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You Might Be a Recovered Chump If…

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How_to_leave_a_cheaterOn the “You Might Be a Chump If” thread, another discussion led by Dat broke out on “chump recovery.” Okay, so you listed all the ways you were dumb in retrospect, but when did you catch on? When did you start enforcing boundaries that  were previously trampled?

You Might Be a Recovered Chump (YMBARC) if… when he tells you he was sleeping in his car, you tell him he’s a liar. (You don’t tell him you found the hotel receipt. A recovered chump never reveals their sources.)

YMBARC if she says “I love you but I’m not in love with you” and… you shrug instead of performing the pick me dance.

YMBARC if your cheater is cake eating and you lawyer up on the sly. Let them think they’ve got you fooled, and then BAM. HellOoo divorce summons.

YMBARC if you speak your truth and resign as cheater PR director.

YMBARC if you bought all new bedding and decorate things just as YOU like them now.

YMBARC if it’s Tuesday and it’s meh.

So tell me your recovered chump moments!

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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.
  • From my personal “Recovered Chump” file from this weekend:

    YMBARC if you give away the brass bed that you and your cheater slept on for 25 years. You took that bad-boy apart and carried it to someones truck without shedding a tear. You turned your back on it and started thinking about what was for dinner.

    YMBARC if you read stories from people early in their chumpdom and you cant remember what that felt like anymore.

    (similarly) YMBARC if you read about people doing the “pick me” dance and you wish there was a way you could talk them out of it (remembering that your version of the dance was rather elaborate).

    YMBARC if you run across OWs email address on an old hard drive you found in the basement and you would not even consider writing to her – meh.

    • YMBARC when ex accuses you of taking his keys off his keyring when he and ow have the only access and you are called a piece of shit, a mother effer and a lying whore and you realize this man who never raised his voice or hand to you in anger in 28 years is the real piece of shit and you just smile and walk away. That felt good. A smiling angry woman is something to fear. My comment was just remember you are the piece of shit mister, not me, I didn’t give the farm away to your whore you did. How’s that feeling right now? Whore offered through him to move me to a rental so they could have my house. Hahaha! Then the bitch realized he was controlling her but not me when I said NOOOOO! Right then I started to recover got a long ways to go but I’mon the right road. Thanks to everyone here!

        • Chutes, X’s whore has no money, wears dated clothes, talks like a truck driver, has absolutely no class, has daddy issues, has no friends, is BP, thinks she’s with the band (he’s a wannabe rock star that played alone in the basement for years), and smells like and looks like a dog. Her teeth are gross and her face looks hard like a drug abuser. And on top of those obvious observations she has a anger issues, an arrest record and was a shitty mother. They find someone who is needy and buys into being ‘special’ . I think the OW know the truth. It’s a pretty big shit sandwich to actually believe a man would give up their entire family for a slut fuck. With no kibbles they need to negatively engage with the wife they know is superior in every way.

  • YMBARC if you, finally, stand up to your abusive Narc H and tell him you won’t take his shit anymore after 30 years.

    YMBARC if you call the cops when he won’t let you leave a room instead of cowering.

    YMBARC if you kick his ass out.

    YMBARC when your kid gets a look of relief over his face and gives a little sigh when you tell him you are divorcing his father.

    YMBARC when your call your life-long friend to tell her what you’re doing; and, she cries saying “I never thought you’d do it”.

    YMBARC when you no longer automatically tense up waiting for your (now X) to come home.

    YMBARC when your bank account stops overdrawing when your H leaves

    OMG I could go on …. !

    • Yes, onthehill!!! The money situation! It’s like my money stopped dissolving…magic!
      STBX can’t wrap his head around how I can afford to keep the house & our daughter & his dog by myself and why he’s simultaneously 20K+ in debt….common sense would give him the answer. Lol.

      • OMG Jamie,, I know. Our whole marriage – there was a GIANT sucking sound emanating from our bank account.

        • I had my lawyer comb through our bank accounts trying to find where or how the money was leaving but nothing was ever obvious. And it doesn’t matter now anyhow. I think his mere presence made money run away. Lol.

          • I always handled the finances, but he always managed to drain any and all remaining money we had! These selfish assholes have shit life skills and are usually horrible with money! Oh and my now ex is already in so much debt its not even funny, but I seem to have enough to save now and invest! Go figure!

            • Onthehill – the day my XH wouldn’t let me leave the room was the day I realised that his behaviour was truly abusive. And money, he endlessly spent, credit card bills were massive, he supported ebay and Amazon single handedly. Now we are divorced he says he cannot even afford to pay for our child’s school bus.

              • In the eighteen years we were together, X never once parked on my side of the driveway. Until the night after DD and he did. And wouldn’t let me leave to go get my son in crisis. Told me it was his property, and he’d park anywhere he wanted.

                Such a dick.

            • YMARC when after separating your accounts your credit score finally soars again and his is still at rock bottom. I honestly never figured that money thing out and why in the world we are always drained and broke with a 6 figure income and moderate living standards. I married him with 10grant in debt and multiple credit cards, back then he had only a small income but would constantly overspend using credit cards as there was no tomorrow (fuck I should have known) and he would buy all this senseless crab and pick up tabs for everyone. He never figured it out in the years to come. What an irresponsible, entitled dumbass. I worked my ass off to help support, full time employed raising kids and even at some point taking on an extra job because I felt so responsible. YMARC when you only smile at them blaming you for not helping support and when you have stopped feeling overly responsible and can see that they and only they alone created the whole mess. Fuck ‚em spoiled brats.

              • One of the things that had me frozen in fear, unable to change the locks was the fear of paying the bills by myself. I mean we were barely managing and often behind with the two of us. How could I ever manage. Well, guess what? Even with missing a month of work due to pneumonia I’m STILL not behind on anything! I spend a lot of time just shaking my head on that one, but with a big smile on my face…

      • In the early days, XH actually said to me, “I don’t think you understand how much work it takes to run a house!” I said, “Are you fucking KIDDING me? *I* don’t know?!? Just who do you think has been running this house?” The nerve.

        • NWB you go girl.

          I Have lived in my current home for 15 yrs, I handled our finances, when I stayed at home with the kids before returning to full time work 5 years ago, I ensured hubby didn’t have to worry about mowing lawns general household maintenance, getting firewood, hubby just went along his merry way taking all the credit but non of the responsibility.
          Now hubby has been gone for 16 months we are divorced and the house has been my sole responsibility this entire time. He can’t seem to understand why I am refuting his argument of needing to be involved in the perpetration process in order to put this house on the market.

          I am excited today. Just got approval for a new lounge and dinning set. Can’t wait to be able to sit at the table again and have dinner with my kids.

        • Prior to being a YMARC my entitled bullshitter would point out to me: „and who pays the mortgage?“ trying to put me into place. Absolutely no sense of partnership, I was basically a „single mother“ working full-time doing more than my fare share to support us, while he was out and about entertaining his selfish needs. What arrogant, distorted and selfish buttholes. I am over that he can work his butt off now to figure out how to pay off his debts I ain’t do it anymore and I refuse to stress about it now. He is a big boy (Right?) he can figure it out, there is always Mom that will bail him out.

    • onthehill–you sound mighty!! (and isn’t it sad when our kids know the marriage is over before we do, and are relieved?)

      • It is sad, Tempest. My son came to me and said “Would you please divorce him already and get us out of here!” and a few says later, my daughter came to me and said “If you’re not divorcing him because you’re worried about me and how I’ll handle, don’t worry about me.” That’s when I knew that I hadn’t really been able to shield them from his narcissistic asshole-ness and they saw for themselves what a horrible person he is.

        • My oldest said, “File already!” (and okayed my doing it on her birthday).

          And you’re right–we could never do an adequate job of shielding them from the narcissists. My youngest has been behaving so much better since jackass left the house.

          • My children begged me to divorce him as adults. They always knew and now have no respect for him. They are disgusted with his behavior and want nothing to do with his girlfriends.

          • Tempest, I filed the day before Valentines Day and my daughter got me a heart shaped cake with “congratulations” written on it! I enjoyed every bite of that cake and I don’t particularly like white cake. 🙂

        • Yup, especially my daughter longed for me to finally cut the cord. She was tired of tip toeing through the house and the constant tension when shithole was on his silent treatment rampage for who knows what I had done to him again.

          • I had no children mainly because I didn’t want any child to have to walk on eggshells and live in constant tension like I did. My XH was rage filled and blamed me for everything—when he bothered to speak to me. A sunrise to sunset miserable existence that I couldn’t bring a child into. Considering I lived in a sexless marriage for 24 yrs, the chance of pregnancy was thankfully improbable. Married 24 years and the number of times we had sex was FAR less than the number of years we were married.

            I went from that to a relationship with a highly sexualized, sweet as pie narc cheater where sex twice a day, everyday was common. Can you imagine the mind fuck?

      • Yes Tempest, it is scary. That was NOT the reaction I was expecting. And – to top it off – my son told me days later he was actually praying we’d get a divorce!

        • I was. When my parents finally divorced, I happily traded a bit of poverty for the constant strife of their marriage.

      • My children were 6 and 8 when I threw Diablo out (HB#2). Their teacher, who had a masters in gifted children from a well known university, was shocked when she found out years later that I divorced my husband. She had my children for five of those years before during and after the divorce and she said they never showed a sign of strain. Grades and behavior were maintained like nothing was happening in the home.

        That is how LITTLE their father was involved in their lives. And, I am sure, how peaceful the home became when he was gone.

        • CalamityJane – YES!! I was secretly shocked when my brilliant daughter maintained her steady 4.4 GPA before, during, and after I discovered her serial-cheating asswipe “dad,” and after 8 mos of waiting & lining up ducks, filed against his dumb ass. Since she was so smart, I refused to insult her by pretending the situation was anything less than what his truth actually was.

          She was 13 and in 8th grade that year. Now she’s finishing up her freshman year and just turned 15, and hmmm…another 4.0+ GPA all year. What’s the one constant?? M O M. That’s all they need – at least one unselfish, sane, loving, emotionally present, real parent. Do I think two parents is better for kids? Absolutely, but in Chump Nation, that’s not a possibility, and we’re done hunting unicorns.

          • Awesome KF_MM! High five that young lady for me & hugs to you!

            In the case of one of my older brothers, he was the sane, constant, steady force for his daughter. She was basically a straight-A student all through years of very deep doo-doo from her ‘egg-donor’ because he was, as you stated, an “….unselfish, sane, loving, emotionally present, real parent.” I love how you worded that!

            It is truly a testament to what a difference even ONE sane person can make in the life of another. You ARE truly Mighty!

            And you really highlighted a very important point: “Since she was so smart, I refused to insult her by pretending the situation was anything less than what his truth actually was.”
            As the Bible says: “The truth shall make you free.”

            Love hearing your comments!

            ForgeOn, all you recovered / recovering chumps!

            • Hey, ForgeOn! Huge high fives to your bro for doing the work of both a father, AND her MIA “mom.” The fact that your bro helped his daughter to kick butt in school (which we know can be difficult with some girls), while her “mom” acted like a douche bag is quite remarkable. He needs to know that he kicks all kinds of booty, and we’re all so proud of him!

              I must tell you – some of your posts have me literally laughing out loud. You’re hilarious and you’re so mighty, as well. Love you all for the inspiration you give me, and for all ass-kicking you do in spite of the shitty circumstances.

              I run my first half marathon in the OKC Memorial Run this Sunday. One of those 13.1 miles will be for every one of you amazing women and men of Chump Nation and for Tracy. You’ve gotten me through some difficult days over the past year with your stories of resilience and courage.

              Chickie, as you say so often: Forge On, Chumps! =D

              xoxo

    • OMG, onthehill, I hear you with the automatically tense up when you realized he was on the way home…every once in a while I still get the flight-or-fight response when I hear the bus stop down the block! So glad to be away from that crazy.

      • DramaFree—I get the flight or fight response when a particular door slams in my home. It has a mechanism on it that makes it close. The spring is tight and it SLAMS closed if you don’t prevent it from doing so. If I am bringing in groceries and I can’t prevent the SLAM, I still get the internal cower/flight or flight response ingrained by my rageful XH. He would go out it, shove it wide open so that it would SLAM as violently as possible.

        I HATE IT but can’t make the mechanism any looser.

        • Take a picture of it and ask at a hardware store how to remove it.

          Or search for a video on line of how to install one, and reverse the directions.

  • YMBAR(ing)C if, when they read a script from the playbook, you nod your head in recognition instead of agreement. And you *don’t* try to fix whatever they’re complaining about. Or explain. Or remotely believe that they’ll get it at last if you just explain more eloquently.

    • “Or remotely believe that they’ll get it at last if you just explain more eloquently.”

      I have upstairs in my dresser, a PILE of printed out emails that I sent him BEGGING him to be kind and stop treating me with such harshness. I implored, explained, begged, and described in the most loving and kind ways how his nastiness hurt me and damaged our life together. I thought if I could JUST get him to understand that he would care and it would make a difference.

      He went to his grave without understanding, caring or changing.

      • Good place for him. Sounds like he was dead already for quite awhile before they got around to burying him. It’s a wake-up moment when we realize that they *know* this stuff, and they don’t care. Marvelously freeing. I look back on my own attempts to explain and shake my head in wonderment.

        • If you ask his kids and parents they would tell you that him being dead is not a good thing. Im glad our marriage is over but I didn’t wish him dead. I absolutely hate the fact that my life is better with him dead…it feels like a horribly compounded tragedy, but that was the reality of him being such a terrible spouse.

      • UnicornNoMore, when my mother recently passed away I found the notes she wrote to my narcissist father. I am so thankful you were released from the abuse you had to endure. My fathers perception of his marriage was that he took care of her. Their working from such disorder most of them will die thinking they did their best. We know differently as we have the evidence and understand their inability to ever change.

        • Yes Donna, I agree, If you had asked H sitting on the sofa a few hours before he died, he would likely have said that he had treated me reasonably. He also probably thought that he was adequately contrite after his affair but neither of those things was true.

          I am Roman Catholic and I absolutely believe in Purgatory…I believe that when we die, we have a debrief with God and he explains the impact that we had on people. He didn’t hurt alot of people – he was a great son, good brother, loyal friend and unpredictable father but a terrible husband. I actually do feel bad that he had to face all of this in a time when he couldnt fix any of it AFTER I spent YEARS begging for his kindness…the irony and angst of it has likely been a terrible terrible experience.

          • Unicornnomore, after years of trying to save my mom from my fathers abuse I realized she could not leave him. We cannot will someone to become whole. That is not under our control. Sacrificing oneself for an abusive partner out of love is so very damaging to your soul. You deserved to be cherished not abused

  • YMBARC if……

    You meet all of your ex’s dramatized texts with radio silence.

    You learn to tell your ex the “no” and you use it regularly.

    You deflect your ex to his or your lawyer when he brings up ridiculous and pointless debates.

    The sight of he and his girlfriend/OW makes you laugh inside instead of cry.

    You sleep peacefully at night knowing he’s no longer your problem.

    Your ex knows nothing of your new life and you like it that way.

    You notice the differences between authentic people and pathological ones regularly.

    You can no longer stand the thought of your ex in an intimate setting.

    You stand up for yourself and don’t immediately start regretting it.

    You are back to enjoying personal hobbies and there’s one to around to criticize them.

    You’re thankful every day for the lack of relationship drama in your life.

    You don’t miss your ex at all, particularly because you fully understand that even the good memories were lies.

    You’ve come to peace with his family pretending like you never existed.

    You know that even though he appears happy, he will always be miserable inside.

    You feel sorry for his girlfriend and you actually think she’s too good for him.

    • I’ve got more!!!!

      YMBARC if….

      You politely say “let’s change the subject to something more enjoyable” when a friend asks about your ex, not out of sadness but out of a genuine disinterest in discussing him.

      You laugh and shake your head when you hear of or witness your ex behaving in his narc fashion.

      A friend of his girlfriend/OW reaches out to you out of concern and distrust of your ex and his intentions and you reply with “she will see him for who he is soon enough. I wish her the best.” AND you know it to be true and mean it.

      You recognize all the little ways he tries to obtain kibbles and you stop him short every single time.

      People start coming out of the woodwork to tell you their personal stories of how STBX creeped them out or wasn’t good enough for you.

      Upon telling someone you’re going through a divorce and they say “oh, I’m so sorry” you reply, “oh, don’t be…”

      You know in your heart of hearts that you were and are a great spouse and that the problem never was and never will be you.

        • Is it Apathyville? I love it here!
          If I think too long or too hard about the details or get stuck trying to untangle the skein, I can get angry. So I stay away from it as much as possible.

          I still think all STBX did was inexcusable but I do feel that it was a necessary part of my personal journey in this life. I learned hard lessons about people and relationships that I could never have learned any other way. I no longer assume everyone is kind and genuine and although it’s a shitty reality, it is reality.

          • TBJ,
            Great posts. What an inspiration you are.
            “You don’t miss your ex at all, particularly because you fully understand that even the good memories were lies.” This one took a while for me to get to, about 5 years. The discovery of old lies keeps coming sporadically — I’m 10 years out I still keep discovering more lies (I’m not trying to, but things pop up or people say stuff from time to time.) But I think it is important to get to this place of realizing that even the good memories were lies. They were lies he told me. But if I look deeper, in many instances they were also lies I told myself. I honestly don’t know which was more freeing in my journey towards being a Recovered Chump. Learning to spot my partner’s lies, or learning to spot my lies to myself.

              • Totally agree, both are essential to a full recovery. Although I didn’t uncover the big lies until it was already over there were plenty of opportunities I missed or avoided to call bullshit on him. I seriously told myself (and he helped me feel it was necessary) that this was me being a supportive spouse and choosing my battles. I didn’t want to be a nag about every little thing, did I?

                Um, if “every little thing” consists of image management and total inauthenticity of character, then yes…yes I do want to expose it.

            • And thanks, guys! It took some sobbing on the floor moments, some rejection, some embarrassing moments and many sleepless nights but meh is just around the corner when you’re dedicated to not be your cheater’s victim. I’ll never give him that power.

              • “But if I look deeper, in many instances they were also lies I told myself.”

                I’m raising my hand on this one.

              • I agree with learning about the lies we tell ourselves, the fantasies that keep a drowned boat afloat too long.

                I disagree with: “because you fully understand that even the good memories were lies.”

                Not in my case, YMMV. No matter if my ex was lying and pretending to be something he was not. No matter what HIS reality was, he cannot change MY reality. I still have my good memories, they were real to ME. I was happy in those moments, in those times and as the song says “No, no – they can’t take that away from me”. I will note that the song includes “The way you hold your knife (do-do-do-do do-do).” and unfortunately, you can’t take that memory away from me either. Good times, bad times…I’m a walking cliche tonight!

                My memories and my life are my reality, I hope chumps will keep the good and chuck the bad. Erasing your reality seems like a bad move to me.

              • I’m with you Dat—the good memories are INCREDIBLE and I cherish them. I doubt I will ever experience anything like them again. That really really sucks but that’s the way it is. I have always kind of hated the phrase ‘it’s better to have loved and lost…..’ but I guess I can reconcile myself with it. I am very glad I got to feel the way I did……just sucky sucky sucky that the fantasy that came to life had to turn into a mirage…..

      • “You stand up for yourself and don’t immediately start regretting it.”

        ^This^

        So much of what you wrote, Jamie, really spoke to me and inspired me, but wow, I hadn’t yet fully absorbed the impact not just of standing up for myself but of no longer regretting that I did out of fear. When I first started my recovery and took baby steps in calling him on his BS, I used to dread the inevitable blowback. I would often send emails or texts in which I put my foot down and then put off reading the replies, which were usually some mix of verbal/emotional abuse and shaming tactics that used to undermine my resolve. Now, thanks in no small part to CL and CN, my first reaction is to imagine how funny his replies would be if they were put through the Universal Bullshit Translator.

      • Yup, I think mine deserves his new love! Karma right there! Two. fucking. cheaters. Who totally deserve one another! Okay, still a little irked but it has more to do with how he handled the finances and settlement more than the fact he blew up my life. I still can’t believe there are such crap people in this world and that I chose him for a father! And…I miss my house! I loved that house.

          • Aaaah, the amazing Sacha Guitry quote right there, Cheaterssuck. “When a man steals your wife, there is no better revenge than to let him keep her.” Always loved that – since WAAAY before I was chumped 🙂

      • Muse, you may be right. I’d love nothing more than for her to be a narc herself and to wreck his life.

        But removing all character/morality aspects, she’s a better catch, on paper. She’s educated, intelligent and will be well paid (when she graduates college!!!! Bwahaha!!!!), she also seems kind hearted and soft spoken. Just the way he likes them; rich & submissive.

  • I’m far from recovered yet, but last week bought myself a MacBook Pro. He “hated Apple” (despite having never used an Apple product).

    I feel a bit guilty for spending that money on myself but I need it for my home based business.

    • Macs rock. I’m at my sister’s house, using her PC (which is admittedly old) and I keep feeling like a snooty Mac snob, but… Damn. Macs really have it down.

    • Isn’t it funny how putting ourselves first feels odd? Lina, you deserve all good things, and isn’t it about time YOU came first?!? One of my first big purchases was an iPad. I had it engraved and it’s what I use for everything. I discovered CL and CN on this, so definitely worth the splurge!

      • Thanks guys. I already love my Mac!

        I do find it hard to put myself first. I’m trying to get more comfortable about it. What pushed me into buying the Mac was trying to use the very cheap crappy old PC he so graciously left for me. Like that was good enough for me: junk. It’s still contains all his files and his name is on everything. I can’t wait to finish transferring my files so I can trash it.

    • I’m a computer agnostic, myself. I use a PC because I play video games. The customization aspects of the home-built really rope me in. That said, the Mac notebooks are wonderful.

      The real issue here is that the technology was another way for your X to show disrespect. Oh, you wanted a Mac? And he didn’t want you to have one because he was an Apple hater? Sheesh! You weren’t trying to tell him what kind of computer he wanted! Or he left you the really crappy, 6-year-old computer that can barely load a web page? That’s because you don’t deserve technology that works for you.

      Enjoy your tech the way you want! 🙂

      P.S. My STBX is in IT, but has always hated that I build my own computers.

      • I think it can be such a liberating part of recovery to do small things that you never would have done as a Chump, whether it’s buying a computer that they disapprove of or, in my case, making and eating meals that I never would have before because of the litany of criticisms about too much fat, too many calories, too many grains, too much dairy, basically about how it’s not the rabbit food he took up eating when he began cheating. Tonight for dinner I had spinach-artichoke dip made with sour cream and cheese . . . mmmmm!

        • That dip (artichoke and cheese) ….YUM. Worth an extra lap in the pool for sure! It is funny how controlling our exes were. I was a very modern wife but ended up doing all the hard work (and made it look easy) but I also called him out on his shit. Even with his job, I expected him to be an equal partner, help with the children, household chores, and make time for family. Looking back I can see how difficult it was. I don’t think he wanted children or marriage, he just didn’t fully appreciate either one. Except for the kibbles coming his way. Lol. I do think my ex felt entitled, he would discuss issues with me and then go ahead and do whateverthefuck he wanted. I was easy, never had a problem with his hobbies, or long work hours, because it’s what you do, right? Then his behavior grew worse, but it was subtle as hell. I mean the little crap things like criticizing me, or the things I enjoyed doing…he would go nuts if I spent twenty bucks but when it came to his wants or needs it was really unbalanced …. When he would treat me poorly I would call him out on it right that minute. I am not dumb! My kids however never witnessed a “bad” marriage. We had a rough last Christmas ( in spite of his giving us all cell phones! To cover up his need for a personal phone!) all through May when he finally chose his whore. All that time it seems he was trying to make the best decision for us all. We didn’t argue, but we also never talked about our relationship. I would bring up his disengagement and he would basically gaslight. Poor sausage, he had a hard time being real. He landed at home and lived somewhere else, looking back it was a lie. IMHO that occurs when spouses are disordered, cheating then inevitably comes into the picture, and then the whole relationship blows up.

    • Lina – I hope you come back to visit this article so that you’ll read me telling you: You sound SOOOO much stronger than just a few months ago!! I’m so proud of you for working so freaking hard to pull yourself out of that hell bit-by-bit! I was worried about you when I first started reading your posts, and I prayed for you, but look at you now!! You are SO MIGHTY, girl!!

      And as one Mac chick to another – welcome to the club! I do all my graphics, video and photo editing and writing on my Mac, my iPad Air, and iPhone. They all sync and when doing public relations, it’s essential that all my info and documents are the most current. You’ll see. That gift to yourself is a great production tool for your work.

      You’re sounding so good – keep up the hard work of taking care of the caregiver (you!).

      xoxo

  • YMBARC if your cheater contacts you after four months of NC to accuse you of stealing his Green Card from the mail, and you simply respond that you haven’t received any mail addressed to him. Because you haven’t. And you no longer feel even slightly obliged to help Gigantic Baby Man figure out his dreadful life.

    And when you have to pay in taxes instead of getting a refund due to fewer exemptions, you just write the damn check and send it in. With a Beatrix Lestrange stamp, and giggle because the stamp says “Forever” and the OW looks like Beatrix Lestrange.

        • I do stick to it. There is only one email address he is permitted to contact me at, and only regarding business matters. YMBARC if you know the only reason he will contact you is when he wants help with something, and you train him to contact you less and less by calmly saying no without justifying or elaborating. I have not initiated any contact with him since June 2014.

          • Love it. YMBARC if you say no to a request from your ex and when he fires back insults you just laugh and wonder how in the hell you dealt with his shit for so long.

      • I can see it now: Big fat diapered baby with hairy chest, 1/2 bald, 1 tooth !!! … With binky FLYING through the air !

    • A text from him requesting to file joint taxes before the divorce was when I blocked him for good. I’d never hear from him unless he wanted something. It felt so good to say no. He must have had to pay in instead of receiving a refund for the first time ever.

      • Oh Lina, I had a fun tax conversation with STBX just last week! The night before they were due he informed he that he was entitled to half my house refund. I also don’t hear from him about anything besides him wanting something, not even to check on our daughter, and I was so happy to inform him that he would be getting zero dollars from me. Of course, he doesn’t believe this to be true so he filed an extension to give himself more time to annoy me. Aaaaand deflect to lawyer…lol

        • I can’t believe they way they treat their children. My heart goes out to you and your daughter.

          The year before he left I had my accountant do our taxes (had just started my business) and we got a decent refund. I asked for $250.00 to of it to pay a bill and he went ballistic. He left shortly afterwards and took the whole return along with every other penny we had in our joint account. So it was even more satisfying to refuse to file with him afterwards.

          • Thank you 🙂
            He does his bear minimum with parenting and it’s really better for us all that way.

            And good for you. It felt good to inform my STBX that he’d not be tricking me or bullying me into giving him my earned refund. His main motivations in life are control & money. He may control his girlfriend but it’s too soon for her to just give him money…so he tries to get it from me, his faithful sponsor. But the flow has been cut off for over a year, he can’t quite grasp that. He’s a slow learner.

      • Lina, this was a first for me this year. I didn’t have to pay the taxes he was supposed to pay quarterly as a self employed (absorbed) narc. I did this for the 25 years he was in the business.

        • I always got our personal taxes together and his mom took care of his business taxes (Not privy to any financial info) then i would be responsible for taking them to the accountant. After court pre-parenting mediation class he cornered me and informed me that if he got into trouble with taxes that I was going to jail with him. If he lied on his business taxes that would be between him and his mom. Guess who filed alone this year?
          His mother passed away a few weeks back and he kept us informed through hospice and then failed to let us know that she died and the family had a memorial service. Read it in online so I guess he does not consider the kids family anymore? Just sent him an email stating I filed head of household. His response was that he had been busy helping his dad and forgot about taxes (bullshit) and hopes we are doing good and would like to see us. WTF? I think he is delusional enough to think I filed with him as married. He is going to have to deal with his own shit.

          • Yep, I filed the same way. Let him handle it all by himself. My ex wanted to know what status I filed under and just didn’t even respond.

            • Mine likes to gamble and decided to go on another trip (the third since DD). He asked if he could borrow a “Hundo” and pay me back on his next paycheck. Um…hell no!! So what does he do? Borrows money from our 8 year old daughter from her piggy bank. Sweet! What a loser! Mine days of funding his bad habits are done.

      • During separation, I filed head of household. Got a text from ex wanting me to re-file with him as joint married, because he owed the IRS $9000 and he wanted me to pay half. He wrote that it “would be in all of our best interests” for me to do so, because otherwise he “wouldn’t be able to afford to pay child support.”

        Not sure how that was in MY best interests, LOL, but of course I told him no. I guess he still owes the IRS that money, he hasn’t really had a job since, so no way to pay it off. And of course, he never intended on paying me all the child support anyway.

  • YMBARC if you responded to a request to meet to discuss “what happened” by telling your ex-wife that you are not at all confused about what happened–she cheated, divorced, and you can no longer spend time with her as you are happily remarried.

    YMBARC if you do not take the bait from her rage calling you a “bad Christian” more or less for not meeting and trying to drag you back into her false narrative.

    • DM, Yes! You MBARC if you no longer step into the “false narrative.” My ex made choices and I no longer spackle.

    • DM, sorry your XW does that to you…My XH likes to throw the “bad Christian” label at my 15-year old daughter. She has a strong faith and I think he knows that is the easiest way to hurt her for not forgiving him (it has only been 6 mos). There aren’t words to describe the awfulness of these people – they break a commandment and have the nerve to go around calling others bad Christians! Thanks to your posts here and on your own site I can help guide her through this.

      • Glad to hear the blog is helping you and your daughter! No worries for me, Lizzy. My ex has stopped bothering me. That exchange happened almost a year ago in my last direct contact with her via email. The old handles used to manipulate me just don’t work like they used to 😉

        Knowing the truth helps in these situations. When you don’t look to these people for validation, then you are safer in general. My xW’s opinion about my performance as a Christian is as worthless as her word. And if I had any doubts all I had to remember is when I confronted her about her adulterous relationship and she told me with a straight face that she was being faithful to God while lying to me about committing adultery. (I should actually make that “god” as it certainly isn’t the one, true God).

        • DM, This, “My xW’s opinion…is about as worthless as her word.”
          I remind myself, and my children, of this when my ex is feeling like he’s the only one who “got it right” (like running off with someone you are not married to is a wise choice, IMHO it is NOT living honestly or authentically) and is handing out advice. Really?!?! I don’t think our exes can be a good model for anything, because they took one precious shot at family and blew it all up.

      • Quote: There aren’t words to describe the awfulness of these people – they break a commandment and have the nerve to go around calling others bad Christians! /quote

        Only one? Sure, I gotcha, the one about adultery and all. How about the one about bearing false witness and those two about coveting? Think they didn’t break those, too?

        Of course, most cheaters would see it that they kept in line with Christ’s teachings by twisting this passage from Matthew 22:36:

        Jesus was asked: “Teacher, which is the greatest commandment in the Law?” Jesus replied: ” ‘Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind.’ This is the first and greatest commandment. And the second is like it: ‘Love your neighbor as yourself.’ All the Law and the Prophets hang on these two commandments.”

        Most cheaters would never miss the opportunity to “love your neighbor” and make all about what would Jesus do. More like love you neighbor, ho-worker, the bar maid and any other piece of cheap ‘n’ easy ass, too.

        • The “Love your wife as Christ loved the Church” thing gets lost too -oooohhh they can follow through if the CHANGE wives ! He told me that me and the kids were such good Catholics, he could give us to the Church like a gift and then he could evangelize OW. The smoking gun of his A was an email in his computer …I hacked in looking for proof and found a file “OW and Christ” …I knew in that second that I was screwed.

          • Why DO whores who fuck married men project their hatred on a woman they know nothing about and then brag about being a good Christian woman? Especially when the guy she’s blowing is an atheist? I wonder, is this some sort of delusional thinking that she is a savior of sorts. Maybe she can fuck him into thinking she’s special. Well we know narcs are chameleons so if she says so….

  • My Ex filed for divorce and in hindsight, I think he did because I started to stand up to him. Instead of adapting to his pressure, I put it back on him. He used to complain about my cooking and I finally told him to start cooking for himself, then he could eat what he wanted.

    I wanted to have to foyer painted in our home and he said we couldn’t afford it. I walked into the garage of our second home, his dream home, and there were 2 brand new snowmobiles he bought without me knowing. There was a huge “discussion” about how his business could buy snowmobiles but not have foyers painted in our first home. Needless to say, the foyer got painted when I suggested he sell one of his many snowmobiles.

    I think the final blow was when he left and came back to talk, he asked why I never asked (begged) him to come back. I quizzically looked at him and said “the same reason you never asked me to come back.” There were way better answers to that but at the time I was so confused by the question, that was the best I could come up with.

    It was powerful to finally stand up to him and I think he was shocked which propelled his decision to make the break and move on to his secretary who cow tails to his every demand, paws him, serves him and “makes” him happy. They are perfect together:)

  • YMBARC if you read Stupid Shit the Cheater said in the past and laugh at it (e.g., from cheater–“I guess I just loved more honestly than you because my forgiveness is unconditional.”)

    YMBARC if you deliberately introduce yourself to a probable affair partner of cheater at a conference and don’t.feel.a.thing. Yeah, me!

  • When cheater ex enlisted the help of our 12 year old son to help him move out I hijacked his plans and packed up son and younger sibs in the car to drive off for a glorious day on the beach – just me and my kids. Shades of what life would look like for STBX for the next 16 years – left behind, on the periphery, missing beautiful moments with his family.

    Am in Austin, Texas as I write. Isn’t this Chumplady territory? Will keep my eyes peeled for a chance encounter!

    Belated Happy Birthday!

      • Tempest: Only here briefly for a visit with family and a few rounds of golf, then back to cold Canada!. Next time around will look you up as I would be interested in attending a chump meetup.

  • All of the above !!!!!

    When you can finally chose the car you drive ( not the crappy one he has driven into the ground ).

    When the house is peaceful and I no longer care or worry about HIS schedule and whether my activities will fit into HIS needs.

    Since he is a Minister I no longer have an unpaid job and expectations to live up to. I am no longer playing the pick me polka because MOW is also a Minister and she is just so Christian and sparkly ( and no one can compete with that )!

    My house is tidy and organized. And I have two kids 50% of the time. I am not picking garbage off the floor every time I walk into a room. Amazing – no one throws garbage on the floor in my house!!!

    I am ok as a single person !!! In fact I rock singledom!!!! Getting pretty close to Tuesday here in Mehville 🙂

    • Hold on! TWO cheating ministers? With each other?! That’s just all kinds of (non)Christian fuckedupedness. What branch of religion is that – narcotheism?

        • My XH was definitely a narcotheist. He repented and felt forgiven each and every time he visited a prostitute. He pushed the 70 x 7 theology to the max and didn’t think this was a problem at all. In fact he always implied I was the bad Christian, funny that!!

      • Tempest and Free,

        Even prior to discovering that the the final OW was what I “affectionately” refer to as a past(w)hor(e), I had difficulty wrapping my head around the situationally and morally ambiguous cheater. As a believer, I totally understand stumbling and even falling in your walk of faith, but do you never pick yourself up, dust yourself off and say, “Enough of that. This behavior is completely out of line with my stated beliefs?” Where do you have to go in your head (and your bible, if you are a professed Christian of any sort) to make adultery an “acceptable” sin from which there’s no need to repent? From what I recall, and I’m not a theologian so DM can speak to this with more clarity than I can, a component of repentence is stopping the behavior. 70 x 7 indeed! Does he realize that entails actually being sorry, in deed and not just in word?

        Not these wild and crazy cheaters! My mouth is always agape when I read the comments from Chumps about their Jesus cheaters sitting in the front row of the church with the OW/OM, admonishing them about their “non-Christian” unforgiveness, congregants and ministers in the church accepting these non-repentent adulterers into the bosom of the church, no questions asked. I thought Cheater McAsswipe’s willing accomplice and aider and abetor past(w)hor(e) was bad enough with her cards full of “God has blessed our love” and “God has brought us together,” and other such ridiculous tripe, but apparently this Narcotheist demonination has quite the following. No one has to prostrate themselves, rend their clothing or attire themselves in sack cloth and ashes, and none of those inconvenient commandments to follow – only suggestions.

        All of these shitballs, asswipes and cretins are galling, but I find the Jesus Cheaters partcularly offensive.

        • ‘Jesus cheaters are particularly offensive’ – agreed. It’s the assumption that God’s grace and forgiveness gives them a free pass for adultery . . . again and again and again – why would we be at all upset if Jesus has forgiven them?!! Cluster B’s manipulate God even for their own self interest.

          • Ha. My Christian mother-in-law used that line saying her daughter will eventually be foregiven for her cheating. She basically enabled my wife’s cheating if it helped her move on from me. I hope I’m a strong of Christian to not rub her hypocritical nose in it when Jesus lets her daughter crash hard into rock bottom someday soon.

            • Most of the church members and the diocese turned a big blind eye to the whole mess.
              The two Sinister Minister McCheater pants ( x and MOW ) have been parading around for 6 years now.
              Two marriages – 5 kids and two discarded and abused ( gaslighted to the heavens ) spouses later they go fairly untouched.
              Needless to say I have had a difficult time going back to organized religion!

              • Thanks Lisa. So true. I have to say that my church that is baptist has been amazing. I go to several life groups a week, teach Sunday school and even had the treasurer provide free financial planning and even do my taxes. They’ve been my only support over last year. Several of the women have also reached out to my wife and she met with one who agreed to meet weekly but then my wife blew it off. She’s been running from God for obvious reasons. I pray everyday that he finds her but no longer am paralyzed by it.

    • Amen to driving the car you want – I always got his shitty castoffs since he needed a new car every 5 minutes.

    • Lucky, I totally get you about the trash on the floor! End stages of complete control over us is when they start doing that and expecting us to clean it up. I am so happy that the only messes in my house are mine now and it doesn’t bother me, nor do I throw shit on the floor (of course).

  • YMBARC if your husband threatens to do something you fear, (don’t remember what it was) and you shrug and say, “well do what ya gotta do.” YMBARC if your husband comes home from work in the middle of August and is aghast because the AC is running and he notices a window is open. He’s about to unleash on you, but instead of being ashamed and apologetic, you say, ” Oh, the window’s open? Why don’t you close it?” YMBARC, if, while hanging your husbands clothes on the line, he comes to stand behind you, and tries to tell you how you are doing it wrong, and you drop the peice of clothing you are currently ready to pin on top of the clothes basket and walk away. YMBARC, if you do the same thing when he tries to tell you how to cook Thanksgiving dinner. 😉

    • Wow Kim, you’re my hero. The part about not being afraid when your ex threatens you…I’m not there yet. My exH threatrns to take me back to court anytime he doesn’t get what he wants. He makes 3 times as much as me and he lives with his mom so he has no bills. Ever heard of a 39 year old man making a 6 figure salary and living with his mom? My point- he can afford to financially ruin me with legal fees. He knows it too. He knows me (being a single mom with 3 kids) well enough to know that not being able to provide for my kids is my biggest fear. And he uses that to his advantage. What do you tell yourself in order to have peace with calling your ex’s bluff?

      • MmmHmm–That is bullcrap. Are the 3 children with your cheater X? If so, you have a LOT of leverage. He can’t change the terms of support without proof of change in his circumstance, and if he takes you to court for any reason, you can countersue for your legal bills. Make sure he knows this, and that you will stand up to him; that should put an end to his bullying.

      • “Ever heard of a 39 year old man making a 6 figure salary and living with his mom?”

        Ditto. Only my ex is 42. And he’s a bully too. I hate this fear of him thing. I think somehow that’s where all my anger went. It’s like it got crosswired into fear. So I’m working on letting my anger actually exist and flow.

  • You Might Be A Recovered Chump if you tell someone to “get the fuck away” the first time they use you and then lie to you. And you say it with all your heart and mind. And they come back to you, years later, grateful that someone had the intestinal fortitude to call them on their BS.

    YMBARC if you have moved on, and those once magic hands of his are now just dead and creepy.

    YMBARC if you can go a few days without ChumpLady. ((♥))

  • oh my god CL ! You’ve nailed it again ! I’m just curious. how many chance out there heard the words I love you but I’m not in love with you as one of their explanations of why they were so unhappy?

      • oh I’m sure you’re right Lisa. But when I got it I didn’t realize it was a big fat red cheater flag. Did you?

        • I got a version of it. I got “I don’t feel in love with you anymore and you deserve to have someone who loves you the way you love” (didn’t realize there was more than one way to love *sarcasm*).
          And no, I didn’t realize it was a red flag for disorder at that time, it just hurt and I wondered what I could’ve done to make him fall out of love with me. I wondered how he could fall out of love with me while I treated him so well when I was still loving him while he treated me like garbage.

          I had no idea at the time that he was incapable of pure unconditional love.

          • I got a cheater speak head fucking version of the ILYBINILWY thing. After D day, I asked him if he was in love with her. He said that after being with her a few times, he realized that it only made him miss me that much more because he knew he USED to feel that way about me.

          • No cheater is capable of unconditional true love. They are not wired that way if they were they wouldn’t do the devastation they do.

            • I also heard, “I wish I had been honest with myself and you concerning how unhappy I was for years. That’s why it’s not hard for me bc I’ve already processed the loss of our marriage but ‘m so sorry that it’s hurting you so much.” Freakin narcissists!

              • I got this same line! Funny, he certainly SEEMED happy over those two decades.

              • Sadly, I think a part of that is true- it hurt us more than it hurts our cheaters because they have already ended the relationship in their minds. We haven’t been given the opportunity to process that yet. It made me feel blindsided. My husband had moved on to someone new but he hadn’t ended our marriage. I felt robbed of the opportunity to be as far along in grieving the end of my marriage as he was (not that I think he grieved anything). He didn’t want a divorce though. The divorce was my fault. He never intended for me to find out and end the marriage. If I would have just remained a clueless chump, our family would still be together. Ha!

              • MmmHmm ^^^. THIS^^^. I am going through this right now. I am only alittle shy of 4 months since DD and it still hurts but what is worse is that he has moved on already. Yes, he is a serial cheater and it is hard enough to process that but he is keeping the Ho Worker. It hurts becuase I am learning to process the cheating and breakdown of our marriage but I am also trying to process that he can move on while we are still married.
                It is crazy producing shit…I feel like I am swinging in every direction and somehow he seems fine. He asked for me to forgive him. He was crying and says he NEEDS that from me one day to be okay with all this crap that he has inflicted. Yep…..I know one thing and that is that won’t happen for a long time if ever!! What a POS!!

              • Dear Leolion and others,

                I am late to the party, as usual……

                On this topic, my best illustration so far is this:

                Would you expect a rapist and their victims to feel the same way about rape? Would you expect to ‘move on’ from an attack the same way the rapist has?

                Seriously?! I mean, we have all heard some version of ‘move on, your ex has’ or ‘the other person is over it, why aren’t you?’

                What these cheating scumbags do to us is far more serious than physical rape or assault, yet we are scolded for not ‘being over it’ or for not ‘being fine’ about the shattering of our lives!

                Replace the words ‘cheating’ & ‘adultery’ with the word rape or murder or assault or what have you Then, it is so much easier to understand why the filthy cheaters seem to have ‘moved on’ or ‘be fine’ while we innocent ones are reeling.

                We have been attacked & assaulted out of the blue by a ruthless ‘beast’ who has no compunction whatsoever with hurting or devastating another human.

                By the way, Leolion, I do not see anything in your situation that would provide a basis for you to forgive that POPoo. Gotta meet certain criteria to receive forgiveness. Does not sound like he will ever meet the criteria…..

                ForgeOn, all you precious ones!

      • I got that speech too! At first, he said it was his issue, he needed help, he was dis guested with himself etc. then the narrative changed to me being abusive, controlling, manipulative, and crazy (yes all 4). Can we say projection much?!

        • Yes I too got the very same four plus “you’ve let yourself go” not a recovered chump yet but I can laugh at these comments now at least.

          • Ooh, I got the “you’ve let yourself go” thing too! All this after I had been working out, lost weight but I was pregnant at the time….

        • I got the exact same speech Ashley…I remember how badly it hurt me and how scared I was that the ‘man’ that I was so in love with could just rip my heart out like that and smile while he did it…and meow at me…yep…like a cat…I like cats…I don’t like him 🙂

          YMBARC if remembering the awful hurt doesn’t hurt anymore 🙂

          YMBARC if you know you are strong…even when you are scared.

          YMBARC when you are excited about your future…not scared anymore.

          YMBARC when you can look back at how far you have come ALONE and be proud of your accomplishments and choices.

          YMBARC when you are no longer triggered every time you turn around.

          YMBARC when you can sell every gift you were given by the cheater since the beginning of time and just smile as you pocket the cash 🙂

      • I got it also ladies! Must be the first line in the second chapter of The Official Cheater Handbook! Good Lord these fools are so unoriginal!

        • I got that he cared about OW but did not love her – she got that he cared about me but did not love me. He is with her now so lets hope he is clear about who he loves, who he cares about and who he lies to….as long as he leaves me out of it.

          • I got a weird version. I got “I want to sail around the world one day and you don’t, so I’m going to need to find someone who does.” Little did I know at the time that he was already working on getting that person. She’s already dumped him. I think he’s busy doing the “pick me dance” with her. Poor sausage.

            • I got the similar ‘I never loved you’ at the same time he said he was capable of loving many different people. (this included his whore, I guess) Oh, what a loving guy! He doesn’t have a clue what love is!

            • One of the many similar lines my ex used was, “I need a Christian family I can take to church.” I guess he felt Jesus was okay with that family being created through adultery.

              He also said, “I need a woman who is an extension of me.” Oh, and he also needed “a woman who runs marathons.”

              I guess I’m a recovered chump, because I laugh at his insanity now, but it sure wasn’t funny while it was happening.

              • You WERE a marathon runner, Glad, and that marathon was your marriage to a lying pos cheater. You had the stamina to outlast him as he disintegrated. And to care for your son and yourself and to pick up the pieces. You are marathon woman and he is a worm.

      • Huh. I got that one too. And that she loved me like a good friend that she wouldn’t want to marry.

        • I got that line and the sister bit after I caught them “red handed” (LOL). Later that devolved to “We grew apart.” “Oh is THAT what happened?” was my snark back. Crickets.

          • Yep. we ‘grew apart’ too, apparently I just hadn’t noticed.
            And I also got “I’ll always care about you as the mother of my children”.
            Except he didn’t, nor did he care about the children.

        • I got “I’m trying to find myself.”

          I think he’s lost in a national forest and needs to give it up. Asshole.

          • I got the “love you more like a brother” too. Seriously, it’s so predictable. Once you read a bit you see how foolish it all
            is but they’re all insane yet exactly the same.

      • Though the night before he said that (i.e., before D-Day, when I went upstairs to go to bed, he kissed me and said “love you!” the same way that he did every night for sixteen years. Go figure. How was I to know? I guess it depends on the definition of “love” LOL.

        • Everyday before he got his apartment “to work on himself” he would tell me he loved me, kiss me morning and night, sleep cuddled up and still have sex even the night before. It was the same as always. Even after he texted me that he missed me and loved me. Then DDay and all I’ve heard are the crickets. Wow.

      • I got the ILYNNILWY speech. He said he loved me but not in a “I want to live with you kind of way.” He kept saying he cared about my well being. Everything he was doing contradicted what he was saying. Made me feel crazy.

    • I may be one of the few men on here but I got the same line from my wife along with most of the rest of the predictable list. After a year she’s still in the fog and blaming everything wrong in her life on me. Unless it has to do with drop off or pickup I don’t respond to her and never talk to her. Been two months since she snuck back to the scumbag on Valentine’s (predictably lame, huh?) and I’ve kept up my boundary. If the dirtbag is in your life I’m not. Love the tax comments. I just filed alone which definitely cost me a couple grand but she has the business we started together and she used to find her affair for past year never paying taxes. She knew if she went back to him she’d be on her own and tax day came and went yet I don’t think she filed anything! Eventually the fairytale will crash hard.

      • I like the idea of tax consequences on these cheaters. Serves them right. Not surprising many of them are also tax cheaters.

        • There was cheating in many areas of the scumbag’s life. He is simply above the law…God’s and man’s.

    • I got a version of that too! He just “lost the feelings”! Funny- pretty sure you think you founnd them in the whores pants but maybe that’s just me!

      • I got “I never loved you, I just wanted to live somewhere safe” and the next day a complete reversal about how he could not live without me, I was “his path”. Asshole. I believe he told me the absolute truth that one time, he never loved me.

  • YMBARC if you see stbx and feel nothing, except maybe sorry for him.
    YMBARC when you meet a handsome new man who calls you Angel and the last thing X called you was a Crazy Bitch.
    YMBARC if last year, the thought of selling and dividing everything made you sick and now you can’t wait for it to happen.
    YMBARC if you are dreaming about your new life with new handsome man and X had only one function in your life…sperm donor, lol

    • Yes. Even before D day, when all I had was a hunch, I was grateful to the GF, because I couldn’t stand the thought of sex with the abusive ass hole who did nothing but criticize and alianate me. Jerk. Thank God for female narcles with built in kibble despensers in their crotches. 🙂

  • YMBARC if: you go on a date, and the guy pulls a monocle out of his shirt to read the wine list, and your inner chump screams “Narc!”
    YMBARC if: you can finally realize & accept the role your own insecurities & FOO issues played in why you stayed with him so long, and you are relieved to discover that by dragging these demons out into the light, they will never trouble you again.
    YMBARC (early days) if: while drawing up the dissolution paperwork, he waffles about whether or not he wants to accept a certain amount of money your still-chumpy ass has offered him (out of some chumpy version of fairness, which is actually not really fair to you — EnoughAlready, are you listening?), and you calmly say, “Well, you have to decide, yes or no.” And when he says, “No, I feel too guilty,” you say, “OK,” and move on to the next point.

  • YMBARC if your understanding of human nature has dramatically increased. Many of the “nice lies” society has led you to believe about human beings (and yourself) are now buried six feet under.

    Part of being a recovered chump is being ‘unchumpable’ in the future. YMBARC if manipulative individuals can sense early up that you’re the ‘wrong tree to climb’. You have a strange kind of ‘repellant’ to these persons…

    • Maybe that’s why I’m having trouble making new friends? I have a strange ‘repellant’ quality? LOL

  • you have the guts to call them the lying, cheating thief they are instead of walking on egg shells….AND you WALK ON YOUR OWN TWO FEET, you may stumble BUT you get back up… I am hoping to stop looking in the rearview mirror at some point.

  • YMBARC when you can finally relax because he’s out of your life forever and can no longer to mess with your head, your heart or your home.

  • YMBARC (or at least you have the potential) if D-day goes like this:
    Him: This is just a bad bump and we will get through this and we will be better than ever.
    Me: No, we won’t. I’ll never be able to trust you again and I’m not living like that. This is the deal-breaker and I have a no-tolerance policy for it.

  • YMBARC if you are to the point of forgiveness (for you own sanity, not his) because you realized he did you a big favor. You were miserable and rather than walk away you wait until he gets caught cheating. You divorce him, get everything you want in the divorce and live happily knowing that you are finally free and it wasn’t you that gave up.

    • Tayra P, This! I had so much anger in the beginning and I used it to my advantage. Now that I have thoroughly protected myself and my son from financial disaster, I have let it go. I am indifferent towards him. He has set me free from working so hard to keep a marriage alive. I look back NOW and realize how hard I worked. I have FREE time now!! Woot! And, yes, I didn’t give up. Because I don’t make promises I don’t intend to keep.

  • great topic today! key to my post.. BCN = before chump nation; A= after

    BCN he started email campaign for us to meet and talk after 2nd DDay. he regretted everything, was unhappy, missed me, etc. i said no, not until he had rid himself of OW addiction. this No was HUGE of me, fellow chumps.

    background married 24 yrs, dearly loved him (erhm, the him i thought he was), blindsided when MOW’s other adulterer told me about my then husband’s 4 year affair with her. i kicked him out after 1st DDay, read all the RIC books, prayed, had a therapist, and took him back.

    2nd DDay, still BCN 5 months later, he left denying it was due to MOW but instead because of his chronic unhappiness, my flaws, etc. there were complicating details that distorted my reality for a long while (her threats and Basic Instinct movie craziness). but he chose her ( still together now). so i plotted a forward course, sold family house, moved, and resuscitated my college daughter who was drowning under trauma wave of learning her idol wasn’t who he had pretended to be. all. those. years.

    BCN i would not meet with him even though every cell in my brain and body was honed to be with him. my inner radar was repairing itself. yeah!
    ACN (2.5 years post DDay) i finally had words for what happened (4 years of blameshifting & gaslighting) and learned my NC was the way to go!

    Chump Nation gave me words and sanity for the recovery i had begun.

    i have 9 months of grateful for Chump Nation in my recovering chumpy heart….

    PS…happy 3 year Bday, Chump Lady! you deserve an honorary doctorate. cannot wait for the next book.

  • YMBARC if you can finally look him in the eye (on those rare occasions that NC is not an option) and stand up for yourself at the appropriate times in the appropriate way without being afraid of how he’ll react. I just realized I didn’t even come home and dissect everything I’d said during our last conversation. That’s huge for me.

  • YMBARC if he calls you to tell you that you are the love of his life, and you say, “No, that would be YOU.” If he comes to “visit his kids” and tries to get you into bed (ignoring them) and you walk away, YMBARC. YMBARC if, when he runs out the door crying,you shrug your shoulders and close the door behind him!

  • YMBARC if when he holds out his hand for the ‘let’s be friends’ handshake, you politely decline and ask him to close the door on his way out.

  • YMBARC if you can send anyone right out of your life without a backward glance the moment they aren’t living up to your expectations of reciprocity and respect. This goes for ANYONE, not just romantic relationships! When you have truly accepted that you have the power to choose who gets to have your energy, your time, and your emotional investment, you are truly recovered. If you can say to anyone at anytime “Absolutely not, you don’t get to do that and keep me in your life,” and YOU MEAN IT no matter what your perceived “costs” might be…YMBARC!

    • LMM,
      THIS is the ultimate in Chump Recovery. And in my own case, the next step is teaching my kids to live by this same standard, instead of by the book of “little white lies” our extended families, culture and society would rather them (and all of us) live by. Just last Thursday my 10-year-old son told his “best” friend: “I’m not your friend anymore.” He ditched this friend after recognizing (on his own) some manipulative and aggressive behaviors this so-called friend had repeatedly exhibited toward my son and some other classmates in a variety of settings. When I asked why this sudden decision, my son told me he had known for a while that his friend had some issues but he didn’t want to say anything because he knew I was friends with the boy’s mother and he didn’t want it to come between our relationship. Our son said, “I am going to be polite to him but I am not going to be friends with him.” Both my husband (the new one) and I backed up our son’s decision and told him how proud we were of him for setting a boundary and not subjecting himself to abusive and/or manipulative behavior. Also how we were impressed for recognizing that this person was undeserving of his trust. As a Recovered Chump mom, my goal is to give my children the tools to avoid Chumpdom.

      • This, missdelta. My then 15 year old daughter did a version of this about eighteen months ago. Her group of friends, beautiful, clever, witty, and unfortunately, rich and ENTITLED, were making her feel terrible about herself. So she consciously said to herself, “step sideways here, chickie.” She left the enclosure, and took up with three other lovely girls. She has actually remained friends with the original group, but has told them the truth; their complaints about their grades (Oh, I only got an A- – when my hard working daughter, who has real academic strengths and weaknesses, and works hard on both, gets mostly of As – may have struggled in on a topic with a C+) or their looks (my little girl is petite, and cute, but not model gorgeous, suffers a little from acne, these girls have flawless skin). It has actually been a blessing, the girls all woke up a little, and grew up, learned not to be so entitled, and gained lot of empathy. One of my daughter’s closer friends now, is very large, I mean, very – but goes to the gym regularly, and eats well, and has THE best sense of humour about everything, including her weight – and these girls love her, and have learned not to be such total narc bitches! And my girl knows she is mighty!

    • I love this one! For background I was trying to get sober for two years doing AA but didn’t understand importance of God. I kept failing with my own will power. I drank on a business trip, ended up w stitches and lied to my wife when I got home. She said she was done and leaving me. Up until now she was 100% in the right. But next day she started an affair. She’s used that she said it was over to justify her actions as of our marriage was that shallow. 14 months later I’m still sober and ‘saved’ and even teaching Sunday school to my sons kindergarten class. But she’s still w the Jersey Shore Wannabe.
      Well next to my wife, all our friends and entire family have been gone or awful over past year. I’ve had NO ONE from our previous life except my sons. I’ve had the most amazing genuine Christian friends enter my life all from our church or AA. My wife has commented that she now has no one.
      Well I have also shut most of my family out of my life. They weren’t family when I needed them to be by either not being there for us, talking bad about either my wife or I or worse. They’re all now horrified and insulted that I shut them out but I love not having the drama. Even my teenage son gets it and after he had dinner with my mom and his aunt & uncle wished he hadn’t. Boundaries on more than just spouse are great!

  • YMBARC, if the other whore walks up behind you at a place she obviously knows you frequent a says hello. When you turn around she spews out all the toxic whore speak and you ignore her. She continues to try to get a rise out if you and the whole time your thinking not only is she fucking ugly she is also an insecure needy moron. You laugh inside with the knowledge he wants to move back in with your daughter and he is seeing someone else but you keep this infirmation to yourself. Then you realize the pain you suffered with a cheater is over and you feel content being free to enjoy the life you gained by divorcing a serial cheater. The cord to the ‘baby cheater man’ is finally severed.

  • When you read posts from newer chumps and know what they are going through but realise that your own feelings have changed.
    When you have a dream about your ex coming back and wake up feeling relieved instead of disappointed.
    When you go from wanting to know all about his new life to not wanting to know about his new life to having little interest in his new life.
    When you can listen to a significant song without feeling all that sad.
    When you can relate to him like he is a distant relative.
    When something important happens and it does not occur to you to call him.
    When you can view your former marriage in the past tense – like your schooldays or your first job.
    When you realise that life is just too short.

    • So true about the realising your feelings have changed, the pain is no longer right there in your face. So, so true. This is where we’re valuable to new chumps. We know what we’re talking about when we say ‘it gets better’. Because we know it does. It’s different and maybe not what we expected but it’s definitely better.

    • “When you can listen to a significant song without feeling all that sad.”

      Me too! A song I listened to a lot in my “high pain” period came up on shuffle the other day. I was about to skip it and then thought I’d see what happened if I listened to it. I was fine. Better than fine!

      • I sat through “The Imitation Game,” with more triggers for me than a Spaghetti Western, and had only 20 seconds of sadness. The rest of the time I was “eh, so what?”

        • I am that newer chump and I thank all of you for sharing your personal journeys and struggles. The pain is overwhelming, but I am hopeful that I will someday be a recovered chump.

          • WhatAChump, I still have a bit further to go down the road, but it really does get better. Time+distance has been a healing elixir for me. Hang in there. This stuff is very hard to handle when you’re in the thick of it.

          • Stick with us WhatAChump – we have been there. You will move on in your own time and in your own way but it will happen if you let it.
            You will realise that time passes and life continues. What is so strange and scary to you now will settle into a new kind of normal and that old life will fade into memories. You will grow stronger because you have to and learn to do things you are scared of doing now. You will still feel sad sometimes and often when you least expect it. The good news is that the sadness grows weaker and passes faster and happens less often – its ok and normal – just ride it out. You will learn that far from being a “special case” your story is commonplace, your cheaters actions and lines from the same universal textbook, fake reconciliation is almost mandatory, your instincts were right but you ignored them and it is not just a phase or moment of madness.
            Life will go on but not the life you planned for or anticipated – it does not have to be worse and may very well be better – but it will be different.
            Your tears will dry, the pain will shrink, what felt like impossible will feel just fine…you will laugh again, enjoy the sunshine and simple pleasures, look forward to things and enjoy life again. Be patient with yourself…cry if you must but not all day. Cook yourself a decent meal. Do your garden. See friends. Have a bubble bath and paint your nails. Hold the hand of someone very young or very old. You matter and your life is no less precious because that person is no longer with you.
            I do wish that we could all get together…chumps old and new. We could eat chocolate, drink wine, share our stories and talk all day. Big hugs x

            • Thanks, Mary, for your kind words to WhatAChump. They helped me too who’s just starting to face life after. Most of us have spend everyday since learning of the affair soul searching, self-reflecting and improving our flaws and spiritual defects. We’ve read everything we can find about marriage, affair forgiveness, and reconciliation. Many of us have found Jesus, become active at our churches or communities, seen therapists, financial planners where we’ve learned to set budgets and some even have lost weight and gotten in better shape. We’ve been stable, loving parents making every decision based on what’s best for our kids.
              Meanwhile our cheating spouse has dug deeper in their hell hole of lies, deceit and selfishness. They’ve ran from God and surrounded themselves with enablers who won’t be there for them when they eventual crash hard into rock bottom and have to deal with the weight of the mess they’ve created for the wife/husband and kids that loved them most and at one point were ready to forgive. I haven’t seen it yet with my wife but I keep being told by people who’ve witnessed this story thousands of times the day will come when they all crash harder than we chumps did.
              I love this letter I found from a cheater and maybe it will give you something too.

              “I never dealt with the end of my marriage before moving on to a new relationship, and I took every last emotion that I should’ve confronted and tucked it neatly away in a box and started anew. I married my affair partner less than a year after our relationship began.

              I had an extremely delayed reaction to my affair and the consequences of it, and when it hit me it was the most devastating blow of my life. It suddenly became apparent to me that I had been in my own little selfish world and had been ignoring everything else.

              There aren’t words to describe the guilt associated with knowing that you nearly destroyed another human, let alone someone you loved, by your own selfish actions. The guilt has, and still does, haunt me every single day of my life. After some severe depression, and some advice from friends and other resources I am finally getting the help that I need.

              I want all of you to know who have been betrayed that there is another side to the story for some cheaters. There are days I can barely look at myself in the mirror, and I have a hard time almost daily facing the truth of what I did to my ex-husband, my children, and my new husband’s children.

              I would take the pain that I felt from being betrayed and cheated on a thousand times over rather than live with the guilt that I live with every day for having an affair, hurting my ex-husband, and destroying my family.

              If you are considering having an affair I want you to know, not just the consequences of what you will do to your spouse and children, but of what you will do to yourself. The guilt is unimaginable, and it will be with you for the rest of your life. You may go on and find happiness again, and I hope you do, but it will forever be part of who you are and the knowledge of what you did will never go away.

              My ex and I have a good relationship, mostly built around our shared children. I suffer every time I see him or anytime we have to talk about how to handle holiday schedules or birthdays. As I said, it is a horrible existence that I will never escape. “

              • On the surface this letter looks very contrite, but I don’t buy it for a second. The thing that sticks out like a sore thumb is the whole tone of the thing. I’m seeing….Yes, I blew up my marriage along with my A P, damaged all our children’s lives, note she doesn’t even mention his ex wife, ……only pity meee and pay attention to meeee, because I’m pretending to suffer sooo much over the mess that my AP and I created. I have centrality here. It’s all about MY suffering don’t cha know. See, I’m not really a selfish bitch, I’m actually suffering over this. Not enough to have actually tried to save my original marriage, or do the right thing by not cheating in the first place. I must have my cake. And if I can score more by pretending to be contrite, well good for me.
                Gag.
                Sorry, but that letter really rubbed me the wrong way.

              • I don’t disagree, Tessie. I think I remember the back story on this is that the woman who wrote this had experience on both sides of the affair. Her comment about taking the pain a thousand times over the guilt makes her still sound like a narcissist that most cheaters are. My only point in posting this is I keep hearing that eventually the guilt, shame and remorse is real and deep. Trust me …I hope it’s worse than any of us imagine for the cheaters. Or maybe once a narcissist always a narcissist. The two truths I keep being told are that the kids will always gravitate towards the healthier parent and the affair partners fairy tale will not end well. I hope both prove to be true.

              • Forgiving a cheater will NEVER happen. The narc has never been remorseful. That kept me stuck for years. Recovery is recognizing they cannot change. What they do with their life after you detach is what they aspired to in life. Ex said he thinks about me all the time. Their ‘guilt’ is as false as their false selves. It is about missing CAKE. If only they could keep that one foot in the door. NEVER fall for the false remorse. No contact, no empathy, no more bullshit. Recovery.

              • Donna, your words about recovery were perfect…..simply perfect. I haven’t heard a peep from the narc/cheater in almost a year. His last contact was an attempt to get back into my life by gaining sympathy for his life’s situation. Not my problem. NOT MY PROBLEM.

              • It appears that you’ve either edited or found an edited version of the original article, wherein she cites how her former affair partner turned husband is more or less perfect for her. And the overall tone of the letter is that while, yes, the betrayed partner has it rough, the betrayer actually has it much rougher due to guilt and shame. And the author was previously betrayed herself! She clearly learned nothing.

                I found it at http://www.emotionalaffair.org/guilt-vs-grief/

              • WhichWayDidSheGo,
                I should add the disclaimer that I am not yet a YMBARC and you can see it in my glimmer of hope that there’s some small seed of remorse & love in my cheating wife. I’m on this site bc I’m still hurting. Obviously, I can learn a lot from all of you. Thanks! SoberChump

              • SoberChump, I’m very much in the same camp. I didn’t intend to attack you or otherwise question your motives; I apologize and realize I could have stated my concerns better.

              • No need to apologize when you’re right! I’ve yet to see any remorse, regret or a change in behavior. The closest I’ve heard is “if I were you I’d hate me” and “I know I’ll never find anyone who’ll treat me as good as you did” but never enough for her to change her behavior at all …far from ending the affair for good and committing to repairing the marriage.

                We probably won’t recover until we stop looking for and expecting this.

  • I knew I was well on my way to recovery when his dumb assed texts simply made me roll my eyes, rather than got me riled. It takes an enormous amount for him to get to me these days. I can’t actually remember the last time anything happened, other than his usual bs with the kids. He tries, still, but I’m just ‘whatever’, then hit delete.

    So I might be a recovered chump. 🙂

  • Still having trouble with the R part of YMBARC but YMBARC if he yells, “I am done with you!” (in front of the young kids who you are putting to bed) and instead of shutting up or sobbing something snaps in your brain and you calmly say, “Well let me help you pack your bags.”

    And you hope some skank steps up to take him off your hands and out of your house ASAP. Dear God, please make him fall hard for this lady. And then give him a generous job transfer out of state.

    However I want to know how you stay tough going into D? I already pity him and picture him being lonely. And broke because I’m the one who has kept us afloat financially. And dragging our kids into his neverending drama.

    • ca-chump, the secret is to keep reminding yourself; he has fired you from the job of helping take care of him. You can even still feel all the pity (hey, we’re chumps, right?), but do NOTHING about it.
      Besides, he’s a big boy, he can manage all on his own. And if he can’t, it’s because of HIS choices, therefore not your problem any more.

      The dragging kids into the drama thing is harder to handle, but depending how old the kids are, you can stay out of it as much as possible. Organize and sympathize, but stop running interference between him and the kids, let him take responsibility for that relationship. Kids do wise up, too ….

    • I constantly reminded myself of all the effort, mental ability, tenacity, and shrewdness it took for him to cheat and lie for so long. That man had skills. He can call on them any time it benefits him, and put them away when it’s better for him to appear helpless.

      • That’s what I figured out, too. He acted like the king shit, and wanted all the power, except when it was more to his benefit to act all helpless, or say things like- I’ll be dead in a week, if you ever leave me!
        Well, I’ve been gone for over a year, and he’s survived.
        But, more importantly, I am learning to care for myself, and nurture my own life. He can do the same for himself.
        Nothing wrong with that!

    • Ca-chump: Write down all the stupid shit he has said, the nasty things he has done, details about D-day, and read them every day until you don’t give a darn if he’s ever lonely. Memory is selective, and our chumpy minds always return to the thought, “well, he/she’s not THAT bad.” Yes, yes they are. The notes are to remind you of that until indifference is internalized.

      • Tempest, I have several unsolicited texts and emails from just this past week reminding me of awful I was. Despite her saying a hundred times this year “she knows no one will ever treat her as good as I did” her nasty emails & texts have been so mean, unfair and vile. I do use them as a reminder.

        • SoberChump–not sure how far you are from D-day, but those emails & texts are the best therapeutic device imaginable. They hurt for awhile, and then you just start to shake your head at the cheater’s disorder, and think, “Thank goodness I’m out of that.”

          • Temp,
            I sent a note as an FYI about bills I have to pay the other day and got several long nasty emails back rehashing her rewritten version of marriage ending with this beautiful comment, “You love saying I am having an affair by breaking our vows. Well, you broke the vows first. A man is suppose to lead his family. You did a very poor job with that leading to no trust or respect in the marriage”.

            I actually agree with her point and have owned my mistakes but her using it to justify her affair is disgusting. Best part is I’m not least bit interested in replying. And that feels like progress.

            • Sober, the truly disordered ALWAYS blame their own misdoings on others, no matter how much they have to bend reality to do so. In fact, the ability to rewrite history and then believe your own story is a a huge red flag that a person is disordered.

              • Thanks GladIt’sOver. Reading about affairs early on after DDay helped me see how predictable her rewriting of our marriage was and that her lack of remorse and brutal comments were right from the script they all use. This really helped me realize it wasn’t my fault but she was just pathetic.

            • SoberChump,
              She sucks. She really sucks. Some people suck with the prettiest paintbrushes. She will never find a man to lead her to fidelity. What a nut.

            • All they can do is blame us.. my STBX does the same. One day I was just laying on the couch, too hurt to move.. it honestly affects me that way (physically)… I can’t move.. and he asked so I told him… I am hurt.. I don’t understand any of this. Why don’t you have any empathy for me? He is SO SO cold.

              He flew into an angry rage about how I had NEVER had empathy for him, the WHOLE marriage, I had been terrible to him for years, and NEVER gave him enough love. WTF?

              Every.Single.Time I tried to talk about how this made me feel, he raged at me. Because he’s guilty. That’s a defense mechanism. That was the final straw for me.. he isn’t capable of love. Or certainly not loving anyone but himself.

              I intend to be emancipated from it, as sad as it is.

        • Yeah, not there yet. I excel at remembering and hurting over the good times and suck at remembering the discard and peel out as she fled the scene. I (think I) know that I have it better than some because she’s never tried to get any attention from me, but damn it sucks to feel like I didn’t even matter enough to miss.

          D’oh! This is a recovered chump thread! I’m making slow progress, but I haven’t found anything that feels like meaning or purpose in my life as of yet, so the past still seems like the safest bet, problems or no (not that I have the option of going back). I feel empty inside and finally realize that I’m the only one who can fix that. Now to figure out a way to do that that works for me…

          • YMBARC if you realize that no one else can fill your soul and you need to find yourself, then you walk that road. Jedi Hugs WhichWayDidSheGo !

      • Tempest–I kept copies of his emails and texts to OW that showed that the affair was not an “accident” (he did not trip and find his dick in her), but that they were deliberately out to deceive me, with OW telling him how to sneak around. I found that very helpful. If I ever started thinking, “oh, he’s not so bad,” I could go and see that not only was he that bad, he was worse than I thought.

        It’s part of trusting that they suck. Once you trust they suck, then you can let go of the need to prove to yourself that they do. I occasionally get glimpses of texts from Schmoopie (the perils of push notifications), but instead of making me angry, they make me chuckle! He’s pulling the same crap on her that he pulled on me! 😛

  • YMBARC-

    If you correct lies like you would grammar for a young child… continuing the conversation with the facts, not feelings.

    If you now see his “sadness” as a manipulative distraction. And truly don’t care. “You need a minute? Let me know when you’ve gotten yourself back together.” *Shockingly*, it’s pretty much an instant phenomenon. 😉

    If you’ve learned to say NO – to him and to EVERYONE – without feeling the urge to explain why. You recognize that NO is enough. To anyone. Acquaintance: “Can you watch my child every Tuesday over summer vacation?” NO. (They wait… and wait. And you let the silence hang in the air. NO is enough.) “You have plans EVERY Tuesday, this summer?” No. I just don’t want to.

    If you find that your Spotting A Manipulator intuition has become finely tuned. That one friend who always came over to “hang out” because I like to drink and cook and make my friends feel valued? She’s not around anymore, now that unlimited alcohol and amazing meals aren’t whipped up the moment she arrives. And the moment *I* needed to talk about MY problems and the focus wasn’t SOLELY on her problems, she glazed over. Nope – done with it. No more one-sided “friendships.” I don’t need anyone in my life who takes and takes and gives nothing back.

    *I’ve become very blunt. lol – if they’re rude enough to INSIST on an explanation for me not doing them a FAVOR, they’re going to get the truth. No more effing around about it. Excuses/explanations tend to result in them asking again and again, for different things, in different ways. Saying the simple truth and standing up to them, simply and without extrapolation, means that it’s the END of it.

  • YMBARC…if your therapist tells you that you’ve actually done every single thing you can do, and suggests that you try life wihtout him for a while.

    You’ve completed your divorce.
    You’ve gone no contact with your ex for 1 year and counting, and you send any new e-mails from your ex directly to the trash bin.
    You’ve fulfilled short-term educational and career goals and are being asked to take on new responsibilities.
    You’ve paid off your debt and began saving for the big purchases that come with a new life.
    You’ve begun a relationship with someone new, who thinks you’re a catch despite what you’ve been through.

    Your therapist says, “This is life. And you have it more together than a lot of people.”

    No, life isn’t perfect. Yes, you still have bad days. Yes, you have a permanent scar, and there’s still some pain under there if you ever need it. And yes, some days it comes to the surface, whether you want it to or not.

    But nobody’s life is perfect. This is being an adult. This is loss. This is grief. This is moving on. This is the series of steps that move from surviving to thriving. And you’re on your way.

  • YMBARC if he passive aggressively pushes you around when asked to choose a paint color for a room and you simply end the conversation. Viola!! Two days later you drive him to the paint shop, pick up chosen colors and leave him to pay for them.

    YMBARC if his mother calls n he hands the phone to you and you ask her if she n her son had a falling out? Is he not talking to you anymore? ( boy this is priceless!! )

    YMBARC if you simply don’t acknowledge him around the house anymore and it doesn’t bother you that he is upset.

    YMBARC if you FINALLY bought yourself nice clothes without hunting for bargains at the back of the shop and compromising on sizes or styles cuz it fit your budget…

    YMBARC if his birthday came and went and it went unnoticed like yours has been since the time you met…

    I could do this all day…

    • Mind logic, YES, the birthday is a classic. It used to be so saddening for me when he brushed my birthday off. Some years he would throw out a simple „Happy Birthday“ days before the actual day just to let me know, done, got it over with, did my duty, or he would ask me, when was your birthday again? Serious ?WTF we had been married for quite some time and this self absorbed a-hole still doesn’t know my birthday? When the tobacco in my hopium pipe finally went out and I trusted „he sucks“ it stopped bothering me and I went about my merry way, making it a fun day with my lovely girlfriends. Last Birthday was definitely a Tuesday 🙂

      • Schmetterling, now your making me feel bad, I can’t remember birthdays to save my life! I remember the month, if that! I once compiled a calendar of everyones birthdays with reminders and then forgot to back it up, crash! It’s gone. yikes!

  • YMBARC when:
    Conversation I had with my (then) husband in the final days. I remained (outwardly) calm throughout:

    Me: “Okay, so you have said on several occasions ‘I have nothing to hide’, but you have cheated on me from before we were married and continued to do so, and have gone out of your way to keep all of this a secret from me. That doesn’t translate to ‘I have nothing to hide’ – in any language. Don’t you find this morally wrong?”
    Him: “Yes.”
    Me: “Then begs the question: Why?”
    Him: (after a long pause – looking down) “I don’t know”.
    Me: “Hmm…that answer indicates a serious disconnect in you.”
    Him: Dead silence, continues to eat his dinner.

    As soon as I could discreetly make the arrangements with the help of family and a friend, I moved out one day while he was at work, and he came home to a house devoid of me or my belongings. Surprise!

    It was my turn to be secretive. ;^)

    (PS: I haven’t seen him since – because I relocated 150 miles away, and he was unsure of my whereabouts.)

  • You delete all those books about “how to get him back” that you never should have bought in the first place.

    • Mine were actual printed books, but I had a whole stack. God, that was a lot of wasted money. I donated them all to the library.

      • I’m just about to take a box of books to my library. Its contents will include several books about psychopaths, narcs and alcoholism. It’s my sincere wish they be retained by the library for patrons to check out. If not, they will go to their bookstore. Either way, it’s a win win. Passing on this validating and valuable information will give me a spirit lift!

      • I read:
        How to Hug a Porcupine &
        The Surrendered Wife.

        Please, ChumpLady, we need a book called “The Empowered Wife”.

        Appeasement is a farce & concession is a joke. Never buy that BS. Never think vulnerability is the answer after someone has shown their true colors. Never trust the judgment of ‘an expert’ over your gut. It is your safety & your life at stake.

  • I’m in chump limbo…

    I’m still a chump bc I haven’t given him a deadline to move out and stupidly thought he’d be gone “after the holidays” like he said.

    I might be a recovering chump because I just bought two new rooms of furniture, including a fabulous “mommy suite” (that he’d never be able to afford on his own) and plan on just piling all the old junk down in the basement (where he “lives”) when the new stuff comes.

    The sales lady was like “so do you want to go home and discuss this with your husband first” and I was like “oh hell no.”

    • NoMoreDancing–you’re taking steps forward, and that is progress (but throw his sorry ass out for your own mental health).

    • nomore, have you spoken to a lawyer about what your options are to get him out? ‘Cause nothing says ‘reformed Chump’ than filing!

      I had to find the apartment for my narc cheater, and then bring him over to sign the lease. Then I had to tell him to stop coming over. Seeing the kids had to occur at his place, or elsewhere. THEN I had to tell him to stop doing his laundry at the house! Man, those lazy asses can drag their feet …. And I think at some point they start realizing that maybe what they’ve done wasn’t that good an idea – but guess what? Too late!

      • I kicked X to the curb with the agreement we would give ourselves 30 days apart and he agreed to live in the travel trailer. Not 2 days had passed while I was de-lousing the bedroom he used to fuck her in (and found her panties in it! It was so gross) and he waltzes into the house one afternoon (I hadn’t changed the locks yet), unannounced and sat down and made himself a big double martini. I’m like WTF?? Took me a moment to gather my senses and he had about 1/2 hour sitting there while I was washing this bed of his. And, I completely unloaded on him. I’m pretty sure I scared him. (and thank God my friend was here helping me clean)

        It took him exactly 5 mins to exit while I screamed at him all the way down the driveway.
        Guess I can scream pretty loud.

        Yes, a little-nerve shattering but it made me feel good. Changed the locks immediately.

        I have NO idea what he was thinking. He sure didn’t realize my level of anger right then and it all went downhill from there. He never got to enter the house again. Yeah – kick-ass!

        • My cheater walked into the home after Dday like he belonged here and that was after he moved out. One day I told him, “Please wait at the door unless I invite you in.” He got so angry.

      • My X refused to leave our home, even though divorce papers were filed and he had options to live at two homes left by his parents, his sister’s house or, his bimbo’s rat hole where he spent all his time. His rationale? “It’s my property.”

        Nothing says fucked up like calling the home of 20 years spent raising a family your “property.”

        Longest 11 months of my life!

  • YMBARC if your ex yells and screams at you for whatever reason and your reply is, “Thank you for reminding me why we are no longer married.” And you drive away.

  • YMBARC if, after 2 years post D, you are told by ex that the reason for the collapse of a 28 year M is because I did not make him cut back on work, I did not make him have friends and I did not make him take more family vacations. And all I had to say to him was that I am so happy that I am not married to a 10 year old anymore that has to be told what to do! And I didn’t try to explain my response when all I heard were crickets!

    • Baby steps, Moose, be really kind to yourself, surround yourself with kindred spirits, and when the pain seems insurmountable go do something that feeds your soul. Exercise saved me in those early years. Best wishes to you on your journey.

  • YMBARC if your 18 year old daughter comes home from spending time with her dad and tells you that he was really annoying because all he did was criticize her until she finally blew up at him and then she felt bad because she did. She also tells you that because of that, she doesn’t think she’s going to spend as much time with him going forward. You are secretly beyond excited to think that she may finally start seeing him for what he really is but also concerned that she’s reacting the same way that you did. But you know that she spends a limited amount of time with him which will help her stay emotionally healthy. You simply reply ‘it’s always your choice’.

    • BBC,
      What a GREAT mom you are!!!! “It’s always your choice.” You keep empowering your daughter. I wish I had had you as my mom when my parents divorced when I was about your daughter’s age . . . . maybe I wouldn’t have ended up repeating the script for twenty more years.

      • I kept reminding my kids (in all sorts of life situations) that we must judge our relationships by how people ACT, not what they say. This is so helpful when the other parent ACTS in a non-loving way.

  • In terms of my “moment” of chump recovery: that happened after eight months or so of bogus reconciliation, during which the emotional abuse and mind fuckery steadily got worse and worse. We were having breakfast in a restaurant, on our way to a fun day of boating. I asked ex how he was feeling, meaning had he slept well. His reply, however, was, “I see no reason for me to work on this marriage, because you won’t accept me unless I have a job.” That was so unexpected, I really had no reply, but asked him if he expected me to wait around forever for him to get his act together. He answered that yes, he did, because I “had never given him any reason to think otherwise.”

    Well, we went boating and had a good time, but my heart felt like it had sunk right out of my body. I knew that was it. I have no idea why that particular incident was the final straw, because he had done WAY worse things during that reconciliation, but that was it. I called my attorney the next day and told her to finish the divorce. It was the hardest thing I have ever done, and the scariest.

    As for long term chump recovery, it’s been four years since that breakfast. My divorce was final three years ago. I’ve been dating Nice Guy for 1.5 years now, going well. My career has taken an upswing recently. Life is okay. If you had told me on Dday that things would get better, that life would go on, that I would eventually heal, I wouldn’t have believed you. But it’s the truth.

    • “I see no reason for me to work on this marriage, because you won’t accept me unless I have a job.”
      The recovered chump would respond with: “That sounds about right. A marriage is two parties pulling their own weight, and that would constitute pulling your weight.” Can pretty much guarantee that you’ll only get a stunned silence in response.

  • YMBARC when you feel that it’s better to be alone than in bad company.

    YMBARC when you file the divorce papers.

    YMBARC when you stop accepting blame.

  • YMBARC if your ex texts you wanting to get together to “chat” and you reply no thanks, you cannot imagine what you would have to chat about.

    YMBARC if your ex texts that he bought you a box of Wheatena, which you really really like and can no longer buy on the west coast, but after thinking about it for a couple minutes, you text back, “No thanks. Keep it for yourself.”

    If those two events had happened a couple years ago, I would have JUMPED at the opportunity to do the dance. Now, it just made me tired to think of the mind fuckery he wanted to unleash upon me. I don’t even know if he was trying to pull me back in, but it doesn’t matter. I don’t want anything to do with him.

  • YMBARC if you are now choosy who you let in your life. If they show you who you are, you believe them the first time and walk away if they show signs of personality disorders.

    You work on your FOO issues (as mentioned before) to uninstall those chumpy buttons.

    You don’t miss cheater ex or his narc family one little bit.

    You decide to do some nice things for yourself and not feel guilty because, finally, you decide you are worthy of it just as you are.

    You have a much better sense of boundaries, and a much better ability to enforce them,

    You hate drama and refuse to have it in your life.

    You stand up for yourself and your loved ones without feeling guilty.

    You reclaim your right to be who you are, realizing that you are a child of Spirit, no better or worse than any other. You recognize you are a unique person, here to add your own special energy to the world, and filling a niche only you can fill. And because you are who you are, that energy contributes to the goodness and light in the world instead of the darkness, chaos and pain. you choose to live your life being a blessing rather than a curse.

      • Ouch, yes Little Lady. One scenario comes to mind when I read your post. We were just married, I was sitting at the computer typing some mails to my family in Germany when entitled, selfish H comes in, walks straight up to me and says in a demanding voice: Move over“ and so I did, I really got up to make room for his holiness the narc.without any protest. Unimaginable for me today and he wouldn’t dare get away with this BS nowadays. But it was a long road, lessons learned the hard way. It took quite a while until I realized, damn this marriage is fucking abusive, that is the reality. 18 yrs. later I remember very vivid how the scenario made me feel (next to so many other occurrences) and instead of roaring like a lion I was PARALYZED unable to protect myself from his fucked-up-ness.

  • YMBARC if… you only chuckle when 1.5 yrs post divorce ex starts CCing OWife on all correspondence.
    Not so smooth in paradise after all.

  • YMBARC if you no longer feel shame that you were cheated on. You know–bone-deep–that it never had anything to do with you and what you did or didn’t do.

  • Here’s mine:

    YMBARC if your ex tells you on Christmas Day that he doesn’t think he can spend the rest of his life with you and you ask him to fork over the house keys right there and then and throw him out.

    YMBARC when he comes back the next day to shovel the snow and you don’t even bother opening the door.

    YMBARC when he shows up 8 months after the divorce, apologizing and wishes things were different and you look at your watch because you’re concerned you may get to the mall in time.

    YMBARC when you are told he was rushed to the hospital and you asked, “For a moral implant?”

    YMBARC when you gain so much wisdom and growth that you now have a powerful narc radar.

    • Uniquelyme, yes indeed, good reminder.

      YMBARC if your ex calls you from the hospital saying he’s had another heart attack; you calmly tell him he is violating his protective order and hang up but you don’t report him because you know the judge will be sympathetic to him

  • YMBARC when you get a protection order and find the strength to block his calls and messages and the fog begins to life…and the lobster starts to climb out of that boiling pot where she’s been trapped for so long.

    YMBARC when your teenage nephews and brother in law help you de-ex the house and you get to laugh about the jokes they make about his tacky clothes and whore-bait cologne and your 15 year nephew tells you he’s afraid to take it and wear any of it lest he attract a trail of skanky married soccer moms and trashy whores.

    YMBARC when you realize your whole marriage – although very real to you at the time – was nothing more than a movie with exH as a bad actor. And now the movie is over, and nothing was real, and you get to walk out of the theater into the sunlight (just like the book The Outsiders…remember that one?).

    YMBARC when you can throw out the huge stack of books that you bought to try to understand him and help him and love him.. and you can now read books with your daughter that you enjoy about bad-ass girls like Hunger Games and you can raise her to be stronger than you were.

    YMBARC when he calls to tell you that he got married, and you are so very relieved that you are completely free of him. And you actually feel sorry for her.

    YMBARC when he calls and tries to flirt with you so you won’t renew your CPO because it “might make him look bad” and you do it anyways.

    and, YMBARC when you have to be cross-examined by him in court to renew your CPO, and he claims that he “doesn’t remember” being violent, and you look him right in the eyes, and don’t cry, and tell him that you know he may have done the best he could, but that you will NEVER, EVER let him hurt our your children again.

    • ReDefiningMe: “and your 15 year nephew tells you he’s afraid to take it and wear any of it lest he attract a trail of skanky married soccer moms and trashy whores.”

      That is hysterical!!

    • Oh my!
      Funny story:
      Loki started buying body wash with pheromones!
      No joke.
      He said something like, “to attract girls”…
      My eight year old wanted to use some because he heard it would “attack girls”.

      Ladies run from this^^^It does not end well.

  • YMBARC … When you do a Reverse False Reconciliation. The last time I caught Cheater in contact with Whore, I threw him out but after about a month he was begging to come back, would not get a divorce, etc. So, I basically told him I will never trust you or forgive you and I seriously doubt this will work, but OK you can come back. I used the time after that while we were together to observe him for what he really was and COMPLETELY detach myself from him. I know from my past history that if I have any doubts about a person and have any unfinished business I’m at risk for returning to the relationship. It progressed like I thought it would. I cared less and less until I finally didn’t care at all. I quit having sex with him, quit kissing him, quit saying ily. Didn’t buy any gifts. Only interacted with his family rarely. No more dancing for me. With him or anyone else. I do think someone cheating on you can stir up false emotions for that person sometimes. The false reconciliation was a cooling off period for me to completely fall out of love so I really don’t regret it.

  • I have taken my chump lessons into the dating world. I have without hesitation quickly ended several starting relationships because cheat-radar is on now 24/7. The most recent classic, from a fellow chump of all people, “i will continue to see my ex (wife, the cheater) because despite everything, I still want her sometimes”. YUK. She cheated for several months with the kids’ tennis coach in her own marital bed!

    Oh, he was the one who also told me “chump is such a harsh word”. Me: ROFL. Some chumps it seems do not recover.

  • YMBARC if you call your STBX’s former business partners and apologize for having believed all the lies your then-husband told you about how his biz partners (one of whom was his best friend in college and best man in our wedding) “screwed him over” in the business, because now you realize it was your husband who screwed THEM over.
    YMBARC if you then call every single person (Thank God it wasn’t that many) that you had told about “how your husband had been double crossed by his business partners” and corrected the lie you had unwittingly spread.

    YMBA(NONrecovered)C if you bail your X out of jail for non payment of child support by PAYING YOUR OWN CHILD SUPPORT PAYMENT then treat him to lunch after getting him out of jail and giving him gas money so he can drive back to his OWife.
    YMBARC if a mere three years later, you insist that the Child Support Services Dept. add the court-ordered interest to his back child support. (You would think they would do this automatically since it is a court order but no, I had to push like hell.) When you get the grand total (upwards of a half million $$$) but before it has been formally ordered by the court, you then generously offer to X “make it go away” provided he allows your new husband to adopt the kids. You create a “Win – Win” proposition, where, guess what, your kids win EITHER WAY!!! And you are happy and excited with either choice your X makes. For once, he can’t go wrong! Option 1: Money for the kids (or rather sporadic payments and X in jail repeatedly because he can’t afford to pay the money) Even two child support payments a year would be a 100% increase over what he has paid in the past. Option 2: X terminates parental rights, now stable hubby can adopt. If you die before the children are grown, now you don’t have to worry that X and abusive OWife will be raising the children.

    • Wow, that is a whole lot of awesomeness right there. I’m floored that your ex was actually jailed for not paying support, though. Mine quit a $100K job to become an actor and has been unemployed since (5 years.) Our local child support agency has done NOTHING, and even suggested he file to lower his ordered support so he wouldn’t rack up as much in arrears (currently $41K). The agency then guided him through the process and slashed the order to 1/5 of what it had been. He STILL isn’t meeting all the lowered support and they STILL have done nothing to penalize him in any way. It’s pathetic.

      • Oh, it took a very long time for it to get to that point. He quit paying child support the month he married the OW. The next year, when they had a new child, X had it lowered to a fraction of the original amount. He made one token payment at that time to look good to the court. But then quit paying again. So it added up. I had our case transferred over to Child Support Services so as to not have to pay a lawyer to collect. Eventually called him down to court and he showed up with nothing (not knowing what to expect. I didn’t either) and we sat there watching deadbeat dad (sorry, male chumps, but it was all dads on this day) after deadbeat dad get up and plead their case to the judge and either make some kind of payment -which they had been smart enough to bring with them — or get hauled off to jail to await some family member to bail them out. El Jefe’s eyes got about as big as saucers. These folks were getting penalized for owing just a few hundred dollars, maybe a few thousand. At that point in time I think he owed $40 or $50K in back child support, so he looked really bad compared to the others. He goes outside and calls his elderly mom who lives out of town and she promises to cash in two CD’s for a total of $6K if I can keep him out of jail. Here’s the other problem. I happened to know that X had finally gotten desperate to get a job working for someone else (he realized that self employment thing wasn’t working out so well for him) and he had gotten a call-back for a second interview and was waiting on the call from the prospective employer that very week. If he could get that job I could have his wages garnished and child support would no longer be an issue. So, when the judge called us up to the stand I told the judge I knew he had been looking for a job and was hopeful about this next one. I was being very polite and asked for leniency. So then she asks X about his income, how he lives (off the child support his OWife gets from her X for her two kids from first marriage), where he lives (in his MIL’s house) who pays for his cell phone (his FIL) and car (FIL). She rips him a new asshole that if he can take all that from his new family that he could have found a way to provide something for his original children. She set the “bail” (which comes back to the custodial parent as child support) at a minimal level — $865– in response to my request in the hopes that he could easily raise that kind of money and get out of jail in time for a possible upcoming job interview. As the bailiff was taking El Jefe away, he called me over and told me, Lady, if you can get to the bank and get cash, and get back here within 30 minutes, I can avoid transporting your X to the big jail. I’ll can keep him in this little holding cell for a short while. I’ll have to admit, several years out from the divorce by now, I had grown to think of my X as a 6-foot-5-inch pussy, so what better place for him to be than somebody’s bitch! But I kept thinking about that possible job, and I scurried to the bank , got the $865 out for my own child support payment, and rushed to the jail as fast as I could. It was a huge gamble. Six weeks later I still hadn’t gotten the $6K promised by his mom, and I was kicking myself. Turns out, she had sent it to X (which I had told her not to do) and I guess he dilly dallied on getting it deposited into my child support account. But it did pay off for me. Sadly, he didn’t get that great job. After that X wised up and realized that if he made one pitiful payment a year it would keep them off his ass. So he did. Usually in January. I went along with it because I thought he didn’t have the money. But then last year, I found out he was remodeling his MIL’s house that he lived in. He had money for that. I also found out that OWife was no longer trying to kick him out because she was happy with him for making money. Evidently his little business had picked up some steam. But guess who was last on his priority list? So I went down to Child Support Services and pushed. Every time he was late, I would go to CSS in person and file a complaint. They took his Drivers License. They took his business license. Then he would pay. One payment is all he had to pay to get this stuff back. So the next time he was late, I would hightail it right back down there. I was happily remarried by this time and only working part time, so I had plenty of time to make “collecting” my part time job. I found out that CSS was a private company contracted by my state to manage collections. I asked why they didn’t charge interest and they beat around the bush, giving me bullshit answers like charging interest doesnt help the offending parent actually get the arrears paid, etc. So I said, let me ask you, how does the State judge your company when interest is charged on back child support that can’t be collected. Aha! I found out the collection company looks bad to the state because it drastically increases the amount of support owed and it screws up their collection ratios which is how they are compensated. So day in and day out, I went in. I learned every one of these CSS staff members jobs, what they do, what they can’t do. I was there every fucking day. They all passed me around because I knew more about their jobs than they did!!!! Asking to see the manager. Asking to see the staff attorney. I made sure the CSS folks knew I had nothing else to do but monitor them. I did it nicely. I did it politely. But I did it. Day in and day out. I would wait my turn, get my appointment, ask the name and title of the person I was meeting with, note the date and time of day in my journal (in plain view of them), pull out my 50 manila file folders and ask for status reports, what my options were, why is this person was telling me the opposite of what the person I met with the day before had told me, etc. etc etc. And you know what was so sad. Sitting there in the waiting room, watching these single moms coming in to try to collect a little $100 here or there in back child support. And realizing that that measley $100 could be life or death for that mom and her little kids and my $60K in back support I could take it or leave it because I had means. And realizing that yes it was a pain in the ass for me to find someone to watch my kids so I could drive across town to the CSS office and spend half the day, or worse, drive across town only to be told we are not taking any more appointments today. And turn and see the look on the face of the person behind me in line as they shut it down and realize she had taken public transportation and likely time off work (unpaid) to come in here just to try to get a little relief. And realizing that many of them don’t bother because they can’t even get there. And if they do come they have to bring their kids. And realizing that these moms didn’t have the education or the experience or the financial savvy or the capability or the sheer time or the connections to do the hard research to question CSS’s methods and call them on their bullshit and hold their ass accountable. CSS wasn’t used to having a “client” like me. They finally made the top manager of the whole shebang my “point person.” They were so adamant about not charging interest. I said, maybe that philosophy works well for many of your clients, if they have minimum wage jobs, etc. But my ex works for himself. He is a businessman. And, if he has some money, but not enough to pay for everything, and he is going to have to borrow money, where do you think he is going to borrow money? On his Visa card that will cut him off when he reaches the limit and will charge interest every month that the balance is not paid off? Not only that, should he default on a payment they increase the interest and even cancel his ability to borrow money at all? Hell no! Why should he do that when you (CSS) have made it so attractive to borrow on the backs of his children with no penalties whatsoever? It’s not my fault you haven’t done your job to collect his arrears and they have piled up to $60K. I want the 12.99 percent interest added to the arrears. The bozos at CSS told me I would need to go to Juvenile Court and have a court order put in place for the interest. So I said, okay. Next day, I go to Juv. Court instead of CSS. Meet with atty. She does some research and comes back and says, “You need to ask CSS why they are not already enforcing this court consent order requiring interest that your X AGREED TO six years ago.” so the next day, I go back to CSS, and I say, ever so sweetly, “I took your advice. And guess what! There is already a court order on file! And the atty at Juv Court wanted me to ask you why CSS hasn’t been enforcing it all these years.” Of course, more scurrying to get the “big boss” in there etc. Then months and months of them manually calculating the interest “because we are not set up to do it.” (Why not????????? There’s another question.) But the grand total was more than a half million$$$$ due to compounding. I realize I am going on and on and on. There is more but you get the picture. This would not have happened if I had had the time, energy, means, etc etc to take this on. It’s unsustainable. That’s what deadbeat parents are counting on. That’s what the system is counting on. That they can just ride it out. In the end, I am glad my X chose to let my hubby adopt. Now I am completely free!!

    • I hope you are helping others do this MissDelta, and I hope CLs new book could incorporate some of this info. It would be cool if you could write up the best way to make this happen for people who cannot go every day and give it to the women’s shelter for their clients.

  • YMBARC when you look at your ex and what he’s doing and immediately reference the Chump Lady column that applies! Narcs are all so similar that CL is bound to have written about every aspect of their behaviour:)
    You KNOW you’re a recovered chump when you look at your ex (and you previously felt that they’d won everything and you’d lost everything) and think to yourself “Thank god I’m living my life, not his!”.

  • YMBARC, when you realize what you thought was a loving relationship was really abuse and you are greatful you took the difficult but necessary steps to divorce the serial cheating narcissistic porn addicted alcoholic pot smoking prick. That’s not anger. It’s the truth that leads to happiness.

  • YMBRC because I kicked him out at the one and only DDay.

    YMBRC I got my own bank account at a completely separate bank and had my next paycheck deposited there so he couldn’t use it to pay for the hotel he was staying at….4 miles from Ho-workers house.

    YMBRC if you painted your bedroom a pretty deep purple and bought all new bedding to make it your own.

    YMBRC if you now regularly take yourself shopping for going-out clothes and pretty under things at your favorite stores.

    YMBRC if, when you see him now, you just don’t care. He’s less attractive. Fatter. And I am thrilled I don’t have to shave his back. Ever again.

    YMBRC if you are soooooo happy you don’t feel the need nor the desire to cook dinner every single flippin’ night. And you’ve lost weight because of it. (I used to sweat that shit.)

    YMBRC if you embrace change. Like having to stop homeschooling to put your kid in public school. You apply for new jobs that may be exciting and make you happier.

    YMBRC if, finally, you are not afraid to sit at home alone. With just yourself as company. And it feels nice.

  • I started enforcing boundaries immediately. I changed the locks and dumped all her crap on the front lawn and I filed.

    But you know what? There is no definitive way to choose someone who you KNOW FOR SURE won’t cheat.

    I thought my wife was an angel. Much nicer than me, so I thought, and far more empathetic to the pain of others. I thought she would never inflict the pain of infidelity on someone she steadfastly and consistently claimed to love. In fact, I knew she would never cheat. I wasn’t as even as good a person as she and I would never cheat, at least I think I wouldn’t, and that’s why I thought she would never cheat.

    But guess what? Yep, she cheated on me. I had to give her half of everything still. I will be staying single now.

  • YMBARC is you aren’t in any hurry to come to a determination about the character of someone new you meet–whether a new colleague, someone from church or a social group, or a potential date. And, YMBARC if you are even taking another look at the character of people you think you have “known” for years.

    • LAJ, I’m also very observant of others now and there are a few red flags I notice immediately. I’m convinced Cheater’s brother is a cheater as well.

      The reason I think this is they have the same dysfunctional family, he has worked away from home for weeks at a time for years, and is on marriage number three.

      Xbil has children in their late 20s , early 30s he has not seen in years. 15 minimum. Cause wife #1, their mother, is a bitch, you know. Wife #2 suddenly divorced him a couple of years ago. He started dating wife #3 not much longer afterward and they have been married since last summer.

      Xbil, who lives in the west, has decided to reunite with two grown sons, who live in Texas. Is he taking the new wife (who was not other woman as far as I know)? No, he is taking his brother (cheater) who lives 3 states away, in the south. He is paying all cheater’s expenses including meals, airfare, whatever for a five day trip. (I know this due to child care arrangements with me). I told Cheater I think this trip is a reason for his brother to Get Out of the House for Five days.

      • Anyway, I told Cheater this and of course he said his brother wouldn’t Do That. I asked if BIL and wife #2 broke up because he cheated. He said No, she filed. We all know that means nothing. Like I said, I have a strong feeling the Xbil is a cheater. He always wanted to go bar hopping when he was in town, and would go out alone. He hasn’t travelled for work since he married wife #3 and I just think the entire trip is a cover for cheating. I’ll never know probably though.

    • That’s interesting, LAJ. I do this too now, but hadn’t realized it fully until I read your words. I think I’ve seen too much, and I know that some people have the capacity to do monstrous things, even the ones with the nice and positive personas.

  • The scariest thing is that the most improbable respectable people cheat, too.

    It’s really difficult to know who will or who won’t cheat. I thought a picked a good one and was sure of this for years. But I was wrong. That sucks. But in the end. I don’t think it was my fault my spouse cheated. Not in any way. Sure we had the typical ups and downs, but it still was a choice my spouse made aloe. There were other options. They chose to cheat.

    Still, I am buying a couple of dogs, instead of remarrying ever again.

    • It’s bad enough that the sweetest, most trusted spouses cheat but the worst part is the Affair Fog …that they become so stereotypical In how dishonest, mean and insane they truly become and how long it lasts. They all rewrite how awful their chump was in order justify their behavior. They really become another person similar to finding out your spouse is suddenly a meth addict!

    • Please adopt, don’t buy. Adopted dogs make the most grateful companions, and in the worst case if you realize that you chose one that is not well adapted to your lifestyle, the shelter will take it back and let you pick another. They come in all ages, shapes, sizes, colors, breeds, and unique models. It feels so good to give a poor dog another chance to be happy. I have only one regret: that I did not consider adoption earlier.

    • Does It Matter, the cheating has zero to do with you and everything to do with the concious choice, albeit horrible, that your cheater made in their own pea brain! They’ll load you up with endless inane reasons for the why they flopped into bed with some scummy sub human. Truth is, they wanted to cheat and they found some other lowlife who was willing to go to bed with them! Leave the stinking thinking behind! I’m sure you are of the same high quality as all of the Chumps here! I think the Cheater knows they aren’t good enough to be our partners so they go hunting for the same slimy person they are and inevitably find them under some rock! Just remove that burden from your shoulders, it’s them, NOT US!!

      • “I think the Cheater knows they aren’t good enough to be our partners so they go hunting for the same slimy person they are and inevitably find them under some rock!”

        Roberta, I love you! LOLOL!

  • YMBARC when you don’t miss the narc at all and 8 months post divorce realize your life is better in every possible way without him

    YMBARC when you politely decline to complete any of the tasks he asks of you instead of telling him where to go

    YMBARC when you go for hours having a good time with friends and forget completely how awful your life has been

    YMBARC when you have moments when you feel happiness, gratitude, experience belly laughs and exchange jokes with your kids.

    YMBARC when you and your children are beside yourselves with excitement because you are getting a kitten

  • Soberchump:

    Arggh some of my posts are not showing up. Not sure why.

    My situation was somewhat different. She never blamed me. Wanted to work it out right away. Said she was wrong blah yadda blah.

    Sadly, I was a deal breaker for me. She knew that. We had discussed it early on before we even married. She always swore she would never cheat and seemed disdainful of cheaters.

    Her affair lasted six months and only ended when a mutual friend ratted on her.

    Now, I have the added burden being the injured spouse, but now feeling badly because I won’t take her back.

    I don’t hate her. I would just rather be alone, then have to play detective in our marriage ’til death do us part.

    • And that is totally your prerogative. It sucks to be miserable and playing detective. Towards the end of my marriage my ex would keep coming back, apologizing and end up returning to his MOW constantly. I finally figured out (yep, I was thick) that I also had a choice and I chose to boot his ass out and follow through with the divorce. I won’t lie, it was horribly hard, but I can honestly say that I am so much happier now! And I did get a dog, a little Dachshund and my life is good! Make the choice based on your needs. She certainly had no problem making decisions for her selfish self that affected you adversely!! And at the time she wasn’t considering your feelings at all!

  • YMBARC if when Cheater #1 drops off your kids you wonder how you ever let him be in the same breathing space as you much less have sex and procreate with you.

  • YMBARC if you can finally think of your pending divorce and consider that maybe, just maybe, you’re not giving up anything of value because what you thought was a diamond was nothing more than a well-cut, shiny piece of glass all along.

  • YMBARC if you signed the final divorce affidavit and sold the family home on the same day (last Wednesday) and celebrated with champagne
    while XH sulked!

  • YMBAR(ing)C when instead of doing the pick me dance, you let your STBX have it. Letting everything you’ve Benny wanting to say from how shitty of a dad he is to what a fucking liar he is. You just let it all come spewing out. And after all is said and done? You’re not ashamed about any of the mean things you said. You’re more embarassed that you said fuck in the drug store parking lot

  • I would really love to see Monocles become shorthand for Narcsense talk or actions.

    So what did STBX have to say at the hearing?

    Monocles,

  • YMBARC if you let him think he gets to keep that late-model pick up truck,
    then you swoop in while he’s at work in the old truck, repo the new one,
    dash to the title office and title that thing in your name only – then sell it.

    Yes, I did that. And it felt good. I made damn near all the payments anyway.

  • YMBARC when you no longer care if the new victims are younger, thinner, wealthier, whatever!

    YMBARC if the thought of him dropping dead tomorrow only ilicits a “meh” reaction from you and thoughts about how insurance proceeds will be spent.

    YMBARC when the thought of never laying eyes on the Devils spawn is the most comforting, gratifying relief you have felt in a long time!

  • You know you’re recovered when you have combed through all the resources here, and you can accurately predict the response or behaviour that your ex will spout off, and as a result you are a bit detached emotionally from it.

  • YMBARC if you have an upcoming court date and could care less whether he shows up or not. If he is there you and your lawyer will have a good laugh at his expense as the Judge reprimands him for not complying with the final judgement of the divorce he wanted!

    YMBARC if you read comments from fellow chumps at the beginning of the process and so badly want to give them a huge hug and high five to tell them they too will be OK. Time heals. No matter how hopeless you feel today please know better days are ahead.

    YMBARC if the things that used to stress you out are no big deal now after all you have dealt with since D-day.

    YMBARC if you throw a party after the divorce for all your family and friends who let you cry on their shoulder, loaned you money and listened to all the drama your Xpos caused in your life.

    YMBARC if your XH’s father died as the divorce was being finalized and XH brings the tramp to the services. You show how classy you are by giving the big jerk off a hug and consoling your MIL as she calls out your name in tears when you enter the room as the whore stands in the back of the room watching you mingle with the family you were a part of for 31 YEARS…

    YMBARC if at the services for your dear FIL who knew his son was a creep and told him so, you and your daughter , who does not speak to her dad, made a huge poster of the many happy memories we all had as a family and even included cheater XH in the pictures so as not to appear BITTER or ANGRY. True class, thank you very much!

    YMBARC if you no longer feel “off balance” or lash out and criticize others just to have something in common with your XH and now realize why you did that. He of course still does this because he refuses to look in the mirror and change or improve his behavior.

    • YMBARC if……You can HAPPILY hand over your wedding dress to an ‘Angels’ charity that cut it up and re-sew little gowns for little babies who did not make it. That REALLY puts the pain in perspective. Not that your Ex did not cause horrible pain, but that some poor people are experiencing worse pain (in my opinion).

      Also, YMBARC if……you know that the OW is 6 years older, 40 pounds heavier, and 6 inches shorter (basically, a short, old, fat, slutty version of you), and he STILL picked her, and you’re ok with it.

      Meh…..Have him lady. Enjoy the lies and psychosis.

      • C. Loved your second paragraph in its entirety! My ex’s new Owife is an older, wrinkly, dumber, smaller version of me. Okay I am a little more big boned. Seriously. More to love, right!?!? She is a mouse though. Meek, manipulative, a serial cheater, so opposite me in character! I am told I have great energy, my doc wants to know if I train for triathlons, lol! And my friends say I rock! Whore lacks more my wit and my pure loving heart. (I would never abandon my own child or blow someone else’s family up. Just eeeewwwwwww.)

        • New and C–I wasn’t aware of the ‘Angel Project’ so I googled it. The chapter here in Texas had such overwhelming response to their January gown drive, they are accepting no more until September……that’s gratifying!

          I read about the genesis of the organization. Babies were being buried in hospital blankets, washcloths, whatever could be accessed until a nurse had a brain storm. Such a sad situation with a brilliant and poignant solution.

          Newchumpatl–thank you for giving me the knowledge that some comfort is given to grieving parents by way of this program.

  • YMBARC, if you realize late in the evening that it was exactly a year ago today that you began packing up your belongings to move out of the cheating narcissist’s house and all you feel is MEH!

  • Recovered Chump I am. Married 21 years to an Asshole who cheated the weekend after our wedding with a man. (I found this out 20 years later). So…. this last year – 10 years after our divorce (and his remarriage – WTF? he likes MEN?) I decided to go after all the $$ that he never paid me. I had TWO judgments – and he owed me about 80,000.00.

    I got a lawyer… We put a lien on the house that he and his wife lived in (about 7 hours from me). Little did I know that he was leaving this woman and trying to take all the equity out of their home (it was her home before she married him! – she stupidly put him on the deed). And my lien stopped EVERYTHING for him hahahaha!!! So for about 4 days I had 14 messages on my cell phone a day… and on my work message recording. Saying “We need to stop playing phone tag”. I LAUGHED my guts out – doesn’t phone tag take TWO? I certainly was not calling him! I ignored every text and every call. And even when he tried to go through our kids (they are all in their late 20’s now) he still couldn’t get a hold of me.

    I told my lawyer to do every single little thing. I did not send my ex ONE text, ONE email or give him ONE word. I NAILED HIM. And I walked away with my money in November of 2014. I heard through the grapevine that he is split from her now too…. hahahaha!! NO MORE CHUMPING here! NADA!

    • Wow, MIGHTY! I wonder if I don’t have a case re dissipating assets with the mortgage/house he walked out on. He made bank, still does, but forced our home onto foreclosure by missing payments. He didn’t want me/family home and he had no intention of sharing our second biggest asset….

      • Drew,

        After doing some research (and I’m not sure how it is in your state), but I believe if you are able to claim dissipation of assets, if he deliberately stopped making the mortgage payments (particularly if he had the resources available to make them) then that can become part of a dissipation claim.

      • Drew: Please contact an attorney. My XH has to continue to make the mortgage payments until I can refinance on my own. I am getting 3 years to do this! While we are divorced, we still have not worked out the permanent maintenance agreement and in the mean time, he has been court ordered to pay the mortgage and remain on the deed and loan until I can refinance (once I begin getting maintenance from him). I was so afraid I would not get perm maintenance, because other women I know did not. But, my divorce started in June 2013 and we are still not completely done with everything. XH and DT (dirty tramp), thought I would give up, roll over and play dead! I sent him this message about one year ago: I WILL NOT COMPROMISE MY LIFESTYLE, THAT I EARNED, SO THAT YOU CAN CONTINUE YOURS!!!!!!!!!!! CASE CLOSED! My lawyer waited a long time for me to pay him and XH had to give me that too!!!!!!!!!!! Find the best lawyer you can, because you are worth it and so is the rest of your life.

  • YMBARC, if and when you FINALLY trust that he sucks and then, like magic, things start falling into place. Little by little, but they eventually do.

    As for kids…my oldest daughter, now 16, is surely a reformed chump kid when she utters, Dad who?!?, without a stutter, when asked by her aunt (his sister) if she’s inviting him to her solo for her symphonic orchestra concert. She had to audition for this solo and got it…great accomplishment. I didn’t know what to be more proud of…the solo or her answer.

  • YMBARC if now you really truly get that you can’t control everything.

    And

    If you’ve realized you’ve had a hard time moving on because your identity was tied up in your ex. Not because you lost who you were, but because you were fucking awesome and you didn’t want to let that go. I was an awesome wife, stepmom, coworker,person etc. But those were roles. The true worth of who I am is in ME.

    Sorry Dickwad, I get me in the divorce. You came out on the short end of the stick on that deal.

    I’m gonna burn some pictures of the ex and whistle.

    For the record, I wasn’t pining for Captain Asshat and in fact have been nc for 1.5 years. I just finally realized he didn’t steal me. I was pining for me. But I’ve been here all along. Hahahahahaha! Yay me!

    • “I just finally realized he didn’t steal me. I was pining for me. But I’ve been here all along. Hahahahahaha! Yay me!”

      Yes, well said!

      • I know others have just said this, but THANK YOU for posting this. “I got me in the divorce” & “I was pining for me, but I have been here all along.” You just made my brain understand what my heart was saying. 🙂

  • YMBARC: The relief of being free and happy is finally, FINALLY outweighing the pain of being turned over by the man you adored.

  • The moment I realized I was a recovering chump was when he asked to transfer $15,000 of his credit card debt to mine because it had a lower interest rate. I couldn’t believe it. Yeah, buddy. I’m gonna wanna help you get a lower interest rate and carry your debt in my name after you betrayed and abandoned me. NOT. He seemed genuinely surprised when I said, “NO.” What an entitled jerk.

  • YMBARC: if you can look forward to your child’s wedding, knowing you are going to see cheater XH for the first time in 20 or 30 years, and you know in advance that he and his family will put you, the bride’s mother, on the periphery of everything – and you’re still looking forward to sharing your daughter’s happy day – knowing that nothing they can or will do will spoil your enjoyment of this day.

  • YMBARC if you look around and realize that FINALLY, every last gift/photo/remnant of your ex is either thrown, given away or sold.

    YMBARC if your therapist points out that one of your goals was to eliminate him from your mind completely and you say “Oh, yeah…well I don’t give a shit about him so we can talk about something else.”

    YMBARC if you really don’t have much else to say about it because your life is just your life now and you only really mention him in retrospect when talking to others who need your help getting to their own meh.

  • YMBARC if you do a false reconcillation with a lame marriage therapist (of your intentional choosing) and your Asshat while secretly finding your own kickass therapist to help you stay sane while you buy time to get finances, business records, bank account statements,and a lawyer lined up. After which you blind side said Asshat in therapy with the news this is just not working-and you get to LITERALLY watch the color leave his face, panic set in, and see the dawning realization his cushy world has just ended. Priceless!

    • Hats off to you Duped! That must have been an awesome moment that all chumps would have loved to experience!

    • OMG! I just had a Revenge-Gasm. Thank you for sharing your home-made-karma festival of “how-do-ha-like-me-know”. This is the stuff that movies and new hope are made of. (I have a cartoony brain.) LOL!!!

      • C–‘revenge-gasm’…….that’s a perfect word that describes what I have experienced several times as I become aware of what shitty things (karma bus forward and reverse) keep happening to XBF due to his own poor choices. As a matter of fact, I have one building right now and expect it to be yet another good one when his current ‘incident’ comes to its (legal) conclusion …..;-)

  • YMBARC

    *if you don´t care anymore if he is participating in an orgy with all his OW or is miserable and by himself. Either way, it doesn´t matter any more to you.

    *if you give advice to other chumps and you enjoy it and think you are helping humanity instead of feeling like a victim and crying everytime you think about him.

    * if he begins to realize, too late, how he got the worst deal from the “friendly” settlement and is full of debt, has an OW who makes half of what he does (I made twice) and doesn´t have anyplace in his rental apartment to put anything else (much less an OW and her child) because it is jam packed with the thousands of books he took from you and didn´t want you to have

    *if you laugh when the universe has a sense of humor and sends you married men to flirt with you but your narc detector spots them out quickly and you have nothing to do with them except for a friendly chat and you tell them how wonderful their wives must be to trust them so much because they “obviously” would never cheat on them…

    *when you realize he is his own Karma bus…

    • That’s the best part of Meh. When you realize you don’t give a flying rat’s ass if he’s having sex with one long term new partner or 50 hookers. When they become that insignificant to you and you just don’t care.

      • YMBARC, when you see him with the 20th affair ho and instead of pain you feel relief that she is with him and not you as he sways with a drink in his hand and she is his designated driver.

        YMBARC, when you are able to enjoy you life with your family with authentic conversations, can do all the activities you were unable to do with the disordered, and know your NOT alone, you gained a life!!!! YES!!
        It does get better!!

  • YMBARC if you skip visiting Chumplady every day and miss a blog post you kinda started, LOL. Thanks for posting this Tracy and thanks for sharing your YMBARC stories Chump Nation!

  • You Might Be A Recovered Chump if you finally realize that you can never trust a known liar and cheater, and that there are NO EXCEPTIONS to this. In that light, the OWHores are really the Chumpiest of them all because they absolutely know what liars and cheaters their particular turd bucket is yet they believe they are an exception when there are no exceptions.