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UBT: Cheater Wants to Be ‘Comfortable’ with Her New Boyfriend

Universal Bullshit Translator
The Universal Bullshit Translator

Dear Chump Lady,

I just had to share this email reply I got from my FW. Might be a good one for the UBT. I asked my FW for a reprieve from having him and my new partner meet before my new partner meets the kids.

I tried to explain — but in not so many words as to stroke his ego — that the thought of it was bringing up past trauma for me, so I’d like to just forget we ever verbally agreed to this.

His reply is textbook FW. Yesterday he hung up on me, and so I decided I make my own decisions and he is not meeting my new guy “to get to know him and be able to say to the kids he’s a nice guy.”

Suddenly he’s the expert and also — he moved the affair partner in with my kids and told me AFTER the fact. Never mind the effect his affair has had. I could go on all day. Here is his reply — enjoy!

I reckon you should give yourself some time to think about this before making a decision. I suspect the proposed approach isn’t in the kids best interests, nor setting up you/me, you/me/NewGuy etc for best success.

Ideally we will all be as close to the same page as possible on things moving forward and this is not a step in that direction. Whilst the kids may be young, they are perceptive. I’m sure they’ll talk about him to me and I dont think it’s sending the best message to the kids when I can’t say anything to them about him/the situation other than “I dont know I havent met him”. Which I suspect will create a subtle divided loyalty between the kids and him/you. Everything I’ve read / spoken to therapists about / observed in the kids warns against loyalty binds and doing everything we can to avoid a scenario where kids feel like they need to split their lives in two / hide one part of their lives from the other parent. I don’t know if you think this is something that will have a small impact, but I foresee the ripple effect.

The best way forward for the kids is to feel no tension / disconnect between us and our respective partners. The more you and I can do to make the kids feel that we are comfortable with each other’s partners, the easier it will be for the kids to be comfortable in both environments. Unless you’re planning on never having the two of us meet, then it feels like delaying the inevitable, and if this is the case, I can’t see the benefit in him meeting the kids before me (maybe I’m missing something).

Also stating in case you were unsure – the prospect of meeting NewGuy isnt an interaction which has/had me excited. My interest is in letting our kids see that we have a united front. But up to you and you can do whatever you want. Your lawyer took it out of the parenting plan so you’re under no obligation. I wont say any more than this and wont protest / make a fuss. You do what you think is best.



Dear ChumpedButNotDefeated,

For the love of all that is holy, do NOT introduce your fuckwit ex to your new boyfriend. Your life is none of his business. Besides, your boyfriend is not a co-parent.

Your ex isn’t concerned, he’s controlling.

It’s especially rich coming from the creep who unilaterally and immediately moved his Schmoopie in to now care about The Best Interest of The Kids. Obviously, he could care less. It’s just a concept to bludgeon you with.

But, it’s also a tasty snack for the Universal Bullshit Translator, who could use a job. The machine has just been lolling about on its sprockets moaning about the heat.

Can’t. Work. 80. Percent. Humidity.

Sorry, there is bullshit to attend to. Chop, chop!

I reckon you should give yourself some time to think about this before making a decision.

I reckon you should let me meet your boyfriend. So I can ask a few pertinent questions, like: “How long have you been fucking my ex-wife?” Maybe I could stand really close… pick lint off his sweater… or lick his ear.

I suspect the proposed approach isn’t in the kids best interests, nor setting up you/me, you/me/NewGuy etc for best success.

I suspect your proposed approach of no contact won’t let me menacingly lick your boyfriend. The best success of derailing your relationship would be letting me sabotage your happiness.

Ideally we will all be as close to the same page as possible on things moving forward and this is not a step in that direction.

My mindfuckery needs consensus. #samepage

Whilst the kids may be young, they are perceptive.

They said to me: “Dad, that lady sleeping at our house isn’t mom. Also, that naked lady on your phone isn’t the lady at home.”


I’m sure they’ll talk about him to me and I don’t think it’s sending the best message to the kids when I can’t say anything to them about him/the situation other than “I don’t know I haven’t met him”.

It’s the children who want to interrogate me about your boyfriend. I am but an innocent gatherer of details. For The Children. Who want to know his penis size.

Which I suspect will create a subtle divided loyalty between the kids and him/you. Everything I’ve read / spoken to therapists about / observed in the kids warns against loyalty binds and doing everything we can to avoid a scenario where kids feel like they need to split their lives in two / hide one part of their lives from the other parent.

Which I suspect will create somersaults of grandeur on hippopotamus bottoms.

(I’m sorry the UBT is malfunctioning.)

Which I suspect will wilt pineapples like flaccid windsocks.

(Still having issues.)

Which I suspect will avoid scenarios of perceptive labradors hiding scenarios from other perceptive labradors.


(Hypocrisy overload! Being lectured about hiding one’s life — a double life, being split, dividing loyalties — from a cheater is more bullshit than this machine can withstand. Let’s try a new sentence.)

I don’t know if you think this is something that will have a small impact, but I foresee the ripple effect.

Oh, what’s that lapping at the edges of my Schmoopie Luv Shack? It’s the ripple effect of duplicity.


Yes. I have zero self-perception or sense of irony.

Also stating in case you were unsure – the prospect of meeting NewGuy isnt an interaction which has/had me excited.

How linty is his sweater? Will he hit me if I lick his ear? Not excited. So many imponderables.

My interest is in letting our kids see that we have a united front.

About your dating life. I care nothing for their homework.

But up to you and you can do whatever you want. Your lawyer took it out of the parenting plan so you’re under no obligation. I wont say any more than this and wont protest / make a fuss. You do what you think is best.

Fine, go against the advice of countless therapists I have made up in my head. Or the experts I pulled from my ass. Don’t introduce me to your boyfriend. Whatever! I won’t protest not meeting your new boyfriend, other than hanging up on you and harassing you with this email. No fuss!

Do what you think best. My imaginary therapist is going to hear about this!

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.
  • I’m guessing that ChumpedButNotDefeated’s FW wasn’t so bothered about a “united front” while he was schtupping his AP behind her back …… but then when was the last time a FW applied anything other than a false equivalence in this kind of situation?

    I’ve never met Ex-Mrs LFTT AP ; he clearly has no sense of moral compass and possesses low standards, so why would I? Should I start dating (I’ve been happily single for the 7 years since she left), Ex Mrs LFTT can pound sand if she thinks that she gets to vet or otherwise approve them.


    • Our son graduated from HS a four months after his mom got removed from the home for DV. She announced to me that she had arranged for him to have a summer job at the school district she worked at as a teacher. He would be in the Grounds department, just coincidentally where her AP worked. I said no. She persisted, so I said, “Hell no!”
      She wrote me a long letter and had our son deliver it. She has remarkable left handed slant and writes so tiny that her capital letters are not half height of college ruled paper. When stressed, her writing gets even smaller. Three pages of this about how we need to work together in coparenting. It was apparent she had already worked out how I would cooperate and there was no space for my input. No recognition that she had already wrecked any chance of co-operation by cheating with multiple partners, consistant lying, manipulating our children and DV.
      Again I said, NO.
      A truly unhinged phone call followed. Fury, accusations, rewritten history poured out of the snakes emanating from her head. But like Perseus, I knew how to end this.
      I hung up.

      • Bruno,

        Bravo. Some games you win by putting your cards down and walking away from the table.


      • How poetic of her to embrace the art of cursive, particularly on college ruled paper, as opposed to quickly tapping out an email or typewritten note. I’d bet the aesthete in her subliminally understands that to handwrite a passive-aggressive poison pen allows for the writer to stew in the anger juices a little bit longer.

    • There were six comments when I showed up this morning.

      First, I had to go outside and scream for half an hour.

      Then, I laughed hysterically for fifteen minutes.

      While I was gathering my wits and writing my two cents, I got booted off.

      I have found the stunning hypocrisy useful as validation of how fucked up they are and how completely unfit to be in a relationship of any kind.

      • I will add that on the occasions where I actually have to speak to him, listening carefully and using reflective listening is lots of fun with liars and cheaters.

        Prosecutors listen carefully to defendants on the witness stand, and so do detectives when interviewing suspects. Allowing people to hang themselves by asking questions and revealing prior inconsistencies is an effective superpower.

        The acronym to remember is TED….

        Tell. Explain. Describe.

        Tell me about X…..tell me again about X……explain X…..describe X…..

        Interrogate rather than declare, educate, enlighten, edify. Be curious. Ask questions. Liars, cheaters, and thieves hang themselves when you give them the rope.

    • When I introduced my son to my boyfriend, I didn’t ask permission. It was a short email informing him that I had a boyfriend. This is his name….. The only reason I am telling you is because our son has met him.

      That was all he got.

  • I would only suggest one thing – do not overexplain. People who could exploit your weaknesses dont need to know what is bringing up past traumas. ‘No’ is a complete sentence.

    • What Sammy said x 10. You don’t want this deranged control freak in your psyche, and who elected him judge of your decisions? Besides, a mild-mannered “No” and nothing else will mess with his head more than anything else you could say or do.

    • Absolutely. My ex loves to write these when he has a bee in his bonnet or is drunk, whichever. They became a lot less frequent when my reply was either “no” or “kk”. He wants you to engage him. Don’t. You can’t reason with a person who didn’t reason themselves into their opinion in the first place.

    • The least invested in a relationship has the most power.
      Once you go NC and when necessary to communicate, give as little info as possible it changes the field. If I agree it is “Ok” if not. “No”. I avoid giving explanation’s for anything.

      • When mine emails me to ask me to take our son for his weekend for whatever reason (often) he will give me snippets of reasons, or say “I don’t want to go into it here” with the obvious subtext of “ask me ask me”. I just say “ok” to keeping my son extra because I’ll never turn down time with my boy and just don’t care about his why. My husband and I laugh at how desperately he wants me to engage. I have better things to do than engage him, like wash the cat’s butt.

        • When you take your son for what was his weekend, does he force you to swap from what is your future time so he doesn’t “lose time?” Klootzak is trying to do this and I have said no. If he lets me have him on Klootzak’s time, Klootzak loses the time. No dumping his parenting responsibilities so he can run off with OW when he feels like it.

          • He used to try, but usually it turns into another “I can’t” weekend anyway. My son is now a teenager and has more control over his time, although we still mostly follow the agreement. But unless you expressly agree to “trade time”, he loses it, period. He also is under the mistaken idea that we have 50/50 time. It isn’t even close, and I’m not going to disabuse him of his notion because I’m happy with having the lion’s share of the time with my son. Besides, it isn’t my job to make him less of a delusional hypocrite.
            I have less than 2 more years of coparenting with my FW and I never even have to talk to him again. Even though our decree says he is responsible for 1/2 college fees, I do not care if he does or doesn’t. He likely won’t, but my personal mental health is better if I don’t bother trying to get blood out of a turnip. My kid knows who the sane and trustworthy parent is. If FW decides to screw off and run off, oh well. He pays such a low amount of child support I’d probably not even notice. Coparenting since my son was 4 has given me a lot of skills on how to deal with jerks in general, too. “Let it go” is really a great mantra for me now. My blood pressure is better for it.

          • “Your time is your time. If you can’t take Kiddo on your time, I will gladly do so. But I will not turn the custody schedule into a free-for-all.”

        • Wash the cat’s butt!! 😅❤️ Love it!!

      • “The least invested in a relationship has the most power.” Well said.

    • A thousand times this. I’ve spent half my life working on this and will probably be working on it forever. Every detail is something that’s available to argue about. Only trusted friends and family get details. Untrustworthy people get summaries, and that’s only when summaries are truly necessary. ⭐

      • (My comment was a reply to Sammy’s above about no being a complete sentence. Looks like it didn’t get recorded that way, and I can’t delete and re-try, so, sorry Sammy!)

      • When I blocked my FW on all social media because I had no interest in keeping up with him and vice versa, he said “Why??? I thought we could be friends!” Uh, no, I have friends. We are not friends. Friends don’t abuse me. He was just so surprised pikachu face that I wouldn’t want to swan around him like a little wounded bird for the rest of my life.

  • Dear ChumpedButNotDefeated, what a nice word salad courtesy of your FW. Mine also did not mind having the kids meet the AP before I could meet my replacement in the mother role. Well, maybe it is better this way. I eventually met her, at a school event. I framed it as meeting Mary Poppins, the nanny. That allowed me to keep my emotions in check and be chill. I don’t have to be friend with her 😅. I am not her boss. FW is handling her. For parenting issues I deal with FW. It has been a couple of years now and its fine. She is nice to the kids. The kids look happy enough when they go and come back from FW’s house. That’s all I care.

  • FW has been given too much credit/input which inflates/excuses his ego/centrality.

    • My FW honestly thought that he would have input on who I was going to date, or marry! He even tried to say that “We are still a family”. Nope, cut that crap off. I have a family and he is just the father of my son. Period. I can be cordial when I have to see him for my son’s functions but I don’t need to accomodate any of his bullcrap. His puppy dog eyed innocent act doesn’t work on me anymore. He is a wolf in sheep’s clothing and I have no time for him.

    • heehee. I see what you did there.
      He didn’t want to choose between his wife/OW either, so he just put a slash between the two.
      #cantchoose #divisionisfun #whatisaconjunction

  • This is just the kind of nonsense my ex would send me. He excels at framing himself as the reasonable one, while busily sweeping his ridiculous shenanigans under the rug so no one will compare reality with his attempts to shame me into doing whatever it is that he wants. It makes me wonder what it is like inside his head while he writes or says these things. Is he literally thinking – I wonder if she’ll fall for this one? Does he actually believe any of it or did he send it to a friend for help drafting with the guidance – please let me know if I’m sufficiently manipulative here to mindfuck SS without her catching on? It really boggles the mind and scares me because I think he’s actually capable of anything.

    • My FW was a young childhood educator AND he graduated with an English Composition degree. He carefully crafts his like he was writing a short story. Also he’s extremely verbose. It made for some eyerollingly ridiculous three and four page pleas to cooperate with whatever he wants. At first I would address all his points, and we’d go back and forth. Then I realized, nothing he sent me really needed to be addressed. At all. He just wanted centrality, he wanted to know he had space in my head and I was wasting time on him. CAKE! So I don’t give him cake anymore. It’s hard when you feel you need to defend yourself and your parenting against a FW, but in the end, I just remember he isn’t anything to me anymore.

      • YES. Chumps can get stuck on still ‘treating others how we’d like to be treated’ and that means addressing each point, when in truth, they are not treating you in a Golden Rule way (and most likely they never have). So it’s well past time to stop expecting them to play by any admirable standard (like the original letter writer seemed to when she asked her ex for consensus to not follow through on what she’d once said was best course–i.e., ex meets new boyfriend first). No, the minute he disregarded their agreement first, it expired. I love the BS detector and as Rainy Again called it, all of this FW’s input is pure word salad that amounts to ‘I am counting on still being able to guilt you.’ She’s a rock star for seeing through it.

    • So well put, SecondSelf. I went through this with FW#1 (not my current FW who is way less abusive). It was a brutal kind of harassment, coated in a quite plausible rhetoric of “reasonableness.” For me, your key phrase is “his attempts to SHAME ME.” The shaming that these kinds of communications carry is so painful, if you’ve been conditioned for years, as I was, to defer to your mate in order to minimize conflict.

      • Oh Leedy, this rings so true ” The shaming that these kinds of communications carry is so painful, if you’ve been conditioned for years, as I was, to defer to your mate in order to minimize conflict.” The level to which I deferred in hopes of minimizing conflict, I can’t even begin to explain. After years, it becomes second nature. I also learned it via my FOO, so it was compounded. And the joke is on me. Because as much as I tiptoed on those eggshells, deferring like a madwoman, he still was never happy. (Spoiler alert: his lack of happiness was never about me or any other outside force so no amount of giving him his way was going to make a difference)

  • You cannot co-parent with prats. Your lawyer just needs to make sure you are not signing an agreement that you can’t uphold. Take it as read FW will not follow it.

  • This guy is just controlling. I wouldn’t do a damned thing he says, and he even admits there’s no legal reason and it’s your choice so…no!

    • FKA,
      It’s so transparent, no? He keeps saying a form of “if I don’t meet him, I can’t tell my kids he’s a nice guy, all I can say is “I haven’t met him.” Unless he is planning on spending a ton of time with the guy and conducting an in depth interview, he wouldn’t have a good gauge of what the guy is really like anyway. People who met Ted Bundy and lived to tell the tale often say he seemed charming and like a nice guy. I am not saying the boyfriend is a serial killer, but more that the FW meeting him once briefly, wouldn’t be a good indicator one way or the other. I suppose if he met the bf and the bf was obviously unhinged and scary, that would be one thing. But the FW never even says he wants to meet him out of concern that this person will be around his children. He says he wants to be able to honestly say the guy is a nice guy if the kids ask.

  • It may be more useful to decide when to introduce dating partners to children.

    Not only should they not be included in first holidays following divorce, they should be free of their own red flags. Less than financially sound? Overindulges in substances? Inappropriate relationships with their own family? Pass.

    • True.

      I am so glad I didn’t have small children. Though I did find out he took my son to the whores trailer when my son was in about the fifth grade. His dad cautioned him to keep quiet because mom would not like him petting a racoon. Whore had a racoon at her place. My son didn’t remember that until years later.

      Anyway I never had to introduce anyone to the lying cheater. He certainly never introduced me to the whores he was screwing while we were married.

      • A RACOON. As a child, I would not be that strong. I would start drawing them… researching them… xD

  • My cats are looking at me as if I’m crazy I’m laughing so hard! I love this! I hope the UBT is ok after the overload ‘cause I need more of this. 😂

    • PS — I’m guessing this doofus was not so concerned about being “as close to the same page as possible on things” when he was cheating, right?

  • Stop going to the well that poisoned you, your ex does not have the authority to interfere in your life decisions anymore, he made his and you make yours

  • My EX could have written that. He even overuses the word “reckon” to pretend he is down to earth and approachable, just like yours.

    The biggest red flag for me (and there are choices) is the reference to unpredictable ripple effects. Your EX is creating a narrative in which all parenting problems or difficulties the children experience are due to YOUR bad decisions and the ripples that flow from them. In this narrative he is never responsible for anything.

    Take his message as a warning that he may want to cause conflict between you and the children and be prepared.(You cannot trust his promise not to say anything to them about it.)

    Keep in mind that there will be conflict regardless of what you do (or even what he does). There would have been conflict even if your marriage were perfect because kids cause/seek/use conflict as a way to develop and establish independence. Do not let yourself be manipulated into believing it is your fault. Your EX is trying to persuade you that every difficulty with the kids is going to be the result of you ignoring his wisdom so that he can claim the high ground and victimhood in his role as perfect (cheating) father.

    Stop thinking about how your new partner and your EX can or should interact. Think instead about whether you have spent enough time with this guy to introduce him to the kids. Don’t rush it. The kids need to see you as stable and reliable. They do not need to see you as partnered or desirable (you deserve these things, but they are distinct from your parental role). If you need to talk with people about when the kids should meet your new guy, talk to a trusted friend or counselor. Your EX does not get a vote.

    • This is so true. My focus is on the kids. I saw how FW did it all wrong and I will never ever do that to my kids. I make the decisions from this day forward. 😊

    • That “reckon” really grossed me out.
      “I reckon you should give yourself some time to think about this before making a decision.”
      WhoTF named this jackhole your advisor? Save yourself the trouble of reckoning so hard, genius, and mind your own feckin’ business. Seriously, does he think you’re 14? He’s telling YOU how to make decisions!?!?

  • That letter can be reduced to “Do what I want and what I tell you to do.” Which I’m sure is the same stance he took toward his wife while he was married.

    • I think so many of them do really believe that they will maintain their power once they have discarded us.

      Though I truly wanted my ex to be the one to file because he is the one who destroyed the marriage, I also knew that if I filed he would be in a position to fight against me and use delay tactics etc.

      It was almost comical after he filed when he expected me to fall into his plan of the terms of dissolution of marriage that he and the whore had cooked up. Guess again ass wipe, you lost your power the day you filed.

      Anytime he tried to talk to me about terms, I just said “call my lawyer”.

      He still delayed it for six months (don’t know why), but he was paying the freight for as long as it took; so I didn’t care. I only asked for 6 months, it took a bit over a year. I never did know why he delayed. Likely trying to stall marrying the whore until he knew if he would be fired or not.

      • Susie Lee, you said, “I think so many of them do really believe that they will maintain their power once they have discarded us.”

        That reminded me of an event after my divorce. For the next year after the divorce was final the FW kept taking me back to court over custody issues because, yes, he really wanted to maintain power over me. It had nothing to do with his concerns over the children. He rarely saw them. It was all about fucking me over and maintaining centrality. I had arrived to the courthouse in plenty of time and when the FW got there he came and sat next to me. Yuck. There were some other matters before the court before my issue and while I was waiting he wrote out a list of things he expected me to make the children do. It was totally insane. I gave the list to my lawyer. I suppose he put it in my file. I had no intentions of doing those things. But it really helped my lawyer see what a complete asshole the FW is.

      • Yes, Susie Lee, to this: “I think so many of them do really believe that they will maintain their power once they have discarded us.”

        Mine meant to discard me for the AP, but this has all been so dragged out that they broke up before we even got divorced. The divorce is still happening but he definitely made a play for wreckconciliation once they broke up. I didn’t bite. He had a 6 year or so affair. And he has every intention to date. He is currently open about being on at least one dating site though he says he has not seen anyone pop up that he is interested in yet. Anyway, the point is, I am not interested in dating. Even if I were, it wouldn’t before we are officially divorced. I don’t need to be dating in the middle of this craziness. I am not sure that I will ever want to again. My guess is no. But even if that were to change, I know it would not be for a long, long time. We still have to physically separate and the start the actual divorce proceedings and I plan to work on myself and spend a long time partner-free doing just that, possibly forever. (I think I might be one of those people that is completely happy with just my kid/hobbies/friends) But he is so freaked out at the idea of me dating. He brings it up all the time and the idea clearly upsets him. Upsets HIM? The guy that had a full on girlfriend while married to me that I had no idea even existed for years? Where the hell do they get the audacity? It’s weird that he thinks he gets an opinion on that topic at all given what he did.

  • Oh wow. This reads almost exactly like the long screeds I used to get a lot (still sometimes get, but not as often) from my FW. To make things extra fun, he was a young childhood educator so he felt he had the authority to talk like that to me.
    The audacity of the man who put his children’s lives in an upheaval to dare say anything about how you conduct your life? I saw nothing in that letter other than “Me, me, I, my, mine” and nothing of any substance to you whatsoever. My FW liked to hint that my new partner (now husband) was a “danger” to our son because he used to teach martial arts. FW acted like he was going to beat up our kid! I know it was because he was intimidated by my husband as he’s quite a bit taller and athletic and FW is lanky and an out of shape alcoholic. Again, all about him and his “feelings” and acting like he knows better.
    But this is also the guy who asked me if I was hoarding our son’s underwear when he was in preschool. I mean, how would that even work when we handed him off, fully clothed, to the other person? I hate when they play “I’m the logical one, you’re the emotional one”.
    But the biggest point is that I started ignoring his multi-paged “thoughts on parenting” as what they were, another method to control me. If there were any true questions about our parenting time in there (I’m able to drop him off at activity) I’d answer yes or no, or KK. None of the rest of the drivel was EVER worth me even reading.

    To be fair, this letter today would have triggered a very visceral response in me years ago. Now I just read it and nodded, knowing exactly what it felt like to receive those. Useless drivel with no substance, meant only to exert control over you. If it isn’t in your parenting plan (and good on your lawyer for dropping it!) he can pound sand.

  • ”Dear Ex,

    thank you for your input regarding my decisions, much appreciated. I confess I’ve spent quite a bit of time trying to work out how this situation is different from when you moved your current girlfriend into your home before I knew that I was being cheated on, children notwithstanding, but my not including you in my dating life is somehow not Thinking of the Children? Honestly, it’s got me confused, but it is what it is.

    Please don’t contact me again under any circumstances other than through parenting software – see link – or through my lawyer.

    Yours sincerely,

  • The moral high ground of a cheater is a hard thing to deal with. When I asked my X to just not speak badly of me his response was “ I dont. It’s all in my head” In his mind he is torturing himself keeping quiet? Being the better person?? Plzzzzzz, where was this control of actions when they did all the other deceptive actions? The biggest tragedy of these FW is that they damage their children for life in so many ways and you can’t do anything about it. So, no. Not taking any direction from a person that can’t control their own life and has lost their character and morals.

  • Dude is sly af. That much word salad says that whatever he is saying, the real meaning and his true position is the dead opposite.
    The whole piece reads like a “Look at him”. He is sooo superior and just so thoroughly across the therapy space and attendant language — if I received this missive my eyes would have rolled so hard they’d be stuck in the back of my head. The term “loyalty bind” sounds like a mutation of trauma bond that he has morphed to weaponize that against the chump. As if HE is the great kid protector and lords it over the chump tone of “Behold me, I am the Voice of Reason!”

    Nope, he is the Voice of Treason.

    Cheater dude desperately wants to meet the NewGuy. He is freaking out haha. He still wants to piss on his turf, his property (ie that in his mind he still owns the chump and kids).
    I would keep that slimy cheater way the fuck away from NewGuy. Looks to me like he is trying to control his fear so possibly the affair honeymoon might well be over…
    My cheaterX lost his mind when he caught a glimpse of my new partner. Lol. Too bad so sadz and wouldn’t you know it turned to so madz!! They HATE it when you move on as that was never their plan for you. My advice would be to let the cheater forever wonder. None of his damn business. Definitely it’s a HARD NO to meet NewGuy from me.

    Make sure the kids don’t take pics of you both either and maybe send them one of the two of you when you’re looking SO happy and loved up so that when they are asked by cheater to see a pic of NewGuy (you know that will happen) the cheater is shown one that is smoking hot of the two of you!
    I know it’s not meh but a lovely pic served cold is fine in my book but I’m petty like that.

    • My husband doesn’t interact with my FW when we go to functions, but for some reason, he frightens my FW. Again, it is his need to be central to my life. He thinks my husband cares about him. The only thing he cares about is my son and what my FW is capable of doing to screw him up. I mean, does he really think that he figured into my husband’s decision to date me? He’s a nobody to him. Sperm donor to his bonus son. Nothing more.
      Yesterday I signed my kid up for driving lessons and my husband is nearly giddy with the thought that he will get to help teach him to drive. I think he’s more excited than my son! That is a man I share childrearing with. That is the man whose opinion I take into consideration when I make decisions about our son.

  • Fuck the fuck-wit! Seriously. Everyone gets to have their own lives after a divorce. Co-parenting has nothing to do with meeting or accepting or rejecting or having an opinion about who the other person is dating. I’m not sure how old the kids are but they will sort it all out on their own. Besides, did the fuck-wit ask his wife if he could cheat, move in with his new fling and have the kids over when it is his turn to be with them? NOOOOOO!!!!! He did not. So fuck him and the horse he rides.

  • Ha ha! Shortly after DDay, when dating was the last thing on my mind, Ex said to me: “If you want to start dating someone let me check him out first so I can make sure he is good enough for you.” He also warned me against dating Schmoopie’s husband because he was a jerk. It’s funny now but at the time I was devastated, confused and offended all at once. I thought he had truly lost his mind. Needless to say, I did not consult him before I started dating my boyfriend.

  • I never had (and still don’t) a boyfriend, so X (who always said I’d never be able to replace him) doesn’t even think about that. And it doesn’t occur to him that I DON’T want / need a boyfriend either….I’m not like him, he HAS to have a woman around to serve and admire him.

    It was about 3 months after I left when he moved his AP and her daughter into the house. Amazing how fast ‘love’ blossomed since he “didn’t get involved with her (A someone who I noticed was having an inordinate amount of social media commentary on his FB posts for at least a year prior.) until after I abandoned him”. Too bad for him that she lasted less than 18 months….

    And none of that, me moving out, the split custody, the new woman and her daughter moving into the house, none of that mattered a rat’s ass to X. It was all about him and what he wanted. Which is why I divorced him, mine and my son’s needs finally took precedent over his wants.

  • Your only good path is limit contact. Here’s how.
    Keep everything separate, holidays, birthdays, etc.
    You have your time, he has his. Nothing together.
    Pickups, drop offs take 2 minutes. There’s nothing to chat about.
    Limit all communication to text or email.
    Do accept xtra time if there are scheduling issues. Expect him to do the same.
    Kids will adjust.
    Do you want a drama free life or be under his thumb?
    It’s your life, your choice.
    Look up grey rocking.

  • Their desire to maintain control is ridiculous. After a hearing on finances, the court ruled that FW had to pay certain individual expenses and loans he took without my knowledge, and ruled which of the household bills each of us should pay. FW emailed me instructions to pay him MORE than half the TOTAL money–including those that were his sole responsibility– and tried to insist that the court meant that I had to pay the money to him, and he would pay the bills. He refused to give me the account numbers and passwords to pay bills including utilities, refused to get off my car insurance as ordered, and did everything possible to run up more attorney fees for me.

    So much great advice from readers here.

    And a shoutout to the UBT for another torrent of classic phrases:
    ” Which I suspect will create somersaults of grandeur on hippopotamus bottoms.
    “Which I suspect will wilt pineapples like flaccid windsocks.
    “Which I suspect will avoid scenarios of perceptive labradors hiding scenarios from other perceptive labradors.”
    Tracy, how do you come up with these?

    • so….what happened? (or is this a brand-new chapter of his mind-f&cking game-playing B.S.?) Because I would love to know if you did bring this up to your attorney (or go back to the judge) about this.

  • This is where I came to a screeching halt: “Your lawyer took it out of the parenting plan so you’re under no obligation.”

    CBND, your lawyer did that for a reason, and the reason is that you don’t answer to FW anymore. Don’t make agreements with him outside of the parenting plan, and don’t act like he is someone in your friend circle who gets updates on your life (like who you are dating).

  • If you don’t look out after yourself how are you going to manage your kids welfare? Kids are a lot smarter than you think.
    A happy mom makes happier kids.

  • I think it’s clear how that meeting would go by the disrespectful, dismissive moniker of NewGuy– not “the man you’re seeing,” “your present partner,” “the individual you’re dating,” but NewGuy, i.e., “The untested, unvetted, rando who’s servicing you who probably won’t stay around long after I blast him with subliminally violent vibes. Or demo disparagement and dismissal towards you as a dog whistle tutorial for NewGuy of “how to treat dat bitch” just in case he’s a latent misogynist like me. Or drive a wedge by drawing him into my flying monkey cheater-bro strip bar junta, all while I collect distorted observations about NewGuy’s physical and personality flaws through my twisted personality-disordered rage-lens so I can create a more bespoke cutting nickname for him to use with the kids like ‘Dandruffy Dickless Wonder,’ or ‘Mr. Potbellied Stammering Pigeon Chested Closet Case,’ or “Mr. Latent Child Molester,” etc., to make sure the children never bond with or respect him…”

    This is one reason I can’t wait for civil and criminal coercive control laws to be the norm. By rights, the typical facilitating abusive behaviors involved with cheating like gaslighting, financial control/abuse, social isolation, social/emotional blackmail, physical endangerment, etc.– should trigger official questions over perpetrators’ custody and visitation rights (like in Hawaii, CA, Connecticut, the UK). Normalizing that view might start to erode this default assumption that chumps (“victims”) and cheaters (“coercive controlling abusers”) are on equal footing as far as sanity, safety and parenting.

    • Diverging from the post here, but I’ve been thinking a lot about coercive control lately. I kinda went down a rabbit hole of watching documentaries on cults and it bugs me that they focus so heavily on a few instances of physical or sexual abuse, while the major damage I’m seeing from the interviews of members is from coercive control. (Maybe sometimes they’ll mention “brainwashing” which sounds very woo-woo and not something the viewer thinks could ever happen to them.) Do you know of any good books or podcasts or something on the topic of coercive control? I am suddenly recognizing it everywhere but I don’t quite have the words to describe it.

      • Hi, Feeding Electric Sheep,

        Though the high statistical risk of violence following a build-up of years of coercive control is the main reason certain countries and regions are legislating against it, I agree that discussions of coercive control within violent relationships can sometimes distract from the fact most victims report that emotional abuse and coercion– more than physical assault– are the most devastating and paralyzing aspects of domestic abuse. This is such a brand new field in criminology that everyone is playing catch up and the parameters are only beginning to be formed. But in the meantime here are some resources in the case they’re any help:

        “Coercive Control” by Dr. Evan Stark (authored by veteran DV researcher and one of the main spearheads of the global movement to criminalize coercive control:

        The Batterer” by Dr. Donald Dutton (veteran researcher and criminologist who studied batterers like bugs in prison settings for decades includes a few case studies of sub-violent coercive control, not just extreme violence. Furthermore, the analyses of abusers’ MOs and psychology apply either way, including applying very neatly to cheaters in many ways)

        CONSIDERATION OF INFIDELITY AS A FACTOR IN DOMESTIC ABUSE AND COERCIVE CONTROL IN FAMILY LAW PROCEEDINGS: (the takeway is that cheating is a form of coercive control and is plenty traumatizing and coercive on its own).

        “Look What You Made Me Do” (Australian documentary on coercive control which highlights how a huge percentage of domestic murders were not preceded by any reports of violence).

        “Maid” (dramatic series based on autobiography of a victim of coercive control– definitely highlights emotional abuse and blackmail as more than sufficient to make people crack like pinatas even without tire irons and broken bones).

        The website is down for this site for a coercive control legislative lobby but when it comes back up, it’s a good source for understanding the CC laws being instituted around the world:

      • In short, what I’d like to see in coverage of CC is a sense that CC is “bad enough”– even on it’s own– to explain why some victims feel too terrified and paralyzed to escape. I’d like to see very surgical explorations of the methods used by abusers to emotionally, psychologically and socially threaten and entrap their victims in Gordion knot/barbed wire web where any attempt to escape might unleash consequences that most human beings would be horrified by (such as– due to lies, fabrications and triangulation– unjustly losing custody of children, or losing the support of family or friends, losing job, career, reputation, etc., and usually after the abuser has disabled the victim from being able to fight back against those threats and risks). The public developing an understanding of this would help erode the still prevalent but statistically unsupported victim-blaming view that victims “don’t leave” because they’re, you know, drawn to abuse on Voodoo tractor beams. Real progress would also be when CC is viewed as more than “bad enough” on its own to be criminalized if just because it robs victims of the lives they could have had and the potential they could have reached, not to mention what it does to children to witness this. If blackmail and extortion are illegal with or without threats of violence, CC should be illegal without threats of violence.

    • “Or drive a wedge by drawing him into my flying monkey cheater-bro strip bar junta…”
      HOAC is on a roll and I am so here for it 🤣

      • LOL. Don’t the swaggering bro cabals seem kind of like Latin American “juntas” from the seventies? They all dress the same like they’re in uniform. The ring leader usually has shark eyes, a puffed out chest and a grandiose or stupid nickname (bad mustache is optional). They walk into spaces like invading armies and their laughter oozes menace. And they usually crash in infamy.

  • This is a bit off-topic but I had to share an unexpected laugh with my chump warriors. Family get together for grandson’s birthday. FW shows up. I have waitress take picture of the table with my phone and I send to adults on text. Asked FW to check if he got it cuz his number is blocked on my phone (it was truly an innocent ask-I didn’t know if I could send to a blocked number… can). His jaw dropped, face surprised and he said “what? Really?” My son was in ear shot of this conversation and could not stop laughing. When I realized my inadvertent insult, I have to admit it made me laugh too. I know..small petty joys. (Hugs!)

    • Well, he walked straight into the lion’s mouth there. So glad the lion’s mouth (i.e., your family) is on your side. 😀

  • And to think “I don’t know I haven’t met him” sounds like such a reasonable answer!

    I would absolutely jump on it “oh, you know what? What a great idea you’ve had, let’s run with that! You’re so smart”

    Had a bit of practice turning tables back XD

    • And how about “you have no business talking to the kids about my life or my choices or the company I keep”?

    • He could always do what chump parents have to do — “cool, bummer, wow.” Why he thinks he needs to PROVOKE his own kids with a manipulative statement like, “I’ve …. never … met him.” is beyond me. OF course you know it’d be said in ominous tones.

  • What a choad, they really want to know what you are doing in life. I loved when my ex said she didn’t know what was going on in my life, I was like good, none of your business.

    And if I want to have pizza or beer, or do anything with another woman, I will never tell her. None of their business. She’ll know when I introduce them to my boys and she shows up at event.

    None of their business, especially when they’re the ones making poor choices.

    • I had not run across the word “choad” before. So I googled it. I love learning new things! Thank you!

    The spectacular gall and slimy, manipulative hypocrisy of this FW has rendered me pretty much speechless. Thank you for taking that on, UBT. Take a well deserved nap, preferably with a belly full of cookies. Do you like gluten free chocolate chip? I can send a care package.

  • I would also add it’s been refreshing to interact with women on since dealing with all of her crap for years.

    • Do you ever find yourself perceiving other people’s basic gormlessness and lack of unsettling chronic gesture warfare as “novel” because of so much exposure to constant fuckery, excessive complexity and gut-churning weird vibes? I’ve had to adjust.

  • As a wise therapist told me : every encounter is only an opportunity for more abuse

  • “Everything I’ve read / spoken to therapists about / observed in the kids warns against loyalty binds and doing everything we can to avoid a scenario where kids feel like they need to split their lives in two…”

    Oh, so NOW he’s concerned about the impact that having their lives upended is having on his kids. Father of the Year material there. What a dick.

    • “It’s not a ‘loyalty bind’ for you to mind your own business.”

      • The world “loyalty” coming out of that guy’s mouth? HAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHA and ha.

  • I’m just wondering about the fact that he uses “I reckon” and “whilst” in the same missive. Is he a British Texan? Or from the way south of England? (Or just a run of the mill moron FW?)

    • From the Land down Under. But really just a run of the mill FW. 😂

  • As always I love your responses Tracy and the UTB is amazing!!! Keep it up + yes pls OP don’t let this dingus try to control you and your new relationship just look like you are on cloud 9 all the time if you happen to have to be around him just to peeve him off more ❤️👍😅

  • Just yet more ick. Let’s all pretend to be happy together.

    Having gone through the type of divorce I went through and being older, I rejoiced in the fact that I truly do NOT have to be in ongoing contact with my ex. Our adult kids are not in contact either.

    During the legal mess, I presented the then-college kids with what was being proposed during the divorce in regard to paying for college and their insurance since it affected them, and they both said NO PLEASE. There would have had to be ongoing contact over that, and my attorney was very concerned about the legal convolutions my ex was proposing. We ran the numbers and figured that the oldest had enough $$$ to finish, and if he got a good job pretty quickly, he could help me with the younger one. If necessary, she could take out a relatively small student loan (under $15k). And thankfully, both graduated debt-free with no mandatory contact with their father, their choice.

    I just don’t like all the agony these pretendy situations bring about. Just move on, thank you.

  • What a sly manipulative dog this one is. Can you actually imagine being inside their head, dumping you in the shit and moving someone in immediately and then having the bare faced cheek to send that missive. Hyper critical, condescending, bullying, controlling ‘I am more important than you’ nonsense. It is actually so ridiculous it does have an iota of comedy value though so thanks for the submission and for the UBT’s great work as ever.

    • I’ve laughed a lot at it as it is shit but also comical. And the UBT just gave me another round of laughs. Have gone no contact and I’m feeling GREAT! I am on top of the world and in charge of my own world and my kids wellbeing. I am the sane parent and always have been.

  • Ah, the old myth of the united front! Best of luck with that between two households where the parents get along great, let alone when there’s conflict. And YES to all the comments here saying don’t over explain. Your response should be nothing…because you’ve already told him what you intend to do and are within your rights to do so, as he admits. Simply move forward with your plans.

    As an aside on introducing a new partner to little kids, you didn’t mention how long you’d been with this new guy, but as a general rule, it always looks best to have evidence that you waited at least 6 months before introducing a new partner to your small kids. I personally believe that adult parents of young kids should wait a year before introducing their paramour to their kids. It’s just good practice and gives the adults a chance to work through some stuff and get to know each other BEFORE introducing the stress of young kids into a new relationship. Just my two cents.

    • I’ve been with my new partner for 7+ months. I’m reading up on introducing kids and best approaches. I don’t know when it will actually happen, but I am just trying to prepare myself so when the time feels right for my kids, for me and for my new guy I have as much knowledge about doing it as well as I can. It’ll still be a few more months I think. 🙂

  • Not only does the hypocrisy stand out in the email, I see threats. Why would there be “loyalty issues” between the kids and their mother because the FW isn’t introduced to the boyfriend? Why does the FW want to meet the boyfriend so he can “say something nice about him.” Why isn’t saying, “I don’t know anything about him,” just fine?

    What I see FW doing is reminding their mother that if she doesn’t introduce him to the boyfriend, FW may stop playing nice and perhaps try to create some loyalty issues and “ripple effects” himself. He’s also reminding the mother that he can say bad things about the boyfriend to the kids just as easily as he can say good things, so if she doesn’t cooperate, that’s a possibility.

    That’s the way the email came across to me, anyway. The whole “it’s best for the children” was just a way for him to veil his embedded threats.

    • Before he hung up on me the other day he said that one of my kids asked if AP was going to go to his brothers soccer game and that his brother then tensed up and said only if it was ok with mom. Never mind no one has talked to me about her coming along. Never mind I’ve NEVER said a mean word about AP to my kids. Kids aren’t dumb. They make up their own minds about what people are like. My kids felt the betrayal just as much as I did without me ever having to tell them the whole story… they somehow just know. My relationship didn’t start the way theirs did and my kids know that. FW needs no input into this relationship and it’s up to him to choose to be civil and speak kindly about my new partner. I suck it up in regard to AP and that is much more of an ask. But a FW is going to be a FW. I love how he cries boo hoo and how hard it is that he has to meet my new partner. Poor guy right? Hahah

  • All I read that mattered from FW was “Your lawyer took it out of the parenting plan so you’re under no obligation. I wont say any more than this and wont protest / make a fuss. You do what you think is best.”

    So my reply would be – “As you said — it was removed from the parenting plan. You agreed to it.” From then on… crickets and grey rock 🪨

  • the word loyalty coming out of his mouth is ridiculous.

    all i read is “let me tell you what to do, let me tell you what to do, let me tell you what to do.” what a windbag.

    aren’t you glad you don’t have to listen to it anymore?

  • FW is feeling jealous and territorial despite the fact that you’re not together anymore. He still thinks of you as “his.” Cheaters often continue to see their chumps as “theirs” long after the break-up, like you’re a spare tire they’re not using but keep handy in the garage or strapped to the back of the car.

  • Hahahaha! I informed my FW after 3 months of dating new boyfriend, that new bf was going to meet son. My FW demanded he meet my new boyfriend before I introduced new bf to our kid. I said “I don’t think that’s necessary, you’ll meet him eventually.” FW said “Oh, so I can just introduce anyone new to our kid?” And I replied “I don’t have any control over that. I trust that you will make good decisions regarding who is brought around our son.” (Please keep in mind, when FW and I first started dating, he introduced me to his son [my ex stepson] after a month. I felt so special! I was the only one he’s introduced! Oh, the lovebombing was thick back then and I was so naive!) Turns out when the opportunity presented itself, FW did NOT want to meet new bf. I said “hey bf is around during drop off, do you want to come meet him?” FW: “Nope.” So it really is just about control.

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