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Do I Tell the Bride He’s a Serial Cheater?

Dear Chump Lady,

I’m writing because I had a “meh slip” this week and my conscience is reeling as a result.

Mr. Sparkles is getting married to his girlfriend on Saturday. She was not the Other Woman. Early on she tried to establish a friendly connection with me, but I declined explaining that I was no contact because I had survived a very abusive (financial/emotional/sexual) relationship with my ex and it was critical to my well-being. She’s been distant ever since, undoubtedly told my marriage was sexless and I was crazy.

So, my 17 year old son informed me this weekend that he is going to attend the wedding. All good on my end, just told him to check his closet and to make sure he knows the dress code (an invitation was never mailed to him at home and he’s not in the bridal party).

He then goes on to inform me the wedding is literally being held at a location directly across a river from where I live. I could literally sit out there on a bench at the rivers edge, eat popcorn, and watch the whole shitshow. Apparently, there is no other place to get married in my state that might be have been more appropriate. But again, whatevs.

Here comes the slip… I know Mr. Sparkles is a serial cheater. He cheated on his first wife. He cheated on me. He cheated on the OW he left me for, shocking ha. But, here he is getting married at the venue I had wanted to have (but we couldn’t afford)… less than a football field distance away from my home. It only took one sip of my diet wine to get on the computer, create a fake profile on his favorite dating site (Adult Friend Finder), complete a quick search… and there he was/is… looking for an “adventurous encounter with a woman or couple”… in under five minutes.

Aside from one friend suggesting I make printouts of the ad and airdrop them via a drone over the soiree, others simply laugh with me and remind me of the bullet I dodged (getting divorced from him).

Still… my heart goes out to this (future) chump. And now that I have this “proof”, the moral obligation to say something feels even stronger. I won’t though, I’m not sure Mr. Sparkles wouldn’t have a violent reaction and I still need to co-parent through the college years. But I feel… whell, I don’t know what I feel frankly… so I went to Google and found this drivel which I thought you and ChumpNation might have reflections on.

What to Do If You Find Out Your Fiancé Is Cheating (

I’ve put down the wine and gone back to meh, but wonder what you and ChumpNation think? Should I send her a copy of LACGAL as a wedding gift or just wait for the inevitable discard?



Dear ICanSeeTheMehComing!,

I think you wait for the inevitable discard. Then you hand over the copy of LACGAL. You did your due diligence. When she made friendly overtures, you told her why you’re not in contact with your ex:

because I had survived a very abusive (financial/emotional/sexual) relationship with my ex and it was critical to my well-being

That was her clue to see if your story checked out. But as you surmised, your ex probably trotted out the Bitch Be Crazy narrative.

I’m usually always for telling, but when it’s your ex, you get a pass. You have to weigh being in that creep’s orbit and your mental health. We cannot save everyone.

Mr. Sparkles is getting married to his girlfriend on Saturday.

Well, we’re too late. I got this just a few days before Saturday. Other columns scheduled, I fear I’ve doomed her.

She’s been distant ever since, undoubtedly told my marriage was sexless and I was crazy.

Is it the sexlessness that makes chumps crazy, or the crazy that makes us sexless? Chicken and egg… Yes, he cannot have you comparing notes, so you’re conveniently deranged.

the wedding is literally being held at a location directly across a river from where I live. I could literally sit out there on a bench at the rivers edge, eat popcorn, and watch the whole shitshow.

Or shoot flares. Or waterski past holding a giant banner of his dating profile.

But, here he is getting married at the venue I had wanted to have (but we couldn’t afford)… less than a football field distance away from my home.

They are not original. And this sort of thing is extra kibbles to a FW — he hopes it will fuck with you (see! She gets all the goodies! Don’t you wish you danced harder for the greatness of me?) and it keeps the new chump off balance. (Oh, my ex and I almost got married here…) He’ll say something graceless, but pass it off as sad sausage contemplation. And she’ll be goaded into competing with your memory.

I’m sure she’s also aware you live across the river.

It only took one sip of my diet wine to get on the computer, create a fake profile on his favorite dating site (Adult Friend Finder),

If it feels good, don’t do it. Now you’re haunted by the proof. Had you just trusted the suck you’d assume he’s out there, because fuckwits gotta fuckwit.

and there he was/is… looking for an “adventurous encounter with a woman or couple”… in under five minutes

Well, you could answer the ad. He is, after all, looking for adventure. And wouldn’t that get the adrenaline pumping — the ex-wife showing up when he’s expecting a three-way with randos?

Aside from one friend suggesting I make printouts of the ad and airdrop them via a drone over the soiree,

Or make party hats or guest favors. There’s probably a whole bunch of ideas on Etsy.

Still… my heart goes out to this (future) chump. And now that I have this “proof”, the moral obligation to say something feels even stronger. I won’t though, I’m not sure Mr. Sparkles wouldn’t have a violent reaction and I still need to co-parent through the college years.

On the chance you have to see her, just exude sanity and cool. He’s painted you as Bitch Be Crazy. Catfishing him with a dating profile is probably in the crazy column. So just keep it between you and your girlfriends and all of Chump Nation. You know he’s a fraud.

I went to Google and found this drivel which I thought you and ChumpNation might have reflections on.

What to Do If You Find Out Your Fiancé Is Cheating (

“Cancel the wedding” doesn’t make a good listicle.

I can’t believe Brides magazine tried to make this a dilemma. Situational cheating? WTF? If you’re in the honeymoon stage of life and you find your partner cannot keep it in his or her pants? It. Does. Not. Get. Better. Ask a few bazillion of us here how we know. Unless you want STDs with that toaster oven.

Good grief. I can’t even with that dumb advice.

I’ve put down the wine and gone back to meh, but wonder what you and ChumpNation think? Should I send her a copy of LACGAL as a wedding gift or just wait for the inevitable discard?

True meh is roasting marshmallows on a riverbank somewhere. Having an adventurous encounter with a s’more. Your ex is just a FW you used to know. He’s someone else’s problem now.

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.
  • CL’s advice is, as always, spot on. You’ve already told this future chump what the fuckwit is, and she’s gone ahead anyway. Nothing you say to her will make her see, until it happens to her, which of course it will, unfortunately. If it was me, I’d plan a nice few days away. Xx

    • I agree with CL and Chumpnomore6! You warned this girl from the get go, now you just do you and forget about her (and him). Go take a vacation.

    • Nah I’d definitely set up like Homer in the bushes with some binoculars. Then share your location with ChumpNation in case a chumpy comrade is in the area and wants to join your stealth operation.

    • CNM66… Ironically, long before I even knew of this shitshow I had planned a lovely summer vacation (something I could never do when I was married to Mr. Sparkles because I had to pay for camp for 5 stepchildren)…I’m leaving tomorrow and not looking back!

  • Not to make light, but this reminds me of the agony best-man Miles faced in Sideways, knowing what the groom was up to while on his watch.

    • As CL (and Mr. CL) always advise… if it feels good, don’t do it. I put myself in the situation by looking. Cheaters gonna cheat, he is the scorpion and she is the frog.

    • Agony?

      How about enabling. They both acted like skanks on that trip.

      • OMG you made me remember when Miles drank the spit bucket 😂😂😂😂

  • ‘If you can’t handle me at “I am not contact because my ex is abusive” then you don’t deserve me at “I’ve found his profile one week out from your wedding” ‘. If she can’t take her cues from your previous comments, then unfortunately she’s gonna have to learn the hard way. Some people are naive, others are just delusional.

    • So true Stig… she knew from day one she was getting involved with damaged goods, but he is an expert lovebomber and she was desperate to fall-in-love. The perfect shitstorm. I always keep extra copies of LACGAL on hand, but she isn’t ready for the truth… she wanted the image management wedding and she got it (and the bill).

    • Yup. If you can find the adult friend finder profile, so can she. There comes a time when you stop being a victim and become a volunteer.

  • So, the bride knows you are really no contact with your son’s father and she’s been given the reason? And yet she plans a wedding next to your home? Fuck her.

    And this kind of intrusion might merit a brief, sober boundary setting lesson for your almost-grown son. “Dad and new step-mom made an insensitive choice of venue. I hope you know marriage and weddings are a reflection of one’s values.”

    • Great insights… I hadn’t realize taken in account the passive aggressiveness of the wedding venue. I think CL calling out that it became FW fodder for further abuse to us both is as likely too.

      I agree with your comment re: boundary setting conversation and insensitivity. Good reflection!

      • Hey Apidae… not sure what you meant by your comment. Not looking to place blame, but call out behaviors.
        The is victim is a victim because he is cheating on her while he is marrying here. However, she can also be complicit because she is having a big wedding “show”… as if the two marriages he had prior and the one she had prior weren’t “true love” and this one is. Almost like a dog peeing to mark its territory.

        Had it been me, I wouldn’t have wanted my wedding anywhere near where my Groom spent 15 years of his marriage with kids… and where I have ZERO memories or social contacts. Plenty ‘o place to get married besides there. And, at 50+ years old, I don’t think I would’ve had a bridal shower and fancy wedding, but that is just me… no judgement on how they spend their money as long as Mr. Sparkles ponies up for college.

        • ICSTMC, I always value what you write. In this instance, without knowing the bride but knowing she is not the OW, I do feel sorry she is in a doomed situation. Sounds like she is naive. How many of us would have foreseen our spouses’ cheating on us before going through this? Worse is how many of us didn’t want to believe it after finding out and tried to make it work? Most of us are now much wiser thanks to Tracy and this community. The bride may be a horrible person but she is, or will be the victim like all of us going through this emotional rollercoaster. I think it is too late to say anything to her and I feel bad that you are in this situation

          • DrChump – thank you for the kind words. I kept hoping that over the last 5 years should would’ve asked herself… can ICSTMC really be crazy, she’s raised such a good young man and her stepkids still keep her in their life… but she didn’t. I truly don’t think she would’ve walked away if I had told her, so I just prayed for her to have good weather and they day she dreamed of – because I know the nightmare she is now married to. Keep on keeping on!

            • That is sweet of you to pray for her. I believe Meh has arrived for you 💪

        • She’s having a wedding because she’s getting married. Nothing the LW said suggests that she is deliberately trying to spite the LW or picked the location because of the LW. We don’t even know that SHE picked the location instead of FW suggesting it to her.

          We can rightly call out the FW here without being catty and assuming women are at fault when a man is shitty, don’t you think?

      • Bitches can be victims too. She’s a bitch for planning her wedding within sight of her husband to bes previous victim. I hope she has enough self awareness to feel shitty about that when she becomes his next victim.

        • KP – agree – their location lacked sensitivity… lots of waterfront in these parts, it didn’t need to be the one place from where you can see my street. Twisted and sad. #karmaisabitch

  • Don’t tell her. Here’s why-she’s not likely to believe you, even with proof. Like most of us, she’ll need to get slapped in the head herself to figure it out. She’ll be thinking she’s different, she’s the chosen one blah blah. He’ll have some excuse/lie about why he had that profile (it was an old one, it’s not me, someone stole my identity, etc) and she’ll probably believe him. Then you look like the crazy ex. My vote is you do your nails, or go out, or take a bubble bath and do not give it one thought. Stay in your power and don’t waste any bandwidth on them. When it all implodes send her the book and she can join us here. You got this!

    • Thank you FKA… I agree with your assessment. Chumps get painted as the reason/cause for the prior marriage dissolution. And the new flame, OW or otherwise, get conveniently convinced of it as truth.

      Ironically, if you want to judge my character (and what you’ve been told about me)… you could look at my son (to whom I’ve been the sane and present parent) and see if he is who he is (which is a really good young man)… was the Mom really so awful/crazy/horrible? Some people just don’t want to see what they don’t want to see.

      Oh – and my sister and I went for a lovely high tea for the afternoon.

      • A lovely high tea sounds delightful. Good choice. You are so lucky to be rid of him and to be NC.

  • “…here he is getting married at the venue I had wanted to have (but we couldn’t afford)… less than a football field distance away from my home.”
    From CL: “They are not original. And this sort of thing is extra kibbles to a FW — he hopes it will fuck with you…”

    And this is where I’m a mean bitch. Because with kid exchange crap where I’d have to lightly interact with FW (generally only allowed to say “hello” or some other benign pleasantry to stay grey rock) — this is where I’d blurt “Heard you got married at (wedding location)? Yikes – you went with a place we were going to get married? Ick. So creepy.” And laugh

    Nothing says “haunting FWs dreams” like quickly mocking them and tearing down their kibbles house of cards.

    Sadly I became so no contact that I didn’t get to do that when FW was bragging to everyone (especially to son) that he and AP were headed to Paris. But it did help son when I told him “No need to be jealous. We can go together some time. Your dad hates Paris and especially the French. He’s terrified of rats. I guarantee that no matter what he says, he hated it. Sounds like a shit show of a trip for your dad 😂 “

    And for what it’s worth, you can’t help new Chump. FWs will forever entice other victims. How did they meet? Do you know? You may not realize it, but she could have been an AP amongst the other chumps he was with after you. Just let it go and FW will reveal himself in time. You earned her already — it just fell on deaf ears

    • “I’d blurt “Heard you got married at (wedding location)? Yikes – you went with a place we were going to get married? Ick. So creepy.” And laugh.”
      This seems like the perfect thing to say to other people we know, when they bring up that the ex is doing with OW what he used to do with us. So often we share these comments at CL. I think our social circles would benefit from these insights, too. “So creepy,” sums it up, and as an added benefit, it doesn’t sound “bitter” and you won’t sound bothered, which may be what the cheater intended. “Yeah, that vacation/honeymoon/anniversary dinner is where we went. So creepy.” “Yeah, they took up bowling at my favorite alley. So creepy.” It’s not trying to take ownership of venues, hobbies, events, etc., and it’s more an expression of distaste than an accusation. I suspect it’s also persuasive.

      • Goodfriend – agree! That’s how I adopted the word “creepy” — perfect word to stop everyone in their tracks lol. No one pushes on about someone you refer to as “creepy.” And it serves the dual purpose of making FWs super uncomfortable if they are called that — because creepy is what they are. And there’s no masking that when they know they are found out.

    • Hey MS – yes, like you, I’m no contact. My son drives now so I’m really never in the presence of his Dad (because he rarely shows up at sporting events, award ceremonies, the good stuff).

      I had felt a twitch to send a text message wishing Mr. Sparkles congratulations and just including the personal ad… but again, I do not want to engage with him. So no kibbles for Mr. Sparkles from me. Best part was waking up the next day with my dignity intact on that front.

      And I reframed the location by telling myself… well, I’m sure my (now adult) stepchildren in attendance with my son reflected on all the great times we had as a family at my house across the river (where they grew up). It likely messed with their heads more than it did mine for the day.

    • MichelleShocked, my kids are in Paris with FW now. We lived in Europe for a couple years before kids, were together for 16, and he was always flying to Europe for work. Did he ever want to take me, with or without kids? Or have us join him anywhere in Europe? No, he didn’t even want me to visit his office one state over. 🤦‍♀️ Of course he was investing his time & resources in cheating. But like FKA said, we don’t see it until it slaps us in the head.

      So why is he taking kids to Paris now that we’re divorced? Because I told him I was taking them to Dublin and needed to know he would sign off on the trip before I bought plane tickets. He literally said “Yeah I’m taking them to Europe too. I’m just not sure where yet.”

      I’m sure I’m supposed to be madly jealous that he’s one-upping my Dublin trip and visiting the most glamorous and romantic city in the world without me 🙄. But I’ve made zero comments about it and that feels great.

      ICanSeetheMehComing! that venue was almost surely a passive aggressive move. Isn’t it sad FW is still grasping for kibbles, positive or negative, from you? I hope the Meh was with you this past weekend 😌

      • Yes, I was thinking this too. Isn’t it horribly sad that they would plan their wedding AROUND YOU? You know who has definitely not moved? The FW who is saying his vows only to spite an ex. These people are unbelievable.

        By happenstance, my ex just married his new girlfriend this last weekend too. I think the new wifey is a bit of a bitch, but I tell myself that she’s being fed nothing but lies and has no actual idea what is going on. I also know that she’s about 40, has never had kids and wants them, so…. She sees this as her chance to snag a family man. She has no idea. If you all had to put a guess on it, how long do you think this will last? I’m trying to think how to prepare my kids.

      • Dublin with a relaxed parent is bound to be better than Paris with FW xxx

      • Dublin is much more fun to visit than Paris. And the people are warmer and friendlier 😆

      • I hate Paris. It is a dirty city with lots of dog shit on the streets. I’m also not a city person as a rule. I can’t take all that sensory input, and Paris certainly has a ton of that. I was forced to go to such places when I was growing up, so I got the cultural education, but there was a cost to my mental well being.

        I do not, however, hate the French. The FW hates the French because the FW is an asshole.

  • Weak people seek revenge, strong people forgive, and intelligent people ignore – Albert Einstein, you can’t get much smarter than that. My ex strutted around his new love of 3 weeks at my son’s engagement introducing her to everyone as the “love of his life” within earshot of me, his long suffering wife of 30 years. He then proceeded to tell all that would listen they were moving in together, he hadn’t even told her that yet. I just shrugged and thought to myself, says more about him than me. If these OW cannot pick up on the red flags its not your responsibility if she is marrying him there is a force far greater at play here. He wouldn’t be marrying her if she was onto him at all. A blowup doll would be a perfect partner for these guys, legs open, mouth shut. Most of them wouldn’t notice the difference anyway.

    • Even if the X is a FW, I think it is unkind to tell people that New Partner is “the love of my life” around kids from a former relationship. We have been careful of how we reference our good marriage in from of the kids from our former marriages.

    • #TeamRevenge. Sounds really carry acrossa river, so no time like the ceremony to practice your skeet shooting from the front porch. “Do you, Fuckwit, take (BAM!) future chump to (BAM! BAM!) be your new appliance (BAM!) for the worse we all know is coming (BAM! BAM! BAM!)?

      • I think after you’ve finished the skeet shooting practice, it’s a fine time for your first lesson/practice session on the alto saxophone or trumpet. Also at the same time (but after the skeet shooting) be dog sitting for a hound dog of some type.

      • Decide that weekend is the perfect time to learn how to play the trumpet.

        Dogsit a pack of beagles.

        Hire a party boat full of nudists to cruise past repeatedly.

        Spread word on social media that there’s a motorcycle rally at their location.

        • I read that at a glance as ‘bagels’ and got the giggles massively at the idea of icanseethemehcoming sat on a throne of bagels facing across the river from the wedding, slowly eating bagels like some kind of sinister bagel queen.

      • NOOOOOOO! You need to have trombone players ready for a sad “whomp whomp” when he promises to forsake all others.

    • Definitely a lot of creative ideas here, but I think Einstein had it right (as does CL)… it was healthiest for me to go on about my life… “nothing to see here folks, move along”… creating any kind of drama wouldn’t serve me or my son and those are my only concerns. I did my best to tell her. And, there are 5 adult stepchildren who all know that Dad cheated on me and on their mom. No one spoke up. Dysfunction runs deep, so I just made sure I talked it through with my son… he enjoyed the party, but he also knew he wasn’t witnessing a healthy and respectful commitment (I kept it age appropriate)… afterall, he loves his Dad… he’s 17… lots of frontal lobe development ahead for him.

    • Exactly. Any woman who thinks that behavior is ok is trash herself and i don’t care if she gets hurt. At some point personal responsibility has to enter the picture. She thought it was gleeful fun to join in in the public abuse of another woman. I have zero empathy for women like that. May they reap what they sow.

    • Charmee, that quote sounds reasonable on the surface, but let’s examine it.
      Chumps, and other victims of abuse, are always being shamed and manipulated into forgiving the offenders with blanket statements like “forgiveness is strength.” There is definitely a social bias, (which is based on religious teachings) at play which Einstein seems to be thoughtlessly reflecting, since he was not a religious man.

      Forgiveness is one choice on the menu of responses, and how appropriate it is depends on the level of remorse the offender demonstrates and the nature and severity of the offense. IOW, how forgivable is the act, does the offender deserve forgiveness, and is there a benefit to forgiving and a cost to not forgiving? If, based on that analysis, forgiveness isn’t appropriate, to forgive may mean that you let people walk all over you. That’s certainly not strength. Or it could mean you’re devoted to a religious/philosophical edict about forgiveness. That’s not about strength or weakness, it’s just a point of view.

      I do think it’s usually smart to ignore a FW, though. That’s predicated on the FW not being an imminent danger to you or anyone else. If he/she is a danger, it’s smart to pay attention to what FW is up to.

    • Though it’s a good quote, it’s ironic how you’re quoting someone who has a documented history of being a FW.

  • You could print his AFF and mail to her anonymously. Or just let her find out who he is on her own timeline. Sometimes we don’t see something until we’re ready to see it. And that’s her journey, not yours. The one I would really be worried about is your son. What is he going to think of marriage and adult relationships based on your FW’s terrible choices? I’m so sorry. You have some hard-earned wisdom and perspective that new wife doesn’t have—yet.

    • I’m definitely in the anonymously email her the AFF ad camp, asap before the wedding. I’m nice like that.

    • I had thought that IF I was going to tell her, it needed to be in person or not at all. I’ve been positioned as someone who found his personals… because he put them there because he knew I was snooping… talk about blameshifting!! So, this really was a no-win situation. My error was in looking. Cheaters don’t change.

      • You have a conscience and a moral compass. These dumdums do not. Just walk away and let them crash and burn. Just do all you can to protect your son, who is innocent of all this chaos.

      • I think it was great you looked for his ad. I think you’re misguided to what you think you’re supposed to do with that information. To me, it was to discover that he’s still a FW, he hasn’t changed & it really wasn’t you, it was him. That’s wildly validating! Wish we could all have that gift of discovery. But the info really shouldn’t be shared to the new wife by you. (That’s where meh comes in). NW has her own road of discovery ahead. Including realizing the wedding venue was a shit move. Keep on meh’ing!

  • My ex is a sloppy drunk drug addict. She was stoned in some form or another while we were dating, engaged and married for 10 months before she ran away. She said she was in counseling for addiction and saw her counselor every week or other week. But that did not change herself or her behavior, she just hid it all better for me. Her first husband and kids said that everything started when she met her previous boyfriend because he used drugs, did not work, and was always trying to scam the government for money. My ex told me he was abusive. I pieced together all of their stories and concluded that she cheated on him while she was drunk one night. After all that she ran away to be with him. I’m sure he thinks he “won” because – like a loyal dog – she ran back to him for drugs, sex and someone who “understood” her. She lied and deceived me, her children and family.

    All this to say, this is who she is and the man she ran to is like her and he knows how she is too. My guess is the bride-to-be in this story knows “who” she is marrying because there is no telling when they met (she was probably a side piece too). But she thinks he will be different for her.

    There is no reason to tip her off and every reason to go on vacation to Hawaii or some other exotic place. You know he will ask the 17 year old where mom is so your “revenge” is basically living your own happy life and having your 17 year old spill the beans on it during your ex’s wedding to number 3 or 4 or 5 or ?????

    • Someone tried to tell me something was off with one ex. I was super naiive, although to be fair I was in my early twenties and she didn’t outright say what she thought was off about him. I was not really friends with her and had already seen off a whole bunch of other girls who were peeved that I was getting the popular guy with the wealthy background even though I was not the same religion as them, they really did not like this.

      So I disregarded her vague warning, when what I should have said ‘What do you mean by?’ whatever it was she said – this was a long time ago. I thought she was trying to break me and the fw up. I regret to this day that I did not ask what she meant. It sounds very dramatic to say that the fw was not a good person and my life was let’s not say ruined, but unfortunately in some ways it really was. Please do not be too harsh on the person who did not listen. She could be someone like me.

    • I agree, Stephen. There is much we look past (red flags) when dating… she let him move in with her after only dating for six months because his house lease was running up… why not let him renew, why move in? And, they moved on to buy a house together (likely her downpayment from selling her other home because I had to co-sign his lease when he moved out due to his credit score)… but after five years of living together, surely she has seen some signs. But, we see what we want to see. As my stepdaughter remarked, she’s probably marrying Dad because of the grandkids. Sadly, we’ll never know.

      • I know a couple of women that felt since they had invested x amount of years they deserved to be married, even though their partners had been unfaithful. Both divorced not long after the wedding ceremony. I really don’t understand that train of thought but maybe Mr. Sparkle’s bride to be feels that way as well.

        • Absolutely think that was a factor here… she had a physically abusive marriage 30 years ago… single since then until she meets Mr. Sparkles at the gym (shocker)… she was introduced to our son six months later because Mr. Sparkles was moving in with her (‘cuz that’s healthy after a two year discard OW relationship in front of my son). She got her Disney day, but every Disney movie has a villain… she just married hers.

  • ICStMC,

    Two things:

    Firstly, not your clown and not your clownshow. You’ve provided your Ex’s fiance with enough of a hint that she needs to do her “due diligence” and she’s ignored it; that’s on her.

    Secondly, you need to think about how to best manage your long term relationship with you Ex whilst your son navigates his education and launches into fully-fledged adulthood. Tipping off the fiance will give your Ex every excuse that he needs to be as difficult as he can. I’m not saying that he won’t be difficult anyway (I have more than enough experience of this myself), but I work on the principle of “not poking the bear” unless it’s in my (and my kids’) direct interest to do so.


    • Totally agree, LFTT. Focus on the child she’s raising, and leave that entire triangulated wedding mess alone. Because FW’s fiancée already knows about FW, she’s just in denial and is willfully ignoring red flags at this point. Hopium and cognitive dissonance in the new supply are pretty much always going to be too much for Chumps to ever deal with. Not OP’s problem! Never was.

    • Fully agree LFTT – not poking the bear was a HUGE consideration. There was no upside for me (or my son) in the scenario of telling – but there could’ve been enormous downsides. I’m picking my battles as funding college is still ahead.

      • ICStMC,

        If you are in the US (or one with a similar approach to funding university education) I can fully understand that you’ll need to keep your Ex as “on side” as possible when it comes to ensuring that you (and your son) don’t get shafted when the bills start coming in. In the UK we have a slightly different approach, but it still expects a degree of support from the parents; surprise-surprise, I’ve put 2 through university already and am a quarter of the way putting the third through (she done one year of a four year degree) and Ex-Mrs LFTT hasn’t contributed a penny. Thankfully, I always assumed that this was how this would play out, and have been budgeting accordingly for years.



  • I don’t think his brain is so sophisticated that he planned the venue. He heard you say and it stuck somewhere in his memory. People like him have no real ability to keep more than one ball in the air. He wants euphoria because it is all he has. There is no there there.
    This poor woman is going to drive into the sunset with a hologram. You tried. This wedding was the time for a recliner and popcorn.
    My little pea brain wonders what it would have been like if you had the recliner and a bowl of popcorn on the river bank. When the ceremony was over you could toot a horn and yell, “You did it! You finally snagged one!”. But that is just me.

    • End of the day, they could’ve been married at Cracker Barrel… he’s still a cheater, and now it’s legal.

  • You know I wondered in real time why on earth my fw would call me a few days before he and whore jetted off to Las Vegas to get married. There was no minor child to consider. Our son was fully emancipated.

    We had not spoken in over six months, D had been final for several months etc. I wonder if he was hoping for a gasp of emotion, or some reaction to kick up the honeymoons passion, as likely the excitement of sneaking around was gone.

    He got a dead pan response of “why are you telling me” then he said “I didn’t want you to find out from someone else” I said “ok, goodbye”. Hope it got his naughty parts tingling so he could enjoy his wedding night.

    • I thought it was odd that he never told our son that he got engaged… and then information regarding the wedding was trickled down, no invitation by mail. All very covert. Can almost make me wonder if I disappointed him and her by not doing anything that could’ve been spotlighted as crazy… felt good to stay sane and keep my dignity.

  • On some level, she already knows. She’s marrying a guy who’s been divorced twice, and had heard from at least one ex that he was abusive. Hopefully she’ll come to her senses sooner rather than later.

    • There always seems to be a supply of partners for these losers who will overlook the obvious, isn’t there? They think this time will be different. But it won’t be.

    • Agreed – she weighed being alone or being with someone who may likely cheat on her… what a shame. I’ve been living my best life since my divorce and parented my way. Wouldn’t turn back the clock.

  • Creating fake profiles on dating apps so you can track your ex is more than a “meh slip” IMO. Your heart isn’t going out to her, either — at least be honest. You don’t really care about her or her marriage, you are still seeking revenge on your FW. All very normal and human but very far from meh. In response to your question of whether or not you should tell her: no, not your monkey, not your circus, mind your own business, etc etc. Practice meh.

    • Hi D – I suppose that is one way to look at it, though I wasn’t feeling any anger (and I do remember what that feels like)… I really just went hmmph… now look at what you’ve stepped in to. If I still had anger, I’d have sent it to her, him, and the stepkids… or a million other scenarios. Instead, I came here to my tribe to flush it out. Meh would be trusting he sucks, true, but given this was one instance in 9 years… I’m giving myself a bogie.

      • You deserve a pass. If anything, chumps tend to err on the side of philanthropic. It might have interrupted “meh” for a moment but it’s not a bad trait. Making sure the perp didn’t have an easy time victimizing the next target was one of the reasons I criminally prosecuted a violent workplace stalker during a college internship.

        Personally, I get a bit edgy when anyone ascribes “revenge” motives– or any iffy motives– to actual victims. First, if a harsh lens of scrutiny should be aimed at anyone’s MO in an abusive situation, it should be aimed towards perps, not victims. And secondly, most people can’t even begin to define the difference between “revenge” and “justice.” For example, even when I was limping around with a black eye and broken ribs post-attempted-sexual-assault, some bystanders were trying to suggest that cooperating with the prosecution was “motivated by revenge.”

        My situation was so black and white that those ascribing “revenge” motives were obviously demented. The situation was life and death and the perpetrator was threatening my supporters as well. But it seems even more insidiously mindfucking to me when “revenge” motives are applied to victims of intimate psychological and emotional abuse because the lines are more blurry so the ugly motives being ascribed to victims have a better chance of sticking if just because the target is bewildered by the smear. It’s especially unfair in light of the fact that most survivors of physical abuse count the psychological and emotional abuse components of domestic violence to be even more paralyzing and devastating than physical assault.

        The following isn’t easy to put words to because the defining psychological abuse, coercion and control as criminal is new territory. Because only a few countries and regions have outlawed “coercive control” (sub-violent emotional/psychological abuse and coercion which, frankly, most cheaters routinely engage in to facilitate cheating), this means that actual justice– and all the numerous, wonderfully healing benefits justice entails– is usually denied them. Never mind the universal human need for justice, victims of not-yet-criminalized offenses are left to either accept a total lack of justice (and all the new-agey calendar poetry about “letting go” meant to console over that lack of justice) or else cobble together some of the piecemeal benefits of justice out of thin air. One “benefit” of justice is that the perpetrator is publicly branded and, aside from this providing protection to the survivor, this means future victims may be warned. Another “benefit” is that the perpetrator’s character-assassinating, victim-blaming false narrative is officially exposed as a lie.

        Wanting to protect oneself from more harm, warn others and put the lie to perpetrators’ false narratives by disempowering perps are natural aims of survivors of injustice and define the pursuit of justice. Suggesting that they’re all unhealthy, obsessed Captain Ahabs seeking “vengeance” is demeaning.

  • I clicked on the article. Good God, where did they get this one:

    “There’s no denying that cheating can completely destroy a relationship. It’s one of the biggest issues—if not the biggest issue—that can come between a couple. And while some couples can get through it, it’s not without a lot of healing, processing, and commitment on both sides. ”

    This is so true, particularly if by “get through it” you meant to say “postpone the inevitable devastation caused by the divorce for a few years” and if by “healing, processing, and commitment” you meant to say “blackmail, gaslighting, economic and emotional coercion, and all-round exploitation of the vulnerable”.

    • Those magazines aren’t selling marriage. They’re selling weddings. Weddings are princess dresses and photo shoots, being the center of attention, telling your friends what to wear, and being given expensive gifts. Literal and figurative cake.

      Marriages are compromise and sacrifice. You’re on your own for that. But you can distract yourself from all of that if you look at these neat bouquet options!

  • The older I get and the closer to “meh” I get, the more I refuse to waste my empathy on useless pursuits. That coworker who’s mean to everyone, but suddenly has a bad day and expects kibbles from everyone?- nope. I don’t have the bandwidth for that. I have a few important people in my life who get my empathy. When I watch the news I save it for drowning migrants, not drowning billionaires, and anyone who dates the FW will have to figure out that path on their own.

    • I tend to agree with you Chumped48. I FINALLY got round to saying “meh” to all the nasty bastards in my life when they have bad things happen to them. I don’t wish ill on them but I don’t jump into fix it mode either. My ex was here recently to see our grandson and mentioned that JP had died. I just said “sorry to hear that” and when he said “but you never liked him” I said “nope I didn’t but that doesn’t mean I wished him ill”. But then I let it all out how much I REALLY despised the guy who infiltrated my marriage, was forever waking up drunk on my sofa and didn’t have the decency to butt out, who didn’t pay his bills and my ex dragged me into it to try to sort it out. Sorry he didn’t get to enjoy retirement? Sure! But that’s the extent of it! Not my circus!

    • Great insight that we can bring meh to so many areas of our lives – thanks for that reminder! I was also reminded of Lot’s wife in the bible… she was told not to look backward, but she did and she turned into a pillar of salt. They’re not worthy of our time.

  • I’m going to do what I never thought I’d do- disagree with Tracy. I was in a similar situation when my ex remarried and I got a Facebook message from his latest cheating co-worker. At the time, his new wife and I were also friends on Facebook, so I sent the message to her, (she was a good stepmom to my son). She asked me about our backstory (Bitch Be Crazy was all she heard), and stated she would not have married had she known. She stuck around, got a consolation prize of another baby, and cut off all contact with me. I say all this to mean this- there were those who knew when he cheated on me, and I wish I had been told. She was also in the same situation and she wished she had known. What they do with the information is up to them, but they deserve to know. I would print it out and mail it to her anonymously.

    • I totally agree. If he is very adept at psychological abuse, new wife may really not know the depths of what she is getting into. A lot easier to go now then get a divorce. I think the right thing to do is get it to her anonymously. That’s terrible for her not to know what she’s getting into. I don’t think his ex wife saying he is abusive is enough to warn her, that’s concrete proof she should have.

    • The thing is, LW has already indicated to the wife to be that she’s marrying an abusive man. Plus, the only reason LW has the proof to send is that she herself set up a fake profile, and I would not have full confidence that the profile can’t be traced back to her. That could backfire bigly.

    • No one told me, my spidey sense finally drove me to put spyware on the computer. I found out on my own. If she really wanted to know, given his history – who wouldn’t, it wouldn’t take long to find him on the mainstream cheater sites. But I appreciate you and your honesty!

  • Our mutual therapist warned me about the possibility of contact down the road by my replacement or an ex of his. My husband had violent thoughts about me that he related to his attorney, so that was another layer of potential trouble on top of all the blame-and-game and financial/legal abuse he inflicted.

    She said to say something like, “We’re all adults here. I wish you the best, but you’re on your own.” That applies as well to ex’s, she said. Don’t commiserate.

    It hasn’t happened. My stand all along with our kids (late teens when he left) was that I would stay out of their relationship with their dad. I couldn’t afford to fly them to visit, but if they wanted to go, I’d drive them to the airport. In the end, they went no contact and have remained so. So it hasn’t been an issue.

  • Dear Letter Writer Who Can See the Meh Coming,

    You have already warned her, and she has made clear her position. My experience suggests to me that were you to tell her the details and provide the proof she would merely double-down on her initial response, and paint you, as I was painted by my ex’s new woman/beard, as a vindictive ex who can’t let go, and whose vindictiveness merely proves his wonderfulness in her eyes.

    When I was told my ex was dating, I contacted his new woman/beard and told her about his secret sexual life, because I swore when I left him that I would do this for any woman he might become involved with, so she, unlike me, could make an informed choice about her life. She, however, was more than just any woman: she had been our son’s childhood violin teacher and a student in two of my college courses, so making sure she knew the truth felt even more necessary.

    I laid it out in detail and offered to provide evidence in case she needed to know I wasn’t just whistling Dixie. She told me he’d told her–no doubt the tip tip tip of the iceberg after he calculated what I might have said to others and what get back to her. She told me that she’d told him she needed honesty in her relationship with him, and so she believed what he’d told her, which was that he “no longer needed that.” Then she intimated that I’d told her in order to poison their relationship, because I was unable to let him go.

    My contact and information, that is, had the exact opposite effect I thought learning such information would have; it only made her defensive on his behalf and worked to cement her commitment to him. Having done what I said what I believed was morally right (telling), I shrugged my shoulders and have gone back to my life. You can lead a horse to water…

    • A good cautionary tale. I like the way you have framed the results – “Having done what I said what I believed was morally right (telling), I shrugged my shoulders and have gone back to my life.”

      Given the result, would you do the same again?

      • Yes, I would. I would because I still think it’s the ethical thing to do, and another woman might make another choice.

    • I think if I didn’t have a 17yo son who loves his Dad watching me, I might’ve considered coming forth more intently. But as it was, he wanted to go to the wedding… he’s been around this woman for 5 years. So I only remarked that this wedding isn’t what love looks like, but enjoy the music and dancing and feel free to leave if you get bored (they did – he and his GF went to the movies). Mom wasn’t the monster that ruined the day.

  • “He’ll say something graceless, but pass it off as sad sausage contemplation. And she’ll be goaded into competing with your memory.”….. AS wife #2, this happened, and I fell for it… the sad sausage contemplation- UGH. It makes me sick, and so glad to have found Chump Nation. I fonly chumplady and CN had existed in 1992.

  • I had survived a very abusive (financial/emotional/sexual) relationship with my ex and it was critical to my well-being.

    She already knows. Having the wedding at the venue somehow proves she’s worthy and special. The manipulation made you revert back to evidence seeking, giving him centrality. Reacting is jumping back into the black hole of chaos. Not your circus.

    • Great summary DM… and you’re right, not my circus. Feels good.

  • Seems pretty much impossible to be fully at meh when the cheater ex is remarrying—and doing so within a football field of your home.

    And, I think that’s ok. Time to ramp up the self-care for a bit (whatever that looks like for you—could be anything from tackling a task you’ve been putting off even though getting it done would improve your day-to-day life to going for a whole fancy spa day, including a long massage), and to back away from the keyboard.

    Sometimes your peace gets disrupted by disturbing vibes from ex-world. That’s natural and okay. Definitely, for instance, gave me pause when the ex’s shotgun wedding to the AP was shortly followed by news that they had given their baby a name pretty much indistinguishable (a one letter difference) from my daughter’s name. A very messed up thing to do, and there I was, once again, tending harm not of my own making. Not a fun time.

    The good news is that evidence of their ongoing fuckwittery is never in short supply. That whole scenario was the perfect reminder of just how glorious it is not to have to deal with casual cruelty on the daily.

    Deep breaths and on you go. You already know what it is like to be on the inside of a marriage with that guy. Not fun.

    When these little breaks in meh come along, as they will, don’t nurture them with pain shopping, doom scrolling, and revenge fantasies. Hauling the very nice sweaters that you will never actually wear off to the Goodwill, adding the aromatherapy option to your massage, or buying yourself some truly gorgeous new lingerie are all far better uses of your time. Starve the useless involvement, no matter how marginal, in ethics-free ex-world, feed your own one and only life.

    • Love this Cashmere: you already know what it is like to be on the inside of a marriage with that guy.

      I was never more exhausted and defeated feeling in my whole life. Life got infinitely better without a cheater.

  • Although tempting to unleash the truth bomb, being the classy X is the best route. Holding your head high, raising your son, role modeling behavior when you have been thrown a curve ball in life. Your son will remember how his mother carried on her life with dignity. FW is not worth the dog poop you pick up off the lawn. Best revenge is feeling good and confident in your new life! Knowing that no one will EVER treat you with such disregard again, and that you are no longer star of the “Shit Sandwich Eaters Club” ! As for the new gal, it is only a matter of time she gets kicked to the curb. Your son will not that as well!

    Stay Classy!

  • Just goes to show these FWs dont change! Exchanging vows with yet another person & still flashing his junk at randoms on AFF.

  • Am I the only one who wants to know what diet wine is? And where do I get some.

    • Kim Crawford makes a reduced alcohol Sauvignon Blanc. I like it in the summer.

      • Sorry. Forgot this: reduced alcohol means fewer calories. So that’s the “diet” part, I think.
        Also sorry if your question wasn’t serious and I mistook you.

        • 100% serious, thanks!

          I read CL every day for the collected wit and wisdom but not all situations are like mine so I don’t always comment. I do feel like I can ask my friends for helpful hints (diet wine, ftw) and really appreciate y’all’s camaraderie.

    • LOL Eve… not sure if I’m allowed to name brands… but I found a couple Sauvignon Blancs at only 75 calories a glass, Kim Crawford.

  • Wow, this FW is on his third marriage and still trawling dating sites? He must think a lot of himself which immediately makes me assume he looks like disintegrating Ichabod Plain with a spray tan or, say, a ziplock bag packed with leftover mashed potatoes dipped in hair clippings.

    It’s interesting because I don’t typically rate people on attractiveness or project physical images onto people I read about except when they seem to think they’re “all that” and then trample others out of that assumption. I think this is because, in my experience, overweening ego typically = “yuck.” So, for research and comedy purposes, I wish chumps would routinely include detailed physical descriptions of FWs.

    I’m genuinely curious if my knee-jerk impressions of FWs are correct. Usually we only read about FW’s “I’m too sexy for my cat” behavior. Clearly they all seem to think they’re ravishing specimens. Statistically speaking, that’s highly unlikely for the vast majority. Chumps, generally being kind people who see the soul more than earthly forms, don’t seem to comment much on the discrepancy between FWs’ egotistical delusions and reality. But studies have shown that narcissists grossly overrate their own attractiveness– which wouldn’t be as funny as it is except FWs typically do a scorched earth on victims’ appearances and seem to rate all humanity on some objectifying bootie stock market. Fair game and glass houses and all that.

    • Unfortunately I call my ex the Glorified Gigolo for a reason. He really is a 10 (or was the last time I saw him a couple of years ago) and used me as a meal ticket. It wouldn’t surprise me if the APs paid him for services rendered. But just as you can get used to hanging if you hang long enough I eventually saw past the glamor of being married to a guy who looks like a model and saw him for what he really was. He can attract people easily but he is incapable of maintaining a relationship.

      Beauty can be a wonderful gift when it is used to complement a solid work ethic and marketable skills. It’s no secret that attractive people get more promotions than plainer people. It becomes a crutch when it is used as a substitute for a career and a decent personality, a crutch that falls away with age. I suspect GG will be miserable, alone, and poor once his looks go and his enabling mother passes. But, like me, he is only in his mid-30s. I refuse to let my happiness be dependent on something that won’t happen for another couple of decades. I have been NC with him since picking up our joint stimulus check in 2021. I am currently seeing a man I’ve known since childhood, who I know to be an honest and hardworking man. I write fantasy stories as a hobby and am building a web development portfolio. My life is not perfect, but it sure beats waiting around for a FW to get old and wrinkly.

      • NoMoreMsNiceChump–

        I should have added a qualifier about length of marriage and age. Not that there aren’t younger chumps on CL threads but many had been married for decades. Most of the cheaters in the recent Ashley Madison faux-study of “cheater happiness” were well over age 50– a time when people start getting the faces they deserve. It’s also apparently a peak time for first time cheaters to launch into bonk fests for some reason (one year of marriage and seven years are the other peaks).

        I was married for twenty years when FW cheated and he’s seven years older than me so he was no spring chicken by then, particularly since the affair involved a ton of binge drinking and he aged at record speed during that time. Though I didn’t marry him for his looks and was a bit baffled by the drooling he sometimes inspired, he’d previously been considered “hot” by certain types of women. Never enough to shirk his professional duties but enough to inspire elderly repressed church ladies, older gay men and provincial Walmart greeters to swoon and flutter. But he wasn’t hot by the time he started fucking around (not that it matters but, according to voluntary polygraphs, he only “closed on” one affair. I think prior to that he was feeding on pure attention and delusions).

        You could say FW represents the ghost of Christmas Future for all once-hot douches like GG. And that future is elaborate comb-overs to hide thinning hairlines. It’s when randos stop staring and preening for attention. It’s when the formerly hot have to start making more and more frantic exertions and flashing more cash to get women to even make eye contact instead of simply being able to stand there faux-nonchalantly and wait to be glazed with gooey attention like passive narcy hams. It’s when, instead of making women’s hearts pitter-patter with just a casual glance, the younger ones start giving the “ick” face. It’s when only the dumpiest, most desperate office doorknobs squat on their desks to “flirk” (work-flirt) anymore. Oooh the tragedy.

        • Oh I agree. I do seem to be younger than most people on here and therefore had an easier time of it. No kids, fewer shared assets, and a lower sunk cost in terms of time. I’m so glad I filed at 30 and didn’t wait for another D-Day. To any other baby chumps reading this, the divorce process, like FWs themselves, does not get better with age.

          I have no doubt time’s bitter flood will rise for GG too. I just won’t be there to see it, so if anyone asks me about him he will be forever young in my mind’s eye, like an insect encased in amber. That is perhaps the only disadvantage I can think of to divorcing a cheater while young, that you never see them get the face they deserve, and it is a very small drawback compared to the headaches of splitting retirement accounts and child custody with a FW. I also suspect that narcs refine their technique with age, as GG was a rank amateur in mindfuckery compared to some of the cheaters mentioned here. I’m no better or smarter than chumps who left at 50 or 60, just luckier.

          • “he will be forever young in my mind’s eye, like an insect encased in amber.” Lol, there’s always the quick web search in twelve years or so to replace misty memory with reality.

      • By the way, congratulations on a new and better life. And bear in mind that most cheaters, like most narcs, get worse and worse as they age.

  • Well, if this helps, my dear friend was warned before her wedding by many of his fellow female police officers and she married him, and stayed married to him for forty years. He cheated on her after they got married and she stayed in the marriage. He passed away recently. My beliefs about infidelity come from here. Our beliefs differ.

    You aren’t the right messenger. Even if you were, lots of people ignore messengers. The same people who swear by Yelp reviews completely ignore the facts and date a person who is a cheater or a side piece.

    Five people got into a jury-rigged homemade submersible and went to see the remains of the Titanic. They became remains themselves. Can’t billionaires call Robert Ballard and ask to ride along next time? There were lots of people who issued warnings about this company before they took their last adventure. They didn’t listen.

    You can’t make anyone see or understand or agree. You are powerless over that.

    Is it your motive to rain on the parade? If so, you really don’t need to do a thing. He is bringing the same lack of skills to this marriage as he did to any relationship. The choice of venue proves to me he has not matured emotionally. I personally would never date, let alone marry, someone with a history of infidelity, but I am also a person who initially bent myself into a pretzel wanting to preserve my fake marriage to a man masquerading as a husband. All I wanted to hear is that it could be fixed. I had to go through a lot of pain and reading here to change my beliefs about it.

    She has to learn for herself, and she may never learn.

    • Chris Watts and Scott Peterson get marriage proposals and fan mail from adoring women.


      I think Mouth Shut Unless Asked is the way to go when it come to alerting future romantic partners.

      I would have wanted someone to alert me. I think Maria Shriver and Camille Cosby responded by defending the offenders.

      Another dear friend whose cheating partner nuked their twenty-eight year relationship is now remarried to a retired Navy SEAL whose beloved wife died of cancer. He is a contractor and he’s building them their third home. No one deserves the happiness they have more than my friend.

      If I ever have the courage to date ever again, I’ll be doing some major vetting and moving super slowly and carefully. I see nothing attractive or wise in being with a cheater or a side piece.

  • There is absolutely no way that Jackass’s newish “bride” will have a happy ever after with him. He’s a serial cheater who’s good at lovebombing with decent handyman skills. And she looks exactly like his mother. But not my circus, not my monkeys.

    • When I get older losing my hair
      Many years from now
      Will you still be sending me a Valentine
      Birthday greetings, bottle of wine?
      If I’d been out ’til quarter to three
      Would you lock the door?
      Will you still need me, will you still feed me
      When I’m sixty-four?
      You’ll be older too
      And if you say the word
      I could stay with you

      The Beatles

      When I was young, I thought this was whimsy. Now I consider it a warning! Ah, age and wisdom!

      Always enjoy your insights LAJ!

  • This dilemma only bothers chumps. We wish someone would have told us, so we want to warn others. But will they listen, or do they want to believe Bitch Be Crazy. If you have to deal with your ex in the future (children/business) I believe you just let the replacement appliance find out on her own.

    I tried to subtly warn a few dating partners I met. Most did not believe me. It made them angry, later, when they were chumped, and realized they CHOSE not to listen. The last wife was previously my nail technician. She had heard many things before she ever even met him. She CHOSE to believe the “I’ve Changed” drivel. She really needed to be supported and get her citizenship, too. She also thought he was too old, but where there is Viagra there is a way, evidently. I don’t think that marriage was ever happy for either of them, but I do think they both got what they deserved, and probably some of what they needed. The thing is, you are not responsible for other people’s happiness or decisions.

    When I was in college, I had some friends who practiced Disaster Dating. I did not know much, but I knew enough not to do the things they did, or the stories they told themselves to justify dating inappropriate men. I tried to warn them, too, but I was told “You just don’t understand!” So, I backed off and let nature follow its course. My friends were basically good people who had been culturally programed with bad ideas. They read magazines with “How to get him to notice you” articles, and “How to change him for the better.” I was just there for support when their experiments in modern dating failed. Some things have to be learned the hard way. I believed and spackled, too. Now I am much older and a little wiser.

    I did experiment in trying to save a replacement appliance for my Disaster in Rebound relationship, my last marriage. She really wanted to believe all the bull he had told her, and she really wanted me to be a villain. I just pointed out he was a serial abuser, and I had not done due diligence before I married him. So, I was not the only Bitch Be Crazy, that was his forte. She didn’t want to consider she would be Crazy next. But, alas, predictably she was. She did have the grace to apologize later on, but the damage was done. So, my intentions were good, but that did not matter in the moment. If the replacement wants to hurt you for perceived slights, or reported bad actions towards her current beloved, perhaps she needs a few lessons learned the hard way. I learned the stove was hot when I touched it. Hurt, but I didn’t touch it again.

  • I actually did try to “warn” the OW. I thought I had a duty to warn .
    It didn’t matter.
    It never will. They are convinced they are special and different by the FW, society, and their circle.
    You are an ant screaming at a giant.
    I’m glad you still have a conscience and care for others after all you went through. But you’ve done more than enough. Turn away and move on with your life!

  • The advice was definitely right on. The bride was warned and she chose a FW. She will become a chump soon enough because they never change. I am sure she told him of your encounter. He had to bring out either the bitch be crazy or the you are so awesome and I am a changed man because of you story or both o maybe something new or well who reall cares?
    JUst be sure to have tissues on hand and a copy of LACGAL if and when she comes crying to you. There is no doubt that she will be a chump soon enough.

  • i’m thinking fireworks, lots of them. you’ve got space. go for it! celebrate, you have minimal contact. #celebrate

  • I’m just going to say every time I’ve tried to do the right thing to warn others, I’ve regretted it. The latest has been a campaign of harassment because a woman i thought was a good person would rather rattle on me to my ex than protect her own child from a pedophile.

    The majority of people around FWs are also bad people. That’s why they hang out together. Sure, there’s the occasional victim but you can’t really save them. The only way to try is to do it anonymously and hope you don’t get blamed for it. I won’t even attempt that anymore. I have to save myself at this point. People need to do better due diligence anyways. She knows he was married and divorced badly, she’s been warned, and she doesn’t even care to look into it. At some point in life you get what you ask for. She’s not an innocent child. Don’t harm yourself to save her from her own stupid choices.

    • You’re right that the majority of people surrounding FWs are bad people. It’s certainly the case in my STBX’s case, as he’s shut us out for some horrors. The Schmoopie he cheated on me with is “out” according to him but the sorts of birds he’ll pull now would either be poor gullible little cows with hardly any self-worth who wouldn’t believe me, as he’d have filled their heads with his sob story, or dog-rough slappers who wouldn’t care! He’d also use it to smear me as the psycho ex, as I think they do tend to do!
      As you say, you can’t save their next victim, because they’re in thrall to the FW, or they’re as bad as the FW, and you need to look after yourself, and your children if you have them, first and foremost!

    • KatiePig– You’ve been through more than enough, can’t afford to be shot over and over again as the messenger and it’s not on you to warn. You tried, no one listened, now it’s up to the justice system to catch this prick.

      “Warning” people by affixing criminal labels to criminals is what criminal prosecution is for, partly because it shouldn’t be left up to civilians to– without the protection of the state– rat out and warn the public about often dangerous and retaliatory rats. And that’s the problem with cheating. Though I personally view it as part and parcel with domestic violence, it’s still in the twilight zone in a legal and societal sense. Until cheating is more commonly recognized as one of the tactics of “coercive control,” until it’s recognized that most cheaters engage in coercive control to facilitate cheating, and until coercive control is universally recognized as a statistical precursor to violence and prosecuted accordingly, there’s generally no state protection for whistleblowing victims. A thwarted and exposed cheater might, statistically speaking, be every bit as dangerous and retaliatory as batterers and other sexual offenders but they’re still mostly not treated this way by the justice system or society.

      So that’s the litmus just in terms of serving the social contract: if you can’t trot down to the police and file a criminal report about a particular behavior, you’re under no strict moral obligation as a victim to warn others of the offense or offender. If society thinks that sucks regarding certain conduct, they should rally to change the laws to encourage more victims to report.

      The operative word being “encourage,” not “force.” Personally I pull short of thinking victims have a moral obligation to report offenses against themselves because it’s soul-killing enough just to survive the offense. Because bystanders to an offense don’t take the direct brunt, depending on the offense, bystanders sometimes have more of an obligation to report than victims. But the latter is mostly moral “social contract” stuff, not legal because even if an offense is categorized as criminal, only a few states prosecute witnesses (I’m not sure if that includes victim-witnesses) for failure to report felonies unless the individual acted as an accessory or was a mandatory reporter who failed to report child abuse.

      It’s always generous when victims warn and prosecute to protect future prospective victims but, as far as I see it, they can’t be condemned for not doing so and they have very valid reasons not to do so. I don’t go so easy on idle bystanders though. They face less risk and have far more freedom to lodge anonymous warnings. I get pretty judgy towards bystanders for not reporting abuse or warning victims regardless of whether the offense is categorically criminal or still in the legal twilight zone.

  • Let them be, you’re under no obligation to say a word. They’re both consenting adults. I will never say a word to the dude that is marrying my ex he can figure it out when he’s in the thick of it. Heck, he was dating her while we were still married, so his compass his out of wack anyways, and is always blaming his ex for his first failed marriage to my sons, so he’s not healed nor done any work to better himself, he won the sparkling turd prize.

    • While I might be tempted to warn some truly innocent rube who wandered into a divorced FW’s crosshairs, I would feel zero obligation to warn an affair participant. Never interrupt the enemy while they’re in the process of destroying themselves as they say. Even when warning the innocent I wouldn’t feel obligated to do it under my real identity because cheaters can be retaliatory and dangerous and messengers can get shot. I’d probably send an email from a dummy account pretending to be a “concerned old friend” who was too cowardly to give their name.

      I suppose it’s possible to pretend to be an ex affair partner of the cheater when warning the innocent because it provides a little more insurance that retaliation would be diverted away from oneself and any other innocent parties but some might view that as too enmeshed to be healthy. But it would be funny.

  • it’s the crazy!

    and, man I’d have a difficult time restraining myself from responding to the ad. but knowing me, I’d have a full blown panic attack after clicking send.

    in my experience with OW’s and there seems to be a level of ego where they believe they’re the one he’ll settle down with. her words were: he won’t play those games with me. so I’d just smile and sashay my self away.

    CL is on the mark!

    • Found your podcast on my podcast app today – it wasn’t there last week but is now! Yay!

  • I’m with CL that I don’t see any up sides to you trying to warn her – you would just look like a bitter nutjob if you do.

    Do, however be willing to talk to her when she seeks you out after a Dday or 2.

    • Fully agree – if she ever reaches out in need, I will point her here and give her my favorite books.

  • “…it keeps the new chump off balance. (Oh, my ex and I almost got married here…) He’ll say something graceless, but pass it off as sad sausage contemplation. And she’ll be goaded into competing with your memory.”

    Chump Lady, how are you so wise with all this stuff that makes TOTAL 100% SENSE? You must have done so much reading and research into FWs.

    After the classic narc out-of-the-blue discard, I was immediately replaced with the new pick-me supply, who had suddenly done an aesthetic 180 and morphed into a clone of me – clothing style, hair colour and length, music tastes, even down to eye make-up style (!!!), who was subsequently given all my tickets for all upcoming events and holidays that we had had booked or planned as a couple.

    I’m pretty sure he’ll be doing the same sort of sad sausage nonsense with the new one (no idea, as I am strict NC): “Mew mew mew poor me, Meh-llennial and I were supposed to go to this event together, weh, make me feel special by dancing harder for me, to show me that you’re worthy and better than Meh-llennial, and can prevent me from monkeybranching in future. More weh.”

  • “Early on she tried to establish a friendly connection with me, but I declined explaining that I was no contact because I had survived a very abusive (financial/emotional/sexual) relationship with my ex and it was critical to my well-being. She’s been distant ever since…”

    You already did tell her. She wasn’t interested in hearing it then. She won’t be interested now. You did all you can.

  • I don’t know…I kind of like printing out a GIANT banner with his profile on Adult Friend Finder and flying in your yard right across from the venue. Hey arrows pointing across the river to where those rando couples can find him… and maybe her.

  • Gosh, I feel so much older than the rest of you – I remember in the 60s and 70s when we said, “sisterhood is powerful”. I am of the school of thought that we ought to speak up to protect one another. I’d tell her, anonymously of course, so it couldn’t blow back on me. FW will have an entire battalion of exes to suspect as senders. Better yet, send it to her mother and dad.

    • I remember thise days, too, lily, and I would also tell. There are lots of boomer chumps on here who came of age in that era. I was still a kid in the 70s, but my mom had a subscription to Ms. magazine that I devoured every month.

  • Hey everyone – First of all CL and Chump Nation are the best! We offer our best intentions and insights, we share humor and struggles, and we know we’re all just doing our best on any given day! I will definitely try to respond to everyone’s comments but want to provide an update on how it went down… Spoiler Alert: I did nothing.

    While I had fantasies of outing him, for a variety of reasons, my decision came down to what was best for me and for my son – in that order. I am 100% no contact except for when child support is late. I don’t acknowledge on the rare times he shows up for school events and such and there is really no legitimate reason to communicate as I manage the doctor appointments, school clothes, summer camps, etc. (I’m the adult, in other words.) He works, goes to the gym, and maintains his double (or triple or quadruple) life.

    In fact, we had horrible weather here all weekend, torrential rain and the like and I actually found myself praying for her to have a bit of sunshine for her wedding. I don’t think she is a bad person, quite the contrary, but I do think she is a huge empath with a very high tolerance for abuse (given what I learned early on about her first marriage). If nothing else, she deserved her dream day… because as we all know, it is only downhill from here.

    I made sure my 17yo son got a new haircut (he needed it for camp too)… and then I made sure he had his outfit worked out and timing, etc… and I went out. First, I made plans to spend time with my sister enjoying a high tea (hokie, but I love them) during the actual ceremony timeframe and then a bestie came over so we could finalize our vacation plans to Scotland over some good gin martinis. I told my son not to drink; that he could leave early if he (and his GF) were bored; and that I would see him at home and to have a good time. I have to admit, I smiled when he texted me around 9pm saying he was going to a movie with some friends and leaving the reception.

    I slept peacefully that night, but even better… I woke up with no regrets and with no on-going drama from having outed Mr. Sparkles. My life is as no-contact as it was before and I’ve deleted my fake account.

    Onward and upward Chump Nation – we’ve got this. XO

    • You played that right. I doubt she’d have left him anyway, so it wasn’t worth it. She had her dream day. The nightmare begins, but it was kind of her choice to live it. You told her that he is abusive and she chose to believe a man who is accused of being abusive. It’s like the last fifty years never happened, she’s never heard of spousal abusers, and she’s not aware that they lie.

  • It would be tempting to take a screenshot of his advert and mail it anonymously to her, where she works, then forget about it. But you did warn her previously, so not worth your time and effort.

  • CL has given you sound advice. However, if you find yourself still feeling badly about not warning her, why not send her the link to his profile anonymously? If she has social media, you can create a fake account and DM her. It’s too late to stop the wedding, but maybe it’s not too late to save a chump.
    I suspect he will claim it was an old, unused profile and she will believe him, but it may be worth a shot.
    Just play innocent and act bored if fuckbrain accuses you.
    You’re like; “Sent your wife info on you? How would I have info on you and why would I care? I don’t know her and I’m busy with my own life. Your life does not interest me. With that in mind, buh bye and don’t try to contact me again.”

    Do a cost/benefit analysis. Weigh the cost of him suspecting you with how much not warning her bothers you.

  • In my experience, it never matters. People have to walk that path themselves and find out about someone on their own. You told her that he was abusive to you, and it didn’t stop her from marrying him. Oh well! The most you can ever do is offer her a sympathetic ear when she comes around after he’s cheated on her, if you are so inclined at the time.

  • I agree with CL that you did your due diligence giving a Sage description of why your mirage with this abuser ended. Clearly, FWs fiancé chose to believe Bitch Be Crazy, and guaranteed, your words will come back to haunt her when the inevitable D-Day comes.

    I know this. I’ve given heads up to an AP in the past and she chose to ignore my words and believe Bitch Be Crazy. This is a typical FW cycle.

    As far as co-parenting goes, I hope this is done in as distant a fashion as humanly possible. Parenting App etc. Serial Cheater FWs can rob our peace and sanity. Don’t let him
    Into your psyche. FWS just too fucked up.

  • This reminds me of the ex taking his “newer model” to the places (several) that I introduced him to over the years. Restaurants, and namely the special beach place my mother and I found (gross)
    It definitely imploded and he’s had several girlfriends since but I promise you he did my daughter and I a favor by not coming him that last night…
    I truly don’t even like speaking or writing about him he has nothing to do with my wonderful daughter who is 26 now and has to go through the whole deal of being rejected by her own parent.
    Honestly our decisions truly DO affect us for life sometimes.
    I was 19 years old. I knew he was no good and took the scraps back then. (He’ll be different for me) 😫

  • I strongly think its the right thing to give her information. It is not too late for an annulment. Print it and mail it to her anonymously at home and maybe at work. I would have wanted that. So would you. Also mail it to several people who we hope care about her, like her parents and family (although narcs in our family set many chumps up for narc romance).

  • My STBXHs daughter told me he had slapped her mother. I was soon to be married and my STBXH Said he had learned his lesson and was sorry. Throughout our 32 year marriage, abuse in a variety of flavors broke through his mask. I was sure my love would stop such hurtfulness. The assurances that he was changed, the desire not to be like his XW* whom he downgraded because she had an affair and left him, the desire to be a better woman than her, led me to stay. Nothing anyone would say to me about him would have changed me because I wanted to win. I was not an OW but I still said the same things to myself and hung on for dear life. During my divorce process this year, I sent an email to My STBXH-X Wife apologizing for my failure to listen to the warnings on this man
    No reply…but I felt better. It doesn’t matter if you tell them if they are on the love bomb cycle. It’s too hard to believe it when the mask is on tight.

  • My ex-FW moved in with his ex-GF/baby mama (who ex-FW ALSO cheated on). I emailed her with the nicest olive branch/subtle warning I could muster. She thanked me for reaching out, but stated that “he and I have an understanding.”

    The understanding being that she is used to his disrespect and yet she still thinks he’s a prize. She was just so happy to have her family back!

  • Slip ups happen! Stay no contact from him and her. And know that you absolutely DO NOT need to co-parent through the college years. No way, no how. That’s crazy talk. You pay your agreed-upon share of tuition and living expenses (if any), hope your ex pays his (if any), and have your kids take out loans or work for the rest. You never have to talk to that guy again. Be free.

    BTW, this exact thing happened with my ex. My hair dresser clued me in that he was active on a dating site. We had a good laugh. I never considered telling his then-girlfriend because, well, I didn’t care. Also, guys like that will come up with all the right lies to cover their asses. He could just spin some yarn like “that’s just some old profile that I forgot to delete” or “my account was hacked…probably by my ex wife!” Shit like that. Not worth any of it.

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