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HGTV’s Hilary Farr, Queen of the Boundaries


I confess I’ve got a thing for the HGTV show “Love It or List It.” It completely appeals to my chumpy, codependent senses — you take a hideous pile, see the potential, and then transform it into something beautiful and worthwhile.

Of course, this sort of transmogrification never works on humans. (Seriously, don’t fall for “potential.”) But it works just swell on living spaces.

For you non-North Americans, on “Love It or List It” a homeowner takes on a renovation project and has to decide whether to “love” the new design, or “list it” and move. The show pits the designer, Hilary Farr, against her co-host realtor, David Visentin.

It never really seems like a fair fight. Hilary is stuck with leaky basements, faulty wiring, and snotty homeowners who want granite on a Formica budget, while David swans about showing the ingrates stunningly unblemished move-in ready spaces.

But what I LOVE most about the show is the way Hilary takes no shit.

Seriously, forget the throw pillows, this woman could give a master class on boundaries. Hers are iron clad. A typical exchange goes something like this.

(Horrible, expensive, budget-derailing disaster is discovered. Hilary must deliver the bad news to the homeowners.)

Hilary: “While removing your staircase, we discovered your foundation is crumbling. And the paneling is made of asbestos. The septic tank is overflowing. And your deck was built on an ancient Indian burial ground.”

“I’m sorry, this means we cannot do the mudroom.”

Homeowner wife: “BUT I MUST HAVE A MUDROOM! It is ESSENTIAL to my existence! How COULD you, Hilary?! We gave you MONEY! We TRUSTED you!” Turns to her husband and hisses, “See, I told you we could never trust this limey bitch. That’s it. We’re getting a condo.”

Hilary stands taller, looks down her aquiline nose, and politely but firmly says, “When you told me your budget, I said you would have to prioritize. The mudroom can no longer be a priority.”

I cheer from my sofa for Hilary.

She doesn’t internalize their displeasure. She doesn’t accept one whiff of blameshifting. She stays positive and forward looking.

She states what she can do for them — and then she delivers it brilliantly.

Sometimes you can detect a little glint in Hilary’s eye after she’s withstood a blistering critique that seems to say, “You are an entitled git and I hope you are crushed under the weight of your granite island some day.” But she never lets on. She stays the course.

How did this woman get so mighty? I did a little internet sleuthing and discovered that Hilary Farr auditioned for “Love It or List It” right after coming out of a painful divorce.

Farr revealed her bitterness after a “horrible, horrible divorce” and resentment toward her ex-husband. It was then that she auditioned for Love It or List It. She “needed to deal with that anger,” and to “use it well to give her edge.” Farr “rocked the audition.” Now, five years later, she has filmed over 100 episodes as the show continues to draw viewers and fans, and she’s “met some crazy people” in the process.

In dealing with less-than-favourable individuals in shooting, Farr says she allows herself not to react and instead turns the anger into positive energy. “Love It or List It is a metaphor for all of us,” she says, “It’s about challenges in the home and rebuilding houses, careers and families.” She acknowledges how tough life can be and advises to deal with it by “turning ugly into beautiful, and a mess into a sanctuary.”

Does anyone else suspect Hilary might have left a cheater and gained a life? More than her ability to transform basements into sanctuaries, I admire her boundaries and her bad ass business acumen. Keep being mighty, Hilary!

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  • I just blew off a business partner because he was dishonest with me. It would have meant a ton of dough. After I told him why I could not partner with him, he came into my office and starting shouting, “Liar, liar.” I told him to get out of my office. Dodged a bullet with that narc.

    I would have looked the other way before and made some lame excuse for his bullshit. No more benefit of the doubt.

    Party is over on that side of my brain. Getting stronger every day.

        • That is funny CL and Dat !!!

          I got a new office out of it. I went to my manager and told him to move me to another location and he did, pronto. Bigger office and I don’t have to look at “pants on fire” across the hall.

          This is the NEW Calamity. Be scared….be very scared narcboys…

      • This is what I was trying to tell that one on omg chronicles ( who says that infidelity is not abuse). Transformation comes in many ways.. As does abuse. Her argument was that infidelity can be transformative, but abuse can’t be . No anything you go through in life can transform you! Hopefully to be stronger, like Hillary!!!

    • CalamityJane–you are my hero! Taking flying lessons, tossing pathological liars out of your office, kicking ass in a profession filled to the brim with narcs.

      Your new name: Calamity Take-No-Prisoners Jane.

  • That’s my absolute favorite show. Love her. I always feel like she gets the raw end of the deal but still looks like a bad ass with whatever challenge comes her way. She’s definitely mighty. (Love David too though, he isn’t afraid to tell it like it is either.)

  • I love how the spoiled homeowners always want to blame Hilary for their home’s structural issues. Kind of like my Wasband blaming me for the preexisting bottomless pit in his soul.

      • If they do, then they need to publish who they do it. I think we could all benefit from learning that process. 🙂

      • i always wonder if they write the drama in. i mean how many houses can you fix up nicely without all the drama before the public gets bored. so i sometimes wonder if they “make up” the drama for the show. kind of like that one show where they come in and do a garage sell for your stuff and use the money to decorate it. there is ALWAYS that one item that the home owner refuses to put in the garage sale pile, so the hosts “Bribe” them with something. O you dont want to get rid of this broken old victoria that is covered with newpapers and magazines and hasnt been seen or used for 20 years because it was your granddad’s lover gave him because there was no room on the bus when she moved.? well, what if i give you a new entertainment systems with 50 inch flat screen television and surround sound, still no? well i will throw in a sectional also as well as a mini bar fully stocked. think you can do it now?

        hahaha, it still makes the show interesting.

        • All relaity shows have built in drama manufacturing mechanisms. That’s what makes them so boring to me. I get my fill each week watching the Soup.

  • I have long admired Hilary and her no nonsense style on Love It Or List It. I also have admired how, as a woman in her 50’s, she is stunning and so put together. Other media should take a look at her popularity and realize women of all ages can be beautiful and accomplished enough to showcase on television!!!! Rock on Hilary!

    • I think the key to retaining youthful looks, to the extent possible, is weight resistance training ( not that I am doing much these days). But, if a man or woman wants to stay strong and fit and , thus, good looking, I think he or she should emphasize weight resistance training cardio. it this woman is in her 60’s and has retained muscle tone such that she remains attractive, perhaos she lifts weights or does some other form of weight resistance training.
      I would recommend an old book on this subject by Ellington Darden, ” Living Longer Stronger, Your Second Middle Age”.

      • i am a strong believer the key to retaining youthful looks is to get rid of the toxins in your life such as cheaters, liars and betrayers. but also like junk food, fast food, and other stuff that is toxic. i am currently trying to start lifting weights more and quit smoking. i am the only parent my little boys have, i need to step up and get back in shape (other then round)…..

        • mrsvain-like! Good luck with quitting smoking. I actually quit long enough ago that I’m not sure how long it’s been. I’m pretty sure I quit on mother’s day in 92 so almost 23 years I think. You can do it!

          • thank you CalamityJane and cheaterssuck. i was digging out the sidewalk today, and got a little winded (not good) so right now i am trying NOT to get a cig. i am 47 and out of shape. i did not have any trouble quitting smoking after i found out i was pregnant. i really wish i never started back up all 5 times.

            • I am an ex smoker and I sympathize with you, MrsVain. I realized I smoked mainly to relieve anxiety. Once I recognized my habit to go for a cig was when I was anxious, I started being mindful of my anxiety and it made it easier to quit.

              Keep up the good work. You can do it. You are worth it.

      • My White hair is now going away! Approx 18mths post Dday, getting shit organized and knowing with absolute certainty that the stress of living with abuse for almost two decades really played a number on my health. The new hair growth is colored. Different than before, but so am I.

        Cardio and weights and training for 5Ks has helped my health too. I agree, dump the toxins. Your body and mind will be thankfu.l

        • So, there’s hope?? My hair started thinning and treys started coming in about a year ago, after dday2. I’d been in a 10yr long (fake) reconciliation with him til dday2. Yes, he’s out of the picture now so I hope my hair feels welcome to come back! It was fine and thinnish to begin with, so losing more doesn’t help.

            • Gotta believe it. I also have a genetic arrhythmia that was getting out of control during the mindfuckery. I opted to treat it long ago via diet and exercise. It has greatly lessened. Hardly ever triggers the way it did 18mths ago (for the past 17yrs).

              All of the negative health changes, outside of normal aging, I consider my gut screaming at me that the cheater and his abuse were killing me.

            • Good Morning, Under and all you other wonderful chumps!

              Agree totally about removing the stress of living with a disordered cheater goes a VERY long way in allowing our mental, emotional, spiritual & physical health to dramatically improve!

              Of course, we need to work with that by giving our bodies the things it needs to heal—-better food, feeding our souls, exercise, working in the yard and so on. (But, I am like Arnold on this—I do not always take my own good advice!)

              UnderConstruction, I, too, have fine, thin hair. And dry & brittle……I have come across a number of different natural suggestions to improve hair condition. One thing a beautician mentioned was that, first & foremost, all prescription meds negatively affect hair.

              Peppermint essential oil, clear iodine and tea tree are just 3 of the many natural products proven to help improve your hair. I have been doing some of these natural things & my hair is improving in several ways. I just add the peppermint oil & iodine to my natural shampoo, so it is not an additional step I have to do. I have used a formula called brahmi oil in the past & it is super also.

              Anyway—–Just wanted to put my 2-cents in. There really are a lot of natural things we can do to improve our health! Just got to do a little research & a little asking & a little sharing.

              ForgeOn, all you precious Chumps……

  • I have never seen the show but I’m going to check it out. 🙂

    I watched The Millionaire Matchmaker for the first time the other day. Such mind candy…but got some gold nuggets of dating advice!

  • And by the by, Hilary is in her 60’s! Wish I had her love of life and more than decent looks! Yeah, I know, she’s probably had a nip or tuck, but for her age she is rocking it!

    • Hit the gym, Roberta. Better than a nip and tuck, once the clothes come off.( I need to start taking my own advice on this)

      • I do Arnold! But what in the world can I do about flabby upper arms? Hell! I only weigh 108 lbs, but my arms are that dead giveaway that I’m 59!! I have always worked out, swim and do weights! Joyce Vedral is my favorite workout queen!

        • Roberta, Try ‘Dry Skin Brushing’.

          There are several versions of the suggested protocol, some simple, some more involved. Check on-line for the directions & the suggested type of brush.

          I feel skin brushing has helped me immensely! Am no where near as ‘hot’ as Miss Hilary, but brushing helped me none-the-less.

          Also, check out how to use Essential Oils. I am sure there are other things to do to reduce the ‘bat wings’, but I really feel the dry brushing is imperative. Hope some of my fellow chumps will check it out.

          And, Arnold, yes, brushing is for both sexes, so ‘brush on’, dude! In fact, one of the most informative articles I read on the subject was written by a man. Perhaps the brushing will stimulate the blood flow enough that you get those weights out! xoxoxo to you…

          As for Hilary…..LOVE the show, too! I did not know all those factoids, either, and my appreciation for her just shot through the roof.

          Thank you CL for bringing these points to our attention! Already loved her & the show, (David, too…..he’s pretty cool, in my book) but to know a bit about what drives her instills even more hope in my soul!

          Thanks to all of you for sharing your wisdom, sass and LOVE!

          ForgeOn, Nation……

          • Arnold,

            Yes, do check it out!…..I believe the article I alluded to included an experience about a pro weight-lifter who did dry brushing everyday—usually. Then, for some reason, he just didn’t brush for a couple of months and his competition performance suffered terribly! Lost a big competition he thought was ‘in the bag’ for him.

            Part of what brushing does is help move the lymphatic fluid, which, as you know, removes wastes and toxins.

            Anyway……Hope you give it a whirl! I have introduced a couple of my older friends to it and they have been amazed how much it helps!

            Take care, my friend and ForgeOn, Dude!

  • So this leads to the question, what kind of house was your cheater?

    Mine–contemporary, minimalist McMansion with cracked foundation and termites (no visible damage, lots of structural damage).

    • Ooh. Good question. Mine was a stodgy track home stuck in the early 80s, completely neglected, with every “fix” half-assed. But with a brick, one-sided, exterior to as appear solid from the front. (Don’t look in the back yard.)

        • Starting, but never finishing, projects. Selling supplies I bought for the projects to others, and doing repairs for them, never bringing any of that money home. The old switcheroo. Speaking as if he had great knowledge of how to do things, but never having time to do them. Super critical of any work I had done by anyone else — he could have done it better, of course.

        • ‘What is with cheaters neglecting their homes and the half-assed repairs?’

          Yeah – what’s with that?? Glad I’m not the only one. X had to build the biggest house in town so he could probably feel like the biggest fish in a small town. Once built, he had no interest in keeping up repairs whatsoever and balked when I tried to even get pressure-washing done once a year. He never used his big weight room..etc. Of course, he filled every single gaziillion cupboards with junk that never got cleaned out or looked at ever again. After 20 yrs, now I guess, all that is my job. That should have been a big red flag for that many years. Guess he just wanted to keep wearing that mask of being impressive with a big home – and for the record, I never did want to move into it. It’s a damn mausoleum…and now it’s up to ME to sell. Asshole.

        • Same here. Wouldn’t spend a penny on the house. I think it is selfishness. He contributed the same amount of money a week at the beginning to end of our marriage. In 23 years prices went up but it never changed. He kept the rest of “his” money for himself. Never ever bought a stick of furniture, just TVs.

          • My stbx’s “house” is a Hoarders Buried Alive episode. It is piled high with cruelty, arrogance, BS, lies, rage, greediness, apathy, deviance and corruption. Only a miracle could transform this house.

            • Our house meant nothing to him, just like me, our marriage, pets, etc. I think it’s another form of shallowness and not being able to connect. Also, he’s lazy and cheap. Owning a home meant work and money for repairs. I brought the house into our marriage and foolishly put his name on the deed. It would have been paid off within seven years when he left. He got a home with no down payment and it meant nothing. I was told I hadn’t contributed one thing to our marriage.

          • We had an old house with massive structural problems. Worked on it for 10 years and.he followed his dream to live on the beach in florida. I was left with the kids, no income, and lost it. I was in graduate school and he decided the house was not worth his efforts. Last night I was talking with my daughter and she commented on how little he brought to the table in terms of enjoying life. I realized she was right. The only joy was time spent with friends and family. All he ever did was get drunk and criticize every aspect of things one would normally enjoy. He was just a listless negative cheat. Here’s to positive energy moving forward.

            • Donna-isn’t kind of sad when our kids have more insight into the soulless vacuum that was the ex’s in our lives. My younger son was the one that pointed out his dad was a coward to me.

              I didn’t know whether or not to be more sad about him putting a name to it before I could or that was a truth he had to realize about his own flesh and blood.

              • Yes, my daughter was the first to use “sociopath” for her father, and to know that he would never get empathy or anyone else’s perspective (nor would he cop to doing much wrong).

      • Mine is a custom expanded cape 50+ years old. NOT in good condition – but not falling apart, yet. XH started a lot of sorely needed projects (outside and inside). I still love it though. I’ve never seen a house with more storage space than this one.

        But this is a typical story of unfinished projects XH took on, but ignored after it was started: He removed the wallpaper in the foyer and main hall. Because the original wallpaper was not put on properly, some of the old wallboard (beaverboard) came off with the paper. So, XH got pissed and left the walls bare – FOR 5+ YEARS. We never had guests anyway, so …. But God forbid I should mention *finishing* the project – I’m a fucking nag. Or I would get: “YOU do it”. Sorry, I’m just not the handy type, and we never had the extra money to get it done.

        Anyway – one of the larger and best tracts of land in town, house ain’t worth much more than a nickel tho.

    • Mine is a plain white board single story ranch style house, no basement, and only white paint on the interior. Looks nice from a distance, but no depth, no color, just bland.

    • Wasband = exotic, Euro castle with fancy landscaping on the outside; after passing a fancy, well-decored entry way, you would find the rest of the castle to be empty, dark, and cold…and don’t forget the skeletons in the attic and the rotting bodies in the basement. Shiver.

    • Mine was a grand ante-bellum neo-classic with handsome features and plenty of Southern charm. But lots of foundation damage, lots of structural issues hidden by paint and wallpaper. Seemed sturdy until a strong wind came along…

      • A poor man’s Victorian that is 90% restored. Dummy me, I spent my $50K inheritance on hardwood floors, canvas awnings, a library, etc. & a 20th anniversary trip crossing the Atlantic on the Queen Mary only to have ex run away 4 years later. Had I only known that he would turn into a horrible asshat, I would have kept all the money in my own account. I am now financially strapped until retirement but will hang on to my lovely home as long as I can.

        (After his skedaddle, he moved to an apartment over a dollar store & furnished it via Walmart & Big Lots. This man makes good money so why pay for a dump? A friend of mine said that when you need a quick fuck-pad, any shit hole will do. He has since purchased a 15 year old home that is the complete opposite of what we both liked.)

      • In my house the closets were FULL of skeletons! Everything about the house was neat and manicured but it was a facade like one of those old time movie sets. It was a Fake house. Just like the fake marriage I had to the fake man.

        • Wow! I really like the description. A facade, a mirage.

          “He’s a real nowhere man, sitting in his nowhere land, making all his nowhere plans, for nobody.” – The Beatles.

        • Like on a set at Universal Studios?

          I was happiest in my own condo/apartment with my kid and dog. I would love to include a man in that, but I’ve never met one that fit into our puzzle.

          When it snowed Snowmaggedon style, the staff shoveled the sidewalks. When I worked on my car, they observered me for a minute, then spent two minutes digging out a space that would’ve taken me an hour. I promptly drove to Dunkin Donuts and bought one of those boxes of coffee and donuts for them to consume at the office.

          Hillary is awesome to try to accommodate them. They are asking a lot and they feel entitled. I really can’t even watch that show. They are coming from a different perspective. It’s different when all you have is you. People of similar circumstances see that and help you dig your car out. In return you buy them coffee. All the, small things.

        • Unfortunately, our skeletons weren’t in the closet, they were scattered all over the damn front yard for everyone’s viewing pleasure. Pain and betrayal tucked neatly among the azaleas.

      • kind of house my XBF was= made of plexiglass. Transparent, nothing inside……..manscaped to the extreme on the outside

    • Since in retrospect, my marriage now appears more like a hostage situation (me and the children the hostages of an undercover loon), the house would be a brick front with the rest vinyl siding, split level with a tended (but not always well) lawn, flowers in the yard, normal and cheerful appearing on the outside with a foul basement of secrets and lies where innocents are routinely tortured and an attic full of cobwebs and broken remnants of possessions and torn pictures.

    • Mine appeared to have lots of potential for improvment and looked good from the outside. However “the agent” forgot to mention that dry rot lurked beneath the floor and the place had a recurrent rat infestation and had a squatter in residence.

    • Mine was a cute, charming vintage home in a quaint town…or so I thought. Turned out to be a leaky, drafty, dusty, money pit. It appeared to have been nicely renovated when I bought it…that was before I knew about the crumbly foundation and wood rot.

    • The X would be a ramshackle little house, but in back would be a 6 car garage filled with Jaguars, hot motorcycles (to put the Ho’s on), and many toolboxes full of tools he could not afford! He’d entertain you with coffee in the house and act all normal, and when you asked about the garage, he’d freak out and say it’s none of your business!!

      • Oh, and I have always loved Hilary!!! No Nonsense, classy, great designer, and she deals with everyone with respect. I think she looks so good for being in her 60’s, wonder how she does it?

    • My ex is just like the martial home that I left. It’s got great curb appeal– an Italianate Victorian– but we paid way too much for it (money was no object when it came to something the ex wanted… if I bought myself something nice, though, he put me through the Money Inquisition). While the outside looked nice, it needed all kinds of work. The pipes still regularly freeze according to my kids, it has a Basement From Hell (the kind with a dirt floor, lots of mice and damp, and one where you wouldn’t be surprised to find a skeleton), outbuildings that need restoration… it’s a money pit. My ex is the same way– normal looking on the outside but rotting and decayed on the inside. However, he happily threw money at what he thought would make him happy– expensive housing that needed renovations, trips to places he wanted to go, a membership to Ashley Madison and “dates” with his whore. Much like “The Fall of the House of Usher,” I hope that they both collapse and fall into a tarn!

    • Cheater was a city brick Victorian, attractive on the outside but a dodgy foundation, a big hole in the hall ceiling, and places where you could fall through the floor in the kitchen. And crap everywhere.

    • Mine was a Dwell magazine type modern prefab that looks hip and stylish but in reality is flimsy and WAY over budget.

  • I absolutely hate how badly the homeowners treat both Hilary and David for basically working for them for free. Love the analogy and the show!

    • Mine was a ratty ass airstream trailer… something he could hide in and pull away with whenever anything got difficult.

    • There was one couple who had a million dollar budget and INSISTED on having rental space for a renter. Not only did Hilary have to work around that in her design, the realtor had to go look for million dollar properties with rental space, which are few and far between. Weird! It makes more sense to buy a smaller place and buy a second house for rental income. But that’s just me – I prefer privacy.

  • I’ve met a number of chumps who have adapted this way after being victimized by a cheater. Seems this deal changes a person and we learn not to take shit from folks, finally. I think two things ( perhaps more0 may be in play.
    First, you realize there are narcs out there, a lot of them, for the first time whereas before you gave people the benefit of the doubt and made excuses for them. Once you realize that these types of people are out there, and you read up on how to deal with them, you are armed.
    Second, I know for me I operate with much les fear about most things, now. This is because I fell that nothing could hurt me like this betrayal again. I know I can survive intense pain and still be alright. I just call people on there shit all the time, now, whereas in the past I would just stay quiet.

    • I have learned how to recognize a narc. I went on a blind date with a very well put together man. At dinner, the waiter thought he knew me, this upset my date. My first date. I didn’t know the waiter, he was mistaken, and he didn’t mean to cause an issue.

      There were a few other red flags. It was one date with a good looking, well established man, but I never returned his calls. I will never go through that again. At least now, I can see it coming.

      • I had 3 dates with a guy who I had no question was a true somatic narc. I had no interest in him due to it but it was nice going out to fancy restaurants and having the man pay for once (cheating XBF was super mooch and I did all the heavy lifiting) so, yep, I was using him. For the 4th date, I agreed to have him come to my home to pick me up. I have a loud mouthed cockatoo that demands attention when she hears ‘strangers’ in the house.. As he arrived the sun was going down and Gracie was doing her ‘BED BED BED’ call from another room. He got all cranky and asked “Oh, so your former boyfriend use to call you Babe, huh?’

        What? He’s getting all delusional and possessive about a bird making noise? So what IF my XBF had called me babe/baby or snicklefitz?

        • I dated this guy for awhile a few years back until he got so ‘comfortable’ with me he thought it was perfectly all right to walk around and criticize everything I did. (I figured out why his wife ran off with her hair on fire…not for another man either…..just RAN OFF) After finding fault with a bunch of things all weekend I was walking him to his car when he glanced down and noticed a drop of paint of my siding and demanded to know who painted my porch. I told him that I had and as he pointed at the tiny drip he sniffed and said ‘WHY didn’t you wipe THAT up??’

          WHY don’t you get the fuck off my property is what I WANTED to say to him. Last time he was invited to MY house. Seriously, I wouldn’t even notice something like that.

          • “WHY don’t you get the fuck off my property is what I WANTED to say to him. Last time he was invited to MY house.”

            Sorry – off topic but this just BEGS a subject on worst dates or worst encounters with men/women after your X left you in shatters and you are still in shock. I never have gone on a date but there have been too many men come sniffing around here, including 2 of my BILS! wanting to check out my ‘sexual-awareness’, read – can we take advantage of this women’s poor state? (those BIL’s will not be seen for awhile) Oh! – she MUST be horny and needs a fuck. Doesn’t help that I’ve had a lot of workers fixing this place up and more working on my new place. I only trust a few and will no longer allow any inside my house again. Yes, there have been predators.. I’m just appalled at the way men look at me now, including inlaws, that I’m some kind of object to fuck. Sorry again – off topic.

            Continue on..

            • And…all under the guise of ‘helping this lady in distress’. Fuck off to all of you cheaters. (all are married)

              • I got a lot of male friends sniffing around after I broke up with first LTR in my 30s. I have gotten none of that now in my 50s. Guess I’m no longer hot.

    • I have this fear if going on a date and realizing he’s a narc and just walking out without saying a word. I know at this point I need to heal first. Arnold, I too have armed myself with a greater understanding of narcissistic relationship. I have such a fear of dating a narc, I decided to keep my history of living with a narc private. Because they are so cunning and prey on vulnerabilities, I fear being narc bait. Perhaps this is why my therapist recommended waiting a few years to date.

  • I like the show, but get irritated by the entitled homeowners. They can’t really be that clueless, right? I figure they are told to ham it up since it is a reality type show, but maybe not.
    She creates some great designs.

  • I am a very happily re-married man, but I have to point out that Hilary is a living, breathing disputation of anyone who thinks a woman can’t be sexy after 60. Her strong, smart personality is part of that appeal, but the woman could stop traffic just walking (striding?) down the street.

    Also interesting: Hillary’s Wikipedia page says once aspired to acting and had small parts in films including “Sex Farm” (1973), “Never Mind the Quality, Feel the Width” (1973) (what the WHAT?), and “The Rocky Horror Picture Show” (1975). So, I guess she’s no prude.

    • It’s astounding, time is fleeting
      Madness takes its toll
      But listen closely, not for very much longer
      I’ve got to keep control

    • Rocky Horror? You just blew my mind!

      I enjoy Love It or List It, though I do think that sometimes their bickering verges a bit on cruel. It would also be good to see more non-standard families, but I guess a single parent client wouldn’t work well because there’s no disagreement drama.

      Both Hilary and David have difficult jobs, bringing dreamers down to reality.

      I read that Hilary wins 2/3 of the time.

  • I had a situation this week where I upheld my boundaries to the max. A flaming narc 30 something landscaper over stepped them and he got fired on the spot. I am selling my ranch and have a potential buyer breathing down my neck to come view it (it’s a ‘pocket listing’ and not on MLS yet). Everything needs to be manicured and pristine but it wasn’t turning out that way. I was showing one of his crew how I wanted some shrubs pruned and boundary buster decided it would be prudent to tell me I WAS INTERFERING with his crew’s progress and I should just accept how they did their work whether they over pruned or under pruned. EXCUUUUUSSE ME?????? His ass was fired on the spot with a complimentary lecture on customer service, taking pride in your work and integrity.

    He got chewed out in front of his entire crew by a 5’4″, 120# 60 yr old. Very withering for his macho mentality…..hehehehehe

    • HesAtTheClub – I would have done the same. But, first liar doesn’t stand a chance. I was texting my contractor, who has been working for me the past month fixing everything (he’s very good), about his invoice…and he started talking porn to me. I told him to STFU and I would send the text to his wife. I mean, give me a break. I chalked it up to maybe he had been drinking…but I growled like a good dog and told him to back off. The 2nd time he texted me and hoped we could be lovers is when I took his face off (and enjoyed it with a nice bottle of Chianti) and I fired him. He has one job left to finish and he gives me the creeps. Oh yeah, never fired anybody before but I could do it on the spot again. Just disgusting.

  • Love her! But now even more. After a huge betrayal. Still flaunting his personal trainer to the world ! I now see narcs as they are. Spoiled entitled children and I refuse to allow them into my new world My new hero!

  • Patti Stanger (Millionaire Matchmaker) rocks and indeed there are nuggets to be gleaned from the show for both men and women. I don’t agree with her stance that there should be a passionate kiss on the first date. I have gone on a first date and been wondering if I wanted to see them again but the last thing I wanted was a kiss on the mouth, much less his tongue in my mouth.

    Last date was going surprisingly swimmingly and I was actually thinking “my heart is softening a bit. Maybe I can let this guy in eventually”. After dinner, he walked me to my car. We were discussing the evening and the next thing I knew he pounced on me and jammed his tongue in my mouth—no working up to it—-just crammed it in. I pushed him away and said “I don’t kiss on the first date” and he kind of laughed at me. Some mutual acquaintances walked past and a conversation ensued. Once they left I got grabbed and mouth raped again. He tried it again as I was getting into my car.

    He called me the following day and I told him how I had been having good feelings about the prospect of a relationship but considering his insistence on kissing me against my will, it wasn’t going to happen. He tried to talk me into seeing him again, ‘If you get to know me you will see I am a really good guy’. Nope.

    • A passionate kiss on the FIRST date? I don’t think so!!! And forced tongue action. Ew! I wasn’t even sure I wanted to kiss on the first date. A nice hug would do just fine thank you very much.

      • Hesatthecurb….See? You let him know immediately that you did NOT appreciate that he grabbed you and shoved his tongue down your throat….and what does he do? Does it AGAIN!!! Eewww. Some of these guys just don’t get how disgusting and gross they are.

        • It was a HUGE disappointment that he didn’t know how to behave. I live in a remote area and incredibly he lived about 3 miles from me. Tall, silver hair, in good shape, nice face and full of amusing stories–really a pleasant surprise when I lay eyes on him (far more attractive in person compared to profile pics). We had a lot in common and he loves ranch work. But there was NO WAY I was ever going to see if he could actually kiss in a proper fashion cos I knew he couldn’t…. I was EEWWWED out to the max.

          Made me wistful for XBF—damn! Was he an excellent kisser!

          • I know…..I know….I go out on some of these blind dates and I miss my XH. Isn’t that something? Some of these guys make him look GOOD!

            • Yeah, guys can have a hard time finding a date, but women often have the opposite problem – sifting through all of the scumbags out there.

              • I begged off on three dates where the woman disclosed she had cheated on her ex or been an Ow. They were sort of proud of it.

    • See, and that is why i get stuck with sh*theads. even reading your story i was like “aww poor guy was probably just super nervous about kissing her and maybe he is just a little shy.” that is the way i would have seen it. and i probably would have given him another chance if i liked everything else about him. I would not have seen it as mouth rape (loved that) because i would have been feeling so sorry for the “poor little thing”

      ugh. it is better that i stay single forever. i will just find another loser to be with.

      • // , I felt that way when I read about the first kiss. “Well, somebody has to take initiative, and perhaps he hasn’t learned how to read non-verbal cues well. Maybe. Also maybe not, though. Sounds like the sort of thing to play by ear.”

        The other times, though?

        That’s coercion in the face of an obvious, clearly stated physical boundary.

        It pleased me to read “I told him how I had been having good feelings about the prospect of a relationship but considering his insistence on kissing me against my will, it wasn’t going to happen.” That was, perhaps, more generous of you than you realize, Hesatthecurb, since such an explanation implicitly assumes that people like him can learn from such things.

        • NO,kissing Hesatthecurb like that once (pouncing) could be chalked up to nerves and losing it a little. She made it clear she didn’t want it and he laughed at her AND he did it again. He is an asshole creeper.

          • oh, i can see it now. but i also know i probably WOULD not have seen it myself if it happened to me. which is why i say my picker is beyond broker and i am better off not even looking. haha

  • Hillary was Betty Munroe, the bride who marries Ralph Hapschatt in the beginning of the Rocky Horror Picture Show.. cool!

    And she’s 63 years old and gorgeous, smart, funny, secure… wonderful!

    Chump Lady, please track her down for CL interview… she sounds like a Chump Lady Hall of Famer in the making.

    Another CL request: interview with Moonlocks of the Soulmate Schmoopie videos.

    And how about a column on what kind of house or car our former spouses are… the Analogy Column.

  • I’m not familiar with the show, but I love the “boundaries.” And I love CL’s comment about never believing in “potential”. Boy, would this tip have kept me out of trouble if only I had known/believed years ago!!!!

  • I like the show, but as with most “reality” shows, it’s obviously fake.

    I mean, every episode features :

    ~ A married couple, one likes their old home and wants to renovate, the other wants to move
    ~ The renovations run into problems and have to be scaled back
    ~ They look at 3 different new homes. The 3rd is always the best and closest to what they want
    ~ The couples are frequently snarky and snotty about each other’s preferences and snotty to Hilary and David. They are especially snotty to Hilary about the reno problems.

    If there’s any reality to the show, it’s coming alongside a heavy dose of coaching for the couple’s to behave a certain way.

    Still, it’s an enjoyable show and I love the renovations.

    (Btw, has there ever been a single parent household on the show? If not, thumbs down.)

    • The majority is married couples but there have been single parents and at least one episode with sisters looking to buy or renovate. Gay couples are in there , too.

    • These reality shows are heavily scripted to up the drama and conflict (I have a friend who works on one), which makes them a major turn-off for me, but any show that depicts a strong woman exerting boundaries – yeah!

  • What kinda house was my cheater? He was the epitome of a old prison. Cold. Institutional with rod iron bars and reinforced glass. Thats my man.

  • I have tried to look at what positives have come out of this very painful point in my life. I guess it might be the eternal optimist in me.The optimist is down but not lost. Its been very hard to make lemon aide outa lemons and to see all the rainbows after the storm. Very hard. I welcome a role model…someone who has walked the walk…perhaps like Hilary. I know I never listened to my old neighbor quiet as well as I should have…and missed the valuable insites and wisdoms she had to offer. And maybe I didnt cause it didnt make sense…or I felt it didnt apply to me. My life couldnt possibly fall apart. But it did like the proverbial house of cards. She gives me hope and strength. Hope that I will one day learn that I have worth and dont need to be validated by anyone but myself. Praise to those ass kickin women who thru their own pain rose above and soared…

    • Your day will come, just like I know it will for all of we Chumps.
      Your come across as an ass kicking woman already, you just need to believe it. 🙂

    • TheClip…I love your writings and you are a kickass woman. I know how hard this is. I honestly don’t think I’ll ever see where any ‘good’ came from this incredible pain. I mean, how could it? I already knew the world was a cold, difficult place. I sure as hell didn’t need to learn any more life lessons at 55. I sure as hell didn’t make ‘lemonade out of lemons.’ I almost fucking died from it all. I’m still suffering physically from it and probably always will. But I know I can’t give up. I just have to believe that all men aren’t like my cheating ex husband. I have to have faith that I’m where I’m supposed to be. I don’t cry anymore. That’s progress. I’m terribly lonely. Everywhere I look I see couples. I’m so snake bit and ‘careful’ now I tread carefully around men and relationships. I went to a blues festival the other night and dressed up in a beautiful red polka dot dress and looked fantastic. And pretty much sstood there invisible to the world……IN A RED POLKA DOT DRESS FOR GOD’S SAKE!!! I don’t have many answers.

      • For me the good that’s come from all this is that I now truly love and protect myself. I no longer put others before myself. Hell of a way to learn that lesson, though. Almost too late to apply it to another relationship. Mostly I just really miss my family being around. Hard to see everyone doing things with their families on spring break this week. I know I was a good mother, my ex even used to tell me I was. Of course I discovered in his writings later that his AP was an “excellent” mother. *sigh*

        • Futbolfan423…I miss my kids too! I miss the family that I thought I had and now it is gone. I am still so shortly out from D-Day and the hurt is so raw. If I ever did anything right, it was having my kids. I almost can’t regret the pass 17 years because I have these great tiny people who are awesome.

          One day I will be able to shine again. One day I will find the person I once was. She is pretty awesome!! I know that life has so much more for me then this drama!

      • Syringa

        I agree. There are so many shit bag men out there. I know that my ex-wife cheating on me had nothing to do with me, because I am pretty much what most good women look for in a guy.

        That being said, it does suck. I also agree that I did not need to learn this lesson about life but I guess I did if it happened to me.

        Just one day after the other…

      • Syringa, take the pressure off yourself and enjoy the freedom of being single. Most of my married friends hate being married.
        Once I became really happy being single, I found my girlfriend.

      • Syringa… your post made me well up. I can see you there in your polka dot dress feeling every inch of the beautiful woman that you are. Swaying to the music. Braver than fuck.
        You say no one noticed you… But if I can feel it thru your words… Then I know that someone in that crowd saw you and said ” Look at her… So beautiful and brave… Why cant i look like that?” I know that they did.

      • syringa i TOTALLY get this too…

        {But I know I can’t give up. I just have to believe that all men aren’t like my cheating ex husband. I have to have faith that I’m where I’m supposed to be. I don’t cry anymore. That’s progress. I’m terribly lonely. Everywhere I look I see couples}

        –i know there are some very few good men out there. i am still shell shocked that my exhole turned out to be NOT one of the good guys like i had thought. i mean he really WAS for such a long time and then he just stopped. ended up being one of the biggest jerks i have ever met. all the good guys my age are already taken. in this small town the quota for bad, loser, cheating, betrayer guys is over whelming. i doubt i will be able to weed them out. the thing is, i believe that my exhole WAS decent, he was a good guy, he was at least trying (which is all i wanted him to do). i think most guys have that decent goodness but being that doing the right thing is ACTUAL HARD and sometimes WORK, it is just plain easier to give up and walk away. AND that is the scarey part, because you NEVER know when the ‘good’ guy is going to get tired and bored.

        –i am also trying to have faith that i am where am suppose to be but it is really really hard. i did everything right. i did all the right things. i am struggling with paying the bills and keeping what i worked so hard for while he waltzes into the sunset without a care. it almost feels like i am being punished for being a good person

        –i dont cry anymore either. ok. ok. i have a day over month or so. but for the most part i dont cry for him anymore. i cry for other things, like being alone at 47, like my children being abandoned and fatherless, like for missing what i thought i had. but not for him

        –i am super super lonely. and sometimes feel bad when i see couples, which are EVERYWHERE!! when i see young couples i smile sadly, remembering and then say a prayer for them in my head. in church, i see couples, i see children smiling and holding daddys hand. it is still a knife stab in my heart. i remember when my children copied dad. i say a prayer for their family in my head.

    • TheClip—the problem is you’re still having to deal with shithead in a smallish town filled with his “people” (I’m being generous) because of your daughter. Count down the days, weeks, until your daughter is 18 and you can get the hell out of dodge. (Then ring me up and we’ll do one of those Thelma & Louise trips, perhaps with your X’s corpse in the trunk as the car goes over the cliff, and we’re safely watching from a tree.)

      Yup–this was not a lesson I needed, either. Sure did shock my emotions into rationality though as far as future friends, lovers, & acquaintances are concerned.

  • My asshat X: Fake, Hollywood-style front, covering giant Dumpster filled with rotting leftovers and skid-marked underwear. (Describes both him and his residence.)

  • The house before we married was a “shell” of a house just like him……..a shell of a human with nothing inside. He treated the house like a storage unit. After we married, i cozied it up and went with “a house is not a home till love dwells within”. Well, as 27 yrs passed and he was leading a cheaters life , cracks all over the walls going diagonally from floor to ceiling due to “bentonite” a clay like soil that causes severe foundation and walls are cracked through and through. Marriage done as is the house.

  • Bless you Chumplady for this post. it was what i needed to remember myself. when boyman and i were serious in our dating and talking about the future. i remember i told him what i wanted. i laid it all out what i was looking for. you see i had already had 3 failures, although i did not marry them, i wanted to have a future with them. i had 3 serious relationships, had 3 beautiful children and they each walked out on us. i was looking for the forever relationship and to make sure THIS time it would work. i explained everything. i told him everything i wanted out of life, for my children and for myself. after i listed it all, explained why it was important to me, i gave him an out. i told him that if he thought i was asking too much or if it was something he didnt want or couldnt think he could do, then he needed to tell me and leave now. of course he gave me his assurance that it was what he wanted too. we talked about the things that he thought was too much or impossible. months later we married. and we did well enough for the next 10 years of our marriage.

    i still do not understand what happened. we had issues but for me those issues were things that EVERY married couple had and were fixable. i still dont see any of our problems as divorce reasons. we worked together as a couple for the family. i never saw when we somehow got on different paths. part of it was my grief over the passing of my daughter. i was an autopilot and not functioning as a whole person. in a way, i can see where he turned to his alcohol in his grief. although i had stood by his side thru all his alcoholic mistakes in the past, i guess i wasnt there for him this time. for me, the only reason i divorced him was because he turned to HER. i am sure he was telling HER all the horrible things i was doing and saying. i am sure he was talking to HER about what was wrong even thou i continued to ask over and over in 2013. i tried to talk to him but he wasnt talking to me, he was talking to HER. and of course drinking more and more. i suspect he even turned to drugs which he knew was unacceptable to me (although i would have stayed with him thru rehab and whatever) i guess he did not want to quit using the drugs or the alcohol (which i had told him already that he was needing to get help for because it was causing problems in our family, and our marriage)

    i have been struggling with things lately. trying to make some sense of being completely blindsided by the events in 2013 that led to my divorce. how was it that i didnt see it coming. was it because of my grief? my fog if you will. was it because of his drinking or the drugs? someone (my apologizes i forget who) replied to one of my comments on another post how people who struggle with alcoholism seem somewhat like narcissism. so for the past month i have been reading all i can on alcoholism and been on the site trying to find answers. i have found some more missing pieces from that site. had a bunch of Ah Ha moments, apparently the abandonment is typical alcoholic behavior since they are unable to deal with the guilt, and hurt that a divorce causes, nor could he handle seeing his children knowing that he made a big mistake. However, i dont think i will ever find out the WHAT or the WHY or even the HOW could he. Those missing pieces have been shattered to oblivion. i suspect that HE doesnt even know or could give me those answer i am looking for.

    but thru all this train wreck of 3 years, the disassembly of my life as i knew it, and the self examination and rediscovery as well as healing from 2 devastating loses. i had forgotten that i had told him before we were even married what i wanted. Somehow reading this today, bringing that back into mind, actually makes me feel better. i was a good person, i did not change the course of ship. i was as real as could be. IT WAS NOT ME!!!! who derailed the train. i did all the right things, said all the right things, asked all the right questions. i was completely unprepared for his betrayal.

    now it is time for me to find myself again. this post is more then just a gentle prod in that direction, it has actually more of a push thru that door by REMINDING me what and who i was before i entered into dysfunctionaland and got sucked into HIS twisted, sick, self centered, all about him reality. i will spend no more time trying to piece together the last chapters. i have found that although i might have done or said something in that year of working thru my grief, that NO MATTER what i might have done. NO matter what HE might have done, DOES NOT Change the fact that HIS coping skills in his toobox to handle life stresses is Drinking, Drugs and CHEATING!. and i CAN NOT live like that.

    thank you for all you do Chumplady. i like to think that God himself directs the subject of your posts for the ones who need to hear it the most or need a little reminder like myself. i dont know how you do it, i got tired of even hearing myself bitch about my unhappy marriage and the things that my husband did to me. i know you also have trolls who try to bring you down as well. you are very amazing and a blessing to us all. you give us hope, and a glimpse of what is real at a time when we are struggling just to breathe and cant see straight. you show us the right path after we are floundering around crazy ride in dysfunctionaland. i still come often to read but not everyday. and if i ever end up stop reading will because i have finally found myself again but i wanted to make sure that you know i couldnt have done that without reading your posts and comments. Thank you and Bless you!!!

    • MrsVain, I so relate to you wondering what happened and exactly when things got so off course. At the time my ex told me he was leaving I was confused because I also thought our problems could be solved by communication. It just seemed to me he needed to open up and TALK to me. Still, I struggle with wondering what I could have done differently. I wasn’t perfect, but I didn’t look to fix our marriage by getting involved with other people. I tried and tried and tried to connect with him and get him to open up about his feelings, but you just can’t work out anything with a person who won’t talk to you. It hurts to know that he talked to her for HOURS on the phone and at the office every day. Anyway, I pray you get to a place where you accept you’ll never know all the answers and that you’re okay with that. They say you heal when you can accept the apology you never got.

      • thank you futbolfan423. i am getting there. getting stronger every day. of course it helps that we havent seen him for 10 months. his choice. but that in itself threw me thru a loop. *shrugs* he is over us and moved on without a care in the world about the destruction he left behind. there is no other way for me to go except forward.

        it is just terribly sad.

        • My ex did the same, MrsVain, it has been 3 years since he saw even out youngest who is now 15. The abandonment is stunning. I liken it to stumbling down a dark and unfamiliar hallway, sometimes panic-stricken and confused, other times calmer and quieter, but always always bewildered and lost. I am happily re-married, but I still sometimes cannot believe that ex turned his back even on his own children with barely a shrug of his shoulders or a backward glance.

    • After you come to terms with the fact that your marriage is over, that your X was not the person he portrayed himself to be, the challenge becomes, “What’s next?” Some people here have been left with horrendous financial burdens to carry. Others become single parents or worse, must regularly battle X over child issues. All of us eventually get to the point where we are becoming the person we want to be. Whether we want it or fight it, we begin to be proud of ourselves for having made it through to the other side, bruised and battered, but still standing. I survived the unimaginable and the fact of my survival is defining. That is my gift to myself. It is a gift you should also give to yourself.

      • thank you. i did learn that life goes on whether you want it to or not. i am just trying to do the right thing for my children. i have no illusions of falling in love or finding the right one. i think that is all just bullsh*t people tell themselves to feel better. i am ok with being a single mother. i am lucky that i dont have to fight exhole for custody, or visitations or even where the children will go for soccer practice. i realize that is a blessing, but having fatherless children is also its own curse. i am having financial struggles and fear for keeping my house and feeding the kids.

        but i am a survivor. i am moving forward, because i have no idea how to move backwards. it is the only thing i know. my children are doing well.

    • Mrs. Vain,

      Do you call yourself “Vain” because you vainly believed you could change your ex?

      If so, you are not alone. I looked past many red flags that were present in the very beginning because of my arrogance in thinking that I could handle her and our/her issues.

      You are the good person here, although I know that is scant consolation.

      All I can tell you is that like so many others here I am learning to love myself first. I know this sounds narcissistic, but at least in my case I was ground down by my sociopath father to never love myself, to underachieve while overachieving and to always be at his beck and call.

      I am from a broken home and I married the first person that noticed me who was from an intact home and she was a goddamn sociopath like my father.

      Here is the tough love part: she did not hold a gun to my head to make my get into a relationship with her. I took her in and tried to parent the spoiled little brat of my own free will.

      I knew immediately post-DDay that it was nothing I did, it was her, but there were some serious issues inside of me that I needed to work on and I have been doing so.

      I guess what I am trying to say is that you can do this also. I believe in you. I think we all do. You write eloquently. It was not fucking right that we got raped by life when we were doing fine without having those things in our life, but we have no other choice but to learn and get better and move on.

      I still hurt everyday, and right now there is a dull ache inside of me where the ability to love someone else romantically should be, but I know that someday I will find someone that will love me like I love them.

      In the meantime I am going to work hard and enjoy life as much as possible because life is fucking short.

      You can do this also, Mrs. Vain. It is not too late. It is never too late.

      • thank you tony. actually MrsVain (and the little devil) were created in my 20’s when i was arrogant, independent, super sure of myself, super proud of my looks, and believed that i was all that and a bag of chips. (as well from the song, you’re so vain, you think this song is about you). but those who really knew me, know i have low self esteem and most of my bravo was just a facade. so kinda like a pun if you will. because sometimes i am not Vain at all. Double meaning. i have used the moniker and picture for all the social media sites for over 25 years. i used to revel in the arguments each would eventually bring up; depending on how i was feeling. i used to love to argue, just to argue. it wasnt until my late 30’s that i learned that not everyone can handle the truth and did not want to really KNOW the answer to their questions and sometimes it was just better to say “your hat looks nice” or “it is a nice day” then to express your real feelings. but i still use the moniker.

        it is not so much that i thought i could “Change” my exhole. i didnt even realize that was what i was trying to do, if i ever was. i believe that you do things for the people you love. i was forever doing things, helping, or just supporting him. i actual believe it should be reciprocated. THAT is the part i didnt understand. it took me YEARS to realize that he was not reciprocating back. i just couldnt understand when you tell your spouse that leaving the toothpaste cap off how is it that you keep doing that!!??? is it a big deal? not really. is it something easy to fix? yes. is it asking you to change? well i guess but it is not such a big deal right? thing is if you love someone you continue to CHANGE all the time. i know i changed from the day i married him to the day of our divorce. people change. so how is it such a bad thing i was trying to change him? wtf ever.

        sometimes i worry that i talk to much and that i am not getting my expressions out correctly. i love that way you said we got raped by life. that is what it feels like. i did all the right things and still got raped. i am a year out so i dont hurt as much. i dont know if it is a dull ache so much as an empty acceptance. i have no illusions of finding that someone. i have my children. and when i get older, i will have my childrens children. i am aslo going to work hard and enjoy life as much as possible. i lost my daughter in 2012, i lost my husband in 2014. life is too damn short.

        • mrsvain,

          {{{{{{HUGS & LOVE TO YOU!!!}}}}}

          I know I am late to the party…….That’s pretty standard for me…..Anywho……

          You are truly a quality human, a precious person, a beloved fellow chump!

          About loving yourself……Did not Jesus himself state:”Love your neighbor as yourself?” That statement implies that it is imperative that we love ourselves before we can give anything of true & lasting value to another human. So, what all of us chumps actually have in common is that we love ourselves first and then we extend that love to others! How awesome is that?! (Explains, in part, why cheaters / narcissists fail at true love…..They do not actually love themselves)

          That you have loved with all your heart is only proof of what an amazing woman you are! What a blessing that your children are being raised by one such as you, one who loves herself first, then with the power of that love, loves them.

          On the loss of your precious daughter….I have no fancy words, only my love to give to you. That you feel this loss shows you are a person with true ‘soul’, with so many fine qualities. That cheaterpants did what he did in the face of grief & sorrow is just demonic & childish!

          Another thing—–Have you read Dr. Simon’s books? If not, please do…..

          Forge on, mrsvain….ForgeOn!

    • I am confused by the rejection too. My mind wants answers.
      A part of my mind knows it is for the better (divorce), but I don’t get how he was so possessive and controlling of me one day & utterly through with me the next.
      I am glad to be away. I don’t miss the way he made me feel, but being discarded is a whole new level of powerlessness.
      I will never be the victim on that level again. It is like hiking to the top of a mountain and getting pushed off. From now on, I enjoy the view from down low.
      So, my boundary: I get to rule the night & people who do not hear my still, small voice can eat my dust.

      • Spouses to narcs are commodities, like this year’s fashion. One day you’re in, the next you’re out. It’s not really personal, because they don’t relate to us as other human beings (though that doesn’t help our pain).

    • Mrsvain – my life was also marred by a drinking, drug-using cheater, and like you, I took huge comfort here and from the friends & family forum at The people who write and provide support through the two sites got me through the darkest days of my life. I am ever grateful to the anonymous good people of the Internet who will never know how they saved me.

      It’s so impossible to describe the combination platter of pain cause by the mix of addiction and infidelity…several skeins. There are so many overlapping behavioral patterns between cheaters and alcoholic/addicts.

      It has taken me so very long to reach a semblance of peace around it all. What I have come to believe is that the only resolution I will have is that I will never have resolution. I think that is what it means for me to “accept the things I cannot change.” Letting go of seeking an understanding of “why?” “how could he?” and “did he ever love me?” has been the hardest thing I’ve ever done. (Gotta admit, though, a part of me is still waiting for the Shitbird to make amends!)

      I write to send you my support, and to leave a roadmap for a future Chump who may be reading these comments and looking for hope. Try Al-anon. Read and get the app for The Language of Letting Go (the Melodie Beattie/Co-Dep No More daily reader). Do the work it may take to help you develop the belief that you do not have to accept unacceptable behavior. Live your boundaries, know that you deserve better, trust that it gets better. And know that there is some stranger in a different part of the country (or even the world) who is sending you support and cheering you on as you take this journey.

      • Thank you Doop. you are right that there is so many overlapping behavioral patterns between cheaters and alcoholics. when i first came on this site, there were so many things that i could connect with but seemed to be just a little bit off. something was not right with the explanation of cheater vs the way my exhole was. but it was close enough for me to use. when whoever made that comment about how alcoholics are like narcissistic, i started researching that and found that all those pieces that were off a little bit feel into the alcoholic slot.

        i believe my story has both. i am working on my boundaries. i mean i always had them but i wavered way too much with exhole. thank you for your support. i wish you well on your journey also.

      • “What I have come to believe is that the only resolution I will have is that I will never have resolution.”.

        That’s it exactky, Doop… And I also secretly wait for him to be sorry, although I intellectually know that that will never occur.

    • Relationships are so complex, and often people are wounded without the incident registering on their conscious Richter scale. So it percolates beneath the surface until it finally erupts.

      One of the husbands mentioned entered into a fully “scripted” relationship acquiescing to the notion that to measure up to “happily ever after” was the path to familial fulfillment. “Make the woman happy and she’ll make you happy.”

      He continued until his manhood felt crushed driving him to an assortment of escape valves. Though being a man who wanted it to work, his conscience troubled him because inwardly he shouldered the blame, whether he agreed with it or not.

      Men hide their hurts behind actions. They often don’t feel safe enough to communicate them, or may not even know how. So they act out.

      Even a well intentioned woman can seem like a controlling shrew to a man if he has suffered previous injury or was raised with a different relational style.

      So what’s the answer? Counseling and an open heart in both parties. Each needs to claim responsibility for their own actions and not blame shift. Without truth, love, and a willingness to grow in ourselves, relationships are strained to the breaking point. And many of them do.

  • MrsVain, know it was never your fault. I too struggle to find answers. What I now understand is that my entire life with him was a lie. I never realized until recently how cheaters, typically narcs are unable to meet their spouses emotional needs. When I look back I recognized the pattern. You are a good, honest loving person. I often doubt myself, having spent many years trying to fix and accepting the responsibility for the entitled’s disturbing behavior. The pain is intensified when we realize how much we gave to them and the ease of which they discard. This is the only place I find comfort and support. I am confident we will find ourselves again despit the abuse we suffered.

    • yes, i agree. i dont talk about exhole anymore. all my people are tired of hearing it. but this is the only place where i can share my emotions and vent my feelings. everyone here is super great. for the most part i am fine just have days were it will hit me like a brick. those days are fewer and farther in between but when they hit i am back to just trying to breathe. i feel blessed that this site and soberrecovery site are here and filled with people who understand my pain. in reality, everyone else doesnt want to hear about the Ah Ha moments or something else i remembered and struggle to make sense.

      i know i wasnt perfect. but i was real. and i loved him from the first to the last day. i dont think my entire marriage was a lie, which is why i was struggling with WTF happened. i still dont understand how a man can be 100% all in and the next 100% all out.

      i am finding peace every day. i hope you all find some peace also or at least some peaceful moments.

  • I think I’ve seen this show at the gym but there is no audio and I’m usually too far away from the TV to read the closed captioning. I’ll definitely have to check it out now! She sounds mighty!

  • Love the bit about the aquiline nose (the best kind for looking down on people) and the ancient Indian burial ground. haha! 🙂 My younger daughter is obsessed with HGTV, and we often watch this show together. I’m always amazed by Hilary, who seems to have an almost fairy godmother ability to transform spaces. After reading today’s post, I admire her even more.

    Chump Lady, in case I never said so before, I really love you and I love your writing. Even though I’m sorry for the events that brought me (and all of us) here, I’m so grateful every day to log on and read the blog and and all the comments. In fact, it’s become one of the highlights of my day, and you and CN have been the biggest part of my healing by a mile. Thank you!

  • What kind if house is my XH?

    Looks like a house, basically functions like a house. Many parts are broken but not enough to be fixed because that would take time, money, effort or just the ability to acknowledge that something is broken.
    My kids willingly gave their father a mug last year for Father’s Day that stated.
    “Dad’s DIY DISASTER” and depicted a guy hitting his thumb as he fell off a ladder.
    My XH was hopeless at house repare and would only do stuff if I didn’t or I nagged at him that it still needed doing. If things broke as he was using them as long as they were still achieved their basic function they were fine no need to worry. But if I made an issue about it I was just over reacting.

    Before d’day XH and I were in fake BS MC.because I had asked for a divorce as I was pretty sure I was married to a girl, the seriously under qualified person counselling us realised that my biggest issue was my XH was hopeless around the house so suggested I make a list of what I wanted fixed and allow Then husband to work through the list to build credit with me. D’day happened before the list did, so here is my list.

    1)The only toilet we have does not flush unless you hold down the button. Duration of problem (DOP) 15 yrs

    2)The garage floods when it rains heavily. DOP 15 yrs

    3) main railing in bathroom needs replacing. DOP 13 yrs. it fell down when our eldest swung off it when he was three XH replaced it during fake MC it fell down again just after d’day.

    4) the automatic starter on my stove and the light in the oven blew just after warranty ended. DOP 9 yrs.

    5) guttering on back of house needs replacing. DOP 7yrs

    7) slow combustion wood fire heater needs repair. Holes in top of fire box. Water leaks in around the flew when the weather is bad. DOP 10 yrs.

    8) lounge room floor slopes towards the outer wall. DOP 13 yrs

    9) 2 out of 3 of the lounge room windows do not stay open by themselves.

    10) air conditioner broke down. DOP 2 yrs I replaced it last January.

    11) handle kept falling off the front security door. DOP 1yr. I replaced it 2 weeks after d’day.

    12) only bathroom need bulldozing.
    Hand basin cracked. XH poured boiling water into it.
    Shower screen cracked, XH put his candles too close to the glass one night having a bath.
    Tiles have been removed from the wall to check what material was behind them.
    Vanity top is tiled some are now missing.
    Taps on the hand basin are miss-matched.
    6 months before d’day we did take out a loan to fix the bathroom but unfortunately XH lost his job again and was depressed so sat on his ass and ate through the 15k.

    The joke for me now is XH wants to be a part of the perpetration for sale process. And because I said no because I don’t want him coming and going at will or my needing to check with him in every decision he is refusing to sell.

  • Great analogy CL. I relate om several levals, my stbxh is a contractor, our home is impecable just like him. Who would know?? Hides everything just like the mold, faulty wiring, termites,. You name it , on the surface life is good, but underneath those walls- look out, put on your hazmat suit. 31 years of phony recovery, lies, lies,lies, cheating POS..Most people look at us like a our home and would never believe the crap thats hiding. thanks again for post, i do luke her show, btw Im a realtor too

  • HAHAHA! You nailed it! I love that show too and somehow, I always find myself cheering for Hilary. (No offense, David!). I DREAM of the day she could come to my house and work her magic… mmmmmmmmm!

  • Hilary farr and I are the same age , I really admire Hilary, I wish I knew wether david visentin teases her or if he is telling the truth, I think they relly do love each other.

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