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Happy Birthday Chump Lady

Hi Chumps! Today is my birthday, so I’m taking it easy today, sort of.

You get a twofer. I got a wonderful letter yesterday from BarristerBelle, whom some of you may remember from her epic tale of the bunny hopping ex-husband, who when confronted, jumped into a pool fully clothed, then curled up into a sleeping bag and bunny hopped away in anger. (Actually I think this could be a contest… Most Psycho Cheater Reaction…) Anywho! She’s in a much better place these days and sent me a lovely letter, below. 

After BarristerBelle’s letter, I’m rerunning my birthday column from 2012. I’m now 48 not 46, but my husband is as sweet as ever, and I’m that much further out from my 40th birthday (pre-D-Day), that I spent literally shoveling shit. 

Older, squidgier, happier. Take heart, chumps, better days ahead. Invest in the good people — they’re out there. I’m not just talking romantic relationships, either. All relationships. 

CL

Xmas1Dear Tracy / ChumpLady,

I haven’t been commenting on the site in a while due to crazy work schedules and a much-needed vacation (I still read each and every new post), but I wanted to share a happy update with you and our fellow Chumps:  I’m engaged!

I am grateful to you, your site, and this community for helping me find my backbone again and to finally see the cheater word-salad / fog / excuses / FOO issues for the narcissistic bullshit it really was, and to start taking the necessary steps to walk away from the crazy.  (And mine was an epic level of crazy…my XH is the ridiculous one who, upon the final DDay, threw himself and several items of furniture into the pool while fully clothed in his suit & shoes, then hid upstairs and finally bunny-hopped-down-the-stairs-in-a-sleeping-bag)

I’d only found ChumpLady a few months before that infamous event, and after that night I was finally FINALLY was able to stop trying to fix him, fix us, stopped being the Amazon Chump that I was, and started to focus on me and getting better.

Admittedly, I still worried after the divorce I’d be stuck with a loser “divorcee” label, that it would be too scary to risk dating again and getting my heart trampled upon once more, that no one would want to date me (I was damaged goods, after all), I’d have to settle for someone dull (I was so conditioned to SPARKLES), or that I was so screwed up from this experience I wouldn’t even know what a decent guy would look like if he were right in front of me.

I’m thankful for your stories about finding your Texas-lawyer husband, your birthday post and how the “walls in your house sing again.”  Those posts and others helped displace much of the fear and what-if thoughts in my head, gave me hope that things can be better, and provided me with motivation to actually try dating again.

I’m glad I did. And I took things slowly and learned to watch his actions. I saw the effort he put into our relationship and his relationships with his friends, family and colleagues, and began to trust again. Just a couple of weeks ago we were on vacation out of the country at a lovely tropical beach, and on the last night of our stay, he proposed. We flew home the very next day (yup, on a Tuesday).

Thank you, Tracy & thank you for creating a space for Chump Nation. If you think this would be helpful, please feel free to post this.

All the best to you and yours,

BarristerBelle

 

 

Happy Birthday Chump Lady 2012

Well, I try not to blog about myself too much, because God, how narcissistic and dull. (Mommy blogging anyone? Does anyone want to know about my son’s travails with geometry?) But I’m going to make an exception today, because today is my birthday. (Cue Leslie Gore… “It’s my birthday! And I’ll blog if I want to! Blog if I want to!”…)

I’m 46, if you’re curious. Fairly ancient.

What does my descent into middle-aged decrepitude  have to do with infidelity? Well, my 46th birthday is a nice reminder of my 40th birthday, which sucked epically. And I thought I’d tell you about it as a little example of how different life can be post-cheater.

When I turned 40, I had just moved to a new state with my then husband for his job. I’d been married four months. We bought a 100-year old fixer upper house (with my money) and it had been badly neglected. A widow had owned it and hadn’t done yard work since her husband had died years ago. But hey, you know what they say about codependents, right? Codependency is the addiction to the POTENTIAL of things. I was still a flaming codependent. I loved the potential of this ancient pile of house and I was resurrecting the garden single handedly.

It was the day of my fortieth birthday and I ordered myself a truck load of cow manure from a local farmer. He delivered it, dumped it in my yard and I spent the day ankle deep in shit, shoveling cow flop around.

At the time — swear to GOD — I thought “I’m ankle deep in shit on my fortieth birthday. This must be a METAPHOR for something!”

My metaphor called me about six weeks later. It was the Other Woman phoning to let me know she existed. Turns out — surprise! — my husband had a mistress spanning 20 years and three marriages. No, I had NO IDEA. Remember, I’m a CHUMP. No clue. None. Zip. Zilch.

I had just moved to a no fault divorce state, financed a serial cheater’s career move, and bought a 100-year old fixer upper with this fucking sociopath.

How I got out of that mess is another story for another time (many miracles, many blessings, a lot of idiocy on my part — idiocy I share with you as trial-tested results of What Not To DO). The point was… my birthday.

My fortieth birthday sucked. I literally spread shit on my fortieth birthday. My cheater husband’s gift to me was a pen. (Admittedly a nicer gift than the tie-dye motif license plate cover he presented to me that Christmas). And during that weekend, unbeknownst to me at the time, he was off screwing his mistress. Cherry on top of the shit sundae.

What a difference six years makes.

Today I am so blessed. I’m remarried to a great guy who is truly my better half. He’s nerdy and kind and super smart. Verbal. Bright. A mensch. A wonderful father to his kids and a rock to my son. He eats too much popcorn and loves polka music. His quirks fit my quirks. I marvel every day at my amazing fortune that this is my life and he is my husband… and I will shut up now before you choke on my treacly, heartfelt, love goop.

My husband has been pestering me for the last week about what I want for my birthday breakfast. He is a master at French toast, and tragically for him, I do not care for French toast. (“It’s JUST LIKE BREAD PUDDING! You love bread pudding!” No, it’s not the same. French toast is a pale substitute because it’s not drenched in Bourbon.) I got a sweet roll and coffee and roses for breakfast. Swoon.

He took me out on a date last weekend and gave me a ridiculously extravagant gift. He put a pressed shirt on, and the man hates to wear all things dry clean only. He opened my door. He bought the fancy dinner.

I’m not writing this to make you hate me. I am writing this to you to say  — YOU ALL DESERVE THIS. Everyone deserves to have someone in their life who delights in delighting them. Who gets honest to God pleasure from giving to them. Who  will go to whatever effort just to PLEASE you on your birthday.

You know what’s sexy? EFFORT. Effort is sexy.

I didn’t know this until I was 42 and met my husband. I spent a lifetime in my relationships shoveling shit to one degree or another. I’m not saying <sniff!> no one loved me, no one bought me a pretty present. I’m saying — I didn’t know what reciprocity felt like. What it was to love someone who loved me back just as hard, maybe harder. Who if I lobbed the ball to him, picked it up and lobbed it right back. Who threw it further into the green, past me, so that I had to run to catch it. Who (damn him) is ahead on this birthday celebration thing. But I have a few things planned… his turn is coming…

Betrayed folks — do not settle. Good people who make effort exist. Go find each other.

Going to go celebrate some more. I’ve got a sugar coma now, between my prose and the birthday cake… maybe I’ll go take a nap… Happy birthday to me!

Ask Chump Lady

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  • Happy Birthday!!!! Thank you for all you do! You have helped me immensely. May all your birthday wishes come true!!! xoxo

  • I haven’t read the post yet, I will, but when I saw the title, I said out loud, Holy Shit. Today’s my birthday too! I knew we were kindred spirits. Chump Lady, Tracy, thank you. Thank you for doing what you do and being a light in such a dark place. You helped me pull my fractured self back together. Happy Birthday!!!

          • The Other Woman’s birthday is 9/11. So appropriate. Also creepy that I know when her birthday is. I remember ex telling me that he wanted to invite her to his parent’s place out in the country to celebrate her birthday. Because it just sucks to have a 9/11 birthday and he wanted to do something nice for her. This was before I realized she was the OW. I thought they were just part of the same running group.

    • Happy Birthday to Chump Lady and to all Chumps in the Nation who celebrate today as their birthday. I am proud to share a birthday with you Chump Lady. Thank you so much for all of your guidance!

        • I found this today – I find it encouraging. Not certain but the email I received credits Pope Francis.

          Weep not for what you have lost, fight for what you have.
          Weep not for what is dead, fight for what was born in you.
          Weep not for the one who abandoned you, fight for who is with you.
          Weep not for those who hate you, fight for those who want you.
          Weep not for your past, fight for your present struggle.
          Weep not for your suffering, fight for your happiness.
          With things that are happening to us, we begin to learn that nothing is
          impossible to solve, just move forward.

    • Happy BDay CL..thank you for sharing your sweets with us fellow chumps (not Cake! Not hopium! And def not shit!) Gives me real hope. “Alive Day” is the day a troop is not killed by the enemy..sometimes s/he is the only one in the tank, bunker, chopper, etc. who survived. The day we chumps realize we have re-gained our life after Dday should be called something…or does a phrase already exist for this in Chump Nation? (am new).

  • Happy birthday! Thanks for everything! You and all the chumps have helped me so much. I’m moving slowly but forward.

  • May you have many more healthy and happy ones.
    It’s not the years in your life that count but the life in your years!

  • The Happiest of Birthdays to you Tracy!! You deserve the best because you are the best. Thank you so much for providing a life raft when I was drowning. I absolutely love you and these fabulous Chumps who post here. Have an exquisitely wonderful day and remember – birthday cake has no calories when it’s your birthday cake. 😉

  • Happy birthday, Chump Lady.

    My 40th birthday sucked too. My stbx put no thought into it at all. What is it with these a-holes and birthdays?

  • Happy Birthday!!!

    This site has helped me immensely! I had been several years past dday and divorce, and in a new relationship, when i found your blog. I was still involved in untangling the skein and accepted that he had left me for his soul mate. Which really did still eat at me, despite how i denied it. This site gave me the no nonsense “He SUCKS!” that i needed to finally toss all of the old mixed up and packed away feelings.

    As i result, i was finally able to have the confidence to move forward in my relationship with “the newish guy”. In fact, i got married this July! To a wonderful man who appreciates my sense of humor and loves me for me, not skme image he wants me to portray.

    Thanks Chump Lady!

  • HAPPY HAPPY BIRTHDAY!! Such a great reminder that we have to let go of the bad things in life in order to let good in.

  • HAPPY BIRTHDAY TO YOU!!!! Enjoy your special day!

    My 40th was a surprise party! Part of the surprise was he was already having an affair!!!

    I hope to have joy back in my life…………..as you have found!!!!

    You are my inspiration!!

      • My 40th sucked, too. Just an awful, awful day. Luckily, I left that narc (you guessed it) and found another one. Many gruesome birthdays ensued.

        So I moved on.

        Well, my 48th this year found me *gasp* actually celebrating. The real kind. The kind I could relax and enjoy because there’d be no hell to pay. The kind that uplifted me while kniting me closer to those loved and cherished. The kind whose receipt felt like a true blessing.

        I hope every Chump who ever got a thoughtless gift, abandoned for blow jobs, or shamed into feeling even smaller on their birthday, puts all that behind them and moves on to find a life filled with many Happy Birthdays.

  • Happy Birthday CL!
    Thank you for giving US the gift of these posts, your wisdom and for being an advocate for us chumps.
    Have an excellent day and eat some cake!!! 🙂

    Yay Barrister Belle! So happy to hear someone has made it better. I still don’t see myself out in the dating world. Not for a long time and it makes me sad.
    I don’t like the divorcee in her 40’s label, either 🙁

    • I’ve chosen “single career woman” as my title (if someone feels the need to label me, that is) since all others like divorcee, childless, etc all seem to imply that I’m *missing* something!
      TBT – The only thing I’m missing now, is being fooled daily, which I DON’T miss at all! All the best to you, Edie… I always like your input here. I hope you soon find whatever life that you can dare to dream of having 🙂

  • Happy Birthday CL! I wish you many more filled with happiness, laughter and love!!!

    Thank you for all that you do for Chump Nation. You have helped so many people – more than you will ever know!

  • Bravo, BarristerBelle! Love to hear a success story!

    And happy birthday, ChumpLady! You don’t know me but you have been the voice of reason for me over the last year. Thank you for providing a forum here for the chumped. Have an awesome day!

  • Happiest of Birthday’s yet to you, Tracy. You are a gift to us all.

    And what wonderful news from BarristerBelle! Happy Chump Nation 🙂

  • Happy birthday, Cbump Lady! To build on your lob analogy, let me say that you have lobbed some pretty great balls at Chump Nation. And I think most, who find their way here, figure out how to go long and lob those balls back – at life. A much better life. Thanks for all the great coaching, hugs, and empathy.

  • Happy birthday, Tracy! You’re exactly 3 months younger than me, so you can’t be THAT squidgy 😉 Thanks for all you do. And Barrister Belle, here’s wishing you a lifetime of happiness with a man you deserve. You have no idea how inspirational both of your stories are to me.

  • Reading about a partner who puts real thought & effort into a special day has me saying YES, DAMMIT! It’s not about a big gift, but thinking & planning ahead – that means alot. Too many times it was more an afterthought.

    I turned 50 this year. My bf & I had just gotten back together a few days prior (maybe this Chump didnt want to hit that milestone alone?) & he had said how he’d been agonizing over what to do on my birthday…leave me alone, send flowers, ask me to dinner….he just didnt want to let it go but didnt know what to do since we weren’t together.
    So , back together. The day before bday my family is in town to celebrate . Boyfriend is off work early but has some time to kill before I can get home, so he goes shopping at he mall. Right?
    He comes over with a little bag of perfume samples & I think ‘oh yay maybe he got me my fave perfume – he knows I’ve been out since Christmas’.
    Next day, my bday, he shows up with a jokey eye-bulging ‘ You’re FIFTY!?’ cards (He’s 5 yrs younger, but hey he signed it ILY so its all good, right?). But Wait, there’s More! The gift, I kid not : TicTacs, Beef Jerky, Hand sanitizer & Bubble gum from his convenience store stop on the way to my place. He apologized & said he hadnt had time to get me anything.
    Forget his two hrs at the mall. Forget the buy-one get-one deal at the Perfume store <– 1 for him + 1 for him = 2 for him, silly!

    I spackled it. Just getting back together & all, and it's not about the gifts, right? But the thought process, or lack of it. Which reminded me that the previous year I had spent 3 days helping him at an out of town job fair. The next day was my birthday but at no time did he mention it., not even as he dropped me back at home that evening. The next morning I get a HAPPY BDAY text. Then finally around noon he calls, asking if I want to 'do something tonight, or what? He'll take me out to dinner if I want. I was so bummed I opted to postpone til the next night. Bought myself some flowers, cake & wine & spent the evening chatting with my Chump bffs.

    How on earth did I go from a cheater XH to such a selfish prick? Because coming out of my marriage I tried to focus on being a giver (after hearing how selfish a wife I was). I told myself I should do things for others without expecting something in return. CHUMP! It took awhile to realize I was taking this to an extreme. It takes reading about thoughtful, giving partners to make me realize it was OK to be hurt, even pissed, at the lack of consideration/reciprocation.
    It also gives me hope that maybe there's someone out there who will truly feel my next birthday is worth some effort. That I am.
    [End Rant]

    • No no no!!! RECIPROCITY. It’s great to be a giver, but find ANOTHER giver. Don’t accept the fucking tic tacs. God, what a LOSER. I hate that guy for you.

      I say this as someone who got a tie-dye license plate cover for Xmas from my cheater. Spackle, I know it well…

      • Yes indeed. It takes less time to ask what someone wants for their birthday than it does to scramble thru the gas station last-minute.

        Spackle. Sure , said XBF had a lousy childhood including forgotten birthdays. But apologizing for the sheer suckitude of a gift as you’re presenting it means you DO know better.

    • “It takes reading about thoughtful, giving partners to make me realize it was OK to be hurt, even pissed, at the lack of consideration/reciprocation.”
      It especially hurts me that I didn’t even fully realize all this until I got divorced. Yes, of course it hurt at the time, but when I tried to bring it up, he dismissed it as if I was petty or greedy. And I reluctantly agreed.

      When he did get big gifts, it was always something he would have wanted, not something I needed. For instance, I needed a sturdy bike, to get me and the children places, for grocery shopping – I treat a bike like a work horse. It’s a Dutch thing. He got me this dainty race bike for my birthday, with a zillion gears… I tried to be happy, but it was such a disappointment. I bet he shared my ingratitude with the OW – little did I know at the time all my actions were weighed and measured by two evil schemers.

      A year later, on the day he would tell me in a counseling session if he would choose me or the OW (I’m blushing now, I was so deep in false reconciliation…) it got stolen out of our shed. He chose me. He said (his actions did not match). That day I thought I was lucky, losing a bike was nothing compared to losing a husband…

      Not much later I dumped the cheater. And got word from the insurance company that I would get new-value for my stolen bike. I could buy any bike I wanted for the same price.

      I got my perfect work horse, with a unique camo-print, that no-one will dare to steal! Ride it to and from my post-divorce job every day, about 80 miles a week, often with a heavy load. Best birthday present ever! 😀

      I’m quite content now to get my own presents, bake my own cake (and eat it!). But whenever I’m included in thoughtful surprise parties, see glorious presents (chosen with attention and care), I also can’t help wish for a special other to care that much for me…

      But, that doesn’t take away at my heartfelt birthday wishes for all of you chumps whether or not you found that holy birthday grail!

      • I feel the same way, Dutch. There’s no denying the longing to have a true partner in life, but learning to self-fulfill where there are gaps is so important . That bike sounds awesome & I love the way you came to get it (you sure XH didnt steal the other one?)

        The first bday gift XH ever got me , when we were dating, was a Beach Cruiser bike. I just pulled it out of storage last week & after a lot of deliberation decided to keep it (unlike most of the other stuff he gave me). It rides wayy better than he did. 🙂

    • Oh Chumpty Dumpty….that’s pathetic honey. Tic Tacs and beef jerky and hand sanitizer. It reminded me of the time my XH (not the cheater) ‘forgot’ my birthday (again) and ran into some truck stop and bought me ugly dangly agate earrings with a matching key chain. I literally cried when I saw them. My mother couldn’t decide who to feel sorrier for. Me or Him. Haha.

      • I don’t know what possesses them to think buying cheap shit is going to make it better. Scratch that….I do know. They don’t care about better , or pleasing us – it’s the mindfuckery of making us the bad guy for not appreciating the gifts.

        • Wow, having a realization here after reading all of this. 🙁
          I got tactics and had always thought it was sweet since he knew orange tactics were a fav kid hood candy of mine. But most years for Christmas, Valentine’s Day, Birthdays, I got nothing but a verbal “Happy Birthday” about 20 times throughout the day and forget the other holiday, those weren’t really acknowledged, even though he always got a few gifts to open from me. I’m not even bothered by not getting a gift, but something about never getting a card had always bugged me. To me, someone going in and reading thru cards and selecting the perfect one means more to me than an expensive gift. But, he could never be bothered to spend that time. Guess I should have known since he’d almost always say things like “I wanted to get you *some gift he knew I’d needed/wanted* – and then he’d get my kibbles of “aww, you’re so sweet! Well, thanks for thinking of that anyway!” AND I MEANT IT! I had put him in my mind as a thoughtful guy when in reality, he hadn’t even done anything! Ugh… need to process all of this now.

          I agree, reading about reciprocity in relationships is opening my eyes today. I want that!

            • Tactics, that’s another subject entirely. Bet we all have some good ones to share. 🙂

              You’re so right on the kibbles. “Oh honey, it’s ok. Don’t you feel bad that you made me feel bad. I’m just peachy. Now give mama a kiss. My breath is minty fresh thanks to your AWESOME gift.’

        • For our second Christmas as a married couple mine stopped at a truck stop and bought me a door decoration with the price of $22.95 stuck on the back of it. Unwrapped.

          This is a guy who spent a lot if money on bikes, meals out and tools for himself.

          On Valentines day of 2011 he was away ( on a very expensive mission trip without me ) and he sent MOW to the door with chocolates for me.

          They are the gift that just keeps on giving!!!

          Anyway – Happy Belated Birthday !!!! Hope it was a good one 🙂

    • ChumptyDumpty, I never had a birthday party or birthday gifts as a child growing up, also didn’t get any gifts from Santa Clause either, when I still believed he existed as a child (now we all know better 🙂 My XH, not the cheater but the abuser, got me one gift on my first birthday, a matching wedding band for my engagement ring and he conveniently forgot my birthday every year but he never forgot his! One year I even baked a birthday cake for me, so he says “when are you going to put the candles on it and lit them up so I can have some of that cake?”

      The cheater X got me gift cards for his favorite restaurant (for 2 of the years he got me nothing btw saying he was broke but bought himself a $1400.00 toy, in cash, 2 weeks after my birthday and hid it from me of course) then when we went to eat there, I used the gift cards then paid the rest out of my pocket, for my own birthday dinner,(Christmas too) what a chump that I was!! But for his birthday he got designer clothes, colognes and much much more and I always paid for his birthday dinners. I also fully bought and paid for his family members birthdays, Christmas etc. gifts. Fuck what a chump I REALLY was, again! A very nice woman I befriended, threw me a nice birthday party one year, bought me a 22k anklet for my birthday. She is a giver like myself and I am known as the “best gift giver”, but I stopped with all that. I finally said enough and why should I keep buying birthday gifts for people when they never get me anything? oh yeah there were lot of hints for a while that their birthdays was approaching blah blah blah, so now I just ignore it and I spend all that money on my teen son and myself.

      Anyways like Tracy said, find another giver like yourself, stop always being the only giver, I know its hard but know your worth, don’t keep giving to people who wont return the favor. I am finally doing that myself. However, I truly do hope that you got rid of that LOSER for good! Hugs!!

      • Nicolette,
        Thank you – and he is gone for good. I’m so ‘meh’ on my 25 yr marriage that I never even blink, but this guy who just had had some tough breaks and whom I connected with on so many levels got to me enough that I was a Chump. Because *I* was the chosen one to fix him. He told me so! Gag.
        I can’t count how many times I walked away and was chumped back in. Thats why I came here to CL…called up the troops, and it’s really helped cement what I already knew in my head. My heart has been benched til his Sparkle has faded from memory.

        Being a lousy gift giver wouldnt be a deal breaker if everything else was good, you know? I’ve seen it enough , often actually, in people who were just raised without money, social graces, whatever. It was just another scoop on what was already a shit sundae.
        We all deserve better than that.

      • I have to resist the urge to comment on everyone’s post. Everything you say about these people/loonies/nutters/twisted critters rings true to me regarding my STBX. I was trained to see the best in people, and as a consequence ate a shit sandwich everyday for 32 years. But now I look for nuggets of wisdom that I find here. I am a giver…I never understood why my STBX could give 10 words a day… but now I know… find a give… watch his actions… Thank you for freeing me to look for that instead of always looking for ways I can help that person. OhwhatafoolI was

    • Happy Birthday and thanks for your wise words and those of the many posters here. You all are my therapy.

      For my 40th birthday I was given 40 dark red roses. My house looked like a Chapel of Rest.

      As usual I got the bill for them a month later

      Have a lovely day

  • Happy Birthday Tracy! It’s Rosh Hashannah too!

    A toast to all new beginnings and happy endings to shit sandwiches!

    I found this blog in June 2013 a few weeks after D-day. I liken my finding CL to a proverb I learned as a child: God creates the solution even before you realize you have a problem. I found out my soon to be ex was a pathological cheating liar and CL was there to help me disentangle from that mess. I am learning more about how I work in the world each day.

    Thank you!

  • Oh, I don’t even remember my 40th birthday. Ex ignored all my birthdays since 2006 and I did too, although I always celebrated his (once with the OW, isn’t that delightful!). Really sad.

    Last year my good friends took me out to dinner and to see Alvin Ailey at City Center (one of my favorite dance companies). I was still reeling at the time and they listened.

    I am better now—time and working to change does heal–So long ignoring-martyr-man–hello me.

  • Congrats Barrister Belle and Happy BDay to you Tracy!

    My BDay was Monday – my 50th – and I’ve spent the week (and several months in advance of it) trying to reclaim some joy in marred places and special occasions. My stbx spent my birthday 2 years ago sending romantic emails to one of his OW. This year, I took my 7 year old to Universal Studios (though it hit me while there that, given a search I later discovered, stbx must have spent our last visit there wondering whether he had impregnated an OW. The sickening humiliations of long-term betrayal always sneak up when you least expect them).

    Two years ago today, he was getting a blowjob from his long-time mistress. Two years ago this Monday was my first (of several) soul-crushing DDays revealing that my stbx cheated on me with multiple women throughout our relationship (yup, wedding day he was uncertain if another gal was pregnant!), established inappropriate email and facebook contacts with exes, had profiles on dating sites and held me up to ridicule to other women – often with outright lies about me.

    I guess it’s fitting that tomorrow, right in the middle of my week of anti-versaries, is my divorce hearing. While it is sad to formally end a marriage, but I’d prefer to be single forever than to be coupled with a consummate sneak who did not value or respect me and whose shallow understanding of love allows for it to co-exist with chronic disloyalty and all of its attendant consequences to those who loved him the most.

    • Wow, WastedHeart. He is truly horrible. And sick, but these people being sick and screwed in the head doesn’t mean we need to stay married to them! My X sounds similar to yours- loved being the Player, and I was his Front. Keep those home fires burning, little Chumpy!
      Belated Happy 50th!!!
      I’m turning 60 in a couple of months, and we’re better off for sure without the psycho cheaters! What good is a life, unless it’s authentic?

      • So familiar, I will be 60 next year, I was the front & he is the player! He is still trying to play me, trying to move on, want this time to be over.

  • HappyHappy Birthday!! I am fairly new to this sight, but clinging to it like a liferaft!!! Thank you so much for this site, it is a blessing. I love the hope you put out there for us, what a difference a few years can make, yes? I wish my SO WASN”T so thoughtful about doing things for me all the time, it would be easier to leave….. :/

  • Happy Birthday Chump Lady. This post made me laugh out loud and cry all at the same time for BarristerBell. It must make you feel so good that you are truly helping so many people. I wish I’d have found you back in the spring of 2011 instead of summer of 2014.

    Even though I’m a reconciled Chump, you have no idea how much your advice and posts have helped me. You have the best readers and posters on your blog. If I could, I would recommend you as THE best infidelity blog, seriously. I’ve also read your book and it was right on. So good job on both fronts.

    Your candidness and ability to call a spade a spade has shown me to take care of myself first and place firm boundaries for my own self. As a result, I have a better, more honest marriage to the former Cheater. Life is actually pretty good. I don’t know how long it will last. Maybe forever, maybe not. Through your sage advice I get stronger and smarter everyday. Not only with my marital relationship, but all my relationships. Sad to say, those have been struggles as well given my nature to allow myself to be everyone’s doormat!

    You and your readers have taught me well and I’m still learning so I hope you are around for a long time. It must take a lot of effort to post once or twice a week and I can’t tell you how much I look forward to each and every new post. Thank you CL and thank you to all your wise readers.

  • Happy Birthday!

    My birthday was less than a month ago, and at this age I think of it as “Yay! I managed to make it through another year without doing something really stupid like wandering into traffic while reading something on my phone” 🙂

    I like to think we get wiser like that anyway 😉

  • Merriam Webster definition;
    re·cip·ro·cal
    adjective \ri-ˈsi-prə-kəl\

    —used to describe a relationship in which two people or groups agree to do something similar for each other, to allow each other to have the same rights, etc.

    What a wonderful gift, reciprocity. Way better that a big shit pile, even if it was some good manure!
    Congrats to BB and a Happy Birthday to CL.
    You both are such inspiration. Thank you.
    BTW…..does your hubby have any brothers? Cousins?

    • This is so important. I wish all kids were taught the value of reciprocity. My mother is a covert narcissist (so I’ve learned lately by researching) and we didn’t have much money growing up. My sister and I were raised to give our mom loads of attention because she was a single mom and we were taught to feel sorry for her and suck up our own emotional challenges of their divorce and doing without material things (“good things are for *other people*, we are poor so don’t expect to be treated well by those people”). She’d put on quite a Ms NiceyNice for everyone, then scream at us several nights per week at home until she’d literally choke herself, then we’d cry and apologize for upsetting her so much. Unreal!

      I know now this is where my issues begin. Growing wiser with each post, CL and ChumpNation – thank you all for helping me so much 🙂

  • Happy Birthday Chump Lady and congratulations BarristerBelle-hope you’re both having a wonderful day.

    My former (heh, heh) husband would spend money on a present and then proceed to spoil the day ( because it wasn’t about him). He even tried to do it after we separated, sent me a book but then sent spiteful (drunk) texts later.
    eg “Happy Birthday. I will only look upon what you have done as an abandonment and a geographical. You couldn’t handle me and gave up. Thanks for the good times. I hope your delusional life will produce some decent work from you. Christ knows it’s long overdue. Two degrees and all. Just Saying as they say nowadays.” ( I kept a record in case needed for court).

    This site helped me decode this for what it was – narcissistic rage that I dare leave him (and a tug at my marital vows), undermining of my achievements (he didn’t have any degrees), and general put down-quite apart from active, untreated alcoholism.

    But that was then… and again, through this site, I don’t have any fear about being a ‘failed divorcee’. I’ve been married, but now I’m single. I don’t need to tell anyone anything unless I want to, and if I do, it will be the truth- I left a cheater and gained a life.

  • Happy birthday CL! I shared your website with a friend of mine who is currently cheating (he’s married, she’s married) In Hopes he could see his cognitive errors. He did not find it humorous is I do. Go figure!

  • Happy Birthday, CL ! I love it when people have a positive attitude toward their birthday, at any age. My first husband moaned and groaned for months beforehand about turning 50. He died of a massive heart attack about one month before that 50th birthday so he was spared being “that old”. Sometimes I think the universe listens to what we say.

    Each day of life and each birthday is a gift. It’s promised to no one. This past Sunday my cousin posted a prayer request on facebook for her friend’s son. He collapsed early Sunday. He had a brain bleed and never regained consciousness. He was pronounced dead on

    • Continued…pronounced dead on Tuesday. Which would have been his 16th birthday. I just think this is incredibly sad. I’m not trying to bum anyone out, but just reminding us all to never take even one day for granted. Or to waste it on a loser Cheater. Easier said than done, unfortunately.

  • Happy bday to you Tracey!!! And congrats Barrister Belle!! Thank you for being an amazing example of success after surviving kibble apocalypse with crazy, NPD cheaters. My bday is coming up soon & I’m in the 40’s as well. I’m looking forward to my Tuesday-Meh day and better relationships with healthy boundaries.

    Lastly, I’m hoping that your special day will bring me luck……..I’m waiting to hear back about a great job I recently interviewed for. They called my references Tuesday ( of course) but haven’t made me an official offer yet. I’ve had a hard time landing a job since last year & need this one to start a new cheater-free life with my son.

      • Thanks Moving! I really need it….I have been out of work for almost a year & it’s been tough. Plus, this company had 2-3 weeks of interviews so there was ALOT of stiff, currently employed folks I am competing with.

      • OMG Tracey-I think your birthday mojo might be working!! The company recruiter told me that I was chosen for the position and they are just waiting for the company COO to sign off on it. Once that is done, I get my official offer letter. Of course, I know it isn’t a done deal until I have the offer in my hand…..but it is finally a ray of hope for my financial future to escape stbx Porn King iPhone effer!!! YAY!!!

        Thank you, Thank you, Thank you Tracey for sharing your birthday mojo!

        You & chump nation have been a lifesaver in many ways in these past months

        • Wow! Awesome!! Adding some mojo to the final details going smoothly for your new job and getting to security! Best luck 🙂

          • Chump Lady mojo works-I got the offer letter today & I will start my new job in a week! YESSSSSSSS!!!!!

            I just have to make it through the 90 day probation & then I can get a new place for me the & little guy & pay the balance of the divorce atty retainer.

            FREEDOM!!

  • My 40th birthday sucked as well, since it was my actual D-Day with friends, family and children in tow…My 42 is Sunday…been a long two years…Thanks for all your help I could not have made it without this blog and your amazing writing!

    Happy Birthday and cheers!

  • A Very Happy Birthday to you, Tracy. Thank you so much for all your help.
    You are an inspiration indeed to us all and you so deserve your present happiness.
    My heart has been very heavy this week as the 23rd was 1st year anniversary of D day when I found out my husband of 34 years had been having an affair with a woman 31 years his junior for 2 years. No fool like an old fool. So today’s post has renewed my optimism that things can get better, because I have been feeling so low and miserable. Also reading BB’s letter has helped as well. How lovely for her.
    Hope you have a wonderful day and thanks again for everything.

  • First, a hearty congratulations to Barrister Belle and many happy returns of the day to our dear Chump Lady. I’m truly glad you have come through the darkness and arrived at a great place.

    I guess it’s my nature to worry that I’ll be the exception to the rule. I’ll be the one who does not find happiness with anyone and will be alone the rest of my life. But for now, since I’m a less than whole woman, I’ll put those thoughts aside and wait and see. I have so much work to do on myself that even if I were still young and beautiful, I would not be emotionally ready to enter into a new relationship. I hope I do not end up spending the rest of my life alone, but if I do I will make it a good life anyway.

    The talk of gifts from commenters today is triggering me like mad. My husband loved gifts for himself, but never bought me a thing unless it was with my own money. I’m sorry, but those gifts don’t count as far as I’m concerned. Yet I thought I could train him and that he would follow my lead as I tried to make his birthdays special. No. All that happened is his birthdays were special and mine were not.

    Then there was the xmas we were flat broke and his mother sent him money. He didn’t use it to help me pay some bills. He didn’t use any of it to buy me or his children a Christmas gift. He used it to buy himself an electric piano so that he could feed his soul. And he felt sorry for me that I could not understand the importance of that.

    Another time I took great pains to find a particularly beautiful book of poetry for him for his birthday which was the next day. I ended up sick later that day and while I lay in bed he opens the bag and takes out the book and comes and thanks me for it. No clue that I wanted to wrap it or write in it or present it to him on his actual birthday — he just took it. Fucking asshole.

    I could go on and on but I’ll stop. It’s really hard to imagine a reciprocal relationship, but that is what I will strive for in the future. Eight years of being treated as less than him in every way really took it’s toll on me. I’ll never understand why my husband felt his life and happiness was so much more important than everyone else’s.

    As always I’m grateful for you, CL, and all of Chump Nation.

    • “Yet I thought I could train him and that he would follow my lead as I tried to make his birthdays special. No. All that happened is his birthdays were special and mine were not.”

      That is so essentially chumpy, it defines my whole marriage (especially at the end).

      • Dear Moving Liquid,
        Mt heart broke when I read of your pain during your birthdays with the POS Ex! … You are not alone… Often I did not even get a card in 14 years of marriage even though I went out of my way to make each of his birthdays special.. I hope and pray you will find someone who makes you feel special when you are ready but I loved what you said- “I HOPE I DO
        NOT END UP SPENDING THE REST OF MY LIFE ALONE BUT IF I DO I WILL MAKE IT A GOOD LIFE”… That is my wish to, to make my life count & be happy, to make my own happiness whether I’m alone or not.. In the process I will be ready for TRUE LOVE if it comes and I will never settle because I’m hungry for happiness.

        You ask. “Why was his happiness more important than anyone else” … Because he was egocentric & narcissistic and because they were incapable of loving us.
        Sending love and hugs your way ML.xx

    • Dumping that guy is addition by subtraction. YOU can make your birthdays special. Take all that specialness you were dishing out to him and celebrate yourself. What an asswipe.

  • I laugh everytime I think of the Cheater throwing stuff in the pool and jumping around in a sleeping bag. Too bad BB didn’t get that on tape.

      • Me either! My x’s affair partner decided to out him by coming to our house while he was still sleeping and talk with me about how to out him. She’d wanted to out him at their office (they worked together). I thought that was tacky and ridiculously immature. He woke up as we were talking and when he walked into the living room, in only his boxers, he got one look at the two of us sitting on the sofa and he RAN out the front door and down the street. No shoes. No pants. No keys. Lol. I’d always thought that was SO bizarre! Until I read BB’s story! This site has been a great source of wisdom and humor!

        • I use *out him* loosely, as she’d known about me from their beginning but she wanted a big show of him leaving me since she had just found that I now knew about their affair by me contacting her. He still had no idea that I had found them out and contacted her. I’d asked him if he was cheating and he’d denied everything until that sad morning.

          • I’m sorry, but didn’t the Whore realize she was “outting ” herself. She was dating a maried man, lol. They think they are blameless. It totally amazes me.
            A girl I worked with , a Christian no less, told me itwasn’t wrong to date married men because SHE wasn’t married. I promise. How delusional. I’d never heard that one.

            • ummmm what planet that chick is from? He.is.married.off.limits. He is taken/married and what part that idiot didn’t get? She is beyond delusional, maybe someday she will get married and I wonder if she will be okay with her husband “dating” other women? Hey, after all, according to her, its not cheating or wrong if the OW is single right? Some people…

              • Yes, this girl thought that since she wasn’t married, ANYONE was fair game. I was extremely shocked. I had found out (this was several years ago) that a so called friend had lied to me about the fact that the Road Whore was not in California but actually had moved back to my state. I said that if I caught a chick with my husband I was gonna jack her ass up, lol. The girl at work said “Why?She isn’t doing anything wrong.” What the hell??? She proceeded to explain that dating married men was o.k., as long as you single yourself. No, she’d never been married, had a young child, and was mega religious.

            • Yeah, she took no blame. She took pleasure in the whole drama. It really was amazing to hear her talk. I allowed far too much communication from her, I was in shock I think and also he and I had to remain living in the same house for several months until I was losing my mind and had to kick him out. A few of the gems she laid on me during that awful period were that she wanted to enforce boundaries on him like he and I couldn’t do yard work or cook at the same time or talk while we were both at home unless he told her about it, lol. She also dropped by a few times, laid on top of him on our bed(!) since I’d moved into one of our other rooms. She tried telling me that I needed to clean his nasty bathroom since I’d moved into our 2nd bathroom. She was just a ridiculous person that I ended up respecting even less after getting to know her self-centered personality a little. We ended up working together (same field) a few times and she got mad at me on the job because I didn’t eat lunch with here, haha. I think my calm response, in front of our work team, was something like. “Oh, sorry, I don’t befriend people who fuck my husband for 1.5 yrs behind my back. I was only trying to avoid this type of tension since we’ll have to work together sometimes.” She was 27 but still lived with her mom and totally behaved like a spoiled immature disrespectful 17 year old.

              I wish I’d had my wits together more and hadn’t been so stunned by the whole deal. I’ve wished many times that I would have gathered my stuff and moved to a friend’s couch rather than give either of those fools that type of sick pleasure. I wish I’d been able to calmly say to them
              “I wish you two exactly what you’re putting out there. To be madly in love with each other, or your next partners, and share an awesome 8 years filled with first houses, puppies, cars, vacations and many many days and night of simply loving one another. Then I hope that around year 9.5, you discover that your beloved spouse has been cheating on you for that last 1.5 years. I wish you the experience of learning that you’ve been exposed to STDs for 18 months as well. I wish you the mindfuck of living with a liar and losing everything you’ve worked hard for. I wish you all of the joys I’ve just gotten to experience. Congratulations on racking up all of that karma, because it will come back around.”

              Whatever. These types of people are everywhere. I just hope that I’m learning enough right now to see the flags and protect myself in the future. I want to fall in love again 🙂

              • Wow, Under Construction. Just one question. How did you keep from killing this Whore??? And him too. I told my Cheater to tell his girlfriend that if we were ever at the same place, she would be well advised to leave. The only exception was her own house/yard.

              • You’re smarter than I was, for sure. I’m glad that I got to know her a bit b’c it helped me move forward, knowing that if he can want that kind of person, then I surely wasn’t his match any longer. But, yeah, if I could go back I would have handled things differently.
                Besides, after getting to know her, I now know that she’ll be her own demise throughout her life until she has some harsh wake-up calls. That doesn’t bring me joy, but at least I don’t think about her and how great or happy she must be.
                Kudos to you on knowing to steer clear from the start!

              • Oh and as for him? He came back my way after I’d gotten myself back together and was doing well, about 2 years after dday – AND I LET HIM BACK INTO MY LIFE. I fell for the reconciliation idea, which has now just failed miserably after I’ve water another bunch of years seeing his good side. This 2nd time, I just felt free after finding out he started “hanging out” with one of our mutual friends. I was great for a few months but these past 2 days have me shaken for some unknown reason, so I’m reading and talking here a LOT. It helps! And NO, he will never get another chance, lol.

  • Congratulations Barrister Belle, Happy Birthday Chump Lady!

    Great stories from both of you to inspire us chumps.

    And thanks CL AND all the other chumps out there for all the advice, stories and encouragement. So glad I found this site. xxx

  • Happy Birthday!

    OMG. Tomorrow is my birthday and my marriage went sideways off a cliff during my 40th Birthday too. It was not nearly as poetic as yours but was the worst birthday ever.

    Like you, each birthday after that dreaded year, I remark about how much happier I am!

    THANK YOU, THANK YOU, THANK YOU, THANK YOU, thank you again for sharing your story and for this forum. My regret is that I didn’t find it sooner.

    And, please keep sharing these good news stories!

  • Happy birthday Tracy and thank you for making sense out of the senseless and making me see life with a cheater is no life. God bless.

  • Happiest birthday wishes to you, Tracy! May the most you wish for be the least you get.

    Thank you all for the well wishes, too. This site has helped me so much I can’t even begin to describe it. Seeing the patterns of the cheater’s self-imposed chaos, selfishness, and shit sandwiches in all of your stories was so helpful, too. I wasn’t alone in this situation and you all could obviously relate better than any of my well-intending friends who hadn’t experienced this. I’m grateful for everyone’s words of encouragement, humor, outrage, support and camaraderie. CL’s forged a great path out of that nightmare and I’m forever grateful to have followed it.

    • Congratulations Barrister Belle — it is so wonderful to look up the road and see an example of the happiness that might lie ahead. I’m so glad you shared your encouraging update.

      And happiest of birthday wishes to you, dear Chump Lady. Thank you ever-so-much for the gifts you give us so freely (and funnily).

  • Happy Birthday! I am a chump almost two years out from DDay. I can’t tell you how many times this site has helped me get through the day. I’m CONSTANTLY recommending it to people. Thank you, you are the best.

  • Happy birthday Tracy!

    And BarristerBelle, that is awesome! Congrats on finding health and happiness after what you’ve been through!

  • I would like to congratulate Barrister Belle and thank her for the story of what must have been at the the time a terrifying scene of chaos but will live in infamy as one of the most hilariously batshit crazy scenes a cheater has ever pulled. I hope enough time has passed and the meh is strong enough, the mindfuck illuminated enough that the mirth and marvel I get from that tale every single time I hear it isn’t an insult. I love that love wins!

    And happy birthday to Chump Lady! I just paid all my bills, or more rightly threw my paycheck in the general direction of The Man and then ran like hell and will keep running till the one, and repeat. So my gift giving budget is in the pen range. But I could give you a beautifully wrapped box of sincere gratitude and apperciation. Due to the wit and wisdom here, I began to laugh again. And I will never find myself again on my knees begging a cheater for the privilege of his abuse. My children have functional, sane mother who’s 46 pounds lighter herself and 310 pounds lighter of cheater deadweight.

    I do make a mean cream cheese cinnamon roll, though. Let me know if you need some squidging up.

  • Happy Birthday to you!!! I’m Sept too! But so is STBX… He doesn’t fit OUR awesomeness at all. I am so glad I found all of you. The support is ABSOLUTELY giving me the strength to forge through this mess. I am going to be a success story soon enough and look forward to all the wonderful opportunities in my future. You are never gloating at all, hearing about the happy life of you and BarristerBelle is promising.
    Enjoy your day 🙂

  • Happy Birthday Tracy!!!! I hope you have a good one!! 🙂

    PS: he bought you a fucking pen on your fucking birthday?!?! what a tool, among other things!!!

  • Happy returns of the day, and a happy new year to you!
    Congratulations to all who’ve escaped the f***edupness and best wishes for those who are still en route.
    My favorite birthday gift was the one I received after the OW #1 (that I know about): a monopoly-type game that was adapted to fit my Alma Mater, where himself worked in the Admissions Office. I thought it was adorable and charming that he searched and looked up my college application to ‘check me out.’ If only I’d seen at that young age how creepy that was….and of course since Admissions and Financial Aid worked out of the same office he had the opportunity to fully explore the fact that my family didn’t qualify for any and I was full pay courtesy of my quite generous and wealthy Grandfather.
    23 years later in Judge’s chambers, he was requesting a portion of my then very healthy and able Father’s estate when he might pass in the future, as well as a piece of my Mother’s Mother’s estate when she met her Maker.
    The Judge to whom I give little credit, at least had the presence of mind to inquire about both of my relatives’ state of health and on being informed of how well both were, stated how he heard many heinous things in his chambers but wishing my family members dead and picking from their future estates was pretty low. (Lost my Nana but Dad’s still rockin’)
    If only that Judge had known….
    BTW: No Contact all the way from day one. I’m a counselor too and leave my patients’ issues at my office door. However, boundaries are boundaries and serve everyone well in every situation

    • Jeez, how creepy he was, Sam. Have you noticed how many Cheaters are Gold Diggers? And psychopaths? My ex was almost Stalkerish in his pursuit of me. I’ve totally rethought my ideas on romance, like in movies and books, etc. Most of what they portray is dysfunctional, in real life.

      • I was surprised to find out that my cheater had thoroughly researched me (we worked in the same office) before I’d even spoken to her. After I did, she visited the workplace of at least one former lover of mine to catch a glimpse. It didn’t occur to me how creepy that was. It did occur to me that her longtime habit of going through employee records in her workplaces to see if she was being paid enough compared to other people wasn’t really right.

        • Ugh, ANR, definitely creepy. And illegal, I’d say.

          Like the plot of a sad “romantic comedy”. Stalking is very romantic…

    • The entitlement goes deep, huh? My son’s father once told the court he shouldn’t have to pay child support because my grandparents have money. Seriously.

      Your cheater is a typical cheap-ass jerk. Glad you’re no contact with him. Send him a postcard when you’re divorced and come into your trust fund. HA!

      • My ex wanted to marry me within a year, when I told him I didn’t believe in marriage, that a commitment was a commitment without the paper he agreed. Lived together for 12 years (yep he cheated once in there and did the full monty to win me back). Then he convinced me to marry him and that is when the shit really kicked in. Once he got that piece of paper he fucked with me royally. And of course anyone been here a while knows, once married you can’t kick the asshole out of the “marital home” if he doesn’t want to go. And my ex ***really*** didn’t want to go.

  • Echoing the rest of the chumps in wishing you a very happy birthday and many more. I can never thank you enough for this blog and your hilariously sage advice.

    Birthday tip #468: eating lit birthday candles does not burn calories…

  • Happy birthday!..

    Glad it’s a good one and your life is in a better place now. I hope to get their soon. It reminds me of my birthday this past august. I was registering my 4yrd for pre-k and right when I was almost done , I get a call from my lawyer. She told me that my wasband had an offer for the temp orders so that we don’t have to head to court the next day. So there I am with my kids at school trying to decide what to do, needless to say it was a crap offer and I declined. The rest of the day sucked, no special dinner ( unless you consider mcdonalds a fancy restaurant).. No presents.. No cake .. No candles and a crappy hand written note from the wasband wishing me that all my wishes come true.

    But the next day I did get my present, the temp order was granted, I got the amount in support that I needed to keep up with all my expenses for my kids and he moved out that Saturday..

    I hope next year on my birthday I will already be divorced and have a better birthday..chump lady I read it everyday and it helps me push forward to see this thru the end. Thank you ..

      • Thanks for taking the time to read my comment and responding. It means a lot. And I think I will take your advice to take myself out on a belated birthday dinner.

  • Happy Birthday, Tracy! Your words have changed my life in so many ways, and I think of you as the gift that keeps on giving. Thank you for everything! And BarristerBelle- thank YOU for sharing your joy with us! You both have helped me to look forward at all the possibilities. What a gift!
    Narcissists are terrible gift-givers because they have no empathy- the ability to put themselves in someone else’s shoes and imagine what they felt like or needed. My Ex regifted me a red Miata after he decided that he deserved a Porsche. He insisted that this was his gift to me, and that now he didn’t need to give me a gift for the next 20 years. Wow! And then he went out and bought himself a $90K Porsche, and it was not even his birthday! Getting a divorce was the gift I gave myself.

  • Happy Birthday ChumpLady!!!
    I tell so many people about your site (my therapist loved it). What you’ve created is like a best friend who looks you in the eye, and tells you the truth, while gently leading you to a better life! You deserve all the love you finally found!
    And BarristerBelle- so happy for you! What a romantic proposal, may your life together be blessed. Your posts always made me examine my life, and helped alot.
    I also found somebody, and I for sure wasn’t looking. I was going to wait a year after leaving serial cheater X. I went to volunteer at a house rehab this Spring, and while I was painting, struck up conversations with another volunteer. He’s my boyfriend now, I had the best summer ever with him, and it is so nice to be with somebody who’s looking out for my happiness and comfort. I still do think it’s good to wait, after divorce, but when someone appears in front of you, and you have so much in common, sometimes you gotta go for it!
    Wishing everyone strength, and answers to all your prayers. We all deserve it!

  • Glad for BarristerBelle–wish I had been so lucky. A year after Dday I had a first date with the man of my dreams–everything was perfect about him and we grooved so well! Vacationed together, had fun and laughs and so many cosmic coincidences (among other things he was chumped by his X the exact same way I was by mine ) that I knew we were fated to be…one day he told me how much he loved me and how he was feeling so lucky to be my granddaughters surrogate Grandfather and the next day he said he, “wasn’t feeling it” and took off. I never saw him again. So now, over two years past Dday I’m alone again and feeling sorry for myself and kicking myself for being chumped by a chump. I’ve kind of given up on the finding a new mate thing but glad it has happened for others….

  • Happy Birthday, Tracy!

    Feels like you’ve given me the gifts – you and Chump Nation have given me the confidence to move on and the courage to go seek my life again, and I’m truly forever grateful. 🙂
    Wishing you an adventurous, joyful and love-filled year! You’re an amazing and giving woman who absolutely does deserve only the best. So happy that you’ve found it!

  • Happy Birthday CL! So happy that you found your happily ever after! I did too! And I wasn’t particularly looking for it. It sort of fell into my life. We had some ups and downs before we got to the proposal part, but he got down on one knee at the Grand Canyon in 2012 and presented me with a beautiful engagement ring. In 2013 we married on the same day. For our honeymoon, he took me on a mystery trip to an island off of Belize. Very romantic and a complete surprise! And a year later, here we are! We just returned from a mystery trip to celebrate our first anniversary. He rented a cabin in Tennessee with an indoor pool in the basement. I will never be able to repay his kindnesses, but I don’t feel as if I have to. He loves me just as I am and takes great pleasure in spoiling me.

    Take heart Chump Nation. The person of your dreams, the one that you DESERVE is out there just making their way to you. God provides when you least expect it, but you always must believe that this one person meant just for you is coming your way. He/she may be going through some trials and tribulations of their own right now, but they are headed your way. Mine was a widower who had his own issues and had been dumped by the first woman that he decided to date after his wife had passed so he wasn’t sure he wanted to try again, but here we are!

    Keep your chin up and BELIEVE!

  • Happy Birthday Tracy! I just had the time to read this because I was at the attorneys office dropping off financial papers and a retainer fee, which btw, I had to borrow because the soon to be Mr MFIM wouldn’t pay for. Never mind that I was young, wealthy widow when we met. The ink wasn’t dry on the marriage license and we were at the banks putting his name on my money!
    So today is my first day to freedom, and on your bday! Thanks for all you do!
    Have a great day and know that your are loved!

  • Happy birthday, Tracy. I thank God the day you entered this world. Without you, a lot of us chumps would still be deeply mired in the mindfuck that we used to think was normal.

    BarristerBelle, I was so very pleased to read your letter. Bravo to you! I’m happy that you took the chance and yet approached the situation with extreme caution. I wish you the best. How is your ex doing? Still rolling around in a sleeping bag and getting nowhere?

  • In false reconciliation, only 2 weeks of that thank God, I found out that my ex slept with the other woman on my birthday and then literally right after, he sent me a happy birthday text. They are so fucked up. every. last. one. of. them.

    Happy birthday, Tracy. You rock!

  • Happy birthday Tracy. You are the bomb!!!! You deserve it all. You are a grand person, and the awesome thing you have done creating Chumplady has been a lifesaver to so many!! Many blessings for you and yours. Thanks Chumplady, I for one, am indebted to you. Happy happy birthday and many more with your wonderful husband.

  • Happy Birthday our dearest Chump Lady. Although it was never your intention you have earned a place in our history but most especially in all our hearts here at your creation, Chump Nation.

  • Happy Birthday Chump Lady.

    My D day was during my birthday week, too. This website was the best birthday present, ever. Thank you for the gift of chumpdom camaraderie.

  • A very heart felt Happy Birthday to you Tracy and to everyone in Chump nation who has a birthday around this time. Also congrats to everyone who has found a loving and reciprocal partner. You give the rest of us hope. Blessings to everyone of us chumps……….we deserve them……

  • Happy, Happy Birthday! You deserve each and every blessing that comes your way – may there be many more. Every day of the 11 months since I found out STBX is a fraud has been a struggle. Without this site I doubt I would have faith that there is a light at the end of this f’d up mine shaft. Thank you all!

  • Happiest of birthdays Chump Lady (Tracy)!
    Your 40th sounded pretty sucky. On my 45th my exNPD husband took me to a jewelry store and told me I could pick out anything I wanted. This was so out of character that I just knew he must really love and care for me afterall. Instead of diamonds, I chose a nice practical watch because I didn’t want him to think I was greedy or wasting his money. A few months later when DDay came I asked him why he had taken me to that jewelry store for my birthday if he was sleeping with his final affair partner? He didn’t answer. I guess it was my “lovely parting gift”. If I had known then what I know now, I’d have chosen the diamonds!

  • BarristerBelle, congratulations to you and wishing you every happiness ahead. You certainly deserve it, especially after that sleeping bag freak show! 🙂

    CL/Tracy, happy birthday to you. Even though I’d already left my cheater by the time I found this page, reading here has helped me find so much more clarity, and a lot faster, than I would have otherwise. More than that, it’s put me into contact with some of the funniest, coolest, smartest and most generous souls I’ve ever been privileged to encounter. For everything you do, God bless. Raising a glass (of root beer–tomorrow’s a teaching day) in your honour tonight.

  • Happy Birthday CL and thank you for gifting us with the time and effort that you put into your blog every single day.

    You are a gift CL to so many here.

  • Happy birthday, Chump Lady! I’m another one who has made it to “meh” but still love to read your site. CL and Chump Nation have made a huge difference in my life and I will be eternally grateful. Thank you!

  • PS, my 50th birthday was just a couple weeks after I left my POS ex, and I can’t even begin to count the ways it sucked. And it sucked royally. What should have been an amazing milestone birthday was more like a Fellini movie, but this year, goddammit, I’m taking my birthday back! My girlfriends are spiriting me away for a weekend in the mountains, and I can’t WAIT to do it up right–cheater-free. 🙂

  • HB, CL!! Thanks for all you have done and still continue to do. You have given me hope and a sense of belonging in this forum of yours. Best! HM

  • Here’s to you, Tracy aka Chump Lady!! Thank you for giving me the courage to believe in myself, when I was too weak and sad to think it was possible. Happy birthday!

  • You gave me hope. Even if I never meet another person to love, I know I am still in a better place minus the cheater. Happy Birthday!

  • Happy birthday, CL!

    And to BarristerBelle, all the very best wishes! 🙂

    I know that some here have said that the dating waters are deep and have had to toss back some of the fish, but I think you (and others) have shown that it’s still okay to fish there and pull out some real winners!

  • Happy Birthday, CL and God bless you and your great husband. You both deserve every last bit of happiness that you have found. That nice secure nap, when you’re near someone you love and knows loves you is an incredible feeling. Enjoy!

  • The happiest of birthdays to you, CL, and congratulations not only to BB, but to any and all Chumps who had the courage to try again and some of whom the good fortune to find someone finally worthy of their love and dedication.
    Both of these posts made me a little weepy, and I confess I needed to hear some encouraging news today. Someday, I’d love to see a post about how ex-Chumps found their special someone. It’s harder to date as you get older, I think, and the “hits” I get on the Internet sites (really, who wants to date Mr “IMGONNALOVEYOUFOREVER”?) scare the hell out of me. (I’m currently just trolling, not actually dating.)

  • Happy Birthday, we are birthday twins! Go Libras! 🙂

    Hope you had a great one; I went shopping with my Mom and had wonderful “me” time. Treat yourself, right?

  • A most happy Birth day to you Chump Lady, and Congratulations to BB on her newfound life! It does indeed give those of us not so far along this painful journey some hope for better, and the courage to do what we must to gain a truley reciprocal relationship in our own future if we choose.

  • Another Bad Birthday story: cheater met me at a restaurant fresh from two days in bed with OW (I did not know at the time). I paid using a gift card my sister got me; he had neither gift nor card (so busy, will get it later, etc) and spent the entire evening criticizing me, for drinking the rum layer in the layered drink, for not handling the wooden server signal correctly (themed place, they had a system) and on and on…he later apologized for the bitchfest (bad mood, sorry). On HIS birthday which always falls during finals week for me, I mentioned I would like to get to bed no later than 1:00 am because I had two finals to give the next morning and papers to grade. “I want NO limits on MY celebration!!!” he roared at me.

  • Chump Lady, Happy Birthday! September babies are great! (My youngest is one too!) I too read your beautiful blog -most days:)-and am thankful for your “voice” which is truly a gift and much needed. There is nothing better than finding someone who loves you unconditionally and who celebrates every day the unique gifts you bring to this world. To all Birthday Chumps, my advice is to Celebrate! My ex was the typical Narc but I always celebrated my birthday and other special days because I knew I deserved it. My kids mattered too. So I bought my own gifts and theirs. I modeled living, because being with someone who thinks so little of others is truly soul destroying. Cheers to BB, and others, for having found someone worthy. Life is too short and every day we spend with a Cheater is time wasted.

  • Thank you Chump Lady and Happy Birthday. I met with my STBX yesterday to go over the divorce arrangements and it always makes me a bit unsteady. It is not that I want him back because I know that he SUCKS. He has always sucked and will always suck. Perhaps his old AP will be a big enough door mat to deal with it. But really what is is unsettling is the future. Today I am having trouble embracing the freedom that this unknown future brings. So when I read your birthday blog and barristabelle’s letter, it gave me hope. I do know one thing, that I can live a perfectly happy life with my wonderful friends and would rather do that than settle for a another chump maker. Thank you for giving me hope. Today, I sign dingaling

  • I’m a day late, but wanted to get in on the well wishes for CL and Barrister Belle. Congratulations to you both and may you live fulfilling and contented, cheater-free lives!

  • Whoa. Late to the party here. Happy belated birthday Tracy. And thank you so much for all you do. Now if only we could clone you and make a line of Divorce Judges out of your DNA.

    Barrister Belle, that is lovely news! I’m so happy for you!

    To us single and soon to be single chumps. I think of the immortal words of Billy Idol (please God don’t let him be a cheater).

    Oh dancing with myself
    Oh dancing with myself
    Well there’s nothing to lose
    And there’s nothing to prove
    I’ll be dancing with myself

    • Oh you might as well be a west coaster arriving late…. 🙂 love this, Innocent! Hey I was doing this, by myself, for most of my marriage. Hard to dance with someone who’s busy dancing with everybody else! Lol

  • “Codependency is the addiction to the POTENTIAL of things.” Yes, CL, this was me. Waiting 28 years for my ex to figure out how things were done. I waited for him to realize that our family was amazing, that his wife was amazing, and that our life together was beautiful —if only he were present! No, he wanted someone else and a different life altogether. Minus the wife, our three beautiful young adults attending college, the home we built, the twenty acres it sat on, the mortgage, the vehicles, the bills, growing old together (hey that’s only bad if you’re not any fun to be around!). I recognize I was waiting for him to grow up, to become the person I glimpsed at times. I could never please my Cheater and there were early signs. Porn, dumb ex girlfriends, behavior…. He checked out as soon as those vows were said. IMHO, modern relationships deserve more authenticity. Why would anyone be with someone they don’t love?

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