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The OW Calls Me for Advice

Dear Chump Lady,

I have a unique situation that I would appreciate your take on. My husband began an affair (his THIRD affair that I know of) with his best friend’s fiancé, after said friend died in a helicopter crash. My husband met the OW for the first time at his friend’s funeral in August 2011. I was unable to go the the funeral because I had an urgent medical issue (brain tumor) at the time and was seeing several specialists to plan surgery. I didn’t find out about the affair until August 2012. My medical issues were resolved by that time and life was “normal.”

I found out when the OW sent me an anonymous message. From the get go, I had the gut feeling my husband had taken advantage of her during a particularly emotional time (that’s also how our relationship began). I’m not excusing her behavior. She knew he was married and she was very hateful to me to try to shove me out of the picture. Long story short, he wasn’t willing to leave me. I consulted the BEST attorney, formulated a game plan, stayed with him for 6 months, paid off our debts, outlasted the OW (she dumped him when he wouldn’t leave me and our family), saved a little money back, and then filed.

He about lost it when I filed, because she had dumped him, he lost me too, and that left him with no one. He called her and begged her to call me and convince me that nothing had ever happened between the two of them. Despite the fact that he had admitted to the affair in MC. She was dumb enough to agree to it, so she called me and told me nothing had ever happened, which we both knew was a lie.

I ended up having a long conversation with her where I “thanked her” for having the guts to tell me he was cheating on me for the third time. This knowledge allowed me to recognized it had been a miserable marriage riddled with cheating.

She has since friend requested me on Facebook. She agreed with me that my ex-husband has serious personality issues (he’s a cluster B) and we actually had a really nice laugh at his expense, because he used the same lines on both of us. Things went pretty well for a while. We were FB friends and nothing else because she lives in a town three hours away from me. Fast forward 10 months, and now she has become friends with my ex-husband on FB and they share inappropriate jokes in a public forum. She rarely contacts me and if she does, it’s to ask my advice on her current relationship, as well as parenting issues that she’s having.

I am a counselor, so she likes my help in these areas. I don’t know how to continue with this relationship or if I even should. On one hand, I feel like I need to keep her as a “superficial” friend because I fear she may get back with my ex-husband some day. If she ends up being around my children, I want that to be as amicable as possible for them. It also gives me joy that it bothers my ex-husband that she and I are friends. Although, I’m not sure what kind of a picture she paints of our friendship to him since they are friends, too. She tells me that I will always have a friend in her because we both know what it’s like to be in a relationship with someone like him.

My question is: is she really my friend? Do I keep maintaining this friendship for the sake of what could be in the future? For the sake of irritating my ex? Should I just stop taking her calls? Every time I see the two of them joking around on Facebook he gets under my skin. It makes me wonder what she tells him in order for him to be her friend my friend too. She can’t possibly be telling him things that she’s telling me (i.e., he’s a crazy narcissist) or he wouldn’t want to be her friend. Any words of wisdom you have are greatly appreciated. I should also mention I had to put a restraining order on him because he was stalking me. So I have no contact with him to be able to hear his version of their relationship.

Struggling Chump


Dear Struggling Chump,

Is the woman who conspired against you to screw your husband your friend? NO. Not unless you have really, really low standards for friends. By this reasoning the guy who checks your gas meter could be your bestie, just by virtue of the fact he has not fucked your ex, and you cordially nod at one another. This woman is NOT your friend, okay? She’s some kind of twisted mindfuck like your ex.

You seem to think she’s an ally in untangling his skeinShe agreed with me that my ex-husband has serious personality issues (he’s a cluster B). She tells me that I will always have a friend in her because we both know what it’s like to be in a relationship with someone like him. From where I sit, you’re both still engaged in a pick-me dance over your ex. She tells you he’s had multiple affairs (HA! You only THINK you won the pick me dance!). You get upset when she Facebook friends him too, but think you may have him beat on the triangulation. It also gives me joy that it bothers my ex-husband that she and I are friends.

SC — I want you to walk away from the triangle and repeat after me: “I AM NOT A HYPOTENUSE.”

The OW enjoys the drama triangle. And you’re of use to her as free counseling kibbles. Why are you allowing this?

Oh, and can I field the relationship and parenting questions for you?

“Hey Twatwaffle, don’t sleep with married men. Spend more time raising your kids and less time stirring up nonsense on Facebook. That will be $180, please, made payable to the Adulterous Fuckbuddy Redemption Society.”

You have a restraining order on your ex. You have a restraining order on your ex. Read that sentence again. YOU HAVE A RESTRAINING ORDER ON YOUR EX. Why on earth would you want to hear “his version of their relationship”? What part of legally enforced no contact do you fail to understand? No contact goes both ways.

Curious about their relationship? They are fuckbuddies who fucked you over. They enjoy centrality and drama at your expense. And “inappropriate jokes on public forums.” You don’t need to be anywhere near these people. On Facebook, in your head, or on your street.

And consider this — anything you could learn from the OW is completely untrustworthy. She cheated with your then-husband, and agreed to lie about the affair for him. You can’t believe a thing your “friend” says.

So why would you try to control this? Who she might be to your kids some day is a flimsy excuse for staying tangled up in their drama. YOU DON’T CONTROL THAT. You don’t control who she is to your kids. To your ex. To anybody, including yourself. She’s not going to give you a whit of consideration on the basis of “friendship” if it stands between her and something she wants. She’s already DEMONSTRATED that by cheating with your ex.

So do you really think she’s going to be extra nice to your kids? She didn’t consider them when she was the OW, and she didn’t consider you either. She hasn’t seen the error of her ways because HELLO she’s still friends with Nut Cluster B. He’s disordered, but not so much so that they can’t be pals? Do you really need such garbage people in your life?

There is no “friendship” here to maintain. There’s just drama to disengage from. Unfriend her on Facebook, turn off the mindfuck channel, and get on with your life.

No contact — no drama! You can DO THIS.


This is an updated rerun.

Ask Chump Lady

Got a question for the Chump Lady? Or a submission for the Universal Bullshit Translator? Write to me at Read more about submission guidelines.
  • SC, You need to think about this “friendship”. Friends don’t blow up your family and have affairs with you at the time husband. This is definitely not healthy. Real friends don’t sleep with your husband and try to become friends with you after they dump the man who they aided in blowing up a family. She has shown you what she really is and that is definitely not the kind of friend you want. Please go NO CONTACT with her immediately. She and your ex are not your friends nor should they ever be. Stop contact. There is no need for conversation she and the ex both know what they are doing and that is trying to bring some type of sick drama back into your life.
    Go out and make some real friends that are loyal and genuine (they are out there). You are a good person but you need some friends who have your back and don’t put you in a mindfuck blender. You can do this.

  • She is playing you. She knows that Chumps are trusting people. She is using that. She sure did not give a damn about you when she was knocking boots with your ex. I would say she is using you for her own benefit. Most likely feeding info to your ex.
    Best thing to do is block her. She doesn’t have your best interest at heart.

    • I would bet that the friend is still knocking boots with the ex AND feeding information to him. When you are being stalked, you have to “close the leaks” and cut off anyone and everyone who is a potential ally to the stalker. For your own safety and sanity.

  • Struggling Chump,

    I don’t want to be a hard nosed asshole, but if you read CL’s blog regularly, you know the answer. You know that the only solution is no contact with both of them.

    You already did the hard work! You were aware of FW’s cheating and patiently formulated a plan and served him in 6 months and got free. You already know FW is a piece of work and you don’t need any contact with him. Zero. (Or grey rock as needed for the kids). You have a restraining order on him. So block any and all info at this point — even the social media that gives you that “rush” — it feeds the addictive behavior of checking in on him. Get rid of it. Let’s get real… your addicted to checking. (I’ve been there and understand)

    As for OW? There is no reason at all to stay in touch with her. The excuse of “well, what if she gets back with FW… I need to be nice for my kids just in case” is just an excuse to feed that “rush” you’re getting from checking in and schadenfreude of making fun of FW. She’s toxic. Let it all go. You know that’s a weak excuse… otherwise you’d need to make friends with the whole town just in case they get with FW.

    And why the Hell would you give her free counseling services?? If she needs help, she needs to go get it elsewhere and pay for it. It’s not like you giving her free advice is healthy or ethical. It isn’t.

    My long winded point is the same as Tracy’s — NO CONTACT. No connections (through social media). Save yourself and your sanity. Please

    • Why would you want to be friends with someone who might get back with your ex?

      She’s friends with your ex on Facebook and they’re bantering back and forth on an inappropriate joke page tells you all you need to know.
      Your true friends aren’t friends with your ex. This woman isn’t a friend.

  • To me, this is an example of how ‘typing a message’ type of communication has screwed people up. We’ve elevated people (acquaintances) to “friends” because we are connected by the umbilical cord of social media. We give away our livilihood (counseling) for what??? We think Facebook is true when we know it isn’t.
    Not saying that it all should go away, because I certainly don’t have a solution!

  • You’re gonna have to go no-contact because the other thing you don’t know is how much she is sharing with him. I had someone contact me to get advice about a cheater but she was still trying to get him back (she lied to me about that) and turned around and quoted me to him.

  • Lord, but we chumps are some co-dependent, desperate, rationalizing machines. And not tiny transistor ratio type machines. I’m talking enormous, looming, jaw-dropping QE2-size machines if self-harm and dysfunction.

    We can’t fix our cheaters, but we damn sure can work on what makes us think we need to pick our mates and our “friends” from the bargain-basement bin of life.

    • Sadly, this letter is probably something I could’ve written a decade or more ago. I really believed I had to be “nice” and “understanding” and “forgiving” of vile people.

      It’s bizarre and makes no sense now, having gone to (and graduated from) trauma therapy in the years since.

  • Suppose she had come into your home and stolen every thing of value to you. Later, not much later, you find that your husband opened the door, invited her in, and showed her where all the valuables were. Then after her arrest and repayment she calls you and wants to be friends? You need to look at her morals, and the morals of your ex-husbands and realize their friendship is sick and sickening. Yours is with her so you need to cut her off as quickly as you have him.

  • “She knew he was married and she was very hateful to me to try to shove me out of the picture.” So why on earth would SC want to be friends with her, and give her free counseling services? Because you shared a couple of laughs with her, and she agreed your ex has issues? It seems she is afraid of this former OW, who first wanted her ex, allegedly dumped him, and now is friends with him. SC’s “friendship” was based on mutual disdain of ex, but that apparently wasn’t true either, since formerly OW is friends with him.

    • Exactly ‘Goodfriend’! They are just sad, manipulative FWs. Stay away and regain your own worth and sanity.

  • Making of show of NC is the easy part. Truly disengaging mentally is tough. Many chumps, especially those of us who are trauma bonded to our exes, struggle to sever the cord completely. On a cognitive level, we know that these cheaters are bad news, and yet, we are almost inexplicably drawn to them. Even wanting to hurt your ex by befriending the OW is a plea for a connection. Our subconscious reasons that any link to these FWs is preferable to none at all.

    As CL says, trust that they suck. I’d suggest you make a list of all the shitty things your ex and the OW have done to remind you that they truly suck. At the top, include why you got a restraining order. Refer to this list to stiffen your spine when you get the urge to engage with either of these losers.

    Good luck.

    • I have found that implementing physical no contact has helped me disengage mentally. I guess it’s a form of “acting as if”–and the “as if” finally becomes reality.

      • I physically removed myself from x on d-Day. For a few months after that, we communicated by email/text. At first, I shared my feelings (BIG rookie mistake) but then, thanks to CL’s advice, assumed a courtroom voice. Once the houses were sold and the divorce finalized, I went NC. Except for an occasional email re a financial matter or parent’s death, I am NC with x.

        I have never had any contact with the OW, except for meeting her at a funeral when I was still in the dark about their affair.

        Despite this distance and knowing that he sucks and never, ever wanting to see him again, I have occasional urges to, get this, check the weather where he now lives (hoping it’s too cold for fishing). Petty, I know!! I also would love for word to get back to him that Spinach is alive and well!

        In these trivial ways, I realize that I do keep him in my mental life and that I am, therefore, not at 100% meh (if “meh” is defined as not caring at all), which brings up the issue of how people define “meh,” Another Friday challenge?

    • “Our subconscious reasons that any link to these FWs is preferable to none at all.”

      This was so true for me. While “trying” to leave and then even after I left, my subconscious definitely was on high alert, and my heart and brain were not in sink. I knew FW was a dirtbag, I understood I hadn’t loved a real person, I didn’t want to spend the rest of my life with him (or even see/talk to him again), he disgusted me… and yet really, truly closing the door was terrifying. It felt like looking into the abyss. It made me feel out of control of my own mind — crazy — so I learned about treating substance addiction, and I approached NC like that (fortunately discovered CL around that time, too), and I finally got there. There were a couple of small setbacks (mostly to my pride/dignity), but now it’s my two-year NC mark. I’m in the clear and can’t even imagine reconnecting; even in my dreams, if he ever haunts them, I am scrambling to run and hide so I don’t have to interact. But occasionally l, something reminds me of when I was on that precipice, and how hard it was to let go. It’s kind of like “letting” someone die — it went against every fiber of my body and I ruminated and had nightmares for months because it felt really wrong and upsetting.

      I don’t even respond to Switzerland — even the people who were questionably so. I don’t go places I frequented with my ex. That’s how much I’ve distanced myself from the FW and the world we formerly inhabited together. I wonder how the OP is doing now…

    • The fact that SC is a counselor herself, only underlines proof of the extreme difficulty it takes to pull away from these toxic ppl in our lives, for anyone at all it is a very big problem.
      If it were an easy feat, we wouldn’t need to blog daily about it for years on end.
      It’s the toughest thing I’ve ever gone through in my own life, I know that for sure and it’s still ongoing healing.
      If a person with a similar scenario stepped into SC’s office, she would know exactly what that person should do to greatly improve their lives. It would be so obvious she would wonder why her client couldn’t see it it. That’s why chumps can use a helping and understanding hand up.
      When we are caught up in our own fog, it’s difficult to see a way out. We all know this first hand.
      SC may be a very excellent counselor, she probably is with the high degree of empathy she has within her.
      I don’t see the need to make her feel anymore inadequate than abuse has already made her feel.
      We are the helpful chumps, not looking to bury her further in the hole she already feels herself stuck in.
      Good for her for reaching out for help! That’s a very positive step.
      She needs to relinquish corner C in that warped triangle she’s been inhabiting and get angles A and B the hell out of there.
      She pretty well knows that, I believe, just having a tough time even trusting her own beliefs right now after all the abuse she’s suffered.
      Healing will begin when she lets the abusers go.
      I hope she’s already discovered that and is in a much better place in 2023.
      She is probably out there counseling others really well with her trove of hard won wisdom. She has a great deal to offer others.
      Wish you well SC, wherever you are. Dealing with abusers is not straight forward or easy for any one of us at all. It’s a LOT!!!

      • My intent was certainly not to make her feel inadequate or to “bury her further” in the hole she already feels herself stuck in. Speaking from the perspective of someone who was totally blindsided and abandoned, as were my adult daughters, after 30 years of marriage and ALSO from the perspective of someone who has been in intensive therapy for 4 years, I would not feel comfortable had my counselor/therapist been the author of this letter. If you would, that’s good for you.

    • I have sympathy for the OP. In Far from the Madding Crowd, Thomas Hardy memorably wrote, “When a strong woman recklessly throws away her strength she is worse than a weak woman who has never had any strength to throw away.” In my experience, there’s an added burden of debilitating “this can’t be happening” shame to being the type of person who should know better and still finding yourself entrapped and enmeshed.

      On some level I must have thought my training as an advocate for abuse survivors made me immune. Discovering I wasn’t sent me back the old drawing board. I had to face the fact my training and understanding were inadequate. Fucking hell. It wasn’t just me but generations of people on every tier of victim advocacy who– given past definitions, an unfortunate “boiling frog” adjustment to the reality of limited legal response and maybe even the professional hazard of developing subconscious relief when, after hearing a thousand harrowing stories of extreme violence, some abuser or other pulls short of using fists– had set the bar for devastating abuse at broken bones and lacerations. The introduction to the book “Coercive Control” by forensic social worker and veteran advocate Evan Stark is basically a call for helping professionals, legal authorities, bystanders and victims themselves to use a finer filter in defining domestic violence based on new information regarding how victims of intimate partner violence define their own experiences. In Stark’s forty or so years on the front lines, he’d learned most victims report that psychological torture and coercive control are more paralyzing and destructive than even physical assault.

      As Maya Angelou put it, “Do the best you can until you know better. Then when you know better, do better.” The thing is, getting to the point of knowing better can pit any advocate or counselor against the prevailing grain of the field. There’s a kind of revolution underway in “victimology” and the understanding of what constitutes intimate partner violence and everyone is playing catch-up. Furthermore, the old guard still dominates. Ironically, the more lofty any therapist’s training is, the closer to the center of the old bullshit they tend to be and the harder it is to break with it– sometimes to their own peril.

    • I think counselors are often taught to equally weigh all sides, honor everyone’s feelings, and work out complicated relationships.

      Which sounds fine theory, but doesn’t take into account that when it comes to abuse, the healthiest thing to do is walk away and go no contact.

      I wouldn’t be surprised if many chumps here are social workers, counselors, nurses and other “caring” jobs. Cheaters love pulling heart strings, and having them so visible makes manipulation so much easier.

  • A person who screws my husband is not my friend and deserves nothing from me. Not the kind of person I want to be friends with. In fact, a person who screws anyone’s spouse is not my friend. We have nothing in common.

  • Tracy, can I ask exactly how old this letter is? You say it’s an “updated rerun”, but I don’t know exactly what that means, if the letter writer JUST wrote you an update and is watching this thread.

    I hope for her sake she isn’t still tangled up in this mess … since 2011 now! Nightmare.

  • Post didn’t say their ages but she’s obviously IMO still interested in her ex narcissistic creep. She should listen to CL and everyone here and go NO CONTACT!

  • As this is a rerun, I won’t answer the writer specifically. I hope she took CL to heart.

    Generally speaking, this letter is a classic example of a significant need to take Boundaries 101. And I’m not judging it because I was totally in the same boat when I was married to, and divorcing, the ex. I went to therapy when the divorce process started, and that’s where she and I started: Boundaries 101. Even the simplest version of learning where I was not drawing healthy boundaries made a massive difference when I started doing so.

    Many will notice that our writer was a counselor when this first ran. In an ongoing spirit to remind fellow chumps that this should be a safe space where we help people without kicking them in the solar plexus while they’re down, I hope we will use that information productively.

    Counselors/therapists/psychiatrists/pros in all fields are human beings. Every human being has some baggage with some amount of shit hiding in their baggage. I’ve said before what I’ll say again now: People most often get drawn into helping professions, including therapy, either because they love being drunk with and abusing power (minority, but sadly real) or because they once needed help themselves and want to pay it forward. Rare is the addiction counselor who has never experienced addiction. Etc.

    So rather than beating up a person who literally selected the moniker “Struggling Chump” for daring to be a counselor when she wasn’t perfect, I’d like to see us use that information as a reminder that not every counselor is a right fit for every client, and give ourselves permission to trust our instincts and switch to someone new if we’re seeing someone whose style doesn’t fit.

    Just recently I stopped seeing a therapist because every topic that hit the table caused him to ask me how what I’m doing impacts my husband. Thing is, I specifically stated when I started with him that my current work is to grow and nurture my own self-definition beyond my work and my marriage because I feel like I’ve lost a deep understanding of myself and what I want l, or even like, in life. He, apparently, can’t stand the idea that I’m not constantly seeking opinions and validation about that from the man to whom I’m married.

    He was a very helpful therapist for me in the past. I’ll always be grateful. But he’s not good at THIS. He’s a poor fit for me NOW. Not a bad man, not a bad therapist, just not a good fit for me now. (How meta, actually.)

    Just food for thought.

      • It is, truly, a disagreement, and one we’re unlikely to change.

        He was an absolutely outstanding therapist for exactly the help I needed for more than three years. I had seen six other therapists for the same issue with little progress, and the work he and I did together off and on for those years was a total game changer. For all of those topics, he was exactly the therapist I needed. I’ll always be grateful for that.

        Many teachers say that one of their proudest moments in teaching is that moment when their student’s knowledge, or ability, or achievement, soars to success, even if that knowledge or ability or achievement far surpasses their own. I suspect therapy has similarities. A therapist helps you grow and set better boundaries, and eventually maybe you grow past the therapy you’ve been working on and move forward into a new area of therapy. That’s how this feels to me.

  • I have some beliefs that I cannot rationalize when I examine them with a cold logical evaluation in the court of my mind. Most of these beliefs are tied back to my FOO. Rationally, I know my FOO was full of dysfunction. Unfortunately, the misguided beliefs are the first to surface in an emotional situation. I want to be kind and forgiving. I want bygones to be bygones. But you cannot follow those desires with a type B cluster FW. You must also exclude his misguided flock of flying monkeys. They may know he is dysfunctional, but to them he is still family, or they have a special relationship no one else understands. They choose to live within the boundaries of their mutual delusion. I chose to move out of that situation.

    When you choose to save yourself, you go no or low contact with these folks. You choose not to worry about their present or future. If you believe they will have contact with your children, you try to prepare your children to decode the pathological messages these folks transmit. For instance, my children wanted to spend time with their father and love their father. They wanted to believe their father had their best interests at heart. I chose not to argue with their desires. I simply asked them questions like “How did your weekend go? Did you do anything fun?”

    When I asked this type of question, I opened the door for them to tell me their frustrations in a judgement free zone (Cool, Bummer, Wow). I care about the welfare of my children. If their dad actually spent time with them, or took them to do something fun and interesting, I was happy because they were happy. If he took them to his home du jour and left them there with a video game and Ramen noodles, or if he insisted on bringing his date du jour along and force the boys to spend time with her, it gave my boys a safe place to complain about their dad’s behavior. As they grew older, I encouraged them to talk to their dad about what they were going to do when they were with him. When they realized he did not care about how they spent their time, they started telling him they did not want to go with him. I did not interfere. Teenagers can be very vocal. Courts are reluctant to force teenagers to go to dad’s house to play a video game and eat Ramen noodles unsupervised by dad. After all, it is his custodial time with his children. If he chooses not to be present, what is the point?

    I must point out my children were not always happy at my house, either. They were vocal with me, too. But they learned my house had rules (boundaries) that must be followed, I was around, I listened, and tried to find a work/school/fun balance, and I always fed them. If they did not want to go with their dad, I told them what my plans were for the weekend. If they did not like my plans, they could go to dads with a video game and Ramen noodles. That was their choice. Amazingly, they learned to prefer predictable meals and boundaries to isolation and lack of attention.

    I did not tell them what to think or do. I was accused of that, of course, because I “never wanted him to be happy.” Being the sane parent is a tough job. Your children need to learn to navigate in a world filled with dysfunctional FW’s. You cannot control what those FW’s say or do. Just make your home a safe haven. Love and care for your children. Stop including the FW’s in your thoughts and concerns. First, you cannot control them and second, you are not responsible for them. There is not enough time in your life to include FW’s.

    The most consistent regret I feel and have seen repeatedly on this site is we regret that we wasted our precious time. Stop interacting with FW’s. You will feel better and healthier.

    • “They choose to live within the boundaries of their mutual delusion. I chose to move out of that situation.”

      Thanks for this, Portia! Together with what you say about leftovers from your FOO, it helps me understand the difficult process I’ve been through in separating from my sister-in-law. When her son was killed in Afghanistan, I helped her a lot, because I knew what is was like to lose someone unexpectedly and to violence (my father shot himself in the head), and because of my empathy for her loss I have been holding on at arm’s length to that relationship even though she revealed herself more than once to be my husband’s chief flying monkey. The two of them have an unnaturally close bond, forged in their highly dysfunctional FOO (their professor father left them and their mother for a grad student, and their mother became an abusive alcoholic), and for the entirety of my 35 year marriage, I stood at the margins of their intimacy, excluded from intimacy from my husband because of the primacy of their bond. Increasingly, however, I’ve been choosing to distance myself from her (I am no contact with my ex and have been since the year after the divorce), with the goal of closing off that relationship. To see it in terms of choosing to move out of the orbit of their mutual delusion is very helpful.

      • Family relations are tough. Good luck with your resolve to extricate yourself from their orbit. I bet you will feel much better. You are not cutting her off. You are just prioritizing your needs over hers. Low contact is actually harder than no contact. I have to use it with most of my FOO.

  • Perhaps part of the healing is responding to chumps who are coming along the path behind us. Collecting knowledge while remaining no contact seems to be the way forward.

    But, for goodness sakes, “WATCH OUT FOR THE EFFING HOLES!”

  • I hope Struggling Chump has separated where the counsellor begins & the chumped wife ends. The OW is not a friend, nor a client. I would grey rock her, “oh sorry busy busy”, “I’ll have to get back to you” and then don’t…until you have no-contacted her out of your life. Extricate yourself from this mess like you would advise your clients to. Let the chips fall where they may after that.

  • 1 sentence caught my eye in this letter.
    I am a counselor.
    I don’t mean to be harsh but maybe you need to change professions. I can’t imagine what advice you give your patients/clients.

    • That was also my thought… Why is this “counselor” counseling? My fuckwit’s OW was also a family counselor. It seems to me this counselor needs to find another profession because she’s not competent yet in her own life, therefore I wouldn’t trust her to give good advice as a counselor.

  • It’s my day off and I was reading this on my phone in bed and I had to get up and get my laptop to respond. No, she is not your friend. If you had an old friend from high school, let’s call her Debbie. And you and Debbie had been through some stuff together but then you find out that Debbie is sleeping with a married man, and demanding he leave his wife and kids, and she’s being nasty to the wife!

    I would tell you to drop Debbie as a friend. Even though she didn’t do anything to you. Debbie is showing her character and it’s really bad. If it ever does benefit her to be nasty to you, she will. She’s made that very clear. That’s who she is.

    Now, this woman, she did this to YOU directly. She already hurt you and it sounds like she delighted in it. So I think you already know my vote is to get rid of her. And now she plays like she’s your friend and asks you for free advice? Gross.

    I also feel the need to add, the woman who screw married men and then get nasty with the wife? They’re such scum and so incredibly stupid with their ridiculous logic, “I’m fucking YOUR husband! How dare YOU be married to him!” Don’t associate with scum like that, it’s never worth it.

    • “I’m fucking YOUR husband! How dare YOU be married to him!”

      I could never get my head around this way of thinking. OW treated me like *I* was the interloper. I think they have this idea of “right person, wrong time” and IF ONLY they had come along before you, FW would have been guaranteed to choose THEM over YOU. It comes down to entitlement. In that respect, she and FW were a perfect match. She also enjoyed “winning”, as it bolstered her low self-esteem. She was really nasty to me, even though I’d never done anything to her except be married to her boyfriend.

      • Yeah, I think that is the mindset. My ex’s new woman is just a couple years older than our son. I joke that I ruined their great romance. What was supposed to happen is her parents were supposed to rush into our wedding and scream “STOP! DON’T MARRY THAT ADULT WOMAN, MOLEST OUR THREE YEAR OLD INSTEAD!”

        Not the classiest joke I’ve ever told but it sure gets a response. Choking and laughing usually followed by a “OMG, I can’t believe you said that!” But it’s true. They act like I was in the way. For marrying him when she was three. Like, shame on me I guess.

      • Isawthelight. Yes. You are exactly correct with their mindset. If only he wasnt married to her, he would be with me. They dont understand that Narcs “click” with every single person they meet. You are not special to them. Everyone is special to them to get a dose of fuel. My narc clicked with women, straight men, gay men, children, grandparents. Mr. Charming, with me by his side to legitimize him. When you have your aha moment, and then watch them in action, you can observe their antics dispassionately. Then you know your done.

  • Noodles have stronger boundaries. Just wow! How can you consul others and not see the irony. Stop, find yourself. Love yourself more then figuring out crazy

  • God, I hope this writer got her shit together. How can she help counsel people if she can’t see how emotionally destabilizing it is to continue these relationships? I hope she gave an update where she’s years out from no-contact and gained awareness from the respite from abuse and drama. 🤦‍♀️🤦‍♀️🤦‍♀️

  • Of all the people in the world to be friends with, you choose the woman that your husband fucked behind your back?

    It’s a back door to no contact. Truly, if you continue this friendship with her, life will knock your teeth out very soon: a rumor, gossip, drama…or maybe even a new legal problem. Why?

    Because these people are unstable liars and trouble follows them like a stink cloud. Why are you running toward more risk?

  • A friend is someone who “stabs” you in the FRONT, pointing out truth and facts with concern for your well-being as their intention.

    People who stab you in the BACK should not be considered friends.

    • When it comes to therapists, I consider the credentials and the person. As for the MD’s in my life, I don’t think much about how they operate in life beyond how they operate as an MD.

      I was a psych major in college and I did not get my degree. I dropped out to get my own ducks in a row (which is an ongoing process.). I did not think I could be helpful to others if I was not in generally good mental/emotional health myself, and I wasn’t when I was in college.

      I also now believe there is nothing I could have been taught in college that would have adequately equipped me to treat a client who was a victim of infidelity. When it happened to me, everything I believed and thought or had been taught about cheating went out the window. The actual experience and the lay education I have gotten in almost five years reading this blog has been an invaluable replacement for what I now see as seriously faulty accepted beliefs about infidelity, even among mental health care professionals.

      That being said, personally I would not be inclined to use this person as a counselor because of a number of things in the letter. I have to admit I wonder why she would write to Chump Lady instead of bringing this all up with a therapist…..

      • Ouch! Your last paragraph is pretty rich coming from an alcoholic. I usually like what you write, but this was a weird dig at someone seeking help. You ok, Velvet?

  • This letter is why I’m highly suspicious of counselors.😢 A lot of them aren’t emotionally healthy themselves. Harsh maybe, but many chumps could back this up.

  • “Adulterous Fuckbuddy Redemption Society.” Love it.

    SC I found a counselor who had also been through a cheater divorce and she is someone that could help me see myself and some things I did that no longer served me well. It might be time to talk to someone.

  • I suppose some could forgive the OW because she had just “suffered” (if that’s the expression) a loss when she got enmeshed with a married guy but, to me, it’s yet more proof the OW is callous and untrustworthy. There’s something especially desecrating about banging the best friend of your dead fiance not to mention a married best friend. If that boundary breach wasn’t enough, she went for broke trying to rope in her own victim. Brings to mind lore about cat burglars compulsively leaving turds at the scenes of their crimes or studies on “mate poachers” and psychopathy.

  • I am at work and don’t have time now to read all the comments, but for sure: SHE SHOULD HAVE BLOCKED HER X-JACKASS ON SOCIAL MEDIA, INCLUDING FAKEBOOK.

    If she had blocked him, she wouldn’t see the nonsense he posts. And she should block her, too, and any other flying monkeys.

    And finally…I get the curiosity factor of the AP calling on a FW’s behest to convince the Chump that “nothing” happened. But have a friendship…just ICK. I would need to bleach eyes, ears and brain.

    We preach “no contact” for a lot of reasons, and for those with kids, it’s a tricky and elusive goal. But the point of it is to DETACH from the manipulations, the mindfuckery, the timewasting. It’s to start breaking the trauma bond and get your own life back. That requires more than just not talking to a FW. It requires the mental discipline to stop thinking about, checking on, wondering about the FW. It’s about not weaving scenarios of having snappy comebacks at the soccer game. It’s about giving up the idea that a FW will ever see the light or understand what they did or even care.

  • Oh, good grief. This one is almost too easy to answer. No, she is not your friend. She is using you and praying mind games with you. She’s a freak who still resents you nefaise she lost the pick me dance.
    Bo doubt she reports to FW about what you are saying about him, hoping if she’s servile enough he’ll finally pick her. Block the bitch and block your ex so you don’t see their nauseating public exchanges, which they are probably doing to get your goat anyway. No need to explain it to her. Your silence says it all.

  • Struggling Chump, you sound like a nice person, but this is not the time to be nice. I get it.

    I learned through my divorce that only safe people deserve my close friendship. Others are somewhat safe or not around much get pushed out a bit on the outskirts. I’m polite but measured. And then the last category are outside the wall because they are unsafe. I have very minimal if any contact with them.

    IMHO this lady deserves to be outside the wall as does your ex. The fact that she hooked up with your ex while you were married makes her very suspicious. You already said that your ex is a no-go. Free yourself from them on Facebook and disengage.

  • And this is why I have zero faith in therapy or counseling in any form. I won’t be forking over my hard earned money for advice from someone this twisted and emotionally immature who apparently enjoys and invites unnecessary drama into their own life. I have yet to meet a so-called therapist that isn’t fucked in the head. No thanks.

    • Totally agree. I really don’t understand the modern day obsession with ‘therapy’ and ‘counselling’. It all sounds like utter bullshit to me.

      I would see a doctor for a physical problem, their medical expertise which is scientific and based in fact and evidence. What they are in their personal lives is irrelevant.

      But to put yourself in the hands of someone who is a flawed human being, as is everyone, because they purport to have expertise in human relationships, and listen and act on, what this person tells you, (for a large fee) seems idiotic to me. I’d rather chat to a friend. For free.

      • I was fortunate enough to have three great counselors during the several years that it took me to heal. I was also not so fortunate in the fact that I kept doubting what they told me and for that reason it took me several years to heal. In those several years I also had some absolutely shitty counselors and ignorant, though loving, friends to talk to. I’m very glad that there were some great counselors for me when I needed them. I’m glad that you were able to heal without them.

  • After DDay 3, I had several long conversations with the married OW and tried to warn her about my ex’s abusive behavior. But alas, tru luv won out and schmoopie smuggly skipped off into the sunset with her “sole mate”. The moral of this story is that you should be hard no contact with the affair partner. Remember, she is a fuckwit, too, and enjoys all the tasty Koncern Kibbles (TM) that you are willing to dispense. If my ex’s AP ever contacted me in the future to cry about the ex betraying her, I would only have one thing to tell her. “I told you so.”

  • This is a rerun, but for what its worth, the OW seems to be the Narc who is enjoying triangulation with you both. Also flying monkey. Who knows what she tells him. She likes the control and power. Narcs are drawn to each other, and they-conspire for chuckles. Slowly slip away and ghost. Before you know it you will be out of their lives and they will turn their destructive attention elsewhere. You can make your social media private and unfriend people.

  • I’m glad this counselor sought Chump Lady’s help for dealing with these toxic assholes instead of assuming she automatically knew all the right answers already based on her professional training. It’s different when chumping abuse happens to us personally!

    We here all know a trauma bond is a hell of a drug. And that we need tune-ups and mentoring from our friends in CN from time to time. Good for her for getting help!

  • Gosh, it’s been a long time since I was here, and I don’t remember the original of this post, even though I started coming here in late 2012, which is when I found out that CheaterX was cheating.

    I hope that enough water has gone under the bridge that Struggling Chump finally blocked her Cheater and the OW Flying Monkey on all social media. I totally get how weird that feels initially. You feel that you need to know what’s going on, but actually, you don’t. They are both dysfunctional people and peering at their interactions voyeuristically isn’t helpful in the long run, though this is a totally normal phase for all chumps to go through.

    The big thing here is that Struggling Chump is a counselor and Flying Monkey OW uses her for free “therapy.” Uh, no. Struggling Chump, this is a barrier that you need to set and maintain. If you yourself are not in therapy with someone who truly understands trauma bonds, now is past the time but still not too late. Flying Monkey OW is still messing with you, showing you that she still controls you because she can get you to “help” her. Chump that you are–and a counselor chump who is wired to feel obligated to help–you keep doing so even though you obviously resent it.

    Talk with your therapist, assuming you have one, about this particular barrier. I bet that you can maintain your distance at a party when someone you barely know says, “Oh, you’re a counselor! Well, let me tell you about this thing…” I bet you can shut this down very quickly without offending that person.

    All of us have to maintain barriers between personal and professional, even if our professional areas of expertise aren’t related to health. I learned this in grad school. I had a lot of experience teaching poetry, and I discovered that my then hairdresser was going back to college after a decade hiatus. She was struggling in her intro to poetry class, and I gave her a few tips to get her to think about her assignment. I wasn’t doing anything for her, just asked questions to get her going. After a few more cuts (I have short hair, so I get my hair cut about once every 4-5 weeks), I realized that she was using me. Maybe she didn’t think so, but at the end of the day, I was paying her for her expertise but she expected me to give her my expertise for free. The next time she had a question, I just said, “oh, that’s a long poem. We won’t have time to get through that.” Another time, I suggested that she contact her instructor during office hours. For help with her papers, I suggested she go to the writing center. Soon, we were able to chat amiably, but she wasn’t asking me for free help.

    The same goes for you, Struggling Chump. Cut the social media ties. You don’t have anything to do with this woman in real life. She is not your friend. If she’d unknowingly been the AP, that would be one thing. You’d both have been victims, but she knew that your Cheater was cheating. If she asks you, tell her you’re restricting your social media (you are–she’s part of those restrictions!). If she calls you for relationship advice, just let her know that you’ve got nothing new to add to anything you’ve said before. Change the subject. Cut the conversation short. You have people to see, places to go, and none of them involve Flying Monkey OW.

    Step away from the drama. Refuse to take up your role in the hypotenuse of that triangle. Soon, Flying Monkey OW will stop taking up space in your relationships.

    Good luck!

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