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UBT: ‘He Hurt You, Not Me’

Dear Chump Lady,

Your blog has saved my butt and brought me up from the way dark hole. And I thank you. However, today one of my closest friends, when I confronted her as to why she was still chatting with the ex on social media, told me: “He hurt you, not me” and then hung up.

I have to say that hurt just as much as finding the ex hanging out in his underwear next to Schoompie.

So, how to deal with the so-called friends that still think the abusive narcissistic is a great guy? This is a 15-year friendship. I know. Sisters should have my back. It’s a small town.

Just smh after Tuesday

****

Dear Smh,

It should hurt her to hurt you.

It should hurt her that he hurt you.

Is that hard? She might need an easier companion. Perhaps one she can blow up with a bicycle pump. Or craft from a sock.

I have no needs.

Clearly, having your back is too much for this woman. I wouldn’t trust her with your left earlobe.

I took the liberty of feeding “He hurt you, not me” to the Universal Bullshit Translator.

“He hurt you, not me”

Your pain is very inconvenient. Did you see that cute hedgehog video he posted?

“He hurt you, not me”

I’ve been fucking your ex-husband for years.

“He hurt you, not me”

Don’t give me your chump cooties. I’m allergic to vulnerability.

“He hurt you, not me”

I’m the special one he does not hurt.

“He hurt you, not me”

You can’t expect me to take sides. Because cheating on you is like spilling wine on the sofa. I’ve never invited Marcy back after she spilled wine on my sofa. But you still talk to Marcy.

“He hurt you, not me”

Had he hurt cute hedgehogs, I might’ve started a gofundme. But he hurt you. Whatevs.

“He hurt you, not me”

Me. Me mememmemememe me me me MEeeeee.

“He hurt you, not me”

I enjoy hurting you too.

“He hurt you, not me”

You’re just bitter because he strips down to his skivvies with other women, whereas I rise above such petty provocations and enjoy the warm glow of my own self-regard.

“He hurt you, not me”

He is my friend. You’re my friend, the killjoy.

“He hurt you, not me”

I freebased an Esther Perel talk.

“He hurt you, not me”

My nostrils are burning.

“He hurt you, not me”

Can you give me a ride to the airport? #friends

Ask Chump Lady

Got a question for the Chump Lady? Or a submission for the Universal Bullshit Translator? Write to me at info@chumplady.com. Read more about submission guidelines.
  • Tracy, this is golden stuff. I recently had to employ this process (but it wasn’t as snarky as the UBT). Sometimes we don’t notice for a long time how self involved and superficial many people in our lives are until something like this happens and the very red flag goes up. It just takes one little flag to let you know you’re dealing with an untrustworthy fuckwit. Run away from her. Let the hang up call be your guide.

  • Yeah, this is not friend behavior. The betrayals of such “friends” is some of the hardest parts when dealing with a cheater, imo. At least, you know who she is, now. You get decide if you waste any more effort towards that “friend.”

    • This is true about all the behavior of all your friends, not just anyone who is friends with your cheater.

      Watch their behavior and pay attention to what they say. Behavior is a light into someone’s soul.

      The road to happiness and peace is often littered with past relationships that don’t measure up to your own values and beliefs.

      There are great people out there waiting to be found!

      PS – the line about a ride to the airport is priceless ❤️

      • 100% Rebecca. After dragging myself out of the ashes of the discard, and realizing the importance of boundaries, I’ve had to let a number of friendships go. It hurts a lot at first, but I realized chasing the approval / validation of friends would have been more painful in the long run. It’s slow going in the Covid era, but cultivating friendships with better values is more rewarding.

      • I am imagining her he standing at the curb wearing a really cute traveling outfit and all her luggage. Just slightly concerned about the time when the call comes. “Friend, I am not going to to take you to the airport this morning. After all, this hurts you and not me.” CLICK!

      • The line about the ride to the airport – whew! Got my eyes watering. The snark here on CL (see above) is so validating – and epically funny – but the dark reality of this particular post is all wrapped up in that last line for me. Thinking someone had your back, reflecting on years of history and rapport together, feeling such intimacy with a close friend, going through hard times together – only to realize one day that all you are to them anymore is a hitch to the airport. The sensations of absolute rejection are unreal.

        • When we hesitate to leave FWs, I’m sure they think it’s only them we fear losing. But the fact is that FWs have a gravitational pull for other FWs and– considering how typical it is to lose friends or even family members to TeamFW after separation– I think we all instinctively fear the rest of the fallout and watching other parts of our lives explode. So, no, it’s not that we solely fear losing sparkledicks and sparkletwats: we fear having to witness all the remaining rats running for the cheese.

          I can remember envisioning who and what else I might lose before finally throwing in the towel. Who was a false friend? Who was only friends with me because they’d assigned value to me based on my marriage or thought they could get something out of it? How would people start treating me when I was single again? I admit it made me pause. When we’re in shock, can we be forgiven for wanting to forestall further shocks?

  • She is not your friend. Her words and her actions show who and what she is.You don’t need these types of people in your life. Dump her, dump her now.
    You are probably a really good person, try to make some friends who treat you with dignity and respect. This creature obviously is not treating you right. There are good, honest, loving people out there who will have your back. You need to take the first step and find them. Obviously this one just wants to rub salt in your wound.

  • Nearly all our friends acted like this. People I’d known 10, 15 years. I cut every last one of them out of my life. My life is much better for it. They were never friends in the first place.

    • Same. Every single mutual friend. I had one tell me I was wrong about the things I told her he said to me because he wouldn’t say that. I said well, he did. So she says oh well then you shouldn’t believe it because he doesn’t mean it.

      Oh, how would you know that?

      Oh, well she talked to him! And you see he would NEVER lie to her. Sure, he lied to me about all kinds of things but HER?! Never, I should just take her word for it because of course he’d be honest with her so she knows better than me what I really went through during this divorce.

      I just feel sorry for her husband.

            • Oh, I have all the proof I needed to cut her out of my life, and I have cut her out. But nobody we knew (including her husband) is going to believe me so there’s nothing I can do about it. I’ve already been painted as crazy and bitter and the smear campaign has been very effective. At this point I could probably show a video of them fucking and people would shake their heads and say it’s sad I’ve resorted to doctoring footage.

          • Even if there was no toinking, it sounds like there was icky juvenile crushing going on. It’s really gross having to think of Swiss friends jerking off to cheating exes and cheating exes being able to basically cull all our loser fair weather friends just by batting their eyes and sexing it up a bit. Just ew.

            I used to watch throw-back cartoons as a kid and was a Loony Tunes fanatic. The Foghorn Leghorn series had this misogynistic character of Miss Prissy, the spinster chicken. May the gods of feminism forgive me but sexually frustrated frenemies and attention hogs with no integrity act just like that. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=9MrCLKhJ–A

  • I had a “friend” who decided not to choose sides. And when I confronted her on it she laughed and said “my husband says I have no empathy for others.” And DING! that was it for me. She was laughing and sharing that her own husband pointed out how cold hearted she is. Thanks for self-identifying. I cut her off and cut her out of my life. Buh bye. She didn’t choose sides? That’s ok… I can make the decision.

    • When narcissists tell the truth…. I had a friend who was very cruel to me despite me being as much there as I possibly could during a very difficult time in my life. When I confronted her with it, with tears in my eyes, she looked me dead in the face and said, “I have no feelings. I don’t feel anything for your tears. Maybe something is wrong with me.”

      Yes….

      I’m a slow learner but I am learning to listen when people tell you the truth.

    • I think of it more like enablers 100% choose a side – that of the abuser. That’s what makes their behavior so galling.

      • I’ve told the story several times but it illustrates what you’re saying. When I prosecuted a workplace stalker, half the team at work sided with me and the other half sided with the stalker, even those who hadn’t previously liked or respected him. Probably because I studied behaviorism in college, I had a few morbid theories about the turncoats and I actually interrogated them. I mean I was blunt about it: how did you grow up? Did you witness domestic violence as a child? Did you experience sexual abuse or abandonment? Etc.

        They couldn’t possibly have thought I was just making a warm and caring inquiry but weirdly they all spilled the beans. Turns out every enabler had grown up with serious abuse. As it happened, a few of my supporters had also experienced childhood trauma but they had processed it in a vastly different way. To the enablers, abusers always win so that’s who you side with in a standoff. They habitually go into a boxer’s clinch with the most dangerous monkey in the room thinking that’s what one does to survive. But to the allies who’d also gone through hardship early in their lives, the lesson they’d learned is that abusers wither and fail and it’s better to side with victims-cum-survivors.

        From that point on, I figured that survival sends ripples. It can be fun to “correct” the misapprehensions of negative bystanders about who really wins these smackdowns.

  • My x kept telling our young adult children, when they’d express their anger and sadness at the demise of their family, that he’d “betrayed your mother” but not them, that “her anger doesn’t matter” and that they “haven’t had any changes.” Well, other than losing the only home they’d ever known, hearing that their father is going to “our” restaurants with a methed out looking prostitute, and getting their feelings shot down by him every time they’ve tried to bring them up. “It’s water under the bridge.” He fails to see/acknowledge his actions have hurt them. “You mother is telling you to be angry.”

    My x in-laws, “I only believe 50% of what each of you says,” and “we love you both and won’t take sides” (as they invite the cheater over weekly for lunch and dinners because they think he’s sad and lonely.) The incongruity of their words vs actions is stark: they accept him no matter what.

    • Faithful, my in-laws were so cruel to me after D-Day. But reading your post, I had to stop and think, maybe it was a blessing in disguise. I was spared the BS you got.

    • The ex, the whore and her son spent Thanksgiving at my MIL’s house three months after Dday and we were still married albeit in the process of divorce. Yes, after 36 years of putting up with him and his narcissist mother.

    • Yes, I certainly agree with cutting off friends and extended family who don’t get it. To do otherwise, I think, is pain shopping. My challenge is to hear, “He hurt you, not me,” from my adult children. We are only eight months into divorce, so I keep my mouth closed. They know better, but must need the denial to cloak the pain and get on with their lives. Still, it’s tough not to want to scream about what’s going in the divorce and to unload the sordid facts. It’s difficult to watch the happy charade of dutiful father continue. Ugh.

      • I am so sorry. As a young adult I did this to my Mom. She was trying to be stoical, but shared some of it; I was too ignorant of life to draw the right conclusions; and I didn’t want to lose my Dad, with whom I’d enjoyed some special things in common, and who as a father was “not all bad.” I only now understand the full depth of his cruelty, including how he enjoyed surreptitiously playing off his replacement wife against me and my brother, almost to the last day of his life, causing us both so much pain. I hope your young adults achieve clarity sooner than I did, and I want to apologize on behalf of all of us who have had trouble letting go of delusions in similar situations.

        • CED, I was delusional for over thirty years, so how can I possibly blame them? Your post means a lot. Thank you.

        • Thanks for this Cake Eater. I’m going through this now with my daughter. My ex, I’ve posted about here many times, was living a double life for a long time, was brainwashing me, stole marital assets and then ultimately ended up with a young client from our work who is his sex slave/gimp. He lost his job and nearly killed the business on his way down. BUT, all of a sudden my daughter thinks he’s fabulous. He didn’t pay child support so I negotiated a lump sum deal when I bought him out of the house. He won’t pay for anything even when our daughter asks for money. He lives with the sex slave but she goes out of town when my daughter visits him- he has to hide her I guess. I’m assuming this is to save face even though my daughter knows that he cheated and knows they live together. He left town and he never ever took care of any of the mess he made. He never once helped my daughter or did anything to help us with the pain. His abuse of me ramped up after I kicked him out of the family home because I said ‘no’ to his offer of keeping me and the side piece gimp as part of our family. But, my daughter thinks he’s great and refers to his apartment in another city as her “second home”. She’s defensive of him because, after all, he pays for her flights 🙄. It’s so painful but I just bite my tongue. She has no idea of the depth of his sexual depravity, the abusive way he treated me (and others) and the financial devastation.

          • I’m not sure that I should say this…I don’t want it to come across wrong…but part of me wonders if daughters should be told about what their fathers did…if not only to prepare them for their own marriages…and to make sure that they have their own bank accounts, and some financial security of their own, whether married or not. Hiding the financial hurt their father’s have forced on mothers, or biting one’s tongue about the abuse, might not be the way to go. I tell all the young women at work, who ask, my story that they should always have their own money, even when married, should things start to look funny in a marriage and they need an escape route.

            In my instance, my ex-husband makes six figures – five times what I make. But, he could care less about me and my finances. He doesn’t care that a good percentage of the alimony he gives me goes to taxes. He’s got to save his money to keep the 21-years-younger wife happy. I’m just collateral damage even though I was there to support him and his career to making six figures.

            I feel the need to crack open the marriage fairytale, to prepare young women to always have resources of their own, should they need them.

            Life is never a fairytale.

    • Faithful Rage,
      Think very carefully about remaining in contact with your ex-in-laws. It’s sounds like they are causing you pain which you definitely don’t need in your life.
      Why subject yourself to that or let them have that kind of power in your life?
      Your children can see them and enjoy their relationship with their grandparents but it doesn’t sound healthy for you.
      In my case my in-laws and the ex’s entire family was my very dear family. Saw them almost every weekend and holidays; I loved being part of the family. But the divorce ended that. They embraced him and “her” so I had to step back for my own sanity. It was and still is sad and painful for me but definitely the best choice for my sanity.

    • Thankfully my ex FIL passed away years ago, and I never had much of a relationship with my ex MIL as she lives in another state. FW will never tell her what he did anyway.

    • I love how the cheaters always get the invites for being “sad and lonely.” That happened in my case. He gets holiday invites because oh, poor man, he must be sooo lonely after throwing his wife away like garbage for being too old. Poor man. Like WTF?! I’m the one who got thrown away, he’s out chasing teenage pussy. Why does everybody feel so sorry for him?

      I don’t celebrate holidays anymore. I don’t have it in me to do my own and I don’t get any invites. Because my ex gets all the invites. One “friend” even lied to me and said they weren’t doing anything and then I see the pictures on instagram of their holiday with my ex at the table. Like, damn. Just let me know you hate my guts up front so I never bother you again, bitch.

      We still have one mutual acquaintance, just an acquaintance so she doesn’t know any details about our divorce. I kept her on because she gave me one of my cats and I like her. She sent me an invite for a Christmas party. I thought, he hates her guts and always has hated her guts, this should be safe to go to. But I got a bad feeling about it. So I didn’t go. Sure enough, she posts a ton of pics of the party and in one of them, there’s him AND his whore! I was like wow, I think he did it hoping I’d show up just to hurt me. He went to the party of a person he hates, with his girlfriend, just to hurt me. It’s repulsive. I don’t get to keep a shred of 20 years of my life.

      • I am sending love and light, Katiepig…….. you are not alone in this absurd new reality. I live in it too, now.

        “Poor Dad” – oh, you mean the pouty man with the asshole temperment who we were all three tiptoeing around because none of us wanted to set off his rage?

        I 100% know my adult children have a complete string of memories that would allow them to see him as an abuser. But, they are not willing to see it.

        I guess – neither was I. Until it was thrown in my face on D-Day. I wanted so bad to believe if I just kept loving him harder, we would be able to keep our family.

      • I was pregnant with our third child, when he quit/fired his job to spite me and we lost our apartment in a relatively safe part of Dallas. I had to move us out of our apartment. The weekend we were supposed to load the truck and move, he went five hours away to his parents’ house, because he needed to get away because he was stressed. THEY HAD INVITED HIM TO COME STAY WITH THEM BECAUSE HE WAS SOOO STRESSED. So I was left to empty a second-floor three-bedroom apartment and storage room and move us across town to a run-down apartment complex to an apartment also on the second floor, while wrangling a 2 year old and a 6 month old who was breastfeeding. To ‘help’ me, they hired day laborers who only spoke Spanish. I don’t speak Spanish, which they knew, because they would talk about me in Spanish in front of me. I figured it out when I learned what “guera” meant (it means white girl).

      • Wow, that last sentence hit me square in the heart. Your words just summed up my feelings of loss that weren’t about him, it’s this. I am sending you so much positivity, for what it is worth.

    • The AP and I were friends, and have many mutual friends. HAD. Nearly all have disappeared from my life (but still invite her to their parties). If I had ten bucks for every time I heard “we love you both”… BULLSHIT.

    • Yes, I was told by my MIL when I had attempted to explain how I was feeling, “Well, there’s always two sides to every story”. Yes, so how come you don’t want to hear mine? I later found some correspondence of hers when we were cleaning out some of her work effects that pretty much confirmed that she was a cheater. Figures.

  • Yes, move on. People who truly love you are going to believe you and stay in your corner. These things change relationships, period. It’s painful to see how folks align themselves, but so it is.

  • Yeah, the Switzerland “friends”. One woman I’m no longer friends with went to a party my ex threw, and when I asked her about it she got all defensive and made excuses. She was like, “Well I was bored and it was just something to do”. At that point I decided I could no longer be friends with anyone who knew the whole story and decided to still be friendly with the ex. It was interesting to see how my friendship group changed after that. I had to cut her off and another formerly close friend. I had another friend who I’m not super close with and didn’t tell everything tell me when I ran into her on an errand that she unfriended my ex on Facebook because he posted stuff that made her uncomfortable.

  • Girl code: You don’t remain friends with your girlfriend’s exes. Even middle schoolers know that. As women we have to have each other’s back. This woman is not your friend. She’s a frenemy. Ditch her and you’ll be a lot more free without the both of them. They’re probably sleeping together already anyway or have in the past.

    • What if the girlfriend was the cheater? What if the innocent male “ex” is still a friend?

    • I think your last sentence is spot on. My ex loved having female hangers-on. He loved the attention and he liked that it made me feel uncomfortable. I think two of my former friends stayed friends with him because they were hoping to/were sleeping with him.

      • I think this describes lots of female “friends” who stay as hangers-on with a male cheater.

        • I could never prove my college boyfriend was cheating, but so many of his female friends made me uncomfortable. I could feel the contempt coming from them. Between his dismissiveness of me, his poor boundaries with other women, and that all but two of his many friends were female, I can safely assume the dude was cheating.

          • Hmmm…my ex always had more female than male friends…he said they just gravitate to them because he’ll listen to them…uh-huh…

  • Ugh. They’re the worst. My former oldest friend had zero boundaries.

    She remained friends with the ex-fiance who beat me. She knew about the beatings.

    Many years later, she sided with my repulsive ex-brother in law, despite knowing how abusive he’d been to my sister.

    That was that. But it was worth it to have my gut feeling confirmed. I already knew that she was untrustworthy and selfish, but this clarified it for me.

    I like safe people now.

    • This is a PSA for ‘Pick-Mes Kill People’ (your former friend, of course).

      I hope you have your safety!

  • I had a friend of 35 years and her partner tell me I was ‘bitter and overreacting.’ Also the daughter of high school friends known for 50+ years so I’ve known her since she was born tell me he ‘hadn’t done much wrong.’ They are all his great buddies now. It hurt like hell but I now see them as cut from the same cloth as him so good luck to them. They deserve each other. They were never my friends and certainly didn’t have my best interests at heart. Your “friend” isn’t worth having in your life.

  • Hard truth. She is not your friend. It doesn’t matter you have known her for 15 years and it is a small town. You know now you cannot trust her or confide in her. This is what you do now. You do not call her or contact her. The next time she calls you tell her we are not frinds, do not ever contact me again.and hang up on her just like she did you. Do not settle because of time you have known her. This friendship is over.

    • “The next time she calls you tell her we are not friends, do not ever contact me again.
      And hang up on her just like she did you.”
      Don’t forget the “Fuck right off.”

    • bet’cha the “friend” is never the one who calls, invites or helps. Only calls if it needs a ride to the airport! So it might be a while.

  • I walked away from an entire side of my own family for continuing to unnecessarily engage with my ex and I don’t miss them one bit. I realized after they were gone that they didn’t bring anything good to my life anyway. They clearly aren’t my people.

    • Hi MillieG, your comment really struck me. My own Dad never called me to check in even though he knew I had suicidal ideation for the first several months after D-Day and abandonment. My Mom then defended his actions because he “has doesn’t do drama very well”. I haven’t spoken to either in over three years. It’s very painful, but I realized how one sided everything had always been with them. Good luck to you.

      • Ryan – I am so sorry. I know the pain of family members who don’t check in, or who vouch for another family member’s hurtful behavior. I know the pain of confessing suicidal ideation to a friend, and never hearing back. I feel for you.

    • I have done the same with my brother and his wife. They know about the years of emotional, mental, and financial abuse, but continue to invite my ex to family functions. Blood isn’t always thicker than water. The double betrayal was extremely painful, but I’m much better having those three out of my life.

      • Redleaf – That is no small thing. I’m glad you’re doing better. But damn – being betrayed by a sibling and his wife, on top of your ex? No small thing.

  • Honestly except for one couple I don’t think my ex stayed friends with much of anyone. Of course he had lied and conned so many folks he was pretty much radio active.

    Per my son fw retired early and fled the area we had lived in as soon as he married whore. I am certain that he thought he would slide whore in and he would just continue on as the big shot he had become (with my help) and all would be forgiven.

    It amazes me sometimes and not just with my ex but the folks I know and hear of who burn down the very foundation of their lives and just expect to dust off and retain their status. They rarely do. The very rich sometimes on the surface do; but generally they crash and burn too. They just have the money to hide it.

    My ex fw could not even maintain a decent relationship with our son. He was just too stubborn and selfish.

    • Susie Lee, I agree. Even with all the culture-schmooze, I believe the fall is great from the foundation we built and maintained to support their deception. I don’t think dignity can ever be recovered. They’re jokes. Integrity flies right out the window, no matter how much they blame-shift and pretend. And anyone foolish enough to join the parade is as culpable, in my humble opinion. Among the rich, I think of Bill Gates and Jeff Bezos — just two examples. What pathetic losers!

    • Yeah. I think that’s the case with my x, too. He thought he was a sniper, “killing” with precision just one person (me!) but not harming anyone else. With such a surgical strike, he imagined that life and friendships would continue as if nothing had happened. “I hurt her, not you,” or, as he said to his kids, “This is between your mom and me.”

      Of course, there’s no such thing as a surgical strike when you cheat. There’s always collateral damage. I’m fortunate to have a lot of friends and family who have empathy. They didn’t need to get hit by the bullet to feel my pain. It hurts them that he hurt me.

      For these true friends and family members, I am forever grateful.

      p.s. x alienated a lot of people (including his own kids) over the years, so I think many didn’t have a real problem dropping him.

      For all his losses, he blames me…of course.

      • Spinach, yes, it is always the Chump’s fault. My adult son will not speak to STBX. We are talking a 26 year old here who just wants nothing to do with a Cheater Father. My son made his decision. He is an adult and I did not influence him but my son felt that his father’s betrayal (and uploading pic and videos of FW and Schmoopie onto my son’s shared photo account) was more than he could accept. Entirely his decision but naturally my fault. The FW cannot see any reason why everyone should not be happy for him and Schmoopie (32 years younger than FW). FW does not have many friends left (if any) because they all see how ridiculous he looks with young Schmoopie.

    • My ex FW was the same – totally deluded. Thought he would just waltz out after devastating me and everyone would just treat him like the normal, nice guy he was trying to betray. He went around telling everyone that we just “grew apart” and had been having marital trouble “for ages”. Um, bullshit. And, no one believed it because he spent our entire 25 year marriage love bombing me in front of everyone – it was sugary sweet and grossed people out, but everyone thought that he was very smitten with me, and some friends were even jealous of how much “attention” he gave me (all for show, my friends). You can’t just implode your life, hurt a woman and child and just kind of shrug it off like, “oh well, I lost my wife, daughter and business all in the same fortnight, but hey! It’s all good because I’ve got a new woman.” B.S. It was so weird to watch (and hideously painful). Now that I’m nearing meh, I do often wonder this….what in the hell do these OW/OM see in assholes like this? Sitting there, watching their new person lie, lie, lie, betray, cheat, steal, lie, hurt a spouse, hurt a child lose everything, lie and then think to themselves, “wow, this is love.” What is wrong with them? Seriously, I cannot for the life of me figure out how you could be with someone like that after they’ve come out the other side and torched so many people’s lives. Can anyone shed some light on that one?

      • My ex was just like yours Formerly. Acted like the perfect husband and perfect father. But key word – acted. His ho-worker now wife blew up her family too. And she’s been an integral part of the last 11 years of legal abuse they’ve inflicted on me. IMO the OWs and OMs cheaters move on to have the same faulty wiring and lack of morals as they do.

      • Wow FormerlyKnownAs, I had the same experience. My husband constantly talked me up to his friends and colleagues and even my family. He said sweet things, if not at awkward times. Always called and texted me frequently on business trips. Always said he loved me. I guess it was just all a big con. When he left, I got a three page letter saying how unhappy he was for our 30 year relationship. Gee, would have been nice if he had let me know so I could move on when younger. But, no, he had to secure the 21-years-younger ho-worker first. Seriously…what doe these spouses in large gap marriages have in common to survive? Oh, I know…sex for money. They are essentially prostitutes.

  • she probably enjoyed u misery and always has sided with him, maybe even a crush. my neighbour always had a soft spot for my ex, she told one of my other neighbours, i overheard them talking, why is he with her shes fat. then i became very ill and lost 8 stones, and she was pissed off about that

  • Smh, friendships mean work and giving. I love this work and to give, but not when it is wasted. You just saved yourself a pile of work and worries.

  • Sadly, it is when a Chump finds out that they are being cheated on that they also find out a lot about the people that they considered to be their friends. My experience may not be typical, however ….

    Some friends will prove that they are just that; true friends who they can rely on to help them through the sh*tty times. Treasure these people as they are few and far between and they are worth their weight in gold.

    Some “friends” will prove that they are nothing of the sort: they will say that they do not want to take sides; they will make it clear (by either telling you or ghosting you) that the Chump’s distress makes them uncomfortable; they will minimise the effects of what the Cheater has done; they will leak information to the Cheater (AKA flying monkeys) and; they will not be there for the Chump when the Chump needs them most. These people need cutting out of your life ASAP; it is in the Chump’s interest to be brutal here, as there is no time (or space) for fence sitters in “Chump World.”

    And then there is the group that I term “people that I had no idea were my friends” …. people who you perhaps only know as acquaintances who, nonetheless, step up to the plate and prove their worth. I was very fortunate in this area, as someone that I worked closely with but had never so much as had a cup of coffee with at work, let alone socialised with outside of work, proved to be a real life saver. She saw that I was a bit “off” at work (OK, I was a whole load “off”) and yet had the moral courage and character to drag me to one side and ask “Are you OK?” and more importantly “Do you need some help?” Without her intervention I dread to think how things might have turned out. The difficult thing for the Chump here is that these friends tend to find you, rather than you finding them ….. but if you find one, treasure them too.

    I suppose my conclusion is that my friendship group now is much smaller, much more select, but most importantly, the are all on “Team LFTT.” Anyone who I even sense as being on “Team Ex-Mrs LFTT” or trying to be on both teams can f*ck right off.

    LFTT

    • LFTT
      “And then there is the group that I term “people that I had no idea were my friends” …. people who you perhaps only know as acquaintances who, nonetheless, step up to the plate and prove their worth.”
      I have been blessed with many of these people. Funny how it works. Many of them have also been chumped. God bless these people

    • Yeah, I was pretty safe for like two years and then a very good friend from our past said, “I’ll always love your ex. Even though sometimes I thought he infantalised you, and I wasn’t sure what was going on, I will always love him.” I could not believe it. She sent that to me during a text exchange with me telling her how awful it had all been. I stopped texting right then and I’ve never talked to her since and won’t ever again.

  • Dear smh, it hurts I know. Look at it as the rubbish binning itself.

    After I threw fucktard out and filed, his cousin, who, with her family, I’d had to stay previously, contacted me to ask if she and her kids could come and stay with me over Spring break.

    I told her she’d be very welcome, provided she was on my side. I said I wouldn’t tolerate Switzerland friends, nor could she run with the hare and hunt with the hounds. Next thing I knew, she was on FB posting how much she loved fucktard.

    The rubbish binned itself. Hugs to you. Xx

    • Wait, she was HIS cousin? And.. she asked to stay in your house AFTER Fucktard left then declared her love for him…?

      Oh my God, was she hoping she could hug his pillows and sniff his boxers before he came to pick them up or something

      • 😂😂

        I wouldn’t be surprised. I found out later she’d been ‘suspicious’ and asked fucktard if he was having an affair. He told her no. She was pissed off that he’d lied to her. (AOK to lie to me apparently).

        Actually, looking back on it from 4 years perspective, it strikes me she was a flying monkey, fucktard maybe hoped if she was staying with me he could find out what I was doing. Anyway, who knows, and I don’ t give a flying fuck anymore. ✈️😂

        • She’s just another dirty pair of knickers in the his harem closet. It’s always so tawdry.

          Onwards and upwards! ✈️

    • I wonder if she wanted to come to your home to get info for him. One of my shitty ass fake ex friends said some screwed up stuff to me, never checked up on me even once, came to my city multiple times to visit HIM without letting me know, invited him to her holidays, and then out of the blue a year after the divorce wanted to see me because she was in town.

      But she would only see my at my apartment, where he did not have the address. I tried to suggest a meal somewhere or grabbing coffee but no, no, no, she only had time to drop by my apartment, nothing else would work.

      I was already disgusted by her and pretty much done with her at that point but that’s when I realized she was my enemy and blocked her on everything so she can’t contact me. It made my skin crawl thinking he was trying to get my address and she was eager to help him. I’ve learned the hard way a lot of people will do that shit.

      • “I wonder if she wanted to come to your home to get info for him”

        Yep. Pretty sure that was it. I was totally NC from the start, blocked him everywhere, any communication through my solicitor, which frustrated fuckwit no end.

        ” I’ve learned the hard way a lot of people will do that shit”

        Yes. I just can’t fathom the mindset of someone who would do that. To come into someone’s home, with the express purpose of betraying them… I just can’t fathom it. 🤢🤮

        • I don’t know your circumstances but I’d certainly hold her at arm’s length if that’s her attitude.

        • My mother pulled this shit too.
          “He was always so nice to me.”
          “Will you please tell x that I love him?”

          After putting up with this kind of insensitive crap by excusing it because she was old old and had been raised Catholic Catholic, I just finally looked at her straight in the eyeballs (after five days of visiting her in her assisted living facility) and I said, “Mom, tell him yourself, he wasn’t nice to me.”

          And I turned around and I walked out without it backwards look.
          She never mentioned it again.
          Never. Old old and catholic catholic, she got the point.

          I needed to be my own best friend. And Mom needed to figure out with whom she stood. I spelled it out in black and white.

        • Sure you can. I dropped my sister (slept with my husband ). Then i dropped my parents when they sides with her. It hurts like a motherfucker but you are much better off because you cannot trust them and you already know that.

          • I am so sorry. That is the worst. I thanked God that FW didn’t sleep with any of my friends…that I know about

          • Nooooo!!! Ex-Mrs, NOOOOO!!! I don’t even know how to respond to this. So, so sorry. My husband had a lengthy affair with someone I considered a good friend. The mutual friends have disappeared. And this past week when I told my only sibling that I had filed, and told kids we were divorcing, he tried to bully his way into visiting us to suggest we move to a new town for the next year in hopes of reconciling the marriage (I’ve already given it three years). Bro was being such an ass on the phone I hung up on him. During the week I should have been solely focused on my kids and how they’re feeling, I’ve been obsessively considering what it would be like to stop communicating w my brother/SIL and as a result all my precious nieces/nephews (who know nothing about their uncle’s cheating). Sometimes it feels like too much for a human brain to handle.

  • I’m a little baffled by this practice of — “It doesn’t count as terrible unless it affects ME personally.”
    If that were reality, we would all have to wait until every single life was in the crapper before helping anyone, or passing laws that protect anyone.
    Is that what we want? For everyone to be debilitated before anyone lifts a finger to help?

  • Thank you, ChumpLady. This is such an important reminder. 6 years post D-day, 5 years divorced and I still feel the pain of the realization that my so-called friends were socializing with ex and his AP like it was yesterday. “He’s like a brother to [my husband], you can’t expect us to de-brother him.” But you can de-sister me? Oh yeah, I never mattered that much. One of the hardest lessons in this whole shitshow of an experience.

  • UBT got some high grade lube this week? Extra cookies, mayhaps?
    Sure purring like a happy little kitten and spitting out some steaming hot snark, lol! 🤣
    Nice Tracy! 👍
    Who knew being unmercifully destroyed by a narcissist had any levity degree of whatsoever?!
    Your scalpel sharp humor is so deadly. (Sure glad I’m a chump and not a FW!)
    You chiseled that “ friend” right down to a way more accurate 2 inch height. Any more carving and she’d be completely gone.
    Hmmmm………sounds like a pretty enticing option to me.
    Smh will just need to complete the carving herself.
    Life is too short not to take a stand against injustices, you don’t get to spinelessly and selfishly ride the neutral zone.
    It just reveals your true character, not a flattering look.
    She’s not on your team. Bah bye!
    Maybe you’ll catch up with her in the next life, when her humanity is finished evolving.

  • I freebased an Esther Perel talk.

    ha. this is funny.

    people are disappointing, aren’t they? and then there are the helpers, a small team of genuine people who will listen to you when you weep.

    i had a divorced friend who really showed up for me in my hours of need. i say had because she recently casually mentioned that she is actively flirting with a married man in her tennis class.

    i’m out of that friendship.

    • These are the friendships that boggle my mind – the ones where someone truly stepped up as kind and generous for a time – and then one day they’re flirting with a married man (or in my case, inviting the OW to their parties and shunning me, the betrayed)?? I DON’T UNDERSTAND.

      • Me neither.

        But we should be grateful we don’t. Having a cess pit for a brain and heart. Ugh. 😣

  • After betrayal the Chump goes through a figurative metamorphosis. Emerging, in time, from the cacoon of blind trust, loyalty, faithfulness and respect for a Cheater reveals a butterfly – an entirely new creature. You no longer see people from a place of naivete’ or wishful thinking afterward. The arduous task of emergence from the cacoon equips the butterfly with a new form in which to live in the world. Likewise, Chumps emerge with new form after growth and development with eyes-wide-open. Butterflies don’t go back to the cacoon to hang with the larvae. Fly away!

  • (music by Nine Inch Nails/Johnny Cash, music by SMH’s shitty friend)
    Tune: https://youtu.be/8AHCfZTRGiI

    I hurt my friend today
    I chat with her ex-twat
    Her pain is a cliche
    That’s all the heart I’ve got

    Her ex hurt her, not me
    I have no cross to bear
    He’s got substance, actually
    A muttonhead in underwear

    What am I do?
    My puzzled friend
    All I want to do is to stay
    Switzerland

    And you should play along
    Set your anger free
    Leave the past the past
    Sweet neutrality

  • I still feel hurt occasionally by the fact the a couple of fairly long term friends still interact with FW on social media despite knowing he serially cheated. Nothing is worse than the one who told a mutual friend she wouldn’t chastise him as long as he wasn’t posting pics of the other women or badmouthing me on Facebook. Also that I needed to work through my grief and figure out why I thought I deserved this. Worst bit? This: “ No one appears to even be expressing concern as to his well being after the split.
    That silence speaks volumes.” Yeah, poor FW, no one cares about his little feelings after he got consequences for his actions.

    • You need to work out why you deserved it? Oh, screw that person. What an ass.

      I had one “friend” that I confided in I had been having suicidal thoughts. She said nothing, just no reaction, ignored it like I hadn’t said it. I thought well, maybe she doesn’t know what to say. How does one deal with that?

      A little while later, like literally within an hour, she exclaims, “Oh my God, what if he kills himself?! I’m so worried he’ll kill himself over losing his family!”

      I guess I must have had a look on my face because she goes, “Oh, that’s not your issue to worry about. You shouldn’t worry about that. But you have to understand I’m worried about it because he’s my friend!”

      It was all so bad that sometimes I wonder if there was a damn conspiracy between him and all his friends to drive me to suicide. Just unreal.

  • She isn’t your ‘sister’ and time investment proves nothing but time investment. Time for an upgrade, Queens don’t have Switzerland friends.

    Also, are we sure SHE isn’t sleeping with him? Weird guilty way to behave, just hanging up like that.

  • “He hurt you, not me.” said the spineless bystanders with no principles or working knowledge of loyalty whom you should vote off the island and definitely would not want with you if you had to go into battle with them.

    Contrary to current conventional idiocy perpetuated by Facebook, you don’t need (or have) hundreds of friends. You just need a few solid gold ones.

    He hurt me, not you?

    I’ll remember that and be sure to stand down when I see someone hurting you.
    Keep your phone charged case you need to call 911.

  • “He hurt you, not me.”

    x clearly believed this line of thinking when he said to his kids, “This is between your mom and me,” which is another way of saying, “I hurt her, not you.”

    Wrong!! Oh so wrong.

    They have empathy. It hurts them that I was hurt.

    Oh, and, in fact, he hurt them, too. For years.

    He’s a clueless SOB.

    #NCheals

  • “Well love you both and don’t want to take sides” is the BS that drives me crazy. Especially when it comes from her church friends. Also same people say “we need to be civil to you, her for your son” mind you these people are not family nor close with him. Do they think my S15 even thinks about them.
    Also I walked away from my mother. When I told her FW was in affair and cheated ( didn’t at that point know it was still going on with multiple APs) my mother turned to her and said ” you needed it” WTF. My SIL tried to spin it saying that mother was working to save the marriage. At 55 I finally realized that all the “joking” comments I had endured from my mother all my life were not jokes there was a deep seeded resentment.

    • Being “civil” is one thing. I don’t expect people to give Jackass (for example: the “cut direct,” as the Bridgertons would call a visible social snub. “Don’t want to take sides” is information; we know this is not actually a
      friend” but a social acquaintance and then we act accordingly. What we learn to do is to pay attention to what people DO (and that includes the “joking” of your mother) and what they choose in order to find out who is actually a friend–defined as someone who loves you, has your back, tells you the truth with kindness, and gives you support, time and space to heal. If you have 1 or 2 of these people., you’re rich.

    • DrChump, it is so painful when the scale fall from our eyes and we realize our very parents primed us to be chumps! Our self worth is build during childhood. And that is the model you had?!? FW parent. Please inspect accordingly your friendships and your professionnel relationships. They might also be tainted by the dynamics of your Family of Origin. This might hurt. This will free you even further. God speed on the road to self awareness ! 😘

      • Yep. I called my mother out for acting all happy to see my ex FW when he would pick up the kids. “Well, I can’t be rude.”

        I didn’t suggest you had to be rude, Mom. But if you are getting into conversations with him that last more than a minute, and at any point you are smiling and laughing with him, then you’re definitely doing it wrong.

        “He has no idea what I really think of him. I have him fooled.”

        Is that your master strategy, Mom? To secretly dislike him? Do you think he cares what you genuinely think of him? He does not care.

        I told her that if it happens again, I will make her read one of the fantasies that he posted online after we separated. It’s a detailed story of him kidnapping, raping, and torturing an ex, then leaving her for dead on a dirt road off the highway.

        So far, I have spared her that trauma, but she needs to understand what it is we are dealing with here.

        • It’s too harsh for mom. A firm warning is sufficient. She still believes all people are good deep down inside. Takes quite an adjustment in thinking and behaving and processing to discover and accept that the truth.

      • Alas Rainy Again,
        For years my friends pointed out how my mother was hypercritical of everything I did. They would say you are a high achiever and she treats you like shit. I think over the 22 years FW learned from her. Sad that I am the middle child of 3 boys all a year apart and my mother was never mean to them. They picked it up and wrote it off as ” that’s just mom”

    • “Well love you both and don’t want to take sides – is the BS that drives me crazy. Especially when it comes from church friends.” It’s always the church friends. The only people who have ever said this to me were church friends.

  • You just cut them off. I cut off my own sister over this. She gave me the whole “I can see where he’s coming from. I see his side.” shit and then after many instances of him liking her shit on facebook, I lost it and blocked her on everything. She moved away. We won’t ever speak again. I’m done. There had been lots of issues with my sister but this put it over the line. I needed support. I didn’t get it. When something good did happen for me during that time, she’d be all, “Well, must be nice.” Like, I’m going through hell and you can’t even be happy for me over one good thing. She expected me to host the holidays and I did the first year and it was fucking hard, I declined the next year and she tried to guilt trip me over it. It’s just enough at a point. You have to accept when people are showing you they don’t care and you don’t need people who don’t care about you lurking in your life waiting to trip you when they get the chance.

  • I must have fixed my friend picker a while ago because all my friends offered to commit crimes against my ex when they found out. I said no no no, of course. But it’s nice to be asked.

  • After news of my divorce spread, I heard from one person and one couple who said “I’m (We’re) still going to be friends with you both.” This helped to easily identify whom *I WANTED* as a friend.

    When it comes to friends, each of us has the power to choose the people we surround ourselves with. I seek to live a fuckwit-free life and I choose to spend time with people whom I value and also who value me.

    One true friend is worth way more than a thousand fair weather friends.

  • None of my actual friends (not socializing buddies) would ever, ever be in contact with someone who betrayed me. And I wouldn’t stay “friends” with someone who hurt my true friend.
    Finally, people put way too much store in what happens on Facebook (aka Fakebook). Mute people who are connected to the X and who can hurt you by what they post, etc. That said, social media gives you an opportunity to see who is open to contact with the cheater and who isn’t. Treat that as information.

  • I think that these people are still taken in by the fakery and sparkle of the cheater, just like we were. Cheaters are really good at fooling people, they have made a life-time study of it. Eventually he will do something directly to them or to some one/thing they are responsible for (like discarding them, or putting the moves on their 16 year old daughter, or embezzling money from their company, or using his sparkly but toxic manipulation to set people against eachother in their social group or workplace). Your former friend will then moan that she had NO inkling that he was that kind of person! (you can have a bit of Schadenfreud then)
    This actually happened in a musical group I belonged to. My very sparkly and charismatic ex-boyfriend and Schmoopie were both members, he directed it. I did not know they were seeing eachother; but she knew about me, so was targeting me viciously (and inexplicably in my mind) during rehearsals and social gatherings. In this case the group, many of whom were personal friends of mine, decided that Schmoopie was more fun than me and she made them look cooler to others. Schmoopie and my ex- then proceeded to create so many unpleasnt dramas in the group, with her targeting people with the same toxic behavior she had directed toward me and him playing people off against eachother and enabling her, that they both got kicked out eventually and I was asked back. It was a genuinely wierd experience hearing the two friends who asked me to come back, describing how they had expelled her 3 times, but the director asked her back three times, so they had to expell both of them in the end.

    • First paragraph spot on. Most people can’t/won’t accept a person isn’t who they know them to be. Different example but a perfect illustration of the phenomena:

      A VP at my former Fortune 100 employer was arrested for making child porn in a church. He had hidden cameras set up in the changing rooms. The company fired him immediately, and everyone that worked with him was in shock. He was always friendly if slightly odd and and none of us saw any signs of inappropriate behavior from him. The lesson for all of us was that we don’t REALLY know the people we work with.

      We think because we know someone in a certain context (school, church, work, friend group) that is who they are. It might be. We trust people we know, but we don’t trust strangers on the street. Yet, knowing someone doesn’t make them a good person. They may or may not be and most people aren’t psychologically prepared to think that way.

      • “most people aren’t psychologically prepared to think that way.” — I have to agree with you. I have some friends that knew my ex and I for years and when I told them what was going on and my reasons for divorce, they were confused. They couldn’t imagine such a wonderful nice guy doing all the things he did so convertly. I imagine they even wondered if I was telling the truth, a sort of cognitive dissonance. But as time went on they couldn’t help but accept that some people are just ugly inside. The same for us chumps. Many of us had several DDays before we came to accept that ugly people exist and we were married to them. If I had cut those friends out of my life immediately because they appeared to be riding the fence, I would have lost some very good friends. Not all are “good friends” though. There were others that I did well to disassociate from my life.

    • I think that is why my cheater did not fare will with others.

      He had lied and misrepresented himself to so many including his bosses. He had garnered favor with our mayor simply because of the image he projected of the devoted family/community organizer etc. What the mayor didn’t know was he was leading a secret life, I didn’t know either of course until it all started to erupt. Difference between me and the mayor is the mayor had the power to take him down and he did.

      He kissed ass at warp speed, but it didn’t save him. There is no doubt to me the mayor did not know who he was dealing with, and for a smart guy (and he was) it had to piss him off royally that rat faced fw flew under his radar.

      To defend the mayor there was never evidence in all the years he stayed mayor of any misdeeds on his part. He was simply snookered by a two bit con man, same as me.

      To give context whore was fws direct report and they were both lying to their bosses. FW had helped her get hired and then went on to petition for a raise for her. The city counsel wanted him fired, but an organizational demotion was the way it went down. The other captain who was promoted about the same time he was, was also demoted with him. So he not only took himself down, but his co worker. The other captain was screwing another police officer, but in his case it wasn’t his direct report.

      I assume it was a deal made with the union.

      This was years before metoo and about a year before Tail Hook. My guess is had Tail Hook happened when it went down, he would have been fired, and whore would have become a rich woman. Regardless of the fact that she had willingly followed him to his place of employment. He wasn’t the first married man she tried to hook, but he certainly was the stupidest.

  • I think it’s about influence… who has the power to have their statements believed. In many abuse scenarios, the victim is the one with less power.

  • Speaking of taking sides, on the fluffier side of the news feed, there is a dust-up over Ripley’s Believe It Or Not loaning Kim Kardashian Marilyn Monroe’s Jean Louis “Happy Birthday Mr. President” dress for a momentary spin on the Met Gala red carpet and damaging it.

    I am a textile junkie. I love love love fashion and clothing and am all for preserving history. Yet most people don’t think of the iconic dress as an iconically painful for Jacqueline Kennedy, whose husband was allegedly having an affair with Marilyn.

    In my trash-novel-news reading, people are upset that the dress was not in the Smithsonian! Jacqueline Kennedy was a major donor of the Smithsonian, and it would not surprise me to learn that they had passed on acquiring that dress out of respect for her. As a chump I can understand why. Imagine being Jackie Kennedy and having to listen to people go on and on in a positive way about Marilyn….I have the luxury of being chumped in relative blessed obscurity and anonymity.

    Yes, Marilyn Monroe was a cultural icon, but I have to be on Team Jackie.

    I have found that being cheated on has caused me to re-examine a lot of my long held beliefs and principles, and this situation with the Marilyn dress is on the much lighter side of many of them.

    I’ll bet Jackie is glad the dress was in the Ripley’s museum, loaned to Kim K and is ruined, wherever she is.

    • …..and photographer Bert Stern did a shoot in 1962 of Marilyn dressed up as Jackie….ouch.

      Affairs are ground zero of a nuclear blast and every single relationship radiating outward from the principles involved is impacted, damaged, destroyed….

  • The loss of long term friends and family on top of the loss of a long term marriage is one of the most painful parts of this trauma. To see Facebook posts by my ex mother in law praising the Knob Polisher for “being beautiful inside and out”, for “making my son so happy”, and for “being someone who loves to dance and have fun” was almost too much to bear. This after knowing I have no mother and considered her mine for 28 years, all while knowing her son had a four year affair. I have quite Facebook and feel better for it. It’s hard to believe there are those who actively engage in purposeful harm and continued abuse of the victim(and onetime “loved” family member)….I fantasize about my own (long deceased) mother’s response….if only…..

    • “To see Facebook posts by my ex mother in law praising the Knob Polisher for “being beautiful inside and out”, for “making my son so happy”, and for “being someone who loves to dance and have fun”

      I bet on the inside she is miserable.

      I thought so much about that when my mother in law turned on me. I knew she would, I knew in her mind she had to. She had to make some sense/peace of the snake her son had become, or maybe even always was. She had been so proud of him and how he and I had built a good life together. How could she face people if she couldn’t lie to herself?

      In my case it was before FB thank God. But, I know that she had to swallow one shit sandwich after the other, she likely spent the rest of her life waiting for the next disaster, and he didn’t disappoint. He got busted in rank, and became the town joke, he cheated on whore, he retired early in shame, he gambled up massive debt, my ex sister in law told me just recently that he also gambled all her money away. Those are just the things I know about.

      She had to look at that whore who I am sure she on the inside blamed for his fall; pretend to like her because she had to depend on him. She knew if he died, she was toast. As bad as it hurt to lose her, I still know I am so fortunate I got away. Unfortunately she couldn’t.

    • So sorry, Queen. That sounds wretched. “The loss of long term friends and family on top of the loss of a long term marriage is one of the most painful parts of this trauma.” Yes, yes it is.

  • Tracy, you provided the answer to one of my lingering painful questions.

    My adult children who were 35 plus years old when D-Day happened – they fit “I am the special one that he does not hurt.” That is what they have been trying to get me to understand. They are frustrated that I am not happy and supportive of this whole situation because obviously, everyone deserves happiness and Dad is happy now. He still loves them so everything is fine.

    Except me, who they now have to stay distant from because I keep collapsing with grief. Not allowed in the happy, happy family narrative. Hard to maintain when one person is bleeding out and insisting there is a wolf……….ah, you all know this story……

    Their betrayal was the piece that I nearly didn’t survive. It was a total shock. It knocked my reality out from under me, boom (his sudden announcement of schmoopie), boom (my son saying “Why can’t you just be happy for him?”, boom – (my daughter saying she supported her dad and she didn’t know if she wanted to have a relationship with me) ……three explosions. I’ve spent two years now rebuilding from the leveled bomb site.

    Sometimes these very short and truthful statements are helpful when our brains go down the rabbit hole. One that I dreamed up that has helped me stop the ruminating thoughts is “I loved people. They didn’t love me.” I’m adding “I am the special one he does not hurt” in my children’s voices – to my inner chatter loop.

    Step by step…….. “Gain a Life.” This is very hard work.

    • Tallgrass,

      It is when I read stories like yours that I realise how lucky I have been. Stay strong and never forget that CN is here for you.

      LFTT

    • This is so painful. Way more painful than shedding a FW. Hugs and love to you tallgrass, I sure hope there is someone in your life who is there. CN is here for you ❤️

  • This is a very relevant topic for me…

    I often think about the friends (a married couple) that chose to be Switzerland even after they knew that my ex had cheated on me before and then again for the last time.

    Then the same couple chose my ex over me (I think because it was easier for them to choose him since he is one dimensional and lives on the surface and they didn’t want to be involved with “complicated” and “icky” situations like cheaters cheating.

    I recently saw on FB that a few of my friends congratulated my ex-friend (ex because she was the one cheating with me ex) as she had won a teacher of the year award.

    I was really hurt and pissed about this at first-but then I realized that these are acquaintance friends of mine-not close friends-whom I never spend time with anyways.

    It felt good to be able to step back and recognize this and not pout about it like I would have a few years ago.

    And yes-I had a very strong urge to reply under the post:

    “Surprised (Teacher Skank) didn’t win the, ‘Sucking Your (Multiple) Friends’ Husbands’ Dicks’ award…..”

    • Honestly I have seen some of the most awful folks get those types of awards and it just is sickening. Not just in teaching but other types of organizational awards.

      It truly does cheapen the awards for those who really deserve it.

      Not talking about MTV or entertainment awards; those folks are in large part walking sewage anyway. Not all but too many. Also, no one expects them to be a role model. But a teacher, or a minister, or most any service award ick.

      • I completely agree with you. This particular person’s personal life is a dumpster fire-but she manages to keep her professional life separate…

    • Teacher of the year?? That’s maddening. And makes me think of MY ex-friend, also a teacher. Her elementary class motto is “be kind”. Interesting 🙄

      • I understand. My ex received multiple awards and recognition for his work. But they were deserved. He really was good at his job. His accomplishments were an extension of his need for recognition, and so he worked very hard to get it. He helped a lot of people. However, he was able to hide the skank from everybody for a very long time while still being wonderful. Things were off for me and I couldn’t figure it out. I believe my ex is a sociopath. He could have been a Ted Bundy had he been inclined to kill. I’m so glad he wasn’t inclined! Perhaps this teacher was also very good at well at her job. It’s galling to know a different side of a person that no one else sees, or will ever see. All we can do is become the best people that we can be. Maybe they’ll get their comeuppance, maybe they won’t.

        • I totally see your point. It amazes me how these people can compartmentalize different parts of their lives.

  • Yep, the next thing she’ll say is that it wasn’t all his fault. I made it very clear to the Switzerland group that associating with the ex and her boyfriend was a deal breaker in terms of our friendship. I’ve got my good friends. No need for those losers.

    • I would rather have one or two real friends that those types of friends.

      To clarify, I don’t hold acquaintances to the same standard as those who are close to me, who I cooked for in my home, helped when ever I could, and vise versa.

  • “He hurt you, not me”

    Can you give me a ride to the airport? #friends

    I had a “friend” who was still friends with him, who still love-reacted to his new woman posts. She knew he cheated on me. I hauled her literally naked ass home from the hospital when she had no one (took off from work to help her when no one else would). I supported her after her son’s suicide. And she still loves his new woman posts?

    I blocked her everywhere.

    She passed several months ago. When I unblocked her phone number I found that she had been hospitalized and had tried to contact me.

    She burned that bridge.

    Yes, I disinfected my car seat.

    • I Am Enough, power, equality. We are probably living by the same principles. Thanks for sharing.

    • This is the shit that pisses me off. They’re all about super fun time whore when they don’t need you at the moment but then look at her trying to crawl back because she wanted to use you and super fun time whore apparently wasn’t going to the hospital to help her.

  • This UBT one sums the friend up:

    “He hurt you, not me”
    “Me. Me mememmemememe me me me MEeeeee.”

  • So sorry you have a less than stellar human being as a “friend.” My suggestion is to slowly freeze her out before she knows what happened. Be professional and friendly in person, but do not divulge personal information which will be used against you. Ignore her in private. There’s gossip in a small town. You don’t need another headache.

    With friends like that who needs enemies?

  • It hurts like hell, but it’s valuable information. This person is not in your corner. She’s selfish and mean, and, like the UBT suggests, was probably fucking him (or is now.)
    Block. Unfriend. NC. Delete her from your life just like you did FW.

    I had to hear shit like that from relatives. You can’t delete relatives, but you can avoid them as much as possible and if unavoidable, give them no further access to your life, thoughts and feelings. So I learned the art of mmm-hmming. If your non-friend shows up at a social engagement with your other friends, you can just mmm-hmm her. Let’s call her Fuckwitted Fanny for purposes of illustration.

    Fuckwitted Fanny; “So how have you been?”
    You; “Mmmm…same.”
    Fuckwitted Fanny; “I haven’t seen you in a while and you unfriended me.”
    You; “Hmmm….is that a fact.”
    FF; “So I was wondering what’s up.”
    You; “Mmm-hmm. Are you really. Excuse me while I get some dip for this chip.”

    All if this you say in a bored tone, with no inflection in your voice. You turn what’s worded like a question, like “Are you really” into a statement and trail off at the end to give the impression that you aren’t the least bit interested in an answer. If FF doesn’t take the hint, she’s irredeemably stupid as well as a bitch.

  • Months before D Day, FW told me that a mutual friend of 40 years, who was his best friend for over 50 years, had stopped responding to his calls and emails. On discovery, I thought that maybe it was because this friend knew about his online affair, so I reached out. His response was, “Please don’t contact me. I don’t want to get triangulated between you and {FW}. Thanks. {My wife and} I wish you all the best.” For 20 years we’d spent most major holidays together, more that half of them in my home, at my table. It hurt.

    Months later, while going through divorce, I learned about a check from an unknown bank that listed his address at another friend’s house, and it was a high number, indicating he’d been using this account and address for banking and perhaps mail for a long time. Which means that the couple, also very close friends, had known he was keeping financial secrets. He and the husband supposedly went on multiple “music business” trips. Now I suspect the husband was his cover for monkey business trips.

    When FW beat me, for the first and last time, he knocked our grandson to the side, then beat me to the ground, unconscious. My grandson was calling 911 and I told him to call these friends instead. When they came, they told me they handled similar situations for their church, and said if I called police, FW and I would both go to jail and there’d be nobody to care for our grandson. They could see huge bruises and the bleeding lump on my head. Grandson told the husband that I had been lying on the floor, unconscious, for several minutes while FW stood over me, gloating. The wife sat with me and got my story about the cheating, theft of private and marital funds, and beating, while her husband helped FW pack. If it wasn’t for my grandson, FW would have made off with MY laptop, which he hid under his shirt. Despite knowing all this, they took him into their home for weeks so he wouldn’t have to be alone. The next month, when I mentioned my grandson and I were looking forward to seeing them at our favorite holiday meal, she said she’d have to ask her husband if he was inviting FW instead.

    My grandson repeatedly asked why I didn’t call police and I explained I made a bad decision and wasn’t thinking straight. Over the next year, grandson continued to blame himself for not calling 911, and I reassured him that I told him not to, and that my bad decision was probably due to shock and my concussion.

    My grandson’s response stunned me. He said there was nothing wrong with either friend, so why didn’t they call the police and take me to a hospital? Why, indeed. That was unforgivable.

    On the other side, months later, I learned that FW’s music teacher/collaborator gave up thousands of dollars a year in weekly music sessions by refusing to work with FW because of what he’d done. When I told him I was amazed by his decision, he told me that there has to be integrity in music as well as life. He and his wife reached out to me and to grandson, and have been a huge support and comfort. I cut contact with the Switzerland friends. Although I can’t call them that, because they weren’t neutral, they took sides. The wrong side.

    • “When I told him I was amazed by his decision, he told me that there has to be integrity in music as well as life. ”

      This is why I believe that most FWs despite the pretty post exposure pictures they paint, are rarely accepted back into decent folks lives again. Oh some may have to work with them, and deal with them but a con man is a con man and if he/she will con their own spouse/family… no one who has anything to lose will trust them again.

  • Thanks for this post! I’ve written recently about the friends I’ve had to let go for this exact dynamic. I was thinking of writing to CL about them and the role of chumpiness in other situations; this covers so much of what I was looking to hear CN weigh in on.

    I’m currently at a summer singing course in a big city with a bunch of teens. Because I’m in the class as their peer, I’m in a strange relationship to all the clique/popularity/who’s-going-to-be-a-big-star dynamics going on. I made the mistake of saying hi to a girl I didn’t realize had positioned herself as mean/cool girl and she rudely dismissed me in front of many other teens. (I’m not white and of course the whole clique is white; I’m an “old” and they’re teens … it really stung and brought up very old baggage!) Then another lovely, earnest teen who wanted to be a part of their club asked me to move so she could sit with them. I was furious; earnest teen didn’t know any better, but in the moment, for me, it was like earnest teen was saying, “She is treating you like social puke, not me! Give up your seat!”

    It made me remember and realize how just one school bully could make me an untouchable for the rest of the kids. It made me feel absolutely hopeless but at least now I can see how little of it was about me as a person, or even if they said it was about my race/nerdiness, that’s not a genuine sense of how amazingly valuable my ancestry and nerdiness are. One person who had something others wanted decided to be abusive to me, and everyone else wanted to not antagonize them. Obviously, that just landed on my body as racism from everyone who participated in the ostracization, and you can be sure that no matter what the intentions of cool/mean singer girl, the demographics of who she deemed worthy means it lands that way for me now. But that is part of the larger dynamic of power and social status.

    The “friends” I let go were those who know the whole story of a work bully punishing me for advocating for myself and the others who look like me, and who still decided to hang out socially (not just work) with them.

    I’m thinking a lot about how much responsibility is involved when we befriend people in a genuine way. I don’t think I had spent a lot of time, before, asking myself “if they were bullied/cheated on/abused/assaulted by someone I knew, would I stand up for them?” I mean, I’ve learned that I do tend to stand up for people even when they’re not my friends, and I pay the price. But I’m also trying to “pay the price” less often in life; how to not put myself in such situations. I’m understanding how people get selfish as they conserve their energy and protect their social status and connections. As I’m fixing my picker, I find myself interested in people who show some vulnerability, who are just as vulnerable and mighty as I am. And as I work on valuing myself and protecting what’s loyal/good/tender/vulnerable, I realize how much care is involved in really upholding myself and by extension, in upholding other good people.

    Now my smaller circle of friends feels increasingly nurturing and rich.

  • I appreciate this post today so much! Such unbridled snark that leaves no room for doubt about what we should expect from true friends. I expect my true friends to have my back, to go to war with me, and to be lovingly honest when needed. I lost my friend group of ‘Sisters’ last September, in one fell swoop. I cried for days. We had been friends for 15+ years. I had been going through a protracted divorce, of which these friends had a front row seat to the cheating, lying, his firing and subsequent embezzlement of his own company, evading support, etc. I had stayed in their homes with each of them and their families (I had moved out of state a year or so after d-day) when returning frequently for 15 court appearances). I thought they had a good framework as to what had gone down, that got it, that were as supportive as they could be, Then, i got a call from friend #1 telling me she and her husband were hosting a party for the whole group because my STBX and his schmoopie were in town! and they wanted to all get together, still friends and gosh it had been so long with Covid, etc. I said “why would you want to do that?” Her: “well you can’t tell me what to do (I didn’t) and he is still a friend and (her husband) misses him and hasn’t seen him in years, and it’s his house too. What was I supposed to say? I just wanted to tell you in advance so you don’t hear about it after.” I said “Well thats a really shitty thing to do, but thanks for letting me know. Do me one favor and don’t include my Son in this mess”. To which she replied “how would he even knooooww….oh, yea”. So , that weekend I get a text from my son, he’s in her backyard, with the dog. Neither one of them are smiling. On Monday morning I’m back on a Zoom call in front of a judge, yet again, because of FW’s fuckwittery, trying to compel this case to closure, forcing FW to respond to legal/docs. Seems the friend group all developed amnesia! After about a week I sent Friend#1 a message stating how hurt i was, how disrespected I feel, and she really crossed a line including DS. There were mere minutes before she responded with a vicious takedown, doubled down, and denied any responsibility for anything. She thought that as long as she told me in advance, her hands were clean. Then threw me under the bus just for fun “if that’s what you need to do to feel better about yourself”…. and a “we didn’t even think about you at all” (like, that’s supposed to make me feel better?…you called ME about this whole drama you created?.)

    We haven’t been in touch since and probably never will. I stated my feelings and my boundaries were trampled. In reality, I don’t know how much info was being backchannelled to Ex over the years and to what extent she screwed me over too. Friend #2 was complicit, Friend #3 acted sus during moving out of my house and was ‘aiding the enemy’ and they don’t know I know, and friend #4 was the only one to reach out after I removed myself from our group chat thread of 10 years.

    Groups of friends are fluid. They can form around a shared subject (our dd’s were all friends) and form a dynamic like ‘mean girls’ too. I’ve learned.
    I’ve also got a sneaking suspicion that Friend#1 and her husband are cheater apologists because they both have swam in those waters.
    She treated her actual sister the same way during her very gray divorce, saying how “she reads too much” is actually a reasonable divorcible fault. That belongs right up there with “she bought bagged salad”!!!

    Don’t let friends disrespect you. Let them go. Love yourself.

    • Oh, this is a terrible sorry. I’m sorry Kimsooverit.

      This line that you wrote probably sums up so much of what we experience from our FWs and these Switzerland friends: “…we didn’t even think about you at all.”

      That’s really it! To be ignored in this way hurts like hell. But it probably explains so much of what we experience.

    • “she reads too much”

      This reminds me of maybe a years ish before fw discarded me, I was sitting in the living room after a long day, reading. He looked at me and said I think you read for an escape. I just looked at him and said “yes I do”. I think he kind of realized what he was doing and then he hurried and said “there isn’t anything wrong with that”.

      He had never expressed any problem with my reading, in fact when he was going to the Police Academy he had no issues with me reading his text and making out study sheets for him. He was not a reader, unless it was something he had to read. He told me after we married that he had girl friends write his term paper for him.

      I think as soon as he said it to me, he realized how stupid it sounded, given what he was doing.

    • I’m so sorry. Gathering information to give to him was probably exactly what they were doing. I started selectively giving out info to people and keeping track of who knew what. Due to a weird bank issue I still can’t understand I could see his transactions for awhile. (His monthly bank statements were sent to MY new address. I personally think it was a threat to let me know he knew where I lived because I can’t figure out how that could happen. He has never lived here and the divorce was final long before I moved here. And it’s why i got paranoid.)

      I told my sister where I was working, a chain store. I kept track of when I told her and she was the only one I told. I checked his statement when it came the next month. The day after I told her, he had transactions from FOUR of those chain stores in our city. Who drives around going to different locations of the same big box store in a single day? And how many did he actually go to and not buy something? Felt like a punch in the gut. It blows my mind that people will help them in this way while smiling in our faces but it’s actually common. Tons of people do this shit. I don’t know how they can stand themselves.

      • It is a amazing we end up resorting to activities such as “checking statement” to see FWs actions. Such wasted time but we do stuff like this for various reasons such as for safety, or to try and understand what it is going. Only the betrayed understand this and it goes along with having your reality robbed from you

  • Not only did I lose ex’s family, a family that I cherished for almost 27 yrs, I also lost my own brother and his wife along with a paternal uncle & his wife because they chose to believe the narrative of a FW cheater. My sister-in-law in so many words said I deserved what I got!??? My brother was successful with his job but not as successful as my ex – different occupations & I believe now there was some competition but I didn’t see it at the time. As for uncle & aunt, aunt said that “sometimes people just have enough” meaning it was ok for FW cheater to go his own way. WTF?? These people were so important to me & all these years later the wound has not healed. My parents are deceased so I looked upon my uncle as a fatherly figure.
    There was no way to know on dday how much my live was going to change irrevocably.

  • Sounds like she’s fucking your ex. lol

    No seriously, that’s a possibility. But whatever. Rejoice that this horrible person outed herself as being a completely disloyal twat. If she really cared for you, she wouldn’t be doing it.

  • I want to play devil’s advocate for a minute here.(Of course, my chump stand is def to dump this no good friend. 👎)
    But, honestly, how do my three very much loved adult children different from that no good friend view?! They still have their crappy dad in their lives.
    I haven’t said to them “ you have a relationship with your father and you are out of my life!”
    That would not even be a remote possibility for me to do, not happening.
    Why aren’t they on the Swiss children list then?! Should they be?!
    Am I hurt my kids have a relationship with their father? Yeah, it does hurt me, and I wouldn’t mind one bit if they chose no contact with the man.
    But I don’t see that as my choice to make. Have they been hurt too by the nuclear divorce fallout? Absolutely, in countless ways, seen and unseen, with scars that will never disappear. No one comes out unscathed.
    But I refuse to make them choose between their parents, as I can fairly easily expect of my Swiss friends and my ex in laws, who have all been escorted out of my life forever more.
    I accept they love their dad and I’ve raised them to be people with loving kind hearts. (not to my advantage in this particular circumstance!)
    My eldest son has very minimal phone contact with his father, has not even met the mistress/ wife in these five years and makes it a point not to, although, who knows, may someday down the road he will?
    Possibly I guess, I can’t fully know and neither can he. This seems like an evolving situation with no rules on how to play a very messed up Game of Life.
    My other two children have seen him ( and the mistress) at New Year’s the last three years for a couple of days and talk occasionally on the phone to him through the year.
    They are all pretty damaged, superficial relationships at this point, but not completely axed yet either.
    I won’t throw my children out of my life because they don’t fully understand how much I’ve been hurt, like I expect my friends to get it.
    It’s definitely an interesting contradiction.
    If my kids all marry someday, their dad will be more than likely be at their weddings with his wifestress I am sure. (if she hadn’t been replaced by then)
    Or meeting his grandchildren some day, I don’t feel it’s my decision to shut that down either, as much as it will hurt me for him to be in that scene at all, he hasn’t earned the right to his grandchildrens’ love. He doesn’t deserve his awesome family!
    So, I guess the shit sandwich petit fours never fully do go away, always a tray waiting and will probably be eating them for the rest of my life to some degree.
    That’s where reaching Meh comes into play I suppose, maybe that would be pretty helpful to attain.
    So dumping the Swiss friends, helps us feel more in control of it all. We get to decide who will be safely and supportively around us, who is on our team and will have our backs. No seats available for the “ he hurt you, he didn’t hurt me” people. Zero.
    The kids remain the exception to the rule for me.
    If my siblings chose to have a relationship with ex FW, I would NOT be okay with that and they would damn well know it. ( that’s not even a remote possibility with my family, they understand fully he is scum)
    But the kids get to continue loving him?!
    It’s truly a bizarre sort of quandary.
    My kids right now, pity their dad for his choices in life, but remain compassionate enough not to blow him completely out of their lives either. They love him, even with all the hurt he’s caused us. He exists only on the outer fringes of their worlds now, I think fading more and more out of view as the years tick by, but not completely absent.
    I just won’t take that from them, and make them choose between me and him. They already got hurt enough.
    Maybe that’s the difference right there, the friends that coldly hurt us with their neutrality, suffered no hurt whatsoever from the situation, but the kids were deeply hurt, so should make their own choices on how to handle the whole thing.
    It does jab my heart still, but I want to be strong enough someday that I’m okay with whatever they decide their relationship with their father will be.
    I’ve still got a ways to go with that.

    • I think bottom lone is there is only so much energy each of us have to deal with this horror. Usually kids and some close relatives make the cut. Others don’t.

    • Short answer: your children had no choice about coming into this world. They bonded with your X before they could even speak. I don’t think the yearning to have a parent love you & care for you ever fully goes away. They are young and still have hope for some kind of an acceptable relationship with him.
      Each one of them also has different memories of him, and different outside experiences that will color their view of him.

      I have many children & I see the differences. I feel supported by all of them, but I also placed no expectations on them. They are free to see him, call him, send him birthday wishes. I don’t know what they do. I try to keep my relationships with them fulfilling for me, & hopefully I give back to them, as a parent, as a grandma, as a friend, all in age appropriate ways.

    • Very well said. You’re a great mom. You taught your children well. They learned their compassion from you and you should be proud of yourself. My sons all know how things went down. The two older maintain a relationship with both the fuckwit and I. They love their dad so I cannot take that from them. It’s not a case of, “he hurt you, not me.” They were hurt as well but they still love their dad. They’re compassionate for me and in the case of the oldest, he doesn’t tell me anything that he does with his dad. He doesn’t want to hurt me more. In the seconds’ case, he tells me the stupid stuff his dad does. I think he wants me to realize what a dip shit his dad is and they his dad really screwed up when he picked a skank over his mom. The youngest doesn’t have anything to do with me. His words, “don’t make me choose between you and dad.” When he said that I realized that’s what I wanted my sons to do. So I did my best to stop bashing their dad. But in my youngest son’s case, he chose to choose his dad because “I love my dad.” So I guess he doesn’t love his mom. No…, It finally dawned on me that I have a fuckwit for a son. Like father like son. My youngest son also cheated on his wife, and since his divorce, he goes through women like the flavor of the month. He’s tall, handsome, brawny, and charming like his dad. In my case I’ve had to realize that your own children can be fuckwits too no matter that you raised them to be differently. Oh well… I can still pray for them.

  • If you’re cool with people who intentionally hurt me, you and I are done.”

    Cheating isn’t a relationship “not working”. It’s serious emotional, mental, psychological, and sexual abuse.

  • Thank you Tracy. As an update the offender has been given the no contact directive along with another friend that responded that it wasn’t a restaurant and they don’t need to pick sides. Oh and btw. It’s time I just got over it. Both are on the sidelines now and I am happier for it. We choose who is in our lives and that kind of person that supports the person that has the morals of a badger is not the positive person I need in my life. I love CN and thank all of you. Your support goes above and beyond

  • It is incredibly hurtful when others downplay infidelity. I am particularly astounded by the number of devout Catholic acquaintances I have who have downplayed the horribleness of infidelity. A prominent Catholic school principal simply said, ‘Marriages end,’ when she learned what happened.

    • In the end people are people. I am putting the Diocese to task because it was reported that FWs affair took place on church property. Some at church are angry at me including the pastor and I don’t care. I go to church everyday at lunchtime. Don’t confuse the people at church with the message.

  • I am so very very sorry Smh,
    When a cheater hurts us that is one thing, but when a good friend slams a door in our face , someone we loved and trusted as a true friend, that is beyond a double whammy.
    My BFF recently did this to me, just cut me off, I waited and waited to hear from her. Suddenly I realized it was always me reaching out and she threw me the odd kibble. So, I texted not one word for several days. Suddenly, one word from her “ You ok?”
    “Yes” I lied, still no rely.
    I truly understand how hurtful this is.
    We Chumps tend to be very kind, loyal people.
    We get sick of the pain after awhile and find it difficult to ever really trust another human being.
    But, I know damn well, I am a true, kind, good, loyal person, so she can kiss my ass!
    .

  • Chump lady if you are reading this thank you so much for posting it I needed to hear it.

    Fuckwits fiance said this almost exactly word for word during my father’s funeral.

    For context my father died unexpectedly and I was literally sitting in the spot he died less than 24 hours before while going threw pictures to find for the funeral while my mother took a shower.

    The topic of fuckwit came up and I was a vulnerable chump who said that I don’t understand why he is so hateful towards me. (He tried to have me legally committed after I lawyered up against him because had a history of violence during pregnancy towards me other major addiction issues) She blew it off and and said I was overreacting and he only did that because he “loves me” and was only trying to find a way to help me.

    She said “He only treats you this way. Me, my mom, my friends, my family, your mom, your family he doesn’t treat this way so I don’t see why it’s such a big deal.”

    I didn’t respond and just left because really there was no point and nothing left to say. I’m still really upset about it tbh because who the fuck does that/ says that to someone who’s trying to stress plan a sudden funeral for their parent?

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