UBT: Cheater Demands There Be NO Awkwardness

Universal Bullshit Translator

Her cheating ex demands that there be no awkwardness between her and the Other Woman, now wife.

***

Dear Chump Lady,

Please help me read between the lines if a recent ouch letter my ex sent me. He says he doesn’t want awkwardness when we attend our kids’ events simultaneously like soccer games.

I replied “When you marry your mistress, awkwardness is unavoidable.”

We have been divorced one year. Bomb Drop was 2 years ago. He has been married to the OW for 9 months and they are expecting a baby any time now.

In his reply he paints this picture of me being the unhealthy parent, which is so far from my reality, plus he paints himself as this healthy, amicably divorced person which is so different from my lived experience too — but he words it in a way where I start feeling major cognitive dissonance.

What cuts deepest is this positioning of our marriage as dysfunctional and a bad example for our kids. We were best friends for 25 years! Just 4 months before his affair started he cried on Xmas morning about how great his life was and how lucky he was. He wrote me long love notes that same year, including weeks before his affair began. The way he implies that “my perspective” of our divorce is not the truth of it… is maddening.

Please help me see through his BS so I can stand firmly in my own knowing of the lived experience and not let FW so easily evaporate and discredit it with his therapist jargon.

Yep that’s right, my ex is a private individual and marital therapist and he cheated with a rehab client who he met while she was only 4 months sober.

“You’ve made a lot of comments about how I treat you, but I believe that any neutral third party reading through our messages would find significantly more – and more frequent – hostility coming from you toward me than the other way around. This last message from you is a perfect example.

Your description of the end of our marriage is completely one-sided, inflammatory, damaging to our parenting relationship, and intentionally hurtful. I also have a very one-sided version, which I have refrained from hurling at you and sharing with others because I don’t believe it would be in anyone’s best interest for me to do so. When you refer to my wife as my “mistress” and place 100% of the blame on me for the end of our marriage, however, it is tempting to respond in kind. To describe the situation more accurately, though, our marriage ended because it was deeply dysfunctional and unhealthy in many, many ways for many, many years. Although spending so little time with our children is a constant source of pain for me, I firmly believe it is better for them to grow up with a different version of marriage as their example than the one you and I shared. I realize you don’t see it that way, but that’s the whole point; you have your perspective, and I have mine.

Awkwardness at their activities is absolutely not, as you stated, “unavoidable.” It is a choice you make every time you argue to exclude members of (son) and (daughter)’s family, or you or your family give me the cold shoulder in front of them. Regardless of your feelings about it, my family – including my wife, stepson, and the baby – are our son’s and daughter’s family, too. By denigrating them, showing hostility toward them, or encouraging their exclusion, you are doing so to a significant part of our son and daughter. They have a right to have positive relationships with their stepmom, stepbrother, and brother – whether you personally choose to or not – without feeling like they are betraying you. I am not suggesting that we all be friends, but we can be polite, civil, and amicable if we are in the same place at the same time because it is absolutely in the best interests of our daughter and son for us to do so. You can do what you want, of course, but this is the position I will continue to take.

As I said in my last message, for this soccer season, I’m okay with switching off because our family has extenuating circumstances, but, in the future, I will be sticking to the parenting agreement, which explicitly states that we both have the right to attend all of our children’s events. If you want to lean into and encourage discomfort, I can’t stop you, but, as for me and my family, we will have a friendly and warm demeanor toward you and your family at events, regardless of our own feelings about you, because it is in the best interest of my children.”

Thanks,

Willow

***

Dear Willow,

Gosh, I totally missed his “warm demeanor toward you” what with all the flaming sociopathy.

What do you mean he cheated with a REHAB CLIENT?!

Uh, have you alerted the licensing boards? That’s gotta violate some professional ethics rule, not to mention all the sobriety steps. I’m pretty certain “Fuck your therapist” isn’t the 13th step.

I read a lot of bullshit, but this guy is next level. I’m sure he perfected his predation with all that shrink schooling. The condescension! The scolding! And for what?

I’ve read this letter multiple times and I can’t figure out what he wants. For you to think kindly of him? Embrace him as a friend? A cessation of awkwardness cannot be demanded. In fact, demanding NO AWKWARDNESS makes things MORE awkward.

Yes, both parents are allowed to attend children’s events. However, the mental attitude with which you do it is not legislated. You can sit across an auditorium and shoot invisible daggers at the back of his head. He’s not the freaking thought police.

This whole thing just looks like an abuse-o-gram.

It’s the ol’ I Fail to Understand Your Hostility mindfuck. Followed by But I’m Glad One of Us Can Be An Adult Here.

It’s totally enraging.

Yes, Mr. Fucks His Therapy Client is lecturing YOU on civility.

First off, civility is a big lift.

And I’m sure you’re doing your very best not to run him over with a truck. You get all the stars. Seriously, basic civility is the standard here. He is the meter reader. You can nod your head and acknowledge his existence. He is there to read the meter. You’re not inviting him in for coffee. The meter will get read regardless of your attitude.

In a perfect world, your creepy ex is there for the sports banquet. That’s the meter mission. He doesn’t need your participation to read the meter. Or throw confetti. Or become his new best friend.

But in the disordered world, the sports banquet is a pretext. The mission is to punish you. The kids are a nice bludgeoning tool. You care and that’s so useful.

Well, enough of this fuckwit.

Let’s feed his insanity to the Universal Bullshit Translator.

“You’ve made a lot of comments about how I treat you, but I believe that any neutral third party reading through our messages would find significantly more – and more frequent – hostility coming from you toward me than the other way around. This last message from you is a perfect example.

You’re hostile and everyone agrees with me that you’re a big, bad ogre who lives under a bridge and eats children.

(Willow, google “abuse by proxy.” This “everyone thinks so” is text book.)

Your description of the end of our marriage is completely one-sided, inflammatory, damaging to our parenting relationship, and intentionally hurtful.

Fucking my therapy client isn’t inflammatory, damaging, or hurtful. Telling people about it is.

I also have a very one-sided version, which I have refrained from hurling at you and sharing with others because I don’t believe it would be in anyone’s best interest for me to do so.

Oh, trust me. I’ve hurled my version to everyone in Christendom. It’s in my best interest to get people to believe you’re a lie-spewing, child-eating ogre.

When you refer to my wife as my “mistress” and place 100% of the blame on me for the end of our marriage, however, it is tempting to respond in kind.

Actually, she’s no longer my mistress. She’s my baby mama.

To describe the situation more accurately, though, our marriage ended because it was deeply dysfunctional and unhealthy in many, many ways for many, many years.

I chewed at the cruel bonds of monogamy.

Captive to your dysfunction. With no way out! If only I had therapy skills! Oh… wait…

Although spending so little time with our children is a constant source of pain for me, I firmly believe it is better for them to grow up with a different version of marriage as their example than the one you and I shared. I realize you don’t see it that way, but that’s the whole point; you have your perspective, and I have mine.

Deny. Attack. Reverse Victim and Offender. I realize it you don’t see it that way, which is why I must resort to blunt force mindfuckery.

Awkwardness at their activities is absolutely not, as you stated, “unavoidable.” It is a choice you make every time you argue to exclude members of (son) and (daughter)’s family, or you or your family give me the cold shoulder in front of them.

I demand the cessation of consequences!

People don’t like me! I feel my impression management powers draining away! PRETEND TO LIKE ME OR ELSE!

Regardless of your feelings about it,

Which is kinda my standard operating procedure.

my family – including my wife, stepson, and the baby – are our son’s and daughter’s family, too.

I made a baby with a therapy rehab client.

You should respect this.

By denigrating them, showing hostility toward them, or encouraging their exclusion, you are doing so to a significant part of our son and daughter.

I interpret “doesn’t want to sit next to me at the soccer game” as denigration, hostility and exclusion.

For my next astounding trick of hyperbole, watch me pull a tempest out of a teapot.

They have a right to have positive relationships with their stepmom, stepbrother, and brother – whether you personally choose to or not – without feeling like they are betraying you.

I feel betrayed that you won’t sit next to me at a soccer match. I, the man who fucked his therapy client, know a lot about betrayal. And I won’t stand for it!

Did you enjoy the teapot trick? Here’s another: I take an actual useful bit of therapy advice and bludgeon you with it.

Children shouldn’t do your emotional work. Their relationship with the fuckwit parent is their business.

It sounds better when it’s not coming from a sociopath.

I am not suggesting that we all be friends, but we can be polite, civil, and amicable if we are in the same place at the same time because it is absolutely in the best interests of our daughter and son for us to do so.

I define polite, civil and amicable.

You failed. Try again. Did you sit next to me? That’s not enough. I need SMILES, people! More bonhomie! Friend me on Facebook! Let all your social media followers know I AM NOT A PREDATOR who fucks his clients. This will be useful in my upcoming trial.

You can do what you want, of course, but this is the position I will continue to take.

I despise your agency. I will continue to undermine you.

As I said in my last message, for this soccer season, I’m okay with switching off because our family has extenuating circumstances, but, in the future, I will be sticking to the parenting agreement, which explicitly states that we both have the right to attend all of our children’s events.

I am a Responsible Person Who Keeps His Agreements, unlike you with your wanton scheduling requests.

You can trust a guy who cheated on his wife to fuck his therapy client to know what integrity is.

If you want to lean into and encourage discomfort, I can’t stop you, but, as for me and my family, we will have a friendly and warm demeanor toward you and your family at events, regardless of our own feelings about you,

We despise you, but we smile.

because it is in the best interest of my children.”

Children love phoniness. And lies. And their hapless half-sibling.

Come sit down next to me on this bleacher. Look, my recovering addict wife has made shit sandwiches! Let’s be united in this hostage situation soccer game. Lean in as I encourage everyone’s discomfort!

FOR THE CHILDREN!

***

I’m sorry the UBT has collapsed. Send motor oil and Lebkuchen.

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❤️ Velvet Hammer ❤️
❤️ Velvet Hammer ❤️
8 months ago

Add these three words to the end of his letter, or anything else he says to you:

…..said the liar, cheater, thief, abusive male predator.

This therapist is also a predator. The rehab client with four months of sobriety does not get a pass and is not absolved of her responsibility in any way, but that he was her therapist makes him a predator, and I hope you report him to the boards and/or the organization he works for.

Double triple quadruple yikes.

Mehitable
Mehitable
8 months ago

He definitely needs to be reported to whatever licensing board is in charge of him. No way should this abusive man be counseling ANYONE. Not only was his behavior completely unethical with this addict he married, but his continuing ABUSE of his wife and kids, is horrifying. And I would guess his wife-addict is not the first….and probably won’t be the last. Bullies like VULNERABLE PEOPLE they can control and prey on. This guy is a classic predator.

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

Like hunters, some predators like vulnerable prey and some prefer big game. Some even switch back and forth between the two and manage collect a range of trophies over the years– from bunny foot key chains to tiger skin rugs.

FW in my case seemed to switch back and forth between “healthy/normal” targets who were likely perceived as stark departures from his sociopathic toxic mommy to pursuing his toxic mum’s doppelgangers. I think he’d seek “healthy” after getting burned (as expected) by creepy mommy replacements (interesting to discover how many times he’d been cheated on and screwed over prior to marriage) but then he’d start getting bored with mirroring “normal” when the “good guy” mask he wore started feeling too stifling so he’d switch back to the transactional nasties again where he could “be himself,” get burned again, then rinse/repeat.

❤️ Velvet Hammer ❤️
❤️ Velvet Hammer ❤️
8 months ago

And just because someone calls you a zebra does not make you a zebra, especially when a liar, cheater, thief, abusive male predator says you are a zebra.

He’s blowing a gasket in overdrive trying to pin their shit on you is what I see here.

Healthy people don’t have affairs. Affairs are dysfunctional. End of story.

Maybe use an age appropriate reply he will understand, such as, “I’m rubber; you’re glue. Whatever you say bounces off of me and sticks to you.”

❤️ Velvet Hammer ❤️
❤️ Velvet Hammer ❤️
8 months ago

There is a time to speak up and a time to stay silent. Every day I ask for the wisdom to know the difference. Keeping my mouth shut is never a mistake, and if I decide I need to say something I can always do it after a nice long PAUSE of at least 24 hours, or even 24 years.

What inspires me to use the power of grey rock and keep my mouth shut and no/minimal contact is the movie The Invisible Man. His power to torment and prevent her from fighting back was based on being invisible. Once she could see him, she kicked his ass royally. The time to be silent is when it is most powerful, like being invisible, when it disables and neutralizes an attacker.
Silence can be like not catching the forward pass. The ball, and the game, is dead. The scarcer and more silent you are, the sooner their cheating buddy gets to experience who they are full force. Remember, people don’t cheat with what’s better; they cheat with what is easy to get.

This letter is an attack, and therefore IMHO grey rock is the premium deluxe response. I know it can be difficult to keep from responding in the face of abject hypocrisy, projection, and oblivious cognitive dissonance, but leave it to Chump Lady and the rest of us to come up with the snappy withering rejoinders and enjoy snarking the feck out of the cheating degenerate who so grievously harmed you and your children.

Leedy
Leedy
8 months ago

WooshyM, I feel as you do! VH’s comments, and the almost martial-arts spiritual equilibrium they model for the rest of us, are really special.

Slowbutsure
Slowbutsure
8 months ago

I needed this today as I’m in a similar set of circumstances. FW took my daughter without my knowledge to a soccer game midweek on a school night. In tow was OW and the baby they had during the affair. Forcing my daughter to bond yet they know I’m not ok with this forced bonding. I lost my cool and sent paragraphs to b I th of them. I’ll print these words from your comments to remind me to grey rock always

WooshyM
WooshyM
8 months ago

VH, I can honestly say after (eagerly) reading your comments for the past few years, I want what you have. You work a good program!

Emma
Emma
8 months ago

“best interests of MY children”
HIS children. Their best interests: something this man has always had front of mind, guiding his behavior, and should he heralded for his upstanding paternal perfection. He uses this language of upstanding propriety to try to lord it over you. “My” children. Makes me want to puke. Old FW1 was just like this. I’m not so sure you were best friends with this asshole for 25 years. It seemed that way to nice you. He’s a psychologically abusive viper.

bread&roses
bread&roses
8 months ago
Reply to  Emma

You were his BEST friend, but he wasn’t yours. Or at least that’s how I came to understand it.

Formerchumpnowbride
Formerchumpnowbride
8 months ago
Reply to  Emma

He practiced well-regulated image management to her for 25 years until he no longer was interested in keeping it up. Then he abandoned her. So familiar. And him being a therapist gave him some pretty strong tools to mindfuck her with. I’d be tempted to, if I had to reply, reply with a polite “No thank you” and go on with life as I wish.

My FW kept insisting we could still be friends, and was super hurt when I unfriended him on FB when he left. He kept seeking me out to sit with me at our kid’s events, was just super invested in making sure the whole world knew that he, the pinnacle of perfection, also had the “perfect divorce”. Under the surface he was sending me pages long emails about how he didn’t want anyone to think he was a cheater, or a bad husband, or worst, a deadbeat dad. Kind of sucks when you have consequences I guess. It was always about what others think.

Willow, his opinion on your behavior no longer matters. He can lecture you until he is blue in the face. This is a great opportunity to practice grey-rocking. I had to use it to get mine to stop similar behavior. You can acknowledge his presence as if he was a distant acquaintance (nod, smile if you like, then ignore) and then just go about your business without acknowledging anything he does or says. You are not legally or morally required to do any more than that, if even that. If he doesn’t like it, well, people in hell want icewater.

He is abusive and controlling and is upset that you no longer dance to his music. The first thing I did after being angry for you when I read this was to laugh heartily. He really thinks that he has control over your very behavior! If he wanted an opinion on how you address him in public he should have thought about that before the divorce and bad behavior. Because now you owe him exactly nothing as far as public. If he wants a shiny happy public face, that is on HIM to cultivate.

I stopped getting to my kid’s stuff early so I could seat myself away from him. I excused myself to “go talk to another friend” and sat with them. I’d have to go to the restroom/car/whatever and come back to a different seat. You can excuse yourself in many ways without having to have any conversation with him. If he were to drag his “family” around to reseat next to you, he would look like the sociopath he is, so it is unlikely he would follow. Later when I started bringing my boyfriend (now spouse), he would sit between us. My ex really doesn’t like my husband and is so passive aggressive. He stopped trying to sit with me. My parent friends (finally in High School I have a lot now because I’m the involved parent) sit with me. I forward his pages long screed to my mom and we laugh at his absurdity.

When you reach meh, Willow, you laugh at the ridiculousness of his behavior. You will become Sarah in the end of The Labyrinth, where she tells Jareth the Goblin King, “You have no power over me” and his entire game falls completely apart. It will happen and you will live happily ever after. And he will just have to deal. Remember, his opinions and desires have zero to do with you now. ZERO. He can’t make this about the kids because it isn’t about them.

lulutoo
lulutoo
8 months ago

I love this, Former Chump Now Bride. I love your idea, reply with a polite “No, thank you.” (Or like Bartleby the Scrivener in the story, “I would prefer not to.” And then close the door tightly. So much wisdom in your reply.

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

Love this. Someone I looked up to in college quit her abusive job using that line.

Ginger_Superpowers
Ginger_Superpowers
8 months ago
Reply to  lulutoo

“I forward his pages long screed to my mom and we laugh at his absurdity.”

I LOVE this!!! I so wanted my mom during the divorce. Instead I had to hold her hand while she died and then face Asshat in court two weeks later. I was crushed emotionally and he clubbered me financial due to my ineffectual attorney. This is the emotion I tap into with my kids to be the sane parent–being the non-manipulative show-up parent. I know they want their mother around.

I hope you treasure your mother!

Formerchumpnowbride
Formerchumpnowbride
8 months ago

I do, she is amazing. I’m glad I shared them, it helped me discern reality from his gaslighting. She helped me with that. I think a good close friend could do the same, but my mom is da bomb at this. Really helped me through and learn that keeping his secrets helps only him. Also shaking off the gaslighting was hard, very hard. She helped me with that too. Having someone on your side helps.

Formerchumpnowbride
Formerchumpnowbride
8 months ago
Reply to  lulutoo

I don’t even give excuses when I walk away. I’ve walked away when he is in the middle of some random rant at me in public and just don’t care anymore. It makes him look like the lunatic he is. Willow’s FW’s insistence on getting attention from her looks unhinged in public, I assure you. He’s trying to normalize it to her and after 25 years of conditioning, it is hard for her to realize he is the one who is acting weird.

I assure you, she doesn’t have to do anything to have the rest of the world figure out just how the divorce went. The speed with which he married and got schmoopie pregnant after the divorce pretty much speaks for itself. I also doubt anyone close to him is unaware that he took up with his patient at this point. I imagine his public image has taken a hit and he assumes it is because of Willow, but likely anyone looking in from outside can put 2 and 2 together. His dream of being perfect to everyone (very narcissistic behavior!) is cracking and it is his own fault. But blaming Willow is his go-to, so he thinks that will make him look better to someone, anyone. That’s why I had to laugh. He thinks anything she could say about his behavior could make him look worse than his very public behavior? HAHAHAHA. I guarantee that any “third party” would look at this situation and think he was absolutely unhinged.

But expecting any sort of logic, compassion, or ethics from a FW is like trying to smell the color 9.

Goodfriend
Goodfriend
8 months ago

Brilliant. Great advice. Those of us who have been gaslit by a master don’t realize others sometimes can see right through them.

Mehitable
Mehitable
8 months ago

I think what you say 25 years of conditioning of Willow is VERY IMPORTANT for her to realize – that he has been practicing his therapy babble mind control bullshit on her throughout the marriage and she probably does not yet realize the extent of control and damage he has worked up in her over that period (or the kids) her thoughts and reactions may have been conditioned by him during that time. The therapy talk weapons can be very powerful in the hands of a bad, selfish predator, which this man is. She needs to be aware of how he may have conditioned her over 25 years – my personal guess is that he has been mentally abusive of her and controlling for a LOOOOONG time that went unrecognized because HE establishes what is “normal” and “healthy” so she may 2nd guess or doubt herself and her instincts and reactions. Believe us, Willow, HE IS THE DEFECTIVE ON HERE….and a gross bully and manipulator of vulnerable people. Don’t listen to anything he says, ANYTHING, and try to just ignore him as much as possible, go no contact with him as much as you can (use a parenting app or a go between because of his mental abuse of you) and do not react to anything he says. I WOULD REPORT THIS MAN for his abuse of this patient whom he then married and impregnated. I find it horrifying. He should lose his license and I know that may mean money to you, but right is right. This man should not be in counseling, he should not have ANY influence on others.

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

I second that, Mehitable. It may take years for Willow to pry out all the psychobabble shrapnel that FW has likely been blasting her with all along. FW in my case wasn’t a mental health pro nor even the spawn of one but his parents come from a culture that’s drenched in Lacanian/neoFreudian victim blaming. Once you understand that this shit is nothing more than a form of intellectual Calvinism bent to keeping power in the hands of the few, it starts to unravel but, like I said earlier, the degree to which psychobabblers believe their own spin can be mesmerizing. Even if you don’t believe the nonsense yourself you may still absorb the terrifying message that many other people will and that your abuser has the power to foment a kind of bully gang against you to outnumber and isolate you.

Mehitable
Mehitable
8 months ago

“nothing more than a form of intellectual Calvinism bent to keeping power in the hands of the few” – I like that….I like the quasi religious nature of it, which requires so much belief in someone beyond what is rational or healthy. Someone like Willow’s FW, if he had the ambition and talent, probably could make an admirable cult leader….that’s how the start….getting people to believe endless amounts of bullshit and acting accordingly. And they’re ALL bullies.

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

I totally agree with you that FWittery is basically a cult construct so no surprise that FW’s tend to borrow liberally from a smorgasbord of cult constructs to rationalize their abuse. The deeper you dig into that comparison, the more interesting it gets.

I’d go so far as to guess that most FW’s upbringings were infused with some brand of cult thinking whether religious or the kind of existential sociopolitical malarkey used to justify and maintain hierarchical class and caste systems. Basically FW’s grow up hearing illogical and magical rationales (whatever that entails, including economic or psychiatric mumbo jumbo spewed by supposed authority) for some form of abuse of power or other (whatever the “ism” is– sexism, classism, racism, etc.) and, sort of like the old computer programming term “GIGO,” the fact that their brains were programmed with bs guarantees garbage emotional output. If you read Ernest Becker, I think the cult comparison to FWittery goes further since Becker argues that the whole point of becoming a “tribal shaman” figure within a social group is getting to bonk whoever you want. In other words, at root the construct is very rapey so it’s also no surprise if people teethed on culty logic are often sorta rapey.

I’m not saying all religious practice is cultish or even that all cults are religious. It’s been so many eons since I read Becker’s Denial of Death/Escape from Evil that don’t remember whether Becker distinguishes between “religious practice” and “cult practice” but journalist Chris Hedges makes a great argument about the difference in “When Atheism Becomes Religion” by defining a cult as that which promises paradise on earth (meaning in our lifetime) free of pain, violence, disease or suffering (which Jesus pointedly does not, i.e., “My kingdom is not of this world.” The Quran also does not promise paradise on earth but only after death following a life of striving. Buddhism doesn’t even promise heaven after death) if only everyone gives up all their autonomy to a designated elite and transcendent caste of leaders who are supposedly exempt from scrutiny or consequences no matter what they do. Hedges argues that organized atheists like Dawkins and Sam Harris are doing exactly this by peddling their brand of absolutist junk science when, according to Popper’s scientific principle of falsifiability, if you’re not allowed to question science it’s no longer science but “scientism,” the existential “religion of salvation” at the center of all totalitarianism (which is the real reason Popper defined this principle in order to entirely separate religion from science: as a stopgap against Naziism, Stalinism and all other political cults constructed around scientism since he was first and foremost a political philosopher and historian).

Anyway, what is a cult other than collective, organized narcissism (“some people are super special and others aren’t”), future faking (“following economist X or guru Y will pave the way to social paradise”) and narcissistic confabulation?

Unicornomore
Unicornomore
8 months ago

CL is right, he is using all his therapist words and ideas and weaponizing them against the Chump to avoid consequences.

I admitted to myself (and told my Cheater on at least one occasion): “I am a really good wife, but I would NOT be a good ex-wife”. I would be bitchy and difficult to my last breath.

This writer is probs nicer than I would be and her former husband is foolish to not appreciate that his circumstances aren’t worse.

This Shit is Not My Story
This Shit is Not My Story
8 months ago
Reply to  Unicornomore

Unicornomore – I love you!
“I was a good wife, but I am NOT a good ex-wife.”

Unicornomore
Unicornomore
8 months ago

Which is ironic since I was never an ex-wife, I was widowed.

I do remember when day was about to blow and (me not having any idea as I was still trying to untangle his skein but I was too naive to see what was coming) I reminded him of my refusal to be a nice xw. He looked rather terrified. That likely fueled his rages.

Formerchumpnowbride
Formerchumpnowbride
8 months ago
Reply to  Unicornomore

Agreed. Abusive ex with a therapist’s vocabulary. Mine was an early childhood education specialist as he liked to remind everyone. Using the vocabulary from that was bad enough (treated me like a child needing guidance!) but this kind of chump is dangerous. That and he knows every button to push to mess with her because we chumps made ourselves completely vulnerable to our partners like in a normal relationship. This guy wants the world to see him at events with sister wives. No thank you.

Jane326
Jane326
8 months ago

I am not sure who said this first, but I read it here. You do not need to be friends with the arsonist who burns your house down. Insisting on your “friendship” makes your agreement of his actions tacitly implicit. Creeping on a patient can’t be so bad if your ex wife sits right next to you at kids soccer games. What a mindfuck. Read this entire blog and gray rock the heck out of him. He is manipulative and defective. What a narc.

SortOfOverIt
SortOfOverIt
8 months ago
Reply to  Jane326

“Creeping on a patient can’t be so bad if your ex wife sits right next to you at kids soccer games. What a mindfuck.”

I think this is an experience that many of us share, and for new Chumps going through it, finding all of us here telling this tale is SO helpful. It’s one of the moves from the cheater’s playbook that many of them use and in early days can really be confusing to a chump. What they are asking for feels absurd to us, (because it IS absurd) but they are so insistent that some of us start to feel like WE are the unreasonable party.

Jane, you summed it up so well.

My FW wanted me to be the best of friends with his AP. Not even just act friendly at a soccer game which is already a bridge too far, but also do holidays and dinners together. This was the picture of our future that he presented upon DDay. I was flabbergasted. When I made it clear that would not be happening, he was livid and pulled the “it’s what is best for the kids” card. If he was so concerned about the kids, he should not have betrayed their mother in such a magnificent way. if he wanted out, he could have left ethically. I’m sure divorces without cheating are also rarely easy, but if respectfully done, there is a chance of a less contentious future. Some people manage some version of it.

I now realize that it had NOTHING to do with me. He didn’t actually care about ME being at holidays/dinners. He just knew that if I was, he’d look so much better. “Oh look, FW left his wife for a younger schmoop, but he isn’t pathetic like all the other middle aged men that do that. He obviously is where he is MEANT to be and SortOfOverIt must agree because look how well they all get along”. I really shattered that fantasy of his byt refusing to pretend to feel great about what was happening.

loch
loch
8 months ago
Reply to  Jane326

“Creeping on a patient can’t be so bad if your ex wife sits right next to you at kids soccer games.”

Put it on a tshirt.

SecondSelf
SecondSelf
8 months ago
Reply to  loch

And then sit next to him wearing it!

Spinach@35
Spinach@35
8 months ago
Reply to  Jane326

“I am not sure who said this first, but I read it here. You do not need to be friends with the arsonist who burns your house down.”

If memory serves, it was the wise Velvet Hammer who wrote that.

UXworld
UXworld
8 months ago
Reply to  Jane326

“ Creeping on a patient can’t be so bad if your ex wife sits right next to you at kids soccer games. What a mindfuck.”

For the win.

Rebecca
Rebecca
8 months ago

If the letter writer is receiving alimony or depends on child support, sadly she shouldn’t report the fuckwit (although in a perfect world that would be the right thing to do). She may be financially tied to his success.
Such a sad world we live in.

CBN
CBN
8 months ago
Reply to  Rebecca

Yep. I could have had my FW lawyer ex disbarred and in jail, but it wasn’t in my (or our son’s) best interest financially, nor perhaps psychologically for our son. Sad is a good word for it, along with maddening and unfair and many others.

Apidae
Apidae
8 months ago
Reply to  Rebecca

I put the chances of Wifestress being his only patient hookup at near zero. Besides the moral issue, LW does not want to be caught keeping quiet for money’s sake if one of his other patients (or even a disgruntled Wifestress) goes after him, for example in a lawsuit. This is an issue for her to discuss with her attorney.

hush
hush
8 months ago

“… any neutral third party reading through our messages would find significantly more – and more frequent – hostility coming from you toward me than the other way around.”

Yikes! This reads like he’s writing for a future judge to see, and is gathering admissible, written evidence in preparation to file to modify custody for more parenting time, or even for full custody. Very common whenever a cheater has secured a Stepmom Appliance to do all of his parenting for him.

Hugs to you, Willow, please check out One Mom’s Battle, Tina Swithin’s “canned responses” and yellow rock communication method. Those of us with high-functioning abusers are writing for our possible future family court judges, too, though we often don’t realize it, and certainly don’t consent to it. Good job not letting him bait you. You could respond (really you’re responding for your future judge): “I disagree with your characterization of me. Your attempt to portray me in a negative light is noted.”

Hang in there, it’s very hard when you have an eloquent and confusing abuser who still actively abusing you post-divorce through these “gotcha!” asinine co-parenting communications.

Daughterofachump
Daughterofachump
8 months ago
Reply to  hush

hush, yes, I too smell an attempt at gaining custody. I’d forward communications like this to my attorney.

Garden Lady Chump
Garden Lady Chump
8 months ago
Reply to  hush

Hush,
Yes it does sound like he’s prepping for something in along those lines. I would steer clear and not give him an inch.

Involuntary Georgian
Involuntary Georgian
8 months ago
Reply to  hush

Well, yes. Everything you put down can end up in front of a judge. You should never write anything you wouldn’t want read in open court.

It’s one of several strains in the post-divorce relationship with a FW. Even if we wanted to have an honest, open conversation with them, it would be legally inadvisable. IMO that’s one of the benefits of using co-parenting software: you’re never lulled into a false sense of security when you are logging into something that time-stamps every exchange for future admission as evidence.

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

Yes, the sense that he’s “rehearsing” his character assassinations of Willow for future custody hearings makes me wonder if it might not be wise to file ethical complaints against him, even despite this potentially leading to reduction in child support in the case he loses his career. But the threat that Willow’s kids could end up being raised by a substance addicted psycho side piece (read Buss et al: it seems “mate poachers” tend to be high in psychopathy) seems the greater danger between two not-so-great possibilities. It would certainly be harder for him to play holier than thou shrinky boy in front of a dependency court judge if he loses his license.

The danger can be even greater if any children in the mix have disabilities. The friend who shook me out of chump paralysis and got me to hire a PI and retain a lawyer is a special ed attorney by trade and on a national committee fighting against institutional abuse of the disabled. The way she snapped me back to attention was by telling me about a type of case she’d dealt with more than a few times where the AP/Wifetress would ply to get full custody of the cheating FW’s disabled child(ren) and, if successful in this, would then throw the kid into an institution on a state waiver, thus getting to keep the money the FW would have had to pay in child support while also avoiding getting saddled with parenting FW’s “defective spawn.” Because one of my kids was still struggling with an LD and chronic medical condition back then, my friend’s warning put the fear of God in me. I did try stammering out the usual delusional argument that FW in my case “would never let that happen to his son,” but my friend sighed and said, “That’s what everyone thinks until it happens.” That really woke me up and got me into battle mode.

Shadow
Shadow
8 months ago

That’s horrifying!
I suppose it is a fact of life that we often think horrifying things won’t happen, because it’d drive us mad to be thinking of them all the time. But they do happen and when we’ve been targeted by malevolence, it’s as well to be aware of just how low and dirty malevolent people can go!
Thank God for your friend HOAC!

FYI
FYI
8 months ago
Reply to  hush

Never heard of yellow rock. Is that the rock a chump pees on to mark territory? 😜

Crooked Bird
Crooked Bird
8 months ago
Reply to  FYI

Oh my gosh. I think I might know what it is! If it’s what I think, I made up a version of it to deal with a soul-sucking coworker I couldn’t escape, only I called it “pink rock.” It’s where you give them nothing but with a thick veneer of positivity. Big friendly greeting, don’t look them in the eye, don’t really listen to anything they say, respond with empty but always positive words. It’s so they can’t start shit. It meant that Coworker couldn’t make the case to third parties that I didn’t like her and that there was some “conflict” and that someone needed to schedule a mediation meeting between us so she could get a heavy dose of sweet sweet attention. It meant that when she complained that we “weren’t close anymore” I could say “oh, I think we’re doing great!” and there was nothing she could really say back. It meant she finally gave up on me as a kibble source and my blood pressure stopped going up at the sight of her.

Probably this yellow-rock version, given the context, is more about not giving the legal system ammo by not allowing FWs to paint you as hostile, but I betcha the underlying principle is there: it’s really gray rock, but you paint over it a bit, for the look of things. It’s still gray rock underneath, though. (Seriously, if doing it in person, avoiding eye contact–with a big smile!–is gold. Eye contact is soul contact. You don’t have to do it.) You give them nothing.

Nut Cluster Free Zone
Nut Cluster Free Zone
8 months ago

This man is an absolute fucking loon. A therapist ?! Who effed around with and then married one of his clients. As in the.rapist. Report him to his professional board. Google the Susan Polk case in California and how that turned out for her therapist that she married.

FYI
FYI
8 months ago

Really, really awful. Unconscionable. The OW is responsible for her decisions, but this level of drama (an affair, marriage, and pregnancy) so early in her sobriety is not healthy.

1000% agree that he should be reported to whatever board oversees his license.

Shadow
Shadow
8 months ago
Reply to  FYI

No it certainly isn’t healthy, not at all! I’ve a feeling it’s all going to go horribly wrong and possibly in short order. The OW is an addict in the very early stages of sobriety as you say, and it makes me wonder how well is she going to cope with a newborn, the sleepless nights, the hormonal changes, the ceaseless round of feeds, burps and nappy changes, and the anxieties that are normal for first-time mums!
Having a creep like this FW for a baby father will likely make things worse for OW , not better and I would be worrying she’d relapse, in which case I would not want MY children in her care for a minute!
Willow, please don’t get drawn in by your FW’s mind games but get some legal advice about the situation i.e. OW having been his client, her vulnerability and the very real possibility of relapse, his breach of professional boundaries and how it affects your children.

Orlando
Orlando
8 months ago

I think the mistress/new wife/baby mama/former addict appliance complained to FW about Willow & how she feels like the Scarlet Letter at children’s events. As she should, but so should he. He hides behind therapy-speak though, it makes he feel superior. To me, I would file his letter away (or burn it) and keep on keeping on. He’s not your boss (although he seems to think so), you’re not obligated to him. I never have anything to do with FW & Schmoopie. I’ve walked away if they walk towards me. I don’t smile or acknowledge them. I don’t have to play nice & friendly with them. They certainly didn’t play nice & friendly with me!

Involuntary Georgian
Involuntary Georgian
8 months ago

I also got the “you should support our kids’ relationship with the new stepfamily” from XW when she asked for me to give up a day of custody so our kids could see their step-siblings. I have nothing against the step-siblings but I value my limited time with my kids, so I figured a reasonable compromise was to invite step-siblings over to my house. XW said it was “weird” that I was being nice to them and refused to allow it unless I agreed to first make up with AP (now my kids’ stepfather).

I later found out that they’d pulled exactly the same stunt with AP’s XW: she invited my kids over to her house, and AP refused to allow it unless she first “embraced” my XW (now her kids’ stepmother). Not totally clear if that was a metaphorical or literal embrace.

In other words: it’s not actually about what’s best for the kids. They use “but think of the children!” as leverage to get us to accept the AP. What’s bizarre is that they think can blackmail me into being buddy-buddy with AP by threatening my kids’ relationship with their step-siblings, a relationship that – while I don’t oppose – I have no particular interest in promoting.

susie lee
susie lee
8 months ago

“It’s for the children”

It has become a joke cliché because it has been used so much by liars and politicians (but I repeat myself) of all persuasions everywhere.

Stepbystep
Stepbystep
8 months ago

Even though I am now a solo aging chump, I am grateful not to have any reason for contact with exFW.

Remember, this person was unable to separate himself from a marriage honestly or to resist an inappropriate/unethical relationship with a woman in recovery or establish a home for “his” children without a new partner/appliance. His opinion on responsible conduct is irrelevant.

Grey rock and be (age-appropriately) truthful with your children. Document and be prepared to share his bullying behavior with your lawyer. By the way, would it actually be more satisfying to attend half the games? You get to decide.

Amiisfree
Amiisfree
8 months ago

What, did this guy go to the Kenny Loggins Song School of Marriage Analysis and Vocational Therapy Certification?

Spot on again, CL.

I agree with some others that this letter from this guy is a combination of:
(a) attempting to dysfunctionally use crappy parental technique to shame you, our writer, into the behavior he wants,
(b) attempting to gain your cooperation in painting a false picture of him in the best possible light in front of the children, and
(c) look like the sane parent and person in front of a judge (most obvious via his statement of intent to follow the parenting agreement and implication that you make doing so more difficult.

It’s so convenient, how leaving out incredibly relevant facts (like how he didn’t leave the marriage before sticking it to someone else — and like how he deceived and endangered you, his partner and his children’s mother — and like how he went fishing in the vulnerable client pond instead of finding someone it wasn’t illegal to screw) works to morph total douchebaggery into something that might, in some bizarre world, appear semi-reasonable. Just sweep a few of those pesky facts off the table, and, BOOM, “I’m a sad sausage who deserves love and sex, and YOU didn’t provide it correctly according to my personal prescription, you cold shrew. Read and adequately perform the life script I wrote for you next time, if you don’t want to be left with STIs and some kids who I decided don’t deserve my fidelity either.”

Don’t take ethical advice from anyone who is obviously unethical at the core, says me. He is not a good source of ethical baseline.

He’s super manipulative and knows how to work systems, so you’ll have to keep it surface-civil. (This means no more communicating with him about what went wrong in your marriage. He WILL use it effectively against you. He’s telling you so clearly in this letter. And besides, it doesn’t matter anymore, because enough cards are on the table now.) But outside of surface-civil, you don’t owe him or his new victims any warmth or interaction, and you aren’t required to be insincere in front of the children to make other people feel more comfortable.

Mr. Hot Pants thinks he gets to order you around, but he is incorrect about that. Not your parent, not your boss, not your therapist, and NOT your husband.

From my point of view, the only communication that should ever be exchanged going forward is what’s 100% necessary. A stimulus doesn’t require a response. I think they need MORE cold shoulder from you, not less. MORE required business only and nothing else, not less. Seats further from them at every event, not closer. Steps that make YOU more comfortable, not them.

Says me, for whatever it’s worth. 😊

Formerchumpnowbride
Formerchumpnowbride
8 months ago
Reply to  Amiisfree

I do hope Willow is using parenting communication software. Perhaps that should be their only method of communication so that all his manipulation is on file for the authorities to see. Sometimes the idea that their behavior is being “monitorable”, it can make them behave a bit better. Not always, especially if they are convinced they are in the right. CL’s recommendation of this software is definitely something Willow should follow in this case.

Garden LadyvChump
Garden LadyvChump
8 months ago

FCNB,
If only parenting communication software existed in 1994, I might have had a lot less grief from Ex-fw #1. He tried to alienate our kids from me at every turn. At school events, if it was one of “his days”, he would whisk the kids right out of there so I had no chance to interact with them afterwards. He even pulled this at the baptism of our older daughter ( it was “his day”) He happened to be a teacher in their school, so impression management of course. ( Not to mention his illicit relationship with a former h.s. student of his, which people apparently knew about.) He was on some teacher evaluation board in the district so I think they were all afraid of him.) Used the schmoopie gf to help in alienating the kids. High conflict custody battle, she testified that she was his “house cleaner” and didn’t ”live there”. Just unbelievable bs. He had the courts fooled for a while but eventually they were onto him but it took years.

Garden Lady Chump
Garden Lady Chump
8 months ago

I also recall a time while attending daughter’s softball game. ( back when camcorders were in use) Mr. paranoid ex-fw accused us of trying to videotape him.

Formerchumpnowbride
Formerchumpnowbride
8 months ago

HA! Talk about Main Character Syndrome. It’s always about them. I no longer hide my eyerolls either. Of course it is all about him! The whole world revolves around them! My ex was upset with me going to a therapist to help with my PPD, because, and I quote, “I don’t know what you’re telling your therapist about me. I don’t want them to not like me”. All about them.

SortOfOverIt
SortOfOverIt
8 months ago

It is fairly humorous how much they truly believe it is all about them. Always. Mine also took issue with the therapist. Didn’t like the idea that the therapist might not like him. Never mind that the therapist doesn’t KNOW him, would never meet him and is there to help ME work on ME.
But also, for someone who is so concerned about everyone liking him, he sure acted like a FW and did unlikeable things!

Formerchumpnowbride
Formerchumpnowbride
8 months ago

You had to fight the good fight. It is always about making sure people who don’t know them think they are the best thing since sliced bread. Like polishing a turd, that. I’m glad in the end they saw through it. My FW moved to my little town (don’t ask) and already his patina is fading. Most of the teachers at the school don’t like him because he accidentally let something slip on social media (one of his drunken screeds, only this time about an extracurricular that he decided was not of his liking) and one teacher saw it. Believe me when I say ALL the teachers know how “he is” now. You don’t mess with that.

They can’t keep it up. And the half-life of their charades get shorter every time. Two more years and I don’t even need to hear from him ever again. Freedom!

Garden Lady Chump
Garden Lady Chump
8 months ago

FCNB,
Freedom yes! I can look back on it all now, but so painful while it is happening and meanwhile your kids are growing up before your eyes. You don’t want them to grow up any faster, but just want the ex-fw nightmare to be over.

SouthernChump
SouthernChump
8 months ago

When I would get these demands from my FW and next door neighbor sidepiece, I learned to never reply. Why? No response is a response and a very powerful one. He would then bring it up in person asking and once again I wouldn’t reply. He would then bring it up to therapist, lawyers, and other “professionals” demanding I acknowledge his demands. If any other those “professionals” demanded I acknowledge his demands they entered the FW category along with FW and I stopped engaging immediately. The last time it was brought up was when my FW and sidepiece was judicially abusing me in a years long custody battle where the court decided to psychologically test and evaluate all of us because, you know, I was “crazy”. When I explained that no response is a response and a boundary after the other test and “evaluations” the psychiatrist and court 1,000% agreed and deemed my FW and all of his flying monkeys controlling, overly demanding, argumentative, abusive, has anger issues, and extremely difficult to the point where he never should be custodial parent. Moral of the story…..fuck him and his crazy twat sidepiece. You do you and know he will always make crazy ass demands creating chaos, crazy, and uncomfortableness where ever he goes. THAT is who he is! Rise above his shit and don’t even engage in his toxic BS.

Amiisfree
Amiisfree
8 months ago
Reply to  SouthernChump

This is mighty AF, SouthernChump! BOO YAH X 1000000000!!!!!

Garden Lady Chump
Garden Lady Chump
8 months ago
Reply to  SouthernChump

SC,
Went through that psychological testing with ex-fw #1 many years ago. Court psychologist noted he exhibited signs of BPD and possible schizophrenia but decided this was not the case because he was not having hallucinations? WTF? All that and his student affair history apparently did not affect his parenting ability! I’ve mentioned some of this story in my previous posts here today.

loch
loch
8 months ago

“My image is what’s important here.”

Blah blah blah blah blah

Reenie
Reenie
8 months ago

LOL this guy is so pretentious. He needs to be reported to his board, stat.

Spaceman Spiff
Spaceman Spiff
8 months ago
Reply to  Reenie

He also needs to be punched in the face.

Shadow
Shadow
8 months ago
Reply to  Spaceman Spiff

Well he does, but that would make OP look like the baddie and he’d only love it!
You’d certainly feel like punching him though!

Adelante
Adelante
8 months ago

So what I see is that he’s “okay with switching off” with soccer games, but the price of his agreement (I assume “Willow” suggested this) is this missive of shame-blaming.

My ex was a master at this type of infuriatingly condescending “I’m taking the high road” tripe.

Goodfriend
Goodfriend
8 months ago

Did he skip the ethics and legal part of his education to major in DARVO? He’s got that down. Like here: “for this soccer season, I’m okay with switching off because our family has extenuating circumstances, but, in the future, I will be sticking to the parenting agreement.” In other words, “My wants and schedule will take priority over yours. When it suits me, I will change it due to MY extenuating circumstances, but if you ask for any changes, you won’t get them or the kids.”

I think he’s setting you up, and he’s got a Master’s degree in that. As is often said here, lying liars lie. There may be more that you don’t know. You wrote, “Just 4 months before his affair started he cried on Xmas morning about how great his life was and how lucky he was. He wrote me long love notes that same year, including weeks before his affair began.” Those may have been fake tears and fake notes as part of a long con, or to cover up an affair that had already begun. You are just wo years from DDay and any discovery about his past may have been missed by the subsequent bombs of marriage and pregnancy. And I do wonder about the timing of his tears four months before the affair started and your belief that his client was four months sober when she became his client. It’s tough to consider, but his tears and euphoria may have been about HER. You wrote you’ve been best friends for 25 years. Maybe she was his solution to a midlife crisis. She may not even be sober, then or now.

He put effort into this note, and it may be for the purposes suggested here, as part of a strategy to posture before a judge. He thinks he’s smart enough to con you or intimidate you into faking friendliness and acceptance as part of his public image management at kids’ events.

He may want that image management because he thinks it will protect him from public censure AND from somebody else reporting him to professional boards. He may be spreading the story that this was not an affair, that he was separated at the time and you were completely OK with their relationship. Or that you left him and he found sudden solace with OW. Who knows? But if he is screwing over his therapy clients, literally, please report him and let the board sort it out. He’s trying to position himself as the better parent. It may come down to another custody fight. Do you really want this creep to have primary control or decision making over your kids?

And that closing comment, “me and my family, we will have a friendly and warm demeanor toward you and your family at events, regardless of our own feelings about you, because it is in the best interest of my children” is a HUGE red flag.
“My children” could mean those with OW, but why exclude his with you, who should be referenced as “OUR” children? More importantly, why do they have bad feelings about YOU, and what are those feelings?

After D-DAy, I found out my ex had been conning me and others for a long time. The same may be true of yours. It’s no reflection on you. Look into Dr. George Simon here, and through his blog and books. And stay strong!

Mehitable
Mehitable
8 months ago
Reply to  Goodfriend

I totally agree and I think Willow’s FW has been conning her and manipulating her for a VERY LONG TIME and I doubt that Wife-Addict is the first one. Or the last one. Unfortunately, Willow may never know all his behaviors and I would suspect he may be a secret substance abuser himself. You’d be amazed at how they can cover shit up for quite a long time but most men would not be interested in marrying & having a baby with a woman who is so obviously effed up, even if it weren’t his own client. Something is really wrong with him and has been for a long time.

jimthzz
jimthzz
8 months ago
Reply to  Goodfriend

This!

Be careful about responding to any written communication from him that paints you negatively.

ICanSeeTheMehComing!
ICanSeeTheMehComing!
8 months ago

We chumps that co-parent have a choice – we can either continue to “play” in the cheater’s narrative, or we go no contact and opt out and stay firmly planted in our own truth.

In this case Willow, the cracks are already showing with your X and his relationship with the new appliance and new family. He still NEEDS to triangulate with you and your kids. He isn’t getting enough kibbles in the shitshow of his own design so he is begging the crowd for more.

Do not participate, do not respond.

My experience has been that when Mr. Sparkles realized there was nothing to be gained for him by attending our son’s events, he stopped coming. He brought the OW… he brought the GF that followed the OW. I gave zero kibbles… and kept my attention on my son and my friends (often the sane parents of my son’s friends). Once Mr. Sparkles didn’t feel like he had to convince his new victim that he was a “great Dad” any further, he dropped the mask and stopped coming out to events. On the rare occasion he shows up now, I am so firmly rooted in the parent group/team dynamic for my son that Mr. Sparkles might as well be a stranger in the stands… AND THAT IS ON HIM, THAT WAS HIS CHOICE. In those rare moments, after my son generally runs over to me to give me a hug after a win, I step back while he then goes over to his Dad to say hello. Then, I stick around to make sure he gets home – you know, #parenting.

Why your fuckwit thinks he needs to email you or even that he has any control over your behavior only illustrates how narcissistic he is. Go no contact. Fill out events on the parenting software and leave it there. He shows up, great… get some popcorn and enjoy the game… he doesn’t show up… great… get some popcorn and enjoy the game. Either way, you do you on the cheater-free high road. You can do this, even as a co-parent!

Spoonriver
Spoonriver
8 months ago

This man should have his license taken away.

Apidae
Apidae
8 months ago

I started laughing and making a wanking gesture when I got to his “lurkers in email agree with me” part of the letter. Also the “well I could say mean things about you TOO but I won’t” garbage. What a grandiose, thin-skinned child.

LW, as other people already recommended, talk to this guy only through parenting software and stay grey rock in all communications. He fired you from the job of caring about what he thinks. Don’t deviate from your parenting plan, he’ll just use that against you.

Chumpasaurus45
Chumpasaurus45
8 months ago

God, that letter was triggering to read. The UBT did an outstanding job whittling down that level of horse shit, no easy task there.
It felt incredibly validating just to read it. When I got to the line of calling out the DARVO, I wanted to jump up and scream,yes, yes, yes!!
As a brand new cheer leader for Willow, who got slammed into a brick wall by this sociopath, I give a standing O to CL and her trusty UBT. Amazing job. Bravo!!
Reading here day after day, you think we’d all be numb and unruffled by now with story after story of these garbage dump cheaters. Not so, it continues to blow our minds. How did they even get this sick?!?
It seems a few rungs lower toward Dante’s inferno when the sociopathy comes from an entitled low life therapist, no less, who wants to break every rule imaginable.
At the same time he insists the world hold him in the very highest regard. He will soon find out it doesn’t work that way.
I hope to hell you report this slimy ball poser to the board. He truly deserves to be served up a platter full of consequences.
His behavior is outrageously horrible and actually law breaking.
He is devoid of any moral compass whatsoever on his desperate path to create the narrative to save his own ass.
I wouldn’t give him or his helpful shit sandwich spreader a split second of civility at the kids’ games and events. You owe them NOTHING whatsoever.
It’s another level of abuse when they try and guilt you into treating them respectfully “ for the sake of the kids”. It’s not what they did, it’s your reaction to it that causes all the problems. Sorry, losers, that’s not correct.
You only get respect when you earn it, that’s a way better message for your kids to receive.
You’re in a tough situation there with this very disordered character, Willow. I’m sorry you have to be the only sane parent in a really tough situation when you’ve been so traumatized by it all yourself. It’s a lot to take in!
He desperately wants you to assist with his image management though, using his professional jargon of fluff to sound so reasonable and mature and in full control, oh, always in full control with these sociopaths. They line up the pieces on their chess board and freak out if they are thwarted in that role.
He’s fully aware he has crossed multiple lines in his quest to make himself happy, the only person on earth who will ever matter to him.
He frantically needs you to buy his made up narrative and toe the line he demands of you. They hate like hell losing control of anything, especially people.
Keep coming here for support. Read as little as you can of his rambling mind fucks. Concentrate on your kids, stay close to the ppl who love and support you.
You’ve been together a long time, I know the pain of that. It’s hard to watch someone we loved so very much implode their own lives so senselessly. There will never be closure or understanding of that.
Nothing can be done to save them, it was a choice he made. His life will not pan out like he expects it will and he will continue to rage on through the years to come, which will be hard to deal with.
You will get better at turning that volume down in your head over time and carrying on with your kids in a life full of unending love, safety and caring for one another. You will lead the sane and stable side of their family that will make all the difference in your lives together through the years.

susie lee
susie lee
8 months ago
Reply to  Chumpasaurus45

” It’s hard to watch someone we loved so very much implode their own lives so senselessly. There will never be closure or understanding of that.”

I think this is important to remember, aside from all the rejection, and abuse we are struggling with, many of us are indeed watching a person we still love destroy themselves. It hurts and there is nothing we can do or say to stop it because they don’t value us or what we say.

I cried when my ex died a couple years ago, not because I still had any romantic feelings, but because he was my sons dad; and I knew what he had done to his life. I believe he was a very troubled man, and I wish he had actually been the person I thought he was. If he had been, he could have saved himself and his own destruction.

Chumped Mom Getting to Meh
Chumped Mom Getting to Meh
8 months ago

Your ex’s letter is WAY past BS. Its past mindfuckery. Its absolutely mindblowing that he is a therapist? I’m so sorry for the trauma he has put you through. This feels all too similar to some of the things I have experienced before my FW left me for someone else, while I was pregnant.

“What cuts deepest is this positioning of our marriage as dysfunctional and a bad example for our kids. We were best friends for 25 years! Just 4 months before his affair started he cried on Xmas morning about how great his life was and how lucky he was. He wrote me long love notes that same year, including weeks before his affair began. The way he implies that “my perspective” of our divorce is not the truth of it… is maddening.” This is basically my same experience; for Christmas, just 3 months before he abandoned me, he gave me a diamond necklace and wrote a beautiful love note telling me that I was his everything… it seems they rewrite history to better fit their narrative and not take accountability for the destruction they caused.

Your reality is real. The best way I have been able to move forward, and it’s still a WIP, is no contact, unless it’s about the kids. I don’t even think his letter warrants a reply from you. I also work through everything with my own therapist who constantly asks me if my actions or desires to do something are in my best interest/what is the motivation for doing them. I hope you have a (real/sane) therapist that can help you do the same!

Sending many hugs to you,

Chumped Mom Getting to Meh

UXworld
UXworld
8 months ago

CMGTM – mine wrote on social media (for all the world to see): “Happy 15th Anniversary baby — you’re my everything. I love you with every fiber of my being.”

The next day, she called in sick to work (“just to have a day for myself” she said) and invited AP over for a mid-morning fuckfest. Texted to him: “Hang back until you see the girls (our daughters) get on the school bus, then come on in.”

After D-Day I was hit with: “I’ve been SO unhappy for SUCH a long time”, and “For me, the marriage was over a long time ago.”

And after that, it was all of the “we don’t have to be friends but you must do as I say or you’re not a good person” bullshit spelled out in today’s letter.

There truly is a script they draw from. And the author is N. Titlement.

Involuntary Georgian
Involuntary Georgian
8 months ago
Reply to  UXworld

Hey UXworld, did you also get the “I couldn’t tell you how unhappy I was because I was afraid of your reaction”? It’s a masterstroke of blame shifting that make her lying to you into your fault.

It’s kind of unclear to me whether XW was afraid that I’d be violent or wether she was afraid that I’d collapse and need to be institutionalized (or maybe both?) but anyway it was definitely my fault that she couldn’t tell me about her yearlong affair, or yearslong affair, or maybe yearslong affairs.

Mehitable
Mehitable
8 months ago
Reply to  UXworld

I think the author is Satan, LOLOLOL.

Formerchumpnowbride
Formerchumpnowbride
8 months ago
Reply to  UXworld

Yeah, those statements are textbook. They are totally in love with you, as far as you know, but you are supposed to have read their minds and not their actions that they were so miserable. Nah. It’s all made up crap to make them the hero of their own story. Main Character Syndrome. Whatever story furthers their current narrative is the truth. Not even worth trying to prove otherwise, they don’t live in reality.

Elsie
Elsie
8 months ago

Weaponizing DARVO words. How can you even begin to respond to that? My attorneys were big fans of Bill Eddy’s BIFF method, and the younger one helped me apply that in emails during closeout until I was a pro on my own. It worked. But I also didn’t have custody issues, so once I closed the file with my attorney, the need for interaction dropped off.

In contrast, his own divorce attorney used the words “worst client ever” and “delusional” in conversations and emails with my legal team. That was my closure.

Tornup
Tornup
8 months ago

“but, as for me and my family, we will have a friendly and warm demeanor toward you and your family at events, regardless of our own feelings about you, because it is in the best interest of my children.”

I mean puke!!!! If he wanted a “family” situation best for his kids ( beside the obvious betrayal that broke it) he would state that he still considers YOU is family. That he would like ALL of you to still be family, because he still loves you all and respects YOU. This statement alone shows that what he states is not at all how he wants things. What is this?? The Hatfields and Mccoys??

My x remarried and stopped seeing his adult kids, but I will say if I do have to talk to him he is pleasant and knows he is the issue. He still carried on with his new dysfunctional family. Not US, his new one. Believe me when I say their relationship is nothing “normal “ or “healthy” Nothing that starts off on the pain of others will ever be built on a strong foundation.

Be as civil as you can muster. He and his new wife feed off your discomfort. Dont feed them!!

susie lee
susie lee
8 months ago
Reply to  Tornup

“Nothing that starts off on the pain of others will ever be built on a strong foundation.”

This is exactly what our preacher told my cheater. His words were “You will never build happiness off the destruction of another person”. And unless chaos and fighting, being hateful to our son, and bankruptcy brought him happiness, the preacher was right. I am not talking about thrills, I have no doubt he made sure he got his illicit thrills behind the whores back, then of course the gambling thrills when his dick started failing him; but that is not the same as happiness.

Motherchumper99
Motherchumper99
8 months ago

Also married 25 years to a sociopath- he also was reading Naruda love poems to me weeks before Dday, professed his deep love and commitment to me frequently. After Dday, I learned ge was a serial cheater. Then rage channel 24/7. 9 years out. I’m wholly no contact. 4 kids are grown. Best response to this …. None. Stay far away from this freak. I’d watch the game from my car. He’ll get bored and move on to a new victim. Ask me how I know!

susie lee
susie lee
8 months ago

I agree the best thing is to pretty much ignore them. A curt nod if you have to pass by them, or better yet be preoccupied looking elsewhere and you walk by.

These a holes are desperate to get come control back.

Searching for inner strength
Searching for inner strength
8 months ago

I’m surprised the UBT got as far as it did in that psycho babble. Barf.

It makes me think of the messages I sent to my fw AP and her chump husband and a few to the ditch pig cheater, mindfcuker asshole. How twisted and psychotic those letters made me look. Yet, I really don’t care and I’ve reread them thinking i was too nice haha or maybe i am just crazy. I never heard anything back except one message to say to say “enough” , another that said “after the shit you put me through with Sail Canada I’ll decide if and when i ever return your stuff”. OMG that was so worth it. I got my stuff back in a box delivered just b4 Christmas. There was also a prepaid envelope with a typed message to ‘return the tablet. Thank you’ in the box. So many thoughts went through my head with what I could put in that envelope. Sinister, evil thoughts. But they were just thoughts.

I still have the tablet, have no need or interest to hear from him. In a perfect world he’d drop dead. Actually, no…stroke and she can be his forever ass wiper care giver.

I digress.

I find so many of these letters to CL incredibly helpful. I found her too late to save me from the initial trauma spiral of finding out what had been going on but not late enough to help with perspective, advice, encouragement for the time going forward.

There does seem to be some attachment to these letter writers for me in wanting to know how they’re doing. How they’ve managed after hearing CL’s advice or the UBT’s translation of a fw’s message.

I reported my fw to the board of the Ontario sailing ass. (and CSA indirectly since they moderate for OSA). Nothing came of it, since we weren’t officially running a course during the 2 times she was on the boat. The others present didn’t notice, pay attention, or just knew what she was like and how to tune her out. For me, and my perspective especially after finding out the truth after all the mind fcuking, gaslighting bs it was so bloody obvious. They both played me for a fool. Even though nothing came of the investigation for inappropriate conduct of an instructor they still had to investigate, they still had to contact the people I named, they still had to confront the fw about the allegations and he did not like this. His reputation, his ego must be protected. I’m sure I was thrown under the bus as the disgruntled ex. It’s a he said she said thing and because it was during covid all the interviews were done over the phone unfortunately. He wouldn’t have said anything to discredit himself and she sure wouldn’t have said anything negative about the ”Käpt’n” she luvs. They are both master liars and manipulators.

However in Willow’s case there would be solid evidence of a therapist/client relationship. Billing, notes, and her sobriety progress. I’d throw him to the wolves. Who knows how many others there may have been along the way? Willow stated the loving letters and messages over the years and the CD she’s now feeling relative to the recent letter from the fw stating their marriage was dysfunctional etc. We ALL know these assholes are master manipulators, liars, cheaters … It’s never just one, just the one they got caught with.

Lizza Lee
Lizza Lee
8 months ago

Man, the gaslighting is strong with this one.

Willow, I have a strong suspicion that as you got older and more mature, he found it harder to manipulate you. Therefore, he decided to switch off to a vulnerable person to be his wife appliance. This guy is incredibly creepy.

In my (admittedly limited) experience, those who are drawn to psychology as a career are either very emotionally healthy or total whack jobs. Your ex is a prime example of a whack job. I know it would not be in the best interests of the children to report him, but it would be so satisfying.

Anyway, like Tracy said, when you must have interactions treat him like the meter reader. Do not be surprised if sees the children less and less after the new baby is born. My ex quickly went from demanding time with the kids to never seeing them even though he gave the appearance of being a caring father during the marriage. It was all for show.

Mehitable
Mehitable
8 months ago
Reply to  Lizza Lee

My father, many decades ago, told me that psychiatrists were all disturbed or crazy and that’s why they went into that field in the first place. Later on when I actually worked with them as an administrator of psych wards…..I found he was right. Some of the strangest, most disturbed, most unethical, people I have ever met. Not 100% but the vast majority seemed like several gaskets blew years ago. The psych head of my department was even charged and removed with SH charges and he was just one of several.

Garden Lady Chump
Garden Lady Chump
8 months ago
Reply to  Lizza Lee

LL,
Same situation with ex-fw #1: I was just 33 when he started up with someone born the year he graduated H.S., a student of his at the time but he hid it with gaslighting and used his teacher position to his advantage. I even became pregnant with our second child during this time. (Probable sexless marriage you know.) Friends later commented the she looked similar to me, with some of my mannerisms ( but much easier to manipulate and be worshipped by I guess ). She gladly became his ally and partner in crime during custody and divorce. They eventually married and still are ( not sure how) and had a child. He’s been in the psych center and detox 3 times over the years. She’s probably sticking around waiting for him to kick it. Their child is NC with him, as well as one of mine. My other daughter tolerates him bc they want a relationship with her children ( my 3 grandchildren), but it’s on her terms.

Formerchumpnowbride
Formerchumpnowbride
8 months ago

You want to hear something hilarious and sick? When I finally saw the OW’s picture I bust out laughing. She looked exactly like a female version of himself. Stick a long hair wig on and she was a dead ringer.

He was so narcissistic, his ultimate “soul mate” was the female version of him. So gross. And so totally hilarious. Being able to laugh at him and his ridiculous behavior has really been helpful over the years. It totally disarms his intended “superior” air he always tries to have. Dude, you thought I was hoarding our preschooler’s underwear. You are completely unhinged. Go off.

ChumpChanged
ChumpChanged
8 months ago

Well spoken sociopaths are my favorite, followed by entitled narcissistic therapists with no empathy for those they’ve wounded. This guy is cold as ice, thank god you’re out of there.

I hope you didn’t respond.

damnitfeelsbadtobeachumpster
damnitfeelsbadtobeachumpster
8 months ago

willow, you know you’re doing the sane parent job and doing it well. fuck that guy you used to be married to. he’s a piece of work and you’re too busy with REAL work (living, loving, recovering) to deal with him.

i found it hard to focus on myself for awhile, got distracted with all the manipulative messages my X was sending, but one day i just thought, “he isn’t capable of much, is he?” that was a big A-HA moment for me. now i say that whenever i need to and it puts everything in perspective quickly.

Ginger_Superpowers
Ginger_Superpowers
8 months ago

I got a similar email in January 2019, when Asshat wanted me to “hear directly from him” that he and HoWorker/Wife were engaged. He further wanted me “not to discuss with the kids, as they are having a hard time with it.”

So I met up with a friend that night and worked on the afghan I was crocheting for my daughter’s birthday, drank wine and promptly ignored. Crickets from me and I DID discuss with my kids, not to be disparaging, but more of a “I understand your dad is getting married, would you like to talk about that–I’m here to listen” kind of discussion. By then, I was done with having any relationship or interaction with Asshat and I was not going to let him dictact to me how I was going to interact with my children. I’m sure it was meant to be hurtful to me, but it was reassuring to me that he was having a hard time with my kids. Ironically, I received the email later the same day that I “broke up” with my former back stabbing “BF”, having found out she was still in contact with Asshat and HoWorker/Wife. So it affirmed I aboslutely did the right thing in cutting that malignant POS out of my life! Left her house and haven’t looked back, and it’s been fun when I saw her at the grocery store and walked up right next to her to grab something and she literally ran out of the store! All these jerks are such cowards. I’m glad so glad I found out!

KADawn
KADawn
8 months ago

That f’ing guy. He is a real piece of work. I’m sorry Willow. Hang in there.

susie lee
susie lee
8 months ago

I am so glad our son was grown. I can’t imagine having to deal with these ass wipes with young children.

I remember once when my son was graduating his fire fighting class, I got there early, got a good seat up front. Asswipe and his mother walked in, he had evidently left whore at home, The D had been final for about a year by then. His mother (who I had been very close too) made a couple of insulting comments about me, in a whisper but loud enough for me to hear. I heard him such her, like he was the adult in the situation. LOL. Anyway, I ignored them and didn’t even glance back. I am sure that anyone else who heard the comments was impressed as hell by her. It was high school level shit.

Chump-o-potamus
Chump-o-potamus
8 months ago

That guy is psychotic. He’s using the “best interest of the kids” as a way to play “neener neener, look how much better my life is with my mistress and there’s nothing you can do” and is expecting everyone to play along. This guy is just… ew. Hope he a big enough back yard for his high horse.

Willow, are you sure you had a great marriage prior to this? I mean, I’m sure in your mind it was, but looking back were there things you ignored? Maybe how he talked to you during arguments, or how he treated other people. I can’t imagine this level of arrogance and condescension is a recent development.

hush
hush
8 months ago

With high-functioning sociopaths fluent in therapy-speak like this type of cheater ex? There often were NO DISCERNIBLE RED FLAGS at the outset. He probably looked and sounded incredible when compared to the normal cishet husband. Nothing she “ignored.” I know that’s hard for a lot of ya’ll to grasp, and that’s ok. Not all “I was married to a fuckwit”experiences are the same, though many are.

Formerchumpnowbride
Formerchumpnowbride
8 months ago

In my case, it was a complete jekyl/hyde situation. He had everyone in our lives completely fooled. Some of these narcissistic FWs put all their energy into appearances and are very, very good at it. I found it doesn’t really help me to look back too much and try to untangle that skein. I just try to trust my eyes more. When my FWs mask finally fell, I saw a side of him he never ever allowed out around me before. Sometimes it is a complete surprise.

DuddersGetsChumped
DuddersGetsChumped
8 months ago

Willow. 100% snap. It’s all the ‘I fail to understand your hostility’ bullshit. Mine talks down to me (that’s when he actually deigns to respond) in a condescending manner, I know they’ve told my daughter back near D-Day when I was in bits and maybe had said something about her ‘What kind of awful person does that to someone’ painting me as the villain. He writes anything even about a school related thing in the most pompous arse way ever. He told me he wanted about because he didn’t want his daughter being modelled a dysfunctional relationship when he had failed to ever mention it. I have been there 100%. And you think it would stop there but now I’m not available to take it out on there has been fall out with his mum and he’s accused her (therapy speak) of passing down generational trauma and sent her the most god awful condescending emails and texts. It’s all incredibly hurtful and designed to be and of course, cause we are decent you want to do what’s best but these fools live in the Mindfuck Kingdom and also are so cowardly that they can’t even countenance themselves that 1% of this might be on them. This is how I manage to get my head around this. With some distance it’s usually quite comical and secondly, thank god we are no longer with these people. They are NOT my tribe.

This Shit is Not My Story
This Shit is Not My Story
8 months ago

This makes me want to barf for how exactly this is my lived experience- right down to the insistence on being at all kid events that I have coordinated to be on my time. My ex fuckwit is also a Marriage and Family Therapist, but he left me for his ugly secretary. He also uses his therapy-speak as a tool to abuse.

walkbymyself
walkbymyself
8 months ago

You know what would be REALLY awkward? Call his bluff.

Sit next to Schmoopie and spend the entire event telling her how gorgeous she looks. Ask her if the new baby is sleeping through the night yet. If she says no, then go on and on about how easy your kids were at that age. Or, say really useful things like “Enjoy this time! It goes by so fast!” Then ask her if she’s getting enough exercise. Also, it’s never too early to get on a waiting list for the right preschool. When is she going back to work?

You know the drill. Call his bluff.

Samsara
Samsara
8 months ago

Every accusation is a confession, was my first thought of this therapy word salad missive. He is the one being obstructive, argumentative, provocative, passive aggressive etc. He, who has done nothing for the children, has done everything to harm them and is not doing anything for the sake of the children… he is the bad parent and a provenly bd person, end of.

I’m glad CL and the UBT made excellent short work of it, but my head hurt reading this. Maybe because it is the whole posturing of this particular FW. His whole “martyr” stance is infuriating. Other FWs have written letters about this sports game attendance stuff and to me it always seems like the AP / OW is driving it, but in this case, it really feels FW driven.

I feel for Willow. It definitely seems like it is being written for someone else to read (probably the family court as others have pointed out). So in that sense it is ominous… kind of needs the perfect gray rock response.

‘”Thank you for the email dated XX. I disagree with your assertions. The parenting plan continues for me as usual. Thanks for your understanding. Regards, Willow.’

Or you could always reply with the gold standard of stiff upper lip as perfected by HM Elizabeth II:
“Recollections may vary.”

Samsara
Samsara
8 months ago
Reply to  Samsara

*bad person (my typo but it bears repeating!)

Granny K
Granny K
8 months ago

The Ex wants no awkwardness simply by requesting it? Who does this guy think he is? Harry Potter? (Waves wand….’Awkwardious Absentia!’….. darn it, I think this thing is broken.)

Divorce Minister
Divorce Minister
8 months ago

He is irate that he no longer controls the narrative about the marriage. That is what this is about. My ex-wife was and IS a licensed marriage therapist, and she would get pissed if I deviated from her narrative of how our marriage ended–i.e. it was all my fault essentially. The beauty of being your own person is that we get to CHOOSE what we believe. No person has the power to choose our beliefs for us unless we let them. Stand tall and hold onto the truth. He doesn’t get to dictate what is true. He’s not the boss of you 😉

Valerie
Valerie
8 months ago

He wrote “as for me and my family, we will have a friendly and warm demeanor toward you and your family at events, regardless of our own feelings about you,”. Regardless of our own feelings about you? WTF? Is this asshole for real? He cheated on his wife with a therapy client who was newly sober. She’s having sex with her therapist who is married and has children. He blew up his marriage, yet he and his new wife have ill feelings about her? That’s the definition of chutzpah.

Involuntary Georgian
Involuntary Georgian
8 months ago
Reply to  Valerie

Well, what’s the alternative? Is he going to blame himself, or schmoopie? I don’t think so! Therefore, by process of elimination, it must be Willow’s fault. QED.

CurlyChump
CurlyChump
8 months ago

I too have been accused of being all sorts of terrible by my ex, for having boundaries. Heaven forbid I say “no” to any of his requests, or call out his unwillingness to parent when it’s “unfun” or “inconvenient.” (Like, when kiddo is sick.)
He soo good at using his manipulative BS to try to get me to feel bad, to doubt myself, and for years it worked, it’s how I put up with his crap for too long. Therapy has helped de-program some of that stuff, but it takes mental effort sometimes not to get pulled back into loops of self-doubt.
Now when he starts attacking my character and motives, I remind myself, would I take advice from someone that insisted Lunchables didn’t need to be refrigerated? How about someone that thought it was a good idea to rack up a 5-figure gambling debt with a baby on the way? Or commit forgery? Nope, none of those things qualify him to be a good judge of common sense or integrity.

Spinach@35
Spinach@35
8 months ago

Nowhere in his letter is there any mention of Willow’s pain. There’s no empathy, no acknowledgment that this must be so hard for Willow, no compassion. It’s all me, me, me. He wants everyone to just get along, which, for the record, is for him and not the kiddos. Just sayin’.

It would go a long way, I would think, if he could write something that suggests he “gets it.” He should acknowledge that regardless of the state of their mirage (thanks, VH), he should have left Willow or had hard conversations before having sex with someone else. A crappy marriage doesn’t justify an affair.

This letter is dripping with a sense of entitlement and devoid of empathy.

Fast forward a few years from now: His wifetress cheats on him; they divorce and she remarries. Let’s see if he puts on a happy face a sporting events because it’s “in the best interest of the children.”

MsAzure
MsAzure
8 months ago

He wants Willow to be a can of air freshener to his steaming pile of shit.

“Just 4 months before his affair started he cried on Xmas morning about how great his life was and how lucky he was. He wrote me long love notes that same year, including weeks before his affair began…” After hearing this scenario over and over from other chumps also, the only conclusion I can come to is these sociopaths do this deliberately, to really slam the emotional vertigo and hope to destroy their spouse. Yes, crazy, shallow, narcissistic people can also do this, but I’m going to stay with the cruelty factor. I think it’s intentional.

What Unfaithful Freud doesn’t realize here is that when the gavel comes crashing down upon his head with new wifey-poo – and IT WILL – he’ll be the one left severely dazed and confused, and possibly signing a restraining order. He didn’t think about the consequences of getting sexually involved with a vulnerable addict, someone who didn’t complete the required treatment protocol and jumped into an affair 4 months post-sobriety, with her therapist no less (transference, anyone?), and still has gaping wounds where the alcohol/pills were. If he dumps her in the same cruel way he did Willow, she’ll probably go all Grey Goose and boiled bunny on him. And he’ll deserve it. Poor child though.

Mehitable
Mehitable
8 months ago
Reply to  MsAzure

THIS. This is what I see happening too. I also think there’s something radically wrong with him too – he’s cheated before and I would not be surprised if he also abuses substances. This woman was not ready for this relationship – certainly not with her therapist who should be struck from his license – or for the marriage and probably certainly not for this baby. My guess is she’s gonna regress after the baby and TSHF soon after. Really, really bad idea on his part but I guess she seemed like an enticing victim to control, and as another poster said, maybe Willow had become too mature for him.

Garden Lady Chump
Garden Lady Chump
8 months ago
Reply to  MsAzure

MA,
Unfaithful Freud, exactly! Yes, sounds like parenting paradise with this one and just desserts in the future.

Eilonwy
Eilonwy
8 months ago

Willow, I know it can be hard to feel confident in the truth when lies are being hurled at you so forcefully, but you are doing great. All you owe the EX and his imaginary world-of-no-consequences is bare civility–the head nod CL speaks of and nothing more. Your EX’s letter is all a smokescreen intended to see if he can get you to fix some of the problems he is starting to feel. Mutual friends or people who have learned about his behavior are looking at him askance or maybe cutting him out of their social circles. He’d love to be able to say, “Willow and I are great. We chat every Saturday at soccer.” The kids are probably either showing their unhappiness with his choices and actively resisting his attempts to persuade them that the new family and coming baby are fantastic. He wants this to be your fault, not his, so he’s blaming you. He can see the storm clouds gathering–things are getting worse, not better with his “blended” family.They are about to get drenched, and he wants you to run around getting umbrellas for him. He wants to be able to say, “I told you so,” instead of doing the work himself.

Be true to yourself. Don’t accept his blame shifting. Don’t believe for a minute that the kids would be happier or better adjusted if you baked brownies for the new wife and baby every Saturday. It wouldn’t make the kids comfortable and happy, it would just confuse them. As long as you aren’t asking them to be snotty to the new wife or ignore dad (which makes them feel torn), there’s no problem. Teach them to manage their own relationship with Dad.

Every word of that letter is a lie.

Garden Lady Chump
Garden Lady Chump
8 months ago
Reply to  Eilonwy

E,
Great insight.

Formerchumpnowbride
Formerchumpnowbride
8 months ago
Reply to  Eilonwy

Exactly. I’m sure he thinks his public image is shiny and chrome, so the only reason anyone might have to shun him or question his ethics would be because Willow said something. Not because of his BLATANTLY OBVIOUS ethical firestorm. Even if it wasn’t an affair, the relationship with the patient is no good very bad and should be career ending. Add in what he did to Willow and I’m sure at the very least, colleagues are side-eyeing him or straight up questioning his ability to be a therapist. But he can’t possibly be at fault, so blame Willow! So convenient.

I would never agree to miss ANY of my son’s activities unless barred legally. Pretty sure the parenting agreement doesn’t say they have to sit together and play happily together. The best he should expect is literally no contact at all.

And Willow, feel free to get up and move. If it helps, make excuses like bathroom, whatever. It takes practice but eventually it is so easy you can do it while they are mid-sentence. There is zero possibility that any “neutral party” would ever think you are the problem. At worst he’s hoping for a public display from you so he can “show the world why he had to divorce you!” Don’t give it to him. Trust me, as time goes by it gets easier.

portia
portia
8 months ago

No matter what ages your children are, their world changes when parents divorce, and especially when parents remarry.

Suddenly you have three or four parental figures, and maybe grandparents and maybe cousins and aunts and uncles. It becomes confusing. Then, if the newer marriage fails, you might go thru it all again. You might have to learn to deal with Partner Du Jour. What power do they have? How do these new authority figures talk to you and treat you? What do you do about different rules at different houses? It’s no wonder children don’t know what to think or how to react to situations. All this stuff is confusing enough for adults.

After years of enduring his cheating, I finally caught on to the reality of my marriage. I divorced my husband, not only for the cheating but for the years of resultant abuses that went along with cheating. I did not want to live that life anymore. I knew he would never be the kind of father he wanted to appear to be, and he would not have me being his publicity agent anymore, so his failures would become evident. Here is the key thing I learned: You cannot control other people.

I taught my children to be polite. I explained the rules of my home may be different from the rules at their Dad’s, and there may be a cast of changing characters at their Dad’s home. Just be polite and try to restrict criticism of anything until you are in a safe place away from the behavior you do not like or understand. I tried very hard to follow my own rules for them.

Their Dad always made a beeline for me at any school, or sports, or music activities. He sometimes brought Partner Du Jour along for the uncomfortable ride. I never went along with his “we are all just one big happy world” stuff, but I was polite. I would not lie, but I would not volunteer information. If I was asked a question, I answered it truthfully. I do not know why he continued to try to act like we were friends, I don’t think he ever fooled anyone but himself. I did not radiate hostility, but I was not friendly. For me it was like having to sit next to someone you work with but truly dislike at a work event. You endure it and concentrate on the fact it will soon be over. I also adapted my version of Chump Lady’s “Cool, Bummer, Wow” commentary.

You do not have to accept your Ex’s directions, or abide by his rules, but you do have to follow court orders. You will be better off if you don’t let other people watch you sweat or listen to you swear. Learn to be a COLD, remote, polite Cucumber at these events, and know that when your children are grown, you won’t have to go to as many events. You will survive, you can control your life, let the rest go.

If other people do not know your Ex is a FW, all they will have to do is spend a little time with him. No matter how fancy his therapy talk may be, he cannot control other people either. Even if he fools a few, you do not have to associate with them. Stop worrying about what other people think. They don’t know the truth, and for the most part, they don’t care.

Brenda
Brenda
8 months ago

It is totally disturbing that this therapist is screwing around with his vulnerable patients, and no one has reported his illegal behavior to the medical board. I very much doubt that this was the first time that he took advantage of someone in his care. Who knows how many patients would come forward if there were an inquiry? This disgusting creature should lose his license.

2xchump🚫again
2xchump🚫again
8 months ago

This note brings up the variety of my 2 cheaters over a 46 year period and super melds it in your story. I am so sorry Willow for you, for the years ahead and for the children. Never marry a therapist or a divorce attorney just in principle…yes its too late but just read his letters!! The mind twists are like a cement mixer. My blue collar worker 2xs could not talk as well or write as well ,so their verbal wars were down and dirty and you can see the lies, but this!!!??? My heart bleeds for you. Still did you have a parenting app,because it looks like he is enjoying his own morality lectures and listening to his own self shrink talk. Are you NO CONTACT and are you believing that he sucks?( read all that Tracy wrote on that, it helped me so much). Because this guy is a pompous, entitled to all your emotions, your facial expressions
a huge control freak, to hit your body language and chastise you? He’s an entitled arrogant total jerk and I’m sad to tell you, this is not his first rodeo with his clients. He is way too savvy to have only had you till this rehabbed warm body appeared. He was dredging the sewer for a catch. These kind of cheaters have, IMO a progressive habit that they feed and feed with baby steps and then it is a smorgasbord and then comes a “surprise “D day FOR YOU.But they are too professional and go in for the kill so easily..nope, they know what they are doing. They can have sex with you the night before D day, they can do you for years for cake. They can write love letters and serenade you under your balcony every second of every single day. But they DO NOT KNOW WHAT TRUE LOVE IS. They are liars.
You’ve lost nothing in this cheater. Shut him down. No reply, no marriage recital, no closure. He is playing you like a cat with a toy. Do not let him carry you away. You are too precious too loving too caring. Don’t waste one single word on him. Throw every note in the garbage disposal. Ask a friend to read his insults and control words that keep you in his paws ..and see if there is anything important to know about. Save yourself. Love yourself. This man is a flamming turd. Go and live better. My heart goes with you!!

KB22
KB22
8 months ago

This predator therapist is your run of the mill sociopath cheater. They fake decency, seem totally committed to their spouse and family but since day one they have had one foot out the door. The scary thing is there are no red flags, until the discard. Of course before the discard the chump is totally oblivious to the cheater laying the groundwork and trashing the chump to all their friends and relatives. A young woman I worked with, was basically a newlywed and she began to have an inappropriate relationship with another person at the company. It was bizarre because the guy she was pursuing was a certifiable nutcase (whole other story) but he was good looking and had charisma. This woman was married to the nicest guy, very low key. She was not a good person, a real manipulator, but everyone thought she was wonderful, for a period of time anyway or until she threw them under the bus. She started trashing her husband saying he was abusive, jealous, etc. Laying the groundwork. Well Mr. Good Looking and Charismatic ended up in a facility and went no contact with her…she got dumped. For other reasons she left her position (she was about to be fired and knew it) and went to work at the same company as her husband. They had a baby a couple of years ago and here is the thing, her husband has no clue whatsoever that she has one foot out the door.

Shadow
Shadow
8 months ago
Reply to  KB22

Oh the poor man, he’s married to a snake!

Nut Cluster Free Zone
Nut Cluster Free Zone
8 months ago
Reply to  KB22

KB22,
I would alert the husband that he is married to a cheating, manipulative cunt. He has a right to know.

KB22
KB22
8 months ago

I agree.

MichelleShocked
MichelleShocked
8 months ago

Oh Willow, my heart goes out to you. That FW is a piece of work. I got second hand trauma just from reading his abusive bullshit.

First, do you have a therapist of your own? Because it would be helpful to talk through this with someone who actually understands and handles this type of abuse and trauma. And they can likely point you to the best way to report that asshole… they may even help you with that. I was dealing with a coparenting coordinator/therapist that was an abusive narcissist himself and my therapist led the way to have me report that asshat creepo.

Second, my response would simply be
(1) nothing or
(2) “ok” (delightfully meaning nothing)
(3) “The great thing about divorce is that you no longer get to control how I handle things. Fact: you had an affair with your therapy client and abandoned your family. Any normal person would find that appalling and creepy. If you find that upsetting to hear, then you probably shouldn’t have done it. Feel free to show up at games per the legal agreement, but many exes choose not to interact and that prevents issues in front of the children. If you find that awkward, that’s on you. Maybe seek therapy to work on that. And follow the legal agreement. Do not give me your self-serving directives again — I follow the legal agreement and a nonnegotiable moral code.”

I recommend that you go with #1 and ignore his ass as much as you can. And surround yourself with friends, family and other Willow supporters at your kids’ games! Sending you love

Janie Canuck
Janie Canuck
8 months ago

A thought keeps going through my mind as I read this – do you suppose somebody has already reported him to his professional board and he is trying to rearrange the narrative in self-defence? Imagine if one of wifetress’s relatives isn’t so enamoured of FW, did the math and reported him? Perhaps a jealous client who may have been involved with FW? I sincerely doubt that the wifetress is the first person he shared his magnificence with. Just sayin’….

Mehitable
Mehitable
8 months ago
Reply to  Janie Canuck

I think this is a great insight and one I share that this Wife-Addict is not his first go round – I bet he’s had a few cracks at the patient population. There’s no way he can look good through this so he takes it out on Willow….I hope he also does not take it out on the kids, which is a fear I have especially once the baby is born. Willow has to be extra sensitive, alas, to what her children will be exposed to because this man is a bully and his wife is probably not stable enough for marriage and children. I can’t imagine that others have not noticed FW interesting situation…..

Squeaks
Squeaks
8 months ago

“I despise your agency”

Yuuuuup, exactly this. WHY WON’T THIS MEAN UNREASONABLE WOMAN TREAT ME IN THE SAME KIND, CONSIDERATE WAY SHE DID WHEN WE WERE MARRIED, BEFORE I BLEW UP THE FAMILY BY PORKING SOMEONE TOTALLY INAPPROPRIATE?! LOOK HOW REASONABLE AND EMOTIONALLY UNAFFECTED I AM!

My FW also plays this stupid-ass game. “Why are you making it so hard for me to see my kids?” I’m not, FW. I’m just not catering to your schedule at my own expense anymore. That was part of the wife package. You unsubscribed from that one.