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What Are You Taking Back?

crowneplazaOne of the ugly repercussions of infidelity are triggers. Mercifully, triggers go away in time — really, I swear — as you approach “meh.” I suspect triggers don’t really go away if you reconcile, but I can’t say for certain, as I only attempted reconciliation for about a year. But it stands to reason that the person who betrayed would be a trip wire of things that remind you that… this person betrayed you.

The cheater could just go about their business, oblivious to the significance of Affair Objects of Great Import. After all, what is it to you?


SKIING IN VERMONT? — sure, yeah, right.


(Blank stare.)

But the chump knows. These are the totems by which the affair was conducted. These are the polluted things, forever sullied.

And yet… is it fair to the Crowne Plaza Hotel of Harrisburg, Pa. that I hold a grudge?

There was a time I couldn’t drive by that ugly mid-price hotel without sudden nausea. Now, (not that I have reason to get to Harrisburg) I don’t give a flip. It’s not part of my mental landscape any more.

But while I haven’t triggered — nausea, anxiety, panicky dread — since I was in that sucktacular marriage, certain things still irrationally carry bad associations: Paris, Pittsburgh, the entire state of West Virginia, bluegrass music, and BMW motorcycles. I’d like to not hate Pittsburgh on principle, but if that ick factor doesn’t go away, I’ll live. Whoever you are, if you drive a BMW motorcycle, you are a douchebag. But Paris? No, I want Paris back.

I honeymooned in Paris with the cheater. Although I had been to Paris several times before — I was chumped before, during, and after that honeymoon and I paid for the damn trip. Some day I’d like to have some new associations with the City of Lights that aren’t — God, I was an epic chump there. (Forehead slap.)

My ex can have the Crowne Plaza Hotel of Harrisburg, but I’m taking Paris back.

Do you have a Super Fund clean-up site of cheater places? What’s on your take back list?

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  • Hands down ….it’s Niagra Falls!
    We went there sooo many times for little family trips, as a couple and later for trips with justafriend MOW and her H. And I HATE Niagra Falls!!!
    Not the falls themselves – they are beautiful !
    But the cheesy-ness of the place. The t-shirt shops and the wax museums and the horrid tourists! Not romantic!
    But that is the Big Destination for stbx and AF and their little group of friends!
    I will NEVER go there again without having a very sick feeling.
    The last time I went was with my H and MOW and families for a wedding.
    Thank God there was wine.
    And both myself and MOW’s husband found ourselves crying in the bathrooms that night. Blah!

    • My ex and I went to Niagara Falls for our 5th wedding anniversary. Ironically, just 3 weeks ago, I had to go back TO THE SAME HOTEL for my girls’ dance competition. We stayed in a room almost identical to the one I was in with him. I felt sick the whole time, but once the weekend was over I felt proud that I had made it through and didn’t let it ruin the weekend with my girls. Wine definitely helped though! 🙂

  • Would love to take back my brain – still working on the ‘meh’ but brain is being very very stubborn. Really need to stop associating him with anything the family does now – it’s making me rather loopy (loopier?)

  • Cherries!

    During my brief reconciliation period, my XH came home very late one night, with a large bucket of fresh-picked cherries and an unlikely explanation. He told me that he had helped an elderly client pick from her tree (until way after dark?), and she let him take a share. The next day I drove by OW’s house and – surprise – saw that she had a big cherry tree! So I did what any chump would do, I cleaned all the cherries and proceeded to make cherry bread, sauce, jam, dried cherries etc. for XH to take to work! That’ll show ’em! It was the sickest pick-me dance ever, but also in a way, a passive-aggressive play to get my XH to feel some shame or maybe pity me (pun unintended, but cute!).

    So, last spring, even the sight of fresh cherries made me feel humiliated. Not this year. I am looking forward to this season’s harvest, if it ever warms up enough!

    BTW, why was so much of my marriage centered around produce?

    • River, that story makes me so mad for you. What a total asshole move. I’m glad you only had a brief reconciliation period. I did too, and I thank my lucky stars that I wasn’t tortured for as long as many of the other ladies here.

      • Thanks WBW. It is amazing to look back on the crazy state of mind I was once in. “Reconciliation” lasted about two weeks, until I could simply stand it no longer!

  • The Vineyard Hotel, Wynberg, Cape Town. Which, just being a housewife and therefore not that important, I had never been taken to anyway.

    But where he met up with his schmoopie OW to reignite The Love That Can’t Be Denied, telling her ‘I’ve missed you so much’.

    After which beautiful night he coolly rang me to tell me how his conference was going.

    I just have to feel sorry for that stupid biatch, and remind myself that she is a boundaryless moron who was used and manipulated too.

  • Virginia Beach VA. We had several nice vacations and I love the beach there. I would go back and not let memories of him ruin it.
    During this period of false reconciliation he has been pushing for us to go on vacation in this trailer he bought last year. Not interested for me it is filled with memories of him living in there while our house was in repair sexting the OW nightly.

  • Third Avenue from 88th Street to 91st Street….makes me want to vomit.

    He said he was unhappy and his shrink said he was ‘being unfair to me” because he could not come near me for years. It was all due to his job choices and his being so unhappy with his life. He said he was overworked trying to do right by his family and he was exhausted and sick with worry and stress.

    We tried different mediators but always got stuck when we got to exchanging paperwork and producing credit card statements. I was told that I was the reason why the mediation was not working. I wanted to save my marriage so I just I accepted that blame; one more thing I couldn’t do right.

    Then DDay.

    Got real lawyers who got most of the credit card statements and I started piecing those together with the bank statements that I had right under my nose for years. I never had a reason to look up the location of each branch number on the statements. If you are completely blind, do you really look up where branch number 135 is?

    Public real estate records listed where she had purchased the love nest. Sure enough, branch number xxx and CVS number xxx and Diner XYZ and Pasta ABC and the parking garages were all in a 3 block area from where she lived. Found out the night before my birthday when he “had to work very late”, he stopped at the drugstore, took out cash, ate at the diner the next morning, bought my birthday gift and headed home “straight from working all night”. And the long hours he was working? Turns out dinner was at 7 PM and bank withdrawals before 10 PM. Long hours indeed, but not at his desk!

    When my lawyers wondered what bank he used, I went by the apartment building and there was a bank in the lobby – what a surprise that was where he set up an account.

    The plus – lazy cheaters can be tracked to a very confined area.
    The downside – walking past that row of stores.
    Yes, slap of the forehead “how could I be so dumb and trusting”?!?

    The good news is that now I walk past and chuckle because he was so lazy and she got quite the prize with him!

  • Any tourist site in New York.
    The bridges in New York ( marathon route)
    The Hyatt Melbourne
    Volvo sc60’s ( black ones)
    The Recency Maui (take back)

    Interestingly, I was taken to Honolulu last year by GF and had absolutely no say in where we went. Not once in three days did we go to any bar or restaurant that previously been with groceries.

    She can keep Eat Prey Love too!!!!

    • I’m with you, Baci, on the Hyatt Melbourne. Both of them and Sydney Hyatt under the bridge too, all of Tasmania, especially Freycinet National Park where I considered walking into the waves and ending it all one winter morning after finding a condom in his belongings, Pony Lounge in the Rocks where he insisted we had eaten before (I jokingly suggested it was his other girlfriend. Ha. It was.) and Perth, Brisbane…

  • I am a 30+ years victim of the RIC .
    Serial double betrayals.
    I use to feel bad about myself because I couldnt forgive and forget. By the RIC bullshit standards I have failed my family. But now I have Chump Lady and I know I’m not a stupid failure. I’m a Chump.
    My triggers are still everywhere everyday. TV, the old residence, my Xfriends, my cheater prize, DNA test kits on the store shelf…
    The biggest is my cheating wife’s I don’t remember, you should have addressed that in counciling, it’s been over 30 years let it go attitude.

  • I’d like to take back my “friends” and my bedroom set. Also, the city where I moved to this last year. Whenever I hear it’s name it makes me cringe inside.

  • Sushi
    Craft beer
    Boating on the lake
    the beach
    My house – don’t ya love it when they cheat at HOME!
    San Francisco
    New Orleans
    New York – Manhattan
    Yeah, they worked together… traveling.

    • Mine cheated at home, too. I have a picture of OW sitting on our porch, wearing STBX’s leather outback hat, wearing his wedding band (!), and smoking a stogie.

      I saw the picture pretty early on when snooping on STBX’s computer. I then remembered to tell STBX that it was really weird, but I could swear that our screened-in porch smelled like cigar smoke!

  • You’ve GOT to get Paris back and reclaim it mightily. ASAP!!! I will be there next week in all its spring glory and from prior experience I recommend a bicycle tour, rue Mouffetard, Studio Galande if you’re into seeing the Rocky Horror Picture Show with a special act, rue Montorgeuil, plant market near Notre Dame and cupcakes at Bertie’s Cupcakery while you’re in that neighbourhood, the entire 5th arrondissement, Musee d’Orsay… This time I’m going to check out the newly re-opened zoo, then regret I’m only staying a week (found a central apartment which is way cheaper and more convenient than a hotel), and take comfort that Paris is not far away so I can visit again next year.

    • Say Howdy to the Marais district for me. That’s a fav. And the art museums. And the pastries. Have a wonderful time! I hope to take it back some day soon, promise.

    • I am in Paris right now and just did the Van Gogh exhibit at the D’Orsay today, really awesome. Don’t let the douchebags of the world steal Paris! I bet, CL, that one good visit with your awesome husband will wipe the slate totally clean.

    • I am heading to Paris this coming Thursday for a 4 day stay and then a 2 week cruise. I was sick when I was there 7 years ago with my ex husband. I never get sick ever, so I must have sensed the end was close!!

      • We’re overlapping. I arrive on Wednesday and leave the following week. I have tickets for the Louvre on Thursday. Thursday, May 8, is a national holiday and I think all the church bells ring at 15:00.

        • Enjoy. I arrive at 5 am on Friday morning the 9th so I will miss that. I am really looking forward to not having to worry about the ex tripping over his penis every time a female walks by. You see, he doesn’t have a type he will do anything!! So this trip will be wonderful. Have a great trip.

  • My home…I have to remodel redesign, still have a lot of his stuff there. Need to turn his studio into one of our daughters room…Realized that the decoration was very masculine, dark, sad, we need to takeover and make it a completely colorful, happy, different place.

    My job…places we worked together, colleagues who are mutual friends, etc..this is a tough one…

    • Martina, I took back ex’s office/man-cave, and I can testify that transforming it from dark and masculine to bright and springlike was hugely cathartic and gratifying. Best housework I ever did. Enjoy taking back that space!

      • I had my ex’s former office painted this past Valentine’s Day. It is now beautiful and white.

  • Where the fuck to I begin?

    The cheaters can have:
    The Hilton on Lake-Cook Road/Deerfield Road. I drive by that shithole at least 2-4times a week.
    Rancho Bernardo Inn
    New Orleans, Dallas, the fucking Courtyard Inn Gahanna ( or whatever the fuck it’s called) near the airport in Columbus Ohio, the Courtyard Inn or Townplace square in Pittsburgh, San Jose, Toronto ( woo-hoo an INTERNATIONAL fuck fest which was so very exciting for them), barbershop-style quartet singing, Mary Kay cosmetics, cheap bars, Stone Brewery, pink Cadillacs, the Admirals Club at any airport, remote fucking via FaceTime, herpes and anal sex, xhamster porn feeds, god-squad Christian shit as a way to hide what a truly awful human you both are,

    I keep:
    Italy, because it’s not only my heritage, but I lived there. She can dream it, but it’s MINE YOU ASSHOLES.
    Broadway Musicals, plays. Yea, this was part of your anniversary package, but I introduced asshat to actually GOING to these. I will go without him.
    Australia, Europe, Hawaii, New York, Chicago, O’Hare
    FaceTime with my son in Spain, craft beers, scotch and wine dinners, Girl and the Goat, ballet, AIC…in fact ALL the museums, herpes because it’s the gift he gave me that keeps on giving, a deep sense of spirituality, annual STD/Pap smears for HPV

    I’m sure there are others, but these are the immediate things.

    • Forgot the BIG house. Actually I hate the place, but she posted pics on her Pinterest acct ( during my phase of who the hell is this clown stalking) and it is her “dream”. Asshat admitted to doing a FaceTime tour of MY home for her. Yeah, right. I’m pretty confident she’s polluted my home in person. I spitefully will not let her or him “have” it.

      • How awful. There is a person with absolutely no conscience or empathy. I love Pinterest–so revealing if the X is a woman,

          • Sorry, LaJ; haven’t had my coffee yet (and I’m not on Pinterest, either), but not sure what you mean about Pinterest being revealing, especially if the AP/OW is a woman?

            • The jackass’s MOW, aka the camo-wearing skank, started adding pins like “I want you, only you. only us…”, “To me, you’ll always be 18 and dancing away with my heart” (she had a kid crush on him when he was 18), blah blah. When he kicked her to the curb, that stopped and the “you said you loved me, now you don’t and my heart is breaking” stuff started. All of this while in a 20+ year marriage, with her relatives on all sides following her, and supposedly mourning her brother. There’s more–one of my friends has a terrific critique of everything from how she makes plurals with a Z to adding extra letters to any word she deems impooooorrrrttttaaaannnntttt. Honest to God, I think it saved my life to see how stupid and shallow she is. As bad as betrayal was, it would have been worse to be dumped for a younger woman who was smart and funny and kind and classy.

              • The married ow who works for my h is a huge embarrassment too. It’s a real head scratcher. I guess they get as good as they give. No one with integrity and class will look twice at a married man, so they grab their moral equivalent. She’s hideous and has done this before, in fact it’s her way of business. They’re both idiots, and now my husband is mortified with himself. Still works with her though because him mommy wants him to. Asswipes, all of them. Granted, a cutie patootie with an MBA would have slayed me more, but the ones he’s worked with always had high morals and treated me with admiration and a lot of class. She’s an unpolished mouth breathing rube, but he’s the bigger idiot for trading down to hillbilly inbred hell.

              • OMG (aka Ooooohmmaaagaaawwwwwddd), LovedaJackass, my niece does that “plurals with a z” and adding letters to words thing when she posts on Facebook. She’s 17.

              • Gotcha, LaJ. How old is this chick again?

                I’ve got such a love/hate relationship with social media. I don’t really get the point of Twitter, but FB has been great for me to keep up with friends and family all around the world. On the other hand, it was (and likely still is) AP’s “stage” and also the way she poaches. She was never my friend on FB, but her constant preening accompanied by photos (“My friend told me I look like a Gibson Girl! Teehee!”) and baiting posts would show up in my news feed whenever X liked them (which was most of the time), and then of course there was the issue of all their flirty private messages. Just gross, and again: how old are these people? Are we passing love notes back and forth in Grade 7 algebra class here?

                I did take back FB, though, by deactivating my old account and starting fresh with a carefully chosen group of inner circle family and friends. Best call I have made in a long, long time. Now I just enjoy my time on there, and I don’t have to worry about what’s gonna show up in my news feed. Also have my privacy controls on DEFCON 1 so shithead X can’t try to control my narrative anymore. He doesn’t even get the privilege of knowing what my narrative is. With or without a Z at the end.

      • Shortly after I moved out OW posted decorating ideas on my ex’s Facebook page for our house!

      • ANC, I got left with the H bomb that keeps on giving too. So sorry you have had to put up with this.

    • I was just at the Rancho Bernardo Inn last weekend with my cheater! Probably the last time I’ll see him. My head wants to explode thinking about it.

      • Yeah. Asshat loved showing me pictures of the patio where they sipped wine, the room, the golf course.

    • Your ex is an unpardonable ass. So sorry you had to go through all that! What a nightmare of a mate.

    • Italy, yes! I’m keeping Italy, too. My cousins there love me and they dumped him presto.

    • I can’t even admit to myself how painful my last 2 Christmases have been. Way too sad and unbearable. Trying to make a plan for this year. Sigh.

      • Mine too, but this Xmas was my first w/o him. The hysterical part is, Xmas’s with him were awful too, but at least we were together. Getting through that first holiday season is a doozy. BTW, I had to laugh at your language in an earlier post. IT IS SO FREEING TO BE ABLE TO CALL ‘EM WHAT THEY ARE! That’s part of why I really love Chump Lady.

    • March,

      I hope you find a way to “take back” Christmas. My ex ruined it for the kids and me every year…and now it’s wonderful again. Hugs.

    • Yes, Christmas. DDay was 4 days before Christmas (5 years ago). My most favorite holiday and it was ruined for several years. It’s gotten better, but I still experience triggers during the season. They are harder to control during this time than the rest of the year.

      I’d also like to take back my town, at least until I can afford to move. Many revelations during false reconciliation about where they went and what they did. I have to drive past the gas station they would meet at to say “goodbye” after their night shift together. The Denny’s they would eat breakfast at before he came home. The other gas station he would stop at to buy condoms before heading to her house on the night he worked and she didn’t. 3 am lunch break and he drove clear across town for a quickie while I was at home asleep with out two year old. He never thought about driving home to me. Cigarette smoke, not sure the brand but I know it when I smell it. The whore was a heavy smoker ( I have never smoked). My car would smell when he would drive it. He would smell like it. Our toddler smelled like it – yeah I know! He blamed male coworkers. Ugh! Here come the triggers. I need to stop now.

      • My ex left shortly after Christmas. My last Christmas with him was horrible. The last two have been better but not great since my kids haven’t been there on Christmas Day. Still, nothing will be as bad as the last Christmas with him and having to pretend everything was okay with all his family there!

    • I was so determined to take back Christmas this year that I left the tree up until April.

    • March, my final DDay was Christmas and since I’m at meh, I now look at Christmas as my liberation day and have reclaimed it. You’ll get there.

    • And NYE. This was our anniversary, and every year we sat at home doing nothing. The last one we had together I went to bed crying at 9pm. It was horrible. There’s a twang there but now it is just NYE and we haven’t been home for it since he left. Last year we even had fireworks where we were.

  • Disneyland, Disneyworld, and the Air Force
    – went to Disneyland for a vacation pre marriage…. while there he wanted to have a glass of wine. Apparently, according to him, because I didn’t remind him of this and he forgot, he was allowed to lead a double life and cheat and spend 10k on his whore
    -honeymooned at Disneyworld….self explanatory
    -exH was Air Force and deployed to Saudi Arabia. While I was holding down the home front he was shagging the one single American female over there plotting how to drop the bomb on me. All things military make my stomach churn now especially all the happy reunions that are shown as I was deprived of mine. I am very patriotic but get sick and sad when I see those things now

    • I’m with you. Military men give me the heebie jeebies now and it’s really not fair to them that my Army stbx is a horrible person. I have a hard time believing that anyone in uniform isn’t a skeeve now, even though I know most people are good. Just can’t reconcile what I know and how I feel. I need to take this back too, but it’s too soon and I’m just not ready yet.

  • Hmmm? Well, for me … a year out from divorce, I think it’s just the actual person and her family. I think.

    Don’t get me wrong, there are areas around Atlanta I would prefer to steer clear of, but that’s more out of a desire to avoid the unlikely event of actually running into her or anybody who might know her than it is “association”.

    For me, it seems odd that you are writing about this today because I was just thinking about this because I spent a few minutes on a Hopium Exchange forum yesterday (long enough to mock some of the more cultish nonsense they sell there), and one of the mods triumphantly posted, “Well, my marriage is recovered, so it worked for me!” (they know there that I opted to divorce after dday 2).

    Out of curiosity, I explored some of the threads that “happily reconciled” person had created, only to discover that it was replete with what they called “triggers” leading to hypervigilance and occasional confrontation with their spouse, and these threads covered the span of many, many, many years, and that’s leaving out many, many, many years of similar threads on another forum that poster used to post on.

    The theme of those threads kind of read like this: “We are so terribly, terribly Happy!”, “The sex is great!”, “I think he might be having an affair again”, “Relief: he was just upset about the car breaking down”, “We are happy, happy happy!”.

    And this pattern has persisted for many years! Totally exhausting. And this was a success story?

    • I was on one of those forums briefly, came with some book I bought. I’m an engineer so it helped me, I went correlating to find any success stories you see? I found ONE, on a forum that went back several years. I found dozens of people who had been doing the pick me dance, excuse me, who had reconciled.but.nearly all of them spoke of it taking 2,3,4 years before their spouse gave up the AP. And many of them talked about how they’d done it by pulling a 180, I don’t recall what that even is, but it sounded like they were turning themselves inside out in order to win back their spouse. How the hell does anyone stand that shit for years and still love their spouse? I could not wrap my head around that. I unsubscribed from that forum.

      • The 180 is where you act like you’re totally happy and unconcerned that your spouse has fucked you over, lied, cheated, and broken probably every promise they ever made to you. I remember reading up on it on another site.

        There I am, the week of D-day; I’m utterly and completely smashed and broken apart, and I’m expected to run out and hang with friends, pick up new hobbies, act carefree and unconcerned and that’s going to make him “come out of the fog.” I read that shit and thought to myself, I’d rather have a root canal than go through that nonsense.

        I found a lawyer instead.

        • There is no Way to ACT like that for Soo Long Without actually BECOMING That Eventually.. which basically Means..Well Becoming Unfeeling and Disordered Yourself by Reprogramming, when there was Nothing WRONG with you Anyway, at the Start, Besides being ” HUMAN ” and having the NORMAL Emotions that Come With the Territory of being Fucked Over by the One who Promised to Love, Cherish and Honor You Their Whole Life Long.

        • Ugh..I am so tired of the advice..even though it’s well-meaning. “Take up a hobby.” “Go places with friends.” Today it’s been 4 months from Dday, and I certainly haven’t felt like doing anything yet! I actually have people say ‘Well it’s been 4 months..shouldn’t you be over it?” Really? 26 years in a relationship and in 1 day it’s destroyed? Uh, no. I shouldn’t be over it. But really, thanks for telling me I should be! Geez.

          • Sandy R, please ignore any comments that are made to you. You will heal when you are ready to heal because we all have our own time line. Of course you are tired because that is mental exhaustion due to of what has happened to you. I used to say “I had a sore head”!! I don’t any more. I was married for 37 years (met when we were 18, so 44 years) and whilst I will go to my grave sad about what has happened, I am relatively happy now. I am a very serious person by nature so therefore I wallowed maybe longer than someone else might but you “will get over it” when you are ready to. My very best wished to you.

            • “I was married for 37 years (met when we were 18, so 44 years) and whilst I will go to my grave sad about what has happened, I am relatively happy now. ”
              Isn’t it amazing that we give the cheaters more than half of our lives in most of our cases, and they flush it all down the toilet in a second? Are you or will you ever be at the stage when you want to date again? I am afraid I will have trust issues for the rest of my life, all for something that I didn’t deserve to have done to me. None of us did.

              • Sandy R, no I will never date again. I am now 62 years old and I am often told that I have beautiful skin (I can’t see it), am still very attractive (I can’t see it), and still have a lovely figure (I can’t see it). I have only ever had one love and that is my ex husband, so I would be terrified in that respect. I am more than happy with my own company. I reason my solitude with the fact that if someone who I gave my life to can turn around and do what he has done, someone else wouldn’t give a second thought to hurt me. I am still confused in some respects.

              • I am right there with Maree. Long term marriage, together since I was very young. Will never consider remarriage.

              • Me third with the trust issues. I’ve come to the conclusion that the ONLY man I could ever trust was my dad.

                Sadly, my children can’t say the same…

              • Of anything I’d like to leave behind is the loss of trust in womankind. Actually, men too as I’ve been poisoned to believe thru stbx’s many affairs that guys are scum. Rationally I know (and remember the conviction) that most people are good and decent, caring and loyal. The nearest experiences in our lives tend to form our strongest perceptions.
                I’ve also mourned the lost of the romantic ideal of perfect unions and even marriage itself. Once I’m out of the tangled crappy marriage, I’m done with the institution.

                So what’s my triggers? The things the remind me of the lost of innocence.: happy families, couples holding hands, ‘perfect’ moments.

          • It’s only been 4 months. Don’t worry about what anybody says. You don’t put a time-table on it and do whatever the hell YOU want. Granted I’m feeling much better 6 months out, but I hibernated for most of that time, but that’s ok because I needed it. You’ll get there.

            • Agreed. It’s one year after being dumped and I’m nowhere near in “dating shape”. The XW tells me “life is short, go meet someone”…easy for her to say when I’m the one who can’t trust anyone. No, life is too short to choose poorly again just to fulfill some supposed social “requirement” that people are “supposed” to be coupled. Marriage is not a need for me anymore, it is a want, and for things I want I think I’m allowed to take long as possible to choose well. I think that now the dust has settled a bit, I’m not afraid to be by myself anymore, even when I’m an old man.

              As for what I’m taking back – I’m taking back my identity and integrity. I’ve compromised too much of myself to try to make others happy, and I got crapped on anyway. I don’t think it’s OK for one spouse to expect the partner to be in lock-step with the spouse and not expect to reciprocate.

              • Wow, CW, I can’t believe your ex is telling you what to do! The nerve. Well I guess that really shouldn’t surprise me, should it? They have all the answers.

          • Sandy..I Hardly EVER go Out..
            Everything I CARE About is Right here WITH Me…

            and You know WHAT, You’ll Get OVER It, When you Get OVER it…

            THEY DON’T GET to Tell YOU WHEN you’re Over It…

            Grieve at your OWN Pace, Hon.
            Honestly They THINK They’re being Helpful..They’re Actually Being Insensitive TWATS.
            Don’t worry about what THEY Think…
            And Unless they KNOW what it’s LIKE..Walk in YOUR Shoes..They Haven’t a RIGHT to Tell YOU Shit.

          • Well, those people are being unkind as well as uninformed. One thing about the 19th century that made sense was the notion that people mourned a death, not just of a spouse, but of any relative, for at least a year. And then, the person went into half mourning, coming out of black clothes into other dark colors and beginning to go back into the social world. And no one would have been stupid enough to say “you should be over it.”

        • I agree, that RIC stuff just adds more sickness to an already sick situation. You’re supposed to act carefree and be strong and if you can’t, it’s your fault for losing them. That’s like saying you should spring to your feet after being ploughed over by a semi truck, and if you don’t the driver gets to blame you for causing the accident.

      • Oh dear lord, the 180 is the MWD (Michele Weiner‑Davis) cult 🙂

        That one’s pretty bad.

        • I thought it was an SI thing.

          But I do agree with the notion that you should go about your life and not engage with the cheater. Not in an effort to “win” them back (look at me! So carefree!), but to not hurt yourself further. And seriously, like anyone is going to take up an improving hobby immediately after D-Day that is not vomiting and crying.

          • Sadly, I think SI borrowed that from MWD.

            And it’s not about No Contact. It is about “winning them back”.

            Here’s a sample list of 180 goals (apparently it may vary as the name implies you do the opposite of what you would normally do or what you feel like doing in an effort to win back your spouse):

            Michelle Weiner Davis’s Divorcebusting 180 degree example list (or as I like to call it, “How to become a human pretzel”:

            1. Do not pursue, reason, chase, beg, plead or implore.
            2. No frequent phone calls.
            3. Do not point out good points in marriage.
            4. Do not follow him/her around the house.
            5. Do not encourage talk about the future.
            6. Do not ask for help from family members.
            7. Do not ask for reassurances.
            8. Do not buy gifts.
            9. Do not schedule dates together.
            10. Do not spy on spouse.
            11. Do not say “I Love You”.
            12. Act as if you are moving on with your life.
            13. Be cheerful, strong, outgoing and attractive.
            14. Don’t sit around waiting on your spouse – get busy, do things, go to church, go out with friends, etc.
            15. When home with your spouse, (if you usually start the conversation) be scarce or short on words.
            16. If you are in the habit of asking your spouse her whereabouts, ASK NOTHING.
            17. You need to make your partner think that you have had an awakening and, as far as you are concerned, you are going to move on with your life, with or without your spouse.
            18. Do not be nasty, angry or even cold – just pull back and wait to see if spouse notices and, more important, realize what she will be missing
            19. No matter what you are feeling TODAY, only show your spouse happiness and contentment. Show him/her someone he/she would want to be around.
            20. All questions about marriage should be put on
            hold, until your spouse wants to talk about it (which may be a while).
            21. Never lose your cool.
            22. Don’t be overly enthusiastic.
            23. Do not argue about how they feel (it only makes their feelings stronger).
            24. Be patient
            25. Listen carefully to what your spouse is really saying to you.
            26. Learn to back off, shut up and possibly walk away.
            27. Take care of yourself (exercise, sleep, laugh & focus on all the other parts of your life that are not in turmoil).
            28. Be strong and confident.
            29. Know that if you can do 180, your smallest
            CONSISTENT actions will be noticed much more than any words you can say or write.
            30. Do not be openly desperate or needy even when you are hurting more than ever and are desperate and needy.
            31. Do not focus on yourself when communicating with your spouse.
            32. Do not believe any of what you hear and less than 50% of what you see. Your spouse will speak in absolute negatives because they are hurting and scared.
            33. Do not give up no matter how dark it is or how bad you feel.
            34. Do not backslide from your hard earned changes.

            • Number 19 is my favorite! “No matter what you are feeling TODAY, only show your spouse happiness and contentment. Show him/her someone he/she would want to be around.” This wasn’t going to happen. I couldn’t stand the sight of him so I threw him out. My main concern was just trying to eat and get some sleep. I didn’t have the energy to show him happiness and contentment. Give me a break.

              • “No matter what you are feeling TODAY, only show your spouse happiness and contentment. Show him/her someone he/she would want to be around.”

                Yeah, I remember that one. It seemed to me that was a mindf*ck played back on the cheater. So that now NEITHER person in the marriage is acting authentically. WTF?

              • Yeah. Number 27: sleep. Well, if Michelle Weiner-Davis says to do it, gosh darn it, I’ll surely be able to!

              • No, it was not possible to do No. 19 way back then, after D-day and after abandonment. But NOW, a year later, now I can do it. I don’t want to give him the kibbles of seeing me cry again. EVER.

            • I get some of it, but most of it is the stupidest shit I’ve ever read. I would never have made it without leaning on my family. My very elderly dad was my rock.

              What did I take back? The college town where my daughter is in graduate school. After DDay, I learned that was where X took the church lady to fuck. I had found a beautiful B&B there and I was damned if I was going to let them have that place! Whenever I visit my daughter there, I rent a lovely little cottage on the grounds andI always take my daughter out for a nice meal. I still have to make myself enjoy it, but I do not let it show. Ever onward!

              • In Other Words..Play Hard to Get… Cause it’s the CHALLENGE they Miss..
                You KNOW WHY that Shit Doesn’t Work ??
                When they Do Get You Back they Go BACK to Their Cheating friggin Ways.

                Fuck that Noise..
                Do All That and Divorce their Ass…
                Give your Fabulous Self and Heart to someone who Actually DESERVES You and Wants and Values You, WITHOUT Having to LOSE you First.

              • Clearly, you skipped over reading #33, then 🙂 Never give up, no matter what.

                That’s pretty unequivocal. The implication being that if you don’t follow the program, you failed the program. Almost all of these cultish programs have a subtle subtext of “If your marriage isn’t ‘saved’, then you failed to follow the program”.

                Snake oil.

            • My response to this list of horse-crap is if you have to do all this to “win back” your spouse, why bother? Why try to win a prize that is not worth the trouble. Your cheater spouse is not a “prize” at all actually but something that you should actively be “giving away” to their affair partner.

              • Exactly, Nicole. But when you are under the influence of hopium, you yearn for a place where the pushers and suppliers abide.

              • Yep. This was my thought exactly, even when I was heartbroken. I’m not going to bend myself into a pretzel to “win” a cheater. Wow, what a prize.

            • Re #6 “Do not ask for help from family members.”

              WTF? Like, your whole world has been turned upside down; who the hell else are you supposed to turn to for support?

              I am so, so, so glad I never got involved in this whole reconciliation thing. I got the proof I needed, and 3 weeks later I was gone. This list is making me feel seasick.

              • You’re supposed to keep it all inside until you explode, and smile while you’re doing it.

              • Sadly, SOME Family members can be Real ASSHOLES about YOUR Pain to You..
                Sometimes they’re too Close to the Situation..and can ACTUALLY BLAME YOU for what Happened.

                Been there.

              • I read that one as “Do not ask for help from family members (to get the cheater’s head on straight).” IDK, but I doubt anyone who’s serious about helping the chumped would tell us not to rely on our family members for other things, like support.

              • DefyingGravity, no MWD means don’t lean on your family for support unless you know for a fact that they support reconciling… because… you don’t want anybody telling you that you don’t deserve to be treated this way. That, in the DB lexicon, is a step toward not reconciling.

                So get out your biggest spackling knife and a bucket of spackle, and don’t let anybody who might actually care about you enough to say “dump his ass” know anything is wrong. You’ve got to manage the impressions for your cheater.

                It’s horrible, horrible stuff.

              • Yep. I’d be bald and emaciated (and possibly worse) from stress right now if not for my family. Thankfully, I’m just somewhat gray.

            • Actually, I think that most of this list would be pretty good advice IF the very first thing on the list was “Boot their sorry ass out of your life”. The first several are basic no contact and many of the others are basic self care. My favorites, though, are:

              25. Listen carefully to what your spouse is really saying to you. (They are trying to tell you how much they suck. Believe them)

              24. Be Patient (you’ve just been psychologically beaten within an inch of your life by a psychotic, it takes time to heal)

              27. Take care of yourself (see 24)

              28. Know that you can do this (You are stronger than you know and you will get through this.)

              • Actually, BookLady2 (great handle, btw), you’ve got a great point. Just re-read the list and, reframed from a post-chump standpoint rather than reconciliation, lots of it actually makes sense.

            • If you are going to present as so easily rolling with the cheater’s actions, seemingly unruffled, and even carefree, what incentive does he/she have to stop? You’ve just made your aspect of the cheater’s life more accepting and appealing, while he/she continues to eat cake. A truly remorseful cheater person might get it, but a narc cheater??? Pullease…. In the meantime, the chump is getting GERD and a couple of auto-immune diseases from dealing with the internal stress of denied righteous venting. Sorry- projecting….

              What I lost but would not necessarily want to take back? NEW JERSEY from about Hoboken down, Atlantic City and towns off of the AC Expressway, and Philadelphia – strip clubs by the airport, Newtown, New Hope, Pennsylvania,… Oh, and Forest Hills, NY.
              I no longer live in that region, PTL.

      • Ah yes. Michele Weiner’s Divorce-Busting site. I used to hang out there several years ago, while doing the pick me dance .

        As I recall, a 180 is doing the complete opposite of what you would normally do in response to anything your spouse does. You pretty much act like someone other than yourself (the implication being that your normal reactions have been wrong all along.) Acting in this manner is supposed to surprise or startle your spouse into taking notice, apparently. I can see this being effective if one normally lets one’s spouse push them around or abuse them emotionally. But it can also imply that you shouldn’t speak up about something that might bother you (if that’s how you usually handle it.)

    • Yes, for a while I felt really envious of the women whose husbands were willing to work on the marriage. Mine wasn’t. But I’m fairly certain that the vast majority of them will come to the conclusion we have — eventually. Meanwhile they’re hurt over and over again.

      While I stupidly feel I still love him, I know me. I could never f*ck him after he put it in someone else. Sorry to be so graphic. Knowing this about myself I’m doing my best to move on.

      • It’s not stupid to love him or feel you do. But for me at least the challenge ismto love myself as much or more. The Bible saying, “Love your neighbor as yourself” presupposes that we love ourselves in a healthy way–we love ourselves enough notntomstand on the train tracks while the train is coming, enough not tomtake in poison every day.

  • Living a trigger-free life now, nearly 9 years out.
    My husband (the good one) came into my life within six months of D-Day with x. We’ve made lots of new, wonderful stand-alone memories on our own. But early on, when I was still so fragile and still navigating the divorce process and it’s aftermath, we had a standing half-joke: “Re-Write” when we would do something fun or take a trip in a place that had once been “special” for X and I and/or our kids. We realized that we were writing a new ending, writing a new story for those triggers. Some of these places I “took back” on my own within months of “D Day,” for example the park by the river where x and I used to go with the kids, well I just kept going. The River was there long before “us” and will be there long after “us.” Our problems and my problems seem small next to the River. I worked through a lot of pain there. I had fun with the kids there. And my new hubby and I love to take the kids there together now. Other examples were the VIP season tickets to outdoor concert series. I kept our tables, sold all but two spots to friends and acquaintances, and invited my brother to go with me as my “date” until hubs came along for the next season. Not only are there no more triggers, but I can barely remember going to those places with my x now. I guess the first place I “took back” was my bed and my house. One simple thing changed how I felt in my bed: I switched sides. I had always slept in the spot furthest from the door to the bedroom, reassuring myself that I would be “protected” by my husband if an intruder came in. Turns out, he WAS the damn intruder! One sleepless night after D day, I moved to x’s former side of the bed. Somehow it gave me a new perspective. I’ve slept like a baby ever since.

    • That’s sweet. I love the idea of a “re-write” and having a partner that not only understand your past pain associated w/ a place/event but also actively helping you change it.


    • Wow, Delta! Within 6 months from Dday the good one came into your life? Have a secret formula you can share with the rest of us? Lol!

    • Yes, I agree that you can rewrite the bad memories. One bad memory was of my ex acting very cold towards me at a particular sporting event. While leaving afterwards he stalked ahead of me down the steep stairs, leaving me far behind to fend for myself. He never once looked back to see where I was. It was so clear that he was disgusted to be there with me. Anyway, I went to the same place with the new man I’m dating. He turned around and held my hand to make sure I got down every step. He continued holding my hand as we left the building. I kept thinking how nice it was to be “overwriting” such a painful memory.

      • Your story makes me sad,then glad. I think most of us have been through this meanness demonstrated by our spouses. Good for you! You deserved this! Kind of like Karma said “this is the way love looks like!”

      • Great phrase, Lyn: “overwrite.” This seems a bit more badass than ‘rewrite,’ but that may just be where I am 7 months out. Thank you.

  • I took it all back, forced myself to revisit all of those damn places one at a time, it took me two years. I don’t know if it makes things much better, I don’t trigger much anymore, but a lot of times I feel like something’s broken inside.

    • “I took it all back, forced myself to revisit all of those damn places one at a time, it took me two years.”

      Mike, I did the same thing. Called it “The Exorcism,”… a conscious decision to face the demons and stare them down so that they wouldn’t linger in my life and sour it forever. [By God NOBODY was going to evict me from my own life or consume it either.] Over the long term, I believe it helped me to not trigger any more and to lose that broken feeling which permeated the first year.

      I don’t know how long it has been for you, but do believe that facing our fear and pain and discovering that they do not kill us tends to speed up the recovery process.

      You will also lose the broken feeling. Please work on making it sooner…

      “There comes a time in your life, when you walk away from all the drama and people who create it. You surround yourself with people who make you laugh. Forget the bad, and focus on the good. Love the people who treat you right, pray for the ones who don’t. Life is too short to be anything but happy. Falling down is a part of life, getting back up is living.”

      ― José N. Harris

      • notyou,

        I have the last sentence of this quote taped to the top of my computer monitor at work. I read it several times a day.

        WH is texting me today to try and persuade me to hold on and “recommit” myself to him and find the love that I use to have. The love he has spent the last two years post-DDay killing off piece by piece with his continued lies and betrayal.

        I’m so tired. I think it is time I love MYSELF.

        • Kammie, This poem applies too. I just kept focusing on that last line!

          After Great Pain, a Formal Feeling Comes –Emily Dickinson

          After great pain, a formal feeling comes –
          The Nerves sit ceremonious, like Tombs –
          The stiff Heart questions ‘was it He, that bore,’
          And ‘Yesterday, or Centuries before’?

          The Feet, mechanical, go round –
          A Wooden way
          Of Ground, or Air, or Ought –
          Regardless grown,
          A Quartz contentment, like a stone –

          This is the Hour of Lead –
          Remembered, if outlived,
          As Freezing persons, recollect the Snow –
          First – Chill – then Stupor – then the letting go –

          • Thank you, notyou. This poem is so beautiful and eloquent.

            The last two years I have been saying over and over again, “I don’t know why I can’t let go.”

          • Oh you guys are good. The poetry I sent my husband:

            Vile and ingrate! too late thou shalt repent
            The base Injustice thou hast done my Love:
            Yes, thou shalt know, spite of thy past Distress,
            And all those Ills which thou so long hast mourn’d;
            Heav’n has no Rage, like Love to Hatred turn’d,
            Nor Hell a Fury, like a Woman scorn’d.

        • This quote is handy too.

          There comes a point in your life when you realize:
          Who matters,
          Who never did,
          Who won’t anymore,
          And who always will.
          So, don’t worry about people from your past, there’s a reason why they didn’t make it to your future.”

          ― Adam Lindsay Gordon

    • Sometimes I have a real “lost” feeling. It’s really strange. It feel like mild anxiety mixed with a feeling of disconnection. The feeling was really bad around Christmas when neither of my kids made it home for the holidays.

      Sometimes my life feels like a book. It’s like I turned the page to the next chapter and discovered all the characters and settings changed. The previous narrative is broken.

      • Lyn, that lost feeling and particularly the feeling of disconnection, are post-traumatic-stress-type reactions. I often would think of what my ex did and NOT QUITE BELIEVE IT, and I would have to reason with myself, “no Kelly this is not a dream, yes he did cheat on you for all those years, yes you are divorced and he is gone, no he does not even see the children.” To me, we are so overwhelmed that our minds just “blink” and cannot quite take it all in at once. This happened to me most often as I started to recover, I was not thinking about him and What He Did constantly, and then would suddenly remember. It is less often now, but still once in a while, as they say, “the mind wobbles.”

        • Kelly, this is me. The only difference is that my 2 adult kids have cut me dead and have chosen their father even though I raised them. Daughter 35 and son just turned 32. Such a loss of everything.

          • Maree, I have been following your comments and posts here and know that you have suffered an incredible loss. Along with all of the other never-ending rewards of breeding with a fucktard, having children who share DNA and personality traits of our exes may be the most awful reward of all. (((BIG HUGS)))

          • Maree, my best friend’s husband died last year and her grown kids have been downright evil! They were raised with silver spoons in their mouths and my friend’s husband left her bankrupt paying for all their toys. Sadly, she was unaware of how bad their financial situation was until he died. The last time one of her daughters was in town, she tried to steal a valuable family heirloom.

            Seeing what my friend has gone through I know two things. First, financial infidelity can be as traumatic as physical infidelity. My friend hasn’t worked outside the home is years and is devastated that her husband sacrificed her financial well-being for those ungrateful beasts. Second, you can be the very best mother in the world (and my friend was) and your kids still might break your heart. It has NOTHING to do with you; it is up to them to grow up and start acting like caring adults.

            I hope you have a wonderful trip and enjoy all the beautiful sights. You deserve it!

            • Louise, thank you. I sincerely wish your dear friend happiness and peace of mind. Being a good parent does not always have many rewards as some of us are finding out. It is interesting but my teenage (back then) parents became violent alcoholics, never paid bills and we had the police divisional van pull up nearly every Friday night to take Dad to the station for nearly killing our Mother. We lived in 33 homes in 20 years, mostly never had the gas or electricity connected and as for food, if you didn’t eat well on pay night which was Thursday and Friday night on you went hungry and it was stale bread and dripping. Today the authorities would remove the 4 of us and yet we still loved and respected our parents. We must have been stupid because we all grew up to be really decent and good people. My kids have never known any of this type of thing and yet I am treated like dirt.

              • Maree, sending you a very big hug right now.

                Hardship is defining. Either you succumb or you rise above, but either way it marks you. I think this was true for a generation of us.

                In the age of entitlement, perhaps the same can be said for the lack of hardship.

        • Wow Kelly. Wonderful description on our feelings post Dday! I too have to remind myself quite often that this isn’t a dream (but definitely a nightmare). I think that the disbelief that someone whom we loved for so long could be so cruel, heartless and selfish catches us quite a bit. It’s a bitter pill to swallow, to say the least.

          • Sometimes that’s the thing that SAVES us..Till We Can HANDLE the Truth..
            Almost like..A Child Being Molested Blocks it Out, Till they are OLD Enough to Understand THEY Didn’t Do ANYTHING to CAUSE or DESERVE It. The True Blame goes on Their Molester..Not on THEMSELVES.

      • Somedays the disconnect is so strong I wonder if I just imagined the whole thing, a past life maybe.. Like a repressed memory bubbling up. How else can one wrap their brain around half your life and most everything in it gone “Poof” ?

        • I know Mike. For about a year and a half after D-day the first thought I had when opening my eyes in the morning was “I can’t believe he did this!” I’m happy to report I actually have other thoughts when I first wake up in the morning these days.

        • I know what you mean. Right now I am so disconnected I feel like someone else has lived the last 37 years of my life. Maybe this strong feeling is what is keeping me for “reconnecting” with the marriage and WH and continuing to try and hold on.

          Time to let go.

      • God, yes. That is the very feeling. I’ve never experienced it before. It started up after the not eating, crying, looking like a dead person” phase had ended.

        • I am still in the phase where everyday I wake up and cannot believe this happened to me. My daughter is 4.5 months old now and I cannot believe what this monster has done to her also. I saw horrendously graphic texts to the OW and they haunt me when I am awake or asleep….I live a daily nightmare. 2.5 months since DDay. When do the flashbacks and nightmares stop? I am consumed by what I want to say and do to the STBXH and it is so difficult trying to be the bigger person and say nothing after what he’s done. Really feels like no justice in this world 🙁

          • Are you on antidepressants? They may help. I’ve been on Xanax for a few months now and it helps. My therapist says these triggers are a huge symptoms of PTSD, so it’s a real serious matter. Will they go away soon? Unfortunately not soon enough. It takes years for some of us.

            • No I am not on antidepressants as I am still breast feeding. I am very lucky to have the support of family and friends and have moved back with my parents as was not coping – especially with a newborn and toddler. We’ll get there though, will not let that POS destroy my life!

              • Atta girl, Next. It will get better. It really will. I saw horrible texts and emails and oh, gah, I don’t even want to start thinking about them. Every once in a while some sentence flashes into my mind, they are all seared into my brain. Where’s the brain bleach when you need it? But still…..I am one year out from being abandoned and 18 months from D-day. The unwelcome thoughts are much less frequent…and are now accompanied by thoughts of “what a jerk” instead of crying. It will get better. One foot in front of the other, hon. Go get a hug from your family….love on that baby girl. The smell of a breast-fed baby is the best scent in the world!

    • Thing is we had alot, and I mean ALOT of shitty times together. For me, revisiting some of those places, especially the ones I loved, was about seeing if they were better because he wasn’t there. And you know what they mostly are. Amazingly everything is better without him.

    • I did my first overwrite about six weeks after dday at a location where my ex and the OW were at the same event. It about killed me but I knew I had to do it to claim my territory there too. And I am so glad I did. (I went with a friend who knew everything and stayed by my side. I will always be thankful to her for that.) Since then, I have been back multiple times alone for various reasons, and it is getting easier. I went to that location before the ex, knew all those people before and during my marriage to the ex, and now I am going back after and staying involved…

  • Not sure the trigger thing has reached the UK yet, or I’m possibly very slow on the uptake – but I’m not 100% sure what it is.

    If we are talking things / places that trigger unhappy memories, then I have a list a mile long. I decided most of them were bittersweet though – as a lot of the places, I’d had both good times and bad times with the ex-H. I suppose if there was going to be a place, then it would be the bedroom in our old home, as it was there that I first suspected ex-H was having an affair. However, I lived in that house for 3 years after he moved out, so perhaps I don’t associate things or places with those kind of horrors.

    Interesting, I’ve never really thought about it before!

  • Right now my triggers are daily and after so long w/ him so many places, movies, jokes and stories are triggers. I have a very long list of things that IMO are “ruined” for me. It seems I add to it often 🙁

    One place I doubt i’ll ever get back is a RI state park/lighthouse.
    We spent countless times there when dating and then he proposed there.
    It is one of my very favorite places.
    In addition to that my brothers ashes were scattered there.
    I’ve been there once since this started and it’s just too hard. I don’t know when I’ll be able to go there w/o thinking of the day he proposed.

    • I think I missed the mark a little…

      Cheating triggers!
      a hotel
      a rose he gave me after he finally PICKED ME after the second time – I have a pic of it that keeps surfacing. It’ll be deleted eventually but not just yet.

      the smell of alcohol. during the second time he was DEEP into it. Hiding it. Ugh. I can’t stand the smell of it. The poor guy that gets me next can’t drink 😉

      I have more life triggers than cheating triggers.

      • Be Up Front with that, and you’ll Never have to deal with a Miserable DRUNK.. BONUS !!! :):)

  • I want to be able to look at my kids’ scrapbooks. I was chumped our entire marriage, so all those photos have become triggers for me. Every holiday, family vacation, special event, now I know what was going on behind the scenes.

    I fixed one of our wedding photos by putting Benedict Cumberbatch’s face over my STBX’s. And a friend did the same with a family photo. Now those pictures make me giggle. But it’s hard to do that with 23 years worth of photographs and memories. Looking forward to getting those memories back someday.

  • Canada’s largest city, where we all moved and 6 weeks later he began goopy goo w howorker. Hotels I stayed in during love bombing to throw me off the trail, stupid gifts for the same reason, cafes, bars, restaurants, neighborhoods. all beautiful places. Subway platforms I threw up on, store clerks I broke down to, and anytime i hear an iphone text beep or phone ring. Which is like, always. Nothing here has been happy. 18mos later I’m stuck here, finding out yesterday that the finances do not in any way work for me to move. So this beautiful clean international city makes me sick to my stomach every day and I’m not leaving. I want to take it back, not because I love it, but because I don’t want a place that doesn’t give 2 shits about ME dictating my emotions every fucking day. I’m 4 mos from dday, in some sort of reconcilation bs, and up to my neck in debt and tears. My goal is to say “bring it Toronto, I’ve got this”. I felt a twinge of meh for the first time, and my focus is being a great mother and working on getting rid of some debt by working. It will move me forward instead of continuing to be that paralyzed inactive pitiful lip blibbering fool in fetal position in the corner. My 3-5 yr goal is financial independence, so get out of my way.

    • I’m a transplant, too, Rock Star, and I hear what you’re saying. At the same time, I don’t know that being somewhere else would make the experience of surviving chumpdom any less hellish. In some ways being away from Boston is great for you because at least the city you call home won’t be tainted by association.

      Personally, I don’t know where “home” is anymore. I’ve spent all my adult life living overseas, mostly in Asia, so I have to find it within. That’s a real bitch, and yet at the same time, I know that inside that is my real freedom. Hope that twinge of ‘meh’ you felt turns into the real deal. Thinking of you.

  • She can have:

    Las Vegas (the ultimate cheater hook-up destination)
    VW Beetles
    Apple products
    Video games
    Georgia O’Keefe paintings
    e.e. cummings
    Brazilian music

    Yeah, for more than 20 years she was a trend whore. Though she was out front by at least a decade when it came to the trend of cheating.

    I already took back:

    New Orleans
    New York City
    My kids

    5 years out and very little left to be reclaimed. Perhaps Paris for me as well, though I don’t think I ever lost it. Really more like my associations of Paris need to be thoroughly cleaned, like expensive sunglasses dropped in the toilet. One trip ought to do it. Maybe even one bite of one baguette eaten under the plane trees in the Tuileries.

  • I had the Paris aversion going too. We had several wonderful trips there. When EXH started affair with now spouse it was in Paris. I’ve since returned with kids and had a great time, but always stay on the LEFT BANK now.

    • Yes, redo on Paris too. Many great times but also many times he turned on his heel and walked away from me, even once late at night in an unfamiliar area. I had find my way back to the hotel. He didn’t seemed concerned when I opened the hotel room door. What a gentleman.
      We stayed several times in an apartment near the Bastille that wasn’t my favorite place, yet he insisted. I joined after he had been there a week for “work” and unknowingly slept in the same bed his Russian whore had been in with him. I wondered why he made a big deal about cleaning the apartment and changing the sheets before I arrived…
      (I apologize to any Russians on this site. She could have been from anywhere.)

  • Facebook. I never log on without thinking about the shock of seeing his page with MOW as the only friend and no posts. Funeral homes and memorial services–the First night I know the Jackass was in her presence and interested enough to miss a Friday evening and overnight with me. He also used taking his mother to wakes as an excuse for not having time to see me. So icky. Going to the neighborhood where both of them live (my tax accountant has his office there)–he told me during his “talking about buddy’s sister who lives 3 blocks away!!” stage. For a long time it was seeing anything he had worked on at my house or seeing pictures of his cat (we had picked her out together)–but I have worked hard to get that stuff back as part of my life. Going into the movie theater and restaurant and other places that we frequented when we lived together–still get twinges but fading to meh. And I fear my birthday will be tough for a while. It was the last time he saw me of his own volition, and he dropped me off early to go home. I was so puzzled–until I saw the FB page and realized he had wanted to get home to exchange texts with MOW.

    • “Funeral homes and memorial services–”
      Okay, here’s something dumb. I have an emotional trigger when I read an obituary that says “such and such were married 50 years”. I have no spouse to put into mine! Will it be “were married in 1989 and later divorced” or no acknowledgement that I was married to the jackass at all? And seeing both grandparents with their grandkids..boy does that hurt. I thought I would share my grandchildren (none yet) with him. Heck even seeing couples together right now makes me want to burst into tears!

    • My h was in deep with (now ex) ow and she attended a family funeral, it was the first time I ever saw someone say hello with her mouth and I hate you with her eyes. Granted, she also said, “I dress like an idiot, my hairstyle peaked during the Clinton administration, and I’m socially inept.”. The fact that my h grabbed my hand and paraded me (unknowing) in front of her and everyone like we were an inact family pisses me off. So do the 5 million texts they sent each other before and after the funeral. I skipped the last in-law funeral 2 wks ago and according to h, my absence caused a lot of drama for his family. I caused drama. seriously.

    • You pronounce “iron” wrong. (urn)

      You leave out the verb “to be.”

      You say “warsh.”

      The car needs warshed.

      And it’s off the Pa. turnpike — world’s worst highway. (Although I’m sure there is some debate on that.)

      But I’m sure some parts are charming… I know it’s irrational.

      • You forgot to mention how we “redd up” (tidy up), go down to the crick (creek), drink our pop, use gum bands (rubber bands) and we love our chipped ham and jumbo (bologna)! Oh, we love to put “jimmies” (sprinkles) on our ice cream. One thing we universally know is that those cheaters are jagoffs!! 🙂

        Pittsburgh really is a great city CL.

      • All true Tracy, BUT we do put French fries on everything from salads to sandwiches, and you have to admit that’s pretty effing awesome 😉

      • Until you’ve driven the freeways here in Los Angeles, you don’t know worst highway! Especially the 405 and the 101…….. I practically have a nervous breakdown when I need to drive on those.

        • Oh, yinz guys! I want Pittsburgh back, too! Cheater STBX and I both grew up there, and my family still lives there, and he took the ho there when he went there “on a business trip” and stayed with her in the hotel where we spent a night of our honeymoon. Jagoff.

  • He can have –

    -Most of eastern Europe; it’s a beautiful place, and most of the people I met were amazing, but ex-in-laws and multiple OW are there, just can’t do it.
    -Celine Dion, the entire Iglesias family, Marc Anthony (yep, his faves. That alone should have been reason to divorce his ass.) Any “love song” station too…blech.
    -Las Vegas (his fave place to go, although about 6 months post dday, I did use his frequent flier miles to go there, by myself, just so I could claim it for me, if I wanted to. I won $200, but don’t ever plan to go back)
    -the sport he played for a living. Luckily, neither of the kids want anything to do with it either.
    – Stuffed cabbages (see #1)

    Things I keep
    – The house – although we fixed it up together, it’s the only home the kids have ever known and the neighbors HATE him 🙂 ;
    – The bed (all new high thread count bedding and pj’s though – that exterminated the cheater germs for me);
    – The park where we vacationed as a family – I was going there with my family long before him; he was just a annoying blip on the screen.
    – The park where we got married – same reason; and
    – My life. It’s mine again.

    • “-Celine Dion, the entire Iglesias family, Marc Anthony (yep, his faves. That alone should have been reason to divorce his ass.)
      Thank you a million times over for a good laugh! I needed that today, the 4 month “anniversary” of Dday. Now if you would have thrown Cher, Bette Midler, Donna Summer and Whitney Houston in the mix, I would have started thinking that maybe he was a drag queen on the side!

  • What a wonderful topic, as 6 months post D-day and a month after my divorce, I am finally sleeping in MY bed. I couldn’t do it up until this past Monday when I was in my room folding clothes and I said “fuck it, it’s time.” That was really the only trigger I had. I’m so happy to be back in there with no icky feelings. And I mean none.

    Things he can have:
    The entire downriver area, Toby Keith, All country music, NRA, Anything related to Tennessee, constant hunting and bagging strange pussy, guns, and his over-inflated sense of pride for his Army career. Oh, he can have his shit serial cheating family too.

    Things that are mine:
    Kayaking, casinos, trips to Chicago, Mackinaw Island, Detroit Tigers, prime rib, Garden Bowl, Detroit Symphony Orchestra, creative freedom, friends, and a sense of well being I haven’t felt in 12 years. I’ll take those back. 🙂

    • Ha! I want the DSO and Tigers back too, also, throw in the Red Wings! Mostly, though, I want my cottage back. It was in my family since I was a kid. My parents gave it to us and it became “ours” because we gutted it and made it really nice. I had dreams of spending lots of time there during our retirement, happily ever after, blah blah blah. Now I still love it but it also reminds me of the biggest disappointment in my life.

      • “Ha! I want the DSO and Tigers back too, also, throw in the Red Wings! ”
        I’m a huge NFL fan, and a die hard Packers fan. Thank God he was a Vikings fan and couldn’t take my team away from me!

        • Gah. No Detroit slamming please. We get enough of that all over the media. But Ok, I’ll take Detroit. More for me. 🙂

          • You’ll have to share it with me. And I didn’t mean to slam it, just stating the obvious fact that we have a bad image these days.

          • I was relocated to an area close to Detroit because if stbx’s career.
            I am loving Detroit – and despite it’s problems – i have now got places and memories that have nothing to do with my past. Detroit is mine and he can keep Niagra Falls!

        • I do! Indian village, cork town, the ridiculous people mover, Greek town, hart plaza, the Fist…

    • Love your list of take-backs, Rumbekitty. I’m a Michigander, too, and especially Mackinac Island (and the ferry ride over) is too precious to leave behind. I can’t wait to take my girls there and ride tandem bikes or one of those horse-drawn carriage tours around the island.

      PS Go Tigers!

    • Yes! And Motown music too! Michigan driving ( driving faster than 80 mph on the highway). I take back elk rapids and shorts brewery too

  • Christmas
    My Birthday
    My daughter’s birthday.

    Yup — communications, dirty pics, shmoopie emails all exchanged on the most special family days and asshole still insists that he always wanted to spend MORE time with me, but I was inattentive (guess I should have attended to him by asking him to please stop humping the i-phone and help me with clean-up).

    Also, ultrasounds. I can’t look at one without my stomach flipping as I’m pretty sure he boinked his morbidly-obese ex on the same day that he accompanied me to an ultrasound appt. Who are these people????

    • “Also, ultrasounds. I can’t look at one without my stomach flipping as I’m pretty sure he boinked his morbidly-obese ex on the same day that he accompanied me to an ultrasound appt. Who are these people????”
      What a fucker! And I agree 100 percent..who ARE these people??

    • THIS-Asking him to stop humping the iPhone!!!!!!!
      HA HA HA!!!

      I need to borrow that quote as my stbx is still doing this on a regular (daily) basis.
      ‘Cuz don’t cha know there is limitless porn available for free.

      F’in Loser!

    • I have been thinking this past week that I want to take back my birthday this summer. Last summer, dday was the week before my birthday. I want to do something special this year to celebrate with the friends who helped me survive this year.

    • Sorry Percival!! I’m Puerto Rican, I hope being a fellow chump will give the whole island of PR some points in our favor?? 🙂

  • For a long time I couldn’t go into lingerie departments without feeling sick to my stomach and wanting to cry. It was as if the other woman had the right to be sexy and I did not. It’s difficult to explain but that’s just how it was for me. So I guess you could say he took away my ability to feel sexy.

    I was so focused on what they were up to and all the places they’d be at while I was stuck grieving in a shitty run-down house with two small kids that everything felt like a trigger. Like every nerve in my body was raw and unprotected.

    It has been ten years and although I have come a long way I don’t think I have fully recovered my own sense of self. I have had counselling and moved on in some respects but there is still residual crap that gets in on me. Infidelity is so damaging to one’s psyche.

    • Tonya, the thong I found in the bed was Victoria’s Secret (yes, the cheaters are cliches). Won’t shop there. But I believe it is every woman’s God given right to have decent lingerie. You know what’s better than cheap ass OW lingerie? French lingerie. Go buy yourself some Aubade, Chantelle, or Lou bras. Or try Marks & Spencer (we can order online in the US now and free shipping!) Quality sexy underwear for quality sexy people. Let the cheaters have Fredericks and that crap. Don’t let infidelity take away your ability to feel sexy. Cheating isn’t sexy — it’s cheap. Like crappy bra cheap.

      • Victoria’s Secret was my trigger, too.

        “It wasn’t lingerie, it was underwear,” said XH, rolling his eyes. As if that makes it okay for him to give any woman ANYTHING from Victoria’s Secret.

        But you’re right, CL – time to upgrade. Time to leave the cheap stuff to the cheapskate and his cheap women.

        Thank you!

      • Victoria’s Secret actually helped me get my sexy back. I felt so ugly and undesirable when I found out about the affair. His cheap whore was nothing special – which made it worse – and she worked part time stalking shelves at a major retail store. I wonder if she even had a high school diploma having given birth to twins when she was a teen. Yeah – my ex knew how to pick them! I am college educated and was the main bread winner. I took a big blow over this. Anyhow, A couple days after DDay ( and just before Christmas) I went to the mall to Barnes and Noble to buy self help (and affair) books. I still don’t know what gave me the idea, but I ended up at Victoria’s Secret and spent well over $500 on nice panties and bras. It felt good to drop that kind of money on myself, plus knowing it was probably the whores entire month salary stalking shelves. It sounds petty now, but at that time I needed a win, I needed to feel better. The lingerie wasn’t for the ex, as he was not allowed to touch me. It was for me. No one saw me in the nice undergarments but me. I needed to see myself like that. Sometimes I cried when I looked in the mirror but there were many days I looked and thought I looked pretty damn hot! It’s been five years, but I kept the red lace bra. Its in good shape, but its retired. It hangs in my closet and it reminds me of when I got my sexy back.

        I do need to purchase French lingerie as CL recommends. I need to step it up a notch. 🙂

        • I did the same ChumpedTwice, bought a bunch of Victoria’s secret panties and bras shortly after D-Day. I don’t wear them anymore, packed them up and put them in storage a while ago. But they made me feel pretty and sexy and special when I needed it. I am getting re-married in June and I think I will look into the French stuff for my honeymoon 🙂

        • Meh. The man who will truly love you will be okay with cotton panties. I’ll always remember my mother’s very plain, very non-Lacey stretched out lingerie and my father saying she was the sexiest thing alive (to him, naturally.)

          • Heartbroken, that’s so awesome of your dad! And of course the man who loves me doesn’t care about my underwear. The sexy underwear is for *me*, to get my sexy back for *me.* And actually, thank god, I never really lost that feeling about myself. I just thought he was an idiot for salivating over someone else when there’s so much more to a life and a family than a new pair of boobs and a lot of flattery. But if that’s what turned his head, well then….he’s more shallow than I thought.

      • yay for Chantelle. Also, Elomi rocks. And Panache. D22 and I are both..upholstered in the boob dept and we need serious bra architecture. But pretty. These brands are so worth it! And a tip–if you have a Nordstrom Rack nearby (which is the best pun ever), you can get ’em for 1/2 price, no joke.

      • Cheers CL. You’re right, you give good advice – fuck em! Time to get my sexy back and leave cheaters to wear the cheap knickers.

      • ..taking notes for personal upgrade. Found huge ass black thongs hidden is a basement bedroom. Size tooooo big for me and super cheap ass. More trophies.

      • I love Simone Pérèle. I discovered that about 2 months after dday and considered it a good investment in taking care of myself.

    • “I was so focused on what they were up to and all the places they’d be at while I was stuck grieving in a shitty run-down house with two small kids that everything felt like a trigger.”
      Same here, Tonya. We’ve lived in a house that was a rental property and really mistreated. Well, things continued to fall apart during the 16 years we’ve lived there, and the asshat would never do a damn thing to fix anything! Shitty house? Perfect description of mine! Here’s the kicker: He was at her house one time, FIXING HER WATER PIPES. Hell if that happened at our house, the kids, dogs cats and I would have floated out of Iowa. When I found out about him fixing her pipes (in more ways than one obviously) I got soooooo pissed off. Not providing a comfortable home for his wife and kids is fine and dandy..but oh my..when the OW needs help, he’s her frickin’ Bob Vila!

      • Sandy R, I hear you. Not only did my ex do up her place, he did up her mother’s place too while I fixed holes in floors and walls and painted and decorated and even managed to lay carpet. I’ve learnt to use a saw and a mitre and all sorts of other stuff so I now have my place looking nice and cosy – sort of a casual shabby chic country look that has been put together on a budget.

        Hammering nails is a good way to divert anger!

    • Tonya, I don’t know what will do it for you, but I got involved at my local gym and got my “inner athlete” back, along with my body. That was one aspect of who I was before I started making other people more important to me than I was–and that was well before the Jackass ripped the heart out of me. I am still exploring that stuff. Listening to my music. Figuring out what I love in this life. Whatever you loved before him–find a way to do it. Even if it’s just dancing to your favorite music in your living room or taking picture or putting the PJs on and watching Law and Order marathons. Make a list of what makes you YOU. Of course it’s taken you awhile to get untracked–you have small children to take care of. Blessings….

  • Where to start? Optional amnesia about “Lizart as they were known to the world” -Architectural digest where they put their 10 million dollar mansions, fashion, the need to feel sorry because they got sick and died and i do feel sorry, my reputation- “dumped wife who didnt get the money” , Manhattan, my new baby grandchildren who may like “gucci=pucci” more than me, my waistline hey wait that wasnt from him, total blankout on family and friends forever, my fathers scorn(he loved the money),sadness that i didnt have a normal life and i have belated sad children, Wow these cheaters do a lot of damage, sense of humor want that back, Wow it was worse than i thought-o those obits!!

    • Dearest wonderful Muriel, do you know what you have back that either of them can NEVER have? My utmost respect. You *rock*. You’re an inspiration to me every single day to keep fighting for what’s right and to get to “meh”. 🙂 Sunny

      • What Sunny said. Muriel, you are amazing. To have gone through all this in the public eye and come out as strong and as self-aware as you have: WOW. You really are an inspiration. Thank you!

  • We were together for 23 years, my entire adult life until that point.

    I took back Australia and New Zealand.

    Last big place: Washington, DC.
    This is where exH and Owife got together, and spent who knows how many months cheating. I hoped to take it back sooner, but now it looks like exH & OWife are moving there in the autumn.

    And thanks to their actions, I have absolutely no desire to go to Central America, so that will save time in the future, deciding where to travel.

  • Las Vegas. I was a SAHM at the time and knew how much my ex wanted to go to Las Vegas. So, for his 30th birthday I decided to surprise him with a trip there. I slowly saved money for over a year (put a little bit away each week so that he didn’t know it). I planned the trip, bought the tickets (including tickets to shows) and even packed the bastard’s bags. I contacted his work…had the WHOLE trip planned. I was proud that I was able to pull it off without him finding out. I even arranged with my mom to take care of my 2 little girls (age 5 and 2 at the time). This would be the longest time away from them and took a lot of planning (physically and emotionally on my part). He had no idea we were going anywhere until I pulled up at the airport and handed him a gift (it was a Las Vegas board game I had found). He seemed off but I just thought he was surprised. We flew to Vegas and that first night he informs me that he’s not coming home with me. For the next 4 days I was stuck in another country alone…while he was out gambling and drinking. I would be on the phone crying while he was on the phone with HER. I can’t afford it right now, but one day I’m going back there to make new memories of my own!

    • I am not a fan of Las Vegas (I prefer the parks and canyons outside the city) but you come back to the US and I will take you there! We can have a girls weekend.

      • Awe, thanks zyx321. Honestly, I’m not a fan of it either. At the time I didn’t know why he even wanted to go, but I planned it for him. Now, while I could care less about going there specifically, I feel like I need to in order to replace that old memory.

    • Oh I am so sorry SOHC, what a POS he is. Take it back if you need to, and then never look back again at that sorry town or your sorry-ass ex.

    • Wow! I did this too! Cleared a credit card & didn’t touch it for over a year, no matter how badly I needed to “touch it” sometimes. My ex has been to Las Vegas with his boss/best friend about 6 years before on business…well, concrete & machinery seminars during the day, yee-haw! Fun at night. We had talked about me going with the next year, but our friend passed away suddenly of a heart attack. I always thought that event had something to do with the drastic change in my exh. I know it didn’t cause him to decide it was way past time to begin cheating; he was the son of a cheater & losing his adored father at 17, after having lost his mother as a child & his dad marrying a much younger woman, (who he also cheated on) All of these things played into this. I now know that there had been a few one-night-stands I didn’t know of earlier in the marriage so I guess J’s passing was just “the” trigger but I’m sure there would have been “a” trigger eventually anyway…I was left with a non-refundable charge on my credit card for reservations & he was busy with his ow the weekend I had planned to be with him in Vegas. So, one day, I’d like to go…just to see it. One thing I avoid at all costs? “Lips of an Angel” I HATE that song! So glad I don’t have to watch WWE, fishing shows, NASCAR, & I still dislike driving past construction sites. She can have all that. He never liked football. I love football. I enjoy throwing on my 49er gear & watching without hearing him whine about how stupid it is. I am alive. 🙂

    • Sick of HER Chump, I have never been to Vegas, nor have I ever really wanted to. But reading your story made me feel like going there just to help you get your MOJO back from that city. Anybody who can orchestrate a trip like that deserves every possible kindness that the Universe has to offer. If I ever do find my way down there, I will raise a glass in your honour. YOU ROCK!!!!

  • President’s Day and the Econo Lodge. My X told me he was going in to work on President’s day (a holiday where we work) because he had a LOT of work to do and he could get it done when it was quiet and no one around bothering him. Haha.
    Through a series of missteps on his behalf (who knows, he probably did them on purpose so I would catch him, then he wouldn’t have to break it to me) I caught him fucking Skank Woman at the Econo Lodge that day instead. I couldn’t care less about the sleazy motel but I’d sure like to get back President’s day.

  • My STBX likes the fine things in life. He can keep:

    – Le Labo perfumes. All of them.
    – All the exercise equipment, chia seeds and protein bars he used to be in good shape for OW.
    – His super tight-fitting pants.
    – Tennis (although I’m trying to take that back) and tennis camps (where he met OW).
    – The whole city of Tampa, the whole state of Pennsylvania, shoofly pie.
    – Michael Jackson (OW adores him and uses his pic as her avatar picture on social media).

    I get to keep:
    – Our two children
    – Two cats
    – Music, books and video games
    – my dignity!

  • Georgian and or Federal period houses. I had one. It was the most glorious thing to live in–not a fancy place, just, real. I had done all the history on the house. found scraps of wallpaper, children’s toys, concealment shoes (ask me sometime)…and probably painted every single surface at least once. God I loved that place despite its flaws.

    Flash forward two years, post Chumpery, house sold, I’m lucky, I’ve landed a sweet little ranch in a lovely town, but… I go back to work in a museum that contains a collection of antique houses. Whammo. PTSD, nausea. crying fits. Get me outta here fits. And these houses were all period tricked out, not my home. But the trigger, oh my God.

    I would like to reclaim the ability to be in one of those space and relive the feeling of having my whole life splinter and crack and disappear like some hellmouth before and including my own eyes.

  • He took her to places- cities like Nice and London, and restaurants, hotels – that we frequented as a couple and a family. He put SO much thought and effort into their time together. NOT! Everything was a redo of what we’ve done. I’ve gone back to both on my own recently, posting pictures of all those places on my social media sites that I know she trolls (she even liked a picture but quickly unliked, but I’d already seen that she had) letting her know that she got my sloppy seconds and I’ll be damned if I let her ruin these places that I’ve always loved. She can have Miami, where she lives and where H went to see her a couple of times, but only because humidity and alligators ain’t for me.

    • Yes, I have never wanted to go to Miami, and turns out OWife is from there.
      Give me the Everglades, or the Keys, but not a stinky city in the sand,

    • They all seem to have a re-do. Ex took OW to a lot of places we went together or as a family. It was very strange at the time but then I realised he had no imagination and couldn’t really think up something new, as it was me who always figured out places to go, holidays to take, where to eat, what to do. Now he does everything she suggests … best part is that the stuff she likes he used to hate. Hahahaha!

      • oh yeah. The wonderful Family Outing I planned, paid,, etc–took us whale watching, and it was glorious. Most perfect day out on the water. We saw Minkes, Humpbacks breaching, pods of dolphins; Just extraordinary. And asshole was taking pix for his Dr. Hoe. And spent all the next night & day telling her about it. Barf.

        Mind you with an adolescent/college-age kid it was the first family thing we’d done happily in maybe years. And he had to try and serve it up to Dr. Hoe on a silver platter. What a fucking turd, no sprinkles.

        Wish we had killer whales in our oceans, and one had eaten him….

  • Second last other woman, hmmm Boston. Never been , but of course he took her there and stayed in hotels with her. Latest OW, he went to NY to see her, and she is from there. Always wanted to see the city, but now it’s tainted. I’m getting there slowly though. Passed by OW’s favorite movie in the store the other day (I know it is, since idiot sent it to her for her b-day which is coming up May 5), I looked at it and kind of laughed, didn’t trigger, thought, hell… I might even buy it some day, oh and winter lifesavers candy (OW favorite), I want those back!
    Biggest thing is latest OW loves Target! Grrrr. that is MY store bitch and I refuse to let her have it!

    • Oh–come see ME in Boston. Fuck him. I’ll show you around Ye Olde Beane Towne.
      We’ve got tons of fun stuff, minus fuckers. 🙂

  • The movie Pan’s Labyrinth.

    I have a tattoo of the faun, and it was my first tattoo. Recently, I went to a small horror sci-fi event in which Doug Jones, the actor who played the faun, was in attendance. He signed my tattoo, and I got that signature inked in permanently the next day. There was a screening of Pan’s Labyrinth my husband and I stayed for, and this was my second time seeing it in a theatre.

    It’s been so long, that I FORGOT my ex was with me the first time. In any case, he’s been replaced with this new memory. He didn’t steal the joy I had from that film. He never will. The city of MEH has a movie theatre, and in it I can watch movies I watched with him and it doesn’t matter. Especially not this one. PL is mine.

    • What a great movie, I love it too!
      No, it has nothing to do with your shallow cheater. It’s just for you!

      • It is a fantastic movie isn’t it?

        I’m not sure if it’s just because it’s been so long out of the relationship, or because I’m firmly in “meh,” but even when I try to remember any part of him being there, I can’t. I just remember the movie. I know that getting to the theatre was a bit of a pain because it was far from where I was, but I can’t even remember driving there with him. It’s almost as if I was by myself. XD

  • I’m noticing that Las Vegas shows up on many chumps’ lists of Triggery Things We’re Willing to Do Without (i.e., not take back). I’m sure there are good people there (even chumps!), but it’s no surprise that cheaters flock there, I think. The ultimate city of un-reality, narcissism, superficiality, and a desperate dream that stupid decisions have no consequences.

    A whole city built on gambling, flashing lights, fake tits, getting sh*tfaced, strip clubs, grand facades, and prostitution? Um, no thanks. What happens in Las Vegas . . . isn’t of much interest to sane people who work hard and play by the rules.

    • In TOTAL agreement. The whole place is genuine imitation everything. Fake Paris. Fake Venice. It’s gauche in the extreme. Just like cheaters.

      • I have never been to Vegas. I have no interest in going there unless someone else is paying.
        I don’t have a lot of vacation $ and I can’t imagine spending $ to go there.

        • Vegas reminds me of a big migraine. I went one time but there’s so many other places I’d rather go. I imagine it would be a lot more fun if I was in my 20’s . . .

        • I completely agree that Vegas is trash city. That’s where I married Cheater X. I’ve already told the story here that when we got to the chapel that we reserved to get married in, it had burned to the ground. Nothing but smoking rubble and police tape. Talk about a burning bush.
          Right then I KNEW it was some sort of sign. But we found another wedding joint down the road and had our ten minute wedding at Graceland Wedding Chapel with pictures of Elvis everywhere. It couldn’t have been any cheesier.

      • Wwwweeeeeelllll, that’s just the strip, which I grant you is very fake. But that is a very small part of the city. There is so much more to Vegas than the strip. There is the college town area around UNLV which has amazing cutting edge art, music, culture, food. The museums and cultural centers are world class. The natural areas surrounding the city are majestic and accessible to people of all levels of fitness. The history of the area is fascinating. Basically, get outside of the strip and you will find that Vegas is a very real world class city.

      • I went there for a conference and could barely stand to leave my hotel room (which was in an old-school hotel).

    • I’ve Been to Vegas ONCE.. * with an ex as his “date” for His friend I didn’t knows’ Wedding**
      There Total 3 days….Wasn’t Particularly Impressed..
      Only happy I Won $ 75..Other than That.. * Shrug*

    • I absolutely LOVE Vegas and am sane, work extremely hard, and play by the rules. I love nothing more than to catch a good show, go dancing (if I go with girlfriends), and relax by the pool. I do not gamble. I recently spent two days relaxing poolside with the best service anyone could ask for. It was a much needed break. I also ran my first half marathon there two years ago.

      Vegas is what you make of it, you will find what you are looking for, as with everything else.

      • Chumped Twice…I love love love the shows in Vegas. I’ve seen shows on Broadway in NYC and the Vegas shows have been even more awesome. Zumanity is to die for and I could see it a dozen more times. I go for the poolside and the shows. Sometimes I throw some dice but that’s not the main attraction.
        I just won’t get married there ever again. Ha!

    • Actually, prostitution is not legal in Las Vegas. Although, Las Vegas is not one of my favorite places, the taxes from there pretty much supports the Great State Of Nevada. I do with they would quit trying to steal our water to impress the tourists with, though. As others have said, Vegas is what you make of it. I love Valley of Fire State Park and Clark County Wetlands Park. The shows are great and they have the largest variety of world cuisines in Nevada. Yes, there are some cheaters, and really, find a larger city that doesn’t have it’s fair share of cheating tourists, there is so much more to Vegas than the 30 second “What happens in Vegas, stays in Vegas” tourism spots and CSI. If you are still unable to stomach the thought of going to Vegas, Reno and Lake Tahoe are beautiful and worth visiting.

    • I didn’t even put Vegas on my list even though that was one of their hotspots. I had been there in my 20’s with Asshat and didn’t like it. It’s a non-place for me. I did find his $100 token trophies from his fuckfests. I tossed those with the other trash he collected.

  • I want back: southeastern Connecticut. Our twins were born there.
    Uncle Daddy can have anything that has to do with role-playing games (Dungeons and Dragons, Axis and Allies, 20-sided di, whatever paraphernalia that goes along with that)
    He can have any and all gaming stores and comic book stores in the Midwest and MidAtlantic states. And the parawhore he games with.

    I really didn’t lose all that much, did I? Not too much I really want to take back. I guess a whole region of a state is kind of a big deal, though. Ah, well…

  • I am taking back my special spot by the reservoir and the entire country of Iceland. We honeymooned in Iceland and the reservoir is a place where I went to soothe my soul.

    I will take back these places because – damn him! – the photos I took of him in these spots feature prominently in his OK-Stupid profile. Yuck.

    • Did you see theSecret life of Walter Mitty?great shots of Iceland.I want to go there.”life is about courage and going into the unknown. . . Stop dreaming, start living” sounds like great advice for chumps.

  • Well Ladies – only earlier this year I had to take my daughter to the same hotel I had been many many times with my ex and the children over the years. This time I drove and actually found it quite ok !!!! Strangely all the memories came flooding back and it was a comfort – not because of him but because being there somehow validated and confirmed I had actually lived through those experiences there with my family – it had been real even though everything my ex has tried to do this past year is to diminish eradicate and nullify the 20 yr marriage that was. I have been so at sea doubting and questioning whether anything I had experienced or lived through with him had actually been true – being in that hotel with my daughter surrounded by familiar sights was a help – so I guess I’ve reclaimed that place at least .
    You just never know how your going to react until your there and maybe like me you’ll be surprised – who knows maybe it was a small step forward although I didn’t t see it as one at the time but writing now I think it definitely was – Oh and bye the way it was my daughters first birthday without her dad or brother so she did pretty well herself !!!!!

  • Please tell me that I’m not as crazy as I think I am because I’ve started to avoid MY OWN town. OW was born and raised here (very small town, for what it’s worth), and I am just a transient, but between several locations they frequented, my whole town just reminds me of her at this point. And sadly, prior to all this, I liked this town. It’s quaint, yuppy, and very picturesque. I don’t understand how one whore was capable of ruining the memory of this place for me. The other crazy thing is (if not worse), is that months later I still find myself driving to a grocery store 2 towns over from fear of a potential run in. I’ve mentioned this to my therapist, but he was not very helpful in decoding this behavior for me. Would someone attempt to explain to me what THAT is about? I wish I could say that I’ve gotten better since DD 8 months ago, but just when I start to think it’s the case, Id experience a setback. So sad, really. And to add insult to injury, OW is very much involved in the community: church fundraisers, book clubs, mom’s clubs, it’s as nothing ever happened. HOW is she not embarrassed?

    • heartbroken … you are not crazy. It is interesting how we the Chumps think this of ourselves. My ex husband thinks he is wonderful and so does everyone else. I avoid Melbourne city where we used to live in an apartment. It has everything that you need. Having said that, I live about 15 minutes away in my apartment and I have found alternative everything in the surrounding suburbs in order that I don’t have to go into the city unless absolutely necessary because I do not want to bump into him. Another thing and this is the issue I really need to address. I have Asian girlfriends who are younger and older than me but after my ex husband started having sex with 20 year old Vietnamese and Cambodian prostitutes I have to look away from Asian females or it will still bring me to my knees and I will break down in the street. I hate my ex for what he has done. His comment to me after I confronted him was, “I was single” but he wasn’t when he started this process. He doesn’t get that he is the father of a 35 year old daughter and how wrong it is for him to be preying on young vulnerable girls. His is a sick rat.

      • It Suxx when you can’t even Look at People that even SOMEWHAT resemble Their Fucks, Cause it Triggers You… I’m soo Sorry Maree 🙁 That kind of thing is Absolutely Traumatizing.

      • Ah Maree,
        I must live close to you. I’m thankful I’ve still got Melbourne city – some of my favourite restaurants are there – but I want St Kilda and Balaclava back (especially the bagel shops!)

        • Sicktomystomach, it is a small world, isn’t it? Full of broken hearts and shattered lives and dreams. I love St Kilda and Balaclava. You need to take a deep breath and bite the bullet and reclaim the night. Maybe I should take my own advice.

          • I like your reference to reclaim the night. It reminds me of Jill Meagher.
            I’ve already taken back the Mornington Peninsula. Thank goodness. Stupid ex had never been there so I took him to all my favourite places over many visits. The last time I took him I also took my sister (the OW)! I’ve now been back twice. The first time with some girlfriends; I spent the whole time crying. I went again over Easter and didn’t cry once 🙂
            Maybe you could do this with melbourne CBD? You may need a few visits.

            • The OW was your sister? Your SISTER? Gah. Unbelievable. There’s a special place in hell for both of them.

      • Maree, I thought it was just me looking away! OW was an attractive black woman in XH’s lab, and now I have trouble looking at that demographic without thinking about her. Maybe someday things will go back to normal, but I’m not “meh” on that yet…

    • I really feel for you. I hope you get a chance to move, it’s worth the hassle. I couldn’t go ANYWHERE in my city, I just was jumpy as a cat because I figured I’d walk around a corner display, and that evil Flying Monkey would be in my face! I even circled the parking lot at grocery stores, looking for her car before I decided it was safe to go in. It’s no way to live, or get better inside once you know you’re divorcing.
      I moved to California, and killed two birds with one stone- no more stressing, and no more snow!

      • Best thing IS to mOVe..start TOTALLY FRESH…

        I Soo Want that For Myself…
        I Want to live Where I’d Want to Vacation..and Never Want to Leave, cause it’s Perfect.
        I’d LOVE to have THOSE kinds of Roots Grown…

        it’s Gonna Happen One Day..

      • Can I ask where you seems very expensive to move there,but I’d love to.i live in idaho.yeh to no more snow!

        • I moved to Oakland, because I grew up here! My father needed someone as a companion/caregiver, which I hope I’m up to the task. But, no matter how it works out, he gave me a place to live in while I figure out absolutely everything! I mean, I was with crazy X for almost 40 years, and as soon as I was away from him, I realized the enormity of his evil manipulations. It just blows my mind when I think about it. I honestly can’t even put it into words, the betrayal was so deep and thorough. I have to learn all over again, what it means to live in this world, and how to trust someone.
          But living here, with the fresh organic food, going for walks, and to yoga classes, I know I can heal, I just need time. I hope you all can find your new place, no matter where it is. It’s a beautiful place, once cheater is nowhere to be found!

    • The only explanation for people like the OW in your sitiatin is that they are shameless. They are entitled, as CL says, so they have nothing to be ashamed of. They don’t think like us–we see other people as worthy of our kindness and respect and decency, until they prove they are dangerous to us; they see other people expendable, not equal to them or worthy of fundamental respect. So she can be right out there and feel like she always does–superior, entitled, because our rules don’t apply to her. I don’t know that about the MOW in my situation, but that applies to Mr. Jackass

  • Pawleys Island, SC. Multiple family trips with his whole side of the family. The last one was quasi-miserable, as stbx was in the throes of depression. I had had enough of the poor me, passive aggressive pity party, & was quite short with him. Evidently, according to stbx – so the accuracy of the statement is questionable – everyone thought I was a total bitch. I invited him to let them know they were welcome to come walk in my shoes for a week, then see how they felt about it. Otherwise, STFU.
    So, that place will never be visited by me again. Too many other beaches, too many other good memories to make.

  • Good topic. I minored in Architecture and majored in Construction Management. So naturally I love big cities. We honeymooned in Chicago and went to NYC for our 10th wedding anniversary. I’ve been back to NYC since D-day but, haven’t been back to Chicago yet.

  • I would like to take back…

    The TV shows we watched together (The Walking Dead, Boardwalk Empire, Archer, etc.) – I get a bit sad when I realize I lost the person I talked to about it.

    The movies – I still haven’t been to the movies since we broke up… Even though there were so many good movies out in December! Shucks!

    East Marginal Way South… (I know, weird street name, right?) He worked on that street, but there would be times I would have to go to one of the company’s offices a couple blocks away and I would get so nauseated thinking I might run into him and the howorker.

    Seattle in general. I still get a little nervous thinking I might run into him in the city when I’m out with my friends for things like Emerald City Comic Con and 5Ks. I try and calm myself down by saying he was a “home body” and never went out (though he blamed that on me) and the chances of me running into him are slim, but sometimes I need a little more encouragement…

    My nice formal heels I forgot while I was rushing to move out! He dangled my stuff in front of me when I moved out as a way to string me along, but now I have nicer shoes so maybe I don’t need them…

    • I started the divorce process in Seattle. I had just moved there last year and really enjoyed my time there but the infidelity just ruined the whole experience there.

      We also had gone to the ECCC and I was looking forward to going this year!

      • I know – Seattle’s such a beautiful city! Luckily, my ex became such a “home body” that he never wanted to do anything with me (but expected me to still think up plans and offer them to him to reject). So that motivated me to go out and do events he never took me to (like concerts, ECCC, and next PAX!).

        I went to ECCC alone and it was so much bigger than I thought it would be! I even got a lot of Street Passes on my 3DS (I swear I’m not 12 years old!).

        • Akko and Nat, I am not that far from you. If you guys ever want to meet up in Seattle, I say ROAD TRIP! 🙂

    • You know..I REALLY HATE it when the Bastards hold your Things Hostage…Lord Em over You.. ASSHOLES !!!

      • I know! I felt so stupid because I made sure to do a once-over before I left to make sure I didn’t forget anything! Oh well, at least it was an excuse for me to go shopping! (I do prefer my new blue pumps and Dyson vacuum over the “lost” black heels I wore to prom and the $50 no-name vacuum I bought at Wal*Mart!)

        • Fucker Took My KEYS outta MY Car Ignition and Held Em over MY Head like a Playground Grade School Bully,Had me Begging him for My Keys, Reaching Up on Tiptoes Trying to get Them Back..Fucker Puts em in His Pocket.. so I Could NOT Leave, after I Moved out the LAST of My Things to Go…
          HE Took Off with Them, after I Called the Police after about 20 minutes of Demanding my Keys Back, so I could Leave , Stating He was Holding me Against my Will…Which he WAS… After the Cop was Gone after Saying he couldn’t See What the Problem Was..DUMB Fucking ASSHOLE COP, ex REARRIVES and Claimed He Put em in the Mail, so I’d HAVE to Stay Until they were Delivered Back There to His Apartment.
          5 ” MEN ” SAT There and Watched That Piece of Shit TORMENT Me..and did NOTHING to Help me …Pretty much Aiding My False Imprisonment and Subsequent Rape..
          I was Three months Pregnant.

    • “The TV shows we watched together (The Walking Dead, Boardwalk Empire, Archer, etc.) – I get a bit sad when I realize I lost the person I talked to about it.”
      Same here. Except ours are Sons of Anarchy and Falling Skies.

    • I miss certain shows too. The Walking Dead, Dexter, modern Family. We used to watch together. I know OW doesn’t get them like we did. I have no one to watch them with.

    • I miss a couple shows we used to watch too. I just stopped when he left and haven’t been able to watch them, though I want to finish the season(s). But to be honest, I haven’t watched much of anything or even listened to music since dday. It’s like I am just appreciating the silence.

      • I can no longer watch or hear about Mad Men. We watched it together and discussed Don Draper and why he didn’t seem able to control himself. Gag. How can you be like that in your real life, watch a show about it with your wife and talk about how damaged Don Draper character was? That’s one compartmentalized mind!

        • Yes, how is that possible? Do they get some sort of sick charge out of it? My cheater insisted on watching “Cheaters” with me!!! Until I finally just said I couldn’t bear it anymore, watching those poor chumps’ hearts breaking in front of God and everybody. I would never have chosen to watch it.

          And then he would exclaim, “I get it that people fall out of love…but tell the person! Get a divorce! Be honorable!” And, meanwhile, he was living a complete double life with a woman in another state, turning my life into an episode of 20/20 – another type of show he liked to exclaim over: the scumbags who have double lives.

          • Oh man, Finally!! I think our losers are long-lost twins!! He used to laugh his ass off when we watched Cheaters, all the while repeating his mantra “That’s the one thing I’d never do to you”. Big fat liar!! This while he was and still is having his double life with the OWhore in another state. But that I’m on this end of the crap, I’d like to get revenge by being on Cheaters. And telling everybody how he repeated over and over that he wouldn’t do that to me!

      • I am struggling with music too. I have always been a singer..choirs, weddings, funerals, etc. And ALWAYS singing along with the radio. I just can’t anymore. I truly can’t sing along with any song, ever. What sucks about that..I work in radio, go figure. The 2 shows I mentioned above that H and I’s the same thing for me. I can’t bear to watch them without him. We both understood the characters and it’s just not going to be the same. Both of the shows I mentioned will have season premieres down the road, and it just depresses me that I have no one to watch them with.

  • My Daughter LOVES ” Blues Clues “… and Guess what the One of the Most COMMON Names on the Friggin PLANET Is ?? YEA…. Hopefully Due to Exposure Therapy, By just Being ALIVE, and causing me to be Triggered Multiple times a Day from Hearing that WORD…I simply Won’t Give a Crap Anymore.

    Chitcago…… Course I’m not Mourning that.. Wouldn’t TOUCH That place with ANYONE’s Feet, let Alone my Kid’s.

    Halloween, Thanksgiving, Christmas, The 4th of July, All Saint’s Day.

    Particular Movies I Used to Love which have GREAT Meaning to me..of Course, I Reckon By the Time She’s OLD Enough to Watch Them ** Certain Violent Scenes and Such * if I’m NOT OVER it By THEN… Heaven HELP Me.

    Certain Songs.. Especially ones I Used to Love BEFORE I Met Mr.Sorryarse, that I Now have to Turn Off When I Hear Em.

    Spaghetti.. Broccoli Rob * Never even Knew THAT Existed till his Family Gettogthers * Now Seems I notice it ALOT.

    Haircuts. * Ugh..Don’t Ask***
    Women who Cut Hair as a Profession.
    A Couple of Other VERY COMMON Female Names.

    Gardens.. Compost Containers, Cactuses , Flowers.
    Online Video Game Invites..

    Certain People I Know..

    Garage Door Openers or The Sound of a Garage Doors Opening

    Nasty Coffee

    The List goes ON…

          • Cell phone vibrate I wanted to flush the fucker down the toilet or take a fucking hammer to it lol which i did !

            • Same here, MichaelD! Every time his phone vibrated it was his whore texting or calling. And it was like his cell phone was a billion dollar bar of gold, the way he never let it out of his sight or God forbid, the kids or I actually touching or looking at the damn thing.

            • Michael,you’re a gentleman for the way you handled someone’s disapproval of you the other day!C.L came to your defense as I knew she would. Anyway, I hate the click,click of deleted messages while I’m in the other room.and the screen changing as I walk into the room.great karma to you as you are a man of integrity and you deserve it.

              • Thanks Danab back at ya 🙂 And Sandy I smashed that fucking Iphone to bits esp after the bill came. the bill never lies 🙂

            • I have never hated something as much as I hated my stbx’s cell phone. He would sleep with it clutched in his hand and I never had the opportunity to take revenge on it…. But I have dreamed of running over it with the car 🙂

              • THIS-I hate these iPhones & all the shitty apps that help these fuckwits cheat. My stbx has such a Kung foo grip on his iPhone that I think it has become another appendage… goes everywhere with him, shower, shit, bathroom…….the list goes on. I dream of ways to smash it to bits/destroy it. And that’s only because I can’t do it to stbx.

              • Lisah I feel exactly the same way! One of the biggest mistakes I ever made was buying my STBXH his iphone!! It too never left his hand and would even accompany him to the toilet!! I got suspicious as he would delete messages as they arrived and not let the conversation run. Sure enough when I pounced on him to see a message that came through he hit the roof about me not trusting him? HA! When I hacked into his phone account he had texted the OW 1500 times a month!! It is 2.5 months since my dday but Everytime I see him in regard to the children he is texting and I have to muster everything inside me not to grab the phone and beat him with it!!!

        • Actually can relate to my own birthday too. It was the day the universe was finally turning in HER favour, published all over FB. He was gone a week later. I will never forgive him for fucking up THAT birthday too!

      • Wow – garage door is a childhood trigger for me. I’ve not lived in a place with a garage door opener since I was 18. Brings me right back to parental gas lighting. *shiver*

  • I’d like to take Key West back and hope to this summer. We spent part of our honeymoon there. We took a glass-bottom boat ride that he spent the entire time of above, on deck and sea sick. Yet he was somehow able to take his eff-buddy – I’m sorry, “very close friend,” on a day long boat tour in Miami without similar issue. Miami I don’t think I’ll ever take back. Or Ft. Lauderdale. Neither really attract me or have too many things that I don’t mind missing out on. Key West? My kids want to go there so bad and for them, I can at least try to take that one back.

  • There is a Irish rest that I wont name in the next town over where they were caught. I would like to napalm the fucker, just burn it down.
    But here is the funny thing there is a Starbucks in the same shopping center and the other day she wanted to go and get a coffee, I just about stopped the car and threw her ass out into the parking lot as the car was moving, the kids were in the back so I was calm and just drove on by & said sorry not today maybe on your time. and my thought was not with me and not with my kids that you chose to throw into the trash can,,,,,,,,,,,,,I should prob just move on and not give a shit,,,,, but she was like ,,,whats wrong ? She never got it & if she did she didnt give a shit.
    Have a good weekend all 🙂

    • Oh MichaelD…. She won’t ever “get it”. Because your ‘hurt’ means nothing to her. Life is so much better without trying to wait and see if/when they are ever going to get it… I promise!

  • Bruce Springsteen
    Lowe’s – we did a lot of home Renovation. I cried the first time I had to go in there.
    Downtown in my city – that’s where “they” went out and now live
    The theatre
    The Ballet

  • I hate seeing the candles OW sells in the homes of my children. My ex gives them as gifts. Makes me want to hurl them out the window and ask what the F*** they’re thinking?

    Also, I don’t want anything to do with horses. My ex fell in love with his coworker over their mutual love of horses. No Derby parties for me this year.

    “Our song” was “I fooled around and fell in love,” An oldie but a goodie. It was playing as background music in a movie I was watching and it took everything I had to stay in my chair next to my date and not run from the room.

    I stopped listening to country music. The other day I accidentally heard some nice country music and the physical sensation of how we used to dance together started moving through my arms and legs. It was pleasant and upsetting at the same time.

  • My ex didn’t bring me anywhere – so I don’t have that added misery. What I do wish I could take back is my old carefree and trusting self. I wish I could take back my interests in life. I fear I have lost myself in the “marriage police” stage of the end of our marriage, and then later the “parent police.” The one complaint my current love has about me is that I show no interest in anything. I have a lot of work to do on myself!

    • I don’t like who I’ve become at all. I feel weepy and worthless so often, 2 issues I never had before. The old me would have handled this so differently, but he worked at chipping away at me for so long I barely recognize the chump I’ve become. Sigh. But the old us is a part of us, so we just have to dig deep I guess. I don’t want to be the police either, I want to be mischievous and fun, salty and strong.

      • It took time, but I’ve stopped policing him. I used to call him and email him telling him how to be a better parent. I realized that it’s a waste of my energy, and I cannot control how he treats my kids. As a result, my kids stopped going to see him. They don’t talk to him. They see what I saw. Thankfully, they don’t feel crazy for it like I did. Hugs to you. You will get there!!

        • * Hugs * to Both of you.

          I Soo GET This….

          Yea..what I Want Back….EVERYTHING I Knew BEFORE HE EVER EXISTED to Me.
          Especially MYSELF.

          My Little Girl is the only DECENT thing that ever Stemmed from that Monster.
          He’s King SHITHAND… as is Everything he Touches…Well..You KNOW the Rest.

  • I decided very early on to take back everything that was important to me and the kids. So we very quickly went to a few of the cities that we had been to as a family (and that idiot also took various Other Women to) and made new memories. It wasn’t easy at first because not travelling with their dad was something totally new and we still had a lot of adjusting to do.

    Now? We’ve taken back so many places and every time something comes up I just say to the kids ‘Let’s take it back and make new memories’. And we do. I refuse to let ex ruin my favourite places.

    • What is up with them taking OWs to places we went to as a couple and/or family? They want something different right, that’s part of the reason they’re cheating with someone else, so why take her to the same places and do the same things the do/did with us?

      • 1myr…It’s because they have no imagination. My X took OW to all the places I had taken him. I’ve lived in several states on the west coast and traveled them all so I’m a great tour guide. I found out he took HER to all the places I showed HIM.
        Really, as someone asked here….Who are these people??

        • There was a point where ex, after I kicked him out, was taking final OW to all our favourite restaurants and went with her to the two last places we had gone as a family. He didn’t get why this upset the kids. I explained it to him and he had this incredibly dumb ‘duh’ look on his face before saying, ‘I didn’t really think about that.’. No, I imagine he didn’t. Whatever, they don’t travel much any more (money issues, etc) and I’m planning new places for me and the kids.

          • I think many guys just know what they like and they go to the same places over and over again.

            • I don’t know … ex wasn’t overly keen on any of the places. I think it was more that it was easy, he had been to them numerous times before and it took little effort. Plus, she wasn’t hugely well-traveled so he could show off. Win-win, right?

        • I’d add that it shows the OWs are not special, really. They don’t see them as distinct people who themselves may not like to be on a rerun of what the Cheater experienced with someone else. I think it’s part trying to have the same life while changing partners (cake in another form) and part “it’s all about me.”

    • Disney was a trigger for both me and my then 4 year old daughter. When I made plans to take the kids back two years ago, my daughter started crying, and told me she didn’t want to go, because last time we went, “You cried the whole time mommy.”

      You see, I’d planned a great big surprise trip for the ex’s birthday (which was close in date to our daughters) with a big “meet the princess” event; the whole deal. And a week before we were set to go (we’d been counting down for MONTHS), he decided he needed to go for an emergency visit to his “dying mother” (the one who really wasn’t dying; that apparently was code for “go f%$# the whore) and he blew off the trip; except he kept blaming the airlines, and making up all sorts of bullshit, so I was a worried wreck, unexpectedly flying and navigating Disney alone with a 1 and 4 year old. Crying the whole time.

      We’ve taken Disney back – two awesome trips and not a single tear.

    • Nord, just want to say that you are incredibly brave & I admire you so much. Your attitude is inspiring. In the several months I’ve been lurking & reading, I’ve developed an immense amount of respect for you……for everyone here. This is the first site of this kind…well, I was going to say, the first site of this kind where I’ve felt at home with folks who really get it & express it…but I realized as I typed the sentence that, “this is the first site of this kind” is true. Nowhere else I’ve been has ever assured me, with every post I read, that getting out is not selfish. Its self-defense! Thank you, Chump Lady, Nord & all of you wonderful folks. You’re amazing! 🙂

      • Thank you! I wish I felt brave more than I do but essentially I am determined to make my way back to who I really am. And I’m getting there through sheer will and an enormous amount of hard work, both personally and professionally.

        We all have been through the wringer and I think everyone here, in their own way, is figuring out that we were played but that we deserve more and better from the people in our lives. And we’ll get it if we demand it. It isn’t easy but few things in life worth having are easy, you know?


        • Nord,

          You are extremely courageous and resilient. I have read so much about your fight back from the very edge of complete financial disaster, all the while being a sane and focused parent to your boys.

          You are just one of the many examples of courage, resilience, integrity and honor on this site and I salute you and all of our fellow Chumps.

          • Thanks, Princess. I’m certainly not the best parent on the planet but I’m doing a fairly ok job of it, I think. We’re all strong and amazing and this site has been brilliant in letting us all share, support and have enormous amounts of laughs while coming to the realisation that cheaters are all the same … while we are all unique. It’s kind of funny when I think about it.

  • Oh, and I forgot to add one — I do everything to avoid driving by the place where our family used to life. I’m the only one left living here now and it’s so strange. Most of my friend’s kids still live close, but not mine. At times I’ve had the sensation of living in a ghost town. Sometimes I’ll drive 20 miles out of my way to avoid going by our old place.

  • I want the library back where I work. I can’t go in there because that is where OW worked and their affair started in it. I’ve been in there once and walked by her old office and started shaking. I had to get out of there fast.

  • There are so many things.

    My car, I discovered them riding around in it. I could have sold it only my kids learned to drive in it, and we had so many memories in it (me and my kids). And I decided F you ow and cheater.

    So what she had her ass in MY car, pretending in the pretend garbage relationship. She can go ahead and pretend, go ahead copy my hair, buy the same car, try, go ahead, you still don’t get it, you aren’t me, never will be, you never had kids, these are my kids I walked to walk and unfortunately was walking it with a cheater.

    To get out of triggers, I have to force myself to see yes it is painful because it meant something to me, and damn it I was there and I am not letting low lifes decide for me my life didn’t mean anything.

    San Francisco triggers me and I force myself to go there, because I love that place.

    • The car! He bought it for me unexpectedly, had me pick it out and I loved it. Come to find, he had that burst of thoughtfulness because he felt guilty about affair. I sold it and am so happy not to be driving it anymore.

        • That’s true. But then the idea that he’d been driving around OW and her KIDS in it (I found kids’ stationery in it and my kids were all in college) totally creeped me out and wrecked it for me.

  • There are several triggers where I really lose it though…

    Large Chev Trucks

    The NRA as he is a lifetime member

    State vanpool vans

    Rihanna Umbrella Song (their song don’t cha know, BARF)

  • The petfood store around the corner from where I live. She used to work there, that’s where they met….and I know it has nothing to do with the article but he stole the dog. HE STOLE THE DOG….it doesn’t get any lower as far as I’m concerned. You cheat, shove your face with ego kibbles and you steal the dog…have you no shame.

    • 🙁 mine didn’t steal the dog but the dog is just one more thing in a long line of things that I was forced to give up and change.

      I can’t even see the dog or I lose it. It’s to the point where the dog just sees me as another visitor.

      It’s a double whammy. Just like another death.
      Sorry ((hugs))

  • Should have just done a longer message, because Halloween, Thanksgiving, Christmas….huge huge events for our family, and Easter, Fourth of July, and just so many things.

    How do I take it all back? I loved it all, I was there, I have to just forget him in it all and I will be fine.

    Christmas was so painful, I got new trees and ornaments, my kids could not look at the ornaments they wanted them thrown away, it was horrible.

    • I can relate to this, too.
      Last Christmas was the first w/o him. I bought a tree and separated out any ornaments that were his, given to him by his family, that we bought together for some reason or reminded me of him.
      I had a surprising # that I had purchased but it was still full of oddities.
      I also had to lug the damn tree in myself. That was a joy. I’m an independent woman but there are just some things I want a man to do (yeah, yeah, laugh it up 😉 ).

      The holidays are hard for me, too.

      • 🙁 that’s cold!!
        More evidence that they just don’t think about the consequences of their actions.

      • It took me three years to get past being triggered by Christmas lights. Way too associated with dday and the whole nightmare that followed. Prior to that, I really loved the holiday lights (well, I still do) and I have to give ex credit, he did a great job decorating our house with lights each year. Oh well, all that is over now, and this past Christmas, I drove around admiring the really nicely decorated neighborhoods with my Nice Guy. Now I can enjoy the lights again! So I guess that is one I reclaimed for myself.

  • Oh, geez, I thought I was the only person who had this weird thing going on. Train whistles for the longest time used to send me into a tailspin. I would also break down, I mean heaving I-can’t-breathe sobs every time “Lady Marmalade” came on the radio with the line “now he’s at home doing 9 to 5, living his grey flannel life.” A certain unnamed hotel near the college from where he graduated gets the laser beam stink-eye every time I drive by it. I’m sure it was his little “let’s pretend to be a legitimate couple, stroll the lawn, and eat at my favorite pizza joint” because he lacks originality and every girl he spreads gets this tour.

    Now, like Chump Lady and Paris, it is travel. I get Tokyo back, fucker.

  • Big trigger is still the “ting!” Text alert on iPhones. When I overhear that sound, it makes me jump.

    I’ve reclaimed my home, many favorite restaurants, and last year, I took a trip each month to reclaim many of the places I love that I had shared with him. Very expensive, but oh so therapeutic.

    I want my music back. We had always connected through music and lyrics, and had many happy times watching live music together. My iTunes library is an emotional minefield. I don’t know how to reclaim those songs and bands.

    I also miss being able to tell some great stories from my “story bank”….after a decade together, I had many shared experiences with the ex, references that would normally be a part of everyday conversations. I find that I edit myself, as if I told myself to “never speak of that again”…I miss being able to talk about my memories and I resent the hell out if that.

    • I also have a problem with text “ping” on the iPhone. His iPhone was almost like a torture device. Minister I’mAWhore is emotionally disordered (probably mentally, as well) and the closer it came to me moving out, the more her texts and phone calls escalated until there was barely a moment when he was in my presence that she was not texting and/or calling. I cannot blame her completely because Mr. CheaterStinkyShit never told her not to do it and probably encouraged the behavior.

      The crazy thing is she continues to do it. High School much? There are a couple of times where he and I have had to meet – for our taxes, family event – and she knew he would be in my presence. She ALWAYS calls and will keep calling until he leaves the event to either text her or return her call. I have recently had to tell him that he can either tell her to cut it with that juvenile crap or he needs to excuse himself from any family function in which I am included and she is not.

      And that my dear Chumpions is another step in reclaiming myself – the most important item on my list of things that need to be reclaimed.

      • ” I have recently had to tell him that he can either tell her to cut it with that juvenile crap or he needs to excuse himself from any family function in which I am included and she is not.”
        I have a similar situation. Whenever he bothers to show up to any of our daughter’s functions, his phone is constantly vibrating with her calls and texts. Does he tell the bitch that he’s at his daughter’s functions? Nope. He walks out of the gym or off the field to talk to her. Sometimes he doesn’t come back until the game/concert is over.

        • Sandy,

          That is such asshole behavior on the part of your husband. I am so sorry that he does this to you, but more particularly, your daughter. I’d like to kick him in his ass myself. Why do these baboons put their whores before their children? I will never understand that level of selfishness and self-absorption. Punani before Parenting!

          Some of these women are like dogs constantly pissing to mark their territory. There have been times when the STBX has put his phone on silent, usually when he is with the kids or family members who he knows don’t approve of the situation. I am aware that these OW cannot do anything that these cheaters don’t allow, so I refuse to let him off the hook. If he’s not man enough to lay down some ground rules with her, I’m woman enough to lay down some ground rules with the both of them, particularly until this divorce is final. I can’t stop either of those two clowns from doing whatever they choose, but I can choose whether or not I will put up with it. I tolerated so much crap from him during our marriage, the largest part of my healing and reclaiming myself is knowing what is acceptable to me and not acceptable to me, and enforcing that – something I didn’t do during the marriage. I’m polite but firm. I don’t threaten him, nor do I raise my voice or become emotional. It’s a business arrangement and these are the terms on which we can engage.

          Luckily for me, my children are all adults and they don’t want their special events or occasions marred by the drama on which Minister I’mAWhore and their father seem to thrive.

          • What’s crazy is how little most of these cheaters seem to care about not only their spouses, but their children as well. I don’t understand what is in their minds that they put these OW/OM ahead of everything in their lives! I’m smack in the middle of the divorce process and all he seems to care about is being with the OW. I will say he got pissed as hell the other day when I texted him that the settlement proposal was ready from my attorney. He actually asked me to take a picture of it and text it to him! That’s how little he cares. But..I told him it was 10 pages long and that certainly set him off big time. I haven’t talked to him since. Wait until he reads what’s in the proposal!! He seems to care so little about being an actual father to our daughter, as you can tell by his behavior, I stipulated that he CANNOT take my daughter out of Iowa without my written permission. The whore lives in Oklahoma which is a million miles away from Iowa. If he wants to be a part of our daughter’s lives, he can certainly make time to see her here. She doesn’t need to be dragged into the crap of being hauled hours and hours just to see her Dad, who’d obviously rather be with the OW.

  • I’ve taken back almost everything I want to (but we’ve been divorced for *many* years) but these come to mind first:

    –The hike to the top of Multnomah Falls
    –Shade-tree mechanics (or– “how to keep your POS car running when you’re broke and alone”)
    –The Oregon Coast

    This is a great thread–wish this site had been around way back then. Hell, even the *internet* was barely known to the general public…..

    Chin up, fellow Chumps! Power and Courage to all of you!

    • The Oregon coast!wow,what a place!the whole time I was there I kept thinking I wish I were here with someone who cared about me.I’d even go back,just with my dog. Canon Beach is very dog I won’t count it out,I’ll go there again!

  • They can have Denmark.

    I already took back the holiday spot where Dday happened. I’m working on getting running back (I never stopped, it was ‘mine’ to begin with, but had nasty associations after they used that common interest).

    Jury is still out on the cell phone ‘whistle’ when there’s a new message, I hated it with a vengeance, since after Dday I knew what it meant (and during our false reconciliation it kept on whistling)! But it’s a default setting and many other people use it… so I will have to de-trigger.

    What I really want back most is my old state-of-mind, trust, confidence. Especially when I think of the future, will all this triggering (since many of the more dating/sexual triggers have not been euh… triggered yet) keep me from finding a new relationship? All this sappy puppy love he and the OW displayed will turn me off many normal budding relationship signs. Flowers, a nice card, a heartfelt text message? They will probably all trigger me.

    Are more chumps afraid of this? Will the whole triggery feeling subside (when I reach the state of meh)? Or will I have to take back each and every trigger?

    • “What I really want back most is my old state-of-mind, trust, confidence. Especially when I think of the future, will all this triggering (since many of the more dating/sexual triggers have not been euh… triggered yet) keep me from finding a new relationship? All this sappy puppy love he and the OW displayed will turn me off many normal budding relationship signs. Flowers, a nice card, a heartfelt text message? They will probably all trigger me.

      Are more chumps afraid of this? Will the whole triggery feeling subside (when I reach the state of meh)? Or will I have to take back each and every trigger?”

      I hear you, Dutch. Big time. All that stuff scares me, too, and I don’t want to go through the rest of my life with these jaundiced lenses. I never really was a Hallmark kind of girl to begin with (I’d rather get the “I can’t believe I just found this for 75 cents!” first-edition from a dusty old used bookstore, or the prize from a box of Cracker Jacks just because it’s funny or old-school). Still, wouldn’t it be nice to reserve the right to believe in those possibilities, for whatever expression they take? Call it sappy, or call it sincere, but whatever–I don’t want to be raising an eyebrow over or second-guessing every bouquet of flowers that comes my way from now on.

      If you think about it, it makes sense, though. When cheaters do the whole love-bombing thing or are trying to convince to you take them back, what are some of the first weapons in their arsenal? Sugary texts. Hallmark cards. Flowers. All the stuff we’ve learned–with damn good reason–to be suspicious of. So, it’s a reasonable fear.

      On the other hand, I’m only 7 months out and just now beginning to get my bearings back and feel a bit like my old self again. I hope a lot of this falls by the wayside as I get stronger and more assured. Going full NC (a month and counting now) has been a real eye-opener.

      • I just had to reply because I’m 7 months out on mine too and I swear I was beginning to worry last month that I would never stop obsessing about this, even at work, but it has gotten somewhat better. I haven’t filed for divorce yet though, so I’m not there yet either…

    • Dutch-chump, I need to get back the word “Dutch”. The OW is Dutch. My CH says she is just a free spirit because she is Dutch. Now, I am sure many Dutch women are good solid people. But I see/hear that word and my stomach starts to knot up. So, thank you for being you. It helps me remember that the OW is just one person.

      • Happy to help you take that back! We have to remind ourselves that these triggers have nothing to do with nationality, sounds or places, it’s all because we associate them with cheating (and mostly for a good reason). There’s nothing wrong with Dutch (or Danish for that matter) women, we know that, rationally.

        If we Dutch women would all be so free spirited, my ex could have just said: hey, there’s now someone else in our marriage, what a ball we’ll have! Guess he knew that was not going to fly. At. All. It so happens he had to go all the way to Denmark to find his free spirit! 😉

        If you really want to take back Dutch, come on over and I’ll be happy to help you rewrite it all!

    • I think that sweet dating rituals, when they are meant for you from someone who is truly interested in you, will not be triggers. There won’t be that immediate distrust of being love-bombed and the wondering “did he just send her the exact same bouquet?” At least, that’s what’s happened for me. And I’m merely dating, not even in love. I find all that sweet stuff to be …. well…. sweet.

      • I really do hope so! Thanks for giving me hope. And I hope to be able to be honest if things are triggering me and to find someone who understands. I know I wasn’t the standard romantic type even the first time round, I don’t really care for flowers or Hallmark cards. But a nice gesture, something sweet, someone thinking of you… that would be nice!

        There is a trigger that many of us feel and try to fight, the gender trigger. I was cheated on by a man (duh!) and I really do appreciate the honest and fair guys out here showing me the other side of that medal. The “all guys would cheat if given the chance, if they knew they wouldn’t get caught” has to be rewritten completely in my brain. Which I rationally already know, since the OW was (is?) married and evens the gender-score in my case out nicely.

  • My ex and I still live in the same town, so there are many places 🙁 …the grocery store, my favorite Thai restaurant, fav seafood place, the church we were married in ( I probably drive past it 4-5 times a day), and some day I would like to enjoy Disneyland again. In my marriage police days, I found out that he had f—–d some skank off Craigs list right before meeting me and the kids at “The Happiest Place On Earth!!!” Just sick. I used to enjoy massages, but I will NEVER be able to fully enjoy one without thinking of the thousands of dollars he spent for “services” (most of the places he went to have now been shut down for prostitution.) I want to change my scenery very soon 🙂

    • I got you beat! Planned a nice vacation to Disney for my daughter and grand kids! While we were off standing in long linesark Andy husband begged off and stayed at the rental!! Wonder if his day was “magical”? Although he denies it, I know that sleazy whore probably screwed him all day ! Sick bastards!, my turd husband had his creepy stalking very married case of arrested development meeting him at a restaurant in front of the castle! Never mentioned to anyone that “our” mutual Facebook buddy just happened to be at Disney???? What a coincidence right? Funny, the next day we all went to the p

      • Got cut off, but we all went to the park and he begged off and stayed at the rental?! I wonder if his day was as “magical” as ours!?? So he displays on his Facebook page a birthday badge honoring the whores birthday!! Not one damn picture of family! And later when I found out I find a conversation on his Facebook message to a friend of his telling him that he loves Patricia, but keep it under his hat for obvious reasons!!!WTF??? Total scum! High school shit from a 58 year old turd!

    • I second that massage thing along with Craigslist and Backpage. I used to love to get a massage & a facial as a treat to myself once in a while & when we would go on vacation. Before D-Day, I had always asked stbx if he wanted to go with me to do a couples massage & he would always decline and say it wasn’t his thing. Little did I know it really was his thing-especially when he could pay 18 & 19 year old asian hookers to do it with sex.

      Now every time I see anything for massage or spa I am literally sick to my stomach. And these places are everywhere here in southern California.

      • Hi CC, Did you know that there is a small group of us So. Cal Chumps working, (slowly) on a plan to get together? If you are interested, go to the Forum and you will find my post with an email so we can all communicate.

        Hang in there,
        Kendis aka, Free2b1

  • Wednesday nights. The night she pretended to go her book club but was really going to his place.

    Men named Brian, David, Joe, Paul,….geez.. Just realized there are dozens of names fir me to recall.

    Kale and cocaine.

    Pretty much the entire city I live in….a city that it was her idea to move to.

    Yoga studios and vegan bakeries. Breast implants and yoga pants,

    What I take back..
    She can’t have Florence.
    Italian restaurants
    The beach

    • Geez, P.F. Those are some serious dichotomies going on there. Kale and cocaine? Yoga pants and breasts implants? It’s like one of the Kardashians opening up a whole foods co-op. Yikes.

      Stay strong, man, and good luck reclaiming what matters to you.

      • In a way it makes sense….most yogis in my town are narcissists.

        Yoga has been hijacked…..much like Jesus cheaters hijacked Christianity.

        The spiritual babble…namaste y’all and getting that tight body is about attention.
        A smoke screen… Hollywood there are many starlets who practice yoga and plastic surgery, Botox and recreational cocaine.

        My ex is a wanna spiritual guru. Most of her yogi crowd have fake tits and teach yoga. Watch out when they go to a bar….and in their drunken stupors all their insecurities would amaze most folks.

        Just like the dysfunctional who are attracted to becoming “therapists” the same can be said for nut jobs in the yoga world.

        • I think the key word in all that is “fake.” In a way, that’s the whole chump conundrum–our reality has been falsified. It’s a marriage with implants, only we never signed up for the surgery. We all thought authenticity was the baseline, in (as John Legend so beautifully says) all its “perfect imperfections.”

          One more reason why I will never take a yoga class EVER.

        • Ugh. Yoga/Fitness Freak – check
          Trendy Organic product of the month – check
          Implants – check
          Botox – check
          Other fake stuff – constant teeth whitening, eyelash extensions, hair, nails – check
          Raging narcissism – check
          A dumpster full of insecurities – check

          I feel ya, P.F…

            • P.F. and Scotty, thank you for affirming that the “fake stuff” isn’t the yardstick by which all men measure women. I know being chumped is not about gender but rather about someone else’s entitlement, yet given my own gendered experience, I am heartened by the voices of the men on this forum. Particularly for those of us middle-aged chumpy women who genuinely care about/take pride in our health and appearance while not allowing it to define us, the combination of aging and getting chumped is–well, a sucker punch like no other. Getting back into the dating pool at 50, knowing that men typically want to date younger women? I just don’t even want to get into that whole Cosmo/supermarket checkout stand magazine list of all the shit I’m supposed to do to prevent wrinkles and cellulite. I never did. I just want to be happy and sexy while celebrating the age I am and enjoying the wonder of the rest of my journey on this earth. God willing I will find someone who feels the same way so I don’t have to do the ‘pick me’ dance before even getting into a relationship.

              So, yeah. Thanks you guys. I really mean it.

              • I’m currently dating a woman who is 100% real. I love her laugh lines and a her facial expressions as opposed to that frozen look compared to my ex’s botoxed face.

                I like her curves and kiss her stretch marks. I like that we can go for a gourmet dinner or a cheese burger. I like that she doesn’t count calories. I like that we go for walks. I like her potty mouth and that she’s gentle with her kids.

                I can’t express how much I enjoy not being with crazy drama. I didn’t realize how stressful it was being with a narcissist. I can breathe, the fresh air.

              • Good for you, dude! That is awesome!! (virtual high five)

                This site is such a profound gift, in so many ways and on so many levels. Thanks again, P.F.

        • PF –

          I go to yoga regularly, so there are some chumps in that room as well, don’t worry! We’re the normal ones that don’t need to talk to everyone about it and don’t spout a bunch of the spiritual stuff to whoever will listen. In other words, we go for ourselves, not so that other people will think we are somehow cool or whatever it is the narcissist thinks being a yoga fanatic does for them.

          We also probably don’t have fake boobs. I don’t see how fake boobs and inner growth and spirituality can ever go together with wanting fake boobs. Never gotten botox, but not saying I would never do it. I think you can be a normal woman (ie non-narcissist) who cares about your looks and takes some steps to take care of yourself. We just tend to do it out of a sense of self-worth. So that you can look your best for you. It’s not in order to capture the constant admiration of others.

          • LOL..
            I’m soo into The ” Natural State” of things…Please Just DISREGARD the Huge Rock Hard , Gravity Defying Cantalopes Hanging from My Throat “.. * GAG.*

              • “Eat a carb? NO WAY. Inject weapons-grade botulism into my 33 year old forehead because of a tiny perceived crinkle from my perpetual scowl? SIGN ME UP!”

                Namaste, indeed… lol

                Some days I’m still in disbelief that I married what turned into a walking cliché and didn’t see it coming. Lesson learned, the hard way.

                And you’re quite welcome FoolMeTwice. We all learn a lot from each other here.

          • Thank you for saying that P.F. about loving a real, natural woman. I admit being in my early 40’s is scary to think about being out in the dating world again soon. My stbx was always trying to change me-thinner, blonder, get my boobs done, etc.
            And then cheats with really young asian hookers. WTF!?