes in movies where the audience would break out in spontaneous applause !!! I would get your autograph, if I could! Just knowing someone actually ever did that in real life, is a complete treasure !
        YOU are AWESOME !!!!!

        • Thank you Resident Tengu!

          I firmly believe we ALL have that inner strength and can tap into it at different times.

          I wondered after I did it if I would regret it-but I still don’t!

          It still feels empowering 😍😍😍.

          WE ARE ALL MIGHTY!!!

          • StrongerNow – That was EPIC! And you’ll never regret it. You’re not going to ever want to look at those photos again. Who wants to look at their ex anymore? Bleh. FW is a stranger now

            The only pictures I’ll occasionally look at are of ME in my wedding gown. Because the gown was pretty and I was young. And that’s about it 😊

            • MichelleShocked-RIGHT?!?

              I won’t ever look at them again, obviously the FW won’t ever look at them again-I doubt my kids will want to look at them again-so, why not?

              I also saved some of just me in my dress-just like you-it was a beautiful dress and I was young ❤️ (and my mom made it).

              Looking back-I see now that, AS ALWAYS, it was FW trying to passively-aggressively control me and be just plain mean. I think he thought I would walk back to my car with a box of photos, my head hanging and tears running down my face.

              Oh well. 😁

              • EPIC! I’m sure that throwing all the photos away right there was a real kick in the balls 😂

    • That would be awful having to stand with them and haggle over stuff.

      I got it written in our separation agreement that I got all the furniture and he paid all the bills, mortgage, electric, phone etc. Since he would be getting the house that worked for me. He documented that he had already gotten all his personal items except the tools in the garage. I didn’t want the dam tools, so I said he could store them in the garage as long as there was room for my car.

      But, in my case he filed and I had proof of long standing financial fraud; so he was pretty agreeable as long as I didn’t make it a public issue. I really didn’t have to, everyone knew the shit he pulled, he was just still working under the illusion that he would maintain his status when I was out of the picture.

      He didn’t.

      • The tools! When I moved out I asked my stbx (now ex) if I could take some tools with me. He said I could take them all as long as I left him the screwdriver with the red wood handle he’d had as a child. So I did just that. I was the one who had handled all the repairs anyway.

        • I did create a small tool box for myself, but he was mostly interested in his expensive power tools almost all of which I got him for Christmas and Birthdays.

          Fair is fair, they were gifts to him and after all he let me keep all the robes he bought me for Christmas. I rarely got birthday gifts, he rarely remembered my bday.

          • “I rarely got birthday gifts, he rarely remembered my bday.”

            Dammit. I’m angry for you! What a sucky man.

            • Thanks, I have come to terms with that part. Honestly, in real time I spackled it by telling myself he was just not the touchy feely type when it came to gifts, but hey he was faithful to me and loved me. Oh how stupid I was.

              The only reason I never had much jealousy of whore is that I knew he didn’t love her any more than he did me, he just gifted her to keep the pussy flowing and keep her quiet until he and I secured his promotion.

              I have been so blessed since then though; and I wish that for all new chumps.

    • He sounds like a real charmer! *eyeroll*
      My FW recently sent me a picture of him and our son on a hike. It was a great picture of our son so I cropped FW out of it and saved it. Now it makes me smile even more every time I see it because I know that I successfully cut him out!

      • MollyWobbles I have a gorgeous pic of 2 of my kids on a Swiss mountaintop that gives me the same satisfaction!

  • I have remarried since divorcing my FW. My wonderful new wife was chumped 20 years ago. Her FW had numerous chances to remove all his stuff. I actually inherited some of his nice tools, most of which I sold. Wife is NC with him. Recently, and out of the blue, she gets an email from him requesting some VHS tapes of some family event and NFL bloopers he had left behind. He offered to reimburse for making copies.
    So he wants her to dig through old family junk boxes out in the shed and take them to be copied, ship them to Idaho and wait for reimbursement. This after abandoning the marriage for a co-worker, years of emotional and financial abuse and bad mouthing both of us to her children. She never responded to this, but neither of us can figure out my he did this and why he ever thought she would even consider his request.

    • No way would I do that, especially if I didn’t get the money up front.

      I didn’t give my pictures to my son until years later, after I put copies in a couple differed spots. I told my son that I didn’t care if he gave his dad copies of any of them but that he shouldn’t give the originals as whore would likely see that they are destroyed.

      Son created a couple different albums (cloud) that I have access to. He keeps the ones of his dad mostly in a separate album. My husband also created a family album that has my side on it and my son has access.

    • Unbelievable! That’s exactly the kind of thing my x would ask of me. Totally clueless and 100% willing to make me do some heavy lifting for him. And he would be completely befuddled if someone pointed out to him the ridiculousness of that request. #clueless. #entitled

      No response was the perfect response.

      So happy for you that you’re with a great partner now!! Cheers!

    • I think I know what happened, Bruno. Sitting in his lazy boy in his carpeted basement lair (full of awards and trophies, a few unused free weights, an exercise bike and stacks of old magazines, cds, dvds and commemorative books from Time Magazine), watching a Madden tribute on a massive screen, FW grew nostalgic for the good old days of the NFL – when America was great, men were men, football was funny, and there was none of that kneeling during the flag. Misty eyed, he thought, ‘Whatever happened to those blooper tapes I used to watch? I loved those. I need to get them back from Chump. Probably valuable, too.’ Which got him thinking about something else. ‘Ah, back then, there was that family I used to have. I really did love them, too (almost as much as the NFL tapes). I’ll have Chump send those family videos, too, so I can relive my glory days. I can even show my current wife appliance; she really doesn’t compare to the old one and needs to be put in her place. Maybe she’ll up her game, or at least feel bad about herself.’

      Maybe I got a little bit carried away there, but really? He wants VHS tapes (of something that is undoubtedly available online, probably better quality and free)? And expects them to still be there waiting for him after 20 years? And feels entitled to inconvenience his NC ex (who he abused and cheated on) for this? Guy is a caricature. More evidence that FWs only get worse. Congrats to your wife for trading up!

  • After tolerating a hoovering attempt and finally getting him off the phone, about an hour later he sent a text:

    “I fell down. Can you come over and help me, I’m hurt.”

    He’s an alcoholic and I had no idea where he lived. Nor did I give a shit.

    I replied “I’m not interested. Call 911”

    I never heard from him again. Sadly, he survived his imaginary accident to continue using women and wrecking their lives.

    • That’s just funny.
      I wish my ex used lame excuses like this! But instead he Hoovers through the family court (this way he cannot be ignored)

  • He called me up at work one day after we separated and wanted me to add his new car to my car insurance. We only had one car when we were married so I begrudgingly accepted that he needed a car to move out, but I said oh hell no to adding him to my car insurance (in violation of court orders not to change any policies I might add.) Three days later he sent me a request on venmo asking for half the cost to fill the propane tank (~$350) at our marital home even though he was the only one living there and I was still paying the mortgage and taxes for the house (he was paying nothing, just for the power and water.)

  • My ex is using the court system to make sure I know he’s in charge… to keep his free apartment in my head. He’s using my recently bipolar diagnosed 13 year old daughter to tell the court that *I* am dangerous to her and to keep me from having any contact with her. I haven’t seen her since December 3 when she was in a childrens mental hospital after attempting suicide the day after Thanksgiving at my house. So… naturally… I’m the reason she’s bipolar and attempted suicide.

    If I want to know how she’s doing, he’s the gatekeeper.
    Mind you, I have to ask him if I want to know… he volunteers nothing and then only answers questions he deems relevant.

    Never dawned on me that all this is a Hoover attempt.
    Not that he wants to come back… he just wants control over me and the only way to do that is through the only thing I care about between us…. Our kids.

    He should enjoy it while it lasts.

    • Same here. We have final orders but hes still dragged me back to court 3 times in less than a year. It’s his way of staying in control and keeping his centrality going.

      And we don’t have any children together, just property. Hes remarried, but just wont let go . Its been 3.5 years since he moved out for the OW and I still can’t get rid of him. Even with extensive court orders.

      Your right its about control of what you care about, which for me with him is my home.

  • FW got sage bundles and smudged the car, the house and the entire TOWN we lived in– all the major routes at least– because Shmoopie had once demanded that FW drive her by our house, no doubt hoping no one was home and she could get inside to defile the “marital bed” as the ultimate territory-encroachment, maybe drop some tacky synthetic thongs behind the headboard and the couch cushions to expedite divorce.

    It would have been wasted effort. Just the thought of her bleary eyes gazing in a driveby at our front yard when the kids and I were home and where our toddlers once splashed in a kiddy pool on the lawn was enough to expedite. No sage ritual in the world could scrub the ick away.

    Now I laugh every time I see this meme. https://images.app.goo.gl/r6igDngEfha2E37x5

  • Because of the covert narcissism style of my FW ex, he has done little Hoovering… however, in early December he asked for any Christmas ornaments I didn’t want…. He’s not entitled to anything now, under the divorce decree all that is mine…. So I laughed… and then took the opportunity to rid myself of two crates of ornaments I don’t want to use or store, and a flat box of lights. He has my castoffs while I have a cleaner, more organized garage. Best Hoover ever! From here on out, though, any requests fir stuff will be solidly ignored, or referred to plawyered if he escalates.

  • Three years post divorce and he still keeps trying. I get the occasional text “did you survive the snow?”, “did your power go out too?”, “any new pics of the grands?”, and of course “happy birthday “. Then there’s the single rose left in my mailbox every month or so. When it’s my birthday I get a rose with other flowers left at my front door. I firmly believe that he drives around with a bouquet delivering flowers to all his love interests. He’s getting more bang for his buck 😂

  • That’s hilarious, CS.

    I used to think I never was hovered because he left so quickly with no attempts for reconciliation, but then remembered he kept bugging me for help with law school, like I cared how he did at that point. My favorite though was he once wrote me long after our divorce and settlement telling me I had unclaimed property on our state’s website and to “contact him” if I had any questions about using the website! I have an advanced degree and successful career, but sure, I need your help navigating a website! I didn’t respond, obviously. It netted me like $200 I didn’t know was out there, so thanks!

  • My ex discarded me, so there was no Hoovering for reconciliation. However, LOTS of Dustbusting for kibbles:

    * poking around in the garage for tools (what IS it with that?) while I was home when I had said it was too painful to talk to him or see him during the divorce process
    * Shelf-bracket Gate: SO MANY texts demanding to know where missing shelf brackets were for the expensive mid-century shelving unit he took during the divorce settlement (ripping holes in the drywall of the house I had been awarded in the process for spite). He did a sloppy-ass job moving out b/c adulting was *boring* and subtracted from his precious time with his whore (now wifetress). Then, of course, it was no end of requests for things he forgot. I just ignored them b/c it did not escape my notice that those brackets were somewhat fishhook shaped….
    * Lots of texts asking me to move files for him to the cloud *after* I had already given him the external hard drive with a complete copy of all our computer files. But the drive was packed somewhere, wah wah…. And this is a man with an MS degree who is a VP in a technoscience firm….
    *After we were divorced and I was NC, I found an email in my Spam folder from him while looking for something else with the subject “VEHICLE SAFETY RECALL ON YOUR CAR.” Reader, I did not open it….

    So much more, all of the same level of lame-assness. And who knows what else he’s tried since I went NC 2 years ago? Again, I think it all just goes in the “any attention is good attention” category as he never expressed the slightest desire to get back together and promptly married the AP. But still he needs to know he matters to me.

    Fair warning to any chumps who don’t know this about narcissists: the are like Voldemort in that they hide a piece of their fractured self in all the people they use, like horcruxes, and at some point they WILL be back for that piece. It’s not a matter of if, it’s a matter of when. So, have a plan in place for how you’re not going to get hooked in and sucked dry again, b/c *it’s all they know how to do*. They’re energy vampires. They don’t change; they don’t get better. They just use people until they’re used up and move on to the next victim.

    • This is a great post okupin! I didn’t experience much hoovering either. My EX is stuck on the rage channel, but I love your “dustbusting for kibbles” line.

  • Oh boy, I want to play!

    (Please note: more or less each of these attempts was met by no contact.)

    Week 0: Relationship ends. I am tired of the poor treatment and not putting up with it anymore. My Chump status was unknown as of this time.

    8 weeks: I want to be friends.

    12 weeks: (inexplicably) Did you see the solar eclipse? How is the kiddo? (you know the one he never paid any attention to). Sorry I wasn’t good to you *this past year*.

    (These attempts at communication are baffling and disturbing so I go in search of answers…enter DDAY)

    14 weeks: When is your workshop at my work so I can get out of your way? I am starting therapy next week if you care.

    16 weeks: (text from email as everything else was blocked…didn’t know you could do that)

    19 weeks: Another workshop inquiry from his work (FEDERAL) email to which I responded with the requested workshop information only.

    23 weeks: Do you want my old computer?

    24 weeks: Caught him driving by my house TWICE.

    Chills. Begin tracking things in case I need to build a court case.

    26 weeks: We should be friends…just so it isn’t awful if we run into each other, especially in a professional setting which could have happened had I not been so magnanimous to excuse myself this time (eye roll…I demanded it).

    36 weeks (the day of the workshop): (Angrily) Do you have any desire to interact with me? (because my silence must have been misleading) I am still angry; pretending the last 5 years didn’t happen isn’t working. We need to find closure because…professional blah blah.

    Presumably this will be the last communication because the workshop which is ostensibly his excuse for contacting me is now over.

    70 weeks: Goes to local pub one block from my house, I happen to be there for a holiday party. I don’t see him and he doesn’t approach me. I only know he was there because I get a text afterwards saying he was there and saw me and wanted to say hi but didn’t know what to do.

    I am now exhausted by this and scared. Will it ever end??

    71 weeks: (Sad sausage email): Please acknowledge me. It is painful to be ignored like this. I’m not trying to mess with you or hurt you. I’ve held back as much as I could over the last year and a half. I just get the feeling that our paths will cross again and I don’t want it to be awful.

    I respond to this one: “Leave me alone or I will go to the police.”

    HE EXPLODES IN RAGE: “You were an abusive girlfriend! I should have known what to expect!”

    6 months later (98 weeks): a genuine (?) apology email and a commitment to cessation of contact.

    Almost two years to extricate myself completely. And we were never married, never lived together. 5 years of hell followed by 2 more years of chaos.

    Thanks to this community for the (continued) support.

  • His hoovering has slowly dissipated after he realized he was either blocked or ignored. We have no children together thankfully and he moved 45 minutes away so I don’t run into him and his newest victim.

    I kicked him our immediately, and put all his crap in garbage bags until only he had stuff in the unattached garage. He used that as an excuse to hoover. In 2020 he even left a pile of expensive presents in the garage, which I emailed to tell him to take it all back,

    Since then, I only responded to an email back in the summer, to find out about his newest living arrangement with the next unwitting victim, so I know that he’s really out of town. Once I knew that, I have completely ignored any attempts at contact. He sent info about his estranged adult kids “I don’t know if you heard, or if you care…” He said the same about his retirement from the police force. That time he said “I’m still regretful for what I did to us. I think of you every day.” For all he knows I never got those messages, and he’s since stopped, thankfully.

    He thought he was so important to me, and all he is now is “someone that I used to know”. He may still think of me, but all I have is relief that I got away.

    • OMG, I hate the emails that always start with “I don’t know if you heard, or if you care…” They are so ridiculous. He seems to need to email me starting with those whenever he gets dumped again. Not. My. Problem.

      He sends me missives hoping to get kibbles of some sort. When he found out I was dating, he complained to me that he was too poor to date. I mean, like I care?

      I spend a lot of time ignoring his missives. If they require any response at all due to our shared child, it tends to be limited to “K”. He hates that. I don’t care. I’m busy.

    • SAME. “Not sure if you care or not….”

      What is that?!

      I would have cared plenty had you not abused me. And frankly, I probably did still care at that time…but what? He wants me to say I care? He wants positive reinforcement for whatever it is? Complete narcissist who really believes everything is about him.

      “Look at me! Doing the thing you have been asking me to do for the past 5 years! Not sure if you care or not….”

  • When we were separated my now XH kept sending me pictures of his feet that appeared to be swollen while he was in the bathtub. I kept sending him medical advice and actually felt sorry for him. He was staying with his sister who lived 2 blocks away. I later found out the pictures were of him and his nasty swollen feet in his girlfriend’s tub, who was our neighbor behind us!🤦🏼‍♀️😂😂. My XH LOVES the ole sad sausage routine!

  • I only do children-related talk with my XW (ignore everything else), but she gets to somehow warp almost every single exchange into some sort of competition for the minds and hearts of the kids (e.g., I am hurting them by refusing to spend time with her and be friends).
    Then comes rage, attacks and insults, just like it was back when we were married. This throws me into an all too familiar state of anxiety, worrying, second-guessing, and providing precious mental real state to that fuckwit. I feel sick in my body. I am dealing with this shit right now as our kids birthdays are approaching. I am exhausted.

    • But as for best bizarre hoovering, I think it was her begging me to have lunch with her and the kids at the very same restaurant she have took them in a date with another man just weeks prior. For the kids, of course: “they loved it”… I deflected it with a plain “thanks but no thanks” text. And then came the rage…

      • Yes, my FW tried for years to have joint dinners and kids birthdays but I just say “no thank you, I have plans” every time. Eventually they get it, if not, not your problem.

    • Ugh kid birthdays. Our parenting plan says we intend to celebrate child’s birthday together. That was when things seemed amicable. Fast forward years and many court orders later, I’m not down with hanging out with FW under any circumstances. Last year, I invited myself to child’s birthday party that was taking place during his parenting time. It was awkward. This year I said “eff that” and made plans to celebrate during my parenting time. I don’t think FW did anything other than go to a restaurant for kiddo’s birthday, which they do every weekend anyway.

      • I can’t with this shit anymore, I am completely exhausted. Just had one of those ragey exchanges over a whatsapp videocall with the FWX. She doesn’t abide by any of the custody arrangements of our divorce decree, is always screwing up with the coparenting schedule and apparently feels entitled to do so by some misterious moral superiority no sane human being can point to the source of. Matter at hand now is that per our settlement the kids should spend the first 15 days of the new year with me, and she wants them after only 12 days. *It is the best for the kids* and I (the evil, selfish chump) only think about what is best for me (sigh). Then why on earth that fuckwit did not speak to that effect during the conciliation audience, but chose instead to tell the judge bald face lies that I easily and promptly rebuted? Why didn’t she bring anything substantial to the table when it was the right time to do so? Why was she either mute or rambling nonsense instead of saying what she thought was in the best interest of kids? I know the answer: it is safer to try and bully me into submission than to deal with serious matters like an adult. After all, it worked for her for so many years… My lawyer advised me to let her talk to the kids by videocall at least once a day and it is making my days hell. It is so upsetting to recognize the very same arsenal of manipulation techniques that she used on me during our 20 year hell of a marriage now aimed at our kids and have to be silent and not stand for their sanity. I don’t care if these are consciously honed skills or an innate behaviour pattern of hers but she is a master at it. I have to talk to someone about that, my therapist alone is not enough and my elderly family members seem to think the law isn’t a thing and that I can just ignore her, so I am venting here to fellow chumps. I do ignore the fuckwit all that I can, but she always finds a way to reach me and hurt me (through the kids). I am exhausted, this is not life, and I do not seem to be gaining one any time soon.

        • Brazilian Chump that sounds exhausting. “No” (or “that does not work for me”)is the answer you can give for her demands to change the schedule. Who made her the boss of whats good for the kids?

          I would stop her video calls with the kids while you have the kids – unless you call them every day while she has them? If you think your lawyer is right – then maybe you should start requiring daily video calls while the kids are with her. Fairs fair, right? But honestly – just dtop saying ok to her every demand. Whats she gonna do about it? If she gets mad block her/ignore/don’t reply/hang up.

          I would not engage in whats app video calls with her unless its strictly kids biz. As soon as she gets personal, leave the call. Don’t let her provoke you to shouting back.

          Resistance to hoovering is a skill to learn and practise, like gray rock and no contact.

          You can’t totally eliminate it but you can make it easier for yourself.

          • Thanks, NewChump!

            Those daily videocalls are my major issue nowadays and I can’t quite wrap my mind around the fact that I am legally bound to accept those calls. Maybe my lawyer got it wrong or is just trying to save me from some trouble ahead, given my XW complaints that I am denying her access to the kids during my custody time (less than full time with the children is not supposed to be a consequence of 50/50 custody?). Funny thing she is not that interested in our kids during her custody time, dropping them off with me or her mom earlier to go be with her boyfriend in another city or leaving them under the supervision of a housemaid to go to the gym in school days, when she have plenty of time for herself while the kids are out. Nor was she that interested in spending time with them (and taking care of them) back then when we were married (unless it was glamurous quality time). It looks like it is my time with them she wants to spoil with her insufferable presence.

            And no, I rarely if ever call my kids during her custody time. We exchange hostages twice a week so there is no need for drama; also, facetime with the dad they just spent 4 days with is boring for the kids, as they are eager to be with mom now, so I don’t bother them. I have to nudge them to talk to her when she calls. In fact, I have to negotiate and beg for our 7 yo autistic kid to see her over the phone. He. Is. Just. Not. Into. That.

            That is all drama and impression management for her. Funny thing she uses to call when at work or in front of her boyfriend (always wearing headphones, so that she gets to control the output at her end, and muffle any undesirable feedback). She requires an audience for her concerned mom bit. Also, I think this fake concern hints to the audience that I somehow represent a menace to my kids well being. After all, she has to conciliate all the bad-mouthing and calling me crazy to everybody who would lend a ear with the fact that the kids are with me most of the time.

            I can’t stand the sight of her smirking or the sound of her squealing fake-excited voice when talking to the kids in my time with them (she plans her activities with them). And sure as hell I cannot tolerate the lies she tells them. I decided from now on to be as far as possible during those videocalls, knowing that I am leaving them vulnerable to unchecked manipulation. Last time I checked she was gaslighting our (probably autistic too) 9 yo son into believing that he *just imagined* that her mom called him “mongoloid” and “pussy” when he gave her a hard time taking an oral medication due to his increased emetic reflex. Last time FW gave him that same medication, she got upset and pressed angrily a glass cup onto his little face (he was 7 yo then). We were married back then and I had to intervene as I had many times before.

            So, who makes her boss of what is best for the children? No sane person would. Kids are better now that I take care of them alone in my time and make the major decisions regarding nutrition, school and health. Our oldest gained weight and our younger lost some (all healthy). Lots of unexplainable recurrent health issues subsided. The little one is thriving in his own pace and is talking more and more each day and beggining to read and write (what sounded impossible some time ago). Tuition and health insurance payments are on time, for the first time in their lifes, now that I am the sole responsible. And I did not and will not introduce strange people into their upended lives, unlike the revolving door of men they’ve been subject to in their mom’s house way before the divorce (which she was stalling).

            Sorry, I needed to vent and put my own thoughts in order so that I can aptly react to this mindfuckery.

            Thank goodness for CN!

            • Yeah, for sure she is fucking with you. I hate the cat and mouse game but if the one thing she wants is for you to hear her voice…then I would make it your job to NOT hear her voice. Leave the room during calls, get headphones for the kids, simply don’t answer the call and send a text explaining that you and the kids are ice skating or whatever you are doing. In fact, avoid being available for those calls. Set them up to occur while you are doing dinner prep. You will be busy and distracted and the kids can share all of the stories from their adventures with you that day.

              Sorry you are dealing with this. I’ve been there many, many times and it sucks. Here’s to a life fuckwit free someday!

              • Thanks for the sage advice and sympathy, HM!

                I will try the headphones on my kids. Great idea! I am prerty sure the calls will be way shorter this way since one huge incentive (annoying me) will be lacking.

                The dinner prep strategy you mentioned was my first choice since the beggining, but is rendered ineffective right now since we are spending our summer break with my parents and I am enjoying the luxury of not cooking for a while, after one year of working from home and taking care of the kids all alone.

                As for our “ice skating” together it has the opposite effect. We come home to dozens of unanswered calls and angry texts only to be subjected later to a loooong videocall right by the bed time in which she plans *nicer* and *funnier* adventures she will be having with them soon. It all turns into a competition.

                It takes only one fuckwit to turn a family’s life into hell.

  • I am not sure if it was hoovering or controlling behavior, probably a bit of both but here goes:

    When FW decided to separate to “ figure things out” he left with a single duffle bag to ostensibly couch surf at different friends (read live with secret GF). Since he didn’t have a place of his own , boohoo, he wants to come back a couple of evenings/ afternoons a week to see the kids. I was blindsided by the whole thing and felt bad for our little kids so I accepted and vacated the house at those times. He would cook dinner and save me a plate every time 🤢. Super weird and inconvenient, and it keeps going for as couple of months. I was taking care of the kids and he was using our house as storage unit for all his stuff minus that one bag. Every time I would ask when he is getting his own appartement so that the kids can visit him there, he would whine about how difficult the rental market was, and he didn’t where he wanted to move to [insert any BS excuse here]. Anyhow I told him I’d take a look myself. 2 weeks later I signed a lease packed up MY stuff and the kids’ (I helped them box what they wanted to take to our “new place”) called the movers and moved out with the kids! I let him know he could move back in our old rental and let him deal with all the stuff he had hoarded over the years. The end.

  • The dingbat wanted to know if he could call me when he was having problems with his sobriety.
    A guy had offered to be his sponsor, but he felt it was “not a good fit.” Oh, but I am?

    Even worse, he wanted to be able to call me when he got the urge to use porn. Clue, idiot; I’m not your dick guardian. Guard your own dick. What am I, the Penis Whisperer?

    Plus more amusingly moronic attempts, all rejected, from the guy who stated that I was “stuck on” him and that we aren’t married anymore (as if we ever really were in his alleged mind) so I needed to “get over it and move on.” That was during the same period we still lived in the same house, but I was packing up to move and he was telling me he would be “perfectly happy” if I would sell my new house and stay with him. Ah, projection.

    The stupidity of their hoovering is an insult to our intelligence.

    • Ha! “Dick Guardian” brought back bad memories of agreeing to be FW’s “accountability partner” for the porn blocker website Covenant Eyes. I think I lasted 4 months, being triggered several times a week. I told him he’d have to use his counselor. I wish I had had the gumption to tell him that it wasn’t my job to be his Dick Guardian. And that I would have started the divorce instead of trusting him for 10 more years.

    • “Clue, idiot; I’m not your dick guardian. Guard your own dick. What am I, the Penis Whisperer?”

      🤣🤣🤣

  • Hoovering… funny its come up today!

    Hermes posted a note through my door yesterday telling me there was a parcel behind the flowerpot by the front door. Ooohhhhh what could it be???? A late Christmas pressie maybe that I’d forgotten I’d ordered??

    Oh no. Not that at all! It was a parcel addressed to FW and it was clearly something he had ordered from ebay. Could be quite an innocent mistake, you know ‘forgetting’ to change the address on his account when he left but he was always buying and selling on ebay…. Always. He’s been gone 18 m (no contact for almost a year now) and he would have definitely continued to purchase and probably sell on ebay so wtf!!! Why now?? Then my daughter wisely points out to me that the divorce and settlement will be completed by the end of Jan. FW wanted one more try at kibbles.

    I chucked that parcel as far as I could. Parcel? What parcel 🤷‍♀️🤷‍♀️🤷‍♀️

    • OMG this happened to me twice! The second time, a full 2 years after DDay (1.5 years after divorce was finalized), it was an expensive bottle of scotch shipped from overseas that I couldn’t just scribble “return to sender” on and slam back in the mailbox; curiously, it was also a month or so after I heard through the grapevine that Best Regards had gotten remarried. I probably should have just given the scotch to a friend, but as I was going out of town anyway, I just left it on the front step and figured that if it was there when I got back, I would deal with it. It was gone; still have no idea who took it and don’t care.

      Like I said in my post above, I got a lot of this kind of dustbusting from Best Regards–wholly ironic as he pushed SUPER hard for a quick divorce and acted in every other way like he could not WAIT to be rid of me forever. And as you point out, Claire, all of it was easily disavowed as a “mistake.” I might buy that–he is super disorganized and distractable and hates adulting–except for the facts that (a) the timing was suspicious, as your daughter pointed out for your parcel; and (b) in at least one instance I know of, the “mistake” served as a convenient excuse to try to get through my NC wall and dustbust some more kibbles.

      The game of trying to feed their insatiable egos is just exhausting, and as you discovered, the only way to win is not to play.

      • Yes. Get out of their game.

        My other daughter was asked, by him, about the parcel.

        She replied she had no knowledge of said parcel as NOONE talks about ‘him’…….

        🤷‍♀️🤦🏼‍♀️😁

  • This wasn’t bizarre but it was definitely stupid. And lame.

    During in-house separation (after D-Day #2 I finally decided I was done), he said he had been thinking and figured out that we both had “unmet expectations.”

    (I thought but didn’t say, “you mean like expecting you to keep your marriage vows, fidelity in particular?”)

    Then he asked, did I think there was any way we could try to meet each other’s expectations?

    My immediate answer: “No.”

    Then he said maybe I could “give it some thought.”

    I just walked away.

    • “you mean like expecting you to keep your marriage vows, fidelity in particular?”

      Hopium4years, I did say something to this effect and the reply was perplexing.

      She was begging me to stay in my apartment in order to spare the rent money (she screwed up our finances and her credit during the affair) and I insisted we needed a time apart from each other to work things through. It was during wreckonciliation, and I couldn’t stand living under the same roof as her, as the mind movies frequently upset my stomach. We were having lots of trauma bond sex though – such a powerful hallucinogen. Then she said that it was safe for me to come back to her, since *now* she had a commitment to me (not to cheat anymore and to treat me with respect – turns out she was still cheating). I immediately replied: what about our vows, they didn’t count for nothing?

      She told me she didn’t cheat on me for years (bitch cookie!) and I replied with a very sarcastic “THANK YOU!!! 👏👏👏 That must have been soooo difficult for you!”

      As I tried to end the conversation that should never have been, she asked one last thing: “we are separated, ok, but we can still be girlfriend and boyfriend, right?”

      Un-fucking-beliavable! This from an almost 40 yo mother of two. These freaks don’t ever reach adulthood.

  • It would have been better for our kids if Cheater had lived. I had saved money and was ready to leave (I should have done so years earlier). I have a (likely foolhardy) fantasy that I would answer every question he asked me with “Go fuck a whore, ______” (cheaters name). But you would all tell me that wasn’t very Meh.

    If I get to set all the circumstances of this fantasy alternate reality, I would have wanted to divorce Cheater and eventually marry the man I am married to now. I have another fantasy where I am at the front door of my new home with my new husband and Cheater arrives to pick up daughter. My responses to hovering attempts would be met with dead-pan grey rock responses.

    For years, I jumped to every morsel of bait and kibble he offered me. I would have loved to see him realize that that time was DONE.

    I know my imaginings of how great it would feel to put him in his place likely wouldn’t feel as good as I think they would.

    Im also sure that after him destroying our marriage with abuse and serial cheating, he would have told everyone that I left him for a tall, rich, white guy (hence I was disloyal to my short, indebted, brown guy).

  • Five years out.
    I’m grey rock. DH lives nearby.
    Still regularly attempts to Hoover a few times a year.

    During last lockdown one day when he came to walk dog with one of kids he saw me in garden and commented that I had lost weight.

    Must have really played on his mind, because starting next day; almost every day for the next 3 weeks he dropped 2 x bags of chocolates or a box of icecreams on my front step, then sent me a text “I got you chocolates!” or “I got you ice creams! Make sure you share them with the kids!!” I never responded.

    Then one day one of the kids says to him “Dad, can you just not do that? It’s bad for us, and anyway it’s totally weird that you are in lockdown with some other woman and you are dropping gifts to your ex wife everyday. We know it’s not for us kids and you are doing it because you are not happy that Mum’s lost weight”. So it stopped.

    Then a couple weeks later he turns up on the doorstep asking if I will write him a meal plan???!! Nope!! Kid tells him “Dad she doesn’t want to talk to you, let alone write you a meal plan!” When he leaves kid and I laugh hysterically over the ridiculousness of it all.

    I finally asked him to only communicate via email and blocked his phone calls/texts.

    A few weeks later school has gone back and he turns up one morning thinking I will be home alone. I hear someone trying the door. Look out, see it’s him and think that child who missed bus must have called him for a lift to school. Call out to child “Dad’s here for you”
    DH seems surprised and stammers that he’s come to borrow a phone charger. Sorry we don’t have a spare. OK (and doesn’t give child lift to school).

    2 hours later (after kid has gone to school), DH turns up again, again asking to borrow a phone charger, or can we just talk? Nope sorry, we all have different types of phones, and no spare charger. What will I do? I really need to make some calls? Um it’s 3 blocks to the shops where you can buy yourself a new one.
    (Have since found out he split up with that lockdown lady, and the hoovering attempts to borrow a phone charger coincide with that timing. Over the years I have realised his hovering pattern – the hoovering resumes whenever they fight and it looks as though he’ll soon be down to only one girlfriend – happy for him to always have 2 x girlfriends and leave me alone.

  • There’s a common theme with these FW jokers:

    1. Immature. Very.
    2. Selfish narcs.
    3. Non-empathetic.
    4. Bratty behaviors.
    5. Entitled.
    6. Revengeful.
    7. Insecure, bottomless pits of need.

    Avoid, avoid, avoid!

  • Divorced since 2010. Ex texted me nonstop for a couple of years after; I gave him one-word answers and thought he’d gotten the picture when I didn’t hear from him for a few years. Then he texted me to tell me that he heard that I’d moved to [some city that I would never have moved to – he must have thrown a dart at a map to pick the city] and I told him that I had moved in with my boyfriend in [current city of residence] and to leave me alone. I probably shouldn’t have even revealed that much, but I live about 1200 miles from him so I figured it was a vague enough location. He disappeared for a while but then left me a voicemail a month or so ago saying that he needed a copy of our marriage license and the divorce papers in order to get a passport. [Not sure if that’s true – I can’t figure out why the passport people would need that information but oh well.] I refuse to call him because the sound of his voice nauseates me (I didn’t even listen to the message – I have visual voicemail and was able to read it), so I texted him the dates of marriage and divorce (as if he wouldn’t have known) and told him that he could get copies of the paperwork from the department of public records. And just to put the icing on the cake, I texted him the date of my marriage to my current husband. He then sent me a long speech about his plans for oh-so-exciting travels with his family, and volunteered the information that he’s now engaged. I don’t believe it because I guarantee you that nobody in their right mind would marry him. I think it was all a scheme to get me talking to him again but I sent him an icy “how nice for you” text and ignored the followups.

  • Mine came back frequently to pick through what he wanted. (I had changed the locks, and he didn’t know he wasn’t coming back home…)
    But it went on too long, and during those visits, I’d hear all about his travails 😭
    He didn’t have a soft landing.
    He missed his couch
    They weren’t living together they were cohabiting
    Her back was a much larger area and it was hard for him to get used to that when he rubbed her back at night (ok this is where I realized the caliber of the bullet I had dodged)
    That he was a pariah at work
    Her kids were mean to him
    Her husband called him “Loser and Junkie”
    And boo hoo life was hard!
    Finally when he called claiming he had left behind a beloved tool in the junk drawer… I took the whole drawer out, and left it on the curb
    This is also when I padlocked the front gate.
    Adios, Loser.

    • “Her back was a much larger area and it was hard for him to get used to that when he rubbed her back at night”

      Oh FFS!!! 🎻

      Mine told me that her scars weren’t very attractive. WHAT???

      So inappropriate to share this with us.

      Also, TMI!!! Geez. No boundaries.

      • Isnt that the truth Spinach???
        Why on Gods green earth, would they share that information???
        Scars and Big Backs!!! 😂
        It wasn’t lost on me at the time that his protestations that they WERENT living together, just cohabiting…. Really made no sense when he goes on to tell me about rubbing her back at night!!!!
        Yech. I get sick thinking what I put up with.

        • But the definition of “cohabiting” IS “living together and having a sexual relationship without being married”…

          • Yes…. “Normal” people get that…
            This is just one example of how he would explain things that made no sense at all.
            But yet tried to be so convincing in his delivery!
            Most of the time these conversations would end with me shaking my head in disbelief.
            I realized that talking to him was just like trying to communicate with my mother – 5 years into her Alzheimer’s
            Round and round we’d go…

      • Translating from Narcissist to English: He’s put out because he had to do slightly more emotional labor in his new relationship than with you, and to a narc with zero EQ, it’s a totally unreasonable, over the top ask.

        If you’ve ever known or been with a man who has no problem exerting himself in a stereotypically “manly” way for a wife, GF, or romantic partner, but won’t rub her feet or back without grumbles or resentment…this is why. Because giving a massage is emotional labor and to them, a bigger imposition than moving your refrigerator or changing a tire on your car. That’s truly how emotionally bankrupt they are.

  • OMG I just opened the mail and found the ultimate hoover! My STBXFW made a Shutterfly style book with pictures of me entitled “501 Things I Love About You”. It is pages and pages of little things he loves about me along side pictures from our years together. He was smart enough not to include any pictures of himself, I’ll give him that. Mostly it’s pictures of me and our kids with things like “I love your cute nose. I love how you compliment strangers. I love that you’re a comic book movie nerd.” 501 times!!!! It’s the ultimate manipulative hoover!

      • We were married for 29 years and I kicked him out in October so we’ve been separated for a little over 3 months.

        • Oh… recent.
          I’m sorry.
          It sounds like his theme song might be:
          🎶 🎶Regrets, Ive Had a Few …🎶🎶

          I know it’s not “ Kosher” but I used to enjoy hearing my ex was miserable and regretful and things would get back to me
          So, maybe take what little comfort there is in knowing he is sounding regretful and is pining for all he threw away.

          • Oh yeah, he’s pining for sure. He won’t give up. He refuses to understand that we’re over. He just keeps insisting that he’s “the man for me now”. He will not hear me at all when I tell him it’s over. He keeps saying that I’m “just in my anger” right now and that I’ll come around. I’ve told him several times that I’ll be angry until I fucking die.

    • That’s not a Hoover, that’s a Miele!

      This seems extreme. Are you worried for your safety in any way? The ones who act this way scare me. Be careful.

      • He’d never physically hurt me, but he is not above mental and emotional manipulation for sure. I honestly think he believed this would win me back. He’s that stupid.

        • MollyWobbles, I said the same thing, and I was wrong. How do you know? Do you truly know this FW like you thought you did? Did you think he was capable of any of it? Enough reading here has shown me that FWs are full of predictable surprises.

          Whether your ex ever becomes physically abusive, I think it’s important to acknowledge that contact with an abuser is damaging to mental health, which correlates to physical health – as anyone who has suffered the effects of dday trauma can attest.

          My own tale of caution: After DDAY 2, I left abruptly and was truly DONE with FW. At this point, unlike during previous Pick Me dancing and reconciliation attempts, I found him, and his Hoovering, repulsive. I rarely responded to his sad sausage stories, over the top flattery, or pathetic promises of a beautiful home, children, travels and happiness. When I did, it was short and not sweet. I did NOT want to get back together with this creep. In spite of this, I guess he wore me down enough that in a moment of weakness, I allowed him to come see me in person for the sake of closure. It is unsettling to end a long term relationship without a goodbye, and it is unpleasant to see someone else “in pain,” and I, too, was haunted.

          While the FW never regained my respect, love or trust, he did manage to Hoover me back one last time, and that’s when things got really ugly. MollyWobbles, 29 years is a long time, and three months is a drop in the hat by comparison. It takes a long time to fully accept the reality of the abuse you’ve suffered and to trust they suck. My advice is to block everything you can and not engage, because the patterns are very hard to break and healthy boundaries and expectations take time to establish. What harm can come from time and NC? None, in my opinion. Yet much harm can come from continued contact, even if in the form of digital hoovering and giving an FW rent-free space in your head. You sound determined and mighty, but beware nonetheless.

          • Also, while it seems like a sentimental Hail Mary, my guess is this is the max effort he is willing to put in to win you back. It requires no sacrifice or commitment, and it costs nothing. By comparison, what did you risk, sacrifice and put up with for the sake of him, your marriage, and reconciliation? If you go back, he regains control and will drop the wooing immediately to return to the same old, and worse. Furthermore, he’s likely monkey branching. Highly doubt you’re the only woman he’s in contact with right now. As the CN saying goes, ask me how I know…

            Sometimes, Hoovering is validating when you’ve been cheated on and treated like trash. It feels better to be sought after than to suffer rejection or Pick Me, even when it’s all wrong and your disgusted. I get it, but don’t take the bait!

        • They all have single digit EQs.
          I think yours wins the Most Elaborate Hoover trophy. It’s a sparkle-covered vacuum bag full of pubic hair clippings.

  • Oh, mine is epic. He fancies himself a writer so they are so very verbose and annoying as hell. The best one was when our son was in preschool. I picked him up on my days, he picked him up on his. Nothing big.

    He then sent me an email asking if I had been hoarding our child’s underwear. After I got done laughing, I simply told him that since I send him to school in a pair and assuming he sent him in one, the net exchange of underwear was zero. Never heard about it after that. I’m not sure what he was smoking, but it serves to remind me that none of his requests are ever worth concerning myself with.

      • It still makes me laugh, and my kid is now a teenager. I still have no idea what was going on that made him think that I was somehow getting my little more than toddler child to secret away all his underwear to my house. Have no idea what was going on.

      • Oh, and he also was very upset that he no longer qualified for the cellphone plan discount that my employer offered. Because he was no longer my husband. I mean, duh. So surprised. How could he have possibly known? I’m ruining his life! How dare I give him the paperwork to figure out COBRA insurance on his own? He’s just a timid forest creature!

        • They think if they are paying child support and/or fulfilling their part of the custody agreement then it still entitled them to the emotional labor of a wife from their mother. After all, isn’t that what they are paying/putting all this effort in for?

  • Mine was, “Do you remember the name of the urologist who did my vasectomy? I need his phone number. I never got my sperm count checked”. Completely ignored that one.

    Sorry Dude, I stopped being your personal secretary December 4, 2012 at 7:51pm.

    2,344 more days and I will never have any reason to deal with him, though as the kids get older with their own phones, there is less contact. But who is counting!

    • Ew! After “Penis Whisperer” and “Dick Guardian” now what?! “Sperm Accountant”? What is wrong with those people really?

      • Add “Toddler Underwear Hoarder”. It’s because they are completely out of touch with reality.

        • Lol! That reminds me of how he always wore stretched out, ancient briefs with holes in them and had to be coaxed to replace them.

        • It’s also out of touch with reality for men who ARE married to expect their wives to be their personal secretaries. They are adults and can handle their own sh!t- let them.

          If a man does not know how to take care of himself, it’s a red flag that you will always be partnered with a giant spoiled child that will expect you to mother them for the rest of their lives. He will be nothing but an additional burden if/when you have children. They never step up or grow up so save yourself the trouble & heartache and just AVOID.

  • DDay jan 2
    File and get him out of house by mid June
    Crazy making calls, emails and texts as well as rounds and rounds of negotiations
    Then in November, Receive a call confirming a dinner reservation for our family of 5 (this would include me) at a location where his (still) affair partner and her husband often dine with their kids.

    Huh? I said there must be some mistake and cancelled – thinking as if I could ever choke down a meal sitting in the same building as him.
    He acted bewildered that I didn’t just fall in with this plan .
    🙅‍♀️

  • Xhole passive aggressively “forgot” every single one of my birthdays and our anniversaries. Christmas, tree full of gifts for him and kids and nothing for me. He wouldn’t even take the boys to get me something. Once I was divorcing him, he’d call and try and pick a fight on our anniversary date or his birthday. It took me 3x of this happening conveniently on what used to be our anniversary before I realized he wanted me to give him kibble and wish him a happy birthday or comment on our no longer existent anniversary. Guess he didn’t appreciate it when I forgot him almost immediately after the divorce.
    He also wanted me to drop everything, including my animals that I’d had for 10 years, and move to Kuwait with him to work on our marriage, you know, 3 years after were divorced. Oh, and he wanted me to do this while Shrek remained in their apartment to take care of his things back in the States while he was working in Kuwait and working on his marriage with me. They are completely F’ing delusional. You cannot make this shit up.

    • Though I always got a Christmas gift, (usually a robe), he rarely remembered my birthday. For years I spackled, but yeah I am thinking he did it on purpose. This was a man who was obsessively organized, he put everything on his calendar. (back then is was a paper pocket calendar). There was absolutely no reason for him to forget my birthday, ever; but he did and he prided himself on it. Oh he would joke, but I know he was proud of it.

      I don’t know why I didn’t just get his calendar and put my birthday in, and also a week before put a reminder. And not tell him.

      He also rarely after the first few years did anything for Valentines day, because of course that was just a made up holiday. The fact that all holidays are made up, I guess didn’t matter.

      • I did put several reminders in his smart phone. No F’ing way in hell he “forgot” jack shit. Wait, I stand corrected. After I found out about his affair, he bent over backwards to impress me. He made me dinner, a cake, birthday present, etc. Too little too late MF’er. I made a lot of mistakes during the marriage. I forgave and forgave everything. And he took and took. I did the “pick me” dance while married not knowing that was what I was doing because I didn’t know anything about Shrek. But when I found out about the affair, something finally snapped. I felt this rage and it completely overtook me. I went completely scorched earth after Dday. No more giving, no more forgiving, and no more putting my needs last. He truly had no clue what to make of me. He’d never seen that side of me because I’d loved him. He should have taken notes when he saw me cut others out of my life for betraying my trust. Meh. No longer my problem.
        SusieLee, don’t second guess his passive aggressive. He would still have managed to purposely “forget” and then been angry with you for daring to remind him.

        • I was deeply betrayed by an old friend and I cut her off and blocked her everywhere. She was involved with drugs once again and I was having nothing to do with it. Early in the days of FB, klootzak would leave himself logged on so if I opened our shared laptop to use it, there would sometimes be FB on. Not long after I cut this former friend out of my life, I found this whole FB chat he had with her with her asking him to contact me on her behalf and whining about my cutting her off and him telling her that this is how I am and it’s so cruel and irrational not to forgive and to just cut people out of my life completely.

          In my entire life, I have only had a situation like that happen twice. I call it enforcing boundaries. I was pretty miffed that he didn’t tell her have a nice day and block her. He completely took her side. I realize in hindsight that these FWs don’t like boundary enforcement. They criticize and belittle those of us who do it because they need to keep around every hanger on for all the kibble they can get. I think it spooked him to see me turn on a dime on her and not look back. And to this day, I give zero f*cks for whatever has happened with her life. It will be the same with him and these FWs know it is a matter of time until boundaries are enforced against them, too. I loved klootzak and gave him second and third chances but no more. Without trust and with his toxic behavior, the love I had withered and died. We have nothing left to work with. They can’t grasp that concept at all.

        • Oh I am sure that is what it was.

          Funny thing was after years of forgetting the last birthday before he left in Jan of the new year, he sent me some flowers at work exactly one month early for my birthday, (He sent them 6 Sep, my birthday is 6 Oct)) then called and said since he always forgets he thought he would send me some early. I remember it because it was unusual to get anything and it was a month early. But, I was thrilled. The only time before that he ever got me flowers was the day our son was born 20 years earlier. I got the occasional potted flower deal for mothers day, but no actual delivered flowers.

          I never did figure that out. Could have been to throw me off the track, or it could have been because mid October he told me he needed my help in throwing his best friend a surprise Bday party for his 40th. I adored his best friend and his wife so of course I was glad to help put it together.

          Maybe even a narc could figure out that it wouldn’t be cool to throw a party for someone else in the same year you “forgot” your spouses bday.

          Honestly that was the year of discard and I was confused and riddled with anxiety anyway.

          The only regret I have is not figuring out, or maybe not admitting what the asshole was doing to me.

          “I forgave and forgave everything. And he took and took. I did the “pick me” dance while married not knowing that was what I was doing because I didn’t know anything about Shrek. ”

          I did that too. He had evidently been fucking around with her for several years; but kept it from me. He kept it from a lot of other folks too; but someone filed a complaint and his house of cards fell fairly fast. Guess he wasn’t as smart as he thought he was.

          • “Maybe even a narc could figure out that it wouldn’t be cool to throw a party for someone else in the same year you “forgot” your spouses bday.”

            Oh, they know it’s wrong…they just don’t care. Narcs are gonna narc and knowing that their actions will cause pain to others can be an extra added bonus or the whole f’ing point. It’s not about you, its not even about the new person, it’s all about a narc feeling entitled to do whatever TF they want.

    • My take on this type of behavior (the “why won’t you move with me even though we’re divorced now” – which I also got) is that they have some piece missing in the empathy department. Maybe it’s more accurately described as their theory of mind doesn’t work properly. (“Theory of mind” is the idea that social animals need to not only know what they want, they need to know what other animals want – they need to have a mental model of the other animal’s worldview, basically in order to get along (positive interpretation) or manipulate (negative interpretation).)

      In my experience, they literally cannot understand how someone else’s opinions / motives / needs can be different from their own, even in situations where it’s to their advantage to do so. From that standpoint, your XH want to go to Kuwait and – in the throes of that emotion – can’t fully comprehend that you don’t also want to go.

      I get it. Bacon smells delicious to me, and it’s kind of hard for me to understand other people not reacting the same way to its smell, even though I intellectually understand that not everyone loves bacon. Just take that and extend it to all human interactions, and it explains a lot about weird blind spots like this. Since understanding others’ emotions is a prerequisite for empathy, it overlaps strongly with the “lack of empathy” phenomenon that we’ve all experienced from our cheaters; the distinction is maybe between “they cannot do empathy” and “they could do empathy but choose not to”; a distinction without a difference, for practical purposes.

    • Did I read this right? He wanted to “work on your marriage” 3 years after you’d divorced?

      These people live in another reality.

  • My son just recently told me that his dad (the fuckwit) and the skank have offered me the use of their timeshare. I just said, “You can tell your dad that you extended the offer.” I’m proud of myself. I stopped right there and didn’t expound with ugliness. Really? Like I want to sleep in the same bed that he fucks his skank? I did before but that was unknowingly when it was my own bed. Dipshits.

    • You did good.

      My guess is they would hit you up for the maintenance fees if you accepted.

      My ex sister in law did that. She offered it to my now husband and I, not long after we got married, and all I would have to do is pay the yearly maintenance fee. Yeah no thanks.

      Don’t get me wrong I like my ex sister in law; but that is what it was about. They couldn’t use it that year and they were trying to recoup those fees they had to pay anyway. It would have been a reasonable rate if I had wanted to go there, but I didn’t.

      Plus then I would have owed her a favor, like I said I like her ok; but she is her brothers sister and that is how they roll.

    • 100% not a coincidence that this offer was made through your son. XH was making a point with the son (“Look how generous I am!”), not trying to do something nice for you.

      In fact, XH is probably happy you turned down the offer because it reinforces the “Amazon Chump is a bitter bunny, unlike magnanimous me” narrative to the son.

      I hate it when they drag the kids in like that.

  • There was no hoovering as such, as the ex ran away to exgfOW. She is somewhat controlling and excellent at telling everyone what she thinks about everything. The divorce took longer than it should have done because of his persistent delaying tactics and pathetic excuses for lack of timely response eg had been in New York for fashion week and did not have access to email – NY is notorious for its lack of access to tech 😂. We are both lawyers. I went no contact quickly and all communication had to be via lawyers. On the day he was told this by my lawyer, I received a late night email from him telling me that ‘I have been told not to contact you because all contact must be through our solicitors’. A lesson in the statement of the bleeding obvious which I ignored.

    There were countless irritations where he refused to take action in an attempt to make my life difficult and inconvenient. One of these was his post redirection (getting him to put that in place is another story). We had been separated 2 years and divorced. An invitation to a party was redirected in error by Royal Mail to his luxury flat. When the invitation finally reached me, over a month after delivery and when the rsvp date had passed, I saw that the host had written on the back of the envelope ‘bring anyone you like with you!’. The delay didn’t matter because I knew about the event and had already said ‘yes’. The curious occurrence happened a few days after the invite was delivered to me. A male Switzerland friend texted me out of the blue to ask how I was. I was puzzled by the timing after long communication silence. I sat on the text for a few days then replied, keeping it bland. No mention of whether or not I had a new partner. And that was it! No response from Switzerland. He had obviously been tasked by the ex with finding out whether I had someone new in my life. Professionally the ex will know what I’m doing as I’m quite well recognised in my field. Personally, and as he is an intrusive nosey busybody, it must drive him mad to have little information about me. Not least because I was supposed to die when he left. Oh the disappointment!

    • “ I went no contact quickly and all communication had to be via lawyers. On the day he was told this by my lawyer, I received a late night email from him telling me that ‘I have been told not to contact you because all contact must be through our solicitors’. A lesson in the statement of the bleeding obvious which I ignored.”

      Hahaha! I had a crappy ex (who later went full stalker) keep regularly showing up at the venue I had been going to for entertainment long before I met him, that he had never been to until we were together. I set a boundary via email “if you are going to keep going there, you need to leave me alone.”
      He shows up the next time I am there and I ignore him. Late in the night, I’m standing with my friends, watching the musical act, and on my shoulder, I feel *TAP TAP TAP*. I turn around, it’s a-hole. “I’M LEAVING YOU ALONE NOW!” he announces in a petulant voice, turns, struts away. All I could do was LMFAO at the idiocy (while my friend stood gaping “That’s not how you leave somebody alone!”)

      Do these guys give even one iota of thought to the possible consequences of their actions, or is their thinking just so messed up that the logic chain of possibilities in their head gives them completely fantastical results? LOL

      • They really can’t help themselves! Set a boundary and they see it as a challenge. He even makes sure to harass you while “leaving you alone”. Ugh

  • 5 days after New Year Fuckwit-ex returned from christmas vacation at the same place she met the AP.
    She texted me Happy New year – I hope you will be happy the way you’d like. I’d regret not wishing you that

    10/10, great that she couls once again find a way to avoid regret, at my cost. The absurdity catapulted me back

  • The worst Hoovers were straight up stalking and are no fun to share. How easily Friday Challenges turn into litanies of abuse. Instead, here are some – of countless -pathetic and weird attempted Hoovers (from the time after final dday, when I had left for good because of escalating physical and psychological abuse). My ex would send these emails and texts out of the blue, at random times, and some were so absurd that they made me laugh even then. Some got angry or mocking responses from me (unfortunately, I was still several months away from achieving NC), but I never got sucked back in, thank god.

    “Grant Imahara died last night.” We liked to watch Mythbusters together. This was the first thing he communicated to me, the day after attacking me and badly spraining my shoulder.

    “I wish we were driving to the ocean, eating jalapeño poppers together.” Gag. I received that text while working in a mosquito-filled swamp on a sweltering summer day, and still the thought of being near him disgusted me.

    “I’m sure you know, today I celebrate my five-year sobriety anniversary.” Congratulations, fuckface, and you’re welcome for my sacrifices and support during your years of alcoholism *and* sobriety. I’m sure he didn’t remember that his anniversary falls on my mom’s birthday. My mom – who treated FW like a son for over a decade, and who he never apologized to or said goodbye to.

    “I’m sure you know, but tomorrow I go in for a colonoscopy. I wish you could be there to hold my hand.” His dad died of colon cancer when FW was a teen, only a few years before we met, and the grief and trauma from this was a major part of his, and therefore my, existence. He was pulling out the pity trump card that had always worked in the past.

    “Would you please come join me and [our visiting friend who is sick and dying of cancer] for ice cream cones?” When this friend (who we hadn’t been all that close with) got sick, FW began to spend a lot of time with him; after losing his dad, he was very drawn to sick and dying people, especially if they had cancer. This friend was often used as a cover or to make me feel guilty. He said he was with the guy when he was actually with OWs, and he dropped dday one the evening before going on a camping trip with him. Regretfully, I let go of the friendship because it was the most respectful and caring thing I could do under the circumstances, but this made me really sad.

    “Let’s go on a camping trip to the rural lakes. Just me and you. Let’s reconnect and get away from all of this.” Great idea! Sure, I’ll go on a remote trip with the physically abusive guy who made a passive aggressive show of playing with his guns when angry with me and had put padlocks on rooms in our house to keep me out.

    FW was desperate enough that he began to use the lovebombing tactics that worked on his trashy young OWs with me. The triangulation did not entice, the flattery and kibble fell flat, and the “romantic” words and gestures were shallow and cliched, at best. He could no longer keep his masks and women straight. Seeing his communications and Hoovers with OWs was useful, as I’ve shared in previous comments. I was humiliated on his behalf, and I was mortified that I’d been in love with and fooled by such a loser.

    Another tactic that I’m guessing others have experienced: disclosure of horrific things presented as proof of honesty and trustworthiness. FW also seemed to believe that by being “honest” (not even close, turns out), he was making major sacrifices by opening himself up to consequences and my wrath when he could instead have kept me “happily” in the dark. When I reacted to the news with anger and tears, he’d throw it in my face: “I am sorry I told you”; or, “See, this is why I can’t be honest with you.”

    The last time I saw fuckwit, I was packing my car, leaving the temporary housing I’d escaped to for the summer. FW showed up to say he was sorry I was leaving and would always love me. He wanted to hold me. He brought flowers and jars of canned goods – from my abandoned gardens. He loved to talk about how unfair it was that I couldn’t be in them, just like he loved to weep about how sad it was that I’d never be a mother. Such a sick fuck. Lovebombing is not love. Hoovering is the “best” (though most dangerous) phase of narcissistic abuse cycle, but it still sucks. Genuine remorse, amends, closure or growth/reconciliation would look dramatically different, and it’s so clear to me now that my ex was and never will be capable. Sorry, I really did start off trying to recall the funny stuff!

    • So sorry for your loss bread&roses. Sometimes it is hard to find the nuggets of humor in the wreckage. Those people are deranged. I hope you can find peace and joy in your new life.

      • Thanks for your kindness, FTS. Same thing I wish for all chumps! Not everyone vomits their stories on CL like I do, but I know every chump has lived the insanity and been dealt the same losses – or worse. Love your name and posts, BTW.

        • Thanks! My name is short for “What time is it? It’s Fuck That Shit o’clock!”.

          Love your posts too. I’ve lurked here awhile before starting to share and support. I find it helps me heal, and I hope it helps others too. I’m 4 years out, it’s a process.

  • incident #1: Six months post separation get a phone call, “Could you come over , I need to talk to you about something.” I go , Me:”What do you want to talk about?” , Her:”I want to talk about the divorce.” as she’s preparing a breakfast plate. Me: “There is nothing to talk about.” I leave.
    incident #2: Two weeks post divorce I get a knock on the door. It’s her , all weepy. I let her enter , she stands 5 feet away , I sit at the dining room table , and she somberly tells me “Your the best friend I ever had.” , sensing some type of reconciliatory attempt I simply say “No fucking way , get back in your car and go back to where you came from.” Weepy gesture turns to immediate righteous indignation and she leaves.
    incident #3: Six years post divorce. I’ve remarried. She has divorced AP due to his infidelity (ain’t Karma a bitch) . My current wife and I have hit a rough patch and separated for a bit. My ex catches wind of this and calls me to see if I can take a look at her stereo. ( I was genuinely curious as to if she had learned anything now having had done to her what she did to me. I knew right off it was a ploy. But I went.) I hooked up the wires to her antenna (not exactly rocket science) and chatted a bit amiably , then she proceeds to tell me about dragging some barfly fleabag home the prior weekend for a ONS. I think she did that as a covert invitation , but all I could think was “You haven’t changed at all , you’re still a skank.” I suggest to her to move far away because she had really destroyed any semblance of a reputation locally. She actually moved upstate shortly thereafter. My wife and I patched things up and we’ve been together for 38 years. Some people just don’t ever “get it.”

  • My ex sent me a text at about 2am saying ‘Please can I come home?’ about 2 years after we had split up. He then sent another message when I didn’t reply to say that it was meant for OW.

    He rang me not long after he’d collected our son and I was going out to ask me if I’d like to join him and my son for dinner. Errr, no.

    Another time, while I was out with my sister, he called and I stupidly answered as he had my son and he declared how he was now getting some help now for what I believed at the time was depression (it was just arseholery and there’s no therapy for that). I told him that was good and he said ‘You’re a difficult woman to please’. It was the 3rd time he’d cheated on me and I was pregnant at the time. I had enough going than dealing with this immature man.

    When I was in hospital, my sister saw him circling the hospital when she was coming to visit. I wasn’t answering the phone to him. The man is pure mess.

    Oh, another time, I had him crying on the phone ‘What did I do?’ I was in the mode of wanting to sort things out at the time. He’d moved in with OW. I told him that he needed time on his own to sort his head out. He didn’t like that.

    He also had this thing where he would go on about my son’s weight. I think he knew it was the only thing that made me reply to him. He would tell me he’s overweight and bait me into a conversation, until I realised what he was doing and when he said he wanted to contact the school nurse about his weight, I told him to contact the school nurse if he felt that was the right thing to do. He never contacted the school nurse and I’ve had no further text messages about my son’s weight from him. He wasn’t interested in his weight. He just wanted to make contact and have some control over me.

    Since then, he’s still with the OW, they’re married and they have a child!

    • Trying to make you the OW to keep the cheating thrills in his otherwise boring relationshit with his ho, because that’s all it ever really was about. It’s good to know they both got what they deserved.
      I do not believe he meant that text for OW. That was his cover when he felt humiliated by you not answering. Nicely done.

      • Very true. I also had this agreement that after my daughter was born, he could come to the house on a Saturday to see our daughter (as he left to move in with the OW while I was pregnant) as I did not want my new born daughter going back to their house for OW to play mum to my daughter (drama teacher – lives in a fantasy world, I believe) until she was 12 months old. It was drawn by a solicitor and agreed in mediation (that I paid for 🙂 )

        Anyway, he would come on a Saturday and when he was leaving he’d say ‘I’ll go now and be bored’. The whole time he was there, the OW would be messaging and calling him to make sure he wasn’t up to anything naughty and he’d get irritated by it. I’d be trying my hardest to maintain minimal contact by going to my bedroom for a catch up on sleep or just sorting out the house.

        It killed me at the time, but now I see it for what it was. Awful behaviour from both of them.

    • Chumpylou similar school story. “Im worried about his grades”. I replied “feel free to discuss with his teachers or arrange a meet with year coordinator anytime.” * crickets *

      (Btw Son graduated high school fine with 2 subject prizes, got a huge ovation for his jazz sax improv performance – so cool. Dad not invited to graduation)

      • Well done to your son. I hope he’s still thriving! Not so well done to ex FW for missing his graduation, but he deserved that!

    • >My ex sent me a text at about 2am saying ‘Please can I come home?’ about 2 years after we had split up.

      I would’ve been tempted to reply, “What home?”

  • My ex-wife, a year after separation sent me a message on our wedding day. How it was a special day and all that and how we had a wonderful past.
    Our wonderful past: She is a covert narcissist who had affairs, manipulated me, punished me with silence treatment and is now in full DARVO.
    No answer.

    • AFS, I got similar sentiments after 29 years married to find most of those he cheated. But don’t forget the great times, he reminded me. This was in person, so I responded with “I would gladly have amnesia to forget you entirely. Fuck off.”

    • AFS, I think for many of our exes, the time when we were in the dark and they were in control, eating all the cake—that was their “glory days.” Whatever came next has to pale by comparison because it involved them, to a limited extent at least, being held to account and forced to earn their way, so they’re sincere in thinking the past was a golden time. Kind of like how bigots and misogynists view the 1950s.

  • I think my ex is too scared of me to bother me outright. I’d blocked him on everything except email after D-Day, he’d moved far away and we hadn’t had any contact at all since the breakup (don’t share kids or assets thankfully). So this is a lot milder than the hoovers I’ve read here, but I hope it gives someone a laugh: He followed my dead pet’s Instagram account.

    Relationship had been over for a year and a half at this point. Pet died a year before we split up.

    It was a public account so absolutely no need to follow if he wanted to just view the photos for sentimental reasons (it was my pet but we had him together briefly when we moved in together and ex was good with him). Also no need to follow for updates – pet is dead and has been for a while!!

    Guess he just really wanted me to get that notification – perhaps he thought the pang for my dead pet would soften the memory of him cheating on me? It made it funnier that he used to follow the account when we were together and pet was alive, so he’d had to have unfollowed at some point then re-followed for me to be notified. Had a good laugh over the bizarreness of it with my friends and moved on.

    Much later I heard through the grapevine that things went pear shaped with his then-girlfriend. I did a little calendar check and yup, it was around the time of #DeadPetPing. Stay classy, ex-fw!

  • Several years after I’d successfully divorced and shooed the Ex-hole out of my life…. I got a phone call from him.

    He wanted a shoulder to cry on because his new marriage to the OWife was crumbling. That I had always been a good friend to him and I would understand what he was going through because she was cheating on him.

    I sat through this whole speel with my mouth hanging open in shock, then burst out in laughter.

    I finally collected myself enough to say “Wow, really? But your relationship was built on such a strong foundation of sneaking around and lies. Who would have thought it would go up in flames like this… now why again did you think it was a good idea to call me? Of all people? Did you run out of understanding shoulders when they learned how you two got together in the first place? Thank you for the laugh, but you need to hang up and never contact me again. I don’t care what’s going on in your life anymore.”

    I later learned that it was the ex-sil that so kindly gave him my number.. you know.. because he’d changed and he wanted to be friends again.

    • He wanted to cry on your shoulder when his affair partner cheated on HIM??

      He presumed you would have empathy for what he was going through since he’d cheated on you???

      Your story wins the thread. Unbelievable.

  • Ooooo.

    This has it al!:
    triangulation (SIL involvement–oy)
    hoovering
    schadenfreude
    meh
    badass response

    Btw, that they would think we still care is evidence of their collective delusional thinking. SMH!!

  • An email from FW about a month after I moved out, when I refused to see him (although he was stalking me at the new “safe” place I was staying, leaving flowers and vegetables late at night/early morning):

    “why do you hate me so much?

    I have a thought experiment for you that I have been thinking a lot about. I want to talk to you in person about it.”

    I did not get Hoovered, but I unfortunately did respond:

    “of course you do. that’s manipulative. nice try. you can’t control me, so you drop these short “enticing” (in fact, i find them nauseating, embarrassing and illuminating) emails. why not do or say something real? i feel like one of your affair girls when you write that shit. i’m sure it’s over your head, but do you see what you’re doing when you ask why i hate you? you’re implying the problem is me because you’ve done/not done so much to willfully hurt me and destroy our connection and my trust. that question is you shifting the attention and most definitely not taking responsibility. i don’t feel sorry for you, and if you don’t know why you’ve lost my respect and affection and love and loyalty…

    anyone in my position would be furious. most people i know would have left years ago. you have acted like a childish, cruel bully, and i’ve let you get away with it. i’ve been terrible to myself and i have kept myself small. i know who i am and what i’m capable of and what i’m certain i could have accomplished. i’m not worried i won’t have love and a home. i never had or could have had that with you. i have nothing because for the past fifteen years i tied myself to a selfish, dishonest man who doesn’t think or care about reciprocity and when it comes down to it, doesn’t care about me.”

    How incredibly earnest and naive of me. This email feels like it’s from another lifetime, but I wrote it only a year-and-a-half ago. I can’t imagine writing something like this now; it’s as if I’m a different person. If only I had discovered CL sooner. If only the world hadn’t been flipped upside down by Covid. If only I hadn’t invested myself so deeply, for so long, in a cowardly, backstabbing fraud. I can’t believe how long it took for me to go NC; I am actually nauseated and filled with shame, looking back. This is my biggest regret, looking back on how I responded once I learned about my ex’s cheating, and later, years of double lives. After years of keeping it together, I lost my dignity in the home stretch – the one thing I could’ve walked away with, when nearly everything else was lost.

    • Much like the phrase “I hope we can be friends”.

      Yeah, you spent years lying to me, letting me and our son do without to pay for your whores, exposing me to STDs, and the list goes on… and you want me to be your friend? Fuck you and the whore you rode in on.

    • If we’re being candid about the less fun, less mighty responses to hoovering attempts, I did my share of over sharing with FW early on too.

      Very early in pre-separation, right after I got ILYBINILWY from my husband of 11 years, my “best friend” and father of my two little children, we had a weird arrangement. He told me he wanted a divorce and nothing would change his mind, but he would wait until after the holidays to move out (walk out with a bag and disappear for a while really). No reason was given. During that time he “travelled for work” a lot and “slept at work” too. But he would regularly call me after the kids were in bed to “talk” (collect his dose of kibbles). I was in a world of pain and left to fend for myself with our two little kids, as usual, and I had nobody to talk to, to share this with who knew anything about what I was going through. So one of these evenings I decided I had enough and when he called I let him know exactly how I was feeling and that what he was doing was abuse, plain in simple and that he had abused me for years in that way. I let it all out, all my pain and anger, and shared it with my abuser. Stupid, naive, yes. I’m ashamed of it now and I would never do it in a million years, but it happened. That put and end to these hoovering phone calls for a while though.

  • I’m still being hoovered.

    I filed for divorce in the beginning of October. The server finally had the papers ready to serve mid-October. A couple days later (after finding out about my covert plan to serve) STBX stops showing up to his office and says he’s not coming home for awhile due to “tension”. Later he says “high blood pressure”.

    He hasn’t been home in two and a half months. He finally called our five kids two weeks ago.

    This week I get a call from a trusted imam, a friend of our family, who has now unknowingly become a flying monkey, pleading with me to accept STBX’s offer of a house near my parents, vacations, a single joint account, complete transparency…to give it another 6-month trial.

    I told him that’s like saying there’s a big prize for me if I would just agree to be run over by a garbage truck first.

    I’ve heard those promises. They only ever last two weeks. No thanks.

    I’m so tired of well-meaning people (especially those I trust and admire) finding out about the monumental mess for the first time, desperate to help, asking me why don’t you just give it one more chance, then you know that you’ve tried everything? I told him I won’t go through that one more time. I would end up driving my vehicle off the road.

    That’s not an exaggeration.

  • I keep getting the “can’t we be friends” hoover emails.

    I keep blocking all his new email addresses but now I wait those essential three-four days before I get “the follow up email” which is just aggressive shit about me being a bitter hag who is unlovable.

    But he really wants me as a friend you guys!!

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