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Tell Me How You’re Mighty!

It’s time once again for another mightiness check!

To any newbies, every few months or so, I check in with Chump Nation for tales of overcoming infidelity adversity. In those early days of post-discovery, showering and eating a tuna sandwich (solid food!) is an accomplishment. That counts. Don’t be shy. Meh may feel light years away, but every day you’re pushing through the shit storm and rebuilding your life is mighty. You’ll overcome one brave little act at time, and pretty soon (it’s a Tuesday) the pain stops. Promise.

I love the Mighty posts. You guys inspire me, and you inspire each other. Usually, I breeze over me, but I thought I’d share some of my own mightiness of late — this blog is coming up on FIVE YEARS (April 19!)

I think Chump Nation has moved the needle a bit on the infidelity conversation. We’re getting uppity and out of the chump closet. Word is spreading.

Every day chumps write to me and tell me how the site has helped them. Thanks for that, guys. Lately, a strange new thing is happening to me — I meet people in real life who were helped by the blog, or know someone personally who was helped by it. And that’s really weird, because I still think blogging is like sending messages in a bottle that you throw into a big anonymous Internet sea.

I had to interview a divorce attorney for my other journalist job, and after we left, she send me a message to say I had helped her best friend through her divorce with the blog! (She mentioned meeting me on Facebook). Okay, one cosmic coincidence…

… Here’s another. As some of you know, my book got picked up by a Hollywood agent to be shopped as a scripted TV series. Super flattering, but the odds are VERY LONG. I got word yesterday that there’s renewed interest, and part of what renewed the interest was that an executive producer had a friend who was helped by my book and Chump Nation. YOU guys did this. Think about that — every day you share your story, however mortifying, sordid, or mordantly hilarious — you’re helping someone. You’re moving that needle. You’re shooting the Reconciliation Industrial Complex in the kneecaps and telling them the relationship will be stronger for it.

Who knows what’s next? But you there, puking your guts out after discovering that hidden burner phone, you there doing the paternity testing on your kids, you there trying to reconcile and ignoring your screaming gut — I was YOU ten years ago. I was alone, unemployed, living in a new state, and utterly FUCKED.

Here’s me 10 years later — happily remarried, employed, living in a place I love, and some Hollywood agent knows my story.

I believe in miracles. I believe in your miracles. Tell me about them.

Ask Chump Lady

Got a question for the Chump Lady? Or a submission for the Universal Bullshit Translator? Write to me at [email protected]. Read more about submission guidelines.
  • This is the important part: “…every day you share your story, however mortifying, sordid, or mordantly hilarious — you’re helping someone.”

    I said in a post late last year that as much as marital vows are a promise you make to somebody else, they’re also a promise to make to yourself: a promise to hold yourself to the highest standards of honesty and integrity. And we as chumps hold ourselves to that promise — we don’t know how to live any other way.

    Being brave enough to tell your story — coming out of the shadows of shame and embarrassment and laying bare your soul — inevitably helps others, but I think is even more powerful as a tool for bringing out and fostering your own mightiness.

    • Trust that we are Mighty! This is the corollary to Trust that they suck.

    • A few months post DDay I didn’t have the energy to comment so I just lurked in the site. I come here everyday to read, to be inspired and I’ve gained back my energy from implementing the lessons I learn here as well as staying NC. I comment more often now as I gradually gained back my energy and things are easier to talk about now that I have disengaged emotionally from STBX. The comments I read here continues to empower me offline as well and my friends find that I am becoming more vocal about my convictions.

      The more we feed on this site the more we become mighty – it’s truly an empowering cycle. 😀

      • CL and CN are so empowering and supportive. Only 3 weeks from D day for me and still going through hell. Without this site and the book I would be going crazy. You are mighty CL! I will be mighty too. Some Tuesday.

    • UX, you have modeled to us more than once the power of telling your story and throwing off the shackles of shame and embarrassment that rightfully belong on the cheaters. From publicly telling your story with the affair partner du jour in the audience, to staying grey rock for an unbelievable marathon of mindfuckery, you know the power of words. I’m tipping my hat to you and all of CN for this past year. For all we’ve been through, for all we’ve survived, for all we’ve shared.

      Take a bow, all of you. You deserve it.

    • Now that I am a year out of my toxic relationship, I am stunned that I felt embarrassed because SHE screwed ME over. Why was I ashamed that she lied, cheated, and compromised my ability to take care of myself and my daughters once she moved out to play house with Schmoopie?? The most important part of my recovery has been placing responsibility where it actually belongs.

    • I have been lurking. I found this site a few days ago and have been ravenously reading every damn piece of icky.

      I found myself sinking and thought, damn it, I need to read some Chump Lady.

      Saved my life.

  • This post sounds a bit braggy, sorry. I just wanted to explain why I keep this place going — I started it and I keep it going because I don’t want to leave the internet to the RIC voices, who tell you you aren’t enough, that you brought this pain upon yourself and pick me dance harder to win a cheater.

    I do it, because it’s really lonely and horrible to co-parent with a fuckwit. To be a single parent at those parent-teacher nights and school assemblies. It’s hard to divorce and lose the life you thought you were going to have. It’s humiliating to be betrayed.

    And when I went through divorce the first time as a young mom, there was no one. The Internet was new. The only voices were “You’ll die alone” and “You can’t expect another man to love your child” (my grandmother). It was really lonely. I had ONE cheerleader for my divorce — my older friend Yoma who had lived it.

    Divorcing a cheater years later after 6 whole months of marriage? I had the internet. Those virtual friends lifted me up, BUT it was on a reconciliation board, because those were the ONLY boards. I wanted a place like CN, but it didn’t exist.

    So now it exists.

    • Don’t apologize for being braggy, Tracy. If anyone’s earned that right, it’s you. My humble opinion.

      • Like he said, do not apologize! This blog SAVED. MY. SANITY.

        I will be forever grateful.

        • I would like to add, this is the only blog I’ve read regularly where the participants are uniformly helpful, supportive and, well, NICE. Chumps are the best. I’m proud to be one.

          • Never apologize for helping us find our way towards the light at the end of the tunnel. CL and CN has helped me pick myself up daily. On bad days, people reached out to me and on good days I hope I was able to encourage another. Thank you!

            • Yes – this!!!!! Thank you for your words Chump Lady and for giving a place for all of Chump Nation to voice their words as well – and thank you to CN. I would be lost without you all.

    • Thank you Tracy for having this website. You help people like me everyday. This community gives me the strength and wisdom whenever I need it most, and for that I’m very thankful!

    • It’s such a valuable resource for people . Doesn’t matter if you just got brained by the cheater 2×4 last week or you’ve been divorced for twenty years. The honest feedback and practical keep breathing advice helps everyone.
      Viva Chump Lady.

      • My, oh, my Tracy. No! I agree with all who’ve replied here. You’re a voice of reason. It’s quite remarkable to me how much you’ve been able to help me find the words for how I was feeling almost three years ago, when my three babies and I were brazenly left for an OW. I couldn’t find words, my mind or an appetite for many many months after D day. But then I found you.

        For a person like me, who keeps my cards pretty close to my chest when out in the big wide world, this forum allows me NOT to feel alone (among my coupled-up friends and family), NOT to feel like Pumpkin-eater’s decision to walk was actually MY fault and NOT to feel like I’m a failure of a person as a result.

        I still struggle with trust though. Though I’d love a great guy potential partner to land in my lap, I don’t anticipate anything of the sort and I’m certainly not looking. My excuse, is that I don’t have the time. The reality is also, that I’m still wounded by Pumpkin-eater’s ability to undermine me about almost any decision I would make. Still in recovery, almost three years on. My babies are now 7, 5 & 3. I’ll keep reading here for eternity!

    • Love ya, CL! You have been an invisible presence every time i go to court. Your advice is phenomenal and thank you for sharing your story and what you have learned from it.

    • I think of anyone you have earned the right to be ‘braggy’. Everyone who comes here knows how much this site means, how much clarity you find, how much empathy and how much process is here- as in ‘ I know you are on the floor freaked out of your mind with panic, nothing solid nothing making sense but listen to me – I’m going to show you a way forward. It’s when you fully understand the concept of a ‘lifeline’.

      I vote that we make today a celebration of how much this site means to us and how much difference it has made in our lives.

      Thanks Tracy. It really is impossible to put into words how grateful I am that you continue to put yourself out there to help people like me an ocean away in a world of pain and who suddenly find their sanity and their laughter again. ❤❤

        • Next week’s Fun Friday assignment — what actors and actresses play the roles in your cheater saga? Who plays the cheater? Who plays the AP? Who plays the Switzerland friend? Who plays the incompetent lawyer you hire first, and who plays the hero attorney who saves the day? This one would be a lot of fun.

          • UXworld,

            Wow, great assignment, my brain is in overdrive. As casting agent my first and easiest step is to cast my ex wife’s affair partner and present live in boyfriend as that “I love cranking tunes in my truck” motherf*cking Trivago ad dude. Coincidentally, Chumplady called this type out specifically here:

          • I think Brad Pitt is highly qualified to play the narcissist cheater spouse

          • I already did this exercise a couple of years ago. Peter Dinklage plays my husband. He is 6’3″ in real life, but there’s a vague facial resemblance. John Goodman as Linda Tripp on SNL plays the OW. That one was a no brainer, they could be twins. (Google that if you don’t remember, for a real visual treat.) And Julianna Margulies at her Alicia Florrick kick-ass best would play me.

        • Haha, Capricorn. I was just thinking the intro to the show could be, GoodBye Earl, by the Dixie Chicks and wondering if it would be a drama or a comedy.

      • I support Capricorn’s vote.

        I have “met” so many smart, witty, funny, brave, fair and honest people through Tracy and the nation she leads that somedays I almost thank my lucky stars that my life has changed so much. I receive so much wisdom at Chump Nation and it has given me the inspiration and guts to not only eat my tuna sandwich (I was 64 on Dday), but to keep my job as a scientist and teacher plus undertake a small farm to start an agroforestry project. Today I will find out if I will be free of cheater and on the road to Meh and my farm (plans all ready).

      • This is the only place I found that didn’t tell me to be “nice” and “not hold a grudge” and remind me that the break-up was “at least half my fault.” I’ve been “nice” my whole life. I didn’t deserve what my partner did to me and I didn’t cause it and I had a RIGHT to be angry. I don’t know what I would have done without this site.

        • ^ ^ ^ ^ This! That’s me too. I too have been “nice” all my life. No perfect, but peoples first impression of me would be that I was nice most of the time. I’m tired of being nice. I will be kind, but I’m working on my boundaries. I don’t quite understand boundaries yet, but I’m going to be working with my counselor again and that is something I will work on with her. I’m thankful for this blog that I could let it all out, share and try to help others. I can honestly say that I don’t think I’d be where I’m at today if it was for CL and CN! Thanks! 🙂

    • Thank you Tracy! This site and CN are life savers and saying so isn’t braggy, it’s just the plain old truth!

      • Thank you Tracy! This blog has been the most helpful thing in my recovery. Everyone here has helped me so much. I’ll always be grateful.

        • Congratulations Tracy! I recall when I first found this site and read about shit sandwiches and unicorns. However, it was knowing there was a Tuesday and Meh that helped me move forward while listening to the greats namely, Tempest and the other newbies back in 2014 when my world imploded with a simple sentence. I found comfort in every word and dropped hopium for real hope and healing.

          Once the Northeastern Mighty Chump meetups began I found my true tribe while putting faces to the mightiness. These are amazing people who not only survived but thrived. Not only was I not alone, I was supported. I could see the changes and having others who inspired me kept me moving forward.

          My mightiness was found on a Tuesday, with many false starts. It was elusive at first. Your blog helped me through each and every struggle on a daily basis. Thank you, thank you from the bottom of my heart Tracy and Tempest for the revolution.

          My mightiness check in leaves me keeping everything I cherished over a lifetime, my home, adult children, and granddaughter. My children have grown in many ways, starting a new business, and two of them graduating from college. I am comforted knowing I will at least have a small pension somewhere down the road.

          Interestingly, I no longer think of partnering up with anyone unless it happens naturally. My life is full and busy. One of the things that has bothered me over the past few years what the fact that I’d never slept with anyone but the Limited. I couldn’t imagine myself with anyone else. Well, I crossed that bridge finally and never knew what I was missing. I had settled in so many ways.

          Tracy, you are humble. However, gaining a life is no small feat. You deserve bragging rights every single day as you type a new topic that opens our eyes and supports those of us in need. You save lives after all!!!

          • Ha, DoingMe–YOU are one of the greats who helped me with my healing and accruing-of-wisdom about healing after infidelity and emotional abuse. So many fabulous people from our 2014 cohort, who served as the voice of sanity in the midst of the morass (and a shoutout to the megastars of the NE Chump group).

            • Thank you Tempest. I never knew the definition of reciprocal until I came here.

              It will be a cast of characters for sure if Hollywood gets hold of the likes of Hannibal and The Limited. They may need us to review the cast of characters to portray them with JUSTICE.

              • Then we just need to convince Hannibal and The Limited to play themselves as stunt doubles (I’m envisioning pyrotechnics.)

              • I want the show to include Tempest, DoingMe, UXWorld, Dubious, NMSB, Kar Marie, SCAL (for the Christmas special!), LAJ, and so many more! So many interesting “characters” here! Then throw in SylviaIsSad for a plot twist! Each episode will skewer and reveal the lack of humanity of yet another cheater …

    • Tracy, your Chump Nation loves you! I am looking forward to the day I can “brag” talking about my achievements post infidelity. No matter how we brag we are still chumps- people with empathy, respect and responsibility.

      What can I say? Post DDay Jan 2015 I fell prey to RIC as many here. I engaged into the email diarrhea with my cheater and sent him tons of links, books, articles in a desperate attempt to get him to see the pain he caused. The unfair blame he put on me for everything. I was still operating under the assumption he was a normal human being and not cheater robot with artificial intelligence (today’s buzz word but it describes them well).

      I then fell to his sad sausage faulty saga about the absolute must of his affair and how he is a renewed a better person with priorities shifted and how he is ready to work on us after 12 years of cheating. And we spent beautiful 2 months adenture travelling last summer and I was determined to save my family because mine was a different story, right? All the while my gut screamed. As soon as I was back in the cheater’s pocket his entitlement speeches renewed with greater vigor.

      Then he screwed up. One eensy winsy tiny screw up which sent me back into my gut. And this is when I found you. The right google words this time and not the plea for saving the relationship that lands us on RIC websites.

      Today? I got a nice promotion at work which is great. I travel for work and meet new people. Sometimes I literally force myself to go for an evening function over the weekend but I do it even when I am in a shitty mood.

      The cheater is expected in Canada tomorrow. Will stay with his mom. I have put down a list of things to discuss before I file. We have an international custody case and I want this to be amicable. I don’t want anything from him – just fuck off from my life. I have been NC except for child related discussion for 2 months. This achievement is in 3 months after I found you! See I did not waste my time

      Thank you Tracy! Tlthank you all at CN!

      • Longtime, so glad you are on the path to the truth and the light (No Contact! as AllOutofKibble says). Best of luck to you. Don’t beat yourself up about trying to save your marriage. You lived, you learned. You’re mighty!

      • Longtime, did we share the same Cheater? Are Longtime and Clearwaters the same? (I too sent a diarrhea of Links, articles). I Hope to be as mighty as you, Longtime.

    • In today’s climate of instant internet gratification, activity = relevance and relevance = searchability. People who need this can’t find it if we don’t keep it relevant, and that includes keeping it out front in folks’ minds.

      What feels like it might be bragging is actually positive marketing, and the truth is that those who need your message benefit from it. Actual bragging sources from a fishing expedition for compliments and/or overstating one’s actual influence. You are sharing truth and providing information – altogether different energy.

      I am sure many don’t realize the amount of time and energy you spend keeping this site available AND socially relevant. We support you and are ever grateful.

    • When I was going through my first time trying to leave my cheating, abusive X in 1999, all I had was the reconciliation internet groups too. Needless to say, I let him back in.

      Thank God there are other voices like yours out there now where we see some light of truth. No one really understands the fog or emotional and mental abuse unless they have been through it themselves. Your blog has kept me going for the past 3 years. I have been divorced two now, but still am haunted by insecurity and not being able to trust. It’s good to be able to share with people who understand.

      Thank you and good look with the TV series. I will be watching!

      • I agree about the emotional and psychological abuse. I was told by two counselors and a psychiatrist that my ex sounded like a narc. When Tracy answered my letter, she told me to read up more on NPD. I have! It’s about the only thing I’ve read in the last year, plus I’ve watched tons of YouTube videos.

        No one understands this kind of abuse unless they had it done to them. I came to Chump Nation not even really knowing what gaslighting was — plus other stuff too. CN is a safe place to share your story and be validated.

    • Sending love & gratitude for hosting the most healing site on the internet, creating this fabulous community (the generosity that takes place behind the scenes is amazing), craftingg a soft landing for newly-minted chumps, AND starting the Chump Revolution. All ten fingers crossed for adoption of the TV program, which could move the needle one step further on mph range.

      Viva la Revolution.

      • You are the Che Guevara of the revolution! And personally responsible for coordinating that amazing generosity behind the scenes. Viva Tempest!

      • I concur! Viva Tempest… And…this blog is really like an iceberg. for the ten percent that are posting…there are another 90 percent that are lurking reading and being encouraged and figuring it out. I lurked for a few years. Thanks Tracy…and CN!

        • Me too. 90 % Lurker here…and this site saved my sanity. I got ducks in row before filing and not only got mad but got “…everything”. Definitly First Wife Clubbed him.

          Despite supporting son, getting house financed in my name only, promotion, bonus and so much more ( because I had more energy since I got rid of the 230 pound hemorrhoid) , the mightiest thing I’ve done is meet up with a fellow chump. It was an amazing experience being able share and uplift each other. And also being able to have a safe place to be vulnerable- because chumps get it.

          Thank you Tracy.

          You’re kicking ass and saving lives!

          Thank you CN ( coincidently my initials) .

          You provide guidance, support and your changing the infidelity narrative! So are we going to get jackets?

    • Chump Lady, I’ve often been scared shitless that one day you will just say you don’t want to live in the misery of narcissists or infidelity anymore and just be 100% in the happy life and stop the blog.Please don’t….
      No pressure, but you are a life jacket to us. There were days where without chump nation I would of just stayed in bed and cried…..indefinitely.
      Now I’m strong, I read here everyday to stay that way and I post here sometimes to help others be strong. There’s tremendous comfort in not being alone in this.
      I posted on the forums and now have a little posse of chumps that live in my town that meet for lunch….text, we are becoming good friends and help each other stay strong.
      You did that.
      I look forward to reading all the stories of strength today but without yours, none of us would be here.
      So thank you.

      • And let me say that no one can run the UBT, wield the 2×4 when necessary, and use humor and ridicule to puncture the narcissist ego like Tracy.

      • Same feeling Paintwidow. What will we do without CL and CN?

        This blog saved my sanity, my affairs and my life.

        It helped me imensely today in my hearing. My STBXH, who usually struts around like a pompous ass, was taken aback with my reasoning and my two pitbull lawyers (hired because of CL’s advice. I had hired a “nice” lawyer because I was afraid of making cheater angry). I even got a bitch cookie: “I did your income tax for you for 18 years!” And then: “Of course you can trust me!” Reply: O yeah, I can trust you bacause (OW’s name) is just a cybernetic will-o’-the-wisp and I’m on LSD”. Even the mediator sniggered and his lawyer looked down at her knees.

        I felt mighty. And I kept thinking of my sustainable farm.

        • A portrait of mightiness, ClearWaters! I’ll bet his lawyer just about pissed herself trying not to laugh out loud.

      • Exactly! This blog helped me get stronger in the early days and months and I still come here almost everyday to maintain the mightiness I have learned here from everyone. Thanks CL & CN!!!!

      • Yep! Tracy and CN got me through the first full week without my kids (I work at a school, so I’m off school when my kids are off.) I was so depressed and I missed my kids so much. So I wrote a letter to Chump Lady and I binge read the blog all week. Thank you, everyone, for helping me get through the longest week of my life.

    • All I can say CL is thank you!! Thank you for being that light to walk towards when we’re all stuck in the dark wilderness, thank you for dousing us with ice water so that we can see the reality of it all, and thank you for pointing us to the finish line – Tuesday!

      And a thank you to all of you CN (new and old) for posting your stories, commenting on mine, and helping us all through what is without a doubt the most miserable time of our lives.

    • I have a brother who just tells it like it is. He isn’t one of those jerks that is awful to people and hides behind “I’m just being honest”, he just speaks concise truth, often.

      Anyway, one of my favorite things he has said?, “It ain’t braggin if it’s true!”

    • Thank you cl for being there for all of us! I believe you are being rewarded for being so good to others. Keep being mighty.

    • Reading your book last summer after Dday finally set in was an essential first step in my healing process!!!! I can’t thank you enough for your unfortunate expertise in this matter… And with a hilarious sense of humor to boot! It even made me laugh when I thought that wasn’t possible back then! Still love the daily blogs as the healing process continues today. Thank you, Chump Lady! This is awesome news!

      • It is a healing process short time or long term relationship its gonna take awhile. During my dark whats the point setback i try to power on let it flow through me and hope it wont last long. And i get by with help from my friends. Its not easy starting over over 69, very scary at times, still dont sleep well but i can see meh. The best revenge is living well and i intend to.

          • Me too… I’m turning 62 this month. Just sorry I wasted 40 of the best years of my life on Mr. Asshat. But thank goodness I found this amazing community of chumps who get it.

              • Me too…Dday at 68…now three years out and CL and this wonderful place keeps me focused as I continue to my road trip to Meh Land.

      • Yes, your book and blog – essential to survival and, ultimately, healing. Most people want to put the entire debacle of infidelity quickly behind them.

        You were willing to share and explore your experience, recognize a huge need for support, and provide your wisdom and sage advice. You created a place where no one need suffer alone. Instead, we lean on the collective wisdom and support of others in our chump family. Tracy, you are truly courageous and inspiring! You are mighty.

        Thank you!

    • Not braggy from here. Generous to the community, and rightly proud of this amazing resource and its influence. I seriously would have been lost without this place and all of you. If I come out of this solvent and more or less emotionally intact, it will only be because of CL and CN, no exaggeration.

    • OK.This is the mightiness post so it’s the one time we chumps sit up a tell how we are changing our lives and the world. As we say in sports, “it ain’t bragging if it’s true.”

      • You first, LAJ, as our resident CN sage! The amount of mighty you have shown, in no small part by your wise posts and support of other people, is awe-inspiring.

        • Tempest and LAJ, I love to hear advice from both of you guys!! You just have no idea, really how much I have appreciated your words.

      • Ditto on all the love and warmth for Tracy. There have many days that I have only found peace through reading about others’ pain and mightiness, and sharing my own story with CN.

        I found the site 8 months after Dday in 2014, and the shared knowledge, experience and advice is what helped me take douchebag and his lawyer to the cleaners when that time finally came, so THANK YOU to each of you who contribute. I turned it around and started paying it forward by sharing all the legal info I had learned through my divorce, I encouraged those who were down, and gave the (((hugs!))) that can only happen within parentheses on CL’s site.

        Although I’ve always remained a volunteer with my high school-aged child’s marching band and athletics, I also finally have become involved with a very special targeted group that holds a special place in my heart: teen mothers.

        See, that fucktard and I were teen parents at 18 & 19. We didn’t marry until 23 & 24, as I wanted to finish college first. The d-bag always had a hard time acknowledging that while he was in a different state prior to marriage (likely cheating the whole time), I WAS A SINGLE MOM. He would always say, “Oh, please! Your parents were there! You were not a single parent.”

        Fuck him. Yes I was, and did went to college, worked, and kicked-ass as a young mom for my son, and I did it for 4.5 years before marrying the douche’s dumbass.

        Today I work in technical education, and the only thing that has allowed me to break free from betrayal, and thrive monetarily since my earlier days as a teen mom is education. Now I’m doing presentations to teen parent groups telling MY teen mom story, and then sharing about the benefits of a technical education for them while in high school, or after graduation. I tell them, “Look – don’t think, ‘Oh, well, I’ll just marry the dad and all my worries are solved.’ Sorry – what happens if that doesn’t work out?” The last group of teens I spoke to had 10 in the class. All 10 applied to my school for classes like medical assistant, legal office assistant, drafting, and nursing.

        If I can help these teen moms feel empowered through education, and to be able to take care of their babies long-term, and also have a career after our babies grow and leave (my teen-mom baby is now 24 with his own son!), then I’ll be happy.

        History hero Corrie ten Boom was engaged to be married. Her fiancé left her for her best friend prior to the wedding. She was in pain with a broken heart, and she asked her father what she should do to ease the pain. He told her, “Do you know what hurts so very much? It’s love. Love is the strongest force in the world, and when it is blocked that means pain. There are two things we can do when this happens. We can kill the love so that it stops hurting. But then of course part of us dies, too. Or, Corrie, we can ask God to open up another route for that love to travel.”

        I’m letting my love “travel” to these teen moms today who need encouragement and love. They allow me to see myself at 18, scared and under-educated, and put my arm around them with love. I let my love travel to my grandson’s pee-wee soccer team as the coach. I volunteer for any and everything my last child is involved in with one year of high school left. I help my parents and siblings. I help my neighbors. My love has not changed through my pain.

        What HAS changed are my limits for mediocrity in relationships, unauthentic narcissists, and wasting any more of my life.

        Xoxo, Tracy. You’re the best. And love to all those in CN.

        • I love this! You gotta blog about this jobs thing, promise? A lot of new chumps could use that technical training advice too.

        • Kibblefree !!! Wow! Such a great and mighty post! Thank you for sharing and thank you for the idea of what to do with all this love I have. It never occurred to me that I can pour it out in a non-relationship way. (((HUGS)))

    • CL, I LOVE that your book has been so successful and that a Hollywood agent knows you are here. It validates all your care, concern and TRUTH you put out there that, in turn, CN carries out here and in our real lives. You have given me the support and direction I needed when I was paralyzed with the reality of DDay and what was to come. I was moved to action because of your blog and what your wrote. Thank you!!! It’s not bragging, it’s truth-telling. Just like you always do!

    • I will humbly say thank you for saving my life. I wanted to end it to stop the pain. You, this blog, and CN kept my finger off the trigger.

      • Dear God man, I’m glad Chump Nation was here for you. We understand the dark days. Don’t succumb to the devaluing and the lies. You matter. I’m glad you’re still here. (((Marked)))

        • Thank you, so am I. I had one co-worker who took the pills. They found him in his car in a corn field two days later. His ex was terrible. Another friend took the pills but drove herself to the ER in time. They saved her. I’m sure you have saved MANY more than just me. You will be sainted some day. Thank you. Life is great now. I owe it all to you.

    • Thanks, Tracy! This blog saved my life. My marriage blew up almost 4 years ago. For six months after D-day, all I could find on the internet were IRC sites. I didn’t bother with them much because they were so out of touch with the reality I was facing. Finally I found Chumplady and I heard voices that were making sense and were describing the same things I was experiencing. Salvation!! Thankyouthankyouthankyou!!

      I am mighty because I am finally not consumed by thoughts of the whole thing – something I thought would never happen. It has taken me three and a half years to get through this and I finally feel like myself again. I went grey rock/no contact six months ago and that helped tremendously!! (I wouldn’t have known to do that without this blog).

      To the newbies out there – you are mighty! Keep putting one foot in front of the other as best you can! You will get through this and someday it will be a thing in your past – a thing for which you will be grateful. Grateful because you will never allow someone to treat you badly again and you will know how mighty you are!

    • You were bragging about us as much as yourself. And as my therapist told me just last night…you have come a long way – go celebrate you!

    • Tracy, Thank you for being you and bringing us all together. Your sight and chump nation has seen me through many dark days and nights. In fact many times logging in to read your posts have saved the day.
      I have cried, laughed out load, learned so much and have been empowered by you and chump nation.
      I value real, true and honest and I have found that here.

    • You are allowed to Brag all you want! You started a movement – Chump Nation. And you are correct, before you, there was not one website to help us move on AWAY from the cheater, AWAY from the abuse. It was how we should do this or that, to KEEP the cheater. So thank you so much!

    • Tracy, I hope you get a TV series or a movie. I wonder about the chump stories here. So many are hilarious at the same time as they are heartbreaking. I think this makes great comedy, black humour. I often think some scripwriters should come here and read, they would get great material. We can laugh at it ourselves, after all the tears, so I imagine the general public would enjoy them too. Comedy is a great way to reach a wider audience.

    • If you’ve done it, it’s not bragging. Your work is a refreshing truth!

    • Yep, first brush with a cheating wife, D-Day 23 years ago, I had no support. I had no idea that I was not alone in this. I did not know how to react and thought I had caused the cheating, although I had no idea how.
      Second time around with it, 11 and a half years ago, I started reading. CL was not around yet, but there was support in some places, albeit reconciliation was promoted. At least those site respected the decision to divorce and made it clear that this was all on the cheater.
      I was banned from SI and MB, due to my harshness and continuing to promote divorce as the best option. But, I did get support for divorcing myself and I did learn to an extent about personality disorders and my lack of responsibility for the cheating etc.
      I cannot remember which site I found CL. I think it was TAM.
      I loved it when she started taking on some of the celebrity cheaters on that site, folks who claimed remorse, yet stood by their justifications.
      I wonder, CL, are you ever contacted by some of the authors you ridicule so adroitly? Have you any idea what folks like Esther, Dan Savage, Tammy(?) and those airhead Huff Po authors think of how you skewer them? Are they even aware of being held up to well deserved ridicule?

    • It’s reassuring to hear your modesty and know that it indicates a good person. Chumps are generally good, modest, honest people who were targets for narcissists because of their faith in the trustworthiness of the Human character. Ironically it is chumps who are truly worthy of trust and YOU are certainly worthy of praise and esteem for your accomplishments for yourself and for others. You have given back and we of chumpnation are SO thankful! If it weren’t for you I would probably still think I was crazy, inept, old and useless. Come to find out’ ‘It’s not me, it’s him’. I don’t have a lot of things since I left but I do have self-respect. And that makes me mighty!

    • I’m so happy for YOU CL, and grateful for CN and the world you created for us to grieve, mourn, share and learn!!!! You are THEE MIGHTIEST!!!!


    • Tracy, you had me at sparkling turds and turds in ounch bowls, back in 2012. I am eternally grateful for the support from Chump Nation. Part of that is having shoulders to cry on, and another is being that shoulder. If it weren’t for you I might be wrestling with self doubt, wondering when and how I should forgive The Coward and his Twat. Instead I am confident that I don’t have to–in alignment with my instincts. And I have moved onward and upward and I know that they suck and that I don’t. I am mighty, as I should be. Thank you for bragging. It gives people a lot of much- needed hope.

      • *punch bowl

        Just bobbing around, ruining everything with his unwanted presence.

        Bahahahah! I still think that is the funniest metaphor!

    • CL, when I found your blog you were (and are) doing what I wanted to do but was unable to do. You rock woman! Now we got to get that TV series going, how would that work? Tell us what the nation needs to do and we’ll be there!

      • Thanks! But it’s really up to my agents. I’m not a part of the process. But I assume people check out the blog and read — so hey, every positive affirmation counts. Spreading the word helps, reviewing the book helps. 🙂 Leave some cookies sacrifices to the TV gods…

    • Thank you, Chump Lady! To echo what everyone else says, I’m not sure I would have made it through my divorce without you …and reading today’s post gave me a much needed lifting of spirits. I tell everyone about you …just told a random stranger at a coffee shop the other day whom I unintentionally eavesdropped on 🙂

      I have been struggling lately because my EH has a new beautiful girlfriend (not the AP) with a young daughter my daughter’s age. I also recently discovered he’s pretending to be a widower (i.e., that I’m dead) and fully employed (of which he is neither). He lost his job last August and has stopped paying me back the money he is required to reimburse (I spent $200K – almost my entire life savings – to pay off his student debt a mere four months before he left me for another woman).

      …but here’s my mighty – I went from being a stay-at-home mom to getting the most fulfilling job I’ve ever had in a field that I had only dreamed of being in (I went from being essentially a glorified administrative assistant to a leadership role as a technology manager) and I bought a condo in my favorite area of town (two minute walk from Trader Joe’s …can’t get better than that). I got through my divorce in one piece, have my daughter 70% of the time, and have discovered that despite being diagnosed with some unknown autoimmune disease (the rheumatologist could never make a firm diagnosis, but I was put on some pretty nasty meds to try to control symptoms), it was actually all stress-related (after seven years of almost continual symptoms, I haven’t had any since the stressor – my EH – was removed).

      I still struggle and doubt myself and deal with sadness and anger …but my life is so much better. Newbies, hang in there! …and Chump Lady and others like Tempest, thank you, thank you, thank you!!!

      • Well, let’s see how long until the beautiful new one figures out he’s a complete fraud.

        Can you imagine dating some guy who says he’s a widower, and then you find out he’s NOT? That’s freaking creepy. You’d have to be seriously messed up yourself to stay with that. Let alone with some dude who lies that he’s fully employed but he’s not, and he let someone pay his loans then bailed? Ummm…. He’s definitely the opposite of a keeper.


        You? YOU are mighty!

        • It won’t be long before the new girlfriend finds out you’re not dead, When she meets your daughter,,,Have a copy of Tracy’s book on hand for the poor soul, she’s the next victim. You rock!

      • NewLife, Wow. Who does that? Says there are a widower and full employed when they are not?!

        Great job on your NEW LIFE, NewLife! 🙂

    • The mighty actions… that I’m might proud of… are about sharing the book. I bought 4 copies of ChumpLady’s original book & kept 1 for me & donated the others to my local library where they sit very well-used, & slim & elegant in the Marriage & Family section.
      Later, I bought 10 more copies of Tracy’s newer book version & gave 2 copies to my very nearest & dearest who went through this same horrible nightmare years ago.
      They loved (!) the book & the cartoons too & said they would pass it along.
      I gave 1 copy to my well-meaning but ultimately useless “Master Certified Gottman marital therapist” .
      I gave 3 more copies to a different local library (where they look popular on those shelves too), & I’m holding the last copies for whomever might be in need in the future… starting with my children. ????

    • Firstly, CL, you just demonstrated why we are Chumps by apologizing for bragging about your accomplishments. This is what sets us apart from the Narcs in our lives… we’re not horn-tooters!

      Just getting out of your marriages relatively intact was mighty. Starting this board was mighty. Sticking around (because it’s no mystery that administering a blog of this magnitude is a huge, time consuming undertaking) because you want to make sure we have a voice, is mighty!

      Please don’t apologize. Trust that you are mighty and deserve massive kudos and much gratitude from us all for these undertakings!

      Some days I come here and read for hours and I wonder how you manage to do it and do it so well, but you do. And it goes on.

      I am nearly 4 years out from D-day, and I am 2 years out from leaving the cheater behind forever for greener pastures. I’ve moved countries, I’ve bought a house. Im in a new relationship with a wonderful man (whose nearly adult kids by another mother I love, by the way!)

      But I recognize things in my everyday life that I know are still impacted in my head by my propensity towards being a little chumpy, a little too nice and forgiving, to people who maybe sometimes don’t deserve that.

      CN and your continued stories serve as reminders of how to trust my gut. Everyone’s stories, and throwing my 2 cents in to try and help them, reminds me of my own mightiness and maybe helps another chump become a little mightier and a little less desperately sad a little sooner. So I come back. And come back again. Because we all need this place and we have all benefitted immensely from its existence.

      I know you have had a few live meet ups, and you have cultivated some friends and contributors. I hope that if you ever feel the task becoming too massive, you will call on some of these people to help make sure CN continues. It needs to continue.

      I hope karma DOES make the TV series happen. I could hear the theme from Sex and the City playing in my head when I was reading your news about that. (My ex used to hate SATC, I think because it often portrayed women in a position of power who really didn’t need men in their lives… he was afraid I might try to emulate that… although the undercurrent of Carrie cheating with a married man now leaves a sick taste). But it was about 4 friends supporting each other through hardship, and I could see a series based on CN as having a similar style (and being such a blockbuster that a few movies come out of it too).

      Thank you from the bottom of my heart for all you have done and continue to do! You know you are appreciated, but at the same time you are appreciated more than you know!

    • Tracy, who can we contact, who is considering the TV Series? We need to bombard them with examples of how much we’ve all been helped and with how important it is that this series be made.

      Heck, just point them to this testimonial today, and it should make the point!

      • I assume they look at the blog. 🙂 And the agents do their thing. No need to pitch them, but thank you!

    • So grateful for Chump Lady. I was looking to understand and so much out there says to just eat a shit sandwich. I felt like I was the failure because our marriage failed. Nope. He lied. He cheated. He betrayed. He is the failure. Until you live it, you have no idea the mind games these worthless narcs play. Chump Nation helped me to understand his crazy and embrace no contact. I still hear what I should do “for the kids sake” (aka eat more shit sandwiches.) but have an understanding of no longer fixing, covering or settling for his shortcomings. The shared experiences of CN have helped me to find my might. I am not to the land of meh but hope to one day. I continue to now think of what I want and what is good for my kids. sending love to all my fellow chumps. I believe in love. I believe in marriage. I just hope I do a better job of picking in the future. Be mighty and live the ultimate revenge- a happy life.

    • Chump Lady; I am commenting because your story and the way you told it above is totally inspiring! You took charge of your life and have inspired countless others to do the same. Thank you for taking us on your journey, the only voice of sanity on this most painful of experiences. Your outspoken get to the point style and humor is your gift. If you are a little bit impressed with yourself, you should be!

    • You don’t sound braggy at all! You sound proud of yourself as you should be. We at CN are proud of you too! Gosh, I sure hope it’s turned into a TV show. I’d watch! So many of my friends now about you as I talk about this blog quite often. I even have a picture of Sad Sausage as my background picture on my computer at work. 🙂 Good luck to you and thank you for all you’ve done for us.

  • I can tell people “I’m divorcing. My STBX cheated on me.” without batting an eye. I no longer tear up or feel shame. It has taken me a long time and several false starts to get here. Next month is the 4 year crapiversary of DDay #1. I knew it was in the spring, but I had to look up the date in a journal. ?

    • You are brave, Louisvilleflower. I used to whisper “we’re in counseling” . I no longer cover up for him. Also took me a while to realize if someone we jointly know happens to catch wind that he is a lying, cheating sack of crap…oh, well. I don’t go around flinging mud all day long, but if it comes up….I don’t cover up like I did for 20 years.

      • I just put it right out there. To people who know us both, and to new people I am becoming acquainted with. A mutual college friend messaged me that she was sorry about our split. I told her “I’m not, he cheated.” I tell new people so they get me: I don’t tolerate cheating from anyone, and, I hate my ex with good reason. It feels good to no longer cover for an asshole, doesn’t it?!

        • Lousvillflower, I do the same now too! I talk about it right and left with people we know both and with new ones. When a “why” comes up I say “because I don’t like his multiple girlfriends” – I borrowed this line from someone here and I love assessing people on the reaction I get. Some would be totally “WTF!! Did we hear this right?! You do the right thing and fuck him!” Versus others who would express an artificial embarassment and suggest that maybe there was not a strong bond there already, and the marriage turning into long-distance for the past few years did not help and people just don’t cheat out of the blue, and there might be other reasons….these people are now screened out and compartmentalized into a box named Switzerland containing “meaningless acquaintances.” I deal with them on as needed basis with the same artificial smile and emotional detachment. I keep my warmth and openness for those that understand and support me and I am blessed because I have them. All this strength is thanks to this sanity- and respect-saving blog. I am totally ready facing the narchole for the next 2-3 weeks starting tomorrow while he will be contaminating air in the same country.

            • I hid “my” shame at his cheating for almost a year of wreckonciliation until I read on CL that he fired me as his PR the moment he cheated.
              I think that’s how I am most mighty at the moment. I say he cheated and exploited me, straight out, and that I don’t accept any blame for it. He used to say the only thing that stops bullies is being exposed but he was the bully and now I expose him.

    • To people I don’t know…”I’m in the process of getting divorced.”

      To people I know but am not close to…”I’m getting divorced. My husband decided to leave after 20 years of marriage when I was six months pregnant.”

      To people I know and who know him…”I’m getting divorced. My husband decided to leave after 20 years of marriage when I was six months pregnant. He is now living with the 24 year old who worked for him and he started seeing while I was pregnant.”

      To close friends and family…they get varying degrees of the details. Depends on how much I trust them and how much I need them.

      I have no interest in hiding what he is anymore. If the kids ask, I give them the truth, too.

    • Ha Ha, Louisvilleflower–I almost gave someone a heart attack the other day with my delivery about my divorce.

      I used to go to a fish store regularly for water to change my fish tanks, and hadn’t been for a year as I adjusted to post-divorce-life and single parenthood (and fewer fish tanks*). One of the employees looked happy to see me and said, “How have you been?” In as light-hearted a way as I could muster, I made some quip about life blowing up in a Jerry Springer kind of way, followed with “turns out my husband had been leading a double life for 8 years.” The poor guy visibly caught his breath, so that I had to apologize for startling him. Guess I’ll have to work on muting my delivery.

      *footnote-Hannibal Lecher cheated because I had too many rescued betta fish. He did establish a new reverse law of causation with this claim because his affair took place 5 years prior to my getting any fish at all. Too bad David Hume didn’t have any info. on the reversed order of causation when he wrote “A Treatise of Human Nature.”

      • The metaphysical consequences of your Betta fish owndership are blowing my mind.

      • Everyone here knows how shy I am, so I quietly say, “I caught him cheating and threw his ass out!” (blush)

    • Louisville… I’m with you. “He left me for his married coworker and then divorced me” rolls right off my tongue now with ease. I no longer carry any shame or embarrassment about being unceremoniously tossed out like yesterday’s garbage after spending 40 years with him.

  • 20 emails from wing nut tonight.
    I hate u,
    You are the most controlling person I have ever meet.
    Im blocking your number, laughable as I did it ages ago.
    Im going to the bank to try and get something out of the house.
    Blah blah
    Crickets im mighty tonight because I can see the horse shit this is and him raging is him fishing for my attention.
    You wanted single life you got it, no money for crockery go to fucking good will like I did for the last 20 years.
    Like my friend said ‘he’s no match for you’
    Silence is truly golden and maddening for a wingnut.

  • This week I went to the county criminal courthouse to meet with the D.A. about the impending criminal suit the state is bringing against my EX. I’ve been to the civil courthouse many times due to the EX’s wide-range of disturbed behaviors and predilection for filing against me, not showing up, representing himself, etc. But, this was my first time at the criminal courthouse.

    I was stopped three times and asked questions, including by the security guard who tried to route me through the attorney’s door rather than the public entrance. The guard told me that I “looked like a lawyer.”

    I have gone from being a quivering mess at my first visit to a court 6 years ago, to someone so confident that others think I might be able to help them or answer their questions! I am still frequently frustrated by a judicial system that grants endless extensions and benefits to my EX, and I still get upset that he uses the courts to harass me rather than just leaving me alone, but I can also see how I’ve grown. I am competent with a lot of things I never had to manage before–from legal matters to minor plumbing repairs.

    I would still prefer to be a talented amateur in a field like oil painting or kayaking rather than domestic law or drain maintenance, but even super heroes don’t usually get to pick which super power they want to have.

    • Oh, my gosh, Eilonwy, we could be twins. I dress up every court appearance…and there have been A LOT! I, , too, have been directed to the lawyer entrance at the court house. I sit, listen, and learn while awaiting our care to he called up. I bought a house in July and went back to school for my Master’s a month after the divorce was final. He is pissed I am not weeping in a corner. Keep being your light self and get out those sunglasses…our future is shining bright!!

    • Me, too, Eilonwy! I walk in the courthouse just as tight and professional as I can muster. Even the police officers stand a little taller when I walk by, and I know they’re checking me out. LOL! It feels AWESOME! Not to be desired, necessarily (although that’s nice, too!) but to sense everyone thinking, “This chick has got her shit together; she must be a VIP.” 😀 At the last custody hearing, after exAhole stormed out, the conciliator leaned close, shook my hand, gazed into my eyes with this really sad expression, and whispered, “I’m so sorry.” I left the courthouse and got into my car and literally burst out laughing because his fuckupedness is so apparent to EVERYONE.

      I AM MIGHTY!!!

      except when I’m not, because sometimes I do still get sideswiped by old ways of thinking

      ….but then I remember all I’ve learned, and


      Thanks in FULL to CL and CN. <3

      • You rock!! I love your story.

        While I sat in the lobby for our pretrial (opposite side of the room from STBX), his lawyer walked by me and I looked at him directly in the eye. I had met him prior to everything falling apart so he knows me. He was the first to look away. And I thought…yeah, you might have to represent him but you know he is an asshole.

    • Eilonwy, you are so right; we don’t get to pick our superpowers, but yours is fantastic!

  • Nov of this year will mark 4 years since I told him I was going to file. It was pure hell (not gonna lie) going through discovery and the court trial for divorce…but…..BUT….I am so FINALLY at meh!!!!! Finalized for 1 1/2 yrs and I have never felt more free. Now going through Co-parenting ilks as the narchole (stole that from this site and love it!) simply cannot be an adult and stop treating his son like crap, he’s fine with the girls, singles out my son. That is the hardest part. I am fine not dating but leave the kids alone, dammit! I owe a LOT of money to my lawyer…but WORTH EVERY PENNY. Without legal council, I would have been screwed. And, I am finally not afraid of my ex anymore. I have a lingering fear of whether he would be violent with my son since things are ramping up out of nowhere…but going to bring it to court. Narcholes have you scared of what they might do and try to control you with that. But, I have to get my ducks in a row and confront him via the court system. My mom didn’t stand up for me and my brother when we were kids…I won’t repeat that cycle. We ARE mighty, CN! Fight for your kids, fight for yourselves! You can do this!!!

    • “Narcholes have you scared of what they might do and try to control you with that.”
      So true.

      • Yes yes yes! My narchole (love that!) bullies and threatens and wants to control so bad. He’s like The Fly. A little human head on a bug squeaking out his demands. He tries to scare me. He came at me in the courthouse while our lawyers were talking. I told him to get the f!!! Away from me. I’m not scared of him. He is pathetic.

        He threatened to come take my car. He threatens to have me and our daughter kicked out of our house he left a year ago… the list goes on and on. In the meantime people notice that I am independent and take care of the house and fight for my daughter’s education. Narchole tells our honor roll daughter it’s ok to get Cs. No – a beautiful kid that people notice is bright and smart…. no. It’s not ok. But he’s Disneyland dad with all the toys.

        I hate Disneyland.

        • Mine was like that low standards all round. One of our kids is extremely bright and athletically gifted. According to him the education system is a failure and is bullshit that creates drones, yeah whateva, never read to our kids unless I asked him to, was never at school functions but then never proposed any alternative education or pass wisdom to them, no because one of his things he was really good at was blame, blame me, blame the system that failed him apparently, he left school at the age of 15. Total hypocrite full of crap.
          He said I was lucky I wasn’t with the kind of guy who sat round and drank beer and hit me now and then, thats the bench mark basically, low lifes.
          Doors are already opening for me and Im meeting intelligent thoughtful, successful people who I aspire to be like and want to help me.
          Had a great weekend at the festival with kids and friends and great to leave phone at home so he could listen to the crickets chirping in the tumbleweed !

      • Yeah, I was so scared of my narc. Not that I thought he’d hurt me physically, but I was afraid of his power as a man, his intellect, his money, his powers of manipulation, his charm and him coming off as the “nice guy” to everyone.

        My confidante constantly told me, “It’s just money. You have to pay the lawyers in order to work for you. Don’t worry about the money. Your money is just as good as his. Now is the time to fight, Martha! This is you last chance!” I sat myself down at the table and went through that f-ing legal document page by page. I wrote down notes on things I didn’t understand and notes about things I wasn’t in agreement. Our lawyer is there to help us, but we have to be might ourselves too! I look back and I still can’t believe I was able to go through those law documents. It’s like another language!!

    • Stay Mighty, Just Try Me! I’m proud of you for standing up for your kids! They are worth everything, despite who you bred with to get them.

  • I am mighty because after living through years of emotional abuse from husband #2, cheating, and discarding (sort of, he wanted to stay married but live in different countries, still controlling assets in the US), I divorced his sorry ass and took 1/2 the assets (the better, more liquid half) . THen i had the unfortunate experience of marrying a narcissistic sociopath not long after, but when he started his shit, i took it for about…oh…..roughly 5 months of typical narcissist behaviour and i was DONE with that! Experience with #2 made me see how it was going to be with #3 immediately! I kicked his sorry gold-digging ass out and already feel 100% better and its only been about 3 weeks! Thanks to Chump Nation, I learned NEVER to take bad behaviour EVER again!!

  • Oh and he going to go for more custody of the kids so he can pay less child support!
    Thanks for the heads up but you will not be having anymore than I see fit, if that involves dragging up police records to show your a wing nut so be it.

    • You are at war – mine did the same and lost! It’s never enough until you say it is. Fight this with everything you have (police records are great to be used against him). You are MIGHTY and the wing nut needs to be destroyed!

  • CL, I am thrilled to hear about the possible TV series! I hope they do it justice, but mostly I just hope they do it. I need to get the word out to all my librarian friends in town to order your book for their branches of the public library (unless they already have it, a distinct possibility). You have an idea of how much this blog has helped folks, but you really have no idea. People of every stripe. I was divorced in November, am grey rock with the disordered ex, found a killer job, and started “dating” (coffee dates with strangers met online….terrifying, but they have all been very sweet so far)—yet I still come to this site almost daily to check in and get a bracing dose of reality, tempered with wit and kindness.

    • “…a bracing dose of reality, tempered with wit and kindness.”
      Sionara, this is perfectly stated and would make a great tag line for CL’s TV series.

  • I got divorced today. I also lost my job a week ago and have to get out of the family home and move with my 3 nearly adult kids to a unit. I hear that these are some of the most traumatic events to go through…but its happening to us and we are doing it. I look at this blog most days cos it totally illustrates what i am going through and validates all the experiences we are dealing with. Apparently ‘dad’ does not want to reveal where he lives cos he thinks “mum will come round and kill me ” oh….. wtf. I am over the drama and all about me mentality . Go and shag your AP and leave us alone.

    • (((Hugs))). Divorce is a new beginning. I pray the job and housing will work itself out. You’re free of a fuckwit and liberation is the first step to better days. Hang in there.

      • P.S. I doubt he think you’ll kill him, so much as he doesn’t want anyone to know where to send the support papers.

    • My ex said the same thing about being afraid I was going to kill him. I’m not a shrink, but could be they are projecting how shitty they feel about themselves.

      • Mine said the same thing and a lawyer and a counsellor told me it’s what he feels like doing to me, to get rid of all the firearms and report it to the cops. So I did. And I warned him that I had reported it and if anything happened to me, he would be investigated and so would the whore. I told him I had them all on the radar and I’d better die very very old.

      • Wow. Mine said that, too. He said he was afraid that I would stab him in his sleep. This was a couple of years ago, before DDay. I wouldn’t hurt a fly. He’s the violent one, so I thought he might be projecting his actual thoughts, not just low self esteem. Freaked me out a bit.

        • The killing bit i did report to my lawyer because of what i read on this site it screamed projection . But it also framed him as a spineless coward …hes 100kg and 2m tall so im hardly going to be able to overpower him.!? The more i read here its as if they all went to the same narc night classes. Mine was an avid movie buff and watched all the sci fi and tv dramas about clans and killing . I think he picked up all of his lines from there to create his own mini series at home !.

          • Mine weighed twice as much as I did, now 2 and half times as much, and he could break my neck with one hand. It’s projection, 100%. They are making a disguised death threat and try to sound like victims. He said I was going to harm him while I cut his hair (with an electric trimmer, not a bloody razor!, this isn’t The Colour Purple, although I called him Mister in my head by then…), later he said I was trying to poison him.
            Made me check what was in my tea…

            • I’ve told the story before, but mine tried to kick me out of our master bedroom. He’s 6′ and about 260lbs. I’m 5’6″ and 150lbs.

              When I tried to get in the room, he tried to block the door. I tried to duck under his right arm to get in. He screamed “You hit me! I’m calling the police!”

              The police came out, interviewed us both, and offered me a restraining order against him. They even pulled me aside and reminded me that not all abuse is physical, emotional abuse is very real, and that I could cancel the restraining order at any time, but it might be a very good idea to put it in force until I could figure out what the deal was with him.

              I’m glad the police were wise enough to see his little game, and it was even amusing at the time how upset he was that his little plan to get me out of the house on the premise of “abuse” backfired on him. I am only sorry I didn’t go through with the restraining order. I could have had him out of the house and had some peace!

              Lesson learned. But I’m living a good life now. Last I heard all his whores dumped him and he’s having sinus surgery. Karma is a bitch.

              • They are so ignorant they don’t see how their self-serving behavior backfires on them and exposes them for the selfish, cruel, twisted people they are.

      • It’s totally projection. Mine started putting his hands on my neck during sex at the end. Creeps me out to imagine what was going on in his mind.

        • OMG!!! The last time I had sex with my ex, that’s what he did to me. He put his has hands around my throat “near the end.” That was the first and only time he did that! It was so creepy! I had no idea what was coming –that he was going to present me with a Divorce Letter.

          • Oh wow my ex did exactly the same, and the black look on his face was really scary, God knows what he was thinking but it wasn’t good!

    • Hang in there! Get used to hearing things about yourself that simply are not true! I’ve heard everything from I’m a stalker (funny since he’s the one that I had to call the police on because he wouldn’t stop breaking into the house when I wasn’t home), to I whore myself out (openly dating and not hiding what I’m doing does not make me a whore). This is one of my favorite quotes and has saved my sanity in many situations “when a manipulator can no longer control you, they will try to control how other see you”

      It’s a long journey but you will come out the other side better off for losing a cheater!

      • Truly wonderful quote Got-a-brain..
        “When a manipulator can no longer control you, they will try to control how others see you”

        The slandering & blaming the loyal spouse is just what sociopaths do.
        Hope I get to “meh” soon.

      • Yep! I’ve heard that quote too. I kept my exes secrets for almost 25 years. No one knew of anything that happened in our marriage. Not even my family. After D-day, I started talking. First to my family, then work friends and then his family. The narc didn’t like getting exposed. So he started the smear campaign at work with his ho-workers, bosses and Tim Whore-ton’s Coffee Snatch. He told them all lies about me. How I was his “crazy” wife. Funny how I wasn’t crazy our entire marriage, but now all-of-a-sudden I was crazy. Narcs suck!

    • That’s a mountain of heartache and loss, there, Whodoesthat. Your mightiness shows in your determination to endure. But let me say that the universe has given you a true clean slate to reinvent your life. Think of this time as your transition from something that couldn’t work because you were with a lying, selfish cheater to a life that is real and true. Because if you can live through this, you can do whatever it takes to have the life a home and job and life that is right for you.

  • I believe in Fate,; here’s something eerie: 5 years ago was when I knew for sure my ex was up to something (not good) and his birthday is April 29.
    I’m so thankful that you keep this blog alive. It literally saved me and many others. Whenever I need a reality check from his mind games, I read the posts on here and think: wow, they really are all the same unoriginal Sad Sausage in lousy casing.
    My Mightiness: I left his crazy, cheating behind while still undergoing cancer treatment. I finished the treatment and survived with God, friends, family and support from this site. I navigated bankruptcy, filing for divorce, a nervous breakdown, getting back to work after 16 months off and fought my way back from chemo brain, after effects of radiation therapy, and shell shock from a Jackass.
    Am I Mighty? Hell to the YES!
    Aren’t we all??!!!!

    • I believe in @Merry Meh-hem!!! Is there a stronger word to use then MIGHTY? Not only are you mighty but you give mighty a whole new definition ❤

      • She is mega-mighty! Uber-mighty. Way to go Merry Meh-hem. Your strength encourages me!

    • WOW! You got every craptastic thing thrown at you at once. And yet, you persisted! You are an inspiration!

      • I’m currently in the middle of a breast cancer scare. I don’t generally do too well with medical things.

        But I thought to myself the other day, “Hey, Dances: You made it through 20 years with a narc, the bottom dropping out, divorcing, moving countries, and starting all over. You have a house, a new love, good friends and family, and are financially sound. YOU did all that. You had friends and CN support, but you DID it. What’s a little cancer? Bring it on. I will survive!”

        I guess I’m saying it works both ways. Whatever doesn’t kill you really does make you stronger!

        Stay mighty!

        • Amen to that! It’s amazing what we can live through. (((Hugs))) to you, DanceswithMeh. I pray you don’t have to walk the Cancer Mile, but know that those of us who have survived will be here for you.

  • ***His birthday is April 19, same day as this blog. My apologies; it was a typo.

  • I am mighty because I can be over the moon happy that my daughter is engaged. Even two years ago, I would have tried to discourage her from getting married, because I was convinced that there was no such thing as a “good marriage”. After reading all the wonderful stories here about new beginnings, I now understand that there are good and decent people out there, and I can be genuinely happy my daughter has found a life partner. It definitely helps that her fiancee is a great guy, not at all like my X and so respectful of my daughter’s needs. Now, I’m still not ready to enter the dating pool, and probably never will be, but I also do not think every marriage is doomed to failure. Because of CL and CN, I can truly celebrate this occasion! That is great progress for me.

    • Congratulations, Violet, on your daughters engagement. 🙂 I totally get not wanting your kids to get married, but we have to believe there are good people out there. Not everyone cheats. I never cheated and I’m sure everyone at CN didn’t cheat, so it’s possible to have a cheater-free marriage.

  • This site was my lifeline…when I felt all alone in the world, I found validation here that I stood w an entire community. All too often our stories were the same, as well as the pain and the struggle. Yet there is a power of strength that resonates so strongly here that it eventually propels you to healing and eventually the light of meh.
    I continue to spread the word of how powerful a tool this site is to those I come across in need. Going “Gray Rock” or in my case “No Contact” freed my brain from the daily torture I was putting it through. Until I discovered this site 2 ago I was stuck in despair. Now, I wake up happy after a good nights sleep (something I once thought unachievable!), I embrace each day and treasure those I love more than ever. But the most important gain, I rediscovered myself and the strength to never let the power of another suffocate me.

    Hugs to all in CN ?

    • OMG THIS!
      This site was my lifeline…when I felt all alone in the world, I found validation here that I stood w an entire community. All too often our stories were the same, as well as the pain and the struggle. Yet there is a power of strength that resonates so strongly here that it eventually propels you to healing and eventually the light of meh..

      I don’t remember exactly how I got here but I know it saved my life. I CAN’T SAY THANK YOU TO TRACEY & CN ENOUGH! Everything started to make sense once I got here, the fog lifted, I made a plan to get my crap together & go. CN gave great advice. In this whole process I found me again-my voice and self-respect. I learned that the cheating, hookers, and porn were HIS shame to carry & NOT MINE. You guys helped me at a time when I felt so hopeless… job, a baby, & no where to go. I found a good job & became the assistant manager. I learned how to deal with a disordered narcisstic fuckwit & not give a shit what he says & does…..and I’m SO much happier. Now I can spot these losers from a mile away!

      I refer anyone & everyone I can here because I know this is the only real, truthful site on how to deal with & overcome the near death journey of infidelity & divorce.

      Rock on fellow chumps & let’s keep the site going. It is so beneficial to keep your resolve/strength and help any new person. We all know what it’s like because we have all been there……I still read daily although I haven’t had a lot of time to post. I love the sarcastic quick wit of Ian, Nomar, and Tempest. Divorce Minister & Portia are always insightful and I still want to hug Kar Marie and Tessie.

  • I’m one of the chumps that wrote in to tell Chump Lady how the site helped me. Next month will be two years since my divorce. Since then I’ve put myself through nursing school, officially became a Registered Nurse (as of last week and on a Tuesday!!), bought myself a home, and live happily with my two dogs.
    Today I have an important job interview at the hospital I really want to work at. Life couldn’t be better. It was hard, but I am glad to no longer be married to that piece of garbage. Thank you Chump Lady!! Your website kept me sane and it truly was a safe haven for me during the lonely a.m. hours.

      • Thank you UXworld. I’m one of the “stalkers” on this website. I found it back in 2014 when my marriage exploded. I can say with all honestly that not only did Chump Lady help me, but the many voices of the chump nation (including you!!). It helps to know that I’m not alone in the brutal betrayal of infidelity.

      • I continue to be in awe of what Chumps have accomplished! AND, the accomplishment can be as simple as taking that shower!
        We all know the paralysis and pain of “the early times” (I love that phrase). We all moved at our own pace. I just now am allowing myself the luxury of looking back over the past three years…the black hole of my new life. Last year I buried my Mother, we closed her affairs and held a wonderful Memorial service for her in another state and I moved into an apartment near my daughter. I sold the marital home, organized “the stuff” and handled it ALL alone. All my belongings were placed in storage in my new state! I bought a house, closed and moved out of the apartment and into MY new home. I treated myself to a special trip and managed that alone, as well. I am putting my new life back together, piece by piece. I am not at Meh yet, but am working very hard at it. I credit Tracey and this blog as a main anchor in the past three years…without the support of this blog, new information presented, other’s experiences and emotions stated AND the 24/7 access to this support, I could have very well slipped and gone back to that POS. Hugs to all of you…may we all find our sweet revenge in “Living Well!”

  • My divorce was final December 2016. Two weeks post-divorce, I finally sought out counseling because I was miserable. I was miserable because “how could he fucking do this to our family?-what did I do that caused him to cheat on me & hurt me & hurt our children all of these years?-when will the crying ever stop?-why do I still love him even after everything that he did?”

    I found this site a little over a month ago. Let me tell you, between my counseling & this site, I’ve done a complete 360. Everyday I come here and just absorb all of the information and advice that chumps so freely offer. It’s an understatement to say that I’ve gained strength and healing from the stories you all are sharing here. We’ve all been through our own versions of hell & back and survived to tell our stories. This community is mighty!!!

    I have a girlfriend who is just now going through her divorce from her cheater scumbag. She contacted me yesterday and wanted to vent. She mentioned how well I seem to be getting along so soon after my divorce. I promptly told her about CL & CN & told her to get on here ASAP…she’d be glad she did.

    Thanks for everything, CL & CN!

    • Brandib… welcome to CN. Through my two years on this site, I’ve kept many nuggets of wisdom on a word document that I go back to for strength from time to time. I must’ve gone there yesterday so I could share this with you today…

      A very wise CN member, DivorceMinister, shared once that when we ask ourselves “what did I DO to make you cheat me on me”… it is the same as a rape victim asking “what did I wear to make you rape me”… do you see the logic?

      You first step in to liberation is accepting that HIS CHEATING HAD NOTHING TO DO WITH YOU.

      You are mighty… keep coming back!

      • ICanSeeTheMehComing!…thank you!! In all honesty, I can say that I see the insanity of what I was thinking. It feels good to release myself of the blame for his choices because as you said “HIS CHEATING HAD NOTHING TO DO WITH YOU.”

      • Thank you Chump Lady and Chump Nation! I have been reading this blog and all of your comments for about a month now. I am a little late to this party and wish I would have found you all when I went through my divorce.
        I found this site after I searched for the other woman coming around your children. I have been divorced for a year and I was in shock through the whole divorce. My ex said he wasn’t happy and he had to leave. I was a stay at home to our 3 children and we moved to another city for his job. I always had that gut feeling he was cheating but he acted like I was crazy and was out of touch with reality since I was a stay at home mom.

        Fast forward and yes I was correct. Now this AP is coming around my children. This was my biggest fear in all of this. I was in a fog during our divorce but I took less money so that I could have my children. My children was all that I wanted. I did not want him getting more time since he was never around (he was out with her).

        This site and all of your posts have given me strength and lets me know it is okay to be honest with my children and to stop living in shame. This was his problem not mine. This is such a wonderful support system and I know everyone will come out stronger!

        I got my real estate license and have my first sale coming up. I put together a huge trampoline all by myself and I coached my sons T-ball team (and we actually made a huge improvement from the first day). There are still lots of sad days but I am starting to love life and be thankful for what I do have. Life may have not turned out the way I thought but this site has helped so much!

        Hugs to you all and your stories! You all are mighty and strong and are helping others like me!

    • Welcome, brandib. I’m so sorry that you are here, but I’m happy you are doing much better. 🙂

  • I’m just starting to feel mighty and meh. I left in December, filed in January. I felt like crap then, allowed him to contact me. Actually not sorry about that, because by that point each time I saw him
    I got closer to meh.
    February was my month. I rocked February! The Worm was still trying to set up “dates” to talk. I told him enough already, go live your life with Pookie!
    Can’t wait for this divorce to be final! Can’t wait to date again! I will make someone an amazing girlfriend/wife someday!
    Many thanks to everyone here! The support is so appreciated!

  • I’m mighty

    It’s the little things….I wiped my kids tears and took them camping.
    I went to work and when I got home helped them with their homework.
    I went into debt to put my son through rehab when my ex-wife left our state and moved away to have her second dream wedding. That marriage less than two years,
    I held my laughter at the Star Trek meets Game of thrones of her third marriage, I wish I could post the picture to prove I’m not exaggerating.
    I’m mighty because my kids thank me for being the sane parent and that they will be ok.

  • Bragging: I’ve gotten the little parts of me back.

    Over the years my cheater/narc chipped away at my soul. By the time we separated I felt like I could do nothing. Tasks that used to be easy, like getting car insurance, were insurmountable ordeals. Three years later, everything has changed.

    Today I fix my washing machine when it breaks. I fix the broken door, install new door handles & light switches, and single handedly get our house ready to sell.

    It is these little things that have cleared my mind. Each task I completed sucessfully was one more bit of validation, one more bit of proof that I wasn’t the problem, he was.

    I am now at point in which I feel like I can face anything, with confidence and competence, without him. In spite of him.

    And, I no longer envy her. In fact, I feel sorry for her. Not enough to warn her though.

    • Warning assholes is useless anyhow. Can you do my taxes, LOL. Jedi Hugs, you are doing great!

  • Last night I refrained from publicly commenting on the news story about Joe Biden’s son. Yay for me! I think he might be my STBX ex incarnate. Same M.O. (Strippers, prostitutes, marital fund dissipation)… even the exact same D-day! I couldn’t believe people were shaming the news post for running the story! Reading the comments and the dismissive attitudes of people was infuriating! I guess I have not yet reached the land of meh!

    Would love to hear how others have reached a space where societal attitudes about infidelity don’t turn you into a jumble of anger.

    • I’m not there yet, either!

      Yesterday was Dr. Seuss Day in school, and I don’t think I’ll ever be able to reconcile the man’s work with his cheating on his disabled wife.

    • Not there, simply never will be there. I was watching a comedy last night and the single mother had what was supposed to be a very funny affair with her boss who was married with a very pregnant wife. It pissed me off, especially because she was portrayed as the practical ‘good’ person as opposed to her brother who had a drug problem. Gah!

      • Ugh. This is society’s way of telling us to “get over it” … definitely pisses me off too.

  • Chumps

    Seven months post divorce and the X is moving her stuff out of the house. The nesting is ending. Yeah. Another step closer to meh.

    This website has been so awesome. I look forward to each post by Tracy and your comments. CN is full of intelligent, funny, empathic people. You all are mighty. Thank you everyone for your contributions.

    I have referred several people to this website. For me this website, Infidelity Help Group website, and Codependent No More have been life changing. I’m detaching a little more each day. I can see Tuesday coming.

      • Datdamwuf

        You are right. The difference between this time and the first time: I have educated myself, I have spent significant time working on my issues of people pleasing and being a white knight, and I am embracing being a single dad without the need to find a woman any time soon.

        Love your posts and your screen name.

  • That is awesome, Chump Lady! I hope Hollywood does create the TV series. You deserve this success!! And think about how many more chumps could learn to see the light.
    I can’t say enough about how much this blog and all of Chump Nation have helped me. I would have caved under the bullying and mind games within two weeks of the final D-day had I not discovered this community.
    I have mentioned this blog to friends who have been through infidelity and divorce in the past, and they have said how much they wish they had found you, too.
    Many, many thanks to all of you.

    • If I had found this blog four years ago i would have left and not looked back which is what im doing now! Thanks for the support, before I was stumbling around in the dark and eventually did the pick me dance and he later regretted coming back, anyways he’s feeling a bit sad sack about it all and we are doing ok, so far so good.

  • My latest venture isn’t very mighty, but it makes me really happy so I will share it anyway! I have taken up horseback riding and it is going really well! I was never one of those little girls who loved horse books. Instead, I am a middle-aged woman who has discovered this love of everything equine … it is more pathetic at my age! I have spent the last 30 years carefully keeping my hobby expenses low to non-existent. My library card was well used! All extra money went to ex so he could pursue HIS interests (tennis, skiing, golf, running, traveling with his boyfriend) or to my child for his various activities. Me? I enjoyed grocery shopping because it was the one place I could spend relatively freely! So now? I put on my boots and happily trot around on a very tall, strong, powerful animal and I feel incredibly freeeee! You cannot wipe the smile off my face for hours afterwards. I cannot wait to cantor and I am probably going to try riding bareback soon! The miserable woman self-imprisoned in her house wondering where her husband actually was and with whom? She is a gone, gone, gone. Giddy-up y’all! Find your passion and go live your life!

    • I hear you Dixie. I said to 4am 4ever once: “If anything, this experience has shown me how cheap I’ve been with myself.” No longer.

      • “…how cheap I’ve been with myself”.. oh, so true for me too.

        My new motto is “May ALL your sweaters be Cashmere, because, why not?”
        and “Life is short, buy the shoes!” I’m a newly minted minimalist, so choosy as hell, and very few things meet my standards, including people… fixing the picker on not just human partners, but on everything I let into my new life. Quality, not shiny or glittery, well constructed. Returnable if disappointing in any way, lifetime warranty.

        Take extra good care of yourself in every way. You’re worth it!

        Thank you CL & CN for being here and saving me and my sanity many times over!!

          • I love that motto! I got “everything” in the house primarily because everything is decades old, falling apart, cat-stained, etc. I look forward to replacing it all some day when I can. I definitely don’t purchase anything as a “stop gap” … I only buy things that I absolutely love. I only do things I absolutely love. I only hang out with people I absolutely love. It makes for a great life!

      • Oh, I did that too! That was one of the really great things, while I was still in shock from D-day, I got out there and started doing things that interested ME!

        Although at least one good side effect from having put everyone else’s needs ahead of my own was that I was able to be frugal while rebuilding after the divorce.

        It helped me reach financial stability, and now that I have that, if I want to take a vacation or take up a hobby, I think, “No time like the present.” Nice to have a new perspective on things.

    • Love this Dixie Chump! I did the same by signing right up for golf lessons…something I always wanted to do. Went right out and bought my own set of clubs and just love learning and improving (and each time I tee off I picture his face on the golf ball…with a big smile on my face ;).

    • OMG Dixie This is me. I kept my needs small, thought family life was important to him, begged him to go to IC…
      I have a “free’ horse riding lesson that I earned by babysitting his narc best friend’s daughter that I am finally going to schedule because of your post!
      I am mighty because I listened to my gut that there was no Wreckonciliation and saw the charm/self-pity/rage channels early on. I am also seeing my first lawyer next week!
      CL and CN are mighty. No contact is the way to MEH!

    • Dixie, when the traitor left I made a plan that I would take up horse care and riding as something to do only for me. But I haven’t had the time and the finances yet, working 70 hours a week 2 jobs. This year my plan is to cut back on the second job, and do it, since the farm finances are better at least. Like you I had no hobbies and I wore only pre-loved clothes and even shoes, while he insisted on new stuff for him. I got by for 10 years on $50 a year for clothes, and I was actually well dressed because I’m a great op shop shopper. He even criticised me for watching too much TV, when we never went out or did anything other than me running around after his kids. Time to do something just for me.

    • Way to go Dixie!…And Tilbeth….And Strong…. and Kiwi! Feels good to finally do something for yourself, doesn’t it? You all deserve good things.

    • I really feel this… I think that one of the things that this blog has given me is a vocabulary and/or little phrases that have helped me organize the disorganized feelings and confusion that come from this type of betrayal and destruction. Kibbles, Pick-Me-Dance, untangling the skein of fuckupedness, cool/bummer/wow… all it was like a rosetta stone for me giving me a language to make sense of what the fuck just happened.

      Early on, someone typed a line that was something like “I will never make my needs so small for another person again.” I read that and was like “Yeah, I understand that. I feel the same way.” Then a few weeks later I finally had the fuckwit out of the house and did some reorganizing and cleaning in the home office. That room was where he sort of hunkered down “running his business”, chatting with his whore online.. whatever. It was full of his crap and stuff he thought he needed but never used, it was a mess. I had a new job and was going to be working from home, so I had to rearrange my side of the room. In order to fit everything in, I had to set up my desk so that I was kind of squeezed in with my knees sideways if I worked on my personal computer, stuff tucked into corners etc. That day I shifted a bunch of stuff around and spread out, just a little, not a lot, just enough that I could sit properly at both sides of my L-shaped desk, spread out my stuff so I could use it, and just generally be comfortable in the space.

      And I started to cry a little because I realized that this was such a physical manifestation of me trying to make my needs small to make that fuckwit happy. Why didn’t I just tell him “I need more space now, we need to rearrange.” but he had me so scared to have a want or a need that I just made my needs small. And it applied to my emotional needs, and my social needs… everything had been whittled away to keep him perfectly happy and I was left to suffer and make due.

      I will never make my needs small again. So that’s where I’m mighty these days. How else am I mighty… mostly just the usual. I have nearly completed my name change back to my maiden name and it’s awesome. I never felt like I was that person with the married name. Next week will be one year since I filed. I got the house and a 6 figure check. As I said in an email to a friend the other day “I’m doing great, having fun and all of my pants fit… what more could I want in life.”

    • Yeah, I was this person, too. Haircut twice a year. My ex would actually color my roots (I can buy professional haircolor as I’m a licensed cosmetologist). Minimal clothes and shoes to wear. Always wanted to get my nails done (did it one a year?). My ex “future faked” and talked about all the trips we’d go on once he retired and we’d take the grandkids to all the National Parks. I wanted that dream too, so I went without. I tried my best to not spend a ton in decorating, but we did have lots of nice Ethan Allen furniture. I always looked at those pieces of furniture as something we’d have forever. Well, I have most of the EA furniture. And I’ve added to it was other nice furniture. I can no see I was a part of me devaluing myself by not taking care of myself with clothes and nice things once in a while. I bought into the lie that I didn’t have any worth or value.

  • I’m mighty because:

    – I filed first
    – I hired a pitbull lawyer
    – I get up every morning and go to work and grocery shop and do the laundry and keep the house clean enough
    – I take my son on outings and have his friends around to play
    – I’m ok being alone (not dating), my son has one childhood
    – I pay the bills and put a little away for my retirement
    – I found my faith in God is stronger than ever
    – I come here EVERY DAY (even though I was a voyeur for the first year)
    – I tell everyone, shamelessly, that my X was a cheating, lying whore
    – I told my X he was a whore when he called me a bitch
    – I forgive myself for not leaving sooner

    Newbies.. it will get better. It will. We have all sat huddled in corner crying; breaking down in tears while making dinner; losing it in the shower; feeling like a phantom in your own body. It takes time. A whole lot of fucking time.

    Thank you CL – thank you CN. I wouldn’t be where I am today without every single one of you.

    • “I forgive myself for not leaving sooner,” – yes, I am finally reaching that point where I forgive myself. It was all a learning experience (a rather painful one) but I hope I will retain the knowledge. I’m the one person I should always forgive, love and value. Not above all others, but certainly not below the pond scum I sunk below for the past twenty years.

    • Newbies it will get better!! I kept reading this and thinking it wouldn’t for me. Six months out from divorce now. DD#2 was 10 months ago. I’m not quite at meh, but getting close. Is it Tuesday yet?

    • Mighty(!) and I’m working on forgiving myself for the first time my gut told me something wasn’t right. This was before we were even married. I wanted to run away, but my exes mommy talked me out of it. It was the first “devalue” of what would soon to be a few.

  • Next month will be one year since Dday. And thank god, one year since finding your blog!

    Because I found this blog within a week of Dday, I was able to see the bigger picture. I read the stories, the articles and the UBT. I saw how stupidly alike cheaters are. I saw my future if I danced for him and I knew to the bottom of my soul that I couldn’t survive any more mind fucking.

    So I packed his shit and filed within with two weeks of Dday. And for that Dear Tracy I will be forever in your debt.

    As far recent mightiness goes…….I made the deans list! I got into the allied health program that I wanted! I haven’t cried over Fucktard since maybe December. I am no longer consumed with rage/depression at the unfairness of it all. I can see him clearly for the first time ever. I no longer feel guilt for my marriage failing, but feel absolute relief and freedom instead.

    So thank you chumlady and Chump Nation. Honestly I would probably be dancing or worse still – in limbo waiting for Fucktard to pull the trigger on our marriage if it weren’t for all of you. My life is so much better with you guys in it and Fucktard out of it.

    • From reading all of these tales of mightiness, I have this visual of a long line of Chumps that circles the Earth and we are each running down it high fiving each other, and taking our place next to each other. Solidarity. Survival. So much awesomeness.

    • Calm – Congrats on getting in the program!! You will rock it and be mighty! Being able to support myself, and do it while helping others, has been a big part of reclaiming my self-esteem. I’m so happy for you.

  • Thank you CL and CN for your posts and advice! CL, you’ve done some much to cut through the BS spun by the RIC. I quote you frequently in IC. My therapist loves your advice as well. You have done so much to further my healing.

    My mightiness:

    I’ve purchased my own home.
    I am surrounded by authentic people that truly do care for me.
    I am fixing my picker and am better able to weed out the crap in the dating world.
    I am still able to travel the world and am taking a big trip to Asia this summer.
    Although XH and Wifetress moved to my town, I haven’t let that ruin my life. While I still try to avoid seeing them, I still live my life. The shame is theirs to wear, not mine.

      • Awww…thanks Datdumwuf! You and I have so much in common – thank you for your continued posts. You’ve helped me more than you can know.

  • I am mighty:
    Because I will not let one pathetic narc asswit ruin me for the rest of my life.

    He may have made me trip and stumble and even take a few falls, but he won’t keep me down. He had my heart and then broke it in a million pieces. But I’m putting it all back together, slowly, but surely.

    Now I cook and exercise and work and focus on my goals. I am back to enjoying music and movies and being active. I am getting back to being me.

    Thanks to everyone here. You are all mighty

    • Getting your self back is key ImAPhool, time to change your moniker :). You rock!

  • Love this post. I have read the mightiness posts a couple of times over the last 16 months of my nightmare/release to freedom. I am also eternally grateful to Tracy and CN, my relatively fast recovery could not have happened without this amongst other supports I was so honoured and grateful to receive.

    Now on to the mightiness. I am very proud to tell you all that I am at meh!!! My life has not been this happy in more years than I care to remember. I spent almost a lifetime with the wackjob(36 years married this may and 2 years prior). I managed to turn around my floundering business. I managed to buy him out of our house with a few tense moments with the bank( well I have a mortgage which irks at the ripe old age of 56 but meh…), I have a good relationship with my children and my sisters and brother. His family made overtures of keeping a relationship with me( he is a wingnut after all). I am staying away from them at the moment while the divorce is in the works. A friendship blossomed into a romance with a man who is almost the complete opposite of my nex–highly intelligent( a retired biochemist), introverted, quiet, studied and very careful–what a refreshing change! He cherishes me, I feel cherished the way I have not felt since I was a young woman. We are making plans to travel to the east coast of Canada this summer( as he says, there is nothing like a road trip or renovations to see if we can make the long haul as a couple–I guess that shows where he is heading). I am just enjoying this, and my friends are cautiously happy for me, because he is so different a man than they are accustomed to me being with.

    My life is approaching contentment and joy. I have stopped caring about the nex, He can do whomever he wants( men too as rumour would have it–and my own suspicions show, hmmmm). His AP is 2 big boobs on legs, according to one really smart friend, who says she can’t even have a discussion with her,nothing between the ears. They deserve one another. He deserves whatever karma is coming his way. I don’t even care if I see it, I guess that is what meh is all about.

    For the newbies–this man cheated, then I pick me danced through 4 years of mental, emotional, sexual and physical abuse as well as financial abuse to the tune of half of our life savings. He then cheated again( hey he probably did it for the whole of our lifetime together–meh). He continued the abuse and directed it toward our children( the olive man story folks–a jar of olives for my daughter for christmas because she had the gall to be angry about him moving in with his girlfriend in about 3 weeks after our separation, right from our house to her house–classy move, asshole–meh), I am at about $30000 in legal fees for a separation that never went to court and was supposed to be done quickly –ya, 16 months!!–meh. He even tried to get the kids names off of his insurance as beneficiaries, a piece of information I will tell them when I think they are ready to hear it( they are 28 and 25).

    Anyhoo. Thank you again to CL/CN for the help. I am about 4 months from divorce( it takes that long from filing and expect to file next week, as the terms of the separation agreement are finally fulfilled). Hey its Canada eh, takes a long time around here. I will come here to celebrate with Chump Nation. Kudos to all of us mighty warriors!

    • Cool! Now where can I meet someone like your new guy? You are rockin this!

      • Sometimes it happens when you least expect it. I tried dating sites–epic fail. I met him at rehearsals for a variety show we are both in. I wasn’t ready but he waited in the background until an offhand invitation of mine hit home. It’s very nice. Thanks!

  • My Dear Chump Lady letter was posted on January 11, 2016. I must have read Tracy’s response and the comments left by CN a zillion times trying to cope and make it through. I never dreamed one day I would read that letter and think to myself “who was that pathetic person who doubted everything about herself down to being a mother?”. To think that I let another person convince me that I was a terrible wife and mother and that the cheating was my fault! Pffft! I checked into therapy and poured myself into my children. I dipped my toe into the dating pool and starting seeing *her* on regular basis. I finally went NC with the exception of required information exchange about the kids…..which irks ex terribly. Ex quickly remarried a woman 9 years older that looks road hard and put up wet and is controlling, she lives in a run down older home in the ghetto, she can’t even keep up with the boys’ dr appointments bc she is working and a career student, she rarely cares for the boys and leaves them in her parents’ care most of her parenting time, and clearly hates that this chump finally got a life. A rather good one! Tomorrow marks 1 month of marriage to my 10 year younger partner that worships the ground I walk on and is head over heels in love with my boys (yup, I am a cougar…*roar*), I kept the gorgeous marital home, I have ZERO doubts that I am a wonderful mother that always puts her children first….and it is becoming more and more apparent as the boys don’t want to leave me and now cry to stay “home” with me. I no longer let ex drag me into hour long text battles….I simply ignore. I am stronger, confident, and mighty!!! I never thought I would see this day when D-Day #1 reared it’s ugly head…..but here I am OWNING this shit!!! Many, many thanks to Chump Lady and Chump Nation!!!

    • Awesome, SouthernShine!! It is wonderful when we can look back on our sad D-day selves, and want to go back in time and help “her” (or “him”). Shows how far you’ve come.

    • SouthernShine74, Congrats on your marriage! That’s wonderful that you’ve built yourself such a wonderful new life! And I’m a “cougar” too! Our two-year dating anniversary is coming up pretty soon, and my boyfriend is so very different from my ex. He’s kind, thoughtful, emotionally open and mature, and others-focused. It’s so different being in a reciprocal relationship where my partner enjoys doing things for me and isn’t grumpy because he needs to run out on Christmas Eve to find me a Christmas present. My boyfriend’s been planning his anniversary gift for a while now (several months in advance and with enthusiasm). 🙂 Despite his younger age, he is light years more mature than my ex.

  • I found this site sometime near then end of 2013. It has saved my life. There was noone but the asswipe to talk to. He isolated us from everyone in turn isolating me. Some here know my story i posted almost everyday in the beginning. I ranted, cried, laughed yelled and got tons of love support and laughter from you guys. I ran from the ric sites full of pearls of nothing. They love to point the finger dont they. I knew i belonged here.

    Here i learned it wasnt my fault.
    Here i learned to set boundaries. Here i learned i can do this.
    Here i learned to laugh again spitting coffee belly laughs.
    Here i learned how to work myself to become indifferent to that asswife and once i wouldnt rise to his bait i felt better.
    Here i learned to stare evil in the face and not back down.
    Here hopefully i learned how to help others through this crap.
    And here i learned how to NEVER tolerate bad behavior again from anyone.
    My picker is better.
    And i can spot a red flag a mile away.

    Ive moved hours away from that place me and my dog babies, live in a lovely area, except for email have gone no contact on one last issue. I was forging ahead and suffered a setback thats had me in a months funk cloud but im slowing coming out of it and moving forward again. We need this revolution we need to be heard so many just out in the world just turn the other cheek on destroying others lives or accepting this dusgusting behavior. Lying cheating is disgusting heart breaking soul destroying behavior and needs to be brought out into the town square and shown for what it is. Except for two phone friends and this site i would be dead. And i have made the most wonderful friend here in jeeptess. A huge gigantic shout out to her!!!!
    I will not marry again, my trust in relationships is shot, i want some, love, and joy and contentment, if i can be content that will make me happy.
    I walked away from the asswipe took almost four years i escaped his life he did not. Fuck him and fuck every m effer out there who chooses to live life as a pod.

    I am mighty ive come so far and ive all of you to thank for it.

    Thank you CL we are mighty and we got this!!!!!

    • Thank you for posting! I am SO glad you are doing well. When I first found this site, I would read your posts (and in the archives) and think I hope she gets out. She’s got to get out. You did it! And your manifesto about what you learned here got me all choked up. Congrats! You are mighty.

      • Thanks never. Ate lots of shit sandwiches but i acheived my goal and i will NEVER eat a shit sandwich again.

    • Kar, I have thought about you often. So glad you are in a good place! You have been in my prayers many times along with a bunch of other folks here. You are indeed MIGHTY!

  • I’m loving all these posts. It’s what swimming naked in champagne must feel like…

    And now I’ve put that lovely image into everyone’s mind my work here is done.

    Happy Friday chump nation. ?

    • That’s an excellent visual. 🙂 Since I’m just starting this process, I’m imaging that as my divorce party reward to myself!

    • Speaking of which, I walk around naked a lot, at home and on the farm. Love the sun on my skin, I feel like I am being recharged like an old battery each time. Makes me feel mighty.

  • This Saturday, two of my three sons and I will be hosting our first dinner party since X slithered out of our home five years ago. I”m actually excited to have friends back into our imperfect, run down house. I’ve decided that instead of seeing the wear, tears and repairs that need to be done as embarrassments, our home shows the scars from lives that have survived and are now thriving after some pretty torturous events. I’m going to open the door WIDE for all to see that we thrive! It’s going to be FUN!!

    My mentally ill son is doing well in rehab.

    As, he strengthens his resolve and gets the education needed to stay sober, he is also gaining important insight into his unhealthy relationship with his father. The nicest thing he could have ever said to me was in a meeting this past Tuesday. He told his case worker that I have always had his best interests at heart and love him for who he is, not who I thought he should be. The case worker asked if he felt that way about his father, and he was quick to say, “No. He’s never really liked me. He’s always been embarrassed of me. I’ve never been good enough for him.” I was struck by how much he felt the same way as I did while married to his father. 🙁

    My other two sons and I are in a really nice groove at home. The tranquility is wonderful. Both are excited to have friends over on Saturday night, too.

    I’ve started Weight Watchers, a NAMI Family-to-Family program, and have returned to counseling after 2.5 years. This time, I hope to focus on my personal goals and future, and not the consequences of my ex husband’s cheating/abuse. Mercifully, that is permanently behind me now.

    • It always amazes me how much I can relate to things in other people’s stories. We could never have people over because STBX would be afraid they might see the crack in the ceiling or notice the smudge on the wall or perhaps notice some clutter in the nether regions of the house. I kept telling him that if we invited my friends they wouldn’t notice or care, but I guess he wanted to impress the kinds of people who would.

      Well I am planning a birthday party for myself at the house on March 17 and he won’t need to be embarrassed because he doesn’t live here anymore so there. It will be a family party too so lots of kids to mess things up even more :).

      • Excellent Chumpinrecovery, perfection is not required to enjoy friends. BTW, what he was doing is classic isolation strategy, I bet he was always sick or couldn’t go out to friends places either. BTDT. You rock, have a blast on your birthday and Jedi hugs!

  • Of course you were picked up by a Hollywood agent. This site is fodder for a TV or cable series. Some of the cheater stories are hilarious and mighty, others thought provoking or downright sad. I will pray this is made into a show that will end the collective cheater narrative blaming the chump and put a stop to the “pick me” dance.

    Instead of “Rocky” maybe they will call it “ChumpY”. Large Y intended for winner stance.

  • I found your book 3 weeks ago and it has made the most profound difference in how I have be able to cope with separating from my sparkly turd. Your words echo in my mind every day when faced with the challenges of “co-parenting” with the Sad Sausage. I feel re-empowered after being nearly sucked dry by his narcissism. Your daily blog posts are helpful reminders that I am worthy of a better existence for me and my children. Thank you for being there for all of us chumps.

    • Going Jedi Ninja is the best route Jennifer, glad you found CL’s book so fast!

  • Please do keep this website going. It has been five years for me since divorce and I still come here for inspiration. You are truly a lifesaver :-))

  • I don’t think it qualifies as “mighty,” but here goes…
    A few days after D-day, when I was still in shock about everything and unsure what to do, Princess Sluterella left me for Prince Cheating, and revealed that this was not the first “mistake,” as she put it, but only the first one in which she got caught. (I say a “mistake” is missing your exit on the highway, not falling into someone else’s bed, but I digress). Besides learning the phrase “serial cheater,” I suddenly had to contend with being a bachelor again, a single dad, being alone, dealing with traumatized kids, living within much smaller means, etc. I was a hot mess. We had moved to a town I’d never been to a few years earlier to be closer to her folks, and I still felt lost in the community. I could count all my friends on one hand. I had kids crying every night, asking “why did Mommy leave?” I struggled to make ends meet as she slapped me with legal papers to get huge sums of child support out of me. The stress of all this led to a host of health problems, including a (benign) tumor and sudden weight loss. I felt so alone.
    About 2.5 years later, I’m past all that. When she tried to come back after the Prince turned out to be a Frog, I held firm and showed her the door…several times. Despite being shy and introverted, I took up several new hobbies, and I made a slew of new friends. I now have so many friends I have to turn down events because of all the scheduling conflicts. I got over all my health issues, got into good shape, and the doctor always says I’m in “perfect health.” I’ve gotten to date several lovely, kind young women. We had to sell the beautiful house and my beloved SUV, and get rid of whole closets of possessions, but we turned it into a lifestyle change; we weren’t losing good stuff, we were getting rid of what we didn’t need, and appreciating the stuff we had. I can now tie ponytails, put in earrings, and apply some makeup for my daughter’s dance team. I can cook all kinds of good meals now, not just pasta and rice. Roar!

    • Um, I’m pretty sure this qualifies as pretty darn mighty!!

      You rock!

    • Certainly mighty indeed. Just not falling apart was mighty. Your kids are lucky to have you. I am glad you are now in good health. Living well without her is the best revenge.

      What I don’t understand is how she could sue for child support when it seems she left her kids at the same time she left you. Shouldn’t she have been paying child support?

      Also, I can relate to moving across the country to be closer to STBXs family and then being left. No appreciation for what we do for them.

  • The mighiness check always seems to come when I am not feeling particularly mighty. I am 3yrs 11 months 2 weeks out from divorce finalization. So in the grand scheme of things, life is good.

    Three events this week shaped my mightiness:
    a) I am mighty because I literally ran into one of the APs as I went through a door, and I did not react. Just held the door open.

    b) The same day ex emailed me to say he is quitting his job; it was not what he expected, he would have to relocate away from OWife, one of the new family kids is special needs, etc.etc. No panic, just left a call to my attorney. Feeling a bit of schadenfreude for him– his new life isn’t what he expected it would be, poor baby.
    Also relieved… No job, moving YET again, no stability– I can argue not a good situation for youngest, since ex keeps suggesting that son move in with him for a year.

    c) daughter is depressed again and down in a slump. My heart always sinks when she is crying about not liking to feel this way, and when she tells me she is having self harm thoughts. In the past I have always gotten that panicky-pit of the stomache feeling. This time I have just put a grim expression on and rolled up the sleeves, figuratively speaking.

    4 years ago, I thought my life would be different at this point. I did not count on my teenager’s depression, or that ex would move over 2,000 miles away. But, overall, life is good.

    • I’m sorry, ZYX321. Hope your daughter pulls out of the current depression. I know how scary that has been in the past.

      • Thank you, Tempest. It is a struggle, but daughter is finally opening up and admitting to the thoughts and non compliance with the meds. Just wish we could avoid that step– if she would stay on track with schoolwork and meds, then she would not sink back into the hole !

        • Not what you are looking for perhaps, but do you have an IEP for your daughter. Even in high school, it can make a big difference for kids struggling with mental health issues.

          You can ask for extra time for her to complete her work, testing accomondations if needed and more.

          Feel free to email me at alicetaper at (a throwaway email for me) if you want some more suggestions.

          You can also google wright’s law (relating to IEPs) they are subject area experts

          • thanks, notsurewhat2do, we had an IEP for her last school. Now is she is at a hybrid school, only goes in 2 days a week for tutoring (if needed) and to take tests. Now the issue is TOO much free time, I think. That and simply going through the emotional teen stuff which is exacerbated by the situation with her father).

    • I’m so sorry, zyx321. Seeing my kids hurt was the worse thing. My daughter was always an Honor Roll student, but she hasn’t made honor roll once since her dad said he wanted a divorce. That’s on him. Not her. He took a bomb and tossed it into our kids lives with no regards to them or their future. I trust he sucks.

      • Martha, yes, for me, the damage to the kids is the worst part. Ex seems to honestly believe that daughter’s issues have nothing to do with him; instead, it is due to my talking badly about him. Never mind that he had her keep a big secret from me (not cheating, but almost as bad as that), then announced on the same day that he was getting married, moving away, and a new baby was on the way.

  • This blog has been my salvation for the past eight months. I discovered it after wasting time and money on a RIC website and “coach”. What a scam! In May, 2016 I retired early from a very good federal career to spend more time with my STBXH. We’ve been married 17 years. His job with the National Guard moved him all over the state. I stayed in our retirement home (his dream home) and saw him on weekends when he “wasn’t too busy”. He was located two hours away. For the past three years he came home less and less. I spackled of course. He was sooooooo important. I knew he was getting distant but I blamed it on the stress of his job and mine. Nineteen days after I retired he came home and told me ILYBINILWY. He left and never came back. I hadn’t even received my first retirement check! One week after he left I found the cell phone records – he had been having and affair for over a year. Of course he was/is in denial. To admit this could mean the loss of his job as he is considered full time military.
    We had already placed the dream home up for sale months earlier so that I could move to be with him and we had purchased another home. So that left me to continue the sale and showing process. All of the furniture stayed with the dream house for showing purposes and I moved into the new house with only a bed and no husband. Finally we got a good offer on the house and I scheduled the move of the furniture.
    The move happened on Jul 27 – no assistance from him. Just me and the movers. I slowly started unpacking even though I was an emotional mess. Just like all my fellow chumps – I thought that surely he would come to his senses. This was not the guy I married. The hopium was strong.
    But then the “great flood” occurred on Aug 12th. I was evacuated by the local fire department by boat with our four dogs and just clothes on my back. When it rains it pours – literally. I called LTC Dick to let him know that I would make the claim on our flood insurance policy. He was too busy to talk cause he was touring the state looking at other flood victims homes. So I began the process myself.
    On Aug 15th the sale of the dream home went through. I had already arranged power of attorney so that I didn’t have to attend the closing. LTC Dick received the equity check which was in both our names. A week after the flood he called me to meet him at the bank to deposit the check. His only concern was about the money – no concern about me, the dogs or our home. He showed up at the bank in uniform and of course everyone was thanking him for his service. I had come straight from tearing out Sheetrock, floors and baseboards. I was a mess. I brought flood insurance paperwork for him to sign there at the bank in front of a notary and of course they were so sorry that he had to go through so much trauma. I wanted to scream!!!! He was like a peacock – strutting and preening his feathers. He had no interest in my well-being.
    To make a long story short – Initially I moved in with my 89 year old Dad then moved into an RV while the house was slowly put back together. Through this period I met with an attorney and worked out the settlement agreement and divorce. On Dec 12th the paperwork was filed at the courthouse. We had no children thank goodness. I moved back into the house two days before Christmas. I’m slowly unpacking the boxes of stuff I had managed to save and shopping at estate sales and thrift stores to furnish it. The settlement has since been approved by the court. In it he was required to pay off the house and give it to me free and clear. We only owed $30K but I wanted that instead of fighting him for spousal support. I did not make a demand for any of his retirement and he didn’t get any of mine. I knew that I had much more than he had saved. He didn’t have a clue about the financials cause I had always handled it all. What a dumb ass.
    So on Apr 20 the court hearing is scheduled for the divorce. I will walk away from it with my head held high. I have survived. I’m not at MEH yet but I am mighty and soon to be cheater-free. Thank God for my friends, my family, my church, and Chump Lady!

    • Ugh, the part about him in his uniform at the bank, being thanked for his service, makes me so mad! If only people could see who he really was.

      I feel that way when I have to be around my STBXH. He can be so charming and playful on a superficial level. Ugh!!

      I’m sorry you went through all of that, but you’re through the worst part. Not having kids means that you won’t have to coparent with the loser. Consider yourself very lucky for that! Once the dust settles, you’re going to be just fine. 🙂

      • Thanks JAS. I do feel lucky. My future is not what I expected but I truly believe it will be better. No more lies. That alone makes all of this worth it.

    • Soldierschump, military cheaters suck and are right up there with Jesus cheaters for believing that they are righteous and good and get that reinforced from all the public who do not know better. My cheater was an LTC too and was so used to having people kiss his ass that he couldn’t believe that I ever questioned him on anything. You are mighty like lots of former military wives who have had to move constantly, give up careers of their own, do all the heavy lifting alone while the soldier is gone, and then face the inevitable discard when some little Captain Schmoopie looks his way. You are mighty!

  • Since the last mightiness checkup, I am officially divorced and feeling hopeful about beginning again!

    Reading all the experiences here has shown me that there are aspects of my story I am thankful for. Some stories are so heartbreaking. I have become comfortable sharing even the unsavory bits of mine with others here in case it encourages someone else in their journey.

    Much love to CN! (and FN)

  • Well Well Well …this is well timed! My man child ex fucktard is getting REMARRIED today.. to his ex employee, 5 months knocked up (an “oops” … OR for the rational people in the room que the ultimatum to put a ring on it) affair partner. Our divorce was final July 2015. Yes, for the math wiz’s that liked to accuse ME of the reason for the divorce like he loved to spew to anyone that would listen, that is a whopping two marriages in less than two years for the poor broken hearted by our divorce ex husband of mine! Pretty sure he cleared my name for me by this timing (honestly don’t care because my people know who I am and those who believed it are no longer a part of my life… but this does feel pretty damn good), while I sat back like the classy chick my mom raised me to be and let him bury himself! I have a child with said fucktard so I have to do the “Cool! Bummer! Wow!” when it comes to my sons excitement about the baby and the wedding… and I am damn good at it! My son is THRIVING because of the steady home I provide!

    For the mightiness check in… I was able to move out of my childhood bedroom at my parents and I have a beautiful new home- with a POOL! I have opened my heart to a wonderful man who truly loves me for me. I got a raise at work. My son had the best report card in his class (I have him 85% of the time during the school year). My son is KIND! He is truly a kind soul and I am so proud to be his mom! My family has seen me come out of a hole and love to comment that the “old Em” is back! I don’t hate my ex or the schmoopie anymore, their karma is each other! Although I do hope a well timed, awkward cough during the part of the vows about being faithful, happens at today’s wedding, I can say the way I am thinking about it is, I know my son is a kick ass dancer, looks amazing in a suit and he will have a great time at the party, regardless of the fucked-up-edness that is his fathers life. I will go on a date with my handsome boyfriend, snuggle my dogs, have some wine and today is just another Friday for me!

    I thank CL and CN for helping me stay mighty. For finding the light at the end of the tunnel and looking back realizing the sparkly terd I fought so hard to keep and not let Schmoopie “win, is just a big raging piece of shit!

  • Dear Tracy and Chump Nation,

    I found this community about 4 days post D-day #2. Those first couple weeks were tough and I found myself reading archived posts from your site because it was nice to find someone who called me out on my chumpiness! It was a tough pill to swallow. Then it was like a lightbulb went off. Your advice (along with the support of friends, family, counseling, and church) pushed me to channel the mightiness that was dormant in me for the last couple years as our relationship had become a struggle after D-day 1. My husband’s job moved us and our infant across the country. Shortly after, things started to feel rough. The transition from a working woman to a stay-at-home-mom was very different. We lived in the middle of nowhere. Lastly, my husband started to feel very distant…for reasons I now understand.

    Fast forward through the last 4 months:
    Today, I’m sitting here in my new apartment across the country from my STBX. My daughter is getting ready for daycare and I am fortunate enough to have found employment with my previous company prior to moving. I feel empowered! I proud of myself for my journey thus far and know that my daughter will benefit from having a mom who knows her self-worth and did what was best for us. Thank you for founding this supportive, witty, and loving group of folks!


  • Chump Lady,
    Your blog/website was not around when I divorced an insidious, emotionally abusive, serial cheater. I was a SAHM for 2 decades and muddled my way through a high-conflict divorce with a disordered man-child.

    My battle wounds were invisible and I struggled to make sense of everything that had happened. I felt alone and my self-esteem was shattered as I tried to regain my footing and start over in my mid-forties. Finding your website was a godsend for me. I was clueless about personality disorders. I was shocked to discover how many others had had similar experiences. I was glad to have found a welcoming and supportive online tribe who understood because they had been through it, too.

    I’m 6 years post-divorce, living in The Land of Meh, and have a happy life full of blessings. More than I ever imagined while I was married to Dr Jekyll & Mr Hyde! 🙂 Thank you, CL, for creating this forum/gathering place and providing valuable information to those of us who have tangled with wolves in sheep’s clothing. Be proud of your accomplishments and for reaching out to help others! Your common-sense and snarky humor are a perfect combination! Wishing you much love and continued success!!!

  • I have never posted a comment but read Chump Lady daily and receive a lot of inspiration from reading everyone’s stories. Last year after catching my STBXH riding around with his ho-worker a screaming match ensued in which I thought I had really out done myself and pulled a muscle in my back during the argument. The pain never went away and I made an appointment with my doctor. Long story short after many scans and biopsies I was diagnosed with stage 4 non Hodgkin’s lymphoma. Last year was a rough year with many doctors appointments and chemotherapy. I thought during this time my STBXH would give me a break and just let me heal…..but I must have been living in a dream world. In reality the month after I started chemo he moved his ho-worker directly down the road from me…..not a minute away. So instead of relaxing I was packing and moving. Ultimately though this experience has made me feel mighty. I packed, moved, continued working, and beat this cancer for now. My STBXH comments often about how proud he is of me and how strong I am. Ugh. I honestly don’t understand him but have given up trying to.

    • OMG! I’m so glad you found out about the cancer (but not in the way you did). Much health to you!

      My ex has done an about-face … he blamed me for everything, especially putting my own interests (heaven forbid, decorating!) ahead of him (uh, no). Now that he’s firmly in the arms of his betroughed … [my typo] … he is complimenting me on those same interests, blowing them out of proportion when he talks to people, coming in the house and saying, “I love what you’ve done to the place”. It’s insane. It makes absolutely no sense. He is moving to “friend zone” without permission from me.

      I’ve cut him off … I don’t need him as my cheerleader.

      • Seeing as how they’re generally pigs, “betroughed” is the perfect word!

    • Ms K,
      You are very mighty indeed and maybe your ex wants to get some credit on that. Or he can see the integrity and strength he is lacking.
      Wishing you the best on your treatment, take extra good care!

    • Ms. K–so glad you beat your cancer! I hope your new cheater-free life is peaceful and fulfilling.

    • He wants some fallout cancer kibbles. He thinks that if he polishes his false image as the supportive ex of a cancer patient, folks will be falling all over him with how great he is instead of seeing the slime bucket he really is.

      So happy you are away from him!

      • Thanks for all the well wishes. ? Like many I still have mixed emotions about everything but the best thing my STBXH did was moving the ho-worker down the road. The pick me dance ended that day. Your future is easy to read when someone that you have spent 22 years of your life with does something so despicable at the lowest point of your life. There is no fog, midlife crisis, or depression that can justify that. He made my decision a no brainer. Many thanks again.

  • Whatever CL and CN are doing to keep this site prominent, is working!!!!

    Three years ago I googled about affairs, and found a ton of reconciliation sites. I spent $50 on an e-book to fix us (Fuckwit said, “Well, at least I’m worth THAT much”) … I pick-me danced and stayed around for the verbal abuse, false reconciliation, and now the knowledge that him and Twatface are “thriving”. Three years ago it was only a fluke I saw this site; it was buried deep on the third page.

    So three years later, the other night, even though I’m trying to get on with things (malignant daydreaming, anyone?), I googled a thought I was having, and third down from the top, on the first google screen, was Chump Lady!!!!! Page one!!! It’s working!!!!

    As for me … Mighty? Hardly, but I stood my ground at a meeting with him recently, lost it only once, but angrily, not emotionally. I have an internal UBT now, so what he says doesn’t have the effect it used to. I managed to salvage my clients, I’ve maintained my amazing immune system through the shit storm, I don’t look older than my age anymore (apparently I look younger), and I have a dollar left from every pay to spend however I want. Things are looking up.

    Thank you, Tracy. You mean the world to me.

  • Mine is that I survived seeing my xw again and didn’t lose it. On the contrary, I have a new feeling. I now see what my family saw her as, just a manipulative, annoying person who I’d never find any attraction to. I was civil, but grey rock.
    Some on here know that my daughter had a serious brain issue with a massive blood clot, hemorrhaging and a seizure (she’s doing much better now, 2.5 mo later). I was by her side immediately and her mom arrived the next day. She was great with Tasha, but really treated the ICU staff and others with contempt. I truly wondered who the he’ll this person was. Then it came to me that that is how people who see through her mask see her. I felt relieved that seeing her again didn’t cause a set back, and I’ll be able to see her any time and not feel anything but annoyance in her presence. That was a huge step for me. Right through the gates of MEH. I’m truly there now.
    P.S. I arrived Monday night, xw arrived Tuesday noon. Tuesday evening I entered Meh. 🙂

  • Your timing on a mightiness post could not have come at a better time. I did not feel mighty this week. I started a new quarter of graduate school (I’m becoming a counselor to help fellow chumps) and was sick all week. I did not get the contempt numbers compiled for the attorney or clean my house. I barely made it through the school week. Taking a couples and family counseling class is presenting a new emotional challenge.

    Fast forward to today (Friday), I am feeling great, have all of my school work done, and am going with my 20 year old son to celebrate my daughter’s recent engagement with her! Thanks to this site, I realize that mightiness does not mean perfection. It means tackling one task, one memory, one challenge of post-cheater life at a time. I have gone from feeling stuck, overwhelmed, scared, and sick to my stomach most of the time to almost having a master’s degree, a little house that is all mine, and amazing relationships with both of my adult kids. I love hearing everyone’s mightiness stories. Our Tuesdays are coming!!!!

  • I was months into the discard when I found Chump Lady. What this site did for me was put recovery into hyperdrive–and not just recovery from infidelity. This is where I worked out that I needed to put my focus on my own life and not on finding happiness through a relationship.

    This hasn’t been my mightiest year, but I’ve been tested as much of the infrastructure I build up post-day has been in a state of change. My life-changing yoga studio closed. The gym moved and changed focus. I’m fighting to get 10 extra pounds off. A beloved companion cat died suddenly. I played on a sucky team with sucky coaches. I turned 65 and had to go on Medicare instead of having my awesome health insurance. But that’s just normal life change. And my mightiness is that while I feel the losses and disruptions. I’ve been able to do it with way more grace than I would have four years ago. I know now that I can get through anything, that I’ve become a confident woman really living my own life.

    Most of my mightiness has involved taking the house to the next level. I’m pretty proud that I decided to replace my HVAC unit before it died in some polar vortex moment. I got bids from three companies and made a good decision. One of the companies really tried to cheat me and I saw through the “con”–but the funny thing is that bid helped me decide what I really needed. So even the encounters with cons and cheater folks of various types have potential to help us gauge our ability to maintain a life with integrity. This was also the year that I decided it was time to refresh the inside of my house, which was quite nice but sort of froze during the discard phase. Now I have a mini-gallery in the living room, done with IKEA frame ledges, that show off my own photography. I bought a piece of furniture that I fell in love with. I rearranged some other stuff, including my walk-in closet so that I am more organized. I also decided that a TV in the bedroom might help me with the sleep issue. And I am proud to report that I think I’ve finally mastered leaf season, with help from the Very Kind Man (such a smart Virgo guy) and Hard Working College Kid, who moves mulch and gravel like a pro.

    Every year gets better, even the years where things go badly wrong, because we have the strength, the resilience, the confidence and the character to live through it all and learn.

    • Your recovery from narcissistic abuse has helped so many of us, LAJ, because you do model strength and resiliency and wisdom.

      I will be channeling you and your house remodeling successes when I attempt repair of a leaking reverse osmosis system, with help from youtube videos.

  • Five years of life changing words. I don’t check in daily anymore, but happened to today. I flashed back to where I was five years ago today, and it was in the thick of The Troubles. I was at Peak Chump. I found CL just a few months after your first post and was so relieved to know I was not walking alone. Thank you, thank you, thank you.

    My mightiness shows itself in less stunning contrast than it did when I first lost the cheater and gained a life. It is in the quiet confidence I have found. If I don’t want to do something, I now simply politely decline. I am formidable, but still friendly. I’m in a great relationship, and expressing my needs comes almost as naturally as taking my next breath. And magically, I am heard, and my requests are responded to, because they are valid and valued.

    Current Chumps: it gets better. You deserve better.

  • I am in awe of all of the mighty people on Chump Lady and of Chump Lady herself who took her own tragic tale and turned it into something positive to help other people.

    I don’t know if this counts as mighty, but I did do some things to improve my life shortly after D-Day so I would not fall apart. Most notably I started making new friends nearby. We had moved a couple of years before. It was his idea to move, but I was the one who got the job in the new location and had been so busy with getting up to speed at work and looking after the family (including STBX though he didn’t recognize it) that I hadn’t had much chance to socialize. The first thing I did was sign up for dance classes. The other thing I did was initiate a monthly “girl’s night out” with some of the other moms in the neighborhood. I also started confiding in a coworker. These things have all helped me tremendously. I have people to talk to on a regular basis and things to look forward to.

    My co-worker has been there since the beginning. She is the one who overheard my half of the conversation when Schmoopie’s husband called to tell me about the affair. She had gotten divorced the year before. The issues in her marriage were different but related so she was able to offer a lot of advice and wisdom. At dancing class I met two other chumps (one male, one female) who are both farther along in their journey. I did not tell the neighborhood moms about the infidelity (although some may suspect), but I did tell them that my husband had moved out because he wasn’t “in love” with me anymore. The girl’s night out is mostly just fun, but they have been sympathetic to my situation even without all of the sordid details. They are also having fun with it themselves and are very glad somebody took the initiative to start it up. This makes me feel like something good has come out of it all not just for me but for them too. I told them it is a shame I had to wait until tragedy struck to start making friends but that I was glad I was doing it now.

  • Look forward to your blog every day !
    Went thru a very high profile divorce six years ago. And now for last two years ex narc and OW have been suing me. I have a great story although he is breaking me in all ways. He is powerful and well respected but actually a true siciopath. He stays well hidden so far. How do I get my story out?

  • Being Mighty: I no longer pain shop. I bought a software program that will not allow me to access Facebook. But, the OW takes a particular delight in posting loved up photos of them together. So sentimental and luvy duvy it would make Hallmark gag. I thought I could not resist peeking at their life.
    (Funny-they left out photos documenting their money problems, substance abuse & legal issues…hmmmmm.)

    I would wake up in the middle of the night, throat dry, heart pounding and look. Inevitably, this would lead to abject agony of the weeping kind for about 3 days.

    No more. I don’t know anything about the freaks. Nothing. They are a leaf falling in Turkmenistan.

    If you want to turbo charge your path to Meh, this is in the top 3 slots. When I feel that gut punch about him (and her) I just get busy or pour a stiff drink. The crying has stopped. The reminiscing and mourning is down to about 15%.

    Who would have thought I had this self control? With a little help from a very smart computer person. I also had a trusted friend who reminds me of a stern prison warden set the password to this program. I don’t know it. She will never give it. So, I can’t sneak and peek.

    I finally grasped checking the blasted site was akin to slamming myself in the face with a sledge hammer. And then wondering why I was bleeding.

  • Good to read such positive comments! Keep it up, Chumpinators.

    Me? Well, I’m 1,934 tiles into a 3,200+ marble tile ombre in my new bathroom. Cut out, re lathe and set new tub/cement board myself. With any luck will finish this weekend. Huge improvement.

  • I forgot the date of my wedding anniversary. Yep. It didn’t even register.

    This post is so timely. I just read a horoscope (I know) that said look back to what was happening in 2009 because there is some similar energies/epiphanies to be had. Gagh, I had no recall and dug through some old documents because I was curious. Oh ya – I was getting the paperwork together to apply for my divorce. (Where I live it is the last stage, a year post legal separation.) Despite the EX discarding me for years, leaving me in limbo for a year while he ‘thought about things’ and then false reconciliation, and buying a new home and with new GF (not OW) and expecting a child with her after only 5 months, he absolutely refused to ask his lawyer to file the paperwork. Really, all if would have taken was a phone call. As usual, I had to take care it. This sums up our relationship.

    I remember that feeling in the pit of my stomach. I remember the anxiety of wondering what was next. I remember wondering if I was strong enough. I remember the lingering low self esteem and thinking I was fat and old and unlovable.

    Gosh — how far I have come. Today, I think now, wow girl – you did it. You rocked. He really is a world class fucktard. My karmic debt is paid off in full.

    Newbies, I know it is difficult. Keep reading. Keep going. You got this.

    And, Tracy, that is wonderful news! You freakin’ rock. Finding your site was important to my healing 2.0.

  • Tracy, I am SO PROUD of you. You have modelled that this does not destroy you, and that you really do gain a life when you lose a cheater. Modelling is more powerful than words. Thank you so much!

    My mightiness: I am now a fully fledged citizen of the state of Meh.

    It leaves me free to focus on me. My plans haven’t come to fruition yet, but I have plans and I am working on them!

  • I’m coming up on a year of being divorced, a year and a half of successfully fighting X’s attempts to get full placement with our youngest, who is in his mid-teens. During our fruitless rounds of mediation on it, X catastrophized his way through, claiming that our son was going to become “one angry kid” if he had to share time between our homes and that if I forced the issue, he was going to “crash and burn.” Mediation had no effect and X continued to go for full placement. I refused to back down and let my pit-bull attorney handle it.

    This was around the same time I discovered that X had been setting up meetings with teachers and administrators at our son’s school without my knowledge and had been telling them tall tales about how he was the “primary” parent because I travelled for work all the time (as a SAHM with part-time work in my home office) and that’s why I couldn’t show up for meetings or for parent/teacher conferences that he would also reschedule without my knowledge, go by himself, and then tell me it was all “taken care of” (that happened while I was still a chump, after I called him on it he just became more stealth about setting up meetings without me).

    Our son’s grades plummeted and X continued trying to alienate him even after I won 50/50 placement. But I didn’t get down in the gutter with him, focused on making my home into a welcoming place for our son, and let the teachers and administrators at his school know what had been happening and that they were on notice not to ever exclude me from a meeting or conference again.

    Earlier this week I went to my second parent-teacher conferences alone–once he lost the image-management/placement battle, X stopped bothering. I now have a great rapport with our son’s teachers, and all of them were so happy and proud to report on the amazing progress he’s made this year, both with his grades and socially. More than one told me, “He really seems to be coming in to his own.”

    I’m so close to Meh that I don’t even want to rub all of this in X’s face and tell him how wrong he was. I just enjoy watching our son blossom and was so cheered when our oldest son told me after a recent visit that his brother really enjoys his time at my house and likes it when Dad travels, which has resulted in more than 50/50 time with me. Something I had faith would happen thanks to reading so many similar stories here, which continues to be a source of wisdom and inspiration for me.

  • “I believe in YOUR miracles”…

    Chokes me up

    Sincere thanks from one of the Saved,

  • I love reading through these comments, especially the stories from the fabled land of Meh.

    I’ve come a long way, but I’m not there yet. This week marks 1 year since ILYBINILWY, when the suspicions and pick-me dance started, even before D-Day truly arrived. I was absolutely miserable last year and had no self-esteem, trying desperately to save a marriage to an ass-munch who didn’t deserve any of that.

    Our divorce will be finalized in a few weeks. I’m so much stronger now. I’m happy again, and I feel free to be myself. Not just freer than I was last year, but freer than I was even in these recent years, when I thought things were okay. Life is pretty good.

    I found Chump Lady in January, when I was puzzled by this yucky feeling I had deep inside. Despite mostly feeling good back then, I felt this dark resentment, as if I were hanging onto something still. Did I need to forgive his cheating in order to move on? That sure didn’t seem fair.

    Chump Lady finally purged that dark yucky feeling. The resentment came from holding onto the what-ifs. From thinking I still could have saved the marriage. From blaming myself. From hating what happened. And from questioning if any of the good times were real. Had I really wasted 20 years of my life?

    Reading the book and joining this community have shown me that I’m not alone. That sometimes crap happens, and it’s not our fault. That we can do everything right and be truly authentic, and shit will still hit the fan. “Forgiveness” is not the answer. It’s really just spackle on our soul and pushes the resentment deeper down. True honesty is the answer.

    No longer making excuses, I can see my STBXH for who he really is. I can see how much I did to compensate for his shortcomings over the years. I can see that my love was always authentic, and my relationship with myself and my kids will continue to thrive for that.

    I make sure that my kids understand the importance of honesty, openness, and acceptance. I underscore the importance of these values in a truly loving family. Life is too short for liars and cheats.

    And it’s too short for spackle.

    • Here goes,, three months since Dday, when H confessed to paying prostitutes for 20 years of our 38 year marriage. That day I insisted he leave, the next week I spoke to my Minister, hired an attorney, found a counselor, told our 3 grown children and his sister. Also had std testing,, ( all clear). I was blindsided but certain that I had to take action.

      Legal separation in the works, while my emotional strength varies from day to day. He is doing some work to understand his issues..although it is getting real so he has gone on a ski trip for 10 days. Had to get out of town.

      He is justifying, blaming, and in denial.. some of the bs comments have been,, ” I thought I could put this all behind me when I retired” and “there are some things about you that I like” , He can’t remember all the details , so I only have a vague idea of his activities..

      I have lost trust, respect and hope.. I know I will survive, and will continue to enjoy my children, grand babies, friends and my church..

      There was love and a lot of fun in our marriage,, adjusting to a new reality is very difficult, I will be 61 this year..I will be mighty..

      • K, you’re already mighty! You moved fast and haven’t been taken in by his half-hearted ‘work on himself’.

        You will be met, one Tuesday, and you will be happier, I promise!

  • This blog saved me. I found it and wrote in to CL within two weeks of my asshole wasband telling me he had been cheating for our 8 year relationship and 1.5 year marriage with >10 people for varying amounts of time. I was shocked since we were trying to get pregnant and sad for him that he was such a sick person and was alone and had no family. It was just this past June but through reading this blog and your stories (everyday) and CL’s response to me which was the bitch slap I needed (” honey he’s not alone..he’s got fuck buddies 1-10″) I found the strength to move out less than 1 month after discovering this, get a bigger settlement then I would have had we retained lawyers, divorce his disgusting ass officially within 5 months of finding out and then use his stupid money to freeze some of my eggs so maybe he won’t take my chance of having a family away. I am mighty because I left his ass and did this IVF process alone over my first holidays alone and I survived. And some Tuesdays I’ve reached MEH. Without you’re stories I would have tried to spackle that shit and would have believed he could change but your stories were too similar. Because you told your stories I could leave my cheater and take control of my life. Thank you CL and CN!

  • I am Mighty, because at the end of this month, I’ll be going to settlement to purchase my very own home.

    I was a cleaning lady while my kids were in school, gave up my great job, so that I could be home for my kids after school, so that he could flourish in his career. And what did the asshole say one time after separation? “it’s not my fault that you don’t have a career” Asshole!!

    Well guess what? I got a really good job, I travel to other countries, I am surrounded by inspiring Entrepreneurs.

    I now know he sucks. He lost me, (beautiful inside and out, hard working, fun, excellent cook, loved by all family and friends, admired by my kids) and what did I loose by divorcing him? I lost a selfish asshole!!!

    I not only survived infidelity, I survived the years of abuse, while he was in the Affair, because no matter how wonderful I looked, my house looked, my food tasted, or my kids did – nothing was ever good enough, there was always something I did, that could of been done better.. according to him!!!

    I start to tear up tears of joy, every time I think of where I was and where I am now. I am Mighty!

    • Good for you, MightyAgain! I too have tears of joy in comparing now to then. You are strong and beautiful. Here’s to your beautiful cheater free life!

  • Tracy, Thank you so much for this site. The support of CN has made such a difference for me personally!

    I took the medical tests no 50 year old woman married 20+ years should ever have to take and all were negative. I’m pretty sure this was just a lucky thing because it surely wasn’t caution or caring on the part of my cheater. I am glad there will be no lingering issues here, I know many chumps get a parting gift that keeps giving and that pisses me off to no end.

    Better yet, I met Lotus Dancer at a chump meetup and she connected me with a job resource and we both got hired. We both start Monday at the same place. I will have a friend at my new workplace and I couldn’t be more thrilled!

    Best of all, that job opens my path to living cheater-free and being able to buy him out of the house and keep my daughter in her same bedroom, same school, same friends. This was my goal all along – so I am glad to be able to do it. I sometimes struggled to keep my faith that things could work the way I wanted them, but it is in reach now.

    Finally, I have been completely open about what happened to my marriage and what was done TO me. I don’t feel responsible for the choices he made, there were alternatives at every turn. I haven’t been dripping “why me?” just flat out “he is a lying cheater” and guess what? I have no Switzerland friends. Not one. I’m sure I’ll have Switzerland acquaintances, but when they surface, I’ll know why they were distant to begin with.

    I love this place and it has made a huge difference in my confidence that I am making the right choices for my future. I don’t feel mighty most of the time but just the act of claiming my accomplishments, in this moment I do feel mighty. Kind of like a force to be reckoned with!

  • There are so many times when I cant find the words to accurately describe living a lifetime with a serial cheater, narcissist/sociopath. And then I come here and somehow find a post that accurately describes or gives me insight stating the truth so eloquently. Nomar wrote:

    “Trying to take comfort in, “She loved others, but she loved me best,” is a table-long Super Bowl-size subway shit sandwich. If she loved others, she didn’t love you. Because love does not trick, cheat, or equivocate. Love is not okay with causing pain. Love comforts, respects, and protects.

    Cheaters use words like love the way parrots use language, phonetically, mechanically, without meaning, and the sooner chumps realize this, the sooner they can disengage.”

    Thank you Nomar. If it weren’t for this site I know I would never have disengaged or discovered], “Love comforts, respects, and protects.” This finally helped me understand HOW to set my bar high.

  • Been loving today’s post and comments Tracey and Chump Nation! As always, I’m so damn grateful I stumbled onto this community when searching for “leaving a cheater” on Google.

    So, coming up on my one-year anniversary of D-Day, which I haven’t even been thinking about until I decided to write this here comment. Which says a lot about my state of Meh! Achieved! So much has happened since I left my cheater and lost my pregnancy. Been really working at fixing my picker. My first relationship out of the gate (2 months) was with another cheater and I dropped him like a hot potato. My second was with a nice, non-cheating but unavailable man (3 months) whom I left after he wouldn’t commit to a relationship.

    Because you know what? I’ve come to the conclusion that I’m worth investing in. In therapy the other night I was beating up on myself for all the “mistakes” I’ve made in choosing shitty partners to commit to, and putting myself and my needs on the back burner. My therapist said something I’ll never forget, and I want to share it with my fellow chumps. She said: “Yes, you’ve made mistakes. But you’ve *caught* them. And every time you’ve had a feeling that something wasn’t right with someone, you’ve been RIGHT.”

    It made me think of something Tempest posted yesterday, as to why we have to get someone else’s permission (I’m paraphrasing) to stand up for ourselves and do what’s right for us. And I can’t answer that for anyone else, but for me it’s because I lacked a stronger sense of myself and my worth. And I wasn’t really surrounding myself with people who reflect my most deeply held values. Now I recognize that, and I’ve been working toward it, and making decisions aligned with my real values. It’s not always easy to do, but every time I do it, my self-respect strengthens. And if that’s not a foundation for self-love, what is? Sending love out to all of you, I’m just so damn grateful for this place.

  • When I wrote to you about three years ago, I was at the lowest point in my life and contemplating suicide

    Today. I have just accepted my first ever permanent job after clawing back my career. I finished two (!) new undergraduate degrees in 2015, relocated back to my home country and went 100% no contact except for logistical emails and texts about the kids. I self-published a non-fiction book relating to my work that I wrote over the past year every morning whilst the kids are asleep, and have nearly completed the first draft of the second! I’ve set up a blog and website to support my brand and hope to start delivering paid workshops on the side this year.

    I’m rebuilding old friendships and now that we are stable, I’m contemplating making new ones this year.

    I lost people, life savings, dignity, and trust in the process, but I am feeling pretty damn mighty having clawed my way this far out of the hole I was in. MOST important is that the children are doing well and we are a close little family of three. You and Chump Nation came along at just the right time. Thank you all so much for that virtual 2×4 to the head.

  • Ex h pulled up behind me on the way to work. I saw this and flipped him off privately below the dash and tuned back into my podcast. A couple miles down the road he passsed me and I noticed his car and remembered that he had been behind me. I remembered because I had already forgotten!! This is the most meh moment I’ve had.