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The Blog Turns 4 Today!

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cowgirltracyHappy blog-aversery everyone! Today Chump Lady is four years old! Well, the blog that is. Not me. I’m 49 years old. For your amusement, here’s a picture of me at four years old, dressed as a cowgirl. (A foreshadowing of Texas things to come?) Cue “Mama Don’t Let Your Babies Grow Up to Be Bloggers…”

What a long, strange trip it’s been. I’ve been blogging about infidelity now longer than I was actually married to a cheater. What began as a brain dump — here’s everything I learned! Please don’t do the stupid things I did! Skip ahead! — has turned into an amazing community, Chump Nation. I sensed that there were unicorn skeptics out there, I just didn’t realize you were legion.

So today’s post is 4 Things I’ve Learned As Chump Lady.

Every day I learn from you guys, and I’ve read tens of thousands of infidelity stories, which still have the power to move me, surprise me, and keep me angry at the injustice of it all. If anything still keeps me writing, it’s the mindfuck of the Reconciliation Industrial Complex and all the lousy advice out there. I hope more survivor chumps speak up, so we can change the Chumps-Drive-Cheaters-to-Cheat blameshifting narrative. Which leads me to my first nugget —

1) It’s awkward to self-identify as a chump. To speak up about infidelity is to out yourself as a chump. Let me tell you, it’s pretty darn awkward to tell people what I’ve been working on these last few years. “Oh a blog. That’s nice.” (Eyes roll back into head with visions of half-assed mommy blogging about my child’s peanut allergy or something.)

What’s it about? The winsome daily adventures of being you? Power kale smoothies? Fitness? (Do I look like a fitness blogger? Have you seen my thighs?) No, no, no — it’s about cheating! Uh, but there’s cartoons and stuff and snark.

Now my inquisitor is totally confused. Maybe I’ll go on to explain it happened to me (but I’m okay now! Really happy! Not bitter! No sir!) Maybe I’ll do the shock and awe of my readership — 9.3 million-plus page views to date, 400K-plus a month of page views, a traditional book deal, a self-published book that went #1 on Amazon.

number1But there is still the sense, that in raising the topic of chumpdom and infidelity, I’ve overshared. Or identified in a way that sometimes makes people reassess me. (Sexless loser? Bitter, angry ex? Middle-aged woman who Drives Men Away!) The secret is to just be OKAY with that. I don’t control what other people think. Maybe my example — I’m well-adjusted! I’m writing! and dear God, some publisher PAID me! — will make others rethink the chump experience. Or better yet, have the courage to share theirs and chuck the shame.

2) If you build it, they will come. Any aspiring bloggers out there? KEEP AT IT. I really didn’t have an end goal or an exit strategy when I started this blog. I was fed up with the advice out there and being red-flagged on reconciliation sites. So I started my own site as a bit of a protest vote, but more with a sense of freedom that here I can talk about the infidelity experience in my own voice (read: potty mouth), and where I don’t have to tread lightly around reconciliation and cheater sensibilities.

As I said, it was just going to be a brain dump. Here’s what I learned! Take it!

I found very early on, that other people felt like I did. And Ego Kibbles and the Pick Me Dance and the Unifying Theory of Cake helped them. And they sent encouragement. And so many letters, that I just kept at it, crashed a few servers, fucked up WordPress a few hundred times, went into the red to keep the thing going, got trolled, got on HuffPo, got more virulently trolled, and kept at it.

And damn, if you didn’t keep coming. So anyone reading this who wants to blog about this crap? DO IT. The more voices out there, the better. Tenacity is 99 percent of blogging, IMO. Just show up and be original.

3) Cheaters are even more twisted than I thought. Esther Perel once tweeted at me that my experience “goes beyond infidelity.” Which clearly goes to show that Esther doesn’t know shit about infidelity. It ALL goes BEYOND. It’s always more than just the fucking around. It’s the theft, of your time, your reality, your finances, your family belonging. It’s often volatile and traditionally abusive — domestic violence, towering rages, threats. It’s the mindfuckery — the lies, the gaslighting, the blameshifting, the constant subtle and not-so-subtle devaluing.

Can someone pleases stand up who had one of those benevolent cheaters who gently fell in love, and did some harmless exuberant defying in a Motel 6? But deeply loved the bonds of their marital captivity?

If I’ve learned anything doing this blog, is that this shit is even darker and creepier than I ever imagined.

4) But chumps are MIGHTY. Four years of writing this blog and reading your stories, I’ll tell you what my biggest take away is — resiliency. I’ve read some horrific stories here — but I’ve read more stories of chumps overcoming the crap they’ve endured. I’m not talking overnight meh success, I’m talking about foot soldiers trudging over mountains of dysfunction, and coming out alive.

Better for it, stronger for it, and funnier for it.  Thanks for sharing your stories with me and your fellow chumps. Happy blog-eversary!

 

 

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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.
  • All I know is I sure wish I had found your site 5 years ago before wreckonciliation destroyed my retirement and almost my sanity. We need to teach our children the red flags of narcissism and other personality disorders. These things destroy people without remorse. Mine is working hard to make sure I am an old broke single while he has a shiny new appliance to use for her money sex etc.

    • I agree, sadlady15, we need to teach our kids how to identify narcissistic behaviors. I thankfully did find chump lady shortly after filing for divorce and this blog was needed ammo to fortify me and help me leave with my sanity. Took me 1 yr 9mos to wade through the crap of divorcing him….but I am free!! I left with basically nothing because I was married to the grand puba of narcholes, but am better for it. My children now have CHOICES and we don’t walk on eggshells. Chump lady…you deserve a standing ovation…THANK YOU for all your encouragement. Let’s cut off that gas supply!

    • YES! We must get the word out to educate people about the serious inevitable harm inflicted by those with Cluster B Personality Disorders. I finally found lots of great info and resources to get help to heal after my pathological love relationship by going to saferelationshipsmagazine.com (don’t know how to link that URL). They are the highly respected Institute of Relational Harm Reduction. I took their test of my STBX’s Traits in a counseling session through the Institute yesterday, and it was sobering.

      It’s a list of 49 questions, Only after giving the scores was I informed of what questions reveal which disorders.

      In the Anti Social Personality Disorder section (ASPD, formally called Sociopath) 3 or more traits are needed for diagnosis. His score was 10.

      In the Psychopath section, 5 or more traits were needed. His score was 15

      In the Borderline Personality section, 5 or more traits were needed. His score was 1.

      In the Narcissistic Personality Disorder, 5 or more were needed, his score was 7.

      I was told he is an Anti-Social Psychopathic Narcissist. By a professional highly experienced in the field of personality disorders. Now I know for sure.

      A Wolf in Sheeps Clothing. He is dangerous, not because of being a bad guy, but being a bad guy wearing a “Mask of Sanity”.

      Thank you and Congratulations Tracy for opening our eyes to the insanity!

      If anyone wants me to post the questionaire, please respond and I’ll get permission from the Institute to post it (if Tracy gives her blessing…)

      • I came here after I was free because I never could figure out just what sort of crazy I’d been dealt. It’s pretty clear now. And the worst part was my crazy cheating ex was a psychologist, who was a professor and a well published researcher in his field. I never took any courses in that field, and so was a perfect chump. My family came to my graduation from grad school. He invited twice as many from his family and loudly announced that I had failed to arrange lunch and had nothing ready to cook for them so no one could eat. AWKWARD! I passed the Bar Exam with a 150% score. He said, “I hate lawyers.” I divorced his butt after 16 years and he broke into my new home with his student trollop who he moved into the house I built. An appliance replacement that didn’t work. He divorced her inside two years, probably because she wouldn’t take the shit I did, and/or she was no longer necessary after the University settled the lawsuit he caused by defaming the visiting professor she was also humping who he got fired to remove the competition.

        You can’t make this shit up. Thank you, Tracy, for bringing some blinding light onto this nonsense. I love you, CL, and all of CN. You ladies and gentlemen ROCK.

  • Congratulations on four years of helping people through tough times! Best advice I’ve gotten, anywhere. By codifying the tropes of infidelity (kibbles, cake, pick-me dance, meh, unicorns, no contact, trust that they suck…etc.) you have created a graduate seminar for survival. thanks.

  • Happy blog-aversary! I’m grateful to have had your words of wisdom and advice/support from the collective hive mind of CN to help me through some awful times the past four years.

    May this blog mark the beginning of a change in the cheater narrative– cheating is selfish, horrid, not romantic, isn’t the chump’s fault, and is the sign of someone who is, at the very least, deeply troubled and at the very worst, completely disordered.

    I hope there will come a day when I can be more forthright about my story with everyone and not just the people close to me. For now, though, CN has given me the strength to “correct” people who speak about cheating as though it’s a cute plot line or as though the poor cheater was forced into it by a “mean” spouse.

    Here’s to the next four years of helping chumps to “gain a life.” 🙂

  • Even at age four, no six shooters. Intelligence and wit filled your holsters! That’s what we all love about CL.

  • Happy Blog-a-Versary!! I’m so happy for you that you’ve turned a brain dump into such a huge thing. And in doing so, you have helped and entire nation of people who were in despair. We chumps ARE MIGHTY!

  • Thank u Chump Lady for all that you do. I have no doubt that your book and this blog have actually SAVED LIVES. You have a very special place in my heart. God Bless you and everyone here at CN.

  • We are better for having you around chumplady. In fact I’ve no doubt some people are actually STILL AROUND because of chumplady.

    • Yes, and YES! I can’t tell everyone here at Chump Nation how it helped me hang on through my cancer treatment and recovery, all while I was being cheated on right and left. Plus you can’t underestimate the value of knowing that 1) you have an amazing Chump Army of supporters, who 2) know the ropes (unfortunately), and 3) can help you avoid the pitfalls while you disentangle yourself from the cheater! Tracy and Chump Nation saved me so much time, heartburn, and money in this last divorce. Instead of going into analysis paralysis, looking for “concrete proof” that PreyingMantis had had affairs… I went into overdrive mode at the first “tell” [in this case, the “I love you but I’m not in love with you anymore” speech] removing access to bank accounts, firewalling finances, and stopping automated payments. Once the ATM stopped working, PreyingMantis was outta there in record time! Cheaters are so formulaic. Now PreyingMantis is the next twu wuv schmoopie’s problem. I so feel much better already! 😀

  • Thank you for providing this invaluable public service. That you continue to slog here daily with minimal financial recompense is amazing. I hope the new book goes #1 too and you can buy a castle in Scotland or an island in the Caribbean.

    • LOL thanks. The self published book did well and I got a good advance on my new book. No worries, I’m not starving. But the first two years this place was in the red, which is fine. Building anything takes time. I have other work. 🙂 And a big shout out to everyone who has donated to the blog — you are paying it FORWARD to every new chump. (I use the proceeds to pay hosting costs which run around $170/month depending on traffic.)

      No castle. Besides, I’m DONE with old houses!

  • Congrats and most of all, thanks. You’ve made a mighty thing. I’m 100% sure you’ve saved lives. You’re funny as all get out, smart as a whip, and cute as a button. Love you, CL, thank you always.

  • Happy blog anniversary from an European chump! Your blog saved my sanity and dare to say life. It helped so much to put things into perspective by reading the stories of our fellow chumps, and your sense of humor is priceless. Thank you! Thank you! Thank you!

  • Thank You for blogging.. I’m so grateful I found you last year! I no longer feel alone on my Journey to MEH and eventual Tuesday!

    Have a Great Day!

    Chris

  • We can all help CL by donating. It actually costs her approximately $175.00 per month to keep the blog going.

    • Thanks for this, Esq. I have to admit, I have never noticed that link before and I’ll bet I have missed it other blogs I love, too. Great public education!

  • Congratulations, and thank you, CL!
    4 years ago I was in the midst of pick me dance/false marital counseling… Sure wish I found you then, But I found you three years ago as the divorce was finalized. I am still dealing with the entitled, lazy, lying selfish coward given parenting issues.
    You, and. CN have been amazing support group. I am mostly at “meh” but I like to still check in to support the newbies.

  • Happy Blog-aversary! So happy to have found this site when I did. I did the pick me dance for 3 years of wreckconciliation. I used to think of it as a major waste of time but it helped to open my eyes and really see the ex for who he was. No spackle. It ensured that once I left I would never go back.

    No contact for two years now and it’s great! I would have never had the courage to even think of leaving if it wasn’t for your site CL and the legions of chumps out there willing to share their stories.

    Much love and thanks!

  • Your book, your blog, and the (unfortunately) many member of CN are helping me through this in ways i could never have imagined possible. I’m wearing “chump” as a badge of honor as I march toward “meh.” Thanks to you Tracy and to everyone who’s felt the pain and encouraged others forward.

  • Started visiting in the late summer of that first year. All I can say is THANK YOU. CL is about so much more than infidelity and the aftermath to me now, that’s why I keep coming back. It’s about self esteem, self worth, living your values, de-toxifying your life and relationships, healing and growing emotionally, setting and enforcing boundaries …being FUCKING MIGHTY. Id like to think I’m a better human being today than I was 4 years ago in no small part thanks to Tracy and CN. Don’t ever let anyone denigrate what you do on this “little blog” – you change lives.

    • Scotty for the win!

      Chump Lady saved my life and continues to help me listen more to the little voice I had always ignored because I thought it my mission in life to make others happy, even it it meant sacrificing my own self worth and dignity. Being devalued, discarded and then financially destroyed by the man I pledged to love and honor my whole life was hell.

      Watching while he continues to treat our sons as interchangeable chattel continues to horrify me. Standing by and not being able to intervene while he methodically and psychologically fucks with our kids has definitely been excruciating. In a twisted way, X still knows how to hurt me to the core. Until you’ve held a sobbing, crushed, 20-year old young man in your arms because his father broke his heart…

      Knowing I am finally free (as much as I can until my youngest turns 18) from the direct orbit of a controlling, selfish, bullying, sanctimonious, parasite of a “man” is definitely worth every second of the shit I endured to get here. I have hope in my life again.

      He will never abuse me again. Nobody will.

      I just wish he didn’t have the power to continue to emotionally abuse my kids. For fucking sport. Because the courts told him he has every right.

      Fucking courts.

      • @ chutes and ladders This breaks my heart so much. I’m in the room right now with my two little girls and my heart is just so full of love for these two. Watching your kids get damaged by this stuff is just the most heartbreaking thing. The mental image of you holding your 20 year old son just tears me up. My ex’s dad (who puts the dis in disordered) just quit speaking to his legally blind significantly hearing impaired and delayed son. Who knows why? I’m already torn up about it. How can people abuse their kids??!! Such sadists. And my ex is turning out the same. I really hope for his sake he recognizes it (he does really) but just doesn’t want to do the work. And then they quit caring I think. Right now my kids are just kibbles but those times will change. I’m so sorry for your family. Hugs.

  • Happy blog-aversery! I am so grateful to have found this site because it was the straight-forward kick in the ass I needed to get my head straight after believing in him and his lies for so long. You’ve started a revolution from the old ways of focusing on the cheater and how they can be helped (gag!) by broadcasting the effect cheating has on the faithful partner. You are awesome and so is CN!

  • Thank you Chump Lady and happy anniversary. As time went on I knew it went way beyond infidelity. It WAS just the tip of the iceberg. For many years I went it alone and searched for answers. This is where I found them. For all cheaters lack in courage, chumps are resilient and are the most courageous group of men and women who can reach MEH because of your blog. You introduced me to real hope and healing. + 1 for a life saved.

  • Thank you for such a powerful blog. Reading others’ experiences reinforces for me that one need not accept such treatment from the person that supposedly loves you. The details of my own story are so much less horrible than so many stories here (“just” emotional affairs and decades of selfish lying). The fact that you guys can overcome such pain and be mighty gave me the kick in the pants I needed to stock being a limbo chump and get on with it. Without this blog, I can imagine a very different life trajectory and it is a sad one. #TeamChump!!

  • Yes, thank you! Thank you for teaching us to call BS to there crazy train antics. Six weeks and the Judge will sign off on fifteenth years of lies. Again, thank you.

  • Standing ovation from my cubicle!
    Happy blog-aversary!
    Thank you for being the voice of reason and the light in the darkness (the light that fuels No Contact of course)
    I found you within hours of discovery and truly appreciate you and ChumpNation reinforcing my desire to flee that burning house that was my life!

  • The stuff you said about infidelity being much darker than just a romp in the sack is soooo true. But the biggest thing you have helped me realize is that I don’t have to take this shit anymore. Thanks, and happy anniversary.

  • Congratulations to YOU! And I’m so happy that you not only attract the Cheated-On, but, those on the receiving end of abuse. I’ve said this several times, but, I found you through a Google search for *Narcisstic husbands* or something very similar. Your site popped up on the front page.

    It’s likely, however, that abusers also cheat – either emotionally or physically – if not both.

    It’s very comforting to have a site like this to be part of. Not just to read the stories, but, to get gentle reminders of what to do/how to behave when we falter. Also to post lessons learned so we can help others.

    Thank you for being there for us.

  • Tracy,

    You built the treehouse for the club no one wants to join, and now it’s bursting at the seams. Fuck yeah!!!

    Thank you for saving my life.

    Best wishes for continued success, staggering wealth, and total annihilation of the Reconciliation Industrial Complex.

    Sad sausages beware.

  • “It’s always more than just the fucking around. It’s the theft, of your time, your reality, your finances, your family belonging. It’s often volatile and traditionally abusive — domestic violence, towering rages, threats. It’s the mindfuckery — the lies, the gaslighting, the blameshifting, the constant subtle and not-so-subtle devaluing.”

    CL you are one of those singular Hero’s – not only helping betrayed people rise up through personal pain but exposing the social hypocrisy and cultural promotion of deceit surrounding intimacy terrorism. Making you so very “uncool” for those ‘defiant’ deviants who wish to ‘exuberantly’ cheat on their partners without them knowing.

    Agreed “You Change Live.” Happy Birthday CN

    • “Intimacy terrorism”. Yes. Aptly put. Cheaters are low.
      Reconciliation is good for only one thing: proof that the deadend was in fact a deadend.

  • Happy Anniversary Chumplady!!! You are a modern day angel and you have saved many many lives thanks to this site. You are making a difference!! Thank you for empowering all of us out there, you ROCK!!!!!

  • It’s just over two years since I discovered the Chump Lady blog. A source of light and goodness on the internet – in direct opposition to the dark side my ex had wallowed in. The porn, the messaging, Fuckbook where he and OW plotted.

    It was revelatory- and practical. It helped me deliver the coup de grace on a tortuous marriage. Divorce. Followed by continued support. How to do No Contact. How not to untangle that skein of fuckupedness. How to gain (back) a life. Good advice from CL herself and a world-wide (web) of chumps all going in the same direction- away from an infidelity fire storm. So, Happy Birthday CL and keep on blogging.

    • I echo the thoughts of Mikky. May your success continue exponentially. My dissertation topic was on resiliency and I see it reflected so much in this blog. Reach down deep for what it is that makes you “bounce back” after the infidelity fire storm.”
      Always stay humble and kind—but with an appropriate dose of snark.

      Here’s to the winners! Congratulations Tracy!

  • So grateful to have found this blog early in the process, you’ve saved me enormous emotional turmoil. I’m sure your influence has spread far and wide, I can be reading a review, or discussion thread somewhere and all of a sudden you can see a post from a member of CN, just by the language and the terminology. Cutting through the bullsh*t one post at a time.

    • Love this. It’s like we’re little soldiers, trained here and then sent forth to fight the RIC and all the other falsehoods of infidelity, in the name of restoring the emotional freedom of the chump.

      We may be anonymous, but we can recognise our fellow Students of Chump. Battle on.

  • Sending up metaphoric balloons and confetti to the blog and Tracy for saving the sanity of so many chumps!

    I’ve said it before, when I finally stumbled on CL after D-day, it was if the clouds parted and the sun shone down upon me–SOMEBODY MAKES SENSE!!! I don’t have to stay with a disordered fuckwit just because other people think I should forgive and forget an affair that happened 8 years ago.

    May the book sell well enough that you can visit a castle in Scotland on a grand tour of Europe.

    • Right there with you, Tempest.

      Got me out, kept me out and put me on the road to meh with signs showing me the path on a road less traveled.

      Words are not strong enough to convey my heartfelt gratefulness for you, the friends I have met here and this nation of people longing for sanity in the mad, mad world of infidelity.

      Thank you, thank you, thank you. Two years April 16.

      I can’t believe I found your site still in its infancy. The changing of the guards that held the truth captive.

      I now live in a life full of possibilities instead of dread.

      Cheers to the other side. Cheers to true hope. Cheers to all chumps for a long and prosperous life after the bomb of betrayal.

      Hard to believe the worst thing became the best thing that ever happened to me.

      • I sincerely hope that I may feel the same…about the infidelity firestorm being the best thing to happen to me.
        Still trudging towards the light of meh. One step forward, two steps back.
        Thanks to CL, I am certain that I am headed in the right direction.
        I am grateful to her and CN. Most grateful.

    • P.S.–Kudos to you, Tracy, for your bravery. It cannot have been fun or easy to be the lone voice in the wilderness pointing out the ugly truth of infidelity against legions of therapists and EstherPerel-types and a clueless public. About as popular as discussing body functions at a dinner party, I imagine (but much more valuable). You have started to change the narrative about cheating, and it’s up to the rest of us to keep the movement going by informing therapists, friends, our children about the damaging effects of infidelity and a blame-the-victim mentality. Viva la Chump Revolution!

  • CL

    Your voice, your insight, and your challenge to the reconciliation shit sandwich industry, cheater apologists, new age babble and the faux infidelity “experts” such as a Esther Perel and Hollywood “conscious uncoupling” brain twisting nonsense….etc….shows how difficult it can be to take back the narrative that the cheater establishment has hijacked.

    The cheater narrative is that cheaters are glam, cheaters are evolved, cheaters are victims of monogamy, that monogamy is unnatural. Oddly, toilet paper and deodorant are unnatural if one wants to argue the unnatural strawman tactic.

    Than you CL for all that you contribute to challenging the cheater narrative and cutting through the bullshit with your extraordinary “UBT” skill set.

    Cheaters want to be taken seriously, they own the narrative, chumps are supposed to go sit at the back of the bus. How dare chumps make fun of cheaters, how dare chumps offend the glam cheaters and their glam egos.

    The truth is cheaters are fucked up and it’s the chumps that are far better humans, chumps have empathy and souls. What cheaters don’t get is they mistake kindness for being stupid.

    Happy Anniversary CL and thank you for all the hard work and effort you’ve put into this extraordinary blog that unveils the rampant bull that is peddled by so many unqualified wacky no nothing so called “experts”.

    • Love this PF: “chumps are supposed to go sit at the back of the bus.”

      And look at the fabulous changes that happened in society the last time someone refused to sit at the back of a bus.

  • I cannot thank you enough. My douchebag told me on Saturday (after gaslighting me about the affair – I had to wrench the phone out of his hand as he was deleting their texts) about his confusion, the other women who had nothing to do with his wanting to leave, his years of unhappiness etc…

    I cried, I begged, I tried to convince him to change his precious mind. He left, and I was all set to do the pick me dance and dole out any and all kibbles to make him realize that I am worthy of him. Then someone sent me here, And I started to read. And recognize myself in all the chumps. And recognize this guy I was married to for 23 fucking years was not and probably never who I thought he was. And that just maybe I am worthy of myself. So. 24 hours after discloser I texted him (he went to his mom’s house) and told him to come home and pack. I have been polite to him. I don’t give him the satisfaction of crying in front of him. Because I think he liked seeing that. I haven’t texted him and told him I want to go NC for the month. So what does Confused do? He’s been texting me! Just bullshit things he could text our adult daughter about. Then has the gall to end the text with ‘I miss everybody’. Yeah. If it had not been for your blog I would be lapping that shit sandwich up right now. I would be full of hope that he just might PICK ME!! Yay me!

    I know better now. You and all the chumps out there who have shared their experiences and mistakes (wreckinciliation indeed) have saved me from going down the same path. Thank you from the bottom of my heart, Chump Lady. You have saved my sanity.

      • First – CONGRATS, TRACY!! You’re so amazing, and have done good for Chumps all around the globe. Talk about making a positive impact! That’s you, chick! Massive respect and appreciation for all you do, and who you are. And, that sweet pic is you at four, with your ass-kicking boots on! Woot!

        Ohmigosh, Calmafterstorm – I’m so sorry this happened, and so recently; however, I’m SOOoooOOO glad you found Chump Lady’s site. I found her one year after my own 23-year waste-of-time ended. Tracy’s insight, direction, and invitation for us to claim Chumpdom in this type of forum is actually as empowering as other therapies you can pay for. Here, it’ safe, and we can own what was done to us, what we did wrong or right after DDay, and what we’ve done to heal ourselves and our children and in very mighty ways. Stay here with us, and with CL. You’ve made mightier moves than I was able to for 8 months post DDay, and that is time that I wish I could have back. Wasn’t 23 years enough waste of my authentic love, care, trust, and youth? Nope. Not for legitimate assholes it’s not.

        You’re on your way to something, and remember that ANYTHING is better than being tethered to a massive douchebag who is vile enough to treat you like he did. You stopped the bleeding. Now the healing can begin, and this site has some of the healing balm you’ll need on this journey. Warmth and (((hugs))), girl.

    • Thanks for sharing, calmafterstorm — you are mighty! A lot of us, myself included, get the NC advice and struggle to take it. We don’t act, we over analyze and stay stuck. The beauty of CN is it’s a thousand reasoned voices warning you, and protecting you, because we’ve LIVED it.

      You’ve GOT this. Stay strong! I’m sure he’ll circle back for kibbles.

      • I’ve been quite triggered recently; although I’ve gone NC, PreyingMantis is trying to friend family members on FB that weren’t already connected, staying buddy-buddy with ex-housemates (and of course, offering to do repairs at their new place which is near to my place instead of visitation with kid) (since PreyingMantis lives in another time zone, this tends to raise ones’ eyebrows), and sending flowers/kissing up to people who were [past tense emphasized] kind of in my social circle. I’ve read The Gift of Fear, so I know that this is proof that I’ve clamped down hard enough on the NC that PreyingMantis is using any avenue left to keep tabs on me and to get whatever information is available. I was discarded when I was no longer of use, yet I must still be monitored and controlled if possible. Smells as much like sociopath as it does narcissist to me! I know that eventually, if the kibble supply is completely cut off, PreyingMantis will lose interest/find another target/get run over by a herd of rabid wildebeest. The whole circle back for more kibble maneuver is tiresome and stressing me out; but thanks to the knowledge base here, it’s predictable and all I have left to do is just lay low and wait. That future Meh Tuesday can’t come soon enough.

        • I’m sorry. Sunny, that’s what they do. They check on you. Make it look less like stalking if they can. You won’t talk to them, but they really do care, blah, blah, blah. That is nonsense. They want to monitor your activity. Just say NO. Tell your mutuals that you won’t appreciate any shared information and no, you definitely won’t be seeing the shitbag if he is in the area, even if he implied that you were still friends. This is HOOVERING. Don’t go there.

    • Fuck Him!!! CalmAfterStorm follow these wise women to the letter. It is the key to the disordered play book. You are mighty! Congrats CL! You are helping catch shit early in peoples lives now. So awesome.

  • Congratulations! CL and CN has been so helpful to me in my recovery. I’m only about a year out and I couldn’t have gotten this far with you and yawl. I can actually enjoy myself without thinking about my ex-cheater and all those tainted memories. Couldn’t have done it alone. Thanks Tracy!

  • Happy birthday to a true hero. You saved my life, and I’m sure that of thousands of others.

    In the words of my mother, “Chumplady deserves a hug and a Nobel Prize.”

  • Happy anniversary! So glad your blog was around when I was in RIC hell. It likely would have taken *years* longer for me to climb out of the hell-hole, without your blog and snark.

  • Congrats! Your book changed my life. Your book was the only resource I found that told me the truth. You told me to have self respect and to stop trying to win back a sparkly pile of dog shit. My life is hard, but it’s better now, because it’s real. Thank you.

  • Congratulations and a big thank you for being the one who voices the truth and shines a light on the soul-destroyers among us. You have guts. You have savvy. You have self-awareness sensibilities. You have practical solutions. And you have a place where we can all share, compare, and learn. Well done for initiating the source of ‘cheater kryptonite’!

  • Thank you Tracey – you made sense of it all – you let us know our enemy.
    MY UPDATE: four years on from DDay at which point I had no self-esteem left, depression and anxiety it slowly, slowly, slowly got better. I got top lawyers, got custody of the money (he’s still paying for his mistakes) have never felt so happy and free, started my own business. Now have just started dating again. Me and kids SO GLAD HE’S GONE.
    God bless you Chump Lady and all my fellow Chumps. We Are Might.

  • Happy Blogaversary! Even those several years out from DDays and divorce from our cheater Exholes have benefited from this site. It gets us to finally stop trying to unravel the skein and realise it WASNT US that was the problem. It helps us open up our minds to that, which helps us truly open up our hearts again.

    Thanks Chump Lady and Chump Nation!

  • I am so grateful for you Chump Lady and all of Chump Nation for helping me find my hibernating resiliency.

    I found Chump Lady after I was already divorced. I was quickly reaffirmed with knowledge – as knowledge is power for the path of recovery. This site helped to reawaken my resiliency that empowered me to continue to point in the right direction in life – all that is left is to start walking…this is how I found Meh. Love you all!

  • Happy blog-aversery! This blog is so powerful and helpful. I think that the thing it really provides for us chumps (that a lot of Switzerland friends and my first therapist didn’t) is validation. The things these cheaters do are not normal. They are personality disordered and sociopathic with no conscience or ability to bond with other humans. Thanks for providing that for me and so many others. It is immensely helpful on the road to meh.

  • Congratulations! Thank God for you and the strength you have had to voice the truth. Thank you for hanging on through the” red” times.(Ouch). I have only known your writing for a short time. Since February. Wish it would have been December 2012.

    Keep up the fight against mindfuckery!!!

    Cross your fingers and say your prayers that my divorce process doesn’t linger to the 4 year anniversary mark.

  • Congratulations and thank you so very much, if it weren’t for you and our fellow chumps I’d still be in the throes of mindfuckery and despair.

    Finding your blog saved my sanity and probably my soul.

    Xoxo to you Tracey and all of Chump Nation….

  • My “benevolent cheater” (so he thinks) said over and over, justifying his “new” wuv, “A door opened” … It wasn’t his fault … a door opened and he had to walk through it to discover what was on the other side, but he’d be back if he didn’t wike it. And I fell for it … I thought he’d come back through the door.

    Your blog has taught me now what I needed to know then, that when he says, “A door opened”, the response needs to be, “Well, close it on your way out.” And the potty-mouthed version? “It ain’t the door that opened; it was her legs, and her wallet.”

    Thank you, Tracy, for exposing the bullshit. You are a lifesaver.

  • Well done CL.
    I found your blog purely by chance and but for you I would have continued the mortifying pick me dance and eaten many more shit sandwiches.I cringe when I think of how I was before your insights filtered in to my bewildered brain.
    Thanks for pointing me towards the road to meh.

  • Thank you thank you thank you for being the best therapy. Thank you for hand painting the road signs to Meh.

  • I appreciate CL and CNation for providing a point of view that counter’s the “traditional” RI advice that IMO is so destructive. Forgive and forget, blame the spouse, pretend it didn’t happen — it was just a fun filled frolic to offer a little variety to the sex starved lonely wayward spouse — all those points of view are being debunked, not just for infidelity, but for alcoholism, drug addiction, gambling/shopping addictions, and on and on.

    Whether you are religious or not, if you examine the 10 commandments which serve as a foundation in the Judeo-Christian faith(s) as a guide to living a healthy life, it is hard to argue with the boundaries. Although I am not familiar with all other world religions, it seems to me their religious tracts would likely express some type of similar guidelines. It is not hard to see that the community would be better off if its members did not lie, cheat, steal, or kill each other, and if they treated their families with honor and respect. We may never achieve this utopia, and I do not pretend that I don’t struggle with some of the guidelines myself, but respecting them and trying to live in this manner is what sustains us as a society. We may all fail to various degrees, but talking about it realistically, and refusing to live a life of duplicity is so important. The faith itself is recognizing a higher power — acknowledging that no one can live entirely on their own power, that we all need help. Chump Nation strips away the lies about what happens to the spouse and children, our testimonies belie the fantasy that affairs are just recreational sex outside the bounds of marriage. Most of us have tried to reconcile — the stories of the failures are epic. Usually, all we accomplish is to allow further damage to our own futures, and that of our children. I have trouble understanding those who attack Chump Lady and Chump Nation — why are they so afraid of the opinions and stories told here? Are they so insecure that they cannot stand an opposing point of view to their own choice to try to “reconcile”? Are they so afraid that if they establish boundaries to live by and with that the “wayward spouse” will not be able to live within those boundaries, and they will be “alone”? Then what do they say? Then what do they do?

    Personally, I feel that if that works for them, then great. Odds are, it’s not going to work. If they are working with a Cluster B disordered wank of a person — they best have all the facts they can find to keep the disordered one from destroying them. I wish I had known more about alcoholism and narcissism before I became an adult and before I married. At least I would have been warned. The learning process is a slow and painful journey up a very steep hill, especially when you are deluded by FOO traditions and RI “wisdom”. Thank you Chump Lady for being courageous enough to stand up and tell the truth. Happy Birthday to your Blog!

  • Tracy (CL), congratulations to you on such a great achievement and if I am around in 10 years time just lurking in the shadows and reading, I know that you will still be helping a new crop of Chumps sadly. I found CN went I didn’t know where to turn and was without any support. I found my support family here and I have felt safe ever since. When I am having a bad day I come to CL and read and I feel my spine stiffening with strength and know that I have also grown tremendously in my pursuit to finding myself and without CL and CN I know I wouldn’t be alive today. The Chumps who always post their wisdom to assist new and old Chumps alike is priceless and on a daily basis you and CN lift people up. Never stop your wonderful blog if at all possible. Once again, thank you from the bottom of my heart.

    • And thank you Maree, for your incredible strength and resilience! I am in awe of you, of Tessie, and of oh so many chumps that stayed in 20+ years of marriage only to suffer so many devastating losses at the hands of people who were supposed to care for you.

      I draw my strength from CN, and am so very thankful for your generous participation in the blog Maree, and to hear your updates as you continue forging on to Meh.

      • Chumptitude you are being overly generous when it comes to me but I sincerely thank you. We are members of a truly stellar group of people who would prefer not to be here but we are. It warms my heart to know that there are so many decent people in the world still. Keep up your wonderful work Chumptitude because you are worth it! 🙂

        • Maree, I just want to let you know your strength is what’s kept me going through this latest painful chapter in my life; found out the X got involved with my oldest [adopted] D, not to mention all the other family relationships X systematically blew up. How you’ve kept going through that kind of hell has given me inspiration. I will NOT just dry up and blow away like they want me to. Sending you big virtual hugs. And a huge thank you.

          • Oh dear Sunny, what an awful thing to happen. Your X is the devil himself sadly and what trash, absolute trash he is and I hope he is in gaol. I won’t make a comment of your daughter only to say that she should have known better, I am truly sorry. You sound like you have been to hell and back and still you walk tall and hold your head high. Sunny, you have an inner strength that you don’t know you have sadly. You will get through this with the help of, I hope a good therapist and supportive family and friends. We are part of a great community here at CN, one which we never ever thought existed. When I have bad days and think that I am all alone on this journey I visit this site and it stiffens my back bone ready for the next day. CL has saved many a life of that I am sure. You are now free Sunny to pursue your authentic self and life and it can and will be hard, very hard at times but you will make it through dear girl. You know when I was small and I hurt myself and cry, my father used to “kiss” everything better and then buy me a bag of lollies (candy). If only he could “kiss” this better but I know he is looking down on me and watching over me. My very best wishes to you Sunny and I too am sending you VERY BIG virtual hugs and kisses. xoxo

  • Happy Blog-vesary. You saved my sanity and gave me the strength to go no contact. Recommended the site to my atty, my shrink and other friends who have gone through the same.

    I love that we reject the Narcs theme of we are all used up. Watch this, we are Mighty. Amazing how so many super smart folks get chumped. I feel like I am in good company. I am guilty of trusting. Okay, i own it.

    During MC, counselor tried to correct me calling AP a whore. I looked him right in the eye, first day after reading here, said ‘women who sleep with married men are Whores’. Nuff said. Once you say that outloud, amazing how many people agree with you.

    • Men/women who sleep with others while they are still married are whores. In my case the X actually gave money to the whoreworker.

  • Yay! Congratulations! So glad I found this site. I was jerked around by the RIC and the fuck tard cheater for years.

    You are absolutely correct that cheating always goes waaaayyy beyond infidelity. Ex acted like Satan personified when he was affiliated with some whore. And every bit of advice I followed from the RIC just intensified the Satanic behavior. It’s just about guaranteed that everything they suggest makes the situation even worse, if that’s possible. Examples: put the cheating prick and his “needs” before your children, parents, friends, work, faith, yourself, just everything. If you can just get him to like screwing you better than anyone else, it’s all OK. Drop your drawers like a horny teenager after the prom, any time he likes. Sex is the secret of a successful marriage, you know. Keep this all a secret so you will make it easy for the cheater, and simultaneously guarantee you will get PTSD or have to go on medication to deal with your anxiety and insecurity. What a crock it all is.

  • Thank you CL!!!! You are a life vest to those of use who feel we are drowning in bad advise. I found your site after doing at least 6 “pick me” dances. Chump….I know. The biggest advise you’ve empowered me with is going NO CONTACT!!! This is a skill, art and a necessity with dealing with these cheater freaks. Unless the topic involves the wellbeing of my children…..Mr. Cheaterpants doesn’t hear a peep from me. And OHHHHHH the gratification when it pisses him off….two thumbs up!!!!

    So for any new chumps reading this today. <<>> Trust the advise out here…..its second to none. You will get through it and you WILL be BETTER because of it. Chump Nation is here for YOU!!!

  • I am sorry you were chumped and needed to start this 4 years ago, but I am fortunate you did as it has helped me and so many others. You changed lives and so many more to come. You gave me me back. My sanity and a place to come and release some of the twistedness and hurt with others just like me.

    it DOES go beyond infidelity, it is so much more.

    I was reading the part of your book last night about what was real in the past now that this all comes to light. You said “YOU WERE REAL” I am almost two years out and not being able to grasp what was real and not has hindered me a bit and those words right that were so incredibly healing, thank you!

  • Congratulations, CL. I found my way here by accident. I’m so very, very happy I did. When reading some of the crap from RIC, I thought “I can’t do that, it’s insane.” This site spared me from all the insanity RIC had to offer. I can’t begin to thank you and CN enough! xoxoxox

  • Happy Birthday Chump Lady! I think birthday is better than anniversary because you created something very impactful. It has helped me heal — when I didn’t event know there was more to heal. (Same age/timeline as CL.) Sometimes the stories break my heart. But your advice and humor coupled with the supporting chorus of the chump nation is really something remarkable.

    Thank you Tracy!

  • Saint Chump Lady – thank you so much. You have saved lives. And humor is the first step in healing, which is why so many in the Nation are able to move forward.

    Thank you for exposing the false notion that cheating is the betrayed spouse’s fault, that our culture promotes “do what makes you happy – no matter the consequences” and that abuse doesn’t have to be physical to be damaging. Oh and thanks for exposing the Swiss – that save me a lot of time and energy.

  • Thank you, CL, and happy blog-aversery! How I wish I could have read this blog many years ago. Keep up the awesome work! I don’t often comment, but I read every day.

  • Congratulations! Thank you for this blog. Literally it was the most helpful thing in my recovery from infidelity. It’s not “just” the cheating, it really is the mindfucking, gaslighting and other diminishing behaviours that go on that break a person down. I was a wreck at the end of that marriage and now, years out, I can say without a doubt my ex was an abusive man. Few would believe that though because he’s an exceptional liar and very accomplished. I’m glad to be away from him.

    I read here every day and it’s been so helpful.

  • Happy Blog-O-Versary!! It was such a happy day when I found this site and DIDN’T read that I must somehow put on a happy face and act unaffected in the face of all the fuckery I was dealing with. I didn’t have to “own my part” of the destruction of my marriage. Or that I should just be patient and let the X come out of the fucking fog. Oy.

    Some of those sites literally made my stomach hurt. I came here and Hooray! Somebody gets me!

    Many more happy blog years CL!

  • Happy Anniversary Tracy!!! I’m so grateful for you and your blog. After DDay I scoured books and the internet trying to make sense of what was happening to me. Nothing I read felt genuine until this blog. Then everything clicked. You and Chump Nation touched my soul and coaxed out the anger I had long ago buried. I was near death but you all resuscitated me by sharing your experiences and explaining a cheater’s behaviors. My life is still a struggle but I’m living in reality now and that is a blessing. Thank you, thank you, thank you!!!

  • “Can someone pleases stand up who had one of those benevolent cheaters who gently fell in love, and did some harmless exuberant defying in a Motel 6? But deeply loved the bonds of their marital captivity?”

  • from the bottom of my heart i thank you for this blog! when all this happened i couldn’t understand why everybody thought this was no big deal, a little mistake was made. it was such a relief to find out that he was doing the same thing ALL cheaters do, and i had the same hurt as ALL the chumps. you are definitely a light in the dark! the best thing i have taken from this is NC!!!!

  • Congratulations Tracy! Just had to add another thank you to the chorus. I found CL and CN a little late in my divorce process but not too late to help me enormously. After reading and participating in a couple other blogs in my worst time (and getting the bad advice offered by the RIC), I finally found CL and saw the light. Thank you from just one more ex chump.

  • Happy 4th!!! ChumpLady you are an Angel! I’m lucky I found you right after I ran to live at my Mom’s, so I could stop watching the cheating. It felt like someone threw me a lifeline! There are so many wise and funny souls here, I really do love you all. I think CN has put me well on the way to being the woman I always wanted to be, and I’m finally proud of myself.
    I bought your book, can’t wait to have it in my hands, and please keep up the work you must have been called to do, you have been a beacon of sense in this crazy world! Rock On!

  • Congrats! I want to thank you and your readers for helping me make it to the other side!! It’s interesting to me that tomorrow is the 3 year anniversary of my D-Day! Feel proud to know you have helped so many!

  • Happy Blog Day, Little Chumpy Oakley! Your blog is crucial to a society that congratulates cheaters. Read any article in ‘women’s’ magazines. They encourage chumps to fight fire with fire (continue to be chumps) . Tv series are based on cheating(“The Affair”, “Nurse Jackie”, etc) – all well made programs, the cheaters are the heroes.Then there’s the new therapists (Esther Perel). Thank god my therapist is more reality based… WE NEED YOU, Chump Lady. Everyone needs your sarcastic, snarky, spot on viewpoint. EVEN if they don’t agree with you (Esther Perel), they must acknowledge the blog’s validity in this fuck fest world in which we live. Yee Hahaha, cowgirl! Thanks

    • Chump for 30 years, you are so right. I’m sure cheater ex thought he hit the mother lode when I discovered the RIC blogs. He wasn’t suffering consequences for cheating with a whore, he was being REWARDED for it.

      He changed nothing about himself, except to act even more like a dick. Meanwhile, I was cooking and cleaning and catering to his every desire and letting him treat me like shit while doing it. He loved it!

      I think cheaters also read the blogs, and they learn what to expect from you when you read the RIC advice. He and the whore were actually emboldened by my behavior. Why not? He knew he could do what he liked and I’d just accept it and ” step up my game. “. I *must* be younger, thinner, prettier, sluttier, funnier, ad nauseum than not just the whore but ALL women cause he might want one of them! Imagine his surprise when that all changed. No wonder cheaters hate chump lady and love the RIC.

      • Anita – You stated “I *must* be younger, thinner, prettier, sluttier, funnier, ad nauseum than not just the whore but ALL women cause he might want one of them!” And it’s funny how these cheaters do not change one IOTA about themselves, but in fact get even worse, yet here we are twisting ourselves in a pretzel for these losers, doing the almost impossible. It enrages me. It is rewarding them and I’m so glad all that changed for you!

      • Anita, you hit a cord! I was doing the pick-me-dance and not even knowing it! Read some RIC stuff and said that would be rewarding his butt. Threw him on on Dday!

  • Congratulations! I can’t believe how much insight I’ve gained into my own ex’s behavior. I’ve been hooked on the wisdom found here since I saw a reference to CL a couple of years ago and looked in out of curiosity. It all rang true! I thought my marriage was some bizarre fluke, and here it all is. Thank you, Tracy!

  • Happy blog-iversary! This site is a lifesaver! I wish you had been around when I first separated from my ex, but glad I found you a couple years later.

  • Congratulations, CL! I found you just as I separated from the loser 1,5 years ago. I have almost no relatives and you guys at CN have been my emotional support, daily strength and wisdom. I did not even read any of the Reconciliation nonsense, God has graciously led me straight to you, Dr. Simon and a Cry for Justice webs. Coincidence? I think not. Thank from the bottom of my heart!
    Now starting the divorce and rereading the sage advice not to make stupid mistakes. God bless you Tracy, you are a star. 🙂

  • Happy anniversary! I started to understand the truth of what my now ex-wife had done and was doing when you replied to my letter almost three years ago. You and the multitude of chumps who weighed in gave me strength and hope. Keep on doing what you do — it’s sorely needed.

  • I’ll echo the general consensus – this is life-changing stuff. I haven’t seen my therapist often, but last time I was there I told her about this place and this community, and how much it has helped me to heal and deal. And she raised her eyebrows, said “What was the name of that blog again?” then she took out a pen and paper and wrote it down. I hope she comes here and reads, and learns from you, Tracy, and from all of us here at CN. We are mighty, even when we don’t always feel that way.

  • Many, many thanks and Happy Blogerversary! Your site and the league of Chump nation have been a lifesaver. Working on NC with the narc and plodding through a divorce he is dragging out. But it will be over eventually and I will reach meh one day.

  • CONGRATULATIONS AND THANK YOU! I found your blog a month ago, just hours after I admitted to myself that I am a chump. That was about two months after discovery day of his five-to-seven-year affair (“She’s got the years wrong. It wasn’t seven years!”) with a co-worker, one marriage counseling session and hours on post-affair reconciliation sites. Reading the blog on that liberating day, I realized why I felt like CRAP for so many years during our 12-years+ marriage and would continue to go nowhere with the cheater. I learned how to deflect his deflection and mindfuckery, and with that knowledge harassed him incessantly until he moved out this weekend. I feel NO SHAME in being a Chump, even when I see the look of “Aw, honey, no” on people’s faces. My admission IS my power. My position is no longer under his thumb, but standing triumphantly with head held high, one high-heeled pump firmly planted in righteous anger and the other on his neck. I took over MY life, MY future, and I feel so relieved to be on my way to ME. I could not have had the strength (nor tactical mindset) to do this without this blog and CN at just the right moment. Though I had an inkling of how to face the cheater mind, I was naive to the depths of mindfuckery I was dealing with–and now I see it everywhere. I know I have a long road ahead, with lawyers, separation, divorce, financial issues, our children’s anger and insecurity. But I am confident. Because it’s MY road ahead.

  • Happy blog-aversary, dearest CL! Your first book opened my eyes after all the RIC-themed books I devoured before I read yours and wised up. I don’t even know how to say what a difference you and Chump Nation have made in my life these past 18 months. This is the snarkiest, wittiest, bravest, most compassionate, intelligent group on the Internet, drawn together by one person with vision, kindness, and guts. Never underestimate the power of ONE!

  • Thank you, Tracy, for changing my life. While pick me dancing after the last D-day 2 years ago, the little voice inside my head kept shouting that it wasn’t right and it wasn’t fair that *I* was fighting to keep *him.* If he truly loved me as he professed, shouldn’t he be fighting for *me*?

    The RIC told me all the reasons why the little voice in my head was all wrong. You blog was the only place that didn’t contradict what I was feeling, and in fact told me I should be feeling MORE of it. Your blog amplified the little voice that the RIC was trying to mute, and so every time my ex failed to show real remorse, I called him out on it. He didn’t like the increased accountability I was insisting on, and eventually chose to ditch me (and our son) for the OW. I may not have been as strong as I wanted; I may not have told him to go fuck off and never speak to me again; I may not have immediately filed for divorce; but I DID hold my ground, and in the face of that, he slinked off to someone with mushier boundaries and equally poor character.

    Were it not for you and the rest of chump nation, I would not have had the strength and determination to hold my ground. I would have cut my ex miles of slack at the urging of the RIC, and I would have taken him back. I would be living in California right now, playing marriage police, pick me dancing every day of our marriage, and feeling like an utter failure for not being able to make my ex “happy.”

    Were it not for your blog, I never would have met my fellow chump in arms, JC, who leads by example, is uncompromising in his values, and has helped keep me grounded as our exes venture further and further into their delusion.

    So thank you, Tracy. My story would have had a very different ending without you and chump nation.

  • Happy Blogaversary!!! I love you and these people like a fat kid loves cake.

    I found this site after the third major D-day (not to be confused with all the cheating throughout the entire marriage of which I was unaware; consequently it wasn’t discovered until we were divorcing). I so wish you had been around sooner. I was a wimpy, crying noodle, new in IC trying to figure out what was wrong with me. This site let me know that whatever my flaws, I had value, I had worth. It let me know that whatever imperfections I had during the marriage, I didn’t deserve to be treated like crap. Your voice and the voices of CN helped me locate my spine and find my voice. I was actually able to conceive of a life beyond living with a narcissistic, selfish, self-absorbed cheater. He was demystified and found to be “slutty” and not “special.”

    Thank you so much for providing this space for those of us unwilling to spend whatever we have left of our lives in any way continuing to feed the delusional worldview of cheaters. Thank you for drawing attention to the contempt, shallowness and superficiality at the core of many of the cheaters and how it is not our job to change them – we only need save ourselves (and our children) from them.

    I have said repeatedly that this blog literally saved my life. Thank you from the bottom of my heart.

  • Finding Chump Lady, was the beginning of the Great Decolonization of my mind. I had been stuck in a decades long rut caused by a broke picker,and it’s like Chump Lady gave me my first erector set.

    So in honor of the 4th Anniverary, here are four things Chump Lady taught me:

    1. It really is them. Aka a cheater gonna cheat cheat cheat (and cheat some more)

    2. Cheaters are out to get you. Sounds paranoid. But it’s true. They need you weak and needy, so they will do everything they can to keep you that way.

    3. It’s okay to say fuck it to Kumbaya. Some people are just bad enough to not deserve your kumbaya. It’s hard for a Chump to be ‘mean’, but those boundaries are important.

    4. There is no end to the mind-fuckery. Even after Chump Lady removed the scales from my eyes and I turned a corner. I now see it everywhere. People who want something from you are constantly trying to colonize my mind. It’s up to me to decide what is good for me (Chump Lady) versus what isn’t (“You’ll never be _______ enough”).

    Hats off to all Chump Nation for being my sag wagon, helping me grasp my own mighty, and feeding the flame of that once tiny voice inside me!

  • Happy anniversary and a huge THANK YOU!
    When my world collapsed after 35 years of marriage I looked, as most of us chumps do, high and low for advise, help, suggestions, ANYTHING…. After readying MANY books I stumbled across your 1st book…..WOW. That lead me to the web site…. Double WOW….
    It was like looking in a mirror, reading my life…. All the blame shifting “you SAY you don’t want a divorcee, are you still seeing her? “ and the wonderful answer of “yes, because you won’t talk to me!!!” or my favorite line of his was “ I’m so broken”… he sure didn’t sound broken in all the text messages he was sending his 29 year old slut, seemed pretty happy and carefree, not like someone who was lying to his wife and their children who were all so worried about him…. Then to find out she was in the picture the whole time while he was “trying to get his head screwed on straight”. Silly me, I should have asked what head would be doing the screwing!!!! And when he told me I had “nothing to worry about with her, you know she is engaged right?” yes she was, to one of his employees…. I got to read in their texts how they were going to continue to see each other AFTER she was married…Both of them, big fat PIECES OF SHIT. He was not there for me when my mom died suddenly or when I lost my job or had to clear out and sell dream home. Oh no, he was to busy, to confused….. but he sure could worry about her all that time though, of course only being 29 she probably did need a little more babysitting.
    CL & CN you gave me the strength and the courage to get mad, to say this is wrong and I WONT take it anymore. I AM MIGHTY. I AM WORTHY OF SO MUCH MORE. My sons will see what is RIGHT and what is WRONG. You do NOT treat anyone like this let along someone you swore in front of God and 300 loved ones that you would Love, Honor and cherish.
    My kids and I WILL SURVIVE and THRIVE no thanks to him. He is the loser in this, he threw away someone you loved him like no other, was there for him, raised his children, kept his house, cooked his meals, did his laundry, handled all the finances, supported him in anything and everything he did along with a full time job. Everything and anything to make it easier on him. He threw away wonderful children who have become amazing adults and now in the picture, the best thing in life, a Granddaughter. I look at my life now, feeling totally blessed. Yes some days are hard, when you wake in the middle of the night and old memories haunt you…. I try to remember the good ones and let the others rest. Some days I still get teary eyed of what my life was “suppose” to be. I just let the tears roll and get it out of my system, THIS is my life now, Im making NEW memories. Two years from him moving out to get that head screwed and one year from being divorced. Its only going to get better from here…for I AM MIGHTY!
    THANK YOU CL AND CN!!!!

  • Congratulations and thank you, CL, for this blog and especially for keeping it going when it’s got to be tough to face it somedays.

  • Congratulations, CL, and THANK YOU for this blog!! I don’t know how things would have gone for me had I not found you. I am so grateful to you and to CN.

    • You. Saved. My. Life.

      Thank you CL and Chump Nation

      *THIS X THOUSANDS!

      If not for all of you I have no doubt I would have still been with the stbx, training for the pick me dance Olympic squad, shit sandwich eating world competition, and working on my PhD in spackling.

      All of you were the voice of reason when I needed it most & the calm in the worst of the shit storm.
      You helped me focus on what was most important-me & my boy.
      I will be eternally grateful.

  • Thanks Chump Lady for all you do. Thank you to all the fellow chumps who share and help me process my crap. The new book is great. It was delivered early in the Kindle version. It is a good read. I am about half way through. It is something I read in small doses as it trigger a lot of things for me. Thank again and keep
    at it!

  • Unfortunately Chump Lady did not start her blog until 2012 and my DDay was in 2007. After I had suffered several years of pick me dancing and abuse, I finally pulled the plug and filed in 2010. After the divorce was final in 2011 I was still trying to untangle the skein of what had happened. Reading in the divorce section of the Huffington Post in 2012 I read an article by Tracy Schorn that rang so true for my experience. It was a “eureka” moment. From there I went immediately to Chump Lady and have been reading the blog ever since! I can’t thank you enough for putting into words the reality the abuse of infidelity. ROCK ON!!!!!

    • This is what is amazing and unique about CL’s blog! Here you are, fully divorced for a year, and 5 years out from D day, and you were looking for answers! The aftermath of infidelity, and being betrayed by your ‘partner’, is this – PTSD and such confusion. We all need to figure it out, and CL shows us how. Even if we are already on our own, and supposedly done, you can’t really be done, because you just don’t understand. Once you find ChumpLady, it’s like the first step on the road to Meh…

  • Happy Blog-anniversary. I also turned 50 today. I came into my office and it was covered with over-the-hill stuff. It felt great.

    One other major thing I did today was helped a woman into shelter who is being violently abused by her husband. He is cheating on her and she has a 4 year old and 4 week old in NICU. I’ve done this for many years and besides the standard things I also do, I left her with these four CL lessons:

    1. You can only control yourself. You did not cause it, you cannot cure it, you cannot control it.
    2. You deserve better.
    3. He has isolated you from your family. Get your support system back you will need them.
    4. It’s not a sprint, it’s a marathon.

      • Thank You. Actually CL & CN Rock. I had to refer my domestic violence cases out for a few months after d-day while I gathered my strength. I was unable to listen to their stories and use my training help them and not let my anger avenge them. I would not have been so far along without this blog. So you’ve also helped the 4-5 cases for the women and men I handle per week.

        • The depth of CL and CN influence is exponential! Gotta be a great feeling Tracy! Enjoy it–you deserve all these accolades!

  • Thank you, CL, and happy blog-aversery! As everyone here, I am so grateful that you started this, and kept going, despite the shame associated with chumpdom.

    I found your blog the day I learned that without telling me anything, my X let our kiddo inform me that she had been introduced to his AP online and that my X’s AP was moving in with him later that week… Of course, we were still married, in the middle of our divorce proceedings, and my X told my daughter that this was his new GF, not the homewrecker slut he had been fucking for over a year when I found out. My X said at the time that his mistress was going to be around for a few weeks… Over a year later, she is still here. The first CL post I read was about how to react to kids being in contact with the AP. I remember the 2×4, the way my computer screen became blurry from the tears that kept falling down my cheeks as I tried to absorb the level of mindfuckery he had dolled on me and was exposing our kiddo to, and the level of strength I will have to display If I wanted to minimize the damage of his character on our kiddo’s psyche. So I pulled up my big girl pants, went NC, and finalized my divorce.

    As I read CL’s great points and chump wisdom, as well as all the comments today, tears came to my eyes. This time though, my tears are of gratitude, because through your courageous efforts, CL, and because of this incredibly generous community, I have found a safe place of validation, as well as the right blend of accountability, and support to forge on.

    What a wonderful Tuesday, guess who’s gonna have pie tonight :)?!

  • Thank you Tracy!! I found this site (like so many others) at 3 am, at the end of my rope. Somehow I missed all the RIC crap and came straight here! So many things you say stay with me
    -Be the sane parent.
    -Sad sausage cheater- is there any other kind??
    -SET your boundaries and then let go. You don’t control how others react to your boundary setting just be firm.
    -I would so have fallen for false reconciliation.
    -And there are the most amazing similarities between cheaters and chumps stories. It’s eerie. I never would have known most cheaters are really gross in the bathroom and so much MORE.

    I read everyone’s stories, I get so involved with them and so root for them!! I really think this is more how the church should function. I do believe in grace but so much of it is built on sorry not sorry. I wish you everything wonderful in the world!! Your discernment is awesome and you are hilarious. Thanks for all your hard work. Prayers for you!!

    • And if you asked Esther Perrell who she wanted to babysit her kids, chumps or cheaters, I bet she’d say chumps. I want chumps not cheaters to be my friends, and I am so glad to know all you guys!! Hugs.

  • Thanks for all the wonderful wishes and kind words. I love your stories. This is like another kind of Tell Me How You’re Mighty post!

    But the best part for me is knowing that you guys are all out there paying it forward to the other chumps in your life, that you know now, or who you’re going to meet. YOU guys are going to spare THEM the RIC mindfuckery.

    • Completely off subject, but is there a way to post pictures here? Looking at Chump Lady’s childhood photo it appears that she, Little Debbie the snack cake girl and I were long lost triplets separated at birth! LOL

      • Oh God, that’s my husband’s ex’s avatar — that freaky Debbie snack cake creature.

        No way you could’ve known. And no I don’t look anything like that!

        • Aghhhh! So sorry for that! It was the curly strawberry blonde hair! If I can find it I will sometime post a picture of me when I was 4 or 5, with my curly strawberry blonde hair sporting my own Cowgirl outfit!

          That aside, I want you to know that you and your blog with Chump Nation literally saved my life. I have not commented or told my story here yet, I am still living the nightmare. My Personal Demon is still here for the one simple reason that I am not able to be physically or financially independent. Long familiar story and dreams of NC and MEH for me that will never come true because of my health problems and inability to support myself financially. The night I found your Blog, I was seriously contemplating suicide and was looking for a suicide site to help me get off of the fence and just do it and all of a sudden there was your blog and I started reading. I read archived stuff all through the night and cried and cried and cried. I cried for myself, for you and for everyone who left comments that were like pages out of the book of my life story.

          Even though I am stuck with the Demon, at least the advice and moral support from all here have helped me keep my sanity and start demanding that I be treated like a human being and not just a piece of shit stuck on his shoe. For that I Thank You from the bottom of my heart.

  • Congrats and thank you. I am 4 years an enlightened chump, what a coincidence!

    How true, as the years have gone on, the more I know, the worse narcissists are, and the more mighty chumps are.

  • Yay! You go on with your bad self! Thank you for helping me to stay the course. I knew I was going to stay gone but you kept me moving along and made it easier to shake off attacks by stbx, who two weeks after being served with divorce papers ,bombards me with texts saying he does in fact have a problem and he wants me to go to the counsellor with him and he needs God and salvation and prayer and he has been arrogant and selfish and how his resentment and anger created a chasm between us blah blah. He had been out the night before with one of his ea s and admitted last week he had been seeing someone ,not the ea.
    Today was our first Court hearing….as I waited I logged onto chump lady and say today’s post. Reason to celebrate all around for me. Humble gratitude from one truth lover to another.

  • Tracy, congratulations. A milestone such as this reflects tremendous durability and tenacity. For which I am grateful.

    Found you and your astounding Nation two months after DDay. Was in the kind of turmoil that only you all understand. Dante’s Inferno. I’ve endured a lot of ‘schooling’ in my life, acquired a few degrees, etc. but it all pales in comparison to the education I devoured on this site. Not one person wanted to discuss this disaster, even if they had experienced it (perhaps most especially of they had!). And I was too disordered in my thought processes to verbalize, as it all seemed ineffable.

    I have 210 days of No Contact under my belt. I recall bragging here when I reached 57 days! This was the fundamental necessity for me. MoFaux could mindfuck me without speaking. Not proud of this truth, but I had never encountered “intimacy terrorism”, as valkyriemad123 so aptly described it. Someone said to me, early on, ‘stop counting, you don’t need that, that is not helpful’. I was too unwell to respond that, YES, you wicked-in-not-a-good-way-person (aka asshole) I DO need it. This has prevented the annihilation of my Soul and kept me from self destructing.

    As we evolve, perhaps our minds will make adaptions to cope with such emotional treason, but currently there is no area of the brain that seems capable of dealing with it. As if our Creator never intended us to be exposed to such carnage.

    So all of you Life Savers, my deepest gratitude. You’ve held me, whether you knew it or not. Whether I commented or not. You became my safe home AND my family

  • I am so grateful that I found your blog. I read it religiously and refer to it often in speaking with friends and family. After years of working on my PIES (improving myself physically, intellectually, emotionally and spiritually) – none of which were particularly lacking in the first place – and getting wrapped up in the RIC, I came to the realization that serial cheating and the behaviours that accompany it are abusive. ChumpLady played a HUGE part in that realization.
    Thank you from the bottom of my heart for your honest approach to infidelity. Your snark is wonderful and some of your words (“He has an empty elevator shaft where his soul should be” and “And if you don’t come back to me now I will resort to yodeling”) will be forever lodged in my brain.
    Best wishes to you, your blog and the multitude of chumps who find themselves reading here for support and encouragement.
    On the road to meh……

  • Happy Anniversary and Thank You! I have found the group who best understand how being cheated on truly affects one. I visit regularly and especially when I start thinking that my ex “really isn’t that bad” (yes, he is). Here’s to many more years of CL therapy.

  • Thank you so much for starting and keeping this blog going. I found it back in November or December I think after stumbling onto Divorce Minister’s blog and he recommended this resource.

    And it really has been a great resource for me. I had already pretty much decided I was done and going to divorce after what essentially amounts to 4 D-days between April and October. A year ago yesterday was the first in fact. But I was struggling with the guilt of leaving and the perceived expectation from others that I forgive and reconcile. He was putting on a great unicorn act to family and friends and church even. I just felt deep down it wasn’t for real and there were several barely perceptible red flags.

    I had agreed to give it through the holidays so as not to disrupt my daughter by separating just before Christmas so it was a day to day struggle. Love bombing from him like you’ve never seen the likes of. Reading this blog and divorce minister helped me discern what was actually going on, helped open my eyes to the pick me dance that was our entire 14-year marriage and see reality. My faith is a huge part of my life and I truly seek to honor God in my decisions and I believe without a doubt that God directed my steps to you all to give me the confirmation I needed.

    January 1 I started my new year by telling him I was moving forward with divorce. Having these resources has helped me navigate the process since then and know what to expect and how to protect myself and has helped with me learning to be as little contact as possible. I believe that has saved my sanity (I’m not positive I’m completely sane but I’m at least more sane than I would have otherwise been…). I’ve had the cycle of mind****ery that is rage, self pity, and charm in spades. I wouldn’t have been able to recognize that for the manipulation that it is. It’s almost comical to watch. These cheaters aren’t exactly original are they?

    Thank you to all of you who share your stories and your mightiness and your insight every day. Some of you have overcome so much more than I have to deal with and you inspire me. Hearing the same story over and over with slight variations has helped me feel so much less alone than I did just a few months ago. And ever so much more confident that this is the best thing for my daughter and me.

    I refuse to let him define me, devalue me, or keep me from being the best woman God created me to be. I firmly believe coming through this will allow me the opportunity to honor God more than ever before. And I will have experiences and trials I’ve endured that will allow me to comfort and encourage someone else.

  • Another chump weighing in to say Happy Blog-aversary! Like most others here, I got waylaid by the RIC, got hung up trying to untangle the skein, and wore myself out pick-me dancing. Yet something felt waaaaay off. Was I really at least 50% responsible for my cheater’s affair, as he kept insisting? WTF? Once I found CL, everything made sense, and I was shocked at how similar many of the stories are, which made me feel much less alone. Thanks again for all that you do!!

  • Thank you, Tracy. May all this Much Deserved kudos lift you higher (and higher!) while inspiring all us chumps to continue changing cultural narratives about infidelity in whatever small and huge ways we can.

    Your story, blog, books and overall mightiness show us how good things come our way when WE take control of steering the Karma Bus!!

    Must add to #3 in today’s post (re: wretched awfulness of cheaters) they expose chumps to the dangers of STDs, which left unchecked, risk our gynecological health – and sometimes our very lives. This is not “way beyond infidelity” – this is their standard fare.

  • Congrats Tracy! You deserve every ounce of success. You have worked hard for it and in the meantime have spread such a clear and necessary message.

    I found this blog when it was in it’s infancy and MAN was I lucky. I don’t know what I would have done without it. Well, actually, I DO know what I would have done. I would have stayed STUCK in indecision for far too long, damaging both myself and and my young daughter. Thanks to your wisdom and straightforward talk (and a wonderful support system of kick ass women in my life), I turned my cheater loose and gained an awesome life.

    Watching this blog grow has been so inspiring. Watching fellow chumps grow over the years has been even more inspiring. You, Tracy, are a godsend. Thank you for saving me from my own path of ridiculousness.

  • What everybody else said!! You, this site, and my beloved dog…between you, you saved me. May you have many more years of bloggy productivity, and many more wonderful chumps participate (not that I would wish chumpdom on anyone, ever.)

  • Happy blog-aversary Chump Lady. I wish I’d found your site on D-Day as it would have immediately terminated my feeble attempts at the Pick Me dance. Luckily I found your blog about 6 weeks after D-Day and from that point on I trusted that he sucked and stopped trying to untangle the skein. You poured steel into my spine when I felt at my weakest (as someone once said here, the irony is that just at the point we feel weakest, we have to be strongest). I have relied on you and the mighty, mighty Chump Nation to get me through the bad and sad times. Thank you for all you do. I wish you every success with the new book and I have been singing the praises of you and Chump Nation to everyone who will listen.

  • Congrats on 4 years, Tracy! My divorce was final in December of 2012, and I found you shortly thereafter. I just wish I’d found you right after D-day, when I was trying to untangle the skein. What’s weird is it seems Chumplady has been a part of my life forever, although it’s just been a few years. I’m doing so much better now than when I first wrote and asked you what does “I love you but I’m not in love with you” mean? Note that was a full year after my divorce was final, and two years since D-day for me. I was still really struggling to make sense of the whole horrendous experience…

    http://www.chumplady.com/2013/11/i-love-you-but-im-not-in-love-with-you/

    I still remember how much more satisfying your answer was than the counselor I was seeing at the time. She seemed to think ILYBINILY was a legitimate expression from my cheater. LOL.

    Anyway, thanks so much for all you do. I come here often to try to share my experience and give support to other chumps. Having my 36 year relationship vanish almost did me in, so I want to help others who are struggling. I want them know that they can make it to the other side and be just fine.

  • I found this blog late in the process. 3 years of Wreckoncilation, numerous D-Days, and all sorts of bad stuff. I had already decided to divorce, but this blog gave me the reassurance that my take on my situation was 100% correct. I was not making a big deal out of nothing or I just needed to TRY HARDER and this marriage would work. I needed to get the fuck out. As we all know, when you are so deep into a relationship and facing blowing up your life, it’s really easy to bust out the spackle (as we say). We are so beaten down by the assholes that any small bit of kindness or engagement is like a sip of water in the desert. It makes us think maybe we can just stay here and get a sip of water now and then. As I was getting ready to drop the divorce, my STBX was in fine form. Nice, helpful around the house, interested in me. All the right things to do. Meanwhile he’s still texting with his whore and skimming money off the business accounts. I trusted he sucked, I dropped the spackle bucket, I put together a plan and made it happen no matter what.

    But we need to trudge through the desert. Some of us may have felt like we were going to die in that desert, but then we found ChumpLady and she guided us out. We were welcome into the fold by others who understood how it was out in the desert. We hear the others share our experience out there and look at them and know that we will be OK. We will sleep, we will have something to drink, we find a way to orient ourselves to our new strange city. And we get up one day, and wander out into the city and we see that there is fun, and excitement and kindness and support and understanding out there. There are people who don’t suck your lifeblood or make you feel defective. There are people who are just normal functioning adults and we get to live among them.

    • “There are people who don’t suck your lifeblood or make you feel defective.”
      You just put into words how my ex made me feel, but it was so subtle I didn’t see it for years, even during the 18 months of wreckonciliation.

      I ended my marriage just four months ago after six months of reading this blog every day. I just wanted to add my thanks to CL and CN for rescuing me… I don’t post often, but I come here every day just like so many of you, and I get such comfort from reading all your posts. A friend of mine recently told me about her friend who had just experienced D-day number two with a serial cheater and is still hanging on to her shitty marriage. I sent my friend a link to this site. I hope she has visited it. 🙂

  • I was told about this blog 3 years ago!! I wish I had found it sooner!! This has been such a great place to come too when I need a laugh or a reality check! Thanks!

  • Thank you Tracy. I am too nice for my own good. The wisdom of yourself and the other mighty chumps on here has seen me hold firm and protect myself. I am setting boundaries and only yesterday unfriended and blocked a guy on Facebook who I felt was disrespectful (admittedly I did ask for advice from some friends, and they were great).

    It has been just over 14 weeks since D-day. I was luckier than most, my arsehole was lazy. He was nasty to me for a few years hoping I would break up with him, wasn’t supportive when my brother died, got off when I would cry during arguments (I picked that one, called him on it and never broke down in front of him again). He had EA’s only because no-one responded when he tried to have physical affairs. Thanks to you Tracy and my fellow chumps, I printed out proof of his affairs, when he still hadn’t gotten all his shit I changed the locks, when mail still comes here because he hasn’t had it redirected I leave it in the letterbox.

    I find that the emotional journey is like a see-saw, I have to be careful not to wear myself down under the expectation of “have to” . I have been feeling physically drained, so I didn’t go to the gym this morning. My being able to take care of myself is in large part because of this blog, this family of survivors. Thank you again Tracy. We may never meet, but you hold a special place in my heart. All the best for the future, not only for the blog, but for everything you do. May the rest of your life continue to be the great one you deserve. Stay mighty.

  • Happy Anniversary CL/CN! I found your blog 6 months ago (4 months into my frantic and insane pick me dance) and every word I read resonated within me as TRUTH. My gut instinct/little voice inside me, that had been screaming at me for years that something was horribly wrong in my marriage, instantly told me that what I was reading on CL/CN was reality.

    My cheaters actions and my chumpy response were… predictable….even formulaic. How was that possible? (I know my chumpy response was unscripted and entirely based on emotion). I came to the conclusion that it was only possible because what you and CN were describing, again and again, was truth/reality.

    I have posted very little so far, but have read every archived post and comment. And all of your collective experience has helped me enormously to start working through what happened in my marriage, what steps I need to take to protect myself emotionally and get through to the other side, and what changes i need to make in myself.

    Thank you so much everyone for your generosity in sharing your stories. And thank you so much Tracy for giving us a safe place to write and listen and learn.

  • Just simply, Thank you so much CL and thx to all the chumps. I am finally divorced and am moving on. Will be moving to Texas real soon to be with the man of my life. I have been a bit torn leaving my sons, but they are grown men and have their own lives to live now.

  • Congratulations on four years, Tracy! I wish your blog had been up and running when I was dealing with Cheater #1 back in the early 2000s. I wouldn’t have wasted so much time and energy trying to revive something long dead.

    I don’t even remember how I found you (link from SI? Amazon? blonde moment!) but I sure am glad that I did. Every day, with every post, you provide a voice of reason in a chorus of insanity. Thank you for all you do, the community this site provides and for verbally kicking the asses of those who truly need a good ass kicking.

  • Thank you, Tracy. Found you in April 2013 soon after I filed and would probably have considered taking back the cheater if I didn’t find this blog. The thought that I might still be in an abusive relationship today makes me want to hurl. So thank you, from the bottom of my heart.

    And a little bit of PSA: Any northeast chumps out there? We have a meetup in Marlborough, MA this Saturday. Very cool chumps. Here’s the link:

    http://www.chumplady.com/forums/topic/northeast-mighty-chumps-april-edition/

    • That’s another great thing about this blog. I can see on the forum that chump meetups are a thing now! Chumps all over the states are getting together and having good times. Not only does this blog help us heal Tracy but you’ve helped a bunch of us connect with others who “get it.” This of course helps us in our healing process and helps us pay it forward IRL.

  • CL Mine is another life you saved. I didn’t know you were just a baby when I found this site. After 39 years I couldn’t fake it anymore. The lying, raging, gaslighting, demeaning comments, narc behavior etc, i had to go. I felt crazy, you let me know I was sane he was the freak. To my “knowledge” he had one affair. I only know because of all the signs, I read about here. He was nice, concerned and attentive to everyone but me. Well in truth he gave them mouse size portions, but I got none of it. I got all my ducks in a row, copied all financials, stashed cash and filled out the divorce papers. On Friday, I accompanied him to the doctors, still playing the good wife, intending to serve him on Monday. He was diagnosed with an illness and given 2-7 years to live, since he smoked 2 packs a day, high BP, diabetes mostly uncontrolled, and never got off the couch,Doctor didn’t think he would make it long. I decided to stay, I am a chump. This site keep me sane. I learned and enforced boundaries. I stopped being his mate and became his house mate only. He didn’t understand how or why I wasn’t doing what I had always done. Meaning his every wish. He spent a two years ill and then one year on on hospice. He had treated his family like crap, gambled $500,000 away (money I earned from my business for our retirement) demeaned me, but wondered why I wasn’t gushing over him since he was dying, oh yeah I have multiple sclerosis so am now disabled. He died two months ago, I was mighty by the time the end came. I was civil but not a chump. I got the last laugh the car, house life insurance and even a huge hidden coin collection. My heart wanted him to “get it” as the end came, but I finally understood TRUST THAT HE SUCKS.
    Thank you and CN

    • Wow. I have not previously come across a chumpdex like yours here in CN, Prior. Lining-up your ducks doesn’t begin to cover it. You’ve answered the “death-bed” question posed elsewhere here. Thank you for your story.

  • Happy 4th Birthday to the Chump Lady Blog! Thank you for all you’ve done for each one of us in Chump Nation. The Vatican should acknowledge Tracy as the patron saint for chumps.
    PS it is ironic that today is also my wedding anniversary. Although I’m still “trudging over mountains of dysfunction”, through the support of this blog I have been blessed with faith that I will come out alive in the end. What has been most useful to me is how Tracy can describe in words the mindfuck that chumps are dragged through. Before this blog, the only way I could describe it was that it felt as though my brain had been put in a blender on the “liquefy” setting. Tracy also helps us understand why we react the way we do… the behavior is so universal (pick-me dance, not wanting to give up that damn prickly monkey, etc.) that there must be mathematical equations that exist to describe all this behavior (we just need a mathematician to derive them)! Now I have the clarity necessary to navigate through this shit storm and even predict behavior in the person who ripped my life into shreds. Thanks again – I am sure you have saved lives.

  • Happy, Happy, Happy blog-aversery!!! I found CL a little after Dday. I am forever grateful that I did. This site was the voice in the wilderness for my poor, lost soul. Thanks so much!!

  • Happy blogoversity, keep calling out cheating for the abuse it is, glad you have such success! though I don’t post as much now, your blog is amazing and so are the friends I’ve made here. Meh we all find what we need. Jedi hugs!

  • Thank you for keeping me sane, for helping realize that it’s him who sucks not me. You are doing an amazing job. I will always be greatful. Happy Anniversary!!!

  • I’ll admit. I’m a reconciler. But I will never be one to criticize Chump Lady or her advice. I don’t know. I may have that unicorn but probably not. Why should I expect or deserve anything different??? I loved your third point. Lol I have a huge bucket of spackle and I know how to use it!!! You do a great job here and your chump nation are admirable to say the least. I’m a huge supporter. I only wish you’d have been around 5 years ago for my DDays. Yes multiple DDays. Of course. Congrats and keep up the great work you do. Im a Chump no doubt and I think all of you and CL are wonderful.

    • Anon, don’t give up. You can and will get there.

      One day you will snap into reality, and then we will be ready to help you with everything you need.

      In the meantime, keep watchin’.

  • Happy Blog-aversary, Chump Lady. Thanks for your courage to both start and continue this blog, your constant voice of reason, and the humor and laughs. I’d be pick-me dancing with a sad sausage today if I hadn’t found you and the supportive community that you have created. I am so grateful to you and Chump Nation. All the best to you, Tracy… Thank you.

  • Tracy, thank you for this blog. I stumbled upon it on one of my darkest moments and because of you and the great members of this Chumpnation I have clarity, perspective and confirmation that I will survive this…

  • Four years! Happy Birthday, CL.

    Four years ago, I was married and happily continuing to build the life I’d made with my wife.

    Three years ago, she was cheating on me.

    Two years ago, I met her at the courthouse for the last time to finalize the divorce paperwork, again rebuffing her request for another chance. I’d only discovered this blog a few months prior.

    One year ago, I was six months into a new relationship and considering a new job and move.

    And today, I have a whole new life.

    My life isn’t perfect, and I do get lonely. And although most days are “meh,” I occasionally still get a reminder of how my ex blew up my life (and continues to burden others’ lives).

    But this blog, including CL and Chump Nation, has been such a resource and help. Thank you!

  • Forgive me if someone has already mentioned, as I couldn’t read all post, but…We need to get infidelity back on the book for D.

  • Happy blog-versary, Chump Lady!!!!

    I found you about a year ago, and I thank God that I did…you and the mighty Chump Nation saved me so much pick-me dancing, untangling the skein of fucked-up-ness, trusting they suck…I could go on and on of how much I learned in such a short time after my D-Day, but I am so so so glad I have you!!!

    I know I am in MEH-topia for the most part, still have a ways to go, but I look back to this time last year, and know that I’ve come a long way, baby!!!!

    Love to all!!!

    Molly

  • I found this blog through a more circuitous route than many here–it was mentioned as a critical resource on an online support group for straight people partnered with closeted gay men and lesbians.

    Until I landed here a few years after discovering X’s secret, I kept laboring under the delusion that if he would just admit that he’s gay, whether he’s ever acted on it or not (and I found plenty of evidence that he has of course, just no smoking gun so to speak), we could part ways amicably with no fault to either of us.

    After all, what gay or lesbian person wants to remain partnered with a straight person? And furthermore, who would expect them to?

    A freaking narcissist, that’s who! That’s the life-altering lesson I learned here, that the deal breaker is the narcissism, not the fact that my X is gay, which is almost beside the point (though also a deal breaker obviously, just one he will never admit to, like any other garden-variety cheater who refuses to take ownership of their behavior).

    I’m so grateful for all of the time and energy I saved finally starting to focus on the narcissism as the root problem instead of X’s sexual orientation, which he hides precisely *because* he’s a narcissist.

    Everything else that I’ve done since–lining up ducks, filing, and finally divorcing his ass–has flowed from that key realization. I shudder to think how long it might have taken me if I hadn’t found this blog. Many thanks Chump Lady and Chump Nation!

    • I had one of them. It’s a mindfuckfest.

      He’s now in denial / maintaining the facade with another lady. Good luck to her. She will need it.

    • I got here the same way OK, and I have wondered if it was you that mentioned it in a respnse to a post I made. Thanks for paying it forward.

      I have been reading CL for almost a year. Thank you CL and CN, you have helped me stay the course. Infidelity is traumatic regardless of the circumstances that get us here.
      I love the snark, wit, wisdom, and yes, potty mouth. And I have my new volcabulary (disordered fuckwit, trust that he sucks, sad sausage). And a place of safety where I know everyone ‘gets it’.

      Happy blog-aversary, I hope there are many more!

  • More power to your pen, ChumpLady. Congratulations!

    I found this blog through BaggageReclaim.com, which was helping me to face some demons. It was a post about the Pick Me Dance, and it referred to this blog, and I visited … and history was made …

    Since I’ve come here, I don’t think I’ve ever been back there! Natalie Lue at BR had done the groundwork for me, and I was ready to graduate to:

    – admitting I’d done the Pick Me Dance, and resolving never to do it again
    – trusting that he sucked
    – giving up on untangling the skein of fuckedupness (I’d spent around 4 years on this man’s skein; a most engrossing project, but now I make crochet rugs instead, which is the only skein I ever want to have to untangle again)
    – finally understanding the concepts of kibble and cake – brilliantly articulated here
    – finally facing that the pain I had felt from his overlapping relationships and emotional affairs was real, and that he was a gaslighter

    And all this without marriage, thank God, which is my bedrock prayer of thanks on a daily basis. It was bad enough without it.

    And meeting ChumpNation, which has been a blast. It really helps me to keep things in perspective.

  • PS I don’t think I’ve ever mentioned that I was a serial reconciler – well, I was at the very least trapped in a cycle of love-bomb, devalue, discard, which ran about six times with this particular man.

    I know that feeling – the hysterical bonding, the spackling, the ‘this time it’s different, he’s really changed’ mantra, the vigilance, the Pick Me dancing, the ‘winning’.

    Oh, it’s so painful, and you’re not really happy at all – just hysterical, really. Everything is hypercharged.

    Awful. Awful. Awful. So much better to walk away and thank your lucky stars you found out he was not the one for you.

  • Congratulations! I found your site almost a year and a half ago. That’s when I finally began to heal. Thank you for saying it the way it is. You and Chump Nation literally saved my sanity. Thank you from the bottom of my heart.

  • Congratulations, Tracy!! Thank you so much for being the voice of reason and for blessing others’ lives with the knowledge you’ve gained through your experience…and for being hilariously funny! YOU ROCK!

  • Congratulations and thank you.

    I stumbled here in the first few days of discovering what might have only been an EA. But I quickly understood what a shitstorm of mindfuckery I’d have encountered if I confronted him about it. That opened my eyes to the steaming pile of entitled narcissism that is the snake.

    My gut was screaming when I first met the Clueless Twatwaffle upon their return from a business trip, and the forced nervous chatter that ensued. I said nothing at the time, it was years later when I saw the slobbery saccharine emails between them that made me realize my gut was right all along.

    If my gut was right then, it was probably right other times I’d been gaslighted out of my suspicions.

    Ultimately, it was more about the emotional abuse, the gaslighting, the narcissistic discard phase snake and I had clearly reached. It was more about realizing he’d been mindfucking me for decades. It was more about how the psychological torment over the years had impacted my mental state.

    And I finally got the fuck out.

    Snake is being a fucking asshole about the divorce, dragging shit out, and costing me tons of money, but I will get the financial settlement I deserve after he stole half my life from me.

    I have found strength I never thought I’d have again. Many thanks to CL and CN for being there for me as I endure this journey, but I will come out better on the other side.

  • Thank you, Tracy, for this blog and the community you foster and for working to change the dialog about cheating. It is an immense service to so many suffering people.

    Over the past few weeks a friend has mentioned post-affair horror stories (a chump suicide, a child’s attempted suicide) but doesn’t seem to connect the dots. It’s as if the cheating is seen as an impersonal act of fate. I’ll be able to have a conversation to educate her but the overall perception has to change on a larger scale. There is still much work to do.

  • I went through the worst of the storm years before CL & CN and that may have been a contributing factor in my long wreckonciliation,

    Major Cheaterpants has been dead 3.5 years so it was in the first 6 months of this blog that I posted some unicorn drivel that Im still embarrassed about . Thanks for letting me take that all back.

  • Congratulations on four years! I began reading off and on in 2013 when a friend found out her husband of 25 years fathered a child overseas when he had an affair. The 19 year old “child” contacted HER via Facebook while trying to track down their biological father. I had no idea that 18 months down the road my OWN husband would start an affair. Your blog helped me survive the rawness in the first few months and it also helped me find my backbone in less than 48 hours of D day. I told him HE had to find someplace else to live. I’ve been officially divorced for almost four months now. I haven’t seen him in over ten months and been No Contact for quite awhile now. I’m slowly but surely “getting MY life back!”.

    Thank you, Chump Lady, Chump Nation and Congratulations again !

  • Thank you. I never knew what a chump I was. (Notice past tense!) Thank you for understanding. Co-parenting is not always the saving grace. Reconciling is not always what you should try. So grateful I never did the pick me dance. Your words, advice and IBT have helped me more than you can possibly know. So amazed that unfortunately there are many who understand my plight. I truly am grateful for your blog.

  • Words will never be enough to convey my gratitude to you, CL, and the chump nation. Thank you, thank you, thank you. (See? Doesn’t come close.) Your words accelerated my healing; they brought laughter on some dark days. I am ever grateful. Current chumps; it gets waaayyyyyy better!

  • This blog helped me reclaim my life after D-day in May 2013. After being gaslighted for so long I could hardly recognize myself, CL was like a mirror. My perceptions and my trust in them go with me everywhere. I hope CL’s analysis and all of our experiences become widespread. If chumps recognize and out cheater-narc patterns and refuse to feed kibble, cheaters/narcs may become extinct. I have hope.

  • Congratulations!! Like many others I wish I’d gotten here sooner, but glad that I got here when I did. Reading about Genuine Imitation Naugahyde Remorse was a watershed moment that started me on the path from spackling and untangling the skein towards meh. I’m getting there slowly but surely thanks to your no-BS advice with a side of snark, which is much appreciated since I don’t think anyone can survive this without a sense of humor. To many more years of taking down the RIC!

  • Should have posted sooner but here I am…. I really can’t say more than the other posters above me have said. Did Tracy and CN save my life? Not sure, I’m gonna credit that one to my dogs. Did Tracy and CN save my sanity? FUCK YES. I’m two years out from D-Day and almost a year out from divorce, and there’s no way I’d be in the (getting better) mental space I am today if I haven’t found this blog. Tracy, please come to Southern CA and drink wine on my balcony with me. Hell, I’m inviting all of CN to do that. (I’m gonna need a bigger balcony)

    Even this far out, I still read this blog first thing every morning for my much needed dose of information, unity with other chumps, and more often than not – the laughs this blog provides.

    Thank you all, and especially Ms. Chump Lady!! XOXO

  • Oh, Gosh! being late to the party must meant that things really do get better. The fourth anniversary for Chump lady also marks the same week two years ago that my HasBund decided to start incessantly texting and eventually impregnating his fifteen years younger co-worker.

    I can’t say everything is better. This has been a profound pain that will always have a dull ache. My marriage is a phantom limb that still tingles in a bad way now and then, but life is largely good.

    I never found a good therapist. Sobbing while being stared at with pity was not helpful for me. I shiver to think how steamrolled and fucked up I would still be if I didn’t find all of you. I’m thriving. Thanks to you all, as my favorite songwriter says,

    And here I come up the hill, I’m pushing my wheel of love
    I got love in my tummy and a tiny little pain
    And a 10 ton catastrophe on a 60 pound chain
    And I’m pushing my wheel of love up Jubilee Street
    Ah, look at me now

    I am alone now
    I am beyond recriminations
    Curtains are shut
    Furniture has gone
    I’m transforming
    I’m vibrating
    I’m glowing
    I’m flying
    Look at me now
    I’m flying
    Look at me now.

  • Congratulations, Tracy! Four Years is BIG. Four things I know about this blog: It has one of the best writers (smart, funny, passionate, and a beautiful! potty mouth. All needed when discussing infidelity!) and I will be reading this even after meh!, Great message (my life was pretty damn near perfect until ex Cheated, and stole, and lied, and blew our family up, (etc!) and yes, it is ALL on him), new vocabulary (CheaterSpeak, wing nut, gas lighting, kibbles, untangling, meh), and a great nation of Chumps whose stories help me heal and to recognize that I am not alone in all this. Can’t wait to receive the new book!

  • Congratulations, Tracy, on your 4-year blogger-versary. I have mad respect and admiration of your focus, awareness, intelligence, sense of humor and giant heart! It seems so rare to find people who can point out the truth as it really is, but so freeing to stumble across anyone who does.

    Your site has been part of my learning of personality disorders, particularly about narcissists and their behavior patterns. All my life has been a parade of users, abusers, cheaters, liars and the mentally ill. It obviously does not help that my FOO had set me up very early on to make these things more familiar than what healthy and normal would be. Now that I’m old, I’m too burned out to deal with any more characters who drain me. I wanted change so that the rest of my life would be peaceful, at last. I have read books, articles on the Internet (there’s so much junk and erroneous information in both) and, eventually, I found my way here.

    Many thanks to all the folks at Chump Nation who share their stories. I don’t have the words to convey how grateful I am to find you.

  • Happy 4th birthday!

    Chump Lady was the second site I went to. I happily did not go to a pro-reconciliation site at first, and got a few good tips, but it was Chump Lady that spoke to my heart. Cheating is a character deficiency. It’s also not just one behavior. It is all sorts of behaviors and choices rolled up into one term. I realized that cheaters gaslight not only their chumps, but also themselves as they try to justify their cheating: the marriage was “dead” (oh really? did you tell your wife that?), the two had “grown apart” (huh, that’s why you and your husband take your holidays at golf resorts–the lack of commonality), etc. It all boils down to the cheater trying to explain just why they were entitled to cheat. If they can explain it, then they can’t be Bad People.

    So thanks to Tracy and to the wonderful people of Chump Nation. A special shout-out to the memory of David, aka Chump Son, a wonderful poster who died tragically and suddenly. His compassion, insight, and good humor is sorely missed.

    Thanks for all the support!

  • I’m talking about foot soldiers trudging over mountains of dysfunction, and coming out alive.

    Thank you CL!

    Another dose of encouragement to add to my growing list of quips, thoughts, and words that have helped heal and grow from infidelity. You along with CN are a god send. Pure wisdom and humor!

  • Congratulations! May I add my name to the “you saved my life” list.

    After he discarded and abandoned, 3 months before I found the Craigslist evidence, I had no idea why he left and wouldn’t talk to me, what to do, what to believe, who to turn to. I didn’t understand why he was devaluing me to everyone he talked to, friends and even my own family, after I’d been with him for 38 years, given him two great kids, cared for him, our home, did nearly everything for him – and he now hated me.

    Early on, you want to pour your heart out to people for support but are worried about overburdening, making false accusations, giving out TMI. this site was a God-send: a safe place to rant (hooray for potty-mouth!) to understanding people who have Been There and offer terrific advice.

    I’m now divorced (except for signing the final decree, but it’s been sworn to in court and recorded), out of the family home and into a new home of my own that I was able to purchase with my settlement. I’m now driving a “new to me” car of my own choosing, making my own money and my own decisions. I’m remembering how to be ME again.

    Thank you, Chump Lady and Chump Nation, for pulling me through the most awful thing that’s ever happened to me and setting my feet on the path to Meh!!

  • Congratulations on 4 years, Tracy! Bit late to the party, though.

    You have literally saved a LOT of people from going completely nuts, and even their life.
    You saved my life – that is for certain. I had dealt with the abuse merry-go-round for almost 2 years and actually landed in the ER as a result of a panic attack induced by stress. My abuser showed some behaviours of having cheated, but I have no proof (though I no longer cared to untangle that skein of fuckedupness). A young doctor at the ER told me: “If you do not remove whats stressing you from your life, you will be dead by the age of 35” – it was that afternoon (after leaving the ER) that I found CL, after Googling ‘Why does he stonewall?’ and navigating a bit of a maze to get here. And then the penny dropped that I was dealing with someone who would not change, and that I had to go no-contact to escape the mindfuckery. It has been over 2 years now, that I’ve been no contact with him.

    The advice here also helped to explain a LOT of shitty behaviour that had happened, not just with that particular person, but with others in the past who had either cheated on me, or had been abusive. I have concluded that the abusing ones likely cheated, given the red flags that popped up.

    This site is a god-send – and the advice is relevant not just for cheating, but for general abuse as well. The information here is a goldmine for dealing with anyone high conflict, and establishing boundaries with said people.

    This site also helped me escape the mindfuckery which was my previous job (a viper’s nest of narcissists and their enablers) – of which I left less than 2 months after the events above.

    Disordered people don’t like this site – because it cramps their style and doesn’t allow them free reign when a healthy person has established boundaries.

    To any chump who has stumbled across this site and is desperately seeking the answer to the question: “Will it ever get better?” – the answer is “Yes, it will. You need to be away from your abuser first, though – as they will fog up your rose coloured glasses. It will be a hard road, but the rewards are priceless. Don’t ever feel bad or make an excuse for being you.”

  • Congratulations AND a HUGE thank you, CL!!! I was still struggling emotionally and 4 years post-divorce when I stumbled upon your website. You and CN (sharing your experiences and offering support at a time when I very much was questioning my sanity) pointed me in the right direction to truly understanding the depth of abuse I had been subjected to. I am happy to say that I am FREE of every last bit of toxic self-doubt that was lingering due 23+ years of my cheating ex’s mindfuckery.

    Get out, DON’T look back, and don’t second guess yourself. Time IS your friend. Stay strong and surround yourself with people who lift you up. Dump the ones who don’t. Your freedom is worth every single step you take away from an unhealthy, abusive relationship.

  • Dear Chump Lady,
    You sent me into action when I was paralyzed with my new reality. I found you at the right time. How lucky I was. I knew how to talk to my young son. I knew how to go No Contact. And I knew that I needed a lawyer. And I knew that I needed to tell the TRUTH to anyone who asked. I became the sane parent and I got my ducks in a row.

    I am feeling to mighty these days. I just moved into MY new home!!! Life is so wonderful!!! I am gaining that life after leaving a cheater!!!!

    Thank you! Thank you! Thank you!!! Hugging you so hard right now from North Carolina!

  • Tracy – CONGRATULATIONS on the 4th anniversary of Chump Lady! I am forever grateful to you, this site, and the fellow members of Chump Nation for helping me to stop spackling and to get a life. And life is SO MUCH BETTER these days. I continue to be amazed by the lack of drama in my life now, compared to the years I was with the narcissistic XH (yes, he was the infamous naked idiot bunny-hopping in a sleeping bag down the stairs).
    I haven’t posted on here in a while, but I hope you will recognize that as the highest compliment and praise for the help you have given me — because ever since the divorce was finalized in 2013, my life has continued to improve, and I am happily living my life. Thank you for helping me be strong again. Thank you for helping me retain hope in finding a trustworthy partner, and to know that there are good, decent people still out there — I got married in September and it is remarkable to see what life is like with a person who actually does what he says he will do (actions! not just words), who is honest, who is consistent, who is trustworthy, and who reminds me to have fun.
    This experience has also helped me to reinforce greater distance / boundaries with my dad (I was a Chump Daughter years before I was ever a Chump Wife), who has always been a selfish, cheating narcissist — I just didn’t know what to call it when I was growing up. If anything, seeing my dad and what has become of him today only reinforces the truths we have observed here with Chump Lady: These types of people NEVER change. They are parasites. There are only 3 moods with these people: Charm, Pity, and Rage. They are never accountable for their shitty behavior, and expect the Chump to “get over it already” or worse yet, blame shift and expect the Chump to share in their culpability somehow. That’s another post altogether, I’m sure, but there is definitely a pattern with those people. The sooner we recognize it and get the hell away from it, the better.

    I am in a much happier, peaceful, and productive place now and you all have helped me in more ways than I can count. Thank you, Tracy! Congratulations to you and very best wishes for more years of growth and success.

  • Congratulations on 4 years of very important Public Service. This blog has been the mainstay of my healing, and I am forever grateful for the wise and galvanizing advice I’ve read here and the fellowship of CN. Recovering from infidelity has honestly been the hardest thing I’ve ever had to do in my life, but the daily posts and comments here help me keep it real and help me keep moving forward. NC NC NC and more NC.

    BTW, I bought the Kindle version of the new book, since I just couldn’t wait until May. It’s awesome. Well done!

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