Can I Keep the Other Woman Away from My Kids?

Dear Chump Lady,

I tried to take the high road regarding my cheating ex-husband having my kids around the Other Woman (who he had a long-term affair with). I’ve been divorced for two years, and he claims the OW isn’t in the picture any more, or around my kids. But my kids tell a different story.

So, I find out he’s still with her from the kids. THEN, I find out because SHE texts me, using his cell phone, that I should “get over it,” she “loves” my kids, my ex-husband. WTFever. (Vomit.)

Funny thing, when he dropped them off he tried to chat me up like usual. Says the OW is “classless,” doesn’t know why she texted me, etc. He wants to be all buddy, buddy, but I was all business with him. So then he left sulking, probably headed back to the OW.

I fear my “acceptance” of the OW (because I want to minimize stress to my kids) is going to somehow make it easier for him to advance his relationship with her and create some kind of family dynamic. The injustice is killing me, like they’re this happy family. And I was replaced. And my kids are just cool with that. UGH.

I always used to comfort myself with the thought that he is incapable of really doing a committed full-time relationship. But he seems to have that with the OW.

I am so trying not to let this bring me to my knees.

Signed,

Dread

***

Dear Dread,

Don’t predicate your happiness on what your ex does or does not do.

You only get to control YOU. You cannot control who your ex dates, moves in with, and brings around your kids. Your best, healthiest response to OW is meh. Whatever. You don’t exist.

Practice indifference. Yes it sucks donkey balls.

Capable of a committed full-time relationship? Of COURSE he is incapable of it! Look, according to your letter, he had a long-term affair. The man loves CAKE. That’s why he chats you up. That’s why he pretends the OW isn’t in his life. He’s still trying to deceive you, and you might again grant him cake privileges if he can keep that door open.

He appears to be quite excellent at maintaining a double life with no one the wiser. You have no idea what he has going on the side. All you know is that you left the triangle. And now he needs a new hypotenuse.

You are only surmising — imagining — he is giving her what he didn’t give you. Bullshit. She’s texting you using his phone because you make her insecure. He makes every woman insecure. That’s his game. To keep everyone off balance. To commit to none. To give juuuuust enough to keep one hooked. Then retreat. Then tease. Then “win” them back. It’s a sicko game.

Thank God every day you’re not on the receiving end of his crap. It’s HER problem now.

HE IS NOT A PRIZE.

Your children will figure this out. OW will probably be a part of a rotating cast of characters over time. On the off chance she becomes a significant part of their young lives, (and she might, maybe she’s okay with his fucking around, or has greater powers of delusion), she still could never EVER usurp you as their mother. Those bonds are primal. Just DETACH. Get on with your own life.

You cannot control this and you’ll make yourself sick trying. Some people get clauses written into their divorce decrees about introducing new partners. Think about the logistics of enforcing that. Marriage police is awful, divorce police is worse. It’s been two years. Unless she’s harming your children (and the bar is high, even for FWs), I doubt the courts will care.

((Big hugs)). I know it sucks. Stay the sane parent course.

***

This is an updated post.

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paula
paula
11 years ago

“All you know is that you left the triangle. And now he needs a new hypotenuse.”

And this, dear Chumplady, is why I adore you! He needs a new hypotenuse!!! Clever and true!

Thanks for your wisdom and humor and your warm way of expressing the truth that we sometimes don’t want to hear!!

He needs a new hypotenuse. He needs a new hypotenuse. Repeat and smile.

RC
RC
11 years ago

Dear Chopped,
You took my thoughts out of my head. I am in the exact same situation that you are in. It totally sucks.

Thanks so much for your blog, Chump Lady. It’s been a godsend. It’s the one thing that has helped me understand who a cheater really is and what I need to do to get to the other side.

Ms. Jay
Ms. Jay
11 years ago

Chump Lady your advice , as always, is “spot on”. Chopped Liver may not realize it yet, but she’s sitting in the “cat bird seat”. The “other woman” is basically standing on her heels trying to keep her balance because the ex-wife is now her “BIGGEST THREAT!”. How do I kno? , because I was in the exact same position about a year ago. Once I divorced my husband of over 20 years, I made sure that he had “full access” to our 16 year-old daughter. Whenever he visits and the 3 of us go out to dinner, shopping, etc. , his “side piece” pitches a hissy fit. She calls and texts him the entire time he’s visting because she doesn’t trust him. (Karma is a bitch! ain’t it?) Even though I have assured this broad that I want no parts of “HER SERIAL CHEATING MAN”, she is always uncomfortable and insecure until he returns to their place. Now my ex-husband is miserable and trapped. He knows that I am content and very happy with my new “single status”. In fact, our daughter will be a college freshman next year; and then I’m really planning on making everything ALL ABOUT ME! My ex-husband and his “former mistress ” and “current fool of a partner” are flabbergasted; they can’t believe that I built a new life for me and my daughter. Bottom line is this: Chopped Liver just needs to “take the high road”, rebuild her life and move on into a wonderous and exciting future. Here’s wishing her tons of love and peace.

Stephanie
Stephanie
11 years ago

Oh, that’s some relationship they have there. He calls her “classless” behind her back. She embarrasses him. He sucks up to you.

That’s right she’s intimidated by you–you have class, he works for your approval, he badmouths the woman he’s fucking behind her back. He’s got so much respect and admiration for her.

Take the high road, sister. The classier and calmer you are, the better and more intimidating you are. The quieter and more private you are, the more she and he worry.

Your kids can see she’s a desperate fool. Let her knock herself out showing them “love” (errr, more like trying to win their approval.) They know who their mama is–you be their lighthouse. You know how to give them REAL love and discipline and support.

Anne
Anne
11 years ago

Dear CL,

Keep.up.the.good.work.!
Thank you

Karen
Karen
10 years ago

Don’t forget too, that often the cheater will choose another nice, caring, sweet person to fuck around with – THEY have pretty good pickers, sometimes! So sometimes (not saying it’s the case here) the OW/OM are quite good to the kids, and are either fairly honest people who were lied to as well, or people who let themselves believes the delusional crap about cheating (I believed some of it myself until I had a cheater in my life!) in order to get close to that sparkliness.

But you don’t have to worry, the exact same things that undermined your life w/the cheater, their self-centeredness, their stupidity about relationships, their lack of effort to contribute to others’ happiness, will undermine ANY relationship they’re in. Sometimes it just takes time. The cheater usually ends up w/a series of not-very-long relationships, and usually their choice of partners deteriorates as well.

But in the end it doesn’t matter, your kids will value you because of who you are, not because of anybody else and what they do or don’t do. Your life will get better because it’s YOUR life. And that’s what I’m trying to focus on.

Stepbystep
Stepbystep
3 months ago

The advice holds up after 11 years – lying FW, insecure OW and confused children do not equal a replacement family.

I do think it’s worth telling children that they don’t need to keep FW’s secrets if it impacts their safety or violates basic family values.

LookingForwardsToTuesday
LookingForwardsToTuesday
3 months ago

Dread,

You don’t need to “accept” the OW; you just ignore her. And do give you children some credit, as they will work things out for themselves very quickly indeed.

As an aside, I told my children (then 11, 16 and 18) that it was for them to work out how they wanted things to work with their mother’s AP/now boyfriend …. and that it was OK to put boundaries in place if they felt them necessary. I also told them that they should be very wary of issuing a “him or us” ultimatum to their mother. Now 8 and a bit years later, the kids have very little to do with their mother and nothing at all to do with the AP/boyfriend. Ex-Mrs LFTT’s plan to play happy families with him and have our children gazing on in admiration and approval from the sidelines came to nothing because of the way that she treated them (particularly her trying to manipulate them into accepting him using all sorts of false equivalence) and the fact that he was going along with it.

Kids may be fragile at times (and yours will need your support) but they are not stupid.

LFTT

justme
justme
3 months ago

My XH had a hard time using me to triangulate. He was a batterer and had supervised access only for the first 10yrs, court ordered. Then, he left our city for his newest f$#k toy. He very slowly started to spiral after our eldest moved out to be with him. His mask finally slipped, and she saw what I had been protecting her from. She moved home this past weekend. So , for the first time in almost a decade, I will get to see my eldest on Christmas. I am heart broken that he could not keep it together for her. But happy that she is home. FW’s gotta FW. My 2nd STBX left the house and never looked back. He stopped communicating with his son about a month after he left. That was almost 2yrs ago. They are so not worth it. Here’s to trusting that they SUCK!!

Elsie_
Elsie_
3 months ago

I love these classics!

I didn’t have custody issues. I probably should have cut the cord earlier, but not having custody issues allowed more of a clean break and less to negotiate (cough) in the divorce.

My attorney commented several times that the less we seek justice and the more we seek healing, the better we will do in the long run. I freaked out a bit the first time he said that. After all, he was my high-powered attorney! He assured me that I would get some level of legal justice but that not to focus on the bigger picture of justice yet. Maybe in time, but focus first on healing.

Yes, he was right. I hit meh not long after it was final and handled ugly email interactions with my ex during closeout like a pro. He mostly leaves me alone. We’ll see if he reappears by sending Christmas cards/gifts, but maybe not. That was the last time we heard from him, almost a year ago.

chumpedmama
chumpedmama
3 months ago

I honestly feel this was written for me. I’m in this exact situation right now. My ex lead an open affair during my entire pregnancy last year, and during post partum. I have a 4 year old and now 1 year old. He divorced me when the baby was 6 months old and bought a house with the AP. Given our kids are sooo very young I put a stipulation in the parenting agreement that neither of us can introduce any SO for one year post divorced, to which hr agreed to. Now he’s bringing me to court to get it overturned…… I’m trying so hard to accept that my kids will be around this woman.

Conchobara
Conchobara
3 months ago
Reply to  chumpedmama

They never adhere to the promises about introducing the OW, from what I’ve seen. FW promised me he’d wait a year post-divorce to introduce them. Within a month of separation, though, he was whining about introducing them (you know, I was standing in the way of him showing off his twu wuv child mistress to our actual child). I held out for a few months but after it was clear the divorce was going to take some time I checked in with our daughter (12) about how she felt and she just shrugged and said, “Whatever” so I didn’t stand in the way, just asked that he not spring it on her because of her anxiety issues. Of course, that’s how he did it — surprise! My “girlfriend” is here! I also found out this past summer that he’d actually secretly introduced them (unbeknownst to our daughter) several years ago, pretending that the 3 of them “met” at a bowling alley where he took our daughter for a very, very rare (and surprising) father/daughter outing. He told our daughter earlier this year, “Oh, yeah, you’ve already met her, remember when…”. He and the wh0re (I’d wager it was mostly him) planned this whole thing where they pretended her boyfriend didn’t show up for a date and he “noticed” her all alone and invited her to play with our daughter and him because he felt bad for her. They used a fake name for her and had a whole prepared story, etc., all because he just HAD to introduce our daughter years before DDay. Just sick.

Mehitable
Mehitable
3 months ago
Reply to  Conchobara

Be sure your daughter knows that story, your interpretation of it, because that’s probably exactly how it played out. These assholes need to be exposed. Kids need to know what people are really like and who to trust.

Hell of a Chump
Hell of a Chump
3 months ago
Reply to  chumpedmama

So sorry you’re going through this. For a silver lining, read Elizabeth Lee’s comment and the argument that it goes both ways. One day you’ll find a genuinely wonderful partner and ex-FW won’t have boo to say about your kids’ new and improved father figure.

Elizabeth Lee
Elizabeth Lee
3 months ago
Reply to  chumpedmama

Oh, Honey, I’m so sorry. You deserve better than this asshole. Just keep breathing. You will get through this.

WalkawayWoman
WalkawayWoman
3 months ago

My ex husband’s AP-turned-girlfriend tried hard to ingratiate herself to my three teenage kids – letting my sons drive her luxury sports car, taking my daughter shopping etc.

I stayed above the fray. Did the cool/bummer/wow before I had even found Chump Lady.

Only a couple of times when AP egregiously overstepped her bounds (e.g. asking my 13-year-old if she was sexually active, pressuring her to borrow one of AP’s bras to wear under a formal dress) did I assert myself. By telling my ex husband to make AP back off.

He made lame noises to me about “children need a village” and how AP meant no harm, but I stood firm.
And he did address it with her, which resulted in an apology text message from AP to me. I still remember it. It began, “Hi WalkawayWoman, this is AP, ex’s girlfriend…”.

I left her on read.

A couple of years later, they broke up.

Treat APs-turned-partners as if they are irrelevant, because they are.

Elizabeth Lee
Elizabeth Lee
3 months ago

I’m glad you re-ran this one. It’s excellent. I was still in the throes of divorce when you wrote it.

The only way you can keep your children from whatever trash their father dates is if the trash is dangerous. Like actually physically dangerous with a weapons charge or history of drug offenses or domestic violence. The courts have no interest in protecting their feelings. The assumption is that the other parent will keep them safe.

Fortunately, it goes both ways. Because these cake-eaters think it’s perfectly fine for them to date, but they don’t want YOU dating. Many of them will have a hissy fit if the sane parent decides to date or marry again. Since the courts don’t care they can’t use the court system to further abuse you just because you are moving on with your life.

I’ve been out of my horrible marriage for a long time now, so I have a bit more perspective. Cake eaters only like young children because they tend to adore Mommy and Daddy. Tweens and teens are less adoring. Adult children can usually see if Mom or Dad is an asshole. My adult children are fully aware that their father is a jerk. When we first separated he couldn’t be bothered to see them because he was too busy “working” and pursuing the other woman. He didn’t even want to see them on Father’s Day because he had something “more important” going on. By the time the divorce was final he had totally destroyed his relationships with all our kids. He continued to see the two minor children until they were 17 (son #1) or 18 (son #2). He only made things worse during that time.

He remarried a few years after the divorce. The kids have no relationship with him or his new wife. None. Heck, they don’t even have a relationship with my evil former mother-in-law or anyone on that side of the family. They like to look good to the outside world, but they aren’t actually good people.

Elsie_
Elsie_
3 months ago
Reply to  Elizabeth Lee

Good points.

My agreement has certain penalties if I remarry and none if he remarries. My former employer doesn’t care married or not, so I couldn’t have designated that even if I wanted to. His former employer allows that, but the way it was handled in my case, it’s unenforceable. My attorney gave me workarounds (LOL), but I’m really not interested in dating.

My ex didn’t bother either with keeping in touch with the kids for the first year of separation. They were in college, and when the oldest had an out-of-state graduation, he was emphatic that Dad was NOT invited. I told my then-husband to take it up with our kid, which of course, he never did. I got out of the way on that one. There was a pre-registration process and a pass involved, so I thought Dad probably wouldn’t just show up, but he was also the type that might try to apply charm to get in. Didn’t happen.

People outside these circles don’t get how horrible these ex’s are. Yesterday at church, I had someone ask my son and me how my ex is doing. FWIW, he’s been gone for over six years, and I’ve been divorced for almost four. I felt like saying “get with the program, it’s been a while,” but I get that this person doesn’t have a filter. Nah. Move on…

Hell of a Chump
Hell of a Chump
3 months ago

Oh thank goodness for private investigators and the fact that bars and restaurants keep itemized receipts for up to five years showing exactly who drank what, how much and at what time. I had pretty rock solid proof the AP repeatedly drove under the influence on the freeway to get to various far flung drinking holes with an also very drunk father of three in the passenger seat.

Regardless of what the court would have decided regarding any custody stipulation of keeping the AP away from the kids, the general optics– drunk driving, documented drug consumption, dissipation of marital assets, etc.– were terrible enough that FW dumped the AP pretty brutally right after D-Day in an attempt to keep a lid on the whole mess. It’s possible he’d considered taking the affair further underground but then the kids hacked our devices, learned the ugly details of the affair and threatened to “find a replacement dad” if FW didn’t ditch Schmoops whom they nicknamed “Beefy the Danger Pig.” Then there was the specter of Schmoopie being subpoenaed, FW’s work colleagues and extended family finding out, etc.

Maybe one day FW will take up with someone else and the kids will be “exposed.” But I think by then the kids will likely all be adults and at least it won’t be the precise same Danger Pig who gobbled up the kids’ college funds and called them “Things 1,2 and 3” to her barfly pals. While I understand there’s little point in tearing one’s hair out over an inevitability in the case there’s no way to keep an AP away from children, the fact remains that it’s a massive relief when witting “mate poachers”– whom studies have shown tend to be on the psychopathic spectrum– are out of kids’ lives for good.

tallgrass
tallgrass
3 months ago

Chumplady, you have been 100% on target for everything related to my situation except for the “primal” bit. It’s now been almost 4 years. It was a 40 year marriage.

My adult children moved immediately into protection mode for “poor dad” when he revealed his affair. He married schmoopie two months after I finally wrestled the divorce through the courts on zoom during Covid. The adult children schooled me many times in how I was the problem and I should be happy their dad now found his true love. I could still be a part of the family if I would quit screaming and accept that I now have been given a side role with them and the grandchildren. I refused to accept their offer.

I hope someday to be able to report to this supportive group that the primal bit kicked in. I was an awesome wife, mother and grandmother. Totally devoted my life to all of them. Sacrificed so much to help them build their own successful lives.

I’m still waiting. I can’t believe I survived this.

Mehitable
Mehitable
3 months ago
Reply to  tallgrass

My dear lady, I am so sorry, what you’ve been through is unspeakable. “How sharper than a serpent’s tooth, is a thankless child”….King Lear. I wish I could say something wise and comforting but all I can do is tell you how much we all feel your pain and wish we could help. Perhaps, as hard as it may be to contemplate, your kids take after Dad….if not in genetics than in attitude and beliefs. They seem to prefer the cover-up that makes everyone comfortable, to the truth that brings real healing. I hope they see the light sooner than later. I don’t know how anyone can not define a 40 year marriage as “true love”. If that isn’t, I don’t know what is.

2xchump
2xchump
3 months ago
Reply to  tallgrass

We all want Karma but this is true. My daughter adores her dad and wifetress. She left my house for his because she hated my 2nd cheater. I cannot blame her as she figured him out before I did. This is life. However, 12 years later I get a call to come spend Thanksgiving with her and my grandkids..She is paying for my trip. Is that a miracle? Mother’s are still primal but sometimes it takes years. Just hold tight!

Hell of a Chump
Hell of a Chump
3 months ago
Reply to  tallgrass

It makes me sick that you’re going through this. I think it’s what chumps quite naturally fear most in these circumstances and I believe the risk of it is built in because there’s something distinctly “cultish” in the thinking and MOs of cheaters and poachers like all domestic abusers. Similar to child molesters who convened and formed the Man-Boy Love Association to crank out PR in an improbably attempt to sway public condemnations against child rapists, many serial offenders of all stripes tend to tirelessly proselytize their heinous choices. They can’t bear it if anyone in their midst aren’t rapt supporters and fans and so they ceaselessly seduce, bribe, ply, draft and inculcate everyone around them and endlessly campaign against their own victims. Prison studies have shown that, for example, domestic batterers channel far more energy into image management than average people. They’re like corporations that spend the largest portion of budget on PR, advertising and tort defense and very little on product development and safety research and consequently go around poisoning people or putting out dangerous wares.

If you know the background of Professor Jennifer Freyd, the coiner of “DARVO,” it’s a perfect case in point. As adults, Freyd and a sibling started remembering being molested by their father when they were children and confronted their parents. In response, Freyd’s parents, both psychologists, founded the False Memory Syndrome Foundation and invited a bunch of other suspected child molesters to join the board, including two former MKULTRA researchers, rape apologists Ralph Underwager and Elizabeth Loftus and the late James “The Amazing” Randi (with his publicly circulated “underage sex tapes”). Over the next decades, what had ostensibly begun as a campaign to deny/attack/reverse victim-offender to silence Jennifer Freyd turned into a globally influential hub of so-called expert witnesses who cranked out tobacco science disparaging victim memory. Fortunately the organization recently collapsed but the junk science the collective managed to foist on academia zombies on and continues to infect legitimate memory research, public policy and public conception. https://news.isst-d.org/the-rise-and-fall-of-the-false-memory-syndrome-foundation/

Freyd eventually “won” against her parents’ hideous campaign but I think the scope and influence of that rape defense front group shows that the worse the crime, the more intense the proselytizing. It wasn’t that Freyd lacked credibility that her counter efforts took so long to finally bring down the front group. It’s also not due to lack of credibility and lovableness on your part that your kids were swayed by the bull. Both are a measure of how incredibly, diabolically, cultishly committed really, really, really bad people are to covering up their offenses and drafting bystanders.

Mehitable
Mehitable
3 months ago

HOAC – I think much of our society are “The People of the Lie” isn’t that the Scott Peck book I found too discouraging to read? So often people just want to promote the pleasantness on the surface and hide, cover-up, or beat down all those negative…yeah…ugly….feelings that are also part of being human, especially when you’ve been abused and hurt and thrown away and shit upon. It’s like in some of our cities now when the Chinese President comes to visit, they HIDE the homeless people or move them somewhere else and they’ll just be back out after he’s gone. I’m not making a political statement, it’s The Way We Do Things as a culture. Instead of dealing honestly with people’s pain and doing the right thing, we try to cover up all the nasty bits and pretend everything’s okay until someone goes crazy and pulls out a knife or gun. I think The Cover-up is a sacred ritual in our society now…..I prefer addressing the ugly bits and cutting out that cancer or healing the infection but so many people would prefer to just cover it up with lace and ribbons. Why can you just be NICE??????? Why can’t you just SUCK IT UP AND PRETEND TO BE HAPPY? Why can’t you just TAKE THE ABUSE? Well….I can’t and none of us should. I went through a very impoverished and dysfunctional childhood right till I left home and I can’t discuss most of it – almost any of it – with people because they look at ME like I am defective. Each of us, whether chumped in marriage or life, needs to fight to be real, for our own truth and genuineness and our right to our own feelings. This woman has a right to be devastated by the BETRAYAL OF HER OWN CHILDREN and that is exactly what it is. It hurts.

OHFFS
OHFFS
3 months ago
Reply to  tallgrass

Unfortunately, sometimes kids take on the character of the FW. They see this as a way to be on the winning team. Over the years, they observe the cheater treating you like crap, and you making all the sacrifices, and they don’t want to be victims of the cheater’s mistreatment. So they join team fuckwit out of self preservation. Self preservation is also primal.

I had to let one of my kids go because of being a mini-FW and cruel to me. She no longer wants me in her life because I won’t allow her to emotionally abuse me. I have not seen my grandchildren in about six years. One of them I have never even seen, as she was born post-Dday. At this point I doubt she will ever change her mind. I’ve come to be as at peace with it as I can.

Last edited 3 months ago by OHFFS
Mehitable
Mehitable
3 months ago
Reply to  OHFFS

Some people are just…well….defective, and sometimes it’s your kid and sometimes it’s your whole family, and there really isn’t anything you can do about it. I have a brother in law right now like this – there’s no talking to him about anything, no matter what it is he’s always right and he’s just unbearable. But what can you do, he is what he is. So much worse with children of course, but ultimately we can’t control any adult. Sometimes we can’t even influence them.

2xchump
2xchump
3 months ago
Reply to  OHFFS

It is 💔but you still get a life after you run out of tears 😢

Hell of a Chump
Hell of a Chump
3 months ago
Reply to  OHFFS

You bring up some sadly classic truths. Emulation of and displays of loyalty towards abusers is just another means of groveling for amnesty from the most dangerous monkey in the situation. It’s a form of captor bonding. The more dangerous the adult, the stronger the pull of gravity to the dark side. Idle bystanders can’t comprehend how high the stakes in these situations are, really nothing less than battles to save children’s souls.

Elsie_
Elsie_
3 months ago
Reply to  tallgrass

I’m sorry that you are dealing with this.

A friend of mine is in a similar situation with only one of her six kids still in contact with her. I can’t imagine the pain.

Mehitable
Mehitable
3 months ago
Reply to  Elsie_

Do you think they identify with the one they think is the more powerful or successful parent? Is there money or life style issues involved? The pain must be horrifying, I can’t understand this.

Elsie_
Elsie_
3 months ago
Reply to  Mehitable

In her eyes, it was primarily spiritual reasons why five out of her kids went with the cheater, but power and money were factors. She finally fled after years of abuse and his cheating with the choir director, who was widowed, and initially she had the kids with her. Then he crafted a smear campaign. He ended up with all of the kids and most of the marital assets. His church believed the rhetoric, and he married the choir director.

One kid has come back in adulthood.

Mehitable
Mehitable
3 months ago
Reply to  Elsie_

That is so sad. When you say spiritual reasons, I’m assuming it’s religious brainwashing courtesy of the church leadership. I hope more of the kids can recover from this brainwashing and probably pressure to accept the unacceptable and come back to their mother.

kangajen74
kangajen74
3 months ago

The first thing that struck me was that OW sent you unsolicited texts from your ex’s phone about how she won the sparkly turd and you need to get over it. I’ve seen this behavior from two different people, and both of them were crazier than shithouse rats. Psychologically healthy people with good boundaries don’t send bizarre, unsolicited texts from other people’s phones in order to intimidate you. Fucked up people do that. Your ex isn’t living his best life; he’s living a life with someone who probably has an unaddressed cluster b personality disorder. You’re living rent-free in her head to the point that she’s doing this. He didn’t win a damn thing.

Mehitable
Mehitable
3 months ago

The injustice of this is outrageous and enraging. Personally I would do things that I can’t recommend (in public) that others do. I never try to rise above the situation or take the higher ground or any of that bullshit because it would make me feel worse in the end. Like an even bigger chump. That said, one of the things I would make sure of is that my children (age appropriate) were aware of what happened to the marriage – why their father left, why we are divorced, who this woman is and what she did. Again, age appropriate, no gory sex info, but just straightforward….your father had an affair with this woman which is not allowed in marriage, she worked to steal him from me and break up the marriage, and that is why your dad is not home and living with and seeing her. Paint her as black as she is. Your kids need to KNOW what kind of people they are dealing with and not just the treacly lies they are probably being fed (including about YOU). Kids need to know how to assess who they can TRUST in life – and who they can’t, and that is based on past and current behavior. That’s why you have to tell them this. Tell them also that while they have to make their own relationships with people, you do not like or trust this woman and would prefer they associate with her as little as they can because she is not a good person, she helped wreck your marriage, and it hurts you. Be honest with them, always be honest with people, don’t try to rise about things, that is not a healthy approach. It is dishonest and not productive. Personally I cannot stand martyrs, I like people who stand up for themselves and fight back. As for your husband…..keep going as no contact as you can. It’s obvious he has some regrets about his behavior and life with that whore is not as much fun as an affair. Wife appliance is still preferable in many ways but…..you’ve seen what he really is and what he’s done and what he’d do again given another chance. Once they start cheating….they keep cheating. So keep your contact to the minimum you can and he gets to stew in his own juices and he can go to hell in them. But always be honest with your kids about the people they are dealing with and WHY the situation is what it is and how YOU feel about it. DO NOT RISE ABOVE OR TAKE THE FUCKING HIGHER GROUND. That’s frequently how people get chumped in the first place.

susie lee
susie lee
3 months ago
Reply to  Mehitable

I took the HG, I didn’t tell anyone all the horrible crap he pulled. Horrible things he said to me in the year of discard etc. I should have told strategic folks the whole story, but I was so devastated, humiliated and strangely loyal. I guess mostly because he was my sons dad and I was trying to not trash his dad.

It came out many years later when fw and whore starting trashing my son and sons family.

Mehitable
Mehitable
3 months ago
Reply to  susie lee

I’m so sorry for the nightmare you went through, susie. I’ve read your posts and you were really put through the mill by that asshole. I can’t do the HG, I think my spirit animal is the wolverine – I’d rather have large chunks of bloody flesh ripped from somebody’s ass, LOL! In general, I’ve found that the nastier you are towards the FWs of life (not just the cheating kind) the more they leave you alone and sometimes the better they treat you. That’s why I recommend it.

susie lee
susie lee
3 months ago
Reply to  Mehitable

I took the HG too much. Even my preacher said Susie you need to get mad.

My biggest regret is I didn’t tell my dad before he died. I did get to tell my brother and I am glad about that.

OHFFS
OHFFS
3 months ago

I’m pretending this is a new post, since there are chumps out there having the same kind of feelings.

“And I was replaced. And my kids are just cool with that.”

They’re not cool with it. Of course they would rather have their parents together. They’re just trying to make the best of what little they get from him. If that involves accepting his whore, it sucks, but it’s better than them being miserable all the time because of the divorce.

“But he seems to have that with the OW.”

He does? He talks shit about her behind her back. He tells you she’s out of the picture. She’s pick-me dancing so desperately that she’s reached out to you as if you are a rival. He’s not committed to anything but pleasuring his dong and triangulating the two of you. Regrettably, you’re only helping him to do that by insisting the kids can’t be around OW. He’s loving lying to you about that. He imagines it’s because you are jealous and he gets a stiffy from it. Want to blow his game up in his face? Then your assignment is to not show any sign that you give a shit about either of them. Fake it until you make it. Block that bitch. Grey rock his sorry ass at kid exchanges. No further conversations about the whore. Meet any of his offers to be “friends” (he means fuckbuddies) with the coldness he deserves.

Chumps must understand that fuckwits don’t magically change character because they found a new victim. He’ll cheat again and it won’t be on you, it will be on the disgusting piece of offal who texted you to “get over it.” I call that a win.

Last edited 3 months ago by OHFFS
2xchump
2xchump
3 months ago
Reply to  OHFFS

⬆️this

Hell of a Chump
Hell of a Chump
3 months ago

Since it’s an old post and the OP has hopefully moved on to a new and wonderful life, I just wanted to do a thought dump on the common trope about chumps “hating/shunning” APs and typical prohibitions against this.

It’s such a Roman circus kind of prank for someone to be judged by their response because most people would emotionally implode if some important aspect of their lives were deliberately poached out from under them– if their academic work was plagiarized, if some employee schemed to take over someone’s entrepreneurial passion project, if someone lost their house to Eminent Domain, if their children were taken by a rogue state and sold into adoption or if their savings accounts were drained by identity thieves. In those cases, bystanders wouldn’t chastise the victims for pursuing justice against any accessories to these crimes– anyone who enabled, facilitated, turned a blind eye or took money to let these things happen or received stolen goods. There would be public outrage against both big and small fish who contributed to injustice. It would be assumed that all willing participants had a criminal bent if they weren’t doing it at gunpoint or because of dire poverty. And, bottom line regardless of whether participants had guns to their heads or were catastrophically poor, even the most bleeding heart bystander wouldn’t want those types alone with their kids.

Anyway, just a bit of perspective.

Mehitable
Mehitable
3 months ago

As always, a superb comment and insight. Yes, if this kind of experience were extended to any other area of life it would never be accepted or overlooked and our righteous anger would be understood, if not applauded. I think this attitude is a casualty of our generally relaxed sexual mores since the 60s….if we take a stand against any kind of behavior then we are “judgmental” or censorious etc. Sometimes we SHOULD be judgmental, it’s the only way we can have any kind of standards to protect individuals, families and society.

marissachump
marissachump
3 months ago

Funny thing, when he dropped them off he tried to chat me up like usual. Says the OW is “classless,” doesn’t know why she texted me, etc.”

Whenever my cheater ex would say something negative about another person, it became a red flag that they were actually involved. They love to shit-talk their harem members to other harem members because it keep everyone triangulated, pick me dancing, and thrown off. Ignore their BS and detach.

susie lee
susie lee
3 months ago
Reply to  marissachump

So So true. My fw before Dday used to talk about what a pain whore was (she was his direct report) after Dday he talked about her like she was a virginal saint.

Hell of a Chump
Hell of a Chump
3 months ago
Reply to  susie lee

It suggests that the way your exFW got this idiot “interested” was by treating her like shit at first. Whether negging and dissing the sexual target is a conscious pick up tactic or just a preemptive sour grapes thing that wormily insecure people engage in, I never understood the approach and especially never understood the types of women it worked on. It seems your ex’s HoW was one of the ones the shit-test method works on. More’s the pity as they say.

susie lee
susie lee
3 months ago

Could be, but I think it is more likely he was just lying to me to fool me into thinking I had nothing to worry about. I remember the first time he pointed her out as his new dog catcher, he said she is kind of manish. (she was).

It is part of the reason I didn’t suspect her. But, I am pretty sure he treated her well, to keep her quiet. And he spent lots of money on her. Though to be fair; that she could not do her job well was pretty common knowledge.

Someone told me after the fact that she used to come in all the time to his office and sit there and complain about how rough she has it, etc. I wish this person had told me then, but honestly maybe she didn’t see it as anything but an annoying co worker.

walkbymyself
walkbymyself
3 months ago

Dear Dread: Remember, no matter how pathetic YOU feel … she’s so pathetic she actually took his cellphone and texted his ex-wife.

That’s some world-class pathos there.

2xchump
2xchump
3 months ago

Dear Dread! I don’t want to say this, but aren’t you still smoking the hopium pipe, asking questions of your cheater, believing lies, talking to your cheater like you still have something to say about his life? Trying to play nice nice in the sand box for the kids sake? Maybe you believe you still have control or love smoke over a lying liar that lies? I’m not sure what is the reason for acting all ” wifey” and demanding, but your cheater is soaking this all up like a spa bath in the French Alps.. Ahhh..my chumpy chump still cares, my x chump will still play footsie with me!!!!! It sounds like kibbles to me as you try to control what YOU CANNOT CONTROL. My kids went back and forth every other weekend and took cruises and trips with wifetress. My 1st cheater is still Married going on 25 years. I have only spoken to cheater#1 wife x2 and I lost nothing in keeping myself cheater free. Go get that life, stop inhaling the hopium fumes and let go of that cheater and his list of appliances he turns on and off. Please don’t be useful to him. It gives him thrill to be questioned by you because you still care. Your kids are not inside your umbrella when they leave you. It breaks your heart every time they leave. My kids liked wifetress and there was nothing I could do except be the same sober no frills Momma. Go no contact and save yourself from the triangle of his gas fumes. You’ll feel much better after awhile. It is true. CL and CN have the stats. Stay with us and learn. Blessings..it hurts awful bad, yes it does.

madkatie63
madkatie63
3 months ago

Hi Dread,
I know EXACTLY how you feel. I went through a similar situation except that my ex didn’t try to chat me up for long because whenever he did, his fake politeness would bring an unexpected string of expletive-laden insults out of my mouth. And he didn’t’ much like that. I tried everything to try to prevent him from bringing the OW around my kids. He moved from California to the UK to be with her, took on step-dad duties for her little boy while his own daughters rarely saw him, bought a mansion, knocked her up, and then married her. Before COVID, he planned some vacations with his new blended family and it was soul-crushing for me. But then, with the distance, I thought we were out of his grasp. But nowhe plans a lavish reunion every year so that my girls can bond with his new family. He flies them out to visit him randomly. It is so frustrating. I wondered constantly: how do these immoral cheaters get to destroy two families and then ride off into the sunset happily while I remain single? At the beginning, it seemed like they were winning and everyone was blaming me-my ex, the OW, my kids-it felt like the most unfair thing in the world. I stuck to my guns and refused to validate their narrative, but I never interfered with the girls spending time with their dad. Well, years later it turns out my adult daughters know exactly who my ex and his new wife are. They try to be civil because they want to spend time with their half-sister. And some part of them loves their dad because he is their dad, however awful he may be. But they openly acknowledge how wrong their behavior was. They also say they see him doing the same undermining and belittling to her that he used to do to me. He tried to invite them for Christmas this year, even though he considers himself a staunch atheist and refused to celebrate the event for our entire marriage. They told him we have a family tradition and they want to be with me. He tried to convince my younger daughter to come to the UK for graduate school and she told him she wants to stay in the US and that she’ll visit but she doesn’t want to live in the UK. The OW is going to be in my area for a conference next month and asked my daughter who lives here to come meet her for dinner. She told her she is busy with college but will meet her for a cup of coffee between classes. She said she doesn’t want to spend more than that with her. I really thought I was going to lose them to this “happy family” my ex created with the woman he cheated on me with, but I’m not. I definitely didn’t heed CL’s no contact advice at first and was completely losing my mind over their presence in my kids’ lives. But if I had it to do over, I would just patiently wait for them to show their true colors and trust my kids to see through their charade. I could have saved myself some pain and anguish. Your kids are not going to choose her over you. They will see who is in the wrong-I guarantee it.