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What You Thought It Was vs. What It Really Was

In the early days after D-Day, caught up in the pick me dance, chumps have a tendency to romanticize cheaters’ affairs and the affair partners. Part of that is on the cheater, goading the chump to greater feats of humiliation to prove their worth. Have I mentioned Pamela’s firm bottom? It’s so much better than yours. And part of it is the chump, in it to win it. I WILL MAKE YOU LOVE ME!

Of course you can’t compete with a fantasy. Cheaters never have to adult with each other. It’s just salmon dinners and clandestine fucking. You’re the obstacle to the happiness of stolen hours spent fucking and dining. You there, paying bills, rocking babies, and cleaning out lint filters. How could you hope to be as fabulous?

You fail to understand their sophistication, you with your monogamy hang-ups. The heart wants what the heart wants. Life’s not so “black and white.” Run along and be a good chump and go pack a lunch or something.

Chumps often internalize this mindfuck. Feel frumpy and less than. We imagine all the Fabulous Fucking and perfectly poached salmon.

But think about it. What happens when you remove yourself from the triangle (hexagon, dodecahedron…) and the two Schmoopies are left with one another? Adulting is required. WHO WILL DO IT?

What you imagine: Perfect Christmases at Chez Schmoopie. The children in handknit sweaters, crooning Christmas carols, receiving perfect gifts selected for them.

What it really is: Chicken nuggets shaken out of a bag for dinner, unkempt children plopped in front of cartoons, while Aunt Hazel regals everyone with her views on welfare cheats and the Gold Standard.

Cheaters win turds. Their lives are never as enviable as you might imagine. Sure, they have escaped with half your pension, and go on more cruises than you do (no adulting at sea! plus buffets!) — but I guarantee they’re still the same crappy people making crappy life choices.

Your Friday challenge today is to tell me What You Imagined versus What It Is (or suspect it will be, based on your knowledge of this person). Bring it!



For the next week I’m running Chump Lady classics while on vacation. Enjoy. 

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  • Well.. this AP now New Wife (yes! Married n-12 mths post divorce) was one of MANY. She herself was married during the affair with FW.
    I did the digging because the betrayal was so weird, covert and emotionally abusive. I was a great target in their true love triangle.
    Yeaaaaa…she’s an aged MLM “sales director” who serially cheats-like FW. I was expecting young, hot, intelligent, cultured…. NOT.
    She still trolls my social media, which is tightly locked but it’s not hard to assume when MaryKayGlobal is looking at my profile, and I’m not at all aligned to that industry, who is peeking.
    She “WON!!”. Her ‘Christian’ prayers were granted; yep,Jesus cheater too. An expert I pairing porn&scripture in sexy,exciting illicit emails to her varied APs including FW.
    FW can and should go live his best life. I am living FW-free. I did tell my kids WHO and WHAT this person is. FW and psychopath New Wife do not get to manipulate my kids. Do not get to normalize their bullshit and do not get to pontificate about “ weird it must be to come from a ‘broken’ home…”
    So the kids are informed with only need to know info about these 2 people. FW is their father and they need to have some sort of relationship with him. I don’t talk about it. I don’t ask about it. When they come to me with concerns about it, I listen.
    I think we all win not being tied to these abusive people. APs in my case, outside of the paid set workers, were weirdly insecure and competitive with me. I had no idea I was in a competition. FW thrived on dupers delight. Now AP Wife and FW have no one-yet- to dupe. I took the kids out of the equation by informing them on the origins of this True Love Ordained Marriage.

    • “APs in my case, outside of the paid set workers, were weirdly insecure and competitive with me.”

      Yep, that’s part of the psychology of OW. Because they are so insecure, they feel the need to compete with other women for male attention.

      • Yes, I had this too. I realised it wasn’t so much about the twu love that couldn’t be denied and more about her feeling she deserved my life and what she imagined it to be and wanting to cut me out of the picture and paste herself in the space I left behind.

        • Oh Stig, that is my story too. OW even sent me an email in the beginning after the split and after i found out from her ex about her and my ex, telling me she would be taking my life. She’s was married to a disabled spouse when she and the ex both left us spouses on the same day, Valentine’s Day 2021. and ran to the apartment ex had rented unbeknownst to me. She even told a mutual friend a couple of months before that day that she was tired of struggling with money with her disabled spouse, so she was going to look for a man who made a lot of money so would be set for the rest of her life. (They had actually already been involved for a year at that time. She was ex’s last high school girlfriend 40 years before.) At least she didn’t get my house. I got it in the settlement with high equity and sold it and got all the profit. As soon as the divorce was final 6 months later, he started bringing the skag to our church (where we were married 34 years before) and sitting in straight view of me as I sang in the choir. I tried. It was hard. I met with my pastor and told him about the physical, emotional, verbal, and sexual abuse, as well as serial cheating, lying for years, and narcissism. He told me he couldn’t ask them to leave despite the fact that they moved in together way before divorce even started. I had some ongoing health problems that ex just left me with, even after lying and telling me he would always take care of me. Haha. The stress worsened my physical condition, and my two adult daughters decided I needed to move near one of them, so I ended up moving 2 1/2 hours away the end of 2021. I hear they think they are hot stuff sitting on that church pew every Sunday and pretending like they are high and mighty. I hear they are now engaged. I hope she enjoys the abuse when it starts, because it will. I hope she enjoys being cheated on because it will happen again. I hope she enjoys him traveling all week for his job and starting to wonder who he is cheating with all week when he’s gone. Of course, since she wanted my life and his money, she probably won’t care. She’ll be spending all his money and probably cheating as well. Good riddance to the two worst people on the planet!

          • I am put off by church leaders who choose to ignore blatant violation of their own rules and then expect the chump to put up with it.

        • THIS THIS THIS

          OW basically turned into me (or tried to). People commented on how weird it was that she started looking like me. Copying my hobbies. Thinking she could just take my life. It made me angry that the life I’d spent my blood, sweat, and tears building could just be appropriated by someone else, and me left with nothing. But she wasn’t and isn’t me.

          I told myself “she wanted my life? She got it.” She got a financially irresponsible, abusive, depressed, alcoholic man who liked to control other people (especially women), and who was a lying cheater.

          She thought that FW had created our life (one of his many lies to her). What she (and for a while, I) didn’t realize is that the life she wanted was a life *I* built, a life *I* kept functioning, in SPITE of FW. Without me, it didn’t exist. I eventually decided that if I had made my life with FW what it was (I was responsible for the good parts as FW tended to be a very negative person who was never content, and he was not organized or good with household management), I could do that again, but for MYSELF this time. And I have.

      • agree OHFFS – I reckon that a big giveaway is when she never includes husband in any social media – especially profile pictures, and use flirty pics of herself – must be fishing for compliments. A good example of being insecure and seeking validation.

    • “FW is their father and they need to have some sort of relationship with him.”

      Not necessarily, imo. If your kids are adults, they can choose whatever relationship, or lack thereof, they want. My own adults kids are NC with their dad and not solely because of the affair but rather because of years of emotional abuse. #sad #consequences

      • Yes. I don’t push it. I do not want them to feel guilty about how they define their relationship with him.

        • Right. I just told my kids that their relationship with their dad is between them and him. I’ve stayed out of it. On their own, they went NC. Of course, x blames me.

          • Same here. My adult son is no contact. FW blames me (naturally). It was not what he did or the fact that he accidently sent his home-made porn to my son’s photo account. Nope, all the blame goes to the Chump. He actually had the nerve to call it parental alienation. Really, my son is a 26-year-old (24 -25 at the time) adult in the Navy! Hey, wait, I have superpowers I guess I can control others.

            • Sent homemade porn to your son’s account and called it parental alienation?? 😳😳 The DARVO force is strong on that one. Dbag ex had a 36DDD black bra lying around the backseat of his car when he picked up my son for his weekend. My son was inconsolable and he cut ties with his dad since then. Dbag’s official statement re: bra in the backseat was: “It belongs to mom. She gave it to me to donate.” What the what. How did I get involved in that? So laughable in every possible way. I had not laid eyes on him for a year at that time but I somehow handed him a bra not my size to drop off at Goodwill? And of course, his battlecry since Blackbragate has been parental alienation. It’s really incredible how the delusion of DARVO is so intense.

              • OMG!! Blackbragate!!
                Horrible for you and your son, but thanks for the laugh. Gotta love the gallows humor on this site.

                Also, parental alientation my ass. No doubt x is spewing the same nonsense. But I wouldn’t know.🙈🙉

              • not the point of your anecdote, I know, but someone with that cupsize does not accidentally leave their bra behind
                so either she left it there deliberately, to remind him what a major hornbag she is, or he put it there, to keep his juices flowing during the daily commute
                or he is a snowdropper
                or serial killer

              • 36 DDD bra size? If not an hyperbole, that is unrealistic anatomy here! A female-presenting owner would definitely notice she forgot the garnment. Could it be for his own use, with two cantaloupes? Or his basket balls bag? One can only wonder 🤔

              • Not unrealistic 😉

                A tall woman 36G

                Ps Any woman who leaves behind her underwear/lingerie is marking her territory, imo

              • A G cup translates to DDDD, for those who don’t understand bra fitting and sizes 👙🍉. Chumps come in all shapes, sizes and heights. Apricot titties to 🍈 boobs 🤣🤣🤣

            • Use your superpowers wisely! They come in handy!

              My 24 year old son (turned 18, two weeks after Asshat sent love text meant for HoWorker/Wife to his family instead) barely talks with his dad. Asshat must play all sad sausage with 26 year old daugher because I got the “you know dad does want the best for “son”, even though “son” rarely sees or speaks with dad). I just looked at her and said “you know, ‘son’ & I never talk about your father”. End of triangulation.

              It’s nice when kids understand and enforce their healthy boundaries.

    • A “chrissian,” huh?! Well, well, will marvels ever cease?! And all this time I thought their creation story was questionable but this resurrection thing? Raising Mary Magdalene from the dead?!

      Now that’s a catchy descriptor on her Tinderella account.

  • I knew exactly what it was from Dday on. FW had photos on his phone of his ho all over some other guy, smirking at the camera. That said it all. It was duper’s delight on steroids, and she looked every bit as low rent trashy as she is. FW was too stupid to see what was glaringly obvious. They didn’t end up together, which is a shame, because she would have been hell on wheels and would have fucked him over royally.

    While I can’t do this challenge, I’m looking forward to reading some interesting stories.

  • Chumps assume APs are more beautiful than faithful spouses. But in my case, she is quite physically ugly. Also, if you watch Dr Phil and Dateline, etc you notice that the affair partners are often less physically attractive than the betrayed spouse. I see this often enough to suspect it actually a thing.

      • I love that my then 18 year old son figured this out during the divorce before I found CL.

        He told me in a very stern voice “She’s beneath you. Never acknowledge her, never speak to her”.

        He undertstood that I should give her no validation. I LOVED that he told me that. It was such a moment of clarity it will forever stay with me.

    • I have seen it so much.

      And yes, it was true in my case. To the point one of his fellow police officers said “I thought the idea was to trade up not down”. Yes I trust the source, and I know who said it.

      In fact it caused me (in real time) even more of a hit to my confidence. I remember thinking “How bad must I have been, that he preferred her to me”.

      I figured out later of course it had little to do with me, or even her. He had crapped all over his own life, and had been doing it for several years. I still to this day think he got himself wound so tightly around the company auger, that he went into save his hiney/job mode. (she was his direct report, and an ethics violation was lodged against him).

      He did save his job, but he lost his promotion, his cushy office, and his cozy relationship with the mayor. She was moved to another job out from under his nasty self, and within a year she was fired for incompetence. (she was put in dispatch and endangered the life of two police officers).

    • Always a thing in terms of the OW is clearly NOT a beautiful person. But sometimes they are a lot younger and or attractive. It becomes irrelevant one way or the other.

      • The definition of “attractive” is subjective.

        I find lying, cheating, stealing, betraying friends and family, breaking agreements, hiding money, entitlement, using GPS trackers and spyware, nuking children’s homes and abandoning them, and people who fuck around while in or with someone in a committed relationship totally unattractive.

        There is nothing on the outside that can make up for character rot. Hence, cheaters’ delusional glowing reviews about their cohorts.

        And cheaters, oblivious to character rot in themselves and others, curiously complain if they should be on the receiving end of it.

        I will never forget the story a cheated-on friend told me. She found out there were multiple side pieces and they did not know about each other. After informing everyone of the truth, the side pieces were outraged that they had been cheated on. Cue Tori Spelling episode where she finds out cheater Dean McDermott cheated on her. I have zero sympathy, and I immensely enjoy when karma boomerangs.

        In my own case, I heard the cockroach told Traitor Ex, “Don’t lie to me!”

        That gave me a laugh. He’s a liar, Schmoopie. He put that right on the table when you first met him at Starfucks, wearing the really nice shirt his wife bought him.

        A wedding is not a marriage, and an illicit relationship is not reality. It’s a situation deliberately set up with you involved, without consent and in the dark, for very specific reasons. An illicit relationship is like a three-legged stool; each leg is very necessary. When the chump walks away, the dynamics drastically change. There is no better way to upset the apple cart. The chump in the dark is the secret sauce, the Krazy glue, in a relationship of three with one unaware.

        I don’t want to associate with unsafe and untrustworthy people. I am light years better off walking away and harshing their buzz from duping me.

        He needed to find a new third party for their game, and he did.

    • If I’m being honest, my ex-FW’s AP was more physically attractive than me. She’s thin and has long blonde hair and big boobs, neither of which I have, and she’s pretty in the face. I’m not a troll. I’m tall and thin, but not “hot and sexy” like she is. I’m more plain. At one point, FW told me that one of the reasons he liked her better was because “she does her nails and you don’t.” I kid you not. After 24 years of marriage and a child, my nails were apparently the final straw for him. I just wasn’t sexy or girly enough.

      But it is true they cheat down in one way or another. I am a woman with integrity and a lawyer who graduated from a top 10 law school, and she’s a gold-digging, uneducated, out of work hairdresser. So there’s that. And it’s the gold digger part that’s the problem. She saw him coming a mile away and duped him out of significant $$ on multiple occasions. Sad really.

    • As the saying goes: They don’t leave you for someone better than you. They leave you for someone worse than them!

    • Yes. FW sang her praises and called he “the most beautiful woman in the universe”. And she can take a decent picture if she has a lot of makeup on and uses the right camera angles. But in real life she resembled nothing so much as a teenage skater boy with long greasy hair. FW would compare me with her, saying she dressed so “put together”, but her clothes and fashion sense are UGLY and nothing I’d ever be caught dead wearing. When I first met her, she dressed like a dowdy grandma, then in just the most bizarre outfits with clashing patterns and styles that I guess she thought were edgy or something but didn’t work at all, and also often looked like an underage prostitute on the corner (FW loved that look). Her mom was weirded out by it and commented on one of her Lolita-esque photos “I don’t like this look”. Hilariously, in many ways she started copying ME (hairstyle, clothes, etc.), except it didn’t work on her (different hair type, different body type, etc.).

      She was a coworker and our kids went on “playdates” together, so I had ample opportunity to observe her.

  • I never once imagined that ANYthing about KK’s life post-UXworld would be better, exactly because of the terminal conditions that let to our own demise: her constant blameshifting, FOO issues, goalpost movement, and need for immediate gratification (and god help anyone or anything that gets in the way).

    As CL often says, all of the frosting and whipped cream and sprinkles don’t matter if there’s a turd underneath.

    • For some reason, although I knew cognitively that x and much-younger schmoopie can’t escape their own cheating, lying selves to trust and be happy, I STILL had a feeling they were sipping champagne while floating on a luv cloud. They married within a year of D-Day (2019) and 4 months after the divorce. They got a PUPPY!

      It has taken me a couple years to truly believe that they are turds through and through. I think I was fighting my own shitty self-esteem issues in thinking that she was simply better for him, that he’d found his match, that I hadn’t measured up but she had.

      I am NC with him and therefore don’t know how he’s doing. My only communication is about financial stuff, which is devoid of ANY emotion. That said, I did just discover that he’s STILL trying to screw me financially (alimony issue), so I rehired my lawyer. It is yet more proof that x sucks–always has and always will. Leopards, spots, and all that.

  • A slightly different spin on this challenge if I may.

    What Ex-Mrs LFFT thought was going to happen: Children (then 18, 16 and 11 but now 19, 23 and 26) worship her as their mother, willingly embrace her AP as the person that she should always have been with and live a fantastic Instagram-worthy life funded by yours truly, with plenty of photos of our children with her on her social media to back it all up.

    What Ex-Mrs LFTT didn’t see coming: It is the kids that find out that she is cheating and they take a very dim view of it. The kids refuse to have anything with her AP. I get a very fair divorce settlement (ie nowhere near what she was demanding) and she burns through her share (with her AP’s help) in very short order. She ends up living in a single bedroom rental property with AP that the kids refuse to visit. The kids keep her at arms length and now – being adults – are very much in control of when they see her and when they allow her to photograph them. Most of the photos of the kids on her social media are years old.

    Sucks to be her.


    • The crappy ending for Fuckwits is so predictable! Selfish, delusional, and expecting the world to fall at their feet-what could go wrong?

      • FW,

        You hit the nail on the head, but the best bit is that all of the BS that she used to focus on the kids and I is now focussed on her AP. He really should have done his due diligence; what he actually won was a dumpster full of sh*t and on fire into the bargain.


    • Is it just my ex obsessed with getting attention and likes on social media? Endless pictures. Endless scrolling to see who has liked his latest post. This pathological need for attention and adulteration.

      • SO,

        Believe me, it’s not just your Ex who tries to validate their shallow existence by putting it on social media. Cheaters seem to think that a couple of “like” on an Instagram post can absolve them of the sh*t that they’ve pulled on their spouses/kids; they make me puke.


      • You may have inadvertently given a brilliant example of What you Thought v. Reality by using “adulteration” in place of “adulation.” While adulation means “excessive admiration or praise,” the Webster- Merriam definition of adulteration is “to corrupt, debase, or make impure by the addition of a foreign or inferior substance or element.” Perfect description of fuckwit cheaters!

      • SO,
        My STBC is the same. Will post to FB and then watch like a hawk to see who likes it and comments. Not casually, obsessively. And will be upset if he doesn’t get any attention. This is directly related to the cheating. We have been together over 20 years and have a kid and real life things to deal with. He needs a level of constant validation/attention that I can’t provide as it would be a FT job. Not that he was EVER remotely neglected. Our life revolved around HIS likes/dislikes. I practically erased myself as time went on. But he clearly craves that honeymoon phase attention. And schmoopie is providing that. So off he will go. But the joke is, she lives across the country. So the attention he gets from her is all via text.(Or calls/video chats when I am not around I suppose) She could be doing that while making dinner, pooping, grocery hopping. Once she LIVES with him, that will change. And unless she is as damaged as I am, (working on that via therapy now) she won’t put up with the real him (controlling/mean/abusive) for long. And he’s blown up his entire life to make a go with her. So…good luck to them both.

        • “We have … a kid and real life things to deal with. He needs a level of constant validation/attention that I can’t provide as it would be a FT job. Not that he was EVER remotely neglected. Our life revolved around HIS likes/dislikes. I practically erased myself as time went on. But he clearly craves that honeymoon phase attention. And schmoopie is providing that. So off he will go.”


          It is SO NICE to have myself back and to not have to spend all my time and energy trying to fill the bottomless void of a FW’s ego.

      • No. My FW put EVERYTHING on social media. Especially everything he did with our kid. He wanted all the praise for being a “great dad”. Meanwhile, he wasn’t contributing ANYTHING financially to support our child. He used the fact that I DIDN’T put much on social media to claim that I didn’t do any activities with the child. I have plenty of pictures, but I don’t feel the need to share every aspect of my life online.

        It was funny because FW’ gonna FW, and mine would frequently say something really inappropriate online and get his account suspended (Twitter, FB, any of it). It was like withdrawal for him, and he’d vocally celebrate when he was “out of Facebook jail” (while posting how UNFAIR it was that he was shut out in the first place).

        OW was stalking me online, and FW’s friends were reporting everything I posted back to him (he was blocked), so I stopped using social media for a few years (except Twitter, and I don’t really post anything personal on there – more academic). I’ve never really gone back to it.

        OW is a social media whore, posting SO MANY selfies, every little thing she does, etc. But rarely gets any likes or comments. She and FW were very public with their relationship, even though our divorce was far from over. It just makes the crash harder when it all falls apart (which it did).

    • My husband was dumped by a wife who had quite a good set-up with him, but she thought she was missing something so dumped him and ran off after player.

      She lost his income that she was accustomed to, the social standing he provided, rumor has it her dreamboat got a restraining order against her.

      I believe she thought he would not bother with their daughter, but he never gave up on being a good dad. He and I took daugjter to Europe and funded a great education.

  • I have to imagine at this stage, but I think I’m pretty clear-eyed about it. I KNOW that he is online dating now out in the open (friend showed me). I think the vast majority of his affairs were with married women, although he was online dating for years too. So my guess is he will find someone like me: hardworking, career type with respectability. Snow them in some way. Possibly even claiming that *I* cheated (wrong). He will suck them in with money he gets from me in settlement or his mom to make it look like he isn’t a compulsive spender sending her into financial devastation. AND THEN, he will need the excitement of sneaking around and do all these things to her. BTW, he will inherit close to $1M from his mom at some point. I predict it will all be gone within about 6 or 7 years. Drugs, strip clubs, and online shopping, probably golf vacations. It won’t last long.

  • Well, I stayed way too long, and I never imagined any kind of fabulousness. I’d had enough of what looked fabulous from the outside but was miserable in real life. The ex and the schmoopie broke up before our divorce was final. Last I heard she moved to Nashville and got married to some poor idiot there.

    I was grey rock when the ex got married. He did not invite our kids. He didn’t even tell 4 of our 5 kids. The one kid who knew told the others. He probably would have married her sooner, but she was married to someone else when they began living together.

    I know the ex was finally able to fulfill his lifelong dream and check out of real life to spend months on his boat. It’s not as glamorous as it sounds. Ocean cruising on a small boat means seasickness, boredom punctuated by moments of madness, and lots of cooking in an inadequate kitchen. I also know that he was getting checked for all the STDs after he had been married to her for a few years. (Weird accidental HIPAA violation)

    None of that sounds fabulous to me. It all sounds awful. I no longer have vacations in exotic places. Instead I have vacations with people I love. It’s definitely a trade up in my book.

    • Lizza, I was thinking about vacations too. When the Lying Cheating Loser and I were together, I made all our vacation plans. I also made 90% of the money to fund said vacations. We went hiking in Colorado, had family vacation with his kids at a private lake house, and (towards the end, when things were worse than ever) took a trip to Playa del Carmen, Mexico.
      I had no illusions that he would be able to vacation like that without me. But I must admit I chuckled when I found out he spent his vacation in 2021 visiting some woman at her apartment in Conroe, Texas, a scant hour from where he lives. Whereas I was busy planning a trip to Maui with my daughter.
      Sitting on the beach in Kihei, watching the sunset, I reveled in a small private joke: “Well, it’s not Conroe, Texas, but this is still pretty nice.” 😊

      • Yes, my ex had a sweet life with a high-earning wife who planned exotic vacations and dinners in fancy restaurants, kept an eye on eBay and sale racks for the crazy expensive clothing brand he liked, kept his favorite snacks around, did most of the work to ensure the domestic tranquility, had interesting hobbies to share, and so on. I wonder what his life is like paying more for rent (in a tiny studio apartment) than I paid for the mortgage on an house – and on one sixth our shared income. There is a big difference between signing a credit card slip and paying the bill. About a year after the divorce he started getting letters from the IRS.

        He is an empty shell in a human suit, not very bright, and it’s hard to imagine him taking care of business let alone planning anything original. Most of his post-divorce ideas were things I’d talked about doing.

    • crouched over the side of a boat vomiting his guts up whilst public lice escape from his pants and crawl over his face

      livin’ the dream

      • I imagine my ex on MY EX BOAT, with his new love living the life I earned, manifested, and deserved. Traveling the bay, meeting up with our boating friends, sunsets, etc… in reality I’m hoping she hates the water, hates drinking beer in the river, and hates what an obnoxious drunk ass he is when drinking. I’m imagining his inability to communicate and make conversation create a wonderful atmosphere of boredom. His lust for porn and sex workers will return when she grows tired of sex with a partner who won’t communicate.

        • “with his new love living the life I earned, manifested, and deserved”

          This is exactly my angst. During discard Asshat even emailed HoWorker/Wife about coming to our cottage and him teaching her to water ski using my wetsuit, as it was October. I remember thinking even then that he had this unrealistic vision of how his life was going to be, switching me for her. No, someone who has never water or snow skied at age 50 was not going to pick up the sport to Asshat’s standards, if at all. It was then when I realized I made things look too easy, although he thought I was high maintenance. She wanted a husband and he wanted a no fuss someone who wasn’t me. Ironically, she got her wish, he did not.

    • ” I’d had enough of what looked fabulous from the outside but was miserable in real life. The ex and the schmoopie broke up before our divorce was final.”

      I knew this too, and knew it probably wasn’t all sunshine and roses, I knew what FW was like behind closed doors, I could even see his covert abuse happening to OW in front of me, but for awhile had a hard time with my heart catching up to my head. And I had that irrational fear that he would “change for her”. The truth came out more clearly after she dumped him, and she had it even worse than I did.

  • I imagined Schmoopie would at least have an average intellectual IQ. I was wrong. I saw a video on social media where FW made a video montage of a beach vacation with Schmoopie. As AP stops and poses in each clip, FW explains that he is taking a video. Each clip goes on and on, over and over again, where FW is taking a video and AP freezes and poses with her maniacal smile while FW explains over and over that he is taking video and that she can keep walking, keep moving or doing whatever it was she was doing… She just couldn’t get it through her head and it was so painful to watch, but also hilarious. FW got exactly who he deserved.

    • That is funny. Before I got scabby dick to move out of our apartment he started talking to his girlfriend on speaker phone. Hand to God, the first time I heard one of these conversations I thought to myself “who is he talking to? Who do we know who has a mentally handicapped daughter?” Then the conversation took a turn and I realized it was his girlfriend. She sounds… slow. There’s just no nice way to say it. I think the speaker phone thing was supposed to make me jealous. It didn’t work.

  • Well, considering my ex tried to get our son to get us together “to talk” looks like Chez Schmoopie may be burning up! Guess high-maintenance, four inch talons, Botox & fillers, cleavage baring, vacation-going Schmoopie was too much for him after all!! After awhile I didn’t care that he left, but why he chose someone so artificial & glitzy & clearly not his dad jeans hang out in the garage type will always boggle my mind!!

    • Ex has his the same, high maintenance, Botox and fillers, sparkles, talons and cleavage, extensions, in high heels. He posts photos of her on fb looking for reactions from his friends. One friend commented “stud” .
      I could be wrong but I can’t help but wonder if the comment was made because his friend knew that’s what he’s looking for.
      Remember the movie “Death Becomes Her” that was popular in the late 80’s? with Goldie Hawn and Meryl Streep? Cheater would watch it whenever it came on HBO. He loved the movie. Who knew that 30 years later he’d be living it.
      They’re still together as far as I know. She was married while seeing ex and they got married a week after her divorce became final. They had a big wedding in Hawaii, she wore a white “fitted” gown with a long flowing train. He looked pale, chalky, and bloated.wearing a grey suit which wasn’t flattering. Both in their late 50’s. All the other couples were young newlyweds and then there’s these two. .
      I came across the photo one night while I was making vacation plans. Maybe because we had the same last name I was defaulted to Hawaiian wedding fb. Under their photo, the photographer made the comment that these two are love they couldn’t stop gazing into each others eyes and didn’t notice anything other than each other the entire time.. .Sounds like true love to me.

  • What is the use of firm bottoms if you have infirm brains. My husband at 60; thought his future lay with his 35 year old neighbour SAHMM of 3 small children. WRONG!! She finally did the maths and realised he was already too old to grow old with! That took 3 months!
    I can’t believe their stupidity! I’m living my best life (now 65, new thriving business minus the millstone) & he is totally alone. All our friends left with me; because they were my friends not his.
    I was so abused during the discard and abandonment. Even though I was busy writing lucrative sale contracts during DD; I was roundly soundly downgraded and abused. It was utterly appalling but I took the long view and guess what! I’m the winner! My dreams, my schemes, my peace and happiness.
    I need a telescope to look back! I look at the stars when the night sky is clear and I thank them loudly! I am so grateful to be free! I can only say, it does get better! My walls sing hallelujah REALLY LOUDLY!

  • There really was no AP. There were hundreds of f*&^s through 35 years of marriage. I do hate when my adult kids and grandkids visit him at her house (beautiful on a lake). She did live with him the whole 5 years (heaven forbid he would be alone) it took to divorce. But according to the kids he cheats on her repeatedly and is unkind. His entitlement has ratcheted up. He triangulates my girls. It all seems worse since the divorce was final in July. No marriage in the works for them as far as I can tell. He is such a pompous yuck.

    • Spoonriver: don’t be surprised if they marry. If they do, it will likely be for him to lay claim to the lake house. How do I know? My FW Dad did a similar thing & even told us kids about it🙄

      • Wow, yes, she’s probably dumb enough to marry him without a prenup. Depending on state law where they live (I’m assuming the US), he may indeed be able to lay claim to her property after marriage.

        I’m not a lawyer, but in my community property state, I believe that if comingled funds are spent for expenses on a separately owned property, the spouse who doesn’t own it may have some claim on it.

        Idk…I just remind myself “Don’t say “I do” without a prenup.” However, when I was younger, I might not have been bright enough to insist on that.

  • I believe that after 20 years of marriage to me, my ex wanted a woman who was very different. His needs had changed. The affairs he had along the way, that I know about, were mostly opportunistic. When he got caught, he would blame alcohol and circumstances (I was all alone, and lonely). I realized, finally, he would never change and was unable to be faithful.

    His AP’s did not follow a type, neither did his post-divorce affairs du jour. The one thing I could spot as a connector was, he needed something from each one, and she provided it for a while. When she was no longer useful, he moved to the next. I suppose that means I was quite useful for 20 years. Whoopie!

    He could be charming, he was intelligent in some ways, he could change his character presentation like an actor taking on a new role. He would also mirror his target, and love bomb.

    The last woman he married, was not like me in any way. I believe he realized he needed a nurse and housekeeper. He made a poor choice, but his health was deteriorating. She needed an American husband, and believed she was getting some money. She did get citizenship, finally.

    Our sons know the type of man their father actually was. They try to consider him quirky, and they want to love him because he is their father. I don’t think they have many delusions about him. He passed away in 2021, so they can remember him anyway they want to. Both know he was a serial cheater, and both say they do not want to follow that path. Surprisingly, both say they want marriage and children. I guess time will tell if they achieve their goals.

    I stopped believing in the Halmark family unit sometime during my marriage to him. We were never going to have those warm family holidays, that cozy family home. I stopped worrying about AP’s long ago. He was not looking to replace me; he was looking for a porno vacation far away from the chores of adulting.

    • Thank you for this, Portia, it really sounds like my situation and has helped me this morning to just keep it real, keep it in perspective, etc. The feelings run deep, but ex’s actions were shallow, and you summed it up cleanly, “he was looking for a porno vacation far away from the chores of adulting.” My idiot FW is with Schmoops this very weekend vacationing in New Orleans, a place I’ve yet to visit. Because I haven’t reached Tuesday yet, I’m hoping he is waking up with a raging hangover this morning. 😉

  • @chumplady – Please can we remove this xenophobic post … I think a “Report Abuse” button maybe an idea

  • What I thought it was: a full-on affair with an ethically compromised ex-student–she had to be removed from a project in another department for violating guidelines–half his age, with daddy issues, who fed his ego (while she was his student she created a Facebook page “fan club”).

    What it was: Probably not a physical affair, but an infinitely more psychologically twisted emotional affair, in which she took the lead in helping him “explore” his deluded belief he was “a woman in a man’s body.” Later, during my horizontal pick-me dance phase, when sex was a series of set pieces during which he wore women’s lingerie and wanted to be “fucked” (so he could “feel like a woman”), his delusions escalated to believing he had “multiple women” inside, including the “little girl [I] was never allowed to become,” and a belief he had DID (dissociative identity disorder, what used to be known as multiple personality disorder).

    No accusations of transphobia, please, unless you have lived with and through it, and horizontal pick-me danced to the tune of such claims.

    • I have many loved ones in my life who are nonbinary and trans and I embrace their truths and love them all deeply. I, myself, feel quite genderfluid.

      All of that said, the cowardly liar (my deceptive and cheating-in-massive-numbers-including-with-minors ex) was always a chameleon, shapeshifting into whatever identity would win him the most sympathy and fresh meat as possible. (He loves attention, so he’s easy to find online, and I keep an eye out so I know where he is geographically, because he moves in and out of my local area and I don’t want to be blindsided.)

      At the end of my time with him, he began shifting from a strongly professed atheist who never wanted children and only wanted black, white, and primary color decor in the house (and NEVER a quilt or crocheted blanket, my god how UGLY!) to a guy who was specifically seeking out neohippie single moms and thought the small town farmy aesthetic was the best thing ever. Married one, divorced her a year later so he could marry the next one, his latest AP. (It was obvious who she was online.)

      Next he shifted into sort of a beat poet thing with his new AP, an underage wife (her mom signed off on the marriage.) That lasted a few years. (She probably got too old for him.)

      Then the next one was a street-art zine creator. Then a girls-who-code bisexual young lady who was willing to do an open relationship. Which brings me to the point, as this was his entry point into presenting as genderfluid and posting a lot about how marginalized he was.

      Since then he has openly stated that he’s nonbinary and maybe trans, and also Jewish (?) and started openly observing Jewish holidays. Yet somehow the people who are obviously his partners are still always slender very young looking women. And I believe that in his case, he shifts his mind over into believing his identity of the moment because it serves his predatory purposes and gets him the attention he wants from the vulnerable people he wants to entice.

      I absolutely don’t question gender questioning in general, but specifically with him, I absolutely do, because shapeshifting is his history.

      I don’t know if this is what you’re meaning to express, something in this arena, but I guess I’m using myself as an example to say, I think I’m picking up what you’re putting down.

      And anyway, it’s not reasonable to expect a partner to start wanting to do what you changed into wanting to do. It’s fine to ask, but it’s not fair to EXPECT it. A responsible partner communicates and accepts it if the relationship has to end. A mean one manipulates, deceives, and expects more than is fair.

      • To grossly oversimply a nuanced concept: race, gender, disability, etc., are social constructs. How we self-identify, and how others categorize us (which is flexible and arbitrary) fundamentally comes down to rights and resources. We all identify in ways that benefit us, to a certain extent; in different places and at different times, this will change according to what’s available and what we need. Therefore, it makes sense to me that FWs who are manipulative and abusive in other parts of their lives would be equally manipulative and self-serving about their (and others’) identities. Unconcerned with the truth or others’ feelings and rights, they want power and kibbles. They have no shame, no empathy. They are shallow and phony and want what they want, do what they want. There are endless examples of how abusive people in positions of power claim identities that benefit themselves at the expense of others, and who likewise classify others in ways that (they perceive) will benefit themselves. This example of yours, Amiis, really does seem to me part and parcel. Sorry, kind of a tangent and probably doesn’t make much sense — your comment just got me thinking.

    • Adelante what the actual f@#k!
      A deeply disturbed person. I’m glad you escaped. I shudder to think what other “identities” lurked inside.

  • Physically she looks like me, same height (quite short), similar hair and eye color. I have only even seen her on photos so I don’t know how she sounds like but FW said that I would have liked her if we had met in different circumstances. He said that she was more easy-going than me, and she was not as uptight as me.
    I suppose if willingness to break up a long-term committed partnership and f*ck someone’s partner (we were not married) equates to easy-going, then call me uptight!
    I have no contact with ex-FW. I also don’t care to compare our lives and see who is happier or wait for karma to hit him, because that’s also part of the mind trap of giving him centricity in my life.
    I appreciate one thing only and that was the lesson that he taught me, which is to trust my gut if it tells me something’s off, to put my needs first and to regularly check-in with myself if my needs are being met, and that a zebra doesn’t change their stripes. My ex-FW had problems with boundaries from the first day we started dating. They seemed like harmless boundaries in the beginning but as the French say, “qui vole un oeuf, vole un boeuf”.

    • “More easygoing than you?” I’m laughing my head off. What affair partner would not be more easygoing than a spouse???

      • Out of the park again, lulutoo! I was thinking this exact same thing. It’s easy to be “easygoing” and “not uptight” when you don’t want a commitment from someone and you’re getting everything you DO want from that person. And convenient for a person who’s screwing someone they WANT to be a side piece and not a true partner to compare that apple to their unwitting orange at home.

        • Easygoing is OWs’ ascribed role. They’re sucking the dick of the patriarchy, as CL says. What happens to all of their “power” — thinking of the delusional “feminists” the UBT eats for breakfast — and their wonderfulness when they stop playing along and stop being easy? What happens to that twin flame (or in the case of one of my ex’s delusional young bimbo OWs, to “God’s true love”)? Maybe… they *weren’t* so special after all? What a sad, shitty way to live.

          FW’s (APs and cheaters alike) are skilled manipulators, and it’s all one big, phony game — a game many of us never knew we were playing, at that! From the outside looking in, and from the present looking back, it is all so bizarre.

          • I can’t speak with absolute certainty, but it appears to me that when OW stopped being easy and they moved in together and she started expecting FW to be more like a responsible spouse (although we weren’t divorced yet, and FW was dragging things out as much as he could), FW realized his life with OW rather closely resembled his life with ME, the life he’d been trying to escape. Except that instead of a responsible, faithful spouse, he was with a flaky, cheating woman (she was married when the affair began). And now he had THREE kids to look after instead of one. And OW’s ex to contend with. And was no better off financially than he’d been with me. His reaction seems to have been to abuse OW in much the same way he’d abused me. She ended up leaving him.

            I had given their relationship a year once they moved in together (I knew what he was like to live with), but she lasted all of THREE WEEKS in the same house with him.

  • All I can say is the FW got and is getting what he deserves.

    At first, I thought he was getting someone very much younger, beautiful and she could serve all his needs and be the ideal woman. He wanted someone to constantly be there for him to serve his sexual needs and be the perfect wife. Unfortunately, he chose a sex worker to fill this role (sorry, I got busy raising a son (now an adult) and working a full time job).
    What he got: The pictures that showed someone fabulous looking and sexy were very touched up. The wig came off along with the makeup and what not and what is left did not look that good and looked much older than she was. So he got an aging hooker who looks nothing like her pictures. Of course, some of his emails to her accidently wound up in my son’s account. In these he stated she must be there and be ready to serve his sexual needs whenever he was ready. Basically, he wanted a caretaker, a homemaker and hooker in one unit. Not a job a normal loving person would want, and I am glad I am out.
    I am sure he is telling everyone he is living his best life but yet if he is, my friends have pointed out that he is still on dating sites and sugar baby sites. Guess things did not go as he planned.
    My life sure is better though since he is gone!!! My walls sing and I can be the person I was meant to be.

  • I’m sharing this as I haven’t talked about my ex (daughters father) who left after coming home at 4am for the last time. I was I tears up waiting and supposed to start college courses. Our daughter was 13 I had enough. I didn’t think it through or maybe I did half a million times. I just said if you’re going to be doing this you should just leave. He packed a backpack and walked out.
    The next day after skipping my new registered courses and losing out in book feed- I packed his things up as quickly as possible. I wanted him home so badly but knew this was for the best. 3 months later- in an apartment with his apprentice from work. A child compared to us. All this about no responsibility makes so much sense! They hit the beach. The same spots I introduced him to. I was sick. But then after 5 years his little heart was broken and he went in to find at least 4 more “relationships”. He is in my distant memory(I can barely remember “us”) now moved into a sick category as a human… he allowed my adult daughter to be accused of having a sexual attraction to her dad. This has gutted me. Obviously my daughter won’t go to see him/then. And he hasn’t fought for her or for what’s right. Jealousy is the most evil of all and this person did what she could to remove my beautiful child and he allowed it.
    I want to expose him so badly to the community of followers (tattoo artist for a well known shop in Michigan). I just don’t know what the right thing is in this case…
    Any thoughts?

    • Limbo, the truth is the right thing. However, don’t expect people to be up in arms about it. If that’s what you’re hoping to get out of it, you’ll probably be disappointed. If they admire this turd, they’ll likely just call you bitter and jealous and close ranks around him.

      So the AP claimed your daughter is attracted to her dad? Wow. She is one sick twist.

    • do nothing Limbo and get on with your life

      he’d probably get a round of applause if you exposed him

      not many people care much about other people’s depravity, except when it directly affects them

    • Limbo, he is abusive and could be dangerous. I wouldn’t share anything with people you don’t 100% trust and know are on your side. My ex was not safe, and I avoided telling people who weren’t my people because I was scared of him — the lies he might spread (in his “defense”) and even how he might physically hurt me. It’s not worth it.

  • I looked into this. Apparently these were not evictions, they were rental agreements in city owned buildings that were not being renewed. The city only has a few buildings they can use for refugees, so they had to make room. The tenants are being offered alternative housing and financial support. Moreover, these were not just elderly tenants.

    I don’t like to feed a troll, but the post was misleading and needed correcting.

  • The imagination wasn’t on my part, but it was huge on his part.

    Fraudster expected that the 29-year old babe (he was over 60) he found on a website would adore him and make her life all about him. Within weeks, he emailed her that he couldn’t wait to stroll around town with a hot babe on his arm and the envy of everyone who saw them. Within about two months, he offered to put her through college, buy her a business, and live happily ever after. He planned to live near the marital home, expected us (OW and I) to be best friends, and to sit together on the front porch watching him shirtless as he mowed the lawn, even though he’d had a lawn service for years, and he’s not attractive with his shirt off.

    It took me two minutes of seeing the emails and photos to figure out it was a catfishing romance scam. I searched the photos and found out they showed an Instagram hooker from Columbia. No idea if she was the one emailing, or someone else, although it likely it was a man or men. The only contact he’d had, other than texts and emails, was a brief phone call, after which he emailed her that he couldn’t understand a word and she sounded like a man. All this after gleefully deriding the idiots on the show Catfish for being stupid enough to fall for catfishing scams. After we separated, he claimed to friends that she was a work colleague. I showed the emails to several friends, so word was out that he was laughably stupid.

    He moved into an apartment complex and was furious after my attorney read their marketing statements in court explaining that it was designed for professional women in their 20s and 30s who wanted upscale amenities and high security. That was all she said, yet he emailed me, “I would appreciate it if your attorney wouldn’t portray me as a lazy, sex-crazed middle-aged single swinger.”

    He went on to love-bomb multiple women, I assume for image management as well as to justify our separation and divorce. Despite the wining, dining, expensive vacations, etc., they all seemed to have dumped him. Like others’ cheaters mentioned here, he also attempted suicide. He called and told me he did it for attention. It landed him in psychiatric facilities. A few heart problems later, he’s in an assisted living facility. Certainly not the glamorous life he expected.

  • I actually think their life is more glamorous and much easier than mine. Hear me out. I’m working full time as a physician, haven’t had time or inclination to date since he left, 2 teens/young adults, 2 dogs, 2 cats, (wait my son brought a 3rd dog home from college, make that 3 dogs). There’s mess, and schedules to align, and adolescent moods…..I don’t think I’ll ever figure out how to keep my house running smoothly while working full time. (Washing machine just broke so now waiting for a part for a week, ugh. Son transferred to a local college so now I’ve got a 20 year old with a taste for independence back home with his Rottweiler puppy, ugh. We’re moving him into the garage and adjacent storage room so we both have space. Chaos ensues as I find a new place for emergency supplies and litter boxes, ugh)

    My almost 60 year old ex and his child bride, meanwhile, live in our former vacation home with an amazing view. They both work from home since COVID (he works full time, and she has a “consulting firm” which I interpret as she couldn’t get a job after she finished college that he paid for). (He won’t pay for any of his own kids’ college because I was too stupid to put it in writing in the divorce settlement, so he’s sure to retire before me, but I digress).

    Schmoopie apparently cooks dinner nightly (we do a lot of takeout and whatever my son cooks), and I’m certain their house is cleaner/less cluttered than our lived in home. They have a guest suite over their garage where my teens can stay when they visit (a week for holidays and a week in the summer at most).

    But we are a family and they are an old man and the woman who he gave a green card to. He needed viagra when they met, so I wonder how that’s going for them. Even if their cliche marriage is wonderful, our kids think he’s “creepy” and my home is their Home. We adopted our kids and they are pretty vocal that he isn’t their dad by any definition. (He left us with a text and moved out of state when they were 10 and 12).

    Maybe they are soulmates and their life is perfect. But it’s missing two very important people (our kids), so in my mind it’s empty. I really think he consciously chose his shallow life of evening cocktails, foot massages, and a child-free lifestyle over the real world of life with kids and pets, once he realized how messy life is.

    I’m so glad he’s gone. I’ll take real life any day.

    • It may feel chaotic but to me your life appears full and beautiful while his appears soulless and empty.

    • I relate to the daily grind of your life. It’s mine too, and I love it. It’s a real life, full of hustle and bustle, the energy of kidd, and the important work that you do. You are adulting. You are mature. You know the assignment.

      It suck that our spouses get off free while we are left to pick up the pieces. But, in my case, it was happening in the marriage already. At least now I am doing it in peace. I may be tired at the end if the day, but I know pure joy. I’ll take that any day over an “easier” existence with my ex.

  • Before I met her, I imagined that the Lot Lizard was some gorgeous Victoria’s Secret model with a PhD. She’s as ugly as a toad (no offense to toads) and barely finished high school (SMH).

    • It is weird that we get these images of these folks in our head. Yes of course it does happen that they get a VS model, but those are usually wealthy men. I said usually. 🙂

      Your rank and file cheater just gets the ones that can’t bag the rich ones. Or if he does he keeps her long enough for her to drain his funds, then she is gone. That is kind of fun to watch though.

      I am only speaking of men, because that is what I dealt with. And mostly what I have witnessed happen.

  • what really is is unfolding. a workplace affair with his direct subordinate, they cooked up a slow motion exit from both of their marriages, he promoted her to director, they announced their affair to their bosses and were shifted apart on the org chart. she left her husband, ALSO a former employee of same company who is universally liked. not my X. universally disliked. then, big surprise, my executive X was terminated without cause in a cost analysis of the org chart.

    the termination just happened. i say, KARMA.

    so, a woman, 20 years his junior, with a bad dye job and a child’s name, is learning about what my X is like these days. he’s out looking for a job. impatient, stressed, incompetent. burning through money like a 12 year-old at the arcade. do you think he’ll be hired in the current climate? a 60 year-old active alcoholic, angry man. maybe? maybe not?

    the bloom is off the rose.

    • damnitfeelsbadtobeachumpster, Yes, somebody will probably hire him. The question is, how long will he keep the job?

  • My X has fallen so far down from the life we had, that it’s hard to believe. But, he is a self-impressed Narc, so I’m not too surprised.
    When he was openly cheating on me with the neighbor right across the street, I was told she was fun, a music lover, and everyone likes her. She did have an open door party with booze going on most every day, so I question who liked her, and who liked getting high at her house. He was so cruel to me, and told me lovely things like ‘you have no compassion’. When I divorced him, he ended up living there, in her basement.
    She turned on him, after two years of this arrangement, tacked eviction papers on his bedroom door, and was an unstable, angry woman who wanted him gone. He eventually moved, lives alone with his cat, and pretty much has zero social life. It’s insane. He blew up our home for that.
    I try not to feel sorry for him! Actually, I feel relieved for myself, that he thought I was so dull, and he removed himself from my life. Thanks, Fuckwit!

  • I have a great imagination and a lifetime supply of insecurity. In order to rein in the intrusive thoughts of X’s great new life, I periodically look at his Instagram page. While he hasn’t made any posts, I can see who he follows. A sampling: Charlie Kirk, Fox News, Jordan Peterson, PragerU, the Heritage Foundation, etc. Lots of qet-rich quick/affiliate marketing/daily trading/side hustle entrepreneurs. A “Marriage and Intimacy Coach”. A “Biblical Marriage Coach.” “Sober Fitness” (lol).

    So, what it really is? Not my problem anymore! Done and dusted.

  • Ups and downs. I’m looking at owning my third and smallest house, requiring a lot of sweat equity in a bad market. On the plus, my boys look forward to learning about fixing and maintaining a house, and I like projects. She is going to have a larger one, but higher payments.

    He is younger, but out of shape and less intelligent. He’s fun I guess and part of a well known family in town. She looks older than me and worn out, but the stress of blowing up a family will do that, I am the healthiest I’ve been in a long time.

    She’s a window dresser and clout chaser.

    I am free of her and that is the best thing right now.

  • Traitor Ex thought his choices would only cost him me and our marriage, a price he was willing to pay and hard evidence that what I had was a low value mate. Like many cheaters, what he didn’t anticipate was that it would also cost him his relationship with our daughter.

    She has the freedom and my support to do whatever she wants. I’m the one who got her a therapist of her own besides continuing to go with me to our family therapist. She doesn’t want anything to do with him and so while on court-mandated visits which are a couple of hours a couple times a week, she goes to her room at his place, shuts the door, and does her own thing while waiting to come home. She hasn’t spoken to him in years.

    I am not about to promote him as a safe and trustworthy person because he isn’t, and doing so would mess up her radar. Children learn by modeling. Being a good parent means modeling good behavior IMHO. Good is as good does. As a genuinely single person, if dating someone would compromise my relationship with my daughter, that person would not be an option.

    Cheaters and side pieces are low value mates, and it’s best if they associate with each other.

    If you want respect you need to act respectably, and respect others. It’s earned.

    • “Traitor Ex thought his choices would only cost him me and our marriage, a price he was willing to pay and hard evidence that what I had was a low value mate. Like many cheaters, what he didn’t anticipate was that it would also cost him his relationship with our daughter.”

      Yup. x made the same calculation. He really believed he was “a great dad” and that, once the jig was up, everything would be copacetic between him and our kids. He thought his family and colleagues would remain friends, but many didn’t. He didn’t anticipate any of this fallout, apparently.

      There’s no way that these types suddenly develop empathy and good interpersonal skills. I’m going to guess that he’s as shitty as ever, nay, even worse, and that the AP-now-wife must now realize that she truly won a turd. Ding, ding, ding!

      I got more than the luggage. So much more. A FW-free life is priceless. I hate how it all happened, but I’m so happy to be free of him. I would’ve stayed with him forever had I not found out about his cheating. There are times when I have an urge to send him and the AP thank-you notes. I would never do that, but still….

      • If anything, he’s probably gotten worse. Now he has a wound to lick every single day–a self-inflicted wound that he blames on others. He’s the biggest victim in the room. Fun times for both of them, I’m sure.

    • And as for him and his “sole mate” (his spelling from an email to her), our daughter caught him on Tinder while she was using his phone to watch a video. He got a drop-down message.
      At the time, he was living in an apartment with the Sole Mate, lying to us about it, and paying for it with money from our business, not divorced and ghosting his child.

      Neither one of them is my idea of a winner.

      Ironically, it’s from the some of the worst pain we’ve ever experienced that we get an opportunity for a better life and genuine contentment, safety, security, and peace of mind.

    • Asshat’s response to my query “what about our kids”? Kids bounce.

      I would agree–right on their heads. My son will NEVER respect his father. Very sad.

    • 1000 percent true. My ex’s cheating cost him his relationship with my kids. One hasn’t spoken to him in months. They mostly pity him.

  • I imagined that HoWorker/Wife would finally get to be married (at 50) and spend all of Dr. Asshat’s $$$. I was a bit surprised she became Mrs. Asshat (changed her name), but that just confirmed my suspicions that she was on a mission. Even my attorney repeatedly stated “she wants it all”. Well she definitely got a turd.

    I saw them walk out of the gym they workout at (connected to my place of employment) right before Christmas. He was yards ahead of her and really looked like shit. Two days later, a postcard arrived for my son (he’s been with me since summer 2021 with no postcards and no mail that I can remember).

    Working through the “she gets my retirement”. But then I have to remind myself, she gets him. Someone who reached out to his first mistress during divorce and she comments on my daughter’s photos in his Instagram feed.

    Yep, she “won” a turd.

    • Forgot to add, she bought a million dollar condo and a million dollar farm in addition to her lake house. But not content with all that, they’ve taken out a $500,000 mortgage to restor their barn. And all properties are in her name, except Asshat as added to the farm when they took out the mortgage.

      Oh, and she used my jeweler to design her wedding rings.

      Yep, she wants it all. And Asshat is going to give it to her because he’s got to keep up the facade. No wonder he looks like shit. That’s his reality.

  • I’ve been told I’m mean for this but I’m going to be mean. When he left me for a girl in her twenties I thought she’d be hot. She ended up looking like a really frumpy version of myself at her age. Like the ugly sister of my family. There’s a resemblance but I’m at least 30 pounds leaner than her and I’m in my 40s and have had a child. She’s a young 20 something with no kids and she’s already overweight and sloppy looking. I’m not one to be intimidated by young women anyways but when I saw her it was like, is this a joke? This is the girl?

    Plus, I know how critical he was of my appearance and my body when we were together. I can’t even imagine what he’s saying to her. She won nothing but a headache.

  • While for a hot minute there I definitely envisioned the classic tv show type “boss and employee fall in love after 10 years of friendship and are soulmates” garbage trope he tried to initially present it as, the reality is almost certainly going to be a hot dumpster fire for both FW and AP.

    AP is clearly a desperate divorcing mom of 6 year old twin girls with another prior divorce (FW has 2 boys he promptly ditched full time parenting of by cheating and divorcing 1st wife at the ages of 3 and 8 months probably because he couldn’t stand not being the center of attention). She probably sees FW as a checkbook in part. It basically likely all boils down to FW managing to get her willing to do the things I was not though. Namely, whereas in the past he had nonconsensually posted profiles of both of us on threesome sites and sent nudes and private sex videos to strangers resulting in me being stalked by one, and kept trying to get me to go to sex clubs and have more threesomes, AP I guess enthusiastically agreed to participate in basically all forms of nonmonogamy his little heart desires (she apparently believes that being in a relationship means you should always do whatever your partner needs) and now I guess he gets to live his swinger dreams and openly do whatever he wants while using her to lure more women to him for those threesomes. Suddenly in the span of a few months she also identifies as bisexual. I would almost feel bad for her over how badly she is being played and pimped out for his amusement if she weren’t such an AH herself, and hey, I guess she gets to screw better looking guys herself too while reaping the financial benefits of my ex!

    She is now apparently moving into my former home with him along with her 2 kids (did I mention she is not even divorced yet?). FW living full time with children is hysterical to me and I can’t imagine he will find this cute for long. Also given that it’s a 2 bedroom house and she seems to be turning his kids’ bedroom into her kids’, looks like he’s willing to replace his kids too. What a guy. The giant basement bar examples she has on her Pinterest board also ought to work out real well for her with a guy who is an alcoholic and had previously been sober for 5.5 years with me because surprise surprise, he has no (sexual) impulse control when drinking! A sociopathic bdsm loving swinger who has a problem with alcohol scrolling half naked chicks and hookup apps all night while the kids do their homework is likely what the future holds. Sounds like twu luv.

  • I think I knew exactly what it was going to be like for him – he was the one living in cognitive dissonance. I made all the money and did quite well, while he was “figuring things out” for 20 years. He acted like a resentful teenager all that time, no doubt dreaming of how awesome life would be if I wasn’t constantly ruining everything for him by having any expectations of him as a father, husband, or heck, even as a roommate.

    I knew that once he was on his own, and broke, it was going to suck for him. No amount of porn or video games can make that sad situation a walk in the park.

    I wish I could say watching the Karma bus arrive felt good, it doesn’t. It mostly leaves me shaking my head. We really could have had it all together: wealth, a healthy family, a good life… but whatever, he didn’t want it. I no longer try to convince people of my worth.

    • I really feel this about having everything set up for a great retirement! Financially we were finally in good shape. Of course he had to self sabotage

      • I feel same. We had a Costa Rica condo, paid for home and commercial property.
        We could have easily lived off combined SS and renting out office. He ends up being a late life drug addict (after bragging about not drinking for years) with his 33 years younger employee- thought they’d be a dream team. Younger than all of our children. Zero relationship with children or grandchildren.

        I know anyone can become an addict. She grew up in chaos and wanted my life. He now holds mortgage on office and he signed over 1/2 ownership to this gold digger. Leaving his 3 children out completely. Former patient of his told me she’s seen them out, high at convenience store. I’m glad they moved an hour away. They live in an 1 bedroom apartment with an untrained dog. (They got puppy shortly after their love nest was established). It’s the size of my primary bedroom and en-suite.

        I hope every month he sends my whopping $200 alimony check he’s sober enough to realize what a mess he made. His practice dried up. The state did nothing when my son-in-law turned him in to impaired practioners group. Patients called me to ask me if he was on drugs. I said my attorney said not to say anything.

        They said thanks that’s all I need to know.

        He doesn’t think he has problem. 🤦🏼‍♀️

  • He really tried hard to push me out as much as possible of our daughter’s life so he could play one-big-happy mixed family with new wife appliance and her kids. Didn’t work. Her kids aren’t well liked by the other cousins (or adults, for that matter), my daughter gets tired of her step-siblings quickly and relishes the time at our house. Ex was happy to have a working wife when he needed the $$ (he got fired for forgery and racked up a 5-figure gambling debt). However, my working while being a mom required him to parent more than he expected to. He wasn’t ok taking days off to stay with our daughter when she was sick, or skipping drinks with coworkers after work when I needed him home to help with something at the house. Like so many other FW’s here, he just doesn’t bond deeply. It’s all about how others are useful to him or stroke his ego.

    New stay-at-home wife is VERY much a wife appliance, although she sucks at laundry. My daughter’s clothes come back stained and ill-fitting after being washed there. Ex’s shirts used to get very stinky in the armpits and I took the trouble to pre-treat and switch detergents to resolve it, bet his laundry is funky now! He does even less to help out than he did with me, I think. He’s a lying liar who lies, and doesn’t like to adult. Granted, I think she dumps her kids on family every chance she gets, so I’m not sure she likes adulting all that much either. It sounds like they both live with their faces glued to their phones. Social media and Friends re-runs isn’t much of a personality. A friend put it excellently in the early days… now you get to live a much more authentic life, and I do! I’ve loved rediscovering “me” and having time for my own interests and building a happy, loving home with my daughter.

    Water finds its own level and leopards don’t change their spots.

  • The last person I was with decided that sleeping with an engaged coworker 13 years younger than him was “falling in love.” Yeah ok Romeo.

    When I got the news (from him…telling me how lovesick and heartbroken he was that Schmoopie was moving and he was never going to see her again. Not sure what he was expecting from me there, but he sure as hell didn’t get sympathy.) I obviously went through the phases of “Well that the hell is so great about her? What does she look like? Is she so special??” What I pictured was some perfect, hourglass bodied, blonde, model girl. The antithesis of me. I had pink hair, at the time it was cut short because…that’s how he liked it. I’ve been growing it out since. But anyway, I’m also heavily tattooed. I’m not in bad shape, I go to the gym frequently and I am a dancer.

    But then I realized what I thought it was is probably not what it is. I’ve been no contact with him for nearly a year, so I don’t know what ended up happening with them. But I can imagine.

    -The reality of a 13 year age gap. She was 23 and he was 36. The maturity difference between someone in their early 20’s to someone who’s in their late 30’s is huge. Not going to say cheating is very mature of either of them, but let’s be realistic here. If she had left her fiance, and they were “official” the shine of the clandestine relationship would wear off quick when it becomes apparent that she’s barely out of college and has only been legally able to buy alcohol for two years whereas he’s closer to 40 than 30.

    -The fact that the relationship is real now and they don’t get just the fun parts anymore. Oh, there’s a title now. And meeting friends to whom you have to explain where your relationship started. And families, and obligations. They no longer just get to have fun, they have to have all the responsibilities of a relationship now too. Will that include exclusivity???

    -If she’ll cheat WITH you she’ll cheat ON YOU. I have no doubt this girl didn’t really love him anymore than she actually loved her fiance. I think she’d been in a relationship with her fiance for 4 years, and she was only 23, and she wasn’t ready to get married (see point number one about MATURITY) so she decided my ex was a bit of a distraction for a while. She knew she was moving, she knew she wasn’t leaving her fiance. I bet dollars to donuts she decided the move was a built in excuse to never leave her fiance and then dump my ex and (in her mind) get off scott free. If she’d actually stayed with my ex, she’d probably get bored or frustrated eventually (again…because she’s only 23 and he was frikkin 36) and go look for another bit of fun distraction.

  • TRACY!!THAT GUY in your art work holding the schmoopie looks just like the profile of my STBXH! I saw it in your book the first time I read it 5 months ago and freaked out. The only thing missing is his stretched out tee shirts which i begged him to change and and his shaved chest and arms that he did for his ladies which I had no idea was a thing to do. I begged him to stop the shaving as it all gave me a prickly rash..but I digress. OK to the question. My STBXH got fresh smoothies everyday for his breakfast, whizzed up on my high speed blender. He said the guys at work were teasing him about me possibly trying to poison him! They knew about his schmoopies, I had no idea. He is right now attending multiple rotating buffet tables and thinks he is so happy and desirable. At least thats what he is telling all our Switzerland friends. But I ? I recall the baggy underwear, gaslighting, him drinking my home made smoothies and coercing me and punishing me every moment he could, trying to force me to file..which i was thrilled to oblige him to do. .But no matter how happy he says he is, NO ONE could be happier than me to escape the abuse, the arrogance and entitlement that his world provided for me. I got ME back and I’m pretty darn cool without him to drag me under his miserable body. The sad truth is spoken.

  • I imagined him heading into retirement footloose and fancy free.

    Reality: declining hygiene (i.e. not brushing his teeth regularly despite having had radiation for oral cancer and being advised to be extra scrupulous re brushing and flossing) has resulted in multiple teeth becoming abscessed and pulled. He had considerable pain with the first one, which occurred toward the end of the marriage. If each successive one was equally painful, I regard that as repeat visits by the karma bus.

    • Gross, Hopium! My ex hardly ever bathes and his home is a disgusting pigsty. He thinks he’s going to be a “serial dater.” He’ll be lucky to get a single date, and if she gets a look at how he lives she’ll run for the hills. They don’t dwell in reality.

  • What I thought – on DDay he told me he was in love with his mistress, that he had multiple affairs for 3 years but then he met her and they are soulmates. Over time I discovered she is 22-23 (he’s 48), a college dropout, works a minimum wage job, etc. He spoils her like crazy: 4-5 star hotels, expensive dinners, shopping sprees, concerts, massages, spa days.

    What I know now – While the above is technically true, she is a sugar baby that he met on a sugar baby/daddy website. The reason she “never pressured him” about leaving me has to be because she doesn’t want anything beyond what they have (transactional). He’s spent tens of thousands of dollars on her and the rest of them over the last 7 years. Either he lied about the depth of (his side of) their relationship or he’s totally delusional and truly believes that what they have is anything more than him paying for s3x. He definitely spoils her but if he didn’t she’d probably be gone. Right after DDay they were going to get a 2 bedroom apartment (so daughter could visit) in a fancy beachside community near us. Now he’s getting a 1 bedroom apartment in a much more affordable area and living alone. Wonder whose illusions were shattered?


  • I’m very good at no contact and I never look at his or her socials so I don’t know much. But in the beginning, he made it clear that his life was going to be way better- I was a vanilla dud of a woman but new girlfriend was an S&M goddess who accommodated all of his sexual fetishes, had great decorating sense, was cooler than me because she’s tattooed and has spiky hairdos, had a big fancy dog that got her lots of attention and was apparently also some kind of domestic goddess on top of all that.

    The reality was he lost his job, lost the respect of our daughter, didn’t ruin me like he wanted to, moved cities so he hardly sees his child, he rents instead of owns now and their dogs dominate their lives. He makes way less money and has no relationship with his family or any of our friends. He lives in a way less “cool” town and doesn’t have the big wig job anymore.

    But, he won the woman who had it all over me (according to him) so good luck to them both. My neighbor saw them at a cafe once and she said, “I saw your ex with his new thing and we couldn’t help but use the phrase ‘ugly bit on the side’ to describe her.” Enough said.

    • Nice! Similarly, when my friend saw a picture of x and schmoopie, she said, “Oh, so that’s her? Really?” lol

      How I ever felt inferior, I’ll never know. She is 10 years younger than I and objectively physically attractive, which threw me into a tailspin of self-criticism.

      When I halted my spiral and regained my equilibrium, I realized that “pretty is a pretty does.”

      She knowingly not only cheated on her own husband but also with mine. Even if she has a lot of positive qualities (and I’ve no idea), that fact that she cheated for years, conspired in my abuse, slept in my fucking marital bed puts her firmly in the shitty column.

      Their marriage was an attempt at justification and respectability. But there’s no getting the stink of what they did and who they are off of them. It’s like perfume on a skunk.🦨 Eau de Nice Try

    • “was cooler than me because she’s tattooed and has spiky hairdos”

      🙄That might be considered cool if it was 1993 rather than 2023.
      My FW’s ho had a spiky hairdo and tats, too, which she thought made her cool. She was stuck in permanent adolescence like all FWs.

      • OHFFS- the other weird thing was that I’m the total opposite- curly blonde (now grey-ish) hair, fair skin, green eyes, very natural looking. My husband always claimed to love my natural look. A classic beauty, he always said. But, um, no. He actually liked a whole ‘nother thing that’s the direct opposite of me. And about 15 years younger 🤔 He looks like one of those old assholes who is trying to be cool 😂

        • Me too, FKA. OW was my opposite in every possible way. At first I did feel it was a deliberate fuck you to me, but now I understand that cheaters are opportunists. They don’t really have a type and will take pretty much anyone who flatters them.

          Your FW sounds like a walking cliché. Yuck.

  • My first introduction to AP number 674 (??) was her voice on the Bluetooth in my car which was in proximity to FW’s car as he was talking to Schmoopie on his cell – she was complaining about something lol. I suppose I imagined that they would be well-off financially, and fancy free without any kids (I have full custody). The reality is FW is REALLY BAD with money and AP is a waitress manager at a casino and close to retirement age (FW is 48 years old). The reality is neither one has a whole lot of future earning potential (while I’m getting my nursing degree and will likely continue till I get a terminal degree in the field), and FW is not particularly healthy. I think it will be a race to see which one’s health fails first, who gets fired first, or who cheats on who first- BETS anyone???

  • FW had put down my general attractiveness so much over the course of a year that I went from being someone who didn’t spend time, thought or money on appearance to being almost agoraphobic because I was convinced I was some kind of leper. The stress and trauma made things worse. I lost so much weight that FW accused me of having an eating issue and trying to “amplify” my thinness by wearing oversized clothing. Oh the irony. Over the years, FW had nudged and needled me to stop wearing makeup, stop going to salons and to get rid of all my swank career clothes, saying I didn’t “need any of that.” I didn’t really argue, especially after my middle child developed an expensive chronic illness and I had to quit work. Since I’d worked in fashion for a few years, I kind of enjoy it but not so much that I couldn’t give it up for the sake of the kids and saving funds. But when I started suspecting an affair, it dawned on me that FW was hardly feminist nature-boy who’d transcended mere artifice and his campaign to dull me down was probably just a run of the mill Madonna/whore thing where he needed me to be the brown feathered nest-mate to assure him he had no rivals while he peacocked outside the house.

    The realization pissed me off. I think I went through a kind of shallow second adolescence where I started preening and spending on myself for once, particularly when I began doubting we were as poor as FW had been pretending. Since nothing I did seemed to please FW, I embraced courting his disapproval. I wore makeup again and began rebuilding the designer wardrobe FW had pressured me to give away to charity. I got my hair done for the first time in ten years. It unsettled him. Part of it was just reclaiming my former self but the other part was salving injured self esteem. Then something horrible happened. While walking past a street protest, I was dragged into a construction enclosure and nearly sexually assaulted at knife point before a couple of construction workers shouted from above and the attacker ran. That’s when FW really exposed his whole Madonna/whore mentality by blaming the attack on the fact that I had started wearing makeup and fitted clothes instead of baggy postpartum jeans and ancient trainers. D-Day was a week later. Two anonymous office whistleblowers sent me the scoop along with some grainy cell photos of FW in a bar with the AP who was wearing ten pounds of pancake foundation, clunky CFM platforms and had stuffed her bloat into stretch jeans two sizes too small.

    Hmm. All those putdowns of my appearance. One would expect the AP to be Candace Swanepoel, not a dead ringer for Abu Ghraib prison guard Lynndie England. All those attacks on my supposedly “dark,” critical personality and you’d expect Miss Sunshine Butterfly, not Miss Glowering Shark-eyed Barfly. All those attacks on my sanity and parenting and you’d expect Florence Nightingale, not a drunk-driving, kids’ college fund-bilking, parking lot-humping screamer. The more the facts about the affair trickled in, the less sense any of it made but at least it forfeited any attempt by FW to set off a Pickme dance. There wasn’t anything worth competing with or for. If the AP and FW had remained together, I would have thought it was just desserts except for the fact that the AP would have made it her life’s mission to deprive the kids of FW’s support.

    I don’t understand how making me feel terrible about myself served to build up the image of AP up but I’m guessing that it’s a kind of willful delusion on the part of FWs to rationalize doing so much harm to their families. The more horrendous the betrayal and the worse the destruction, the more FWs need to see APs as “worth it” and chumps as “bad enough” to justify it and so, in their twisted little minds, they make it thus. At least until someone turns on the overhead lights. So bizarre.

    • You need to write a book.
      I was spellbound reading this.
      Heartbreakingly sad, relatable, terrifying. Spellbound.

    • “I don’t understand how making me feel terrible about myself served to build up the image of AP up but I’m guessing that it’s a kind of willful delusion on the part of FWs to rationalize doing so much harm to their families. The more horrendous the betrayal and the worse the destruction, the more FWs need to see APs as “worth it” and chumps as “bad enough” to justify it and so, in their twisted little minds, they make it thus. At least until someone turns on the overhead lights. So bizarre.”

      Indeed. FW did the same thing – denigrated my appearance for years (calling me fat and ugly). Duing the divorce, I lost a ton of weight (stress diet) and then he said I was too skinny and didn’t look good. If I ever dressed nice or did my hair, he’d say it was for a man and I was cheating and had no right to be angry with him for his affair. It was so weird. He would compare me to OW, but she really wasn’t all that attractive, and was a good 50 lb heavier than me. I watched her get skinnier and skinnier over the next few years, so I’m sure he was critical of her body too, in spite of all the public compliments he gave her on social media.

  • My exFW got half of MY house in the divorce then won the lotto (not millions though) not long after it. I imagined him and schmoops living it up going on holidays etc.

    But my mum’s neighbour who works in a club with a big gaming area told me that she sees him gambling every day and odd hours of the night. I know FW has an addictive personality and had addictions to various things over the years, so with this addiction to gambling, I wouldn’t be surprised if he loses everything.

    One thing I know about AP is that FW told me that her ex husband was an addict and that’s how FW and AP bonded, when they’d talk about addiction and living with addiction. So with my ex FW having his own addictions, AP basically exchanged one addict for another. Good times (not).

  • Thought they were madly in love, had a ton of money, and living the dream. I was in a horrible custody battle with them and was told they would probably win because they had all the resources to keep it going until they bled me dry and I would have to let them take my kids.
    REALITY – after I WON the custody battle a couple of months later it came out that she was physically beating him when the police were called after she attacked him while the kids were at their house. The police made him tell me what was happening at their house and it was absolutely shocking. They ended up divorcing.

    Those two love birds skipping through a field of daffodils, enjoying passionate sex, and having wonderful conversations over fine wine and gourmet meals.

    FW is not a good conversationalist (think shy to an extreme), so that particular bit of my own magical thinking is wrong. Eh to passionate sex. I’m sure he still needs to use Viagra and porn. And I suspect that the affair excitement contributed to the joy of sex. That’s missing now.

    FW realizes that he fucked up. He got her, yes, but he gave up so much for that “prize.”

    So many have ended contact with him, including his own kids and, by association, our grandkids. Even colleagues have distanced themselves. I can’t imagine how awful that must feel.

    Even his only extended family seems to have cut ties. (This weekend I attended a wedding for a niece on x’s side of the family. He was not invited.)

    I’ve heard he’s complaining about not having enough money (this from the man who bragged about how impressed his lawyer was with his net worth. Also, what a stupid man to brag about such a thing. I would have worried had my lawyer been wowed by my $$.) But I digress.

    I’m guessing that x’s poor life skills are catching up with him. He has trouble making friends and is now living across country in her family’s town without whatever supports FW had in the town we’d live in for decades. Her dad is not much older than FW. lol #awkward

    I would also not be surprised if each is worried that the other will cheat. They’ve done it before. What’s to stop them?

    There’s no way that he has stopped stomping around and sulking. That’s been his lifetime MO. Oh, and I bet she’s the recipient of one of his favorite manipulative tactics, the tried-and-true silent treatment.

    Their matching, massive, upper-thigh fish tattoos must be stretching and fading. Gravity isn’t kind that way.

    Finally, he still fly fishes like mad and she’s probably stopped pretending to like it. That’s my hunch.

    Oh well. Who cares? I’m a so much happier now. I surround myself with good-quality people. 👏 These poor-quality ones have found each other. A perfect match in that way. Good riddance.

    • After FW died, I went to get my stuff (marital property he’d taken without my consent) and my son’s stuff out of his house. (OW had recently left him so was no longer there.) I found a copy of The Joy of Sex next to the bed, handcuffs and ankle cuffs, and enough lingerie to fill a store (inlcuding, bizarrely, something of mine – unique, old, and unmistakable – in the middle of the pile) left behind by OW. So for all the “passion” and excitement of having a new sexual partner, it looked to me like they were putting an awful lot of effort into keeping things from getting stale. In 15 years we never had so much gear (and we had a lot of sex, in spite of how he might have framed it to OW).

  • I think I always knew FW was a trainwreck. There wasn’t really an AP. He was off the opinion that sex didn’t count if there was no emotional connection, and he was really proud that he “never even knew her name” (sex workers, in other words). But soon he was dreaming that he could have one of those younger, hotter women full time if only I was conveniently out of the way. He started watching Hallmark movies constantly–all about rugged men from poor families marrying some rich, career woman, etc. etc. I knew he was picturing himself as that handsome, poor dude capable of attracting a young, rich beauty.

    When he first left me, he did briefly have a fling with his high-school girlfriend (who was married), but that fizzled out fast. Then he tried some online dating. That fizzled too. Now he is broke and in debt and moving into an RV because he can’t afford his mobile home. He quit his job, so he is driving an Uber for a living.

    How many young, sexy women are into middle-aged fat guys who drive an Uber and live in an RV? So far, they aren’t exactly lining up.

  • The comments suggest that readers have followed CL’s advice and are largely (or entirely) no contact. I wonder if this extends to those who had children with their FW. And are those affair outcomes similar to those without children?

    In a skewed sample, the four relationships of others which I know began as adulterous affairs all resulted in decades long marriages.

    I don’t know if FW and OW are living together in my previous marital home here in town or moved to her shore home. I’m excellent at no contact.

    • I know five couples right off the top of my head whose folks married their affair partners, and they are still married after many years. I also know these people well enough to know the marriages they have now are not one bit different than the ones they had before, and in some cases worse. People just don’t ride off sitting on a horse with a knight in shining armor. They ran off and whatever they got, a new spouse, a house large or small, are still exactly who they were. They don’t morph into other people and neither did these folks. In fact I heard some complaining. These are women I know long term.

  • Five years after he left for the OW, they have now announced they are looking for a house and, at this moment, have all the kids with them in Mexico at a luxury resort to get everyone to bond. I don’t know if life is really amazing, but they sure are putting on a good show.

    This is what I know to be true.

    – My son has caught his dad watching porn in the middle of the day, twice. My ex started by having a porn issue in our marriage. He also suffered a lot of ED. That doesn’t just go away.

    – The husband I knew was always stressed about money. All the times he complained, my God, you would have thought we were poor. He hated debt. He wanted the house paid off ASAP. Talk of home reno projects nearly gave him a stroke. That was over a house that was only 200G back then. Now housing prices are over a million and he is approaching 50 years old. Have fun with that mortgage. That stress hasn’t just gone away.

    – People I have met who know the OW all describe her the same: good playing fragile victim, aversion to work, likes the finer things in life, vain (insecure), pays money for breast implants and procedures, but no college funds for the kids. That doesn’t suddenly change.

    When they show you who they really are, believe them. Life may look like a luxury Mexican v-cay, but they haven’t suddenly transformed into people of maturity and integrity, and they certainly haven’t done the hard work to get there.

  • When I found out he was cheating with someone from his running group I ran through all the women on the FB group (I’ve met them all…even had them to my home for BBQ’s.), and didn’t even PAUSE at her. Seriously? When I found out it was her, I actually laughed out loud. He originally told me he wanted someone else who could run/cycle/backpack etc with him now that he had all this extra time since he retired….She’s got 3 kids that she has on alternating weeks, is recently separated (Surprise!), a full time job, plays ballhockey two nights a week and is training for a marathon….How’s that “filling all the extra time now that I’m retired.” working out for you, FW?
    We were booked to go on a Mexico vacation before he dumped me so of course I cancelled it. He didn’t understand why I still didn’t want to go? (Bang my head on the wall…) Next week, they are going to the SAME resort that we have been to multiple times. My comment to him was, “It’s nice you found someone who wants to go to Mexico with you.” Emphasis on the “someone”.
    It’s early days yet….only 4 months. Maybe it’s a match made in Heaven but…he has yet to introduce her to his friends and hasn’t said a word to his family…..Hmmm.

  • More than 15.5 million illegal aliens live in the United States today, costing American taxpayers over $150 billion annually, analysis from the Federation for American Immigration Reform (FAIR) estimates.

    The FAIR analysis estimates that taxpayers pay some $182 billion in annual costs for illegal aliens at the federal, state, and local levels. That cost is only minimally made up by illegal aliens contributing $32 billion to the economy, making the annual net cost more than $150 billion.

    Put another way, illegal aliens and their U.S.-born children are costing each taxpayer nearly $1,200 every year.

    Most significantly, the cost of illegal immigration has skyrocketed since 2017, when the annual cost was estimated to be $116 billion. Likewise, since only last year, the cost has increased by $7 billion.

  • It looks like cheater-ex’s primary girlfriend has left the picture. I can tell because her car’s not at his place every time I drop the kids off, he is way more actively involved in parenting them, and has gone back to harassing me with his insane takes on ‘coparenting’ that all imply I am not being a good one.

    Anyway, her departure answers my question, “just how long can a single mother of a young child continue in a relationship with a man who demands an ‘open’ relationship, BDSM with strangers, and has no intention of moving out of his parents’ basement since we separated five years ago?” The answer is “almost 3 years.”

    I am sad to see her go. My kids say she is nice to them. It’s hard to find a good women who will put up with a man-baby who requires that you dabble in humiliating group sex scenes and let him do as he pleases with other people whenever you are not around. Especially when his parents, upstairs, are cosplay Christians, and our kids, now teenagers, are over there 50% of the time.

    But even that is not enough. The woman must be educated, financially independent, and artistic. She must have brown hair and eyes and be pale and thin. She must present at the sex club as hot, poly, and game for being violated, while present to his professional friends as cool, witty, and charming. She must be kind to his children and trust him with her own, and she must believe that his ex wife is a vanilla shrew who couldn’t appreciate a good thing when she had one.

    The primary he had, before her, only lasted a year (well, actually, they overlapped). She was game for the sexual humiliation, but decided she wasn’t poly, and wanted something long term. At the time, I was trying to win custody, so I had access to her Fetlife account, which she was using as a public diary about their relationship. It broke my heart to see the pretzel she was making herself into, to heal from her own past traumas through “knife play,” meet his increasingly risky need for variety, and maintain the romantic belief that he was a good man who wanted the best for her. When it finally ended, this childless girl, still in her 20’s posted this wisdom: “kink breakups are so much harder than normal ones.”

    “Oh. Sweety,” I thought. If she had been my own daughter, I probably would have hugged her and told her it will all be okay. I was tempted to post anonymously just to reassure her that this breakup was probably the best outcome, and something she would eventually come to be grateful for.

    But I held back with my wisdom. Try being married to the guy, raising two little ones with him, being the primary breadwinner, and suddenly finding out you are in an open relationship without knowing it, and he is experimenting with all kinds of things with strangers that he has never even told you he fantasized about; and then sharing 50/50 custody with him and his personality disordered parents who cover for him in court and try to foreclose on your home the month after COVID lockdowns went into effect

    I’m not sure she was ready or capable of the empathy needed to put herself in my shoes, so I silently said a prayer for her and wished her well, hoping his next victim would also be kind to our kids.

    It is not going to be easy to find one, again. Me and the kids hope it’s soon.

    • I should clarify that it’s a real pain in the ass seeing our kids being used as the bait for women who fall for his “great dad living within a warm multi-generational traditional household who attend church regularly,” and dealing with all the overlapping secondary girlfriends who don’t make the cut.

    • What an empathetic and insightful perspective on a nightmare. Sorry you and your kids are still dealing with this FW’s abuse, GP. You are mighty and compassionate.

  • My FW didn’t end up with AP, although I’m sure he thought that when he booted out the door his life would be on a straight-to-the-stars trajectory of greater money, unencumbered living and fun, fun, fun. He went straight to the dating apps. He was an all-grown-up single man now and there were women to conquer in his newly gained freedom.
    He’s living in a squatty little rental that costs as much as my mortgage payments, and it always smell like overflowing kitchen garbage and peeled hard boiled eggs. And cat pee. I have no idea how he’s pulling off the cat pee smell since he doesn’t have a cat, but it’s unmistakable. I like to imagine it’s an endless line of unfettered male cats from the neighborhood just marking his house. “Yo, human dude, you’re one of us now, wild, untamed, unstoppable. Welcome to the brotherhood!” *squirt*.
    When he isn’t actually out for sales appointments, he’s hanging around his house in synthetic-blend sports clothes — sweat resistant shirts and warmup pants, just like he used to sleep in every night. I don’t know for sure, but it’s possible he’s sleeping and living in the same clothes without changing. When he has to leave the house, he wears Levi’s, the only good pair of shoes he owns, (I picked them out for him five years ago) and a baseball cap to cover the intensely grey roots of the jet black hair he swears to our kids he isn’t dying.
    He left to be John Wicke, (no, really!) but he’s more like an ordinary human schmuck who won’t even have a car if he loses this job. Bills, laundry, no apparent success with the ladies. But our kids tell me he’s gotten really, really, really good at video games again and he has a “bunch of friends on Dischord.”
    Oh, the wild, glamorous life of a lothario wannabe with delusions of being a darkly misunderstood action hero. And AP? Moved away, now working in the grungy office of an equipment rental place.
    If I hadn’t personally had my life and family torn apart by these two I would be laughing giddily at their outcomes. But Fantasy Affair vs. Reality? No matter how you slice it, he’s still just a guy with hemorrhoids and sinus problems who can’t stop talking about them, and AP is still a fat ex-cheerleader (25 years ago) struggling to make ends meet.

  • I imagined he would be happily ever after.
    I still have access, to a bank account. I can see he spent $900 at casino in last 3 weeks.
    He’s bored and alone.

  • What I thought: Two people who were crazy about each other, always showering each other compliments, mutual admiration and support, nonstop sex, a “happy little family”, homemade cookies, big circle of friends who supported them. Together four years, probably together forever.

    What it really was: Two depressed and suicidal alcoholics who were completely broke and had epic screaming matches/physical fights in front of the kids. An oops pregnancy and subsequent abortion (which apparently caused OW’s mental health to decline). OW’s ex husband refusing to take her kids on his scheduled time so FW and OW couldn’t have their sexy alone weekends anymore. A house that was filthy and utter chaos. OW left only a few weeks after they moved in together, fled the state, and changed her phone number. Apparently he was abusing her. And being extremely controlling (although I could see that from the very beginning). FW killed himself a few months later, his “friends” nowhere to be found when he needed someone. He couldn’t be alone, nor could he take responsibility for his poor choices. He just opted to end it all and die a “martyr” to circumstance.

    It would seem that after I truly went grey rock (which, NGL, took me a few years) and stepped out of that messy triangle, they turned on each other (since they now lacked a target). Neither was any good with money so even with two good incomes they never had any. FW, I’m sure, couldn’t keep up his “nice guy” facade 24/7, especially with 3 little kids and bills and housework. I don’t think he really thought through being a parent to three. In one Facebook post he had a photo of himself looking stressed, with all three kids, talking about how OW was out running errands and he was left being “dad”. OW’s craziness escalated (this is not hyperbolic – I once witnessed her beating herself in the head and saying “stop it M-, stop it stop it stop it” (referring to herself in the third person)) or maybe just became more apparent. I knew OW was flaky, I knew she brought out the worst in FW (encouraged him in his hateful behavior towards me, fed his ego, etc.). I knew my kid was depressed and anxious. But I had no idea just how awful things were until after FW died. On cleaning out his house (and reclaiming all the marital property he’d absconded with) I found so many unpaid bills, so many prescriptions (antidepressants, pain killers, sleep meds, etc.), so many empty bottles of booze (their landlord said he’d inspected the home at one point and had never seen so much alcohol in a home), paperwork about OW’s attempted suicide and subsequent commital to a mental ward, FW’s long letter detailing OW’s abusive behavior, trash all over the house and yard, etc. etc. etc..

    I am so glad to be out of that whole debacle. Even when things are stressful, my life is still fairly peaceful. Crises are handled without complete meltdowns. My kid is happier and much less anxious. His deprssion is gone. I have so much more money on my own than I ever had with FW (even now living on one income with bigger expenses). I’m reconnecting with friends and family from whom FW had isolated me. I’m single and loving it. I move in to the house I bought (all by myself!) in a few weeks, which is going to be beautiful and just how I want it (and clean). And I’m getting chickens! I’m doing well at my job, having gotten a promotion and several raises, as well as commendations from my superiors. After years and years of FW telling me I was wothless and incompetent, that I couldn’t live alone or take care of myself without help, it is very vindicating to be thriving.

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