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The Blog Odometer Rolled Over 10 Million

blogOn Sunday (and I wasn’t even paying attention! I missed it!) the blog odometer flipped over 10 million page views.

Damn. There are a lot of chumps.

Traffic has been growing steadily since I started this thing back in 2012, but now we’re up around 400K views per month, so the millionth flip thing is becoming a lot more common. But I gotta say 10 million gives me pause. Mostly at my own pig-headedness for continuing to write.

So, in honor of this Chump Nation landmark occasion, tell me — how did you wash up on our shores? What did you Google to find this place? And is it working? Did you leave a cheater and gain a life?

Happy Crazy Odometer Day, chumps!

Ask Chump Lady

Got a question for the Chump Lady? Or a submission for the Universal Bullshit Translator? Write to me at [email protected]. Read more about submission guidelines.
  • Well first let me say Congratulations! You deserve it Tracy and you do such a wonderful job of helping, please don’t ever stop. I truly love your no nonsense approach and truthfulness. It’s refreshing.

    I found myself here during my darkest days of pick me – Hope kills in these instances, and I wouldn’t wish it on anyone. I was part of an online site called Daily Strength – a great bunch of people going through the same thing offering support and comfort. Someone there mentioned your site and I checked it out and immediately felt and affinity. I don’t post very much because I’ve pretty much given up all my good stuff to Daily Strength at 3 a.m. – Now I sleep till 5:00 and although it’s been 5 years for me, I still visit here each day to listen to others stories and reinforce my own strength.

    Divorce is hard, betrayal is even harder and when your ego takes a hit like that it takes time. To you I give my ultimate thanks and gratitude. One day I hope I won’t need to come back here anymore but I’m not there yet. Part of me finds it sadly amazing that there are so many of us. Makes me lose a bit of faith in the world, and fear for my children’s future. But if I twist it to a positive, which I try to do all the time – I guess I could look at it as if there are at least 10 million good guys.

    I personally am not really sure I can ever trust anyone again. Well, that’s not quite right either…Part of me will always trust, but another part of me says – why the hell do you even want to try? Being alone is peaceful and I’ve got the best friend I could ever have nice and close… ME! (and of course, you CN 😉

    Tracy you have done 10 million + Goods in the world and you should be very proud of yourself. You are one strong, smart gal! Thanks for everything.

    • Same here. Came here through a post on daily strength. Your site just clicked with me the minute I read it. I had filed for divorce but was still very much hoping to reconcile. CL and CN helped me realize that I deserved better and I could make it through this. It’s been a little over a year now and things are slowly getting better. I still come here every day and try to contribute what I can as time allows. I plan to stay around and try to pay it forward. I credit this site with saving my life. Words cannot express the gratitude I have for you Tracy and the rest of CN.

      • Found my way from Daily Strength, too. That was a good first step, but it wasn’t quite what I needed. I found CL and CN, and that’s when I began to heal.

        • Me too. Unfortunately their infidelity board was so chock full of reconcilers when I found them and I took a lot of advice from those people that I probably shouldn’t have taken. No chump lady back then though. (2010). Ironically one of the most vocal posters against reconciling, and one who frequently got run off the board, posted a link to CL in 2013. I followed the link and eventually got the nerve to leave a cheater and gain a life! The rest shall we say is history!

          • My d day happened in March 2012. I found you that June. I don’t remember how. I was mostly likely plugging something exH said into google for translation in hopes of finding some hope to keep fighting for our marriage. I found hop alright but not in the way I expected to. I found hope that I would live, that the pain would dissipate, and that I would be okay regardless of his actions. 4 years later I can say all those things are true. I read your sight now to support other chumps and to ensure my picker remains fixed. I use phrases like ego kibbles on a damn near daily basis either as a joke or when someone is trying to play the victim. Words of thanks will never be enough to show you my appreciation Tracy!

          • There was no Chump Lady in 1996 either, but I somehow got a good therapist and crawled out of that situation. I came back looking because my SIL was in the same boat years later and I never had put a name on the monster I married. Love, Love, Love that I heard so much validation here. She is divorced at last and I know I escaped to live again, in a time that no one would think that was a good choice. Love the CN!

  • Found a link to your site on another MLC forum. You kept hitting the mark in everything you were writing and personality-wise, you and I are very alike lol There’s a lot of good common sense in what you write, it helps immensely in dealing with the cluster that our lives become in this mess. I had already left, but you helped in moving forward and healing. For that, I can never thank you enough. 🙂

  • Tracy,

    This site is a life-saver. You have saved lives. Why do I say this? Because you saved mine. I googled “do serial cheaters change” and brought me to your site. (Note to newbies: they don’t.)

    I found your site in April 2013 and I had already started the divorce process then after the third OW. Yeah, I was one of those unicorn-chasers. Finding your site opened my eyes, and helped me realized that filing for divorce was the only way to gain back my life.

    Cheater ex attempted reconciliation months after the divorce and still living with the OW. I can honestly say that since I was already schooled the Chump Lady way, I effortlessly refused reconciliation. There was no hesitation, no second guessing. Reconciliation was not even an option.

    Yes, I have gained a life. And what a wonderful life it is. I’ve chosen not to partner with a significant other right now but have chosen instead to partner with someone more significant: myself. I was in a mock marriage for over a quarter of a century (stating it this way makes it sound so long because being married to an asshole really made it a painfully long marriage) that I lost myself. I am now enjoying finding myself and enjoying life on my own terms. I have been at meh for quite sometime now and my only regret is why you, Tracy, were not born sooner. 🙂

    Truth is truth and that’s why your site endures.

    Thank you for everything you do.

    • UniquelyMe, I like what you said about a “mock marriage.” I feel that way about mine now, too. It was “real” to me though at the time, but I now realize it was all a big sham. It wasn’t a sham on my part, but it was on his part, so that makes it a mock marriage. I’m so happy you are at meh!! Congrats!

  • Oh how I wish I had found you sooner while I was going through the divorce. I would have had more gumption….Thank god for my lawyer. I finally stumbled upon it by a recommendation in First Wives Community. Since then I go there frequently and recommend your blog. Lots of chumps like me on the site!

  • Awesome! Congratulations!

    Basically I was forced to leave the marriage. I did the Pick Me Dance for a couple of months and wasted a lot of time reading on wreckonciliation sites. I heard about your site from someone on PsycopathFree dot com (which was the first eye opening site for me). I finally saw what she was and knew what I had to do. You, through this amazing blog, saved my life. In the first two months I lost 50 lbs and couldn’t sleep more than 3 hours a night. After selling our house she moved to be with her AP and I haven’t heard a peep from her. She went no contact so that part was easy. It’s trying to recover from 30 years of the Mindfuck that’s been the real hard part for me.

    Thank you for all the good you do with your words.

  • My divorce was final back in 2000. I do not recall how I stumbled across your blog, but as I read for the first time I thought, “oh, I wish I had read this back in the 90’s.” Back before I wasted so much time and energy and money (marriage counseling) trying to save a doomed relationship. Post divorce I got involved with another lying jackass. Thank God I didn’t marry that fool.

    I don’t post very often, but I read a few times a week always thinking, “NEVER AGAIN.”

    Love reading the comments, and I silently cheer for so many people in the Chump Nation.

    Tracy, your writing is refreshing. You’ve taken your personal pain and turned it around with strength, dignity, and hilarious writing. I applaud you and wish for you all the best.

  • Tracy, without you I would have no doubt pick me danced again and again.

    Yes it worked for me after 36 years of being married to a serial cheating narcissist. My therapist suggested going on a blog and I found yours.

    What helped me initially was following through with no contact and finding my anger. You and the amazing nation were there every step of the way for guidance and gave me the strength I lacked through a lifetime of disrespect and abuse.

    After detatching and detoxing from my abuser, I trust myself and gained a life.
    And it was a well earned struggle for a better life.

    Thank you Tracy and congratulations!

  • I found you when I looked up why men cheat. It was fall of 2012. But I didn’t listen to what you wrote….I was way past crazy train. I was obsessed with finding out why why why and who who who. I rode that crazy train to jail and back. Literally.
    It was hard reading the truth. This person who took 20 years of my life didn’t love me, used me, emotionally abused me. I was in the river, deep, floating upstream….the river of Denial.
    There were times I would read others stories and see myself and I had to log off…..I couldn’t believe what I was reading. It made me physically sick.
    Now, I am not at Meh but I am off the crazy train, I am still not divorced…4 years later….he still wants my tea pot collection…..but I am good….real good. It’s him, not me….but I own my reasons for staying. I am doing the work on me on why I allowed the abuse. Never again. And now….just this week 5 women have come to me for help.
    Thank you for being you and using your heartbreak to help others.
    Much success is deserved. Chump Lady and Chump Nation saved my life.

    • I found chump lady while i was on vacation in Holland. My sister saw that I really needed to get away from it all. That was march of last year. I stumbled upon chump lady tru a link posted on the blog ” Lessons from the end of a marraige “. The post was about when cheaters suddenly leave. It was funny too.That day it all clicked and made sense. I refused to believe that I was partly to blame for his cheating. And CL confirmed that for me. I’ve now been divorced for a year, and without THE cheater for 2 years. I love every minute of it. I never missed him one day, I think that says alot. This weight have been lifted of my shoulders, i feel at peace with myself, I got to know and love my self again.
      I used to struggle with my weight when we were together, but guess what, it is staying of without Any excersize. Amazing How that works. And next month I’m going to Holland again and I’m so looking forward to it. A promise I made to myself is that I will take a vacation abroad every year. Something we never did in THE 23 years we were together. He’s not paying any child support, but Tthe kidz and I manage. Life is wonderful again. So thank you CL, for this wonderful blog. It truly has been and still is a great help to me.

      • I followed the link from the same post on Lessons from the End of a Marriage.

  • Thank you Chumplady & fellow Chumps for waking me up & educating me. You were wonderful to watch last night, my 1st online video experience ever. I thought my cheater was special, so needy of me, no self esteem, that he would “never do to someone else what his 1st wife did to him.” There are terms for this I learned, for example, sad sausage, etc.
    I found out about this blog from The Buffalo News newspaper a few months ago, 4 years after my cheater left me & his son for one of his affair partners.
    My life has evolved into a slow, but real growing experience. I am still alone (his son took off last August for his father’s place with his main affair partner) & haven’t dated. I am good with myself. I see my cheater every day at work, but it had gotten easier to ignore him. He is repulsive, & I am in a way, grateful for his skank for taking out my trash.
    I want to be all better right away, but this “new normal” takes time to integrate. With a broken picker, I am in no rush to get involved again. I almost died from weight loss when he left. If it is meant to be, it’ll be.

    • “He is repulsive…………” AMEN to that! I’m from the Buffalo area, too, Paigeup. 🙂

    • “I thought my cheater was special, so needy of me, no self esteem, that he would ‘never do to someone else what his 1st wife did to him.’ ” God, did we end up with the same POS? I got the same BS line, only to find out he’d been cheating on me for over half of our relationship.

      I found Chump Lady through a Buzz Feed article and have not looked back since. Everything post resonates with me and reminds me how crazy my sad sausage is, but also how similar to every other cheater. Chump Lady and Chump Nation have gotten me through this devastating betrayal, and I thank everyone of you. (((HUGS)))

    • @paigeup that he would “never do to someone else what his 1st wife did to him.”

      This hit me so hard. My STBX told me he would NEVER EVER cheat on me because his first wife did it to him, and he said it hurt so bad, he wouldn’t want that pain on anyone. Yeah, that was a lie. I’m half tempted to reach out to his first wife and ask for her side of the story, to be honest… Then again, I might just leave the past in the past and move on with my kids and myself.

      • Paigeup, Aowlee and Springy, so you got that line too? I thought I was the only one!

        My husband’s first wife left him, after ten years of marriage, for a man she met in their village pub. (Ten years after that she left her AP-turned-husband for yet ANOTHER man she’d met in THEIR village pub. #Thedangersofshandy. But that’s by the by).

        My husband has always been vocal about the pain her infidelity caused him, and about the fact that he would leave a relationship rather than ever cheat. But that didn’t stop him from signing up to Ashley Madison, Illicit Encounters and Adult Friend Finder.

        Hugs to you.

      • Oh, count me in on that one too! STBXH was so devastated by his first wife cheating on him that he could NEVER do that to someone else. Just another lie, I guess…

  • You’re the go-to site for Divorce – Reddit advice on affairs. I found you via (multiple) references on that thread. No mean feat.

    • Same here. Not sure which subreddit or thread exactly, but probably r/divorce or r/relationships

  • I was googling blogs about infidelity- found the Happy Hausfrau first, and she had a link to Chump Lady.I check in everyday, and on Sundays I re read the old posts- just to keep me on the path. I still have to see my ex just about everyday- we own a business together that requires both sets of skills- if I go, it’ll fold, and I’ve spent a lot of my life and heart on it. So I choose to stay working there, and dealing with the fuckwit, and Chump Lady keeps me sane enough to do it

  • A fellow chump on the internet in one of those northern M states told me about it. and now I repay the favor by sending every chump I encounter here

  • I found this site through Divorce Minister. (Whom I found on a RIC site.). Thanks to you both!

    • Same here. I was in a couple month period of trying to decide what to do, just trying to get through the holidays. Every night I would scour the Internet hoping for some nugget of truth that would help.

      After what amounts to 4 D-days in a 6 month period I wanted to be done. My gut was telling me to get the heck out, but I needed something more. When o stumbled upon Divorce Minister it was like a spiritual balm for me. And then he directed here and it gave me the words and actions that I needed. It was like the final puzzle pieces I needed to see my situation clearly.

      And in a few weeks my divorce will be final. Still waiting for Tuesday but I know it will come.

      • Same^^^ in 2015! I wish it could have been in 2012 when my world blew up! I was traumatized, felt alone and near crazy. Nobody understood what I was going through … and neither did I! Thanks to CL, and DM I know that I am not alone or crazy! Thank you!

  • A year into wreckonciliation, I discovered he had kept seeing his most recent sidechick the entire time. So I drove to the bookstore crying my eyes out after I had just packed up his things and kicked him out. I felt so taken advantage of, so hopeless, like my life was over.

    Your new book caught my eye and in an act of boldness I bought it. I promise you wrote every page about EXACTLY what I was going through. It was like you had witnessed parts of my life! How do you know my cheater so well? Imagine my surprise that there is a whole online community.

    I have felt so isolated because of shame. Well, I am no longer alone!!! I am so happy to find other trusting souls who, like me, have been taken advantage of and been betrayed but have persevered. I especially appreciate your humorous insight. It’s been a long time since I’ve really laughed.

    Thank you. Thank you. Thank you.

  • First I’ll say a big THANK YOU and CONGRATUATIONS to you, Chump Lady (Tracy)!!!! I ditto all the good things the people above have said about you and your blog. 🙂

    I found you on Facebook. I “liked” a different page and your page showed up on that page. I don’t believe in accidents, but I checked out your page to see what it was about and lo and behold(!!!!) I found EXACTLY what I needed. Thank you, God!

    I wish you were around over 20 years ago, during the first devaluation of me (wasn’t even married yet.) I wish you were around when I found the “love letters” from someone he visited in England (wasn’t married yet) and he denied anything was going on with her. I don’t believe him anymore. A woman doesn’t write to a man, “If you come visit me in England (he did!), I’ll spend the whole night with you and have sex with you.” I was a stupid chump for believing him when he told me there was “nothing” going on between them. I don’t think they ever had sex as she got a quickie marriage to someone else while he was there. BUT I now believe he was sending her love letters when he was involved with me. Narcs do that kind of stuff. I wish you were around when I was pregnant with our second child and he devalued me for the second time and was involved with someone from work (which he still denied to this day.) I should have left him then, but I kept trying and kept doing the Pick Me Dance, the next 14 years.

    Cheaters and liars NEVER change!

    Thank you Chump Lady and Chump Nation! I read you almost every day. You have all been so a big help to me!

  • It has been 1.2 years since the divorce was finalized and since I have been No Contact after 36 years of emotional, physical, mental, and financial infidelity! My ex was a worm a spineless specimen of a man! I have never been happier however it meant losing contact with my 2 adult sons! Even that I have come to terms with! Divorce is hard and it is why I tell young people don’t bothering getting married! Once your legally married this assholes see it as an opportunity to abuse and use their own families! I also stumbled on Chump Lady and was flabbergasted at the similarities of these assholes! I too would have left years earlier if I had access to such a well written informative site! Chump Lady kept me strong when the monkey kept turning our divorce into a circus and ran up the costs of the divorce! The losses were high but getting rid of that lying POS was worth every penny. I live alone and that is the Happy Ending of that story!

  • I found you on SI– there was a thread where your perspective on cheating came up, so I came over pretty much right as you launched because it sounded like I was on the same page as you.

    I hope you do get a TED talk or get asked to speak on talk shows. People really need to hear your perspective. Why anyone would think that staying with a cheater in this day and age is necessary and/or the right thing to do, I have no idea. I have pretty old-fashioned parents who grew up in the 50s, and even they have always said that there’s no excuse for cheating and would never have approved of my staying!

    • Movingon you are so right! Why does anyone think staying with a cheater is a good idea? Life is really too short and I am so thankful for CL and CN!

  • How can I ever thank you enough. I am five months divorced. It was ugly, mostly because I did not roll over and die and I did not do the pick me dance. This was his second affair and I was done. The first 20 years ago. I knew I did not want to reconcile with this man. I knew coparenting would not be a healthy option for me or my older kids. I was looking for guidance in the early dark days because so many sites told me to fight for the marriage or to be friendly for the sake of the children. I knew this was wrong. When dealing with a narcissist there is no option other than as much no contact as possible. Your words and insight helped me through the crazy. At one point my ex asked who I was and who was counseling me. He no longer recognized me because I stopped being a chump. No more cake. I am not at meh. I loved this worthless man. But, knowledge is power and I am now free. I am trying to find myself and am enjoying my freedom from this man. I have learned so much and continue to be inspired. Please don’t stop. It helps to know that I am not the only one that understands this sort of crazy. I just wish there weren’t so many of us. Until you live it, you have no idea. You are helping me become a better person for my future self. No longer blindly trusting and not listening to the nagging doubts I always had in the back of my mind. You helped me to know its going to be okay. I’m going to be okay. You give me hope. Thank you!

    • Chumpfree,

      You just said everything I am feeling and said it better than I ever could. Thank You!

  • My life was a chronic suckfest but went into suck-overdrive in 2005 when he turned 40 so I assumed he was in midlife crisis, so I found a board to support me. That board gave me breath at times and saved my sanity.

    I dont completely dismiss the idea that there are some humans that go into crisis at midlife but I have come to see that most of them are likely similar to my H in that they probs sucked and cheated all along but got to midlife and the coping skills that covered them before quit working, so it SEEMS like a sudden crisis when it wasnt.

    One day they mentioned you and I came to visit but I was a unicorn, you see…we were reconciled for almost 7 years and I was so good at spackling I ignored the red flags we had flying all over the house. I think I posted a really stupid unicorn comment which Im still embarrassed over .

    So he drops dead and I start finding shit in my house… cdrom of photos of OW (who he supposedly broke up with before we even moved here). Then there was a gift/souvenir from a place he claimed they never went to together…then the trip manifest and hotel reciepts from a trip they took that he had “come clean” about except the story was full of lies (the biggest of which was claiming they never had sex – a tale he held fast to until his dying breath.)

    I was pushed over a cliff by a person I had urged deadH to get counsel from…I assumed H1.0 never spoke to him then just before my remarriage, I had occasion to speak to this man and I asked him if deadH struggled with telling me the truth and the words which came from him sent me reeling “the first affairs were just about sex but he fell in love with that last one and couldnt let her go” . I had no idea there were any “first affairs” and my whole life now needed to be reprocessed.

    Like the “mock marriage” referred to above, I now joke that I got married because I wanted to try it once. My new husband is a gem, but his tolerance to process this with me over and over is less than my need to do so. I owe you all a huge debt of thanks for putting up with my shit here.

    • My X’s meltdown at 36 also looked like a “crisis,” but in reality the lies and cheating had been there from the start. Losing his coping skills went hand-in-hand with losing his hair! Such a narc! I think you’re right about telling ourselves that they must be in some kind of crisis in order to cope when they lose their shit. But it’s all a sham.

      • “Losing coping skills”- you are so right! Mine didn’t lose his hair…. He just had erectile dysfunction. Ha! Served the cheating, lying ex right!

  • Congratulations! Not sure how I found you, I’m guessing it was through a WordPress tag search on divorce. However it was, it is always refreshing reading incite and looking back at the pass and laughing my ass off!

  • I was a mess when I found your blog (August last year): 1 month post divorce, and 6 months post DDay. I had suicidal thoughts and could barely function. Was surrounded by Switzerland friends and was buying into their bullshit (mid life crisis excuses mainly) and I was on meds for my depression.

    Somehow, in my desperate search for answers (yes, why, why, why was the obsessive question) I stumbled across Infidelity Help Group website. Chump Lady is on their blogroll. And THEN, it was like skies parted and the light came shining through.

    Because there was my answer, pages upon pages of it. The answer that made sense, the only answer: it was him all the time, nope I didn’t bring this shit storm upon myself and my kids, yes he is an idiot, infidelity is abuse, yep my whole relationship with him was marked by emotional abuse, yep what I need to do is focus on myself, heal, forget about the piece of shit and move on to a better life.

    It’s been less than a year since my divorce and I am no contact with my asshole cheater ex and managed to get my shit together somehow: got a brand new job, lost all Switzerland friends one after the other, got off meds but still going to therapy, got a good lawyer who has my interests at stake, got to work on myself and my picker and life is just much better. In short I am much better. I cannot thank Chump Lady and Chump Nation enough for this.

    There is still a long road ahead me to meh, but I am on the right road and that’s a very comforting thought.

    Cheers and thanks again to all of you lovely people and Chump Lady!!! You are all great and an inspiration.

    • I found CL via IHG,also. I initially thought she was a little harsh, but after a few weeks of fake reconciliation and NO REMORSE from the cheater, I started coming back more and more. After finding out a few months later he was still seeing the skank, I followed CL’s tips on get a divorce (keep quiet about your feelings and plans, get ducks in a row, etc), sprang divorce papers on him, and the 18-month battle began.

      Now, 6 months post-divorce, I’m still healing. Love CL and CN.

    • {{{{HUGS!!!}}}} to you, Unchumping!

      You have made great strides…..I love how you described landing here: “….it was like skies parted and the light came shining through.” THIS! You put into words what I feel about finding my way here.

      Glad you are off meds, as the real problem is that we were overdosing on poop-sandwiches, gas-lights & cheaterspeak! Eliminating those toxic substances from our life & from our souls sure does a body good!

      Gotta agree that coming to understand that the way they treat us & their disgusting conduct is abuse of the worst sort. Learned so much here at the ‘Nation…..’

      So glad you are one of my ‘fellow citizens’!

      Forge on, Unchumping……ForgeOn!

      • ForgeOn, many ((((hugs)))) right back at ya!

        The only way is forward for us all, away from abuse, away from the pain and tears inflicted upon us by our cheaters, away from toxic relationships, tons and tons of shit sandwiches and dysfunction. One step in front of the other with patience, resilience and self love (an alien concept for many of us chumps).

        I count my blessings every day now, and having such a wonderful support group like Chump Nation is part of those blessings.

        Sometimes you win and sometimes you learn, as they say. Chump Lady is a one kick ass chick. Each and every member of this community is a kick ass person and a decent human being that deserves the best in life.

  • Congratulations. I really enjoyed seeing the question and answer online last night. You’re a great speaker as well as a great writer. I hope that this blog continues to bring you good things.

    How did I find Chumplady? I think it was by way of Tina Swithin and One Mom’s Battle. I used the advice there to get through the divorce, but it can became really overwhelming to hear the stories there while trying to heal. So someone recommended Happy Hausfrau, and she recommended your blog, and that was that. Great resources all, but the posts and forums here are where I met some great people who helped me through the toughest times of trying to make sense of my new life.

    I really think there must be an epidemic. I met two new chumps last week alone. People have lost their shit. I guess its possible people just put stuff out in the open more now, but it doesn’t seem possible that so many people could have been acting so shitty for so long and everyone just looked happy and stayed married. I know there have always been monsters and shitty people, just seems to be happening more frequently now. No time to research that!

    • I think it’s an epidemic also. It’s so scary how alike the stories all are.

    • I think the epidemic is chumps calling out the cheaters – THANKS TO TRACY for that !!!!!!! I was hiding under a rock and ready to forgive and wreckconcile until I found CN. Now I’m so full-on transparent the MC is almost frightened of it. She asks how I feel and I know exactly how I feel and I tell her and my cheating wife exactly how I feel. Leave a cheater, gain a life. Trust they suck. It’s all about entitlement. Cheating is ABUSE. Oh darn, my hours up….

      • MC is scared cos once you decide to divorce, no more sessions, no more money, excellent choice! Jedi hugs

    • DoneNow- not sure if it’s more people are talking about, or more people are opening up to you about it because you are more open to listening, or it’s a red-car thing. When you buy one you see them all over the road. But, I prefer think of the former two.
      Most of the marriages I actually see up close well, they don’t seem all that happy, especially long-term marriages.
      Now, I wonder why that is. Let’s hope what you’re seeing is more people leaving the shit behind and getting out of their dysfunctional marriages.

      If so, Mightywoman Chump Lady and C/N is here to give them at that push they need!

      Congratulations CL! – I have a feeling you’re about to hit stardom – first from a TED talk, and next to the talk shows.
      Marriage shows are very popular on Serius XM and somebody has got to get out their and force the idiot Dr. Laura off the air in sheer numbers of listeners.

  • I was a regular on Natalie Lue’s Baggage Reclaim, which was great for me. And one day she explained the Pick Me Dance and linked to here … and I think I fell in love!

    • Yes, that’s how I found Chumplady too. Through the Baggage Reclaim site from Natalie Lue. One of the comments on the site mentioned Chumplady and I came on this website and was instantly hooked!

  • I found a reference to Chump Lady in a forum post at the website Out of the Fog. Near the end of my marriage I came across a reference to narcissistic behaviors, and suddenly the crazy patterns started to fit. I love Tracy’s humor and layers of anger, it helped me move much further out of confusion and shame. I learn from other posters and find inspiration. Thank you.

  • Looking back at the still short arc of my (conscious) Chump journey it’s easy find the point of inflection where total SUCK stopped and the light at the end of the tunnel appeared. I stumbled onto CL 40 days after my third D-Day. It was only then that I came to know there wouldn’t be a fourth, because I finally found the support I needed to ‘Leave a Cheater, Gain a Life’. I bought the book immediately and started consuming the wisdom of Tracy.

    I had to check my browser history to recall what I was searching. That particular day I was working through the SUCK of ‘friends who supported your cheating spouse’ and The Google led me here. The rest as I now say is MY STORY, not hers anymore.

    • Deepn–I’m looking for tips on how to get over the anger of Switzerland friends (one in particular I had confided details and it feels like a second betrayal). Any advice is welcome.

      • I’m still dealing with the betrayal from friends too! I think that is part of the reason I’m having such a hard time healing. My ex had his affair with a friend and neighbor of ours and she was telling one of my close friends all about the affair and my so called friend never even gave me a hint something was going on. And several of my neighbors who I thought were my friends had seen him at her house early in the morning or he would pick her up, and how she would come to my house if I wasn’t home- this caused them to suspect something was going on and they talked about it amongst theirselves but never said a word to me! Then after the truth came out they all thought I would just forgive him and we would all go on like nothing happened! I don’t see or talk to anyone anymore- I have my kids, my sister, and I’m trying to make new friends. This really changed my entire life and I’m still struggling everyday and it will be 3 years next month! Too many people hurt me!

        • I’m sorry, SoMuchHurt. I had a similar experience where others knew, said nothing and went about with their lives watching my asshole fuck around. I don’t think the chump head-scratching about” What Kind of People ARE These so-called friends and neighbors” really goes away. We just become smarter, no longer ignorant of fence sitters, apologists, and other satellite cheater cowards, and we axe them out of our worlds. Life is to short to be surrounded by assholes by choice.

          Big hug to you.

      • I particularly have a hard time with brother’s ex-wife (yes she is a cheating whore and did the same to him as was done to me) She knew about my husband cheating in 2006 and when I asked her about it she claimed she knew nothing, years later I learned that was not the case, she knew, she was just up to her own tricks. Anyways, she has been friends with my ex and ALL the women he cheated on me with, and never said a word.

        These disordered people are drawn to each other I guess. I’m sorry but I don’t believe in fence sitting or “Switzerland Friends”, either you are my friend or you are not. If you are friends with my ex then you are nowhere near my friend. Because if you know what he’s done or perhaps saw it with their own eyes, to me they are just as guilty and have issues within themselves that they would allow someone like that in their lives.

        Life is too short for fence sitters.

        Tempest, I say let them go. I saw someone post that Madea video from Youtube, where she just says to let people go, and it resonated with me. I don’t need any part time people, or people who you KNOW are sharing what you are doing or how you are doing, with the ex. Screw that. Either you’re with me or you’re against me. Your choice.

        • I agree with you, Bamboozled, and am willing to let the friend go. But I can’t suppress the internal conversations where I explain to her the sheer depth of my betrayal (X was a serial cheater, he’s claiming he only made a “mistake” by having one affair & it was because of “marital problems”). I even shared instances of emotional abuse with this friend (independent of the infidelity), and yet she has said to another friend, “All marriages have problems” and implicitly implied I was almost-equally responsible for the demise of the marriage.

          I’ve tried hard to stop ‘talking’ to her in my head, but haven’t been effective. I’m ghosting her & her husband, but they’ll never know because I suspect they’re ghosting me, too.

          • One day I had this uncontrollable urge to tell my ex what I thought of him, what he is and bit more vitriol. So doing my best to keep NC, I decided to just start typing (i’m faster at typing than I am writing) and i figured at the end if I truly wanted to send it I could. I typed and typed for a good hour and OMG it was so cathartic to get the words out, out of my head, to rid my soul of these feelings of anxiety, hurt, betrayal, and I decided in the end, that just writing it made me feel so much better.

            It was like a weight was lifted off my shoulder. Maybe something like this will work for you? Maybe write them a letter getting out all your feelings of hurt and betrayal and once done you can decide if you want to send it to them.

            • Thanks, Bamboozled–great idea (and then the neighbors may stop thinking I’m one bubble short of plumb as I emotionally ‘talk’ to my friend while walking dogs)!

              • I ride my bike up steep hills and CUSS THE SHIT out of my wife. It’s very therapeutic. Talking to yourself is a sign of advanced intelligence IMHO – most people can’t even carry on a conversation with someone else much less two at the same time with themselves.

            • I do the same. I write until my hand cramps and all my emotions are out on paper. I’m not angry at these friends yet….but I suspect it’s because I’m starting to feel the burning rage toward my ex and don’t think that we are emotionally equipped to deal with that kind of anger toward more than one or two people at a time. I think that once I release the venom about ex and get closer to meh, the friends will be waiting in line. Maybe the same rules should apply; cut them loose, go no contact, and vent safety. It’s too bad that they seem to be made from the same cut of cloth. From what I can tell, I’d rather have any one person on this site as a friend than the hoard of losers I used to associate with. Tempest, I am so sorry you were also betrayed by someone else you trusted. It sucks, and trust that this person does too.

          • Tempest, I experienced the Swiss friends too believing only what they heard from now-ex. Like yours, he told them only of the one AP I caught him with. They decided the wife would support me and the husband would support him (fitting because the Swiss husband had an emotional affair some time ago [emotional my ass]). Apparently during wreckoncilation, ex told them I would never forgive him so the Swiss H sent me an email with a link to an article on forgiveness. I didn’t respond so Swiss H called me and I blew him out and at some point when I took a breath, he said that he didn’t know about the serial cheating. When the prostitute usage came to light, guess who I called first? You got it – Swiss H to make sure he knew. Interestingly they continue to support ex. I’m guessing that they have to support him given that Swiss H is a known cheater too. Wouldn’t look right if they didn’t. So I officially went NC with them at the beginning of this year by blocking them everywhere I could. I don’t need people like that in my life.

            • Funny you mention your Switzerland couple; my ‘friends’ did the same thing–he supported X; she supported me. But she doesn’t like controversy, and while she nods as I report the latest news on X’s serial cheating, there is clear backing away, too (desire to not talk about, pointing out X only says nice things about me–yeah, cuz I didn’t fuck 1/3 of the student body the way he did!), and my Switz friend was instrumental in getting another couple (who fully supports me & hates X) to attend a dinner party with X and his new GF.

              Motivation? Same as your friends–Switzerland man left his wife and two small children 30 years ago to be with someone else (current Switz woman–though she was told he was separated at the time & thus may not count it as ‘cheating’). Fuck ’em, but damn if it doesn’t burn being blamed as complicit in my own victimhood.

              • Damn. I knew Hannibal was a bastard, but he’s into some disturbing kink. For those of us who’ve lived a more sheltered life, how exactly does one fuck 1/3 of a student body? Never mind. I’ll just google it.

              • Tempest,

                I think they are all users and want their cake. Some of these people I used to be friends with, including ex, were friends and nice to people who were of use to them. Have a pool? I’ll come over and be your friend so I can go swimming. I need a babysitter, can I be your friend? There’s a job opening, can you put in the good word for me? My husband just died, so I will call you in the middle of the night and you will come over and support me and my family while I recover…until I don’t need you anymore. And on and on it went. Each one of them can just Fuck Off!

              • I love you Tempest :o)

                hannibal may strut his stuff and hand it over to all takers but he will never enjoy life with a class act like you ever again on this earth! No mature, classy woman with integrity is ever gonna give him even just the time of day… The best that he will ever do is date children that probably laugh about him behind his back and blatantly use him for whatever he is offering right to his face. He, as satan, is his own worst enemy.

                Karma cometh for thee hannibal…and it won’t be pretty! No siree!!!! 😀

              • Tempest, I know it’s hard to hear and may not be something that you can do career wise, but just let go of the idea that Switerland friends will ever understand what that evil f*er did to you.They will never agree with you, they will just never understand, no matter what evidence you provide, no matter how much reading material you present to them that backs up what you have to say, not even when they see it with their own eyes. Some people are that stuck in evil that they will not change, they cannot change, just like your ex. I sent a Switerland friend a link to an article explaining the horror that the x put me through. Supposedly she read it, but 2 years ago her husband commits suicide, what was she doing 15 minutes before he does this, she was speaking on the phone with the x. Her husband considered the x as a brother, a true friend,and the x was on the phone with his wife, it must have been a horrible situation for that poor man. He was dead 15 minutes later. He must have felt something was going on, he might have known something was going on between his wife and his good friend and he did the unthinkable. Switzerland friends are not people that you need to convince, they are people that you have to cut loose, before they can do harm.

              • Flutterby–I know you’re right. Cognitively, I’ve let Switz couple go, but find myself consumed with anger that I have behaved impeccably toward this couple for over a decade, they’ve seen my X’s bad & impulsive & egotistical behavior, and yet they’re still willing to believe him. I need to work on letting go, which is all on me (and not dependent on changing their minds).

                This is clearly a case where believing that there should be justice in the world is working against me. I still rail against accepting that dishonesty and injustice can prevail. But just as we all gave up agency at maintaining our diseased marriages to diseased people, I need to accept a lack of agency with the Switzerland friends. (Perhaps I should join RockStarWife in training for a marathon so I’m too tired to think about Switzerland couple?)

                Thanks for your words of encouragement : ).

  • Congrats, Tracy, and thank you for starting CN. The support I’ve found here, the information and just the validation that I’m not crazy or alone has meant the world to me.

    I believe the exact Google search that brought me here was “husband had an affair left me for the other woman how will I ever survive” and yet, here I am. Some days are definitely much harder than others, but here I am. The most disgusting thing I found along my search was a page with hundreds of wining cheater fuckheads complaining about how they just couldn’t let go of their AP after promising their spouse/partner they would. The glimpse inside a cheater’s head just a week or two out from D-Day was nauseating. But then I found Chump Nation and finally felt like it wasn’t my fault and that cheaters gonna cheat no matter what and I could have done nothing to stop it.

  • Yes, with the help of your original book and the blog I left a cheater and I am working on gaining a life. I found you about 5 months after d-day while I was reading all the wreckinciliation sites/books. I just couldn’t drink that kool-aid anymore. My stbx is a narcissist that used blameshifting, gaslighting, guilt and manipulation to keep me in his anxiety filled world for 18 years. No more! I lined up ducks and at the 1 year d-day anniversary i was ready. I saw a lawyer, filed for divorce, I bought my own place, started school, see a great therapist weekly (she’s a tough, little Jewish lady too!), and I go as nc as possible with two teenagers. He has turned family and friends against me and told everyone he can that- we just grew apart! The truth is I was committed and gave it my all but I didn’t know what I was up against. I tried to fix him but you can’t fix narc. I was married with children and he was living as a singleman in his double life. I’m not being his wife appliance that he emotionally abuses and takes for granted anymore –thanks to chumplady for showing me the way! I thank God for you every day. Without you I would surely still be miserable and wondering what I’m doing wrong and why the love of my life treats me so bad, then good, then blames me, and isolates me, and all in the name of love. Thank you-I am eternally grateful.

  • I found your site when I was really struggling with no contact.I think I may have googled those words and something came up about silence being the ultimate fuck off to these cake eating narcissists.
    Reading your advice and the experiences of so many chumps that were similar to mine gave me the backbone I needed to stop being narcissistic supply for a stone cold sociopath.
    It also gave me a set of brand new terms coined brilliantly by CL….the pick me dance,kibbles etc.
    My accidental discovery changed my perspective and ultimately my behaviours.
    Thank you CL and congratulations.

  • If I remember correctly, I googled for cheaters or similar. After reading I was amazed (should have found the site sooner). Learned about narcs, helped a friend to your site.

    And I post on reddit (divorce) , recommending your site too.

  • October 31st 2014, I was at a Halloween party. I was a shell… numb, scared, sad, mad and running on empty. The Cheater was there and so were the kids. I learned of the betrayal on October 8th, the kids were told that we were divorcing on October 14th. I lost 17 pounds during those few weeks. I was standing in the kitchen chatting with the women. They all knew. One said, you need to go to CN. She will help you. Read it everyday. You will gain strength.

    I did.

    So congratulations! You make a difference in this crazy world. You have left your fingerprint!!!

  • You have done a great service Tracey! I’m so glad you have followed your calling to help.
    I found your site thru First Wives World after 6 mo. of separation from the most classic of subtle narcs. It has helped me so much to be able to see that I am not alone, that my situation is NOT unique and that because there is NO cure no contact is the only way to gain a life. So no contact did work for my sanity. However I still find it a daily challenge to encourage my daughters relationships with such a loser because they deserve a father even if he doesn’t deserve them.
    I hope you continue and that perhaps I, too can help in some small way. If you need a Canadian contact, let me know. I’m not done(Meh) yet but learning so much along the way. #1 = Life is NOT fair. You have to create your own Karma.
    Thanks Again.

  • Google search found other resources that lead me to other blogs that recommended you! was where I found your recommendation. Was so happy to just laugh for a change from both blogs. Was really tired of crying and anxiety at that point and was happy to find a new perspective

    • Correction. It was So glad I found both blogs and could start laughing and find the humor and the absolute rediculousness of this situation and how counseling just wasn’t going to fix this. It was too far warped and off from the reality of a healthy relationship

      • Oh! Oh! That’s Tania’s blog. Love that girl!! I met Tania and a host of other women who love Chump Lady through the Sisterhood of Support which is a support group for wives or partners of “sex addicts” (I use quotes because I don’t believe it’s an addiction). Lots of the current and former members of SOS are staunch CL fans, myself included.

  • I saw an offhand reference to your blog while reading a random post about a cheating spouse on a regional blog in the DC area. At that time, I had excused my STBX of lying to me about many things over a 20 year period and had been a limbo chump two years and counting regarding his latest apparent EA. I was struggling to get my mind to go back to “normal” and quit obsessing about the affair. I had done so successfully in the past but just could not put it aside this time. smacked me with that 2 x 4 and about 2 months later (after 2 DECADES of denial) I told him I wanted a divorce. Shortly thereafter, I learned that the EAs were but the very tip of the iceberg and that he had actually been having a homosexual affair for the entire 30 years of our marriage. As horrifying as this has all been, I have had CL and CN for support and I come here every day. To say I am grateful for this blog is ridiculously insufficient. Thank you, Tracy, for creating a site that really does save peoples lives … tears are running down my face and I don’t have adequate words to express my feelings.

  • I was treading water early on in 2012 on an MLC site and there were a few ( dare I say scornful?) comments made by some of those members – so I visited once or twice, and that was it, the penny finally dropped and I had filed for divorce by the fall of that year. 4 years later and I hardly recognise myself and feel pretty chuffed that I am on my way to meh, not 100% there but definitely not far off it!

    I feel very privileged to have watched this site grow daily since 2012. I regularly read each topic and always refer people to the site, especially those who could do with some non nonsense advice! Tracey’s UBT often has me in hysterics, she’s an inspiration to us all! I am so glad my gut instinct sent me here to read what she had to say……I knew, I just knew, that ………I wasn’t going nuts!!!! I could have still been on that MLC site believing in Unicorns and waiting for the aliens to return the XH!! Sorry MLC fans- I know there may be a few out genuine cases out there…………..

  • I can’t remember specifically how I found Chumplady, but thank heavens I did! I’m sure I was trying to find some internet site that would magically make my spouse realize what he was doing and run back home to me! Talk about denial! I was at first shocked and put off by the title “chump”. I’m glad, no ecstatic, that I decided to ignor that and read her articles anyway. Saved my life! This is the ONLY site a chump will need. Thank you Chumplady from the bottom of my heart for the great advice. And to the other chumps who have paved the way to health and true happiness!

  • 9 December 2015 I found Chump Lady. My one and only D-Day was on 16 November 2015. So, less than a month after I was stabbed in the back by Match Girl, I found Chump Lady. My first article? “Why did Daddy leave us? Because Daddy’s an asshole!” I knew I had found my people.

    I know the exact date because I have a habit of making PDFs of the webpages I really like. I have a lot of PDFs on my MacBook from last December.

    I can trace my thoughts by the other PDFs I have from that time period. It was the week before Thanksgiving, and luckily I had gone to Texas to be with my family. But after I faked the shit out of Thanksgiving Dinner, I crashed.

    I found Psychology Today first, and then Shrink4Men, and then Baggage Claim. God, I hate Psychology Today. So touchy feely when it comes to articles for survivors of cheating. One of the articles I have from that time period is “Is My Spouse Having A Rebound Relationship?” Ugh. Now, I know what Chump Lady’s answer would have been. “No, your spouse is an ASSHOLE!”

    I remember reading the comments, and I saw Arnold saying he had been battered by his X. That was huge. I’m just now really dealing with that part of my devalue. As it relates to yesterday’s discussion on letting down barriers, I am a long way from being more vulnerable. If anything, I’m more guarded than ever.

    I wrote a letter to Chump Lady in January and she published it. The response from Chumps was overwhelming. I went back and read it the other day finally. There is so much good advice there. So much kindness from strangers. People I had never met in my life were loving me more than my own wife. That day I created an account and started posting. Everything changed for the better.

    This has been a banner year for Chump Lady, and I am so grateful she is here. There is a never-ending supply of Chumps out there Tracy. So here’s to a billion served.

    • Ian,

      I’m posting below, but go back to November 16th. There are two threads posted that day. My first visit to this site and post was on that day (Did he cheat because I confided my fears). It’s under my original user name Anne. I got a very warm welcome from Tempest and read a different post where she told someone named HH to “Fuck Off!” I knew I had found my people.

      • I’d love to read the post from HH. Wondering if it’s somebody I know

        • If I recall, HH was a troll pushing the “infidelity is normal from an evolutionary perspective,” but had only a shallow knowledge of evolutionary psych. He had pushed his views the day before, and had his intellectual head handed to him, but came back the next day to incite.

          • With the initials HH, thought it was the x’s ho…..sounds like something she would do.

  • Oh, Precious Tracy………… Wherever do I start?!

    How I got ‘here’….In a nutshell, Dr. George Simon.

    I was introduced to Dr. George by a therapist. So, I located Dr.Simon’s web-site and blog, bought his books. One day, he mentioned doing an interview with you. THAT’S how I found YOU!

    It was just as you had posted the answer to the chump’s question on ‘why we stay so paralyzed’ (Feb 2014, about a year after I had FINALLY left Cheaterpants) and as they say, the rest is history.

    My Life?!

    WOW! Just WOW! Now, I am not saying I have discovered new planets and scaled literal mountains or any of the amazing things some of my fellow ‘Citizens’ have done. Most of my ‘getting a life’ is the internal stuff….You know, the ‘what did I do wrong?!’ ‘what could I have done different to ‘make’ him love just me?!’ yea, that is the biggest part of my life that has changed. I DO NOT GIVE A FLIP about all that drivel now! And THAT is what then opens the door to doing ‘external’ stuff & things.

    Cheaterpants is no longer part of our ‘family’ business. My son & I are business partners now. Son and I work VERY well together. I have my first vehicle IN MY OWN NAME! That I qualified to buy ON MY OWN! I am partner in a GROWING business. I never have to worry about $$ anymore. Never have to worry about his ‘boo-hoo poor wittle me’ rants or his nasty rages, where everything is ALL MY FAULT. He no longer even tries that with me. Knows I do not give a flip. (We still share ‘custody’ of pets, so I have some minimal contact)

    I have always been a ‘basic, simple’ kind of girl & will always stay that way, so my $$ needs are very basic & simple…..Authentic…..Yep…..LIFE is best lived cheater-free!!

    (As is true with all my precious fellow chumps, there is much more I could share on this topic, but I am far too busy living the life you helped me to take back! And that is the BEST thanks you could ever receive!)

    Forge on, dear Tracy……ForgeOn!

  • I was directed here by a very dear friend and fellow chump — and I can’t imagine what type of shape I’d be in if she hadn’t done so.

    CL is clearly striking a nerve and doing massive good — when are we going to start seeing you on cable news, Dr. Phil, etc. — you KNOW they’re going to come knocking at some point.

    OOOHHH — a debate against Dr. Keith Ablow!!! Would love to see you deflate that massive cranium of his!!

  • Congrats Tracy! You truly are a life saver! I was “standing” for my marriage and getting sicker and sicker. I was in a hospital bed in Ontario, Canada, when I googled being abandoned by a cheating spouse. Your blog was amoung the list.

    Now I buy your books by the dozen and leave them in the trunk of my car to pass out. When my social worker finally saw the change in me, she got a copy too. In her line of work she sees many chumps. She too is recommending your blog and book. She has told me many stories of clients leaving therapy that is not working and instead divorcing their cheaters and gaining a life!

  • I never had a search where Chump Lady came up. I saw a mention of CL on an RIC site. Soooo thankful I did. It’s like Alternate World in the RIC. Anything they advise, do the opposite. It’s all geared to making the Cheaters comfortable, so you can “reconcile”. And be treated like shit, have zero support system, develop PTSD, yada, yada, yada….

  • Back in 2010 I found out that the ex was cheating on me. My first impulse was to run like Forrest Gump but I squelched that inner voice and decided to “fight for my marriage.” No way was I letting the OW win the life that I had worked so had to build up to that point.

    So I languished in wreckconciliation for 3 years. At some point during the first year I stumbled on to SI and the Infidelity board on Dailystrength. Both were just chock full of chumps chasing unicorns. I believed everything I read about saving my marriage and did so with vigor but something didn’t feel quite right and I couldn’t put my finger on it.

    One of the less popular posters on dailystrength, posted a link to your website in January 2013 and I was hooked. Everything that didn’t feel quite right, you Tracy, explained and it was like seeing light for the first time. I read all the archives and comments and I read daily from that faithful day in 2013.

    I was so sick of being the marriage police at that point so I just stopped but since I didn’t trust him, stopping meant that I had to detach myself from him emotionally and detach I did. The love I once had simply died after that point and it was just a matter of finding my nerve to leave.

    It was an archive in 2012 about “the walls in your house singing again” that helped me start to imagine my life without the ex-we had been married 26 years at that point so there were a lot of sunk costs. The articles in 2013 about genuine naughahyde remorse and entitlement were the clinchers though. I knew I did not have a unicorn at that point; just your run of the mill coward cheater.

    It was shortly after I read those in July that we had our initial discussions about divorce. I was out of the house by the end of the year and divorced by January 2014. Grown kids and me moving out made that process go smoother. I did opt for mediation and in some ways I got screwed but in some others he did.

    I have been absolutely no contact for 2 years now. Another fantastic skill I learned from this site! I’ve also been cultivating a relationship with me. I was so afraid of being alone for the entirety of my adult life that I ignored red flags before and during my marriage. Big red flags!

    Bottom line? I am a much happier person since I left the cheating asshat!. My sons are adults but we have built some new traditions around the holidays and such; I’m closer with my immediate family and I’ve built a great circle of friends, the real kind, not the Switzerland kind. Life is better on the other side and I owe a great deal of gratitude to you Tracy and to Chump Nation. Every now and then, when the time is right, I go back to that infidelity board on daily strength and post a link to pertinent article on your site and hope against all hope that it saves someone else’s life.

    Thank you so much!

  • I really don’t remember exactly how I found this site. But I do know that it was the only one that didn’t feel like a knife in my heart when I read the posts. That’s when I stopped looking. All of the other sites put the blame on the unsuspecting spouse and in my gut it just didn’t feel right. As CL says, my spouse had other options….to have an honest conversation or divorce. To have completely blown up our life the way he did was and still is on him. CL was the only site that made sense to me.

  • I had made the shocking discovery that my nice, psychotherapist husband had a secret bdsm sex addiction.I found a link to this site on I had already left him by then, but really needed support, and of course no one I knew had been through anything even remotely like what I had been through. I am so very glad that I found this site! It’s been a little over a year since I left, and life is definitely getting much better! Thank you for providing this access for people to share.

  • Congratulations!! You are Mighty, Tracy. And thank God you’re here.

    I was in a long, boiling frog abuse type relationship and in therapy (my ex resisted all efforts to pursue therapy). In an attempt to learn more about Narcissism (beyond my therapist and friends), I Googled “Narcisstic husband” or something quite similar. Your website popped up on the first page. Your site’s name was catchy so I clicked in and never left!!!

    I do not know if my ex ever physically cheated on me.. BUT he DID have an emotional affair with a business affiliate. It didn’t even dawn on me that this was what was happening until I read into your site and saw similar accounts of my experiences, years ago.

    More than a decade past, my ex all of a sudden treated me as if I could do *nothing* right. Literally nothing. Around this time, I started seeing chatty emails coming to our email account, directed at my ex – one of which contained “I miss you”. Of course he had a very simple explanation for that email, and I bought his crap.

    I have learned so much from your website and hope that I can remain “cheater free” in my future relationships.

    Thank you so much !!!!

    • My ex SAID to one of his MANY admirers in an email, “I miss you so much!!” and I bought his bs excuse too. Such a chump I was.

  • I got more and more angry after D-day, finally googled “infidelity as emotional abuse.” I found a woman who credited Tracy with making that argument, found her HP articles, then this website. When I did, it was as if the clouds parted and the sun shone down upon me. Finally, someone gets it.

    I carried around classic articles such as “5 things that keep you stuck with a cheater,” “Reconciliation and Entitlement” & “A Public Service Announcement for Remorseless Cheaters,” (last two are personal favorites), plus 2 others. Read them each 5 times a day and it got me through to the point where I filed pro se, then got a lawyer.

  • Congratulations CL!

    I found CL through an internet search on leaving a cheater. I knew that cheating was a deal breaker for me. My ex was also a drinker, bar hound and overall lousy husband. My mental and physical health was not good the last few years of my marriage and his cheating was the final straw.

    I can’t say enough about how CL and everyone here has helped me through this. As much as I knew my marriage was over, it was hard to let go of my family life and my dreams. I had to rebuild and I have. I have a new job, new friends, I’ve travelled and have a very nice man in my life now who I see occasionally. Every day I check CL to read the posts and replies. It has saved my sanity and given me hope.

    My life is better without my cheater but I had to work for it. I don’t worry if he’ll get drunk again or if he’s screwing servers. I don’t worry about STDs. I am a better parent and friend. I’m less smug about marriage and cheating. I’m humble and so grateful. Thanks again CL and Chump Nation.

  • My counselor directed me to CL when, after 3 DDays in 6 months, I finally realized that “wreckonciliation” was never going to work. The first post I read made me laugh for the first time in months, and the Real Remorse/Imitation Remorse post made me truly realize that I definitely didn’t have a unicorn! This blog and CN have given me the strength and wisdom I needed to stand up for myself and my kids. I read every day, multiple times a day, and love going through the archives for wisdom and support. I am “lining up my ducks” to get ready to file (married 24 years, been a SAHM for 18 years!) and CN keeps me focused on the most important thing – me and my kids! Thank you thank you thank you CL and CN for giving me the strength to move forward!

    • After a 30-year (but sporadic) idealization phase and a short but very painful “devalue” stage, Jackass had simple walked away from what was supposed to be “the rest of our lives.” I had been discarded, but not completely. There were still promises but also the begging for time to “figure himself out and rethink his life,” or whatever he called it then. There had been signs of an OW when the devalue stage ramped up. By the time I figured out there was indeed an OW, he had pretty much ended contact, although he had several thousand dollars of my money in his bank account intended for a joint business start up. (Can’t pick up the phone to call me but can spend that money.) Once I confronted him about the OW, he went into full rage mode and that was the end, except for figuring out how to get his stuff out of here without seeing him.

      But I was devastated. Not functional. Out of my mind with grief and pain. And I had found a few RIC sites that counseled that no contact would bring him back to his senses, out of the cheater fog. And that gave me hope–or should I say “hopium”? Then one day my google search turned up Chump Lady. The stories hooked me–it was such a relief to know that I wasn’t crazy. This shit is painful. Other people had been through the same thing, and many of them had far more difficult struggles than I did because they had to deal with marriages, kids, in-laws, long-established business, domestic abuse and violence, financial fraud on a huge scale, etc. But in reading what Tracy wrote, in reading the posts of other chumps, in following the resources to Dr. Simon, in following the links to Chump blogs, I started to learn.

      I learned about Cluster B personality disorder. The stages of a relationship with a narcissist. I found words and concepts for what happened to me. I could use my mind to help me live through the pain (because up to that point in the discard, my mind had not been my friend). Even more important was the idea that I needed to work on me to “gain a life” after decades of assuming–believing–that without a “life partner” I couldn’t have a life. I’ve been in therapy for a lot of years working on FOO stuff; a psychologist who evaluated me for insurance told me I would always need therapy, given my history. And my therapist is great. Her first words on Jackass? “You can never go back.” But even that revealed how far I had to go, as the discard opened 10 years of things I had not told the therapist. For 6 months, she did a lot of fast writing…But it was reading here that really galvanized not only my recovery from infidelity and abandonment, but my growth as a woman who wants to stand on her own feet. Chumps build houses, mow grass, fix things, start businesses, and do all manner of mighty things. Bless you, Tracy, for this community of survivors. Congratulations on reaching 10 million! And may every soul who needs to be here find us.

  • Congratulations! My short term memory is still shot from the trauma. I found you in 2014 or 2015. I was looking for something on cheater…maybe reconciliation with cheater or why people cheat.

    Anyways I read the post …cant remember which one…but the next i read was the three channels. I recognized my stbx right away. Then I read and read. It re-confirmed what I always believed…dump anyone who cheats on you because this person is not your friend.

    I live in a country where women get married expecting their husbands to cheat. ( Just typing that makes me wretch). I had always said that the first time he cheated was the last. Indeed the first time I found his email to a work colleague telling her he wanted to be with her but did not want to do anything to jeopardize the family, I told him to move out. He started looking. After a few days I relented as we had an 8 month old and I thought of how attached she was to him and how he seemed to enjoy her…i did not want to piss on anyone’s parade. Chump!
    Leaving out lots of detail. I was encouraged to stay and given the ‘ oh you know men’ line. Of course he blamed me whenever he was caught. Treated me like crap while I protested his treatment. I stuck it out for kids. Then praise God he left! And I said he will never ever come back into my life.
    My children are forever changed. His selfishness ruined it for us. And his mother’s selfishness ruined it for he and his sister. Instead of rising above he sank into it.FOO issues ? Don’t we all. But choices we have too.

    Thanks for what you do. I posted my thanks in the comments section of the post about your Q&A so I wont rehash. But I am very grateful. Your words kept my resolve up and kept moving forward even when he hoovered back.
    He even admitted there was someone else when he moved out…he just used all other guises to hide it. …they think we believe their lies because we don’t call everyone of them but how time consuming would that be?!
    Much love CL.

    • “FOO issues ? Don’t we all. But choices we have too.”

      Mandie – We all have a story. I am no contact with my FOO, where my father was a Narcissist and my mother is a Malignant Narcissist. Imagine growing up around that when you’re a helpless innocent child and you have 2 adults who make your life living hell on a daily basis. That’s how I spent my youth and childhood. But I didn’t go around cheating on my boyfriends. Instead, I got therapy and am emotionally healthier than ever before. As an adult, we all have choices and know right from wrong. Tons of adults here grew up around abuse and mental cruelty inflicted by their own FOO, but they sure as heck didn’t go around destroying other people’s lives. Your ex is exactly where he wants to be and that is to sink into the dysfunction. I’m so glad you got out.

      • So true. Seems some of us reject the abuse and some accept and perpetuate. I’m glad we are both out. my heart aches for my children though.

      • Ditto, Kellia. Very similar upbringing and FOO, but I never cheated. But I didn’t have the vocabulary or perspective to see my cheater for the lying POS that he is until I read Chump Lady. I was directed to the site by a family member of Divorce Minister. So, so glad I checked it out. Saved my sanity and sped up my healing. Thanks to Tracy and to all of CN. I do feel very very meh these days.

  • I honestly don’t remember when I stumbled on to ChumpLady. DDay and wreckonciliation was in 2013, began the divorce process in 2014 (had to wait a year) and all was final in 2015. I know I googled something about divorce and I think it was in 2014 but my world was a mess and I just can’t remember exactly.

    What I do know is that this site was exactly what I needed. Nothing else I found fit my situation or helped my make sense of the hell my life had become. Tracy and CN gave me the understanding (and kick in the pants) that I needed. I will be forever thankful to you all!

  • I found you last year after I found the book ‘why good people have affairs’ in my cheaters bag. I was googling for reviews and found your post with the great amazon review. Kept reading the blog.. laughed out loud.. love your humor! Lost the cheater and still reading cause you make me laugh AND you give great advice!

  • My cheater isn’t violent … he’s more like Peter Pan … no empathy, but thinks he has it. Almost harder to endure because hey, I wanted to have fun, too … pick me to have fun with now that family life is calming down. But now, he’s spent a decade falling out of love with me, if he ever was in love. So I haven’t experienced the overt narcissist … it’s not so glaringly obvious. That can sometimes make it hard to come to “meh”. It’s been a lack of support all these years, giving me the bare bones of emotional support, but now telling me he’ll do better with the next one from the lessons he’s learned … did I say he lacked empathy? Do I need to hear this? I can stand there and say, “I’ve known her as long as I’ve known you … I can picture you in her house … it’s the imagery … it’s driving me crazy” and I get nothing … he doesn’t even blink an eye. Then he cries and says he feels guilty every day because it would have been great with me, but “a door opened”. So that type of person … not the violent type.

    I wish I could remember how I found you … I’m the type that erases my “history” from my computer every day so that the energy from all those articles I’m surfing don’t permeate the atmosphere. That’s how crazy I still feel. I know that I spent a long time searching “How to Save your Marriage” sites, and one day something happened, some angrier thought, something negative I thought of him, not of me being the sole cause of the problems. So with that, I googled a nasty thing he had said, I just put in the wording of his comment, but I can’t remember what it was. Well, voila, there you were. Some other cheater had said it before, using the exact same words, and you were writing about it in what cheaters say.

    So that was a new beginning for me, looking at it from another perspective. Of course, since then multiple times I’ve fallen into feeling guilty about assigning blame to him … pressured to forgive … pressured to just move on and be happy because gosh, golly, he is … so I’m still working through a lot of sadness, so you still continue to inspire.

    I especially like your potty-mouthed UBT … I gotta say I thought I had a wicked sense of humour, but you are the champ!!!!!!

    Thank you, Tracy, for somehow managing to write a daily blog on such an awful subject that must make you conjure up your own memories. I don’t know how you do it without obsessing and reliving those moments … I think the support of your family and the CN community must help … without support, one’s soul is ripped raw, and you’re sensitive to anything that reminds you of the betrayal. I love the support of this community, but I’m still grieving so much the obvious lack of support from the one who meant so much to me. When I get past that, maybe I’ll be able to write without crying.

    Thank you.

    • Comforting hugs! This is a horrible for all of us to go through. I promise you, it gets better, the pain is finite. Keep coming here and post, get the support you need.

  • I found your site when I was reading the comments from a Dear Abby letter and someone (possibly LovedaJackass?) mentioned you. I jumped over out of curiosity. I had been divorced and remarried to my wonderful husband for more than twenty years, and I thought I had just failed miserably at that first marriage. Boy, were my eyes opened. My husband is a former chump too, and your site has helped us both realize what we were dealing with.

  • I found Chump Lady about a week or so after my D-day. It was about 3 in the morning, I couldn’t sleep, and started googling infidelity, lying, and narcissist… And one of the first articles that came up (and the first one I clicked on) was on HuffPost entitled “The Compassion Trap”. I read that and every other article Tracy had written for HuffPost. After exhausting that resource, I googled Tracy’s name and found I read almost every post in the Archives over the course of a few weeks. I then sent CL an email from my Cheater which was UBT’ed the following day. The support from CL and CN that day (and ever since) was exactly what I needed. As painful as this whole experience was (is), I had one -and only one- D-day, went no contact, and am doing my best to get to meh. Thank you, CL and CN. I really do not know what I would’ve done without you and this forum.

    • aka, you’re doing great.

      You were the first newbie I saw come to the Chump Nation and stick. The similarities in our stories are striking. The differences in stories are so varied amongst chumps, so it was my natural inclination to find someone who was going through what I was.

      Selfish Reckless is a moron for cheating on you,aka. You are mighty!

      • Thanks, Ian. Yes, we do indeed have some similarities…
        And you’re right: he IS a moron (not just for the cheating — in general).
        And so is MG.
        Fuck them both.
        Mighty?!? I’m trying… 😉 Though I’ll tell you that I wouldn’t have gotten this far without the support of CL and all of you chumps.

  • I learned about your site from your parents, but stayed for the humor, great advice, and overall reality check

  • I first found your site from a comment left on my blog! I am currently divorcing a Narcissist and gaining back my life. When one of your readers read my posts she suggested that I come over to Chump Land and read around and share my story with the other chumps. It has been awesome!!

    I love that you insert such humor and sass into a topic that is so sucky! It reminds me that I will eventually get to a point where I can laugh at all of the crazy I have dealt with!! Thanks for doing what you do!

  • I’ve found this after my divorce had been final a few months and I got word that my ex and his affair partner were engaged and my daughter would be getting a stepmother and stepdaughter in the mix. I googled “when affair partners marry” and found the article that compared it to vacationing in Oklahoma. Shortly after I read the article about “needing closure” and I was hooked. They were more helpful than the previous year of therapy. And while I’m still in therapy I have in combination with CN I am doing so much better emotionally. I’m not feeling crazy, I’m starting to understand his actions without wasting so much time untangling the skein of their fuckedupness. I’m more level headed in my interactions with him and it’s causing him to lose his cool and temper with me.

  • What I Google was ” I love you but I’m not in love with you.”

    Chump Lady came up on the 3rd or 4th page – which meant I had read 3-4 pages of other websites explaining their depictions on what that meant.

    No one explained it like you Mrs.Chump Lady – your words of sincerity painted a very clear picture of what ILYBINILWY really means. Thank you!

  • I found myself at when Googling “Why did it take over 20 years for him to blow up my life?” and landed on an article with similar title. I then posted to Stupid Things Cheaters say and a nice Chumpman told me to sign up for forums to get the support I needed, his name was Michael. I owe Michael and Chumplady a world of gratitude today.

    I was 1.5 years out from Dday. Had 10 months of horrendous wreckoncilation and a fling with a guy just as bad as my ex to finally going NC.

    I only read how to repair your marriage, why cheating was my fault, how an affair can make a marriage better… these articles before finding paralyzed me and halted my recovery. I felt so alone and insane. It was me, my fault etc… the bizarre things he said and did, who could listen to it and understand?

    There is a big ad over my form here that is not letting me continue… there is no exit on the ad. so…

  • My D-day came and I immediately called friends who were supportive but then asked the question I had not thought about while mired in the pain. “What are you going to do?” I did not know. Every fiber of my being said RUN but everything I read was about getting him to come back to me, and I wasn’t sure I wanted him. RIC sites made me queasy. Eventually I googled “cheating divorce” to see if I could find anything about not staying. There it was amongst the lawyer blogs,, the only non-legal site saying “wait a minute, think about this” so I did. I read from 1 am until daylight. I can say for certain finding CL and all of you here at Chump Nation within 24 hours of discovery saved my life. I went from D-day to divorced in five months and have worked hard to achieve and expose the virtues of No Contact. Meh feels entirely possible and I have started a new relationship, moving very slowly, but working hard to create a healthy relationship. I love all my fellow chumps and want nothing but the best for you!

  • This: “Because there was my answer, pages upon pages of it. The answer that made sense, the only answer: it was him all the time, nope I didn’t bring this shit storm upon myself and my kids, yes he is an idiot, infidelity is abuse, yep my whole relationship with him was marked by emotional abuse, yep what I need to do is focus on myself, heal, forget about the piece of shit and move on to a better life.”….. I could have written every word of this post like so much of the content here.

    I had a HARD time reading CL and posts at first. A guy-Chump friend (same DDay! 12/26/14) who I know from AA told me about your site. I was still chasing Unicorns, waiting for the “Affair Fog” to drift away, doing the “180” (HA) and hoping STBX would hit “bottom” (HA) and actually start working on his love addiction issue (BAAHAAHAAA!!!!) and FOO, or “grow out of his mid-life crisis” (Hahaha)

    After a second failed wreckonciliatiin and douche’s refusal to take the MC’s required polygraph, I came back to CL last April. I was hating myself and blaming myself for his cheating so bad (he’s a very successful M&A attorney and an expert at blameshifting and gas lighting) that I could barely comprehend what I read here. But as the days ticked by, and especially once he refused to stop seeing OW and I told him to leave last May, I started living here and truly joined the Chump Nation. Yay!

    I’ve told several other suffering chumps about the site and one has become a best friend.

    I’m nowhere near meh, Tuesday seems impossibly far away as I’m in this divorce battling for my kids and my financial future. But I have faith Tuesday will come … Maybe in 2017!

    I cannot say enough how grateful I am for you Tracy and for all the others. You are better than family ?????

  • I found you on Pinterest in 2013. I wrote to ask your advice on what to do about my husband who had an affair, was sexting another girl and was verbally abusive to me. Your answer was “Seriously? Leave him like yesterday.” Well, it took me two years to get the courage to do it. I filed, packed all my stuff in my car and my dog, moved 100 miles away, called and told him I’m divorcing you and I never want to see or talk to you again.

    • Good for you, Danabern, that’s the way I did it. No fuss, no fight, just serve up those papers. It takes guts but saves a lot of drama and even risk of violence. Keeping the no contact is key, which I did not at first, and paid dearly for it.

  • I googled “I love you but I’m not in love with you”. Thank goodness for you. You helped me cut through his bullshit. I got a lawyer. When he tried wreckonciliation I kept the lawyer. Three more months until trial if we can’t work out a settlement before then. Thank you for helping me turn off the mindfuck channel. Now when he’s whining about something I think “sad sausage” instead of giving a fuck. Can’t wait until we’re not living in the same house anymore.
    May you continue to grow in success and influence!!

  • It wouldn’t let me finish. Anyway I’m doing great now! Thanks Tracy and CN!!! I wouldn’t have done it without you!

  • My recollection is that I found CL in May 2013 after a HuffPo article (spring 2013 at least).
    Unfortunately, that was a couple months post divorce finalization, and a year post-DDay…could have used advice in the early days and would have achieved meh sooner…
    BUT CL and CN have been lifesavers as I learned to deal with my entitled, narcissistic ex. You have all helped me see through his bull%h*t and offered great advice. Two CN folks helped me locate the OW divorce records, which gave me the final puzzle piece I needed to accept that my ex lies easily and whenever necessary. i am in contact with a couple of others outside the blog, which has also been nice.
    One day I will make it to a meetup.
    I love this community. While I am basically at meh, I like to come and support the newbies, as I can still vividly remember the horrible months post DDay when I could not eat nor sleep, but still had to work and take care of the kids.

    • How do you obtain those OW divorce records? The OW is a pathological liar and I think there’s information from her divorce records that would prove it once and for all! Trying to protect my children and my financial future (been a SAHM for 18 years – I need him to stay financially solvent and not be ruined by a gold-digging whore!).

      • In some states (like mine) divorce decrees are considered public records, so you can purchase them (with social security numbers and minors’ names redacted). A visit to the court house records is probably the best place to start.

  • I don’t accurately remember how I found this site, but I think it was mentioned somewhere else like Huffington Post.

    But Tracy, the important thing is it validated my feelings of its wrong to cheat and lie when I was being blasted by the ex’s gaslighting. It gave me the strength to go NC. I kept trying to reason with him to just do the divorce and he kept trying to bully me and take everything I had worked for. This site gave me the strength and validation to fight for myself. That is priceless.

    What you have done is a gift to the chump nation. We are the quiet, the workers, the slog awayers, who just keep doing the right things with no recognition for the ungrateful. I think, no understatement, my picker has been radically changed and I now won’t stand for diminished treatment, dismissal of my like and dislikes etc.

    At 62, i have learned to stand up for myself. This site was instrumental in that change.

    Heartfelt thanks. Hugs

  • I found your site by googling two words: husband prostitutes

    Could there be a shittier way to find someone? But I’m so glad I did.

    Congrats on all your successes, you deserve them and so much more.

  • I think I found you from Happy Hausfrau but I googled so many blogs trying to find out if he would come back that I eventually found this one. I took him back four times over five years because we had a 35 year marriage and a 40 year relationship. We went to mc for years,where he and the counselor refused to talk about the affair and blamed me for everything. They both said my FOO issues caused it. If I was thinner, nagged less, spent less money, took on another job (along with the two I already had) so he didn’t have to work, if I didn’t love our son so much (competition for the stbx), if I didn’t have general anxiety disorder (guess what caused it?), if I didn’t ask him to go on vacation because it stressed him out, if I CHANGED, then maybe he wouldn’t have cheated. But guess what? He continued to cheat throughout mc, throughout the whole time I was doing the pick me dance. Pick me! Choose me! Love me! I was so desperate. I think the thing about CL was that it confirmed my deepest fears- no matter how much I danced, no matter what I did to fix things, I couldn’t fix the fact that he was a cheating, lying asshole with absolutely no moral values. While it still hurts I have gone far in killing the hopium I had because I grew up with this guy. I kept trusting him when he showed all evidence of lack of trustworthiness. I read George Simon. I really like Esteemology. Like all of us, I read all the blogs. This one sticks because Tracy tells it like it is- I don’t feel (as much) like a failure because I know my love was real. I was real. That point meant so much to me. It meant my story was real and I wasn’t nothing. Amazing work Tracy, you have made all the difference to me. More than anything else, you have straightened out my head about this whole thing. I am not at meh yet, but I am working on it. Thank you.

    • Yes, giving it my all and working really hard to reconcile while he was lying and working really hard to sneak around with someone else made me feel like a huge failure, too. This site saying that my love was real and that counted for something really resonated with me.

  • It was D-day and I think I typed something like “what to do when you’ve been cheated on” into the search bar, as I sobbed and convulsed and tears poured down my hot red face (from anger and humiliation). I came across a huffington post article: “What Not To Do If You’ve Been Cheated On: Pointers for Chumps”.

    It said: “People cheat because they feel entitled to. Cheaters are 100 percent responsible for their decision to cheat. If they were unhappy, they could’ve gotten counseling, filed for divorce, taken up scrapbooking — really anything other than cheating. They cheat because they value the good feelings they get from ego boosts and affair sex more than their commitment to you and your health and well-being. People cheat because they’re selfish escapists.” and for the first time in 5 years I finally felt heard. I had been saying these things FOREVER as he had always used blame shifting to justify his crappy treatment of me – like I somehow *deserved* to be treated this way (like anyone ever deserves to be treated that way!). At that moment, it all finally fell into place. This guy I had shared so much of my life with was an entitled asshole who only cared about padding his own ego.

    I never looked back after that. Shortly after I became a full time visitor of the blog, devouring everything you had posted and feeling more and more heard, understood and most importantly empowered. Every silly little move he tried after that I could find an article detailing it and how to handle it. I realized that none of the horrible things he had said about me were true – that it was all part of the cheater script.

    Some of my favorites that I have returned to over and over again throughout the years: “Trust that they suck” and “the midfuck station only has 3 channels” – these are very much on point.

    Thank you CL and Chump Nation for your support. I did indeed lose a cheater and gain a life 😀

  • I found this sight through a support group for sex addicts. It saved my life. I couldn’t believe I was in another situation that involved cheating for the THIRD FUCKING TIME! I was stunned I was fooled by a fuckwit with a double life. The first three months I was trying to untangle his skein. Then lo and behold someone on the thread recommends Chump Lady. You filled a hole that society was digging to find logical answers to infidelity where there are NONE and gave chumps hope. Hope. The train to meh. Congratulations on your odometer. Somewhere out there a new chump is born. Now, for the first time, they have a place they lay their head as they heal and rebuild their lives.

  • I came in through the First Wives site, but some other favorites were Let Me Reach and PsychopathFree and a couple others.

    My search started in trying to understand narcissism and the 3 phases – yup, I was still focusing on Mr. Sparkles.

    When I found CL and CN, it ignited a change in perspective. I had spent ENOUGH TIME focusing on Mr. Sparkles and it was time to put my energy where it belonged on me and my 10yo son.

    I was a site voyeur for almost a year and then one day, after having read all the archive articles, I found my voice and began sharing.

    This site is my daily dose of hope, strength and “trust that they suck”.

    My copy of your book is already becoming worn. I just gave a copy to my therapist and I have one for my lawyer when I see her next week for court. (Maybe I should bring a copy for Mr. Sparkles lawyer too!)

    To all of Chump Nation – thank you for being mighty and coming here even after you have found “meh.”

  • Thank Goddess for Chump Lady and Chump Nation! I found a link to your site through Infidelity Help Group and it was an eye opener, that’s for sure. I’m 5 1/2 months in since my STBX told me he was in lurve with a 24 year old girl at work, abandoning me and our adopted 4 year old daughter. I literally thought I would die. But I got a great lawyer, pushed for a good settlement, am selling our house and moving the fuck on! He had an affair in 2005 with a close friend but I did believe in unicorns then and somehow we survived it. He’s an entitled, narcissistic, disordered soul. I’m a long way from Meh but I’m doing so, so much better. I’m mightier than I ever gave myself credit for. Thank you, Tracey!!

  • I was on another site for middle aged women and someone in the chat room mentioned the link. I was hooked as soon as I read Tracy’s first blog. This site has helped me so much to put together my thoughts, to resolve the previously unresolvable, to make some sense of the crazy.

    I have recommended it to dozens of acquaintances in the past couple of years, and I’m sure it had helped them too. Thank you, Tracy.

    Not sure if anyone else senses it, but I detect a swell of coverage about “cheating being dysfunctional and wrong” in the wider media lately.

    • That would be awesome!!! I think as other tragedies – rapes (Stanford), mass murders (Orlando), etc. – demonstrate that victim-blaming is common, the media and others will realize that it (victim-blaming) happens in all sorts of situations (child abuse, infidelity, etc.) and that it is NEVER the fault of the victim(s). Let’s focus on the choices of the perpetrators, not the perceived “inadequacies, short-comings, or behaviours” of the victims.

      • Agreed. Seems mankind hates who they perceive as weak and would rather not identify with them.

  • In March this I was on a website called Empowering Women Towards Personal Affair Recovery. In one of the comments it was suggested that the woman check out Chumplady. Being the curious beaver I am I immediately checked it out. I am grateful for finding this site. I was bound and determine at the time to make my marriage work. Because all the Christian counseling suggested that and other couples in the church seemed to have perfect marriages so I was going to do what I had to do to make my marriage a success. I am sure you know how that turned out (pick me dance here, pick me dance there, pick me dance everywhere). When I found this site I was in the middle of my best pick me dance ever (I added some splits and spins to my routine this time). Once I found this site I told my husband he had to stop all communications with OW and I did not care that nothing was sexual between them anymore he needed to stop communicating with her (which I never believed the non sexual part). He informed me that he could not and he had strong feeling for her so I told him we needed to go our separate was as June 1 he has moved in with the OW. It has been a tough 13 days but I will take these past 13 days over all the “pick me dances” I did for the past 3 years. I also found Divorce Minister website from this site which has help me a lot as well. Thank you! For helping me realize that I can be mighty and strong even in the middle of my pain and hurt.

    • Noelblessed,

      I’m sorry you’re going through this. It’s very difficult at first, and some days are better than others, but you’re right, it’s better to be without than have them there and still be without. At least this way, you can begin again. I’m coming on a year since he’s moved out, but I distinctly remember those first weeks and how it felt like my emotions were cycling so fast it reminded me of the spin cycle in my washing machine. I was crying one minute, then humming, swearing, smiling, sobbing, and on and on. Crappy days, but CL is on target and the pain does begin to fade. Hugs.

  • I’ve been here so long I no longer remember how I found this site! Prior to this blog, I was very active on a board for survivors of relationships with narcissists/sociopaths (I think DatDamWuf was there as well) and also on the board Divorce360.

    I’m way out of my marriage and my divorce was final four years ago. I’m in a happy new relationship for 2.5 years now and doing well. I’m mostly at meh, but still like to read and post here because it reminds me of how far I’ve come, and I also like to offer encouragement to newer chumps that yes, they can and will survive.

  • Noelblessed,
    I too remember those tough few “first days”. It will get better! One morning soon you will wake up to sunshine, have that bed all to yourself, and smile to yourself that you never have to dance again…then enjoy listing to yourself all the reasons it’s good that he’s gone. All the things the OW will have to endure now that she’s washing his dirty underwear and smelling his farts. Good riddance. You deserve so much better.

    • When ever I’m feeling like I might miss him, which is rarely, or I need to be reminded of what a shit-for-brains fucking retarded dickhead he is (sorry, I’m in rage stage for the past week), I go back to March 11,
      The 3 Douchiest Things You Don’t Miss. I also created my own list for my ex scum-sucking whining, limped-dicked coward pretend man I married.

      • My friends called the. X “wanna be man”. It was so insulting I think it should be his name.

  • I found Chump Lady early on in 2012 through an article Tracy wrote for Huffington Post. I had been divorced for a year after 27 years of marriage to a serial cheating, narcissist. Being a religious person I had done the pick me dance for several years during faux reconciliation. After more than a year of gaslighting from my husband about how I was crazy for thinking he was still involved with his final “soulmate schmoopie”, I received a letter from her letting me know that I was right, they were still involved. I finally realized no change was possible and I filed the next day. Even after the divorce in 2011 I was still trying to make sense of everything and understand what had happened to me and my children. I was reading everything I could find on sociopaths and narcissists. When I read what Tracy had written, a light bulb went off and I felt that I had found someone who “got it”. I have been a regular reader ever since and have referred clients (psychotherapist) and friends to Chump Lady. I love you Tracy!!! ROCK ON!

  • Congratulations, Tracy! And thank you for creating this wonderful blog and community where I have found so much consolation, extremely helpful information and knowledge, and the much needed support (of which I don’t have a lot in my real offline life) to help me go through this hell we all know so well. There have been days when just putting one foot in front of the other is already too much, and the only thing that can stop me from binge crying is the (very technical) fact that if my eyes get too swollen for me to see, I will not be able to read what I need to read so much on your site during those darkest moments. What I have found here is like a trustworthy friend who would tell me her astonishingly similar story, cry with me, hold my hands and tell me to hang on for just a few more minutes, then a few more hours. Then days. And more days.

    I found out about CL even before my real big D-day. It was when I googled the string of “ex”, “get back”, “change”, “possible” on Valentine’s Day this year. Why those words even before D-day :-)? I have a slightly different story from what I often read here, where I divorced the asshole even before I found out about his hundreds of affairs with prostitutes which he admitted to (after initial reluctance and ridiculous denial), and numerous non-prostitute affairs and the sex addiction plus womanizing habit that he has always denied.

    I decided to divorce him around December 2015. Decided that I’d had enough of living next to a cold, tough, selfish, self-centered, arrogant, violent guy who didn’t seem to love me or care a bit about me or our life together any more. Enough of one-way marriage and depression for nearly 10 years (our first few years were a bit rough but not too bad). Talked to him about it and he agreed almost immediately. Then I officially filed the papers in January 2016. During this period he was still living in our marriage house but we lived our separate lives. (Have one daughter together) Then on Valentine’s Day while he was still in our house and we were in the middle of the divorce process, I chanced upon a text from a woman to his cell phone. Turned out he was flirting via texts with two different girls at the same time that morning! I was not jealous but still hurt and angry, and told him to stop doing this kind of cheap flirting the moment he walked through the door to the house where he was still living next to me and our daughter. I told him I was fine with whatever he wanted to do with whoever he liked, but he should do it including this flirtatious chatting outside our house. He agreed and seemed to be sorry for hurting me.

    Then that afternoon (on Valentine’s day) he told me he wanted to “get back” with me and would stop all those “temporary flirtatious almost non-existent relationships” with these two girls. He did a lot of convincing – the thing that sparkly narcs like him are so adept at. It took me a lot of questions to him, a few hours to consider and lots of google searching that evening before I eventually gave it a try. That was how I stumbled upon CL and was hooked ever since.

    But still I insisted on the divorce. I told him if he wanted to come back, come back as a new, “improved” one. And I would still divorce the old one. (One of the very, very few wise decisions in my chumpy messed up life)

    Fast forward one month and five days, during which he did his usual love bombing that he used to do to me when we were high school kids. I was happier than ever before, thinking (ever so naively) we had finally reached the stable, mature, oh so sweet stage of love and marriage that I had always tried so hard to reach. Then BANG – BIG BANG – came D-day, the real big D-day (because in retrospect, 14 Feb when I discovered his flirtatious texting was actually a little “preparatory” D-day in itself).

    It was a Sunday afternoon when his phone rang and he got out of our room with it immediately. I was suspicious and tried to overhear but heard absolutely nothing. After 2 minutes, he got back and I asked who he was talking to. He said just a wrong dial from a stranger. I checked his phone log and NO INCOMING CALL recorded at all. He must have deleted it! Then I checked the block list and there it was – this sweet little number which I googled and made me die a silent bitter death for several seconds upon seeing who its owner was. That was the number of a call girl on a prostitute website. I got to see all her dirty nude pics and all the dirty reviews below them from her clients. I showed it to the asshole and he denied denied denied with his usual three magic words “I don’t know” repeated a dozen times. Took 15 minutes for him to just admit he did receive a call from this prostitute that afternoon and another 15 minutes to admit he did “use her service”. Took another 1 hour for the whole mountain of shit (or just part of it, who knows) to really fall down after so much dripping, dripping and just more dripping from the lying coward.

    And that was all he has ever admitted to ever since – sleeping with hundreds of prostitutes for what he said 3 years (which meant at least one almost every week!) I still don’t know and don’t care exactly how many years it had actually been going on (we married in 2005), with exactly how many affair partners both prostitutes and non-prostitute ones.

    Thanks to this site, I’m just sure he’s disordered, addicted to sex, a cold-blooded liar, cheater and total asshole. It took me a few more weeks after that big D-day in March to finally kick him out of the house. Sad thing is No Contact is impossible given we have a very young daughter and asshole has been fighting very hard and nastily, as expected, to get as much time with our daughter as he can – which means a lot of direct encounters and heated arguments related to childcare logistics, and day after day after day of painful crying and many sleepless nights from my part.

    I live in a south east Asian country where you don’t usually go to lawyers or divorce counselors or therapists in my situation (such people are nearly non-existent here) and court orders might not be what they are in the US. I only have myself against this fucking monster a.k.a ex. No, myself and this wonderful CN too!

    So again, thank you Tracy and all fellow chumps at CN!!! You’ve tremendously helped and will certainly continue to help me a lot in this tough journey through divorce and betrayal.

      • Thank you, FindingBliss! I wish I could be strong and mighty, but still here I am with lots and lots of tears, pain – both emotional and physical, fear and breakdowns on a daily basis, sometimes hourly basis.

        I can’t sleep or eat much, and my eyes have got swollen everyday for the past 3 months. And it still hurts like crazy any time I have to face with his thinly veiled fake remorse, brutality, pettiness and hypocrisy during our encounters, which take place several times a week due to co-parenting (and his strategy to not let me go that easily, I guess). Sometimes it was so exhausting and intolerable that I slipped and tripped and called him at midnight (when I wouldn’t call and disturb my friends’ sleep) to share my pain and blame him for his cruelty. Talk about weakness and stupidity combined! But thanks to those slips and trips that I got more and more confirmed that the asshole has never truly loved me at all.

        Hope that I and many of us here, too, can keep that firmly in mind on a regular basis, so one day we can get out of this mighty and pain free. And find bliss, too :-).

  • I also find that regular reading at CN helps me keep my “picker” tuned in my new relationship. Still working through the challenges of step parenting as well as educating new partner on my boundaries. I have approached the step thing with a “not my monkey not my circus” attitude, and I am sure it has come from learning to set boundaries I’ve learned at CN.

  • I’ve no idea what I googled to get here, all I know is I bookmarked the article I landed on (‘How come he waited 20 years to blow up my life’). Although not similar in the marriage duration respect (we were together nearly 8 years, married for 1.5 years), I found so many elements in that letter that seemed familiar, relateable. Nothing like I’d read elsewhere. So I read another article, which I in turn bookmarked (‘Cheating on the pregnant, and other acts of abandonment’ – as the affair started when our baby was weeks old, if not before.) From then on, I was hooked, and read article after article in the archives (I stopped bookmarking the articles after about 5, just bookmarked the homepage!)

    In many respects I’m one of the lucky ones. Reconciliation was never on the cards and I found Chump Lady 2-3 days post D-Day. I managed to bypass the inevitable headmess of the cheater apologist sites. Three weeks post D-Day, I wrote to Chump Lady and she published my letter within days. Amazing support, from everyone. Thank you.

  • After D-Day (almost 3 years ago) I googled “my husband had an affair” often and all I ever got was Reconciliation Industrial Complex crap. I would read it and it just didn’t make any sense. They always say the “wayward spouse” (they don’t use the word “cheater”) needs to stop all contact with the affair partner and provide full disclosure, etc. Well, I knew THAT wasn’t happening and I didn’t want to become the marriage police. I knew the trust was broken and couldn’t be repaired, especially when my husband was doing NOTHING to repair it.
    About 5 months after D-day I found Chumplady. I read every post and every comment in about 4 days. This blog saved me. It helped me define, identify and label what was happening; skein of fuckedupness, spackling, rug sweeping, poor sausage, you missed a spot, blame shifting, gas lighting, etc. I realized that I had been in a verbally abusive relationship and that AFFAIRS ARE ABUSE. It helped me get up out of my paralyzed state and call an attorney and file for divorce and pack my shit and move out. It was like jumping off a cliff, but I did it. Thanks to Chumplady and Chumpnation. Many many thanks!!!!

  • I don’t usually post, but am content to lurk and read. I have learned so very much about my cheater and myself while I’ve been here! I found my way to Chump Lady through my etiquette site in February of this year. One of the members had mentioned it in a post. I came here and started reading and it changed my life.

    I had already divorced from my cheater for 2 years (August 2014), but I only got in touch with my anger this year. I spackled, I played nice so that everyone would be comfortable during the divorce, I insisted that we could remain friends, I insisted our friends wouldn’t have to choose sides, I completely glossed over the infidelity (or never mentioned it at all) and went with the “we just drifted apart” schtick, We even did our divorce sans lawyers, which was easier given we owned no property (cheater never wanted to buy a house, so we rented) and were childfree. I was just too nice for words. I can tell you now, if I had found Chump Lady back in December 2012, I would have handled my divorce completely differently. And made sure I got a fair settlement, instead of the nothing that I did get. Oh wait, I got the car … and the car payment. Still, I’m an IT professional and I can support myself, even if I have had a very tight couple of years.

    In December 2012, 3 weeks from Christmas, my cheater told me he wanted a divorce from our 15 year old relationship (married 13 years). We had booked our Christmas trip back home to the Canadian Maritimes to visit our families and he told me that I should go alone. I had my suspicions about the way he was spending his time the last few months; always going out with friends, drinking and spending the night at a new friend of a friend’s house because he was too drunk to come home. He was treating me with indifference and contempt when he was home. I went home and had to tell my in-laws, who are the best people ever, and my mother, that we were divorcing. That was a hard fucking Christmas!

    I came home on New Year’s Eve (long 12 hour drive) to find him moving his stuff out of our house. A female friend (the one he spent the night with) was helping him. Our tenant was supremely angry at him that he’d waited until the last possible moment to move stuff and thought I shouldn’t have had to come home to that. I sat there while they moved stuff out on a bitterly cold NYE and at the end, just as he was about to get in the truck and drive away, he told me that he and the “friend” started to have feelings for each other and he thought I should hear that from him. He denied that they had any kind of physical relationship before our split, but feelings had grown in the week I was away. Riiiiiiiiiiight!

    He is not still with the AP, since she turned out to be cray-cray and all of our friends told him that they wouldn’t see him with her around. He is engaged to someone that he used to work with and I wonder if he had an affair with her when they did work together. Reading the Chump Lady site explained so much about who he actually was and his methods of devaluation were right out of the cheater handbook. I realized that he’d had any number of emotional affairs throughout our marriage. I still don’t know if they were physical but I’ve also realized it doesn’t matter because I spackled them all away.

    This wasn’t my first D-Day. When we were dating, 2 years before we got married, I caught him cheating on me and I gave him another chance because he was soooooo remorseful. I didn’t realize at the time I was just showing him that if he fucked up, I would forgive him and take him back. He kept a lower profile after that. Did I mention that he also had a huge porn problem?

    Anyway, long story short, I am now in a respectful, adult relationship with a good man who values communication and values me. I am finding myself always watchful that I don’t miss red flags (none so far) and that I am always aware that my picker was broken and I had to do the work to fix it. Tracey’s site has helped me so much in having me get in touch with my anger for the first time and now I feel I have my life in front of me.

    As for cheater, the new fiance can deal with his shit. It feels so wonderful that I no longer have to worry about anything he thinks about.

  • As I was going to my morning CL read, to see what wisdom and snark we could engage in today…..I was thinking -I LOVE YOU ChumpLady!! I really do! You helped me reawaken my feminine Goddess power. No more rolling over to show him my underbelly, nope, I voted with my feet, and got a lawyer.
    So happy and proud to be part of this world-wide community of LOVES, women and men who know how to be in love, and show love, and trust. We are the valuable ones, changing the world as we get up and move forward.
    Rock On CN!
    How I found you?
    The Universe led me here ?!

  • CL I did not like you AT ALL at first! I found your site while googling information on Narcissists and cheaters. I hate to say it but in the beginning i was a little put off by the things you would say. But as the truth became more and more evident, I realized by reading everyone’s comments and the TRUTH in what you had to say, that I was not alone, that there truly are people out there that are so disordered they can truly implode someone’s life and walk away with a smile on their face and a SO on their arm.

    You were the slap upside the head that I needed. I was already at the edge but I needed a little push to move forward and ‘leave a cheater, gain a life’. I’m not at Meh yet, but I am getting closer and closer. I really appreciate CL and CN for everyone’s insight and perspective. To those of you that have gone through this, have moved forward, gotten remarried, and are happy, and YET you still stay on here to be a help guide others through the darkest time of their lives, you are freaking AWESOME people!!!

  • Wow Tracy! Amazing!!

    I think I stumbled onto your site while trying to unravel the very odd behavior of a man I had dated for 6 months (soon deduced he has borderline personality disorder and is a functional alcoholic). While I instinctively went ‘grayrock’ at the time, it was much later reading CL and possibly ‘Out of the Fog’ that confirmed it was the best approach.

    The timeline of my story mirrors CL’s (DD2 after 40th birthday) so this site was not around for me at that time (have been divorced for 7 years). However, finding CL 2 years ago (?) has been fundamental in a second or third round of healing. I now believe my EX Husband is either a sociopath or a narcissist incapable of empathy. I have little to do with the Switzerland friends. I can also see that I was dealing with PTSD immediately after DD2. I really get that THERE IS NOTHING WRONG WITH ME.

    The spooky thing is how similar the stories are – the timing – the ‘script’ – the subtly of the abuse – the entitlement – the Switzerland friends – the oversimplification of ‘it is just sex’ – the inability to take personal responsibly (e.g. well, she got into bed with me & forced a situation….).

    I continue to be ‘a nice person’ but now am even more equipped to reinforce boundaries. Thanks Tracy. Thanks CN.

  • Congratulations! I initially found CL on Amazon though her first book about surviving infidelity. I was already on the divorce path after years of being high on Hopium and living in the land of Denial. I read it in one sitting. I only wish I had found it sooner and had the courage to walk away from the lying cheater years earlier.

    I found the blog and CN after reading a HuffPo article and finding the link. I was astonished at how all our stories of betrayal at the hand of selfish narcs are so similar. It seems we were all married to the same loser fuckwit! And I thought mine was special! Haha!

    Even though I had decided to divorce, I was a complete blubbering mess, drowning in the “WHY??!!” of victim hell. CL was the first honest voice I found. “Trust that they suck” — hell yes. And, “Cheaters cheat because they can, and because they are selfish escapists.” Absolutely. The blameshifting never ends but the reality is that they ALWAYS had choices, and they chose to blow up their families and crush those who loved them most.

    So I’ve been a silent reader for over a year (divorce was final last March), and this is my first post. I had to say THANK YOU!! You and CN held my hand and lifted me up every day through the worst year of my life after an 18 year sham marriage. I still read the blog every day to stay focused on me and my kids and NC. I’m not to Meh yet, but thanks to you, Tuesday is coming.

  • How did I land here?

    I was approx. 6 months into my divorce process, having left my wife after she refused to stop cheating and lying while we were in marriage counseling.

    And I was once again on the Internet (“I hear they have it on computers now”) reading about divorce, infidelity, betrayal, and “my part” in the failure of my marriage.

    But it was the same stupid forums, with talk of “The 180,” accepting that my wife would lie to me, and all the other bullshit that was expected of me. Another Google search brought up ChumpLady’s blog.

    And when I read it, I didn’t like it! It challenged my beliefs! Although I secretly knew that I couldn’t accept responsibility for my wife’s cheating, I very much believed in “the fog” and believed she had “suddenly changed.”

    Reading all of the posts and responses on this website helped me to realize that my wife hadn’t changed. She always sucked. I had just ignored red flags and spackled away things I didn’t want to address.

    Thank you, CL. I’m pretty far outside the experience now, and I never want to live it again. But it has made me a wiser person, and I’m better for it.

    • JC,
      “Reading all of the posts and responses on this website helped me to realize that my wife hadn’t changed. She always sucked.” Never a truer word was said. That’s one of the best things I’ve also learned at CL.

  • Congratulations Tracy and be prepared for 10 million more and then some. I honestly can’t remember what I was looking for in my grief on the internet back when but I stumbled on to Chump Lady and I haven’t looked back. I know you hear that you “saved my life” a lot but I can honestly say with my hand on my heart “you saved my life”. Due to the support of the funniest and most intelligent group of people I have the pleasure to be a part of, thank you because I have truly reached meh. In my heart and mind I thought meh to be a mirage but it isn’t and I am just so happy to be me and alive. Keep up your wonderful work Tracy and Chump Nation because the world needs each of every one of you to spread the word particularly here in Australia where cheating seems to be a sport / national pastime to excel at. Congratulations once again Tracy. (((HUGS)))

  • I found CL referenced when I was on another site, for dealing with Narcissists. I love your humor, and I love the stories of the other chumps. They made me feel part of a community. The way I was raised, my FOO didn’t talk about feelings and didn’t share “secrets” about what went on in the home. My dad is a Malignant Narcissist. I had a lot of issues to overcome. Feeling alone was a big one.

    I figured out my family was not “normal” when I was a teenager. I had listened to regular sermons about how to be a “strong” woman by being a great co-dependent, and had been taught that if I could get through the pain, I was able to fix anything/anyone, and that I was somehow responsible to do so. This unhealthy way of thinking did a tremendous amount of damage, and it took me a long time to sift through the bits and pieces of knowledge available to me — including therapy — to learn that I had to fix my way of thinking, and love myself before I could actually live a life worth living. I assumed everyone would want to fix their own problems, so you can guess just how much dysfunction I was ready to put up with, waiting for other’s to see the light.

    Then, finally, I found out about Cluster B dysfunctional people, particularly Narcissists, and the light bulb went off in my head. When I stopped trying to fix others, I finally found the peace to get better myself. That was a long time ago, but I was still mad. I was mad that I couldn’t do anything to combat the actions of the Malignant Ones. I wanted to help other people who were feeling the pain, and who needed information which would counteract the brainwashing the RIC industry spouts, and the therapists that don’t help you see that you may not be the problem, but that trying to deal with people who do not want to be fixed and are not capable of being fixed is actually the problem. I wanted to spare innocents some pain, if I could. I wanted to thwart the Malignant Ones. I wanted a way to spread the good news that you don’t have to put up with BS, that you have options.

    So I visited a few sites, and I still read a few on a regular basis. It is like overcoming an addiction to something bad, but still attending meetings to talk about the addiction. I found it was a great way to remind me to be vigilant, to avoid any backsliding into an old way of thinking. It allowed me to reach out to others to “pay it forward” and help someone else who was going thru hell.

    I joke with myself and a few battle scarred friends that I found my tribe. Thanks for speaking up and out, ChumpLady. You offer a safe place to land, and a quick triage to prepare the Walking Wounded for rehabilitation. Snark On!!!!!

    • Thanks for sharing your story. I can totally relate to what you shared. So glad you are passing your knowledge forward. When infidelity hits, it truly is hell. The pain seems never ending and its encouraging to hear stories of how others have found their way and are helping others.

  • I agree Marci. Let the OW who thought she “won” deal with the dirty underwear and the farts! One of my absolute favorite things to do when I start missing the Ex is to sit and play mind movies of him doing disgusting shit! He had some annoying and gross habits that he thought nothing of at all. For example, sucking his nose then pulling it up from his throat as if he were going to hock a lugy! YUK! This was usually done just around the time I was eating dinner! No wonder I never was overweight! He would manage to ruin my appetite on a regular basis. He has several VERY gross habits that I won’t go into because it’s embarrassing that I put up with it for so many years and I feel you fellow chumps are more “polite society”, but I’m sure we can all imagine. I figure the OW deserves them. Apparently my Ex’s OW was done with him in four months after she had him move in. It didn’t hurt that the old boy also got cancer. I’m sure she decided that being a nurse maid to an old Fart wasn’t what she signed up for!

    • Roberta, I know how to drink a cocktail in a Manhattan penthouse and a swill a beer in a Mojave dive bar…but when it comes to lying cheating sacks of shit…my favorite word is mother fucker….infidelity brings out the best in me.

      You are a class act along with everyone I have met on this site no matter what you put up with. We all know you are not alone.

      God Bless Chump Lady.

      • We must have been separated at birth! That post sounds like it came out of my own mouth. Or would it be keyboard?

        • Either way, I am sure we have a lot of long lost siblings on this site, Aowlee! Welcome to the Monkey House.

  • When I found out my ex was having an affair I just assumed everyone left and divorced after finding out that have been cheated on. I was in such sock and hurting so bad I was having a really hard time as I know you all can relate. So I was searching google looking for answers on how to pull yourself together to be able to file for divorce. I don’t remember exactly what I typed in – things like – what to do after adultery- and the only sites I found were rec sites! And that really messed me up and sent me deeper in shock! I was like “NO WAY People don’t really stay married after this shit” but all the rec sites made me start thinking I should maybe try to work on my marriage? I was confused for many months and knew I didn’t want to stay but a part of me was listening to these people and I thought maybe this is what you do when you married?

    Then one day I came across a blog of a woman who’s husband had cheated and they were trying to work it out but she still mentioned CL so I came to this site and read everything I could in a few hours – and I was like “thank you God” I knew those other sites were bullshit but I needed to hear it from others because I felt my thinking was messed up – I mean I thought I had a great husband and marriage and I was so wrong – I knew my thinking was fucked up and I needed help changing my thinking and out look – I’m so grateful for chump lady! I have no idea what would have become of me with out this site! I love all of chump nation too! I don’t post or comment very often but I am here at least 5 times a week! I hate that any one is going through this but I am glad we found each other!

  • I found chump lady via a link on Huffpo article in 2014. It was a 3 years after DDay and I was still looking for answers even though he had passed away in 2013. I believe it was Devine intervention. We had made a last ditch effort to stay together, but it wasn’t working for me. The relationship was ruined in my opinion. He did come clean on most of the affair details but I did find a lot of stuff after he died that he failed to mention. I think if I had found CL earlier I would have had the strength to break it off and go NC. Now I am content being single. Still read CL everyday…it has been a lifesaver.

  • From an accidental friend who goes by Bev. She recommended I swing by and look. Like most, wish I had seen this years ago! May have saved me some years on my life!

  • Congratulations on the great work you do!

    I found the site when googling some version of “narcissism in marriage” or “narcissistic father” as I tried to make head or tails of my imploding marriage and figure out how I could save it for the sake of the kids. Unlike most people here, cheating is not what sent me over the edge. I only came to understand that some of his behaviors were masking cheating after other problems had grown so large–the violent temper, especially–that I asked for marriage counseling and began to dig into both financial records and papers on his desk. Learning he had a “soul mate” that wasn’t me and was siphoning money for the “soul mate” made it a lot easier for me to decide that the marriage was dead.

    Reading Chumplady has been transformative for me. A lot of what mystified me about my marriage and my EX’s behavior I now understand to be totally, unoriginal B.S. Recognizing elements of his cheating has been a slow discovery for me . . . for example, I thought it was so mean when he asked me if I was unhappy in our marriage because I really wanted someone besides him or in addition to him. I couldn’t understand why he’d even suggest something like that when I was clearly working so hard to help our marriage. But reading Chumplady, gives me epiphanies. Now I get it; he wanted me to admit to having or desiring an affair to justify his “soul mate.” How ridiculous that I was so hurt by that conversation because I thought I had been inadequate in expressing my love and commitment. How infuriating that I was too much of a chump to realize that what he really meant was that he wanted permission for an extramarital affair (or, more likely, to continue the affair). But I couldn’t see that while I was in the marriage. I’ve had to replay a lot of things that happened and put them through my own version of the UBT (now that I’ve had training in operating that equipment) in order to see what a wretch I was married to.

  • In February 2012 used my geek hacking skills to cut through the gas lighting and read my ex-wife’s email. I found what I dreaded. By the way, having a few years of cheater email sure shuts down the half truthing.

    I think this discovery nearly coincided with the birth of this blog, Googling led me here. CL, thank you. I have directed other chumps here.

    • So let me ask you if reading all that email helped you or hindered you in making the choices you did. In MC our counselor asked if I had any interest in reading any of the hundreds of daily texts exchanged between them. Quickly blurted, “Oh God no.”

      I know that we are all different, but for me personally I only needed to know he was cheating and not how many woman, what was said, etc. I sometimes think that the texts could fill in some blanks, but I also think that for me, it would cause damage to my soul. It’s kind of like seeing something very unpleasant. Once you see it it’s forever in your memory and it cannot be forgotten. I just thought I’d ask someone who had unfettered access.

      • I had unfettered access for about 3 months after D-Day. I breathlessly monitored their texts, sometimes in real time, in a crazed attempt to understand who this person stbx husband was. I was bowled over by the sexting, his craven bids for pity, their pathetic exchanges of undying love and then the revelations that the affair partner was cheating on HIM, and he on HER, at the same time. Then their ridiculous break-up, her threat to “ruin” him, her statement that she had taken sleeping pills, his claims that he regretted nothing, that he still loved her…my God, it was a crazy fest, and up until D-Day he had me convinced that we were happily married. So, it has caused damage to my soul. But it has also reinforced my resolve to scrape him off my shoe and walk onward to the light.

  • Congratulations on your success. For one year now I have been a silent reader and I have gained so much knowledge and strength from reading each article. Lucky me when Chump Lady popped up after I
    Googled Abandoned and Cheated Upon. The black clouds parted and the truth came out.

    Cheater thought I would be stretched out on the kitchen floor when he left. Au contrair, asshole. Daughter asked why he was shovelling snow from MY sidewalks when I was in Mexico for three weeks on his $$$.

    Chumps are survivors. We did the heavy lifting in our marriages, home making, raising kids etc. And we will survive this cruel betrayal. I would like to embrace and comfort each one of my fellow chumps.
    You are my family. Better days are waiting for all of us. Thank you everyone!

  • I don’t recall what I clicked on to land here. There were so many sites it visited. I was in so much pain and clicking everywhere looking for help and answers. I check in daily even but rarely post. You site gives me so much strength and helps me keep a sane perspective on all of it. Thank God for you! You have been my link to seeing myself in a new light and getting a grip on the difference between where I’ve been and what is emotionally healthy and what isn’t. They can play such games with your mind. You have literally helped millions and millions of people. What a blessing you are to the world! What a beacon of hope you are and a lighthouse to guide those of us who have been so lost away from the cheater’s lunacy! Thank you sooo much and congrats on those 10,000,000 views

  • I found this site after reading someone’s negative review on Amazon for a different pro-reconciliation book. I wish I could remember what that other book was!

    I’m still going through everything, but this site has helped so much for keeping a clear head and realizing I’m not alone.

    • That is the same way I found her site!! Too funny!! Thank God for that Amazon reviewer!!

      • Found the book on Amazon-I guess we were hoping our cheaters would buy this for us, “how to help your spouse heal from your affair”. Can you believe we even clicked on this book to read the reviews!! Talk about chumps. Here is the review 1.0 out of 5 stars I bought my cheating husband this book. Cheaters aren’t …
        BySuzy in Ann Arboron January 31, 2016
        Format: Paperback|Verified Purchase
        I bought my cheating husband this book. Cheaters aren’t interested in helping their spouse recover. Cheaters blame shift, gaslight, and give themselves entitlements that they don’t give others. Until the cheater, fixes himself there is not point in helping the souse heal. This is another bogus book to promote counseling. Those who are married to cheaters, instead should read “Chump Lady: Leave a Cheater, Gain a Life.”

  • I actually found your website by reading an Amazon book review. The book was about saving your marriage after an affair. The person writing the review encouraged people to skip the book and instead learn about the types of people who commit adultery. They wished someone would have told them not to waste time with reconciliation and they suggested your website. I wasted no time in looking up your site. Instantly, it was the medicine I needed to hear. I can’t tell you how many times I have gone through your archives when I was tempted to reconcile. It has provided me insight and understanding that I didn’t have before. Thanks for helping the chumps out there!! Your blog provides a resource of strength and hope for those going through the darkest times of their life.

  • I found Chump Lady as I was reading infidelity articles on HuffPo back in 2014. I didn’t have any evidence that Cheater #2 was cheating, but my gut was screaming! The more I read here, the braver I got about following my gut. I really, really, really didn’t want my second marriage to blow up as my first one had – due to multiple infidelities. Well, so much for that.

    I wish Chump Lady (and Infidelity Help Group, another good site) had been around in 2002 when I started on this stooopid roller coaster with Cheater #1. Could’ve saved myself 14 years of pain!

    • Her Blondeness–I think about you often, as you arrived her roughly the same time as me. Do I read from this post that your second marriage is about to end, too? I’m sorry.

  • A poster on the Straight Spouse Forum encouraged us to check out your site back in 2014. For a few years prior to that, while I was still learning about narcissism, I’d been laboring under the delusion that if my X would just admit he is gay, it would be a get-out-of-marriage-free card. We could be mature adults about it, I could support him in coming out, and we would have an amicable divorce.

    Being the chump that I still was at the time, I ignored all of the sage advice on the forum about how I was chasing a rainbow-colored unicorn, and kept looking for the smoking gun, so to speak, that would force him out of the closet. Landing here was the wake-up call I needed.

    The first post I read hit me like a ton of bricks, or a two-by-four to the head, and for the first time I realized, “It’s the narcissism, stupid!” The reason why he was never going to admit to being gay was the very same reason he was never going to admit to cheating–he is a textbook gaslighting, blameshifting, covert narcissist who will do everything in his power to maintain his nice guy image as an upstanding family man, when in reality he is an emotionally abusive, highly disordered person who is incapable of change.

    Of course being married to a spouse who is in the closet is a deal-breaker regardless, but learning that it was his narcissism keeping him there, as well as learning about all of the patterns and behaviors that go with being partnered with the disordered, gave me the courage to finally file on his ass, fully prepared for everything he might throw at me.

    Thanks to the highly distilled, insightful, compassionate, and hilarious wisdom I found here, I could almost predict my X’s next steps throughout the divorce and hone my strategies for fighting them. In hindsight, I’m actually grateful that I didn’t file before finding this site because I have no doubts I would have come out of the divorce much worse for the wear, both emotionally and financially.

    Congratulations, Chump Lady, on the 10 million mark and for leading the way in changing the dialogue about infidelity!

  • I don’t remember exactly what I typed to get to Chump Lady-I just consider it “divine intervention” And I KNOW without a doubt that it saved my life.

    Like everyone else here, finding CL came at a time where I was at my emotional breaking point. I felt lost, alone, and shame that my stbx was cheating with Asian prostitutes and god knows who else. I was hopeless with no job, a small child, and no where to go. The man who had once love bombed me had now turned against me & said terrible things about me to make me feel worthless, ugly and unlovable. I had found a great therapist but was still struggling with untangling the skein, the why’s and hows of how could he do this to me/us. Of course, Stbx could barely squelch out an ounce of remorse and I was torn about keeping our family together at all costs.

    I pulled myself together through reading CL and the support of CN. Tracey’s cutting wit & humor was the missing piece aka slap across the face that I needed to get out of the fog and get a plan. It was amazing how all of the confusing BS made perfect sense and that all these cheaters use the same playbook. (Plus, being able to vent my snarky, potty-mouth side here was awesome).

    I am so proud of myself and how far I have come since I first found CL. I went from wondering how I would ever survive a single day after Dday to being excited about the future. Life does get better just being away from your disordered fuckwit. CL gave me the tools to understand what a piece of crap narcissist stbx is & exactly how to deal with him. It was like having a ton of weight lifted from my shoulders. I think I am pretty close to meh and no longer let stbx get me riled up. I trust (know) that he sucks.

    My only real setback was losing my mom to cancer at Christmas. My mom told me before she passed that when she died that I would get my freedom……her estate left enough money for me & my son to start a new life without stbx. She really is my angel.

    Keep up the good work Tracey! I recommend the CL book & website to EVERY chump I meet. You have earned your wings to heaven.

    Cheers to you for 10 million & here’s to you for 10 million more!!!!!!!!!!

    • I’m so sorry about your mom From your comment she sounds like a very special and giving person

  • Around the same time my divorce was finalized last year someone on the midlifeclub site recommended your site. Your site has helped me realize what kind of person I was married to and why what they were doing to me was wrong. One of the first posts I read compared the cheater’s actions to some violent physical act (or something of that nature). When it was put into those terms it was easy to understand why it was abuse. I was having a hard time recognizing that the emotional abuse I was suffering compared to someone hurting me physically. Seeing the intention of hurt and its effects became visual for me through the example you offered. It opened my mind’s eye. You explained things in terms that made sense to me.

    My healing and recovery have been surprisingly quick and I am nearly at meh. Only recently have I been able to go no contact since my daughter just graduated. I have been looking forward to this for some time and it has relieved a lot of stress in my life. It was hard to “be polite” when I saw him. Until I’m there – I’m faking it until I make it. I am in such a better place now.

    Thank you!

  • I found CL when I searched maintaining no contact with a cheater. I’d been in a long term committed relationship and found out that he cheated on me. He begged forgiveness and promised to do whatever he could not to lose me. I made a list of things and told him that if he meant what he said, he’d prove it to me by doing those things. He accepted it without any complaints and complied for the better part of a year. But my gut feeling told me something wasn’t right and I found out he’d started talking with a woman online, and told her he was in a relationship but it was complicated. I confronted him, and he denied it. I showed him chat logs and he tried to excuse it away as just an online chat friendship. I told him it was unacceptable, and he got belligerent and said that he thought I was seeing other guys behind his back. So I dumped him. He said that proved that I was cheating on him, so I went total no contact and blocked all means of communication. I haven’t heard from or seen him since. At first I thought I wanted to get back in touch with him after a cooling off period, and that’s when I found CL, but now I’m glad he’s out of my life and read the blog posts here to keep reinforcing that choice.

  • Congrats on your milestone, and reaching the masses of chumps everywhere!! My 23-year relationship is ending because my cheater “fell in love” with his mistress of 7 months. A friend of mine in my Divorce Care group at church (a male chump) highly recommended your book – and I read it in just a few nights, and LOVED it!! The perfect antidote to those marriage buster/affair recovery folks that we’re trying to lure me into their money traps! REAL talk, mixed with true wit & compassion – exactly what I needed! And then I came to your site/blog, and have found continued support here. You really are a Godsend, and I appreciate how you’ve turned your “shit sandwich” situation into a positive lifeline to so many others! You shine a light on a topic that most people seem scared or reluctant to talk honestly about, and it really is an amazing thing you do! Keep up the great work!

    The difference between “CHAMP” and “CHUMP” is “U”! 🙂

  • 1st dday July 24, 2014, I was the recipient of a text meant for her. Him begging to come back, me not wanting to admit I’d just wasted 26 years, marriage counseling, blah, blah. 2nd dday June 19, 2015. Kicked him out of the house. The following week I opened a separate bank account, changed the emergency contacts for health care, changed my beneficiary on life insurance, notified all my doctors that they were not to provide my cheater husband with any HIPAA information, and cried every hour.

    Searched internet sites like crazy, “Why he cheated,” “Did I make him cheat,” “Depression and cheating,” “Midlife Crisis symptoms,” “Is midlife crisis real?” Bingo, hit on CL. Chump Lady wasn’t right up front, but after reading many web articles, one of them had a link or reference to Chump Lady. I found the site on November 16, 2015. I visited a lot of internet sites and if any of them advocated reconciliation or forgiveness, I gave my laptop the finger and moved on. I didn’t think I wanted him back and I needed answers on why he cheated. CL made me realize that the reason he cheated was because he could. It was not because there was some overwhelming impulse that he could not control and would go away as quickly as it seemingly came or that his dick was an uncontrollable divining rod. After I accepted this, I knew I never wanted him back.

    I still experience uncontrollable rage as demonstrated in some posts or bouts of loneliness, but without CL I think I would either be in a padded room or a cell.

    • I also googled “mid life crisis symptoms”, “how long does a mid life crisis last” etc. and came across a link to this sight and never looked back. I am grateful every day that I get to read everyone’s experiences, the encouragement and advice on here is priceless. This community has kept me afloat during my dark times, made me laugh (something I didn’t think I would be capable of for a long time) and straightened me out on occasion when the urge for communication with my ex would overwhelm me. THANK YOU ALL!!! I cannot say that enough…

  • I went through many ddays before I found CN and CL. Mine was the life of a unicorn! It started in 2008 and I finally threw him out and the divorce was final last month. I truly believe I would still be in the shithole of a marriage if I had thought I was the only one to go through this. I am not at MEH yet, but working everyday toward that goal. I spent 32 years of my life with him 27 married and now I never see him or talk to him. No contact is the only way to go and I feel so bad for the people who have to co-parent. My kids are grown. I don’t bad mouth dad around them but, I have talked to them in great length on how to treat a wife. I only hope I am not to late for them to not take after their father. I will have to see him again in December when the grandchild is born, but it get easier every month!

    • Newme,

      Congratulations of your divorce. I also have grown boys after 28 years of marriage and 5 days divorced. I do worry about them and have open discussions and they are very clear on my feelings, but I too hope they don’t cheat. Parenting is such hard work, even when they’re grown. I try not to bad-mouth their dad, but he’s such an idiot that it’s hard not to at least roll my eyes, but working on that.

  • how did you wash up on our shores?

    I THANKFULLY found Chump Lady while searching for relief from the constant C-PSDT, fear, anxiety attacks, wishing I would just go on and die, realizing that no one wanted to hear about it anymore – everyone was telling me to just ‘get over it and move on’…no one seemed to understand what I was going through…right down to the therapists and counselors I was talking to…they all were telling me to just get over it…quit giving him my power (I had no idea what that meant – I truly would get an image in my mind of putting a gas hose in satan everytime one of em said that to me…:-/ ) I was all out of hope and waiting to die when…

    What did you Google to find this place?

    I googled ‘my husband is a monster’ … or something similar and up popped ‘The Unified Theory of Cake’ :D!!! …I think that was the first time in over a year that I actually LAUGHED…I mean the real kind of belly laugh that almost has you rollin on the floor with tears runnin out of your eyes after spewing coffee from your nose!

    …needless to say, I had found my ‘tribe’ and I was HOOKED. Here was information that WAS IT! My first ‘ah ha’ moment in the whole nasty mess my life had become after 35 years with that monster…year 36 was shear hell that I didn’t think I would live through…

    And is it working? Did you leave a cheater and gain a life?

    Oh YES!!! It is working very well! Even Beau the Monster Eater is happier and peaceful and joy filled! Why he even understands english now! 😀 THANK GOD FOR YOU AND CHUMP NATION! I wouldn’t have made it out without your support and TRUTH!

    MY divorce was final (after almost 3 years of satan’s COURTROOM CRAP) on February 4, 2015 😀 I sold my home of 30 years and moved 37 minutes from the disordered asshole’s sphere of influence and bought my new home that is filled with sunshine and happiness EVERY DAY.

    I have met a whole bunch of ‘like minded’ folks who have become my friends. I am grateful for the peace and serenity here in my new life and, even though I ‘lost’ people and things that I valued for all of my life, I have learned that some people do not – and probably never did – belong in my life because we have different values, and things are just things and we all have more than we need as a rule…I only have things that are useful or serve some useful function in my life…I sold, gave away or burned eChuverything that triggered memories of my life with satan and I am blissfully happy without those reminders.

    Thank you Tracy, from my heart and soul, thank you!

    Thank you Chump Nation for sharing your experiences and knowledge…I am among family here.

    I love you all! Thank you for helping me save myself from a wasted life!

    Beau too!

    • Jeep,

      I had my first post dday belly laugh here too. It was awesome.

    • Jeeptess I going though the hell of trying to settle with the disordered right now. Is there any way you can contact me and shine dome light on how to deal and get this done? I don’t think my lawyer truly gets it (and may be trying to make more money by wanting to “negotiate”).

  • It’s been years since I had to deal with my cheaters but some of what I went through only made sense after I starting visiting here. Thank you all for sharing your experiences and words of wisdom, and thanks to Tracy for providing the unique insights and honest common sense advice that show chumps a speedier road to a better life.

  • Congrats Chump Lady! Your truest measure of success is the hundreds/thousands of chumps who have benefited from your excellent blog, which is a delightful mix of humor, encouraging advice and unvarnished TRUTH. (CN = No Spackle Zone)
    I found the site last July 7th 2015 – the day I realized he was still with the ho-worker despite claiming to have broken up and attending marriage counseling. I had only learned of the affair at the end of January 2015 – and it took til July to realize I wasn’t in a bad dream.
    Not sure how I found you – but as an AMAZON chump, it was in the early days of searching posts for hours on end, looking for both an explanation for the WHY and a way “I COULD FIX IT” MYSELF.
    Luckily I found CN instead and am grateful for the advice , support and 2x4s AND THE SLOW BUT SURE REALIZATION THAT I DIDN’T CAUSE IT AND I CAN’T FIX IT

  • I too want to congratulate and thank you CL for all the great and honest advice you have given to us Chumps. I found your site through another, “First Wives Community” as I was just starting my journey of discovery to final freedom of my cheater. Words cannot explain the pain I was experiencing but your daily blog validated every emotion, fear and heartache I was experiencing and realized I wasn’t crazy or wrong like my cheater continued to tell me. And…..that his cheating really was on him NOT me! That one took a while! My only regret is that I didn’t find you sooner–but I did and two years later I continue to read CL every day before I start work. Couldn’t start my day without you.

    Thank you for helping the millions of chumps out there and as you say, it’s sad there are so many of us, but its great we have each other for support. I’m discovering there is life after living with a narcissistic cheater.

  • Congratulations, CL! Words can never convey how grateful I am for all of your support and CN’s support.

    The day after DDay I googled whatever I could get my hands on. Most of the links were about wreckocilliation. The stuff I read did not feel right, at all, nope, not in this lifetime feel. I thought, well, this is the information I am getting, so it must be true. If my memory serves me, I believe I was on the site Out Of The Fog or something similar. Saw your link, clicked on it and never went back to the other sites.
    I was lucky to have found you very early after DDay.

    I will forever be grateful! HUGS!

  • Chump Lady, reaching 10K on the odometer means that what you have to say resonates with so many chumps who needed to hear what you were saying. Thank you for your passion for us chumps!

    I found you the week of Dday and kicking the cheater out. I googled something about “how to talk to your kids about divorce when a parent cheats” and up popped a blog titled “Kids eat the biggest shit sandwich”. I couldn’t NOT read an article with that title. I was hooked from that day. I got the advice and words to talk to my 7 yo son, I was spurred into action with getting my own bank account, NOT agreeing to cheater’s narrative that “we just grew apart”, going (almost) no contact and getting a lawyer. I don’t regret it for one minute.

    I never had to pick-me dance. He just abandoned us. I am thankful most days that he did not try and mess with my head in those days after discard. I know I was one of the lucky ones to get out so clean. It still hurt to have someone I loved so much treat me with such indifference. It’s something I may never get over. Even now, having a slow-going relationship with no red flags, I know that I still have trust issues and may always have them to a certain degree. My picker is better tuned now and after a long break from dating, I find that I am enough…for myself. I read the best quote about dating recently: If you don’t need to date, then you’re ready.

  • The first of many D-Days was in 2013. I am married to a serial cheater that has been betraying me for 40 years. As I uncovered his affairs, there were many D-Days.

    After purchasing tons of useless books and even buying a “save your marriage” service, I read something by you on HuffPost. Then I went to your blog. That was it. When it comes to cheating, you are the only person who makes complete sense. I knew it instantly. I bought two copies of your book and gave one to my STBX (he liked it until he realized that I intended to follow your advice). You gave me the guidance to leave the A**Hole and move on. I am 66 years young and feel great.

    The question I have for you and Chump Nation: What advice do you have for those who are young and about to get married? At the age of 22, I knew that my fiancé had a wondering eye, but I thought he would grow up. Of course, he did not. He only got worse. Have other Chumps experienced the same as me? Are there early tell-tale signs? I wish I could go back 45 years and give myself a talk.


    PS I read Chump Lady every day so I am contributing to the millions of hits and will to the day I can no longer hit the keyboard.

    • I can tell you what I’ve read out there. The statistics show that people who get married before the age of 25 years old, have a 90% divorce rate. So I would advise people to wait until after the age of 25 years old to get married. I kind of makes sense, and you change the most in your 20s. Also, the person you would choose at 22 years old is completely different than you would at 30 years old. And at 22 years of age, what does one know about the world to be making a life long commitment, you don’t even know yourself. Just what I’ve observed…

      • Character is character. We were married at 26 but there were signs before including cheating when we were teens and early 20s. I too thought it was confused boyhood folly , never mind I was always faithful. Never cheated…age nothing to do with it.

  • Oh and btw, I never read ONE of those wreconciliation sites. I found Chump Lady and I was home.

  • There was a divorce in my family so I started looking. I found CL through HP and all of you allowed me to vent over the long ago damage to my brother and his children from abandonment. In the latest divorce there are no Swiss. We were very vocal about the cheating. Before CL. I would have kept my mouth shut. Not anymore.
    Your stories are so compelling that I continue to visit. I have made it a responsibility to read blogs by bs and tell them about CL. Many of them are not ready for you but I know some of them will eventually come here. Several bs have asked me, and others, not to mention it again. Deciding to separate after many years of marriage must be one of the most devastating, terrifying things to do. I feel great sympathy for them but all of you feel empathy. You have been there. You know what they are facing. I just want to give them an option. CL is that option. You provide hope not hopium.
    Keep it going, CL. I truly think you have saved lives.

  • I had been reading pieces in the divorce section of the Huffington Post. A few of them made me feel like I could maybe survive the hell I was in. Then one day a featured blogger named Tracy wrote a piece that hit me like a thunderbolt. She articulated everything I was feeling but couldn’t put into words (and boy were those the words I wanted to use) I read all of the archives and read the new posts almost every day. I have now been divorced over a year and have had no contact with EX for a year and a half. He married the OW 6 weeks after the divorce was final and I have been fortunate not to bump into either of them. I know that he is a disordered POS and she is welcome to him, this site validated for me that this is what he is. I don’t know where I would be without all of you wonderful, kind, funny and resilient people. Thank you Chumplady, like many others have said here, you saved me.

  • I didnt quite wash up on the shores of Chump Lady. It was more like a chartered destination. I came with a lot of baggage. Since my arrival I have unloaded most of my baggage and learned to repack the things I need for my journey to Meh. I thank everyone for their support , time and responses. Its been a hell of a trip but I am getting ready to get back on the boat..a little lighter, a lot wiser and ready.
    I hope you all know that you are life savers!!!

  • I found ChumpLady in Spring of 2014 while searching online for resources to help my sister and also my best friend who were simultaneously extricating themselves from horrid marriages from assholes. I first ventured onto a site called First Wives or something like that and that is where someone mentioned Chump Lady in one of their blogs. At the time, there was no evidence or suspicion of cheating, but Tracy’s no-nonsense advice on how to deal with narcissists fit with the situation and I referred both ladies to the site. After all, cheating is just one of many ways to be unacceptably cruel to one’s spouse. Well, about six months into my sister’s divorce, we discovered that her STBX had been jumping the fence for YEARS, fucking the next door neighbor!!!!!!!!! Thank heavens for ChumpLady, because you helped us see the signs!!! In the meantime, I got hooked reading your site, despite having gone through my betrayal, abandonment and subsequent divorce 10 years prior and having been happily remarried for 7 years and long sense achieved Meh. Tracy’s take on the situation ran true and I was able to make sense of a bunch of stuff regarding my situation that had never made sense. For my own survival, I had finally quit trying to make sense of those things because I realized trying to figure it out was making me mentally and physically sick. And then ChumpLady appeared and BAM, NPD, Cluster B, the cheater play-book, etc., etc., began to really make sense. So I feel much healthier and knowledgeable now. Thanks to ChumpLady, I am now able to recognize these undesirable traits of manipulative individuals such as my (now former) boss, acquaintances, etc. and root them out of my life quickly. My biggest takeaway from ChumpLady is that I am teaching my two young children, now 14 and 10, all the life lessons I wish my parents had taught me about relationships, and they will be going into adulthood better prepared than I. I sure wish Tracy/ChumpLady had been around when I was going through my own little drama. It would have been so helpful. In the meantime, I am going to give Tracy some unsolicited marketing advice, since marketing is my profession. Tracy, I appreciate your modesty. But I would like to request that you end every single one of your posts (before the comments start) with a plug for the book and a link to purchase it. Fine to keep the “book” navigation button on the website at the top of the page but many people go straight to the blog or never see that. It takes multiple (min. 6) touchpoints for an individual to take action or buy a product. It might take someone 6 to 20 times of reading your oh so very helpful blog posts and seeing that the book is available each time before they finally realize that maybe the book is for them (it IS for them! I love how the book is organized and accessible and just gets you everything you need to know in the proper order — the blog is great but the book is necessary reading for those in the throes of crisis, and the book will help get them where they need to be more quickly and easily.) So I am asking you to do this as a public service for all those chumps out there who may not know about the book, or who know about it but just need multiple reminders. It does not have to be a “shameless plug” it can be something very basic that you run at the end of every single one of your posts before you sign off and open for comments, something like:”If you are looking to Leave a Cheater and Gain a Life, my book can help. Buy it here.” Or “My book, “Leave a Cheater, Gain a Life,” is available here.” Congrats, Tracy, on 10 million views. Now let’s sell 10 million copies of your book.

    • Thanks for the marketing tips! The site is definitely overdue for a redesign, and I’ve seen the buy-my-book link thing work on other sites. I’ll try and get on that soonest. 🙂

  • I can not imagine this experience without Chump Lady and Chump Nation.

    I might NEVER have arrived at the conclusion that STBX is disordered or that cheating and lying unfolds the same way across nations/race/class/gender.

    I imagine I would still be playing “pick me” and untangling the skein.

    Thank you for giving me my life, Chump Lady. This site is a blessing.

  • Congratulations, CL! Can we call you Champ Lady if not now, then soon?
    I was looking at the readers’ comments in an article on The Guardian website where someone mentioned Chump Lady – that’s how I found myself here and I’ve checked in pretty much every day since 🙂

  • I fell into the welcome embrace of CL and CN about two months after I was basically forced out of the marital home because I could no longer mentally tolerate the escalated emotional and psychological abuse from the EX and his latest and last (at least in our marriage) AP (4 months after that D-Day). I was at my lowest point and initially, whatever I googled, took me to the RIC websites. Those just caused me to go deeper into despair and depression, and I was seriously considering suicide. I was reading another sad, sad entry on SI about someone discovering their spouse cheating AGAIN and one of the commenters mentioned CL. I copied down the web address, typed it in and it was like being in the desert and finding water. CL’s common sense and innate ability to verbally translate bullshit Cheaterspeak and behavior into English removed the blinders from my eyes. It was the first time I recognized that the little voice that had been squeaking inside me for years whispering, “this is some bullshit,” was the sanest part of me. This community turned that small voice into a full-fledged shout and put me on the road to recovery. I was fortunate to find Tracy and my therapist at about the same time.

    I had some missteps along the way, but I am so, so much happier than I was. I didn’t know how unhappy my existence was until it was no longer my existence.

    Tracy I love you like a dog loves trees and I thank God every day for you and what you have created here. I really don’t know where I would have been or how I would have navigated what turned into a long, drawn out divorce. Reading here enabled me to initiate no contact. Thank you for all that you do and I wish you continued success in everything that you do. You deserve it. And thank you to all the Chumps who show up here every day and bravely share and re-share their stores.

  • I found the self-published CL book on Amazon (I’m a bibliotherapy addict) and then came to the blog. And no, I didn’t leave a cheater (he left me, coldly, with nary a look back over his shoulder), but I am gaining a life.

    Congrats on rolling over the odometer. You don’t look a day over 5 million.

  • First off, wowza! On the hits and the growth of your blog Tracy. In fact I found this blog after watching Gaslight on a dreay winter day (alone of course) and a lightbulb went off. googled the movie and saw subsequent articals on “Gaslighting”. came up, and it was the first one I linked to, not sure which came first the outright hysterical laughing or gushing tears of relief but Tracy your words and those of others turned my life around. The snark, the sass, the potty mouth humor along with the common sense NO BULLSHIT dialog, as one poster put it “Shut that Shit Down” was the 2×4 that was needed. Have. Never. Looked. Back. ! SO sister you are doing some remarkable work, and the hits to the blog is the proof in Black & White! Continued success to you Tracy and God speed to all old and new to Chump Nation. Much love!

  • I as many others here purchased books and bought into false reconciliation. But to be honest Dr Hurley’s book actually helped me to begin to set boundaries. Of course asshole never took it serious.
    From there I joined a couple of boards and was kicked off because I just couldn’t stomach the absolute bull on these boards especially finding out that some of the moderators were cheaters. Somewhere during my Google search Chumplady popped up.
    Chump Nation is a group that was very honest about their spouses treatment and experiences. It’s amazing that cheaters have no variety or imagination as they repeat the same lines and behavior. I shouldn’t be surprised they are only emulating their father.

    I was with married to cheater for a long time. At the end I found out during 34 years of marriage he was never faithful. He was a moody selfish manipulative Mitch.
    I thank God that I am free!

  • I don’t quite remember how I found you. If I found you, or if one of my friends found you. We were chatting on Facebook about my STBX and his AP, and a link to your website was put up. I read it daily. We’re still not divorced, and he’s refusing to move out, making everything much harder than it need to be. I hired my attorney on my 38th birthday. I’m now in the ignoring him stage. As soon as the kids are in bed, I go to bed too. And I’m not letting him see me be upset. He can call me icequeen all he wants, but I’m not the one who took my heart out and stomped on it like it was day old trash. I don’t know if this is the first time he’s cheated, and I’m going to ask for STD tests next time I see my doctor.

    And congratulations on 10 million. I think. It’s a sad statistic to be honest. It’s good that we’re finding places to connect to each other and get advice, but it’s sad that there’s so many of us. Why are people so horrible to each other?

  • I washed up on ChumpLady’s shore almost exactly two years ago, about a month after I discovered that my Scout-leading, Sunday school-teaching, good guy husband of 20+ years was actually a lying, low-life serial cheater with a penchant for violent porn, kinky sex and an OW of nearly 7 years. When the depression got so bad that I seriously thought of suicide, I googled the phrase “how to survive infidelity.”

    I latched onto two sites from that search:, and Chump Lady. I toggled between the two for nearly a year, pick-me dancing like crazy to try to save my marriage, while reading about what it might be like to let righteous anger take the lead. In the end, the mighty women at Chump Lady who were letting their “walls sing again” won out over the sad BWs of SI, who as far as I can tell are still living in soul-killing limbo 2 or 5 or 8 years out from “dday.”

    With the help of a competent lawyer, I mediated a generous separation agreement from my remorseful cheater, then kicked him out, waited the interminable year that my state required for separation, and filed for divorce in January of this year.

    I have not yet (re)gained a life, and am nowhere near “meh.” I still often feel battered and crazy and lonely and mistrustful of the world. BUT I am still standing, I can breathe, I have boundaries, and I am captain of my own ship. literally saved my life.

    • Glad you allowed yourself to feel the righteous anger. And it is righteous–you were grieviously wronged and betrayed. Soul-killing limbo is the right way to describe it. So glad you are free of the abuse. Stay strong. You sound like your ship is heading in the right direction.

  • I just can’t remember how I came upon CL but I’m sure glad I did!! Single handedly this blog turned me all the way around and I was able to see! Therapist after therapist, other websites, the RIC, family, friends…N-O-T-H-I-N-G!!!!
    Only Chump Lady……. and I thank you and CN!!!
    The filth is now someone else’s problem……..poor her!!

  • I don’t remember what all I was googling, my search history was a weird and scary place, but I’m pretty sure I found CL from a link at Infidelity Help Group. I had gotten some good advice there, but finding this website and the CN community was the gamechanger. It hit me like a thunderbolt, the truth and reality I found here is like nothing else in my experience. I did lose the cheater, I have gained a life. I am my authentic self now, healing and at peace. Ten million thanks to you, CL!

  • I cant remember exactly what I had typed in for qoogle search that led me to the Mighty, probably something like, “my husband says he isn’t happy and that he is done…” but i am so very glad i did click onto…

    You have helped me beyond words, Tracy with your daily posts and the forum has helped me with daily support, guidance, and a lot of laughter through tears sometimes.

    Congratulations, Tracy!!!! Much love and gratitude — MollyX

  • Tracey…Congratulations!! I am guessing that I am a good piece of the numbers. I don’t even recall how I found you, but it was like 2 months after my world exploded. You and your blog righted my ship…I was a mess. I have hung on for two years and check in many times more than once a day. You keep me moving forward….I cannot thank you enough. I do not have the words. God Bless you and this nation of chumps. XX

  • First post ever. I have been reading since shortly after your start up in 2012. Chump Lady has saved my life! I got tired of waiting for my spouse to “come out of the fog”. I typed in I love you but I’m not in love with you. Chump Lady popped up. Finally something that made sense!! I hired a lawyer, tried mediation first and still hung in way too long. Divorce official June, 02, 2016!!

  • Congratulations CL, and thank you for keeping this amazing community going!

    I found CL while looking for how I was going to deal with my X introducing our kiddo to his OW. I found the post about the daughter coming home with pictures of the OW that she wanted to show her mom… There started my chump education:

    cool, bummer, wow? Sounds better than the chainsaw I was thinking about…
    Shit sandwich? Finally, someone calls this for what it is!
    Word salad? Check!
    3 stations of mindfuck channels? Definitely, in fucking rapid succession!
    Kibbles and cake? Shit, CL can read minds?
    Hopium addiction? In remission but yeah I had been under the influence for my entire marriage…
    Pod people? Ding, Ding, Ding, we have a winner!

    The new vocabulary, comments, amazing replicability of shit cheaters say, it all clicked! Reading the archives, followed by the self-published book, and coming to CN daily to soak up the generous advice from CL/CN kept me going when there was little local support I was willing to seek due to the shame of being cheated on. The more I learned, the more I understood how much he sucked, and the less shared shame I had about moving the divorce forward.

    Thank you to CL/CN I divorced with dignity, and some chumpy concessions, but way fewer than if I hadn’t found you guys. My divorce is done, but we share custody, and that means that I’m learning how to manage the unending punishment of having bred with a fuckwit…

    I’m far from Meh, but you guys keep me going, the stories, the camaraderie and humor I find here are priceless to me. I feel most fortunate to have met other chumps in person, and I am proud to be part of this community of survivors, and hope to be of help to new chumps in any way I can.

    Thank you all for being there, and thank you CL, for helping all of us forge their path to Meh!

  • I’ve been away from my computer all day, traveling to the wilds of northern Michigan to see my parents — so I’m just reading these comments now. I’m totally blown away by your stories. Thank you. THIS is why I keep doing this blog — it helps. Thanks for letting me know. Thanks to Chump Nation for organizing yourself and bolstering each other and telling your stories. Most days, I just feel like the barkeep. I run the ol’ saloon, and you all come in. It’s your place.

    I’ll get back to proper writing tomorrow. This is an avalanche of kind words and powerful stories… just WOW. Thanks guys.

    • Hey, I really like that……
      “Most days, I just feel like the barkeep. I run the ol’ saloon, and you all come in. It’s your place.”

      Thanks for running the ol’ saloon! We LOVE this place! Hope you will continue to welcome us with open arms! Guess that is how it works when authentic, kind, loving, caring people get together! Imagine if the whole wide world were run by you and these lovely chumps!

      (PS: Hope the visit went well with your parents. Yep, Michigan is another of my ‘places’. Both my parents born & raised in southern Michigan. Various relatives are scattered through out all of the state)

      Forge on, all y’all

  • I don’t remember where I found CL and CN, but it was a Godsend. I probably typed “husband abandoned me what do I do?”. I tried reading the RIC boards, but I just could not fathom that being cheated on was ok and that I would just have to make the marriage welcoming. I remember it was on a search that I found CL and then when I started reading, and I started seeing that “hey, maybe I wasn’t perfect, but I sure as hell did not ever do anything that deserved being punished by getting cheated on and the snark and the bad words, that I knew that I had found my people. That I had found somebody, a bunch of somebodies, that “got” it, my internal struggle, that my life started to make sense. That I could and should stand up for myself, that this thing that the x did to me was not ok, not by a long shot, that I could finally start to heal, to protect myself, that I was still a “good person” stuck in a really bad situation and that I did not have to take the abuse. That there were other f*cks out there that were exactly the same as the “man” that I married and that that man was actively plotting against me. I thank God for the day that I found your blog, you saved me, you saved my sanity and you and CN have gotten me through the most horrible experience of my life. Thank you, Tracy, for persevering, for helping, for giving us a voice and a tribe!!!!!

  • I just have to throw my two cents in here. Tracy this place is phenomenal. What you have done here is nothing short of a miracle. I am so grateful to have stumbled on it. I think I came in by way of Out Of The Fog, someone mentioned you or I should say your site, and once I clicked on it was like yeah, I have found my people.

    Many of you know my story, and I am a long way from Dday. The damage however, that I brought forward with me has stayed with me through the years. It was kind of like trying to figure out what was color of the truck that hit me. I have a deep need to understand, and I didn’t understand all the crazy stuff that went with narcissists and cheaters. And yes, I did buy that some of it was my own fault. Losing my son damn near killed me. At times I felt that I could’ve been wiser, more proactive, or fiercer, that it would’ve made a difference. Of course now I know it wouldn’t have .

    Anyway this is the place that I found that helped me figure out just what the hell went down. And now I know none of it was my fault. That I was dealing with out of bounds crazy. So some true healing has occurred since I have come to chump lady. And for that I’m grateful. Thank you, everyone here. for your compassion, your wisdom, and your potty mouthed irreverent snark.

    And speaking of snark….. love the sassy snarky tone here. I love the humor. I have cleaned coffee off of my computer screen more than once. What a gift!

    • And YOU, Momma Tessie, are a true gift to us….to me. What you have been thru is the worst of the worst. So good to read your comment today! (I am a little late to the party, as usual! But hey, I am busy living a cheater-free life now!)

      That I have the privilege to know you has added to my life. So sad that I have made your acquaintance under such horrific circumstances but am so humbled that I have added even a little to your healing journey.

      I think of you & BOTH of your sons and how our Creator has helped you endure this horror of horror. Much love to you & your son as you both ForgeOn! {{{{HUGS!!!}}}}

  • We met on SI when I was navigating a rough and sorrowful divorce – white knuckling through each damn day.

    Your posts on SI always made complete and perfect sense. They were clearly written and unflinchingly honest and they pulled me off the ledge. We messaged and you were so generous with your wise counsel.

    You told me you were preparing to launch a blog and asked me to give it a read.

    It was brilliant.

    I knew from the first read that it would change people’s lives.

    And, your promise was fulfilled, I have gained the most glorious life. But I come back again and again to check on my beloved fellow chumps and to read your splendid writing. It’s your writing – your magical use of words, which gives us our common CN language of infidelity anguish, personal redemption and ultimate renewal.

    We are a grateful Chump Nation.

  • My first time posting here, but I’ve been lurking for a good 18 months now. Someone on First Wives World made reference to CL, when I was in the midst of some pretty horrendous pick-me dancing. Thank God I found CL otherwise I would’ve still been spackling and dancing away, I imagine, but I was able to shut that shit down straight away! I’ve never been able to get my ex to admit to the cheating but the red flags and gut feelings were all there, and once I started reading here I gained the clarity to see him for what he was. And I’m officially out – my divorce was finalized yesterday (woohoo) and I have an amazing level of peace in my life now. Still have to deal with his bullshit until the kids are all grown up (another 13 years or so, good grief) but I know what is coming with him now, he’s so predictable and so obviously like so many other disordered types mentioned on here, that I’m barely disturbed by his antics now. So thanks CL for giving me the strength to give him the sack and I am sooooo close to Meh now!

    • Congratulations on being cheater free! Glad you finally posted and introduced yourself to the rest of us. Welcome to a peaceful. Blessings.

  • Chumplady rocks! I found the site from the MLClub forum- this mysterious chumplady and Chump nation were mentioned. You were the massive reality slap i needed after reading those twaddle filled hopium sites. I cried, i laughed, i vented- thanks to you; Meh is so close i can taste it

  • I told everyone that the success to me making it out of a 30 year marriage with a Serial cheating narc was because of Chump Lady and Joel Osteen! It is no small thing to empower someone to change their life for the better. Thank you so very much for creating a place that is so supportive yet gives tough love when needed.

  • I found this site after discovering the truth this past Nov 2015. I was trying to figure things out when I stumbled upon Chump Lady. Ironically, there is a striking physical resemblance between OW and Tracy which almost prevented me from reading my first CL post.

    Thankfully, I did read and it had provided me much needed support and validation. Without you, I’d still be dancing instead of being mostly at Meh.(Though there are moments of un-meh-ness)?

  • Tracy, you commented on an article in NYT. You very tastefully did not spam it with your blog link, but included enough information that I could easily Google it.

    I’m married, and we haven’t had sex in over a decade. You see, I’m a Chump and a Cake eater at the same time. Cake equaling safety and financial security, which I don’t have the courage to surrender. Now I have cancer, which I fear will do me in either financially or for real.

    My H is a long-time escort hobbyist. He gave up pros for the first 5 yrs of marriage so that we could both suffer thru miserable sex. When he pays for it he favors 25 year-old eastern Europeans, I presume I seem gross and old in comparison. This was all discovered via my own detective work, and the fact that he is a dummy and doesn’t cover his tracks very well.

    Lest you feel too bad for me: I’m also a cheater, since for a brief period I thought retaliatory adultery was the answer. It isn’t–it’s just made me hate myself more. Unfortunately I had a therapist at that thought my adultery was neato and liberating. Not blaming her however; it’s ultimately all on me.

    It’s fascinating to read everyone’s story, and I’m rootin’ for all of you to have joyful lives after divorce.

    To me, love and passion in the framework of a trusting relationship is like Purple for a colorblind person. It sounds lovely, but not something I can picture.

    • Verlaps, there’s nothing wrong with sticking it out and getting your ducks in a row. If you’re not suffering physical violence, and you’re not doing the pick-me dance, then use it to your advantage to set yourself up for when you do dump his sorry ass. Deal with your cancer first, and when you’re healthy, kick him out.

      Don’t forget that even being colour blind can have its “benefits” … studies show a colour blind person can pick out something like 15 different shades from what “we” see as being just beige …studies show colour blind soldiers are better at seeing through camouflage. You may not be able to picture a trusting relationship now, but at least you’ve seen through the bullshit … you’re on your way to recognizing love and passion and trust because you’ve seen the 15 shades of relationships.

      Thinking of you in your struggles, and hoping for your happiness.

  • I was at the Amazon Chump phase in 2012, reading all I could about infidelity online. I chanced on an early HuffPo article, and the rest is history.

    Thanks and congratulations, Tracy!

    And LOVE LOVE LOVE to all of Chump Nation. A much needed and much loved tribe.


  • I Googled “leave a cheater”

    A little on the nose.

    The “Gain a Life” line completely grabbed my attention. I was home. Could not have survived without CN and my friends.

  • Congratulations Tracy! You do incredibly valuable work.

    I’m not a chump nor a cheater, but I’ve been an avid reader of this site for over 3 years. I have learned so much about narcissism and other personality disorders – my eyes have been opened. It’s helped me make sense of the emotional abuse my ex-husband (not a cheater) put me through.

    I can’t remember how I found CL – I think a link passed on by a friend. I’ve bought both of Tracy’s books, which I’ve lent many times to chumped friends. I send them all here.

    I love Tracy’s on-the-nose dissections of the crap cheaters try to get away with. I’m in awe of the wisdom and humour of the chumps who post here. I check this site most days and read nearly all the comments. I’m teaching my children about boundaries, knowing their worth and being good friends and partners, using the information I’ve learned. Thank you all.

  • I found the CL site while trawling through page after page of infidelity/marital breakup advice online on the afternoon of D-Day. Can’t remember my exact route to it, but it was one of the few sites that didn’t preach reconciliation. I knew I couldn’t reconcile again (following more than a decade of his compulsive porn use, and then, on D-Day last month, the discovery of his actual long-term infidelity via three affairs sites, which was the killer).

    CL’s voice spoke to me at once. Illusion-free, tough, wry, humane. And it was all so clearly TRUE. Tracy, thank you. The wound is still very raw but I am learning how to survive it.

  • Woman! I wish I could remember the exact route I took to get here but dammit the old memory isn’t working so well.

    I do know that I felt an instant kinship with you. It was like finding a good friend, the kind you can shoot the shit with for hours and feel as though no more than a few minutes have passed.

    You say what I wish I could. You articulate in such a balls-out, no-regrets format. I curse my Minnesotan roots for the inability to just let it fly.

    It truly is an honor to share you with the women who come to me for advice. Once I get all these damn kids out of the house I hope to be as prolific and as helpful as you are <3

    P.S. because I'm a putzy reader it took me a while but I finished the book and am in love with it. Going to post a giveaway and pass it on to one of my readers. You really are an angel.

    • And PPS: CONGRATS on 10 Million!!! It’s not a surprise but it’s still so awesome.

  • I apologize for the lateness of this reply, but now that I’m not only post-divorce, but also have moved out of the marital home and am now totally Cheater-free for the past 2 months, I’ve been entering into the “gain a life” phase. Wow! Have I been busy! Also, despite being so busy, I feel so much more relaxed since I’ve moved away from such a negative person!

    Anyway, how did I end up here? Well, I’ve been around since about 2012. In late September of that year, I was working at the computer, and a lot of little things (including a much longer than usual “no sex” phase) were percolating in my mind. I asked my husband if he had feelings for Ms. Skanky. He said no. I let it drop. Then I asked if she had feelings for him. He said no. I let it drop. A bit later, he put his phone down and left the room. I read it before the lock screen came on, and discovered he’d been texting her. Of course, he thought he’d bamboozled me.

    I was in shock, put the phone down, and walked back to my computer, where I googled, “what to do if your husband is having an affair.” I had two sites come up: “truth about marriage,” which has a lot of crap on it but is not pro-reconciliation, and ChumpLady. Truth about marriage advised keeping quiet, as cheaters lie, and lawyering up, since you should always have that lawyer in your back pocket, even if you opt for reconciliation.

    Very quickly, I found myself gravitating more toward ChumpLady. Why? Because Chump Lady laid out the Cheater manifesto the most clear. I learned about gaslighting, blame-shifting, the Pick-Me dance. I had spoken to a lawyer, and discovered I needed to get my financial ducks in a row. During that time, I needed support, and Chump Nation was here with people whose experiences mirrored my own. Chump Lady gave me the most important of all mantras: “trust that they suck.”

    It is so easy to get sucked back into the cheater’s sphere. My cheater, of course, had such faith in his own powers of persuasion and my own gullibility that he assumed that I had zero clue of his affair. In the meantime, I would notice that he’d be really mean, and then really nice–and that these cycles coincided with his arguments with Schmoopie. But no, trust that they suck. When they’re being nice, they’re at their most manipulative.

    He was such a cake-eater, and I learned that a week or so after Dday, when he asked me to rub his poor Sausage Tired Feet. I did so, thinking that this felt so normal. Then I discovered that he was texting Schmoopie about how awful I was. That was the last time I massaged those cake-eating feet!

    Chump Nation was there with me for the entire journey. While I knew from the get-go that I could not be married to a man who cheated, I kept trying to understand why he did this. I initially believed he was in a vulnerable place. He was under stress at work. His father, with whom he’d had a complicated relationship due to his father’s absence and his father’s cheating on his mother, had recently died. Oh, and his blood pressure medication, which used beta-blockers to control his adrenaline surges, was no longer working, so his blood chemistry was all screwed up.

    Over time, I realized more and more that he’d always sucked. He was just good at hiding it. The stressors may have made it harder for him to keep a mask on the crazy, but it was always there.

    When I finally filed, he dragged his heels for over a year. It took going to court for the divorce to be finalized. Now that I’m out, I feel so much better, so much more productive at work, and so much happier.

    Thank you, Chump Lady and Chump Nation, for being there for me, and supporting me through the process!

  • I found the site via many internet searches on infidelity. I hope Tracy understands that her blog was the catalyst for picking myself up from years of emotional and borderline physical abuse. I was so beat down that when the discard came for an ordinary bar slut, I was out of my mind. I am now 10 months from the last official d-day. The grieving process was the absolute hardest thing I have ever done. I’m not at meh yet, but closing in everyday. For any newbies, the pain is finite. If you can manage 4-6 months through the worst of the pain, you will have conquered the worst of it. I avoided the pain for years, but in the end it got me anyway.
    To Tracy-I think big things are in store for you. You alone were an answered prayer, when I only had the strength to pray “please God just take care of me.” I can’t thank you enough that when I was weak I came to this family of chumps and gained strength to go on. There is no turning back now, my life is 100% better. And I hate his low life guts too.
    Here we can rant and rave, we can swear like fucking sailors, we can see that perhaps our own stories pale in comparison to someone else’s shit sandwiches. We all felt the pain and the rage that follows. Only those that go thru it understand it.
    There are no words to covey the gratitude I have for Tracy and chump nation. The men and women who left these wonderful, intelligent, insightful, hilarious, and beautiful souls are colossal fucking brainless fuckface dumb fucking assholes. The revenge? Bitch please you WILL NEVER be fortunate enough to have a woman of my caliber ever again. Loser pieces of shit and Thank Jesus they are gone!!

  • Congrats on 10M!
    I may have been personally responsible for thousands of those clicks from the summer of 2012 until the recent past….every visit brought me a measure of healing and a laugh. I am ever grateful. I learned about CL from a poster in the Friends and Family Forum of Turns out, life is better without a cheating, active alcoholic! Thank you for helping me believe that.

  • I think it was that Captain Awkward mentioned you, though I could be wrong.

  • A little slow on the reply, and I hope you still read them this far out since posting your post, but my finding you was through my wonderful sister, who is more techno savvy then myself when it comes to blog reading. When on New Years Eve 2014, I called to surprise her with the news that STBX asked for a legal separation instead of a happy new year she was blown away. See a week earlier at Christmas and my parents 60th wedding celebration I had lied to the entire family that we were deeply(gag, looking back on it) in love and the marriage was rock solid, including a family portrait, that I set up and he wasn’t in the last two shots. (I knew at would be the picture I would give everyone without him in it)
    For a year, after the first D day I’d been performing the pick me dance, and while he says he was seriously committed to working on the relationship, and had stopped all the AP (there were 5) and I called each of them to say stop it as well, he had decided in the long run that he was never attracted to me. So for three months after he informed me of his wish to live together for the sake of our daughter but be separated to come and go with whomever he liked, I lived in a thick fog. It was my wonderful sister guiding me through it, who google something that found you. She immediately told me and I started reading. At first, I couldn’t wrap my brain around what you were saying, the phraseology and acceptance of this life I was drowning in. Then I started to feel powerful and mighty through your word and the rest of the CN and I found my wings to sore while protecting my daughter. I planned the attack of moving out without his knowledge and started a new life with no contact, all the while getting stronger and stronger each day that I have CL and CN in my life. Meh hasn’t arrived, but each day I feel stronger and stronger. One thing is clear, the next man I allow into my life will have to pass all of CL’s warning signs before I even say I do again. I won’t ignore one red flag like I did before, and there were a ton of them that I turned a blind eye to, think I was special enough to make him love me!
    Thanks for making me feel mighty and strong. You rock the world of those who are in the club of being a Chump!

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