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How Do I Explain My Divorce?

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freedomHi Chump Lady,

Could you please offer some advice as to what to say on your dates regarding why you’re divorced?

Like you, I’m twice divorced. First husband had big-time mental health issues, and second husband (Mr. Amazing) dropped me one day for a much younger married colleague. D-day came right before we were all to leave on a family holiday.

After one and a half years of daily crying (your column was a LIFE SAVER) and a half year of working up the mojo to online date, I finally managed to get a profile up and go on some dates. I’m in my mid-50s and strangely I don’t want to pack it in in that department — even though the scarring is there.

When the ‘why are you divorced?’ question comes, the whole energy of the date changes from maybe potential to gloomy.

I’ve been asked questions like “Why do you think he married you and then cheated on you shortly after?”

I’ve had some dates proceed to speak to their own ideas about when people make “mistakes” in a marriage. I even had a date call me after a couple of dates to ask (interrogate) me as to whether I’d ever be able to trust again.
I’m the common denominator in these two divorces. I don’t want to speak badly of my exes because I know that will just reflect badly on me.

I want to be able to quickly tell the truth and move on… but I can see the wheels spinning in their minds as soon as I answer the “What’s your story?” question.

People have all kinds of misinformation about what makes a fuckwit cheat. I feel that it’s reflecting poorly on me.

How can I answer without seeming like I’m still sad, carrying a torch, devastated, scared, mistrusting or a potential sexless drag!

Thank you,

Signed

Out there Again

****

Defensiveness isn’t a good look. I know you’re imagining they’re sitting there in judgement, ready to check your red flags and tally them up at the end of the evening, and maybe they are, but flip this around — are they worthy of YOU?

You behaved with integrity in your marriage? You tried? You don’t have to convince anyone about anything. Some jerk thinks you drove your ex-husband to cheat? Useful information to have. Bye. You’re dismissed. Next.

dismissed

Besides which, when you’re dating, keep things light and casual at the beginning. Avoid deep probing marriage “failure” conversations, on the first date anyway. I don’t know who’s initiating this, but if it’s you, it might be too soon to be out there. Heal up a bit.

If you don’t feel divorce shame, you won’t project divorce shame. You don’t have to qualify why you’re single. Why the heck are they dating?

Are you sad? No. Carrying a torch? No. Devastated? Once upon a time, but now? No. Mistrusting? No. Wiser, yes. Sexless? Only with the unworthy.

Be okay with who you are. I know it’s easier said than done and of course there are biases out there and shitloads of idiocy. It’s hard sometimes not to internalize that. But a date is one encounter. The real date is with yourself — if you have those “I’m a two-time loser” voices in your head, you have to date them FOREVER.

Dump them.

We don’t control other people. Why are you divorced? Standards.

Or, go with what you wrote me. My first husband had mental illness. My second husband was a cheater. The first situation was chaotic and untenable. The second situation was chaotic, untenable and abusive. Hey, what’s your favorite movie?

I’ve been asked questions like “Why do you think he married you and then cheated on you shortly after?”

I don’t know the inner workings of fuckwits.

I’ve had some dates proceed to speak to their own ideas about when people make “mistakes” in a marriage.

Are we talking about expired car registrations or shagging hookers? I’d really need to know the severity of the “mistake” before I could comment, Derek.

Oh, you mean you cheated on your wife?

(Exit to leave)

Because that’s a dealbreaker, right? Don’t be out there dating if you don’t know what your dealbreakers are. Remember, this is about finding someone whose values align with yours.

I even had a date call me after a couple of dates to ask (interrogate) me as to whether I’d ever be able to trust again.

Of course, Nigel. I prefer to get to know someone over time and let a relationship build naturally. Would you let someone you just met for coffee operate on your appendix?

No, because you just met them and have no idea what their credentials are? And the set up seems kind of shady?

Exactly.

I’m the common denominator in these two divorces.

Please dump this voice from your head. Imagine if you had two miscarriages and wrote “I am the common denominator in these two stillbirths.” Shit happens that is beyond our control. Like mental illness and your ex’s wandering dick.

Grieve. Move forward.

I don’t want to speak badly of my exes because I know that will just reflect badly on me.

How about don’t speak about your exes because they’re your EXES. They aren’t relevant to the energy and curiousity you’re bringing to a new relationship.

If you get to a greater level of intimacy with someone, and say, the cheating ex comes up, don’t feel you have to sugarcoat it. But don’t lead with it either, okay? “It was devastating. I didn’t realize people could live double lives. It took me a long time to get over it. But I’m happy to be where I am today. I’m really proud of how I navigated that shitshow.”

And then if he is sufficiently empathetic and kind, proceed to demonstrate how you’re not a sexless drag.

Good luck out there!

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Ask Chump Lady

Got a question for the Chump Lady? Or a submission for the Universal Bullshit Translator? Write to me at info@chumplady.com. Read more about submission guidelines.
  • Having been there and tried that, I will add that the online dating pool is rife with narcissists and losers. There are certainly some decent men there, but you will have to winnow out a lot of chaff to find them, so it’s good to be choosy. Always listen to your gut, and be on guard for those who seem to be pumping you for information, especially when it’s early days… they may be doing it to use it against you later; that’s a common narcissist tactic.

    It’s fine to be brief and even vague about this topic at first; it’s a pretty personal question after all, and you don’t owe this person you just met a thing.

    • Yes, NotAnyMore, it seems the ease of dating online has brought all sorts out of the woodwork including the married narc cheaters. I am jaded of course having been married to a narc cheater trying all options for thrills. I cannot unsee what I am able to see now, and the older adult dating scene (at least for me) is a shit show of losers and liars looking for supply. I understand why some want to honestly date. But I’m not only turned off by what I see I’m also so thoroughly crushed that I can’t ever return to a relationship shape again. It’s sad

  • Think of this conversation as a test, but not a test of YOUR worth, but your date’s. The only appropriate response to hearing that you were cheated on (abused) is one of empathy and respect toward you. If your date fails this test, you keep looking for a winner.

    • Shortly after my remarriage, I met a woman who told me her dating tactic…
      She asked every man she dated if he cheated on his wife and oddly enough they all seemed to answer her freely.

      52 in a row said they had cheated. She married number 53.

      Life isnt as simple as this tactic would suggest but after our collective experiences, it might suggest some ideas for ruling out the cheaters.

      • Unfortunately, cheaters *lie*, so I don’t think that’s useful as a winnowing process. Much better to take a *long* time getting to know someone, strong boundaries, watching out for red flags. If what a person reveals is *not acceptable to you*, move on immediately.

  • One thing I learned, often the hard way, was to gently steer dating conversations. Not to any particular conversation but guide both of us to topics that revealed our interests.

    I learned this skill when my mother was still alive. It was meant to tech me how to spend time with her and not to give “dangerous” topics any space.

    I believe it worked to help me get to know my dates, their interests and enjoy conversations without heading into landmine issues like reasons for divorce or why someone isn’t in communication with ex’s, parents, kids. Lots of time for that once we get to know each other as individuals.

    I suggest to come with some predetermined topics that are important or of interest to you. That way you increase the likelihood of finding someone you’re compatible with.

    It probably sounds very controlling or stiff while reading my post but I promise that it quickly becomes just another tool in the art of interesting conversation.

  • I love this advise because in my sitch, I never got past the awkward (and destructive) Excessive Emotional Vomit stage. I dated about 4 or 5 fellows before being reunited with a long-ago boyfriend who I rekindled with and later married.

    Please dont take my eventual success in re-partnering as any indicator of reasonable behavior in the Disclosure Phase of first dates…I am relatively sure that I failed mightily – and yet, I still did well in the big picture. Im a good example of the strangeness of life…doing the right thing doesn’t guarantee a good result nor does foolishness predict failure.

    I do think the OP here asks a good question for those of use who struggle(d) with this and I love CLs answer. I wish I had (during my dating) worked harder to remind myself that I needed to be very discerning and let them prove they were worthy of me. We are strong and mighty survivors here and we would do well to take that mindset into the dating realm. May the odds be forever in your favor.

    • Good post.

      It is so individual. I don’t think one needs to be “totally healed” to go on with life including dating. We all have baggage. But, I do think just having fun dating and don’t worry about the heavy stuff unless the relationship goes further. And many times a friendship will turn into a romance and by the time it gets serious, they know you and you know them to the extend you can know someone.

      Certainly no guarantees for sure.

      • Yes, so individual. My now husband is a good example of “Waited Too Long” (essentially 12 years) and I did the opposite (6 months). At some point with time long or short we had to reconcile our last relationships with his we separately and together would step into the future. It was messy but we have done pretty well.

        • I was 1 year separated/divorced and my now wife was five years separated/divorced when we started dating. Pro and Cons for both. Actually I was more healed then my wife because I was in therapy and she never went. It was very messy at the beginning but the last 6 months have going very good also.

      • I jumped right into dating after D-day. Based on other’s dating app experiences, I wanted to see if there was anyone decent out there, not expecting to find anyone.

        I was nowhere near healed. But – I only started seeing one guy, who is patient and questioned if I was ready or what I was looking for. I didn’t even know. We got to know each other slowly, thanks to the pandemic (even though we had sex right away, but heck, we’re adults).

        18 months later and we’re still together. We’ve built trust, we respect each other’s baggage and boundaries, and we’re happy, and best of friends. No idea what the future holds, and that’s ok.

  • Anyone else having trouble reading lately due to all the ads? For me there are usually 3-4 moving video ads on the screen at once and I can no longer follow the column since it is broken up in 2-3 sentence bits…

    • I’ve written to the network about the ad placement. It takes several months to get it set up. About having ads on the site, however — zero apologies. This site has no paywall. It costs money to run a blog this size, IT bills, hosting costs, not including my time, which is considerable. Thus ads. I don’t sell anything here, no services, I’m not a life coach. My book has long paid out my advance. (Publisher makes money.) Please put the annoyance factor aside to realize this community isn’t “free” — I create it and I pay for it. Some amazing members of CN are Patrons on Patreon http://www.patreon.com/chumplady — they are less than 1 percent of my readership. (There’s extra content there, more on that in another post.) Weigh the value of my writing and this community against the irritation of the ads. If it’s too much, find another support site.

      • Word back from ad network, there’s a way to code it (I have to learn this) to group the text in ways the ads don’t break up certain sections. I’ll figure it out.

        • Hi, my ads are in the lower right hand corner of my phone they’re there but they’re not breaking up any text or not as much of a distraction.
          They can also be closed by touching the X in the corner
          I can deal with them for thep amazing content and support you provide
          And thank you again for everything you do

        • I think the most important part of this comment section is that it is comforting to know that Chump Lady not only operates this website but she also reads the comments, got this far down into them, and she responded.

      • Sorry to get on my soapbox but I know how much time, effort and MONEY goes into this site.

        Imagine having a full-time job that doesn’t even cover the bills for a website you’re passionate about and helps so many people. It’s a real dilemma and if ads are the only answer…so be it.

        A while back Chump Lady wrote that if everyone who followed her would put in a bit on Patreon, she could work full-time on changing the narrative. Sadly, that didn’t happen.

        PLEASE consider helping to grow Chump Nation, perhaps ad free???, and donate whatever you can monthly.
        Even $1 or $3 a month from everyone would make a big difference.

        I personally can give a tiny bit more for those who can’t. If you can do that, great. If you cannot, try to put in what you can. 🙏🏻

        Getting off the soapbox.
        CL, don’t yell at me! ❤️

        • Totally agree with you Rebecca. My contributions fluctuate because I’m a pensioner, some months I can add a little more. I do think even 1 pound or dollar a month would help.

        • I would never yell at you <3 . Thanks for the shoutout. But a correction, my full-time job more than pays the bills and this site supports itself and me BECAUSE of Patreon and ads. It’s not a nonprofit, so I’m taxed on the income I make. This is the most meaningful work and I hate drubbing anyone about money. The majority of people don’t want to pay for content. This is a support site, I never want people to pay for content. Every online resource – newspapers, blogs, review sites, whatever — struggles to figure out this balance. So that leaves donations and passive income — ads — if you don’t want to charge people directly for content.

          • You are provinding a wonderful service that I haven’t found elsewhere. I have gone to counseling, life coaching and divorce care. None of these paid support people have helped me get my head on straight about surviving my cheater like you. I did monthly payments when I used this site heavily, then stopped. I am starting again at a small monthly (actually the same I pay my daily local newspaper) because I believe In what you provide to those who need this support. And I’m still here reading and learning. Hugs to all!

        • As a side-thought… In addition to Patreon (not instead of), an option that makes it easy for a person who doesn’t want to shell out as much data as Patreon and/or has barriers that make the huge workarounds or long term commitment required for Patreon, might use a one-time donation option more readily. A comedienne I follow uses https://www.buymeacoffee.com/ this way. Something to consider. (If it’s not your thing, no arguments here, it’s just an idea.)

        • “A while back Chump Lady wrote that if everyone who followed her would put in a bit on Patreon, she could work full-time on changing the narrative. Sadly, that didn’t happen.

          PLEASE consider helping to grow Chump Nation, perhaps ad free???, and donate whatever you can monthly.
          Even $1 or $3 a month from everyone would make a big difference.”

          Pay it forward.

      • I’m not anti-ads at all, you are saving lives and deserve to be very well compensated!

        I just noted a change – that the articles were now cut up into 2-3 sentence bits, while the comments were ad free. I do worry about so many ads (in the article itself) turning readers off, or making them think the site is scam, as the info is so so so important!

        I’m a UX designer – so I understand the balance. Seems like the comments section could use ads, reducing the burden on the article to have so many.

        • Thanks. I appreciate the feedback. I generally don’t go deep into the code, I ask my IT lady to do that, but I can’t ask/pay her every day. So… I’ll figure it out. I’m new with AdThrive and they’ve been very responsive. Will sort it out.

      • Totally agree CL! Yes the ads are at least as annoying on the new site as the old. But the content is worth it. I’d been waiting for my divorce to be final & assess the damage before adding new subscriptions, but at this rate it appears my divorce will be final ca. 2053. All, if you’re getting as much out of this blog as I am, check the Patreon levels. CL makes it pretty affordable.

      • I was happy to see the ads because it made me think CL is on her way to making this a full time gig. I honestly don’t know how CL is able to have a job and run this site but I am dam thankful.
        I would urge many here at CN to consider joining Patreon. It starts as low as $3 a month. That’s a dime a day.

      • No worries. The ads here are like ads in lots of places. I’m sure you will get a fix that works for readers while paying the bills. And by the way, $5 a month on Patreon pays the help you got or get here forward to the next chump who needs it.

    • The problem may be the age of your OS, or, alternately, you could install an ad blocker. I have an ad blocker, which blocks ads on most sites (although it has also caused problems seeing content on others–no solution is 100% perfect). I see more ads here than anywhere else, but they are manageable.

      • There are many more ads today than ever on this site. Apologies to CL that more people have not signed on to Patreon. I guess people think about it and it is something they are going to do but do not get around to for whatever reason. This site and CL and CN are PRICELESS.

    • I don’t bother looking at the site on a mobile device – just in a browser where I can type on an actual keyboard. Then the ads are at the bottom and easily closed.

      I was a patreon member for a while, then life got in the way. I will re-evaluate soon.

      • Become a patron via Patreon and help bring about an eventual ad-free future! I’m a patron and have never looked back.

  • Natalie Lue’s Baggage Reclaim blog taught me a wise question: “If you’re healing, why are you dating?”

    I know there’s a zillion voices out there telling you that you’re nothing without a partner. Or to get back on the horse.

    They’re wrong. All of them.

    You’re well and truly enough by yourself. The best cure for the inevitable loneliness is a lot of friendships – a few close ones and a whole range of degrees of others.

    And if you’ve been thrown twice by a horse, and there’s a perfectly good car standing by, ready to take you wherever you want to go, then why on earth do you have to get back on the horse?

    You sound like you’re forcing yourself out there, but I’m sensing that you need to get comfortable with yourself first.

  • First off, there is nothing for you to be ashamed of. Leaving a marriage shows courage and that you have values and boundaries. You are not interviewing for marriage, I would think this is only a date to see if there is anything further you may want to explore. Keep it light and don’t go in the details until you feel comfortable. You don’t know the character of these people. Trust your instincts and react on any red flags.
    I am still in the process which will hopefully end in the next few weeks. I don’t feel ready for dating and really have no interest in it at this point (my ex is of course and has been on dating sites for years while supposedly happily married). I just think it s too creepy for me to handle at this juncture. Be safe out there and if you don’t feel comfortable, walk out.

    • Yes, worry about whether you like them, not if they like you! Any red flags or lack of understanding say Next!

      If you do choose to date do it for fun. Nothing heavy or serious until you feel ready for that.

  • You could briefly say that the first one had mental health issues, and the second one had problems with the truth. Then say you prefer to keep the past in the past, and change the subject fast!

  • ” “It was devastating. I didn’t realize people could live double lives. It took me a long time to get over it. But I’m happy to be where I am today. I’m really proud of how I navigated that shitshow.””

    Yep, this I can say without shame, evenf today years later.

    • Are you blaming the letter writer for her husband’s ‘professional’ lying and cheating with a much younger colleague? Are you also blaming her for her first husband’s biochemical acute mental health issues which only surfaced a few years into the marriage? If so, this is the wrong site for you.

        • I LOLed at your suggested response but in all seriousness, I don’t find these sorts of disclosures necessary or even appropriate for date conversations. Personally, I find the idea violating. Sharing my traumas and ex-relationships on a date with a stranger? No thanks.

          Maybe I’d tell a boyfriend once we’re in a committed relationship but even then I wouldn’t linger on it.

  • One phone conversation I had via Bumble lasted about 4 minutes before the woman on the other end said: “. . . having no contact with your ex is absolutely the best thing after a horrible break-up. That way, you can take time and really reflect on the role you played in the destruction of the marriage.”

    5 seconds of silence, then “Oh, did I strike a nerve there?”

    Aside: There’s a reason that LunchDates and other matchmaking services instruct you to avoid the politics, religion, and past relationship failures.

    • On a meet-up hike, I started taking to a guy and told him that my x cheated on me. He actually said, “Who hasn’t?”
      I replied, “I haven’t” and then walked away.

      So, I think there’s something to be said for raising the infidelity issue in a matter-of-fact way early on way to see how people react. Saves time.

      • Good point. I think it also applies to simple social settings as well, if someone’s values clearly don’t align with mine, I’m not interested in pursuing the acquaintance.

        • Between the cheating, politics, and the pandemic, I have whittled my friends and family contacts to those that actually care about being decent people.

    • I disagree. I think it told you a lot about her mindset & to run away quickly. I’d much rather know our views are incompatible upfront then 6 months in.

      • Terri — I guess I should have included the rest:
        Her: “Oh, did I strike a nerve there?”
        Me: “Yes, you did.”
        Her: “I’m guessing maybe you don’t want to continue this call?”
        Me: “You’d be correct.”
        (click)

    • I don’t understand the expectations people have while dating
      “Hi let’s meet for a first time for coffee and then I am going to grill you about all the wounds/scars you have had to overcome. and I will feel totally victorious when I finally strike a nerve”

      what the hell? who the hell is she to say this stuff to you on the phone?

  • CL, thank you for calling out the wrongness of the “I’m the common denominator in these two divorces” mentality. I work in the field of employment law, and there are certainly employees who get harassed MULTIPLE TIMES by different folks – not because they are “the common denominator”, but because, guess what, it’s an ENVIRONMENT where MULTIPLE men feel empowered to be predators and harassers. THAT’s the common denominator: the environment where men feel entitled. Analogize to “American society,” and you’ve hit the nail on the head. I’ve been divorced three times, because I don’t take shit, and I’m proud of that.

    • I think of the common denominator argument as a directive to reflect on the things you control and the things you don’t.

      You don’t control whether douchebags harass you at work. To CL’s point you don’t control having a miscarriage.

      In my case I accept that I chose two shitty men to marry and that part is on me, so I did a lot of work to fix said picker and so far I seem to have a much better man in my life. I hope he stays that way….I don’t see the red flags I should’ve seen with my exes.

      • It’s a skein worth untangling. I’m all about Fix the Picker here, knowing what is and isn’t acceptable — I certainly wobbled in that department — which is different than being ashamed, or feeling responsible for someone else’s issues and lack of integrity.

        • I spent 4 years untangling my own skein. Why did I put up with all the crap? Then when I figured it out and established boundaries, I was ready to date. 5 years post divorce when I dated I put up an explicit profile of my likes and wants for my future. My girlfriends chastised me because they thought I was too explicit. Apparently my bar was set too high. I told them, “Why should I waste my time on someone who doesn’t even like the things that I do?” I figured that I was happy doing things that I liked to do and I was done only doing the things my “man” wanted to do. I did that for 30 years. Screw it. I’d rather be single.

      • Preach. Sometimes I think the “fix your picker” dialogue strays into blaming the victim territory. There are a lot of really talented con artists out there. Not everyone does you the favor of showing you their red flags. I’m certainly not the most trusting person in the world, but that doesn’t make me a mind reader or a fortune teller either. People can actually surprise you with horribleness you never saw coming – because they hid it – and a blithe “fix your picker!” doesn’t solve that.

        • This here is my reality. No red flags that I can see yet in hindsight, and was TOTALLY blindsided buy the revelation of his horrifying double life.

          And the thought of dating after this hell is terrifying.

    • Disordered, entitled, misogynistic men are epidemic. After loads of therapy, fixing the picker (or so I thought), I’ve learned that I’m no match for a master con-artist. I’m also proud that I divorced 3x.

  • I think it’s reasonable and even prudent to want to know why someone divorced and where they are emotionally. I’m interested to know if a potential partner has introspected at all, has cheated on their partners, or is on the “my ex was a bitch so I’m never trusting women again but I also need a fuck buddy” wagon. You need to know what you’re working with.

    I’m also twice divorced and I think asking why is fair. And I absolutely am the common denominator because i picked two shitty husbands and I’ve worked on said picker.

    But I agree with CL that you don’t want to project shame. I’ve never had any pushback when I say that husband #1 was an abusive drunk and husband #2 was a much older cheater that I picked because I hadn’t fully healed, but I’ve since done a lot of work on myself. End of story.

    Asking if I can trust again is reasonable, and my response would be ‘sure, if you behave in a trustworthy manner we shouldn’t have any issues”. If that’s not enough then maybe this person isn’t a good option for you.

    This isn’t the 1950’s ..divorces happen and if you’re dating in your 40’s and up you’re either divorced or never married it’s prudent to know why. Answer honestly, without emotion and too much detail, and if that’s not enough move on.

    • “Asking if I can trust again is reasonable, and my response would be ‘sure, if you behave in a trustworthy manner we shouldn’t have any issues””

      Good answer.

    • “Asking if I can trust again is reasonable, and my response would be ‘sure, if you behave in a trustworthy manner we shouldn’t have any issues”. If that’s not enough then maybe this person isn’t a good option for you.”

      Yeah. I think it’s a reasonable question, too. In fact, I think it’s reasonable to volunteer that I have trust issues. Show me you are worthy. The sword is in the stone. See if you can pull it out.

    • I agree. You need to know what you’re working with and it’s only fair that your date should know what (s)he’s working with. When I was ready to date (after years of introspection), I asked the guy that I went out with, “Are you happy?”; He said that he was, and I replied, “Good! Because it’s not my job to make you happy.” And because I knew I wanted to get married again, I said, “if it’s not in your plans to get remarried, then move on. I don’t want to waste my time.” However, that was when I was ready to date. I had already spent several years with a man friend who was only a friend, someone to go hike with and meet for dinner and drinks occasionally.

  • When I started dating again, every man asked me about my divorce on the first date. And I was quick and blunt — “he cheated with a coworker and left.” Then I’d let the date proceed… and somewhere in the middle of the date, I had several dates say something to the effect of “there’s nothing wrong with you!” One guy literally blurted it out. And I’d respond “yes, I know. It’s taken me time to get there, but he just isn’t a happy healthy guy and nothing I did mattered. Even the therapists recognized that he had some serious issues.”

    Usually I was quickly asked out again.

    On a date, I’m honest from the start — no need to hide anything then deal with it later. Weed out the bad dates right away. But I tried not to talk about FW unless asked and I kept it brief and honest.

    The rest of the time was spent trying to learn about them (I’m interviewing THEM — not the other way around!) and show who I am — fun to be around 🙂

    • My friends, family, everyone, was SHOCKED that he would cheat on me. They knew it was him and not me, and that helped me heal.

      My bf now has said many times, that he can’t imagine why the FW would cheat on me. I didn’t ask for that validation, but it certainly is good to hear.

  • It took a lot of dates before I could get that hang of telling my story in a manner that was appropriate. And by this I mean, not bitchy and sloppy.

    I had to learn who I was, how to tell my life story and exactly who I was looking for in a new partner.

    Each date I got better and better at these skills. And I started to get the hang of it — even started to have fun.

    • It sounds like you did well.

      When I first started dating, I was a young (40s) grieving widow and potential dates seemed to be much more weirded out by the widow thing than my emotional vomit. I had learned a few of my dead husbands secrets but it wasn’t until I was seriously dating my now husband that waves 2 and 3 of knowledge of serial cheating came to light.

      Looking back, I was probably a hot mess for a while. It was probably weird for hubby2.0 to watch me fall out of love with dead husband right in front of him during our dating. I’m glad I wasn’t dating around when I got the worst of it.

      • Oh totally!
        I was a hot mess outta the gate too. Then I thought I was in love with the first woman (she was lovely….but no)

        I was thinking today after posting that dating is kinda like buying a house; each time you imagine living there, where is the couch gonna go, does your ugly coffee table fit…, etc. you get your hopes up, then for one reason or another, you’re back looking at inventory…

        It isn’t until you visit a ton (several) of houses that you really understand what you are looking for and needing.

        Then you find the best house.
        Sometimes it’s Rt away, first house. Sometimes it’s after looking awhile.

  • I’ve only been on two dates with one gentleman since my divorce, and thus far, I’ve not asked him nor has he asked me this question. We both had 30 plus year marriages, so at this stage, for me it is about getting to know him first.

    When the subject does come up, I’ll give him the same answer I do anyone who feels the need to know … “He had a beautiful, shining diamond and he chose to play with rocks. Because that did not align with my values, I chose to live a life that does.”

    Period. End of story.

  • OMG, online dating. I think a lot of people seem to thing that meeting someone online somehow means that you skip over the “getting to know you” part of forming relationships (ANY kind of relationship). I’ve had men ask me deeply personal questions via the message system before we’ve even met. Asking someone on a first or second date why they got divorced is inappropriate, and it shows a lack of boundaries on their part. And I’m not even against online dating. That’s where I met my husband! But it’s just a method of meeting people. It’s not a jump start to the middle of an intimate relationship.

  • I’ve found that the people who cross judge you negatively when they barely know you are fucktwits or flying monkeys themselves. It’s a HUGE red flag!!! It denotes people to set boundaries around.

    In my experience, once I flipped that switch I realized I needed to educate myself more on other red flags to stay away from people like that because they are the toxic ones. As I educated myself, it helped me to understand myself more. The more educated I became the more my self-worth grew. I started wearing my shit-show like a badge of honor!!!! If some idiot tried to shame me, I shamed them back – “That’s something a cheater would say.” or “Hmmm….that is an extremely toxic and/or judgmental response.” or I wouldn’t say a word and just walk away bc no response is a response and a very powerful one! When I was dating and that question came up, I got my one liner down pat, addressed it and moved on. (My history: I’m a 3x chump, 2 ex-husbands, 1 ex-boyfriend, ALL cheaters, ALL abusive). My one liner was “I’m a chump. I was cheated on, lied to, and abused.” Then I would immediately ask them “And, you? How did your world implode?” If they wouldn’t answer and turned it back on me asking details or being judgmental, told some over exaggerated sob story hyper-focused about smearing their ex, or said they are still friends in some smirky way….those were blatant red flags and I got out/away as fast as I could. Educate yourself on red flags, I promise it will help!

    I also highly recommend asking your friends to keep an eye out for you for a GOOD PERSON!!! Everyone can make themselves look bright and shiny online.🙄 But, genuine friends will cut through the BS because they genuinely want to see you happy. If you do meet someone online, get them in front of your friends asap so they can vet them for you before it gets serious. One key piece with that is, you have to be prepared and accept the good/bad/and ugly of the feedback your friends give you. If they don’t like him, ditch him. I say this because when you’ve been through a toxic relationship with a personality disordered/character flawed individual you are 80-90% more likely to get into another one because victims are desensitized to the red flags/abuse and it’s actually their “norm”. Educate yourself, find your worth and flaunt it, get your genuine friends involved, and love yourself enough set boundaries with unhealthy people. ❤️

  • There have been a few news stories of people who were ruthlessly direct on dating profiles or humorously hyperbolized their less favorable traits and were flooded with requests.

    One woman wrote: “Am I beautiful? No. But do I have a good personality? No.” She obviously did have a good personality according to those who like wry.

    Then Dr. Michael Burry who was made famous from the film The Big Short met his wife through a dating site after he wrote about having glass eye and a mountain of student loan debt. By his own admission he has no sense of humor but frankness trades high in certain markets.

    Another woman described all the things she wasn’t going to do, tolerate or be impressed with. She was funny about it but obviously wasn’t kidding.

    I don’t use apps because of the same concerns raised by others– hookup culture, also high rates of assault, etc. But if I did I might consider channeling Mark Twain even if just for the interesting social expriment.

    • Right now this is just too scary for me to face. Even once I am FW-Free, I am afraid of online dating sites. Based on all the ones my FW was on, there are a lot of cheaters out there plus people who ae just looking for a quick hookup. That is not for me. I know a couple of friends who have been on some sites and before you know it the conversations went from friendly to sending picture of their private parts. YUCK!!!

      • I’m an old bag of 70, so I think the whole dating thing for me is a train that left the station a while ago. 😂🚉

        My advice would be, forget about dating apps, as others have said, they seem to be full of very problematic people. Much better to join groups doing things you *enjoy*. You might meet someone to be romantically interested in, you might not, but at least you would be doing interesting things, with like minded people.

        I can’t even imagine going on a ‘date’ now, but it’s just not something I’m interested in. (cos I’m an old bat 😂🧓🦇).

        But for all the younger chumps who *are* still interested, just bear in mind CL’s mantra, “is this acceptable to *me*? If it’s not, move on!

        • If I were an honest widowed or chumped 70-something year old guy I’d respond to a dating profile that said exactly what you’ve said here in a heartbeat. You’re hilarious and kindly offer support to the dumber and less experienced. What’s not to love?

          For specificity you’d probably have to add, “Do your own laundry and hire a cleaner because that won’t be me.” My mother’s second cousin was in demand at 79 but all by men who wanted a 50’s style mate-maid like their dear departeds. She wouldn’t do it, shrugged and took down her shingle.

          • “For specificity you’d probably have to add, “Do your own laundry and hire a cleaner because that won’t be me.”

            😂👏

            Yep.

            And thank you for the kind comment! xx

            • 🙂 It would be great if masses of people who have no intention of dating left profiles like that just to shift the online dating profile bar a bit closer to “real.”

        • My screen name used to be ChumpNoMore but then I found someone else was using that, and then you were with the 6. So I’ve noticed your comments. And you have never “sounded” like an old bat.

          Your dating decisions are yours alone to make, but don’t ever discount yourself because of a silly number.

          Your advice is spot on. Do things you enjoy, with people that enjoy doing those things. Meetup dot com is a great tool to find like-minded groups. Whether or not you make friends, or find a love interest, you’re doing things.

          My EXH, not the FW, is 60. We’ve been separated/divorced for over 5 years and he has told our son that he is not interested in dating; that he’s “past that” now. My kids WISH he would date.

          • “… don’t ever discount yourself because of a silly number”

            It’s not really because of that, but now I’m free, the thought of exchanging my freedom for putting up with someone else’s foibles, tics, expectations, just makes me grue.

            Someone above (Adelante I think) said they’d spent 30 years doing things their man liked, and wouldn’t do that any more, which I 100% agree with. Now I do the things *I* like, without reference to anyone else.

            Thanks for saying I don’t sound like an old bat! 😊 Truth is though, I’ve reached a life stage where I just don’t *want* to complicate my life – “I am enough”! Love your user name, sums up what I feel now. xx💕

            • I always dreamed of being free! And I am! Yes, I have a bf, but we have boundaries. I make my own decisions separately, I don’t run them by him. We each have our own friends. I don’t need a constant companion. He’s basically another friend, but we also have sex. It works. And if it doesn’t work? I Am Enough. I am at peace with the person I became.

              I love your picture btw! I’m not brave enough to post mine.

              And Adelante – I have to get together with her, she lives close by.

  • Just a couple of hours ago an old friend called to check on me. I wasn’t shy to spill the beans (telling him explicitly he should stop me whenever it became TMI or his curiosity was satiated). Turns out I found an empathetic ear (that, to my surprise, saw FW’s antics coming from a long time ago). Of course, this was not a date. What I am saying is that we shouldn’t be ashamed of what others did to us. It is not our blame to carry and we have no obligation to be some FW’s PR. I am not advocating to cry the injustice out from the rooftops (only is it helps you heal, but I think it is hardly the case), but if someone asks it is your right to tell the truth. Afterall, FWs are telling “their truth” (read lies and character assassination) about you for longer than you might suppose. This arms race we hardly get to win. Resignation here is key. My maybe pessimistic outlook (based solely on anedoctal evidence) is that the majority of people we used to know either don’t care enough (shit happens, get over it!) or seek excuses for cheater’s behaviour (she must have gone crazy!). But you can find around you the other kind of people too. Strengthen your ties to them. They will help you overcome these voices that say you’re the problem, or “the common denominator” (as you put it) by introducing some healthy noise into the ressonance box that our heads turn into after being subject to trauma that makes us doubt our self-worth. I am not the right person to advise anyone on dating (my last proper date was 22 years ago and I am not looking forward to a hypothetical next one), but I would warn you to steer clear of anyone that minimizes cheating (forgiveness trolls, for instance). And also, “do you think you’ll ever be able to trust again?” is a question that would make me wonder to what uses this person I just met is planning to put my trust? Why they need me to trust them?

    • BC, I agree with your last comments. I think it may be a long while if I ever feel comfortable going on an official date. As I said, several friends have done this and next thing you know they are getting pictures of private parts from these people. I would say block, block, block to that. Not certain why anyone would send this type of stuff to someone they don’t really know. The whole concept is just too much for me. It may change in the future though I doubt it.

    • Hope this comment doesn’t show up twice. I copied, pasted and repeated it after the site informed me my comment was marked as spam (?). Original message:

      Amen. That “Do you think you’d ever be able to trust again?” question is at minimum a sign of someone so sheltered that “trauma” was falling off their bike at 11 or someone who pulls the wool and needs a dupe. Either way, yikes, no.

      It’s imperative to have friends who know the full story but one danger in being too frank about past traumas with new prospects is it gives psychopaths a golden opportunity to mirror and do their diabolically convincing faux empathy dance.

      While women are technically in more physical danger from encounters with frauds, male survivors take a risk in that women are better at aping empathy and often routinely mirror as a social norm. Many women will emit whatever it is they believe is expected. I actually think whatever politics are behind this are getting much worse from checking the professional profile pix women are displaying on Linkedin in my former profession. My GOD, are they being told to grin like that at knife point? Is rigor mortis setting in? They actually look terrified to me (and terrifying. Hmm, maybe freelancing is better). Sometimes women dissemble from fear, not creepery, but if I were a guy I think I’d prefer someone more earthbound.

      I also avoid the death by a thousand cuts of enduring a series of people who respond ickily to anything so personal as trauma. I was harassed early in my career and evaded a few attempted assaults and learned the hard way that some shitheads think negging someone’s vulnerabilities is the way to get the upper hand. It doesn’t work with me but it does cumulatively draw too much blood so I don’t have a problem not being fully honest in early days. The risks are such that any decent person who stuck around would later understand why I felt this was necessary. I sometimes test people’s belief systems in oblique ways, say, by telling a story about a “friend” who endured x and y to see how the other party responds. It’s like waving a paper hand around to see if any cobras in the vicinity will strike. Also I think it’s easier to objectively see if someone is responding with too much goopy empathy over your story of a friend being betrayed than if they’re waxing goopy over our personal stories. I’m acknowledging my own hunger for understanding.

    • I ran into a woman who seemed proud of herself for being friends with her ex for the sake of their common son. I asked why she divorced and she told me that he was cheating. I most certainly understand divorcing, but I don’t understand “being friends” with your cheater ex even for the sake of the children. I choose my friendships based on integrity and choose not to associate with those that lack it.

      • Almost every woman I’ve ever met who “stayed friends” with a battering ex spewed a lot of “blame splitting” garbage about “takes two to tango,” etc. I didn’t find them safe to be around because they’d knee-jerkedly assign blame if anything happened to me or anyone else. It’s not an idiosyncratic chink in their thinking. It’s a gaping global flaw. I think all the above applies to cheating scenarios too. Abuse is abuse is abuse is abuse.

  • Hi everyone, I’m the letter writer. Thank you CL for publishing and for the laugh at the end.
    Thank you everyone for your feedback.
    I should mention that I am not the one who brings up the question from hell. Ideally, I would like that to be further down the line. But the men are asking on date 1, and I’m not good at evading and I’m far too honest!
    I look forward to reading your thoughts. 😊 Thank you!

    • An old mentor in a creative profession used to tease the newcomers for having a “constipated sense of honesty.” I was guilty of this for a long time. Not anymore. I’m going to give the blow by blow of encounters to friends after the fact and we all enjoy sharing clever evasion tactics. We’re all honest to a fault and anyone worthwhile is going to know the truth in the end but not necessarily in the beginning. Anyone worthwhile would also understand why it’s not always safe to be 100% honest in the beginning.

      I also can’t stand getting the third degree. You’re very valiant to be out there and could probably use the “emergency call” tactic with the help of a friend to cut dates short if they start making you uncomfortable. Standards, standards, standards. Only allow dolphins in your tank (who also have standards) and pretty soon you’ll have an army of them and sharks won’t even dare show up.

    • I don’t think you should evade, if they ask, (on a *first* date?! Good God) just say something like “he cheated, and that’s a deal breaker for me.” A lot depends on what their response is.

      Some are saying it’s a good idea to get it straight from the start, and I agree, but how things develop/not develop from there, is *up to you*. You don’t owe anyone anything, least of all a stranger!

      If you don’t like what’s revealed, just chalk it up on the experience board, and move on. And don’t have any truck with victim blamers, or bullshit like “do you think you contributed”, because you didn’t, you were lied to and abused, and before you found out, you didn’t have any agency.

      But now you do, so don’t take any crap from anyone!

      Best of luck out there, just remember, if it’s not acceptable to you, you’re under no obligation to accept it! 💕🤗

      • “you didn’t, you were lied to and abused, and before you found out, you didn’t have any agency.

        But now you do, so don’t take any crap from anyone!”

        👍

    • I would not be comfortable having the conversation on the first date. I would have to trust the date enough to have such a conversation. I can not imagine sharing things that were quite painful to me with someone I had not known very long. If someone wanted me to share more than something like “people get divorced for reasons”, I would have to say “next”. I am a very honest person and if someone asks me questions about something that I am not ready to discuss to the extent that they want, I would be very uncomfortable. They would have to be patient with me; if not no point in discussing. Disclosing too soon would just be too painful for me.

    • Sounds like these men make you feel like you need to prove yourself. It’s the other way around. Asking me such personal questions on a 1st date would make me bounce their ass immediately.

  • As a mid-50’s single woman navigating dating after 26 years of marriage to a narcissist and a dumping the FW fiance, I can relate. I jumped into dating right away after D-day, expecting to find no one. I got lucky, and we’re going strong at 18 months.

    It sounds like the guys you’re chatting with are terrible matches. From the frying pan into the fire, so to speak. Gaslighting you, blaming you for the “failed” relationships, tells you all you need to know about them. Block and move on.

    You aren’t wrong that you are the common denominator in your past relationships, but that doesn’t equate to fault. It doesn’t even equate to a bad picker. Anyone that makes you feel guilty is not worth your time.

    These guys also have their story of why they are mid-50s and (hopefully) single.

    The first conversations early on should be about who YOU are, and who THEY are. You are NOT your previous relationships. You are someone that has dreams, a future, hobbies, etc. You need to figure out for yourself what you want to get out of dating. Love, a companion, sex? Someone for the rest of your life?

    Sure, you both need to know the red flags from each other’s past. You can get to know each other slowly. That is how you build trust. Why would someone expect you to trust a stranger at the beginning of a chat?

    CL is on point here.

  • So I think what this shows is that you are doing everything RIGHT on these first dates. You’re getting future FWs to show their true colors right off the bat. Seems like you have uncovered a magical tool for testing if your dates are up to standard. Definitely dump these losers the minute they say these things and keep going along this path. You’re doing great!

  • Don’t understand why “My ex cheated” isn’t a full and adequate explanation. In what universe is betraying your marriage vows insufficient reason to leave a marriage? If someone asked why you no longer dine at Captain Cuthbert’s Cut-Rate Crustacean Counter and you replied, “They gave me food poisoning that sent me to the hospital for a month and required the surgical removal of half my small intestine,” would those same people stare and you and say, “And so. . .?”

    THAT’S THE EXPLANATION, DODO.

  • CL/CN: I just thought of a Friday Challenge suggestion: chumps writing their own pithy, frank, possibly funny, maybe even balls-out flinty (but carefully anonymized) online dating profiles whether they date or app-date or not. 😁

    • Love this! It’s a good exercise in figuring out who you are and what you want.

      Also, send in the awful bios we’ve seen. Like the guy who openly says he’s married.

      The guy I’m dating had no bio, only 1 picture, his hometown and current city. Also, on Bumble if you don’t enter your height it defaults to 3’10” or something. So that’s what it said for his height. Which was my opening line: “Cool, I didn’t know I would meet someone shorter than me” or something snarky like that. He must’ve liked my snark.

      And why do 99% of guys have pictures of 1) selfie in their truck 2) with a fish 3) on a scenic overlook 4) with a kid 5) with a dog ?

    • Thank you everyone, letter writer again. I’m really feeling the support and reflecting. I think there is a big part of me that just feels sad that this is my story and I get awkward when asked.
      People are surprised that this gets asked on a 1st coffee date, but it does, and I’m always caught off guard, because I still haven’t decided how I want to answer in the very early stages.

      Along the lines of what Hell said, I like that Friday challenge and would also like to see a challenge re funny answers to the ‘why are you divorced question?’ for those of us who don’t want to share so soon but want to keep the mood light. Shit, dating is supposed to be fun!
      Thank you fellow chumps, I’m taking everything in.

  • “Are they Worthy of you” is great and should be your litmus test.
    I would keep it simple. “My first husband developed a diagnosed mental issue and my second cheated on me” If your date can’t understand or handle that answer that should be a red flag to leave.
    OTA let me reframe your dating experience into a positive from what you wrote. (Full disclosure I am a man and I am not dating but intend to when healed)
    That these dates are asking about why you are divorced makes me think that they are interested in a relationship and are not looking to use you.
    The one who interrogated you may have been burned himself and maybe worried about whether he will have to pay for the sins of your prior relationships. (FW was married before to a guy who cheated and for first year of our relationship she was very paranoid but I understood why. So ironic that years later she would become a cheater but I digress).
    I imagine once I start dating I would want to know why my date is divorced. I don’t want another FW.

    • Thank you Dr
      I agree, I don’t find the question awful, just awfully fast! It’s also a little funny because many people I would imagine, don’t have a short and simple answer ascto why a long term union didn’t work. And if their former spouse was there, would they agree with the answer! I read somewhere to ask ‘ if your former spouse was here, why would they say you were divorced?” But even that feels icky for first date banter.
      And I highly doubt that a FW is going to tell you the truth anyway. My FW was also previously a chump…so no guarantees there either. Ugh!

      • “My FW was also previously chumped”
        Isn’t it crazy that these people would go on and do the same behavior that they condemned. My FW went off the rails I am finding out. So sad. Hopefully better days lay ahead

    • I agree with you, Dr.Chump. I’ve decided not to seek out another partner, but when I did dip my toe in the water, I certainly wanted to know why the other person’s marriage ended. It’s just one of many indicators of character, but it’s an important one. I thought it was sketchy when people didn’t address it. My FW was separated when we met, and I made the mistake of not scrutinizing his divorce. I should have asked a lot more questions a lot sooner.

  • I haven’t “dated” yet, but this doesn’t seem like an appropriate first date conversation. How about just respond with “I’ve been divorced for X number of months/years. Is there anything you’d like to know about me?”

    If they push, ask “Why do you want to know?” The answer probably doesn’t matter – either they’re wounded or snooping. If they come up with something reasonable, just answer it the way you would if asked about your financial status.

  • “I’ve been asked questions like “Why do you think he married you and then cheated on you shortly after?””

    “I guess because he’s not faithful or loyal by nature. Why else would somebody do that?”

    It seems to me this person is hinting that you might be at fault, so get them to tell you why *they* think he did it. That will be very revealing.

    “I’ve had some dates proceed to speak to their own ideas about when people make “mistakes” in a marriage.”

    Good. What they say will tell a lot about their character. These people are giving you a glimpse into who they are and it pays to listen.

    “I even had a date call me after a couple of dates to ask (interrogate) me as to whether I’d ever be able to trust again.”

    Showing you he’s pushy and controlling. These guys are a treasure trove of info about themselves and they don’t even know it. Now that you’re unchumped, you will heed these red flags.

    “I’m the common denominator in these two divorces.”

    Unsuitable partners are the common denominator.

    “I don’t want to speak badly of my exes because I know that will just reflect badly on me.”

    It’s not speaking badly to tell the facts. “They were unsuitable as partners.” is all they need to know at the early dating stage. If they push for more, you know you’re dealing with somebody aggressive and demanding. Later on, like after a few weeks of dating or whatever feels comfortable to you, you can go into the specifics. Again, just give them the facts. How the guy responds will tell you a lot about him.

  • “ If you don’t feel divorce shame, you won’t project divorce shame.”

    This! When asked I say “he was a serial cheater and I was a serial stayer. Until I wasn’t”. I say it matter-if-factly and the response I always get is “he’s an idiot”. (FACTS. He is an idiot).

    And online dating is…blah. I shut down my profiles and am taking a break. Take a break for a while and jump back in after some you time. Good luck!

  • Every woman in their forties or older, that’s online dating, is there for one of five reasons:
    1) Never married (“…so you don’t want a long term relationship?”, “…so you never wanted children?”)
    2) Divorced (“…why did someone leave you?”, “…why did you break your wedding vows?”)
    3) Widowed (“…can you ever get over him (and be in love with me)?”)
    4) Ugly (“…uh, I forgot I have a dentist appointment I have to rush off to”)
    5) Hidden problem??? (…well you’re attractive, so *why* are you single?)

    I’m #1, never married, no kids, not by choice…my plans didn’t work out. Believe me, guys think it’s wayy better to be divorced than to be “never married”…I get treated like I have a problem, and they (and their multiple marriages (divorces) and kids shuffling between homes) are some kind of superior achievement!

    My point is that men are just trying to suss out if you’re a #5…i.e., What is your hidden problem!! So, don’t take it so personally. Most men 50+ on dating sites are guys that you don’t want to date. Expect LOTS of rejects. Turn the table on them, and keep it brief. Btw, my cousin, never married before, married a woman in her twenties who had two quick (cheater) divorces (no kids) in a row. He didn’t project that onto her, and they have now been happily married for fifteen years, with a child.

  • I had a stock answer ready when I resumed dating…

    With a mischievous gleam in my eye, I said “Weeeell, I didn’t like the way I was being treated. I also didn’t like his drinking habits. But in the end, what *really* tipped me over was that I *really* didn’t like his girlfriend. So in the end, when he refused to give up *any* of those habits—even after I gave him every opportunity—I dumped him.”
    “So, yeah…. Tsk. That happened.”
    “And how about you—what’s your story?”

    Feel free to use that, verbatim.

  • I tell people that I divorced because of irreconcilable differences and that her name was Diana.

    No shame here.

  • Okay….this is all encouraging, but Tuesday seems impossible. I’m a stay at home mom with a baby and no marketable skills. I still love him, but am exhausted at this point. What now?

    • Get marketable skills. Take online courses with your baby in your lap. Leave him, if he’s a cheater. Rely on friends and family as much as you can until you can provide for yourself. Do whatever it takes. Love is worthless if it doesn’t come with respect. Your baby deserves to see a strong, capable mom who doesn’t stay with a cheating asshole. I fought tooth and nail to get educated and where I’m at, with a small child in tow and a cheater ex trying to make my life a living hell. I dont wish that on anyone, but it’s such a relief to be free of him and financially independent. It’s possible.

      Best of luck!

  • There’s so many possibilities of what’s with these nosy guys, but they are crossing the line out of politeness into control of you. Dump!

  • “I married a crazy and a cheating asshole and I’ll never do that again. So if you’re one of those, move right along!” Clearly, you had a broken picker, assuming it’s fixed now (otherwise, please don’t date), there’s nothing shameful about learning from the past. If someone’s gonna be intimidated by your past, or overly scrutinize you for it, then they’re not not your person. Move along yourself.

    I’m not a fan of online dating, some people have great success but I’ve yet to personally know one human who had a successful long term relationship that started online. Easier said than done, but perhaps consider meeting someone in a more organic situation, where by the time the idea of going on a date arises, they understand who you are a little.

  • Having been chumped after 15 years of marriage in the same way you were, I simply say:
    “she cheated, her loss”.

    It gets it out there that you won’t permit cheating and it’s quick and to the point.

    And it is his loss. You deserve better.

  • Out There Again,

    Your dates sound like real assholes. Sounds like you dodged a few more bullets. I wouldn’t lose sleep over their rude comments.

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