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Happy Anniversary ChumpLady.com!

Hi Chumplings!

cupcake2Today Chump Lady is one year old! (Well, actually Chump Lady herself is 46…I mean the blog.) I have now inflicted Chump Lady on the world wide web for an entire year. And they said the bitterness couldn’t last. Surely my spleen would have ruptured and died by now, but no, I’m still penning invectives against narcissist cheaters and the Reconciliation Industrial Complex… (I will draw you with horns and mustaches… take that!)

Thanks to you all for making this a vibrant, compassionate community of chumps. Chump Lady is nothing without your support and willingness to share your stories. Every day I’m moved by how you all encourage each other and what you’ve survived. You’re all mighty!

Thought you might be interested in a Chump Lady time line, to show you how far we’ve come.

April 19The Unified Theory of Cake is published, soon followed by Ego Kibbles and The Humiliating Dance of ‘Pick Me!’

desk2June — I attend a blog conference in New York to learn about this blogging thing and am told by experts that no man would ever read my blog. Apparently chumpdom is a chick phenomenon. And how quaint that I draw pictures. I tell the experts (by microphone in a room with a couple hundred people) that unless men are cheating with other men or sheep, that yeah, men cheat with women… which makes those women… OMG… cheaters.

I do pick up some valuable advice though, part of which is whore the thing around. (I write about infidelity — how appropriate!)

Summer 2012 — I whore the thing around. Given that my social media skills are very 2005, the little whoring I do is writing snarky comments on Huffington Post divorce with links to chumplady.com.

September 2012 — I am asked to appear on two video panels for HuffPo divorce. The producer says I look so much nicer than my comments. One is on being friends with your ex. I am the outlier who would rather eat toast generously spread with glass shards than be friends with my exes.

October 2012 — Huffington Post invites me to write a blog post for them. I send off What Not to Do When You’ve Been Cheated On.

October 23, 2012 — My first blog post appears. I am too busy trying to pass an organic inspector course in Minnesota to properly notice. The reaction on HuffPo is mixed. The trolls cannot decide if I’m bitter and sexless. Or just bitter.

tracy2January 2013Shameless merchandising comes to Chump Lady. It’s not enough to whore your blog. Whores need to be paid. My solution? To sell t-shirts that say “The muffintop that launched a dozen affairs.” The chump-o-sphere kindly informs me that as nice as my  t-shirts and “meh” mugs are, they’d prefer a “donate” button.

February 2013 — Chump Lady runs its first ever Infidelity Valentine’s Contest, spawning over 200 limericks and haiku such as this:

If you had a soul
It would smell like a diaper
From baby Satan

March 2013 — The Chump Chat forum is born. Still figuring out the forum software, but bear with me, chumps.

April 2013 — Chump Lady takes its place in the online infidelity firmament, with nearly a half a million hits in its first year. And over 10,000 comments to date. My reputation as a Huffington Post regular blogger is solidified and I’m their go-to gal for bitter divorcee.

What’s next? I’m working on a book. Thinking about a chump retreat, (you all want some Texas barbecue?)  and will keep at it on the blogging. From one chump to another — thanks for an amazing year!

Ask Chump Lady

Got a question for the Chump Lady? Or a submission for the Universal Bullshit Translator? Write to me at info@chumplady.com. Read more about submission guidelines.
  • Good Morning CL Happy Anniversary and Thanks for helping me keep my perspective in the last few months. Keep up the good work. We Chumps need a voice and a presence in the media.

  • The chicago contingent thanks you CL! Here’s to striving and reaching that beautiful state of Meh!! I needed this blog so badly. It got me through my hell year and so deftly addressed my feelings. Proud to say I have found an amazing lady who sees and appreciates the real me and really likes my quirks. I was in a short film and my band played out this last year. So it can be done chumps find your new selves! With the exchanges with you (CL) and others on the comment sections I figured out a lot, where I found my voice and stayed sane (most of the year). And yes I called bullshit on my ex and her game of gas lighting….and I felt empowered.

    PS for the chumps out there….. rent Silver Lining Playbook great movie. Excelsior!!! So gang whisper “take your narcissistic, self serving, lying, cheating ass out my life” to your ex s and say “I got me some Jennifer Lawrence good mutually loving” amen!!!

  • I am amazed you’ve come this far…congratulations. A year or two before, and I would have had no where to turn. You have turned a nightmare into science and self discovery. We need men to procreate, end of story. They can reach the top shelf but so can we, with a step ladder. My wish for the future is that I never “need” a man again and protect myself so that if I do “want” one, it is only desire, not “need.” Thank you for dedicating yourself to the welfare of others. I am so grateful for your dedication. I was alone and you lit a candle that burns brighter than any thing I’ve ever known. Thank you.

    • Thanks Yoder. 🙂 But hey, we need men for more than procreation! They’re our friends, neighbors, employees, employers, sons, nephews. There are GOOD guys out there. I think your independence and self sufficiency are great. But don’t let one narcissist cheater fucker turn you off the other half of the patriarchy. (Just kidding.) Good guys exist too. Don’t let that jerk ruin it for you.

        • You guys need to start researching NPD women. There are a ton out there.In fact , some studies indicate women in the 25-45 demographic cheat more than men.
          Try to hone your radar for detecting the disordered. Both genders display the same traits, with minor variations.

      • As much as I really dislike my STBX, I’m not giving up on men–just as I’d hope that the men here who’ve been cheated on don’t give up on women. My parents were married for 50 years before my father died, and it was clear that they meant the world to each other. They’d read aloud to each other every night before going to sleep. Really. And the other day, while walking my dogs, I saw a couple who must have been in their 80s taking a short walk on one of the first beautiful spring days. They were holding hands like teenagers, with big smiles on their faces.

        So I think there are good partners out there. I just lucked out and got a bad one. Yep, there are two kinds of luck.

        I think that part of therapy for me will be honing in on the picker aspect. I don’t feel I need a man in order to be complete, but I’d want to be open to sharing my life with someone else. The next time, though, I’d like to share with someone who is more willing to deal with me as an equal partner.

        • My parents will celebrate their 50th anniversary this year, and they are just as crazy about each other as they have always been. The reason I haven’t given up on men is because my dad is such a good man, so I was raised by someone who taught me that there are great men in the world. It’s definitely about honing the picker– I have to learn not to pick someone who is so needy and who is willing to shoulder his share of the responsibilities. Basically, I have to learn NOT to pick another spoiled brat!

  • Happy one year anniversary, CL! When does calling like it is = bitter? I think we are enlightened – and lighter the unrepentant douche cheaters who weighed our souls and hearts down with lies, gaslights and a ravenous need for kibble.

    Bring on the retreat – I am THERE! And until then – THANK YOU for saving me from depression, self recrimination and that god-awful pick me dance that was eating away at me for over two years. It feels so good to know that I’m not crazy, bitter or vindictive – I am a chump who knows that no contact is the way to go with a NPD who’s only moral compass keeps pointing at his own dick.

    THANK YOU!

  • Happy Anniversary Tracy and Chump Lady!!!

    Its not about voice…though it does matter 🙂 .

    It is about a few betrayed people who get support to rewrite their stories. It is Social Service. Kudos!!!

    Thank these oppositions from Huffpo and others: I just quote Chanakya (The great scholar of Ancient India) “You need good friends to succeed. But for exemplary success, you need good enemies!”

    Way to go 🙂

  • Happy Anniversary! Not only do we share the same vintage (46), but Chumpladay.com also shares my soon-to-be X wedding anniversary. If I were into all that “cosmic stars aligning must be a sign crap”, I might be awed by the coinky dinks.

    I am very glad I found you site. Thanks for all your hard work.

  • Congratulations, Chumplady! You are beacon of light in the black hole of bloggerdom and a breath of fresh air in the cesspool of infidelity counseling!

    Chump lady ***ROCKS***. And here with birthday wishes from all of us, the One and Only . . . SOLOMON BURKE:

    (if you can post the video we can all sing along!)

  • Happy Blogiversary Tracy! You’re a treasure to the world!

    Now, I hope that you won’t take offense at this, because I think that you’re a wonderful artist, but I have to tell you that your self-portrait doesn’t even come close to capturing your adorable beauty!

    So funny (well not really funny) how people often confuse bitterness with reality. Reality isn’t always pretty, but that doesn’t mean we shouldn’t talk about it. Thank God you don’t listen to the nay-sayers. You rock!

  • Happy Anniversary! This blog has helped me maintain my sanity in a sea of ridiculousness. And it has been the glass of cold water thrown in my face at EXACTLY the right time on more than one occasion. I would guess that the hours you put into this blog sometimes feel very long, but know that we DO NOT take them for granted. What you are doing is important!

    And let me tell you… I am sooooo down for a chump retreat (and Texas BBQ!).

    Hugs to you Tracy! Thank you from the bottom of my chumpy little heart.

  • All my crazy started in 2010 and I got sucked into the Reconciliation Industrial Complex (RIC), it caused me to endure so much more pain than was necessary. I am so glad you are here for new chumps and save some of them from riding the roller coaster of dickdom into the tunnel of asshole! I too want to write a book on infidelity and resisting the RIC, glad you are doing it! A book that would give a chump some perspective so those RIC assholes aren’t making so much money off real people in pain.

    Big congrats on the anniversary!

  • Dear Tracy – I always wondered how bloggers got started. Thank you so much, from the bottom of my heart. Which, I still have…… thanks to you. You are amazing and congrats. Wow.

  • Happy Anniversary !!!!!
    I am proud to be connected to you.
    I hope the book, followed by the book tour, talk t.v. shows ,will help “chumps” get a grasp on reality.
    I am so tired of all the advise on reconciliation .It keeps so many in unhealthy situations.
    I have stated before, we (women ) have fought hard for equality. So why is the advise about cheating is to “heal” it ? We fought, so a woman could have the ability to walk out of a sick relationship…. to exercise her options,and NOT STAY .
    There are truly so many wonderful people in the world…. why try and “fix” something that is so clearly irreparable.
    Look forward to you and Whoopie discussing the “shit sandwich” on the View !
    Congrats !

    • “Look forward to you and Whoopie discussing the “shit sandwich” on the View !”

      That is definitely a visual! Hahaha

    • You guys are very ambitious for me! Eek. Thanks for vote of confidence. I don’t know if my hair is ready for prime time. Or my chumpdom. But I’ll be testing the waters.

      • Hey, I say BRING ON THE HAIR!!! Unfortunately, on The View, you can’t call it a “shit sandwich” and “poop sandwich” or “caca sandwich” – just not the same. How about your own cable show…??

  • Thank you so very much, Tracy – your words and this blog have been MUCH needed reinforcement when I needed them most. I have returned to your posts time and time again to remind myself of what was really going on, to see through the bullshit that is word salad, and to get the hell AWAY from the crazy.

    Your words and encouragement have always been the kick-in-the-ass that I needed, to smack some sense into myself and recognize his dysfunction as abuse and maltreatment.
    So it is with great pleasure and sincere appreciation to announce that my divorce was finalized a couple of months ago, I got my name changed back, moved to a super-cool condo in an area of my city known for its fun art galleries, cafes, and social scene — and I am happy. It’s amazing how much better one can feel without 200 lbs of fuck-upedness hanging on one’s coattails.

    Oh, he still tries to call me (he leaves messages saying he wants us “to be friends;” called me yesterday to wish me a happy early birthday and to tell me he’s going sailing (w/ dingbat OW, of course) at a regatta this weekend) and it was so good for me to come back on to CL, remind myself of the benefits of going No Contact, and I promptly blocked him from everything (Facebook, social networking, blocked his number etc.).

    Thank you Thank you Thank you for all that you do – you are providing SUCH a wonderful service to us chumps through Chumplady.com and congratulations on such a successful year. Wishing you all the very best, Tracy!

    • He calls to say happy birthday and I’m off sailing with the OW? I hope he’s knocked in the head by a jib sail and drowns. Congrats on your finalized divorce and happy new life!

  • Yes, THANK YOU for bringing light into so many of our lives, for giving us lessons and a place to grow stronger.

    Contrast your legacy with that of the cheaters, who leave behind pain and misery.

    You can rest well at night knowing you are bringing enlightenment and comfort to so many who deserve it!

    • Thanks Stephanie. Contrast my life with my cheaters? Yeah, I don’t think he’s blogging. If he was, I’m sure it’s on subjects dear to him like porn, guns, and bmws.

  • You saved my life, I am sure of it. When so lost and confused you don’t know where to turn it was a miracle to hear one voice that sounded RIGHT. So glad to see the retreat thing is catching on! XO

  • Happy anniversary, CL! I have never seen your picture before; you are as fabulous as your blog!

    Truly, thank you for this site. There have been times on other sites when I felt like I wasn’t understood (or only a few people were feeling the way I did). I love coming here and knowing that I’m not some kind of bitter wacko for not wanting to be “best buds” with my STBX or an awful, hateful person for wanting nothing to do with his STBWifetress.

    Keep up the good work. If I have some money at that point, I would totally fly out to a chump retreat!

    And coffee still tastes the best when I’m drinking it from my Spackle-Free Zone mug. 🙂

  • Tracy – my first ever post despite lurking for about 6+ months – THANK YOU!!! I couldn’t have closed the Kibble Drive Thru and made the progression from Miserable Chump doing the Pick Me Polka to well on my way to “MEH” without your (and the Chump Lady community’s) insight and sharing. That soul sucking NPD vampire is squarely in my rear view mirror and getting less visible every day. You fucking rock.

  • Happy anniversary!

    I love this blog for the snark, wisdom, and cheerfulness so important to those of us who’ve been so thoroughly chumped!

    On the topic of blog-whoring, I thought of your blog this morning when I read yet another infidelity story in Dear Abby from a guy whose wife is a serial cheater, and he’s caught in the co-dependency trap. I wanted to reach out to him and shout, “Trust that she sucks! She’s a cheater! You deserve better.”

    Keep up the good work!

  • Happy anniversary from the international section!

    I didn’t realize until now that my august 2012 d-day was so well-timed, what if I had found out a year before that? Who would have shown me what a (loving, trusting, but terribly naive) chump I was? You have really speeded up my realization process, cut right through the therapist babble (“He needs time, don’t force a decision”) and certainly through his meaningless words (not supported by any action whatsoever).

    Thank you, though I wish it weren’t so, I hope many more like me will find you and hear the truth (not bitter, but rather tough love) from you.

    • Hi Dutch, hey if I spared you any pain of pointless reconciliation, my blog has been worth it. I spent a lot of time in the trenches myself not connecting the words to the no action. Thanks.

    • I think the same thing often….i am still tripping and stumbling alot but at least I can SEE and HEAR! I could very easily have seen myself diving into the headlong R camp, ’cause I was so conditioned to spackle, and instead I found the Birthday Girl! Happy Happy Birthday CL!!!! What a present you have been and a blessing!

  • Happy Anniversary! And thank you for what you do. I know where I would be without ChumpLady.com – doing the “pick me” dance, trying to reconcile, wondering what I did to make STBX cheat.

    You gave me back myself. But better.

  • WOW, CL! I didn’t realize your blog was still in its infancy stages when I started reading over the summer.

    You’ve been an absolute Godsend over this past year of misery—don’t think I would’ve pulled through without you!

    I’ve been TRYING to get my friends in the LGBT community to stop by and give this a read…they’ve been hesitant since 99% of your stories are hetero-centric, but that’s when I TRYYYY to explain that:

    a) Chumps and narcissists come in all forms…gay or straight.

    b) Stories of heartbreak and chumpdom affect ALL OF US. I can’t tell you how captivated I was by the stories of betrayed husbands and wives, and how cathartic it was to leave comments for the betrayed. I might not have (legally) been a husband, but I surely was a betrayed spouse/chump through and through. And in some strange way, offering tidbits or words of wisdom to other chumps on this board helped with me own healing.

    But never fear, CL! More and more states are legalizing gay marriage, which normally would be a good thing….EXCEPT we’ve just opened the doors for a whole new group of chumps/narcissists to come barreling through. Openly gay filmmaker John Waters always said: “If Elizabeth Taylor can have 12 failed marriage, I should be allowed at least one failed marriage!” LOL.

    Prepare thyself for the Days of ChumpLady Blog Future, when a whole new batch of Dear Chump Lady letters shall flood your Inbox. :-p

    What’s great is I know you’ll be there for us LGBT chumps just like you’ve been there for the straight chumps. That’s why you’re our hero! 🙂

    Congrats again!!!

    *holding up virtual screwdriver*

    And now a toast…

    To our Fearless Chump Lady in glasses
    Who encourages us to throw our cheaters out on their asses
    Who’s got our back, even as our cheaters crave ego kibbles like crack.
    Who tells us to put on our big-girl and big-boy pants
    Instead of doing the Humiliating Pick-Me Dance
    Cheaters are full of crap she would never take
    Knowing damn well they just want cake
    Who tells us to dry our tears when our cheaters are being vicious
    Knowing damn well that Karma is bitch and quite Schadenfreudalicious!
    Who still believes in true love and a committed husband and wife
    As she’s led by example, having dumped her cheaters and gained a life!

    Have a great weekend, darlin! <3 <3

      • Happy Anniversary Chump Lady! Thank you so much for your blog which I have read daily for a whole year! You have given me strength and empowered me more than any counsellor, friend or family could have because you went thru it too! You validated my experience to a T and made me realize that No, I wan’t crazy and yes, I deserved much better. I’ll be waiting for your book!

    • Awww Chris — you teared me up with your poem! And dude — rhyming vicious with Schadenfreudealicious is GENIUS! You’re the best! As for the LGBT community, you know, months ago I was approached by Flame, a gay magazine in Detroit to do a column for them, and I was on deadline with other IRL stuff, and I need to follow up on that. (Sorry Flame! I’m still here) It was CL for the gay world — not like cheaters are different, the play book is the same as far as I’m concerned. You can only dupe people so many ways.

      Chump Nation is a Rainbow Nation — spread the word!

      • Awesome! So glad to hear that! I think the Flame readers will be blown away by your no-nonsense prose! Definitely follow up on that tout suite!

        You’re right—cheaters and cheating are all the same regardless of orientation, but to be fair the gays have a tendency to want things “tailored” to them, so they’re more likely to be drawn to a Dear Chump Lady letter about me and my ex-bf, as opposed to one about a betrayed wife whose husband ran off with the secretary.

        I’m not sure why, though. I’ve drawn sooo many lessons and a-ha moments from all of the comments on here from straight chumps and the Dear Chump Lady letters about the straight marriages that were destroyed by cheating. Cheating is cheating and chumps are chumps.

        I even got a (straight) friend to read this blog, even though her marriage was destroyed by alcoholism and not by cheating (her ex-hubby was too drunk/asleep to go out and cheat). This site totally helped her heal too! 🙂

        But anyway, yes! I shall spread the word! Congrats again!

  • Happy Anniversary!!

    I’m looking forward to you being on Oprah, promoting your book and getting the truth out there. When it happens, get tickets for the Chump Brigade to be there! Rabbi Whatever His Name Is brought male cheaters and their chumps with him, and had the cheaters telling everyone that they did it because their chumps didn’t appreciate them. It’s high time we get to call bullshit on all that!!!

    Tracy, you save lives every day. Know that. Finding your blog has brought me peace.

      • Rabbi Gary Neuman. He wrote Why Men Cheat. I wish you could see the Oprah show he was on. If there’s any way you can get a hold of a recording of it, you should. It will be good material for your book. The cheaters, all nice looking, successful, yuppie men, recited their lists of grievances and their chumps had the deer in a headlight look. It was unreal. The Rabbi feels he isn’t blaming chumps, but is helping them. He says he empowers women, by helping them to understand how to prevent infidelity. Last I heard, he plans to write a book about why women cheat. I’m wondering, why bother, we already know he thinks it’s their husband’s fault. They don’t help with housework or change enough diapers.

  • Thanks very much for all of the great advice, uplifting words, fun family feel of this site. I adore it here. I now know I am not alone in feeling like the dumb ass narcissistic cheater I was married to can go pound salt in a rat hole. And I should not feel bad feeling that way! And meh is the “new” forgiveness! Happy Anniversary to you, CL. And many more!

  • CL,

    Congrats on your first anniversary! Well done!!!!

    I showed up as “Chump Son,” which comes at this from a different angle than the classic one of the betrayed spouse. That said, the brute-force vocabulary you are developing — “untangling the skein of fuckedupedness” and “the humiliating dance of pick-me” — applies to a LOT of relationships, not just married men and women. The narc parents I have experienced/known always apply the “pick me” dance to their kids. They love to dote on a favorite. The narc relationships that I’ve let entangle me with a boss or with parents often encourage the chump to agonize over “how to untangle the skein…” (“What did I do wrong?” “What was wrong in Dad’s childhood that he came out this way?” “Why does the boss act like this?”) All this is a waste of time. The chumps need boundaries, trench lines for the soul. We chumps need to accept the need for sharp and strong boundaries when it comes to certain types of persons. Chumps are nice people, are more than even handed, are often willing to take more blame than they should to solve a problem. With normal people, these are GOOD qualities. With narcs, they are blood in the water. You are starting an anti-narc Chump Movement, a liberation organization that is going to make a bigger and bigger mark. I think that we have been living through an age of rising narcissism for the last three decades or so. You can see it in the celebration of celebrity, the rise in debt, in a lot of areas. I think your blog is part of chump push-back.

    In case, you haven’t noticed, I really admire you.

    As far as I’m concerned, Chump Lady wears a cape and can leap tall buildings in a single bound. Please continue your chump studies (Chumpology) and your studies of those who take advantage of chumps (narcology).

    Thanks.

    Your Admiring Fan,

    Chump Son

    • Aww, thanks Chump Son. Sadly, the chump vocabulary does translate to other parts of life. Assholes abound. Thanks for all your trenchant comments and advise on the site — you turn a good phrase yourself — trench lines for the soul. 🙂

      • I thought you might like that one!

        Make sure to include the CL Glossary of Chump-Saving Terms in the coming book!

  • Congratulations on a year of refreshingly spackle-free advice!

    When it all went down with my cheater, I longed to hear the kind of straight forward advice you offer daily. Kindly but firmly telling all of us to take off the chump goggles, see the situation for what it is, and get on with our lives. Sure didn’t get that from any of the 3 shrinks/marriage counselors I consulted. Reconciliation Industrial Complex indeed.

    Anyway, congratulations again, and looking forward to many more years of clear headed blogging. And the chump retreat. Love me some BBQ!

  • I found you not long after you started (thanks to HuffPo). You have made me not feel like everything is my fault and validitated my crazy. Eventhough I have a good therapist, your practical insight has been invaluable to me. I recommend your sight to anyone who will listen. I also want to thank you for not being a place for sanctimonious bullshit and also for being a place where I can say FUCK fuck or FuCk….. I have always been the good girl virgin that didn’t drink or screw around. Saved myself for my narcissist STBX (what a waste). But being able to cuss when and where I want to is a gift! I will be happy to travel from Tennessee to hear you or get together with my fellow chumps out there would be an honor. Congratufuckinglations! Love everything you do!

  • Happy Anniversary, Chump Lady! Thanks for helping me to be proud to call myself and know myself as a recovering Chump!
    You are bringing so much humor, insight, and truth to the world through this blog. May all you that have put into it–all the heart, sweat, thoughtfulness, bravery, self-revelation, and more–be returned to you 1000 fold, if it hasn’t already.
    And I hope you ate that cup cake! Birthing a blog is a shit-ton of work.
    Hear, hear!
    JP

  • Happy Anniversary Chump Lady! You have no idea how much your blog has helped me during my darkest days. The light is starting to shine bright again. Your “come to Jesus” blogs have been awesome! Thank you!

    “Behind every good, strong woman is a man who let her down”
    author Unknown

  • “I am asked to appear on two video panels for HuffPo divorce. The producer says I look so much nicer than my comments. One is on being friends with your ex. I am the outlier who would rather eat toast generously spread with glass shards than be friends with my exes.”

    You might have been an outlier on those panels, but IRL people with healthy boundaries who care about their present relationships and moving on with their lives instead of being stuck in some quasi limbo or who keep exes around just in case they need to use somebody.. they don’t foster cozy relationships with exes either.

    It amazes me that so many dating advice columns tell men and women that a date who has no exes who are friends is flying some sort of red flag. The opposite is usually true: he/she is still stuck or keeping an ex around for emotional validation (and maybe ocassional sex), and you can’t be doing those things with an ex if you want to have a working, serious relationship with somebody else, so?

    • Wow. I’ve never seen that advice, that not being friends with an ex is a red flag. I’d prefer people be “meh” about their exes. Know they’re exes for a reason, not wish them ill, but not have them take up a lot of mental real estate for good or bad. In cases of infidelity, it’s enough to not want them dead, IMO.

      I suppose it’s possible to be friendly with an ex, if there wasn’t abuse. But not friendly to a degree that it’s kibbles or would offend your current partner. As you said — healthy boundaries.

      • Hmm…I’m friendly with one old boyfriend from when I was very young and don’t see that as a big deal. We were young, we went out, we broke up and moved on but the friendship survived. I am very open about it and he was from more than 20 years ago so it doesn’t seem a big deal to me.

        STBX HATES his exes and the breakups were all their fault, naturally (they found out he cheated, it turns out). That to me is a big red flag, when someone loathes every ex. I can see hating an ex who cheated or engaged in other abusive behaviour but if you hate all your exes and cannot even attend a party they might be at more than 2 decades after the relationship ended (yep, STBX pulled that crap right before dray–didn’t want to see the girlfriend before me, whom I now know he was seeing while seeing me–we were long distant at the time) then there is something off about that.

        If I ran into an old boyfriend I’d be friendly, ask how they were doing, wish them well, etc. And I’d introduce them to my partner. It happened once or twice during my marriage and was no biggie, mainly because they were nice enough guys but we didn’t work in the end and I harboured no bad feelings because the relationships were respectful and ended respectfully.

        Not sure if my point is clear (early and I had a late night) but hopefully you get what I’m saying.

  • Chump Lady,

    This is why I continue to applaud your website; there is nothing else out there that calls it what it is…bad, selfish behavior instead of other people telling you “oh things just happen, people change” how annoying!!!! (Equally annoying… I felt that I must have done something to cause this and how could I improve myself so the cheater would NOT DO THIS AGAIN! So FUTILE!!!!) From my experience, it does not improve the situation, it just makes you more of a slave than you already were and you neglect and lose yourself even more AND THEY DO IT AGAIN !!! 🙁

    I love the part where you said that you “would rather eat toast generously spread with glass shards than be friends with my exes”. I was raised with certain values and have always felt that there are some things are either right or wrong, not neutral. I cannot be friends with someone who “stabs me in the back” so to speak. In addition, the cheater made vows before God and a congregation of people and now I’m supposed to just “get over it” “move on” and our children must just learn to accept the OW or OM who helped to destroy their family….really!!!!

    You help us to feel that we are NOT crazy and ARE justified for what we know is the truth. 🙂 We all sleep better at night! Thank you 🙂 HAPPY ANNIVERSARY!!!

    • Thanks! Yeah, I suppose it is possible to be friends with exes in certain circumstances, but in cases of infidelity or other abuse? No. Why? I think it’s just another way for the narcissist to get kibbles, to keep you on a back burner for future kibble production. It’s not a healthy kind of love, as they’ve already shown you how little respect they have for you.

    • Anne, my MIL told me right after dday that ‘you two can work it out. Maybe take some time apart and make yourselves more attractive to one another’. Obviously this meant I needed to make myself sexier and more alluring (because her son is God’s gift and all that) and he would come panting after me once he saw that I really was one hot bitch.

  • Congratulations, Chump Lady!

    Finding you last year after I left the ex was like finding an OASIS in the middle of this desert of the “Reconciliation Industrial Complex” and the page after page of mindless drivel on forums I found.
    OMG, not to mention what facebook has become. I “Liked” certain pages I thought might offer some sort of support for those of us who woke up and left a cheater. As I scrolled down the page, what my newsfeed became instead was an endless supply of “forgive and forget”, “time heals all wounds”, and “just turn it over to God” platitudes. It was like riding down the highway seeing one billboard after another of repetitive religiosity propaganda. Putrifying puke.
    So I started a new page on facebook in March. And I kept searching for like-minded people. Yeah, so, I still needed some validation. Found exactly what I was looking for right here. Especially when I read your You’re an amazing woman, Tracy. I can’t wait for your book!

    YOU, this site, all the people here, “Chump Nation” – (( THIS ))

  • Happy Anniversary! So glad I found you back in October along with the rest of the world and at least one other Erica and Erika! I’m so thankful to have found a place where my thoughts and experiences are validated! I really AM not alone! And I can be there for others!

    What I like the best is that even though we’re talking about serious life-altering crap, we do it with our sense of humor intact!

  • Happy happy anniversary Chump Lady!! Thank you for starting this blog. It has been such a healing tool for me. Celebrate big today!!

  • Congrats CL! Keep up the good work. Here’s to another year!

    (Just wanted to let you know, btw, that your Twitter has been hacked.)

    • Thanks for telling me! Nord helps me out with it, but I don’t think she’s sending spam… egads. I changed the PW, now I have to figure out how that happened, so it doesn’t happen again.

  • Happy Anniversary Chump Lady!!! I especially appreciate your willingness to tell the TRUTH about infidelity. This blog has been invaluable during my (almost final) divorce from a serial cheater. Thank you 🙂

  • Congratulations on a year filled with blogging success…and so much more.
    So many of us are caught in a terrible place just trying to figure out how to survive such hard, gut-wrenching times. We don’t know how we got here or where our lives, with their hopes and dreams, went. We are trying to process, cope, breathe, get our kids through this while simultaneously figuring out our futures, the legal system and realizing that our lives will ever be the same.
    And finally, learning to be grateful that our lives will never be the same!
    Thank you, Tracy, for giving us ‘walking wounded’ a community and a place to come when we need lifting up, encouragement or even just to know we are not alone.
    You give us all hope and a helping hand (or voice) and let us know that it can get better and that someone else really does understand.
    There is divorce and then there is infidelity. People think it is the same, but, here, we know it isn’t.
    You have done so much for so many. I hope you feel proud and can soak up all the love and appreciation that your chumps have for you.

  • Dear Chump Lady,
    You, along with the incredibly kind people here, have pulled me through my darkest days toward the light. I’ve read this blog on my phone in bed before I turn out the light, in the middle of the night when I can’t sleep, as the coffee brews…Happy anniversary, Tracy. Thank you from the bottom of my heart.

  • Another Chump expressing sincere gratitude to you for brightening these dark days and affirming that we chumps can survive and flourish! As Rebecca said we are “learning to be grateful that our lives will never be the same!” Thank you Tracy for your wisdom and thank you chumps for sharing your journeys. Chumps together are so strong!!
    <3

  • Big congrats Chump Lady! I may be wrong but I think I might have been the first person to post something…or one of the first. If so I am honoured to have found you early in your blogging, because it brought me such a sense of ‘yeah, I’m not fucked up, STBX is fucked up’.

    go do something fun to celebrate your first year of success in the blogosphere!

  • Happy birthaversary! Here’s to many more 🙂

    Omg – this is you? You’re beautiful!! 🙂

    I’d deffo be up for a chump retreat 🙂

    Thanks CL – you’re my idol

  • Happy blogiversary! I am so very grateful to have found your site. Someone mentioned it in passing on SI, and I checked it out. Previously I had been stuck in terminal limbo, reading crap advice on SI and on Elle’s blog. I was literally stuck with fear. Tried therapy, and it was no help as my therapist was big into reconciliation too. But I knew in my heart that I couldn’t live with that axe over my head, living with someone who turned into a stranger, and it was driving me bonkers trying to convince myself that everyone else was right and my gut feelings were wrong.

    Then I found you. Thank god for that. Finally, someone who wasn’t afraid to tell the truth, and spoke with clear practical advice that wasn’t a bunch of psychological mumbo-jumbo word salad. Finally someone who had Common Sense. Who stated the obvious, and gave us a wonderful new vocabulary to decipher all the insane word-vomit that cheaters threw at us. I love that I am understood here, am supported here, and not asked to take the blame for something I was not aware of and had no control over.

    I am so happy that you are finding success, and I sincerely hope you get a book deal and more out of this. There are so many others who NEED to hear your practical advice. I shudder to think where I’d be today if I hadn’t followed that link. I am not 100% okay yet, but I am happily divorced, and finding my way. From the bottom of my heart, THANK YOU.

  • So happy for your anniversary, Tracy! It is a great blog and you have done a lot of good for many people who are suffering.

    Kudos to you and here’s to much continued success!!!

  • CL,

    These comments really are a tribute to you. In the end, the Reconciliation Industrial Complex (RIC) combined with notions of “forgiveness” derived from a certain interpretation of religion (I think they overlook the Old Testament) to a lot of harm. These ideas keep chumps “untangling the skein…,” trying to find the answer (read Lundy Bancroft; there is no answer for narc behavior, it just IS), hanging in there, etc. etc. And then along comes CL with her blunt force trauma truth-guillotine. Yes, there is an answer, and it’s not all that complicated. It’s about boundaries, soul-saving trench lines. It’s about going cold turkey and doing some grieving. But it’s the path to something better. And CL lays it out very clearly.

    Congrats again on this achievement. I think you are the spear point of anti-narcissism.

  • Congratulations to the strong and brave CL! Creator of Chumpity-Chump-Dump-the Scum-Land!!! Thank you for all you do!

  • Actually.. I am only here because your hot…

    Congrats. A year has whizzed by!

    Spot the ex chump two years down the road from Dday and a year out from Divorce.

  • Not sure how to do the links bit. But , if you search on youtube “Flinstones happy Anniversary”, it seems appropriate.
    Best site out there for folks not inclined to reconcile (folks not interested in lying to themselves, IMO).

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