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Yes I Am a Chump

Someone took me to task recently on Twitter for using the word “chump.”

The exchange went something like this: “I’m not a chump! A chump means stupid person. My wayward husband is the chump!”

I replied that chump means a gullible person — someone who was conned, played for a fool.

Then I looked it up on Webster’s and sure enough —

chump

 noun \ˈchəmp\

: a person who is easy to trick : a stupid or foolish person

Full Definition of CHUMP

:  fooldupe

Examples of CHUMP

  1. <the guy trying to unload that used car must have thought that I was a chump>

Origin of CHUMP

perhaps blend of chunk and lump

First Known Use: 1876

A person who is easy to trick. See, the reason I like “chump” is that inherent in the meaning is the maliciousness of a con — a malevolent person who is out to fool the unsuspecting. I also like the word because using it hits certain emotional high notes — do not be fooled again! Don’t let yourself be taken advantage of! And yes — don’t be stupid!

Now, of course, every loving spouse is a chump because trust makes us unsuspecting. It’s not stupid to trust someone, especially your spouse. But (as chumps) it IS stupid to trust someone who is a villain. And once someone is exposed as a villain (a cheater), you’d be a fool to trust them again.

So, guys, chump works for me. I MUCH prefer it over the soppy “betrayed spouse.” We are more than our victimhood. Chump is hopefully a temporary condition. You see the con, you’re on to it, you stop being a chump. Betrayed spouse to me seems forever burdened by the modifier “betrayed.” You’re never a “former” betrayed spouse. Nope, betrayed you were and betrayed you shall remain.

And don’t even get me started on “wayward.” I’ve ranted about it before, but suffice it to say, I prefer the unvarnished “cheater.” Language matters. I like calling a thing a thing.

Another reason I like the word “chump” is because it’s a way of owning our own sweet stupidity. The way we attribute good intentions to everyone, our “love all the hurt away” super optimism. Our naiveté. And it’s also a way of owning our experience, taking a mild slur “chump” — and empowering it. (Although, yeah, I don’t like the word “empower” much, but I can’t think of a better word right now.) I was CHUMPED. That cheater must’ve thought I was an IDIOT to take that kind of bullshit.

After I explained my word choice in a 140 characters or less, the person came on to say that her wayward husband WAS fooled — by the other woman.

Geez. I really hate the narrative common in unicorn circles that the Real Problem Here Is Predatory Other Women.

Do they exist? Of course. Should they matter? No, not if your spouse has boundaries and respect for you.

Look, even if some cheater dude was helpless in the face of another woman’s charms, it doesn’t take away from the fact that he CONNED you. He still lied, and gaslighted, and cheated — and played YOU for the fool.

So Twitter lady, whoever you are — you’re a chump. I’m sorry. Join the club.

Ask Chump Lady

Got a question for the Chump Lady? Or a submission for the Universal Bullshit Translator? Write to me at info@chumplady.com. Read more about submission guidelines.
  • Being s student of language, I understood immediately why “chump” is a perfect choice for the reasons you indicated: it indicates the naivete of being fooled or conned and it implies the role of the con artist, the cheater. Most important, no one wants to remain a chump, so the term inspires change.

    And the Jackass’s Schmoopie is the very definition of a predatory woman, but all that means is the Jackass looked at her and saw kibbles and cake in a package that required no work on his part. The predatory woman is a fine short-term sparkly new item for the narcissistic cheater, who likes the chase but doesn’t want to work too hard for those kibbles. I utterly despise this woman, who played not only with my life but the lives of her three kids and her husband. But all the Jackass had to do was show me her letter, take me with him when their paths were going to cross, and make it clear he was in a committed relationship and planned to stay faithful (things I did routinely). He chose to have an affair and gaslight me, keeping me on the string in case he needed me down the road. He’s totally responsible for betraying me. Or to put it another way: he hurt me quite deliberately. She allowed herself to be used as the weapon. I don’t like either of them but i didn’t love her or know her to begin with.

    • Where’s the goshdarned LIKE button??? ^^^^ Exactamundo.

      I just read one of the stickies that included a beautifully succinct line, “He cheated because he COULD. Because his deficient character allowed it.”

      This foray into parsing words, I feel is, for some, not just a way to minimize their pain, but also to save face. Inverted Narcissists, which is what I think most of these BSs are that rationalize that it’s all the OW’s fault, it was a fog, it’s the FOO issues—FOREVER. They’ve got problems all their own, and it’s NOT that they “love” their Cheater.

      CL also said that Narcs will go scorched earth in order to save face. This needs to be applied to the Inverted and Covert Narcs who are involved with them, too.

      You call a Narc or an IN or a CN a “chump”? Watch the rage. You just mortally wounded them. You cannot insult any type of Narc, make fun of them (did they laugh at me behind my back while fucking in my bed?!!), or imply that they are anything less than on top of everything/nothing got past them (IT’S ALL THE OW’s FAULT!!! I AM IN CONTROL!!!)

      A normal, healthy person can look at themselves in this situation, being betrayed, and say–“Yeah. Boy was I a Chump. That’s a temporary situation, while I expunge the Cheater.” We can, after a period of healing, look back in REFLECTION and learn from those mistakes, own the ones we can and jettison the rest. Narcs and their derivatives cannot.

      • There is a line from the finale of Breaking Bad that really hits home. Walter White is talking about why he did those bad things and he admits something that rings true for most cheaters.

        “I did it because I liked it. I wanted to. And I was good at it.”

        Pretty much sums up the cheater in my opinion.

          • Man…that Breaking Bad moment really resonated with me in two ways: 1) oh my goodness…that is my cheatin’ ex-wife. 2) channeling my own Walter White got me to wake up, break some basic privacy rules and uncover the whole affair. If you are way too accommodating chump, you need a little WW in you.

            • My younger sister, whom I love dearly, has turned out to be a cheater. She has confided in me over the last year or so while she has been cheating on her husband. He has put her through hell for about the last 10 years with his gambling addiction and his alcoholism, but he doesn’t deserve to be cheated on. He deserves to be left. I feel like my sister has tossed away her integrity, and that is very sad to me.

              About a year into her affair, she told me that her affair partner’s wife discovered that the cell phone statement documented a whole lot of phone calls between her husband and my sister. The wife freaked out, insisting that her husband have no more contact with my sister.

              I’ll never forget the almost self-congratulatory tone in my sister’s voice when she told me that she and her affair partner now have secret cell phones so they can stay in contact and keep the wife in the dark. It was almost as if my sister was delighted at how clever she could be. As if she was the first person who ever thought of getting a secret cell phone.

              They continue doing it because, on one important level, it’s fun to get away with it. They think they’re really good at it. The danger is thrilling.

              Needless to say, my sister is not the person I turn to when I’m looking for empathy or outrage at what my cheating husband did to me.

              • That’s sad, Rally Squirrel. But what a look from the inside of an affair. As a chump, I believed that one motivation for the Jackass’s affair was the fun of getting over on me and especially on the AP’s unsuspecting husband. For him, and maybe other men, part of the big fun is “winning” some competition with the AP’s husband. Must be big kibbles in it for him, I guess, “winning” the attention of someone else’s wife.

              • you might be surprised. i am willing to bet your sister will show outrage and disgust at your cheating husband’s actions. Your sister seems to be in the entitlement stage. she thinks she is entitled to cheat on her husband because he was an addict, and in turn treated HER badly. in her mind, she is right and justified in having sex with another man. and she is doing nothing wrong. i dont know how people, sometimes even good people, seem to forget that other people have feelings too. just because you are hurt does not give you the “RIGHT” to hurt someone else. she is being very selfish and not even considering what she is doing to the OM wife. somehow they believe that their pain overrides everything else and makes it okay to do whatever they want.

                maybe her husband was treating her badly, but your sister crossed the line from being a decent human being that was in a bad situation to a selfish heartless person.

                how sad we are all as a human race, more willing to be the victim, “its not my fault” is easy, it seems like there are few people with the balls to suck it up and do the right thing.

                hugs to you.

        • Haven’t seen the show, but didn’t Walter get cheated on himself, and was it that event that played a part in him becoming the person he ultimately became?

  • Morning Chump Lady & all fellow chumps. I like the word & I think it is a good descriptor. We were all swindled, conned & duped by our other halves. In the instance of our betrayal, we were all chumps because we innocently & genuinely believed we had signed up for a faithful marriage / relationship. Doesn’t mean we are stupid or dull plodders it just means we made some promises & we were sticking by them.

    Here on Chump Lady we can support each other and learn how not to be chumps again.

    I’m also in agreement about not buying into the poor defenceless saps who couldn’t defend themselves against the onslaught of the predatory tempter. Unless the tempter was hold a gun to the married persons head, then there were 100s of opportunities for that person to step away. In my view, this predatory role is nearly always ascribed to females – the scarlet woman, the evil temptress, Eve, bunny boiler etc etc etc. This really saddens me, because as so often happens it is women attacking other women for the “prize” of the man! I know I will upset Christians here, but this view of women as temptresses has been perpetuated by the Christian faith for so long that we’ve all bought into it. Of course there are people of both sexes out there who don’t care whether someone is married or not BUT the responsibility for staying faithful in a marriage lies 100% with the married person!

    • My ex blamed the predatory OW. I remember saying to him, “Oh my god! If she raped you, I want her prosecuted to the full extent of the law!”. I am really a funny person. The Ex stopped appreciating my sense of humor.

    • I totally agree with this. I’m not going to be inviting the OW to BBQ anytime soon, but I can’t hand her 100% of the blame for the demise of my marriage. My X husband had every opportunity to do the right thing from the beginning, and he didn’t. She didn’t twist his arm to make him go with her, and frankly she wasn’t the first involved with him so I can’t pin it all on her. She was just the first one stupid, and chumpy enough, to throw everything away to be with him. Eventually, she’ll be pulling up a chair in SI or TAM I’m sure.

      • Bloody hell, final OW was the runt of the litter, so to speak: the weakest, the most needy, the most pathetic. And yep, she thinks she won a big fat prize. Which she did, if you see my ex for what he is: a prize asshole.

        Look, he was banging others while banging her but she thinks she is special. And she is in that she is too dumb to run like a motherfucker after learning about this. But of course me, the Horrible Evil Wife Made Him Do This. And She Will Save Him and Make Him Happy. Been there, done that. No one can make another person happy. We can only contribute to someone who essentially togehter. If they’re not? Well, here we are.

          • My X’s OW was a needy grieving sister, a veritable mountain of ego kibbles–she had a crush on him when he was 18 and she was 12. She lives in the neighborhood and still moves in her high school circle at 45+. She was “devastated” by her brother’s death and of course needed to have an affair to help her recover…and doncha know, her husband has gotten older and gained weight and spending his time on his hobbies. So Jackass gets kibbles from a shiny new source who ‘worships” him. He got other kibbles that remind him of his HS glory days, of the time when everyone assumed he was “most likely to succeed.” More kibbles from devaluing me and seeing my heartache. More kibbles from fooling me and the OW’s husband. Super kibbles from telling himself that he is superior to the OW’s husband. And me. Cake from the chase of a new married woman…

            • “So Jackass gets kibbles from a shiny new source who ‘worships” him.”

              That one hits home. Good line.

              • Thank my therapist for that one. When I asked her what he saw in the MOW, she said, “She worships him.”

    • i put the blame on my husband.

      yes, the OW started “priming” him by telling him how i did not treat him good, that i was a bad wife who didnt appreciate him. i believe she validated his feelings about wanting to leave his wife and children, agreeing that it was okay and actually better for everyone involved. she stroked his ego and told him he was a good man.

      yes, the OW was interfering and disrespecting our marriage. she is a habitual homewrecker (this is not the first marriage she wrecked). she was making sure she made herself look better then i was, she was understanding, forgiving, supportive, and hell she like to drink just as much as he does. she just wants to have fun and doesnt see anything wrong with how he was acting. i mean life is too short not to be happy!!! right? forget that i carried (and loved) him for 14 years, forget that we just lost our eldest daughter, forget that he has 2 little boys who loved and needed him at home, much less that i loved and needed him too. i mean YOLO, right?

      But yes, she did things to encourage him to leave his family, his wife and his children. Hell, she is still interferring and encouraging him now regarding his children, telling him to tell me this and that…she apparently thinks it is fun to randomly call or text me to tell me that he is HERS now, and i just need to “get over it”, of course she is just sticking up for poor little X who doesnt have the balls to speak up to his mean, hateful, jealous EX wife (me)

      but ultimately the point i focus on is HE ALLOWS HER …. he let her pull him away from his family, he wants to believe all her fakeness and her lies, he either gives her his phone or lets her take it to call and text me

  • Sometimes we need to be called on our shit. Sometimes people commiserating with us, (while it creates lovely feeling for a short time), doesn’t help us move past the poor me mindset. Finding Chump Lady was that for me. Time to stop feeling sorry for myself and feeling the victim. I WAS a chump. I played right into it. I DIDN’T see him for what he was.
    Now I do, I can own up to me and to what he is. I’m proud of the chump name. It will forever remind me of what I have learned and what I still need to learn to never be “chumped” again. Sorry Ms Tweeter, you need to keep on learning cause as long as you think it it the OW/OM fault, you WILL be chumped over and over and over again.

    • TOTALLY AGREE!!! CL has really helped me SEE that i was a chump. i read here somewhere that yes, i might have made mistakes but the mistake i made are the same as hundreds of other wives and that their husbands dont let them for it. CL has helped me realize that my XH was to blame for his cheating and lying and not everything was “My fault” like he tells me.

      i feel blessed to find this site. i needed to hear this.

    • In fairness, she wrote:

      “I just disagree, it’s the definition. I wasn’t fooled. I spotted her a mile off but he didn’t believe me. He was the chump :)”

      • Obviously the OW dressed up like his wife Single White Female style and tricked him in the dark. He HAD NO WAY OF KNOWING.

      • After I met my x’s “new friend” (“Oh, you’ll like her. She wants what we have: the life, the family, the house.”), I told him that I was threatened by her and I didn’t understand how their friendship was going to help our marriage – especially with how upset it made me.

        I could see it a mile away but I was told that I was just paranoid and jealous. He said,
        “I would never do anything to ruin what we have.”

        Fast forward a few months, . . . he forgot that he ever said that. He forgot a lot of things. He was very big into revisionist history.

        Twitter lady is an idiot. She must not realize that men only have enough blood for one brain at a time and when it’s one place, the other brain better have already come up with a plan because there’s no more thinking going on . . .

        That last sentence was difficult to write. You need to read it with a bit of a redneck accent – whatever that means.

        • ” She must not realize that men only have enough blood for one brain at a time and when it’s one place, the other brain better have already come up with a plan because there’s no more thinking going on . . .”

          I don’t agree with this statement. It sounds like you’re saying that men are incapable of being faithful. It sort of puts the blame on biology, doesn’t it?

          • That’s not what I am saying.

            Behavior is a choice and all people are capable of making their own choices. Unfortunately, some people don’t honor their wedding vows and they go where their bodies take them. You have to choose to stay married every single day.

            “It just happened.”

            Bullshit.

            And, since sex feels good, . . . . You have to have a plan because once something starts feeling good, it’s hard (no pun intended) to back away.

            Biology is involved but behavior is a choice. Even though many people do act like fucking dogs, literally and figuratively.

            • I think when a married person turns up with a new “friend” of the same sex as their spouse, it’s a huge red flag. There is nothing wrong with actual friends, who, if they are actual friends, would demonstrate that they have good boundaries and respect existing relationships. Actual friends don’t trigger the kind of upset feelings you describe. The first time my X mentioned his friend’s sister–not even by name–I knew it was trouble. I told myself, “Don’t be jealous.” But I knew. If it ever happens that I am involved with a man who gets a “new friend” and I get that feeling–I’m outta there. I’m not going to shut myself up in order to look “cool” about things. Because I trust my instinct. And any man that would choose his “friend” over me is well on his way to cheating anyway.

              • Exactly, LovedaJackass! I can distinctly remember finding suggestive texts from stbxh’s married coworker and I got the whole “we’re just friends, I haven’t crossed any lines, I can choose to have female friends if I want so don’t be hating on her!” OMG…he didn’t even have MALE friends let alone female! What a horrible, insulting, infuriating and fearful ball of knots I had in my stomach over that statement! He was still in denial over where that “relationship” with OW was heading…I knew but was completely helpless to stop him from detonating our lives. Nothing that our family or friends said could convince him to set this woman aside and focus on our marriage. So, I’m with you, LovedaJackass…live, learn and run like hell if I should ever find myself in this unfortunate situation again!

          • When I said that my husband was confused and didn’t know what he was doing, my male IC said,

            “How do you know he doesn’t know what he is doing?” (it was only a few sessions in, but he was saying “He knows EXACTLY what he is doing”

            • Oh, yes, they know. They aren’t in denial. They see what they want and proceed to gaslight us so we won’t know.

        • “Oh, you’ll like her. She wants what we have: the life, the family, the house.”

          Your ex really said this? Good grief! My ex-wife would give constant reassurance that the eventual OM wasn’t a threat, when my gut knew otherwise. Now I have another constant reassurance – Being single isn’t that bad after all.

      • I also spotted OW a mile off and warned XH, and he didn’t believe me, either. In fact, when I brought him proof that he was the 4th married professor she’d been with since starting grad school, he accused me of fabricating the evidence. Since then, he’s learned what I showed him – and A LOT more – was true.

        So was he a chump?

        No. He knowingly pursued that relationship. That OW was a liar was a given; she knowingly took up with a married person, which says all you need to know about her character. He knew that from the start. So trusting her doesn’t make him a chump – it makes him a fool.

        Too bad my children and I had to pay the price for his foolishness. 🙁

        • “he was the 4th married professor she’d been with since starting grad school”

          I don’t know how it is at that level, but I know that if I reciprocated the advances a few students had made toward me in the past, not only would I have been a cheater, but I would have been fired from my teaching job (I teach in college). Ironic that my ex-wife, in another profession, did essentially the same to me.

          • CW – he SHOULD have been fired from his teaching job, but this university has a good old boy network that just looks the other way. In fact, when he was called to the dean’s office to discuss “the situation” with OW grad student, the dean (according to XH), supposedly said, “As long as you’re consenting adults, no one cares.”

            Apparently, I’m “no one.”

            I thought long and hard about taking that story to the press since the university is the area’s biggest employer. In the end, I decided against it – my kids had suffered enough damage.

            But I do get my quips in every now and again. When XH asked me where D16 is thinking about going to college and I DIDN’T list his university, he demanded to know what was wrong with it. I snorted and said, “No national ranking and no tethering of horny professors.” He left in a huff after that.

            As for your wife – I don’t know what to say. It’s not about profession; it’s about character…

        • This.

          I was uneasy with OW, and told STBX that he needed to watch his boundaries with her because of her past history. She’d made a lot of bad relationship choices–married twice, divorced twice, seemed attracted to men who were a tadge on the abusive side. I told him that she was the type of woman who was very aware of men sexually, and would interpret any kind of kindness as a come-on.

          STBX isn’t a chump. Is OW predatory? Yes, she is. But STBX chose the affair. And yes, that makes him a fool.

      • So basically she’s saying she holds OW responsible for her husband’s actions. She’s a codependent chump.

  • AMEN, to all of this. Recognizing our part in this, no matter how benevolent, gives us a chance to be optimistic again. If we were simply “betrayed” and it was because of a “predatory other woman” we’d be leading very fearful and/or lonely lives.

    “The way we attribute good intentions to everyone, our “love all the hurt away” super optimism.” – this is EXACTLY what I think of in a chump. The first thing that comes to mind aside from this site is my dad, who used to buy anything from an infomercial even though it was all crap. He finally learned. But I think his “chumpiness” in that regard was sweet. He wanted so badly to trust those people selling him workout equipment and rotisserie ovens…optimism in human nature when controlled is a beautiful thing 🙂

  • So, guys, chump works for me. I MUCH prefer it over the soppy “betrayed spouse.” We are more than our victimhood. Chump is hopefully a temporary condition. You see the con, you’re on to it, you stop being a chump.

    Yeah, I think the word choice is fine. Gullibility is not necessarily intractable. 🙂 Own it, learn from it, and hopefully be wiser for having learned, right? And I agree that “betrayed spouse” is a victim label that could become permanent if you keep wearing it 🙂 (My mom used to say, “If you keep doing that, your face is going to get stuck that way”–lol).

  • “Chump Supporter”
    because that is what we are…… “Chumps” We were cheated on and didn’t see it coming, and the our cheating spouses wouldn’t have it any other way.

  • I found the title of chump a bit confronting when I found this site but had to acknowledge in a wry sort of way that that’s exactly what I’ve been. Hopeful and trusting and chumpy.

    Although from d-day, I have not displayed my chumpiness (I made him tell his children almost immediately, told my family and friends over the next few days, I refused to do the pick-me dance and kicked his arse out that afternoon) I have totally been a chump throughout (at least) the last decade of my marriage. So willing to believe in the good intentions of my STBX that I let them over-ride in my mind his crappy decisions and behaviour.

    I have also been chumpy in paying his rent since I kicked him out, at first from pure chumpiness (this is the man I love! I don’t want him destitute!) and then because I wanted him to be able to afford a place big enough for our kids to stay with him. That is ending next week.

    For what it’s worth, I actually do think he’s now become a bit of a chump himself. The aging skank is a classic sparkly narc who, it turns out, has obtained and disposed of her last three husbands in exactly the same way. STBX thinks she’s the love of his life. I think he’s a little bit of fun on the side for her until she can find another wealthy man to stick her claws into. I suspect STBX has been doing the pick-me dance for her for the last six months and is just having to dance faster and faster now and getting more and more desperate to keep her.

    I’m not actually sure what he is – conflict avoidant, passive aggressive, fuck-me narc? But I am learning it doesn’t matter.

    It does, however, crack me up that he is now being chumped by his soulmate schmoopie.

  • Hmmm, I saw the OW coming too. She met my douchebag ex and I at a party and they ended up having a long (4 hour), exclusive conversation about how miserable their lives were. Of course since my ex’s life is actually quite fine, he had to reach way back in his past to share memories of his tortured childhood. She talked about her divorce; I remember thinking, ‘what a boring conversation’. I told my ex the next day that his behavior was inappropriate and he told me “not to worry.” In fact, his buddies had also told me “not to worry” at the party, because they thought they knew their friend too.

    So like a good chump, I didn’t question or worry about anything even when my ex and the OW became fast facebook friends. When he tried to break up with me 7 weeks later and emphatically told me there was “no one else” I actually believed him. But cheater’s can’t keep their stories straight and eventually it became obvious he was having an affair and using it to exit the relationship.

    I like the term chump! I was completely duped and I own it.

    That said, today marks 2 months since D-Day for me and 6 weeks since I moved all my stuff out of his house! Life keeps getting better and better without his sorry, lying cheating ass : )

    • Not to worry, not to worry.

      Now I know better.

      There is a soulmate OW and OM under every rock, you know. And if you’re of a weak disposition–a coward, if you will–you’re all too happy to stoop that low. And, my, how low the cheaters do stoop.

      The affair partners are almost always very inappropriate partners, of character or looks that were previously noted to be off-limits to the cheater. In my case, while OW is very pretty and has the looks that always made xH weak, she is also not very bright, is dangerously manipulative, and is an alcoholic, according to xH. She had nearly nothing when he met her.

      Who knew that he would dump his family for a homewrecker like her? Who would ever believe he’d rip his own kids’ hearts out for someone like her?

      Whereas he was disgusted if I took ibuprofen for a headache once a month, it was brave of her to be an alcoholic. Whereas he was begrudging toward me financially, even though I worked half-time and up to full-time throughout our relationship, making nearly as much money as he did, and caring for our children and home (and him!), he was happy to take on a needy woman “with simple needs.”

      You see, SHE made him feel like Superman, with NO effort on his part. She is easy, and he’s a coward–BAM!

      Yes, I am a chump in recovery. Yes, I missed all the red flags while we were dating and every time he fell in love with some or another blonde throughout our entire relationship.

      Ironically, he used the word frequently to describe his worst fear–of being a chump. Of being made to look like an ass by me or another male in his small world. It’d happened before me; he’d been chumped and left by a previous long-term girlfriend. Who knows? It may happen again if Ms. Simple Needs Homewrecker finds herself someone more suitably generous. Lord knows she has no compunction. Nor does he. I asked him why he chose a woman OLDER than I, and he winked confidently, “The next one’ll be younger.” Because, you know, dumping me and walking out on his family made him a rock star. When you got it, you got it.

      And I was thus chumped.

      I am a chump.

      As I work on figuring out my part in being a chump (Why did I think it was ok to be with someone like him? Why didn’t I walk away in the early days? How will I know better next time, and what will my reaction be?), I am learning to forgive myself.

      I owe a debt of lifelong gratitude to THE Chump Lady and our club of chumps here.

  • Hello I am cheaterssuck and I too am a chump. How does the saying go? “The first step in solving a problem, is acknowleding that you have one.” There was no way I was going to get out of my toxic marriage until I acknowledged that I was a chump. I had a pretty good feeling that our reconcilliation was of the genuine naugahyde variety but it took 3 years and many visits to the chumplady before I admitted I had a problem.

    I blamed the OW at first-she apparently propositioned my ex with this fabulous line “I think we should have sex before we stop working with one another” . She had to say it a couple of times before he ‘finally’ gave in but then he was helpless (gag me with a pitchfork!). Perhaps with some beer goggles she was irresistable but I digress.

    Once I bought a clue, the reconciliation industrial complex websites started becoming more than a little annoying. It’s chock full of chumps (who prefer to be called BS or hurt spouses) defending their cheaters, throwing the OW under the bus, the 180 and total transparency; which in today’s technology filled world is much like the unicorn of reconcilliation. By far however my three “favorite” (smell the sarcasm) RIC myths are:
    1) “Give it 3-6 months before you make any many decisions about your marriage” 2) “Rebuilding the trust bank”
    3) The Fog

    This is the ONLY website that keeps it totally real about infidelity. No euphamisms, no bullshit. Putting the mirror up in front of our faces and making us own our shit is necessary to move forward! I own being a chump but I am working hard to make sure I am a chump no more!

    (oh and just for shits and giggles; if you’re bored visit one of the infidelity websites and tell people that you hold your spouse 100% responsible for their cheating ways and the OW/OM, while not a very good person, is not responsible for his/her cheating. Be prepared for some nasty responses though! Deludinoids; one and all!)

    • Cheaterssuck, I love this comment and all the comments today. I know I say it often, but it’s true: I DO NOT KNOW WHAT I’D DO WITHOUT THE CHUMP LADY WEBSITE!

      I’m about 8 months since DDay. I allowed us to go through all my money because he was too important to do a menial job. I lost everything and then lost my dignity, too, when the month I ran out of money to support us, he declared me too crazy to put up with, then he cheated and left.

      For months all I could think about was the horror and humiliation of being 56, penniless, and alone, but with time I actually have optimism and in some ways, I know this sounds ridiculous, but I almost wish this had happened to me earlier in my life because I am finally learning how to become an independent woman and it feels fucking fantastic. Oh the years I wasted waiting for someone else to make me happy!

      If someone else in the future shares my life, it’ll be on a whole new level and that thrills me.

      Thank you, Tracy and to every single chump in Chump Nation. I’m proud to be a member.

  • Oh am I a chump, hell yes. I love the word, so much better than betrayed and oh can I hear violins at the poor wayward spouse and a place on those sites for them to come back in, to be reeled in from their wayward ways. Don’t tread to harshly they are addicted to being a wayward are surrounded by a fog they aren’t themselves, they are someone else, aliens took them over, there is an alien wayward ship they all learn from the same wayward book somehow.
    n
    Right.

    Don’t lovebust when the poor widdle wayward is thinking of considering you little betwaryed spouse. Typos are for the daffy duck tweety enunciation.

    I learned that my ultimate love buster was either (see am still not sure to this day) talking to him the wrong way, men and women have different languages, with that in the 50tys because of that men were paid a higher salary don’t cha know. so off topic

    Anyway, somehow I lovebusted myself right out of the marriage, as how could I have NOT since if there is a plan a plan b 180 nc and I did it wrong by being myself, what a concept, being myself, which I should have been able to be in my own marriage, but no.
    I did those plans wrong and somehow talked to him the wrong way so that is why.

    There are so many slants to the ow, she wants all you are, it is his fault not hers, she is just like him, which one is it? All? None? It is him, is it the fog?

    Do people in SF have more incidents of waywards running in the streets? There is a lot of fog there.

    What about campers on a beach around SF, does all that fog cause it?

    A conclusion I can see, is living in the desert, there is no fog, no water, see it can work there, a long marriage where you can’t leave your home as there is no water, that is a plus, he can’t go out to find ow who want all you have in your kingdom of living with a whoreman.

  • put your hands up
    wave em like you just don’t care
    chumps are everywhere
    we loved a lot
    we got sluts for … our long term knots?
    this need to end right here

  • “Having been chumped” (verb) suggests a discrete, temporary, and fluid externally created situation as opposed to “being a chump” (noun) which suggests inherent, defining, and static internal personal qualities.

    The semantics of the blog title don’t bother me because the content differentiates and reinforces the distinctions.

    And somehow CHUMPED LADY just does not have the same ring as CHUMP LADY.

  • Thank You To Chump Lady and “The Nation”

    Every single day, Chump Lady helps me to refocus and redirect, lest I forget. Trust me, I am well past the agony stage but I will ever continue to read her posts. Doing so is like having a good preventive maintenance plan in place for my Achille’s heel of having a bad picker and a long history of operating a Bullshit Meter stuck on the Low setting.

    “Meh” is a beautiful thing, you know it? (Dare I say it?) Here goes. Having gone through such intense pain can be a good thing too. It gives you perspective—a great set point for your Give-A-Shit-Meter. When cleaning up the debri, there’s so much of your life to focus on that the abandoner doesn’t even make the radar to claim any more of your energy. Every ounce of ATP in your cells must be used for re-scaffolding your life and foundations.

    I can say that I truly don’t give a shit about what Poor Sausage and Cruella DeVille do because, frankly, they deserve one other. They WILL BE their own Karma. When he gets ill again (and he will, he has major heart issues) she will kick him to the curb rather than care for him like I did. When that happens, I will be saddened. Not enough to make it my issue again, mind you, but because I know what walking through Hell is like and, unlike him and unlike her, I still have empathy. I wouldn’t wish the pain of rejection and loneliness on anyone, even my worst enemy—him.

    My focus is now all about ME … reconstructing a life for myself after the devastation. The good thing is that there is nothing left to recycle (he always believed in scorched earth and bridge burning) so I will rebuild with all new materials. I will come though this wiser, MUCH, MUCH, STRONGER, and this time—nobody’s fool. It’s about damn time.

    Currently, I am marshalling my energy fight age discrimination, current economic conditions, professional slander, and more. But hey, unlike my EX, I made it through Basic Training.

    Chalk it all up to Karma, 7 years of Sade Sati (Dark Night Of The Soul) in Astrology, the story of Job in the Bible, or whatever your flavor of re-framing adversity is— I chose to believe that there HAS to be Yin to the Yang, there HAS to be Good replacing Bad eventually, and, heck, even Saturn and Pluto HAVE to transit somewhere else, right? LOL

    In all seriousness, though I still have the smell of the smoke on my clothes from my unfortunate and temporary detour through Hell— and though I may have had to release my grasp on my worldly goods, job, reputation, etc.,—(somehow?!) I managed to get through everything with my sense of humor, empathy, faith, and optimism intact. That’s something I cannot say for Mr. and Mrs. Narcissism Revisited. And THAT’S where true (healthy, non-malignant) self-esteem comes from: making it through and facing down the fallout.

    Join Me In A Toast

    Join me in raising a glass to Chump Lady for hosting this life-saving blog. Join me in a toast to whichever one of you it was that shared her link over on the other station a couple of years back—you know, that “Standing” website. (Sticking my fingers down my throat and rolling my eyes.) Had I not found this place, I’d still be out there “standing” like an idiot while my Ex and the OW were off laughing their asses off at my Chumpness. Thank you Chump Lady.

    Now, I must be off to reclaim my dignity.

    • ” Having gone through such intense pain can be a good thing too. It gives you perspective—a great set point for your Give-A-Shit-Meter”

      Love phrase Must “pirate” it. 😉

    • Thanks “me” — toasting right back atcha. 🙂

      P.S. — I’m shocked anyone from the “standing” site found their way here! Early days I had a back and forth with Rollercoaster (?) on reconciliation. Seven years of cake eating, him living with the OW (aka “standing”) and he came back. (She won the pick me dance.)

      No one should have to pick me dance. And standing still waiting is still a dance, IMO.

      • I was on the site too. I used the “standing” argument to be able to live with myself while i was giving my divorced spouse sex kibbles. What a chump i was. And in my case, i think the word “stupid” applies.

        I was stupid, i was desperate, i didn’t have any self respect at all.
        the phrase i liked most from this:
        ” Doing so is like having a good preventive maintenance plan in place for my Achille’s heel of having a bad picker and a long history of operating a Bullshit Meter stuck on the Low setting. ”

        Love this!!

        • There was a time when I felt like “standing” was a noble thing to do. Doesn’t it sound like you are a mighty oak standing against the winds of infidelity? Like you can make someone else change by showing them that you’re not swayed by their disrespect? Isn’t the language of sacrificing yourself for “love” woven throughout our culture, our fairy tales, our religion? “Standing” for your marriage sounds heroic, but to cheaters it looks pathetic. To them “standing” looks like you can’t let go and move on, when they clearly have. In their minds they’ve already tossed you in the recycle bin. That’s the hardest thing to comprehend…that they let go long before you even had a clue.

          Here’s what I wrote on Facebook the week after D-day:

          “When you feel like you’ve been thrown out with the trash, recycle your life into something beautiful.”

          • Lyn,

            “When you feel like you’ve been thrown out with the trash, recycle your life into something beautiful.”

            That is such a great sentiment, it is worth stealing. Hopefully, you won’t mind me helping myself.

  • I love the word Chump. It is original, this entire website, topics, posts and comments are for all of our benefit to move forward to a stronger future free from opression. I never imagined I would become a member of this club, but I am here and gosh, I do not hesitate to borrow the term Chump to describe myself and my circumstances to others. Chump is a compassionate word to declare that we have been fooled, cheated, destroyed, but we will rise up again and kick ass!

    • When I first came here I resented the word “chump” and said more than a few times that this was a club I didn’t want to belong to. I almost felt resentful of the other chumps.

      But that was only for a few days. Now I wear the badge of “Chump” proudly and am equally proud to be here commenting and supporting my fellow chumps (who are, by the way, amazingly eloquent).

      I spend a lot of time online for various reasons but nothing comes close to the impact Chump Lady has had on me.

  • I like the term Chump. When I was on those other sites, the term Betrayed Spouse always bothered me. As I was a spouse prior to the cheating, or learning of the cheating, labeling myself a betrayed spouse seemed to completely change my identity within the marriage – an identity from which there was no escape. As the cheating could not be undone, I would forever be a betrayed spouse. As CL so eloquently stated, “betrayed you were and betrayed you shall remain.” There is no way to mentally affirm that identity to yourself. It is a verbally passive victim status.

    I can own the term “Chump.” Ownership means I do not have to allow myself to be defined by someone’s poor treatment of me and gives me a context in which to honestly evaluate my own behavior. I was being an authentically good and decent person and someone chose to take advantage of that. Chumpdom can be overcome unless I continue to allow myself to be chumped. That is all up to me. Chumpdom is a transient identity while the identity of betrayed spouse can keep you stuck. The term “Chump” creates an awareness of your ability to choose.

    I am not a betrayed spouse. I WAS betrayed by my spouse. That makes him a Flaming Turd from Satan’s Ass and me a Chump.

      • And it makes your identity dependent on the cheater. You were a spouse, then he or she betrayed you and you became something different–not a happy spouse or a hard-wroking spouse or a tall spouse (which is about you) but a betrayed spouse (which is about how someone treated you).

  • OK..I am coming around on the word….as long as it is only used in the past tense in respects to me. 😀 He thought I was a chump, but damn, I proved him wrong!

  • “. . .the person came on to say that her wayward husband WAS fooled — by the other woman.”

    Oh boy. I still think my husband’s mistress, now old lady, is an asshole for having an affair with him. She is a worthless, dissolute woman who exercises poor judgment and clearly suffers from a lack of confidence. But I blame him. I am also certain he orchestrated the start of it all. She was the one that was fooled; at times I pitied her (Dare I say it? I “pity the fool”).

    Then I snap out of it and remember they both made their bed and they can fuck each other in it.

    • I wouldn’t say I pitied her but I was disgusted & repulsed when STBX started trashing OW to me. That was one of those surreal moments I realized “this man is truly EVIL and will never be loyal to anyone besides himself ever.”

      She can have him.

      White flag…lesson learned.

      • Moxie-I got something similar. My ex told me that “he was mad at the OW” because the whole time they were together she told him how “her marriage had no passion now, probably never did”. She also told him what a jerk her husband was, yada yada yada.

        When the ex dumped her to watch me do the pick me polka for the next 3 years, imagine his surprise when the OW went back to her husband. Yup, he was mad at her for going back to her passionless marriage.

        I think my biggest regret in life was not gift wrapping him up and handing him on a big ole silver platter to the OW. Face palm indeed!

  • I also like the word Chump. It’s implies innocence and gullibility. It sounds like we’re laughing a little at ourselves for not knowing what we know now. Learning to laugh at ourselves and our crazy situations is a great way to get to Meh.

    Yes, I raise a toast to CL too. This site gives me strength every day. There are mighty people who contribute amazing advice here every day.

      • Me, too. Absolutely.

        Innocence. I loved with all of my heart. I, stupidly, would have continued in a marriage where my love wasn’t returned in the same way. I was married to a damaged person who will never be as happy as I AM.

        I WAS a CHUMP. And I am proud to have been a CHUMP.

        • i agree with this. i would have also loved him with all my heart, i would have keep trying to “make it work” even thou he would never tell what the problem was to fix it and of course never owned up to HIS part of the problem (which in itself was the problem).

          i would have stayed in the marriage, completely unhappy and being a martyr just because i thought it was the right thing to do.

          i was married to a damaged person, YES!!! but he will never own up to being damaged. it was always my fault, and i would own that.

          i am trying to be grateful to the MOW. she really did me a favor when she convince him he was better off without me and the children. I still cant stand her. and i will NEVER feel sorry for her. They deserve each other, and have so much in common. and who knows he might actually be happy with her, she will never place as much demands on him as i did, she doesnt have the same values as i do and she is completely happy with sh*t i would never be happy with.

  • I love the language you use, CL. Because it’s direct and to the point, it helps us chumps snap out of our own fog of hopium.

    “Wayward” implies that the cheater is lost and will somehow find his way back to you. The term glosses over the fact that he deliberately lied to and betrayed you, repeatedly.

    “Cheater” implies that the cheater did not play by the rules and tried to find some unfair advantage over you. It’s also a reminder that someone who cheats on you romantically will also try to cheat on you in other ways, like financially. Also, there’s the saying, “Once a cheater, always a cheater.”

    “Betrayed” defines you solely in terms of the cheater’s actions to you and ignores the other abuse the cheater probably inflicted on you, e.g., gaslighting, blameshifting, anger issues.

    “Chump” acknowledges that you were betrayed but also implies you were taken advantage of and fooled. It’s also a reminder that we all have some “chumpiness” in general that we may need to fix.

    • Yes to every single point–but especially to the rejection of “wayward spouse.” The discourse of that whole movement takes the marriage as the starting and (in the mind of those who participate) the ending point. One huge problem with that perspective is that the cheater doesn’t value the marriage. He or she is operating in another framework altogether, which looks a lot more like the mind of someone pretty far out on the narcissism spectrum, where “marriage” is just a way for one person to meet his or her needs at the expense of another. That’s not “wayward”–that’s exploitation.

  • Hey Tracy…

    Today’s thread gave me an idea.

    How about considering a thread where we can a Chump takeoff on Jeff Foxworthy’s “You MUST be a Redneck IF…………..” one liners?

    Example?

    “You MUST be a Chump IF you find condoms in the glove box of your H’s truck and believe him when he claims they are five years old and from before your tubal ligation.”

    • That one almost needs to be delivered by Bill Engvall:

      Cheater: “Oh, those? Those have been there forever.”
      Chump: “Really?”
      Cheater: “Yeah, and there’s a pair of your panties from back when we first started dating under the seat too!”
      Chump: “There is?”
      Cheater; ‘Here’s your sign”.

    • Love this idea! You must be a chump if you find a 30 pack of cialys hidden and he claims it came as a free sample with other pills. He has NO IDEA why there are some missing because he would never need those! The fact that it even crossed my mind to believe him showed that I am a chump!

  • Heh. ;y ex and his entire family REALLY don’t like that I call him what he is: serial cheater. Hey,. the man had multiple affairs, including with my friends, and they get all squeegied when I call it like I see it. Yeah, I say use honest language. And fuck ’em if they don’t like it.. Wear it proud, asshole.

    • I think that if folks started using honest language again, instead of this milquetoast, politically-correct, please-don’t-hurt-my-feelings version that’s been floating around for a few decades now, life would be a lot easier.

      …but then there wouldn’t be as much money for the therapists and mental health “experts” out there, would there?

      😉

      • I have no problem being called a chump. Because I am! I was duped, conned, used, etc… No freaking way do I want to wallow in victim-ville. Ironically, asshat loves to see himself as the victim and not the perpetrator of his crimes.

        Speaking of mental health experts, I had it out last week about what kind of people maliciously harm their spouses? Crazy dialog because the MC went on to say that lots of men compartmentalize their lives.

        So now being able to live two distinct lives is common in men? Kind of like Sybil? Is he, the MC, trying to soften what is obvious-that my spouse is a shit head? Anyhow, I had to cry bullshit because I know plenty of men who don’t cheat, live two lives and throw their families away. I argued that indeed, as a MC , he sees this in his practice but this is a subset of the greater population of people who DO NOT do this behavior to rationalize their shitty choices. So, no fucking way to most men compartmentalize their lives to include cheating as a lifestyle.

        I agree. Cut the PC terminology. If it’s brown and stinky and an organic waste by product, it’s shit. Let’s call this crap what it IS.

        • ANC – I have been hearing this term a lot lately. Men compartmentalize their lives. So, I asked, how exactly does a woman do that? Not sure if it was my therapist or my friend who said, well – you would compart…if you were having an affair and kept that separate from you family. So, just confused if that means it’s not genders specific when it comes to cheating. Maybe compart…is just something you do when you cheat.

          Don’t get me wrong, I understand
          paramedics, priests, brain surgeons all need to compart…I get that. They couldn’t do their work otherwise. I spent 14 long yrs in animal rescue and some dogs I had to put down because they were ‘bait dogs’ and couldn’t be rehabilitated. Actually, I don’t think I ever compart…ed that because it broke my heart every time. Maybe I’m just not a good compartamentlizer. (big word!)

          • I’ve been really interested in male psychology for a long time. My cousin, who has been a couples counselor for almost 30 years, firmly believes in the notion that men do indeed have the ability to compartmentalize their thinking and behaviors in a way that women do not. (Note that I said the ‘ability’ to compartmentalize, not that all men will actually do this.) One theory I read links this to a deep hard-wiring in the male psyche caused by thousands of generations of men involved in warfare throughout human history. Men had to be able to turn off their emotions in order to fight, kill and survive – also, they had to develop some way to maintain their love for their families, their more tender feelings, their vulnerability, their humanity, etc. in a safe, emotional “compartment” in order to, at the same time, hate an enemy. Those who couldn’t do this did not last long in battle. It’s an interesting idea.

            Has anyone read this new book “Mascupathy?” I haven’t yet, but it sounds intriguing. It apparently is about how our toxic messages from our culture affect men specifically, and how it warps little boys who grow up immature and disordered with a personality imbalance. I suspect the ability to compartmentalize is part of this too. I got the following from their website, which says that the authors have analyzed the state of men at the beginning of the 21st century with these observations:

            •Socialization: While some observers cite genes as the problem in male misbehavior, the authors assert that men are warped by male socialization. Born with a love for spontaneity and intimacy, while still young, they are frequently humiliated out of playfulness and openness into imperviousness and distance.
            •Self-protective world views: The deepest and most pervasive problems of men are rooted in the stifling belief that it’s not safe to be fully human and their denial of the elemental need for intimate belonging.
            •Guardedness and isolation: Conventional diagnoses, such as major depression and PTSD, fail to account for many of the symptoms men bring to treatment such as angst, shame, and insularity. The disorder, “mascupathy,” deconstructs traditional views and creates a broad template for understanding, diagnosing, and treating men and their distorted and errant masculinities.

            I think there definitely is something distorted and disordered going on with the way many men think – this is not to excuse any behaviors, but to understand what’s going on in order to heal it before another generation of young boys grow up immature, entitled, lacking integrity, porn-soaked, and emotionally unable to have healthy relationships. Because, hey, we’re all in this together, folks.

    • Almost the first words out of the cheater’s mouth when I confronted him were, “You aren’t going public with this.” They know on some level that what they are doing is wrong in the eyes of decent people. They want to cheat AND maintain a good reputation. Telling the truth in plain words makes that very difficult for them.

      • Fuck him!

        What I heard was, “I didn’t want it to end this way.”

        He couldn’t tell me how he wanted IT (our marriage? having more than one person to fuck?) to end.

        As far as going public, I was so embarrassed/ashamed that my marriage ended at first. Then I realized that keeping secrets is never a good thing. And why should I protect his reputation?!

        Unfortunately, my marriage ended. I wanted to be married for the rest of my life. I just couldn’t see myself getting along with his girlfriend.

        One of you said something similar to this and now this is what I say.

        • “I wanted to be married for the rest of my life. I just couldn’t see myself getting along with his girlfriend.”

          Good one.

        • YES AND YES!!!!

          “i wanted to be married for the rest of my life. i just couldn’t see myself getting along with his girlfriend.”

          i was so willing to put up with everything else. the drinking, the not coming home at night, the not answering my calls and texts, the not giving me money to help pay the bills, the lying, the hiding, the sneaking around, the moodiness, the gaslighting, the hatefully, the belittling, the “i am not good at talking about my feelings”, the arrests, the bill collectors, the anger

          but i just couldnt put up with the MOW!! especially when she is calling me and telling me sh*t, using my name for his bills, and throwing it in my face that HE DOESNT WANT ME and HE IS MINE NOW

  • ..speaking of labels, being a dude I was that creepy medieval word “cuckold” …and I emphasize “was”.

    When you are the chump/fool/cuckold/etc. because you trust for good reason, it is not your fault. When you know better then we have to talk.

    cuckold (n.) Look up cuckold at Dictionary.com
    mid-13c., kukewald, from Old French cucuault, from cocu (see cuckoo) + pejorative suffix -ault, of Germanic origin. So called from the female bird’s alleged habit of changing mates.

  • I think I was the ultimate chump. Look up the word in the dictionary, and my picture should be right next to it. I used to (well, okay, I still occasionally) feel ashamed of how easily my ex fooled me over and over again. Looking back, it’s hard to believe I fell for his lies, there were so many, and some of them were quite a stretch. In my own defense, I have to say my ex is a masterful liar and con artist. But still.

    But now my life has moved on. I lived, I learned, I have grown to appreciate myself a lot more than I did in the past. I have no problem in admitting I was chumped, but I definitely hope to never be chumped again in the future.

  • Oh, I was a chump but am having a wonderful opportunity to no longer be one. The ex? He was, is and will forever be a cheater. I’d rather be a chump any day.

  • I don’t really give a flying fuck if the OW is Lady Godiva, offering him everything under the sun including the winning lottery ticket, unless she put GHB in his drink and raped him, it’s ALL on him (no pun intended). He was not the chump. He’s a Cheater.

    • ABSOLUTELY! ^^^^^^^^100% THIS!^^^^^^^

      If you folks want a good example of how f***ed up the thinking can get, mosey on over to some of the pro-reconciliation forums and see how much hatred, disgust and blame is heaped upon the affair partner…while the chumps are openly, desperately trying to reconcile with their cheaters. I swear, I just want to shake these people…

      It’s almost tragic.

      • Even the nasty name-calling, to me, is a form of placing some of the blame on the AP. I prefer to lay all of that blame squarely at the feet of the cheater. I reserve all of the nastiness for the cheater. Just feels right to me. Whores are prostitutes. If someone I know cheated with real prostitutes, then I’ll use those words.. otherwise no. My issue is with the cheater who made the choice to break a promise and lie to someone who cared… to put someone who cared at risk for disease… to disrespect someone.
        Those who stay with cheaters then rant about the AP and call them names are chumps who need to be assigned a mandatory 100 hrs of reading on this blog.

        • Agreed. For a while I followed a particular cheated woman blog but her obsession with the OW while basically giving her husband a pass began to sound predatory and borderline illegal. She won’t heal until she can put the blame on his shoulders.

        • My x’s married girlfriend was twenty years younger than us but she wasn’t _________ (fill in the blank with any positive adjective) than me. She did make him feel better about himself than I did, obviously. And that mattered until he lost me, his sons, and the rest of what I was awarded. He lost more than I did. I waste no emotion on her. She’s a skank who fucks married men. My x is truly the idiot. I am close to wasting no more emotion on him either. It gets better and better every day.

  • One of the things I love about this site is that, although I don’t consider myself a chump at the moment since I divorced my cheating ex and have not been involved with anyone since, it reminds me of my Chump Potential. Even though I’m far past the stages of denial and bargaining and have pretty much stopped untangling the skein (though Tuesday hasn’t come yet– we have kids together, and he still screws things up with them, which has delayed my arrival at meh)… that’s with THIS cheater. I think it’s important for me to remember that I still have Chump Potential–I might go down that road again if I become complacent and start falling back into my old, bad habits (being a doormat comes to mind). I’m not saying that once a chump, always a chump, but I am saying that it’s good to be reminded of what sort of mindset I had when I let a cheater into my life and how I need to remain vigilant and not let that happen again.

    Acknowledging that I have Chump Potential has forced me to think about my choices, to work on my picker, and honestly, has prevented me from desperately flinging myself into a new relationship, which has been very healthy for me. I’ve discovered how much I’ve enjoyed being on my own and how much I can get out of life without being in a romantic relationship. I’m not sure I ever gave that a chance when I was young; I always thought I had to have a boyfriend for my life to have any meaning. Then, I met the cheater, and we were together from my late teens into my late 30s, so I really hadn’t been single for very long once I started dating at age 17. The single life is very, very good, and it’s helped me to realize that it’s ridiculous for me to settle for “less than” for the sake of coupling up, and that’s likely one of the elements that made me vulnerable to the cheater.

    I never questioned the Chump label; I thought it fit me perfectly. I was stupid– stupid enough to believe that my ex was better than what he was and stupid enough to stay with him before the cheating even though I deserved better. I’d like to think that I took my first step toward Former Chump when I realized in less than a week after DDay that we were through. But, that Chump Potential is still there, and that’s why I still visit this site.

    I am not betrayed. If anyone was betrayed by my asshole ex, it was our kids.

    • “Acknowledging that I have Chump Potential has forced me to think about my choices, to work on my picker, and honestly, has prevented me from desperately flinging myself into a new relationship, which has been very healthy for me. I’ve discovered how much I’ve enjoyed being on my own and how much I can get out of life without being in a romantic relationship.”

      MovingOn, you really spoke for me when you wrote that, and about me. It’s a lovely way to describe how we’re taking this situation and becoming wiser and better people. For a few months after DDay I was concerned that, among other things, I’d be labeled a “bitter” woman now and for some reason that really upset me. Now I realize I’m not bitter, I’m becoming enlightened. I’m becoming whole. My only wish is that it had happened earlier!

    • “I am not betrayed. If anyone was betrayed by my asshole ex, it was our kids.”

      Yea. This is the saddest part and as of yet they still have no idea. This is his biggest fear and biggest loss of cake. Especially for him because his own fathers, bio and step, cheated on his mom. He KNOWS what it’s like to have zero respect for his fathers. Sick fuckhead.

      • My x did the very same thing that his father did.

        After my initial shock, I looked at him and said, “Now I really understand how your mother must have felt.” It was one of the most painful thing I could have ever said.

        What a legacy!

        My only hope is that my sons won’t repeat it since they actually did have one nurturing parent. They won’t need to marry their mommy.

    • This friend speaks my mind! every word.

      I am well meh’d on my jesus-cheater X, except where he continues to betray our child — then I feel the entanglement.

      BUT! it’s a journey that extends beyond that marriage. My wanker X behaved so badly that even I finally had to acknowledge that the marriage could not be spackled into shape. And that was the beginning of a very long, slow, devastatingly painful, but systematic re-evaluation and re-building of my own self.

      Parts of that project are still under construction (though rarely now with regard to my X): the tendency to delve into untangling skeins of fucked-upness in other folks instead of walking away; the tendency to settle for less-than and to make many, many excuses for bad behavior; a general laxity with policing boundaries; too-high tolerance of passive-aggression/covert-aggression; numbing and supporting in the face of other folks’ narcissistic grandiosity (I’m looking at you, Mom!). These are all traits that pre-date the marriage: I brought them to the relationship with my X, and they are mine to own and keep working on.

      The ‘chump’ potential is what I need fully to own, for now and the immediate future. And not just with romantic partners — I have a tendency to over-commit with jobs, colleagues, clients, etc., and not to pay attention when they tell me who they are the *first* time (bless, Maya).

      As a label, then, ‘chump’ helps me to name a condition that is not bad, per se, not evil, not even necessarily co-dependent, but that is limiting, psychologically a bit immature, and maladaptive. And this site expands my language for *why* that is so.

      • andstillirise, wow, that was well said. The upside of all this reality and pain is the ability or opportunity to really examine ourselves and make us better people.

      • Andstillirise, yes! I think I will always have to be wary of my own chumpish tendencies – being too Nice to call out bad behaviour, doing too much for others, taking on responsibility for things that aren’t mine to own, and sometimes over-empathising. It horrifies me that I spent so many years doing this for STBX and not realising he was a common, garden variety arse rather than the Good Bloke he pretends to be.

        But the good things? My boundaries are much tighter now and I am determined to take o shit from anyone. But I’ve also opened up a lot to good people who have been here for me, made the first new friendships I’ve made in well over a decade, and started filling my life up with things that make me happy. I believe I will come out of this a stronger, happier person.

  • Well said, Moving On. My thoughts exactly. Need to remember that I haven’t been on my own since 19 yrs old – that’s 39 years. My gosh! What to look foward to in my new single years! Have no idea what it will be but I intend to live by myself and my dogs for the rest of my life.

  • I recommend Chump Lady over all other brands, particularly because she’s got that go ahead and say that because I ain’t afraid to decode your blatant bullshit!
    So many times I’ve wanted a translator on stand by, ready reserve.
    All four and a half decades of my life have involved seemingly mandatory interaction with abusive people (e.g.family,job,gf,wife).Always felt so alone in the fact that when you try talking honest to a dishonest cheater, they gaslight and try throw you for a loop.

  • I proudly own Chump. I was fooled. First by a man who never knew what he had or what he wanted. And second by myself, I fooled myself thinking he could ever be what he so clearly wasn’t. When we were dating for seven years, when I got pregnant, when we finally married. At the back of my mind little doubts about his character were stuffed down. And over the years his actions slowly began to communicate his total disregard for others. I always had an excuse for him. Poor thing he’s this way because of all the life challenges we had faced together. So while he dealt with life by running away, I held down the fort. Never mind that I just kept growing more and more competent. I think most Chumps are really intelligent and loyal; it does never occur to us that someone we love can be living a lie. I was pretty happy in my marriage but I now recognize I was happier with the fantasy. I spackled. Then I recognized my relationship would always defer to the Narc. My opinions, my worth, my value would never matter to my ex. Chumps place others first. We strive to have equality in our relationships. Our families are our legacies. Cheaters will eventually blow it all up. They will surround themselves with like minded others. They will bend the rules. I never thought all that time away from family (working and working out at the club) meant he was open to cheating. I believe people cheat because they knowingly, deliberately leave that door open. It is truly about choices. For two years making love with my ex made me sick. Big Chump. He destroyed his family financially., and there were signs. I ignored my gut. Cheaters never make sense, problems are never resolved. Bigger Chump. Five years out I have a great authentic life now and am working hard to repair the damage and to heal. Chump and Survivor! We are mighty. I don’t think any of us ever forgot that.

    • ” I was fooled. First by a man who never knew what he had or what he wanted. And second by myself, I fooled myself thinking he could ever be what he so clearly wasn’t. ”

      So well put. And the second deception, in my case, the one I practiced on myself, is the one that I work most on and the one I regret the most. But, now, also the one I have the strongest interest in learning from and correcting, going forward.

    • In so many of our stories, the thread that ties them together is something as simple as this: We are the grown-ups in the relationship. We are the ones who understand that SOMEBODY has to do the work of keeping a house running, raising children, going to work every day, providing the stability, paying the bills, cleaning the cat box, being responsible. Somebody has to show up every day and tackle the tedious, thankless stuff of life.

      We thought they would partner with us in this. Share the burdens but also the joys, the fun, the rewards of grown-up life where you’re in it together. I honestly can’t imagine anything more fulfilling than making a good life together, being a family.

      Somehow, we chose partners who don’t see it that way. They want all of the highs and none of the lows. They want the ease and the accolades without having to do any of the prep work, or the cleanup. That’s somebody else’s problem. Yours, for instance.

      A life of nothing but highs is not real. To expect that it’s even possible — or desirable, for that matter — is the thinking of an immature person. I spent 20 years being the grownup in my marriage, wondering why I felt resentment toward him so much of the time. I got so little reciprocation that now, when somebody in my life does reciprocate, it feels inordinately wonderful and alien at the same time.

      I was a chump. The word fits. Groomed to be one by my father. Trained to accept less than I deserved. More like, trained to believe I didn’t deserve any more than that. This is why I could marry a sparkly, immature man and spackle over signs of character defects.

      That’s the root of it, and the real work for me to do. People with a strong sense of self worth generally don’t put up with shitty people. I can blame my ex-husband for being a truly shitty partner, because he was. But I was a chump before he showed up. And I can do something about changing that, and have.

      • Excellent analysis, Rally Squirrel. I read something the other day about how people who come from families where they weren’t loved, accepted and cherished as children are indeed groomed to be partners for narcissists and other disordered types. We are then very vulnerable to that stage where a narcissistic or someone with those traits tells us we are special, great, a soul mate, the love of his or her life (blah blah, fill in the blanks). And we buy into that, thinking we are going to be a cherished partner, only to find we are just the hired help, taking care of the life business, and have moved into the position of being the cheater’s inferior. I was shocked the first time the Jackass smirked at me. Part of that self-worth is learning to recognzie a narcissist or similar character when we see one. I spent years dealing with the lure of alcoholics and other addicted sorts because my father abused alcohol. Now I see that my narcissist mother was also following an identifiable pattern. Part of fixing the picker.

        • Ah, smirking.

          I was talking to my narc about divorce and the need to protect my children because I wasn’t going to have any more, whereas he would find someone 20 years younger…

          at the thought of that (a woman 20 years younger) do you know what he did? He SMIRKED.

          • Yep. He was feeling the power of getting over on you. Being one or two or three up on you. If I ever have a charitable thought about the Jackass, I think about that smirk.

      • “We are the ones who understand that SOMEBODY has to do the work of keeping a house running, raising children, going to work every day, providing the stability, paying the bills, cleaning the cat box, being responsible. ”

        God yes. That person was always me. And in the end, my ex said I “settled for a life of mediocrity,” because I was the one who focused on the day-to-day tedium that keeps life running smoothly. To him, unless every day was a trip to the circus, it was all boring. And yet he loved having a wife who gave him the false appearance of a normal, decent, successful family man. Talk about a no-win situation.

  • I too feel that the term chump accurately describes the way I acted in my marriage.

    I never even saw it coming.

    The ridiculous OW was pregnant and married with a kid to what appeared to be a nice loving husband. My ex asked me to cook a meal for her and her family when her kid was born (gross). I happily did so (chumpy chump). She was his colleague on the board of a birth education organization that I was a client of.

    I never saw it.

    I really did not think of her much. She was morose and was strangely competitive in a domestic way. A real snore. She even criticized my toilet paper offhandedly. She looked like a nutjob. Dead eyes with a plastic looking frenetic smile. I disliked being around her but never in my wildest dreams imagined my ex was dating her and making out in various places.

    Once, I found her in my home without her kids looking awkward, playing with her hands on my counter (revolting). I wondered: What is she doing here? She then started talking about fundraising for the organization! I went into my helper mode telling her to have a parlor meeting for wealthy community members asking for five year’s rent. In reality they were making out in the living room before I arrived! I am a super-duper chumper chump. There I was brainstorming some fundraising ideas and offering her something to eat!

    You know, I found her so very unappealing and unattractive. I was not at all suspecting. What made me depressed and suspicious was the fact that asshole would flirt with anyone woman in a skirt and be the life of the party. Then when we were alone he would turn back into his resentful self—simultaneously always denying it! His favorite line was “what, what am I doing that makes you ask if something is wrong”?). He was morose and very very mean with me, increasingly. That is what I found suspicious and I began to see him as a stranger. He became more and more withdrawn, now I know he was expending all his “niceness” on nutjob and saving all his hostility and resentment for me! I asked for a divorce numerous times because I was losing my mind. He was a nightmare to live with. Always starting fights and running out of the house. Even when I was totally silent. He would fight with himself and I would watch with horror but I had no idea he was hooking up with Mrs. Cabbage Patch President of the board who states on video (yes, look it up) that BABS is a “safe place for women and families”

    That sure was a supportive group of feminists there at Bloomington Area Birth Services. Do those ladies know how to support a new mom! While she is breast feeding her kid, make out with her husband! If you are getting really tired of being with your own husband because its “hard to be with the same person for so long” (her words as per jackass)..well, great opportunity! Play house with a married man as his “boardroom buddy” and reel his wife and one year old into your friendship charade and date right in front of the chump! Then profess love to him on one of your numerous phone-calls-of-desire and tell everyone in the community who will feel titillated by it all! Man, do those gals know how to support new moms!

    Not only did I treat her well, but I treated her troll friends extremely well. A chumpyer chump than me cannot be found! Listen to this, I sweated in the hot sun every Sunday wheeling barrels of mulch for one of the parasitic jerks who looked at me in contempt when she knew of the affair and said nothing as I took her out for lunches, fund-raised for the corrupt shit haven, gave the trolls things they needed when I had no money as they therorized about my marriage, helped them through hard times, and served as one of these troll’s doula…but hey, these gossip ladies of leisure need someone to collectively shit on–life is WAY to boring in Boomington without a chumpo to feel superior to and dominate in her own home by withholding information she needs to make life saving decisions for herself and her child. After all, kids are way to taxing to actually give a real damn about.

    I never saw it coming.

    I used to believe that if you treat people with respect and dignity, they will be respectful back. And when they aren’t respectful, pretending they are will make it so!!

    I am proud to say I am shedding my chumpyness like a lizard’s skin and growing some badass bite.

    Chump lady saved my life. I could never have gone no contact with shithead and see his shitface for what he is without this blog. I knew I was a chump when I found out but did not have the whole picture. I do now.

    Tracy, thank you for helping me regain my life and realize that I cannot talk truth to stupid pathological liars and mutant feminists who take their life’s pleasure in feeling superior to other women! Persistent chumpy me would still be trying to “help him and them understand the dehuminization I feel on account of his and their abuse of my trust and life”

    You took your experience and helped all of us. I appreciate each and every post.

    May you, and all of us chumps, go from strength to strength.

    • Reading your story really pisses me off! What this group really needs is A CODE OF ETHICS. I volunteer in my community and if an organization such as this condones crap behavior I would totally remove my good deeds and good name from it. I would also share the reason behind my decision. Barf, barf, triple barf. Rrrrrrrrrr.
      Hugs and a high five for getting away from these losers.

      • Oh Drew, I had been obsessed with this very horror problem every single day for a year. The mission of the organization is to support new moms and families and identify mental health issues for women (postpartum). Because of their bullying and fucking with every aspect of my intimate life, I had been on Effexor and Prozac each of which gave me horrible side effects. I could not mother my child the way I wanted to and now he was ripped from me for half a week every week and struggling. My my ex could care less. All this from a group that promotes attachment parenting!

        It is worse. It was not only the cheater president of the board and my cheater ex board member. The executive director and the pres were best friends. (jackass told me that is one thing that attracted him-so gross). The executive director knew. She and other BABS cronies are claiming to have known after we left Bloomington (that is why they did not tell me–that along with ten other reasons that are all bullshit) and jackass said he does not know exactly when Cabbage Patch started telling people.

        I suspect that executive director knew all along. You see, the two cheaters felt “guilty” and “did not want to ruin their marriages” so they decided to “only be friends” after they were dating and romantically involved for many months already–bonding at board meetings and also because they were unhappy to be following their spouses to Bloomington for their spouses careers. Ex made me feel like I derailed his career for my own for four years, I gave him every single empathic response “you don’t have to come” “you can leave” “we can leave” “I can’t bear to see you this miserable” running to therapy with him while he brooded and denied that he was resentful of me. He was able to be “honest” about his resentment with Cabbage Patch face because she felt the same about her spouse! I begged him daily to talk with me and figure our lives out, but he denied. I realized that he used the whole experience as an excuse to blameshift (he had no other job anywhere else except possibly New York and was too scarred to go to NY by himself–needed me to help him get there) He was also an alcoholic and used the excuse that his “career was derailed while I worked on my PhD” to drink. He was shit to live with an actually drove drunk with my child in the car. I was beside myself with anxiety and terror throughout the early years, but my ex is “such a nice guy” (Tracy’s picture of nice guy mask and shark underneath says it all”

        After they were romantically involved, Ms. Pres went on a trip to France with the executive director and I suspect she told her everything then because I remember on their return the executive director fishing for information from me about my marriage. When I told her “we struggled” (while I was taking a doula course she lead!) she looked like she could not believe how easy it was to get that information, strangely delighted and slithered away–I always found that interaction very strange and now understand it. They also looked at me with collective contempt anytime I said anything. I was so working on my marriage, caring for my son, working two jobs and taking courses, I shrugged it off— but it all stayed with me. I learned that ex, rather than speak with me as I begged and begged talked a whole lot of slander about me to his Cabbage Patch face who then spread his slander. I feel raped.

        Mostly because this executive director was my doula. I was so grateful even though she mainly sat int he corner talking my ex through while I was laboring! She is seen as some kind of “mother of us all” figure in Bloomington and has absolutely no oversight! I wish I never never set foot in that poisonous organization because they worked their way into my intimate life and used the trust they ask for to completely fuck me over. I can’t believe they get away with this.

        If I had known pres and ex were dating when my child was one years old, I would have left him then. Pres knew this, she gave ex a Dan Savage book—Dan the man basically says that there are some instances when you have to cheat and deceive. Pres felt that I would leave him and have custody of my child. She did not realize that ex “loved me” and wanted my kibbles more than hers (vomit—she can have him). They took my child on “play dates” throughout the year they were together.

        One of her BABS cohorts told me of their affair when she visited NY out of the fucking blue. She told me with our kids in the back seat. I thought I was going to have a stroke, my heart and head were pounding so hard. This from an organization that cares about women’s “mental health” and “attachment parenting” Good job shitheads, kill the mother with her child right in the car! Create trauma for the mother and child right from the start!

        When I began writing to people back in Bloomington who had some power in the organization, another former board president told me that executive director herself was an OW years ago!! (she was a student and her professor lover was married, she then married him) so she is particularly sympathetic to the cause of affairs, I suspect she thought as did OW that my cheater asshole would leave me and marry her (after all he was more attracted to her and they could talk and understand each their mutual depression. It’s true love! A real “emotional affair” (puke). They took me and my child hostage for five long and miserable years.

        I wrote so many letters to people and was told not to tell my story because “what hurts BABS hurts us all” and “It will only cause you more pain” (veiled threats).

        This organization has a monopoly on birth education and the executive director has endeared herself to many with power in the community (bullies). I was advised to appreciate my freedom living in another state away from them and “make art” out of my pain! seriously, you cant make this shit up.

        The sorry truth is that no one cares about the organization’s corruption, tearing my life apart. I actually loved my spouse and treated him well. giving him every opportunity every single day to be honest (as he admitted over and over and cried about—gross). He is simply a pathological liar that found a great community to facilitate his lies. They happen to call themselves “safe” and are still in business reeling in unsuspecting women.

        A friend of mine who worked for them left and said they were unraveling, but I don;t know. They have a government grant to go into homes of women of color and low income. Terrifying. I pray every day that implode and damage no other lives.

        No one in Bloomigton will hear me, and I stopped trying. I did not go as far as write a complaint to the attorney general because I was advised that I sounded like a “scorned wife” I swear, he only had to let me know he was interested in her and he could have been with her honestly! I wanted no part in that. But yet I get pegged as the scorned wife (gross).

        Right now, I am leaving it up to karma. People there know, they can do something like set up an ethics board. No one cares.

        Thank you for your response Drew. It is most valuable to me.

      • Agreed, Drew. Between the stories about how some churches behave toward the cheated partner and Chumpectomy’s description of the deceit of a non-profit, there seems to be no one we can depend on!

      • My cheater persuaded me to do freelance work for her fuckbuddy (her boss), to take a government-funded course that gave income to his business, to attend social occasions at which he and his chumped wife were present, including at his home. “Creepy” doesn’t begin to describe it.

    • Wow, Chumpectomy — I see why you chose your name! Good decision!

      Your X and that ‘mutant feminist’ witch are sociopathic. Cruel, vicious, and deeply sick folks.

      I very much get the experience of being all-in for an ‘ethical’ community, and being screwed by it, as well as being chumped into supporting own your spouse’s cheating.

      My jesus-cheater X encouraged my friendship with the OW, just as he insisted on my daughter’s ‘special’ friendship with her daughter. We were all co-parishioners. As my marriage was disintegrating, she would initiate little talks with me about it — once, she mentioned something that only he and I should have known (that I had told him that I could forgive his recently disclosed use of sexworkers — relentless spackler, me! ). I was so caught up in walking the path of good-wifeness (“I am here to work on my marriage, not abandon it”) , that I never questioned why or how *she* would have access to that very private information. Total chump!! They had been in a years-long affair at that point.

      OW’s then-husband came to my house to inform me, very politely and respectfully, about his daughter’s having witnessed open intimacy (hand holding and flirtatious talking), between my husband and the child’s mother, the OW. [OW’s child had asked her dad, is (my then-husband) going to be our new father?] So OW’s husband came to let me know, really as a public service. And I completely denied it. OW’s husband must be mistaken! (OW had let me know that her husband thought she was having an affair with every man she knew — “what a delusional guy”!) Chump-supreme!!

      In hindsight, I have suspected that the sex-worker visit story was a lie — it was volunteered totally out of the blue, part of his “I am so unhappy in the marriage that you drove me to sex-workers, and that’s why I have to leave now ‘to explore emotional intimacy’ (gag!) with my fellow-jesus-cheater schmoopie” trickle-truth exit-affair bomb-drop. I now think ‘sex-workers’ were the mcguffin to distract me from the reality that he was boinking fellow-parishioner-and-co-sunday-school-teacher OW. But at the time, I just felt how horrible it must have been for him, to be driven to seek release in such sordid ways. Poor Sausage!! Bad Andstillirise!

      Reality? Me: Mega-chump.

      It’s funny now. But it doesn’t make it less wrong. But in the wake of the crazy, like you, I rejoice in shedding the lizard’s skin of chumpiness and moving forward to grow from strength to strength. And I thank you for your clear insight.

      • Andstillirise, your story really helps me feel less alone. Your jackass’s derailment of any truth with his narrative of being “forced” to go to a sex worker and now “exploring emotional intimacy” is sickening. Reminds me of my sicko’s narrative of “I am a depressive, left my beloved community for you, am working in a job I hate because you are working on your PhD (he was a divorce lawyer and could have found a lawyering job in his area but REFUSED gave every excuse in the world–now I realize that he wanted the leverage that a divorce lawyer had so he could keep me hostage for as long as he wanted to), then taking up with Pres because “she was as beleaguered as me” and “she was drawn to me” implying that I was not—a complete lie which he admitted to. It’s all about spin for them so they look comprehensible. They are anything but. They play with people for their own benefits and get sadistic pleasure out of knowing how much they can fuck with someone. Sounds like yours met his match. May they torment each other in creepiness misery for all eternity—Keep far far away from them. Don’t let them use ANY of your energy (negative or positive). Be self concerned here. They USE. They will use anything you give them for their own benefit and your demise.

        Thank you for sharing your story that has the invasive deceptive friendship corrupt elements —so like mine. It takes so much strength to untangle from my life entanglements that worked for my destruction unbeknownst to me at the time. So much not to hate myself for being such a fool. It makes me feel especially chumpy to have worked so hard to destroy my own dignity because ex set me up in a very intimate way that included my child’s early life. My memories of my birth and time in Bloomington make me sick—I am now working on being gentle and kind toward myself. We simply could not have known people could be capable of such deception and this sick kind of dehuminization. Now we know. I feel better having gone absolutely no contact with ex except for my child’s needs. He gets noting more from me, not one ounce of energy. Karma can have him now. Let him boil in his own juices and rell in his own actions—all by himself. He get’s no mirror in me.

    • “You know, I found her so very unappealing and unattractive. I was not at all suspecting”

      Same here. My wife’s fuckbuddy, her boss, was/is 15 years older than me, a grandfather (my wife was 40 when the affair started), 50 pounds overweight, a drunk and an obvious manipulative narcissist. Just never occurred to me …

      • Jackass’s Schmoopie? Younger than I am by 15 years, probably 70 pounds overweight, no formal education, appallingly immature, and hates to work. When I found out they were having the FB affair (and whatever else), I pictured her as young, “lovely” and sparkly, based on her social media postings and the notion that he had to have found someone “better” if he was cheating on me. After all, I am a professional with a demanding job as well as an avocation that I love; my idea of fun is spending time writing, gardening, working out, going to the movies or for a walk, etc. Not exactly a party person. When I saw finally saw a picture (and not the edited stuff she puts on social media) I was shocked that she isn’t attractive.

    • Chumpectomy, you describe why I never join organizations if I can avoid it. There are probably many that do really good work but my experience is that organizations also attract people who like power and control over others. These people you encountered are sick and sadistic. Think about this–if it was just about sex or love or loneliness, they wouldn’t have needed to gaslight you. They could have been discreet. There are cheaters who don’t bring the affair partner into the family, or choose people in the family social circle to cheat with, or expect their partner and kids to be “friends” with the people destroying their family. So that suggests to me, at least, that it’s more like rape: it’s more about power and control and causing pain to others. Sadistic. The fact that anyone would tell you about the affair while you were driving with your kids in the car—-truly despicable. Not a shred of kindness or compassion. The old saying “the fish stinks from the head” applies. If the leaders of an organization are corrupt, the whole organization will stink, too. So I give my energy in enterprises run by humble people, kind people. You have survived some hellish people.

      • LovedaJackass, Thank you so much for writing:

        “These people you encountered are sick and sadistic. Think about this–if it was just about sex or love or loneliness, they wouldn’t have needed to gaslight you. They could have been discreet. There are cheaters who don’t bring the affair partner into the family, or choose people in the family social circle to cheat with, or expect their partner and kids to be “friends” with the people destroying their family. So that suggests to me, at least, that it’s more like rape: it’s more about power and control and causing pain to others. Sadistic. The fact that anyone would tell you about the affair while you were driving with your kids in the car—-truly despicable. Not a shred of kindness or compassion.”

        It helps me so much to have someone reflect and understand why I am having such a hard time. The level of sadism from people who frame themselves as “safe” and took me in–makes me feel internally abused. I love my child so much and only wanted to give him a safe and honest community to grow in. Oh did I pick wrong. Learning from this experience the right way will help me change my chumpy tendencies and follow my gut.

    • Chumpectomy, dear… I love internet research. heh. Would the harpy in question be the dumpling-like J*****a G****r? Would you require any internet based, uh, services?

      That kind of shit really frosts my cupcakes (ooh–bad metaphor!), chaps my butt, irritates the heck out of me.

      You have my most sincere support and also, outrage on your behalf!

      • You found the site, Named for Vera. Wow, you did more investigating than any of the Bloomington people and showed more interest in my experience than people I fed served and helped with honesty and respect without any ulterior motives.

        Jackass’s romantic buddy stepped down as Pres of the board when we moved, he left and she left. She is on that staff list now. Still working to creep-up a community. I will refrain from revealing who it is because I think she is that creepy and do not want any kind of attachment—even virtual–with her sociopathic self. I never look her up, never want to know anything about her. I did not find her interesting or compelling then and now think she is a sorry piece of shit. I also want to protect my child from that group of bullies and charlatans.

        I want to purge all of that poisonous experience from my life. Chumpectomy, lumpectomy. surgically removed like a cancer so I can get back to living the life for myself and my child that is authentic, honest, passionate and loving. No more sadists, passive aggressive deathly boring charlatans for me. I have spent too much time already getting to know them.

      • Oh, so do I, Named for Vera! Few things I like better than following a clue (except, apparently, the ones dropped by my cheating ex!). J****** G****r, indeed.

        When we think of our then-spouses carrying on an affair, it’s so easy to let our imaginations make assumptions about the affair partner’s hotness. As if he or she must be super sexy to be so irresistibly seductive that a spouse would throw away a marriage and betray a family for it.

        Then you put a real face/body to the affair partner’s name and you just want to gag. Your spouse suddenly looks 10 times the stupid and pathetic.

        My ex-husband’s affair partner looks like a plain, 40-something soccer mom with the rump of a rhinoceros. Chumpectomy, your husband was getting freaky with THAT complete yawn of a woman? WTF? Dress that Cabbage Patch-faced bitch in pajama pants and flip-flops and you can pick up her clone in any Walmart.

        Stay strong, Chumpectomy. You will come through this.

        • Oh no, she is not the current president. I don’t know the current president. The OW in my case was the president when my then husband was on the board from 2009-2010. I found out only in 2013, in the car with my son in the backseat.

          I suspected something in New York because my ex was getting more and more removed and drinking more. He continued to flirt in front of my face, more disrespectfully than in Bloomington. I asked him to sit down and discuss divorce many many times. He told me he wanted to work it out, and I chumpily believed him and went to yet another councilor.

          Ex looked at me before I went into the car with her. It was a look of sending me off to get knocked off. I was so used to his shitty treatment, I took it in not understanding what was in store for me. When we were in the car, we spoke about our marriages. She told me that Amos looked more “distant” like “he stopped trying” I was very hurt by that statement. What the fuck. Where did she come off telling me my husband had no interest in me? I had no idea that this troll had her finger on the pulse of my marriage for YEARS. She was good friends with Cabbage Patch (who jackass thought was very attractive, by the way). I told her I did not want to talk about my marriage because it was hurting me and I did not want to discuss my marriage with my child in the car (I was very careful not to confuse him with our marriage problems but to deal with them responsibly–the two of us with help). I then asked how people in Bloomington were and asked if she knew why Cabbage Patch defriended me on facebook. Did I do something wrong? Here are her words:

          Troll Messenger from hell”Oh you don’t know?”
          Me: “Don’t know what?”
          Troll Messenger from hell: “We should have dinner together tonight”
          Me: What don’t I know, tell me (I could not imagine)
          Troll: “T and A had an affair, it was an emotional affair that became physical before you left”
          Me: (blood pounding heart racing thinking: I am going to have a stroke.)

          Then she really let me have it.

          She told me that she was angry with me because I could not be there for her when she had postpartum depression. This troll was a woman I gave so much of my energy and time to–but she could not suck my blood and got angry, so she got on board with my lying ex’s secret affair. Turns out she had a fight with OW and wanted to divorce her own husband. After she left NY back to Bloomington, after I left my husband that evening, she decided to go through the motions of divorce herself. These are phsycho bitches like you have never seen.

          I am a Jewish woman from and orthodox community in Brooklyn. I have never seen the likes of this in my whole entire life. I am 44 years old.

          I am no contact with all of these trolls and jackass and will build my life back up without trolls, deceivers, cheaters, and jealous women who only have ill will and contempt for others. Only authenticity and respect for me and I pray for all of us from now on.

  • Chumpectomy – for awhile there I thought *I* was the chumpiest-chump, but your story is sadly bad. The hypcrocrasy on every possible level. You said your point very well and it sounds like you have defined this and are well moving-on. Congratulations. I hope I’m close behind you.

    We chumpily met our ‘neighbors next door’, while r/v-ing showing our dog at dog shows. They had our dogs brother. Wee, this is fun. We all like to cook, drink a little, show dogs – we all had Great Danes so it was a cozy foursome. Traveled for 3 yrs together – became best of friends..Nope, I didn’t see it coming either. Not a bit.
    H and her would stay up late drinking, listening to rocknroll, (yanno, cuz she’s a cool 10 yrs younger and knows all the old-farts music from the 70’s) and me and her chump hubby were in bed early cuz you can’t party and show dogs at the same time.
    Like you, never saw it coming.

    I wish I was honorable enough like you to be chumped into a good cause or two, but this woman wanted to throw parties for the dog-show ppl between our 2 m/h’s. Now, dog showing is a big enough project w/o entertaining a bunch of people but she planned 3 huge parties in a year. She said to chump me, you go out and do the visiting (she’s not a social person) and I’ll plan the food – it was a lot of extra work for me. And, while I don’t want to go down the blame-the-whore-path, she threw a ‘James Bond’ party – yanno, Don Draper style (Hubby’s favorite character). We even had caviar. (dog ppl very impressed). Then, was a Jimmy Buffet party, my H’s favorite band! weeee. I chumpily did a hell of a lot of work, kind of resenting all this because I’m only thinking of a dog show, and staying up far too late cleaning up.

    THEN, the kicker! His wonderful b’day party. Oh my. We have to go all out because it’s on Halloween and Halloween happens to be ‘my’ favorite celebration of all, she says. I say, hell no, I’ve made him a 3-tiered German Choc cake for 34 yrs in a row and he doesn’t need another surprise party. Especially when I finally find myself next to a beautiful pool in Phoenix for the dog show. (normally we’re in fairgrounds). Guess what? It was the greatest surprise party he EVER HAD! Man, that woman can throw a mean party!! wooopeee.

    And, that was 2-1/2 yrs ago when their affair began.
    She remained super -over-the-top- friend with me during the whole time.
    When I stayed at her home by myself (we were good friends) I always thought it was odd she couldn’t seem to look me directly in the eye.

    What I came away from this is knowing I had a bad gut feeling about her. And, if somebody won’t stare me in the eye for a few seconds, I will not bear them anymore. Learned that lesson! Fuck em both.

    • Yes, Shechump fuck them both. I hope they die alone in nursing homes with bedsores all over their bodies, after finding their subsequent spouses in the throws of organisms with other people in their own beds! I come from a long line of cursers. Women who feel dis-empowered to receive real justice so we curse. It does feel better.

      Thank you for sharing your story. Horrifying and sickening. Yes, how do people do this and sleep at night. It’s the deception and the complete annihilation of another person’s life that I cannot wrap my mind around. They are simply entitled fucks who could care less about the needless pain they create. Making lives that are already hard, harder. The worst of the worst, may they rot on hell right here on this earth. Homeless they should be.

  • Chumpectomy and Shechump, yeah I wish we could give out awards to the biggest losers we know. I will never be able to look at the man or woman who systematically blew up my life. And my children’s. I do however believe that those cheaters deserve one another. Their consequences will follow. Why share our gifts with people undeserving of them?Again these people have the Chumpy rest of us thinking, “Who the FUCK does this!?!”

  • Yes indeed Drew, who the fuck does this? Now I understand what people can do to one another and get away with. I helps me to know that I live my life each day honestly and with integrity. They can’t touch that.

  • I was a chump. I was a chump for 27 years till dday. so when looking up chumps look up grifters (someone who sets up a mark in a confidence game in order to swindle then). now look up my name because I traded up for someone who is grounded, loves me even with faults, who doesn’t use me to fund there play time. leave a cheater, gain a life is so true.

  • I do believe living a life with integrity has its own rewards and know my life is better without my cheater ex. Chump Nation rocks and lets me know LIFE is better without the disordered in it. I appreciate the stories, more I appreciate the honesty from others who truly know what it is to live authentic lives.

  • This is why I call myself ‘Patsy’.

    1. a person who is easily swindled, deceived, coerced, persuaded, etc.; sucker.
    2.a person upon whom the blame for something falls; scapegoat; fall guy.
    3.a person who is the object of a joke, ridicule, or the like.

    When I asked him if he was having an affair (as soon as he started it), he said ‘no’ and I believed him, because he was my friend. Instead, he said, he was upset because I was a terrible wife, and he was depressed. I ran with that for 2 years.
    He treated me with the most horrendous contempt, rejection and disrespect as ‘I’ and all my faults were compared to the glorious perfumed and childless OW.
    To this day, our dysfunctional marriage forced him to cheat, and it is my fault we are getting divorced because despite all his efforts [see imitation nuagahyde etc], I am hell bent on not reconciling.

    So, by all 3 definitions I am a Patsy, all right!!!
    Wow, there is a life out there to be lived, I can’t wait.

  • So much wisdom here.

    I fly the Chump Nation flag proudly now. Not because I celebrate being betrayed, but because I have come out of the past three years realizing how strong and skilled and mighty I am – traits that all of us as Chumps possess in spades. Like many of us, I was married young and thought I needed a partner to have a happy life; I spackled and worked harder and carried all the load in the marriage because that’s all I knew how to do. Now I can take all those skills I have and use them for myself, a hard thing to learn and get used to but I am slowly getting there. I cherish my solitude, I love not having a partner, as I am still working on fixing my picker and calibrating the Bullshit Meter (thank you me for that lovely image!) and I finally feel like that is progressing, too. I am at the point where I am happy with my life over 50% of the time, which is pretty phenomenal in my world, and when ToddlerBoi is finally out of my life I am sure that percentage will shoot up amazingly!

    The three things that I can count on to get me through the bad days and buck me up are my dear sister, my rock; Chump Lady; and music. This is one of the songs I listen to when I am really down and it always helps.

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=fT-aEcPgkuA

    We are all Mighty, Chumps, and we will all Rise Again!

    • A good post which I could have written exrepeatedmeme. The one thing that has come about because of the demise of my 37 year marriage is that I have stopped listening to music and I love music. It just brings me back down. I am also very selective about the movies I see also. I don’t love my ex or ever want to see or hear him again but this is a bi-product of my divorce. One day I hope to listen to music once more. I had a huge record (vinyl discs) collection before we married and he has kept that and will not send it to me. I am leaving it with him because I don’t want to deal with him anymore.

      • Maree, yes, that reminds me of that great post of CL’s six or so weeks ago about the triggery things we feel we’ve lost in the separation.

        I’ve noticed that at first I could not go to charity shops (my passion) because it reminded me of him, but slowly I began to go to them and now I’ve reclaimed that pastime, thank goodness.

        Yesterday I went into our favorite Middle Eastern store and was filled with memories that were hard to take, but I’m glad I went. The next time will be easier. I can reclaim it too.

        When you’re ready perhaps you can collect vinyl records again as you go, collecting them one at a time when you see them in a used record shop or charity shop. Don’t overwhelm yourself. Don’t even listen to them if you’re not ready.

      • I discovered that when “we” were listening to music my ex was iming with the OW while I danced and sang happily. It definitely put me off my music for a very long time. The worst was realizing why he started listening to “Hot for Teacher” so much and certain singers I just can’t listen to now, Norah Jones he ruined for me.

        As an aside; before I got the ex out of the house he took every single DVD movie and all the music CDs, even the ones he did not like. He removed them from the cases and put the cases back. I did not know they were gone until well after settlement when I went to pull out a movie to watch. Then I looked for the music, all gone. He even took my Tracey Chapman CDs and believe me, he did not like her music.

          • Dat, wow. Just remember it is a statement of him, not you. All hail to the Chump who can dance and sing and get lost in the music!!!

            Mine used to put on Kaiser Chiefs ‘Every Day I Love You Less and Less’. Chumpy me thought it couldn’t possibly be that personal.

        • That’s not only passive-aggressive ass-holery, it’s also kind of creepy. No, really creepy. Dat, your ex is such a disgusting POS. I am so thankful you are away from him, every time I read one of your posts.

        • WOW!! that is just crazy and super time consuming.

          my X left me with everything. when i tried to talk to him about the divorce and what did he want he would always tell me nothing, i dont want anything. its all yours.

          so fast forward 3 months later, now he is crying and whining about how i took everything to anybody who will listen. but h*ll i dont care anymore (i used to feel guilty about it) and i am glad i am lucky to have kept everything i worked so hard for

  • ***I used to believe that if you treat people with respect and dignity, they will be respectful back. And when they aren’t respectful, pretending they are will make it so!****

    I used to think this too. I now realize that it is called ‘magical thinking’. (I would even call it ‘insane thinking’!) It is like thinking I have this power to change the way others act. I have NO power to change the way anyone acts! As some wise person once said, “I used to think I could ‘nice’ my way out of things.” Now when I think of myself thinking that way (which I always did), I have a one-word response: hahahahahahahahahaha!

  • I had to laugh at the original Tweet Lady’s comments that just because she saw that Schmoopie was trouble means that her husband, who was fooled, is the chump.

    Nope. Sorry.

    He may be a Fool, but she’s still a Chump.

    Why? Because she had to discover the affair. That means he was actively engaged in deceiving her, even though she spotted OW as Trouble with a capital T.

    Sure, he’s a Fool for getting sucked in by a predatory OW–but he’s a grown-up. He knew that he was doing the Wrong Thing. If he wanted to do the Right Thing, he would have told his wife that OW was coming on to him, he was uncomfortable, and since he had to interact with her due to work or whatever, he was setting up boundaries and minimizing contact as much as he could. Did he do that?

    Nope.

    And that’s why she’s a Chump. She believes, still, that fundamentally He Did No Wrong, and that It Was Not His Fault.

    Cheaters cheat because they can.

    Chumps are Chumps because we believed our spouses were better than what they were.

  • Twitter lady is a chump and if she can never admit it, she will never overcome it. If you can’t be honest with yourself, who can you be honest with? Yes, I was a chump and I admit it. It’s a far better moniker than “Betrayed Spouse” That term to me seems like it should be accompanied by scarlet letters that you would wear-and be a victim with people feeling pity for you for the rest of your life. I know that being a chump is only temporary and I have learned from it. I am only going by current chump because I am temporarily stuck here with the stbx until I find a job to financially support myself.

    None of us chumps here in chump nation set out to be chumps. We all have good qualities that normal people would look for in a partner-honesty, empathy, compassion, kindness……….so much so that we would endure a multitude of horrible situations before finally walking away. As chumps we need to realize that we are amazing people who ended up with partners who were not deserving of us and their actions are a direct reflection of their shortcomings-not ours.

    • “As chumps we need to realize that we are amazing people who ended up with partners who were not deserving of us and their actions are a direct reflection of their shortcomings-not ours.”

  • I think I am a chump of all chumps. I am from originally from Europe, married an American GI, who woed me and told me I was the one. (I found out much later, he proposed to everyone women he spent more than 5 minutes with).We got married after 4 months of dating. I was totally head over heals in love with him, and felt I had met my “soul mate”. His mother was a “born again Christian” religious fanatic. A nice person though. We have 2 daughters together. After I moved to the US, my ex informed me that as we were married, we no longer had to do things together. Just stay at home and hang out. I didn’t like that,much but afterall we were married, so I acquisced. Except , he liked to do things that didn’t include me, because he needed “his space”. Again I acquisced. I didn’t want to be a demanding wife. Forward a few years, I suggested we do more together, and was told “I have a house, 2 kids, 2 cars, what more do I want?”. He was a teacher at the local HS. Everyone loved him, he was very popular. 16 years into our marriage, parents and students informed me he was having an affair with a popular math teacher at the same HS. It took the breathe and hope out of me, but I was going to fight for this marriage! We went to marriage counseling. During the 2nd session my ex spent most of the time telling our counselor, he needed space to do his own thing, The counselor became very angry with him (he actually got up from his chair and yelled at him) and told him our marriage sucked. Despite all that, like the “Good Wife” I was willing to hang in there. Ex took a job at a local community college. Six years ago, I received a call from the husband of a female instructor, that ex was having an affair with his wife, and were using the college’s phone mail to leave messages.Now what I am writing next show my absolute Chumpdom. I defended him! My husband would never do that! After the phone call he reeled and rolled on our bed, and couldn’t believe I defended him. Of course he didn’t. Because it was all true. The affair had gone on for more than three years. I kept plodding along, but he became careless, left his pin # and was able to access his work phone messages. After listening to her messages to him, my “make believe world” crumbled. I lost my trust in him. We slept in separate bedrooms after that, I couldn’t bear his touching. Well, he moved on and started seeing a childhood friend (he called her a sandbox friend), who happens to make $350,000 a year, so my daughters tell me. His family and her family thought this was a match made in heaven. I no longer existed. He moved out, rented an apartment through a friend of a friend in a resort area, and paid minimal rent. I filed for divorce. The renters felt sorry for him, they bought his story of the bitch wife! He never spent any time there tho, but my daughters did. They got to play “house” without any supervision. He and OW bought a $650,000 house together, he is living the high life, goes on expensive vacations (without his daughters). After many years, my daughters finally see him for who he is. Last year I was diagnosed with stage 4 metastatic stomach cancer. I have gone through 17 cycles of chemo, and will continue with chemo for the rest of my life. I don’t know how much longer I have to live,but one thing I can say, this has probably been the happiest years of my life despite everything. I got to experience the kindness and goodness of people. And my daughters have been unbelievable! They have made it their mission to live and experience as many memories as possible with me. My oldest daughter surpised me with a trip to Puerto Rico last December. Priceless! Life has been good, though I wish I hadn’t wasted 22 years on a man who didn’t deserve 5 minutes of my time. That, and that only is my regret! I often tell my daughters there is no “should have, could have, would have”. I need to keep reminding myself of that! Dating an American GI in Germany was not what respectable girls did. I did and was called a whore, put down and treated with disrespect, and told I was desparate to get married. It was none of those things, he played a good role, and I naive as I was, I fell for it. So that’s my story.

    • You are mighty Judith Butterly! Jedi hugs to you and I hope your treatment works well. You are right, woulda, shoulda, coulda is useless. What we live is what makes us who we are, acceptance and going on to have better lives is what we do. And you are respectable, to hell with what other people think.

      • Judith Butterfly, you go! His behaviour does not determine your worth. Your relationships with your daughters tells you what sort of a human you are – and he isn’t.

        This is the time you find out how much people like you and how nice and normal you have the capacity to be. Are your friends there for you?

    • The way you embrace life is inspiring to me. I love that you condense the horror of your ex as “your only regret.” I can learn from this. Not to wallow in the injustice, but to move on and live. Thank you Judith Butterly! Love your name too!

  • I like the word Chump too. It sounds kind of cute and non offensive. I don’t have any problem telling people I was one.

    At first I was enraged with both the OW and my X. She knew me and she knew my husband was a married man. She had went after other married men prior but they rebuffed her advances. Obviously a piece of shit skank who didn’t care whose life she blew up. Of course I always blamed him the most but after reading Chump Nation for awhile I now squarely place ALL the blame at his feet. There will always be skank women who will fuck your husbands.

    They’re still together after several years but I think they stay together to show the world that it was really ‘twu luv’ and to prove a point to me. Like I care anymore. He’s an alcoholic and gets shitty when he’s drinking. He’s wasting away and anemic. But it’s not my circus and not my monkeys anymore.

  • I am proud to call myself a chump. Because I was. Because I was fooled and because I was duped and lied to again and again (even during “reconciliation) , and now it can only go upwards from here! No longer a chump………I’ve gained a life!

  • This is just something that gets me, so here are my alternative slogans.

    You only live once, be a good person.

    Life is short, don’t blow it for sex.

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