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A New Chump Credo

dogOn yesterday’s post, Tempest proposed “a new Chump Credo.” Instead of dealing with or dwelling on your lousy, cheating partner/ex — what better things could you be doing with your time?

Here are a few what-ifs we can live with; a new Chump Credo:

-What-if I were to live an honest life and not permit people who wedge a machete into my back to stay in my life?

-What-if I were to devote my time and energy to people or animals who can actually be reformed and who appreciate me (cue ad for Big Brothers/Big Sister program).

-What-if I were to value myself enough to realize that I am worth being cherished, not criticized?

-What-if I could skip through my house, singing my favorite song, instead of walking on eggshells?

-Feel free to add to this, CN.

Great idea!

Let’s all play! 🙂


Ask Chump Lady

Got a question for the Chump Lady? Or a submission for the Universal Bullshit Translator? Write to me at [email protected]. Read more about submission guidelines.
  • What if I never got involved with that thing I might be happy! And 400,000 richer!

    What if I stuck to my guns and never married again like I vowed not to hell I could have rescued more dogs!

      • History is written two ways. The way it was perceived and the way it actually was. There is little objectivity in history.

        • Exactly so.

          That’s what makes the past so agitating and makes the Betrayed question the present and everything in the future as well.

          • So true.. I find myself questioning the past all the time, but now I don’t trust my own mind!

            Funny how you’re own mind can manipulate you by remembering certain qualities about your spouse that really are fabrications of the actual reality that occurred.

            You married, trusting, loving, a best friend, and I got your back; believing that your spouse had all those wonderfully qualities. Only to find out that she really didn’t have your back, and she cant be trusted. She’s been hooking up with a co-worker and doesn’t see anything wrong with it….not even apologetic.

            Focus on today, now and tomorrow. My spouse in lost in a fog, and doesn’t want to be found. I just assume she stay there!

            • Thank you for summariding my experience … Yesterday is a reminder of not to go there it’s done you can only learn from it so move on appreciate today and if tomorrow comes then enjoy ..

              • At some point ya gotta go there. Time and distance make the ‘ going there ‘ a different experience. I think its when you can ‘ go there ‘ and look at things objectively, without that huge emotional tug is when you can truely let go. That time is different for everybody.
                Its not about forgiveness.
                I can only look back now and see the cracks that had started to form well before the offically break up. I dont dwell. I dont lament. I did that already. I lived it. And part of MY experience is true for me. What , where and how he manipulated our relationship affected me. His version of the story or history is not mine. And part of taking back my life was taking back my experience of it. He has no influence now.
                Was I gaslighted… You bet. Was I manipulated… U bet. Was the very foundation of my family built on lies… Possibly. One of the biggest struggles was ‘ the story’ his version or mine. What was the real story? Hard to say. History is written two ways.
                What i find solace in now is , my story is my story , and how it began and continues to unfold is mine. I took my power back.
                Like that lilttle dog… I will kick grass on the shit that I want to leave behind.

            • My spouse is in the same fog for the same reasons and also not apologetic.

              • I loved this “What if….” from Tempest in the prior post and I said, “What if I focused on myself?”

            • Chris it sounds your ex was devoid of any moral fabric, she thought it was ok to have an affair with someone from work??? Obviously hot to trot and in need of more attention any single person could ever bestow

    • Funny, I tell myself the same thing: I can find another partner, it should not be too hard apparently, but if I stayed on my own, I could draw comics and rescue a lot more dogs !

      • Indeed! What if I could actually get through the day with some big bellied, bald, toothless, dickless mess pointing out how imperfect and flawed I am. Whoo hoo!!!!

  • What if I took all my insight, knowledge, experience, tenacity I’ve acquired divorcing this narcissist asswipe and helped other women at the beginning stages. A don’t do what I did…and did…and lather rinse repeat did before I found the CL and CN.
    I am very creative. I love to do furniture items over. I can sew….I can upholster furniture. I can design a room on a dime…. I am a thrifty chic with an eye for great style and good bones. Which is the “I see potential” syndrome I have had thru my marriage.

    Please Chump Nation send my way prayers, good vibes, good MoJo….. I head into trial tomorrow after 3 long horrendous years battling my stbx. It’s down to quilts and quilt racks….pyrex dishes….and…. my green curio cabinet I bought at the salvation army.
    He refused to settle. I left him and his new whore and her sons a fully decorated house.
    That wasn’t enough.
    I need to be able to hold it together. Because at this point all I want to do is…….
    Well…it’s illegal, frowned upon…and a felony.

    Love you CN and CL….you have saved me from staying inside my head.

    • Good mojo headed your way! You’ve got this. You’re mighty, and Chump Nation’s mighty is right behind you!

      • accubonded… love the phrase “Sith Farts on all those damn cheaters” you made me smile this morning. not an easy thing these days. Thank you.

    • Big giant hugs!!!! One day we will all be free!!
      And now that I can spot a chump I can help them. No one knows what this feels like til they walk in our shoes.

      • “One day we will all be free!!” Oh Kar Marie, those words brought tears to my eyes! I am praying for everyone in CN that one day those words will come true.

    • Yesterday was first time seeing the fucktard & lawyers. This set me back after months of no contact. I’m soooo glad I’m out of the fog as the asshat is worse than ever. Please CN, I also need your prayers to get me through the next few months. What if? What if I had trusted my gut in the beginning when the sociopath came sniffing around? When I get through this mess, I vow to help others as no one believes me when I tell them about that psychotic piece of shit.

      • Stay strong nothin’left2lose, as I am getting through my divorce, I keep reminding myself that it could be worse, I could still unknowingly be living with and loving a cheating lying coward.

      • Big hugs a-comin’, along with prayers as you navigate through this. You’re absolutely spot on when you say that no one believes what you’re going through, unless they have been through it themselves, or watched someone close to them go through it. I really cherish the friends who saw what was happening, and stood by me as things got more and more bizarre toward the end. Some of them had been victimized by a Cluster B in their past, so they got it.

        • Thank you all! Because of you I am becoming mighty 🙂 I look forward to being free of the trainwreck forever.

    • Remember who you are Tracy, a good honorable valuable person, NOT a lying cheating freak. Hold onto yourself and be true to yourself and you will be fine. (((Big hugs))) and good thoughts

    • The FORCE will be with you Tracy! And as many Jedi Hugs as you need – we got your back.

    • Tracy, not that he cares, but YOU will have daughter standing by YOUR side!!! That’s the biggest win in the world…knowing that she sees him the same way. Still, I hope you get the quilts and pots and one. And, if you don’t, you walk hand in hand with YOUR daughter out of that courtroom with your head held high. So long to that piece of shit! You got this!!!

    • Tracy & Nothingleft2lose–we’re behind you in spirit all the way through the court battle. Kick some ass (and GET THOSE QUILTS!!)

      • Nothingleft2lose-so there for you! In court, I just imagine that CL and CN are there cheering me on in the courtroom. It helps and it’s true, we really are here for you!

    • Sending you good thoughts Tracy, show them all what dignity looks like, your trial is a great step towards preserving your sanity and regaining your freedom!

    • Sending you hugs and prayers. You’ve got this Tracy, and you will be rid of a heinous excuse for a human, his whore du jour, and have the freedom you deserve! As requested above, would you please let us know what happens?

      • I’m sending you hugs and prayers. Stay strong! You are getting one step closer to getting rid of him!

    • Your ex and his skank need you to be part of their dysfunctional drama (fighting over the quilts, etc). If they were truly in love and happy they would let these things go and move on. Once you are out of the picture the glue that holds this relationship together will start to disintegrate.

      • KB22 you are so right I agree .. You have your daughters support that’s worth more than anything in this world.. And yes happiness and bliss for these nasty people is blaming their ex partners for their own insecurities and as you said if they loved each other so much they wouldn’t be fighting but letting go and moving on so once we are out of the picture the glue that holds these trashy relationships together will disintegrate …

      • Tracy, with you all the way. Be a force to recon with. Quilts? What a fucking douch he is. Fuck. Him.

    • Blessings to you Tracy, and also NothingLeft2Lose!!
      You can use all those mighty talents to re-design your life!
      Maybe the Judge will see that you’ve been TOO nice, and generous, already? Hope you get all your dear items back, and then let the X become the speck in the mirror….

    • My quilts are rooting for your quilts mate!

      And I for you!!!

      There’s an adversarial real estate technique where you make an offer that includes some personal item of the seller, family photos hanging on the wall for instance, forcing the seller to lower their price to keep their personal items. Is there anything he values you could go after?

      Am trying to turn my dear items into ‘gray rocks’ too – “What? This old thing?”

      They are hostages. Consider it hostage negotiation.

    • Tracy, if you can find a place to stand in the “power pose” before entering the courtroom it will help you feel more confident. I’ve tried it and it really works! Recently I had to give a presentation and used this stance beforehand, I didn’t even feel nervous when I entered the room.

    • Tracy and nothin’left2lose, carry the entirety of CN in your pocket/briefcase/’briefs’ ~~ whatever seems most tantalizing!

      We are totally with you. And you have the added advantage of having honesty and integrity. THAT is good!

  • Hello! I am new to the site. I want to thank all of you for getting me thru some dark moments. It is heartbreaking and yet comforting to know even the most dispicable acts of betrayal heal in time, especially when the pain wreaks such havoc in your life. I highly recommend using your free time to read the posts and replies on this site. The advantages?
    1) Passes Time
    2) Misery loves company
    3) Your story, although painful, may pale in comparison to others which helps with perspective
    4) This site, for me, was a game changer. It gives you clarity in chaos, it provides hope.
    5) Swearing is apparently encouraged?
    Thank you so much CL and CN for finally, after 18 years, helping me get my shit together. I see the finish line. Meh is in sight!!!!

    • Yay! Go you The EX-orcist !

      PS: I swear there was a lot of swearing in that movie the Exorcist 😉

    • Welcome Ex-orcist! BTW, great name and, as always, sorry we had to meet this way!

      Swear words are a REALLY great and wonderful part of CN. Hope you can teach me some new ones!

  • What if I be the best Dad in the world and love and cherish all my time with my little ones, teach them right from wrong and help them navigate all the f-ed up paths this world offers. That and get a little hunting in on the side

  • Tracy,

    You have been through storms of shit before and handled it ok. Today will be no different. Tomorrow you will let us all know how it goes and then put another notch in your life belt for an amazing accomplishment.

    But your post makes me think of something else. What if we all realized that to be happy we can’t just focus on ourselves — we have to focus on making the world better for others? That comes through compassion, selflessness, understanding, forgiveness . . . I know it’s important to think about your own (in my case flawed!) self from time to time, but I always feel better when I know that I have reached out in some way to another person who is hurting.

    So here is my “what if?” — what if I had realized earlier in my life that other people didn’t have some sort of golden key to happiness while I wallowed in my own feelings of inadequacy? And what if I didn’t, in 1997, see the woman I eventually married as the answer to those bad feelings, an answer that blinded me to the truth of who she really was for 16 years? And what if I had spent time on traveling with my kids and cultivating new relationships and WRITING instead of playing the “pick me dance” for over a year? What if I didn’t allow 99% of my brain to be occupied with a shallow, self-serving, slightly deranged, appearance obsessed fool and instead did pretty much anything else???

    Well now I have wised up a bit, and am ready to take on whatever today brings — just like you will take on your challenges today Tracy and come out whole when it’s all over. Tell us all how it went ok?

    Oh, I should add that I am grateful for three beautiful children that my ex wife had with me. So it wasn’t all bad!


  • What if I walked into my home, my sanctuary, and there was no being in it whose opinion of me as a human being was negative?

  • What if I never had to feel devalued in comparison to someone else because there was no someone else to worry about?

  • Just wanted to say thank you so much CL and friends here at CN. I made it to the other side. I got my Tuesday. Two years of extreme pain and sorrow are
    over. It really does happen. Divorce is still pending but that’s ok. It’s almost over and I survived! Now I will start life anew with a wonderful man. He’s a Texan y’all!!! Emotional intelligence and kindness he has, and he is sober!! CL, you were right. I fell in love again and it feels so great to be loved the right way. So, all chumps that are hurting still now, it passes and life begins again. CL, you are an angel and I thank you so much!!!

  • What if I knew my kids were safe from ridiculous BS in our home because I could personally ensure that there was no ridiculous BS going on in our home.without anyone else undermining my decisions?

  • What if being cheater-free might mean I felt lonely but also meant I didn’t feel like crap ALL THE TIME anymore?

    • One of my hardest things to come to terms with is that my cheater XW is never alone. She either has out kids or is with her AP (and most of the time she is still with the AP when she has the kids). When I walk around my empty house I just thank God that no one is telling me I am a piece of shit. The silence is such a comfort.

      • Scott, and what if you put on some music and just danced 🙂 and sang around that house?

        • I do that all the time, but I enjoy the silence of not hearing her disapproving voice. It’s worse than nails on a chalkboard.

      • The disordered literally CANNOT be alone. Truly. It’s one of the manifestations of their disease/disorder, etc. It was so exhausting to me, always needing to accompany Cheater everywhere, like he was a newborn. It reminded me of people in high school who would say, “walk with me to my next class”, and I’d respond, “You’re walking 15 feet down the hall to MATH, you can’t do that by yourself??”

        It’s so lovely now when I come home to my awesome house, and if my kids aren’t around, I can sit and read a book in peace, and nobody is glaring and hinting at me with his statements of, “You know, since it looks like you have some free time, I have some shirts you could iron. Or you could clean the lawnmower, or wash the floors, or some other chore in service of me!!!”

        • THIS! My X wanted me with her constantly! I couldn’t even play the piano if she was home because she would ask me to stop and spend time with her! I was also required to stay in the kitchen and talk to her EVERY TIME she cooked a meal!

          I was starting to wonder if I was ever going to be allowed to have any other interests!

          I should have noticed there was something wrong when she stopped wanting me with her at every moment. Now her AP is STUCK with her! Wonder how he likes that? Or is he regretting his vanished freedom?

          LOL! Like you, I’m enjoying my free time – I read, practice music, exercise, hang out with my pals.

        • So true. They cannot stand being alone. Since I moved out I am loving my alone time!

      • Scott

        I dreaded being with him on the weekends. My heart rate is normal. Quiet is nice. I’ve become accustomed to quiet. The chaos was all I knew. Peace is better.

    • What if you felt the loneliness as more of a purge–a re-set–that helped you find yourself again, helped prepare you for the next lovely phase of your life?

    • TheClip, YES!!!! Yes! If I only had loved myself as much as him.

      I’m determined to work on this. It seems daunting with this terribly broken heart and my self worth being abandoned in a gutter somewhere long ago. But I’m working on it. Finding my ‘Meh’ and loving on myself. It’s necessary.

    • The Clip – that sums it up for me perfectly! I have been working for the past four years to take better care of myself. I’m learning that putting myself first sometimes is the best thing for me and my kids. Almost at meh, hoping the next court appearance is the last.

  • What if I stopped putting my hopes and dreams into another person, and looked with in and found happiness?
    Soon to be free of a sick man, and looking forward.

  • What if I choose not to give Gaslighter one more minute of my headspace? What if I fogive myself for not realizing he was disordered, and allowing his covert abuse? What if instead, I choose to look forward to design a new authentic life filled with new people, places and things and accomplishments? Don’t look back, look forward to a new and brighter chapter. Hell, close that damn book altogether and write a new one for mysel with a way better ending! I feel so much stronger when focusing on building my business and creating a life that is based on my core values and goals. I am slowly finding amazing new friends and building my new better reality. Move forward, don’t stay stuck. I wasted 37 years of my life with a narc/sociopath, the last few years in limbo before I got the big picture. Stayed decades because I was afraid to make a change when deep inside I felt things weren’t right… Long before I learned he was a serial cheater. I’m seeing better days ahead the farther I am away from the Gaslighter. Run, don’t walk away! Be strong Chumps!

  • And…. What if devine intervention or Karma allowed a bus to fall out of the sky and flattened him like a bug?
    I will ponder on that deep thought all day…

      • I don’t believe in Karma….. if it existed my 40 something wife out screwing her 20 something boy toy no birth control no protection would be coparenting a child today! Instead she pretty much has had nothing bad occur related to her four years of cheating!

        • Just wait. I don’t believe in “karma” as a divine force of the world, either, but disordered people eventually trip themselves up. It’s a matter of probability. They also are never content–nothing is ever good enough, they don’t have the depth of spirit to appreciate small things, and so they’re left as half-full vessels in perpetuity. Sucks to be them.

        • The universe has order and the universe has a way of evening the playing field and fixing the bad karma to my ears.

          • Funny how they have sexual fantacies and we can’t stop thinking about busses falling from the sky. Mine is having him falling from a high place and being emplaled by a very sharp fence post uppon landing.

    • What if instead of wasting mental real estate pondering apresent day karma intervention I focus instead on the ultimate karrna on judgement day when that karma bus whizzes on by all the cheaters and abusers of the world and leaves them in a wake of sewage and slime!

    • I love the ‘what-if’ Karma bus. I’ll be pondering that happy thought all day. Thanks TheClip!

  • What if now that I am cheater free I can go on next year and begin my degree?

    It is amazing how much more brain capacity I have now that the gaslighting fucker is gone.
    In 6 weeks I will have completed the diploma that I deferred 11 years ago because I felt it was selfish of me to ask my husband to adjust his work life balance so I could return to study.

    It is so exhausting living with a cheater.

    • You hit the nail on the proverbial head, Thankful, when you said “It is amazing how much more brain capacity I have now.” Yes! So much yes! 🙂

      Keeping in mind that I’m not physically extricated from my situation, but have finally cut the mental cord … I have so much more “time” now! Detaching, not obsessing about “fixing me” or “fixing my marriage” or “fixing whatever new thing is wrong with asshat today” has allowed me to:
      – Focus on my kids more (I didn’t realize how draining it all was; the exhaustion interfered with the level of attention I could bring to my kids)
      – Work on my developing my career (a wonderful thing, which will help with the physical extrication)
      – Try to find ME again (how did I so thoroughly lose me along the way?!)
      – Discover what makes me happy (besides my awesome kids)
      – Set goals for me and my kids — and work my butt off to attain them (his negativity doesn’t destroy me anymore)
      – I have even found time to READ (one of my all-time favorite hobbies!)
      – And that manuscript I put off for a decade … not anymore!
      – The most recent addition has been that I’ve finally decided to get individual counseling (mostly due to CL and all of you awesome chumps reiterating that getting mentally healthy after such a prolonged horror story is one of the best things I can do for my kids and for me)

      The extra brain space is not only beautiful, it is amazingly energizing once you detach from the insanity.

      BTW: Thankful, congratulations on returning to your studies! I’ll borrow the word I’ve seen on CL … that is mighty!

  • What if i started cooking meals again with texture and color and interesting flavors? Meals with mushrooms, peas, tomatoes, olives and delicious sauces? What if those meals were appreciated and enjoyed by those I choose to have at my table?

    What if I could enjoy my children’s company and any others who join us for dinner without having to nudge someone under the table to get them to stop staring at their phone or out into space?

    What if I could move into my own home looking out on a beautiful park where my kids can walk to school, with only my positive energy and no memories of passive aggressive neglect, lies and betrayal?

    What if I can go to bed each night with a clear conscience, feeling proud of the life I have created for my kids and me, knowing if i can survive this, I can survive anything?

  • What if I was finally free of the lies?

    What if I stop dumbing myself down?

    What if I was not afraid?

    What if I left thoughts of my ex and his AP’s in the dust?

    What if I stopped letting the past hurt me?

    What if I shed the ex’s lies and cheating and filth like an old coat and put it at the curb with the rest of our trash?

    What if I cleanse my life of the poisonous people?

    What if I filled my life with love and honesty and support?

    What if I vowed to trust and always follow my gut no matter what?

    What if I find a new husband who really loves me?

    What if I fucking kick ass all by myself?

    What if I know my worth?

    What if I can at last see a beautiful forever?

    • A life filled with love, honesty, and support -Aaaaahhh. Fantastic!!
      I’m putting that on my vision board

    • Kelly, yes, yes, and yes! All of that! I’m close to four years from D-day and just recently have felt the beginnings of hope emerge. After awhile (and it’s probably different for everyone) I think we just get sick of all the same stinking thinking about the ex. And, if you get some other positive stuff going for yourself in your life, I’m seeing that little by little, Asshat and his “whore du jour” (thanks for this, Boudica Reborn!) matter less and less. I can see Meh clearly on the horizon!

      • I go in and out of Meh, pianomommy, I am even (happily) remarried! But I HATE when I still lose my meh and feel sorrow over the years lost to ex or the fact that he has abandoned out kids. Just this week I said to myself: “Fuck. That. Shit. NO MORE SORROW.” These lists of credos were as usual perfect timing!

  • What if I can parent my children without being criticized?

    What if I can be my true, genuine funny self without being told I am too loud and gregarious?

    What if I can someday find a relationship where a person tells me what they like about me instead of giving me a laundry list of everything I am not?

  • What if I could read 1-2 books per week in place of all the time spent checking up on websites / social media / playing private detective. Because, let’s face it, if you stay with a cheater, you will spend hours per day / week checking up on things. Like the false reconciliation crowd promotes “trust, but verify.” What a way to live!

    What if I could make it thru the afternoon and early evening and not constantly check the clock to see if my husband is late coming home from work.

    What if I could re-learn a musical instrument and realize, I’m a first chair kinda girl and not some second chair, or third, fourth, fifth, sixth, seventh, eighth.

    What if I, instead of feeling sorry for myself or thinking I have a huge loss, volunteer at a homeless or animal shelter, a food pantry, a woman’s resource center, and realize so many others are deserving of my compassion and love.

    • Such a great idea to spend all the time spent “checking up on cheater” on yourself instead.
      Adding this to my resolutions.
      Go Fleur!

  • What if, instead of making efforts to meet new people every week to fill the void, I used my free time to create the cartoons and comics and paintings I have been wanting to make all my life ?
    What if I finally admitted that a parner entails a huge compromise and takes a big chunk of our opportunies away even when it’s a decent person ? What if I realized that I don’t need one, have never needed one, and the fact that I am pretty does not imply that I must find one ?

    • When I realized that I was trying to fill that “couple” void, I decided to date myself instead. All the effort to meet new people was stressful and disappointing at least for right now.

  • What if I took control and stopped being afraid? I’m hiring the attorney y’all and I’m making demands!!

  • What if I wake up and find it easy to get out of bed in the morning .
    What if I inspire other people to be happy with a smile instead of the scowl I know I sometimes show
    What if that smile I give makes me happy
    What if I choose to trust myself to leave a job that I hate and go do something I want to do regardless of compensation
    what if., I am good enough!

  • What if instead of enabling a lying, cheating, SOB I took a road trip across the US?

    Oh, wait. I did!

    Ahhh meh……n

    • What if I do what Calamity did?
      What if after divorcing a cheater, I take my ‘portion’ (Probably won’t even end up with half the way this fucking divorce is going), buy a camper and take a road trip to meet some of my new friends from CL?

        • I have talked about this…get an RV, a young hunkie driver and take my BFF (she just lost her husband to a heart attack) and hit the road! Scumbag only wanted to go places where there were great golf courses and hated travel. What if I spent a year seeing all 50 states and the National Parks!! Woo Hoo Me!!

    • And what a trip it was!

      And don’t forget you learned to fly (metaphorically and literally! for newbies–CJ started taking flying lessons after she kicked out her cheater).

      • Well, I did complete ground school and had two single engine flight lessons, then told my instructor I would prefer to pilot an ultra light.

        The point is, the possibilities are endless for your own personal growth. My interests are no longer relegated to the back seat while the lying cheating sack o’ shit was in control.

        I get down on my hands and knees and thank God the truth came out and I am free of being shackled to a man who was well practiced in the art of deception.

        What if I didn’t have wake up in the morning to another day of listening to a grown man blame everyone else for his problems, act like a victim and attempt to devalue me in order to feel powerful?

        I would have my life back.

  • I read yesterday on a support site that it takes about 90 days of no contact to be free of the narcissists manipulation and start thinking for yourself again. It’s amazing how we see ourselves and our world differently once we get away from the abusers. SarBear it sounds like you are ahead of the curve. Good for you!

  • I promise to do something every single day that makes MY HEART sing!

    Note to chumps: Please make sure you understand that the phrase “my heart” needs to be capitalized, bolded and underlined! !!!!!! Your heart is not that of your kids, your cheater, your boss, your sister, your neighbor, your work colleagues or anyone else for that mattter.

    Hugs and Happiness to all

  • What if I:

    – Follow the 3 chances rule with romantic partners? Three strikes and then move on.

    – Listen to my gut more? Scratch that – always listen to my gut.

    – Say “no thanks” more?

    Actually, these three are part of my personal credo now.

  • What if I stop listening to the abuser’s negative, devaluing soundtrack in my head and truly accept that I am worthy of love, kindness, and all things good? I’m almost there, and it feels so right.

  • What if every moment I am in my home I can appreciate what a peaceful retreat it is?
    What if I can go for days on end without being lied to or stolen from?
    What if I go to bed at night knowing my rest won’t be interrupted by the key fumbling into the lock, someone coming in with excuses about where he’s been and why he’s coming home so late (or so early)?
    What if my conversations are filled with discussions of great books I’ve read, films I’ve seen, trips I’ve taken, political issues, instead of a discussion the wrongs being committed against me? How much would my brain and soul appreciate that?
    What if I wake up each day knowing that everything is okay?

  • After helping my x get through 7 years of education and then find out it was all about him ( he was trying to figure out how to get rid of me once he got his new career all settled ); I woke up!!!

    I was lower than dirt. No rights to the house in a strange city. I got a student loan and went back to school.

    I got a crappy apartment and moved out.

    I am just finishing an apprenticeship and my divorce was final last month.

    My what if’s are what if I had stayed.

    What if I had kept eating those shit sandwiches ??

    No regrets. My rental house by the river is lovely. My kids are seeing a Mother who does not model being a doormat to your spouse or taking abuse, financial, verbal or otherwise.

    Instead of investing in his potential I invested in my own.

  • What if I put my sleuthing skills to good use and started my own private detective agency?

    What if I used my first-hand knowledge of betrayal and villainy and wrote a great a novel?

    • Chump Nation Investigators, Inc., would be a force to be reckoned with!

      I just put all my journals from The Troubles into a box in the basement labeled “for my memoirs”. I think these experiences could produce some compelling literature.

      • Actually, my sister and I are pondering the investigations agency part. Both of us are divorced from abusive men (mine was a cheater, hers was a beater). She has been an Addiction Counselor with a treatment facility for years, and is now taking coursework in Criminology. I honed my investigative/research skills in the News business for three decades, graduated from college with my major in Information Technology, and plan on joining her in Criminology studies soon. Our Dad (now deceased), was a Police Major and Homicide Detective.

        We are our father’s daughters.

        I suppose that is one of my What ifs. My others include getting over my fear of performing and start playing my harp for patients in hospitals and palliative care.

        • Boudica–you would make a great PI! And think of the satisfaction helping other chumps ditch the devils off their back. (I’m now picturing your avatar in a black jumpsuit, per the Avengers.)

        • “My others include getting over my fear of performing and start playing my harp for patients in hospitals and palliative care.”

          Please do this noble endeavor… I was a veterans hospice volunteer, and every little bit of palliative care, hospice or not makes a difference. The joy you will bring to these people is so profound, and the experience will alter your life forever… Let me give you a brief example, and just a single facet of what it was like for me.

          Being a fellow vet, the people I encountered had an outlet of understanding, no judgment, and trust. It was also a chance to be one of the boys, cuss, and reminisce from a service members POV of better times. In some cases, I was their non-religious confessional, a place to unload a lifelong burden of the horrors of war, with words never spoken but to me in the the fading light of their last act.

          You never know Boudica Reborn; your efforts may be the positive turning point for a person in great need about to give up, one tiny bit of pure joy in an otherwise dismal existence, hope instilled by virtue of beautiful music. They will beg you to stay, and this is a very difficult aspect of this line of “work”. Good on you for wanting to help others, and I truly hope you take the next step.

    • These are awesome, Lulu! CL could inspire all sorts of new careers. Custom voodoo doll makers, pitchfork tine sharpeners, special CN bedazzling services 😉

    • Lulu–Do both: Private investigator and best-selling books (perhaps based on your investigative endeavors!)!

  • For the last year and four months, I’ve woken up every day and had to remind myself that the debacle actually happened. Like an amputee still feeling my limb.

    While early on this helped me to accept reality, my new reality is no longer affected by the ex. I need a new morning reminder that the rest of my life is ahead of me and my children.

    Something simple, like “Make this day good.”

  • What if I knew then what I know now….when a husband says he wants space….the space is between another woman’s legs.

    • This is so true, Maggie May! Asshat moved out, blaming me and our marriage issues. He failed to mention he’d been cheating for nearly a year at the time 🙁

    • Mavgiemay

      That space they need-they get to live with when we’ve had enough.
      What if I decide my space is no longer cluttered with his needs and sever the anchor. Lol

  • QUESTION: Does anyone know what the deal is with ‘Shattered Wife’ ?

    I’ve been reading her blog in which she goes through a 2 year journey of wanting to save her marriage and loving her husband, full circle into despising him and wanting nothing to do with him, but still refuses to leave.

    Tempest put a posting up there a few days ago suggesting Chump Lady, and she responded saying she refused to recommend it because it was a site full of bitter people with bitter thoughts and for anyone who wanted to save their marriage to not come here. But she herself has admitted her marriage can’t be saved, and most of her comments are nothing but bitter, in fact if you don’t side with her and shower her with praise she either doesnt post your comments, or edits them and calls you judgmental.

    I’m having a hard time understanding her hatred towards Chump Lady (and her inability to accept leaving as a viable option). In reading her comments its almost like she feels that by staying she is superior.

    I just don’t understand. Nobody is better than anyone else, and this is hard regardless of what angle you take, but her perspective seems completely conflicting and contradictory.

    • I’m sad for Shattered Wife. Her misery was the final straw for me to ditch any thoughts of reconciliation. I read her post when she was 11-months post D-day, and said she it was the first week she had more good days than bad. “Hell to the No!!” I thought; ain’t no way I am living through 11 months of awfulness for the prospect of 4 good days out of 7.

      SW’s seeming superiority for staying in her marriage is cognitive dissonance pure and simple; she either needs to think what she is doing is noble (even if it is constant pain) or she needs to give up her quest to save her marriage singlehandedly (and she’s not there yet).

      • I don’t really follow her blog anymore but a few days ago came across her latest post in which she says she discovered her husband has a giant box of condoms. Of course she feels anger and pain and it is her blog but who knows why she is so close minded about those who don’t believe in reconciliation? I don’t read there much anymore because it’s a whole different brand of vitriol.

        There was a post from a few months ago about staying, not divorce being the new shame and I thought chumps could all do with a lot less shame in general. It shouldn’t be a competition.

      • Self flagellation? I dunno. I have instructed those close to me and my therapist to whack me upside the head if I ever displayed the drive to torment myself. You can get addicted to the high of this pain.

    • Never heard of her. Looked at the blog just now — there’s a post entitled “How Do I Fucking Hate Thee? Let Me Count the Ways” — and *I’m* bitter? Huh?

      I hope she leaves.

      • I read a bunch of her posts and replies this afternoon. I saw certain similarities to this site, with one glaring difference: people on this site are able to laugh! There may be laughter there, but I didn’t find any before I left off reading. But yeah, lots of bitterness and sadness. I do feel compassion for these women, but I wished I could just say come over here! There is a light at the end of the tunnel, or there can be, anyway.

        There is a big difference between bitter and bittersweet.

        • My friend once told me the day would come when I had enough. It comes at different times for everyone. Unfortunately, sometimes having a nation of support fir some is not their path until that day comes. I am hopeful SW reaches this point and can find the strength to detatch.

  • What if I take the next year and plan out and put into action the art of revenge? Then move on and live my life. Yes I know CL does not promote revenge…. but is it really a bad thing? I lived the last 5 years being lied to, treated like shit…. while she was enjoying the semi single life chasing other guys and putting my life at risk….. no I am not saying revenge sex… that does not work but hit them where it hurts.

    • Corny I know, but the best revenge is living well and really, your wife and boyfriend would more than likely get off on the attention/revenge. I think you said in previous posts that you do not believe in Karma. Karma will happen, but not until well after you move on, count on it. Just keep in mind narcissists do not react as we do, to bad things happening in their lives.

    • I think revenge fantasies are cathartic and healing (as long as they only stay fantasies; whatever you do, don’t get imprisoned for your cheater’s sake). Imagine away–imaging our cheaters devoured by fireants, falling into vast crevices–mentally and emotionally satisfying. Those images become less vivid and less important over time, but if they help you in the short term, go for it.

      (ChumpyElf is a wonderful source of death-to-cheater ideas if she wants to chime in here.)

      • LMAO, is that how I’m known? The red voodoo doll I had in college had things like ‘halitosis’ on it. ‘Dick falling off’ or ‘nuts mysteriously nailed to front porch’ aren’t much more severe punishments, are they? I think my exploits have been grossly misinterpreted ;O

        I took up archery. In case I need to defend my house, child and self from Florence. Too bad I can’t actually hit anything so I decided I might try my hand at throwing knives but, who am I kidding, I get nervous using a paring knife.

        EA is a true pro at coming up with the best evil fantasy plots 🙂

      • My revenge will be centered on having gave her all the materialistic things she wanted…. then handing her the divorce papers next summer and taking it all away! Can not get them on an emotional level but one can take away all the important things they have. Important to them! Disordered people cant be hurt via emotions or revenge affairs but taking away something that makes them look good to public eye… House… pool… reputation… that is revenge on the only level I have! Kids will be gone and it will be on!

        • My big fantasy involves some awesome way to let Asshat’s family, friends and community know what a lying scumbag he is. Sadly, as most of us have learned, adultery doesn’t seem to be big news these days.

            • Probably because people have fallen for the “NEEDS” crap. So the blame is no longer there…. well if only he/she had gotten what they needed!

        • The snake is massively materialistic. Always had to buy certain brands, buy the more expensive item, had to drive a certain kind of car, had to have an impressive looking home on the OUTSIDE more than the inside (although the inside had to be nice too, other people didn’t see much of it), and so on.

          I’m going to end up with half our assets. That will be painful to him. He will have to live more frugally, won’t be able to throw money at others to buy affection and attention. His standard of living will be greatly affected, as I won’t be alongside being afraid to spend on myself, so he got much more discretionary income to throw around.

          He got half my life. I’m getting half our stuff. That’s how it works, and he is already angry and resentful of that, and I haven’t even filed yet (next week!) It’s going to be gruesome when the reality of it really hits him, but I’m in another state, so harassing me in person will be more difficult.

    • DavidB – I think revenge in certain scenarios is a great idea.
      By certain scenarios – I mean in a way of giving the cheater their due consequences. Things like informing the authorities if they are, say, ripping off the government for money, or similar.
      I don’t see it as revenge as such – more that you’re enforcing honesty.

  • What if I accept that the First Law of Thermodynamics is true, that energy is never created or destroyed? That would mean I could let go of mourning 26 years of love that was given but never accepted, knowing that the Universe held that deflected love safely, just waiting for the moment to return it to me like a cosmic boomerang, once I was ready to reach out and catch it! Started believing this yesterday, and the revelation has set me free! And yeah, yesterday really was Tuesday.

    • I’m thirty years in and two and a half, I’ve let most of it go just recently starting divorce but feeling better every day. Asswipe is over it already me and the whore. I think there will be scars that linger for awhile. But those scars make me mighty!!

      • “Scars remind us where we’ve been but they don’t have to dictate where we’re going.”
        —Special Agent David Rossi~ Criminal Minds

        (((HUGS))) to Mighty Chump Nation!!!

    • This 1st Law of Thermodynamics thing makes my little science-y heart happy. I will happily subscribe to this belief!

    • Wiser, that is beautiful! And I believe it is true, we can all catch the cosmic boomerang of what we gave (even if it was never received or reciprocated by our ex cheaterrs), by filling the holes they left with beauty, joy and love.

    • I love the notion that the Universe has held on to all the love given freely and will be giving it back, perhaps even exponentially expanded. What a beautiful theory. I’m sold.

    • YES!!! I believe it too. Love really is a force in nature. One can’t really measure it, but it makes people come together from distant places. It inspires many to sacrifice everything for another. It is one of the main messages of most religions. And it’s truly felt and acted upon by millions. It’s like the Force in Star Wars. Many don’t feel it at all, and others actively use it to destroy. If that’s not a part of the natural universe, I don’t know what is.

  • What if I stop the negative thoughts based on 18 years of being with a gaslighting fuckwit (you’re fat, you’re a sow, your hair is thin, your laugh is fake, blah, blah, blah) and instead let positive thoughts bubble up?

    What if I focus 100 percent on creating a better, cheater-free life for myself and my child, rather than looking back and regretting the past?

    What if I host a dinner at my reclaimed/refreshed home for friends/neighbors that have supported me during this whole debacle (including the single guy next door…picking up a different vibe from him now that I am nearly divorced, go figure)?

  • What if I finally get to Meh and realize there is an end to this horrific pain?
    What if, after years of being single I meet the man of my dreams? Someone who thinks I hung the moon?
    What if he proposed to me this past weekend and I’m the ONE who lives happily ever after?
    Not as impossible as it sounds. Because it’s all true and happened. Moocho love to CL and CN!~

  • What if I ignored the noise in my head and focused on moving forward instead of reliving the past?

    What if I allow myself to finally be proud of myself for the things I’ve been able to achieve since DDay despite all the chaos (I.e., went back to school, ran a marathon)?

    What if I stop wishing I could rewind and instead push pause throughout the day and absorb moments with my kids?

    What if I allow myself to be happy?
    What if I saw myself as worthy? Beautiful? Valued? Confidant?

    What if used this pain and heartache to propel myself forward to “Meh” to happiness, to a new and improved life free of the betrayer, narcissistic dickweed that has tried so desperately to invade me… Weeds no longer!!

  • As usual, CL, superb timing. I’m finally in a place where I want to really move on, get the X off of the last bit of real estate in my head, and live fully in the sunlight.

    My credo is simple –

    What if I was kind to myself?

    I think it was Lyn yesterday who talked about growing up in the 50s and 60s, with women who always deferred to husbands, family, neighbours. I modelled my life on that behaviour and it did not serve me well.

    It still feels selfish, but I now consider how I feel about situations before I act. Gut screaming? Don’t do it. Makes me sad? Don’t think it. Sends the blood pressure soaring, sleepless nights, stress? No.

    I am content on my own, making my own decisions, discovering my new life. And yes, being kind to myself, finally, after years of giving that power away to others who didn’t give a good goddam.

  • What-if i actually end up making more money than we ever had with X in the picture? This is becoming a very real possibility.
    What if I get to actually travel some day? X would never fly…
    What-if I learn how to build all the things he never would build me, even though he was a carpenter?
    Ooohhh I really LOVE that last one!
    I can build whatever kind of coup and potting shed I want, and learn to put up fencing and a fire-ring and…
    No. Stop. I can’t do this one CN. What-if? I can’t get behind it.
    WHEN i make more money, and WHEN i travel and WHEN I learn to use all those power tools and build my own chicken coop and everything else I’ve always wanted.
    Not what-if, but when.
    I apologize if I got off the point.

    • Preach it sistah !!

      I stood in my yard shovel in hand trying to decide if I would dig up a section of “grass” then never grew grass so I could make it a planting bed and I looked to my left and right as if I had to ask someone…then I remembered that the dirt and the house and the shovel belonged to one mighty gal, ME and dig I did

      And I gave his hot tub away to some country boy who dragged it off.

      Then I sold off his stupid stocks and went to London.

      Then I had sex on a boat with a man wearing a kilt.

      You ARE GOING TO make money and travel and build shit – you will!!!

    • I’m in the same boat … very likely to make more money without the heavy, exhausting anchor tied to my ankle. It’s a great feeling, but I need to make sure the divorce is final before I get too far down that path. If asshat tried to get alimony from me, I would likely go ballistic.

  • Hey all you wonderful Chumps – I am 4 months from D-day, and while I still struggle with the “what are ‘they’ doing now” , “why is she so much thinner, prettier, accomplished than me” and “honestly wtf happened to my 24 year marriage to a man that everyone thought was the salt of the earth”? I love reading your advice. Here’s where I need help….I spend a lot of time trying to figure out “what now”? “What will I do with my future”? “Will I be alone forever”? “If he was so unhappy for so long, why not just let me go when I was young enough to maybe find someone who really loves me”? The lonliness and fear is keeping me awake at night…thank you.

    • Chumptastic, what you are feeling is very normal for your stage of healing. You are still reeling at 4 months.

      One thing that helped me to sleep was to listen to uplifting, encouraging podcasts on my iPod when I was trying to sleep at night. Listening to someone else kept my mind off of my own thoughts and I often fell asleep listening. When I woke up at night I’d put the iPod back on and listen until I fell asleep again. I know how those circular thoughts are just wearing you down, and getting you nowhere. You brain is trying to make sense of what happened and it’ll take awhile before it gives up trying and moves on. One person I like to listen to is Joyce Meyers, because she’s overcome an abusive childhood and has walked the walk, but there are tons of other podcasts you can choose from. Even meditation exercises could be useful. You have to distract your brain from trying understand what you’ll never really understand and train it to look for other topics of interest.

      Another thing I did was to pay attention to whatever brought me even the smallest sliver of joy. I noticed that whenever I listened to music it made me feel better, so I started trying to get music into my life as much as possible. Music is one of my earliest loves from childhood. I started playing the piano again, and went to as many concerts as I could. I participated in the church choir. It had been a long time since I’d been able to immerse myself in music.

      Also, keeping a gratitude journal and writing down anything I could think of to be grateful for helped. Maybe the only thing I could think of was “I enjoyed petting my dog,” but I wrote it down. It trains your brain to look for positive things to focus on.

      Whenever you’re tempted to find out what your ex is doing ask yourself “Is this something that’s going to help me, or hurt me?” Every time, the answer is going to be “hurt me.” Choose to do the thing that protects you instead of hurts you. Block all their social accounts and tell your friends you don’t want to hear what your ex is doing. Let them know that moving forward with your new life is your new focus.

      Get yourself a calendar and put a smiley face on the date you go all morning without thinking about your ex. You’ll see the smiley faces start showing up more often as you’re making progress. Another thing you can do is get a journal and write down every small step you make towards a goal, in essence become your own cheerleader.

      You are trying to beat an addiction to your ex and your old life, your brain is seeking to figure out what went wrong in order to delay dealing with what it doesn’t know (what does my future hold). You can gently coax it forward. The answers you’re seeking won’t come until you’ve started your journey. It’s like wanting to know everything that’s going to happen on a trip before you’ve set foot on the plane. It takes time and perspective to work it all out.

      Hope this helps! Hang in there and know that you won’t feel this way forever. We’ve all been where you are and it does get better.

        • Chumptastic…..after many years of intense grief I got to Meh. (I don’t get over things easily) I found a wonderful man and just got engaged. I’m 60 and he’s 62. He’s in amazing shape and works out every day and we play on the weekends and have an incredible love life!! It can happen. Old people can get married. lol

      • Ha ! I’ve spent most nights falling asleep while listening to Joyce Meyers, and I am also 4 months after breakup. Joyce Meyers is wonderful. The pastor of the tiny evangelical church next to the beach around here (south of France) also has a way with words that is empowering. One sunday, I went to his tiny church feeling lower than low, and when I came out, I was at peace, feeling wonderful on my own, and treated myself with a plate of fresh oysters and a glass of white wine.

        • And the other thing that I doo too, is record all the positive facts of the day into a diary. And the negatives. It helps me realize that there are almost only positives.

    • You’re still trying to untangle it. The hurt won’t go away, not right now. But time and n/c makes it fade- so I’m told. Don’t try to tell yourself you can’t feel these things. You’re mourning a death – of the character you thought he was- and that takes time, especially when his evil twin is still alive and kicking as his awful alter ego in your world. I by no means expect I will think about this less after a year- I just hope I have some better self speak, and I am far enough out to not try to turn it on myself. You need to trudge through grief to get over it. You may need to experiment to know what’s going to make it suck less for you. But trying to distract yourself from the reality of your reality- it just puts it off. hugs.

  • I can FINALLY, peacefully, say: “We all reap what we sew, in this life, and in the next. That is enough for me.”

  • What if I became a conqueror instead of a victim of circumstances?
    What if I surrounded myself with people who encouraged me instead of criticized me?
    What if I followed my dreams instead of supporting someone else’s?
    What if I started pleasing myself instead of trying to please everyone else?
    What if I discovered my own value instead of asking someone else to value me?
    What if I faced my fear of being alone instead of clinging to someone who doesn’t want me?
    What if I discovered my own strength instead of looking for someone else to protect me?

    Then I would be FREE!

  • What if all the ugly, nasty, horrible things cheaters texts make me laugh instead of cry then laugh?

    What if I could not live in constant fear or looking over my shoulder wondering what ex and AP are going to throw at me next?

    What if I had the magical answers for my kids when they ask the really hard questions?

    What if I go back to school, get a degree, and land the dream job?

    What if I should be thankful for my time at home with the kids all those years was a blessing and not a stone to thrown in my face for “not contributing”

  • What if… I didn’t let his mistakes feel like mine. What if I left behind the guilt and lived as the vivacious, incredible woman I am, without fear. What if I made plans for the future without expecting a bomb. What if I embraced that although I am flawed I am also incredibly loveable. What if I allowed myself to love. What if I encouraged it. What if I didn’t let this past overshadow my hope of better. What if I really became the woman he was scared of me being from the beginning. What if I understood that he was the broken one, not me (I was collateral damage). What if I focused on the love and beauty I have in my life for courage to keep going.

  • What if I dance around to “Brick House” and do the bump with my daughter instead of thinking about the sparkle-fest that is happening between my STBXH and his 17 year younger Chinese girlfriend?

  • 3 yrs ago In the immediate wake of first husbands sudden death on the heels of a long hateful purposeless wreconciliation, I developed transient hight blood pressure and my health insurance company assigned me a wellness coach.

    The wellness coach asked me my goals and I said

    “To walk the worlds great cities, shop the grand boulevards and see the worlds great art”

    Since then Ive been to London, Venice, Milan, Florence, Rome, Istanbul, Frankfurt, Strasbourg (France) and sailed the Aegean Sea. I don’t know a damn thing about art but I go look at it. I don’t buy much on the grand boulevards but I stock up memories.

    and I decided that I cannot lose another day of my precious life to someone else depression, insanity or addiction…I am not depressed, addicted or insane – Im just fucking done with that.

    and the white hot anger I feel for my dead husband is beginning to mellow into pity

    • Good thoughts, Unicornomore. I’ve done similar things since d-day. My trigger was my Dad’s funeral, and his last words “i’ve had a great life, now take whats left of my money and blow it before you die too!” Bless my Dad, he was my ticket out of cheater hell.

      Strange thing was, he was a cheater narc himself. He must have realised at the end how much pain he caused my Mom.

      • My hope for my daughters is that in the end cheater, narc, STBX does right by our daughters.

  • What if I were to accept that my kids are happy and not feel guilty that they don’t have a “nuclear” family?

    What if I were to forgive myself for letting him talk me into selling our family home so quickly?

    • Forgive yourself, Worthbound. The house is sunken costs, your life lays before you to be written upon. Make it joyful.

      Nuclear families are overrated; look at any bestseller list and it typically contains someone’s biography of a completely dysfunctional family upbringing. A family of honest & integrity, no matter its constitution, is the best kind of family.

      You’re mighty!

      • Thanks Tempest. I beat myself up daily about that dang house. But you are right, it’s sunken costs. It would have eventually had to have been sold because of our particular circumstances. C’est la vie.

        And oh my gosh, so true about the bestsellers! That is something to keep in mind for sure. lol

  • What if I stopped caring what people thought? Instead did what made me happy and ultimately made me a better mother/person?

  • Great what if’s all!! Welcome Ex orcist! How the fuck you doing? : ) Cursing is a newly acquired self avowed therapy of mine.

    What if:

    I laugh my ass off during settlement while I watch stbx Dumb Ass go apeshit over losing half of everything to me?
    I enjoy making little changes to my home that Dumb Ass never let me do because my ideas were all stupid?
    I finally find a career path that I enjoy and am proud of?
    I get rid of the vile thoughts that Dumb Ass put into my head about my unworthiness?
    I gain confidence????
    I finally find someone who loves, accepts and respects me? ( not counting on this for happiness but it sure would be nice.. and would drive Dumb Ass stbx crazy!)
    I no longer gave a rat’s ass what Dumb Ass thinks or does. Ever. Again. ..?

  • Revenge fantasy? Oh me likes, watching him get the ass beating he has deserved all his life by some rabid other Alfa male whose wife he just bopped. Bigger, badder and tougher than him. Apparently cheating while both are married is uber cool

    Or watching some other woman whose catches him with other woman kick his ass.

    Or watching one of his chippies throw him off a second story balcony.

    Or like current other woman whose claws are in deep run his credit cards up, spend every penny and put his ass in the poorhouse literally.

    Or take the motherfucker for everything and not even leave dust bunnies.

    Or break his damn heart. Make him suffer.

    Or tell him she has had better lovers (this one should shoot the brain matter out the back)

    Think I want asswipe to hurt ten times more than me and ten times longer?

    Hell yeah I do, only hope I can get there in time to watch with a chaise lounge, a corona and a nice slice of lemon.

    • Ooooo…kar, can I pull up a chair and share a drink with ya? My revenge fantasy started today in court where my attorney filed for Dissipation. Now he’s got 30 days to explain all those $400 ATM withdrawals from his mother’s credit card ( she’s in an assisted living facility and he has POA…for now ). While I’m sitting on evidence of his “appointments” with $400/hr hookers.

      So how about… imagining the day the OW discovers his secret fuck phone.

      And…the day she goes for a check-up and is diagnosed with an STD that he got from one of his Craig’s list back page skanks.

      Then…she takes him to court and sues him for what’s left of his money after my settlement.

      Then….his picture is in the Chicago Tribune for one of the reverse sting operations they are conducting now. ( especially using back page )

      Then…his brother discovers at trial that his inheritance money was spent on his porn/hooker addiction and he then also sues him.

      All the while I’ll be driving south down the highway far, far away from his land of flying monkeys heading towards the sand, surf and tiki huts.

  • Love this post and your what if’s!!!
    What if rather than staying stuck in the past of my hurt I believe this was meant to happen and accept… what if I believe my life was meant to take this path, to put me through hard times, hitting rock bottom, to make me stronger, test my character to take me to my next chapter which I will embrace and appreciate because I’ve been on this journey.
    What if I accept I can’t change the past but I can find some joy in the present, even going through these hard times and what if I spend this part of my journey being kind to me, finding the things I love and relying on me and me only and being ok with that
    What if the future is bright and exciting and there’s a big wide world waiting for me to meet it

  • What if I start spending my time with someone who is excited to be with me.

    What if I let go of the pain and let go of the past and trust myself instead.

    What if I stop wishing him pain and focus on my joy

    What if I develop my identity and love myself.

    What if everyday forward I praise my accomplishments and know I am mighty

    What exactly do I have at the end of the day when I have the strength to love someone who smiles and thinks I’m amazing because I’m me.


    • Donna,
      “What if I stop wishing him pain and focus on my joy”.

      Oh man does that tug at my heart. Gosh, my energy would be way more worthy if I could stop focusing on the pain and sorrow…on wishing him pain… But rather invest in my joy! My happiness. My worthiness.

      I wish I knew how to get there quicker…to fast forward through this pain and anger. To be at Meh. To celebrate Tuesday! I’d love to be free.

      All my best to you.

  • LemonSqueezy

    Unfortunately there is no fast forwarding or skipping the highs and lows of detatching and getting there. As someone who avoided facing the pain that the person I spent my life with never loved or respected me I can say as CL states, “the pain is finite”. You will gain a life. If this I am sure. I met someone at my class reunion who is a loving and kind soul. I have a date with him this weekend. When I saw all my friends from 40 years ago I remembered who I was. X was right,no one would ever want me unless I changed. I did. I dumped the anchor who limited my existence. It’s all about the bass no tremble. He’s a professional musician, sweet, creative, and loving. And he can dance. It’s refreshing to be respected. Love and peace to you. It gets better.

  • What if I was as kind to myself as I am to everyone else?

    What if I focus on the possibilities in my future rather than wallowing in my lost past?

    What if I poured all the time and energy I have been spending on my dead marriage into a brand NEW life for me and my boys?

    What if I start making what I think more important than what people think of me?

    What if I tell the truth about my feelings, and make myself vulnerable to people who have proven they are (reasonably) trustworthy? What if I start learning to recognize those people?

  • What if I took those 2x4s that my chump friends have been using to smack sense into other chumps and build something useful for my home? Like an island for my kitchen or a nice bench for my patio….. 😉

  • The Quilts. He’s arguing about YOUR family heirlooms (or ones you possibly made?).
    His lawyer should tell him to give it up – It’s called ‘Marital Waste’ and part of the process.
    A judge won’t like him arguing over that OR definitely not the pyrex.
    What a waste of emotional and court energy.

    Mine tried to argue he wanted half MY diamond he gave me for our 30th.
    Nice stone.

    I dug my feet in on how sentimental it was to me. He kept pursuing so I finally said I lost it. Sorry.
    End of that.

    With your quilts, I’d tell him you gave them to the homeless when you were cleaning things out.

    It really is that simple.

    Good luck in court tomorrow!!

  • and…ahem..if I’m known to lose my mind, why isn’t it possible I could lose a big diamond?
    Silly me.

  • What if I become the me that embraces the chance to get a new job instead of stressing over loosing the current one? What if I remember I am really good at what I do and realize I stayed to long in this job anyway? What if I remember I used to embrace change and do it again? What if if I stop shrinking myself and start exploding into my life again? I think it might work out and if it doesn’t it won’t have been because I didn’t try.

    Meh means you know your challenges are your own and you stop looking back to say why am I here, it could have been different, if only. Meh negates it, we are here and we are kick ass now, or forever wonder, what if I did that thing different? What ifs, those are for today, leave yesterday behind. Peace out on Tuesday and kick ass on Wednesday. Jedi hugs to Chump Nation.

  • What if I can say fuck the eggshells, I want an omelet, so I’m making myself a fucking omelet, and it’s going to be delicious, filled with good things, and satisfy my empty gut?

    What if I buy a motorcycle since I gave up my little sportscars for a larger muttmobile? (They’re worth it whether I get the motorcycle or not… Snake, not so much).

    What if I move to a place where I can enjoy the outdoors more of the year?

    What if I teach my dogs to mush? What if I rescue a whole sled team?

    What if I decorate my home with family photos and memorabilia that are precious to me, instead of hiding most of it away in a boxes and closets, because he thinks it’s all crap?

    What if I can spend time with my daughter, without him alongside encouraging her to roll her eyes at how stupid the things I say are? What if my daughter realizes I am worthy of respect, and he is not?

    What if I sleep peacefully each evening, without rerunning futile gaslit discussions over and over in my head until all hours of the night, unable to sleep without a chemical assist?

    What if I enjoy allowing my dogs on the bed more than I enjoyed being in the bed with the snake?

    What if my chronic incurable depression goes into remission? What if I don’t need all these mind-altering drugs to make life worth living? What if living life on my terms makes life worth living?

    What if I no longer need to wonder if he really still loves me or not, because it no longer affects how I conduct my life? What if loving myself is enough? What if I trust myself, instead of worrying about how much to trust a snake?

    What if I’m a fully functioning adult capable of running my own life, choosing my own friends, and making my own decisions, and not the lazy incompetent irresponsible child he says I am?

    What if I decide to grow a garden instead of being treated like dirt?

  • Sorting through packed boxes, ripping up the poetry, dividing up the photographs, ditching (returning) a favorite painting that connects “us”. -Throwing the physical representations of memories in the trash this past week because I am ready to take that step was liberating and scary at the same time…

    Soooo, -What .if I trust I will find my way back to my big energy spirit as much as I trust that he is a soul sucking spirit snatcher?

    What if I know that to love someone, even in blindness, is still about my capacity to love. What if I know that to betray someone is about his capacity to deceive. .

    What if I can trust in Faith, in God, in the Force, in the Way, that all will be ok – and that my spirit that feels buried under six feet of sadness, tears, and mourning will one day rise and dance again!!!

    This thread is on fire Chump Nation! – And as I am up late reading everyone’s thoughts, unable to sleep because like a great book it keeps you awake- I am blown away by all the what ifs. -So honestly heartfelt and empowering.

    -Hugs to all. .

  • Chump4Bolero – and on my way to bed with your last, wonderful comments about this thread. I think you ended it about perfectly for me tonight. Blessings and hugs to finding your way through the blindness.
    It IS better than a book sometimes!

    And, on a late note, putting out the garbage last night – I went to throw out a big photo of X and I together, professionally taken, nicely framed. I couldn’t WAIT to get rid of it. Well, it fell on my toe (I won’t post the photo) and I think it’s broken, but – holy shit – was I cheering when they picked it up next to the garbage can. (Too big to fit it into)

    Yay – I’m free! Last piece of junk to get rid of.

  • What if I can finally let go of that breath I’ve been holding while constantly waiting for the other shoe to drop?

    What if I dance around the house in my underwear, belting out the entire “Dirty Dancing” soundtrack?

    What if I notice a nice looking stranger and invite him to have coffee with me and he says yes and it’s not a sin?

    What if I prepare all the foods the ex didn’t like, then scarf them down while binge-watching my favorite show?

    What if I take up a hobby that I’ve always wanted to try but never had time for because I was too busy pick-me-dancing?

    What if I create a newer, better me out of the ashes of my past life?

    What if I don’t have to worry about the next D-Day anymore?

    What if I don’t have to question the integrity of every female who floats into my life?

    What if I have peace in my heart and in my home?

    What if my children learn that there are consequences to every action, even parents make mistakes, and we must live with the choices we make?

    What if I can transform into a superhero instead of continuing as a victim?

    What if I can love and respect myself and place value on that instead of my cheating ex’s opinion?

  • LOL! Now that Narkles the Clown is gone I do skip through the house singing Nina Simone’s “Feeling Good” ……. and I belt is out loud!

  • A classic credo should be in Latin (credo, from the Latin, “I believe”). So I’d propose:

    Via meh formonsus (“The road to meh is glorious”)
    Tuesday venit (“Tuesday is coming”)
    Abibis ex fucktard (“Step away from the fucktard’)

  • This is THE most important post for me. After 5 years of chumptitude, sucking frantically on that hopium pipe, I am finally (thanks Al Anon) let go and asking MYSELF why I had this need to cling on to someone who (thanks Chump Lady) never gave a sh* about my feelings, and what that says about MY identity as someone who is unloveable, who isn’t worth much and who doesn’t deserve being loved and cared for.

    The ultimate question that took me SO LOONG to answer: -What-if I were to live an honest life and not permit people who wedge a machete into my back to stay in my life?

  • What if I can go after my dreams and achieve them on my own?
    What if the future is better than I can imagine?

  • What if I reframe my shitty experience as a lesson I had to keep having until I truly learned it well?

    What if I used that “lesson-learned” frame of mind to see potential partners as they really are, instead of allowing them to reflect me and my needs back at myself? What would that look like? And more importantly, what would that **feel** like?

    What if I listened to my intuition and trusted it? If that means I must choose refusing to partner no matter how deeply invested I am, would that be okay with me? More okay than ignoring the red flags and then spending huge amounts of energy trying to re-shape myself and my definition of “okay”? I am still figuring out what my okay looks and feels like, but I know a big chunk of it involves self-imposed exercises like “No Angry Conversations in My Head” weekends, and “Playlists I Can Sing Out Loud to In rush Hour Traffic Instead of Being Annoyed by Every Other Driver on the Road”.

    What if I went into each new encounter not internally framing the other person as a partner… not picking out my china pattern after one date? I kinda like my starting-over-hunting-it-at-Goodwills-around-town pattern. Every dish I use feels like a choice for freedom.

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