My Life Is a Soap Opera

piffleDear Chump Lady,

Firstly, thank you for the support this blog provides. It was instrumental in my decision to leave after my D-Day 3 months ago…I left my abusive relationship of 8 years after some work colleagues informed me my husband was having an affair with a subordinate at his work (who then went full bunny boiler on me.)

He is much (much) older than me, and took advantage of me at a very young age. There was a great deal of power imbalance, and the affair partner was married with children.. her husband found out and also was devastated. Once I was informed of the affair, my husband then referred to her as a piece of meat, a disposable object, dumped her, and tried to apologise to me. I also found out through his ex-partner he has a two-decade pattern of this and did the same to her (Ashley Madison… married women… the list goes on).

Thankfully, I was informed by your blog, my intuition, (and years of abuse — I later found out this was not the first…) and said thanks, but no thanks. I am endlessly grateful to his colleagues who told me — the catch is, they were my colleagues first. (He joined the workplace after I worked there and then convinced me to leave.)

We are now going through separation, and the same work colleagues told me he’s now already sleeping with another subordinate young woman my age (again, a huge age gap and power imbalance) and that he talks nonstop about me and the AP. Oh and also! It’s not even been 12 weeks since D-Day! Not even 12 weeks — he’s dumped the AP and moved on to another girl my age. I appreciate them telling me about the affair, but I’m frustrated that this continues, as I used to work with everyone he is talking about me to. It hurts, it’s humiliating, and it drags everything out. He blames me for what he did (despite him doing it to his exes before I was even in high school) and I hate that I’m still being talked about and even was ever with this predator.

Do you have any tips on how to cope? It was bad enough the AP was at his work (and known to me). Now another young woman who is friends with my friends at his work is sleeping with him and being sucked into his world, told lies about me. Yes, it sounds like a dramatic TV soap opera. All my friends and family say that none of this even feels real, it’s like an endless drama show of women he screws and gossip. But it’s my life!

Thanks,

MyLifeisaSoapOpera

****

Dear My Life Is a Soap Opera,

You left. That’s the important thing. You’re sorting out a divorce, which is a big lift. Now let go of Who He’s Fucking Next. And Lies He Tells About You. You don’t control those things.

Let me disabuse you of the idea that you’re living a soap opera. Unfortunately, you’re living an all too common nightmare of infidelity and workplace predation. He creeps on his co-workers? I think half of Chump Nation are raising their hands.

Coincidentally, I read your letter this morning and decided to publish it right after I read this Vox article from 2017 about White House reporter Glenn Thrush. Why was I going down that rabbit hole? Because I saw the guy make a patently moronic comment on the news last night and thought, “Hey, isn’t that the reporter who creeped on young women in the workplace?”

Yes, one and the same. Apparently he works for the Washington Post now after exiting Politico and the New York Times. Go read that article and marvel that the guy still has a job. It took a bunch of brave women to speak up and put their stories out there to expose him. Their stories reminded me of when I was an intern at ABC News in 1988 and got harassed by a producer. Are you wearing that just for me? What kind of sex do you have with your boyfriend? Are you a virgin? No one warned me. I had no idea it was a pattern, until I compared notes with someone else from ABC years later.

How is it fuckwits like this are still allowed in newsrooms and every other workplace? IS THERE NO ONE ELSE TO HIRE, WaPo? Why the white guy with the wandering dick? WHY?

My husband the lawyer reads stories like this and just sees dollar signs. Sexual harassment? Hostile workplace environment? Pattern of abuse? Fuckwittery keeps guys like him and HR professionals in perpetual employment. Soap Opera, your ex is a lawsuit waiting to happen. You’re best rid of him while he still has a job.

To me, the worst thing about that Vox story is the DARVO. Allegedly Thrush told his coworkers those young women came on to HIM. Yes, interns just fling themselves at him, such is his magnetism. And maybe some weak antelopes fall for his dubious charms. Or some fuck-your-way-to-the-top sociopaths. But the rest are just young women intimidated out of their professions. Gossiped against. Sexualized.

the same work colleagues told me he’s now already sleeping with another subordinate young woman my age (again, a huge age gap and power imbalance) and that he talks nonstop about me and the AP.

I’m not sure how reliable those narrators are — you could be in the situation above, that your soon-to-be-ex is bragging about who he’s fucking, for real or in his imagination. In any case, those women are to be pitied.

And if he’s talking about other women with his new harem, it’s to see if they’ll pick me dance.

Focus on no contact with him and anyone associated with him. And also, pass this information on to your lawyer. I’m not a lawyer, and this is not legal advice. But a little bird told me that threatening to depose a FW’s workplace gets settlement talks moving.

Does your husband want HR involved in his happy hunting fucking grounds?

I appreciate them telling me about the affair,

You know enough. Leave the fact finding to your lawyer.

but I’m frustrated that this continues

His fucking around? It’s who he is. No one is special.

as I used to work with everyone he is talking about me to. It hurts, it’s humiliating, and it drags everything out.

Stop talking about your divorce with these people. I’m glad they told you and I’m glad you took action. Now, retreat. If you’re still in this profession, the drama isn’t a good look. You don’t control them, but you do control your participation in discussing the details of your heartbreak. So please don’t.

If this isn’t your profession any longer, and these people are just former coworkers? There is zero reason to stay in touch.

I know it hurts, but it’s not humiliating unless you wear the shame. HE is the predator. NOT you. HE is inappropriate. YOU left.

I hate that I’m still being talked about and even was ever with this predator.

You don’t control what people say about you. Particularly your ex. Consider the source –a pathetic handsy older boss. Who cares what dick dribble thinks?

People who know you aren’t swayed by bullshit. And people who don’t care about you, are not people you need in your life. Get tough about this. You’re leaving him — that makes you mighty.

We all regret that we were ever with FWs. It’s a very large membership club. Millions of regrets! Totally normal. Move on with your life.

Do you have any tips on how to cope?

Trust that they suck. Tattoo it on your forearm. Review as necessary.

Now another young woman who is friends with my friends at his work is sleeping with him and being sucked into his world, told lies about me.

And she’ll be chewed up, spat out, and maybe deposed. Not your problem.

Soap Opera, D-Day was 12 weeks ago. These are wobbly days. You’re doing all the right things. Just keep moving forward and build your new life. He won’t stop being a creep, but you can stop being his chump. Big ((hugs)).

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❤️ Velvet Hammer ❤️
❤️ Velvet Hammer ❤️
8 months ago

You don’t always have to tell your side of the story.

Time will.

❤️ Velvet Hammer ❤️
❤️ Velvet Hammer ❤️
8 months ago

In other news, I found out Tuesday night that Traitor Ex and the Craigslist cockroach have started a new joint business venture, an illicit Asian massage parlor. The Craigslist cockroach is a Chinese national, and it can now be safely assumed where they met because I learned after DDay that Traitor Ex was a client of such places.

They chose to open in local town which has a very aggressive zero tolerance policy for these places. They went to great lengths to hide it, but they weren’t factoring in my friendships with the good people of law enforcement who have impressive security clearance, love me and my daughter, and think the two of them are worse than pond scum.

He also has evidently been making purchases for this business on the company credit card of the business I own with him. I am looking forward to the next board meeting.

They bought the unit the business is located in. Looks like he did learn something from me during all that time he spent with me that he claimed caused him to miss the boat. It will be interesting to see what the certified fraud examiner finds out about the real estate transaction.

He who ignored and put down my suggestion to use an Instagram account for the Legitimate Business? There’s one for the massage parlor (which they didn’t plan on me finding) which has been updated daily since the business opened on July 25.

I called the city to file a complaint and my next appointment is with the DA and my former FBI Special Agent friend to present our findings.

Can you hear the bacon frying?

PrincipledLife
PrincipledLife
8 months ago

Velvet I hope and pray with the heat of a hunded suns that you are able to separate your business frm this fool. Miss CCP is going to take him to the cleaners, rob every last dime, and wreck him in every way possible. No wishing for karma needed, and I predict he’ll be so thoroughly wrecked you may even feel sorry for him. In that slightly wrinkled forehead of concern kind of way. No happy ending for him!

Nut Cluster Free Zone
Nut Cluster Free Zone
8 months ago

🥓 🍳👏🏻👏🏻🤣🤣 Keep us posted VH !

OHFFS
OHFFS
8 months ago

Ooooh! I love it, VH. I like my bacon well done.

Leedy
Leedy
8 months ago

Velvet Hammer, how upsetting. These people are “worse than pond scum,” indeed. I wish you all strength for this next phase, where you talk to law enforcement.

Chumpasaurus45
Chumpasaurus45
8 months ago

Just want you to be careful blowing that up on him, VH. Not that it shouldn’t be done, but we never fully know how far the
“ pond scum” will take it. He will probably know you were somehow involved, I would think, or suspect you at best. I don’t want you to be in any danger.
I wonder if it’s possible to try and get out of business completely with this sick exFW of yours. I know it’s been so stressful on you to deal with his shenanigans all the time. ( he sounds like a real piece of work!)
You are always going to have to have your guard up with the next creative way he will scam money from your business. I doubt that will ever end.
That’s an huge emotional and mental toll on you and your daughter, it has to be completely exhausting, never being able to fully rest from the potential of it.
The freer we can be from any interaction with these fools, the better off for all of us.
I’m in the process of selling property so I can buy my exFW out of our retirement beach house. We share it right now and his replacement wife doesn’t like to come here ( imagine that? Maybe a conscious exists in the deep craters of her soulless mind after all. )
Besides, he already bought her another beach house in a different state. My kids are suppose to inherit the joint owned beach house, as written in the divorce decree, but now he wants to either sell it outright or have me buy him out. The nightmare of splitting up belongings in this house with him and his schmoopie gives me great angst, I’m not looking to do that.
So, I decided to buy him out, because if I decide I can’t carry it, or it makes little sense because my kids and I live 1600 miles away from it, I can sell it for more than I have to pay him.
I don’t want to give him one damn dime, but I see it as completely being able to cut off contact with him once I outright own it, being the final joint holding between us. That is worth some money to me, emotional freedom.
Once the sale is complete, I get all the info on bills and such on the house over into my name alone, I will have a celebration the day I get to block my email from him, as I already did my texts 5 years ago.( which drove him totally insane, they do not want to lose control over us,even if they don’t want us)
I’m anxious about the operating costs of the house on my own, but the freedom to have him out of my live entirely will offset that nicely.
Would like to see you free from your loser ex too someday. I think, for me personally, it’s been preventing me from fully healing.

❤️ Velvet Hammer ❤️
❤️ Velvet Hammer ❤️
8 months ago
Reply to  Chumpasaurus45

Trust that the bases you mentioned are covered with back up coverage and protection.

My post above is the Clif’s Notes, edited for the sake of brevity and anonymity.

Thank you for caring.

❤️

❤️ Velvet Hammer ❤️
❤️ Velvet Hammer ❤️
8 months ago

….and their first (and only) Yelp review is negative with one star….looks like they’re off to a fitting start….

😂

Nut Cluster Free Zone
Nut Cluster Free Zone
8 months ago

Too bad you can’t post the name of the jack shack so the members of Team VH here could post bad Yelp reviews 🤣 On a more serious note, with this kind of business aren’t they engaging in human trafficking and prostitution ? Crikey

MrWonderful’sEx
MrWonderful’sEx
8 months ago

WaPo has cheater Carolyn Hax on the payroll… why not this guy?

I’m in southern VA but just had a great conversation with a northern VA chump who has been my friend going on 20 years. She said northern VA/DC area is a cesspool of cheaters. The State Dept is apparently pretty bad. Cheaters don’t mind hiring more cheaters. (Remind me… who owns WaPo again? 🤔)

If the letter writer needs these ex-colleagues for networking purposes, just thank them for the information they shared and tell them that she does not want to hear about it any further on the advice of her attorney. That will shut it down.

Stepbystep
Stepbystep
8 months ago

” Just thank them for the information they shared and tell them that she does not want to hear about it any further on the advice of her attorney. That will shut it down.”

Great advice because the priority is getting through the divorce and moving on in order to heal. The writer was not specific about how/why she left the company first or if she has any interest in returning. Clearly, it is a toxic environment if her STBX is allowed to stay.

Let the lawyer handle it.

luckychump
luckychump
8 months ago

I know CL advises not telling the current AP. I disagree. My FW lied to everyone of his APs, (“I’m separated, we are estranged, I’m in the process of a divorce”) all the lies were bullshit. He was an expert love bomber, but he was really grooming them to accept more extreme levels of abuse in horrific BDSM. Additionally, he was able to find very troubled and vulnerable APs to victimize. It’s impossible to imagine the wide swath of destruction he left in his path. I understand some chumps can’t jeopardize the FW’s earnings because they depend on child/spousal support. So don’t go “scorched earth” and tell the employer, but do try to tell the AP at least anonymously. Have a friend do it, create a false identity, whatever. Give them proof and then leave them alone. At least you tried to limit the devastation.

Mehitable
Mehitable
8 months ago
Reply to  luckychump

Personally I love revenge, as long as it’s non-violent, of course, and would do it whenever I could because….justice. I would definitely tell the AP or the AP’s spouse or boss or anyone from a pulpit on the Town Common if I could, but you have to be careful you don’t put yourself in a bad financial or legal position (possible slander?) and that you don’t have expectations from it because many people that you think should be outraged, Just Won’t Care, because people go along to get along. Until the stench becomes OVERWHELMING. If you have no expectations that anything will happen or your warnings will be heeded or that people will be sympathetic to you, and you have no financial or legal problems ensuing, you do it purely to satisfy your own desire to get a bit of your own back….I say…why the hell not. Burn it down.

Hell of a Chump
Hell of a Chump
8 months ago
Reply to  Mehitable

I love revenge but only if it’s funny, non lethal, doesn’t harm children, the innocent or animals and one does not get caught.

Leftbehindlily
Leftbehindlily
8 months ago

Ummm….I like it when they KNOW you did it, but just can’t prove it. That is truly satisfying.

Hell of a Chump
Hell of a Chump
8 months ago
Reply to  Tracy Schorn

Doing it anonymously might be the safer option. Though I’m rigorously honest to the people closest to me, I think in situations where a stranger or vague acquaintance stands to get hurt yet the messenger also faces the risk of getting shot (when it comes to ratting out sexual perpetrators, possibly literally shot or run down in a parking lot… maybe while the whistleblower is walking with their children…), I have zero and zilch qualms about spinning a few distracting fibs. From first hand experience, I know there’s a slight but scary risk that someone involved with a serial perpetrator might be a so-called “hybristophiliac” and sick and sadistic in their own right, so in warning someone away from a FW, I would just pen an email from a dummy account and send it under the veil of a VPN pretending to be an “old friend” giving them a heads up and apologizing for being too “cowardly” to name themselves and get involved. There are little details that can be thrown into the text to make it sound like it couldn’t have come from the chump in question.

Sample:

“Hey so-and-so. It’s been so long since we’ve seen each other. Life has taken us in different directions recently but I always think fondly of our time in school (or whatever red herring reference). Anyway, I want to apologize up front about being such a coward and not naming myself right now because I’m genuinely afraid of the person I want to warn you about. I don’t know how close you are to [insert FW perp’s name]. I know from a few personal brushes that I’ve had with him that he can be very charming and engaging. But there’s a strong chance he’s not a good person and may even be dangerous. I’ve heard from more than one impeccable source that he’s done X and Y and Z.

I know this is all hearsay and I wouldn’t blame you for not subscribing to idle gossip. But the buzz is that you may be involved with this person on some level. I’m so sorry if it sounds like people are invading your privacy but I can assure you that the tone of this has all been very kind and admiring towards you and solely out of concern. You’re well liked by many but the same can’t really be said for FW. I hope that nothing negative happens regarding this person but I would feel terrible in the case something negative did happen and I hadn’t given you a heads up to help you protect yourself.
With love and respect, a concerned friend.”

damnitfeelsbadtobeachumpster
damnitfeelsbadtobeachumpster
8 months ago

take the long view. it’s hard, i know.

my X had a longstanding affair with his subordinate at work, promoted her then they planned their new life of being successful at the company. both left their partners in a studied/careful/lying and cheating way. they announced their relationship to the company and this lead to a corporate restructure to accommodate them.

guess what happened? he lost his position first then she was forced out. so far, my X remains unemployed (7 months now), and his AP started at a new company in a position where, given the project she oversees, she has a good chance of being a sacrificial lamb. it’s a hot potato project.

but that doesn’t mean you don’t burn with the fury of a 1000 suns right now, so try to take that fury out on things you can control–how far you run; how much you lift; the state of your investments; learning how to cook all the hawaiian foods in the history of time. roast a whole pig. and wait. there will be changes.

susie lee
susie lee
8 months ago

I love when they plan a life out of the ashes of deceit and it all falls in on them.

I was taught at a very young age to have character and be honest. But, beyond that I was taught that you treat your workplace with the utmost respect and value. Because your workplace will be the place that feeds you and your family.

In short of course “don’t shit where you eat”.

My fw soon after exposure was kissing ass at warp speed. The mayor actually did a welcome home to my son who was returning from the middle east conflicts, along with a couple other guys. I went to the ceremony of course and it was embarrassing to see my ex running around as the mayor was barking out orders. Mayor even made him come over to me and make sure I was seated in the front row.

Within six months he was busted back to street cop, whore had been reassigned to dispatcher and within six months after that she fucked up a run, put two officers in danger and was let go.

She had been barely capable of dog catcher, but they gave her a chance. I honestly think they thought she would do a good job, but she showed them the stuff she was made of.

Goodfriend
Goodfriend
8 months ago

“But that doesn’t mean you don’t burn with the fury of a 1000 suns right now, so try to take that fury out on things you can control–how far you run; how much you lift; the state of your investments; learning how to cook all the hawaiian foods in the history of time. roast a whole pig. and wait. there will be changes.”

That is such great advice. I was advised to put my energy into house cleaning. He had left such a mess that three years later, I’m still finding junk he left behind, hidden in the garage, basement, backs of kitchen cabinets, any and every nook and cranny. Today I found a box of mail and receipts from 1997. It was a relief to toss without reading. I’m going to do more and toss more, but I’m going to save this comment, and put aup a sticky note that says, “Take that fury out on things you can control.

Thanks for writing this,

Apidae
Apidae
8 months ago

LW, in addition to your divorce lawyer, you need to talk to an employment lawyer ASAP. Good news, they don’t charge you up front.

Granny K
Granny K
8 months ago

Haven’t these guys ever heard the phrase “don’t fish off the company pier“?

Also, someone is still in corporate America, I find it hard to believe that management is unaware of what’s going on and what kind of liability it is for the company. The only reasons I could come up with that they would let this behavior continue without some sort of meeting from human resources is a) maybe they’re not all that in touch with their workforce, or b) they’re enjoying his shenanigans vicariously through him.

I realize it’s not managements job to marriage police their fellow employees, but seriously people. Keep it in your pants.

Sandyfeet
Sandyfeet
8 months ago
Reply to  Granny K

Small companies, under 50 employees, are exempt from many rules, unfortunately.
A neighbor is a dental hygienist, she said it’s awful for the whole office, when the dentist is cheating with an employee.

Dontfeellikedancin
Dontfeellikedancin
8 months ago
Reply to  Granny K

We had a married woman in my office who was abusive to her female subordinates while sucking up to male managers and behaving inappropriately in front of clients. I was wondering why they didn’t fire her.

We temporarily didn’t have an office manager, and the company president was spending part of each week on site managing the office.
Eventually they promoted my mentor to office manager, and the woman was given the option to leave rather than be fired. Talking to my mentor, I found out the reason she wasn’t kicked to the curb sooner was she was banging the (also married) president. But once he wasn’t at our office regularly I guess he didn’t have an interest in protecting her. Well, didn’t she learn the hard way.

Hell of a Chump
Hell of a Chump
8 months ago

The theme of workplace APs abusing borrowed power is interesting and very familiar. Could that be one of the demented motivations for side pieces to engage in workplace affairs, particularly when there’s a power imbalance?

I’m left wondering because the main reason I was contacted by two workplace whistleblowers about FW’s affair and given the heads up was because the dumpy underling he was banging– due to her great sense of victory, pride and hubris at humping a higher up– started alienating peers by bossing them around and acting like– and I quote– she was “wearing FW’S stap-on dick.” It didn’t win her any friends in any event. I benefited from this because it pissed coworkers off to the point of risking their careers to track me down and inform me about a workplace affair so that I could protect myself.

Letgo
Letgo
8 months ago
Reply to  Granny K

A young woman I know said their office had a nasty tempered, misogynist, creep who made the lives miserable of every woman there. She was fairly new but his awfulness eventually got around to her. Afterward she asked a coworker why the bosses kept him on. Money. He was the best salesman they had. It always comes down to money. She moved to another business and loves it.

FYI
FYI
8 months ago
Reply to  Granny K

At my workplace, the CEO had an affair with one of his direct reports. He promoted her to Senior VP, left his wife, and married the AP. She is now wreaking havoc all over the company, and no one can stop her because she is the CEO’s wife. (She still reports to him, and, yes, she is maybe 20 years younger.)
The rest of the C-suite, including the founder/president, does. not. care.

Hell of a Chump
Hell of a Chump
8 months ago
Reply to  FYI

Harks to studies about how “mate poachers” (witting APs) tend to be very high in “dark triad’ traits like Machiavellianism, narcissism and psychopathy.

Ginger_Superpowers
Ginger_Superpowers
8 months ago
Reply to  FYI

Asshat was the president of a company he co-owned with brother and cousin and two others. HoWorker/Wife was direct report. I found out during the divorce they hired a law firm to assure everyone that there was nothing legally wrong with their relationship. He eventually did loose his position, but it was spun as a “change in position”. It was told at a company wide meeting with a lot of people crying, thinking Asshat had been fired. They have since sold the company and have married, but the people in his professional field believe he’s been sent to work in a community an hour away (they still live in my town) to get him out of dodge. I’m sure his reputation is toast.

But….No. One. Cared…….professionally. My two kids care a lot.

Apidae
Apidae
8 months ago
Reply to  Granny K

It is absolutely management’s job to prevent sexual harassment. Which is what this FW is doing.

Kim
Kim
8 months ago

My ex was much older too. I had just come out of an abusive marriage and didn’t put myself together like I should have before moving on….lesson learned.

I dumped him because 44 year old me wasn’t willing to put up with the nasty passive aggressive conflict avoidant shit that 31 year old me was. The ex gf he kept around our entire relationship was the final drop in the bucket.

You know what I learned? People have these scumbags figured out more then we think. People know he’s predatory and they laugh at what a creepy pathetic loser he is behind his back. I had more then a few mutual acquaintances/friends say something to me after I left him.

My ex belongs to a running club (we’re both runners) that one of my besties sits on the board of. She says everyone thinks he’s a creepy loser.

Don’t worry about it. Tell your story to whomever you like, but know that most people have him figured out.

Cam
Cam
8 months ago
Reply to  Kim

Similar story here. Mine was 15 years older than me (which is huge when you’re only mid-20s). A decade later, his life’s still a train wreck and everyone tells me what a creepy loser he is.

Ginger_Superpowers
Ginger_Superpowers
8 months ago

I find it repulsive and disgusting that so many people in the news industry cheat and appear to have no consequences. Jesse Waters and Pete Hegseth mock what Fox pretends to represent. TJ Holmes and Amy Roback are the rare example of immediate professional consequences. I fully understand that these FWs will have many personal consequences.

They suck.

FYI
FYI
8 months ago

“my husband then referred to her as a piece of meat, a disposable object, dumped her …”

Wow. Charming. Other people are simply garbage to him. He can be intimate with someone without thinking of their humanity in any way. The toxicity — it burns.

Shadow
Shadow
8 months ago
Reply to  FYI

I think they regard women as mere things; things with bits to grope and holes to poke. It’s a level of dehumanisation that is abusive, evil and should be a crime.

Viktoria
Viktoria
8 months ago
Reply to  FYI

“He can be intimate with someone without thinking of their humanity in any way…”

This mindset is what prostitution is based on.

Tornup
Tornup
8 months ago

Married 30 years and EX also got involved with subordinate (white knight) that walked into his office to complain. left me and married her. He was then fired(35 years he had that job) She remains there. She is an affair down in every aspect. Narcissist and materialistic. it’s insanity/ He finally got a new job 9 Months later (1/3 the pay) but recently got a promotion less than a year later. I don’t know if they all get the consequences of their actions. I think those consequences shape their character for change. Avoidants with escapism coping might not have always been bad people. I believe my XH was a good man. He is not now, but he does financially take care of me. I guess I could be in much worse position. He has completely wiped out his old life and adult children and grandson. There is nothing left of his life of over 30 years. I think their punishment is living with themselves. No normal person walks away from their children.

Mehitable
Mehitable
8 months ago
Reply to  Tornup

There are things in this world that make me wonder if demonic possession is real. How can a man be a certain type of person to all who know him for 30 years and then…..change 180 degrees. I understand many people are fake from the start, and most of these live double lives, but those who really DO seem to change like this….I have to wonder what kind of explanations there are. It’s mystifying and very sad when you think of the man that was and what is now. I think it’s best to think of the original man as “dead” but who the hell is THIS guy then?

OHFFS
OHFFS
8 months ago
Reply to  Mehitable

Mehitable, one thing that is literally changing male brains is internet porn. My FW is a completely different person now after many years of viewing hardcore porn. He is like a zombie. He’s so dead inside that he can’t even produce a tear, even for the deaths of loved ones.
You do have to be a low empathy person to be interested in that abusive filth to begin with, but it definitely killed what empathy and decency he did have in him. I’m convinced he probably wouldn’t have cheated if he hadn’t primed the pump (so to speak) with years of secret porn use.
So when you see what looks like a Jekyll/Hyde transformation in a man in which he becomes a monstrous pervert, that’s usually what it is. It’s a massive problem that’s being ignored because porn is so profitable.
Women are being gaslighted about it. The “sex positive” douchebags are telling us it’s freeing us up sexually, when in fact, the ultimate goal is our enslavement.

Conchobara
Conchobara
8 months ago
Reply to  OHFFS

I 100% agree with you. FW is addicted to porn and lied to me and our therapist that he had stopped when I discovered it early in our marriage. He went back later (never stopped, more like). Truthfully he began to develop ‘interests’ and find me very unsatisfactory (I didn’t behave like they do in FAKE p0rn). So he went hunting for verrry young women who would do whatever it is he wanted to do with the “toys” and “equipment” he was renting a secret storage unit to hide. I have some guesses but I’m truly glad I don’t know and I don’t spend time (anymore) speculating about it because ewwww.

The child mistress was 18 when he bought her on a sugar daddy site. She’s 22 now (he’s 49–also ewww), so she should probably be aware that much like Leonardo Dicaprio, FW women age out. I was too old by 30. Whatever.

MicheleShocked
MicheleShocked
8 months ago
Reply to  Tornup

A little different but similar …. FW hired AP as a subordinate in Dec 2014, they started their affair by Feb/March 2015. He walked out on me and our son for her by June 2015. He was up for promotion and instead he got fired. And she is still at the company. He struggled for years to get a decent job and finally landed a big one… lost that too. He is still with AP and her 2 kids. He has a very limited relationship with his son…. son hasn’t gone to his house for over 3 years and wants nothing to do with AP. I agree that FW punishment is living with themselves. They walk away from their own kids and lives and just slide into another one. It’s creepy and nonsensical

SortOfOverIt
SortOfOverIt
8 months ago
Reply to  MicheleShocked

“They walk away from their own kids and lives and just slide into another one. It’s creepy and nonsensical”

Very good point. Obviously cheating is wrong no matter the particulars. But I see a lot of stories here where the FW leaves, and basically starts a new life with AP that mirrors the old life. Including the FW going on to cheat on the AP eventually. What is the point of that? A trail of broken hearts and CS payments to follow them through life. WHY?

Hell of a Chump
Hell of a Chump
8 months ago

Ah, Glenn Thrush! I hadn’t heard about his victim blaming but it makes perfect sense. He couldn’t be better dubbed if his name was Glenn Bacterial Vaginosis… you know, one of those conditions she-chumps commonly get from cheaters but which– if it wasn’t for back-to-back repeat infections overlapping affairs– could almost fall under “you musta picked that up from a toilet seat.”

I think whoever is giving irrelevant mediocrities like Thrush (or Shia LaBeouf, James Franco, Woody Allen, etc., etc.) jobs and opportunities is basically signing off on the sexual abuse, applauding and approving it. Otherwise why not hire and promote actual vision and talent? Personally I’m beginning to suspect it’s because the rapey creepiness might be the actual draw. The argument gets more muddy when the perp in question has actual talent (say, Roman Polanski). But when they’re mediocrities or incompetent disasters on top of it, their supporters are virtually confessing.

A friend who’s originally from Ghana and I have been texting a running commentary on certain overseas elections recently and debating why it is people vote for known rapists/harassers and other species of demented pervs. Because these types, aside from being predators, also tend to have commendable traits like political and economic incompetence, lack of culture, literacy, intelligence, charm, etc., we wondered if, contrary to what certain Pollyanna commentators believe, the supporters of these figures aren’t voting for these folks in spite of their perviness but because of it. Think about it. Wouldn’t boosting epic creeps to positions of power and status provides hope for every garden variety perv that they’ll eventually be able to come out of the shadows and let their freak flags fly high?

I’m seriously starting to see it as an actual political movement, maybe a perpetual one that’s always been with us. Call it Perv Utopianism. This friend, a neuroscientist, was originally leaning towards the idea that racism/xenophobia might be the driving force behind retrograde political movements that seem to want to push humanity back to feudal monkey rule. But when we started cross searching studies that look for correlations with something called “rape myth acceptance,” it began to seem more and more that blaming rape victims– or arguably rape itself– is the disgusting “sun” around which all other biases “orbit,” sort of the core point of rot. There were so many associative studies like correlating “rape myth acceptance + racism,” “rape myth acceptance + tolerance of violent authoritarianism,” “rape myth acceptance + sexism/ageism/ableism” and on and on (including the ever relevant “rape myth acceptance + infidelity tolerance”).

I don’t know why it’s become so popular for social scientists to search for associations with that particular cognitive bias but it’s clear the main theme being pursued is “victim blaming.” Maybe these types of studies are push-back against all the current weaponized science (see David Price’s “Weaponizing Anthropology”) seeking to further pathologize victims in general on behalf of corrupt corporate or institutional sponsors, like the increasing number of junk science papers on so-called “career victims”– a grossly cynical concept seeking to cast survivor advocates who speak out against corporate profit interests or various power figures as fame-and-cash-grubbing opportunists and nuts. Whatever’s behind it, it’s nothing new and obviously represents what Noam Chomsky dubbed “manufacturing consent.” Also “DARVO”-coiner Prof. Jennifer Freyd’s work on blame-shifting in interpersonal abuse is becoming more and more relevant these days and has a lot of wider political applications. We seem to be in another historical cycle of “manufacturing consent/blame-reversal” and the rise in Perelish chump-blaming is just one expression of it of a much bigger putsch.

Anyway, not to be all grand about it but it might even help the world a bit when each separate marginalized group (like chumps) push back against the specific brands of victim-blaming they individually face.

OHFFS
OHFFS
8 months ago

“the supporters of these figures aren’t voting for these folks in spite of their perviness but because of it. Think about it. Wouldn’t boosting epic creeps to positions of power and status provides hope for every garden variety perv that they’ll eventually be able to come out of the shadows and let their freak flags fly high?”

I’ve always been convinced that’s a big part of the MAGA cult; making both rapey perversion and racism acceptable so the supporters can abuse with impunity themselves.

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

Isn’t it weird to see women championing this? Are they all captor-bonded hostages or evil hybristophiliacs who are turned on by sadism? Does it matter when they’re helping to pave the road to hell for the rest of us?

Mehitable
Mehitable
8 months ago

I think actual systems of institutionalized rape and sexual abuse, especially of children, are a real thing, which is why these people continue to be used and promoted. They’re members of a “club” and the club has real power based on their common interests and their ability to both assist and compromise each other. It’s like the Epstein Club and we will never know what really happens because….the media and the legal authorities are ALSO part of it. Sex, drugs and arms trafficking are the biggest industries in the world and nothing will be allowed to interfere with their profits.

Hell of a Chump
Hell of a Chump
8 months ago
Reply to  Mehitable

“…their ability to both assist and compromise each other”= “MAD” (mutually assured destruction)? Is this why the petty little marital cheaters working in my kids’ old school district circled the wagons around the two credibly alleged child molesters on staff that were outed by almost a dozen adult former students in the press? (BTW, I immediately withdrew my children from that school).

portia
portia
8 months ago

If you do not cut off the incoming information regarding what the EX FW and the new victim are doing, you will prolong your own pain. You are interfering with your own ability to heal. It’s nice to have empathy and want to save someone else from the pain you know is coming, but chances are they will not believe you anyway. You changed from 31-year-old attitude to 44-year-old attitude. The next victim will change, too.

I tried to warn my sons about red flags I could spot in their new loves du jour when they were teens. They definitely did not appreciate my assistance. Somehow, it made it worse when I was proven to be right with my instincts. I learned I had to step back and let them learn some things the hard way for the lesson to stick. Watching my sons make painful mistakes was far harder than watching new love interests falling for the same old BS. I chose not to lie, if asked. I did not initiate contact. If a new potential victim contacted me to ask why our relationship had failed, I chose my words very carefully. Those who had a bit of discernment could read the subtexts in the answers I gave. Those who accused me of inaccurate things got corrected. As an example, a reply to an inappropriate question, ” you must have misunderstood something . . . I did not have an affair” (emphasis on I). They could believe or not. I figured if they asked questions, they were already having doubts.

Don’t shop for pain. Explain to your friends you have had enough, and don’t need anymore. Soon, you really won’t care at all, and will only think of it on rare occasions.

SortOfOverIt
SortOfOverIt
8 months ago
Reply to  portia

“It’s nice to have empathy and want to save someone else from the pain you know is coming, but chances are they will not believe you anyway. ”

That is my take on this too. If you ask all of us chumps what it took for us to leave, you will find that the overwhelming majority were not those might folks that walked out the door immediately and forever on D-Day. Most will be more like me, people that saw red flags and ignored them, saw evidence and wrote it off in the most nonsensical way possible etc. Many chumps find enough evidence to know there is definitely cheating going on, and they keep digging anyway, if they walked in on schmoops and their FW naked in their marital bed it might still not be quite enough evidence for them. So if we all needed that much proof, I doubt that most APs will leave over an anonymous letter warning them. And sometimes the letter will backfire on the Chump. It just seems like a risk not worth taking.

Leedy
Leedy
8 months ago

MyLife, I really feel for you. I went through something similar: my husband, the AP, and I all worked at the same place, and many colleagues and even good friends knew about the affair before I did. For what it’s worth, one of the very most painful things for me during that time was same loss of privacy you speak of: both before and after D-Day, my personal life was the subject of lots of juicy gossip, some of it generated by my husband who had a stake in saying anything that would make me look bad. Once I found out about the affair and the gossip, I DID find it all horribly humiliating, as I think anyone would. That loss of privacy just sucks. But I would add that this phase where you feel like your life is an open book may end more quickly than you think (all the more so if, as CL suggests, you cut ties to people in that workplace, assuming you no longer need those contacts professionally). People really do move on mentally and start to see you as your own person, after the separation. Also, if you handle yourself with dignity–for example, by not badmouthing your husband in turn, except in the company of truly trusted friends–you may come away from this whole messy time feeling pretty great about yourself. Again, you have my sympathy. And it’s wonderful that you decided to separate so soon after finding out about the affair!

susie lee
susie lee
8 months ago
Reply to  Leedy

Good post. I know a lot of folks feel bad for celebrities having their garbage spilled all over, but honestly there is no difference between celebs and most of the rest of us. Everyone in our world who knows us, and many who don’t know us know and gossip. Only difference is their world is bigger, not more painful but bigger.

I second “get out of that world” to the extent one can.

That saved me a lot of anguish. I was a fixture in our local community activities and like the rapture I just whisked myself away. It was fairly easy because I didn’t work in the community. But I still had a couple friends who were being actual friends to me, so they only told me the things they knew would help me.

Mehitable
Mehitable
8 months ago
Reply to  Leedy

I hope you don’t mind me asking but did he up and leave you when the affair was discovered/confessed? They so often are found to be bad mouthing their spouses during these affairs and I can’t imagine staying with a spouse they’ve spent so much energy on tearing down, yet some of them do try to. Their mental labyrinths never cease to amaze me.

Leedy
Leedy
8 months ago
Reply to  Mehitable

He wanted to stay with me, for the sake of our 6-year-old daughter; but because I couldn’t imagine living with him after a 6-year betrayal (and years of bullying), we separated 4 days after D-Day.

Mehitable
Mehitable
8 months ago

MyLifeIsaSoapOpera…….again, my sympathies for the pain you are being put through by this vicious person. Your situation highlights an idea that I have long had which is that while we focus on the sex aspects because cheating is inherently sexual (even emotional affairs usually turn physical) I think the problem is a more basic one of someone who uses sex/romance as one process to dominate, control and humiliate others. It’s about power for many cheaters, not just getting their willies and wynonas wet. Many of these cheaters also engage in legal crimes like financial theft as well because…..dishonest people are dishonest, it’s a basic character trait and sex is only one way they can express it. DO CHECK YOUR FINANCIAL RECORDS TO SEE IF STBX HAS BEEN STEALING FROM THE MARRIAGE TO FUND HIS AFFAIRS. This is common and can be considered in a settlement.

In your case the power dynamic is very obvious of an older man constantly looking for young women to control. dominate and abuse. CHEATING IS ABUSE. It is psychological abuse on the same level, possibly worse in some ways, as physical domestic violence and society needs to recognize that. The mental and emotional damage done, the financial damage, the societal damage, the damage to children….this is not just some playful thing about sneaking around and having “fun” sex. This destroys spouses and families and IT IS ABUSE and needs to be acknowledged and treated as such. Your STBX is an abusive, controlling man who will keep doing this pattern of preying (and many of them are serial predators) on young women until the System stops him. Now, I don’t know if you are financially dependent on him keeping his job at this point so you may not want to bring HR into his activities but if him losing his job is not going to hurt you, you might notify them that….he’s doing it again. This man needs to work in Antarctica in a station manned by penguins.

Mehitable
Mehitable
8 months ago

Also, MLIASO…..As CL says, you should just let go of what he’s doing unless you can report it to HR with no financial problems for yourself. This is the way he is, and I think they all know it there too. As outrageous as it is, your main focus now has to be to take care of yourself and your children and to go NO CONTACT with this evil man as much as you can. Just limit it to kids and assets, and have as much as possible go through your attorney and a willing 3rd party like a relative. Other than that….I’d try to think of him as dead or having gone to live in….Antarctica….for the rest of his natural life. In a very real way, the man you thought you knew IS dead, he killed that persona for you and now you know who the Scarlet Pimpernel REALLY is.

HunnyBadger
HunnyBadger
8 months ago

Dear MyLifeisaSoapOpera,

Congratulations for leaving him. As hard as these days are, you will never, ever, ever regret doing so.

But right now you need to free yourself, your mind and your spirit from his ‘power.’ You are not responsible for what he does or who he does. He has his hand in the garbage disposal and is just begging for someone to flip the switch. He is almost daring someone to make this happen. I have come to think of it as Cheater’s Russian Roulette.

You don’t have to be that person. Just D-I-S-E-N-G-A-G-E. In fact, I now offer you “Disengage” as your new magic word. You don’t have to show up for the soap opera. You don’t have to get dragged in. You get a choice in the matter.

Now run and frolic and do your work and heal and grow. You will be able to see his life exploding in your rear view mirror, and I promise it will feel better when he is safely back behind you.

20th Century Chump
20th Century Chump
8 months ago

Thanks, Tracy, for the link to the Glenn Rush story. I, too, saw him doing the pundit thing and remember that I had read he was a creeper–or as the Brits say, a sex pest. I lost respect for the NY Times that they didn’t fire him. You know that he’s created a lot more emotional damage among young women journalists that has come to light, and he’s apparently just getting on with his privileged professional life with only a minor setback. Ugh.

MsAzure
MsAzure
8 months ago

Dear Soap, your life does not have to remain embroiled in this insane soap opera if you don’t want it to. It’s really as easy as that; that’s the beauty of kicking a FW to the curb. We get to retake our power and they get to become road runner dust. I suspect that part of the reason you may – at whatever level – still swirl around it with interest is because like many of us, you’ve never encountered such perplexity in your life as you have being involved with this deceitful, lying, coldhearted, scumbag so the rational part of your brain is still trying to make some sense of it. As it’s been stated many times before on this blog, you cannot untangle the skein of their fuckitude. Not gonna happen. They’re a different species, you’ll never stumble upon an answer that will satisfy you. And by now, his heliocentric theory that he is the Sun and all women are created to orbit around him, is deeply embedded. More fuckery.

You mention that your ex is “many years” older than you, so know he’s had many drama-filled, cheating rodeos before your 8 year run. You don’t mention any children in your letter so I’m going to assume you and he do not share any. Fantastic! The silver lining. You do not have to co-parent with him, it can be a clean break with no contact.

You say that all of your family/friends say “none of this even feels real, it’s like an endless drama show…” and you ask for suggestions how to cope. Well, since the drama show reference is a running theme, why not take a page out of one?

You sound relatively young, but you’ve probably heard of the TV drama that was extremely popular back in the 80’s called “Dallas.” Dallas was a long-running evening soap opera with all sorts of twists and turns and of course, a resident villain named “J.R.” During one of the later seasons, Dallas had what was referred to as the “dream season.” Patrick Duffy, the actor who played “Bobby Ewing” decided to leave the series for greener pastures or whatever, and his character was killed off. It turned out that it was a mistake for both Duffy and the show’s ratings so now the producers had the complicated creative task of seeing if they could resurrect his character. In the end, it was scripted that his wife “Pam Ewing,” played by Victoria Principal, would awaken from a bad dream, and that Bobby had never died. They show him in the shower, smiling and scrubbing his buff body. It was all a dream.

Take a page from Pam Ewing’s book. Your 8-year relationship with this cheating scoundrel was a bad dream. There are no children to remind you that it wasn’t. It was all a dream. A bad one. Move on into a sane, happy future.

OHFFS
OHFFS
8 months ago
Reply to  MsAzure

Another Dallas aficionado in CN! I have the whole thing on DVD and watch it start to finish about every five-seven years.

OHFFS
OHFFS
8 months ago

This is why I have always said people, particularly women, should not get involved with somebody a great deal older than themselves. Usually that’s a creep on a power trip. There are exceptions to be found, but is it worth the risk? I do think it’s best to date within your own age group for other reasons as well. You can’t have much in common with somebody who is so much older. Your entire frame of reference is different. Ten years older or younger is doable, but beyond that, I’d steer clear.

Back to Soap Opera; you are doing great, especially for being just 12 weeks out. CL is right in saying you should stop getting updates on the pig’s activities. You need not stop engaging with your former colleagues, just tell them you don’t want to hear anything more about him. But before you do that, ask them for the names of the women he has been preying on. Give the information to your lawyer. It could be used as leverage to get a good settlement. The threat of going to HR could be enough to keep FW generous and keep him from making your life hell during the divorce. This puts you in the power position.
Think strategically and don’t hesitate to be ruthless, because he certainly will be. Do not trust for one minute that he will be reasonable and fair, no matter what verbal assurances he makes.

As for coping, keep your eyes on the prize, which is a peaceful, FW free life. It’s going to be a slog, but the reward at the end is worth it. Ask any chump who has gone through it. It’s such a relief to live without the chaos and drama of being with a cheater. So hang in there. It gets better.

Lastly, I just wanted to say that Piffle is my favorite CL cartoon. It’s perfection.

Conchobara
Conchobara
8 months ago
Reply to  OHFFS

I used to wonder what FW and the child mistress could possibly have to talk about since he is 26 years older than her (more than double her age!) but someone in CN said to me early on, it’s him. That’s what they talk about. Just him. And it made so much sense I stopped thinking about it.

Honestly, though, I find it super skeevy to have an age gap like that. Don’t people assume you are out with a parent, not a lover? Is it about having ‘daddy issues’? I mean, how BORING for the child mistress to spend all that time with a married father. And this guy is DULL. His hobby is watching train videos (and p0rn). He has no friends, doesn’t read, doesn’t educate, or make any effort to grow or better himself in any way. I just can’t imagine that they have any commonalities. Or, if he does try, that he doesn’t look magnificently pathetic.

Hell of a Chump
Hell of a Chump
8 months ago

Dear My Life Is a Soap Opera,

I get the sense that part of the reason you’re saying your life is a “soap opera”– aside from the complex telenovela type of partner-swapping fuckery that your STBX has gotten up to– is that he’s been spinning a lot of blame-shifting bs about you and you’re currently living in a swirl of negative gossip. Calling this effect a “soap opera” seems to be an attempt on your part to show that you recognize that, while gossip hurts and unsettles, it’s essentially silly and meaningless like the idiotic plots of soap operas.

While I think making a bit of a joke about it shows a certain amount of stoicism on your part and a sense of gallows humor (which I love and applaud), I’m not sure I’d agree that the kind of character assassination your STBXFW is committing against you is “silly” or negligible. Something I’ve been thinking and writing about recently is the idea of “social ruin” or “social abuse” as a particularly vicious aspect of “coercive control,” aka “sub-violent” forms of domestic violence. At least in the domestic violence advocacy arena, there’s been progressive recognition in the past twenty years that things like emotional and financial abuse within intimate relationships can have devastating effects on victims that are as serious as violent assault. By the same token, I think it’s about time social abuse/social coercion got its due in that sense. The threat that someone will say terrible, character-assassinating things about you behind your back because you left them can feasibly have terrible and (God forbid) even life threatening consequences.

Because– in the realm of all that is possible– that kind of negative spin can have dire consequences, I think part of the very serious trauma of leaving an abuser is this sense of “logical extremes.” If– due to an abuser’s self-exculpating, blame-reversing bs gossip– we don’t end up A) losing friends, family, social reputations, jobs, careers; B) losing custody of our children; C) dying, it was no thanks to the evil intent of the lying, blameshifting, character-assassinating ex who was trashing us behind our backs to anyone who would listen.

Sometimes we need to measure the danger of people by what they could potentially have done– the harm the could have committed against us– had their ill-intent resulted in “logical extremes.” In other words, never mind if they failed in those sick attempts, we need to measure their danger by what they could have done. And isn’t it shocking and rattling and unsettling to realize we’d been living in such close proximity to people who could– oopsy, whoops– do us such terrible harm? That’s real trauma.

I think the truth is that sometimes blameshifting gossip/social abuse kills. I collected a lot of stories along those lines from the time I spent as an advocate for domestic violence survivors but there’s a particular story from a frequent contributor to CL which tragically illustrates how deadly and “un-silly” spin and false gossip can be– specifically the case where the cheating husband of a member of CN ended up killing this woman’s toddler after she left him. As far as I know, the “FW” in this situation had never previously been violent (please correct me if I’m wrong). I believe he began making violent threats when his wife left. He also began telling everyone– including police– heinous lies about her, such as her being a prostitute. As a direct result of “FW spin,” police didn’t take the stalking reports the CN member filed seriously and she couldn’t get protection. Her ex ended up kidnapping her son and committing murder/suicide.

Something else that’s been getting more recognition in recent years is that some domestic abusers might not be violent until their victims attempt to escape. There’s a statistic coming out of Australia that, in 60% of domestic murder cases, there had been no previous reports of violence. Some cases could probably be chalked up to under-reporting of domestic assault but there’s also a lot of evidence that a good share of domestic abusers don’t resort to violence until their victims try to escape, at which point victims’ risk of being murdered rises 70-fold. What this means is that a very large percentage of abusers manage to entrap their victims using mostly “sub-violent” controlling and coercive tactics.

For a general introduction to the concept of sub-violent domestic abuse, a book I recommend all the time is “Coercive Control by veteran DV shelter activist and forensic social worker Evan Stark. Stark is currently one of the main spearheads of the international movement to criminalize coercive control, a campaign based on the serious statistical risk that abusers who engage in sub-violent or psychological/emotional/financial abuse are more likely than average to progress to outright violence or even murder. It’s also based on decades of observations from Stark and others that victims of DV almost universally report that the psychological and emotional abuse and coercion they endure as the most paralyzing and devastating aspects of DV even beyond physical assault and injury.

Anyway, of all the forms of emotional and psychological coercion and open or veiled threats that abusers typically dish out, there’s one in particular that I think is under-discussed– this idea of Dickensian “social run” or attacking people’s reputations. Most people understand that, in Victorian times, destroying someone’s name, honor or reputation could have life and death consequences for the targets of it because of the lack of social welfare nets in those times. That may be one of the reasons why, in days of yore, people fought duels to the death over attacks on honor and rep. But these days we assume those social safety nets exist so there’s generally a “sticks and stones” view of negative gossip– as if it isn’t that big a deal and, unless it effects financial interests or business opportunities in ways that justify defamation/libel suits, most of us can just blow it off and ignore it.

The problem I have with this casual attitude towards spin and negative gossip is that I think those social safety nets are partly illusory and don’t always work. At least in the US, you (or your dependents) can actually die because you lose your career and social supports. People die living in their cars without health insurance or social help. And it’s actually in the realm of possibilities that you can lose those things because your character comes under attack from some rando lying, blame-shifting piece of shit.

The point I’m trying to make is that if you feel rattled, unsettled and destabilized on some deep spiritual and emotional level by the bs your STBX is spinning about you to anyone who will listen, I don’t think it’s silly on your part at all. I think you have a gut sense that he means real harm within the realm of possible negative outcomes for you. I also think it’s incredibly traumatic to realize that someone you were so close to could mean you harm on such an intense level.

Your life is not a soap opera. If anything, it’s a serious film or documentary about risk, danger, near-misses, threat, evil intent and loss. If you personally have any social safety nets protecting you from whatever ill-will this ex intends towards you, it’s no thanks to him but just your good luck. My advice to you is to act accordingly. Take his attacks on your reputation for what they are: hopes of destroying you. Take no prisoners as you fight against him for your rights and safety.

Wishing you peace and strength as you move forward to the beautiful life you deserve (and sorry for any typos).

susie lee
susie lee
8 months ago

Good stuff.

It is chilling that so many folks (even professionals) will sit and listen to an exposed liar and cheat and give their words credence. If you think about it, it is crazy, but there it is.

I mentioned before when the boyfriend of Gabby Petito was being questioned and was standing there calm, and collected she was basically waived off as a nut job. I do think a part of it is how calm and collected they can be; when they know what they are doing. It is scary.

But, in the case of Gabby we didn’t know yet. What happens in many cases of betrayal is, folks know what the perp has done, yet still give him/her the benefit of the doubt against the victim.

SortOfOverIt
SortOfOverIt
8 months ago
Reply to  susie lee

A semi-related but more complicated example. One of Jeffrey Dahmer’s victims escaped his apartment and police were called. The victim was bleeding and I believe half dressed. I don’t think he spoke much if any, English. The cops chaulked it up to a lover’s quarrel and sent the victim back in with Jeffrey to DIE. (This is more complicated than the Gabby example you use, because homophobia also played a huge role here, but this particular story has always been so upsetting to me)

Orlando
Orlando
8 months ago

Good grief are these young women being influenced by that moronic tik tok “trend” to be a stay-at-home girlfriend? So they’re looking for an older sugar daddy to give them that lifestyle?! Dump any toxic people & stay away from the toxic run-off. I went inner-zen bitch & kept my circle small & close. No time of day for any drama bullshit! That’s the AP & FW’s job.

LovedAJackass
LovedAJackass
8 months ago

It’s a superpower to not care what people think about you. Truly.
Stop focusing on him and what he’s doing. It’s normal for him and his doings to take up space in your head in the first few months, but that’s a battle to start fighting now. Find ways to cut off thought about him, his affair partner and his current behavior.
Please avoid contact with these former co-workers. If you want to stay in contact, you can say to anyone, “I’m forever grateful to the person who told me about his affair, but now I have to focus on building a new life.” But no contact that includes gossip about FW.
Do tell your attorney about the affair partners. As CL says, the threat of deposition often moves thing along.
Focus on you, your health, your recovery.

MyLifeisaSoapOpera
MyLifeisaSoapOpera
8 months ago

The best reply to wake up to…and has made my month ahead seeing your response CL and the encouragement of CN. This community is what has got me through some of my darkest and most horrific days navigating the past 12 weeks of a nightmare. There are no words for the support of this community and the strength you all offer, and the reminder to keep on keeping on until one day, the land of meh arrives. Thank you CL, this was the timely reminder that I needed of these predators and monsters who exist in the workforce and prey on women..all the promises of the world that he would “seek help” and “change” are just more and more lies..two decades of that behaviour will never change! Thank you for reminding me how grateful I am to be out of that degrading and disturbing nightmare and finally free to build my new life…away from an ex who targets girls two decades younger. Now to remind myself to stop looking back and to keep moving forward to a better future. Thank you Chump Nation and Chump Lady for your empowerment.

TruthBeTold
TruthBeTold
8 months ago

In the midst of the firestorm of D-Day discovery and uncovering years of lies, a very good friend yanked me out of the rabbit hole, saying: “You control your character, not your reputation.”

Yep. And that’s enough. The people who bought his delusional version of my reputation don’t matter to me. They believed – or didn’t- a man who was sleeping with his interns behind his wife’s back. Oh well.

I’m three years out from D-Day. It all feels painfully raw in those first months. Focus on your character, and your reputation will follow those who matter.