Unfriendly Divorce (Or That Time I Was Mean to Gwyneth Paltrow)

bitter bunny

A reader here informed me last night that I was quoted in the New York Times (on my birthday no less) about being a cheerleader for unfriendly divorce. Specifically, I was “caustic” about Gwyneth Paltrow. Not about the jade eggs she sells to stick up your hoohaw, but Paltrow’s “conscious uncoupling” divorce fame.

I’m not a fan.

Everyone Is Breaking up, but No One Is Bitter” wrote Third Wheel columnist Gina Cherelus:

At the time, reporters tapped counselors and relationship experts to explain what conscious uncoupling meant. (The New York Times called it a “new, ungainly phrase.”) And the online backlash was swift: Critics mocked the stars for their upbeat announcement, which many interpreted as holier-than-thou. One advice blogger, Tracy Schorn, said in a particularly caustic post that she was thrilled the term was being received with “the snark and derision it so rightly deserves.”

“On the other hand,” she added, “the notion that divorce should be free of baser emotions like grief and anger is still a solid part of our culture.”

Okay, I once wrote a column entitled, “Gwyneth Paltrow Can Bite Me” about the epidemic of smug, friendly divorces.

You know the kind. Let me summon my inner ChatGPT and cobble one together from the many Mommy influencers.

Bryson and I have grown apart. And it is with the deepest love and affection that we must now live on opposite sides of the concertina wire divide on our biodynamic farm. Bryson has his polycule of farm laborers and I have the children. Whom we share like a CSA box of daikon radishes. Bryson doesn’t care for radishes, so I make interesting centerpieces with them. (Follow me on Insta!) The point is The Children! We are above rancor for their sake. I never utter a word against the polycule. Instead I take all those emotions and knit potholders. “Why did you and Daddy divorce?” Juniper asked. “We didn’t in our hearts” said I. “We just vibe in different ways. With separate tax returns.”  Anger kills. Forgive! Scroll for the full recipe of toxic positivity!

Look, if people can break up ethically and with warm regards, I’m all for it.

What I don’t understand is bludgeoning the less fortunate with your smug self-satisfaction. IT IS NOT POSSIBLE FOR ALL OF US TO BE FRIENDS WITH OUR EXES.

Because there are abusive marriages. And people leave them at great personal cost, and sometimes peril. So to feel friendly toward an abusive ex would not only be inauthentic, but dangerous.

I’m not saying emotionally vomit on everyone’s shoes. (Although I think a fair amount of oversharing is common in the early days of chumpdom.) And I’m not saying bad mouth the ex to your children. I’m saying: You are entitled to your feelings. You don’t have to go along with the societal divorce script of warm bonhomie.

I’m sure celebrities pay a high cost for being perceived as “bitter.”

You are not a Hollywood celebrity. Or probably a Mommy influencer. Or Gwyneth Paltrow, who is both these things.

You’re a chump. Someone defrauded you. It hurts like a motherfucker. You get past it, but it’s not a foundation for friendship. Hollywood is the land of make believe. Chumps are people who had their reality stolen. Ergo, we prefer to live in the real world.

This has been a public service announcement. As you were with your unfriendly divorces.

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ChumpBucket
ChumpBucket
7 months ago

Amen!

Skewers the Hare
Skewers the Hare
7 months ago
Reply to  ChumpBucket

Can I just say the name ChumpBucket is giving me life right now? I keep picturing a super badass Seabee (CB) but also somehow Rosie the Riveter?

margofree
margofree
7 months ago

Same here, I love it.

Rebecca
Rebecca
7 months ago

First of all…
“One advice blogger, Tracy Schorn”

You’re not an “advice blogger”!!!

You are a blogger that writes about cheating/infidelity, the crappy people who ruin other people’s lives while putting their own selfish needs first, how to survive that crap, how to help kids survive cheating parents, and how to build a new life/survive/thrive all the while not being shamed into believing it’s your fault. And don’t forget about teaching how to reach inner peace and greatness after surviving all of that!

Hardly just “advice”!

I think the author needs better descriptive writing skills.

Too bad NYT doesn’t have a comment section for that article or I would definitely post this.

OldDogNewTricks
OldDogNewTricks
7 months ago
Reply to  Rebecca

There’s a good reason (lots, in fact) that many people refer to the Grey Lady, The Paper of Record, as “FTFNYT”. (Translation: eff the effing N Y Times.”) Not a reliable source of impartiality, in politics or it seems pieces on life events.

HunnyBadger
HunnyBadger
7 months ago
Reply to  Rebecca

Tracy is also a successful author.

SpackleCity
SpackleCity
7 months ago

Thank you for this.

Stepbystep
Stepbystep
7 months ago

Yep. A former neighbor posted a photo of her husband loading a moving van captioned “After 23 years (husband/father) is off to new adventures”. Like a business closing announcement. No cheating involved as far as I know, but WTF? I don’t think any divorce with young children is ever truly amicable. Clearly, at least one parent is very hurt or angry.

OHFFS
OHFFS
7 months ago
Reply to  Stepbystep

That is appalling. The very picture of toxic positivity. So he’s running off to “new adventures” to evade his old, dreary responsibilities, like his children. So sure, let’s lie to the kids and put that bilge inducing, phoney spin on it and smile while dying inside. Fuck a bunch of that.

Orlando
Orlando
7 months ago
Reply to  OHFFS

My ex ran away from his “mean wife” too ya know. Title courtesy of my ex MIL. I wear that title as a badge of honour now as I know it meant that my ex didn’t get away with as much as he obviously wanted to!

Ain't It a Shame
Ain't It a Shame
7 months ago
Reply to  Stepbystep

Perhaps it’s just me, but I get a whiff of sarcasm in that comment. A brief but damning indictment of him running off like a teenager, rather than a mature adult who would continue to honor his responsibilities to his family.

Bruno
Bruno
7 months ago
Reply to  Stepbystep

Facetious perhaps?
Sometimes that says it all.

threetimesachump
threetimesachump
7 months ago
Reply to  Bruno

Yes, sarcasm, no doubt. To inform…but not “badmouth” Disney dad in the eyes of the court.

Elsie
Elsie
7 months ago
Reply to  Stepbystep

A friend of mine posted pictures of her husband putting his belongings into a U-Haul and then driving away on Facebook, taken by their Ring camera. He did it while the kids were visiting the grandparents, and she was at a Friday/Saturday work conference. Her caption, “And so life is upended. Pray for me and my children.” Way more realistic.

I didn’t post anything but hid it from my closest friends for several weeks until one confronted me, suspecting something was up.

FreeWoman
FreeWoman
7 months ago
Reply to  Elsie

What a coward! When you sneak away from your wife, and kids, you’re a selfish jerk. Afraid of human emotions, are we?

Elsie
Elsie
7 months ago
Reply to  FreeWoman

That’s why it struck me. It’s a cowardly way of splitting.

My ex did something similar a year before, making what was supposed to be a solo vacation into a long-distance separation. Being who I was then, I actually mailed him things and packed suitcases for him when he returned to split the accounts. I packed boxes for him too. Looking back, he was a coward hoping for me to do what I did.

Now? You hit the road, toad. Figure it out. I have an appointment with an attorney….

MamaMeh
MamaMeh
7 months ago
Reply to  Stepbystep

New adventures?! That poor woman. Still eating shit sandwiches. Wake up lady!!

MichelleShocked
MichelleShocked
7 months ago

“Hollywood is the land of make believe. ”

And money. It’s a Hell of a lot easier to “consciously uncouple” when you’re a successful actress running a lucrative business and your husband is a pop star that rocks stadiums full of fans.

For the rest of us, financial abuse is real. And scary.

And you see the difference even in Hollywood… See: FW Kevin Costner’s shit show of a divorce as they fight publicly over money. Or Kelly Clarkson’s cheating ex FW who tried to take as much money from her as possible in the divorce…. And it was ugly and took years.

For those with comfort and means, it’s much easier to go separate ways without waking up nightly from anxiety attacks over bills and putting food on the table.

Dontfeellikedancin
Dontfeellikedancin
7 months ago

MichelleShocked, my thoughts exactly when reading today. Fuck Gwyneth Paltrow and her opinions. They have absolutely no bearing on my situation.

SortOfOverIt
SortOfOverIt
7 months ago

Yes Michelle, money can’t buy happiness but it sure helps. For sure we see plenty of loaded people fight over their millions in a divorce. But for many, a divorce means instant financial insecurity. It would be a lot easier to e amicable if the FW leaving wasn’t going to have a huge impact on the Chumps security.

I know for me one of the issues that I kept thinking was “he’s leaving me post-50. I thought our retirement one day would be funded on what the 2 of us built” and I was truly frightened that I would end up homeless one day, if not soon, definitely later. That is probably not going to happen, though things may be tight for the rest of my life and he will likely re-marry and be fine. But sure, if we had millions to split, I wouldn’t be worrying about any of that. I’d still be mad that he cheated, but knowing that I would emerge whole and financially sound on the other side would go a long way towards “friendly”.

sleepyhead
sleepyhead
7 months ago
Reply to  SortOfOverIt

I did end up homeless, at the age of 55, for 6 months or so, thanks to financial malfeasance on FW #2’s part. All the while, he was posting on social media about his new apartment, new car, the trips he was taking, and a variety of new toys. [To be fair, a contributing problem was my father’s death in the midst of all this, which led to family members who hadn’t spoken to him for years coming out of the woodwork to contest the will, which in turn led to his estate being tied up in court for ages. My dad wasn’t particularly wealthy, but my part of the inheritance would have given me enough of a cushion to at least get out of the unheated firetrap of a basement that I was squatting in. But I shouldn’t have had to count on that to get by, especially since I had grieving to do.]

Maisie
Maisie
7 months ago

And also image management. It is easier and less expensive to manage the narrative and present a divorce among the wealthy and famous as amicable then to hire a PR firm to clean it up.

MaisyL
MaisyL
7 months ago

Thank you for this. The pressure to be “friendly” at all costs, even to your well-being, comes from all corners of society. I was once in court, being sued by my extremely affluent ex (who left after cheating with his intern, basically leaving me stuck in a foreign country because I can’t leave with our three kids — and I’m without a great grasp of the language here…) over his lack of desire to pay for our son’s choice of private high school. He couched it in an argument about how religious he was and so son had to go to a less expensive Catholic school of ex’s choosing. I was painted as a bitter, vindictive heathen who was trying to “alienate” son from his religion by telling him I was happy for him to attend the secular school if that was his preference. The main evidence of my bitterness is that I do not speak to ex. All of my evidence that I communicate with him on all necessary child related matters via email and text (in an emergency) were met with blank stares. My examples of texts, emails and conversations in which he calls me “brazen”, the “worst co-parent in the world”, a “disaster”, a “disappointment” and worse were met with…similar blankness.

How dare I not run over to SPEAK to ex at pick up or school events to demonstrate to the kids that dad is a good guy? Maybe I’m alienating them from him, too…

Anyway it worked on that stupid judge (the power of toxic positivity in our culture…), but I took him to the Court of Appeal and my son got to go to his chosen school.

Chumpolicious
Chumpolicious
7 months ago
Reply to  MaisyL

I am reading a book called Bittersweet. It talks about Americas obsession with positivity. Its detrimental. Good read.

OHFFS
OHFFS
7 months ago
Reply to  MaisyL

“I took him to the Court of Appeal and my son got to go to his chosen school.”

Yay! Chalk one up for truth and justice. Good for you.

Mehitable
Mehitable
7 months ago
Reply to  MaisyL

I didn’t know cheating was part of the Catholic religion. When I grew up they kind of looked down on treating your family like shit.

Mehitable
Mehitable
7 months ago
Reply to  MaisyL

Most of our society is based on polite lies to make everyone “feel better” at the expense of being genuine and actually progressing in life.

Spaceman Spiff
Spaceman Spiff
7 months ago
Reply to  MaisyL

Bravo to you, Maisy. It sounds like you’re in a tough spot, but your children see who is sticking up for them. Keep your head up and push on.

MaisyL
MaisyL
7 months ago
Reply to  Spaceman Spiff

Thank you 🙂

Shadow
Shadow
7 months ago
Reply to  MaisyL

Wow! I’m really glad you got it sorted in your son’s favour in the end but bloody Hell that FW put ye both through it, and for what? A religion he does NOT believe in because if he did, he would not have committed adultery!!!
I’m a Catholic and when the Faith is used by the character disordered to further their bad intentions or twisted to justify their bad actions, it really makes me sick!
He’s a thundering hypocrite as well as a deceitful, devious, treacherous git!

MaisyL
MaisyL
7 months ago
Reply to  Shadow

Ha ha. My ex is a master of hypocrisy, but it did ultimately get called out by the appeals court. A lot of his testimony in the first trial had been about how religious we were (not true – I am not religious and he and I only went to church occasionally on holidays when we visited my parents when Ex brought it up as a way to feel pious and superior to my family), how religious he and his new wife were (he married the AP/intern – and they started going to church suspiciously around the time he filed proceedings against me on the school choice) and how I was denying my faith to spite him and make him pay more for a secular school out of “rage”. The first judge bought it all…but at the court of appeal where I am, there is no testimony by witnesses. Only the lawyers present on the specific errors that the appealing party thinks the first judge made, so ex had no chance to pontificate. I knew I won when one of the appeals court judges asked ex’s lawyer very “innocently” if divorce and remarriage were allowed in Catholicism…FINALLY, i thought, someone has seen through this lying jerk. (His lawyer did not know the answer, fyi, but MINE DID.)

**this may appear twice. My original post got stuck awaiting moderation, I suspect because I used a word other than “jerk”. 🙂

MaisyL
MaisyL
7 months ago
Reply to  Shadow

Ha ha. My ex is a master of hypocrisy, but it did ultimately get called out by the appeals court. A lot of his testimony in the first trial had been about how religious we were (not true – I am not religious and he and I only went to church occasionally on holidays when we visited my parents when Ex brought it up as a way to feel pious and superior to my family), how religious he and his new wife were (he married the AP/intern – and they started going to church suspiciously around the time he filed proceedings against me on the school choice) and how I was denying my faith to spite him and make him pay more for a secular school out of “rage”. The first judge bought it all…but at the court of appeal where I am, there is no testimony by witnesses. Only the lawyers present on the specific errors that the appealing party thinks the first judge made, so ex had no chance to pontificate. I knew I won when one of the appeals court judges asked ex’s lawyer very “innocently” if divorce and remarriage were allowed in Catholicism…FINALLY, i thought, someone has seen through this lying bastard. (His lawyer did not know the answer, fyi, but MINE DID.)

DuddersGetsChumped
DuddersGetsChumped
7 months ago
Reply to  MaisyL

It’s stories like these that 100% back up why that NYTimes article is just ill-advice and Chump Lady is our heroine. What a fight you had there but well done.

Sandyfeet
Sandyfeet
7 months ago
Reply to  MaisyL

Sorry you had to go through that court experience . I’m glad you prevailed.

MaisyL
MaisyL
7 months ago
Reply to  Sandyfeet

Thanks. Court is just a tool for him when he knows he’s wrong but suing me will make it prohibitively expensive for me to pursue what is right. In this case, I felt I had to advocate for my son, but it was painful and expensive for all of us.

Lizza Lee
Lizza Lee
7 months ago
Reply to  MaisyL

Maisy, my ex used the court system as another tool to abuse me, too. It was horrible and expensive, but the children and I survived. They are all adults now and we don’t have any contact with him anymore. You will get through this.

kate111
kate111
7 months ago
Reply to  MaisyL

My Ex also feels that court is a constant tool he can use to punish me. Mine refuses to ever attempt to negotiate anything. It’s straight to court.
Like you, I had a judge that just didn’t see/care about my ex’s bad behavior. Best interest of the child meant nothing to my judge. He was entirely concerned with “parental rights.” The judge told me that while my Ex may not show the same devotion to our kids that I do he is not abusive and therefore his it’s his right to have equal access to his kids. 50/50 custody. All the things we are always told to document didn’t matter at all.
I feel like so many stories involve people talking about how a judge saw right through their Ex. But sometimes they don’t see through them. Or they don’t care. It’s lonely and infuriating when you feel like you have no recourse anywhere.

Brit
Brit
7 months ago
Reply to  kate111

Ex also used the court system to abuse me. Cheater had our 16 year old son emancipated.. Cheater lived in another town with AP, leaving our 16 year old son to live in his apartment alone. What 16 year old isn’t going to love playing video games all night long living in apartment without supervision? Our son’s grades plummeted, He went from an honors student to in danger of not graduating high school.
His appearance changed drastically, from healthy, tanned, wearing polo shirts to pale, unkept, wearing worn clothing. He looked homeless.
I brought before and after photos and copies of his grades to the Judge. She wasn’t concerned.
More waste of my time and money.
No justice. I didn’t have a chance. Cheater is wealthy, I’m not.

Badmovie19
Badmovie19
7 months ago

In the early days after Dday and me filing for divorce, my aunt happened to stop at my in-laws to drop off something for our kids. My aunt later told me that my then father in law had said “well maybe they can be friends.” 🤮 my friends don’t stab me in the back and risk my health, finances, and emotional well being. The friend narrative is such a joke. Sure maybe there is a small percentage out there of former couples who remain friends but highly unlikely when infidelity was a factor.

Involuntary Georgian
Involuntary Georgian
7 months ago
Reply to  Badmovie19

Even in the best possible situation it’s hard to pull off an amicable divorce and remain friends. Everyone knows this.

Infidelity adds an enormous additional complication and makes it significantly harder to pull off “we’re still friends”. Everyone knows this too.

So, if remaining friends is really so important, wouldn’t it make sense to ask for a divorce before cheating? Friendship after divorce is not impossible, but when they deliberately engage in behaviors that everyone knows make it harder to achieve, they don’t get to then claim that it’s so important to them or that it’s all our fault if it doesn’t happen.

In almost every interaction with my XW I end up thinking “She had a choice today. She could have apologized, or de-escalated, or just let it drop. But she didn’t. From all the options available to her, she once again chose the one that is least likely to lead to friendship.” It’s kind of a talent, I suppose: I often write an email and think “there’s no way she can take offense at this. This time everything will end calmly.” … and yet she manages to find something to be offended by, something that would never in a million years have occurred to me.

Shadow
Shadow
7 months ago
Reply to  Badmovie19

Exactly1 My X tried to manipulate me into giving him a lift to my old landlord’s shaking-hands thing as he’s just after passing away, Lor have Mercy on him. Now he really was a lovely man, the nicest landlord I’ve ever had, but I hadn’t seen him for over 16 years, didn’t knwo any of his family and TBH, when my mother and then father died, I found it an ordeal to sit in the funeral home for hours whilst streams of people I didn’t knwo from Adam came to shake hands with me and other of my parents’ relations and say “Sorry for your trouble”! I just couldn’t wait for it to be over so I could go home, and even moreso, because here in Ireland they bury you the next day, so it’s hectic and exhausting for the bereaved, you’ve no time to even begin to get your head round the death, so I had no intention of going!
I suspect he thought if I was going, I’d feel I had to give him a lift as well, and he could have a good old go at trying to find a chink in my defences, because I’m low- contact and grey rocking him and he wants to move back in my house but is too scared to say it straight out! He must have seen the look on my face as he backtracked and that was that!
We aren’t friends! I was his friend, his true friend but he stopped being mine, then became my deadly enemy as far as I’m concerned, so he can feck off if he thinks I’m ever going to let him play at being my friend so that he can use, and probably abuse and betray, me ever again!

Fern
Fern
7 months ago
Reply to  Badmovie19

Do you suppose he really meant “friend” in the true sense of the word? I think when there is a FW involved the best the in-laws should hope for is civility and even that is a gift as far as I am concerned.

I say from years after my own divorce during the dark, pre-CL days. Unfortunately, I fell for Goopy’s bullshit. What “conscious uncoupling” means in the real world is putting the FW’s needs ahead of the chump. Bad, painful choice. Perhaps GP should consider going on the podcast with CL and apologize for the pain she has thoughtlessly caused.

Apidae
Apidae
7 months ago
Reply to  Fern

No, he meant “maybe they can pretend so the rest of us don’t have to feel uncomfortable or deal with conflicting feelings about the FW”.

Fern
Fern
7 months ago
Reply to  Apidae

Excellent clarification, Apidae!

MamaMeh
MamaMeh
7 months ago
Reply to  Badmovie19

Dreaming. Aka avoiding discomfort because reality.

overMim
overMim
7 months ago
Reply to  Badmovie19

I say the same thing “friends don’t stab me in the back and put me through hell”. The friend narrative is rare to find IRL.

Narcissistsupply
Narcissistsupply
7 months ago

Toxic positivity has invaded our culture.

If you have cancer you’re supposed to live every day to the fullest and run a marathon to support research for your cancer. Great if you can, but most people are focused on survival.

Why is it not ok to have the full gamut of human emotions?

As my best friend says, crappy things make you feel crappy.

NotAnymore
NotAnymore
7 months ago

Don’t even get me started on “manifesting” or “lucky girl syndrome” which is toxic positivity’s gaslighting, victim-blaming, narcissistic sister.

Bad things happen to good people. It sucks and it’s unfair. Why so many people can’t sort out this most basic fact of life is beyond me.

Elsie
Elsie
7 months ago

Yes, toxic positivity is just sick.

It pervades religious circles where you are supposed to be perpetually joyful and thankful. Thank God my ex decided to live in another state while driving my finances into the ground. Hooray for my PTSD/CPTSD and having to deal with kids whose whole world has been shattered!

Yes, we got to the other side, and it is lovely. But I threw the fake piety out the window.

Juniper
Juniper
7 months ago
Reply to  Elsie

Me too, Elsie. I know of this “religious circle” toxic positivity. After my kids/I were traumatized by cheating ex, my church/religious circle went crickets. It nearly did me in.

Skewers the Hare
Skewers the Hare
7 months ago
Reply to  Elsie

So true! Good on you for making it to the other side.

Shann
Shann
7 months ago

I am unsure People like that have real feelings anymore(?) Ive not been in those shoes but money has a lot to do with those views, I imagine.
Just read the Paltrow article and it’s one of my favorites.
These are real people real feelings traumatized by real terrible things.
I’ve watched her Netflix special- they go around trying different, very expensive weird shit just for fun. Now I’m just frustrated with her and Hollywood people.

susie lee
susie lee
7 months ago
Reply to  Shann

I have never seen it.

I think I will stick to Mike Rowe, he works with folks who have real jobs, and shows how awful some of those jobs can be. As bad as I am sure the smell is sometimes, likely still smells better than hollywood bullshit. No offense to those in that world who act like decent human beings, some do; and you don’t hear much about them.

Honeyballs
Honeyballs
7 months ago

“Look, if people can break up ethically and with warm regards, I’m all for it. What I don’t understand is bludgeoning the less fortunate with your smug self-satisfaction. IT IS NOT POSSIBLE FOR ALL OF US TO BE FRIENDS WITH OUR EXES.” I love you Tracy for this comment.

TheDivineMissChump
TheDivineMissChump
7 months ago

Some folks make a silk purse out of a sow’s ear and sell it on social media as an ‘amicable divorce’. Perhaps they are the same people who advocate the importance of finding forgiveness in your heart. Bully for them!

There is nothing amicable about divorcing a FW. Nor should there be. Try it and you’ll be manipulated, gaslight, and abused over and over again. And forgiveness is not a necessary component of healing. Nor does it make you a “better” person. It is not the magic key to gain entrance to the moving-forward kingdom.

MamaMeh
MamaMeh
7 months ago

Word 👏

susie lee
susie lee
7 months ago

“Try it and you’ll be manipulated, gaslight, and abused over and over again.”

Exactly, before the year of discard began, it was never easy to get along with asshole. Yes we had good times, but it was predicated on me giving and him doing it all his way. If I had tried to be friends it would be the same way, I would have to twist myself in knots to get along. No thanks. BTDT.

DrDr
DrDr
7 months ago

I am just on the very start of divorce. It’s been a loooong hard road just to get to this point. 30 years and three kids. And now I have to go into court to officially sever ties with this dickhole. It boggles the mind. It is as painful and gnawing off my own leg to get out of this sick trap my marriage somehow turned into. It wasn’t always like that. There were some good times. But life is not built on just good times. I think dickhole expected ME to give him a good life versus each of us building good lives as partners. Each person growing individually and as a team. I worked, went to grad school, raised the kids. He watched TV and lived on his cell phone.

I am still really angry and hurt. My rage is limitless. On top of that I still have to pay the bills, make dinner, help my kids grow into young adults.

My mom passed away recently. That hurt more than FW leaving. She was a true partner while STBX was more of a leech. I have hope that each day will get better as I learn to live in this new reality. I will never be friends with STBX. He has proven he is not my friend. He’s a ghoul. A person with no character, no morals, no kindness, no spine.

It’s really hurting my sons. They have no male role model. They have not seen a man who is kind, loving, successful. Just FW, who’s back in his mom’s house just existing. He wants pity from his own kids! Disgusting.

Mehitable
Mehitable
7 months ago
Reply to  DrDr

I’m so sorry for what you’re going through. I always say if there’s nothing else you can be in life, you can be an example of what NOT to do. Maybe that’s what your ex now is to the kids…..what kind of man NOT to be.

Skunkcabbage
Skunkcabbage
7 months ago
Reply to  DrDr

I thank God that my older brother, who doesn’t have any kids of his own and is in a lovely marriage, has reached out to my son. (And we live in separate states, so it has been a challenge) Since my divorce 9 years ago, Uncle Matt Dude has really been there for my son who is now in college fairly close by him. They spent spring break together this year. Finally my son is getting a glimpse of what an authentic man is all about.

MamaMeh
MamaMeh
7 months ago
Reply to  DrDr

Hang in there and stick around Chump Nation. Tuesday is coming. (((Hugs)))

Formerchumpnowbride
Formerchumpnowbride
7 months ago

When I blocked him on all social media as he left, he asked, teary eyed, “Why? Can’t we still be friends? Am I that evil?” No thank you. I have friends, they don’t do things to hurt me.

He genuinely thought this was going to be a friendly process. WTF?

Mehitable
Mehitable
7 months ago

I don’t know about your husband but I don’t usually have sex with my friends and sleep with them and have kids with them and split incomes with them so I suspect there’s some differences here between him and a friend.

Elsie
Elsie
7 months ago

My ex promised a quick and easy divorce process. He said he’d give me more than the law allowed.

I said, “We’ll see.” He didn’t like that and promised again via email the next day.

He had already thrown us into chaos by running off to another state. Every month, I had to deal with wondering if he’d send support or not because he’d rage about not paying “some time.” I had three part-time jobs, making so little that I paid no taxes for several years. The divorce immediately went all kinds of wrong, leading me to hire a true heavy hitter before his pitbull ran me over.

And I didn’t get more than the law allowed. It took a lot of fighting just to get there. Maybe a little here-and-there, but a judge might have well awarded the same.

I used to get so angry when certain people shamed me for not being friendly towards him. Really? Then it occurred to me that each of those people have major issues themselves. One had a traumatic brain injury some years back and isn’t quite right, and the other has a mentally ill wife. So, I just keep my distance now.

But no, not friends.

Sandyfeet
Sandyfeet
7 months ago

They’re delusional. During divorce, I stopped at the office to tell him I needed the joint account password so I could pay our auto insurance, both of us had been changing it, I was the paying bills. He says why I you looking at me with the evil eye❓ REALLY❗️You don’t know, what an idiot.

Viktoria
Viktoria
7 months ago

Yes my friends don’t lie to me, stab me in the back and betray me.

susie lee
susie lee
7 months ago

I am thankful we didn’t have SM then. Not against it at all, but it was so much easier to never see or hear of him with no SM.

Even when it came about, as far as I know he never got on any SM. likely one of those things he took a stupid moral stand against. He was always full of moral stands for things he didn’t really want to do anyway. Too bad he didn’t have any moral stands against lying, and cheating.

KatiePig
KatiePig
7 months ago
Reply to  susie lee

Ugh, social media. Even with them blocked they still pop up occasionally and unexpectedly.

New York nutbag
New York nutbag
7 months ago

I’ve never been what you would call a “Trekkie” but I did watch a few episodes of old school Star Trek. This (as does no fault divorce ) remind me of a particular episode . I this episode the crew of the Enterprise visits a fairly sophisticated planet. They discover that the planet has been at war with a neighboring planet for decades . They inquire how the war was waged and was told that to preserve the the culture and architecture of their respective planets computers engaged in theoretical warfare informing each other of the area and number of casualties per attack and those citizens effected were required to report to elimination stations to be recorded and destroyed . The crew was then identified as casualties and were being forced to go to the elimination station . Kirk then got a message to the ship to tell them to horrifically destroy the planet. Upon hearing this the leaders of the planet were outraged that they would be so barbaric . Kirk responded , ” you’ve made killing each other neat and tidy and removed the horror of war” . To me , this dipicts the notion of ethical uncoupling, no fault divorce , and some other concepts . Effort by itself is one of the great powers we possess , to me it’s the sexist thing a partner can do for me. Without effort we are only accepting the enevitabilty of demise and are like those identified as casualties .

FYI
FYI
7 months ago

What a great post!

Elsie
Elsie
7 months ago

You make good points here. I have people that I’ve pushed to the outskirts who seem to think that divorce is usually polite and respectful. I have no clue why because most that I know of were ugly and messy. I guess that the reality freaks people out to some extent, so they prefer to live in denial. Or something like that…

Amiisfree
Amiisfree
7 months ago

One of the clearest signs that a woman’s work is excellent, effective, and affecting real change is how it elicits all the old woman-invalidating tropes:

She’s not attractive (who would bother pretending to listen to a woman they can’t screw?).

She’s shrill (says things that are unpleasant without apologizing and doesn’t cloak her words in sweetness and perfumes, how unappealing).

She’s not staying in her place (Where did she get the idea she’s intelligent enough to speak up and be taken seriously? She should keep her attention on the tasks that best suit her vulva).

Her emotions are out of control (simple statements of fact sound hysterical coming out of her, because she’s not biologically even tempered by possessing a penis, and she’s clearly not remaining subservient to anyone who has one).

Keep on kicking ass and taking names, CL. You’re moving the needle. That’s why they try to paint you shitty. You’re glorious! You save lives. You’re the best, and your work to help chumps is an immeasurable gift to the world. ❤️

MamaMeh
MamaMeh
7 months ago
Reply to  Amiisfree

Amiisfree you always nail it 🙏

No Shit Cupcakes
No Shit Cupcakes
7 months ago

Hey – does anyone have a gift link to share? I don’t know if they permit comments to subscribers, but if so, I want to read people writing in to share why they don’t pretend to be buddies with ex-holes.

Viktoria
Viktoria
7 months ago

Good morning to all here as I drink my coffee and get on with my unfriendly divorce!

Name Changer
Name Changer
7 months ago
Reply to  Viktoria

Just had lunch and am finishing the coffee whilst I stew in the ongoing estrangement.

HunnyBadger
HunnyBadger
7 months ago

I used to wonder why it seemed celebrities got married in multi-million dollar weddings after dating for a month, then divorced six months later…and were already dating and in love and planning the next gala nuptial extravaganza — without even a hint of being upset. Or slowed down. Or even the tiniest bit concerned.

Then I realized they can do it because they have the money to do it. Yes, folks, with enough money to cushion the ordinary human problems, you too can have several white tulle ball gowns, grooms in top hats, and ‘joyful’ attendees who are hoping to show up in the background of a spread in People magazine. None of it is real, and the money buffer makes sure it never has to be real. Sure, they probably get butthurt when they find out their latest marital co-star is cheating, but it’s easier to get over it when you can buy a small tropical island on which to recover.

Gwinnett has never lived on planet earth. And real people cannot consciously uncouple. What that goopy pretender is promoting is just expensive stage management and image control.

She is not enlightened, she’s just a run of the mill sociopath. Welcome to the fairytale.

Hell of a Chump
Hell of a Chump
7 months ago
Reply to  HunnyBadger

Amen to the money comments. Certain things are taken more casually when one has money to burn. But, to be honest, I don’t envy people like this. Having grown up in NYC with children of celebs or the super rich and former child stars, I’d say “celebrissism” is a pretty sad acquired disorder. It’s very rare that any are happy or capable of having stable and fulfilling private lives. I read a study many years ago that rang true after what I’d seen. Researchers found that individuals who were “prodigied”– pushed by adults to achieve great feats at young ages– tended to show a lot of psychological resemblance to survivors of childhood sexual abuse. It makes sense if you think about it since the adults in the equation– for their own gratification– are making children do things the children aren’t ready to do. If these kids grow up to act like nippy, irritable show dogs or completely deluded or depressed and prone to substance abuse it’s not that surprising.

Mehitable
Mehitable
7 months ago
Reply to  HunnyBadger

I think a lot of their relationships are actually just PR stunts. They get together, have affairs, split up, get back together and for a lot of them it’s just to generate more news. They have to stay in headlines or they’re over.

Spoonriver
Spoonriver
7 months ago

I just spent my last two EMDR counseling sessions dealing with my internal reactions whenever I have to be in proximity to FW and company. Married almost 36 years and I now know cheated the entire time. I know that he is not a danger to me and can’t hurt me anymore but my body has not gotten the memo. Thus the continuing therapy. Conscious uncoupling is not even an option, neither is friendliness or even recognition. He is my abuser. Fuck off Gwen!

susie lee
susie lee
7 months ago
Reply to  Spoonriver

But the thing is, he might very well be able to hurt you if you are in his presence.

In the early years had I been around fw and the whore, them talking about enjoying the river property and the boat that I helped buy, would have hurt me. There are so many way a person like that can say or do that can still hurt.

I never gave him the chance again. The few family events we were at, I did the nod and move on thing. The only way to make sure he didn’t say something to hurt me, was to not give him the opportunity.

The old saying “they can’t hurt you without your permission” is bullshit. They proved they can hurt us without our permission.

Orlando
Orlando
7 months ago

One of my kids said this summer “I wish you & Dad could be around each other & get along”. This was after telling me his Dad was on his way over. I said, “I understand your feelings, but I lost respect for your Dad the way he treated me, and ‘cuz of that, I don’t want to see him, so I’m just going to stay in my bedroom until he’s gone. But you have a great time with him”. I get that the other parties: kids, school, family & friends wish for exes to get along so the other parties can be made more comfortable being around both. Nothing to do with a harmed person’s comfort level though.There’s all this pressure & delusion to play into the “let’s all get along” mantra that schools & workplaces promote, not understanding (or not wanting to deal with) that some people harm others. It’s such a relief to have “caustic” advice columnists (😉) like Chump Lady understand this & have a space & support for people that don’t want to be duped into “conscious uncoupling”. I hope the NY Times article sends more people this way! 💪

chumpedchange
chumpedchange
7 months ago
Reply to  Orlando

“that schools & workplaces promote, not understanding (or not wanting to deal with) that some people harm others.” YES, thank you Orlando for telling it straight

DrDr
DrDr
7 months ago
Reply to  Orlando

My middle son has said the same thing. But like you, I explain that this person is not my friend and I am not going to be dishonest and sit down and have a meal with someone who has treated me with disrespect, dishonesty, contempt, and abuse. I’d rather eat alone. Thank you. Furthermore, want my kids to know that if someone treats you like shit, you have the right to get away from them. You don’t have to be their captive. Eff that!

M1
M1
7 months ago
Reply to  DrDr

When asked why I refused to be “friendly” with my ex I replied, “I have high standards for my friends. He doesn’t meet them.”

susie lee
susie lee
7 months ago
Reply to  Orlando

Even in a work place when one person does something to harm another and it does not rise to a fire-able offense the work place is usually obligated to put space between the two, for the comfort of the injured person. We should expect the injured person in an infidelity/abuse situation to at the very least be able to do that for themselves without cajoling them to “be nice to the perp”.

Mehitable
Mehitable
7 months ago
Reply to  susie lee

Yeah….”suck it up” is not an effective HR process.

Name Changer
Name Changer
7 months ago
Reply to  Orlando

There comes a point when it is politeness only at children’s weddings until one of you dies or the idiot develops some emotional intelligence.

Name Changer
Name Changer
7 months ago

If I had had £500,000 I could have bought ex out of the house and done without my share of his pensions. Instead I put up with insulting suggested settlements which my solicitor was legally obliged to put to me.

£500,000 is chicken feed in the Paltrow universe.

Chumpolicious
Chumpolicious
7 months ago

Its easy to divorce if you have boat loads of money and resources. Divorce wont financially devastate her. She is beautiful, famous, rich. She will be able to snatch up a new dude. She did! And evidently married and lived in separate households till recently. And who knows? Maybe she is the cheater in the relationship controlling the narrative. Wanting to be friends, and vacation with her chump, so all the world knows just how wonderful she is.

Elsie
Elsie
7 months ago

I bought into the “we’ll be friends” doctrine until I didn’t. A few weeks after he called to say he wanted a divorce (I agreed), I knew we’d never be friends. I asked my attorney about that one time when the paralegal was copying some documents, and he said from his chair, that it was rare. The majority go their own way.

My hairdresser smoothed things out with her ex, but it took time. They married right out of high school, and they are now in their fifties. They divorced after six years, he had a military career, and then came back to the area as a small contractor. She used him for projects at her mom’s house, and then got to know his wife. Periodically she has them for dinner when a project is going on, and they’re good. Not best buds, but good.

I’m glad I didn’t have custody issues and chose to take out anything that tied him to us beyond closeout. What a relief when I signed the letter to close my legal file.

Josh McDowell
Josh McDowell
7 months ago

Trying to be friends is a power move on their part, they want a clean narrative to what happened. It’s more cake eating on their part, don’t give them the power to dictate your life.

cheaterssuck
cheaterssuck
7 months ago

Long time reader and prior contributor here. I remember that post about G-pal being invited to bite you. I had just gotten divorced after a three year stint in wreckconciliation. Shortly thereafter Jen and Ben announced their “conscious uncoupling”and the whole thing made me want to vomit. Ben was staying at their guest house and she bragged about celebrating birthdays and holidays together “for the children.” Whatevs!

It’s like Hollyweird’s version of slut shaming. They shame divorced people if they’re not BFFS with their exes. Finances don’t factor in to any of their issues which often factors into many divorces outside of Hollyweird’s utopian society.

My divorce came after my children were grown. I mediated not to keep the peace but because i wanted to be free of the FW as soon as humanly possible. I haven’t seen or spoken to him since 1 month after our divorce was final. I don’t speak ill of him to our children and if I’m being honest I don’t speak of him at all these days.

Chumps-you do you! Not what some idiot influencer, NYT reporter or anyone else has to say. Your only jobs are to follow custody orders, not talk trash about the ex to your children or their family (because blood is thicker than water) and be polite during visitation transfers. The. End!

Gwen can bite me too!!

Mehitable
Mehitable
7 months ago
Reply to  cheaterssuck

So many people in HWood cheat that it’s part of their culture. If they didn’t pretend to be “friends” they might not be able to work with a lot of people. It’s very incestuous and not at all like “real life”.

susie lee
susie lee
7 months ago
Reply to  cheaterssuck

Yep, I am betting that if Paltrow had worn Goodwill frocks, and bought her kids stuff at Goodwill/thrift stores, and lived in a broken down house with old furniture; then found out her husband had been handing over gifts and money generously to some whore; she would be pissed.

Lulu
Lulu
7 months ago

Aside from all the great comments already posted is that children don’t give a flying fuck about unconscious coupling. Dad or Mom has exited stage left on some level. We are tribal, and the children are invested in keep the tribe whole because on a basic level the tribe is keeping them safe and fed. Same for friends and family. Just because one person isn’t emotionally invested in the relationship any more doesn’t mean they the rest of the tribe feels the same. This idea of a couple living in a relationship bubble who can just walk away from each other with no impact on others, including each other!, is sociopath speak for hey, no guilt here, and then wiping the emotional “dirt” off their hands and walking away.

Involuntary Georgian
Involuntary Georgian
7 months ago
Reply to  Lulu

At the time, the one part of my divorce that I most mystified me was XW’s refusal to attempt couple’s counseling. Not for me, and not because of her marriage vows, but for our three kids. I couldn’t (and, to be honest, still don’t) comprehend how anyone could simply refuse – point-blank – to try to save their children’s family. Even if XW was sure nothing would come of it, the counselor was only asking for us to work together for eight weeks (after which, if XW hadn’t changed her mind, the counselor would help us figure out how to divorce). It still boggles my mind that she wouldn’t put her “new life” on hold for eight weeks to give our kids a chance at an intact family. The only way I can explain it is that she’d promised AP to leave me asap, and her loyalty to him superseded her obligations to me and the kids.

KatiePig
KatiePig
7 months ago
Reply to  Lulu

Exactly. This is the part that really bothers me. The children’s family has just been destroyed no matter how happy the parents are about it. How do they not have enough empathy for their own children to understand that divorce is not a minor, pleasant thing? It grosses me out. If they’re such good friends and just love each other sooooo much, maybe they should have tried harder to not destroy their children’s family.

walkbymyself
walkbymyself
7 months ago

It took me a very, very long time to acknowledge how bad my fake, one-sided marriage really truly was. The one thing I finally did that allowed me to slowly dig out of the death-spiral of self-blame?

I got angry.

I say that anger is vastly under-appreciated in our culture, particularly if you’re female and especially a female who’s been chumped.

CarolinaChump
CarolinaChump
7 months ago
Reply to  walkbymyself

To walkbymyself, Truth☝️ Anger gave me the courage to LEAVE THE ABUSER

20th Century Chump
20th Century Chump
7 months ago
Reply to  walkbymyself

I totally agree that anger can be a great spine-stiffener!

Skunkcabbage
Skunkcabbage
7 months ago

I don’t think I’ve talked directly to my X husband since the custody battle was completed. I don’t miss the contact in the least. Xhusband who?

susie lee
susie lee
7 months ago
Reply to  Skunkcabbage

It is so weird. I remember when he first walked out, I thought I would never be able to go on and be happy again. He had been my one true love since I was 18. Within about two to three months, I started to realize; I had lost most of my respect for him. The only respect I hung on to, was as my sons dad, and that was only for my son. There is so much to be said for NC.

Oh I still have some scars, but that is to be expected.

Chumpasaurus45
Chumpasaurus45
7 months ago

Thanks for this post today, Tracy.
Being 12 years parochially educated and having parents who were devout Catholics throughout their lives, I struggle with this topic a lot.
The Catholic Church flies the forgiveness banner as high as you can get it up there. I’m no longer a practicing faithful, but the influences on me through the years are still very much present in my life.
The “life is too short to hold grudges” toxic positivity in our culture is very dangerous. You’re a bigger, better person, if you forgive and forget. You should see it in your heart to forgive them for the sake of your children. Forgiveness is for you, not them. You cannot heal properly and move on if you don’t forgive.
They are probably all lines written by cheater’s to let themselves off the hook. I’m not a fan of any of it.
I don’t believe everything can or should be forgiven. I don’t think that makes me less evolved than anyone else for feeling that way. I was a victim of abuse and I don’t prefer the abuse to continue. That’s completely valid and evolved to me.
If I was to sit on a park bench with Jesus and list the many ways my ex FW hurt me and my kids, I doubt Jesus would tell me I needed to fully forgive him and welcome him back into our lives. He would probably agree that the FW was a major a-hole and good for me that I refuse to have any further relationship with him. That’s the Jesus I want to know and love.
Paltrow is deeply entrenched in make believe land, she has always been flakey, she grew up in that Hollywood bubble.
You keep your 350 million Chris, and I’ll keep mine and we can stay super friendly and wave at each other from our distant vacation islands we jetted off to. That’s not the real world.
The messages of “ I’m okay, you’re okay” in this current toxic culture, are only beneficial for abusers. Not everyone is coming from the same platform of wanting the most good for others. We want to believe we are all on the same page and all want the very best good for others too, but that is a delusion. That kind of thinking invalidates the legit damage that is being meted out by abusers. Not everyone is a good person!
“It is not possible for all of us to be friends with our exes.” Damn, that’s so powerful and cannot be overstated. This is the true reality I choose to live in.
We all would have liked our marriages to stay as wonderful as we imagined they could be in our minds. But marrying character disordered ppl does not allow this as an option, and in order to heal, we need to have them long gone. They are not our friends, and maybe never had our best interest as a top priority. It is their life that matters, no one elses. That’s who they are.
Not all failed marriages have an abuser in them, so maybe staying on some friendly surface level terms could be an option in these situations? Possibly.
But, it would be a dangerously poor choice to stay friends with someone who enjoys abusing you.
I choose “conscious no contact” over “conscious uncoupling”.
I don’t have to be friends with someone who knowingly destroyed my family. Ever.

Mehitable
Mehitable
7 months ago
Reply to  Chumpasaurus45

Attempts at forgiveness should only be made after genuine repentance by the wrong doer and efforts to do some restitution. Forgiving someone who has harmed you, is not repentant, and keeps on harming you by their behavior makes no sense and is self destructive.

susie lee
susie lee
7 months ago
Reply to  Chumpasaurus45

If forgiveness is for me, then I get to decide what it means to me.

To me, it simply meant that I no longer had visions of him floating face down in the Ohio River. I never truly wished him any harm. But I also in short time didn’t care one way or the other what he did or said.

He left because he no longer wanted me in his life, I honored that wish by staying out of his life. That also prevented me from any extra post D pain. Win/win.

I am not a cradle Catholic, but I am a Catholic and I know in my heart that my way also honors the Christian faith. I liken it to the Hippocratic Oath. Do no harm. (to myself or him).

Skewers the Hare
Skewers the Hare
7 months ago
Reply to  susie lee

Exceedingly well put.

Nemo
Nemo
7 months ago
Reply to  Chumpasaurus45

“Forgiveness is letting go of revenge. It is not letting go of consequences.” IMHO (in my humble opinion) the best definition ever. So useful, I’ve memorized it. Helps that it’s nice and short. Don’t know who first posted here on Chump Nation. Thank you, whoever you are!

Chumpasaurus45
Chumpasaurus45
7 months ago
Reply to  Nemo

Yeah, that is solid Nemo! I like that definition too.
I was never looking for revenge, it would change who I know I am and make me more like FW. But consequences are part of justice, they are necessary.

ChumpDchump
ChumpDchump
7 months ago

This is the difference between image management and genuine feelings. Even in your book you caution against sending out an email blast with a lengthy screed to everyone your FW knows. We all have that loathsome duty to manage the outward appearance of our emotional state, even if we want to climb to the top of a mountain with a bullhorn and yell to the world how much of a shitbag our ex really is. But, where the NYT gets it wrong and you get it right, IMO, is that this image management is somehow “real” or, God forbid, aspirational; i.e., not only should we say these things in public, we should also feel this way internally, because anger and resentment are “base.” Fuck that. I will eat the occasional shit sandwich, slap on a smile, and attend that parent/teacher conference with my FW, but I am not friends with my FW. I don’t feel the least bit guilty about that. I save my friendships for people who have character.

Skewers the Hare
Skewers the Hare
7 months ago
Reply to  ChumpDchump

Nailed it!

Skewers the Hare
Skewers the Hare
7 months ago

I can’t understand this prevailing need to at once behave as though the less fun aspects of the human condition are somehow 1) optional and 2) only as unfun as your attitude.

Don’t want to get old or sick? Eat only individually nurtured microgreens and spend five hours a day at the gym! Had a baby? Bounce that mom-bod right back to factory settings by avoiding all calories and treating Kegels like your new religion!

Old, sick, sagging, rejected, betrayed, struggling to put one foot in front of the other? What doesn’t kill you makes you stronger! Everything happens for a reason! Embrace your truth! (As long as it’s positive!)

Yeah, nah. In the immortal words of Emma Gonzales, we call bullshit.

Okay, I’ll admit that I do tell myself, and find comfort in telling myself, that Allah is the best of Planners, and everything does happen a reason. But I have never tried to convince myself or anyone else that I have to enjoy the process.

Anger, dismay, disappointment, regret, jealousy, resentment and grief are all aspects of the human condition. They’re not fun, and they’re often not attractive. But it’s not our job to be attractive. It’s our job to be human.

Hell of a Chump
Hell of a Chump
7 months ago

Amen. Also notice how art– if if features only things that are fun and attractive– ain’t art but advertising.

I don’t really go up into arms when public figures circle the wagons spewing drecky calendar poetry over their separations and divorces because I imagine the privacy incursions celebrities and public figures endure over noncriminal behavior can be traumatic. But I do mind the industrial media using this reactionary spin to advance a particular agenda which (as I wrote in another comment that’s still in moderation) I think has to do with eroding public concepts of sexual consent and whitewashing sexual abuse as subtle backlash against #MeToo (in which many a media mogul were felled). The media can hardly be seen directly defending sexual assault and harassment so sawing away at stubborn public prohibitions against adultery is a more indirect way of wagging-the-dog to change organic public views in defense of abuse of power.

As far as whether these celebrities are guzzling organic kale smoothies, I don’t mind borrowing a few tips from people whose careers and vast profits depend on health and longevity. Not all of it is bs woo and I know enough to weed out the silly marketing crap As the parent of a disabled child, I have no choice but to live forever and don’t want to develop health problems that might add a further burden to my kids as they reach adulthood. So, yeah, I check out Halle Berry’s keto meal plans because yikes, especially for someone with diabetes, she looks half her age and not all of it due to tweakments. I also don’t fall for the idea that intense attention to diet and health are always “elitist” because my dad– who was raised in a ghetto orphanage and suffered from certain bone malformations due to childhood malnutrition– was heavily focused on natural diet and fresh vegetables when I was growing up. So, even though I tend to tune out obvious commercial product promotions by celebs, it’s fine with me when they give a free peek at health strategies it probably takes a million dollar team of full time nutritionists, chefs and trainers to develop.

Skewers the Hare
Skewers the Hare
7 months ago

Great points! And I feel you on the disabled child issue. (Not me but close family.)

I was raised in Northern California on a produce-farmer’s diet, and I am 100% convinced that a major reason my autoimmune disease has, for decades, failed so spectacularly in its attempts to kill me is my lifelong excellent nutrition. (Also the privilege of access to first-class healthcare and sturdy peasant genes.)

When I was cooking for him, FW actually grew two inches. He was 23-25.

I don’t care what ridiculously wealthy people do, for the most part — the GPs of the world wouldn’t bother me at all, I don’t suppose, if it weren’t for my increasing desire to see people with money and power use it to mitigate catastrophic climate disruption. Not by going vegan (though that’s great) but by actively funneling their money and influence into reforestation, climate resilience, and crisis prevention. No doubt I am asking too much.

Hell of a Chump
Hell of a Chump
7 months ago

Skewers the Hare– (love your alias), I agree.

The kids and I live half the year in a third world (but culturally and socially glorious) country where poverty can be on the extreme level of Africa but where rates of autoimmune disorders and other chronic conditions which are increasingly common among US kids are comparatively much lower. You have to wonder if this has something to do with the fact that “food ghettos” are a completely unknown issue in that country. There are vegetable stands on every corner, even in the poorest neighborhoods. My dad would have been very pleased.

I’m sure it doesn’t hurt that the country has socialized healthcare but no domestic pharma industry so there’s little economic incentive for doctors (who are mostly in it for the right reasons because being a doctor in that country isn’t a path to vast wealth) to guinea pig the population with unnecessary blockbuster drugs. Another aspect of the culture is that more people cook at home and traditional family dinners are the norm (it’s also the norm that men cook a lot). There was a study finding that, regardless of whether the diet was organic, people who cook most of their meals at home from scratch tend to be far healthier than those who eat out or consume packaged foods.

The thing that’s most immediately noticeable in that country is that so few people smell bad. You can be on a bus in the summer at peak hours with a mob of sweaty, exhausted laborers going home after long shifts and not have to hold your nose. It’s actually weird because they have no body odor whatsoever. But when we go back to the US, the first thing that hits us is how much people stink. Once we’ve been in the US for a few months, we get used to the smell again but it’s clear that the “SAD” or “standard American diet” is doing something really horrible to the human microbiome.

Skewers the Hare
Skewers the Hare
7 months ago

I’ve noticed a lot of people in societies with old-school rice and vegetable diets are actually naturally fragrant. Not just not-stinky. Actually sweet-smelling. A bit like cooked rice.

Clearly something is causing the explosion of autoimmunity. No doubt diet is a factor.

Thank you, I’m rather proud of the alias! As a (not especially good) Muslim I am a monotheist, but I reckon there’s still room for the Olympians (and others) somewhere in the cosmos. Perhaps they are jinn.

Hell of a Chump
Hell of a Chump
7 months ago

My son’s disorder is autoimmune related. A lot of people believe autoimmunity means reflects a “weak” immune system. But I heard it explained in a different way by an immunologist. Imagine having a gun you carry for your own protected wrestled away from you and then held to your own head. The bigger the gun, the worse your plight, right? So autoimmunity may be a matter of having genetic strengths (particular immune polymorphisms with beneficial qualities like protection against certain cancers or pathogens, etc.) doubled back as liability due to exposure to various modern toxins, sort of like cutting Samson’s hair. Without the toxic exposure, those genes would have been entirely positive but the Achilles heel is that some of us haven’t evolved fast enough to adapt to the modern toxic shit storm. But back in the virgin forest we’d all be fine (save for lions, tigers, bears, bubonic plague and blood feuds).

Skewers the Hare
Skewers the Hare
7 months ago

Yup, that’s my understanding as well.

Tempest
Tempest
7 months ago

My X was so upset I told people why we were divorcing (he was shagging graduate students) that 9 years later, I am She Who Must Not Be Named. We have one mutual friend and she is not allowed to mention my name, lol.

Skewers the Hare
Skewers the Hare
7 months ago
Reply to  Tempest

It’s amazing how much the don’t like the FO part of FAFO. Did no one ever teach them that actions have consequences?

Stephanie
Stephanie
7 months ago

Here! Here! Man my ex would LOVE it if I played nice and “just talked to him like normal”. Of course “normal” was me getting verbally abused, gaslighted, and all the blame for everything ever put on me while I tired in vain to find the point of the conversation and how it related to him not doing the dishes. Again. If I went along with “normal” conversation I’d be back in the emotional abuse and him getting everything he wants because giving in to him was easier then continuing the “conversation”…

Hell of a Chump
Hell of a Chump
7 months ago

Here’s an exhausting exercise for anyone who’s read Noam Chomsky’s Manufacturing Consent and his “column inch” analysis tracking editorial agenda: within, say, a ten or fifteen year period, scour the NY Times’ for articles and editorials discussing infidelity from the nitty gritty victim/survivor perspective (like that excellent article about robbed narratives), measure whatever you can find in terms of column inches and then compare this to the number of column inches devoted to cheating apologism in the same time frame. Whaddywanna bet the numbers tilt heavily towards apologism?

I’m certainly not surprised to see the NY Times kicking the dead horse of a nine year old celebrity divorce that involved rumors of cheating. Since more recent cases of supposedly “friendly celeb breakups” following cheating buzz might still explode with last minute allegations of coercion or abuse, it was probably safer to feature a moldy story in which no one came out with later allegations surrounding a custody battle, etc. In any event, I see it as part of the paper’s endless campaign to soften the public’s concept of sexual consent via the slightly less fraught controversy of infidelity.
I’m not sure exactly what’s been driving the soft sell. Cross investment with the porn industry which most media giants are engaging in (for instance, Google invested $3.4 billion in 2017) to the degree that porn and the sex industry depend for growth on more married people messing around? Or is it all a sort of wag-the-dog editorial defense of pervy news owners and editors? Is it preemptive defense of the many power figures the Times depends on for sponsorship or access who may– given their secret predilections for underage circus animals or whatever– eventually be subject to #MeToo type takedowns?

Though there’s been a certain uptick in cheating apologism in the Times since #MeToo and I get the feeling this is intended as oblique backlash against the movement, the sexual ethics-softening propaganda was going on long before. For example, the Times pissed itself in response to the 2014 US Gallup poll in which, on a list of 17 major controversies like abortion and human cloning, adultery had bottomed out and came last. The Times editorial pretended that the increase in public disapproval for adultery was merely a reflection of the rise of puritanical religious mores in the US. But it was a truly dumb argument since the same people polled showed increasing approval for gay marriage and single parenting. Why the bs spin about the poll? Maybe more to the rape-apologism point was an earlier WTF editorial by Susan Dominus about how childhood sexual abuse victims wouldn’t be so traumatized by their experiences if it wasn’t for public moral prohibitions towards pedophilia (?!) I think one of the clearest measures that the Times has a defenive editorial agenda regarding sexual assault is that, though the New York Times very grandly took credit for breaking the Harvey Weinstein story in 2017, the paper of record was also accused of squashing the Weinstein scandal when it was brought to them in 2004 by journalist Sharon Waxman. https://www.thewrap.com/media-enablers-harvey-weinstein-new-york-times/

If we’re just factoring body count, sexual consent erosion is probably the least of the paper’s creepery considering the debacle leading up to the invasion of Iraq where Judith Miller unlawfully planted state department propaganda supporting the invasion while reporters like Chris Hedges and an editor were fired for refusing to parrot the party line. But it all seems to be part of the game played by the Times of occasionally letting idealistic journalists loose on an important story to maintain the paper’s rep as a “liberal” (please) champion of the Fourth Estate while also licking the hand of economic and military power with Pravda-style omissions, massaged facts and fabrications.

Skewers the Hare
Skewers the Hare
7 months ago

I rage-quit the NYT years ago, for the reasons you cite plus ___ (insert ever-increasing litany of criminal omission and misdirection, from climate change to China coverage). It’s worth noting that I remain at least as well informed now as I was when I was still a subscriber.

Hell of a Chump
Hell of a Chump
7 months ago

These days I’ll see what the Times covers and then look for alternative coverage of the same stories from less compromised sources. Or I’ll read the Times and then hunt down criticism of the Times’ coverage. Because control of the press is in so few hands, sometimes you can only get the truth by reading the blood spattering between rivals.

PrincipledLife
PrincipledLife
7 months ago

“Conscious uncoupling”…Snort! Gwyneth should consider doing it the much healthier old-fashioned way, and cry her eyes out, cry while looking at the wedding photos, get angry and draw horns and a devil goatee on ex in all said wedding photos, go out with her girlfriends and order a salad, a martini, another martini, chocolate cake, another martini and then nachos, while telling her friends what a wretch he is, and her friends loyally agree, then call the ex and tell him he is a lousy lay while girlfriends laugh in the background, then go home and vomit and finally sleep for 20 hours. That is what normal people do, because normal people are distraught. Conscious uncoupling sounds oike they’ve hired a serf to remove the velcro commitment that binds two Hollywood people together briefly.

KatiePig
KatiePig
7 months ago

I’m 100% with you. Fuck Gwyenth and her smugness. When my husband told me point blank that he had been planning to kill me and fantasizing about it for years, I was fucking terrified. I went to people I trusted because I was in shock and had no idea how to handle that. Know what I got? I got eye rolls. Fucking eye rolls. Because OMG, I’m so immature and unevolved I can’t even handle a simple conscious uncoupling, I have to make up stories to make it seem more dramatic.

I remember thinking this is why so many people get murdered by their partners. The psychos can flat out openly talk about it and nobody will believe it until there’s a corpse. And maybe the kids’ corpses too because hell, why not? I’m not even going to say it’s just women because men get killed by their wives too, and it seems I hear about more and more of them lately. I wonder how they get treated? “LOLOLOL you think your wife is trying to kill you?! LOLOLOLO what are you? Some kind of p*ssy? LOLOLOLOL” I bet it’s shitty

But yeah, because being friends with your ex is pushed so hard as the only reasonable outcome for decent people, it gets automatically assumed that if you aren’t, you are the bad person. You are the immature one. My own sister brought it up one of the last times I saw her and told me that I couldn’t stay mad forever. He wanted me dead. I reminded her that he made plans to kill me. I don’t ever have to be friends with him again. She rolled her eyes at me.

At a church group, I just said he was a bad person and it was a bad divorce. Of course, someone has to assume I’m being immature and bitter and pull me aside to tell me how we’ll be friends again one day. I’d see! I’ll “get over it.” And when I told her, no, I don’t ever associate with pedophiles so that won’t happen she looked absolutely shocked.

I’m putting this out there to let people know, it doesn’t matter how evil they are, people will expect you to forgive and become friends again or else they’ll call you bitter and act like you’re immature. Mine is a pedophile, currently facing charges on that, who planned to murder me and this is STILL FUCKING EXPECTED OF ME. Fuck the evolved divorce people. Since they think the horror we’ve gone through is so easy to deal with and enlightening, I hope they get a big fucking taste of it someday. Let’s see how well they fucking handle it. In the meantime, recognize them for the heartless morons they are and avoid them.

Mehitable
Mehitable
7 months ago
Reply to  KatiePig

“She rolled her eyes at me.”
Many people in our society no longer have any morals or ethics – they just want to be comfortable and pretend everything is okay. They don’t care if someone threatens to kill you or is molesting kids…as long as it doesn’t affect them personally they’d prefer to look the other way. I would be so horrified if someone told me that, but for anyone to roll their eyes at that…..they have no morals. We’re living in an age where people seem to have no standards, no sense of right and wrong, and because of that, they live with the consequences we see every day. Moral people make moral choices and stand up for others and fight back. The rest roll their eyes.

Orlando
Orlando
7 months ago
Reply to  KatiePig

Unfricken-believable! But honestly most people don’t give a shit beyond themselves, only giving their ‘pinion – not that you asked either – matters to them. I’m glad you shocked that busybody!!!

Skewers the Hare
Skewers the Hare
7 months ago
Reply to  KatiePig

I can’t imagine how you are even still functioning, never mind being so ferociously eloquent. You seriously rock.

MightyWarrior
MightyWarrior
7 months ago

The ex told me, when he was dumping me without admitting his affair so I was clueless as to what was happening and why, ‘we’ll be the closest of close friends. We’ll go to the theatre, cinema, dinner , football matches together …’ I asked ‘and how will your next partner feel about us being the closest of close friends?’ Cue sad sausage face and silence. I had no idea that the next partner, his previous gf from 30 years before, was already in place. But once I knew about the affair, I went no contact save for the briefest of conversations about money (twice in 12 months). No children so it was easier. I also realised that I was supposed to continue as his ‘UK wife’ because exgfOW had moved to Calgary with her then husband many years previously. The ex was unlikely ever to up sticks and go to Canada, so he needed a fall back friend, who could be dropped without criticism when it suited. Setting aside all the obvious issues with his proposal and his idiocy for thinking that I would settle for that, he missed the important point. Friends, closest of close friends, don’t blatantly lie repeatedly, about everything, and then lie about lying. The ex is a dishonest man. He always has been dishonest and always will be. I have friends who love me and who do not lie to me. As for conscious uncoupling, I ‘consciously uncoupled’ by divorcing him on the ground of his unreasonable behaviour which included his financial abuse and his ‘emotional affair’ with ‘a woman’. I sometimes wonder whether exgfOW, life coach number one, pondered whether he had embarked on that emotional affair with someone else who she did not know about. I do know that every time he saw me, he had to contact her immediately to let her know that he was on his way back to his plastic flat. No way was I going to wait until no fault divorce came in in the UK so that he could give the illusion of friendship. Call me ‘vengeful’ and I’ll answer quickly, with pride. I was and am worth more than that toerag could ever be.

2xchump🚫again
2xchump🚫again
7 months ago

No one can talk smack about my heroine TRACY! What she has done for me by reading my heart, understanding the abuse I endured, listening to the heart of my wounded and crying children is hitting it our of the park. So many don’t talk about our kids being left too!! What’s with the “no pain “for those who change partners like underware? They are not your average and maybe after awhile you just cannot bond in Hollywood. Its expected to not last so that 5 years and a prenup do all the work. I don’t know but leave Chump lady out of this!!! However…I was thinking. Chump lady was mentioned in the crappy NYT article. Could that mean CL and CN are gaining traction? Could that be like an honorable mention at a grand event that you were never invited to? If Tracy was MENTIONED SOMEONE was reading. Someone pulled that book, blog, article and will now have folks scratching their heads and asking who is Tracy Schorn???Let’s have a look see!!!! That is a good thing. To be noticed even in a negative context we know is kibbles for the character disturbed and unstablely selfish. Perhaps us chumps can benefit from this article and get a much wider audience? I’m waiting for that TED talk and a spot on the Tonight show or suggest the best venue for the voices of truth. I can’t wait to see the future. It is coming. Thank you Tracy for the medicine of humor that gets the sour truth serum dose down the long throats of those cheaters. Its gonna shift the narrative!!!!

Ginger_Superpowers
Ginger_Superpowers
7 months ago

I was one of those who thought we could still remain friends in between the text bomb and serving of divorce papers. Asshat peronally served me because he wanted sex, of course. I said NO and it must have blown his mind as he sent a vile pages long sex fantasy to me later that night. It went downhill from there.

The narrative needs to include, we can’t be friends because he was NEVER my friend. I’m the mother of his children, and he never had my back. I’m done with him. He’s just someone I met when I was 18 and divorced when I was 53.

susie lee
susie lee
7 months ago

Yes, I remember being devastated after he told me he never loved me and had been “dating” for ten years (21 year marriage).

I said but I spend years supporting and sacrificing for you, he said and I quote “I did you too”. Never loving someone and “dating” or as the bible calls it adultery is by definition not supporting me. I just stood there and realized it didn’t matter what I say, he would just throw it back in my face. Didn’t matter to him, all he wanted was to get out the door before he had to watch me fall apart, of that I am sure.

He never had to watch me crumple, or sob in horror. I did all that in private. Maybe if he had, he might understand why friends was not an option.

But I do hope that he remembered what he did to me when he was demoted and lost his coveted position as the Mayors right hand man. Sucks to be thrown to the shit pile, when someone is done with you.

CurlyChump
CurlyChump
7 months ago

“I’m the mother of his children, and he never had my back.” Me too, Ginger, me too. What a succinct way of putting it.

OHFFS
OHFFS
7 months ago

You can’t have a “conscious uncoupling” when you were not conscious of what was going on in your own relationship because the POS was lying. The best you can hope for is knowing enough to realize you have to end it. You’ll never know everything, so how can it be a conscious breakup? That implies you know all you have a right to know and the decision is based on mutual understanding and respect.
So anybody who expects that of a chumped person is revealing a deficiency in basic logic and a low EQ.

Susan
Susan
7 months ago

I wish I could have amicably divorced my ex and remained friendly, if not quite friends. We were together for half our lives, and shared so much, including our beautiful daughter. We had a lot of bad times – including multiple affairs on his part – but we also had a lot of good times, all of which are tarnished now. By the time he finally dumped me for his now-wife, I no longer loved him. In fact, I hated him. I was terrified to leave him, because I knew he’d try to impoverish me, but not having to share my life with him would have been mostly a relief. But he was such an evil bastard. He dumped me in the most painful and humiliating way possible, and then spent nearly $500k and two years trying to prevent me from getting a dime from him, in what he should have known as a fool’s quest. If he had come to me and said, “Hey, listen. I’m so sorry, but I’m in love with someone else,” and made a fair settlement, I could have wished him well. Eventually, I could have forgiven him and been glad that he was no longer my problem. Instead, we will be bitter enemies forever. This past May, we both attended our daughter’s college graduation. It was the first time I’d seen him in 4 years. I wish we could have shared our joy and pride together. Instead, it was awkward AF and he had to leave the party I gave for her after one hour because, he said, “he felt so out of place with [me] and my friends.” Sorry, kiddo, you blow up your family, you can’t complain about being an outsider.

The whole thing is just so sad. We have this great kid, and I can never pick up a phone and talk to her father about her. It could have been so different. I have friends who are still good friends with their exes. It can work. Sometimes people just aren’t right for each other and it’s no one’s fault. I’m friends with my first ex, from a brief marriage in my 20s. We never stopped being friends, and talk to this day. We both know that if either of us called the other, we’d always pick up the phone, no matter what. Because we were never dicks to each other about it. I’m still friends with his family, too.

But fuckwits gonna fuckwit. So what can you do? Personally, I think it’s sad.

Ginger_Superpowers
Ginger_Superpowers
7 months ago
Reply to  Susan

So much of our stories are the same and your story resonates with me. I’m truly sorry. We both sincerely wanted to make the best of a horrible situation but our FWs just wanted to burn the house down. For no good reason.

You are aboslutely right. It’s all just so sad.

portia
portia
7 months ago

I want to say this and make it clear I am not apologizing for the behavior, or saying it is a good idea to live your life this way, maybe I’m just untangling, but here is something that occurred to me a while ago when I was listening to some weird celebrity conversation on a talk show. Sometimes it is background noise, sometimes while I’m waiting for another show to come on, I pick up on some weird comments from celebs like Gywneth, who grew up in Hollywood during a different time. When their parents were celebs or married to celebs, and drinking and wild parties and multiple divorces were going on as a common everyday occurrence, these kids were left to fend for themselves. Many have admitted to starting drinking, drugs, sexual activities, at an early age and had to deal with stepparents in addition to their own dysfunctional parents. To complicate matters, paparazzi were watching, and filming their missteps. I have to say, it is no surprise they have had a lot of dysfunction in their lives.

My parents were teachers, and I had friends whose parents were preachers, we had a lot of scrutiny. Not like the Hollywood kids, but inside our communities, we were watched by others, looking for flaws. My parents were totally paranoid about what the neighbors would think. During this impressionable time of life, looking like everyone was happy was more important than actually being happy.

Personally, I think this is part of my chump behavior. The “dream” was created by an unreal TV and movie life, and we felt compelled to act like everyone was ok, even when we knew they were not. These now adult celebs, children of celebs, probably still have many of these compulsions. In theory, it might be great if you could get along with your ex, for the sake of the children. In reality, it is very hard, for some, impossible.

These celebs grew up looking for a guru, or magic jade egg to make their life better. They had money. They did not have good role models. We’ve commented on this site about being the sane parent, and how much the kids needed that. I’m not sure these celebs ever had a sane parent. I know I am generalizing but think about it. They may have a good education, and not know a single thing about what real life is like.

I sometimes hear people talking about tv shows or sports, and they act like the celebs are personal friends of theirs. Like they are going shopping with Gwyneth and that jade egg is on their list. Or, they need four Superbowl look-a-like rings to get thru the day. Seriously, is it any surprise they latch onto phrases like conscious uncoupling? It sounds so much nicer than nasty divorce. My husband couldn’t be defined by boring monogamy, he had to be a super star who was destined to have acts of defiant exuberance with other superstar women, and I will always float up in space being a supportive mommy figure, one of many for all his superstar women who may or may not have his children. He may or may not be a father figure. He may just be too defiant to focus on mundane parenting. Meanwhile, I’ll be shopping with my friend Gwyneth, seeing if she buys Snackables for her kids’ lunch, or will send over one of her personal chefs to give me a hand.

Right. Chump Lady talks about real life. That’s not caustic. Real life is hard. My problems will probably never occur to Gwyneth and her friends because they don’t live the way I do. I don’t have to like what she says, but I cannot imagine her problems either. I suspect she was raised to accept delusion as a way of life. That seems really sad to me.

Leedy
Leedy
7 months ago

“Chumps are people who had their reality stolen.” It was very helpful to me to be reminded of this today. I truly wish my ex well, and he chumped me only a little (compared to ex-husband #1, who had a 6-year affair). But I will never not feel distressed around him, because: HE STOLE MY REALITY, a profound violation of my inner world.

Zip
Zip
7 months ago

I am eternally, grateful for Chumplady’s voice of reason. I am continuously frustrated that her wisdom isn’t more common place, and that it always seems like an uphill battle for critical thinking regarding all things cheating.
Sidenote, I am also quite infuriated when I land on a good podcast that is nothing cheating related – and sooner or later the name ‘Esther Perell’ (can’t be bothered, looking at the spelling) comes up, and she’s always revered and put on a pedestal.

FormerlyKnownAs
FormerlyKnownAs
7 months ago

In her wisdom, my 17 year old daughter said, “there’s no way you should be friends with dad- he’s not nice to you.” She was 13 years old around DDay and she found me on the floor many nights rocking back and forth because the mindfuckery was making me flip out. After DDay she saw me nearly die of grief. Conscious uncoupling has always sounded like elitist BS. Like – we are awesome at everything, even divorce…unlike you other freaks that make a big fuss about it. Yeah, Gweneth can suck it or maybe she could actually help some women who have been abused and stop focusing on how great she is.

Suddenlysingleandthriving
Suddenlysingleandthriving
7 months ago

Thank you for this! Former in-laws don’t understand why I don’t want to attend a family function where F-wit will be in attendance. I’m glad they are all able to set aside things with their exes “for the kids”, but I’m just trying not to wreck my mental health spending time with someone who was abusive to me and my kids.