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What Inspirational Quote Helped You Through?

inspireHere’s today’s Friday challenge suggested by CakeBeGone:

In the days following my one and only D-day I remember feeling so lost and confused. I have a girlfriend who had basically gone through the same thing the previous year and helped me set things straight. She gave me a quote that helped me tremendously:

“Cheaters are cowards that are tempted to chase the fantasy of what could be…instead of courageously addressing their own self-destructive behavior and cultivating what is.” ~Dr. Steve Maraboli

I framed it and put on my desk (along with other quotes I found helpful) and started a whole board on Pinterest dedicated to infidelity. The quotes helped me realize that his cheating was his fault. It was his shame to own and his alone. I found this completely liberating and necessary in order for me to move forward.

I was thinking about other fellow chumps who may be at the beginning or in the middle of their journey and wondered if you could set aside a column where we all chip in and share quotes or articles or lyrics or whatever helped us make it though. It might be a nice resource.

Consider it done, CakeBeGone!

For me the quote, and it’s inscribed in my book (shameless plug, buy the book, review the book!) — by the great abolitionist, orator, and former slave, Frederick Douglass:

“I prayed for 20 years and received no answer until I prayed with my legs.”

I LOVE this quote. It just knocks me out every time. Essentially, this is the mission statement of Chump Lady. I encourage everyone to pray with their legs. Quit wishing and hoping, and start escaping to freedom instead.

Your turn, Chump Nation! What inspires you?

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  • When ex was trying every trick in the book to get me to come back to him, I found this quote on Pinterest : “giving some people a second chance is like giving them another bullet for their gun because they missed you the first time.”
    It helped me cut through all the crap about being a changed person he threw at me, meaning I was able to stay strong in my knowledge that he hadn’t changed and that if I went back, it would be the same old story or worse.

    • In my case literally…the last time I saw Saddam outside a courtroom he was chasing me to my car with a gun in his hand.

      • Hi, Datdamwuf – I did not know that was part of your story. I’m so sorry. I bet it still scares you when you remember that moment. Since my cheater/S.A./ex had hurt me after telling him I’d had enough, I had Sheriff escorts to my car after court appearances. I still felt (and sometimes still feel) fear. You are mighty for walking away and facing your fears.

        To get on topic of today’s post, three quotes helped me the most. The first is from Mary Anne Radmacher…. “Courage doesn’t always roar. Sometimes courage is the quiet voice voice at the end of the day, saying I will try again tomorrow.”

        My number one favorite, which is from the book, Growing Wings, by Kristen Jongen (an amazingly beautiful chumps will bloom story). When I finish graduate school and have my own counseling office, I am going to have a mural painted with it on my office wall. Hopefully it will touch the chumps I am trying to help as much as it’s helped me. Here it is: “Most profound… was discovering that the anchor she had been clinging to so tightly also yielded the rope that bound her feet to the floor. In what appeared to be a desperate loss of security… the cord was cut… revealing her defining truth… she had wings, and was always intended to fly.”

        Lastly, a fellow chump on this site gave me a beautiful card, which I have framed in my family room. It says, “We must be willing to let go of the life we had planned, so as to have the life that is waiting for us.” – E.M. Forster

        The right quote at the right time can bring hope and light to even the darkest hours of recovery from this trauma!

    • There is sooooo much wisdom share today through these quotes!
      Thank you everyone! So many to refer back to.

      • I’ve used two a lot: Don’t stand in a pile of shit just because it is warm, it is still shit. And….Never make someone a priority who only considers you to be an option.

    • It’s encouraging to see so many wonderful quotes, and I’e been jotting a lot of them down. I can’t say a quote necessarily helped me at the time, but I do remember reading a book called The Walk by Richard Paul Evans. This man lost his wife who he loved so much, his best friend cheated him out of money and the business and he lost a lot. he packed up the bare minimum and went walking across the country, meeting people who inspired him, and helped him to release his sadness and anger. That changed my thought process for sure. Hugs…

  • To help with my no contact now divorced two months…”some people don’t love you, they don’t even care about you. They just want to stay connected to you. They love the benefits, so they do the minimal…a little phone call here and there, just checkin in, thinking about you, etc. what they are really doing is ; maintaining a connection, so when they need you, they still have a easy in.

    • So true, JenPen. And I think one reason adulterous relationships fail is because the cheaters ARE doing the minimum, and if they move onto a “real relationship”, the minimum just doesn’t cut it. Blabbing on the phone, texting, sneaking around for sex, even cheesey gifts and dinner dates are the minimum type of things (excluding the secretive sex) that require no real effort, no sacrifice. Anyone can do them, especially when they think they are going to get laid. With no actual commitment or real actions on their part. When you have to deal with the entirity of a person and everything in their life, then you begin to move beyond the minimum. Crazy in-laws, belligerent children, bills, laundry, snoring, lol, etc etc etc.

  • “Hurt people, hurt people”.

    Mae me realize that I did NOTHING to deserve or cause it – contrary to what he was telling me and trying to get me to buy. This was on him and it wasn’t a reflection of me or my worth, value at all.

    Well, that and Chump Lady/Nation…couldn’t have done it without you guys!!

      • Yes…that quote left me cold because it excuses their behavior. I am hurt that my father told me I was fat and ugly but I did not cheat over it.

      • Agree. My STBX used that one as an excuse for his “sex addiction”, as in his mother was mean to him so therefore he became a sex addict. It couldn’t possibly be his fault! He’s not a bad person, he just did bad things! He didn’t ask for this affliction! I heard it all. And then I served him with a divorce summons.

  • My favorite CL quote from the book (which I did reviewed), “Is that what you want? To lose your soul? Look, cheaters might try to take your kids, your house, your retirement accounts, your wedding china, and your dignity, but they cannot take your f***ing soul. You own that.

    Definitely these two also for me. I big-time “prayed with my legs” and kicked him out. Now, to work on my head and my heart. Thank God is still have my soul.

    See, I am doing a new thing! Now it springs up; do you not perceive it? I am making a way in the wilderness and streams in the wasteland. (Isaiah 43:19)

    Marriage should be honored by all, and the marriage bed kept pure, for God will judge the adulterer and all the sexually immoral. (Hebrews 13:4)

  • “The arc of the moral universe is long but it bends toward justice.” ~ Martin Luther King

    • I wish I could believe that quote so much. But I have seen too many happy, rich assholes. Meth Man is NOT suffering. Many evil people aren’t. I think that is a wonderful, hopeful aspiration, but I have found I often have to fight tooth and nail for justice, and when I look around, I am usually standing alone.

      • Yes, Sabine. I agree. But I also believe that when we stand up for ourselves with dignity and tell our stories in an appropriate way, we can usually change the arc in our favor. I am lucky because Durt has done this to his past wives and screwed so many side pieces and harem members over, that the arc is changing in my favor. Not to mention that no-one could ever believe the bs he says about me, as I house and take care of his mom. Also, I think people may actually like me, despite how despicable I am according to the lying cheat.

        • Words mean nothing if there is no action to support them. Take for example, I love you. My words don’t show you my love, my actions do. Sort of like those vows we all pledged on our wedding days. Cheaters will betray those words and promises, while Chumps will live them.

      • This may not be a fit to this convo, *sorry, but if anyone can help rest my mind, Ild be very grateful.

        “Actions speak louder than words.”

        Hubby cheated on a long term marriage. He’s been remorseful now, after pulling teeth to get him to give up the victim stage.

        His actions to date has been always to get us back, and he really does some incredible things still for me, we are separated 5 yrs.

        So I get throw my way often, ” that actions speak louder than words…”
        Those words written and said to the ow meant nothing to him… (he says) It all about what he can do for me now to make my life better.

        He often ask me why his actions of a 30 yrs marriage, ((which was good)) can’t speak for itself, and I’m the one who didn’t honor the marriage vows as much as he… ((In goodness & bad))

        I get so confused as cheating I found out was a deal breaker, the heartbreak is to painful for me to live my life w him everyday.
        So I chose to separate, but how do I not feel as if I’m the unforgiving one? and can’t see that actions go both ways? Ugh, the guilt kills me sometimes….

        I changed all my passwords to the same inspirational quote, I sadly can’t share it, lolo… But gosh had it helped !

        • Forgiving has nothing to do with it, Susan. You can forgive someone and still realize that they cannot be in your life. And that’s the risk your ex took when he cheated…. That the consequence may be that you could not have someone in your life that would break vows, trust and create a wound so deep that you can never view them the same way again.

        • Heres the thing..that’s the same methodology lots of bad things.

          The Jonestown massacre only happened because the juice was poisoned the once… The other 90% of the time it was fine.

          Or.. That guy who kept a second family in the basement was never late for work and took financial care of not just the upstairs but the kidnapped child he used to start a second family… So that’s ok, right?

          Your current situation is about choice. He hurt you, he messed up in a broke his vows kind of way… So you separated to see if you could forgive him and choose to take him back. So far, not happening. He needs to continue to be a good person because ‘that’s who he is’. Even if you decide the marriage is done. But he, or you, can choose to end the marriage whenever you reach that tipping point where you have to, because you have reached the point where forgiving or not, you’re not going to get back to a place of long term romantic love and attachment. You’re the one who gets to decide if you feel that way. Even if he brings you fresh baked bread every morning and gold coins and sherbet at night. You don’t owe him anything. Maybe he has changed- I don’t know I’m not you, I am not him. Regardless- you still get to decide if he as this person who isn’t cheating anymore is still the person you want to be with.

        • You can’t trust him. It’s that simple. Without trust, love and devotion are unable to take root. I told my young son once that lying destroys trust. Once destroyed, trust will not regrow.

          That is why you cannot live with him. You are not at fault, he is. He lied. He destroyed the trust in your heart.

          He needs to go on and live whatever life he wants, and if you two choose to be friends then let that be your relationship. You both need to move on.

        • It’s not about forgiveness. It’s that he broke the contract and the trust between you. Sometimes that cannot be mended. You can’t unknown what you know. He acted. There was a natural consequence.

          • Hi Susan,

            Perhaps that is what is so agonizing and peculiar about cheating…about getting naked with another and going inside of their body…a stranger in your kingdom. If he had done anything else, your Hubby of 30 years; stealing a car, losing your 401K in Vegas, getting in a bar fight, getting a tattoo on his face…there would be a way back to sanity.

            But sleeping with someone else involves such deep, underground deception and this terrible awful truth:
            (I have spent far too many hours analyzing it)

            ***I do not think you can truly love someone and have sex with another person***

            It is a primitive, primal betrayal. It is letting someone inside a promise that is sacred and private, and letting that THIRD PARTY shit all over it.

            Best wishes to anyone who can forgive it, but I feel true pity for them. And pity is not a particularly positive word.

            Because they are casting their lot with someone who is capable of MAMMOTH, CRAFTY, CALCULATING deceit….smiling at your with that fresh baked bread, gold coins and sherbet (great examples) and his dick is still wet from another’s woman’s pussy.

            It is repugnant. THAT is why you cannot let it go. It is your good sense giving your heart a halter jerk.

            Note: Just Me’s example of the Jonestown massacre is spot on. Read the book Raven, one of the best accounts of Jim Jones and Jonestown ever written. You will lose sleep reading this masterpiece. Jim Jones fought for his people at times, and would give them money. He would march in parades and fight for social injustice. He gave them free healthcare. Then he killed most of them (and they were usually poor African Americans) all in Guyana, including children who were running from him in terror and they held them down and forced poison down their throats. That 10% is the deal breaker.

            • Thank you all for responding. It’s really a difficult place when your cheater wants to come back to the marriage. I wish he never did…

    • I love this – I’m a big believer of actions over words …

      Choices of the mind,
      Of the heart…
      Voices – That bind,
      & sets you apart.
      Life is full of choices,
      Which paths should I take?
      What is great & which is less?
      Which decision a fatal mistake?
      Words are merely words,
      Actions are the ones that speak…
      While the latter strikes home strong,
      Former is usually weak!

  • Most of my inspirational quotes have come from here. Someone on here said “the minute he stuck his dick in another woman the marriage was over.” That one always snaps me back to reality when the hopium starts to creep in. And from DM– “asking the faithful spouse what they did to cause the cheating is like asking a rape victim what she was wearing.” That helps me remember that it’s Not. My. Fault.

    • Same here. My favorite is, “Tell me, what is it you plan to do with your one wild and precious life?” Mary Oliver. I only have one opportunity to live a meaningful life. I know it is up to me to get it right. As much as what happened to me was wrong, it is my obligation to make my life the best one possible.

  • “There is nothing defective in you that caused your spouses infidelity. If you keep searching for that fault, you will never find what you are looking for”

    “If you keep asking someone for the benifit of the doubt, eventually they will start to doubt your benifit”

  • ‘You can’t continue to dance with the Devil and wonder why you’re still in hell’

    That really clarified it for me

  • “If he is not an asset (to your family), then he is a liability”. Source dont remember.

    Since my STBXH was indirectly responsible for the death of our dogs (different events) and had nearly two drunk driving near death accidents (during my pregnancy when hecwent on the madness cheating party spree), is addicted to several substances, is reckless with arms around the house, and of course the cheating.

    Didnt leave me much choice and that quote nailed it.

  • “Your beliefs don’t make you a better person, your behavior does.”

    “I don’t meet the height requirement to ride your emotional ROLLERCOASTER!”

    “When Someone Shows You Who They Are, Believe Them ”

    “When People Can’t Control Their Own Emotions, They Have to Control Someone Else’s Behavior.”

  • Not strictly on topic, but a while back my ex-wife’s affair partner tweeted this gem:
    Someday, someone will walk into your life and make you realise why it never worked out with someone else.

    Such a great guy. Can’t wait for the karma bus to make his stop.

    My favourite quote: Cheating is a choice. And that made me realise that I didn’t force her to cheat.
    Her cheating wasn’t about me, it was about her, and her issues.

    • NorthLondon, he’ll probably tweet the same thing the next time he meets the next someone.

        • Someday, someone will walk out of his life and he will realize he’s the reason it didn’t work out. Or maybe he won’t figure it out and he will keep repeating the same poor behavior.

      • “Someday, someone new will walk into your life and make you realize why it never worked out with the last person until someone new will walk into your life and make you realize why it never worked out until someone new walks into your life.. until you die”

    • OMG, the OW used that one too!! Posted it to his FB page, made me want to vomit lol. I often wondered if he had really changed for her, if in fact we did marry too young as he’s said over and over. Well found out about his Ashley Madison and CougarLife account, so nope, not too young! Just a guy that likes to spread his love juices everywhere.

      “Trust that they suck” is my go to mantra!!! Because they do, on so many levels.

      • Yes! I felt the same way. I wondered if he did change for someone else. I thought he treated me badly because I sucked so much. Then, I found out that he’s in an open marriage and he can’t even honor that contract. He ignored his wife’s protests, thinking he could make it work with two women. Then, things went south with the other woman. So, he demands the wife give up her boyfriend since he didn’t have a girlfriend anymore. His wife decided to continue it without his permission. He hasn’t changed. Theoretically, cheaters COULD choose to change. They don’t have to prove ‘once a cheater, always a cheater’ true. Unfortunately, I now see that many cheaters don’t WANT to change.

        • JannaG, “cheaters don’t WANT to change” – this is what’s taking me the longest time to get over.

          In the back of my mind, despite everything I found out, I still have this sense that this is all some kind of mistake and STBX is going to come to his senses or, at the very least, he is up at 3:00 in the morning turning this over in his head (as I am).

          But no. He’s sleeping like a baby. Like a big fat, farting, drunkass, middle-aged, perverted baby. He’s finally living his authentic life. Ewww…

  • The urban dictionary difination of alimony: The Fucking You Get For The Fucking You Got.

    OK, it’s pithy and light and funny. But…it reminds me that this is HIS fault. When he brings out the Sad Sausage routine that he doesn’t have any money, when he blames me for being a vindictive bitter ex who bled him dry (and now he denies he ever cheated!), when he tells the children he can never have them overnights because he can’t afford a big enough place (because mom bled him dry)…..I remember this quote. I remember that this is all on him…his decisions, his consequences. And that doesn’t make me bitter or vindictive.

  • “She cheated because she was an unhappy person and she looks for happiness in others instead of looking for it in herself.”

  • While this wasn’t an inspirational quote, several things different counselors said to me really stuck.

    “No matter what path you choose there will be pain. You can leave and endure the pain now. Or you can stay in an unhealthy relationship and endure the pain later”

    “you will be the one who pays the price if you stay. You will turn to alcohol, food, depression meds, something to numb the pain of an unhealthy relationship”

    “If he’s not in a counseling program and works on these issues “himself”, you can just go ahead and mark your calendar and pick a day because he will do this again”

  • So many . . .

    “When I look at narcissism through the vulnerability lens, I see the shame-based fear of being ordinary. I see the fear of never feeling extraordinary enough to be noticed, to be lovable, to belong, or to cultivate a sense of purpose.” — Brené Brown

    “Half the harm that is done in this world is due to people who want to feel important. They don’t mean to do harm, but the harm (that they cause) does not interest them. Or they do not see it, or they justify it because they are absorbed in the endless struggle to think well of themselves.” -— T. S. Eliot

    “I am a recovering narcissist. I thought narcissism was about self-love till someone told me there is a flip side to it. It is actually drearier than self-love; it is unrequited self-love.” —- Emily Levine

    But my two favorites . . .

    “How starved you must have been that my heart became a meal for your ego.” — Amanda Torroni

    “I wonder if the course of narcissism through the ages would have been any different had Narcissus first peered into a cesspool. He probably did.” —- Frank O’Hara

    • “When I look at narcissism through the vulnerability lens, I see the shame-based fear of being ordinary. I see the fear of never feeling extraordinary enough to be noticed, to be lovable, to belong, or to cultivate a sense of purpose.” — Brené Brown

      Wow. That’s perfect.

      My cheating STBXW told me “I don’t feel extraordinary” as part of the justification for her cheating (and financial infidelity… and abusive behavior… etc…).

      Now I understand why.

      • I knew this about cheater narc from pretty early on, but what I didn’t know was that you can’t love someone that fucked up into feeling more secure and being happier, and that ‘underneath it all’ he did NOT have a good heart. I’m not sure he had a heart at all!

    • “How starved you must have been that my heart became a meal for your ego.”

      — Amanda Torroni

      Wow…!

      Thank you Uxworld 🙂

  • I made up my own. “If they can’t choose between the AP and you (the person they already chose), then they’ve made their choice already.”

    Helped me remember that if he truly wanted to be with me and me only, he would be.

    Also “If he really wanted to be here (like he says) he would be.”

  • “The first time someone shows you who they are, believe them.”

    I can’t recall where I saw this, but it has stayed with me since the day I read it. This simple statement has helped me stay mindful of the importance of recognizing and removing toxic people from my life.

  • I had two, though they’re not cheater-specific:

    “Life doesn’t have to be perfect to be wonderful.” – Maya Angelou

    “A grand adventure is about to begin.” – Winnie the Pooh

  • I recently adopted a rather non-traditional favorite from a Natalie Babbitt novel that some might find interesting:

    “Pretty doesn’t mean good, you know. Life isn’t like fairy tales. Pretty just means that, by accident, you’ve got things arranged on the outside in an extra pleasing manner. It doesn’t tell a thing about the inside.”

    I like this because it reminds me that the messaging that I have become less attractive and that justifies a loss of desire to treat me as a valuable person worthy of love, affection, respect, monogamy, etc. is completely fraudulent.

    It also reminds me that someone else’s physical beauty is just a facade, a temporary, fragile thing, a simple but useless reality that tells me nothing about the things that actually matter to me in a person. This, for me, has been a substantial game changer in the ending of the pick me dance.

  • A bird sitting on a tree is never afraid of the branch breaking; because her trust is not on the branch, but on her own wings

  • Adultery is Gods way of getting the assholes out of your life. (The cheaters themselves along with their fucked up family)

  • This is from “Queen of Your Own Life” by Kathy Kinney (Yes, she was Mimi on The Drew Carey Show) and Cindy Razlaff. I have copies of this in my office at work and on my fridge at home:

    “One day she finally grasped that unexpected things were always going to happen in life and the only control she had was how she chose to handle them. She made the decision to survive using courage, humor and grace. She was the Queen of her own life and the choice was hers.”

  • “If you are not being treated like royalty, you are not in the right relationship” paraphrased from the book “Attached” that my therapist lent me.

    It took me some time to realize I deserved better, that was what I needed to get me out of an abusive relationship, when I learned to love myself again.

    This verse helped me through some dark days”
    “The LORD is my strength and my shield; my heart trusts in him, and he helps me. My heart leaps for joy, and with my song I praise him.” Pslam 28:7

  • It isn’t exactly inspirational but it worked for me in the days after d-day #2:

    “fool me once, shame on you; fool me twice, shame on me!”

    I hung it above my desk to remind myself what a fool I would be to take him back again. Then I found CL which solidified that belief!

  • “…leave a remorseless cheater behind and arrive at your new life with your soul intact.” Thanks CL!

  • “Just keep swimming, swimming, swimming … ” Dori from Finding Nemo

    Sorry it is so stupid, but that little song honestly runs through my mind when I find myself swamped with emotion that I just can’t escape.

    • Haha, I don’t run anymore (except for the bus) but that used to be my mantra for tempo runs. Just keep swimming, just keep swimming…

    • My sister bought me a bracelet years before Dday that said “Just keep swimming” because I’d started to swim laps for exercise. After Dday I wore it every day. I would also say, “Breathe in, breathe out, repeat.”

  • Here are a few more:

    “Out of sorrow entire worlds have been built. Out of longing great wonders have been willed.” – Nick Cave

    “Pain is not my enemy; it is my call to greatness.” – Henry Rollins

    “Two tears in a bucket. Motherfuck it.” – Lady Chablis

  • Dear Woman,
    Sometimes you’ll just be too much woman.
    Too smart,
    Too beautiful,
    Too strong.
    Too much of something that makes a man feel like less of a man,
    Which will make you feel like you have to be less of a woman.
    The biggest mistake you can make
    Is removing jewels from your crown
    To make it easier for a man to carry.
    When this happens, I need you to understand
    You do not need a smaller crown—
    You need a man with bigger hands.

    Michael Reid

  • I put these on my phone and pull them out when needed.

    1. Effort is sexy
    2. I didn’t cause it, I cannot sure it, and I cannot control it.
    3. It’s really easy to make good choices. You just tell the truth and refuse to harm other people.
    4. The only winning move is not to play
    5. True men stand by their families, honor their vows, and tell the truth.
    6. Trust that he sucks.
    7. I deserve better.
    8. As a rational person with morals and ethics, expecting the same from him is like trying to get milk from a chicken.
    9. It is what it is, but it becomes what I make it.

    • Annie, I love #3. And #8 reminds me of my own touchstone saying, which someone here at CL said one day and I actually had it made into a drawing by an artist friend of mine: “That goldfish was never gonna knit you a sweater.” — He was never gonna be that guy who stood up and was courageous and fought for us. Never.

      • Most if not all are from CL posts. After this Friday challenge I will have a lot more great things to add.

  • The following is part of a sermon by T.D. Jakes. It really helped me.
    —-

    There are people who can walk away from you. And hear me when I tell you this! When people can walk away from you: let them walk.

    I don’t want you to try to talk another person into staying with you, loving you, calling you, caring about you, coming to see you, staying attached to you. I mean hang up the phone. When people can walk away from you let them walk. Your destiny is never tied to anybody that left.

    People leave you because they are not joined to you. And if they are not joined to you, you can’t make them stay.

    Let them go.

    And it doesn’t mean that they are a bad person it just means that their part in the story is over. And you’ve got to know when people’s part in your story is over so that you don’t keep trying to raise the dead.

    You’ve got to know when it’s dead.

    You’ve got to know when it’s over. Let me tell you something. I’ve got the gift of good-bye. It’s the tenth spiritual gift, I believe in good-bye. It’s not that I’m hateful, it’s that I’m faithful, and I know whatever God means for me to have He’ll give it to me. And if it takes too much sweat I don’t need it. Stop begging people to stay.

    Let them go!!

    • That is so good, Lyn. I really like T.D.Jakes. “Good-bye is my tenth spiritual gift.”. I’m getting good at this one. I’ve put so many people out of my life the last couple of years. And I don’t feel bad about it because they deserved it. And I don’t tell them about it or why either, cause guess what? They already know, because they know what they are doing to you. The only thing they wonder is why you are putting up with it.

    • i have the short video of him saying this on my desktop and watched it many times over!! I LOVE this too!

    • Tyler Perry made this into an onstage sketch and if you haven’t seen it (YouTube, anyone?), it’s fantastic.

  • It’s not necessarily a quote but I love CL’s analogy of a shit stew. It was easy to look back on all the “good times” until you realize even the good times “the dumplings in the stew” were surrounding by excrement.

  • Here’s another one I keep on my phone:

    “…any human tragedy is survivable if one chooses to find meaning in the experience. And if you choose to become stronger, wiser, and more compassionate as a result, then no experience, no matter how painful, is ever solely negative.” -Kelli Fultz

  • Oh Tracy — so many from your articles and your book — and every day, not just once, not just one.

    The laughter helped and healed and clarified. What a gift you have and have shared with us. Your articles your book and those spot-on illustrations!!! Eternal thanks to you, and may God richly bless your soul.

    The latest saying that is benefiting me, but not the first, and not the only: You got fired from your job of caring when he cheated. (or close to that, from your book)

  • “Sometime the best thing is not to wonder, not imagine, not obsess, not think. Just breathe and have faith that everything will work out for the best.”

  • My main inspirational quote comes from Al-Anon: ” You can’t get milk at the hardware store.” I kept expecting apologies and kindness from him, and blamed myself that there was something very wrong with me. I finally realized that he just didn’t have it within himself to give. It also made it easier for me to deal with my mother, also a narc.

    I had never lived by myself before I left the ex, convinced by my FOO that I “needed a man to take care of me”. (Funny because I took care of HIM our whole 21 year relationship and marriage) So when I left him, I was very afraid that I wouldn’t be able to make it on my own. This poem, which I found had been attributed to many people and can be found in a few different renditions, helped me immensely.

    After Awhile

    After a while you learn
    the subtle difference between
    holding a hand and chaining a soul.

    And you learn
    that love doesn’t mean leaning
    and company doesn’t always mean security.

    And you begin to learn
    that kisses aren’t contracts
    and presents aren’t promises.

    And you begin to accept your defeats
    with your head up and your eyes open
    with the grace of woman,
    not the grief of a child.

    And you learn
    to build all your roads on today
    because tomorrow’s ground is
    too uncertain for plans
    and futures have a way of falling down
    in mid-flight.

    After a while you learn
    that even sunshine burns
    if you get too much.
    So you plant your own garden
    and decorate your own soul,
    instead of waiting for someone
    to bring you flowers.

    And you learn that you really can endure.
    You really are strong .
    You really do have worth.
    And you learn
    and you learn
    with every goodbye, you learn…

  • When he was (and is) being a total shit to me, I kept saying “Don’t make excuses for him. You can’t put flowers in an asshole and call it a vase.”

    My personal mantra is, “She believed she could, so she did.” It has helped me to work through much of the fallout from the whole D-Day through the divorce and beyond.

    However, I don’t think I would be in what I consider a good place without the care and help of my counselor.

  • When wading through the muck and mire of the swamp that is grief, understand this; “You never know how strong you are, until being strong is the only choice you have.”

  • “You don’t get to choose from the Kharma menu, you get served what you deserve”

    I also tell myself daily (sometimes hourly!) that in order to have the great life I want and deserve, shmuckbag ex cannot be in it. Ever again.

  • Look ahead to the rest of your life and ask yourself what you want it to add up to. -Pema Chodron

  • “I am enough.”

    “You may not control all the events that happen to you, but you can decide not to be reduced by them.” Maya Angelou

    “They didn’t cheat because of who you are. They chose to cheat because of who they are not.”

    “Sometimes I have to tell myself, it just isn’t worth the jail time.”

    “Trust that they suck.” Chump Lady

  • And also from Pema

    “Sometimes when things fall apart – well that’s the big opportunity to change”

  • “Cheating isn’t a mistake, it’s a choice.” Damn right it is and my ex made that choice over and over.

    And I love this one:

    You lied.
    You lied about who you are.
    You lied about how you felt.
    You lied about the past.
    You lied about the future.
    You pretended to be everything that you’re not,
    And you’re calling ME crazy!

    • I saw this one last night and it made me laugh:

      “If you’re talking behind my back then you’re in a good position to kiss my ass.”

      It’s for the lies they tell everyone else about you so they can look like a good person.

  • #1 The Bible (so, so many terrific verses)

    #2 “Patience is the weapon that forces deception to reveal itself” (when I STILL worry about what lies my ex was telling people with regards to our marriage, and then the divorce)

  • Never over estimate the power of your enemy and never under estimate the power of your God.

    A mistake repeated more than once is a decision.

    A snake can shed its skin, but it will always be a snake.

    Silence is better than bullshit.

    Sometimes you just have to accept that some people are shitty humans and stop trying to see the good that isn’t there.

    Life is going to get hard sometimes. So get the fuck up and get your shit together. You’re either an ocean or a puddle. Don’t be a puddle, people walk through puddles like they’re nothing. Oceans fucking destroy cities.

  • “The reason why some people have turned against you and walked away from you without reason has nothing to do with you,” said God. “It is because I have removed them from your life because they cannot go where I am taking you next. They would only hinder you at the next level because they have already served their purpose in your life. Let them go and keep moving. Greater is coming you way,” says the Lord.

  • Love After Love by Derek Walcott

    The time will come
    when,with elation
    you will greet yourself arriving
    at your own door,in your own mirror
    and each will smile at the other’s welcome

    and say,sit here.Eat,
    You will love again the stranger who was yourself
    Give wine.Give bread.Give back your heart
    to itself,to the stranger who has loved you

    all your life,whom you ignored
    for another,who knows you by heart,
    Take down the letters from the bookshelf,

    the photographs,the desperate notes,
    peel your own image from the mirror.
    Sit.Feast on your life.

  • This is the verse that spoke to my heart, helped me to leave: Do not….”cast your pearls before swine, lest they trample them under their feet, and turn and tear you in pieces.”

    My ex was a pig. And no matter how much lipstick I put on him, he was still one ugly pig.

  • Weeks 1-2: Gloria Gaynor’s song, “I will Surivive,” on endless loop.

    at month 1; the following Chumplady quotes (from a Public Service Announcement for Remorseless Cheaters):
    “2. Quit with your Darwinian theories already. We didn’t evolve to be monogamous? Well, we didn’t evolve to do a lot of things. Farm. Use indoor plumbing. Buy sequined crap on QVC.

    “3. Admit that you like the deceit. …..The secrecy and lies are what gives the frisson of danger to your affair and makes it so delicious. Otherwise you would have an open marriage, same rules for everyone. But no, the power imbalance is what you’re after. You enjoy a position of advantage over your trusting partner.”

    Month 3: “Trust that they suck.”

    Now, 1.5 years out? “grant me the serenity to accept the things I cannot change, courage to change the things I can, and the wisdom to know the difference.”

    • Tempest —

      The Serenity Prayer was my mantra! Anytime the hair stood up on my arms, I said it.

      It calmed me down immediately.

  • Sometimes I miss you. Then I remember what a douche you were and how awesome I am. And then I’m like, no, I’m good.

  • Sometimes you have to give yourself the pep talk like: Hello you badass, amazing human being. Don’t be sad. You’re doing fucking great… keep going!

  • INVICTUS

    “Out of the night that covers me,
    Black as the Pit from pole to pole,
    I thank whatever gods may be
    For my unconquerable soul.

    In the fell clutch of circumstance
    I have not winced nor cried aloud.
    Under the bludgeonings of chance
    My head is bloody, but unbowed.

    Beyond this place of wrath and tears
    Looms but the Horror of the shade,
    And yet the menace of the years
    Finds, and shall find, me unafraid.

    It matters not how strait the gate,
    How charged with punishments the scroll,
    I am the master of my fate:
    I am the captain of my soul.”
    ― William Ernest Henley, Invictus

    • “It matters not how strait the gate,
      How charged with punishments the scroll,
      I am the master of my fate:
      I am the captain of my soul.”

      Love this!

      Also who can deny the most famous inspirational phrase of them all—

      LEAVE A CHEATER—>GAIN A LIFE

  • You survived what you thought would kill you. Now straighten your crown and move forward like the Queen you are.

  • This is the bulletin board I look at as I sit down to work every day:
     photo image_4.jpeg

    It has most of what I needed from the people I love most to keep me going. Including- the card from my boss’s boss that came in a huge flower arrangement lay delivered two days after D-Day, which were delivered into Wasband’s shocked hands, proof that despite his smear campaign, I was not a failure at work, I was not barely tolerable. I was and am valued and respected at work more than I was at home.

    The two photos of myself as a child to remind myself that I deserve better, and I was lovable.

    Photos of all I love, people I miss who would want my happiness, my children who are the real loves of my life.

    And oh, a little Meh Button and a quote from Tracy Schorn:

    “Trust that he sucks. To project that he sucks, YOU have to believe it to your core. This woman is getting NOTHING of worth. She will be briefly valued (kibbles!) and devalued, just like you were, and the next and, the next.”

  • Mine was ” get off crazy train” and ” what am I getting from this relationship? Not much”

  • My counselor suggested I look into my heart and write down affirmations to myself:

    I Deserve

    A love that nourishes my soul, one that does not leave me exhausted and anxious

    To have my needs and wants met

    To have my voice heard

    To feel loved, cherished and appreciated

    To be valued

    To laugh, dance and sing and be joyful

    To forgive myself daily for not attaining perfection. To forgive others, as perfection is unattainable

    To be happy and fulfilled in My Life

    To be respected and to Respect Myself

    To love myself with the Grace and Forgivenrss that God grants me daily

    I posted this all over my house and read it several times a day to get thru. Hope it leads someone else to start a list of I Deserve, I Believe and I Need for themselves!

  • What matters most is how well we walk through the fire.

    Actions speak louder than words.

    You lay down with dogs you gonna get fleas.

    And my favorite favorite

    Fuck em!

  • “You can avoid reality, but you cannot avoid the consequences of avoiding reality. ~ Ayn Rand

    and just for fun… this one always makes smile…

    “Things I hate most about you:

    1) You”

  • “Trust that they suck.”

    I needed this mantra to combat my tendency to second guess my decisions.

    Maybe he really thinks it is my fault that he threw dozens of glasses against the wall, and I need to change my reactions to “soul mates” and the secret account that he swears he told me about 5 years ago (but that I have absolutely no memory of) so that he doesn’t get so upset with me and fly into rages. No, “Trust that he sucks.”

    Maybe it really would be better for the kids to live with both parents and I’m a bad person for leaving. No, “Trust that he sucks.”

    Maybe it would be mean of me to make him leave the house with a threat of calling law enforcement even though he’s not quite “ready,” and he signed a property settlement agreeing to leave, and I already gave him 3 extra days, and I took the kids and lived with family for 8 weeks to allow him time to pack and get out. No, “Trust that he sucks.”

    Maybe he will pick up the kids this weekend in accordance with the custody agreement so I can go ahead and make plans of my own. No, “Trust that he sucks.”

    This one works for me.

  • “If you hear the dogs, keep going. If you see the torches in the woods, keep going. If there’s shouting after you, keep going. Don’t ever stop. If you want a taste of freedom, keep going.” – Harriet Tubman

    This has and continues to keep me on the path to freedom.

      • Wow just wow not too bright. That puts so much into perspective. So poetic. I love words and I love it when you can help others truly experience your reality through them. Wonderful vehicles. Harriet Tubman was amazing. Didn’t know about the chump part. Here’s my quotes. Late to the party I know. One is from the Hobbit:

        Saruman believes that it is only great power that can hold evil in check. But that is not what I have found. I’ve found it is the small things, everyday deeds of ordinary folk that keeps the darkness at bay. Simple acts of kindness and love. Why Bilbo Baggins? Perhaps it is because I am afraid, and he gives me courage.

        This tears me up.

        Also: How people treat you says way more about them than you.
        Simple but pointed.

  • “The really important kind of freedom involves attention, and awareness, and discipline, and effort, and being able truly to care about other people and to sacrifice for them, over and over, in myriad petty little unsexy ways, every day.”
    ― David Foster Wallace

  • My inspirational quotes came from the inimitable Nora Ephron. First, this quote from one of her later books, really spoke to me. It so clearly mirrored what I was experiencing while I was still stuck in my marriage that I copied it into my phone while standing in a bookstore:

    “Once you find out he’s cheated on you, you have to keep finding it out, over and over and over again, until you’ve degraded your­self so completely that there’s nothing left to do but walk out.”

    And then, her phrase that became my mantra:

    “Above all, be the heroine of your life, not the victim.”

  • “The thing about people who are truly and malignantly crazy: their real genius is for making the people around them think they themselves are crazy. In military science this is called Psy-Ops, for your info.”
    ― David Foster Wallace

  • This poem was read to me the first time in law school, by my beautiful best friend Renee, when I made a F in a class, and it was posted publicly on a “grade wall.” We used to read quotes aloud to each other, late into the night, drunk on each other and wine. She was a true friend, loyal and fierce. It is a bit corny and “rhymes” but I don’t know why…it moves me. The last four lines I love especially.

    DON’T QUIT

    When Things go wrong, as they sometimes will,
    When the road you’re trudging seems all uphill,
    When the funds are low and debts are high,
    And you want to Smile but have to sigh.
    When care is pressing you down a bit,
    Rest, if you must, but don’t you quit.

    Life is queer with its twists and turns,
    As everyone of us sometimes learns,
    And many a failure turns about,
    When he might have won if he’d stuck it out,
    Don’t give up though the pace seems slow,
    You might succeed with another blow.

    Often the struggler has given up,
    When he might captured the victor’s cup.
    And he learned too late, when the night slipped down,
    How close he was to the golden crown,

    Success is failure turned inside out,
    The silver tint of clouds of doubt,
    And you never can tell how close you are,
    It may be near when it seems afar,
    So stick to the fight when you’re hardest hit,
    It’s when things seem worst that you mustn’t quit.

    • My mother gave this quote to me when I was so young, I’ve kept it all my life. Through all my troubles in life this is the gift my mother gave me love, honesty,truth and to never ever quit.

      • It is a great poem! I feel like quitting on love and even goals after tangling with Meth Man. I don’t want him to wreck my life and I cannot allow him to…he would never give it another thought.

  • I copied this from someone here, in one of my darkest times, and I carried it around with me for months. I’m sorry, I didn’t write down who posted it (please claim your words if it was you!), and now I can’t remember which thread it came from. But, brilliant chump, please know how deeply your words touched me, and I share them knowing that they will help someone else just as much.

    …..

    “This is going to suck. But you must keep your eyes open, you must not look away. I am so sorry for the pain to come, but you must keep looking so that you can keep that reality in sight, so illusion does not slip back into comfortable place. You can do this.

    You will feel humiliated, and numb, and empty, and angry, and impotent, and bewildered, and “out of control,” let them in, let each emotion have its time and way, yet always move forward. Some days it may be millimeters, some days yards.

    Don’t be afraid or give up or berate yourself if you find you’ve slipped backwards, this will only make your steps surer when you move forward again, because you will know that part of the way. Keep looking for the horizon that will reappear after the storm. Have faith, it IS there, in fact it’s never gone anywhere, you just haven’t looked up in a while.

    It may come in flashes, the brilliant moments, the terrible ones. You can do this. You are enough. You are whole. This sucky thing is happening to you, but it does not define you. You are worthy of love and belonging.

    Your broken heart, shattered dreams, and rejection will tell you terrible things about yourself, comfort them but their fears are not substantiated, the thunder and the storm will pass, you will remain, what you don’t need will be washed away.

    It wasn’t a waste. The time and care and attention you gave, it wasn’t a waste. It was your beautiful, generous loving self at its best, under duress yet still actively loving, that speaks to the strength of your spirit and the depth of your soul.

    And here, I must tell you the truth you must not look away from, he does not consider you, you do not factor in to the decisions he makes, or the life he is living. Yes, that’s true. From this seemingly innocuous truth flows every terrible one of his actions that hurts you so deeply. I’m sorry. But knowing that, not looking away from that, can you understand now that walking away is easier, necessary and better than the denial you must cultivate in order to make any other choice?

    This will suck. Deeply. But only for a time. You can do this. You will come back to your happy, trusting, loving, laughing self. I promise.

    XoXo,
    Future you”

    • Beautiful. And reminds of something my pastor told me last week. We were discussing the time it takes to truly heal and he said “even Jesus is no substitute for time.” 🙂

    • This made me cry. Especially:

      <>

      Thank you to whoever wrote this. (and to Kaycan for reposting). Clearly, other people have been down this road.

      • Yea, my attempt at posting a quote didn’t work so well. This is the quote I wanted to post:

        “It wasn’t a waste. The time and care and attention you gave, it wasn’t a waste. It was your beautiful, generous loving self at its best, under duress yet still actively loving, that speaks to the strength of your spirit and the depth of your soul.”

  • Ah, Pinterest. I had an account there with pins mostly about gardening and home ideas, maybe 2 boards. By the time I got to “meh,” I had redesigned my life, over 70 boards and 70,000 plus pins. I had a whole board about post DDay suffering, another about confidence–whatever I wanted in my life, I made a board for it. I even did a board for daily inspiration, picking 3-4 out of the bunch I had and pulling them up to remind me. I don’t do a lot of new pinning anymore except for garden stuff and saving internet items for classes. But I still go back and use it to remind myself about the importance of gratitude, choosing happiness, etc. It’s a great way to work on your inner life.

    This quote helped me understand why it is so painful when a cheater lies to you: “Lying is, almost by definition, a refusal to cooperate with others. It condenses a lack of trust and trustworthiness into a single act. It is both a failure of understanding and an unwillingness to be understood. To lie is to recoil from relationship.”—Sam Harris

    What I wanted to say to Jackass: “This isn’t about slipping yourself an extra twenty dollars of Monopoly money. These are our lives. You went and brok our lives. You are so much worse than a cheater. You killed something. And you killed it when it’s back was turned.”—David Levithan

    No contact!!–“I will not be any man’s half-time, down-time, spare-time or sometimes. So don’t waste my time.”—Meme found on Pinterest

    Letting go, one of the great life skills: “We must be willing to let go of the life we planned, so as to have the life that is waiting for us.”—Joseph Campbell

    • About the pain when a cheater lies to you – an excerpt from a Psychology Today blog about love:

      “Love is being truthful and never involves deception, because misleading another person fractures his or her sense of reality and is, therefore, an actual human rights violation that adversely affects mental health.”

      I think that adequately describes “gaslighting.”

      And another about lying (can’t remember the source):

      “Love is a verb, not a noun. It is active. Love is not just feelings of passion and romance. It is behavior. If a man lies to you, he is behaving badly and unlovingly toward you. He is disrespecting you and your relationship. The words “I love you” are not enough to make up for that. Don’t kid yourself that they are.”

  • “I don’t miss you. I miss the person I thought you were.”

    That one spoke to me, especially any time I was prone to reminiscing.

  • The minute your spouse asks you how you feel about the concept of open marriage, you need to realize that you are already in one….you just didn’t know it.

    • I’m sorry but I disagree, I asked me husband if he ever thought about trying an open relationship and if he wanted to try it. He said no, that wasn’t what he was interested in… I didn’t betray our marriage vows.

      I don’t believe that open relationships necessarily constitute betrayal provided both spouses are giving their genuine consent; and that they have spoken of it before any other person is sought.

      Betrayal to me is mainly concerned with lying, and if the partner isn’t, in fact a sociopath, the lack of trust and respect in their partner.

      My actions should never knowingly put my partner at a disadvantage to intimacy with each other.

    • A corollary to this is when your spouse asks you out of the blue one day when you’re driving home from work what you happen to think about teenaged sex, as though it’s some sort of philosophical conundrum, he’s already either planning it or having it.

      I wish to God I was making this up, but I’m not. Words can’t convey the sense of disorientation and shock I felt when that question came out of his mouth. Not long after that, D-day happened, and I got on the computers. After that, I knew his question hadn’t been theoretical.

      • FMT, someone recently posted a link to a site about abusive relationships. It was called abuseandrelationships.org. There is a page there about “grooming” and it describes how someone who is thinking about a particular activity (or already engaging in it) – teenaged sex, for example – will make a statement to assess your response. It’s a test of your boundaries to see your reaction. I wish I’d know about that before!

        • I read the comments on here about people going to other countries to have sex with prostitutes, and people getting on the internet to find strange ass, and just people who in general who just build their entire life around sex. I don’t believe in Sex Addicts, per se, but there is a point where interest in sex to the exclusion of just about everything else seems like a pathology, or a disease or something. That’s why the are so dissatisfied, they are taking what should be a relatively small, but pleasant , part of their life and making it the focal point. You know, it’s just really NOT that interesting, especially when you get older and have been at it a long time.

  • I have a handful.

    An arrow can only be shot by pulling it backwards. So when life is dragging you back with difficulties, it means that it’s going to launch you into something great. So just focus, and keep aiming.

    And there will come a time, you’ll see, with no more tears.
    And love will not break your heart, but dismiss your fears. ~ Mumford & Sons, After The Storm

    Any change, even a change for the better, is always accompanied by drawbacks and discomforts. ~Arnold Bennett

    To laugh often and much; To win the respect of intelligent people and the affection of children; To earn the appreciation of honest critics and endure the betrayal of false friends; To appreciate beauty, to find the best in others; To leave the world a bit better, whether by a healthy child, a garden patch, or a redeemed social condition; To know even one life has breathed easier because you have lived. This is to have succeeded.
    ~Ralph Waldo Emerson

  • My top 10:

    The less you give a damn, the happier you will be.

    Ignore the haters. You’re not the jackass whisper.

    Silence is the best reply to a fool.

    What you put up with you end up with.

    Don’t listen to your heart. It’s a bad judge of character!

    Life is like an elevator: On your way up, sometimes you have to stop and let people off.

    Forget it enough to get over it. Remember it enough so it doesn’t happen again.

    A successful woman is one who can build a firm foundation with the bricks others have thrown at her.

    Be the kind of woman that when your feet hit the floor each morning the devil says, “Oh, crap! She’s up!”

    Divorce: The end of an error.

    • Be the kind of woman that when your feet hit the floor each morning the devil says, “Oh, crap! She’s up!”

      My favorite kick-ass quote. I love it.

    • @Over and Out—if this was a competition, I think you’d win with that list! I have saved it under ‘life lessons’.
      A great compilation, thanks for sharing!

    • I remembered 2 more! 🙂 I’m happy to share! They are good reminders to stay the course! xo

      Better to have loved and lost than to live with a psycho the rest of your life!

      Deja Moo: That feeling you’ve heard this bullshit before.

      • @Over and Out (again)–

        I never understood the logic of ‘it’s better to have loved and lost than to have never loved at all’. After living through the cheater bullshit (and having thought it was the most brilliant of all loves), I came to DETEST that sentiment.

        Thank you, with this new spin on it, I love it!

        It’s another keeper!

  • Sir Tom Petty has gotten me through a few dark days-

    “I won’t back down, no I won’t back down. You can stand me up at the gates of hell, but I won’t back down. No I’ll stand my ground, won’t be turned around. And I’ll keep this world from pushing me around, gonna stand my ground, and I won’t back down.”

  • “There comes a point in your life when you realize who matters, who never did, who won’t anymore and who always will. So don’t worry about the people in your past. There is a reason they didn’t make it to your future.”
    Adam Lindsay Gordon

    “When someone is dumb enough to walk away, be smart enough to let them go.”

  • Love this! I made a Pinterest board too! Here are some faves:

    “Conflict cannot survive when only one person participates”

    “Before Alice got to Wonderland, she had to fall”

    “I will heal, you will always be a sociopath”

    “Sooner or later, everyone sits down to a banquet of consequences”

    “Silence is the best reply to a fool”

    “Time discovers truth”

    • To the cheater i stayed true you will always be a liar and a theif.

      Idea for a post write a brief paragraph to the cheater here. As in to the cheater. Just a thought.

    • Pinterest board also! Some that inspire me, some to kick me in ass when I need it, and some just to make me laugh… like:

      “Cheat on a good woman and karma makes sure you end up with the bitch you deserve”

      “Let’s all have a moment of silence for the side bitches who believe he’ll be different with them”

      • HLMHELMN-Thank you for “Let’s all have a moment of silence for the side bitches who believe he’ll be different with them.” The I laugh I had from that was priceless!For me, I’m adding the bastards as well as my former spouse didn’t want to miss any opportunity to put it where it didn’t belong. As I said to one of the jackass’ pieces at at run in which included his wife, if he (the jackass) did it with you to me, he’s doing it to you with someone else.” It was as much for her as was for him.

  • I used to think that the worst thing in life was to end up alone. It’s not. The worst thing in life is to end up with people who make you feel alone.
    Robin Williams

    • Indeed it is! And may it be a fountain of mightiness for those new chumps and those who are on their way to Meh.

  • “Never make a priority of someone who makes you an option.”

    It’s supposedly from Maya Angelou, though I’m pretty sure I heard it here at CN.

  • Two of my favorites:

    “You are braver than you believe, stronger than you seem, and smarter than you think.”

    –Winnie the Pooh– A.A. Milne

    “INDEPENDENCE is a heady draught. And if you drink it in your youth, it can have the same affect as a young wine does. It does not matter that it’s taste is not always appealing, it is addictive. And with each drink, we want MORE.”

    –Maya Angelou

  • One of my favorite quotes that helped keep me sane and to remind me it was him and not me is from Maya Angelou
    “When someone shows you who they are believe them, the first time”

  • “Is it winning when the prize is a pile of dog shit?” Not sure of the author, but sure helped me deal with XH’s abandonment when he left for his whore.

  • The best predictor of future behavior is past behavior.

    Never let a man tell you/show you more than once that he doesn’t love you–Judge Lynn Toler

    I had to become indifferent to his indifference (attributed to me)

    Liars lie. Cheaters cheat. Liars cheat. Cheaters lie.

  • The Scorpion and the Frog
    A scorpion and a frog meet on the bank of a stream and the scorpion asks the frog to carry him across on its back. The frog asks, “How do I know you won’t sting me?” The scorpion says, “Because if I do, I will die too.”
    The frog is satisfied, and they set out, but in midstream,the scorpion stings the frog. The frog feels the onset of paralysis and starts to sink, knowing they both will drown,but has just enough time to gasp “Why?”
    Replies the scorpion: “Its my nature…”

  • “All too often women believe it is a sign of commitment, an expression of love, to endure unkindness or cruelty, to forgive and forget. In actuality, when we love rightly we know that the healthy, loving response to cruelty and abuse is putting ourselves out of harm’s way.” – – bell hooks

      • May I suggest her book “All About Love – New Visions.” I found when I got to a place where I was ready to re-think loving as my essence and not something I gave or did, I read this book. She has an interesting take on loving – and not just romantic love – but love in the general sense. When I could no longer stand to untangle that skein, she and Nora Ephron were my touch stones.

  • A few I have made note of to read on those tough days:

    “Not until we are lost do we begin to find ourselves.” Henry David Thorough

    “You are not what happens to you. You are what you do with what happened.” Unknown

    “When people walk away from you, let them go. Your destiny is never tied to anyone who leaves you, and it doesn’t mean they are bad people. It just means that their part in your story is over.” Julia Roberts

    “May the saddest day of your future be better than the happiest day of your past.” Unknown

    “Try to let the side of you that is trying to save yourself…win.” Unknown

    “Don’t feel sad over someone who gave up on you; feel sorry for them because they gave up on someone who would have never given up on them.” Unknown

    2015 was a blur for me. I never thought the dark cloud hanging over me would let the sun break in. I can happily say the sun shines bright now. Each day forward is better than the last. Regaining yourself after the demise of a marriage – in my case 23 years – is empowering. My eyes are wide open now…my children are strong and doing well, moving on in their lives and happy to see their mom truly happy and free from the pain of ‘him’.
    Everyone has a story…the main message is to gain yourself back and never underestimate your worth by putting yourself on the back burner again. Love to Chump Nation. This site saved me. 🙂

    • “Don’t feel sad over someone who gave up on you; feel sorry for them because they gave up on someone who would have never given up on them.” Unknown

      LOVE THIS! Thanks for sharing

    • I’m 23 years too. Dday was dec 16. 2015. when will i stop the “what ifs” like it was my fault? Filed for divorce because he ran away, not even to be with whore, but now to “find his true identity” –and he got SO angry with me, so now I feel bad about that, too. Feel bad for protecting myself. this is truly a depressing time – to be abandoned at the age of 62.

      • Mine was 24 years. After about a year I was feeling a bit better and now it’s been a little over 2 years and honestly I’m much better almost at “meh”.. Don’t ever feel bad about leaving a cheater. It just takes time but you’ll get there

      • Age matters naught. You have some time left, live it well. Don’t ever blame yourself, if he didn’t know who he was in the marriage after 23 years then he was lying to himself and you the whole time. Live your life well.

  • This is for later in the process, but it speaks to people who have truly gotten to “trust that he sucks” via Louis CK

    “Divorce is always good news. I know that sounds weird, but it’s true because no good marriage has ever ended in divorce. That would be sad. If two people were married and … they just had a great thing and then they got divorced, that would be really sad. But that has happened zero times.”

    • Thanks for sharing Stuntchump! This quote has a special place in my heart. When I stumbled upon it about 6 months after DDay it made me smile, my first real smile that was all my own making. I knew deep down that things would get better, it would just take time.

  • I’ll never allow another to put me down, when they never cared enough to lift me up.

    That came to me in a flash, while pondering how fucked up my ex whore treated me, and I was in a toxic work situation, with a boss who was so beyond the pale of decent human behavior, I guess all of the pieces came together. Words I most certainly live by; no more boss, complete no contact with ex whore, and I only surround myself with people who are caring, kind, decent folk. It’s not always easy; but what the hell is… Paths of truth, honor, and genuine love are hard to traverse at times, but there is no other way, at least for me.

  • Inspirational quotes – I haveabout a dozen faves but this is my mantra, particularly in the early days post Dday & during separation/divorce:

    The Best Revenge is Living Well.

    Nothing will impact your cheater more than the quiet darkness of your growing shadow as you move ever closer toward the sun, away from him.

  • I guess the one that helped me see the total truth and reality of Adultery is:

    That whore can’t be unfucked.

    No matter what happens in the future can’t change the basic truth of that situation. It can never be made right again.

    And in my mind that includes so called Emotional Affairs as well. If your husband/wife is communicating with someone outside your marriage with the intention of a romantic or sexual relationship, they have fucked them in their mind and that is enough evidence for me.

  • “Don’t look back.”

    From a therapist:
    “He’s stealing your joy.” and “He’s not a loving person.”

    And I bought a bracelet with this quote and wear it every day:
    “Go confidently in the direction of your dreams! Live the life you’ve imagined.” Thoreau.

    • Meg, I bought a bracelet that simply says “Honesty”.

      I wear it as a reminder of what I expect from myself and others.

  • “Know your worth! When you give yourself to someone who doesn’t respect you, you surrender pieces of your soul that you’ll never get back.
    There comes a point when you have to let go and stop chasing some people. If someone wants you in their life, they’ll find a way to put you there.”

    – found in my journal, author unknown.

  • This one stops me when I start to obsess about TRULY fucking him up:

    “Seek Revenge, Dig Two Graves.”
    -Chinese Proverb

    And my other fallback:

    “He who jokes, confesses.”
    Chinese Proverb

  • “Trust That He Sucks”
    -has literally saved me from getting in my car, keys in hand. It helps with the self doubt I have after tangling with such an accomplished sociopath.

    I actually have to stop myself from asking people, and posting here on CN:

    Now, wasn’t I right to insist he would not smoke meth around me?

    I was right to demand he not show up high? Right?

    I have to stop myself from polling people on the street….I had a right to ask that someone NOT smoke crystal meth in my house, or come around me tweaking, right?

    He cheated on me because he wanted to do so. But, his mantra is
    “YOU RAN ME OFF TOO MANY TIMES.”

    I think…well, I was afraid and exhausted and sickened by your insane behavior. At the end, he was either crazed or nodding off while I was speaking to him.

    Instead of trying to stop, going to a meeting, going to rehab, or even a doctor…he took up with a meth whore. Maybe more than one.

    I cannot untangle the skein…for me, the bedrock is:

    TRUST THAT HE SUCKS.

    • Sabine, since he willfully refuses to give up the drugs, the quote, “Let go or be dragged” really applies if you were to ever take him back. You deserve a much better life than the insanity he’d offer you!

      • KNA,
        You are so on point. He would not even attend a meeting or discuss going to a physician. I even called (codependent anyone?) and got him a spot at a posh rehab that his Cadillac health insurance would pay for less at $1000 co pay (he spends that on drugs in two weeks) and he “wasn’t sure.”

        I feel better today! I will never run my life in a ditch so that fool can be high.

        I tangled with pure evil. Many people told me he was.

        I would like to share this: it is relevant to our journeys with Narcs and Freaks.

        I had to pick up some money for him one time (not drug money! He sold some land) and I had to go to this person’s house. They had a man and wife there redoing the floors, like workers.

        The woman (a complete stranger to me) said, Are you X’s wife? (she said his name)..he is well known in that area, which should have been a sign.

        I said NO. Girlfriend.

        She looked me square in the eye, dead serious and said, By God, you have more guts than I do.

        I said, What do you mean. She then told her husband who I dated, and he looked up from hammering and said:
        He is crazy.

        I said, you mean like lampshade on head fun crazy or bad crazy.

        He said, I mean bad crazy. You had better be careful.

        And he went back to hammering.

        • Yes, I have similar stories like this from my EH. I was with him for 20 years, married for 11+, but everytime I’d go to his work Christmas parties, or other work functions, his coworkers would run up to me, check me out and say things along the lines of, “I needed to see/meet the woman who puts up with him” or “How do you stand living with him?” Or variants thereof.

          My EH couldn’t hold a job, so this would repeat at EVERY new place of employment where I’d meet the new coworkers/boss, etc. They all stared at me in horror, as if I was something supernatural. I should have taken a clue once it kept happening employer after employer. I was a chump, though, and I could have obtained a contractor’s license with how adept I was at spackling.

  • I really needed these today. I feel so low right now. My dday was just over a year ago and i still feel like a dirty, stupid fool. I feel so my bad for my three kids. I can’t believe that our lives have come to this, that my “best friend” of 18 yrs would do this to us. I just want to come out on the other side of this asap.

    • Awww…Justchumped. We have all been in your shoes. You’re not a “dirty, stupid fool”, your cheater is! His/her cheating is NOT your shame to wear! Be kind to yourself and of course, your kids.

    • Dear JustChumped~
      You are not a dirty, stupid fool. When good people tangle with bad people, I believe we are in shock that someone that we truly loved could treat us so despicably. We cannot accept it. But, everyone is not like the cheater that kicked us in the teeth. If someone robbed you at gunpoint, would you blame yourself? This was just a slow crime, but someone who was pretending to be human.

      I found this from a seminar I attended. I don’t know why the author put it in a text book, but I am glad he did.

      Consider the benefits of choosing the optimistic route as described in this poem:

      Two frogs fell into a deep cream bowl,
      One was an optimistic soul;
      But the other took the gloomy view,
      “I shall drown,” he cried, “and so will you.” So with a last despairing cry,
      He closed his eyes and said, “Good-bye.” But the other frog, with a merry grin Said, “I can’t get out, but I won’t give in! I’ll swim around till my strength is spent. For having tried, I’ll die content
      Bravely he swam until it would seem
      His struggles began to chum the cream.
      On the top of the butter at last he stopped And out of the bowl he happily hopped. What is the moral? It’s easily found.
      If you can’t get out – keep swimming around!

    • Justchumped–this is not on YOU; your X betrayed the family, betrayed your trust, blew up the life you had worked so hard to construct. You are not stupid for believing that people are generally good, and have noble reasons for misbehavior. You simply pulled the short stick and got a disordered, deceptive spouse because you were too kind-hearted to see that he was not.

      The first year is very rough, and it takes a long time for their disorder to sink in. Especially when the children have suffered, a chump’s tendency is to try and take that pain onto themselves. But YOUR intentions and actions were good and moral–to hold together a family until it became clear it could no longer be held together. The journey to healing is messy, painful, and taken one step at a time. Get through today, advance your cause and a new life one small piece at a time.

    • JC-one day you will come to accept the fact that your cheater’s actions are not a direct reflection of you. It was the cheaters choice to cheat and it is their lot in life to carry that shame-NOT YOU. It never was about you or had anything to do with you. This is all about the cheater & their poor character.

      When Dday first hit-I was drowning in shame……..I was beyond mortified that my stbx would be cheating-let alone with hookers, massage parlors, random women. He made me feel so inadequate as a person and as a wife that he just had to go outside the marriage-instead of leaving me because he thought I was so pathetic. I felt so ashamed, so broken & so low.

      It took therapy, CL, and CN to jolt me back to reality. His poor decision making and character had nothing to do with me. If he was unhappy he could have marched his ass right out the door years ago at any time BEFORE cheating. I didn’t make him lie to me, cheat on me, & screw other women behind my back-he did that all on his own. And as for feeling shame for that he pays hookers for sex-it’s all on him. He should be embarrassed & ashamed-What a loser! He’s 47-not 17! What man does that when they a wife at home that would have done anything he wanted? What kind of man sets that as an example for their young son? A disordered wingnut. Good riddance bozo.

      It’s been over 2 years since Dday for me and I still feel stronger every day. I have the pain tolerance of a gnat but I made it through and if I made it through, I know that others can too! Maybe you just need a little more time……………….

      Big Hugs!!!

      • CurrentChump, I also felt like I was drowning in shame on the day my ex left. It’s good to hear your counselor helped you to see your husband is the one who should be ashamed.

        • When a bad counselor asks why you didn’t see it coming or why you put up with it, dump that quack and find another.

          Cheaters, liars and abusers don’t deserve the loving, attentive spouse they have.

        • I loved my counselor-he was incredible. He helped me in so many ways but I will say that finding CL & CN was the HUGE difference for me. Tracy gave me the smack upside the head I needed. All the crazy made sense for once….and I wasn’t the only one going through it. I finally realized that the fantasy unicorn I though I had was just a donkey with a toilet plunger on his forehead. And that I did not need to feel any shame for everything that stbx did. He’s an adult and he made his own decisions. I hope that Just Chumped is able to separate her identity from her cheater and take the focus off of him. Then she can focus on herself and her 3 little angels.

          I gave my counselor the website (which he loved) and I refer as many people to CL as I can.

    • Don’t give up, JustChumped. I’m just a year ahead of you (2yrs since Dday) and I am only just now starting to really feel genuine joy and pleasure at doing things in my life. Try not to be impatient with yourself. My therapist said, “Demonize yourself less” so that sign went on the fridge.

      XH was also my best friend, I thought. And I do get lonely. But, y’know, I’m doing okay, and right now I have more activities and invitations than I know what to do with.

      I am still haunted by things (sometimes really crazy things, like, that stupid Steampunk book he brought home from work that ‘someone’ at work recommended and I thought it was terribly written but he loved it… was that AP already by then?), but I dismiss them more easily as time and continuing to move forward (“Fake it until you make it!!”) have finally rerouted some of my neural ruts and created new thought & emotional pathways.

      Don’t get me wrong. I still have a huge gaping scar, and at least once a week I think “If he just could have left out the bit about how he didn’t think he ever HAD loved me, I might be in at least a little better spot…”

      The point is, keep going. One year is nothing. N-O-T-H-I-N-G!!!!! It does get better. It does. Be like a shark — if you stop moving, you die. Keep swimming.

  • “If nothing changes, nothing will ever change.”

    “Never argue truth with stupid.”

    “Stop giving him the shovel to bury you.”

    “You can’t control the waves. But you can learn how to surf.”

    • @Chutes-

      “Never argue truth with stupid”—so very true!

      I put this into practice just this week.

      The person who was met with silence probably figured my lack of response was because I felt ‘bested’ by them. They are very wrong~

      They weren’t worth the effort.

      Very empowering!

  • 1.The caterpillar thought it was the end of her world… until she became a butterfly.-English proverb

    2.People are like the furniture in the rooms of his mind.- My best friend

    3. “Never Give UP!- Jim Valvano, NCSU

  • For encouragement after a cheater leaves you hollow and empty, and too hurt to pursue your goals:

    “Whatever you can do or dream you can, begin it!
    Boldness has genius, power and magic in it.”
    – Goethe

  • “The heart cannot think and the mind cannot feel”

    I believe this is the one that helped me realize I wasn’t going crazy. I knew logically what had to be done, but didn’t want to accept the pain.

  • I read this in a book which quoted it from someone else, and I don’t remember the original source, sorry. It has helped me wade through some of the mess of emotions and feelings that overwhelm. I’ve read it a couple of times today since I received notification this morning that the judge signed the paperwork yesterday making me officially divorced.

    “Whatever our loss and however deep our grief, eventually we come to some kind of crossroads that requires us to make a tough decision. While not denying my hurt or thinking that I must somehow simply get over it, I nevertheless face a choice. I can erect a monument here in the place of loss and grief and say, ‘This is where my life stopped and will permanently be buried.’ Or, I can erect a marker and say, ‘This is where my pain has been felt and my deepest questions have gone unanswered. But with my hurt still with me, I will choose to live. I hope to find meaningful reasons to live even more fully than before, though I honestly cannot yet see or even imagine what that will look like. With God’s help, I’ll take a step today and another tomorrow in hopes that such a meaningful life really exists past the bend in the road, far up ahead.'”

  • “Someone who is worthy of your love will never put you in a situation where you feel you must sacrifice your dignity, your integrity, or your self-worth to be with them.”

    • This helps tremendously.
      It reminds me of something a psychologist said to me:

      If you are constantly framing everything in sadness, look around you and at the people in your life. Pay attention. Something is wrong. They are making you feel hopeless.” This is paraphrasing, but you get the gist.

    • I can’t recall from which book I found this quote: A good relationship (with a loving partner) shouldn’t make you cry all the time.

      That seems so obvious now that I’ve read this. A person who really loves you won’t make you miserable.

  • I’ve always loved the song “Free Will” by Rush and it came in handy when I needed it

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=bpOyQhgM1FU

    The chorus:
    You can choose a ready guide in some celestial voice
    If you choose not to decide, you still have made a choice
    You can choose from phantom fears and kindness that can kill
    I will choose a path that’s clear
    I will choose freewill

  • Had this posted on my fridge for 3.5 years:

    “Now that my barn has burned down, I can better see the moon.” -Zen Proverb

    I have lived in this apartment where my former partner was banned from ever entering into for 4 entire, complete, and whole years. Life has been far from perfect, but wonderful in many ways. I have returned to dating, and have enjoyed my adventures. After you heal, yes, there are other people out there, good, kind, sexy, real people. If anything, I find that I am a very desirable and loveable woman that many people enjoy dating. Dating is a lovely time to enjoy courtship and get to know who people are. Maybe not your life partner, but it seems that all relationships can teach something, even a single date. More often than not, those first dates that go no where are great examples of honing the picker.

    Trust yourself, chumps. Too often the psychological abuse erodes our ability to trust in our own selves.

    I had a long weekend visit from my mother two weeks ago. My visit with my mother was lovely. My 61 year old mother decided she was interested in a concert as part of our plans. She and I saw the funk jam band, Lettuce, along with the reggae group the Wailers at Red Rocks. During our time together, I told her I finally felt ready for a relationship again. She said, well now you are ready and weren’t before now.

    Life unfolds in positive and unexpected ways. It seems hard to leave an abusive relationship, but it is harder to stay in it, and makes the recovery time all the longer.

    4 years later, the moon is bright and beautiful, and I put up a vegetable garden where the barn was.

    • Beautiful, Bella (hah! Just got the name!)- I will use this saying- unfortunately, I am your mother’s age and in this situation, but maybe the moon will be bright and beautiful for me as well!

    • WOW!!! I love this quote and your post. I may have someone do that in calligraphy for me with a painting of a full moon.

  • I can’t think of one quote. But it was my ex’s choice of AP and his saying she reminded him of me.

    She is the antithesis of me.

    That one line turned off all my feeling for him. Actually I am grateful he said it.

    It stopped any attempts to pick me dance. If he could chose that thing to replace me, I was voting with my feet. And I did. Love that quote.

    God wants you to act in your best interest. Don’t pray for 20 years – walk.

    Great topic.

    • I just thought of a quote for you that someone in CN said a few weeks ago was her “go to.” You can rewrite your story so that in your mind when he says this to you, You say “Fuck Off.” Short and to the point.

  • Reading these thrill me, and the Frederick Douglas one are just simply words to live by.

    We all were abandoned, discounted and also *severely* underestimated. Kiss my ass cheaters.

  • 1. Nobody has power over you unless you give it to them.
    2. Happiness is not the absence of conflict, but the ability to cope with it.
    3. Everything happens for a reason you just have be paying attention to the reason.
    4. This is one I made up. If the shit I have been through in life hasn’t broke me yet then nothing is going to. I GOT THIS SHIT. I shared that one with the X. His reply that’s no surprise.

    This one is just funny.
    What he cheated on me to be with you and now he cheating on you. ( I love that one because the OW think they are SO special that they won’t get cheated on). I know my X was cheating on the OW the whole time.

    • Most of the quotes that I’ve found really helpful and have written down have come from Chump Lady or Chump Nation. I got one quote from a TV series though which is like your point 1: “People don’t have power over us. We give it to them. You have to take your power back”.

      And if I need a laugh, I think of Chump Princess’s(?) quote: “Stick a fork in that sad sausage and remove him from the grill of your life”

  • I have an entire journal of quotes collected over the past 4 months, but I really like these:

    “Cheating on a good person is like throwing away a diamond and picking up a rock.”

    And from my ex-mother-in-law (the cheater’s mom), who is my dear friend:

    “A year ago you would never have predicted what has changed.
    A year from now you can’t imagine what will be…”

  • A few things resonate. He used to tell me that he was a bad person and I should stay away from him. I should have believed him. When I kept asking him, and then myself, why, why, why he did the things he did, I finally came to rest on this answer: Because he wanted to. That’s brings me back to a reality check. On my desk I have a plaque with Nora Ephron’s saying: Be the heroine of your own life.

    A few posts back, CL reminded us that it wasn’t one lie, one decision to cheat- it was THOUSANDS of decisions (in my case, over 8 years of cheating with the same OW until it finally ended)- it was thousands of choices. For some reason, it really helps me to think of this because he always said that he made one mistake- he fell in love with somebody else.

    And what I think about when I think about what love should be (and wasn’t for me), its this poem by W.H. Auden:

    Stop all the clocks, cut off the telephone
    Prevent the dogs from barking with a juicy bone,
    Silence the pianos and with muffled drum
    Bring out the coffin, let the mourners come.

    Let aeroplanes circle moaning overhead
    Scribbling on the sky the message He Is Dead,
    Put crepe bows round the white necks of the public doves,
    Let the traffic policemen wear black cotton gloves,

    He was my North, my South, my East and West,
    My working week and my Sunday rest,
    My noon, my midnight, my talk, my song;
    I thought that love would last forever; I was wrong.

    The stars are not wanted now; put out every one;
    Pack up the moon and dismantle the sun;
    Pour away the ocean and sweep up the wood.
    For nothing now can come to any good.

    And when you read this elevated version of love and loyalty that persists even after death, you realize that there is such a thing as love and maybe, with these terrible people out of the picture, we all will find it if we want it.

    • *ARE YOU KIDDING ME???*

      This is MY poem…this poem reduces me to a sobbing mass. I actually read it the first time when my beloved Banjo died (my American Eskimo dog who was 15, blind and deaf and I had him from 6 weeks old). But this poem..it slays me.

      It is “the antithesis” 😉
      of what I said to the Meth Man when I broke no contact

      You gave up what we had for some blow jobs from meth addicts? And he did.

      This poem is holy.

      • My asshat (courtesy of karmarie) gave up a 40 year relationship, a son and all our friends. Far from the love demonstrated in the Auden poem. And yes, I read this when our beloved cat Magellan died. He was worthy of it. Meth Man and my stbx will never have anyone say or think this about them. They never gave up what they thought they had with us- it was all an illusion.

        • Here! Here! I am sorry about Magellan. What a great name. I love cats.

          No, they will not. They are not noble.

          Listen to this. One day, out of the blue (I guess my rational brain) I said to Meth Man:

          Is there anyone in your life you have not betrayed?

          And he said…No…no…I guess there isn’t.

          He showed me who he was…I just did not believe him.

  • Awake, my dear.
    Be kind to your sleeping heart.
    Take it out into the vast fields of Light
    And let it breathe.

    Run my dear,
    From anything
    That may not strengthen
    Your precious budding wings.

    Run like hell my dear,
    From anyone likely
    To put a sharp knife
    Into the sacred, tender vision
    Of your beautiful heart

    (Hafiz)

    • Never wrestle with pigs. You both get dirty and the pig likes it.

      George Bernard Shaw

      And his lovely quote by cheater him self
      if we remarry can I get my money back.

  • Don’t wrestle with a pig. You both get covered in shit and the pig likes it. -George Bernard Shaw

    Tuesday is coming. Keep walking. -Chump Lady

    • In a similar vein…

      “Don’t try to teach pigs to sing. It wastes your time… and irritates the pig.”

  • This is the best collection of quotes ever. Two of my favorites: “So far you’ve survived 100% of your worst days. You’re doing great.” The other is from 2 Corinthians 4:8-9. “We are hard pressed on every side, but not crushed; perplexed, but not in despair; persecuted, but not abandoned; struck down, but not destroyed.”

  • If you truly love someone, being faithful is easy! Hard to swallow but true!
    You are who you are when no one is looking. When I wasn’t looking she was screwing others.
    Don’t lose sleep over someone who is probably sleeping with someone else. Well she was.
    The more chances you give someone the less respect they will have for you. They will begin to ignore the standards you have set because they now another chance will always be given. They are not afraid to lose you because they know no matter what you wont walk away. They get comfortable with depending on your forgiveness. Never let a person get comfortable with disrespecting you!

    The last one was me…. I allowed her to disrespect and stayed being her SAP (security and paycheck) 18 months later, I hate myself more than the affair! Don’t be a pussy stand up for yourself from day one!

    • DavidB, don’t hate yourself for being a decent, honest and loving husband. Any good and decent woman would be proud to say that you are her spouse. I am not speaking for all Chumps but I have had my fair share of self loathing and I cannot tell you why. I am over that now and I know that whilst my 64 y.o. ex husband is now living the dream with his 24 year bar girl in Cambodia, he lost the best thing that ever happened to him and that was / is me. He traded down into the gutters but he seems to be loving it. They are loopy, all of our cheaters and betrayers. Chin up David and stop the self hate. You are a good man.

    • David you say “Don’t be a pussy stand up for yourself from day one!” – my repertoire included that “man-up” lingo which I used on myself and I have to say it did assist on getting me to where I am at today – it was very abrupt but super effective. Good post David!

    • David,
      “The more chances you give someone the less respect they will have for you.” Totally agree with you on that one! It’s true even for criminals who get more bold and dangerous each time they get away with their offenses. Let us not excuse and put up with bad behavior.

      You’re more experienced now and I’m sure you won’t let someone get away with jerking you around like that anymore. (I’m learning too!)

      When I hear good people beat themselves up for being duped and used, I say what others here are telling you. I also add, “This world needs more kind and decent people, and less of the other.”

      Never be sorry for being the one who tried, loved and gave. If only others would do the same.

  • One day, after doing EVERYTHING possible to help my daughter through the shit storm, feeling powerless, a friend said, “This is her cross to bear now.”

    Another quote someone gave me: “Every pit of despair is really an excavation site for joy later.”

    Honestly, the first quote helped me let go, and the second quote initially pissed me off, but hey, I chose to trust the future.

  • I’ve been separated a little over three months and have found that music is giving me the most inspiration. Lately it’s been a song by Disturbed, “The Light”, which has the line in it: “Sometimes darkness can show you the light”. I also recently heard Phil Collins’ “I Don’t Care Anymore” and it really resonated, so powerful. I know I’m not at Meh yet, probably not even close, but that song gives me hope than I will be someday.

    • Try the Beatles, “Here comes the Sun.” You just can’t be sad when you sing it. And Sing It Loud until it becomes true.

    • I blasted Justin Timberlake’s “What goes around comes around” for months after our separation. Listening to it made me feel strong.

    • Disillusioned, in those early days, and years, I wore out several records. My all time favorite was Patty Griffin’s live album (Goodbye and Peter Pan) A Kiss in Time. In those years after when I was dealing the fallout, I stumbled upon new artists: The Black Keys, Citizen Cope, KOL, Paolo Nutini, The Easy Leaves (Fool on a String) and saw them all in concert. Music heals. Now six years out I am listening to Ben Howard’s music (but my favorites still resonate: Black Flies, Depth over Distance, and Keep Your Head Up). Poems still inspire and Sarah Kay’s “B” reminded me to choose to be “the sane parent”– I always was. It was hard, my journey moving forward (“Baby Steps” from What About Bob?) and it still is. But I am happier now, not drifting through life waiting for dishonest ex to wake up, live, and appreciate family.

    • Phil Collins — great song! I love reading Chump Lady daily as I get reminded of things, songs, beliefs, passions I forgot about. Playing Phil Collins right now. Thanks!

    • Broken Bells’ last album came out about the same time as my Dday, and every song (seriously, every single f-ing song) resonated. From the opening song “… the ordinary life they want for you, is it too much to have to bear?”, to “Leave It Alone” (“You got it in your head that you can make it on your own; you were sheltered loved and fed but you just couldn’t leave it alone”) to “… the smoke they blow can make your head pop…” — they all reminded me of the dream XH was chasing, of an endless disco… But what happens AFTER the disco? Good luck with that.

  • From my sister long before my cheater cheated (he was exhausting to be with): “The idea isn’t to ride the emotional rollercoaster with him, it’s to stand on the ground and wave to him as he goes by.”

    Wish I had remembered this before I launched into a 2-year pick-me dance, but I remember it now when dealing with others.

    Now that he’s kaput, I pile the pets on the bed, crawl in, get my beauty sleep, and in the morning tell myself, “60 is the new 40”. No. Longer. Exhausted.

    • I love the piling the pets on the bed thing. Both dogs, and they’re so wonderful and happy to see me first thing in the morning — the feeling is entirely mutual, and for maybe the first time in the past two decades, I feel really loved and not neglected or dismissed.

  • That which can be destroyed by truth should be.

    Sometimes I miss my ex. Then I reload and fire again.

    Love your fate.

    Beware the vengeance of a patient man.

    • I love “Beware the vengeance of a patient man”. I won’t need two graves (except maybe for her and the AP). My revenge will be watching her get hit by the Karma bus. It’s her own doing, and it will happen. She’s been following the cheater handbook to the letter. I trust it will happen just like I trust that she sucks.

  • When I struggled with no contact in the early days I read on a support site ..”There is a reason why your rear view mirror is smaller than your windshield.” Really helped me to keep moving forward.

    • Wow @kbchump! That really resonates with me.

      The last time I saw POP, it actually was in my rear view mirror.

      It has replayed in my brain many many times. Now I understand why–this is so symbolic!

      It wasn’t longing or sentimentality; it was FINALITY!

      What a mind blowing epiphany!

      🙂 🙂 🙂

    • “if you must look behind you, try not to stare.” and “Try not to spend too much of today on yesterday.” — Forward, always forward.

  • “Please understand. This isn’t goodbye. This is, I can’t stand you, and stay the fuck away from me.”

    #2 – “Let Go or be Dragged”

  • I never thought I’d be able to buy a house on my own but 2 years after my divorce here I am the owner of my dream home, a tiny Craftsman bungalow that I love.
    “And the Princess lived happily ever after in her OWN big castle
    with all her OWN money
    And she took care of HERSELF
    The End”

    • I am jealous of your Craftsman bungalow. I’ve been shopping but can’t seem to find one that’s not already snatched up!

  • My favorite inspirational quote came from my children independently! We have 2 daughters, ages 21 and 16 at that time. About 6 weeks post D-day, after contacting the lawyer, hiring the PI and having all the evidence I needed, I had him served – while they were together at the AP’s house. Earlier that day I drove 2 hours to discuss it in person with our older daughter who was away at college, to tell her I was having her dad served that evening. Then I drove back home and another hour to tell our younger daughter the same thing after the high school football game. They accepted what I said in surprised silence for a few moments then separately they both said almost the exact same thing –

    “You’re not ever going to take him back, are you?”

  • John Wooden — ‘The true test of a man’s character is what he does when no one is watching.

    This reminded me daily that his true self was the abuser I saw behind closed doors, not the false identity I fell in love with or that he presented to the rest of the world. I was in love with a lie. A mask. It still took awhile but I found the courage and now I am free.

  • Float up from the bottom.

    I’m not sure who said it but I wrote it in my journal.

    He wakes up to the worst mistake of his life every day. (Miss Sunshine?)
    This is the one I repeated to myself daily. Thanks!

    The best revenge is to live better.

    My Friend
    Why are you standing in shit and bathing in it?
    You could do what he did, stand outside a prison and wait for the new releases to get out.

  • The first time I read this, I felt that it was cynical and bitter. Eventually I realized that it’s only a piece of truth that’s difficult to accept.

    “Trust in a relationship is like a piece of china. If it gets broken, you can glue it back together. But, no matter how much care and effort was put into mending it, every time you pick it up, your eyes go immediately to the cracks.”

    • I agree with that. No matter how hard you try to overlook the crack, it’s still there, and it affects the relationship, even when you don’t want it to.

  • Other things from Chump Lady that really helped: There can’t be three people in a marriage. (Actually I said this to him repeated before I ever read CL). And on the subject of what was real and what wasn’t, and how I wasted my life: I was real. What I felt was real. Thank you CL for that. It has become my go to when I feel lost.

    • “I was real” is what I’m clinging to, as I try to deal with almost four decades of secret betrayal. It’s still tenuous at best, but it’s helped me so much already trying to deal with all the memories. I want to reclaim them, all the wonderful memories, but they are now all interlaced with deceit.

  • My favorite from Tom Lehrer:
    “Life is like a sewer. What you get out of it depends on what you put into it.”

  • Thank goodness for Pinterest and my solitaire app, which got me through until I found Chump Lady!

    Your value doesn’t decrease based on someone’s inability to see your worth.

    Above all, be the heroine of your own life, not the victim. -Nora Ephron

    Suddenly all my ancestors are behind me. “Be still,” they say. “Watch and listen. You are the result of the love of thousands.”

    The way I see it, life is a pile of good things and bad things. The good things don’t always soften the bad things. But, vice versa. The bad things don’t necessarily spoil the good things or make them unimportant. -The (Eleventh) Doctor

    From my dad: Don’t let the bastards grind you down.

    And for the days when I needed to laugh because I had already cried too much:

    Sometimes I wish I was a bird, so I could fly over certain people and shit on their heads.

    • I said to POP “your mouth is moving, therefore you are lying” more times than I can remember.

      And this was YEARS before Meghan Trainor came along 🙂

    • YES!!! If you want to be happy, watch that video on You Tube. Those girls were plugged into some major MOJO with that sound and those words:

      I stopped by the bar at 3 a.m.
      To seek solace in a bottle or possibly a friend
      I woke up with a headache like my head against a board
      Twice as cloudy as I’d been the night before
      I went in seeking clarity.

      • Yes! So much good in Indigo Girls. “And I guess that’s how you started, like a pin prick to my heart. But at this point you rush right through me and I start to drown.”
        “And I feel it like a sickness, how this love is killing me.”
        “Ghost” is really more for when you need to wallow in your pain, while making the wise pre-frontal cortex decision to avoid contact, to not go back.

        Feel your sad. It will pass.

        • Yes! My rational mind.
          My old reptile part of the brain…closer to the limbic, is what that fool lights up! He sends cortisol and adrenaline pulsing through my body like a crocodile is coming through the water at me.

          These quotes seems to pull me back to my pre frontal cortex. They soothe the limbic, for me.

  • It is not a quote, but I found the poem “If” by R. Kipling to be very inspirational (and yes, I know that there are many problems with Kipling and the whole white man’s burden bullshit). I particularly like the first stanza. But I saw it as inspiration to not give way to irrationality and crazy just because my ex was.

  • “No one can make you feel inferior without your consent” Eleanor Roosevelt,who certainly knew a lot about chumpdom .

        • Born and raise in Texas, lifelong owner of horses. Clean stalls daily. Had several ‘floods’ in stalls….shit floats

          One good thing about shoveling horse shit/moving bales of hay everyday for your entire life—you get GREAT ARMS AND ABS

          Best thing about being around horses–their majesty; ain’t nothin’ like it!

          • And being around them actually produces brain waves similar to being given a sedative. At the horse sanctuary where I volunteer, we have many soldiers with PTSD come and you can see the tension leaving their faces when their interact with big ole Gentle BIG MAC…a Belgian Workhorse (that someone forgot to feed…pushing back homicidal tendencies to avenge him and others who show up 300 lbs UNDERWEIGHT).

            Also, you can’t fake being calm around horses. They know. If I am putting off negative energy, they don’t do as well for for me. They see right through it.

            And, the less you talk the better they do. Their snuffling, their smell, when I lay my head on their big warm butts and back, all my problems sound like Charlie Brown’s teachers voice.

            We also (it is not mine but I donate my time and money) take in Mustangs and they are wild. I often take my lunch and sit in the pasture with them. They grow used to me and accept me as part of the herd.

            Off topic BUT HEALING. Right now, it is the only time I am truly calm. I wish I could get paid to work at a horse stable. I love the manual labor, too and my head empties.

  • I don’t remember who this quote is from, but I made it into a small card and put it in the window of my wallet. I am two years post divorce from a 37 year marriage, and I still read it as a reminder. My needs eroded so slowly over the years I didn’t really notice until it all blew up and I uncovered his secret life.

    “Respect yourself enough to walk away from anything that no longer serves you, grows you or makes you happy. If you aren’t being treated with love and respect, check your price tag. Maybe you’ve marked yourself down. It’s YOU who tells people what your worth is.

    Get off the clearance rack and get behind the glass where they keep the valuables.”