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Pick Me Dance Fail

I have a dear friend — we’ll call her Lisa — whose father is…. well… a piece of work.

He was a very successful executive, once upon a time, and decades ago, he cheated on Lisa’s mom. And then married the affair partner, after Lisa’s mom dumped him.

Not only did Lisa’s mom dump him, she moved across town with her kids, put herself through school in a new career, and gave up a whole Stepford wife lifestyle. A lifestyle Schmoopie very much enjoyed and flaunted. Lisa’s upbringing was challenging, to say the least. But she grew up to be one of the best people I know — warm, funny, and a super hard worker, successful in her career, a great mom. I adore her.

One time, Lisa had a party to celebrate a big milestone in her life. She invited her dad, who lived several hours away. It was a crapshoot whether or not he’d show. He did — hours late, wearing a florid canary yellow sports coat. A  bit inebriated. But jolly.

So I strike up a conversation with him.

Lisa’s Dad! It’s so good to see you. You must be so proud of Lisa! (I natter on about the success that has brought us here.)

Blank stare. Gives me a wan smile.

Turns toward the charcuterie plate.

Later, he takes selfies, and asks Lisa to take his picture at the party. So he can use the photos in his dating profiles.

(The marriage with Schmoopie by then had imploded, and they were in a long, acrimonious divorce.)

Which brings us to today.

Lisa shared this voicemail her dad left her.

Hi Lisa,

This is your dad.

I’d like to be able to reach… my former wife.

Lisa, uh, Connie… and talk to her some.

Between you and me, I’d like to get back together with her again, and get remarried.

I don’t know if she’s gonna be desiring to do that or not. I would like to talk to her about it. In private. Thank you.

One snag — Connie has been happily remarried for 35 years.

But hey, she WON THE PICK-ME DANCE. Come collect your prize!

Connie is decades into meh. Which brings us to Tuesday: winning is losing the pick me dance.

Lisa’s dad is now many years into terrible decisions. He’s in poor health, lost his home, and essentially eats chaos for breakfast. They don’t get character transplants. But when Connie left him, he was a big deal. To all outward appearances, he was a prize.

Meh is “lose my number.”

Meh is I-am-utterly-mortified-I-ever-knew-you.

Meh is you have zero relevance in my life.

Lisa didn’t share her mom’s number. And maybe her childhood self would’ve wanted her parents to get together, but now? This? Giving a shit walked into the party too late.

Wan smile. Where’s the charcuterie plate?

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  • No words. This may be the fuckwit one day. I told him during the discard that I thought we would spend the rest of our lives together. He said “me too just not right now.”

    • Spoon, your exes remark is lame, superficial, meaningless, cruel. They are idiot sociopaths. Their mothers prob drank when they were pregnant.

    • My FW also said something similar. They really are clueless.

      After I filed for divorce, he told me “it doesn’t matter if we get divorced because I am just going to sweep you off your feet again and we will be remarried someday.” LOL! Let me know how that works out for you.

      • “Sweep you off your feet again…” Wow! I wonder whether my STBX thought that too, but just didn’t say it. She did say “you’re the love of my life” a couple of weeks after D-Day #2, when she was still trying to maintain cake. Abusers actually seem to enjoy the toxic relationship cycle (lovebombing followed by devaluation and discard) because they get to enjoy the mutual lovebombing again at some point, and their toxic shame gets assuaged. To them, each new cycle of lovebombing probably feels kinda like New Relationship Energy–though not enough to keep them from cheating on us with other folks who give them *actual* NRE. Anything for the fresh supply of kibbles, right?

        • I think my FW was addicted to the love-bombing and seduction, and that was part of why he cheats – the new relationship energy fix. I think it was way more that, that and the excitement of the deception, than the actual sex. Because I guarantee he had better sex with me.

          I think he thought he could win me back, seduce me again, because he thought he was “that good” at seduction. Ha!

        • Yes! That is so familiar. We would have these fights where he would say terrible things to me and I’d be like well that’s it, he hates my guts. What are we doing here? And then he’d be sobbing and begging and blaming it on stress or some other BS and telling me how much he loved me and I’d be like wtf? But then he’d be super nice and eventually I’d be like ok, maybe it was just stress. People get stressed, I get stressed, I’d have empathy.

          But then it would happen again.

          The last time it happened before d-day, I sat down and offered him a divorce. I was like, I can’t keep doing this. He cried, begged, left work, pleaded with me, ok well then this needs to stop. Cue about two years later, he comes at me with he hates me, he wants to murder me and he’s been fantasizing about doing it for years (none of his friends have a problem with him saying that to me, that’s normal to them and I shudder to think how horrifying their marriages must be behind closed doors)

          That was it for me, no coming back from that. And he seemed to want it to be over. But then he wouldn’t do anything to file, he wouldn’t do anything to move out, he started coming home from work and acting like everything was normal. Trying to small talk me or joke like we were still a normal couple, like nothing had happened.

          At the time I thought he was doing it just to torment me. Now I wonder if he didn’t mean to push it past the point of no return and thought it was just another cycle.

          • I am so regularly astounded at the similarities they all have. Mine also told me: SecondSelf, I will never divorce you; you are my wife. All the while he’s dating multiple women. What?! Also said to me: If we got divorced, I’d always be pining for you and hoping we would be together again. At the time he said that, we WERE together, and he could have made changes to keep it that way. Such craziness.

        • I never thought about it that way, but you are spot on. They feed off the drama!

          I was still getting the “you are the love of my life” and “my one true love” just a few months ago, almost 3 years out from our divorce being official. I was finally able to block him because the business of the divorce (transfers, alimony, etc.) is done and we have absolutely no reason to ever speak again.

          Ahhhhh. Meh, here I come!

    • Not right now (while I just for strange)…but when I need a nurse and. Purse. You’ll be on my speed dial. All users.

    • In the middle of the worst of the crazy, he was getting ready for a trip (where he would see coworker OW) and he said “we are probably going to have to divorce and remarry later”… presumably his most recent scheme of cake eating.

      The other day, I was entertaining the fantasy of what it would have been like had we divorced and he tried to come around seeking his Plan B only to find Colonel Greatguy in his former house. I regret that in his lifetime, he never had to face that he had overplayed his hand.

      • I’ve been divorced now for 7.5 years from the Fuckwit, so I really am at Meh. So much so that I’m engaged and … ahem… living in sin… in the same house that the Fuckwit had to give me in the divorce. (Rest assured, he got his Lt.Col retired pay in full and our Santa Fe house so he didn’t walk away empty handed.) But this was my dream home and I’m glad that I kept it. About 4 years ago I asked one of my sons if he thought that it bothers his dad that I kept the house. “Oh yeah. I know it does.” And I thought, “Yes!!” as I mentally pumped my fist in the air. Now, it must really irk the shit out of him to know that not only did I get my dream house, but that I now have my new man living here in it. YES!! And I’m actually pumping my fist in the air! My sister says, “Karma is one nasty, vicious bitch.”

        • I truly hope that the house you got is fabulous and Im glad that you got to witness his annoyance (even if by proxy). I hope it bugs the shit out of him that you have a lover there – woo hooo!!! I felt some satisfaction at putting my new name on the deed to my house. New husband has settled very comfortably into it (it is MY investment but OUR home…he rents out his house which pays all the expenses on this house, so we have a good arrangement).

    • The nerve…
      On the day ourdivorce was final, my FW wrote that he would “always love” me. I understood this to be some kind of insurance in case things did not work out for him. Gray rock, of course.

    • The FW said something similar to me. I didn’t pick-me-dance at all, not bragging, just recognized the sparkly turd for what he was on D-day.

      He went through the RIC and told me he thought we could still be a couple but not live together. After many months, after he met a new woman, he still thought he had a chance with me. I had said awful things to him and his deluded ego thought he had a chance?

      He seriously kept coming back to me after I said NO in so many ways, after I told him he disgusted me and I would never touch him. That was before I found CL. I blocked him. Meh is realizing that my life without him is so much better than when I was “so in love” with him. I am who I was always supposed to be, finally, at age 57.

    • Yeah, that whole, ‘I’ll park them here and come back to them later – they’ll be waiting’ thing. So arrogant.

    • we never got around to marrying (he always said he thought marriage was for old-fashioned people, I always hoped we would). on the end day where I left him (after he confessed to sleeping with the OW), he said he always imagined us marrying in the small church where he grew up, and that there would be a small jazz quintet playing music while I walked down the aisle. I found it so cruel that he was breaking my heart, even as he cheated on me, he was dangling the carrot in front of my nose.
      three years later, I am at meh.

  • So after all that he put Connie through, he wants to get back together? Because they were so wonderful the first time around? He’s in deep, deep denial and has wishful thinking to an extreme.

    It must be part of the playbook though. I heard of similar crazy last week from a friend who was contacted by her addicted, homeless ex along the same lines. We were so good together, he said.

    • I had acquaintances say to me “well maybe in a few years, he’ll straighten out and you’ll be back together “, hmmm, no thanks. He’s a late life addict with a gf 33 years younger.

    • “We were so good together” means he misses everything she used to do for HIM.
      These people never ask themselves what value they bring to a relationship.

      • My ex said that. And when he was once trying to tell me all the things he loved/missed about me, it was all things I DID for him, not who I am. That conversation was a turning point for me.

        • I saw the light, that is interesting. Subtle difference but meaningful. I remember while going thru pointless RIC therapy an assignment we had to do that entailed listing the things we loved and respected about each other. What he wrote about me? “l admire your love of the Beatles.” Fuck that shit. Missed the assignment for 30 years. Now he’s in the past tense.

    • UBT of “we were so good together”: I had a good enough life with you back then that you are still Plan B or C!

  • For once I’ll disagree with CL ….. but only a little bit.

    From my perspective, “Winning” isn’t so much when you lose the pick me dance; rather that you start winning when you decide not to play. It’s at that point that you start to exercise your agency and take control of your life and your future.

    LFTT

    PS: It’s also interesting to see that Lisa’s FW father conforms to the stereotype of believing that they are the centre of the known universe. Plot spoiler for all FWs; the universe has no centre so you are not and cannot be it.

    • Maybe they just think they’re the sun in our galaxy and everything revolves around them. I doubt they can conceptualize of any structure that doesn’t have them as a center.

      • Adelante,

        And therein lies the FW’s problem ….. and I stress “FW’s problem” because it’s not (or at least it shouldn’t be) a Chump problem.

        LFTT

      • This, they think that even though you’re remarried and living a damn fine life, that’s only your backup plan, and you’d scurry back to them in an instant if they show interest. At least that’s what they tell themselves. I think in some ways it’s a coping strategy to stop them from the mentally collapsing in on themselves that they would actually do if they admitted to the enormity of their fuckup.

    • I agree. I “won” when I stopped caring about him, schmoopie, and all the rest of it, and focused on my life and where I wanted to be.

    • I agree that winning is when you step away from the weird games and live in reality. I don’t get people who think that they are such outstanding human beings that love interests must be waiting in line to bask in their wonderfulness either.

      I’m loving my single life, frankly.

    • LFTT for the WIN of the day. You start winning when you decide not to play. One of the best statements ever. Glad you are winning LFTT.

      • Lee Chump,

        You are too kind. It was stepping back from the crazy and refusing to play that game that put me on the path to where I am now … winning feels like viewing a house with a view to buying it for myself and my 3 kids.

        Have one guess what I’ll be doing this afternoon. 🙂

        LFTT

  • Watching narc parents implode late in life is awful even if they stay married. My parents didn’t like me until I was in my 50s and had money & a husband in their preferred demographic. Their new-found affection for me is awkward and makes me very uncomfortable.

    • Ditto here 👆🏻👆🏻👆🏻 After decades of abject abuse from cheater narc mom she is recently friendly and clinging to ideas of me as a nurse with a purse. I am kind but I don’t trust her.

      • Do not trust her. Please. Stay at least an arms length away. Most self-centered parents count on their kids to look after them, no matter what hell they have put them through. Because…Family!! My grandmother was like this. So is my Mother. Be kind to yourself. Stay away and stay safe.

      • Yea. I am superficially kind but I trust nothing they say and am extremely wary. Mom was a pit viper but in dementia she is a sweet old lady. I protect myself against the pit viper.

        My parents were always very selfish and materialistic – they managed to sway every interaction with family and friends for them to get but never give. My parents used any and every excuse to avoid me going to a university so I went to a vocational school. I have a vivid memory of hearing mom on the phone with her friend scheming excuses to financially abandon me when I was 17.

        Years later I still have a trauma response…my mind holds an exact memory of the 8 words I heard her say describing her plan.

    • Love, love, love this. We can now use phrases like “going all Prince Andrew”, “taking a page out of Prince Andrew’s playbook”, “pull a Prince Andrew”, etc.

  • They truly believe they are that fabulous, that you will always be they’re Option A, and so they’re happy to always keep you their Option L, M, or Z. Even after 35 years remarried. They are skunks who never stop dreaming they’re peacocks.

    • Of course I mean they believe THEY will always be YOUR option A. Ugh. Had a stress test this morning so no coffee.

      • Funnily enough, I was just sitting here having a memory about my internet dating days in around 2000.

        Not one but two guys asked me – in succession – if I’d be interested in being their fallback position if it didn’t work out with the woman online they were really interested in.

        You know, the one they were currently pursuing in the hope of getting a real life date.

        I remember thinking, Wow. This guy – who is no great prize; just an ordinary guy – has a B list. And I’m on it.

        I’m better educated, younger, and earn more than him – and I’m on the B list.

        Narrator: It was at this point that Lola began to realize that perhaps internet dating was not for her.

        • At least they asked you instead of pretending you were A when you were actually B. That puts them a cut above a FW, which is damning them with faint praise.

          • It speaks volumes that these guys at least letting me know was clearly considered the height of online dating etiquette in 2000.

            It also shows that internet dating has actually gotten worse since then.

            Hard to believe, but there it is.

        • I do some volunteer work locally with women in tough spots, and the quick marriage later in life to someone you met online is becoming a theme. I’m meeting this afternoon with a gal who retired and married a guy she had only seen in person a handful of times. He’s a horror.

          Yes, I’m perfectly fine being single.

        • Internet dating the way it is now, was not a thing in my time. (no internet) However, they did have dating services where you made a video and used a company to make the connections. My best friend who had divorced (before me) used a Christian one. She dated a few times and did meet a great guy. They have been together almost thirty years now.

          When my D hit I just refused to do that. It made me uncomfortable to advertise. I figured if I didn’t meet someone in my day to day life, well then it would just be me. To be fair I worked for DoD, so I knew if I wanted to date I could; but finding someone I actually wanted to spend time with… Honestly in the beginning I couldn’t even imagine trusting another person.

          For folks who want to date, but don’t work or live in large areas, I can see how it can work.

      • My ex tried hoovering me once, expecting me to fall all over him, only for me to ignore and block him everywhere. He quickly gave up, like a reasonable adult.

        Just kidding. He had a meltdown and spent the next 2 years stalking me from every new platform he could find. I never responded. Later found out he traveled a thousand miles away to dig up dirt on me from old Switzerland friends I hadn’t seen in years.

        This was FIVE YEARS after I’d last spoken to him, AND he’d since married another woman. I didn’t know what a malignant narcissist was until I met him. People like this really think you’ll love them forever and they can come back any time. They’re deranged.

    • No kidding! I would love to hear from this guy on how he thought that phone call would go. “Hey Connie, I know you’ve been married for 35 years, but guess what, I’m willing to marry you again. Waddya say?!”

    • Yes! I firmly believe this.

      X thought I’d be comforted when he told me that he thought he’d just stay with me if his affair didn’t work out, as if I’d be happy that he, the peacock, picked me (albeit as second choice). Still, HIS choice!

      His sense of his own specialness is so great that he’ll never get why I wasn’t happy with a silver medal.

      And, if his new marriage with the AP should ever fail, I wouldn’t be surprised if he would think that I would delight in having him back. #delusional #narcsgonnanarc

      • Wow. The sheer arrogance of thinking it was his choice as to whether or not you stayed together, because why would you not want that? He’s Mister Fabulous!

        Mine was the same. He was quite honestly puzzled as to why I wasn’t reassured by the knowledge that he had decided not to leave me after realizing it would not work out with his whore. Now he’s all petulant and miserable because plan B didn’t work out the way he thought it would and he has nobody.
        Boo fucking hoo.

        • My ex told me to my face that he wasn’t going to cut off his friendship with the whore because she was his backup plan in case our wreckonciliation didn’t work out. (Truth was he was still fucking her behind my back.)

          Looking back, I’m appalled that I stayed several months after that admission. All I can say is I was a very different (broken) person then. Me, now, would NEVER put up with that shit.

          • So many people talk about forgiveness, like it’s something you must do.
            The only forgiveness I needed or wanted was for myself and my failure to act like I mattered, even before the first DDay.
            Still working on that, but I’ll get there. Maybe on a Tuesday…

            • Well, I forgave the Fuckwit. I did that for me. I got tired of harboring such intense anger. I forgave myself mostly. I forgave myself for having such low self esteem and not-too-much self love that I allowed some jerk to treat me so badly. Once I realized that my value was not contingent on some fuckwit’s ability to recognize it (or not), I finally understood my problem. That’s when I started to love myself — warts and all. But just because I forgave the Fuckwit does not mean that I’ll have anything to do with him again. I respect myself not to have to put up with fuckwits ever again. Forgiveness does not mean reconciliation.

              • Interesting!

                I just figured out why I’m puzzled by this notion of forgiveness.

                For most people, forgiveness means letting go of anger.

                For me (an atheist now but a product of years of Catholic schooling), forgiveness means giving someone absolution for their wrongdoings. Offenders must confess their sins and ask for forgiveness.

                Big difference.

                And by this religious definition, I can’t see forgiving my x. But I’ve made great strides in letting go. I’m not raging and crying all the time (which was my go-to state for many months after D-Day). I feel at peace (most of the time). I’ve moved on. Some might call that forgiveness, I guess.

              • Spinach this always baffled me too because I understood forgiveness the same way you did. I’m agnostic raised Catholic. I have come to look at it as acceptance. I accept that this bad happened to me at the hands of someone I loved. No way I’d forgive. Ex was never repentant in the “go forth and sin no more” mode.

              • I’m an atheist (raised protestant in a very religious family). For me, I figured I’d forgiven him and the whore when I realized that an apology from either of them would make absolutely no difference in my life. I didn’t need an apology. I was just done with all of it, with him, with them. They became irrelevant. I found my own closure in my knowledge that I’ll never understand them, because I’m not like them. I’m a decent, empathetic person who doesn’t hurt people for their own gain. They are/were selfish, small, and nasty. The whore DID apologize (sort of). I just didn’t care. I never responded to her email. (Though she didn’t actually own up to her actions and it seemed more like an attempt to salve her own conscience, if she has one. So she didn’t deserve a response. “If I caused you pain, I apologize, but…” is not a genuine apology.)

              • Forgiveness is extremely personal and individual, and no one else’s fucking business. You do what is right for you, period.

  • THIS made my day!!! Cheers to meh and Lisa’s mom being a rock star🥳. Isn’t it funny how he can’t even see what a loser he is and called his daughter saying he wanted to remarry her mom like she would be chomping at the bit to have him. What a delusional egotistical hot mess!

    • Another page from cheater playbook…enlist the children to be your flying monkey to execute your delusion.

  • Which of these loser cheaters is NOT a hot mess? Even if they have money, jobs, etc., they are ethics free and characterless cheating lying cowards who are depthless and have no self awareness. There is no animal or insect I can compare them to because they have predictable cycles. How about abberant cancer cells??

    • You’re correct. They’re all f’d up. However, someday I’d still like to see Karma play out big time. Maybe I will, maybe I won’t. It’s great for Connie!!

  • Standard FW operating procedure; when life is getting difficult (due to your own selfishness and stupidity, of course), look for a nurse with a purse. Even if he didn’t know his ex had remarried, the arrogance of thinking she would even entertain the idea after 35 years is off the charts.
    I love a good narcissistic collapse.
    Schadenfreude pie for everyone!🥧

      • I am a nurse and I have a purse. If anything ever happens to Col Greatguy, I wont be marrying again.

    • Schmoopie left my ex after four years (she survived LESS THAN A MONTH in the same house with him, LOL). And then he started inviting me to do activities with him and our kid. Or inviting me to stay to dinner. Calling me to cry about how alone he was.

      I politely declined all invitations. And when he was trying to elicit my sympathy on the phone, I felt NOTHING. I only thought, as if from a distance, “he’s trying to manipulate me”.

      I honestly think he believed he could get me back, so I would come and solve all his problems (mostly financial). What he didn’t count on was that he had killed all my feelings for him. That I had dignity. That I’d grown a backbone and realized my worth. That life with him no longer appealed to me. I was so much happier without him. I don’t flatter myself for a minute thinking that he’d had an epiphany about what a mistake he’d made in discarding me because he truly loved me all along. But I do think that he realized he’d made a grievous error in judgement. Schmoopie turned out not to have the tolerance for abuse he thought she did, nor the loyalty (she cheated on and left her husband for him, I don’t know why he was surprised at her fickleness). Whoops.

      • Good for you! I understand you might have been initially confused (I might have..), but for you to know you’re mighty, and to witness Karma, well I’m glad for you! Tell me, does it give you pleasure, or do you find it sad? Not sad that things didn’t work out with your ex, but sad that he’s still clueless and will always be?

        • He’s dead. His terrible life choices finally caught up with him and he couldn’t face the consequences, so he took his own life.

          It is tragic, in that you never wish a person to reach that bottom. He was my kid’s dad, after all. On the other hand, I let go of my guilt for not seeing the signs in time. He pushed away everyone who really cared about him (me, his parents, his sister) in favor of people who flattered him. When push came to shove, they all let him down. I didn’t find his body for almost a week. I was honestly the only person who noticed he was missing (he stopped responding to text messages, and he didn’t pick our son up at the bus) and I was the only one who went looking for him.

          And I had to accept that some people don’t actually want help. His mom told me “we’ve been trying to save him for years”. I tried too. Honestly, he was never the sort to die quietly of old age. He always said he wouldn’t live past 45, and that’s how old he was when he died. My therapist told me some people have no intention of living and there’s really nothing you can do.

          So no, I don’t take pleasure in it, though I don’t deny my life is much better now that he’s gone.

          I do take some pleasure in the fact that OW lost almost everything. She thought she could waltz in and take the life I worked so hard to build. She didn’t believe me when I said my husband was abusive (not to her, in my court documents) and thought I was just trying to ruin his reputation because I was the bitter ex. She found out the hard way that I was telling the truth. That’s why she eventually left him. She had to leave her job (he worked there too). Since he died without a will and we were still legally married, I got everything, she got nothing. I got some satisfaction from her downfall, as she was horrible to me. I don’t know that she learned anything, but frankly I don’t really care. In the end, she did me a favor. I would probably never had left if it hadn’t been for the affair. As much abuse as I tolerated, cheating was crossing a line for me . I just hope she doesn’t hurt anyone else the way she hurt me.

    • That nurse with a purse thing is REAL in my age demographic (I’m 60). It’s one of the many reasons I stopped doing any online dating. SO many profiles where they actually say they’ve had some sort of major health issue or experienced a disability and want you to wife for them. I mean, if it’s a caregiver you’re looking for, go on a caregiver site, not a dating site!

      • Nurse with a purse is very real. Mid and elder age dysfunctional men often do one of two things when they find themselves alone: a) They’re the purse, so they find a disadvantaged woman who will trade caregiving for financial security, OR ) They’re financially disadvantaged, so they charm and manipulate a potential caregiving woman with money to offer up both.

        • It’s not just elderly men these days. I can’t tell you how many men in their 20s and 30s interrogate me about my salary, hit me up for money or favors, or ask if they could stay with me a while. Men I just met! Lotta guys are looking for a mommy to sleep with. It’s repulsive.

      • I read an article a couple years ago about how older men were bitching and whining that women won’t marry them. Their whole reason for wanting to get married was to have someone to take care of them and the women were like no thank you. We can date but I do not want you living with me and I won’t be your caretaker.

        And the men’s whole argument was literally, “Why won’t these women get married?! I need care!”

        And it’s like then fucking pay for it dirtbags. Why would it be appealing for a woman to get to wipe your ass? That’s not how most of us get off.

        • They don’t care, sadly. 20 years of dating have shown me women evolved thanks to feminism (with the elevated standards to match) and men by and large aren’t keeping up. The latter still want servants, not partners, and act baffled when I don’t leap at the chance to mommy them or appear to have wants/needs of my own.

      • Beth, they want a caregiver who works for free and gives blowjobs. All FWs, not just the ones with health problems, want a Mommy Mcbangmaid.They see no reason why a woman wouldn’t jump at the chance.

        There seem to be two types I’m that age group online; the ones you’re talking about and the ones who are looking for somebody to travel with, play golf with, etc. They don’t like being alone and want somebody to enjoy their retirement with. So both types are looking for an appliance.

    • “Schadenfreude pie for everyone!🥧”

      Yep, you can be at meh and still enjoy a bit of that pie.

      My ex fw didn’t show any concern for me, or any interest aside from a fake come back to use me for a few days to get access to his car. (long story).

      Then after I kicked him out for good; it was 7 or more months that he never called to say are you ok, or drop dead. Then when I went out on my first date he went into overdrive panic trying to bust that shit up. So yeah I think in his diseased mind, I would just dutifully go about my job and spend the evenings reading my books, waiting for him to return. I can only assume he had no idea I had turned down my share of invitations to go out.

      These guys are such flaming assholes, I am surprised more of them don’t spontaneously combust.

      • “These guys are such flaming assholes, I am surprised more of them don’t spontaneously combust.:

        If wishes were horses…..

  • In Detroit, there are scodes of the auto engineers/management class who consider themselves on a different level than the hourly. Their entitlement knows no bounds. The fact that many have MUCH younger second or third wives is not lost on me. It grossed me out my entire life. I never thought a spouse 20 years older was a good look.
    It makes me sort of sick knowing that I became a member of the dumped “fist wife club”. Soooooo cliche

    I do have a solid layer of :meh”, total block out, I have never even saw a photo of my replacement/new wife. They are both trash. I kinda WOULD though, like to know if they ever get a divorce. Knowing how under handed and dirty both played in their first divorces, it would be interesting to see how these types of scum would treat each other in a divorce. My XH abandoned our kids, financially abused me during the divorce (and tried to after) trying to keep all his $$$. I’m sure another divorce would wipe him out.

    Trust me when I say, this story probably plays out more often than you think. Entitled people make terrible partners, TWO entitled people are worse. Trust that they suck.

    • I can’t help but think you’re correct. My ex married his schmoopie (who cheated on her husband of 35 years.) Two older entitled people living in the same house. How awful it must be to wake up next to the person that you thought would be wonderful… and yet it’s the same old thing but with someone else. I’m sure the veils have slipped from their eyes by now and that affair partner isn’t all that wonderful anymore. And I’m absolutely sure they never self-reflect to see that they themselves are really the cause of their own unhappiness.

  • Great post, CL. This sparked joy… ah the schadenfreude of seeing the Cheater get what he deserved — hit repeatedly by the karma bus.

    But…

    My heart goes out to “Lisa.” Even after we’ve all come to terms with our cheaters and reached meh, many of them are parents to our children. And the fact that Lisa had to deal with so much as a child and now 35 years later… it just sucks.

    I’ve been worried about my son for the same reason. He didn’t pick his dad but he’s stuck with the guy I chose badly. The kids still have to deal with their parents even when us chumps get to move on (even if the kids don’t see their FW parent anymore, it becomes something they’ll likely need therapy for)

    I’m sorry Lisa.

    • My daughters dad was a cheater who (for a time) ran off but his big exit was death. I was helping her learn some adulting and I told her that I was sorry that she only had one parent.

      Her response was “no one has 2 good parents…even if they are both alive, one if them is messed up”

    • This is so true. My heart breaks for my son, who really loves his dad. My other kids have already figured their dad out and cut him out of their lives, but my son (who is on the spectrum) keeps believing his dad is a nice guy. Lately, the EX barely even speaks to our son, and I hear him on the phone leaving messages for his dad saying things like, “Why don’t you call me back? Can’t we talk for just a few minutes?” It makes me sad. I wish his dad deserved that kind of love.

    • 2 of my 3 sought therapy, third got it second hand from sis. They haven’t seen their Father in 3.5 years,(there are grands he used to be excited about, before addiction). Kudos to the therapist that said to daughter “ you don’t want to parent your parent” . This daughter felt maybe she hadn’t done enough to get him into treatment. (Failed intervention with me, his brother, friends & personally known physicians). They are busy with careers & children. Hopefully, the contrast to the man he used to be & this guy will make them grateful to the life we had when they were coming up.

  • Even the way he refers to her as “my former wife” is bizarre. Anyone in their right mind would say “I’d like to get a hold of your mom”. Because that’s who she is to Lisa, the daughter he called. “My former wife”…everything revolves around him.

    • I have to admit the reference to “my former wife” made me think, first, that Lisa’s dad was referring to his Schmoopie. Why, I wondered, would Lisa have Schmoopie’s contact information? Because, yeah, like you, I thought he would have said he wanted to get in touch with HER MOM, like a normal person. I think it started to dawn on me that he was referring to Lisa’s mother when he said “Lisa, uh, Connie…”, as if he had to work to remember which name was his daughter’s and which was his ex-wife’s because he’d distanced himself from them for so many years, starting with his infidelity. Or because dementia was setting in, or he was drunk when he dialed. Or some combination of all of the above. A sick, sad message no matter what.

  • This is so timely for me. The EX is making similar weak efforts to get back together with me. He is out of money. He sold our home last November and walked away with $50,000 profit, and he managed to run through ALL of it in six months through a combination of gambling, excessive spending, and not working. Now he has to take on side jobs to make ends meet and he has the sadz.
    I think it is the Peter Pan lifestyle of these cheaters that makes them think they will be young, handsome, and have options forever. When the EX separated from me, he was practically gloating about his new life. He bought an RV to travel as he had always wanted, he got back together with his (married) high school girlfriend over the phone, and he laughed about how I was going to end up depressed, broke, and alone.
    Since then, it has been like watching a train wreck in slow motion. He hasn’t worked much for the past three years. At first, he complained of COVID hurting his business. Then he claimed that God told him to “take a sabbatical and just rest.” (How do you take a sabbatical from unemployment?) He bought his RV, but it has sat unused in storage (for which he pays fees), because he doesn’t actually have the ability to plan and save money enough to carry out an extended road trip. His girlfriend broke up with him after he went to stay a weekend with her. I guess she realized he wasn’t as charming in person. His plans to be a Disney dad (with me doing all the heavy-lifting parenting and him waltzing in for occasional fun visits) imploded when the kids decided they didn’t like him running out on them and refused to speak to him anymore.
    I feel sorry for him, but when I start to feel too bad, I just mentally rehearse all the choices he made that got him where he is. He is jealous of me and my success (good job, good relationship with the kids, good friends, etc), but that is what comes of three years of getting up at 4:30 am for work, picking kids up from school and camp, and generally being a responsible person. When we were married, I shielded him from the consequences of many of his actions, but now I’ve realized that anyone who tries to help this man just gets dragged down with him.

    • “When we were married, I shielded him from the consequences of many of his actions, but now I’ve realized that anyone who tries to help this man just gets dragged down with him.”

      This, exactly. I don’t think he (or even I) realized how much. He relied on other people to keep his life together. He didn’t get rid of me until he had my replacement secured. But when SHE walked out on him (ran, more like), he didn’t have a backup plan, and by then I was no longer an option (I love being single, LOL). His life completely fell apart, and he ended up taking his own life because he couldn’t see a way out. OW was not staying quiet about the abuse she suffered (the way I had, because I was scared of him and had a child custody case and divorce case to deal with). His public image was crumbling. The courts seemed to be favoring me in the custody dispute. He couldn’t manage his money (that was always my job). He couldn’t afford the house he’d rented with OW on his own, and we had sold ours, so he had nowhere to go. He’d cut off his relationship with his whole family and many of his friends. He blamed everyone but himself for his problems. Even in his suicide note. He preferred to die rather than take responsibility for his actions and the hurt he caused.

      I, too, felt bad at first. But in the end, he made the choices he made. He threw away a woman who really loved him and a life we had built, all for a silly, selfish girl who flattered him and happily spread her legs, knowing he was married with a special needs child. She knew me (we were coworkers) so it’s not like she could plead ignorance. And she believed all his lies about me even though I’d always been kind to her. She (sort of) apologized later. I didn’t care one way or the other, but it was mildly satisfying to see her eat humble pie.

      • I keep wondering lately if my ex will go out that way too. Your ex’s story sounds almost exactly like mine. He has always relied on other people to keep his life together. I knew his life would probably go to pieces without me (although I kind of hoped he would pull himself together and do better for his kids’ sake), because he refused to live in the real world–always renting places he couldn’t afford, taking vacations he couldn’t afford, going after women he couldn’t afford, etc. I was the one always taking on extra hours to pay off bills, figuring out how to find a place to live when our home was foreclosed because he was too busy chasing hookers to pay the mortgage, etc. A few months ago, he asked me to help him get his relationship with his kids back. I suggested he write them each a nice letter. No letters have arrived. If I wasn’t going to manage it for him, he couldn’t do it. In the end, he may commit suicide as well. I’ve already decided I cannot prevent that from happening. He would have to want help to get help, and he would have to seek it responsibly, not by demanding hand-outs and life management. And I think he may prefer death.

    • Carol39 – so well said. My ex is jealous of me as well, often saying things like “everything always works out for you, you always end up on top,” as if my tiny pieces of success happened by magic and not working multiple jobs and teaching myself new skills over 15 years.

      He is forever the victim of a story he penned.

    • “Then he claimed that God told him to “take a sabbatical and just rest.” (How do you take a sabbatical from unemployment?)”

      😆 Their delusions and pompous puffery are amusing. Their only value is entertainment value.

    • Oh, Peter Pan syndrome. My ex really loved Peter Pan, it was his favorite children’s book. I didn’t think anything of it. I enjoyed the book. (I know there is messed up stuff concerning the author but I liked the story and the writing style and I knew nothing of the weirdness when I read it.)

      Jump forward 20 years, I found a journal where he wrote letters to Peter Pan. He saw himself as one of the lost boys who would never grow up. I was referenced as Wendy. At one point before I got him the hell out of the house he yelled at me, “You’re embarrassing to be seen with! I have to keep a beard or people think I’m a little boy in high school! Everybody thinks you’re my mom!”

      And I was standing there thinking, wtf? There is so much wtf to dissect in that outburst. Later I was watching youtube and saw a video about Peter Pan syndrome in men and I went ohhhhh…. so many things make so much sense now.

      • Jfc, KatiePig, he sounds deranged.

        I spent so much time trying to understand the fuckwits in my life until the day a dear friend told me, “Stop trying to find logic in lunacy. He’s mentally ill.” That really stopped me in my tracks. These people aren’t playing with a full deck.

    • >“take a sabbatical and just rest.”

      LOL, reminds me of a conversation between my dad and his fuckwit brother…

      My uncle was a disordered wingnut who lived rent-free with his mother for 30 years and spent all that time unemployed. Sometimes he worked under the table to fund his video game habit. He stole money from everyone in the family and finally left town after he burned every bridge and moved in with a new girlfriend who’d happily pay his bills.

      Anyway, one day my uncle has the audacity to say he’s thinking of retiring.

      My dad replied, “From what?” Hilariously, my uncle actually got mad!

  • When I was in college my boyfriend broke up with me and told me that there were at least 10 girls who were much prettier than me who couldn’t wait to date him. When summer rolled around (we lived in the same city), he asked me to be his girlfriend again only just not tell anyone. Friends with benefits only not friends? Uh, no thank you. I guess those ten + prettier girls didn’t work out as he expected. 😀

    • Haha! It’s always that way, isn’t it? In my case, it was my husband who always imagined he was such a catch. He was texting a very pretty college girl who worked for him, and he clearly had a crush on her and imagined them running off together. Then when she went back to college, she stopped texting him. He said mournfully, “I realized that she only texted me to be nice to her boss!” Uh… yeah. Shocker, that one. A 20-year-old pretty girl didn’t want to be with a 55-year-old, overweight, married dude with diabetes and erectile dysfunction. Imagine that.

      • Yep, he did. A few years later he got engaged, cheated on his fiance and then broke up with her right before the wedding, married his AP, cheated on HER, and then married AP#2 and is still married to her. He is head of alumni relations for a very exclusive, private K-12 school and travels all the time with lots of parties and schmoozing of alumni. I’m guessing his OWife either keeps him on a tight leash or looks the other way A. LOT. Either way, I am forever grateful I dodged at least one narc bullet in my life.

        • I just heard two days ago from my son who had a road-trip planned with his dad. The purpose of the trip was to take his household goods to his new home. A Pod would have cost $9K, so instead he bought a used van and hauled his stuff. He had asked his retired dad (the Fuckwit) to make the trip with him. Well…, my son came down with COVID about 10 days prior to the trip. He isolated himself for the 5 days as mandated by the doctor after his symptoms were let up, and continued with the trip. He kept getting texts from his dad’s phone about postponing the trip because it wasn’t safe. He figured out real quick that it was schmoopie making the texts and not his dad. His dad (the Fuckwit) called him back and verbally said that he was going to make the trip with him. So when you say the OWife keeps him on a tight leash, I think that’s got to be the case with schmoopie. Wow!! I was with the Fuckwit for 30 years, I can only imagine that her ‘control’ (something he accused me of doing) must really grate on him. She must keep his balls in a little vial hanging on a chain around her neck and only gives them back to him once in a while. I guess he must have slipped that vial off the chain when she was asleep! I must admit, I wonder if this marriage will last.

  • hes got nowhere to live, he wants to contact her, maybe talk about the good times. i bet hes contacted her on sm and said we should be friends for the kids sake. i bet he did fuck all for his kids.

  • Mine also said something similar about us eventually being together again, which seemed ludicrous in light of ILYBINILWY and plans to have a child with Schmoops. He also said he thought I’d accept Schmoopie as my best friend, and she’d hang out at my house when he wasn’t parading around with her publicly. He described how she and I would sit on the front porch where everyone could see us while he mowed the lawn, something he did NOT even do anymore (he hired a lawn service). No thanks, not interested in a harem role. A friend was with him when he was served with divorce papers, and from what I heard, he was shocked, hurt and offended.
    During the divorce, he was cold, cruel and as mean as possible, refusing to produce required financial paperwork. demanding access to the house, etc. I’m disabled, and discovered he’d stolen my worker’s comp, lawsuit settlement, my business account and joint marital funds, all past the statute of limitations, so no recovery. Then he had health problems, and sent Switzerland friends to tell me he suddenly needed/wanted my “support,” literally at his bedside. I suspect it was for image management and also that he saw me as a nurse appliance (I’m an RN, albeit non-practicing). He was furious when I stayed no contact and he subsequently lied about my personal/pre-marital property in attempts to get my family heirlooms, pre-marriage collections, etc. Then he had more health problems, and sent a few remorseful texts and phone calls. He emailed me, copying his attorney, that he wanted to change his beneficiary back to me. I have no idea if he did. In the three years it took to finalize our divorce and grandchild custody, he had at least four “sole mates,” “love(s) of his life” and “life partners.” He’s gone from powerful to pathetic. There’s still an outstanding debt he’s supposed to pay, but hasn’t, so I’m still paying my atty to force compliance. Per HIS atty, he’s declining and in poor health physically and mentally.
    Boo hoo.

    • My ex similarly made strange comments about wanting me to be friends with OW, or that we could maybe all be one big happy family (sister wives?). Even weirder was a letter I found that OW had written him near the beginning of their relationship where she thought he should tell me about her and we could all be friends because I “seemed to be having a good time” when we were all together. Which just proves I am a better actress than I thought, because I was MISERABLE and angry on the night she was referring to. My ex also told me of some occasion when OW was at my house (MY house, ugh) looking at my bookshelves and lamenting that she and I couldn’t be friends.

      I honestly don’t know how these people function in their absolutely delusional view of the world.

      Your ex sounds heinous. I hope you got everything you deserve and get back everything he stole from you.

      • I’m watching a documentary series about a polygamist sect in the US (note how neatly I’m avoiding promoting the thing!) and at the moment comments like yours fill me with bitter, misandrist rage.

        Enjoy, trolls.

      • Thanks so much. Heinous is right. Unfortunately, it was past the statute of limitations so I couldn’t get any of it back, and he changed financial advisors/investment firms, every few years, so there was no way to track what he did with marital funds, short of a very expensive forensic accountant. He also stole my grandson’s inheritance, and we couldn’t get that back either.

        Yes, the “we could be best friends,” lament. At least there was never anyone in my house looking at my stuff. Cheaters love to violate personal boundaries.

    • You and she were to be best buds hangin’ out on the front porch, eh? Thoughts he had with his dick in his hand.

  • Mine is an aerospace engineer and at the top of his career. His title sounds more lucrative than he really is but a nice way to snag greedy schmoopies. I met him when he was nothing but a xerox repair man. Went through lean hard times. I have held some boundaries in that I haven’t lived with him for over three years. Now I’m sending I am in the phases of the final discard although he says no matter what I will always be HIS wife. They never let go I guess in their mind part of their possession. It hurts that the life at my age should of been one of travel, family, and rest instead of the unknown. That a Schmoops will get what I should of had so this post today helps tremendously.

    • Seeing the whore walk away with what I had actively in the community and in politics helped him attain was indeed painful and infuriating.

      I had no way of knowing that before long he would crash and burn. He lost his promotion, his cushy office and his influence in the community. I have never been sure of when they married, but given the timing and some incidents I believe he was busted in rank right after they married. I suspect the mayor wanted to assure no lawsuits from a dumped whore so he held out until they married. The write up in the local paper was the demotions of the two recently promoted captains was due to realignment, but everyone knew exactly why.

      Then he went on to cheat on her while he was still working. Then a few years down the line retired early and bought into a business. He evidently had been gambling and by the time my son found out he had amassed almost three hundred thousand dollars in gambling debt. Lost everything, filed bankruptcy.

      I only know of a lot of this because my son told me. Oh by the way he and the whore blew up his relationship with our son.

      So hang in there, and even if you don’t get to see or hear of it; as CL says, they don’t get character transplants and most will continue making one bad decision after another.

      The very wealthy can get away (at least on earth) with a lot of this shit; but the average Joe, not so much.

    • These were my thoughts, too, before finding chumplady.

      Hold strong! I think what you will find as the story plays out – is that YOU were the the thing you are looking for. He was always tagging along, sucking the energy and life force out of you, creating extra work and struggle for you as he enjoyed watching you in pain and disappointment. You were mistakenly, or compassionately?, giving him credit for the life you were building together, etc.

      He was never building. He was whining and dragging you down like a pouty two year old. And getting his jollies out of it.

      You have already created that life of travel, family and rest. He and schmoops will fuck it up – what you built and had to hand over to him in the divorce court. They are all happy, happy today because they believe they are at the beginning of this great life. He believes he created it because you were his cheerleader and giving him credit for things he wasn’t doing.

      In reality, they have been handed once last chunk of your great life and there is no more of that coming to them. They’ll waste through that quickly. You are the creative force of love. You will very quickly build again, this time knowing it is you all along. This time, your bucket won’t have a gaping hole in the bottom.

      It’s been two years for me since D-Day. I wish you all the best to come! Build it! It gets easier every day. Build it for only one – just you. It’s almost effortless because you’ve been conditioning all these years carrying an extra 200 pounds of dead weight.

  • My contribution to the crazy:
    My former H ran into one of my co workers in a store and coworker awkwardly acknowledged our split, to which X said: “Tell her it doesn’t have to be forever.”
    At the time time this happened it really set me back.
    Now, upon reflecting on it, I’m actually stunned.
    As I’ve mentioned here before, he moved in with AP same night I asked him to leave.
    Can’t figure out which one of us was Plan B!

  • Just wondering. Sorry for temporarily hijacking the theme of the post today. He called me just now as he was getting a ride from my grown daughter since his car broke down. I know in the past he “acted out” sexually fantasied about her when she was a teen (maybe even now???) and masterbated to her as he ‘was’ (in his words) a hypersexualized sex addict and everything was on the table if done only in his mind and in his words not hurting anyone. I have never told her about this aspect of his sex addiction not to ruin her relationship with her dad. Should I tell her or am I hurting my daughter unnecessarily? My children have told me they don’t want to hear anything about the sex addiction because they don’t want to think of their dad in that way.

    • As always TELL
      TELL a chump who doesn’t know
      TELL a child who needs to understand; it can be age appropriate.
      Why would you send your child grown or not into that situation without warning. She doesn’t want to think of her DAD that way? Maybe she should stay away from him then!!! You didn’t want to deal with being a chump either, but REALITY is REALITY.
      TELL her and let her as a GROWN woman deal with that reality. You can offer support, and you don’t have to press it over and over, but she needs to know.

    • You should tell her because if she knew, she likely wouldn’t consent to give him rides. She may also have memories or experiences you don’t know about that will suddenly make sense to her.

      You wouldn’t be ruining their relationship, he ruined it long ago, and doesn’t deserve her love of support.

      I was molested by my biological father – it is sadly much more common than people think.

      If she has a therapist I would meet with the therapist and then in the therapists office together. No matter what a mental health professional should be involved.

    • I’ll add – you can also frame it as a question. “Did dad ever touch you, or do you have any memories of him being inappropriate?”

      You can then add “I ask because, I know you don’t want to know the “sex addiction” and we don’t have to go into detail, but he said inappropriate things about you that have always haunted me.”

      • @Anon
        I agree with this method. And I agree that she should know. We all deserve to know the truth, and with that knowledge make appropriate decisions.

      • That’s a good way to put it, Anon. If she phrases it that way rather than outright telling her the FW had a sexual obsession with her, it will be less traumatizing.
        So I vote yes to that, but no to giving the gory details.

      • I have already asked awhile back and my daughters told me he never did anything inappropriate to them. I warned them at that time to also be careful as their children grow up. I’m glad I covered these bases already without direct trauma details that would hurt them. On top of it he is always vague and would deny.

    • This comes down to their safety though, doesn’t it? I understand kids don’t want to think about their parent’s sexuality, but I don’t think you are wrong to let them know that he had very inappropriate thoughts about them, and they need to be aware of this so they can set their own boundaries for their safety. Also, what if your kids have kids, do you want your grandchildren left alone with grandpa, not knowing he has had sick fantasies like that?

    • I think it might traumatize her to know that. But I would tell her to be careful around him.
      He is most likely not a sex addict, btw. That’s extremely rare and extremely debilitating. They can’t live a normal life. Fuckwits often declare themselves sex addicts to avoid being accountable for their choices. He is, however, a sexual deviant, and a horrifying one.
      Are you sure he never sexually abused her? Have you asked?

    • You need to tell your children he is a pedophile so they can protect any children they have or plan to have, or their friends’ children.

      He’s an incestuous pedophile who fantasized about sexually abusing them. That’s a need to know thing for them. You can tell them, “I’m so sorry I have to tell you this but you need to know to keep children away from him if you are going to have him in your life.” Even if they get mad and yell at you over it, you have to do it so they know. They need that information, if they choose to ignore it and get a child molested, that’s on them.

      I know it’s hard. I had to have this talk with my son. I’m sorry you have to deal with it too.

  • I won the pick-me dance by walking away. I won the pick-me dance by choosing me: my dignity, my sanity. My ex has made a couple of half-hearted attempts to hoover, which I either shut down immediately, or just plain didn’t respond. I have no doubt, however, that he still thinks he’s the cat’s meow in my life, because he thinks he’s the cat’s meow, period.

  • I needed this today! FW LOOKS like a prize right now… and I look like I’m floundering and incredibly worried about what the future holds. Well, in all honesty I AM floundering and I AM incredibly worried.

    But *THIS* is what I need – a reminder that he is NOT a prize. That he is a horrible person who cares only about himself and his own pleasure. That my kids are better off seeing the destruction HIS choices have caused our family. I am a person of character – generous, loving, kind, full of grace and integrity – a wonderful person who he lost the chance to have in his life.

    • Waiting for Tuesday,

      You already know that he is not the prize ….. in time (and I hope sooner rather than later) you will come to understand that YOU are the prize.

      It does get easier.

      LFTT

  • Winning is losing the puck me dance. I never thought about it that way before. I did a quick pick me dance due to not wanting the break up of my family and wanting my childrens dad to still be there for them. But I lost that dance contest so really I won. I love this outlook. Pass me a cheese cube on a toothpick please.

  • It strikes me that Daddy Dearest was sloshed when he left that message, on something, booze most likely, OR – and this is not to excuse him for a moment – he’s got a touch of dementia by this point and the filter is totally gone, which is sometimes how it starts. Which would be sad, because dementia is a terrible thing, so I hope it’s not that, but I don’t hope it’s not that THAT much.

    I hope Lisa is able to not get sucked into any elder care for the man, is what I’m saying, because that’s coming down the pike, with a healthy dollop of ” I HAZ SUCH A SAD, WOE IS ME!”. Oh yes, it’s coming.

  • OMG. This was my grandfather. He cheated on my grandmother for decades. Gave her STIs that lead to PID and early menopause. After his death thanks to DNA my mom and her sister have found 4 siblings, conceived and born during his marriage to my grandmother. Thank you 23andMe and Ancestry. Said to my mom in his 80’s, I think I should have stayed married to your mother. My mom just looked at him and walked away muttering, what a stupid fucking idiot.

    4 siblings! And that is just people who have taken DNA tests. Imagine if only 10% of all the people in the areas where he lived took a test. That leaves 90% who did not take a DNA test! I could have aunties and uncles all over the place !
    For those curious:
    #1 results of him having an affair with a young woman in 1945 who had no idea he was married with kids and she thought they were getting married
    #2 the result of an affair with his best friend’s wife who pawned the child off as her husband’s. She knew she didn’t look like any of her siblings so she tested.
    #3. Chooses to remain anonymous
    #4 result of an affair he had with a young widowed mother of 3 who thought he was separated from his wife. She thought they would get married. Once she told him he never spoke to her again. Put the baby up for adoption since she was widowed and had 3 little kids. That child found my grandfather later in life and he told her how dare you call me and cussed her out. She found us through 23andMe and we welcomed her(and the others) with open arms. I have gained numerous aunties and cousins. #4 is almost exactly my age. I am the 4th grandchild. My grandfather was a horrible human being.

  • Wow! He actually thinks he has a chance with her! That’s the delusional entitlement issue behind all of this. He actually thinks he can start up where he left off.

  • what a fantasy these folks weave around their attractiveness and ability to attract partners, old and new. their heads are full of images. they’re running personal IMDb’s full of material that i cannot access. but i do wonder. things seem to real to these folks. i mean, i can appreciate how things can seem real when they’re not–i once ran out of an afternoon matinee showing of THE NUTTY PROFESSOR (the one with jerry lewis) when the professor goes through a scary transformation? it seemed so real to me–i think it was the fangs–but i quickly changed my mind, in the light of the afternoon sun.

    i was eight years old and could contrast reality versus fantasy.

    and now i’m a 57 year old chump and my fantasies involve settling into my rental home with my kids and how best to set up the living room furniture. i am not fantasizing about someone i saw on the bus, the woman two tables over who is mysteriously drinking hot coffee with a metal straw, or the barista with the waxed moustache who always turns up the techno.

    this executive is running clips of a romantic encounter with his ex-wife, but doesn’t realize that the film equipment is outdated and there’s no more film available anyway, too expensive, and the guy who did the splicing has long retired and there’s no one to take his place at the editing table. and hollywood is dead.

  • I love this! He didn’t keep in touch enough to know that his ex has been happily married for 35 years–or almost what her name even was, but “hey, I’m such a prize, I just know she will jump at the chance to have me back, if it wasn’t for my stupid daughter not passing my message along…”

    God the nerve of these fuckwits!!

    • “I don’t want to make any commitment to you but I still see you as a valuable resource pool. If you turn me away, I’ll put my sad face on and declare that I at least tried. Because feelings are of paramount importance to me all of a sudden.”

  • At least once a day, I find myself thinking, “I wish I had the hubris of an ugly man”.

    I dunno what this guy looks like, of course, but he is of ugly character so it counts.

  • My parents were so shocked when I told them that even if my ex grew as a person and stopped being horrible and doing horrible things, that I still wouldn’t entertain getting back with him. As though I owed another try to him, no matter the damage he caused the first time. As though I had no right to consent, to choose my companions.

    Sadly similar to the thoughts of FW’s. “If I think I deserve another chance (to abuse you) then you are obligated to give it to me no matter how awful I was to you!”

    Hopefully I get to the same place as Lisa…uh, Connie, and just press delete, hard pass, turn away, and not have it rattle a single fight-or-flight neuron in my brain. Work in progress.

  • So funny, they really all have the same playbook. I identify with so many of the stories in the commments. I actually left FW first (I couldn’t deal with the mindfuck, although at the time I couldn’t really pinpoint what was going on), and he asked for me back. Then three weeks later he discarded me. His explanation was “I am not 100% with you and therefore I can’t be with you right now”. I couldn’t believe it when I heard it, still can’t believe it almost 3 years later. So I said “No, you can’t be with me, period.” Mind you, I didn’t feel that way at all, but my mind kind of went into “protection now, think later” mode. In my mind I wondered “so there’s a timeline here”. So I asked him why the hell he had asked for me back, and he said “because I wasn’t well, but now I am”. So I asked him if he wanted a nurse. He said of course not.

    I said good luck when he left. Because I knew the kind of turd he had chosen.

    In the three weeks we between my leaving and the discard, he asked to buy a second car. He had been on sick leave for more than a year at this point and while I make enough money, it’s not so much that I can simply decide to buy a car without saving for it.

    Nurse with a purse indeed. While I still grieve the loss of what I thought I had, I can’t helo but be happy and relieved that he showed his true colours.

    He now has a girlfriend in the street down below from my place.

  • Wow. They really don’t ever change or grow in any way. He really thinks there’s a chance she’ll dump her husband and go back to him after he threw her away like garbage and treated her like dogshit for so long… That’s what really blows my mind. They think so highly of themselves they think they can abuse people and we’ll be so happy to go back and get abused again. Like it’s a honor.

    I guess that’s narcissism though. Jeepus, I grew up with an antisocial PD dad and a borderline and histrionic PD mother but I wasn’t familiar with the narcissism flavor. Good thing I married one to complete the set. I thought I could spot a psycho but this was a whole new kind for me and slipped under my radar.

    I hesitate to say no one can fool me now because if I do, I’ll probably encounter a fucking cannibal or something else completely different but horrible. Golly gee life, you sure do keep it interesting!

    • I always enjoy your morbid sense of humor. This reminds me of a meme I saw recently that was something along the lines of:

      Me in my younger years: “I hope something good happens.”

      Me now: “I hope that when something bad happens, it’s at least funny.”

      I mean, if we can’t laugh, we cry.

      (I am in full on stay away from everyone mode right now when it comes to romantic relationships…)

    • “I hesitate to say no one can fool me now because if I do, I’ll probably encounter a fucking cannibal or something else completely different but horrible.”

      😂😂

      Me too.

  • My FW didn’t want to lose me- he just wanted to keep his side piece and be married to me. He offered to be with me 3 or 4 days a week and then he’d be with her the rest of the time. That was the deal on the table for me. Um, no thanks! So I’ve often wondered if he’d ever come back around but there’s been no sign of him so I don’t think so. He was pretty bitter that I didn’t go for being the appliance wife on the side and he fell deeply into victim mode. He was shocked when he felt the full force of my boundaries. If he ever did have the guts to come back, I’d enjoy saying no a second time!

  • I’ll give ol’ CheaterDad this: he’s got big brass balls to leave that voicemail.

    Note also that trying to be kind to include her dad in a milestone celebration and what she gets in return is the gobsmacking level of entitlement represented in that voicemail. They don’t change, for sure.

  • The levels of delusion here are off the charts, but pretty typical for the typical narc cheater. My dad is of a similar ilk, except you can tell that he has regrets.

  • My cheater-ho EXW of 2+ decades told me “I Love You But Not In Love With You”….in 2 months she rapidly filed for divorce with no explanation….and 5 months after that I left the marital home.

    Though I asked when I got ILYBNILWY if she was cheating, she denied (multiple times). Anyway, I did RIC on my own, offered separation, lost 40 lbs, blamed myself and got blamed….blah blah chumpy blah. Found out the truth about 6 months after. She basically had been screwing a coworker the entire time.

    After I found out the truth (and probably too early) I started dating. I met someone and moved in with her. My STBX had no idea.

    So, now about 10 months after her cheating started, my STBXW wanted to meet me at a restaurant. She had found out that I had moved in with someone. Well woudn’t you know it…..she dressed all dolled up. After about 15 minutes I could tell what this was about…….her……she actually told me after I moved out she missed me and thought we could date.

    Let me write that again……SHE THOUGHT WE COULD DATE…..AFTER SHE CHEATED ON ME AND FILED FOR DIVORCE

    I had to remind her that she had lied to me, cheated on me, admitted it to the kids, and destroyed our family. I asked her who the hell thinks it’s a good idea to get divorced and immediately date each other? I asked her why she would think I was good enough the 2nd time around when apparently I was not the first time?

    She texted me afterwards “I could tell by the look in your eyes that you no longer had feelings for me”. Not once did I ever hear “I’m sorry for cheating on you” or “sorry for hurting our children” or “How are you doing”….Nope.

    It was all about HER and she had a sadz that my eyes where not reacting to her as she thought they should.

    WHAT THE ACTUAL FUCKITY FUCK?

    I came to find out that she got dumped and ghosted by the sex-in -the-hotel-room bro-worker…..it all made sense to me then……I was Plan B (and I probably was a few year prior when we went to marriage counseling…just didn’t know it then).

    I quickly informed her I was nobody’s Plan B and would never be.

    Still, to this day (over 3 years)….not one apology or ounce of remorse.

    Try to wrap your head around this…..(better off sticking it in a blender)

    BTW…..within about 3 years she has expressed to me and 2 other people (You are the Love of My Life)…..what a lucky woman she is to have found 3 Loves of Her Life in 3 years!!!!

    • These fuckwits are so utterly disordered. And predictable. I guess superficial and self involved is simplistic and that’s why they all act the same. I’m so sorry. They are failures at being human

  • These narcissists just don’t get it. They are always looking for attention. My ex repeatedly tries to contact the kids (grown adults with their own families) and me, using various methods and various people to try to get to us. We have been no contact for years. He’s 1000 miles away in an assisted living facility. I have apologized to my kids for ever getting involved with him, resulting in him being their “father.” He was really nasty to us and abusive. He cheated through the entire 25-year marriage, I discovered after the divorce. He wasn’t interested in any contact when he was healthy and working – too busy chasing and catching women, fun cruises and travel, and gambling himself into bankruptcy. But -surprise- now that he’s totally ruined and in bad health, he does.

    We don’t. He has reaped what he has sown. This week he’s left me a voicemail, all sad sausage, to remind me it’s our 40th anniversary, sob sob. He still loves me, sob sob. He regrets what he did, sob sob. Wanted to leave his phone numbers so I could call him anytime, sob sob.

    He left us in 2004 (yes, 18 years ago). The divorce, which he prolonged to try and impoverish me and the kids, was final in 2007. He owes me a huge amount of court-ordered $$$ that I will never be able to collect since he went bankrupt and actually snuck out of state years ago.

    There is no anniversary, you Cluster B idiot. All I want is what you owe me, in a big fat cashier’s check. I won’t even charge interest if you’d just bring your account balance current. I could retire!

    Anyway, we all moved on and are so thankful he is gone. It was a blessing, although it didn’t feel like it at the time. My only regret is that I actually thought I would collect the spousal support in the court order, since it was tied to him keeping his law license. I didn’t anticipate how much his life would implode without me to do the adulting and caretaking.

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