Co-Parenting With Fuckwits, Your Thoughts…

blameThere are the conscious uncouplers, the people who remain friends with their exes, the mature adults who put aside their differences for the Good of The Children — and then there are the rest of us — the poor souls who co-parent with fuckwits.

You will know us by our unpaid child support and harried countenance as we do all the major parenting alone — unless you count text messages from the ex enumerating our faults as a “contribution.”

We are the people who left cheaters, addicts, and the personality disordered. Who throw ourselves on the open grenade of the other parent’s neglect to protect our children. Who suck it up. Who comfort ourselves with the cold thought that “Hey, the kids will figure it out someday” as the Fuckwit wins the hearts and minds campaign with intermittent Disneying.

Where is the divorce resource for co-parenting with fuckwits? My agent was after me for a second book idea and that was my suggestion. So, what the hell, we’re going to run with it. I thought today, if you don’t mind the crowd sourcing at Chump Nation, I want to know:

  1. What would you like to see in such a book.
  2. How have you coped (or not coped) co-parenting with a fuckwit.
  3. What resources are out there now? Did they help? Or do you think the market could use a CL approach to the subject?

And finally — if you’ve lived through this crap, give some hope to the newbies. I made it through and this morning my son just sent me a picture of himself in a suit. I raised this young man! He turned out okay! Fifteen years in the trenches, here folks. It can be done. Hang in there!  — Tracyrinsuit

Subscribe
Notify of

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.

367 Comments
Oldest
Newest Most Voted
Inline Feedbacks
View all comments
mickeyblueeyes
mickeyblueeyes
7 years ago

This book would be so relevant to me right now, I would give everything to bring my kids up on my own, rather than having to co-parent with someone like their mother…She can keep her money, fancy cars, big houses, vacations etc….I just want to bring my kids up as best as I can, with morals and standards.

Their mothers actions speak far louder than her words, she’s a selfish, entitled, disordered home wrecker. My values and morals are sooooo different to hers and I pray that my kids will see through all her manipulative ways. She left home at 15, flunked school, pregnant at 16, STD’s, drink and drugs…(Wish i knew what a red flag was when I was 19).

Fast forward 25 years and it appears post D-Day their mother has lost the plot. I cherish the time with my kids and am doing the best I can, we have a fantastic relationship filled with fun and laughter. Then this week my STBXW has announced she want to relocate 2 of my kids 80 miles away to live with a man she’s been in a relationship for 18 months, remove them from their school, leave their friends and family behind. Now it looks as though the time with my kids will be less and less, Legally it looks as though she is allowed to do this although I intend to fight as hard as I can to stop her, my kids deserve that at least.

I don’t want to co-parent with her – she’s broken and unfixable.

SweetSunny
SweetSunny
7 years ago
Reply to  mickeyblueeyes

You fight that! Those are your babies too! They need stability.
Ex left me in a foreclosed house, I had no job, five kids, he was military so we aren’t even from here, our closest friends and family live across the ocean. I asked if I could move back to our home state where both of our family’s are, I would have a 6 bedroom house in one of the best districts and a job. He spent (well actually the woman he left me for) $20,000 to make sure the kids stayed if I move. If I have to stay put (I’ve got 12 more years) she can stay her happy ass too. Lol!

MotherChumper99
MotherChumper99
7 years ago
Reply to  mickeyblueeyes

MBE — make sure that no matter what happens you provide each of your kids their own iPhones so they can always reach you, communicate with you, and that they are empowered to document anything they feel uncomfortable with (by use of video or audio if necessary).

Anonymous Coward
Anonymous Coward
7 years ago
Reply to  mickeyblueeyes

// , The courts do tend to favor the mother in these types of situations.

It’s a shame that your children will, ultimately, bear the actual cost of that kind of prejudice.

lostntx
lostntx
7 years ago
Reply to  mickeyblueeyes

In Texas, if the child is at least 14 they get to choose where and with whom they live. She a total self absorbed bitch wanting to move the kids away from their school and friends. All so she can be with her long-term boyfriend (sarcasm). Sure that’s going to last a long time anyway. I would tell the kids and then let X have to force the issue. They need to learn now what kind of person she is. Don’t save face for her. Let all the ugly show! Good luck with this! It’s a crap situation for you and your kids. Hopefully, they are old enough to get some say in the matter.

Martha
Martha
7 years ago
Reply to  mickeyblueeyes

I’m sorry to hear this Mickeyblueeyes. She sure sounds like a selfish woman! I’d LOVE to move back to my home state and have the support of my family. But, I LOVE my kids much, much more and would never do anything to keep them away from their father. Kids need both parents as long as that parent isn’t abusive in any way. She’s not only hurting you, but she’s hurting your kids. She sucks.

DemHoez
DemHoez
7 years ago
Reply to  mickeyblueeyes

Have you filed? If so, you can get an injunction barring her from moving them out of state. You have rights. Please, talk to your lawyer.

mickeyblueeyes
mickeyblueeyes
7 years ago
Reply to  DemHoez

Yes I’ve spoken to my lawyer, he’s advised she would struggle to relocate 2 of my kids and leave my eldest son with me to finish high school as the court won’t look kindly on splitting the kids up. Should she then decide to relocate all 3 kids then I may not be able to stop this as she is the primary parent. The only thing stopping her doing this is her conscience…so far she hasn’t displayed that she has one.

SphinxMoth
SphinxMoth
7 years ago
Reply to  mickeyblueeyes

MBE, please fight this. I don’t talk much about my childhood, but this is exactly what my disordered mother did as well. My older two siblings were with us two younger kids for awhile, as my mother didn’t have two red nickels to rub together/no job/high school dropout/couldn’t drive a car….and she needed the financial backing of her policeman paramour….so we all moved in with yet a SECOND character disordered/anger management fuckwit.

My older sister/brother got smart really fast. They made my mother’s life a living hell with their “knowledge and independence”—meaning, my sister wouldn’t allow my mother to get away with shit. So my mother sent her and my older brother packing to my dad’s house. I was left with my younger brother, who was just a sensitive, caring, sweet 5 year old. I was 9.

I don’t talk much about it, because it was the most abusive, hellish experience of my life. I’m not going to say that your ex would or would not do anything like my mother did, but one thing these people have in common…they care NOTHING about their “extensions”….a.k.a. children. And that is what kids are to these assholes.

My mother kept cheating on THIS guy as well. She learned to drive and she got her GED and a great job at an insurance company. BINGO! Open Buffet for Cheating Fuckwits! While she left my younger brother in my care and the policeman financier worked and allowed us to stay in his house. He never let us forget that it was his house, either. My brother and I were no permitted to shower/bathe in HIS remodeled bathroom—we were to shower in the basement with a hose. My brother ended up getting infections on his feet from doing that, and my mother would not bring us to a doctor—she didn’t want us SAYING anything. She allowed her cop boyfriend to use corporal punishment with a belt and bare bottom. I recall seeing my sweet, fair skinned, sensitive little brother have his pants down around his feet, being whipped with a leather belt—for not eating a piece of liver and onions that we were made for dinner. Of course, my mother and her bf ate prosciutto and peppered crackers and gouda cheese and a fine wine (that was their dinner the night my brother got this particular whipping)—and we were made liver and onions.

She fucked around with several other men in town while she allowed this “man” to abuse us in every way possible. My older two siblings were living with my dad—and my mother would also not allow us to communicate with THEM. We were not permitted to use the phone. Or visit (gas is expensive! driving 10 miles to their house would break her!), nor would they come and visit us—as they had a different understanding of what my mother’s bf was doing to us.

We drifted far, far apart. I didn’t see or speak to my older siblings for two long, miserable years. It never bothered my mother. Not one bit. If you believe that this is bothering your ex-wife, from what you tell on this board—you are mistaken. The simple fact that she would even CONSIDER splitting up her kids—you need to fight this woman with everything in you to prevent it.

This is the ONE CASE that I believe with my whole heart—-get those kids INVOLVED. Tell them exactly what is going on, what went on before—-everything. You will do them a SERVICE.

Disordered fuckwits like your ex and my mother—they do not choose wisely. They have no moral compass from which to work. They cannot see anything other than their own wants and desires. They do not care for others in the way normal people do. PLEASE. Get these kids into this and explain as well as you can what your concerns are.

I needed my dad to do that. My brother and I needed to be saved from this woman. He was overwhelmed with the divorce, he was working his ass off, and the laws were very different back then (30 years ago). The laws are on your side this time. Save your kids. Show them that there is someone who will defend them from anything evil, even if that evil is their mother. You don’t have to SAY that to them, but their mother is a CHEATER and a LIAR. Keep them well away from her if you can.

I am not being dramatic when I say….it’s not just your kids’ mental health in jeopardy here. Their physical safety may also be in danger. Pick up any newspaper and read about some of these women who are just total dipshits—and how they allow their boyfriends to abuse their kids. I’m not trying to frighten you—but this is reality. This isn’t a CONTEST between how good of a parent you can be—this is about the kids. Competing with her for any reason is futile. They do not play by the same rules. You need to focus on your kids.

These days, my dad is gone. My mother is involved with a man that she STILL continuously puts first above her grown children. My younger brother doesn’t speak to ANY of us—he made a new family of his own and wants to erase everything that was his life before age 17. I tried having a relationship with her off and on over the years, but she is a revisionist historian—she did nothing wrong, it was her “state of mind” at the time and we simply don’t understand it, we made it all up, blahblahblah. My older two siblings are so damaged—that one lives a solitary life, doing his job and not speaking to anybody—no relationships to speak of. My older sister tried for awhile, to be “normal”—she failed. Two failed, miserable marriages, HER cheating and having her kids taken from her–finally to get them back….only to have HER kids run from her when they could. I don’t know much about their life with my sister—because my sister and I didn’t grow up together. We barely knew each other.

And that was my mother’s doing. You need to SEE what your ex wife is doing. She is dividing and conquering. Theses idiots don’t want happiness and contentment. They look on your kids having a happy, safe home….as a threat. They don’t like seeing that level of security and normality. To them, chaos is what they thrive on. Drama. Crazy. Strife.

Don’t let her do it, MBE. Just don’t. Protect those kids with everything in you. If you have to fight dirty, you do it. Keep those kids away from danger. Good luck to you.

Ian Dubito
Ian Dubito
7 years ago
Reply to  SphinxMoth

Brutal story. Brilliant writing. You are mighty, SphinxMoth!

Virago
Virago
7 years ago
Reply to  SphinxMoth

SphinxMoth, thank you so much for sharing your story. A story shared becomes a powerful teaching. Always.

I am very attracted to HOW you crafted this difficult narrative. There is major POWER in you and subsequently it (the story). A book, SM. A book. ??, V

Rachel'sDone
Rachel'sDone
7 years ago
Reply to  Virago

I agree, that you are a captivating writer SphinxMoth. Use your talents and write a book! Thank you for sharing your difficult story.

mickeyblueeyes
mickeyblueeyes
7 years ago
Reply to  SphinxMoth

Thank you for your lengthy reply…I am going to fight this don’t worry, I have a meeting with my lawyer in a weeks time to get plans in place, I owe it to my kids to fight this one no matter what it takes.

Virago
Virago
7 years ago
Reply to  mickeyblueeyes

mbe, your kids are so bloody lucky to have YOU as their Dad.

Please take very, very, very good care of yourself as you embark on this aspect of the path. I’m sending you a virtual hazmat suit to wear. ??, V

saw
saw
7 years ago
Reply to  Virago

I just want to back this up about your children. My older sister and I had two narc parents who went from being on a country farm to Las Vegas city lights. We as children were dumped for them to have affairs. I thought that it was the norm to have men in the house when I was 5 years old that were not my father. They finally moved back to our home when I was 6. My father always arranged to be out of the country as a military man. At 8 years of age, they divorced. My mother always told me that I was stupid, fat and everyone else was pretty, talented and I needed to try to be better. She told me she never wanted us. We were accidents. She hated being a mother and never to have children because she did not want to raise our children. I was thrown against a brick wall for dating someone she did not like. I was taken away from her by a neighbor who protected me and had a come to Jesus meeting with her. I would starve myself to be thin. So I was anorexic and bulemic. I sought men who abused me because I didn’t know what real love was. I am so glad that you are fighting for them. I cried that I gave up motherhood because of what she said. And I was never fat , I graduated college and I am a compassionate woman.

FindingBliss
FindingBliss
7 years ago
Reply to  SphinxMoth

Thank you for advocating for the innocent, SphinxMoth. So many of us here had childhoods from hell. I think for those who survive, we remain passionately strong in defending the weak, even when we did not fight for our own needs and wants in our marriages/relationships. We know what it was like to have no one to intercede for us. You sound like a strong and beautiful person. Hugs.

Capricorn
Capricorn
7 years ago
Reply to  FindingBliss

FindingBliss
This is absolutely true. Thank you for saying it.
Yes 100000%

mickeyblueeyes
mickeyblueeyes
7 years ago
Reply to  Tracy Schorn

I’m in the UK

Mehphista
Mehphista
7 years ago
Reply to  mickeyblueeyes

Where the age of ‘sentient’ majority is 14, at least in Scotland… that is how Kiddo and I got out. But Tracy is right, the courts must take the kids’ wishes into account. This is usually sensitively handlded by the courts, and kids can testify in writing or in person, usually solo with the judge, and perhaps a councellor from a mediation agency. Kiddo didn’t need recourse to the courts in the end, she persuaded him.

What is truly scary is how much this puts you at the mercy of the kids, or their interests.

Hang tough!

mickeyblueeyes
mickeyblueeyes
7 years ago
Reply to  Mehphista

I’m 99% certain my kids won’t wan to move…their school, friends and family are all within a 5 mile radius. I have no immediate family within 300 miles so I’m pretty much fighting the daily battle with my STBXW alone. I have a good support network, on the phone, via email and of course chump nation, also my elderly parents have been fantastic despite being 300 miles away.

But I know what a manipulative cow my ex can be, I know she will put a spin on things to convince my two younger kids that they will have the time of their lives should they move the 80 miles she is suggesting.

If it does go to court I guess I’ll have to put faith in the legal system and the judge will see through her tsunami of bullshit.

Caroline
Caroline
7 years ago
Reply to  mickeyblueeyes

I’d still give it a go, establishing what it is that the children themselves want. At the very least it will have some weight in the eyes of the courts and social workers, and if anything will prick this charming lady’s sorry excuse for a conscience, the idea that the kids concerned do not want to go with her just might. Even if it fails, you will at the very least have done all that could possibly conceivably be done and later, when everyone looks back, the kids will know that their dad absolutely 100% did his utmost. Definitely worth a try. So exhausting, please don’t lose heart!

ChumpedButHappierNow
ChumpedButHappierNow
7 years ago

What a handsome young man! Congratulations!

lovedandlost
lovedandlost
7 years ago

Yes and looks happy too! Kudos! I think for me the hardest part was walking the fence of what to tell my kids and what not to say because I want them to be happy and not burdened. A good resource would be :
1) how to hold an unbiased but informative conversation with children at different age levels
2) how to deal with the self-employed ex under-reporting income. This has blocked all of my efforts to gain a financial settlement agreement. He has agreed to any contract -even in writing- but as with all bills, he just doesnt pay because there are NO consequences. Lawyers do not advocate the pursuit of justice – only money. SO if the ex is able to evade tax bills, credit collectors and judgements against, there is no basis for a lawyer to accept a case that may be a lot of work digging for information and little payoff in the end.
3) how to deal with co-parenting with the affair-partner turned girlfriend who is shiny new best-friend to younger children.
4) how to deal with issue of ex travelling with kids. He wants to take them from Canada to Florida to visit his mother. I just dont trust him to bring them back when he says.

Chump Mama
Chump Mama
7 years ago
Reply to  lovedandlost

Number 2!!!! “how to deal with the self-employed ex under-reporting income.”

I am facing the same issue and have met others who have also had this issue. Would love to have that covered!

Eyes wide open
Eyes wide open
7 years ago
Reply to  lovedandlost

These are all excellent questions and concerns of mine as well

heissobroken
heissobroken
7 years ago
Reply to  lovedandlost

Lovedandlost do you have a parenting plan or some form of custody agreement? He can’t just take the kids the the US without your consent or the courts. He also can’t obtain a passport for the children without your consent. My ex tried to get a NEXUS pass for our child behind my back and was told to pound sand. The government informed him that because we were separated even if I did consent and agree to be interviewed they wouldn’t give my child a Nexus pass . . . Thank god. I had the same concerns you have just be thankful he doesn’t want to take them to some foreign land where they could disappear forever that does not have an agreement that Canada and the US has on child abuction by a parent. If there is no parenting plan or custody agreement I would not let the children leave the province little alone the country.

lovedandlost
lovedandlost
7 years ago
Reply to  heissobroken

Thank you hisb. We do have a parenting plan attached to the separation agreement but it does not detail trips outside the country except to visit his mother in Florida. I signed that I would not stop my children from seeing a grandparent but He did NOT honour the monetary settlement and he will do whatever he cam get away with. I don’t trust him or border security to enforce our agreement. He has my 10 yr old’s passport which is good til 2018. I will not sign a letter of consent but have heard they don’t often ask for it. I am grateful that so far he hasn’t expressed a wish to take them anywhere else. His mother usually pays for the trips south including AP.

heissobroken
heissobroken
7 years ago
Reply to  lovedandlost

I would not trust him either and border security don’t enforce it enough. However, your son does have a valid passport and you are in your right to call Passport Canada as his mom to advise them of your situation and perhaps they can flag your child’s passport in case dad decides to take a trip to see grandma without your knowledge and consent.

They often don’t ask for the letter of consent which is mindblowing to me but I would not want to be caught at the border with my child without one and denied entry but perhaps daddy cheaterpants thinks he is above the law but again nothing a nice little phone call and note on a child’s passport couldn’t fix.

If he doesn’t want to provide details of travel or reasonable notice of travel he can always make an emergency application to the courts but I doubt mommy in Florida would like to foot that legal bill on top of paying to fly cheaterpants and AP for some quality (expensive) delusional family time.

I’m with you . . . I’d be grateful that there haven’t been any plans made as of yet.

My cheaterpants thought he could call me and demand child’s passport two days prior to leaving the country. Needless to say that trip never occurred and it resulted in much anger for cheaterpants and a dialtone from mean chumpy me ???

lovedandlost
lovedandlost
7 years ago
Reply to  heissobroken

Yes I will call. I have crossed the border with my kids myself with all the documents and when I showed them the papers, the customs officer/border guard said, “What’s that? ” So I’m a little skeptical. But knowing how entitled he believes himself to be, ex would try it. oh well, only 8 years left til my daughter turns 18. But until then just another shit sandwich for choosing to breed with a fuckwit. CL’s book should be required reading for people to get a marriage license.

KibbleFree_MightyMe
KibbleFree_MightyMe
7 years ago

Yes, Tracy – I don’t see a speck of another human’s DNA in that young man; he looks SOO much like you! Congrats on making it through and protecting your son from all that disorder as much as you could. He looks so happy and relaxed. Well done, Mom! =D

mickeyblueeyes
mickeyblueeyes
7 years ago

I’ll post more constructive feedback when I’ve calmed down after my rwnt

mickeyblueeyes
mickeyblueeyes
7 years ago
Reply to  mickeyblueeyes

*rant

Ian Dubito
Ian Dubito
7 years ago
Reply to  mickeyblueeyes

She sucks, Mickey. Don’t let her get to you. See how much lawyer time you can get today, so you can really suss out all the options. She sucks.

Forest for the Trees
Forest for the Trees
7 years ago
Reply to  Ian Dubito

My heart goes out to you MBE. This is my worse fear. IME, cheating wives are truely nasty people, with little regard for the effects of their actions. Best wishes to you and your kids.

paula
paula
7 years ago

Oh Oh Oh – this would be a magnificent resource!

What I so could have benefited by was guidance on the dissemination of information about the affair to my then 14 year old son. I did it all wrong and am now in the middle of an unexpected shitstorm with my now 20 year old college junior.

He knew his father had an affair but I never went into any details. Now, almost six years after d-day my son is angry that I didn’t hold the family together. He has grown close to his dad, at my encouragement and through my facilitation, and now I am learning, to my detriment. My ex is facing some serious health issues, is very lonely (his long-term girlfriend is still married) and is just an all-around sad sausage. My sweet son is worried about his dad and pretty pissed that I cobbled out a new life filled with adventure and that I have met the kindest and coolest man who digs me for me.
I now know that I should have been clearer about the scope of his dad’s affair (over 5 years) and how I was left alone to manage everything on the home front while his dad “worked”.

But there seems a fine line between being the sane together parent and somehow covering for the cheater.

It would be great if you could address the problems of co-parenting older kids. If you could give guidance on dealing with kids who are more savvy and sophisticated yet children just the same. If you could help us know what information will best serve our kids as they move into adulthood. As the chumps who work tirelessly not to alienate our kids from their cheater parent, we might not be serving anyone’s interest but our ex’s.

Caroline
Caroline
7 years ago
Reply to  paula

I think the time has come, at an appropriate moment, to sit down with your son, invite him out for coffee even, make it a properly formal conversation with gravity, and explain very unemotionally, what exactly happened, the time line specifically (no name calling obviously), and the fact that his father continues to participate in an adulterous relationship, and though he is clearly not at fault for suffering ill-health, his life choices have impacted his current situation, his adult personal choices. Not yours. His. It’s time to be a bit tough and explain with clear examples, why you did what you did for your son, how although you are quite aware that you are now bad cop, that you have tried very hard to be sane and present and that you hope one day he starts to see this. After that, explain that you will no longer put up with being the punch bag for his anger, that you will happily talk through whatever, that he is so welcome to feel his feelings, but you are not going to be the scapegoat. Mean it. Be pleasant and kind and just lay it out. Boundaries, not just for ex’s, for kids too. You can’t control what he’ll do, but you can hope that one day he will take a hard look at things and maybe the penny will drop.

Ian Dubito
Ian Dubito
7 years ago
Reply to  paula

My dad was a cheater. I lived with him only one year after my parents divorced. There can be a strong bond between dad and son. Give the boy all the dirt now; he may come around. Spare no detail unless it hurts the boy financially. (disclaimer – childfree chump I am.)

YoungChump
YoungChump
7 years ago
Reply to  paula

Your son is 20 and thinks this way? That’s worrying. Hope being close to your ex hasn’t taught him bad behaviour is okay. Having a cheater as a parent means you may also end up being one too especially if you internalize their people make mistakes crap.

FSTL
FSTL
7 years ago
Reply to  Tracy Schorn

In a similar vein…. how to deal with the Fuckwit who plays the victim after the affair and is very controlling with the kids. She does the parenting, but in her own way, without any regard for the other parent (or even the kids… it’s all about her).

I am reluctant to tell the kids about the affair as I know they will think badly of their mother and I think that will hurt them. If they asked, I wouldn’t lie, but don’t feel like volunteering it. But it’s annoying she is playing the victim like the sad sausage she is ….

Tempest
Tempest
7 years ago
Reply to  FSTL

FSTL–if you don’t tell the children about the affair, without drama or fanfare, you may be facing the same thing as Paula in a few years–your wife is a better manipulator than you. She will try to turn the children against you with her sad sausage ploys (especially if her life continues downhill, and there is a good chance that will happen). You are especially at risk if you have daughters, who will naturally gravitate toward their mother as a role model.

Do not gaslight your children; stop protecting your X/STBX. Cheaters are sicker than we are smart.

When you tell your children, let them ask questions. Answer those questions only. They will only ask what they can handle at that moment, and then may come back months later to ask more questions. Good luck.

Nyra
Nyra
7 years ago
Reply to  Tempest

Children of any age must hear the truth from you. You cannot expect the cheater to ever tell the whole truth about anything.
(Partial truths are lies and very manipulative) The cheater has proven that they cannot be trusted & that they value themselves above anyone else. They use words to paint portraits of themselves that they want others to see–and they will always shed a positive light on themselves!

Our kids need to know that they can trust one of their parents completely. Speak age appropriate truth in sincerity & love. Answer questions honestly. It is not the faithful parent’s fault that the truth makes the cheater look bad.

Sometimes in our efforts to protect our children (&I ourselves) we cover wounds up with bandaids. Bandaids will not promote healing and growth. Exposing the truth will remove a lot of confusion and allow real healing to begin!

Nancy
Nancy
7 years ago
Reply to  Tempest

How about you have your ex husband tell the kid… in front of you so no lies? I would make him do it. As a chump kid, it is wrong to let your child think that your ex husband didn’t blow up your world and in some degree is manipulating him. Do you want your child to partner with a charming cheater himself? These people destroy lives. I would tell your child the truth, and then be present when you make your ex husband tell his side of the story with you present. Let him see his dad for what he really is.

Tempest
Tempest
7 years ago
Reply to  Nancy

There is no way you can MAKE a disordered, entitled parent do anything. You are not the boss of them, and they will make sure you know it. Furthermore, even if you compel them to tell the children, they will fuck it up in some way (typically by blameshifting or making themselves out to be the victim).

If you want something done right when co-parenting with a jerk, you will have to do it yourself.

Aletheia
Aletheia
7 years ago
Reply to  Tempest

No, you can’t make them do anything. Tell the kids and if they are older, be sure to say they should never accept this treatment. They need to be one and done. You really can’t love enough for both partners, especially one looking out only for themselves.

horsesrcumin
horsesrcumin
7 years ago
Reply to  Tempest

I told my kids’ dad that he should talk with them. He didn’t. Surprise, surprise. So, 9 months later, when I looked at a house to rent, I told them. He was mad I did, “we agreed to tell them together!” Um. When??? I have done all the heavy lifting, talked openly, without editorialising. He has since talked with them all individually, speaking of his deep remorse, humiliation and sorrow at the pain he caused me, and that they could always ask him anything. They never have. I think that speaks volumes.

FSTL
FSTL
7 years ago
Reply to  Tempest

She is certainly making herself out to be the victim and yeh, I certainly can’t tell her what to do…. not just with this, but with the divorce proceedings as well where she is driving us both into the financial dirt by holding out for her entitled view of the world (in which she gets 100+% of assets and 90+% of my income – and I am not kidding….). All we’re both getting from this is huge legal bills.

As I said, I did the right thing and offered her the chance to tell the kids… she didn’t take it.

FSTL
FSTL
7 years ago
Reply to  Nancy

Mine is an ex Wife… but I agree on the point. I offered to let her tell them and apologise when we told them we were separating and she refused to do it, saying that there are many reasons why our marriage broke down, so it’s not the X’s fault.

Total blameshift of course… she had the chance the end the marriage any time during her 2+ year affair, but chose cake instead. It only ended after her behaviour was discovered…

The other thing that occurred to me is she could also try and justify herself to the kids (who are all boys…) which is probably worse than saying nothing at all.
Also (and I have done this already) – you can make it very clear than shitty behaviour is bad. For example, I have used Tiger Wood’s as an example of bad behaviour in a marriage (ie you can’t have boyfriend/girlfriend if you’re married and it’s hurtful to do so).

Still pondering things, but in my mind I will tell them if they ask. I wasn’t planning to volunteer anything, but also won’t lie/gaslight them if they do ask.

Tempest
Tempest
7 years ago
Reply to  FSTL

I understand your hesitation, but think you are running a risk waiting for them to ask you. And the longer the time between when the affair happened and when you tell them, the less compelling the truth.

SureChumpedAlot
SureChumpedAlot
7 years ago
Reply to  Tempest

+1. Tempest.

I did tell my 3 birds and don’t regret one second of it.

It also helps the kids understand that when “mom isn’t acting normal again” that its not because of *me* but because of *her*.

It keeps the kids from being manipulated from the disordered parent. Kids then learn about accountability without blame-shifting. Very valuable lesson for the kids to learn!

Chumptitude
Chumptitude
7 years ago

FSTL,

I didn’t tell my kid about her dad’s affair, but I told her that I divorced her dad because he lied to me about grown up stuff I will tell her about when she turns 18. There was no upside in my telling her given that she had to live 50% of the time with him and his girltress anyway. I felt the cognitive dissonance on her would be too great for her age.

However, when she asks questions, I keep reiterating that I divorced her dad because of his lies. This is the hardest thing I have ever done, and often I am so very tempted to just let it rip and tell her why I left her dad, and why I have no respect for the girlfriend he imported into her life.

But where I live that would be a risk for high court fees and countless time spent in court for parental alienation. So I keep it at the “I divorced him because he lied to me” talk for now. When she asks me if I would consider going to dinner as a family I tell her that I would have dinner with her with her dad present if she asks me to do so for big things in her life like graduations or her wedding. I am very clear that I would do so for one reason, and one reason only: because I love her more than I despise her dad.

I also never tell her that her dad loves her. Instead, I tell her that I have found out that her dad and I have different definitions of love, and that I want to focus our time together on that unique and ever evolving love between her and me.

That is the reality of sharing 50% custody with a cheater in my “progressive” state… I will do my hardest to endure the consequences of my choice to marry and have a child with my X. It is not by any stretch the motherhood chapter of my life I would wish, but it is what it is. It is a tough path, and when she is 18, I will have no qualms of sharing her dad’s email confessions with her and blessedly going complete NC with him.

Chumptitude
Chumptitude
7 years ago
Reply to  Chumptitude

I too long for my kiddo to turn 18, and just like you Chumpfree, my X tries to still control my life and is having difficulties with my chump recovery…

Several books that have been of help to me:
When Dad Hurts Mom by Lundy Bancroft (most of the messages also apply to chump dads who bred with cluster B moms)
Joint custody with a jerk by Julie Ross
Stop caretaking the boderline or narcissist by Margalis Fjelstad

It is a rough road, and I can’t wait for CL’s to turn all that crazy into wisdom for future chumps and their kids to build their best post-cheater life!

Chumpfree
Chumpfree
7 years ago
Reply to  Chumptitude

Chumptitude- that is how I handle my ex as well and long for the day when both my kids are 18.

Chump Lady, this book would be so helpful. It is impossible to coparenting with a narc unless you want to eat a shit sandwich every single day. The thing I am amazed by is how my ex still wants to control me. He rants and rages one minute, is sickening sweet the next all in an attempt to control. I want nothing from him other than to just follow the divorce decree. I worked hard to get as much spelled out so that we wouldn’t have to discuss. He screams I never compromise. I don’t have to make life easy for him. I did that in the marriage and look how well that turned out. He assumed I would just continue to be a chump. No more. I have found me again and my kids know it. Happy writing. Share your knowledge as it really helps to know how others have found their strength and courage in the midst of such crazy. Until you live it, you just have no idea.

Tempest
Tempest
7 years ago

So true, SureCaL–there are ways in which parenting can be boiled down to a few simple strategies. Model what you want the kids to develop (like honesty), and make sure they have a moral & psychological framework with which to navigate the world.

The simple truth of parenting alongside a fuckwit–ALWAYS expect them to be a jackass. ALWAYS. I have as little contact with my X as it is possible to have (minor daughter won’t have anything to do with him; college daughter successfully navigates holidays by herself). And yet….he refused to pay for a round-trip ticket for college-daughter for the holidays because “you spend more time at your mother’s house.” Instead of waiting to see if I would pay him back half the ticket so we could both save on a round-trip fare, he booked oldest daughter a one-way ticket. He makes 5x what I make (more if you count his investments), and he wants to score a point on me for $125. I just laugh.

As best you can, try to think of your X’s behaviors clinically (rather than take them personally). Hard, I know, when you’re in the trenches co-parenting, but even a little emotional distance helps.

Capricorn
Capricorn
7 years ago
Reply to  Tempest

CL – I’m only a new chump so I have no clue yet if the way I am handling it so far is the right way, but I’m guessing there are no ‘right’ answers. But like handling a cheater there are ‘wrong’ answers.
So yes please write the book (and fast!).
I would like to see a lot of what NOT to do. Like dealing with a cheat there are lots of things chumps should not do (blame themselves, do the pick me dance, trust the RIC, believe in unicorns, wait six months before doing anything, ASK THEM etc.) your advice on what to do is simple – know what your deal breakers are and enforce your boundaries.
When it comes to kids chumps are vulnerable. Caught between doing the right thing by the kids and not wanting to act like a fuckwit themselves. It’s not a level playing field. Lying cheaters have no qualms playing dirty. Chumps naturally want to keep things civil. I’m sure there is a cheaters parenting playbook – you will be able to spot the same stuff coming up time after time and give good advice to chumps to protect themselves.
Mine are 12,17 and 21. They all know most of what happened as I imploded for two weeks and they heard a lot more than I maybe would have shared if I could think straight.
I’m lucky as their father works abroad and has for years so I will have full custody. He will lose the right to reside in the country I live in with them. So no 50/50 parenting for me.
They were as blindsided as I was so we feel all in it together and as I have been pretty much a single parent they are not dealing with a sudden absence.
My parents divorced when I was 10 in the 1970’s. Then the advice was not to tell children anything. It was awful. My dad took off and I didn’t see him for years. My mom bad mouthed my dad all the time. I idealised him for years as she was dysfunctional but more harmful as I lived with her cruelty. By the time I found out for myself the kind of man he was it was a hard pill to swallow. Both narcs. I have no contact with either now.
So I try to be open and honest. I also am not excusing their dads behaviour nor running interference. They will have to discover his neglect for themselves. Something that has already started as he has stopped texting as they don’t reply. He can’t be bothered. Devastating as I full well know but better to find out sooner.
There are no good resources I have found out there. Your book would be sooooo life saving (again. )

Dee
Dee
7 years ago

Excellent book idea, and one that is desperately needed. A few things have learned with my 17, 15 and 12 year olds:

1. Document everything.

2. Respect the wisdom of your children. Because they are very wise. They figure things out. Be truthful with the kids about affairs, disordered behaviour, etc in age appropriate ways. Spackling the behaviour of the fuckwit parent just confuses things. Be matter of fact when you talk about delicate things, and then get back to your awesome life with your kids. Be the sane parent.

3. Some might find this unusual advice, but…. If ex has remained with the AP and there were also children involved there, consider communicating with the AP’s ex too! In my case, I was friends with the AP (shudder) and her husband. After our lives blew up, he and I remained friends, supported each other, and now we share very helpful info. We work behind the scenes to protect our kids, and always manage to figure out when there is another lie in the works. We occasionally even manipulate the family calendars to ruin the SS Twu Wuv’s romantic plans. May as well have a little fun with it!!! We occasionally commiserate about our fucked up situation, and use a little dark humour to carry us through. Both of our divorces are now final, and when we share necessary info, we KNOW that we came out the winners.

blondebarrister
blondebarrister
7 years ago
Reply to  Dee

Dee, I have likewise become friendly with the other ex-spouse. Like you, we share information to untangle the lies upon lies. With three young kids involved (OW’s 2 and my 1), it really helps knowing that I can get some truthful information from somebody. And although we haven’t yet (only because the opportunity has not yet presented itself!) fucked with the calendar to ruin any special trips between the two, we do occasionally check in with each other on scheduling things – I know that my cheater is MUCH more likely to give up time with his daughter when OW doesn’t have her kids for example.

EyesOpenNow
EyesOpenNow
7 years ago
Reply to  Dee

Dee, we were friends with my STBX’s AP, her husband and kids as well! Her husband was the one who called to tell me of the affair, after he’d used the info against her in their divorce in a fault state. He and I have remained friendly, sharing information that has helped me manage things on my end as I started the divorce process in our no-fault state. I would love to be able to mess with holidays, but alas, the AP has abandoned her kids (8 and 10) to be with my STBX here in our state. Quality human being. Anyway, I have older children myself (16 and 18) and think a parenting book from Tracy would be wonderful!

FSTL
FSTL
7 years ago
Reply to  Dee

I told the AP’s wife, but it’s a tricky one as you don’t want to get involved in someone else’s shit. I felt at times like I was part of her manipulations with her STBX. Once I decided to divorce, I wasn’t interested in hearing anything about my X, but was happy to provide general help and support.

So I would be careful on that front.

Having said that… Messing with their holidays… now that’s an idea 🙂

Lovey dovey
Lovey dovey
7 years ago

I love it. I’ve followed one mom’s battle for a while.I think what u can add is finding the humor.

Gonegirl
Gonegirl
7 years ago

Please feel free to give your thoughts and advice, I will gladly take it. My boys are 15 and 17 and my ex has completely alienated them from me. It has been almost a month since I have seen or spoken to them. I have always been the sane parent. I told them about the affair and that was it, no trashing their dad, the thing he married, his family. I did not tell them about all the abuse either.
Now I feel like I have failed and I will never see them again. My ex and his AP and family are textbook personality disordered.

Sorry for this, I am not having a good day.

Eilonwy
Eilonwy
7 years ago
Reply to  Gonegirl

Dear Gone Girl,

I am so sorry for what you are experiencing. I think gender plays a role here. Sons often seem to need their father’s approval even when they know their father has misbehaved. I suspect he tells them all kinds of lies about his behavior and yours, and the price they have to pay for his approval is to believe whatever crap comes out of his mouth. Our society serves up a lot of messages about “sticking together as men” and “the importance of not being a mama’s boy,” etc., and boys in their teens are hugely vulnerable to this.

On top of this, your role as the sane parent also probably means you are the one with boundaries and expectations, which teens of either gender are often happy to abandon in favor of someone who lets them do and say what they want.

I hope you can keep the door open for them, and that as they age (and the truths about their other parent become more obvious), they will come back to you.

Having some of the same issues as you have, I could not be more sympathetic. It is a terribly hard place to be in.

louisvilleflower
louisvilleflower
7 years ago
Reply to  Gonegirl

Gonegirl,
Have been right where you are and anticipating being there in the future. Sending hugs and strength.

newdaydawning
newdaydawning
7 years ago
Reply to  Gonegirl

Gone girl same boat here. X, being a master manipulator, not only turned my adult kids against me but used childhood grudges to turn them against each other. Divide and conquer. It’s a hurtful mess that has destroyed our family. And he just goes merrily on his way. I too would love to see this addressed in a book.

Tempest
Tempest
7 years ago
Reply to  Gonegirl

I’m sorry, Gonegirl. It is misery heaped on top of pain to have your children abandon you after betrayal.

Their current stance may be some show of support for their father (especially if you filed for divorce), based on fear that he will abandon them, lack of understanding about what you went through.

I would advise sending them notes, texts, etc. every week–small, not-too-sentimental messages that let you know you still love them. Don’t expect responses back for awhile, or ask to see them. After a few, remind them that you were the injured party in the marriage, and (as gently as you can word it), that it seems very unjust that their father should have betrayed you and also won their loyalty. If no response, keep up with the not-too-sentimental messages that you miss them.

There are no guarantees with children’s loyalty, but some mix of “still love you” and nudging them to see your perspective is probably the best strategy. Hugs!

ringinonmyownbell
ringinonmyownbell
7 years ago
Reply to  Tempest

I can attest to that. My narc and my highly manipultate older daughter conspired to damage my relationship with my younger. It took a lot of still loves you, as she up and moved to her father’s. It still takes that sometimes, but in the end, the parent she can rely on is me. Still working on my older.

Capricorn
Capricorn
7 years ago
Reply to  Tempest

Tempest
I think this is really good advice. I had opinions about my parents when I was a teen that changed significantly as I got older and learned more about life. Probably the biggest change came when I became a parent. It’s funny how your childhood can look so different when you understand things as a parent yourself. Keeping up a loving connection will be a great way of hanging in there if they do start to realise things are not as they thought. Teenaged boys I don’t think are that emotionally sophisticated and if we as adult women were taken in and controlled by ‘our’ narc it is perhaps not surprising that they can be too. Be honest. Be straightforward and don’t pussyfoot around. Be strong about your experiences, your reality. Hugs to you in an awful situation. Good luck.

Kay
Kay
7 years ago
Reply to  Capricorn

Tempest that’s great advice!! Never underestimate simple unrequited love (sounds corny) but by gosh these wounded little people need it. Plus, if you keep gently reassuring your kids of this, it will make the bad mouthing from your ex much less believable. My heart just aches for parents going through this. Definitely a great idea for a book Tracy.

runningviolet
runningviolet
7 years ago
Reply to  Gonegirl

Gonegirl, my heart goes out to you. I feel like the alienation that the personality disordered cheaters do is far more hurtful than the cheating itself. I am convinced it spans several chapters in their universal play book. And in my experience both the mental health system and the family court system have been unable to fix it. I’m going on 7 years of dealing with this, haven’t seen my kids in about 4 months and am doing my best to keep myself sane and healthy (cancer survivor) so they will still have a strong and healthy parent when they are old enough to figure this shit out.

Gonegirl
Gonegirl
7 years ago
Reply to  runningviolet

Running violet, you were dealt a double sandwich. Stay strong and fight! You are in my thoughts.

FindingBliss
FindingBliss
7 years ago
Reply to  runningviolet

Runningviolet, I’m so sorry that you have to navigate the alienation of your children and cancer too. It boggles the mind and heart to contemplate all that lands on the sane parent/spouse. You are a true heroine! Stay strong and beautiful. You are part of what makes CN so amazing.

DemHoez
DemHoez
7 years ago
Reply to  Gonegirl

I’m sorry, I can’t really give an advice, but I want you to know that I am sorry you are going through this. It’s wrong that some people feel the need to use children as a way to get back at their ex.

ChutesandLadders
ChutesandLadders
7 years ago

“Breeding with a fucktard is a never-ending suckfest.”

I remember reading this quote here at Chump Lady years ago. There is no truer sentiment. If anyone knows who said it, please cite it!

For a book on this subject, I would include dispelling ingrained societal myths designed to keep the status quo, such as STAYING TOGETHER FOR THE SAKE OF THE CHILDREN.

I made the humongous mistake of believing that staying together for the sake of children was best for them. I was wrong x 1000. Essentially, our kids’ childhood became a “How To” life experience on how to treat a woman like shit and how a man should expect to be central to the lives of everyone in his orbit. I now fear that my kids will never recognize or have a healthy relationship thanks to what their father and I modeled.

It took 15 years and a career change until I finally found my backbone and filed for divorce. I won’t sugarcoat here; EVERY fear I had came to fruition. Massive, all-out attacks on my character, my self esteem and my financial stability – artfully designed to ruin and at times physically kill me – were launched by their father. He transferred his shortcomings on to me and falsely accused me of all the things he was doing; cheating, stealing, etc. I haven’t recovered yet, and not sure I ever will.

Interesting to me now is the planned and complete commitment he had to ruining me. Had he exerted even a minuscule amount of effort on the execution of his attacks to actually respecting me, I would still be married to him. In the end, his hatred became a validation that I did the right thing by leaving.

While every fear came to fruition, it didn’t endure. Physically leaving the orbit of such a mentally ill person literally saved my life in more ways than I could ever count. His cheating was my wake up call that I am worth more than either he or I could ever have imagined.

By committing to remaining the steady, dependable, sane parent to our kids while he was following his bliss with his bimbo, indeed, “the arc of the moral universe is long, but it is starting to bend toward justice.” X is living his miserable existence away from me and two of our three kids now.

Sadly, our third son chose lying, theft and drugs as his path. He now lives in Clusterfuckdale at his father’s circus. Asking my son to leave – while essentially failing to rescue him from himself – was the most difficult decision I had to make. But for the health of my other two kids and me, it was necessary.

Divorce isn’t easy on kids, and anyone who says, “Kids are resilient” are snowing you into thinking it’s going to be a cakewalk for them. It won’t. But staying together for their sake is like telling them they aren’t worth much, either. It’s going to be a hard road for you and your kids, but once you’re past the construction of it, the ride is a lot more enjoyable.

DoneAndDusted
DoneAndDusted
7 years ago

This absolutely breaks my heart, mine are 1 and 3. I’m not gonna let them grow in this type of environment.

FindingBliss
FindingBliss
7 years ago

ChutesandLadders, your story was so familiar that I was sure I knew you–the mentally ill and disordered do seem to have a universal playbook. So sad that these scenes play out over and over again upon the innocent. Knowing how big hearted chumps are, I believe that if your ex had thrown you even a few more crumbs, you could have endured. But thankfully, we find the strength to process the truth. Physically leaving them is the path back to sanity and saving our lives. Their cheating is our wake up call.

I am so sorry for the pain and damage your children have had to experience. I pray that healing and wholeness will come. It appears you have finally put on your own oxygen mask–good for you. With time, I pray that your modeling of sanity, resilience, and love will begin to work its way into your children’s lives and that it will be the lifeline they grab onto.

Martha
Martha
7 years ago

Congratulations, Tracy, raising such a handsome young man who sends his mom a picture of himself in a suit!! 🙂 It looks like he has your curly hair?

UXworld
UXworld
7 years ago

Funny you should mention this Tracy — I’ve been thinking that some type of resource is needed specifically on coping strategies for being in the same house with a cheater while the divorce process plays out.

Those of us unfortunate enough to have cheaters who refuse to leave (entitlement, advice of counsel, general mindfuckery, whatever) have been forced to deal with our own little versions of hell that those whose cheaters just up and leave don’t have to face.

I’ve got 10+ months of this shit under my belt (though she’s finally leaving this weekend!), and can testify that the constraints required to keep peace in the house and relative sanity of the mind while continuing to document and build the case for a judgement in your favor can be overwhelming. (CrazyDogLady — chime in here!!)

I would think at minimum this specific topic could be a chapter of your upcoming effort.

ChutesandLadders
ChutesandLadders
7 years ago
Reply to  UXworld

UX, I had the same situation. It was brutal.

He lived at home, but would spend every night and weekend with his bimbo. He assumed I would take care of the children’s needs. One Saturday, I was taking a statewide test for my teaching license. It had been marked on our calendar for months. When I came out of the test four hours later and turned on my phone, my eleven year old had been calling me wondering when I was coming home. His father had left that morning, and my son had no idea what was going on.

Mostly, X was pissed that I didn’t take his “offer” to move out to a condo. He believed OUR “home” was his “property,” and he was damned if he would be the one to leave. It took a court order to get him out, and he even treated that like a suggestion.

After five days beyond the deadline and a letter from my attorney threatening him with eviction by the police, I came home one day from work to discover that our basement – which he had taken over as his special bar/bedroom – was completely and utterly trashed. Think Animal House trashed. He moved out and left holes in the wall, crap on the floor, old liquor bottles smashed behind the bar, etc.

His utter disregard and disrespect for our home was the perfect metaphor for our marriage. I bawled my eyes out. Then the next day, I took a sick day from work and my best friend came over with a sledgehammer and helped me destroy his homemade bar. It was the best day I had in almost 18 years. I had to rent a dumpster for the trash.

Your day will come, and when she leaves, it will feel as though the air has been cleared of a toxic waste.

Capricorn
Capricorn
7 years ago
Reply to  UXworld

UXworld
Well you sure are mighty. My STBXH comes home for a week to sign paperwork etc and I have been getting steadily more anxious as the day arrives. Tomorrow in fact.
It’s going to be awful and I was just thinking today how miserable it must be for divorcing parents who have to share a house full time for a while until things get sorted. This must be a nightmare to navigate.
He might back and forth for a few weeks after this. I just don’t know how I will handle my rage. I don’t know if I will start the incessant questioning again. He will behave as if nothing much has happened and I just don’t know if I can handle it. I had to get a dental mouth guard when I found out as I was grinding my teeth so hard. I had to wear it all day and night. Now it’s only the odd night. I can imagine I might need a new one soon as I thing I will chew through this one!
Main tips???

Renee
Renee
7 years ago
Reply to  Capricorn

Yes, Tracy. I went through a year of having Cheater O’Mine living in the other end of our house…and the house wasn’t that big. THAT’s something a friend of mine is facing right now and it’s crushing.

UXworld
UXworld
7 years ago
Reply to  Capricorn

No magic formula, I’m afraid — just good old Grey Rock.

Your exact words indicate that you believe yourself susceptible to being dragged down into the slime when he’s around. Don’t let yourself get baited into any discussion or argument, and don’t give into your need for understanding and answers. Letting him know your feelings is like junk food — tastes good in the moment but not at all good for your system.

Be strong. Put what you’ve learned here to use. Remember that we’re all with you in spirit. And visualize your next post here and being able to say to us: “The fucker tried and tried but I didn’t give him the satisfaction.”

Capricorn
Capricorn
7 years ago
Reply to  UXworld

Thanks UX for that advice. I do overshare my emotions that’s true. I’m going to try not to this time around as much as possible. I used to text him a lot in the day but have managed to stop that. I had to write out the texts in a notebook at first to stop the urge to tell him things! Now I just reply to texts with a version of ‘cool, bummer, wow’.
Fingers crossed. I liked the junk food analogy too.
Thanks for taking time to advise!

AllOutofKibble
AllOutofKibble
7 years ago

One of the reasons I keep coming back 18 months out from D-Day is that I found parenting nuggets amongst the forums. Narkles the Clown likes to tell our son that I get drunk every night I am without the kid. Never been much of a drinker. Still not much of a drinker. Never drink in front of the kid, but NArkles the Clown likes to toss it into the mix every once in awhile. I had a frank honest discussion with the child about how many times he has seen me actually drink so he can learn to spot the difference between what he sees and knows and words someone is saying. Of course Narkles the Clown has to have a nightcap nearly every night. Projection much? I digress. My point is that I didn’t rage at the kibble addict looking for a fix. I learned here to trust that’s he sucks, talk directly to my child, and trust that my kid would eventually see the difference between me and his father. I don’t stay quiet when this happens I correct the facts and move on. Pay dirt at the start of the school year when the boy stopped by my house to drop off papers he needed singed by the next morning in his words “because I know you will take care of it.”

Many many months ago a user named @theclip had a post about how she doesn’t co-parent. She just parents, handles all the staying on top of school projects, teaching how to ride a bike, making all the doctor’s appointments….just like before the divorce. A light went off in my head. I was not the only one already parenting by myself and chances are me @theclip a not alone. There has to be a whole chapter on the times a divorce changes nothing in the parenting realm. I parented alone before and I parent alone now. The big difference is that while there is the shit sandwich of not seeing my kid every day that also means I have time for self care and some sleep….at least until the kid is a teenager.

ChutesandLadders
ChutesandLadders
7 years ago
Reply to  AllOutofKibble

Agree, AllOut. It was shocking to realize I had been doing all the parenting things alone. X only does things for the “attaboys” from strangers. He only shows up to things where he can be seen as the “parent.”

In this sense, “shared custody” is a fucking joke. It is a legal right for him to stall, question, and fuck with parenting decisions that he never cared about or weighed in on when we were married. But to actually parent? He can’t be bothered with that!

ChutesandLadders
ChutesandLadders
7 years ago
Reply to  AllOutofKibble

Agree, AllOut. It was shocking to realize I had been doing all the parenting things alone. X only does things for the “attaboys” from strangers. He only shows up to things where he can be seen as the “parent.”

In this sense, “shared custody” is a fucking joke. It is a legal right for him to stall, question, and fuck with parenting decisions that he never cared about when we were married. But actually parent? He can’t be bothered with that!

LovedaJackass
LovedaJackass
7 years ago
Reply to  AllOutofKibble

@theclip…is one awesome individual. I learn(ed) so much from her.

Mehphista
Mehphista
7 years ago
Reply to  LovedaJackass

Ditto.

louisvilleflower
louisvilleflower
7 years ago
Reply to  AllOutofKibble

Ditto. The differences for me are all positive. I parent my way but without the constant criticism (there is still plenty of criticism, I just don’t hear it daily). I no longer try to parent for 2 – I didn’t realize how tiring it had been until I stopped: I was constantly trying to fill in for their negligent father while simultaneously keeping him informed and included while he was “working”.
Now, I just do me.
Bonus that he is starting from scratch with archaic parenting ideas (do as I say, not as I do) that are flying like lead balloons. He screws up and I am there, as I have always been, encouraging my kids to advocate for themselves and teach them that actions speak louder than words.

Capricorn
Capricorn
7 years ago

Snap here. I am lucky. It’s always been me. No change. I bet that’s true that chumps have always done most of the parenting. What would be in it for a narc? They only want the kids attention later on when they are appropriate audience material and will be willing to work for kibbles.

That’s why I do teach my boys (1) its actions not words and (2) reciprocity- if you stop doing what do they do?

louisvilleflower
louisvilleflower
7 years ago
Reply to  Capricorn

My sisters say my STBX is a father from the Mad Men era. He uses our kids to make himself look good to others in conversations, on Facebook and on dating profiles. Who knows what drivel he makes up now that I no longer keep him informed about day to day issues. He texts me pictures of the kids that he takes – because he wants me to reciprocate, so he can show people what a good, involved father he is. Hahaha!
Consequences suck dude.

Capricorn
Capricorn
7 years ago
Reply to  Capricorn

** willing to produce kibbles

Sunshine
Sunshine
7 years ago

My experience exactly flower! I only do “Mom” now and I’ve become so much better at it.

louisvilleflower
louisvilleflower
7 years ago
Reply to  Sunshine

Me too Sunshine! Better, happier, more fun. I am finally the mom I have always wanted to be!

Thankful
Thankful
7 years ago
Reply to  AllOutofKibble

Same here, nothing changed. I am almost 3 yr’s past D’day. But about six months in I asked our son, who was 15 at the time, how he was finding not having his dad around? His response “nothing has changed here mum, there’s just one less person in the house”. He is almost 18 and had never had regular visitation with his father. My 12 and 14 yr old girls,are currently struggling with, if going to dads is worth it as the step siblings get away with everything and my girls are treated as if they are the +1’s.

Vastra
Vastra
7 years ago
Reply to  Thankful

Same here Thankful.
That would be another useful topic: kids dealing with stepparents and step siblings. My 12 and 13 year olds are starting to protest at going to their father’s on alternate weekends. Their dad immediately moved in with OW and her 2 younger girls, and he pays for everything including their private school fees. My boys describe a sick Cinderella dynamic where they are made to do the domestic chores and gardening, while the girls do nothing. And the reason is “you need to do it in return for your school fees” (a school he pushed them to go to, as OW was a teacher in their original school)
By law I’m supposed to encourage them to go, and want them to still see their dad, but I wonder at what point can I tell them “Now you’re in high school, the courts won’t force you to go there”. And if later in life they would blame me for the inevitable distant and strained relationship with dad (even though that’s all his doing with his punitive and thoughtless favouritism)

Thankful
Thankful
7 years ago

It might be a little heavy. But I would love to hear how others have handled similar issues. I had to spend a few days last week helping my girls identity “conditioning” pedophiles do it and so do psychological abusers in order to quell any opposition. My 12 yr old daughter is bearing the brunt of not yielding to it with her father. It would be helpful to get other people’s thoughts on this.

Mehphista
Mehphista
7 years ago
Reply to  Thankful

What helped me and my kiddo was boundaries, boundaries, boundaries.

But, equally, if her dad did something particularly shitty, I would point it out. Hell, if one of the Powerpuff girls did something shitty, I pointed it out. Not in a shrewish way, just, a – nope, that is not fair and I won’t do that-way.

You’re doing great, Thankful! Being aware your kids need a working knowledge of good and evil that goes beyond the Disney level is important. A good folktale for a 12 year old is Bluebeard…

I have been straight with my Kiddo. Stated I never want to see her in an abusive relationship, but because what she grew up with was fucked up twenty ways in every direction, she has to be double-double self aware and LEARN UP.

blessingindisguise
blessingindisguise
7 years ago
Reply to  Thankful

This is also one that weighs heavily on me. My tactics are as follows:
I started by explaining inappropriate touching to them. I was firm about the fact that nobody should be touching their private parts – ever.
Then we talked a bit about grooming and how people break down barriers, not just physical barriers (and had flashbacks to some of the comments STBXH made to me, but that I spackled away). I like this info: http://www.abuseandrelationships.org/Content/Behaviors/grooming.html
We also talk about the profile of sexual offenders as people who appear “too good to be true.” I use this site as guidance: http://www.peacefulheartsfoundation.org/common-myths.html
We also chat about news items featuring abuse and how it is most often parents/step-parents or other known and trusted people that are the perpetrators.
I also take any learning opportunities presented to me. Last week, my son asked me what a psychopath was. I hauled out the home medical manual and read the list of behaviours. And my daughter said, “Oh, just like Daddy.” I evaded a direct answer but then referenced the assignment in Harry Potter about werewolves and how you can sometimes have a strange creature living right under your nose without even being aware. Subtle, age-appropriate, and not alienation.

SureChumpedAlot
SureChumpedAlot
7 years ago

Good morning Tracy,

To answer your questions:

1. Of course we would like to see another book especially coming form you about coparenting with a fuckwit. Simply said, knowledge is power. I think it would have to include some kind of legal processes though.

2. How have I coped with co-parenting with a fuckwit? Well 3 stages…

The 1st stage immediately post divorce was trying to communicate gray rock with her. I was trying to play by the rules. It doesn’t work though. There was too much hovering from her. She didn’t stop crossing my boundaries and the kids boundaries.

The second stage was, I stopped coparenting and went to parallel parenting. I know whats best for my kids and would make decisions on whats best for them without her input. I would inform her via text what my decisions were but the trick was never in the form of a question. (i.e., “I signed (kid) up for basketball or “I will drive (kid) on Saturday”). Basically, I was parenting with the pretense that she didn’t exist but would only send her a summary afterwards.

The 3rd stage was going through the legal process in getting full custody of kids. I was recently awarded temporary full custody and continuing the pursuit of full. Her continual bad behaviors and her teenage lifestyle has directly effected the kids very negatively. Documenting everything is what allowed me to gain custody. I had no choice to go for full as its impossible to parent with a genuine “fuckwit”.

3. The only resources out there that worked for me were *legal resources only*. To try and coparent with a genuine “fuckwit” is no different than trying to wrecko to save your marriage. It will *never* work because you are still dealing with the same disordered fuckwit pre or post divorce. They don’t change.

For newbies, my best advice is keep doing for the kids as you have done through out your marriage. Continue to be the sane parent. *Document*. Quite honestly it becomes easier with time because eventually the fuckwit just becomes the shadow that they were meant to be.

Tracy, your son is so debonair! He truly looks so happy. And you raised him all by yourself. You my doll, are a special soul. 🙂

Chumptitude
Chumptitude
7 years ago

Great comment SCaL!

I am at stage 2, I hope to be able to arrive at the stage where I can go for temporary full custody. But my kiddo is still young and my X does not present obvious personality problems beyond being a callous POS.

Your story gives me hope nonetheless, thank you for all you many stellar contributions to CN!

Eilonwy
Eilonwy
7 years ago

This is my story as well. I got “temporary” full custody a few weeks ago. It has been a long 5 years getting to this stage. The “temporary” part is a legal euphemism since the judge has required the EX to clean up other legal issues, and I can’t see that happening any time soon.

One of the big takeaways, I think, from SureChumpedAot is that it is easy to see the initial parenting agreement as the new truth. It feels final–at the time. Having custody matters “concluded” can be a relief or demoralizing, but the fact is, for many people working with the deeply disordered, the process has only begun. And SureChupedAlot’s stages are spot on!

At the bottom of every page of the new book you should put both the page number and the rallying cry for this volume–“Did you document today?” Document. Document. Document.

Of course, you need an entire chapter on documenting as well. It needs headings like:

What Should I Document?
How Often Should I Document?
When Can I Stop Documenting? (When your kids cease being minors)
How Documenting Will Save You Money!
How Documenting Will Reduce Your Court Time (and Costs)!
How Documenting Will Preserve Your Sanity!
The Silver Lining of Documenting (It will tick your EX off beyond belief.)

Mehphista
Mehphista
7 years ago

THIS. I think so many Chumps get blindsided, and their reasonableness can work against them.

You have described the last four years of my life.

x-Meh

PianoMom
PianoMom
7 years ago

“For newbies, my best advice is keep doing for the kids as you have done through out your marriage. Continue to be the sane parent. *Document*. Quite honestly it becomes easier with time because eventually the fuckwit just becomes the shadow that they were meant to be. ”

Yes! This!

StartofSomethingGood
StartofSomethingGood
7 years ago

Amazing post SCA!

Ian Dubito
Ian Dubito
7 years ago

Holy crap that kid looks just like you, Tracy. Adorable!

Movin-On
Movin-On
7 years ago

The STBX has decided that being a ‘parent’ isn’t as ‘cool’ as being a fun friend. Indulging the 16-yr old daughter when she goes clothes shopping – don’t let her dress like an adult at a nightclub! It’s not ‘cool’ to let an already confused teen share her discovery of her awesome body with the world when she is too young and naive to understand what is and isn’t appropriate school wear. Don’t ignore the 13 yr old boy who lost all respect for you – it might not be ‘fun’ to hang out with a young boy who can see through you but he’s your son! And stop gushing over the 7 yr old autistic boy. Yes, he is beautiful and fun – have you only just discovered this?! X has launched into ‘Dad of the Year’ mode for the first time ever. Guess who will take up nearly all the responsibility again when the ‘just-add-divorce-instant-dad’ act gets a bit too time consuming and ‘boring’?
Years and years of ‘protecting’ the children and working to ensure they had a relationship with their dad is biting me in the rear as now the children have to discover the real man who is their father and realize all the dad times where engineered by me.
There is more to fatherhood than being the fun parent.

Better Alone
Better Alone
7 years ago

First off, congratulations on raising such a fine young men! We’re going to need those!
Then, I am so excited about another book and even more so because it is about co-parenting. For me, the main thing would be to emphasize that children have to be told the truth. It helps no one (other than the cheater) to lie to our kids. I read somewhere that abusers thrive on our silence.
Now I also think there should be a special section on children who are the first to find out about a parent’s infidelity… Yuck… 🙁
I can NOT wait to read this book!

Vastra
Vastra
7 years ago
Reply to  Better Alone

Great point – I know 2 teen girls who discovered the affair through emails / texts then told the other parent. One of them refuses to have anything to do with her cheater mother.

neverwouldhaveimagined
neverwouldhaveimagined
7 years ago
Reply to  Vastra

Yes, I’ve mentioned after I kicked the cheater out a neighbor girl told my daughter she had seen her dad Out and getting very cozy with some other woman and didn’t know what to do. Now she understood and was so sorry.

This was quite a surprise to me, but I didn’t have to backtrack or clarify or anything because I had decided to share the facts about the breakup of our family and not sugar coat of spackle anything.

Always tell your kids the truth. Do not lie to your children to cover for your cheater’s horrendous choices.

CryMeARiver
CryMeARiver
7 years ago

SureChumpedALot nailed it: the whole situation becomes a whole lot easier when you stop trying to co-parent with a disordered fuckwit, and realise you have to parallel-parent.
I had this idea when we first split that we could be reasonable adults and get along for our daughter’s sake. Go to parents evenings & events together, share daily ‘guess what she did today’ stories. But no. He’s still too busy blaming everyone else for his affairs and playing the victim because he no longer lives with his daughter. The stress of trying to get along with someone who was trying to get one over on me on a daily basis was making me ill. So I started telling him things instead of asking him things and ignoring his tantrums. Ignore bad behaviour, attention only for good behaviour. Like a dog…

i also became friends with his current partner. She’s a lot like me, only younger and with more balls. I use that to my advantage. But it makes it so much easier knowing I genuinely like the woman who looks after my kid when I’m not there. Plus the ex HATES it. Bonus 😉

Oh and yeah CL, it’s taken me over 3 years to work this out. A book would’ve been very handy! Do it!!

CourtneyS
CourtneyS
7 years ago
Reply to  CryMeARiver

FYI Crymeariver, I’m thinking your purported lack of “balls” has to do with the fact that you had a child, a marriage, a family you were trying to protect. She has to be ‘bold’, it’s part of her spackling to commit to a known cheater. Do not sell yourself short- you are mighty!!

CryMeARiver
CryMeARiver
7 years ago
Reply to  CourtneyS

lol CourtneyS, I had balls when I met him, he slowly removed them over the years 😉 I hope he never removes hers! I’m mightier than ever now I’ve rid myself of that emotional vampire 😉

violet
violet
7 years ago
Reply to  CryMeARiver

I was fortunate in that my kids were “mostly” grown when X’s affair was publicly exposed, although the youngest was only 12. It was an awful time for them, and I decided early on that co-parenting was not going to work. At the same time, I never denied access and I always acted cordially distant at the many school and other functions for the kids. We managed graduations, sports events, and even family funerals without drama. I maintained for my children, to show them how to remain in control of a shitty situation.

That being said, some of my kids suffered greatly and engaged in self-destructive behavior in response to their pain. I was always supportive without being enabling. Fortunately, they are doing fairly well, now. They see their dad for exactly what he is. They love him, but are not blind to his need to be worshipped, and always the center of attention. They can actually be quite funny about some of his stunts.

Our problem now is the he is very ill and even, perhaps, near the end of his life. I am financially reponsible for his care, but much of the emotional part of dealing with his illness falls on my twenty-something kids. It can be quite painful to see them struggle, but I also think it has made them stronger human beings, They are far more empathetic than most kids their age. I definitely recommend being honest with your children, while at the same time, not making them your confidant or expecting them to take sides. It isn’t fair to them and only drives a wedge in you relationship with them. My kids love their dad, despite his character flaws, and I think they appreciate that I have tried to be supportive of their struggle to navigate and accept with his medical condition…and the fact that he is never going to change his essential self,

neverwouldhaveimagined
neverwouldhaveimagined
7 years ago
Reply to  violet

Thank you for sharing. Why are you financially responsible for his end of life care?

violet
violet
7 years ago

It is part of our divorce settlement. I was put in charge of the family trust (which really protected my kids), but he is one of its beneficiaries and his needs have to be paid out of it. Fortunately, between Medicare and supplemental policies I bought years ago, most of the costs are covered. Also, I am still considered a “high” earner and he is disabled, so guess what? My staying with him all these years makes him entitled to part of my earnings and assets. Men are not the only ones who get screwed in divorces. The whole thing definitely sucks, but I try to remind myself how lucky I am to have my own life. I could be the one having to be his home health care nurse. At least all I have to do is pay for it…sigh.

Capricorn
Capricorn
7 years ago
Reply to  violet

Violet. Great post. You are obviously a woman of great strength and character. I am trying to not make them takes sides or to like it when they disparage him but I find it so hard. I really would like it if they disliked him as much as I do but I know that’s not fair. I have not managed to say positive things about him yet I’m firmly stuck in neutral now that’s all I can manage. I’m using the excuse that I’m only four months out so it too soon to be reasonable about the whole thing.

StartofSomethingGood
StartofSomethingGood
7 years ago

This would be an amazing book to help so many people! I would love to see a chapter on single parents who are raising special needs children and maybe one for families who adopted children and then the cheater left etc.

My personal story, it was my ex who begged for children and my daughter was diagnosed with autism, developmental delay and epilepsy at age 3. He walked out when she was 5. Left me for the French teacher at his school. He sees my daughter for 4 hours two evenings a week and every other weekend. She’s non verbal. It’s been 3.5 years since dday. I have never had any contact with OW. I can’t begin to describe how difficult it is to surrender your child to a sociopath when she cannot speak. It’s like flying blind. He never gives details about his weekends with her. It’s his power over me.

I would love to hear CL take on this type of co-parenting and CN. A book would be great! As a side note, I live in Canada and was able to get Child Support, Alimony and extra money for her extraordinary expenses. But she will never achieve independence and I fear for her future. I’m in this alone. At least emotionally. But I am a fighter.

louisvilleflower
louisvilleflower
7 years ago

Sounds like you have always been in it alone, even when you were married.
When my daughter was diagnosed with ASD at age 3, my world turned upside down. I needed to educate myself and my family, start therapies, navigate the special education system…
My STBX was not supportive. Looking back now, that was the first big betrayal. By the time the affairs started, I was conditioned to betrayal. Which is why it took 3 DDays to get to where I am.

RockStarWife
RockStarWife
7 years ago

I, too, have a child with special needs. One thing that I would like to warm other parents of kids with special needs is that you should not assume that F–kwit parent (your ex) will ensure he/she acts in the best interest of your child or even allows you to act in the best interest of your child (e.g., allow you to take your child to a physician for a non-invasive assessment that is years overdue). If I had known that my STBX was going to prevent our child who has special needs from getting the assessment that he deserves and needs, I would not so quickly have agreed to joint legal custody.

Also, don’t count on most judges and attorneys in the family court system to give you and your children anything close to a fair settlement, although they love to throw around the phrase, ‘in the best interest of the children.’ Most of the ones I have met are self-serving, insulting hypocrites who have done as much harm as my abusive law-breaking STBX. I will probably lose my life savings in late middle age. I was dragged into Family Court so I had no choice as to whether I would get into the Family Circus, but if you can avoid it, I would suggest in most cases that you do.

CourtneyS
CourtneyS
7 years ago

You are mighty! You can do it! Your child is so lucky to have you.

Amiisfree
Amiisfree
7 years ago

I think your book is a fab idea. I am not a parent, but I will share a book thought for your consideration.

Parenting situations will vary wildly, as will legal realities in different parts of the country and world. Therefore, I don’t think people need direct advice from you as much as they need options and perspective.

Among your particular talents, you are great at using humor to illustrate concepts and illuminate ideas, telling stories and decoding them, and channeling your own experiences with a clear eye on what it was like when it happened to you. You can speak both to the novice and the learned on the topic at hand. That gift is both rare and powerful.

So, rather than offering actual advice, I think you can both offer and clarify options with your signature style. So often what I see in comments is a wide variety of ideas, each of which rings true for different people. You can be the conduit for that, organize it, and offer it in a way that is applicable to many situations, a trait that is often neglected by authors because they are trying to rebrand a thought into a multimedia money maker.

I would buy your book if it was an illustrated guide for playing pick-up-sticks, both because I would want to support you and because I love your writing style. 🙂

Amiisfree
Amiisfree
7 years ago
Reply to  Amiisfree

Y’all are so lovely! <3

Capricorn
Capricorn
7 years ago
Reply to  Amiisfree

This is what I would have written if I could write so beautifully!!

CourtneyS
CourtneyS
7 years ago
Reply to  Amiisfree

Outstanding post!

The EX-orcist
The EX-orcist
7 years ago
Reply to  Amiisfree

Excellent post.

Movin-On
Movin-On
7 years ago

I have the ‘impression-management’ X. Shows up in the final minutes of the game and makes a huge noise so people get the impression that he’s been there the whole time. What a supportive dad! Get ready to catch the child when they see the reality and it breaks their heart…

Sketchyokgirl
Sketchyokgirl
7 years ago
Reply to  Movin-On

Mine only shows up for half time to watch cheerleader daughter then leaves.

KarenE
KarenE
7 years ago
Reply to  Movin-On

Mine was like this even long before we split. When the kids were small, he’d leave them to my care all day or all evening. Then when they were already in bed and settling down, he’d come play w/them, tickle them, be tons of fun.

He knew I’d ask him not to rile them up, or to keep it short, ’cause it was bedtime. When I figured that out and let him handle it, he’d break it off in 5 minutes, ’cause after all they needed to sleep, or even that mama was going to tell them to stop.

So he could feel like the fun dad, who plays with his kids. Without having to invest more than 5 minutes every few days. Those moments made our kids happy, but they were so few and so short. The real parenting, both the fun and the not-so-fun, were left up to me.

And now every time he’s with the kids (a few hours once a month, by the kids’ choice), he’s taking pictures, so he can make it look like he’s still the fun dad who’s spending time w/his kids.

louisvilleflower
louisvilleflower
7 years ago
Reply to  Movin-On

Mine too. He had an “Autism Awareness” license plate. When he got it, I hoped it meant that he was actually going to help with therapies/assessments/IEPs.
Nope. Just wanted people to pity and/or admire him.

Thankful
Thankful
7 years ago

Yep my cheater could not sit in oncology with our daughter while she got pumped full of chemo. But could publicly shave his head and wear a shave for leukaemia t-shirt everywhere.

louisvilleflower
louisvilleflower
7 years ago
Reply to  Thankful

That makes me want to vomit.

Cynamon
Cynamon
7 years ago

Uggh. These cheaters are all the same! The STBXH puts on a performance when he has an audience – he is the BEST daddy ever! But as soon as no one is around, he ignores his children or ships them off to his mother’s house. I’ve often wondered if people actually believe their Disney Dad Personas.

ChutesandLadders
ChutesandLadders
7 years ago

Puke worthy parenting!

X is one of those, too. Bitches about paying for any of their health, school and sports expenses, and then reminds them and anyone who will listen that they have their smile/equipment/textbooks because he’s such a generous guy.

Sausalito
Sausalito
7 years ago
Reply to  Movin-On

Yep, shows up later every time, glad-hands the other parents, slaps the coach on the back after the game… Now, if it’s practice, or some other activity that doesn’t involve a crowd of people seeing him, he suddenly has to work late, is too tired, has to get the car inspected…

Jen
Jen
7 years ago
Reply to  Movin-On

I’ve got one of those too!

Sign up to help coach so your name is listed, but never actually show up.

Drive the car in the parade, but don’t go to the assembly afterward.

Post social media pictures with captions like “love their dad time” when all he did was take them to dinner, but couldn’t show up for surgery the next day.

Tag his teen children in posts when he’s actually traveling with his girlfriend! Oh what a great dad… he took them to NY!

It’s all about being seen, and then everyone gets to tell the kids what a great dad they have!

Mehmehdancer
Mehmehdancer
7 years ago

It’s a great idea for a book. Becoz chumps being chumps, we carry our kindness, good intentions and trusting nature from the relationship into the co parenting . 4 months post D Day and into the divirce process, I have been trying not malign the ex in front of the kids so as to make their adjustment to the new normal easier (I have the care and control but we have joint custody). Except that my younger kid – 11 year old girl – is on the side of the cheating ex . He has moved out to buy a new place with the OW and her 2 kids and he keeps playimg the pity story to my gal so it looks like we are having a good life in our house while he has to scrunge up money to put up the Ho in a smaller place . Except that cheater ex is a doctor earning a good income and can likely get back on his feet within a couple of years . My 15 year old is v clear in his mind tat he would not want the cheating dad back on our lives but is exasperated with the 11 year old’s naïveté and “stupidity”. Basically , an 11 y o is not mature enough to process the impact and long term consequences of the brainwashing by the narc. I have explained the fact that he cheated mummy and fell in love with another woman (still married) and he has abandoned the family to be with her . It makes me wonder whether in future , my daughter will grow up sympathizing more with the cheater dad and possibly decide to stay with him. Yet I feel that we can only control ourselves . I do what I need to do everyday – raising the kids, running the household, tutoring them, chauffeuring them – being there with th all the time . Yet life can be unfair and unpredictable . So we can only do our best and if in the end, our kids for some reason, decide to take the side of the cheater or even leave us to stay with them, there is little we can do . We only control us, not others , even our kids .

Survivor
Survivor
7 years ago
Reply to  Mehmehdancer

Alienation of the kids is a real danger. No kids with a fuckwit myself (thank God), but my husband (also a former chump) learned this the hard way. His ex took off with their 10 year old daughter with plans to marry her online love. Turns out the 10 year old was in on planning the discard with her mom. Fast forward 16 years. The daughter (and now her husband) live with mom/ex who has assumed a full blown codependent role. Dad was good enough to ask for stuff (money, clothes, phones, cars, college tuition, plane tickets) and to live with for YEARS when her mom was homeless or between meal tickets, but he was not invited to the child’s wedding or college graduation. Those were Mom’s big days. This year he got a text that said, “Happy Fathers Day. Miss you, love you.” Nothing on his birthday.

Kids will often choose the parent without boundaries over the one who sets limits.

Doingme
Doingme
7 years ago

I have been co parenting my granddaughter with my son-in-law for many years. She just turned 16.

“the mature adults who put aside their differences for the Good of The Children”

I’ll raise my hand on this without regret. Working with chikdren I know there are situations in which both parents are selfish and self centered at the expence of the child.

I’ve maintained a relationship with him because it gave me the opportunity to be a positive influence as her mother figure.

Your new book will be a great resource.

The EX-orcist
The EX-orcist
7 years ago

I only had a step-daughter. I saw the writing on the wall and bailed about 8 months after D-day. I just refused to be involved with anything associated with him. Perhaps it caused her a little grief, but I had to protect myself and put myself first. I’m not sure it was the right thing to do (as a chump I would say it was not), but as a recovering sociopath abuse victim I did what was best for me. I was furious with The ClusterFuck B Sociopath during this time. Stepdaughter has 2 small children now. I had sooooo looked forward to living vicariously through her motherhood as I never had children. I will not forgive him for stealing my opportunity away to love babies. And for what? A common ordinary cock devouring dumb drunk bitch. Hmmm….I feel some anger stirring?.
So as far as a book, the step children should be considered as well. Then how to share your kids with the whorefucking affair partners?? Thank Jesus I don’t have that problem, but I know I would seethe with rage if I had to. These chumps forced to eat that shit sandwich are heroes to their children. A book is needed in my opinion.

KarenE
KarenE
7 years ago
Reply to  The EX-orcist

EX, I’m so sorry to hear this, it must have been so painful for both you and your step-daughter. Those fucktards mess so many people up! They’e like walking natural disasters.

KB22
KB22
7 years ago

I can only contribute that I think the “high road” is a bit overrated and can bite you in the behind. Narcs will not appreciate the gesture and may even take the opportunity to blame the chump for the failed relationship. Never let them control the narrative. I think it must be stressed that cheating/abusive behavior is not normal and should never be tolerated. I’m not saying to bash the ex narc, just state calmly and emphatically, in age appropriate discussion, that the narc is a defect and if your kids choose to love their defective parent that is all well and good, but they should never expect too much from the narc.

Capricorn
Capricorn
7 years ago
Reply to  KB22

KB22
Yes yes yes. I like this.

Let go
Let go
7 years ago

For anybody keeping the affair a secret from your child, how did you like it when your ex kept it from you? Cheating has powerful a impact on every single person in the family and the lying is probably the worst. Of course if the cheater gaslighted you he is going to gaslight the kids. You need documentation but be prepared to still see the child making you the bad guy.
A relative of a relative was married to one of the most manipulative, mean spirited persons I know. He had his children so hostile to their mother that only when the four kids were teenagers did their eyes open. Something happened one weekend that made them question their father’s stories. Individually they all wondered if what they “knew” was real. Because one of them spoke up the others finally accepted his manipulations. They went to their mother but she was so enmeshed in believing she was the bad guy that it took a long time for her to leave. They still love their father, they just don’t buy into his stuff anymore.
CL, since finding you I have stopped being Switzerland. I used to be one of those that said, “Oh, so that happened.”. Now I say, “look what that SORRY piece of shit did.”. It makes a difference when I talk to people. I don’t soft soap my opinions anymore.

Mehmehdancer
Mehmehdancer
7 years ago

The thing is : as a chump I learnt that painful lesson that life can be grossly unfair, unpredictable and people can be unbelieveably cruel . Do not dispell the fact that kids can form their own opinions and turn their backs on the chump parent in favour of the cheater narc parent . After all, co parenting with a narc is akin to playing Russian roulette with the devil. Who knows what the Narc has up his sleeve? If he was dishonest in the marriage , whose to say that he would not behave the same way in coparenting ?

Survivor
Survivor
7 years ago
Reply to  Mehmehdancer

Yup. Narc parents use their kids for their own purposes. Sometimes to show how great they are. Sometimes to garner pity for their claimed selfless service. Usually to lob a grenade at their (former) chump.

chump-tastic
chump-tastic
7 years ago

Your son is precious, CL! Congrats on making it outta the woods alive, haha.

Yes yes yes, this would be the #1 most relevant book topic for me, that’s for sure. Here’s my stab at helping:

1. Very broad legal recommendations on what’s acceptable at what age (maybe get a family law attorney to help with this?), with the caveat of course that things vary by state. Like what age the court starts to take the child’s wishes into account, what age is it okay for the fuckwit to take your kid to a bar every night, etc. What your rights are, and are not. You know, the basics. This whole topic was very daunting to me at first. I had nobody other than my lawyer to trust on this stuff, and though she was great, it would have also been nice to have other trustworthy resources than my google searches.

2. Document, document, document. I know others have said this too, but I’ll say it again. During the battle for custody and visitation, things get frustrating. But complaining, crying, and venting to friends doesn’t tangibly help. Documenting all of the things that happen, in extreme detail, with screenshots, pictures, etc. DOES help. Your lawyer will thank you for it. I kept a simple Google spreadsheet full of the accounts of every visit and / or every interaction, and it helped her pull examples for court. Not only is documenting a good exercise for your custody/visitation (and if you’re done with that, you still need ongoing examples in case the ex gets shitty again and you end up back in court), but it’s also a super therapeutic exercise. I found that when I offloaded all the frustrations into my spreadsheet, they didn’t have to take up space in my brain and heart anymore. I didn’t dwell on them. I felt the feelings, typed out the account, and put it away. This daily exercise was really important to me being able to know for a fact that I was doing everything in my power to protect my kid from my ex’s drunk driving and God knows what else, and that worrying beyond that was unproductive. I have slept like a baby every single night since beginning to document.

3. If there are any GOOD resources out there, I don’t know about them. Most coparenting guides seem to assume the person you’re coparenting with is a *reasonable* human being. For those of you whose ex is reasonable, mazel tov! God love ya. But mine is just not. I definitely think we need a CL approach to this: a guide to parenting once you’ve given up on reasonable, and just need to get through each day being the sane parent.

I also gotta echo what @AllOutOfKibble said: “There has to be a whole chapter on the times a divorce changes nothing in the parenting realm. I parented alone before and I parent alone now. The big difference is that while there is the shit sandwich of not seeing my kid every day that also means I have time for self care and some sleep….at least until the kid is a teenager.” <– This was me too.

ChutesandLadders
ChutesandLadders
7 years ago
Reply to  chump-tastic

I second documenting! It is very important to have dates, times and examples of bad parenting for your attorney to use to build your case.

That said, it’s important to remember that your attorney IS NOT your therapist, and every time you call, email or ask for support, you’re getting billed big bucks. Save your editorial for your therapist time.

I also recommend social media silence regarding your Fuckwit. No Facebook, Snapchat or Instagram digs, however well veiled you feel you’ve made them.

chump-tastic
chump-tastic
7 years ago

Truth, truth. Thank goodness for my very positive, validating therapist during that time. Spreadsheeting for the lawyer was nice, in that I just shared the spreadsheet with her and she could proactively mine it as she needed for court material, and she would ask followup questions when needed. But other than that we didn’t spend time discussing the details or anything.

Also a great point about social media. LOTS of the damning material about my ex was gathered from those sites. Don’t post anything about your ex at all, lest the same fate befall you. Even if you’re a literal angel who does nothing unsavory in real life let alone on social media, *be aware* at how sneakily a craft cheater can twist and misconstrue the most innocent of posts. Staying “above it all” on (public) social media also has the added benefit of helping you focus on your real life, the life you’re living now, and not giving your cheater a single instant more of your (public) attention.

Movin-On
Movin-On
7 years ago

Something that would be helpful? Tips and ready phrases to help children see that it’s ok to love their defective parent even though that person tore the family apart. Children have a need to love their parents – it’s pre-programmed. As the sane parent we need to help them to see that it’s ok to love the X – just recognize what the X did and know that it was not ok. X did terrible things and acted terribly. But loving X does not make you a bad child or make you appear disloyal to the sane parent. How can we explain this to a child – dancing between ‘tell it like it is’ or ‘gently, gently’? CL – a chapter on this please!

Doingme
Doingme
7 years ago
Reply to  Movin-On

This is a good point, MovingOn. I would also emphasize the need to have children in therapy when they have to deal with a disordered parent.

Often times we spackled so much our children are unaware of the manipulation, power and control issues the other parent uses. It comes to a head one way or another just as it did with chumps.

We are no longer there and often times it surfaces as depression and self abusive behaviors when children become teens. The mine field is still there for them to navigate.

neverwouldhaveimagined
neverwouldhaveimagined
7 years ago
Reply to  Doingme

Therapy for children can be like therapy for us. Some therapists are terrible and can do damage. You have to find the right one.

Doingme
Doingme
7 years ago

This is so true. I’ve come to learn here that so many cheaters abandon their children. The impact is long lasting.

Children have to face father/mother daughter dances without having a parent to attend. The have to answer questions from their peers. Teachers always say, “Have your mom sign the permission slip.”

Just as others have no understanding of how it feels to be a chump, they do not know what it feels like to be abandoned by a parent who erases a wonderful innocent child from their life.

And years later the disordered make attempts to contact the child AS IF NOTHING HAPPENED.

There needs to be a chapter on abandonment from a child’s perspective.

Blindside
Blindside
7 years ago

I’m not really far enough along to give any advice. The parts that I would look for counsel on:

1) How to answer the kids’ questions: “Where are we going to live, who gets the dog, will we (the kids) be together or separate, is dad coming with us here, is mom coming with us there? Why not?” There will undoubtedly be more difficult questions in the future as we finally separate. Some day, I’m sure I’ll get the question “Why did you get divorced?” and the kids are smart enough not to buy some kind of “we didn’t get along and/or we weren’t happy” garbage. That will be the most difficult one to deal with of them all.

2) How often do you need to communicate with your ex? I dread having to talk to her – I can’t wait to have her gone. But even then, we will undoubtedly need to communicate in some fashion regarding the kids. I’d want to know the best alternatives to communicate without having to speak with them or meet with them (to the best extent possible, at least). Whether that be texting, some kind of app or email program, or whatever. Or maybe text some type of calendar where we both insert the kids’ activities and who needs to take them/pick them up. The less personal interaction, the better.

3) Are there alternatives to paying child support to someone and just hoping they actually use it for the kids? I’ve (personally) paid for most of the kids’ expenses throughout their lives while at the same time trying to save money for them. I’ll likely continue to do so. But now with child support, who knows what I’ll have left to also pay for extra things for them on my own (vacations, gifts, etc.). Especially, when it’s joint custody (to the extent the kids spend equal time with each spouse). I’m a little pissed that it looks like right now that I’ll need to pay for the kids when they’re living with me (which is fine) AND pay her support to help her when they’re living with her. We both have good jobs and careers, so I’m not sure why it’s my job to deal with my 50% (with no help) and also help her with her 50%. She’s fully capable of getting a better job. She’s also completely incapable of saving money and is a notorious bad spender (always on herself). Can you set up some type of joint account that we would both fund that is exclusively to be used for children’s expenses (babysitters, clothing, activities, school lunches, etc.)? Maybe fund it proportionately to our respective incomes (I’d be paying more into it than her since she won’t get a better job (her COW is her BF), but that’s fine, at least I’m not funding the whole damn thing)? Does anything like that exist? It just sucks writing blank checks to somebody that basically just spent the marriage using you and has never demonstrated any financial self-control.

Of course, most on here probably deal with it from the other side – how to deal with a deadbeat. I’m sure there are no shortage of stories there.

4) How to deal with your spouse when they’re with their AP and they bring them around your kids. Basically, how do you not go up to the AP and punch his/her lights out? Should I just have a tranquilizer handy, a bottle of liquor…..maybe a high powered sedative?

I know there are no perfect answers to any of this. Writing a book like that will be a real challenge. I would imagine all you could do is write as to your experience with various situations and tell everyone how you handled things, and what worked and what didn’t.

I would love to read something like that though.

ChutesandLadders
ChutesandLadders
7 years ago
Reply to  Blindside

I found the most effective way to interact with X’s bimbo is to not interact at all;

no nod of acknowledgement,
no response to her drippy letter (written by X – properties in Word are very informative!) to me begging for understanding,
no dropping off my son in her care if dear old dad isn’t in the car at the dropoff,
no mention of her to our kids.
no editorial when the kids make fun of her (although I admit that I did laugh out loud when one of them came up with the moniker, “Scarol” for her).

The only time I acknowledged her existence was when one of my sons asked me why I never talk about her. I responded, “Because she’s completely irrelevant to me.”

Naturally, this infuriates X; but as I told him when he said something to the effect that she’s serves as his agent, “The divorce agreement states I have to deal with you. Nowhere in the agreement does it state I have to deal with your skanks.

He tried to bring me to court over it, and my attorney said it was the best laugh he and X’s attorney ever had.

Silence is golden.

chump-tastic
chump-tastic
7 years ago

@ChutesAndLadders, you are killing it on this post! I know that for some it’s really hard not to have the instant gratification of telling someone off (or worse), but really, truly, ignoring them entirely is best. This part was really easy for me because my kid was only 1 when the ex left, so I haven’t had to endure a lot of questions, and a few judicious Facebook unfriendings/blocks were all it took to ensure I would almost never end up in attendance with AP at any event. But I find myself thinking about this more as my kid has gotten older and started asking some questions. I never editorialize or initiate anything negative being said about ex and new girlfriend (not AP, a *new new* gf), nor do I correct her when she makes critical observations about them. I answer her specific questions matter-of-factly and honestly. In this way, so far anyway, our time has remained all about us, and our home pretty much unmarred by their circus.

RockStarWife
RockStarWife
7 years ago
Reply to  Blindside

Blindside,
My STBX sometimes still travels with one of his APs. What prevents me from trying to punch her lights out, beside the fact that doing so is illegal, is the knowledge that by being together, they might spare some innocent people the trauma of dating or marrying each of these bad people.

ByeByeCheater
ByeByeCheater
7 years ago

Tracy, your son is very handsome in his suit. What a nice looking young man!

As for your book, please write it! From the stories here, I can tell it would be a big hit.

My suggestion is to include a chapter on co-parenting with a disney dad/mom. My ex was this way even when we were together. He wants to be invovled in the fun stuff and disappears when it’s time to be responsible. Kids don’t see this at all – they just see that the responsible parent is the tough parent which means they want to be with the fun parent.

My daughter was 16 when we split and the best thing I did (unknowingly at the time) was to tell them they could coordinate their time together. Because of this, he didn’t ask for custody, nor did he want it because that would have meant responsibility on his part. She had a job, sports, school and friends to spend time with so her life was busy. When he complained to me that she didn’t have time for him, I simply directed him to her and didn’t get involved.

Being a disney dad by nature and a narc, he resulted to bribing and guilting her into spending time with him and still does and she falls for it. His family lives out of state and he always wants her to go with him to see them (image management) so he either gets tickets to a pro game up there or guilts her into going by telling her that “grandma isn’t going to be around much longer”. This has been going on for a few years now and she’s starting to catch on to it. She’s commented on this to me a couple of times lately and I simply respond that it’s her choice and not to feel guilty if she doesn’t.

I could go on about his passive agressiveness, projection, trianglulation, and blame that he directs toward me through her still after 3 1/2 years apart. I’m a huge advocate of no contact (that’s me!) and grey rock contact (if you have to be in contact) with these fuckwit ex’s – but I know you’ll include this stuff in your book too. Good luck – I can’t wait to read it!

Free Vixen
Free Vixen
7 years ago
Reply to  ByeByeCheater

What is grey rock contact? Tie a note to a rock and throw it through their window?

ByeByeCheater
ByeByeCheater
7 years ago
Reply to  Free Vixen

Hi Free Vixen….I like your version of grey rock contact much better than the real thing!

Grey rock contact is used when you can’t go no contact with a disordered person, like when kids are involved or you’re still settling things financially. It a way of communicating without getting tangled up in the drama they continuously try to stir up. You only communicate when absolutely necessary, you stick to the facts, and you make it as boring as possible to them so they don’t get the thrill they usually do by stirring things up with you. You become as blah, bland and boring to them as possible so they hopefully leave you alone.

So in my case, when ex would text me, “D doesn’t spend much time with me. Why’s that?” I don’t take the time to explain to him and involve myself but instead I simply respond “talk to her”. Hopefully others can give examples they’ve used too.

ChutesandLadders
ChutesandLadders
7 years ago
Reply to  ByeByeCheater

X usually ends all correspondence – regardless of how informative or dull – with a well-written, venomous zinger.

NOT taking that bait is HARD, but essential to ending contact. He will always need to have the last word.

Instead, I send them to friends and we have a great time laughing at him.

ByeByeCheater
ByeByeCheater
7 years ago
Reply to  ByeByeCheater

oh and just to clarify, I was not putting D in the middle by responding to him like this. From day one of our separation, I told both of them that they could cordinate their time together without my involvement. Never once did I say what they planned didn’t work for me or had to change. I communicated my plans to her and, when my plans involved her, she scheduled time with him around them or asked me to change mine. I’ve actually been more accommodating than I probably should have been but it’s about what’s best for her, not me or him.

Vastra
Vastra
7 years ago
Reply to  ByeByeCheater

I also love the projectile version of grey rock 😉
ByeByeCheater, what you did sounds totally appropriate for a 16 year old, she’s old enough to make those plans with her dad.
Even with my younger boys, I am done trying to buff their dad’s image or promote time together. When they complain about issues they are having with him, I won’t liaise on their behalf unless it’s dangerous, such as when ex sent then 8 year old to the shops at night by himself, despite him being scared. I explain that I can’t get involved unless it’s serious, but we can talk about various strategies, like picking the right time to talk, not criticising OW or the step siblings etc.

louisvilleflower
louisvilleflower
7 years ago
Reply to  Free Vixen

Minimal communication and not in person. Via text or email only. Some people with really abusive exs have the emails go through a friend or family member who passes on only critical information and none of the venom.
It is very difficult to do while co-parenting.

Sunshine
Sunshine
7 years ago

I send the long-winded, convoluted and selfish emails from my narc X to my retired mother to cull out any nugget of useful information or item requiring action. Her service saves my serenity.

Finally realized
Finally realized
7 years ago
Reply to  Sunshine

That is a brilliant idea!

neverwouldhaveimagined
neverwouldhaveimagined
7 years ago
Reply to  Sunshine

Aack. NC and parallel parenting is for me. I had to leave, really leave behind, a cheater and am working really hard to gain a life that is my own. I simply cannot maintain contact with him and successfully accomplish that.

LiningUpDucks
LiningUpDucks
7 years ago

I’ve gotten a lot of my advice from divorce websites, about how to coparent with a jerk. That has been helpful.

Mehmehdancer
Mehmehdancer
7 years ago

Yes, unfortunately , co parenting with a cheater ensures that the shit sandwich goes on and on – the narc will never be out of your life . Never. But what to do ? Chumps are what chumps are – we grit our teeth and soldier on with the job of parenting singlehanded most times, putting up with the kids’ terrible Tweens and teens and have to buckle down to playing the disciplinarian . We R not interested to be mr popular . But the kids rail and rant . When I was shredding up my wedding portrait before dumping it, the kids were indignant – I had to explain that divorced people do not keep wedding photos as souvenirs . Throwing out stuff belonging to the cheater ex also made the kids question my motive – just Becoz it’s taking up space ?! So chumps must be prepared to face opposition from the kids and remain calm and keep a certain distance . Build that life of yours with yours previous kids but never take it for granted that they will automatically take your side against the narc. Life throws curve balls at us all the time . Build yourself up while raising ur kids .

walkingthruhell
walkingthruhell
7 years ago

Tracy, the pic of your son in his res hall is awesome! Love it! And he knows how to tie a tie… your young man did turn out okay indeed. Thanks for sharing!

Free Vixen
Free Vixen
7 years ago

My son is currently visiting his dad and meeting the OW for the first time, so that’s what’s on my mind at the moment. (As an aside, he didn’t let OW meet our son for 3 years, for which I’m grateful, but good lord woman, didn’t that raise a red flag for you?!) He comes home tomorrow and I plan to use the cool/bummer/wow approach if he talks about her, but I’d love more on “co”-parenting when the AP is involved. I’d also love more on navigating the new “love child” sibling(s). I’ve never met a baby I didn’t like and I don’t hold children accountable for their parents’ fuckups, but I’m going to have to help my son navigate this relationship with his shiny new half sister and I have no idea how to do that. And what happens when the happy couple eventually breaks up and there’s this half sister floating in space that I have no connection to and so can’t foster a relationship? Juggling the fucked your, chump version of the Brady Bunch is what I need help with right now.

neverwouldhaveimagined
neverwouldhaveimagined
7 years ago
Reply to  Free Vixen

Oh, the half sibling. God help me. How am I going to navigate THAT?! I can see it coming. I know it will happen.

Free Vixen
Free Vixen
7 years ago
Reply to  Free Vixen

*fucked up

Resilient
Resilient
7 years ago

Advice that has helped me tremendously in coparenting with the Narc is advice I read some time ago on this site from an anonymous contributor. She said when communicating with narc, always:
#1. do so in writing (email or text); and
#2. ALWAYS respond with a yes, no, or OK

It takes discipline to respond in this way, especially when being provoked or projected on/lied on. But I swear if done consistently, they get bored over time because you’re not giving them a reaction, and they’ll leave you alone. The key is discipline AND consistency over time. It takes Herculean discipline. I failed multiple times at first but over time gained mastery. Once I became consistent, his antics ceased. That’s not to say he won’t try AGAIN in the future but I’m ready to provide him a canned response. It actually becomes fun after a while.
And from my experience implementing this, I’d like to add another response option:
#3. Silence.

When “yes, no or OK” don’t seem to fit, then provide no response. Often times what’s in your mediated or court ordered parenting agreement will speak for your “silence.” These often have they answer to whatever you feel compelled to defend, in terms of your rights. Narcs just like to throw monkey wrenches to get a reaction. Don’t give it to them!!!

neverwouldhaveimagined
neverwouldhaveimagined
7 years ago
Reply to  Resilient

Yep, NC.

KibbleFree_MightyMe
KibbleFree_MightyMe
7 years ago

CL – this couldn’t be more perfect timing, as I just met with a court-based counselor/psychotherapist, assigned to the d-bag. This person is charged with “reconnecting/reuniting” my 16.5 year-old with the douche.

When your new book happens (I know it will!), if possible, I would have been able to use a chapter called: “The Kharma Bus Canceled; Freight Train Picked-Up: How to legally protect your child when the cheater spirals out of control.”

This situation is for the Chump who’s cheater’s life breaks WAAAY down, and the cheater ends up with felonies and in jail for violent behavior when his ho-worker dumps him and takes up with a new married man.

1) Get the best lawyer you can afford.
2) Initiate an emergency protective order for you and your child so the X can’t come around your home, their school/activities, and all visitation is suspended. (This took 13 months to get finalized, leaving my child free from having to see the d-bag that whole time.)
3) Begin the process of modifying the current child custody agreement to gain:
A) Full physical and legal custody

B) Request all visitation suspended until a mental health risk assessments is done, and a program of anger management

C) When item B is completed, visitation can ONLY happen in the presence of a counselor/psychotherapist who is an “expert in court- related services.” Don’t freak out yet – there are intake sessions only with the child, and if they’re old enough (like mine), they have ALL the power in what they ultimately want with the douchebag “parent.” If “I don’t want to do this; I don’t want to see him” comes out of their mouths multiple times with reasons why, the counselor/psychotherapist HAS to make the recommendation to the court that this is not in the best interest of the child. Of course they’ll explore the reasons for those feelings, etc., but older kids get it, and if you support them, they’ll find their voice and begin to protect themselves from the chaos. These type of counselors are not “for” or “against” the cheater, but are just the expert in family and high-conflict relationships. With older kids, it becomes easier to give them the power in what if any type of relationship they’re willing to have.

D) Request that the cheater pay ALL expenses related to counseling with this counselor/psychotherapist. This is key, especially with all the money they now owe to criminal defense lawyers, courts, etc., and between their freedom and visitation, they often choose to have their money go to their freedom, leaving your kids safe and away from them for a time.

My DDay was 3 years ago in Oct. The divorce has been in-place for 2 years next month. Between his initial abandonment and the protective order 17 months ago, and now with time spent on intakes and all this counseling he’s trying to start, he hasn’t seen the child in 25 months. Tell me it didn’t matter when I had to do MY intake and give my account of all this with this counselor/psychotherapist. Here’s how much difference it made: at one point she leaned forward and said to me, “Have you read a book called ‘The Sociopath Next Door?’ This is what you’re dealing with. He’ll never be satisfied and will ALWAYS need a new hit or fix from a new female. It’s never enough, and you’re stuck not understanding how he threw away 23 years of a life and family together. Read it.”

O.M.G. got it the same day, and was washed over with peace in reading how f-ed up these people are! It’s not, and never has been us. One in 25 people are sociopaths and they operate with ZERO conscience, even when it hurts their own kids and families. Read it.

Good luck with the new book idea, Tracy! I know you’ll smash this one out of the park! (((Hugs, Chumps.)))

KibbleFree_MightyMe
KibbleFree_MightyMe
7 years ago

BTW – if you can get item C done, what it essentially does is protect the child from any more alone-time with the douche. No more overnights (mine never had anyway), dinner dates, they can’t show up at their school activities, no texting/phone calls contact, no visits – NOTHING. Again, if they ever see the kids again, it’s ONLY in the presence of that counselor. I can’t ever pay my attorney enough for how she did this for us.

Virago
Virago
7 years ago