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5 Years of Chump Lady? 5 Lessons Learned

Hey, today the Chump Lady blog turns 5 years old! No longer a toddler blog, it has fully formed incisors and can bite the heads off unicorns. When I started this venture, I thought it would just be a brain dump for what I learned about infidelity (stupidly, blunderingly) so you wouldn’t make the same mistakes I did. Little did I know this brainchild would morph into an enterprise closing in on 14 million views, a book deal, and a Hollywood agent. Blogs. They grow up so fast!

You might wonder what it’s like to read hundreds of thousands of infidelity stories over five years. (Not including the wasted time I spent on reconciliation boards huffing the hopium pipe, long ago.) What is it like to be entrusted with chumps’ 5,000-word, single-spaced grief-vomit emails? Hourly? Daily? Weekly? Yearly?

Humbling. Startling (yes, things still surprise me). Inspiring.

In honor of five straight years of this Chump Lady endeavor, I thought I’d share five things I learned from Chump Nation.

1. You are not alone. When I got chumped, I thought I was Freak of the Week, that my life was a Jerry Springer episode, that few had suffered anything so tawdry and mortifying. Fact is, this infidelity shit is really common. My cheater wasn’t unique – he was predictable. And my chump experience? I served a light sentence. I’m a rank amateur compared with what most people here have suffered. (I had a short marriage and no children with him.)

What I’ve learned reading all these shocking stories of cheating cheaters and the people who cheat with them is that not only is evil banal, it needs a better scriptwriter. “I love you but I’m not in love with you.” “He’s just a friend.” “I never intended to hurt you.” Really? Is that the best you got?

There are a lot of people roaming this planet who have empty elevator shafts where their souls should be. A lot of us saw “potential” in empty elevator shafts. Don’t be embarrassed. The chump condition is common, but fixable. The good news is, if you’re in pain from betrayal? You have a soul. It’s better than the alternative. Trust me, you have something to work with.

2. The world is way more twisted than I thought. Thanks to Chump Nation, I got a whole education on sex workers, sex tourism, underage prostitution, sexual trafficking, ranking sex workers like Amazon purchases, “sex addiction,” web-cam sex – and some idea as to what all these past-times cost. (Your pension, an inheritance, that Christmas bonus you never saw – oh hey, there’s another lesson – infidelity goes with financial infidelity. Double lives cost money.)

For some reason the discourse around cheating is on one-night stands and exit affairs liberating cheaters from oppressive Unhappiness. When in fact, cake – a partner and fuckbuddies (paid and unpaid) – is a lifestyle for many. I would argue that cake-eating (serial cheating) is the NORM for infidelity, and everything else is an aberration. We’ve got it backwards.

Researchers – come study this! Do we ever have a dataset here or what?

Let me also add to the “twisted” column the ubiquity (and profitability) of married dating sites.

3. Chump Nation is a rainbow nation. And I don’t mean unicorns. Cheating is not a gender thing, or an orientation thing, or race thing, or a left-handed Unitarian thing – cheating is a character thing. Anyone can be chumped. Trusting someone and loving with your whole heart is human. We’re a big tribe.

4. Chump Nation is changing the conversation. You know what’s cooler than meeting someone in real life who reads this blog? Hearing Chumpisms in common discourse – the pick me dance, shit sandwich, kibbles! Not only are we changing the conversation that infidelity is abusive, we’re changing the discourse away from pansy-ass euphemisms. You did that, Chump Nation! Bitch cookie! (No, a REAL cookie, because this is a REAL accomplishment!)

5. Chump Nation is MIGHTY. There might be a lot of twisted, dark stories and empty elevator shafts, but there is more mightiness. Only one motherfucker cheated on you. How many more people held you up?

Why do I keep doing this, for five straight years? I’ve been writing about infidelity far longer than I experienced it. I come back because you all inspire me. Because I cheer for the underdog. Because you won’t be down and out for long. Soon you’ll outgrow this place, gain that life, or maybe (I hope) stick around and bolster the newbies with tales of new-found meh.

Thanks for five years! I find it auspicious that today of all days, Starbucks has just come out with a special unicorn drink. I wonder what it tastes like? (Sad sausage tears?) Tell me in the comments!

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    • Three Cheers to Chump Lady!
      Have I really been around for that long?

      I feel proud to have been a member of Chump Nation (and CL devotee) because of all of those who came after me….
      People I send books to (Vol. I and I)
      Please I helped support via this site, email and face-to-face
      Hearing “chumpisms” that are now part of the legal lexicon (my lawyer using D-day and skein of fuckedupness in her practice!)
      Friends who send friends to me who I send here
      Following the mighty stories that get even mightier as time goes on
      Following the Chump Nation offspring as they navigate past age 18 and become thriving adults who understand commitment and stand by their sane parent after years of eating shit sandwiches

      Thank you Chump Lady and Chump Nation. Long may it live, thrive and show the world who rules in the long run!

    • This is the first time I’ve posted but I found CL very shortly after my discard 5 months ago and I am so eternally grateful. I started off buying “Concious Uncoupling”, “How to befriend your ex” etc books which I might as well use as toilet paper (actually a ceremonial burning might be on the cards) but ended up actually finding useful “Psychopath Free”, “So why does he do that?” And, of course, “Leave a cheater, gain a life” (and a few more similar although none anything like as funny). Your explanations and metaphors are just so spot on and it is so good to be able to laugh at them – their boring banal predictability really does deserve contempt. Honestly, I really am grateful he has gone now I realise quite how toxic he was/is. Unfortunately we have 2 children – and his horrendousness has now been transferred to them. He told me he was moving out 19 Nov last year, we told the children 6 December, he introduced other woman after 3 weeks to DDs age 14 and 11, hardly saw them but when he did always included her, took her back to UK for 3 weeks to meet his parents end of Jan (hadn’t been on holiday at all with us for over 3 years, we went without with him, MIL complete bitch – another story!) and is getting married to her next weekend (we were together more than 20 years but never married – again, another story!). My elder daughter ended up contacting a suicide prevention line the night he came back from UK as she was so anxious about the prospect of having to go and stay with him and fiancée the following weekend, we had visit from police and trip to emergency – fortunately all reasons documented so helped give her some agency (with support of her psychologist) to limit contact and no fiancée since. My daughters still haven’t decided whether to go to the wedding or not (something they shouldn’t have to be deciding at their age, so soon after our separation). My elder daughter became sick today with a potentially very serious condition, has had bloods/urine and we are awaiting more results tomorrow so that we know (we are both doctors so he understands this) and he emails me this evening to ask when we can talk about reintroducing his fiancée to the girls. The man is a psychopath, or as my therapist (who I chose because I knew he was Buddhist and was hoping he would help me through the process with compassion) told me after my first appointment “you have spent the last 20 years with a controlling, emotionally and psychologically abusive and, at times cruel, man”. Sorry – long post! Anyway, thank god for chump lady. There is a lot more to my story too and I don’t think I would still be standing without CL and CN. Thank you all 🙂

      • Your daughters are fortunate to have you and your advocacy on their side. Although their experiences (and yours) sound horrible, you are doing a great job being mighty for them. I am wishing you calmer days very soon.

      • Ceremonial burning, offer the smoke of bullshit to the cheater gods and stick around here for mightiness.

        Let us know how you are, OutOfSparkles, and how your daughter does. Your story helps us all carry on.

      • OutOfSparkles – Welcome to CN, I’m so sorry for your pain, but happy you found our community!

        I’m eating the same kind of shit sandwich, my kiddo was younger than your daughters when I found out about my X’s affair, moved out and divorced him. He pulled spectacularly sucky moves during the divorce proceedings, and continues to do so post-divorce.

        It hurts like a MF to have our kiddo exposed to pain and setbacks because of how badly he sucks in ways that the courts won’t consider as reasons to change our custody plan… Yes, lots of shit sandwiches gobbled down…

        It’s been a rough couple of years since Dday and the divorce, but I’m starting to see Meh at the horizon… I am as NC as possible with a kid, and I get to surround my kiddo with more support than he wanted me to, our kiddo started therapy at 9, has a great tutor, and a village of good friends that find her dad’s behavior as quintessentially abhorrent as it gets… I keep documenting, and keep moving forward in picking up the pieces of my life, building great new memories to crowd the sickiness out…

        Hang in there OutOfSparkles!!

      • OutOfSparkles, thanks for sharing your painful story. I hope your daughters manage their way, with your support, through this shit. But especially you. Huge hug.

        As one who also never married (3 kids all now over 18) I relate. Almost 30 years living together. Mine wasn’t involved in an exit/discard affair. But when you saI’d it was five months after D-day, and he’s marrying the OW, I just threw up a little in my mouth. The reasons we didn’t marry were mostly mine (I thought mutual, but can now see he went along with my reasoning.) But the lack of a period in which the legalities of ‘down time’ prior to divorce seems so … hard to take. I am so sorry.

        The OW in my case, I had known (a ‘friend’ yep) for (now) around 38 years. And she bought a wedding dress whilst they were fucking! He never knew. It was discussed once and he told her she was delusional if she thought he would marry her, after having so many (mostly) wonderful years with me. Why would he marry her? Obviously the message did not compute, because she also lost a ring at one point and told him it was okay, “because she’d be getting a new one soon, right?” He thought she was joking. Riiiiight. Hilarious. Not joking. Just a bunny boiler. Just so sorry you are dealing with such a fucktard.

      • Thinking about you OutofSparkles. Praying your daughter is okay and you make it through this. As the sane parent, you have your priorities straight. It’s hard to go through all of this and try to navigate it for children too.

        My fucktard exhusband was miserable to be around. Controlling and nothing was ever good enough. I walked around on egg shells. Mine decided to run off into the sunset with our daugther’s assistant high school soccer coach. Daughter 14, coach 20’s, fucktard 48.

        When I found out, I had competing emotions-sick pit in my stomach and relief. It’s like I got a ‘get out of jail free’ card. My DDay was a year ago. I spent several months walking around in a daze and reading all I could. Found CL and CN in November and has opened my eyes.

        My fucktard looks like a semi truck ran over him these days. The sunset wasn’t nearly as fun and exciting as he thought. I hope the karma bus is waiting for yours too!

    • Tracey,

      Thank you so much for your book and this blog. I am forever grateful for the anonymous person who sent me your book (even though it may have been one of his APs). This connected me to your blog, which quickly became part of my daily reading.

      I have a friend who started speaking out about her own domestic abuse after a friend and her kids were killed by her husband. She felt if she’d talked about it, the friend may have felt comfortable confiding in her. Your blog has given me the voice to speak about the abuse of infidelity.

      What have I learned from you?
      1. Infidelity is abuse.
      2. Trust TheSpinDoctor sucks.
      3. There is no need to hide the facts. It is better to speak up about the abuse.
      4. No contact works wonders.
      5. Cheaters feel entitled to cheat no matter what, and will do so no matter who they’re with.
      6. Never pick me dance!
      The list goes on.

      I’ve purchased your book for many people and I will continue doing so whenever I hear of someone who is in the nightmare of infidelity.

      You are a jewel!

      Meredith

    • I found you very close to 5 years ago. Desperate, and through random Google searches. Very happy I did. Meh is soon for me now the roller coaster ride is coming to an end at last.

    • ChumpLady….Thank you from the bottom of my very happy heart!!!
      I was married 25 years to a serial cheater, terrible excuse of a husband and father. Three kids with him. He left in May of 2016, for his latest chick, and thankfully I found you shortly after. I dried up my tears, got a theme song (Done by Band Called Perry) and walked as part of my therapy.
      She dumped him five days after he moved out (thank you Karma) and when he asked back …it was too late. I found my worth!
      He had several AP’s so number two got to step in to first position. Just weeks after my divorce was final I found out he was engaged to her. I felt sorrow for him being soulless and for her choosing to endure what I did for 25 years.
      Only five months after divorce and my walls sing! So do I!
      I’m a year away from finishing my degree, my daughter was inducted into the National Junior Honor Society, I got the house free and clear and all is well.
      The cherry on top? My best friend of 33 years said he always wanted to be with me! He’s a great guy. We are vacationing this summer to see where things go. I’m taking it slow and enjoying life.
      None of this would be possible without you!
      A million THANKS!!!

  • Tracey, CL, Chump Nation.
    Thank-you so much. Unfortunately that seems like such a tiny, small, impossibly common word for everything I feel about you, this site and chump nation members.
    It is a feeling I expect that everyone knows well encompassing things like deep gratitude, relief, joy (I can belly laugh through some of this? ) and just the sheer healing-ness of knowing I am understood, not alone and will come out in a place a lot better than the one I was in when I first felt the bottom drop out of my world.
    I cannot find the words to express what I feel, I will just trust again (and what a deep satisfaction it is to know that I can still use that word too) that chumps know what I mean.
    Much, much love and thanks to all. ❤️

    • Worded so much better than I could have!! But I feel the same way. This experience (although it’s happened to me an awful lot with different partners) has changed me. Your blog site has also changed me, I can now:

      1. Articulate my feelings about cheating a lot clearer and easier

      2. Break down other people’s bullshit with counter arguements that actually make sense

      3. Feel more confident that other people’s crappyness is not my fault

      4. Understand boundaries a bit better when it comes to friends and children.

      One final thing. No one wants to win the prize in the “crappy dad” lottery but my overactive mind had a theory – maybe he could not offer them what they needed in life, maybe the input of other adults is needed in order to help them develop, perhaps this really is to their benefit and is designed by nature in ways that we can’t understand, it takes a village to raise a child. So I’m off on my adventures and nature/supreme being/universe has removed this waste of space from our everyday lives to make space for other more interesting, more inspiring role models.

      • MidlifeBlast, I love your final thought on crappy dad! I never thought of it that way but WOW! So true! My kids have been blessed with
        some amazing people (grandparents, uncles, coaches, teachers) who I believe will help them learn things their dad never could teach. As always CL and CN help me see things in a new way! Thanks and congrats on 5 years!

        • After 4 months mine seems to be turning into a crappy day, was ok not great before.
          He has them for a few days and after I told him they had made sone money selling off some old toys on ebay he said he might need to borrow the money from them as he is broke,, umm hell no.
          10 weeks after I threw him out the kids don’t have proper beds for the occasions they stay there. Mediation coming up I said get beds or they wont be staying with you. Sigh…

          • So sorry to hear this, Lady B! My BFF co-parents (three boys ages 16-12) with a narcissist who LIVES IN HIS VAN and still gets to have visitation! The system is insane. They don’t stay over obviously, but he comes and parks in her driveway and “parents” them while using her wi-fi to stream movies on his laptop. This has been going on for three years.

            The lesson? Keep being the sane parent as CL has said. You can’t control what happens with him (though you can demand certain rights for them and go back to court again and again), and they need you to be strong and consistent and loving.

            You can do this! You’ve already kicked him out, which proves your mightiness!

            • “a narcissist who LIVES IN HIS VAN and still gets to have visitation! …. he comes and parks in her driveway and “parents” them while using her wi-fi to stream movies on his laptop.”

              As Tracy says, the world is more twisted than she imagined.

            • Mediation in Aus is not through the courts as neither of us have the money and this is a better option, frankly 1 night a fortnight and two evening or a full day a week is plenty. I would prefer the kids spend 80 percent time with me. They are bonded with me and he has to work crazy hours because he racked up debt on his whore and attempts to fill the void he has been trying to fill since forever, sorry but that’s your soul your trying to find. I figure they will be better off, he is deeply selfish. He was supposed to have them Wednesday to Friday but now has to work Friday, work has been his excuse for everything, that and being tired oh and me, loves to blame me…

      • Yes MidlifeBlast, I agree with you. Your kids lost a roof, but gained the stars. A cliché for sure, but true.

    • Well said, Capricorn. One of my friends has been going through rough times with her husband for years now (no cheating is involved, he is emotionally abusive and she wants to end it but feels guilty to break up the marriage because of the kids). She told me she opened up to other friends and did not find any support, only scolding, shaming, accusations for even thinking to divorce him, etc. She was more upset with her friends than with her husband. She thought noone understood her and she felt unheard.

      I realized how lucky I am to have found CL and CN – people that understand me, never tire of my complaints, give me the ear, the shoulder and the back, grace me with their stories where I often see way more pain than mine, way more years wasted, and yet way more wisdom and strength gained. I was on my knees broken when I found CL. I got up, picked up the pieces, glued them together and started functioning again. I have a plan for the next year (get rid of the cheater) and I am making plans for the next five. My head is clear. Sometimes I still feel my heart did not catch up yet to my mind but I quickly resort to reading the CL and the hopium dissolves.

      CL and CN, thank you. From the bottom of my chumpy heart. I love you.

      • Longtimechump–Please tell your friend that kids do NOT benefit from an intact family where one partner is being emotionally abused. In fact, the boys who see an abusive father paired with a docile mother who just takes it are worse off than boys being raised by a single mother. The girls are also at risk for getting into the same type of emotionally (and/or physically) abusive relationships in their adult years.

        Your friend should line up her ducks, line up therapy for herself and the children, and RUN. Tell her she has a new friend (me) and possibly lots of new friends in CN who support her.

        • Seconded. I speak from experience when I say the damage done by modeling this type of relationship is something the kids will be stuck untangling for a long, long while. That shit gets ingrained.

          My favorite thing I learned here was taking responsibility for myself – I have CHOICES, infinite choices. There is never any reason to accept abuse, and by accepting it I was just perpetuating a cycle of fucked upedness. Lots of love to you and your friend.

        • Tempest….if only someone I knew did this. Her life would be soooo much better! But no, she didn’t and she, her kids and grandkids are fucked! It angers me.

        • Tempest, thank you, I will now show her what you wrote. I kept telling her to come to this blog and educate herself on emotional abuse and manipulators. She resisted as she maintained our issues were different and this was an infidelity blog. I learned and keep learning so much from here. Thank you!

    • Well said Capricorn. Thank you CL for starting this blog and keeping it going. Here’s to another 5 years. And another 5 years after that. And another. And on and on. The world will always have cheaters and chumps, so this blog needs to keep existing as the soft place for the wounded to fall, come and heal, and dust themselves off on the road to meh. Thank you for helping me, I consider myself very lucky to have come across you and your blog.

      Love the Starbucks unicorn frapp coming out on your 5th anniversary. How nice of them to celebrate your wonderfulness ? cheers! ?

        • My daughter asked me if I’d heard of the new Starbuck unicorn frapp. When I said I had, she asked me how 🙂 We went to get one and there was a big sign they were all out. At the counter we were told no location in our city had them. I thought wow, not even the all powerful Starbucks can hold on to a unicorn!!

      • I love the way you said that LHATA. ‘This blog needs to keep existing as the soft place for the wounded to fall,come and heal and dust themdelves off on the road to meh.’ It als helps you get out of the sea of misery and find the signpost ,then the road to meh. CL and CN are lifesavers doing an amazing job of saving chumps from drowning.

  • CL and CN gave me the courage to file first and go no contact… like a BOSS. I’m 3 years post the final D-day and come here every day. And, I’m teaching my step-daughter about “her Dad and kibbles”… I won’t let her be a chump to his manipulations.

    Rock on Chump Nation… viva la revolution!

  • I am so grateful for CL & CN. It gave me my sanity back after the gas lighting of my narc ex. It’s been 3 years after 20 years with him. I have glimpses of meh but not there yet. Last night I watched Grace and Frankie. It’s so well done it really took me back. Situation is a little different but the pain is the same. So, temporary relapse into pity pit but I’ve realized I cannot go back to who I was before I was married with kids. I have to push myself to be a new improved me and Move the fuck on! But not today…Netflix and gelato mmmmm

  • Happy birthday! I’m glad CN is here and that I found it relatively early. As absurd as life gets pre/post cheater, we are not alone!

  • Happy birthday! This is by far the most useful site I have come across. I was lucky enough to have a friend point me in this direction in the early days of discovery — and have been doing the same for all the friends that needed it since. It helps so much to process, to regain sanity, and to understand that we are not alone in this. Thank you!

  • Happy Anniversary! Tracy and her Chump Nation saved my sanity, gave me courage and comforted me through the darkest time of my life.

    I survived and thrive! God only knows where I would be now if not for CL. I will be forever grateful. Thank you.

  • I wish CL was around in 1988 when I first found out that my husband was a voyeur/porn junkie/adulterer. The “help” at that time- didn’t help. I was branded the “bad guy” for not forgiving and forgetting that my 34 year old husband was voyeuring our teenage neighbor…..and running up hundreds of dollars worth of sex chat line bills.

    Forgive and forget….leads to a bad case of PTSD…..and/or STDs. Chump Lady has it right. Happy Birthday to you CL!

        • It was tougher to prove back then, but no less skeevy for sure. As I follow this Cummins/Thomas story I often feel like it easily could have been me in Mrs. Cummins’ shoes, the wife of a man who would ceaselessly groom, then run away with and violate a moldable, insecure girl. For people who think of others as sex objects, there is often no limit to what they would be willing to do.

          • “For people who think of others as sex objects, there is often no limit to what they would be willing to do.” Yes, this!!! Yikes though.

            • I had no idea what a voyeur was back in 1988. Never saw such a creepy, disgusting thing before he night I caught him red handed. Yes, he does “objectify” women. They are either saintly matrons (like his mother)- or sperm receptacles in his dark, twisted mind. I lost 50 lbs of shame and embarrassment the day I threw him out. So glad to be rid of him- and his reptilian mother!

        • The voyeur never got arrested because I was manipulated into keeping his dirty secrets. The neighbor never found out- but I did. I caught him red handed in the corner of a dark kitchen- penis in hand. I was 8 months pregnant at the time.

          The counseling I received was horrible. According to the “professionals” (clergy included)- it was my job to forgive and forget- and stop being such a bitch.

          This time, he outdid himself with voyeuring another neighbor. Thanks to the use of technology…..the neighbor kept a record of his lewd unwanted texts and nearly had him arrested. Anthony Weiner….move over! My STBXH makes you look like an amateur.

  • Yes! Happy Birthday! I would definitely add setting and upholding boundaries, NC, and the UBT are big parts of surviving the shitstorm of infidelity. Knowing my self worth and recognizing red flags are important, too.

    Also, feeling certain that this will not define me, I am not alone, and others have made it through the pain of intimate betrayal so I will, too, have helped me heal.

    Thank you! Mighty and compassionate, this online community feels like a family and is full of support, encouragement, and wit. CN is my squad.

    • I agree. At first I was horrified to read the exact same words my x said to me, had been uttered by soooooo many other cheaters. Then I realised I would one day get past all the shit because so many others had….and I was right. Chump nation is mighty. Happy birthday

        • +2 it is just creepy how many phrases narc used are repeated on this site! And I thought I was alone!

          • I swore there was a cheaters website with a script they all downloaded and recited, the words were almost exactly the same from case to case. That’s just creepy. Are they all pod people sharing the same uncreative brain? Eww!

  • I was with the arsehole 17 years before I figured it out. I wouldn’t have done it without CN, I knew something was wrong but honestly couldn’t figure it out. Your blog gave me clues and a roadmap to investigate, protect myself and then leave him behind. I believe this blog literally saved my life so Thank You doesn’t even begin to cover it but I will say it anyway, Thank You, Thank You, Thank You!

  • Happy Birthday. I am so glad I found y’all one month after D Day. I might still be a mess if I hadn’t. Instead, I’m happily divorced, I got a great settlement, and I’m looking forward to life without cheater man child. I would never have gotten here without this blog and all of the chumps sharing their stories. Thank you, everyone.

  • Hey there, Happy Birthday to ya…
    Even though I am a chump guy and not a chump lady. I found this blog from a spin off of Shrinks for men…and the step down boyfriend.
    Your world of wisdom have def help me through some of the hardest times of my life. The 7 stages of grief SUCK..but you were there pretty much from the beginning when I was discarded as would an empty sandwich bag. Through all the mind fuckery. Till it finally sank in that NC was the only healthy way to go.
    Thanks for being here…
    You are awsome

  • I found you after my divorce 3 years ago and it upset me even more that by reading your column it appeared the world was filled with these men. Now, I can read and I say yes, yes same thing happened to me. He’s not so unique after all.
    My wish is that someone finds you before they are beaten down and pulls the tables on the Fuckwit, that would really make my day.
    Im 3 years out from 26 year marriage. Still feeling chumped but I’m in a much better place. I pray people hear about you and read your column before they really need it and have it memorized what to do and what not to do. Divorce is rare in my family and circle of friends. I messed up in all ways possible except that I made sure he would pay for my daughters college.
    I wish I had been armed with this before being beat down and crying.
    Thank you for all you do and maybe one day if this happens to one of my daughters they will know where to go for resources and be mighty.
    5 years, that’s a real celebration. Thank you again!

  • I am so grateful for chump lady and chump nation. I wish I found you 5 years ago after my first dday m. Things might have been very different if I had. Luckily he left after dday 2. That’s when my sister told me about CL. 36 years of marriage to this wackjob and now I finally get it. NEVER AGAIN!! I’m free and living my narc-free life. Thank you all!!

  • I got many things from this blog…. but only one of those many things (eg asking for a post nup) would have gotten me to where I need to be with my Ex.

    But it’s the humour that was the cherry on the cake (much as I hate saying “cake”) and made this so easy to read.

    Well done CL and CN.

  • Thank you. This would have been my 20th anniversary and I’m a little past 5 years since DDay. You helped me find my anger, and then find my mighty. Thanks, Chump Nation!

  • Happy anniversary, ChumpLady! Thank you for helping me through a dark and lonely time!

    I’m more-or-less at “meh”, but every once in a while (like lately), I revisit the lies, gaslighting, and various indignities, and feel myself sinking into anger. That’s when I come here to read your snark, and Chump Nation’s stories, and it reminds me to trust that he sucks, and that I can’t untangle the skein.

    This is a fantastic blog that provides an important service for new chumps and veterans alike. It’s like having a support group any time of day or night. And it’s funny!

    Thank you, and congratulations!

  • Thank you Chump Lady for ALL you have done in 5 years! The great thing about this site is it is a foundation for changing the societal narrative on infidelity – imagine all the people we can reach and help in the future.
    I found this site by complete random flukey chance – and I tell people to read it and learn from it. I would estimate that I have steered about 30 people to this site for various reasons – cheating spouses, dealing with malignant narcs not in a marriage, UBT of buzz words and phrases…. – and I know they have referred others to it too.
    Thank you for helping me steer my way through the shit storm that is my life without losing my mind. Gaslighting is so obvious once you know its happening….

  • Let me just say, since Tracy is too gracious to say it, and since I am the only eyewitness to it, that this milestone represents 5 years of Tracy waking up an hour early every weekday to write the day’s column, an hour in the evening read comments, and countless smaller increments of time throughout every day and evening and weekend reading article links people send in, researching Word Press glitches, drawing cartoons, identifying and blocking trolls and their proxy servers, answering emails from chumps that don’t get published, etc., etc., etc. Thousands of (mostly) un-fun hours spent doing invisible work without which this website–and the life-changing advice and support here–would not exist.

    Tracy’s analogy to raising a child is spot on, because it is a labor of love, comprised of an infinite number of tasks, performed over many years, upon which everything important depends. Sometimes you want to quit, but you never would, because what your doing is–beyond all doubt–needed.

    I can also say, as an eye witness, that what makes it worthwhile for Tracy isn’t the page view numbers or the book sales, but hearing stories of chumps overcoming cheating and making new lives for themselves and their families. As someone who loves Tracy deeply, I thank you for those stories, because I alone get to witness how happy they make her. It’s fantastic to see. But know that your mightiness is the fuel that powers the Chump Lady change-the-world machine. Mightiness feeds mightiness. And while Tracy is a wonderful person (my personal favorite person, actually), but you all make her Chump Lady.

    Thank you, everyone!

        • Just looked at the Starbucks unicorn and all I can say is like the unicorns in our lives, it looks very unhealthy thus aptly named!

        • Guessing they taste like crusty sweat socks, shattered dreams, and the blood of virgins, with an undertone of antibiotics, a bouquet of swamp gas, and an aftertaste of innocence lost.

        • I read the Unicorn drink changes colors and flavors when you stir the Unicorn drink with your straw.
          Flavors change from a berry flavor to sour like a Sweet Tart. Interesting…..

        • I’m afraid I won’t be able to give my opinion about the unicorn because I avoid Starbucks for several reasons, one being that I had the worse coffee in my life at the Moscow Starbucks with cheater at my side.

          I didn’t want to have coffee there since, after all, we are in Moscow and there were regional options. Plus the place was PACKED with young people, Starbucks was brand new in Russia and it evidently was all the rage for them. But cheater complained that I was being inconsiderate.

          Well, the coffee was AWFUL! Cheater was rude and blameshifted and disqualified me the whole trip. Turns out I had unwittingly ruined his plans to take AP with him (I forget the chumpism for APs who work with cheaters). So Starbucks always reminds me of all this.

        • It’s hard to tell what they taste like because every time I reach for the cup, it shifts just a couple inches out of my reach.

        • It’s being described as: “The beverage is made with a sweet dusting of pink powder, blended into a crème Frappuccino with mango syrup and layered with a pleasantly sour blue drizzle. It is finished with vanilla whipped cream and a sprinkle of sweet pink and sour blue powder topping. The drink starts out purple with blue swirls and tastes sweet and fruity. But if you stir it then it becomes pink, tangy and tart.”

          Sooo sounds to me that just like the cheater; it starts off looking like one thing and with the mere passing sniff of another, it can change just like the stir of the straw changes its flavor and color. It can be many things….ie, double life!

        • From the Washington Post: “Starbucks’ Unicorn Frappuccino tastes like sour birthday cake and shame”. About what I would expect: Cake! (sour) and shame.

        • I’m afraid to taste it-looks like one of the ingredients is anti-freeze !
          I did buy some merch a few months when I purchased a Squatty Potty-the company mascot is “Dookie” a plush unicorn toy.
          Reminds me of the dookie narc to stay away from !

        • People have been posting pictures of their unicorn fraps on Facebook with the order abbreviation “unic” on the side. Do you think Starbucks knows what a eunuch is, and can we take a moment to envision a eunuch unicorn in this context?

    • PERFECT post.
      This is more than a blog. This has become Tracy’s labor of love and an insanely huge task.
      We owe her and honor her every day!
      Tracy is the BEST! ❤

    • Thank you for being so supportive. Her success is also a testament to you. Thank you for sharing her with us!

    • You are delightful for joining us and posting this. Thank you!

      Also, CN, for those who can, remember that donate button! If every person who posted and lurked donated $5, it would build up quite a crowd fund. 🙂 Let’s support this space and this woman who have provided us so much support and information and education and laughter!!

      • I second this! Think of it as a birthday present to Tracy and the blog. You wouldn’t think twice about a $5, $10 or $20 birthday gift for the faithful friend who got you through the worst times of your life, would you? Click that Donate button. Keep the site running so it can save more chumps. Happy birthday, Chump Lady!

      • Done! I agree, everyone donate. Pay it forward.

        Happy Birthday Chump Lady! Thank you Mr. Chump Lady for the support you give her!

      • Actually… crowdraising is a great idea! It would help others discover the blog as well. And since Tracy has such a loyal following, it is certain to raise a significant amount of money, which then helps elevate the potential for exposure.

      • I just tried to donate, but I am not in the USA and the paypal platform keeps asking me to inform my state. Am I a technoklutz about this? Can anyone help?

    • Mr CL– you are a beacon of hope for many of us who spent decades with abusers. Chump men help too. To know there are men in the world who have a soul, who have integrity….. it makes my worldview better!

    • I need to tell everyone that this blog — and especially the book — would not exist without Mr. Chump Lady. First off, he INSISTED I write about infidelity. And let me tell you, he is the most persuasive person EVER. (He sweet-talked me to Texas. And he sues people.) So, without his unwavering support, there would be no CN. Also, for the first 4 years of this blog, we lived in Texas and he worked full-time and I was a freelance writer, which meant I had the flexibility and financial support to take on this behemoth thing (which I had no idea would become a behemoth). That’s on Mr. Chump Lady. He did the hard work and gave me the space and resources to build this.

      Now I work full-time and I maintain CN and still write — and that takes time away from him. Especially in the morning. (He’s super chatty in the morning. I’m a grump. Who writes. And is grumpy about it.) But he supports this work — drives it, encourages it, and having a wonderful partner like him is proof positive that GOOD people exist, as friends and as spouses.

      It’s not just me at work here. Wanted to set the record straight. 🙂

      • … which meant I had the flexibility and financial support to take on this behemoth thing (which I had no idea would become a behemoth). That’s on Mr. Chump Lady. He did the hard work and gave me the space and resources to build this.

        Hold up… Wait a minute… You’re grateful for your significant other for working for a living so you pursue what you wanted to do?!

        Shit… I did the same thing (going out and working) so my cheater-wife could pursue what she wanted to do to. Only, she made sure to regularly point out how UNgrateful she was because I didn’t earn enough money so she could spend her ENTIRE day at home posting snarky memes on fakebook, sexting with her twu-wuv, and paying for regular “girlz weekends” away from her family.

        P.S.: Thank you Chump Lady for helping me find my backbone again!

      • Happy 5th Anniversary and from the bottom of my heart, thank you CL for all the love, time and energy you are putting into this community!! Thank you Mr. Chump Lady for sharing Tracy with all of us!!

        Thank you also to Tempest, the epitome of chump recovery, your wit and support mean the world to me.

        And thank you to CN, this blog and community have been my raft in troubled waters, the beacon of sanity check I keep needing, as well as the mighty 2×4 that helps me endure sharing custody with my X…

        Without your stories, generous advice and your willingness to be there for other chumps, I would have remained much chumpier, and would also have completely mixed up cheating with gender instead of seeing cheating for what it is: exposure to a set of devastatingly twisted character flaws that only NC can truly eliminate from a chump’s life.

    • And thank you for so graciously sharing her with us! I appreciate your dedication to the cause as well. I hope you both have a lovely day.

    • Thanks to you both for all the hard work you do to keep this blog going. I have a tiny little amateur blog, and I simply cannot believe how much time it takes to put it out there. I write maybe a couple times a month; Chumplady writes every single day. And I second whoever said, above, thanks to both of you for providing a flesh & blood example that a good relationship might indeed lie on the other side of Meh!

    • Mr Chump Lady, thank you for supporting your wife’s work and being understanding of the time we chumps take up in your lives.

    • How very sweet! You, Mr. Chump, are a lovely, loving person. Mrs. Chump Lady has found a winner – deservedly so!

      Chump Lady – you and Chump Nation nursed me through the worst experience of my 59 years on this planet. Thank you, from the bottom of my chumpy heart! It was, and remains, such a comfort to know I was not alone, this wasn’t my fault, and it wasn’t up to me to fix it.

      I’m standing now with one foot in the Promised Land of Meh . . . allllllllmost there!

      Happy anniversary! ?

    • To Mr Chump Lady and Mrs Chump Lady…you guys sound like the perfect couple!! Seriously, we’re very glad you found each other, that you make each other so darned happy and are envious by how you support one another. It just gives the rest of us HOPE!

      THANK YOU seems too small words to convey the huge feelings we have for you, your words of inspiration and encouragement, the feeling of community sparked here, and the knowledge, that at 3AM in our darkest moments, WE ARE NOT ALONE! Truly a mind-blowing revelation the first time we come to realize that others have, and are, walking in our shoes. Then out of the darkness reaches a hand, and another, then another, and more hands reach towards you and you’re lifted, up, up and into the dawn of a new morning. You’re now surrounded by new friends from around the world and bound together by shared pain, experiences, stories and encouragement. Welcome to Chump Nation. It’s one helluva village: like nowhere else on earth, and the softest place you could ever choose to land, but you’re safe here. Feel free to cry, rant, bellow, mount that soapbox and rally the call to arms. We’ll listen, cry with you, get angry on your behalf, offer counsel that worked for us, give you a hug when you need it, and talk you back from the edge. We’re a creative and devious bunch when we put our heads together. We laugh together at the dumb stuff our exes try to pull over on us, and we cry together when the court turns a blind eye to the obvious injustices, but we pull each other thru this hell called “divorce” so we’re never alone.

      And we’re all here for one another because one brave, amazing woman who took on the world first and created this safe place for us to all find each other. So Thank You, Tracy, for taking those first baby steps to create this blog! And Thank You Mr. Chump Lady for encouraging her to continue the blog! You’ve both touched countless lives, hearts and souls that have gone on to heal and rebuild new whole lives for themselves, all because of what they learned here.

      Sadly, we’ve seen that the divorce laws haven’t changed to make cheating more difficult. So the horror stories continue and the broken hearts keep finding their way to the blog and to CL/CN for help. WE CAN’T STOP NOW! ? Keep calm and carry on! ?

    • Out of the thousands of servings of insightful ChumpLady advice, Tracy’s recommendation for getting a post-nup (or in my case a hefty Transmutation Agreement) saved my sanity, my children, and our future. I shudder to imagine where we’d be without “the resplendent” ChumpLady!

      “You’ve got to learn to get up from the table…
      …when love is no longer being served.” ~~ Nina Simone

  • “Who knows what tomorrow brings. In a world few hearts survive. All I know is the way I feel. When it’s real, I keep it alive.
    The road is long, there are mountains in our way. But we climb a step every day. Love lifts us up where we belong.”

    Today, I sing the lyrics to “Up Where We Belong” by Joe Cocker, to CL, CN!!
    Thank you. You are mighty.
    Happy BIRTHday CHUMPLADY.
    I am so thankful you were born!?

  • Thank you CL, Tracy, and Chump Nation!!I wish I would have found this after DD1 but luckily I only ate the shit sandwich (more like a 10 foot hoagie) for another 6 months before DD2 and I left his sad sausage ass. Whenever I feel like I’m backsliding in my recovery I pick up the book to kick my ass back where it should be. This dude is a sorry sack of shit and will ALWAYS be even if his masks to the world shows otherwise. Me on the other hand will be able to show my daughter there’s more to life than abusing people! And just maybe I will find someone with real character! At least for now my anxiety is reduced tremondously and I’m not caught in the mindfuckery tornado anymore. I do want to write a piece to share called “What Flying Monkeys Say.” I have some doozies:))

  • From the bottom of my heart happy aniversary!! This place is a life saver and continues to inspire! Thank you cl and cn love you all! And a huge shout out to my girl jeep tess!!!

  • Happy birthday to this blog!
    It is a lifesaver and I honestly mean that. Researchers can come study the fuckedupedness of our situations but I’m not sure they can quantify how much better my life is right now than it was two years ago. I’m one of those people that will tell you I’m not sure I would still be here if it wasn’t for this blog and the people here who supported me as I left a dangerous situation. I love you all and want you to experience the same smile that is glued to my face nearly every morning when I wake up.

  • Happy Anniversary! I don’t post often but I read here every day. CL is my religion and CN are my spiritual advisors, who lift me up, show me the light and help me keep the faith. Peace be with you all.

  • Happy birthday!

    Today is also my first divorce birthday.

    CL helped and still helps me know I am normal and definitely not alone.
    It gets better daily. It feels good most of the time now.

    Mighty. Yes. That is a good word for it.
    Thank you

  • Happy Birthday CL. What a blessing you are to us who are in the midst of a mindfuck. Your no nonsense, in your face truth….like real up close in your face…so close I can taste the flavor of your Tic Tac on your breath. I needed that. I needed someone to say it was a Mind Fuck. I needed someone to call him a Mother Fucker. And I needed to not feel guilty about that. I have sent countless people to you.
    Here is a really cool thing that happened. I had a fellow former Chump find my page on instagram. She recognized a few sparky things I have said. She recalled my teapots and quilt story. We…..your tribe… your people….we listen to one another. We listen to the hurt and pain without judgement. Our stories are Chump Nation. So for some lady to reach out to me…was so cool.
    Thank you. Your pain was not done in vain. You have been blessed with a heart to help the broken and blinded. Mighty Mighty Mighty Warrior!!! ❤

  • Ditto the cliche I am so glad/thankful I found you! I went through about 9 months of Hopium after d day which does not include the pick me dancing I was unknowingly doing while he was devaluing and discarding. I wish I would have done differently but my deceased mom’s wisdom echos in my head “we do the best we can with the knowledge we have at the time.”

    Anyway this site is amazing and the best therapy I have found. It gives me that “yes, you actually understand what I am going through feeling” and I feel empowered and energized after reading rather than the beat down feeling . I left therapy because I always felt so terrible after the sessions. The therapist said maybe you just have to work through these bad feelings. I had been living those feelings for years and chump nation helps end that cycle.

    Thanks for the site and thanks to all the veteran chumps in recovery who stick around to share your wisdom with us newbies!

    • Feelingit,

      Congrats on trusting your gut about your therapist-sounds like you were being subjected to a form of therapy induced trauma. A good therapist should help you move past trauma, not dwell on it so s/he benefits financially with weekly visits that can go on for months or years.

  • Happy birthday! Thank you for your dedication, time, engery and wisdom. It’s hard for anyone hearing a ton of negative to stay in a good space and be able to give sound advise. You have helped so many when in today’s society everyone is so desensitized that they don’t care about chumps, until they become one themselves. You were one of the greatest gifts that my sister passed down to me during my divorce. I’m still dealing with the narc and read your blog everyday. It’s hell but eating the shit sandwich is easier. Thank you!

  • Happy Birthday, Chump Lady! I won’t ever forget the night I discovered you. And I won’t ever forget how much you helped me understand what was happening. You were like a life line. Each blog post was a light post along the way to Mighty. Thank you!!! Congratulations!!!

  • Dear Chumplady and Chump Nation,

    Thank you for popping up when I googled “why won’t my husband sleep with me? Not “sleep with me anymore”, but “sleep with me at all? Ever?”.

    Thank you for showing me that I am not alone, and not a conplete freak.

    Thank you for teaching me that the hourly, daily, monthly, and yearly gaslighting, withholding, blameshifting, and deception my ex-husband doled out is ABUSE.

    Thank you for giving me to know that his abuse of me isn’t my fault.

    Thank you for making sense of his bizarre and fucked up ways of navigating life: a double life, image management, bullshit lines (it’s horribly funny that they all say the same old shit!).

    Thank you for teaching me that staying together for the sake of the children is a bad idea. All but one of my closest friends advocated this position. They were all married to good men who would never dream of pulling any of the shit on their wives that I dealt with daily. The one friend who told me to get out had left her abusive, ass-aholic husband a couple of years prior. She was the only one who saw through X’s nice guy mask.

    Thank you for letting me know that children need one sane parent to thrive. X has stepped up his parenting game something fierce since I dropped consequences on him (separation, divorce, child support, spousal support).

    Thank you for helping me to rescue myself.

    Love,

    MF

  • “There are a lot of people roaming this planet who have empty elevator shafts where their souls should be…” That’s a good one. My D-day(s) was June 1st 2011. While trying to make sense of the bizarre behavior I had been putting up with for 19 years in what was obviously self-destructive behavior ( infidelity, spending addictions and drug and alcohol abuse) I discovered Chump Lady and Dr. George Simon. A light bulb went off in my head and I began the long road to self-healing. I’m still on that road and I’ve learned a lot about myself in the process. I don’t always agree with everything Tracy says but I do believe she provides a important service ( more like a bitch slap) to us chumps out there trying to make sense of this chaos that is the world. Happy Birthday Chump Lady

  • Thank you Chump Lady and Chump Nation for helping me get thru the most horrible experience of my life. For every evil awful thing my ex cheater did to me there was CL and a hundred fellow chumps that lifted me up, guided and inspired me. Where my ex almost ruined my faith in humanity you all restored it x1000. While I’m not all the way there yet, I find every day a bit better and I am finding joy in my life no longer dealing with the mindfuckery I so undeservedly received at the hands of the man who vowed to love and cherish me.

    Chump Lady you deserve every great thing that comes your way: riches, books, a movie, happiness and joy and my undying gratefulness to you for giving me a backbone, righteous anger and a drive to live my best life sans cheater!

    • Well said, Beachgirl. A huge thank you to ChumpLady for providing a safe place where we could all gather, share our pain, support each other and even learn some valuable practical tips along the way.

      Like many, after Dday, I felt like a total freak. This hadn’t happened to anyone else in my social circle and the reactions of my Switzerland friends were as difficult to deal with as the cheating itself, in many ways. OK, sure, XH’s dad left his mom for an OW…. And a coworker’s dad left her mom for an OW… And, yeah, my sister’s first marriage twenty years ago,… but those were all outliers in my mind. It wasn’t until I arrived on ChumpLady’s doorstep, a wrecked and sniveling mess, that I saw ALL the people this happens to and finally felt less insane. I firmly believe I would be nowhere near as healthy as i am now without the help of ChumpLady and Chump Nation. So thank you, thank you, thank you.

  • Love this blog, love Chump Nation. This summer marks three years for me since my cheater’s affair (well, the one that specifically know of), and though I wish I had found CL first thing, I’m so glad it’s been here for the majority of my journey. Divorce sucks, a whole lot. CL makes it suck a lot less. And now every single day is a great one in my life; I’m truly loving my family and friends deeply and enjoying the peace that comes to any household that offloads a narcissist. Thank you CL for all the time you put in, and all your empathy. It’s deep down in your bones, and it shows. And thank you CN for killing it with the comments every day! I’m indebted for all the nuggets of wisdom you’ve dropped.

  • Happy Birthday! And it reminds me of what I was doing 5 years ago too as the blog started right after my own discovery about Mr ‘too good to be true.’ He wasn’t ! Your humorous/realistic/no nonsense perspective saved me years of ‘wishful thinking ‘ and a support system to pass to others I encountered in my professional life who needed to hear it too. You have changed the dialogue and for that I am grateful.

  • Congratulations and thank you Chumplady. You and the collective Chump Nation made my experience so much better. I have referenced this site, not just for people who have been cheated on, but for any sort of betrayal so they can read how common and similar it is. I also send people here to work on their boundaries.

    I also want to thank my cheating husband and fair weather friend who dumped me when I needed support. My husband has freed me to work on my picker, my boundaries, and to find love again with someone who deserves me. My fair weather friend let me know I was enforcing boundaries and fixing my picker in all kinds of relationships – no longer of use and resistant to manipulation – discard.

    That is my big lesson – when you fix yourself, enforce boundaries & will not be used or manipulated, the bad eggs remove themselves, that’s when you know you are doing great.

  • CN and CL have been a lifeline to me. Love and hugs to you all, the biggest one to you, Tracy. <3 You are a dear friend to thousands of people you have never even met. Thank you for giving us the vocabulary to understand and describe our crazy experiences — and then to throw a lifeline to others in their own sinking boats.

    • Yes!! “Thank you for giving us the vocabulary to describe our crazy experiences” is exactly right. I found Chump Lady in summer of 2014. I was 7 months out from DDay and had recently filed against the douchebag after wasting 23 years on him. The peer insight and common emotional experiences that I read about helped me understand that what was done to us was abuse, and I was absolutely right to end it. I also began to embrace my anger and use it to propel myself forward to secure what I deserved through the divorce (and more), and also reach out for a better, cheater-free life.

      Finding this site also gave me the vocabulary to use during mediation just a few months later, along with my closest friends and family. I remembered “mental gymnastics” at just the right time during the 1.5 hours of child custody issues. I said in front of two lawyers and a retired judge/mediator, “So, I want to make sure we all understand the mental gymnastics you want my 14 year-old daughter to go through in order to force visitation on her: Dad is still married to Mom, but married Dad abandoned me, and is pretending to be some dad-like figure to a married co-worker’s toddlers and lives with them now.” Silence. Then I said, “No one at this table (all men) will ever know what it’s like to be a 14 year-old girl who now suffers greatly after being abandoned by a cheating dad at 13, and having her mother betrayed and abandoned in such a callous way, now will we?”

      The judge/mediator agreed to uphold the child custody judge’s initial order or ZERO oversights and extremely limited visitation. Essentially dinner twice a week, and NO being around that whore. It only lasted a year before he ended up in jail for being an incredible freak, and since then, she hasn’t seen him in two years. She just turned 17. Both of our lives are better off for it.

      This site has been a lifeline throughout this long-term healing process and I love and thank every Chump, and offer my most sincere gratitude to Tracy. You’re truly a hero to all of us. ??

      • KFMM, you are mighty, mighty, mighty! I am so glad you saved your daughter years of this mindfuck and bad influences. I wish more chump children were spared this too.

  • Empty elevator shaft where their soul should be.

    Still my favourite description of all time and I use it often to explain my ex. Everyone agrees it’s the best description of him.

    I tell them I got it from CL. I talk about this blog all the time and how it saved me. I send links, I drive around with copies of CL books in my trunk just in case. I don’t care what anyone thinks. This is where chumps need to start. NOT on the reconciliation boards! Happy 5th CL!! A thousand times, thank you!!!

  • Thank you CL a billion times over! This blog alone saved my life! I know the dedication and time it takes to administrate, create and maintain a blog like this and I salute your dedication to the broken hearts that seek the real truth about these dysfunctional partners they have. I’ve no doubt that you have also helped the children of these families survive and thrive also. I’ve watched chumps come and go from this blog and I am certain you have educated them to not only begin a new life they didn’t think they would have to venture into, but they are thriving and sharing that knowledge. Knowledge is MIGHTY! CL you are the very best of the best! Congrats!

  • Happy Fifth B-Day Chump Lady!

    My dday was back in 2010 which unfortunately predates this blog. I only found RIC sites and Amazon which were both filled with literature about all the ways that my ex’s affair would improve my marriage. Just so long as I didn’t scare my “timid forest creature back into the underbrush.” I gave wreckconciliation the old college try and found Chump Lady during year three. Something always felt off about staying with the cheater but I ate the shit sandwich, often times without condiments and it wasn’t until I found this site that I started questioning that choice.

    I feasted on the archives and laughed and cried simultaneously as everything CL wrote resonated with me. It all made so much sense. It was the stories from CN however that helped me see that there was life on the other side. That things really could be okay if I left and there would be hope and mightiness instead of dread, affair triggers and a life time job on the marriage police force. I would gain a life? I was starting to believe that and I finally found the courage to leave.

    I eventually perfected no contact (a concept I learned here) and the real healing began. I am forever in the debt of CL and CN.

    I think Unicorns probably taste like air because I don’t really believe they exist. Not the four legged kind with horns on their head or the kind we speak about here. 🙂

  • Thank you so much CN and CL.

    I have miles to go, but this blog has helped me to see that I am not alone, my experience is not unique, and my STBX is no prize at all, just a really beautiful car, with absolutely no engine or interior. It hurts to lay my eyes on him, but inside he is empty.

    Thanks for the support 😉

  • My only sorrow is not finding CL and CN sooner, but to have found this glorious place at all was a miracle. Saving me every single day. Now, I have the language for articulating the madness, strategies for overcoming it, and fellow travelers whose wisdom and support are just everything. Because of Tracy and all of you, I know that I can survive and thrive. Thank you so very much.

  • Chump Lady and Chump Nation; dismembering the Reconciliation Industrial Complex narrative every day for 5 years. Thank you for all you do CL. Thank you to the CN community.

    You rock!

  • Happy Birthday Chump Lady!! Thank you for the courage to go against the flow in creating this space for Chumps. It took courage and fortitude to take that leap into the unknown. I am forever grateful.

    Beth

  • Congrats on this milestone CL – you are a beacon of light and hope for those that have been betrayed.

    Thank you for doing what you do – many of us would still be lost if it weren’t for you and CN.

  • CL, you helped me get through it. You continue to help all of us reshape our lives and to look back far smarter than we were before we met you. God bless you!

  • Happy Birthday CL!

    This site has been so helpful to me – thank you for keeping this blog alive and thank you to everyone here for their comments and insight.

    I’m years out now but I check in every day. There really is a good life after a cheater – a much MUCH better life. Thank you!!

  • I found my way to Chumplady via Reddit. Someone told me to find Chumplady. That was it. No other explanation. I googled you, found the site and began reading all the archives. I was lucky in that I found you within days of dday. Because of what I read here I became mighty. Ok, ugly crying in my car mighty but still pretty damn mighty!!

    I filed within two weeks of dday. I went back to school and got on the Deans List (after being ‘jokingly’ told how dumb I was compared to sparkly Fucktard). After 24 years of marriage I had the courage to be alone.

    Thank you, Tracey. This gift of Chumplady has helped me heal more then any number of therapists could have.

  • I was introduced to Chump Lady by a good friend…. who also happens to be ex’s ow’s now ex husband. Together, we muddled through the early stages of our DDay, very brief wreckonciliations, and the ultimate decisions to each leave our marriages. I think it’s safe to say that “Leave a Cheater Gain A Life” (both editions) and the blog have saved me unreal amounts time and money. The no bullshit advice here from both Chump Lady and Chump Nation helped me to be confident in my decision to leave, and kept me righteously angry and righteously strategic through the divorce process. Who’s in charge of this shit show now, Motherfucker??? Even my lawyer said, “Wow! You’re organized! You’ve got a plan, don’t you!?” Hell yeah, I did. My divorce was final in September, and I walked away with my head held high and a nice settlement.

    The daily blog posts also kept me laughing through the darkest period of my life. Tracy, thank you for swearing like a sailor through the posts and allowing the same in comments! Being chumped is devastating, and many of us need to use strong language to make sense of it.

    I owe a debt of gratitude to Chump Lady and Chump Nation. Thank you, and happy chumpiversary to all!

    • Dee – you had me LOLing – “Who’s in charge of the shit show now, Motherfucker???” You’re hilarious! And I’m so glad you found CN as soon as you did. I wish I hadn’t wasted another 8 months on that d-bag before I filed. I likely would have found my anger, and done the same much sooner. Cheers to your freedom!

      • Good on you for leaving KibbleFree! We all get there in our own time. I made the decision to leave two months after D Day, but I had to buy a house and let my kids finish the school year. Longest four months of my life, Having to stay a little longer is not the worst thing in the world. If anything, it confirms that wreckonciliation would be a total disaster. It was soul sucking to play marriage police for sixty days, let alone the rest of my life, and I didn’t want to model that dysfunction for my children. Cheers to all of us for saying ‘Hell No!’ to that!

  • D-Day 1-year Anniversary is this Saturday and after 9 months of a worthless try at reconciliation I’m working up the nerve to get out. This is my first time commenting and officially joining CN and wanted to say thank you to Tracy.

    Last year in the midst of post D-Day fog and not eating or sleeping for days I pathetically dragged myself to the book store to peruse the self-help section for “save my relationship” garbage and accidentally stumbled upon “Leave a Cheater.” Although I had a good counselor telling me to leave, Chump Lady was with me day and night being my support and voice of reason. Unfortunately, I went against her wisdom and decided to try reconciling, but after D-Day #2 I now have clarity thanks to this blog and book. Wish me luck in the coming days…

    Congrats on 5 years!!! Tracy, you’ll never know the impact you’ve had and the lives you’ve helped changed for the better!!!

    P.S. Whenever I’m in a book store now I stop in the self-help section and make sure your book is front facing where all can see in hopes the next chump will find you like I did. ((Hugs))

    • Paddington, welcome to the road to mightiness and freedom! And you are already helping others to find it too. Good for you! It is not easy but you will be so glad you are escaping from the pit a bad marriage can put you in. Hang in there.

    • Paddington, welcome and congrats on your first post! I can’t wait to hear about your journey to a mighty authentic cheater-free life. I’m here to support you — CN is here – for when the road gets bumpy!

      Hugs!

  • “When I started this venture, I thought it would just be a brain dump for what I learned about infidelity…”

    and now it is the Chump Manifesto!!

    Happy Birthday, Chumplady.com!!! Viva la revolution!

  • Happy birthday!!!! Whoooooo!!!

    I agree with all the awesome expressed so far. A little over 5 years post dday for me too, but I only found this blog a few months ago. I knew the cheater and what happened to me wasn’t right, but I had no way to really express it. No UBT. No words like spackle and cake. But now, so much clarity!!! Like someone saw me homeless, said hey, come in, sit down, you are welcome here. We got you. Thank you CL and CN for getting me!

  • Happy 5th ChumpLady!!!! This site is beyond words for me. Literally, a life saver in the end. It’s so nice to have a place to go where the truth is spoken and good people are defended. The world now loves the charismatic people and they are almost always narcs. As sad as it is, i’m sure the site will be around for many years to come. I hope to continue to chime in time to time and pay what I received forward. You are the first step towards real change. Change where cheaters are blamed for their actions and not the chump.

  • Tracy – Your resolve to bring to light the abusive and dishonest nature of infidelity changed the narrative of the chump forever. Not only do we regain the foothold in our shattered lives, but we become role models to our children, friends and family with our mightyness in overcoming adversity.

    We found:

    We are not alone
    Our stories sometimes pale compared to others
    We thousands strong
    We have options
    It’s not the end of the world
    Small steps become big strides
    Infidelity is on the cheater NOT the chump
    Ways to fix our picker
    Meh is not just a word
    Tuesday is not just a day

    I can go on and on…

    Three years out for me. I am forever grateful to you for that first letter you typed in beginning this blog. That first small baby step.

    • Damn, I read this three times….sheesh. Mightiness. I think the only words I consistently get right are four letter : )

  • Happy birthday and thank you, thank you, thank you CL and CN. After almost 40 years of marriage, all of you have given me the strength and courage to move on to an authentic life. My STBX didn’t think I had it in me. And why would he? I stayed after the first DD#1 and believed him when he said he would never hurt me again. After DD#2 and finding CL, I am realizing my worth and striving to be mighty.

  • From what I have read and learned here over the years I would have to say, “Life goes on.” Was it a roller coaster of pain? Yes. There was much loss of friends, family, and finances: lives torn apart. My loving son said, “It’s a new chapter, Mom.” My daughters rallied around me and were supportive.

    The aftermath of divorce entailed picking up the pieces; taking my soul back and living an authentic life. After three years this spring I have realized the pain of infidelity while lessened, will always be a part of who I am. It serves as a protective shield of sorts because infidelity encompasses much more than ‘just’ being cheated on. The disordered prey upon those very characteristics we naturally possess.

    After years they circle back. Mr. Good Guy has resurfaced looking for supply. And adult children are willing to pick up those breadcrumbs because they prefer the image to having a father who led a double life, lied, and discarded his family. The embarrassment of the bar whore he partnered with three years ago is now a part of their life and they have no control over that as they know if it’s not this low life, it will be another.

    Life goes on knowing what I can and cannot control. I am no longer the holder of his image, the supporter of his future faking, or the lover of all that is evil within. Those small acts of mightiness are cumulative and one day the fear dissolves. He can no longer hurt me is an understatement. After bargaining with a devil for many years I finally gained a life thanks to this Nation.

    Thank you for everything you have done Tracy. Reaching the masses is a great accomplishment as is changing the landscape. Knowing I was not alone was the awakening I needed and the rest fell into place once I knew he was not unique. My role models were a battered woman with Stockholm Syndrome and a malignant narcissist growing up. Then forty one years with a covert narcissist left me doubting there were men of character. Thank you to Mr CL and the courageous male chumps for changing my view.

  • Tracy,

    WOW! CONGRATULATIONS for this amazing anniversary and for the good things you have reaped from this blog. I am in awe (and in tears of gratitude) by what Mr. Chump Lady describes. I don’t know how you do this!

    Unfortunately the weaknesses of humankind will never disappear. But saving hundreds (if not thousands; after all, 14 MILLION views….) of well-intentioned chumps and sharpening our minds and pickers to understand the dynamics of selfishness, entitlement and exploitation and how we, imperfect, but nonetheless innocent people, get caught up in this evil is worthy of canonization.

    I keep thinking: “Tracy’s method” (as at least one chump here at CN has called it) MUST have more visibility and in a way that makes people have better moral reasoning. There are already centuries-old resources out there for this exercise (the Bible, the lessons in the universal literature, etc.), but I really think that the UBT method is more effective. After all, I have always read the Bible, the universal literature and where did it get me? It got me to be a fair, honest person who got chumped…

    Tracy Schorn deserves the Nobel Peace Prize for making the world a fairer place. Maybe even the Ig Nobel prize in peace, psychology, and law for her patented UBT. Ig Nobels are awarded for feats that first make people laugh (and, boy, does this blog make me LAUGH!!!! The BEST medicine for sorrow) and THEN make people THINK. Seriously! It is still time to be nominated for this year’s Ig Nobel prize. Trouble is, I bet the nomination will make some members on the nomination committee uncomfortable, narcs are abundant among academics…

    All my friends say they don’t understand how I am living through this shit. I tell them about my secret weapon.

    Tracy, THANK YOU a gazillion times. And God bless you and your family.

  • Happy Anniversary, and congratulations on the birth of a (chump) nation!

    I now happily reside in the Land of Meh, and am so grateful to this space and my fellow chumps, who helped me navigate through The Troubles. New chumps: I am here to tell you that you deserve better. It gets better. I promise!

  • Three years today was my D-Day … so you had been around for 2 years by then, and I didn’t find you until I think a year after I started the pick-me dance. Now, I think it’s way easier to find you online, hopefully so, and more and more people know about you.

    You’re right … it’s changing. We’re starting to say “Abuse” first, and then possibly consider if we’ve got ourselves a Unicorn, not the other way around.

    Thank you for everything, Tracy … you’ve shown that we can all get past the point where everything is a reminder of our own situation, wanting to just run away from it all, to the point where we use what happened to us as a way to help someone else, even if it’s just one person in a social group, or like you, online for 5 years helping all us chumps.

  • Congratulations Tracy and to many many more victories! I post a link to your blog almost daily on social media sites. Just like someone posted your link and brought me here, I try to do the same. You are a modern day angel and have saved numerous lives, more than you realize! Happy Anniversary!

  • Hey chump nation today would be a great day to make a donation on the website’s donation page on honor of CL’s birthday! For all the extra volunteer work CL puts in each day keeping this resource going for us it’s the least we can do. Even though many of us are in dire financial straits at the moment most of us could give at least a little something and some of us have means to give more. What do you say??????

  • Thank you, Tracy, for a graduate level education in character. For putting character disorders and Dr. George Simon on the curriculum. For making “no contact” the “way to the truth and the light,” as our AllOutofKibble would say. For long lists of how to get our ducks in a row and how to survive the months when we think that heartbreak is killing us. For making us laugh when we think we never will again.

  • Congrats on 5 years! You’ve helped so many of us! (And we–in turn–have helped others, and one another.)

    This blog is the most common-sense, straightforward, no-bullshit approach to infidelity out there. And the lessons it teached transcend that narrow experience.

  • Like so many, I found Chump Lady mid journey. Perhaps on the front end. I had been doing a self imposed “emotional moratorium” (aka grey rock) for a year before my world was smashed to smithereens. I had the ubiquitous “ILYBIANILWY” gift for Valentine’s Day the year before, and six months before that I had the strange gift of “vaginal strep”. Who knew. Then came the taunting phone call on a Sunday afternoon “Do you know where your husband is….?”. I visited a lawyer just so “I knew my options”. Six months later, on my wedding anniversary the final piece fell into place. Within a week I had filed and found Chump Lady. It was like I was drowning and didn’t really know. She threw a life preserver and and said “Grab on, but you still have to swim”. I did. I lawyered up, I read every blog, every post I marveled at the strength of Tessie, Tempest, Roberta, LAJ, and more. I post infrequently but it is this blog that guided me in my darkest moments as my then husband “stepped over me to go get a hot pocket”. I have laughed, cried and been angry for others. This blog, Tracy’s ability to cut through the academic bullshit on NPD (I’m a therapist) is not only a gift for us chumps, but a beacon that draws me to a more fulfilling, authentic life. Thank you Tracy for lighting the path and for being real. Happy Birthday Chump Lady!

  • You know a blog is way too important (impossible!) to you when you hear Kai Ryssdal diss the “unicorn latte” on Marketplace and immediately think of Chump Lady!

    Congratulations Tracy. You saved me. I told an old friend this over the weekend. I tell people all the time, and I reference this blog constantly when people share their stores of dealing with Narcs and other Cluster Bs in their lives. There are too many, IMHO.

    Keep on keeping on!

  • I am a grown-assed 54 year old man, and I am weeping at my desk getting emotional about the huge amount of gratitude I have for you ChumpLady. In February 2012 I found out my wife had a multi-year affair going on and had (forgotten to tell me) and I must have stumbled on your blog when it was a week old. I had friends and family close to me that had my back five years ago, other chumped friends, a good therapist and your blog to get me through it.

    For me, you could add to your sage observations that this is also about identifying what the hell a narcissist is. The subtitle of your blog could be “How ’bout Them Narcissists!”. Very handy life knowledge to have when dealing with cheaters, weird bosses, manipulative acquaintances or orange presidents.

    Gratitude! Thank you! Plus, you are hilarious.

  • Happy Birthday Chump Lady Blog. I’m 5 yrs out from my divorce and this column running for 5 yrs. I found this site through the site “Experience Project” , which is discontinued now. From the start you had my mind focusing on a new mindset. Anyone that I know going through a divorce I direct to this site. Your advice has given me the “grit” to move through all the stages of my divorce and the after math of destruction. You and the people who post on this site have given me many moments of laughter and insight. The “special Unicorn drink” is an empty cup the consumer pays top dollar for.

  • Wow! 5 years! “Thank you” doesn’t begin to express the gratitude I feel for everything you’ve done Tracy. I found you 4 months after DDay (exactly 2 years ago) through a guy I met in AA — he and I share the same DDay 12/26/14. I had been pick me dancing like crazy to no effect and the devalue and discard of me and my 4 kids and pets and community and all our 25 years of friends and extended family was in full horror. I had fallen down the RIC hole (but my God how was I supposed to be able to make X do all of that?). MC, which consisted of acts screaming and yelling at me about shit that happened 10 years ago that had never been mentioned and was so inconsequential,followed by X’s diagnosis of love/sex addiction and the Cairns’ books, SA, partners’ group etc etc etc ….. nothing worked to “make” X stop abusing me and the kids.

    The first weeks I read CL it was so hard. I wanted to believe in unicorns. I wanted to believe th husband I loved (who was a mirage, apparently) would somehow come back and make it all better, and restore safety and normality. Of course the abuse got worse and worse– DDay after DDay — finally after being caught yet again texting OW, X said he wanted to “see” her “openly.” That was it. With CL/CN holding me up I said “HELL NO! I’m mad and I won’t take this shit any longer! You have 2 hours to get your shit and get the fuck out!”

    I had some slips here and there and didn’t go NC until a year later but I’m at meh most days now. Great divorce order after trial from hell. Full custody. New life. No cheater in sight.

    I owe it all to you Tracy! ❤️❤️❤️❤️❤️❤️❤️❤️❤️❤️❤️❤️❤️❤️

  • Thank you, Chump Lady, for creating a path to freedom for so many. Even well-intentioned family and friends just really don’t understand nor know how to help unless they too have experienced serial cheating. Only here could I find my own experience explained to me in a way that motivated me to take the reins and ride to freedom. And the chance to share and motivate others going through the same shit storm has been yet another blessing. So many times I have accidentally found my own answers when trying to help someone else, and oh the things I have learned from CN veterans. But nobody does it better than Chump Lady. Cue the James Bond song …

  • Thanks for all that you do. Couldn’t have gotten through it without you. 37 years married and found out he was cheating in July and got my divorce in February. Found your site in August and can never tell you how much it has helped me. Congrats on your success!!! You truly deserve it!!!!

  • Thank you so much for helping me realize I was not alone and I was not completely to blame for what happened to me. It was because of Chumplady that I was able to pick myself up, dust myself off, and face the future. I’ve learned a lot from my fellow Chumps too, and am also inspired by them!

  • Happy 5th Birthday, Chump Lady! Tracy – you saved me more than you will EVER know. You speak truth to the lie that infidelity is “no big deal” in the sophisticated world of today. The takeaway that rings strongest from all the advice I gleaned from you is that infidelity is ABUSE. Just like emotional and physical abuse – it scars, damages and often leaves the chump victims and their kids with a lifetime of issues – both mental and physical.

    That and “no contact” are gems in the chumpy arsenal. Thank you for championing us – the trusting, loving, believing chumps who deserved way better than they got, and hopefully will find it like you did.

    Oh – and if you ever get the chance to put my ex’s OW letter to me through that UBST – let me know! 🙂

  • Many Thanks Tracy/Chump Lady and Chump Nation for the education, resources, and support found on this site so vital to navigate the chaos of infidelity. The initial trauma and desperation, exasperation, and ultimate triumph of CN, inspire and humble me daily. This forum is a life-saver and a wonderful recommendation to those wandering in the wilderness of the unmet expectations and fraudulence of the RIC. xoxoxoxoxoxoxoxoxoxoxoxoxoxoxoxoxoxoxoxoxoxoxoxoxoxoxoxoxoxoxoxoxoxoxoxoxoxoxoxox

  • Thank you so much Tracy and thank you so much CN. Without this blog, the book, and this comment section full of chumps, I would never have found the strength to retake reality and be the strong, generous and coherent parent that my children need me to be. It’s only been a little over 2 years since d-day and I would never be where I am now physically or emotionally with all of you, as it probably would have taken several years to recover otherwise.

    I’ve think I’ve finally reached Meh. Over the past few months, my short/long term memory has been returning, my energy has returned, and I’m optimistic about my life again. I still have to deal with my ex because of the kids, but this blog has taught me how to deal with her and enabled me to see right through her like a glass door. I can spot bullshit from miles away now, and that will be an invaluable tool going forward.

    I am forever grateful to Tracy and CN, I don’t know where I’d be without you.

  • Congratulations! It must feel good to know that you took the awful situation you lived through and turned it into something so positive for so many people all over the world.

    This site has been helpful for me as I transition from wanting to save my marriage to wanting to end it and move on. At first it almost didn’t help because so many other spouses/STBXs/EXs were so much worse than mine. He almost seems kind and rational in comparison. Through these boards, however, I have been able to recognize much of the subtle, seemingly benign mindfuckery I have dealt with over the years and which still continues even now. I have come to recognize that I have good reason to be bothered by the things that bother me and it isn’t just me being a bitter person who refuses to move on. He really is an asshole for treating me the way he has even if he could have been worse. No matter how many good qualities he has (and he does have many), they are forever tainted by his loss of honor, integrity, and good judgement and no amount of image management will ever change that. He isn’t just a poor conflicted soul who can’t help that he would rather run away from his life and go play with schmoopie than work things out with the woman who has had his back for 25 years. Whatever shortcomings I may have had as a wife they were not sufficient to warrant the devalue, betrayal and discard that I suffered at his hands. I now recognize how many of the problems in our marriage were really the result of his actions and attitudes and had very little to do with me at all. Not only is there nothing I could have said or done to prevent this, I could have been a whole different person and things still would have turned out the way they have. Chump Nation has helped me to see all of this and feel better about myself even if I am still struggling with the notion of meh and “how could he possibly prefer that untested thing, who has never really done anything to substantially improve his life, over me”. Hopefully with time Chump Nation and my friends and family will help me get to meh too and I will be glad he chose the succubus over me.

    Thank you everybody.

    • Chumpinrecovery, I could have written this post word for word, except we were together 15 years, not 25. And my struggle is more along the lines of: “how could he possibly prefer that Third World, barely literate, aging, sugar-baby-whore thing, who has never really done anything except brazenly raid his wallet to pay her substantial debts, over me”.

      • We all have our own variations on that don’t we. It can be summed up as “why are they giving up gold for crap?”

        • And really, CL’s response is really all that matters: because they suck!

          Can’t waste a minute of our precious lives trying to untangle the skein of fuckupedness!

          Thank you Tracy for the 2×4

  • Happy 5th Birthday Tracy! Because of you and this blog, I was able to get a new lease on life. I now empower other divorced women to live the amazing life they deserve.

    You should be nominated for the Harvard Humanitarian Award which is given annually “to an individual whose works and deeds have served to improve the quality of our lives and have inspired us to greater heights.” That clearly describes what you have done here with this life-changing blog.

    Thank you for inspiring me to greater heights!

  • I’m not here much these days, my life has moved on and I’m as close to meh as I am ever going to get. But this site was an absolute lifesaver for me in earlier days. Thank you, CL, for your brilliant insights, your hours and hours of time spent writing, your money spent on maintaining this blog. You are mighty!

  • Happy 5th Birthday Tracey! Thank you thank you thank you. My eyeballs popped out of my head the first time I read the blog. Finally FINALLY I found the understanding and clarity I had craved for so long.
    I use Tracey’s words to create a strong voice for myself. Thank you for giving me that, Tracey. Huge shout out to Tempest and Mr Chump Lady as well. And to the Nation? What an amazing group of talented writers. Thank you for joining in the conversation and helping me along the way. Your wise words and empathy are balm for my soul.
    ❤️❤️❤️

  • I remember your first (??) few posts on Huffpo!

    You are the greatest Tracy, and you deserve every success.

    When is the next DC celebration?!!! 🙂

  • Happy Birthday! Thank you for maintaining the blog. You taught me the difference between remorse an GINR.

  • Congratulations!!!!

    I found this blog in 2012 through an article you wrote for the Huffington Post Divorce. I was 1 year post divorce from a serial cheater and still looking for answers to “what happened”. I found my answers here. I have been reading here ever since. I love your humor and truth. After not having anything but RIC doublespeak on the internet during my wreckonciliation, your voice was a revelation! Everything I had gone through with my narcissistic/sociopathic cheater made sense finally. I could laugh at the absurdity of it all. I understood it really was him not me who was disordered. Thank you so much for writing this blog and for starting this nation. I know it must be a labor of love. Keep the conversation going, especially as it relates to infidelity as abuse. I am now in a loving second marriage and am so grateful I got out and fixed my picker. Now I try to pay it forward by sending fellow chumps here and recommending your book. Tracy you ROCK!

  • Chumplady and CN you are amazing.

    I really wish I had discovered you 3 years ago after my Dday. Well, there were others but unconfirmed until now.

    I am new here and over the last few weeks I have learned so much about my cheater, myself and the whole damn sorry process of realising the futility of reconciliation.
    I have been an idiot and so unbrave compared to you amazing chumps on this site. Tracy is a genius and I am just so grateful that she has the heart to help us still after all this time.

    I am planning my exit from this mindfuckery and finally realise that I can have a future that’s free and peaceful. All because of you guys.

  • This place has been my raft and my solace in the stormiest seas of my entire life. People are so…namby pamby about cheating. I needed Tracy and CN to be like, no, this is absolutely fucking unacceptable shit! Every time I came to this blog in the early days, it strengthened my resolve. Early on, I needed it for that so badly, because I was wavering and weaving like someone riding a tricycle under the influence. It solidified that early wobbliness. After a while, I came here because I still needed to process my experience (without being judged for being “bitter” and “stuck in the past”) and learn from other chumps who were further along. And then, once I achieved Meh, I wanted to be here to share and help the newly chumped, in that shattering, traumatic place I will never, ever forget.

    I’m not exaggerating when I say that you changed my life, Tracy. You and Chump Nation gave me the resolve I needed to make the decision best for ME. And what I didn’t expect was how that decision would influence my entire life, and really transform things for me. You were the only voice saying serial cheating was abuse. This experience has made me a better person (and therapist) because I am now so damn clear on that.

    SO much love to you. Keep going!!

  • Dear Chump Lady.
    5 years! Thank you for starting and keeping going an incredibly important blog. Thank you also for your books that I am going to read… I am still busy in surviving mode right now after being walked out on 9 months ago. So I’ve been busy, but still want to read them.This site has been such an education, that, and my best friend telling me I was a co-dependent. I am grateful to you both for keeping me from being one of those foolish hopefuls who think that there is still a chance in hell with the stbxh. I needed both of you to wake me up! I wanted to believe there was that good guy in there. Now I see clearly the addict and covert narcissist in there and marvel at how long I was fooled. Because of you both, I stand a chance of having a normal and happy life again. Letting it all go and taking care of me again. Bless you for your work and caring.

    I wonder in the past on here, have you written how you came to trust again and realize the man you are with was trustworthy? I know now what to look for to avoid the disordered. But it’s not only disordered people who cheat and lie. So how did you personally know it was safe to get back into a marriage again? I don’t plan to marry again, but love can come along, and I need to know what let’s you know they’re safe? Sure, go glacially slow, check things out, pay attention. But people can really fool you. I’m not suggesting that be your next book, but I’d love to read a post on your thoughts about that. Thank you again for 5 years of much needed advice and laughter inducing observations. Unfortunately in the way our society is going, they will continue to be needed. Blessings and positive energy your way for helping me and so many others to heal.

    • I actually think that once we grow up, it’s the disordered who cheat. Immature people also cheat, so in our late teens and early twenties, yeah, more people cheated, non-PD people sometimes did. But they grew up. The cheaters didn’t, and never will; to me that’s disordered. And anybody who cheats repeatedly or long-term is disordered, by definition; it takes so much selfishness and dishonesty.

      So I figure learning to identify the disordered will keep me from being cheated on again, and I think I’ve finally learned that if I want a happy, functional marriage, I need to marry a happy, functional person (like me!).

  • Happy Birthday Chump Nation, may you grow bigger and stronger everyday!
    Finding CL’s blog was a revelation. I thought what had happened to me was uniquely evil too. It’s evil alright but sadly not unique. It’s desperately banal. I immediately knew I had found the right place when I read my words of horror written by other chumps, using exactly the same vocabulary and imagery (hyenas, blue pill-red pill, thought he’d been body snatched by aliens, monster under the mask) and I also read his words and arguments uttered by all these other cheaters. Finally I found people who not only get it but they’ve lived it. And they are telling it exactly how it happened, it’s obvious to me because I lived it too.

    Thank you so much Tracy for this site. I also like to repeat how precious the trust you’ve placed in all of us chumps by letting us express ourselves freely, swear, rant, curse, fantasise revenge. It’s counter intuitive but by allowing all the rude words and the anger, you’ve given us a safe haven.
    Thank you all, you’re awesome, wise, witty and kind.
    Thank you Tempest too, for all the moderating and connecting work you do, in addition to your wisdom.

  • Thank you Tracy for all of the knowledge you have shared, and all the time you have put into this blog.
    You have helped me, and so many others, navigate their way through the biggest shit storm of our lives. I found you 10 months after Dday and have been reading here ever since (May 2015). Your site has given me strength I didn’t think I had, and laughter when I didn’t think I would ever laugh again. And directions to MEH.

    Thank you Thank you Thank you

    Chump Nation Rocks!

  • “I love when people that have been through hell walk out of the flames carrying buckets of water for those still consumed by the fire.” -Stephanie Sparkles

  • Happy Birthday to your Blog!

    This place was a crucial part of my recovery after my marriage to what’s-his-name. I had been visiting another site that was helpful in some respects, but I couldn’t really speak my truth and frankly, couldn’t stomach a place that had a safe area for the poor misunderstood “wayward spouses.” Hell no.

    When you live in a world of Switzerland friends, where people love to tell you that “there’s two sides to every story”, or “it takes two people to ruin a marriage”, this was the absolute ONLY place that called bullshit on that idea. That was what I needed to hear.

    Oh and the bitter bunnies and forgiveness trolls. Thanks for naming these things. 🙂

    Thanks for all you do Tracy

  • My D-Day was over 3 years ago but I wasn’t ready to find ChumpNation until about 2 years ago when Ex-Douchecanoe announced that he was marrying OW (who had also cheated on her spouse with my Ex). Through my anger and sadness I goggled “affair partners who marry” and I found the article about vacationing at a casino in Oklahoma. I felt better. I spent the next weeks reading every single article in the archives. Still today the first thing I do when I wake up each morning, before even getting out of bed, is to check Chump Lady to see what her daily message is.

    You all have helped me find my anger and be OKAY about it. You’ve helped me realize that I need to STOP looking to my Ex-Douchecanoe for his apology and remorse so I can finally move on. You’ve helped me realize that I’ve been dealt a shit sandwich in parenting my young daughter with him and that metaphor has been such a perfect illustration of what it is like.

    I’m sorry that we all have to be a part of this club, but the company sure is grand. And look at us all sitting here laughing and shit, we certainly are mighty.

  • Happy Birthday CL and CN!
    38 years ago today I met the man I thought was going to be my husband, and it feels like a suitable celebration to officially register as a member of Chump Nation.
    I hope to process the experiences weighing me down with a ton of sadness – all those years wasted – and to tweak my picker.

  • My first DDay was 13 years ago. I tried to find everything I could to make sense of how a 30-something year old man walks out on his wife and 2 kids (4 & 2 y.o. at the time). He couldn’t be rid of me fast enough then. Insisted on selling the new house we just built ASAP and said he could never imagine coming back to the family in our 1 and only MC session. I read all I could about what could’ve possibly happened. Went the mid-life crisis route. Athough I couldn’t find a schmoopie name, it was out there this was the reason. Ultimately took him back after the crocodile tears 8 months later after the kids and I were in our new home and moving on with our lives.

    DDay #2 was a year ago. I knew how it would play out. He left to run off with our daughter’s HS soccer coach. Twu wuv was waiting! Again he could not be done with me fast enough. I lawyered up this time and got the job done while she was pick me dancing.

    CL and CN got me through and I still come here every. single. day. multiple times. It all makes so much more sense now. He is a sparkly turd. He will always leave when he finds another sparkly turd. There is no end to his selfishness and entitlement.

    Like many others, I need to hear it over and over and in different ways. Not everyone’s story is the same about the journey, but they all start with a piece of shit.

    Happy Anniversary CL and CN!! I wouldn’t be sane right now without you!!

  • Another voice adding to the chorus thanking you, Tracy, for your dedication and hard work on this blog. This community has been my saving grace and I wish it had been around in 2002 when I discovered what was going on with Cheater #1 while I was pregnant with Jr (now 14!!!).

    I agree with other posters that it is indeed the day to donate to support the blog and give back, even a little, after you have done so much for all of us.

    Oh, and that Starbucks drink? Bitter coffee flavor being made from bitter, bitter tears cried over split milk.

  • I just received an e-mail from Starbucks about their Unicorn Frappuccino Blended Beverage.

    At the bottom of the e-mail there is a link to the “Sparkly Details” of the beverage. Sparkly details? If I didn’t know any better, I’d assume this drink was dreamed up by some of us chumps!

    BUT, for a grande size it has a whopping 416 calories, 50% of your daily allowance of saturated fat. 59g of sugar. Just like my narc, I can’t afford that kind of relationship, so even if the unicorn might exist, I’m not sticking around to find out!

  • JUST FOUND YOU!!! Thank you so much for letting me know I am NOT ALONE!!!! I read your book and just found your blog! A godsend!!!! I seriously thought I was losing my mind — I have second guessed every single thing about me, I tried to be the SUPER SPOUSE, I tried the COMPETITION, I read “How to Affair Proof your Marriage” and a dozen other books —– THE FIRST TIME he cheated! Which he still denies it was with a “friend” with whom they were sexting each other 4 years ago! The SECOND –
    16 months ago – time was a different kind of cheating — online on CRAIGSLIST — with men AND women!!! I thought we had re-established trust and love and fun etc etc etc etc etc — BULLSHIT !!!!!! Now reading about Narcissism is like reading about everything I have been through. He is verbally and physically and financially and emotionally abusive. I honestly felt like if only I could change myself he would be happy and monogamous . . . and now I just can’t get past it, I feel like a schmuck! I feel so stupid and I have questioned every little thing about myself and he just points out more. Finding your book has been a godsend!! Thank you Thank you Thank you! — xoxo fellow Chump

    • PBS, the pick me dance sucks! I did it the first time around too. The second time, I thought screw this fucker. I simply have no more to give. He is not worth the drama. I just hated it for my kids (the main reason I gave him another chance before). First time I never found who the schmoopie was, but pretty sure it was a howorker known for being a ‘crazy chick’. This time a girl 20 years younger and our daughter’s coach. I have finally realized whatever mechanisms this turd has for justifying screwing over and embarrassing the hell out of his wife and kids are just that—his. I just can’t eat that shit sandwich. Nor can I set myself and kids up for more shit sandwiches at the buffett.

      It still feels surreal. CL and CN make a lot of sense. I’ve referred a colleague to the site.

      Don’t feel like a schmuck. You were real. He’s a fucker.

  • CL, “Empty Elevator Shaft” is a perfect description. You’ve nailed it again!

    I was alerted to Chump Nation (back then simply Chumplady.com… the nation came later!) about 4 months after my d-day, while visiting my family for Christmas and trying to get my bearings, and my wits about me.An acquaintance of mine from way back in High School (I was 45 at the time), was following my plight on Facebook, and asked me to meet up with her at, ironically with the Unicorn Frappuccino having come out today, Starbuck’s for a coffee and to give me some support.

    This is where she told me about her sister, who had gotten out of a very physically abusive marriage several years earlier, her own more recent battle with her own cheater, who had been her high school sweetheart, so I knew him too, and finally, about Chumplady.com.

    This was late 2013, so Chumplady had not been around for 2 years yet. I had no idea how lucky I was with that sort of timing, actually. And how fortunate I was that my acquaintance from High School took me under her wing and shared the love!

    I went onto the site and read about the Skein of FuckUpedness, which my friend told me to read first, and Genuine Imitation Naugahyde Remorse, and the Pick-Me dance, and Kibbles and Cake, barbed-wire monkeys, and I even remember one about stained glass windows that was very good! It set me straight.

    I got back to Australia and no longer paid the narc, who I was still unfortunately living under the same roof with, any regard. Luckily, I think he was scared of me destroying his reputation anyway, because he kept to himself.

    Now, all these years later, I am settled back in the US, new fiance, who is NOT a cake eater, and very recently after a brief respite from reading Chumplady, I have come back around to participate and contribute. It feels good to give back.

    My high school friend’s sister has 3 full grown boys, who are wonderful, because they were raised by her, without the influence of her abuser.

    My high school friend, despite alerting me to Chumplady.com, took quite awhile longer to get free of her situation. But at long last, late last year (2016), she completed the divorce, moved herself into a condo, and got herself a job as a flight attendant, and she is literally living the high life!

    What would we do without CL and CN? It would take us so much longer, if we could get free at all! For some, it has even LITERALLY saved our lives, which is a pretty big deal!

    Thank you CL and CN from the bottom of my heart. We should have official membership on offer, and t-shirts! It would be great!

  • Happy Birthday CL!
    Many thanks for the love and dedication to this space where wounded people can find solace and help. May your kindness be returned to you tenfold!

  • Cheers to more anniversaries to come!!

    Lots of love and admiration for Chump Lady and Chump Nation ! You guys give me a whole lot of strength these days, so grateful to find this place.

  • Happy Birthday Chump Lady & Chump Nation!

    I honestly do not know where I’d be today had I not found you. I’m not at MEH yet, but MY Tuesday is coming…I can feel it!

  • Congrats on the anniversary. I’m a new reader here, but this place has already helped me so much after the spectacular implosion of my marriage last June. I’m still struggling hard with the loss of STBX and dealing with Skankenstein at the same time, but this blog reminds me that I’m worth SO much more. So thanks for that.

    By the way, the Starbucks unicorn drink is awful, unfortunately. It’s sweet, yet sour at the same time. Sort of like what STBX was, heh.

    Thanks again.

  • Happy Anniversary Chump Lady! I was married for 27 years, my d-day was in the fall of 2013 (divorce final in summer 2014) but I didn’t discover your blog until last summer 2016. Once I started reading it, I couldn’t stop. I just sat on my front porch reading all the archieves. Immediately bought the book (and I reread it regularly). I come here just about every day. And I tell everyone I know about it.

    Chump lady, like so many others here, you helped me find my backbone. You say things in such a wonderful, funny way. Can you love someone you have never met? Because I love you. ☺ Like everyone is saying over and over today, thank you so so so much. You have helped me more in my recovery than anything else. I am so close to meh I can almost touch it!

    Chump nation, I appreciate all of you that post comments here. I’m not good with words, but so many of you are, and you are so inciteful! You have all helped me in many different ways.

    Mr. Chump Lady, thank you for posting today. Thank you for your beautiful words that made me tear up.

    I love the idea of donating today, and I’m going to do it right now!

  • I have been really busy today, but I could not let the day pass without wishing you, Tracy, a Happy Blogversary. I don’t know where I would be without you. I found you and Chump Nation about a year after I had fled the marital home, approximately 6 months after I had read “Why Does He Do That,” about 7 months after I had gotten into therapy and about two months before Satan’s Twin Ass Cheeks filed for divorce. The wisdom that you dispensed on this blog was the washer and the screw that connected those components and many others and engaged the part of my brain that finally took over and said, “Fuck this. This is some bullshit right here.”

    This is the one place where my feelings of betrayal and injustice were validated and where you put into words all those thoughts and feelings I had been having for YEARS in my marriage. I had already done so many of the things that your blog and CN warns against by the time I found this spot, but I realized I could just pick up and do better going forward. It gave me the wisdom to accept some of the injustice and to recognize in the end it was going to be okay – and if it wasn’t okay, it wasn’t the end.

    Satan’s Twin Ass Cheeks’ is living the sparkly life he always wanted with Cruella DeVille and her purse and her leash, and I’m living a peaceful existence enjoying my freedom and my children and grandchild. For all of his bragging, I believe I got the better end of this deal.

    Thank you CL and CN for being there for me when no one else really understood. This place will always be home for my spirit.

  • I could not have gotten through this without you and Chump Nation. From the bottom of my loving heart, thank you.

  • I have pretty much visited this site daily for the past two years, read and re-read the articles and found sanity when I thought I was losing my mind. I can’t thank you enough CL and CN for literally bringing me out of my darkest days, and finding my way back to a better existence. Thank you will never be enough.

  • Thank you and congratulations CL

    Your humour, eloquence and defiance are priceless. I can’t express how much you helped me through the shitstorm and (nearly to meh) out the other side. CN is such a beautiful and supportive place that I am drawn back daily and hope some of my blunt support is in turn helping others.

    Lots of love

    A

  • Congratulations,Chump Lady,on the success of your blog. My first D-day took place in autumn of 2012,and like you,I searched the RIC sites looking for help and truth about what what had happened. I stumbled across your site in 2014 after floundering for over a year. I have read it every day since,although I’ve rarely posted. The info I got here gave me what I needed to know to understand and what to do. I laid low and pretended all was well for 2 years till I got enough money saved and the plan was in place.Then I dropped the divorce papers on her last July. Stupid slut had no clue. The divorce was final last November,and I had things my way. I got to stay in our rented house, no alimony,I have a great relationship her two sons,one of whom I raised from a year old. I also got to keep most of the marital property. Not bad for a man in a no fault state. Thanks forever to you, Chump Lady,for pointing me in the right direction. Thanks also to all of you who posted your stories. The things I have learned here from everyone were invaluable. Couldn’t have done it without you.

  • I am listening to my kids out playing happily in the driveway while I drink a glass of wine and peruse the internet. Soon, I will make dinner, and we will enjoy the meal and the end of the day together.

    It is hard to know how much of this would have been possible without CL.

    There are not words for my gratitude.

    Nonetheless, thank you for all you’ve done. Thank you for all you’ve helped me to do.

  • Chump Lady = Bodhisattva (someone who, motivated by great compassion, has generated a spontaneous wish and a compassionate mind to attain buddhahood for the benefit of all sentient beings)

    When I grow up, I hope to be half the person Chump Lady is.

    Funny to think the person I thought was the best person I knew, wasn’t. But finding out he was actually the worst person I know led me to this place and this community – truly some of the best people I’ve ever ‘met.’

    Thank you Tracy. Thank you all.

  • More than two years ago after my horror slap down, all I read over and over was how it was my fault, how to win him back, reconcile and trust again and even how marriage can be better after an affair! Really thought I was loosing my mind.

    Here I found common place, understanding, support and compassion. I was allowed to be angry and even curse!

    Thank you, all of you.

  • I found CL and the CN when I had already decided to file, but was in “lining up the ducks” phase. I remember being a little stunned, reading posts from internet strangers that were literally, almost verbatim things that had come out of the Ex’s mouth. This helped me realize exactly what I was dealing with. I wasn’t dealing with someone who could be better if I only did some unknown thing. I wasn’t dealing with someone who genuinely valued our relationship and just needed help to get his head on straight. I was dealing with a disordered fuckwit who would continue lying and manipulating as long as he could. It really kept me on course while I got ready. The advice to trust that he sucks, and go no contact as soon as you can, and don’t try to untangle the skein… it’s not worth it, and the vocabulary to describe the experience were so helpful. By nature, I like rules. I was like “this is my rule book.”

    I decided to file after one evening a friend told me that ExH was telling everyone at his bar the only reason he hadn’t gotten rid of me was that he didn’t want to give me half. I remember sitting at a lounge with my friend and trying to come up with any reason to explain this away. It’s fine, it’s fine. The person doing the gossiping was drunk, or it was just bar room talk among guys…About two weeks later I was reading CL and I came across the term spackling and I laughed out loud thinking of that moment. The visual of digging out the industrial sized bucket of spackle and trying to make the horrible things he said go away.

    It’s nice to have a place where you can talk about it and not be that person in real life. I think another thing that’s valuable to me is the validation about the crazy shit they do. In real life, I think people almost think you are the crazy one when you tell them that your Ex said (insert insane shit here). Like they think maybe you misunderstood or are sort of exaggerating . But on CL, you mention (insert insane shit here) and like 4 other people are like “Oh mine did that too, it’s crazy isn’t it.”

  • My divorce was a year old when this blog began.
    I didn’t find it until a couple years later when I was struggling to deal with Switzerland friends.
    There is no comparison in my emotional state when I found Chump Lady and my state now.
    When you save one person, you save the world.
    By that measure Tracy and Chump Nation have saved a galaxy at least.
    I’m looking forward to when the Chump narrative is the universal — or at least the dominant — view.
    Thank you so very much.
    I don’t post much these days but I will never forget.

    PS-I love when Mr. Chump Lady posts. Add Tracy’s comments (there’s always a little conversation) and wow, talk about modeling what a sane, healthy and supportive relationship looks like.

  • In honor of your 5-year debut-birth-aversary, I thought I’d share five things about your blog and Chump Nation that have changed my life.

    1. I got angry and ended my marriage. I was on a downward spiral of doubling down every time we had a crisis or D-day, and I was in such a vulnerable position with so many sunk costs that I would have given in and eaten the shit sandwich had I not found your blog. In my quest to research how to “fix” my marriage and restore some sense of control and stability, I stumbled onto Chump Lady. I read a few posts and comments, and immediately rejected CL, categorized the blog as too pessimistic, and went on my way. But soon after I started to get angry about my ex’s expectation of the pick-me dance, and I struggled to stomp down that anger. Where I normally would have swallowed my anger, apologized, prostrated myself, and tied myself in knots to restore the peace, I thought “Hey, I remember someone else who was mad about this stuff. Maybe I’ll look for that blog again.” And when I did, it unleashed the floodgates of glorious, righteous, powerful rage that took me in a new forever direction. THAT was the end of my marriage. And it’s because you and CN said YES, BE MAD ABOUT THIS. I did some circling the drain, but I read my ex a letter over the phone telling him I was leaving him. And I did. He wanted cake as long as he didn’t have to deal with my anger. Anger was the deal breaker, and boy did I unleash it.

    2. I met JC, my fellow chump, right here in the comments section. Our exes are each others’ affair partners. Connecting with JC helped to anchor my experience in reality. He helped to validate my experience, offered a listening ear as I continue to trudge through “co”-parenting with my ex, the birth of their shiny new baby, and the divorce that will…not…end. I’m beyond grateful that your blog provided the opportunity for two weary chumps to connect, share, and move forward.

    3. Fantastic Boundaries and Where to Find Them. Three therapists and endless reading material failed to educate me on what boundaries are and why I deserve them. This blog and community taught me though blog posts, message boards, and comments what boundaries are and how to set, enforce, and model them. This was my school for boundaries. I’m pretty good at them now, and it’s 100% because of this blog, and 0% because of therapy.

    4. I learned to let go of my son’s time with his dad. I don’t get too wrapped up in what they do, that the OW is sometimes there shoveling kibbles at my preschooler to win his affection, or that my ex is a Disney dad. My life has changed for the better because I have confidence in my role as the sane parent. It’s because of you that I don’t feel I have to compete with Disney dad. Instead I feel steady, honest, and sane. I feel like I’m the mom my son deserves, even if his dad isn’t the father he deserves. Thank you for that.

    5. I have learned how to help others in trauma. I can spot a red flag a mile away, and I do not sugar coat my advice or opinions (when it’s appropriate to share them, of course). This blog has given me the lifelong gift of WISDOM. My downward spiral with my ex demonstrates the experience does not necessarily impart wisdom. Looking the ugly truth in the eye, pushing forward through the pain and fear, and coming out the other end with a radically different perspective? That’s wisdom.

    Thank you for your gifts to all of us. Your “brain dump” turned into a midden of freedom and validation, with every stratigraphic layer revealing something new, empowering, and sustaining. I’m getting close to the sterile soil at the bottom, which represents “meh” for me. I have a little further to go, and that involves understanding more about abuse and how it engulfed me. But I’m taking steps to deal with that in a positive way, and making new and meaningful connections.

    My life would look radically different right now without this blog. It was all inside of me, yes. But that door was locked, and your blog was the key. I will be forever grateful to you.

    Happy 5th, Tracy. You’re making a difference in this world. Go get ’em!

  • Thank you. Merci. Grazie. Gracias.Obrigada.Dank.Arigatou gozaimasu.Xiè xie. I wish I could go on and google thank you in so many other languages. Here just a few of the reasons I’m thankful. I have way more, but selected only this ones.For now.
    1-One day I was so down, feeling such a failure, the more I read about people who were so mighty the more I felt as a looser. The day his favorite prostitute came to our door I separated beds right away, but as a SHAM had no financial resources to move out with the kids, even though my wonderful siblings opened their doors to us, in another continent. Prom year for older daughter. Would not do that to her and move them all to a different country. Anyway, the day I was extremely low, not seeing a light at the end of the tunnel, that day CL was talking about lining up ducks. It lifted my spirit, gave me hope and I felt validated an understood. That day was a turn around, I started making plans, my had cleared. And I told myself, I’ll make it. . Tomorrow is my first visit with a lawyer , if not for Tracy and CN, I would not even consider a lawyer. Still believed he would not financially screw us. Guess what? I was so wrong! Learned here this people are also unfaithful with money. Never thought he would cheat on us on that too. And he did. Big time. A lot of money on prostitutes/strippers/asian massages and I have reasons to believe another family, kids and all. See my screen name? That day I felt like. CL was seating across me, holding my hands, , assuring me that everything will be ok, just line up your ducks and divorce his ass.. And mama duck said: quack quack, translation, I hear you Tracy. That day mama duck was born and started lining up her ducklings No amount of thank you in all the languages can express my gratitude.
    2- Another very, very important day was the one Tracy posted a photo of her son in a suit. All handsome and in college.That day I new my kids will be all right. I’ve felt so bad for my kids loosing the family as they new it. We did not see it coming, the betrayal, the knife in the back, the mask, false religiosity, false kindness… I could not even dream one day we would be divorced and not all of us together., I married for good, for life and assumed he did too. I was wrong on that one too.
    3- I directed an extremely young lady here (under 20 yo) who I was so scared would waste her youth with a narc who was abusing her emotionally and physically. She got mighty and has a RO on him.
    There are so many, many more.
    . Each one of you, it is like you all are carrying me by the hand and have your arms around my shoulder. THANK YOU ALL! Mr and Mrs CL and CN. Love you guys! You are literally saving lives. Happy Birthday!

  • I am adding my voice to the multitudes raised in praise tonight. This is the one sane place to come to get a straight shooting, no nonsense, realio trulio look at what is really going on when dealing with a cheating fuckwit. Although I found CL long past D-Day, the divorce, and all the other shit that went down, this is the place that finally helped me make sense of it all and stop blaming myself. It has also helped me cement in some healthy boundaries.

    Happy fifth anniversary Tracy! Thank you for your wit, your candor, your wisdom, your kindness, your potty mouth and your awesome ability to distill bullshit down to easily understood sound bytes. (UBT!) You have undoubtedly saved lives, and a whole bunch of sanity to boot. Best of all, you have given hope to zillions of chumps who would have otherwise be still wallowing in confused misery. You and Mr Chumplady are blessings to all of us. I am grateful for all you have done for us.

  • Holy shit, you guys with the donations! I have a LOT of thank you notes to write. You’re all amazing, generous souls. Think of how many rounds of unicorns lattes we could buy! (No, actually I put the $ towards hosting the site… which tastes nothing of sour sparkles.)

    Thank you. I’m reading every comment and soaking up the love. And getting sniffly.

    • Question, do the donations show up (in my bank account) as Chump Lady? Or is it something else? I wouldn’t want my spouse to see it.

  • Thank you, Chump Lady, and all who I’ve read and shared with, and especially for offering your support, to someone like me who still sometimes has a hard time articulating and giving wisdom in return. I can’t tell you how much, even if I’m not participating, reading each insight here has helped me. I was so lost, and so hurt and so confused…I was shredded and couldn’t breathe or understand and desperately wanted my marriage. This offered me an entirely different, and truthful, perspective from what I had found with RIC and MC and the sheer panic and desperation I had after Dday. And to not feel alone…to not feel like I was worthless and that something was wrong with me and that it was all my fault. Every story I have read here has made me shake my head in utter disgust and disbelief, while also marveling at the absolute sheer strength and balls you all have. You keep going, and in turn, you have helped me keep going. Every. Single. One. Of. You. Thank you, happy birthday, and here’s to reaching Tuesday, Meh, and gaining a life! And to those of you just finding out-welcome, you are loved, you are strong and you have found the BEST place…

  • Thanks is nowhere near enough. Not even close. But thanks, CL, Mr CL, and Tempest.

    As mine is a rare, remorseful cheater, totally devastated at what he did (but hey, he kept going back for more before I ever found out, right?) there has been so much self blame in not leaving immediately, like I ALWAYS KNEW (hmm) I would. To get to the point of leaving after 29 years together, most of which have been truly fabulous. No one ‘gets it’ – everyone thinks/says I have been ‘too harsh’ or petty, or … something, in needing to leave in order to try to gain a life. The thing is, I don’t believe anyone can truly stay together after they have been totally mindfucked. No matter how transparent, how sad, how hard the cheater works. They can’t repair this. Ever. Unfucking the maggot …

    Just a small thing that totally blows me away, I have pushed a few people towards this blog, and have been reading for at least four of these five years, and not one has connected with CN. I find that totally bizarre. I have offered my copy of Tracy’s book(s), gently, occasionally not-so-gently, nudged chumps towards the light. I wonder if it is cultural? Antipodean stubbornness? No one can tell me what to do??? But, in saying that, I have also sent the link to a couple of American chump friends, and, no dice. I guess the shit sandwich is far more palatable to some?! My mother was a mighty, mighty chump, so I guess that may be why I connected immediately? Weird.

    Even during my current Masters research, on a related topic (and I have NOT mentioned CL during this, as there would be an ethics issue) I am constantly amazed by what people lie to themselves about! Cheaters, and chumps. I just always thought it was a simple equation, your partner cheats, only one solution: leave a cheater, gain a life. I think I was born with that tattooed on me, and finding that so many stay, and that even I stayed, trying hard to force myself to believe in ‘us’ again, there just are no words. Except thank you. Again.

  • First, thank you for saving my life, CL and CN! There are not enough words to express all my feelings, my gratitude. It’s like when people say about a cheating spouse, “He doesn’t respect you,” and you realize how hopelessly inadequate that concept of respect is in describing what you’re going through. I saw a reference to ChumpLady on the Midlife Crisis Forum in mid-2012 and I was up all night reading, re-reading, laughing and crying as I caught up. I’ve never missed a day since! I had just moved out of our house to an apartment after finding out about XH’s two simultaneous affairs & filing after years of cheating, devaluing, gas lighting, lies & Olympic Gold Paltering!!! CL saved my life & helped me reclaim my joy. When his attorney depositioned me & got really aggressive I was able to keep smiling. Even the attorney yelled at me for being too cheerful. Ha! I was happy to Gain A Life, MY life.

  • If I hadn’t found this blog when I did, I think I’d be dead. I was disoriented, shaken and heart broken. I do mean broken. The grief was overwhelming and cheaterass made sure to further exploit all the grief and confusion. I was afraid and freaked out and feeling like I was nuts BECAUSE of that shitbag lying liarhole cheater I married unknowingly. Almost 25 years later I find out the first pieces of what would be the shit hitting the fan. My heart literally broke. I had a heart attack and stroke (at 47) from all the stress, distress, grief and flat out insanity of the mindfuckery he perpetrated.

    It was that, the total dawning of what IT was he was doing to me – the mindfuckery – having found this site and being able to identify and call it for what it was – was lifesaving for me. Cheaters drive you to the brink and they don’t care. Mine told me it was kinda late and maybe I could get a cab to the ER. My heart was dying bc of all he had done and was doing, all the abuse (I learned that’s what it really is from you guys)and it was KILLING me by inches (i read that here after someone write it, early on for me I think. It seems it was posted far back ago but my memory for timing of things seems very wonky). I sadly dragged my dying self to bed and NOT to the ER that first time I had those symptoms, when he made that God awful cruel cab comment. The second time I was stronger bc *CL/CN* bc of all of you and I went to the ER no matter his mocking me thank goodness.

    Finally got royally pissed and along with Tracy’s wisdom and wit and all you wonderful people here by my side, you all pushed me forward. No terrible lasting effects from the heart attack/stroke, except the word finding difficulty…..which is especially maddening for me creatively and professionally and God help me if I drop guard and allow myself to get pulled into a tangle w the Lying Liarhole!

    But, I did a lot of the things y’all suggested or did what others said they tried and I just worked on getting myself physically healthy – I don’t know how or if it would’ve happened without this site and all of you. But each step I took in the right direction was because I found *you.*

    If I hadn’t found this site and kept coming back, I think it possible I could’ve been beaten down into an early grave. You ALL helped save my life. I’m not out of the weeds yet, but at least I know I’m IN the weeds. And knee deep in his bullshit lying and cheating, but again, at least now I know which end is up. I’m still working on my getting out plan and getting to meh. I might be the last one there, but at least I have hope now that it’s maybe possible and even doable. And better still, there are days I think it’s likely I will eventually join y’all at Club Meh. For me, the hope alone, is huge progress. It’s all like a crazy bad dream. It’s just flat crazy. Even how I found this site was bc of my crazy frantic clicking from link to link to link to another and another, bc so many of them felt wrong and more hurtful, but I eventually landed on this site. Although I’m mostly a reader/lurker I’ve posted a bit in fits and spurts.

    Thank you CL, Mr.CL, CN and esp to the vets-Tempest, Tessie, Rumblekitty, Dat, and there are so many fine loving patient people who help me always – and I can’t name you all! Damn stroke brain.

    But I KNOW you when I read your words – I know you without needing to know names bc you share pieces of yourselves – of your heart and soul and the things we can’t tell others maybe. That’s how I know you best and is why or how I think I can read a comment and most always know who it is without even looking. You too Kar Marie and your damn fucking pod who’s a cheating bdsm whorejuice lover ?. And YoYoKnickers man- I LOL every time. So many I can’t take up Tracy’s whole blog trying to name you all trying to let you know how much you mean to me and how I carry your words around for protection and clarity and peace bc I mostly had/have nothing else to help me. You are like a worrystone some people carry in their pocket to remind themselves of something or to soothe themselves when fearful or anxious. This tribe is a worrystone in my heart pocket. Your words of experience, teaching, warning, encouragement, support and love are all written on it. I wouldn’t have made it without you. ?Sorry for the long maudlin post! ? And suddenly this came to my mind ?? But I can’t find the words to go w it in this moment. Very weird but still I know it’s from here and it makes me ok. I’ll think of it/you as soon as I hit the post button I’m sure!

    • ChumpedupChik, your words beautifully described how I feel about CL & CN, and brought tears to my eyes.

      Chump Lady, wow, what a day.

    • ChumpedupChik,
      Mighty,
      YOU are MIGHTY,
      recovering from a heart attack and a stroke and you are reaching out to thank others!
      YOU, are a shinning example of strength and fortitude to all of Chump Nation.
      Keep strong dear lady! You are heading in the right direction.
      CL, CN has your back!

    • Your words are just beautiful — what stroke brain? Your post is a testament to what abuse literally does to our health and hearts. I’m so glad you’re still here among the living. ((Hugs))

  • Happy blog Birthday Chump Lady. As a newly-aware chump I am SO grateful for your wit and wealth of helpful info.Your posts helped me to see that the x was controlling and abusive (and to mind that little less how fast he moved on since sparkly turd is no prize). CL and CN are a source of strength, insights and encouragement with the stepping stones towards meh. Thank you!.

  • Thank you,thankyou, Thankyou Chump Lady. It’s 2 months since DDay and I’m 7 months pregnant…yes I’m a pregnant chump. I found your blog and book about 2 weeks after d day and am so grateful l did. I looked for every excuse ( and sometimes still do) under the sun to justify his cheating and even contemplated taking him back ‘ for the family’ ( 3 boys 8,6&4) but your site gave me clarity in trusting they SUCK! He has a whole list of issues and the seperation has turned nasty on his part, cut me off financially, wants 50/50 EVERYTHING and has no empathy for me or the pregnancy. I have a looong tough road ahead but I find comfort in your site so thank-you for giving me much needed strength xx

  • I am so glad I found CL and CN! I found this early on while my head was still spinning from the betrayal, and the cruel and sick discard. As I was playing the pick me dance I found my voice reading the Archives and that I was most definitely NOT ALONE in this.
    Knowing I am a part of a community that not only understands what I have been through, but managed to put it all into WORDS has given me the strength I need to move on and finalize my divorce.
    Thank you, Tracy for being there for all of us, and giving us all a voice that is heard.
    Ultimately it is the truth that will set us all free, but that truth can be DAMN hard to accept.
    CL and CN have given me the truth, and how I can ultimately accept it.
    As alone as I may feel in my day to day, a good read on CL always put my focus in the right place-on my and my children’s happiness, and that there most definitely is a light at the end of the tunnel.
    CL and CN have taken me out of my darkest moments and given me a good laugh, and support.
    I am very grateful for this site, as I am Grateful for all that post here.
    No one’s struggle is worth nothing. We all help each other.
    Thank you, CL and CN for the support and the “in your face” truth telling!

  • Happy Birthday Chump Lady, thank you thank you…. without you I would still be doing the Pick Me Dance. The no bullshit way you tell us how it really is, is brilliant, how I have laughed at you, cried at some of what I was reading and how many times have I said OMG thats Fuckwit!! They all come from the same mold! The sex addiction, the porn addiction, the need to always have someone to flirt with, text with etc etc

    Because of you I now know who and what he really is, and its not anyone I want in my life. I dont remember how I found you but I know it was about a year after the final D Day. How I wish I had found you a few years before, then I might have been able to leave much earlier instead of staying and been emotionally beaten to the ground with all his crazy mind games The oh so subtle devaluing, so subtle that I didn’t see it until much later on after I had taken off the rose tinted glasses! I wouldn’t have worked my arse off working 2 jobs, my own job and then helping him out in his business cos he took on more than he could cope with. Yes he took advantage of me, manipulated me, took advantage of my kind generous giving nature….and giving me nothing back, apart from a few crumbs every now and then to keep me in place.

    That last year, the year of the devalue and discard was the worst of my life, never have I known such despair and unhappiness. It took all my strength to pull myself off the floor and leave, he wasn’t going to leave me was he, he had it all me and slunty. Even 2 days before I finally called it, me saying I wasn’t happy and all I wanted was to be loved and treated with respect he still wouldn’t admit that there was anything wrong, despite the fact I was aware there was a slunty on the side. In a way she did me a favour, she wanted him, she can have him and all his fucked up dysfunctional behaviour, Im gone!

    I cant say Im at Meh yet but I’m a hell of a long way from where I was 18 months ago, thanks to you Tracy. My blinkers are off! Life is going ok, its peaceful thats for sure, drama free zone! Ive made my own circle of friends and social life, my Picker is in full force! I’ve discarded some so called friends cos they didnt support me when I needed them. Got me some new girl friends who have my back who are there to support me on a bad day. Yes I still have some bad days, days when I remember the lovely person he was when I first met him, but as I now know that is just a mask, an illusion.

    Never never again will I be so taken in by another person, that is my rule, along with Trust my Gut Instinct, which I had ignored for far to long, knowing for a long time that something wasn’t quite right but not being able to pinpoint it.

    Thank you again Tracy Big Hugs

  • Can’t say anything more than has already been said. Thank you CL and CN. I wouldn’t be at meh without you! ????????

  • I am so grateful I heard about Chump Lady as I was struggling in the early days. I had seen so many sorry assed websites where chumps were wallowing in their pain with no place to go. Chump Lady gave me the courage to embrace it and drive the conversation. Chump Nation let me know I wasn’t one sorry, failed spouse – I was one of many who had been treated like crap and deserved to shout that loud and clear.

    CL/CN rocks!!!

  • “I would argue that cake-eating (serial cheating) is the NORM for infidelity, and everything else is an aberration. We’ve got it backwards.”

    I agree with this. I never thought I would but I do. I think that there is a huge underbelly of people who show a respectable face with their spouses and families and fuck each other at work and excuse it. I realized that when he was involved in what turned out to be the “big” affair (which I thought was the only one) there wasnt really a big change in his behavior…he adapted easily to it because it was second nature to him by then. I ambushed him one day …looked him straight in the face and said “You had sex with Susan ___” and he DID NOT FLINCH when he lied.

    So anyhoo…I took a Lenten Fast from discussing adultery during which I went (from the US) to Belgium and the Netherlands with my daughter. I am in school, work is going well and I’ve been working on a manuscript for professional publishing. My (new) husband is a dear and life is good.

    I have likely hit my personal Meh but I will forever be in recovery from spending more than half of my life in a marriage where there was abuse and constant betrayal.

  • Happy Blog-Birthday!!! May Chump Lady and the mightiness of Chump Nation be there for many years to come. Thank you for sharing your story and helping me live through mine.

  • I just wanted to add my thank you to this long list! I got through mediation yesterday, divorce will be final May 1. While it wasn’t a “generous” settlement, it is decent and I will be able to provide a good life for my son and I. I couldn’t have made it through this year without CL and this blog, and I tell everyone I know about it! Happy blog birthday, Tracy, and thank you thank you thank you for the hard work you put into making it possible!!

  • Happy birthday, Chump Lady.

    To me, the most important thing that you have educated us on? – The existence of Cluster B personality disorders and what drives them. THE single most important concept – Cake.

    I googled it yesterday: ‘why does a cheater stay in his marriage?’ Nothing came up. Nothing! It segues back to the same ol’ same ol (try it).

    The recognition that THEY DON’T WANT TO GET DIVORCED because We Are Of Use to them whilst they are getting supply elsewhere – a Chump Lady concept. But that…. is what finally got me off the hopium pipe. Understanding at last that we did not have a connection, I was just useful.

    And then for your feminist urge to get over it, and be mighty – thank you Chump Lady. Happy birthday.

    • PS I now have no doubt that he was doing it before his Great Twu Wuv (that now means nothing/she is around still every now and then being used), and when I look back, I can see a quite clear year of disconnect. It was a long time ago, 2003. – of course he was.

  • Dear Tracey,
    I am a day late saying Congratulations! I stumbled onto CL a few weeks after my world was destroyed by my XH. Your wisdom had my complete attention! I am not certain I am capable of expressing my gratitude to you and CN, but you and your blog saved me. I have felt your collective hands on my cheeks saying “Listen to me!’ I have felt you all giving me a gentle shake. I have seen the 2 x 4 waving! I have felt all of your collective hands on my back pushing me FORWARD. You were with me as I was sobbing, you put your arms around me when weeping and you knew the pain. You and this wonderful place were a lifeline for me through a very dark season of my life. Thank you Tracey for everything. BA

  • Happy birthday to the blog, and thanks to you, CL, for five years of great advice. I’ve been here from almost the very start and still return almost every weekday to check in and see what’s being discussed (which I no longer do with SI… there came a point about a year ago where it felt right to move on). I partly come here to give back when I can, but I also appreciate still being able to access the voice of reason in this whole mess since I am still stuck with my ex-cheater to a certain extent because of our children. It’s nice to remember that I’m not crazy, alone, being “mean” when I continue to uphold NC, or being “mean” when I continue to be honest with my kids.

    I am also glad that you and other like-minded individuals were on SI when I was just starting this process right after DDay. While there were many who encouraged reconciliation, it was those of you on there who told me to open my eyes, keep asking the cheater questions, and encouraging me to get my ducks in a row and get the heck out of there who saved me from even more years of pain and financial waste. Once the CL blog kicked in, it gave me the moxie I needed to keep pushing forward and to not put up with any crap from either the cheater or his cheater wife while parallel parenting.

    From the bottom of my heart, thank you.

  • Thank you everyone! I was introduced here via a chump co-worker on my 2nd DDay nightmare (first was 10 yrs prior (of course stayed for the kids 7 & 11). I immediately bought the book, gave a $ contribution and I haven’t left since – that was April 2016 (dday was April fool’s- you just can’t make this shit up!)

    Reading everyone’s comments was truly a life-savor for me. It made me realize they are all the same, it’s not me, I’m not the crazy one.

    I’ll always have scars but at least I know my worth and I won’t be a doormat every again!

  • Tracy…my apologies! I spelled your name incorrectly!
    And I also wanted to tell you I think the cartoon is PERFECT!
    I love you Tracy…
    Chump Lady. ❤️

  • thank you, ChumpLady!!! I dont know where I’d be in my recovery if not for you and you sharing your knowledge and experiences, I truly appreciate you!!!
    Viva La Chump Nation!!!

  • Thank you Chump Lady and Chump Nation! I have only been here since late last year, but you have provided so much insight into the (depressingly common) tactics/mindset of cheaters, and practical advice on how to navigate the aftermath, and are such a supportive community. Your hilarious voice of reason is an almost lone voice in the desert of reconciliation and haplessness, cutting through the bullshit, kicking crotches and taking names. Thank you, thank you, THANK YOU!

  • Thank-you. No- one else was able to do what your book did for me – got my sanity back & my self esteem & confidence to” kiss ass ” about it all rather than play a pick me up dance ( which i had been very uncomfortable doing but thought it was the thing i was supposed to do, being a kind chump that i was)

    Life lessons learnt from reading your book:-
    It was Not me
    It was not my fault
    It was his character that ruined our relationship , but i had not seen him for who he really was all those years ago. – rose tinted chump glasses
    Our marriage was destined to fail as one person was sabotaging it from the inside – and it wasn’t me.
    It’s sad it’s over but i am glad i can now see the REAL him as it prevents me being abused mentally and emotionally for one more second…
    I am and always have been a kind loving and great person – but unfortunately with the “wrong person” they take it all and give nothing back draining you & bleeding you dry emotionally & emotionally over the years …..Creeping exploitation & abuse.
    There are two types of people in this world – givers and takers – be careful who you marry!
    I am a good person. I do not need to change. I like myself & who i am. – it was them and who they were and their character which was faulty.
    There was NO excuse.

    Best expressions learnt from Tracy to help me express myself :
    1.Cake & kibbles – says it all…
    2.Mindfuckery – brilliant expression
    3.Pick me dance – what a visual expression . Helped me to stop myself continuing to do it when i felt weak.
    4.Unicorn – anyone seen one recently?!
    5.Wreconcilation industry – also fucks with your head and damages your self esteem further as it feeds the pick me dance & provides more kibbles.
    6.Narcissist – really understand the concept now .
    7. Blameshifting. You need to know that’s their defensive weapon & be ready to respond !

    Tracy after nearly 25 years with my narcissist husband i am finally getting ME back after kicking his ass after reading your book & dumping the reconcilation books in the bin ( which he witnessed and shocked him – to be replaced by living with a narcissist , when love is a lie ” books etc) . I am now back to that well educated , great career kick ass woman i use to be before leaving it all behind and becoming a stay at home wife / chump whilst he was like a pig with his nose in the trough behind my back. What i have now been able to say to his face about it all after having read your book has done so much for my confidence in getting the old me back
    Not there yet but thank God i found you.

    Thank-you from the bottom of my heart to you & all the mightly who have helped me find me again and become more at peace within myself with all the crap. Xxxxx

  • Chumplady-you’re an amazing woman and human. I’m so glad I found this blog and often refer (sadly) others as well. You are an inspiration to so many! Bravo and please never stop what you’re doing!

  • I am a little late in responding but, Tracy, I want to thank you again for your insight, humor, tenacity and straight-forwardness.

    I became a chump around the same time as Chump Lady. I married in my early 20s and mistook my EX’s behavior for immaturity. I managed to stick it out for 17 years, but by DD#2 I had had enough. As everyone here knows, the toll of constant lying and blame shifting is significant. By DD#2 my self confidence, self esteem and sense of self was negligible.

    Three years after my divorce, I felt like myself again. However, clarity — and really getting it — came much later. This blog has helped me in my healing 2.0 and I think it has made me a better person.

    Not many people really understand the impact of infidelity and even fewer understand living with the disordered. Thank you Chump Lady, Chump Man and Chump Nation!

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