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Dear Chump Lady, Why does my pink hair make me feel better?

flowerweldDear Chump Lady

Here is a silly question. I have been through years of hell. In short, like most people here, my husband of thirty years cheated with a woman at his office 30 years younger then him. I went through all the usual crap including forgiveness, starting again, listening to him gaslighting, blaming myself, counselling, anti-depressants, pick me dance……thank the Lord I then found this blog. Yes dear readers he did it again and I threw him out, we were moving house at the time.

I was devastated. He then got cancer and had a major op…. Which killed off my no contact with the miserable toad.

However, I was preparing myself for my son’s graduation. I went for a haircut and came out with a really brilliant cut and very loud pink highlights. The question is, why did a simple cut and admittedly extreme hair colour so change my mood when everything else failed? I would say I am me again and achieving Meh. Do explain if you can.

Pink Pauline

Dear Pauline,

One untold benefit of the infidelity experience is that you feel more alive.

I know that doesn’t make any sense to someone reading this with a recent D-Day. Alive? I feel run over by a Mack truck. I feel nauseous. I feel numb.

Hear me out — yes, you will in time feel MORE alive, not less. Your senses are heightened, you’re raw with emotion, and in a weird way you are more receptive to the world. There is a certain thrill in letting go. Your world is falling apart and you just fall with it. You look at everything in new ways. That sad song you heard on the radio a thousand times now takes on such import and significance. You relate to the pathos. You sing along and it feels so fucking meaningful.

This stage doesn’t last forever because we can’t go through life like an exposed nerve, but while you’re there you’ll find yourself incredibly receptive to new things. For you, that’s pink hair. For me it was welding. Embracing new things means you’re healing. Shaking yourself out of that old identity and into a new one, requires some experimentation.

Some people buy new bed linens and stop there. Other people dye their hair pink. I learned how to use a plasma cutter.

A little riff on welding — it’s like a glue gun that can kill you. Oh, I’ll just stick this piece of steel to this piece and look — it’s a flower! (See picture above — I made that!) But you ground it wrong and the current goes through you, not the metal. I did that and burned a hole through my hand. The fleshy part between my thumb and index finger had a neat, cauterized hole! WOW! Did I ever feel alive after THAT!

Sane, cautious Tracy would probably never take up welding. Heartbroken WTF Tracy did.

Old you probably would not have attempted pink highlights. New you wants to shake it up a bit and see yourself in new ways. Good for you! Rock that pink hair at your son’s graduation and enjoy your new life!

(And please tell me that even with cancer this guy is your ex. Last I heard radiation doesn’t cure cheating. Somehow I’m doubting his 30 year younger OW is sticking around for the chemo appointments…)


Ask Chump Lady

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  • This is brilliant! For me it was joining a musical theatre group. And this Spring I have my first semi-principle part. I play Ernestina, a somewhat tart of a woman, in Hello Dolly! Her character is so outlandish and completely devoid of any shyness or introversion as I am. She’s my alter ego and I am looking forward to it. Who would have ever imagined that I would do this. I have always preferred the background.

    So pink hair, welding, acting….. I say that it represents the real us who was denied for so long! It’s too bad it took us a personal crisis to be real! But better late than never!

    • For me it has been running. I don’t consider myself a runner. I ran my first 5k in September, a measly 3 mile-ish thing after an entire year of using the endorphin rush to calm my heart and clear my head.

      I think the pink is awesome. I always wanted a blue Mohawk.

      • For me it was kickboxing and boxing and getting fit, which led to my enrolling in a crew (rowing) program. Being on the water and working with a team of women my age and younger has been uplifting and encouraging. And recently (who knows why) I became fascinated with the craft of soapmaking … I was more of a DIY before, never crafty. But “saponification” (the process whereby fats and lye become a salt, which is soap) piqued my interest (maybe a subconscious desire to be cleansed of 20 years with the sparkly turd).

        • I took up fencing with my daughter. It has been a blast. It was something I had always wanted to do. Nothing like hitting people with a sword to make you feel great.

          I also started riding again. I never sold my horses but the jack ass made me feel so guilty for spending any time for myself. My daughter and I now ride together and she is enjoying my beautifully trained horses too! We even rescued an off the track thoroughbred and are training him to compete in eventing too. I am so glad I kept my horses and horse trailer and didn’t let the jack ass talk me into selling them and the trailer – although he tried mightily. I also started playing the oboe again – another thing jack ass couldn’t stand. I also lost a lot of weight – dropped from a size 14/16 to a size 4/6 – back to the old me before the jack ass made me miserable.

          I also put highlights in my hair shortly after dog turd ran off – I did red. I had never done anything like that in my life and it felt great to do something completely different and unexpected. I also got rid of the BMW wagon jack ass had wanted as the family car (he was probably trying to impress his mistress that he could afford 2 BMWs 🙂 – I hated that car with a passion because it was always in the shop and at the time all I wanted was our old Volvo. The new radical me didn’t get a volvo but instead got a Mini to go with my F250 truck that pulls the horse trailer.

    • LOVE everyone’s amazing motivation and mightiness!! I’m one year out from the fuckiversary Oct. 3. I had just finished my master’s 4 months prior to DDay, so with lots of time on my hands, it’s how I finally chased his lame ass down and found him out.

      I started running two months before I found out and had lost 20lbs. I had also gotten back into volunteer coaching soccer for my daughter’s team for high school girls. After finding his ass out, I dropped 60 lbs, but it allows me to scrimmage with my team, and it’s an amazing feeling after just turning 40, and going from a size 16 back to my healthy high school size 10.

      I also just finished a 2-month kitchen project. F-tard told me so many times he couldn’t finish any of the decade-old projects he tore up around the house b/c “YOU STOLE MY MOTIVATION!!” Ugh – dumb-ass victim.

      So I detached every door and hinge and hand-sanded every cabinet and all the framework. I applied a 4-coat hand-paint process so now my ’80s cabinets look like I bought them brand new, and they look like old weathered barn wood. It’s AWESOME, and I’m not ever going to make excuses about why something can’t be done around my home like that f-tard. The guest bathroom is next.

      I come and go as I please, and do what I want, when I want to. Yes, even though I feel loney at times just like all of you do from time to time, NOTHING is worth being schemed against, and lied to, and cheated on by a serial, life-long DOUCHE BAG. I’m discovering the amazing person I was 23 years ago before I somehow tethered myself to this f-tard back in high school.

      Mighty props to each of you doing mighty things with your new lives now! Woot!!

      • “I come and go as I please, and do what I want, when I want to. Yes, even though I feel loney at times just like all of you do from time to time, NOTHING is worth being schemed against, and lied to, and cheated on by a serial, life-long DOUCHE BAG. I’m discovering the amazing person I was 23 years ago before I somehow tethered myself to this f-tard back in high school.”

        For those who are in the throws of it, who haven’t really come to trust that they SUCK, that their skein of fuckeduppedness is unravelable, and God knows what you would find in there, (I for one don’t want to know) Trust KFMM… She has meh on steroids. You will get there and it will be Mighty and Grand

  • For me it’s been acting. It was something I always wanted to do, but I would get so nervous at auditions that I did badly. After the hell I went through, an audition seems like nothing. And I’m having so much FUN now.

  • Love love love these stories of “Looky what I did”. Could read them all day!!

  • Yep and it hasn’t stopped there. I was always a bit eccentric in the clothes department. So now I am thin again, ( well there has to be some pros to balance the cons), I am indulging in wild flights of fancy in the clothes department. I am back in Tartan a la Westwood and very loud coats. I have cleared my wardrobe (perhaps too radically) and invested in some very wild wear. I have just bought an ankle length fake Arctic fox which is wild.

    Next job is my volcano course and the gym. Then I might start going out again and partying.
    One of the reasons the hair is pink is my son. He rang on the day of his graduation to ensure I was not going to embarrass him by wearing mad clothes. He also said I know you are going to the hairdresser so don’t do anything mad like pink hair. Well the rest is history. Sadly however the ability to scandalise my son and his friends failed miserably as they didn’t notice. You know why…… The lighting was all bright pink! My brilliant colours just blended in.

    Go for it fellow chumps, be wild. (I would just like to so I am 58 and will not be going quietly into the night)

    • 58?! Wow! When I read the pink hair thing, I assumed (shame on me!) that you were much younger. I too, am 58 and you have shown me that my age is not a barrier to becoming who I want to be. I have not yet confronted my cheater…I am still getting all the financial ducks in a row on advice from my lawyer, but I am starting to envision the woman I want to be. she will be strong, powerful, pure and full of bright white light!

    • Volcano course? Do tell!

      Pauline, you rock. Thank you for giving us all of these positive things to think about today. I really needed that. 🙂

    • I, too, am emerging from the suffocating cocoon of my marriage to a narc, cheater, brat of a husband. I run now and am going to do my first 1/2 marathon in a few weeks. I have lost weight-from size14 to size 8. I tried some gray corduroy pants on the other day and wanted to run around the store telling everyone to look-I now have a really fine booty. I was jumping up and down and laughed in a way I haven’t laughed in a very long time. Probably thought I was crazy. It just felt sooo good! I have accepted a date with a man who thinks I am very interesting. Who would have thought..I certainly didn’t think any man would be interested in me again, I am soon to be 60 and feel like I am in my 40’s. It’s been a year since d-day and I am anxiously waiting to finalize the D. Never thought I would be saying that!!

        • Thanks ML. It feels really great to have that affirmation . So many have inspired me here. Gone are the days of crying, curled up on the floor, thinking my life is over. And it was….as I knew it thus far. I am beginning to see that there is more to a life than trying to convince someone that I have worth. I honestly never thought I would be saying any of this. I smile that I was able to achieve this state of being and it would not have happened without the support of so many from this site. What a difference a year makes. I am soooooo glad I took Tracy’s advice and threw the little brat to the curb and filed for divorce. It’s not over yet, but, soon.

          • You give me hope that I, too, can get through this journey and come out a better person.

            • Moving Liquid…you are already a better person. I see what you post here and on many occasions, you have been the spark for me to get up. It is difficult to believe that there will be a defining moment that moves us into MEH when our heart and soul is tattered and our internal image of who we are is an unwanted, undesirable, useless person. At times, no amount of external validation slams the door in the face of that unwanted image. Yet, we persevere. I have waited for 40 years for a man to tell me that he loves listening to me talk, after being told to stop talking and calm down for all of my marriage. Why did I marry my STBX? I was young and inexperienced. I’m not any longer.
              I will need to always work on myself..we all do. We cannot afford to be complacent. I was and look where it got me. The first step is the hardest..and the second..and the third.
              Walk anyway and anywhere you can to move forward. Continue to post your supportive and healing words. They helped keep me out of the pit of despair and I am grateful.

    • These ladies are my inspiration. I love them so much. You rock Pauline! I love how you turned your life around.

      I am growing my hair (had it short for my marriage) I have very curly crazy dark brown hair. It is 80s big.

      I am swimming at the Y and loving it, but mostly I have been traveling. I took my son on a trip to Costa Rica last August and we had such a fabulous time. So good not to be with killjoy anymore. I can actually enjoy myself!

      I can’t imagine why I ever dated this guy, let alone marry him…well I know why but it would never have happened if I were not on the rebound and feeling desperate. Never ever feel desperate chumps.

  • Hmmm… I feel like this is saying something about my new found almost-obsession with Kontact sound libraries and composing music 😉

  • For me it was writing. It started as journal writing then I joined a class at my local college. A small group of us self published a book of short stories that first Christmas. These wonderful friends gave me back my sense of self worth.
    Intelligent, witty and talented, they have been just what I needed after dumbing down for my ex for so long!

    • Good for you! It was writing for me too — songwriting. I’d started before the infidelity news but really hit my stride after. I have four cuts on an album coming out next year. 🙂

  • Quiet nights or weekend days by myself…sipping coffee and writing…was really nice to indulge my introverted self after the divorce. No more forced socialization for me!

    • This is also me now DM. However, at the grand old age of nearly 63 (January) I have started to take an interest in furniture restoration. I have always been very house proud but now my interest is turning to looking at pieces of old furniture to restore and I find that, that takes my mind of my ex husband who continues to laugh and snigger at me like a schoolboy. I personally think restoring old furniture sure beats the hell out of chasing teenage prostitutes like he does!! That is just the bitch in me speaking now.

      • I agree, Maree. That’s awesome that you’re restoring furniture. My dad is big time into woodworking and I’ve also thought restoring furniture might be a way to make a little extra money. I’m impressed you have taken up furniture restoration.

      • Maree,

        That’s awesome. And you get to enjoy the beauty of your work afterwards. Brilliant outlet!

  • For me, stand up comedy and acting. And, I’m kicking ass at 53 – four years out from dday. I’ve been notified after several auditions that I’ve been chosen to be in major feature film. Their lawyer is talking to my lawyer. Finally I can pay my lawyer for something other than divorce related costs.

  • CL explains post DDay aliveness so well. For me, i didn’t do anything new, yet everything was new! While i did walk across northern Spain on El Camino, that was on my bucket list long before DDay. This act (all our acts?) reflected my north star: keep being you.

    In addition to daily prayer and continued yoga practice, a Joanna Macy quote ..on a little yellow post-it note on the back of my bedroom door..kept me on my track
    a heart that breaks *open* can contain the whole universe

    ((( huge healing hug to all us chumps today)))

      • I want to do it, too. So badly.

        When I was a young woman, I lived very near to Croagh Patrick, and was too focused on other things to even visit it. I recently returned with my son, but I wasn’t in charge of the itinerary. I’d love to climb it with intention one day. I’m 62, so I guess I can’t put it off forever.

        It’s wonderful to think of all the people who do these pilgrimages over the years and all of their private reasons for it. So significant.

  • I had a couple of major positives come out of the whole horrific experience:

    1. I discovered meditation and the Buddhist teachings, which really spoke to me. I’m not a particularly religious person (I was raised Catholic – enough said), and was surprised to find that practicing meditation does not conflict with any belief or non-belief. And it is moments like D-Day — when you feel the whole world collapse beneath you and you are raw and vulnerable — that you have an opportunity to open to the world. It’s been an interesting and life-altering experience that I would have missed if I hadn’t been through hell.

    2. I think I’m a better friend. More compassionate. I’ve let go of a lot of my beliefs and judgements, and have become a good listener.

    3. I threw myself into writing, which is something I always wanted to do. I was putting it off until….forever? Now I have an opportunity to really give it a try, and I’m not afraid of failing since I’ve fallen on my face and survived. I’m halfway through a screenplay. My goal is to finish the first draft by the end of the year. I know I can do it.

    I probably won’t dye my hair like Pink Pauline, but I totally get why this felt so good. You’re alive and fearless. You didn’t realize you were in bondage, but now you’re free and alive.

    • I came to Buddhism through this process. I find that Metta/compassion meditation calms me. For a long time, I really did not have ownership of what or who a good person is, including myself. I guess boundaries is the word. As I have gone through this process, I am finding that I get to decide, what kind of actions be speak a good person, a person of good will and compassion. I am being more discerning. I am not hating the others just leaving them be to follow their own karmic path. I do try and keep them in the outer rings of metta. I try and remember the second arrow and my other favorite saying. Hate and anger are like acid. They corrode the container they are kept in, far more than the object they are poured over. Every time my STBX rages at me, I remember that expression, shake it off and smile at the universe.

  • When I read your letter I thought of 1 thing. If pre-break-up if you had dyed your hair pink would that not have been critized by your ex making you feel bad, unworthy, unattractive, unlovable etc… Now who cares if it makes you feel good go bald! GOOD FOR YOU

  • This has been inspiring – to read all of the stories of fellow Chumps stepping out and exploring. I haven’t quite managed much other than changing the bed linen and cutting my hair. But these stories help me to push forward to try to find the inner spirit that’s been suppressed for so long. Any ideas on how to find my passion or how to step out of this insecure shell? Sometimes I wonder if I can be anything other than a plain old chump. And the bad days overshadow the good days. I need to be inspired and be able to celebrate like some of you do. Ideas anyone?

    • Nola I think that if you have the desire to find your passion then you will find it. A plain wrap chump wouldn’t even have the desire to find it.

      You could start by experimenting to see what fits. Volunteering is a great way to test the waters.

      Join a fitness center and try out many offerings, who knows which one you’ll end up loving (fencing, perhaps?).

      Each new term check out the stuff being offered for free or low cost such as a Saturday class on bread making or pickling.

      Check out in your area and skip the “singles” offerings for now. Instead look for groups that focus on areas you didn’t even realize interested you. There are book clubs, walking clubs, photography clubs, craft clubs, and how to start a business clubs. Again, you’re just testing the waters and also meeting new people.

      Throw stuff at the wall and see what sticks!

      • Thank you Moving Liquid. Maybe I have to desire it a bit more in order to move out of the rut. I already read, love baking and just joined a gym but none of this appears to me to be radical enough. These are all things I have done before. Maybe this week has just been a slump of a week for me. I just can’t seem to get really excited about anything. I like your idea of throwing things to the wall and seeing what sticks…maybe I have to look for more things to throw! Advice taken.

        • Nola, it doesn’t have to be radical to represent the real you. Sometimes it’s just about finding peace in being you.

          I like the advice to volunteer and check out meetups in your area. The more you get out, the more you are likely to meet different people with different passions. Maybe try something you’d never have thought of trying, perhaps traveling to a country or state you’d not ever desired to see–when you get there you’ll be amazed.

        • After dday, for about the first year, my goal was to be gentle with myself and try to enjoy things I knew I enjoyed. Honestly, it took me a while to enjoy anything. I restarted an interest from my past that I had wandered away from (that allowed me to forget my pain for a while when I was doing it) and I wrote a lot. Then this year, over a year past dday, I started a new interest that was way out of my comfort zone. But I felt ready at that point. (And I am LOVING this new thing!) Do what brings you joy…when you feel ready.

      • Nola, For me, I had to try and remember who I was before all of this shit started, 32 years ago, even longer because we dated for 7 years before we married… It took a while… but then I started to remember, how hopeful I was, how adventurous I was. I found that girl, and little by little I opened the door for her. Your girl is very nice girl too, a wonderful girl. Rememer one thing, even if it is a cross stitch or making a kind of cookie or something. Once your find that hook to her, she will get stronger every day and she will lead you to where you need to be.

        • Just reading all the courage here is inspiring. I cut my hair, bought a new bed and a new “freedom” ring to celebrate the “divorce is final” but I need more. It’s hard to chip away all the excrement to find that girl who was so strong, and so optimistic so long ago. If I’m lucky enough to find that again – I won’t ever let it go.

          Thanks to all who post these stories! Would live to hear about Wheel of Karma plowing through the love nest! (I know, I know – I’m not supposed to see the destruction of Schmoopie and Friend – but hasn’t anyone got a story about them showing up naked on the 11 PM news? Arrested? Featured on an episode of Botched?)

          • It’s amazing how many of us lost ourselves in marriages that as it turned out, made us feel pretty crappy even before they cheated. It was that way for me too. I was fearless, hopeful and full of joy before I got married. Spending so many years with someone who uses you, puts you down, isolates you and controls all the finances is not good for your psyche. When I finally got out, I barely recognized who I was.

            I discovered running and riding my bike after I left the cheating ex asshat. I lost 40lbs and I’m still losing. Today I finished the CF cycle for life and rode 13 miles in the pouring rain. I wanted to do this since our company started participating but I lived so far away and got no support (surprise surprise!) I also joined a couple of meet up groups. A hiking group, a “girl’s night out” group and a movie group.

            I started writing again and I read all the time. It took a little while but I am really starting to enjoy my freedom. In the beginning I was lonely but I’ve started to embrace the occasional solitude-something I was so afraid of before that I wouldn’t leave a cheater or gain a life! More and more every day I am finding my mighty, fierce girl that was buried for so many years.

            Oh yeah-and I really enjoy doing whatever I want, all the time! If I want to spend 2 hours at the gym or go for a bike ride after work or a run, I don’t have someone moping at home because I’m not dancing pretty enough for him. This is definitely the silver lining!

              • Wonderful – that sounds amazing. I have been kinda hiding and licking my wounds – biding my time until the divorce is final. I envision that a lot of the wasted time on Big Loser will be filled with things I enjoy. I cannot wait for the peace if mind that brings.

                Way to go on the writing and sports – very impressive !!!!

    • Nola, I saw something on Pinteret the other day that applies to your question: Instead of trying to change your whole life, add one awesome thing at a time. I started yoga last winter to give me an edge in a competition (ha, ha, so not a yoga attitude) but class by class, day by day, the yoga practice became important in itself, until I became a person who has a yoga practice and cherishes it as part of living in the present moment and taking time for myself. This winter, I want to get my meditation going more regularly. And some things I have “added” because I need the skills to manage my house. Today I cleaned the garage gutters with a rake. Didn’t even need a ladder! It wasn’t a perfect job, but I have come to see that the perfect is the enemy of the good, as someone one said. I am contemplating learning how to change the oil and the blades of the riding mower.The exciting part is in the figuring out who you are from the inside out. Maybe I’m becoming someone who wants to be more self-sufficient but who knows she sometimes needs help and can ask for it! Little things, baby steps, and they all add up.

  • Is it a bit about control too? Grabbing back your own destiny and future and life. Making your very own decision about something without having to ask permission or worry about what someone else will say. Or if he’ll think you’re pretty. I seriously considered a tattoo for a long time. I started scuba diving and traveling. Alive!

    • Me too! I love the ocean. I am an island girl. The first thing I was to learn how to scuba dive. I started traveling too. First I took my daughter on a very quick cruise and left Eeyore at home. He was so upset. Then I asked Eeyore if he wanted to go on vacation this year. No response, so my duaghter and I and a girl friend and her kids went to Peru, Macchu Pichu here we come. He was so pissed, I had left him behind and I made very little effort to communicate with him while I was gone. Then after DDay, my son went to southeast Asia for 8 months. My daughter and I went to Thailand… woohoo Thailand and we went scuba diving there. We had the time of our lives… My son saw a side of his mother he had never seen. He now says, I am YOUR son mom. As for Eeyore, well with my older daughter’s assistance/planning/driving force , they managed a trip in the Sierras this year. They had ‘fun’… with their dad, but I suspect that my two girls had way more fun with each other than with Eeyore. Fun my family consists of any event where Eeyore doesn’t melt down and rage. So I guess he didn’t.

      What is next, learning to water color, going back to writing unpublished children’s books, learning to sail, and mountain bike. So Just Me… if you want a travel buddy or a partner in mischief, look me up.

      • Eeyore. 🙂
        How wonderful to hear your son’s declaration.
        It must be a gift to your children to see you coming back to your real life. It gives them permission to be free, too.

        Poor ol mopey Eeyore didn’t know what he was starting, did he? I bet he wishes he could put all these healthy changes back in the box and seal it. Not gonna happen!

        Yay you! Fresh air!

  • 55 and my daughter wants me to get a tattoo “freebird”! LOVE the pink highlights.

    • Get the tattoo! After Dday and separation, I had a beautiful koi fish tattooed on my left ankle, along with the kanji for “hope.” The symbolism of a koi tattoo is overcoming adversity and struggle, something that certainly felt appropriate.

      I plan on getting a phoenix rising from ashes tattooed on my hip one of these days as well.

      • I did get a tattoo!!!!! My son asked me to get a matching tattoo with him, my choice of tat, before he deployed to Afghanistan. We got matching double infinity symbols. It was a fantastic experience!! Assclown told son he had ”compromised his mothers MORALS.” WTF??? Yeah, whacking off for 4 hours a day to teen porn is A OK, but a tattoo before your son goes to a third world hellhole is just immoral. I have learned to make handcrafted soap, and I am making a good business out if it. Selling at farmers market every week!!!! I have found me again!!!! It is hard still. My kids are not dealing well with it. All are in counseling, but asshat is stalling the divorce. My attorney is having to subpoena everything because he is not giving the information. He is violating the OP and I had to call the police today and file a report. I am getting closer to meh everyday, and would probably be there if not for his stalling tactics. And his constant intimidation. Thanks Chumplady!!! And every one of you here on Chump Nation. You gave me the tools, the strength to carry on. Slog through, keep my head up. Every one here is brave and beautiful. 🙂

  • I’ve become an almost daily exerciser (swimming), which is sort of a miracle. I go even on days when I really don’t want to go. I guess they’re right, if you do something often enough it WILL become a habit.

    Since d-day I have had a horrendous time getting or staying asleep but didn’t want to go the pill route. Now, I pull up a low table right next to my bed, put my Mac on it, and every single night I watch (well, mostly listen to) a documentary on British history. It can take me three nights to get through a 60 minute documentary because I generally fall asleep in 20 minutes.

    I volunteer at a center where forensic interviews take place with children who have witnessed domestic violence or been sexually abused. I don’t know what possessed me to volunteer at a place with such an insanely disturbing subject matter, but it got me out of my own head and makes me feel like I’m helping in some small way.

    I’m still looking forward to all the other new ways I’ll reinvent or re-discover myself.

    • I became and excerser too. First it was swimming and now I climb a mountain every day or most days. It is very strange. I work out/rework all my anger and resentment on the way up as I huff and puff but on the way down, those endorphins have kicked in and I am in heaven. I love volunteer work you are doing with those children. I have yet to start volunteering with something like that. Depending on what my next step in life is, I may become a CASA (Court Appointed Special Advocate) for children going through the system. Perhaps some of our mighty chumps’ kids had one. It is a good program. You can’t go wrong by doing good.

      • Great idea, ringinonmyownbell. Being a victim advocate has done so much good for me — I encourage you to become a CASA.

      • MovingLiquid….You tube has the most awesome British series on called Time Team. I am absolutely fascinated by history and this is a feast in so many ways. Probably wouldn’t put me to sleep though…..they’re addictive….

        • I just watched a Time Team last night on the now destroyed palaces of Henry VIII. It was great!

          It’s shocking how many good docs there are on YouTube. I also love Lucy Worsley’s documentaries on British history.

    • I love your volunteer focus. What important work. And so happy you are keeping up with the swimming.

        • awesome job making swimming a habit! New habits are hard to form but you did it! I’ve very impressed with the volunteer work too. I think helping others is just the ticket that’s needed after our toxic relationships end. Keep being mighty!

          • Yeah, it gives us a break from thinking of our own problems and certainly helps to put things in perspective.

  • I thought about getting a nose piercing. . . But didn’t. I curled up in my solitude. Nothing exciting there.

    But I excelled in my academic program. Enjoyed the company of friends. Spent time with family. It was the worst time of my life but oddly the best.

    I will say I never felt so grounded in my life. I was laser sharp. I was focused. Nothing got past me.

    In the words of Florence and the Machine, “I never felt so alive and so dead.”

    • Nose piercings can be so pretty. If you do it go to the most reputable piercing shop in your city. Don’t go anywhere where they use a “gun.” Buy yourself a tiny diamond stud for it!

      • Oh, I’m over it now. Thankfully. Nothing against nose piercings. I like them. But it definitely does not fit me.

          • Oh, I understand. I would not get mine re-pierced at this stage, nor would I get a tattoo, but that’s okay, that’s me. xoxo

  • For me, more and more I want to say, “Oh, yeah? Well watch this.” to the whole world. Years of compromise and worry, being reliable, putting myself last, and more worrying, all for naught have made me say it’s time to break out. I think I’ve had a “good girl” complex my whole life. Everything that was for me felt self-indulgent. Now, if I’m in a bad mood, so what? Don’t like somebody? Don’t have to. Want to spend 5 hours a week just on me? Do it. Want to live where it’s sunny? I’m seriously considering it-so wild, I know ; ). I’ve been trying to let go of doing and saying the right thing all the time, which keeps me paralyzed. I’m also really making an effort to become more physically strong. Yoga, boot camp, self-defense, running-these are all things I would never have done before. I was always the geeky kid picked last in gym class, and really uncoordinated. But if I’m going to be a badass now, I’ll need a badass body to go with it, right? And I have to keep up with these kids for at least 11 more years! I think pink hair sounds great. Like someone else said, chumps are able to pick ways to rebel that don’t involve hurting anyone else-so enjoy.

    • You do this for yourself, because you need to thrive not just survive. There is a side benefit. Your kids learn from watching you. They learn to be a victim or they learn to be a badass kickass. So funny, I have recently been telling my kids I am a badass… they laugh and roll their eyes but they know… between Eeyore and me, I am the badass person they would rather be like. Time to change your name here to something like Badass Babe, because you are on a roll.

      • Thanks, I’ll think about it! Maybe I should switch to “badasswhenappropriateandconvenient.” I’ll never completely lose the part of me that weighs the pros and cons of every decision first. I’ve really been enjoying vacations with my kids too. Now if I could just find someone to teach me to dance…

        • Perfect… after all we are still the responsible one, even when we are being totally badass.

        • DoneNow, it’s okay to be practical and realistic and still be interesting. My husband put me down for being that way, now I’m back to enjoying that aspect of my personality!

          • Moving Liquid it took my xpileofshit 12yrs to finally spit out the reason he goes on dating sites and shit he does because I’m boring. This knocked the wind of out me. Me being responsible and faithful is apparently boring for him. Watched a video by Sam Vaknin? and says narc has a lôw threshold for boredom. Still trying to shake this put down off.

            • My Ex. said the same thing several times. It’s just another way of being mean and knocking you down a peg. He also liked to call me “Victorian.” I’ve seen what it takes to excite him, and what his values are. No thanks, I’d rather be boring!!

            • Trying, it’s not a put down. In a fit of honesty my ex once told me he could not stand to be alone because he was so bored and empty. Pity them but don’t let them harm you. They are unable to have a full life, to discover themselves. They are like the empty shells that hermit crabs inhabit, they cannot grow, only hang upon a back for a time until the creature they are using has realized they are inadequate for the journey.

              • This! Just coming to realize as I witness the fucktard and his current bimbo situation….a friend of mine reports that she “dotes” on him, clingy, etc. and he seems “out of it”and his breath reeks of alcohol…I almost felt sorry for the poor girl (she is not the AP — that relationship, of course, blew up shortly after he moved out). She will be drained of energy and happiness…and be left wondering, “WTF?” I predict. And dumbass had the audacity to say to me when he left, “You’ll never change – can the leopard change his spots?” Humph..more projection! The one I don’t see changing is him…still living under his current modus operandi…

    • DoneNow, feeling physically powerful, as I do from swimming, makes me feel powerful in other aspects of my life. I’ll never give it up!

      • Good! I didn’t realize what I was missing until I built up some stamina and muscle. I wasn’t really living in my body before-it’s been really good for me.

  • I feel far more alive now than I did for most of my 20 year marriage. Towards the end, I felt so “less than,” so small, so unimportant. These days I still struggle mightily with FOO and anxiety issues, but that feeling of being nothing is mostly gone. I’m still dating Nice Guy — in fact, this weekend is one year — I’m still expanding my career as a freelance writer, I’m still doing new things and trying to really get to know myself. It’s so much better than that frozen marriage.

    I also had hot pink highlights in my hair at one point, and I loved them! Mine were a few years ago, I was actually still married at the time. I was in my mid-40s and not so sure hot pink highlights were acceptable, but I did it anyway and really enjoyed the look.

    Take plenty of pictures of your pink hair, and make sure to use color-safe shampoo, those bright hair colors fade fast. Enjoy your freedom to be you!

  • Living well is the best revenge… do it… be badass… be kickass… find your inner girl…no matter what troubles the day brings… wake up in the morning and thank your lucky stars you are living a more authentic life. Now anyone who comes into your life has to like just you… with pink hair and/or fuzzy slippers. You get to wake up to the new you or with your old you… who is a fine you. AND your ex… he/she get to wake up and be them. Ha! Where is my popcorn?!

  • Pauline, maybe, like somebody said it’s not having to worry about what the ex thinks over every move you make. With my first husband , I couldn’t take a piss, lol, without his approval.

    And maybe it’s your age too. I’m 55 and I realized recently I dont give a damn what other people think. Not my problem…. It’s very refreshing.

  • trained as a care assistant and studied for NVQ…helping others helped me. Reading tarot, me time, enjoying my granddaughter…got to go get ready now as going out to dinner with a man!

  • Hi all, Sorry for my long post and probably not in the correct forum, but please bear with me. I’ve found support on this site for the past couple months even though my story (this time around) doesn’t involve cheating…been there before. First of all, lemme say things DO get better after dumping a cheater, when you can’t see how in the beginning. I was a SAHM to 3 awesome kids 2, 8, and 14 at the time. We tried counseling and I found out after the 2 sessions, he would leave and call OW. Ended that in a hurry and filed for divorce 3 months after finding out initially. Found a great job, raised my kids – oldest is 1 yr. away from his Masters degree, daughter is in her 3rd yr. of college, and youngest just started high school – all with sketchy financial support from their father and no support whatsoever of any other kind..Trust me when I say there is light!! Fast forward my man-hating self to 9 yrs. later when I meet #2 after swearing “never again”. Fell really hard for him knowing this was forever. We dated 2 yrs., got married and Bam! 1 yr. and 12 days into our marriage, I come home and he had moved out (after he dressed for work, gave me an extra kiss and hug in the morning..WTF???), no note, no explanation and haven’t talked to him (4 texts only) since. I was, still am, struggling to get over this abandonment 4 months later. I felt like a bag of smelly trash after he took all his things and left me behind. Having a harder time now than getting over the cheater??? I arranged for him (via 1 of the 4 texts) to sign divorce papers at my work. I wasn’t there; he left an envelope and said the words “above and beyond”. Turns out it was money for May utilities – the last month HE WAS THERE in my house!!! He’s such a stand up guy, abandoning his wife and newly blended family…but hey, he went “above and beyond” paying what he owed!?!?! Cluster B, for sure from what I’ve learned about here. I know I should be glad that I only wasted 3 yrs. and have no children together, and I am grateful in those respects. But it still hurts like hell. Anyway, thank you if you’ve read this far and for the support I’ve gotten from your stories and comments. I’ve survived and thrived before and I will do it again, but its so hard right now. Just had to put this into words. And now I am proclaiming myself an active member of Chump Nation!!

    • My God, K, that is horrible. What a monster. I wouldn’t assume your story this time around doesn’t involve cheating, however — in fact, I am sure that it does. He just kept it well hidden. No man leaves that way unless someone is waiting in the wings. I am so sorry for what you have been through.

      • “He just kept it well hidden. No man leaves that way unless someone is waiting in the wings”.
        GIO, my ex husband swears on a stack of bibles that, that is not the case with him. I don’t believe a word he says because he is a pathological liar and he also thinks I am stupid.

      • I just re-read an article on narcissistic abuse yesterday that makes the point that often betrayal and abandonment by these cluster-B types leads to a complex and difficult recovery and a potential for PTSD. Whatever was going on with him–and cheating seems a likely possibility–he was living some sort of double life or you would have known he was considering leaving. The only good thing I can say about this jackass is that he isn’t leading you on–I got the fast discard but also the “I need time” and “we both need to work on things” con job.

        So so sorry you are going through this version of hell, the one where a person devoid of empathy just walks away. You might get some comfort from the walk-away post from a few days ago. You will most certainly make it through with style and grace and have your own mighty story to tell about pink hair or some other surprising new aspect of yourself.

        • LAJ, wow your comments are so timely! Just this week it dawned on me that I had been emotionally abused even before he left. Our 1st year wasn’t all rosy, but I chalked it up to learning to let go of my independence, thinking for 2 now, working as a team, and blending ourselves and our kids in one household. I figured we had “forever” to take care of those things. Who can work all that out in only a year???? I read that when the honeymoon is over and real life sets in, narcs aren’t able to move to that deeper level -they just can’t, so they run. “You will most certainly make it through with style and grace..” Thank you for this dose of Mighty!!! Hugs to you…

          • You are reading my mind! I was pondering this today while I raked leaves, thinking that raking leaves on my tree-filled property was just one part of the everyday work of real life that Jackass had to run from. As painful as the discard is, I would sure rather be me with my beat-up chumpy heart than someone who can’t cut it as a real person instead of a hologram. (((hugs right back)))

            • “As painful as the discard is, I would sure rather be me with my beat-up chumpy heart than someone who can’t cut it as a real person instead of a hologram.”

              So on the money, LovedAJackass! My narc could NOT deal with reality….boredom and depression would set in, he would withdraw, spent years drinking and distancing himself…complaining about everyone and everything…and now a recent report is that he “cries all the time because he misses his kids”…who really could care less about spending time with him…when will he realized that HE fucked up and it’s all on HIM and choices have consequences?

      • Glad, thanks for your response! Just knowing someone else gets it and cares is a great comfort. Labeling him the monster that he is helps me realize I should be dang happy he is gone! Hugs to you…

    • K, I am very sorry to read your post. You have done a wonderful job getting on with life after your 1st marriage and now this. I was married for 37 years and in a way I am glad I am invisible to the opposite sex. I know I will never trust another bloke as long as I live. I have a feeling that you will get over this 2nd marriage a lot quicker than the 1st. You are a strong woman and you have your kids. You are very lucky because my kids ignore me which still breaks my heart but I must just get on with it. Just be glad your STBX left you now and not when you were older and possibly sick in some way. Has your husband given you a reason for his abandonment? I hope so because mine still hasn’t which puzzles me because just before he pulled the plug he constantly reassured me that he adored me, could not live without me and his work colleagues always told me how much he worshipped me and bragged what a lucky guy he was. I feel he was setting me up for the fall in a very sinister way. I will never know because he has never told me. Be strong and like me, keep coming back to Chump Nation as I find it helps keep me on the right path and to get stronger each day, although I do regress now and again and I hate myself for it. We will all prevail. 🙂

      • Maree, I’m sorry your kids ignore you after all you’ve gone through, and when you need them the most. I hope some day their eyes are opened and they can be there for you. My STBX gave no reason for running away and I don’t expect to ever know why. Now if I could only stop obsessing about his reason…don’t ever hate yourself for any reason!!! 37 years is a long time, if you regress now and then, it shows you loved with all you have and that’s a great thing!! Stay strong and thanks for strengthening me! Hugs to you!

    • Oh K.

      Welcome to a good, good place and a community of people who get it.

      I hate that this happened to you, and I agree with the GladItsOver’s suspicion regarding the reason he left. Cause men really don’t seem to leave a comfortable situation unless they have someone else waiting.

      You’ve proven you resilience before, to yourself and to the world. You will do it again. But give yourself time to regain your focus. What do you have that is soothing for you in a healthy way? Indulge in that.

      Sending hugs and comfort.

      • Finally, thanks for the warm welcome, the hugs and comfort! Being amongst people who get it and care is inspiring. I hope to return to scuba diving which I became certified in after my first marriage ended. Until finances allow, I have wonderful support from my friends, family, and now y’all here! Hugs to you!

    • I am so sorry that this happened to you! How awful for you and your kids. I hope that you are getting support from family and friends – and maybe a therapist? There is a lot for you to process in all of this mess. I also hope that you understand that what these men have done has nothing at all to do with you. Any and every woman they come in contact with will get treated exactly as you have been. That probably doesn’t do much to ease the pain right now but it’s important to keep that in your mind as you move forward. Keep coming here to CN! I know I wouldn’t be as far along as I am in my recovery if I hadn’t found wisdom and support from all my fellow chumps.

      • Lissa, thanks for sharing your wisdom and support! I have great friends and family and a caring pastor who listen and are there for me. The awesome resilience and mightyness of all the chumps here is therapeutic and gives me strength from those who get it. Hugs to you!

    • K… I am so, so sorry… this is a nightmare. What a schmuck! There is karma in this. I have only been reading this blog for a couple of weeks. It gives me strength every day, when my meh fails me… Please vent, thrash and trash him here… tell us your worries, your fears and we will hold your hand and walk with you though cyberspace. We will help you learn how to breath again, how to walk again, how to clean your house again. You will be fine and you will probably be better but for now, we are your net, count on us. Much love

      • Ringin, ah yes, karma…wish I could be the proverbial fly when he gets his. Thanks for your assurance that I will be better – my head knows, but heart hasn’t caught up yet. Oh no, you can see my absolutely dirty house! “…how to clean your house again…” You get it! How just getting off the couch and into the shower is a major undertaking! Forget cleaning the house…it takes all my strength to move at times. Thanks for catching me and tossing me back up! Hugs to you!

  • Yes yes yes. I got a tattoo of Mehitable the cat, whom I’ve loved all my life. Then learned the chorus of her signature song was, “There’s a dance in the old dame yet.” and I knew I had to have her as my pick-me-up (and only) ink. So I did! I love her, and she loves me. When I see her, I remember that I am a badass, because sometimes even badasses forget 😉

  • Legs. I found my legs. I have shunned dresses and skirts for years and one day, my girlfriend and I went shopping and she asked me to try on a dress. She said that if she had legs like mine, she would flaunt it. And so began my love affair with dresses and skirts. It sounds shallow and silly, but it gave me the freedom to redefine myself. The compliments from men and women alike helped, too. 😉

    On a more life changing level, I found meditation and the Buddhist philosophy like Lilybart. I am a strong practicing Catholic and meditation made me a better Christian. I am no longer attached to any outcome and it is beyond freeing.

    Pink Pauline, you feel better because you are finally loving yourself and not concerned with the cheater. Self-care rocks. My life revolved around making sure the cheater was happy and I was a human pretzel for so long, I lost myself a long time ago. And now … hello me! And I like what I see.

    Pink hair is not for me nor is welding, but I say whatever makes your heart sing, go for it with love and compassion.

    Right now, I am on vacation alone and LOVING every single minute of it.

    • Very interesting, Uniqulyme. I, too, have discovered that I’m wearing more skirts. Part of it is that I needed to have a job that would support me once I divorced STBX. I took a promotion, and am still buying the wardrobe. 😛 But the other part is that I lost a bunch of weight and am back to my premarriage weight. The jacket and skirt is now a new part of my wardrobe. 🙂

    • “…whatever makes your heart sing, go for it with love and compassion.”

      This is it, exactly. Whatever makes your heart sing. And however long it takes to figure that out. We have all the time in the world. 🙂

  • Oh for a big Like button! Isn’t it funny how we’ve gotten used to expressing ourselves that way?

    Firstly, I love the metal flower sculpture, Tracy. Made me think of the windmills of west Texas. And hope.

    For a couple of years (the year of emotional abuse pre D Day and the time since), I abandoned the dulcimer I had taken up late in life, one of those things I had always wanted to learn. I had got to the point where I was writing my own songs and it was so wonderful as a way to cope with one of my children’s mental illness. Ironically, my cheater was the one who gave it to me and encouraged me to play. No wonder I couldn’t go there.

    Last spring I took it to a shop and paid someone to put new strings on it. Not that I didn’t know how, I just wasn’t motivated enough. I dropped it on the way in to the shop and had to pay for a repair, too.

    After reading all of these posts, I have tears in my eyes and I feel so glad for the strength of the human spirit. And for the creative urge that is in each of us, waiting for expression. I think that giving encouragement is one form of that creative, positive urge. I feel so thankful for this place to come for a handle on getting my mojo back.

    After the crucible of 20 years of misdiagnosed/undertreated Lyme Disease in my kids and me had decimated life as I had known it and robbed my kids of their childhood, I began to write again, after a 35 year writer’s block.

    The devastation of the affair very nearly shut that down again, but I have managed to hold on, although my productivity on various writing projects and goals has been way, way down, almost nil. But I am writing again.

    BTW, I want to throw this idea out there for those of you who are just beginning to think about trying your wings in a new, liberated direction: There are SO many FREE courses available online now. You can literally learn anything now, and with truly excellent instructors. I took a course from U. of Virginia in Historical Novels, which I got a lot out of, even though I tanked again over new shocking realizations and didn’t finish it. Still, I tried again last summer with a MOOC course from U. of Iowa (the original writing school) in poetry writing. Now I’m launching into their fiction writing course, which just started.

    But it’s not just writing courses – literally anything you want to know more about is available. Who knows where it might lead for you. Whether simply something to focus on besides the turmoil and heartache, to maybe something that will open big new doors in your life. I urge you to try it.

    I signed up for a Meetup group locally to learn to dance the bachata and other Latin dances, but I haven’t yet quite made it to any of the lessons. When the time comes each week, I always feel just not ready. But, soon…

    After ten years away from active church involvement, I have recently committed to a local church which has a strong liturgical tradition, something which I didn’t appreciate so much in my young adult years, when I valued freedom of expression in worship above what I considered the tedious, dry liturgy. And I’ve signed up for their Centering Prayer study, which will be a deep exploration in spiritual reality. I’m so happy about this change.

    Moving Liquid, I love your solution to sleepless nights. So much better than watching infomercials til dawn.

    Here is a link to the MOOC website:
    It stands for Massive Open Online Courses.

    Pauline, your pink hair do is just the right image for hope and joy and new things. I’m going to keep that front and center in my mind’s eye.

    Love and kudos to all of y’all. I follow your journeys with concern and hope. This community has literally saved my life. Wish I’d found it earlier, but so glad I did find it.

    • Glad you are here, don’t beat yourself up too much about not making the meet ups. I belong to some meetup groups too, I rarely haul myself out of the house, we’ll get there. I did try belly dancing but I am too skinny to shimmy, srsly, I have no hippy to whippy, so next I’ll try some salsa and hope I don’t blow my knee out again. Or I’m thinking Krav Maga so I get lethal, heh

      • Thank you, Dat. I don’t have that no hippy to whippy problem, LOL. 🙂 I did drop a lot of weight initially but here lately I seem to have gone in the wrong direction. Am getting my 43 year old bike out of the shed where it has been parked and getting it restored, though, so I can get going on that again. I love that bike and it will be symbolic to have it back. It’s an old Raleigh 3 speed which I bought with my first waitress job in college. It’s an antique like me.

        I walked every day after DDay just to be able to calm my racing heart/mind/nerves and it helped so much. Just going around and around the park and trying to hold on to my sanity. Sometime during the summer this year I got out of the habit.

        I will google Krav Maga. It sounds scary.

      • Glad it’s not just me who wants to get lethal. I’ve been doing karate and fencing. I REALLY like the idea of running through with a sword the next person who fucks with me.

      • LOL! Dat – that’s awesome about the Krav Maga. I think you’ve given me another idea on what to learn next… I’m actually going to have my Dad (former Army Ranger/Officer) teach me how to use the double-barrell shotgun my f-tard screamed and tore our closet apart on DDay looking for to do yet another cowardly thing. As if schemeing against your wife and family for a year leading your double life isn’t cowardly enough, he actually wanted to kill himself when I caught his dumb ass. Douche bag!! So, I’m gonna learn to use it with extreme ACCURACY. xD

  • My first husband was obsessed with my appearance, especially my hair. Long and curly, not supposed to cut without permission. I rebelled and cut it shoulder length. He harassed me for hours, then threatened me with a loaded gun to my head. Turns out that is a felony, aggravated assault. He got one year probation. Dumass me never left him due to fear, and I never called the police again, no matter what.

    • When my ex attacked me I did call cops, he convinced them I abused him, long story short, he used that to torment and keep me under control for many months, when he pulled the gun I went kamikaze. Funny how looking at your own death will galvanize you and at that point you have nothing left to lose so you win or you die. Pretty happy I didn’t die.

  • Even though I am attempting R, about 6 months after discovery, I cut my hair short and added blond highlights (he always hated short hair on me, but I always loved it), bought a new wardrobe of clothes that really spoke to me (not just the cheap get-me-by kind that I always felt too guilty to spend money on pre d-day) and started my Masters degree. <3 TL

    • Well, TigerLily, I’ll just say that R on your end is going well because you are being you, taking care of you and moving forward. You will see soon enough what the other party in the equation is capable of, but meanwhile, you will be ready for whatever comes next for you.

  • The changes started slowly I was so frozen with PTSD. It began with me moving to music, not even dance classes at first, to experiment with new and unaccustomed ways of taking up space and moving my body. This with strength training, Pilates, daily walking, even relearning how to breathe, opened me up to the world again. Then I took bellydance lessons, discovered a long hidden love for jazz music, and then – pow! The new me was strong and confident after decades of squelched living in marriage with Cheater ex. It is wonderful.

    • Margaret that’s wonderful.
      I was a dancer in my youth and it’s so liberating to change how you move in space. It’s such a basic truth, yet a revelation, how moving our bodies differently will create changes in our minds.
      That’s why I feel sure that when I finally do go to Latin dance classes I will turn another corner.
      Pilates and strength training ….belly dance – you are taking a comprehensive approach!
      Great to hear all of the avenues to change everyone is taking.

      • It is true what you say, Finally Realized. I am 59 and no longer feel physically ‘locked up’ even though I had injuries to work around. I was genuinely surprised by the mind-body changes. Wish I could have been a dancer too!

  • After 40 years of marriage, my ex was having and affair and HE filed for a divorce to marry his little skank whore. That was 4 years ago when I was 58 (yes, I was married at 18 and dated the jerk since I was 15). What saved my sanity, and maybe my life, is KAYAKING. Never kayaked in my life, but went out during the divorce process and bought a kayak and hit the lake. Never found so much peace in my life. Love it!!!

    • My BFF would live in a kayak if she could. I always end up in the water, and I worry about messing up someone else’s kayak. But there’s nothing like a kayak on a lake or a river.

  • I was forcefully expelled from the warmth of a “stable” marriage into a new life where I had to run or die–like a re-birth!

    And, CL is right. It’s exhilarating, the rawness of complete abandonment. The sun shone a little brighter, I was lighter on my feet, I smiled more broadly, made new friends (and showed a different side of myself to the old friends), gained a new perspective, learned new skills, kept my own timetable.

    I no longer make decisions based on what the ex would want. I no longer wait for him to decide for the two of us how it’s going to be, hoping he’ll make me happy, hoping we agree. I no longer worry that he’ll embarrass me, or speak rudely to my family. I no longer resent his passive-aggressive laziness, no longer praise him for doing the minimum, no longer accept guilt which is not mine.

    I’m fixing up my house (it used to be our house, now it’s all mine, and I like it better that way.) My friends and family say it makes me mighty. I suppose in some ways they are right. I just want to live in a nice space. I’m getting there. I have my whole life ahead of me, and if this is any indication, it’s going to be great.

    For those of you who feel too old? Remember that you will never be this young again. Don’t waste good years believing they are worth nothing. You will only regret it. Be inspired by our pink-haired friend. Don’t listen to anyone who scolds you for being alive. You never know whom you inspire yourself just by being free to be you.

    • So beautifully expressed, Miss Sunshine, thank you. I especially agree with the freedom one feels when you no longer have to answer to someone else, putting your needs last constantly. It makes me wonder why I gave up my needs in the first place.

    • I agree with ML: Miss Sunshine this is really beautifully said and I agree with every word.

      There is a joy that wells up in me sometimes that I’ve never felt before. I laugh loud and free. I like what I like and no one is scowling at me or belittling me for it. My relationships with my daughters, my parents, and my friends are authentic and more intimate than I ever knew was possible. It’s so strange because I still miss him sometimes despite how miserable he made me – but in losing him I gained many, many amazing things. I’ve changed and am still changing. The STBXH is playing the same show with a different cast. So I guess I win. 🙂

    • Were you married to my Eeyore… “I no longer make decisions based on what the ex would want. I no longer wait for him to decide for the two of us how it’s going to be, hoping he’ll make me happy, hoping we agree. I no longer worry that he’ll embarrass me, or speak rudely to my family. I no longer resent his passive-aggressive laziness, no longer praise him for doing the minimum, no longer accept guilt which is not mine.”

      That was me… holding my breath, walking around like mouse hoping that my mere existance didn’t piss him off. BTW you can go to Google earth and look at your house pre DDay and then watch the changes post DDay… my little house looks so sweet now.

      I think I am going to cut my hair short… At one point I said I was going to shave it all off and have morning glories tattoo around it… perhaps I won’t go quite that far. Balls to the wall…

      • “…holding my breath, walking around like a mouse hoping that my mere existence didn’t piss him off”
        Wow, that was me too! They really managed to drown us with their narcissism…amazing…

      • What was more fun for me was going to Google Earth and seeing the shit-hole love nest he lives in now. If I were one of his neighbors, I’d be flaming pissed at the way he keeps his yard, like a goddamned junk yard, with weeds growing up and around all the giant heaps of clutter he hauls home, the back of his truck filled with trash. I tell you, it made my whole year to see that. I realized he’s a lazy piece of shit who doesn’t want any responsibility for his home, just wants to wander with any whim. I cannot believe the schmoopie puts up with it, but obviously she doesn’t lift a finger herself, unlike I do and did.

        But now what I do is solely a reflection on me and the equity and pride in my home–he gets none of the glory.

        I do know (*SNORT!*) that right after d-day, xH and the twat troll were texting each other on his secret cell phone. They’d been house-hunting, and he was fantasizing about how beautiful their yard was going to look, and all the fruit trees they were going to have. Doncha know my xH is quite the gardener, in his dreams.

        Google Earth was evidence sorely needed that the fantasy of walking away from one’s family isn’t quite a match for reality.

        I just installed a new thermostat and fixed a leaking shower faucet. BOO YEAH. And I didn’t have to nag the lazy POS to get it done (he’s blind when it comes to responsibility and what needs to be taken care of around the house, doncha know.) I don’t have to wonder why the “man” of the house won’t do any man chores, and then treat him like he’s the king of the house, even as he withholds affection and generosity.

        No, really, I AM better off without him. So much less stress.


    • Heh, heh. I’m 63, getting ready to go out and tackle the leaves, readying for winter. I love my home, my space, my work, my life.

      Having gone down 3 pants sizes and 2-3 “top” sizes, I had to buy a new wardrobe. I did a lot of looking at clothes on Pinterest, until I knew exactly what I wanted my style to be. The other day, I work a sweater (on sale, Macy’s $20) with a pencil skirt from Steinmart ($19) with a gorgeous necklace I bought some years ago from a former student who opened a boutique. I felt like me in that outfit and have had a lot of satisfaction finding great pieces at bargain prices that help the outside match the inside.

      I bought a good beginner’s camera with a zoom lens this summer and am learning how to use it, mostly to take pictures of the life around me–flowers, trees, bird, bees, butterflies, animals. Some people, too. Mostly what surprises me is how much the inner me has changed–how happy I am, whether alone or with friends, and how much deeper my spiritual life has become.

      What we’re writing about today illustrates the hard-to-see truth of infidelity and betrayal. For chumps, once we let go of what is damaging and toxic, and commit to re-assessing and re-building, miracles happen. All that changes for cheaters and their APs is their address or the people they associate with. It’s an old axiom in fiction writing that a good story can be about a life turning point. Do you decide to change and grow? Or do you lose perhaps the last opportunity–or the last meaningful opportunity–to change? Here is Chump Nation, we learn to turn lemons into a lemonade empire.

  • This is awesome!! It is the little things that make us feel special again. Mine was mowing the lawn. My narc always took care of the outside work. Then after is exit I freaked out looking at the lawn growing and not wanting to deal with it so got a lawn service. They did ok until one mowing they destroyed my backyard. That is when I said, “I can do this!” And…. I have and all summer the lawn looked beautiful. The best part about it was…I was very proud of myself and that started me on my road to recovery!!
    We are all awesome!!!!!

  • Boy did I need this today! I was finishing seeing a second love movie with the purpose of trying to believe in soulmates again, but I got very sad and started crying like I had not done in two months (I am 10 months from DDay) missing him and feeling sorry for myself..but then I got on to CL and saw your awesome posts and realized that I have been doing sooo much work on myself, that a little breakdown is permitted! And I realized that I don´t miss being so repressed and mistreated and irrespected and that I love my new authentic life. I have taken it as a hobby to look into consciousness studies and to do yoga, travel, eat well and feel younger and better than I have in ages. I have looked up old friends and made new ones and have had makeovers of my face, hair, clothes and next is my home (as soon as D is finished). Thanks CL and Chump Nation, you guys always manage to save my day!

    • Oh, Susan, honey, forget that soulmate crap. There isn’t any such thing. There might be people capable of long-time, enduring, reciprocal love, but soul mates? That idea is what got me chumped in the first place. That idea leaves us vulnerable to love bombing and sparkly narcissistic con man types. Speaking for myself, I think believing in soul mates–someone who is fated to be our life partner–keeps us looking at the wrong things, like romance and instant love, rather than character and a track record of decency.

      You are re-building a life and doing a great job with it. I still wonder sometimes if I will ever again meet a man who interests me. At 63, I see a lot of men my age who are “retired” in the wrong way. If I can’t find one who is living an awesome, healthy life already, living alone is a whole lot better than settling or spackling or getting chumped again by some jackass who can love-bomb me into thinking he’s my soulmate. I’ll settle for true friend and loyal partner.

      • LaJ, about a week before I moved out my ex put his arms around me but kept me at a little distance and patted me on the back like you do to a baby to burp it and told me that I was “his soul mate”. That was another red flag flying there and one of his millions of lies.

        • My STBXW evidently told one of her friends about her affair and said “But ANR is my soulmate.” Fuck that.

          • Indeed. The fact that these cheaters and their true love schmoopies believe in soul mates pretty much does it for me. The absolute low of the betrayal phase was reading a pin that Jackass’s MOW put on Pinterest, evidently channeling Jackass’s thinking: “When I first met her, I knew in a moment I would have to spend the next few days re-arranging my mind so there’s be room for her to stay.” As the party who got “re-arranged” so she could take up her place in his f***ed up mind, I have come to understand that these cheaters and their cheating partners all live in some kind of world where other people are just object to re-arrange. in their minds and elsewhere.

      • I will settle for reciprocation. I really see that I didn’t get any, and would have liked the support and appreciation whilst I worked on my own faults.

        Someone being prepared to listen to me/my ideas and meet me half way would get me swooning.

  • i have searched my mind for something. and cant come up with anything.

    i was the chief party planner, bill payer, house cleaner, yard man, fixer upper, childcare provider, school, sports and taxi, vacation planner. i basically did everything or made the decision to do something. he just went along for the ride. i find that my life really has NOT changed very much at all. He might have thought he was punishing me when he wasnt giving me money that last year, or when he wasnt coming home or helping with anything, but all he did was teach me how to live without him. only a little more poorer cuz he was giving me a dime every now and then. and also a little more exhausted because i could at least TELL him to pick up or take kids, and sometimes he half asses did dishes, cleaned living room or laundry.

    so basically besides my heart being broken into a million shards and splinters, and going a little bit out of my mind, everything else has actually been the same.

    but i have to admit, it is A LOT more peaceful at home. ironically the kids are pitching in more and more. and more nicely. (ie: no crying, screaming or whining when told/asked to throw trash). Also it is nice to go someone and NOT HAVE someone bitch about every little thing. my XH ALWAYS had something negative to say. we went on a skiing trip once, i had no clue what i was doing, made all the plans, found the hotel, found out where to rent the equipment, found out where to go, it was hectic but my 5 kids and i were having a blast. but not him, he HAD to act like an ass and ruin it for everyone, from yelling at the kids who wanted to go swimming in the hotel pool, to walking off and leaving me carrying all equipment for 2 little boys and myself and then yelling at me that we were going to miss the shuttle (there was more then one), and finally leaving me alone with the youngest so he could go off and ski, he was hateful, yelling at me that i was doing it all wrong, i yelled back to get off my ass cuz i told him i didnt know what i was doing and at least i was doing something not just standing there bitching. but even if i did know what i was doing and it was something we have done before (like the rodeos and the kids entering the fair with rabbits) he would still complain because i wasnt doing it like everyone else was doing it. i would tell, its okay, i know what i am doing and he would STILL get mad.

    although he broke me, life is better then ever. i am lonely. i will not ever get over it or find someone new. i am not looking for a man and will never trust another (after all if you cant trust your husband, who the fuck can you trust) i am happy to be alone, still just lonely. (and horny, haha) but it is so much peacefuller and being able to build a wall, plant a tree, build a fence, plant a garden without all the bitching and complaining is actually very nice.

    PS oh, and i have also been thinking of getting a piercing in my dimple, lost weight and i forgot i had a dimple on my left check. haha thinking of piercing it, AND dying my hair blue!!! i am 46. i have tattoos and i am drawing one to immortalize the pain of my divorce.

    • I always thought my husband might have a second family…Mrs Vain, I think it might have been married you and your 5 kids… I was married to one of the laziest men around…After Dday, not much changed in terms of the work load I thought of myself as the glue… held everything together and no one knew I was there. . Then there is the awful name I had for myself… I can’t even write it, it is so bad. Pierce that dimple… DO IT!

    • Hi Mrs. Vain. I know what you mean. Everything I tried to do around the house was never good enough, and the stuff that I did do was of inferior quality–according to the cheater. It has been so nice just to do my thing and not worry about whether he approves or not.

      In my new job (see blow about my wardrobe) I work with a lot of guys on a professional level. I spotted the narc of the group in 2 seconds. He’s definitely a cluster B. Another guy that I work with called me up about an issue he was having with the schedule. We spoke for a while, and came up with a plan to resolve the issue. A couple of hours later he called me back and apologized for “throwing a hissy fit.” What?!? That was a “hissy fit”!?! He was polite, asked for what he wanted to see, listened as I explained why or why not his requests were or weren’t being accommodated. And then he apologized!!! I was floored. There were no put-downs, no scathing comments, and he apologized!!! I’m telling you this because in that moment I learned there are good guys out there. While he is a happily married guy, and there is nothing beyond our roles as professionals, I learned in that moment that there are truly good guys out there. They come in all stripes. I hope you have an experience like this. We just happened to marry the ones that are rodents.

  • I started bartending again for fun. Believe it or not i drink less and i only do it on saturdays so i feel pretty good, plus its social and people are nice…its an older crowd. Kind of a form of therapy and a support system. Some people are truly kind when youre at your lowest.

  • For me – after years (7) of HIS career change and education, it was time for me to do something for myself.

    I left behind my beloved store and my clients, friends and family. So I took it one more step thAn the pink hair….

    I became a hairdresser. Went back to school, and am now working for one of the top salons in my area.

    I am no longer blond. My hair is shorter, I am thinner and I look 10 years younger!
    It is my life on steroids! I work hard for me and my children.

    It is hard to explain – but a lot of us left behind spouses are accused of having our own MLC because we are finally free to live. I left my marriage a hollow shell of myself. Now I feel like how ME is supposed to feel!

  • Pink Pauline, For me it was a tattoo, then another! It was so liberating, the Wasband is a control freak. Wear that pink hair with pride!

  • Great subject………Wow ….I am awed by such mightiness in the chump nation……you all are awesome.
    Gotta point out I’m quite a few years from DDay at 61, …..but here goes…
    Dyed my naturally light blonde hair screaming red, and found that I could believably pull it off due to my blonde coloring.
    Bought a van just because I had always wanted one.
    Wrote a book for folks who lost a loved one to homicide and give free copies away when needed when I can afford to print some up.
    Have the most extensive rejection slip collection ever…for said book.
    Volunteered with a grief group for 3 years, now volunteer as a senior companion.
    My remaining son and I picked a completely new last name and did the name change as a family. I also picked a new first and middle name that reflects the real me much better.
    Took up geneaology, quilt making, jelly making, and am learning to be a bike mechanic.
    Rescue stray cats and dogs and find homes for them.
    Drove an old truck with an old cab-over camper halfway across the country to go to the Smithsonian……six days of bliss….
    Sold my house in the city and moved to 3 acres of old cow pasture in the country to live in an old mobile home I was given and rehabbed by myself……goodbye mortgage…….
    Bought a used recumbent trike and took up cycling….am planning a cross country trip….hopefully next summer.
    Have designed a “tiny house” for when I no longer can keep this place up….. now working on the construction drawings….already have the foundation trailer.
    Thanks for the subject of this post ….looking at all the changes that have come and gone in my life…..guess I have made some progress in reclaiming my life….

    • You changed your last name? Did I read that right? and your son too… that is the best smackdown I have heard. I never took my STBX name…it just didn’t seem like me. That was also a good decision… but changing your name as a family… that guy must have beein the worlds biggest prick. I am in awe… and aspiring.

      • Wow wow wow! I am obsessed with the tiny house movement and love looking at how cleverly and efficiently they use such small spaces. So completely awesome you are designing one! I had to move to a house about half the size of my Victorian and 1,000 square feet seems tiny, but I know it isn’t…we are like most people, we have too much stuff. Simplify, simplify, as Thoreau said in “Walden.”

        • My house is little, it’s my two thirds of an acre that’s killing me to maintain but I love the wildlife, the birds especially.

          • Don’t maintain it… turn it into natives and let it take care of itself… You will have more birds and wildlife. Make a little pond so the animals can drink… I do river restoration for a living… and this winter, my lower 40 is going to natives. No watering, no care and great for every living thing, including you.

            • I’d go the other way and clear more if I could. Snakes–some of them vipers–find their way into the backyard as things stand.

      • Before my current cheater I was married to a narcissist/alcoholic/likely sociopath whose name was lovely and lilting. My maiden name is quite common, so I took his name and kept it even though the marriage was brief. When asked by others why I keep his name, I say “I earned it”, or in some circles “I paid for it and I’m keeping it”.

    • You have a place to stay in Pittsburgh, if you pass this way on your trip.

  • I got up this morning, and was reading this post over coffee. Then I got the coupons I printed last night and went shopping! My practical side wants to wax about the bargains I got, and the liberated side wants to go on and on about my new pair of red shoes. And my blue shoes. And the boots I had repaired–which is like getting a new pair of shoes. Clothes. That is my liberation. I have new clothes that fit, are rather “stylish,” (never have been stylish in my entire life, even before the cheater. It is like I missed that boat entirely in my teens). And I have to devote all of this time and effort to my wardrobe because I have a great new job that is a business casual establishment. And I work with several of the most stylish and encouraging women who are very free with much-needed compliments. Working on that definition of the new me.

    • Discovering your own sense of style is really fun — good for you!

      My passion is scouring thrift and charity shops for treasures that I either keep or sell for much, much more than I bought them for.

      It’s all good.

  • For me it was going to clubs and dancing again. I felt like I was dead until one night when I was dancing and my date told me I looked sexy when I was dancing. It made me feel alive again. The thing is my ex and I also grew up dancing and that was one of the things I loved about us. I was determined to reclaim the joy of dancing for myself and I did!

  • PinkPauline, you’ve inspired me! I haven’t had the courage to go completely wild with hair color–the most I’ve done is dye Manic Panic over my dark brown hair. I am the “stylist” for my 14-year old daughter, though–I bleached her hair, then dyed it bright pink and purple. It looks so absolutely divine on her. Not so sure how it would look on a fifty-something woman, but I don’t allow my age to determine what I wear. I love unique clothing and Doc Martens boots, especially the floral ones–I wore them for years before the kids rediscovered them. I would rather go with crazy hair color than a tattoo. Hair grows back!

  • Corvettes aren’t just for men having mid life issues. I hate needles and my hair can’t handle any rough stuff but my one weakness is hot cars, so I bought this

    According to the dealer they had never had a woman buy a vette before. I was like WTF? Are you kidding me? The guy actually told me to be careful I didn’t let it get away from me, idiot. BTW, used vettes are not expensive, I get really annoyed when people think I’m rich coz I drive this, it’s coz I don’t need a fuckin truck and I don’t have kids people! It’s my only car and it’s 6 years old. Sure I could buy a new practical car for the same price but damn, the one indulgence I have is fast cars and I sure as shit can’t afford a Tesla sports car, now that would be awesome 🙂

    • Re that very orange Corvette. That sales guy probably warns all his customers not to let it get away, DDW! LOL and I love the color!

    • That is one seriously awesome car! Good for you! I hit what I considered to be a “mid-life crisis,” (really, it was just my sub conscious screaming that my marriage was about to go down and I don’t believe in mid-life crisis anymore) and went and bought myself a Camaro. ‘Vettes don’t have a back seat and I needed to still taxi the kids to and from school. 🙂

      • Good for you Leia! The Camaro is great too. I actually wanted to get the a Challenger but I’m too short to see over the dash, LOL. It is a pain not having a back seat, but I’m getting used to it.

  • It is funny, how much life passes you by when you are married to a My ex really had two lives but our children and I had one. We had a great life. My best memories of my marriage are of spending time with my children, who are easily my greatest loves. When my ex abandoned us, I was so angry…. I knew that if I didn’t take care of myself and my children that we were going to drown. He was a big part of our lives, until one day he wasn’t. So My children and I buckled down to the hard work of getting well. I asked them “to be selfish,” to think about what they wanted for themselves first, and to make that a priority. Every day I asked them to treat themselves to little gifts -a great cup of coffee, a walk on the beach, an art show or concert, a class they wouldn’t normally take. My children and I also started exercising more (yoga, and anything outdoors), painting-anything, lol, and taking classes that challenged us. Some of our best experiences though was when we all did something new. I helped my 64 year old father build his retirement home. I spend time with my Mom, who is crazy, because I didn’t have her in my daily life the entire time I was married. My son fell in love with art classes, my youngest daughter graduated with a degree in film, and my eldest is working on a masters in NYC where we all hope to spend Christmas together. We have learned to become yet more resilient and while our lives are not yet perfect they are, most days, admirably authentic. It has been a journey. I feel now when for so long I didn’t. Some days when I am driving I am overwhelmed, “Happiness hit her like a train….” (Florence and the Machine) because it is a new life. Finally Realized stated, “I follow your journeys with concern and hope.” And love. A toast to Chump Nation.

  • Love this post! Thanks for all the helpful comments. I have ripped up the carpet and rearranged the living room. Changed my last name, to my grandmothers maiden name, dyed my hair blonde and I am planning a trip for next year, if people come with me that is great, if not I am fine with going alone. I would never have considered that pre d day. I feel free, more confident and happier. Yes I feel sometimes lonely, sad and horny, but I am ok and I will be ok. I want to study, make more money and travel more.

    • You guys are really giving me pause on the name change thing… My bio dad was a narcissist, don’t want his name. My step dad was a son of a bitch… I kept his name and didn’t take my STBX’s name. But really I don’t like any of their names. Even though I am red headed and pinky white, I come from a slave woman. I am going to find her or as close to her as I can and maybe change my name to that. She has been rubbed out of my family history and I know the life she lived and the strength she gave the women in this family need to be honored. Good idea!

  • I agree, all these comments are so inspiring, I see myself re-reading these often! Savannahpaige, you bring up something I’m having a hard time deciding about, which is changing my last name. Can you and others advise why or why not you changed yours? My name is established in my field and I’m not sure how my daughter would feel but the thought of carrying around my STBXH’s last name is almost more than I can stomach…..

    • I had my last name changed back to maiden name as part of the divorce. There was absolutely NO WAY I wanted to keep ex’s name, especially with all of his crazy videos on YouTube.

      I did ask my teen son if it would bother him if I changed my name and he had no problem with it. Really, in this day and age it’s so common for mothers to have a different last name than their kids, I don’t think it’s a big deal anymore. My own mother married and had a different last name from me and it never bothered me at all.

      The only tough part is when your name is established in your field…. maybe you could start using a hyphenated name and then eventually drop the portion from your STBX?

      • Amen on the name change…I was so happy to take back my maiden name. My ex really disrespected my family (thought them to be rednecks) and it feels good to reassert my identity. My girls are perfectly fine with me having a different last name. Even if I remarry, I am going to keep my maiden name. When I finish grad school, I’ll be changing careers, so why not start afresh with a new name?

    • Over in the forum section there’s a post on this subject so you might see more examples there of what women have done re: name changes.

      In the end it’s all up to you and whatever you decide is the right thing.

      • It was a no brainer for my son and I, especially since I found out it was only 165 bucks at the time we did it.

        My older son was an adult so no problem there. If there had been a way to chance my youngest son’s name posthumously along with ours, I would have changed his too, but there was no way. Ex cheater narc shithead was dead so he could not appreciate the inherent FU in the gesture. Ex’s family were also shitheads so neither my son or I wanted their nasty last name. Ditto for my maiden name….yuck. We certainly did not want to go back to my first ex’s name, so we decided to found our own dynasty. Anyway at that point we were going on a story that my mother told me about my grandfather’s family. that he was really half irish being that his father’s people migrated to Germany during the Irish potato famine……….(There are a lot of really cool irish surnames…right?)……I did some in depth investigating …(after we picked out a nifty Irish name and did the deed of course), Whoops…..found out I am actually 1/16th french, the rest is german. Seems dear old mom was either a wee bit delusional or lying her butt off.

        My son changed his middle name to reflect his ethnicity on his dad’s side while I changed my first and middle names too.

        It has been so freeing. I own my own name and it is a true reflection of who I really am. Even though the ethnic origin is a mistake, my son and I love it.

    • Hi ScorpioRising,
      I can’t stand my ex or any of his wife beating, child abusing, paedophile family so do not want to wear their name any longer.
      My own FOO was not much better, so no to my maiden name as well. My
      Granny really loved me, and her maiden name is easy to spell and has only good feelings surrounding it. I have not officially changed it yet, but I am using it when i do not require official ID, and it feels good, part of re-inventing and re-discovering and creating and growing ME! What ever you decided is OK, this was just part of the detaching process that felt good to me. Hugs. xxxxx

  • Cut my hair short, bought a Suburu WRX and went skiing all winter. Put everything in perspective on that mountain. Now I ski a little less and garden all summer but still feeling good at 70+. There IS life out there. And when I saw him briefly he looked – well diminished, small and insignificant. Go chump nation!

    • Wow! Great going! You (and all the rest of y’all) are SO inspirational!!

  • Great to read what each of you are doing to live fully and be yourself. Little things have really lifted my spirits like rearranging my bathroom cabinet to create a full spread for my makeup which had been crammed into a small bag before. I love working on my wardrobe within my budget and I took a short kayak trip which was totally new for me. I’m also learning more about birds which is something I got interested in through the STBX so I’m taking that for myself.
    Also struggling with the name change because my son is young, but I don’t think I can keep shithead’s name.

    • I kept MY last name for two reasons: 1) to have the same last name as my kids (no, “And YOU are…?” in the emergency room). 2) I ain’t yielding anything to the OW. Not a thing. Not my name, first of all.

      My kids’ friends still call me Mrs. Sunshine (or Miss Sunshine–either way.) I love that! The twat troll will never ever be that to my children’s friends. I am mighty.

  • I love this post. Since DDay (8 months) I have gone to physical therapy for an incredibly painful case of Achilles Tendonitis and religiously done the exercises. I actually found I enjoyed them and enjoyed making progress. Now I have joined Zumba Gold class. I am really stiff but having fun. In May a good friend and her daughter invited me to take a Metal Jewelry class with them. We had a blast. Learned to use an acetylene torch, which scared me a lot. I made a copper pendant in the shape of a leaf. The last night one of the young girls in the class came up to me and said “I would totally wear that!” Made me feel so good (the first time in a long time). Now we are taking pottery/wheel throwing. It is much harder than we thought. I love it. Cannot think about anything else while trying to form a pot on a spinning wheel. Still cry a bit on the way home to an empty house but it gets better each time. My project for the winter is to clean up my eating and lose the weight I have put on over the last couple of years. I want to get physically stronger and really would like to try a kettlebell class.
    Datdamwuf – If I had a garage, I would buy your car in a heartbeat! Love the looks and love the color.

  • Maybe “pink hair phenomenon” is just a metaphor for the many things we all suppress about ourselves in the course of a long term relationship. When that relationship bubble bursts, then we’re finally free to be our real selves. Being a chump is not something I ever would have voluntarily chosen, but it has had its upside. That meaning — it’s given me cause to truthfully examine who I want to be and what my purpose in life is. No more excuses for playing a role that is not my real self, simply becaus I no longer feel the need to fit someone else’s definition of perfect.

    • Couldn’t have said that better myself. When I tried to express myself during my relationship with ex, he often belittled it. I was married for so long I feared I had lost any conception of who I really was. I still struggle with this at times, but I realize I have 24 years of lost time to recover my sense of self. One thing that really helped me in my last year of marriage–I took “The Artist’s Way” course. I really recommend it to anyone who is trying to reconnect with their creativity. You can either get the book from the library or visit the site at

  • I haven’t had time to read all the comments, but those I read are great!
    Maree- I restore furniture too! I like the Cinderella aspect of it, one piece I found near a dumpster last week, a little three drawer dresser, and it’s getting a full make-over. Got to stay busy!
    I am also taking Salsa classes, really fun, and recently started meeting with a life coach. I had to think about that for a while, because it’s expensive, but I really think it’s worth it. I want a sweet, happy life, now that the cheater (Liar, alcoholic, Narc) is gone, and she is helping me to build that life.
    Best of luck to everyone!

  • I lost 40 lbs and have been consistently lighter than on my wedding day to the sick freak. I have experimented with my hair and clothing so much that strangers often complement me on my fashion choices.
    Also, I totally repainted and redecorated what was our marital home and made it mine. The other day an aunt I haven’t seen in a while surprised me with a visit and she literally ran through my house noting the changes screaming “O my God, you changed this, it looks so nice!”. People have come over and said that my home is barely recognizable, it looks so much better.
    The next thing on my bucket list is going back to school in the spring in order to upgrade my job skills so I can make more money to support myself and my 2 kids. Living well really is the best revenge, I plan to live large!

  • I as a man do not have single bit of sympathy for any of you women on here, women have ten times the options men do, even old torn up women will get dated. Every single one of you choose that kind of man because That is who You are Attracted to! Do you think arrogant pushy men have any trouble finding women? Hell no! But kind respectful men do, and all the women who wrote on here will do it again too, because That is what women do, anything but go with a good man, don’t want to do that, that would be too LOGICAL!

    • Stephen, you are a dill. There are men on this site also who have been cheated on. Give me a good man any day of the week. In fact I thought I was married to one for 37 years. Mine was a wolf in sheeps clothing. Go away now.

    • Stephen, I agree, you are totally out of line. I too thought I was married to a good man. In fact, the reason his cheating went undetected for years is because he came off as being nice. Between dating and marriage, I’ve now wasted 17 years with this jerk. He was a wolf in sheets clothing that showed his true colors once the jack was out of the box.

    • Steven, excuse me for saying so, but you really don’t sound very nice. Are you sure that being ‘too nice’ is the reason you aren’t having dating success? ‘Old torn up women’…that makes it sound like only a pristine, gaily wrapped box is worthy of your sparkly presence! Maybe this will be of help next time – If you can’t come bearing gifts to the party, try not to drop a turd into the punchbowl.

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