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Time Again for a Mightiness Check

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superchump2Every few months or so, I check in with Chump Nation for a “Tell Me How You’re Mighty.” The stories of resilience here always floor me.

Most of the time on this blog I’m answering letters, decoding bullshit with the Universal Bullshit Translator, or running goofy contests in which we all try and one-up each other with our chumpiness.

But CN, we are more than the sum of our chumpy moments. We are MIGHTY. Despite the gut blow of betrayal, you get up and care for your kids, pack the lunches, show up for work, find work, find school, find God, pass the bar, adopt orphans, and start the lawn mower alone.

Tell me about it. Tell me how you’re gaining that life. I know some of you old-timers have shared before, but share for the newbies — the further you are down the path, the more you can help those at the starting gate.

And hey, even if you aren’t feeling mighty? If your accomplishment was going 3 hours without checking the cheater’s social media AND you took a shower? That counts. Weigh in.

Tell me how you’re mighty, Chump Nation!

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Ask Chump Lady

Got a question for the Chump Lady? Or a submission for the Universal Bullshit Translator? Write to me at info@chumplady.com. Read more about submission guidelines.
  • I’m not sure I’m feeling mighty but am definitely feeling relieved. My teenage daughter is just coming out of clinical depression and suicidal thoughts after the worst 6 months of our lives. Part of her issues stemmed from the emotional abuse my narc ex (her ex stepfather ) subjected her to. It’s been a long road working with a psychiatrist and psychologist and new medication to hear her say today that she thinks she felt happy again today.
    The number of times I’ve felt that it would all break me are innumerable but I think we’ve come through.
    The damage these narcs inflict is not just on us chumps.

    • So sorry. They hurt the kids so badly. I am glad you are celebrating some recovery from the abuse. Having a narc parent is an emotional struggle I know well. They suck. Hang in there. You and your daughter are mighty and have happier days ahead!

    • That’s my tale of mighty-three years ago, I picked up my babygirl and got the hell out. Supporting your kid while processing the abuse and empowering your kiddos to be healthy and narc-free is YUUUUUUGE.

    • jedi hugs to you both! I know exactly how you feel (my daughter made the attempt, and planned another). It is a huge relief once they seem to be smiling again and can voice their thoughts and feelings. It has taken us 1.5 years but we finally got a good combination of the correct medicine, and a good relationship with the psychologist and psychiatrist, all working together.

  • I’m pretty again.

    That biting acid of tears flowing down my cheeks, digging rivulet beds of raw red pockets under my eyes? Gone.

    Puffy, red nostrils, from wiping and blowing? Smooth and calm.

    Stooped over posture, shuffling walk: replaced with straight back, straight ahead gaze, with a bit of swagger.

    Sad and baggy brown rags? Now oranges, blues, purples, greens and reds.

    Heavy wounded heart? Now fluffy white and light.

  • Realized Narkles the Clown has another, other woman when he would not let our son swing by and pick up something he needed. Wondered if The Flying Whore (his twu wuv!) knew. Laughed my ass off!
    I really don’t care what he does as long as my child isn’t effected any more than he is now. I may not be at meh, but I have a feeling I am in the vicinity.

  • Ooh, I’ve been waiting for this. I joined in on here rather recently and missed the last one. When I read your posts from last time, I gathered so much strength and was so encouraged from both the accomplishments and support. I was so proud of all of you! You are so mighty in so many ways!

    Ok, so here’s mine. During wreckonciliation, Unfaithful went all out and had me book nonrefundable tickets to Europe with accommodations so we could take the family vacation of a lifetime! Wow! He’s so great!

    Oh wait, he neglected to stop sleeping around first and got busted. He’s not so great! Not great at all. I filed and found CN. Then, I cancelled his ticket and took my kids anyway! I went to another country where I knew no one, spoke a foreign language, and managed as the lone adult. This was way outside my comfort zone and very courageous for me. We did great.

    It was scary but exhilarating. He said he would have liked to have come. I said, “You should have been there, but you couldn’t stay out of someone else’s bed so now you don’t get to come anywhere with us anymore.” And I insisted he give us cash for the trip. You want your daughters to eat, right? We need money.

    Of course, I did think of him having two weeks with his AP and no kids to worry about, but I heard he worked the whole time anyway (probably to pay off this trip!).

    • “You should have been there, but you couldn’t stay out of someone else’s bed so now you don’t get to come anywhere with us anymore.”

      I’m all about clarity. That is so clear – and badass mighty!!!

      When I was suspicious of H&OW (they were planning to start a family once I was dumped). I said “If you start a new family, you will be handing out Capri Suns at peewee soccer while me and your adult children are touring Europe” and he said (snarl and try to maintain denial ) “maybe thats what I want !”.

      We had a small stock portfolio and he blamed me for its poor performance (what the fuck I was supposed to do to make it gain in value is a mystery still. Clear memory of him screaming at me in the kitchen waving the statement in the air). Shortly after he died, I cashed that stupidass thing in and took D to London…stayed at fancy hotel and got floor seats to see One Direction.

    • YES!!! A dream vacation to get away from the nightmare! So glad you went and gave yourself a wonderful set of memories at the time they are most needed. And how delightful to let cheater pants know he is FIRED from the family. My son and I are heading off next summer to what was to be our family’s dream vacation (Banff) and he is going to feel truly out of the family when he finds out. Right now I have him jumping through hoops to get our child’s passport updated. Travel is so delightful!!

  • I just sold the house I bought after the divorce, and bought an historic queen anne Victoria home in a quaint downtown area within walking distance to shopping, restaurants, etc. It’s something I always wanted to do since I was a child.

    But it isn’t what the ex wanted so we built a house way out in the country next to his parents, his brother, his grandfather, and his aunts and uncles. I drove over an hour to get to work while he worked locally. I made far more salary than he ever did, to support building our dream home with a barn and basketball court.

    Shit head went and got caught screwing around by the OW husband. After a 6 month trial at sticking it out, I filed. It was a tough 4 years since then.

    But here I am making my dreams come true.

    • Yay you!!!!! I can picture you in your lovely old home with fragrant roses and herbs all around. And, no commute! You got years of your life back from that alone!

    • Your new home sounds amazing! Your story is almost like mine, I made more money, but had to do only what he wanted only to find out he had been cheating the whole time.

    • Kharless73, my story is almost identical. Moved from suburbs close to the ex’s family (we couldn’t live far away from them you know) where it took me over 2 hours each way to get to work. After divorce, I bought a 1909 Foursquare 2 blocks from downtown and train station giving me a 45 minute commute! It’s also near my family and old friends. The house needs some work, but when i look at the cracked plaster, old plumbing, etc. I just smile because I did it on my own and its exactly what i always wanted. I think old houses are like Chumps; show the battle scars, are a work in progress, but they are still standing in all their stateliness. The ex didn’t think i could survive solo, but guess what? I am.

    • Your house sounds so lovely. And I am betting you would have never fulfilled that dream with Mr. Baggage even if he had never cheated. Because his dreams were more important than yours … I too am planning to retire to the place I always dreamed and that he never was much interested in. I used to tease him that I would miss him if he chose not to come along … I was mistaken in that I doubt I’ll miss him one bit!!! Four more years to save up!!

  • I loved the comic this time, but it’s not hard to out-earn my cheating ex…he’s a super lazy mooch who works whatever lowest-paying, lowest-responsibility job he possibly can while living off whatever earnest chick he happens to be living with at the moment (no judgment, I was one of those chicks once obviously). But that doesn’t matter a ton to me. What does matter:

    — Made it through the year and a half plus court battle he waged against having to contribute financially to the child’s expenses in *any* way. We won because you don’t get to shirk child support on the grounds of making less than the primary caregiver. Duh. The extent to which this guy wants to be rewarded for putting out no effort in life never ceases to astound me.
    — Realized to my delight that with him gone, I was actually *saving* more money, because his horrible spending habits and wacked-out expensive tastes were costing our family more than he was bringing in. So I really didn’t have to struggle financially once the main court costs were paid off. I would challenge a lot of the women who say “He cheats unapologetically but I can’t leave, I can’t afford it.” You may be surprised at just how much he’s cancelling out his own earnings.
    — Wake up every day happily looking forward to work and hanging out with my kid, consulting only myself and the kid when deciding how we’ll spend our time on weekends, and not tiptoeing on eggshells around someone who will be dissatisfied with any plan that doesn’t consist of sitting around watching action movies on the couch, will blow up at any second, or will ruin a whole day pouting because his breakfast sandwich wasn’t cooked to his liking or the baby “cried too loud” and he just “couldn’t handle it.”
    — Don’t fear for our lives any time we go out in the car, because now we don’t have a raging drunk insisting on driving and that he’s “fine” and “barely drank anything” when I just watched him drink the exact opposite of “barely anything.”
    — Don’t have to be embarrassed anymore when I go out with my friends, because I don’t have a hanger-on sitting there awkwardly begging people to start working at their businesses or participating in their hobbies, and have to watch them back out of the conversation rather than tell him in front of me, “No, you suck, why would I include you in my life whatsoever?”
    — Comfortably share my life with close friends old and new, not worrying about whether anybody’s listening with ill intent or with the objective of pointing out any and all flaws, because I’ve dumped those Switzerland friends long ago.
    — Overhear groups of moms complaining about how nightmarish it is to spend an evening or a day alone with their kid, with NO HELP at all, and how relieved they are when their partner returns, and cackle quietly to myself because I’ve been doing that for several years straight now, and certainly there are tough moments but overall it’s fine–nay, easier than it was with two, uh, “parents.”

    I can keep going but this is long enough!

    • ^^^^ THIS, Chumptastic! Especially:

      – being able to spend my money wisely because I’m not paying for his poor financial decisions (or his GF’s botox, breast implants, etc.)

      – being able to do what the kids and I want for a change, without hearing how stupid and pathetic our preferences are.

    • “You may be surprised at just how much he’s cancelling out his own earnings.”

      I agree 100% about the money thing. I make a lot less than Narkles the Clown and I still manage the mortgage and the car and everything with the kid just fine, even though living with him we were living on a shoestring. We’re not going to Europe any time soon but we mange the house, a car and food on the table.

      • I thought the same thing–that I would have to give up everything that makes me happy just to pay the bills. I’m just fine on one income because the money isn’t going for (in the case of XH the drinker) his “substances,” his weekend bar expenses, and fixing up his son’s house.

    • The financial thing is huge for me. For the last ten years, STBX has been furious that I took on student loans for my daughter’s education.

      As a result, I really tried to make up for it buy buying everything at thrift stores and going without. He never bought me gifts for holidays, we never went anywhere, – which I accepted because of my cardinal spending sin (college loans). I bought into this narrative hook, line, and sinker.

      Now, of course, I realize he was spending a third of our combined income secretly on his sex life.

      What really fucks me up, though, is that he is a high-school dropout and I am a professional with a master’s degree and our issue was around spending money on education. Why didn’t I realize he was so wrong for me in every way? Why did I spackle for this loser? It’s mortifying.

      PS Now I live in a beautiful new apartment with a million-dollar view; I have a few beautiful new things (I splurged on a rug and a table) and a couple pair of never-been-worn-before shoes; I have money in the bank. I’m slowly training myself not to agonize over pennies and buy the softest toilet paper.

      I’m viewing my marriage as a kind of cult where I willingly handed over my self-esteem in exchange for a chance to belong.

      • So proud of your Roaring! I hope every time you look at your beautiful view, you realize how lucky and blessed you are to be free of such an asshole. Your best years are yet to come!! Also, I can completely relate to feeling like you were in a cult. I believed the sun and moon literally rose and set in my husband’s eyes. If there was anything I wanted to do, I would go home instead because I didn’t want to miss spending the time with him. It was as if I had been brainwashed and lost myself. Hallelujah! We have been found and are rebuilding our lives. Keep going!! ?

        • You too! OMG!!! If my hubby said it, I believed it! He could do no wrong. I gave over my whole life to his way of thinking. But instead of seeing it as controlling, I saw it as him loving me, protecting me. 28 yrs I bought into that, and when he had an affair, can not understand to this day, if I loved him as much as I say I did, and for so long we gave to each other, him taking care of his family, & he meant everything to me, why I can’t go back into our marriage. He really really believes I didn’t try, maybe I didn’t, but for 2 yrs I went thur hell & am only getting back.

          So what lve done, I’ve moved to NYC, got a 1 bedroom, move me & my Saint Bernard to Mahattan! Hubby is footing the bill!

          Once there is a 3rd person in a marriage, it changes everything.

      • “I’m viewing my marriage as a kind of cult where I willingly handed over my self-esteem in exchange for a chance to belong.” ^^^ This, especially with regard to the financial. Shit, what did I let happen? I’m just waking up…. and goddamn do I have some work to do.

        • Roaring and oaktree, same here!

          DDay was the ultimate awakening from over a decade of what I perceived as an “us against the world” kind of life. All it was really was a cover for his self-centered lying cheating character.

          And yes, it requires a lot of work to fix that picker, to stand up for myself and teach my kiddo to do so for herself. But that effort feels like a small price to pay compared to how sweet it is to lead a cheater-free life.

          • Oaktree and Chumptitude, exactly what my marriage was, a cult. I sacrificed myself for the opportunity to be accepted into the cult. Anytime I fell short of X’s expectations I suffered the wrath or disdain and eventually the discard.
            Us against the world brainwashing, best friend bullshit, working towards “our” career.
            Everything was for him and his success in disguise of working towards “our future”
            I made the sacrifices for his success, including who I was. I’ve been suffering from cult brain for far too long.

            • “I’m viewing my marriage as a kind of cult where I willingly handed over my self-esteem in exchange for a chance to belong.” Me too. I just realized reading these posts this is exactly what I did. And I used to think I was strong and smart and immune to this crap. How did I get suckered into this? Now he’s gone my resilience has surprised me but I had turned into the shadow of the mad cult leader. Wow. Thank you for that post.

              • This is me too! But the craziest part is I didn’t know it was happening… That whole time my self-esteem was being shaved down to a nub I had no idea, I could just feel my life becoming more and more worthless, like I was growing transparent day by day. Why do things have to get so bad they’re unbearable for us to see how much pain we’re in? Now that I’m out, I amazed that I feel so damn GOOD! Like I wake up in my bed in the morning and lay there and think, “Man, this is a comfortable bed. Boy do I feel comfortable in it.” NOTHING used to feel good. But I guess I couldn’t remember what good felt like anymore, so I didn’t question it. That and I was brainwashed into thinking my expectations were too high. I walked past a sign going into a park the other day that “NO DOGS ALLOWED” and was reminded that every time we passed a sign like that when we were together, even if our son was with us, he would say, “Sorry, you can’t come in.” Every damn time. Systematic dismantling of my self-respect. I think you have to say “No, please don’t treat me this way” 10,000 times, and then you get tired of saying it, so you stop, and then you realize this is going to be the rest of your life, so you think about how to truly get away. But if you have kids, in my case anyway, you need to say it 10,000 more times, so that when you finally get up and walk out the door without looking back, you can sleep well at night knowing you did everything you possibly could. Mind-bending.

              • Sucker–that is horrible! What a total asshole, and so clearly a way to scoop out teaspoons of your self-esteem a little at a time. Sounds like you only needed a millimeter step to get to ‘trust that he sucks.’ Glad you’re rid of him.

      • the financial issue seems to be an oh so common one. ive finally woken up to the fact that my x has absolutely no idea how to manage money and is digging himself deeper and deeper into a hole (and trying to drag us down with him). he already managed to spend $150k on our extravagant lifestlyle in a holiday destination in australia, fooling me into thinking it was all being afforded by his new management job . when we were together i blindly trusted him with all our finances and couldnt see the farce that was happening right in front of me. my eyes are wide open now, and now our kids are worried their dad will end up homeless with all the thoughtless spending he’s doing.

      • Roaring, the difference in education has been an area of incompatibility in our marriage that affected more areas of our relationship than I realized. I am just more ambitious, goal-oriented, and focused. Moreover, priorities reflect character.

        I went back to school online and got an advanced degree while working plus I am an avid reader and always have been. STBX would never dream of going back to school, hasn’t read a book in decades, and can’t even complete professional certifications to qualify for job advancement.

        Nope, he spent his time trolling in bars and picking up trash to feed his ego instead. They suck.

    • Enjoyed an amazing trip to Yosemite (aka You-so-mighty) with some wonderful chumps! This was my first debt-free travel experience post-divorce. It’s so calming to finally build up a little savings after so many years on the financial edge with my ex.
      I promise you newbie chumps that it gets so much better and I concur with chump-tastic that cheaters often cancel out their own earnings.
      Many of the of the changes for me are slow and steady now, which took some getting used to after many years on the express train of constant drama.
      I am so much more comfortable with my own company. I am fortunate to have close relationships with many dear friends as well as my family and I’m navigating co-parenting my sweet 7 year old son as best I can with my ex who continues with his sob stories and bravado. He’s not my problem anymore and I’m so grateful to be free of him.

    • Yes, the financial difference between with and without STBX is amazing. He spends so much money on booze, weed, lunches out, sports equipment, sports events and memberships, vacations with his boyfriend, and other just wasteful things like using more AC than needed and on and on. We each have half the income right now and I have money left to save while he is barely making ends meet. Ha Ha!!! When alimony and child support kick in, he is going to be living the dream … not!

    • I would challenge a lot of the women who say “He cheats unapologetically but I can’t leave, I can’t afford it.” 100% correct Chumptastic. Since traitor left the farm, the fuel bill is down 75%, all farm expenses are down, work is done on time, gates are shut and stay shut, nothing gets ‘misplaced’. So many savings I am rapidly climbing my way out of the hole he got the business into. And I have more free time even while working 60-70hours a week. I am not a scullery maid anymore. I have all the firewood I need to keep the house warm at last. The bath tub is clean, there’s no pee on the toilet floor, and I don’t have to watch the traitor dig into his ears with his fork handle at the dinner table and say ‘do as I say, not as I do’. I’ve lost a 105kg blood sucking spendthrift who kept telling me I was useless and I am doing it all by myself faster, better, cheaper. May the Whore be with him.

  • Throughout most of my life, I’ve written in various freelance and volunteer capacities — newsletters, trade publications, etc. (one of my professional presentations was expanded into a book published in 2014 — a true bucket list achievement).

    Never really for what you’d call ‘fun’ or ‘personal fulfillment.’

    This hellish experience with the Kunty Kibbler has thrown my imagination and need to write into overdrive, and had branched out into live storytelling. In the last 6 months, I have –

    1. Won a prize at the first storytelling event I entered, earned a place in the grand finals, and was asked as a ‘previous winner’ to do ‘warm up’ at a subsequent event

    2. Been paid for an article published in the Boston Globe on Fathers Day: https://www.bostonglobe.com/lifestyle/real-estate/2016/06/17/two-family-one-kind-renter/ujwWkp9lIX9hrYGWXaC3IO/story.html

    3. Through the graciousness of Tracy, guest-blogged here on the CL site

    4. Been recruited to teach a two-night writing workshop in October

    (In an odd twist — I was recently sent an invitation for the new season’s first local storytelling event via Facebook, and KK’s ‘special friend’ — who’s married, apparently has visited tranny escorts, and enjoys being pegged — is listed as a ‘maybe’ for attending. Is the OM mirroring me?!)

    I’ve got numerous essays in development — is it possible there’s a book coming out of this mess? Doesn’t really matter — what really matter is that they are small steps toward mightiness.

    • What does “mirroring” mean? I’m curious because I feel like OW is doing something similar to me. I have bigger stuff to worry about right now – but still. Weird.

        • Nope, I don’t think mirroring is what’s happening with OW. I feel a little stalked – she moved from over 600 miles away to within a mile of my home, took a job in my doctor’s office and I think she may even enroll children in the schools near my home this fall. BUT – this was all lined up before I realized what he was up to (I knew something was “off” but his tracks were well covered.) I don’t think I care, I’m just glad the mystery is finally out in the open. I don’t even care if this was SUPER funny how stupid I was (or super clever they were) to have her right under my nose. I think my “give a shit” is broken.

          • JJ-again, watch out for the bunny boilers, I believe in the Moscow Protocol, “Once is happenstance. Twice is coincidence. The third time it’s enemy action.”
            She moved 600 miles happenstance maybe, enrolling her kids in a school near you , coincidence…maybe, but working in your doctor’s office ???, unless you live literally in a town of like a hundred people what’s up with that ?,Don’t ignore your gut feelings, if you feel something is wrong,there’s no telling what goes on in the minds of some of these people

    • Bravo UX, all this while living under the same roof as KK and being the sane parent for your kids is really impressive!

    • An amazing article. Very well-written and I could feel the loss of moving from your de facto family but the joy in the experience of knowing them.

  • Where to start? What to share? There’s so many positive changes from the dark dark days after DDay 1 12/2014. Here are some: after DDays 2-10…. and STBX said he wanted to see OW “openly” and refused to stop (he was confused about whether to choose me- wife of 25 years and 4 kids- dog and 2 cats– or 30 yo druggie homewrecker he met in an elevator) I told him he had 2 hours to get his shit out of the house; I cried less and less each day, now it’s rare to shed a tear about this; I’ve gained 5 of the 30 lbs I lost and still look amazing and work out every day and am running a race in 6 weeks; I have a smaller circle of friends but every one is 100 % supportive and nurturing — I don’t spend any time on anyone who isn’t; I sleep a full 7-9 hours a night; I like living with my kids and no man in the house – I no longer feel alone; I am starting to read for pleasure again (pre DDay I read a novel a week- for 18 months afterward I couldn’t read anything for pleasure); I can watch television series again — for 18 months I had no interest in any tv or movies; I filed for divorce in January (gave douche a whole year to manifest true reconciliation actions (I offered to hold off on D if he went to drug and alcohol treatment, broke off all contact with OW, devoted a year to IC and working on fixing whatever defect led to the devalue and discard, and a post nuptial that gave me 80% and lifetime maintenance of marriage failed– he refused) and we have mediation in a month and trial in 4 months; I parted ways with my first non-communicative lawyer and hired a kick ass lawyer who GETS it; my kids are slowly healing and we like our quiet drama-free home together; I took my kids on several very fun vacations by myself and had a good time; I made a huge professional goal for myself (studying for and taking a bar exam in another state) to expand my career and I studied my butt off while working and dealing with Divorce crap and I rocked it!!!!; I have gotten closer to a nice cheater-free boyfriend I met a year ago and have great boundaries and am getting male companionship when I need it; I bought a paddleboard and go out on the lake several times a week; I’m almost completely no contact with STBX and limit him to one channel-gmail and keep the responses to bare minimum “yes” “no” and only as it relates to our kids — I truly believe that no contact is healing me from the extreme trauma bond I had to my abuser; I have a very close girlfriend I’ve never met in person but who is going through the exact same thing and we are both on CL 24/7 and support eachother with texts all day long as we are trying to “gain a life” and heal from this devastation; and most days I feel hopeful about the future — a future without my husband and the best friend I thought he was (he was actually acting as my worst enemy would) and I’m truly peaceful, content, and happy. I credit CL and CN more than anything else!

    • If all you had done wasTHIS, you would be mighty: “I offered to hold off on D if he went to drug and alcohol treatment, broke off all contact with OW, devoted a year to IC and working on fixing whatever defect led to the devalue and discard, and a post nuptial that gave me 80% and lifetime maintenance of marriage failed– he refused.”

      Now there, limbo chumps, is how to figure out if a cheater is “remorseful.” First, kick his butt out and then lay out measurable conditions for reconciliation. So impressed.

      • And 99.8% of the time, they’re never remorseful nor do they change. (Been on this site 1.75 years, know LOTS of individual stories, and only *1*–count it, 1–story qualifies as remorseful, with the cheater admitting it was all his fault. But he left anyway.) You’re more likely to be hit by lightning than have a successful long-term reconciliation (and the lightning strike would be less painful).

        • Tempest, make that 1 1/2…..Weasel apologized and even said he didn’t try in the “relationship” the last years…..even said don’t blame yourself, you are a wonderful woman…..GAG! LOL

    • ” have a smaller circle of friends but every one is 100 % supportive and nurturing — I don’t spend any time on anyone who isn’t; I sleep a full 7-9 hours a night; I like living with my kids and no man in the house”

      WORD!!!!

    • MotherChump99, I want to give you a high five and a hug!! Your new life sounds amazing! Thanks for sharing, it’s encouraging to hear your growth, my D-day was on 12/24 of this year. I’m making progress, but still processing the trauma. I too thought my husband was my best friend. It’s quite a shock on Christmas Eve to discover he is actually like you said your enemy. But I know better days are ahead!! We are mighty!!??

      • NotThisGirl, I’m so sorry that your DDay was Dec. 24. Mine was a week before Halloween, and then all the Fall holidays were fucked right up: she spent Thanksgiving with the OM, then we got into a huge fight on 12/24, when we were outside after coming home from her sister’s. I thought the kids wouldn’t hear, but DD18 was standing in the window, watching. Then we came inside and were supposed to open their one traditional gift of that night, and DD was crying. It was awful. I’m sure those memories will find plenty of opportunity to raise their ugly heads on future holidays. Sorry again.

        • You know, I read your stories, and they make me wince and squint and wonder all over again, “WTaF is wrong with these freaks???” They’re such losers! They’re soooooo self-centered, so impulsive, so into immediate gratification, so destructive, and all alike. No matter what brand of cheater they are, they’re really all alike.

          And that’s the value of this forum. You read story after story after story and eventually a pattern emerges–it becomes so easy to see, first in other people’s stories, (“Why would ANYONE see anything of any value in someone like THAT??”) and then it finally occurs to you that the jackass twat YOU’RE pining for is in the same damned category. And why would I find anything of any value in THAT idiot??

          And then Meh comes.

          But mighty needs to come even before that. It takes exercise, of course, but by the time Meh comes, and you’re stronger from being mighty, it’s such a wonderful convergence.

          To everyone posting here–well done! You’re helping yourselves and you’re helping everyone reading your post.

          HUGS HUGS HUGS!!

        • It’s so sad to go through this, but especially around the holidays. We always had real Christmas trees. Of course I was the one who decorated it and took it down and cleaned up the mess. This past year I bought the most beautiful fake Christmas tree on Amazon. It’s prelit with pine cones. I had one decoration on it. It was an ornament I bought from NYC, my first trip there. This year I will have two decorations. I will add the ornament that I bought in Puerto Rico. I will continue to add to my new tree as I add to my new life.

      • Sorry the DDay was also Christmas ? I’m a huge “Christmas traditions” person. However, the kids and I survived our first Christmas season and made a few new traditions. You only have to do the first one once! It hurt like a mofo– going through all the 1992 wedding ornaments, putting away the “Daddy” stocking, etc etc etc.”. This year WILL be easier than last and I imagine the following years will get easier and easier. Time heals if we stay NC.

  • For the newbies:
    I was abandoned without warning by a stone cold sociopath cheater. I have a daughter with special needs. I was hospitalized twice.

    Three years out: I’m raising my daughter, won in court for great child support and alimony, bought my own home and have a thriving business.

    Newbies (and everyone else): don’t you EVER give up!!!

  • After 4 + years living on a knife edge with visa regs and work restrictions I have finally managed to achieve permanent residency ( 2 weeks ago! those familiar with visa regs, particularly in Australia, may understand how difficult this is).

    One of the hardest things I have found about recovering from being a chump is dealing with the gas lighting and low self esteem. Try working in a foreign country in a limited job occupation because of the visa constraints with not 1, but 2, misogynistic sociopathic bosses and come out the other side unscathed. Whilst we all know bullying in the workplace exists, nothing prepared me for the verbal & physical abuse (yes items being thrown at your head!!!) and intimidation and discrimination that I have endured to finally achieve (through my own expense) – I actually thought I had gone back 20-30yrs in time!

    The only thing that prevented me from getting on a plane and returning back to my homeland was that after 16+ years wasted on my cheating XH I was gonna get something out of this situation and have more options. My support network was here (my sister) so it made sense to hold on but I was close on many occasions to throwing in the towel.

    It’s hard to grow and recover as an individual if when you try and set boundaries but yet these do not apply in the workplace. I encountered daily triggers by my horrible bosses and as a consequence it steadily increased my anxiety attacks, but I am quite proud of the fact that I eventually stood my ground against these horrible individuals and managed a coping strategy which has resulted in me securing an opportunity to have more choices in my future. I am currently searching for a new job and contemplating what I would like to do now. I do get scared about being single – financially insecure and on the mature side of the the recruitment pool but I now have the confidence to tackle it and I have learnt a hell of a lot about myself along the way.

    At the moment I consider my ability to deal with daily snarky, undermining comments (much like living with my XH) in the workplace for the last 4 years seems a bigger achievement than my divorce and I am no longer afraid of moving forward. I have a regular gym routine, I meditate, and I have recently joined a weekly meet up group for live music (my social outing). I have also rescued a lovely affectionate cat called Boris, he’s my TV/Bed companion.

    Life is looking much rosier nowadays………I would never have thought that in 2012…

    • How horrid! Fuck those co-workers! Can you sue them for creating a hostile work environment? Talk to an employment lawyer?
      Throwing object at you? That’s assault and battery!

      • Not in western Au – it’s another world – trust me, no normal HR rules apply it can be adhered to ( in the surface) ?? unreal – I have kept one of the objects hurled at me- a highlighter that zipped past my nose- it’s a running joke amongst my friends. ?
        When I eventually get my own place I shall spray it gold and frame it – like a badge of honour ?

          • Dilbert – I love your mightiness! You say, ‘Not in western Au – it’s another world – trust me, no normal HR rules apply it can be adhered to’

            I hear you a little bit there. I’m in the US but I used to sell wholesale lumber to Australia and W. Aussies were my biggest customers. Perth, north to Brisbane and other tasty areas, as well as south to where the big Jarrah trees were. They had the wildest bars and I’m from Montana!
            As you know, it IS a mans’ world! I was the only export gal that ever showed up in their country, especially W. Aus. Mostly, I was treated well and they gave me business just for my guts, I guess, but i saw very clearly how distinct their culture is with men vs women.

            I wish you luck – you are a hero for getting through workplace bullying. But, I understand it in places like the entire lumber business, oil business, and especially the home life. Women cook and care for the kids, absolutely. For those that don’t know. NW Aussie is much like SE US in many cultural ways.

            • lol – I’ll never forget the ‘boss’ on the trading floor, getting up mad and flinging a chair high in the air – nobody knew where it would land so we all ducked. Fucker was crazy! And, this is in the US.

              • Haha SheChump, that would have been funny to watch, glad someone believes me when I tell them about the work culture here, my friends back in Ireland and the UK think I am exaggerating! I once avoided a construction helmet one being hurled across a site donga in my direction one afternoon….these managers were neanderthal at times, when I complained I was ‘reassigned to another project’ is it any wonder I am still single in this neck of the woods… lol ……..hopefully outta this industry for good soon!

  • I don’t really have anything to add today, but I love the stories of these loser creeps being kicked out on their asses where they belong. And being forgotten and discarded like yesterday’s McDonald’s wrapper. Bravo.

    • Ever had a boss who pulled a gun on his 5 female staff because he was drunk and didn’t want to sign our pay cheques? Then he mumbled ‘you bitches only work here for the money’ We all ducked and ran, came back the next Monday, he threw the office keys at the oldest ‘bitch’, told her to bring him the cheque book, made her write the cheques, then he signed them. Aahh, the eighties were fun… South of France, 1986.

  • I just sent my ex a business-like email about our kids’ schedules and received a snarky, passive-aggressive reply to which I just rolled my eyes and then just moved on with my day. A couple of years ago, I likely would have become infuriated and found someone to rant to. I’ve finally accepted the fact that my ex is an unhappy person who will always find a way to make our interactions difficult, but it’s not my fault, and it’s not my problem.

    I still have my bad days, but meh is something I experience more and more. It will come to you, new folks, I promise. After everything my ex has put me and our kids through, feeling meh more often than not makes me feel mighty!

    • ‘ I’ve finally accepted the fact that my ex is an unhappy person who will always find a way to make our interactions difficult, but it’s not my fault, and it’s not my problem. ‘

      Thank you so much for this reminder, MovingOn. I have very little contact w/the ex these days (4 years out), but this is so the case, and I just have to remind myself of this, so as not to waste my emotional energy when it happens AGAIN.

      • I Am 5 yrs out. We are separated, but I tell you, I am finally getting it thur my thick head, he & I will just not agree w how it all went down, so now I just bear & grin it, cuz I know it’s just not worth my time… Nor emotions any more…

  • This is a bit tough for me today. Meeting with lawyer yesterday and not only is wackjob in a position to keep his share of my inheritance he can also keep my share of all of our joint assets such as motorcycles house trailer etc and does not have to pay me back money his company owes mine. He can also stick me with half of the crazy debt he has put his company in since I am still a major shareholder until an agreement is reached.. Ok but mightiness–I have finished with my counselor for now (funding done) and she says I am definitely a successful story after only 11 months.
    Anxiety depression and cptsd much much better. .I no longer feel trauma bonded no longer feel codependent. I don’t love him anymore. That is a huge step after 37 years of loving him. He is despicable and I really see him now…he won’t ever abuse me again (except for court if we get there ugh). Keep me in your prayers. My separation offer goes out today.positive thoughts. “I am getting what I need in the settlement”. Thanks cl you helped to get me this far…

    • Hang in there, SadLady. Just slogging through the endless legal and financial process each day takes tremendous might. You are DOING IT! Keep at it with your atty’s help and use whatever leverage you can to minimize the damage to your position. I, too, had to sacrifice half of my assets while X got away with dissipating hundreds of thousands of dollars of marital assets. I was so pissed! But in the end I considered myself fortunate to have finalized the divorce just prior to thanksgiving — if we had gone into the new year I would have been liable for hundreds of thousands in business taxes and potentially millions in business debt. Sometimes we have to cut our losses to keep from being dragged further down to the abyss! Prayers for you as you continue the process. You are mighty!!!!!

    • That division sounds fishy to me. Are you sure your lawyer is sharp and a fighter? Maybe spend a few more dollars (ugh) and get a second opinion. Here’s hoping he’s just laying out worst-case scenario.

    • SadLady, prayers going out to you! I know when you get news like that you can feel overwhelmed and as if the wind has been knocked out of you. When I started to think about all of the things I was going to lose, I came up with a way to make it easier. I put eveythjng through my ultimate truth, which was I did not want to be married to a cheater. So I would ask myself, a question, ” Do you want to live in your beautiful house?” And the answer was yes, but then I asked myself, “Do you want to live in your beautiful house with a cheater?” And the answer was No!! I I did this with eveythjng I was going to have to give up and I found there wasn’t anything I wanted bad enough to stay with a cheater. So I encourage you to do the same thing with everything you feel like you’re going to lose. So for instance, do you want to keep all of your inheritance? The answer is of course yes. But then ask yourself, “Do you want to keep all your inheritance and have to live the rest of your life with a cheater, the answer is most likely, NO!! Even though it feels horrible right now, ultimately you are the one coming out ahead. Whatever the cost may be… a life of love, peace, and freedom is worth it. Hope that helps and make sure your lawyer is a pitbull!!!

      • Thanks everyone. He is sooo dodgy that is how he will get away with it. That and the fact that our joint assets are in his company’s name( insurance purposes–wish I had known ugh). Plus I’m trying to get his share of my inheritance (not entitled to under Canadian law-‘my hard working parents woukd roll over in their graves). Also it’s hard to get the business debt his company owes mine -all of this after he blew hundreds of thousands in his company by lying to me about having assets to cover the debt. Also he didn’t earn a pay cheque the last year of our marriage oh yes he planned it fir the last 4 years–what a despicable human being…

    • Going through the same with traitor. He didn’t have a pot to piss in when we met, now he wants half of everything. I was 42 when we met, and could have retired to live off my property investments. All he had was 2 ex wives and 4 kids, and was unemployed. His Highness claimed to despise money, ha ha! Hang in there. We need to remind ourselves of how stupid and lazy they are, so they are bound to sink to the bottom while we will bob back up to the surface. CL, excellent timing with the mightiness check, thank you. Needed this!

  • Started to teach yoga full time. Took more time to take care of myself and my needs. Started to work at a yoga studio (considered the best in our town) last year. Got promoted to LEAD Yoga Teacher with double pay. I have more self-confidence, self-respect, self-esteem, and the same time more compassion toward my weaknesses (I still love the EX). Working on letting go of the delusional idea that somehow my EX will change and be a better human.

  • I can cook a few proper meals now. Later On I’m taking my son abroad for a holiday by myself. It’s been more than two years since I cried.

  • 1. Full custody, with child support and alimony (Presbyterianpastor ex moved to states away, leaving not just me but the kids too)
    2. Bought an adorable house in a great neighborhood, have been updating it a little at a time. New floors everywhere!
    3. Got a job. Lost it (no tenure, unit was cut), then got another job.
    4. Found a new man friend who is interested in me (which is unexpected and frankly kind of shocking)
    5. Free from secrets, lies, daily heartbreaking discoveries. I’m telling my truth. I see zero need to protect him.
    6. I’m definitely feeling the meh, and it is a wonderful thing.

  • Mine came last week when I watched the judge rip the ex a new one for lying about every claim he made against me at our custody trial (which he filed less than a year after we FINALLY finalized our divorce, after he dragged it out for over two years). He wanted full custody and for ME to pay HIM and the wifetress whom live inn another state. (So basically flip and reverse the entire divorce decree). Guess he didn’t realize you need actual PROOF of the ridiculous claims he made against me? Ooops! I wish I had a bowl of popcorn when the judge flipped out on him. It was awesome… justice at last!!!!

    • Isn’t it incredible how they think that they are above the law? I think that they are so enamored with their superiority that they do not believe that the rules apply to them. Good for you and good for your judge! Mine made us sign a wage garnishment contract for spousal support to make it more “iron clad” at the divorce date before we left. I guess she saw right through him too!

      • Chumpasaurus Rex, yes!! It blows my mind how arrogant they can be! My only gripe is wondering how he even was able to take it THIS far with zero proof. There should be some sort of screening process in place before chumps are forced to fork out thousands of dollars simply to show the narcs are full of shit.

  • I don’t see much growth but I guess there’s some. I cry a lot less, I’m not the marriage police anymore, I’m not being treated like crap by him. I have less anxiety. I get up and love my kids every day. I am managing the house alone. I got a full time job after 13 years at home. I’m very grateful for my friends and their support.

    • That is a LOT of growth. So… you care for your home and your children with minimal input, you work full time, after more than a decade out of the paid employment workforce, your emotional wellbeing is much more stable and less miserable. I’d say that’s pretty impressive!

      You sound quite down and flat, and that’s probably because you’re just tired and worn out – hardly surprising – but know that all of these things are huge achievements.

    • Sometimes getting up, going to work and loving your kids is the mightiest thing of all.
      Stay strong, believe in yourself and each day will be one more towards contentment and happiness.

    • You are very mighty and you can definitely do this! I like that you have gratitude for your supportive friends. Stay strong. Love and healing to you.

  • I am at the beginning of my journey. My STBX still lives in my house and has a girlfriend on the side. It’s not going too well with the (married) girlfriend, so he’s taking it out on me, with scathing text messages. Yay for the block function!

    Anyway, despite this, and after getting yet another, text message full of bullshit (I didn’t read it all), yesterday, I put my best foot forward and got hired for a job! Nothing fancy, it’s a cashier’s job at a local super market. But, it’s my first step towards independence from my crazy, abusive STBX.

    I also have a friend who’s going to keep an eye open for positions at her place of employment, which, should I get it, pays double AND is in the field I plan to study once the divorce is over.

  • I go to court in a little over a week. Although anxious, I know I can do this. It will be over two years since I’ve seen him. I’m working, taking care of my home. My son is doing better. We are both less anxious and rarely talk about Dodo. Although I think about him the thoughts are no longer consuming. Someone told me love is not a feeling, it’s a choice. I really thought about that and realize it’s true. He made a choice to cheat, lie, walk away. I have a choice too and I choose not to love him.

    • LadyJane

      “I have a choice too and I choose not to love him.”

      This I believe was my very first and difficult step in detoxing from my abuser. I told my therapist I wanted to stop loving him. This by far was the greatest task I struggled with. First he tortured me and in staying I tortured myself. My thoughts of him changed drastically from love to relief that he’s no longer my problem.

      Sending you positive energy, thoughts and strength for your court date.

      • Thank you, Doingme. This is a long process and those first nine months are the worst. It is hard for us who invested wholeheartedly to stop loving someone. I suppose in the end we have to choose to love ourselves and save our sanity.

        Wishing you the best.

  • It’s been over a year since my divorce was finalized.

    I bought a new (orange) car.

    Sold my home and moved to the country where I garden and raise chickens.

    I got my dream job as the magazine editor at my company.

    Took a dream trip to Israel this summer.

    I have so much more money now that idiot isn’t spending it all and hoarding up the house.

    I wake up everyday with gratitude of the peace and joy in my life.

    He on the other hand is in debt, hoarded up his new unfinished home, has relationship problems with his new girlfriend and her daughters, has even more broken down cars in his driveway. So glad to be off the crazy train!

    • Woohoo, ChumpedtotheMax! Turns out he was beneath you all along; congrats on all the achievements after kicking him to the curb.

  • Love love love the mightiness check-in and reading everyone’s triumphs, small and large. Small victories mean so much to chumps, large victories feel like the universe is back in balance.

    I’ve been working my ass off for the past year, and yesterday I got a huge promotion, along with a 15K raise. Hallelujah!!!

    I can definitely see meh from here, many days I even feel grateful for all of it. The pain was worth it.

    Thanks CN and CL, love you!

  • I laughed at the “start the lawnmower yourself.” I went out to do the yard work shortly after he left. I remember him complaining about the lawn mower not working. I texted him asking did it still work – what was the deal. He texted back get a new lawn mower or get a gardener. I put gas and oil in the lawn mower and it started right up. Next – the gas weed eater. Had a friend show me how to start it. When it ran out of wire I couldn’t get the head off. Asked next door neighbor. He couldn’t get it off. Asked gardener working across the street. He got it off but couldn’t put it back on. I took the weed eater, sat down and figured it out. I used that gas weed eater until it fell apart. I love doing my own yard.
    Having less laundry, less groceries, no tantrums in the house, lower utility bills… wonderful.
    This 50 year old STBXH took his 23 y.o. coworker camping in our camper that’s in my back yard that I am paying for. Said he was taking our daughter camping, but also took OW. Weeks later I had to go in there for something, snapped from the anger, and threw his helmet. Hit and bent some blinds. Later he sees it and says what a bitch I am for bending the blinds. Uhhhh – what is he, taking his OW camping in our camper? Lol Their logic – they have none. Only their twisted justifications.

    • Yes exactly. Mine threatened to call the police when I said he needed to contribute to the mortgage before he picked up the trailer to bring the OW and her daughter camping (something he would only do under duress and miserably at that). The trailer never came back…he did say “his” trailer. ..never mind it was my hard work renting out our cottage that paid for it. …

      • Amazing how everything belongs to them that they paid for because they have the dick? Good riddance to the trailer hopefully him his whore and the kid will have to live in it! Sad for the kid. Asswipe prefers whore juices kids over his own. And now my girl keeps a great distance and the boy only uses him to beg for money. Asswipe is assending deeper and deeper into the pits of hell, now he has deveoped ulcers on top of all his other health woes. And i couldnt be more delighted for him. After all he did this to himself.

        • I was incredibly angry that he does seem to choose her child over his own 2 children( grown up or not I say). My kids will see him for what he is, they just don’t want to now. He didn’t even wish his son a happy birthday. I don’t want the trailer back anyway he is like a dog marking his territory with his sl#t. I would never use it again.

          • Some dont deserve to have children because they are pods and how stupid is whore juice that he treats her children better than his own. And she likes it! Appalling! Your young one will grow up being loved and adored by you! He will see his sperm donor for what he really is one day. They the cheater pods are the destroyers of life they dont get to win. You are mighty!

    • FindingPeace, your lawn mower and weed eater story could have been mine! Same situation – he didn’t take care of what we had like I thought he did. When I did a little maintenace on those items, they worked just fine for me. I read the manual and figured it out without him.

      • See, that’s the whole story of my relationship with cheater narc (and his relationship with our kids) in a nutshell, ” he didn’t take care of what we had like I thought he did. When I did a little maintenace on those items, they worked just fine for me. I read the manual and figured it out without him.”

      • Learning to use the riding mower was a huge step for me, since I have a few acres to cut. I still like push mowing but just don’t always have time when the weather is right. But I outsource mower maintenance!

        • Me too. You wouldn’t believe the things I’ve run over with the mower. Then there was the headless snake. Damn dogs. I really really hate snakes. I went around this snake so I didn’t have to see it. Almost in tears. Thank God for my neighbor who came and got it for me.

  • My house will close soon and the mess will be over. After yesterday when i found info i never wanted to hear or see that i wasnt looking for and found by accident. Asswipe usually hides evidence in his tool box. I can say i the last switch turned off. I have no feelings at all for asswipe and zero respect and today i feel good that that switch turned off. I have a new little house picked out and i woke up this morning thinking i hate him but i dont i feel nothing for he is nothing hes proved it time and again hes nothing. And i feel mighty knowing all of you here and a shout out to tempest whose note to me made me smile. I will wera the dead eyes a few weeks now and then start on that big trail to meh!

    • KM- I bet in the next mighty shout out you will be so much further on – finding out even more damaging info about the ass swipes we were with months/ years after the event is not helpful but sometimes helps ‘seal a nail in the coffin’ . I remember 3 yrs after leaving the XH finding out some damning evidence that validated my ‘ rantings’ any remaining threads of compassion I had for him disappeared in a nano second. hugs to you

      • Thank you digbert i know i will be mightyier. But when i move i cut all ties. My kids are aware dont tell me anything about the sperm donor and reveal nothing of me to him. My kids are fine with it they rarely interact with him. He only wants them around occasionly to show off as big daddy. They know that and keep their distance. Asswipe is aware hes losing cred with them but seems to not care. His loss. They call me to share their good news or to vent to mom. Him hes gets nothing. Pisses him off but as my grandma always said you get out of life what you put in. He gives nothing of himself and is only fixated on his screaming old penis. After yesterday that was the ultimate final straw now i no longer care if he lives, breathes or dies. He is nothing.

        • Yes this Kaar Marie. He ignores our son completely. Does try to hoover daughter and she does keep him in her life but it seems like only to help her with her car. She still will not go to the OW;s house to see him and I’m sure doesn’t appreciate the new much younger “sister” he’s trying to ram down her throat. They don’t really talk about him and I refrain from asking too. Its for the best really. My daughter recently said she wants to do Christmas dinner and only for me her and her brother–win for me!! I am being the sane parent…

  • I am getting better at responding to my BS meter, speaking up about what I need, asking tough questions, refusing to accept BS answers, and being willing to move on from any person who can’t reciprocate healthy relating behaviors.

  • Thanks to this blog, I have come a long way. Most times I don’t feel like a fool as he created a mockery of me and gave the AP ammunition so that she could continue to fire at the already wounded.

    As I was working on my masters when I discovered the affair and had made up my mind that I would not live through another affair. I completed my masters degree, passed my certification exam and work as a counselor. I have exceeded all rehab performance requirements my first year on the job-not certain how b/c it has been so difficult to focus. He mistakenly sends me texts meant for his AP so I finally blocked his number and I am enjoying the no contact. Miraculously one of his phone conversations with the AP was recorded to my home phone-I was sad but relieved at the same time as I got a chance to hear them discuss me and confirmed that he will never change.

    Importantly, my home is filled with love. My daughters and I are enjoying the peace of our home-no longer dealing with an individual who found fault or criticism in everything we did b/c he is fucked up.

    He hasn’t signed the separation agreement and it’s been almost a year now-I held off due to money but will no longer allow this to stop me from the divorce. Giving him 30 days then will file a motion. Divorce from him is priceless!!!

    Thanks CL and CN for investing time, effort, and resources to save the wounded!

    • Grateful,
      It does not matter now, but don’t buy for a minute he was “mistakenly” sending you those texts. One time? Yes. More than once? No way. He wanted you to see them.

      Sadist!

      • Yep – they do this shit on purpose and then say, “whoops, my bad! Shucks, I’m sorry! LOL”

        They ALWAYS add that stupid “lol” after one of their “innocent” fuckups.

    • “Importantly, my home is filled with love. My daughters and I are enjoying the peace of our home-no longer dealing with an individual who found fault or criticism in everything we did b/c he is fucked up. ”

      THIS!!!

    • Omg — this happened to me too: “Miraculously one of his phone conversations with the AP was recorded to my home phone-I was sad but relieved at the same time as I got a chance to hear them discuss me and confirmed that he will never change.”

      Before I went NC and blocked him, STBX used to call and text me incessantly. He called from work, got my VM, thought he hung up but actually conferenced her and their conversation was left on my VM. His inflections (think JR High sing-song voice) to OW were literally sickening. Completely fake and sickly sweet. She sounded like a moron too. All this time he was telling me he was no longer seeing her and fishing with me for more cake but in fact they were living together!

  • I sold the marital home without a realtor (saved$$). Sold, donated or packed all the stuff from that big beautiful house myself. I bought a cute little townhouse that was in need of TLC which I have given it. It’s a blessing every day to wake up in a place that’s minne where I feel safe and happy again. This is the first time in my life I have lived alone and I love it! Well, not alone – the cat is with me and D is here when she’s home from college.

    I traded my car in on a new one. Glad to be away from the memories of cheater jumping in the backseat so he could text his women while either D or I drove us. I went to a different dealership/saleperson that the one cheater was sending his local women to for car help.

    I moved D home for the summer from her successful 1st year of college. Helped her transfer to another larger school that offers the major she wants. Moved her in there yesterday. I must mention that cheater scheduled an out of town work trip the week of her moving home and the week of her to her new school. Asshole – not there for his kid. Course I was fine with not having to see him.

    I was contacted by Switzerland couple on my birthday that I haven’t talked to in over a year. They asked to get together and I declined saying that I’d like to keep my personal life private. I don’t think they will contact me again.

    I’m staying busy at work and trying to be more focused than I was when my personal life was a mess.

    I’m grateful every day to have cheater out of my life. I’m slowly finding me again, working on re-buildng my self esteem and boundaries. After DDay, I tried out a meditation group and really liked it. I wasn’t able to attend while I was packing and moving but I’m going consistantly again now. It helps me to relax and focus on what’s important to me now instead of the past.

    Probably plento of other things I could mention here but these are the highlights.

    • I loved reading your mightiness story! I saw so many parallels to my own, especially the sense of safety and gratitude. I have that too and it’s marvelous! Thanks for sharing!! <3

    • Congrats washing off the dirt of cheater–new house, new car, new friends. (You’re my idol for how you handled the Switzerland friends, the one area of my life in which I still don’t feel mighty).

  • Well, everything broke (septic system, washer, car etc) at the same time. Everything that is but me. No panic here. I just handled it all.

    • Better, you are the BOSS! Amazing how much less stressful all that broken stuff is, when you’re not being undermined by a narc cheater!

      • BoN and KarenE, for me, the there was added stress when dealing with those things. I *thought* I had a partner for life but when the stressful, broken things came up, he was all of a sudden missing, too busy, or whatever to help out. So I was on my own even though he was there. [likely the same for you guys too] I was more frustrated because I got zero help from him than I was dealing with whatever the issue was. When those things come up now, I won’t say they’re not stressful but that added stress of ‘being alone even though you’re with someone’ is gone.

  • I have not media checked, cyber spied, or telespoofed my X or his harem of whores since 4 August 2016.

    I put away all cards, gifts and reminders of X.

    I have stopped having fantasies about him showing remorse or apologizing to me, or even contacting me.

    I have started working again.

    I keep my house clean.

    I take care of my pets religiously.

    I lost 22 libs. (I could have gone the other way and become a small shed. I love to eat.)

    I laughed while watching Scrubs DVDs.

    I paid all my bills and maintained good credit even though I wanted to say “Fuck it.”

    I mostly stopped toying with the idea of giving up on life.

  • I’ve been putting off searching for a new job for a while now and but I finally got stopped dragging my feet and sent out a few applications. I got a call the next day and I’m now going in for a 3rd interview on Monday. This would be a higher level job (a director level) and a big pay increase. I really could use this money and I am really excited about working for this organization. Fingers crossed for me!

    • Good luck and good for you! I feel like after I got out of my situation, I definitely had a fire under my ass like never before. Glad that you are progressing!!! 🙂

  • I’m halfway to finding meh, I figure, because I still think of him and Twat-face a lot, and have the occasional “what if he realizes his mistake and comes back” moments, now quickly followed by “He’d no longer fit into my life.”

    I work from home, so with him gone it’s quieter, I can have my own guilt-free schedule, and the food in the pantry lasts longer. My car died, so I rent one as I need it. I’m not rushing into another guy or another car. I took my summer holidays, and found some time to work in the garden but mostly I’ve been working hard. I maintained my clients through all the crap, and appeased my creditors, so even though I’m greatly in the hole financially, I’m staging our pretty house in a crappy city, and planning to move to a pretty house in a pretty town 6 hours away for far less money, less debt, and new places to explore. I can hardly wait.

    Moving far away is a big improvement, because originally I was going to move to a town close to here that he wouldn’t mind moving to if he wanted to come back to me … and then I’d sit there and wait for him to come.

    It wasn’t an overnight decision to finally be on my own and give up hopeless thoughts of reconciliation. I’m 2 years out from D-day, and at least 4 years out (but could be 12) from him abandoning me in his heart. I’m giving myself one more year of “taking time to think” and then it’s “ME-H Time”.

    • Champs, my biggest fear in life (aside from anything happening to my child) is that Narkles the Clown realizes his mistake and tries to come back. Does Chump Nation have an emergency bail line?

      • AOoK……same here……aside from anything happening to my child, is that Weasel tries to come back. Hell to the NO!!!!!

      • I went through that same fear while I was in the process of the separation agreement and divorce. I was in fear that the OW would kick him out and that being homeless he would decide to move back since he was still on the deed. In the early days I was also afraid that if he asked I would be weak and let him live in the house. Then there was the whole not feeling safe thing. What if he just showed up and walked in? I never kept my guns loaded when I was at home. But that changed and not only were they loaded, but extra magazines were at hand. It was horrible and if I let myself I can still get that sinking feeling in the pit of my stomach.

        Now it’s all mine and he does not have anything left here. I still went through a bunch of scenarios in my mind of what I would do or say. I had pithy remarks at the ready. The scripting in my imagination was fabulous. I have a new script now, should that day ever come It’s easy to remember and I don’t have to write it down. I will say, “No.” If I’m feeling extra talkative, I will say, “Fuck no!”

  • Love this!

    I have survived four years of court battles, and in the process:

    1. Was very validated when our court-ordered psych evals came back perfect for me and with a diagnosis of narcissistic personality disorder for him.

    2. I stayed a business which is hugely successful and allows me to work from home, meaning I have gotten to spend four beautiful years raising my daughter.

    3. After finding two very shitty (and then one terrific) counselors, I felt called to address the lack of therapists equipped to deal with targets of Cluster B psychos and, to that end, I am now over halfway thru my master’s degree in clinical mental health counseling. And have just been accepted into a PhD program, because I want to be the one administering the psych evals and advocating for kids and their non-disordered parents.

    4. I’m no longer scared to use my love and my voice to advocate for myself and my daughter, even in the face of a horribly broken family court system.

  • I am starting to take better care of my health again. That’s actually a big deal to me, it’s my self-esteem going in the correct direction. 🙂

  • Since D-day 1.5 years ago I’ve learned to enforce boundaries, bought a new bike and got back into mountain biking, lost 34 pounds and is back to my 20 something physique. I divorced my cheater shortly after d-day and wonder now what I ever saw in her!

    Also, my picker has much improved. I met a super attractive woman last week at a concert and ended up having drinks with her after the show. After talking to her for a bit, I realized how selfish she was. Now chumpy old me would have overlooked that and made all sorts of excuses for her. But new me deleted her number that same night. It was a new experience because the entire time we were talking I felt like I was looking at her through a new lens. Although she was physically very attractive, her personality made her very unattractive. I felt like I leveled up.

    I’m certainly not so bent on having someone like that in my life anymore despite their personality or history, as a friend or otherwise. I’m OK by myself now. Had to learn that the hard way! But man she was hot! I was disappointed but better now than later.

    • HI Michael,
      Can I ask what made her so “hot”? I am really curious. I never lose my mind over men I see anywhere. It leads me to believe that men and women are truly different in the way they view the world.

      I would never remember or even consider someone because they were “hot” that I knew for a “hot” minute. It would not matter to me. I grieve the emotional connection and sex and intimacy with someone I was engaged to…but a stranger does not capture me like that.

      I am asking you honestly. Your regret is how hot she was, but you are glad that you saw she was selfish. But you still focus heavily on her looks and your decision to not pursue them as a “disappointment”. (But man she was hot!)

      I guess looks ARE that big of deal to men?

      • ‘Hotness’ is not just a guy thing at all. I can easily walk away from a hot guy who is openly grandiose, but my ex was a hot guy playing the vulnerability card (sad sausage narc), and I can fully admit now that the hotness was pretty blinding!

        Now I just give things time; people’s character shows with time, IF my eyes are open. And the blinding effects of hotness do cool down with time!

        • I agree that it’s not just a guy thing. If someone is nice to look at, it definitely peaks my interest, as they are “my type”. Any person, guy or girl, can be deceptive regardless of looks. For some of us chump women, the hot guy gets a pass for just a little while longer, but thankfully, the blinders eventually come off! 🙂

          Sylvia’s question is what made her so hot… I would start with definitely physical appearance… then when they open their mouths, it can change everything. It can make them even morrre attractive or really ugly…

      • Sylvia, what KarenE, Peakyblinders, and Tempest said. I just meant she was physically attractive. For me a beautiful face and especially if they look kind, is what draws me initially. Even as a child I admired women’s faces. But as we all know looks can be deceiving. It most definitely is not just a guy thing as I have women friends who find certain men “hot”, whatever that may mean to them.

        And I have no “regrets” about this stranger whom I spent 2 hours talking to because it made me realize how much I’ve grown in 1.5 years. My DISAPPOINTMENT comes from the fact that she was obviously not mate material. If I focused heavily on her looks, I would have ignored all the red flags. And the whole point of my post was that I didn’t and that her personality undid any initial attraction.

        • I completely agree. I was called by our department attorney to interview a man who claimed to be a victim of harassment. He was very “hot” and seemed to have it all, humor, intelligence, looks, the whole package. Then he told his story. I remained very professional but it’s a very good thing the weasly bastard could not read my mind. He’s still very good looking but no longer attractive.

        • Yep, a hot guy will turn my head every time! I may not go for it anymore but beauty still gets me. I am cis woman, but I’ve also seen women that are so smokin hot I find them attractive too – alas, not my thing.

  • I went on holidays to Phuket.

    I asked a guy out, and even though he only wants to be friends he is lovely and I have a new friend.

    I bought a push bike and am learning to ride properly at 47.

    I am buying a fishing rod tomorrow and learning how to fish – haven’t done it since I was a kid.

    I have continued to go to the gym, do line dancing, read, get together with my friends.

    I am 7 months out and honestly at meh – I no longer wish for friendship with my STBX.

  • What did I do? let’s see here. I told the OMs wife who has an 8 year old daughter, we have since become great friends (She is leaving that chump with her daughter). I have gotten a better job and moved to a new city alone, and for the first time in 2 years I am falling in love with another person. All the while my ex is still with a dude that left his wife and kid cheated on his family and is cheating on her. It took me a while but I realized who I am and that this stuff is not my fault.

  • Moved to a new state 3 years ago. Learned spouse had been cheating with a female coworker a few months after we arrived. Lived the next 2.5 years in misery and sadness, holed up in my house having almost no contact with anyone in the new town. I’ve been on my own now for 3.5 months and have several neighbors I now chat with, have joined a school booster group where I now have a couple actual real friends, and plan to start volunteering at the food bank weekly when school starts next week. I am extremely introverted so all of these seemingly minor steps at joining the town community are extremely outside of my comfort zone. I am very pleased at my progress! Baby steps!

    And the stuff you guys are posting is incredible!! I want to be you when I grow up!!

    • Good for you, Dixie! Progress is still progress no matter how small you may feel it is. I am proud of you being able to move on and know that you will continue to grow and thrive!

    • Not small at all. Volunteering is a huge thing for the people who benefit from it. Booster group is a two for one – kids see you supporting them and you’re meeting people you can have community with. Huge. huge!

  • Tomorrow is the year anniversary of my divorce and all I feel (and felt then) is RELIEF! I am so happy that I got that douche canoe out of my life and away from me whilst he continues his downward spiral. Mightiness check:

    I have a beautiful apartment that is decorated girly and cute (I don’t have to worry about making it gender-neutral).

    I have both of my sweet, little dogs.

    I am kicking ass at work and expecting a promotion and raise in the Fall.

    I am dating again but REALLY good at reading red flags and saying “boy bye” before it goes too far (just last night a guy I thought was cool told me how emotionally confused he was that his ex “popped” back into his life, but he still wanted to spend the day with me today. NOPE!)

    I have amazing friends and a great family. I have cut all of the toxic people OUT!

    I just refinanced my student loans and will be paying much less than I had been.

    But, perhaps the best part is that I feel like I have truly arrived at MEH. I trust that he sucks (how could I not after all of his shitty behavior?) And, I feel liberated and truly comfortable being single and doing me.

    • Pre Chump Lady is would have said, “Ah, the guy chose to hang out with you over his ex. Isn’t that great.” Now I’m with you, “Bye.” So glad you are able to see through the crap. I’m hoping I will be as quick.

  • I’m at 2 years since the final D-day when he left to be with the OW and her two young kids.

    1. My 10yo son is happy and well-adjusted to NOT having Mr. Sparkles around daily.

    2. I have money in the bank.

    3. I sleep through the night.

    4. I’m slowly, but steadily, kicking his and the OW’s ass in court. (I recently won a subpoena to get all of his AFF records over the last 8 years!) You’ve got to have proof and patience to beat these fuckwits. She’ll be “winning” a penniless thrice-time relationship failing, pathological lying, and bi-sexual cheating Prince Charming.

    5. I’m painting and redecorating the house to suit MY style. (He liked everything dark, like a cave.)

    6. I just took a week’s vacation with my son to California and we had an amazing time.

    7. When I cry, I let myself cry. It used to be daily, now it’s like every three or four months a song on the radio will get me… (so mostly I listen to K-Love now!).

    8. I visit chumplady.com daily.

    Rock on Chump Nation… and to the newbies… I just read for my first year – I challenge you not to wait so long to start sharing your story… it is the path to healing and moving on into Meh and Mightiness!

    • Gosh I hope you send OW a congratulations card when this is over, and hope on the inside it actually says
      Congratulation son winning a penniless thrice-time relationship failing, pathological lying, and bi-sexual cheating Prince Charming.

  • One year post d-day: I am a force to be reckoned with. I do not give the cluster fuck B sociopath space to breathe. I’m like Godzilla blasting fire at him at all opportunities. Revenge?? Nope. Fury from the years of abuse. I love it. I have absolutely no compassion or consideration for him at all. How stupid he now looks. Unable to defend himself because he doesn’t have any depth of soul beyond the three mind fuck channels.
    As for me? I have effortlessly lost weight. My stress is gone (for the most part). My anxiety is gone. My home is peaceful. I love my job. I live within my means. I run daily with my dogs. My house is clean. I have free time because I’m not working constantly to cover an asshole’s cluster fucks. I have been fixing things around the house that he never finished. Just got done putting a metal roof on my barn that leaked because he wouldn’t do it. Earlier this year I put a new rear seal and complete brake job on my Lincoln Town Car. This was a major job!!! But chumps I DID IT ALL BY MYSELF!!!!!! This involved pulling the rear differential all apart, removing axles, new fluid, blah blah blah. The whole time that asshole laughed at me like I was a complete idiot for even trying. Well, once again he observed how awesome I am, even though he beat me down for years making me a wreck.
    The biggest accomplishment so far? In my mind it’s that I am one year out. That I made it, cuz I was so beat down by his sociopathic abuse the did not have anything left to work with to pull myself up. Early days were horrible. I just kept going everyday. I faced the pain I had been avoiding for years. That I am here, now, feeling joy and peace is my #1 accomplishment. Hang in there new chumps. I promise it gets better. A year goes by fast. Don’t give up, don’t listen to the assholes when their liar holes are spewing bullshit. It’s all lies. Refuse to allow any compassion or consideration. Take it back for yourself. I’m almost meh and it feels like heaven compared to my previous hell. I have no desire to be in another relationship right now. Not looking, just loving my freedom from fucking assholes who destroy whatever they touch.

    • EX-orcist, I’m super impressed! Not only by the great progression from feeling like you had nothing left to work with, but also how you take care of your stuff! Cars scare me ….

    • You put a roof on a barn and repaired your car??!! Dang, that’s some mega-mightiness there, Ex. I don’t even know what a rear differential is! You rock.

    • Holy cow. I felt amazing that I was able to change the bulb in the headlight on my car. I You Tubed it and had to watch it several times. I felt very accomplished, but you are amazing.

      I had to take my car to the dealer to take care of some recall notices. The manager just looked at me and in a very concerned voice said, “You know there are six recalls that you never took care of?” I just smiled and chatted him up a bit. I was trying my flirting, which I haven’t done in too many years to count. He gave me a ride to and from a movie theater while my car was being taken care of and threw in a free oil change. I felt like I had super powers.

  • I am feeling mighty for a lot of reasons this week.

    My son leaves for his freshman year of college on Tuesday. My son and I did everything that needed to be done to get him into school with no help from the ex. The ex hasn’t even asked how much tuition is or how its being paid. His contribution is an extra insurance card for son to take with him. Ex wanted us to travel together to college in “the van.” (The van that was ours, which he stole out of the driveway from me in the middle of the night a few years ago and left me with the shit car that I got $100 for when I traded it in.) Sorry I can’t do 6 hours in the van with ex. I also can’t fake being the happy family which he wants everyone to think we are when we get to college. (Still living the Narc life!)

    This leads me to another great thing I’m able to do – stand up for my boundaries. After living with a verbal and emotional abuser narc for 15 years, I have finally been able to stand up to him and not back down. I’ve also taught my sons to do the same.

    In the spring I decided to take control of my physical life. I joined a gym, did 2 weight loss challenges, lost 35 lbs and continue to better myself. My goal is to loose 75 by this time next year. I found the right gym family and at 52 years old, I don’t care what people think of me anymore.

    When my oldest turned 18 a few months ago I sat him down and told him why I left his dad. He was 13, his brother was 10 when we split and we told them we were divorcing because we didn’t get along. (This was obvious to them since the ex and I had horrible fights, which included me calling the cops to the house numerous times). I finally told him about the other woman. Ex subjected the boys to hanging with her and her family for a long time. But my son knew. I spared him most of the gory details, but what a relief to finally get that off of my chest. This was the turning point for my healing. I’ve always taken the high road throughout the divorce, but telling him the absolute truth was life changing for me.

    And the karma bus finally bumped into the ex last month….ex was so sure his child support would be cut in half since the oldest turned 18, but no, it only dropped $35 per month. Ex got a new position at work which a little bird told me about – it also included a big pay raise. I thought he was going to blow up when the master told him. Needless to say my lawyer and I did the happy dance out of the courthouse.

    Thanks to CL and CN for always being there. I may not contribute much, but I read everyday and have for the last 4 years. The last thing to do is get the pension/401K taken care of in the fall at the courthouse and then change back to my maiden name. Meh is on the horizon!!!

    • Great mightiness check! Good for you setting those boundaries with X. It takes some nerve to contribute zero to the college effort and then want to “ride along” on the trip. He can spend his own gas.

      I’ve done 2 fitness challenges since DDay also. It was huge for me to have a big goal and a support system helping me carry out the challenge. It’s great that you are in shape physically and mentally!

  • My X expected me to crumple to the ground and start begging for her to come back. Right before she ran out the door she recommended a therapist to me – I didn’t understand why at the time, since she was the one obviously falling apart.

    Instead I put all the energy I was putting into her into my job and got a huge promotion! And several surprise departmental rewards.

    My condo has appreciated 50% since she left.

    Best of all: one of her relatives dropped by to see me, said “Wow you look great! And your place looks great also!” with shocked surprise. (X looks awful; everyone says so. I’ve seen her from a distance and can confirm. Old. Haggard. Unhappy).

    • No one realizes that we were the ones propping them up, and they were the ones pulling us down, until it’s over and everybody finds their natural level ….

      • Damn, I love my natural level!
        Less life sustaining meds, due to plummeting stress levels, and constantly asked if I had an eye lift because I look younger than I used to – yeah I’ll let you in on my secret beauty regimen.
        LOL, Narkles has to take meds for two lifestyle diseases and gets mistaken for his mother’s husband.

  • Today is the one year anniversary of the divorce being final. I made it through with my sanity and self esteem intact. I have a life long no contact order on him. I Stand up for myself with my kids and others and enforce boundaries. I have kept my house and feel pride in that every time I come home. Thanks to you tube I have done all the repairs needed. I’ve weeded out all the narc people in my life. I’ve realized that I like living alone and it is no longer a situation dumped on me but one that I choose. I realized I was the strong one, the honest one, the moral one and I will continue to be. Every day he gets smaller in my rear view mirror and I can honestly say that him leaving was the best thing that ever happened to me.

    • Your attitude is mighty. Thanks for sharing. I really hope I can fell leaving him was the best thing ever. One day.

    • Mine leaving me was the best thing that happened to me in decades. You are mighty and awesome! You are getting to your best new life. Congratulations on your journey!

    • Newdaydawning

      “. I’ve realized that I like living alone and it is no longer a situation dumped on me but one that I choose. I realized I was the strong one, the honest one, the moral one and I will continue to be. Every day he gets smaller in my rear view mirror and I can honestly say that him leaving was the best thing that ever happened to me.”

      This says it all NewDay. You’ve accomplished so much in a year. For me it is also no contact for life. My one year freedom date passed in May. It WAS the best thing that ever happened to me also.

  • Just surviving and living my authentic life makes me ‘mighty’. My story pales into insignificance compared to many Chumps which at times makes me feel like a fraud when I read your horror stories. I think for each and every one of us to come through to the other side is mightiness in itself. I am very proud to be part of a ‘club’ that nobody wants to be a member of. We are all mighty.

    • Maree-Your story does not pale. You’ve been through so much and you were married a very long time. You are infinitely mighty!!!!

    • Maree, I agree with CS. Your story is heartbreaking and very significant.

      While leading his double life, -Zero put me down to coworkers, friends, his family, AND my children without my knowledge. My biggest fear was that he would turn my children against me and play the pity me victim card. It world at first.

      For once it backfired. He was caught in too many lies during the divorce. The mask dropped. He conned my daughter multiple times. The truth surfaced thankfully. He took my children to multiple OW houses, blamed porn on his own son, and is currently cheating on the whore he has been living with for two years.

      Your story speaks to the lengths they will go to and the debths of their deprevity. I was the one doing all the heavy lifting while they were young and he appeared easy going.

      No one deserves this cruelty. Lead your authentic life. Love and peace to you my friend as your voice is valuable and appreciated.

    • Your story helped me tremendously when I came on this site. I was feeling old (49) and like I wasted all my best years (27) on Fucktard. You cannot know how much hope you provided and gave me perspective. Thank You, I missed you too.

  • Took my 2 sons on a sailing holiday in Greece. Found I didn’t need my cheating husband to skipper a yacht. Meanwhile he continues to waste his money on boats that never leave land rather than contributing to the upkeep of his children.

  • I finally got Horny Goat out of the house. (Bless all of you who are still living with the douchebags).

    That went a long way towards “Meh”. Yesterday driving home from work, I felt real joy again. Nothing happened to bring it….it just bubbled up inside me.

    Going on a long weekend with my best friend to a tropical island this month.

    Realizing with shame that Horny Goat took up a lot of time that I should have been giving to my child…his stepchild (Its amazing how the narc always “need you for something” when you are spending time with someone else. I RECTIFIED that …..and no one will ever take away from “our” time again.

    Understanding that while Horny Goat will always be part of my life story…..in the end, he will only be a footnote.

    Stay mighty, chumps!

  • XH abandoned me, but also the rescue dog we had adopted the year before. The dog loved XH and it was so hard when he left on the little guy. That dog was so amazing to me and got me through those dark days. Sadly, my darling boy developed Diabetes last month. I woke early each day to feed him and give him the first of two daily injections. Despite my best efforts, he went down hill quickly and developed Pancreatitis this week. It was just too much for him. He was hospitalized on Wednesday and the vet called me yesterday and said there was nothing more we could do for him. I ran to the vet and sat holding my baby as he was euthanized. I wanted to be there for him and told him I loved him. Unlike my dipshit XH, I didn’t abandon him, though it broke my heart to have to witness that.

    • Cindy, I’m so sorry for the loss of your little guy. That is so hard. But you were there for him and that’s what counts. Bless you.

    • Oh, Cindy, I’m so sorry. I know how that feels. My kitty got liver cancer. I can’t even write about it, I’m discovering. I’m so glad you stayed with him. He will always be with you. We have new kitties and they are great, but I’ll never forget her. My goodness, it’s been years and I can’t believe how choked up I am!

      • Asswipe walked away from his dog twice now the dog is attached to me. He think the dog is demented cause he a senior and acts wierd. Nope told asswipe the dog isnt the demented one you are!

        • Gosh, thank you all so much. Chumps are beautiful people. It was my honor to stay with my boy. He stuck by me through horrendous times. I howled in agony and he’d actually join me when the ex left. I feel guilty because I was so unhappy during the last 3 years. He deserved the happy home he was adopted into. Yesterday, I tried to be brave for him, because I know he was always my protector and didn’t want to see me hurt. It was so hard.

          • +10000 Jedi Hugs Cindy, it’s the hardest thing to do and don’t beat yourself up, I am quite sure he understood and loved being with you.

            • Also sending you hugs, Cindy. Our furry children are so special. They give us unconditional love and help to heal our broken hearts. Good for you that you were able to be with him at the end so he could make his transition in love. I’m sure he will be waiting for you over the rainbow bridge in eager anticipation.

    • So sorry, Cindy, Our pets give us so much. But you will always know that you loved him and did your best for him. May he enjoy life on the other side, until you meet again.

      • I don’t know how much more timely this can be. Yesterday and today, I have cancelled two appointment to put one my dogs to sleep because of kidney failure. She has been hospitalized, lots of attempts to help. She was a stray and I have had her two years. She just suddenly fell sick and was vomiting. Long story short, she is now on borrowed time. I just charged it all on my credit cards and wanted my sweet girl to be out of pain.

        In all the pain that my X caused me, (as someone wrote HOWLING) this dog would sit and lay her head on my leg. It was heart breaking. She was living in the woods and eating….? when I found her and said, nope, you are not living like this.

        When I brought her in my home, she had her first bed, her first toys (she does not know how to play), her first vet care and her first family. She has been so happy. She would twirl with delight when I brought her breakfast and my other dogs loved her.

        Now, for the worst part. Yesterday was the appointment at 3PM for her to be put to sleep. In a moment of pure weakness, I emailed my X. I said, putting aside everything you have done to me….our girl is being put to sleep at 3PM. I thanked him for helping with her so much, buying her so much (he did) and calling her his sugar bowl, when the world just saw her as an old, stray dog. (She is a senior).

        I am very caught up in making her chicken broth and plain oatmeal., seeing if she peed and would could hold it down (she did!) ..but I would check those emails in throughout the yesterday and today..nothing.

        He never responded. He spent hours and hours and hours with this dog, hundreds of dollars, maybe more, he knows she is part of my family.

        Not a word. Radio Silence.

        I am not sad about him at this moment, as I am too focused on my dog, but more mystified……who ARE these people?

        Not even a “give her a hug” or “I am sorry Sylvia” and “Oh no”.

        Nothing. And so, I am okay with that I emailed him. He truly was good to this dog. More than anyone but me. Again….who ARE these people?

        It was all an act. Did he love her? Was it part of his act to trick me? He never acknowledged me in anyway.

        Other men I have met on dating sites and just randoms are calling and texting…how is she? what is happening? do you need anything?

        But the man who she slept beside and who he baby talked and said that’s my sugar bowl….being told her time on this world is coming to a rapid end…..silence. I don’t know what to say.

        Except….monster.

        • And remember- he does not KNOW I cancelled the appointment. He thinks she has been put to sleep.
          I am getting an idea of why so many people on here say “thank God you did not reproduce with him”. My dogs are my children, and HE KNOWS THIS.

          And he.does.not.care.

          How do you get to Meh when you realized you were planning your life around a person who has no feelings?

          I think we all need to pat ourselves on the back for not committing homicide. Not even joking. We having amazing impulse control to not straight murder their ass.

        • Sorry for your girl dog. I know how it feels. Be with her hold her and love her as she crosses to the rainbow bridge when i die i want to go to the rainbow bridge and run with the puppies. My oldest dog is ten he was asswipes dog his baby his companion. That baby is totally absorbed with me now. Never leaves my side. Sleeps next to my bed. First my son left home, he was heart broken my son left then his long tiime sister went to the bridge he still hasnt gotten over that. Then his daddy leaves him twice. Asswipe said didnt matter the dog wouldnt care. He spent hours every day near the gate waiting for him to come back. It was heartbreaking took me a year to help get him better. Now that asswipe yells at him and left him he rarely interacts with the idiot anymore wont listen to him or come to him he comes over to me. Asswipe hates it says the dog is just old and is demented. No asswipe is the demented one. That canine is a much better person than he could ever be. They know who really loves them and cares about them. And supposedly asswipe adores dogs yet all he does it complain about them. My puppies dont pay him much mind as i got them after he left. You love your baby girl she knows that. Big hug for you!

          • Thank you Kar Marie! You are always on the spot and supportive. I had written a long post back but it disappeared.

            I remember ass wipe saying that your dog was demented. I hope ass swipe gets dementia and is placed in a state home by whore juice. The only S&M action he will get there is an orderly beat down! It would not be “hot”. 😉

            I am alone, and he left me completely. Leaving my dogs too…I guess not such a big leap.

            The only way I can move past this is that he is a pod person.

            My dog is keeping down scrambled eggs, iced chicken broth, oatmeal and apple slices. And ice water. This is a good sign.

            I am going to stop “waiting” for that kind email from him that will never come. It will never come.

            • No sylvia im sorry that apology will never come. Im waiting three years now mine will never come and neither will yours they are just not sorry. Im an atheist but i will ask the universe to look over your baby dog. Like children they are so precious. I will send my good thoughts your way. One day i hope i can say asswipe who? We will come through this we all will come through this. He is nothing to me now. Nothing. I dont care if he lives, breathes or dies. Not even for my kids for although being a good provider really was never there for them. I have my children my dog babies who constantly amuse me and myself. Fuck asswipe and his whores fuck your asswipe and his whores. We are mighty sylvia and we are real and beautiful and the asswipes and their whores are pods just pods. I love to go for walks and talk with people i care about. I have happy places i go to in my mind. Walk with me and we will bring the dogs. Try it it works and its soothing.

            • So sorry you and your sweet dog are going through this agony Sylvia. I wondered if XH would care about the dog being put down. Truth is, he wouldn’t. He and whore got a dog together just weeks after he left me and our dog. He didn’t suffer the loss of a wife, nor did he suffer the loss of a dog. Just picked up 2 more replacement parts for his shallow life.

              The dog remembered him and loved him always. The dog has more empathy and kindness than my XH ever had. The dog is a huge loss. Cheater XH, not so much.

              • I’m so sorry you are all facing the imminent and far-too-early passing of your beloved pets. It is never easy, especially when they helped you through the most disasterous times of our lives.

                When the X left all four giant dogs behind, without a look back, it absolutely seared my hatred for him. I have no clue how he could have done it and left me with a terrible burden (2 males didn’t get along), I was also stuck with huge vet bills when they got ill and had to be put down. The one old boy was always ‘his’ dog and slept by his side of the bed every single night and followed him everywhere. He also spend many many days beside the door waiting for him to come home. I asked him to come and visit his dog before I put him down and I got crickets so I had to do it myself. Very hard. The only thing I heard after was. Oh, he was such a good dog. No sorries no fucks just a fuck off meaning he didn’t give a shit about the dog, or the other I had to put down 6 wks later. Also, his best buddy.

                WHO ARE THESE PEOPLE? That’s a damn good question!

                You know damn well what he would have done to kids had we procreated.
                Fucking loser.

        • Sylvia, so sorry about your wonderful dog. She is lucky to have you, for sure. Just before I learned about the MOW, in the midst of a baffling discard, my cat was diagnosed with lymphoma and got very sick very quickly. I texted Jackass to let him know about her condition, although she wasn’t “his” cat. I texted again when the vet came to end her suffering. I got a one line message: “She was a good cat in her own way.” I was so broken-hearted about this wonderful 4-year old cat, and he had not a word of comfort. Of all the things he did, this was the one I will never forget or forgive. It’s amazing what monsters lurk behind their masks.

    • I am so sorry about your dog. It’s very hard when we lose our pets as they have an endless supply of loyalty and love that gets us through. Even as I write this I cannot put my feet on the ground because that is where my boys are sprawled. I had to put one down earlier this year and it was simply heartbreaking. The fact that Fucktard could leave them without a backward glance and not come to say goodbye when I informed him I had made the vet appointment is just another testament to who or what they are. You, on the other hand, showed your puppy how much you loved and valued him.

  • I went from a lively, outgoing, sociable, financially secure, tenure at my job sort of person to living thousands of miles away, under or unemployed single mom of a traumatized teenager, broke, back at the bottom of the ladder, not sure where rent is this month. Kiddo and I were both traumatized, suffering from cPTSD, anorexic, sliding into the bottle……not pretty then, parts of it aren’t pretty now.

    But I am here. I lost big financially, but I got out alive. Three years later-Learning not to accept narcaholism, not drinking, Kiddo thriving in her last year of HS, back to fighting weight. Applying for good, real jobs, while not letting my current McJob boss dance on my head. (Another whackadoodle-I work with his ex, and the dysfunction is massive, he has all the charmed of a coked-up chihuahua. But it is sliding off-not my circus, not my monkeys….) even that is huge. I don’t get sucked into drama, and have taught Kiddo healthy ways to manage boundaries and conflict.

    So am I as self-confident and all the things I was before? Not yet. I took a lot of damage, we all did. I am holding out for even better than that previous illusion, because all of those great things to come-friends, a home, a work identity, happy and prosperous offspring (here is what you missed, asshole) will be all the better for time and trouble taken now. Because my cheater-free, fully recognized, sovreign, free, wild and beautiful life (or what is left of it) will be built on MY foundations, of MY choosing.

    For the Chumps further back on the road to Meh: Keep Walking, Tuesday is coming. Clear skies, solid ground and unimaginable wonders ahead. And many, many Mighty people to share the journey with. What this nation has faced down and achieved inspires me every day.

    Love to all.
    x-Meh

    • “So am I as self-confident and all the things I was before? Not yet. I took a lot of damage, we all did. I am holding out for even better than that previous illusion, because all of those great things to come-friends, a home, a work identity, happy and prosperous offspring (here is what you missed, asshole) will be all the better for time and trouble taken now. Because my cheater-free, fully recognized, sovreign, free, wild and beautiful life (or what is left of it) will be built on MY foundations, of MY choosing.”

      You inspire Mehphista. EVERY.SINGLE,DAY

    • “he has all the charmed of a coked-up chihuahua”
      Are you working for Narkles the Clown? LOL!
      Keep working for better. I know you’re going to get there!

    • x-Meh, this is exactly what I needed to hear, “will be all the better for time and trouble taken now.”

      I’ve been struggling this summer and trying to remember that this is what healing is like. Awful but necessary.

      Congratulations on your incredible spirit.

      • Awwwww, shucks, and thanks! Not working for Narkles the Clown, just his chihuahua. The irony is that his ex does bring their two chihuahuas to work. They’re lovely.

  • My DDay was shortly after my ex was diagnosed with stage 4 prostate cancer. He had been told he had a year or so to live. He confessed to living a secret life with a lesbian woman and left me, our marriage of 28 years, our autistic 18 year old son and 20 year old daughter to live his final days with his TWU LUV who would nurse him and love as I could not. He took a large chunk of money, bought a condo for the two of them ( I am guessing for her after he died) and left all of us to grieve his dying and his betrayal. During planning of his cancer treatments, he told me he wanted me and the OW, to travel the world with us both ( separate bedrooms, of course) He told me I would like her as she was just like me ( WTF!) After leaving, he didn’t talk to his son or daughter for 6 weeks. Turns out he didn’t have cancer after all. OOPS, Seriously, it was a medical mistake, and he was fine. Fastest Karma I have ever seen! That was 2 years ago last month. Although it has been the most horrendous experience to have to experience, I have been plenty mighty. But, I am just beginning to see it clearly now. To name just a few:

    When he told me of the betrayal, already grieving his cancer, I didn’t flinch. He had chosen her, apparently a long time ago. They could have each other. I was dropping the ball.

    I protected myself financially from that moment on, stopping the flow of money he was spending once he left the house.

    I filed for divorce the week after he was undiagnosed. Have a healthy settlement after he raged in mediation. I am sure he wished he was dead…

    I got a puppy who has been a huge part of our healing and joy.

    As all of us have done, I compared myself to the other woman. A lesbian? She used to always duck in the car when they came to pick up my son for visitation. I got so tired of their junior high games, one day, I walked out to the car, leaned in the window, a introduced myself: “Hi, I’m X, S’s mom. Nice to meet you.” Thought they would both pee their pants. That was the day I took my power back. To this day she still hides from me in the car and won’t make eye contact. Oh, what a feeling!

    I have since refinanced the house my handicapped son and I live in and am currently working on building a small apartment for him in the basement.

    Pulled my daughter after of a breakdown and she is now a junior in communication at the nearby university.

    Went on a couple of trips with friends and my daughter that I always wanted to do.

    Because my handicapped son turned 18 during this, managed all his government benefits such as getting him on Medicaid, guardianship, Social security, vocational rehab and completing a special needs. Taking EX to court to force him to comply with his portion of the trust.

    On top of my personal healing and growth, much of the two years has been spent on learning how to protect my special needs child from an abusive, vindictive, cruel man full of self loathing and entitlement. My mightiness is demonstrated in pushing myself out of comfort zones into territories that I never dreamed in my wildest imagination I would have to go such as the world of private investigators, lawyers, Adult Protective Services. I am proud to say, although non verbal, having autism and having no say in stopping visitation, my son is becoming more resilient, patient, and more communicative.

    Psychologically and emotionally, I am almost at meh. However, because of the laws of guardianship ( which I didn’t know and my lawyers did not know the extent of my EX’s pathology), my son’s rights have been taken away and he does not age out. He is an adult in the hands of an abusive father and GF. I am my EX’s worse nightmare. I am learning to expose all his behavior to any agency that interacts with my son and hold him accountable. Actually, my EX’s behavior has been exposed as he can not hold it together when being help accountable. But, the process is slow, so my mightiness will continue, until my whole family is free.

  • OMG — I NEVER thought life could be so good. I’m 2 years out from total departure–3 years from D-Day and my life has completely changed! Once a subservient partner that only did what the ex wanted and when I did have enough energy to confront, I was always shot down. No wonder I was depressed! But….and I would never say this to him IF I ever saw him again….but he did me a huge favor. Moved out while I was at work and moved in and has since married his affair partner. At first I was a complete mess–felt he owed me more than that after 14 years–but then I found this blog, got into therapy and also practiced no contact. Best thing ever!!

    Today….life is WONDERFUL! My son got married two weeks ago, I just got a promotion and raise at work, bought my dream car and have a really nice boyfriend who actually allows me to have an opinion! I can smile again and say, there is life after living with a cheater. Yes, there are still side effects….but it makes me take better care of myself by knowing the signs.

    I will always read this blog and be a part of it because it gives me strength each day. Thank you CL for all you do to help us through both the good and bad days!!

    • From the “What have you done since D-Day that you couldn’t have done with the Narc” thread in the forums:

      Paid off all debts except for the house (including over 10 grand of medical debts that nowdeadserialcheaterwife was too disorganized to get around to telling me about). Got serious about saving for retirement, my daughter’s college, and paying extra on the mortgage. [It’s amazing what you can accomplish when you don’t have a narc trying desperately to fill a hole in their soul with retail therapy.]

      Serious exploration of Judaism [Nowdeadserialcheater was a church-cheater. Would’ve flipped if I’d expressed serious doubt in the Trinity.]

      Got rid of some of her hoarding-piles – replaced with stocked bookshelves in the master bedroom. [Reclaiming space from her vast piles of often-unused-and-untouched /stuff/ feels like a real victory, btw.]

      Used the Kindle I got her about a million times more than she ever used it. [She needed it more than anything – urgent purchase. Was going to get serious about reading regularly. A week later, it goes into a bag and is never touched again. Kind of like me, in a way.]

      Trashed the crystal figurine, phone, photo and love letter left over from the AP, as well as the [already pretty much trashed – keyboard didn’t work, HD didn’t work] laptop she did all of her communicating with him on [that I bought].

      Looking back, it’s been an uphill climb, but I’m in /such/ a better place than I was a year ago. That sounds bad to say, given her death and all, but it’s true.

      Part of me still misses her, but the rest of me knows that what that part of me misses was at least 75% lies. I live in the truth now. It’s lonelier, but better.

  • I’m sort of at a mightiness plateau. I’m back on a good nutrition plan after going back to my old sugar-eating ways this summer, now down 4 pounds with maybe 7-8 to go to my best weight. Playing softball again, making progress at building skills at nearly 65. It’s never to let to go for your dreams. I’m also revising my query letter in preparation for sending my little mystery novel to a potential agent or two.

    I am almost at the one-year point with the Very Kind Man, who just this week, spent an hour on the road to check my house because I was out of town and all OCD that I had left a cat locked on the porch. I didn’t even ask him to, as I figured it was just the usual “did I turn off the stove?” thing I always get, but 2 hours after I texted him, I got a photo of a cat looking out of the big windows, safe in the house. And of course he fed them and petted them. I’m past the age where settling down again has any attraction, but I am very grateful to have such a fine person in my life. It’s tough, though, because just being in a relationship requires me to pay attention to all the old, stupid, Jackass-era thinking that has caused me and others lots of unhappiness. So it’s fun but also work and growth.

    What I’m most proud of, though, is dealing with a number of big changes that sort of shook my sturdy life supports: First. my neighbor sold out his big property (many acres) to a developer, and there’s been nothing but destruction and construction all summer. Just a hideous racket. And of course, I am worried about our resident deer, turkey, and bird population. My gym is moving. My yoga studio closed. So I have had to…change. Again. I’ve had to once again feel sad at the end of things that mean something to me. But “nothing gold can stay.” So for me, I am once again deepening my foundation and living in the moment as it is, not as I want it to be or how it was a month ago. It’s been over three years since the gaslighting started in a big way and next week it will be three years since Jackass and MOW started their “friendship.” Meh.

  • It’s been half a year since I found out…it’s a short time span.
    But here is what I achieved:
    – I arranged the balcony the way I wanted. 2 years I have asked him and nothing came out of it. I made it on my own: flower bridges, wooden table and chairs. Really nice to sit and soak the warmth of sun with a glass by my side. My son has enjoyed it especially, picking up the fallen petals.
    – I got a new job. After a personality disordered boss, this change came like a blessing.
    – Went on my first business trip, abroad (I work for 12 years in my field and always wished for at least one trip). Next week is the next trip.
    – I have bought my first smartphone. I figured if the prostitute was texting him from a smart phone, most probably bought with our common money, then hell I deserve one! I bought a kick ass, budget friendly phone. Put a red cover to make it my own. That cheap little cover makes me smile.
    Guess what? I received a work phone AND my work consists of exploiting it to the max.
    – I make myself pretty in the morning. No more days dragging myself out of bed, just existing. It helps me see life in a better light.
    – I received attention, mostly from younger guys. It felt good and made me realise these are just the ones who dared. There are others…
    So in the morning when I stand up from an empty bed and ask myself “Now what?”, I have the answer: there is more fish in the pond!
    I’m awesome!

  • Did I post at the last MC to say I had finished my M.Ed. at UMN? Last Monday I signed a contract in a large, urban school district, (MPS), and will be working with inner city kids of color who are so pervasively referred to special education for emotional and behavioral services. I’m still in a state of shock at my new salary! But better yet is the feeling that I’m on the cutting edge for a person who is confronting his status as a privileged white. I’m not just “talking” about being an ally. I’m going to go do it. I’ll work my butt off for the bread. But I’ll be paid in other myriad other ways than mere money.

    Reading over some of the other comments? Chump Nation is truly mighty. Rock on y’alls.

  • I am in the same spot a you Maree – I survived and am living my life authentically.
    I don’t dream abut him anymore (or hardly ever). Waking up from dreaming about him used to put me back for days, because the dreams were always about us together as a family. Finally my dreams caught up to reality and if I ever do dream of him (which happens rarely) – it is no longer painful.
    I have peace in my life. I moved to a different city so that I no longer live in close proximity to him and his various GFs. I see my adult kids way more often than he sees them – they choose to spend Christmas, Easter, Thanksgiving with me. They told me recently that his fiancée (not an OW) is very controlling and that there are lots of arguments. I just shrugged and smiled. Don’t even think of him much, it’s usually a WTFhappened moment – I was so blindsided and had undiagnosed PTSD that those moments still catch me, but I am getting better at remembering and trusting that he sucks.
    I have taken myself out of the dating pool and am at peace with that. I saw how the available men over 58 in my region seemed to be players – it appears to be such a game(lots of single women in that age group) and know I don’t want to be part of that.
    I have removed myself from other toxic people in my life and have realized that I seem to attract narcissists and entitled people – so I am actively working on looking at myself and why.
    I am getting my financial house in order and have taken on a couple of part time jobs in addition my full time job – becoming debt-free except for my mortgage – I am getting there, just digging in, plodding along month to month, but it is exciting to see the progress! I
    I try to live my day with the Serenity Prayer in mind – it is working for me. I wake up in the morning excited to start my day, even if it is just filled with the prospect of working/juggling my full-time and part-time jobs – I am grateful that I can – I am healthy, happy and don’t feel alone anymore.
    In addition to all that I hired a good lawyer who ensured that the judge was aware of my financial situation – I receive spousal support after Mr Cheaterpants thought I would roll over and play dead when he filed for divorce within 4 months of me leaving him. That was several years ago, but I still celebrate my mightiness at that.
    I still read here daily and thank CL and CN for helping me through – I was floundering and couldn’t recover and finally found this amazing site.
    Hugs to you all.

    • Lynn, I just wanted to tell you ‘way to go, Girl!’ Way to go for not ‘rolling over and playing dead’–for standing up for yourself and getting spousal support. Way to go for moving a distance away. Way to go for enjoying your children without Mr Cheaterpants. Way to not rush into another relationship thinking that will fix everything. Way to taking care of yourself. Way to go for working to get out of debt all on your own. Way to go for loving your life and moving on.

      You are awesome. You do you because that’s working!!!!

  • For 3 months I’ve successfully navigated NC! Never thought that was possible, but I did it. I stopped longing for an apology or for Principal Sparkles to suddenly change his entire character and love me. I’ve stopped crying daily for the baby I miscarried while he cheated on us both. Still have a good cry every couple weeks, but my life no longer feels hopeless. I work out 3-5 times per week, and I started dating someone new. Even though I suspect the relationship only has a short-term shelf life, I’m much more willing to go to bat for my needs and to take less crap. Got some hobbies and trips lined up, more satisfying, deeper friendships, and I stopped daily drinking or needing to take antidepressants. The inner deadness is receding more every day, and I’m beginning to feel alive. I figure I’m about halfway to Meh, and it feels so good.

    For the newbies out there, I’d just urge you to PERSEVERE. Read this site daily for strength. It helped me so much. It feels like death, but it isn’t, it really does improve, but CL is right…act NOW, feel later. The only thing that really helps is going NC. It will change your life.

    • K, I am sending you hugs. Be strong, you’re doing great! Each step you take now is the right step. They will take you on YOUR path.
      You are right: the only thing that really helps is going NC. But NC must be applied to our thoughts. It starts there.
      It’s been 11 years for me when I stopped thinking about the narcissist. I stopped thinking. It was too painful…the final drop happened at work. The sheer pain, humiliation…I stopped thinking, or I would have cried without being able to stop – at work. “Don’t think about it” was my mantra those days. It worked. I did more than move on, I FLEW away.
      Don’t waste your mental space on him. Trust that he sucks!

  • Hardly mighty yet, but looking forward to looking back! I think my big thing is deciding to be done. I’ve been thinking about being done for at least a year but I was worried about how I’d escape the love bombing and tantrums. Finding the undeniable evidence helped me avoid self-doubt and second guessing from gas lighting. I don’t care if he tells me I’m over-reacting or seeing things wrong, this is about me and not living with a cheater.

    I’m not exactly a SAM – but my small business is too small to be a self-supporting job. I’m applying for every remotely reasonable job within about 15 miles of home and asking my friends for help. That is huge. For such a long time I have only relied on myself and dragged the dead weight of husband when things needed to be done. His solution was always to deny anything needed to be done and that left me to do alone. I didn’t ask for help because I was keeping secrets about how shitty it really was. My friends have been really great and giving. Each time I ask, they deliver. I think this is the beginning of mighty for me – relying on my friends and letting them help me.

  • I am feeling mighty…my oldest child just started his freshman year at college. It has been 4 years since D-Day and I have been officially divorced for 18 months. I feel mighty in the knowledge that oldest son was accepted and started at a wonderful college, and also that I spent the entire day with my-ex around for the parent orientation sessions and it was ‘meh’. I cried as I drove out to the college, my son was in his car so I was alone crying a mixture of ‘joy tears’ and ‘life is changing again tears’, but I did not cry when I said goodbye to my son. He was excited and ready for this next step in life. My ex is somebody that I used to know, and that is it. I survived a day that I was dreading and fearful of for the last couple of months…but it was ‘meh’.

    • “Somebody that I used to know” sounds pretty meh to me. Although sad…

      I can’t help wondering “did I really know this … guy?” I wasted 10 years with someone I don’t even know.
      At that time, after escaping a narcissist, he seemed exactly what I needed: safety, romance, togetherness. But was it real? Or I traded a freak for another: a narc for a sociopath.

      • I don’t think we ever really ‘know’ a narcissist. I was with my ex from age 20 and I am now 46 so I know the feeling of “what did I do with my life” was it a waste? I divorced him, I made the choice and I now have an authentic life. I don’t have panic attacks worrying about how he will react, I don’t have to pretend my life is ok, if I am upset, I am upset, I feel it and I move on. Your life is never a waste, life is a journey, I like the road I am on now.

  • This topic came at the perfect moment for me. I am somewhat new to Chumplady, and so grateful I found this site a little less than a month ago when my second (and last!!) DDay happened. My first DDay was four and a half years ago. I was a homeschooling mom to three kids who mean the world to me, and one day I found a “secret” phone that eventually led to me discovering that my husband (the Cockroach) was living a double life. I felt like I had been hit by a truck. I know all you fellow chumps know it’s true when I say it was the worst pain I have ever felt. Since I had the proof in hand, the Cockroach confessed to all the details. The affair began when our youngest child was a very young baby, and it lasted over nine years (up until the time I found the phone – had I not found the phone, it would have clearly continued). Meanwhile the Cockroach lied to me for all those years and literally led a double life.

    The details of the double life came out more after I talked with the separated husband of the OW. He had hired a PI who had many videos and pictures of the two of them. The sordid details and the life the Cockroach led while with her (drinking, smoking, etc.) came as a total shock to me. The Cockroach came across as a very conservative, clean-cut, nice guy. In our life together he didn’t drink or smoke. I felt like I was looking at a completely different person.

    During this whole time (before news of the affair came out), we did have what I thought were normal marital ups and downs. At times I knew there was distance between us and I would pray that things would change, but the distance seemed to only grow. I would buy books on how to improve our marriage, and after the kids went to bed, I would read them aloud with the Cockroach. I tried to get him to tell me why he was distant and what was wrong. I tried everything I could to improve things, and I just hoped that as time went on, things would get better again. I never for a second considered divorce; I was committed for a lifetime.

    Once the affair came out, my world was obviously turned upside down. For the first week, I would cry uncontrollably, hyperventilate, etc. It was so painful that I can barely think about that time without getting shaken up. I started having terrible nightmares about the OW, and I would wake up crying and shaking. One day in desperation, the Cockroach and I went to our church and asked to see the Care Minister. We told him the whole story, and the Cockroach cried and accepted Christ (which was news to me because I already thought he was a Christian). He repented and truly seemed sorry, and the Care Minister told me that the Cockroach was now a new person in Christ. That thought gave me hope, but I was still really scared that he would start seeing her again, and maybe even take all our money and run off with her, leaving me and the kids with nothing. So to further prove that he truly was sorry, the Cockroach offered to sign a Postnup that would protect me and provide me with financial security should the marriage end. He also put our brokerage account into my name and under my control. These two things were very reassuring to me because I knew how important money was to him. This gesture, along with the belief that he was a new creation in Christ, convinced me to continue in the marriage. I was thankful that my kids would still have their family intact, and I truly believed we could move past what had happened. We started counseling with a regular counselor and also with a counselor that specialized in Sexual Addiction. We both joined individual support groups as well as a support group for couples.

    For the next couple of years, we had a great marriage (as great as it can be at least given the huge bomb that had exploded). The primary continued difficulty we had was my continued nightmares about the OW. I also lived in fear of running into her or having the Cockroach run into her. It was also really hard to live in the area where the affair had taken place because I knew all the places they had been. It felt like a crime scene. To get away from all the bad memories, the Cockroach and I finally decided to move cross country. That was nearly three years ago.

    After the move, things were fine at first, but then the Cockroach started his own business. The business was slow at first, but it picked up quickly and it got to the point where he had too much work and was often working until midnight on many nights of the week. I wasn’t very happy with the intense work schedule because family is more important to me than money. We had some arguments about it in which I pleaded that he give more time to me and the kids, but he seemed to resent my view and feel that I didn’t support his new career. I felt like he really “checked out” on us, and our marriage and family needed more from him if we were going to survive. The Cockroach did not listen to this and continued to work very long hours. Additionally, he started growing more and more distant. Then, about 2 months ago, the Cockroach became extremely cold and distant. He also became extremely neurotic about his phone; he had his phone with him constantly. I eventually had a fear in my heart that the Cockroach was having an affair again.

    Over those last two months, the Cockroach did nothing but hurt me emotionally despite my pleas to tell me what was going on and to try to work things out. He started saying things like: we are not compatible, life is short and he wants the opportunity to be in an enjoyable relationship with someone other than me, etc. I started crying nearly every day, and his response was shockingly cold and detached. He had no empathy for my pain. He would watch me cry and say hateful things to me while I cried. He would get angry at me and tell me that he has all these “feelings” too and that I needed to listen to him tell me about all his feelings. I didn’t see any feelings, only hatred and an uncaring husband, and I was baffled at what I could have done to cause so much hostility. And he even started taking back some of the things he said after DDay 1 when he repented. Suddenly he started saying that he had been a good person who made a mistake (for 9 years??), that there were issues in our marriage before the affair that caused the affair, etc. It was like he was trying to rewrite history and put the blame on me. This was all very painful for me.

    I eventually reached the point where I knew beyond a shadow of a doubt that he was having an affair. There was just no other explanation for his bizarre behavior. I confronted him repeatedly, but he would deny it and act like I was crazy. He would get angry and tell me that my accusations were pushing him further away. He continued to treat me badly, and things were reaching a point where I knew I had to get him out of the house in order to preserve my well being.

    A little less than one month ago, we both agreed to have a conference call with a Christian mentor who had helped us in the past. The Cockroach continued lying during the call, and he continued to try to blame me for the current situation. After we hung up, he pleaded with me to start over again and really work on our marriage. I said I would agree to do that if he would give me his phone for two days. I told him I would bring it to someone who could track all the activity on the phone, and if he found nothing, I could put my doubts behind me and start over. I even offered to give him my phone and allow him to do the same. Well, he angrily refused, claiming he couldn’t give up the phone because of his work. I pointed out that he was choosing his phone over our marriage and family, but he held fast to his position. I kept pressing, and he finally admitted that “hypothetically,” if something was found, I would use it as ammunition against him and I would likely tell “her” family. I pointed out that he essentially confessed, and he didn’t disagree. He agreed he would move out, so we called the children in to tell them. Then he packed some of his belongings and left.

    Two days later the Cockroach started texting me big apologies and pleas to work things out. He said he was so lonely without us and couldn’t live without us and he wanted to make our marriage work. He also had the gall to quote the “til death do us part, in good times and bad” part of our vows. I said I was done and would never take him back since he had another affair, and he then started denying the affair he had already admitted to. Since that time I have refused to discuss our relationship, and we have only exchanged words about the money and the Postnup. He is very upset about the Postnup and acting like he didn’t read it, doesn’t remember signing it, wasn’t given a copy, etc. More lies! He is really upset that I am getting more than half the money, but as I pointed out to him, he made the choice, not me. If he had not had an affair again, I would have stayed married forever. He filed for divorce and, of course, he had many lies on the petition. So now we have both hired attorneys and we are going to fight it out in court. I am ready and feel quite confident that it will all turn out in my favor. I know now that he has been involved with multiple women, and with all of them he definitely traded down. I don’t feel sad about losing him, and mostly just think of him as a total loser who had a family he didn’t even deserve and then was such an idiot that he threw it all away. And for what? A handful of subpar women! Crazy! And his loss!

    So how do I feel now? I feel fantastic! Having him out of the house is like heaven to both me and the kids! It is shocking to me how much lighter and more free I feel. It’s like a dark fog has lifted! I didn’t drive before (one way he controlled me), but my oldest child just spent three weeks teaching me before leaving for college, and while it is still hard for me, I am feeling more empowered and confident every day! I am also taking care of all the little tasks he had neglected (like cleaning the van, maintaining the yard, etc.). I have moved out all his things, and I have big plans for his now empty closet!! The garage is my next project – I can’t wait! My workload around the house has lightened considerably, and life is just better now! While the Cockroach would like me to be discreet with our breakup, I am not hiding the reason for our breakup from our friends and family. I will not stay in the dark anymore or help the Cockroach stay in the dark. Just like cockroaches run for the dark corners and crevices when the lights are turned on, let him skitter off if he wants. I prefer the light! I am “gaining a life” and I want the whole world to know!!

    • Wow Chump Mama, your story really is inspiring! I love how you use cockroach, perfect description! Isn’t it funny how they want to continue to remain anonymous even though they were caught? Like you owe them more lies and sparing their sparkly reputations! I think NOT! As they say, the truth shall set you FREE… I’m so glad to hear that you are enjoying your newfound freedom with plenty of insect repellant in your arsenal!

    • Wow, so awesome. A nine year double life takes real cunning and cannot be called a mistake. Then you move which is truly a great idea, a fresh new start, etc. and he begins the same horrible behavior all over again. (Once a cheater … ) Good for you for kicking him to the curb and truly starting over. I love that he “forgot” signing the postnup. Ha! I’m sure he did.

    • Thanks thensome, KarenE, peakyblinders, kar marie, arlo, and neverwouldhaveimagined! I am so thankful to be traveling on this road with so many great people! We are a mighty nation of chumps, and I really feel the strength of the group as I forge ahead on this path I never imagined I would be on. 🙂

      • Very happy for you. Just goes to show that if you reconcile, do it on terms favorable to you, keeping in mind the kind of life you want to have if the cheater does it again, which sadly, usually is the case.

        • I agree! I am so thankful I did that! And, frankly, it’s a great test of their true intentions. If they won’t even agree to sign it, then clearly they can’t be trusted. In my case, he couldn’t be trusted even when he did sign it, but at least I’m protected now that the truth has emerged. 🙂

    • Holy crap. That’s not just a mightyness post. That’s the gold star. I am especially in love with your oldest teaching you to drive. That’s love. You raised them well. Cockroach be damned.

      • Thanks so much, Just me! The reaction of all three of my kids has been so uplifting to me because I was so worried about how they would handle all of this. They have all three stepped up, clearly understand right from wrong, and are all glad to be out in the light alongside me! As all of you fellow chumps understand, these three kids are the ONLY reason I don’t regret my marriage to the Cockroach. 🙂

        • Chump Mama!

          Wow! Good for you! I am still in the midst of this. You have really inspired me! I wish there was some way I could talk to you! We just had a death in the family and it had put some things on the back burner. Everyone is gone now and I’m back to realizing all the crap that has gone on for almost a year and the answers I still don’t have. I left him the end of June, came back and he was supposed to leave but he won’t. He has never layed a finger on me and told me I can’t get him out. Has continued with counseling like he promised (I’m wondering why I want to do that now) and the story continues! The affair seems to have happened last year and appears to be over. My youngest of six is now 18 and I’ve been trying hard not to turn his world upside down. I know it wasn’t me who’s responsible for that.

          • Hugs to you, stillinthemidstofthis. I remember how hard it was to still have him in the house with the terribly dark, heavy atmosphere he carried with him, and I really feel for you having to live like that. Keep coming to CN to get inspiration and encouragement, and hopefully soon you will have the courage you need to move forward without him. I’d be happy to talk to you, by the way. I think if you contact Tempest, she can exchange email addresses for us. Let me know if you’d like to do that.

    • Chump Mama,

      I think anyone considering reconciling should read your story. If they do decide to stay in the marriage, I wish them to be as wise as you. I’m so happy that you are taking control of your life. Keep living in the light. “There is no denying that there is evil in this world but the light will always conquer the darkness.”
      ― Idowu Koyenikan, Wealth for All: Living a Life of Success at the Edge of Your Ability

      • Thanks Annie! I have really gained a lot from reading your posts. Your strength has been really encouraging to me! And I will continue living in the light. Love the quote and totally agree!

  • July 2014 I was sobbing on my front lawn because I couldn’t figure out how to start my lawn mower.

    Today I changed my high beam light in my car.

    Depending on myself has become a way of life. I’ve always been independent.

    I married someone with many limitations who realistically has the mentality of a teenaged boy.

    Yet he was a sociopath who had power and control over me for 41 years.

    What changed? I had enough. I filed. I kicked his baby bottom in the settlement. He huffed and puffed but I had a nation, therapist. and a great lawyer. He’s sitting deep in shit two years out and I’m meh’ish for the most part.

    I kept what was important to me, my adult children, granddaughter, and friends. My debts are almost paid, I’m saving for a home and living better. The triggers are few. I still have PTSD moments.

    Now I have no fear of my future. As Mehphista stated, I’m building MY foundation. The ground work is safer being built with sheer will. I’m OK. I survived. That in itself is an accomplishment. Couldn’t have imagined this as I cried helpless swearing FUCK as the lawnmower betrayed me just two years ago. Sheer will, priceless.

      • Me three. In the form of a broken light socket.

        DM, you stone-cold rock. Buy you a drink when we get to Meh.

        • Mine was the dishwasher. It broke two weeks after 2nd dday. I sat on my kitchen floor crying with my Iphone and You Tube. I thought I had it until I tested it and the arm came flying off. Perseverance and Kleenex will get anyone through almost anything. Oh, and a fire extinguisher, but that’s another story.

          • Oh Annie – so many memories of being on my own.
            Did you know righty-tighty isn’t always the rule on propane tanks?
            Or, certain water faucets?
            Is that a way to F with women or what?
            Do they teach this to guys in some jr.high class and we don’t get the education….or, perhaps a dad to teach us girls that.

            Anyway, once I figured all those screwy things out, I AM mighty now with an entire new appreciation of screwdrivers, wrenches and, of course, youtube.
            I realized I didn’t need a man for anything like that, and there I was, worshipping him washing the cars on an active Sat morning when he wasn’t sleeping in. pfffft. (he eventually even paid for oil changes to be done for him – farm boy had advanced, I guess)

            THIS is what us women get to learn. We have the tools, the knowledge at hand, and every chance a guy does of learning how to re-wire a house. We are both human, after all. Nothing seems to intimidate me anymore, and if it does, since I live in an old home that needs work, I call a professional. I can’t fix interior leaks yet.

            • Yes. Those were early days when making a peanut butter sandwich seemed like a major accomplishment. Now things are more like a challenge. I figure if he could do it, and he was fucking stupid, I sure as hell can.

    • You rock! I had a lawn mower moment, mine was tearing a hole in my hand while mowing, caught it under the mailbox, lucky no tendons or bones were broken. I hired someone else to mow the lawn, I still need to sell that damn mower!

  • Yesterday, I became extremely upset by something my STBX pulled me into and it eventually escalated as he performed his usual blame shifting and passive aggressive behavior. Unfortunately, I took the bait and before I knew it, I was feeling the same level of despair, anger and emotion I promised myself I would no longer allow him to get from me. This went on via text for over two hours. Ugh.

    I went to bed angry and upset. First thing this morning I typed up this long, heated letter I was going to email to him detailing why I was so upset, why he was wrong, blah, de blah, blah, blah. I finished, read it twice, grimaced, and then promptly deleted it. So I guess that’s my mightiness check. A few short months ago I would have sent that email, then regretted it later as he regurgitated it in my face.

    Assessing my reaction today, I see that I am not as far along in the MEH phase of this process as I thought I was and that makes me more angry at myself than anything. It also makes me see that my decision to finally start the divorce process was the right one and I should stop second-guessing myself and just trust that he sucks.

    • Done, I had a similar experience as I was approaching Meh. I’d be fine until I had to deal with the ex over something, then I’d backslide. It helped a LOT to reduce my contact with him to the absolute minimum, and to refuse to discuss things in person or by text; only e-mail. That gave me time to read and think and rant before responding, and I got less sucked in.

      It also helped a ton when my ex moved out of town! Wish I could arrange that for all chumps!

      But Meh is now much more solid, barely shaken by ex’s occasional idiocies. You’ll get there!

    • Don’t beat yourself up. You got sucked in, and we’ve all been there and done that. But, you also wrote an email you perfected then deleted knowing the outcome. I’d say that was pretty self-aware and mighty. I bet you bounce back to where you were much quicker than you would have a month ago or two months ago. They always know what bait to cast. Next time you will frustrate the crap out of him because you wont bite.

  • How I am reflected in my children’s eyes is what makes me feel most mighty. Oldest D (20), when CL posted a “Who is your Patronus?” column, told me that my patronus should be a mama grizzly. Today, she asked me to send funny baby pictures of her for a college function (needed: tomorrow), and I responded, “Ugh child” at the short deadline. DD20 texted, “Don’t pretend you don’t like looking at baby pictures.” This is not a sentence she could ever have texted to Hannibal, and I’m sentimental that she sees me as the parent most invested in her and her history.

    Even DD15 (whose current state of rebellion is destined to take 5 years off my life span) wrote a very heartfelt card thanking me for being a good mother. The past 2 years has not been elegant or even sane some of the time, but staying the course with love and structure is paying off.

    • I hear you Tempest…staying the course is invaluable. 2 of 3 daughters, 17 and 13 y/o, have refused to go to their dad’s bunker/room because they clearly see who he is. Poor D10, too young to see it but she will, soon enough.

      As for mightiness check, well, I no longer want to beat the shit out of him anymore. That’s a start. Oh but wait…I still wish him dead at times, not very much meh of me, I know. However, I don’t think that feeling will EVER subside, and I’m ok with it :))

      In all honesty, after being 4 years out, my heart has finally caught up to the reality that he’s a self centered entitled prick who will step on and use everyone, even his own daughters, to fill his empty bottomless pit selfish ass.

      Stay the course, my fellow chump friends. Mighty is as mighty does.

      • TodaVa–I know! I considered it emotional progress when I merely wished X would die quietly in his sleep (instead of painfully after pit viper poisoning). They are selfish losers who suck the life out of anyone unfortunate enough to couple with them. Thank goodness we escaped in time.

    • Tempest, I have to say out here in the light that your friendship means the world to me AND you are mighty beyond words AND a complete badass! Jedi Hugs!

      • I will third that, having met personally!

        Let’s make the Yose-MEH-te (it is pronounced ‘You-so-Mighty’) park thing an annual event.

      • Jedi Hugs, back, Dat; you’re awesome!

        And Mehphista–so glad to have finally met you after admiring your posts for 2 year. An annual event indeed; everyone here is mighty.

    • This was very meaningful to me. I just love my boys to pieces and they treat me so well and show such love and concern, it’s just amazing really. I remember when they were 15 and I didn’t know if we would make it out unscathed (especially the youngest). But doesn’t it feel great to have all the love you gave them returned to you in what they say or do, just knowing that they know you will always there for them. It’s really the only thing that matters. Modeling mighty behavior so your kids will be mighty too.

    • Tempest, without your advice and friendship, I would probably be in an in-patient facility somewhere! Thank you for being there, for giving CN daily laughs and mighty doses of courage and encouragement!

  • So many inspiring stories have been posted here today. Thanks to all of you. I can’t express how much CN has meant to me.

    A little over a year ago, I was a sobbing, broken mess. I was terrified of what was going to happen to me financially, and was so bogged down by the trauma and pain of another Dday and filing for divorce, I felt I couldn’t accomplish anything but surviving. Fortunately, one of the first friends I shared the news with told me about Divorce Minister and Chump Lady. I read EVERYTHING I could on CL. Posts, replies, archives–I sometimes read for hours and hours, especially in the wee hours of the night when I couldn’t sleep and obsessive thoughts about cheater ex raced through my mind. Long story short, I got a crash course in giving up the hopium addiction, and saw that leaving the cheater was the best way to gain back my sanity and life. I felt supported, confirmed, understood, encouraged, and revived. I laughed out loud and guffawed at CL’s wit. I learned a whole new vocabulary and a discovery of truth about narcissists. I was set free! I felt literally vaulted into Meh in record time. I cannot thank you all enough. It was a group effort, for sure.

    Since I divorced the cheater and have gone completely NC, I have traveled extensively, moved into a new place, negotiated for and bought a new car, made tons of new friends, kicked all of the Switzerland people and assorted other narcissists out of my life, relearned fly fishing, took up sailing, lost 25 pounds, attended language school to brush up on my Spanish, and have enjoyed a sweet peace and joy in everyday living that was denied me while living with the soul-sucking negative, unhappy cheater during my 30-plus years with him. I have enjoyed a closer relationship with my grown children, and am super pumped about my first grandchild. Life is so sweet, I get tears of joy in my eyes at least once a day. Everyone tells me I look younger, radiant, and full of energy–amazing how spending your energy and love on yourself and not the sinking ship of a relationship with a cheater can so transform you.

    I salute all of you, no matter where you are on your journey. Be kind to yourself, for you are overcoming one of the hardest things a person can endure. You are all my heroes and heroines!

  • CL and chump nation have been so helpful for me, so thank you to everyone!

    Here are a few things I’ve done in the 3 years since I discovered his cheating… I lawyered up straight after I discovered he was cheating (this after he had lied in therapy, during a “trial separation”, etc.) and got him out in 3 weeks. I got a nice settlement and can live comfortably in my home. I’ve renovated my home putting in furniture and decorations that I like. I took a holiday to Asia, as I’ve always wanted to do, and had a great time. I am a much better parent to my daughter now that I am no longer watching man-child and his drama. Life is more peaceful and yes, I too enjoy doing the gardening and keeping the lawns (I purchased a battery charged lawn-mower – best investment for me!) I manage my finances well and got a job that allows me to have summers off with my daughter. I’ve met a nice man who is kind and honest and while it’s likely turned to friendship it’s been good to know that there are good, kind men out there. I’ve made new friends who are loyal, kind and supportive to me.

    My cheater has had to deal with domestic violence in his home, child-protection coming to his door and living with an unbalanced woman who is desperate for his money and influence. I’m rarely in contact except via email or text messages and mercifully, those are rare. The chaos and drama in my life is very very minimal now. No more drunken binges, screwing around with bar maids and angry, dismissive behaviour.

    Me for the win.

  • In Jan I found finally got the courage to see a lawyer, filed in March and he requested cheater’s income
    records from previous years. Let’s call it robbery. My pit bull lawyer, disguised as a lamb, told me that I
    had won the lottery with several hundred thousand $$$ coming soon to my bank acc’t. Lawyer could not wipe the grin off his face. Karma bus arrived sooner than I ever imagined.
    All the damage these idiots do blows me away but they still want to be friends.
    Life is now good, reciprocal friends and world travel.
    The worst day of my life was the best day of my life. It really does get better. Hang in there.

    • That’s amazing. I so would have loved to see his face when informed what he was going to have to pay out. In fact, I would love to see so many of their faces when Karma hits. It gives me a warm fuzzy feeling just thinking about it.

  • I refinanced and the house is mine now, although with a sizeable mortgage. I negotiated much more money at work (which is very difficult because my boss does not give raises). Even though he earned more money than me, we were always living paycheck to paycheck. Now I am able to do whatever I want and still put money away. (So the infidelity was only physical- it was financial as well) I got all the friends, my son, my family (his family doesn’t talk to me although he was the cheater and alcoholic). I redecorated and painted my house to remove all reminders of him. I started writing a book, which I always wanted to do. I am still sad because we were together so long and apparently, I meant so little. I did see him recently for the first time in fifteen months and he had not spoken to me in all that time. I got the contents of the house in the divorce but gave him certain things that I felt were his. After he hugged me, told me that I ‘pushed’ him out of the house when he wanted to stay home (translation: I caught him with a secret 7-11 pre-paid phone for schmoopie), and asked if he could call sometime, he completely stopped talking to me again! So, silly me, I gave him stuff he was not legally entitled to and then he reverted to the silent treatment after he got it. But overall, I am completely independent financially, my son will be engaged soon to a girl I absolutely adore, and there is peace in my house. I am hoping there will be real love for me someday because I have a lot to give, but this time I want to receive as well. I am a little gun shy. But me and my cats- we snuggle at night, I sing to them. I am okay. I will be fine.

  • Also wanted to say that while my life is peaceful and restorative, his life is still a mess. He just got out of his 5th alcohol rehab in five years. He says he has no money and can’t sell his business. His doctor thinks he has prostate cancer. He says schmoopie is the “most honest” person he knows, will kick him out if he lies to her ‘again’. He says he felt more secure with me and now has a huge void in his life. He said; “you know that this relationship (with schmoopie) is not likely to work out. I’ll probably screw it up.” And I said: “I do know. The statistics on successful relationships between cheaters is not very good.” And then I laughed.

  • I went through that hopeless feeling about 3 years ago now….it took every ounce of courage and non stop prayers, but I threw his belongings out the front door and changed the locks. I had 3 kids 5 and under at the time with my 2 year old having been recently diagnosed with epilepsy. I had been a stay at home mom for years. And now dealing with my 2 year old who stops breathing with almost every seizure. But I did it. I was blessed and found an awesome job with a boss who was extremely understanding… even when I took my kids to work with me. A little over year ago I met the most wonderful man…. we are just now moving into the home he built for us. Life couldn’t be any better. I always thought my ex husband was the love of my life…. I now know that in reality he was just a psychopath and I’m blessed to be away from him. I went through some very bad times but I have come out better then ever before. So hang in there fellow chumps!!! Life has a way of working out.

  • 20 years of marriage, ended a little over a year ago for me. What ever shall I do???

    Well, let me tell you.
    I got a job at the Post Office! A wonderful friend made her husband BUY A HOUSE so he could rent it to me and my two kids, one of which I take to college next week. I have a savings account, a new car, and a cat too 🙂 A year ago I was newly single, with no job and 19 years of being a SAHM behind me and FREAKING OUT. I was terrified about where we would live, how I would get my son to college, and how I would support them. Would I have to go home to my PARENTS?? (at 47??) Who would ever love me again? Would I ever have sex again? Who would plow my snow? (It was June).
    Today I live in joy. More money than we ever had (thanks to actually budgeting and taking every penny I deserved from the schmuck). A lovely home. A purry kitty and happy kids. The x comes by a couple of times a week to see the kids, so they are not abandoned, but they know how it is, really.
    I do not hook up. I am quite gun-shy about men and live rural, so my dating-pool is quite limited, but hey, I have fanfiction and fingers, so I’ll get through it lol.
    I love you Chumplady. I still would have made Mighty without you, but I think it would have taken a lot longer 🙂

  • I received a text on July 29th at 11:14 that my divorce was final and I could return to my maiden name! Best day ever.

    • Informal, going back to my maiden name was one of the saddest days of my life because I wore my married name for 37 years, so therefore I identified strongly to it. Having said that, I have been ‘me’ again for 2 years now and I will never change my name again. I was born with my name and I will die with my wonderful name.

      • Im not keeping my married name or going back to my maiden name. Im making my middle name my last name. New life new me!

        • Good for you, Kar Marie. My remaining son and I changed our names as a family, to something entirely different from what it had been. We ditched cheater ex’s name and found freedom. Best decision ever! We erased them from our lives like a bad habit. If only I could figure out how to change my youngest son’s name posthumously to match ours!

      • I loved the married name I had, it was a very lovely name. The kids can keep it! I needed a new beginning for myself, and I took my grandmother’s name. It’s also lovely, and French Canadian, plus I never got to know her, so it’s my way of being closer to her.
        I still get a kick out of explaining to people why I wanted to ditch the X’s name, and I love my new one.

    • I couldn’t decide to keep my married name or go back to my maiden name, or choose another. Besides the hassle of a name change, it’s been my professional name for 28 years and I have numerous contacts that would have trouble finding me. I’ve also published a few professional pieces under my married name. I finally decided to keep it until I retire. Once I’ve retired, I’m changing my name. If anyone comes looking for me to retaliate against me for locking them up, they will find Fucktard and the OW, who will most likely be Mrs. Fucktard. Oops, so sad.

  • I feel the same. Losing that name was like shedding a snake skin. My kids were my only consideration. One is changing their name and the other wants to change the legacy of the name. They supported my decision.

  • This is my first time posting, but I have been reading since DDay (5 months ago). Over the past 5 months, I have been working to let go of this sociopathic (??) creep formerly known as my husband. I found out about the OW (plural) and craigslist ads from this year exactly 3 days before my husband accepted a job out of country. He left me here with 2 kids and a parent with dementia. Then the trickle truth started leaking out. So. much. deceit. I found out it happened for the first time (he claims) more than 5 years ago.

    My kids and I were supposed to follow him once my Green Card was processed. That was the original plan. While I talked about buying a new house and starting a new life…he was trying to cling to the OW and taking out ads to hook up with women in this city and in his new one. In the meantime, he was planning to move down there and then decide if the OW and him would work out. Of course, his plan was to tell me at some point after he had already left (he admits he wasn’t sure if he would have told me before I actually made the move….except I foiled the plan by finding his secret emails). I am so grateful that I discovered before packing up my family to move where I wouldn’t know anyone but him.

    Oh boy, does he promise reconciliation. Except of course for the fact he still admits to an open email account that I don’t know (and of course, no access to his technology). And he gets awfully angry any time I bring up my feelings and concerns (heaven forbid!). Last month, he “separated” so he could ‘act with integrity’ – ie email the OW because he was no longer with me. That was apparently none of my business (in his world). So I called it quits. He sure came running when he knew I was serious. Was back up visiting within the week. That was the breaking point. He can try all he wants, but “unless and until”, this ship has sunk.

    In these 5 months, I’ve managed to feed my kids every day (hey, that’s something), keep my home business running, forge some new opportunities. I found a new job and started to live my life again. All while helping my elderly parents. It was largely business as usual (except a bit messier, and maybe momma had a couple too many glasses of wine sometimes). This new job means financial freedom from him and is a dream job of mine. I can live with or without his child support (don’t worry, I’m insisting on spousal and child support, but he loses his job a lot). Formerly, I was a WAHM making less than $30K and my biggest fear in leaving was having to count on him to live up to his end of the bargain. That and often living in places where I didn’t know anyone made it difficult to have the courage to walk away after years of broken promises and his ditching responsibility for pretty much everything.

    And guess what? I’m calmer. I enjoy my kids more. I was actually -dancing- and -singing- with them in the living room yesterday. I haven’t done that in months (well before DDay). Because even though I didn’t know, I must have “known” something was amiss, I think. I just feel actual and real happiness again. I only get hit with sadness a few times a week (less than 5), mostly around triggers and thinking about my children and the impact to them.

    I know I’m a chump. I have told him I’m open to reconciliation, but my list of expectations is long. As long as I continue to see him fail at working things out, I’ve made it clear he doesn’t stand a chance. As the months go by, I care less and less. I can predict what will happen and what he will say to just about everything. In 7 months, I can file and as long as we continue on this path, that’s where I’m headed. I’ve told him, he will have to move back here because I sure as heck will not move for the likes of him…he said “there aren’t any opportunities for me there.” To which I reminded him that being with his family WAS the opportunity. That left him silent. He has no follow through, so I’m pretty confident my needs will never be met (let alone considered). And – that actually feels OK. Truly OK.

    I start a brand new life next week (or maybe I expand on the new one I’m already building) – and you know what? I don’t have time for games. My kids and I are doing great with no man in the house. I’ve been on road trips, camping trips — enjoying all of summer and that life has to offer before I embark on a new adventure. The new wardrobe, haircut, and lifestyle have gone a long way in starting the process of rebuilding my self esteem. As is all of the yoga I’ve been doing. I might be a chump, but I’m no longer a frumpy chumpy. I have slowly realized…I am mighty. I’ve taken a huge hit this year, and kept on trucking. Just like all of you wonderful people. Thank you!!

    • “Because even though I didn’t know, I must have “known” something was amiss, I think. I just feel actual and real happiness again.”
      YES!!! I know exactly what you mean! Only now that I am away from him have I realized how terrible I felt with him, even before I knew about the cheating. It seems like I was under a dark fog. Maybe that is the result of living with someone who is in the dark with his behavior. Now that I know how great I feel without him, I will NEVER go back to that situation again. I feel as if I have been freed to be me again, after 23 long years! Congrats to you, Chumplisa! You are indeed mighty.

  • The 29th of this month marks one year since the rat bastard abandoned me – after 38 years of marriage.

    In these past 11-3/4 months I have:

    Endured 3 months of ghosting before finding the Craigslist evidence and learning Shithead really was fucking Senior Slut despite all the “oh, no, she’s just a friend” protestations;
    Filed for divorce;
    Gotten through the death of my father, helping my mom with all the paperwork and other “stuff”;
    Gotten through birthdays, our wedding anniversary, and the holidays (mostly) sanely;
    Gotten the divorce final and came out with a decent settlement and my ENTIRE PENSION!;
    Sold the marital home;
    Bought myself a cute little house;
    Moved 2800 sq. feet and an acre’s worth of land of stuff into said little house;
    Helped my son move out into his own home;
    Moved my mom in with me;
    Traded in the car Shithead bought for me and bought my own;
    Navigated all the paperwork of getting insurance, utility bills, etc. separated from Shithead and into my name alone;
    Have almost paid off my attorney;
    Learned how to use power tools and and doing my own damn home stuff – it isn’t nearly as difficult as Shithead made it sound;
    And managed to still get up in the mornings, get to my job, and still do good work!

    Tomorrow is the garage sale to get rid of the rest of the baggage. 4:00 tomorrow the charity truck picks up any remainders and this will put the lid on a fucking miserable year. At 4:01 the champagne gets opened and we celebrate the start of something good!

  • I’ve been NC (except for kid stuff) since about February and have subsequently stopped taking sleeping pills. Coincidence? I think not.
    And the other day my 11-year old told me that Daddy was “fucked up” – that made me feel kind of (smugly) mighty.
    And the chartered business accountant that my lawyer suggested I hire found significant retained earnings that STBXH was not reporting on his income tax – that will increase all support payments.
    Things are getting better – the WTF days are fewer and farther between.

  • Idk how mighty I really am since he’s still living here 2 weeks post D-Day. I’ve told him to leave every single day. Unfortunately both of our names are on the lease and I can’t change the locks. We have an almost 2 year old and a 10 week old. I have nowhere to go that would allow even a mildly decent transition for them. I tried at my parents house for a little over a week but with all of us in one room we were only sleeping for 2 hours a night.

    SO, I’m here. Not putting up with his bullshit or his minimizing. Not allowing him to emotionally manipulate me. Not allowing him to say “they were just a few text messages.” A few text messages about how you want to fuck your co-worker. In the meantime I’ve gone underground. Getting my ducks in a row before I see a lawyer. Being as cordial as possible as to not create a hostile environment for my kiddos. Because they’re my only priority. I get up for work at 5 am everyday. I get my kids ready. I go to the gym. I spend time with my family. I will not let him ruin me or my kids. I will be the sane parent. He clearly can’t be. Especially if he thinks the OW is a good person. A good person doesn’t cheat on their boyfriend. A good person doesn’t fuck around with a man she knows is married with a brand new baby.

    It might “only” have been a few text messages. But I’ll never truly know. Because I don’t believe anything he says. I trust that he sucks. Either way, those text messages are enough for me. They’re everything I already knew in my gut over the last 2 months.

    Check back in a year and we’ll see how much more mighty I am. Thanks for all of the support you guys have already offered me. I wouldn’t be getting through this without CN.

    • Hugs, Jessica! You are definitely mighty! You can’t help the fact that he won’t leave, and your best option right now is doing exactly what you are doing, planning and preparing and being the only sane parent. And having two such young kids while dealing with this heartbreak must be so hard. Hang in there because I think you will be amazed at what a difference a year makes.

      • I accidentally posted twice because this wasn’t under my username. Weird!

        Thank you for all of the support. My biggest struggle has been mourning the loss of what I imagined my family to be. But I’ve come to realize, after 12 years, that he’s just not the person I thought he was. That future was never possible because he’s a narc.

        Thank you, Chump Mama. Hugs!

          • Thank you so much for your encouragement. And for understanding my username! This morning I got up at 6am. Got my kiddos ready. Drove 45 minutes for an outdoor photoshoot sans husband and we killed it! Got some amazing shots and we were home by 1 for naptime. I’m scared though because I feel like I’m riding out the anger right now. I know it will fade and eventually I’ll be left with the pain of it all. Hopefully counseling will continue to help.

  • Yesterday I closed and sold the house I still owned with Drac, the last financial tie I had with him. DDay 3 years ago, he moved 2000 miles away from the kids 2 years ago, divorce was final 17 months ago. I refinanced my primary home 1 year ago and bought a new car 9 months ago. This 2nd house was the last financial tie I had to him (and he stopped paying his half of mortgages and expenses at the same time he stopped paying all child support). So, all summer I’ve paid for mortgage on my primary home, the full mortgage on this second home with no child support, and I had to bring $8000 to the table to close this 2nd house. But I did it, it’s off to a new family to take care of it, I didn’t have to walk away from it and let the bank repossess it, and I did it all long distance from 2000 miles away, with ZERO input from Dracula. The only tie I have with him is with the kids. Nothing financial ever again.

    However, it’s amazing that it’s 3 years out, and I STILL will get occasional reminders on how much he sucks, and it still boggles my mind. This home I sold yesterday, the buyers mortgage company wanted a statement from the gad company that the bill was paid. I called the gas company and they said they’ve given the final bill to the renters who’d been renting this house up to this past spring. However, they said, you’ve got an outstanding bill from 2011 that went to Collections (this was when we left and moved 2000 miles west). I almost laughed at the gas company. OF COURSE Drac would have let it go to Collections, this was his m.o., the bill wasn’t in his name, and we just moved 2000 miles away. Why pay a bill when we were moving so far away? Shades of the 20 years I was with him. Do you guys know how much this bill was for? The bill he couldn’t even bother mentioning to me, to ask me to pay or remind me to pay, or god forbid, pay himself?

    $27.00

    Trust that they suck.

    Newbies – don’t give in to them!! We are here for you!!!

  • Idk how mighty I really am since he’s still living here 2 weeks post D-Day. I’ve told him to leave every single day. Unfortunately both of our names are on the lease and I can’t change the locks. We have an almost 2 year old and a 10 week old. I have nowhere to go that would allow even a mildly decent transition for them. I tried at my parents house for a little over a week but with all of us in one room we were only sleeping for 2 hours a night.

    SO, I’m here. Not putting up with his bullshit or his minimizing. Not allowing him to emotionally manipulate me. Not allowing him to say “they were just a few text messages.” A few text messages about how you want to fuck your co-worker. In the meantime I’ve gone underground. Getting my ducks in a row before I see a lawyer. Being as cordial as possible as to not create a hostile environment for my kiddos. Because they’re my only priority. I get up for work at 5 am everyday. I get my kids ready. I go to the gym. I spend time with my family. I will not let him ruin me or my kids. I will be the sane parent. He clearly can’t be. Especially if he thinks the OW is a good person. A good person doesn’t cheat on their boyfriend. A good person doesn’t fuck around with a man she knows is married with a brand new baby.

    It might “only” have been a few text messages. But I’ll never truly know. Because I don’t believe anything he says. I trust that he sucks. Either way, those text messages are enough for me. They’re everything I already knew in my gut over the last 2 months.

    Check back in a year and we’ll see how much more mighty I am. Thanks for all of the support you guys have already offered me. I wouldn’t be getting through this without CN.

    • Wow–keeping a cool strategic head through all this while still having to deal with him is SUPER mighty! I especially admire how you know your worth and boundaries without having to learn through multiple D-days, reconciliation nonsense, etc. I’ll bet in a year you will still be mighty, but the change will be that you have some peace and joy back in life! I’m starting to experience that after getting out of an easier situation. I am pulling for you!

      • Thank you! This is D-Day number two though. He was deployed the first time and I made excuses. No more!

        I’m so glad you are finding happiness. It’s what we all deserve. <3

  • I wrote to you and you replied at the start Chumplady (http://www.chumplady.com/2014/03/dear-chump-lady-he-left-to-go-find-himself/), and finally left the Nordic region to return back to a job in Australia last December, coinciding with my older child being ready to go to school. I’ve made significant inroads since I wrote that letter to you.

    I’ve graduated with two new undergraduate degrees (distance learning), in teaching and another I’d been working on for years from the LSE! I’ve just today completed writing the final chapter for a ‘how to’ book related to my discipline, this month whilst it goes through revision and editing, I’m building the website to support it. Anyone know a good cover designer?

    My kids are doing great in their school and preschool and we’re gradually building a good network of friends and I’m reconnecting with my old friends. I’m not romantically involved, nor interested, but finding such joy in our freedom and also the solid home life that the kids and I have built in the last year.

    My work is going well, and although I’m on only a one-year contract, there are many opportunities presenting themselves for next year and I anticipate buying my own home some time in 2017.

    All in all, taking advice from here and other networks of chumps has propelled me away from that cowering, unsure, and terrified time of being a chumped trailing spouse with an infant and preschooler, to someone that can stand on their feet, and ferociously defend her rights (I’m getting great child support!). Best of all, we live a hemisphere away from dipshit, and he has minimum impact on our lives. The kids are doing so well without him nearby. He is “Disney Dad”, one holiday a year kind of guy with no plans of living in Australia any time soon. Just perfect for us.

    • You’ve come such a long way, uprooted, started over with little ones. You are mighty jj! Jedi Hugs and keep on rockin on!

    • Hi JJ, I read your story in the archives and it helped me a lot as well, since there were some evident similarities with mine. I am glad to read how you are doing by now. You sound very strong and I admire you for doing the parenting almost completely by yourself. That gives me courage that I can do that as well. As for your question for a book cover designer. I actually know a fellow chump who is in book design. Are you on the forum so that I can exchange her contact details there?

      • Thanks DDW and Giraffe, it hasn’t been without its ups and downs, but mostly ups the last 6 months. I’m so glad the kids are OK, that is my principle concern. They’re actually more settled being away from their uncle daddy, but if they told me tomorrow that they wanted to be closer to him, I’d move heaven and earth to make it happen.

        It was a major step to realize that unless I lived in the retirement backwater where my folks live, I’d be doing this parenting thing on my own, and I worked through that and that is partly why I took my current role, which is very flexible timewise. That is also why I’m pushing these book projects out too. I’m aiming to be able to just write (and edit) for a living by the time my older child is in high school, so we can live pretty much where we want to, to accommodate the kid’s needs.

        I don’t really get on the forum, but I can check it out over the next few days. I’ve got a great concept for a book cover, but I can’t draw and I wanted it to be based on a stylised drawing of something I’ve in mind. Would be great if you could get me in touch with someone somehow! Thanks Giraffe.

        You can do this, by the way, you just need to find your inner lion and let it loose!

  • I spent weeks studying and have started rewiring my own home to current safety code. There are currently used wires from 1920, 1940’s, 50’s and 1970’s , and partially updated section from 2009. About 1/3 through, licensed electrician came in today and deemed my drawings and current work “good”. Very proud of myself.

  • I found out from my mother, after my 2 1/2 year relationship ended three months ago due to my ex having an affair with a married colleague since before he met me, that my favorite aunt had been through absolute hell in her 10-ish year marriage. Total NPD crazy cheating stuff. She ate a lot of shit sandwiches parallel-parenting in the same local area once she left him, and has finally recently fought through nasty legal challenges to move to a place she loves. I am so proud of her!!! I am so grateful that I mostly escaped the nightmare she endured, so sad that she went through it, and admire the SHIT out of her for being a good mom and surviving this nightmate while raising her children to be amazing people. Now she gets a new start in a fabulous new town and house!

  • Not really a mightiness check in, still climbing the mountain to MEHcca… Just want to pass on a movie suggestion. I just watched SHATTERED with Pierce Brosnan, Gerard Butler (for completely selfish and indulgent reasons, I find them both extremely hot) and Maria Bello. I remember using that word, shattered, a lot at the early times of trying to understand and denial and sadness, and it was true… The movie, wow, talk about a karma bus convoy… I wish I would have had the presence of mind and the participation of the other betrayed person and the devious genius to pull off such an epic and powerful FUCK YOU. This solo netfilx (amazon prime) and chill rocked!!!

    • I was just looking for a movie tonight. When I watched this with XH the first time, he couldn’t understand why I was so upset. Cheating ass!

    • Thanks for the movie suggestion. I just finished watching it. and it was AWESOME!!!!! I too wish I could have participated in the “devious genius.” Best line for Chumps ever, “Who breaks a butterfly on a wheel? I do.”

  • This was what I needed. I haven’t been feeling too mighty the past couple of days (the leaky roof in my new house is stressing me out). But after I read through the posts here I realize that mighty comes in both large and small packages. So I started looking at what I’ve done that’s mighty since D-Day last October.

    After him treating his family like crap for a good 18 months, I gathered my mightiness and told him he had to decide if he wanted to work on our marriage or divorce. He couldn’t even give me a straight answer (a complete lack of balls which applies to just about every area of his life). I’m so glad I made the decision because about 2 weeks later I found out about the emotional affair with his high school GF.

    I’ve bought my own house. At first I did some house hunting with him to get his advice on structural, electrical, plumbing issues until I realized he was discussing it all with the emotional affair. I struck out on my own. Drove him nuts. The house I’ve bought is one he’s never saw with me. OK, so I’ve ended up with a portion of leaky roof but seeing as how he never really gave me any advice anyway (he was too afraid of conflict, see my lack of balls comment above).

    I’m getting the roof taken care of. I called out four roofing companies. Went throu