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UBT: I’m Sorry for How I Treated You

Universal Bullshit Translator
The Universal Bullshit Translator

Hey Chump Lady,

You helped me out before, when I was wallowing in “why her?” And now I’m very confident in my BIFF (brief, informative, friendly and firm) tactics with my FW ex.

I was the high earner, so I am lucky enough to pay this guy alimony (if I ever get married again, there will be a prenup with a cheating clause that says you get nada), but he pays me back some of that in child support because I have the kids 90% of the time.

Further backstory, I paid him off in the divorce for the right to move the kids from the state we were living back to our home state…. Only for him to turn around and move here a month before the kids and I did.

Anyway, I received this gem of an empty apology via the co-parenting app that I thought the bullshit translator might have some fun with.

“I’m sorry for how I treated you. Nothing I did to you and our kids was fair or right.

I try to make excuses for it, but I see the truth, that I did this on my own.

I only hope you find someone that fills you with more love than I ever could. Someone that loves you for you and treats the kids well.

I still go back to how much of a dick I was most of our relationship, never happy, always feeling like I wasn’t good enough. All this made up in my own head so eventually, I made sure to wreck it all. You didn’t deserve any of that. There’s nothing to fix, but I can at least acknowledge that this was me and I did this.

I’m happy you’re doing so well and have an amazing life ahead of you. The kids are very lucky to have a great mom in their lives.

I’ve been working through some of these issues in therapy but not sure the point. All I can do is try and be a better human than who I was yesterday.

Let the kids know I love them.

I’m planning on selling my place after winter and not sure what I’m gonna do after that.

Might try the mountains or go out west.

I will let you know as things progress. I won’t have a job for a little while until I find a place that feels like home. So I will contact friend if the court and we can work out the child support I owe you.

Where ever I end up, I’ll make sure I have room for the kids to come visit.

I just can’t be here, to much and to many memories, it was a bad move.”

My response? An emoji thumbs up.

Thanks for your book and insights which really helped me through some of my worst times.

A Chump


Dear A Chump,

Hey, nothing says sorry for being a lousy father like heading West and bailing on adulting. I think the emoji was generous. But wow… they just keep being themselves, huh?

I’m up in northern Michigan at the moment (you’ll notice the late delivery of this column today) and the UBT is too distracted by smoked whitefish to focus on bullshit. This is going to require some cajoling.


groink! Need crackers. 

Summer is over, Rust-pot. Get to work.

(sullen look.)

“I’m sorry for how I treated you. Nothing I did to you and our kids was fair or right.

Awareness! Bitch cookie!

I try to make excuses for it, but I see the truth, that I did this on my own.

I treated you and the kids shitty. All on my own. I accept your alimony checks, please accept this apology.

I only hope you find someone that fills you with more love than I ever could. Someone that loves you for you and treats the kids well.

I hope you compare all your present and future lovers to me. Even if it’s to remember my flaccid lovemaking and crappy absences, it’s a kibble. And I’ll take it. Gratefully.

I still go back to how much of a dick I was most of our relationship, never happy, always feeling like I wasn’t good enough.

I began this apology with good intentions, but three sentences in I must pivot to self-pity. My inadequacies and self-loathing make me fuck around. Not my entitlement. I could sure use some words of encouragement and inspiration to bolster me now. After all, I gave this half-ass apology via parenting software.

No, Derek, you really don’t suck! You’re good enough! And people like you! 

Something like that. Just spit-balling.

All this made up in my own head so eventually, I made sure to wreck it all.

I’m just a hapless Godzilla, crushing my own dreams.

You didn’t deserve any of that.

I should probably pivot back to you about now.

You didn’t deserve my fuckwittery. I realize that now. Years later. Okay, I realized it then too, but it didn’t stop me from being a douchebag. I thought, Derek, someday when you’re divorced, you’ll cash her alimony checks and send her a lame apology via Parenting Wizard and everything will be okay.

There’s nothing to fix, but I can at least acknowledge that this was me and I did this.


I’m happy you’re doing so well and have an amazing life ahead of you. The kids are very lucky to have a great mom in their lives.

Please accept this ChatGPT compliment. I can generate others.

I’ve been working through some of these issues in therapy but not sure the point. All I can do is try and be a better human than who I was yesterday.


Let the kids know I love them.

That’s your job. To express my love. I’m too busy looking at Airbnbs in Denver. But you know, let them know I care.

I’m planning on selling my place after winter and not sure what I’m gonna do after that.

Go ruin other lives. Wallow in faux regrets. Answer a Back Page ad. The usual stuff probably.

Might try the mountains or go out west.

Become a rodeo clown/tech bro/Sasquatch.

I will let you know as things progress.

I may need more alimony.

I won’t have a job for a little while until I find a place that feels like home.

My future employment is contingent on my whims. I would get a job but I don’t vibe with Austin.

So I will contact friend if the court and we can work out the child support I owe you.

From my voluntary impoverishment.

Where ever I end up, I’ll make sure I have room for the kids to come visit.

I have their imaginary bunkbeds all picked out.

I just can’t be here, too much and to many memories, it was a bad move.”


Sayonara, sucker.


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’ll break out my teeny tiny violin for this dude 🎻 Reading between the lines: “come rescue me, my former wife, from all my fuck ups so I don’t keep wandering the earth in search of more fuck ups”.

      • This is a classic FW hoover tactic disguised as an apology to lower your defense shield to feed them attention kibbles, get foot in the door, etc. FWs ALWAYS hoover eventually. It might take weeks, months or 5 years.

        • I guess it just doesn’t get to me… feeling on reading this would be “Thank God he’s leaving. I hope “out West” is China.”

    • Honestly, I was APPALLED at this bullshit message. Appalled. “I am going to flat-out abandon our children.”


      “Tell the kids.” I mean, what kind of an asshole does this? Seriously. I’ve seen a lot on this board, and I should not keep on getting surprised, but jesus. He has “bad memories” and therefore can’t live NEAR HIS KIDS?!!?

      • Yup. They suck. My ex moved this way – our daughter was with him (he had her only every second weekend). She showed up one weekend and all her things were gone and there was an air mattress on the floor. The movers had already taken her things away. He informed her that he was moving and that he’d fly her down sometimes. He didn’t tell me, so I asked and he said he was moving for a 6 month trial. He’s never come back. He flies our daughter down for occasional visits.

      • My youngest brother actually uses this excuse too to not come see our mother. Gives excuses of bad memories of a short-term wife from 15 years ago. Yet, he flies everywhere including the Phillipines where he shacks up with a GF! I have no respect for him whatsoever.

      • I know it’s awful but……I can’t help but feel the kids are better off without him and his Peter Pan bullshit, and Sane Mom is best even as the only influence. I don’t think this guy would be a positive influence on anything larger than a hamster.

      • Someone like my college roommate’s bio dad. Roommate and her brother responded by singing “Hit the Road, Jack.”

      • My father moved across the country when I was 15. When I asked him to come back to visit us, he said there were too many bad memories in my hometown.

  • CALL YOUR LAWYER, NOW. Literally everything in his email was trying to soften you up and distract you from this: “So I will contact friend if the court and we can work out the child support I owe you.”

    He is telling you explicitly that 1) he is going to ditch his financial obligations and 2) he is going to make it very hard for you to track him down to enforce the court order (selling the house and moving…. Somewhere). He is trying to create a paper trail for himself and to fool you into thinking he means well.

    Five bucks says that the child support he “pays back” will stop turning up in the near future.

    Get to a lawyer right away and get your spousal support obligations and child support adjusted NOW.

    • Fully agree – talk to a lawyer ASAP. No way you’re paying alimony to this fuckwit while he skips on Child Support and honoring his 10% visitation.

    • You hit the nail on the head. He’s definitely waving a gigantic red flag on this little apology letter.

    • Exactly my first and volume-turned-to-11 thought too! Total posturing. Yep.

      (And CL is right, this is dripping with ChatGPT vibes.)

    • Yes, that is most likely what he is doing. However, him going off the grid to avoid child support does mean she no longer has to pay him alimony and never has to see him again. IMO, that is well worth letting it go. She must be doing well financially if she is paying alimony, so that may cancel out the child support and she’d end up doing the same as she was financially, except without a manipulative fuckwit to deal with. I call that a win.
      Going to court to have his parental rights terminated for child abandonment if he vanishes and stops paying support is a must, though. Then he’ll be out of their lives for good and the kids can eventually recover from his mindfuckery. They won’t recover if he keeps popping in and out of their lives like an oily jack in the box.

      • Totally. Let him peace out and vanish, it’s a blessing in disguise.

        Don’t force the kids to call him, let him call the kids. He won’t. Don’t set up visits, let him coordinate. He won’t. Privately document every missed visit, birthday, holiday, important childhood event, and child support payment.

        This sounds like a real chance to be free of him. Hopefully he gets to that ocean “out west” and just keeps walking off the edge of the earth.

      • It may not mean that she no longer has to pay him spousal support (alimony). You never want to be in violation of a court order, even if the FW is also in violation of other terms. Best to have a lawyer jump in now, as the LW is doing, since FW has telegraphed his intention to misbehave.

        • Apidae, exactly right. But if he intends to disappear, how’s he going to receive his payments? Would A Chump have to establish a bank account to deposit the funds in until he turns up?

          Idk because I’m not a lawyer. Maybe he’s just going to disappear and do without the alimony. I’d think that’s not in his best interest, but in my life, I’ve seen people make lots of bad decisions that weren’t in their best interest.

          • Yes, my X continues to make bad decisions that bite him on the bum! The latest is the guards took his car off him because he was driving it with no tax nor insurance. In the city of all places! I though ” Well what did you expect?”
            He seemed baffled and rather disappointed that the guards would do such a thing to him when he told me this, especially as he had to “walk back the road at 10 O’ Clock at night!” ( and yeah, if you’ve knocked the booze and coke on the head, what were you doing in the city at that time of night, eh?), which I suppose would be a bit shite seeing as it’s 25 KM from the city to our village but still! Feckin’ eejit!
            I reckon some of them, most of them actually, just do not learn! A trait of cluster B PDs!

      • This is my position too. I’d rather have him out of everyone’s life permanently than in and out of the kids’ lives…..I think the yoyo’ing is worse than just having a permanent cut-off. I would encourage him to move as far West as possible…..keep going until the Himalayas at least…..and hopefully stop all the alimony payments. This guy needs to be Memory Hole’d.

    • I think you are absolutely right and very shrewd. I wonder if this might make her ALIMONY PAYMENTS harder to send out as well with his location being so ephemeral and all. Out West is a big place.

  • It’s pretty impressive how they can manage to turn what is supposed to sound like an apology into the most mememe-enriched word salads.

    Hey I’ma skip that whole adulting thing cause it no longer tickles the pickle — pretty sure self-actualization can only be achieved balls deep in a manic pixie dream girl. Tell the kids I love them! Shame you can’t pay school fees with my love, though!

    Godspeed, you beautiful, noble FW. (I think I strained something rolling my eyes too exaggeratedly)

    • Guess the whole self-deprecating “I’m such a self-sacrificing parent, I had to move all this way for DA KIDS!” wasn’t getting him enough sex and/or empathy from people. Now he’s going to run off and “find himself” or whatever the hell. Probably intending to work under the table jobs to reduce child support. I hope she nails him good on this one. Lawyer fwd, then ignore. Yay!

    • “Godspeed, you beautiful, noble FW.”

      I spewed my coffee!

      Why do the true assholes always think retreating to a mountain cabin, growing a beard, and staring into the distance with squinty eyes is some sort of magical penance?

      • All a Blur, this made me smile so much. You’re doubtless dead-on, about a particular brand of FW.

  • lol What a pathetic message. This reminds me of my fellow divorced friends and I asking each other, and ourselves, “Why did we ever marry this person?”

    • The inability to spell “too” would have been, in itself, a hard pass on marriage and procreation with this dumb little baby-man!

      • I agree with you but I think we are in the minority here. I have a grammar jar at home (25c per grammatical error or 50c if it’s an I/me error) but I’ve never met anyone else who does.
        I do make allowances for people who are not native English speakers, but I’m pretty sure that’s not what’s going on here.

      • Oops–I meant the comment just above for “All a Blur.” But yes, Spaceman, the “Why did we ever marry this person?” dogs me too, especially regarding the first of my two cheaters.

  • What got me was the imaginary bunk beds. My ex bought a house a mile away. Set it up with rooms for the kids and everything. He sees them one night every other week so I have 97% custody. Yes, why did I and who cares why I am free.

    • They only know what this all looks like on the surface (rooms for the kids), but the actual day-to-day work of parenting? That’s the chump’s job. eye roll

      • My ex seriously thinks he has our son almost 50% of the time, and he thinks the pittance he pays in CS is cruel and it is “out of the goodness of his heart”. He has him every other weekend. So no. But I’m ok, because I’d rather get less in CS and more of the time with my son. So I let him have his delusions. My win.

        • Lol. Yes. Every other weekend is soooo close to 50/50 😂😂😂 or, you know, more like 15%, but sure

          • And he is always coming up with a reason for me to “take him” for his weekend for whatever. I always say yes because that is time I don’t have to give back to him. I used to feel badly for my son about that, but at this point he no longer cares. He’s more like a screwed up uncle at this point than an actual father. His loss. My kid is amazing and I love every minute.

            • My fuckwit was equally sure that “you never let me see the child” and “it is your primary obligation to drop everything on a dime and rescue me from my parenting duties when I have more important things to do than show up for visitation”. Pick one, asshole, it can’t be both

              • Yes, this. He kept crying about how I was “keeping our child” from him. But my lawyer and I were able to show that EVERY TIME I offered holidays, days off from school, or any extra time, he turned it down. I also had documented every time he “asked” me to (demanded that I) take our son on “his” days. Which was a lot. (Mostly so he could take road trips with OW) or to swap weekends (so his free weekend coincided with OW’s custody schedule). Neither the custody evaluator nor the magistrate bought his sob stories, and I was awarded primary custody.

                This was also the guy who, the MINUTE I filed for child support, could suddenly work from home half the week, when before he had said that that was “impossible” and he “had” to be in the office. Once he had 50/50, he didn’t owe me any CS because our incomes were nearly identical. But as I said, he pawned the kid off on me frequently (every time he felt sick, or was “tired” or whatever).

        • The 50% FW math says “I have to be with my kids 50% the time that I would otherwise prefer to be out fucking around and indulging myself in whatever I enjoy.” It is a measure of how much the kid crushes their endless pursuit of self and those hours have a heavier weight than mere hours-hours.

          They don’t consider mornings, school days, after school hours, doctor appointment hours, sleeping hours, or generally any time outside of weekend afternoons and evenings as actual hours that could be counted as custody, because the default is that the kids are with the Chump and that is the baseline. The Chump is the parent, the FW are fun-time playmate babysitters and they are going to count those hours up at 5X since they detract from their selfish time. Hey, they gave 50%, how about showing some gratitude! /sarc


        • FCNB, I always think the less time with the FW kids spend, the better. Conventional wisdom has it that both parents are neccessary. That is only true if both parents care about the kids. FWs don’t, so they add nothing to their children’s lives but manipulation, chaos and the misery of having to kowtow to the schmoopie of the week.

          • I agree. Better only one stable, committed, loving and selfless parent than 2 parents if even only 1 of them is self-seeking, unreliable, untrustworthy, morally deficient and immature!
            The overly-selfish parent can cause so much damage to kids, and to the good-enough parent, that it’d be better if they weren’t in the kids’ lives at all! Better that they were gone altogether and let the good-enough parent be the sole influence on the children, providing a life of stability, security and peace of mind.

            • My FW died, and I have to say my son is doing so much better with just one parent. The back and forth between homes (combined with a volatile, chaotic environment at FW’s house) was extremely stressful for my autistic son. He was depressed, high anxiety, and at one point was talking about self harm and suicidal ideation.

              Now my son is happy, has a stable routine, and a safe, loving home. FW was always doing tons of activities with my son because FW didn’t really know what else to do, which didn’t give my kid a lot of down time. We are much more relaxed. FW also expected our child to be always happy, leading my kid to “put a brave face on it” even when he was in distress, because he knew daddy would get mad. FW had no idea anything was wrong, because my son never expressed his real feelings to his dad. FW also was extremely harsh with punishments (like making him write a 5 page apology when he broke the video game console by accident), and tended to give the silent treatment to our kid.

              Two parents arent’ always best.

        • I feel you. The FW I deal with had to update child support… he was supposed to have son 120 days out of the year to pay lowest child support. Since Feb 2020 (before COVID lockdown), FW stopped having son over his house (less than 2 miles away). His total visitation is less than 20 days A YEAR. But FW tried to claim he has son 50/50 (???).

          I wrote out the dates from our shared calendar and sent them through the attorneys. FW tried to blame ME — as if it’s my fault he won’t have our son over his house anymore. I didn’t even argue it…by law the dates are the dates. And he has to pay maximum child support.

          • Is that for tax purposes? I think they tend to remember the kids in the month or 2 before April 15.

    • I Count, this is so baffling. FW used to complain about what I spent, but when we split and I sold the house (he couldn’t be arsed to clean, find a realtor, any of it) he went and bought an even more expensive one a mile from my cardboard townhouse.

      He has been pretty good about taking the kids 30%ish of the time, but only because I told him to fuck off when he proposed 3 weekends a month of his choice. (Weekend time wouldn’t cut into his dating life since he likes to bang married coworkers.)

    • Me too. I chumpily bought the furniture for my kid’s room at his Dads. I went over and assembled everything and set it all up as well. I think my kid has been there maybe 4 times total in 5 years.

      If I could go back in time I would have said, “as soon as his room is set up, invite our kid to come visit!” I feel 100% certain he never would have set up the room, or invited our kid over, even once.

    • When my Cheater fell in Lurve with Susan of Seattle, Washington, our home (with 3 kids then aged 16,14, & 9) was on the east coast…2800 miles away. He was gonna leave me all “set ” with a big house, a Mercedes and the 3 kids. At various times he also offered all the savings and everything in the house.

      He and Susan were going to live in Schmoopie Bliss and have babies and our kids would visit ALL THE TIME and have SO MUCH FUN !!!

      In all these years, I never calculated how much it would have cost to fly all 3 of them with minor fees, so just for fun, I just did and it would have cost (in today’s dollars) $2872 just for the flights.

      But dont be a naysayer, folks, he would have had places for all 3 of them in the awesome dwelling that they got after I got half his military retirement, alimony, child support, and the house and car that he “set me up” in.

      Can you imagine if he really got me a Mercedes and the $600,000 house he was looking at during this delusion ? Well, he made about $150,000 (before taxes).

      Schmoopy Susan would have been eating beans from a can.

      And imagine how many times they would have had this super fun visit with 2 brooding teens (one Aspy the other bipolar) Im rather sure Susan would have thought the 9 year old was cute, but I have a feeling my kids would have been quite pissy over the whole thing.

      I never learned why they broke up, but I think that she eventually did the math

  • Besides you getting to a lawyer asap on the Alimony/Child support… just WOW. My 17yo son has a better sense of responsibility than this fuckwit. I’m sure the further he moves away, the better for you and the kids – they can “zoom” if they miss him.

    Big takeaway for me here is the ENTITLEMENT… he married… he fathered two children… yet now he gets to just “drop mic” on all that so he can waste time in therapy that won’t work (by his own admission) and go off and live in a van crisscrossing our grand country while he finds himself (note: he better watchout for truckstop bathrooms being such a vulnerable, timid forest creature in need of love and understanding).

    You are mighty. Your kids are lucky to have you as the sane parent. Definitely pre-nup if it comes to another marriage, mine saved me from this exact financial situation. But in the meanwhile, keep doing you… the trash will take itself out sooner or later from kibble deprivation. #backpage

    • 3 kids* 🙃 found out when I was pregnant with the third. High school sweethearts, so never in a million years would have thought about a pre-nup. Super fun times haha

      • But you entered the marriage with authenticity and belief. Unfortunately this experience, I think, causes us all to be a bit jaded. My Ddays happened long ago, I don’t mourn the loss of my marriage or husband any more. But I do mourn for that earnest, passionate, principled, forthright, loving innocent that I was. She did everything she could for her family and did not deserve to be treated that way. And neither did you.

        • Right? I miss the person I was when I still believed in the good in people. I’m mostly recovered but I am slow to trust now. I miss that naivete even though it caused me to be hurt. I don’t miss him one bit. Either the fake him or the real him. Of course I have to be completely rid of him to miss him, so there’s that. 🙂

          I know in two years he’ll probably run off to find his bohemian self. We are supposed to split college costs but I’ve always planned not counting on him. I mean, why start now? Can’t disappoint me if I don’t rely on him for anything. Can’t disappoint my kid if anything he needs isn’t reliant on his dad. Easy peasy.

          My insistence on never relying on anyone else is what makes me sad about myself now. I just cannot trust that anyone else will keep their promises anymore. Therapy helps, but I doubt at my age that I will ever get that back. Rugged self-reliance is my coping mechanism, I realize it, but I won’t change it.

        • “But I do mourn for that earnest, passionate, principled, forthright, loving innocent that I was.”

          Me too. Otoh, I like the new me, who takes less crap off people than the old me did. I was certainly not a doormat, but out of a strong sense of empathy, I gave the crap givers in my life the benefit of the doubt that maybe they didn’t mean to be the way they were, but had problems they couldn’t help. That’s what kept me stuck with the FW. Now I know better and the freedom is glorious! I still have the empathy. I just don’t waste it on toxic individuals.

          I do get what you mean about mourning your lost innocence, though. I wish I didn’t have to know how cruel the people who say they love you can be. Seeing it in FW helped me to weed out the other people in my life who were toxic, so that’s a win.

      • It may suit you to have him surrender all parental rights with the stipulation he waives the alimony. He’s a shit father, obviously, and your going to be fully supporting and parenting the kids no matter.
        My guess is he found some sap to support him, give him a roof over his head and the alimony is spending money for himself.

        • He still lives with his AP, who abandoned her 3 kids in another country and overstayed her visa here so can’t work. #twinning #winning

          • Are you in the States ? If so, report her and she’ll be deported and banned from entering the country for TEN years. Applies if she overstayed by a year or more.

            • I may or may not have reported her…. Several time… but the government doesn’t care since she’s still here

          • Wow, that sounds like such a great catch for an OW…..someone who would abandon her OWN 3 kids and can’t work in a country that’s not hers…..he really worked hard to find that fish in the ocean. What a prize.

      • Ooooof. Chumped during pregnancy is a real fkn sh*t sandwich. I found out 5 mo pregnant with twins. Filed for divorce 6 weeks later. I’m glad he can leave you alone. You are mighty AF!!!

  • I was looking for the punchline and there it was …… “So I will contact friend if the court and we can work out the child support I owe you.” He needs to be told that there’s nothing to work out beyond meeting his obligations at the rate and for the timescale mandated by the Court.

    He really is a peach, isn’t he?


    • I bet the thinks that if he voluntarily just becomes a drifter he can just drop child support and continue living off of her sweet sweet alimony checks. Ha. Like he’s the first to try that. I hope he enjoys the rude awakening.

  • Lol good letter.

    Reminds me of my fws “letter of apology” which was snail mailed to me when he found out I went on a date. I only remember the first couple lines, he said he was so sorry for how he treated me (no specifics) and that he didn’t know why he acted like such a dirt bag.

    I only read it once as I had to get to my part time job, then that night my wallet was stolen by another employee so the letter was gone forever. I did let my co worker read it, and she asked me how I feel; I told her to little to late. (she and her H were our best friends for the couple years before he drop kicked me.

    I do wish I had that letter as it would be gold for the UBT. This happened long before CL, and even internet. So snail mail was the only option.

  • “So I will contact friend if the court and we can work out the child support I owe you.” The first half doesn’t make sense, perhaps deliberately.

    If he already owes you child support, you should also ask your attorney to ask the court to refer this to Child Support Enforcement AND put a lien on the house your ex says he intends to sell. In my state, the county CSE office puts the lien on the house and it has to be paid off before the house can be sold.

    It’s ludicrous for you to pay him alimony while he owes you support. Can the court “garnish” your alimony payments so they go to child support? That situation is nuts!

    Also, was there anything in the divorce on paper to show you paid him off for the right to move? Can that be renegotiated since he moved there BEFORE you?

    Best of luck with this. It’s unfortunate, but you’re lucky that he put it in writing.

    One caution, though. He may be be trying to provoke a response and sending this in hopes you will overreact and play into saying something hostile. Good for keeping your cool.
    However, he may use your thumbs-up emoji to claim that you found this acceptable and agreed. You might want to let him know that your thumbs up was to acknowledge you got the message, not to state approval of his plans.

  • Poor me. I suck as a human. There’s absolutely nothing I can do about that.

    I let you down in the past and have no desire to be more responsible in the future, sorry it’s just who I am.

    Your job is to pick up all the pieces. No big deal for you, no effort, it’s just who you are.

    I guess I am a fatalist and defeatist when it serves my purposes. While I enjoy the freedom of that approach I might blow off any remaining obligations like child support. While I suffer.

    But I expect you to deal with that just fine, cuz that’s who you are- my behavior is no big deal. Your efforts are no big deal. Your freedom and selfhood are nothing.

    But I am sad about some of the things I lost (maybe not so much about the being adult part, but I do miss the service and attention).

    Wait..what are consequences?

      • Thanks for the compliment! No, but I am a Tracy too actually!

        I just speak from experience with the type.

    • The “tell the kids” line was frickin’ beastly. “Peace out, tell the kids.” Absolute garbage behavior. 🤮

    • Oh, and I must move from this painful locale where we met, fell in love and vowed to forsake all others before I SCREWED AROUND ON YOU WHILE YOU WERE PREGNANT WITH MY CHILD

      Because it’s just too painful…for me. Sniff.

      Maybe I will feel better In Wyoming. Lots of new women to screw over there! I think I feel better already!

      I’d send tshirts for the kids, if I only knew their sizes….

      • This wanker isn’t even living where they used to live as a family ! She had to PAY him to get permission to move the kids there, and then he did an about-face and moved there first !
        What memories is he even talking about !?! The memories of having to take care of their toddler once or twice in his godforsaken life ?! Douchebro through and through.

  • What a sad-sausage fest! “Poor me! Now that I have reflected with a therapist on my short-comings, I have realized I can’t bear to be around the reminders of my failure, so I will be moving away, I don’t know where, and doing I don’t know what.”

    He may have couched this latest failure to meet his obligations to you and to his children in (self-serving, faux) regret, but all this boils down to is his putting you on notice that he’s not going to be paying his child support. And trying to get you to feel sorry for him while he fails to meet that obligation.

  • This kind of bullshit self-analysis is exactly the apology I’m happy not to get.

    Hope the lawyer obtains the justice and penalties that should have been anticipated.

  • The saddest day of my life was just after he left. He ghosted me and our daughter. I was with her at the library after school. She was trying to do the family history project for her fifth grade class. She asked if we could go out to the car so she could cry. Of course we can. She was in the front seat of our car crying and said, “Daddy is hardly ever around anymore.” She was eleven. Her teacher, a chump who knew what happened, excused her from doing the family history project.

    Last week in therapy, she said about him, 5.5 years later, “He wants his life to himself. He doesn’t have room for a child. He clearly isn’t planning on living with a child.” This was the second saddest day of my life.

    Our charming cheater in today’s letter is ditching the family. Again. But he will make sure that wherever he hangs his hat will have room for the children to VISIT. This is incredibly heartbreaking to read and I am so very very sorry.

    Sending a huge hug.

    • Great point. Visit. I will have a place big enough for the kids to have their own space/room. Nah. Guest room vibes.

  • Chump, your ex used several of the same lines I got in a psuedo-apoligy email I received from my ex. I forwarded it to my attorney too. It got me a lifetime of semi-annual reimbursement payments for marital assets spent on satisfying his wandering punishment. Just sayin’ …

    • I imagine them writing these dressed in flowy poet shirts, ala romance novel cover, back of hand to forehead, dramatic pose. I mean really, what on earth makes him think she gives 2 craps about his “feewings”?

        • It’s all about them. When FW’s side piece dumped him 3 days after DD and he hadn’t even moved out yet, he was all sad and didn’t understand why I couldn’t feel bad for his feelings. I mean, only his feelings are real, right?
          It was the only laugh I had that entire process. And laughing in his face felt good, even though it wasn’t my best look. Right, I should have some compassion for what he is going through. HAHAHAHA. Yup. Still makes me laugh.

  • Sounds like one of the many voluminous screeds I occasionally get from my drunken FW. Really, the only reply if any is thumbs up or “K”. Because none of that has anything to do with you. He wants to move away? OMG don’t threaten me with a good time!
    When my FW caused a barrage of truancy notices for his checks notes ONE day a week he was responsible for getting our son to school, I threatened to keep him that extra night because obviously living 20 minutes away was too much for him. His answer was to move to my tiny town and now lives 8 blocks from me. Not my intention, but whatever.
    He has currently burned so many bridges in town, I am surprised he’s not living on an island. I am counting the days until he freaks out and moves away. Just a matter of time, and when he discovers his son doesn’t worship him anymore (he has cottoned onto the fact his dad is a liar and useless for the most part) he is probably off to greener pastures anyway. So sad. Anyway.

    I no longer read them. I skim them to make sure he hasn’t put anything of actual use in there about our son, and then forget it. Unless it is particularly hilarious, then I forward it to people who will enjoy it. After all, if I have to endure him as my kid’s father, at least I can get some comedic value out of him.

    Stay meh. They just want kibbles.

  • Oh CRY ME A RIVER!! THIS IS A RUN AWAY DAD!! My cheater #1 told me he was moving to Germany, his parents homeland, if I stressed him about child support. (For a 4 week old and an adorable 6 year old.)See if I could yoddle up the money then.
    What your X is saying…. You were always better than me, you have more money, more stability. I don’t like any time with my kids, it ties me down
    I want to be John Muir or pan for GOLD! I want to pound my chest and grow hair. This guy is a total and complete waste trying to drop his tiny responsibility. Therapy will do zero for him except help his vocabulary MAYBE. Yup, he’s throwing his crap around and frosting it. A thumbs up might be your decoy but he’s a lying liar that lies. Trust that he sucks no matter what he says. My #2 Cheater needed a care giver for his aging dad with dementia, for his two kids and for my stable paycheck. Oh and for sex on demand and coercion and to sit with him in the ER when he was sick. After D DAY he had a kidney stone and ended up inpatient. He texted me to come see him, his daughter texted me to pick him up after discharge.. he Could NOT believe that I,a nurse had zero compassion for his cheating ways or kidneys, shocked…But though I had a twinge of conscience after 31 years of babying him. I DID NOT RESPOND. No longer of use. I stayed strong.
    So you my dear Chump were of use. Now maybe you could still be of use if you learn to like post cards from Alaska, trout fishing photos and maybe kayaking on the Columbia. Please don’t be nice. He just used you. Sad…just like mine did Me. I’m forgiving myself every day. My second cheaters wedding is today at 3pm. I’m going fishing!!! Best wishes and NO CONTACT worked miracles for me except for parenting app— ignore all extraneous communication. Just sayin.

    • 2xchump🚫again, the cheater expected you to visit him in the hospital? And take him home from there???

      SMH. I guess I shouldn’t be surprised though.

  • Apology without action is nearly worthless. Nearly, because it really pains them to admit to any fault, even if they don’t really mean it. It’s the squirm factor, “I apologize for anything I did which hurt you or made you mad, but it was never my intention to hurt you or make you mad. So, you shouldn’t have a reaction to something I didn’t intend. But you did, so I guess I’m sorry.” Not what I did, but your reaction to it. Classic.

    The great escape — I will go West and build a new life! Here is a sad reality Cowboy BS, you will still be you! Wherever you go, you will be the same person. Oh yeah, you won’t be around to see your children! My 97% custody will be a 100%. So why do I pay you alimony? If you owe back child support and can’t pay child support because you voluntarily left your job, then shouldn’t alimony be reduced? Hopefully, there is an end date on that alimony???

    How does a Sad Sausage riding a broken-down jackass into the sunset help anything?

    The now deceased father of my sons always had “the next great deal” on the horizon. We were married 20 years, the Great Deal never materialized. He left his Greiving Widow holding the bag with the financial obligations of his “deals”, and his son’s will receive a portion of these “deals” if they help Greiving Widow to settle and sell any properties he may have had an interest in. So, he left them all work to do, with a possible financial gain. But he intended to make them rich! So, sorry for any inconvenience or trouble. Seriously, the Death of a Salesman. Remember those good intentions!

    I’m so glad I divorced him and cut communication to a minimum! I am so glad my sons have lives grounded in reality!
    It’s fine to dream, and have goals, and try new things. It’s even fine to fail, if you learn from your failure and alter your decision making to reduce your chance of another failure. Failure can teach you lessons in reality. But living a life without true purpose or learning to take responsibility for your actions is pretty worthless IMHO.

    I don’t see much hope for this Sad Sausage. I hope the children are young enough to adjust to his absence, I hope they find a better father figure in their lives. My boys were active in sports and music, school structured their lives. They saw many other fathers as coaches, and participants in school and music programs. They figured out how a father could act from interacting with the fathers of their friends. I felt very lucky to have this resource.

    It sounds like A Chump has things under control! Her sense of humor is intact, and that means a lot!

    • Thanks! It’s been almost 2 years since d day, over a year divorced, and LOTS of therapy. But I’m really feeling like I’m mostly at meh and feel fantastic in who i am as a person

    • Portia– You remind me of how I’ve banned the words “intend/want/try/mean to” from my home (as in “I didn’t mean to/try to/intent to/want to do that bad/shitty/selfish thing!”). At this point even the kids call each other on it. While it’s true that accidents happen, apologies are full sentences and should never include that qualifier about intent. If, say, stepping on someone’s foot or breaking their favorite gadget was truly unintentional, this should be shown not in denial of intent but only in the intensity of the groveling apology and energetic flurry to fix, replace or compensate.

      This is what I’ve told the kids many times because I don’t think the world needs more self-exculpating, self-deceptive weasels. And that’s what the qualifier is all about: quelling conscience, thereby making it more likely the person will repeat the negative behavior. Probably the only contribution Freud made that’s stood the test of time was his argument that no one is exempt from the dark, animal side of human nature and related drives and we all have a responsibility to keep these things in check. Yet our species is prone to expending a ton of energy fooling ourselves that we’re morally transcendent and somehow exempt. It’s also the one thing Darwin and the bible agree on: “animal nature = original sin.”

      I totally overdosed on the fuckwitty “intend/want/try/mean” nonsense as well as FW’s updated, adaptive psychobabble version of this, “It musta been sUbCoNsCiOuS!” Nah. Once a behavior’s been called out once (not to mention 1,001 times), it’s fully bloody conscious and intentional.

      • When my Ex’s died, one of my first thoughts was “I’ll never have to hear that weak non-apology, non-promise of future changes again.” I just grew weary of the Sad Sausage routine. These men had the ability, or potential to have better lives, but they could not control their bad impulses. They never “learned a lesson” from bad behavior. They made a habit of sticking their hand in the same fire, over and over again, just to learn (Surprise!) it was still hot. As a chump in recovery, I was learning how to make changes and stop making bad decisions. It is possible to change, you have to make the choice and the effort to change. I did not feel the need to test the fire over and over. I knew, and accepted, I would be burned. I just lost all patience and tolerance for people who don’t take responsibility for their actions.

  • I’m rolling my eyes so hard I can see my brain.
    FWs. They just can’t help themselves.

  • “Wow is me!!!”

    I got a similar fauxpology complete with the bit about “going out west.” What is it with cheaters in the eastern half of the US who want to go “out west”? And where to cheaters already out west want to go?

    I got similar drivel. The basic structure of my ex’s fauxpology was:
    *I was unfaithful and regret my mistake –>
    *I’m such a bad human being BUT I think I’ll be happier with AP –>
    *I’m being punished by vindictive people (that would be you, Spinach) –>
    *I’m sad every day –>
    *I did you a favor because you’ll meet someone who will treat you better –>
    *feel sorry for ME🎻
    *I’m gone fishing out west (literally) because I just HAD TO MOVE ON!

    • In California here. Would be awesome if my ex cheater wanted to go elsewhere. Anywhere. Unfortunately she lives in the same city as me…

    • Spinach, my cheater further West (wee were in the Rocky Mountain states). He moved back to California where (his home state), a place he swore he would never return to
      Ahhh, but he said there were NO jobs in the state he was living and he just HAD to move west to California. (And the married whore just happened to live in the same area, naturally, but that was just coincidence, right? Ha!) They now live in the sane city and work in the very same hospital. Twu luv.

      Maybe there IS something to cheaters moving West. My goal is to move East, by the way. The further the better!

      • That’s funny. Btw, my ex’s AP just happened to have family “out west,” so they’re living in her hometown. What a coincidence that she wanted to move out west, too!!

    • Oh man. I meant to write: “Woe is me” not “wow is me,” although that works too, I guess.

      • 😄 It totally works, Spinach. Dude thinks he deserves a “Wow!” and (a then perhaps a ticker tape parade) for the self-pitying codswallop he wrote.

  • “I won’t have a job for a little while until I find a place that feels like home.”

    How in the…? I guess he’s just living off your alimony….

    • He used that because “will try to find a job” won’t work with all the jobs that are available right now. So like all asswipes he goes right to the mental health horseshit because no one will dare question anything related to mental well being.

  • What happened to the Canadian Dollar Store schmoopie? I had such high hopes for the two of them, they were so perfectly matched!

    • Ha! Glad you remember me!

      She is still in the picture. Apparently not fulfilling all his wants and needs and desires. Poor him.

      She can’t work because she’s still overstayed her visa illegally. Still hasn’t seen her 3 kids since Feb 2022. Twu luv

  • Hmm, what chronic FW makes such a rad move for no reason unless it’s to escape consequences or chase tail? And what FW takes this much responsibility (not a lot but more than FWs usually manage) for their behavior without having another hidden angle in the works? So, imagining all scenarios… Maybe he just hooked up with some age-gappy ski bunny or potential sugar mama from Crested Butte which may take some financial outlay for wining and dining to seal so the whole vague relocation/employment disruption thing is to keep the alimony coming and lower expectations that he’ll be coming up with child support? If it were something like that, due to how FWs in general would rarely miss a chance to rub an ex chump’s face in a new “twu wuv” yet are also loath to let former chumps see FWs as losers who face potential rejection on the meat market, maybe this FW doesn’t want A Chump counting his snatches before they chicken (oops, groink, “counting his chickens before they’ve hatched”)!

    Whatever the case, there’s bound to be some covert fuckery lurking behind this. In the famous words of En Vogue, “I remember how it used to be/You never was this nice you can’t fool me…”

    • I think this is his way of trying to get kibbles from me. It was my job to care about his hurts and feelings for 20 years, so I obviously will care no, still, right? Right?!?

      • I think you’ve been officially and forever relieved of duty in that respect lol.

        The thing that irked me about the FW message was when he gave you “permission” to find love in the future. Retch. I absolutely hate that. It makes me feel like they’re getting their grubby fingerprints all over our lives and futures. Of course a true, bonafide FW never actually wants that to happen (nope. By the FW rule book, chumps must stay in the place they collapsed upon discard and remain curled up in the fetal position crying FWs’ names into eternity. Because, as Louis XV put it, “Après moi, le deluge!”). But giving permission at least gives FWs an illusion of control for when it eventually does come to pass that chumps move on to greener pastures, whether that entails blissfully FW-free singlehood or a fulfilling partnership.

  • So he can bail on child support payments due to not wanting to work, but pretty sure he’d have your ass in court in a NY second if he doesn’t receive alimony on time. The only goal of this note was to give you a head’s up on not getting CS payments. What a complete turd.

  • Normally I’m not a fan of responses but in this case I quite like the thumbs up. That’s a nice whatever response.

    If he was that sorry he would’ve refused alimony, so fuck him and his horse.

    • Yes, claims of empathy and remorse would be more convincing if they came with some magnanimous gesture of sacrifice, right? Particularly monetary sacrifice. But don’t hold your breath. My attorney– who’d previously dealt with a few scary bunny boilers in separation and divorce cases and consequently made it a habit to keep an eye on APs in cheating situations– once sent me a link to the work bio of the AP followed by several laugh emojis. Even though I was trying very hard to detach myself from the whole circus, the gesture seemed uncharacteristic of this normally straight laced attorney so curiosity got the best of me. I opened the link to see if I could guess what he found so funny. Ah. In the work bio, aside from listing her favorite mixed cocktails (who tf does that? “Hi, I’m an alcoholic. Hire me”), the AP describes her main trait as “empathy.” Really? I’m still waiting for the $20K check in the mail– the AP’s half of the epic 19 month booze binge paid out of my kids’ college funds.

  • “I’m just a hapless Godzilla, crushing my own dreams.”

    “Become a rodeo clown/tech bro/Sasquatch.”
    Anytime you can work Sasquatch into a conversation that isn’t about cryptoids, you deserve an award.

    But on a more serious note, this makes me think he’s actually planning to skip out on child support, leave no forwarding address, and abandon the kids completely. While the kids will be deeply hurt by the abandonment, longterm they will better off without such a poor excuse for a father. Plus, there will be no possibility of alimony if he goes off the grid. Still, I would want to know where the bastard was so I could avoid that city entirely and so there will be no nasty surprises down the road. Like; “Hi! I’m in San Francisco. Here’s where you can send my alimony. I’ll send the child support as soon as I get that. Things are a little tight right now, since rents here are so high, but I have a great new job so I can pay you in two weeks.” followed by an address that, if investigated, turns out to be a remailer service and he’s really in Grand Bend, Indiana, living with a meth whore. So I’d use what you’re saving on alimony to hire a P.I. to track him down.

    I’m sorry he is such a POS, A Chump. The kids will be devastated, but they will recover as best they can, as long as he doesn’t keep pulling reappearing and disappearing acts just to whine for alimony. That would leave them permanently scarred. With any luck, he’ll fuck off for good and you will all have a chance to build a life without scum in it.

    • OHFFS– I’m with you. My face still hurts from laughing over CL’s Sasquatch and tech bro references.

      I also agree with you about it being better for kids to know the full truth about a FW parent. After reading a very clever article about political gaslighting, I began to suspect that one big cause of the epidemic of clinical depression is when people fall into the gaping, jagged pit that lies between the BS they’re led to believe and the actual truth. The fuckery exhausts bandwidth and people start falling apart. In any case, finding out the full hideous truth about dad soon after D-Day (due to my daughter’s natural hacking skills) seems to have buffered my own kids a bit from major mental health fallout. I might have hesitated to share the full truth at the time just because I wasn’t initially very clear on how much to tell kids and also because FW had preemptively terrorized me with accusations of “parental alienation” even prior to D-Day. But the decision was taken out of my hands when my daughter started snooping and shared with her brothers.

      A therapist later told me the interesting factoid that it’s often teenage girls who uncover parental cheating, often before chumped spouses do. I might have assumed that was some made-up statistic except the same thing happened when my cousin’s second wife cheated (her 13 yo niece was the one who found the sexting trail). I wonder what that’s about. It might be that kids– especially girls– have some special ability to smell the FOO fuckery due to some evolutionary survival contingency. Whatever the case, it seems to be all the more reason to get away from FWs: to save children’s mental health.

  • Yep, he’s scuttling like a cockroach off to the mountains or wherever he can best lay low from those pesky consequences and financial obligations to his children. Walden pond for fuckwits.

  • 😞 Chumps, sorry to go OT, but I need a place for an emergency vent. I just had a fight with my brother after I spoke to him about the fact that I found out he had been lying about me to my beloved niece. He tried denying it, but when I pointed out that my niece is not a liar, he deflected by screaming abuse at me, claiming that the demise of my marriage was my fault because I “persecuted” FW. When asked for an example of this “persecution”, he had nothing, because there was nothing. He just deflected again by saying that my late mother had felt the same way.
    He could be lying yet again, since he’s almost as habitual a liar as the FW, but my mother’s behavior at the time tells me he probably isn’t. Now my memories of my mother are ruined and I’ve had to cut yet another toxic FW supporter out of my life.
    That leaves me with three members of my immediately family left, two of whom live far away. Thankfully, my niece and older brother do not believe his bullshit.
    I’m saddened by this betrayal, though I guess I should be used to it by now. FFS, the suckage continues, long after the FW is gone.

    • OHFFS–

      I’m so sorry you’re going through this. It’s so traumatic to feel orphaned by unsupportive family members following abusive relationships. I’m actuallly surprised that more people here don’t go “OT” over crises related to fuckwittery if just because there are typically SO MANY secondary social crises related to infidelity, mainly because domestic abuse is socially polarizing and also because FWs are so prone to triangulation and social warfare. Instead of characterizing it as “ripples in a pond,” we could call the negative social fallout related to cheating/abiuse “ripples in a sewer” because of how seeing consequences delivered to one irredeemable POS seems to set off a frenzy of defensiveness from every other POS within 100 square miles. It seems like all we have to do to trigger this psycho reaction in certain people is stand up for ourselves against abuse or injustice.

      I’ve been through this many times. When I cooperated with the prosecution against a workplace stalker at age 19 (college internship), I lost a lot of formerly “friendly” work contacts and even several friends. I was so weirded out by this outcome that I did a kind of “poll” of the traitors and discovered that every one of them had grown up experiencing or witnessing some form of domestic abuse and had ultimately internalized it. In short, in their experiences, abusers “won” and victims “lost” and they found it very unsafe to side with the “losers.” Also interesting is the fact that the reverse was true of the people who emerged as helpful allies in the same situation. At least two had survived some form of family trauma as children but, in their experiences, it was the “victims” who prevailed and the perpetrators who lost. In the experiences of the allies, it was safer to align with victims since this was the “winning side” (word to the wise for victims of abuse: fight like demons to “win” because of the message this sends to bystanders).

      I’m not even sure it requires FOO trauma to instill the false lesson in standoffs between innocence vs. evil. Maybe your brother internalized this through peer groups or his career and not even family of origin (I’ve seen this happen). But whatever the case, his need to assign culpability and responsibility to you in this situation is a kind of confession on his part. He’s chosen sides and the team he’s betting on is “evil.” So fuck him.

      It’s so painful to lose family and friends in these standoffs but I hope it helps to know that it’s par for the course. The same standoffs and “character tests” have occurred during every historic battle between justice and injustice. The “squaring off of sides” and loss of friends and family members were certainluy major themes when I worked as an advocate for DV survivors. It wasn’t anything new because it had affected me personally. One of my best allies during the dangerous workplace stalking situation used to say, “Blood may be thicker than water but so is used motor oil.” She had gone NC with extended family members who didn’t protect her and her mother following abuse by a stepfather. Another stalwart ally in the same situation who’d overcome family dysfunction and addiction in his teens liked to quote Taoist cannons like “If you want the universe to fill your rice bowl, clean it out.”

      It’s so painful and awful and unfair but I think it’s beneficial in the long run to cut these half-baked, confused characters out of our lives as a way to clear the static and confusion. They’ve chosen the wrong side in the eternal battle. Sad but not your fault. All the same, it sucks so hugs and all power to you.

      • “I was so weirded out by this outcome that I did a kind of “poll” of the traitors and discovered that every one of them had grown up experiencing or witnessing some form of domestic abuse and had ultimately internalized it. In short, in their experiences, abusers “won” and victims “lost” and they found it very unsafe to side with the “losers.””

        Wow. That strong of a correlation is indicative of causation, and your theory makes complete sense.
        Their FOO is no excuse for their vile behavior, though I’m sure they think it is. They’re scum. Lots of people have worse FOO and come out of it as good people. As you know, many chumps have horrendous abuse backstories.

        “Maybe your brother internalized this through peer groups or his career and not even family of origin (I’ve seen this happen). But whatever the case, his need to assign culpability and responsibility to you in this situation is a kind of confession on his part. He’s chosen sides and the team he’s betting on is “evil.” So fuck him.”

        You’re going to love this. He was radicalized by MRA. Mom catered to him his entire life and he treated her like a serf. So where he’s coming from is he believes women should be doormats. He actually thought I would move in with him after she died and be his new slave. He’s angry that I didn’t. Yeah, fuck that guy.

        “One of my best allies during the dangerous workplace stalking situation used to say, “Blood may be thicker than water but so is used motor oil.” She had gone NC with extended family members who didn’t protect her and her mother following abuse by a stepfather.”

        Smart woman, and I like that expression. You could go on in the same vein with; “but so is diarrhea” and “but so is spoiled milk.” The possibilities are endless.

        Thanks for your support, HOAC. I appreciate it and I do feel better now. His vitriol was even worse than I said, it went on and on with the craziest accusations, even crazier than the FW made. The sadistic SOB then went on to throw in my daughter’s face the fact that I had been suicidal when I was in full blown PTSD, as if that’s a character flaw, FFS. I was afraid the incident would pull me back to that dark place I was in after Dday, but it didn’t. I am now more meh about it, knowing it gives me a reason to cut off contact with him, which will lessen my stressload. It means no more answering calls in the middle of the night to listen to him cry about not having enough drugs and bitch about his life and about our other siblings. Phew!
        So another bastard who tried to break me failed and ended up losing far more than I did. #unbrokenchumps

        • OHFFS–

          Oh wow, that MRA stuff makes him sound like a lost cause and a walking disaster. For those of us who’ve always been earnest about trying to maintain extended family ties, I think it can be a relief when malignant people finally hand us the perfect excuse to bail. They never expect that reaction, always think they’re going to be able to hoover back in and are so surprised to find the door closed for good. There’s something almost slapstick about the whole thing, like an exorcism performed by Bugs Bunny.

          I felt that way when my ex-MIL took her sniping a step too far and involved my kids. I’d held my tongue for years and years and have to admit that my attitude towards her grand finale back-stabbing extravanganza was “Gotcha.” I knew I had done my best and I knew when I was done trying. I hope you can walk away with the same clear conscience because you likely already did your grieving long ago. Hugs.

    • Chump Nation FB group is super helpful in times of urgent need. Sorry this is happening 🙁

      • Thanks, AC. I hate Facebook because of the shitty things Zuckerberg has done. I’ve often been tempted to try the CL group, but I’ve stuck to my principles about it this long, so why cave now, and over my stupid brother.
        I’m feeling quite a bit better now. Thanks so much for your support. 🙂

  • Ick. Guys who just take off to do whatever. This guy is like my ex.

    My ex was retired when it all went down. The first time he took off, he said he “might disappear to the west.” What happened after that doesn’t bear repeating (there was significant mental instability), but I foolishly took him back. I asked for a separation the second time, and he made it long-distance. Multiple times in the years before, he had talked about “just taking off,” so all this wasn’t exactly a surprise. But sixty-something men who were otherwise responsible don’t just take off like that in normal circumstances.

    I leaned in and made life work while he reinvented himself near the beach, periodically reappearing via phone/text/email to blame-and-game. In that first year, my contact with him dropped off, and he basically ignored our college kids, just texting/emailing a handful of times.

    He came back to get his stuff so we could sell the house (we were already out), and it was clear that he was very triggered by being back. He said, “Too many bad memories.” Mmmm…several decades of family life which certainly had some good times, and it’s all bad now. I noted that. He said all would be well if we packed up and followed him, but I wasn’t prepared to do that. I knew the college kids wouldn’t do that. I also noted how unstable he was mentally, actually in a scary way. He said some wild things.

    Later (slow learner), my attorney had some choice words about spouses who run, and I realized that the groundwork for my ex’s behavior had been laid years before. He had been entertaining thoughts of running off for over a decade. Being older without the responsibilities of work, he finally did run. If I had chosen to reconcile, there was no reason to believe he wouldn’t run yet again and again. There were other serious reasons why it was over (of course).

    Yes, it was time to end it. I hope that “A Chump” sees the hopelessness as I did.

  • Oh, and I must move from this painful locale where we met, fell in love and vowed to forsake all others before I SCREWED AROUND ON YOU WHILE YOU WERE PREGNANT WITH MY CHILD

    Because it’s just too painful…for me. Sniff.

    Maybe I will feel better In Wyoming. Lots of new women to screw over there! I think I feel better already!

    I’d send tshirts for the kids, if I only knew their sizes….

  • Being one of the Chumps who never received an apology, I always, over the years, really, really wanted to hear one. I guess I thought that hearing a (heartfelt) apology, an acknowledgement that he had made epic mistakes, would somehow take the sting out of it. Once I started to sort through the trickle truth over the 2 years together after D-day#1 and my slow realization of the sheer enormity of the years and years of cheating was slowly uncovered, I informed him that I wanted a separation. He was still only dribbling out some half-truths, wasn’t owning up to much, he was pretty much blaming me for my reactions and frequent ‘melt-downs’, stonewalling me, refusing to discuss anything, the gaslighting was terrible ….. you know, the usual fuckwittery. Once I moved out, that’s when the mask came down – he never looked back. It’s as if I (we) never existed. Refused to talk to me, wouldn’t acknowledge me in the street or in front of our kids, I simply didn’t exist. So the apology that never came, or just a simple nod of his head to acknowledge me became something I really, really wanted, or thought I wanted.
    It’s been over 15 years now since separation and the subsequent divorce and he is someone I just used to know. Thankfully, with CL and Chump Nation, I now understand that their apologies are just another scam, and I no longer have that desire. While I did date for a while, I have never partnered up and there is a very slim chance that I ever will. I am grateful every day that I left him, that I am free of the lying and cheating and all the gaslighting, all that BS. Thankfully I had the courage to leave and face life, at 50, with no family other than my kids – in a new(ish) country and a different hemisphere. He was a scumbag while masked and even worse when unmasked – for 32 years he presented a different persona to us. It still helps me to read the letters, the advice and the comments from CN. It helps me to realize how lucky I am, how free I am, how blessed I am to be in this community. Hugs and blessings to you all.

    • How mighty you are, Lynne!
      Your story is similar to mine. The differences are that I did get an insincere apology and I didn’t leave the country, just moved to another area. That was a gutsy thing you did.
      In not getting an apology, you didn’t miss anything but more manipulation. I’m happy that you see that now and are doing so well.

      • ‘In not getting an apology, I didn’t miss anything but more manipulation.’
        Thank you OHFFS, I love the way you summarized this. On the increasingly less frequent days that I become introspective and go down that ruminating rabbit-hole, this will be my mantra. Love it!!!

  • I think this is probably the best you can get from most of them and it’s just something I would ignore. Most of the cheaters are dysfunctional people which is why they are cheaters and they only care ultimately about themselves and their own convenience. He may legitimately feel bad about his own behavior and recognize that what he did was wrong and destructive but……so what. He’s not going to do anything to correct it, he’s making that clear in the letter. I think A Chump is more than generous even giving the emoji and she sounds very reasonable otherwise. Hopefully….and I know this is hard on the kids but I really DO think it’s better…..I hope he has minimal involvement with the kids because it think the yo-yo’ing that people like this defect do can be even more harmful than just not being involved with the kids at all. To me, the most important thing kids need is stability. That ain’t this guy.

    • Yes, this is a good point. Their thinking is already messy and disordered, and then the marriage blows up. So all we can expect is more messy and disordered. It’s not like they finally get their act together and play nice during and after the divorce. My attorney told me to expect much of the same if not worse, and he was right.

  • The only useful content I get from this is that he’s quitting his job and moving, probably out of state. So he’s going to request a decrease in child support.

    Or, since he’s moving out of state, maybe he’ll just disappear and quit paying. Although that would make it difficult for him to get his alimony…decisions, decisions.

    Or, maybe this is 100% BS, and he’s just trying to get kibbles.

    • For sure kibbles is a real possibility. He was hoping I’d say “please don’t go (dramatic pause) our life isn’t complete if you’re gone!” -puke

  • Why do I keep picturing Ryan from The Office? When he tells Kelly he’s breaking up with her because he’s “going to Thailand with some high school friends. I mean, I didn’t go to school with them…But they’re in high school.”

    And he never gets anywhere more exotic than Tampa, after which he returns to Scranton and takes a job as the shoe guy in a bowling alley.

    Dear A Chump,
    I’m sure your FW would love to show you how sorry he is and how much he regrets what he did to you but, like, that would mean change. And growing up. And maybe a job, Typing an apology he can do — living it is untenable.

    I never cease to be amazed by these written apologies coming from FWs who can’t conceive of what any of it really means. Chin up! Maybe he’ll hit the west coast and take up surf boarding then get eaten by a killer whale.

  • Oh these crack me up! I stayed a long long time (D Days pre CN). When I finally left FW whined after, “I’ve had to live with the pain and guilt of what I did for 15 years!!” Um, I’m supposed to feel bad for you?!? WTH

  • If it were not for the biographical details on this one, I would swear my FW wrote it several years ago. He no longer has even the level of perspective in this message though, so if he wrote it now, it would read, “You are a terrible person who alienated my kids and destroyed my life!” But it would end the same–that he is going to run away into the sunset and find his true destiny. FW always thought he was just one glorious sunset away from his true destiny. He dumped the kids (signed over sole custody of the youngest!) and told me that God wanted him to be free… and now he says I alienated them, and that’s why they don’t talk to him. He told me he thought they’d live with me, but go visit him for fun vacations, like going on a Caribbean cruise. My youngest kid said, “That just goes to show what a shit dad he is. I hate boats. I get seasick so easily. And I hate hot weather, so the Caribbean sounds like torture. He doesn’t know me AT ALL.”

  • The entire point of the message was finances. Everything written before and after…
    “I will let you know as things progress. I won’t have a job for a little while until I find a place that feels like home. So I will contact friend if the court and we can work out the child support I owe you.”
    Doesn’t count because the entire fluff was to pad that he has no intention of financially standing on his own two feet anytime soon and chump needs to keep the alimony rolling in. Truly he could have just written “ still planning on sponging off you for a little bit longer. xoxo.”
    Hope OP talks to lawyer about getting some cash off that house sale towards the kids, or can pay him less alimony because of it.

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