Stay in Touch

Check out CL's Book

Why Does My Cheating-Ex Show Off Around Me?

OW walkHi Chump Lady,

My ex, lying, cheating, drug addict, is a fitness trainer at the gym I belong to. I hardly ever see her and am in the process of moving away to reset my life.

That said, yesterday she saw me and decided to take her class of retired older people for a walk around the health club as part of their class. She made sure to pass in front of me twice. I felt sorry for her class because they could barely keep up with her and they were struggling.

But when she sees me, she does similar things to get my attention. When I was still being stupid and trying to reconcile with her, she said I’d never find anyone like her, etc. I knew that was part of the mindfuck, so I just stared at her.

What she is doing now I think is funny. I call it “peacocking.” She prances around when she sees me, acting like I lost something of value. A woman I know got divorced from her cheating ex and he now drives a corvette that he makes sure she sees when he picks up the kids for his moments with them. She gets so angry because she thinks he is just living it up.

Have you ever addressed “peacocking” by the ex? I do not know what else to call it.



Dear Stephen,

It’s so sad when the sprinkles slip off the dog turd. Once you’ve seen the crap, no amount of sugar coating can conceal the essential turdishness.

Your ex misses her centrality, and thought you needed a reminder of her super specialness. Thus the ridiculous prancing, complete with AARP entourage.

I’m not sure what she thought was going to happen here. Oh! I must have you now, on the yoga mats! I guess you were supposed to be dazzled. #SeductionFail

Have you ever addressed “peacocking” by the ex? I do not know what else to call it.

Sure, examples of this are all over the blog, and I’m sure CN will give us more to snicker at in the comments.

Narcissists gotta narc. Peacocking, booty-shaking, small-dick-energy sports cars — it’s all an invitation to do the pick me dance for their awesomeness.

There isn’t core awesomeness there, thus the impression management sprinkles.

Pay no attention to my cheating-lying-drug addiction! BEHOLD MY FIRM ASS!

I left you for the secretary AND I DRIVE A VERY SHINY CAR!

These people are not deep. In their world, there’s only sprinkles. They lack the core values. They project that everyone else must be as shallow as they are — and the sad thing is, they’re often right! If you didn’t know your ex, you might think, oh, there’s a hot girl leading a fitness class. But once you know, you can’t un-know.

Really, your ex is just too stupid to realize her hooks don’t work on you anymore. But that’s okay, because there’s a whole gym full of potential suckers. The performance isn’t for you alone. It might be for the pensioner huffing behind her as well.

Read about the currency of kibbles. All attention is good attention to these freaks. Are you jealous? Ooh, a kibble hit of centrality! Do you want them back? Dance!

By ignoring her, she’ll probably ramp up her efforts, otherwise known as hoovering. Funny thing is, she imagines you’re weak for her, but it’s really the other way around — she’s weak for narcissistic supply. She needs you to feed the giant hole in her soul.

Chumps often mistake this need for “love” or whatever else we want to project on it. Trust that they suck is another way of saying, “Hey, that’s a candy-coated dog turd.”


Did a douchebag park a corvette in my driveway?


Is that a terrible person wrapped in Lululemon?


Is that a peacock or a garishly overdressed vulture?

Value good character over impression management. And I’ll allow you a little schadenfreude to enjoy the seduction fails.



Ask Chump Lady

Got a question for the Chump Lady? Or a submission for the Universal Bullshit Translator? Write to me at Read more about submission guidelines.
  • She said “I’ll never find another woman like her.”

    I hope not, I really, really hope not.

    If she ever says that to you again, tell her that.

  • Stephen – I’m guessing that your relationship was relatively short term and your healing largely achieved, otherwise I’d recommend going no contact immediately. She appears to want your attention (kibbles), but that carries the possibility of toxic drama. Find another gym, another social circle and avoid drug use.

  • Couple things about Mr. Sparkles that I remember as “peacocking”:

    1. Struts, like John Travolta (no insult to him) did in Saturday night fever.
    2. Used “Mr.GreyXXXX” for his personal ad on Ashley Madison (um, not even close dude).
    3. Still styles his hair (what’s left of it) like a 70’s porn star.
    4. Used to watch him at the gym, barely used the equipment but walk around all the time “wiping down” himself.

    Just ew… I can’t even imagine breathing the same oxygen as him now.

    I think you need a new gym 🙂

  • The APs also enjoy a good peacocking (another reason to never look them up on social media!). When my FW left me for GF#1, she would always, always, always sit in the passenger seat of his shiney new sportscar (so cliche, the car thing) to come with him to pick up the kids for weekend visits. It broke my heart seeing her there every week. I would cry and, back before I knew about No Contact (such a blessing!) would ask my he-was-still-my-husband if he could leave his girlfriend at home when he came to pick up the kids because it was really hard on me. He refused, said I had to start accepting this, and that she wanted to come. It’s like my tears entertained them.

    I wrote about this on another support group and someone wrote back that the OW in her story did the same thing: she always insisted on driving with FW in the passenger seat, wherever he went, like “a prize poodle.”

    The phrase stuck with me. I didn’t cry the next time they drove by. There she was, I thought, sitting there like a prize poodle. And I actually laughed about it for the first time instead of cried.

    So, yes, the FWs peacock about or the APs sit there proudly like prize poodles who just won the blue ribbon/sparkly turd. And, at least for myself, when I think of them in this manner it gives them less power and less centrality in my life.

    FW still peacocks around, I’m sure, and, from what I’ve known for years now, GF#3/Wifetress hardly ever drives and just travels everywhere with him in the passenger seat like a prize poodle. Their behaviours have not changed for a decade and a half (the peacocking and poodling never stops!) but mine did: I went no contact years ago. I never look at their social medias intentionally, I never contact FW unless it’s expressly about business matters, and I close the curtains and never look outside anymore when they pick the kids up every weekend. It’s been bliss. And that’s the only way to stop the peacocking and poodling: remove your attention from it.

    • Fourleaf this made me laugh. My eyesight is not the best. Once time the still my husband, now ex drove up with his “fiancee” in his car and I actually did think it was a fluffy dog in the front passenger seat. I asked him whose dog it was and he said it was the APs. He didn’t want to admit it was her so played along with my unintentional error.

    • “It’s like my tears entertained them.” This is true. FW, AP and I all worked at the same place, and they never missed an opportunity to come by my building (when only one of them really needed to), linger outside so I’d “run into” them, or strut by at lunch on their “walks”. They loved seeing me so upset.

      “And I actually laughed about it for the first time instead of cried.” Humor saved me. I started seeing OW for the pathetic person she really was (looking at her social media actually helped me – I know that’s not the recommendation, but seeing how self-absorbed and vain she was, and how she was actually quite plain and trying to paint herself [literally, with too much makeup] as “hot”, and how she copied pretty much everything about me) and could laugh. I knew what her life was like now. I saw her get thinner and thinner, look more and more tired, and age about 10 years in one, in a desperate attempt to keep FW (who kept hoovering me, and I think she knew that, nay, I think me MADE SURE she knew that to keep her dancing). I got to the point where I didn’t envy her anymore. Where I could say “better her than me”. And nothing, NOTHING, bothers these peacocks more than being utterly ignored. Seeing them together stopped bothering me, and eventually I filled my life with so many good and interesting things and people that I would find I hadn’t checked FW’s or OW’s social media all day. I just didn’t care what they were doing. FW would try so hard to rattle me via email or text by dropping OW’s name all the time, or insulting me, or whatever. I just let it roll off me, saying to myself “there he goes again”. It drove him insane.

      Even after FW died, OW still tried to be a part of my life (and FW’s sister’s too, even though they’d never met, since he wasn’t speaking to his family), emailing, texting, and calling me. She’d left him a few months before, but she still needed centrality and to make it all about her. I told her that if she showed up to the funeral I’d have her escorted out, and told her never to contact me again. FW’s sister told her the same. OW still considers me her “arch nemesis” (she called me that on Twitter at least twice, lol). Clearly my existence still bothers her, and now it just makes me laugh. I don’t think you can be the arch nemesis of someone you don’t give a fuck about. While going through FW’s things, I found all OW’s letters from during the affair (when it was still a badly-kept secret). And I surprised myself, because they didn’t make me upset or angry or cry. I was laughing my ass off at how pathetic, over the top, and immature they were. Seriously, it was as if someone in junior high wrote them, not a 35 year old woman with two kids. The “best” one was where she said that FW should tell me about them and we could maybe all be one big happy family (!?!?!?). Who does that?

      The only way to handle these disordered people is to ignore their sad attempts to get attention, and laugh at them in private.

      • Just curious and I may have misunderstood, ISTL, but did you organize/attend your ex-husband’s funeral? Or were you still married? I only ask because I can’t imagine attending my ex-husband’s funeral, even for my son, or my in-laws (who I still have a good relationship with). Even if he had died while we were still married, after I found out about the cheating, I don’t think I could have done it. Does that make me a bad person? Or maybe I’m just wanting to think I’d have reacted that way, or will react that way if he passes first, because I’m still angry and not at meh. 🙁

        One thing I do know, I have left strict instructions with my siblings that FW is not allowed at my funeral if I pass first, unless absolutely necessary to support my adult son. I doubt that will be needed, though, bc my son and FW aren’t close.

        • Yes, I know I read her story before but I can’t remember if they were still married when he died. (Don’t forget there might be social security benefits later even if you were divorced).

          After my cheater died but before I remarried, I made my oldest child swear that if I died before I remarried, he would not bury me with his father.

        • We were still legally married. His family and I arranged/paid for everything (well, I sold his comic collection to pay my half). I had reached meh by then, and even though he was abusive and awful and cheated and all the rest, I wasn’t vindictive anymore. We also have a child together. So for the sake of my son and FW’s family, whom I actually like, I put together a memorial service. His family didn’t condone his choices, they dislike his AP, and have been great to me and my son now that FW is no longer there to try and keep them away from our son (he wasn’t speaking to them and hated them and would get furious every time I dared to contact them). Part of me was disgusted by having to see all our “friends”, but part of me felt vindicated because the majority of them seemed genuinely surprised that I looked great and seemed to be doing just fine.

          I was angry that he left me to clean up his mess and deal with helping my son through all of it. But being legally married sure did make it easier to handle a lot of the financial stuff, so he did me a favor dragging out the divorce. My kid got a nice life insurance payout and a monthly social security benefit, so we are all better off now.

          Maybe I’m just an oddball. I certainly wasn’t in love with him anymore, but I never wished him ill. It seemed right that someone handle everything, and he really didn’t have anyone else. He pushed everyone away. So that left me. At least I can say I took the high road.

          • I think it’s me that might be the oddball. 🙁 I think what you did took a lot of integrity and maybe I need to try to walk that high road more often. Clearly I’m not at meh yet.

            • I guess it’s just the difference in circumstance. Even for how much I love my children, I could never plan a memorial service for my FW. We’d be remembering what a total asshole he is (was) and I’m not sure I’d spend even his money to do that.
              Earlier I read the title of an article of a man urinating on his ex wife’s grave, that’s about as much of a memorial as I’d give my ex.
              I’m definitely not at meh yet.

              • I will not go to FUCKFACE’s funeral when he kicks the bucket. He’s an cruel evil narcissistic sociopathic abuser who didn’t think twice about risking my life with his disgusting double life. He can rot in hell. And I don’t think there’s anything wrong with feeling like this.

            • You are not an oddball at all. You may have more healing to do or you may never be in a place to handle that type of situation. Do not be hard on yourself!

        • CBN, my mom attended my dad’s funeral with me to support me. This was 24 years after their definitely not amicable divorce caused by his infidelity and alcoholism.

          I guess she was at meh. I’m glad she was there because it was a difficult occasion that included seeing relatives from his side of the family that I hadn’t seen for many years. However, we had a great reunion and are now in contact.

          Also, I was “no contact” with my father for the last 20 years he was alive. I really don’t know if I would have attended if my mother hadn’t gone with me.

      • For years, my rapist peacocked every time I ran into him – acting like we were best friends, getting up in my personal space, demanding hugs. He’d act offended when I ignored him and TRY HARDER. It was agony for me.

        Finally several people took him aside, reamed his ass from stem to stern, and told him, “She doesn’t want to see you, idiot. You raped her.”

        He was deeply upset. Not about raping me, of course, but about this hit to his ego. He denied rape but it was too late, now many people in the community know and his reputation’s taken a huge hit. Even his boss ended up firing him.

        I haven’t seen him now in years and from what I’m told, he’s actively avoiding our old community and his marriage is on the rocks.

        Fuck around, find out.

    • That’s right! Remove the audience !—because it’s no fun to perform when no one is looking. With no contact you will not be there to see the peacocking or lack thereof—sparing yourself the show either way.

    • My ex wife and her AP, now husband do this all the time picking up my kids and his ex wife and 2 ex GFs tell me they do the same for their kids.
      What I get from it is that these sociopaths cannot leave each others side for fear they are cheating or will cheat if they go alone. My kids over the past 4 years have not done anything alone with their mom. Not once, her AP/ husband has to be around at all times.

      • Same with my exH and his wifetress.
        The exH and the wifetress simply cannot trust each other to be alone. I feel bad for them. (But not really).

        If one can’t tag along for some reason when it’s my ex’s weekend or holiday with our children, my ex would simply dump our children with his parents without telling me.
        Something changed this year, where he now drops off our children with me (when it’s his time) when he is ‘traveling’. He has learned to ask first. I enjoy the extra time with my kids. And I enjoy the chuckle ???? of visualizing how they each have to keep each other on a leash ????????

    • This got me thinking…. While the Howife is much younger, people made comments about how much less attractive than me she is. She does have lots of money though. I believe I’ll picture her as the “cash cow” now. Thanks fourleaf!

    • I think it’s a major turning point for us when their behavior becomes laughable. A similar scenario happened to me when the Worm dumped a bucket of dirty mop water over my head while I was leaving the house. He tried to intimidate me while I was leaving the drive way by doing a Jack Nicholson (The Shining) at my car window. I laughed all the way home because he looked so ridiculous.
      Intimidation, Sad Sausage and Peacock are all one in the same.

  • Stephen, yep they do that because they want you to see what you are missing (as if you would miss a lying, cheating asshole). My STBX (less than one month away from final now) was posting all over social media (I blocked him after the first one). A few friends have brought it up and we have laughed about it (what’s not to laugh about a old man and a Schmoopie that is 32 years younger). He may be all shiny but once the shiny coins are gone Schmoopie will disappear as well. Just laugh about it because sometimes they are so ridiculous in trying to show their greatness. They just want their supply. Don’t give it to them.

  • My sons called their dad’s behaviour “peacocking” when he left for the OW – a peacocker herself. He was so proud of himself that he sent us pictures of her. Key point: She’s flashy & I’m not. So that’s how deep he goes. I guess he expected me to put “the girls” on display like his bimbo to make some effort to get him back. But I did not. I accepted that I did not get to know him well before we moved in together & married. If I had, I probably would’ve realized his pool isn’t very deep. I see the same mistakes made around me all the time.

  • In the beginning of the shit show after DDay, FW was shoving everything in my face. He was dressing differently — he went from ultra conservative button down collar shirts with dress pants, belt and Allen Edmunds shoes… to modern millennial dude (at 50+) in tight dark skinny jeans and modern sneaker-esque shoes. He was bragging about how much better AP was than me because she went to an Ivy League school or did whatever.

    Thank goodness he became so instantly repugnant to me that he could see it in my face. I’d see him dressed like an idiot and couldn’t help but laugh at him. Or I wouldn’t be able to hold back a facial expression of pure disgust. He’d point out that AP went to an Ivy League school, and I’d remind him that HE did not.

    He just isn’t witty enough to keep up with me. So his “peacocking” lasted maybe a month or 2 and he quickly realized that I only saw him without his mask and was repulsed. From that point forward he chose to hide in his car and stop coming to my door (a Ring camera added to my door helped with that too) and he can’t bear to look at me anymore. Win-win

    Completely grey rock now

    Face the demon head on. Make a face of disgust. Shiver it off. They’ll get the hint. And boy does it get under their skin.

    • Towards the end, when I was literally counting the hours until filing, I started to notice Ex’s pathetic attempts to flirt with women. He’d look at me to see if he was getting a rise and I’d just laugh in his face.

    • “modern millennial dude (at 50+) in tight dark skinny jeans and modern sneaker-esque shoes” hilarious image compared to his usual conservative style. I imagine his haircut and posture being completely wrong for the outfit.

      • Spot on, Detector Chump. His hair stayed the same… he’s lost most of it and the rest is gray. It’s a conservative cut he’s had forever. He looks ridiculous with the “modern” duds. And his posture? More slumped than ever lol

    • My fw also went from dorky clothes to tight jeans, white sneakers, and acrylic tight bright t shirts. He looks like a clown.

  • My XW tried the peacocking with me. She had lost some weight, which she needed, because she is walking with a limp. I was dropping off the kids. I have since remarried yet out comes my ex STRUTTING while bringing out the garbage cans. Strutting up and down the driveway. I tried not to laugh ????. My XW also said that I would never find someone like her. ???????????? I didn’t, I found someone much better.

  • There is a strong narrative with chumps that Cheater/OW are “truly happy” together.
    Gals/Guys: Listen up.
    #1. Just becasue they are together- for days, weeks or years is absolutley NO indication if they are happy or not.
    (ASK my friend who married a loser who can’t afford to divorce his bum arse, but is miserable that she agreed and let him into her home and retirement package.)
    #2. All those social media posts? Fervent peacocking.

    • This???????????????????????????????? My XH (25 years married) is still “with” the no-longer-young AP— they are like a 24/7 episode of Cops: knock-down drag out screaming matches, Tinder hookups, drunken-drug induced injuries (numerous trips to the ER), threats of homicide, lawyer hired to evict AP from XH’s home, AP threatening to sue for community property under meritricious relationship theory ….. horrifying! I warned XH that it would come to this….. he still cannot look me in the eye on the rare occasions I see him 8 years later …. He is pathetic. So glad I found CL and realized he’s no unicorn.

      • My ex was the same way. I only saw him a handful of times after the D. (grandchild events). He never looked me in the eyes, and would find a reason to hump his shoulders and leave if he got caught with a group of us.

        Don’t know why he was doing that, it isn’t like I didn’t know what a shit pile his life had become, after all we share a son. I didn’t know all the details, but I knew the high (low) points. Even schmoops could stand there and look me in the eyes, because after all she never thought she did anything wrong. She had someone to pay the bills and that was more than she had ever had before.

          • I ask in part bc I really think x feels shame. He lost the respect of so many friends, family, and colleagues, which, astonishingly, he somehow didn’t expect.

            Recently, he went to a friend’s funeral and snuck out the back afterwards. During the service, he had the OW-now-wife walk the dog. Didn’t want her in the church.

            I don’t know. I just think/hope he might feel like a total shit. After all, I’m quite sure people are giving him the side eye, which he somehow didn’t expect. Those two cheaters must have convinced themselves that, once their relationship was revealed, they’d be strutting around, and all would applaud. A kind of folie à deux. #realityhurts

  • If they’re not in a relationship, I’d call it entrapment. The ex is all look at me at shiny me with my expensive toys and loads of cash. Ignore the fact that I’ve never lived alone and currently live with my dad ( to help him out..right) or that one of my kids changed their name( crazy, mean, influencing ex) while the other visits for money.
    Funny enough he was living like this when we were married to lure people except he lived with us. Icky

  • My ex emailed his online Schmoopie that he couldn’t wait for her to move here so he could walk around town with her on his arm and everyone wondering what a dude like him had to get a hot babe like her. When I read that, during our short wreckonciliation, I said it would be obvious to everyone that a “hot babe” less than half his age (him 64, her in her 20s) would be with him “for the money, honey.” It took me about 5 minutes to search her photo and figure out he’d been catfished.

    The word “peacocking” is great. Fraudster had a line about his supposed “world championship” that I was supposed to parrot on command. He’d strut around at parties or in public to get people’s attention, and when they looked his way, he’d stiffen his fingers and jab them into my spine. At first he’d hiss, “Say it! Say it!” til I got the message and said the line, so he could act modest about his supposed accomplishment. Eventually all he had to do was jab me in the back, or give me “the look,” and I’d say it. I thought it was true until he told the MC that he was actually a TWO-time world champion. He was offended when I questioned this and tried to convince me I’d somehow also missed the second big win. Which prompted me to look up the actual champions, and learn he’d never won. Of course he never mentioned to anyone that I’d won nearly two dozen national awards in my field.

    He’d sometimes put on a phony Italian accent to go along with his phony Italian first name. He did this once with a street musician, and was shocked when the man responded to him in a torrent of fluent Italian. He literally backed away, red-faced, and tried to say he only spoke a little Italian. So why speak it to an absolute stranger in the middle of the US?

    During our marriage, he faked (to other people and groups) being an MD, a veteran, and having two Ivy League MBAs. There was probably more I didn’t catch. And yeah, we had a classic sports car, although somehow my name was left off the title. His big thrill for years was parking it in high traffic places so he could bask in the attention it got.

    His latest attention ploy is exaggerating his health problems, (“I died two times on the table–no, six times!”), telling old friends that he’s “a broken man,” etc. He’s the saddest of sad sausages. What a come down. He actually said he’s lost everything. While living in an expensive care facility.

    Tracy wrote, “Value good character over impression management. And I’ll allow you a little schadenfreude to enjoy the seduction fails.” I am enjoying. I initiated the divorce. He proposed to three other women while we were married, and got dumped by these “life partners” despite expensive love bombing. While I still struggle due to my disabilities and his financial abuse, unlike him, I’m managing my house and finances, and am healthier than ever. If I wasn’t no contact, I’d tell him that the grandchild he also walked out on just won his second significant award, and was featured in a video that got over a million you tube views. The grandson won’t tell him, either, because he (young teen grandson) got a no contact order from the court. Rock on, grandson!

    • Rock on, award-winning grandson, and Rock on, YOU, Goodfriend, for your nearly two dozen national awards!!! (And of course, for leaving the fake Italian who is reduced to complaints about lumbago to garner attention.)

  • My serial cheater abuser coerced her mom into buying her a brand new two-seater sports car. Cheater works extremely part time in retail with no aspirations to do more to support herself because her mom pays for everything while cheater uses her wages (plus her mom’s money) exclusively for toys and parties. Probably guilt tripped her poor retired elementary school teacher mom into buying the stupid car for her because she was oh so sad I broke up with her. I’m sure nothing could soothe her abandoned broken heart except a fancy new car for her to peacock to all the new supply. I call it her cheater two-seater. She is repulsive.

  • Sometimes it’s just due to the FW’s getting older and not having the stuff to strut, or just that more people start seeing through the veneer for whatever reason, but these folks seem to arrive at a new place eventually– a place where people just look at them blankly or even with disdain.

    Without going into all the details, I’ll just say my FW recently got taken aside in a public setting and asked to tone it down. That’s a lot of schadenfreude at one sitting.

    • Poet! Now you HAVE to give us details… please? 🙂
      My imagination is running wild. Inquiring minds want to know!

  • Thankfully, I don’t have to put up with this. The last time I saw FW was three and a half years ago when he showed up at my door 11 weeks to the day after he had married his see you next Tuesday love of his life. He was crying and telling me what a mess his life was and begging to stay with me. I sent him packing. He called three more times begging to come back. So glad she won her sparkling turd!

    • I get the impression the X in my life is feeling the same way.
      I chuckle when I hear details about his life with the Mate Poacher, who begged him to “Give her a chance to make him happy” because I, the Ogre, was clearly the reason he was so miserable.
      I say about her : You wanted my life?
      You got it!!!!!
      My X doesn’t “peacock”
      He’s not that good an actor.
      I hear he’s miserable and,
      Oh, well.

    • The stuff of dreams! I’m pretty much over the ex. However there is a small part of me that would like him to try to come back so that I can laugh in his face. It will not happen, not least because he knows I would laugh in his face and dine out on the story for years!

  • At his deposition during the divorce, the ex was questioned about his $125 haircuts.
    He proudly said “not everyone can get a haircut like this”.
    My lawyer, who had great hair and was a much younger, handsome guy, tried so hard not to laugh.
    He looked at my ex and said “I guess everyone has a different definition of a great haircut”.
    Never forget the look on my ex’s face! ????

  • I didn’t comment or react to my ex showing up with the date du jour, but my children did. He accused me of telling them what to say. I told him I didn’t write any scripts; the children were smart enough to observe and comment. Most of the time they told him they wanted their time with him to be only with him. They didn’t want to be on his date. One very young woman had more in common with my oldest son, and they wanted to listen to music that drove him crazy. My son asked him how old she was, and why he wanted to date someone that was in her 20’s when he was in his 50’s.

    For these types, the only thing worth having is something someone else wants. They cannot believe you are not jealous. If you laugh, it infuriates them. I was truly done after 20 years of lies and cheating. I danced out of the courthouse saying, “Free at last!”

  • Stephen– It seems Sparkletwat is something akin to a yard dog that barks mindlessly at every squirrel and passerby. She doesn’t care if she harms the seniors in her class with her antics and she actually could. If just out of concern for the elderly, see if you can’t get out of the gym’s contract and join another before moving, otherwise you might have to witness some poor person breaking a hip or having a stroke.

      • It would be very generous of you to hang around just in case your CPR skills are required if she goes scattershot with the bouncy overage cheerleader crotch-sparkles and aims them at Mack Roidrage or Phil Buttblaster and some poor senior gets trampled in the process. Or you could donate some defibrillator paddles to the gym and spare yourself the drama. 😉

  • Peacocking is right. XH#1 had it DOWN. We were separated, and essentially NC, but he had to come to town to sign some papers, so suggested we go to lunch. I was a college student, so free food? Yes! Oh, but first he “had” to stop at the Porsche dealer to discuss the car he was buying. I politely waited, and read a National Geographic, and never said a word about his car. Schmoopie had bought him all new clothes (Ralph Lauren), which he strutted around in.
    He asked if I was seeing anybody, and I told him. “really none of your business, but yes, several in fact.” Then he wanted to know if I was intimate with any of them. “THAT is REALLY none of your business.” The fun was watching him squirm, realizing that it was, in fact, easy for me to replace him.

    He tried to hoover me in with a sad-sausage letter, once. I didn’t bother replying. As far as I know, he and Scmoopie are still together, but I truly don’t care.

  • Wow! Thanks! Sprinkles off the dog turd LOL!!!! Yup… and the cartoon is even better! I appreciate you addressing this “peacocking” thing. It is soooo weird to see. I”m off to my next life now with a big grin… once you get to know her… I always wonder if the men who stand and talk to her know she is a flight risk?

    • More importantly, do they know she’s an STD risk? And you might want to check if your great-grandfather’s gold cuff links are still where you hid them in your sock drawer.

  • My Ex tells everyone he meets, including the parents at our kids school, that he’s an attorney. He went to law school, passed the bar 14 years ago and has Never practiced law a day in his life. He keeps his law license current so if anyone googles him, it comes up that he’s a licensed attorney in the state we live in. This is his hook with women and how he peacocks in our town. His actual job has nothing to do with law. I’ve had to correct numerous people in our town, when inevitably, it comes up that my ex is a lawyer, because that’s how many people he’s been telling this to, and they are so impressed…and then I tell them the truth.

    • At least your ex has the actual degree. My ex, Fraudster, claims to be a veteran when he’s with veterans, an MD when he’s with a group of medical professionals, and to have TWO different MBAs, one from Harvard (used to be on his Linked-In page) and now replaced with one from Dartmouth, also on his Linked-In page. I suspect the reason he kept losing jobs is because employers hired him to do an MBA’s work, and he couldn’t perform. Snicker.

    • He keeps his license current just to be able to brag? Good grief, that is desperate.

      Mine is equally pathetic. He is a mid-level cog in the government wheel and thinks it makes him Da Man. He works in tech, yet brags about “helping so many people.” These delusional fruitloops are hilarious.

  • Traitor X told me “you won’t know what you had til it’s gone.”

    He was absolutely right, and maybe the truest words he has ever spoken.

    I truly did not see what a lying cheating fraudulent phony MF thief he was until DDay and after. It was like I was defrosting; as time passed, more came to light and I realized more and more. The less contact you have, the faster this happens.

    He is such a jerk and has gone right on proving it, ever since he left in 2018 right up until yesterday.

    Just yesterday, he told me I owed him money because I “spent more joint funds on therapy than he did” during the divorce. Which was finalized. A YEAR AGO. Which I pointed out to him. He believes Traitor X reasoning supersedes a divorce decree. So I had the lawyers (once again) tell him otherwise.

    JFC on a cracker.

    As has been said, one of my biggest fears is ending up with someone like him again. At this time, I am very happy not dating and totally drunk on independence and being by myself. My attention is for me, my daughter, and my trusted friends. I don’t have the energy or the desire to deal with anyone else’s problems right now, which is a normal and the most challenging part of any romantic partnership.

    There is no shortage of gyms on the planet. Find a new one.

    No contact rocks.

    • “As has been said, one of my biggest fears is ending up with someone like him again. At this time, I am very happy not dating and totally drunk on independence and being by myself. My attention is for me, my daughter, and my trusted friends. I don’t have the energy or the desire to deal with anyone else’s problems right now, which is a normal and the most challenging part of any romantic partnership.”


  • The ex moved back in to the marital home for a couple of weeks, two weeks after moving out. I did not know about the affair; I only knew that I had been unceremoniously dumped after 26 years. I was pick-me dancing in ignorance. We were sleeping separately. Instead of using the family bathroom, every morning he swaggered into the master bedroom where I was sleeping, in his posing pouch Calvins, to use the en suite shower. There was a hairdryer and full length mirror in the spare room where he was sleeping neither of which he ever used. He then stood in front of me and the full length mirror, left hip jutting out, knee bent, toe on the ground, heel in the air, my hairdryer in right hand, gazing lovingly at himself, and drying his few stumpy strands of thinning hair with great ceremony. He looked ridiculous! Even I, in my shocked, shattered state, wondered what was going on and thought it was odd. It was proper ‘peacocking’. He totally loved himself. He was ‘The Man’. I can laugh about it now 3 years later (and at least I don’t have to watch his grunting press ups any more!). When the therapist says ‘X has strong narcissistic traits’ and she doesn’t know the half of it, I celebrate the fact that I am free because age isn’t going to improve him, his hair, or his preening!

      • Ah, thank you Goodfriend. Brought a smile to my face on another grim day in the UK, as we watch our finances get flushed away by yet another cheater prime minister!

    • I had an uncle like this. He lived rent-free with his mother for 30 years, sucked her dry, and stole money from her and other members of his family.

      Eventually he burned all his bridges in his hometown and fled across the country to marry a new sucker. We heard he turned his new wife’s house into a hoarding situation and had her paying his bills. He only spent a year with his new host until he suddenly died from Covid.

      I wonder if his widow knows what a blessing that was. We dealt with him for over 50 years and he was a nightmare. Age only made him worse: more entitled, more ridiculous, more demanding.

      Thank God he left. We regularly got harassing phone calls for years from creditors looking for him. Can’t imagine the drama he would’ve put us through as he got older and eventually went homeless.

  • “ It’s so sad when the sprinkles slip off the dog turd” – OMG I laughed hard at this. My ex turd showed up this weekend – twice – driving his old-life-crisis mobile and dressed first like an explosion at the Tommy Bahama factory outlet, and then later at a street fair in 90 degree weather looking like 70 years of pathology stuffed into an overdressed sausage casing. He tried to speak to me and I honestly didn’t recognize him. Then when I did I told him so, turned my back, and continued my conversation with friends he knows who didn’t give him the time of day. It was delicious to see him skulk off in his dumb hat covering his bald spot and know he was astonished we didn’t acknowledge his sparkling turdiness. These moments will come, fellow chumps, and they feel really quite satisfying. He is screwing a “singer” who is much younger than him so he is now in the music “scene” and has to follow her around while she “gigs” and he basks in what he believes is the adoration of him for screwing the no-talent talent with a gut and terrible taste in clothes. Let them have their dumb lives. He will eventually collapse of exhaustion soon enough anyway and she will start banging the young guitar player and the sparkles will continue to slide off the turd. Be mighty and stay classy and don’t worry – you do not want what they have. It’s cheap, clinging to youth, big fish small pond syndrome. They will run out of food. Don’t be their supply. Just point and laugh.

    • “driving his old-life-crisis mobile and dressed first like an explosion at the Tommy Bahama factory outlet”

      “like 70 years of pathology stuffed into an overdressed sausage casing.”

      Dying laughing!

  • Ha! Thanks for this, Tracy. I just put a response a little while ago to yesterday’s post, where in addition to wishing you a belated happy birthday, I mentioned (among a lot of other things) that the FW XW had to (HAD TO!????) let me know that during what would have been our 30th wedding anniversary, except for the fact of D-day happening and exit-affairing me and our mirage, she was jetting to Italy w/her fuckwit AP (her former-but-still-rich I assume boss, now new, disposable life-partner) for their first so-called marriage anniversary. Whoop-de-fucking-doo.???? CN, can we say, no-fucking-class whore?

    It’s annoying, but it helps that today you decided to address peacocking, which is what I guess she’s doing. All I did was reply, “Viewed.” Because it was in reference to our almost 17 yo son being around an older man they hired to dog/house-sit for them while they’re gone for two weeks.

    Because that’s all peacocking deserves: at most a minimum reply for grey rock, or if you can, crickets for NC.????

    So sorry another Stephen is suffering from a fuckwit, Stephen. Hang in there. We’ll survive these fuckwits, my friend.

    Hope you’re doing well post-birthday, Tracy, and all of CN as well. Be like me and go hyphen-crazy today.????

  • My ex wife and her AP/husband both love to peacock. Before I filed for divorce 4 years ago she was bringing the fuckstick into our house strutting him around in front of me and our kids like he was something special. She really gets into it now with the peacocking at our kids sporting events. She’s the super loud overly obnoxious parent that has to cheer louder than anyone else. Along with her AP and his 5 kids and his parents and my ex in laws all in tow. It’s very laughable.
    Last week I found the best way to shut them all up. It’s taken me 4 years to be comfortable with dating again. Well I showed up with my girlfriend and it’s the first time I heard crickets from their crew. ????

    • Chumptight, you’ve just given an example which shows that peacockers are massively insecure people and very easy to intimidate. All you had to do was show them you have a life. Beautiful!

  • Oh what mine eyes have seen. Narcissism is so depressing and animalistic– and not in a “hot,” steamy way. Some are describing narcissists as peacocks and prize poodles. I think of them as a pack of chimps.

    As someone else mentioned, these are people who value themselves and others on a kind of stock market system of what they perceive others value. It makes me wonder if viewing narcissism as a “disorder” is inaccurate since it may be simply a matter of people living by monkey values and embracing a monkey hierarchy, sort of the ultimate definition of a thoughtless, conformist existence. It helps to be raised in a family that exists by the laws of the jungle where higher human purpose, values, love and attachment, etc., are not modeled. The rest of us may understand that certain displays of status or attention to appearances are pragmatic to avoid being bullied or getting fired, etc. But some people really internalize this stuff.

    So I was having some “deep thoughts” that, by this score, self-effacing “covert” narcissism would just be a temporary expression of where someone feels themselves to be on the monkey hierarchy until they sense they’ve earned enough status chips to be grandiose about it. It can make some harder to spot at first. Maybe a chump meets a narcissist when the narcissist is young, struggling, at the bottom of the status heap and still having to kiss the rings of their betters. Maybe the narcissist has recently lost some status battles and is playing “little inconsequential me” while regrouping. In any case, when they’re still lying low and stooping to conquer, they’re not as detectable– just like our closest ape cousins, the regular chimps (we don’t share a common direct ancestor with bonobos btw: I’m not echoing poly/bonobo arguments), will put on holistic-seeming subordinate displays and appear modest and retiring by nature in order to keep from being marked as rivals by dangerous alphas.

    But the whole goal is to eventually become a flashy alpha being fawned over and feared by followers. In the ape world, you have to take someone else out in order to ascend and turn on your former peers whom you’ll now have to browbeat and keep in line (if you’re a chimp, that includes beating up your own mother in front of the troop as the first step of rising in rank). In other words, sacrificing others is a natural part of the ritual of ape ascension. But until that happens, betas have to be content with alpha apes allowing them to join a gang bang once the alphas have had their turns or maybe being tossed a piece of banana. You could think of loveless monkey sex as the consolation crumbs to tide the betas over and keep them in line as they dream of rising in rank.

    I guess some could argue that the above comes naturally since our ape ancestors did it. But for apes, cannibalism and infanticide also come naturally. Maybe some “natural” impulses should be resisted.

    I had a professor who described life as a continuously turning wheel where those on the rim could be “higher” than others one moment and “lower” the next. She said this is why she preferred to stay in the center– neither better nor worse than anyone else. She proved it by being fair with everyone. But she was actually a very accomplished person so it was clear she wasn’t talking about remaining mediocre and not making an effort. She was talking about avoiding hubris and not measuring one’s value in comparison to others. That’s the higher human aim. The rest is just apes flinging shit at each other. Live by the monkey rules, die by them.

      • It’s an older book but still relevant: primatologist Richard Wrangham’s “Demonic Males: Apes and the Evolution of Human Violence.” He also makes short work discounting Franz de Waal’s theory (so loved by the sex pozzy, anti-monogamy crowd) that humans evolved from a common ancestor with the groovy, orgy-loving bonobo. If carbon dating weren’t enough proof, one look at human history makes the case that humans resemble rapey warring chimps a lot more than they do kinder-gentler feminist bonobos.

  • The truth is that she’s massively insecure. She needs to be desired and to be central because at a subconscious level, she knows she’s shit.
    Chicks like her are as common as ragweed (and they both give you hives.) Subliminally, she knows that. Her informing you that she is so sooper dooper speshul that you will never meet another like her is reaction formation. Her dread of her ordinariness leads her to proclaim the opposite and to desperately try to draw attention to her alleged exceptionalism.
    You could meet hundreds like her, but you don’t want to.

    My question is why do you continue to use a gym where she trains? You could probably get your membership money back if you tell them they have a trainer who abused you and is extremely promiscuous. As a bonus, she’ll get a bad reputation.
    Then you won’t have to deal with her gross behavior anymore.

    If you ever get a hankering to watch whores parade around, you can always check out the local stroll where prostitutes hustle clients. You could tell her so if she asks why you no longer come to the gym, but she’ll be blocked, so you won’t have to. That will say everything she needs to know.
    Now go and get this peacocking shitwit completely out of your life.

  • Betcha he has heard , “She ain’t pretty, she just looks that way.” Ugly on the inside, sparkly rose scented turd on the outside. And there he is Trusting that she sucks! Go-Stephen-Go. Stay strong.

  • Oh, the images in my head of my ex, the fetish crossdresser who was convinced he was transgender, before I left him, “peahenning” in his women’s lingerie, dropping a strap, and cooing at me, “Sometimes the strap just falls down.” Thankfully I am no contact, and he is so afraid I will tell anyone the truth about his secret life that he avoids me.

    • “I left him, “peahenning” in his women’s lingerie, dropping a strap, and cooing at me, “Sometimes the strap just falls down.”

      ???? I guess you were supposed to be turned on by that? What is it with men who like to think they can imitate women? They tend to playact an insultingly exaggerated “feminity” like something straight out of a fifties stag film. Don’t they notice women don’t act that way anymore? Smh.

  • After D-day, I unfriended the exFW on Facebook. Then later he posts a public post of himself announcing he won the lotto and posting a picture as proof. Some mutual Facebook friends asked me if now I’m regretting leaving him. I said no, I don’t regret leaving a pathological lying, narcissistic cheater. He obviously wanted me to see his post and be jealous etc. But jokes on him because I don’t care that he won the lotto (it was only about $60K and I heard from a friend that she sees him gambling all the time so he’ll probably just gamble it all away anyway, as he also has an addictive personality). I earn a lot more than him now and can make that money pretty easily. A few weeks after posting that he won the lotto, he sent me a friend request on Facebook. Obviously I didn’t react to his fabulousness and wanted to rub it in my face more. I promptly blocked him on it and on all social media ROFL. ???????????? Now drama and cheater free for a fabulous 2 years. And oh, I get to keep all my income to myself. Win!

    • Yep, if he is a gambler it likely didn’t last six months, or even less.

      I am certain (unknown to me) fw had an addictive personality. In hindsight I think he used hidden sex to feed that addiction. Then he went on to cheat on whore, but he also started gambling more, so evidently the sex wasn’t cutting it anymore. Also, he had a massive heart attack at a fairly young age, so the gambling took over more and more, until he gambled himself and whore into bankruptcy.

      He lost everything including his house.

      Though I had no way of knowing in real time, I got out in the nick of time.

  • Oh, wow. My ex is a big ol’ peacock. He bought a fancy new car, went on a Caribbean cruise, etc. He told me that I could come back if I got a better attitude, or I could “continue to suffer.” Hahaha!! I didn’t want him back even for a second. But besides that, I knew it was all a shell. Sure enough, a few months later, he is using that fancy car for driving for Uber because he is out of money. He lost all his money gambling.

  • I introduced my FW to Reddit and we were subscribed to similar subreddits

    After the discard he made a huge post on one of the subreddits about the importance of communication in a relationship, that he had been in previous relationships in his life (“some long, some short”) but the foundation of his relationship with OW is that “of complete trust, transparency, integrity and communication”. She was “never jealous” and “really understanding”. He wrote that he feels safe with her because she asked him if it is okay for him if she lives with her ex-boyfriend in the same flat, for financial reasons, until she can move out (aka leech on my FW imo). and that “their beautiful open communication” was what was missing in our long-term partnership (direct dig at me).

    The background of it is: Prior to D-day, FW was discarding me. I must have read 20 self-help books abour relationships, communication, non-confrontational ways of communicating. I suggested them to him, put them on his nightstand with highlighted sections, I suggested we do couples’ therapy. All was ignored.

    At the time, reading the reddit post was like a knife to my heart. It felt like he was mocking every value I stood for in the relationship. Now I think of it as one big peacocking LOL.

  • They are horrible people.

    I had to live next door to the FW for little more than a year. Long torturous story.

    Peacocking was so bad, showing off his fuck of the week in our old family house, so our 18 yo daughter could see. Disorders off the chart.

    I ignored, got someone else to mow for me, was gone a lot. When the fake reading a book didn’t work, he lifted weights outside or canoodled with weekly flavors. He had to sell and move to pay the equalization.

    He’s older now and I’ve heard aging badly (booze and pot plus toddler brain) moved away, disowned our daughter. I’m waiting for someone to pick off the peacock and take him out of everyone’s misery.

  • The FW doesn’t peacock in any hilariously bad ways, because he thinks he’s already awesome. One of his answers to “Why her?” (only one OW that I know of) was “She flattered my physique.” ????

    So now whenever I see him in workout clothes I just laugh. Physically he’s probably more attractive than the average guy his age, but no amount of bench presses can make a shitty character look pretty. Barf.

  • Peacocking is a good term to call it! Here are some other funny examples:
    – during the divorce stage my ex would strut around the house butt naked with all the windows wide open and say things like “I know you want to fuck me one last time”….mind you the next door neighbor was smoochie and she would walk around naked with all the windows open toward our house before our divorce (he would watch of course????)
    – my ex went on a weight lifting and diet program, getting very in shape and every time he would be around me he would flex his arms and his butt as if he was strutting like a “peacock”.????????
    – he would buy all these random guns and tried to gain attention by taking ridiculous pictures of them strapped all on his body and then bring them up in group conversations at children’s events such as football, recitals, church, you name it….it was so annoying and weird. Our kids would be mortified! I would just ignore him.
    – he did the same thing with any new truck or tires he bought…..Hey, come look at my pickup truck with my new mud tires????. People would be like this is so random. My dad got so heated that one time he went off and told my ex we weren’t to see his shit, we were there to celebrate the kids. Once again I just ignored it all and the kids were mortified.

  • So many terrible people from my past have tried peacocking, I now know it’s the calling card of losers. People like this are so desperate for attention and validation, and on some level very insecure even if they won’t admit it, because they’re immature and disordered.

    THEY KNOW they’ve wronged us. A normal person would be embarrassed to see us, or apologize, or avoid us. Losers need to know they’re still central in our lives because their ego needs to be appeased that they’re still sparkly. It’s all about control and flattery. They’re deranged.

    I think the weirdest instance for me was getting a letter from an old college classmate on the eve of his engagement. The letter was incredibly passive-aggressive, gloating about his engagement and how it was too late for us because he was now “off the market.”

    I was shocked. We’d known each other for a decade and he’d asked me out twice in college, but I turned him down because I simply wasn’t interested. Also, I was 18 and he was 24 – far too old for me.

    I thought he was fine with my rejection but apparently not, and our “friendship” for the next decade was a ruse. He also mentioned that he’d dated at least 2 other girls trying to get my attention and make me jealous, which obviously doesn’t work if I still don’t care. I literally never cared. But I suddenly understood why all his girlfriends hated me.

    I shredded the letter, never responded, and blocked his number. I would’ve warned his fiancee, but she already hated me with the fury of a thousand suns and I didn’t have the energy to get involved in more of his drama.

  • >