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Owning Your Chumpiness

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Cheat_on_meMy name is Tracy, I’m a chump, and I’ve been spackle-free for five years.

It’s a struggle, of course. Some woman from the local charitable sorority will press me into service for the garden tour and it’s a battle to say no.

I’ll think, “I just did two straight years of graphic design for you people! The historic home tour? Hello? ‘Hey, can you type this up?’ and it’s written on a cocktail napkin and I have to google the addresses, oh, and can I take some pictures? And could we have 200 copies, and you don’t mind fronting the printing costs, do you? And I do ALL THAT, plus posters, and street signs, and 5 months later you’re after me for garden tour brochures? There are 40 people in this organization, doesn’t one of them use a computer?!”

Answer — no. They’re all over 70. And hey, it’s so much nicer when you do it. We do tell you how NICE they look! Bless your heart.

Chumpy me thinks… don’t be churlish. It’s for literacy. Say yes. You don’t want to disappoint these good people. Healthy Tracy thinks, I have contributed. It’s okay to say no. Write a check.

So I say “no” — and yep, I feel bad. But I’m not spending the next month doing InDesign for seniors who don’t know what a PDF is either.

Yes, I still struggle with being a chump. I have a Vitamin N deficiency.

This term was introduced to me by an older mom friend who said all kids need “a good dose of Vitamin N.”

Vitamin NO.

Some people have a hard time setting boundaries and saying NO. (Chumps.) And some people never get Vitamin N, or reject it, and live in entitlement. (Cheaters.)

I own that I’m a people pleaser, and I’ve had to work on my issues of seeking value by what I offer other people. The pleasant side of that is you can count on me to give you a ride to the airport and I get great performance reviews in the work place. The uglier side of that is I tend to over estimate my powers. I WILL MAKE YOU LOVE ME! I can control any bad outcome if I just WORK HARDER! I accept responsibility for things I shouldn’t. And I resent it when people don’t notice my “kindness.”

These faults directed at a garden tour brochure are pretty benign.

These faults directed at a cheater are really toxic. They kept me stuck for a long time.

One misconception people have about this site is that I don’t blame chumps. Well, in a certain sense you are right — I absolutely do not blame chumps for being cheated on. We’re good people, we have a hard time conceiving that anyone would do us so wrong because we see the world through our own moral lens. Of COURSE we’re shocked by infidelity. Of COURSE we’re gutted. We were totally committed. That’s how we roll. We love with our whole hearts.

But dear God, people, that doesn’t mean you don’t have shit to own — you’re a CHUMP. I’m a chump — that’s why I named this place “CHUMP Lady” — it’s everything I learned about infidelity and myself in about 500 articles of brain dump. Some people are manipulative pieces of shit, and they’re good — but we need to be better.

That doesn’t mean you drove your cheater to cheat. There is so much of that crap out there, so much blameshifting from society and from cheaters that we chumps get defensive. Don’t you DARE insinuate that I made this person cheat on me!

That shit pisses me off too. We did NOT make them cheat on us. But we are 100% responsible for how we respond to abuse. THAT is on us.

I didn’t respond well. I don’t fault myself for the sobbing and puking and paralysis. I do blame myself for giving him four D-Days before I left for good. I blame myself for making idiotic financial decisions that kept him in cake. I blame myself for valuing myself so little that I took his crap and didn’t enforce a protection from abuse order the first time he threatened me.

I know why I did those things. I know what my fears were, and my FOO issues, and why I did the pick me cha cha as long as I did it. Doesn’t make it any less chumpy. What he did was WRONG. Horrible, cruel, abusive. But I stuck around for that shit after he showed me who he really was, and that’s on me.

The important thing is I figured it out eventually, and I forgive myself, and today I try not to be such a sucker. I preserve the nicer parts of my chumpy tendencies (rides to the the airport), but stifle the uglier side (trying to control things I can’t control).

It’s so easy to lose yourself in the cheater. As the saying goes, the villain gets all the best lines. Bad guys are so compelling. What makes them tick, why they did what they did, how much it hurt us, how unjust the whole clusterfuck is. Going through the skein untangling is inevitable in the beginning — but don’t get stuck there. Because you’re never going to understand or control that wing nut. You only control you. So ask yourself — why did I accept this crap? What am I afraid of? What are MY values and am I honoring myself and living my life authentically now?

Cheaters are going to spin, try to pin their crap on you. People will gossip or second guess you. It’s hard not to get defensive and correct their lies and assumptions. All you can do is speak your truth and live your values. Let go of what you don’t control.

I think it’s totally okay, necessary even, to react to blameshifting with anger. How dare you try and pin this shit on ME, motherfucker! But don’t let that stop you from self examination. You don’t have to justify yourself to the cheaters and the rubberneckers in your life. But you do need to answer to yourself. Who WAS I in that relationship? How did it get to this point? Why didn’t I enforce my boundaries or know that it was okay even to have boundaries? How can I honor myself going forward?

Because unless we examine our issues, we’ll be chumps for life. And that’s a shame, because being a chump is such a treatable condition. We just have to know our worth and assert it when people trample our boundaries.

I suppose being a chump wouldn’t be such a bad thing if the world were comprised solely of fellow chumps. My chumpy tendencies are muted paired with my husband’s chumpy tendencies. Okay, delightful even when we’re both trying to out-please the other. If he resents the fact that I do not sufficiently appreciate his French toast (I don’t like French toast), the world isn’t going to end.

But the world isn’t just full of chumps — it’s full of bad guys who will play you. And even more full of people who just Need Things Done and will sniff out your chumpiness and use you. So say NO to the garden tour brochures, people! It doesn’t take everybody to be your friend. Know your worth and let people earn your gifts — don’t be quite so free to give of yourself unquestioningly.

Forgive yourself for crimes of spackle, for not being your best self at the worst of times, for failing to see where you stopped and the other person started. Forgive yourself for not connecting the dots between words and actions. Forgive yourself for your fears and vanities. Forgive yourself for baking another cupcake for the cake eater instead of setting fire to the kitchen and leaving. Forgive yourself for being a chump.

The first step is owning that you were one.

I’m Tracy, I’m a chump, and I’ve been spackle-free for 5 years.

 

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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.
  • I am Kelly and I am a chump too. I have a particular problem, as most of us do, with those “creeping” and slow-moving boundary violations, you know, the ones that sneak up on you somehow like the frog in a pot of water slowly heating, pushing the limits out and out and out. And I have had to understand why I let that happen—because I trusted in the inherent goodness of people in general and my ex husband in particular even when my instincts told me otherwise, because I so wanted to BELIEVE that things were as I wanted them to be, and because I so did NOT WANT TO SEE that that was not the case. I realize that I simply did not believe in and honor myself enough to trust and believe MYSELF and my own self-worth. I will never allow myself to be blind and blinded again.

    • Same here. I think I did it because I thought there is give and take in a relationship and it’s not always even. So sometimes I would push back and enforce and other times, just let it go. Sadly, I didn’t want to see that the odds were NEVER in my favor.

      • Freeatlast,
        Same here with the give and take. I figured I’m not perfect and so, I didn’t expect perfection back. But like that frog, over the course of 20 years, I was being slowly boiled to death by both my abusive, gaslighting ex and my own generosity that was fueled by my fear of abondonment.
        I’m still shaky two years out, but I’m trying to take to heart that living to avoid fear is not serving me or my kids. Having said that, I don’t think living with the ” nobody’s perfect” approach is a bad thing. I just need to learn how to feel the heat and jump before its too late. Whereas before my challenge was to fold when in the relationship, now I’m challenged to avoid the hermit lifestyle and risk love again. Right now I can’t even get my head around it.

    • I too am a frog.

      I allowed my WXH to keep moving my boundaries back and back, inch by inch, until at the end our marriage was so lopsided and unmarriage-like that I didn’t even recognize the relationship at all.

      In hindsight I can see it clearly, and how I should have reacted to his behavior – and that is mine to own so I never allow myself to be boiled again.

      • This is so insightful. Me too. My boundaries were so far back I could not find my shape.

        I had two modes:

        1) I would see his bad behavior and try to get him into a better mood. Or
        2) I would get upset and then explain why I felt hurt by his actions. Teach him. If I explained why his behavior hurt me–when he would flirt with other women and treat me like I had leprosy
        (did I really have to explain that!? I get it now. If you have to explain that the person has to treat you with dignity and respect, it’s time to leave.)
        So, I thought I could teach him to respect me and to treat me well. He played that one so well. “yes,” he would say, “I understand how you would feel.” he would say this in a eerie way. Then he would get colder and more distant and it would all start again.

        Free at last (from this particular shit) –to observe myself when I get into my modes—I don’t need to beg soulless to love me anymore.

        • Chumpectomy, so true. I would try and spackle everything over. He would flirt outrageously with anything in a skirt around me and I got told, deal with it, that is who he is. I would ask him not to!! I would get the apology which usually lasted oh about a week or two and he would be back at it.

          He was never home either. I would ask him to spend time with his family…. I now think when you have to ask your husband and father of your two children to just spend some time with you and our children, there is something seriously wrong.

          In a lot of ways it really messed with my head… I am only just starting to see all of this after 3 years (he ran off with the last affair), I became such a shell of a person. All for some conceited, selfish prick… Never again!!

  • I’m a chump, I’ve been low spackle for a year and spackle-free for almost two weeks now. My default answer to nearly every request is no. Gives me time to evaluate if it’s healthy for me to do and if it’s something I really want to do.

    • that is a great MO! I always say yes and then feel crappy for backing out – I’m adopting this, thanks Hawk!

      • Iale, “I’ll get back to you” is my default answer; gives me time to think! Used to be easier when we didn’t all have our calendars in our phones, I could just say ‘let me check my agenda and get back to you’. Now I have to own up to the backbone a little more. Some people push still even when I say that, but I do the broken record trick; ‘yes, I understand it’s not a big thing, but I’ll have to get back to you on that’.’I understand you need an immediate answer; in that case, it’ll have to be ‘no’.’

        • Even better Karen, thanks! Cause if I said no to everything I’d be pretty likely to leave it at that and watch Netflix for the remainder of my life 🙂 seriously though.

        • I can barely read my calendar on my phone and it’s not always in sync with my PC so I still say I have to check it at home.

  • Tracey – you nailed it again!
    Why do us chumps think our worth measured in how others percieve us, rather than how we feel about ourselves…..big stuff in this post. Although not responsible for the cheaters, we Chumps do tend to create the perfect environment by giving more and more, compensating more and more, being Mommy more and more….spackle spackle spackle because how we feel is always the bottom of the list.

    • Very good post Lucky. I particularly like – “Why do us chumps think our worth measured in how others percieve us, rather than how we feel about ourselves”. That is me to a T.

    • Why do us chumps think our worth measured in how others perceive us, rather than how we feel about ourselves…..

      Like!! Lucky, that sums it up for me.

      Wow Tracey, just wow… I just read that and every word is written about me. You so totally rock!! Now just have to work on those boundaries and Goddamit… stop spackling and taking on other peoples issues!!

    • Absolutely– I’ve always been a total people pleaser, and it used to bother me to no end when people “didn’t like me,” or I worried that they wouldn’t.

      With the dumping of my ex has come an acceptance that I can’t please the world, and I’m going to stop trying. It has been so freeing. Only took me about 40 years to get there!

  • I’m Kim, I’m a Chump and I have been spackle-free for 1 year, 4 months, 3 weeks and 2 days!!!!! I am no longer anyone’s doormat and I only give love to those who I receive it from. I have established clear boundaries and while I am not perfect, I no longer accept less than I deserve. If I am unhappy about something I address it. This is mostly with my children. They are learning how to be assertive as well!!!! I see only positive things coming from this otherwise painful experience of infidelity. I refuse to be a victim any longer.

    I love this post as well!!!!

    • One of my favorite things to say to my kids is, “It’s OK to speak up for yourself.”

      Congrats on being spackle-free for over a year!

  • I am a BIG CHUMP. I’ve been a chump since my very first boyfriend in high school. My first boyfriend left me with a kid and no child support ( he was verbally and then physically abusive btw), the second boyfriend left me with $40,000 of his debt on MY credit cards while i was a single mother just getting out of nursing school, the third boyfriend I was supposed to marry and he left me 5 months before the wedding (he stated that he just didn’t want to get married anymore) and left me with a very large house that we got together and the cancellation of the wedding, and then I met my husband. I thought God had seen how much I’ve suffered through my past relationships and handed me this guy, who later on happened to love CAKE and CAKE EATING! I wanted it so badly that I spackled everything. There were signs throughout the 7.5 years of marriage, but i chose to spackle. My forgiveness and me seeing the world through rose colored glasses along with his ability to manipulate with his words, making everything he did seem less severe was a recipe for continued abuse. I can’t keep going this way. I’m going to seek counseling and I’m going to be more strict on my boundaries. Dday was March 25th this year. Having him leave the house was step #1, Starting divorce proceedings was step #2, No Contact except when it involves the kids is step #3. There are more steps involved, but i’m already feeling much better. I do miss having an intact family structure, but I will take my happiness and mental and physical health over dealing with that crap. I have my eyes wide open now.

    • I also am a repeat Chump – the last time was also because I was sure I was finally due a “good guy”. I put so much of myself into “fixing him” that I completely lost who I was. I’m enjoying re-finding that out now with the help of a good therapist. P.S. it didn’t work, he’s incapable of loving anyone but himself (surprise!). I’ve been cheater-free, NC, spackle-less for 4 months now!!!

  • I am Michael and I am still a chump.
    Its making me giggle like a little boy saying a bad word lol. I dont have a single problem saying good morning I am Michael an alcoholic in front of a meeting, but yea I guess its the same thing.
    Step 1. We admitted we were powerless over our cheater & our lives had become unmanageable. It might just work 😉 Something tells me tho when that person gets to the 4th & 5th step it will stop,,,, at least my NARC does not think they have anything wrong or defects of character to my NARC she is perfect and just the bestest,, so getting to the 6th step will never happen 🙂
    I could go on & on about the word NO & boundries both were non existent to her.
    But today I am going to smile today I want to smile so fucking bright I look stupid, because I know the truth. It was not my fault she threw me & our boys in the trash can.

    I didnt make her cheat it was not my fault ! And today I am going to turn my anger & resentment over to the God of my understanding and have faith that 1 day at a time I will be a better man and smile for me,,,,,,, 🙂 🙂 🙂 🙂 🙂 🙂 🙂

        • Now that you mention it . . . my alcohol intake has increased a bit since D-day. I’m sort of powerless over my six pack after a hard days work. 🙂

          It’s just that it goes so well with gardening. 🙂

          • Yea it did for me too 🙂 BUT that 6 led to 12 the 12 led to the bottle of Crown Royal and led me to be a fucked up drunk. Not saying thats you Rumble but it is me. 1 is too many & a 10000000 is never enough. Its funny I missed it when I first got sober but now its like MEH,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,maybe if I used that logic in other parts of my life ,, ,, ,, , , , , , , , , , , ,

            • I’m putting myself on No-Fun Weekdays starting Monday. I can’t maintain my delicate girlish figure if I’m pounding beer everyday. And it’s expensive. Damn it.

              • “Delicate girlish figure.” Man, I love the language on this board. No matter how heavy-duty the topics are, there is always something to make me smile, or snicker. Thanks Rumblekitty.

            • Oh and you should apply that logic; you’d definitely get to Meh. 🙂 I’d say I’m 90% Meh most of the time, which is something I thought not possible when my world caved in.

      • I think you are in a way. You can’t control them or make them stop cheating. You can get them out of your life to some extent, but that seems more like power over you and your own life to me.

        • You really cant control the person or their actions. I have to turn it over & let it go or it will lead me down a path of destruction & then I am no good to my kids and to myself. The Serenity Prayer is my best friend 😉

    • Hi, Michael, I am finding Al Anon hugely helpful with my chumpness and general fear (of life).

      Although my cheater is a functioning alcoholic, in my opinion that is the least of my problems. I wouldn’t care how much he drank, if only he could feel and care (funny how narcissism and substance abuse go hand in hand). So I substitute ‘narcissist’ (professionally diagnosed) for ‘alcoholic’ in my step work, and it makes much much sense.

      The 12 steps just works so much. It teaches you how to put the focus back on yourself, take care of yourself first, live less dysfunctionally and love more wholly. It is this miracle that everyone has heard about but doesn’t know much about.

      • It really does lead us from the brink of total insanity and gives us a new way of thinking , living & loving. I am humbled by the peace I have & I thank God for that everyday 🙂 Stick with it Patsy the rewards are so worth it 🙂

  • I’m Ducks, and I’m a super-chump.

    I’m very conflicted about this post. Things do go better for me when I enforce my boundaries. But I don’t think my condition is curable. It’s *manageable* through life-long Vitamin N and lots of daily effort. My true nature is still ‘chump’ and that comes out whenever I’m not paying attention, or when in crisis, or just when I haven’t had to enforce boundaries for awhile, I go back to my chumpy nature. Because that’s who I AM.

    You know how we always talk about how Narcs are who they are, emitting ‘Narcles’ all over the place, and how hard it is to change their true nature, even if they want to? I believe the same is true for me. I’m a chump, and I emit ‘Chumples’. A ‘chumple’ might be when you say ‘Yes’ to the Garden Brochure. (As a side note, it rhymes with ‘crumple’, appropriately.) It is damn hard for me to change my true nature, too. And there’s a big part of me that’s sad that I need to.

    I’m still trying, though.

    • I get it Ducks. And I love “chumples” — that one’s going in the chump vocabulary! Yeah, I think I have core chump issues, but it doesn’t mean I have to act on them. And I realize that it will be a struggle for my life to say no to garden brochures and boundary trampling people. But I do think it is a very manageable condition once you’re aware of it. Mostly, what helps is to surround yourself with other people from your tribe — givers. And keep a distance from the takers, because they can sniff out your chumples.

      • Ok in two days I have seen a ” stray penis ” & “chumple sniffing narcs ” my week is now complete ! Oh the visuals 🙂

        • CL – You should do a cartoon of a sad little stray penis, with an unhappy face, holding up a sign saying, “Free to good home”.

          Gives me the sadz just thinking about it.

          • I’m dieing here with the imagery this invokes. Love it and needed the laugh today. Thanks Rumble!

          • Rumble you better trade mark ” stray penis” asap… I see a line of T shirts iphone apps cartoons little stray penis books etc etc, could be your ticket !! 🙂

            • Rumblekitty. you are a howl!~ Yes…CL stray little penis’s with sad faces ‘Free to Good Home.’
              Too funny!~

  • Hi, I’m Hecate, and I too am a chump. I found this site a couple of weeks ago, on the eve of DDay, when I thought I was losing my mind. This is the first time I have been vaguely coherent enough to post.

    Today the I-guess-STBX told me this was all very hard on him, too, and he had *cried,* at work, and let me know that dealing with my grief was very difficult on him. And god help me but I commiserated. After all, he tells me he cried! How ghastly for him!

    I am such a chump. But this whole thing where I need to learn to turn off my ability to empathise with the person who betrayed me is so hard, because in any other situation, chumpiness = being a good person. It’s the taking advantage dynamic that changes everything.

    Meanwhile, he skips on his merry way, and I am here on the sofa, drinking pastis in the middle of the day.

    • Hecate, you are still in shock. It takes time to work your way through all of this and I hope we are a source of support to you. Yes, the pain that he caused you is causing him a lot of pain. In short, his infidelity is causing him a lot of pain…this is called natural consequences of his shitty decision-making.

      I am sorry that he is causing YOU a lot of pain. Hang in there, sister!

    • Do you have kids? Something that really helps me (I’m horrible with having empathy for the asshole) is to think what I would tell my son if someone treated him this way. If not kids, think of your best friend. I know damn well if someone treated my son like shit I wouldn’t feel sorry for them, no matter what their reasoning or how “sorry” they were. It helps see the situation from the outside, and not from the cheater’s sad little self-pitying lens.

    • Those first couple of weeks are the worst. I hardly remember much of it, it was like another person took over my mind and got me away from him while the real me curled up in a ball and died. You’ll get through it. Don’t even feel bad about his tears, he was probably making it up anyway. They will do and say anything they can to get you back to being your chump self. Don’t let him. Huge hugs! You’re going to be okay. <3

      • wow! I am a huge chump! Speaking of the cheater saying and doing anything to get ya back to chumpness, just the other day he told me he wanted to die and was thinking of driving his can off of the highway. I had sympathy for him. I am 3 months since D-Day and six months since he left.

    • Two weeks in? It’s definitely going to suck right now. There’s no way around it. Sleep, water, boost shakes, walks. I thought I would feel awful forever . . . but I came around. Now I’m damn near bulletproof, happy and very content. You’ll get there.

      Welcome fellow Chump!

      • Hecate, I’m so glad you found this site. I only found it about 3 months after D-day.

        Something that helped me was focusing on an image from CS Lewis’s The Great Divorce. There is this little, silent dwarf, that holds a leash on this handsome Tragedian actor. The angelic wife knows that the Tragedian is trying to play her, and ignores him entirely, speaking only to the dwarf. Sadly, dwarf only communicates through the Tragedian, and keeps shrinking until he disappears, and only the actor is left. When he tries to talk to the wife, she basically says, I have no idea who you are, and I don’t care.

        It’s a good read–easy to read, because it’s a story instead of a self-help book, so it doesn’t feel like work to read it.

    • So sorry Hecate, you are in that dusky nightmare of early days. Of course you sympathized, you are desperate to believe he actually cares or at least cared for you and children (?) at some point. You are desperate to understand, and you are wishing this just was not truly happening. I too “sympathized” for my poor poor ex, how hard it was after he cheated on me and blew up our family. You are going through the mind-fuck, through the stunned disbelief, through trying to unravel and understand the un-understandable, the realization that much of your marriage and therefore your life was a lie. It SUCKS MIGHTILY. The best thing I can tell you is, it does get better, but you must get and stay NO CONTACT. Also, read all the articles, all the comments, everything on this site. I lapped it up like a starving animal when I found CL. It is the only thing that kept me sane through the incredible nightmare. We will be here to hold your hand and sympathize and encourage you. We understand the incredible pain. Don’t let him play you anymore, you know what he is. (((BIG HUGS))) to you Hecate.

    • Welcome Hecate! You’re in the early days — it’s just a total suckfest. Get enough sleep and take care of your health. Eat and drink enough water. This shit is a marathon and you need to fuel accordingly. Glad you found us. 🙂

      • Thank you so much for the kind words and welcome. It is a little overwhelming when an online community of perfect strangers so instinctively and generously offers the empathy and understanding the person who hurt us withholds/is incapable of. Chumps are so nice!

        That’s not the moral of this post, I know.

        • Welcome! and Jedi Hugs Hecate!

          and please notice that your cheater did NOT cry about the pain he caused YOU. He told you who he is, he said he cried because this “was all very hard on him”. LISTEN to your cheater instead of hearing what you want to hear (spackle) and your empathy will drop for sure.

    • Hecate, don’t feel bad. I too commiserated with my cheating ex when he was suffering so from depression. All his tears and sobbing really pulled on my heart strings. At first I accepted that I was the cause of all his unhappiness, since that’s what he told me. I’ve always been one to accept responsibility even if it wasn’t mine. I’d do just about anything to keep the peace. I’ve had to learn to turn down the “empathy for others” dial and turn up the “protect myself dial.” They were pretty far out of balance.

    • Hecate,
      Uh huh. He ‘cried’ today. How very thoughtful of him.
      Mine ‘cried’ too. Not when he left me but a couple of years later when he was soon to be caught for embezzling. I saw REAL tears!!

      Imagine that.

      • Omg that’s awesome. Embezzling hehe. Poor poor him. He got so cocky he thought he’d get away with cheating on everyone! Bloody dufus!

    • Hecate, welcome, and glad you found support so close to your D-day. This place is a sanity saver for sure.

      I too got the “I cried” comment. It’s the closest my ex ever got to empathy for me, which is a scary concept. Interestingly, I never saw him cry or felt any actual remorse; the mere reporting of tears seemed to be good enough for him. I’m ashamed to say that at the time it was good enough for me, too. That’s how hard I was trying to hold on to a big armful of nothing.

      Anyway, the fact that you’ve wended your way here so quickly can only be a sign of positive things ahead for you, no matter how momentarily lost you feel on the couch with your pastis in hand. As for your STBX’s supposedly “merry way,” I don’t think there’s any real merriness there. Just like the tears of remorse, it’s all Velveeta.

    • Hi Hecate,

      My ex bawled on my shoulder saying “I treated you like shit” and I hugged and comforted him and told him that I would be okay. (I am not okay). I still see this scene and can’t believe it.

      Thinking about it, it seems really complicated. I have been raised to empathize and take care of people and see things from their perspective and appreciate them. I also loved this bag of dirt and was living with him at the time. I had no distance and in a was still treating him as the person I was committed and responsible to emotionally.

      It was chumpy of me to console him for being cruel to me. It made him feel better—off the hook and then skip away.

      I can tell these tears are shallow because he never wanted to hear about what he has done. I understand now that he simply tried to get out of accountability—in essence— telling me “look I am punishing myself already, I feel so bad, continue to help me by comforting me and don’t bring up what brings me so much pain or you will be cruel.” He had forgiven themselves and simply didn’t want to experience any accountability. He wanted to frame the story of his cheating and not hear about it from my perspective and I hugged him and let him know that I was going to be all right.

      I will be all right and so will you but we get to have our stories and authentic experiences. You should leave this toxic creep. A year after D-day I am still struggling, but at least I am clear about what I experienced and how I feel about him and what he has done.

      • I am so incredible grateful for this wonderful site, in which we can share our stories and experiences; it may be the only thing keeping me sane right now.

        Because after I consoled my cheating STBX for his alleged crying-at-work jag yesterday, I began to sob myself, and he responded: “I can’t talk to you when you’re like this,” and when I stopped crying and became furious, he said: “I thought you’d be less angry by now.” Because telling me you cheated, then vanishing leaving me alone and devastated, is so likely to make me think better of you!

        On the plus side, anger gave me the energy I needed to get off the sofa for the first time in two weeks today.

        • Although I still can’t wrap me head around the fact that, immediately after I consoled him for crying over cheating on me, he *complained* when I began to sob myself. How is that even a possible thing that someone can do??

          • Hi Hecate, also thinking about you…I am five months past DDay with wedding anniversary coming up, which I plan to celebrate with friends in the sense of not being with him anylonger…what you´ll get from this site, is that cheaters consult the same cheater manual or go to the same cheater school because they are all quite predictable and act in similar ways.

            This blog allowed me to see that who I thought was someone very intelligent and “special” who would never hurt me in the way “commoners” do, was just as low trash as any other cheater, and that he had no problem in making our special relationship into a statistic, really helped me to get moving very quickly with the divorce proceedings. Every time I would get “hopium” I would read this blog and the resulting disappointing event would be identical to the what I read here. So this blog serves as a crystal ball into the future of cheater logic, which will allow you to survive the spackle and get to a healthy “meh” someday (I am still not there yet)…They say it takes one month per every year you were with thecheater to feel completely better and “meh”, so just be patient and use your rage to move ahead and get the psychological and legal support you will need for the following months ahead…

        • Yeah, we call those people “Hot Pocket” cheaters. The kind that can step over your sobbing body, wonder about a snack, and go microwave themselves a Hot Pocket.

          Sorry, it’s kind of sociopathic. Who does this? People who don’t give a shit about you, your grief is very inconvenient to them, and they’d rather not deal with it.

          In short, someone who isn’t one bit sorry about what they did. They’re just sorry for themselves. This is the kind of kick the teeth you often need to start protecting yourself and lawyering up.

          • It took me months to realize that my hot pocket cheater really didn’t give a damn. If I tried to continue the conversation, I got yelled at for ruining his meal. Hang in there, Hecate. Although there may not be a quick solution evident yet, you
            WILL become strong and empowered. This site was what did it for me. We are all here for you.

            • It wasn’t a meal for my STBX, but sports. Never mind that I’m in hysterics, if it was time for his weekly volleyball or basketball session, he’d just go.

              • Mine would look at his phone. After D-day I would sob–“how could you not have told me? how could you leave me to be told with my son in the back seat by a troll who was the messenger of Cabbage Patch pig cheater president? How could you set me up for that and live a lie for five years and breaking down with troll when I need to care for our son?” Him: ignoring me plugging away at his phone–tap tap tap.

                Not something I could ever believe a person capable of.

                Never again please God.

  • My name is Scott, and I too am a Chump.

    However, I’ve learned that “no” is a complete sentence. It requires no further explanation or reasoning.
    Just yesterday I caught myself in a Chump Moment with a friend, found myself being taken advantage of/disrespected, and put an end to that shit right quick. No guilt. It’s liberating. Chumpy Scott would’ve caved, re-arranged my schedule AGAIN for this person, and likely have been pissed off about it. Probably would’ve thrown a little passive-aggressive behavior in the mix after the fact rather than expressing my feelings of displeasure with the situation directly.

    In hindsight, the erosion of my boundaries is perfectly analogous to the “Boiling Frog”. I swear remember having them early on. Unfortunately an Unaware Chump is no match for a Manipulator. I do ok with boundaries with relatively healthy people these days…but I think it’s best if I simply identify and avoid the manipulators altogether. It’s a rigged game that I don’t want to participate in, let alone win.

    • I think it’s best if I simply identify and avoid the manipulators altogether

      Avoiding manipulative adults whenever possible–especially in more intimate relationships—IS healthy behavior, I think.

      • Actually, I meant you should avoid having more intimate relationships with manipulators or end relationships with them if they are very manipulative.

        Avoid is not the right word in the context of “intimate relationships”.

    • “but I think it’s best if I simply identify and avoid the manipulators altogether. It’s a rigged game that I don’t want to participate in, let alone win.”

      I so agree with this.

      Chumps are nice people at heart, we want to help, to give – it’s our default state of being, the knee jerk reaction. Unfortunately that’s a recipe for pain when paired with a user. I’m seriously working on my people picker.

  • My name is Rebecca and I’ve been a chump all my life. Dday was February 23rd and I found ChumpLady the very next day. This blog has saved me in so many ways, but mostly, it’s shown me the truth of myself and given me the tools to try and fix it. I’m still a chump, but I’m on the right track to recover from it. Once you accept what you are, it’s just a matter of recognizing the behavior and pulling back from it. I wish there was as easy of a solution for recovering from a broken heart.

  • I am the chumpiest chump who ever chumped down Chumpway Avenue.

    I’m working on it. I’m really struggling to find that happy balance between saying “No! No! No!” like a child who just learned the word and the chumpy “Sure!” through gritted teeth. Looking for the middle way.

    • That’s me too, LB. I recently stopped wearing my wedding ring — worry that my cheater will feel bad about that. I kid you not.

        • Ha, this is awesome! Seriously, though, ANR, I suggest selling the ring at one of those gold depot type places that give you cash on the spot for old jewelry. Then take the money and buy yourself something you really want, but would never have spent the money on previously. You deserve it.

          • My asshole stbx actually thought I was such a chump he asked for my wedding ring back. After 35 years? And, ha – I actually said yes. Of course, that’s until I read this thread today – no more of that kind of chump for me. What was I thinking!!!

            • She Chump, I’m not surprised he expected to take the ring back. He took his promise back, didn’t he? Hang on to it gurl!

        • I bought myself a silly silver ring that says LIVE on it and I now wear that on my “wedded bliss” finger. Just to remind me that my life is about living these days. Not about my sham of a marriage. It also keeps some of the creepers away. Some of them…

          • Dani, I love the ring. Am thinking about getting one myself. “Live” is almost like a beautiful command to yourself, you know?

      • ANR,

        Yes, I totally relate. Don’t be too hard on yourself, though. You’re a good person, and you’re aware of the problem and working on it. These are all positives in my book.

        ~LilyBart

      • I felt the same exact way! My divorce was final 4/16 & I felt guilty taking our wedding photo off the mantle this past weekend.
        ~ Super duper chump!

      • ANR, I felt terrible taking off my ring. I’d worn it every day for 32 years, except for when I was having surgery. My ex, on the other hand, stopped wearing his ring about 10 years before he left. What is it with us being so committed to someone who clearly isn’t committed to us?

        • Once I took that ring off I could NEVER put it back on. Very big and symbolic step for this chump. Just another step in making me a stronger person. Such an amazing journey, that I feel proud of having made and survived. 2 1/2 years from DDAY 1#

      • Awe, that broke my heart a little ANR. 🙁

        I’m glad you took that ring off! I took my ring off immediately but I had it on my dresser for awhile and it keep making me feel bad. So, I took all the jewelry he ever bought and threw it in a box and it’s all locked in a safe until I can sell it all.

        After I sell it, I’m going to pick out something awesome and put it on layaway as a divorce present to me. 🙂

        • At least I won’t have to worry about what to do with all the nice gifts she gave me. The ring’s about it, really. And we picked it because it matched hers.

          • My DDay was January 12th. When I realized that there was going to be no reconciliation, I stopped wearing my wedding ring (some time in March)- felt absolutely terrible about it. The interesting thing is that although I have lost about 35 lbs since January and my ring never ever bothered me before, I just tried to put it back on today b/c I missed the feeling of having it on my finger and the sucker would not go down passed my knuckle. Isn’t that crazy?

          • That sounds like a nice little item to unload at your local pawn shop. Get rid of it; it might as well be tin.

        • I only plan to sell the wedding and engagement rings and replace it with another one (kinda been looking). I’ve got lots of other fabulous jewelry he’s given me over the years – diamond earrings and necklaces, tennis bracelets, watches – which I will be keeping and wearing.

        • You could give all that jewelry to a jeweler and they can melt it and make something coustom for you!!!

      • Yes, ditch the ring. Rid yourself of every damned thing that reminds you of her. Get a clean break from it.
        In fact, buy something that you know would annoy the hell out of her – I know a guy who bought a snuff caddy – the ultimate redneck fashion accessory.

    • LilyBart,

      ‘I am the chumpiest chump who ever chumped down Chumpway Avenue. ‘

      That cracked me up~~!

      Too funny.

      Gawd, I’ve been realizing what a chump I’ve been with my adult child. Holy Crap, I’m only invited if I get my Chump Outfit on and get my Chump wallet out. Or my Chump debit card. Chump Cash is the best!!

      I’ll do ‘anything’ so you like me. WTF? I backed away from that one fellow chumps and it was HARD.

  • I refer to myself as chump emeritus because I have served out my term of chumpdom! Now, I proudly refer to myself as the pushy bitch from hell who won’t take your shit!( I work in a very male-dominated profession and any strong woman is subject to be called that word, so I wear it like a badge of honor).

  • Another HOME RUN, Tracy!

    You are getting to look like Ty Cobb [ all time highest batting average of .366] 🙂

    Ted Williams (Rank #6, Average .344) once made a PROFOUND comment about the game of baseball which is equally profound when applied to life.

    Williams said that those who FAIL ‘only’ seven times out of ten attempts will be the greatest in the game.

    I repeat: Williams said that those who FAIL ‘only’ seven times out of ten attempts will be the GREATEST IN THE GAME.

    This analogy illustrates another point about one of the less recognized but equally damaging reasons that Chumps spackle:

    ***THE USELESS NEED FOR PERFECTION***
    (aka. I’m Never Quite Good Enough)

    A person with low self confidence tends to set themselves unreasonably high standards. They’re a perfectionist. This seriously undermines their confidence because nothing they do is ever quite good enough; therefore, they never give themselves credit for their achievements.

    Why is it so damned easy for manipulators to induce Chumps to do the “Pick Me Dance”and the “Spackle Shuffle”? Whether consciously or not, your manipulator knows how to find and push the “Perfection” button because YOU have demonstrated consistently by your behavior that it will “quick start” you to PROVE that you are perfect.

    The advertising media is relentless in peddling totally unrealistic perfection–especially for women–who make up the bulk of their target audience. Perfectionistic parents and peers played their role, too.

    But just because you bought into the perfection trap does not mean you cannot self examine and opt OUT.

    Trying to be “perfect” all the time creates a deep seated anxiety that pervades everything we do, and ironically defeats the very purpose of enjoying life. Sadly you are frequently not fun to be around because there is always this underlying tension due to the useless need for perfection.

    There is a good chance that we will NOT be perfect at about 7 of every 10 things we attempt in this life. Not only is this normal; it is “perfectly” OK to do the best you can do ….because if you can have a “batting average” like this you ARE (hear me now) one of the greatest in the game.

    Do your best. Don’t expect the impossible from yourself. Forgive yourself quickly and completely for your “perceived” failures when you know you’ve done your best. And then LET. IT. GO.

      • Right on, Notyou!

        I am trying to counteract that perfectionistic drive with gratitudes, and I am grateful for everyone here.

        Spackle free seventeen months, three days.

        x-Meh

    • Excellent post, NotYou. Fear of imperfection is a big issue for me, and leads to procrastination, which prevents me from making as much money as I could and causes me a lot of stress. I’ve slowly been getting better in this area, but it has taken a lot of therapy and cognitive work.

    • I’d be over the moon if one thing out of ten turned out perfectly … especially on a first attempt 🙂

      • Time,

        You only have to get 3/10 perfect to make the Hall of Fame.
        So, 1/10 is a pretty good performance. Don’cha think? 😉

    • My mother was a crafty woman and a maker of beautiful quilts. There is a tradition that many quilt makers follow, including my mother, which is to include a deliberate imperfection somewhere in their otherwise perfect works – a scrap of fabric that doesn’t match, a piece where the corners don’t join up squarely, the wrong coloured thread in a section. The intention of this is humility – recognising the ‘only God is perfect’.

      I am not religious myself but the meaning is still very relevant. I have suffered from perfectionism all my life, which fuels my chumpiness, but have learned that of all the billions of imperfect people in this world, it is terrible and tiring kind of pride to imagine that I alone should or can be perfect. Why should I expect that of myself? I have never met another person who is perfect!

      • I love her books. When I was going through the stage where the Jackass was gaslighting me, I read her books as if I were starving and they were food–which sorts of fits since I had problems with eating even before D-Day because the changes in his behavior were so drastic and sudden. And my body knew what was up before my mind would admit it. But Brown helped me sort out the importance of vulnerability, authenticity, and giving up the need to be “perfect,” or as I thought of it, “bulletproof.” Ironic that she talk about the importance of vulnerability and I was, at the time, just being gutted emotionally, but the book helped me redefine and hold onto the right values. I think I might have closed my heart up after D-Day but I was trying to practice living the way Brown talks about, and I knew that I had to have the courage (as she say) to love, to risk, to be vulnerable. She also has one of the best explanations of betrayal; I’ll find and post it.

        • I think this is from her book “Daring Greatly”; it describes the devastating impact of someone we love disengaging from the relationship. Most of us experienced that not only relative to D-Day but also well prior to that time–so even before we discover the cheating. we have been betrayed in the “crazy-making” way:
          . If I had to choose the form of betrayal that emerged most frequently from my research and that was the most dangerous in terms of corroding the trust connection, I would would say disengagement.
          “When the people we love or with whom we have a deep connection stop caring, stop paying attention, stop investing and fighting for the relationship, trust begins to slip away and hurt starts seeping in. Disengagement triggers shame and our greatest fears – the fears of being abandoned, unworthy, and unlovable. What can make this covert betrayal so much more dangerous than something like a lie or an affair is that we can’t point to the source of our pain – there’s no event, no obvious evidence of brokenness. It can feel crazy-making.”

          The full passage, plus context is quoted a:t http://www.psychologytoday.com/blog/owning-pink/201209/the-worst-kind-betrayal

        • “because the changes in his behavior were so drastic and sudden” same with my cheater, only these changes didn’t manifest until AFTER DDay. I can’t stop wondering what has happened to him. He really is not the same person. Not physically violent, but cold and manipulative. He’s so different in fact, I’m beginning to fear for my daughters’ relationship with him. Always daddy’s girls when they learn about the ow they will be crushed.

          • I concluded that the mean, cold, lying, manipulative guy is the real “him.” That He had been careful for years to mask that with me, and when i saw it slip out in his relationship with others, I spackled like a pro. I got the gaslighting and the changes before D-Day because I think he was trying to get me to either end it or lose my mind so he would have an excuse to break his commitments (financial, emotional) to me. He had a shot at living free in his family’s home, maybe scoring that for the rest of his life, and his skank MOW right around the block. As my shrink says, he likes convenience.

          • And I should add we were together 20 years, married for 17 and I never saw a glimpse of this other person he’s become

  • Looking back, I see why, I became a chump.

    Personality disordered folks are attracted to chumps. Chumps are fixers, chumps are practical, chumps bring with them balance and consistency, Chumps have empathy and chumps are givers. Personality disordered crave both stability and excitement and their needs are never met by just one person. Personality disordered see the people in their lives as an extension of themselves and not as separate individuals.

    I am a chump…..but, a chump in progress, I really don’t want to change who I am. the only thing I can change is my picker, along with my daily dose of NO vitamins.

    • Very profound P.F. and a good sum up. I am two years out of a destroyed by cheating twenty year marriage and you gave me just a little more insight on my ex. She loved having me as a warm, agreeable and understanding base with her parallel high excitement and somewhat vapid boyfriend. She navigated the double life for nearly 5 years with amazing facility, and I can see now it fed her needs.

      Anyhow, keeping with the theme of this, I fed into it, I was too agreeable and I must own it. I will however never ever lose my empathy, kindness and trust, but I have a duty to be a whole lot wiser and careful.

      • Well said P.F. My X actually wanted me to continue to organise his life and finances, have dinner with me and the kids 3 times a week (because he couldn’t imaging a better family life), and arrange ‘family’ holidays for us all while he live with the OW. He was honestly hurt when I told him that wasn’t how the world worked. It made me realise what a mega-Chump I had become and what a twisted person he was.

  • I definitely got stuck for a while in the examining the skein of fuckedupness. I have for the most part moved past it. I’ve been in therapy ever since he was arrested but honestly we haven’t talked that much about why I did the things I did (fall for the gaslighting, accept such shitty behavior, keep choosing losers, etc etc I could go on and on but I will save that for later) – I think I’m going to bring that up today because coincidentally I have my appt today but I’m also going to work on that on my own – examining my self.

  • Oh I am a chump alright. I’ve got no problem owning/admitting it. The problem is if I stop to think about how my chumpiness has ruined my life, I am overwhelmed with grief. I’m probably not getting the point of the article, but feeling worse about myself is something I just don’t need right now.

    Admitting I’m a chump, forgiving myself, and doing my best to change this pattern is all I can do. Giving myself a harsh does of Chump Ownership is more than I can handle right now. Maybe it depends on your current state of mind. I’m still too raw and still too hard on myself.

    • Moving Liquid,

      Owning your chumpiness does not mean beating yourself up with it. It simply means acknowledging that you bought into some stinkin’ thinkin’ unrealistic ideas about who you should be… as opposed to who you are.

      Apply that 7/10 rule that I mentioned above and just see if you aren’t one hell of a lot more of a resilient and successful person than you have convinced yourself you are.

    • ML, that’s understandable. I remember feeling so indignant when someone pointed out the fact that I was complicit in my own relationships. It was said not to excuse the bastard who fucked me over but to alert me to the fact that I attract people like this with my chumpy ways.

      It’s kinda liberating when you realise that by toughening up a little you can safeguard yourself from some of the shittier people in the world. It is more about empowerment than blame so don’t go beating yourself up.

    • ML, to add on to points made by notyou & Tonya, owning it isn’t about beating yourself up, it’s about empowerment. It places your power back in your hands to choose better for yourself. Anytime I feel like I’m slipping into self punishment or rumination I say out loud to myself “Stop! You’ve been through enough” and I remember to be gentle with myself instead of adding to the pain. I can’t control or change what my cheater did but I can control my response to it.

        • M.L., great comments to your post. Do not beat yourself up because it is self loathing… which is essentially crazy.

          Another positive to going the empowerment route; you learn to make decisions in your life that (at times) center around what YOU want to do and what makes you comfortable. No one else can know what you need at times except you. You do not have to depend on some more directed and selfish person to run things.

    • I think it’s about knowing your part so you can defend yourself for the future, not blaming yourself for the past. Like if you were robbed, you could either be angry at the robber and live your life scared of being robbed again, or you could decide to take a different route, learn how to fight or buy a gun. It wouldn’t be your fault you didn’t do those things already, the robber is the asshole, but now you’ll be ready to avoid and/or fight the robber if it were to happen again.

      • lale, I think of it this way. You got robbed and it wasn’t your fault. The robbery was all on the burglar. However, you didn’t lock your windows, you didn’t leave your front porch light on, you let the bushes grow too tall which gave the robber a good place to hide. So now you’ve been robbed and you’re livid. You scream “I didn’t do anything to deserve being robbed,” but you did leave yourself more vulnerable to being robbed than your neighbor, who installed a home alert system. So perhaps that’s your problem. You trust people too much and don’t protect yourself with reasonable precautions. After you learn that you’re too trusting, you make an assessment of your vulnerabilities and your fix them. It doesn’t guarantee you’re not going to be robbed again, but it will be harder for the next burglar to get in.

            • Last night I did something I’ve never, ever done. But, was distracted, I guess. Left my big garage door open all night and the door to the house unlocked. My 3 Danes sleep with me and, trust me, if somebody had of broken in, they would have had 350#’s of scared mad dogs to face. No cookies would have helped at 3 am. One of my dogs is a true guard dog at 190#’s and thank god all the neighbors and workers here know this – he don’t like people. Still, talk about leaving us all open to getting killed. A robber could have a gun and shoot them all. Sorry for being off topic – but, I still seem to do stupid things now that I find myself alone. Vigilance seems to be key to getting out of Chumphood, I guess.

    • Sometimes, grief is the hardest part. We live in a culture that doesn’t like grief and, in fact, often medicates it. It is okay to grieve; grieving allows us to come to terms with what happened to us! Please don’t beat yourself up for being a kind person; the world needs more kindness. Just know that it will get better and give yourself permission to “rise”.(If you need a boost today, YouTube Maya Angelou reciting her poem “Still I Rise.” I promise you it will make your day a little brighter!)

      • Louise,

        There is great truth in your observation about our culture’s strong aversion to grief. To people who’ve never been in “grief shoes”, grieving people can be too painful to endure…. except on a superficial basis. I believe it is because most observers feel powerless to help; but there are also shallow people whose attitude is that grief just isn’t “fun” to be around (and besides that shit might be contagious) so I’ll just come back around when you are “fun” again.

        In cases of uncomplicated grief there typically is little if any need for medication. Sitting with the pain and working through it speeds up the recovery process because the person can focus primarily on the process of mourning their dead loved one.

        Complicated grief is a whole other matter. And usually one who is grieving the loss of a partner, a marriage, and an intact family as they knew it while simultaneously dealing with the rage and helplessness of Post Infidelity Stress Disorder simply has too much on the plate. It can knock the strongest of us to our knees until we are able to figure out how to break into the vicious cycle and get started. And until we can, we do intuitive things that make our situation worse. [It is totally counter intuitive to go No Contact, but NC can be one of the most constructive actions we can take when very sight of someone elicits the whole shotgun blast of emotions. ] IMO transitional medication is invaluable in these cases…not as a “cure” nor as a permanent “crutch,” but utilized like a cast on broken arm…support until the limb has begun to heal enough that it can finish the process on its own. They give us a fighting chance.

        My younger sister was widowed (long term marriage) not quite 5 months before my H nuked our long-term (32+ yr) marriage. Both of us were basket cases. One day Sis looked at me and out of the blue said, “Yanno, I think you’ve had it worse than I because at lease I can tell myself that his illness took ****** instead of the office ho-worker.” I knew that his decision had been his choice and the woman only a cheerleader, but the essence of what Sis said rang true….there was no dignity in it.

        An acrimonious divorce, especially one due to adultery is, “death without dignity,”….initially we don’t know how to get a handle on it. and those who have never dealt with it don’t either. There is going to be complicated grief. Mental health professionals need to be acutely aware of that fact, and chumps need to know what they are experiencing.

        • notyou – I also had this experience with a young, wise niece of mine. She had 2 toddler boys when her H committed hari kari (glad he didn’t take out the family too). It was hard to understand her grief at the time but here, 10 yrs later we talk and she says – ‘Auntie – you have it so much worse. Your husband is alive. At least mine is dead.’ I can’t believe this young 35 yr old had more wisdom than I. And, boy, did she understand my grief!

  • HI, Tracy 😉

    You Got a GREAT Hubby for the ” Bargain ” Price of 2 Assholes and a Coupla Years of Hell.

    We ALL Pay for our Chumpiness…
    but I Like to Think, What Goes Round comes Round Too..
    And if THAT’s the CASE…
    The REST of US got Something AWESOME Waiting for US Too…. In Time. 🙂

  • Hi my name is Jodez and I’m a chump. I have been spackle free for about 4 months.
    ‘Why did I accept this crap?’
    That’s what I’ve been trying to figure out for these 4 months. I actually found a photo of myself as a teenager and wrote a letter to me. To that young, innocent, chumpy girl. It’s a letter I wish I could actually send. About how much more she should demand from life and from a relationship. How much potential that young girl has and how she deserves someone who really loves. You have value baby girl. You are important. You have a good heart but don’t let that blind you to the evil.

    I forgot my worth. I allowed someone else to control my stock price, so to speak. I’m not sure how to word this analogy exactly, but I shouldn’t have floated my worth on the open market as a public company, if that makes sense? Allowing someone else to determine my worth that day.
    And that’s on me. I allowed that.

    And it’s so hard to change the way you determine your own self worth. How long before it’s not tangled up in someone else? Someone who doesn’t know a good person from a shitty one anyway! He shouldn’t be controlling that! He’s incompetent! I need to take charge of this the same way I was in charge of everything else. It’s almost like that was his only job in our marriage and he fucked that up too.

    You have worth. You are important. They do not determine your value in this world.

    • 🙂 Thanks for This….
      and I Understand you.

      I Think Everytime we Meet someone who makes our Hearts go Pitterpat, We Should Look at Our Inner Child, and Ask ” Is THIS Person OK to Unleash Upon THEM ? ”
      If we’re Not Sure…Go SLOWER.. if The Answer is NO..Get OUT, N O W..and Don’t Look Back…and Without Hesitation…Without APOLOGY.

      • It made sense to me but I’m not as articulate as a lot of Chump nation 🙂

        I think you’ve hit the nail on the head with your advice BloomingRose! This is going to be my plan now. Is this person/behaviour something I would advise for that inner child? That young girl?

        I think the ‘without apology’ part is going to be tough for this Chump….Gotta get STRONG

    • “Allowing someone else to determine my worth that day.
      And that’s on me. I allowed that.”

      Amen to that. I sometimes think it’s quite odd that it took total rejection and abandonment to make me stop looking for my worth in another person. How did I let him become the judge and jury of my self worth to begin with?

      • This is me too Lyn. Since when? I think I believed that he knew best. I have no idea why I gave my power away but I did. I felt so diminished over time that I didn’t know if I was buying the correct food. It was ridiculous.

        It’s now that I see. I see the control and manipulation. I just didn’t see it then. I see how much of myself I gave away to a person I could never please. I was a HUGE chump.

        • Yep. I’m not sure how? when? why?

          And it took the slap in the face of him leaving and effectively saying my value was zero, that made me think “Shit, hang on. How did I get here?” (of course first I wallowed in my misery for a while, and believed he was right).

          From all the reading I’ve done on this site I don’t think any of us really ‘see’. If we did I’m sure we’d leave these relationships long before the cheating. Well, I hope I would have…
          ….honestly, I probably would have just tried to fix that too…..geez, maybe I’m a lost cause 😉

  • Great post!

    I was a child chump, a teenage chump and I then became an adult chump. I am now a chump in recovery.

    If I could turn back time (to quote Cher) I would dance on all of the people who fucked me over. Those bitches who once chased me home and for no good reason shoved my ice-cream into my face – to the man I married and trusted and some those awful boyfriends and ‘friends’ in between. I never fought back. I just took that shit lying down.

    Chumps it is time to rise up. It is better to live on your feet than die on your knees.

  • Hi. I am the chumpiest of Canadian chumps ever! We aim to please!
    There is an episode of Family Guy where Stewie and Brian go to Canada ( eh ) and their vehicle breaks down. Of course it’s winter (polar bears and such ) …
    They meet a Canadian. He gives them his snowmobile and then offers to hack off one of his legs. This of course will leave him to bleed out slowly in the snow – but that’s what. Chumps do!!!
    I think that about sums up how I feel. He took it all down to the last drop, and then left me to rot.
    I am learning all about boundaries and I have learned that I tend to be attracted to these fucktards narcs. Reading up on codependency had helped.
    I am slowly putting my spackle down. It ‘s not easy ( having been a Minister’s wife – # 1 spackle artist ) to step away from the people pleaser role.

    • Oh God, the minister’s wife! It’s hard to give up spackle when people are handing you the trowel on a regular basis. It’s like an alcoholic walking into a bar.

      I speak from experience here, Lisah–I’m a Canadian minister’s wife too….

          • Apparently there is an epidemic of sinister ministers (thanks CL!) up here in the Great White North. The bucket of spackle included in the job description of minister’s wife is very heavy – even without a cheating husband. I guess I should be grateful the OW is holding the bucket & trowel now 🙂

        • Tracy I think it would be closer if Canadian chumps were to car pool down to Texas for a chump trek convention.

          While I was taking a tour of the rabbit hole to find out how deep the skein of fuckedupness goes, the result of course is it’s pretty fuckedup down there. I was trying to find out why all this cheating is supposedly my fault according to XW and her blaming my multitude of deficiencies (***cough*** bullshit). Along the way though, I do realize I’m pretty chumpy. You see I’m not a jealous person, so my XW had free range to go whereever and see whoever she pleases. After all, at the end of the day she is coming home to me so why should it matter. Just didnt realize my home wasnt the only home she was visiting. I also realize that most of her friends are male, she only has 2 female friends and even then she doesnt spend much time with them. Other women can see through her shiny sparkles and call her on her shit, where certain other men just think she’s the best. Flirty and dirty.

          Now that my eyes are wide open, I’m still not a jealous person so if I dare imagine meeting a future mate I still wont be possessive and clingy. But I do realize I had not put in place any boundaries whatsoever somewhat reinforcing in her mind that she can do as she pleases without consequences. I wont repeat that mistake.

          • I have my B class – I could load us up into bus ( sure we could fill more than one ) and do a Chump Pilgrimage to Texas.

            We all live in Toronto right?!??

            Kidding !

              • Canada has better weather.

                You all don’t want to come down here now. It’s the beginning of the Inferno season of 100 degree days. Consider instead creating Texas chump asylum up North!

                Besides I like walleye. And whitefish. Smoked. Gimme Northern food.

              • Ooooooh, I love the idea of a PNW chump asylum! CL, if you ever find yourself in Vancouver or thereabouts, you will definitely have a very warm welcome, and as much fish as you could ever hope to eat. Plus cilantro. Never even heard of it ’til I came here (Detroit born and raised), but now it’s the one herb I can’t live without.

                Seriously, though. Wouldn’t it be awesome to do a chump retreat? A weekend of connection and rebooting? I would so love to be part of that.

            • You Cannucks are totally cracking me up. And, hey – as a former and still Cdn, don’t forget all that Whale Slaughtering they’re doing up in Winnipeg. (I’m a westerner) The ignorance about the country is knee slapping funny.

            • Chump Bus aka Canadian Karma Bus. Love it! and Lisah you are the bus driver. I sure hope our cheaters aren’t jaywalking in front of us. What’s the emergency stopping distance on a bus anyway…nevermind just floor it!

  • I am a chump. Looking back, I was a chump even before XH’s affair. I put up with a lot of crap–from him, his parents, sister. Why did I put up with that? Because I thought that was part of being a “good” wife. In the end, it didn’t make much difference and, if anything, caused XH to disrespect me even more. But what options did I have back then? In the beginning, I would speak up because it bothered me, but there was no convincing XH that he was wrong, and XH would say that I was being “selfish” for bothering him about these issues when he needed to focus all his time and energy on building his career.

    If it weren’t for XH’s affair, I don’t think I would ever have the impetus to file for divorce. I didn’t even realize I was being emotionally abused until I went NC on him, though I did sometimes feel like leaving him prior to the affair, because of his unpredictable temper and his continually blaming me for everything that was wrong with his life.

    What can you do if someone is emotionally abusing you but has not been unfaithful? It’s easier to explain to people that you’re divorcing because of infidelity, but it gets harder to explain if your spouse just has “anger issues” with little or no physical violence, especially if you have children together and your spouse seems like a rational, funny, good guy on the outside.

    I never thought I’d say this, but, in some respects, I am sort of grateful for XH’s affair. (A year ago, I would have told you that XH’s affair was the worst thing that ever happened to me in my life.) XH’s affair made his disrespect of me crystal clear and undeniable. And XH’s affair was a good enough reason for me, my parents and friends to leave him, though a few friends tried to persuade me to give him a “second” chance (which I had, but XH continued to lie about seeing OW), go to therapy with him and/or try to own “my part” of the break-up.

    • By Being Emotionally Abusive He IS Being UNFAITHFUL..It’s just a DIFFERENT Kind of being UNTrue to what You NEED.

    • blue, I too am grateful in a lot of ways. I HAD to take the Red Pill, own my reality and peek down the rabbit hole of who I was/had become – all of it – the people pleasing chumpiness, the FOO and childhood self-esteem issues I’ve been dragging around for 30+ years, my lack of confidence in my own intuition, how I let my spouse define my worth, how I allowed myself to even become involved with a poor-charactered individual like her in the first place, you name it. I could’ve done without all of it, and probably lived out my life just fine. But I am certain that I’ve never had my head screwed on straighter than I do today, and I still have work to do. There’s nowhere to go but up from rock bottom.

    • Two years out, and feeling like that too; his cheating the second time was my ticket to freedom, although it sure didn’t feel like it at the time.

      Life is harder in some ways, now – financially, single-parenting, no sex …. But I feel so much lighter, the atmosphere in our house is so much more pleasant, without the ex around. If I’d known how nice it would be, I’d have left years ago.

      BTW; ‘I’m really really unhappy married to this person and there doesn’t seem to be any solution to that’ is a TOTALLY LEGIT reason to divorce. But even that is hard to do because the narcs seem to sense when we’re getting to that point, and draw back on the nastiness for a while, treat us a little better for a bit. Blergh.

    • Same here, blue. I put up with physical and emotional abuse the entire time we were together. He lied about things from day 1, and I never knew what to believe for 26 years. And I stayed. I guess I was so desperate to save my marriage that I put up with so much crap it’s unbelievable. Hindsight is 20/20, right?

    • Thanks for all of your replies. Yes, I think part of why I put up with the emotional abuse from XH–the criticism, anger, yelling, blaming, comparing me to others (my in-laws were particularly fond of this)–is that my mother was that way to me when I was young, and I had to “understand” and “put up with it” because my mother was under so much stress and there was always something I wasn’t good enough at. Even before the affair, it occurred to me that my XH and mother were similar–very social and “charming” on the outside and very concerned about image and status–but angry and rageful at home.

      I’m not sure what I should do with this insight, as my mother has definitely changed since I’ve gotten older and has become much mellower (no yelling at me, though she still yells at my dad), and has helped me out A LOT with the kids and the whole divorce. Any advice?

      • Hi Blue,

        I have the same experience. My mother would say things to me growing up such as “there will always be someone prettier than you.” “You’re a dirty girl” “Look at Elana she always does her homework.” Always comparing and me coming up short. She is hypercritical. I married someone like this at home and then a super nice guy in the street and in other people’s homes. It was so painful to feel so shitty about myself and to constantly look at other women in a way that I wished I were like them. Horrible way to live.

        My mother is now happier in her life (on her third husband who is actually a nice person) and is more helpful to me. However, she has not changed all that much because she is not particularly working on it. She thinks I should get over it and just move on in a very critical way.

        My feeling about this is: I have love for my mother but she is not a person I can really trust to respect me and my life. I hold her at a distance and enforce my boundaries and try to give myself what I need (good trustworthy friends who appreciate me, meaningful work, a rich life and a great relationship with my son) I do struggle financially and am trying to figure that out. What I do know is that I cannot give people who do not respect me power over my finances, emotions and intimate life.

        With mom it’s giving to her and receiving from her without opening myself up to more of the same mind numbing chest and throat aching comparisons. I do not see my mother very often. I know that if she responds well one day, she will be compelled to attack me on another. This has meant mourning my lack of safety at home and also learning how to let it go. Nothing short of living my values each day.

        I say receive her help with appreciation as long as you understand that it does not give her license to make you feel shitty. Cut it off (the conversation, interaction) when it goes that way. It sounds like your mother may have changed in a way that you are no longer her target. I hope that is the case, but if not that you can shape the relationship that feels honest and supportive to your life.

        • This is how I was raised too. I married a woman just like her, down to the big dark eyes and awful love/hate relationship with her mother. Now Mom has Alzheimer’s and I’m the her only child in town. It’s a wonderful life!

  • Hello, my name is Sonja, and I’m a chump.

    I’m learning that I’ve been raised a chump, and once I reached the age of maturity, have chosen to remain in my chumpiness. Part of my personal rabbit hole is finding out how deeply entrenched my chumpiness is rooted, and YANK IT OUT!

    I have little to any idea how to apply Vitamin N. Anywhere in my life. But I sure as hell am going to learn…

  • I’m Karen, and I’m a double chump. Once to the sweet, loving, smart, sexy ALCOHOLIC of my twenties, and again for the smart, sexy, but not even sweet or loving CHEATER of my 40’s. You’d think I’d learn for heaven’s sake!

    And I really needed this post today, because I was about to chumpily let the new cleaning woman walk out of my house without pointing out to her that several things are not actually CLEAN. I pay a person to clean, I want CLEAN! Yes, around the back of the kitchen sink! Yes, at the base of the bathroom taps! Vim and a toothbrush, lady!!! When I do it it’s CLEAN when I’m finished, so I want it CLEAN!!

    Sorry, just needed to rant … helps strengthen my backbone.

    • KarenE, I am the same way! It would be hard for me to point out places the cleaning lady missed because I wouldn’t want to hurt her feelings! LOL

      • Oh, me too about the cleaning – but I seem to have a harder time getting away from CHATTERERS. Either on the phone (gotta go seems like I’m offending them) or in person (learned to say, gotta go feed my puppies) – all those folks are time-wasters and just want to talk about themselves anyway. Gotta work on this chumpiness by setting a little clock of how long I’ll let them go on. (see what I learn from my therapist!)

  • I Think we Women Need to stop letting All the Derrogatory Words people use to describe Women who Take No Shit bother Us. Who Gives a Shit what USERS THINK or SAY About us ?? I’ll Take THOSE TITLES title over Their Abuse and My Own SELF Hatred and Regret that would have Transpired if I Played the FOOL for THEM Again, Anyday.

    We gotta Remember..It’s ONLY Words..and They Only Have the POWER that WE GIVE Them.

  • Hi, I’m Roxie and I’m a chump.

    I think I’ve done a good job of untangling what made me so chumpy with my XH. A lot of things I should have done differently, but of course hindsight is so clear. I often think of a quote by Maya Angelou “I did then what I knew how to do. Now that I know better, I do better.”

    What I still struggle with is being a chump daughter. My parents are elderly, and my mother (hugely NPD) has mastered the art of manipulation, and she uses my affection for my chumpy stepfather to get things out of me. After a lifetime of living large and not planning for tomorrow, my mom finds herself in a rough spot, and wants me to fix everything.
    I am trying to do better, but sometimes the right thing to do isn’t so clear.

    • Roxie, you’re in one of the hardest spots. The narc mother deserves to be given short shrift, but the nicer step-father does not, and they’re old …..

      It’s going to be a balancing act for you, figuring out what you can do for them, and what you shouldn’t, how far you can go that’s safe for you, and when you need to set your limits. Just remember to make those decisions based on YOU and YOUR values, not on her demands and complaints. Maybe ear plugs would help 😉

      Hope you have a good therapist, you’re going to need it.

      • You’re right, it is a delicate balancing act.
        At least now though, when I’m being chumped by her, I’m very aware of being chumped and I only agree to do things that are truly necessary.

    • Roxie, I still have to set boundaries for my NPD mother. I would go NC, but I adore my very sick and elderly father and am truly afraid of how she would treat him if I wasn’t in the picture. Trying to make sure he is taken care of is so difficult because I am fully aware of the way my mom manipulates the situation (she is a”poor me” narcissist).Roz Chast’s new book “Can’t We Talk About Something More Pleasant?” has helped me laugh and cry at the difficulty of navigating becoming the parent to your parents!

      • Thanks Louise, I will check out that book!
        I think you and I are in the same boat here. I am afraid of how my mom treats my stepdad when I’m not around, because I see how she treats him when I am around! It’s a shame really, because he’s never been anything but fantastic to her, but now that he needs a little help……..
        Gah! It ‘s aggravating!
        My model for a good parent isn’t my mom, it’s my stepdad, and he’s pretty chumpy, but truly one of the finest men I’ve ever known. I hate to see him disrespected, just because he’s no longer able to provide for her as he used to. I don’t think my mom knows just how screwed she’d be if he wasn’t around, because he’s pretty much the only reason I haven’t gone NC.

  • My habits of ignoring my own boundaries and spackling grew into me becoming someone I’m not. I got so far away from ME and my own passions and talents, in the name of being “nice”, that I ended up a shell that my husband or many friends couldn’t relate to any longer. My artistic soul fell asleep at the wheel while I was busy cleaning our home and laundry and making dinner parties and taking care of bills and my husband’s schedule, etc..

    I became a supreme chump. Trying hard to be everyone’s friend by doing favors while letting my own true spirit wander toward death.

    I’m rebuilding now. I have many regrets and lost so much in these past several years. The idea to cheat and lie are all on him… but in a way, I was lying to him as well. Not being the woman, the artist and creative driven person, that he’d fallen in love with.

    There’s no going back to the start for my husband and I, so I’m rebuilding the true ME and will never lose myself in the “nice” zone again. I’m establishing those boundaries now and will work daily at maintaining them while using my best energy for my own creative endeavors.

    Thx for this site! I’ve read and learned very much over the past 4 weeks since finding you guys. My best wishes for all of you going thru this stuff too.

    • I so relate to everything you said UnderConstruction! I love the idea of never losing ourselves to the “nice” zone again. Why is it that we are so hell bent on being nice, when others seem so proud to be nasty?

      • Lyn, I think my issues with it go back to the behaviors I developed in my family growing up. My Mother and sister (older than me) are both dominant and controlling. To avoid conflict, I’d either not stand up for myself, or I’d share my belongings with my sister if she had used all of her own (crayons, candy, clothes, etc). Peacemaker was also my role when my Mom and sister would be arguing for days.

        My Dad was more laid back like me, into music and art like me.. so when he left us (I was 6), I was focused on accepting his once or twice per year visits ok in my head – I think that’s where the spackling started. He was killed when I was 16 and that’s where the fear of abandonment and doing everything I could to keep the people I love around.

        Anyway, not sure of the origin, but these things are what go thru my mind when I’m thinking of how to do it better next time. And how to feel deeply good and joyful and appreciative of myself and my creativity again. It’s like I’m getting a new life with getting shaken enough to wake up those parts of myself that fell asleep for so long – but my heart is still breaking for the parts of my husband and my relationship that has kept us close friends all of these years even after dday. I get overwhelmed thinking of how different things could be and how many amazing opportunities I didn’t find while I’ve been sleeping. I’ve always had some of it going on as my paid work has always been artistic, but working under a director of some sort lacks that deep satisfaction and peace that comes with your own creations.

        I’m rambling a little. Not sure why this post really brought up a lot that I’m thinking about these days.. had to post!

        • Under construction, I’m an artist too and sometimes wish I was less sensitive and more linear. Life would be a lot easier if I didn’t feel so deeply. My mother was sick and depressed all my life and my dad was a workaholic. I learned young to lay low and be quiet. Speaking up never did anything but make the climate in my house worse. I never saw anger worked through in a healthy way.

  • This article really hit home. Right now I am so angry with myself for my actions after Dday. I did things that I don’t even want to mention to “win” him back, and have him “pick me” and not the OW. Seriously, I am embarrassed by what I did! And the assfart didn’t deserve a damn bit of it. Oh yeah..he was getting off on having me begging and pleading for him to stay with me; while probably having a great laugh with the OW, knowing that he abandoned me for her, yet I still wanted him back. I think it will be awhile before I forgive myself. Right now, I am just trying to make it day to day. To get myself out of bed in the morning and trudge through the day. And like CL, I have a good heart. I will do just about anything to help anyone. Trouble is, the good people like us getting taken advantage of the most! You can’t win for lose, some days.

    • Sandy R, I practically groveled at my ex’s feet and begged him to remember all the things from our early days of courtship. All he did while I was pleading was stare at his feet and shake his head. He had moved on years ago, he just never let me know! Try not to feel bad. It’s hard to see the forest for the trees when you’re in the middle of it.

      • “He had moved on years ago, he just never let me know! ”
        That’s it in a nutshell, Lyn. Mine checked out of the marriage at least 3 years, the length of his affair with current OW. You know what? It proves that they are COWARDS, because they did not have the guts to tell us they were done and the marriage was over. Instead, they keep us on the front burner, the back burner, and who knows where else for years, while they have their little playdates with their playmates, unknown to us!

    • SR, me, too. I did things after D-day, on the advice of “marriage coaches” like Mort Fertel, that I wish I had never done and am totally embarrased by, like writing XH a letter listing the hundreds of things I was grateful for him doing (which XH tried to use against me in the divorce proceedings), getting up extra early to cook him breakfast, bringing food to his place of work because he didn’t have time to eat (which he was really angry about btw, because he thought I was “spying” on him), buying sexy lingerie and trying to seduce him, saying “yes” when he asked if he could fantasize about OW while having sex with me (particularly humiliating, I know, but he was still “grieving” the OW), giving him questionnaires to fill out about his emotional needs, giving him massages, getting a whole wardrobe and hairstyle makeover (all to please him), staying up late to watch movies and converse with him and “pay extra attention” to him (because he felt “neglected”), chasing him down the apartment hallway barefooted begging him not to move to his new apartment, calling him throughout the day and buying him expensive gifts! All while working a full-time job and taking care of two young kids, one who was less than a year old.

      What was XH’s response to this pick-me-dance? “I notice it, but it’s too little, too late. My mind is made up. I already told you, I’m leaving you,” though for some reason he was hesitating about filing for divorce, even though he had already moved to an apartment that he wouldn’t tell me the address of (because he “feared” for his safety). It was only AFTER I went NC and filed for divorce that I started to get emails/texts from him that he couldn’t live without me, losing me is the most painful event of his life, he never wanted a divorce and he would do anything to save the marriage. Funny, when I called him to discuss what he could do to save the marriage and regain my trust (e.g., write the OW a NC-letter, give me his email passwords), he backtracked on most of it, giving ridiculous excuses (e.g., the affair had already ended, but if he sends OW a letter, she might get suicidal and/or hurt the children).

      I think doing the pick-me dance is good evidence that it wasn’t anything that you did to cause XH to have an affair, so perhaps it’s not all for naught. You know that at least you tried the “make the marriage a better place to be” route, and it didn’t work. And, thanks to another site, I was making plans to go NC and was seeing lawyers towards the ends of my pick-me dance, but I could have definitely prepared better. If you have your wits about you, you could use the time of the pick-me dance to get your ducks in a row, though I know that’s very hard to do when you’ve just been emotionally devastated.

      • We could have a whole thread dedicated to “The Stupid Things We Did During The Pick-Me Dance) lol! Maybe it would relieve some of the feelings of shame and embarrassment we are feeling, remembering what idiotic things we did to “win” them back!

        • oh blue – your post makes me just want to sob. {{Hugs True Chump.}}
          I can totally relate to looking back at the humiliation I did. Face-plant time.

        • Totally agree, Sandy R. I think there’d be some real therapy in a post like that. Blue, your story made me feel so sad and so indignant at the same time. Believe me, lots of us relate big time. Hugs to you.

    • Sandy, what I find so interesting is that I could have written your comment above; it seems that many of us could have. In a way this makes what my husband did less “special” which in turn eases how badly I feel about myself. He’s just a run of the mill narcissistic cheater after all.

      • ^^ This & i dont think I want to rehash the pick me dance shit. I am prob still doing it.
        Fuck me.

        • I’m with you MichaelD. Makes me puke in my mouth when I think of all the humiliating stuff I did. Bleh! The cheating wanker didn’t deserve any of it. Should’ve kicked him in the balls with steel capped boots on!

  • Hi, my name is Kelly and I am a chump. I’ve been spackle free for about a year and a half. That I no longer care to know the exact number of weeks or months tells me I am nearing Mehville and should soon be off the toll road for good. Damn, those things are expensive!

  • Confidence was mentioned in replies to yesterday’s post, and I have really found that the more confidence I have the less chumpy I am. I feel more confident when I separate what I have control over from what I don’t. It is a very liberating feeling even when it requires I have to decide between sucky choices. I still experience pain but not powerlessness and resentment.

    Just last night Sparkles called about a financial matter (we had agreed to discuss it at a certain time, it was time critical). It was a respectful conversation but as I was saying goodnight he started crying and said, “I am sorry, Hawk. I know I ruined your life.”

    I replied, “It is true that you have hurt me greatly by being disrespectful and cheating on me but you did NOT ruin my life. It is not and never was in your power to do that. Goodnight.”

    I am still learning and working on my chump tendencies but I was not about to concede power over the outcome of my life to him. Nor did I once consider whether my response would cause him to be less remorseful and more entitled regarding his shitty choices. It is not within my control whether he is truly remorseful or not and it is not for me to agonize over or try to shape what his remorse looks like.

    Perhaps my chumpiness still lives on in the fact that I still love people even after they have hurt me terribly. I still love my father and I still love Sparkles. I love most people I know. I don’t know why I persist in thinking that people who have done horrible things to me are worthy of my love. I am still actively learning so I don’t hold this against myself because I know as I learn and grow more I will adapt in healthy ways and change as required.

    My less-chumpy-than-I-was-before-status is due to the fact that even though I still love Sparkles, that love is completely untwined from the love and respect I have for myself. I don’t rely on his approval or respect. That he is being respectful and kind now is great but I don’t watch for it, expect it, or require it for my happiness. And I don’t think that he NEEDS me or my help in his life. He is not my child to nurture and train, nor am I a god whose power it is to bestow infinite wisdom and life-altering miracles upon him, thus persuading him to change for the better.

    How telling is it that growing up, one of my favorite books was The Giving Tree? Yes, I have been and to some degree still am a chump. But I will not give and give and become a stump.

      • Marlo Thomas said “There are two kind of people in the world: givers and takers. The takers may eat better, but the givers sleep better.”

    • Hawk, I also still feel love for my ex. Sometimes I can’t believe it! I wonder what’s wrong with me. But I definitely don’t feel my worth and value are tied to his opinion of me any more. Maybe that’s the difference. I don’t hope that he will change into what I need him to be any more.

      • Lyn,

        The kind of “love” I feel for my X now is a feeling of “benign consideration.” I hope he has learned enough that he doesn’t screw up the rest of his life and hurt others with terrible decisions again. That hopefully he will have learned to be authentic and not live behind the “good face mask” with a new woman who throws in her lot with him. [MOW dumped him…and I strongly suspect it was pretty traumatic for him…AFTER they had lingered together long enough to destroy even the remotest chance of reconciliation.]

        Presently I have no curiosity about or interest in his life except as it directly relates to the children and grandchildren.

        My attitude is, “I can’t help it if HE is going to miss out on the best years of MY life; but I’m sure as hell not going to!”

        Remarkably freeing. You will get there. I promise!

        • I agree that I don’t want to hear anything about my ex’s life, or care what he’s doing any more. But at the last family graduation event we hugged and I felt so much feeling come rushing back. All those years! It still boggles my mind that we ended up this way. However, even though I felt a lot for him, I let go and walked away and didn’t want him back. He has just hurt me too much.

          • Lyn – guess I’m at a place where I could *never* imagine hugging my hasbund again. I haven’t seen him in 4 months and if I did, I know he’d make me physically sick again. Just can’t do it. I intend NEVER to see him again or hear his velvet persuasive voice again. For the record, I cannot understand how anybody could possibly *think* of having sex with their partner after they’ve cheated – as has been mentioned, FuckBuddies. Just don’t get how sex can work with emotions. Still lost on that concept. If I even saw his dick again I would puke.

            • SheChump, it’s been 2 years since D-day for me. You are still in the very early days. When I was at the same point you are, seeing my ex caused me to sob, hyperventilate, and be depressed for days afterwards. It was a year before I had to see him at a family event, and I took Xanax to get through it

      • I still feel love and desire for my husband even while I would never act on it. I, too, often wonder what the heck is wrong with me. He doesn’t deserve love from me. But I can’t switch my emotions off as he did. I guess in time it will wear away. I hope so, anyway.

    • Hawk,

      I relate so much to everything you just wrote. Beautifully stated. And, oddly enough (or maybe not!), The Giving Tree was one of my favorites growing up, too. Damn if I wasn’t blown away rereading it post-divorce!

    • Oh, Hawk, me too. I still love my narcissist mother and the Jackass and the X who drinks. But I’m getting past the chumpy need to give up my life to make any of them “happy,” when none of them are capable of it anyway. I loved what you told Sparkles, and how typically narcissistic that he thinks he “ruined” your life. Just goes to show that as Sinatra said, the best revenge is massive success, in this case, a happy, productive life.

  • Chump Frog Here!
    It happens so slowly and consistently. In my mind I know along but never gave it credence. I knew! She cheated at the time we were married and 7 years thereafter. In all of 2013 she was multiple cheating at the same time and during this time she was treating me like a piece of shit. I was pond scum that could do no right. Flip a light switch on and why did you do that, shut it off and why did you do that. And never never go near the thermostat, that is never the right temperature. I found all this out this year now it is divorce time and I am taking my life back. I had a great life before her and I want it back god damn it!

  • As a small update, the cheater moved out in Feb and has had his own townhome since May 1. He hasn’t done a thing with the marriage dissolution papers, but all in good time. Here’s what gets me: he is a people pleaser. A HUGE people pleaser who can’t say no, who needs people to LOVE HIM, who does things for everyone so that they will love him, who gets very hurt when people don’t notice how much he’s doing for them, etc. etc. Can a chump also be a cheater? Or is he less a chump and more a doing-this-for-my-ego? It still hurts that he would go out of his way for everyone else in this way – helping them move, taking them grocery shopping, the boat trip he took her on in Miami…oh, maybe that was less ‘people pleasing’ than ‘fucking around’ but I digress.

    Is he a chump and a cheater? Should I avoid chump-like people like him? How do you tell the difference between genuine chump and doing it for their ego chump? If at all?

    • “How do you tell the difference between genuine chump and doing it for their ego chump? If at all?”

      Your answer to this question is in your post:

      “…who gets very hurt when people don’t notice how much he’s doing for them…”

      G.

    • Vicki, my XH is that way, too. He is a healthcare professional and his patients LOVE him, because he always goes the extra mile for him. Looking back, I think it’s part of XH’s need to have the approval and praise of others and to be seen as a “good” guy, which he does give the impression of (which is why it’s sometimes still difficult for me to reconcile his image with what he has done to me and the chidlren). He is the type of person who would go out of his way to help a neighbor or someone changing a tire. Even after the affair, he told me that he knows it was wrong and to make up for it he was going to mentor an intern at his hospital who grew up as a foster child!?

    • “Can a chump also be a cheater? ”

      Vicki,

      Hell to the YES. It all depends upon the “Character Quotient.”

      You could call my X a, “Chump Cheater”. His propensity to please and be Mr. Popularity led to him NOT setting MUCH needed boundaries with predatory people who ended up causing us and our family various kinds of grief…..right up until he was too much of a pleaser not to jump in bed with a “disguised as a victim” predator who helped him wreck our marriage and hurt our children while keeping her own marriage and family intact and shielded.

      That is another thing I which CL had pointed out about Chumps. Sometimes Chumps are NOT doing the people who should be PRIORITIZED any favors by being Indiscriminate Chumps. Chumps can enable BAD things to grow into dangerous cancers because they don’t know how to say, “NO.”

      Wanna see how “Mr. Nice Guys” truly are NOT nice guys? Read Robert Glover’s book, “No More Mr. Nice Guy.”

      • Lisah,

        Nah, just your garden variety passive-aggressive, a charmer with some Narky traits who got, “Royally Chumped” by a higher performing and more compleat Narc. Unfortunately the kids and I were collateral damage, but we are resilient and have survived and thrived. He’s had a nice long ride on the Humility Bus, too. He earned it.

  • Hawk — you fucking rock.

    There’s a saying I have, with regard to my ex. I’ve never said it directly to him. But I will, if need be. Right now, it’s my own private thought about him:

    For me to care what you think about me, I would have to respect you.

  • This is such a fantastic post, and such an important message. Being chumped happens. Staying a chump is a decision, even if you don’t see it as a decision at the time. I was one of the biggest chumps alive. I managed to spackle over my husband being GAY, for crying out loud. I don’t blame myself one drop for his nonstop, over-the-top cheating, or his skillful mind fuckery, abuse, manipulation and con games. That shit is all on him. But I DO blame myself for keeping my eyes so tightly shut I could not see what was right in front of me and my ears plugged up so I couldn’t hear my little voice in the gut screaming the truth.

    Just like Tracy, I still have strong chump tendencies. It’s really hard for me to say no, and I feel really guilty when I do. Maybe I’ll always struggle with that, but at least I broke free from my cheating ex and worked my way into a new life. I can handle a little bit of minor chumpiness, as long as I have that sweet freedom.

  • Chumplady, I think the absolute hardest thing for a chump to absorb and accept, is how little they care.

    This is so unbelievable, so inhuman, that it is extremely difficult to take on board. It has been my biggest struggle, that something so important as marriage, family and children can just be thrown away for kibbles. It will always boggle my mind.

    • I think it might be helpful to think about how we can all compartmentalize sometimes.

      Half a million people in Africa will die from malaria this year, just like last year. Most of those deaths are preventable (medicine, nets, mosquito control).

      More than 300 million people in the US go about their lives without that ever bothering them. But somewhere in Africa, somebody’s life just now fell apart because their child died from a preventable disease, and there was nothing they could do about it.

      Cheating requires the ability (or disability really) to compartmentalize with even with very intimate relationships (if there isn’t actual active spite involved). Abandonment just means the bonds weren’t that deep.

      It is what it is, and it’s not about you, it’s not about your kids. Thankfully, there are courts and ways to hold somebody accountable for their responsibility to provide for their children, or things would be worse for a lot of people.

    • That’s it Patsy, our chumpy minds just cannot wrap around the fact that they do not care about us or their children, and probably never did. It is just…..mind boggling ….

  • Hi, I am a corporate attorney and also a chump at home!
    I did beg my husband not to go to France to see his French girlfriend by phone.
    He told me that he was going ( I was not the boss of him) and he could not talk then since he was busy at work, but would call me later, from the airport! What a man! Such character!
    My chumpiness was diminished by at least 3/4s then.
    I still have small chump episodes, but mostly I just now recognize my husband for what he is-a big jerk! …I am using nice language today….

    • BI, I’m also a corporate attorney, so you’re not alone. I also have a divorced friend who is a corporate attorney, whose XH was a serial cheater and emotionally abusive. She said that when she told her own divorce lawyer that her XH was emotionally abusive, she was told that no judge would believe that a corporate attorney at a firm like hers could be the victim of emotional abuse.

  • Book recommendation – read (or re-read) the Giving Tree by Shel Silverstein. Then think about what happens to the tree at the end.

    Just to be clear – I don’t like the book, but I think it’s useful to think about the message it gives us and how we’ve been given that message in our lives.

    • I have read this to my kids many times. I think the tree is a good analogy for chumps (at least that’s how I identified with it), to give and give so much and still want to give even after so much of yourself has already been taken away.

    • YES!! This was one of my favorites when I was a kid. I must have read it hundreds of times. Now it makes my stomach turn. I’ve read it to my daughter (at her request) once or twice, but I always try to point out it’s many problems. Hopefully, she’ll never identify with the damn chumpy tree or the awful narcissist boy.

  • What a coincidence! Just this week I discovered that there is a new me. Less conflict avoiding. Looking back, this past year I confronted some situations head on.

    When they doubted my flexibility in my brand new job, I not only volunteered the info that, yes, I was a single mother. But challenged them to let me go if they had serious doubts.

    I confronted a long time friend, when she made a (third) mistake concerning my ex. Told her that commenting on his facebook was her good right. Unfriending her, since I then would lose my trust in her, was mine.

    Couple of days ago I noticed the pattern. Friend of my 9y old was here, with little brother and their mum. Little brother broke my glass coffee table. Old me would be sad (love the table), but would have said: don’t worry, I’ll fix it. Glad no one got hurt. New me: why don’t you contact your insurance?

    New me kept the job (proved them I was more than worth it of course!), strengthened the friendship and will probably get new glass plates for the table. But more importantly, people don’t think it’s demanding or even strange. They respect me for it.

    I’m still very chumpy in many other ways. Afraid to start dating and still trying too hard to please. But I like the new me, soft and cuddly on the outside, but now with a strong steel core. Or more like bamboo, I’ll still bend, avoid needless conflict. But I’m deeply rooted in my integrity and values. Ever tried to remove bamboo?!

    It’s definitely a work in progress. But I’ve really learned something. Good things come from enforcing boundaries!

  • Bravo! Definitely one of the most significant posts I’ve read on this site.

    I’ve been a chump for one year and 20 days.

  • Hi, I’m [NamedforVera]…Vera, who was my seriously Narcissistic mother…. I’ve been a Chump all my life, and I’m learning in middle age not to be Narc bait (like shark bait, but generally not quite so bloody, and on land, not water).

    So Chum : Chump as Shark : Narc — Hey! not a bad analogy. Thanks to Chumplady, and finally finding a decent therapist, and my Ex revealing just what a pile of festering dung was hiding under his human-skin….I’m beginning to get it.

    Just like in AA..I had to really hit bottom: Narc Hub; Narc boss. Total life implosion into a black hole of Narky-shit. But I’m coming out the other side of the worm hole.

    ChumpNation is mighty.

  • I will own being naive (who beleives that his wife is out “journalizing” about FFO issues until 3-4 am on 112 out of 180 nights). But, once I learned about the cheating, I was done. No begging, no pleading, no promises to be a better spouse( I was an awesome H, IMO, taking care of kids by myself, largely, working, listening to a bunch of her crap, giving her “time off'((used to have affars, apparently)) .
    I think the main thing I have to own is , rahter than having done any of that pleading, pick me crap, is that my picker is screwed up (or it was).
    I look back on some of the weird shit my XWs would pull during our dating. With the knowledge I now have, personality disorder is screaming at me.
    I now subscribe to Maya Angelou’s (RIP) deal re beleiving them when they show you who they are. But , back then, I spackled.

  • Ever since d-day I’ve been learning to enforce boundaries. It’s been hard because, like so many here, I’m a people pleaser and will go along with things that I don’t want to go along with just to keep things calm.

    Two times recently I had to enforce boundaries in work situations. It was very difficult but I did it. One of those instances lost me some work (which I badly need) but the person was pushing my boundaries in an unacceptable way and I called them on it. They didn’t like that one bit but tough shit. The other instance was someone pushing and I politely explained that I wasn’t comfortable and expected them to deal with me in a more professional manner. That went much better.

    Essentially it’s a process and sometimes you’ll get it wrong, perhaps over-enforcing as you find the balance but better that than being shat on for the rest of your life.

  • Forgive yourself for baking another cupcake for the cake eater instead of setting fire to the kitchen and leaving.

    OMG Tracey this must be the most powerful statement I have come across to date … It’s opened my floodgates.. Thanks

  • My name is CAL, and I’m a chump.

    I have spent my whole life eating shit to keep the peace, first with my domineering father, and then with less-than-kind boyfriends and eventually, my husband. I spackled for years out of obligation, fear and so as not to rock the boat. The joke’s on me, once again. Remember the scene in “It’s a Wonderful Life” when George finds spinster Mary coming out of the library? I’m convinced my George Bailey was never born, and I was meant to be alone.

    Right now, I’m working hard on not sinking in a sea of cynicism and bitterness. My contempt hearing never happened, mostly because my attorney forgot about it after I paid him back in January. His last-minute “settlement” offer was essentially a “gentle reminder” for X to pay me what is overdue. I realize now that I’m fucked as far as getting what is owed for child support (over $11,000 and counting). Losing sucks, but I know I have to accept losing in order to move forward, further away from the biggest mistake and embarrassment of my life. I could really use something good to happen right about now to remind me I am on the right path.

    Still, it was quite cathartic the other night to say to X, “Our stipulations say nothing about dropping our son off in the care of your white trash fuck buddy.” Snob that he is, I know that verbal gem is something that will gnaw at him.

    I’m not proud of caring if it gnaws at him, but I was quite proud of my potty mouth. Turns out I would say “shit” if I have a mouthful of it! 🙂

    • Chutes and Ladders,
      I have read your heart felt posts here and for some reason you just touch me. I would really like to know you.
      How come all the chumps here are on the East Coast?

      God knows we are here on the west coast.

      • I too love the chumplings so very much. I can’t tell you how many nights I read and reread everything here and it helped me so much. Forever grateful. . . .

    • “His last-minute “settlement” offer was essentially a “gentle reminder” for X to pay me what is overdue. I realize now that I’m fucked as far as getting what is owed for child support (over $11,000 and counting).”

      This blows my mind, and pisses me off!

      I suppose there is a vast difference in state laws regarding collection of back child support; but where I live, not paying your child support can get your wages or salary garnished, your driver’s license suspended, property liens, insurance settlement liens, contempt of court jail time and other not so fun legal consequences. Plus there is relaxed statue of limitations allowing collection of ALL accumulated back CS when there is an ability to pay. A new spouse’s income can be considered fair game in the collection process, too.

      Sounds like your attorney completely dropped the ball. Can he be reported to the state bar association’s ethics committee?

  • Hello, I am SheChump and I AM a chump. After 3rd Dday the H actually got misty eyes saying he felt like a little animal in a cage and how he felt like off-ing himself. How’s this for chumpiness? I actually said, ‘hey – it’s no big deal, quit being so hard on yourself. It was *only* an affair’.
    HA HA HA – I could bonk myself with a 6×12 because 4th Dday came shortly after. C’mon somebody throw that ball right so it hits the bell and I drop in the water.

  • Hi, I’m FlyingSquirrel and I’m a chump. I’ve been spackle-free for 3 months. I’m in the middle of divorce proceedings and the ex really, really, REALLY hates that I am a reformed chump, spackle-free and using my voice (and the law) to assert myself.

  • Wanted to add: reading everyone’s stories about being chumpy and recovering from narc abuse has been a godsend to me. I feel privileged to be here with so many mighty chumps. Rock on, Chump Nation!

  • I am no ordinary chump. My parents raised a super chump. As an A student, I was a real disappointment to my mother. You see, being a nerd is shameful. I wasn’t allowed to be in the gifted/talented program in school because…well, cool kids didn’t do that. Alas, I never made it to cool status, but I sure as hell became a master chump. Anything I could do to please people, I did to the hilt!
    As a wife, I did everything for my husband. This was a great arrangement since he was a very spoiled only son in a Latino family. He is entitled, you know! I became an expert at covering up my husband’s faults and shortcomings. Even when he cheated on me in the early years, I just cried, but I didn’t do much else.
    But, maybe it is wisdom gained from age or I have just had a belly full, but I am becoming quite a bitch. My CH can tell you, I am not the chump I once was. My goal is to become a full fledged BITCH! Well, at least a confident woman who enforces healthy boundaries!

    Oh, and I am now a Coordinator for a Gifted and Talented Program. Love those gifted kids!

  • Linda – you go girl! Since I drive 3 Great Danes around, I’m thinking of a new license plate to be proud of. BitchSMe-maybe?

  • My name is Giovanna and I am a Chump (no more)

    I got pregnant at 16. He beat me up and put me in the hospital when I was 3 months pregnant. My mom went looking for him with a gun. She was Supreme Chump (but not when it came to her kids) She shoved a gun in his face and told him that if he ever laid one fucking hand on her daughter again she would blow his fucking brains out.
    She had snuck the gun out of Dad’s gun case and when he found out what she did he went nutso. Of course, he didn’t go beat the shit out of the guy. My MOM DID!!

    I had the opportunity to marry the most wonderful man in the world. My high school sweetheart. He’s still married to the same woman and they just built their dream retirement home. He would have NEVER cheated on me in a million years. But oh, no!~ I had Better Things To Do. Like get married to…..

    My first husband never cheated on me but controlled me beyond belief. He checked my odometer. He was pathologically insanely jealous of me. I couldn’t even go to a Tupperware party. Swear to God. He accused me of fucking everyone. The paper boy. My best friend. My coworkers, our daughter’s friends. The neighbors! Seventeen years of that mindfuckery.

    So I moved on, five years later to the 2nd husband. The one that wanted us to be ‘Swingers.’ Left him, stayed single for seven years and then met Sparkie. I thought for sure God had something good going with that one. Yeah, right. Sparkie let me catch him fucking Skank Woman at the Econo Lodge.

    For fucks sake. I’m single now. DDay was five years ago. I’m good alone.

    • Lol. Girrrlll . . . Take a breath. Wow. Sounds like you’ve had as much fun as me with my “choices”. Thats ok . . . I’m not going down the marriage road again for a long, long time, if ever. It’s nice being single and untangled, for a change. :). Hugs

      • I love you Rumblekitty!~ I quote you on a daily basis.
        Lady Boner…..hahhaha!! Had several in the last few days fixing shit on my own.

        • Hey, I got that lady boner today buying a car–the first time by myself. I though of you Rumblekitty and all the other Chumps doing things alone for the first time. Scar and yet exciting.

        • I got a lady boner yesterday by sanding down the top edge of my bedroom door so it didn’t stick! Wooooo!

  • I’m a chump. Trying to stop the madness in fits and starts. Remembering the only difference in the 28 yr old me and the soon to be 48 yr old me is …20 yrs. My values cannot be rewritten in order to include deceit, disloyalty, dishonesty with a proven chronic liar and serial cheater.

    I am focusing on ” was once a chump”.

    • I guess you and I are on the same timeline and with similar situations. Sucks to start over at this age but it’s nice to not have a liar/cheater in my life.

      • Hang in there!!

        My cheater keeps saying, “I’m here!”. I keep asking WHY does he keep saying that??!! Because quite frankly I should have kicked his ass out, and guess what, asshat? You’ve been gone for so long that I am NOT afraid to be alone. I’ve been alone for a decade, maybe more- both emotionally and physically.

        Then another big light went on and cleared my eyes. Oh jeez, he’s really saying that to reassure himself. He can not bear to be left/abandoned, but it’s perfectly ok for him to do that to others. This statement goes hand in hand with his, “I guess you’re stuck with me.” Ah, nope.

  • Chum Nation thank you for keeping it life-focused. Reading others pieces, I have an addendum. I have been no contact, except for very brief childcare logistics, for a week! Yes 1 whole week and running. I am actually proud of that. No more Mr. nice guy for me–only authentic people I want in my life. I am working to please myself. I have standards I respect. Blessings to all chumps out there–may we say no to harmful chumpiness and yes to taking care of our mind, bodies, souls and kids.

    • Chumpectomy?

      Your narrative suggests that your current distress level is very acute.

      Please consider the following : IC for grief and trauma. Physician care for transition meds, esp. b/c of the recent NC. A dependable IRL support group.

      I’d be curious to know which, if any of these steps you have taken, and how long it has been since your D-Day.

      If you find my comments or questions to be intrusive or cause you any discomfort, please just say that you choose not to share that information.

      • Hi Notyou,

        I appreciate your comment. My distress is acute and I am already a year since D-day.

        I am in therapy twice a week for over a year. I was on effexor and then Prozac but got migraines and strange feelings of mania (on a very low dose 10 milligrams). I did not like the side effects—very foggy on effexor and nauseous and then weirdly giggly on Prozac. I just took myself off, which was not the best thing to do, I know, but am glad that I no longer have headaches, fog and nausea.

        The emotions are definitely back in a more intense way. I wonder if my distress is more acute because of the communal nature of the cheating and that I trusted these people with my birth, child and they have an “upstanding” reputation and support in their community. The unaccountable corruption, hypocrisy and invasion of my life for five years under the orchestration of my ex (the nicest guy you will ever meet) is throwing me. I know others know who they and my ex are but it’s like being raped and seeing your rapists run around as upstanding members of society.

        Any advice you have would be greatly appreciated.

        Thanks, Notyou

        • Also, what is an IRL support group? I am weary of support groups as this community was a support group of sorts (gross). Although I do feel support on CL.

          • IRL=in real life. If you had an opportunity, I would say move to a new community where these whackos aren’t around. But of course, that’s easier said than done.

        • Chumpectomy,

          I’m retired for a couple of years; and I don’t believe that an intense therapeutic relationship conducted online would evenbe appropriate–much less best practice.

          But I do feel it is OK to make some general suggestions that may help you leverage your individual treatment with the professionals who are IN your life and to make some general suggestions about ways to behave that may help you feel more empowered.

          Sorry, I didn’t get back to you right away. But we’ll take what you shared one point at a time.

          Sometimes medication side effects are temporary, but you need to be alert, note them, and discuss them carefully with your doctor. For example, the “weird giggly” on the Prozac suggests medication induced hypomania. But I didn’t personally observe your manifestations…which is why I used the word, “suggests.” This IS something that you and your Dr. should have discussed. It may seem trivial to you, but may not be trivial at all to a prescribing psychiatrist who has taken a complete history and has worked with you for awhile. (Trust me on this.)

          Of course your distress may be even more acute because of the “communal” nature of the cheating. You feel gang bullied. Not to many more humiliating experiences on earth. You probably sometimes wonder, “Am I paranoid?” People who experience psychiatric injury often become what we call “hyper vigilant”….and they mislabel it in themselves as being, “paranoid.” This needs to be thoroughly sorted out with your counselor, for your own peace of mind. I also hope your counselor is the kind who collaborate well with a prescribing physician, unless you have a psychiatrist doing both. But most psychiatrists today pretty much, “treat ’em and street ’em–heavy on meds light on the shrinking– IF ANY. )

          IRL=in real life. Such a support group does not have to be an organized group (although a purpose-driven group can be incredibly helpful); it can also be a close circle of trusted friends any of whom will “talk you down” when you feel like you are going to crawl out of your own skin.

          If you live in or near a metropolitan area of any size, you can change much of your environment…”move away, right at home” so to speak. With a little effort, you should be able to ferret out and to participate in a compatible group of people who are experiencing your kind of trauma but also individuals who have common interests over and above the therapeutic issue at hand. This is a great way to begin to make some solid new friends.

          The RAGE that goes along with this kind of trauma is common to all of us and can last for quite a long time…. until we find ways to channel and turn it into constructive anger–an unyielding resolve to self-protect but to be very strategic and calculated with how we implement that resolve.

          I spent a hell of a lot of time at the gym after work doing intense and protracted physical work outs to discharge my rage (added benefit=lowered blood pressure). My gig may not be workable for you (I didn’t have minor children to take care of), but there has got to be something that you can become intensely involved with that diverts you from ruminating and generates something productive or healthy.

          This forum is great, convenient support. Don’t give it up, Just know that you can provide yourself with support IRL and online.

          Finally, you MUST find ways to laugh and LAUGH HARD… as often as you can!! Somebody passed this book along to me. http://www.amazon.com/Crazy-Purls-Drunk-Divorced-Covered/dp/0757305911 and I passed it along to somebody else…but these kinds of little things help so much more than you know…….

          • And, I am going to add this:

            Just because I was a psychologist by trade, did not keep it from kicking my butt just as hard as it does anyone else’s. Psychiatric injury is psychiatric injury. I actually may have put myself at a bit of disadvantage. While I knew intellectually that it would be time-limited and that I would recover, I was a tad overconfident about thinking I could gauge how much meds and therapy I actually needed. I convinced myself that *I* with my *inside track* could reaaallly shorten the grief and recovery time. Not necessarily true, and Thank God for a Licensed Clinical Social Worker (both colleague and friend, who took it upon herself to *kick my ass and shrink my ass*.. while also working with me in a professional capacity. Now that’s called a TON of guts!!

            • Well, you certainly are lucky. Any advise for those of us who aren’t as lucky with access to a good therapist? Mine is so so, retired also, clinical psychologist, very cheap, but I leave the sessions asking myself if he truly cares about me. He’s pushing on 80, sharp mind, just slower reflexes. Seems likes good guy.

              • I dunno, heartbroken…you may be better off with your more detached older therapist. He may well get you there…and he may be one of those dry, subtle ones, who work with you for awhile and you don’t feel like you’re making progress….then it sneaks up and grabs you all at once… a sort of epiphany.

                [Probably the biggest advantage of the social worker who helped me was that she already knew my strengths and weaknesses ahead of time due to having been a work colleague. She knew her way around my limits and could push harder than someone who had to take the time to learn my limits..if that makes sense.]

            • Thank you so much Notyou. What you have written is very helpful.

              My psychologist is Freudian based. She is on my insurance plan. I like her but feel that she does not quite get what makes me rage as I do. I think she is put off by my rage and I am left feeling that I should be over this already. She wants me to get back to my responsibilities but does not seem to get that I want the same thing but am plagued by recollections of humiliation that lasted five years…the things I thought were one way and tolerated and were really much crazier than I could ever have imagined. I hesitate to leave her because she does have good insights. But I am worried that I actually leave feeling bad about how I am reacting to this gang bullied experience orchestrated by my ex (very helpful for that language “communal” is how they bill themselves–they are bullies that’s all, nothing “communal” about that except if we were reenacting the book 1984). I need to give myself understanding that I have not been up to date with my reports and billing and writing from work etc. this year. I am doing the best I can and want freedom from this consuming rage. It hurts.

              I like what you say about having a core group of friends, exercise and learning how to channel my anger. I do have trustworthy friends and family who help talk me down. I need to simply see myself as on the road to healing. All conversations with my ex are toxic, he has no remorse and feels entitled—he’s home free, if only I never had to see him again—but we share a beloved child–so hard. But if I have a structure, knowing he will press my buttons, be unreliable, be scary, hurtful then I can react to protect my child without all the emotional baggage. He has treated me inhumanely and I am stuck with him as my child’s father. I need to simply see myself as a protector, not rely on him at all and when he inevitably makes my life harder just say “well, that’s not surprising”….and move on. I don’t need him.

              I want to stay away from medications and use my knowledge of what is hard to help myself. Wednesday nights are hardest because my child goes to my ex that night until Sat morning. I miss him so much and the rage starts pouring in. I never imagined having my child shift between two homes at age 6. It is hard for him and that makes me cry. I also wanted him from the beginning, planned for him and love him so so so much. He is my dream child and I never imagined him not living with me from age 6. How could such people have effected my most intimate life so profoundly?

              Had I known of the affair with pres when my child was one I would have left then. The rage is profound here.

              I know I need to be grateful for my child. I actually live in one of the world’s greatest cities (yes I am a New Yorker at heart) So I am far away from the stepford wife crazy monsters in God forsaken Bloomington, Indiana. Many of the women who write here have been fucked over for much longer than I and also have to deal with the OW and the people who fucked them over living in their hometown. I know it could be worse but also know that I would do best to use this experience to see life in a more expansive perspective overall.

              Shit happens to so many good good people. It is not fair and nothing can make it right. It is how I make myself a person that deals with life’s blows with compassion for myself and good boundaries.

              One thing that I keep ruminating about is filing a complaint against this monstrous corrupt organization to the attorney general in charge of non-profit regulation…or writing an open letter to the transient Bloomington community warning pregnant women that they are not safe at this birth education organization–explaining why…or writing an editorial for the Herald Times etc…

              I have an experience of being harassed, dehumanized and deceived by an organization whose mission it is to support new families…this president of the board who had an “emotional affair” aka: shallow deceptive mindfuckery fest targeting me and my child in our most intimate spaces calls the organization a “safe place” on video–taken at the time she was fucking around with my cheater now-ex.

              I have written to people I know involved in the organization and they said not to bother–no one will care–they will lie. How, I keep asking myself, is it possible for these charlatans to go about their business as usual, calling themselves safe for women, when they have done such unsafe horrible things—what is my role here?

              I would love love love your thoughts on this last point.

              Also, Thank you for the link. I will absolutely follow up. Laughing is so healing as I have been doing most on CL, can’t really find my laughter anywhere else…yet. And I do love to laugh.

              Thank you thank you, notyou.

  • My name is MAG (initials) and I am a chump. I moved out of the house at the end of last year but continued to help out ex through February. Then I grew a pair and said “chump no more.” I am officially spackle free since 2/25.I have been basically NC with him-haven’t spoken since the divorce proceedings- but I have had to have some email exchanges about tying up the loose ends of our 27 year debacle…errr marriage. It’s strange but I honestly feel the hairs on the back of my neck standup if I even have to email him! If I were a cat, my back would arch and my fur would fluff up!

    My children are grown so I don’t have to deal with begging for child support or custody arrangements-thank gawd! My heart goes out to all that have to continue some semblance of civility for the sake of the children.

    I did the pick me polka for a few years before I left but like another poster said; in the end I’m sort of grateful this all happened because I never would’ve pulled the trigger otherwise. His infidelity ultimately turned out to be my “get out of jail free card”. When I tell people why, they all completely understand.

    I try not to beat myself up because the choices I made seemed like good ones at the time. I need to work on my picker….a lot!

  • Particularly wonderful post, Chump Lady and Chump Nation!

    This all rang true for me. Love thinking about NO. Just… NO. In so many areas of life.

    This is a wonderful group and place to meet and learn… and I will be seriously considering not only revoking my Chump license, but thinking about why I needed it in the first place.

  • Hi My name is Sammie and I have been a chump all my life, I have been spackle free for 6 months.
    My FOO issues are so extensive that if I was to begin putting them to paper I could be self employed for the rest of my days. And by reading other posts and suggested reading I have come to see how I got myself into a relationship with a man who’s only concern was the world in which he alone resides, Now It is time for me to work on me so it never happens again. I have found as I work through this that I have personality traits that are not conducive to a healthy relationship and I can relate to a lot of what has already been said. But one thing I have that the STBX has not got. Basic Common Decency
    Thank you again Notyou for your post today and to CL for the thread, as this for me is a work in progress I find your posts at times to be very poignant. For the last couple of days I have been looking at my own issues in order to get a grip on who I am and thinking on my actions during my marriage/ relationship of 20 years and also my relationships with others. I have always been a people pleaser and have spent my life doing things for the benefit of others in the hope of being seen in their eyes as worth their time. (deep foo issues) But your comment today on perfectionism brought with it a sense of dread and tears. (both of which I must confess I have suppressed as I have decided crying is only for special occasions from now on). But the need to be perfect F*^% me. It struck me yesterday that deep down I have never felt good enough for the STBX and as a result have strived to have everything around me be or at least look as perfect as I could make it. My desire to been seen as the perfect wife, mother, friend, church goer, worship leader, scripture teacher, coworker, etc, etc had me so blinded that I couldn’t see what was right in front of me. A lying, cheating, dysfunctional, self obsessed prick who knew exactly what he had in me and knew how to push my buttons to set me off in order to justify his thought processes. I have found myself shaking my head and rolling my eyes these past few days as I think on things and memories that come up as I read the comments and testimonies posted on this site. There is a dog food here in OZ called Chum, slogan is “so chumpy you can calve it” yep that is me. No one should ever be chumpy enough to feel they need to show remorse to their H/W for partners they had prior to meeting and marring. But I have because STBX was a virgin when we married (I would like prof on that now, HA!) and I wasn’t so that created this underlying sense that he was the bench mark I had to attain to. But now as I set boundaries I can see it pissing him off as he is not able to get the emotional pay off he is so use to, it has also pissed off those who have been so use to me saying yes to them and doing what ever they suggested I do in order to accommodate their needs. in the attempt on my behalf to feel worthy of their time.
    I got my vitamin N shot , it was a painful a hell but the side effects are amazing.

    Also in regard to some earlier posts, Yes, I’m with you on the sell it issue. I took my wedding rings off the weekend I put him out which was a week before the actual D’Day.
    I have no Idea where they are in the house. (I can’t remember where I put them SHOCK FOG). My D’Day was in November at Christmas I was meant to receive bracelet that we had layby’ed in september. It didn’t arrive (no surprise) so before new year I called the jeweler only to discover the layby had been cancelled by STBX in October. So I bundled up some jewelry he had given me that I never really liked and gave it to the jeweler on consignment and got my bracelet. It is a charm bracelet and on a heart charm I have had the word ‘TRUTH’ engraved as a reminder that truth should always be at the heart of the matter.
    Blessings

    • “There is a dog food here in OZ called Chum, slogan is “so chumpy you can calve it”

      This made me spit out my coffee. Still laughing.

      Good on you for getting your bracelet, Sammie D. You deserve that and a whole lot more. Reading your story makes me want to add more charms that says STRENGTH and POWER.

  • I did the Chumpty Dance big time last night. I called and asked when it was he stopped loving me that would allow him to so this to me? I also asked why he pretended to end things with OW and try to work things out. His response, silence about when and how and regarding the pretending, “I don’t understand.” “What do you mean pretend?”

    After hanging up I sent his family an email, explaining that the reason nothing was mentioned about our anniversary earlier this week is because our marriage is over because he’s having an affair. One of his sisters responded saying how horrified and disgusted she was and that my kids and I will always be welcome in her life. No one else has responded yet, but that may be to do with the time difference. We’ll see. We are traveling at the moment, but when I get home Monday, I’m changing the locks and going full steam ahead on the divorce.

    I know he isn’t hurt about hurting me or losing me, but that still doesn’t make it hurt any less. But honestly, this has been in motion for about 2 months, when I first suspected that he was cheating again/ still cheating. I’d been disengaging little by little. My rings have been off for 3 months (which seemingly really bothered him), he’s been in the spare bedroom for more than a month. We had however been doing some things together, like trips, out to dinner, etc. but much of that was a way for me to try to keep him off the sent while I got my ducks in a row. The ducks aren’t all lined up, but I’m proceeding anyway.

    Sorry for the ramble. I just need to “talk” to people who understand.

      • ExpatChump, please ramble all you like. You are amongst friends here who understand what you are going through. I hope you feel better after your little ramble?

        • Ramble as much as you like. I’m close to Amsterdam. Ask Chumplady for my mail address or get a temporary one if you’d like to get in touch.

          Sounds like you might need some (local) support. Or just a listening ear in the same time zone…

      • Lots of hugs, ExpatChump. It takes a ton of courage to leave a cheater. You’re getting there. You’re doing the right things. Stay strong. As chumps, it is so easy to get suck in and get chumpy again. I know. I did it for over twenty years. Focus on yourself and your children, trust that he really, really sucks even though it appears that he might have moments of clarity (he may, but those moments never, ever last). I truly believe they do feel sorry but it is not a steady state. They feel sorry and remorseful when things don’t work out their way, but they revert to who they truly are once they feel things are aligned again – according to how they define their world. Nothing else matters but their well-being. Don’t be fooled. When I am tired, feeling vulnerable, I start thinking my ex wasn’t that bad but I snap out of it in a hurry when I choose to recall all the things he has done. This has allowed me to have an inner knowing that my ex sucks big time. Time and experience have proven that fact. I’m the one who had the occasional memory relapses and then sure enough, just when I thought he would behave differently, he showed me (once again) who he really is. Stay strong. You will not regret your decision to leave him.

  • I was listening to a podcast about how to say no when people ask you for help. The suggested script was

    Thank you for thinking of me for this task. I know how hard it is to find people to help with this kind of thing, but on this occasion I’m going to have to say no.

    The interviewee said it is important to just say no and then move on. Don’t give a multitude of excuses why – that gives the power back to the other person. Just say no and then move the conversation on. I can’t tell you how helpful this has been for me so hopefully it helps other too.

  • I hold an Olympic gold medal in chumpiness. Stayed with a serial cheater for over 20 years but now very happy and pleased with my life. I have zero regrets of leaving him. I still have moments of believing that he may not suck as badly (few and far between) and I quickly remind myself I have entered the land of fantasy. That brings me back to reality. I then tell myself that I love myself and do something good for ME. I have taken back my power and don’t even want to spend a minute of my precious thought process to spackling.

    I’m very good nowadays to saying no and only spend time with people who value and love me. I can spot a sucky person a mile away. I still choose to be kind and gracious but I don’t welcome them in my space. I know I have that power now. The locks on my boundary gates are of the industrial grade. Only I hold the key to the gates. And more importantly, only I can choose to open those gates and allow anyone in.

  • I don’t know if I qualify to be a true chump. I’ve never been a people pleaser to the degree some of you have. I care about what others think of me (in the past- too much, and this has been resolved in therapy when I gained more self esteem), but I’ve always been pretty kick ass in general. Threw away a slutty dorm roommate in college (didn’t think twice about filing a complaint to the school against her, and yes, she was banging half of the football team), I filed a complaint to eeoc once when I felt I was being discriminated at work, I stand up to people in service who treat me rudely… I can cite numerous examples. However, when it comes to my ex, I don’t know what it is: I’ve branded the idiot a textbook narcissist a while back, my therapist confirmed it (he actually added sociopath since he saw him a few times), but part of me still wishes that one day he’ll wake up and see the damage he’s done to his toddler son (who may be entering psychological counseling in the fall as a result.) I wonder if a day will ever come when he stops blame shifting (you never wanted to fuck me, never paid attention to me so I’ve found someone who did), when he stops referring to me as a cunt (apparently that’s what he calls me to his friends), when he stops doing the bait and switch with money, when he stops assuming different personalities every month (his remorse lasts about a week, then he’s back to ex from hell.) after a year in intense therapy I still haven’t figure out why I put up with it and keep hoping hell change 🙁

    • Heartbroken – I am very similar to you with my relationships other than with the cheater ex. My friends tell me now that they were baffled how I was a different person with the ex. I don’t put up with a lot of crap and yet I managed to lose my true self with the cheater. So really, my chumpiness was contained within the narc kingdom.

      • “So really, my chumpiness was contained within the narc kingdom.” — I can totally relate here. Sure, I’m a nice guy, but no relationship of any sort tickled my chump trigger quite like my marriage.
        Well, except for my r/s with Poor Sausage Narc Dad, which I’ve discovered is ground zero for me.

        • “Well, except for my r/s with Poor Sausage Narc Dad, which I’ve discovered is ground zero for me.”

          Love this phrasing, scotty. “Ground Zero.” It’s such a powerful image.

  • What we’re willing to tolerate from strangers or from people with whom we have no intimate bond (e.g., college roommates, coworkers) is not the same as what we are willing to tolerate from those we love. We are raised by our parents, for example, and are dependent on them in every way until we can support ourselves. As the adults, they control the relationship dynamic; if the parent is highly narcissistic or provides intermittent positive reinforcement combined with abuse (and so on) the child grows up with an unhealthy pattern in the relationship toolbox. (Heh, heh. I’m not a psychologist, as you can tell. Just an ordinary chump with ordinary words!). You might grow up to be a person in love with potential (bring out that spackle!) or someone who expects a partner to be a narcissist, an user and abuser, a manipulator. And when you marry at 23 or 26, you haven’t had enough time on your own to learn that you need help to figure out a healthier way.

    That’s one way, I think, that chumps can grow up to be assertive in the social world and a chump in the familial world. But the intimate partnership has another road to chumphood. If you are a female, your intimate partner most likely courted you. Showed his best side. Acted like the prince we dreamed of. Told you he loved you, would be with you forever, you were special. Brought flowers, took you to dinner, used the charm, paid attention. If you are a male, your intimate partner probably said you were the greatest, you were her hero, she would love you forever. And the mask didn’t come off until you were committed, until you had stood up in church or in court or after some $10,000 wedding and said, “Till death do us part.” Until you had promised to spend your life with him or her, bought a house, and maybe brought a child or two in the world. Then you have the run-up to D-Day, when you have to spackle like crazy to keep seeing what you thought you were getting. And you made those promises. You believe that marriage is forever. You don’t want to break up your home or you signed on to a way of life that requires two paychecks or you sacrificed your working life for the narcissist. None of that means you let the counter help at Wendy’s embarrass you publicly or you are afraid to tell someone in the movies to stop talking.

    Chumpiness is not, in my view, just some inborn trait–although some people are no doubt kinder and more thoughtful than others by disposition. Chumpiness is about how we relate to the world. Most of the above applies to me, although I took a different route regarding career: I was one of the “here, let me carry the financial load while you spend your money on YOU” sort of chumps. I was sending my mother money from my school loans when I was at college because she would call me and complain she didn’t have money to pay her bills and I paid all my own tuition, room and board, all my books, and most of my other expenses. Trained to be a hard-working, “unselfish” codependent chump. Most people raised with a narcissistic parent will have some kind of boundary issues, especially with close relationship; they are also likely to have more empathy than others but it is a dangerous empathy where the payoff comes from attending to the feelings of others while ignoring their own feelings, even the desperate shouts of our deepest instincts. And it takes a lot of strength and will to survive this kind of full-blown child abuse. In my own case, the outside world was preferable to home because in the main, there were rules and boundaries and predictable behaviors from other people. Even reciprocity! But I am still learning to ask for help, to say “no” to people when I need to, and to imagine (not ready to try this out) what an intimate partnership would be if the other person wasn’t a narcissist or an active drug/alcohol abuser or someone who didn’t like to work….

    • I have had a tough time accepting compliments. My first impulse is “awkward silence” or “self-deprecating humor”, the latter being noticeably less socially awkward than going mute. I have slowly learned to say things like “Thanks” over the course of my life, and sometimes I can even manage a sentence and return a compliment in response now.

      That’s probably too revealing 🙂

      • Oh, I can turn a compliment around on myself in record time. Usually before the other person is done with the compliment, the self-deprecation hamster is running in his little wheel upstairs. 🙂

      • Thanks, scotty. And to you and TimeHeals–learning to take a compliment has been a huge thing for me, too, but it is (to borrow a page from MichaelD’s book) one of the first steps in seeing yourself as a self able to “receive” as well as give. Post D-Day I have had to learn how to accept help and support from other people because I was left with things I didn’t have the skill to do. But how can we really give if we can’t receive?

    • LJ, you many not be a professional mental health worker but you do have some insight.
      I love the bit ‘None of that means you let the counter help at Wendy’s embarrass you publicly or you are afraid to tell someone in the movies to stop talking’. I remember speaking up for myself out side the home in front of STBX and at times having him side with the person on the other side of the counter like I was some mean ass bitch. He was really big on the “do you see what I have to deal with” routine. And I let him get away with it and would look at him in disbelief and if I ever spoke up and said he had hurt my feelings. He would fall back on his default response of “it wasn’t meant to that is just how you took it.”

      Your comments regarding being raised by a Narc parent has described my upbringing. My father passed many years ago and the relationship with my mother is so damaged that I have not seen her in ten years and she only lives 20min away.
      Before any one jumps in and encourages reconciliation with her let me just point out that after doing the pick me dance all my life and two attempts at false reconciliation which cost me both emotionally and finically over the last 25 years being NC with her is the best road.

      Asking for help is hard especially in my current situation, but saying No is getting easier. Thank you Lovedajackass for sharing.

      • Sammie D, I so relate to what you’ve shared. And I agree: whether LaJ is a licensed therapist or not, her posts really resonate. This whole site has been an absolute godsend. I only wish I’d found it much sooner and saved myself many months of anguish.

        I, too, have not seen my mom in many, many years. The last time was when my eldest daughter (now 15) was a week old, and my mom threw the 2 of us out of her house. Long, ugly story. My mom’s bipolar, alcoholic, BPD, NPD, and probably a few other choice psychiatric acronyms. So many people have urged me over the years to “make things right” with my mom. But you know what? It’s like trying to make things right with a cheater. It’s the same broken dynamic. I do love my mom, and I pray for her every day. I honestly believe she did the best she could, with the tools she had (which were pretty much zilch). At the same time, I’m in a different place of choice with my own kids. Here I go again with my Gavin de Becker. He says, in The Gift of Fear, “Children are the residents of their homes, not the architects.” This one sentence was an absolution such as I have never known, and when I read it not long after my daughter was born, something lifted away from me. The guilt of failing to ‘fix’ something that was never mine to fix in the first place. And, in owning my own chumpiness, I have to see how my own “Ground Zero” (to borrow Scotty’s phrase) is my mom. That’s the bullshit dynamic I’ve repeated all my life. I said earlier that my “Pick Me” dance began in utero, and it really did. So that’s the gift my ex-cheater has given me. Yes, it’s a gift. It’s the chance for me to see once and for all the patterns I have repeated throughout my life, based on the parenting situation I was born into. I can and will own that, if not for myself, then certainly for my daughters, who deserve so much more.

        Interestingly, I bought my younger daughter a charm bracelet last weekend, from the same designer whose rings are replacing the jewelry from my douchey EX and my failed marriage. Her first charm says “LOVE.”

  • My name is Kara and I’m a chump, and also spackle-free for over five years. I was a super chump too. I had the same problem of not seeing what I didn’t want to see and believing too much in the way I wanted things to be, not the way they actually were. And of not valuing myself enough and losing sight of my own identity, depending on my ex to define who I was.

    Feels good to not be that way anymore and have my own identity.

  • Boy is this timely. I must say I got rid of him, but I managed to let the monsters at work slowly Chump me into walking pneumonia. All this time I’vebeen sick – Dr. Put me on SO much meds and the BASTARDS are STII trying to commit me to date to come back. Thank God I’m not physically capable…..

    • As varying as all these chump experiences are, I am absolutely floored by the rock solid similar pattern of the narcissistic/chump combo of infidelity. I do not feel alone or stupid in my shitty situation and see myself in so many of your very insightful chump self assessments.

      As much as cheaters deserve condemnation and rarely take responsibility for their behavior, we chumps have got to recognize the role we played in feeding the monster. We have future relationships to be in, after all. We can learn to have the authority to draw boundaries, say no when necessary and stop people from taking advantage of us. This cannot happen if we never look at ourselves.

      Thank you Chump Lady for directing the conversation this way.

        • scotty… amen to that. I can guarantee you my ex is not pondering these issues too deeply… after all, she said she couldn’t help it and that I was too negative about things. That’s her introspection. Done.

          I can guarantee that “we” have better ability than “them” to learn from this shit and become wiser and better while they stagnate in their oblivious and selfish creepy places.

  • I printed out a good reminder:
    make sure you don’t see yourself through the eyes of those who don’t value you. Know your own worth, even if they don’t.

  • Designed for use in child behavior seminars, this colorful, engaging and FREE E-book has an illustrated parable at the very beginning which so eloquently brings home the fact that chumps unwittingly train other people how to treat them. [This is an awesome resource for parents here to check out.]

    I did not produce this masterpiece; I’m not that brilliant. But here it is….

    BE CAREFUL WHAT YOU FEED THE SNAKES

    them.http://behaviordoctor.org/materialdownload/Booklets/2014ParentPies.pdf

  • It is safe site. So, don’t worry about opening the link.

    The author is a well known behavioral expert who shares all of her E-books for free.

    If you have a special needs child, this site (which is massive) can be an incredibly valuable resource to you.

  • So, I’m Seline & I’m a super chump. I think I came out of the womb with a silver trowel & spackle bucket. I had a Narc mom & abusive step-brother. No surprise that I had previous relationship issues. I was set-up with Mr. Sparkles by supposed friends. He was no one I would have ever considered. Everyone loved him & he was sooooo nice. And of course his 1st wife was a total bitch who broke his heart & took his money (more like her restitution pay) I was a total chump & got love bombed and I fell for it. Then as the rug was progressively pulled out from under my fairy tale, I became a spackle expert and started spackling as fast as I could to keep my world whole. DDay was 6 months ago & I have come to realize that there is no amount of spackle in this world that can fix my Narc cheater and the make believe life that we had. I am happy to say that I have officially put the trowel & spackle bucket down. I refuse to have that spackle shit under my nails any longer!

    • I could have written every word you wrote Current Chump, except the part where you no longer spackle. How have you been able to do that?

  • I’m FeralBlue and I’m a chump. Have been spackle free for 7 years now.

    I was such a chump that I ditched friends who told me I had changed so much he must have “brain washed” me. I have since apologized profusely to said friends for doubting them …and for the things I said to them while under the influence of Chumpmania.

    I was such a chump that I had convinced myself that he only lied to everyone else, not me. *face/desk face/desk face/desk*

    They really do read from the same script. Not so special afterall, are they?

  • I just want to take a minute to say…you guys are awesome. I hope you all realize how FUCKING MIGHTY you are, no matter what stage of the fuckery you find yourself in. I know there will come a day when I’m fully healed, completely MEH and don’t “need” you anymore (a tuesday :)). But when I get there it will be in no small part because of Chump Nation and its amazing members. And to Tracy…however I ended up here almost 2 years ago…THANK YOU. You have given a voice to the silent majority and inspired us all with your strength, wit, and wisdom. I hope your transition from unpaid blogger to bestselling author is a smooth one 😉

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