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The OW Left Him and I Don’t Know How I Feel

Dear Chump Lady,

Will you please help me identify a new feeling of mine? Meh-be it’s meh but I don’t know!!!

Yesterday (a Tuesday) I found myself feeling a way that I have not yet felt since my D-day 27 months ago and I am unsure and suspicious of this feeling. Is it meh? Or some type of meh hybrid?

Background: I discovered that my husband was having an affair with his father’s best friends’ daughter (though later, during my 6-month long Inspector Super Sleuth stage, I discovered that he had been having affairs (pl.) over the past several years, if not longer).

Within a month of my discovery my husband moved out, officially leaving me, our two daughters, his dog, our 3 cats, and our house, along with all of his personal possessions behind, with the exception of some clothes, his Rolex, and his Porsche. Two months later I filed for divorce and he moved his unemployed 38-year-old mistress out of her parent’s house and into his new apartment.

We are still legally married because he’s constantly stalling. We mediated for fifteen months until the mediators dropped us due to his lying on his disclosures and hiding of assets, amongst many other lies and omissions. I then hired my own attorney to finish up the settlement agreement reflecting the terms we agreed upon in mediation, but he refuses to sign.

Over the past two years my husband has lost all of our friends and neighbors (who were really my friends since he did not bother to maintain friendships), my family, his own family (they are appalled at him and are very protective of my children and me), and finally, he has lost the shallow relationship he had with our children as they do not wish to see him anymore. He really has no one left in his life other than his mistress. Until yesterday.

Yesterday my father-in-law called to tell me that my husband had texted him, devastated and desperate, to say that his life is in ruins and that he and the mistress have broken up.

I do not know the details of the break-up and I do not care. But when I heard this news and later thought about how empty my husband’s life must be now (empty from the work of his own hands!), my heart sank for him. I pity him! He has NOTHING left. He threw all the valuable people in his life away and now he is alone and that is so very sad to me. Two years ago and up until recently it was I who felt that I had nothing and as we chumps all know, it is very difficult and painful to rise up from that feeling of nothingness.

My FIL told me that he would let me know the details as soon as he learns more, but I. Don’t. Care. In the beginning of this fiasco I would have done anything to be assured that my cheater and his mistress would go up in flames, that there would be no happily ever after for them after what they did to my children and me. But now? Other than feeling really sorry for him, I don’t care.

What is this strange, sorrowful feeling that I began feeling yesterday (Tuesday) about my cheater?

Is this meh that I’m feeling?
Is this the meh that I’ve been searching for?
Is this meh or am I dreaming?

Will you please advise me on this feeling, Chump Lady, ‘cause it’s really got a hold on me.

Kindly and gratefully,



Dear ForwardOnwardUpward,

I don’t know what you’re feeling for him — collateral consequences? Nanner-nanner-boo-boo? Sorrow for his fuckwit choices?

Whatever it is, it’s not meh.

Meh’s heart does not bleed for fuckwits.

When Schmoopies end their Twu Wuv crime sprees, driving their get-away car over a cliff — Meh does not mourn. Meh is unloading the dishwasher, or sorting laundry. Oh look, a $5 bill in a pocket! Meh carries on.

Does the evening sky look hazy tonight? Is there a car ablaze in a bonfire of fuckwit vanity?

Meh thinks $5 will buy a nice ice cream cone.

You’re still trying to divorce this guy. No way are you feeling indifference or acceptance about this yet. And I fear that expressing sorrow for his “sad, lonely” life is the gateway drug to hopium. Poor man, I must save him from the affliction of his own stupidity. Perhaps he still cares! Perhaps I have a chance! He will see what he’s been missing and now, NOW! he will value us!

I bet you a dozen ice cream cones that is what your father-in-law is thinking. Why is he giving you Schmoopie relationship updates? Why does he think you give one flying burrito about your soon-to-be-ex’s internal state? Does fuckwit care about yours?

I’d ask your FIL, why your ex breaking up with his fuckbuddy is “devastating”, but abandoning his children isn’t? Or why losing you doesn’t even merit picking up his shit?

Is anyone inquiring about YOUR mental state and making CNN breaking news announcements about it? No? Oh that’s right, FW is too busy hiding his assets and polishing his Porsche.

When I heard this news and later thought about how empty my husband’s life must be now (empty from the work of his own hands!), my heart sank for him. I pity him!

Don’t. He wants you to. His mindfuck is firmly set on the Self-Pity channel now. Remember, these freaks flip through rage, charm, and self-pity when they want things.

So long as you’re vulnerable to feeling anything for him, you’re vulnerable to his manipulation. And self-pity is catnip to chumps. WE CAN LOVE ALL THE HURT AWAY!

Self-pity is also a disguise. You wouldn’t suspect a sad sausage of hiding assets would you? He’s so broken!

Shields up.

His sorrow at fucking up his life is about as deep as his investment in it. I’m sure he’ll regroup and find a new fuckbuddy soon. If he doesn’t already have several on rotation. Don’t mistake shared history for depth of character. Dude’s a serial cheater.

Not only does this guy know how to play you, he knows how to play his dad. He probably started this manipulation on his parents. Does his father long to hear how sorry he is, how it was all a terrible mistake? Would FIL like to avoid a divorce? FIL has your ear. How convenient.

Please stop discussing your impending divorce with your FIL. I’m glad your in-laws are supportive, but they’re also not neutral on the subject.

And neither are you — you keep calling this guy your “husband.” That’s not meh. Legally, yes, he is, but you’ve been trying to divorce him for nearly two years. How about “freak I used to know”? Or just “ex”?

As long as this guy is in your orbit, you won’t know what you feel. The confusion is deliberate. (All the better to mindfuck you, my dear.)

Let me suggest you don’t have to feel anything about your ex-husband’s love life. His complicated love rhombuses aren’t your problem any more. Enjoy no contact and sweet, sweet freedom.


This one ran before, but Tuesday deserves a comeuppance post.

Ask Chump Lady

Got a question for the Chump Lady? Or a submission for the Universal Bullshit Translator? Write to me at [email protected]. Read more about submission guidelines.
  • What is feeling sorry for someone really? A burst of Oxytocin, dopamine or some other chemical? Similar to what is experienced in the love bombing/hoovering stage? If you’ve trauma bonded to a FW, until you feel nothing, you are vulnerable.

  • me thinks FW is not in pain, rather he is trying to leverage the (possibly fake) breakup with OW. For example, he can claim that he had a temporary lapse of judgement, and he could get away with lots of cake eating during the divorce proceedings “haven’t I suffered enough? I lost everyone who cared about me. Karma got me, can you please let this slide?”
    I suggest you harden your heart until it’s black like ink, because the only thing that matters is getting those divorce papers signed so it’s not your problem anymore.
    Meh will come after the ink on the divorce papers is dry.

    • This was my first and immediate and exact thought, too.

      (Lindy hop is mighty!)

      • Thanks Ami!! I recently signed up for a Zumba course, time to try new things. The pandemic was an absolute disaster for my health.

    • So true. I believe FW gave his father the news knowing it would be relayed to Chump. It seems Chump is playing right into his hands by feeling sorry for FW. Yeah, it’s definitely a tactic to get an upper hand in the divorce.

  • “ Yesterday my father-in-law called to tell me that my husband had texted him, devastated and desperate, to say that his life is in ruins and that he and the mistress have broken up”
    To quote an old comedy tv programme. “Oh dear, how sad, never mind.”

  • The OP is not at meh, but rather a precarious limbo. She is being pulled back into the daily concerns of her ex, his immature and selfish GF and his town crier father. What she needs to be thinking about (instead) is being in touch with her own lawyer and being the sane parent. After 15 months, she should be laser focused on her own worth and future.

  • “Don’t mistake shared history for depth of character.”

    Oh damn, yes.

    I probably only did that 3275 times or so.

    I hope that she didnt get sucked back in.

    When my Cheater moved 3000 miles from his family, he stopped at his parents house along the way and his dad questioned his actions, but Cheater had some magical spin (filled with lies) to feed his dad to assure him that his move from his family was completely altruistic – he did if FOR US!! (His Schmoopie just happed to also get a job in the same geographical area as him, but they aren’t seeing each other, she had a fiancé back in Seattle.). His dad probs wanted to believe him and was smoking more hopium than me.

    • I figure that if the cheaters themselves – with full knowledge of the exactly what happened and when – can convince themselves that they’ve done nothing wrong and that really, it’s all for the benefit of the ex-spouse and children, then there’s little to no chance that family and close friends – who are privy only to a highly curated if not outright false version of events – will see through it. XW’s family are certainly on her side (as far as I know; they haven’t reached out to me since DDay, which was years ago) and I never really expected anything less. What’s more bizarre is that XW was (and still is, I think) angry that *my* family wasn’t on *her* side. This is just one of many instances that make me think XW has some kind of empathy defect: XW cheated on me with a married man and destroyed two families to be with him, and I am perfectly able to understand her family’s decision to side with her, but she is apparently mystified and angered at my family’s perspective. It makes it quite difficult to negotiate with her, tbh, because she can never take the position “I disagree with you but understand your position, so we’ll just agree to disagree”.

      • Yeah, I can relate to this. My XH needed EVERYBODY. I remember two acquaintances, women that he absolutely hated, whom I thought would be safe. One unfriended and blocked me with no explanation after we had chatted on one of her facebook posts and made tentative plans to go hiking. I can only imagine he saw the interaction, even though I had him blocked, contacted her and said something to make her block me. The other I adopted a cat from (that she had been posting on social media) and next thing I know she’s posting pictures of him doing work at her house and now I see nothing from her.

        He HATED these women. Of everyone we knew I figured I could still talk to them because he despised them so much. Nope! I think you’re right that it’s an empathy defect. I tend to think it’s some sort of personality disorder.

        • It’s all about who is useful. Funny how enemies can turn into bff’s at the drop of a hat.

          • The crazy thing is, I don’t even see how they’re useful to him. And I don’t blame them at all because they were literally just acquaintances. Like, I didn’t talk about my divorce at all with them. They were just people we barely knew who irritated him and if we saw them at a party, he’d be bitching about how annoying they are. One of them is a comedian, and she’s had some success in her career. and I think he was jealous of that because he’d go on and on about how she’s not funny. I don’t think he was anything to them either except a friend of a friend type person they barely knew.

            That’s why I thought I could still associate with them, not as close friends but just acquaintances. They didn”t really know us, he doesn’t like them, I got divorced during covid so it was lonely for me with everything shut down and one of them was asking if anybody wanted to go hiking. It seemed like no big deal. But I think he wanted me to have nothing and no one.

            As for the working on the other woman’s house, he’s in construction and he used to get out of his mind offended if someone offered to hire him to do work at their home. “Why would I want to work on my weekend?!” He never did any side work. But he sees me conversing with an acquaintance on social media and suddenly he’s available to help her out with some work on her home… for free? She probably just thought he was being nice. But I know how bizarre it was for him to do that and how much he hates her, she doesn’t.

            I doubt he interacts with either of them anymore. It was just about taking from me. That’s why after that I cut off EVERYONE who has ever had anything to do with him, except for our son. And even with our son, I’m selective about what I tell him. I really think anything my ex finds out about my life, he’ll try to destroy. He hates me that much.

            • He didn’t need them, he just didn’t want YOU to have them. He didn’t want you to have anyone. They are just horrible, ugly, mean people deep down. It’s only shows up to those who stand up to them.

      • My ex talked about “stopping in” to see my family in England. I told him not to bother as he wouldn’t be welcome. He was SHOCKED, shocked, I tell you! Mind you, my also cheater ex-BIL in Denmark thought he could do the same thing!!! Several screws missing on both of them!

        • Visiting your family is a way of stalking you. Ask me how I know…

          • Well thankfully we shut that down pretty quick. Shame for them both to fly all the way to England and then find out there was no room at the inn!

        • According to my sister, my ex still wishes my father Happy Father’s day and other seasonal greetings, and my father replies/keeps the connection. Re-solidified my decision to cut BOTH of them out of my life entirely, and now my sister is on notice to not share any more crap like that about both of them. Glad your family is on YOUR side.

        • The liar-ex told me that he wants to visit my parents while they are in town. When I questioned what he means, he said I have nothing against your parents, I like them!
          Could it be because they did nothing wrong? They always supported us, expexted nothing from us. It is you who were lying, gaslighting, cheating on their daughter and your wife of 10+ years. What kind of a person wants to look at their faces as if all is fine? A person who feels no shame for sure.

    • I love “don’t mistake shared history as depth of character”

      This is a set up for you to engage. Tell your FIL you don’t want to hear about your ex-husbands love life.
      For all that is true, don’t feel sorry for someone who destroyed your family without one second of remorse – buckle up, stand in your power, set an example for your kids of a strong woman of character, and move on. Do not look back – you’re not going there. He deserves what he got – let him sit in it.

  • Oh, don’t even go there. Please! I took that same little turn off the path to truth and light once – took a lot of work to regain my sanity.

    Instead, contemplate that the OW was 38 and still living with Mommy and Daddy. And then realize she broke up with him because he was cheating on her. Chuckle to yourself, tell ex-FIL no more updates. Wishing you the best on getting rid of this loser forever.

  • “He has nothing left.” Probably not. He has all the assets he’s been hiding. He probably has other women he’s been cheating or flirting with. He has his shiny new apartment. He has freedom from parenting responsibilities.

    “…my husband had texted him, devastated and desperate, to say that his life is in ruins and that he and the mistress have broken up.” He didn’t think his life was in ruins when he had Schmoopie. He’ll probably find another to take her place so he can justify leaving his family.

    Maybe he IS angling to return to ForwardOnwardUpward, since his affair didn’t work out as expected. Maybe he thought she’ll be so grateful to have him back that she’ll stop the divorce and he can return home, take a breather and scope out new AP’s. Hope she didn’t fall for it.

  • Maybe it was a feeling of sorrow that all the pain you are going through is/was for nothing. It resulted in nothing for anybody. No tru luv just a shit pile mess.

  • Frankly, I don’t want to hear about my ex. If someone called me with “just so you know,” I’d tell them to keep the rest to themselves. I think people who do that sort of thing are taking in their own brand of hopium, believing that the information is “good” because maybe you’ll take the wayward one back. NOTHING would motivate me to take my ex back. NOTHING.

    I have a handful of people in my life who still view me as part of a couple, even five-plus years later. So they ask me about him or comment on how I must not be dating because I’m waiting for him. They’re just wrong, and I really don’t engage. It’s silly talk. “Pass the bean dip, thanks.”

    • Elsie, I think that some people who do things like that are looking for a reaction and trying to stir something up. There are people out there like that. A neutral response like yours is a good way to shut that down.

  • “Yesterday my father-in-law called to tell me that my husband had texted him, devastated and desperate, to say that his life is in ruins and that he and the mistress have broken up.”

    I wonder if there was more to the text that the FIL is sharing with you? Perhaps the husband had also said what a huge mistake he had made and could the FIL let you know. The FIL is vested as a parent in reducing the pain for his own child, not necessarily for you. The FIL may mistakenly think that getting all of you back together would make for a big happy family.

  • I completely understand the pity. My father was not a nice man. We had no relationship for several years prior to his death. When he died, I didn’t really care on a personal level but I did feel sorry for him. It was such a waste of a life. It felt like seeing something on television and thinking “oh that’s so sad, that person just threw away their life.”

    My dad could have had a nice life with a family who loved him but he was cruel. It is sad. I feel pity when I think about it. So, I get this. I don’t know if I’ll ever feel it for my ex but I didn’t think I would feel it for my father either and then I did. It still didn’t inspire me to go to his funeral or anything like that. But it is sad when a life is wasted.

    • I agree. Hating to see a life wasted is another reason to strive for “meh.” Put the energy previously expended on an ex-FW into building of life with meaning.

    • Wow, this was my same story. When my sister called to tell me that he had died, I felt such a wave of sadness, not because I mourned him, but what could have been. I deserved a loving and caring father, instead I got an abusive narc of a dad. He missed out on a wonderful person.

    • KatiePig, I could have written the first paragraph of your comment. I was estranged from my father for 20 years before he died.

      I did go to my dad’s funeral, mostly for my mother’s sake. She would have been very upset if I hadn’t. Also for the sake of my uncle, his older brother, who I think is the only person who truly mourned him.

      But if not for them, I would have told his executor: “Shove him in the ground, and put a stake in him first to make sure he doesn’t revive!”

  • “Meh thinks $5 will buy a nice ice cream cone.” 🤣 Great CL advice once more.
    It is so accurate about them flipping through the three channels of rage, charm and self pity. I can def relate to that assessment!

    Yeah, FOU, a nice ice cream cone is WAY preferable to another five seconds of any concern whatsoever in this poser’s life.

    Let’s recap a few points just from your brief letter, the tip of the iceberg view:

    Affairs for past several years.
    Serial cheater/ it’s all about me character disordered, most likely a high on the spectrum narcissist.
    Nor do they even want to be fixed, they will play nice till the coast is clear and then go farther underground with their cheating and deceptions = not fixable.

    Affair with father’s best friend’s daughter ( Zero care or empathy for any affected parties in that mindfuck event= not fixable) Maybe you have a sister he can screw in the future? Let’s get the drama dial up as high as we can crank it, that’s their goal.

    Abandoned his family and home, moved his unemployed conspirator into his new apartment. ( selfish unfeeling FW, all about his journey and always has been, when you get yourself clear of the fog he’s created and can see it better, you will shock yourself about what you’ve missed that he’s been up to= not fixable)

    Lying on his disclosures to the mediator and hiding assets and other lies of omission. So basically, the lying liar who lies type? = so not fixable!

    Agreed upon settlement terms but refuses to sign. ( entitlement, let the spot light remain on him, wants to control all narratives)
    Cluster B/ erratic, dramatic chaos personality disordered, he prefers the drama, they NEED the drama!
    As long as there is a tornado swirling around him at all times,( and there probably is) no one will be able to look under his mask and see him for who he truly is, sprinkles of sociopathy observable in that cyclone = not fixable.

    Even his two daughters don’t want to see him anymore. 🚩🚩
    He detonated his life and all his relationships and is spiraling into the hell he’s created. ( He can bond as deep as a $5 melted ice cream cone, that’s all he’s got to give you or anyone else. His kids are expendable too = not fixable)

    His father is an enabler and probably always has been, unhealthy FOO dynamics playing out there it seems = not fixable.

    FOU…………’ve got NAA to work with here!! ( NOTHING AT ALL!!!)
    Make a new plan, Stan, and get yourself free!
    Good luck to you, there is no question it is the right decision to get out. You’re going to be okay and your girls will too. I know it’s a lot to look at.
    Meh takes time, I’m not there myself five years later. But I think I can see it now, with some really powerful binoculars.

    • No worries.., They turn their feelings off and on like a light switch. If he doesn’t already have a replacement lined up it won’t be long before he finds one.

  • finalize the divorce ASAP – he’s going to use that to draw you back in

    my ex- was insisting we ‘meet one last time’ we we could ‘sign the divorce papers together,’ that was his normal manipulation technique. get me in person to explain how sad he was but that always ended with him explaining how everything was all my fault blech

    so i marched down to the paralegal’s office, had them print out the papers and i signed them there, found out i didn’t even have to show up in court and walked away for good (it is easy to get a divorce in my state and we didn’t own anything or have kids – i know your situation is different)

    no contact from then on

    don’t feel sorry for cheaters, they will use your humanity to trap you again, as Chump Lady says ‘trust that they suck’ and they will never change

    • Many women get murdered meeting someone ‘one last time’ so I always advise against it. I’m not saying that’s true in your case at all, it’s just another alarming statistic for women.

  • Some people wonder why I still read this site almost every day. If I am truly over it all, why do I read? Am I researching pain, and comparing it to my own? Do I still have a secret “it will all work out” dream? No. I read so that I will not forget the source of my strength to survive. I read to know I am not alone. I read for the snark. I read for the amazing wisdom offered by chump nation. I read for the reasons that recovering addicts go to meetings — I was addicted to hopium and I am never going back. Reading reinforces resolve.

    FWs will always be their own worst enemies. Their families may not want to believe it, but secretly they know. They have observed the FW being a FW all their lives. The life and times of a FW does not make for polite dinner conversation. I realized this when talking to a soon to be ex-sister-in-law once, about the last FW’s latest whore. Why did the family not see her for who she was? The sister told me, everyone in the family had eyes, but they all chose not to engage in the drama because they had seen it all before. They would see it again. It was a never-ending parade.

    Actually, her comment was quite helpful. My marriage policing had produced evidence of a lifetime of cyclic behavior. He would find and marry a stable woman, lying all the way, and then proceed to destroy the relationship by financial and sexual cheating. Then he would be with the whore-du-jour, until she realized she could not support him. Then the search for stability and usefulness. The family enjoyed the stable cycle, he would not be leeching off them. They endured the whore cycle, knowing it would pass.

    The key insight here is chump nation is populated with stable, useful people. We deserve better, but we did not get what we deserved. We had to see that, and change that, and rebuild our lives. There is nothing fair about it. But it happened, and we survive because we are strong, and able to adapt. FWs will always be FWs, lost in the inevitable chaos of the lives they choose to live.

    For me, MEH is understanding that I am a useful, stable person, but I have the choice to share my resources with people who offer reciprocity and honesty. It is my job to avoid FWs, and not to succumb to the worthless opinions of other people who tell me to forgive, and forget, and not be a bitter bunny. I am not bitter. I am resolved.

    When you become resolved to live an authentic life, FW-free, IMHO you have found MEH. You no longer care about FW feelings, or what will happen to them. FWs are hollow people, they will never change, there is no redemption. You have resources and choice, and worth. You deserve more, don’t settle for less.

    • “Reading reinforces resolve.” Yes, especially before the divorce. And it also brings continued and deeper clarity. And the comfort of communicating with other people who “get it” about what we’ve gone through and continue to experience. I am so grateful for the continued presence here of more experienced chumps.

    • I found CL not long after the start of her insight and sharing. I too read daily.being raised by narcissistic, disturbed parents. I once in a while start to revert to believing I can help, a narcissist. Or feel pity for a narcissist. I try to pay it forward on CN, FB page. My FW has been dead 8 years. I’m still not at meh, as a memory comes, I get angry. After 46 yrs together, I can only hope to live long enough to get to full meh.

    • So well stated, Portia, thanks for verbalizing what so many of us feel. Really well said!
      I too have questioned why I’m compelled to read here daily, asking myself whether staying in the sadness, pain and unfairness of it all for countless story after story keeps me more stuck than getting me over and done with it and healed.
      But it feels very validating to know I didn’t make all this up! It’s not me, there ARE lousy ppl in the world and we have all come in contact with them. I read so I won’t be tricked again. Get soft and fall for the scam.
      There is strength in numbers and some really wise and brilliant insightful ppl post here and it’s some hard earned wisdom that has had tremendous value to me.
      The entire blog with all the comments would make a kick ass book just by itself! There are some serious jewels of mind blowing wisdom written on the regular.
      There’s not a day I read, that doesn’t help me peel another layer down into the workings of abusers.
      I may never feel safe enough to jump into another relationship myself, but I have a daughter and two sons that I will be able to help avoid dangerous pitfalls, that has great value to me.
      It’s the only club I feel like I completely belong in and I feel like our shared wisdom is extremely helpful to new chumps on the block.
      It’s satisfying to pass on what you’ve learned, so maybe someone can get less hurt than you did. It does hurt to read the posts,no lie, you just wish so badly it wasn’t a thing that happens to people!
      The out of the stratosphere snark, the hard truths cushioned with humor from CL and her amazing illustrations are beyond beyond. There’s not a day I’m not in awe of her mind blowing skills.
      “Reading reinforces resolve.” Yes it absolutely does! It fortifies us, our superpowers are we can detect BS now and defend against it.
      Reading here everyday keeps my FW resistance shield in tip top shape. It’s like a gym workout for my soul and strengthening it on the regular against would be predators.
      I, too, feel like a useful stable person, solid and dependable. The life I choose is one free of drama and chaos.
      Chump lady and nation remind me why I need to keep that person out of my life. It’s not because I’m bitter and vengeful and unforgiving as he makes me out to be. It’s because I finally can see who he is and always was and this blog is a constant reminder that I can’t drink the koolaide of hopium that it can ever be anything but.

      • All OF THIS!!! yes I’ve had the same thoughts, am I torturing myself reliving this nightmare every day ?? But this site has helped me with resolve, helped me feel less alone and has certainly validated how incredibly awful the ways in which chumps have been dumped like yesterday garbage. I thought my story was unique. It is not AT ALL unique. That’s sad but also affirming.

    • This! All of it!
      I’m coming up on 5 years FW-free, and only with the benefit of this much perspective (and still reading CL daily) can I discern how far I’ve come.
      From the early days of leaving the cheater, still desperately in love with (and trauma bonded to) him, but forcing myself to make the necessary moves.
      To early days, faking it with false bravado, feeling like I’d just had a limb amputated and was doomed to live with the phantom pain for the rest of my days.
      To today, where even now I have moments when I miss the fantasy I’d built of what that life, that relationship, could have been. Moments when I have to actively fight the impulse to get back on the pick-me dance floor.
      But like you, Portia, I’m resolved. The life I’ve gained is infinitely better than I could have imagined.
      Likely my experience with the Lying Cheating Loser altered my brain chemistry in some irreversible ways. I’ve learned to adapt to and live with that.
      But these days I feel like a whole human and not an amputee.

    • Now if we could only get young women to read this blog BEFORE they get married.

      I know if I could have read the cautionary tales here it would have made me think harder about some “possible red flags” that I brushed off.

    • Yes, there’s something comforting, even post-divorce, knowing that you weren’t crazy and that the whole situation was just a huge mess because of your partner, not you. Having other people who have been-there-done-that makes all the difference.

  • I haven’t had this problem, but am curious: is it possible to have the court order a divorce if the FW won’t sign?

    • It depends on the local jurisdiction and laws of the state, and I am not a lawyer, but yeah. I think I’ve even heard of people getting divorced when they can’t find the other spouse to serve them.

      • I know someone who spent the last six years divorcing her shithead cheating ex. He ignored countless summons and mediation until the court finally gave her the divorce this month.

        SIX YEARS.

      • I did this (1st husband, not a cheater), I was required to run an ad in the paper for six weeks. At the end of that time, I took it to the judge 🙂

    • Yes. A divorce (in the US) is a lawsuit where one person is, in essence, suing to end the marriage. This chump’s problem is that she’s been trying the “nice” route of mediation and a stipulated (agreed-on) settlement, which can’t be entered if he won’t agree on it.

      The silver lining is that judges really DO NOT like it when they have to spend time on a case that would have been resolved without court intervention, if not for one party being an idiot.

    • Short answer is yes.

      I had the opposite–HoWorker/Wife insisted to Asshat that we should be divorced in 60 days. Asshat was spreading all over town that I was holding on and didn’t want the divorce, I suspect because it took more like a year to dissolve a 25 year marriage.

  • I see this is a rerun, so let me repeat my standard comment for those in the balcony–Meh cannot come before the divorce is final. It just can’t. You still have business dealings with an idiot and there is no possibility of meh while you need interaction and cooperation.

    Also, do not have conversations with the in-laws about the fuckwit. If they are decent people you might be able to continue a relationship with them, but in general, they are on the side of their family member. And also cheaters have no problem lying, so there’s no telling what kind of crazy shit they’ve told their family about you. Even when they’ve known you for 25 years, they will believe the liar. Even when it doesn’t match what they know about you, it’s easier to believe the lies than admit to yourself that your child/sibling is an asshole.

    • Totally agree that meh can only be achieved once all dealings have been completed. NC is the key.

      Asshat spoke shit about me our entire marriage, behind my back. I wonder (not really) who has to be the bad guy now. I’ve been absolutely NC since March 2019, despite hoover attempts. It’s been absolutely critical to my physical and mental health.

  • hmmm. i have to ask. is this a tactic? pretend to break up with GF and create emotional chaos while shifting assets?

  • This little gem is priceless from CL today:

    “Shields up.

    His sorrow at fucking up his life is about as deep as his investment in it. I’m sure he’ll regroup and find a new fuckbuddy soon. If he doesn’t already have several on rotation. Don’t mistake shared history for depth of character. Dude’s a serial cheater.”

    You acknowledged that the 38yo mistress living in her parent’s house WASN’T his only affair. That FACT has not changed. Your dude is a serial cheater. Without years of therapy (and even then), cheaters don’t change… the lure of entitlement and pleasure is too strong, why would they? For the sake of the kids… for 20 years of shared history… for the house… nope, collateral damage in the pursuit of the next high/affair.

    When the OW dumped Mr. Sparkles, we were about 4 months away from our divorce being final. I reflected back on the calendar, Mr. Sparkles had started hoovering about 2 months before she dumped him. A coincidence, I think not. He was seeing if there was a road back in to the comfort of my home with our son (there wasn’t).

    Two facts… the OW dumped him because she found out he was cheating on her (dating sites and such)… and within two weeks of the dump, my son remarked that Dad was making a new friend at the gym (yup, visitation with his son was spent at the gym with my phone playing on his Dad’s phone). New girlfriend was put on my radar for introduction six months later (he was speeding up this relationship, last one had to wait a year to meet our son). Mr. Sparkles can’t be alone. Plain and simple – he has zero self-identity unless he is mirroring someone else. It took me a long time to learn and accept that fact. Every woman and child is his life is an appliance, completely interchangeable.

    He marries the GF in June on a date when our son will be away at summer camp. Godspeed. I’m going to Europe… meh.

    Put him and his FIL on NO CONTACT lists… get your attorney to force the divorce decision and get on with your cheater free life!

    • “Plain and simple – he has zero self-identity unless he is mirroring someone else.”

      This seems to be the case with most FWs. They lack an authentic, independent identity.

  • I didn’t even have time to process dday before his schmoopie broke up with him. He had a sadz and tried to get pity from me but my reaction was to laugh at the absurdity of it all. We share a child so for another few years I coparent with this fwit but soon I never have to even look at him again. He continues to blow up relationships over and over and plays the sad sausage very convincingly but other than how it affects my child it is of no interest. I mean, at this point it would be like kicking puppies to have any enjoyment out of his consequences. I had to perfect the grey rock method of communication early because he always wants to update me on his life. No thank you. Eventually people stopped updating me on his status. I have my own life. Hopefully OP can get her divorce finalized and move on.

  • Such was my shock and trauma that it took me a couple of years to realize that he left with his Dodge Ram hookup truck and the clothes on his back because he had a boatload of cash hidden from me which he socked away during the course of our MIRAGE (marriage). Like our writer, he left behind not just me and the mirage, but daughter, fur family member, and all of his possessions.

    I just don’t trust anything a liar and a cheater says unless it can be verified. He was never honest with me the entire time we were so-called “together”. I regard anything he says, forever more, as bullshit until proven otherwise.

    Hearsay is suspect as well. From various sources I have heard that he loved us and thought he was the luckiest guy in the world and that he didn’t love me. The lying cheating criminal who left work every afternoon for fuckfests and never one time came home to pick up our daughter at school or left work early to come home and play with us told less-informed people that I ignored him and only cared about our daughter.

    Credibility is an invaluable asset and only idiots throw it away with both hands. And it’s unwise to believe anything they say without verification.


  • Ugh. Dad is trying to set- up a soft landing for his son here: if Schmoopie is done with him, maybe DIL will take him back? Dad probably shielded/“saved” his son from consequences over the years & the result is this fuckwit. Hopefully Chump realized this & decided to keep up serving up consequences to fuckwit as a good life learning experience for him (doing his parent’s job essentially) instead of being manipulated by the “sad sausage” routine. This routine btw once you twig onto it, well you just want to throat punch them or make gagging motions when they try it. If you’re still falling for it, time to go back & reread Leave a Cheater, Gain a Life & all the other books/YouTube on cheaters, their flying monkeys (e.g. their parents) and their manipulations. Fuckwits only feel sad for themselves. They are the people that push others out of the way to get on the life rafts.

  • If you’re spending any time wondering if you’re at meh you’re not there. True meh is not even thinking about it. You just are.

    So I hear.

    Me, I’m not there yet, because if/when I hear karma for him I am sure I will feel glee. He’s got a lot of luck so far, and I hate it

  • What is the deal with them not taking their stuff with them? Over two years after my ex walked out with no warning, taking basically just the clothes on his back, leaving me holding the bag with the new house he had insisted we buy and the new puppy he had just given me, he called me to ask if he could come back and get the rest of his things as if I had been keeping them in storage for him!

    Because I did not want him showing up out of the blue, I broke no contact to tell him there was nothing left of his in my house. By that time I was able to laugh about it, but the gall of it was flabbergasting. Having to clean out his things while I was devastated and still wanted him to come home was another form of abuse I truly believe.

    • my ex- left stuff so he could keep coming back

      he didn’t have much so i packed up two boxes and shipped them UPS to his work LOL he was furious and left me a message to just throw anything else i found in the trash LOL

      i changed the locks the day he moved out and changed my phone number right after that call and i was well and truly done LOL

    • In my case the, younger than all our children, girlfriend didn’t want him to have visuals of his previous life. Early on, I had sent an email to him with a copy of the deed to the office WE owned because she was threatening to change the locks on office. She freaked out apparently seeing the part that says FW and Sandyfeet, a married couple. (Married 9 years when she was born 🤮) He had written her name on email with his surname. Oh brother. They became engaged soon after….

      • At one point FW told me to come and get my things out of “his house” (our house, that he’d kicked me out of by threatening me) because he said it wasn’t “good for his emotional health”. It had been several years and it hadn’t bothered him before. I think it was OW who didn’t like seeing all my things.

        I took him at his word, and took everything of mine, inluuding the BED. It was mine before we married. I had the movers load it up… and then take it straight to the dump, lol. (I would have burned it if there had a been a safe place to do so; OW slept in it many, many times.) I know it bothered FW, because a week or so later my son said to me “daddy wants to know what you did with the bed” (since FW knew I was living with my mom and already had a bed). I told my son it was none of daddy’s business what I do with my things.

  • The fuckwit’s father is trying to get you to take on the burden of his own failings as a parent. Fuckwit’s parents obviously failed him when he was a kid, and now they see you as the only sane/healthy/capable person who has ever been in their son’s life. Father-in-law might be subconsciously looking to you for answers about himself and his own history (there is no chance that father-in-law had a healthy relationship with his own father, etc.) Obviously, you owe fuckwit nothing, but nothing is ever that simple. You are allowed to care about another human being apart from your former relationship with him. We are allowed to feel sorry for evil people sometimes. It’s not your fault that you don’t want to see anyone crash and burn. It just means you’re a good person. It does not mean you are “stuck”, and it certainly doesn’t mean that you owe fuckwit or his parents anything. If you feel strong enough, you can say “I wish you all well, but you have put me in a position where I am no longer the right person to help you heal, unfortunately.”

    • I don’t think it necessarily follows that FW’s parents failed him. Sometimes a kid can grow up to be an asshole despite the best efforts of loving parents. The fact that these parents cut off contact with FW when they found out about his horrid behavior towards the chump suggests that they are good people stuck with a crap son. The FIL was likely being manipulated by FW.

  • Ugh.I’m struggling with this. Although I’m doing well (3 1/2 years since D-day) and have gained a life, I’m pretty sure that if my own ex’s marriage to wifetress were to blow up, I’d probably feel some glee. Heck, just yesterday I posted that I would be pleased if I were to hear that his dick or fishing arm (either, I’m not picky) were to fall off. 😜

    Ok. I like to think that I’d quickly return to loading the dishwasher, but I might do a jig first. That I would react this way makes me wonder if I’m just a bitter bunny incapable of LETTING GO. Seriously, my inability to simply shrug re any news regarding him/them makes me feel a bit “less than.”

    Cognitively, I understand that meh is the desired state. But my emotional self has popcorn ready. 🍿

    I guess Tuesday comes at different times for different chumps.

    • Spinach, I see no pathology in feeling satisfaction when one’s assailant is served just desserts.

      I can’t think of another violation or personal tragedy where a victim’s pain, grief, or schadenfreude is criticized or met with admonishments to “hurry up and heal.”

    • In the way the term is generally used, I think the feelings schadenfreude describes are too idle, mean spirited, casual and gratuitous to be appropriate in the context of an abusive relationship for what the victim feels when an abuser hoists themselves on their own petard or runs into misfortune. It’s more like the prancing relief a gazelle feels when a lion falls off a cliff or gets gored by a buffalo. It doesn’t matter if the lion wasn’t hunting the gazelle in that very moment. One less lion on the tundra or a lion with a permanent limp is good. The gazelle would only arrive at “meh” if, by some magic spell, all lions suddenly shrank to the size of moles or went vegan. Even then it would take a long time for the gazelle to relax and trust the new order of things.

      That’s kind of a bad analogy because gazelles don’t destroy each other and, in terms of abuse, we’re dealing with a dangerous animal from the same species and our own pack. We’re also a social animal that relies on the benevolence of others in the pack for survival. If one is malign and means ill, it’s especially threatening. Even if someone in close proximity to us is never overtly violent, just by demonstrating a profound lack of empathy or humanity, there’s a primitive part of our brains that will register them as dangerous because, without empathy, humans are nasty animals capable of pretty much anything. I think that’s why it’s only when that primitive part of the brain is fully assured that we’re out of danger from predatory people that meh will set in.

    • Believe me, I too would like consequences, including a permanently misplaced dick. But the last time I did see Asshat in person, I had aboslutely no motivation to run him and HoWorker/Wife over with my car. I just shrugged and continued onto work. I did find it funny he looked like shit and was walking well ahead of HoWorker/Wife with that look of angry contempt on his face.

      If bitter means I will always be angry on how Asshat treated me, then so be it. But at almost 5 years from divorce, I’ve moved on with my life.

  • Am I a terrible person? When my ex-cheater husband first started to experience the consequences of his disgusting choices/lifestyle (nothing horrifying like a life-threatening illness, just general misfortune of an emotional and financial nature), I soaked in the delicious schadenfreude. It felt delightful, although I did keep it to myself.

    Years later, after I was completely “meh” and couldn’t have cared less about him or his life, I heard something awful did happen to his current wife. I did NOT feel any delight. I’m a decent human being. But I wasn’t feeling any pity, sympathy or sadness either. I really was “meh.” It was sad situation, yes, but it felt like I was living in another universe and his life had zero to do with me. Because it didn’t.

    • You’re not a terrible person at all. I think your reactions were healthy.

    • If you’re a terrible person, then I am, too. The guy who was my “rebound” relationship after my cheating ex and I split turned out to be an emotionally abusive asshole who love-bombed me when I was wounded and floundering from ending marriage to a cheater. I soon realized that he was an asshole (not a cheater, but a real entitled jerk), and started therapy to help me sort out my thoughts and stiffen my spine. I managed to pry myself loose from after a year or so and went NC, although he threatened me in a way that if I had been smarter at the time, I would have contacted the police and let him know I put them on notice. Since he was basically a coward, that would have been excellent insurance.

      I got word 15 or so years later that he had died at age 52 (of what, I don’t know), about a year after his wife (someone he met and married not long after I broke up with him) died of cancer at age 45.

      So whenever he crosses my mind, I think “I’m glad you’re the one who’s dead and not me.” Do I share this thought with others? No. But he was an emotionally abusive asshole who threatened me in a scary way, so I think the world is better off without him in it.

  • “Don’t mistake shared history for depth of character.” Oof. I did this with X. And many, many others.

  • FW called me crying about how alone he was. Turns out schmoopie had left him abruptly, though he didn’t admit it until he was forced to in one of our hearings when my attorney asked him directly (I had figured it out – it wasn’t that hard). I remember being on the phone and just feeling…nothing. No sympathy, no regret, no elation, no satisfaction. Just…nothing. Later I found it rather ironic and even rather funny. That he would look to ME for sympathy, of all people. That OW turned out to be a total bust (I knew she wasn’t a keeper, but I expected her to last longer than she did).

    I was angry at OW, actually. She walked out on my child with no explanation, no goodbye, no apology, after being in his life for four years (half his life), taking her kids with him. She and FW had hyped up his “new siblings” and “new family” and they had all moved in together only a few weeks before. I also though that FW likely behaved at least marginally better in front of OW and her kids, and the she provided a “buffer” of sorts for his anger. With her gone, and me no contact (the only reason we were on the phone was something to do with our kid, but I forget what), the closest target was my son.

    I had cut contact with all our mutual friends by that time, so I didn’t get updates on his life. Other than what FW forced me to know via communications “about our child”. He started spiraling downward quickly and ended up taking his own life a few months later (not before trying to hoover me, lol; but THAT didn’t work). It is a tragedy. Not in the sense that I feel sympathy for HIM in particular, but that anyone should end up in such a low place. That his character was such that he could never be happy. That his child wasn’t reason enough to go on and find a way through the mess. That he never even considered trying to improve himself, apologize, make amends as a way forward. That he chose to use his last words to express self pity and blame everyone and everything but his own choices. That the only people who ended up “being there” in the end were me (who was, of all his many, many “friends” was the only one who noticed he was missing, the only one who went looking for him, and the one who ultimately found his body nearly a week after he died) and his family, whom he had cut off completely. In his suicide note, he said that he didn’t think anyone would give him a funeral. But his family and I split the cost and had him creamated and gave him a memorial service. I did it for them, and for my son. In that sense it is a tragedy. What a waste of opportunity. What a waste to reject people who truly care in favor of people who flatter you but are nowhere to be found when you really need someone.

    But in the end, I was relieved when he died. My son had been in distress, clearly worried about his dad, having trouble with the back and forth between two homes. I was worried about the string of girlfriends he would likely be subjected to and abandoned by. I could already see the negative influence of his dad on his behavior (something we still deal with 2 years later). My ex was abusive, and harassed and threatened me at every opportunity. He was dragging out the divorce (for years) and fighting me every step of the way, even though he was the one who filed. Once he was gone, I didn’t have to be afraid anymore. My son is doing so much better now. We are settled, happy. Our home is peaceful. He knows the people who will always be there for him.

    • Meaningless waste in itself is sad. But the most affecting thing of all is that you and your son never asked for any of this– the abuse or being forced to witness your ex’s self-destruction.

      • No, particularly my son. It felt like one last “fuck you” to me, since he knew I’d have to deal with cleaning up his mess, telling our son and dealing with the fallout (poor kid was only 9), etc. He didn’t do a single thing to set his affairs in order besides paying the rent that month (probably because he thought the attempt wouldn’t work, like the previous 11 tries, but he’d damaged his body so much [he had an enlarged heart and was partially blind] by then that it didn’t take much to end him, just benadryl and scotch).

        I made it through and my life is splendid now, and my son is doing really well.

    • What a nightmare, ISTL. Your poor son. What a disgustingly selfish bastard your ex was to do that to him.

      • FW had a video call with our son literally RIGHT before he did it, too. So it wasn’t like an “out of sight, out of mind” situation. I know because FW took a screenshot of the two of them that night and sent it to our son (it’s Facebook Messenger kids, so I have full access to the account), and FW is wearing the same shirt in the photo that he was found in, and that was also the last night I heard from FW (we were discussing a scheduling change for the weekend). That’s how I knew what day FW died, and I was able to tell the police (though they had already said it was likely he had been dead for a few days when they found him, I was able to give them a more specific time frame – 5 days previous; weirdly, he’d had the air conditioning turned to about 50 degrees F, so it essentially refrigerated his body and he was in a pretty good state of preservation, all things considered, which was kind of a blessing; I wouldn’t have wanted to identify a rotting corpse).

    • “What a waste to reject people who truly care in favor of people who flatter you but are nowhere to be found when you really need someone.”

      ISTL, I didn’t comment, but this is exactly what went through my mind in response to the karma Friday Challenge a couple weeks ago. My ex’s karma is losing a mighty, funny, intelligent, creative, loving and ethical woman who loved him (and his loved ones) almost unconditionally. I was there through thick and thin, and I asked far too little of him while putting up with far too much. When it all came out and I left to GAL, he lost my family, too, and some other really solid friends; I’d like to think he lost the esteem of any of the good people in his inner circle, too — although manipulative FW charm and pity work wonders on even the most grounded humans.

      So he gave it all up — for what? I don’t think he knows, because he’s just not that introspective, emotionally intelligent or deep. He can’t be alone, and yet he single-handedly made his worst fears come true. The OW he “reconnected” with weeks after I left evidently then left within the year (I am NC with ex and Switzerland, and I have no idea who/what he’s doing now). APs are just another flavor of FW, so it’s definitely a trade down situation, and they are left with the same perpetual uncertainty they burdened us with. Not that they actually care about losing us, personally, because we aren’t fully human to those entitled, disordered cheaters.

      ISTL, I am so sorry you went through all of that. It is a sad and horrible story to read. Glad you’re doing better, and thanks for sharing your wisdom and mighty with this community. I always appreciate your comments and feel seen/connected by what you share.

      • Thank you, B&R. I comment mostly to help other people (though I’m sure I’m still processing some aspects of it all). To encourage people that you can go through some hellish times and come out smiling.

  • Witnessing a FW’s disheartened defeat is only heart-rending if you ignore the fact they were waging war and what they’re experiencing is defeat in a war *against you.* It’s the sadness of the invader who was repelled or the executioner who missed the target.

    • The one who tossed the grenade can’t complain that there was an explosion! 🤯

  • I see this is a rerun. OP, if you’re reading this, I hope you lawyered up and got rid of this idiot.

    Don’t feel sorry for a sociopath who blew up your life and has the audacity to ask YOU for any sympathy. He doesn’t give a shit about you, he WANTS something from you. Big difference.

  • This is why FWs refuse to divorce after they leave you for the AP. They know the AP is a flake and the relationship is shaky. They want to keep you on the backburner for when it goes south.
    This is a clear cut case of a FW manipulating a chump’s emotions through an intermediary. Until you don’t give a hot damn about how the cheater is doing, you are in danger of being sucked back into the FW vortex.

    • My attorney was of the opinion that one of the reasons FW was dragging out the separation/divorce (that he said he wanted, that he initiated) for so long was to avoid commitment to OW. Once we were divorced, he’d have no excuse when she pressured him to marry her. I think he was still unsure of her (a well-founded opinion, it turns out). For a few years I did the pick-me dance and stayed on the back burner. But after some time apart I decided I was done and took steps to file for divorce (FW jumped in front of me and did it, which saved me the filing fee, so I bought a bottle of champagne). It was only THEN, when he knew I was done with him, that FW moved in with OW. He needed a safe place to land. AP was a total flake and left him less than a month after they moved into their rental home.

  • If I were FOU, I would have moved heaven and earth to push that divorce through while he was still in New Relationship Energy Bliss with Schmoopie. As difficult as he was being, he was still in a happier frame of mind. Now he’s single, angry at the world, bitter, and dumped… negotiations just got even harder. Stay strong and feel nothing toward him. FW is devastated over his breakup with Schmoops, not the breakup of his family. Remember that whenever you feel sympathy or pity or anything at all for him.

    FOU, please firmly inform your former in-laws that your ex’s relationship status does not affect you and you do not want updates. When Ex and Schmoopie get back together for Round #2, I doubt you’ll want details.

  • Meh = NC, including all associates of a FW. Contact with Asshat “Friendlies” can only be based on a solid wall of no FW discussion or information exchanged (best is to cut them out, but I understand if you want FW grandparents in your kids’ lives). Treat FW like he’s dead. Absolutely no take-backs.

    This is as powerful a formula as E = MC2.

  • Chump Lady, I think this is one of my top 5 favorites. So many gems!

    💎 Meh does not mourn . . . Meh carries on.
    💎 These freaks flip through rage, charm, and self-pity when they want things.
    💎 As long as you’re vulnerable to feeling anything for him, you’re vulnerable to his manipulation.
    💎 Self pity is also a disguise . . . Shields up.
    💎 Don’t mistake shared history for depth of character.
    💎 The confusion is deliberate.

    And such a timely re-run! In the past few days, I had to take a brief break from NC in order to discuss the settlement agreement. In the peaceful bliss of NC I had forgotten the powerful suction of the mindfuck blender.

    FW will not ever answer a simple question; he’s committed to misunderstanding.

    If presented with 2 options, he will ignore them and instead unilaterally take action on a third, completely different path.

    It’s an entirely intentional tactic designed to make me believe that there’s something wrong with me and my ability to communicate. He does it to diminish me and center himself.

    I’m eternally grateful to Chump Lady’s strength and wit in calling out and taking down this BS! Without this blog I might still be whirling in the blender.

    • ActaNonVerba, this is so true, about FW being committed to misunderstanding. I never thought about it as being a tactic to shift blame. It does diminish the other person.

      I realized far too late that the FW I married could never answer any question with a “yes” or “no.” He did it so smoothly and happily that it made me believe that he was always agreeable

      After I realized that I’m crabby, irritable, and almost irrational, I finally began to see that he was committed to not ever being accountable to anyone.

      And that is from deep in his soul.

  • My daughter provided an example of meh today. She had asked FW to pick up meds for the dog at the vet. FW agreed. Then she asked him to order meds for the other dog while he was there. FW refused to do that. It was his petty, childish way of registering his protest that he’s expected to do anything for her at all. This kind of asinine behavior used to frustrate and anger my daughter. This time she just said; “Whatever.” Her tone was bored.
    I do think you can be mostly meh while not being NC. She just uses FW to do things for her, but has no emotional attachment to him at all. His antics barely merit a raised eyebrow now. She is definitely more meh than I am. I still would like to punch FW when he pulls these petty stunts. When I stop wanting to punch him, I’ll be there.

    • Too funny. I know for a fact…sociopaths absolutely hate the “whatever” response. Also, “If you say so” & “yeah right” (with a laugh)…sends them right over the edge.

      • True! It works on narcs, too. Other responses that piss them off;

        “Okey dokey.”
        “As you wish.”
        “How interesting.”
        “That’s nice.”
        “I see.”
        “That’s too bad.”
        “Oh well.”

        These type of responses are variations of cool bummer wow.

        • My teen daughter is now a frequent user of “Slay” (or Slay, babe, slay”)- so add that one to the list of IDGAF responses (except if your FW has a history of threats to kill, in which case dont give him any ideas)

  • “Don’t mistake shared history for depth of character” OMG!!! This is gold. This was me for a very long time.

  • I’m not a lawyer, but isn’t it possible for the judge to move the divorce forward even if the STBX refuses to sign the settlement papers? Idk, does it depend on state law?

    If someone has addressed this, I apologize. I’m posting this before reading all of the comments.

    • Im no lawyer either but my feeling is that the paper that ‘should” be signed has a clause delineating the interpretation that will be imposed in case of a failure to sign within n days. Then you have an ironcladly traceable delivery method to prove it was delivered. Then count the days, provide the ironclad evidence of delivery and the original document.

      I suppose there could be local laws in some jurisdiction requiring a minimum number of days, or limiting the delivery method, but at least in most western cultures you need recourse if someone wont consent to continue in a contract.

      But i am absolutely no lawyer.

  • Hoping her attorney got her a trial date and the judge came down on the FW. FOU could quite enjoy a nice settlement from a lying, cheater FW and true Meh

  • Yeah, Schmoops dumped Cheater Narc Ex for another man. Twice. Who’d a thunk it?

    I only found out about these occurrences a while after they happened. Then I was able to note that at both times he had super escalated the hoovering.

    Ex also said to me in an email at some point ‘I lost way more than you did!’. Like LW’s FW, he walked away from all our friends, most of his own family as well as all of mine, our cats, our home, and in less than a year, even from his relationship with our kids.

    I replied; You didn’t LOSE anything. You threw it all away.

    I’ve heard it said that sometimes people don’t appreciate what they have until they lose it, or nearly lose it. I’ve realized I want to be with someone who, like me, knows the value of what, and especially who, they have, WHILE THEY HAVE THEM.

  • These freaks leave their things behind as a way to get back in. Like an insurance policy. I had to give mine an ultimatum and start throwing things out before he fetched his stuff.

  • Limbo hell is a self imposed state. He’s a serial cheater and they never stop. Hopium is your worst enemy

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