Stay in Touch

Check out CL's Book

Beware of OW Bearing Gifts?

Dear Chump Lady,

I don’t think I’ve ever seen you cover this topic, and my fellow chumpy friends and I are mystified by this behavior…

Schmoopie (the one that my husband/partner of 23 years left me for last year) gives ME (the chumpy ex-wife) gifts! What the…..?

I have never met Schmoopie in person. She is almost a decade older than my ex, and divorced with two older children. My two younger children have the privilege of spending time with Schmoops at her house — and on special occasions (Christmas, Mother’s Day, my birthday, Groundhog Day) over the past year, she has given me gifts under the guise of them being “from” my children.

Mind you, I am absolutely certain that my ex didn’t purchase or select these gifts, nor my children, so there is only one person who could have initiated the purchases and executed the elaborate wrapping, minus any cards or notes.

So far, the gifts have included: a plush robe, a pair of gray floral fuzzy pajamas, a set of bath gels, a chambray shirtdress (which is too big — because I lost 30 lbs on the divorce diet), a silver bracelet with a charm that says “I Love Mom”, a custom-framed portrait of my children, and handpainted pots with flowers. These gifts are sent home with the children, without any explanation or pleasantries. Like pretty little time bombs.

From anyone else, the gifts would be warmly appreciated. From her, it’s a complete mindfuck. How am I supposed to interpret the intent behind these goodies? As peace offerings? As consolation prizes? As “I feel sorry for imploding your marriage and family… have a nice bath”? I can’t wrap my brain around it.

Not only that — but she constantly goes out of her way to “one up” me, by being super crafty and thoughtful. She freaking made a fancy brownie platter for my Divorce Care support group meeting potluck (delivered by my 9-year-old daughter who attends the children’s group)!!! Let that one sink in — the mistress made dessert for the ex-wife’s divorce group, and they did NOT have medical marijuana or laxatives in them! And because of this, I have dubbed her the “Martha Stewart of mistresses.” I have always considered myself to be a top-notch gift-giver and hostess, and this chick is bound and determined to outshine me every chance she gets. She already won the “booby prize”, but apparently she wants honorable mention too.

And here’s the kicker — my divorce is not final yet, and my ex and I are currently spending thousands in legal fees — so what kind of logic goes into the opposition buying GIFTS for the other team?? My ex doesn’t even talk to me at all, so why is his gal going out of her way to play nice?

It’s one thing to lavish my children with bribes (oops, I meant gifts) — but why ME?? Here’s a shiny object to distract you from the absence of your husband! Apparently she missed the class at cheater school where they teach you etiquette: Rule #1: Don’t buy gifts for your co-cheater’s soon-to-be-ex-wife.

So, the thing I’m struggling with is that old saying “don’t look a gift whore (oops, I meant horse) in the mouth.” Does it make me seem bitter and ungrateful that I can’t just grit my teeth and happily accept the gifts? Or that I won’t reciprocate and buy her a gift, or at least send a handwritten thank you note? I feel like I’m in the Twilight Zone. Is she trying to kill me with kindness and show she’s the bigger person?

Do I just file this under the category of “untangling the skein of fuckupedness”?




Dear GagGifted,

It’s a trap, Gifted! It’s a TRAP!

There is absolutely no good way to respond to this platter of shit brownies. If you accept them with thanks, you’re buying into the “friends” narrative, that there’s absolutely nothing transgressive about this aging homewrecker. On the flip side, if you reject her gifts, if you catapult brownie bites at her head, or regift that fuzzy bathrobe to your nearest donkey rescue and photograph said donkey wearing said bathrobe, and upload the pix to OW’s social media (just a suggestion) — yes, then you’re “bitter and ungrateful.” Hell, if you fail to send a thank you note you’re probably bitter and ungrateful.

And that’s the point, isn’t it? To bombard you with bogus magnanimity and faux graciousness so you appear sullen and angry by contrast. Gosh, I’m such a Nice Person. Too bad Gifted can’t let go of her anger and accept! 

The gifts are pure impression management. They’re a beautifully wrapped “fuck you” presented by your children. Ouch. And the worst thing about these wackadoodle acts of performance art is that they’re meant to mindfuck your children too. See, OW comes in peace! Pay no attention to your parents’ divorce — here’s a shiny thing! And one for your mother too!

I think you’re being remarkably gracious by not responding. Because yes, while it’s totally comedic, this kind of mindfuck is also abhorrent. It’s not a new set of pajamas, it’s a blundering attempt to get you to normalize injustice.

Oprah Winfrey has famously told the story of being raped as a 9-year old child. Afterwards, her abuser took her out for ice cream.

It seems preposterous, but anyone who has ever suffered abuse knows that this incongruity is typical. Man beats his wife, then buys her new clothes. Enslave a people and promote a few as “credits to their race.” Buy the narrative that what I did was okay, and you’re okay with it, and you will be rewarded. I will think well of you! You will think well of me! And say no more about the Bad Thing! That wasn’t really Bad but For The Best!

This mindfuck is as old as time. What you’re experiencing is violation with ice cream.

Your family is breaking up, your still-husband is putting you through an acrimonious divorce, and this horrible woman is trying to insinuate herself into your DivorceCare group!

So what do you do?

You have a couple choices here.

1.) You can continue your strategy of ignoring her. However, that exposes your children to the continual mindfuck of delivering you “gifts.” OW may eventually give up, but do speak to your children about how inappropriate these gifts are. Do it as unemotionally as you can.

2.) Tell your children that you only want gifts from them. Not the OW. You cherish the pipe cleaner bracelet and homemade cards, and you know they don’t have money to afford fancy pajama sets. Divorce means Dad doesn’t buy gifts for mom anymore. And his OW shouldn’t buy gifts either. We’re two separate families. It’s okay for you to enjoy gifts at their house, but it’s not appropriate here. (See above.)

3.) Confront the OW. Borrow from the Bill Eddy advice when dealing with Difficult People — be BIFF. Brief. Informative. Friendly. Firm. “Dear OW, I received your bathrobe. I am returning it, as it is not appropriate for me to be receiving gifts from the children, which they did not purchase themselves. Or which are proxy gifts from you or their father. Please respect my wishes. All the best, Gifted!”

And if these do not work, consider the Machiavellian.

1.) Do it to her. Turnabout is fair play. Regift that shit. Did you get pajamas for Mother’s Day? Rewrap it and send it via the children to her on Groundhog Day. Do it every. single. holiday for every. single. gift.

2.) Ridicule it. Create a blog where you upload pictures of these presents. Call it “Shit My Husband’s Mistress Gave Me.” Post links on every divorce support site. Invite people’s suggestions of what to do with these gifts. Make memes. Upload photos of feral pigs eating the brownie platter. Dogs wearing chambray shirt dresses.

And if it gets back to her? Impression management fail! Narcs hate to be ridiculed.

Hey, if you’re going to be bitter and ungrateful, you may as have fun. Good luck!


This post ran earlier. With any luck a group of feral pigs enjoyed a brownie platter.

Ask Chump Lady

Got a question for the Chump Lady? Or a submission for the Universal Bullshit Translator? Write to me at [email protected]. Read more about submission guidelines.
  • I’m gonna repeat what I said the first time the column ran – if that’s a picture of the brownie platter in question, OW is no Martha Stewart!

  • I swear OW just exist in their own little world. My 6 year old daughter told my ex-husband’s married whore that I don’t like her and she told my daughter, “maybe one day she’ll like me.” When my daughter told me that I just laughed.

    • XN’s girlfriend (not the OW) at the time cried all over my 4 yo that “your mom hates me (I don’t) and doesn’t want us to be family (what? How?)” Poor kiddo came home with a rehearsed script for me and eventually tears of exhaustion from trying to provide emotional labor for an adult. It was so mean and threatening. So was the letter I sent his attorney about it.

      • Exactly! Where rules of society and being a decent human being don’t exist.

    • Eww, yes. My son (7 at the time) asked me if “do you like Miss M- (OW)?” I said no. He said “well, she likes you”. I told him she was lying and she did NOT like me. I said she’d been a bully to me and I am not friends with bullies. I figured he’d understand that since he had been bullied at school. I wasn’t about to support OW’s lies to my kid. You don’t fuck the husbands of people you like or respect, so it’s safe to say she doesn’t like me.

      But why was OW discussing me with my little kid. Ugh.

      • God they are so delusional aren’t they. Something got said about how I said horrible things about her. This was way back when my daughter was so in awe of her (that shine has worn off),y daughter said to me in rage tears, what kind of person could be that horrible to another human being. No doubt she even made up what I supposedly said. Fuck that noise. I actually don’t know how I haven’t retaliated but not point daughter being the go between of that weird game.

        • Was your daughter aware of what OW had actually done? Because depending on her age, I’d be expecting her to know that lies and betrayal are more than enough reason not to like a person.

          I’m sorry if this oversteps but I don’t think I’d have kept my temper in that situation if she was older than 12.

  • Bullshit during divorce proceedings should be shut down by the divorce lawyers. Leave the children out of the conversation and have a “cease and desist” letter sent certified mail.

  • “I got what I want by playing dirty, so now I’m gonna play nice to you”.
    My 1st ex (not the FW) his girlfriend (not an AP) picked out gifts for me which was very sweet & I thanked her. But she hadn’t broken up my marriage either! Big difference. If my 2nd husband’s AP did though, I would make a humorous Tic Tok video of smashing it up with a baseball bat in the parking lot ???? I think it’s okay to show kids that we have boundaries towards people that hurt us.

  • XN used to give me unwanted gifts from kiddo. I set a boundary and told him to stop. He stated that it is important for our child to see me get gifts. I said lots of ppl give me gifts, she sees it plenty. He stared for a long time and then said, “People give you gifts?” Lol narcissists.

    The next time we went to court, he asked the judge to order me to accept his gifts. ????

      • Yes DO tell what the judge said…I am guessing he/she maintaining the best poker face ever declined to do that BUT that stupid request will forever remain in the judge’s memory about your ex’s flaming narcissism and you will get favorable treatment from here on out. ????

  • I imaging this is how Schmoops seduced the FW. She smothered him in brownies and warm fuzzies. Real life is not allowed. If he is happy in that life I am pretty sure he never grew up. He is one of Peter Pan’s boys. He has his big, hairy dog to look after him. She is his substitute mommy.

    I like your suggestion of flooding social media with it, but also regifting all of the gifts back to her with a short note…..Happy Groundhog Day might do the trick.

    I wish all the Chumps would come back and let us know how things are going.

    • All the narcs look for substitute mommies ALL THE TIME. Their maturation is stunted. They soothe themselves with whatever is nearby or shiny. Whore, aged tramp, teen in need of cash. I think if narcs could spontaneously combust, then nine tenths of the population would be gone in a poof.

    • “I imaging this is how Schmoops seduced the FW. ”

      Yep, one of the first things fw told me opon disclosure was that he made the first move not whore. First of all, what difference does it make, but second everything he said was a like so I am sure that was a like to. It was his attempt to convince me he really wasn’t leaving me for a whore, but a decent sanctified woman who just couldn’t resist her burning love for his wonderful self (wretch).

      He even went on to say her parents want the best for her too. What he didn’t know was my dad (my mother died young) didn’t want his nasty conniving ass anywhere near me ever again. So her parents thought a lying piece of crap was her best bet.

      Well at least he didn’t know it then. When he went on his apology tour and went to see my dad and apologize. My dad told him he can be foreign by God if he walked away from sin and straightens himself out; but he can never go back to his marriage; that is done.

      My dad was scared to death he was going to weasel himself back in to me. He did early on, but it only took me a few days to wake up. The apology tour was way later.

    • I looked back at my 2017 response and I like it better. Adding to that I live in a rural area fast becoming an upscale area. It is sending house prices and taxes through the roof. So now those folks on the margin are becoming homeless. We have a sharing and caring place near us where we have donated tons of stuff. Bargain shoppers are all over it to get good deals on furniture and Christmas things etc. The poor go immediately to clothes. If you have a place like this(I am sending this to CN) please take your unwanted clothes there. The place close to us gives millions of dollars to all sorts of local charities.

  • I never got FW’s whore gifts, but he didn’t understand why I wouldn’t want to celebrate things together or go on vacations together. One big family with asshat centrality. Maybe the mangled and smashed pile of holiday decor I left in the house for him gave him a clue how I felt about that. But then again, they NEVER get the clues because ego fog.

    • ‘Ego fog’ is perfect. This morning I woke up from an FW dream (now fairly rare). I have already forgotten the specifics, but it was some version of me trying to explain the wrongness of everything he’d done/was doing so that he would stop, validate, show remorse, right some of the wrongs… who knows. Of course, the result was that FW remained comfortably in his ego fog (and honesty/integrity/empathy desert) while I gave him kibbles, got mindfucked, lost my dignity and felt awful about myself and life in general. Futile because FW’s don’t know and/or care and they will never get it! As CL has written, its a lost cause to try to teach a grown adult basic decency.

      This particular dream was meta because inside the dream I *knew* I knew better and was so frustrated and disappointed in myself for taking the bait after working so hard to stay away from that garbage person and his fucked up skein. It was the way I used to feel when I broke NC to respond to his BS, and how I feel now when I lower myself to rehash something painful or unfair about that 15-year shit sandwich and it’s consequences; for that matter, I don’t feel good when I allow myself to utter his name or acknowledge his existence. (I like the “don’t give an FW free rent in your mind” analogy.)

      • My therapist says that those kinds of dreams are your brain’s (healthy) response to recovering from trauma. It recognizes that you’re finally in a safe place and able to process what happened, to understand why it happened, so it doesn’t happen again. One way to get them to stop is to refocus on ways you’ve gotten stronger, like recognizing red flags, successfully setting boundaries, showing yourself capable and independent. Hugs to you! It gets better!

        • My therapist said the same thing about my dreams of my abuse during childhood – which sounds great – but waking up with all of that trauma always set me back a few days. It’s a form of healing but it sure is hard.

  • So how about setting boundaries. “Dear mistress. You and I don’t know each other. The way my marriage ended was not amicable and due to betrayal, lies, relationship abuse, my ex-husband and I are no longer friends. You are very aware of how all of this happened. I am not interested in being your friend. I am not interested in receiving your “olive branches” or whatever you think these gifts are supposed to represent. I want this to stop. My children are the most important people in my life and for them I will be civil to you and their father. Understand that this, me being civil, is in no way me letting you into my life. I have friends. They are wonderful, honest, caring and authentic people. You showed, through your lack of respect to me in having a relationship with my husband, that you do not have my best interests at heart. So stop. I will no longer accept these “gifts” and will give them away.”

    • i think boundaries are a great idea in this situation.

    • I agree with what you said but that is WAY too long. “Stop sending gifts. We are not friends.’

  • My take on this is a little different. I see an older whore who is so incredibly insecure and threatened by you that she has to do cartwheels to make herself look like less of a piece of shit.

    I wouldn’t be surprised if your ex triangulates and talks about you so you’re in her face all the time, and part of her knows she won a piece of shit. I’m guessing she bought him.

    So keep ignoring her and throw her “gifts” in the trash. Or give the stuff to a homeless shelter. She knows she can’t compete with you but she’s going to twist herself into knots trying.

    And keep a sense of humor.
    …learning to laugh at idiocy is so valuable. You could always take the brownies to the support group and tell everyone they’re from your ex’s pathetic whore. That should elicit some laughs.

    • Yep, but only as a joke, not to serve. There is no way on earth I would eat or serve anything that a shady source such as she is prepared.

    • I would definitely blow this off with humor, EXCEPT it involves the kids. Sending it through the kids is no joke; it’s manipulating little kids who can’t understand. I would have my lawyer tell her to knock it off.

    • Dollars to donuts he never marries his new “mommie.” I couldn’t agree with you more, he is probably triangulating her in constantly and now she has to compete for the sparkly turd. Barf.

  • Maybe every time the kids go over send a note, asking for the gift of divorce. Little kids repeat what they hear, mommy just wants a divorce. Or return the gift with note, please just a divorce would be enough.

    • How about a note asking for some nice diamond earrings or a Ruth’s Christmas gift certificate? Tell her you’re overdue for a nice dinner ????

      You could really have fun with this one!

  • My kids got all sorts of gifts from my XWs AP. Oakley’s, custom jerseys, new shoes, jewelry…. He has 5 kids with 3 women and I noticed none of them had any of these nice things. So I asked his XW & XGFs if he was buying these things for his kids as well. Of course he wasn’t. Guessing the ladies took it up with him. They haven’t received anything from him since.

  • I’d be responding with a further comment to Chump lady’s responsible response no. 3- ‘please do not try to assuage your guilt by using my children to send me gifts, they do not need to take responsibility for adult issues at their age, and you are forcing that upon them’.

    They don’t need it, you don’t need it.

    If the grifts continue, I’d totally be ridiculing them publicly . I’m good like that.

  • Ah yes. The cheaters who fancy themselves paragons of etiquette and hospitality.

    Traitor X was lecturing our daughter about how she could be more polite during the ride home from his place. She is 15.5 now and was ten when he suddenly became a ghost in her life after abandoning us for the Craigslist cockroach. She does not want anything to do with him, which is appropriate and understandable after what he did, not just to me but to her as well.

    When they arrived at our house, she got out of the car and said to him, “It’s not polite to lie to people”, shut the car door and came inside.

    She understands the situation perfectly and woe to the person who tries to mindfuck her.

    When you are a liar and a cheater and a thief and a fraud, it’s not appropriate for anyone to trust you. A fact that sails right through the airspace between the ears of people who cheat and their cheating accomplices.

    • DDay was in October and he could not understand why I gave him back the gift he bought me for my birthday in September.

      The Craigslist cockroach uses our last name on one of her Facebook pages. More than one therapist helping clean up the shit show they created told him to tell her to remove it, that it was inappropriate. His response? He doesn’t want to. Because she does not speak English very well and she does not understand what “inappropriate” means. I said, “I KNOW she doesn’t understand what “inappropriate means.”

      Neither one of them does.

      • Spinach, I had her when I was almost 44 (I had no medical intervention to get pregnant, if there are younger chumps here who might be feeling like they have no chance to have a child now).

        I have no extended family either. So it was quite the deluxe knockout blow to learn my husband was not on my team.

        However, what’s most important now is that my daughter makes it very clear that she is no one’s fool and does not suffer fools for an instant. Very important that she is together and as savvy as possible because she may have a long adult life without me or relatives for backup when I die.

        She can’t, and shouldn’t trust him or any of the skunts who assisted him in burning our family down.

        • Velvet, I had my daughter at almost 41, but lots of medical intervention. Lots of skanks in my story. If you are ever in my neck of the woods (Colorado) I’d love to take you out to dinner and have a good laugh.

  • When I was young, and married, my FOO culture training taught me that as wife and mother I was responsible for remembering special days. I recognized birthdays and holidays for my in-law family, and when I had children “we” picked out gifts for Dad. In both marriages my in-laws had no social graces. My MIL, grandmother to my children never sent a card or gift and couldn’t spell her grandchildren’s names. Not just my children, all of her grandchildren.

    I became friends with the sister-in-law who married my husband’s brother. We became allies to survive family events, and we set guidelines for gift giving between our families. Neither of the brother/husband’s had social skills either, but they did enjoy eating at family events. After our eventual divorces, we remained friends. We both recognized there was something seriously wrong with MIL, and our respective husbands had grown up with relatively bad mothering.

    After the divorce, I was still respectful to his parents. They did not interfere with my marriage, or divorce, and they were my son’s grandparents. My SIL went beyond my respectful but distant stand and continued to provide services to the former in-laws. Her FOO background for family obligation was even stronger than mine. It was her choice. However, neither of us provided gifts for any of the replacement schmoopies, or ever had any interactions with them if we could avoid it. Even my strange FOO did not require that. I might have to share air space at graduations and weddings, but no personal stuff. My oldest son wanted me to invite his father’s widow to my house after his dad’s funeral, because some of the family and friends were gathering there for coffee and snacks. I declined.

    My son did not understand why. I tried to explain it to him. She had not planned anything, so I did. I did not try to show her up, it was very small, quiet, and word-of-mouth. My son said, “but she’s all alone” and I told him I am not her family. If you want to do something with her, do it. If she hasn’t asked you to, you are under no obligation as a “step” son to do so. He still thought I was wrong, but he will get over it. Someday, life may provide him with experiences he will have to figure out how to navigate. I have done my job as a parent, and we continue to be close. I have a feeling that after his father’s estate is settled, he will learn a lot about who she really is, and she will fade away in search of another older wealthy husband. That is just my opinion, of course.

    At any rate, the gifts are weird. I would ignore them. They will eventually stop. They are not “from your children” and your children need to understand as they become adults it becomes their responsibility to uphold a relationship with family. Or not, but there are consequences for actions. I think all young children are susceptible to the material gains of divorced parents and their partner’s du jour. They have to learn that gifts do not make a relationship. My boys suffered through several of their dad’s bad partner choices before he finally married the last one. It was a life experience they had to navigate. None of us want to worry about good manners for the divorced family, but it’s a fact of modern-day living.

  • There are many ways to look at this. I think there’s truth in many perspectives. The first thought that arose for me was that this is impression management with and manipulation of the children.

    I am a step-grandma, and I often get gifts “from” my grandkids that are problematic, like plants I can’t keep (because they would poison my cat so I can’t keep them in my house) and clothes that are dramatically too small (so I can’t put them on to show my gratitude). I have been taking the angle of praising the children for their generosity (you are so sweet, thank you for the gift, I’m so grateful that you thought of me!) without speaking much about the gift itself, then initiating a craft activity with them, giving them my craft as a gift, accepting when they reciprocate, and praising the shit out of their handmade gifts AND the generosity. And when I give them gifts, I try to always include something handmade.

    I literally have art-framed children’s blob drawings and paintings and popsicle-stick crafts they have made hanging in my house for them to see when they come over. In this way, I prioritize gifts that clearly came FROM them over anything else.

    They never ask about the teenagers shirts or poison plants that they didn’t care about in the first place, but they like seeing the drawings and such, and photos of themselves, a lot.

  • OW bought some baby clothes for my daughter when she was born (ex left when I was pregnant to be with the love of his life – eyes rolling). They were from both of them (Ex and OW) but clearly bought by OW. It really sickened me, but I didn’t make contact with either of them. I did return the baby clothes and with the credit note bought some nice cups for the kitchen.

    She would buy my son X-box games and then came the offer that she could help look after my son to give me a break when I needed it as I had a new baby to look after. It wasn’t directly from her. It was from my ex, but the way it was worded was not my ex.

    I look back now and wonder how I got through that first year with a newborn, a 7-year-old and 2 insane people fucking with my head. I despise them both for taking the opportunity away from me of enjoying the first year of my daughter’s life and making the most of my maternity leave, instead of dealing with crazy.

    • Your strength is amazing. I can’t imagine how hard that was for you. And what mightiness to look back on it with such an even tone. Good for you, ChumpyLou.

    • You are mighty. I can’t imagine going through what I went through while pregnant/with an infant.

  • I would love to know what the divorce group had to say about the brownies. What fucking hubris!

  • shes mind fucking you, and using u kids. she will turn on u kids as well. she will act really nice in front of other people

  • The only sane response is ignoring the gifts and handling it appropriately with your kiddos. Anything else is cake and kibbles. Remember, you don’t give FW/OW cake or kibbles. Throw away or donate everything with no drama and not another thought. “Should we have tacos or BLTs tonight?”

    No rookie mistakes people!

  • She’s an older, divorced woman with children. That means she has life experience which means she KNOWS she’s a huge piece of shit and did a terrible thing to you and your children. So she’s trying to fix it, not by being a better person but by throwing gifts at you, which is a common tactic for the personality disordered.

    She feels guilty and she’s trying to make herself feel better. I’d destroy the shit, cover it in mustard and send it back to the bitch addressed directly to her name. But I’m petty like that.

    My ex’s little girlfriends are young and stupid. They should have known better than to participate in his abuse of me but they didn’t. It doesn’t make it ok but I think for some of them, life is going to smack them in the face someday and they’re going to realize what they actually participated in. And I hope it eats at them. I hope they get to live my nightmare with the full knowledge they did the same thing to someone else.

    But some of them will end up like this old bitch, learning nothing, repeating the same mistakes, and then thinking some fucking brownies make it ok. It’s pathetic. She’s pathetic. I think Chump Lady had the best idea with the blog of shit my husband’s mistress sent me. She deserves that humiliation.

  • My gift giver was not the OW at the time we separated, but he had moved into her house by the time we were divorcing. I too was puzzled by her over-the-top gifts, but I kept a friendly face with her and at times gladly accepted some of the gifts. I just felt like that in time she would discover what a hobosexual he was.
    She was about 10 years older than he was and very very connected, both politically and with money. Here’s some of the things I accepted:
    — She set up a photo op for my younger daughter to be in a magazine and did all the work taking her to the appointment, I was fine with that. My 5 yo daughter was in a magazine ad!
    — I got professional photos taken for her next book on coloring suitable for white hair.
    — When ex and her and my kids attended bit-shot events she bought the fancy clothing and shoes etc that were way out of my budget. After using them, I don’t think she noticed that I sold them via consignment.
    — she had connections to get my daughter into a school specializing in learning disabilities and arranged so I’d have the poor people’s discount.
    — I went to her 50th birthday gala held in a ballroom just to gape at all the big shots.
    Where I drew the line:
    — attending xmas day / thanksgiving dinners inside her home. I was always “out of town.”
    — staying at her house while recuperating from intensive chemo. I chose the nursing home.
    — I was laid off for 5 weeks and she offered to pay me to organize their family photos. I declined.

    I was around her enough to know it wasn’t personal with me. That’s the way she was with everyone: her hairdresser, her best friend, her agent, her actual employees, her lawyer, her psychologist, her exes, etc etc.

    After 10 years, they split and she let me know it was because he wouldn’t pay anything towards the house and cars and their upkeep. She thought he was paying for restaurant meals, but it turned out he was paying with her credit card. When they split, she insisted on selling the cadillac she had gifted him.

    It’s been over 20 years since they split and she still reaches out publicly on FB to say something like, “it’s great to see you. We need to get together sometime.” I always respond with an enthusiastic, “Wonderful! DM me when you want to me.” We have never met in person since their split.

  • My gift giver was not the OW at the time we separated, but he had moved into her house by the time we were divorcing. I too was puzzled by her over-the-top gifts, but I kept a friendly face with her and at times gladly accepted some of the gifts. I just felt like that in time she would discover what a hobosexual he was.
    She was about 10 years older than he was and very very connected, both politically and with money. Here’s some of the things I accepted:
    — She set up a photo op for my younger daughter to be in a magazine and did all the work taking her to the appointment, I was fine with that. My 5 yo daughter was in a magazine ad!
    — I got professional photos taken for her next book on coloring suitable for white hair.
    — When ex and her and my kids attended bit-shot events she bought the fancy clothing and shoes etc that were way out of my budget. After using them, I don’t think she noticed that I sold them via consignment.
    — she had connections to get my daughter into a school specializing in learning disabilities and arranged so I’d have the poor people’s discount.
    — I went to her 50th birthday gala held in a ballroom just to gape at all the big shots.
    Where I drew the line:
    — attending xmas day / thanksgiving dinners inside her home. I was always “out of town.”
    — staying at her house while recuperating from intensive chemo. I chose the nursing home.
    — I was laid off for 5 weeks and she offered to pay me to organize their family photos. I declined.

    I was around her enough to know it wasn’t personal with me. That’s the way she was with everyone: her hairdresser, her best friend, her agent, her actual employees, her lawyer, her psychologist, her exes, etc etc.

    After 10 years, they split and she let me know it was because he wouldn’t pay anything towards the house and cars and their upkeep. She thought he was paying for restaurant meals, but it turned out he was paying with her credit card. When they split, she insisted on selling the cadillac she had gifted him.

    It’s been over 20 years since they split and she still reaches out publicly on FB to say something like, “it’s great to see you. We need to get together sometime.” I always respond with an enthusiastic, “Wonderful! DM me when you want to me.” We have never met in person since their split.

    • I feel like the same thing happened to my former boss. Her ex had rampantly cheated, she divorced him and then he moved in with a wealthy older woman who wasn’t one of the APs and this woman bought gifts for my boss’s daughters. Though my former boss had some choice comedic words for her ex’s cheating partners-in-slime, she seemed to have no resentment towards her ex’s human landing pad, just said she was afraid her ex would financially destroy the poor woman. The ex-FW was a major narcissist and had failed at every business venture though he seemed to fail sideways by using his charm as a parachute. That starts wearing a bit thin after 50 and the debt was mounting.

  • i’d destroy them in a spectacular fashion, because why not? cut that robe up into rags for washing the car, run the PJs up the flagpole. and, my favourite, burn stuff in the firepit. so satisfying.

    then i’d write a letter to the AP and say no more gifts, please. we’re not friends; i’ve got good friends already, okay, bye, thanks.

    • I’m not a person who destroys stuff, normally. However, I did take grim satisfaction in destroying the evidence of the wine habit the FW had taken up under the influence of the AP. I threw his wine glasses against “his” barn door (I wasn’t allowed inside I-wonder-why), then tossed probably several hundreds of dollars worth of wine onto a concrete slab he was going to build a shop on. Hearing those bottles crash was strangely thrilling. It looked like a murder scene by the time I was done.

      THEN I found books the AP had given me that she thought I would enjoy, I guess. I ripped those up and tossed the remains into a fire. Nobody to witness the carnage but me, and I was OK with that.

  • This was the first post I read when I found Chump Lady on July 4, 2017.

    The OW used to do this too and it finally stopped when I threw a high holy fit. I was BEYOND caring how it was perceived, I was DONE.

    Gift giving like this is a form of stalking. It goes beyond mere mindfuck. It’s straight from the covert narcissist playbook of a dog whistle that other people don’t pick up on.

    In our state, we can have the sheriff issue an anti stalking notice and had I realized this was stalking, that would have been my course of action. Seriously, “leave me the fuck alone” gets communicated better when the sheriff hands them papers and they get a stern talking to.

  • That is weird! I like the regifting back idea but keeping kids out of it. I’d start by finding out from kids what they think of these gifts. Kids might surprise you with their answers. then sending a note that her gifts are really not necessary and return whatever she sent with the note dropped off and not through kids. If she continues then regift unopened.

  • Before they admitted the affair (then having gone on about a year and a half), but after we had separated, my husband’s howorker offered me her sewing machine. I responded that since I was currently living in my mother’s spare bedroom, I didn’t have room for anything. I wish I had been nastier. I still don’t know why she offered it. Guilt? Some messed up idea that we could all be friends?

    OW certainly tried to one-up me in every way she could (most of the time just blatantly copying me – my clothes, my hair, my cooking, etc.), especially in doing things for my narc husband. I’m know he talked about me to her in a positive way to make her insecure and thus dance all the harder. I know because he sometimes did it in front of me and her (“your butt looks great in those jeans”, “love that skirt”, “your hair looks nice”), and wouldn’t you know if OW wasn’t flaunting whatever it was he’d complimented ME on the next time I saw her. She even tried to get my recipes by suggesting (via STBX) that I write a cookbook because I was “so talented”. LOL. I told him I wasn’t sharing my secrets and he got really mad. (She still tried to recreate my recipes – I saw it on her Instagram, Facebook, and she talked about some of her cooking in a stupid, very boring, podcast she did. But her attempts just looked sad.)

    STBX sometimes sent me gifts. I got a package in the mail and thought it was simply misdirected so I texted him and said “I think this package is yours” and he got upset and asked why I thought that when he’d been so nice and sent me a gift (during COVID lockdown). I responded that since he’d told me he hated my guts and never wanted to speak to me again the week before, it seemed very strange that he’d send a gift. Later he turned around and tried to use it as leverage to get me to do what he wanted (“How can you be so difficult when I gave you a gift?”). I told him to to give me anything else.

    I absolutely LOVE CL’s Machiavellian responses, especially the second one. Ignoring the gifts is probably the wisest course (and quietly donating them), since these people thrive on attention, good or bad, but at this point in my life I’m all about displaying the ridiculousness of these imbeciles.

    What is up with these people?

  • So she’s trying to take your place as mother, she sends unwanted gifts and she even sent a smarmy brownie platter to your divorce group (so she’s spying on your schedule now?) DELIVERED BY YOUR DAUGHTER.

    She’s fucking psychotic. She’s attempting to muscle you out of all areas of your life and everything you pride yourself on and she’s getting off on it. The quality of the gifts is nothing but her shoring up, “but I tried really hard, everything I got her was luxury :(” points while also flaunting her wealth. Because she must ‘win’ EVERYTHING. Even the brownies are a thinly-veiled, “he has a domestic goddess now :)” statement – and if that picture is of her brownies, did she make them look like turds on purpose? Those are the brownies of a person mid-psychotic episode, Jesus Christ.

    You say that they weren’t laced with anything but they could well have been. Don’t eat anything from people who have fucked you over, that’s how you end up dead. Especially from psychos devoting time, effort and money into skinwalking you. How do you know that this wasn’t just a shit test to see if you’ll eat the ACTUAL poisoned ones next time?

    Until I read the divorce platter, I entertained a 5% chance that she was just guilty and extremely socially unaware but no, that’s to teach you a lesson. Invades your place of peace and drafts your fucking CHILD into it??? Aww HELL NO.

    First, I’d issue a firm, “stay the fuck away from my kids” warning and pull them out of the situation immediately. He can still see them but under supervision with no Psycho and no gifts or overtures from her either.

    If this wasn’t respected, I’d pursue some form of legal protection. Consequence must be swift and permanent. You must become a hard target.

    You might also consider installing an advanced security and surveillance system and reinforcing your points of entry. I’m serious. Stay safe and no more gifts or brownies.

    • Knowing the schedule for the divorce support group is a cause for concern, although I suspect the daughter or the dad mentioned that the kids’ group is the same time as mom’s. I second your concerns. I was responding, below, before I saw your post, and I agree that the gifts ARE specific to invading OP’s personal space and privacy. And I bet the I Love Mom bracelet was meant to make the chump wonder if her kids love OW, too, and if OW has a matching bracelet. She’s seeking centrality from OP. MAybe hoping the chump will reciprocate in giving gifts for AP’s image management. Or at least come across as the bugger, better person.

      • Exactly. And this sums it all up so well, “She’s seeking centrality from OP”.

        DENIED, BITCH.

  • My guess is that this is a melange of image management, love-bombing, and maliciousness. She wants to be seen as a gracious and moral Lady Bountiful, she thinks love-bombing with gifts is the way to win someone over, and she’s going to use these “gifts” to jab and prod you where she thinks you’re the most vulnerable. Sending a brownie platter to the divorce support group was an attempt to buy them over to her side and keep you from venting freely. How can you say bad things about her to the group if they are in her brownie thrall? You think you can escape to be soothed and comforted in your bed and your bath? The pajamas and robe, to be worn when you are in bed, will remind you that you are sleeping alone while she is in bed with your spouse. The bath gels, to be used when you are naked, are to remind you that she is now the one naked with your ex. The custom-framed portrait of your children is to remind you that they are spending time with her–and I wouldn’t be surprised if she sends you family portraits of herself with your kids and ex, which she probably had taken at the same time as the children’s portrait. Were the pots painted by your kids, or just a way for her to mark territory in your home? The “I love mom ” bracelet is weird because you have multiple kids. I suspect she’s involving your kids in an effort to convince them that she’s blameless in breaking up their family, and also to make them reciprocate to her, so she can show and tell her friends how much your kids accept and love her. I wonder if she has a matching bracelet for herself.
    Since this is a rerun, I’d love to hear if the gifts dried up when the divorce was final. And if there were any ill reactions after food gifts. I would not have trusted them for a second.

    • Goodfriend, I agree with all that you said. Now, watch what will happen when the kids are about 14 or 15 and they can choose NOT to spend time with their FW father and Lady Bountiful. I think the rage channel will get switched on, right? Ex husband and Lady Bountiful will be mad as hell and will be pissed for all they have ‘done’ for the kids etc. I can just see the storm brewing…

    • Food gifts & safety were my first thought after reading only the first few sentences. I would not trust OW & would pass on the brownies. Reminded me of poisoned apples!

  • It’s very hard to know exactly why they do things. I am convinced that they spin fantastic stories about the marriage / affair / divorce that bear only the most tenuous relation to reality, but – unless you have extensive contact with them, which I don’t recommend – it’s pretty much impossible to guess what those stories are.

    I have virtually no contact with XW, but every once in a while the kids inadvertently drop some nugget (like “Mom won’t let me borrow her car and bring it here, because of the times you vandalized her car in the parking lot at work” (never happened); or “Mom says you bullied her about her accent” (I found her accent charming, but hadn’t mentioned it for at least 5 years because I knew she was sensitive about it)) that makes me realize I have no clue what she is thinking. I have virtually zero information about her life or opinions, and even so I still pretty frequently run across oblique references to bizarre counterfactual narratives that circulate in her house. In the end, you can’t control their opinions or their actions; all you can do is live your life according to your own principles as best you can.

    In this case, for me that would mean not returning the gifts (because that’s trying to send AP a signal to change her behavior, which is a fool’s errand), but also not accepting them (because that’s cutting too close to the bone). So, either throw them out or donate them. AP will eventually tire of the game (probably more quickly without feedback); or if not, just let AP waste her energy. As long as it costs the letter writer less time and energy to chuck the gifts than it costs AP to make them, every instance is a net win for the home team.

    • Yep on the spins of the fw/whore romance. I mean how many are going to be honest about that. It is something they have to work around and hide.

      I am sure my fw and his whores version of their marriage is strategically edited. He tried to become a preacher (I still can’t say that without a grin on my face). Of course he crashed and burned on that effort. My guess is it didn’t take long for the real fw and whore to emerge.

      My son said he actually got asked to leave the church by one preacher, not because of his adultery (I doubt they knew about that) but because he kept causing arguments by insisting on his own way.

    • It’s very hard to know exactly why they do things.” And why they say what they do. Every so often my now ex would drop a sentence or two that revealed a glimpse of a much larger narrative or picture, and invariably what it revealed about him and his behavior was enlightening–but not in a good way. Luckily I am 100% no contact with him now, so I remain ignorant of everything regarding him, which is how I like it.

  • This happened to me!! It was not to the Martha Stewart level, and the gifts were weird and bizarre (both to me and my older kids) but this exact same thing happened! For example, the OW gave my adult daughter candy and my ex accused my daughter of being rude for not writing a thank you note. (It was $2 bag of candy??)
    Things escalated quickly. Not long after they married, the OW sent me a new dishwasher! Like WTF!? I kept the dishwasher – I mean why not? I said thank you to my ex and I ignored the OW. Then randomly she sent my youngest son (14 years old) a mattress. Why? No one really knows.
    Last Christmas all the gifts were (and I am not kidding) discards from her dad aunt’s house. Tarnished silver tea kettle anyone?
    I don’t even know where to start with her and giftgiving. What do I do? I tell the kids to text thank you for gifts, and I ignore her.
    PS She also emailed me at one point and told me how wonderful my ex had said I was but that me ignoring her said clearly that wasn’t the case and that perhaps I should get therapy.
    I ignored that too.

    • What the heck, they are some random gifts, made me laugh though. My stbx keeps banging on about me and Skankella being friends. Told him we got nothing in common, she really is the last person I would call a “friend”

  • I am 5 years post-divorce and still receive ridiculous, expensive gifts from ex and OW. She will often ask me for advice and try to form a friendship. I stick to the BIFF responses and keep boundaries, which she is constantly trying to push past. She is so thirsty, sometimes it feels like she would like to skin me and wear me as skin. I think it speaks to her insecurity and lack of identity. She is so desperate for my approval, it’s really a mind fuck. I also think it says something about the dynamic of what ex does. He drops digs to add to a person’s insecurity and I believe he compares her to me (which is laughable because he told me how awful I was when we were married). She is working so hard to be the perfect mom/wife, I *almost* feel bad for her. When they give me gifts, I don’t write a thank you note, I sometimes regift it, sometimes I keep it because I don’t even care anymore. At the beginning, it bothered me a lot more. Now I just let it roll off my back because I don’t have as much focus on their nonsense. I would encourage you to consider your values and choose actions that fit you, rather than try to match their insanity.

    • ” I would encourage you to consider your values and choose actions that fit you, rather than try to match their insanity.”

      I like this idea. I have no issue with making fun of them, if that is something you do easily, but if one can’t do it without causing themselves angst, not a good idea.

      Honestly I am so glad my son was grown before this hit, I can’t imagine the horror of co parenting with a fw and his/her whore.

  • I like the happy Father’s Day, you’re such a good dad to your sons, or happy birthday wishes. Next year, I’m shutting that down.

    I don’t get wishing me happiness when she blew this up, I’m not going to wish her happy anything. She’s not my friend, nor will she ever be.

  • Option 1 I think. Hopefully wait until you have a little cold or bug so you can a big sneeze all over it before you wrap it back up and send it to her. What creeps these people are. Can you imagine the lies she tells others? Bet they are off the chart.

  • I think it’s best to not respond at all but definitely have your lawyer do the work of cease and desist so your ex knows she’s doing this. He may not know and prob wouldn’t like her spending big bucks on you. So get the lawyer to end it and the use of your children as messengers. Schmoops sounds a bit cray cray to me.

  • Personally I would have just ignored all the gifts/donated them. The brownie thing had me chuckling though because I am a physical therapist and worked in an acute rehab unit years ago. Staff will eat most anything (hospital staff)…but when you find food on a table in a rehab unit you don’t eat it until you know exactly WHO (what patient) cooked it with the occupational therapists in the rehab kitchen!!! Just because it looks edible doesn’t mean they aren’t a drooler, that their hand hygiene is up to snuff, etc (fill in the blanks with any awful vision here…). Years ago Chris Isaak had a show on like Showtime (or one of those) and either he or one of his band was going to eat some food that this sort of band “stalker” lady had given them. One of them stopped them saying , “it’s from the stalker lady!!! She says she loves you but maybe she’s trying to poison you!

  • I thought of something under the Machiavellian heading which also falls under “killer comeback”– something called “Deliberate misconception.” Send a message through your lawyer to STBX husband’s lawyer that your STBX husband should stop sending you gifts and pretending they’re from the children. Tell your lawyer it feels stalkerish. Then send a note to Schmoop-twat saying, “I’m not sure if you’re encouraging Fuckwit to send me gifts disguised as gifts from the children or if he’s doing it on his own steam. I understand that some might view this as conciliatory but it feels entirely inappropriate and enmeshed. Please do not encourage this and ask him to cease and desist.”

    It will roil her no end to image you THINK your ex is gifting you and that YOU’RE rejecting HIM!! And that you may be telling everyone this!! NO!!! You cannot reject the sparkly dick prize she soiled herself to win!!! She won’t be able to let you keep thinking this and will probably own to it to make sure there’s no impression your ex is angling to get you back that could start spreading throughout the social network. The cheater is cheating on HER??? How humiliating!!! Perish the thought!! And when she owns to doing this via kids, email, whatever, you can have a satisfyingly shruggy “WTF how weird” reaction and ask for it to stop. The funny part is your STBX telling his lawyer that he’s not sending the gifts. Even his own lawyer won’t believe him because divorce lawyers have seen a zillion cheaters stalk the exes who are divorcing them and because no one will be able to wrap their heads around the Schmoops sending these gifts.

    • Oh, and send all the gifts back addressed to your STBX husband, not the Schmoops. Oh, and add in the notes to lawyer and Schmoopie that it’s “scaring” you.

  • I know this is an old post but I’d send a note not identifying it as a gift.
    OW, That new robe was donated to a shelter that helps clothe women who have fled abusive relationships, and need to rebuild their wardrobe. Please consider donating directly rather than through me. I’m not able to donate homemade food items from uncertain origins, so all must be discarded. Friends and family take care of helping my children celebrate holidays and milestone events for me. Your efforts to insert yourself are inappropriate, at best, and put an inappropriate emotional burden on my minor children.

    • You may not be able to think of a good name but you have great ideas. I’m guessing you typically have too many ideas to sort through. 😉

  • I wish we knew how this came out, but it’s just yet more crazy in a crazy situation.

    I’d probably let it ride until the divorce was final. Just saying, but maybe it isn’t time yet to rock the boat. In my experience, it was best to not stir up too much trouble during the legal proceedings.

    Then I’d send a BIFF note. If that didn’t stop the gifts, I’d have my attorney write a letter.

  • I’d send back brownies, based loosely on the recipe from “The Help”. But that’s just me.

  • Use them a couple times and then send them back as gifts to her with a note that she’s used to your leftovers. ????

    J/K of course, if it feels good don’t do it.

  • “it’s a blundering attempt to get you to normalize injustice.”
    CL, thanks for clarifying this. I still struggle to know what’s going on, after 36 years of emotional abuse by EX & before that by my FOO. It’s why I keep reading every day.

    • Yes, that’s why I come here and continue in a 12-step group. It keeps me in recovery instead of ruminating or giving in to the undertow again.

  • This triggers the untangling of my skein. When I met my ex, he claimed he was divorced. Claimed his ex-wife cheated on HIM. I was surprised months later when he announced that his divorce was finalized. I was surprised, but friends reassured me that the process can take over a year, so I blew it off. What I failed to focus on (spackle much?) was the fact that he presented himself as already divorced as opposed to separated, right from the start.

    Fast forward 20 years, I catch him referring to me as his ex in his correspondence with his AP – this was before I even filed. Yikes – what if I was the Schmoopie?!?! What was he lying about back then?!?! Was it even his ex committing adultery, or was it him?

    I never sent his ex lavish gifts, but I may have helped the kids with stuff for her when they were little, since he wouldn’t do it (and in my mind that seemed LOGICAL – I would think it would be painful for him to buy gifts for someone who cheated on him). I respected his kids’ relationship with their mother, and was able to emotionally detach. And in turn, as a stepmother and someone helping to raise them, yes – I wanted to have a working non-hateful relationship with them.

    This post makes me wonder if she even KNEW she was an adulteress. The people my ex was pursuing prior to D-Day were all likely being told he was already divorced.

  • My ex and his ow child briee wife sent my new husband and me a couple wedding gifts although we weren’t even on good terms. I immediately sped down to the UPS store to send them back to Amazon and then had a good laugh with my husband about how we would spend the credit we got….flushable wipes? Dog poop pick-up bags? Ugh, I don’t want your gifts! We’re not friends and that doesn’t make things “cool!”

  • Gift-giving is the love language of narcs. No attention required. No loyalty. No emotional investment. So easy. Just give people stuff and watch them worship at your feet. Unfortunately, it works for a lot of people so narcs get an instant hit of adoration. It’s the drug they crave.

    While going through my divorce, I found out that my ex had 2 secret credit cards–one for OW expenses and one just to buy takeout for people at work. He’s a doctor and he had food delivered to nurses stations constantly. I knew he did that but I didn’t know the extent of it. It is like a drug for him. Nurses thanking for donuts and Starbucks for everyone at 6am or pizza for the midnight shift. He lived for the WOWs and the OMGs and the YOU’RE THE BESTs. So pathetic. And yes, he had affairs with a few of those nurses throughout our 23 year marriage. Of course, the final OW was a nurse. From the outside, he looks so generous. But he is a predator. And all this is grooming.

    Meanwhile, we have 3 wonderful, kind-hearted, incredible children. He used to be generous with them but since separation, he has refused every expense for them. Even dragged me to court for reimbursement for expenses for the kids. Wouldn’t even pay for a 99 cent app for my daughter. He refuses to split the bill for my son’s antidepressant…how much is it you ask…wait for it….it is $1.47 a month. For an antidepressant that my son had to start because of his anger at his father. Oh and he hasn’t given them birthday gifts and Christmas gifts. Just so painful and unbelievable to me. But I guess when the mask slides off, it’s really too much work to stick it back on. He figured if he won’t get WOWs and OMGs, it’s really not worth a cent to have children in your life. He’s calculated his cost-benefit ratio for his narc ego. He will invest in that $10 box of donuts for nurses that gets him into their scrubs.

    • This is an incredibly enlightening comment. Thank you for that. I never thought about this type of behavior as grooming, but I can totally see it. There are some genuinely generous people out there, but I think more so there are folks in it for the WOWs and ego boosts and, as in your ex’s case, a potential future hook up.

  • Sheesh, some people have no boundaries at all. I’d collect several of these items in a box, tape it shut, and type a simple letter that states “Please cease and desist distributing gifts to me in any manner, including as represented from the children. It is inappropriate and viewed as harassment. Any future gifts will be forwarded to my attorney who will consider all legal options to stop this intrusive and unsettling behavior.” Put the letter in an envelope and tape it to the box, then, without the children present or involved at all, have someone drop the box on their doorstep and ring the bell. Hopefully, that would solve the problem. I mean, they’ll probably call YOU crazy and bitter, despite their super weird behavior, but who cares?! If you stay above the board and about the business, all they can do is gripe.

    And I totally agree with CL that it should be conveyed to the kids, without emotion and in a way that makes sure they feel no responsibility for anything, that this gift giving is inappropriate. “It’s not really ok for dad’s girlfriend to be buying presents for me…that’s a little strange. But I always love the gifts you make me!”

    I realized early on that I wouldn’t be getting many holiday and birthday presents that didn’t come from my kid’s classroom, but then noticed that it would bother her when she realized that my birthday came and went and she didn’t get me anything. She’d feel bad. So, I put my mom in charge of working with her on those occasions to make sure she had the opportunity to get me something, if she felt like it. Now she’s older, but they had so much fun with it that my mom still reaches out before a gift giving occasion to see if my daughter needs help. It’s been sweet bonding moments for them both.

  • What is lost on the OW is that it is a major red flag when your partner allows you to take over the responsibilities of parenting. I would be interested to know what else she ends up doing for the kids. Here she is trying to be a “model,” yet their own father isn’t the one picking up the slack and taking them out to choose something for mom.

    There is also the issue of the divorce taking place. OW could also be providing the gifts to help the ex-husband manage his image in court as being a generous person who reaches out to you in kindness.

    Have to admit that I love CL idea of a blog that mocks the gifts, then re-gift. The issue is that you don’t want the kids then asking what you did with the gift “they gave you.”

  • Right after D Day, OW sent me an unsolicited email, warning me not to cross lines into her life. This, after she played “relationship advisor” to FW, advising him on how to handle me, for 2 long years. I felt so violated reading just one day out of 767 days of their chat history. FW waxing poetic about the details of our life and sex life, what I said, what I did, to his “friend” that he was also friendly fucking. Her asking for details and giving a running commentary.

    There’s something not right with their brains. Like a complete lack of context or a switch in positions. E.g. they are the magnanimous partner that allows your spouse to come home and fuck you. Or that you should be thankful to them for having your marriage. ????

  • I’ve told this story before but here it goes again. The FW and his Ho worker would go out of town on “business trips.” She would leave her dog with us to dog sit and train. She would give my daughters some cash and little gifts for me to pay for this service. I usually got a bottle of wine but one time I got a paperback copy of the book “Big Little Lies”. The book takes place in Monterey California.

    FW unceremoniously abandons his family to run away with the whore to…..Monterey California.

    Big Little Lies.

  • It’s all about guilt and trying to preserve their own self-image as Not A Bad Person(TM).

  • I’m pretty sure I posted when this ran before. I’ll take a look back and see.

    But in this context the gifts seem like manipulation to me. Like Traitor X picking vegetables for me from his garden. They went into my compost.

    Burning your life down with you inside and then sending gifts? That is spectacularly disordered IMHO.

    Maybe I’d send back a fruitcake. That Arya Stark baked.

  • What is it with the sending brownies thing? Are they going for the Susie homemaker of the year award?
    What a loving caring, forgiving mom she is, in her sick warped, demented mind, that is. It’s image management 101 and it makes her feel like “ the better person”, as if she was EVER in the running for that title!
    My ex’s mistress sent my kids homemade brownies with a Christmas stocking and gift cards the first year FW left to be with her. My kids and I celebrated a great Christmas together without him.
    Idk what bothered me more about that, that FW had his fuckbuddy play secretary ( she signed the card “ Love, Dad and Ginger”????Thank God she took care of that very tedious job of buying his children Christmas gifts! Or was I more annoyed with her trying to look all warm and fuzzy in search of forgiveness for nuking our family. Both are equally miserable annoyances.
    Not one of the mistress’s care pkgs made it anywhere near our Christmas tree that year.
    In fact, that care pkg was still in my son’s closet at Easter, the brownies and other foods laid untouched, and my other kids just tossed that crap as soon as they opened it.
    We all unanimously and silently agreed, they are a trash couple not worth our time and energies.

  • I have the same problem with my ex fuckwit’s whore, oops “Girlfriend” (yes, I did barf on that a little bit). She is constantly one-upping me with making Valentines for the kids’ classes and sending me insane Christmas gifts, etc. I want this whore to leave me the fuck alone. So before Mother’s Day, I told the fuckwit that I did not want him to send anything with the boys on my day. Thankfully, he respected it. I wanted to punch him when he told the boys to tell me happy mother’s day, but I somehow refrained. I have always re-gifted and donated the other stuff, but I want to protect my peace.

  • For Mother’s Day my ex ( I think at his mums request) wrapped up 2 presents and made the kids give them – so I kept them completely intact and sent them back to him for his Father’s Day ???????? I suspect I will be the bitter one but it did amuse me.

  • Fuckwits girlfriend at the time sent me birthday gifts after Fuckwit really fucked up legally. Idk why but I was a chump and tried to play nice for the kids and sent her a gift as well. Highly don’t recommend because the following happened:

    Fuckwits now fiance did this shortly after a major safety fuckup regarding the kids they brought around and openly used edibles and drank nonstop at my 1 year olds first birthday party I live in state where it’s illegal I told them previously I didn’t want it there. Shortly after they lefts I found pills laying on the ground she lied and said it was her birth control… i had it tested it was an antipsychotic. But I’m the unreasonable one for not being ok with a lush and an addict bringing edibles and pills around toddlers (ages 2.5 and 1). Christmas comes along and she sent a massive USPS package to us full of expensive Christmas gifts and had fuckwit sign the card. I lawyered up and I called the police and she at least stopped sending me birthday gifts. She kept sneaking expensive birthday gifts for the kids through relatives. I broke grey rock to both of them by following the high conflict B.I.F.F recommendations. I told them both in writing that I do not want them sending us gifts anymore as it it just erodes boundaries. I heard fuckwit was upset but so far they have complied.

  • >
    %d bloggers like this: