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My Friend Thinks I Should Be Nicer to the Other Woman

Dear Chump Lady,

My story is like so many others on here but recently a good friend kinda gave me grief about the way I was interacting with OW, now new wife.

Background: was married for 29 years, two grown sons. Found out about the affair as my youngest was heading off to college.

Turns out Ex and OW reconnected at a high school reunion that I chose not to go to. Ex and I were high school sweethearts so I knew her from high school as well. Anyway, have been divorced for almost 9 years now. I was a mess during divorce as both my kids were gone and now I find out Ex was fooling around for God knows how long.

Fortunately, because my kids are grown, I don’t have to have much communication with Ex other than at family functions. He married OW immediately after we divorced and her divorce went through. Yes, she was married as well with 3 kids. My kids understand why we got divorced and their relationship with their dad has been strained to say the least. He pretty much told them early on that they had to accept her because she was in his life. I have pretty much have let them figure out their relationship with their dad on their own, as they are adults and will have to make their own decisions. I know they are very upset with their father for what he did but he is still in their lives.

When my youngest got married and Ex and new wife attended, I was civil to ex and we did make some small talk, but I have no interest in holding a conversation with her. She typically will seek me out at these type of events and try and engage with me. I smile politely and answer her briefly and then make my exit as soon as possible. I really have no interest in being “friends” or having meaningless small talk with her.

Recently, both ex and OW attended my son’s birthday party. Again, I spoke briefly to my ex making small talk, but avoided interacting with her. I was not rude, but I don’t think its necessary to engage with her either if I don’t have to. My friend who also attended the party later told me that she thought by my not engaging with her that it was making it more difficult for my sons. Again, I was not rude but I did not seek her out or try and welcome her like I did the other guests. I have always been civil and just smile and answer very briefly. I don’t want to be friends with her nor do I want to pretend that everything is just fine.

Am I handling this wrong? I think I should get an award for being civil and instead my friend was giving me grief for not acting like one big happy family. LOL

Thanks,

Crazy

****

Dear Perfectly Sane Lady with Boundaries,

You’re not the asshole here. Your friend is the asshole. She is sniping at you from the sidelines, criticizing what she knows is a difficult, vulnerable moment in your life — having to interact with your ex and his affair partner/wifetress.

Had you done something actually regrettable — like force the OW to bob for apples in a bucket without apples — your friend might have cause to say something.

But you were a class act. All you did is politely smile, exchange greetings, and excuse yourself. Something people do at gatherings all the time in circumstances far less fraught. No one would say to Bob at the Sparkplug Convention, “Why don’t you give MORE of yourself, Bob? Why can’t you and Fred from the tool and dye be FRIENDS?”

This isn’t a fair example, Tracy. Bob and Fred don’t have adult children in common. 

They have spark plugs in common and zero history of abuse.

You are not required to give MORE of yourself to someone who grievously harmed you. God, when will this friends-with-exes diktat die?

Being friends with your ex is not a sign of maturity, or being more evolved and self-aware — it means either: you’re eating a shit sandwich, OR you have the raw materials for friendship.

Meaning, this ex never abused you. This person respects and values you.

Look, even if your friend doesn’t believe infidelity is abuse (it is), why would she expect more engagement from you? People hold grudges for far less than fucked-my-husband-behind-my-back-for-years reasons. Has no one ever insulted your friend, or rubbed her wrong, and she’d rather not see that person? Is it such a leap of empathy to understand why the Other Woman isn’t your BFF?

My friend who also attended the party later told me that she thought by my not engaging with her that it was making it more difficult for my sons.

Really? I think your sons have every confidence in you, or they wouldn’t be inviting you to their family events. How dare she bludgeon you with the For The Children guilt cudgel! Your sons are ADULTS. You’ve left them to figure out their relationship with their dad (good job) and they’ve left you to figure out your relationship with your ex and OW (polite but distant, GOOD JOB).

Friend can butt out.

How would being a bit player in the OW’s impression management that she’s a Good Person and there are no hard feelings work in YOUR favor?

It wouldn’t. You break up two families, you live with some social awkwardness. Small price to pay, really.

If your friend wants to throw herself on that grenade, and go cozy up to the OW so OW doesn’t have a sadz, she’s welcome to. But she didn’t do that, she just guilt tripped you instead.

Why? You might have a good look at this relationship and see if your values align. Would being cozy with wifetress lessen your friend’s social anxiety? Let’s forget this is all a big bummer! Smiles everyone! Smiles!

In other words, your friend is fine with you eating a colossal shit sandwich, so long as she doesn’t have to experience small discomfort.

I think you handled these exchanges with dignity and class. You were gracious — and you moved on to other guests.

Now, be gracious and move on to other friends.

Ask Chump Lady

Got a question for the Chump Lady? Or a submission for the Universal Bullshit Translator? Write to me at info@chumplady.com. Read more about submission guidelines.
  • Isn’t it just crazy in life, how we never get any credit for all the things we don’t say? All the restraint we exercise? Way to go, Perfectly!

    • The Compulsion to Be Nice diktat never ceases to amaze and fascinate me.

      Generally I am 100% aligned the CL position on things. And absolutely have been saved by CL and CN from thinking I’m crazy (as you do after decades of gaslighting) – much gratitude. However: bringing another POV here.

      Don’t instantly hold this against your friend. Maybe she Just Doesn’t Get It, maybe she genuinely wants the best for you (and your sons), is worried you are “bitter”, maybe she’s just triggered by social discomfort (everyone needs to just SMILE) – I’ve come to realise, most people are. And there are other categories too.

      Today I witnessed my darling 83-year-old father shake hands with my exHole. I KNOW my Dad despises him. I know my Dad knows very well ALL of the restraint I have exercised, all of the dignity and class and courtesy I have shown over the 5+ years since Day.

      Complicated situation today, 16 yo son v unwell, mental health, we were in a cramped waiting room at the hospital. Himself had Herself at his side, they just got married, she was a close friend of mine, I was there for her after her husband died of cancer, but she isn’t judgey about the ten+ years of hookers and gay saunas. (Yes that’s right, all of the orifices. “Bisexual” apparently.) Needless to say, he’s had hardly anything to do with the kids over these years, skipped into his next chapter unfettered by the tedium of raising children.

      So anyway the thing is. It would’ve made a horrible situation even harder for my father to do a Greta Thunberg vs trump look of disgust, (or for those of you in Aus, Grace Tame next to Scott Morrison, refusing to play nicey nicey smile-for-the-camera). My father is absolutely in my corner, I know that. My Dad is classy, and civilised.

      And he shook the hand of Himself, greeted Herself with courtesy, and had some sociable chit chat.

      What’s my point? I have found that many of my former friendships were in same wishful thinking category as my marriage. Those relationships are over. Some friends said incredibly clumsy things … and have proved themselves loyal over time. I am ALL for being realistic about who to value, and healthy relationships. While maintaining self-respect/boundaries etc, maybe just look your friend in the eye, and with respect and compassion, ask her what’s what. Get the measure of the friendship before writing it off.

      • She might seriously not get it, most people don’t. But it’s still out of line, and I’d let her know she overstepped and why. I still think basic sensitivity would clue in most *friends* why this is a no-go area.

        • I agree with CL here.
          Mamameh, your scenario in the hospital was an unusual moment and called for grace under fire. Your dad made a decision that was appropriate for him at that time. It seems like you also have a generous spirit. It’s an impressive story.
          The beauty of this space is that we can each tell our stories and hope others can use those stories to figure out their own ways of navigating.
          I personally won’t be in her orbit at all. My kids understand and even my ex knows he cannot cross that line. It’s more than I can tolerate and I make no excuses for that.
          We are all different.

          • In these types of situations, my mother speaks to the Douchecanoe so I don’t have to. Everyone knows she can’t stand him and has always been 100% in my corner so there’s no mistaking that it’s anything more than her way of being polite for the both of us.

            The Douchecanoe started barking orders at me during pre-prom pictures in May after I shared some instructions about where the parents were meeting. It seems by speaking to him for the first time in 3 years, I opened the door for him to treat me like shit again. The door is now firmly shut, padlocked, boarded over, iron grate, motion sensor, and a moat. No one speaks to me like that and stays worthy of my attention.

          • Thanks Rebecca. I wrote that last night (in Aus) after a very long day and a glass or two of wine and reading it back this morning … it wasn’t really a v appropriate comment. Apologies CL.

            I have a LOT less “friends” than I used to. After it became conspicuous that our values didn’t align I moved right along. Ditched the hopium pipe on many, many relationships, called out any behaviour that wasn’t kind or respectful etc etc. So, I pretty much agree with you CL. The main thing, as a few people below say, the proof is behaviour over time.

            • I think you have a point, though. How you behave in this situations is a matter of context. In a hospital waiting room, where everyone should be focused on the person who is being treated, then extra civility makes things easier. It’s kind. It de-escalates rather than ignites a fire.

              However, at a party, if a friend lectured me on why I don’t talk to someone who betrayed me, I’d say, “I’m sorry you feel that way” and find someone else to talk to. If her next move isn’t an apology, that would be the end of that relationship.

              • Seconding what LaJ said. Also, there’s a big difference between the hospital situation (something I routinely experience with my mom and ex), where people in our lives make their own choices about how to interact with our FWs and partners, vs. OP’s situation, where a friend has the gall to challenge our own responses. If it were me, I would point out that distinction and make it clear to the friend that it’s not appropriate for anyone – whether they’ve been in my shoes or not! – to comment on how I am managing my own boundaries after this trauma. Keep rocking it, “Crazy”!

        • I feel like the litmus test is has she over stepped her boundaries before? Typically people that give unsolicited advice don’t have good boundaries themselves and tend to over share whether it be their own feelings/opinions or being overly friendly to controversial third parties (which can lead to over sharing information on the victim). Obviously, these types of actions ultimately hurt the victim more than help.

          In this case, it’s obvious by your timeline your “friend” has enough years on her to understand boundaries and be sensitive to your needs. If she has exhibited this over stepping behavior in the past….she may not be the “true friend” you thought she was. Be mindful!

      • Thanks for this, MamaMeh. Appreciate your POV. It’s reassuring. “Some friends said incredibly clumsy things … and have proved themselves loyal over time.” There’s a difference between being a jerk and being human. (And hard for me to discern sometimes who is who…)

      • I agree with you and CL. The friend was an insensitive, horrible, idiot – but to be fair, my own wonderful and caring mother said some very insensitive things during my separation. In the heat of it, I felt destroyed and ready to dump her! Thank god I didn’t.

        The friend should have done better, but if this is an isolated incident and you generally find the friendship is good for you, it may be beneficial to have a heart to heart and tell her how you feel, to see if she can join your team in the way you need her to.
        Any lack of empathy after you educate her – dump away in my opinion.

        Friends don’t grow on trees and people Just. Don’t. Get. The. Trauma. That. Is cheating.

      • Nope, I don’t agree. When people are ‘civil and polite’ then to me the cheaters and their accomplices continue to ‘get away’ with blowing up a family. Your father could have done the ‘curt nod’ and not shook his hand. This would have not caused a scene but FW and his OW would definitely be put in their place. F*CK being ‘polite and civil’. A curt nod with no handshake or an icy look is applicable and should be used.

    • Lol, I didn’t get credit for holding my tongue with my vicious exMIL for 19 years. I’m not typically that passive but sensed it was a set up and never said a word back to her when she’d chuck verbal spears at me. She eventually got so outrageous in trying to elicit a response that the shrapnel hit her own enmeshed son and he went NC with her. I don’t know who said “If you wait by the river long enough, the bodies of your enemies will float by.” Another way of putting it is “Leave them to God.”

    • file:///var/mobile/Library/SMS/Attachments/ba/10/F3B8434D-B798-42D1-BEF9-EC080161C05E/IMG_5082.heic
      Not sure this will come through but it expresses your spot-on message very well.

  • Pretty much my story is the same as the letter writer. I was always civil to OW. It was the FW who I couldn’t stand to look at or relax around. If my sons didn’t invite OW, he would blame me and treat me horribly. It’s not like I enjoyed a moment with him around being his dick self. So I told my sons just to invite him/them or me but I wasn’t making nice nice anymore. So I miss out on half but it is just part of the ongoing price I still pay for being chumped by a no good lowlife who doesn’t deserve such good children in the first place. Funny, but none of my friends dare tell me to be nicer. After the ex’s behavior at a birthday party, my sons don’t say boo, either. The sign is in my window. It’s not my job to legitimise these cheaters.

  • I think that “Crazy” is playing the relationship with her Ex and his OW-come-Wife absolutely perfectly. That said, in her shoes, I’d be re-evaluating my relationship with the “friend that’s not that much of a friend.” I’d have suggested that she go kick rocks, but that’s just me.

    As CL implies, if her behaviour really did bother her sons, then that would be between her and them ….. and the “friend that’s not that much of a friend” should go and bother someone else – permanently.

    LFTT

    • LFTT I agree. I had a ‘friend’ who was connected to the OW on social media after my DDay. Like CL said “Now, be gracious and move on to other friends.”

      • I unfriended or blocked EVERY mutual friend who stayed connected with OW or FW on social media (inlcuding some of my family members). Since there were some “friends” who were spying on me and reporting everything back to FW, I didn’t trust anyone, and people who don’t understand the trauma of what happened to me aren’t welcome in my life anyway.

      • IaC,

        I don’t do social media (by choice) and so not a problem for me. As regards people that I know who encourage me to get to know Ex-Mrs LFTT’s AP (I have never met him and have no plans to), they get shut down and dropped really quickly. I have found the phrase “I don’t associate with people who get involved with other peoples’ spouses” (but phrased slightly more profanely) usually does the trick.

        LFTT

    • Yup. I’d be like “you can deal with *your* husband’s mistresses however you like, but I’m not interested in your advice as to how I deal with mine.”

  • I don’t think she is a real friend. Or if she is, friendship/connection should also have limits. You are way too classy to set a low standard for a friend like this. I hope you can focus on your other better friends.

  • I’m 6 years later and I have never spoken to the OW and never will. (She’s tried mutplie times. I just stared staight ahead, no acknowledgement, until she leaves usually very mad. Shes even screamed at me in front of my kids about how rude I am… Documented and kids hate her for it)

    XH and I ONLY communicate through software and I have young children. No chit-chat nothing

    No one ever tells me to “play nice”

    • Exactly!!! I told the ex that me ignoring you is being nice because you really don’t want me to say what I want to what I’m thinking and leave it at that. Unless you want everyone to know your dirty little secrets. Don’t poke the bear unless you are prepared to get bit!

    • Love that you don’t acknowledge. I told howorker to never speak to me, infuriated her. She got in my face turning her head from side to side.

  • What in the what?

    As a child of an adulterer the last thing I would have ever wanted was my mother being “friends” with the OW.

    The OW might be – might be someone I limitedly tolerated for the sake of having some kind of relationship with my father, if I could stand him.

    She wouldn’t be someone I would want to welcome in my life and sure wouldn’t want my mother feeling pushed into being friends with her or even tolerating my father.

    Why would I want my mother pressured to be friends with her abusers? What sense would that make?

    Maybe next time some fool decides that they know what’s “best for the kids,” they could ask the actual kids.

  • Is the Switzerland friend also besties with the wifetress?
    Creepy how the OW-turned-wife seeks out the OP at these things. Has there ever been any kind of apology? Has either the OW or the ex ever shown any remorse?

    • I think OW do this because they want to believe themselves to be good people, and then when the chump wants nothing to do with them, they can play the victim and cry about how badly they are treated by the ex wife, keeping up the narrative that the ex is a terrible person.

      • There it is. Some people (ask me how I know!!) spend a lifetime manufacturing an elaborate defense system to keep anyone, including themselves, from believing they’re “bad,” even if they’ve done a bad thing. Or a very bad thing, like cheating. There’s no easier target for their ire than the person they’ve wronged most. The more disordered they are, the angrier they get at their fave chump.

        • Mine would say he is not a bad person despite the affair ( A whole year of terrible lies and a double life, while I was getting sick with confusion and gaslight. I begged him many times to tell me if there was something wrong or someone else, to which he would respond: are you crazy, I can never hide anything from you, you are the love of my life).
          When I wanted to talk to two of his close friends about my pain (and they were also my friends for years) I was given the: “but he is not a bad person” lecture.

    • The OW sent me a cursory “I’m sorry I had an affair with your FW”, ending with a “life is complicated” statement.
      So. Deep. Oh, and nothing but BS. She was sorry I found out, and concerned about what that could mean for HER.
      My only response to her was months later when I finally realized I need an STD panel, and got diagnosed with HPV. I sent her a very brief email about the diagnosis, suggesting she get a panel as well, given the FW’s activities with hookers (no condom ever used). She wrote back wanting to know more about the strain. I didn’t respond. Go do your own research, slut-scientist.

      • Life is complicated, yes, only because of their lack of character, morals and disgustingly selfish behaviours.

      • ivyleaguechump, it was very gracious of you to let her know. I’m not sure I would have had the character to do that. I might have figured “let her deal with her consequences.”

  • As your ex was shooting you in the back she was reloading the guns for him.
    You “friend” is not a friend. She is a busy body who thinks she has the right to get in your business. I think you need one less friend. Evidently she does not grasp the pain of what they did to you. Just do a fade out slowly. Too busy to talk. Not feeling good. Gradually not be available. Why does she think you would ever allow someone who is still toxic to you to have a minute of your time?

  • I think we should have a new word for (so-called) “friends” like this one. She is a “friend-wit” or a “friend-wad”.

  • Dear Not Crazy, Good work on keeping those boundaries. As to your friend, well, maybe she is not your friend. How you establish and enforce your boundaries is your business. Obviously, if you want to keep her as a friend, you are going to have to put boundaries in place with her or just move her to acquaintance status. You are doing what is right for you. Keep doing that.

  • I am so happy to read about your handling of the gathering situation. On NYE, my son is getting married. Gal pal of ex is fit to be tied that she’s not invited. My guess is that he’ll trot her in to one of the gatherings. Ex tried to get me to have coffee with him and her to work out any ‘awkwardness’ for the kids. Are you kidding me? Why on earth would he think that sitting and having coffee with them would be beneficial?
    It turns out she’s trying to get a ticket to the wedding. Again, he has 0 empathy for how awful that coffee meetup would be. I politely declined and then blocked him. I have no desire to be friends with either of them. But I will be polite and civil to him
    at my son’s wedding and in any social setting. It’s truly amazing how much other people judge whether we’re doing this colossally difficult period of our life ‘right’. Rethinking friends and other’s judgmental behaviors.

    • Boy your ex’s OW takes first prize in the “piece of work” award. She’s not wanted and is still insisting that she get an invite? It baffles me how anyone would want to attend a function where they are about as welcome as a skunk at a garden party. I’m thinking the karma bus has hit your ex because this woman is not normal.

    • “Ex tried to get me to have coffee with him and her to work out any ‘awkwardness.’ ”

      Excuse me? They can work out their own damn awkwardness on their own without chump help. Infidelity abuse cannot be hugged out over coffee. WTF! Cheaters minimize infidelity. As CL reminds us, infidelity IS abuse. Can’t hug it out. Also, guilting the chump into doing so for any reason, including for the sake of the kids is, in itself, abusive.

      It’s rich that cheaters have a sudden concern for the kids post-D-Day.

    • I don’t know, maybe I’m a really bad person, but I can’t imagine speaking to ex-FW at our son’s graduation or wedding, let alone speaking to any woman he brings along. I won’t be uncivil because I won’t even acknowledge him. I’ll just avoid and ignore him. Maybe that’s too harsh, but I want nothing to do with him, and if see him coming toward me across the room, I’ll turn and walk the other way. Maybe I’ll change my mind when the time comes, but I kinda doubt it. I might do it for my son, but I don’t think he’d ask or expect me to.

  • This is not a true friend. She is tipping toward the new wife in her affections and is trying to direct a situation that is not hers to decide. You are being civil and decent. That’s all that is really required here. Your kids need to work out their own relationship with their dad, period. The friend is not in control of that either.

    I’m at the point where I have very little tolerance for people who are trying to manipulate situations to turn out the way they want. My ex’s relatives are that way. The bottom line was that they didn’t want our marriage to end, and they wanted to be the ones to save it before the divorce process started. Ultimately, I cut that off when I knew that my ex was going to start the divorce process within the next few months. He chose to do that with an “or else” letter and phone call, and I chose “or else.”

    • “…they didn’t want our marriage to end, and they wanted to be the ones to save it before the divorce process started.” This describes my only sibling. When I turned down his demand to visit us and “talk” (aka swoop in and try to save us), I said no. He hasn’t spoken to me since. Good times.

      • Yup, good times. I didn’t really get all of that until the divorce was final, but I was a slow learner. The family’s reputation would have been saved, and they would have been responsible for the turnaround. At one point, I considered telling my ex that I would only reconcile if he entirely cut loose his family, but no way would he do that.

      • Being estranged from your only sibling sucks. It’s too bad they cannot trust you to know what’s best for you and let you make your own life decisions. I am estranged from my only sibling as well . . . she tried to convince me that the adultery “wasn’t that bad.” (She was one of the many other women in two of my three divorces, and quite possibly in the third as well.)

  • CL answer is correct. After being left after 35 years of marriage for a cruel cold whore I know how she feels. At my sons wedding I barely acknowledged him and ignored her. Actually the original whore he left me for died 2 years later so he is now with another woman 13 years older than him which attended the wedding with him.
    He didn’t want to live alone.
    IMO she was courteous and did the right thing. Hopefully she will drop her friend for one who cares about her and will understand the pain we feel
    after divorcing our cheating narcissistic
    husbands. Stay strong 💪🏻

  • Why is it our job to continue fake nice? Should we plan parties also for fuckwits and their flavor of the month, married or not? He was married to you for decades and that didn’t stop bad behavior. Did the kids father think about how fucking someone other his wife would affect the kids? Oh, I see. Only the old shit sandwich eater cheated on chump should be nice. Well, fuck that shit.

  • You’re not Crazy! You are in fact very SANE and HEALTHY! On the other hand, your “friend” isn’t. And, I would go as far as to not call her your friend anymore! Her rhetoric equates to sabotage talk. As in sabotaging your mental health and well-being as she passes it off as “I was just trying to help”🙄🙄. She showed you her true colors, now be mindful of that reality and leave her be!

    I had “friends” like these thinking that they genuinely “cared” for my well-being and giving “helpful” advice on navigating the social scene as divorced and single. Come to find out they were instead relaying information to my ex because they were “friends” with him too. That information was then used against me in our custody battle saying that friends have to convince me to be nice to him so I don’t fully alienate him from our (then) younger children. I give you this as an example of how these types of “friends” can really hurt you vs help. I won my custody battle after a psychologist got involved and tested both of us where he cited my ex as having narcissistic and controlling tendencies, USING and MANIPULATING other people to continue to abuse me and my kids. Remember true friends always have your health and well-being at heart. This shit crap “friend” needs to find the exit out of your life quickly.

  • I have a long term friend, who is in a long duration marriage, whose parents have been married 55+ years. The parents of her brother’s wife have been divorced for decades. The parents celebrate holidays together (with the single chump and the married ex/his wife). It’s all Happy Families!!! My friend uses this example as to why can’t I just go along with chumpdom and smiles everyone, smiles (love the Fantasy Island reference) FOR the kids. She’s sure my ex is sorry and shouldn’t I want him to be happy? Nevermind the OW is a prostitute with drug problems and I would never, ever allow her at any family function. “Say, who is the strung out looking meth head in the corner?”

    Until someone has walked a mile in my shoes, they have no right to tell me how I’m supposed to feel. Rant over.

    • I think the friend of the letter writer wants letter writer to know that friend’s judgment is better. It is not anyone’s place to tell a chump what to do and what not to unless said chump has a gun and is about to shoot someone or something like that. One can accept that someone poached their mate and move on without doing anything they do not want to do in social situations or any time they run into the poacher. Some people think that the chump does not understand what is best to do and they want to enlighten them. If the chump wants to ask for advice from a friend that is one thing, but for a friend to tell the chump what she thinks chump should do is completely out of line. It is kind of like saying it was only cheating or whatever no reason to break up the marriage (I have heard people say this). Friend should mind her own business and only give advice on this subject or any when asked.

  • If this person with the Thoughts on Being Better For the (fully-grown) Children has, up till now, been a really good friend and the remark could have been taken out of context, I’d have a very calm chat with her and explain that you actually don’t have children in common. She has 3 children with the man she cheated on and dumped, and you have 2 grown kids with your ex-husband, the one she was screwing for a good while before you were cast aside, ‘member?

    I honestly think even smiling is being far too pleasant. Courteous and civil at family events is good, yes it would upset and distress your kids to deal with ugliness at their birthday party for sure, so well done you for continuing to show up in their lives, same as you always have. It must suck epically and hurt intensely, you’re extremely brave. You should do no more than the absolute bare minimum of remaining polite to either him or the downgrade.

    Remember, you had his best years, she gets him for what remains, and statistically, all of the issues that men tend to have start in the late-mid-life years. You’ve dodged a bullet. If this is who he is, at least your emotional investment has been ceased permanently. Look back in a few years – if they’re even together – and chuckle when there’s an emotional notification about Bob’s Prostate trouble or WTF ever.

  • “I think I should get an award for being civil”

    So do I! It’s a hell of a lot more than I could, or would do.

    Crazy, you describe this woman as a “good friend”. What’s your criteria for a good friend? For me, it’s someone who has my back, and shares the same values.

    It doesn’t sound to me as if this is a good friend, really, how *dare* she tell you how you should be behaving to a whore? If cool civility isn’t enough for her, how does she expect you to behave? All super friendly, and I’ve forgotten you’re a piece of shit with no moral compass? Blech.

    Personally I’d ditch her, and find a better friend. xx

  • I think you did perfect.

    When I had to be in the same space (very few times) with fw and whore, I was a little different in that I spoke to her, but not fw. Had fw spoke I would have been civil but distant. But, he would duck his head and not look at me. (I can’t blame him) His life had become a cluster fuck and he knew it, and he knew I knew it.

    My son was grown when all this went down, so really a couple school events was all I ever had to worry about, and I did the look past them, say “how’s the weather” and move on.

    I doubt her kids care as long as there is no skirmish, or fist fight. Tell the friend to MYOB and drop her like a hot potato.

  • A life crisis often has a way of changing the dynamics of what was once a cohesive group of family and friends. Just as your family was changed by the destructive actions of your ex, this friendship may need to go that route as well. Infidelity and all of its repercussions causes the Chump to re-evaluate and re-establish a new life going forward. Often, the first things to go are others who don’t yet know right from wrong, good from bad, cause and effect, and how to take a stand for what is right.

    You’re doing just fine; quite well at that! Polish up your values and convictions ahead while releasing the fence-riders you come across in life.

    • Latitude – I’m appreciating “yet” in your sentence about “others who don’t yet know right from wrong…” I have to believe some of these friends are simply young, immature, ignorant, inexperienced. Maybe one day they’ll come around. As a college student, I recall hearing about a professor who had cheated on his wife. I remember saying something like “who knows, maybe she’s crazy”. UGH. I said that!!! Out loud!!! I was 20yo and had not a clue.

  • So my xFW & OW tried to talk to me at a kid’s function to pretend-image their relationship with me. I put up my hand, shook my head NO & said STOP in a normal voice, but firmly 🤚 One of my kids said later, “I thought you were over it”. I replied, “I am, but that doesn’t mean I want to talk to assholes”. So that’s how I deal with it. If that bothers anyone around me well I have another emoji I can give them. I’m so over “pleasing” others & my xFW is the reason for that!

    • Wow,
      Exactly! I’m not in it to please anyone but myself anymore. It’s been hard for people in my life to understand that. I’m over it and have other things to put my energy towards.

      • Thank you. I’ve also learned to give no response & just walk far far away. I don’t need to engage in any fake pleasantries with unpleasant people. I had to visualize this at first & baby step it until I learned these “self-protective” measures & I eventually got there shocking the xFW who thought I would be compliant haha no!

  • I have almost the same story so let me say very clearly – lose this person NOW. She is not a friend at all.
    Friends listen, understand and support. They can approach you to discuss their concerns about your behavior only if they fully understand your history, your position, your relationship with your kids.
    I’m my humble opinion, you are being quite generous even acknowledging your ex! Anytime they cheat with someone you knew, especially someone your kids knew, it’s a whole different situation. Your treatment of her is called consequences. His choice then, your choice now!
    I never let AP, who I thought was a family friend anywhere near me since DDay (13 years ago).
    They don’t like it? They should have thought about the consequences before they fucked.

    • I thought my husband’s AP was a family friend too, Rebecca. Our kids are still friends. I’m so sorry. Double betrayal is a wench. I’m about four years out from dday, and still have anxiety attacks when I cross paths with her. I have no desire to interact with her in any way ever again.

      • Oh, I don’t think I’d have an anxiety attack if was ever confronted by the skank. I’d probably go for her jugular (metaphorically). And I have no doubt she knows it. There have been maybe two or three times total since DDay that we happened to be in the same room with lots of people. And one time, quite by accident, I happened to go speak with someone not noticing the skank’s presence in the vicinity, until, out of the corner of my eye, I saw someone skedaddle quickly away. That’s when my interest was piqued and I quickly discerned who it was that escaped my presence. I think the skank is truly afraid of me. It’s not like I’d physically touch her, but I have no doubt that I would express my contempt in such a way that she’d physically feel it even though no interaction took place. And probably everyone around me would feel it too. And I wouldn’t care in the least.

  • Question for the group on a related but slightly different topic: my ex was all about massage parlors and paying for what he got. To my knowledge there wasn’t a special OW. We divorced and he is now dating a woman who seems for all the world like a younger me. I suspect she has no idea what she is getting into. I don’t really engage her. I do the polite smile and focus on the kids at shared events. My ex complains that I need to be nicer to her. I’m not rude, though I try to avoid conversation if I can. She’s not an OW (so far as I know) but she’s still associated with ex and in his camp, which is a major red flag. Thoughts from the group?

    In writing this, I feel like it all makes sense and is right. But I still struggle when ex tells me I’m a terrible person for doing whatever it is that I happen to be doing at the mommy. Validation would be welcome!

    • Methinks that allowing ex to say what a qualifies as ‘terrible person’ is akin to taking fashion advice from a nudist. You could, but why would you?

    • “You’re not qualified to school anyone on being nice to others.”

      Deliver line once. If there’s a next time, say nothing and walk away.

    • You’re listening & letting your ex’s words get to you because you’re INTERNALIZING them. This is how people end up being abused. Talk to a therapist or go on YouTube & look up how to break free of internalizing or read books/blogs on the topic. Once you understand what/when internalizing is happening & how to stop it, you stop projecting what others say about you onto yourself & believing them. internalizing is different from the therapeutic process where you gain insight about yourself & is actually helpful. Don’t let others tell you who you are, that’s for you to figure out!!! Give your ex 🖕🏻 from me!

      • You guys are the best. Thank you! I KNOW he is not a person whose opinion I value or should listen to. But it’s still so hard to stand firm and feel confident in my heart. I was an easy victim for him, I think. It was so simple for him to convince me of all my weaknesses. And he still keeps at it whenever he can. I cannot wait until the kids are grown and I don’t have to interact regularly. I dread sending him emails about simple things like scheduling Christmas because I might get back nastiness dressed up to manage his image. Ten years to go…. Sometimes I’m so exhausted with the whole thing.

        • Yours is a perfect example of why CL always suggests using parenting software for communication.
          It’s never to late (or early) to switch to that!
          No more emails or texts!
          Only business.

    • Second Self: If your ex was the cause of your marriage demise and you left to remove yourself from that dysfunctional relationship, leave it where it is – in the burn pit as a heap of ashes. Your ex complaining that you need to be nicer to his partner is him still asserting control over you. Other than the children you focus on together, lose him and her (and the next one) so that you can grow out and away from a comfort zone with dysfunctional people. One day you’ll thank yourself for doing it!

    • Don’t give him the opportunity to criticize you in the first place. This is an ideal situation in which to start low contact, only (briefly) discussing the kids when it is necessary. Inform him you will not respond to anything but kid issues, and then make good on it. He shouldn’t be bringing his whiny little bitch complaints to you. He fired you from the job of giving a shit about his feelings.
      A cheating scumbag who uses prostitutes has nothing to teach anyone about being a good person.

    • Why on earth should you be “nicer” to her? What you are doing is quite enough. No need to do more. I wonder if your extremely unpleasant sounding ex is just trying to manipulate you and well aware that you’re not comfortable round her/him and just enjoying your discomfort and manufacturing an opportunity to instruct you to do something – i.e. be nicer. He sounds absolutely horrible, Im so sorry you have to be around him sometimes – hope its not too long until your children are older.

  • Get rid of your friend. She’s a “frenemy” at best. A real friend would never have you submit to someone that took part in screwing you over or blowing up your life. I think you have gone above and beyond showing civility to both your ex and his skank.

  • I have never spoken to the fuckwit’s GF. He was on his way out of a 30 year marriage when he hooked up with her. I have 3 daughters and she is a terrible example of what a women should aspire to. He lived with her for nearly six years before the divorce was final because he couldn’t be bothered, during that time he was cheating on her and was openly unkind to her. How do I know?…the girls told me. I don’t speak to either because I DON’T WANT TO. End of explanation.

  • Amazing the way people see things. I had to meet FW at DMV to get my name off his car after divorce was final. He was late of course. He was loud and inappropriate. First thing he says to me is something about my brother (only living sibling). I’m shocked because clearly brother saw FW as a chiropractor as he had done many times. Brother knows FW is a cheater with howorker , on amphetamines and how he stole from business & me

    I said to my brother I can’t believe you saw FW, he says my back hurt….brother is disabled from motorcycle accident, takes oxy from injuries and drinks too much. When I was venting to hairdresser (she had crush on brother at one time) she says he just wanted something for free, he knew FW wouldn’t dare charge him….SMH.

  • This reminded me of when my son got married after the D. I was seeing someone else then and he was invited too. (It was a small family event in a church).

    Anyway, my SO and I showed up early, which is what I do for all events and for work. It was also a place I had never been before so I wanted to make room for finding it.

    FW and whore (who were married by then) showed up after the ceremony started. That is how much thought they put into the event. My son even commented to me after. “Mom thank for showing up on time, I kind of knew dad would blow it”.

  • I don’t want a friend who manages and directs me, especially in this situation. That isn’t friendship.

    I’m going to give you an award for showing the utmost in civility in the moment toward your “friend”.
    This is HER stuff. SHE was uncomfortable and was pinning her stuff on YOU, trying to control you so SHE would feel better.

    Telling me how I should feel and what I should do is one of the best and quickest ways to end a relationship with me. If you’re not in jail you get a gold star. It’s one of my biggest buttons.

    “I have a therapist. It’s not you.” is one of my favorite one-liner boundary-setting phrases.

    I also belong to a few 12 step groups that advocate MYOB and avoiding dispensing unsolicited advice. Speaking for myself only. Not speaking outside of my education and/or experience. Learning not to control and manipulate others. Learning to discern the difference between what is my stuff and what is someone else’s stuff. Making sure I am staying on my side of the tennis court. Etc. All of these things are a daily practice and ongoing education.
    The closer the person is to you, the trickier it is to color within the lines.

    This friend was light years out of bounds and it’s never too late to tell her so. Her response will reveal if she’s a real friend or not. If she got defensive and was unapologetic I would walk. If she made amends and was sincerely sorry, I’d consider keeping the friendship. I’ve had the experience of having to let people go, and I’ve also had the experience of people apologizing with changed behavior and getting an improved friendship out of it.

    • Is there a pattern of this friend violating boundaries? Is this a one off faux pas? How close, how long is the friendship? Those are some of the other factors I’d need to consider. There are times to use the launch codes without further ado, and times to pause and consider other factors.
      One standard of friendship post DDay for me is if they want to be friends with Traitor Ex, they are no longer my friend. For a number of people, I have gone from Friend to Smiling Waver.

      Having to consider any of this just underscores why adultery made the Top Ten list of Things Not To Do. I’ve found that it complicates and awkwardizes the living shit out of every single relationship with anyone and everyone even remotely attached to the cheaters.

      • Good questions to ask about the friendships.
        “Having to consider any of this just underscores why adultery made the Top Ten list of Things Not To Do. I’ve found that it complicates and awkwardizes the living shit out of every single relationship with anyone and everyone even remotely attached to the cheaters.” YES. Thank you, VH. This is so validating to read. I just wanted a boring life watching the sunset and drinking my tea…

  • This friend sounds manipulative. I’d examine what she brings to your life, if anything, and decide if whatever she brings is worth being around a person who likes to lay guilt trips on you.
    I’d start to wonder if she was/is an AP herself, considering she feels sorry for home wreckers. Maybe she fucks married men too.

    Being chumped often leads to the discovery that the people you thought had your back actually don’t. It goes with the territory. It sucks losing friends, but I always think it’s better to know the truth about people. Finding people who get you may not be easy, but don’t let that stop you from trying. Don’t settle for “friends” like her.

  • Perfectly Sane Lady with Boundaries (CL’s name is much better for you — you’re not crazy),
    Your friend is out of line. You were polite and don’t need to engage to make OW more comfortable nor to make your friend more comfortable. Truly none of her business. Such a bizarre thing to think she has the right to lesson you on this.

    Not related, but sorta… long ago I was fired by 2 managers that I figured out were stealing from the company. I reported it to the accountant. I was fired. The accountant was moved to another state. Both managers were guilty but got away with it with other slimy people there. I then heard they tried to drag my name through the mud with lies to cover their asses. Image management. Friends in the industry were very upset for me. I was depressed but got a new job in the same line of business (different company) and we all ended up at a massive Holiday party together. I avoided the nasty senior most manager …. But he decided to come right up to me cheerfully to chit chat… with all my customers around me. He thought he could force me to behave. My response (loudly) was “get away from me.” My customers all knew. And he turned red and stayed the fuck away. I think he left the party early lol. And the other manager then was terrified of me and stayed away when we crossed paths.

    It’s not our jobs to make liars and cheaters comfortable. They can fuck the fuck off. As for FW? He’s terrified of me and knows I don’t play games — he can stay the fuck away. I’ll be polite but don’t try to act like we’re friends and chummy or I’ll be sure everyone understands that we aren’t.

  • people are disappointing, i find. or they blurt shit out without thinking. or they’re from another planet.

    i was out at an event, and a woman i know, who knows what went down in my marriage, asked me, right in the middle of the thick of it, “so, do you miss your house?”

    i looked at her and said, “no, i was ready to move, but for some folks that might be considered a sensitive question.”

  • I’ve yet to see cheating bastard ex since dday. I have no earthly idea if he is in a ‘relationship’ or not. I think I’m fortunate in that respect as there will never be an instance or event where he and I will be in the same room going forward.
    In many ways, he did me an enormous favor by not interacting with my friends or family much during the marriage. Now they never stop to consider whether he should be included. Back in the day when he was invited, he showed so little interest on the rare occasions he agreed to accompany me, they don’t want him around anymore either.
    If I were to accidentally meet one of his hookups in the grocery store, I wouldn’t know it. I probably already have …

  • “My friend”

    That’s her opinion.
    Your opinion is no contact or low contact because you know what x is.

    He’s the one who deserves the bigger cold shoulder.

    Schmoopie is nobody to you, so who cares about either of them.

  • “like force the OW to bob for apples in a bucket without apples”
    I just love you CL, you are something else entirely, in a very very good way, hahaha!!🤣😂

    I had a really good friend I dumped after the debacle that was my life unraveled itself to me. I was on a 6 mos hike in a brain fogged state of mind after D-day, not at all caused by the nature that so beautifully surrounded me. Said friend told me she had a prayer to help me and sent me the text below that I read on some mountaintop one night tucked in my tent:
    ( brief history, spouse was leaving me for schmoopie after 38 year marriage and I simultaneously became aware of his decades long serial cheating.
    The friend that sent the text was herself a chump with a toddler some 20 years back that then happily remarried afterwards. She had another child with new great guy husband and is now “buddy-buddy” with the a-hole that cheated on her and thinks everyone else should be smoking that same pipe of “ we’re just one big happy family, we all get along so beautifully together and even hang out!”)

    Here’s the text of that prayer I received from her:

    “Good evening Lovely 💃
    Here it is:
    Begin by repeating these phrases together:
    “I’m sorry Jack, please forgive me for all that I have done to you. Thank you for all that you’ve given to me. I forgive you for all that you’ve done to me.”

    Repeat this every night for 41 nights (I did this @ bedtime-you can repeat this mantra as often as you wish because it will help release negativity and bring positivity and peace into your life.) at first it irritated me to say the words and then in a few nights I was saying them sincerely and it was amazing how they were helping me after only a week of saying them somehow I had some peace.
    Much love to you ❤️❤️❤️
    XOXO “

    I practically wanted to launch myself off the mountain, it hurt so much to get that text from her when I could not have even been in more pain than I was.
    I was forced to dump her for my own weak grip on sanity I was holding onto.
    My ex would LOVE it, if I would play that game of stand in the corner and watch his gloriously perfect life unfold with the woman of his dreams while I struggle to heal or even know what is real anymore or who the hell I am. No thank you, I hard pass on that nightmare.
    No, you don’t have to make nice with these abusers to make anyone else feel more comfortable and condone the fuckwittery at large. You get to point out that the emperor is as naked as a jay bird, no matter what others try and guilt pull over your eyes.
    I don’t even have the capability in me to lie on that kind of level to myself!
    I will not acknowledge the wifestress in any setting and I might barely nod to the FW, that’s all I’ve got to give on that front.
    It doesn’t make me wrong, it makes me very conscious of abuse and unafraid to live in my own truth about it.
    I think it makes me brave and honest. I hate playing the games society expects us to play, so that such abuses can run untethered, unquestioned and accepted. ( oh well, it happened, let’s just all make the most of it and all get along, considering how short life is and all ya know)
    Ahhh no. I don’t have to have any one in my life that has abused me so others don’t have to feel awkward about it.
    My kids respect who I am and know I don’t play games with anyone else’s life, as their father so readily does.
    “My friend” that sent me that text in my tent that day, is no longer in my life.
    She can “ play nice” all she wants and imagine that it makes her the bigger person on some level. My vision from the mountaintop I am standing on, is not the same as hers.
    My view is serene, clear, unobstructed and limitless and I’m grateful for my sight.

  • It’s been four years since D-day/the day he moved in with the Cock Roach, who is now the wifetress, and I have never been less than 100 feet from the c*m dumpster. Never even heard the slag’s voice.

    Seems like the gruesome twosome know that I would probably scratch the bitch’s eyes out if given half a chance.

    And it has nothing to do with him ending up with her. Hell, she deserves 10 of him.

    It’s the fact that she’s the reason I lost half of my child’s life starting at age 7. And that she”s so keen to be “bonus mom”.

    Yeah, I’d flay her if I thought I could get away with it.

    • I only started hearing this “bonus mom” recently, and I hate that phrase. I imagine so much of the time it is covering up some horrible behavior.

      My sons first wife cheated on him about five years into their marriage, they ended up D’d, and he met and married my now daughter in law of many years. So I get that a step mom can be wonderful, as she is; and in fact they have had custody of grandson since he was three. (he is close to thirty now). But, I still hate that phrase.

      • “I only started hearing this “bonus mom” recently, and I hate that phrase. I imagine so much of the time it is covering up some horrible behavior.”

        I started hearing the “bonus mom” stuff years ago, when my now-adult step-daughter was a tween. Maggie’s mother was newly married and had a brand new step-son, and she had heard Jada Pinkett Smith use the term. Maggie’s mother is a lovely woman who had the poor taste to breed with my ex, however I cannot fault her for that as I’m the one who married him. Bud Jada Pinkett Smith as an example! JPS can only be a *BAD* example, and I’m sure she had some really horrible behavior to cover up.

  • “Let’s forget this is all a big bummer! Smiles everyone! Smiles!” Exactly how I feel in my smaller-ish town where I shared many mutual friends with the OW. I still have panic attacks when I cross paths with her (our kids are friends, attend school/church together), but everyone else seems to have forgotten she tried to poach the father of my children. Now that I’m divorcing said father, I feel like it’s happening with him too. Everyone wants to forget this is all a big bummer. I wish I could.

  • I no longer waste any breath on FW. I will never speak to him ever again and will cut off any ‘friends’ who don’t see why. My children are adults and respect this….. Actually they completely understand as they have all omitted him from any family gathering they’ve ha since dday. Some of them have a sort of relationship with him but they made it very clear that they will never accept howorker. That includes FW trying to speak about her or any activitys/holidays she’s included in. They don’t even accept her name in cards. They are just not interested.

    I find it tough knowing they see him but have completely withdrawn from any involvement in it. Even to the point that he is no longer mentioned when we’re together.

    My heart truly goes out to you all who navigate kids with FWs. ❤️

  • Ugh, I don’t think you owe OW or EX polite courtesy, and the fact that they seek you out to try to engage you is a disgustingly blatant attempt to validate their unethical behaviour. If I didn’t think it would stir up more drama than it was worth I’d be tempted to advise you to say something like “I’m here to support [son], but we have no reason to interact directly. Please don’t try to engage with me like we’re friendly.” And be very consistent about walking away if they try to join in conversations with you or act like you guys are on good terms. You don’t owe them any sort of performative social interaction, but if polite greetings followed by ignoring them works for you then best to follow that!

    I do think you should have a script for any (possibly well-meaning) interfering friends. Something like: “[son] understands that my relationship with him is separate from his relationship with his dad and [OW]. We’ve reached a peaceful equilibrium and it works for us.” I wouldn’t try to explain things as CL did here on this blog unless this was a really close friend who you know actually cares about your well-being but is just misguided about social etiquette towards people who have harmed you.

  • And…I do believe it is true ignorance on the part of some people. I have a friend who has stayed very, very close to me in the aftermath (going on fours years now) of my particular shitshow. A few times over the past couple years she has suggested I should consider reconnecting with the AP (who was a good friend of mine) and acknowledging the tension, so that running into AP in public wouldn’t feel as fraught. Umm… When she mentioned this idea again a few weeks ago, I pulled out my crazy eyes and said “every single therapist or infidelity expert I’ve consulted says that’s a terrible idea”. My friend replied genuinely, “Oh! Don’t do it then.” The fallout from infidelity is complicated (duh), and people are complicated, and nobody gets it right all the time.

  • I would rather model and teach my girls that standing up for yourself and acknowledge your feelings are honorable.
    Period. End of discussion. If anyone ELSE is bothered by this ” social awkardness”, I would invite them to evaluate their own expectations for behavior in a social setting.

  • Unfortunately my son, did to his wife, what his dad, did to me. Broke my heart. I have big holidays with son and wifetress. I barely speak to her, do so with blank, bored expression. They recently had a baby. She assumed I would “come around “. No, I don’t blame the baby, but will not be held hostage by her. I visit ex wife and grandson while there and neither hide it, or make a excuse. I am a grown, ok old, woman. I do not need permission for my boundaries or actions. Especially, when it is them that should be apologizing. I was raised in a different time, to be polite, aka get walked on, was encouraged. Nope, I have boundaries now.

  • That Switzerbeyotch has told on herself. Bet she’s an OW herself, past or present. Friend dump her with extreme prejudice.

  • Haven’t seen this mentioned yet, so I thought I’d bring it up. I found in my experience that so-called “friends” who said things like that to me either had been involved with the ex, or were hoping to be. Just sayin’.

    • Sunny, good point! Also, I’ve experienced friends who may be envious of you for some reason & they look for opportunities to take you down a notch or two. Maybe friend is jealous of the OP’s new life? I would do a post-mortem on the friendship & see if there are other red flags. And I would definitely the address the “unsolicited” advice.

  • Thank you all and CL for the great advice. To give my letter more context, my friend does not know my Ex or OW. We forged this friendship after my divorce so she has no history with EX or OW. I believe her comment stems from her own upbringing and the fact that she was a child of divorce where her own parents could not be in the same room together and she was literally kept from seeing or speaking about the other parent. I’m not saying this as an excuse for her but I do think it stems from some FOO issues. I feel strongly that I do not want to model to my kids that all is good. I was hurt tremendously by both Ex and OW and do not want to pretend that all is good. I recognize that Ex is their father and they should have a relationship with him in whatever form that takes. That is their choice.
    Friend went on to say to me that my kids are afraid to mention OW to me because they love me and know how much it hurts me. If they’ve figured that out, how come you cant??? I will speak to her about this when the time is right and decide based on her response if we will continue our friendship.

    • You are being extremely civil and not causing any problems at these get togethers so I don’t understand why she (your friend) would be critical. You’re not engaging in the same behavior as her parents so again, she has no business critiquing how you should act. Your kids should know they should never roll over and make nice with people that have screwed them over so I think you are modeling healthy behavior.

    • Your last paragraph shows that your friend engages in triangulation, which is never healthy or appropriate in a respectful caring relationship. Try to view your relationship and interactions with her through a lens that’s not immediate tolerance for a bit. The answer will come.

  • My then 18 year old son straight up told me during the divorce in a very stern voice (he actually became the parent in that moment): “This is what you do, mom. She’s beneath you. You never speak to her. You never acknolwedge her. She’s dead to you”.

    That was in 2017 (married in 1993, met in 1983). I have and will follow that advice until I die. And I will make no apologies.

    • G-S,

      Your son nailed it by giving you permission to act in the way that you felt was appropriate and not pressuring you to “play nicely” for appearance’s sake.

      On the day that now Ex-Mrs LFTT left the kids and I to be with her AP (about 6 months after D-Day), my eldest daughter told me that I should never feel under pressure from her, her brother or her sister to take their mother back should things not work out for her …. a conversation that I know that my daughter will not have found easy, but one I’m glad that she felt able to have.

      LFTT

  • So tired with all the “For the kids” crap everywhere. How about we teach kids that they don’t have to be nicety nice with abusers just because they happen to be related to them or share the same dna. No wonder the cycle of abuse will be forever out of control.

    • Yep. Isn’t it odd that we teach our children from a very young age about stranger danger, and good touch bad touch etc. Yet some encourage the mother or dad of these very children to let an abuser who almost destroyed (usually mentally, and financially if not physically) them back into their life and be nice to them.

      Makes no sense whatsoever.

    • 👆THIS 👆 the cycle of abuse continues often because of society pressuring us to play nicety-nice with abusers! Even my mother wants me to play nice to her former husband & he treated her horribly & she buys into his excuses for it, all because of her stupid know-it-all friends who pressure her to play nice with him! One of them tried that on me, but stopped when I gave them my “death stare”. I’m sure they think I’m mentally unhinged, but nope, just got my boundaries down iron-tight now & don’t fuck with them!!

  • While I love that others can be civil to these monsters – FUCK THAT! No way in hell am i going to act civil. The best i can do is to pretend they don’t exist. I won’t make a scene because I love my children, but i won’t so much as smile at these piles of dog-shit. I commend this woman for her small talk to the ex but for the life of me I cannot imagine what would one say in this situation, “How are your hemorrhoids? Are you still passing diseases onto unsuspecting victims? Have you figured out how to bamboozle more money from people that love you?” Yeah, I think small talk is overrated. I’d rather talk to the wallpaper.

    I most loved CL’s advice on better friends, “be gracious and move on to other friends.”

  • I always feel bad for other Chumps when I read stories like these. Everyone should have a friend group that looks like one long line of murder suspects should FW end up facedown in a puddle somewhere. Honestly, them all being angry for me allowed me to work through a lot of my other emotions about the situation.

    • I wish I’d had these sorts of angry “murder suspect” friends. Not sure if it’s because most of mine were church-going Christians and there’s so much talk in the church of mercy and forgiveness – we’ve been saturated with it, all our lives – that they all felt a notion to make space for the cheaters too. Or maybe it was bc we were all mutual friends (me, cheating husband, OW, her chump husband, and the other friends), and the mutual friends weren’t mature or capable enough to support all of us as we splintered apart. I can see how it would be overwhelming to be a mutual friend in the middle. But I wish they would have tried harder with me. I wish just one or two of them would have taken up in my corner, made space for me, invited me closer in the aftermath of the catastrophe. The betrayal of the friends – the “Christian” friends – has been almost as painful as the betrayal of my husband.

      • Yea but it is a kind of gift to know who doesn’t have your back. Fuck them. Makes the friendship decision tree a little easier to climb. There’s a real malfeasance in some of these radical forgiveness and toxic optimism communities, religious or otherwise. It’s part of the human condition to get angry, be sad and disappointed, and be loyal to those you care about. And, as has been discussed on these boards repeatedly, not everyone deserves forgiveness.

      • Juniper: I have one friend who goes to a Christian church & she tried pressuring me to forgive my ex for “me” because her Christian teachings taught her that & no, she doesn’t know my ex as her & I reconnected during my separation. I told her I’ll be okay in time, not because of any forgiveness either. But if she continued on this “forgiveness” track, her & I would have a problem. She zipped it after & we’re good. Standing up to bullies or when being bullied (and I consider pressuring someone as bullying, even mildly) you either gain respect from them or they show themselves out the door. I know it hurts, but people really do show their true-nature during tough times. I had friends dump me because I was no longer part of a couple or I refused to date their random “but he’s lonely! ” single guys they picked up from somewhere & would surprise me with at dinners. I’m over those friendships now. I even saw one of them not long ago that was very dear to me at the time & they invited me to go get coffee with them & I said sorry, late to meet someone else, maybe next time & rushed off. I hope they got the message that I no longer need their friendship, but meh, I’m over them & you will be too with time & some more solid friends.

    • “Everyone should have a friend group that looks like one long line of murder suspects should FW end up face down in a puddle somewhere.” HAHAHAHAHAHA, amen. All hail the witch/warlock coven and “war council” friends. It’s a true salvation and cuts the duration of PTSD in half.

    • Exactly this. The anger of my true friends absolutely was cathartic for me. I didn’t need no Swiss cheese after my split, I needed some sharp Irish cheddar…and that’s exactly what my true friends brought to the table. All the others have fallen off, and I feel liberated to know who my true ride-or-dies are. I too feel bad for people who don’t have at least that one person who wants to punch your ex in the face.

  • I have known in real life about people who hooked up with other people at high school reunions when their spouse didn’t go. Word to wise, go with your spouse when there is a high school reunion.

    • I totally agree to go with them. I have heard a lot of stories about it two.

      Evidently there is a draw or a thing about meeting up with old romantic partners.

      I kind of get it because I transferred my romantic memories from fw to the guy I was seeing before I met him. Only in memories, as I never saw him again, but had I run into him and been single at a reunion, or anywhere else… well who knows. I just can’t think about the early romance between fw and me because he was a liar, so it killed those memories.

      • “had I run into him and been single at a reunion, or anywhere else… well who knows”

        I don’t think you would have Susie. All your posts speak to your having character and integrity.

    • “Word to wise, go with your spouse when there is a high school reunion”

      Go by all means, if that’s what you want to do, but to go because you’re worried they might hook up with someone else argues you already don’t trust them, and that’s the end already.

    • Sirchumpalot: My ex of 36 years did just that…ran off with strange he met at a HS reunion. It took me a long time to realize that the seeds of temptation, lust and desire were planted and growing in him LONG before he made that choice. It was just the culmination of a boy with poor self and impulse control.

      The silver lining in it was that, after all those years, I don’t have to worry about that same boy making executive decisions, should I be unable to, in old age. A person with that much resentment and desire to destroy the good they have in life is no person you want as healthcare proxy, financial overseer, emotional support, or in any way making decisions on your behalf.

      That’s why I tell Chumps NOT to grow old with Cheaters. They’ve shown you who they are. Believe them!

      • My ex never went to my high school reunions. I went alone. And you know, I never had the urge to kindle a high school romance. I was married.

    • The ex managed to rekindle his soulmate love with his ex girlfriend from school without the benefit of a school reunion. I turned out to be the third person in my own marriage. For 26 years. The pain that the discovery caused was acute, and the scars remain, three years later. The discovery nearly destroyed me. What I have come to appreciate is that both of them are fantasists. Neither grew up. They professed to be adult, sophisticated, urbane humans. But both are emotionally attached to their home town and their teenage lives. They are stuck in those years. Infantilised. That doesn’t look good for mid-fifties people. The ex preached to me about his ‘growth’ mindset (exgf is a life coach and I heard a lot of her wisdom spouting out of the ex’s mouth during my discard). My mindset is ‘narrow and fixed’ which was a laughable comment at the time and is hilarious now. That observation came from someone who didn’t know me at all and was based solely on what my rather stupid ex had told her in order to get what he wanted. A growth mindset is, it seems, going back to someone with whom you have cheated for years over the Atlantic, with whom you have never lived, who you went out with twice for short periods, and where you split up because she was cheating and you were drinking. What could go wrong third time round! I don’t know if they are still together because I cut contact bar through lawyers in March 2020. Going back to last loves might well work for some. I don’t condemn all open, honest, rekindled relationships. Good fortune to those people. The ex might live happily ever after with exgfOW. He gave up everything to be with her. Her problem is that he surrounded himself with people who believed that the love was rekindled after he dumped me. And it will be easy enough for him to say ‘it was a rebound relationship and it, sadly, didn’t work out’, when he decides that he’s bored with her. Which will happen because that’s who he is. She wanted to proclaim their love to the world; he wanted to keep it hidden. And that should have been a red flag to her. Never mind 😈

  • Your “friend” is an asshole. She now has proven that she also needs to be in the “smile and make your exit as soon as possible” category. You can’t fix stupid. You can’t fix cruel. Avoid both.

    Sadly, my adult children both fell into this category. It breaks my heart everyday. But, I gave them multiple chances and multiple conversations telling them why, did they want to make a relationship work with me?, etc., etc. etc. while they continued to explain to me what my behavior should be.

    In alignment with a counselor, I made the decision to put them in this Switzerland category. They still are befuddled and will say I am the problem. That’s okay now with me. I just know, without a doubt, that they drag me immediately to an unsafe mental and emotional state and they are unwilling or unable to recognize that or change it. So, I have to operate in pure survival mode related to them. Which is avoid or cool, bummer, wow and escape.

    • I am in the same boat.

      How sharper than a serpent’s tooth, eh? Years in, it’s still gobsmackingly painful. Condolences to both of us.

  • Personally, I’ve never, been in such a situation. But if it were me I’d say following to any ex-wife or ex-husband.
    “Look I care not one whit about you nor your new whatever. I cut you out of my life years (decades, etc.) ago. So bug off.”

  • I love this – brilliant. This made my day.
    “it means either: you’re eating a shit sandwich, OR you have the raw materials for friendship.”
    Never truer words spoken!!!

  • Time for Crazy to send her friend a pair of her old shoes, with a note, “Thought you could use a mile in these.”

  • One thing that bugged me before finding out about the affair but that totally pissed me off after, was unsolicited “advice”, aka criticism. If people do whatever they are preaching, good for them. But omg, don’t tell me what I should be doing or not doing, when it will affect me and me only. And not you. I can make my own decisions. As long as I’m civil and not doing any harm, I’m fine.

  • When I was a child, my parents tried to choose my friends. When I was a teenager, some “friends” tried to tell me not to be friendly with other people I didn’t know. When I was married, my husband tried to tell me my friends weren’t worth my time and energy, or he was bored around them. I put up with his friends for social situations, some of them I liked, some I did not. But I never told him who to have as a friend. My children had a variety of friends. I liked some, disliked others. But I did not say “Don’t be friends with . . . ” any of them because I think the urge to rebel would have cemented that friendship immediately.

    I have several friends. Some will play well with others; some are more introverted and focused on one or two things and don’t like meeting new people. I don’t care — we are friends due to some mutual interest. They don’t tell me how to live my life. If I want advice, I ask, then don’t complain. I do not offer advice unless they ask. It is tricky. Sometimes I need a really close friend to ask me if I have gone off my rails. But my true friends listen if I say “Back Off.”

    My children want me to be nice to and friendly with their dad’s widow. She is not my friend. She never will be. We share no interests. I feel like my son’s will lose interest in her soon enough. Their Dad has been dead a year. As soon as there are no financial interests to clear up, she will lose interest in my sons, but I’m not going to tell them that. I put that under the heading of “Life Lesson Learned.”

    This “friend” wants “everything just to be nice and comfortable” for her and everyone else, and that’s too bad for her. You don’t have to be friends. Be civil, because you live in a society that’s considered civilized. No one can tell you who to befriend, and no one should.

  • Luckily I have no kids or need to have any contact with my ex. (Phew!) I’m remarried now and happy. My new husband has 2 ex-wives (I call him Zsa-zsa), both of whom are friends of us both. There is no weirdness there because in both cases, my husband and his ex split amicably and respectfully. The relationship wasn’t working, they acknowledged that and moved on with their lives, finding new partners. They are legitimately just friends now. The two exes are also my friends and treat me with nothing but kindness and respect. Imagine that!

    But I’m pretty sure that if I ran into my ex and mistress-wifey now, I would react the way OP did. I’m over the heartbreak, but I don’t forget what happened, and I don’t respect them. They didn’t earn that respect, so they don’t get it. Story over.

  • Saying it louder for the people in the back:

    ADULTERY IS ABUSE!

    I do not associate with abusers, especially those who plotted and schemed to blow up 2 families (mine being 1 of them).

    I also do not associate with anyone who condones abuse towards others. That categorizes them as abusers, also.

  • When you’re in a life and death situation or one where children are at risk, it sheds real light on the characters of people who argue for civility towards bad people. From what I’ve seen, it never ends well and the civility maven will eventually betray in even grander fashion. I saw this happen among colleagues when I was prosecuting a violent workplace stalker. There were people who pressured me to drop charges against the perp because “jail won’t help him.” They complained that he’d been barred from work related events which wasn’t “fair.” It got so out of hand that the LAPD had to threaten several people with arrest for obstruction of justice and witness tampering. Now I’m watching a friend go through something different but also with high stakes.

    It’s probably unusual for someone to find out as an adult that their family of origin had always been corrupt but, as the first child born while her parents were both busy clawing their way from middle class to upper middle class “pillars of the community,” my friend was mostly left in the care of an upright grandmother which apparently formed my friend’s character. Meanwhile my friend’s younger siblings had little contact with this grandmother and instead emulated the parents. Consequently the parents treated my friend like the black sheep goody two shoes who needed to be kept in the dark about their complicated financial scamming while the siblings were drawn into the schemes as adults. When my friend found evidence of one of the family scams after her grandmother died, she confronted her parents in the hopes it was a mistake. But it was like turning over a hornet’s nest. The parents’ crimes must have run deep because they immediately went scorched earth.

    My friend said it reminded her of trying to divorce a batterer or how dysfunctional families will turn on the member who finally opens up about sexual abuse in childhood. Then she found evidence that her father had an adult love child from past adultery and the whole thing blew sky high. Her parents began telling extended family and anyone in the community who would listen that my friend was delusional and mentally ill, should be committed and have her children taken away. She considered this a declaration of war and washed her hands of them. But her parents began showing up uninvited, even breaking into her house and starting brawls in front of the children. At one point her prim “pillar of the community” mother physically assaulted this friend because this friend ordered the mother to leave. The parents continue trying to contact my friends’ minor children by showing up at their after school jobs or trying to pick them up from school without authorization.

    I’ve been through thick and thin with this friend for more than a decade. She won’t even download pirated films and if there’s one thing that defines her it’s “sane parent.” But, regardless, her parents have managed to go down the list of her friends and acquaintances, seek them out, ply them with minor favors and sway several of them to their demented point of view. My friend and her supportive husband moved out of town to get away from it but she still runs into people who tell her she should make peace and bury the hatchet. It wasn’t her hatchet.

    I think it’s curious that two of this friend’s former “diplomatic” friends tried a few times to visit her husband at work in order to flirt with him. Fortunately he wasn’t having it and it’s become a running joke rather than stirring up marital tension. But I thought it proved what I’d long suspected: the “Swiss” types aren’t cuddling up to and arguing cases for the meanest monkeys by accident. They do it because they frequently harbor latent creepery themselves. Maybe this doesn’t come out in such stark relief when the stakes seem relatively low. But if I’ve learned one lesson it’s that life can flip you into a ditch at any moment and then minor meddlers can suddenly become endangering meddlers in a flash. I stay away from them.

    • Your friend has been through hell and back countless times and is indeed the Sanest of Sane Parents.
      Toxic families despise the Truth Tellers. I’ve learned this the hard way with my own family, unfortunately. As well as FWs.

      Staying as far away from corrupt as humanly possible is the only way to survive it.

    • Yes, I agree the flying monkeys or Switzerland friends have major problems themselves. Thats why they take on this role so readily and enjoy it. They love to create drama and chaos, disordered people.

  • WTH? I was raised in a Confucian home, and I was taught that no-one is expected to receive an AP socially. Polite and distant is the high road.

    Do not follow the lead of this medieval lady. The version of the story my family tells is that she made sure everyone was out of the house for a festival or market day because she wanted to make a point without actual bloodshed. {Basically if she had married a random peasant, *he* would be nominally shogun} One woman who refused to cheat with Lord FW earned the gratitude of this lady, who promoted her in her capacity as de facto regent. The two women became good friends, because true friends just say no to cheating.

    Lady Masako long outlived the FW, ruling in the names of her son and brother, finally retiring to live her best life in contemplation in a comfortable abbey in the countryside. Cynics said she only took holy orders to avoid prosecution by political opponents for her acts in office, but who knows? Her legend lives on centuries later as a positive role model in the area where spent her last years.

    https://www.rejectedprincesses.com/princesses/masako-hojo

  • This OW is nothing. She’s a woman your ex chose to have sex with while he was married to you, Crazy, the mother of his children and his life partner for 29 years. That’s all she is. You didn’t select her as your ex’s next wife. He didn’t ask you if you approved of him having sex with her. He didn’t consult you. You didn’t provide her with a reference, a testimonial, a warranty. You have no investment in her. She’s nothing. You have no reason to have a relationship with her. There’s one crazy person here: your friend. She’s a busybody, an interferer. My ex ran off with his ex girlfriend from school after 26 years with me. No kids so I don’t have to have any contact. But if I did, I wouldn’t give her the time of day. Why would I? I have values; she doesn’t. It doesn’t sound as if your sons are complaining. Your friend needs to stop living through others vicariously and get a life. With less time on her hands, she’d have left space to stick her nose in.

    • That’s exactly how I feel about FW and the AP since FW abandoned myself and two daughters. I’m raising them SOLO, so that makes FW INSIGNIFICANT.
      AP is a waste of skin who I will not give the time of day too. I walk right past the both of them at dance recitals as they are nothing to me.
      I don’t have time for con artists.

  • It’s always so interesting to me how the dear shmoopies owe us wives NOTHING! NOTHING! She didn’t make any vows to you! She didn’t do ANYTHING WRONG to YOU! She owes you NOTHING!

    Yet we’re supposed to owe them so much. We’re supposed to owe them respect and kindness and even friendship, apparently. I don’t get it.

    If she’s just a random stranger who owed you nothing, not even basic human decency or just refraining from exposing you to her vaginal juices without your consent, why do you owe her something now? If the friendship is worth saving, I’d bring that up once and let your friend think about it. If she keeps it up, tell her to go be the whore’s friend (but watch her husband, lol) and leave you alone.

    • “It’s always so interesting to me how the dear shmoopies owe us wives NOTHING! NOTHING! She didn’t make any vows to you! She didn’t do ANYTHING WRONG to YOU! She owes you NOTHING!

      Yet we’re supposed to owe them so much. We’re supposed to owe them respect and kindness and even friendship, apparently. I don’t get it.”

      Thank you KP, I have said it over and over in response to that argument, but not as well as you have said it.

      You words need to be copied by every chump and whenever a whore apologist swoops and poops their bile, paste it as the one and only response. The only true answer is of course we owe them nothing, no respect, no kindness, not even a nod of “top of the mornin”.

    • “It’s always so interesting to me how the dear shmoopies owe us wives NOTHING! NOTHING! She didn’t make any vows to you! She didn’t do ANYTHING WRONG to YOU! She owes you NOTHING!

      Yet we’re supposed to owe them so much. We’re supposed to owe them respect and kindness and even friendship, apparently. I don’t get it.”

      I’ve had to remove a number of people from my life because of this thinking. My primary care physician, my hair stylist, family members, a couple of work colleagues and a “friend” or two. One interaction went a bit like this:

      “Schmoopie didn’t owe you anything — HE’S the one who broke his vows. She didn’t make any vows to you.”

      “Well, she’s getting what she deserves — she’s with a cheating abusive douchebag and I’m well rid of him.”

      “Ohhhh . . . he’s abusive? Like physically?”

      “Physically, financially, verbally, emotionally and sexually. He’s abusive.”

      “You have to WARN her if he’s abusive.”

      “So you’re telling me that she doesn’t owe me anything. Nothing, nada, she did nothing wrong and she doesn’t owe me a thing. Yet you somehow believe that I owe HER something? Fuck that shit!”

      And yes, I did attempt to walk out of the hair salon with my hair half cut. The owner flagged me down and finished the cut. I think she was a fellow chump, because she got it. My former stylist had the gall to send me one of those cards informing me that she was moving to another salon and inviting me to follow her there. She really did not get it.

      • Maybe the salon owner told the stylist to rent a chair someplace else. I can only hope. I’m with you Ex Mrs. Sparkly Pants, ditching cheating cohort apologists. 👏🏻👏🏻👏🏻

  • Yeah, maybe not invite this particular friend to any joint family gatherings. See her separately. Why does she need to go to your adult sons birthday party? Why does your adult son even need a huge birthday party? He could have dinner with you and FW can have his own dinner. If FW would even bother. Who exactly is throwing this birthday party? If you are, maybe say hey you are 45 now, Im 62, Im getting too old for this, how about I just take you for a nice casual dinner with your Gf or best friend?

  • Seriously tho, get new friends. My actual real friends would never in a million years say this BS to me. They’re squarely in the “F him Camp” and would have been more than happy to throw massive shade and my ex and any of his lady friends…but as luck would have it, I’ve ensured that I’m practically never in the same place as them both.

    Loyalty matters. Any person who would dare to criticize you for the behavior you’re displaying is not a loyal friend. And, life’s too short to spend time with disloyal friends.

  • All of CL’s and CN’s comments started me thinking. Fortunately I haven’t experienced this situation, but if ever any one of my friends came to me and said that I was making it more difficult for my sons by not engaging with the OW, I’d say, “Hmmm… there are two ways to look at your comment. Either you’re too stupid to understand how asinine your comment is, … or you want to be friends with the skank and this is your attempt to try to make me feel guilty so you can justify reaching out to her. If it’s the first case, i.e., you’re too stupid, then I guess I can forgive you and say, ‘Don’t ever make such a stupid remark again’ and I will leave it at that. However, if it’s the second case, then have at it. Go be friends with the skank. Be sure to tell her that I called her a skank and then don’t ever talk to me again. The ball is in your court. What’s your play?”

  • I think even acknowledging the AP’s presence goes beyond the call of duty! I think it shows what a good person you are that you are civil to her, even if it is just to make life a little easier for your boys. My ex is with someone whom he met when we were separated and waiting to be divorced and if I ever have to be at a social event with her I know I will be the ice queen. Honestly this is partly because she has not inspired my ex to play nice with the divorce. Even though he signed an agreement I am now in the process of filing contempt of court so he can sign the deed transfer for my house and some other financial paperwork that needs to be completed. I feel like they are hoping I drop dead so he can have the house and all the money!

  • So, I think that borderline-civil ignoring and avoiding the person who aided you ex-spouse in the destruction of your families reasonable and totally valid.

    Which is why I have so much trouble with my now-husbands ex-wife .

    22 years ago, she was dissatisfied with life and had a BFF who told her that she would have a great life if she left her boring husband and played the field. Wife took the advise and moved out with their 2 yr old daughter. She stayed local briefly then went far and then very far.

    After the contentious D was completely done, she asked if they could remarry (the grass wasn’t greener). He said no.

    About 10 years later she remarried. A year after her marriage, I started to date her Ex H. I am a respectable person and was a widowed single mother who had never met her.

    Our first meeting was to be at daughters HS graduation (private school that my H paid for fully in addition to 2-3x the minimum of child support). The XW tried to get us to not come to any of it. She tried to get people to not give us logistic info and told the daughter to call us and tell us not to come. We went anyway. I tried to introduce myself to the XW (hand extended in a greeting) and she spun on her heels and stomped away.

    What gets me is that she publicly treated me like I was an OW – I was horrified. If a person was looking from the other side of the room, they would swear that I was the home wrecker. Considering my profound distain for home wreckers, this is like the most insulting, crass thing a person could do to me.

    She continues all her stupid shit to this day. My best moments of revenge have been traveling in Europe with her daughter (England, France, Monaco, Italy) and watching the wonder of such a lovely experience on her daughters face while the shrew takes daughter nowhere.

    I know there isnt anything I can do about her, but I would like suggestions if you have them.

    • It sounds to me like she’s not happy in her marriage and is therefore bitterly jealous of you and your husband, and the relationship both of you have with the daughter. And kicking herself for what she threw away.

      What does your husband think? Does he have a civil relationship with her? Maybe he could ask her why she’s treating you like an OW, when you’re obviously anything but. On the other hand, that’s probably giving her exactly the centrality she wants.

      If it was me, I’d just ignore her whenever you’re forced to meet her socially, because it sounds to me as if (given her behaviour when you tried to introduce yourself) she’s the sort of person who’s just boiling up for, and hoping for, a big dramatic scene.

      You tried to treat her politely, and she spat in your face. I wouldn’t give her anymore opportunities to behave like an arse. And don’t let her ignorant behaviour drive a wedge between you and your husband and your step-daughted. Hugs. xx

      • She was civil to him for years but chose to be more distant when she got into a relationship (which makes sense). When he started dating me, she turned mean on both of us…he wasn’t even welcome to use the restroom when he picked her up after a 9 hr drive.

        Apparently, when she dumped him, she complained that their trips to Hawaii and Europe weren’t good enough. Her new husband (he seems like a long suffering decent guy) doesnt have anywhere near what my husband has. Their trips are seldom and limited…ours are often and elaborate. I am working on the “a great life is the best revenge” tactic.

    • I mean, just ignore her. It’s a learned skill set, but very possible to substantively ignore people like this, even while politely smiling and saying hi to them. And don’t let her live rent free in your head either. Anytime you think of her and her stupid behavior, go do something that requires your full attention (I usually chose exercise to take my mind off bad thoughts, or even a TV show I like can work or doing something with my daughter or dog). Over time, you can train your brain to essentially stonewall her. When you master this art of ignoring, life gets better. And, her own stupid behavior will bite her in the ass eventually, if it hasn’t already. Grown ass people who refuse the polite handshake of someone who has done them no harm are, eventually, seen as the babies that they are and endure a loss of respect of the people around them. That’s her natural consequence.

      That you took her daughter to Europe on a wonderful trip should register only as a great memory and blessing for you and your step daughter…the ex should not be in that equation, even of it’s just your internal calculation.

  • “Dear Perfectly Sane Lady with Boundaries,” How I cackled here. Often reading this blog and people’s letters, I think “oh the poor dear, rookie mistake, we’ve all been there” but then I read your letter, Perfectly Sane, and it is a MASTER CLASS in how to behave in these situations, and how to handle grown kids relationship with their father.
    Chef’s kiss. The ONLY mistake you made was doubting it in the slightest.

    Yours Truly,

    “Also won’t chat with OW in a million years but won’t make a scene either”

    PS, your friend can get bent

  • Crazy not crazy you went beyond what I would do in same circumstances. I would not cause a shit show but also would not dignify other wife with ANY acknowledgement or conversation. That would be HER shit sandwich for the choices she has made….
    Next Spring my youngest so getting married. Been divorced 8 years my kids in their 30’s now. Son told father his wife (affair partner) is NOT invited to any wedding functions! Whoa did not see that one coming as 2 of my sons will see father and wife in other social situations. Father said he won’t attend without wife as “we should all accept this and get over it”. Lol. 🤷‍♀️ Not my circus, not my monkey anymore!

    • Isn’t it funny that they always say, “we should all accept this and get over it”. They want us and everyone else to eat that shit sandwich and deal, but they certainly don’t want to accept the consequences of their own behavior.

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