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How Do I Face OW at Daughter’s Graduation?

Hi Chump Lady,

My daughter will be graduating from college in a month and I’m kinda dreading the day because I’m feeling pressure to interact with my ex and the woman who replaced me.

I hate to report that after 10 years I can still be wobbly at “meh”. Up to now we have done other events and ceremonies separately. We are not doing a party or dinner together, but there is a reception that we will both be at with refreshments and pictures to be taken.

I have never been face to face with the woman who helped turn my life upside down. I’m afraid that seeing her will set me back because I will compare myself to her or see how happy they are together. Generally, I feel like I’m doing well and am happy in my life but unfortunately I can still be rattled if I think about them too much. I’m afraid I could get emotional and I don’t want to lose it in front of my daughter and ruin her day.

Is it time to suck it up and mingle with them? What should I do?

Chicken

****

Dear Chicken,

You should hold your head up high and enjoy your daughter’s college graduation. You should also reframe this entire clusterfuck. It’s been a decade of avoiding her. She’s got boogeyman status now. Time to defang the fuckwit.

I’m kinda dreading the day because I’m feeling pressure to interact with my ex and the woman who replaced me.

She didn’t replace you. You got a life and she won a cheater. A creep, a liar, a person with lousy life skills. She’s not enviable. They’re not “winning,” because you are above this competition. RIGHT?

I’m unclear on the specifics of the “pressure to interact.” Is this coming from your daughter? It’s a reception. Can you bring a plus-one? A human buffer? A really snarky friend?

eye roll shade

This guy is the energy you want.

As much as possible, I’d try to get the game plan ahead of time. If you don’t want to be in a picture with your ex and Schmoopie, say so. But don’t spring it on your daughter on her big day. Get this conversation out of the way. My friend, a high-end wedding photographer, tells me these sorts of requests are very common.

I’m sure CN has endured these sorts of encounters and can offer tips and scripts. In my opinion (as you asked me), I think there are rare, high occasions in which, as the sane parent, you must eat the shit sandwich and co-exist in public with your ex and his or her attendant satellites. Weddings, funerals, graduations. Essentially, any place with an open bar.

Don’t set the expectation at “mingle” or “interact.” Set it at “Do not vomit on their shoes.” You don’t have to be besties with these people. You have to regard them with polite indifference. A nod of acknowledgment across a crowded room. A grip and grin with your daughter and her diploma. That’s all.

I’m afraid that seeing her will set me back because I will compare myself to her

You control that. Don’t compare yourself to her. Do you really want to be someone who has less moral sense than God gave badgers?

Shore yourself up, woman. What are your values? What do you respect in people? Does Schmoopie possess those qualities? Is this anyone you have an ounce of admiration for?

So what if her hair is glossier than yours, or she has a thigh gap, or a trust fund. She’s a shitty person. He’s a shitty person. Bad character cannot be eclipsed by boob jobs and dental veneers.

or see how happy they are together.

You have NO IDEA if they’re happy. Shallow people may present as “happy” — but how deep can it be?  In any case, IT DOES NOT MATTER if they’re deliriously enraptured with each other (doubtful) or if they despise one another, because your happiness isn’t dependent on their misfortune. We don’t get karmic comeuppances on demand. You have your own life.

This “They’re happy! I’ve LOST!” is misery of your own making. It’s continuing the pick me dance long after you should’ve left that toxic disco. Stop it.

I’ve written here about my Grandma Vi, the Queen of Mean. I’m sending you her mojo. I inherited some of her nice furniture and fine jewelry, but also a deep inner bitch. Please summon your bitchiest ancestor. Whenever I answer these sort of letters, I think “What Would Vi Do?”

My grandmother was rather narcissistic. But she wouldn’t collapse in on herself with fits of self-loathing either. I imagine she’d stub a cigarette out on Schoompie’s tacky handbag. “Oh, I’m sorry. I thought it was some sort of receptacle.” Upon introduction, she’d probably airily ask Schmoops to put more ice in her drink.

We rail against narcissists here, but we could take a few pages from their playbooks. They don’t make themselves small. Or suffer apoplexies of self-doubt. They just own the room.

I could go all hand-holding on this post. Tell you that your ex and his whatever hurt you, and you’ll wear those wounds forever, and maybe you do — but don’t show it. Don’t give them that satisfaction. Own the room.

You earned it. This is your daughter. She got through college. You got through raising her. Rejoice.

Don’t let fuckwits steal your joy.

Not when they could be putting more ice in your drink.

Ask Chump Lady

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  • You don’t even have to be in joint pictures. If your daughter wants some, that’s what photoshop is for.

  • I haven’t had to do this horrible graduation thing yet but I do run into the OW in our town. It sucks. She’s way younger than me, looks made up and fake, has impossibly long fake eyelashes and looks kind of like a child. Ick. I often fantasize about their awesome, hip, young life and how nice it must be to have my husband’s love, money etc. How she’s in her 30s, not her 50s like me and I’m old with a 60 year old man in my life while they’re younger and vibrant blah blah blah…But then, my daughter tells me this gem the other night: “When I visit dad he spends a lot of time playing computer games.” And then I pop right back out of any misery! Why? Because for 25 years I had to compete for attention with his computer. I immediately saw them in my mind with him hunched over the computer playing games with his headset on while schmoops sits by herself for hours waiting for him. Gee, I really, really don’t miss that. Nor do I miss the lying and gaslighting. So thanks to these occasional gems from my girl I am reminded of why they aren’t happy, their true lurve isn’t real and that they suck.

    It’s not what it looks like Chicken. How about you have your hair and nails done, get a beautiful new outfit and make yourself feel as wonderful as possible. Make little eye contact with them and breeze in with your mighty self. Imagine them fighting or him cheating on her. Imagine she has all the crappy parts of him (she does). You can get through this for your awesome kid. It’s just a day…they suck.

    • OW is wasting her 30’s on a 50 something year old video gamer.

      She’s too stupid to realize it but she’ll never get those years back.

      She lost. ….you won.

    • In theory she has your ex, sure, and some of his money, just because she is proximate, but love? Hmm… not so sure. Maybe his computer obsession is a win for her too, maybe she likes being left to get eyelash extensions in peace, but if that’s the case, so? You want to be seen, loved and treated with kindness by someone you can trust, and this is a totally reasonable ask.

      One thing that I happen to have is long eyelashes. With mascara, they look as if they might possibly be false. I have never yet seen anyone IRL, or even made up for camera, with those extensions that doesn’t look faintly unhinged and obviously fake. Which is fine. In some cases, it works as a look, but it’s a LOT of upkeep apparently and uncomfortable. No thanks, not even if my lashes were non-existent.

    • “ And then I pop right back out of any misery! Why? Because for 25 years I had to compete for attention with his computer. I immediately saw them in my mind with him hunched over the computer playing games with his headset on while schmoops sits by herself for hours waiting for him.”

      It really does pop that fantasy bubble cheaters rely so heavily on to sustain centrality.

      Early on I made a ‘have that’ list of the package the OW claimed after I filed. And if you know enough about the OW as I do it’s also applicable.

      Have that….
      Having to drive a drunk
      Listening to him clean his teeth with his tongue making a gross sucking sound.
      Never initiating sex
      Addiction to porn
      Always looking at other women
      Constant complaints, nothing is good enough
      Knowing his goals were never shared; there’s an invisible agenda
      a serial cheater
      Pathological liar
      Passive aggressive

      Have that (what he landed)
      multiple arrest records for assault, drug charges, breaking and entering, disorderly conduct
      a sociopath
      a woman who flirts with other men while he’s present
      not allowing him to leave the house alone
      taking over his phone and writing messages to adult children.

      Have that…
      Such bliss…

      • I wondered if anyone was going to mention spending a lot of time on computer often means the person is porn addicted or on the way to being so. At any rate the OW did not win a prize and as someone else said she will never get these years back.

        • He was always on his computer and yes, he looked at porn too… but he loved his computer games more than spending time with me. It nearly broke us up dozens of times because I’d get so mad. He always convinced me I was judgemental and mean to him and that other women wouldn’t care if he played games. Well, he got one apparently! In hindsight I should have left because it simply wasn’t acceptable to me that I didn’t have an available husband. The fact that on top of ignoring me he was also cheating is a very bitter pill to swallow!

          • Ick. Porn is a plague.

            Let’s clarify. He was “looking at porn” with his dick in his hand. He was using porn as a masturbation aid. He was using sexual energy and possibly marital funds outside of your marriage. Much as they do with adultery, the Esther Perels of this world would like to excuse this behavior, this often compulsive jacking off to porn . But it bothers the hell out of most normal females (who are NOT thereby neurotic and controlling so stop already with the gaslighting). On that basis alone–it upsets women–using porn as a masturbation aid is a form of abuse.

            There’s more to it than that but, like saying NO, saying “I don’t like it” is a complete argument.

    • I believe having a secret sexual double life is proof that someone does not
      know how to love. Love is a behavior, not just a feeling. When behavior is subjective and selective, it’s manipulation.

      People who know how to love are kind and loving to all. Not cruel, mean, deceptive, and abusive to some and sweet as pie to others. That’s con-artistry.

      • FW was very loving up until DDay. After that it was evident she was done with me. Classic for female Narcs. I think it is that they are missing something inside themselves. They are selfish and all about their own needs. Anyway let’s not waste another minute on any FWs. They suck!!

    • I’m in my 30s and can tell you that if any contemporary of mine was dating a guy in his 50s or 60s, every person our age would think she has a screw loose and the guy must be a real turd.

      I would tell you that even if I didn’t know she was a cheater. Reasonably well-adjusted people don’t date someone old enough to be their father.

  • Compare yourself to that POS? Oh no. That will not do. You are to project the attitude of a person with healthy self esteem who just isn’t interested in fuckwits, no matter how shaky you may feel. You do no harm but you also take no shit. Mildly amused but indifferent is the look I’d go for. Don’t give them one ounce of sadistic satisfaction by being visually uncomfortable. If Schmoopie approaches, make like you can’t remember her name; “Oh yes. You are….? Cynthia? Cindy?” Something close to her name that is not her name. Then mouth a few obviously bored pleasantries and move on to somebody interesting. If you are stuck having to say goodnight, call her Cindy (or whatever) again. Look at it as a game and play it to win. Maybe I’m weird this way, but I’d love the chance to frost and condescend to an AP. Sadly, the schmoop in my case ran away rather than face me so I never got the chance. Just remember there are people here, living in different places all over the world, who 100% have your back o matter how it goes. Who does she have as her wingman? Oh yeah. A cheater. She doesn’t stand a chance. Go get ’em!

    • Okay, but when you say goodnight, call her “Maisie” … and then act embarassed and apologize for getting the two of them mixed up.

        • Even more fun…after calling her the wrong name say, “Oh, I’m sorry that was the one before you! What’s your name again?”

    • Why play games with a FW? That doesn’t project mighty – it projects you still trying to one-up them by being transparently catty and rude.

    • I have a terrible allergy to dealing with backstabbers and traitors on any level. If they so much as hear my voice or look at me I feel like my my lungs and face have been infected. It’s as if they’re eyes and ears are sewers that chronically back up. So sudden emergency calls are my go-to for boundary-encroachers. They get out half a greeting, I act like my phone is vibrating, give them the “just a sec/stop” hand and walk away, supposedly to to find a quiet spot to talk. I can do this five times in a row, no problem. It foils the one thing they’re counting on to blackmail us into playing nice in social situations or in front of others, which is bystander perceptions.

      I learned this from a crappy person– a rabid climber where I first interned out of school. She liked to play social gate-keeper at work events deciding who could or could not join the fancy circles with the who’s who she had brown-nosed up to the small intestines. I also think she enjoyed flexing. She would exclude the “unworthy” and cut them off using various methods, one of which was the “important call” thing. You could fully expect her to do this shit but it would still be humiliating– D’OH. I didn’t like how she used it and it didn’t really get her anywhere in the end but I could appreciate how effective the tactic was.

  • I’m with CL here. Go and know that there is nothing in his or her life to be envious of or nervous about. He is just a guy you used to know … or thought you used to know.
    They do not deserve another minute of your time or mind space.

  • Yes, hold your head high and smile. This is a day to celebrate with joy. The one thing I know is that adult children know what role you’ve played in their lives. And as difficult as being in the same room with cheaters you are not obligated to interact with them, period. Interestingly enough I’ve attended two funerals, daughter’s graduation and a wedding wedding (his family), without even a nod. You don’t have to ‘act’ like the bigger person, you always were the one with good character. Model that strength to your daughter. Stand tall in every picture and one day your daughter will look back on your grace knowing you were always there.

    Believe me when I say it’s not your job to do a comparative analysis with the OW. Forever, she knows exactly what she ‘won’ and has to live with a man whom she can never trust. Stand tall.

  • I did 2 college graduations post-betrayal and they were very different.

    My daughter was the first woman in either my or Cheaters family to ever get a bachelors degree (I graduated 1 or 2 semesters after her and go the first Masters, but she crossed this line first which was a huge deal).

    I had been haunted by the wonderment of Cheater & OWs relationship for years and never learned the real reason he returned for wreckonsillyation with me (the ghastly mess it was) and trust me the trauma of it all was horribly real. I was very very surprised by the moment when I realized that I genuinely wished for my daughter that her dad was sitting a few sections over annoyingly cuddling with OW rather than being dead. His absence hurt out daughter deeply and her pain hurt me.

    Serious as a heart attack (ooh maybe not the best comparison) if you had told me that I would ever feel this, I would have told you that you were insane.

    Later new husband’s daughter (also first woman with a bachelors degree) graduated, her mother (who left a lovely man seeking greener grass because narcissism) was there causing her normal trouble. They were divorced 12 years before I started dating her XH but he broke the rule of being an obedient victim when he took up with me and I became an enemy to be disrespected.

    She had made life hell during D’s university years, avoided paying a dime (she had plenty), and treated me like a pariah. Of course she shows up at graduation like Mrs Astor. D did not tell us that she wanted an all-together photo until we were awkwardly pulled into one. It was a shit sandwich, but one to deal with in the moment. My good husband was worth the momentary indignity.

    CLs advice is great … get a nice haircut, a great outfit and bring a smart-ass friend who will say plenty of awful things about them as soon as they are out of ear shot.

    Smile, make a great memory for your daughter and be glad that you aren’t consoling her grief. I know people here are forever saying they wish their cheaters would drop dead, but this is one of those moments to be glad that he didnt.

      • Glad to provide a chuckle🙂 …

        yea, after paying $0 of her daughters borderline-elite education, XW strolls into graduation like she made it all happen.
        My guy also paid for private high school because his XW demanded he do so (over and above child support). She had the school bundle every possible fee, lunch, activity or contribution before sending him the bill. He paid so much that after she graduated, they refunded over $2000 he had overpaid.

        The benefit to me was that (by this and other things) I could easily tell he was devoted to his child. I didn’t want any guy who betrayed his first family. In Round 2 of re-partnering, men this good are rare but do exist. I hope all the guy-chumps here who were good husbands and fathers will find partners who can discern their value.

    • I need to add, XW was also REMARRIED before I even started dating her XH. She had, however become very good at threatening him that he wouldn’t see his daughter unless he acquiesced to her demands (and he normally did).

      I brought some much needed reality into that situation and he quit accommodating her crazy demands. I could go on and on but you all know the brand of crazy we are dealing with here.

  • This comment may not be popular but it’s just my story.
    I told my kids from day 1 that I would never be in the same place as the AP/OW.
    Bit of background…she had been part of our lives for about 15 years before I knew about the affair. Co-worker of the ex (equal job level). So my kids knew her and I have photos of all of us together over the years.
    My rule worked both ways. The kids went to their grandparents funerals and memorial services and I wasn’t allowed to go. Thought that was fair.
    Before one of the kid’s wedding, it became a huge deal. I knew if I didn’t enforce my line in the sand then, I would have to face her forever. It was a really nasty scene but I stood my ground.
    I have no regrets about setting that line because in the years since, she has not been to any family event or celebration. He comes alone. I do wonder if he tells her where he’s going but not my problem.

    I was lucky that graduation was the first event I had to deal with. The university had 2 events: one for the individual school and one for the entire university. We split the ceremonies and I watched the larger one offered online. Is that possible in this case?

    If you cannot or don’t want to go the she-can’t-attend route, I do suggest explaining to your daughter WELL IN ADVANCE that you’re not taking photos with her father or the AP. No need for an explanation just tell her it’s a fact. And NO to sitting all together. No reason to no matter what your daughter says! If you can go earlier than them (get your ticket in your own hands) and snag a good seat for yourself, do it.

    I agree with the don’t go alone if you’re feeling shaky. I flew a friend in from another state to keep me safe and out of the ex’s way at my son’s wedding. It was still early days. Also yes to making sure you’re wearing an outfit that makes you feel good about yourself – when you look in the mirror and feel fierce and confident. Do whatever you need to feel like the winner you are!!!

    Hold your head up high. Age is a number and you survived the battle and came out on top because you live your life in truth and light.

    We will all be with you in spirit!

    • I agree. In this fight we need to protect ourselves. If it’s too triggering, nothing is written that you have to go to these things. Similar situation with my foo. I attended a family event where I was forced to interact with an immediate family member I had (rightfully) disengaged myself from years before. It set off a trip-wire to depression that lasted more than a year. I will no longer attend these events. This is what I always say to people who attempt to shame me: “If no one else cares about my mental health and well-being, then I will. This is what I have to do to protect myself.” She absolutely does not have to go if she does not want to. As a chump, she spent her whole adult life (most likely childhood, too) putting others first. Time to ditch that.

      • “If no one else cares about my mental health and well-being, then I will. This is what I have to do to protect myself.”
        EXCELLENT!!!!

    • Just like the reconciliation industry – I feel that another hurtful theme is “pretend to be a united family for your kids. Share birthday parties and celebrations etc” Therapists and many family members are all in line with this too.
      In my opinion It allows abusers to
      1. Continue abuse of the other parent.
      2. Set bad examples of eating shit sandwiches to the kids
      3. Gaslights the kids. In many cases abusers also abuse the kids in some form. By attending celebrations together – you are helping to normalize that parent in front of the kids. It’s image management for the abuser (which is why they insist on these get togethers) but now the kids think that abuse is normal and acceptable cause everyone is one big happy family.

      • I’m grateful none of MY memories of milestones and special events were/are tainted by eating the shit sandwich of sitting with Ex and his ho-wife or flying monkey sister or taking pictures with them. My memories are forever preserved as joyful and solely mine.

      • ‘… but now the kids think that abuse is normal and acceptable cause everyone is one big happy family.’

        You are so right! The narrative on cheating needs to change.

        If a FW gave their spouse a black eye that was visible and known to all, I think most people would be flabbergasted if they portrayed the ‘one big happy family’ scene at special events.

        In order for history to not repeat itself, the narrative needs to change.

        Thank you CL for being a pioneer on changing the cheating narrative.

      • When you accidentally ingest poison, you don’t do it again deliberately to check if it’s really going to make you sick. You learn from experience. I think it is totally reasonable to refuse to interact with FWs and schmoopies. I admire betrayed spouses who can draw the line.

      • J & We: I agree. My daughter recently told me FW asked if I was dating anyone. It sent me reeling. We were married on Easter, so that’s making things worse. But the point is that we live with a myriad of pain as a result of FW actions. Do I think these people deserve each other? You bet. Do I want FW back? Hell no! But that doesn’t mean they didn’t fuck with my mental health, steal my dreams, break my heart, and leave me impoverished.

        They don’t get to call the shots, and I don’t have to put myself in any situation that triggers me. It’s easy to be the “sane” parent when you don’t suffer from mental health issues. But I do, and much of it is a result of the skin-flaying I endured from FW & OW.

        Everyone else has been blessed with the ability to move on. Unlike them, I have PTSD and major depression. I wish I could be flippant and pretend the OW wasn’t a bomb exploding in my face. Being forced to face her would leave me scattered in pieces. This shit is real, and it doesn’t matter what my kids or anyone else understands or thinks. I have an obligation to take care of myself because, as I have learned, no one else will. I get to call the shots.

      • I worked with a guy who had a scar on his forehead from a fetal injury. Apparently most fetal injuries are due to domestic violence and at one point he talked about having grown up with it. Though his parents were long divorced, his mother was reportedly always at his dad’s house for various reasons. One work related charity event was hosted there and my guess is that his mother’s means of forbearance was an IV drip of alcohol. She seemed very benign even when pickled. You could read the whole story in her face.

        Anyway, needless to say this colleague and his sister were mega fucked up. Consequently I was never impressed with the pose of forgiveness and family unity in cases of separation due to abuse. It’s not good for kids even if they think that’s what they want.

      • And it absolutely minimizes the trauma and pain of divorce for them – makes it a somewhat casual thing – while we all know it’s not.

        • I still consider myself as in recovery after 5 years after DDay, still less than a year divorced. When my attorney asked if the reason for divorcing was “irreconcilable differences” it was like a revelation. That’s it! It doesn’t matter that the reason that crystallized it was that FW walked out of the door to fuck a stranger, or that he stole all the household’s money for years, or that he’d treated me and my children like dirt. That’s just the specifics. We don’t share the same values. His idea of family is all fluff and no substance. His idea of success too.

          As a parent you teach your children your values by example, also healthy boundaries. You don’t have to stick to whoever else’s expectations, stick to your guns and figure out what really matters to you first. Only you can decide for yourself. If it’s celebrating your daughter’s accomplishments on her big day, great. But do it your way. Your actions will speak for themselves, and if some people don’t get it, it’s their problem, not yours.

  • (music by The Beach Boys, lyrics by Chicken)
    Tune: https://youtu.be/3y44BJgkdZs

    Could I get some ice for my martini?
    Be a dear and fetch me some pate
    And while you’re at it, hold my purse and iPhone
    As I celebrate my girl’s big day

    You know you almost have my heartfelt pity
    You won a simpleton who’s really shitty

    I could be precise with my descriptions
    Of the the many ways you make me fume
    But it would only get you more attention
    And distract me as I own the room

    Never doubt that you’re a true homewrecker
    I hope you’re happy tending to his pecker
    Oh could I get some ice? . . .

    • Great job. Can you put a music video of this and other song parodies together?
      Can you do requests like one to Van Halen’s Jump? (Might as well Chump)
      Or Sir Mix-a-lot’s Baby Got Back to Go no contact

      • I’m flattered, but all parodies submitted here are early morning ‘creativity exercises’ that are inspired specifically by CL’s topic of the day. It helps if CL is in a particularly snarky mood, like today, or if the topic is one easily mocked (cheater self-glorification in the media, OW/Ms playing the victim, Jesus cheaters, absurdities in the RIC narratives, Esther Perel, etc.) Generic requests on-demand aren’t as much fun. And, like CL, I have a day job. A video compilation? . . . I’ve gotta eat, man.

  • I have been there!! I had 4 years of never being in the same room as my ex and his schmoopie, until my grandson’s first birthday. I was nervous and scared of finally seeing them together and being in the same room. In the end it was awesome. I acted like the queen, I sat in the room with the family and baby while she hid in the kitchen to avoid me. It was MY grandson, and she was the intruder. I did not take a picture with them and never spoke to her. I enjoyed the party while she hid. So, my advice to act like she is just an interloper, and you will tolerate them for this one occasion. Even if she tries to speak with you just nod and smile and walk away. You can do this, enjoy your daughter and the graduation.

    • Perfect! I think the same. I AM THE MOTHER OF THIS CHILD…I BIRTHED HER AND RAISED HER…everyone else falls well below in the pecking order of importance, lol. I will be strong and proud at any occasion where I get to celebrate my kid’s accomplishments. With that said, I ensure that ALL events are separate, aside from these institutional ones. I’m happy to fund and throw my own separate celebration for my kid’s stuff. Worth every penny. I’ll be throwing a graduation dinner party for my kid in June with our friends and family. I have no idea what her dad will do (probably nothing), but I got my time slot secured way ahead of time.

  • I love you, CL. Seriously. I am 6.5 weeks past DDay (insane), and 6 weeks to go before youngest kid’s high school graduation. These were JUST the words I needed to read. Own that room, chicken. We hear you, and we get you, and we are with you in spirit. You’ve got this.

    • So sorry for you FF. I remember those early days. It was a shock to fuckwit when I ignored his texts inquiring about where I was sitting at my son’s band concert, two months after I’d kicked him out. What entitlement! I held my head high and sat by myself, clearly announcing to the kids and community that I was done with him.

    • Falling,
      Whenever I read a post from the newer chumps, I feel my heart clench. Those early days are SO hard. Glad this post helps you and remember, it gets easier…

  • Ah, I had this exact same problem last week….and the Karma bus intervened! After arriving at my daughter’s to pick her up for the graduation ceremony she told me that ‘ Dad phoned that he and OW have COVID’. So I worried for nothing. But the game plan was to be in the same room for the ceremony and FW and OW were banned for the reception.

  • Definitely – within reason and budget – prepare to look stunning. No, do not go on a weird diet or do anything drastic, but do really make it count. NOT FOR HIM, but for you and for your daughter, on a big milestone occasion. Make a game of just-this-side-of-the-line neutral civility, be… cold… but not in a way that anyone could call out. Simper vaguely, don’t let the smile reach your eyes, say things like ”my word!” in response to information shared. Bland, courteous, disengaged with either of them. Think of them as former colleagues from a different time in your life, no one you’d give a passing thought to.

    As for photos, speak to your daughter. If she wants a pic with her and you and her dad in it, fine, but draw a line at you, him, her and Schmoopie because this is not sister-wives. My mum and my dad’s first wife got on extremely well and liked each other enormously, along with first wife’s partner, who everyone loved (no one remotely involved in the end of the marriage, crucially, hideous and acrimonious as it was). When it came time for my much-older sibling grad photos, it was our dad and their mum in them. It wasn’t awkward in our case because everyone got on well, but it was as simple as that and took about 2 minutes maximum. All you need do is look lovely for the photo, maybe make an anodyne comment about ”where has the time gone” or similar, and drift off.

    Do bring a friend if you can, just to have someone specific to hang out with. I’ve done buddy-moral support duty in various ways over the years, and it’s always a hoot.

  • It would be nice if you had someone close enough to you (cousin, good friend) not known to the OW who could do serious snark. Such as whispering loudly enough while the OW is close by “I heard her dad brought the homewrecker with him. Point her out to me.” Then snigger.
    Or as my ex-mother-in-law did in her 80’s and she was the queen of this stuff: just loudly say to the entire assemblage, “Isn’t it wonderful how we can all get together in the same room and be friendly? That was such an awful scandal. I’m glad it’s over.”

  • I’ve been through both my sons’ weddings with Schmoopie. She’s four years younger than me (as is he), prettier and slimmer. She looked very nice both times BUT she’s a pain in the butt! First wedding my ex, as is his wont, got shit-faced and she had to deal with him! Second wedding I thought he had behaved himself, only to find out after we had left that they virtually carried him out of there AGAIN! The relief that he was no longer my problem was palpable. As I say, she looked nicer than me but I have a sense of humour and she’s a miserable sod. She left the first wedding early because “nobody was talking to her” (she was on a table full of English speakers). I think she meant she wasn’t the centre of attention all evening. Second wedding she looked stunning but someone asked me who “that bird” was that keeps swanning across the upper balcony and then looking round to see who’s looking at her. I saw it myself and it was really weird! My dear BIL actually said “I was a cop for over 40 years and if she’s not on amphetamines I’ll eat my hat. All those funny faces she keeps pulling”! I about doubled up laughing. I occasionally keep in touch with my ex-MIL and last year she told me “you know, Attie, she’s not like you, she’s all about how she looks and she’s no fun”! So don’t feel intimidated, go to your daughter’s graduation, enjoy every minute of it and own that place. I bet it’ll be a hundred times better than you think!

    • It says something if someone’s “winning” life choices require heavy substance use to maintain. Prozac and similar drugs can have amphetamine-like effects and cause very odd behavior in some people– sort of an ego regression, unconscious grimacing, tics and lack of social awareness, particularly if mixed with alcohol. I’ve seen this several times and was told by a drug expert that responsible psychiatrists recognize the reaction can precede serotonin syndrome which is life threatening. As you figured out, living with your horrible ex could be depressing. So much for “winning.”

  • This is a very timely post for me as my son’s college graduation is a month away. It will be 3 years since D Day and the first time I’ve seen FW in almost 2 years. There are limited tickets and I believe FW is bringing the AP with him. It’s a double whammy since it will be the first time I’ve seen her and one of the few tickets will be going to the home wrecker while my son’s grandfather will not be able to attend. It’s all because timid forest creature can’t be alone. Ugh, let me have the strength to get through this!

    • Who does the graduate want at the ceremony? I can make an argument the grandfather is better off not in the crowd because of COVID, but if he wants to go and Kiddo wants him there, he should tell his father that Schmoops stays home. Just a thought.

  • My daughter graduated from high school last year. My ex refused to take pictures with me and our daughter. Was snarky and rude, diffidently didn’t make it about our daughter. It was so uncomfortable for everyone. Please don’t be like that. I was genuinely happy for my daughter and no matter what my ex wife did I wasn’t going to ruin my daughters day. I smiled and was nice back to my ex. What do you want your daughter to remember about that day?

    On a side note, my parents were divorced and I remember how they acted on life events. Respectful to each other. I would have never forgiven my parents if they hadn’t been respectful.

    • I think it’s commendable that you’re able to do this but I think some of us just aren’t. I’ve never been able to do this. I don’t forgive, I just eventually “nothing.” My dad had that Mr. Darcy knee-jerk thing too: “My good opinion once lost is lost forever.” I thought it was impolitic and it baffled me as a kid but an old friend of my parents told me that Robert F. Kennedy’s tactic of cutting people out was humming tunes to himself. Maybe it is “politic.” Then again maybe it makes opponents want to kill you. But if they can’t afford to hire assassins, so what?

      I agree that being snarky and overtly rude during forced interactions at various events that are supposed to be about other people would be “upstaging” and sabotage (no surprise your ex was the FW in the situation). But there are various methods of buffering forced interactions or avoiding them altogether which also avoid the optics of being rude in the eyes of bystanders.

  • Put your bitch boots on and practice every smirky “I’m better than you” look and comment you can think of before the event. Then the day of, you will be good as gold! Hold your head up high, find a plus one (like CL said snarky friends are the BEST bc you can stand around and talk shit, laugh and have a good time), do not talk first….and if they do talk to you give a pause and then reply with one to three words such as “that’s nice” (which means “Fuck You” in the South) or a nonchalant “mmm…good for you” (one of my favs after a narc vomits an “all about them” narrative) and anytime you are in the proximity of those cunts make it a point to be distant. No pictures with Dbag! Only pictures with your baby. If Dbag extended family is there and they try to talk to you, just be cordial but distant. If they try to bring up specifics about your divorce or the OW a good reply is a nonchalant but very direct “Thanks for bringing that up, things are so much healthier in my life now that he is her problem and not mine”. Believe it or not, that response gets people thinking and years later I’ve had Swiss friends come back and say that was a pivotal response for them where they realized I wasn’t the bad guy. (It was good validation for me however I still kept my distance to those Swiss friends as they showed their true colors already). Hope these tactics help. Big events are always stressful when dealing with this dynamic. Big hugs❤️

  • Here’s a trick my best friend taught me years ago, that has served me well when I have to interact with someone who has treated me badly or sets off my anxiety. It’s very simple.

    Don’t look them in the eyes. Instead, look at the space between their eyes or on their forehead. You don’t have to truly engage with them if your eyes don’t connect, so it provides an emotional buffer for you. And as a bonus, it totally freaks them out because they don’t understand what’s going on. But nobody besides the two of you knows that you’re not actually looking at them the way people normally interact, so it doesn’t appear rude or any big deal to anyone else, or make it awkward for your daughter. I promise, it works every time, and often gives me a good chuckle inside. But most importantly, it saves me from feeling exposed, vulnerable, and anxious.

    • My therapist told me to do this with the abusive Fuckwit when I had to meet him in court. Even though I hadn’t spoken to him in 13 months since I kicked him out I was still full of anxiety. It really works! I stayed composed and on track through 4 hours of negotiation by never once speaking to him or looking at him.

    • Yes, I never had to do a face-to-face during the legal process, but my attorney gave me the same trick and said that he’d be 100% there for me. He’d drive me to all court dates/mediation/etc., and if he left the room, I would leave the room.

      Thankfully it never happened, but I pocketed that wisdom.

    • x used this trick when talking to ME. He asked me once if I could tell he wasn’t looking me in the eye. Ugh.

      That said, I can see how it might work when dealing with the OW/M and FW.

  • Remember, the Disordered are actors. If you are unhappy, sad face, look troubled, they will look like beaming Tom Cruise with a megawatt smile, because they will see your sadness and get kibbles off that.
    Buy yourself a fabulous dress or suit, anything that makes you feel fabulous. Get a professional blowout for your hair. Do anything that builds up your confidence, this is a HUGE milestone! You got your daughter through COLLEGE!

    Who cares if even monstrous Putin is there?? It’s not going to ruin your pride & happiness & accomplish that you got your daughter through this herculean accomplishment!!! Smile and take lots of pictures of the event- the reception, the food, your daughter won’t remember those details if you don’t take pictures. You’ll be too busy smiling, taking pictures, taking pride in this fabulous accomplishment to even notice the FW & Schmoopie are even there. 😉👍

    • I would add, manicure and pedicure. Pedicure even if you’re wearing closed toe shoes, for the psychological lift.

      And f’em; it’s your daughters’ day.

  • I have been to four graduations and three weddings for our sons. The AP was out of the picture except for one wedding. He was and I imagine still is a little rat turd. He ambushed me a a funeral for a handshake, but I told XW that if she wants to maintain a civil relationship, I want no interaction with him again. I just gray rocked her through the events and it was OK.
    My brother’s son got married Saturday. His XW left him 15 years ago for a really creepy family friend. My brother has remarried since and it is a distinct upgrade. The XW ambushed me before the wedding for a hug. I thought she was her sister! What is it with these FWs? My nephews banned the AP from the wedding and my brother had XW on gray rock and heavy ignore. It was lovely after ground rules were established. I encourage discussing all this ahead of time to avoid distracting from the people to be celebrated.

  • Just a heads up as we move into graduation and wedding season. Covid is still out there. I went to a wedding Saturday and at least six people have come down with the virus since, probably more. Take precautions, respect those that want to wear a mask and maybe set up a video feed or access to recording for those who are too vulnerable to attend.
    The three women I danced with besides my wife all have covid and I feel like like crap.
    Just sayin’

    • Yes, very timely.

      I went to visit two different relatives over my spring break (professional educator). I flew, and everyone was masked. Now that masks are airplanes are optional, I’m giving my summer plans a second look. I’m older with risk factors.

      I have a wedding of a friend coming up in May, and I’m probably going to get booster #2 and mask. My choice of course, completely.

  • My sister’s MIL was chumped decades ago, he (my sister’s husband’s dad-I’ll call him fuckwit-in-law) brought schmoopie that he married to my sister and her husband’s wedding. MIL was polite and gracious and generally a queen at the wedding. The FWIL looked like a kicked dog as he stood next to schmoopie, who is fit, pretty, and a bit younger. I have so much respect for my sister’s MIL. Now, FWIL and his schmoopie are divorced. Why? Because he cheated on her!! He also doesn’t really have any relationship with his grandkids.

    Your ex isn’t a prize that schmoopie won. He’s a POS you rightfully carved out of your life. Celebrate your daughter and be distantly gracious to FW if you happen to encounter him. Otherwise, treat hum as irrelevant, because he is.

  • It’s been 7.5 years since Dday and 5+ since divorce. 25 year marriage, 4 kids. XH and one of the APs are still living together (she’s the 15-year younger one that saw XH as an ATM- she was still living at home with her cheater daddy and his OWife when she met her mark, XH). I’m engaged to my wonderful spouse and bonus mom to his two orphaned kids. I’m cordial with XH – generally keeping no contact except when kid related them to kid-related issues only. The grown kids continue to despise AP — they tried to get to know her after a few years but say she’s literally horrid and refuse to go to their dad’s or allow AP to join any events/gatherings after many fights with her over her crap (interestingly nothing to do with the affair but instead about her rude, drunken comments about them or their dad- she sucks as a person). At our son’s gender reveal party, XH was there but of course AP wasn’t invited by my son. I’ve never seen her. It’s weird! No one normal would ever have this dynamic- a 10 year relationship, living together 7+, and not invited to your partner’s grown kids’ gatherings? Giving up your 30s, marriage, motherhood, someone your own age for this???? I “almost” feel sorry for her, but remind myself that she made this bed and can lay in it. Me, I don’t care what she does – she can come to events or not. I love my life and don’t envy her one minute.

  • Chicken, She is a sparkle twat (Thanks CL for that one) and he is a FW. She has a turd and you have freedom. You won!!!! You are free!!! You can handle this. Look good, be classy and grey rock like a true professional. This is your daughter’s moment so make it all about her. Knowing FWs, they will try something to make them central but just don’t engage. You can do this!!!! CL and CN have got you.

  • You may be surprised as I was at my daughter’s graduation. It was 2 years after divorce and I was dreading having to see him again thinking about the feelings during the divorce. My daughter knew most of the story, minus gory details, and had her boyfriend and one of her best friends attached to her parents. But, looking back, I felt nothing. Looked at him and saw this pathetic man. I had lively conversation with my daughter’s friends and the best friend who was attached to me. Between the ceremony and photos, we were trying to figure out how to find her. Ex received a message and came over to tell me what I needed to do. I looked at him coldly and said F* you, you lost that right and calmly walked away to find and join my daughter’s group. It is a day I remember of claiming my power back. I pray that it is the same for you. They are the pathetic ones who are sub human, not evolved whatsoever from animals. Life is about doing good, having moral character, and fighting for what is just and right. They have no concept of that and do not deserve an ounce of your attention. So, put on the haughtiest character you know and own it.

  • Last night I was driving to the grocery store and thought I saw the Craigslist cockroach driving toward me. It was a super trigger situation. I’ve just begun year five and have never met her. I have only seen her close up once, after the pandemic had begun.
    I encountered her at a salon. I was wearing a mask and she did not know it was me and I did not reveal who I was.

    There is nothing abnormal
    about having a reaction to a person who has intentionally caused great emotional, mental, and psychological harm, has seriously violated you, who helped nuke your life. Some come to feel neutral in the presence of a perpetrator, but feeling triggered indefinitely is also normal. It makes sense to me that I might always feel triggered by a person who abused me.

    I got caught VERY off guard last night and luckily did nothing more serious than pulling a U-turn to see if it was indeed her. It felt very auto-pilot, and her car was by then too far away for me to make an ID. I was shaken but I did not follow that by eating the house, buying the contents of Nordstrom, popping every imaginary zit on my face, or any other destructive misguided maladaptive coping behavior. Self-soothing is key! In a moment like that, I need kindness and love (verb) from me.

    HAVE A PLAN FOR WHEN YOU ARE TRIGGERED! Put it in writing. Writing really helps internalize things. A phrase I love is “maintaining my integrity reinforces my position as the person wronged.” I don’t want to give away my dignity and validate the smack he talked about me.

    Interestingly, I had put makeup on for the first time in four years yesterday. Earlier in the day I had bought some really beautiful jeweled Gucci sunglasses….for the first time in four years I had gone to the store, put something on and felt like maybe I was pretty. So I caved and got them. They are now part of my super suit. And decorating me is not about competing with anyone else. It’s an act of love for me to get dressed up and I am just starting to be able to do that again.

    Being cheated on made me feel like a worthless dish rag, and anything I can do to repair my self-esteem is ESSENTIAL.

    As for them being happy, I now know his MO in relationships way better than she does. Knowledge is power. I would never date a married man and I don’t want to be married to a man who dates. I also have zero interest in being with a person who is cool with cheating. That’s a self-esteem crusher, and just because someone is unaware of it doesn’t mean it isn’t so. Leave them to their mirage, go figure out a super suit and write out an interaction plan for the big day. Integrity and dignity is powerful energy that highlights and underscores the opposite.

    • A phrase I love is “maintaining my integrity reinforces my position as the person wronged.”

      Yes!!! Love this. Thanks!

      Also, “worthless dish rag.” Yup! Still fighting that feeling.

      I’m sure you look mah-velous in those Gucci sunglasses, VH! 💅

  • My mema was soooo good with the polite cut. I remember her being introduced to my uncle’s XW’s AP at a baptism, and she only gave the faintest of smiles with her lips, while her eyes shot daggers. She refused to shake hands, gave a slight nod, and turned away immediately to talk to my mom.

    In your case, I would be tempted to not quite imitate my mema. Don’t shoot daggers with your eyes, but instead maybe a oh-so-slight lift of an eyebrow, a very slight shake of the head, and a pitying look. Maybe a single under-the-breath, “haha”. Make it clear the FW is ALL her problem now.

    If you HAVE to shake hands, make certain they see you wiping them off immediately.

    Hopefully, you won’t have to interact at all.

  • Anyone else tempted to sneak up behind her, give her skirt a twitch and murmur: “Dear, your skirt was caught in your panties!”?

  • Chicken, I’ll reiterate what many commenters have written…walk in like you own the place. Fully expect the cheaters (no matter what the status of their relationship) to cling together. OW will knock herself out trying to look her best…doesn’t matter she’s nothing but a shit bum cheater. So’s your ex. Start looking for a chic (but comfortable) outfit and accessorize. I wouldn’t do anything drastic with hair but make sure it is styled to perfection. Have a quiet grace, smile and be proud of your daughter. Definite no to pics with ex and skank. That should be stipulated before graduation day. Here’s where I get a little tough. The most important thing is your daughter on this day. If you lose it in any way shape or form this is what she will remember and she won’t feel sorry for you she’ll be annoyed, possibly resent it for years. It will also please OW and your ex as it will make them look good. So pump up the exercise, get a deep clean facial, maybe dermabrasion, new make-up and meditate. Sounds a little shallow but it will do wonders for confidence levels. Wishing you all the best.

  • Why is ist ok for all the children to invite the schmoopies? If they know how hurtful it is for the betrayed parent to meet them, why don’t they just tell the cheater that schmoopie (married to him or not) is not invited.
    If cheaterparent won‘t attend without schmoopie, they be it so.
    Why would they want someone who helped breaking up their families to be present for events like graduations, weddings etc.?

    • 100%
      It’s been 6 yrs post divorced, 32 yrs married to serial cheater. X shows up at gatherings mostly for grandkids and my kids have told him No OW, ever. I hold my head high and avoid contact with him. Last Xmas my son/DIL invited me to a Xmas eve dinner. Of course i accepted but then found out only the X and I were on the guest list. Oh hell no. “I” decide who I celebrate with and X is not one of them EVER again!

    • I agree that the cheater’s schmoopie should not attend family events, bad enough the cheater is invited. More often than not the cheater’s children try to please the cheater. I think it is a deep rooted fear of being abandoned if the cheater is displeased in any way. It’s a dynamic they’ve been dealing with all of their lives.

  • A very dear friend of mine managed to avoid ever seeing the OW – for 20 years! But, finally, her daughter was getting married and it was to be a small gathering at her daughters home. So meeting was inevitable. All of us – her co workers -supported her through her angst and fear of this event. One took her dress shopping, others “rehearsed” with her what she would say to her X and the OW…
    Well… she came out of her daughters bathroom and to her surprise, her daughter was there in the bedroom chatting with a very old man and an unpleasant looking woman.
    My friend started to “greet” them before she realized who they were.
    She looked at her X and blurted out: YOURE OLD!
    The OW extended her hand to introduce herself, and my friend coldly replied: I know who you are
    – and walked out. Her daughter totally supported her Mom, who was abandoned with 2 children while the X moved his girlfriend into my friends dream home.
    I’ll give them this: they stayed married for 20 years, but what a cost. The 6 children involved were never very happy about either AP
    All this to say: my friend fretted and rehearsed and without a hitch, she came up with the best unrehearsed line to a narcissist:
    You’re old!
    Good Luck to you, I have a feeling you’ll do just fine!

  • It’s been over four years since he left. Thirty year, seemingly wonderful relationship. Poof!!!

    Since then, his fabulously sassy (and supportive of me) mother sadly died. Two of our three kids have graduated. The youngest had a big 21st. Schmoopie did not attend the funeral, graduations, nor 21st. I have seen him six times in four years. Last time was two weeks ago, at his best mate’s brother’s 60th. After NC for over two years.

    No Schmoopie.

    Every time I have to see him, I get a bit anxious. This time, I got hair and makeup done, for confidence. Managed to avoid for hours, having a blast, catching up with everyone (including a few Switzerland friends I removed from my life – very painfully, but very necessarily – who flocked to me, lol.) I danced, laughed, was told multiple times that I had the glow up.

    A few hours in, he cornered me. A covert narc, he chatted like we were still besties. I never looked at him. Couldn’t tell you how he looked, what he wore, etc. My new partner was at the party, had chatted to him earlier, and bless him, said to me afterwards, “you know why he does that, right?” Yeah. I do. But new guy was emotionally intelligent enough to say, “image management. If you guys are seen all friendly-like, and he chats amicably to me, then obviously, what he did to you wasn’t so bad, right?”

    Naw. He gets it!
    He also said that FW told him Schmoopie won’t come to anything I am likely to be at! Wow! She’s so proud of being with him, right? Guilty conscience. Hahaha! And now I know that, .I’ll never worry again about having to face her. Once again, he looked a sad loser, and I had a blast!

  • For all you know, OW could be shitting a brick in terror about what will happen when she’s face to face with you. It’s one thing to sleep with a married person and think of “The Wife” as some abstract construction; it’s quite another to be face-to-face with a human being who you have caused a tremendous amount of pain and not be sure how she will react. She might even be threatened by you and worry about how she stacks up to you. After all, you thought you were marrying a loving and devoting man. She KNOWS that she married a lying cheater.

    • I always think this, I am darn sure my EX wouldn’t love me to be chit chatting away to the OW. Maybe she would think, oh she doesn’t seem quite as horrible as EX said? Maybe I could drop in a few one-liners that frankly make it clear that some of the stuff I am sure he told her isn’t true. I would have a big smile on my face nice and friendly and I know he would be shitting a brick. Inside I would probably be dying (beta blocker would be on hand) but yeah I would definitely try to go with a ‘I’ve nothing to be afraid of here and you look kinda shitty’ vibe.

      Also be life and soul with everyone else, skit around chatting and being friendly. We all need our inner Rhett Butler here – ‘Frankly my dear, I don’t give a damn’.

  • Last spring my son was married and my cheating ex was there with his 2nd other woman. (Original Owhore has since passed) we sat at different tables only spoke briefly in regard to our son. Inside I was a mess but I held up and acted like he wasn’t even in the room. Next morning I let it out 😢 but after being married for 35 years it was still very bittersweet for me. I’ll have to still see him in the future with other family gatherings but I can’t control that. My son and daughter-in-law are what’s important now. Hope I can handle it! 🙏. You can do it too.. stay strong 💪🏻

  • My advice? You are a queen – act like it. As said by someone already – walk in like you own the place. A queen doesn’t even deign to notice when someone insults her. Those people are beneath your notice.

    I spent several years being intimidated by OW, and tending to fall into the comparison trap when I had to be around her, feeling like I was competing, like I wasn’t good enough. I knew she despised me. Then one day, I showed up at STBX’s home to check if he was still alive because he hadn’t answered our 7 year old’s calls or messages for four days (and wasn’t answering my inquiries as to why), and she was there. Mind you, they were both vehemently denying the affair at that point. While I was talking to FW, she came down the stairs screaming at me that I had no right to be there and he hadn’t done anything wrong. She was acting a fool, and had clearly gotten dressed in a hurry because half her bra was showing over to top of her shirt. Suddenly I saw her for the stupid child she was and lost all fear of her. I told her to stay out of it as it had nothing to do with her, and when she continued screaming at me, calling me a liar, I calmly said that if she continued to verbally assault me in my home (still co-owned it, and we had no legal decree granting it to FW), I was going to call the police. She started babbling about how she was just there to help FW because he was sick and I looked her in the eye and said “your bra is hanging out of your shirt. You’re not here to HELP. You’re just a silly girl.” She because extremely offended (“I’m NOT a SILLY GIRL!!!!!”} then realized she looked like an idiot in front of her (my) man, and left. I felt so damn empowered after that.

    I tell this rather long anecdote to say, these OW are idiots. Childish, silly fools. They are pathetic. They have no character, no morals, no decency, no compassion, no backbone, no honesty, no dignity. OW has NOTHING that I want. I don’t envy her. I am a person of character. I have empathy. I keep my promises. I have integrity.

    Later, my son had to be hospitalized for anxiety and suicidal ideation (he was 8, how sad is that – he had to deal with such a toxic father). Of course I had to tell FW. My attorney suggested that I tell FW that OW was welcome to come. I was like, ugh. But I understood my lawyer’s wisdom – FW would bring OW regardless (the two of them LOVED to taunt and distress me like this – they did it often enough at our job), and if I were the one to suggest it, it would take the wind out of their sails. When OW did show, I politely said hello and thanked her for coming, and then ignored her the entire time. They were all over each other and it was so gross and inappropriate to the occasion, but again, I no longer felt like she had any power of me or my feelings.

    And, as CL said, you have no idea if they are happy. Were you? I sure wasn’t. My STBX and OW certainly LOOKED happy. But that was far from the truth. In the end, OW ended up leaving my husband because he started treating her exactly like he treated me (verbal and emotional abuse, and possibly physical; he could be very scary when he was drunk and angry). So what did she win? Absolutely nothing. Abuse. A liar. Even if she had stayed, I know that her life would have been like mine was, or even worse. I have no doubt he would have grown disillusioned with her and cheated on her too. I wouldn’t trade places with her for the world (and my husband left ME, not the other way around – I was devastated, but in time the fog lifted and I realized the hell I had become accustomed to living in, and I stopped wanting my ex back). She gave him tens of thousands of dollars, which she never got back, because he took his own life a few months later (not that he would ever have paid her back). She spent four years of her life on this man, blew up her family to be with him. And what did she get? She got nothing. Zero. Zilch. I got all the money and property because we were still legally married. She couldn’t even escape with her dignity intact. Their relationship had been VERY public, with totally over the top lovey-dovey social media posts and photos and public appearances, etc. It was humiliating for me while it was going on, but I think in the end it was far more humiliating for her when her perfect fairy tale blew up so spectacularly. FW’s last word was a song her wrote/sang that he had programmed to go live on YouTube after he died, which accused her of being a violent alcoholic liar who beat him up. Since her regularly posted original music, and had tons of “friends”, I’m sure many, many people she knew clicked on that link…

    Lastly – I agree with several other comments: make sure you wear something that makes you feel awesome. Outfit, hair, makeup. Whatever makes you feel amazing, do that. When I went to (hosted) my STBX’s funeral, I knew I would encounter all the “friends” who had sided with him, welcomed OW, and completely abandoned/excluded me (people I’d known for over a decade before OW came along). So I made sure I looked and felt like a million bucks. I wore a just-on-the-edge-of-sexy little black dress that fits me like a glove, black stiletto boots, and a black leather biker jacket. It was like wearing armor. I could face anything. My makeup was on point. My hair (cascading red curls) was perfect. I walked in looking and feeling kick ass and gorgeous. Even the cashier at my regular gas station complimented me. I got so many people at the funeral saying “you look GREAT”. I think they expected me to look like STBX and OW had, I’m sure, described me – pathetic, desperate, a hot mess. Instead, I’m sure a lot of people wondered why my ex would ever look at another woman. It really did help make an unbearable day a little more bearable. I regret not getting a photo (my hair has not looked that good since), but it was hardly an appropriate venue for that.

    Let your daughter know you don’t want to be in photographs with those two. And remember that you are under no obligation to speak to or interact with FW and OW. A hello or a nod is all you need to do. One word answers if they ask you questions. Take a friend (or a devastatingly handsome man) so you have someone to help extricate you from conversation. And make the day about your daughter.

    Hold your head up. OW ain’t got nothing on you, no matter what she looks like.

    You got this.

    • OMG, the typos. The song HE wrote. HE regularly posted original music.

      That whole section is so confusing with my pronoun typos, sorry.

    • There’s nothing like reality to kill FW’S image-managing myths. Even before I was chumped I noticed that chronic side pieces generally have terrible personalities. True story– I had a brief, awful work experience with a compulsive boss-banger in media named “Deb” who was apparently so notorious that she’d been lampooned by Joan Cusack in Addams Family Values. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=SsxUdI7NopE

  • It also takes a long time to internalize that the cheating accomplice is hard living proof that your former spouse is a fraud and a con artist not a good person.

    Good people don’t lie and deceive. Good people don’t have secret double lives. Good people are up front about what is going on with them. Good people are honest about what they are feeling, thinking, doing, and who they’re doing it with. Good people do their best to keep their commitments and communicate if they want to/need to change the agreements. Good people ethically end one relationship before getting into another one. Good people consider the impact of their behavior on those around them when making decisions. Good people don’t abandon their children.
    Good people don’t screw around with people in committed relationships, duping the spouse in the dark. Etc.

    Good people, all people, have issues and problems. My experience is that good people are up front about those and make efforts to address them.

    I’m watching a new documentary on Netflix featuring interviews with John Wayne Gacy, whom so
    many thought to be a good person but whose secret double life proved he wasn’t.

    Affairs prove they aren’t.

    If not for the Craigslist cockroach, et al., I would still be thinking he was a good person. I’d still be in a very bad situation and not realizing it.

    Look beyond the appearances and consider, often, that their behavior is not that of a good person, is not that of a kind and loving person, and they looked right at each others’ true selves and aren’t emotionally intelligent enough to read the memo.

    At the end of the day, the bottom line is that he is with her because he is not a good person. If he was, you wouldn’t be in your situation.

    • Amen!! I’m going to save the good-people paragraph! It will serve as a great reminder on the wobbly days. Thanks, VH!

  • First off please rename yourself. After 10 yrs of being a single mom, you have supported your daughter through graduating college-congratulations. That is huge and you deserve tremendous accolades. You are mighty and strong and persevered through really shitty times. My son got married 3yrs post DDay and I felt great joy! The FW -who cares! Whenever you start to feel shaky turn away and focus on your great success! I say hello to my FW and his whore of the moment. I do not talk to them or stand with them or interact at all. Don’t have to, don’t need to. There will be other people there to talk to, focus on them. Flip the narrative-celebrate your and your daughters success. Let us know how you do! Hugs!

  • As someone who has been to dozens of college graduations, here are some things to think about:
    1. Tickets may be limited. Students typically get 4 to 8 tickets, depending on the facility (and COVID may still play a role in the size of the audience). So assuming both parents get a ticket, what about grandparents and siblings? There may not be enough tickets for Schmoopie, depending on the institution and where the ceremony is held (outdoors typically allows more tickets than indoors). Wait to see what the situation is before your planning goes much further.
    2. Your plus-1 could be Grandma or a sister or some close family friend. But if tickets allow, have a plus-1 to sit with. You do not have to sit with FW and Schmoops. Don’t get sucked into “meeting up.”
    3. Most people connect with their graduates at the reception. Make a plan where to link up and be ready to get your photos in. Happy graduate with friends, with favorite faculty, with Grandma, with you, with your side of the family. Once you get that done, you’re good to boogie out of there.
    4. Some people like to do a big dinner out right after the ceremony, but I would advise against that. Every place will be jammed with families. You’re better off doing a nice dinner or a grad party the next day; you might even be able to plan for the grad’s college BFF to stay with you for that if you live close to the university. Figure out what makes sense for your area, your budget and your kiddo. Whatever you do, have a plan and discuss it with the graduate so that you are all happy with it. Once the photo shoot is done, there’s really no reason to hang around.
    5. Then if FW pipes up with “Do you want to join us for lunch?” after the ceremony, you can say, “We’ve made our own plans, thanks.” And just move on. If you are driving Graduate Kiddo home and FW is doing photos, that’s a good time to take a stroll around the campus or visit the bookstore, etc. Just look at Kiddo and say, “Meet me in front of the library at 2:30.” And then go.
    6. Buy something new, stylish and comfortable to wear, especially the shoes. This is not the occasion to drag some old thing out of the closet. It doesn’t have to be expensive. It could even be nice dark wash jeans, a stylish jacket and a statement necklace, with sandals and a pedicure. Your age and body type are not as important as a well-chosen outfit that makes you feel beautiful and confident. (I”m 70 and right now wearing a flannel shirt and Chuck Taylor’s. I feel powerful!) Campuses can involve a lot of walking. Remember that building might be air-conditioned (chilly) or that a packed room might get hot (I say this as someone who has a gown over her dress clothes, so hot is the order of the day for faculty).

    Getting a sense of how things will go and having a plan that allows YOU and the GRADUATE to celebrate the way you want to celebrate will armor you against anything negative that might come up.

  • dress for success and start with your structural undergarments. only you know you’re wearing them, right? it doesn’t matter what they are, just that you feel great in them.

    you have options:

    1. body suit with lace inserts
    2. bra and pant set in your favourite colour/style
    3. corset skirt
    4. boy shorts and a bralette
    5. nothing at all

    who cares? only you care and you feel terrific from the ground up. strut yourself into that auditorium/party/buffet/shit show like you’ve got a secret–and the secret is that you’re terrific.

    PS fuck that guy

  • Actually been in this situation before. My son’s preschool graduation and I attended, alongside my ex, his new Schmoopie, their new baby, and a (former) mutual friend. Talk about being out numbered.

    But you know what? It turned out fantastic. We sat far apart (I sat in the front, they in the back). Afterwards, in the reception, I marched back to them, oohed and aahed at the baby, and watched my boy pay them little to no attention (he was focused on cookies lol). The ex made some snarky remarks to Schmoopie and I actually found myself feeling bad for her, and extremely happy I no longer had to vie for his approval. My advice (as others have said), is make sure you feel fabulous, FAKE IT UNTIL YOU MAKE IT, and/or bring a friend who’s willing to be a bitch on your behalf. Don’t be surprised if you don’t find yourself feeling infinitely thankful you’re free.

    I have to add, as the child of divorced parents with infidelity, I have also been on the other side, on my law school graduation and reception. And as the daughter in that situation, all you want is for everyone to be happy for you. It eats into you (as the daughter) to find either of your parents uncomfortable, it steals some joy. My parents were cordial, and my mom and her new Schmoopie left early, too focused on their new love. She never even said goodbye. So remember to make this focus, as much as you can, on your daughter. FAKE IT UNTIL YOU MAKE IT and act as if this doesn’t even worry you. I wish my parents would have done that.

  • Yes, handle it like the wonderful parent that you are. Rock the event! Ahead of time say no pictures of you with the ex and the replacement. That’s a reasonable request, IMHO.

    My attorney was the one who told me to stop talking about being a single parent. I was a parent, period. I was the one who checked in with them, went to the events, drove them around, and more during their teen years and before. My ex chose as a parent of teens to have minimal involvement, and that was HIS choice. It frankly damaged his relationship with them so badly that when he took off after the youngest graduated from high school, they were highly skeptical when I told them that he cared about them even though he was many states away. Then he didn’t bother keeping in touch very much at all with them for the first year, and that sealed the deal. I didn’t get in the middle at all.

    My oldest refused to have his dad the first graduation that came around, so I went alone. It was a military graduation that required pre-authorization, so we wondered if my ex would just show up at the gate anyway. He didn’t as far as we know.

    The next one was during the divorce process, and my younger one didn’t invite him. I don’t think it occurred to him though. The next two were post-divorce pandemic Zoom graduations, so we put them on the big TV and watched from the couch. By then, both kids just wanted to move on to their professions and asked that we not send out announcements, so we didn’t.

    Neither is dating, so it may be a while before there’s a wedding. My guess is that he won’t be invited.

  • I love this: “Don’t set the expectation at “mingle” or “interact.” Set it at “Do not vomit on their shoes.”
    I could have used that example in a conversation I had with my aunt, who disclosed that she still berates herself for not being able to forgive the FW who abandoned her daughter & grandkids 18 years ago.

  • 1) It’s your big day, too…you’re the MOTHER…she’s the AP/OW/stepmother.
    2) I would be (or at least act) confident, happy, and proud. I would not in any way interact with Cheater and Shmoops, beyond an aloof head nod if they were to manage to step into my direct path and address me. But I would keep that smile on, and quickly move past.
    3) I would make sure that you have a (friend, relative, +1) with you so that you don’t feel alone. I would clue them in that you want to be very cordial, yet avoid all interaction and photos with Cheater & Shmoops.
    4) I would, in advance, and asap, let your daughter know that you are excited about her graduation and reception, and btw, will be steering clear of photos and conversations with (cheater & shmoops). She’s in her twenties, I doubt this will be a shock to her! Don’t make it a big deal, just an aside.
    5) Now, get excited, focus on yourself, your daughter, and the guests that AREN’T POS’s!!
    6) EAT some real food before you drink any alcohol, and take it very easy on the booze, so that you don’t get weepy or do something stupid!

  • Dear Chicken,

    Quick comment here as I prepare to work remotely and quarantine with my kids because OWhore exposed my kids to COVID while they were on Spring break with ex FW. I’d planned to do work things at my work during that time, but what are plans for but get trampled by FWs? Anyhow it’s half venting, half my two cents…

    My kids are younger, my daughter is in middle school and son still in elementary. I’ve been their primary parent since their birth, well before FW and I parted ways so that he could freely “fuck whoever he wanted” (his words). I made most of the decisions about their health, school, living arrangements and overall well being their whole lives. I have tried to stay the sane parent, ok “sanish”, while others were trying to drive me crazy. And so far I’d say I have been successful. Through divorce, COVID, diapers, tween year drama, etc. My kids are amazing, loving, healthy, doing great academically.

    So if your life has been anything like mine, celebrate your daughter’s and your accomplishment however you like, because it’s your day. You both managed to get to this point in spite of FW and his buffoonery. It’s YOUR time, embrace it and treat FW and OW like some distant cousins that are there visiting to celebrate your daughter’s success, because that’s how little they have to do with it. They managed not to be a major hindrance, hooray! They don’t matter. You do. Go on proud mama, enjoy your day!

    • I thought the same thing: that the OP had more reason to see her child’s graduation as her daughter’s triumph but also partly a reflection of her parenting because, let’s face it, FWs typically suck at parenting. Even if they make showy efforts from time to time, it’s as empty as their vows and I think kids feel it. After all, the time and money spent on affairs aren’t just being robbed from chumps but also children.

  • Honey, I come from a small, backwoods town where people who have blood feuds and absolutely hate each other end up at the same neighborhood barbecue. You do not have to mingle, you just have to be at the same party. Those are two very different things. If they try to talk to you, you can look at them like they’re stupid and just committed a huge social faux pas (because they did), shake your head, and move on with whatever you were doing. You don’t owe them shit.

    If someone tries to introduce the whore to you for some bizarre reason, give them a disgusted look, completely ignore her, and say something along the lines of “Jesus Jim, let it go, it’s been ten years.” Then look at them all like they’re crazy and walk away.

    This is how we handle this is the backwoods and I’ve been living in the big city for 20 years and I’ve gotta tell you, it works even better here. Everybody feels flustered and stupid and wonders why they pushed it and people want to just move on and forget they did that.

    You do not have to do shit for these people. Enjoy your daughters graduation and ignore them.

    • Maybe the blank stare is more common in both environments– big cities and backwoods. I don’t know why those dynamics work in rural areas but it’s clear why you can get away with it in big cities. My dad was a NYC native and had perfected that blank, 1000 yard stare reaction to people who lost his respect. It didn’t matter. NY used to have endless social scenes even within specialized professions so you weren’t hostage to any. I think the “hostage” issue is more the norm in middling cities and adjacent suburban zones where there’s more social pressure to fake it with people you can’t stand for whatever reason. This is why I won’t live in suburban areas anymore. I like metropolises or outback but not much in between.

      Unfortunately NYC has gentrified to the point that people are importing their middling city habits and values more and more as the natives are pushed out by impossible rents. I think that’s why I found myself getting gaped at when I was seven months pregnant and went back for a friend’s wedding. Why? I don’t know. But gaping is definitely not “native.”

  • so… I will admit I am not that great at ignoring or avoiding. When I had the misfortune of encountering one of my wasbands “models” I was in a public space where she was selling her goods. I walked right past her thinking it couldn’t possibly be her. On my return trip the tart walked right up to me and said Hello! I looked down my nose and said who are you? She said I’m (the midget is what we will call her)… I said OH! I didn’t recognize you with your clothes on. She kinda melted into a little puddle and I stepped over her and kept it moving. So I don’t really have any advice except BE FEARLESS! You are in a position of power. Be mysterious and aloof. If you have a handsome friend or a great girlfriend definitely bring! Be well! Go forth and conquer. You got this! x

    • They should have chump services for snarky friends or elegant plus ones. Hiring escorts or gigolos as dates could be risky because they might gravitate towards APs by sense of smell and homing instinct. Birds of a feather as they say.

      On second thought the latter could be hilarious.

  • Firstly this post is giving me life, you’re on fire CL and I think as a general rule we should all get a bit witchy at times and invoke our bitchiest ancestor. My other takeaway from this is the pretzels that chumps and generally chumps people twist themselves into at such occasions to pretend that they no longer are affected by the lifechanging scouring of our mind body and spirit that has occurred. Instead we try to pretend Nothing Ever Happened, or That’s Old History Now as though nary a ripple ever occurred in our personal lives. All so other people don’t feel uncomfortable. Newsflash, we have every reason to be pissed and any smart kind reasonable person will understand what these kind of occasions mean for a chump. The rest can go fuck thenselves. Because honestly if it was a lot of them they’d be breaking chairs across other people’s backs, causing drama on FB or trying to one up one another in cringy displays of I’m the victim here. Don’t put all that psychic into something that your ALLOWED to be upset about. An arched eyebrow and humming Send in the clowns is a nice vibe to begin with.

    • Psychic energy that should be. Also my Nana was a total bitch, not in a necessarily undermining snarky way but more of a ‘I own the room, behold my natural authority and superiority, I’m a badass and I do and say whatever the hell I want’ aesthetic. And if it helps, my father and his AP wifetress who got pregnant accidentally on purpose after many years as a side piece were terrified of my mother. She was a chumps person mostly even though she had inherited some of my nanas bluntness, but they were always intimidated by her. OW, unless she is some kind of moron, which is a strong possibility given the circumstances and in that case why worry is probably nervous as hell about coming eyeball to eyeball. She’ll other love or hate the attention this meeting will bring and again that’s very telling but you have the high moral ground and the support of all decent people who will be attending. Remember who’s queen. You are.

  • I feel bad that the first thing I thought when reading this post was “Thank God for Covid.” No, I don’t actually see any upsides to the global pandemic but maybe the chump silver lining in wedding and grad season is that it’s still acceptable to wear masks and keep social distance. And you can wear an actual “silver lining”: elegant but naturally antipathogenic silk face masks. https://www.nbcnews.com/select/shopping/silk-face-masks-ncna1263650

  • I can SO relate here! I will be attending my daughter’s college graduation and it has been 10 years of separation from the FW. What has been accomplished during the last 10 that was not so easy. Now I have: freedom from mindfuck, being the sane parent, maintained and solidified even a closer relationship with my adult children. Financial rebuilding, rocking No Contact really well. What has FW accomplished? Blowing through his inheritance. Re-financed his condo several times and now he had to sell it and is living in a hotel. SMH…My adult kids do not trust him, have been burned on loans to him and are disgusted with his sexual perversions with 19 year-olds and on and on. Oh… and he got arrested on a bogus Domestic Violence charge that one of his live-in scmoopies brought. HaHa! I do not know if he will show at the graduation. Last year he emailed me wanting to know if if wanted to get back together. Hahaha! I will hold my head high at her graduation knowing that I have helped my daughter with a ParentPlus loan and am paying on it but the FW who makes 3 times my salary would NOT even fill out FAFSA forms disclosing his income.

  • “toxic disco” bahahaha

    I needed to hear this today:
    “You have NO IDEA if they’re happy. Shallow people may present as “happy” — but how deep can it be? In any case, IT DOES NOT MATTER if they’re deliriously enraptured with each other (doubtful) or if they despise one another, because your happiness isn’t dependent on their misfortune. We don’t get karmic comeuppances on demand. You have your own life.”

    This is why I keep coming back. Even though I am at meh, I still have triggers and I still need CL and CN to keep me grounded.

    • Yep many of these folks presented as happy for years while living double lives. And to be fair many of them were until their house’s of cards fell around them.

      Why wouldn’t they go on pretending.

  • I’ve skimmed all the replies and don’t see the practical advice I would give. Do you have any money whatsoever? Plan a trip that begins immediately after the graduation “festivities.” It could be 3 nights on a cabin by a lake/stream all by yourself. It could be a week in London or Florence. It could be 2-4 days in SF/LA/NY/NO, or 1 night in a nearby city/resort area–literally anywhere you want/can afford to go. Packing and readying for the trip are 100% guaranteed to take your mind off the “day of dread.” And the whole time you are at the graduation ceremony/after-events, you will be thinking about your upcoming trip. You can even duck out a wee bit early using this trip as an excuse. That’s what I would do. Many hugs.

  • I’ve been divorced from exhusband#1 for 20 years now. Our 2 sons were 9 and 3 when we divorced, so yeah – I’ve been though all the milestones for our sons with exh1 and his woman-of-the-month. For the first 13 years after our divorce, I was with now-ex-husband#2 (word to the wise – do not marry the rebound, but that’s another story)
    Didn’t matter the occasion – ball games, school programs, ceremonies, etc. – we both attended. If my then-husband couldn’t attend with me, I usually had a friend go with me. If I went alone, I was circled like a shark the first few years, but I held my own and refused to engage. Absolutely refused to engage with him if he approached me and if I asked something directly related to the kids, I answered yes or no — he hated that I wasn’t getting riled up — I would cry in the car afterwards…

    Group pictures with the kids didn’t happen when I was with exh2 unless it was just us two parents and our sons. Being a child of divorce myself, I have very few pictures of me with parents and I want those photos for my kids that no matter what was going on at that moment in life, their mom and dad were both there to honor and celebrate it.
    It took years for ex-husband#1 and I (and him getting hit with the Karma bus to my delight, but that’s another story) for us to get to a level of meh to where we can be in the same room together without an issue.

    Not to say that it wasn’t hard as hell, but I sucked it up and attended functions and such by sat separately and had minimal contact with exh.

    Now, fast forward 20 years. I’ve been divorced from exhusband #2 for 7 years. Our daughter is Autistic and other than his obligatory weekends and visitation schedule, he doesn’t see her. I have her in dance and baseball, but he doesn’t come to any of it. The first season she played baseball, he showed up with the OWife and her two kids for one game. Within minutes, they were back in his Shiterado watching the game from the parking lot.

    Get your game face on — I used to compare it with Daniel in the lions den — be prepared for grey rock, bring reinforcements and understand that you owe your ex and his Schmoops nothing.
    Be there to celebrate your daughter and focus on her.

  • “Bad character cannot be eclipsed by boob jobs and dental veneers” Hah!! This is a great quote – in my case Schmoops has both plus an overabundance of bad character. Home run, 100%!!!! For extra credit – she also refers to her car as a “Benz” and regularly sends my STBX pictures of it parked at the beach or similar. She titles all these photos “Benz Action”. Classy stuff…. (not) but I don’t mind having a quiet laugh at their expense thanks Chump Lady!

  • This is where I imagine Chump Lady’s Grandma Vi as Lady Violet from Downton Abbey. She is who I channel when I want micro aggressions and tacky behavior to roll off my back. There are scads of memes that channel lady Vi and I suggest you read some.

    Here are some that might be helpful. If you can watch her in Downton Abbey… you’ll get a full flavor of her delivery.

    https://pin.it/20tFM7a

    Good luck.

  • I had a moment a few days ago where I realized I actually *love* seeing wrinkles on people. Rather than a sign of “wearing out” or an imperfection like all the makeup commercials try to make you think, I saw it as a sign that YOU HAVE TRULY LIVED. Frown lines? They say you have been through great pain AND HAVE SURVIVED, and now have real empathy for those going through similar circumstances. Crows feet and lines around the mouth? They say you have known deep, true joy, that you have looked on others with real affection and meant it. So if you find yourself looking at OW with a perfect, unlined face, just remember that your face says you are a genuine, whole person with a heart. Who knows what her face says.

  • Alrighty… weighing in here as I have FIRM beliefs on this topic.
    I’ve had preamble practice for any future graduation ceremonies for my youngest who is 16 (oldest graduated during Covid so no shit show gatherings with FW and AP occurred). Youngest is a Dance Major and next month alone will be FIVE evening performances (potential encounters with 2 a-hole cheaters).
    My philosophy is “never lettem see you sweat!” Avoid crossing paths. Be there for my daughter and IGNORE all FWs. If I see them, I veer off in another direction, HEAD HELD HIGH, SMILING, ENJOYING! Fake it til you make it, if necessary but truly… what is to fake? BE HAPPY! Your kid’s done good! Rejoice. Soak it in. Be proud.
    There will NEVER be a forced “family” or “parents” pic with me and FWs. There is no law that says this must occur! I will be doing photos separately with my daughter and my plus one will be my other daughter. I don’t give a flip what the FW’s do.
    It is my daughter’s special day and my special day. The End.

  • Been there done that. Here is what worked for me. I have boundaries. If the Schoompie is in the picture, I’m not. End of statement, my kids know this. They are adults and get to make their own choices. D made the pic she wanted happen by stating “I’d like this one with just mom and dad and me.” Then the same with her brother. Her choice because she already knew mine. When the ex tried to make small talk with me, I said very evenly “If you need to talk to me about the kids fine. If you want to genuinely show remorse and apologize for everything you did that was morally bankrupt, I’ll listen. Otherwise, I am not your friend, do not care how you are doing and am not willing to tell you anything about myself or my life. Thanks.” and I walked away. He has never approached me again unless it is kid related. My D also knows if she gets married (which sadly may never happen because of all this), if OW is in the ready room with her, I will not be, and that works only because I am ok with that (I will not feel shortchanged because it is my choice). If my D is not OK with that, she will have to make her own decisions. Life is full of lousy decisions.

  • After a 40 yr M he ran off w/a coworker who housesat for us & pretended to be my friend. She is huge, ugly and fat. He was a college linebacker and she is bigger!!
    Had to meet-up w/them at an event my granddaughter was in. Promised my daughter I would hold my temper (which I am known for) and I did. In spite of 2 sit-down dinners w/all of us present. They both looked SOOO bad it was funny. Like you all said, I dressed up, showed up and shined up my diamond from new hubby (they have dumb bands) and did fine.
    Daughter congratulated me and asked how I did it. Told her two sad, ugly people I thought I knew, don’t know and definately don’t WANT TO KNOW. She chuckled and I laughed! Wouldn’t change places w/ho for ANYTHING. They both got what they SOOO deserve. I got a great guy who treats me like a queen and NEVER cheated!

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