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The Royal ‘We’ Takes Credit

Were you expecting credit for your accomplishments?

The other day Kara pointed out the dynamic of FWs appropriating chumps’ work:

The Royal “We” of Taking Credit! The only time a narcissist knows how to not use the word “I/me.” Child graduates high school? “We are proud!” Even though narc spent sophomore through senior year skipping visitation because they were too busy on Tinder dates. Kid’s soccer team wins county championships? “We believed in you!” Even though she’s been trying to force kid to call AP their new dad for the last 3 months…

Any time cheater wants to sound like a good parent and be there for the shiny moments, but never actually do the heavy lifting of parenting, out comes the trusty rusty ol’ Royal “We.”

Should be a new CL term.

Could there be a post about The Royal “We” of Taking Credit?

Here we are! I thought it would make a good Friday Challenge — what most egregious thing did you FW take credit for or appropriate?

Thank you for your service. And TGIF!

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  • Hmmmm this one is a little tough. FW never communicated with me so I’m not sure what he said on Facebook, Twitter, to his family or even to our son.

    The only times I had to sit with FW were during school meetings — mostly IEP meetings. And there was not much “we.” It was mostly FW blaming all the teachers, principal, counselors and me for any problems son was having.

    7 years later, FW sits in high school IEP meetings without saying much of anything. Or FW misses them altogether.

    Son has since done much better in school, lost weight and gotten very fit, and starting working a cool summer job (for 2 years now). My best guess is that behind my back FW takes credit for all of that with his family. Meanwhile I don’t take credit for any of it… son did that magic himself.

  • Not quite a “Royal We” but FW said to a friend when our son was a few weeks old that “I am a better mother than Posie”. Could not understand why I was enraged! Should have left for that alone but endured another 6 years of abuse before finally walking.

    • The audacity! A few weeks after giving birth?? You should get an award for not harming him.

  • My ex-wife went back to work 3 months after our daughter was born so that she could get involved with an affair with her direct boss. Meanwhile, I quit my career and stayed home to take care of our daughter while simultaneously working a 35-40 hour per week new job from home in order to help make ends meet, but if you ask FW, she’ll definitely tell you that “WE” raised her or even that she raised her. She even sent me a text message (which I saved) that said — “Our little girl is so happy because she spent every day at home with the love of her family when she was growing up.”

    No, she spent every day at home with her dad while her mom was spending 50-60 hours per week in her boss’s office, out to dinner with Bossy McBosserton, going to out of town “conferences” and attending “banking school” together.

    • Layne, right there with you. They’re happy to leave Chump parent to do all the work while living their fabulous lives as they please and taking credit for being a working parent. She sounds like a textbook narcissist.

    • Isn’t this infuriating? Ugh, I feel you so hard. “I WORK LONG, HARD HOURS FOR OUR FAMILY”, meanwhile he was fucking everything up on the jobsite because his attention was on schmoopie instead of his work. I was full-time parenting on top of my full-time job, and running our social calendar and all the shopping, meal-planning, meal-prep, laundry, cleaning, etc etc.

      It really just pisses me off to think about — I was SO overwhelmed and burned out last summer and I was like “he’s working really hard to advance our position as a family unit, hang in there and do your part”… and then I find out that he’s been putting his time and energy into the jobsite bicycle while I’ve been putting in the overtime at home.

      • Yep, I feel that. I was so overwhelmed and burnt out but what was I going to do? Get upset with him for working? Except he wasn’t working. I actually used to feel bad for him because he worked so many hours. That makes me sick now.

      • Oh. My. Goodness. Other than the part about the company bicycle (stbx’s adultery partner was/is a bit more discriminating, cheating on her then long-term boyfriend with stbx), I could have written every single word of this. And yes, I heard the same thing, “I work hard to provide for our family!” Yet other than that, he didn’t really do a lot for us. I did everything else. Cheaters suck.

  • He once said to my son in front of me that WE paid for my apartment because he paid child support. Ummm the support is less than half the rent good try. Baffling. He likes to say we about everything I provide for the kids. Again because he pays child support. Whatever we all know he keeps the ship afloat. Not him

    • There are the ones that don’t pay child support and those that do and when they do they are so magnanimous about it, like they are such good people.

    • Spot on… the notion that court ordered child support is some magnanimous jesture of goodness on their part. Sweet Jesus. For many of us, it doesn’t come close to even “half”. My child support was based on a 2-night/week and every other weekend visitation schedule. In 2017, Mr. Sparkles elected to drop one night a week and by 2019 all weekends. Now, he barely sees him once a week for pizza for 30 minutes. But please… tell me again how much you support our son.

      • “the notion that court ordered child support is some magnanimous jesture of goodness on their part.”

        This is one of those things that keeps me from getting to “meh” when I know I should just let it go 😆…

        But honestly, The entitlement some people feel while doing the bare minimum post divorce is still a fraction of the entitlement that was required to Chump us, so I don’t know why I’m continually surprised.

    • “We” were paying for all the three kids’ clothes. Once I heard that I told him to go shopping as, other than shoes and coats, they would no longer be packing bags full of clothes for his weekends. In addition to exposing his lie, this cut down on my frustration when things never came back and his washing them with fragrant detergent and fabric softener daughter’s dermatologist said exacerbated her eczema, and ended the kids’ bi-monthly stress of packing and getting yelled at for not bringing the right clothes.

  • My cheater ex-wife didn’t take credit expressly, but she did implicitly. I worked my rear end off during our marriage earning an Ivy League grad degree, a law degree, building a successful law practice, etc. But she enjoyed every benefit of those accomplishments over the two decades she spent cheating and lying, essentially stealing those benefits, financial and otherwise. She was the queen of getting something for nothing, and I think she took more pride in that than any accomplishment she earned on her own. The cheater mentality is essentially the grifter mentality.

    It’s not just that she took the credit, she took the debits, as well.

    • As an accounting major, I really like that joke. It did make me laugh out loud.

  • I’m with MichelleShocked on this. There was very little “we” in his conversations. Our greatest achievements over 30 years never received the pride or recounting he gave to his high school shenanigans. And when I took the lead on vital planning or implementation, it was not acknowledged in the stories of the outcome.

  • Since the sharp exit at D-Day and immediate appearance of OW in FW and daughter’s life (how original), every.single. email. I have received when having to discuss child related stuff I have received a ‘we’ response. Me: If I drop daughter off around 5pm today will that work. FW: We will be fine with that we’re in.

    It’s all intended from a distance to make sure I know that he is now in a new couple and they are both VERY important in the decisions and life of my daughter. It used to wind me up so much but now I can see it for what it is, just a stupid grandiose gesture.

    It did make me laugh a couple of months back, so some 5 years in when I finally received an email where he referred to himself in the singular, I thought, I see you are finally coming back to the real world now are we.

    He would simply never ever use ‘we’ in relation to us as parents and try to take credit for something that might involve me due to the great pains he’s prepared to go to act like I don’t exist. It helps to fuel the narrative that we don’t see eye to eye, don’t get along, never had anything in common one can only assume, as opposed to the new ‘we’ which is what love should really all be about.


    • Too bad you didn’t also use “we” in your sentences in response . We are also fine with that we are in. Lol.

    • It could be that he thinks that wording will wind you up, or that AP has access to his phone (after all, she knows how trustworthy he is). If he’s now using “I” again there may be trouble in cheater’s paradise.

    • That whole “we are in” business would def rile me up too. I am glad that you can now laugh at it for the bs it is. But should it ever start to bother you again, picture him as the villain, Lord Farquar, from Shrek, using the royal “we”. Might help.

    • omfg! This!!! My ex does this ALL the time! He even says shit like “team (daughter’s name)” on email threads which always include the new wife. he’s such an ass. this is the same guy, who when i got pregnant two years into our marriage, asked me “what do you want to do about it?”. wtf? um, WE had decided we wanted to have kids!! I should have left then. but no. I stayed, and when daughter was born, i was told “kids don’t need their dad until they are like 2”. he’s never been anything but an ass and i refuse to communicate with him at all. it just pains me that my daughter has to. and of course, he takes credit for all her accomplishments.

    • Yes THIS exactly! Every email I get is “we think blah, blah, blah…” or “we approve of this…” It’s truly codependency at its highest. That and I know for sure that OW answers his emails and signs his name. Occasionally I get a text and he used “I” and I figure she must not be around. I know it’s all to piss me off so I just ignore and continue to write as if a judge is reading everything.

  • One of our kids has special needs and medical issues. The FW likes to use “we” or “I” when talking about her care and needs. Meanwhile, I am the one who has taken her to 99% of her appointments, ER/urgent care visits, lived in the hospital with her for a couple weeks, manages her medication, and I do the majority of her care and parenting. He has accused me of being “enmeshed” with our daughter and this was one of his justifications for having an affair–that I didn’t give him enough attention because I was “too focused” on our child (she is a teenager and is functionally about 4 yrs old). Now that I have gone gray rock and the fog is lifting, I think about these things and say to myself “what in the actual f^ck?!?!” whereas I used to give some credence to his distorted way of thinking

    • What an actual man baby. Why was he not also invested in his child’s care? It’s only because you were doing all the work that he had time to fuck around and demand more for himself. Your daughter is lucky she has one good parent.

  • As I am no contact, I have no idea what he takes credit for but expect it would follow that he speaks proudly of our son’s many accomplishments and doesn’t qualify to his audience that “it is really his Mom supporting and encouraging him daily”… just like with cheating, it’s always some kind of lying by omission with him.

    My only saving grace on this topic is my step children who range in age from 24 – 31. As I was in their lives from their early childhoods, and two eventually came to live with me during my marriage and one after the divorce, I know they “get it”. They love their little brother and always speak proudly of him and that warms my heart.

    Fuckwits are gonna be fuckwits.

    For this challenge though, I do have one comment… he used our son and our son’s accomplishments to lure in his current GF. In the beginning of their dating, they attended every athletic meet… every competition… every awards ceremony… and I know he was “showing off” to her what a great Dad he was to our son. Flash forward 5 years and they come out to maybe one thing per year… ONE. Now, he even expects our son to be there at the wedding – even though it was planned for the exact same day our son has started summer camp for the last seven years (and this year he is a counselor). All I can do is help my son learn to recognize the game, but he’s almost 18 and what relationship he wants to have with Mr. Sparkles is in his hands now.

    • I’m betting your cheater and his GF are both full of shit. He was pretending to be “father of the year” and she was pretending that she was impressed with him being a devoted dad. Neither one really gave a rat’s ass and were only scamming each other. What clowns.

  • My favorite was WE can share a lawyer. Three months later I filed.
    His attorney withdrew and Limited represented himself.

    Now they call themselves ONE. I’m thinking it’s the brain cell they share.

    • Oh goodness that “we can share a lawyer shit”

      My fw called me at work and said in his sad sack voice “I know you don’t have any reason to trust me, but we can use the same lawyer and save both of us money”. I said no, I have already retained my lawyer, you just need to get it filed, and the sooner you file the sooner it is done.

      He then switched to rage and said, “that is your problem, you can’t think for yourself”. I just said “well right now I can’t, that is why I hired someone to think for me”.

      Ass wipe just said shit, I don’t think he ever said anything that made sense after he was outed. Likely didn’t make much sense while we were married, but I adored and trusted the con man, so I spackled.

      This was years before CL, so I didn’t have the terms then, but I had the concept.

      • That was exactly what my X did to me, after YEARS of treating me like I was a hinderance and annoyance to living his best life. When I left he brought out the sad sausage act and pretended he had NO IDEA that I was so unhappy, that our marriage was non-existent, and I wasn’t going to live that life anymore. When I told him I wanted a divorce, he started with the we can do the paperwork ourselves and not involve lawyers who will just take everything. Then it was lets share an attorney. When that didn’t work he got a bull dog lawyer who tried to make me out to be the worst thing ever. It was all just an act to try to denigrate and deny me in every way possible.

      • 😂 Susie Lee this comment made my day. This was asked of me and when I asked the lawyer she said she has l my best interest – not his.

      • My ex-MIL tried to tell me when she got divorced, she retained an attorney and her ex-husband did not. Then, she tried to tell me that you don’t have to take everything you are legally entitled to. I fail to see how her ex being too nice has anything to do with HER magnanimity.

        • Janna, I hope you told your ex MIL that based on her story, she should be recommending to her FW son (not you) that he should not retain a lawyer and not take everything he’s legally entitled to. Would have loved to see her reaction to that. She’s manipulative

  • FW recently told my kids he had to keep his job (that he hates) to put me through grad school. No, FW. I did grad school and worked full time, raised the kids, cleaned the house, paid all the bills, etc. while you watched TV and texted your secret lady friends. And that’s why I finally kicked your lazy ass out. Now that FW is free he can live his “amazing” life that he could never have with me. But has he? Nope. #dumbass

  • Slightly off base, but it reminds of the story Asshat told about how he paid for med school. All about him and revision of history.

    He was graduating in May 1993, the same month we were married. His senior year, he was doing rotations in different medical studies at various hospitals and practices in Detroit. He had a friend who wanted to do an internal medicine rotation in England and Asshat wanted to go. I said we had no money and he had to figure out how he could afford it. I told him to get a job. So he did—at McDonald’s. His mother was horrified and said she would loan him the money. I’m sure she was so angry with me! He worked for a total of two weeks. Anyway, about a year later I overheard him tell someone he paid for medical school by working at McDonald’s. Um no, he signed up for the army and they paid! I was a military dependent for 7 years to prove it. He always plays the martyr.

    I made sure we paid back everything he owed his parents and even “sold” my car to his sister to shift $6000 to her (I’m sure she never paid that back). It makes me mad as his brother “stole” my pontoon boat during the divorce. Marital bookend vehicle theft. His family is despicable.

    • Limited complained he had to support me. Nothing like a Ho with an arrest record telling me how he supported me for years.
      She was disappointed when I wouldn’t sign for a mortgage with him so she could have an investment property.

      WE couldn’t get anywhere together. There’s NO WE in three! HO’S a number. As always the predator is always looking. It doesn’t matter if he’s wearing a ring, there’s always a next.

  • He didn’t say we, but the day he told me he had been cheating on me for ten years and never loved me, in response I said but, I always supported you , he said I did you too. How on earth is cheating and lying for our entire marriage supporting me. But it didn’t matter what I said, he would throw it back in my face, didn’t have to make sense for him to say it.

    So I just quit talking.

  • Oh it was a cold bitter day in New England as I shoveled and shoveled and shoveled some more, big storm that day… he had taken the snowblowers and the generator and left me the shovels. He sat across the street talking to the neighbor as I took a break from roof raking the home and went inside spying out the front window as he talked to her. Funny how the conversation went… “We had that beautiful home because of her. She was the worker, made the money. We had all of that because of her.” Dang I was an awesome appliance until I wasn’t. Got me a great snowblower the following year and a generator and I paid off the 14k of credit card debt the year after. Hang onto your beer and watch this loser. Best thing I ever did was drive him out.

  • I honestly can’t think of anything. He took full credit for everything. If you asked him he’d probably tell you how he did everything and I was useless. One of our friends even made a comment to me about how I never worked and I asked “wtf? the years I worked 40 to 60 hours a week in a warehouse don’t count for some reason?” And she got this look on her face of surprise like “Oh, that’s right…” He would take credit for things around the home too because I remember once exploding on him towards the end of the marriage and yelling at him that he doesn’t do anything around the house.

    • I was going to say exactly the same. From the way he talked, I didn’t exist and hadn’t lifted a finger in 15 years together. He’d also talk like I had never had a job or contributed financially. When I’d done the majority of the work to make our life what it was, and only took 2 years as a stay at home mom (by mutual agreement) and then three months off when I was dangerously ill. But it was “his” house and “his money” and “his car”. Most of our marriage we had made fairly comparable salaries, and he’d been laid off twice for long stretches where we had to get by on unemployment. But our financial troubles were 100% my fault. (Never mind that the only reason we didn’t lose our house while HE was unemployed was because I went to the ends of the earth to find a mortgage program that would keep us our of forclosure). Funny that after we split our finances, my bank account grew and he spiraled futher into debt. Go figure. He also never helped around the house (the ONE time he loaded the dishwasher he wanted me to praise him forever), but constantly told me what a shitty housekeeper I was. I had an INFANT. I did my best, and it wasn’t bad, even if it didn’t look like a magazine. When he had the house to himself, it turned into a dump that honestly looked like those houses on Flip of Flop that had squatters living in them. AP was just as gross as he was, so their house together looked much the same. My house now, when it is just me, stays reasonably clean and cared for. FW made a lot of extra mess that I no longer have to deal with.

      He was a film maker (part time – he also worked) and I worked my ASS off to make those movies happen, but when he did interviews, especially after we split, he never once mentioned my name. I produced, found locations, did casting, did audio, did contracts, did sets, did makeup, did costumes, the equipment was bought on MY credit (his was trash), did scheduling, called and begged and cajoled people into showing up (often bypassing a paid gig so they could work on our unpaid film), helped with publicity, organized the premier, not to mention spending countless nights alone while he went and worked on post production and kept everything in our life running smoothly so he could focus. I put our money into it, that I’d saved by being careful with the budget. And I scraped him off the floor more than once when he got discouraged and wanted to quit. Then AP waltzed into our life and he took HER to his red carpet events, the festivals, the conventions, the parties, where she stood next to him and acted like she had something to do with it when she’d NEVER been involved in any way and showed up after everything was all done. I was completely excluded. Since he died, I now own the rights to everything. He wanted to leave his “profits” (LOL, we say almost nothing from either film) to AP, but since he didn’t actually make a will, just left a suicide letter, she didn’t get diddly squat, and she never saw the $30K she gave him again.

      I’m sure he downplayed my role in our life (helping him get his jobs, buying our house and cars, raising our kid, picking out his clothes, keeping the house clean and in good repair, you name it) to AP. She thought it was all because of him. She found out the truth once I walked away and they moved in together. He was, for the most part, helpless and irresponsible.

      He also went on social media during covid lockdown and cried about how hard it was to “be a single dad” when HE HAD NOT HAD OUR CHILD WITH HIM FOR THREE MONTHS. I was doing 100% (and paying for it).

      Yet he leaned on me and expected me to do things for him, even when we were separated. When he did get our son back 50% of the time, he said to me “tell me how the virtual schooling works” rather than figuring it out himself like I’d had to (he never even asked about how the school was going – not once). When the boiler broke at our house, where he was living and had been for over a year, he called me and told me to find a plumber. He didn’t even know where the water shutoff was and just left the broken pipe to pour water all over the basement floor. As I was trying to find someone (on a SUNDAY), he kept texting, angry that I was taking so long. I oversaw the entire boiler replacement, including scheduling it and finding a way to pay for it. And all he did was yell at me because the only time they could do it was black friday and then they took too long and he didn’t want workmen in the house because they disturbed him. (I finally wised up and a few months later when some other things in the house broke – due to neglect, I’m sure – I refused to have anything to do with it and refused to contribute money, which infuriated him).

  • I work to have the kids make gifts for their dad on his birthday, father’s day, christmas, etc., because I want them to understand the joy of giving handmade gifts and thinking about someone important to them. Nothing overly generous or large, just a small momento from their hearts, supported by me. He felt awkward at first and (in his usual style) would just buy things that were expensive and meaningless without involving the kids in order to feel like he was “doing something”, totally missing the point that it’s not about the gift itself but the act of giving with the kids involved.

    Anyway, he’s gotten to a point where he has said “we have decided that we won’t be doing gifts anymore and we can just involve our parents to help the kids find a gift.” Kids were not involved in any kind of a decision, as he implied, and came back to me devastated. WE’LL continue to do what is best for us.

  • My ex never liked to give me credit (for anything) so my jaw dropped & a stupendous look overcame me the one time he said “we are proud of our kids”. Of course, it was in front of other parents & he was simply mimicking what he thought he should say & be impressive. I have to encounter Fuckwit in two weeks when our son graduates. There is no tix for the AP, but apparently she’ll be waiting outside (my son warned me that she was insisting on being included somehow). I’m sure if I was in their vicinity (I 100% won’t be) FW will probably trot out “we are so proud of you”. I doubt he gives any credit (for anything) to the AP either, despite his concocted story that he found twu wuv & it magically changed him. He’s 100% still a Fuckwit, so him saying “we” is just more impression management.

  • Mostly my ex didn’t take credit for things I did; instead he blamed me for things he did (or didn’t do). Doncha know it was my fault he was fat, although he ate but (healthy) hone home cooked meal with me per day; it was my fault he didn’t write and therefore was not yet a Full Professor; but above all else, it was my fault he wasn’t Happy, dammit.

    The only thing he ever took credit for that I did was house repairs. He pushed off onto me responsibility for the house and yard (he did mow, that I’ll give him; but I raked, shoveled snow, planted, pruned, and weeded), so I was the one who monitored the house for needed repairs (and sometimes also paid for them out of money I’d inherited), and, after finally wringing permission from him to get something fixed or replaced I’d choose the repair team and schedule the work. Twice I was out of town when the scheduled work was done, and he was home; in his mind this meant he got all the credit for the work being done. It also earned him griping and blaming rights because of the inconvenience of him having to be home (instead of me) when the workmen were there.

    • I just want to make clear that I am not out to “fat shame” my ex. That he was fat and unhappy about it, and that he considered it my fault, was something he himself said to me.

  • I was subjected to a different kind of “we” by my cheating ex-husband. Pretty much throughout our 18-year marriage whenever conflict arose, he would challenge me to “just leave then.”
    “This is MY house!”, he’d say. And, “The kids and I will be fine without you.”
    A constant othering of me, and aligning of the kids with himself.

    Those kids are now adults. The oldest, age 30, swears his dad is a narcissist. I don’t know, and I don’t care to try to give him an armchair diagnosis.
    All I see is a sad, drunk man alone in HIS house, with no hobbies, interests, or friends.

    • WalkawayWoman, Same here. All of the sudden everything was his. All the money we saved for retirement was “his” money, it was “his” house, etc. Fortunately, in a fault state where I had HIS homemade porn videos with Schmoopie, HIS receipts for money sent to Schmoopie and more, a lot of what he thought was his became mine. In our judicial settlement conference the retired judge did not care that much about adultery but I got the Schmoopie money back and ended up with a very good settlement! The FW thought everything would be his. He was sadly mistaken.

      • Good for you, CFANM! Upon discovery of my ex-husband’s affair with justafriend coworker AP, I made some decisions that in retrospect maybe were too generous.
        I decided I’d be the one to move out (of “his” house lol) and that we would operate according to an informal verbal agreement where our three teens were allowed to move between our two homes as they saw fit. We remained legally married for a number of years, which meant I (as a self-employed painter) was able to remain on his health insurance, and no child support monies changed hands.
        I made these decisions with the best interests of my kids – but also of my ex – in mind. To the detriment of myself and my relationship with my two older kids, it turned out.
        I saw (and still see) my ex as the psychologically weaker one, completely over-identified with his role as Superdad and lacking any sense of purpose for himself and his life outside of that.
        I worried that losing the house and having limited time with the kids would cause him to promptly self-destruct. So I set him up for success.
        And then, as the kids grew up and flew the coop (several years delayed as a result of his enabling) he self-destructed anyway.
        Meanwhile, I rebuilt. Rebuilt myself as a capable, independent woman. Rebuilt my relationship with my kids. My career flourished and I was able to craft a rich (except in $), creative, full life.
        Things have a tendency to work out exactly as they’re supposed to.

      • Ah yes the fictitious gang of “We” who are gunna beat up on you if you don’t get into line. I didn’t quite realise FW spent his entire life looking for secret alliances as he was too weak to fight his own battles. In the end he was just making shit up about his deceased grandfather siding with him when he had barely mentioned him in 25 years. Stuck in a fantasy world.

  • I have an update on my situation I’d like to share. So, my ex was finally arrested in April for trying to meet an 11 year old for sex. It was a sting, he was one of about a dozen men they caught. He’s out on bail. When it hit the papers at the end of April, I forwarded the article to a couple former friends of mine because they have children and I have worried about all those children since I found out he’s a pedophile.

    About a week ago, one of his oldest friends from childhood contacted me. She thanked me for the information and said they have only seen him once since the divorce. She said she was sorry I didn’t feel like we were good enough friends for our friendship to survive the divorce. Whatever. It’s not like she ever reached out to me to ask if I was ok or anything. She also made a comment about how she couldn’t believe he was that stupid. I read it off to my boyfriend and made a joke about it, like “That’s the issue? That he was stupid enough to get caught, not that he’s trying to rape children?! Is she smarter about her child rape activities?!”

    Anyways, since she contacted me, I have had a bearded man in a truck aggressively tailgate me all the way across town on my way to work one morning. As in he drives up on my ass and revs his engine, then falls back and repeats the process several miles up the road. He did it three times over a 30 minute drive. I thought I was going to have to call work and tell them a psycho was following me but he peeled off right before I got to work. I live in a city, people are crazy. It happens.

    The same day, a bearded man (I can’t be sure if it’s the same one or not) came into the store and started saying things like “Wow, look how angry you are, what’s wrong with you?!” and laughing at me.(This is also something my ex would do to me, accuse me of being angry out of the blue, even when I was happy.) I was having a great day and completely confused. This was memorial day. He then says he’s a veteran and I said, “Oh, me too.” and he starts laughing and says, “Yeah, I know. I served a lot longer than you.” Cue to my hands start shaking violently (because how would he know that?!) and he’s demanding my manager. I point him at the manager and basically flee. My shift was thankfully up so I ran out of the damn store and went home.

    This same week I have had two packages stolen off my front porch. The second was a bait package full of cat shit and used pee pads and I hope they enjoyed it. The thing is, I live in a neighborhood with only one entrance and exit. You can’t drive through it. It’s a winding road with about six or seven cul de sacs of houses before mine and then two after and then it dead ends. I’ve been talking to neighbors. They are shocked. They’ve never had an issue with theft here and when my packages were stolen, the packages of other people in my cul de sac were left untouched.

    I reported this to security at work. I’m documenting everything. But I got thinking, maybe that old friend contacted him and told him he was a piece of shit since she has a young daughter and maybe he blamed me. So, I looked at facebook. She and her husband are still friends with him. God forbid they unfriend him, he wouldn’t be able to masturbate to pictures of her young daughter anymore if they did that! I’m just blown away. These people are total garbage. She probably called him up and told him I tattled on him since she’s apparently just fine with it. I was so wrong about everyone I knew for 20 years. But that’s what’s going on lately, I just had to share it somewhere. Thanks for listening.

    • KatiePig, please make a police report and consider getting security cameras if you can. This is probably one of FW’s buddies or some pal of your former “friend”, who apparently likes your FW better than her own children.

      • I have security cameras, i have the thief on film but he wore a mask. And work has the bearded man’s picture and bookmarked it in case i need to pursue a restraining order. I’m surrounded by cameras pretty much all the time. I’m getting front and rear dash cameras after this too. I reported the theft to the police. Plus I’m a bit of a gun nut and licensed to carry. I am not playing with these people and I’m getting pissed. They fucked with the wrong pig.

        • One more thing to consider, take your car into the mechanic and have them put it on the lift and look for tracking devices. Just a thought.

          • That’s a really good idea. I didn’t even think of that. Thank you.

        • Good for you Katie!! The daily realities of carrying and frequent practice can be a pain but keep with it!!! You’re probably already doing this – make sure someone goes with you on your range days, always. That goes double if you’re practicing in the woods. One of the other things you might consider making a habit is being super aware of how/where you park your car at all times – if at all possible strive for a well lit spot you can just drive (quickly) out of that can’t easily be blocked. If I’m parallel parking I look for a corner or at least a big driveway right in front of my car. Bonus points for run flat tires if your vehicle can take them and they are in the budget. Hugs and fingers crossed that they catch this douche fast.

    • That’s very scary, all of it. I’m so sorry for your troubles. I think a security camera is a good idea and these days pretty easy to find and install. I can imagine how distressing this is. Or maybe have a friend stay with you, or go stay somewhere for a few days, just for a feeling of safety to return. I was working in a store until last week. My managers told me to go in the back if I ever felt a customer was threatening me, or coming on to me. Let us know what happens please.

      • My boyfriend lives with me and he’s quite intimidating and we have cameras. Work told me the same thing as yours, just leave the area and radio security. It’s scary but it also makes me angry.

    • First of all, may they lock up that POS and throw away the key!!!

      Second, I am with the others that you can’t take your personal security too seriously. Here are a few things I use:

      Dashcam on my car
      Doorbell cameras
      Home security system that works even if the power/wifi goes down
      Panic buttons placed around the house linked to the security system
      Smart watch that automatically calls if it senses an impact
      Alexa hooked up to local police so I can verbally call for help by shouting

      • I didn’t think of a couple of those and will be adding them to my security. Thank you for the tips.

    • I’m so sorry to hear this, KP. I suspected an ex-bf of mine of pedophilia and couldn’t prove anything.

      An anecdote about women who protect these predators: once we were vacationing at my now-long-ago-ex-bf’s cottage, and he had some friends over – a family. The woman was the widow of a guy ex had known, and she had a new bf; she had two girls from the husband. Whenever my ex spoke of the oldest, a late teen (who now, by his report had “issues” and had run away and the mom didn’t know why) he was weirdly detailed: like, he was getting dinged at work for harassment, was treating me badly, as if he had no care in the world for how women felt, but this teen was of special interest to him, he brought her up often, talked about how supportive he was of her. I never met her. The younger daughter, 12 or 13, was at the cottage. He got naked out in his backyard and walked around in front of her. I saw her cringe. As soon as I could, I told him privately I thought that was not cool / inappropriate / not good for the girl / she was obviously uncomfortable. He left the room, immediately went to the girl’s mom, and told her how silly me had a problem with him being naked in front of the girl. Didn’t I know that’s just how familiar / good friends they all were? He told her I was being paranoid because I’d been assaulted in the past myself as a girl, ha ha. The mom laughed and said yes, I was being silly, Magnolia shouldn’t worry.

      I couldn’t believe it. But ex used to give this woman and her girls money, appliances, big screen TV, etc. I guess mom just wanted to keep the goodies flowing. I mean, I know it effed with my mind big time to think I was dating someone that I also suspected of such heinous shit, but because I had no proof and believed him when he said I was projecting my own history, I lived with that dissonance for almost a year. Seeing that mom basically blow off her daughter’s discomfort at watching a 50-yr-old man expose himself to her child helped confirm that I was in a twisted vacuum of morals and helped me leave.

      Maybe this friend of your ex his gets perks from him.

      It makes sense this predator might try to scare you for outing him to families he’s groomed. I’m rooting for you, KP.

      • Wow. Your story feels so familiar. One “friend” i told he was having sex with 16 year olds has a 16 year old daughter and i was shocked she was fine with it and even defended him. But i noticed he was buying her gifts constantly through our divorce from our shared (at the time) Amazon account. I thought it was so weird. Like he was buying her off. I can’t wrap my mind around how these women think. The men are disgusting enough but the mothers who defend it… it’s just evil. It’s supposed to be an instinct to protect your children.

        • KatiePig–

          Since child predators often cluster together for things like sharing and trading illegal kiddy porn and sharing and trading tips for grooming and evading legal consequences, and since nothing is more dangerous than a cluster of thwarted pedophiles, I wonder if– upon getting busted– your ex bitched to his fellow pervs that his ex-wife “probably dropped the dime.” It would kill two birds with one stone– continue to transfer all blame onto you (apparently his favorite pastime for years) as well as to put the cross-hairs on you and draft others into fulfilling some enduring dark wish to destroy you (every abuser’s favorite rumination). This may or may not have involved your ex Swiss friend but, regardless, I agree with others that you’re wise to take every measure to protect yourself. I would even suggest you consider taking it further and turn the photo of the bearded perp over to the FBI. The stalking could be an element of conspiracy which the FBI knows all about in relation to pedophile rings. Though the cost might be prohibitive, a PI might be able to dig up identity and associations.

          As far as that exSwiss friend, CL calls these women “Vichy.” My name for them is “bonsai trees” because it’s like they were carefully groomed and pruned from seedlings to acclimatize to creepery to the point they’re emotionally stunted and deformed– though perfectly adapted to being around predators. I’ve run into so many Vichy-bonsai types because the media industry seems to attract them along with the power-abusing creeps they cuddle up to. They not only turn a ditzy blind eye to raging red flags around them but will actually knee-jerkedly police, silence and punish any uppity victims or whistleblowing bystanders they run across. When they age out of being sexual objects themselves, they compulsively pimp others.

          I have so many ugly stories. I also think of these people as trauma zombies. While survivors of abuse and trauma will often become more empathic and sensitive, the mark undead non-survivors is that they internalize and emulate the worst of what was done to them or are drafted into serving predators. I’ve also encountered men like this who, though they might not commit overt aggression themselves (yet), they seem to specialize in serving the agendas of perps and predators and can always be found orbiting dangerous shitheads. Those are the Kato Kaelin types if you remember OJ Simpson’s little lackey/pool boy.

          The participation and facilitation of women within the arena of sexual abuse, harassment and exploitation is something #MeToo whistleblower Rose McGowan mentioned in the wake of the Weinstein scandal as especially depressing. I feel the same. Probably because I had a good relationship with my mother (who had an almost supernatural radar for creeps and took no prisoners), I keep stupidly expecting more from other women and keep getting disappointed. But that’s also why I hang on tight to certain friendships. At this point, character and integrity are the only thing I value.

          • More evidence that pedophiles seem to love forming coalitions:

            One of the most notorious is the now defunct “False Memory Syndrome Foundation” originally formed by the parents of psychology professor Jennifer Freyd, the coiner of DARVO or “deny, attack reverse victim/offender” after Freyd accused her psychologist father of molesting her as a child and her psychologist mother of covering it up.

            Here’s a story on it: What the report doesn’t mention is that Freyd’s dad and the shrink Ralph Underwager weren’t the only credibly alleged pedophiles on the organization’s founding board. Many founders were trailed by credible and multiple allegations, including James “The Amazing” Randi (I heard the tapes of him soliciting boys so young their voices hadn’t broken. He never denied the tapes were of him:

            In any event, if anyone needs a measure of how intensely driven and dedicated child predators are to avoiding consequences and how some tend to cluster in self defense and collectively retaliate against whistleblowers, the FMSF became so powerful and influential that, even to this day, the junk science the organization generated regarding victims’ “faulty and unreliable memory” still infects academic social science, memory studies and science journalism. That’s also likely why the FMSF isn’t on the Wiki list of pedo orgs– that and the fact that the org branched out and monetized by defending every species of vile offender, from Serbian military rapists to Ted Bundy to the Butcher of Treblinka.

            This is all by way of saying it wouldn’t be paranoid to wonder if the bearded stalker had been sicced on you in the wake of the sting. Please stay safe.

          • My x molested his little sister for six years beginning when she was six – when I discovered it on D-day (after a 20-year marriage), along with all the other ads, porn, bar hook-ups, friend hook-ups, prostitutes – definitely lives in the secret sexual basement, I told everyone. Our church community embraced him; his family circled the wagons; law enforcement for his attempts to purchase(?) a teen told me I was overreacting…in so many ways, he just kept on being himself (predator) and others support it. I lost everyone from that period that I know think of as a black hole. My incredulity remains, though.

            • Well, if the story blows up– which does happen from time to time– all the wagon-circlers and collaborators will be covered in that much more shit and shame. Years after I left (and quit the entire industry), a former horrible boss (imagine a repulsive mini-Weinstein) ended up as front page news around the globe when more than a dozen women came forward with credible allegations of sexual abuse, harassment and rape, much of which had happened when the victims were minors. Only when the scandal hit headlines did all the wagon circling stop and the rats ran from the rapey sinking ship. Prior to this, people working for that company knew about the guy’s history but no one said a word about it, even when he started messing with me. After I quit, former coworkers would glare when I ran into them. I wish I would run into those twats now. I fantasize about doing the Donald Sutherland thing from Body Snatchers.

    • Absolutely, totally horrific. I am so sad and sorry that ALL of this has happened to you. I hope your boyfriend is a good person besdies being physically imposing, and that you feel safe and loved.

      • He is a really good person. He’s scary muscular to the point people comment on it in public but he’s very kind until someone forces him not to be. He’s my grizzly bear.

  • The ex took all the credit for what I worked hard for. He had a degree in finance, but his work was a glorified forklift driver because a job more than that created stress that he couldn’t handle. Apparently, I could handle the stress and had the income to have a nice house with toys which he loved saying to people how he had them. Never we. In the divorce, I kept the house and he got the toys along with all the payments. I wonder how he is surviving now on his income. Don’t know and don’t care.

  • Quite the opposite for me. On Dday I made the “we have a family, home, etc., etc.” argument. His reply was “It’s my time to be happy.” 2.5 years later he showed up claiming “we have a family together!” The ship had sailed, for me. Good riddance! I went nuclear no contact. Have been fuckwit free for 2.5 years! FREEDOM!!

  • “We tried!”

    When referring to the marriage, aka MIRAGE.

    In a therapy session after DDay, he dramatically pronounced, “We tried!”

    WE tried?!

    I said, “No. I tried. The only thing you tried to do was sabotage and destroy our marriage and our family, and you succeeded.”

    One of my huge pet peeves about him was his use of “we”, which he used when the appropriate pronoun was “I”.

    It saw it as a manifestation of his lack of boundaries, having no clue about where he ends and someone else begins.

    • …..meaning, he could never be accountable for ANYTHING, and could only make an admission by tarring me with the same brush by using “we.” I found it bizarre and upsetting, and often reminded him to speak about himself and use “I”.

      His family is almost 100% negatively focused and dishes out a constant stream of criticism and judgement. As a result, he is incredibly stingy with praise, so examples of him absconding with credit, even by using the Royal “we”, don’t come to mind right now.

      • I just remembered that in a mediation session, the attorney praised the decision to buy the buildings our business is in. He raised his hand with a resigned look on his face, which indicated he, Financial Genius, had bought the buildings despite being married to me, Financial Idiot according to him.

        Buying the buildings, both of them, was my idea and executed according to my plans to do so.

        • Oh, your tale of the buildings, with the retroactive reworking of the truth, just reminded me of the most important instance of my ex taking credit for something I did. He gaslit me to my face and said he was the one who had to convince me to have a child! When it was 100% the other way around. I am three years older than he is, and at 35 my biological clock was ticking, we had been married for 7 years by then, and it seemed to me the time had come for us to start a family. He kept putting me off, insisting we needed to be in a better financial condition (we were both grad students, but we owned a house and were nearly finished with our PhDs, with decent job prospects). How do I know my memory of who was dragging feet is the correct one? Because I also clearly remember a conversation I had with my mother in which I explained that he thought we needed to wait until our finances were more settled, and she said, “If you want until you think you can afford to have a baby to have a baby, you’ll never have a baby.”
          But no–in his mind, I’m the one who didn’t want to have a child, and he had to argue me into it.

          • Ugh. That’s so annoying.

            Do these types believe their own rendition of events? In other words, do they actually believe their own BS or are they aware they are lying?

            With my own ex, I remember wishing I’d recorded certain conversations to play them back for him.

            My sense is that he had to believe his own made-up stories in order to preserve injury to his frail ego.

    • Oh YES.

      What he told the kids, along the lines of “your mother and I can be so incredibly proud of the fact that we both fought so hard to keep our family together”. His “trying” involved hookers and gay bathhouses for over ten years. Mine involved coping with mindfuckery and abuse and misery and “working on myself” because I was “the problem”. Throughout a coronial inquest, civil case, had two babies, changed nappies, did school runs, earnt half the family income, did a masters etc.

      And I won’t go into the book he wrote about what “we” went through after our daughter died. Outright lifted some of my own writing. Knocked back by several publishers who asked “where are your wife and son in this story?” Refused to include any acknowledgements in the book. The dedication was to me and my son … for being “alongside him on his journey”.

      Good grief. Textbook narcissism!

  • As usual, mine breaks the convention —

    “We” is trotted out for all the bad stuff:
    “WE share responsibility for the ending of the marriage”; “WE have to be better than this” (after I caught her hiding money and stealing checks); etc.

    “I/Me/My” is used for all of the good stuff, most gallingly when it comes to birthday shoutouts (for both daughters) on FB. Every year for E the Elder:
    “My water broke in the middle of a chinese restaurant; wandering the halls of the hospital for hours and hours overnight trying to speed things up; an epidural where I promptly passed out after getting it; a nurse trainee for whom everything was “…wonderful”; 18 hours of labor during which I watched Miss America, Legally Blond, and a Patriots game; 3 hours of pushing despite my epidural not working and feeling everything; a vacuum delivery. And it was one of the happiest days of my life. Happy birthday my beautiful daughter — I will be forever grateful you picked me to be your mother.”

    • Oh brother. Galling, indeed.

      Also: “WE share responsibility for the ending of the marriage”–That’s one I heard, too.🤦🏻‍♀️

    • I’m sure your daughter loves that yearly recital of how much she made her mother endure to give birth to her…

    • Oh how I relate to this! My ex-husband treated me like nothing more than an incubator/surrogate to produce his children. Wanted to name our oldest Jr. Joked that our only daughter’s name was the feminine version of his name.
      Fast-forward to him basking in the reflected glory of our children’s athletic successes like a preening peacock. Ugh.

    • This is my STBXFW too. Recently he used “we” in this context. “We are about to run out of money.” Um…no dude. YOU are about to run out of money. You still have to pay me alimony. Dig into your inheritance. Get a second job. But “we” aren’t “we” anymore. You are you and I am me and you owe me alimony.

    • UXworld – Your XFW stole that bit from Joan Rivers. She said “Melissa, you tore me to pieces when I was giving birth to you!” FWs steal everything. They can’t even write their own material.

    • Wow. “Happy birthday … but it’s really kinda a celebration of me me me me, right?”

  • I spent hours and hours (15?) painting and doing some light carpentry work in our basement. After all of it was done, he insisted on doing some touch-up work so he could say that “WE” had done the basement. Time spent by him: approximately 10 minutes.

    In general, he liked to take credit for things, even his own kids accomplishments. It was as if there was no separation between him and the kids, especially when they excelled. He once even said that when our son scored a goal in hockey, he felt he’d scored it himself. He acknowledged that it was a weird sensation.

    After D-Day, he said that WE (meaning he and I) travel well together and have a great sex life, BUT I guess we also had a bad marriage. I never got the memo.

    That said, he is right. I see now that we did have a bad marriage but not for the reasons he would give. I wasn’t perfect, but, to me, that pales in comparison to being a lying, cheating, blaming, self-centered manipulator who stomps around the house.These days (a few years out), when I close my eyes, I see him stomping. That’s the gif that keeps on giving.

    What he might be saying now, I don’t know because I’m–blissfully–NO CONTACT. He married the AP (who also cheated on her ex). Both of them can “we, we, we, all the way home.” I’ll never know. And I don’t care.

  • OMG, the royal we! I made this comment recently, but it still smarts… in a Mother’s Day Hoover email (can’t wait to block!) my ex started out with “Whatevever else WE did, WE raised a great kid!” Yeah, dude… we sure did… while you were distracted by your “friend,” your porn, and your nightly pot intake… but yeah… we….. sure. Dude is so low-effort, even his Hoover’s suck! 🙂

  • i have no clue what my X stakes a claim over, TBH. probably just the money. it’s the undercutting with my adult kids that bothers me. for context, i have two kids who have both just finished uni.

    my eldest daughter (masters degree in political science) has a job at a non-profit and is learning what it is like to be employed by a non-profit. disorganized and few supports from HR. so, she thought she’d look for a job in the industry. my X says asks her to explain the job position to her and, when she does, says, “so you do have some qualifications. huh.”

    my younger son (science degree with chemistry) is currently looking for his first serious job and X says, “it’s not like you’re qualified for much, are you?”

    he takes no pride in these great kids, who have weathered a family storm and COVID, while living on their own in other cities, finishing their degrees. their resilience is amazing to me, TBH. i mean, there are serious effects from his abandonment and undercutting, but they carry on.

    the irony of it all is that my X was eliminated from his VP job four months ago, in a “cost-saving endeavour” by his company, and can’t seem to find a new job these days. the story is more complicated that a “cost-saving endeavour” but i’m tired of telling it.

    both my kids did well at uni, solidly well, not top of the class well, but solid. over all their courses. consistency is important in education because it reflects the student is studying a field that truly fits. and, luckily, both kids landed in fields that fit. i’m so proud of them both.

    PS i don’t care what my X says about much else except the kids

  • This is an interesting one. I wouldn’t say my exFW used the Royal We as a way to take credit for my accomplishments as much as used it for impression management – to look like a good parent. She completely bristled at any suggestion that her cheating made her a poor parent.

    Also, “I’m not divorcing my kids, I’m divorcing you!” Despite the fact that I initiated the divorce. As if her betrayal that blew up our kids home and family didn’t impact them at all.

    • Yep I got the ‘Im leaving you, not the kids’ line, even though he worked with current struggling with broken homes and other challenges. When I replied ‘Do you think they’ll see it that way?’ he was silent. I don’t agree with staying for the children, but that the lack of empathy for me also extended to our children, that’s very hard to bear.

      • Oh yes. I got: “This is between you and me. This has nothing to do with the kids.”

        Lordy. Lordy. They are so clueless and empathy challenged.

        As far as I can tell, the affair is between the FW and the AP. Full stop.

        Chumps are trotted out as equally at fault when it comes time to justify the affair. “It takes two,” they like to say. Well, yes, “two,” but not the two you’re implying.

        I think that CL is right when she says that they probably didn’t consider us at all.

        • In other words, all of their justifications are reverse-engineered to make both the chump and the FW appear to be equally at fault, but it’s all BS. I suppose they love the thrill of sneaking, and we provide an important bit of exciting triangulation, but in terms of what motivates the affair, we chumps hardly register. So to argue that it’s “between you/chump and me/cheater” is ridiculous.

  • I don’t remember the royal we that included me in a way that is really memorable. No doubt the phrase was used but I probably laughed it off as a “joke” (like so many hurtful comments) so it didn’t hurt as much.
    However, I clearly remember his use of “we” when he helped kids with something like a tough school project. To adult friends in front of kid, he told “funny” stories along the lines of “we did a great science fair project!” The way he said it took credit from kid, visibly deflated their sense of pride in the accomplishment, and implied dad did the difficult work. I believe parents can help with (not do!) projects or break big tasks down to smaller pieces- it is part of raising/ teaching kids problem solving. I know I helped kids but they are ones that put effort in and I don’t claim “we” did anything.

  • My daughter graduated from an ivy-league college about 15 years ago. Her father abandoned us (called from the bar on a Wednesday night that he was never coming home – and he never did!) when she was three months old. I was a single mom for ten years – and supported us and all her activities (dance, piano, singing, etc.) as a public school teacher. I re-married cheater x when she was ten.

    Anyway, at her graduation, she gave two tickets to her dad/his mom (sidebar: he never cut the umbilical cord) and two to me and x.

    As she crossed the stage, received her diploma, smiled in our direction…dad and x shook hands! Congratulated themselves on their fine achievement. I observed then, altho it took another five years before I discovered x’s secret sexual basement, that to both of these losers, I was nothing more than an annoying womb.

  • I thankfully did not have children with ex fuckwit, but oh boy howdy did she take credit for my work! She would brag endlessly to friends and family about my PhD research as if she was the one who did it… Her mom once told me I really should work with fuckwit on my research because she’s soooo knowledgeable on the subject and I really could learn something from her…!!! FML.

  • Everyone knew who raised the kids and kept our lives going so there wasn’t too much of the Royal We during the marriage. The kids and I were glorious No Contact after the divorce, with court-ordered OFW email-only communication. That led to the following exchange, which seems representative of all FWs:

    To: Eve
    Subject: Graduation
    I would like to get 3 tickets to Son’s HS graduation. Can you help?

    To: FW
    Subject: RE: Graduation
    You’ll have to talk to the school about that.

    To: Eve
    Subject: RE: Graduation
    Son is the only one allowed to get the tickets. We are allowed 8 tickets. You get 5. Don’t make this hard.

    To: FW
    Subject: RE: Graduation
    There is no “we.”
    The tickets belong to Son. He decides who gets them.

    To: Eve
    Subject: RE: Graduation
    Fine I will go to the school and get them all. Be a bitch.

    Reader, I forwarded that lovely exchange to the school principal, assistant principal, guidance counselor, the lawyers, etc. and COPIED HIM IN. Nary a peep after that and later discovered he took himself out of town on graduation weekend. Shine a light on the bullies and they cockroach-skitter away.

    • Love it! At one point, I set up Gmail filters to forward all emails from my ex and exMIL and ex’s step dad to each other while also auto sending them an email telling them I couldn’t receive messages at that email anymore and they’d have to send to my dad’s email. I figured they could talk to each other like three stooges and leave me alone. It stopped a lot of harrassing blameshifty emails. Unfortunately, Gmail now requires you to click a link sent to the recipients email before you can forward emails to their address. So this would no longer work.

      • Wow. I love that you got to use that when it was available. That is brilliant! xD

  • In 2007 I started a wildlife research project. I was the one who made all the initial decision to begin the project, got the permits, did the training, put the equipment together, made all the effort. He wanted to join in too. But he just wanted to do the ‘fun’ stuff. He didn’t want to do the paper work, the data entry, fund raise, etc. I did all of it. The permits were in my name, I received the training certifications. I started an official 501 c 3 non-profit in 2015 – the year we divorced. It was very small, had less than $5k in it at the time of our property mediation. He tried to tell the judge that he was the one who made the project happen, and that he was entitled to 1/2 the money that the org had! It was pretty satisfying when the judge explained to XAss that 501 c 3 entities didn’t work like that and he had no right to any of it, not the funds, not the equipment, not the permits, nothing.

  • My “we” moment doesn’t exactly fit but I want to share it. At the divorce hearing, I listed that he should be responsible for half of my school loans. I provided old, old (I’m a financial person) documentation that proved that big chunks of my school loan debt were used to pay childcare and put a new roof on the house. The other half of my school loan debt is parent loans taken out later for the two kids.

    His attorney said that FW was unaware of the parent loans. My attorney asked if he was aware they went to college. The judge asked me if FW was included when these loans were signed and I responded saying, “Are you asking if he ever filled out a FAFSA or visited a college or helped or supported one of the kids in making those decisions? No, I can assure you he did not.”

    The judge decided FW could remain responsible for half the school loan debt.

    Good example of narcs playing stupid when it benefits them – but it backfired badly in this case.

  • This one makes me chuckle because– to the AP’s pissy, hysterical chagrin– FW couldn’t stop his compulsion to blurt “We” when grubbing credit for many of the daring, challenging and innovative feats required to raise and educate the kids… despite the fact that he always initially raged against decisions that led to good outcomes and did almost nothing to contribute beyond grudgingly paying bills.

    When our middle child was physically assaulted by staff in a corrupt district school, FW had tantrumed over my bid to pull all three kids and file a civil rights complaint, did nothing to help find legal representation when the school retaliated and it was only by luck that I found a pro bono legal organization to get us out of dire straits. He tantrumed over my bids to homeschool for a while with the help of a spectacular tutor so the kids could overcome the trauma of their awful school experience. FW threw fits when I wanted to sign the kids up for a music and art academy mostly for the social element and to travel out of state to get specialized medical care for our chronically ill middle child. FW complained about the cost and difficulty of allergen-free medical diet for our son. But on his first secret sleazy date with the AP, FW used our son’s tragic experiences as a way to cop a “super brave, devoted, martyred dad” pose which also gave the AP the chance to feign being “empathic” and shed a few crocodile tears over the plight of the “poor sick boy”… who’s dad she was now porn-fucking and bilking of tens of thousands of dollars.

    That first drunken date was the last time the AP even wanted to hear reminders that FW had a family and she’d punish him if he spent kid-oriented holidays with his kids instead of with her. After D-Day, FW admitted the AP would throw angry fits and sulky bonk-embargoes every time he slipped and blurted “We” in connection to brave or successful parenting choices. Meanwhile, I’d hear FW on the phone telling work contacts and everyone else “My house,” “My car,” “My trip to X, ” as if he was a single dude or a patriarch in days of yore before women could own property.

    Ugh. The narc pronoun thing still makes me retch. But it’s funny that it tormented the AP.

  • Son was arguing with an umpire during a baseball game and got suspended for the next game. I told him, you will go to the game and cheer your team on. He did. Sperm donor was an assistant coach who did not even bother to go to game since son was not playing. Next game the head coach told me that he appreciated having son come and cheer on the team within earshot of Asshat – Dickwad’s response: Yeah, WE thought it was important that he learn a lesson and even though he couldn’t play he should come. The head coach and I just looked at him – WE!? He didn’t even go when he was a coach! WE didn’t do shit, I was the only one teaching lessons. The examples are endless. Unfortunately Fuckwit never SHUTS. THE. FUCK. UP. and I hear him at baseball games no matter how faraway I sit from him talking about the WE.

  • When Jackass’s father passed, he was very proud that he was now the “patriarch” of the family. He who routinely skipped one of his court-ordered visitations every week and missed a major HS event because he had a chance to work overtime and “couldn’t say no” because he was “the only man who could do the job.”

  • I know all about the “Royal We.” Not any one thing by itself was particularly egregious. He just took credit, where credit was not due, when given compliments by others. This was over our lifetime of raising the kids, taking care of the house, and presenting to the community and our families as a functioning family. We did seem to start out as a couple that cared about each other, our home, our extended families, and the kids when they came. But he always traveled for business, and unknown to me, he used time on business trips at strip clubs, with hookers, and God knows what else. When he was home, he did less and less, claiming job stress. Towards the end, he zoned out in front of the TV or computer and did very little unless badgered. The thing is, it all deteriorated so gradually, over 35 years.

    He would accept praise (for both of us) for our kids, who ended up incredibly intelligent and with good characters. He would accept praise for our marriage (?!!!!!) when we were held up as a model for family life in our church. I am sure he felt that if we received compliments as a couple, and praise for the way our children were turning out, that what he was doing couldn’t be so bad. Part of his impression management included complimenting me.

    Another use of the “Royal We” became apparent to me when I started going to AlAnon. We had been married 16 years when DDay2 happened. He was told by a counselor that his drinking problem caused the “2nd time in 8 years” infidelity problem. I began to observe more of what he said, and what he did. I noticed he would agree to do things for neighbors or school/sports groups, and say “yes, we can do that.” Then I realized that he would go away on business, and he could go away without feeling any responsibility to anyone! Often I picked up the pieces & filled in to do what he said we would do. Lucky for me for AlAnon – I stopped filling in for his commitments.

    The last use of the “Royal We” happened just prior to our separation. He said to me “we got married young, we didn’t know what marriage was.” Oh really? We had been 24, out of college, & living independently of each other & our families for a few years by the time we married. We had Christian educations that spelled out the do’s and don’ts of marriage. We saw loving, long term marriages in both our families. We talked about marriage and kids before we became engaged. We continued to attend faith formation activities all throughout our marriage. I was incensed that he would say that AND assume he could speak for me. I told him that I knew full well what marriage was when I married him, and I lived up to it, and he didn’t, and to not speak for me. Dipshit.

  • I am a notorious researcher for anything important. Anytime we would have to make an important decision, plan a vacation or similar, I did hours of research, and created spreadsheets and documents. I did this to find a church, find a preschool, interview her primary school to make sure it was a fit, etc. Somehow anytime I was complimented for being so thorough, WE were suddenly equally responsible for the hard work.

  • FW came from a family that put him on a pedestal and complimented him endlessly. When his family complimented him repeatedly for something, he wouldn’t think of saying that it was my idea, or I planned it or I was involved, or I did the cooking with him etc. I never wanted to look petty by jumping in and saying “it was my idea” etc.

    • Were you married to my ex spouse, Zip?! That’s exactly the way it was for me! He was like the king of his family, on a very high pedestal.
      I use to joke to my own family, I went to his prom and his family took most of the photos of him and raved about the way he looked and I stood by waiting to be seen, but thought it was funny they loved him that much.I was literally pushed to the side to photograph him.
      I now know that was a very early red flag, he was raised to be entitled and over admired.
      I had friends from his work, that we knew for 40 years, say to me after the divorce, yeah, we always noticed how when you brought food over to share, we had to make a big fuss over whatever he made and your contribution was always creative and incredible, but you barely told us you even made it.
      I never wanted the lime light, I was fine with him getting every ray and I knew he needed it but I was okay with that because I thought he was amazing too. I was unaware others saw me in the shadows behind him and took note of that.
      They are not in contact with ex FW, they stayed my friends and I didn’t even work with them day to day. Just saw them mostly at work events and we did socialize a bit at our homes too, maybe 5-6 times a year.
      FW said to me one time, someday I’m going to tell you all the things that are great about you, lol. That day never did come, I guess not enough time to fit that in, we were only together 44 years.

  • The word ‘we’ was something I was often aware of for different reasons. FW used ‘WE’ a lot when discussing his first marriage, as in ‘we went on this holiday’ etc. I tried not to say “we” if discussing the past, like I would try and say, “it was decided, rather than ‘we decided”.
    And sometimes he did things I isn’t involved in at all, like make a certain meal and he would say ‘we did… blah blah’, and I wouldn’t want any of the credit and I would say ’no you did blah blah’.
    It’s hard to explain, but this is the first time I was ever in a relationship with anybody where I kept noticing that we had differences with how you use “we.”
    If I was involved and he got credit he took the credit and never mentioned my involvement. But if I wasn’t involved at all, he would use the term ‘we’ and it would be annoying because it just wasn’t factual. It’s just something I noticed!

  • As I commented yesterday, one decent thing I can say about my ex-FW is that he never took credit for raising our son or for any of his accomplishments. Even at graduation (very small class of about 60 graduates, and he definitely knew some of the parents) when each student walked down a central aisle as their name was called and met their parents in view of everyone to exchange a brief gift/thank you, ex-FW didn’t leave his seat to head to the aisle to meet our son. He left his seat a little earlier, but it was to slink away to the back of the room to hide from everyone.

    One thing he actually got right. I cannot imagine having to deal with their usual impression management on a recurring basis. Hugs to all of you who have.

  • About two years after separation, Ex apparently posted on his Facebook about how proud he was of my nephew being valedictorian of his class. This young man is on the spectrum, and it was an amazing accomplishment for him. However, my whole family hates Ex, so he linked to a local news article about my nephew, rather than to my sister’s post, I think hoping he could play doting uncle without anyone calling his BS. She keeps him friended on FB so she can keep an eye on him and she was FURIOUS. Really atrocious.

    • Facebook is where my FW had a secret life as a proud single dad for 10 years while he was still here living with me. I had no idea.

      • DrDr
        So was “We” him and Mark Zuckerberg? Just a couple of lads having a bit of a lark whilst the little ladeez stayed home.

        • LOL! “We” was FW and all of his “secret” friends on FB. He had so many kind and friendly things to say on FB, but to me and his kids IRL he was a total mean a-hole. When I found out he was secretly on FB for 6 years or more, I was like–did you block me? (I had no idea he was on there). And he was sadz. “Yes, I guess I was angry.” This guy slept with his phone in his pocket. Who knows what all he was up to. That thing was locked down tight with a code, fingerprint, and VPN. Wouldn’t let it out of his site. Was on it all the time and anytime I walked in the room, he quickly put it in his pocket. SUS!!

  • Nothing good, mostly blameshifting:
    “We were never good at communicating” (he was mute)
    “If we were smart, which we arent” (in the context of trying to prevent me separating out finances such as health insurance)
    “We were always physically hopeless” (schnoops gave him bjs)

    FW started on the “we” thing with our kids post separation, projecting his dysfunctional behaviour onto our autistic son (beyond weird claims that our son was doing or feelings things he was doing or feeling) and claiming our one neurotypical child was exactly like him, “trying to hide sadness behind a big smile” (the only time he smiled in about two decades was in a photo I found with the schnoops). How pathetic can you get (my daughter is happy now 2 years on, nothing like him).

    • This “We” thread reminds me of something Sam Vaknin said in one of his YT videos about how lack of individuation manifests in various cluster B disorders:
      For the BPD “I am the world”
      For the NPD “The world is me”
      Personality disordered people are very dependent on “we”.
      Psychopaths I assume are more strategic and goal oriented in their use of “we”.

  • My FW took credit for the decision to move to Seattle. When he first made that statement to our friends I was flabbergasted..I didn’t care but I was surprised at the history revision. My family lived on the west coast, his lived on the east coast. I got a job in my profession there to make the move work, he was not working much at the time and not supporting the family and never did for that matter. I realized that his ego really needed that so I let it go.

  • Me to my high school son: fed, housed, clothed, helped with school work and college apps, transported to and from, and basically did everything

    Ex Fw: saw son a couple of hours a month and threatened him to get good grades, then proceeds to KEEP the HS diploma as a badge of good parenting… 🤦🏻‍♀️🤦🏻‍♀️🤦🏻‍♀️ 😠

  • We made mistakes (in our marriage). We argued about sex (that happened outside our marriage).
    We want what’s best for the children (not knowing the truth about why we split).

  • Cheater implicitly took credit for having a strong Catholic family and on a metaphorical level, he was respected at the gates of the city for his good family. Irony is that the man in that family structure is expected to be trustworthy, strong, devoted, self-giving and faithful. He was none of those things. He especially paraded us around his FOO as we were the only branch to remain Catholic. I did 99% of the parenting in that realm.

    More than him, though…my parents (who are deeply disordered and not actually good parents) are quick to claim both my credits (and like Nomar described above) my debits as well. I succeeded despite their poor examples and lack of support to become a person with positive impact and financial comfort. My father (who never liked children) now says “I much not be a failure because my children as so successful” (and it grinds my gears every time he says it). Mom was always a jealous and resentful person. She is one of those folks -> if you have a good one, she has a better one and if you have a bad one, she has a worse one. The classic one was when her dementia started and she was confused, she commandeered my tragedy and would tell people that her husband was dead…my reply was “your husband didnt die, he is sitting next to you, mine died”.

    I want to share something off topic for a sec… many of you have heard my regret that I never left Cheater…I had made steps to do so (saving money, looking for an apt and making a plan) but I never did, he died. Part of my plan was to buy a Chevrolet car because I knew Cheater (who made sure that my Mercedes was only in his name) wouldn’t (at least in the short term) let me keep my car and I would need one. To me, when I saw Chevys, it was a memory trigger that reminded me of my weakness.

    Well, I have a son with high function autism who has suffered terrible bouts of depression, unemployment and cancer. He now has a great job situation (like really great that should lead to a fruitful life long career) but his car was unreliable. He lost 2 days of work due to no transportation this week and the proposed repair bill was twice what the car is worth. I made the swift decision to buy him a new Chevy that should last him until he hits the more lucrative stage of his career. I feel at peace that I did the right thing for many reasons and Im hoping that I can direct that memory to remind me of my son and not my previous circumstances.

    • Hi Unicornnomore, I feel this. I am so happy for you and your son!! Getting him that car is both practical and symbolic. It gives him autonomy and a pathway to the future. For you, it’s a way to reclaim your agency, your care for your son, your plan of leaving FW, your care for yourself. I know that life sometimes beats us to the punch, but I have started to tell myself that life doesn’t happen to me. It happens for me. Life is caring for me, pushing me along, loving me in the now. I hope you can bless yourself right now. Don’t waste time on shouldas. My friend (LSW) says: “Don’t should all over yourself.” Right now bless yourself and bless your son. Look forward. Your parents/FW/past are not you now. I am sending you peace and love this very moment.

      • Oh Doc, thank you for your kind words. My son started his day in despair and finished it in total joy. I knew I was doing the right thing. Im very careful with the death money …it was meant for me primarily but for them when prudent. He knew I would handle it well and I do. I am surprised at the degree of relief and peace I feel over this. Turns out, this new model is redesigned larger yet cheaper and will likely be very popular,,,,if I had not had this brand in my head, I couldn’t have made such a quick decision.

        I feel like I got to an even better Tuesday

    • Hearts to you. Being ASD parent takes a different level of care, regardless of all that Cheater bologna. Glad you were able to get the Chevy, just hoping you are more in-tune with your intuition now. You SAW the Chevy in your future, and you saw X not involved… it just was for such an amazing reason: you setting up your son for success. As mother, he’s almost like the finger at the end of your arm. In your mind, you were doing it to cover YOU–but mother’s (good ones) can’t help to feel decisions they make for their children are for them. This made me smile. Thank you.

      I have spectrum kiddos myself so It’s nice to see others here!

      • UL, I wrote to thank you for your kind words and my post seems to have gotten lost in the recent glitches here. What a gift you gave me…that I saw the Chevy and knew it would help …maybe it wasn’t for then but for now.
        Parenting ASD young adults is hard as Hell…there are times we need to let them flounder and figure stuff out and times to nurture and reassure them and figuring out which is which is hard as Hell. I was going to say it was harder adding the grief of his dads death, but parenting singly (with resources) has been easier than coparenting with a weak and mean person.

        The other kids (one who recently bought his own new car) have been gracious and supportive of my decisions. He reassured me that if I died, they would stay a unit and help each other …that was so reassuring to me.

        • “it was harder adding the grief of his dads death, but parenting singly (with resources) has been easier than coparenting with a weak and mean person.”

          My son is ASD as well (he’s almost 11), and I could say exactly what you did. My stbx (never even got to our first hearing) died in 2021 (self-inflicted). My life got SO MUCH easier. And though it was hard on my son (only 9 at the time), he has been doing much better without his dad. The back and forth between two houses was really hard on a kid who loves routine and consistency (we had a 2-2-5-5, so no two weeks were the same). My son was so depressed and had so much anxiety he started talking about self-harm and how he didn’t want to live anymore because it was “too hard”. That an 8 year old would feel this way is devastating. I ended up putting him in a children’s mental ward for a bit, and then starting therapy. My ex’s house was chaotic and filled with fighting. Ex and AP were both disordered alcholics with a tendency to be explosive and violent. After AP left (confusing the hell out of my little boy), FW became very depressed. My son was really worried, and would say things like “I don’t like to let daddy out of my sight”. Turns out my son was right to be concerned, because FW attempted suicide 11 times before he completed, over a 4 month period.

          Now my son is happy. He’s relaxed. His anxiety is gone. His depression is gone. His fear of abandonment is not nearly as prominent (it’s still there, as one time when I was later getting back from the store than I had said, he panicked). I no longer have to fight over every parenting decision. My son won’t have the stress of a string of APs in his life coming and going. Since I was doing all the hard parts of parenting by myself even when ex was alive, being a single mom didn’t make that much of a difference (except now I get to see my kid every day). FW had a life insurance policy that had my son as beneficiary, and my son also gets SS survivor benefits, so financially my kid is better off than ever. I only ever saw 1 (one!) child support payment, so the SS is really nice.

          I bought a house in the country for us, and our home is peaceful (mostly) and full of love.

  • Lemme see. I would author a paper, he would format it, then include his name as one of the authors. I did the heavy lifting of investment property, which he would bitterly gripe about having to do anything with it other than bragging that WE had investment property. I had a thriving studio for private lessons, where I did everything. It was, somehow, “our” studio. While I was busy accomplishing, he was busy boinking OW/AP and jerking off to porn. And then demanding sex from me at least 3X per week. It didn’t count unless he came, which often didn’t happen after an hour of going at it, which was ALL my fault. That one was on ME. According to him. And he wondered why I had lost my enthusiasm.

    • Damn. You gave it your all and he gave 0. Not fair. You’re a winner without him! Onward and upward. My hat is off to you and others here who did it all so that FW could look good to the world.

  • FW and I only communicate through email. I have schmoopie blocked- which annoys him but whatever.
    Anyway, every single email in the last 6 years has been written in the royal we. It’s beyond ridiculous. I wonder if he does it at his job too: “Schmoopie and I met the deadline!”

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