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Old crazy? New tradition!

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virgin-mary-holiday-anxiety-funny-ecard-zrAOn the eve of Thanksgiving, to get out of the chump holiday doldrums, I thought it might be fun to compare Old Holiday Dysfunction with New Holiday Tradition. Don’t have any new traditions? Make some up!

For example:

Old Holiday Dysfunction (OHD) — Your drunk father-in-law rails on about One World Order conspiracies while his wife passive aggressively refuses to acknowledge your casserole. “Oh, I must’ve forgotten those roasted brussel sprouts. Left them under the broiler. Oops. I suppose they were… organic?” Meanwhile, your cheater is locked in a bathroom texting with Schmoopie.

New Holiday Tradition (NHT) — Cooking dinner in your pajamas! A gathering of friends and family! (i.e., people who LIKE you!) Pumpkin pie for breakfast! All the organic, roasted brussel sprouts you can eat! A long walk after dinner and then marathon BBC dramas til the tryptophan kicks in.

So chumps — what’s your new tradition?

 

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Ask Chump Lady

Got a question for the Chump Lady? Or a submission for the Universal Bullshit Translator? Write to me at info@chumplady.com. Read more about submission guidelines.
  • Old Holiday Dysfunction (OHD) – My in-laws stay inside their home all week, except when they need to buy groceries at the supermarket. My partner never helps them do anything, and lies all day on his bed upstairs, reading or sleeping, showing up only to eat or to walk the dogs in the park. I spend the whole vacation programming or drawing comics on my computer. At the end of the vacation, he adds some decades-old books in my trunk, that I will have to sell online for him. I drive us across the country in my car both ways.
    New Holiday Tradition (NHT) – I haven’t figured out yet what I will be doing.

      • I had never seen it that way, haha ! I never complained, I actually kept myself busy. But him on the other hand, was eager to leave if we visited my side of the family. And he never said thank you for the gifts. I had not realized ; my mother told me recently that she resented the fact that he never thanked anybody.

        • Interestingly, my mother just recently remarked that she couldn’t recall ever being thanked by my cheating stbxw.

        • That is why I got divorced…to keep me out of jail! The Old Holiday Dysfunction: There were 5 Christmases for us to go to. One for the two of us, one with the in-laws, one with my parents, one with each of my extended families on my paternal and maternal side. I don’t know that my in-laws seemed so terrible at the time. Though my ex and ex brother in law had a tradition of watching a Christmas movie I didn’t like every year.

          New Holiday Tradition: There are 3 Christmases to go to. One with my parents and one with each side of my extended family. There are a lot less gifts to buy as we draw names from a hat and only buy for 1 person for the big Christmases with my extended family. On my maternal side, my younger cousin is fond of asking me questions about my love life every single year and my grandma is fond of commenting that I can bring a male friend/boyfriend to Christmas. I have decided from now on when asked questions, I am just going to say “Instead of answering questions, I’m going to send out a memo whenever I have something I want to share about my love life.” Lol. Then if anyone keeps asking, I can quote Office Space and say “Did you get the memo?”

  • OHD:

    My Xh (who always loudly proclaimed he hated holidays) asking: “What time do I HAVE to be at your parents?” or “What time can I LEAVE your parents?” or “Do we HAVE to celebrate this year?” while all the while I am working my ass off trying to make it special for someone who would never appreciate it.
    My Xh complaining about how much he dreads going to see his family for the holidays. (Insert the same questions as above.)
    My Xh complaining about the food and not having enough of what he likes.
    My Xh making comments about everyone in my family and his family.
    My Xh refusing to play games with us because everyone knows he “doesn’t like games”.
    My Xh acting like everything he did on any holiday took a Herculean effort just be present…FORGET about actually enjoying it.

    Really…why did I even try???

    NFT:

    We will arrive early. We will eat what we want of the food we love. We will play games all afternoon. We will watch football. We will laugh together. We will enjoy each other. We will leave late. We will give thanks for all the things we have. (And not to hurt my children, I will silently give thanks for some of the things I lost.)

    • You pretty much summed up what I was going to say, so I’m not even going to write my own. Between @One Step at a Time and @MovingOn, all I have to say is “same.”

      • I was just thinking about this before I even read this comment and I don’t think of it as “things I lost” – more like things I shed or things that fell away. To me, lost means to be found. Shed or fell away means to be rid of. Just a thought – sometimes wording helps to wrap the mind around it, well, at least helps wrap my mind around it. Best to you

    • Ditto ditto and ditto. Nothing was ever good enough, both are families were horrible people because no one appreciated Cheater. They didn’t listen to him adoringly when he pontificated at the dinner table about everything he knew so much more about than the rest of us put together. He complained about my kids for not helping when he himself never lifted a pinky finger to help with food preparation, EVER not ONE single time in 16 years. Unless you count when he bought one of those turkey deep fryers (or wait, I bought it as he never had any money). Then the ONE time when he deep fried the turkey outside in the cold, he was a Martyr and Hero for doing that and the turkey was zillions of times better than any turkey I or anyone else ever made the pathetic lame old fashioned way. Though he never had any problem eating it LOL.

      If we traveled to his horrible family or my horrible family (his words), of course he would drive all 5 to 8 hours each way, depending on where we were going; or even when we drove halfway across the country I was not allowed to drive my own car (though it was OK for me to pay for the gas!). See, he was such a better driver than me. And he said he couldn’t “handle” being a passenger. But deserved a Medal for driving!!!! WTF seriously. It’s amazing how someone could be the hero while not actually doing anything, and the martyr victim all at the same time. I hope OW is enjoying her festive Thanksgiving with this wonderful Catch of a narc guy!!!!!!

      I’m traveling this afternoon to a warm climate where one of my kids lives, and spending TG *not cooking* and NOT putting up with any of the above crap and it feels truly liberating!!

      • OMG !!! My cheater was the same. Never did anything. Had to drag him to mine or his family events, holidays, our own children’s birthday parties. When he did do something, everyone needed to praise him for it. And the driving!! Ugh !!! He said the same thing, that he couldn’t stand being a passenger, always had to drive, even though it was my car or someone elses. Poor baby. Freaks.

  • OHD: Try to get everything together to get to my parents’ house on time with zero help from my then-husband. We always end up being late, I’m flustered and annoyed with him, and I then spend Thanksgiving taking care of the kids (again without his help) and can barely get in a few bites of dinner.

    NFT: We have a calm, pleasant day where we arrive on time, I don’t feel resentful because I’m actually on my own as opposed to being married to a dead weight, and now that the children are older, I enjoy a hot meal and nice conversation because they can take care of themselves.

    Much better! Just wanted to add that the ex has to travel out of town for Thanksgiving because he doesn’t have anyone here other than the Owife to have dinner with. Poor (turkey) sausage!

  • No TDay last year. This year, making some appetizers and heading over to a new friends house for Thanksgiving potluck. 🙂

  • Old: have in-law cancel thanksgiving dinner on thanksgiving morning (happened 3x!) because she wasn’t feeling well, but had declined your offer a month ago host. Fly across country for Christmas, supervising all the kids while he ignored them for the duration of the flight. Continue to supervise kids at in-laws while he “works”. Be the only non-drunk adult at the dinner table, and defend your kids from mean drunk whose filters are off. Endure a week of regular critiques of your parenting. Do dishes for 12 3x a day, clean, vacuum, etc. while supervising kids. Go out to crowded restaurant with hour and a half wait when 6 weeks postpartum and two other kids under 5, get told you are a whiny party pooper for not loving this plan.
    New: do only the things that bring my kids and I joy. Cookies for breakfast. First run movie somewhere WITH popcorn AND soda. Relaxed tree decorating over the course of a week.

    • My flying stories: I do the majority of the work to get the kids packed. I do the majority of the work devising and executing the “getting through security” plan with infants, strollers, etc. I do the majority of the work supervising/entertaining the kids on the plane (although she does do the breastfeeding), I change the diapers in the flight attendants’ area.

      The for the next eight years, she says “Flying across the country every year by myself with two small children is one of the hardest things I’ve done. Getting through security takes a lot of effort … etc etc etc”

      One leg out of 20 total flights she was by herself as I had to work and flew out a few days later, and I’ve never heard the end of it.

      • Buddy,

        As my cheating STBX traveled for work (over 90% of work was out of town) and for pleasure, I often took my children, both babies to foreign destinations by myself. I often had to run between terminals with everything in tow. Challenging yes, but far from the hardest thing I’ve ever had to do.

        Cheaters like ours think that they do (virtually) all the heavy lifting and self-sacrificing. Mine now tells me that it’s all my fault that we never went to a particular tropical island, that I always turned down his request while we were together. Although he didn’t pay child support after he walked out on our family, he took himself to aforementioned tropical island with helicopter flights around the island (with one of his sexual partners?). He said that he ‘needed’ vacation. (From what? That hard work of staying out of work (which lasted for approx. one year) after quitting his great, fairly relaxing job? (He has taken several trips (not work-related) since he left.

        Fast forward to present, I asked him if he would consider taking our kids to that island as they were interested in visiting on winter break. He told me, ‘Why don’t you take them?’ Yeah, sure. Can I use food stamps to buy plane tickets? I tried not to convey my rage. Instead, I just told him that there would be no vacations (in my family) for several years. He then said that our children’s wish was a ‘want’ not a ‘need.’ This from a guy who now paints himself as Super Dad.

        The good news now is that I never have to pay for ‘excess baggage,’ if I ever board a plane again.

        I hope that you now get to spend much more time around people who appreciate you.

  • Same nice Thanksgiving with my family — that he used to be a part of. He doesn’t have any close family or friends – although he has four brothers. Hmmm — that should have been a clue to a personality disorder!!

  • OHD: Getting up early, getting everyone bathed, dressed and ready on my own. Little help from the EX because he was too busy sleeping or playing on his phone. Getting us out the door to go to my ONE family function and his 5-6 family functions with three small children. Me preparing all the kids’ plates everywhere we went and taking care of all the, “Mommy, I need…” requests. Him chatting in another room with his family members and me being mostly ignored. Getting home with exhausted children and an exhausted me and him planting himself on the couch while I put the kids to bed. Him falling asleep on the couch while I’m putting the kids to bed and me begging him to come to bed so he won’t wake me as soon as I’m able to go to sleep by loudly coming into the room and plopping down on the bed.

    NHT: Me getting up AFTER the sun. Kids sleeping in while I get a shower because we were up late the night before watching Christmas movies together. Us having a HUGE breakfast (because we’re hungry and it ruins their lunch appetites), watching the Macy’s Thanksgiving Day parade, and decorating the house for Christmas. Him getting the kids around lunchtime and hauling them all over the state on his own. Me having dinner with my boyfriend and his perfectly delightful family. Kids coming home at night and us cuddling up to watch more Christmas movies. Getting up the day after Thanksgiving, enjoying breakfast and leftovers and being lazy all day. (No crazy, mosh-pit shopping here!)

  • OHD: Getting bitched by my wife because she is running late because she is a self-absorbed narcissist and I wanted to stick to a schedule, and then hearing her moan and complain that we have to get together with my family (even though her dad is invited and her mother chooses to celebrate the holidays with her new family). Also, getting bitched at by my wife to help her clean up once she finishes her meal – it never mattered if I was finished or talking with family. My mom always told her she would do it later, but my wife would always insist on getting things cleaned up when she got done (probably because she wanted to get the hell out of there for some strange reason).

    NFT: Pick up kids at 4 pm and go spend time with my family. No bitching about anything other than maybe eating too much. Come home and pop in a movie and all fall asleep on the couch. Sleep in really late tomorrow and lie around until we decide to go to a movie (it will be the last installment of the Hunger Games this year).

  • Old: Feel uncomfortable with how his favorite member of my family is my pre-teen niece.

    Now: With confirmation of my fears sadly in place and the skeevy serial cheating ex gone, and my niece older and wiser and away from him, and a new partner, give thanks for a really different life now.

      • Hugs, TheMuse. Yeah, she is, but he is still in the world so there are more nieces out there. His third wife (1 year 2 mos after our divorce he married his third wife) needed her parents permissions to marry him. EW.

        I am glad you and I are both out of those messes!

  • I love this CL. Now you have me getting excited about the holidays! I’ll have to start thinking about new traditions. I actually really like my in laws and will miss them but traveling to Kentucky for several days on the precious few days I get off work and the extra money spent for a hotel and thousands of gifts will not be missed. I’ll try to focus on the traditions I’m not sad about losing.

    • Sadly, most of my unpleasant holiday memories center around my family, particularly my NPD sister and her always predictable temper tantrums about how her son didn’t get as much as everyone else. She would literally count the presents; I resorted to giving all my nephews exactly the same gift, not that it ever helped. My NPD mom encouraged this behavior because well, drama.

      When I divorced, I decided I was no longer obligated to put up with anyone’s bad behavior, including my own family’s. My kids and I stay home, cooking and decorating the tree. It is very low key; mimosas by the fire while watching the parade, a nice but simple breakfast. I will have made most of the side dishes today, so we’ll enjoy a leisurely afternoon until the turkey is done in time for our late lunch.

      This year I do have one concern. The nephew who never got enough is now grown, as are my boys. He has somehow managed to create a rift between my sons. They are barely speaking to one another. I am so angry and disappointed, but have told both of my sons that I expect, at minimum, cordiality in my presence. Sigh. Narcissism, the generational gift that keeps on giving!

  • OHD

    Go to church like s million times while h is working on his M.Div. Go to different churches ( school, ours, his parents ) and drive all over the southern end of this province doing so in a car that has very questionable breaks!

    All of this is done for what I call “God Points”. These are kibbles for the clergy.

    Somewhere in all of this presents will be opened and a turkey will be eaten.

    Almost never with my family ( bunch of pagans ).

    NHT : go to one service on my own. Enjoy the peace.
    Open presents with my kids in my home and drive to my Sister’s house.
    No one will spend countless hours dissecting the midnight mass ( did you see the choir master’s shoes ?!?! ) and drink wine.

    • Ugh! Why do Chumps always have to do what the Narcs want? That sounds totally over-the-top boring and selfish.
      This uber religious guy was a Cheater?

  • OHD: We visit my former in-laws back east in a rural area. He spends the entire time on his mom’s computer downloading music and burning CDs (we’re going back in time a bit) or staring at his phone while I tried to get to know his family on my own (early on) or made arrangements with his friends to get us out of the house (since he is a flake who doesn’t plan til the last minute and then gets mad when people don’t drop everything to see him).

    NHT: I’m not going anywhere, and I don’t like turkey. So I bought a smoked ham and am having a friend over. Quiet, low stress, no husband-sitting. Wonderful.

  • OHD: Ex-husband (yay! I am free!) never wanting to stay long at my parent’s house for Thanksgiving or Christmas. Always ready to get home and continue to veg on the couch after a long visit to the john to poop until he had “blue legs”. Ugh.

    NHT: After dropping off my son with his father and starting my first Thanksgiving without him, I will take a run on my own. Shower. Head over to my mom’s house where she is delighted that I am there to make deviled eggs and pumpkin pie. And cranberry margaritas. I’m always in charge of the deviled eggs, dessert and drinks. 🙂 I have also invited a single Dad friend. He was going to be alone and without his son like me.

    I will count my blessings as I always do. I will be grateful for all the goodness in my life. I am thankful I can raise my son with my values.

      • Easy. Use all the cranberry sauce that no one ever eats. Add to ur favorite margarita mix (1 can lim aide, 1 can tequila, 1 can triple sec, 1 can water) add ice and blend the heck out of it. Serve in the proper glassware.

    • Oooh, Conniered, I hope his other woman is still around to experience that thrill of the “blue legs.”. I feel sick just reading that.

    • Tempest! Here you go!!!

      CRANBERRY MARGARITAS!!!
      1 1/2 cups cranberry cocktail juice
      3/4 cups fresh lime juice
      3/4 cups tequila
      1/2 cup orange liqueur like Grand Mariner
      Ice
      fresh cranberries and lime for garnish, sugar or salt for rimming the glasses

      Anita, he has been living with OW since July. No doubt she has experienced him hobbling out of the john talking about blue legs. I bet she is now shaving his back too!!! hahahaha!!! Ewwwwww!

      • Thanks, Conniered! Going to the store today to get the ingredients.

        (and cranberry margaritas sounds much better than shaving your cheater’s back. lol)

        • Tempest, You are so welcome!!! Girl. You KNOW any kind of margarita is better than a back shaving!! And Blue Legs! LOL

      • Yay, true karma can only be served when they have to Lie in the bed they made (with the cheater). No more best behavior and pretense to hide behind.

        • Karma. Yeah. We all reap what we sow. The OW does not yet see Blue Legs for who is because she is the same as him. You know what I mean? Maybe soon though, I feel that she will grow weary of my son when he goes over there to visit. He is lively, talkative and happy. Unlike the trio who live in that house. These people don’t like to be reminded of who they are and what they did….like being a willing participant in the destruction of that boy’s family. Bu I do smile like the Grinch knowing that she has to do all that I used to do. It’s funny/odd, one of the first feelings I had after the numbness of D-Day wore off was….freedom.

          • I’m so happy for you. He sounds like the absolute grossest and self-absorbed person. He and the OW sound perfect for each other. Ew.

      • Back shaving……always a treat! And a bigger treat was being yelled at because it wasn’t done to perfection for him.
        I’m so glad I’ve finally woke up from my nightmare!

  • OHT: Cheater priming the pump for her cheating by taking her family out for coffee and individually poisoning the well about me suggesting that I am abusive even though her family knows enough–initially–to realize it as the lie it was.

    NHT: Spending time with my wife’s grandparents. Eating traditional Scandinavian fare here in Norse-country–i.e. Minnesota.

  • How thankful am I not to have go to my sister in laws…eat bland tasteless food and listen to complaints about how much butter I used in my casserole. So thankful not to have to listen to them talk about the family that was smart enough not to come. I am sure I will be the topic of conversation. My husband and his whore and her sons can now listen with eye rolls how thankful they all are for Jesus and his blessings…..btw….they are Baptist and won’t drink wine….you need alcohol to be around them.

    Going to friends….she is a fabulous cook and hostess….they are better than family!!!
    Still cooking with Butter….and bacon in my green beans…oh yea…and some bacon grease too…. too bad I didn’t give the Hubbsters a coronary with all my cooking…would have saved divorce money.

    • ‘too bad I didn’t give the Hubbsters a coronary with all my cooking…would have saved divorce money.’ LOVE!

  • OHT: Doing all the cooking while X ignored the children, probably because he was scoping out his Ashley Madison and Adult Friend Finder hits.

    NHT: Modifying dinner to accommodate my newly-vegetarian 14 yo daughter, possibly getting 10 minutes conversation out of her, then taking a bottle of champagne over to a friend who is divorcing her unpleasant, narcissistic H.

    • 14 year old veggies! That girls gonna be a rock star. I went through it- and found out I was allergic to soy in addition to nuts and dairy so my proteins were too hard to balance, meat and me are friends. But making that choice as a youngin is about proving you’re resilient and headstrong- nurture that!!! Make some delicious food that’s veg and maybe discuss which recipes worked best? Buy in and support might be more conversational than just mods on the old? Like a yummy chickpea tomato salad (swap in black beans and some jalapeño and suddenly it’s salsa?) especially if you’re already not following tradition- maybe thanksgiving is the holiday where you don’t eat meat either? You cook and prepare and experiment in her world. I don’t know if that’s a thing, it just sounds kind of fun to me

      • Creativerational: I bought the Ottolenghi cookbooks, Plenty and PlentyMore and am dying to try some of those fantastic recipes. Also have the Thug Kitchen: Eat like you give a f**k cookbook in my Amazon list. Daughter is pretty picky, but I’m sure we can find some things she’ll eat. Right now I’m just aiming for gourmet 4-cheese mac & cheese for tomorrow.

        [The dogs are demanding turkey, though–on Thanksgiving and Christmas Eve, they get only people food. I see them marking the countdown to the holidays off on their calendars.]

        • The vegetarian entree at Chez Blonde is spinach and artichoke filled phyllo. No really, you can have that piece of dead bird stuffed with day old bread. (Sorry if I squicked anyone out!)

          • There are so many good veggie cookbooks. Laurel’s Kitchen is a staple. Then anything by Mollie Katzen, starting with The Moosewood Cookbook. I cooked vegetarian involuntarily for 16 years, so it’s doable.

            • Love the Moosewood Cookbook! Their carrot cake is to die for (though I use cream cheese frosting on top, which is not in their recipe).

              • There are so many good things in her books. I think I have four of them. I just use them more as side dishes now that I can eat more like a carnivore. I’d look at the zucchini feta pancakes and Ukranian poppyseed cake and, well, everything.

        • The Thug Kitchen cookbook is awesome!

          The hubby and I are going to a friend’s house for ‘Friendsgiving’ again this year (can’t make it back home for the holidays this year). All vegetarian fare. Was delicious last year and will be again this year.

  • OHD- driving two hours away to my inlaws;car full of better food cause my MIL really sucks at cooking; arriving to a fight alreay in progress between MIL and FIL. Watching BIL drunkedly bump into every wall in the house while his six children from 5 baby mammas rip the house apart. Baby Mamma # 5 is high and chain smoking cigarettes on the porch in her PJ’s. Dinner is served and consumed equally fast with no celebration or even a make shift prayer in front of the TV. The dishes are my sanctuary and I spend hours cleaning up the pots and pans. FIL is passed out in his lazy boy. The BIL is throwing up in the bathroom and BM#5 is standing in the doorway of the bathroom laughing at him.
    The only thing that differentiates year to year is BM #1 thru BM #5 and they are mostly interchangeable.

    NHT- a modest feast with really well prepared dinnerand desserts from a mix background of friends with different traditions. A set table with greenery from the river and some fun treasures we found during our walk. Friends holding hands around the table. Everyone young and old saying what they have been thankful this year. Blessings from each persons faith. We eat. We laugh. We share. The kids put on a play. We are the audience. Everyone goes for a walk and we return to hot chocolate and desserts. Instruments are played songs are sung. Babies are tucked in , kids are in their pjs. Some stay , some return to their homes. We have french toast in the morning with bacon( always) and slowly everyone makes their way home in their pjs.
    No drunks. No drama( aside from the play) . No regrets.

    • The Clip, ex MIL was a horrible cook too. What is up with that? I come from a line of wonderful southern cooks, This woman cannot even warm up a precooked dinner properly. The only person I’ve ever seen jack up instant mashed potatoes. How hard is it to mix some flakes in water????

  • Old tradition: I did everything, he did nothing……. Except complain about how much he hates the holidays

    New tradition: do whatever the fuck I want. And in the back of my mind I’ll remember what a miserable person he is without a single friend or family member in his life…. Except his other woman who happens to be his mothers age who happens to have kids his age and is a grandma. Happy holidays everyone ❤️?

  • Old: My M-I-L would book hotel rooms for the family at a casino an hour and a half away. She would pay for the rooms, otherwise nobody would go. Those of us who didn’t gamble (me) would sit in my room with the kids or go and WATCH other people gamble. As far as the kids – when they got too old for “KidsQuest,” my M-I-L apparently expected them to hang out and swim the entire duration of the hotel stay. The kids hated it because what the hell are they supposed to do? They are too old for the KidQuest and too young too gamble. As soon as my daughter got her license, she quit going because it was lame. I always felt this was a stupid tradition. It promoted gambling to my other older kids, who really didn’t have the money, but what else do you do? I will just say that his WHOLE side of the family lives in the same town. It isn’t like we were meeting family half way or anything. No – we ALL lived in the same town and we ALL drove and hour and a half to a casino to ‘celebrate’ thanksgiving. And it wasn’t like somebody’s house wasn’t big enough…..
    Personally, I think the reason M-I-L did it was to get everyone together and they couldn’t back out. If she paid for the hotel rooms, then you almost have to show up and have no excuse not to make it to Thanksgiving, where as if it were held at her home, people would be more apt to skip it….. She maybe also thought it was ‘fun’ watching her children lose thier hard earned money. Bitch.
    New: Not going to a fucking casino.

  • Married for 28 years.
    Two years ago today, I discovered D-Day number 2.
    This year I am going out with friends, and looking forward…

    I am thankful for seeing the ‘limp turkey sausage’ for what he really is.

    Most importantly, I am thankful to ChumpLady for being so helpful during this difficult time.
    Wishing you all a nice Thanksgiving.

    • (((((Solange)))))

      So sorry you’re having to go through this at the holiday, but sounds like you have a good perspective on things (that clarity is something for which we should should be grateful–even when it hurts desperately).

      Oddly, I found D-Day 2 easier to bear than No. 1. It was my clarity, by unambiguous sign that she would not change. She wouldn’t stop cheating, and she wouldn’t stop lying about it. And I could never, never, never trust her again. Which left no option but divorce. Lay down your burden and, as you said, look forward.

      • Nomar, I had ten years between DDay 1 & DDay 2. Perhaps it took me ten years to process the first unbelievable event. But the second?
        I had lost all trust, had become a shell of who I really was AS I HAD LIED TO MYSELF FOR TEN YEARS. One visit to a therapist did it. I sat at a stoplight and took my power back. “Fuck this”‘, I thought as I drove home. Pulled straight into the MIDDLE of the garage, texted him that he was not sleeping at our house that night, to come get whatever he needed and get the hell out.
        January 7, 2010. The beginning of life on my terms. Been a rough road, but life is sweet.
        Happy holidays, CN. If this is the beginning of your painful journey, please believe with all your heart that life will get better. There really is such a thing as “meh”. And it is wonderful.

        • I was at my In-Laws six hours away. It was two days after d-day. (Had only saw one text come across the screen of his unlocked phone). I was a zombie with two small kids.

          Thanksgiving night I got out of the guest bed I was sleeping in and went into the room my husband was sleeping in and took his phone back into the bedroom I was in. I spent all night going through every text. None were deleted and phone was unlocked.

          I read hundreds of texts and saw a few croch shots from at least 10 different women. I stayed up all night.

          The next day was Thanksgiving with his family of 40. I’m so glad I never did that again. It was a long six hour drive home with kids in the car. I told him he could fuck whoever he wanted for the rest of his life because it would never be me again. I was thouroughly shocked at the length and depth of his scams.

          New tradition: kids are with dad at the In-Laws six hours away and I’m cleaning my kitchen tile grout while binging on Netflix’s, “Call the Midwife”. Tomorrow I will put up a Christmas Tree.

          I never really liked Thanksgiving. Hot Kitchen, gloomy weather, blaring football. I love just being alone and having it as a day off. It doesn’t even trigger anything that this is the time of year everything he was and is was exposed.

          • *bingeing. ?? Spelling looks off.

            ETA: we were already sleeping apart by then anyway. He was a real loser of a husband.

          • Dear woo
            Sounds like you got a direct in your face of what he is all about! My heart and mind hurts for your visual betrayal that in a good way, no way to deny but wishing you tons of meh as you made it to the one year mark!

  • Old : drive to MIL’s where the Arian Brotherhood BIL drops the N word every other sentence. MIL who is a TERRIBLE cook, makes her Baby’s (Ex) favorite foods – all equally tasteless and whines about how she never gets to see him. My food contribution is never touched nor is the gift I brought her acknowledged. The cousins who betrayed their spouses years ago with each other (yes, actual cousins) laugh and talk like they are not shitty people – their spouses seemingly don’t know although everyone else clearly does. I choke on cigarette smoke the whole time and hope we get to leave early.

    New: No more hillbilly drama! No magarine. No canned green beans. No Cool Whip – I make real food! Thank heavens I’ve escaped that nightmare. I can do what I please. Visit my mother for once (Ex didn’t like her – and she never liked him. Should have listened to my mother). This year – it’s all about my granddaughter.

    And a Happy Thanksgiving to all!

    • Wow, Chumpfor21, you really escaped a movie-worthy nightmare. What a script that would make! The margarine alone is enough to make you flee in terror. Have a happy one this year!

  • Old holiday tradition: Being ordered around my own home like a slave while listening to the offensive, unsolicited political opinions of my in-laws.

    New holiday tradition: Stuffing my face with delicious food and drinking copious amounts of red wine while listening to the offensive, unsolicited political opinions of my own family members.

    • LOL Lulu!!!!! Hang in there.That is also why I drink for the holidays. I love my mom but she believes in UFO’s…but not the Federal Reserve. Red wine, cranberry margaritas. You know, whatever I’m in the mood for. 😉

  • Old holiday tradition:

    As soon as MIL showed up ex went into child mode. MIL would say, ‘You look tired, you should lay down’ and off ex would go to take a long nap. MIL and the rest of the in laws would proceed to drink, hang out, talk about how great everything smelled and make half-hearted offers to help. While I cooked. And entertained. And held it all together.

    New holiday tradition:

    I cook. I entertain. I hold it all together. No one naps. Everyone chips in. We all drink.

  • Love the NHT LadyStrange 😀

    OHT: Get up early and prepare turkey for the oven, prepare all the rest of the meal, straighten the house and prepare the table for both mine and Satan’s family…never knew who would show up…or when…or how long they would stay…usually till the beer ran out…clean it all up all day long by myself. Usually around 10 am Satan would say, ‘its beer thirty somewhere!’ and commence drinking…ugh. Dinner would be consumed amid loud drunken political discussions where none agreed on anything and everything would escalate to arguing. UGH! Satan would pass out in a chair oblivious to everyone and everything…by the end of the long, long evening I would clean it all up and sit down wanting to cry at how bad it all was.

    NHT: I will prepare a turkey breast and a small ham for my children and their families and we will enjoy each other’s company without alcohol or arguing, DIL and I might take my rescue lab Beau for a walk in the woods near my little house if she would like and enjoy the crisp air and the awesome scenery. And we will all just be thankful for each other and all of the Blessings in our lives.

    I am thankful I made it out alive and sane 😀 I am free of the prison that was my life with satan. 😀

    Happy Holidays Chump Nation and families and Tracy and family!!!!

  • OLD: Everything revolved around the turkey AT the table. Are you OK? Are you mad? Do you need anything? Do you need another beer? Can I get you something? Did you go poo poo this morning?

    NEW: Everything revolves around the turkey ON the table. Great looking turkey! Yum, I can’t wait. Thanks, mom. Can I cut it? Where do you want us to sit? What beautiful day. Can I help with something? Laughter, music, chaos, screaming kids and love.

    The further the chump gets away from their release date, the more they recognize the gift of freedom they were given by their jailer.

  • OLD: Worked my butt off for two weeks getting the house ready, decorating for Christmas before the company arrived, cooking everything for 12 people ( all his relatives ) by myself with no help. STBX would spend all day in the recliner “reading” on his tablet and napping. Afterwards, no help with cleaning up while they all got drunk and had farting contests ( no lie ).

    NEW: Will be bringing two dishes to a friends for dinner and mimosas, and instead of being stressed out, I will be relaxing and enjoying myself and their company. I will help her with the clean up. There will not be any farting contests. I haven’t decorated for Christmas and will do it when I feel like it. Friday my oldest son is driving up for the weekend and is planning on taking me out to dinner. Yay!! 🙂

    Happy Thanksgiving everyone!!

  • OHT: Do all the shopping, cleaning and gardening myself. FIL arrives with six or seven Hefty bags full of dirty clothes for me to wash for him, and usually a random tenant or two for me to feed. ExH holds court in living room while I cook in kitchen. SIL arrives hours late with the cooked turkey, as I am not allowed to cook meat products in the house (ex was vegetarian). Unpleasant meal as everyone tries to figure out why random tenants are there. FIL makes the usual announcement that I should get right to the dishes as there is no point in letting them sit. Eventually laundry is done and everyone leaves.

    NHT: NewH and I get up late, roast a beautiful turkey with all the fixings while watching “Home for the Holidays” and drinking wine. No laundry is done.

      • Seriously. I think he never did laundry himself. I’d get the foulest of the foul, after months of wear and no wash. And he started doing that before I had a clothes dryer, so I’d be tending a clothesline while entertaining guests. You can’t make this shit up.

  • First, thanks to all of you who have made this new life so much more joyful with your honest sharing.

    Second, my XH was always late!!!! Seems like a theme. i would also be flustered because I usually hosted dinner for a bunch of my family.

    XH never did anything. One year his family came too and I had double the guests. He decides he is going to cook something and I am his sous chef. Unbeknownst to me, as I am getting everything ready to serve, he needs help with his dish. I just look at him and tell him ‘read the recipe” so of course his won’t be ready when everything else is.

    Typical. Disorganized and disaster.

    This year. Kids are adults. My family is in another state but flew in so we did 1 Turkey day last week which was relaxed and fun!! Doing the real turkey day with DD new fiance and family, who are precious.

    Have no clue what XH is doing and don’t care. His Twat waffle has little kids, so maybe they will all gather at the ‘trailer’ for a canned ham and some canned green beans.

    We are going to sit around, eat wonderful snacks, play with little kids, puppy and visit. Watch TV, nap and just enjoy the day and the company.

    • I wish I didn’t know what XH is doing. He pulled a sad sausage on me last May, complaining about how lonely his Thanksgiving was because I had thrown him out of the house and he couldn’t bear to stay in town this year. Could I please, please relinquish my claims to older daughter being with me at Thanksgiving so that he could be with her at a resort in Mexico? I did (more for her, so she didn’t have to fly two different places right before her final week of school).

      Turns out X is using this opportunity to introduce DD1 to his new girlfriend (probably an OW–still investigating). Selfish shit–he gets daughter trapped for 5 days in a room with his new girlfriend instead of introducing her over a brief dinner sometime. Course, they’ll never get to know each other since X will talk about himself most of the time. I’m gonna need quite a few of Conniered’s cranberry margaritas to suppress my hatred of that man for putting our daughter in an awkward position, and not even warning her beforehand that there would be a 3rd wheel.

      • What a crock of shit Tempest. Hannibal is, yet again, proving himself to be the self-centred, thoughtless, clueless oaf we all know him to be. Let’s be generous and say new girlfriend isn’t an OW – (though there’s no reason to be that kind) – 5 days enforced ‘socialising’ with her is a bloody nightmare, and to not even give your daughter ‘the heads up’ about it, never mind the choice whether she wants to be in that position! Grrrr!

        I swear Tempest, I’m sure I’ve seen housebricks with more emotional intelligence!

        Your daughters are clever, beautiful, young women. I hope DD will find some fun away from these dingbats. I’m sure she’ll see Hannibal for the delusional idiot he is.

        Hope you enjoy your margaritas and find some fun yourself.

        Happy Thanksgiving darling 🙂 You know us Brits don’t do this festivity but I’m very thankful to have met you 🙂 xx

        • Thanks, Jayne! Both daughters know who he is; oldest D told me she will get through the weekend because the drinking age is lower in Mexico, lol.

          And my first thoughts of Thanks tomorrow will be for having met you and others in CN–both in real life and on-line. I am happier and healthier now because of you. Big hugs!

        • Going down the list here reading everyone’s disastrous past’s and loving the names being used her for the shitheads thus far………Satan and Hannibal.
          Can hardly wait to read more!

      • Tempest, to spring that on your daughter after she was expecting some one-to-one father/daughter time is especially cruel and thoughtless!

        • “Cruel & thoughtless” pretty much wraps him up, beneath a veneer of civilization that makes him even more dangerous because one is roped in by his superficial charm. I hope he gets Montezuma’s revenge, or on the visit to a Mayan temple, they decide to sacrifice him to the gods (oops, nope–he’s not a virgin).

          • Wow Tempest, your Ex is a freaking asshole, triangulation at all costs… Nauseating… Wishing him a huge Montezuma’s revenge indeed!

            DD1 is learning from you, and as such she is mighty! I hope she gets to hit the gym, and that she will take advantage of the resort… her cover might be to give these two “LOVE VULTURES” well-deserved time to bring each other all the happiness they both deserve…

          • Tempest,

            He is the worst. Good riddance. Without conscience. How you lived with this fool for all those years and kept your sanity is a miracle. His only joy in his miserable life is how he can inflict as much emotional pain as possible on those who reject his supremacy.

            May the force be with you and I also pray that Montezuma visits his ass.

      • Uh….you can’t fix stupid. She’s young. I’m sure she’s got some crazy good earbuds and sunglasses…. Oh OW is in the swim up bar pool? Ah, too bad – your daughters in the mood to tan all day. Or play beach volleyball with any number of folks. OW is into volleyball? Oh, your daughter signed up for the birdwatching excursion- or any one which was booked full except for one person… (Not that I would suggest she avoid her… But the point is she CAN if she wants to…) or maybe she books her and her dad on one alone- and guilts him for some actual quality time!

  • Best holiday wishes to all you Chumps. Here is to transitioning to better things.

    OHT: Constant stress due to mystery invisible mindf*ck elephant in the room was. It was (truly) killing me.

    NHT: Elephant identified and long gone. Thanksgiving with my sane, supportive extended family.

    • I am so very thankful to CL and CN for all these and the continuous humor advice this amazing community is sharing so generously!

      Like you Chumpion, OHT = constant stress level. The hyper-vigilance stemming from wondering about the next thing my STBX will not like, the next remark that will come out and dim our kid’s innocence and sense of holiday wonder.

      NHT – Being present, enjoying each activity my kiddo, including drama-free cooking, drama-free dinner with friends, and drama-free tree decorating. CN + Peace are gifts I am most thankful for!

  • Old tradition….Chardonnay guzzler ex-wife, tofu mock turkey, kale casserole, mystery seed dessert. Gassy in-laws farting on my poor couches. Having to sneak my kids out for pizza while they snored in front of the tv.

    New tradition….real turkey and stuffing, real mashed potatoes, and pie and ice cream. Fart free family room. Happier kids.

    • Good gracious PF! That is just cra-cra! What the heck is a “seed dessert”?

      Cheers to a REAL Thanksgiving dinner this year. You’re making my mouth water!

    • PF….thanks for having me laugh out loud with your ‘poor couches’ comment. I pictured very sad couches wanting to escape their torture! LOL

  • OHT:
    27 people for dinner and a X who thinks they can all fit in the dining room. Cleaning, cooking, shopping, and in-laws who arrive a day early (surprise!) and won’t tell you when they’re leaving. And the kicker — MIL who won’t share pumpkin pies with the leftovers being split up and proceeds to take them off the table and through the kitchen, past the guests, out to her car to be placed in the trunk!

    NHT:
    13 relatives at my sister’s house in the Pocono mountains (all six siblings together!). No one dresses up for dinner which is made by all and after dinner everyone goes for a long walk in the woods and then we play games and no TV and spotty cell service. Snow begins to fall and a hush settles over the world. Truly spectacular day!

    Signed my Agreement yesterday and I’m all done! No more bullshit…ever!

  • OHD – My family hosts Thanksgiving holiday. MIL spends entire time complaining about her ailments and how lousy the food, decor or timing of all this is for her. She is dying. She is always dying. She has been on the verge of death for nearly two decades. Even the Grim Reaper doesn’t want her.

    NHT – Reservations! Meeting my family out for Thanksgiving dinner. No one has to shop, cook or clean up. Followed by a movie or chatting over dessert. A toast when I get home to everyone at CN for supporting me in my darkest hour. Be mighty tomorrow!

  • Our beautiful holiday tradition: Christmas eve. Table is set beautifully with little gifts at each plate…the kids are dressed up and excited. The meal is ready. He comes home late and in a bad mood. Tries to pick a fight. I refuse to take the bait. So he picks a different fight over something dumb. This time I do take the bait and we argue. He retreats to the bedroom to watch tv. The kids and I celebrate without him but the holiday mood is ruined. He comes out to fill up a plate and goes back to his cave. Bah humbug

  • I go to my sister’s in laws, who are fun, welcoming, happy people, laugh like heck over stupid stuff, and enjoy a nice relaxing day. Friday I go to work, because no one else does and I can get a bunch done. Then Saturday have dinner at my girlfriends family, who are happy, funny people, and I can crack jokes and we laugh and play board games. Somewhere in there I watch football and I rake leaves.

  • NHT: I roast a turkey breast and make a couple of favorite small side dishes. My son and I enjoy turkey sandwiches on delicious rolls with the sides…then go out to see the new Hunger Games movie in the afternoon. On Saturday, get together with the neighbors for a larger, more traditional dinner – without the STBXH, yay!

  • OLD: I cook and bake and entertain large family. Ex drinks and manages to never stay at the table with us. Ex falls asleep on the couch while I entertain, we eat, I clean up, etc.

    NEW: I cook and bake and entertain large family. New husband and step-sons are also present, they barely drink. Everyone talks and has a wonderful time. New husband helps me clean up. No one passes out drunk. We watch football games and a Christmas movie on tv. My children tell me they cherish the holiday more than ever.

    My children and I talk and realize we barely recall their father being present on holidays, even when he was there, since he was so withdrawn and removed from our lives and our daily interactions.

  • Happy Thanksgivings all my lovely Chump Nation friends! 😀 Here’s hoping your NHT’s are wonderful, peaceful and full of love. Hugs and kisses to all xxxx

  • Thought I posted this above, but here it is again, my OHT and new:

    Ditto ditto and ditto. Nothing was ever good enough, both are families were horrible people because no one appreciated Cheater. They didn’t listen to him adoringly when he pontificated at the dinner table about everything he knew so much more about than the rest of us put together. He complained about my kids for not helping when he himself never lifted a pinky finger to help with food preparation, EVER not ONE single time in 16 years. Unless you count when he bought one of those turkey deep fryers (or wait, I bought it as he never had any money). Then the ONE time when he deep fried the turkey outside in the cold, he was a Martyr and Hero for doing that and the turkey was zillions of times better than any turkey I or anyone else ever made the pathetic lame old fashioned way. Though he never had any problem eating it LOL.

    If we traveled to his horrible family or my horrible family (his words), of course he would drive all 5 to 8 hours each way, depending on where we were going; or even when we drove halfway across the country I was not allowed to drive my own car (though it was OK for me to pay for the gas!). See, he was such a better driver than me. And he said he couldn’t “handle” being a passenger. But deserved a Medal for driving!!!! WTF seriously. It’s amazing how someone could be the hero while not actually doing anything, and the martyr victim all at the same time. I hope OW is enjoying her festive Thanksgiving with this wonderful Catch of a narc guy!!!!!!

    I’m traveling this afternoon to a warm climate where one of my kids lives, and spending TG *not cooking* and NOT putting up with any of the above crap and it feels truly liberating!!

  • OLD: We go to his family gathering, where they get louder and more belligerent with each passing drink. Half of them don’t like the other half. Husband ignores me and most likely disses me to his family. He’s trying to figure out where his balls are so he can work up the courage to divorce me.

    NEW HT: I run a 5K Turkey Trot in the clear, frosty morning with a bunch of other sillies. Later that day, I head over to my friend’s house where her large, boisterous (but not belligerent) Jewish family is gathered. We drink, we laugh, we eat, we watch football, we try to keep our dogs from eating things that are bad for them. I am very thankful for this new tradition!

    Happy Thanksgiving, Chump Nation! Long may we prosper.

  • Old holiday dysfunction: On the night before the holiday, I make a Thanksgiving dish to bring to my SIL’s place while ex goes to the bar and gets drunk with high school friends. On Thanksgiving day, he drives us to his sister’s house in a rage, trying to take short-cuts that don’t pan out, and blaming me for making him late. He makes wild, sharp turns while cursing, and I sit in the passenger seat, with a casserole dish between my feet, clutching the door handle in terror. I say nothing. Then we sit at dinner, where he acts like a charming wonderful gentleman. We’ll continue playing out this false narrative even after I’ve discovered the texts and emails to his mistress about how much he hates me. We’re a scene in a Norman Rockwell painting, but I feel like someone is holding my face in the cranberry sauce, smothering me.

    New holiday: I have my own apartment, my own life. It’s not a Rockwell painting, but it’s genuine and mine. My fake life was exposed and blown to bits, and I couldn’t be happier about that (To be clear, I was unhappy while in the midst of it. Now I’m divorced and happy. It took time).Today I’m making mashed potatoes and squash, and working on a screenplay that I’m determined to finish. Tomorrow, I’ll take those dishes to my brother’s place. We’ll have dinner, and I’ll chase my niece and nephew around and enjoy the day.

    I’m dating a guy who lives an hour away, and we get along really well. He’s going to a potluck and a friend’s place, then driving up to spend the long weekend with me. To the outside world, my old life would seem ideal, but the truth is that I am MUCH happier now than I ever was during those nightmare years.

  • OHT
    Doing all the heavy lifting to please the unpleasable who got drunk and smoked weed and went out with OW dancing.the night before and was useless as a dirty dish rag. Never a nice thing to say or the ability to step up. Suddenly, this year he’s looking for kibbles and suckered my son into his pitiful dump with the whore for dinner. Guess he’s thankful for the two hours he gets to spend time with his son over the past year, lol. I can hear the conversation, poor me I can’t work, I’m broke, my shoulder, my back, I had to take out a loan to pay my taxes, and as the Christian whore says grace, X is thinking about the blond he’s been fucking and the recycled pigs from his past. Then off for a relaxing night at the casino where every guy and bartender knows her name.

    NHT
    There are so many things to be thankful for this Thanksgiving. I survived financially, despite struggling to pay my bills. I’ve supported my son and granddaughter by providing them with stability and consistency.in their lives. I survived the highs and lows of my emotions and started taking care of myself. As I sit at the table I will celebrate good conversation knowing my life has become authentic with hope for the future. Happy thanksgiving to all chumps. That empty place at the table represents growth and freedom to live a better life.

  • One of the reasons ex gave for the end of our marriage (and final Dday was just two weeks before Christmas) was that I complained about his incessant playing of bad Christmas music from November through the first week of January. After dumping me for his various OW, he actually claimed it was “abusive” to our son that I complained I’d like to hear some different music during the Christmas season (keep in mind that I’m not even Christian.) I even liked a lot of the music, I just didn’t want to hear it non-stop for two months.

    So in my new and improved, post-ex life, I no longer listen to any Christmas music at all while I’m at home or in the car.

  • There is a lesson here… My in-laws probably had us for dinner 5 times in 32 years of marriage and each time it was a different version of horrible. We need to come up with Chump Rules: #1 If his family is weird or there is tension in the X family at the holiday… run away from that relationship before you get sucked into the vortex.

    My NHT is to make the pies, go to my mother’s house with my family and have a great dinner without XH doing his fake OMG I have to be social. I am trying so haaaarrrd to look like I am enjoying this… but I hate your brother, your sister, her kids, your father (I don’t like him either) but this is family and I.WILL.LOOK.LIKE. I.AM.ENJOYING.IT.

    NHT: Relax, bake pies, have fun.

  • For the three years after d-day, I held a dinner for my favourite people the week prior to Xmas, then left on a holiday.

    First year out, I went with a singles group to Vietnam, north and south, and had more fun than I ever imagined it would be. Slept out on a beach all night, spent new years eve in crowded Saigon, and ate lots of tasty food.

    Second year I went on a diving boat in the Maldives and snorkelled and sunbathed and drank stupidly for two weeks.

    Third hear, I went to India and volunteered to cook Xmas dinner in a childrens’ orphanage, bought supplies for the teachers, and gave the teachers Xmas bonuses so they could enjoy a few luxuries. Found out later my bonuses were more than they get in a month’s salary.

    Which did I enjoy the most? The giving part. It made me forget my stupid petty cheater troubles when I saw what other women endure around the globe.

  • Old…. In-laws arrive…. might bring a pie…. I spend 500-1000 dollars for food…. they expect breakfast, lunch and dinner. Leave kitchen dirty….

    New… Steak and football in peace and quiet…..

  • OHT:

    We go to X’s sister’s house, and the dinner conversation becomes a lesson from Grandpa, Uncle and X about what the “bird” was probably fed and then how it was slaughtered, step by gory, bloody, sinewy step. My sons and I end up eating crescent rolls. X calls me a baby, and doesn’t talk to me the whole way home and through Christmas. He makes fun of me for years about it to anyone who will listen. The story became the Thanksgiving tradition and was repeated every fucking year. Even though I told X it was disgusting and ruined the meal. I swear he brought it up every year after I complained, just for mean sport.

    NHT:

    My sons and I prepare dinner together. Our dinner conversation is about things we’re thankful for and football. Last year, my oldest said, “I’m thankful I don’t have to listen to the turkey killing story for Thanksgiving anymore.”

    I’m thankful the turkey with the mean streak – the one I mistakenly married – is no longer part of our holidays!

  • My first holiday season without my cheating ex. One year ago I would never have dreamed that my life would be so good. I am beside myself with happiness that I am free from his controlling, manipulative and narcissistic ways. My dear friend and her family offered to have me over for Thanksgiving and I cried at the offer. My son is with his real Dad, enjoying his family and I am so happy for that. My cheating ex, on the other hand, has been ostracized from many in his family as well as several of his adult children but I believe his 29-year-old girlfriend’s family has accepted him so he can spend time with them. He just turned 59 years old yesterday…how nice to have a “little girl” to spend the holidays with..drinking, partying…enjoy that…getting everything you wanted from your emotionally blackmailing, narcissistic girlfriend…one and the same, they are. I will be decorating for Christmas, working on my homework for my Masters degree and moving on with my new life. Looking forward to 2016 and to all of you in Chump Nation…our New Year is coming!

    • MovingForward……oh yeaaaa they have so much in common at 29 & 59! I guess I don’t feel so bad with the XPOS being 25 years older than his stripper.

  • Too many laughs! Glad everyone improved their sucky holidays!
    OHT: Plan, invite, clean house, decorate, invite, cook all by myself a great turkey dinner. Hmmm, where is Cheater? At the drunk neighbor’s, BSing with her friends, and probably popping a pill or two! Sons arrive, Mom arrives with rum-infused Pumpkin pie, and finally Cheaty shows up as dinner is almost ready. First, he’s got to blast some loud subversive music videos no one wants to watch, and then settle on the Three Stooges, playing on the TV all through dinner. As the pie is served, he is fidgiting, and asks if we’re done yet, then he makes a plate to take over to Schmoopie, and splits (I find out later he told them HE helped cook it all). At least it’s peaceful now, but seriously, he just blows at family stuff.
    NHT: Thanksgiving dinner at my sister’s, all four of us siblings together for the first time in 20 years, a total of 13 family members. My Mom will be there, still with the best ever rummy Pumpkin pie, and I will be enjoying dinner conversation, love and good food with NO Stooges, and NO phoney Cheater! It’s still a bittersweet work in progress for me, but all in all, life is much more real for me this year.
    Blessings to all, CN is the best!

  • Old holiday dysfunction: Ex and his brother drink 300 cans of beer and watch football 24/7 while leaving me to entertain my MIL.

    New holiday tradition: Hosting 12 friends and family members in my little house with good food, a little wine, and no holiday dysfunction!

    Happy almost Turkey Day fellow Chumps!

  • OHT:.every other year the holdays were held at former ILs, food not great because xMiL hates to eat (but insisted on cooking!), sitting around bored for hours because there is nothing to talk about; apparently any disagreement on a topic means I hate them and disrespect them. Rascist uncle IL going off on lazy folks of a certain skin color, unruly cousins running around, pushing my kids when they were little, etc.
    Last two years before DDay it got better as ex and I insisted that we host Tgiving– real food! Ex did all the cooking; at the time, I thought it nice, in hindsight, part of his ploy to not have to interact with me; spenT hours in the kitchen,

    NHT: still fairly low key (last two years spent at Dinseyland), but found time to cook a small meal with my daughter, two cousins just out of college, and a couple good friends. Part of the new tradition, making homemade chocolate bread pudding with my kids and going hiking on Black Friday.

    Bit sad as I have not spent Tgiving with my son the last three years (2 yrs with ex, one year with my sister and family), so I am especially looking forward to the winter holidays when we will be all together.

  • This isn’t so much related to divorcing a cheat, but drawing MAJOR boundaries over the years with my husband, my inlaws and my parents, particularly my SIL, who has serious boundary issues and a tendency to make holidays all about her and whatever crisis she’d created.

    OHD: My idiot brother tells everybody he won’t be able to make it for the holidays and then shows up at the last minute, meaning no one has made accommodations for him to stay with them. He ends up sleeping at my house, sprawled across the couch, instead of going to the guest room. No one can sit on the couch because he will sleep through most of the day. And if he is persuaded to go to the guest room, he complains about how uncomfortable the bed is.

    NHT: “Hey bro, so glad you could make it, here are the numbers of the hotels in the area where you can stay.”

    OHD: We arrive at inlaws house HOURS early, because DH enjoys the bonding time of helping his mom get the food ready. While that’s great for him, I’m handed a roll of paper towels and windex and asked to clean the bathrooms before the guests arrive. Please note that the adult children STAYING at the house, USING the bathrooms, are sitting on their butts, watching the Thanksgiving parade. If I suggest that maybe those adult children should clean the bathroom, I’m told they’re “busy.” And when I finish the bathroom, I’m asked to dust, sweep the kitchen floor, and vacuum. If I suggest that we arrive later or drive separately, DH complains that he’ll miss the “family bonding time” with me.

    NHT: I don’t go over to the inlaws house until about 30 minutes before dinner is scheduled. If DH wants to go over early, he can. I’ll cook more food at home to avoid cleaning someone else’s bathroom.

    OHD: After dinner, DH reverts to a child-like state in which he sits around watching TV or enjoying lovely adult conversations with the men-folk while his elderly aunties serve him pie/coffee and pat him on the head, while I am expected to help the women-folk clean up with two small children climbing up my back.

    NHT: “Honey, Daddy and I are washing eight metric tons of dishes, go see your Papa if you want something to drink.”

    OHD: SIL checks herself into a hospital a week before the holiday and causes a big “will she be able to make it to Christmas or won’t she?!” drama. My inlaws dither and get upset at the uproar. I get multiple phone calls from SIL’s hospital bed in which SIL changes her mind several times, saying she will be able to make it or she won’t be able to. For my MIL’s sake, I ask her to try to make it.

    NHT: SIL checks herself into a hospital a week before the holiday and causes a big “will she be able to make it to Christmas or won’t she?!” drama. My inlaws dither and get upset at the uproar. I hear nothing because i’ve blocked SIL’s number and email and Facebook profile.

    OHD: SIL waits until I’ve gone to the bathroom and corners me in the hallway so we can have a discussion on the many ways I have disappointed her over the years by putting up boundaries and refusing to be her bestest friend. I say whatever it takes to get through the conversation, even if it means, promising to “try harder.” Even if I have no intention to try harder.

    NHT: SIL: “Hey, PucksMuse, I think we need talk about how ‘cold’ and ‘closed off’ you’ve been lately. It really hurts me that we don’t have a more sisterly relationship.”
    Me: NOPE. (walks off)

    OHD: SIL spends the entire evening demanding attention from my children, demanding that they sit in her lap so she can read to them, open their presents next to her so she can see their reactions. She doesn’t allow other relatives to hold them because “it’s her turn right now.” When I object, my inlaws ask me to be understanding because SIL is alone, has no kids and she has “such a special bond” with the kids.

    NHT: We’ve been in very-limited contact (holidays only) for years because of SIL’s dangerous, illegal behavior. My kids barely know her. When she demands that they focus solely on her, they say no and wander off.

    OHD: Before showing up for holidays, we ask around to see if anyone is sick. Everybody assures us, “Oh, noooo, everybody’s right as rain!” or that the people who are sick will stay home. Then we arrive to the holiday gathering to find out that my aunt, who is suffering from a contagious skin condition, dragged herself to dinner. Or that Aunt in Law didn’t tell us that little cousin’s “sniffles” are actually a test-positive case of swine flu. But they threw aside logic and common sense because ‘It’s just not the same if we’re not together for Christmas.” Our small children end up getting sick and we spend New Year’s up to our ears in humidifiers and Vick’s VapoRub.

    Alternately, if we’re sick over the holidays, we are pressured to attend anyway. If we don’t, we are considered the bad guys.

    NHT: We have told both sides of the family that if we are sick, we will not attend. If we show up and someone is sick, we will leave.

    Man, this was a long post.

    • Shoot, forgot to add an almost unrelated addendum: Mother’s Day.

      OHT: I run around buying Mother’s Day gifts for my mom, my grandma, my mother-in-law, because my husband “doesn’t have time” to shop for his own mother. I spend the whole holiday weekend schedule visits and events so my mother, grandmother and MIL feel special and appreciated by me and my grandmother. Meanwhile, my husband has either forgotten to get me anything, or at best, he’ll get me a last minute card and promise me the “best sex ever.” In the rush around to make sure everybody else is celebrated, I don’t get a special brunch or a gift.

      My breaking point came one year when we went to my inlaws on Saturday for a pre-Mother’s Day dinner, because I’d made plans for the kids and I to do something on Sunday. As we were leaving, MIL said, “Be sure to come by and see me tomorrow for Mother’s Day.” and when I reminded her that this was her Mother’s Day visit, and that the next day was my Mother’s Day celebration, she gave me this completely blank look, like it didn’t compute that I would get some special Mother’s Day time, too. And DH tried to talk me into putting off my Sunday plans with the kids and making one more visit to his mom on Mother’s Day.

      NHT: I have threatened to punch my husband in the junk if he ever offers me “gift sex” again. I tell him he is now responsible for shopping for his own mother’s gift for Mother’s Day. I buy my mom’s gift and that’s it.
      I also told him he needs to get his shit together and make some gesture to make the mother of his children feel appreciated for bringing them into the world, just like I make sure he’s celebrated on Father’s Day. He is doing marginally better on the gift/card front.

      Also, I don’t leave the house on Mother’s Day. I go to my mom and MIL in the week leading up to Mother’s Day to make sure they get a visit, but that’s it. If he wants to take the kids to his mother’s for a visit, he’s welcome to, but I’m hanging out at home, having quiet time.

      • Should be: I spend the whole holiday weekend schedule visits and events so my mother, grandmother and MIL feel special and appreciated by me and my CHILDREN.

        Dang it.

      • So…I’m confused. Is your husband a cheater or not? This site is about leaving cheaters and gaining a life. Just curious about your post.

          • I was attracted to the site because other family members/friends are cheaters, which makes all social interactions very awkward and I needed advice.

            • Everyone is welcome, and chump-dom comes in many stripes, not just infidelity. I’m pretty much an across-the-board chump. Or I used to be anyway… getting better.

              PM — OMG your SIL stories. One year, my now ex-SIL spent the night before Thanksgiving puking (she was hungover on something). I was there as a guest. She was hosting. Got up the next morning, and… she was still asleep. My mother and I set to cleaning the house and vacuuming, and helping prepare the dinner. (She’d invited her huge family and friends over.) She did the whole chaotic, learned helplessness thing very well.

              I was grateful in coming years for the newspaper job that didn’t give me the Friday after Thanksgiving off. Oops, gotta work!

              Cleaning the bathrooms?! O.M.G.!!! Something very ugly would’ve happened with the toilet plunger if it were me…

              MIL needs to get a clue. Oh! Maybe you can give her one for Mother’s Day!

          • Ok but you’re posting on a site for people who have spouses who cheated. That’s what we post about. We could ask you about your boundaries.

            • Hey conniered, I said everyone is welcome. If the site helps someone who experiences infidelity and it’s NOT a spouse, that’s FINE. Please don’t play chump police. Thanks.

            • Besides, PucksMuse has cheaters in her life, and is a decent person all around.

              There’s nothing wrong with people here who aren’t directly involved with cheaters right this moment – I’m one of them. My personal situation is that of having been cheated in the past, but my last significant relationship before my current one was of abuse and possible cheating – but not proven cheating. Plus being a chump kid with a warrior queen of a mum who was a chump. I’m at ‘meh’ now – have been for some months – but like PM said – advice about boundary setting is not always related to infidelity and the life lessons learned here are great for all aspects of life.

              The last line of yours is completely unnecessary and unwarranted – back off.

  • There’s meh… But one can also revel and find joy and maybe a bit of peace in some spiteful nana-nana-boo-boo ing which can occurs during good times which… Lead to meh. It’s the development of scar tissue. oMg. Healing.

  • I drive the car 2 1/2 hours to MIL’s house with 2 kids. MIL’s house a pit and full of farm animals. Men have been in the woods hunting since Nov 15th. They come in drunk and smelling. They have been drunk hitting the stripper bars since Nov 14th. My husband so drunk he pisses on his niece’s jacket. They all complain about not seeing any deer. (They have never been in their blind) I shoot a buck off MIL’s porch. We all help MIL cook. She will not add spices to any thing. Meanwhile she’s pisses at FIL for being drunk and cry’s the whole time. 10 cousins of all ages and the fight is on. Husband shows me all the new dents in our truck. None his fault of course.M IL puts us in the bed where there is still the old time springs.

    Home on my farm with my boyfriend. Cooking a small turkey and all the fixings. Drive down to the neighbors and have a few drinks and some conversation. Back home for the Green Bay Packer game. Cuddle on the sofa with the boyfriend.

  • Pucksmuse, your OHD made me laugh, because I can relate. There was one holiday where my whole family came down with a really bad case of strep throat, the kind that almost kills you. One after the other of my kids ended up at the hospital ER, they were so sick. My ex and i both came down with it too. Christmas eve I had a temp of 104° and a headache so bad it felt like an ax was sticking out of my forehead. I almost got in a fight with my mIL when I refused to go to a family gathering so “we could all be together.” How crazy is it to ask me to go when there were elderly people there who couldn’t afford to catch what I had? So nuts!!!

    • A couple of years ago, we suffered “Flu-Maggeddon” right over Christmas. DD fell first. Then DH and then DS. All test positive flu cases. The doctor told us specifically, “Do not leave the house, no matter how many holiday dinners you’ve agreed to attend. You are contagious.”

      My normally lovely MIL called multiple times over the course of Christmas Eve Dad, asking if we couldn’t attend in SOME configuration to fulfill “tradition,” all while I was running around like mad trying to run to the pharmacy, grocery, doctor, etc. No, I couldn’t go by myself, because as the only one left functional and was taking care of everybody. No, I couldn’t send DD to attend by herself even though she was “mostly” well. No, we couldn’t come and hover by the door so our germs wouldn’t reach the interior of the room. That’s not how germs work.

      Yes, I get that everybody was bummed around DH missing Christmas Eve with his family for the first time in 40 years, but we were in no shape to go ANYWHERE.

      (PS, DH is not a cheater, but several family members/friends are, which is what led me to the site. DH just sucks at drawing boundaries with his parents.)

      • I’m convinced airports are just big leper colonies at the holidays. I caught pneumonia last year traveling at xmas. UGH.

        Other favorite holiday ailments include stomach flu (what’s a road trip without it?!)

        Sick people — quarantine yourselves!

  • OHD: For years we would prepare our contribution for Thanksgiving at his uncle’s house and then go and have a good time. We would be the ones doing the dishes, but that became “our” thing. Last year he didn’t help prepare anything, was nasty, introduced me to visiting relative as “his better half”, then helped with a couple of dishes and disappeared while I did all of the rest (off to email….ahem, read the news). Loved his family and the get together, but it was always stressful beforehand. I even almost didn’t go a few times.

    NHD: Don’t know yet. This is year 1. But having my family over for the first time since we had been together for dinner. My son will be with his girlfriend or his father. WTW will likely be with his family with either OW or the new flavor (I Have no idea). He will have to prep his own contribution and handle everything from prep, to serving to clean up and making sure the dog is taken care of, etc. After dinner, I think I will go to the movies. Strange being alone for the first time. And then I plant to start decorating for Christmas and we WILL have lights this year. No more Grouchy Jackass not wanting to do it. Bye grinchy poo.

  • Old: Go to in-laws and eat really bad food. What’s up with that? MIL was a terrible cook too. I come from a long line of fabulous cooks so I don’t get it at all. Also they were recovering alcoholics so NO alcohol anywhere. (Dang) Make small talk around the dinner table while XH says wildly inappropriate things and embarrasses me half to death.

    New: Be with my family and all those fabulous cooks. We have to rent a rec center big enough to seat everyone and we all bring our favorite dishes and try to out do one another!! Lots of laughter and good talk. Be incredibly grateful for my beautiful family and my new fiancée.

  • SarBar, thanks for the huge laugh I got out of reading your post. You are definitely going to have a better holiday this year!

  • OLD: After cooking everything from scratch for not just Thanksgiving but every holiday for my son and my dad, late 80’s, (who couldn’t stand him and never would be around if he was there. NOW I get it!). I then re-did it all over again for ‘Mr Sparkly Special Asshole’ who inevitably arrived just before and sometimes after midnight on every holiday just timely enough to ruin it for me (we weren’t married….thank GOD!). I always anxiously awaited his arrival and each and every time I was always hopeful that he’d actually be at my home when he said he would but he never was. I’m sure his cheating had everything to do with it. Those strippers and street ho’s are hard to resist.
    My immediate family is very small (son & dad) and it made for a long disappointing day with cooking and waiting for the piece of shit (as I see him now that the fog has lifted). Only to be greeted with him not eating very much and putting in his complaints here and there about what he didn’t like. (Selfish prick).

    NEW: Whatever the hell I want to do!! YAAAAY!!! (along with wishing him all the w̶o̶r̶s̶t̶ , ahem, best!)

  • OHT: Getting up early, cooking and taking dish to former monster-in-laws and his crazy (literally) sister and brother with their crazy kids. Choke down dry turkey. Having monster-in-law berate me for some minor infraction and have “holier than thou” sister in law jump in the fray. Me say some snarky comment and they not speak the rest of the meal. ExN yell at me in front of the kids on the way home and he takes off with “she’s not my girlfriend”

    NHT: Getting up way before the crack of dawn, kids and I go hunting, come in and eat whatever we want for breakfast together. Go to my parents house that evening with fun, football, food, food, food and wine! Be grateful I don’t have to put up with the craziness EVER again!

  • OHT: Choking down MIL’s attempt at making Thanksgiving dinner (think extremely dry turkey, boxed potatoes, canned veggies and store bought rolls) but only really indulging in the side dish I made. Eating on paper plates and standing around a table too small to seat all of us. Doing all the clean up myself, while MIL, SIL, BIL and STBXH watched football and talked about themselves relentlessly. STBXH would spend the majority of the time lounged on the couch texting his buddies (ie OMW) not participating in caring for our children or conversing with me at all. He then would get irritable and yell at the kids for being too rowdy. I was always miserable.

    NHT: Today on Thanksgiving Eve my three boys and I did a little craft shopping and bought supplies to make ornaments. We spent the morning elbow deep in glue and glitter. This year our tree will be a “Charlie Brown” tree. Handmade ornaments, popcorn strings and paper ring garland, melted crayon ornaments, glitter snowflakes, etc. They are even picking the new color of Christmas lights to put up. Tomorrow when they get home from their Dad’s we will head to my parent’s house with my 92 year old grandmother, my sister and her family for a relaxing afternoon. Enjoying each other’s company and eating a delicious and homemade Thanksgiving meal. Authentic conversation. Devices put away. Dessert and maybe even some Yahtzee! Oh, and just might add those cranberry margaritas to the list. I’ll be grateful for my kids being with me, my supportive and loving family and new traditions. It’s my first big holiday without the STBX, so there will be sadness and grief but I’m determined not to let his disordered, betraying and dysfunctional actions interrupt the day. Heading to meh…

    Happy Thanksgiving, CL and Chump Nation. Thank you for your support through all my chaos. It’s truly been a life saver. xoxoxo

  • Old tradition: I spend a week before the holiday shopping and meticulously cleaning the house. I get up at 4am the day of to start baking. I spend the rest of the day cooking, setting the table and laying out the food spread.

    Xwh does nothing. He watches tv all morning in bed. Then He goes to the gym early afternoon to get his pre gluttony workout in, a few hours worth. Then he comes home and takes a long shower and only comes downstairs as the first guests arrive.

    I then spend the whole dinner hopping up and down serving my family and his, and packing up leftovers for everyone.

    After everyone leaves xwh then makes himself a few more plates and eats until he passes out in a food coma on the couch. I clean up while he snores.

    New tradition : Vegas baby! My flight leaves in the morning.

    I will order room service and have someone else bring ME food. I will watch Netflix on my tablet, get a massage, drink, gamble and shop.

  • OHD: He got out boxes from the attic all over the living room, to go through them. This wasn’t a problem since he did so over a week before my parents arrived. The night before they arrived, the boxes were still there. He wanted to use *family time* not his reading/online games/play time to clean it up *the morning before my parents came*. Just a few months after DDay. We ended up having a very productive conversation about how we each felt and yet in the end the facts are the family room was a mess and he struggled to clean up his messes if it cut into his recovery from life being hard time. I can’t reach inside his head and give him courage and motivation, mindfulness or joy. And those lacks HURT me and the kids.

    NHT: We are separated (he refused to continue R when I set conditions of transparency, honesty and that as a result of what he cheated me out of, he me more giving and selfless putting my needs first). He cleaned up the whole office before heading to his parents so I had a clean house for thanksgiving.

    OHD: Present giving was blah. Having to think about someone else’s needs and likes caused him so much stress I backed down and down and down again so that we didn’t give presents to the kids, they didn’t give presents to us and we didn’t model how to shop for and give presents to each other.

    I actually started working on this while he was still deep in cheating and we were in MC and dammit I was going to ENJOY MY LIFE. The year after DDay I kept it up even as I felt like dying from the pain.

    NishHT: Bam! What joy it was to shop with the kids! Even for them to get presents for him.

    I wanted happiness with him and he cheated me out of that and the amount of extra energy, love and appreciation he would give me he was adamant must be EQUAL. That all those years he cheated did not matter to him, he was not going to be selfless or ‘taken advantage of’.

    OHD: got a massage because I felt untouched and unloved (he felt the same way, more’s the shame). He would get me massage gift cards and oh, how I have have loved a pretend card book from him of massages! Or, massages.

    NHT: get a massage

    Any tips on this one?

    OHD: Feeling like a partner because he cooks a great meal and I clean up the meal, and we have friends over and everyone has a good time.

    NHT: Missing the good stuff that did happen. I guess they keep happening and he’s not in them?

    I’m going into post-failed-R more exasperated than bitter.

    • Hatch–it’s natural to grieve the good parts of a marriage/relationship. If there weren’t any, it would have been easy to leave, right? X and I used to throw spectacular dinner parties together. I miss that, but now I do them on my own and don’t have to face the snide or critical remarks that often came out of nowhere, or to feel anxiety he might say something nasty. Once the shock is over, I bet you’ll find a lot of those “good memories” are actually mixed in with memories of subtle emotional abuse. Then you can reclaim those good things on your own terms.

      • Hear! Hear! Tempest! It is not until they are good and well out of your life, that you get a sense of the gross or quiet insults and fears that infused your life and each and every breath. Hatch… its gets better.

  • OHD: Spending 6 hours politely entertaining the crazy narcissist MIL while cooking and prepping holiday meals & snacks while lazy, cluster b ex watched TV and played video games; then, serving holiday meal to two ungrateful people who preferred to gulp down the food I made in front of the TV instead of sitting at the table.

    NHT: Cooking a couple of great side dishes and enjoying a potluck holiday meal with new friends, decorating the house as I please, spending time reading/socializing/shopping, feeling relaxed and grateful

  • OHD: On the outside, looking happy amidst the festivities but really wondering if cheater was cheating. (He actually was in our final Christmas together.)

    NHT: Inside match the outside, genuinely happy and joyful with my son, wherever we’re celebrating Christmas.

  • I had a different experience. We both had close families. He with 3 siblings and younger parents and me with 4 sibs and older parents. Since we had to travel 1000 miles to see either of the families at the worst weather through the Rockies, we didn’t get there as often as we’d have liked.

    His side was much more traditional with Luthern church at midnight and nice hot-toddies afterwards.
    His Mother was great on tradition and it was a lot of fun.
    Perfect table set. Perfect Norman Rockwell feast. Seriously.
    We often took the train from the West Coast and landed in their little farm in Northern Montana on the way up.

    My family in Canada was chaos but were also so glad to see us arrive just north of his farm in MT. So many screaming kids – too many presents…so many dishes in a small kitchen, but boy – it WAS fun. Yeah – we felt pretty special, so they were both fun families.

    We hiked the mountains, snowmobiled, had fires outside in -20 and a lot of adventures.

    It all ended the day he started his affair, literally.
    He wanted to divorce both families, starting out slowly.
    No – he didn’t want to go on the annual summer family campouts anymore.
    No – he didn’t want to go back for his Mom’s birthday/Xmas – or invite her to our place for her semi annual visit.
    No – he didn’t want to do much but watch James Bond movies and Mad Men (over and over).

    That went on 3 full years and I know our families were wondering about us. We were SO family oriented (no kids but loved the offspring)

    So, this year, I guess I’m going to have to figure something else out.
    He was SUCH a bore towards the end.
    Good riddance. Grinch.

    • OHT: At our house, I cooked the turkey, gravy, potatoes, family (both sides, we all got along pretty well) brought the rest of the dinner. Everybody contributed, even dishes. No drunks, conflict, just a very nice family time. Until, it wasn’t.

      NHT: I don’t expect this to become a tradition but I am alone at our ‘cabin’ in a cozy little town with awesome cross country sking. I had dinner with friends and now I am sitting in front of a beautiful fire, Christmas lights on the mantel, candles, music and a glass of wine. I missed my family today, but I neded this. I feel the deep dark hole will not swallow me after all.

  • Just wanted to wish you a great Thanksgiving, Tracy, and also to the good folks of Chump Nation. I’ve spent many holidays solo: Thanksgiving, Christmas, Valentine’s Day, my birthdays .. so I’m quite used to it and know how to entertain myself well. It’s much better than being with super-disordered family members, fake friends and the abusive exH or exBFs .. even if I do feel lonely sometimes. On Thanksgiving, I’ll join a walk group in the morning and bake pumpkin pie in the afternoon, then watch funny movies. I’m so grateful for the peace.

  • I actually enjoyed being with inlaws at Thanksgiving, but did not like the drive to get there. Will miss them, but not the drive. Looking forward to being with my family for the first time in 21 years…and starting new traditions…maybe movie and/or a hike.

  • OHT: Hear SIL, who lived in a newly remodeled, expanded house in an upper-middle class neighborhood, sent her one (adolescent) healthy child to a private school, didn’t work, and married her first love complain that she hadn’t had a cruise in six months. Also listen to her and holier-than-thou super-religious relatives criticize mothers who get divorced (even if their husbands cheated on them and abused them) for even considering dating anyone until their kids became adults. (Ironically, SIL married a man who had just separated from his wife and had two very young children when he and SIL started dating.)

    NHT: No complaining, even from several people, both young and old, who are dying of chronic illnesses (e.g., cancer), have lost parts of their bodies or gained prosthetic pieces, have spent decades in political prisoner camps, etc. Just good food and affection, thankfully with my children this year. I am sad that my new partner is out of state (with his godchildren) this week but glad that he cares enough to visit them. If they so choose (because they have nothing better to talk about), my in-laws can talk to each other about how terrible I am (as a mother) to date a man (who is a thousand times more ethical and kind to me than the one I married).

  • All these OHT postings.!!!!! LOL, see what all we’ve survived and overcame?????

    OHT: listen to The Evil One whine, bitch, moan, drop subtle hints to his parents that he wanted to be “home” for the holidays, but would also practically beg people come over to eat his cooking and praise and admire his greatness, then be pissed and would mope that nothing was awesome enough, and no one would come over…found out after he left it was because no one liked him, hahahahahahaaaa…I would spend days shopping, researching recipes, pre-cooking, baking, cleaning and he wouldn’t do shit until I would start cooking, then he would try to take over.

    There was one year my in-laws came here— I had minor surgery that week and they came down to help take care of our daughter and spend Thanksgiving… Any who, my FIL is a chef, yet he made fake potatoes— whipped up a box of flakes!!! I was so disappointed and mad…The Evil One actually smoked a turkey breast that year, that was good, but idiot FIL made all the sides from boxes and cans, nothing fresh nor homemade…the only otne in the 12 Thanksgiving s I had with TEO with his parents I cooked and it was awesome of course….

    NHT: like most of you here in The Mighty Thanksgiving, I am doing whatever the fuck I wantr, how and when I want too, and its going to be awesome!!!!

    Thank you everyone Jere on Chump Lady and the mighty Chump Nation for helping me through this year!!!! I love you all and hope you have a great Thanksgiving!!!!

  • …definitely a different Thanksgiving this year. Just me and my youngest son (28 yrs)…the oldest is a marine and was unable to make it home….we knew it would be different, so we went out of our way to make it more different…a seafood thanksgiving…copper river king salmon, dungeness crab, raw Olympia oysters and all the seafoody trimmings…only possible because the philandering wife was not present and detests seafood!
    Happy Holidays everyone….

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