Living with Your Ex… For The Children?

doormatThe most amazing case of cake-eating appeared in the Washington Post last week, “Daddy’s home — Why I let my ex live with us on the weekends.”

Here’s an abridged version of the fuckupedness — a cheating man impregnates his girlfriend and walks out on his wife and two children, to another state. Instead of filing for a divorce, the chump wife stays married to the cheater, and lets him live with them all on the weekends — For The Children.

Rather than stage an intervention and demand that this woman have her head examined (FOR THE CHILDREN!), the commentators at the Post are praising her sacrifice and “forgiveness.”

It’s a smile-and-eat-the-shit-sandwich narrative that’s just begging to be put through the Universal Bullshit Translator. So…

The other night, after a particularly jovial dinner with our two teenage children, my husband retreated from the kitchen — and walked down the street to call his mistress.

And I let him walk down that street. Instead of clubbing his kneecaps with a threaded pipe. And laughing as his cell phone skids out of his hand and spins on to the pavement. And thwacking his grasping hand as he lunges for the phone, still doubled over in agony. His eyes would implore me to give it to him…

SMASH! goes the cellphone with the pipe!

I’m sorry, Trixie can’t come to the phone right now,” I purr…

But no. I let him walk down that street instead.

I stuff those revenge fantasies down deep into my psyche where they will metastasize into sugar-coated passive-aggression. #familytogetherness #jovial!

Ours is an unusual arrangement, one I have chosen so that my children can spend time with their father — who left me nearly four years ago for his pregnant 30-year-old girlfriend — in their own home. During the week he lives in another state with the woman and their daughter. On the weekends he drives nearly five hours each way to spend time with our children.

Because the only way my children can spend time with their father is in my home. I’ll be goddamned if I let them set foot around the Other Woman and her spawn. He can drive 5-hours for cake. I’d rather we all pick me dance in pink tutus than Let Her Win.

In the months after the breakup I was consumed with pain, confusion and rage, and I refused to let my husband in our home. I’d make him stand in the doorway waiting for our children so he could take them out to lunch. After overindulging them at the local toy store, he’d drop them back at our house and go to a hotel for the night. The next morning he’d pick them up for brunch, after which they’d go rock climbing or swimming, or simply walk around town. Weekends with dad were like being on vacation, except no child would choose such a vacation.

No, children would much prefer to be around their seething, separated parents and their sham marriage than receive toys or go for swims. #forthechildren

One day I brought the children to the city where he lives and we arranged to meet at a museum. The four of us stood uncomfortably in the foyer for a few minutes before I started to walk away. My son begged me to stay, and when I said no, he asked why. Looking into my son’s eyes, the only truthful answer would have been because it was too painful for me, and that didn’t seem to me a good enough reason, so I stayed.

Looking into my son’s eyes, I projected what I wanted to see — the only teenage boy in the world with separation anxiety.

Drop-offs are a zero sum solution — it’s either total family togetherness or nothing. Don’t suggest that teenagers can wait in lobbies alone, or that a friend drops them off, or that if Fuck Face can drive 5 hours, he can drive an additional 5 minutes to a museum — MY CHILDREN NEED ME.

That is when I began learning how to put my anger and hurt aside and focus on what was best for my children.

Modeling dysfunction. #best4thechildren

Things didn’t change overnight. That museum trip was only the first step, but in time I allowed my husband back into the house when he picked up the children, and sometimes I would join them for lunch or a movie.

Take THAT, Trixie! I bet you wonder where he is now! Ha! HE’S WITH ME! THE CHILDREN!

They were dealing with their own disappointment, grief and anger, and in the early days they often refused to go with their father unless I joined. Our life had been blown to bits in an instant, and my children needed me to show them how to move forward.

I have to do what my children tell me to do. They insisted I be a doormat, so of course, I complied. My children need me to show them how to be doormats.

There were meals at which I sat with a forced smile and nodded politely, while seething or feeling nauseous, but said nothing.

Winning!

There were days it took all of my strength to hold back tears watching my children interacting with their father, and remembering the happier days we had as a family. But I had one overriding goal: to support my son and daughter in their relationships with their father.

By inserting myself into their every interaction.

[Instead of denying our sadness to our kids, we should use it to teach them how to cope]

Yes, don’t deny sadness. Set the manipulation channel firmly to self-pity. Do, however, deny anger and agency.

That’s not to say I was or am perfect. Like most parents, divorced or not, I’ve said and done things I regret. I’ve had to navigate a road I never dreamed I’d be walking, and I have taken many missteps.

There were moments of complete lucidity. I stuffed them down.

In the months following those first tense family lunches, the four of us settled into a routine where daddy would stay over on the weekends in the guest room and make pancakes the next day. During that first summer he and my son pitched a tent in the back yard and spent nearly every weekend night huddled in sleeping bags, watching a movie on a laptop and gorging on junk food. Very slowly, my husband and I became friendly again. We had 20 years of history together, and we still enjoyed each other’s company.

WHO’S CRYING NOW, TRIXIE?

Our situation would be comical if not for the underlying heartache, and there have been ironic moments over the years; such as when I was getting ready for a date and my husband found the perfect shoes for my outfit. Or when the man I am seeing arrived at my house on a recent Friday night at precisely the same time as my husband, leading to an awkward handshake and my teenagers wondering if punches would be thrown. (They were not.) When later I asked my husband what he thought of my beau, he replied that he was well dressed.

Make Daddy do the pick me dance too, Mommy!

Mommy found a nice chump hypotenuse. Mommy can play triangulation too!

From the beginning, some people in my life thought this was an extremely odd arrangement.

Odd was the nice word for it.

Many friends have said I am too nice, and perhaps I am, but after such a long period of sorrow, I would have done anything to see the joy on my son’s face as he lugged pillows out to the tent.

Of course, he could lug pillows to a tent with his father without me, but then I wouldn’t be there to see his joy. And it’s only by forcing Family Togetherness that joy is maintained.

It is too terrible to contemplate my children’s joy without me. They must NEVER feel joy around those who betrayed me.

I felt confident in my decision, until one day my daughter said that it wasn’t normal to live that way, and she wanted us to behave like other divorced families. This gave me pause, and led to a number of discussions with friends about the kind of message I was sending to my children.

My daughter has self-respect. She said it’s not normal to live without self-respect. This led to a number of discussions with my friends about self-respect. I decided against self-respect. #4thechildren

Perhaps, in trying to give my children a semblance of a normal family life I was creating a false and confusing world for them.

Perhaps I was enabling the cheater to avoid consequences and stuff his fat gob with cake, at the expense of everyone’s mental health. Perhaps.

Perhaps in trying to teach them the power of forgiveness, I was instead sending them the message that what their father did was all right, thus setting them up for relationship issues as adults. I took all of this into consideration, and about two years ago announced that daddy would no longer be staying over, or even hanging out. We were going to live like other divorced families (albeit we are still only legally separated).

WE ARE STILL MARRIED.

I left that in parentheses, so my extreme condescension to you divorced people who actually weathered difficult life challenges (like co-parenting with an affair partner) are not apparent. I’m not divorced. I’m completely avoidance and inauthentic — but HEY, let me tell you how you’re not parenting right! FORGIVE, you bitter bunnies! FORGIVE!

Thus began a phase where my children would ask if daddy could come over for certain periods of time. It soon became apparent that my children enjoyed having their father around to simply be. They didn’t want to go to a sterile hotel room; they wanted him in the place they felt safe, playing games, watching TV, or throwing a ball outside.

My teenage children don’t feel safe in sterile hotel rooms or outside the confines of their own backyard. They need to feel safe, with ME, here in my home, near their mother. Always. #dontleaveme

Before long the tent was up again in the back yard, and the fire pit was lit to make s’mores. One night I sat outside on my deck and watched through the windows as my daughter and her father cooked together, set the table with candles and sat down to dinner. Observing them through the glass I knew that that simple meal would do more to heal my daughter than any words I could offer.

I miss the family I thought I had. On weekends I can pretend he doesn’t have a mistress and another child elsewhere. I eat the s’more. It tastes faintly of shit sandwich.

Knowing that I am doing the right thing for my children doesn’t make it easy. Every time my husband leaves to “make a call” I feel another cut to my heart.

ANGER! Must suppress the anger! Eat another s’more, damn it! FORGIVE! FORGIVE! THINK OF THE CHILDREN!

A few weekends ago we were cleaning out the garage and found my daughter’s unused scooter still in its box. I unthinkingly asked if we knew anyone with a toddler we could give it to, and in the next second the thought of his new daughter flashed across my mind, and I burst into tears. There are days when I want him out of my house and out of my life for good. It’s difficult to move forward emotionally when the cause of my pain is in my kitchen every weekend.

But then those moments of lucidity pass. I’ll be god-damned if I’m going to move forward.

We once had a conventional family, and now we don’t. I had no control over what my husband did. But he left me. To his credit he never left our children.

Yes he did. He moved to another state and had a child with another woman. But I’m going to buy the bullshit that he never left them, and I’ll enable his delusion by letting him play Family Guy here on the weekends, and not divorce him, or have legal protections, and court orders, because that is what’s Best For The Children — complete vulnerability to the narcissist.

During the darkest days, when neither my children nor I wanted to speak to him, he still drove five hours, often only to be left standing on the front stoop or turned away. Though there is no excuse for what he did, his fortitude and love for our children does not go unnoticed by me, particularly as I hear horror stories from women in similar situations, whose husbands simply walked away.

The UBT would like you to consider the calculus — 5 hour drive versus ZERO CONSEQUENCES. Marriage AND a girlfriend! Centrality to two women and three children! #whatsalittlerain

We all carry scars from our childhoods, and my son and daughter have been dealt a bad hand. I can’t change that, but choosing to live this way will change one thing. When they are grown and look back, they will remember late nights watching clips on YouTube and running through the neighborhood, doing homework at the kitchen table and hanging a Bob Dylan poster, cleaning the hamster cage and bringing home a new goldfish — all with their father.

Who left them for his girlfriend. Cleaning up hamster shit is one metaphor.

Being a parent often means putting your children’s needs ahead of your own, and that’s the choice I’ve made. It may not be the right choice for others, and it may not be a perfect solution, but I know in my heart that my children need their father in their lives, and their lives are in their home.

You other divorced people don’t put your children’s needs above your own. That’s the choice you make, to selfishly divorce. Court ordered visitation and support might be your choice. Building a new life for yourself free from abusive fuckwits might seem like a perfect solution. But I know in my heart that children need dysfunction and fuzzy boundaries, so I let their father eat cake at our expense.

In our home. Together. Fuck you, Trixie.

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UXworld
UXworld
7 years ago

This, CL, is what you call “building the buzz.” I think you had every member of CN salivating at the thought of how the UBT would rip this column apart, and as usual you did not disappoint.

“Eat another s’more, damn it!” 🙂 🙂 🙂 🙂

zombiewife
zombiewife
7 years ago
Reply to  UXworld

My media professor gave this website as an example of “vulture publishing.” So, if I am to read this all correctly, you essentially find articles to get upset over, post some attention-getting comments on a particular article, then write a blog showing out “outraged” you are. And in the process drive up traffic.

This is pretty slick!

MehFairLady
MehFairLady
7 years ago
Reply to  zombiewife

Excuse me zombiewife — looks like the problem is the Washington Post publishing clickbait, not “vulture journalism,” which your “media” professor doesn’t understand … it’s not first-person accounts like we have here.

Stephanie
Stephanie
7 years ago
Reply to  zombiewife

zombiewife, it’s more like a journal club. Someone recommends an intriguing article, and we all read it, and comment. Or, like a book club.

And we learn from each article we discuss.

We bring our own traffic here. We sorta like this community and support each other through some really shitty things and people that have happened to us. It’s really quite enlightening and motivating.

Come here more often and you might learn a thing or two! 🙂

CeliA
CeliA
7 years ago
Reply to  Stephanie

Ditto!

Tessie
Tessie
7 years ago
Reply to  zombiewife

Pineapple!

uneffingbelievable
uneffingbelievable
7 years ago
Reply to  zombiewife

Yo, Zombiewife – how much do you want to bet that your media professor is a cheater?? Sadly, you are what is wrong with the media today. This post is only one example of what Chump Lady is all about. Most often, it has nothing to do with previously published articles. If you had investigated further by reading older posts, you would have known that. But that would have required effort on your part. I’m thinking Barbara Walters needn’t worry.

Jim
Jim
7 years ago

And when the children grow up and realize how little self respect you had…

And, how little respect you had for them, letting him stay in their lives, part time. Because he had such little care, if any at all, for them that he destroyed their family.

kb
kb
7 years ago
Reply to  Jim

Agreed, Jim, and there are consequences to this. My CheaterX always said he resented his father, who left their family to work in a city about 2.5 hours away. There, his father met his long-term mistress, and commuted back and forth between the family home and his mistress. His mother knew of the affair, and apparently there was much shouting. Apparently–according to the younger son who went through the family documents after the deaths of both parents–there was some sort of legal agreement as to what the father should contribute.

But no divorce. And both sons were repeatedly told by their mother that their father was a worthy man.

Fuck that shit!

My CheaterX may have resented his father, but he also hero-worshipped him. He wanted, more than anything, to win approval from his father. Furthermore, while he did everything for his mother and found her admirable, he also absolutely resented her. In his eyes, she was timid and cowardly.

Both sons cheated on their wives.

Living with the Cheater for the sake of the children sets up all sorts of FOO issues.

Keep the boundaries clear, and let the kids grow up knowing that there are certain lines that can’t be crossed if you want to keep your self-respect.

freescientist71
freescientist71
7 years ago
Reply to  kb

kb
“….Furthermore, while he did everything for his mother and found her admirable, he also absolutely resented her. In his eyes, she was timid and cowardly.

Both sons cheated on their wives.”

I’ve read that this outcome (sons repeating the cheating behavior of their fathers) is common.

Tempest
Tempest
7 years ago
Reply to  kb

Kb–your cheater’s story with his father is a perfect example of how children learn more through implicit means (like modeling) over explicit things–being reasoned with. Which is why the columnist’s story about allowing her not-even-X to stay on weekends is so tragic. She is modeling horrible lessons for these children under the guise of doing what is “right” for them. Her children will absorb the doormat lesson, and act accordingly in their adult life–to either be doormats themselves (the daughter, in particular, is at risk), or to treat people like doormats & expect good things from them no matter how you treat them. Sad and horrible.

Furthermore, if those kids couldn’t manage a relationship with their father on their own terms, there is a reason for it

ChutesandLadders
ChutesandLadders
7 years ago
Reply to  Tempest

I find this mother extremely passive-aggressive and manipulative. She is eating the shit sandwich “for the benefit of the kids.” When her life is over and she’s miserable, how many bets she’ll throw the blame for missed opportunities for happiness back on her kids?

Kellia
Kellia
7 years ago
Reply to  Jim

+1

MidlifeBlast
MidlifeBlast
7 years ago

Reading her story made me feel physically ill.

Susan
Susan
7 years ago
Reply to  MidlifeBlast

I know it is really impossible to really move on when the cheating spouse faithful now or not wants to hang on to move on.

Im 5 yrs out, only separated cuz I was in one of those LTM that gave up ones life for hubby and children’s. I’m 63 and am clueless on retirement, investments, etc…
We are living like it was in the old days, I’m kept $ but am trapped, as he knows everything I do as he comes around way too much, ((to ck on this massive house)) Because I choose to stay $ tied to him, it makes it difficult to have a social life.

He lives else where, I don’t even know the address, I’m sure he has been w other women, we just don’t talk about it. I have a male friend that I go out w but if my kinda X hubby even found that out, I’m afraid what he would do to me cuz he tells me everyday , everything he is doing he is doing for us, that he never let us down???? Even thou he was the one who had the affair at 28 yr if a good marriage. It’s an awful mess I’m in, I’m even feeling like I’m the unfaithful one now for having a male friend.

It’s a terrible way to live…

Doingme
Doingme
7 years ago
Reply to  Susan

Susan gather all your financial doccuments, get credit reports on both of you. See an attorney. You will get half of all assets. There are financial advisors to help you sort this out. This is NO way to live.

Sylvia is Sad
Sylvia is Sad
7 years ago
Reply to  Susan

Susan,

Yes, this is a terrible way to live for you. I am sorry. I was trying to craft a solution for you. I wonder if you could tell him that massive house is just too much up keep. You could split the money 50/50.

You could then buy a small villa, cottage, house, condo….wigwam…yurt…to get away and heal your mind. I know dealing with a disordered person…nothing is every easy, and he might say no.

You could take out a line of equity and “hit the road, Jack.”

He does not give you his new address? Then you don’t owe him any explanations.

You are not unfaithful for having a male friend, as he had an affair at 28 years of marriage.

Now, what does he mean…everything he is doing, he is doing for “us”? That language set off alarm bells for me for your welfare.

Susan, this what I have learned. Look at what people do. Not what they say. That sounds like a red herring to me…you know this phrase? Like look over here, because I am doing something sneaky to your face. I am borrowing CL’s term : is he using “spackle” to hide what he is REALLY doing?

I hope your name is on the deed to that house. I mean this in the kindest way: Why not just file for divorce and have the court impose legal obligations where he must give you money as you said you gave up your career to care for children and the home. You would not have to stroke his ego, or hide or worry about what he would do. I know it is hard. But you could find a lawyer or solicitor that would make beef hash of his ass.

As long as you have a place to live, food to eat, and can survive, this is better than having a lying cheater control your life.

Because living like that could cause a stroke, a heart attack or a nervous breakdown. Our bodies say: No more.

Have you brain stormed with a male friend, or a trusted person, legal counsel, about ways to escape? Big houses have equity, the potential to be rented, sold….big houses have money in them. There has to be way!

Susan
Susan
7 years ago
Reply to  Sylvia is Sad

Thank you for replying. The thoughts of D is so frightening to me. I had been given an allowance from hubs all thuroughout our marriage. He has done all investments. Manages all money. I dont worry that he is out to cheat me with money, or leave me in the poor house, (( thou i never expected him to cheat either… Not him, ))

All he wants is the marriage back. Even 5 yrs out after being separated and living apart. Everyday he tells me how muchg he misses me. I feel like I live in a gilded cage. We had a good marriage, and he just cant understand why his 28 yrs of good didnt undo his affair. He really believed I loved him so much we’ld to get thur it. He never believed we couldnt. So now he does everything to make sure I am taken care of. He pays for everythiung as he always did, as I was a stay at home mom. I traveled also a lot w him on his job, another reason I never worked. We had a old fashioned hubby takes care of wife marriage, but I never looked at it like that, in fact I looked at it in complete opposite, that I had the freedom not to work. To travel, to come and go, to have money when ever.
But boy do I feel like I am paying for it now.

I also have zero family except for an adult son who has his own life. Both parents are dead, sister, brother. All friends have deserted mewhen the affair happened as I was in a bad place.

I feel like I have to ask permission and ok everything by him or he gets very wounded… thanks for listening… Dont want to hi-jac thread…

ChutesandLadders
ChutesandLadders
7 years ago
Reply to  Sylvia is Sad

Excellent tips, Sylvia. Susan, you have worth. Don’t let anyone tell you otherwise, especially someone who devalued your marriage vows.

Hugs.

Divorce Minister
Divorce Minister
7 years ago

Because dating another man while being married to daddy is so much less morally confusing than actually divorcing him for committing adultery. Yeah #4thechildren

neverwouldhaveimagined
neverwouldhaveimagined
7 years ago

Yes! This was my FIRST thought. How can you date a man when you’re a married woman???! Then, I thought maybe the kids don’t know they’re still married (I’m sure her date didn’t). But then I thought if her dates don’t know she’s married, maybe she’s sexual active, and then she’s committing adultery. Lastly, I wondered if maybe the married couple still sometimes have sex #only on the weekends #shared history #still his wife. My STBX would totally try that – repeatedly. This is so many kinds of messed up it’s unbelievable. Just. No.

Amiisfree
Amiisfree
7 years ago

This is exactly why any form of “still married, but only on paper” was a total deal breaker during my dating days.

ICanSeeTheMehComing!
ICanSeeTheMehComing!
7 years ago
Reply to  Amiisfree

And this is why Mr. Sparkles OW finds herself now charged with adultery… he gave her his “living like roommates” BS and she bought it hook, line and sinker. She ignored that he was still living at home, still going on family vacations, not able to talk on the phone any time she wanted… UH, red flags anyone?

Bottom line for me going forward – if the divorce isn’t final, there is no date. (As you can imagine, I’m aching for my own divorce to be final for this very reason!)

Anita
Anita
7 years ago

And that is exactly what lets you know they aren’t In a Fog, not doing anything wrong, etc. They are sneaking and hiding, which “single” people don’t do.

Can’t talk right now. Call me when you get a chance. Sorry I missed your call. All bullshit phrases the cheater and whore used. Fog, my ass.

Sylvia is Sad
Sylvia is Sad
7 years ago
Reply to  Anita

And they are EVERYWHERE on the dating sites. Like a bad ant infestation. You try to move on, so your life is not a complete mess. You have hope! You want to meet someone who is not a weasel.

I “phone met” four men now…..1-2-3-4, and their status says: Divorced.

I say: How long have you been divorced?

Oh, well….I am legally separated. Huh?

But you said you were divorced.

Ummm…I “might as well be divorced.”

CLICK!

They are probably still living at home and sneaking off to call like a weasel freak.
That’s right Anita….Fog, my ass.

BetterDays
BetterDays
7 years ago
Reply to  Sylvia is Sad

Yep. Cheese Fries listed himself as “recently divorced” in his dating and sex ads as soon as he moved out of the house. (And maybe before – but I wasn’t looking for his ads then.) Over a year later, the divorce is still not final. He never filed … I finally did at the beginning of the year after wreckonciliation #2 ended. I always wondered what he told his fuckbuddies, if they bothered to question his marital status. “She’s dragging out the divorce.” “The marriage has been dead for a long time, so the divorce is just a finality.” “Bs, bs, bs.”

And his dating status was only the tip of the mountain of bullshit in his ads. That was enough to scare me away from online dating.

unicornomore
unicornomore
7 years ago
Reply to  Sylvia is Sad

My new husband sent me copies of his divorce degree and annulment when we began dating <– good sign

MehGloriousMeh
MehGloriousMeh
7 years ago

Yes, DM, and dating *another* Chump who’s not man enough to say, “You’re still married to a guy who treated you like $hit — and he stays here on the weekends?! Call me when you’re divorced and this guy is in another state.”

Ashamed that I played the For the Children game for too long myself. Glad to be over THAT bit of fuckupedness!

JC
JC
7 years ago

I continue to be fascinated by separations after cheating. My former MIL asked me to consider such an arrangement after I left her cheating daughter. We didn’t have kids.

How can ANYONE actually move forward under such an arrangement? It’s really just a delaying tactic, right?

I responded to the MIL that my state required a minimum of 6 months after filing for the divorce to be finalized, and THAT would constitute our separation.

Jim
Jim
7 years ago
Reply to  JC

MIL had zero respect for you

JC
JC
7 years ago
Reply to  Jim

Yep. She said other things about me behind my back during the divorce. Her “baby girl” cheated on me for 6 months, but MIL used my leaving me cheating wife to state, “Look at how JC handles problems! He may not be husband material!”

That’s all right. She was an alcoholic and remarkably irresponsible even when sober. She can doubt my spousal abilities all she wants–her opinion carries a feather’s weight.

Amiisfree
Amiisfree
7 years ago
Reply to  JC

I was called “bad breeding stock” by the cheater’s cheater mom. Thank goodness we didn’t “breed”, since sociopathic narcissism clearly runs in the family.

Janus
Janus
7 years ago
Reply to  Amiisfree

At our wedding reception, my MIL asked my father what his financial plan was for his “new grandchildren” (my stepchildren.). The apples don’t fall far from the tree

Kar marie
Kar marie
7 years ago

Sounds like the daughter got more going on than the mother. More money for intense therapy. The mom is doing herself and her children a grave injustice and dad gets all the cake he wants. Its up to him and the kids to have a relationship not mom.

RefusesToBeStupid
RefusesToBeStupid
7 years ago

Talk about a cluster buck, unbelievable

Kellia
Kellia
7 years ago

The mother is not thinking of the damage this situation is causing to her children. And the irony of it is, she’s justifying her desperation and spinelessness by stating it is “for the children”. Oh well, everyone is exactly where they want to be.

Jim
Jim
7 years ago
Reply to  Kellia

She’s so much more sophisticated than we bourgeois types.

AllOutofKibble
AllOutofKibble
7 years ago
Reply to  Kellia

Well, everyone…..except the children.

RefusesToBeStupid
RefusesToBeStupid
7 years ago
Reply to  Kellia

Agree

Kar marie
Kar marie
7 years ago

Indeed.

Red
Red
7 years ago

There was a time, right after XH left, that I would have gone for this sort of arrangement. That shows you where my self esteem and self worth were at the time. These days, I do best when I DON’T see or talk to him because his head is still firmly up his ass.

D16 and S13 have spent most of the summer with their dad as D18 as been in and out of the hospital for the last two months. XH went to one ER visit with us and decided that was enough – I could have the sick kid, he’d take the healthy ones to “help me out.” They’ve been with him since mid-June and are asking to come back home. Why? To quote D16: “He’s having a hard time balancing work, girlfriend, and parenting.” He goes to work, he spends time with his new girlfriend (the third in the six months since he left wife #2 – their divorce isn’t final yet), and D16 and S13 get the crumbs of what’s left over – meaning they spend most of their time alone. They have the full measure of him and are under no delusions where his priorities are: himself.

That Washington Post writer needs to hang out with Chump Nation for a while. She’d come to her senses and realize that the next time her husband walks away to take a phone call, he might as well keep on walking, because he wouldn’t be allowed back. #endofcake.

ICanSeeTheMehComing!
ICanSeeTheMehComing!
7 years ago
Reply to  Red

Red – your comment struck me. I look at Mr. Sparkles and #4 (the OW) and shake my head. When he walked out on me and our 10yo son, he “took” his son (19) and daughter (16) – who were living with us – with him and then basically abandoned them to full-on love-bomb and pursue the OW.

What does the OW think about that kind of man as a “parent”? She has two children (12 and 9) – this is a guy who obviously doesn’t give a whit about parenting – but he’s “the one” for her? If he is always with her/them… he’s not with his own flesh and blood.

In the meanwhile, my stepchildren still spend family time and dinners with me (and their half brother). And, with each passing year, care less and less about their Dad.

Someday, he’ll get bored by her kids too (when the kibbles stop in adolescence).

Keep the faith and be the sane parent. It’s a honorable “job” 🙂

Red
Red
7 years ago

ICSTMC – No, they don’t care about ANY children, either theirs or their partner’s. XH walked away from his stepchildren from wife #2 without even a backward glance. He’d spent more time with them in the 18 months he and #2 were together than he’d spent in the previous 10 years with his own kids, but when it was time to leave, he was gone.

Fortunately, as I said, my kids have no delusions about him. They know that when they’re out of sight, they’re out of mind with him. Sad.

Carol
Carol
7 years ago

I thought I’d fall through the floor when she shared that she still wasn’t divorced. Then I realized, well, DUH, of course she’s not divorced! This whole thing is truly sad.

logo65
logo65
7 years ago

Watching them cook while she supervised from the patio? Control freak much? Yes, this is about controlling the kids to never be around ow and the new child. Listen, we’ve all agonized over that and faced it and moved on. That she keeps herself embroiled in the drama of the pick me dance, I just can’t even imagine a more horrible life.

Annie Get Your Gun
Annie Get Your Gun
7 years ago
Reply to  logo65

I knew how totally crazy this was yesterday when I read it, but CL pointed out what I totally missed, the controlling nature of this mother. I didn’t see that by allowing him into her home, she is able to control what her kids do with him and that they don’t see the OW. What happens when they all announce that they’re spending the week, month, whatever at his house. Unless there’s a custody agreement, she can’t stop him.

I still feel bad for her because of what the cheater did, but she will never live an authentic life if she stop this contact.

Annie Get Your Gun
Annie Get Your Gun
7 years ago

I meant to say she will never have an authentic life if she does not stop this contact.

PuckMuse
PuckMuse
7 years ago

Oh my God, just…. Oh, my God. Her poor kids. She honestly thinks she’s doing this for them.

4 a.m. 4ever
4 a.m. 4ever
7 years ago
Reply to  Tracy Schorn

I wonder CL, if this isn’t what living long term with two narcissists looks like? Not just a few months of survival until other living arrangements can be hammered out, or dealing with the shit sandwiches during a protracted divorce? She’s not just dancing, it seems to me she’s picking the music, the dance, the partner, and the dance hall….

Sylvia is Sad
Sylvia is Sad
7 years ago
Reply to  4 a.m. 4ever

Your screen name 4 a.m. 4ever is absolutely brilliant and apt and creative . It also breaks my heart.

And, your screen name is what that author is living…4 a.m. forever. That bleak, no man’s land of FULL DARK. Will the sun rise? Will the night end?

Things never look good at 4 a.m.

CeliA
CeliA
7 years ago
Reply to  Sylvia is Sad

4 a.m. I also think your name is pretty cool. I wonder if there’s a story behind it.

4 a.m. 4ever
4 a.m. 4ever
7 years ago
Reply to  CeliA

Sylvia and CeliA, there is a story behind it….a combination of full dark and that for the first year after d-day, and sometimes still, I am either awake at or until 4 a.m. I was wondering to myself if that would ever end, and on the day I signed up for CN, I was sure it wouldn’t. When I reach meh, I’ll change it to 4 a.m. no more!

Sylvia is Sad
Sylvia is Sad
7 years ago
Reply to  Tracy Schorn

CL zeroed in with laser focus on what bothered me about this writer, but I could not place it on my own.

This has NOTHING TO DO WITH THE CHILDREN. When I read the article, I hated that author and I always have sympathy for someone who has been cheated on and treated like a chump.

Yet, I felt none for her. I was repulsed by her martyrdom.

She is doing this because she wants to be around her husband. She likes him at the house. And she can write a maudlin op-ed in the Post (how do I get that job) about what amazing sacrifices she is making (her stomachs hurts! she cries! she has the mopes!) ……

but I think every time she hears his car pull up in the driveway, her heart sings with joy.

It is just the most exaggerated, delusional pick me dance, complete with her saint like status that she uses as her cover up. In America, and the West, once someone invokes “children”, you are not supposed to say anything else. But it is for the children….and they have a cloak of protection as to their motives. It would be like disparaging St. Judes Hospital.

She is clever. She has constructed an entire falsehood so she can justify staying around a man who made a complete and utter fool of her, abandoned her and her children and shit all over their marriage vows, cholera style.

I did not appreciate her condenscension toward people who actually DO have several sane brain clicking and realize they need to GET AWAY from people who kick them in the teeth, have double lives and walk away calmly away from the crumbling house they set on fire to another a new pretty life.

We unwashed masses do not “get it”…this is for the CHILDREN.

I know this: My mother played the martyr for years (and still does) and it does not endear me to her- it makes me want to scream at her and punch holes in the wall.

*Being a martyr is the ultimate act of control. Oh, you don’t want to come home for Christmas break to see me? But look at what I did for you!
I gave up so much for you, and now you will not do as I say. You are a bad child! I gave up my happiness for you. Now, you sacrifice your happiness and freedom for me.

It is a recipe for life long resentment, disappointment and guilt with your mother. And imagine THOSE ramifications for the daughter when she starts dating: Well, this guy did call me a fat ass, but look what Mom put up with for us. I guess this is how it rolls…….

The way this writer framed the narrative, I thought she was writing about a group of special needs infants, that she had to be present to operate their feeding tubes or give them meds. These are teenagers.

I have seen 13 years old navigating Bangkok alone, and doing just fine. My friend who teaches 8th grade in America tells me that many of them routinely have oral sex (shuddering thought).

Teenagers today are almost jaded- they probably wish she would just stop simpering and get a life of her own without them as the focus of her delusional game-that her husband will come back. That she is “winning” everytime he comes over.

We must find her email address at the Post, or on the Web, and nicely send her a link to CL’s brilliant dismantling of her bullshit.

She needs to tape it to her forehead.

*But I wonder why this author makes me so mad? It is her condescension? The tone of superiority? I was revolted by her on a cellular level…is it some issue I have?

Dixie Chump
Dixie Chump
7 years ago
Reply to  Sylvia is Sad

You are completely spot on. And by the way, her twitter address is @jaimieseaton and is openly listed at the end of the WAPA article so it would be fine to send her a link.

LovedaJackass
LovedaJackass
7 years ago
Reply to  Sylvia is Sad

Perhaps she makes you mad becomes she is implying that we all should put our lives on hold and let our Cheaterpants husbands–conspicuously non-divorced but shacked up through the week with an OW and new child–commute “home” on the weekends.

KB22
KB22
7 years ago
Reply to  Sylvia is Sad

Excellent SIS! Cannot stand people that use their children to manipulate and that is just what this woman is doing.

Chump Advocate- Vickie
Chump Advocate- Vickie
7 years ago
Reply to  Tracy Schorn

In California we have a court approved system that allows the children to remain in the family home while the parents rotate. It’s called ‘nesting’ Very California. We also do not use the term ‘visitation’. It’s called time share. Like kids are vacation condos.

In nesting: One parent living w the children leaves their usual residence and while the ‘out parent ‘ comes to stay in the house with the children and the spouse that normally lives there goes to a designated spot for that duration of time. It’s stipulated in the divorce agreement. And the days and times are too.

The big difference here is: ONE PARENT LEAVES THE PREMISE COMPLETELY and does not stay to micro manage or spy or put their own life on hold. They give their children time w the parent not as a pretend family.

There are many times in the original articke where you see she almost comes out of her denial and then ‘spackles over ‘.

Agreed She’s doing pick me and the kids are the bait. And he’s in a cake eaters paradise. How confusing for these poor kids I wonder what they say when he leaves? Okay, dads going home to his other family now? This can be done without the dysfunction.

iWasaChump2
iWasaChump2
7 years ago

Yes, that is the arrangement I’m moving into here in Illinois. The point is to minimize the disruption for the kids while still having nearly 100% mutually exclusive interaction with them. I hope to refine it to a point where I never have to talk to her at all, and maybe even never see her.

LovedaJackass
LovedaJackass
7 years ago

It’s a spectacularly bad idea that teaches kids that the world (in the form of their parents) revolves around them.

Tempest
Tempest
7 years ago
Reply to  LovedaJackass

Agree.

Linden
Linden
7 years ago

I’ve always thought that sounded like a weird arrangement. The house basically belongs to the kids because it’s their space all the time. The parents have to live elsewhere, in their own spaces. It’s like the kids are in charge.

I’ve never heard of anyone actually doing the nesting thing, however. There are few families that can afford to maintain three separate households after divorce, especially in CA.

Other Kat
Other Kat
7 years ago
Reply to  Linden

And I can’t even begin to imagine what so many disordered freaks would do if they had unfettered access to their X’s space for a period of time. Shit would go missing, any papers left anywhere in the house would be searched for and rifled through, maybe a hidden camera would be installed here or there . . . it would be a nightmare.

Sylvia is Sad
Sylvia is Sad
7 years ago
Reply to  Other Kat

Dixie, that is so kind of you to say that. I feel like a failure and a fool. If I did not have this resource of CL, I might be in mental care ward.Being gas lighted is not for wimps. I have wasted months of my life crying over this fool. He has left me in the dust. I say…but I am pretty? I loved him? I cooked for him? I was his sex bunny? (I was.)

And what haunts me the most…How, in G-d’s name….does this man NOT MISS ME???

I know…money is cold comfort. Strangely, my Cheating Monster was very generous with his money to me. But his truth and loyalty, I could not get at it with a pick axe.

I have thought about your situation, and I cannot decide if it is terribly worse or a bit better.

You did not have a penis. That was the deal breaker. I am not making light of it…I am being honest. There is nothing you could have done.

Except have a sex change.

Sometimes, I feel like we have all fallen into a parallel universe of agony. And until you have experienced it, you cannot comprehend how it changes your being.

Chump Advocate - Vickie Adams
Chump Advocate - Vickie Adams
7 years ago
Reply to  Linden

Where I have actually seen this is in cases where i am the financial neutral in a mediation. The parties get along so well in the mediation and have seemed to work out so much on their own, that seeing a lawyer and financial in mediation is sort of a safeguard to be sure they’ve done everything ‘correctly’.

I will admit, every so often that the lawyer and I glance at each other as if to say “now why are they getting a divorce if they seem to be able to come to agreement on everything?”. But in reality I am grateful that we don’t have something really acrimonious to deal with or that no one is being strong armed. It is truly rare.

I’ve seen couples pay for an apartment or a place out of joint funds. However, I don’t know how it works over the long haul, years after they’ve left the office. Or when kids are teenagers and want less interaction. This is a relatively new development.

I’m wondering if anyone else watched Real Housewives of the Potomac last year where two divorced spouses lived in one house and the x husband was a cheater? They too were doing it ‘for the children and finances”. But the wife did at least admit that ‘he was the love of her life’.

Dixie Chump
Dixie Chump
7 years ago

This is what my settlement negotiation looks like to outsiders. We are very polite and accommodating to each other and have each made an effort to be helpful to one another on certain points. We sat down together and hashed out our agreement on all points in about 2 hours with no mediator. Then we had a lawyer write it up for us to make sure everything was legal and enforceable. What outsiders could not see, however, was that my STBX was terrified that anyone would learn that he was gay and had carried on a gay affair for the full 30 years of our marriage. I never openly tried to exhort him, but I was quite aware that he did not want this to go before a judge or to have his boyfriend deposed. So I told him what I wanted, suggested certain things were in the child’s best interest, and he numbly and pleasantly agreed. I think the lawyer we are mutually working with is quite baffled …

He has signed off on giving me 60 percent of the assets, 70 percent of his income until he retires, and 80 percent of the custody of our darling child. He is an idiot and should have had a lawyer to represent him.

JK
JK
7 years ago
Reply to  Dixie Chump

Jesus, Dixie. I’m sorry. No one can ever be adequately compensated for what you experienced. You can’t put a price on that kind of pain. Blessings to you.

Dixie Chump
Dixie Chump
7 years ago
Reply to  Dixie Chump

Thanks, SIS. Sadly, money doesn’t make up for the pain and grief all of us here know too well. I have never really been after the money, per se. It was the only revenge alternative I had and I took it. Time with my child, on the other hand, is sweet and I cherish it above all else. Your posts have been incredible … I learn so much when I read them. Thanks for giving so much of your time here.

Sylvia is Sad
Sylvia is Sad
7 years ago
Reply to  Dixie Chump

Dixie, But for deceiving you on a such a staggering scale, you deserve every shekel (penny) and time with your child. I hope you have a wonderful, warm life after such a life shaking lie.

Annie Get Your Gun
Annie Get Your Gun
7 years ago

No way I would ever allow fucktard to ever occupy the same space as me, ever again! There would not be enough time in the day for me to disinfect everything he could have possibly touched. Nope, would never happen. Ever. The best thing for the children is to have a happy functional parent.

Anita
Anita
7 years ago

I’ve heard of the Nesting before and it might be an OK idea IF THERE WERE NO CHEATING. It is just completely creepy for someone who has fucked you over to be living, or even being, in your own personal space. I’m all for amicable divorce, except in cases of adultery.

PuckMuse
PuckMuse
7 years ago
Reply to  Tracy Schorn

Oh, no, I totally agree that’s what she’s doing. But she’s drunk her own damn Kool-Aid and believes she’s doing this noble, self-sacrificing thing that makes her a better mother… I am bereft of even.

tflan386
tflan386
7 years ago
Reply to  PuckMuse

Cue Dionne Warwick’s famous lyrics :”Wishin’ and hopin’ and thinkin’ and prayin’, plannin’ and dreamin’ each night of his charms…..

Kar marie
Kar marie
7 years ago
Reply to  tflan386

Comes the time be it the day you find out they have cheated or months or years later just to let the motherfucker go out of your life forever, parent if you have little ones best you can within boundaries and let that motherfucker mend his own fucking fences that he alone fucked up with his actions. Asswipe said our kids wouldnt care. He was wrong. It aint easy hardest thing ive ever hard to do but i let that bastard go. I will move look forward to a drama free cheater free life and never ever look back. I grew very tired quickly of reminding asswipe he has kids and family he needs to pay more attentuon to. He didnt now hes mad they dont ignore or hate me. His fault not mine. His job to fix it but he wont. He says hes too old to change. No hes not he just wont. Fuck him. I grew tired making excuses for dad. Again fuck him.

JABT
JABT
7 years ago
Reply to  Kar marie

Totally agree Kar Marie. Not my job to fix my kids relationship with their father. They don’t see him at all anymore. I stepped right back and their relationship disintegrated. The kids don’t want to see him at all. Not my monkeys not my circus. I too spoke up to the fucker saying that he needed to be more than Uncle Dad who turns up once every few months. Never changed. Never wanted to. He was much too special in his new life with his OWife to bother about the damaged goods he left behind.

Kar marie
Kar marie
7 years ago
Reply to  JABT

Yes indeed fuck mine and fuck yours their losses. Assholes.

Forest for the Trees
Forest for the Trees
7 years ago
Reply to  PuckMuse

Yep. Denial and delusion to the max.

Yet, I feel for her because it seems to me that she can’t let go of the fantasy of the intact family forever that most of us here so wished for ourselves and our kids.i know I did and still do. #fantasyfamilyforever

honeyandthehomewrecker
honeyandthehomewrecker
7 years ago

If you had told me two years ago that I would feel LUCKY that my husband abandoned me and our 1 and 2 year old babies with zero warning to move 2,300 miles away for an AP he’d been secretly seeing for 5 months, I would have never have believed it. But after finding Chump Nation and then reading this woman’s sickening, gut-wrenching account (not that she sees it that way) of putting herself and her kids right the eff in the middle of a nightmare, I want to get on my hands and knees and thank God that we are free.

Yes, watching my three year old cry on the tree-swing last week and say ‘I miss my daddy’ was gut-wrenching. Yes, my son asking why we have four chairs at our kitchen table but only three people in our family now was rough. And after an exhausting day at Disneyland, when they both said ‘We wish we had a daddy to carry us to the car like Cousin Noah does’, I think I cried for the whole two hour trip home. But these cruelties are like little warm hugs in comparison to the nightmares she’s dishing out for her kids.

Her kids are being denied the chance to process the death of their family as they knew it. He killed it, not her. Every single thing Tracy said was right. I feel only compassion for her. She is deluding herself. Her actions are the epitome of pain-avoidance. And if there’s one thing I can relate to when it comes to the death of my intact family, it’s that. I just pray she finds Chump Nation and that her eyes are opened to the reality that she has been denying.

My dear woman, it is only the postponement of pain you’ve achieved. And, while you’ve running from it, you’ve heaped on a whole host of new injuries on yourself and your kids along the way. Dig your bloody heals in all you like, but eventually you will have no choice but to move on to that next stage of the grieving process – acceptance. When you’re grieving someone who is still alive, you can’t have them traipsing their corpse through the perennials every weekend. Kick his stinking ass out of your house and call a lawyer.

Sylvia is Sad
Sylvia is Sad
7 years ago

Bravo! Your analogy of the corpse is excellent, and helpful. Your insight is more compassionate and that is good, because something about this woman’s arrogant stance disgusted me and I could not find any empathy for her.

You are analyzing it up from 30,000 feet, and have many super points, as you lived through the peculiar hell this is. I think my heart is so raw, I can’t see past “cheating” right now without some anger.

If something is dead, you don’t touch it. It will make you sick. You don’t play with a dead body. And her marriage is dead. But she will not accept it.

She sounded so delusional when she talked about punches being thrown when her “date” came. I laughed out loud….her husband would not care if a hockey team ran a train on her.

When your “husband” is cheerfully helping you pick out shoes for your “date”…the marriage is dead.

NfV
NfV
7 years ago

Dusty Springfield! (Dionne W. is wonderful….but that one’s Dusty.)

On the other hand, there’s Lesley Gore, with You Don’t Own Me. heh.

OK, back to your regularly scheduled channel.

wat700
wat700
7 years ago

The only person who benefits out of this arrangement is the cheater. This woman needs professional help and no doubt will her children.

Dixie Chump
Dixie Chump
7 years ago
Reply to  wat700

This situation is so bizarre that I have to think she is also benefiting from this scenario in a very sick, perverted way. The children are NOT benefiting, ironically.

Anita
Anita
7 years ago

This is so sick. This woman is screwing herself ( and the children ) up so badly they won’t ever recover if she doesn’t stop this situation.

The whole story is just off to me. I don’t know any co cheaters who would go for their Boyfriend to desert her and their child every weekend to live with the ex. The baby is innocent and probably wonders where her father is every weekend.

All these people that are so friendly with the person who cheated on them further the narrative that it’s Really Not That Bad to be a cheating whore and that there will be no consequences.

MovingOn
MovingOn
7 years ago
Reply to  Anita

It wouldn’t surprise me in the least if he were also lying to the OW– I thought maybe he was telling her that he had to work weekends. In my situation, the Owife controls everything; she would have a fit if she thought that my ex spent any sort of time with our kids in my home. I think this cheater is enjoying the little game he’s playing with both women, and unfortunately, they’re both chumpy enough to let him play it.

Hopium04
Hopium04
7 years ago
Reply to  MovingOn

MO, I thought exactly the same thing! Tells scumbalina, he is working.
Why not, cheaters lie and liars chea.
This is a nightmare and she is awake?

Sylvia is Sad
Sylvia is Sad
7 years ago
Reply to  MovingOn

Do the perceptive, schooled readers of Chump Nation believe she is still having sex with this man? I think she would if he wanted to. Sadly, I have not met many cheaters who would not get their rocks off if they were bored. They would attach as much importance to it as a belch…biological relief.

logo65
logo65
7 years ago
Reply to  Sylvia is Sad

She’s doing him ” for the children”. I’m embarrassed to say I continued the relations 18 months past divorce. It was a shameful pick me dance but a nice little FU to the ow. I didn’t really heal until that ended. And I totally didn’t see what a doucecannoe he was either until I got real distance.

Sylvia is Sad
Sylvia is Sad
7 years ago
Reply to  logo65

But do not beat yourself up because being cheated on can make us mentally ill. We lose touch with truth.

Imagine if there was not this website. So many other resources offer no insight into that one, solid fact: Trust that they suck.

Some of those crazy self help books actually advocate a pick me dance.

Few things could be as demeaning as competing with a skanky shitty bitch for YOUR HUSBAND. But, they gaslight, we love them…our brain scrambles…we want our love back.

Do you know…I found this site…the night I found the first incriminating texts? And I read every single one of her posts. They saved me from doing any pick me dance.

I did the change my phone number, remove all of your belongings- we are over dance.

Not that it makes me better. But it was a small grace in just an ocean of shit that I never tried once to talk him out of it, or see my worth. I just slowly started to lose my mind in grief. I think this might be better than competing with a whore. I am not sure I would have survive that.

The last time I talked to him, he said, I am a dumb ass.
And I just said, Yes, you are.

But here is the rub: I don’t think he believes that. I think he believes he has a right to cheat, that I deserved to be cheated on, and that he will always cheat. One vagina is just not enough for the awesomeness that is him.

I know he will never change. And that is why I am so grateful I have that one little tiny victory. I never “fought” another woman for him in anyway…because that is what pick me dance is. If he could not see my worth, he was free to move on.

And he eventually did…far quicker than I ever imagined.

MissDeltaGirl
MissDeltaGirl
7 years ago
Reply to  Sylvia is Sad

Sis – love your story!!!!!!! How I wish I had done those things immediately. I cringe when I think oh the dancing I did to try to win him back. Hahahahaha

CeliA
CeliA
7 years ago
Reply to  MissDeltaGirl

Sylvia, I did the Pick Me Dance for about 2 months after finding out about the affair. Then, after getting external help and reading anything I could get my hands on regarding disordered personalities, I found CL for the first time. Never did the pick me dance ever since.

This is why I feel so blessed that I found CL before dumping my STBX – because everything he did right after I announced that I’m leaving him was straight out from the cheater playbook. CL and you guys at CN are my anchors that keep me from being sucked into his Hoovering attempts.

BetterDays
BetterDays
7 years ago
Reply to  Anita

My guess is OW is using those free weekends to fuck other men.

But yeah, I feel sorry for the baby who didn’t ask to have two assholes for parents.

uneffingbelievable
uneffingbelievable
7 years ago

This little fucked up dance wouldn’t be necessary if Douche Bag Dad didn’t move FIVE HOURS AWAY from his children! He could spend all kinds of time with his betrayed children if he had chosen to live in the same zip code as them. He’s a real hero for driving five hours (one way!) to “spend time with his children”. What a man.

Listen up, Long-suffering Wife – he DID leave his children. Spin it any which way you want – he left them. He left them and he left you and now he has you in Limboland while he lives two separate lives. There is no doubt your kids will figure that out and with that realization they will also figure out that you used them to control their “wayward” dad. Because I’m sure you get a little thrill out of the fact that Home Boy is spending weekends with you.

If your wasband is so interested in being a good father, he should move back to your area and fully participate in your children’s lives. If there were a real emergency it would take daddy-poo five hours to reach his kids.

Bottom line: I know you think you’re doing the right thing. I do. But him coming every weekend to be with his children does not erase the fact that he is a cheater, that he has another family far away that he CHOOSES to live with, that he chose to leave your kids behind, that he is lacking character. Sadly, you are teaching your daughter to take being disrespected by men with a stiff upper lip, and you are teaching your son that women are things. You are teaching them that there is no such thing as commitment. You are also teaching both of them that they should do what feels good because there are no consequences for being selfish assholes.

GettingOverIt
GettingOverIt
7 years ago

I agree with most everything you said, particularly “you are teaching your daughter to take being disrespected by men with a stiff upper lip, and you are teaching your son that women are things.”

However, the one thing I disagree with is that she thinks she’s doing the right thing. IMO, I think she KNOWS she’s doing the WRONG thing. She knows her husband is a POS and she’s letting him get away with some spectacular cake-eating.

For her (as I see it), putting it out there in the Post for the world to see and dressing it up in the vestments of maternal responsibility almost dares the reader to find fault and she paints herself as a bit of a martyr in the process. Sometimes, the best defense is a good offense.

uneffingbelievable
uneffingbelievable
7 years ago
Reply to  GettingOverIt

Great insight, GOI. I definitely gave her too much credit.

Sylvia is Sad
Sylvia is Sad
7 years ago
Reply to  GettingOverIt

Exactly. I am not buying anything she is selling.

Her martyrdom and condescension (along with publishing it in the Post) is a bridge too far.
She is dripping with superiority and self righteous false sacrifice.

Does she steam me so much because she is minimizing, on a massive scale, the betrayal of being cheated on by a mate?

BetterDays
BetterDays
7 years ago

+1

Soldiering On
Soldiering On
7 years ago
Reply to  BetterDays

He’s cheating on both women; what do you want to bet he’s going to be sleeping with each of them very soon.

Kellia
Kellia
7 years ago

I thought the same thing. What kind of asshole creates children, and then moves 5 hours away. That’s not someone who is interested in taking care of his own kids he brought into this world. He’s more interested in satisfying his dick, than taking care of his own kids. Why did he have children in the first place if he’s not going to take care of them. Jackass.

MehGloriousMeh
MehGloriousMeh
7 years ago

“But he left me. To his credit he never left our children.”

This makes my blood boil. It’s what my X tells the kids every time they don’t want to see him. “I may have hurt your Mom, but I never did anything to hurt you. I never beat you or abused you.”

Oh, so apparently all you have to do to be Father of the Year is not beat your kids. My bad.

blessingindisguise
blessingindisguise
7 years ago
Reply to  MehGloriousMeh

I like to go back to the science on what constitutes a good dad – “It is the primary role of males to protect and support the women they love, so they can nurture all our children.” See https://ttfuture.org/academy/introduction-james-w-prescott-phd

A quote I enjoy – “The most important thing a father can do for his children is to love their mother.” – Theodore Hesburgh

And another – “Children do not need fathers to fight and die for them; they need fathers to live for them, to value them, and to value what they most value – their mothers. A father who truly protects his children cannot possibly hurt their mother.” – Steven Stosny

Tempest
Tempest
7 years ago

Great quotes. They made me tear up at what chumps have lost at the hands of cheaters (simply change the pronouns to cover the male chumps).

Sylvia is Sad
Sylvia is Sad
7 years ago

A+

AllOutofKibble
AllOutofKibble
7 years ago
Reply to  MehGloriousMeh

oh, yes, MGM, because hitting your spouse or kids is bad, all the threats, terror, and emotional abuse, well that’s just in your mind and no one can see the proof so it doesn’t count.
I swear Narkles the Clown still tells my kids “your mother will get over it.”
Been using that one since D-day 14 months ago.
Guess what? still not over it.
But at least I’m not under it like the woman in this article.

ByeByeCheater
ByeByeCheater
7 years ago

I read this article last week and my first thought was “oh hell no”. This is a life of confusion for all involved – the wife, kids, cheater, mistress, kid with the mistress, extended family, friends, etc. Unfortunately, I see some future chumps (the kids) that will need CL later in life.

I’ll admit that I allowed cheater to come over during wreckonciliation for a family dinner – exactly twice. The first time, he walked in, dropped a bag with some groceries in it on the counter and plopped down on the couch in front of the tv while D and I made dinner. He ate and sat back on the couch afterwards while we cleaned up. The second time, I had the tv off when he arrived and I immediately sent him outside to start the grill. I figured if he was responsible grilling dinner then he would be occupied and I wouldn’t be stuck cooking. Well, he came in, turned the tv on, and stood by the door glued to it from a distance. D even said several times to him “dad, please don’t burn the food”. And you guessed, the food ended up over cooked. That was the end of any family time together – he showed his true colors by taking advantage and as I later found out, continuing to screw other women and prostitutes while pretending to want to work through things with me.

I don’t want a fake life. The woman who wrote this article apparently does. She can have it.

BetterDays
BetterDays
7 years ago

Modeling bigamy. #ForTheChildren.

AllOutofKibble
AllOutofKibble
7 years ago
Reply to  BetterDays

There’s the bottom line, right there!

Kellia
Kellia
7 years ago
Reply to  BetterDays

Bingo!!

FinallyAwake
FinallyAwake
7 years ago
Reply to  BetterDays

Quote of the day.

Done4Good
Done4Good
7 years ago

I admit that I did some pretty chumpy things trying to save my marriage but never in a million years would I have allowed this to be my life or my daughter’s.

Those children, including the one he abandons every weekend, are the ones that will suffer the most in this fucked up arrangement that only benefits one person – the a-hole that created this unbelievably one-sided, cake eating situation.

I do feel some sympathy for the wife even though she has the absolute power here to end her own pain and suffering and force this fuckwit to be a grownup and parent his children on his own. But those commenting on how brave and unselfish she is need to take a step back and imagine themselves having to eat a bucket full of shit every single weekend when this a-hole shows up to play daddy.

There are limits to what a human being can take before they implode. This woman cries and feels physically sick with this arrangement so it’s clear that she is definitely NOT okay with allowing this to happen and her children are picking up on that. My 5-year old knows daddy is a shit and I managed to keep most of the bs away from her. Kids are very intuitive and there is a lot of damage happening here to all of them, except of course to the one that created this mess.

What I see in this situation is not an just a destructive familial arrangement, but a powder keg that is dangerously close to a lit flame.

Linden
Linden
7 years ago

Reading between the lines, it seems to me that the children didn’t want this arrangement. They were rightly upset with Dad, but now they have to adapt to a situation Mom created supposedly for their own good. And they do, because that’s what kids do, but they are teenagers and I wonder what they tell their friends about it.

Kellia
Kellia
7 years ago
Reply to  Linden

I know. It’s abusive on the mother’s part to subject her own children to a messed up situation like this. My parents were like this, in that they would screw me over and then tell me it was for my own good. It makes me so irate when I see dysfunction being shoved down the throats of innocent children. This mother is a whack.

Over and Out
Over and Out
7 years ago

What she failed to mention is the reason that she has NOT filed for divorce. Something is missing from her story… She does not mention the kids having ANY interaction with their father and his current 2nd family. I wonder if the kids know they have a half-sibling. It makes no sense to stay married and live with that arrangement if everyone knows he left family #1 to be with his girlfriend and their child.

No, there’s more to this than she has let on. I suspect the husband is shelling out a significant amount of financial support with the current arrangement and those commitment constraints are enough to keep the author ok with the “semi-sister-wives” situation. Who knows? Perhaps she’s also clinging to the idea that eventually he will come back. All I know is that she’s definitely controlling it all. She’s in the marital home and freely dating now as well. I’m not convinced that the kids are blissfully happy with the situation, but everyone is now getting comfortable with it….

I believe the breaking will come.

Over and Out
Over and Out
7 years ago
Reply to  Over and Out

During the 2 years post D-day, the hope I had of reconciliation wore off and the feelings of love I had for him disintegrated… However, I was not eager to start over again. Our life was comfortable. If my ex was compelled to go live with his affair family and was willing to continue to fully support me in the marital home, with all of the financial benefits of being his legal wife…. I think it would be tempting to allow him “dwell in the basement” on weekends to spend time with our kids.

HOWEVER, our kids would have to be fully aware of the circumstances behind such an arrangement and fully understand that the marriage only exists on paper. Absolutely no secrets about what daddy did. No disillusions of daddy might one day come home to live with us again… AND a solid post-nup agreement absolutely would be part of the deal.

I cannot imagine that the OW is happy at all with the current status quo. There’s an awful lot of dancing going on.

Ugh no..
Ugh no..
7 years ago
Reply to  Over and Out

I have to admit, there was a period of time where there was some overlap in my situation. I had about a month of gleeful lording it over the ow where the ex spent every waking moment trying to get me and his kids back. Then I stepped back and saw how sad and deficient of true substance the whole debacle was. There was no way for me to ever forget what happened, and full amnesia would’ve been necessary for me to live a happy life. So I let go. Now she has him full time, and the real weight of a life lived with the long term problems and obstacles all couples face hit them hard when the fantasy evaporated. Everything new gets old again. The cycle continues.
Regardless, I had to be completely untethered to this fool and his shenanigans to move on. The Wash Po writer needs to get away from this guy- he’s loving the game play.

LovedaJackass
LovedaJackass
7 years ago
Reply to  Over and Out

I agree–she’s not telling the whole story here.

awake
awake
7 years ago
Reply to  Over and Out

I thought it may be about money as well when I read it.

GettingOverIt
GettingOverIt
7 years ago
Reply to  awake

+1

I’m a bit upset at myself for not seeing that right away.

Over and Out
Over and Out
7 years ago
Reply to  Over and Out

**breaking point**

informal
informal
7 years ago

I can’t begin to process her reasoning. Under My Thumb by the Rolling Stones goes through my mind.

FSTL
FSTL
7 years ago

My STBX wanted to do a variation on this – the kids live with her full time and I visit instead…. whilst living in a small 1 bedroom apartment (to save money….)

That conversation didn’t last long – and she is still soooooooooo bitter that I have the same sized house as the former marital home that she refuses to sell (AKA suffer consequences such as a smaller, more affordable home for her single-parent lifestyle).

Lyn
Lyn
7 years ago

I recognize some things about the way this woman thinks. She is willing to put her needs aside to suffer for the “good of the family.” She hopes her kids will one day appreciate her sacrifice. She probably feels it’s her duty as a mother to give precedence to everyone else’s feelings. The problem is the pain of living this way will one day destroy her. Her husband is not forced to face the full ramifications of his actions. She doesn’t mention her husband suffering or stuffing his feelings to cope with this situation. Maybe when he was standing on the porch waiting for them to open the doors in the early days, he felt a little bad.

I also miss those family times very much. Watching my husband play with our children, being part of their interactions. It hurts not to be included in that.

However, I agree with Done4Good that there are limits to what human beings can take before they implode.

Done4Good
Done4Good
7 years ago

When I asked my STBX to move back home I made it very clear that he would be expected to be committed to the marriage, in all aspects of what a marriage means. While I wanted him to re-commit to his family, I was not interested in playing housemaid nor in competing for his affections from any potential fuckbuddies. I was the chumped wife but I still had my dignity and self-respect when it came to allowing him to knowingly fuck someone else.

It turns out he did the best thing he could for me by not moving back because he knew he couldn’t stick to that arrangement. He did suggest that we continue living separately while staying married but I shut that noise down immediately. If he wanted to work on the marriage while living apart, that’s one thing, but allowing him the status quo of marriage while living the single life is something I have no interest in and now he knows it and has accepted it.

Anita
Anita
7 years ago

Yeah, I thought of Sister Wives too, and the creepy smug Husband. Eeewwww.

Dixie Chump
Dixie Chump
7 years ago

I believe the raw, naked truth that explains this woman’s motivation is CL’s observation that she cannot tolerate the idea that her children ever experience joy with their dad when she is not there. Because that would seem like the final, ultimate betrayal. They would be off doing something fun and bonding with each other and she would be … home alone. I understand this pain and loneliness. But if she truly wants to do something “for her children” she needs to let them separate from her. She is also harming the innocent third child. I know it is not her responsibility to consider that child, but given her sanctimonious diatribe, it seems fair to mention it. Her kids should be allowed to meet and know their half-sibling.

This whole situation is about as fucked up as could be.

Done4Good
Done4Good
7 years ago
Reply to  Dixie Chump

It is difficult for me knowing that my daughter spends time with STBX minus my presence and it does feel like a serious blow to my idea of our family’s future. He repeatedly asks me to join them in things and I used to do that but I realized that my presence is really not for her it’s for him as he has admitted that “she enjoys herself more when you’re around.” I would go with them thinking it was better for her but it was always tough for me, like it is for this woman, knowing at the end of the day we would be going our separate ways and the reality of our uncoupling would be slammed into my face again. I finally decided I couldn’t do this to myself anymore. Even though it’s not what my STBX wants, I know that my daughter is perfectly fine spending time with her daddy without me.

This year, for the first time, I will not be spending the day with her on her birthday. That was an extremely tough decision for me, but as I have started the process of divorce, I realize this will be the new reality. He doesn’t like it but has accepted it. If he wants “family time” then he needs to treat me as his family. Not as some kind of parental chaperon. It’s called being an adult and it forces him to face the reality of what he has created. Two separate people trying to do their best to parent our beautiful little girl. If he wanted to keep his family intact he wouldn’t have willingly blown it up.

LovedaJackass
LovedaJackass
7 years ago
Reply to  Done4Good

Even with the kids, these people need a triangle. They have a relationship with their kids through their mother or, later, try to outsource it the the AP.

Sylvia is Sad
Sylvia is Sad
7 years ago
Reply to  LovedaJackass

+1
Triangle insight.

Brenda
Brenda
7 years ago
Reply to  Done4Good

They like the free “child care”.

TheMuse
TheMuse
7 years ago

The worst part of this is the smug superiority..(“putting your children’s needs ahead of your own, and that’s the choice I’ve made. It may not be the right choice for others, “)

WTF. Yeah you bitter bunnies with broken homes, nyah nyah nyah boo boo, I’m better!

She’s created her own private hell living in the fake bubble of still having her husband.
I feel sorry for her.

The other thing that struck me was the comments on the WAPO story, about half of which posed the false dichotomy that either you eat shit sandwiches, or you are a bitter hateful shrew so no wonder he divorced you.

One more thing: My home was never broken, my kids had lots and lots of love, for the last thirty years. Families survive divorce.

Sylvia is Sad
Sylvia is Sad
7 years ago
Reply to  TheMuse

There was a comment on the WaPo site where I wanted to beat the man with my baseball bat. He actually wrote:

This broad sounds bitter/I can’t blame the guy for trading up! With sunglasses/smiley face emoticon.

Subhumans walk among us.

Tempest
Tempest
7 years ago
Reply to  Sylvia is Sad

Lol–if that guy thinks the woman sounds bitter, he should read some of us here (esp. on a day when ideas are floated for cheaters’ physical demise at the hands of medieval torture instruments).

GettingOverIt
GettingOverIt
7 years ago
Reply to  TheMuse

“The other thing that struck me was the comments on the WAPO story, about half of which posed the false dichotomy that either you eat shit sandwiches, or you are a bitter hateful shrew so no wonder he divorced you.”

^^^This.^^^ That bothered me too. My thought – – lots of people that either have never felt the pain or are cheaters themselves.

Dixie Chump
Dixie Chump
7 years ago
Reply to  TheMuse

Yes, Muse, there are far worse situations in life than divorce. This woman proves that contention nicely.

bepositive
bepositive
7 years ago

No, no, no! Your kids will have more respect for you if you quit this. My kids have both mentioned how I should have thrown their father out earlier and we all would have been more happy. Please stop this behavior. Make him drive to them and stay in a hotel. Go for some serious counseling. You aren’t doing anyone any favors.

Brenda
Brenda
7 years ago

I honestly think this is a variation of what my ex thought would happen with us. But he’s in the same town, so he’d probably hang around during the week so he could sleep late and fuck the whore on weekends.

But for someone who ignored his child while married, he brought up 50/50 custody in the first 30 seconds of divorce talk. I know now this was to avoid child support . But his ideal model was that I have our child alone during my 50% while he was out fucking whore. Then we would spend his 50% as Family Time, so I would be available for child care, while he sat on his ass, watching TV and emailing/texting the whore, like he did while married. Oh, and he would be able to avoid living in his mother’s “basement” (ie. sofa) 50% of the time. Clever, huh?

Sylvia is Sad
Sylvia is Sad
7 years ago
Reply to  Brenda

Clever like a sociopath.

I have seen that a lot: 50/50 in their lizard brain actually means= No child support!

I used to disdain ideas from religion, or my heritage, and I moved toward moral relativism, shades of gray, find your bliss, you do you and I’ll do me.

Then I was cheated on by a man I loved to the point of madness. There was nothing that meant more to me (besides my dogs) than this man and a life with him. It was all a lie, in his heart.

After being cheated on, and reading carefully exactly what adultery does to families, to hearts, to children…I have been called “old fashioned” now, and I am fine with it.

I don’t care who you are with gender wise, as long as no children or animals are harmed, get your groove on.

But, once you make the promise- ethics, morals, commitment, loyalty… MONOGAMY…..I see now that it is the moral glue that holds together happiness and stability in life.

I learned this lesson through personal agony. No book could have taught me. The only person…* the only person*…that benefits from cheating…is the cheater.

Every time CL writes about cake, I see someone like Augustus Gloop from Charlie and the Chocolate Factory, manically and frantically shoving huge gobs of yellow cake in his mouth, with butter creme frosting in his hair and cake stuck to his hands, arms and face, while others stand in the background and look sad and hungry. That is the family betrayed by the cheater.

That is what cheating is. My needs matter! Until I explode with pleasure! Your needs? Fuck you.

Done4Good
Done4Good
7 years ago
Reply to  Sylvia is Sad

“Augustus Gloop from Charlie and the Chocolate Factory, manically and frantically shoving huge gobs of yellow cake in his mouth”

That is the perfectly illustrated representation of a cheater!

My daughter loves this movie. Now I will laugh every time I watch that scene LOL.

Sylvia is Sad
Sylvia is Sad
7 years ago
Reply to  Done4Good

It is a great movie! I loved Charlie’s humility and love for his Grandparents. And I have always thought Gene Wilder was sexy. (I know…) It was the intelligence and wit shining in his eyes.

The author of the WaPo article is like Augustus’s mother or Veronica Salt’s dad. Even as Augustus floundered and drowned in the chocolate river…she still defended his “cake” eating.

notsurewhat2do
notsurewhat2do
7 years ago

So I found her twitter feed and her professional webpage, then I creeped on her facebook.

Lots of her “friends” are telling her brave she is (at the same time saying they couldn’t/wouldn’t do it).

She refers to him as her ex and has even written articles about online dating.

In fact, she said her ex read the article and started to read the comments but just couldn’t. And of course, she isn’t reading the comments, because haters gonna hate.

I don’t hate her, but my heart breaks for her. She is so incredibly stuck. She even has an old family picture up on Facebook that talks about “happier times.” Actually kind of made my cry for her.

Sylvia is Sad
Sylvia is Sad
7 years ago
Reply to  notsurewhat2do

I admire your compassion and mercy toward her. This is incredibly perceptive of you…she is stuck.

Brenda
Brenda
7 years ago

Also, under his during the week arrangement, he would be able to “go to work” and arrive home about 7 or 8 o’clock, and be able to spend an hour or two with our child before bedtime. So he could get “credit” for 50/50 custody with about 10 hours a week “effort”. Sorry, mofo, not happening.

Tempest
Tempest
7 years ago

WHY ARE THE CHILDREN IN CHARGE OF THAT HOUSEHOLD!?

Amiisfree
Amiisfree
7 years ago
Reply to  Tempest

(1) my thought exactly, Tempest, and also in all caps.
(2) it seems likely to me that there may have been some programming involved on Dad’s part. You know, poor me, Mommy’s bad, she doesn’t want to stay with us, us against Mommy, etc. At least, it’s possible.

Ninja Chump
Ninja Chump
7 years ago
Reply to  Tempest

Nobody’s in charge in that household, the poor kids are modeling their moms lack of boundries. They are pick me dancing too. They are being fed false hope every weekend cheating dad visits that THIS is the weekend he’ll come to his senses and return to them – if only they’re good enough kids, get good enough grades, make enough s’mores with him, watch enough You Tube clips with him, be perfect enough kids for him.
My heart breaks. A lot of us did that as adults trying to “win” back the cheater. I can’t even imagine the long term effect on your self esteem to grow up doing it in order to win back your dad. Please love us enough Daddy, are we good enough yet? Are you bored with the new baby yet? When will Mom be happy again? It’s up to us to fix this.
Mom you’re triangulating with your kids. Child cruelty dressed up as self sacrifice.
Ugh

LovedaJackass
LovedaJackass
7 years ago
Reply to  Tempest

You guys are all correct. Her narrative present a scenario where the kids are running the show, to everyone’s detriment. But it’s likely that the what the kids want or seem to want is an excuse for the mother not to let go of the (now-faux) family.

LovedaJackass
LovedaJackass
7 years ago
Reply to  LovedaJackass

Plus a truly awesome celebration of triangulation–Chump, Cheater and kids and Chump, Cheater and OW. And a side dish of Cheater, OW and FirstKids (and thereby Chump.)

GladIt'sOver
GladIt'sOver
7 years ago
Reply to  LovedaJackass

And also chump, cheater and chump’s new boyfriend.

GettingOverIt
GettingOverIt
7 years ago
Reply to  Tempest

+1

Over and Out
Over and Out
7 years ago
Reply to  Tempest

I had those thoughts as well. It’s confounding that teenagers can’t deal with visiting their dad outside the marital home??? Have to have their mommy with them??? Come on…

Linden
Linden
7 years ago
Reply to  Over and Out

I took that to mean that the kids were not happy with spending time with cheater Dad, period, but they were required to so Mom and Dad could keep up the facade of a happy family. Bad enough Mom wants to eat shit sandwiches without force-feeding the kids, too.

Over and Out
Over and Out
7 years ago
Reply to  Linden

In the beginning that was the case, but eventually the kids would go with their dad alone. Then they started begging their mother to go along. Mom acquiesced to their pleading… then eventually dad was allowed back in the home to visit, etc. All to keep up the facade of happy family for the kids.

awake
awake
7 years ago
Reply to  Tempest

They aren’t. Co-dependant mom is

Tempest
Tempest
7 years ago
Reply to  awake

I dIsagree–son wants her to stay at the museum, she does. Daughter wants to behave like a normal divorced family and mom bans dad. Kids then lament the loss of dad, and she lets him back into their lives.. #kidsincontrol

Mehphista
Mehphista
7 years ago
Reply to  Tempest

Seriously. This woman needs to Mom up.

GladIt'sOver
GladIt'sOver
7 years ago
Reply to  Tempest

Maybe. But personally, I’m skeptical that the teen boy felt all boo hoo sad and wanted mommy to stay at the museum, or that the kids were begging her to stay when they were having fun with their dad. Toddlers, maybe, not teens. I suspect that she is spinning the story quite a bit to suit her martyr complex.

“The next morning he’d pick them up for brunch, after which they’d go rock climbing or swimming, or simply walk around town. Weekends with dad were like being on vacation, except no child would choose such a vacation.” Well, not if she gets anything to say about it, anyway. I’m speculating here, but I’d say those kids enjoyed time with dad just fine (as she herself says) but SHE could not stand them having a good time with dad. Thus the complex machinations to control the entire situation.

neverwouldhaveimagined
neverwouldhaveimagined
7 years ago
Reply to  GladIt'sOver

Yes, I have two teenagers and I LOVED the comment about her having the only teenage boy in the world with separation anxiety! Lol

Done4Good
Done4Good
7 years ago
Reply to  GladIt'sOver

My 5-year-old had issues initially not wanting to spend time with her dad without me. I get it. Mommy is the stable one. Mommy didn’t leave. The first few times she cried and I explained that daddy loves her too and wants to spend time with her now. Now it’s practically a non-issue. These kids are teenagers. It’s bizarre to think that they can’t spend time alone with their father without getting upset.

GladIt'sOver
GladIt'sOver
7 years ago
Reply to  awake

YES, although I don’t think she’s codependent, I think she’s disordered and a manipulative control freak. Mommy is the one in charge of this entire sick scenario, though she pretends she’s doing it all for the kids.

Awake
Awake
7 years ago
Reply to  GladIt'sOver

Codependents are disordered and are control freaks.

Awake
Awake
7 years ago
Reply to  Awake

And obsessive.

blondebarrister
blondebarrister
7 years ago

Thanks for the UBT CL. Spot on as usual. I hate having to be a single parent to my 6 year old knowing all the while that her father is spending more time with his mistress’ kids than his own daughter. It’s a bitter pill. Yet, he elected to take the most limited visitation possible. I’ll never forgive him for that. I can hardly look at him much less consider spending any “family time” with out daughter. Makes me physically sick.

Kar marie
Kar marie
7 years ago

Yes asswipes new sparkly family is more important than his own. When the kid came to visit he spent no alone time with her at all. And one day dragging her to new familys functions and she was here for two weeks. He paid for her ticket and that was the extent. How these idoits can ignore their own kids is beyond me. Image management i guess. Dazzle the new kids to impress others while ignoring your own. Some people dont deserve kids asswipe sure didnt not when he compared the whores beautiful perfect children to his own fucked up ones and they are not fucked up asswipe is the fucked up one. His comment my kids are fucked up and greatly dissappointed me but at least they are pretty. Who says this shit! But the whores kids are perfect and flawless. Ha no they are not.

Sylvia is Sad
Sylvia is Sad
7 years ago
Reply to  Kar marie

The more I read about your Asswipe X, he is hideous, appalling and a monster. He is revolting and needs a beat down with the threaded lead pipe that CL put in the UBT article above.

Any man that would compare his children to another set of children with his whore is so disordered and cruel that I am at a loss as to how you manage.

I fear I would be in prison. He would be fertilizer for my geraniums. #onlyhalfjoking.

Kar marie
Kar marie
7 years ago
Reply to  Sylvia is Sad

Thanks sylvia. Mostly i ignore him, am indifferent to him but go along with us being best friends when i move. Asswipe is buying this house so i give the appearence of goodness for now. I will leave him and this house when i get cash in hand his saggy balls will spin. Then absolutely no contact. I will never forgive him ever and not just the cheating but the horrible things he said about our kids yes he compared our awful dissappointing kids to her wonderful children. The kids dont know what he said about them i wont tell them but asswipe is an asshole and one day it will come out of his own mouth to them. My girl got his number and doesnt wont interact with him much and the boys use him for money. One day when hes old and alone he will want them around to take care of him but hes burned that bridge. HIS LOSS.

Rumblekitty
Rumblekitty
7 years ago

Oh THE CHILDREN!!!! #howdoesthismartyrlookonme #thechildrenarethefuture #triangluation, #pissedOWathome.

I could go on.

LovedaJackass
LovedaJackass
7 years ago

notsurewhat2do, this is a great observation–and thanks for creeping so I don’t have to: “I don’t hate her, but my heart breaks for her. She is so incredibly stuck. She even has an old family picture up on Facebook that talks about ‘happier times.’ Actually kind of made my cry for her.” It’s very sad that she has so little interest in the integrity and wholeness of her life apart from her kids and her cheater husband with another family. The saddest part is how she actually questions her enabling and how [it’s] difficult to move forward emotionally when the cause of my pain is in [her] kitchen every weekend” and then whipsaws everyone back to continue this damaging refusal to move forward.

And she doesn’t see that good parents never, ever give control over the major family decisions to the kids. As someone who lived in a family that at times operated that way, nothing good ever comes of it, and for the kids, there is never a sense of security or safety because there are no boundaries.

Tempest
Tempest
7 years ago
Reply to  LovedaJackass

So true–no one can heal from surgery with the scalpel still in.

LovedaJackass
LovedaJackass
7 years ago
Reply to  Tempest

I love your one-liners, Tempest.

Sylvia is Sad
Sylvia is Sad
7 years ago
Reply to  LovedaJackass

That is right. This is not my field, but I read that the worst thing for a chid’s development and future adult happiness is UNCERTAINTY. Instability. Which way is up?

What mood will Mom be in today? Is Dad “okay” today? What are the rules today?

Children WANT someone to be in charge. (Just like dogs thrive on it).

I also know it from my life.

When my father left when I was 12, life became so muddy. Some days my mother was a snarling witch, other days, she ignored us. Some days she was indulgent (flying me at 15 alone to see my best friend who had moved) Other days waking us at 6AM to clean the bathrooms with Mommie Dearest guidelines and consequences. We hated her, we pitied her, we wanted to make her happy, we wanted her to leave us alone.

My sister and I are both emotional cripples, to just be brutal. We have both been with men who beat us up. My sister’s second husband committed suicide, after beating her over a period of time. We eschewed the “good” guys for the “bad” boys.

We are both alone now, in our forties. We are both over educated, depressed, confused loners who cannot make a good decision with men if we had a team coaching us.

We lived in chaos during our adolescent years, and we duplicate it daily, even when we both “intellectually” see how sad, bad and wrong it is.

(But I am working on it)

LovedaJackass
LovedaJackass
7 years ago
Reply to  Sylvia is Sad

You can fix your picker and learn to love peace instead of chaos.

neverwouldhaveimagined
neverwouldhaveimagined
7 years ago
Reply to  LovedaJackass

Yes, yes, you can. You are mighty!

TiredChump
TiredChump
7 years ago

CL – you nailed it

The entire article should be re-titled #4me or #4momindeepdenial….. as every decision is about mom’s refusal to accept her marriage is over, her husband has moved on and as much as she wishes otherwise, her former “nuclear” family does not exist. Her un-articulated hope that she will “win” her cheater back is clear.

She needs to know that she is stuck in serious denial and indeed, she is the the architect of her own suffering……..pain is physical – you solve it by pulling the knife out of your leg……..suffering is psychological – you stop it by ACCEPTING WHAT IS……suffering = refusing to recognize what is

TiredChump
TiredChump
7 years ago

AND MOVING FORWARD…..

LovedaJackass
LovedaJackass
7 years ago
Reply to  TiredChump

Thereby taking CAKE away from the cheater…

Done4Good
Done4Good
7 years ago

If the GF is aware of where this fuckwit goes every weekend then I’m completely bewildered that this a-hole managed to find two women willing to deal with his bs. Or, it’s like someone else pointed out, the GF fucks around on him while he’s off playing daddy. Either way, this scenario is all sorts of fucked up and has my head spinning.

awake
awake
7 years ago

My ex and his new wife hung out with MY mother (Queen of Switzerland friends). I used to think why in the hell would his new wife want to be around his former wife’s mother? Talk about a Chump

RefusesToBeStupid
RefusesToBeStupid
7 years ago
Reply to  awake

I have a mother like that, and I finally had to go no contact with her.
There is a website Emerging From Broken that has helped me sort through all the issues of such a damaging realtionship with her I reccomend you start reading that

Kellia
Kellia
7 years ago
Reply to  awake

And worst of all, why would your mother accept a cheater and his new wife in her life. Mentally deranged.

LovedaJackass
LovedaJackass
7 years ago
Reply to  Kellia

And terribly MEAN

Sylvia is Sad
Sylvia is Sad
7 years ago
Reply to  LovedaJackass

As bad as my mother is, she would gleefully run over the women the Cheater betrayed me with me, and then back up over them to make sure the job was done. I am sorry your mother did that to you….it is hugely fucked up and hurtful.

Tempest
Tempest
7 years ago
Reply to  awake

I’m sorry, Awake. That is a colossal betrayal by your mother.

Doingme
Doingme
7 years ago

As a chump two years out I no longer recognize the woman I had become after the spackle cracked and the mask dropped.

I lost my power the minute I forgave. There were no consequences. Are we inclined to protect our children? Yes. I stayed to maintain the ability to raise my children and give them a better life.

It didn’t get better it got much worse. Suffering in silence was a learned behavior. I believed he loved me and our family. He was an actor who used me and our children to maintain an image while leading a double life.

I bonded with my abuser. I sacrificed myself believing a sociopath. The coping strategies I developed in childhood kept me believing my life was great. I learned to survive in chaos by looking and accepting the good while ignoring the truth.

In this woman’s view she is willing to not sacrifice herself, but her children to maintain what she believes is control. To write about her solution tells me she is probably a sociopath herself. She is victimizing her own children not out of selflessness but selfishness. They are objects in her game.

Sylvia is Sad
Sylvia is Sad
7 years ago
Reply to  Doingme

Doingme- We have both “done time” with sociopaths (Mine was diagnosed by an addictions psychiatrist, I am his Healthcare POA and I read every single line of his records)…I think we tune in on the red flags them for survival.

Remember: THE FIRST, CRITICAL POINT…to know when ascertaining if someone is a sociopath:
___________

Is there any mannerism, any type of behavior, any use of language, that can identify a sociopath?

According to Martha Stout, Ph.D., author of The Sociopath Next Door*, the best clue that you are dealing with a sociopath is the pity play.

“The most reliable sign, the most universal behavior of unscrupulous people is not directed, as one might imagine, at our fearfulness,” Stout says. “It is, perversely, an appeal to our sympathy.”

The combination of consistently bad or inadequate behavior and frequent pity plays, Stout continues, is the closest thing to a warning you’ll ever get that you are being manipulated by a sociopath.

Doingme
Doingme
7 years ago
Reply to  Sylvia is Sad

Bingo Silvia!

Lyn
Lyn
7 years ago
Reply to  Doingme

“I learned to survive in chaos by looking and accepting the good while ignoring the truth.”

Great insight!

awake
awake
7 years ago
Reply to  Doingme

Sociopath possibly. But more likely just very codependent. Very sad

MotherChumper99
MotherChumper99
7 years ago

Thank you CL and CN for the reinforcing UBT and comments. I read the article yesterday and it touched a chumpy chord that still lives in me: I felt a pang of guilt that I continue to refuse STBX’s offer to “return home for the kids.” I now am certain that “return home” to STBX has nothing to do with the kids– he showed how little they meant to him in the devaluation and discard– rather, it means getting cake, avoiding financial and custodial consequences of divorce, enjoying benefits of pick me dance, enjoying kibbles, enjoying power and control over me and kids, controlling my attempts to move on such as breaking up my boyfriend and I because there’s no way that amazing man would put up with douche back in my home, etc etc etc.
HELL TO THE NO!!!!!!

All I have to do to snap out of my martyr-fueled fantasy is recall how it felt on DDay 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, ….to infinity.

I matter. I deserve to be treated as the human being I am with the basic right of free agency. I want my kids to see that I will accept no less in life and teach them through my actions that they should do so too. I wouldn’t wish that life on anyone except STBX and the OWs (plural intended!). I certainly do not want that for my kids. No way in hell.

LovedaJackass
LovedaJackass
7 years ago

What is best for the kids is always to live with one sane parent who demonstrates honesty, self-respect and good boundaries.

GladIt'sOver
GladIt'sOver
7 years ago

In this particular case, while the cheating, abandoning, get-the-girlfriend-prego husband is a piece of shit, I actually think the mother is the one with the worse problem.

She’s a control freak. She writes about her teenage children as if they are toddlers incapable of surviving without her constant presence. She cannot bear that they spend any time, or even experience any enjoyment, with their father, so she must shove her presence into their every encounter, a psychic “Don’t forget about me and all I sacrifice for you!” cloud hanging over everyone’s head. She’s the ultimate martyr, guilt-trip mommy, sacrificing all for her kids. I don’t believe for one second that those kids aren’t being passive-aggressively informed of her “sacrifice”, and that it isn’t going to be held over their heads for the rest of their lives.

Controlling and infantilizing her children is NOT in their best interests, and she is NOT doing this for them, she is doing it for her own disordered self. Is the husband eating some cake in this situation? Yes, most likely. But is the wife still exerting the ultimate control over the whole sick charade? Yes, I think so and that’s why she set it up and allows it to continue. In the end, it’s her children who are being harmed. I’d love to see a followup on this story in about ten years…. those kids are eventually going to realize that mommy has some serious control issues and is never going to allow them to live their own lives, which is going to force them to get the hell away from her if they ever want to live independently.

This story actually made me feel ill. Those poor kids.

Pearshaped
Pearshaped
7 years ago
Reply to  GladIt'sOver

Damn, you just reminded me of an old movie called “The Silver Cord”. Brrrr.

LovedaJackass
LovedaJackass
7 years ago
Reply to  GladIt'sOver

Yes, Glad.

awake
awake
7 years ago
Reply to  GladIt'sOver

Wow

ClaireS
ClaireS
7 years ago

I was one of those children. Like her daughter, I resisted. I THOUGHT I didn’t get compromised by mindfuckery; I only had to live with the insanity for 6 months before my mom the him out. Nonetheless I got brainwashed. No matter how hard I resisted, I internalized what I saw: it’s okay for one person to abuse another. The abused will not only take it but justify it. And when evil gets couched in the service of a greater good? God help you.

It wasn’t for the greater good. My siblings have both been institutionalized. I made it because I decided early on to use my brain and buy my freedom. That, too, turned into a disaster. I had my horrible reckoning: a total breakdown at 23, no psych ward, but what a waste.

My parents separated when I was 6. He’d been cheating for years. I’d met her a few times.  I knew something was wrong, but because he treated my mom like shit and she didn’t say anything, I wasn’t sure what to do. Three-year-olds who know something is very wrong are already at the mercy of insane-making sicko dances. Yes, for three years the divorce devastated me. Then I adapted and was pretty much okay.

When I was 11, he moved back in, allegedly because I had gotten in a terrible accident and had three huge plaster casts on three limbs. THOUGH I COULD SCOOT MYSELF around, she had a “hard time” helping me up to the toilet (uh, not).

When she told me he was moving back in because of my casts, I couldn’t believe it and was irate. Why? Because I knew he was a creep to her and to women. I knew that she had done nothing except ignore his raging alcoholism. She had done nothing for years about his cheating.

Horribly enough, I blamed her more than I blamed him, then. I knew he was a creep. He’d been mean to her, and mean to us. Another woman mattered more than we did. I thought my mom was more normal, so I expected more from her. (WP lady, you might be CRAZIER than your fucked up sperm donor: he’s not in denial. You are.)

She told me it was for us kids.

I retorted, “Don’t you dare bring me into this. He hurt all of us and knew exactly what he was doing. Didn’t stop when you begged. Didn’t care when you sobbed in a bed because you’d had post-op C-section complications and you couldn’t go see your baby in the ICU, born 10 weeks early. He was out carousing. You had me, a one-year-old, and an ICU baby who was pretty much all alone in that hospital.”

What I did not add because I thought it was mean: “And it’s not okay to pretend. There’s something wrong with you. I wish I could protect you from yourself. I wish I didn’t have to think about that. I don’t ever want to be the kind of woman you are. I’m not sure who disgusts me more, you, or he.”

Six months later, when she kicked him out because he was cheating, I was so relieved. But the damage was done. No matter that I was feistier than many. No matter that I kept resisting, that the reconciliation wasn’t very long: As I said, I had my reckoning at age 23. Total breakdown, severe PTSD, have no memory of weeks and months. It seemed to come out of nowhere. It wasn’t nowhere. My psyche couldn’t hold, any longer, both my resistance to abuse and my internalization of it.

I got help. I worked hard. I survived, and then I thrived. I was lucky.

15 years later, I married a serial cheater. I doubt that was an accident, despite my believing that I had chosen a man completely different from my dad.

And then, more subtly, I behaved just as she did. I didn’t even think that he might be cheating, because he preceded it with a rage campaign directed only at me. Because I learned how to be a doormat, because I tried to fix everything my whole life by trying to be perfect, that’s what I focused on … what I had done wrong, what I was doing wrong, especially because he proposed and married me while with the OW. Of course, NO ONE would marry a woman while having essentially another marriage. My mom didn’t teach me that abusers don’t think or act the way empathic people do.

WP lady writes: “When they are grown and look back, they will remember late nights watching clips on YouTube [and doing all sorts of things you sentimentally classify as psychologically healthy] — all with their father.”

No. They will remember that their mother acceded to an arrangement where their father lived in another state with another woman with a baby. They will remember that he both cheated on and left you, you took it, and then took him back.

What they will not consciously remember is this: it’s okay to abuse people. Let’s make life as normal as possible for abusers, even though they don’t think the way that people with conscience do — no, let’s enable their crazy and their cruelty. That way, when one of us becomes an abuser or abused, we’ll either feel entitled to be abusive, or we’ll tap dance just like you did. And make no mistake: they will learn that they and he are more valuable than you. If you’re lucky, you might not produce narcissists. If not, be warned: a young person in lockdown in a psych hospital because they were literally made crazy by mixed messages? Some part of me will despise both of my parents for as long as I live when I think about both of my siblings. If they don’t quite make it to the psych ward, they will figure out a way to repeat your crazy. You might be on your deathbed before you admit this. Good luck.

freescientist71
freescientist71
7 years ago
Reply to  ClaireS

ClaireS-
You are MIGHTY. Thank you for sharing your post. I have read other posts of yours and they are so insightful!

Tempest
Tempest
7 years ago
Reply to  ClaireS

ClaireS–that was wonderful. The underlying message in your post resonates greatly with me (even if the particulars are different). I, too, was sassy, constantly told my mother to divorce my narcissistic & emotionally abusive father, and here I am years later, having lived her life for 24 years with Hannibal.

We absorb our lessons as children, more so than doing what we are told.

ClaireS
ClaireS
7 years ago
Reply to  Tempest

My God, you are all so sweet. I’m fighting back tears. I don’t understand why I weep when people are kind.  I thank you. I am startled to find how much these replies bring RELIEF.

I’m so glad others made it and lived to tell, no matter what brought you here. I’m so grateful for this site, for all you brave, fierce, kind people whose stories remind me of what I so often teach: tyranny is not okay.

I do not feel mighty at all. Who survives all that, has three successful careers fighting for the dispossessed …. and then ends up … utterly gobsmacked, universe is upside down, crying in grocery store aisles, because she was sure, just sure, that she had grit and sense, would never emulate crazy again?? Answer: I. Until I read these responses, I had no idea how isolated I’ve become. I can’t thank you enough — it’s the first time in months I’ve felt peace.

Tempest
Tempest
7 years ago
Reply to  ClaireS

The first year is a roller coaster of emotions. I, too, cried at small kindnesses because we are not used to kindness.

We need to get accustomed to kindness.

neverwouldhaveimagined
neverwouldhaveimagined
7 years ago
Reply to  ClaireS

CN is awesome and full of support. There is strength and healing in sharing your personal story, ClaireS. Thanks for being so courageous to do so. You are not alone, and you are mighty!

Sylvia is Sad
Sylvia is Sad
7 years ago
Reply to  ClaireS

ClaireS, So insightful, brave, well written and +++TRUE TRUE TRUE

This:

“If they don’t quite make it to the psych ward, they will figure out a way to repeat your crazy.”

Unbelievably smack down raw truth.

I am so glad you made it! You are brave. I think your intellect saved you. I hope life brings you joy, love, great sex and PEACE.

Lyn
Lyn
7 years ago
Reply to  ClaireS

Thanks you for sharing your story, ClaireS.

uneffingbelievable
uneffingbelievable
7 years ago
Reply to  ClaireS

ClaireS – thanks for sharing your experience. I know a lot of us wonder how kids experience this and you’ve just filled us in. So glad you’ve made it through – you are very strong.

MotherChumper99
MotherChumper99
7 years ago
Reply to  ClaireS

Huge hugs Claire.
I too was the child of two cheaters, narcissistic alcoholics (millionaires and high functioning but abusive as hell). Despite introspection, a lot of therapy and years of 12th step work (Al-Anon and AA), I still married two serial cheaters, abusive, narcissist alcoholics. I get it.

IMO the WP lady is dead wrong in her believe that this arrangement will have a stabilizing, nurturing effect on her children. Instead, her kids are likely to face a life of anguish and hell with “partners” (there should be a word like frenemy for partners who cheat) who will treat them exactly as WP lady’s husband treats them and her. What a disaster.

Kellia
Kellia
7 years ago
Reply to  ClaireS

ClaireS – Your entire post is very insightful. Thank you so much for sharing. You are a modern day hero, where you survived a horrible and hurtful childhood. Big hugs to you! You are so mighty!!

LovedaJackass
LovedaJackass
7 years ago
Reply to  Kellia

Anyone who has lived with a mother who took abuse, condoned infidelity, and then used her kids to justify it will understand what you are saying. It is a terrible, terrible thing for very small children to be used in this way. I’ve lived it and it set me up for a lifetime of screwed up relationships. Claire, you are mighty to have survived your childhood.

ClaireS
ClaireS
7 years ago
Reply to  ClaireS

“threw him out”

notadoormat
notadoormat
7 years ago

For a variety of reasons we shared our marital home until our divorce and my new home sale went through. It was only for 9 months, and thank goodness XH was out of town on business for a large majority of those 9 months. In hindsight, it was a bad decision on my part. I should have made him move out. It ended up hurting our daughter even more because it maintained that illusion of mom and dad were still together (even though she’d met the GF during those 9 months). The days after she and I moved out were difficult for her.

So when I read crap like this all I see is a really fucked up way to live … for both of these women and their children. What kind of example are they setting for their kids and moreover their daughters ? To be spineless? To sacrifice themselves so that the cheater doesn’t have to deal with the inconvenience of a 5 hour drive and a hotel stay and organizing things for his kids without his ex-wife (oh, wait a minute she’s not an ex-wife – they aren’t divorced!)?

And the GF. What story is he telling her? That he’s staying in a hotel? I can’t believe that she let’s him go off to his “ex-wife’s” for the weekend. He must be something special to get so much CAKE.

Like MidLifeBlast said, it made me sick reading her story.

awake
awake
7 years ago

You are damned if you leave and you are damned if you stay. People will crucify you either way. Sigh….

LovedaJackass
LovedaJackass
7 years ago
Reply to  awake

First, we have to get over caring about what anyone else says–whether we go or we stay. Let the cheaters and OW worry about impression management. The issue is how do we live healthy, authentic lives and model that kind of life for the kids?

Awake
Awake
7 years ago