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It’s Beginning to Look a Lot Like D-Day…

falalalaOne of the lasting “gifts” of infidelity for me is that the holidays can’t roll around without me thinking, “Someone’s going to have a D-Day right about now.”

D-days, otherwise known as “discovery days” or “damn my life is nothing like I thought days” or “dial a lawyer now days”,  can happen anytime, but they’re more prevalent around the holidays. It’s hard for cheaters to juggle their double lives, but it’s doubly hard at the time of year that puts a premium on family togetherness. Worse, the holidays mean gift-giving. The chances of being exposed are exponentially greater.

Schmoopies will demand attention.

Chumps will stumble over receipts for gifts not intended for them.

Children will wonder where mom or dad went — and who works all day on Christmas Eve?

Somewhere a chump is exhausted doing all the holiday prep work alone and unsupported. Somewhere a chump or chump children are expressing needs and desires, putting horrible demands for kibbles upon cheaters. Oppressive demands like “be my date at the office Christmas party” or “We need to drive to my parents and open presents with the kids.”

Most frustrating of all for cheaters is that most of them will get actual time off from work. Offices shutter. Gone are the ready-made excuses for business trips, late meetings, or urgent boss requests. The lies get crazier, a bit more desperate. The disconnect wider. The neglect more obvious.

And things fall apart.

The Other Woman gets uppity. The cheater didn’t leave his family by the appointed hour. She faces another holiday of side dish status. She blows the whistle and calls the chump.

The chump wonders where his wife is. Again. He buys the GPS tracking system at the Black Friday sales.

The cheater gets sloppy. The chump discovers.

Let’s hope Santa brings every new chump a shiny, pit bull lawyer for Christmas. Let’s pray that every chumped child gets a sane parent who even with a devastated heart gives them the gift of showing up and loving them 24/7.  Let’s pray for the true friends who reveal themselves as the Switzerland friends recede. Let’s give thanks for the kind stranger who leaves gifts and groceries to the suddenly single, abandoned mom.

Let’s hope all the newly minted chumps find us and find the better lives they richly deserve.

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  • So true.

    My D-day was 28th December when I discovered the ‘Text’ on her phone. At least I found out after xmas day, though how she could sit opposite me at the table whilst we sat eating our xmas dinner, whilst all the while she was thinking about another man baffles me.

    Last Xmas was horrible, again her self centred ways demanded that she have our children most of xmas day, spending it with her latest boyfriend. I could understand if she wanted the kids and spent the day with er family, but no..she was in another state, with someone she had known 8 months! Whilst I did the family visits with our kids, giving presents to her family on xmas Eve.

    This year I am spending the days before xmas with my lovely chump girlfriend and her family, will be collecting my lovely kids on xmas day morning and driving 300 miles to spend the next few days with my family and looking forward to it.

    Hopefully the new membership to chump nation isn’t too high this year, if it does and anyone happens to read this it gets better, slowly, but it gets better.

    Happy holidays chump nation!

    • What is it with the “must thrust my new girl/boyfriend down my children’s throats” shortly after the divorce (or before it is even final)? My X did this to my oldest daughter months after the divorce was final (and we now know the GF was his last AP). Over a year and a half out, he still won’t just have dinner with DD unless slutress and her two children are with him.

      And he wonders why DD21 only spent 2 out of 20 days at his house last Christmas break.

      • I don’t get it either…probably trying to fake/forced “Happy Families”.

        Would I have wanted to spend xmas with someone other than family and in unfamiliar surroundings – no! Again it’s the classic selfish, um-empathetic view of a cheater that leads them to do this I guess.

        • My STBXW introduced my kids to her AP 3 months after we split! When he died and she met someone else within a month and introduced my kids to him 3 months after AP died i voiced my objection and concern…what was it met with from the disordered wench…

          “It’s as if you don’t want me to be happy!”

          You can’t argue with crazy

          • MBE, that is just screwed up! Everything I read is not to introduce kids to new partner for at least 1 year. She should be classified as certifiably insane and time limited to kids with supervised visitation. Our society deems that cruel though. Yeah, it’s cruel to the kids not the X! Hope your Christmas plans go through without too much BS from X!

            • How about a selfish prick who convinced our sixteen year old son to move out of our home to go live with dear old dad. Because it wasn’t enough pain for our other two kids to lose their father; they also lost their brother.

              Meanwhile, our teen felt really special and wanted by his father. All the way up to the day they moved in to the bachelor pad and my son found girly items in the bathroom and living areas. When he told his father the previous owners must have forgotten stuff, his father replied, “Well, Bimbo and her daughter are moving in, too. You don’t have a problem with that, DO YOU?!”

              Hurt and confused, our sixteen year old asked why he invited him to move with him. With no consideration of his feelings, his father said, “Because I can’t pay child support to that excuse of a mother for all all three of you.”

              We didn’t get divorced until 10 months later. By then, my son had long returned home.

              I manage to live life pretty happily these days, until a memory like this one puts me right back to rage. How I hated him for that dunderheaded move!

              • “Because I can’t pay child support to that excuse of a mother for all all three of you.”

                Oh. My. God.

                That poor child!

              • I’m not even a third into the comments and I’m already pist off. Mad that it happened to my daughters and myself and hella mad that it’s universal!

                If there would be no chance of any of us getting caught, I would start a thread in the forums that listed nothing but addresses. Addresses of the fuckwits that mess with us and our children. Any chump feeling like they got nothing to do and have a spare minute, go to fuckwits addresses and just beat the shit out of them. All anonymous, of course…in every aspect of the actions!

            • Ug, this a sore subject here for sure. STBX only moved out 3 months ago. Even though he’s been a total absentee dad for our twin 2-year-olds all year (and has never taken them anywhere more than 3 hours) he wants to take them for a full week after Christmas, two states away to “visit his sister”….which I know really means he’ll be hanging out with his out-of-state mistress and her two kids all holiday (she separated from her husband the same time my spouse left me). Confirmed this with the mistress’s husband too [we used to all be friends]).

              WTF. Does he want to play “happy family” together? Does he want to impress her with his fabulous parenting skills? Does she realize she’d be taking care of my toddlers the whole damn week because he won’t do any of the heavy lifting? Do they realize their four confused kids will be swimming in this soup of lies and weirdness? Do the kids’ feelings even remotely ping on their delusional, self-absorbed radar?

              I want to prevent the whole trip. I think it is COMPLETELY inappropriate to behave this way in front of four kids. He sees nothing wrong with it and keeps flaunting the phrase “kids are resilient” like a get-out-of-jail-free card for his whims and need to impress her. Just because they can be resilient does not give you license to ignore their feelings and have no care to how they’ll view healthy relationships..and successful holidays…for the rest of their lives!!!!

              Fuming so much. Lawyer is filing papers this week.


              • Dear gaslight-burning, I do not think the kids feelings even remotely ping on their delusional, self-absorbed radar (like how you put that!). They can’t consider anyone else’s feelings but their own superficial “I must feel good” mindset. My stbx is impatient and irritated that our daughter doesn’t just accept his pitiful ‘I’m sorry’ for lying and deceiving you, and be back to her normal self instead of not wanting to see him. There’s no humility or remorse from him, just agitation that people are not acting the way he wants them to act. He then told me that his mom cheated in front of him with another man – did it suck, did he get over it? Yes – so our daughter will just have to get over it.
                I was speechless. So cold and heartless – just because he was subjected to things by his parents that were very hurtful, he has the green light to inflict same on his own child? They have no soul.
                (His dad also left his 2nd wife to go live with young girl for a while. Then he went back to the wife. So his family has a history of affairs. One thing I’m teaching my daughter – when you meet a young man – look at his family – look at what is ‘normal’ for them and decide if that’s acceptable for you)

              • FindingPeace, I’ve seen that too, the justification for cheating because “it worked out fine in my family”. I’m so sorry your daughter has to put up with that attitude and it sounds like you are doing your best to counter those life lessons for your daughter. My STBX has a father that cheated, and a brother who left his wife for someone else when their kids were young..their kids are out of the house now and “turned out just fine” (though if you talk to the grandma, that wasn’t the case AT ALL and there were major frictions with the stepparents). My STBX holds that as his standard for “normal” behavior and circumstances..when the going gets rough in marriage, that’s a sign it’s time to “just move on”. Like it’s some sort of high school breakup instead of the destruction of a family. Ug.

          • MBE, such disordered and narcissistic behavior. Sorry you had to go through this.

            I was laying in hospital bed post cancer surgery #3 just 5 months after DD and STBXH blew up our family right after the holidays as he couldn’t keep his lies straight. He insisted our adult son and wife meet AP. He said,”come on it’s been almost 6 months”. It’s time to move on”.

            It didn’t go well and the karma bus, while slower than I would like, is en route.

            These things have a way of coming back to you. All of friends and neighbors have been incredibly supportive and loving. Not a one stuck by him. My family, sans him, is intact, loving, committed to my healing and supportive of my new joy filled life.

            While kicking a cheater to the curb while battling aggressive cancer has been the hardest thing I have ever done, it’s the powerful foundation of my life now. Trust me is solid, authentic and worth the pain and suffering.

            While not cancer free yet, I’m committed to healing, on my way to a joy-filled life and feeling illuminated. I plan to light my own way to a beautiful holiday season filled with genuine loving family and friends.

            We chumps have incredibly resilient spirits that cannot be broken. Group chump hug today; stay mighty!

        • this > probably trying to fake/forced “Happy Families”.

          Cheater ex will not visit his family who lives in another state unless D19 goes with him. I think it’s because he wants to show his family that he has a good relationship with her and she makes him look good. She’s in college so she has less time available with school and work and she has a hard time saying no to him. If she does say no, he either lays a guilt trip on her (grandma won’t be around much longer) or get tickets to a pro game to entice her to go. He canceled his plans to see his family last summer because she wasn’t available and he’s trying to get her to go with him over Christmas break.

          He also travels for work to some nice places but never invites her to go with him on those trips. The reason? He admitted during wreckonciliation that has one night stands when he travels. If she was with him, it would ruin his fun. She of course, doesn’t know any of that.

      • Mine introduced the AP to the kids a few days after announcing she wanted a divorce. I think maybe it is just pretending to be a happy family as mickeyblueeyes said?

        • My stbx left Jan 2015. Rented big expensive house in posh neighborhood with his coworker (26 years younger than him and AP is 9 years older than our daughter) and then it was a month later our daughter was introduced to AP. The one who ‘saved’ him from me as I was so ‘mean’ behind closed doors. The things they tell people to justify their actions. He just got back from camping trip with AP with new off road toy (but cries he can’t afford support the court ordered). But he is angry and miserable. He will always be angry and miserable. She can have him. I think they pretend to be ‘happy’. My stbx said he wanted to be ‘happy’. Blowing up a family and lying and cheating to be ‘happy’. No, you can’t argue or reason with crazy. And they cannot really be happy. They do not have the capacity. My heart goes out to everyone during the holidays. I took my daughter on a little trip over Thanksgiving. I got to see her smile for the first time in a long time.

          • Be sure you introduce evidence of the “new off road toy” at any hearings on support. When I was a practicing attorney I had one very memorable case where the ex of my client went into court asking to have his child support “burden” reduced because he couldn’t afford the child support and the lease payment on his Mercedes coupe. Both lawyers and the Magistrate who heard the case were female. His poor attorney was clearly mortified to be making the argument. The Magistrate was … not kind. Probably the easiest win of my career and one of the most satisfying.

            • Beth, thank you for this piece of advice. My sister divorced a narc a few years ago and periodically he makes noise about how poor he is and threatens court to reduce child support. My sister is a deaf education teacher, he’s a bonds analyst for Wells Fargo. He takes multiple trips overseas every year to places like Thailand, where you can guess what recreational activities he pursues. Those CS payments are cutting into his prostitution fund.

            • Thank you Beth. He was trying to use the off road toy to entice our daughter to see him and go on a trip. I found out yesterday from our daughter – she said she didn’t even want to sit in it. This is a vehicle she has always wanted to drive so badly, too. For months he has railed on about how he can’t afford support. He told me – and our daughter – that if I didn’t accept his pitiful offering of support he would sell the house and we’d have to move. (A house his daughter wants to stay in – she grew up here!) And then he buys this thing. He says I have ‘tainted’ our daughter against him! Uh, no, he has done that all by himself with his selfish, cold actions and buy putting his OW before his own daughter. But he can’t see that. He just has no clue because has no empathy, no compassion – only insane selfish ambition. I am so thankful for this site and you guys.

          • Why do they think it is ok to introduce the AP so soon?? The world will never know the answer to this question. My x told my boys that he was “dating” before the divorce was final. And oh yeah, I was dating her while I was married to your mother. He thinks they are going to have big family gathering and everything is going to be great. My DIL will not have anything to do with her. I hate him and everything about him and his whore.

            • I asked my ex the same question, as within a month of leaving he wanted to hang out with OW (elder son’s music teacher of 2 years) & her kids in his rare time with them. He actually said “they should be happy for me”.
              Zero empathy. He avoided domestic chores and dad responsibilities so another motivation was wanting OW to do all that boring shit like food prep and washing clothes

          • Unless your ex has a ton of money, the OW will not stick around with a miserable “old”er man. Right now she has the nice place to live (rental) and he is buying neat toys but that’ll get old, especially when he starts crying poor mouth to her.

          • Ditto: STBX has taken AP on many exotic expensive trips to places he never even mentioned wanting to go to, let alone take me in 25 years of marriage .. “But he is angry and miserable. He will always be angry and miserable. She can have him. I think they pretend to be ‘happy’. My stbx said he wanted to be ‘happy’. Blowing up a family and lying and cheating to be ‘happy’. No, you can’t argue or reason with crazy. And they cannot really be happy. They do not have the capacity.”

        • Yes, pushing their agenda as the good guy/girl image, everyone gets along with me except Chump, I did nothing wrong, I’m happy now, as they’re pretending to be the happy family.
          They’re never genuinely happy, this too will grow old and resentments build once the shine dulls and the blame game will begin. They will always blame someone else for their unhappiness because they’re perfect in their own eyes and will be always.. Masterminds of excuses to blame someone other than themselves for their unhappiness.

          • What’s funny is as they push their good guy agenda, their logic is so twisted that they don’t even see it. STBX says I was so mean he had to be out of the house with his OW missing every weekend and out late during the week. But, wait, his 12 y.o. daughter wasn’t ‘mean’ to him. So why was he lying and not around for her? Why did, why does, he make his daughter suffer?

            Why didn’t he leave the house and take his daughter out with him and spend time with her away from me, the mean old bitch? He left our daughter to be with me while he ‘escaped’?


            He said I used him when I got with him because I was unemployable. But he got with me because I could type fast and I had years of experience in a front office. I had gone back to school and received 4 certificates for Office admin., computer operator, data entry, desktop publishing. One teacher got me a $500 scholarship and referred me to another teacher to work for him after school. The first job I applied for after our daughter was born, I got. But his narrative is that I was unemployable.

            And then, he says I planned it this way all along! To be with him this long and then leave and take him for all his money! Well, when we got together we had nothing. No money. We were both starting with next to nothing. His parents gave us a couch and bed from a yard sale. So, you see, I knew he’d be making 6 figures and in 10 years I’d take him for all of it!! I am so diabolical. Ummm, if I wanted money, wouldn’t it make more sense to stay with him? Divorce is costly! My savings is quite depleted. I’m living month to month paying the mortage and camping payments he left me with. Thank goodness for the court ordered support because he wanted to pay only a little for child support and give nothing to me at all. My lawyer said, “He wants to throw you away and pay as little as possible.”

            Bingo. If the young girl he is living with was smart, she would see that the evil he treats me and his daughter with … that’s who he is… that is the treatment awaiting her some day when the infatuation has worn off. He is not happy – he is on his infatuation high. She doesn’t realize it’s all about him. That she’s being used. For his ‘happiness’.

      • Yes mine forced her on our daughter too, by lying about where he was taking her and going to AP”s house. Our daughter is 27 and was not impressed…

      • I made sure no nonfamily adults for a year was in the MSA. My X was all too glad to agree because he wanted a new shiny start with AP without the kids. Also, he said it was a good stipulation since it went both ways because he didn’t want another man around his daughters.

      • My STBXH didn’t bother to wait until after the divorce to introduce the children to his One True Love. As a matter of fact, he did it while we were still married and I was blissfully unaware. I could not understand why my children (still in diapers at the time) kept telling me that they “had two mommies” and asked if I was “still their mom.”

        After knowing The Slut for 5 months, he knew that she was his One True Love (after all, she left HER married lover to be with him) and ditched his family.

        Four months after he discarded us, he assaulted me in front of our horrified children. I moved out a few weeks later and the next day, The Slut moved in.
        They now live together with my children (half the time) and with her two children from her different lovers.

        Makes me sick!

        As for the holidays, I found out later that he lavished her and her children with gifts but gave me and the children cheap shit.

        I despise them both.

        • My cheater likewise introduced the ho-worker AP to my then 5 year-old daughter. What is wrong with these sick fuck??

          • OW brought one of those huge lollipops for my daughter to my late husband’s retirement ceremony.

          • Well my ex promised he wouldn’t introduce her to the kids, then I found out from my 3 year old son that he’d introduced her 2 weeks after he left under a fake name!!!! How low can you get please??? theu both make me sick! I’d be so ashamed of myself honestly

      • My ex whore still tries to get our daughter to her apartment on Christmas with her new Mr Awesome..daughter will have nothing to do with that scenario going on 3 years now…slut mommy still doesn’t get it..I am thankful she pulled her cheating shit after our daughter was 17 so she’s always been able to make up her own mind if she wants to visit crazy land, which she doesn’t and has spent all holidays with me as our son (son flat out told her she belongs on Jerry Springer..I can’t imagine holidays without my kids but that’s the life she’s carved out for herself)

        • You guys want a good one? My X, two days after dday and before we even told the kids that we were divorcing, he picked up my kids from school, took them to a store nearby where MOW (at the time, his now W) and two of her four kids were waiting and introduced her, said that he was leaving me because Mommy is mean, this is whore and we are going to be having sleepovers at her house. No shit guys. My kids were 10 and 12 at the time. They came home and told me we met whore and her kids are cute and daddy said that he was leaving because your mean and we are going to have sleepovers there. I was fucking floored! Two days before he had told me about the A, TWO DAYS GUYS!!!! and we hadn’t even told them that we were divorcing!!!!

      • For the worst of these people, spouses and kids and other family members are at best props they move around to show that they are “normal.” Lacking empathy, they don’t think about how other people feel or what they need. They want the image of a family they have created in their own minds, so they can switch out the spouse for the AP, switch out their biological children for the AP’s kids, or make everyone live out a Brady Bunch fantasy. None of it is real.

        • Exactly this.
          My dad a couple of years ago (I am 99% NC) started sending texts to me quite regularly. I though maybe a person was stirring inside of him but he quite happily said when I mentioned it that he has to send someone a text every month to keep the cheap cell phone charges……..

          • Wow! So sorry you had to grow up with someone like that. At least he is clueless and mentioned the real reason to you before you gave him too much hope! I hope you sent a reply to find another sucker and you were blocking his number! I can’t even imagine how hard it would be to have a parent like that.

            • Well….he’s the nurturing parent. My mom is a stone cold psychopath. No empathy, lots of contempt, sneers, mocking rages and blisteringly silent days.
              I was lucky- I had a grandmother, a string of nurturing teachers and an aptitude for reading and school.
              I could always see somehow that my parents were the exception not the rule. Despite being chumped I still trust and like people generally
              Lots of genes that code for happy and well adjusted obviously!

              • Capricorn,

                That’s a challenging family life to say the least. Kudos to you for transcending all of that. Good genes indeed!

                Knowing a little of your story (what you’ve shared here), we’ve both endured crappy family environments. And we both became chumps. And we’ve both given so much of ourselves to people who didn’t deserve us while feeding off of crumbs. Sometimes I think there’s something to this business of codependency arising from family-of-origin psychopaths and narcissists. We learn to become experts at the Pick Me Dance at an early age.

                Yesterday a Switzerland friend reached out via text after not hearing from him for two years to see how I was doing. I texted back that the holidays were hectic but I was doing well (which was a bit of a stretch, but that’s what I wanted to share. I don’t trust him with my truth.). I was polite and asked him how he and his family were. He said life was great and family life is the best. I felt sick to my stomach. He knows my story. He’s also gay and is still with his partner of 20 some years, and they adopted a child about 3 years ago. Am I to expect some sensitivity from friends? Or it is on me to be happy he’s happy. I’m still angry and jealous of other’s happiness. That’s sad.

          • Oh my God, Capricorn! I laughed but I want to cry! This is so pathetic! And us as well. You still trued to find a human inside him. Do we EVER learn?!

            • Longtime.
              I did laugh actually, after a long WTF shaped pause…
              Now I just mess with his mind by remembering his personal bests of years past. He hates getting older and slower.
              I one asked my dad and his OW wife what they had learned as they got older (I was sitting with two of my boys who were just in their teens and had only ever seen him once before) and they both started a long and animated conversation about the worst thing about aging which was the loss of attractiveness to the opposite sex.
              I had sort of hoped for an age beings wisdom and calm and perspective kind of chat for the boys but no they talked about flirting and ‘invisibility’ of older people (they are in their seventies….).
              Led to quite a few astonished looks around the table lol.
              A Petri dish of narcs – always something yucky growing.

              • My parents are similar to Capricorns…my father seems weirded out by my work (caring for the dying) one of his parenting methods was to belittle me and infer that I would never have adult responsibilities like him. I was helping him at their house one day and playing music but dad didn’t like my music so he said “No wonder babies want to die if this is what they would listen to if they lived”. OMG…. it’s ok that babies die because he doesn’t like Flo Rida?

              • “A Petri dish of narcs – always something yucky growing.”

                Love this metaphor, Capricorn!

              • Wow Capricorn – a video of that scene with your dad and his OW would make excellent teaching material for “how to spot ageing narcissists”. Your dad has a particularly unfortunate combination of NPD plus no filter. Thank God for your grandmother and your teachers and your resilience!

      • My dad was a cheat. I have never ever seen him on his own. Not ever! He abandoned the family and went abroad with his OW who left her husband and two boys. They married shortly after and are still married. I had to live with them for two years as my mothers ‘revenge’.
        She is a permanent marriage police force. My dad isn’t allowed to go anywhere without her. He is an extreme narc. It was amazing to watch the lengths she went to to keep him out of trouble and be all things to him.
        Couldn’t have happened to a nicer pair….
        Anyway. I don’t think narcs can BE with their children. Children need effort and demand attention and conversation. My dad rarely spoke to me until I got older and could be impressed by his fitness goals and personal bests.
        His OW had to talk to us, feed us, and think of stuff to do.
        He couldn’t even look after a plant. His brain is all about him.

        • Capricorn, your description of your dad sounds like my cheater. I hope he won’t attempt to keep our son. Too much work. Was never involved. Just started recently connecting doing excercises together. Wants to get praise from a 9year old for his newly built muscles and flat belly.

          On the other hand, narcs are also revengeful. I have seen mine in legal battles with his step mom over his dad’s properties. I don’t want to be on the other side. The stake is too high.

          As my date of flight is approaching I get nervous..

          • Well longtime if he is like my dad he will not have any interest in having children around. He could not be any less interested. I am like a mirror for him. He looks or speaks to me and it is always about him literally.
            He is so into fitness. When I was a child he took the swings off their frame so he could use it as a gymnastics bar. He put the swings up in the garage – OVER THE INSPECTION PIT. Honestly until a friend of mine saw pictures of us swinging over this huge drop onto concrete I never thought about how deranged it was!!

            I would say keep your calm. You know him. You know what you want. You know where his soft spots are. Use your head. Let his need for kibbles keep him away. With my dad if you are not in his eyeline you don’t exist.
            Get a good lawyer. Document. Be ready. I wish I could be more help.
            I have hundreds more funny stories!

            • Mine was always an intellectual type. Never overweight. But never into sports really. Tall and handsome. Women flying over like bees to nektar. In the past few years he has been into running and weight lifting and excercising like crazy. Built muscles and I used to complement him over that. But my perspective is: I am happy that you are healthy and taking good care of yourself. While his is: I am aging, grey hair, flabby skin…interest maybe lost…i need to do something about it. He brags to his 9 year old son!!! Such a show off. I really hope he won’t be interested in a child.

      • They don’t want to be alone with kids afraid they will get ‘reamed’ by the kids. So they bring others as buffers.

      • Want to talk about shoving an AP down a kid’s throat? Mine moved his out-of-town mistress into his apartment four months after we separated… Having to abide by a 50/50 shared custody knowing that my elementary school kid was so distressed she could not sleep at his place was the hardest thing I had to do… My stomach turns in disgust just thinking about it.

      • that’s the slutresses doing. It’s very common for AP’s, having ”won” now need to make a big song and dance of how they are in fact the winners and the one thing their prize often really wants other than them… is their children. Some obviously fuck off and never look back, but for those who are trying to maintain some form of relationship with their kids, having ended their world, they’re seen as competition…. and we know how AP’s thrive on competing!

    • Add me to this screwed up club. Within months of me sending her packing boyfriend was spending the night in the condo I was paying for. Daughters were staying with me. And she was upset I wanted full custody of them and they got the first gas lighting with the “I want you to spend a week at a time with me”. At least I get to teach them about gas lighting early before someone else does it to them. The stay with me was due to the fact she wouldn’t get the money for child support! The kids did tell her after the divorce they wouldn’t be staying with her since he moved in. Early Christmas gift to X and kids was teaching kids about manipulation by a narc!

      • My EX, grandpa daddy tried D26, at the beginning, to meet his now 24 yr old baby momma”oh just get use to it, she (scumbalina) gonna be around for next 20 years.”
        Guess his a visionary, they just had a baby 5 months ago lol
        Welcome to you new retirement fuck you up fund. Lmao
        Neither one of my children are interested in Do Over Dads gf, who is 24, Ex 53…..someone wrote,
        Diapers, dementia, death mmhhhmm
        Hey this shit bizarre!

  • Me and my young daughter’s world was blown apart on November 1st 2015. We huddled on the floor crying while he stood over us, smirking. I will never forget, I will never forgive.

    I weep and pray for those living this nightmare this holiday season.

    And I will keep my ear to the ground for those that live near so I can pay it forward with a copy of Tracy’s book, a gift card and a link to

      • Sometimes I can barely remember Jackass’s face, but I can still see the smirk.

          • Yes, the smirk. I won’t forget that shit either. It’s right under their mask that slips. It’s disgusting and evil. Ex wore his for sometime after he left me for his whore. According to their co-workers, he walked around with a smirk. Maybe he’s possessed.

            • I think the smirk means “Fuck you Chump, and all that you represent (family, home, and responsibilities).” It means: “I am the most important thing in the world because my schmoopie says I am. Obviously, Chump, you had your priorities wrong…so fuck off!”

              • Omg. Do all sociopath narcs have the smirk. It’s the word my daughter always uses about his face! Can’t believe so many and so uninspired. Do they all read the same book!

              • Oh, I got the Smirk as well… but quite often when she was telling a lie as she clearly felt superior in telling it and thinking she had one up on me. It went when I tool the power away and told her I knew she was lying (at which point it turned to rage or pity).

                She also smirked when she told me her Fuckbuddy “would never give up chasing her or let her go”. He let her go as soon as I left her……

              • It’s the cheater smirk I swear they all have it…my ex whore had it along with her stupid ass grin. Not a care in the world as she was blowing up the family

          • During Wreckonciliation, cheater took me to a tapas bar frequented by AP and her posse of fellow teacher friends. While having drinks, a woman approached our table and introduced herself as a friend of Jill’s. Cheater, bold as brass, said “Nice to meet you, this is my wife, Chump”. The look on her face was priceless, but I couldn’t enjoy it at the time because I found myself openly sobbing in full view of other patrons. Did cheater rescue me? No, he sat smirking and refused to leave. He told me, “Hey, why should we leave? You won the prize!” He thinks he’s a prize. And actually, no, he was continuing underground with AP.

            But, yeah. That smirk.

      • During false Wreckonciliation, my Gaslighter leaned towards me for one of his quick impersonal hugs. He was wearing the Smirk, and then, for a split second, his face turned frighteningly demonic. Literally. Like one of those Halloween pictures or The Haunted Mansion at Disneyland when the persons face looks normal at first, then changes into a ghoul from a different angle. I swear I saw into his soul. Pure Evil. It really scared me. I’ll never forget it.

        • Chump Change–Never, never, never, NEVER, NEV. ER doubt that what you saw was exactly what you described.

    • Praying too. Hoping to be one that helps others in need. I will never forget either. Cheaters are soulless.

    • Smirks. They cut sharper than a sword. But I’m so thankful for them. If not for them , I would not be able to see through him.
      Me: How in the world can you be at peace when you brought the house down on us? (sleeping, eating, having fun and fucking the very same prostitute like nothing happened)
      Him: smirk
      Me: You look harmless but are a predator.
      Him: smirk (proudly)
      I trust you all that they suck, they sure do. Whenever I am tempted to think of him as the loving, devoted Christian family man the smirks bring me back to my senses.

      • Meant to post under FarBetterOff’s post and the other posters about the evil smirks.

      • Ha ! This is what my son was told told by the fucktard too … Most people get a divorce ….so its normal . thanks dad . I hope to god my kids don’t get married with that sentiment ringing in their heads .

  • There’s a new Christmas trend of clear plastic balls with stuff inside. I feel like going to Michaels and building a chump line of baubles.little characters inside that represent everyone in this unfortunately rote story we all live…. “Bitter bunny” wrapped in tinsel and with wild eyes the little rabbit scours a tiny charm shaped like a phone for illicit messages; saint dick – hazy drunk eyed elf on the shelf shoved into the ball which also plays the song “it wasn’t me” when shaken; tiny Tim: just sad children who look lost because there’s no making that funny; slutty elf: because every ho I know thinks she’s as cute as that Mean Girls serenade… I dunno I could go on.

    • Save me a “Bitter Bunny”
      I’d love one on my tree to remind me that everyone else can go screw themselves with tinsel if I’m not meeting their timeline for healing.

    • Hows about filling one with dog turds and giving it to our cheaters?

      (My Dday was Dec 16, 2015. The “soulmate” he had only known for a handful of weeks and was willing to throw away our 25 years for is prob no longer in the picture, but he’s decided his inner voice has told him to go on a solo journey to find his identity. DIvorce almost over BUT why does he still email/text/call almost every day if his SOLO life is so wonderful? I’ve been 100% no contact since Sept 19 and his attny told him to stop bothering me but he is defiant. )

      • Serve him with a cease and desist order, and then have him arrested and sue his ass if he continues to harass you.

  • It’s ultimatum time for cheaters. A time to live up to the lies they told the OW/OM.

    Decisions, decisions. And all those dreams waiting on the sidelines.

    All that bliss awaiting on the other side.

  • Hi everyone!. Great post Tracy. Humorous , but sadly true. I haven’t been on recently. My life has moved on to a much better place in recent times. I still drop in and read occasionally. Sad to see there is still a growing list of Chump victims. But it also so wonderful to see CL and CN is as powerful and supportive as ever!

    Wishing everyone a very merry Christmas!


  • As I are up the tree with my son last weekend we talked about the decorations.
    I chose a different theme representing each child when they were born.

    For me it represents the joy they brought into my life.

    This will be the third Christmas with my children and granddaughter.

    Scrooge offers up meeting with his children a week later with gift cards from the restaurant they meet up for a few hours. They dread sitting with the whore and have to look at the illusion of a father who continues to justify his life. Shiny, cars, vacations, and bliss have been replaced with sitting in a dumpy apartment future faking per usual.

    The best revenge is indeed living better.

  • My D-Day was my birthday so I totally get feeling like that day is ruined forever. I’m sorry for every chump that finds themselves here, but in the midst of this unholy pain, I’m glad you found us. This place will save you and help you find a way to move forward with your new life. It might not be the one you dreamed of, but it’s the chance to do it your way, the right way.

    At 18 months out I would never call my D-Day a gift, but I now view it as a second chance. And this time I am doing it right. So If you find yourself on your first holiday without your child or you just want to pretend this whole cheating mess never happened take a moment to think about this. There’s never a good time to find out. Options are to know the truth and recreate your life or to never know and live with an entitled, lying, gas lighting and many times mentally ill person that is slowly sucking the life out of you as you make your needs smaller and smaller. That’s not good for anybody, certainly not a human being who is trying to raise children and turn them into productive members of society.

    So if you unwrap the gift of infidelity this Christmas please realize you may someday view it as an opportunity. I know it’s difficult and it will take many many months to see it that way. So let me tell you what life is like for me after divorce from my cheater. I wake up happy. I enjoy every moment with my child and I’ve learned to enjoy many of the moments he has to spend with his father. I play the same parent and my child is thriving with good grades and accolades in extra curricular activities. I have dinner with friends. I try new things foods and activities. I have fun. I have nice conversation with other people. I am No Contact with my cheater except an email once or twice a month. I no longer question my abilities, my memories, and my mind. I know now how much he messed with those so I never let it happen again. I found somebody to love, and this past year, he bought me the first birthday gift I’ve gotten in about a decade. It was nice, and we’ll thought out and very very appreciated. All those thing I thought could never happen in the moments after discovery are happening for me. And they can happen for you too. Move forward and keep unwrapping life.

    • Great comment. And you’re right, of course, there’s never a good time for a D-Day. But there’s always time for a good life lived on your own terms.

      • I’ve just copied and pasted to my journal

        “there’s always time for a good life lived on your own terms” – CL

        LOVE it

    • Here here! Great comment.

      I was spared from finding out during the holidays, so I’m lucky in that regard. But it was no spring picnic when I put the pieces together around April (and proceeded to put more pieces together for another 1.5 years as I filed, completed divorce, and heard all the amazing things my ex did during that time).

      I will say that I actually found CL and CN during the holidays, three months into my divorce. I didn’t like what I read here, given it challenged the story I had told myself of why I had to end my marriage. But CL and CN were right, as I slowly realized.

      So, I consider that a holiday gift. Newly minted chumps can do the same.

    • Your comment is very true! Never a good time. New chumps, just remember the gift this gives you is wrapped very well! It will take a lot of effort to get it unwrapped but what is inside is priceless! I’m still haven’t totally finished unwrapping mine but I keep working at it knowing in the end it will be worth it.

    • My D Day was also the eve of my birthday, but the pain passes. I also view it as a new start and changed the PIN on my credit cards to the date so I remember it as the start of the rest of my life, which is cheater and abuse free and how much better I feel now (rather than the depressed, unhappy soul I was before). My mother saw me the other day for the first time in a year – she didn’t know about the affair, but she told me how much better I seemed and also how proud she was of what I had done since I left my X.

      My X was always critical of me (often in front of her) and my mother thought the X would probably be very upset to see me succeed (and, based on her asshole behaviour in the divorce, boy is she pissed at me…). She told my mother that life would now be easier for me (than for her) because I would find someone new, whereas she would struggle because she had kids (pllllllleeeeeease…. we share them 50/50) – so there’s a little pity party going on there.

      The best revenge is indeed to live your life well. The miserable person you left behind will never be really happy, save for those cheap moments with the current shiny on their life….

    • Thank you! This was inspiring. DDay was early Jan 2016. And I was at some point trying to forget and forgive. I wish this never happened but I am happy I know. The gaslighting and constant doubt over my own mind, feelings and thoughts was a killer. You nailed it! I am so happy for you and hope to find my happiness.

    • So wonderfully stated and encouraging. Thanks for the post! Glad you are unwrapping a beautiful new life!

    • AllOutofKibble, Thank you so much for this: “At 18 months out I would never call my D-Day a gift, but I now view it as a second chance”.You spoke straight to my heart. Thank you again.

  • I was blindsided horribly by my XH 2 weeks before Xmas in 2011, I shall never forget spending the holidays and my birthday ( just before Xmas day) on my own with the cat- especially Xmas day. When I asked him how he could do something so cruel just before Xmas he said that he did it before Xmas so I wouldn’t remember it (Xmas) as a bad time? I still can’t be arsed to try and work out his logic on that one.

    Let’s hope any new chumps at this time avoid falling into the trap of seeking help from those reconciliation websites like I did (until I was, ironically, redirected via a forum to CL in 2012) I had been so convinced it was a mid life crisis and he was a tortured soul who really loved me -once the aliens had returned him of course!

    It’s been a few years now and I may happily spend Xmas day on my own ( with my new rescue cat Boris) because I want to – but then again I may be sociable and spend it with my sister and her family on the beach in Oz. Life has changed so much in the last few years and I have learnt a lot about myself and why my XH did what he did via CL.

    There are still triggers at this time of year and I don’t envy anyone becoming a chump for the first time – I was walking around in a daze for months and probably slept less than 4hrs a night for over 3 + years.

    Still conciously single and very much more self assured I can’t believe I made it through all that heartache and achieved so much when I regularly just wanted to crawl under a rock and give up.

    I don’t think I really fully started to fully process and understand all the advice until 2 yrs post D day, by year 3 I was completely over him, but angry …..angry ……angry !!! Nearly 5 years in and the more I read about narcs – the more I just think “oh well I married a gobshite” …I forgave myself a long time ago.

    I don’t think I could have digested the horror of realising that my XH was capable of such cruelty and betrayal and never ever really respected me in the first few months/ years post D day. Nowadays, the more I read about his narcissistic traits, the more it makes perfect sense!

    • Let me explain the sad logic … it would only take him 2 weeks to completely get over the loss of a loved and trusted partner (since he doesn’t love nor trust anyone but the man in the mirror.) Therefore, that time should have been sufficient for you as well. By Xmas, you should have been all moved on and happy again! Makes perfect sense. Sorry you had that experience and I am so happy you made it to the other side.

    • The Midlife Crisis website seems to have stalled….I think most everyone migrated here. There hasn’t been a post in the “marriage rebuilding” section in months. That board saved my life back before CN existed,but I no longer believe in MLC.. I think they are just narcs who can no longer hide their assholeishness once they hit midlife

      • Hi – yes – I have not been able to open it in a while.

        Hopefully the people who need support find CN !

        Unicorn – I don’t know if you remember me, but it’s wonderful that your life has changed so much.

        Lucky ?

        • oh heck yes, I know remember you…did you know that Curtains is here with another name?

          • No – I did not know that – great news!

            I agree that the mid life crisis is just the mask slipping off the narc for the spouse to see.

            It’s still one hell of a ride and I too think that site saved my life and my sanity at a very crucial time.

            Big hugs out to You, Curtains and any others from the Forum

  • Two Christmases ago, he showed up late on Christmas eve, with no presents for the kids, and spent Christmas morning lying down on the couch and, I now know, pining for his latest Thai girlfriend experience whom he had left but 24h before, while berating me for not bringing in enough money for Christmas (he has spent the last cash of the month on said Thai girlfriend) and continuing to criticize my food (can’t even begin to unpack that one, I am a ridiculously accomplished cook).

    D-Day came about three months later.

    Can’t even begin explaining how much better the next set of holidays have been: friends all around, good food and flowing wine, kids waking up to an alert and joyful mother. I am really looking forward to this year’s set of holidays, which come complete with a mini-vacation with sexy new boyfriend right after Christmas. So there.

    Would not trade my new life for cheater holidays for the world.

    • I really don’t know how to respond to stories like yours. I know how much mine hurt and I didn’t even experience that type of attack. Mine were all passive and none were direct. I am amazed at your strength not to loose it an physically harm someone like that. He definitely deserved physical harm and I hope Karma is swift and just for him!

      • Thank you, lostntx, for your empathy. My theory is that betrayal may shift shapes from one case to another but the hurt is the same — it’s not about the specific details, but, rather, about the assault on our sense of self and our sense of safety in the world and within a relationship.

        As for physical harm, my doctor went through a whole battery of questions when I showed up post D-Day in her office with PTSD and a desperate need for STD testing: “Do you have suicidal thoughts?” “Not anymore.” “How about homicidal thoughts?” “Oh yeah!” “Good, hold on to that anger. It will protect you.” I tell that story to every friend who comes to me with their chump story. It’s some of the best advice I ever got, and I think it should circulate widely.

        • I find it ironic that I never had any homicidal thoughts (I wanted to punch ow in the face once really well but it never happened) and then my cheater died. Now that he’s dead and I learned he was a serial adulterer, I’m fearful that people will mistakenly jump to the conclusion that I had anything to do with his death. I’m wildly terrified that if something happens to my new husband (who is older and sicker than the one who died) that people will jump to mistaken conclusions. I have accepted that if (God forbid) new husband dies, I will become a dog lady…ain’t nobody gonna line up to be #3.

          • Oh, unicorn, that is such a hard burden to bear. I had a friend who found out after her husband died for cancer that he was registered on Tinder, Ashley Madison, Adult FriendFinder, etc. So much harder to deal with the layered, empty grief of discovery after death.

            • Wow Unicorn, that’s s lot to be thinking about. I have fantasized that Gaslighter drops dead before he’s 70 because then I would benefit from a generous life insurance policy. But then I try to take the higher road and “Bless him with his Path”. If he was gone, I wouldn’t always have eyes in the back of my head when I drive around town. I swear to God when I pass any pick up truck like his (there are zillions) I look for the custom license plate to see if it’s him. I wonder when my hyper viligence will stop. Schmoopie used to duck in his truck! What self respecting 55-year-old woman would duck in her married boyfriend’s dirty disgusting truck? Perhaps one that’s already under Gaslighter’s evil spell, being lied to and covertly manipulated. He’s going to need a Nurse and a Purse. She can have him. My therapist says she has plenty of patients whose pathological husbands have died and they still are healing and going through recovery just like they were when the men were alive. Hmmmmm. I think I would be dancing on his grave!

        • Yes, anger is our friend! Two days after D-day I saw a therapist and she said the same thing. She said I needed to stay in touch with my anger over this and hang on to it. She said I needed it to protect me and propel me. Every time I felt daunted about filing for divorce and leaving him, I pulled out my anger. Worked like a charm. Best advice ever!

          • Also, anger is the best anti-depressant. Wish we could bottle that for days when we need to kick ass.

        • Your doctor is one in a million. Something tells me she’s been through it.

  • I truly feel terrible every time I see a new chump here. Especially at this time of year.

    I stumbled through the holidays three years ago wondering why he was so withdrawn, so angry, so distant,and so cold. And on a spending binge. I tried to excuse it as more pressure from his job, but it just didn’t add up. My DDay actually didn’t happen until Valentine’s Day but I spent six weeks doing the Pick Me Dance without knowing who or what my competitor was. Thank Heaven I found this site right away.

    It does get better and my life is so much fuller than I ever thought. But the fresh hell that was, well…..we all remember. And wonder how we ever were able to be so trusting, so blindly devoted to a monster, and so devastated when it was all laid bare.

    Keep walking Chumps. The reverberations will always be there, but your life will be wonderful.
    My prayer is that the new Chumps will find strength and courage, that a little luck and kindness come their way, and that their friends and families support them through this holiday season.

    Thank you Tracy for reminding us all to be more compassionate and grateful to be so much further down the road of healing.

    Blessings to us all!

    • I’m so sorry you spent holidays like that…so sorry. I know exactly how you feel/felt. It was 2014 for me. Same thing. TERRIBLE arguments he started with me, right before Thanksgiving (which, come to find out, was when they started their full-blown love story) and continued through the holidays. We had just agreed to start trying to have kids, and had been looking for new houses, and suddenly, at least it seemed at the time, he shifted. Very distant, very cold, very cruel and yes…money was disappearing, but I disregarded it as him taking cash out just to have, which is what he told me and I believed him. I was such a fucking idiot. And as far as I have come, definitely still some triggers with the holidays, and I wholeheartedly agree that it’s still hard to digest the level of cruelty they project onto you.

      Funny this post came up today…no joke, I was walking my dog the other day (she is legally mine and ex-fucker will never see her again), after spending a really nice Thanksgiving with my family. I was thinking about this very thing…about how everyday, someone else is having their life blown apart. And I have wrestled with the comfort of having so many people like you to understand and educate me on why it wasn’t my fault, versus the complete heartbreak and disgust from realizing there are so many of us. And I started crying…I mean, it’s not the first time I’ve cried alone walking my dog-I’ve done that a lot!! But…it honestly just broke my heart all over again thinking about it and thinking about all of the people who are so sad and broken and angry because of cheaters. It’s so wrong. Just so terribly wrong. And there were times I really thought I would be better if I was dead. I even said that to my ex when we were going through the divorce…I said to him it would have been easier if he had just killed me instead of putting me through this…and his response was “don’t say things like that”…because I guess that would make him a bad person if he did that, right? Fucker.

      But…healing does come. As I have learned, slowly for some, faster for others. I’m working on it still, but I’m much better. So many thanks to all of you. Hope we all realize how much we have to be thankful for, and find things to enjoy these next few weeks. Sending love and hugs to you all.

      • Integrity
        Thanks to you! I’m new. And reading your post will have helped as next time I am somewhere and become overwhelmed again by this or reminded of it and cry, I will know this is normal and it will pass.
        Glad you got the dog too!

        • Aw, I’m happy I posted something helpful! I’ve noticed you on here a lot. I’m so sorry for what you’re going through. I was reading something earlier today about someone asking if it was normal to cry and cry for months. After I found out, I think I cried everyday for 6 months. Maybe 7. Everyday. Often multiple times a day. So…BELIEVE ME feeling overwhelmed and crying unfortunately comes with this shitstorm. But…please don’t ever hold it in, and don’t ever feel like you’re not normal for those feelings or for crying all the time. And don’t EVER let anyone tell you to just “let it go”. Goddamn that pisses me off. That comes in your own time and through your own process.

          Wow…I’m 20 months out from DDay, coming up on a year of divorce in a few weeks, and as I mentioned above, I still cry. I’ve come so far (I’m even dating someone), but that doesn’t mean the sadness or anger isn’t still there at times (especially since they’re together). Sometimes the sheer disbelief of it all just hits me, as I’m sure it does to you, especially since mine all unraveled very, very quickly. It’s a lot to deal with and it’s traumatic. Very traumatic. And my sweet pit bull girl…she is the one being who has been by my side EVERY SINGLE DAY since this happened. I don’t know what I would do without her…even if she wasn’t legally mine, there’s no way in hell I’d ever let him see her again. That’s assuming he’d even want to, which he doesn’t. Anyway…happy to have you to talk with and hugs from me and my girl to you.

          • Yes I am here a lot…..? I hope not too much! Over sharing is my middle name…..

            • Oh my gosh, no, not at all! I think it’s great you are. I really like your posts, and it’s so good you’re getting your feelings out and asking for help and advice, etc. I wish I had known about this place when I first found out-I was what they call here the classic “Amazon and “RIC” chump and just knew I could save my marriage. Ha! I only found it maybe 6 weeks ago or so, but it has helped me incredibly in those six weeks. 🙂

              • Integrity, thank you for sharing your story and your persistent feelings of anger and sadness, and horror that people can behave like this towards their partners and children. You described it so clearly and sincerely. It does help to know I am not the only one feeling like this, many chumps do. Thank you, hugs to you and your lovely dog.

            • Ha ha. I’m the queen of oversharing. This is a safe place to do so… trying to share here and not in public. Still I over share.

          • Integrity–your story sounds like mine–seriously like mine–an instant shock, he married the OW, and boy are they Facebook friendly–sharing their joy and happiness to anyone who wants to see it. She’s 15 years younger. He walked away from his family, proceeded to tell his family (whom he always told me he hated) awful things about me, and he left me with every debt we had until the divorce was final. I’m still fighting for the settlement money a year later.

            However–I did fall in love again–and eek–I’m getting married again. I live mostly in joy, but there are times of fleeting fear–will he be faithful? Will I be totally oblivious again? I’ve tried not to punish my husband to be for the asshole’s actions. But it’s challenging.

            • Congratulations to you, NewLife!! I’m happy you’re living up to your name 🙂 Really happy that you found someone, and good to know you can open up enough to give marriage another try. That gives me hope. I’m happy with someone right now, and care about him a ton, but I understand…I wonder the same things you do. I kind of feel like once something like this happens to you, you are forever “on edge” a little. Maybe that’s a good thing? I guess maybe we’re more perceptive now? And I will admit, it’s weird to feel happy with and care for someone, yet still have residual feelings of anger and sadness from the fuckers. Guess we were players in the “cheater playbook” that seems to be so prevalent amongst everyone since our stories are so similar! Terrible thing to feel bonded over towards someone, isn’t it!? So here are a few more for you…mine ex’s AP isn’t 15 years younger, but she’s 10 (I’m in my late 30s, and she “forgave” him for sleeping with other people, all the while he was married to me and she was a NEWLYWED-isn’t that sweet? Fucking disgusting). Mine also had serious issues with his family, and always said my family was the kind he always wanted. We are certainly not perfect, but we’re all very close and I have a big family on both sides of my parents. Ugh…regardless…wishing you so much happiness and love. We all know, and hope YOU know, how much you deserve it. Thanks for sharing with me 🙂

              • Maybe we really are the same person! I have a huge family–and he told me on more than one occasion that he considered my family his family more than his own.

                It is odd to have such powerful love in me and yet have hate sometimes crowded by such powerful anger. I’m trying to move passed it…but damn it’s hard. I know it isn’t heathy–but I pray each night for karma to wreck him. I don’t know that it will…and I’m still healing, so although his family seems to want a continued relationship with me, I find it hard to keep up my ties with them. The XHole (I think I like this nickname best) hated Christmas and wouldn’t allow me to get a tree until Christmas Eve. My heart’s love said tonight, let’s go get a tree this weekend. I love you in Christmas lights. I sort of feel like sometimes that, XHole put me through such hell and pain, that my Hearts love is karma’s reward.

      • Integrity, thanks for sharing. It does help to know the depths of despair we went through are shared by others and that it’s a normal response. I’ve often wondered how my ex’s brain works differently from mine because I never could have done to him what he did to me. I honestly don’t think he had much emotional attachment to memories like I did.

        • Thanks for reading 🙂 I have wondered the exact same thing for almost two years. And I think you’re right…especially after everything I’ve read on here. They don’t have the same emotional attachment. And we’ll never understand that…I still wish I could, but I’m trying to make peace with the fact I won’t.

      • I think I’m favorite thing I said to h on d-day was “Just shoot me in the fucking head because it would be better than the pain I’m feeling right now.” I like to pull it out when we’re arguing occasionally because I still kind of feel that way. He is moving out by the end of the month and once that happens we’ll be no contact. So…

    • Chumpfor21, Integrity, you have described what I went through as well. For me, my husband left me for the OW on Feb. 12, 2014. Right in time for Valentine’s Day. I wouldn’t learn of her existence or the affair for another few months, but they’d started flirting the previous summer, sleeping together around Labor Day. At that time, my father was dying and in hospice, so I was spending a lot of time with him. My husband was weirdly checked out, distant, hostile, uninvolved with me or the kids through the holidays of 2013.

      My father died the day after Thanksgiving. There was no support, sympathy, or companionship from my husband. It did strike me as weird. When I got home after seeing my dad’s body off in the funeral home van, my husband was watching a football game. He didn’t even get up or take his eyes off the screen! He was constantly having to do an inordinate amount of “paperwork” at work, every weekend. I spent January helping my mother deal with the financial stuff following my father’s death. During this time, my husband was either not home, or when he was home he was ignoring me or picking fights.

      The final weekend before he walked out, he drove in a major snowstorm five hours to an Imagine Dragons concert (he’s 58). I thought he was crazy to go (I wasn’t invited), until months later I figured out that he had taken the OW with him. After that weekend, he came home for a few days, then finally walked out two days before Valentine’s Day.

      Unlike a lot of you, he has not introduced the AP to our kids. They are adults and he knows they don’t want anything to do with her, and never will. I don’t expect them to be together forever, but it’s been over three years now! Then again, I never expected him to be unfaithful to me…

      • Wow. Wow. That insensitivity is mind boggling. I’m so very sorry for the passing of your dad, and that you didn’t have the once person who should have been there for you. Amazing how they start acting like the AP when they’re several years younger, isn’t it? So stupid. And yes…what you said. You don’t expect them to stay together, but, you never expected them to be unfaithful to you. You have my sincere thoughts and hugs to you…so happy you have the support of your kids <3

        • Thanks Integrity. Glad for all of us 2014 chumps that that miserable year is a fading two-year-old memory at this point. Hugs to you too, and your pit baby. I now have two Frenchies (the X would never have tolerated them) and they are the best companions a chump could ever ask for. Bulldogs rule!

  • My Dday was Dec 20, when he told me how unhappy he was and cried so many crocodile tears. Of course not long after I discovered the credit card bill for the couples massage. It’s the beginning of the end, yEs, but the end of a bad thing. I’ve noticed that it gets better a whole lot faster if you find someone but even if you don’t (which I haven’t) it’s still better than being with fuckwit and triangulating the pick me dance. It may be the last thing you wanna do now but get your shit together and start lining up ducks! You will thank yourself later.

  • December 4, 2014 and still tried to stick it out for a year. Worse mistake I ever made.

    • I hear you. Let that wasted time go and focus on your future. In my case, a hard lesson learned.

    • Marisa what made you leave (finally)?
      This Christmas is especially excruciating. I’m 6, nearly 7 months out from D Day and my divorce will be final in two weeks. Just last Christmas we had a new baby and while I was over joyed with our growing family. I noticed the distance and cool comments from my STBX about how much weight I’d gained. I didn’t touch a single Christmas cookie because of it. I was scrambling to make the holidays perfect. He seemed very happy with everything and everyone except for me. Of course, now I know why.

      We are in NC (except for child exchange) this year. He wants to come back of course (not happening). Crazy how different this Christmas will be.

      I know it gets better, I believe all the positive stories shared by CN. In some ways, I think it wouldve been easier if he would have just left and took the decision from me. I’d hoped by now, the pain wouldn’t still hit me like a brick. Sometimes, especially with the Holidays, it’s really hard to believe it gets better.

      • My story is long and complicated but I finally realized that I was not really sure why I fighting so hard for my family when it was obvious that he was done. He spoke a big game but his actions were loud and clear and I finally just woke up. Probably the hardest thing I ever did was asking him to leave. When he was gone I saw so much more clearly.

      • Katbug? This year? Eat. Every. Damn. Cookie.

        Fuck him. You’re not free yet. The grief is totally normal. It gets better. Meanwhile, have a Christmas cookie on me. Hell, have a DOZEN. You’re chasing after small children, you’ll burn the calories. Don’t let him suck the joy out of one. more. thing.

        • Thanks Tracy, a reply from you just brighten my shitty morning. I’m actually eyeballing my daughter’s freshly made gingerbread house. Lol.
          I think I’ll bake a batch of my favorites and have one (or five) in honor of you and CN.

          Merry Christmas wonderful chumps?❤️

      • It’s the cookies that made him cheat, of course. So have a cookie party (with spiked eggnog, of course) with a few choice girlfriends, and see how much nicer the holidays can be on your own terns.

        • This made me tear up to think not having a Christmas cookie so as not to set off a cheater..we only get so many Christmases..the nerve of these people how they can ruin our holidays

          • Katbug,
            And remember…their comments have NO BASIS in reality. My X, out of the blue once, made a remark my breast were small. I remember distinctly him saying previously how big my “tits” were. (That’s classy.)

            They are assholes with Tourettes syndrome. The pea sized amount of brain grey matter knows they have to justify their cheating, so they put their mate down to make their Og brains feel better. Living double lives is hard on their reptile brains.

            I actually started researching breast implants after his hateful words. Never, ever had I given a thought to breast implants before. Their sly put downs have a way of undermining us, even when we know they are not true. Thankfully, I have a wonderful gay male friend who texted my X a photo of a Vienna Sausage that said, Look familiar?

            Mother fucker! Ignore his hateful words….they are delusional maggots who are people of the Lie.

            Go for the cinnamon buns with cream cheese frosting!!! 🙂

            • Love the Vienna Sausage story! That would have been a great food to serve at my Gain a Life Party we had for Tracy’s book published. Instead we had barbequed sad sausages. But they were the teeny ones……

      • Katbug: Cheaters often derail after birth of a baby because the baby is soaking up attention they want. This Christmas probably has all sorts of associations that are getting triggered because of last year, and it’s hard to feel at peace when your divorce isn’t even final.

        You might also consider having your doctor assess whether you may still have postpartum depression since you’re only a year out from giving birth. It will magnify all the trauma of the infidelity. Hugs!

        • P.S. Any man who criticizes his wife for gaining weight during pregnancy should be seared with a cattle prod. Unbelievable.

          • Katbug, I am opening a new pack of cookies in your honor, hope you are enjoying all the cookies you want this year!

            Mentally torturing a wife about gaining weight during a pregnancy or right after childbirth is one of the most disgusting examples of marital cruelty I can imagine.

            Your story reminded me of the downhill slope my pregnancy felt like…

            The first clue probably was when he asked if my brain was going to be back to normal post-pregnancy as apparently my intellectual sharpness was decreasing as a result of my planning for our kiddo’s arrival… See I had less time to compliment him about his groundbreaking work while working full-time, renovating the basement, moving his office down, and buying every little thing needed on my own to set up our baby’s room…

            Another clue should have been when he declined to accompany me to eight birthing classes because “he wanted to get more work done before the baby arrived.”

            Ah, and how about when he tried to stop me from asking for an epidural after enduring 14H of painfully labor… I am glad I told him to shut it as my labor continued on for several more hours post-epi…

            A slow discard, as I was oh so very useful to preserve his image as the hard-working professional who had an adorable family…

            And yeah, I’m happy to report that I remained sharp enough to divorce him post-DDay#1.

    • November 18 2013. Then a few days later I prepared Thanksgiving for his cold, hateful family (They had turkey and ham, I had shit sandwiches). While Inside all I could do was keep rereading that email to the prostitute I had discovered while using the laptop to play Christmas music.

  • Tracy you should come up with a narc app on what too look for especially around the holidays so we can have their playbook . I am still amazed on how they all have the same scumbag actions. Your blogs got me out of the narc mindfuckery hamster wheel. They seem to all really enjoy the Xmas parties at work way too much especially when spouses are not invited to their office parties . My narc wouldn’t even tell me she had a Xmas party . I wasn’t entitled too know.

  • Hope everyone is enjoying the holiday crazy so far! My thoughts are with anyone experiencing a dday right about now!

    And FYI, House Cleaners work all freakin’ day on Christmas Eve! I usually have four houses that day! Lol!!! Except this year, Christmas Eve is on a Saturday so no excuses this year!?

  • Ahhhh, the knife sharpener. Because every chump needs an electric knife sharpener from their back stabbing cheater.

    I love making NEW traditions with my kids this time of yr. We chumps most likely engineered 99.99% of all of the family traditions within our smoke & mirror marriages before DDay. My post DDay traditions with my kids have the cheater stomping around about not being included.

    • My traditions went into high gear the moment my ex was no longer around to dampen the holiday parade. I light this mother up like Clark Griswold on speed. You can see my house from space now.
      If I wasn’t so busy taking a huge bite out of life I might spare a minute to feel sorry for my old husband and his new (not as shiny as she initially seemed) affair partner, but that’d be a waste of a perfectly good gloat.
      Seriously though, the first year felt awful, but the huge leaps and bounds of improvement in merriment as I got further away from the shitstorm bubble he’s in are amazing.
      Happy Non homicidal holidays everyone!

      • Lol I am looking forward to your level of happiness. See your house from space – too funny!

      • I thought you wrote “I lit his mother up like Clark Griswold”.
        I thought, “Amen to that thought sister…..”

      • Ugh no … Thank you!!! I’ve been referring to my ex as “My ex” and not liking it.

        “Old husband” sounds sooooo much better. For all their Peter Pan lust for life, they get old really fast in a lot of different ways.

        OUT WITH THE OLD!!!!

      • And we have a winner! Wonderful visual. Gonna go grab me the first of the Christmas cookies! Thanks to ugh no! and all of you for these heart warming stories.

  • Don’t have time to read through all the comments right now, will do so later today. Just wanted to pop in and say “Damn Tracy, this is a fantastic post!” In classic CL style, you 1) show true concern for other chumps (thank you – my DDay was just weeks before Xmas last year!) 2) recognize the subtle realities of the chumps’ new situation (takes one to know one, I suppose – again, thanks!) 3) do it with humor (I’m still chuckling over “fa la la la la, la fuck my life!) and 4) offer hope and encouragement for our future. Just thank you, this meant a lot to me! 🙂

  • My first Dday was a week after my anniversary and a week before my birthday. I walked in a daze for months. I found Chump Lady at Christmas time two years ago. That’s when I started to heal. Thank you for the straight talk. Someone finally made sense and explained all that crazy behavior. Still trying to divorce the cheater but I’m NC.

    My thoughts are with anyone experiencing this unbearable pain. It gets better. I promise.

    • Yeah, I found out about a week after the wedding anniversary date as well. Had been back from an anniversary trip about a week. A trip the slunt wanted to take so badly. Now I realize it’s because the current awesome boyfriends don’t ever have jobs so I guess she just wanted to travel one last time.

    • Holy moly–mine was 5 days before our 16th anniversary and 6 before my birthday. It was awful–and still is. I had a major melt down this last year that week. It was awful.

      • I found out on our 17th anniversary. It was a total nightmare. 3.5 years later, I’m doing great, but it has taken a long time. No contact, Chumplady, Chumpnation, therapy, exercise, healthy grief, family and friends: these things have helped tremendously. Triggers that I thought would be permanent are disappearing. To the newly minted chumps – believe that it will get better. Put one foot in front of the other and trust that you will get through this. You will.

    • Apparently right after the anniversary is popular. We went on a trip and he slept with her less than two weeks after our tenth anniversary. Then she magically found out she was pregnant less than a week after they slept together. And now 9 weeks from d-day he’s leaving. I hope they both die in a big fire soon. I could use the life insurance and then I won’t be so sad and hurt anymore.

  • Well as you know I wasn’t a Christmas Chump but I did find out he slept with OW#3 on our 21st wedding anniversary this year. Nice. Divorce will be final before 22nd anniversary.
    I am actually looking forward to this Christmas, my first as a chump but also my first one of my new life. I get to decide and choose all kind of stuff. It’s scary but empowering. And that is all down to this website and the people here. The gift of truth and perspective.
    My ddays were no particular days and I am grateful for that.

    • You go girl! You have been a great contributor to this site, both sharing your pain and encouraging others and being empathetic to us all. Sending big hugs to you!

      • 21st Anniversary? That’s horrible. I’m so sorry. I’m in the same boat that it took more than one DDay to understand that these leopards don’t change their spots… industrial RIC industry is hurting Chumps by selling false Hopium, and costing many of us decades of our lives in all reality. Thank goodness Chump Lady is the voice of reason, whether we really want to hear it or not, she is right. And you Capricorn are mighty.

  • Mine had nothing to do with the holidays, but with a 11/22 D-Day, I remember the huge effort I made to survive Thanksgiving and “do Christmas” when I still had trouble with basic functioning. But that effort has paid off in big ways. I found old ways and traditions I had lost along a way of compromising with both my FOO and various significant other types. I figured out that I needed to make Christmas about something more than buying and receiving gifts. I did my first Pinterest craft projects because I wanted my house to look festive and welcoming and full of joy, even though I was suffering. And when I assemble my holiday front porch, I remember how I felt in those days and every year I celebrate my courage and resilience. I celebrate learning to let go of things that don’t matter.

    • Loved

      Fuck. 11/22. Bloody hell. Wow.

      You are not just resilient. You are some super military nuclear fusion teflon stuff.

  • My wedding anniversary was Dec 19th. Loved the holidays. Since I am “the cook”, we were the family hosts for many years. My tree was 12.5 ft tall, with hundreds of ornaments on it… every year we bought ornaments wherever we went.
    I was instructed by the mediator to sell everyone of them and split the proceeds… (apparently that included my children’s birthday ones???? – How did I miss that?????)

    This will be my third Christmas since DD, the second divorced.

    Is it progress than when I read these, my heart crunches for the chumps, and chump children – not my situation – it still hurts, but I am coming out of the fog enough to have empathy for others??

    My new/old renovated house – my new rescued black/high silver point Maine Coon cat – my new life….

    • Sell your heirloom Christmas ornaments?? WTF? that is just evil…please tell me you figured out a way around that.

      • Well, the mediation document said sell and split, but did not specify WHO I had to sell them to, nor how much I had to sell them for. 🙂 🙂 🙂 The details, people, the details……

        His half – (12 cartons- all for $25 {garage sale of the century} – I kept half of that – $12.50.)

        That’s all I’m going to write about that…. 🙂

  • In Dec of 2004 I was a military wife with 3 kids…I was working some nightshifts in the Neonatal ICU but had just taken over a new job doing Case Management stuff for death and impending death for pediatric and neonatal cases in my city. My husband had gotten incrementally crankier and crankier about anything not exactly right in the house so I had to keep it perfect lest he blow up at me.

    That Dec I worked my ass off doing all the stuff moms do …I had bought and sent gifts, done the cards (obligatory perfect card to his military buddy families) while also working my ass off at 2 jobs. I actually succeeded but my weak spot was that my personal desk (in my office, not near his) was a mess of every receipt and scrap you might imagine…but it was in a room out of sight and not an inconvenience to anyone.

    On Christmas Day, we did all the normal stuff…after I cleaned from the gifts, I cooked dinner (I hate cooking) and cleaned the kitchen til it sparkled. A neighbor came over to see some decorating I had done and I was giving her a tour of the house. She and I walked into my office and everything from my desk had been plowed into a pile on the floor.

    It was a confusing, odd moment because neither of us could figure out how it had come to be. For a second I thought her 3 yr old had done it, but it was too thorough for that. She sensed impending doom and left quickly. I learned that thenhusband had done this to punish me for having a messy desk. Seriously? The rest of the house was perfect…bathrooms, laundry, and I was busy – oh I dont know, caring for the dying and this is how he responded.

    I dont even know the mean-assed explanation he gave me but it was all blameshifting crap you have all heard. Sad thing was I was so accustomed to abuse that it wasnt clear to me how fucked I was. DDay was a few months off and he moved away the following August.

    But I was a Unicorn and I would keep my shit together…and I did, at my own peril, for years.

    It was not until 2015 that I learned the full truth about serial adultery (which is why Im still here…the old wounds newly ripped open). A messy desk is something I still have sometimes, but I have a kind husband now who is proud of my work and supports me in it.

    • Unicorn.
      What a horrible experience. You write so well.
      I’m glad you are past that. How does it feel now to write that? If that’s ok to ask. Does it seem like yesterday, or distant or still just unbelievable? How do you look back on yourself?
      I used to get sad about my childhood but then it just became I think ‘meh’.
      I’m wondering how these episodes look in retrospect to people who have some distance from their ‘past’ lives.

      • Amen to that–I wonder the same thing. Friends tell me it passes–but they HAVE to say that, it’s in the contract.

      • When I look back, I feel really sorry for the person I used to be…she was in an untenable situation. Back then if I called him on his shit he would deflect and blame shift … he didn’t want to even try to be better, he wanted me to end the marriage but I refused to the game just kept escalating. I wish he had had the integrity to voice his wishes to end the marriage and follow through with decency.

        I’m now amazed that at the time I just couldn’t/wouldn’t admit what a horrible person he was to me. I am embarrassed by my optimism with regard to him, it was so misplaced.

        I’m glad that I didn’t lose my optimism for life…my parents and first spouse screwed me so horribly I should probably be an insane drug addict, but by the Grace of God I’m a happy functioning person with a great career and circumstances.

        I love my new hubby (who is just a treasure), I’m returning to school, my new hubby and I like to go antique hunting (we’ve made a lovely home for ourselves), my kids live independently and are doing pretty well, me & daughter going to Europe (for the 4th time together) in March… I now have everything to live for.

        The past trauma sneaks in sometimes…. just this morning new hub made a joke that left me feeling panicked, but I told him of my fears and he reassured me lovingly- something I never got before.

        • Unicorn, so happy for you! My heart warmed to your hubby when he reassured you when you panicked as opposed to gaslighting and minimising and blameshifting- all these we chumps are so used to! Enjoy your trip with your daughter!

        • Unicorn, you express yourself so beautifully. I must say I understand your sentiments exactly when I look back and wonder who the fuck was I looking at him and believing this man was what he pretended to be when he so obviously was treating me poorly, gaslighting, lying cheating. dang…

  • Christmas Eve 3 years ago was my first DDay and I pickmedanced my heart out after that. Ugh.

    Well, he does not get to make Christmas suck. I refuse to associate the pain of discovery with the joyous holiday season. He no longer has any power over me.

    Also, this year my Christmas gift to myself is to let go of the regret and humiliation I endured because of the 2 and 1/2 years I tried desperately to win the love of an unfaithful spouse back. I am loyal and true and was trying to save my family. I know I will never compromise myself for another like that ever again.

    Finally, this Christmas I am excited to be single again with the peace and hope that honesty and possibility bring. I am so thankful not to spend another holiday season trying to make him happy, trying to do everything perfectly, trying to be whatever he wants.

    I am free.

    • Never, I love your gift to yourself to let go of the regret and humiliation. I am think we all need to give that gift to ourselves because we, the chumps, did nothing to be ashamed of. The only for thing we are all guilty of is loving someone too much- someone who did not deserve our love.

      • Agreed! And the worst part for me is I still love the bastard. Too bad he only cares about himself

  • I’m almost 4 months past D-Day and so grateful for this site. Last Christmas I was miserable, totally disconnected from my husband and couldn’t figure out what was wrong. I remember spending ages organizing his gift, a painting of him and our 3 children. He gave me a mobile phone. Which would have been great if I actually needed one! Anyway, now I know what was wrong. This year the kids are with me for Christmas and they’ll be with him for the week leading up to NYE. I know it will be hard and I’ll probably be tearful. I’ve never spent that much time away from my children before but I’m trying to plan fun things to do for myself and I know CN is here.

  • I can’t imagine a Christmas/holiday D-day. Mine was my 40th birthday but I just had to slog through another hectic day.

    I can’t imagine having to actually function at a holiday time level. I would think this type of d-day might provoke a quick rug-sweep just to be able to deny it mentally in order to function through the busy time of year. Please don’t entertain that idea.

    If you are struggling with a holiday d-day, your health comes first. Round up all the help and positive support to help you through this busy time. It’s the same advice I’d give for any d-day but we as chumps tend to put off “rocking the boat” due to birthdays, holidays, meetings at work, the weekdays, the weekends, the kid’s sleepovers…

    Don’t bury this in the pile. Give yourself the gift of counsel. And quick.

    It gets better. And better, and better, and better.

  • I really loved reading all these comments today. I love hearing where everyone is at in their journey. I love the feeling of comradeship (and of being understood–I mean really, is there anything else in life?) when I see stories that mirror my own. And I love the messages of hope, from those of you who know what it feels like to lose all hope and be so dead that not even food tastes good anymore, and then slowly start to genuinely enjoy your new life. CN, you are the voice of reason and encouragement in a scary world.

    I’m 2.4 years past initial d-day, and while I wish I had found this site immediately, I’m so glad it’s been with me for most of that time. My child and I have a much, much more stable life, and have the same amazing times we’ve always had when we’re together, except now a deadbeat doesn’t get to take credit for being a part of a family he was never a part of anyway. Without me around to check him, my ex’s wild life and spending have dug him into a financial hole the size of Texas, complete with prompting him to set up a sad-sausage GoFundMe to try to recoup from his terrible planning by squeezing every last drop of money out of his brainwashed followers. I reluctantly, scaredy-cat-edly got into a new relationship and have been astonished to discover that new boyfriend is a grown-up, a hard worker, polite whether in public or at home, and and and and CAN DO HIS OWN LAUNDRY. All by himself! And do ours too while he’s at it. Yes, Virginia, there are other human beings out there who don’t need constant care and babysitting and being waited on hand and foot. Other human beings who can enrich your life and actually make you stronger and more rested by entering into it, rather than weaker and depleted.

    Merry Christmas, and may all your cheaters go ahead and die and decrease the surplus population, and be buried with a stake of holly through their hearts, etc. etc.

    • Chump-tastic, what a great post! The feeling of being understood is priceless and the reason I come here every day, but couldn’t articulate it as well as you did! And it makes me so happy to hear of chumps finding partners who are true, honest human beings who delight in reciprocal relationships. It gives me hope for the future.

    • Yes! I would love if Santa brought me a severed dick for my stocking á la Lorena Bobbitt!

  • My D-Day was in early December a couple of years ago. That Christmas was horrible, everything leading up to it was horrible. There’s nothing like spending Christmas Eve in your own guest room…..then spending New Year’s Eve alone. I thought a lot about D-Day last December too, and I’m sure I’ll think about it every year going forward when the holidays roll around.

    This will be our last Christmas (together) with the kids coming up, our D will be final sometime early next year. I wonder if our children are thinking about that. I’m really sad for them. None of us deserves this. I wonder if she really even gives a shit about any of it, or if her forlorn looks are really because her boyfriend didn’t leave his wife for her and soon she’ll be alone. It’s really sad. I still can’t believe I married somebody who was even capable of doing the shit she did and then not give a single shit about the impact of it all on her own kids. What a life….

    • That’s the hardest thing for chumpy me that I had to handle my son – I felt really sad for him to (and still do) because now he comes from a shattered family.

      I honestly believe that they do not give a shit – they give being selfish a whole new meaning. All they do is think about themselves and worry about being alone.

      I to will never understand (and don’t want to) the shit he did and continues to do to this day especially to our son.

      • HISB… your son does not come from a shattered family. He has YOU.

        Marriage does not always equal “family”.

        Your son is part of an intact family that no longer includes a liar and a cheater (not morals you would choose to have in your family, I suspect.).

        Your X is the only thing shattered.

        You and your son are MIGHTY.

    • I’m going to be slightly hypocritical of myself here…although it’s good to vent about our shitty ex’s (and they are shits!) as I did in my initial post to this topic.

      But we also need to realise we need to focus on ‘fixing’ ourselves too, I’ve realised that I’m Co-Dependant and need to fix this part of me to move on with a truly happy new life. I’m doing it, It takes time, It’s hard…it’s 100 times harder than anything I’ve ever done in my life.

      Venting and validation for the shitty-ness of our ex’s is important for answers, but if you can look towards fixing that part of ‘You’ that is a little bit broken…maybe the best xmas present to yourself is a great big shiny ‘Boundary’.

      • Blindside
        I know what you mean. There have been a few posts that mention the balance we all have to manage between venting and expressing anger versus working on our stuff being positive and moving forward. It’s s very personal journey. I often cycle through each side many times a day. I suppose I am hoping that over time I will spend less time in the ‘loss’ side and more in the ‘restoration’ side. But with life events the balance can tip one way or the other for a while.
        Sometimes when I am ‘up’ I can come here and feel a bit frustrated with negative posts but then the next day the reverse, I’m down and feel frustrated by the positive posts.
        But I guess we all recognise this in ourselves and others as we as chumps are crazy good navel gazers.
        We are trying to help people not forget their strengths even in times of great pain.

          • You know Chumps, what I really love about this site and especially today’s post and thread, is that we’re all in this together. Everyone is super supportive of each other we Get This. For me I find being Validated is something I sorely need. And then I can go work on my stuff and try to become healthier and more whole, and maybe get a decent day’s work in, and not let this be the end of me or define me forever more. Thank you Chump Nation!

      • MBE

        Yes, that has been my realization as well. I was raised to be codependent and carried that through my marriage. As a therapist I look for similar patterns in clients lives…and almost two years out I’m no longer co dependent and I consider myself a realist. One day, my path will cross with a nice, honest man who shares my views. Thank you for your levity

        For the Dday question, it was on my 18th wedding anniversary that I found the emails of the affair. I filed a week later. The first set of holidays were very tough. This is third Xmas and we are strong! Out West

  • On the first day of Christmas
    my true love sent to me:
    A gaslit load of fuckery

    On the second day of Christmas
    my true love sent to me:
    2 STD’s
    and a gaslit load of fuckery

    On the third day of Christmas
    my true love sent to me:
    3 wenchy friends
    2 STD’s
    and a gaslit load of fuckery

    On the fourth day of Christmas
    my true love sent to me:
    4 calling turds
    3 wenchy friends
    2 STD’s
    and a gaslit load of fuckery

    On the fifth day of Christmas
    my true love sent to me:
    5 old-ass flings
    4 calling turds
    3 wenchy friends
    2 STD’s
    and a gaslit load of fuckery

    On the sixth day of Christmas
    my true love sent to me:
    6 kids a crying
    5 old-ass flings
    4 calling turds
    3 wenchy friends
    2 STD’s
    and a gaslit load of fuckery

    On the seventh day of Christmas
    my true love sent to me:
    7 pawns a willing
    6 kids a crying
    5 old-ass flings
    4 calling turds
    3 wenchy friends
    2 STD’s
    and a gaslit load of fuckery

    On the eighth day of Christmas
    my true love sent to me:
    8 charades of bilking
    7 pawns a willing
    6 kids a crying
    5 old-ass flings
    4 calling turds
    3 wenchy friends
    2 STD’s
    and a gaslit load of fuckery

    On the ninth day of Christmas
    my true love sent to me:
    9 Ladies Dancing
    8 charades of bilking
    7 pawns a willing
    6 kids a crying
    5 old-ass flings
    4 calling turds
    3 wenchy friends
    2 STD’s
    and a gaslit load of fuckery

    On the tenth day of Christmas
    my true love sent to me:
    10 Wounds a weeping
    9 Ladies Dancing
    8 charades of bilking
    7 pawns a willing
    6 kids a crying
    5 old-ass flings
    4 calling turds
    3 wenchy friends
    2 STD’s
    and a gaslit load of fuckery

    On the eleventh day of Christmas
    my true love sent to me:
    11 Strippers Stripping
    10 Wounds a weeping
    9 Ladies Dancing
    8 charades of bilking
    7 pawns a willing
    6 kids a crying
    5 old-ass flings
    4 calling turds
    3 wenchy friends
    2 STD’s
    and a gaslit load of fuckery

    On the first day of Christmas
    my true love sent to me:
    12 Lovers Slumming
    11 Strippers Stripping
    10 Wounds a weeping
    9 Ladies Dancing
    8 charades of bilking
    7 pawns a willing
    6 kids a crying
    5 old-ass flings
    4 calling turds
    3 wenchy friends
    2 STD’s
    and a gaslit load of fuckery

  • Just after Christmas 2013. Prior to this Christmas he had come home one night and told he blew everything (compulsive gambler) and could not pay for our son’s Christmas. January left the country to see his dad and proceeded to blow $10,000.00 at a casino (his entire line of credit) in one night. He had been having an affair with his deceased brother’s wife who sat at my dinner table every night and who my family was very kind to.

    What’s hilarious is a few months prior to Christmas he tried to talk me into getting a line of credit so I good consolidate all his gambling debt into my name solely $20,000.00. Something felt off (everything) and I told him I talked to the bank and they would give me a line of credit (total lie because I didn’t even speak to the bank or apply)? Sick bastard!!!

    • Meant to say bank wouldn’t give. One of these days I’m going to figure out how to edit my comments properly. Sheesh ?

  • While showing off her dream home that we were buying, many thousands already spent….. picked up her phone saw a text app…. inside was many a graphic text about what her 20 something BF was going to do to her on 12/22…. found it on 12/25…. coming upon second annivyof day….. still hate this time of year!

    • You are not alone! I put installed the new dishwasher Christmas eve to complete a $50K remodel of the house. Most of that was spent on remods for the kitchen she wanted. I did it assuming we were spending another 5-10 years in the house. Six months later I was told she wanted a divorce and spent another 6 months pick me dancing. She admitted the affair 1 week after an anniversary trip. They are just super special. What else can you say for this type of behavior?

      • WTH? Stress of remodeling causes infidelity (but not among chumps)? My X’s first major affair (that I know of), was right as we (a) had started a major add-on & kitchen remodel, and (b) had put a deposit on a puppy for my kids. He was banging gradwhore on her twin bed while I was off picking out stainless steel appliances.

        • We had just signed papers with a realtor to sell our home, as the custom home that we had hired to be built for the past 5 months was ready to close on and take possession of. I learned that same night about asshat’s affair (didn’t KNOW of affair yet, but asshat came home very late from a work gathering, saying how unhappy he was). Took me (and our kids) totally by surprise, as our marriage was not difficult. Turned out his 24 year younger juvie ho-worker made my antennae tune in for a good reason from the very first time I met her three years earlier. My gut screamed at me, but I dismissed due to their age difference. So glad to be rid of that asshat. Life is so much better when lived genuinely.

  • D-Day was 6 January, 2015. The day our demanding and exhausting house guests/then fellow married friends went back home from an unintentional three week stay at our house. I was so tired from hosting them, caring for the baby and ex’s horrible treatment of the kids and I. The AP was a howorker/one of his BFFs from childhood, and the last straw was when he drove her drunken ass home on New Year’s Day after the party I hosted yet again. She lives five minutes from my house but he took two and a half hours getting back. The wife/house guest took me aside off and on to ask why ex was so unhappy, angry and didn’t I notice how poorly he treated me? She’d proposed he get me tickets to a play for the holidays because she knows I love the theater, but that would have required a date so instead, he got me the same bottle of perfume he’d already given me for my birthday that same year. Whenever he’d take the same wife out to buy cigarettes, he’d get little treats for them but get me nothing and when she’d ask about it, he’d just shrug.

    On our way home from dropping them at the airport, I told him I was tired of all of it. The coldness, the anger, the avoiding the kids and I, the staying as far away from me as he could (we hadn’t slept together since I was pregnant with lo) and also tired of trying to work on us when he refused to do so. I took him to two counseling sessions and he accused me afterward of tarnishing the therapist’s view of him and refusing to go back on both occasions. When I asked him what was going on on the way back home, he just stared straight ahead and said we’d talk about it when the kids went to bed.

    I did the pick me dance for around a week and a half, and then finally threw him out when he was still going out to meet with the slunt while I was home consoling the kids who knew exactly where he went when he left, and when the blame shifting, 2x4s of common sense friends and family bounced right off his thick head and his total lack of empathy for what he was doing to us truly set in.

    So it’s coming up on two years. I had the kids for the holidays the first year, but he’ll get them this year. Thanksgiving was horrible and I don’t know how I’m going to get through Christmas. It’s very hard between being disabled/having a toddler and special needs son to get out and rebuild my life, but I keep telling myself this will be the last lonely and isolated year we spend like this. Somehow things have to get better, I’ll find a way to get my life back and the future will be brighter. I don’t know how it will happen, but am leaving it to fate and trying to be optimistic.

    “When you’re going through hell, keep going.” – Churchill

  • I’m going to be slightly hypocritical of myself here…although it’s good to vent about our shitty ex’s (and they are shits!) as I did in my initial post to this topic.

    But we also need to realise we need to focus on ‘fixing’ ourselves too, I’ve realised that I’m Co-Dependant and need to fix this part of me to move on with a truly happy new life. I’m doing it, It takes time, It’s hard…it’s 100 times harder than anything I’ve ever done in my life.

    Venting and validation for the shitty-ness of our ex’s is important for answers, but if you can look towards fixing that part of ‘You’ that is a little bit broken…maybe the best xmas present to yourself is a great big shiny ‘Boundary’.

    • Excellent post. I am working on a whole boundary fence!. And the upkeep it needs every year to keep the uncivilized critters out of my space!

  • Ironically, my DDay in early January 2014 came after the nicest and warmest family holiday season (and our 28th wedding anniversary on Dec 21) that we had ever had. Ever. I can remember noticing it all through the holidays how much nicer our Christmas was compared with prior years … lots of family time, family games, and laughter. I was sooo happy because of it. Then SLAM … I discovered the truth he was trying so hard to hide.

    So I realize this morning why this was. Thank you, Tracy, for yet another ah-ha moment. We had just moved many states south in the summer and Christmas 2013 was our first one in 28 years to be located many states away from his secret boyfriend. So he wasn’t able to be sneaking off “running errands” and “attending office parties” and “picking up a few more gifts” … he was stuck with us and so we were blessed with his undivided attention. It just shows you how much energy and attention they withhold from the marriage. We (or my child and I anyway) could have been so much happier over the years if he had made even the smallest effort to be more than a room mate.

    We are having a lovely holiday this year because every one here is actually emotionally HERE. Hugs to new and recovering chumps … I hope the beauty and joy of the season can lift you up and bring some happiness.

  • Gather around, kids, here’s another tale of what it’s like to be married to a john:

    I wasn’t a Christmas D-Day baby, but after D-Day, once I got my hands on his secret email account, I discovered what the holidays really meant to my beloved whore-fucker.

    We used to spend Christmas with his family who lived about 6 hours away. For years, we would argue about if we should drive or fly to his moms, since I’m not a fan of long, boring road trips and he’s not a fan of flying. Finally, we decided on something unconventional. He would wake up early X-mas morning, pack the gifts in the car and start driving. A few hours later, I would hop over to the airport, take a 30 minute flight, and he’s pick me up once I got up there. Problem solved, we did this 4 years in a row.

    After D-Day, I found email exchanges between him and a prostitute that lived about halfway between us and his Mom’s. Yes, you guessed it, he was stopping halfway to fuck whores before picking me up at having a family Christmas at his Mom’s place.

    My goodness. Happy Birthday, Baby Jesus. Thank your dad for me that I’m not married to that piece of shit anymore.

  • My cheater hooked up with his colleague OW at their office Xmas party. She was engaged to comeone else, but after their one night stand, she couldn’t “dishonestly” marry her fiance. So she stole mine instead. Their 5 month affair was only discovered when a colleague ratted them out.

    She still, five years later, blogs about their affair, and how “guilty” they felt. But they were in lurv! Now of course they have reinvented themselves as churchgoers and responsible parents. Problem is they have spawned three babies in rapid succession, live on State benefits, he only works part time (to get under the threshold for benefits) and she does no paid work. They scroung a cash living selling junk on ebay. They have both gained about 100lbs each and are a laugh and a half. It is as if their inner monsters have emerged.

    I wouldn’t cross the street to help him if I spotted him in a ditch.

    To think I let that creep make me miserable for one hour…is astonishing. I am so grateful that the fickle finger of fate intervened.

  • Pretending everything was fine for my family the last Christmas my husband and I were together was horrible. Absolutely awful. To make things worse, he came up Christmas Eve to find me crying (as he was “trying to make up his mind”) and he wrapped his arms around me and was uncharacteristically kind. It was a huge shot of hopium. My heart goes out to any Chumps dealing with the holidays. It’s a special kind of hell. The good news is that even though I’m alone now, I still enjoy Christmas. It’s just a very scaled back version. I still struggle a bit with my ex having his big family over as well as our kids, while I’m at home with my sickly parents. The good thing is that my kids do make a point to open gifts we me, though. So I count that as my Christmas, no matter when it happens.

    • Lyn, like most Chumps we soldier on in flawed marriages to our own detriment and usually that of our children also. Your comments alway resonate with me because we are of a similar ‘vintage’ and were married for a similar length of time. Christmas with my family closer to the end of my marriage was painful but I and possibly the ex kept up appearances just because could and we did. I will never do that again ever. On a post a few days ago I stated that I don’t celebrate Christmas anymore and I chose to stay home and isolate myself. We that has changed and I am now going to a friend’s home and I have actually bought Christmas decorations for the first time in a long time, so my little apartment, my home will look festive because that is how I am now feeling. Every step we make towards our new lives is a step worth taking albeit tentatively. I only wish our newly minted Chumps didn’t have to experience such agony but believe it or not, it does make you much stronger and more sympathetic to those who are less fortunate than ourselves.

      • I’m so happy you are decorating for Christmas this year, Maree! I actually thought about not decorating because it seems like so much effort for just myself. But I went out and bought a tree last night anyway. My struggle is that one of my parents is very sick and so it’s hard to even spend happy holidays with them. At least my oldest son and his wife will be here Christmas day, although they’re going to spend Christmas Eve with his dad and his big, happy family. It’s up to us to make our own selves happy! I was thinking today how much compassion and understanding I now have of others who find themselves alone on the holidays. The other day a person in our town posted that anyone who was alone on T’giving was welcome at her house. That sort of amazed me! But then again it seemed incredibly thoughtful too. There are others alone during the holidays, we just have to find each other.

  • My D-day was Nov 19 2013. The day after my birthday. When I think of those days, I am amazed I could function at all. It was the shocking discovery of photos/videos of my x that gave me a nervous breakdown. A few seconds of looking gave my brain way too much information to process. The photos went back years and were extremely perverted. So in one glance I knew that my 20-year marriage was a lie and my husband had some serious problems. It was just too much for me – I started shaking all over and I didn’t stop for months. Those holidays were tough. And damn it I didn’t find CL for over a year. That’s what pisses me off the most. I thought I was alone in this and I thought my situation was rare. Ha! Each of you has been shocked to your core as well. Each of you has listened to the same old script that they use full of blame shifting, gas lighting, refusal to take responsibility etc – but mostly the entitlement. The massive amounts of entitlement.

    Fast forward 3 years? Yes, I am NC, peaceful for the most part and deeply grateful to know the truth. Every morning when I wake up I smile because this house is a house of truth and peace. The pain of getting these disordered people out of our lives is so worth the result – PEACE.

    • KathleenK

      No wonder you know so much about this stuff.
      You are well rid of him.
      And how well we can all remember that moment of discovery. It’s the worst thing ever.

  • And so I think I’m sharing for the Newbies today… my final D-day was in September of 2013 when Mr. Sparkles announced he had met someone and was leaving our family. He moved out 3 weeks later, giving our teenage children (my stepchildren) 3 days notice to pack.

    That is who he is.

    Christmas 2014… his new partner was celebrating with her children and not ready to introduce Mr. Sparkles quite yet… so he suggests “wouldn’t it be nice for us to celebrate together as a family?”… so Chump that I am – and arguably still smoking the hopium pipe, agreed. He slept on the couch Christmas Eve. My stepdaughter slept in my son’s bunkbed. And, my stepson said he’d come over when he woke up. Christmas morning was surreal as we all sat around the tree in our pajamas opening presents… me cooking up a hearty breakfast while Mr. Sparkles assembled the toys. He later went up to my bedroom to take a nap while I prepared Christmas dinner for the 5 of us. But wait – it gets better… the minute dinner is over (around 3pm)… Mr. Sparkles suddenly and immediately had somewhere else to be… the OW was now alone (her kids now with her X) and she was lonely. Christmas was over.

    That is who he is.

    Christmas 2015… Mr. Sparkles and the OW are in twu luv. They go to pumpkin patches with both sets of kids… look – a perfectly “future” blended family picture for the mantle. Mr. Sparkles takes her and “the kids” to our favorite holiday places… the block of houses all lit up with 100000000s of lights that I first found years ago. He buys her a gift from Tiffany’s (which I taught him to do for me – sterling silver mind you.)… he takes pictures of himself with our son and my stepdaughter in front of the fireplace at her Dad’s mansion and posts it on FB. We “split” the holiday – but still in an odd way… Christmas Eve and morning is just me and my son. But after Mr. Sparkles takes our son and my stepdaughter to the OW’s for dinner, they return back to my house to open “family” gifts. Mr. Sparkles kicks off his shoes like he still lives there. Best of both worlds.

    That is who he is.

    Christmas 2016 (Pending)… Divorce papers filed and settlement imminent. Mr. Sparkles and the OW broke-up over the summer. Seems she didn’t like being charged with adultery and having her own D-Day when she received an anonymous mail package containing his current Adult Friend Finder ad looking for couples/groups/women. SO – now Mr. Sparkles has picked up a new victim from the gym. We do have the “you must be dating someone for one year before introducing the kids” rule in place and he has yet to mention her existence to me… but my son and stepdaughter already know she exists. (Stepson now lives out of state with his Mom and doesn’t care.) I took my son and stepdaughter to pick out our Christmas tree. I DECLINED Mr. Sparkles offer to join him and our son to pick one out. I established a clear boundary about the gift exchange this year. And soon, I’ll be claiming Christmas Eve again so he can go off with “Girl with 2 Dogs” and pretend to be single.

    That is who he is.

    SO… what does all this mean/show/share? I hope it shows how TIME… fucking TIME… makes all the difference in the world. Each year, it changes and it sucks a little less. Each year, you get a little stronger and set boundaries. Each year, you have more distance and clarity around how much of a fuckwit they are. Each year you can see that THEY DO NOT CHANGE… sadly, they cannot change.

    You only control you. Do that with all the love and compassion and grace you were so willing to give to the Cheater. This year … do for you. Be the change you want to see and have. Model NORMAL for your kids, they’ll revel in it.

    And mostly, don’t go into the new year trying to save something that will only continue to destroy you (and your family).

    My family – my son and me – are an intact family unit and my stepdaughter even prefers it. And we will have an amazing holiday season together. Fuckwits be damned.

    Rock on Chump Nation.

  • My dday was the day after Christmas 2009. I didn’t have a 2010 calendar yet so I looked for one on my husband’s desk. On the December 2009 page he had written “kiss” on a couple of the days, “dinner” on few others & “phone call” on some more. I can’t describe the pit I felt in my stomach. (Chump Lady had not yet been conceived so I knew nothing of squirreling money away or lawyering up before confronting him.)

    I immediately asked if he was having an affair. He stood against the door frame, covered his face with his hands & said “he couldn’t do it anymore.” I asked what that meant & he said he “could no longer be married to me.” Then the spewing began about what a horrible person I was. This included that he didn’t like crab cakes on Thanksgiving (he had the idea & he made them!), that once I was rude to a store clerk & that we didn’t go to his sister’s house for the holidays. Mind you others didn’t go there either as everyone agreed that her house was filthy & full of tanks of snakes that they wanted to take out & show us.

    I then holed up in a ball under the Christmas tree sobbing for hours. The next day he kept coming into the bedroom to ask if I wanted food or water – typical asshole behavior after a bombshell. The next day he came home from work, came right upstairs & told me he didn’t love me anymore – I thought I was about to faint & felt my eyeballs rolling in my head like a slot machine.He moved out in 3 weeks & filed 2 months later.

    What haunts me is that he gave me a Christmas card 36 hours before dday that read, “Life gives you beautiful things, it gave me you.” WTF. Needless to say I don’t celebrate Christmas in my house anymore (deceased parents & one brother 14 time zones away.)

    Footnote: His tru luv with schmoopie (a divorced coworker without custody of her 5 kids) lasted just a few weeks. Heard through the grapevine that at 54 he just married a 30 year old.

    • hut1, bless you for living through that. I also had the ex burst into tears on D-day and then start spewing everything he could think of that I’d done wrong over the past 30 years. Of course, none of these things bothered him enough to say something until he was with Schmoopie.

    • Grateful I never got the I hate you so much and here’s why speech. That would have probably driven me to actually kill myself. I got a lot of the blame at first but after many weeks of talking he took all the blame for the marital issues and the cheating this week. He still plans to go although I love him and I’m the ultimate chump and would still want to try. But I know it’s hopeless. The OW is SOOOOOOO messed up with her track record if she wants my h so badly I know he’s a dud!

      • Sad Shelby, my heart goes out to you and everybody who is new to this and struggling. I can only advise that you go deep into the pain and live it through. This is the only way to go through this situation. You are still prepared to work it out and you would be thrilled if he gave it a chance. That’s how I felt over the summer after three DDays in the past 5 years. I felt we finally started talking heart to heart and he confessed to a lot more than I knew and he admitted that his straying took the intimacy away from where it belonged so naturally our relationship deteriorated. He gave me what I needed to hear and I was so hopeful. He said all the right words. I thought he finally got it, he understands the damage and he values our relationship and so he won’t do it again and we can work it out. I was still in a haze. I was determined that I will save my family, my kid won’t be without a father, I am wiser now and we finally opened the communication channels and we’ll be stronger. I was determined to show this to the world. What I did not see during that time was that I was talking to the SAME person who just weeks ago denied everything even after I read all the texts. It was the same person that continued lying and making me doubt my sanity and gut feelings even more. The same person who messed up with my self worth and self confidence. I did not see all that. I disregarded the centuries old wisdom that once a cheater is always a cheater and the leopard does not change its spots. My cheater was the exception to the rule!

        It was not in my interests to see the red flags. I only wanted to believe that we were different, our case was different, his cheating was only because I did not encourage thruthful communication and now it’s changed and we’ll make it.

        It only took a few more weeks of fake reconciliation to recognize the truth. I am still in pain although it’s now different. I still love the traitor and the back-stubber. But I see through him now.

        You want to get this chance from him because you are still seeking for a validation. From him. Seek it from yourself. You gave him true love, you still do, you are a human being with genuine care for him and the relationship. But he does not need it.

        Stay strong. Talk to people here. This is such a helpful and genuine friendship here. We are all in the same boat and it helps.


  • My D-day happened in August. But it was this time of year when we first met and started dating. Oh the love bombing. I slept with him for the first time on my birthday..Which is just a few days from now. Triggers abound. I still feel like I can’t breathe sometimes. For those who are finding out during this season I feel so much heart ache for you. I don’t even know how I made it through the last few months, but I have. And for each day that I get through I gain strength. Just realizing I survived life with him and survived the devastation that followed, losing almost everything, and somehow still standing proves that Tracy and Chump Nation is right. It gets better. The pain after leaving is finite (although I haven’t had my Tuesday yet) and that I will survive and thrive. I hold tight to this wisdom for two reasons 1. it gives me hope, and 2. This is all I have and if I don’t believe it I will have surely lost all.

    • We each survive one day at a time because we must. Keep being good to yourself each and every day. And your kindness in reaching out to help others will help YOU more than almost any other thing you could do. (((Hugs)))

    • Angie

      You did survive and you will be able to breath again. Survival for me was knowing I HAD to get away from him to find hope. You did it.

  • Although, this is my first comment, I find this site so good for my soul.

    My D-day was 11/22/2014 (the Saturday before Thanksgiving). Needless to say, Thanksgiving and Christmas that year were almost unbearable. The only thing that got me through those painful days; is the love for my two daughters, some very close friends and family. It’s been two long years of tears, anger, humiliation since being blindsided after 32 years of marriage and I’ve come along way. However, I still struggle at this time of year and other days. One thing I try to remember is how far I’ve come since 2014. That I’m up off my knees (on most days – which I could barely do the first few months) and on most days I’m kicking ass!!!!

    I found the Chump Nation, this summer (I wish I had found you all earlier – I would have probably done things differently) and it has been my bible everyday.

    I have great empathy for each one of your stories of heartbreak and although I never wanted to be in this club, I’m glad I joined!

    • BBEO – Welcome. It sounds like you have been through the wringer. So nice to hear from someone on the other side. Please join our might Chump Nation army as we all march toward meh!

    • Welcome Blindsided, we share a name (sort of) and an approximate D-Day (late 2014). I too feel a little empty this time of year (as I did last year), but I’m light years further now than I was during that 2014 holiday season where I was literally a blubbering mess.

      I’m glad you found this site too, as it has been a virtual God-send for me.

  • My ex-‘s holiday of choice for the final D-day (there were, of course, multiple) was right at Halloween, lol! He was an odd bird.

    • G&M
      I’m thinking ‘odd bird’ might be what I would call British understatement!
      I’m still in the process of marinating a nickname for my STBX….

        • Ahhh, Ian. Had to look this up (as always with your cleverness). I am renaming you Sir Ian of Cleverness ~~ knighthood suits one such as you, and I found the great mimic, the Lyrebird.

          Gay and Monogamous may not have sole dibs on this winged-one!!

          ??, V

          • Fascinating birds, the male mimics all sorts of complex noises like car alarms and chainsaws to attract a female. Rather like the chameleon-like behaviour of our cheaters who adopt a new persona for their next parasitic host (eg my hard core atheist ex, former hater of religious hypocrisy, was suddenly in awe of his devout catholic OW, had prayer apps on his phone and supported her wish for a church wedding!)

            • Vastra and Virago:

              All class, all the time, you two.

              What a pleasure to read your musings on this lovely bird.

              These cheaters are world-class fools to choose a little bit of ass over the first-class humans assembled here in the metropolis of Meh – capital city of Chump Nation!

  • I remember the shear heartbreak of discovering how the ex bought a very personal Christmas gift for the AP. It was like a knife to the heart.

    Aaaah The good old days!

    Meh world is the best!

    I wish for giant sacks of coal for Christmas for all cheaters and AP’s!

  • I am a Christmas Eve chump. Yes, the trauma of that morning in 2014 comes calling occasionally with a hearty “Knock, knock, Motherfucker.” Then, I’m right back in the midst of my horror and heartbreak. And my extended family will show up in three hours for a lavish dinner served on my Spode Christmas Tree china. We will go to the family service at our church, the one where the kids dress up as angels and shepherds. And then, well, I really have no recollection of the next few days. Except that attorneys are hard to find during the Christmas holidays. So, things spun out unbearably until January 12, when it all ended in violence.

    December 2015, I was just recently divorced and Christmas was endured. This year? I’ve decorated the tree (although I also lost half my ornaments to the asshole). I listen to the all-Christmas-music all-the-time radio station. I’ve arranged for my sister and mother to happily do all the cooking. Kids will be home from college. It’s going to be okay.

    Merry Christmas, fellow chumps. If I can reclaim the holidays, anyone can!

    • Thanks Eve, that is encouraging to hear. I found out last year on Christmas Eve, so this is my first holiday season and the divorce is not yet final. I just want this whole season to be over!

  • At this time last year I started getting a series of strange illnesses and I couldn’t understand why I was so run down and my immune system shot when I had the PERFECT boyfriend who was dishing up the perfect Christmas (my favorite holiday). The body keeps the score, that’s for sure. Oh, body, how wise you are.

    This year, no chump is me. I’m light of heart and looking forward to a Christmas and New Year’s when strange texts from my boyfriend’s other sex partners don’t pop up at midnight. I will laugh and be merry, knowing I’m no longer a chump. That is the greatest gift of all.

    And new members of CN…I’m sorry 🙁 But you’re welcome here, and it does get better.

  • I found out on Christmas Eve 2015- so my one year anniversary is coming up…I can honestly say I wish I would have discovered his affair on any other day. I LOVED the Christmas Season and now I find myself shuddering at the sight of Christmas lights, wanting to throw my shoe at Santa, and feeling nauseous at the sound of Christmas carols. Plus the holidays, have a horrible way of highlighting all the things in your life that you don’t have anymore.. This season is so hard for me, but I’m determined to make it- I would appreciate any advice on how to get through the first holiday season.

    • I don’t know your entire situation (like if you have kids or family close by) but this can be pretty universal. Try to focus on what you really hated about spending the holidays with your ex or the in laws. Cheaters are generally crappy partners with disordered families to boot. When you get a picture of what really sucked, try to make new traditions that are the exact opposite.

      Take back the stuff you loved about the holidays and really try to enjoy it again. I know it seems like a tall order now but give it a shot because I promise it gets better every year. I made it a point to start shopping super early and not amassing major Christmas credit card debt because my ex would do that every year. Since my spending is not scrutinized by him anymore, it doesn’t matter that I started shopping in October and won’t have credit card bills that last until July.

      If your ex gets to take your kids on this holiday, then spend time with your family or volunteering at a shelter. Nothing makes you feel grateful for what you have more than seeing people who need our help during the holiday season.

      I am going on my third holiday season without my ex of 27 years and it just keeps getting better. It will for you too!

    • I’m having a hard time because I feel he will be spending Christmas with HER and I get dry heaves every time I picture them together and happy. HOME WRECKING WHORE! Plus I feel like EVERYTHING is all “true love for Christmas! Love love love love love!” When I want to just go on a two person stabbing spree! Maybe in a few years when I’m married to Zac Efron and we’re lolling around in bed in our over water bungalow in Fiji for Christmas I’ll like the holiday again XD

  • Same here. Ex told me on december 8th 2015 that he wanted a divorce. Since I’m dutch and live in the Netherlands….On the 5th of december we celebrated Saint Nicholas with the whole family, on the 6th we went into town to celebrate the first day of Hanukkah and after that we drank something in a café, it was quite nice. On the 7th he went to a concert in the evening with his best (and only) friend and on the 8th he told me he wanted a divorce. And on the 10th our old kitchen was ripped out and the new kitchen was installed. So weird.
    I immediately suspected another woman, but he kept denying it until I put so much pressure on him that he had to admit it. But his new woman dumped him months before the divorce was final, so now he’s unhappy. And I don’t care! This Saint Nicholas will be celebrated with my family minus ex-husband. Same goes for christmas. My youngest daughter detests what he has done and gives him hell about it. My oldest daughter is a peacemaker, so she tries not to pick a side and that’s okay (though she hates what he did) and my son is living in Spain with his girlfriend, so he doens’t have to deal with it, the lucky boy!
    I wish everyone happy holidays, and may all the exes have terrible days and an unhappy new year!

  • Although my BD wasn’t during the holidays or near my own birthday, or near an anniversary of any sort, …
    ironically I will never be able to forget my BD… you see it falls on a really bad day…
    July 13, 2012, FRIDAY THE FUCKING 13th !

    Now Friday the 13th doesn’t even phase me because I’ve already been to hell and back. Now I’m looking toward getting to heaven because I sure don’t want to spend eternity with my X down below.

  • I really related to this. I was just thinking the other day about the surreal moment last year on a Saturday that I sat in Christmas decorated restaurant with two good friends (a married couple) and I realized “I gotta get divorced.”

    I never had the undeniable proof Dday. I had the Howorker and I would find his car at her place, but he would say “we are just friends”. Pick me dance, wreckonciliation… it went on for years. I thought it was resolved… it wasn’t a happy marriage but I thought we were going to rebound and she was at least out of picture. Then one day shortly before I was about to start a new job, I found his car there again. I knew I was done, but I just couldn’t do a new job, finish an old job and get divorced all at once.

    So that year, it worked out that we celebrated Xmas separately. His family decided to have Xmas on like Dec 18 in NJ (we are in CA). My family was dong Xmas on the Dec 25 in DC. I didn’t have vacation to just hang out on the East Coast for a week, nor could I be gone from my new job that long. I wasn’t going to fly back and forth across the country twice in a week during peak holiday chaos. So we agreed that he would do Xmas with his family, and then I would leave for mine.

    I went out with my friends on my own the Sat night he was NJ. My friend sat across from me and said “I need to talk to you about something.” … and laid it on the line. He was telling people he didn’t want to get rid of me because he didn’t want to give me half. My other friend basically was like “Yeah, you are not hanging out with a girl like that and not getting your dick wet. He’s fucking her.” I tried to spackel for like 5 minutes … and then I just stopped. And I said “I gotta get divorced”… and he took a swig of his martini and said “You gotta get divorced.” I swung into action… I had 24 hours alone in the house… I pulled financials, I took banking statements, I went through his desk, I went through his car. I told my family when I saw them…and they gave me advice and said we support you no matter what.

    I was just thinking that Sat Dec 19 will be the 1 year anniversary of my Dday… I’ll call it Done Day. Because that was the day I was done. Xmas was haze last year. I don’t know how it will be this year, but it has to be better than all the miserable Christmases I spent with him.

    • That must have been one very powerful martini! I wish I’d had that kind of magic potion (and firm sense of self and boundaries) when I was trying to decide what to do!

      Cheers to you and your new life!

  • So thankful for this post because my D-day was Christmas morning last year at 3:00am!!! That was the time I got up to turn on the heater and right at that moment there was an email alert on XH’s phone from his ex, who I had suspected was still in the picture throughout our marriage.

    I finally had proof!!! That truly was a Christmas gift from above to finally know the truth after all the lies, manipulation, gaslighting, contempt, crankiness, anger, and just pure hatred towards me. He was sleeping and I ripped the blankets off of him and started screaming and hitting him and showed him what I found. For the first few minutes he tried to play dumb about everything, of course! Then, it was blameshifting time and when that didn’t work, he started moving toward me with that scary rage look in his eyes and I wasn’t going to take any chances. I called 911 and had three sheriffs come to get him out of the house. Not exactly the Christmas holiday I was expecting, but worth it to get rid of his worthless cheating ass, once and for all!!! I went contact from that day on and finished filing for divorce, that I had started before a previous wreck conciliation and now I am legally free of that asshole since September of this year.

    I will say though, that this whole season has been really hard on me emotionally and I have been feeling down. Just need to make it through Christmas and I’ll be fine. I am also determined not to let the Christmas D-day ruin the day for me,
    since ironically, my mom had her own D-day with my day decades ago on Thanksgiving and to this day she still hates Thanksgiving because of that. I refuse to let asshole and his horrible Christmas gift from last year, have that much power over me. I need to make sure I “reclaim” Christmas, which was has always been my favorite holiday.

    • Wow- that’s awesome NME I wish I had of been so switched on.
      I have kinda reclaimed Xmas – when we were kids it’s was always horrible because of my alcoholic narc parents and my (estranged) dad died suddenly on my birthday (22nd) many years ago so XH knew Xmas was hard for me.
      But after the horrible Xmas DDay I still put the tree up and now every year I sit with all my decorations and memories and dress the tree – it’s getting easier and I am enjoying reclaiming all the decs that XH didn’t want – ( only took his Xbox and big fuck me telly) every decoration on my tree has been collected over the years by me ( or gifts) and I love it cos they all tell a story – from Vegas to Ireland / London and lots of previous ones from real friends etc. So tomorrow night I shall enjoy a nice plate of cheese n crackers and a glass of wine, play some festive tunes and sit there and dress my Xmas tree and feel blessed? I have gone a bit OTT on the deco mesh garlands this year too ?

      I like the decs at Xmas but Halloween is my favourite time of year ( being Celtic ) ?

    • Right there with you NME! I think it’s a process and eventually we will be able to totally reclaim Christmas. But we are definitely going through some difficult emotions, with our D-day approaching. I now understand why so many people struggle with depression during the holiday season. However, I have to remind myself that the greatest gift is not living a life with a lying, deceitful, cheater. Sending you my encouragement and warm holiday wishes, you are not alone and I have faith we’re going to make it and eventually love Christmas again. I decided to give myself grace for right now and just embrace this year as a healing process. So if I feel like crying when I listen to a Christmas song or don’t want to buy any poinsettias this year, I’m okay with it. I know I’ll eventually get it back, but right now everything is a little bittersweet.

    • That’s awesome, Digbert!!! I actually did the same thing, I decorated the tree and I only had one “trigger” ornament that I got rid of. You sound like you are ready and determined to celebrate a good holiday. Merry Christmas to you and all the chumps!!!

      Btw, I’ve been listening to a lot of Christmas music on this radio station and if anyone knows the classic song, “You’re a Mean One, Mr. Grinch,” that perfectly describes and is permently dedicated to my sshole XH and I’m sure many of your cheaters out there!!!

      • LOL. Several years ago I bought Grinch underwear for Dodo. It was so appropriate. I always called him Mr. Grinch at Christmas. Thanks for jogging that memory.

  • Ms. Bojangles, mine said holidays are like any other days. No holidays. Never a Happy Birthday. Never a present. In 12 years. I cried the first few years. Then I convinced myself he was just like that. It was painful to see other couples around us doing Christmas presents, shopping, etc. But every time, while forgetting me, he would start calling and emailing people on holidays. Most of them were lucky to receive personal calls! When I asked why them and never me, his justification was these people are “useful”. “I need to maintain good relationship with them as I might need them for business one day. and you are just my wife. What do you expect? I already gave you my committment. I married you! Why are you after these artificial things?” Then, in one of the fake reconciliation conversations he told me how he organized a 2-week tour as a bday present to his AP’s 40th birthday. It was painful. But I welcome that pain now. It has opened my eyes and I finally see his true face.

  • My final D-Day was Christmas Day 4 years ago but I was determined to make it a day of celebration, a day of gratitude for my new life. Since then, my adult son and I have spent Christmas in different places and have created wonderful, new memories. The cheater is definitely just someone I used to know.

  • My Dday was in June of 2016, but still last Christmas was a horror show. This Christmas I look forward to celebrating….it does get better, I promise.

    • My Dday was July 2014, 6 days before my birthday, and Christmas 2013 was a horror, I will never forget it. Thankfully, I am in the meh state of mind now.

      New chumps, time does heal, therapy, family, friends, exercise, work, CL and CN, you will get through this excruciating pain. Last year at this time I didn’t think I would ever feel this content. I love my life alone, my peaceful home, my freedom, my confidence in myself.

      I still have my moments, but life is better, so much better.

  • My first D-Day was 2,5 years ago. Second D-Day was 2.0 years ago. Fortunately, I think little about those horrible days. Instead, I think about how to console my children upon learning that their father is taking vacation overseas with his girlfriend (on their support money) instead of seeing his kids in the few days he could have seen them. STBX will probably tell his family that I denied him his right to see the kids. These disordered types really suck.

  • December 29, 2013. He stuttered out his ‘mistake’, backlit by the Christmas tree, with one son less than 5 feet away and the other hovering just out of sight, “just in case” I needed him.
    Three days earlier he had escorted me and our children to his brother’s house for his family Christmas – and didn’t so much as flinch watching us sit on the couch he screwed the pig on, play with his niece on the floor he had schtooped his fuck chum on.
    He only told me because his best friend offered to do it for him: his best friend just happened to be married to my husband’s ‘mistake’. So, yeah – Happy Holidays.
    And the rock solid ass hole thinks he’s fucking “insightful” when he points out that I “just don’t seem to enjoy Christmas” like I used to.
    Maybe this will be the year I follow the Christmas tree out the door.

  • D-Day for me was 11-17-15…2 weeks after my birthday, when he had the whole house covered in balloons & flowers…1 week before Thanksgiving. I got the “I’ve been unhappy for awhile” speech. Needless to say I was shocked; I didn’t know if I was gonna throw up or sh*t on myself. I suggested counseling, he declined. I told him I was worried about how this would affect the kids; he said they’ll be “fine.” We were together 17 years, going on 13 years married and it was mind-boggling to watch my once-loving, caring husband morph into this cold, evil bastard. Needless to say, the holidays were tough to get through last year; I felt like I was going through the motions to make sure the kids didn’t suffer. I got served in the spring. I wanted us to sit down to talk to the kids (son 12, daughter 6) about the divorce; he kept putting it off until I said I was gonna do it. When I sat down with the children, they informed me that “Daddy told us about the divorce a month ago.” Imagine my shock! When it became obvious that he was flirting with any and everybody (at work, gym, etc), I told him that I don’t want the kids around anyone until we go through the divorce. He agreed and said he didn’t want the kids to meet any guys that I might date until the divorce is final. Well imagine how I must’ve felt when I learned that the kids had already met his “true love” and her two sons, and they’ve been playing “Brady Bunch” for most of this year. I’ve had a year to come to terms with my new “normal.” He finally moved out in August (Thank God). I’m so glad I found Chump Lady; my only regret is I didn’t find the site until April. Up until then, every website I’d found was pointing to “reconciliation.” I’ve been seeing a therapist since January, I have a great attorney and I check in to Chump Lady & Chump Nation like clockwork everyday. You guys rock!

    • Unlucky 13, so glad your are moving forward. You and your kids deserve better! I can totally relate to how shocking their transformation is from a loving husband to the cold heartless stranger. I could actually see the change in his eyes, they were so cold. There was nothing I could say or do to reach him or bring back the husband I had loved for 12 years. I’m so glad we have this community to help us through tough times, like the holidays. By the way, spot on description about the initial shock!

      • It’s really terrifying the way they just change. The nice guy is still there when I FORCE him out with real deep conversations but the utter dick head can pop out at anytime. I know that evil guy is inside him which makes me think the OW is welcome to his disfunction and I can’t wait till that shit blows up on his face! To get over the weirdness of these two totally different beings in one body I’m telling myself the h I married is dead. Sad. But he died. And now some evil doppelgänger is running around in his body ruining everything

        • This is exactly how I looked at my situation. The man I married was dead and gone. In his place was this narcissistic asshole who cared for only himself and his own disgusting needs. I do hope karma is a real thing–cuz I don’t know about you, but I need a little bit of Justice.

  • I always keep on about this, but one of my absolute favourite Chump Lady posts from the archive is:

    Cosmic Signs You’re A Chump –

    I think it makes good holiday reading, because the cosmic and not-so-cosmic signs tend to start appearing more clearly during the holidays. Especially the dreams.

    It’s the post I always want to see re-run!

  • So, this happened, last night…hopefully applicable to the situation of the theme here, which is fear…and as CL once said, “throwing (fear) down a flight of stairs and laughing at it’s haircut”.

    (have to be really careful here) A patient was brought in by EMS, as her progressive neuro-degenerative disease had gotten to the point that she was about to lose her airway. Which meant, she was about to be put on a ventilator. She was accompanied by her husband and her daughter. She tried to speak, but all that came out were garbled, slurred words (a sign of impending airway loss)–she tried to move her arms and legs, but she was completely limp, like a rag doll. She couldn’t even hold up her head to look at me.

    What she did do, however, when I explained what we needed to do to extend her life, she managed several words very clearly, and the whole room full of medical professionals could hear it…

    “Don’t worry. I’m not afraid.”

    I’m standing there, my insides just shredding because this brave person, YOUNGER than I am, is telling ME that I should not worry, that she isn’t scared of the fact that in all likelihood, she’ll never regain consciousness and never again speak to her husband or daughter. And I’m going to be the one pushing the drugs to initiate this sequence of events.

    She’s telling ME not to worry. The grace and kindness that this woman had in her soul, was breathtaking. She was completely vulnerable and helpless, yet she was at peace and fearless.

    When everything was over, and I came home to my kids and my dog and my cluttered house and my thousand things to do this weekend—I absolutely lost my shit.

    I’ve seen a lot. I’ve done a lot in my career. But I’ve never, ever had someone facing what this woman faced, worry about what I was feeling. I didn’t bother to “compare” that this woman I barely knew worried about my feelings when others in my life, like Cheaterface, never worried about me, because I realized, there’s no point to it.

    Chumps, there ARE good people out there. There are. This woman proves it. I’m not religious at all—but it was the most spiritual experience I’ve ever had. It was simple and plain caring and concern for another human being. She could see beyond her own pain and fear–to try and comfort someone she didn’t even know.

    Yeah, we got some damn rotten lemons with our respective spouses, and it’s not fair. But it’s also not our fault.

    I sat around today and thought about how goddamned lucky I am that have the capability and capacity to decide to get up out of bed every day and be pissed off at Cheaterface—or not. I get to make that choice and nobody can take that away. The best thing that happened when I overcame my fear of being divorced was that I took responsibility for my choices and decisions, and ran with it. Somebody told me the other day that I’m not a product of my circumstances, I’m a product of my decisions.

    I think part of the extreme anger is fear, at least, it is for me. I’m afraid. I’m afraid that I can’t make good decisions, because I already made a couple of really horrible ones, that not only brought Cheaterface into my life, but extended his stay long beyond his expiration date. There was fear that kept me with him, and then there’s the fear that makes me distrust everyone that comes within a 10′ radius of me or my kids because of what he did.

    Two very destructive and wasteful emotions. Fear and Anger. I watched this woman, who was facing something that I’m not at all sure I could even bear in her stead, express neither.

    I’m sorry guys…I’m not going to wish anything bad on anybody else, no matter what they did. Karma or bad life decisions or whatever…is going to catch up and give these people who have done harm what they deserve. I’m deciding to find good people and surround myself with them and let them be my family.

    Granted, this does not preclude me kicking the ass of anybody assaults someone in any way, or attacks any innocent, including animals. But I’m not wasting any more of my precious life energy wishing ill on someone not even worth me thinking about.

    I’m praying that anyone here that is having trust issues, as I also still struggle with—please don’t give up. There are good people with true intentions and kind souls.

  • My DDay was March 26, 2015, just about 2 weeks after my birthday in which he had given me a card telling me how much he loved me and valued me and loved our life together…he moved out May 2015, two-weeks after i had had an abdominal total hysteectomy and a hernia repair surgery on top of each other, i was in stage 4 endometriosis with hemorrhaging cysts on my ovaries… i spent years going to doctors telling them i knew something was wrong…..a few days after he moved out, he came back around faking “wreckoncikiation” (he couldnt afford to get the gas company to turn on the gas for his slut-shack’s water heater, so, you guessed it, he faked wanting to reconcile for three weeks so he could have hot water ), i threw him out after finding and finally saw the light on who and what he was……he then went back to his slut-shack sans hot water, came out publicly with OWhore while dating,hoovering me all summer 2015, he filed for divorce and married OWhore (11 years younger, 2 kids under age 6) just 45 days after our divorce was final in September 2015

    ExH#2/”THE Evil One” and his smirk, oh yes, the smirk!!! Will never forget his face smirking as I cried …

    Fast forward to now, 18 months after DDay, about 15 months since divorce being final, and it really is true that time and patience are your best allies, it is in my case. TEO is still with Mrs. Dumb-Ass playing Super-Dad to her two kids, but ignores his own daughter…

    Some affirming staements i had to repeat a lot in those early days:
    I am mighty.
    I am strong.
    I can and will get through this shit sandwich deluxe.
    I will not forget.
    I will move forward with grace, integrity, and hope.
    I will be the sane parent for my child (ren)
    I will survive, and i will thrive

    Much love and appreciation to you all, ChumpNation, I couldn’t have done it without you! !!!

    Merry Christmas and Happy MEH Year!!!

  • Fuck. My ex screwed up on Thanksgiving 2013. I went to her house with all of the holiday food ready to be prepared and then eaten. She was acting very much not who I thought she was. Her daughter was there, getting ready to see her father for the holiday. Once the kiddo left, my ex was forcing brownies on me. Brownies that she had spiked (after baking) with so much methamphetamine that my heart literally broke. So here I am, trying to keep it together while ex is happily texting and telling me ‘I don’t know what your problem is, I love this shit!’, when her daughter comes back with her father (she forgot something. Dad and ex go upstairs to find it, and this little girl of seven years asks me if I know who ‘AJ is’?

    It all hits me like a freight train. The nights she stayed at a friends house after work. The nights she wanted to eat dinner alone to think. The nights she was okay with leaving her daughter with me, while she was out fucking this loser/child/drug dealer. It still boggles the mind.

    A year of surgery later and I am in the gym, putting myself back together and frankly I developed a hatred for women, a hatred of relationships, and a hatred of people. The next year found me talking to new women and finding more contempt for them. Enough of the games already! The majority of my friends going through similar situations then and leaning on me for support.

    And now, I won’t have a relationship. Screw pair bonding, screw intimacy, screw all of it. I have apathy towards relationships now and I will never enter another one. I got a dog instead. Much more fulfilling. Thank god I was never married and unfortunately I will never have children – but you know what?

    Why bring another human life into this fucked up reality? Why have another person suffer? People across the globe are fucking terrible. I would rather be a chump with what I have now, then be in a relationship and not getting affection or sex because the other person is too focused on being a piece of shit.

    • Cory, your post resonated with me in a way I didn’t expect. Thank you for posting; it has really helped me.

      25 years ago I was treated very badly by a partner (physically and sexually abused), and I escaped from him. But since that time, I have found it hard to form lasting relationships. I’ve never married either, and I have been chumped in at least two of the relationships I did manage to have.

      When I read your post, I thought, ‘No! Can’t Cory see that if he keeps hating like this, his ex has won? And that he will end up lonely and miserable if he never loves again?’

      And then I thought of myself, and I wondered if I too had let my ex ‘win’ by holding me back. After all, he married someone else; I never did.

      Did he ‘win’ in that I stayed single? No.

      And the reasons he didn’t win are these:

      1) I am happier, probably financially better off, and have been professionally hugely successful, without him.
      2) I am at Meh.
      3) I love, and am loved – I have friends and pets and family and other people around me who I can love, and who love me in return.
      4) I have done a lot of work in therapy, and am slowly rebuilding my willingness to consider a long-term romantic relationship in the future.
      5) I will not rush into a relationship simply to feel that I have to settle the score with a partner from 25 years ago.
      6) I refuse to give up on human love. It may not be in romantic form, but there is plenty of love in the world, and I have plenty of it to give, and also I now am much better at receiving it than I was.

      These are all solid reasons why I believe I ‘won’ that mess.

      (Also the fact that recently both his brother and his father started hassling me on Facebook, and I blocked them both without a second thought. Over something that was 25 freaking YEARS ago. I’ve moved on; why haven’t they? Guilty conscience much?)

  • I was introduced to the Exs new man on Boxing Day as “this is my friend” shock his hand and had a chat for 5-10 mins. I wondered how he found us in the middle of a crowd at a rugby game? Turns out they had been texting each other for a while. 3 months later I caught them in a hotel room together, 13 years down the pan just like that.

  • Newly chummed here.
    2 weeks ago he his out the house, we have very little contact. I blocked him, just emails that are short and to the point.
    I sense he is frustrated that I’m calling the shots as when he rings to speak with the kids I don’t talk to him.
    Anyways my question.
    I plan of having Xmas day just me and the kids and he can come over Boxing Day for a bit.
    Should I make myself scares or put a time limit on it, concerned that it will blow up as everything tiny thing I say he will blow up at or I get fierce because of his dickhead comments like when I told him I wasn’t sure about going to my work X function as I’m not in a good place, his response was “why” gee Let me think maybe because atm I can barely breathe, have heart palpatations and you fucked up our family.
    Strategies please?

    • Lady: I would suggest NC whenever possible/- no together time on Boxing Day or any other day. It’s for your own good– they have a way of getting to us, especially in the early days.

      Can you make plans to be with friends? Use email to tell him he can take kids for 2 hours x time to x time? Then, at pickup do not see him or hear him. He’s not allowed in the house.

      Consequences for him. Your path to healing an meh.

      This takes time to heal from. 2 years out from DDay myself and 9 months since I really started NC in earnest. It’s helping immensely.

    • Lady Batshit, first I am so sorry that you’re going through this loss. I know you feel like you’re going crazy and the pain doesn’t stop, but you’re here amongst friends and you’ll find great support. I totally agree to go no contact. You’ll see that chump lady writes about what is called hopium and these bastards are professional at making us chumps feel like there is hope in saving our marriage. Cheaters are liars and manipulators, they know what to say and how to get what they want from us, they’ve been doing it for years. Set boundaries and enforce no contact. It is your only route to sanity right now. Especially since you just found out and are extremely vulnerable.

  • My D-Day was Dec 29, 2014, when my daughters showed me my ex’s texts to her lover which were synced to an iPad, unbeknownst to her. These included nude bedroom selfies sent on Christmas morning when my daughters were with their gifts around the tree and I was making Christmas dinner!

    • NC– my DDay #1 was 12/27/14 when my kids found a love letter from one of the two AP’s to STBX. It explained how she loved it that he was in love with her boobs (I have beautiful 32Ds that nursed our 4 children– so that didn’t kill me) but everything else about DDay nearly did: 25 years together and I meant so little to him, I thought we were still in love and had the best marriage ever, he assaulted our daughter to get the letter, the little hearts the homewrecking slut put over her i’s, the gaslighting, the blameshifting that followed. 5 months of that utter hell before I kicked his ass out. I found out about the other AP in October 2015, including years of duplicity (he gave her the same books of love poetry he gave me at the exact same time), he took her in business trips……went to see a urologist about having his vas reversed. He blamed our kids and screamed that he hated every minute of the past ten years of their lives. They were teens and pre-teens at the time. They played the pick-us dance too and became suicidal and depressed and anxiety ridden too. It’s been literally a disaster. In-laws have written off our kids — Apple didn’t fall far from the tree I guess.

      I wish I had known you, and so many others, were going through the same thing at the same time. I felt utterly abandoned and alone. Didn’t find CN until April 2015. The reality here was hard to accept at first. But it was the only thing that made sense– I couldn’t change what STBX was doing. I tried with every ounce of my being and he still lied and blamed and continued cheating and using drugs– he abandoned.

      Now, I’m almost divorced – trial in 7 weeks. I filed a year ago. He has fought everything. I am almost 100% NC with a few slips here and there with texts. We had a nice traditional Thanksgiving where all kids were with me, I cooked a fabulous feast. Dessert with long-time friends. Kids are very slowly recovering.
      I’m dating a wonderful guy. I am slowly building a new life. Still hurts like a mofo, and I cry a lot, I’m on CL every day, but I’m a survivor.

      To the new 2016 chumps, you are in the right place here in Chump Nation. We know. We are living it too. You are not alone.

      • Thanks for sharing- I found out on Christmas Eve last year. My STBX is fighting everything as well and I find myself crying a lot too.The pain certainly does hurt like a mofo- nothing can adequately describe the loss or hurt. What I don’t understand, is what they do with all of the memories? My heart and mind try to process how we could have shared so many experiences of love and joy and now they mean nothing? So it’s nice to hear that we are not alone, I needed that reminder, thank you.

      • Good for you MotherChumper. I wish we knew we were both going through the same experience at the same time. I agree that CN has been a big help.

        Not This Girl, I have also asked myself what they do with the memories. 25 years of bringing children into the world and raising them, burying parents, fabulous vacations and experiences – all thrown away for a roll in the hay. Unbelievable.

  • So DDay for the Dear Man I have been dating for a year was this Thanksgiving Day. Dear Man discovered quite by accident (thanks a lot, Facebook friend suggestions!) that his ex-gf’s frequent-travel “job” actually belonged to…ex-gf’s AP!

    The “work travel” trips were vacations with the AP. The “move to Europe” leaving Dear Man to deal with the pets and belongings ex-gf left behind, was a move to AP’s condo 5 miles away. And the entire 2 year timeline of ex-gf’s treachery is right there on social media. Ex-gf had played Dear Man for a complete and utter Chump, including joint relationship counseling while she was cheating on him. Unbelievable.

  • Ultimate chump here. Knew he’did been in touch with his cheating ex for nearly a year. No problem. She was my childhood friend. We holidayed in our bach together. We caught up with her every few months. He had always shown me their texts and talked about her. She was dear mutual friend. Lovely.

    First Christmas without large extended family. Because he fucked them all off by selling the ‘family’ farm for 3 generations. I had been informed we were shifting from our ‘forever’ home just weeks before the shift. I cooked for the usual 60 in a tiny single oven at our bach. My family blew me off at the last minute. And I decorated and presented like fuck. Determined not to be sad his choices had cut me off from ‘our’family of well over 20 years. And he seemed to be pre-occupied. Always heading outside. Not connected. Weird. But i was busy making it great for us all. Our teen and young adult kids. Rah rah rah! We were close, him and I. I put it down to 1st non huge family Xmas. And cooked and presented more. D-day wasn’the until May. Then the fucked up Christmas fell into place. No cellphone coverage! Had to go for ‘walks’ on Xmas Day to chat. Oh! #dumbass. Still gutted.

  • My ex left me on Thanksgiving Day. I was completely clueless that he was so “unhappy” (cheating with a coworker). He told me he no longer loved me and did not think he ever did. I was on the couch in the fetal position crying when he asked me if I was still going to Thanksgiving (at the in-laws). When I said no, he said okay. He grabbed the pies I had just finished making and walked out the door.

    • Therapist chump. Oh! My! God! I can see mine acting exactly the same way. When they become mean there is absolutely no competition.

      How are you now?

      • Well, that was a few Thanksgivings ago. The OW dumped him. We ended up getting back together, and he started going to therapy for a sex and porn addiction I did not know he had. Later, he left me yet again for a different woman, who was a friend of ours in our motorcycle group, and divorced me. He also picked up a strange woman on his motorcycle, and she reported he raped her. It’s still hard because I can’t believe who he turned out to be. I mourn who I thought he was. We were married 13 years. Together since we were 17. I still just can’t get my head around what happened. And there were so many things that went on during those last years that I could write a book about.