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There’s Going to Be Some Changes Around Here…

Hi Chumps,

Hey I just wanted to let you know that next week the site here is going to look different, and while it’s going on you might load your page and see some weirdness. Don’t be alarmed, it’s not you, it’s me. I figured it was better for the site to remain live and functional (but weird) than have an “Under Construction” sign up.

What’s going to be new? Well, I’m chucking Thesis for one thing, and going with Genesis. (This is Greek to anyone not fluent in Word Press, apologies.) There will be a widgetized home page, which means the landing page will be a lot more visual — and my hope is — easier to navigate.

The problem is I’m outgrowing this format. I’ve got over 700 posts/articles to date and the archives and lame-o search bar are not the best way to find what you’re looking for. I’ve now categorized EVERYTHING (which was incredibly tedious), so if you want to search for how to parent with a wing nut — hey, up will pop all 23 articles. Also, on future posts, the categories will appear on the bottom, so you can read more in that vein.

There will also be the long-requested glossary of terms and acronym list. Nothing is disappearing, the forum will still be there, and everything else. It should just look prettier.

I’ll also have a gallery of all the cartoons, which are fairly invisible now, until you plow through my posts.

All to say — bear with me!

In other news, I’m excited to tell you that I’m filming a book trailer video this weekend in my small town here in Texas. We’re going to be going around town getting average Texans to say “Stupid Shit Cheaters Say.” I’ve culled the best from over 1,000 submissions.

Yes, imagine your local cowboy drawling “I wasn’t buying strippers, I was buying self esteem,” or a 7 year old saying “I love you but I’m not in love with you” or Longhorn cattle saying “I am not defined by my relationships.”

I’ve been going around town scouting locations and getting permissions. Most people are super friendly and onboard. A couple were sniffy and weirded out. (I’m talking to YOU Smitty’s Barbecue!) When I approached Wayne, the guy with the vegetable stand off the highway — OMG, out poured his chump story. Happened to him — his ex-wife cleaned out his bank accounts of hundreds of thousands of dollars and took his two kids to a foreign country. He said “And then when I got home, I found she’d dug a hole in the front yard, thrown my clothes in there, and buried it.”

“It’s kind of funny now.”

He went on to tell me how he moved on. Married a good woman, has been happily married, had four more kids with her and everything’s fine. But he confessed you always wonder what was lacking in you that made them do this. Even when you tell yourself this person’s nuts.

All to say — members of Chump Nation are EVERYWHERE. They’re selling you watermelons and grapefruit off the highway. We just don’t know what painful crap people have endured and who gets it.

Well, hopefully after this funny video taking the piss out of cheaters, a lot more people will get it. That’s my hope any way… or else  I’m making a total idiot of myself here.

While the site is undergoing its redesign, I’ll still be posting. Just wanted you to know it’s going to be a bit wiggy here next week.

Stay tuned!

ETA — check out my new book ad “Every time you buy this book, a unicorn dies.” Also — every time you review my book, a unicorn dies. Or gets Ebola. So please review my book (positively). Anyway… this is my attempt at marketing. (Bill Hicks says I can off myself now. I’ve become an advertiser.)

Ask Chump Lady

Got a question for the Chump Lady? Or a submission for the Universal Bullshit Translator? Write to me at info@chumplady.com. Read more about submission guidelines.
    • My agent is working on my book proposal, I should get her edits back any day, and when it has her blessing, she’ll shop it to about 20 publishing houses. Fingers crossed.

      • I hope you will be able to get bookings on T.V. shows… The View , etc…
        I think you are witty, attractive and knowledgeable. Perfect for daytime.. or Jon Stewart ? Best Wishes !!!!!!

      • Nice! Best wishes on that endeavor…I know how it’s extremely hard these days to get a publisher to pick up a proposal. Hopefully, you will find at least one of those twenty who see the great financial potential of your book!

      • Hard to type with fingers crossed, but I did it…you can too! Go CL! May you achieve all the prosperity, success, and recognition you deserve.

      • Chances are good that one out of those 2o publishers will personally have been chumps themselves, and they’ll be all over your book! (Of course, also likely that several publishers are cheaters, and they’ll want none of it, but they can go eff themselves anyhow.)

  • “All to say — members of Chump Nation are EVERYWHERE.”

    The plumber who came to fix my faucet last week told me his chump story!

  • I am with you all the way Tracy. You saved this old girl from a fate worse than death, literally!! Even when the day comes that I no longer need to visit you, I will still pop in because you are a life saver. I bet you never thought in your wildest dreams that through your own personal pain, you would help so many others in pain. 🙂
    PS – I am looking forward to the upgrade of the site.

  • Sing it sister! Your hard work on this issue is inspiring! Get the word out, spread it, share. Lies, deceit, dishonesty are all cruel entitled bully behaviors. Pendulum’s gotta swing back to core values of empathy and compassion. Our society depends on it. Adultery is just not ok

    • Very well put, Nain.

      And I’m excited for you, CL, and glad to see you keep moving the ball forward. You never know, but I just have this sense you are putting ideas out there whose time have come, and that what you are doing will keep gathering momentum.

      Where is Oprah when we need her?

  • You cannot market this fast enough IMO. The reconciliation brigade needs a asswhipping ( that’s about as Texas as I can come up with…. Besides ending sentences with a preposition 🙂 ).

    The whole problem, as I see it, is that people actually believe in the “stupid shit cheaters say”.

    My husband fucked hookers because he was stressed? Really? OMG! I should have fucked the Fed Ex guy because guess what? I have been stressed too…

    Anyway, I’m all for you and I say get your message out as fast as you can. And don’t even get me started with the “sex addict” bullshit…

    • Bev, hi, I am taking an addictions class for my master and in two weeks an expert is coming to talk to us about sex addiction. I want to know Chump Nation’s real experience with this b.s. Hoping you and others will share with me!

      • Gaby, can I ask you please, what makes this person an “expert”? Have they put in the hard yards performing sex acts and now they are an “expert”. Sex addiction does not exist, it is an excuse for weak willed people be them male or female but this title is mostly applied to males!

        • One of my best friends is getting her degree in family counseling & she knows my entire sordid tale so when she took a class that discussed sex addiction, she was able to correct a lot of their inaccurate assumptions. I feel like I’m doing a small part in helping shift the paradigm of the therapy world!

          And I agree, I think the whole “sex addiction” thing is a big load of bullshit and just another way for these disordered types to justify their behavior and keep us chumps entagled in their webs.

        • Sex addiction as an excuse for adultery clearly does not exist, but there are people, not married, but often subject to other addictions such as alcohol / drugs or whatever, who are extremely promiscuous to a dangerous degree, almost by compulsion. It’s not common, and it’s not applicable to your common-or-garden adulterer, generally these sorts of people are extremely dysfunctional and unable to really have proper relationships. Generally though, it’s a pathetic, lying excuse for being a pathetic liar.

      • Hi Gaby,

        I’m not an expert by any means, but I suppose it depends on how you’d define an addiction. As far as I understand it, narcotic/alcoholic addiction has a physiological component which, when denied (withdrawal) often has unpleasant and even deadly consequences ( DT’s / cold turkey). Other addictions, such as sex / gambling I’d classify as OCD (Obsessive/compulsive disorder) – no one is actually going to die should they stop pursuing their particular ‘thrill’ but the compulsion to chase those highs are still very strong. However, just as I don’t believe anyone died from not having washed their hands 3 times / flicked a light switch 7 times / avoided stepping on cracks in the pavement, I don’t believe anyone ever died from not putting money into a slot machine or sticking their dicks into a strange vagina (or the other way around). As I say, I’m not an expert, I do believe people can develop very strange compulsions but I’m not sure these compulsions deserve to be compared to narcotic/alcoholic addictions, simply because there is no physiological imperative. Absolutely, I do understand that the dopamine reward from indulging the sex/gambling/hand-washing addiction is powerful, but it isn’t going to kill anyone, as alcohol/narcotic addiction would do. So, for what it’s worth, given I’m merely a sink-top philosopher, I’m not convinced by ‘sex addiction’ I think it’s a manifestation of OCD, at best, if we want to play devil’s advocate and give cheaters a bit of slack 🙂

          • There is zero empirical data that supports sex as an addiction. Just as there is zero data to support the “recovery” rates that you get from all the VERY expensive sex addiction inpatient facilities. Patrick Carnes (considered the biggest expert) is a self proclaimed recovering sex addict himself. The sex addict industry is a cash cow. They tell these men they are sick. Charge 10k and more to “fix” them and then label wives and partners as “co addicts” or “co dependent” and tell you to attend COSA meetings. What a bunch of shit….sex addicts actually attend SA meetings where they are applauded for having a bad day and NOT screwing a hooker.

            All this while never looking at the PD that is underlying and the real problem. Look up Doctor Omar Minwalla from ISH. He has written the best articles on the subject. He does treat the behavior (porn/hookers/whatever) but insists that partners are not co-anything and that the “addict” be treated for whatever psychological issue they may have. Also JoAnn Russell has several good articles about the myth of sex addiction (she’s on Facebook and runs a website for partners of sex addicts).

            Good luck Gaby and give them some hell…. I’ll bet money that the “expert” is a “recovering sex addict”. All CSATS seem to be … Hmmm…. Inmates running the asylum?

            • Hi Bev,

              Thanks for the references. Since my cheater was porn/sex addicted, I’m really interested in deconstructing this issue and laying to rest the whole ‘co-dependency’ crap. I looked up JoAnn Russell, but all I can find is the standard addiction perspective, nothing that demystifies it. If you could point me in the right direction, that would be great.

              • She has more articles on her website (you must pay to be a member but the home page articles are free to the public).
                Sisterhoodofsupport.org

                Also Omar Minwalla has a link on the ISH Facebook page where women responded with outrage at Linda Hatch (CSAT ). Partners let her have it and rightly so. I will post the link in case you’re interested 🙂

                http://blogs.psychcentral.com/sex-addiction/discuss/2564/

                I don’t particular care whether sex is an addiction or not. I absolutely care when it is abusive to the partner …. And make no mistake, it is.

            • Thanks, Bev, for this awesome link. Wow wow wow wow wow! A clinician who’s seen the light and is publishing! Fantastic. This is the kind of informed IC we all need here. There so seriously needs to be a shift in how this all plays out once we seek help. I’m so sick of being problematized when I go in to talk about what happened to me. No, I did *not* cause or contribute to this shit. My side of the street has been clean for years. The only mistake I made was not recognizing evil when it was right in front of me, but I won’t be that blind again. Thanks again for sharing, and I sincerely hope other people will build upon this research.

  • Tracy, this is all such great news. And I love the book/unicorn ad.

    You need to find a way to get comfortable selling yourself because that’s what will get you on talk shows and more book deals. We’re pushing you to the front because you can help change the narrative and tell the world that cheating is terrible abuse.

    I want you to go on Bill Mahr’s show, that way you can not censor yourself at all.

    In the meantime, your book trailer sounds freaking awesome and I cannot wait to see it.

    You deserve success! xox

    • Onward and upward, Tracy! Since finding you, I have told (sadly…) many women about Chump Lady as a support for them.

      I agree with Moving Liquid. The more present you are in more media, the more your **accurate descriptions** of cheating will change the current narcissistic narrative.

      You have my support. Let us know how else Chump Nation can help besides posting reviews of your book!

  • Tracy the video sounds like a GREAT idea. I am so grateful for you and your website. Hoping the best for you and I hope we all can really swing the pendulum back to “adultery is abuse and is completely wrong”.

    Now I would like to know more about Chump Nation’s experience with the “sex addiction” bs. I am taking a class on addictions for my master and in two weeks an “expert” will come to talk to us about it. I would love to argue back…maybe you can ask our tribe about it?
    Have a great weekend interviewing my fellow chumps!

    • Gaby, if you want to take a look at the last post “He Can’t Remember” (I think that was the title) there was a discussion that evolved about sex addiction. Many other posts address the issue quite thoroughly. Lots of input for you to sift through.

    • The problem is there is no clear answer to this sex addiction as there is not for gambling or porn or gaming addiction. IMO, if there is a physical component that causes physical withdrawal symptoms, that is a true addiction. I don’t buy the rest of it. It’s one reason I tell fellow chumps, you are not addicted to your ex/stbx, you are habitualized to their drama, you’ve got a learned behavior. Your ex/stbx may bring you to the lowest lows, but also takes you very high. It’s well known in domestic abuse, when someone hurts you, then they fix it well – go back to your childhood. Why did your parent spank you? Because they love you. Our brains also betray us, subconsciously protect us in ways that are not healty (circle back to childhood). I don’t think the inability to let go of an abusive spouse is addiction any more than sex, porn or gambling is an addiction.

      It’s easier to say it is an addiction. Examples also exist in the drug scene. Did you know that Cocaine is not physically addictive? Heroin is very much so. Because they are both drugs, no one even questions it when someone says they are addicted to Cocaine. hmmm. OTH, from my research it appears that all street cocaine is cut with highly addictive speed, like Meth but no one mentions that… Look at the debate on legalizing Marijuana, I mean alcohol is legal and clearly addictive, not a “gateway” to other drugs, a very addictive drug all by itself. Yet when the “reefer madness” people get a smack down they go back to the gateway argument, that fails if you legalize but hey. We as a species tend to want a reason for everything. I suppose labeling shit addiction feels good? Not to me.

      If we’d all take a step back and determine truth from fiction with drugs it might also start to make a dent in this plethora of “addiction” labels we have now. Shit, I guess I’m addicted to fast cars, you can’t blame me, I need to put my petal to the metal and go fast bitches.

      • Don’t buy the addiction excuse anyway. Know too many people who gave up cigarettes when they had said they would never be able to. Tobacco is extremely addictive. I know people who have given up alcoholism after drinking for years. James Taylor the singer gave up heroin. People usually do what they want to do.

        • At the end of the day…we make choices, right? As hard as they can be, we make them and we are responsible for them. Thanks for sharing!

  • Just to let you know – I don’t really care for the unicorn ad. I get what it means to people on this site, but outside of ChumpLand, I really like unicorns.

  • Very, very positive news. Yes, can’t wait for that Texan trailer!

    Right, about this sex addiction. Although I’ve been honest on this site about being AA (and my XH too) I’m no apologist for the recovery movement. As I know to my cost, it does not matter whether my XH’s actions were due to addiction or some other disordered state. It is also the case that having an addiction ‘diagnosis’ does not give you a get out of jail card for your behaviour. Real recovery, from real addiction is work, including a complete change of behaviour and most definitely a clear agenda for making amends- ‘restitution for harm done’.

    The bottom line (yes, that is a pun) is I just don’t know if there is or is not such a thing as sexual addiction. However I am aware of the work of Dr Patrick Carnes who is an ‘expert’ in this field and anyone interested might like to look him up. In a recent interview he says about sexual addiction that “we as a culture do not want to deal with it.” I think his views are worth considering because we know that that’s exactly what society is doing about cheating.

    • Patrick Carnes is doing more harm to these supposed sex addicts and their families than anyone. He is a self admitted “recovering sex addict”. He’s so full of shit. And he labels all partners as co-addict. His advice to partners “work on your own issues. You brought something into the relationship. Stay on your side of the street…”

      He can rot in hell as far as I’m concerned.

  • Tracy, how fabulously exciting all this is! I echo everyone in saying ‘onwards, ever onwards’! You, and this wonderful haven of sanity has been the anchor that’s held me for a good year now. Not just for your invaluable work in calling infidelity for what it is, but for your strong message to all of us, set our boundaries, know our worth, don’t take that shit any longer! How I wish I’d have had your advice 25 years ago when I was married to husband number one. He wasn’t a cheater, but dear Lord, I was driven half crazy trying to communicate with him, and I wasn’t speaking in tongues! I know I needed someone to speak sense to me then, tell me not to waste my life on someone who was choosing to ignore my wishes and needs, it wasn’t that he didn’t understand, it was that he disagreed! He wasn’t a cheater, it was hard to put your finger on the abuse, but now, 25 years after the event, I can see that ignoring my need to try to have a family – mattered! Sadly, I’ve lost my chance with that (ah well) but if life had been different, and your site had existed then … who knows if I’d have got the ‘whack on the side of the head’ your message would have given me? I think I would have! I know when I finally ended my first marriage it was devastating but it was a choice of either that or totally lose my mind. Had I had a site like yours, and the wisdom and honesty so clearly shown in your own thinking and all of the wonderful contributors who offer insight, comfort and a good kick up the butt, things may well have turned out so very differently. Ah well, shoulda woulda coulda 🙂 but I am all for your clarity of thinking out there like a beacon of light in the gloomy murk of strained heartstrings trying to love as well as they can but losing so much in the giving.

    I extol your virtues to all who will listen, I look forward to hearing you roar around the world 🙂 x

  • Fantastic chump lady! I have been reading posts on this site for the last week or so and it has been enlightening. I am glad you are going to have the acronyms sorted out because some of them I was having trouble with. Keep up the good work we do appreciate it.

  • OMG, I almost spit my coffee out all over my computer screen at work today when I saw the “Every time you buy this book, a unicorn dies.” That is the best! I’m excited about the site’s up dates and especially about your book hitting the main stream.

    Can’t wait to see the video!

    Have a great weekend everyone!

  • Wow, Chump Lady! Thank you SO MUCH for making these improvements. Thank you so much for making this amazing resource available. I gotta say, when I first discovered this site, I read every article in the archives. I spent hours reading, and kept having revelations and light bulb moments doing so! Your material helped me in so many ways… it helped put the blame where it belongs – on the stupid CHEATERS, instead of myself. It is helping me recover from the years of abuse I endured. It is helping me set boundaries and stand up for myself, for the first time in my life (I am 39).

    I love your idea of a video. Even reading about it feels EMPOWERING. It really takes the wind out of all the hurtful comments I endured, to think of a whole Chump Nation LAUGHING along with me, at my ex-shitheads.

    This site has really been transformative in my life – much more so than several counsellors I saw in the past. It is also helping me work much better with my current therapist. I’ve made so much progress since I have discovered this website!

    And that’s just ME – when I think of how many Chumps are out there, I am awed by how many people you are helping. So, from the bottom of my heart, thank you, thank you, THANK YOU!

  • Great Tracy, glad you are biting the bullet to get that stuff working better. Will it help the forums too? Cos damn, I can’t even edit a post any more.

    Meanwhile, wishing you super luck on the book deal, sending you good energy!

  • I’m just wondering if we could get your take on addiction and have a debate about it. First we have to decide what definition is true…I find I don’t agree with Merriam-Webster (see below). I think it is confusing compulsion with addiction.

    ad·dic·tion noun \ə-ˈdik-shən, a-\
    : a strong and harmful need to regularly have something (such as a drug) or do something (such as gamble)
    : an unusually great interest in something or a need to do or have something

    1: the quality or state of being addicted
    2: compulsive need for and use of a habit-forming substance (as heroin, nicotine, or alcohol) characterized by tolerance and by well-defined physiological symptoms upon withdrawal; broadly : persistent compulsive use of a substance known by the user to be harmful

    AND

    com·pul·sion noun \kəm-ˈpəl-shən\
    : a very strong desire to do something
    : the act of using force or pressure to make someone do something
    : the state of being forced to do something
    1: an act of compelling : the state of being compelled, a force that compels
    2: an irresistible persistent impulse to perform an act (as excessive hand washing); also : the act itself

    • I suppose using that definition that I am “addicted” to breathing 🙂

      The debate is moot anyway (whether sex is an addiction or not). The debate is about the current treatment model for supposed addicts and partners. It’s so idiotic that we might as well go back to making the offenders write 100 sentences “I will not cheat” on the chalk board and have their partners write “it was my fault too and I forgive you and I swear not to shame you about it ”

      These guys claiming to be addicts may be. But the treatment completely ignores the psychological problems that they (and ordinary cheaters) have. Help them all you want but don’t try to sell that snake oil to me 🙂

      • Bev,

        I’m outraged that these charlatans would even consider attempting to label me anything, let alone ‘co-dependant’ should ‘The Great I Am’ try ‘sex addiction’ as his ‘poor sausage’ excuse. I have a problem with the whole ‘co-dependant’ blame-shifting mindset anyway, but frankly, ‘The Great I Am’ had 43 years developing his character before he even knew I existed, he turned out to be a master conman who managed to do everything I would never have imagined he’d stoop so low to do, that had nothing to do with me – how could I have anticipated he’d have been the antithesis of everything he told me he was? Bollocks to that! If someone wants to indulge their compulsive disorder they can kiss my arse before they dream about blaming me for any of it! 😀

  • YOU need a screenplay.

    I haven’t read each comment yet, so I apologize if someone already said this, but you could write a screenplay. It would be a big hit. I’d like to see a romantic comedy about two people who each lose their spouses to infidelity. The angle of the movie is how ridiculously stupid cheater-speak is–how it’s almost scripted. It will have a tender side, too, where the real travesty of abandonment is shown, but with a ray of hope. The betrayed mom has to down-size to a smaller cottage, but she makes it hers on a budget, with the help and support of her artistic friend. It’s a sunny place, and after the chaos, she finds that she grows closer to her children. Meanwhile, across town, a really solid guy is tossed aside by a cold-hearted bitch who spews Eat Pray Love nonsense and takes off with her idiot yoga instructor. “It just happened! I am very attracted to his spirit!” Then she gains a timely inheritance, and shows up to pick up the kids in her brand new BMW with her be-ponytailed lover. “Where’s my support check,” she demands? They speed off.

    Each of our heroes find the other on an on-line support group called The Chump Lady. They strike up a friendship, and one thing leads to another. They share a laugh at her second-hand kitchen table, over a meal they prepared together. They get each other.

    *sigh* A girl can dream….

    • Have you ever seen the movie “The Baxter”? Not what you write about exactly, but it’s a story about two people who meet and “get” each other after they’ve each left their lying cheating partners. It’s comedy and the acting is great. Here’s a trailer but imo the trailer doesn’t do the movie justice.

  • This site was an integral piece to my ongoing healing from the damage done by a disordered ex. It was the concept of cheater “entitlement” and the lack of empathy, or even human connection, that was the hardest thing for me to get my head around and Chump Lady, you’ve nailed it! Your site is about so much more than just cheating… You pinpoint and define the hopeless insanity of loving an impostor – and help make it clear that we are not the crazy ones. Leaving is the only sure cure and no contact is what makes it stick. While many (including me) would prefer any other possible outcome, most of us have spackled our guts out and come here as wounded souls looking for affirmation that this kind of hell on earth is really happening. You not only help us to validate our experience, but your funny, acerbic and irreverent wit are balm for the broken-hearted. NO one wants to be a chump, but we are so fortunate to have you on our side – to be on each other’s side – in a battle that sometimes overwhelmingly seeks to make us the perpetrator or keep us in perpetual victim-hood. It has been 3 yrs since my d-day, and I’ve been divorced for almost a year. I still deal with the cognitive dissonance, ptsd and trust issues sometimes, but I am familiar with the blessed state of Meh and I infinitely prefer to live there. I can envision a show that pairs experts like Dr. Simon with you as the perfect host. There are still so many people out there who don’t know why they’re spinning in circles for the love that never comes. You (we) are mighty! Thank you from this chump.

  • Tracy, without your blog I would probably have taken back my ex. Yuck. So thank you from the bottom of my heart. You gave me back my wonderful and peaceful life, along with Chump Nation. You are a force in changing the narrative about cheating. Our world has come to a point where they are starting to believe that just because “everyone” is cheating makes it okay. Even those who would never dream to cheat but have never been chumped seem to brush it off. I was in that camp before it happened to me. The key is to expose the devastation cheating does to loved ones and to show the chumps that they can reclaim their power. Cheating is so confusing in that the chumps keep coming back for more (pick me dance, false Rs, etc) even when met repeatedly with pain. We need to arm the chumps out there that staying with an unrepentant cheater is like touching a hot stove. It will hurt ALL the time. And the pain stops when we say stop.

  • Have been pondering the idea of the Stupid Shit Cheaters Say book trailer. It sounds humorous. But I hope there will also be a juxtaposition with savage chump pain. Otherwise it runs the risk of unintentionally being more “affair entertainment” (cf., True Tori).

    Looking forward to Chump Lady’s debut on the bigger stage!

  • I am going to steal you ad slogan for the next twisted music piece I manage to finish 🙂 Working title: “Every Time You Play This Song a Unicorn Dies”.

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