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Time for a Mightiness Check In!

supechumpIt’s time again for another Mightiness Check! To the newbies, every so many months, I check in with Chump Nation to see how that meh-gain-a-life thing is going.

You’re all so impressive, I’m sure someone has broken a world record, or created a vaccine for the American presidential elections by now.

If you’ve never played before, and you don’t feel especially mighty, remember all accomplishments count! Took a shower? The toddler finally went down for a nap? You didn’t hit anyone with a lead pipe today? That counts. You get to grade on your own curve. It’s not a competition.

The point is to take inspiration from each other and see how far you’ve come.

As for me and my mightiness? Hey, I have a BOOK. (Which went #1 on Amazon in divorce there for a couple days, and still shows up as #1 new release.) And I just had the incredible honor of meeting a bunch of you at Chumpapalooza. I’m still pinching myself. It was totally amazing… and I’m still mortified that I choked on my talk. (But whatever. I’ll work on my gooey, maudlin public speaking issues.)

Life is pretty terrific. It isn’t always, so when I get some spans of “terrific” I sure do appreciate them more than I did before I was a chump.

Anyway, back to you — tell me how you’re MIGHTY!

And TGIF!

 

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.
  • I made the decision to spend some time on my own healing rather than serial dating to prove to the STBX that I wasn’t the wretched, ugly, hideous person he said no man would ever want to be with and that I could get another man as quickly as he could get another woman. Guess what? What the STBX thinks doesn’t matter!! All that matters is the health and well being of my children and me!

    • Good on you, LynnZi! That takes a lot of self-awareness and moxie, to resist getting sucked into that kind of “contest”. You are indeed mighty!

    • I aspire to your level of mightiness.

      I had to endure two kid school events this week with The Entitled One present. Mighty was showing up — because I swore I would NEVER miss one of my kids’ events because of him. But I didn’t feel mighty … I felt fat and frumpy and pathetic. Someone I know asked me, “So are you dating yet?” and I stumbled through an answer about how I’m not ready. My life, quite honestly, is a mess.

      Meanwhile, The Entitled One is circulating nearby. He’s lost fifty pounds, dresses better, and recently won a martial arts championship. He spins his story that we “just grew apart” and that we’re “very different people” and he looks the part of someone who’s been reborn after getting out of a bad marriage. He’s been dating with a vengeance (and why not? he was dating while we were married) and has, I suspect, a girlfriend 15-20 years his junior. He’s building a life for himself that’s jam-packed with all the fun and excitement and experiences he felt he missed out on during our twenty+ years together. He’s Disney Dad for his 40 percent time with the kids. To most people, he’s totally #winning.

      And here I am with the weight gain and huge personal setbacks in addition to the divorce and pretty much living life in the ashes as I try to be the best parent I can be.

      • I have gained weight too. I hate it- but it doesn’t define me. Nor does it you. Please take some time for yourself to grocery shop healthily and possibly exercise. I totally understand if your can’t get off the couch. Maybe lift your arm over your head as you grab the next chip. 🙂

        Hugs and prayers. Good vibes sent your way.

        • I gained weight when I divorced too. About 20 pounds. And I have a fast metabolism and struggle to avoid being underweight! For awhile there, I really felt like I could not lose the weight. All the weight came off as I began to eat healthier again.

      • Totally feeling you Better Days…. _esq is right though, we must somehow stop obsessing over the jerk and start finding something, anything, good in ourselves to focus on. I keep saying, it’s normal to feel this way and then I wonder when I will stop feeling so helpless and bitter? But then I realize, I can’t rush this, I need to feel all of this ickiness in order to move forward and then slowly it will get better- atleast that’s what all the “Mehs” say- I think about how he is rushing into “dating” skipping the mourning phase and the “cleaning out baggage” phase- some day it will catch up with him and he will be stuck in his slump wondering how I am so healthy and happy…. And the best part is, I won’t even care! Now that is something to look forward to!!

          • Better Days, you are exactly where you need to be. Your asshole ex had a huge head start on getting fit as he had checked out well before you knew anything.

            You’re experiencing the immediate aftermath – which is like being in the hospital hooked up to all the machines after a car wreck.

            And you’re still measuring yourself in comparison to him.

            Who gives a fuck what he’s doing or what he looks like. People who lack a conscience may seem pretty on the outside but they’re poison. Fatal poison. Look at all the fairy tales. They remind us that things that look too good to be true are, in fact, too good to be true.

            Fortunately, it’s only going to get better for you from now on. You’ve lived through a stressful and challenging experience and it’s over. The next one won’t be nearly as triggering. And the one after that. And on until Tuesday.

            You are going to heal and life is going to feel hopeful. This is the beginning. Imagine a future where you look the way you want, you do what you enjoy, you’re surrounded by people who love all this about you.

            Don’t give up. It’s just a bad day. Or a bad bunch of days.

          • Better day, stay the course who cares that impression boy lost weight. That is temporary fix to “his long term dilemna” his not yours. My ExH lost like 20 lbs during his cheating. He in 53 and his scumbalina, is 23.
            Guess what, his whore turned momma (daddy issued) freak is having a baby! Yes such joy!
            Well grandpa daddy, I heard gain it back plus some! Must be sympathy pounds . Lmao
            Who cares if you have meat on your bones! You are much healthier without that jagoff!
            Your name better days affirms your minds path.
            ??

            • 53 and 23. That’s just sick. Really. I saw a much older man holding the hand of a 20 something last night at the bar. Yuck.

              So there are the certain men that will say “Yeah!” to that, and a few stupid women that will say love knows no age, but I’m guessing the other 90% of people in that crowded bar, no matter what their morals, age, etc. were laughing just as hard inside at that lost man as I was.

              • WNM, and yes, the door prize!
                But wait, a brand new baby, imagine that! What fools they are. Can’t break the cycle.
                Abandons one family for a new one, yet to at one point, walk away!
                I trust they suck, but really, you need to force an issue to prove you suck!
                This kid is delusional, at best!
                Guillable, naive and straight stupid.
                I feel pity and greatly sad, cause that girl one day will get a wake up call. And the cycle continues!
                Just straight sadness, in my gut I feel it!

      • BetterDays–fuck them. Mine, too, is looking on top of the world after exiting the marriage where “we grew apart” (largely because there were almost always third parties in between us). Set another small goal (you already have one in the “I swore I would NEVER miss one of my kids’ events because of him”–and that is DAMN mighty, because you survived the event and didn’t hit the idiot with a chalkboard eraser). What do you want to do first? Run a mile? Go to a ballroom dancing class? Take up photography? Throw a big Memorial day barbecue? Do it. for you.

        The jackass cheaters can have their sparkly lives filled with shallow, vapid experiences and five-star impression management. They’re still nothing more than holograms, incapable of loyalty or the true connections that make life worthwhile. My X is in his million dollar mansion overlooking the lake, with his 20-year younger GF and his replacement family, jetting all over the world as his career continues to blossom. But this week, I actually felt sorry for him. His children don’t respect him, many people fear (but don’t love) him, and he will always have to look over his shoulder for the sexual-harassment-case-that-might-appear-anyday. But I could only get to pitying him by making my life better and more fulfilling than it was with him. Slow & steady. What’s your first goal?

        • Your perspective is much appreciated, Tempest. My ex is off this weekend to where she will not say. At first, when she asked if I would switch days so she could have the whole weekend free, I demanded to know to know where she was going. She refused. I’m sure it’s the beach or a mountain resort, great sex included. I know I shouldn’t care, and one day I won’t. But right now I’m struggling to understand how I ended up alone and if that will ever change.

          • If she asks to switch days, ask yourself if that works for you. Don’t feed her kibbles by asking her what she is doing. Just trust that she sucks and whatever she has or wherever she goes, it won’t be enough for her.

            As for you–you ended up alone because you were with someone who lacks character, who operates on entitlement, and who is willing to torch the family for her own pleasure. And yes, it CAN change but only if you do the work of fixing your picker instead of thinking about her. Once your focus is on creating a life that you love and cultivating the resilience to withstand the tough times, everything else falls into place.

            • Dear oaktree, my XH puts dates in the childrens calender ‘by mistake’, tells me he needs the weekend off and I can see him waiting for my question. I don’t ask. Even when I see him after an event, he wants to tell but I refuse to listen. LovedaJackass is right, it is kibbles to ask her where she goes. “See, he still cares, poor thing / mighty me”.
              Reason you ended up alone? You probably are not living for drama, but you deal with drama in favor of love and joy. You probably cared. That is sooooo mature, yuch! Please stay who you are and focus on building up your life.

          • I used to feel bad about being alone when The Coward had his twat satellite, but then I realized I had higher standards not just for a future partner but for life in general, and then I quit beating myself up. When you’re ready you’ll be ready. Focus on building a life of your own, and creating new sources of joy and love and self-respect

            • Mmmhmmm. I used to feel bad too. It seemed like my cheater-ex was able to remarry and be happy with someone perfect for him. Not the mistress – they broke up before I was done divorcing him. I then learned that their marriage looks like the Jerry Springer show, soap opera style. WAY too much drama and potential STD exposure for me! I’m so glad I’m out of that lifestyle. Don’t forget that our cheater exes are used to living a facade. I’d rather live an authentic life with friends that actually reciprocate.

          • Oaktree–it’s still early on for you, and you’re in the midst of post-separation mindfuckery with the cheater. First step–stop asking about anything she is doing; grey rock grey rock grey rock: http://www.lovefraud.com/2012/02/10/the-gray-rock-method-of-dealing-with-psychopaths/

            After you’ve instituted grey rock, only then do you get to not caring where she goes. You won’t end up alone; but build up yourself first. Most of us have been torn down by psychologically abusive spouses long before we discovered the cheating, and healing takes a good while. Focus on friendship connections, instead. You can do this, Oaktree!

            • Always–cheating was only the final straw. You’ll slowly begin to see the past with a new perspective. It can be painfully enlightening and result in growth you never knew you needed. But you will learn and become a better person.

              • As my therapist said: can you see, that his affair (cheating in USA) was the final unacceptably hurtful PART OF A PATTERN?????

                Took me ages to get it. But Sunshine is right: cheating was only the final straw, we had been beaten down, ignored and neglected way before then. The disrespect was so huge, life really is better without them.

              • I can’t tell you how much the comments above have resonated with me: cheating was only the final straw. I often lay on my bed reading this blog, looking out the window and thinking not just about the pain of the affair, but the pain of the marriage! The PATTERN of the marriage that brought me to this point. The contorting and shape shifting I did to endlessly make someone happy who was incapable of loving me. The years of hopium smoking that somehow this entitled, broken shitbag would emerge as the partner I needed and deserved. How I just continued to accept less and less and less. No fucking more!!

                I’m only a few months into this epic nightmare and have many, many miles to travel but I am already focusing on HIM as a person over our 17 years together, not just the monster who torched our home and family to the ground in January. I already know in my heart that this is a blessing. Now, I just have to move through it…

              • Chumpbunny, sorry you’re in this spot but you’re going to be great. You have a grasp on the situation that takes a while to sink in. D-day wasn’t the beginning of something – it marked the end of a loooooooooo – t of shitty years.

                I am not lonelier now that I live alone. That part’s exactly the same.

                I didn’t like myself then and I’m struggling to like myself now. STBX never loved me but he liked me for a long time. Or, tolerated me. I think my whole marriage was a pick-me-dance.

                I’d like to be loved for myself before I die.

      • BetterDays – so sorry to hear how you’re feeling these days, but you can easily change your perspective and feel 100x better by repeating to yourself: I’M FREE OF A CHEATING DOUCHEBAG!! ANY state of being is better than staying tethered to a lying, cheating, f-tard like that.

        So – as someone who stared working hard not to be consumed with sadness/anger/bitterness/resentment over a massive waste of 23 years, I did (and continue to do) three things to heal myself. I focused on personal healing of myself spiritually, physically, mentally.

        Mental: I “shopped” around until I found the right individual counselor. She has become a good friend who cares for me and my family, and I for hers. She is also my daughter’s individual counselor. Counseling continues to be a huge blessing for both of us.

        Physical: The douchebag had exploited the fact that for three years prior to DDay my head was buried in books and writing papers for a master’s. Four months after I completed it, I caught him. Prior to this point, I was determined to lose 60 lbs. anyhow, so now I had a completely different motivation. I got my training shoes back on and started jogging to lose weight. It became much more; it was/is positive endorphin therapy. I go about as fast as a turtle and still sometimes cry on farm roads, but I jogged my very first half marathon 18 months after DDay and the 60 lbs was gone. I just finished my second half marathon in April. You’ve GOT to move. The chemical benefits outweigh any sore muscles, blisters and “lack of time.” It’s for your health, and you’re a model for your kids of how to care for the caregiver.

        Spiritual: I’ve been in church my whole life and had a relationship with God prior to DDay, but it may have been “warm” at best. My walk with Him today is more courageous and fearless. On DDay and after, I was at my church DAILY, on my knees with a box of tissues, crying it out, asking for direction, listening. I did this during my lunch break, and on weekends. I also listened to Pastor Rick Warren’s free podcast: Daily Hope. His 20 minute episodes saved me, and deliver faith-based messages about topics relative to our lives today. There are multi-part epidodes on topics like: How to get through what you’re going through; What to do when your world falls apart; When you feel like you’re drowning; When a marriage has ended. They’re free, and you can save episodes and go back over and over to hear them. I highly encourage you to connect spiritually, whatever that looks like for you, and keep searching until you find the right key. Warren was another major key to my healing, and I still listen every morning on my iPhone while getting ready for work, or in the car, and sometimes while I jog.

        The other thing to remember is that, just like in your “marriage,” that douchebag in your scenario was a fake. What you see now is also just that: fake. He’s the SAME douchebag. Who cares that he lost weight or does martial arts? He’s still the same disordered f-wit who will screw over EVERYONE he is ever with, and he has a black belt in that! That alone is some form of justice. While you’ve worked your ass off to become a healthy and loving person again who will have better boundaries, he’s the same f-tard douchebag cheater, always running from truth, and unable to have real and lasting happiness or connection with others.

        You can become better, but you have to do the work and invest in yourself. Wishing you luck, but it’s not really going to be luck that gets you there. It’s choice, and action. Good luck, chick!!

        • Thanks so much _esq, spaceykasey, Tempest, and KibbleFree_MightyMe! I can’t believe how supportive this site is and I’m not sure how I’d get through this without Chump Nation! I was a sad sack on Wednesday too when I posed and I got so many lovely responses I meant to reply to, but instead I crawled back into bed until it was time to go to the first kiddo event.

          Tempest – thanks so much for sharing about your ex. It’s comforting to know I’m not the only one losing the Appearance Olympics. And of course I know that doesn’t really matter. Still, yesterday was rough.

          KibbleFree – so much good advice in there. Thank you! It’s interesting you mentioned spirituality since I’ve recently started trying to go deeper in my faith. I’ve been lackadaisically attending church off and on. Now I’m trying to draw closer to God. And I especially need to get more exercise so my next goal (good idea, Tempest) is going to be to get on my exercise bike three times a week … or five times if I can make my twice/week exercise class.

          I realized I didn’t give myself credit for being mighty on another goal I set this week – NOT EATING OUT (unless there’s a real reason like going out with friends). Part of my weight gain is because I got into the habit of not only eating out a lot, but also needing to constantly be putting something in my mouth. I was forever grabbing a mocha if I was anywhere in the vicinity of a Starbucks, driving out of my way for a vat of sweet tea at the Chick Fil’A, getting drive-thru sodas and milkshakes. Mostly, I couldn’t pass a coffee shop without getting something. So not only was I gaining weight, my spending was getting out of of control. Today is day six of not eating out. Now that I think about it, sugar withdrawal may have made this hard week extra hard. 🙂

          • See, that’s a great start. Not eating out is a wonderful way to save both money and your health. It’s not just all that sugar (the calorie load of a drink at Starbuck is about 1/2 of what I would take in all day); it’s also the addiction factor. When we are under a lot of stress and start to eat sugar and/or fat to manage that (think: ice cream), then we set up a loop in which we learn to medicate ourselves with food and sugary drinks and low-nutrition junk carbohydrates. Once you establish the “not eating out” habit, then you can turn to eating clean for all or most all of your meals. Good for you!

            • Throw bottles of water in your car so if you get stranded out and are hungry you can go to Chick Fil A and get JUST a sandwich – DO NOT “make it a Meal” with fatty fries and sugary drinks. A grilled chicken sandwich and water can be satisfying when you know you are being good to your body and wallet. Ordering like this can become a good habit.

          • Congrats, BetterDays! Cutting way down on the drive-thru drinks is an awesome accomplishment! That really is something to be proud of.

          • Better Days, baby steps, just take baby steps. Start with one positive health choice, just one and stick with it. No sugar is an excellent start and get on your exercise bike for 15 minutes a day and work your way up. After a month reward yourself with a new hair style, mani/pedi, spray tan, facial treatment, teeth whitening, whatever way you can treat your exterior, the interior will follow soon enough. I know it is easier said than done, but try not to dwell on your ex’s fake fabulous life. He lost some weight in a short time, big whoop. He’ll gain it back soon enough

            • This is excellent advice! My sister got me started on pedicures, I used to just kind of ignore my feet. Then, to have some sister time, she asked me to go to the foot salon with her. It was fun! We went and did it together 4 or 5 times, and then I figured – Hey, I can save 30.00 right there! Now it’s part of my own self-care ritual, every two weeks I take the time and sit in the backyard on a sunny day to pick a color, and do the toes. Little things like this have helped me a lot.

        • Yeah. Something that’s changed is how I see him now. When I look at him, I see him for who he is — and that’s vastly different from how I saw him for twenty-two years. It’s hard to believe how I missed the true him for so long.

          • Keep going, BD. Hugs! You know what to do. And you’re worth it. Believe it, and the more you invest in yourself the more faith you’ll have in yourself.

          • BetterDays, your ex sucks, he’s all about the externals. You wanna know why? There is nothing behind the mask.

            You are mighty and you have taken many good steps already, and you will continue to do so. Just keep going honey. I wish you could see something my daughter sent me on Facebook a while ago. It was women in depicted in art (and there is one with women in history) who “do not give a single fuck.” The looks on their faces are priceless, I laugh until I cry when I look at them. It’s like the ultimate resting-bitch-faces. They DO NOT care! Channel that BetterDays. Who cares what other people think? You know the truth…that your ex is an entitled addle-brained asshole. And you are a kind, loving and loyal woman. No contest there. But you don’t give a single fuck because you know the truth and you know your value.

            Deepen your faith in God, deepen your faith in yourself. Take your focus off of him and put it all on you for now.

            Biggest (((HUGS)))

      • Better days,
        I’m 5 yrs out, ((went by extremely fast looking back)) and my life was right where yours was. I lost a 30 yr marriage. Mine was a good marriage. He wenton to live a great life filling bucket list w life fulling events, while I sufferred major depression and almost took my life when we separated.

        I had to go on anti depressant 22 months later or I wouldn’t be here to write.

        Looking back, I’m more furious now that the man I loved actually treated me the way he did. It took me a looooong time to realize, understand & accept, but at 62, I am now becoming the best woman I was suppose to be, and he is now looking from the outside…
        so hang in there.
        This may be the worst of your life, but it won’t last cuz you won’t let it, & bc of that very reason we learn & become stronger.

  • Thank you for this. It’s liar scumbags birthday today and I have been struggling!! Mightiness check is definitely needed.

    So this time last year I was planning a surprise birthday party for a man that had beaten me up again and wasn’t speaking to ME because I had fought back for once. He refused to speak to me at the party even look at me or open any of my presents from me and our son. It was very awkward for everyone there. When he started speaking to the young girl he worked with i got upset and left. A mutual friend asked him outright if something was going on with her and i was upset with my friend for thinking that. She obviously didnt know him I said to myself. I later found out that as soon as we left he cracked open a bottle of champagne to celebrate his birthday with this girl and he hadn’t spoken to me as he’d told her we were divorcing. How he managed to talk his way out of the fact that his supposed ex wife had planned him a party is beyond me… less than a month later it all came out and I knew the truth.

    so Mightiness check. I am a single mum to a 3 year old I have a beautiful house and garden for the first ever time (I was never allowed to buy nice things before) I have managed to get my dream job teaching science at college (I found out about the affair on the day I passed my teaching degree – thank god I invested those 2 years for my future when things started getting really violent and scary) and have used everything I learnt from chump lady to get my mum away from her psycho husband, she stayed with us and then we sorted her own house out for her. But my biggest Mightiness is that after 12 years of been made to feel that financially I was useless and worthless I have come to realise that it was just a control method and that we are actually better than ever now financially.

    Didn’t sleep a lot last night thinking about how I used to put cupboard in front of the spare bedroom door so that I felt safe when me and my son slept in there to get away from him. Constantly trying and tryin to do something to get him to see my as worthy. Keep trying must keep trying! ! My whole life was walking on eggshells…. getting freed from that life is mighty as I never even realised how bad it was at the time.

    Thank you chump lady for your life lessons. I wouldn’t have left him if fate/god made me find your site.

    • “Constantly trying and trying to do something to get him to see me as worthy.” I’m not sure why I placed so much value of his opinion of me. He’s a cheater and pathological liar. Why did I care so much about the opinion of someone with that kind of character?

      • Exactly. How did we get committed to these monsters? ? How did I fall for it? Until I figure it out I refuse to even think about dating.

          • I think this is a normal dynamic, meaning trying to get the person we care about to see that we are good, valuable and worthy. Heck I did this with my asshole narcissistic parents for 37 years, until I got violently ill and started harboring suicidal thoughts. That’s when I realized that it’s not supposed to be this way, that my very own parents were out to destroy me. It’s only *after* I realized my parents were my enemy, that I cut off all contact and started healing. The same thing happened to you, it’s once we realize we’re dealing with the enemy that we stop this approval seeking behavior. You did what you could at the time, with the information you had at the time.

            • Preach it, Kellia. It makes such a difference when we “take out the garbage” and get the toxic people out of our lives!

              Good for you!

        • Confused.com we committed to these monsters because their masks weren’t transparent.

          When you decide to date again, the trick is to know what they have done in the past so you can then know what they will do in the future.

          They have to earn the right for you to even contemplate the thought of believing any of their words.

          • ^^THIS^^… the trick is to know what they have done in the past. Victim #4 doesn’t have a problem with Mr. Sparkles having 3 exes and 6 kids. They’ve “communicated” everything about their pasts to each other and are only focused on the future.

            She is even willing to overlook his Adult Friend Finder ad that was posted throughout the entire beginning of their relationship, choosing to believe “he left it up by accident.”

            That right there shows me she didn’t do this gruesome healing process from her first marriage in order to know better the second time.

            I will NEVER again ignore the red flags in the name of “twu wuv”. And, until I can love myself every day, no matter my weight or bank account balance… I’m not available to anyone except a parasite… and I don’t want that experience ever again.

            • “She is even willing to overlook his Adult Friend Finder ad that was posted throughout the entire beginning of their relationship, choosing to believe “he left it up by accident.””

              That’s another one for the They’re All The Same file. The Entitled One told me the same thing when I confronted him about his sex ad that was running during wreckonciliation. And then he lied to me about the last time he’d been on OkCupid until I told him I had screen shots showing when he’d been online. Best of luck to the twentysomething he’s with now – I guess he had to go young to find someone who’d believe his bullshit.

            • And, until I can love myself every day, no matter my weight or bank account balance… I’m not available to anyone except a parasite… and I don’t want that experience ever again. THIS

        • They look normal and don’t come wearing a “I’m a monster” sign, so we don’t see them as the predators they really are until it’s too late.

          • JK- I totally agree. Predators make sure we are not aware of their existence or how they operate. Spiders create transparent webs, jungle preditors blend in the background and are stealth. And if we’re not aware, then we’re vulnerable. We see the signs and when we bring it to their attention, they further disarm us, by lying about their intentions. The whole point is to ensure we are not able to protect ourselves, so these predators can have their way, all to our entire detriment.

    • Yes, yes, yes! I love these happily ever after alone stories. Stay mighty! I myself am having a great time. Just having a quiet, comfortable apartment to go home to at the end of the day is such a blessing, after years of being an unpaid servant. I’ll also be moving out of this expensive apartment soon (that I got with his exholeness) to a smaller apartment better fit for me and my darling dog at 1/4 the price. With the savings, I’ll be able to afford a therapist and travel more.

      He used to make feel bad about wanting nice things for myself, too. Now, I buy make up, get dolled up and it feels good (he always accused me of wanting to cheat on him whenever I tried to look pretty, wtf!!). I’ve also applied for this awesome job that gives twice the salary I have now… Also applying for a lot of scholarships for my masters, so, hopefully, some of those pan out. I’ve never been this content in my life. If anything, I know what I want in life now, what kind of relationship I want to be in. I’m even thinking of dating again… Of course, there are bad days, but even the worst days are better than the good ones I had with him.

      • Well done star you are mighty! !

        Even the worst days are better that the good ones I had with him… yes yes yes!!

        I was once told ‘fill your home with only things u are in love with’ and I think it follows on from the life message of don’t ever settle for mediocre. Demand the best. I was always too insecure to demand anything. Anything or anyone interested in me just made me so grateful hence liar scumbag got his claws into me as a fragile 18yr old just by showing me some attention. Never again!

        • Applause for you both, Star and confused.com! Your relationships didn’t keep you down, you are rising up from the ashes.

    • Holy crap, confused.com. Your name does NOT reflect your condition. You should be called Amazing.com!

    • Interesting. It’s my liar scumbags birthday today too. Maybe something in the stars…….

    • Confused,
      Your ex sounds like my STBX, an antisocial, borderline, narcissistic adulterer. Even putting things in front of the door of the room you shared with your child to protect yourself from the monster you married. (For a moment, I thought I was the only one that did that.) Good for you for making tremendous strides in spite of having had a gigantic (dangerous) bowling ball attached to you for years!

  • This week I bought my very own house all by MYSELF. The mortgage is in my name and my name only. I’ll be doing all the work on my own or organizing the contractors all by myself. I’ve organized the move all by myself.
    And cheater ex feels very left out and wonders if he’s “lost face” with the neighbors because he’s not been helping me out (because I won’t let him).
    But it’s MY home – mine, mine, mine. And he’s not going to set foot in it any time soon.

    • Oh, the terrible loss of impression management. Just goes to show what matters to your cheater ex.

    • notadoormat, he is NEVER going to step foot inside YOUR house!!! You should seriously implement that. I bought my very own house 4 months after d-day and mid-divorce and he has never been in my house and he never will be. EVER. He stays on the porch at drop off and he waits outside (and I don’t care if it’s 20 below, because fuck him) on the days he has to pick her up at my house.

    • Congratulations, NAD! What an accomplishment! I’m proud for you. Way to get up, take charge, and make something positive happen for yourself.

    • Me too! Just bought the most perfect house ever!!!! It’s all MINE! I call it my Valentine’s Day house because that’s the day I saw it and fell in love with it. My son and I couldn’t be happier! Close to family and school and the gym, great neighbors and friends. It’s just adorable.

  • After a decade of trying to leave because of the abuse and affairs and always being sucked back in, and all the horrible counseling and advice, divorce was finally done last May! House was sold in October and I moved to the country. I am growing veggies and raising chickens. Every day I get up and am thankful for the peace and joy that I have in my life. Plus, I have a new guy that treats me like I am the best thing that happened to him as opposed to my X that treated me like I was something he was trying to scapre off his shoe.

  • Kicked him out; found a great lawyer; went from part-time to full-time job; joined the board of a local organization; lost 35 pounds; ordered exercise bike and assembled it myself; gave my first powerpoint presentation; was invited to read my poetry at a local event–and accepted!; published two haiku; became a better friend and more compassionate person overall. Still struggling over what the future holds. Lonely. But mighty!

    • Awesome! I’d totally hang out with you (and read poetry) if you lived nearby! I recently realized that I lost the poetic part of myself in my marriage, which I chalked up to “life changes after kids” but now I realize was “Cheater Ex destroyed anything that wasn’t about him.” I’m hoping to find that part of me again. And I love haiku!

  • I tossed his lying, cheating, cheap, sorry ass out on the one and only Dday! Took some time off for myself and myself only. Bought a new car, made new friends and started some new hobbies. Truth be told I love living alone…no devaluing, no discard, no more Hotel to all his ungrateful relatives. Started a new job that I love, AND I am dating myself. We seem to get along beautifully! Getting closer to MY family. My anxiety has decreased, my depression is gone. I finally am looking forward to a future with excitement and not dread.

    • Wow, that is inspirational, NMSB! I can’t wait for the anxiety and depression to be gone, and it’s great to hear it’s possible, thanks!

  • Celebrated my birthday with joy….and cake. Last birthday was also my D-day and I never thought my birthday could ever bring me joy again. I was so wrong! Narkles the Clown hadn’t bought me anything in years. I always planned a family outing that I came to find out he would complain about to The Flying Whore.

    This year I woke up alone in my bed smiling, had a great day at work, celebrated with my kid who bought me a wonderful present, thanks to a nudge from my mom. The weekend that followed I had a fabulous time on a date with my former therapy partner. It was like our two months of mandated time away from each other never happened. We continue to see each other on days I am without my kid. We are taking it slow. No love bombing. No grand gestures. No games. Spending time together doing activities with both enjoy while getting to know each other, and inside my head I keep asking “so this is what a healthy relationship is like?”

    Love you all so much for the support over the past year!

    • That’s awesome. One of my goals for next year is to reclaim my birthday. I suspect a lot of us had birthdays ignored or ruined year after year by cheaters.

      • Two weeks before stbx finally left was my birthday. On a Sunday. He was with OW all weekend. Strolls in like nothing Sunday night. I excused myself to other room. He comes in and says, “This may not be a good time, but Happy Birthday.”
        LOL
        What an idiot.

      • My birthday was pretty much ignored for the first 12 years of our marriage. He always got me a card. Presents not so much. Never got me a cake. Never took me out for lunch or dinner. Never got my flowers (flowers TWICE in 20 years!) HOWEVER, I made a fuss for every one of his birthdays. Homemade cake. Nice meal. Invited his family over. Card and presents. And of course every year he remembered to go out for lunch with a woman from college who shared the same (or close) birthday with him. Take your wife out for her birthday? Hell, no! Go out for lunch with female college friend. Of course! No need to make your wife feel special one day out of the year. She’s fine. Toss a couple of crackers at her and she’ll keep being a chump.

      • Mine filed for divorce on my bday (got to it b4i could) and picking up my kid for his six weeks of summer on my bday. But hey never forgets to wish me a happy bday. Douche bag status

    • “The Flying Whore.” I’m picturing Sally Field in leather and fishnets. Hilarious! Not only are you guys all mighty, you’re mighty funny.

  • This year my divorce was final after X drug it out for 2 years. And…..I GOT A JOB!!! I’ve run an in home daycare for 14 years and I finally broke out and got an outside of the house job. With adults…and no poopy diapers…and lunch breaks…and real paychecks that I don’t have to beg for…and potential happy hours…and a 30 min commute ALONE in my car…ohhhhh, the positives are endless. And!!! I was hired ON THE SPOT!!! I’m not the worthless POS the X made me out to be.

  • I’m still doing my best to be the present, sane parent for sons (21, 19, 15) who still live at home. They all have a lot of feelings anger, resentment and frustration about their father that comes out in disrespect and nastiness to me and each other. There are days it feels like X never left. Breeding with a fucktard is a never-ending suck fest in so many ways.

    I’m mighty because I haven’t outwardly cracked yet? Or eaten my young?

    • Chutes, you are mighty. Three sons would probably do me in. I have a cross stitch on my kitchen wall that says: Raising children is like being pecked to death by a chicken. During the teen years, that is how I felt. They all came around in their late twenties.

      THANK YOU JESUS.

      In the end, they will see your Herculean strength. Stay strong, Chutes.

      • OMG, my 2 oldest are teens and every day I want to give up. I don’t know how I ignored the warnings all these years that the teenager stage is the worst part. I guess I didn’t believe that my sweet babies could turn into these monsters. Now I’m wishing I didn’t have 4 🙁
        Seriously, want to give up daily. And also, I come here for support, because we all rode the same roller coaster, but I am jealous when people here say that their kids are doing amazing things and thriving without the asshat around. My kids are doing better, for sure, but they are disappointing me in many ways too, and it makes me wonder if I’m the problem.

        • JBaby–I have a 15 year old daughter who has her moments of wonderfulness, but is generally so taxing that I am counting down the days to her first day of college (1185 days). Stay the course; set limits, don’t move the limits because of teenage drama or rudeness, call them on their nonsense (WITH consequences–reason has limited applicability to teens). One day their ugly ducklingness will morph into a swan. Let’s just hope we can survive the next few years to see it ; ).

          • Thanks Tempest. My weakness is limits, which is why I worry that I am the problem. My kids are all glued to their iPod screens (which I bought them, sigh) and unwilling to focus on their schoolwork and grades. When I turn off the wi-fi they start negotiating to get it back, which is short-term effective as far as getting them to meet their obligations at that moment. My younger two do well in school because they’re smart and their work is very easy for them. It’s the two in middle school which are cutting decades off of my life. The older is almost 14, barely passed her core classes this year, did not meet the criteria to walk with her class at promotion, and just lost her virginity :'( .
            My second oldest is very private, password-protects everything, is doing even worse in school (not turning in work that she does bc she is too shy to approach the teacher, lying to me about hw so I don’t make her do it, generally not caring at all about her grades), is getting overweight bc she sneaks food, and tries to avoid personal hygiene. When I think about my younger two getting into their teenage years before older two are even finished putting me through the wringer, I just don’t know how I’ll do it unless I just go numb and stop caring.

            • When my daughter was failing biology, I instituted a 1.5 hour/night study session downstairs with me, no media + I check her homework. She slammed the door one too many times during the drama of that period–I took it off the hinges and she had to earn it back.

              They do make instituting limits very tough on us. But…it’s the only thing that works. Both the reasoning and the consequences-neural pathways have to be activated for better behavior (Larzelere found reasoning+ consequences worked best with preschoolers, too–and there are many similarities!!).

              It is painful, but I adopted this mindset: “My job is to get you to graduate. And to make sure you leave the house with morals and pro-social behaviors. My job is not to get you to like me. I hope you do, but too bad if you don’t.” Ironically, they’ll like us better in the long run if we DO set limits (but they would never admit this). Is that a kind of numbness on my part? Possibly, but it’s adaptive. Being their buddy is not in our parental job description.

              I’ve got your back! We can inspire each other when limits are called for (I’ll be thinking of you, JBaby, next week as I institute draconian measures for DD15’s finals week!)

              • BTDT, and still doing that. Both my girls have to do their HW at the kitchen table every night. And it takes longer than 1.5 hours! My oldest will do anything to not devote any attention to school work. She’ll listen to music while she’s working at a snail’s pace (claiming that the music helps her do the work). When I point out that she’s not focusing and give her a chance to correct it, she just continues on paying more attention to her music. So I take her iPod and she then refocuses her attention on singing whatever song is in her head. Tell her to stop and concentrate on doing the work and she will laugh at whatever is happening in the room, with her siblings, with the dog, or just randomly remembering something funny that happened that day.

                She long ago had her locking doorknob replaced with a dummy knob because I warned her that her privacy is a privilege and she went ahead and did the thing I told her not to do. I told her the whole door is next if I can’t trust her.

                Funny story: she didn’t come home when she promised she would and while I was waiting for her I removed the screws from the door hinge in her bedroom. Well I guess the paint on the door jamb held the door up after the screws were removed, so I left it like that, picturing that when she got home and I confronted her she might try to go straight to her room and close the door on me, and the door would just fall right off the wall. Well the door just stayed up there, and later I went in to lecture her about how I keep giving her chances to show me her maturity and that she keeps doing things that make me think my trust is misplaced. So she pretty much had me talking to myself, wouldn’t answer any of my questions, as she does whenever I lecture her. So I reminded her that she’s a pretty lucky kid to have so much ‘stuff’, and that she would start losing things, one by one, if I couldn’t trust her to make mature decisions. She demanded, “like what?!”, as if she were some poor deprived child and I had already taken everything from her. So I got up from where I was sitting and walked over to the door and ripped it off the wall like Hulk. She couldn’t believe what she had seen! Started taking pictures and texting her friends that her crazy mother ripped the door right off its hinges, lol. I told her, make sure you tell your friends that you lost your privacy because I couldn’t trust you. The whole scene might not have been very effective because we both laughed at what I had done, in the moment, and for weeks after.

              • Lol–I love that door story, JBaby! We are leading parallel lives; perhaps we should do a daughter-swap for a week?

              • When my youngest just turned 18 and had graduated I told him he could not take his car out. He did anyway after storming out of the house. I called the cops and told them if he didn’t bring it back, arrest him (it was insured and registered to me and although he bought it I was on the title). The cops went out and found him at a party with all his friends. He tried to argue with the cops but they told him my decision. He left the party and came home. He then packed a bag and said he could live my my rules so he was moving out. It was a very difficult and sleepless night.

                The next evening he asked to come over and talk. He said he wanted to come home because I didn’t understand “how horrible it is out there.” I told him he was welcomed to come home, but the rules were the same. His attitude was much better after that. He now laughs at the night mom called the cops.

              • Great story, Annie. Yup, kids need love and structure (sometimes more of one than the other).

                My favorite parenting story is of a mother whose son kept skipping classes. She warned and warned to no avail. So one day she decided to show up to the school with his lunch, dressed in bathrobe with old-fashioned curlers in her hair. The mother asked to deliver the lunch to his classroom herself. The son stopped his truancy after that.

                My brother also had a creative solution–his teen boys were bickering in the backseat on the way to high school, and would not stop no matter what warnings he issued. Finally he said, “If you don’t stop fighting, when I drop you off, I’m going to get out of the car and shout, “K____, J____, I love you!” as you walk down the sidewalk.” Total silence reigned after that.

        • Jbaby 14-15 is a rotten year. Be firm, set limits, and set expectation. It is not enough to tell them what they can’t do, you have to be really clear about what is expected as well. Always tell them you love them no matter what at the end of each day. Tell them you have faith that they will grow up to be good people. Take the ipads away. Turn off the wifi and internet until report cards. Then come up with some sort of formula for earning it back, all 4 of the must contribute. I am sure they are sliding on chores too. Everyone needs to contribute to keeping the house in order, you are not a door mat or slave. My youngest is 19 and mostly is doing fine but really it was so so hard. Parenting is just not for sissies.

          And as I will tell you, it would be 10X harder with a disordered fucktard undermining you at every step. So count your lucky stars he is not there. Oh and anyone who tells you that they swanned through the teenage years is either 1) lying or a lying narc mother and just walk away.

          • Thanks, ringin. You’re right, they are not very good about chores. Surprisingly, though, the best contributor is my oldest. She helps me out without my asking, cooks dinner sometimes, cleans her own room pretty well (albeit sporadically), and does her own laundry. She really would be a great kid, and I would be beaming proud of her, if it wasn’t for her poor grades and the recent development of sexual activity.

            And, unfortunately, my usually self-absorbed ex has suddenly been paying lots of attention to the grades of both of my oldest 2, and alerting me (even though I already knew) to our oldest’s sexual activity. So the undermining is totally happening, just from afar, and much more finger-pointy because he’s not at all involved with oldest 2 anymore. It’s like now that they are being exclusively cared for by me, they’re doing so much worse. Really can’t tell if it’s me or if it’s the being a teenager that’s the problem.

        • JBaby,
          I get envious, too, hearing about how great other people’s kids are doing. One of my kids has several serious learning disabilities that became apparent to me when he was a toddler. Having a special needs child who you know will not outgrow his disabilities, will very likelly never get finish or even get into college and will struggle to find and keep a job that pays enough to sustain him is very hard, especially when your STBX/ex fights you in allowing him to get services that might benefit him and his family and blames you for any family dysfunction because ‘You (Chump) just don’t appreciate our son,’ and ‘You (Chump) need to get therapy to stop being so negative to our kids.’

          • I’m so sorry, RSW. It’s just so unfair that we can’t just be the best parents we know how to be. There’s so much opposition and so much judgment. I don’t know about you, but looking at my newborns’ faces, I never imagined that years down the road I would be so helpless watching them struggle. I never imagined that they would be standing in their own way, foolishly derailing themselves, or that their own father would be rooting against them, just hoping for me to fail. God bless you for what you go through for your children.

            • It doesn’t help that their disordered father shows up when they’re just about out of their own holes they’ve dug themselves to shove them right back down.

              Oldest is turning 21 this week and has struggled with no self esteem, no motivation and addiction. His father’s birthday gift? A trip to Las Vegas to drink, learn how to gamble and possibly bag a whore (because it’s legal).

              I’m not kidding.

              • Yuck, Chutes. But that is how they roll. Years ago, right after we split up, Mr Fab got Kiddo an iphone, after I expressly said her attention issues meant she shouldn’t have a web enabled phone. Kiddo Ended up being cyberbullied for years. Not in the same league, but the same dynamic. Kiddo is about to go visit her donor for a month (another continent) and she said that very thing yesterday after a fight-that she is sliding toward the hole again. I hope you have let your 21 yo kiddo that it is perfectly okay not to go……

            • JBaby,
              Your time with your kids is too precious to lecture or instill ‘trust’ guilt. Get to know them. Help them. Observe them. Listen to them. Teach by example (and quietly). Every time you talk to them do it with respect and love. Otherwise they are getting a mama-fuck-over. It may seem like everything will fall apart without pressure from you, but it won’t. Order will spontaneously happen if you are quiet…trust me, this is one of the beautiful laws of the universe. Stay serene. Let them feel in control of somethings. If the 14 y.o. is being sexual, my money is on: control. She wants control of something. Regain her trust! Soon, the mantle of adulthood will be on her anyways. You are a good mother. Your teenagers know that. You don’t have to do anything but give them 1.) shelter, 2.) problem solving tools (ask, ask, ask: what have you tried to fix this problem?). Be their coach NOT their referee. 3.) Get to know them.

              Best wishes!!!

            • The most powerful Mom phrases:
              “Ok. I will remember that.” (When they refuse to cooperate. Later, when they inevitably want something, just raise one eyebrow. Power!)
              “Fine, I will do it myself.” (This one feels like a threat to free-will at any age.)
              “Good luck with that.” (When they have a foolish notion)
              And
              Then a casual compliment to their achievements within their earshot to a stranger or guest: “You know, I’ve noticed that no one else knows all the lyrics to Jeff Buckley’s song as well as DD14.”

        • My boys (22 & 26) are great….NOW. I’ve always loved them but most days didn’t like them very much. I know why lions eat their young. Stay the course. It gets better.

    • Stay the course, CandL. You have a heavy load. Small wonder you are finding the carrying of it difficult. Time and durability are your friends. You HAVE been mighty!

  • A year ago I was I knew something was wrong. I read the “save your marriage by doing more laundry ” books. Started working out , lost 15#. Long story short the divorce will be final next month. I have my life, my kids and my house. I’m over 50 and can do six chin-ups. STBXW gets the man she always deserved. …..married serial cheater.

  • With the awesome help from a new colleague, I finalized arrangements to lead a month-long study program in Costa Rica. I filed for an extension to get the taxes done, ’cause that was not happening by April 15.

    Probably the mightiest thing I have done – I have quit sending her the “fuck you, you bitch” texts. But I think about doing it every.single.day. Many, many times, every single day. So, to not do it at all is quite an accomplishment! And hey, she’s still alive, right! 🙂

    • I’m guessing that a month in Costa Rica will cure you of the desire to send those texts! You are mighty!

    • Good one oaktree 🙂 I finally texted satan to ‘stay away from me you sick fuck’ … just before I blocked him everyway I could…now if I could just figure out how to keep him from drivin round my house…hummm.

      I am so happy for you! You are gettin there! We all are 🙂

      • I have to admit – I hear these stories of cheaters who become stalkers and won’t leave their victims alone, and it’s sounds kind of …nice? I would love it if she showed me even the slightest bit of attention, but that is just not in the cards. Don’t get me wrong, I know if I were in your shoes I’d probably hate it and would do anything to get the asshole to just leave me alone, but being totally ghosted after 25 years together is also very disturbing. Funny how these two versions of chumpdom exist, no?

        • I, too, was ghosted after nearly 25 years, 3 kids, grad school, holidays, vacations, extended families, etc. together. And you know what? It’s a major mind fuck–and a gift. They don’t reel you back in time after time after time only to stomp on your heart and crush your soul and humiliate you over and over and over. They don’t love you nor anyone else for that matter, and you’re rid of their toxic destruction just like that, in the blink of an eye. And now you get to heal. You’ll probably never understand why someone you thought you loved could hurt you so coldly. You don’t think like they think. Thank God for that. Or your mom, or whomever else nurtured your soul. You at least have one. Work on forgiving yourself for not recognizing the signs of soullessness earlier than you did. Focus on creating the rest of your life. Who are you, and what do you want to do and to be? How can you express yourself creatively, intellectually, emotionally? How will you grow? What are your goals? What are your favorite things in life?
          Don’t waste time wishing for them to come back. You were given a second chance at a new life. Seize it!

          • Me too, Oaktree, just like Miss Sunshine, I was married 25 years, 3 kids, grad school, holidays, vacations, we had a great life (I thought). When I caught him cheating and having lived a double life for decades, my ex also “ghosted” on me and our children. Literally left without even most of his clothes. He hasn’t seen our kids, it’s been 4-plus years! He is gone, and I understand he has married one of his AP’s. It is both hard and easy, we are in parts lucky and unlucky, I think.

            No contact is a breeze, and we are not sucked in with their drama. On the other hand, nothing says “fuck you, I couldn’t care less” than the disappearing act. The added slap in the face to me is that he does not even care enough to make an effort to see our children. I have no illusions, that is his ultimate “fuck you” to me.

            So I accept that I will never get “closure.” But on the other hand, I was able to move on very quickly since there was in reality nothing (real) to mourn and nothing to deal with except his absence. I decided shortly after my divorce that I would be damned if he was going to destroy me, and if what he did to me was going to be the last story in my romantic life. And now, over 4 years post D-Day I am (much more happily) remarried. My kids hardly missed a beat, and are all doing well, although they do have major trust issues. But we have circled our wagons around each other, protect and love each other, and have each others’ backs. I believe the fact that they did not have to deal with ex and his AP’s, and sick lifestyle, and any mindgames, saved them (and me) in many ways.

            Anyhow, you can get by and through this, oaktree, give it time.

          • Miss Sunshine, this is a great observation:

            “It’s a major mind fuck–and a gift. They don’t reel you back in time after time after time only to stomp on your heart and crush your soul and humiliate you over and over and over. They don’t love you nor anyone else for that matter, and you’re rid of their toxic destruction just like that, in the blink of an eye.”

            It is a gift that STBX didn’t love me (couldn’t). He was just a toxic bacteria. Like e coli.

            I’ve had a running conversation in my head with him since d-day seven months ago. I doubt he remembers my name (although, in the handful of emails we’ve exchanged in this time, he refers to me by my darling family nickname. It makes me want to vomit) – I don’t think I register on his radar except as a nuisance since I refuse to give him all my money.

            Anyway, your post gives me motivation to try to shut that one-sided conversation down. He didn’t love me.

        • Oaktree, I’m the same boat.
          If I Didn’t have two teenage daughters I’d send those texts too…I sent some to her affair partner but he quickly blocked me..LOL

          • Don’t send the texts. They can be used against you. You will regret sending them when your pain subsides–and it will subside. Go ahead and write your feelings electronically, edit them as you wish, but keep those feelings private. It can be so therapeutic. A year from now you will be soooo glad you never shared these with ex and OP. They don’t care–or, worse, they delight in your pain and anger. So don’t indulge them. Ghost them back. Refuse to reveal anything about your life. You’ll find it empowering. Trust me. I’ve been there.

            • You are so right–sending them texts and emails just feeds their need for centrality and reinforces their false narrative that you are the one with problems.

          • Yeah, it’s SO tempting sometimes! I mean it when I say that overcoming the urge to send those texts is my mightiest feat of the past few months. I now understand it’s not in my best interest. It was just pure rage that had to come out, and I forgive myself for the ones I did send.

  • Wow did I need this today!!! Tomorrow is the one year anniversary date of my divorce. Saturday is the 2 year anniversary date of my husband of 35 years telling me he was getting an apartment, needed to get his head screwed on straight and he could do that better alone. Had nothing to do with us, he loved me…. said the same thing in my birthday card a few days later, he said to have faith in him, this would make our marriage stronger….. then the next 10 months me and his kids and family trying to be there for him, help him, even when he was out with his “new friends” . (he got lonely!? Which is what happens when you “want to be alone” dumbass). We were there for him right up to the night I discovered his affair with the 29 year old fiancé of one of his employees. They all 3 hung out together…. yuck.. can you imagine, you and your lover and your fiancé out to dinner, watching TV and fixing meals together…… both of them just wonderful people. Anyway, found out this week he and the slut are getting married next weekend, oh and by the way, a new baby is on the way!!! Of course he or his family that I was a part of for so long didn’t tell me or his kids, we had to find out thru the rumor mill. Luckily for me I am no contact and his kids have had nothing to do with him since the affair was discovered. Which of course is my fault, “he can just imagine the poison they have been fed”.
    Now my mightiness check….. got THE BEST KIDS EVER!!! AND a new grand baby (never knew what true euphoria was until I held her in my arms!!!). Wonderful family, new apartment, new job, do what I want when I want and how I want….. Next week me and my kids are off to Florida for a FAMILY vacation. My Christmas gift last year to them and myself!. Family photos on the beach, lots of sunshine, love and laughter…. new memories…..
    THANK YOU CL and CN, without your words of wisdom and guidance I don’t know where I would be….
    WE ARE MIGHTY!!!

    LOVE and best wishes to you all!!!.

    • “can you imagine, you and your lover and your fiancé out to dinner, watching TV and fixing meals together…… both of them just wonderful people.”–Why yes I can! 😀

      CheaterX started “dating” (cue “sleeping with”) Schmoopie,with whom he’d had an emotional affair for months, about 2.5 months before I discovered the concrete proof of their physical affair. During the EA and at the start of the PA, he liked to set up dates with Schmoopie, him, and me. He’d have her come over to our house for dinner (“oh, she’s between jobs now. We need to help her out.:) or we’d go do something with her (“Schmoopie just won 2 tickets to tonight’s Shakespeare production at the local uni. We can grab and extra ticket and all go together!”).

      I remember that “we” were invited to Schmoopie’s for her birthday party that summer. It was one of those picnic pitch-in affairs, and CheaterX told me that he’d volunteered to bring sausages for the grill. These were not cheap, and I was astounded that he wanted to help out on the meat side of things, as these were butcher sausages, and quite pricey!

      In retrospect, I realize that his obsession about sausages was telling in and of itself. 😉

      Schmoopie was having trouble grilling the sausages, so CheaterX asked if I could help her out. Schmoopie was NOT happy! At the time, I thought it was simply because it was her kitchen, so she felt that she was top chef, not me–something I understood well.

      Now I realize that it was CheaterX’s weak attempts to get all three of us to be friends!

    • Whoa! 35 years married and he is shacking up with a 29 year old?!! Gross. Because with that age gap, he is definitely old enough to be her father. Therapy is in order, for BOTH of them.

      • My stbx is 48 yo. OW is a baby at 22 yo. I look at him as pedophile. Therapy for both of them. Ugh

        • Exactly. I’ve been pursued for the past 3-4 years by a friend of my B-I-L who is 56. I am 36. He’s been single for years and won’t date anybody his age. Maybe hypothetical age gaps don’t sound that bad, but IRL it really does feel like pedophilia. He is old enough to be my father!

          • Eeeew, JBaby! I feel for you. I’m on Match.com and the other day I had a 71-year-old contact me. I’m 48 and indicate my age range up to 55. My dad is 72. Eeew!!

            • I was on that site, too, Karma Express. I am approx. your age and was contacted by a guy in his early 70s, even though I gravitate toward men who are slightly younger than me. I am quitting the site, even before my membership has expired, because I am sick and tired of (spending time) meeting flaky, lying men. (I am not saying that all men, or all men on these dating sites are flaky liars. I am just tired of running into flaky liars and have decided to try living a celibate lifestyle, even though I am upset that my STBX and post-separation now-ex-boyfriend are out running around with lots of partners while I stay home with complaining kids who are struggling in school and in life.)

              • RockStarWife, I’m sorry about your online dating experiences. There are threads about dating in the Forums where we share our stories. Thing is, so many people have found great partners online, I’m not ready to give up yet. It isn’t fair, is it, that our exes who are still with their APs can just ride off into the sunset whilst we struggle to find love. I’m wishing you strength to thrive in whatever form your life takes you. You are mighty!

              • Your STBX and XBF are running around with lots of partners because there is something wrong with them. When you are ready for a relationship, having fixed your picker and healed from the devastation, you will be in a position to meet people who are better for you.

      • I got that beat 65 with a 25. Grandfather-daughter fodder. Disgusting on all counts.

      • CNM, JBaby,HNA,
        And my EX is grandfather daddy to be, he is 53 gf 23 what a scene folks.
        The girl is younget than my daughter snd one year older than my son. Two grandchildren
        The ho whore worker, now going to be a mom.
        Seriously folks this is sad story but true story,
        The daddy issued girl has been baker acted before.
        This is fantasy turned real life in 3 weeks or less.
        Pity , sadness and demise for those two assclowns!
        You can’t build a castle on sand.

  • Put myself out there by doing online dating and am enforcing boundaries and have fixed my picker.

    Figured out how to unclog the shower drain by unscrewing the grill and using a plunger.

    Sold my car (learned online how to do a private sale) so I could spend a month in Europe.

    Purged over 25 boxes of stuff (mostly fucktard’s crap he left behind in his hasty departure to be with Wid-ho).

    Went a bit outside my comfort zone by going to Chumpapalooza in DC and had an awesome time. Stayed a couple extra days and explored the city by myself.

    • Good for you! You are amazing and I especially love the fact you spent a month in Europe! It was great meeting you at Chumpalooza!

      • NLMP, I was just thinking about you and how mighty you are to handle the Appalachian family-ties mess you’re in! It was great meeting you, too.

  • One of the meanest things nowdeadcheater said to me when he was blaming me for his affair was that my job caring for dying children was “disgusting”…as if my life wasn’t hard enough with an alcoholic mom, raising kids alone (he seemed to forget that he even had kids during that affair), and doing a world class Pick Me Dance.

    There is a project amongst some professionals in my area of specialty that interfaces us with the Feds and guess who they asked to go to Capitol Hill and meet with Legislators? Yes, little old me. I will wear a fuchsia dress for my first meeting because that is a damn mighty color.

    He put me down and stomped me like a bug a thousand times but I didn’t let that convince me that I cant change the world.

      • I am such an extrovert, I would love to share but alas I would out myself and my dead H. Dangit. Please know that one of my projects was profiled in a story which landed on the front page of the Sunday edition of a major world newspaper not long ago. It was then reprinted by smaller papers across the country.

        It was quite a coup and what response did I get from my employer? crickets chirping. nothing. Those petty bitches in the admin office said nothing. I later made a comment (on another topic) in a closed meeting they didnt like so they summoned me to the exec conference room and had 2 VPs rip me a new asshole. You know what that was? A mindfuck, that is what it was…and I knew it because it wasn’t my first.

        Screw them. Im working with another writer from another publication and the petty bitches wont like this either, but families will get better care because of it.

        • That’ mighty right there, knowing you were experiencing a mindfuck at work. One of my better moments was in a meeting with all the higher-ups and suddenly recognizing what was up. And saying, “I see I’ve been set up here.” And they all stopped in their tracks. The truth is mighty indeed.

          • The crux of their mindfuck was “Its not the bad thing we did to you being considered right now, its the poor way you responded to it”. It was a huge set-up.

            One of the issues at hand was my part time income juxtaposed to staff members forever expecting nearly full time coverage of my needy population. Im simply NOT paid adequately to cover these cases 24/7. The 2 women who ambushed me make a combined $700,000 a year.

  • I’ve watched my baby grow from being a tiny little quiet and sick fighter in my arms to talking, running, laughing and almost getting all her teeth, and am now looking into helping her get into preschool next fall assuming I get the ride situation sorted.

    I’ve stayed up late cooking and wrapping gifts for birthdays, holidays, school events and just because we deserved something nice.

    I’ve taken the kids out twice for birthday celebrations.

    My house is cleaner than it ever was when that fucking slob lived here.

    Bills are almost always paid in full on time (making payments is a requirement, not a suggestion) and we aren’t hounded by bill collectors like we always used to be when the asshole lived here.

    I’ve not fallen into the rebound trap, and while it’s lonely, I’m learning I don’t need a romantic relationship like I thought I did in the past.

    While the twins have moved in with the ex (one because he had to and the other because she wanted to) and it hurts like a motherfucker, I am not instantly blaming myself as I would have in the past. I know I’m doing the right thing and it will work out in time.

    I go to bed at night knowing my kids love me, even if one of them is choosing not to show it now, and that even she cares about me enough to feel comfortable acting out knowing I’ll be there for her in the end.

    My ex-MIL didn’t think we could manage. She hasn’t exactly offered to come up and help since D-Day went down, but always doubted my abilities as a blind mom and especially now. Well guess who threw her disgusting narc son out the door, filed for divorce less than a week later, couldn’t afford a decent lawyer but still fought like hell, pays the bills without child support, kept a roof over our heads, soothed sick tummies, cooked and cleaned, been up nights with a teething baby and still up early to get older kids off to school, barbecued for the kids, arranges birthday parties, helps with homework (when they bring it home), always has a hug and kiss or shoulder to cry on as needed and oh yeah, who didn’t fucking walk out the door for some stank filled diseased whore?

    Oh that’s right. Me.

    • Great story, Cakeless. You rock! This site never fails to make me feel mighty with all the wonderful stories of chumps and their successes gaining a life. I am honored to be a part of this nation and completely humbled by the experience.

    • “My house is cleaner than it ever was when that fucking slob lived here.”

      Amen. I too love coming home to a tidy space, something I hadn’t experienced for the entirety of my marriage.

      • Me three! And, he always blamed me! “The house is more of a reflection on you…”
        I now keep my space organized, and as beautiful as I want, and NO smell of ashtrays everywhere!
        Yes, a new experience.

    • You are incredible. My house is cleaner, too! I love it. The strength and courage of everyone here is so inspiring. Out of incredible pain and betrayal comes mighty wonderful strong men and women. Look at the difference – when the narc cheaters face perceived hardship they roll around crying, having tantrums and pity parties like little babies in poopy diapers. The chumps cry, but not like that. We cry and grieve, and then rise up. The narc cries fake tears and destroys. The chumps build!!! Build new lives, build strenth, courage, character, and life wisdom – contentment and joy. The narc is left blindly grasping at all things superficial to temporally feel good while wrecking everything in their path.

      • “….having tantrums and pity parties like little babies in poopy diapers.” After my STBX dropped the divorce bomb, I told him I wasn’t going to do his laundry anymore, make him dinner, he’s sleeping on the couch and probably more — HE STARTED FEELING SORRY FOR HIMSELF. Poor baby. He became the victim even though he totally turned my life and the lives of our children upside down. There’s nothing more heartbreaking than watching your children sob when their father tells him that he’s divorcing their mom. That day will go down as one of the worst days of my life! I hope he’s proud of himself and what he did to his children. So……the poor victim of his wife’s declaration that she’s not playing house with him anymore, actually set up camp IN THE BASEMENT. Our basement isn’t finished at all. He ran an extension cord to plug in a night light. Put a camping pad on the floor. Slept in his sleeping bag. Had his Bible there with him (I guess he didn’t get the memo from God that you shouldn’t commit adultery.) I went down in the basement, because I couldn’t find him in the house. There he was, all zipped up in his sleeping bag. All pouty and babylike — the victim. I just went back upstairs, turned off the light and let him feel sorry for himself. He has the emotional intelligence of a baby, toddler and teenager on any given day.

      • Thank you, everyone. You’ve been so inspiring and just knowing I’m not alone helps. Yeah, there are days when I think that’s it. I can’t do this. But then I hold my baby, or think of all the hell we went through on those early days or my younger son gives me a hug and tells me how I’m the best mom and I manage to keep going one step at a time.

        I don’t know how we’ll get through, but as long as we can make it one day at a time, then that’s what we’ll do.

        Just landing here is mightiness, and having the courage to read or even take action is even mightier. My heart goes out to all of you.

        • You have really, really inspired me, Cakekess. Tomorrow morning, I am going to up my A game because of YOU!!

  • Took my yoga practice and teaching up a notch. Used my mat to heal myself and others. I write poetry and hope to one day publish them. Here is a funny one:

    Your Fucking Lies

    Wrap a noose around your lies
    Broken heart with wings that flies
    Stabbed the dagger in your deceit
    It’s not my life that you defeat
    You danced around digging my grave
    Your filthy hands pushing me to my cave
    Watch me now with your blackened eyes
    I no longer listen to your fucking lies
    Rising from the mud your mean feet pushed me under
    Hear this little lioness roar with thunder.

    • ooh that poem is mighty!!!

      the death imagery hits close to home…I always thought he would celebrate if I died…I even imagined that if I were ever diagnosed with a terrible disease, my first reaction would be to look at him and say “you got your wish” and yet I was so devoted to him and the marriage. So imagine my shock when HE died.

  • Lost my job less than 3 months after moving out on my own, after decades of living with a drunk-ass serial cheater. He tried to take advantage of my unemployment by getting me to move back in with him. Instead I got a new job (!) and sold “his” house. Got my new job in less than 4 weeks, he is still jobless after a year and a half. He sucks.

  • Are they all crap hording slobs? I have piles of her shit to get rid of. I now understand a messy house was an isolation technique.

      • Is that what it is an outer manifestation of the garbage run amok inside. Mine was a pig and a hoarder. I am so so so glad he is gone.

    • Mine was an OCD control freak / neat freak. Now, I actually enjoy just a little bit of disarray and spontaneity around my house without all his pointless rules.

  • I was going for a walk near my childhood home when I saw a flock of zebra finches in the tree next to me. I said out loud, “Oh hey! I haven’t seen you guys in ages!” Then I realized I was talking to the wildlife like they were old friends…just like the old me, before I pretzeled myself into a stranger to make my ex happy. And I wasn’t even a bit embarrassed. Life is good.

    • That’s awesome! I very happily talk to the automated check-out machine at the grocery store; when it says, “Thank you,” I always say “You’re welcome.” That ridiculous stuff never happened when with the stbxh.

    • A lady who busted me talking to her cat told me – “It’s a sign of intelligence to talk to animals.” 🙂

  • I sold the main stone out of my wedding ring and I am putting in a patio!!! I took two long years to think about what I wanted to do with it and well…….who doesn’t love to have a beverage on a hot day on a fancy patio!!! I think I made a fine decision on what to do with a worthless diamond!!!

    • You bet your life! I decided not to throw mine in the ocean and will sell if possible. But it has a huge visible flaw kinda like you-know-who

    • Good for you! I threw my ring in the trash but it’s was just a gold band. Figured the dump is where it belonged anyway.

    • jimmy, I sent my ring back to him. Thought he could put it on Dingleberry. But she dumped him! So sad.

      It was fun to return it. It would have fetched only a few patio blocks anyway!

    • I had the most beautiful wedding set and it’s worth a pretty penny. So many people have told me to save it for my daughter to which I always reply, “that ring is not something to be passed down. it’s a symbol of everything I do not wish on my kid”. I seriously think that only chumps understand this.

      • Have it re-set in a necklace + simple ring for daughter. Take back the diamonds–they’re yours, just like your life, and you have the freedom to turn them/life into whatever you want.

    • Speaking of rings — My STBX gave me “wrap” for my engagement ring for our 20th anniversary. It was very beautiful and I wasn’t expecting anything at all. He gave it to me when we went to Jamaica, four months before our actual anniversary. We had a great time on that trip. By the time our actual anniversary rolled around, he had already emailed a “Happy Birthday” message to his AP. You see, he’s a predator. He “safely” sends out Happy Birthdays messages to women that he likes and wants to keep in contact with. So he set up another secret coffee date before work with her. That’s when he found out she was getting a divorce. So, he then remembered the actual date of her divorce and sent her another email to go out for drinks! The relationship went to the next level. That’s the night I FINALLY caught him! So, back to my beautiful rings. STBX had to fill-out a financial affidavit. Guess what he put on it? MY ENGAGEMENT AND 20th ANNIVERSARY RINGS! Gosh. I didn’t realize he looked at them as assets. I THOUGHT THEY REPRESENTED LOVE AND COMMITMENT AND KEEPING FAITHFUL TO YOUR SPOUSE AND HONORING YOUR VOWS. Nope! To him they were $5,000 worth of assets. I had always planned on giving the rings to my son some day (he now says he’ll never get married, because “why bother”) and my earrings to my daughter. Well, I gave the rings and earrings back to him. I told him he can make an engagement ring out of them for his AP. I don’t want them and my kids don’t want them and I don’t want that bad energy in my home. His True Love can have them for all I care. They don’t mean ANYTHING to me anymore. And good luck, Cheater, trying to get $5,000 for them.

      • Martha–gifts are NOT marital assets. You keep them and sell them; they do not belong in the community pot. I know it may be small change in the grand scheme of things, but the entitlement of these jackasses needs to be reigned in. Insist your attorney have the rings removed from marital assets. (We should set up a chump-auction to buy each other’s tainted jewelry, and then all go on a vacation together with the proceeds). smh.

        • Tempest, he just put them down as an asset. We divided up the property already (not sure if it was 50/50 as I took what I wanted, but I felt I was being fair as I didn’t take everything.) I actually gave him the rings back. I just didn’t want them. It was never about the value to me. He could have gone to Walmart and bought me an engagement ring and I wouldn’t have cared. The rings were about what they meant to me. They no longer mean anything to me, so I gave them back to him. He’s welcome to try to get $5,000 for them or have them reset for his AP. Funny how you mentioned a vacation together. I was just thinking it would be fun to go on a cruise with fellow chumps. Kinda like how they have cruises for musicians like Kid Rock and all the fans can go along. Tracy can be our star. 🙂 I’m still a little bummed I didn’t make it to DC last weekend. Hopefully there will be a “next time.” 🙂

  • This is so encouraging reading all the mightiness of fellow chumps. I am so amazed at the strength and resilience of CN. Okay, I’ll share.

    I divorced his lying, cheating sad-sausage ass last year after almost 30 years of gas lighting and blameshifting. I moved out, donated a bunch of my belongings to charity and put the remainder in storage. I traveled alone to Mexico for 2 months to attend language school and start seeing the world. Then I headed to Hawaii. Then Costa Rica. Then traveled to Seattle and Florida. I’m planning trips to Denmark, Iceland, France, and Singapore. I’m also planning to leave every long, cold winter here for a sunny beach somewhere. For 2-3 months. Every year. All paid for by “his exholeness.” (Thanks, chump Star, for the new phrase!!)

    I feel like I’ve been released from prison. Nothing like leaving the bitter cold and seeing the sun and surf and meeting wonderful, kind people who actually smile and have real conversations and don’t have mysterious mood swings every day. Yes to the beautiful, cheater-free new life!! Thank you CL and CN for getting me off the hopium. Life is better cheater free, and even better when said cheater has to finance the new and improved life until he dies.

    I’ve had people ask me how I can travel so much and am I actually retired? I say, no, it’s called getting a pit-bull lawyer and divorcing his cheating ass.

    • OOH love your mightiness plan !! Since Major Cheaterpants left planet Earth, I went to Europe/Asia 4 times…sailed the Aegean Sea on a yacht (with a cook) with my lover (now husband). Break free from the cold and be mighty!!

    • FindingBliss, you mentioned – “I feel like I’ve been released from prison.”

      So often times it happens that we live our lives in chains – that we never even known that we have had the key the entire time.

      You found your key – Stay mighty!

    • I did a lot. Divorce final, packed his shit, graduated grad school, new job, re-financed house, bought car, traveled solo and with my best chumpy girlfriend etc….but I think the best was coming to the realization that I was being love bombed by the man I was dating and very carefully noting the red flags and laying down my boundaries. Oh the anger, the entitlement, the discard….like water off a ducks back. And it took me less than 3 months…

  • I won a humorous speech contest and gave an inspirational speech that everyone said was awesome! Used lessons I’d learned from going through divorce as subject matter. I never believed I had the ability to speak in public before, used to be content to “hide” behind my husband and let him do the talking. Joining Toastmasters has really improved my confidence, I highly recommend it to anyone wanting a supportive environment to learn how to build confidence and improve communication skills at work and in personal relationships.

    • That is really mighty Lyn! I never heard of Toastmasters. I think I read somewhere that public speaking is the number 1 fear of human beings (death is number 2). You rock!

    • Lyn that is fantastic! You never know who might have been encouraged or helped by hearing you. Gee, I should look up the nearest Toastmasters. Sounds like a great challenge.

      • Here’s a link: https://www.toastmasters.org There’s are multiple clubs in every area. I chose one that meets in the evening and is a little more laid back. Perfect place for me. Lots of inspirational people there. One of our members is recovering from a stroke and using Toastmasters to strengthen his voice. He eventually plans to give inspirational speeches to other stroke victims.

        • Lyn, thank you so much! What a great idea. I just found my local chapter, and I plan to go check it out. From the looks and sounds of it, it could be life-changing.

  • Cakeless-double mighty!

    I’ve had an uneventful but peaceful year. I marketed, negotiated, and sold/moved from the marital home of 23 yrs to my own little cute manageable garden home and love it. I’ve saved alot of money. Made some new friends. And now I am planning my impending retirement. I’ve NOT MISSED the milestones of my grandchildren like birthdays, holidays, grandparent days at school and other events. I have no idea what X is doing and don’t care one tiny bit. Closing in on Meh!

  • I usually don’t feel mighty compared to the mightiness displayed by so many of the chumps here.

    But I suppose that whatever I am doing, it’s working. I got a barrage of emails from my cheating STBXW recently, with details on how to contact her if I needed (which I don’t, because I am totally NC aside from custody and settlement, and that I have demanded only be in email or text), as she was going on some trip apparently. I didn’t read all of it, I just responded asking if she was going to be picking up our daughter on Mothers Day as per the custody stipulation (she said no, she wasn’t).

    It wasn’t until two days later that I realized that she’s sent the emails on what would have been our wedding anniversary. And I honestly didn’t care; I was coming off a work trip, during which I had a hot-and-heavy date, and a great time.

    Very recently, I had to email STBXW regarding swapping a custody day for our daughter. The date I proposed to swap had to be rejected because STBXW wanted to spend her birthday with our daughter. I had simply completely forgotten about my STBXW’s birthday.

    I don’t consider this total Meh, because I’ll probably never forgive the STBXW or her sociopath AP (who I had to report twice to the local police), and I’m regularly frustrated at how she is dragging out settlement (who takes over a year to produce financial documentation?!???). But she occupies almost none of my mental or emotional real estate at this point.

    Many therapists will tell you that it isn’t totally healthy to completely eject the cheating spouse from your life, but I am finding that pulling her up by the roots, so to speak (deleting old photos, going NC as much as possible, blocking on all social media, rejecting Switzerland friends outright, etc.), did wonders for getting me back to my old self (with some improvements, even). Highly recommended by me, anyway! 🙂

    • I burned my wedding dress..letters and photos…I purged my life. I have had many people give me advice to forgive, that I must forgive to move on…but the meh….in me says … I don’t hate any more and that is progress. My life now is better than it was 5 years ago when I was married. Five years ago I was miserable, and I was living the ‘lie’. The pain of D – Day is long gone, the months of numbness and despair are behind me. It was excruciating while I lived it, but it is like giving birth, the pain is part of the process of having the new life in your hands. I made the worst decision of my life to marry my ex, I have learned from it, I was with him more than 1/2 of my life, but I have another life live. My ex used to get so mad at me for laughing too loud, for being silly and excited, he would put me down and tell me how to behave. Now, I am free to laugh and cackle loudly, I show my joy, I smile, I laugh, and when things are sad I cry. My spirit is back. I rarely see my ex only at events for our sons, when I happen to see him…he looks miserable. He never smiles, he has a permanent scowl on his face, and he is on the outside who I knew him to be on the inside. He parades his flavor of the month around, he will happen to “stop in at second job where I bar-tend” with a new woman and smile at me. It is comical and so telling to his character. Let a monkey have a rope and see what they will do. A person of poor character makes poor choices. I am free, I am not perfect, I am a flawed human trying to do better each day.

      • I took back my wedding dress instead; it was a nontraditional pale yellow beaded 1920s style gown, and I wore it to the opera (my first gift to myself after D-day was season tickets). Now the dress is associated with Verdi and not Hannibal Lecher.

      • I threw our wedding album at his back as he was walking away from me. That thing is big and heavy! I gave the wedding album to him. I don’t ever want to look at those photos again. They represent me going into a marriage with someone who was already a known liar by me and also someone who already devalued me once before our engagement. Those photos represent me not trusting my gut when he showed me who he truly was the first time! I should have RAN, but I didn’t. I actually took a beautiful wedding photo that I’ve had displayed for over 20 years and said to him as I ripped it in half, “This is what I think of our sham of a marriage.” I don’t think that people that haven’t been lied to, gaslighted and cheated on can ever understand the anger and rage when you realize you’ve been duped.

    • Honestly, on what planet is hitting the eject button on a former cheater unhealthy? I’m guessing it’s a planet with a lot of unicorns. You are mighty sephage!

      • I have zero notion of why it’s not healthy to eject the X from your life. Would it be healthy to keep contact with your abuser?

        And sephage, you are definitely Mighty!

    • Purging Cheater = Total Health, IMO, sephage! And I have a ‘vague’ recollection of what a hot-and-heavy date means . . . you’ve got game! WTG!

  • Good time for this: I am in education so this is tough time of year.

    *My promotion at work was official in September, came with a very nice raise (others see my worth!)
    *Kids and I built a little lending library for the yard (used the power saw, kept all my fingers!)
    *Both kids earned straight As this semester , an especially big achievement for the depressed kid
    * youngest is thriving in band and has not (yet) turned into a stereotypical middle schooler
    *Depressed/anxious daughter is still alive (will I ever stop worrying about thst? Probably not) and can now tell me when she has the urge to harm herself and I should put the sharps and pills back into hiding — She LOVES her therapist; the therapist is worth the out of pocket expenses; she is out of network (gee, where is my raise going…)
    *getting better about getting drawn in to ex’s comments via email– only one short tempered response from me this spring!

    Hugs to all, every achievement is mighty!

    • zyx321–So mighty!

      I’m so happy for you and your kids. That your daughter trusts you enough to talk to you when she feels this urge is soooo wonderful!

    • Zxy321, I don’t know if it will help your daughter, but I’ll leave it here in case. I’ve come to think of my urges to self harm as a symptom just like a fever or a runny nose – my body telling me that something isn’t right. It’s not really “me” wanting to cut myself or die, it’s just my brain signaling that I am trying to do too much, or allowing someone to hurt me, or just that I need rest and care.

      It makes the whole experience less distressing and gives me permission to look after myself and ask for help instead of struggling on looking after everyone else first. I learned it from someone with schizophrenia who use this approach with the voices in her head that say horrible things. It’s really just her body saying, “Help!”

  • So many inspiring tales from awesome chumps!!

    My post is for those still in the throes of the horror after D-day, or the dark rage and grief that descend after the horror disappears: I know it feels as if life & your emotions will never recover; up until 5 days ago, I thought the same thing (and I’m 20 months out from D-day; 15 months from divorce). Although I’ve been NC since the divorce except for financial matters, there were still lots of conversations with X in my head (mostly involving expletives). Do whatever you need to process the grief and anger–write notes that you don’t send, throw darts at the cheater’s picture; but while you’re doing that, craft your own life slowly but surely (one baby step at a time). And crafting your own life means making new connections–healthy friendships to replace the time formerly spent with cheater.

    Don’t let anyone tell you how to heal; for me, it meant two martinis a night for a year to quell the anxiety because pills rendered me incapable of staying awake. And being an information-oriented person, I sought out as much information as possible at what had happened in my marriage—blatant serial cheating (even though I divorced on the basis of a single affair from 8 years prior). I got the last piece of data 2 weeks ago–3 days after D-day, when he was “fighting for his marriage,” then-H had taken his newest mistress on a conference trip to China. The coldness of that act caused both “incandescent hatred” (thank you, Tessie, for that apt phrase), but also finally propelled me away from any emotional connection to X that may have remained. [Warning–finding out new info on your cheater’s exploits is not for everyone, and definitely not for the faint at heart. But it can help some of us detach.]

    Distancing myself from X with that final step has led to my first week of calm in years (‘cuz life with X even before D-day was no bed of roses). This week, I reveled in the fantastic warm friendships of chumps I had met on-line through CL (and now in real life at the Book Party), put my daughters and their long term well-being front & center (bought the oldest a car, put her on the loan with me to build her credit), and am rectifying the things I wasn’t good at (seeing a financial planner next week). I feel inspired, and happy, and (finally!!I) a sense of peace that life henceforward will be good. All of us can get there–it’s not a smooth path, and there’s plenty of backtracking. I fully expect to regress and have moments of wanting to tie X in a bag with pit vipers; but for now I just feel sorry for him that he’ll never feel a real connection or live a life of integrity. And I will.

    Celebrate the small successes–learning how to fix the garbage disposal, jump the car battery, master the remote for the TV. Put one foot in front of you everyday, but give yourself time to heal. Make yourself (and your children) more central, and the cheater less central to your life (with kudos to LovedAJackass for that advice), and you’ll get there. Doesn’t have to be ‘meh’ (I’m too incensed by cheaters at an abstract level to ever be at meh), but we all deserve days, or weeks, of feeling at peace.

    And a huge shout out to Tracy and CN for giving me the courage to re-craft a life worth living.

    • You are right, seeking out more info to better understand what it was that you went through is not for the faint of heart. I, however, needed to know what my life was even with H1.0 dead and it was 13 months ago (to my profound shock) I learned he was a serial cheater. I have had to reprocess my whole life with this info and you all have helped me do that.

      My love for him died when I found the first pile of hotel reciepts soon after he died and the info I learned 13 months ago sparked my own “incandescent hatred” and yes,like you I was propelled away from any remaining connection I might have otherwise had with his memory. I avoid other widows because I cant even fake the “oh I miss him so much” talk and they would likely think I offed him (I didnt) if they knew what a bastard he was.

      You are also right that we each have to find our way through to healing…alcohol makes me sick so that wasn’t an option, but if 2 martinis a day don’t put you on an unhealthy path then more power to you.

    • Tempest, I love your story and always look forward to your writing. You have such insight. I agree that the sadness will always surface from time to time. At least it does for me…and I suspect it always will. Unfortunately getting divorced after a life time of marriage has ongoing consequences because it affects family get togethers. I still hate that I only get to see my children 50% less than I would have if we were still married. However, a good friend gave me the best advice — she said the greatest thing you can do for your children is to be happy. If you’re happy they’ll want to be around you more, and you’ll have more to give. You’ll show them what resilience is. As for focusing on little things…having been through cancer treatments, and an unforeseen divorce… I’m grateful for just about everything. The other day I found myself thinking as I got ice from my refrigerator, “I’m so lucky to have this nice refrigerator, it could be gone in an instant.” That wouldn’t have occurred to me before going through this experience. Maybe that’s the key to life, recognizing how impermanent it is, and finding something to be grateful for every day.

      • Agreed Lyn – being grateful – sincerely grateful – everyday – for the smallest gifts in life is definitely the key that will open the door for you to feel the most authentic happiness that one can feel. This is what worked for me.

        I also like to bring my other friend – spirituality – along with me to help me discover the meaning of life. Spirituality gave me the gift of personal growth.

        Grateful and Spirituality = Serenity

        No one can ever achieve this while having a soul-sucking cheater at the helm. Tie the anchor on the cheater and let em loose!

        • “having a soul-sucking cheater at the helm” is definitely a major problem, and you are so right that removing them from that position of authority is essential to achieving an authentic life. Thanks for the wisdom!

    • Tempest, thanks for mentioning the martinis! Mine was 2 glasses of wine a night for the same reasons. I felt like a closet alcoholic but I find nowadays that I don’t need it any more. Now wine is for enjoyment, like it used to be. Yay for us!

    • Tempest – financial planning FTW! I have sucked at it for a long time, but mostly because my ex was a control freak and insisted on handling the finances. I was good at it before I met her, and I will be again, but it is daunting. Kudos to you for tackling it.

    • Tempest thank you! No one understood my need to find EVERY DETAIL I could find to see how long and how many times I had been chumped in my 9 year marriage – which I thought was all baseball and apple pie. My D-Day was a text from the 2.5 yr OW outing him because he had come and gone making so many promises to her that she had enough and this was her way of getting him to leaver her the F alone. Well guess what – I logged into every account FB, credit cards (including work expense one), delta sky miles and downloaded 18 months of phone bills (when each text/image sent showed as a time/date) beacause I had to know the details – found several others, reached out to the main OW and she worked with me to provide texts, copies of hallmark, cards, dates/times, nasty photos/videos – everything I needed. Kicked his ass out day one for the weekend and over that weekend found so much I never let him back in the house. He spent months CYA trying to win me back “if we make it it will be because of your strength, if we don’t it will be because of my mistakes” – “our family deserves a chance” – :offerd to move into the guest room and help with kids and house, etc, you name it. Church, Sexaholic anonymous, therapist, books he read and sent me lngthy I’ve changed email s(yeah – in a week you’ve changed, not a month either), claimed to be sex addict and said he’d go to inpatient therapy. I spent the months he was pretending to change digging, being patient, planning financially – and having him followed. Put a name to every single number on 18 months of phone bills – was easy to find the pattern and several more women who didn’t know me and my kids existed. His story when he was traveling was that he had one daughter (my step who is a child of my heart and to this day goes on vacation with me and my kids and asked me to be her Godmother!) and had spent years focusing on his career and is now ready to date. Oh how many women he chumped with that one! They happily provided all the texts/emails/hallmark cards (some cards the same for more than one woman) and offered to fly into to be deposed if I needed it. Chumps united! Oh and can’t forget the questionably young man (actually crossdresser) that the dates coincided with my ex having emergency surgery for baseball sized hennorried a month before D-Day. My parents, his mom and I took care of him over the holiday recovery month! So I sat in Starbucks with him one day to discuss the final things he wouldnt’ agree to and laid a file on the table with all the nasty photos, records that showed he was not going to therapy or SA anymore, the PI report and photos that showed him going home with a new Ho just the week before, the spreadsheet that had all the expenses he falsified from his company to pay for the affairs – I told him to sign. I wasn’t wasting money on depositions and trial, I would just have my lawyer put it all in a brief and ask the judge to rule and it would all become public.Done deal. 4 years out from D day and 3 of them divorced – and he has rewritten our story – I’m the crazy ex wife bitch who insists he follow the court order to a T, he remarried one of the women he immediately took up with in the first few months I threw him out – and now she surely has been painted the crazy ex wife picture that he painted for me on his first. First and I are now fast friends after HATING each other for nine years because of the manipulation and lies. All kids good now except my oldest son who identifies so strongly with his father, is a pleaser and is constantly being manipulated by his dad. With an anwesome therapist, lots of love, sticking to the order to the letter and a HUGE support network we will make ti through even thought he is clearly on a bender again and back in the same pattern because I am now getting all these “I’m such a victim” emails from him….which I ignore,” So much more but the need to know the details lives in me and I’ve actually thought about getting my PI license down the road – just right now it wouldn’t pay the bills but I tell ya – I”M GOOD AT IT! And for those that need info for peace – information is mighty!

  • I bought my own house 7 weeks ago. I closed on this house 3 years to the date that I left my xh. It’s been one of the scariest and most exhilarating things I’ve ever done. My little home consulting business is going better than ever since the recession.
    Last night I was walking past a parked car with a couple and older teen boy, the woman screaming at the man walking away to bring her keys back, he screaming back at her. I turned around, stood with my phone held high and said I will call the police if they don’t stop. Then 3 large men came out of different houses in the neighborhood, one even stood in front of the car, and we all converged on it, saying calm down, what is going on. The folks in the car peeled away. I told those guys that they were all heroes for coming out to witness that we do not tolerate abuse in our neighborhood.
    I thought of CN, and the mightiness of sometimes just stopping and watching and listening.

  • Tomorrow is the two-year anniversary of my D-day. (I remember because it was a week before my birthday. I’m in the birthD-day club.) The day after D-day, I was a recently unemployed stay-at-home mom and had just closed on the sale of my house a week before. I had moved across the country with cheater ex only 6 weeks previous, and we had only been married a few months following our 9-year relationship. My ex told me to leave, so I packed up a few things, took our toddler, and returned to my home state the next day. I went back with no job and no home, so I stayed with my parents for the next year while I regrouped. Since then, I landed a job that people only dream about, moved my son and I to a new state for said job, navigated through a contentious and protracted home sale in which I nearly lost everything (it was the type of real estate sale I will NEVER repeat), negotiated a good settlement in my divorce (which ex finally signed off on a few days ago), paid off my student loans, and tackled some issues with my now preschool age son. I’m kicking ass at work and gaining the attention of people who matter in my agency. I made a new friend in JC (the other chump in our cheater debacle) who has helped me hold on to my mightiness.

    Some things still suck. My almost-ex knocked up his mistress, and this rocked me for a bit. I still have to eat shit sandwiches in order to maintain a relationship with his (mostly wonderful) family for the benefit of our son. I’m an exhausted single mom with no family for 600 miles, and I get very few breaks. But I know that I can handle it, and that the worst of it is over.

    To new chumps, this experience will smack you upside the head and scream at you “You suck! You aren’t good enough! You can’t handle it! Look how low you’ve fallen! You’re worthless!” After the initial smack, you’ll take the time to think “Wait, what? Do I suck? Actually no, I DON’T suck! I AM good enough! I will rise up! I have value even when I have nothing to offer! My value is not correlated with what happened.” While I will never be grateful for what happened, I am grateful that it forced me to come face to face with my demons. And guess who won?

    I am mighty.

    • You did win, FreeVixen, and you are mighty!

      Love this: “My value is not correlated with what happened.”

    • “You suck! You aren’t good enough! You can’t handle it! Look how low you’ve fallen! You’re worthless!” – I am still there. But I got up this morning, took a shower, got the kid to her last day of school and am at work. That’s something.

      • More than ‘something’, blonde barrister. Those are the steps that lead away from insanity towards Meh.

      • blondebarrister, if your a lawyer as your name implies, then you can obviously handle a lot! And you haven’t fallen, you were dragged down. Got, the blinders they put on us make me sick!

      • That IS, by god, something. And it’s something to be proud of. You’re gonna make it after all. (Cue Mary Tyler Moore Show theme song.)

      • I’m literally a blonde-barrister too! I saw a funny shirt in a FB ad, which is a riff on the “Stay Calm and Carry On” statement from WWII:

        “I Can’t Stay Calm, I’m a Lawyer and a Mom!”

        I’m pretty calm most times, actually. LOL!

    • Great thoughts, Free Vixen! You are amazing. You capture the feeling of worthlessness so perfectly, and then the feeling of rising from the ashes. Thanks for that.

  • I got a lawyer. 🙂 Yesterday morning your post “You Need a Lawyer,” came at the perfect time. I wanted a sign to confirm I was doing the right thing. Paid the retainer on my credit card. I’ll do anything to be free of this 15 plus year mess, I’ll do anything to be whole for my 3 year old daughter. Thanks for this post, I like seeing that those of us scared of the financial aspect have made it to the other side and are better for it spiritually, emotionally and financially.

  • On my divorce anniversary I got a tattoo that says “Freedom” it is my mark that celebrates my freedom and my ‘new’ life. I have branded myself, it was empowering. My sons and I lived through hell and we are free. My oldest son got a tattoo on the same day, he is 18 free to make his own decisions about his body. It is funny, my Ex accused me of being an irresponsible parent, of being the ‘cool’ parent, accused me of wasting money, and said I put our son in danger because of the tattoo. Considering the Ex gave me an STD, lied and cheated for years, had a secret life and blew off family activities to be with other women, had a secret bank account and apartment during our marriage I doubt I will be judged as the irresponsible parent. I am mighty in the knowledge that my sons are doing well despite the drama they lived through, I am mighty in the fact that my 17 and 18 year sons see and know who their father really is, and I am mighty in reality that life with FREEDOM is only way to live. I was so afraid to get a divorce, I walked through the fear, I walked through the narcissistic rages and abuse and I survived, and I still have joy in heart.

  • I saw the lawyer in January and filed for divorce this February. It was final in March, 3 years to the week of D-Day #1. I bought a condo in great condition on my own. Just yesterday, I applied to go back to school for medical coding. The ex spent his half of the joint bank accounts on a house full of new furniture and a trip to Europe this summer, I reached out to a downsizing, retiring co worker and was gifted some hand me down furniture that allowed me to secure a nest egg for me and my 7 year old son. I made a dating profile and although I have decided it is too soon for me to date again, the one date I did go on showed me that there are nice men out there who will find me attractive when the time is right. I have so much more energy now that I’m not dragging an albatross around my neck, that I’ve asked my boss for more to do and they rewarded my renewed drive at work with a raise.

  • I am two years out from divorce and four years from D-day. Am I happy? I can’t say that I am. I miss having a family, I miss the woman whom I loved and who became a vile stranger. I lost all my savings in the divorce. I am often lonely. It still hurts that XW is marrying the AP. It is unending hell “coparenting” with an NPDBPD.

    But:

    I no longer sob in grief and desperation and confusion.
    I continue to work in my awesome job and am very good at it.
    I am a better dad than I ever was. My kids, nine and twelve, snuggle up to me and say “Daddy, I love you soooo much.”
    I have dated women who have shown me simple kindness, reminding me that I will love and will be loved again.

    Most importantly: I did it. I divorced her. I thought it would kill me but it didn’t. I did it, and I did it, and I did it. I didn’t think I could. But I did. I did. I did. Thus I can do anything 🙂

    • I thought the divorce would kill me too……but it did not,. You did it…yes you can do anything. Good for you!

    • I know exactly how you feel! I too never thought i would make it through the divorce and a life without her. Here I am. I made it. I’m only a year out from d-day and separation but doing better. I am actually starting to feel much better. I think once i move out of the marital home, things are going to start improving dramatically. Just keep going on day at a time. We are all going to get to Meh some day because we are strong and good people.

      • Lostntx,

        I could have bought my XW out of the marital home and stayed for the kids. But I knew it would slow my healing with all the ghosts; in fact I know I would remain in a very dark place if I had stayed. So I agreed to sell, and as luck would have it, a rental became available right down the street! So my kids would not have to leave their school, their friends, their neighborhood, their world. SO glad I did. You will absolutely be a different person once you leave the marital home. It was a huge necessary leap in my healing. You will see:-)

        • I had to live in the marital home for 2 full years because it wouldn’t sell. Bad market and too expensive.
          And, I had my 4 big dogs and nobody would rent to me.
          I lived with those ghosts for a long time alone and, although I appreciated having the dog space, I didn’t realize how much that house was bringing me down. I bought myself an old beach house, remodeled it all on my own and moved out and it was the best thing I ever did to really purge. Took a long time to realize this was ALL MINE – even tho the other house still hadn’t sold for another year. So, have had to have contact with X. Last week, it finally sold for our price and I never have to talk to him again.

          I just can’t stress how important it is to move away from the ghosts of an old marital home, unless you’re one of the champs who have redone theirs. Took along time to realize this was MINE, ALL MINE!
          And, learned a lot in the process of buying a house (and a car).

          Live does get better, I can promise you, Chumps.

    • So eloquently stated, David. It does hurt when our exes marry their partners in crime. Someday it won’t hurt. Meanwhile, you’re doing great.

      • My CheaterX is marrying his AP early next month. The engagement was announced a handful of days after the divorce. Originally, they were planning an October wedding, but Schmoopie told the world they were moving it to June on the day they started “dating.”

        Schmoopie is moving into the marital home, and while that twinges on occasion, I realize that they are both getting what they deserve. He’s marrying a woman who thinks it’s okay to fuck other people’s husbands. She’s getting a man who thinks it’s okay to cheat on his wife.

        In the meantime, he’s in violation of the divorce decree because he’s still not been able to refinance the house (supporting Schmoopie in the lifestyle she desires has tanked his credit). If he’s still not refinanced it by the middle of next month, I’ll have to contact my lawyer. He could potentially lose the house.

        • Regarding my XW marrying her AP: what he doesn’t know is that she called me on our anniversary (nasty divorce was ongoing) blubbering, asking me if I still loved her, is there a way back for us, blah blah. I shut that shit down.

          Three weeks later she moved in with AP.

          Then around a year ago she called again. Same routine: boo-hoo, I miss you… (Called WITH AP somewhere in the background of their place). I Shut that bakery door down again.

          A few weeks after that they got engaged.

          AP has no idea what he has gotten himself into. I stupidly tried to tell him (NEVER confront the AP) and he apoplectically snarled, “I don’t believe you.” (Based on the violence of his reaction I suspect that he does believe it.)

          Anyway, I wish them all the happiness together that they deserve. Which is zero.

          • David, CN gold:
            “Shut that bakery door down again.”

            and
            “Anyway, I wish them all the happiness together that they deserve. Which is zero.”

            Mine kept circling back for intellectual stimulation because apparently his GF/AP can’t talk about academic subjects with him. My response was “Toodles.” And the GF broke up her family with two children to live a jetset life with my X. May they have all the happiness their shallowness warrants.

  • After two years of financial monstering, I marketed, sold by myself – moved and located a great partially updated historic home in a top community near me, closer to my job. After putting in $20K of reno (did mostly by chump labor), I refinanced – the house appraised $100,000 more than I bought if for 6 months prior.

    I found that I am an pretty fantastic renovator. I have a blog and a small band of chump supporters.
    Due to stalling and financial games, every step of the home buying/ownership was a nightmare. But people helped me along the way, too.

    I kept integrity.
    My kids think I walk on water.
    I saved the family pets (that I was told to “rehome” if I didn’t want to pay 100% for them.)

    I now post to newbies on infidelity boards and help guide them through this – as people helped me out of the mire 2 years ago.

    • Way to go, Magneto. Renovating sounds like one of the most scary things to take on. But you made it profitable. Very mighty.

      • That IS mighty, Magneto and….this ‘I saved the family pets (that I was told to “rehome” if I didn’t want to pay 100% for them.)”

        Well, fuck THAT.
        If they’ve got the audacity to throw pets away, they will certainly do it to children.

        THIS is sickening in itself and my own did the same.
        Huge house, huge dogs, males that fought, and I was on my own and got major injuries because I was not in control of myself.
        I got 4 huge dog vet bills, food bills, you name it, but I was happier not to eat than I was to keep my dogs fed and with me.
        He was NEVER going to get them anyway. harrumph.

        I’ll NEVER forgive him for that. EVER EVER EVER

    • Magneto, what is the name of your blog? I’m a Renovater myself! I always like to get pointers, and hope to get a ‘project’ next year!

  • I’ve been separated just over two months and it’s been a real roller-coaster ride. I’m mighty because, at age 56, I’m back in school despite my terror of doing so. It’s not so bad and hopefully in a few months I can get a job. Unfortunately my STBX has no intention of making my life any easier. He set the terms for both drafts of our separation agreement and then refused to sign them. I now know why he was being so generous, it was all an act. I wasn’t too concerned because at first he was paying the Maintenance every week but now he has stopped and left me with no income. It boggles my mind how cruel and deceptive he has been. Trying to reconcile the man I thought he was and the man he truly is, well, it’s impossible. I’ve consulted with my lawyer and hopefully there is something she can do. Some days I am just so sad but coming here reminds me that I’m not alone. I know I have to keep putting one foot in front of the other even if I get knocked back. Tracy congrats on your #1 book! I’m almost done reading it and really enjoying it.

    • It is very early times for you, Disillusioned.You are doing great . . . in school prepping for employment, have a lawyer, and realizing that he is a disordered person of poor character.

      The latter is the key. They suck. And you’ll never figure him out. But, you can figure your Self out. Help her. Forgive her. Encourage her. Love her. Forget him!

    • It’s early days. They’re the hardest. Just hang in there. It’s terrific you’re going back to school! Hope your lawyer gets temporary support orders through ASAP.

  • Dear Chumplady,

    I live in the Netherlands and recently discovered this website, and I just LOVE it! My husband told me he wanted a divorce in december 2015. I asked him several times if he was involved with another woman (this has happened once before, and we went through therapy then, and he promised me he would never lie to me again….and I promised him, if he would, it would be the end of our marriage), but he denied this. I just KNEW he didn’t speak the truth. We have been married for almost 25 years and I know him better than he knows himself. So I put some pressure on him and in february he finally admitted he had been dating another woman in starting october 2015.
    She ended it just a week before he admitted the affair. She is married and her husband has untreatable cancer and will die within 5 years and she will not divorce him. So now he tried to back down, put on a sad face and said the divorce was so difficult for him…….So I told him I didn’t want to hear that shit and threw him out. The divorce is almost final now, I bought a nice appartment where I’m going to live with one of my daughters (the other 2 children are in college and will come home in the weekends). My husband is staying in our holiday chalet and doesn’t know what to do with his life now. But that’s not my problem anymore. He has to pay me quite a lot of money every month, since his income is a lot better than mine.
    After the pain and the anger I feel in control now. Of course I have an off-day now and again, but I feel strong and I have a great social networ’; a lot of friends and nice collegues who support me. He has near to nobody. He’s got one real friend, he never felt the need to invest in friendships (just in dating other women…).
    Thamk you for this website and keep up the good work, love ya!!!! (My English is not perfect, I’m Dutch, so I’m sorry for the mistakes ;-))

    • Your English is great and you are mighty ! Good for you for not buckling under when he put on his sad face. I was so eager to wreckoncile after what I thought was his first affair, but I promised myself if he ever did it again, I would cut swiftly with a sharp knife. You DID cut swift and sharp, good for you!

    • How nice to see someone from Holland here. I’m Dutch too!

      I am mighty because I took a day off of work yesterday, had a fantastic lunch with wine and oysters in a fancy restaurant. I went by myself, that was a scary but I managed. Put on a beautiful dress, high heels and make-up, took my i-pad and walked in. Celebrated the fact that the divorce was final exactly a year ago. And I haven’t cried for a month. I cried almost every day for the last 3 years. But the very best is that my children are doing fine, they struggled but they know that they can talk to me. We are closer than ever. We are going to be just fine.
      Thank you so much CL en CN, I visit this site every single day. It keeps me sane.

    • Welcome, Judy. We always say this is the club that no one wants to join, but Chump Lady and Chump Nation represent sanity, rational thought, humour, great swear words, encouragement. A life saver for many of us. So, check in, comment, go to the forums if it is the middle of the night and you are struggling. Someone is always there.

      And welcome to dutch chump, also.

      • Thanks for your comments. I like it here, because what I read is down to earth, honest and very funny. Most websites about divorce, cheating, etc. are ‘heavy stuff’ and tearjerking and putting you in the ‘victim’ role. I want to be in the ‘victor’ role! Nice to see another dutch chump here, and great that you went to lunch by yourself.
        Unicornomore, my first reaction was to wreckoncile, but I kicked myself in the ass and said: ‘Noooooooooooooo, you’ve been down this path before, but nevermore, nevermore….’
        Virago, maybe it wasn’t my intention to join this club, but I’m glad I did. Every day I see more clearly that my STBX is an attention seeker, and if he thought he didn’t get enough of it at home, he’d go and find it elsewhere. And he just never thinks ahead or about consequences. He thought the children wouldn’t be affected, because they’re 23, 20 and 18 years old (dream on….). He thought he would just have to sign something and we would be divorced. And now he’s complaining about the stress of arranging everything, the stress of painting and restyling our house (I did most of it, of course) to get it sold at a good price and complaining that I’m not interested in his health, his work etc. He thought everything would stay the same, but we would just not live together anymore. That’s so crazy!!! So I told him to stop texting me 20 times a day, stop calling me about nothing and go talk to his mommy about his issues, but not to me, because we are getting divorced and I’m not his partner anymore. And I don’t even miss him. Because he wasn’t at home very much, and when he was, he really wasn’t. And he was so sloppy, and now the house looks so much better. I sometimes miss the thought of him being here, but not him.

    • Welcome Judy! Your English is terrific — and so is your mightiness! Poor sausage alone in his chalet…

      I think we should all feel as much sympathy for him as he felt for his OW’s chump with cancer.

      • Thanks! Yes, i feel bad for the OW’s husband. Poor chump. Dying and being deceived at the same time 🙁

  • 16 months post D-day, and even though I’m not ‘much’ better off financially, I’m MUCH better off since it’s without him! I had to eat shit sandwiches living in the same condo as STBX for 4 months where I lived in a fog of chumpness as he dated a revolving door of girls. My sister kept me daily on the path of making a plan to get out, helping me emotionally, mentally and financially. I went NC almost immediately after moving day, which he didn’t know was happening, because he went away for the weekend with whichever AP he was fucking at the time, and got myself to a decent living situation. I feel like a failure as I struggle each month, but as I look at the calendar and rip off the old month for the new one ahead, I reflect that I survived another month paying bills ON time (something that he could not do ever in our 12 year marriage) and without credit cards, and that I have successfully kept a roof over my 14yo daughters and my head.

    With the advise of wise counsel, I have not been on the dating carousel as I wanted to get healthy first and not have any leftover baggage or bitterness creep into a new relationship.

    I haven’t hit MEH… Yet but it will come soon as each day is another victory of Mightiness!!! I have a reminder on my bedroom wall that simple says TUESDAY! I know what it means… And I’m so looking forward to that day.
    This website keeps me sane!!

  • It has been over a year and seven months since Dday and a year and four months since Official Freedom (Divorce) day. It took me a over a year since Dday to really start feeling happy. Happier than any point in my life, even pre-marriage. I don’t have any agendas anymore…no wanting to get married, no wanting to have children. I am just happy. Happy that my children are doing well, happy at my job, happy with my home, just all around happy. There is not much I want right now; and right now is all I am thinking about.

    My hope is for all chumps to get to meh. I can’t tell you which Tuesday started meh but it happened.

    • “Happier than any point in my life, even pre-marriage. I don’t have any agendas anymore…no wanting to get married, no wanting to have children. I am just happy. Happy that my children are doing well, happy at my job, happy with my home, just all around happy. There is not much I want right now”

      +1…. That’s exactly how I feel! I dreamed of Prince Charming and kids since I was 10 years old! Chumped by 2 husbands, 27 years of marriage, 4 awesome children later….. At 49, I’m free of that singular life focus! Wow!

  • Today is the one year anniversary of D-day. The divorce is still dragging on after a year thanks to the “you’re not the boss of me” man child. He got shown in court Monday that the Judge is actually the boss of him after he kept the court waiting for an hour and 20 minutes. I won. He lost.

    I went out to dinner to my favorite restaurant by myself last August on our 14th wedding anniversary date. I sleep better than I have in years now. I’m not afraid to be alone and I’m actually enjoying it. The house is so much cleaner, there’s much less laundry to do, and I don’t have anyone to clean up after. The house is calmer, the dog is calmer and I’m calmer without his temper tantrums and raging anger.

    I’ve finally reached a point where I truly do not care who or what he ends up with after me. I know that he lost the best thing that will ever happen to him, whether or not he ever realizes that matters little to me. He tried to break me, and almost succeeded but thanks to CL and CN and all of the support and stories of how others not only just survived and made it the other side, but thrived and became Mighty.

    Rooms are filled with boxes just waiting for this divorce to be final so I can move back to where I never should have left. I’ll be back to the same town where all of my family lives. I sent my sons a picture of the stacked up boxes in the living room and wrote, “where are we going they ask….to a much better place …to a much better place.”

  • I feel mightier all the time. I’m almost 3 years past D-day and 2 years past divorce (I love it that my divorce was finalized . . .ON A TUESDAY!). When everything first blew up I couldn’t imagine that I would get through it and be ok, let alone mighty. I used to read the comments on chump nation and I couldn’t believe in ever reaching meh. But I got out, bought a house, planted a raspberry patch, picked up extra hours at work, hung out with friends and family and allowed myself to grieve the loss of my old dream of my marriage. Today I’m going to buy a bicycle! I’ll be mighty on 2 wheels!
    To the newly chumped out there I say to you – hang in there, keep putting one foot in front of the other, one day at a time. Reach out to friends and family – ask for help when you need it. Get a good lawyer and a good therapist. Do what you need to do to take care of yourself every day – food, water, sunlight, sweat, work, tears, laughter, sleep. Read Chumplady every day.
    Have faith and trust that you are MIGHTY!!

      • I am also finishing a certificate in human resources at the local community college (one more class, should be done next month).

        So, I am looking to go into HR. I plan to take the PHR by the end of this year. I currently work in admin services.

        Would like to freelance and publish on the side as much as possible.

        When I left my XH, I hadn’t worked full-time in 7 years and had no idea what I was going to do with my life, so I feel like I’ve come a long way.

        I definitely didn’t think I’d ever finish my MA though, that’s for sure. Glad it’s finally done.

  • It’s really nice to hear from everyone how they are being mighty! Most of you guys are really mighty. Reading all of your stories helps me realize i am mighty too. So, i’m a year and 3 weeks post d-day and separation, one month post divorce. Things that make me feel mighty:
    I managed to get 50/50 custody of my daughters. They actually spend more time with me than mom.
    I stayed in the house and made her leave. I filed for divorce and pushed it through. I got the pit bull attorney that helped me minimize the damage. Moving out of the house next week to an apartment. So glad to be leaving the marital home behind, which she purchased with my retirement savings. Debt free for a little while. Better relationship with my family. A few new good friends. Clean house. Less anxiety due to sensing my marriage was failing even though I was being told over and over it was not. Sleeping without medication. And for me, I bought a motorcycle. Enjoying the riding without any worries about where i’m going and how long it takes to get there. Oh, and I managed to keep my job after being placed on probation. I am no-contact for the most part. Haven’t had any reason to converse with her for a couple of months. Still get an occasional text, which never gets a reply. The future is now going to be what I want!

  • Watched both of my daughters graduate, one with honors, one with a very prestigious scholarship to the university of her dreams. Rented a B&B for the family to be together for the festivities. Managed to be both cordial and distant to that part of the family who has offered zero support, but wanted their day in the sun. Accepted the fact that my “best friend” could not make the time to share in my daughter’s accomplishments, despite the fact that I have been there for her every step of the way. Dried some tears when my narc mom fail also failed to show up for both ceremonies. I am more than mighty because I have raised two amazing, courageous daughters who will never, ever take shit from narc losers. Lots of tears today, but this time they are happy tears! To all those still in pain, still searching, please know better days are ahead. I promise.

    • Your kids are mighty because you modeled mighty. And if they ever take shit from a “narc loser”? I’m sure you’ll be there to kick his ass. 🙂

  • X is in Russia. The only place on earth that has the power to satisfy him… maybe. I hope Putin keeps him. I really do. Yet I am curious to know whether this 3 week vacation were up to his expectations. Whether he can now brag that the French Riviera is a dump compared to this dream place. Ha !
    I wish I could say I am mighty. I bought the house at a correct price. I renewed the room he used the most. I made new friends, been recontacted by my 1st BF of the late seventies out of the blue (have never searched him). Dated a nice younger guy. But… I feel exhausted. It’s been almost a year, and to me life tastes like shit. There is deep sadness that refuses to go away.

    • Don’t lose heart, ChumpFromF. The deep sadness will fade. It’s hard to predict when that will happen. A year out, I was still so crushingly sad every day. Now it’s 20 months, and I am content much of the time. You are, indeed, mighty. Cut yourself some slack, there’s no hard and fast rule about when we should be “over it.” Try to have faith in yourself and let time be your friend. It will happen for you.

    • I’m not a therapist or that kind of doctor, but for me, Exhaustion + Sadness = Depression. Some work with a GREAT therapist who will help you make progress might be a good idea since it’s likely that what you are feeling is not lifetime biochemical problem but situational. If you are seeing someone and still feel this way, consider making a change. And perhaps try a mild anti-depressant for a while. I took one for 6 months years ago and it sort of re-set my brain somehow. If like me, you are drug-averse, try walking 30-60 minutes a day, especially outdoors. What you are going through really sucks. I know because I have to be alert for Exhaustion + Sadness = Depression. Wishing you happier days ahead.

  • Signing the separation agreement this week. Just spent 6 months sticking to my guns fighting for what I need after 39 years of life with a Narcissist. He is so preoccupied with his schmoopie (long time backstabbing frenemie of mine….) that he has finally agreed to everything I asked for just to get me out of his hair…… I’ll be living in our beach house in another state far from the upcoming fireworks that are inevitable when a guy collects psychotic bitches (all with a history of cheating) as playmates (he’s juggling at least 3 crazies now).

    I can’t emphasize enough the value of sites like Chump Lady, Melanie Tonia Evans, Grace For My Heart, Esteemology, After Narcissistic Abuse, Lady with a Truck, The Faces of Narcissism, that have literally saved my life when the darkness and hopelessness of dealing with disordered evil overwhelmed me. It’s amazing how often I have been drowning in confusion and doubt and I have clicked on these sites to read exactly what I needed to give me strength to fight on. And I can always count on Chump Lady to make me LOL. I figure if I can still laugh, I’m not totally insane or destroyed yet. And Chump Nation people, all of you who share your stories lift the rest of us up and give us hope that there is light and laughter in our future.

    I am actually reading less and less about dealing with the disordered one and am moving on to sights I have found thru the links on these websites, such as Positively Positive, Tina Buddha, Your Inner Pilot light, Purpose Fairy, Wild Sister. I’m tuning in to these sites because I’m no longer focused on him and his nastiness…..I’m focusing on myself, and how good life can become for me…..

    I have a newfound respect for the strength we are given as women. It’s inside of us when we need it. We are much stronger than we think. Websites like Chump Lady bring those of with an unfortunate and painful commonality into a sisterhood that heals, supports, enlightens and gives us the courage to move forward with our lives with hope. Thanks to Chump Lady and Chump Nation. Your words mean more than you know to people you will never know……God Bless.

    • finally free, what a blessing you are to provide so many excellent references in one post. Priceless, you are! Helpful to newbies and oldies. TY!

  • I am happily 3 years divorced and I can honestly say that I can still see the stars – but even more – still see the light, that’s right.

    • ‘Cuz you’re already gone, SureChumpedAlot! And you’re feeeeeeelin’ strong. We will siiiing your victory song — Woo hoo hooo!

        • My favorite line from that song is: “so often times it happens that we live our lives in chains, and we never even know we have the key.”

          • Yes Yes Yes Fifi!!! I used that exact line above in a response to a post from FindingBliss. I had that song on this morning very loud and was singing at the top of my lungs. Can’t shake that tune today, LOL – Singing in morning does wonders – I highly recommend it.

  • I wish there was a “Like” button so I could like everyone of your comments here! Just wanted to say you are all amazing 🙂 I’m about 11 months post D Day and almost 1 month post divorce. I moved out two weeks after D-Day and am about to move across the river to New York City in about 2 months. I’m nervous because it’s not easy raising a 4 year old alone on my own in Manhattan but I think I can do it. I’ve shut down all naysayers including my ex in laws and my own parents because they make me more nervous – but hell if I could survive being in this country 11 years on my own, and being a single mom for the past year alone, I think I can survive this.

    I’ve also gotten a raise at work and more recognition (management knew about the sh*t I was going through and was amazed I never dropped the ball at work). I’m now contemplating putting a stop to dating (I dated to get over him – which is not really healthy I know…) and use my free time (if any) to study for my GMAT so I can work towards an EMBA. I’ve also started saving (small amounts but it’s a start!) towards getting my own place.

    It feels great being without him. I’ve forgotten what it’s like to live with him. I just want no emotional drama and PEACE!!

    • OMG, gang003! You totally CAN raise a child in Manhattan. Many great people were raised there. So much to offer. And you are thinking like the mighty ones in CN! Sublime, IMO.

  • Almost three years since now XH left me. He lied – never admitted an affair with disordered co-worker. They have been married for over a year – making it to the 3% of affair partners that marry – congratulations – they are mighty…stupid!

    It took me a while to get over the shock and cruelty of his departure. I am happy to report that I have managed to rebuild MY life:

    1. Last year, I took a wonderful friend that had been recently cheated on to Hong Kong and Bali. (She found out her H was cheating 2 weeks before her dad passed away). We had an amazing time and did it up right. I had managed to get guilty XH to give up his air miles (I did the work to get the miles, so it wasn’t too benevolent of him) to me so we flew FIRST CLASS all the way and stayed in the BEST 5* hotels.

    2. I will close on my first house purchased as a single woman. I negotiated the price and got a great deal (XH negotiates in his job – but he’s always been too much of a wienie to do it for homes and cars – that’s always been delegated to me – he didn’t want to look like a bad guy). My mortgage people told me the house appraised for more than I paid for it – instant equity. (As a side note, XH purchased a home 2 weeks after we sold our marital home. It was a hideous property near the interstate. He paid asking price for it and has just sold it after 18 months at a loss probably b/c schmoopie told him to do it – he’s rather lazy otherwise and given his upbringing, this home was his dream.)

    3. I’ve rekindled old friendships and made some awesome new friends. I’m also online dating and while I haven’t met the next Mr Cindy, I’ve made a few good friends. Also, I’m hoping that I fixed my picker. Had a brush with a narc but managed to run from that crap.

    4. Ever since XH left, I’ve gotten the best performance evaluations at my job.

  • My divorce was finalized just over a month ago. My son and I are enjoying life in our cheater-free home, which is much cleaner than before. I’ve struggled somewhat to beat back my chump tendencies in dealing with a very strong-willed teenager but am finding my way. I enjoy flower gardening so have been spending some time doing that – very relaxing. My time and money are my own, which is great!

    I’m dating a kind man who is considerate of my feelings, talks about his thoughts/feelings, treats me extremely well and makes me laugh. We enjoy spending time together and there is definitely chemistry. He loves everything about me that my EX hated, lol. I’m on high alert for red flags but so far there have been none…after almost 19 years with a cheating asshat, maybe I’m due for someone wonderful in my life!

    Not sure if I’m at “meh” or not but life is a hell of a lot better than it was a year ago! And the future only looks brighter still. Thank you, Chump Lady and CN for all your inspiration.

  • CL, this is going to be a fun weekend. A Mightiness Check. We get mired down and forget to evaluate our successes. Am 10 months since DDay and 8 months NC. I feel my old self coming back.

    Live in an apt with great people.
    Have a lot of friends that I actually like/enjoy (previously only time with the people MoFaux liked).
    Live in a city that I adore.
    Am dating myself (dinners, concerts, plays, talks).
    Decorated apt in ‘early Salvation Army’ and I love my space and everything in it.
    Got rid of everything that reminded me of MoFaux (jewelry, paintings, photos, every gift he ever gave me, etc etc etc no matter how much monetary value it had).
    I fix everything that needs repair instantly.
    I save time by not having to close cupboards, doors, pick up clothes, wipe up messes, no yard work (yay!).
    I NEVER listen to conspiracy theories and never will again!!!!! This. This is a triple yay.
    I smile and laugh every day (many times).
    I never meditate (except for the ‘Fuck That’ meditation) and have NO guilt re the fact.
    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=3fetuZwO880
    I am hostess to no disordered common-law relatives who show disdain for me.
    And yesterday I bought a brand NEW BED that he has never been anywhere near.

    Life is completely excellent, as I reflect on it.

    • Virago, you are mighty! And thanks for the Fuck That meditation video–I’m crying with laughter! Especially since my fucktard was totally into that zen stuff and met his schmoopie at a self-improvement retreat.

    • Oh, I LOVE that meditation!! There are a few versions out on YouTube and I love every one of them. They actually work to break the cycle of tension, you laugh and breathe and it helps. Love the rest of your list too, Virago!

        • I think you’re right, Virago! Next up, “Fuck That Shit” meditation video especially for Chumps. Instead of OM we could chant MEH. Brought to you by your Zen mistresses, Virago and Fifi. Namaste.

      • I stumbled across the Fuck That meditation be accident and I was listening to it through headphones while sitting in the garden at work during lunch…I was holding it together and doing the breathing up till “if your mind drifts to the three ring shit show of your life”. Then I started cackling and never looked back.

    • One of my first purchases was a brand-spanking-new bed, too! I sleep peacefully in the knowledge that it has never been tainted by my ex!! 😀

      Cheers!!!

  • After 8 years of Ddays, Final Dday was, ironically, April Fool’s Day of 2012. I felt stupid and depressed and sorry for myself for what seemed like forever. I hated feeling that way so started googling to find out what others’ experiences were and how long I should expect to feel this way. Google led me to a divorcing mom’s blog, whose comments included a link to chump lady. I was already climbing out of the hole and had instinctively done lots of what CL advises, so OMG I felt so at home finally!

    After a short time of being single I realized that I had nothing to be afraid of. My ex-partner had never been much of a partner at all. I had been doing my part all those (13) years and, when it came to him doing his part, I was always right next to him doing at least half of the work. So those man-jobs that I was afraid of, like mowing the lawn, jump starting a dead battery, fixing plumbing, doing electrical work or anything that required tools…I was able to do myself. I got my own pink toolbox and a bunch of pink tools (so ex wouldn’t claim them when we settled everything) and have been maintaining my house since 2012 (with occasional help from my fabulous bro-in-law when I don’t have the muscle for something).

    I fought for, and got, the house in the divorce, so my 4 kids could have some part of their world stay intact. I used my excellent credit to refinance and had my interest rate cut in half. I’ve built a work-family that I adore, who love me back. I bought a new car and am close to paying off my student loans.

    My ex took me back to court several times to get more visitation on paper and lower CS from $1200 to $330/month (so laughable that I don’t even deposit the checks until I have a 2-3 months piled up), and even though he only takes 2 of the kids less than half the time he is supposed to, I am still able to take care of my finances and the kids, and keep a nice cushion in the bank, because I know how to manage money. He, on the other hand, is STUCK living in a nasty (roach and rat-infested) house in LA with bars on the windows, between an alley and a liquor store, with his nutcase AP (omg, I have stories!) and her mother and her 2 children, and her younger brother who is same age as her youngest, and another brother and his girlfriend…got his shiny new car repossessed and had to file bankruptcy because he charged his new life to a bunch of credit cards.

    I survived all the court appearances (to date) and a couple of ex-induced CPS visits, which are a major source of anxiety for me.

    I found, and briefly dated, an undiagnosed cluster C, believe it or not. Learned even more about personality disorders, and then realized that I really need to stop worrying about my romantic life and focus on my kids. I count this as an accomplishment, lol.

    I just gave birth to my nephew a month ago, as I was a surrogate for my infertile sister and fabulous bro-in-law. During my marriage we had discussed my desire to be a surrogate for either/both of my infertile sisters who have suffered too many heartbreaking losses to count, and my ex was vehemently opposed to my helping them. I am so NC that I was able to go through the entire process, including hospital stay without ex even knowing I was pregnant. Maybe it’s because it is the most recent accomplishment for me, but this is the thing that makes me feel most mighty 🙂

    Now, on maternity leave just in time for Summer, my kids and I can travel and do some fun things for the next several weeks!

    • JBaby, you said their place is rat and roach infested, but you need to add Whore Infested. That’s a real thing, you know.

    • BTW, regarding the surrogacy, here are some statements made by the ex, which to the trained nose reek of NPD:

      “I think God just doesn’t want them (my sisters, their respective husbands) to have children.”
      *Ahem. But God thought YOU would be a great candidate for fatherhood???

      “You don’t know what we (him and the kids) have to go through every time you’re pregnant!”
      *As if I just got pregnant all on my own ‘every time’ to punish him! Also, I have always tried not to be a burden on anyone, especially while pregnant.

      “I can’t handle the thought of my wife being pregnant with another man’s child.”
      *As if it would be conceived by having sex with my B-I-L.

  • 20 months out from D-Day, 15 months from divorce.
    – Started running 7 months ago, still doing it and will run a “Senior 5K” next month.
    – Got a promotion at work.
    – Initiated some friendships in my apartment building and there are now 5 of us who meet every month at the pub.
    – Began therapy almost a year ago with a supportive therapist.
    – I’m a good mommy to my pug dog.
    – Got up the nerve to tell acquaintances I’m ready to date, if they know of any nice single men.
    – Started writing poetry about what happened. It freed me.
    – Began writing a blog where I post poetry, musings on beginning again after 60, photography, perfume reviews and whatever else I feel like. It doesn’t matter if no one ever reads it. I’m having a blast with it.
    – A few Tuesdays ago, I landed on the shores of Meh. I’m shopping around for a spot with a view, where I can build a little cottage, and a lighthouse to guide and comfort chumps making their way through the stormy seas. When they wash up on shore, I’ll give them hot tea and biscuits with honey, next to a warm fire.

    • What a lovely metaphor, Fifi. I love the idea of a little cottage with a lighthouse to guide and comfort other chumps! Bravo.

    • “Meh. I’m shopping around for a spot with a view, where I can build a little cottage, and a lighthouse to guide and comfort chumps making their way through the stormy seas. When they wash up on shore, I’ll give them hot tea and biscuits with honey, next to a warm fire.”

      How beautiful Fifi, that brought tears to my eyes. Thank you.

  • Perfect timing for this as I’m feeling down lately seeing that skank OW is making herself more at home daily in my town, in my neighborhood and with my kids, so recounting what’s been good will hopefully help. 2.5 years out from DDay #1, 2 years (almost exactly) out from #DDay #2, after an 18-month battle, divorce was finalized about 6 months ago with an equal division of assets and child support granted, 60/40 custody in my favor, but still waiting on spousal support decision. I bought a house ON MY OWN. Negotiated an excellent price, and am currently navigating renovations. Still haven’t figured the career path after being a SAHM. But I have a professional degree so hopefully that will help get my foot in a door or two.

    I still try to untangle the skein. I still ask why. I’m waiting impatiently for Tuesday, but doing alright overall.

    • You’re only 6 months out from the divorce and the OW lives in your neighborhood? Ugh.

      Enjoy your new home and all the peace. Hang in there.

  • This is kind of silly, but since I have to still have cheater ex in my world due to our daughter I’ve been trying to think of something to call him rather than liar, cheater, etc. At least in my phone, email, etc.

    His spiel is that he is a Good Guy, I mean that’s all I ever heard from him. He seems to have fooled other people too, at least those that don’t know him well.

    So in honor of his noble character, I have decided to rename him Chucky, lol, after the Good Guy Doll in the horror movies. Now I have a cutesy name for him, with a visual, and I just laugh every time I think of him or hear from him. It’s hard to take anyone seriously when you think of them as that creepy little doll.

    • Hidey Ho!!!! Chucky, that sounds fitting! LOL

      Chucky: If this is what it takes to be human, then I’d rather take my chances as a supernaturally-possessed doll! It’s much less complicated! Think about it! What’s so great about being human? You get sick! You get old! As a doll, I’m infamous! I am Chucky! The killer doll!

  • I thought I was doing ok but really I was kidding myself. It has been 1.5 months after D Day and I can barely get out of bed most days- shower… What’s that? I am in a total chump slump while the STBX is out having the time of his life sewing his oats and pretending to be 23 again. I am here in the family home left trying to pick up the pieces. Whoa is me right now. I admit it, I am pathetic.

    • SK, no you are not pathetic. You are only 1.5 months out and your wounds are open and very raw. We have all been where you are and please believe me when I say that it does and will get better. Take it one day at a time. Come to this site daily and read. This site has saved many a good Chump and that includes me. CN has so many wonderful contributors who will help you and keep you on track. Don’t lose hope because CN have your back. ((((HUGS TO YOU)))).

    • For you, I dug up my first mightiness check from 1/15/2014:

      “I’m sitting here at work, two months out from D-day.

      – blah blah blah sad stuff –

      “I don’t feel mighty very often, I feel like an exposed nerve. But I did manage to get a therapist, Xanax, and Prozac within the first week. I go to work every day. I cry when I need to and read as much as I can to boost myself up. I sleep a lot, and try to be nice to myself. I’m going for sobriety starting today, and will concentrate on trying to eat more. I’ve lost 33 lbs in two months, so I’m exhausted much of the time and feel like my head is in a bag.

      I do feel mighty in that I am not begging for his return. I’m still standing, still breathing, and have to believe that this happened for a reason and that there will be better things in my life once I am free of this nightmare. This is a shoe that has been waiting to drop for a long time, and now that it has, I can go forward. I am sad, but I am also relieved that it’s happened, and that I don’t have to see him ever again.”

      So see, you’re in the first shitty part. You’re not pathetic. You’re recovering. It doesn’t feel like it but you will. I hibernated for a good six months, binge watching Game of Thrones, then I’d cry, then I’d call a friend, cry some more, sleep, more GoT. And I didn’t give a fuck if people thought I was pathetic. I needed it. Then I started taking baby steps back out into the world, into hobbies that I always wanted to try, towards activity with friends that felt good and not forced. I had to rebuild a life.

      Now, my life is completely different. I’m happy, I have wonderful friends, a great job and a lovely boyfriend who actually gets me. You’ll be fine too. Do things that comfort you now and believe me when I tell you it will get better.

      • Rumblekitty, brilliant to post your first mightiness check. It really illustrates the healing process from its weepy beginnings. SK, I watched Downton Abbey every night for a year, and camped out in my apartment surrounded by boxes waiting to be unpacked. All I did was drag myself to work, then home, take care of the dog, cry, and bed. You’re most certainly not pathetic. You’re a person with true deep feelings and a loving heart that got stomped. It takes time to heal. Hope you’ll visit here often and be inspired by chumps who have been just where you are now. (((Hugs)))

    • SpaceyKasey–all you need to do is survive the first 4 months–eat what you can, drink water, sleep as many hours as possible, and put one foot in front of the other, and do whatever it takes to protect yourself legally. No one expects any more; this process is horrific, and the early months close to unbearable. Hugs!

      • Yep. When I was in that place, I think I survived on Boost shakes, hard-boiled eggs, lunch-meat wrapped in muenster cheese, tons of sleep. (Eating was impossible.)

        Newbies . . . I highly recommend Netflix, a nice squeeshie blanket, and protein. Hibernation; make yourself comfortable and do what the fuck YOU want to do. If you have friends trying to drag you out to mingle, tell them to zip it until you know you can tolerate it.

        • And if you can’t afford Netflix, there is some version of Law and Order on pretty much 24/7. 🙂

    • Honey, you are not pathetic. He is. He dropped the bomb and left you to crawl out of the wreckage, which you will.. He is pathetic. Never forget it.

    • Kasey, sweetheart, you’re still in hell, omg, you are in those terrible and awful early days. You are NOT pathetic, that cheating lying scumbag STBX of your is. I know the feeling of being trapped in that dark and unfamiliar place, falling down, sobbing at times, sometimes calm but more often frantic, dizzy, disoriented, trying to figure out which way is up (or out), wishing I could sleep and never wake up, pretending I was on conference calls at work while I cried, trying to support my kids but not even being able to function or eat, wondering if it was even real or just a dream.

      Kasey, I even wished for death. But here I am four years after my ex lead a double life for decades and when caught, left me and our children with barely a trace. I am happily remarried and my children are doing great. I never could have dreamed this was possible. As CL says, the pain hurts like a motherfucker, but it is also finite. Other chumps are here, we have had different paths but we have survived and thrived–we have dated, re-married, decided not to date, decided not to re-marry. We have moved to farms, into Manhatten, onto a double-wide with our cats on several acres, in with our parents, into cottages, or stayed and re-mortgaged our marital homes. We chumps have gone back to school, gone back to work, traveled the world, lived new and authentic (and happy lives), supported ourselves, supported our children, fought for support from our exes, or gave up the fight to achieve peace. We chumps have done what we needed to do, each of us different but so much the same. Chumps will rock it once we have been able to mourn, and study, and analyze, and evaluate, and decide.

      I wish I could hug you and give you strength. I wish I could short cut the awful path that each chump must follow. You WILL get through this. You WILL find a better life. And until you do, we are here for you.

    • Don’t beat yourself up SK. You’re grieving and it’s healthy to grieve the end of a relationship. It sucks and it takes as long as it takes, but it’s a necessary step – I know from personal experience that if you don’t allow yourself to feel the feelings, they’ll find their way out later.

      Also, the fact that he’s out having a whale of a time right away while you are grieving does not make him awesome and you pathetic. It just shows that he’s disordered and emotionally stunted, while you are having a very normal reaction!

    • You’re not pathetic. It’s really early that’s all. There’s no avoiding feeling the suckiness, you just work through it.

      Just remember — it hurts because you feel. You’re an actual human with the capacity to love and commit. Don’t compare yourself to your cheating ex — with his shallow attachments and ability to disregard and devalue. That’s not “moved on,” it’s just an indication that he’s not that deep.

      You’ll get to the other side. Promise.

    • SpaceyKasey, I remember what it felt like to believe he was living it up while I was barely able to function. The weekend after my ex left I found out he went to a family birthday party at the OW’s home (with her husband present) and bought $300 worth of alcohol for their party. What a great guy!! Within a couple of days of my moving out, the OW was posting decorating ideas for our house on my husband’s Facebook page. I also saw a truck full of young girls pulling our little yearling horse around town, the one that I had waited so many years for. But guess what? 3.5 years later and my kids tell me that I’m “in a much better place” than their dad. They say he’s drinking heavily. They worry about his mental health. They say I’m the strong one. The way you’re feeling is normal, and you will get past this phase. Just hang on!

  • So many great posts. So much mightiness. Take note, new chumps. This is what is possible when you leave a cheater.

    Last summer, a friend urged me (at age 64) to sign up for a softball league. I haven’t played softball since I was 12, and that was during recess time at school. I was terrified, sure I would make a fool of myself, sure I would let my team down, sure I didn’t belong there. Well. Week by week, game by game, I got better. Teammates coached me up. I spent hours in the batting cage. I set up a place to practice throwing the ball. I got to know my teammates, most of whom were kids in their 20s, including our coach. I went to the cook-out hosted by one teammate and played beer-pong. And lost. My two favorite moments: mid-way through the season, I was leaning on the fence watching our team at-bat, and thought, “I’ve missed this all of my life.” Being a pre-Title IX female, I never got to play organized sports. I’ve spent a lifetime watching other play. I felt like a huge missing piece of myself had dropped into place. And we won the championship. I hit a double in the big rally that got us to the championship game.

    After two summers of struggle, I’ve mastered the riding lawn mower and also devised the best plan to manage both grass cutting and leaves on this 2 acres I am responsible for. Got the rider repaired so it runs well and had mulching blades installed. And thanks to one of my ballplayers who helped me last summer, I figured out I can actually use a walk-behind mower to cut a lot of the yard and it is terrific exercise. Mastering this has filled me with confidence about almost any homeowner challenge I could face.

    It helps that I have started dating a kind man with lots of home fix-it skills. (Met him through softball, too). One thing I really really like about him is that he doesn’t do things for me; he does them with me. We replaced the floor in my woodshed but he made me mark, cut and lay the wood. I helped replace the toilet and put new plates on the electrical outlets that had been bare since Jackass took off.

    Dating has also been a big learning process. I’m very protective of my time alone and wary of falling into old patterns, so going slow has been a necessity. And at my age, I find I don’t need a lot of diversity in this aspect of my life. What I value most is the man’s steady friendship. What I’ve learned so far is that it took me two full years to get ready to start getting to know someone without getting into some crazy codependent nightmare. So far, so good. But now I know whatever comes, I can handle it.

    Sitting here now, listening to the wren sing in the yard and so grateful for my happy life, and so grateful for this site, for CL and all of those who helped me get here and keep me on track.

        • Awesome! I’m impressed because a) I never could play softball and b) lawn mowers of all kinds intimidate me. (I got a push reel one at my last home because I figured I’d never have to learn to start it.)

          • Push mowers rock! Eco-friendly and great exercise. (So they leave a few straggly pieces of grass sticking up, preventing those perfectly-crafted lawns of one’s neighbors, and, ahem, causing said neighbors to report one’s lawn to the homeowner’s association. A little bit of spontaneity and higgledy piggledy-ness always reminde me of the Herrick poem:

            A SWEET disorder in the dress
            Kindles in clothes a wantonness:—
            A lawn about the shoulders thrown
            Into a fine distractión,—
            An erring lace, which here and there 5
            Enthrals the crimson stomacher,—
            A cuff neglectful, and thereby
            Ribbands to flow confusedly,—
            A winning wave, deserving note,
            In the tempestuous petticoat,— 10
            A careless shoe-string, in whose tie
            I see a wild civility,—
            Do more bewitch me, than when art
            Is too precise in every part.

    • Thank you Lovedajackass you give me hope. I am not nearly ready to date. Going to dating site s turns my stomach. I am 55 and do feel I don’t want to grow old alone but until I am fixed and can attract a man who will care enough to stick around if I get sick I will wait. I am afraid nobody will be attracted but I also realize that is because I have to work on loving myself. I want to get to the point where I am fine if it doesn’t happen because that’s when I think it will happen…

      • From what I’ve experience, what you say is all true. What I learned was how to love living alone. The peace, the quiet, the well-ordered home. Living alone presents so many challenges for someone like me, who has spent a lifetime in the codependent mode, focused on fixing things for others rather than on healing myself. I don’t think I will ever want to co-habitate again. But doing things you love to do will put you in situations where you can meet other people who love what you love.

    • Everyone’s welcome! Slumber party at my house!

      (and Eve is mighty in tons of ways that she hasn’t posted here–she took care of her kids well during the divorce proceedings, got a protective order, and is in an awesome job where she gets to help people with legal problems, including divorce issues. M.I.G.H.T.Y)

  • I got a lawyer. I kept the lawyer. I asked for the things I wanted. I stopped listening to his disordered thoughts, especially when he was trying to make me distrust my lawyer by telling me what his lawyer said about her, or insinuating she’s just trying to drive up costs. I stopped caring who mutual friends believe. I am not giving in on parenting time or custody time or spousal support or who gets the home, because I care about what’s best for the kids now and I don’t give a fuck how he feels about it all. Who knows how the divorce will go down but the fact that I didn’t dismiss the case when he was telling me we could fix it is mighty. Remembering that he sucks when he was seeming like he really might have gotten it this time is super mighty. I guess the sum of all these thoughts is, I now value my own needs and desires and beliefs more than I value his. That has to be the way to meh.

  • It’s been 5 years since I took my kids and left the douchebag. 5 years of struggling, being the good, sane parent, taking the high road, keeping my mouth shut, biting my tongue, etc. All waiting for the divorce to be final. (DB refuses to turn over his financials, so we finally have a court date set to take care of that. He may not want to turn them over to my lawyer but he sure as hell will have to turn them over to the master.)

    My oldest and I had a horrible fight last month. Screaming, yelling, cursing – just like the fights I used to have with DB. It took everything in me not to tell him he’s just like his dad. A few days later I sat him down to talk about respect. I explained what it is, how we need to treat each other with respect and how we need to demand it for ourselves. I then went into telling him how his dad completely disrespected me with his running around, his lying, his spending time with the slut and her family and in turn taking away time he could have spent with us. I explained how I didn’t want to break the family up, how I did the pick me dance, but that I was left with no choice. I told him how I have done everything I could to protect them from DB and how this isn’t the life I imagined for him, his brother and myself, but it is a better life than it would have been if I hadn’t left. He sat opposite me and just shook his head yes. He knew what was going on all along . At that point a weight lifted from my shoulders. I had been holding that in for so long I didn’t realize how much it was killing me.

    I feel like a new person. My head is in a much better place.

    I finally decided to get off my ass and loose the weight I put on while with that DB. 15 pounds down in the last 5 weeks and 65 more to go. No more emotional eating for me – healthy food and plenty of time at the gym. I can do it!

    I also helped my oldest with all of his college apps and visits and I’m proud to say that he will be starting college in the fall. Saved up the money and bought a car for him so he can get to and from his job this summer to save money for the fall. Got a membership at the gym for my youngest so he can get healthy also. Taking care of my mom who will be 95 this summer – still doing pretty good, but declining quickly.

    Thanks for letting me share. Sometimes we need to see it on paper to feel it and realize that we are all mighty in our own ways! Have an excellent weekend everyone!