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Schmoopie Dumped Him, He Blames the Kids

Hi Chump Lady,

After three years, the wheels have fallen off the FW & Schmoopie love bus! All the “I finally found my soulmate, sorry but it’s twu wuv, you gotta admit our marriage has been dead for awhile” excuses that the FW fed me as he scurried off leaving me and our kids distraught and confused.

So here I am waffling between feeling smugly elated to pissed that FW did that to our family — and for what? A three-year fuckfest?! At least if it had lasted, I could have semi-rationalized FW blowing everything up! Sorta. Maybe. See my feelings are all over the place.

Worse, when our daughter expressed her relief at the news, FW tells Schmoopie about it! Schmoopie then calls my adult daughter to scream at her. My youngest son (an older teen) was there and gets on telling Schmoopie to eff off and leave them alone.

Then FW calls our kids telling them off for yelling back and swearing at Schmoopie! He even tells them they’re, in fact, partially to blame for the love bus running off the road! Schmoopie apparently complained that our kids never liked her. (No shit Sherlock, it’s hard to love a bimbo unless you’re an immature male.) So she believes that’s the reason FW ended it. And FW seems to be happy about our kids taking the heat despite him telling them that she was too high maintenance for him. Funny how we all saw Schmoopie’s high maintenance in the beginning and he didn’t. Whatever. Hope she made him pay for every vial of Botox or fillers!

It’s a mess. I don’t know what to feel, what to think or 100% how to help my kids deal with FW dad or the now ex-Schmoopie.

Thank you for all advice!

Not sure of a pen name

****

Dear Not Sure,

Step aaaawwwaaaaaay from the drama. Same advice to your kids. Remember the Mr. CL axiom: “If it feels good, don’t do it.

Schmoopie then calls my adult daughter to scream at her.

Why pick up? Why feed this person one iota of one scintilla of time? Dad blew up the marriage. The OW was a handy orifice, and surprise, surprise, it didn’t work out.

You know what says “I don’t accept the blame for your shitty relationship?” — letting them have their shitty relationship. Bow the fuck out.

Having a screaming match on the phone just solidifies Schmoopie’s narrative that The Children Are Just Terrible To Me.

Anyway, it doesn’t matter, she’s probably got another dick with a credit card to fund her botox. What matters is your meh. Cultivate it.

It’s been three years since the divorce, trust that he sucks. I know some schadenfreude is irresistible, but if you really trust the suck, your ex’s relationship failures won’t surprise you. Or his sad-sausage blameshifting. It’s what sucky people do.

So here I am waffling between feeling smugly elated to pissed that FW did that to our family — and for what? A three-year fuckfest?! At least if it had lasted, I could have semi-rationalized FW blowing everything up!

He cheated because he sucks. He didn’t value his family, or you, or ending things ethically because he’s a shallow, unethical person. There is no grand passion rationalization that eclipses his suck. Don’t buy into it.

Then FW calls our kids telling them off for yelling back and swearing at Schmoopie!

Roll it over to voicemail. Teach your kids boundaries. Dad wants to yell at them for not paying the proper respect and deference to his fuckbuddy? They are free to hang up. He wants to blameshift? Return to sender.

I don’t know what to feel, what to think or 100% how to help my kids deal with FW dad or the now ex-Schmoopie.

You feel what you feel. I’m not going to judge your glee. But I just wouldn’t stay there long, because if you spend your life reacting to your ex’s self-inflicted fuckwittery, there’s going to be scant room for your hard-won sanity.

Your kids have to learn to deal with your ex by themselves. He’s their dad, that’s their relationship. You don’t control his investment, or his treatment of them. Or theirs with him. All you can do is keep your side of the Sane Parent street clean. Keep being there for them and showing up in their lives. That says more about you than anything you can say to them about their father.

I’m sorry he’s blaming you all for his relationship failures. But what’s he got left but failure? He lost you, the kids, his self-respect, and now, his plastic-surgery enhanced Poptart.

Let him have his shitty relationship with himself. Bow out.

Ask Chump Lady

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  • Yep. Silence is golden. I feel sorry for the kids though. Adult or not, it’s too much to have to manage a crazy AP attacking you for your shit dad’s immaturity.

  • I think FW is missing his kibbles and using the kiddos to rile up schmoopie just got him a TON. 🍿 Hope you and your kids can just step away!

  • This is an excellant opportunity to demonstrate a valuable life to your kids- boundaries. Stay out of it. If they come to you wanting to talk just listen. If they ask advice offer general tips on boundaries, not well earned venom about FW Dad or AP. Teach them boundaries by how you react. Use words if necessary.

  • OW left my stbx as well. It was almost 4 years to the day since the affair had begun. She blew up her family and mine, and then theirs. I was mostly angry for my kid’s sake, because of what she and FW did to my son’s life for their twu wuv. FW blamed everyone but himself. OW left him because he was abusive and scared her. He turned around and blamed me because apparently The Divorce Proceedings were too stressful for OW (even though FW was the one who filed). I was not supposed to be fighting him for what was mine. I was supposed to have disappeared quietly or laid down and died or something. He also blamed OW because my kid repeated some stuff that I know he didn’t come up with on his own, most notably “Miss M- has something wrong with her brain” and “all women are crazy”.

    I can’t deny there was some glee in the news that their little fairytale turned out to be a horror story, but I was mostly pissed at her. I was worried that without her, my kid would bear the brunt of his father’s rage, and that my life would get harder (it did) because FW was angry and unhappy. Ultimately I think OW bears some responsibility for FW’s suicide, and that is unpardonable. His note was full of despair that OW had left him and he didn’t know what to do.
    My kid lost his dad, and that’s not fair to any child. I don’t blame her for leaving FW, because I know what a nightmare he was to live with, but I do blame her for the affair. And I’m angry that she just dropped my kid, whom she had professed to care so much about, and never gave him a reason, or said goodbye, or apologized. Nothing. My poor kid was so confused.

    And now OW is on Twitter pontificating on how terrible it is to get sucked into abusive, controlling relationships, but qualifying it by saying that people who get stuck in them “aren’t stupid” and painting herself as an innocent victim. And I just want to tell her that, yes, sometimes they ARE stupid, because getting involved with a married person takes a special kind of stupid, and she’s no victim. It wasn’t like she didn’t know he was married. She knew and she didn’t care, and she deserved whatever she got. But I just keep telling myself “if it feels good don’t do it”.

    • “getting involved with a married person takes a special kind of stupid, and she’s no victim. It wasn’t like she didn’t know he was married. She knew and she didn’t care, and she deserved whatever she got.”
      This is exactly how I feel. In my case, FW and the Slut are still together, but their demise seems inevitable based on his patterns. I get how evil it is to think someone deserves to be abused, but regarding the OW, I feel she is getting exactly what she deserves. I know how hard it was to be married to someone that puts you down every day. She wanted him and now she’s got him.

    • Please unfollow this woman o. Insta. It’s not healthy for you. Who cares what she says. You know the truth and that’s all that matters. And you don’t have to qualify that to anyone especially her. I wish you and your son peace and happiness.

  • Yes, boundaries-boundaries-boundaries. His relationship drama (or even lack thereof) is not your business and not your kids’ business.

    I guess because mine was a gray divorce where he and his family dug into every aspect of our relationship with great abandon (of course my side wasn’t believed), I’m really wary of relationship discussions in general. Sure, I’ve made exceptions, but my elderly aunt once said that she was careful with that sort of thing because she didn’t want to sit at the dinner table with the partner of a friend or relative, knowing all the dirt in their marriage. I’ve certainly lived out the wisdom of that. She had been married twice in her 20’s and then married for 40+ years to her third when he died.

  • Okay, I am full of snark this morning but if FW really blames the kids for his loss of true love, maybe he should just sign over full custody to you. Sounds like that would make him happy and win his true love back. Kids wouldn’t need to deal with FW or Schmoopie and they get to be with the same parent. He is a FW who had no problems walking out before, now he just needs to walk out some more. Sorry, but my FW tolerance is very low today.
    You FW made his choices so now he has to deal with them. Just so sad that FWs never like to deal with consequences. Just laugh at him having to real with his consequences and then move on with your happy life. Keep on being the sane parent and be thankful you don’t have to deal with him anymore. As to the kids, just have the talk about boundaries. They are well within their rights to establish boundaries. That is healthy. Keep up the good work.

    • ClumpedForANewerModel,
      I’m with you. Accepting consequences and taking responsibility for their shitty, immoral actions? It’s like we’re asking them to drink poison. How dare we?🤣 Well, they can go fuck themselves with a sharp implement. We’re looking for peace, AWAY from them and the chaos they create by their narcissistic actions.

  • Yep! Best thing you can do is bow out. Teach and encourage your kids to do the same. If they can’t set the boundary – DO IT FOR THEM! “Sorry son/daughter, you are not to answer the phone if Smoochie or FW calls or go over to FW house.” If FW demands their presence, send an appropriately short emailed response “due to your/smoochie’s irrational behavior blaming and yelling at the kids for your break up, the kids don’t want to speak to you.” After that, the kids need to start enforcing their own boundaries with FW. Encourage them that you started it for them but it’s up to them to enforce it.

    Similar situation happened to me and my kids. They were both teenagers when it happened (younger teens). I set the boundary for them and it gave them courage and momentum to keep it going. I was very open to them about how I set it, explained the importance of boundaries and talked through setting boundaries with their dad. He chose smoochie for a year before she started beating him again. Right before her last beat down he saw the kids for a quick weekend and encouraged her to come eat dinner with them. My kids were pissed!!!! They had not seen their dad and he pulled that shit. Good thing was, they let him know it. (Within the week she beat him again…..Karma is a bitch!)

  • Many cheaters, in particular male cheaters, will all of a sudden make their kids a priority when they want to give the OW, the heave ho. Even if the kids have a civil relationship with the OW, they’ll be used as the reason the relationship failed. It’s never because two selfish, disordered nitwits are incapable of having a healthy relationship.
    Not Sure should, if possible, limit the kid’s exposure to their father. Cheater Dad is way out of line. He wants to blame the kids fine, they should in turn give him the discard.

    • Exactly! This is just cake. This guy is probably cheating on his dummy OW and looking to blame someone. The kids need to be the fuck away from that dysfunction. They may get back together or they may stay apart. This has nothing to do with the kids. Regardless of their age, they have to get away before they mirror this behavior in their relationships.

      Look at FW and OW like you look at sad pitiful people on Jerry Springer. Such losers!

  • It is a true test of “meh” as to how you respond to this. For me, I was almost two years out from the final D-day where he left me and our son for the OW when she dumped him. He was cheating on her, imagine that?! Our divorce wasn’t even final, oh the irony. When he texted me to let me know (because he was informing our 11yo son) my only reply was “OK”.

    What else is there to say? Poor you? Could’ve predicted it, should’ve put money down on a bet? Wanna come home? THERE IS NOTHING TO SAY. You are no longer part of the narrative (great song from Hamilton)… remove yourself when they try to pull you in to their pity party. (Sounds like your FW has the Pity and Rage channels nailed down!)

    Minutes later, he had a new GF at the gym (my son basically watched him pick her up). After her six month trial run, he asked if I wanted to meet her before he introduced her to our son (even though our son had been watching his “courtship” at the gym), I declined. What would be the point?

    And I think that is the heart of the matter here… you and your kids have survived the implosion and discard; your lives have gone on without the FW; keep reminding the kids of what boundaries and self-caring look likes… model it… put your joy in to the life you’ve built. Don’t look back, even to laugh.

  • 👋I’m the Chump here. “Plastic surgery enhanced pop tart” I spit my coffee out laughing at that 😂Thanks CL! Lest anyone think I’m shaming, Schmoopie posts daily selfies of deep cleavage & boobage & her filled face. I’m not exaggerating. After two years, I was actually able to see the comedy in it & my friends & I’ve had good laughs over it. I haven’t looked much in a while though as I wanted to put it all behind me until now. It really must be traumatic for Schmoopie aging & not being able to rely on anything else to get her through life. I almost could feel sorry for her if she hadn’t gloated to me about stealing “your man”. The FW’s family can’t stand her either although she tried to flatter them enough with fake platitudes. My kids don’t understand why their FW dad doesn’t see through it. My reply: boobs & flattery. Your father is a simple man, kids. Thanks for your advice about boundaries & staying out of it! I’m actually feeling a bit more settled today & plan to have a celebratory drink with my girlfriends tomorrow night to toast the end of the Fucked-Up Love Bus! 😆 I will read all of your replies 😘

    • My husbands love train derailed a couple of weeks ago too, apparently him(51years old) and his 26 year old bimbo decided they didn’t have anything in common. I would laugh but the destruction and hurt they have caused to so many people, particularly our girls makes it difficult. I will have glass of wine and a toast to CN for getting me through the last 8 months though, to Tuesday I march.

    • Yeah, when I left my fw, I learned very fast the phrase “Not my circus, not my monkeys.” His constant life tribulations rarely elicit more than a secret eyeroll between me and my now husband. He really did try to blame our son when his last engagement blew up, which is funny because she says it was because he was stealing money from the wedding account, the only shared account. He mostly plays sad sausage but luckily now that our son is getting older, I speak less and less with him. He used to email me missives about him, his life, his sorrows. After a couple years of replying “kk”, he has stopped. I support my son in whatever decisions he makes about his dad, but otherwise stay out of it. I just dont care anymore. And I just concentrate on enjoying my son’s teen years because they are going fast! I will always be his sane port in the storm.

    • Reminds me of 80’s movie “Death Becomes Her,” the women in the movie compete and do everything to preserve their youth.

      *Plastic surgery enhanced pop tarts*

      Cheater loved that movie and would watch it over and over.
      Now he lives with it.
      His *Plastic surgery enhanced pop tart*
      An accurate description of Cheaters wife.

  • I mentioned a couple blogs back that ex and the slutbutt broke up recently and he’s been so sad. Yeah I was gleeful. Still am. He also didn’t want me to know. One of the jerk lines he threw at me during a very long and drawn out breakup was that I was strong enough to be alone so I’d be ok. Maybe I was even stronger than him (lol). But he was gloating, full of oats I guess that he could still get a new woman (who he immediately turned into his favorite fake wife appliance). Over the years he’s demanded/threatened my kids like her. One lived far enough to fake it, the other said if dad cuts him off so be it but he was never going to like her. They both were cordial enough. Ex backed down but he sure was pissed. I’m sure I was to blame even though I was unaware. Slutbutt then told him he could go to his family for holidays, she would be with hers. He started doing more with hers. Then she got restless and a couple years he was on his toes to please her. Then she wouldn’t go on vacay with him. His stuff was packed when he came back from his miserable, all alone trip. He landed with one of the kids so he could regroup. I’m pretty sure she had someone in the wings already because that’s how she rolls. He’s really leaned a lot on the kids, I think. He’s messed up my visiting schedule as well.
    I’ve thought about calling her just to tear her a new one but she’s not worth the oxygen. It’s all on him anyways. I don’t want any signals going his way that I even care as I don’t want his broke back anywhere in my periphery. We are no contact and it’s perfect as is. He will never be a friend. And my dirty secret is how happy Ive been from DD one that she got him out of my life. The timing was bad and it was a bitch of a financial negotiation and I crashed a bit when it was final – because starting over is daunting and scary. But once you’re free from a FW, it’s like you can breathe free again. Like a weight gone. Being an appliance is such a boring drag. You don’t know that when you’re in it or if he has any power still in your life (like custody and visitation). But nothing tastes as good as being free feels.

    • FW didn’t want me to know about his breakup either – probably afraid I’d gloat. But I put the pieces together pretty quickly. I told my attorney, presenting all my evidence (her paralegal said I’d make a good PI) and during one of our custody hearings, she asked FW point blank and he had to admit it. My kid really did like her (he’d known her since he was 4 1/2, so I can’t really blame him) and it confused him a lot when she left without a word to him.

      “And my dirty secret is how happy Ive been from DD one that she got him out of my life. The timing was bad and it was a bitch of a financial negotiation and I crashed a bit when it was final – because starting over is daunting and scary. But once you’re free from a FW, it’s like you can breathe free again. Like a weight gone. Being an appliance is such a boring drag. You don’t know that when you’re in it or if he has any power still in your life (like custody and visitation). But nothing tastes as good as being free feels.” YES. I think if I ever have the misfortune to run into OW, I’ll smile my biggest smile and say thank you. I got out thanks to her, I’m free, and happier than I’ve ever been. I know she meant me nothing but harm, but it really worked out in my favor.

  • It has taken me a long time and a lot of tears to learn how to give drama merchants a wide berth. It seems that those who engage in affairs have a default high drama setting. Their chaos spills out like molten lava over everyone in their path. Do they care? Not one iota! It’s all hot sticky stuff spewing out of their mouths and splattering those who can be hurt by it. And they smile, secretly or not, enjoying the carnage that they’ve created. For a moment they are satisfied, and that moment passes, and they are looking for something else to explode. For normal people, the drama is boring/scary/other fitting adjectives and a huge distraction from being alive. The chaotic need something to make them feel alive (they are incapable of actually ‘being’) and drama fills the empty space … until it doesn’t. Leave them feeling empty; don’t fill the space.

  • It’s really hard for kids to navigate their new relationship with the Cheater when they know that the Cheater blew up their family for the AP, and this area is rife with opportunities for manipulation and blameshifting.

    Our 3 kids take a very dim view of what Ex-Mrs LFTT did and an even dimmer view of her AP, who she now lives with. They have as little to do with him as they possibly can, and the youngest flat out refuses to visit her mother’s house or attend anything that involves the AP. Ex-Mrs LFTT put a huge amount of pressure on all 3 of them – and the youngest in particular – to accept the AP, saying that their refusal to accept him was undermining her relationship with him. She went as far as saying that if she and the AP broke up, then it would be the kids’ fault.

    Thankfully for them, the kids put her firmly in her place; thankfully, they are now unafraid to put firm boundaries in place to protect themselves.

    LFTT

    • “She went as far as saying that if she and the AP broke up, then it would be the kids’ fault.”

      Oh no! This is awful. Inexcusable. I’m so sorry that you and your kids have to deal with someone like this. Ugh.

      • S@35,

        If I was to try and put a positive spin on things, Ex-Mrs LFTT’s lies about her affair (and the kids know that they were lies, because they were the ones who found out that she was having an affair in the first place) and then the manner in which she pushed her AP on the kids – forcing them to meet him against their wishes – caused the kids to see who she had become very very quickly. This meant that they put some very firm boundaries in place to deal with her manipulation. It also meant that their bullsh*t detectors were pretty finely tuned.

        All I could do as their father was reassure them that their relationship with their mother was something that they should seek to own and they had every right to control. I happen to think that what she told our children was quite despicable …. even for Ex-Mrs LFTT; and believe me, she sets the bar low.

        LFTT

        • Yeah. It’s been my experience as well that the kids have really accurate BS monitors. They can smell lies. And they know damn well who the sane parent is. You sound like a good dad.

          Also, yay for boundaries!

    • My Cheaters playing-house with OW were all on the other side of the country and were deep underground (I had been told that we were wreckonsillying and he just “worked” there, he didn’t “live” there) so Cheater never had to actually negotiate custody time with my 3 kids and his Schmoopie.

      I have been known to fantasize about how difficult my kids might have made it for them. My kids are some stubborn and strong willed humans.

      There was a time when the kids were like 9,14 & 16 when Cheater had developed a plan that after the divorce my 3 kids would fly 3000 miles to have family time with him & Schmoops.

      At some point, he and Schmoops broke up and the absolutely fake wreckonsillyation became sort of (kinda, not really) more of an actual wreckonsillyation. But if they had moved forward with their plans and then they broke up, I theorize my Cheater might have suicided out of the shame of destroying his family for a failed romance.

      Coming back to the original post, I could have totally seen him blaming the kids

    • That’s awesome. MY STBXWW is shacked up with her affair partner after she blew up my life about two months ago. Our adult sons won’t talk to her. They know who the AP is, he was a former co-worker. They’re emaphatic that even if they develop some kind of strained relationship with her at some point, they will NEVER be in the presence of the home wrecker. Apparently she’s a little upset I’ve heard…

  • You don’t have to talk to anyone unless they have a badge or a subpoena.

    Just the other day, in a parking lot, some guy walking a dog flags me down. Does he want directions somewhere? No. He wants to get in my face about driving “the wrong way” in the parking lot.

    I had the presence of mind to say, “Have a nice day” as I rolled up my window and drove away. I am getting better at ending interactions sooner. I can guess someone’s tune in three notes before making my exit rather than having to stand there and listen to the whole damn song like in the olden days.

    My response in today’s situation? Hang up and block is a valid option.

    However, when it’s not a random stranger and someone who is in the orbit of my life, so is getting much closer to them than they would like and telling them, “Don’t ever speak to me ever again.”

    I have a friend who is a famous comedian. He appeared at a fundraising event and was treated horribly by the event coordinator. He did just that and told her to where to stick her 500.00 check promised to him for travel costs.
    His wife was upset with him for refusing the check because they needed the money. He said he cannot be an advocate teaching kids to stand up for themselves to bullies if he tolerates them himself. Two days later in the mail, he unexpectedly received a check from someone who knows about his work wanting to support him. It was for 60K.

    One day I was merging to get off the freeway. There was a woman driving in my blind spot. She honked at me and I did not complete the maneuver and stayed in my lane. When we pulled up next to each other at the stop light, she rolled down her window and screamed and screamed at me. Not OK. Especially if you’ve ever had a gun waved at you on the freeway. I took down her plate and vehicle info. I called the highway patrol. The officer came to my house, took down my story, and went to pay her a visit. Two weeks later, he stopped by to tell me what happened. She was very surprised to see him and at first denied the incident. Then her husband chimed in, telling the officer that she was in the habit of screaming at people and he had been telling her to stop. Only then did she admit the truth.

    Sometimes you have to say something.

    I do not engage with strangers (“Have a nice day” and drive away). But I do think the people in our lives who think it is OK to abuse others (hello, cheater and cohorts) need a big steel door boundary set, and that can mean speaking up in addition to other protective actions.

    I have found it very therapeutic to speak up. I am not invested in any outcome. It’s healing for ME.

    • Most people don’t hesitate to speak to a toddler when they are out of line.
      If you have a child, you probably have experienced total strangers interfering when it comes to disciplining your child.

      Why should we fall silent when the toddler is in a big body?

      The toddlers in big
      bodies who evidently missed the lessons especially need reminders.

      IMHO.

      • Last night after Traitor X dropped off Little Hammer, she told me he had been navigating on his phone while driving.

        Time to respond by speaking up.

        I waited until this morning to send a brief simple email verifying this info.
        (He has been asked, countless times, since the dawn of the smartphone, to not use it while driving unless in a legal hands-free manner.)

        Ignored ignored ignored.

        So she will not be driving with him if he cannot comply.

        There is a lot that goes on that I do not need to respond to.

        Some OW freak, yelling at my daughter, who has been taught since birth to communicate respectfully, is not something I am going to stay silent about. I will stand up for my daughter whenever and however appropriate.

        Personally, I evaluate each situation on a case by case basis when making a decision on how or if to respond.

        The unmitigated gall of the co-homewrecker calling the daughter to rip into her is unbelievable believable.

        I have the time and means and the patience and desire for using legal assistance to set boundaries if necessary.

    • We just had a local news PSA a couple days ago that there are groups of young men targeting women in parking lots, pretending to ask for info and then purse grabbing. A woman who was a victim was telling about it. They are doing it in the stores. They isolate her and then grab and run.

      I hate when someone walks up to my car. I generally just start moving.

  • Sometimes kids just need to emotionally detach and limit contact with a parent. Kids should also learn, Trust that they suck. When you dont need anything from the parent its alot easier. If you still need financial support its tough. But when a young adult becomes independent from the parent and has a life of their own they can fill that parental void with friends, kids, spouse. Ultimately, thats what we want for them anyways. To be ok when we are gone. FW may ask for money or emotional blackmail when no one is left, hopefully kids will at that point learn to not care and say no.

  • Boundaries are a blessing when it comes to drama seekers and time wasters. For all that they enjoy doling out shit sandwiches to their families, they’re not so keen when they have to eat their handiwork.

    My sibling and I did have a good laugh when we heard that fuckwit had been discarded by Batshit Becky, probably because his recent conviction and revoked license meant that he was no longer a suitable dupe to be her mortgage co-signer and chauffer/babysitter for her kids. I’m thankful that I got my pets and myself away from their sickness. Fuckwits, for all of their own conniving and heartless behaviors, fail to comprehend that their fuckbuddies are also all about their own bottom line.

    • My son told me that his dad had married someone just like himself.

      And you know they might have been happy. I know how their life went down, from my son and it certainly would have been a horror show for me. But, neither is wallowing in mud, but pigs like that.

    • “Fuckwits, for all of their own conniving and heartless behaviors, fail to comprehend that their fuckbuddies are also all about their own bottom line.”

      I don’t think they understand that being predatory themselves doesn’t prevent other predators from preying on them. In their narcissistic fantasy world this is impossible, because nobody can fool them or take them down.

      Criminal predators sometimes kill themselves when they go to prison for this reason. They’ve found out how it feels to be a victim of people like themselves and it’s intolerable.

      The FW in this story does not want to face that schmoopie was using him to pay for her fake tits, botox, clothes, etc. and so he blames the kids for the break up. That way his fantasy of invulnerability isn’t shattered. He wants desperately to believe it isn’t that he chose another predatory asshole like himself, it’s somebody/something else to blame. The kids, the ex, the weather, the phase of the moon, whatever.
      In so doing he makes sure he will not learn anything from this and his plan for how he lives his life stays the same – use and prey upon others and believe in the magical powers of his own grandiosity. I’m pretty sure all FWs operate this way.

  • My dad was a serial cheater.

    When I was about 15-I had to go have a session with his therapist/my parents’ marriage counselor (this was the mid ’80’s and no one saw a problem with conflict of interest).

    I was a very anxiety ridden kid and my mom cultivated me into her “best friend” since the day I was born.

    After talking with the therapist, I clearly remember the one this he said to me that finally made sense:

    “This isn’t YOUR marriage. This is your parents mess.”

    My parents actively placed me into their mess everyday-even until my father’s death when I was 41 years old.

    I never thought I would be divorced from a serial cheater-but I’ve done my best to keep my kids apart from my marriage drama-and let them be kids.

  • It’s perfectly healthy & natural to feel elated at your ex’s changing romantic fortunes. Keep it to yourself and/or a very good and trustworthy adult friend. You might present it as a life lesson to your kids.

    However, don’t become entangled in the spider web of this drama. It can truly mess you up.

  • “He cheated because he sucks. He didn’t value his family, or you, or ending things ethically because he’s a shallow, unethical person.”

    It took me so long to realize the painful, but liberating, truth of this CL wisdom. I wasted so much time trying to figure out why and how FW could blow up his marriage, family, etc. so easily, without an ounce of regret or remorse. This is the truth of who he is, not the mirage (thanks Velvet Hammer) he presented. For too long, I searched for answers (even wondering if he had a brain tumor), but the only answer is he sucks.

    • “even wondering if he had a brain tumor”

      Same here, because in terms of a 21 year marriage the hateful treatment and change of his demeanor towards me happened pretty quickly.

      I did notice early in that year that he was acting distant, and I questioned it and he played it off to work stress over his new promotion. Then a few months later bam, hateful comments, screaming at me over stupid shit.

      I wondered when I figured it out why he had caused fights over such stupid shit, and then I realized stupid shit was all he had to complain about; so he went with what he had.

      I regret keeping that abusive treatment to myself. Had I gone to anyone who wasn’t emotionally connected, I am sure they would have known straight up what the issue was.

  • CL, if you ever do “merch”, as the kids say these days, I would totally buy a sweatshirt with “Cultivate your Meh”.
    For you new chumps out there, meh doesn’t just come, it isn’t found, it is cultivated. It grows. You get it with every decision to disengage from the drama, stop untangling skeins and building your own life. Of all the great things I’ve read on this blog, cultivating your meh may be my favorite. (I know she says it all the time, but something about this phrasing really struck me today.)

  • I’ve been NC for 3 years and he’s kept the OW hidden until after our divorced was finalized in March. None of us knew who she was because he spent all his time at her house. Well now he’s in warp speed trying to blend the families. Her kid (11) is already calling him “dad” but my kids are just now meeting her. The OW is 9 years older than our son and she moved in last weekend. This hurts.

    My kids do not like her so they avoid her and FW by association. The OW is trying to be an instant mom and friend. She’s after my kids, writing them notes, sending them lengthy texts, buying gifts, she even bought my cat a bed. It’s nothing but drama.

    I stay out of all of it but it is HARD so I feel your pain.

    • I’m sorry Anne. That must be really painful. Remember it’s a long arc for parenting and, no matter what, there is only one mother. Your children know this even as they try to navigate this change in their circumstance over which they have no control.come here often and know that we have your back, we get it and you are mighty. Even the mightiest in CN wobble some days.

    • I’m so sorry you’re going through this Anne. For what it’s worth, you may find the novelty will wear off with their impression management

      They are vile people to be doing this and as CL has quoted, the arc of the universe is long

      Sending you hugs

  • They say it’s over but is it? All this triangulation just to yell at the kids. I bet it’s still FWB relationship

  • It’s called “consequences”. He doesn’t like his. Well, you and the kids already didn’t like the choices he made that got him those consequences, so it’s his time to deal with his actions now.

  • I read an article in GQ or Esquire, I can’t remember which, but it was about a soldier who said he missed war. The highs and the lows. I think what your ex enjoys are drama and trauma. He makes them up and he destroys them and make some more up and destroys them and he’s having the time of his life. You were just this normal boring person who got on with day to day stuff. (It is amazing that with no active wars for us we don’t know what to do with peace. We burn down cities, we storm capitols and generally creat mayhem). He is his own worst enemy.

    • Yes Letgo, I think the soldier missing the highs and lows of war is an “adrenaline junkie”. The “adrenaline junkie” is that restless individual that strives on stupid bets and reprehensible behavior, just because being part of the herd is boring. Definitely not relationship material (definitely not Special Forces material for the same reason: because they are unreliable).

  • It wouldn’t surprise me at all if the real reason he dumped her is because he found a shiny, new schmoopie. High maintenance costs were his first excuse, then the kids, whatever works. If he’s trying to stay on her good side by blaming the kids, he’s probably trying to keep the door open in case he needs to go back. New schmoopies are an unknown quantity, after all. You and the kids are so much better off without his drama – no contact for everybody!

  • If y’all have a minute please read an opinion on Medium.com by Laura Quick. The title is At Least He Never Hit Me. It is about the little things.

      • Very good article. It’s absolutely true. It’s amazing how you know something is missing but it’s sometimes hard to name it. The locking the doors at night got me. He did it early on, but once the cheating was in hyperdrive, all the little sweet things vanished.
        That’s for pointing out the article. It’s the little daily things that show love. He shouldn’t get a gold medal cause he didn’t rage that day. Caring about ppl is a whole lot more than we were all prob getting. And it was prob done early on, we just were too overwhelmed by the drama and chaos to know what was missing that mattered.

      • I wish I could maneuver this old iPad enough to get it sent to you because it is so much about the little things in a relationship that are either done with love or left off with hostility. Her husband never thought of her, it was always about himself but she just was so much better at explaining it than I am secondhand. Look for the title.

    • Letgo, I can’t speak to this from personal experience because I’ve never been married and don’t have children. But I’ve known women whose husbands appeared to be so uninvolved in family life that I wondered why the women stayed with them.

      If you’re doing everything, and this is a long term situation, not because of a temporary situation at work, or health problems, or finishing up a degree, or something, I couldn’t exactly see why people stayed married.

      Now I’m going to say that I was only hearing one side, and maybe it wasn’t how it looked. And of course financial pressures are an understandable reason. And I understand the power of vows; this is why my mother put up with my crazy, unfaithful, alcoholic father for many years (she eventually left him.)

      I will also say that it appears to me that a lot of marriages end when the kids move out, and maybe this is why. And I’ve read that it’s mostly women who initiate divorce in middle age; sorry, I don’t have a link. Maybe it’s because of partners like this.

  • They can be vile when their grand affairs don’t work out. Fraudster love-bombed a woman with four dates in a week, introduced her by phone as “your new mom” to our Tween, and got dumped on their 4th or 5th date, her birthday. (My guess is he didn’t pony up one of the 2+ carat engagement rings she put on her pinterest pages). Hell hath no fury like a man/cheater scorned. That was on the weekend, and when the work week rolled around, he contacted police, the child abuse line, his therapist, Child Protective Services twice, and my neighbors, claiming he had seen bruises on Tween from my beatings. He hadn’t even seen Tween for more than 6 months. He arranged to get Tween out of the house and timed it so Tween was absent when police arrived –three cars, six officers. CPS said that based on what Fraud told them, they were ready to remove Tween on the spot. (Wrong; they’d need a court order.) It was incredibly stressful for Tween and I.

    I’m sure Fraud was gloating, and that’s probably why he sent a neighbor to check what was happening. Turned out for the best. Police and CPS investigated in depth. Both reported, in writing, that Fraud should have no further contact of any kind. Fraud hadn’t see Tween in a year, and certainly hadn’t seen bruises. He reported me out of anger (at Schmoopie) or embarrassment (because she dumped him).

    • He got law enforcement after you because another person dumped him?! What kind of brain is rattling around in that skull. I hope you are nowhere near ever speaking to him again and keeping your child as far away as possible because he sounds dangerous.

  • To your kids, if they bring it up: “I’m sorry to hear that you’re caught up in your dad’s relationship drama, that’s not fair to you. I highly recommend you refuse any calls from his ex ladyfriend, and block her phone number, and tell your dad ‘no thank you, I’d rather not hear about it’ if he tries to discuss it with you. That’s a good boundary for you to have.”

    To your ex: nothing. absolute crickets.

    To yourself: nothing. absolute crickets. practice not caring one bit.

  • His plastic surgery enhanced poptart…. Bahahahaha🤣🤣🤣🤣🤣

    I spat my prosecco put while reading that 😁

    Hugs to you all CN ❤️

  • I think the question of how to help kids process a FW’s bizarre behavior is valid. An understanding of bizarre behavior in general can help kids develop life-long immunity to fuckery. It’s a little tricky though. Survivors always have to be careful to avoid fabricated “parental alienation” accusations because courts can be really unfair in how this is applied (battered women losing their kids because the kids know mom was battered? Absurd but it happens). Personally I’ve found that a lot of foundational wisdom about abuse can be imparted indirectly through discussions of politics, human nature, evolution, corporate corruption, government malfeasance, criminal law, you name it.

    I didn’t plan to provide my kids with a basic understanding of abnormal psych so that they could grow up with the ability to put their FW dad’s fuckwittery in perspective but that’s kind of how it worked out. I didn’t know FW was a fuckwit until I did and it wasn’t my doing that the kids found out about it too. Long before that discovery I thought I was preparing the kids to live in the real world because that’s how I was raised, at least to the best of my parents’ ability. There wasn’t a lot of discussion of narcissism when I was growing up and lists of intricate red flags for relationship vetting seem like a product of the internet age and online survivor forums. But my family provided me with an interest in human nature. I was also just following the cues of what interested my kids. They’ve always been the “why, why, why” types. I’d have to study up for routine bedtime chats or I’d get stumped.

    “Why do bad people do bad things? Why can’t we just put them all in a dungeon and make the world a perfect place?”
    “Well kids… ” (history, law, social justice, activism, criminal justice, politics, spheres of influence, bystander psychology, evolution, psychotraumatology, behaviorism, dramatic depictions in films and novels, blah blah blah, why why why).

    Maybe it’s a genetic family trait to be fascinated by human nature/failings. We’ve got a lot of professional sociological skein untanglers in the family related to law, journalism and business, even accounting. My mother and uncles were also very cheerful people and were more fascinated than shocked by the “dark side,” so my impression was that realism might actually be one of the keys to happiness. That and ethics. Turns out there’s a kind of science to ethics and that was dinner table conversation growing up. Then I trained as an advocate for survivors of domestic violence which involved studying criminal psych and later applied a lot of that to working for an environmental health publication. Oddly enough that was a seamless transfer because environment relates to the politics of science and all the human foibles and corruption that surround eco disasters and cover-ups. There was DARVO involved in the Gulf oil spill.

    The family tradition continues! The kids were teethed on this stuff because it’s just what mom always talked about. As the kids hit puberty, the endless questions started veering towards all things sexual, including the dark side of it.

    “Who’s Harvey Weinstein? Why does he look like a warthog? Why did it take so long to catch him? What’s #MeToo?”
    “Well kids…” (sex and porn industries, abuse of power, human trafficking, abuser psychology, financial influence, the difference between love and dependency and control, blah blah blah, why why why).

    You’d think this fascination with dark subject matter would make the kids gloomy, depressive or cynical. But like I saw in my family, it’s kind of the opposite. The kids are cheerful and resilient and building radars and an understanding of the world. When the kids run into conflict or see crappy people doing crappy things, they might become tearful and sad at first but then they quickly start looking at things philosophically and are back to being happy-go-lucky. For instance my daughter was heartbroken at 12 from being ghosted by a friend from one of her classes until her music tutor pointed out that the girl’s physician parents cornered him at a party to tell him all about the David Ickean theory of lizard aliens and they probably thought we were illuminati reptoids trying to take over the planet. She thought that was hilarious and researched everything on David Icke, “crisis cults” and on and on. Curiouser and curiouser.

    Then one of my sons is prone to rumination and loses sleep over things like slave labor in the garment industry and climate change, whatever. I already limit screen time but limited it further and asked him to stop doom scrolling but he’s naturally drawn to problem-solving. But then it all turns into an interest in politics, social justice strategy or protective humor and creativity and the kids’ friendships are forming around these interests. My daughter formed a club around her aspiration to be a graphic novelist and incorporates everything– even the dark stuff– into character development, world-building and story lines. Fortunately the parents of the kids’ minor friends are cool with it (the ones who don’t think we’re lizard kings). For instance, one time when the grownups in our COVID bubble were hanging out in my kitchen, the parents of one of my daughter’s friends tiptoed into the living room to see what the all the shrieking was about and found the kids rolling on the floor and making up a travel jingle parody about Epstein island. That could seem a little iffy but the jingle wasn’t callous towards victims, more a warning on how to avoid predators. Then the grownups got to talking about raising resilient kids. We’d all been horribly worried about the fact that teens and tweens around the world were suffering an epidemic of lockdown depression. But ours were rolling on the floor for seven hours straight. That might provide a hint that something must be working.

    Now that the kids are showing interest in eventually dating, the issue of character, boundaries, respect, love vs. pathological limerance, gaslighting, red flags, personality disorder and safety come up. More why why why.

    Anyway, at this point FW would be screwed if he tried to foist any weirdo narratives on the kids so he doesn’t even try. They would instantly see through it. Even before D-Day I saw him blanche when the kids would joke or rail about pervy public figures. While he was busy with his double life, I was raising the kids. That’s his bad luck.

  • My good friend was married to a serial cheating narcissist. He left with the mistress that was younger than their oldest daughter. ( he had 5 kids and was 72 at the time)
    His kids were all mortified and shocked at his behavior and weren’t afraid to let him or her know how they felt. ( they had a term for the over the top home he bought living with Smoops, it was referred to as the ‘McMansion’, like a Ronald McDonald clown life, it sure fit!
    He invited me many times to pool parties at that place ( image management 101) as both our families had been very tight forever. I refused all those offers, I’m not playing any clown games with him and his Schmoop of the month. (This was formerly a very highly regarded astronaut, deciding to just blow up his life completely after retirement, eerily similar to my own serial cheater who also threw a successful career out the window for the call of his throbbing dick.)
    When Schmoopie bailed at about 2 years on this guy, he angrily blamed his kids because he said they were “just so mean to her.” 🤣
    He crashed and burned and was pretty despondent for awhile after that and admitted to them all his mistress was maybe a little too young for him. ( you think?!)
    But not to worry, he’s back in the saddle once more with some other pretty young thing that he can fly around in his jet and probably believes he actually DID hang the moon, since he has the suit to do it in! 😜
    Sure wouldn’t want his lack of integrity to prevent him from having fun in life, would we now?
    Very successful losers, a justification does not exist that can explain that level of disordered.

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