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You Want to Date a Chump? Here’s Where to Find Them

About every other day, someone in Chump Nation entreats me to start a chump dating service. Wouldn’t it be awesome if all the broken-hearted over-achievers had their own dating site! How genius would that be? The Cluster Bs did all the vetting for us! Need a hyper-responsible person who will shoulder more than their fair share? And works for minimal kibbles? Date a chump! Sign up today!

Maybe I’m missing a spectacular business opportunity here, but I think a chump dating site is a bad idea. It’d be like one-stop shopping for sociopaths. Ooh… all the chumpy people here in one nice pool… Hmmm... How on earth would I vet your chump bona fides? How do I know you’re a real chump and not a pretend one? (Think of the algorithms! The questionnaires!)

Besides from the fact I think it’s undoable, even if it were doable (and we had a nice sociopath screening method — God, think of the fortune I’d make if I invented that…) I have enough on my plate running a blog.

Don’t despair, however, I do have some suggestions for where to find your fellow chumps.

1.) At a chump meet-up. Yeah, that’s an obvious suggestion, but we have world-wide meet ups. Register on the site (see the Login on the homepage, register, and the magic forums will appear) and you can find a meet-up in your area, or hey, start one. Chump meet-ups aren’t dating sites, but you might make a friend. Expanding your support and friend network is always a good thing.

2.) At support sites, NOT dating sites. I’m not the only blog in town. Want to find a chump? Check out the many other divorce or infidelity support sites online. Get to know the community. Not with the intention to date, but to interact with nice people who want to help you. Who’ll bolster you in scary times, who have a kind word. Be the person who gives a kind word to a newbie. I don’t think I’m alone in saying, that after you’ve been chumped, the kindness of strangers can take your breath away. After the brutal discard, to have someone laugh at your joke, or find you kinda cool is validating. Get your sea legs here. Get used to the idea of being a valued member of a community. Get used to kindness and reciprocity. Online counts! Have a safe place, so the dating world doesn’t look that scary. If nothing else, you’ll have some online peeps you can laugh about your dating travails with.

3.) At volunteer meet-ups. You know where you can find nice giving people? At charities, that’s where. I’m not talking about the super sparkly person holding the trophy at the awards ceremony — no, you want the lady there setting up the folding chairs or the guy who’s running out for ice. You know, the people doing the actual WORK. Pro bono centers, churches, soup kitchens, neighborhood clean-ups, tree-planting ceremonies. Chumps are civic minded.

I recently had the honor of interviewing Dennis Archer (former Detroit mayor), he said if you want something in life, you have to “cast your bread upon the waters” and it will come back to you. Throw those breadcrumbs, chumps.

4.) Where you are your best self. I don’t know where that is, but you do. Maybe it’s renaissance festivals, or symphonic choirs, or ham radio meet-ups. Find your tribe. Wherever you’re doing the things that make you happy, you’ll be meeting people who seek out the same happy as you. It’s a start. And confidence looks good on you.

So maybe you do all these things and no one recognizes your awesomeness. Maybe you’re the last person picked for kickball. (Raising my hand here.) Maybe you’re a cyclops and totally undatable. Well, consider that if you do these things you’ll a) make friends, b) help people, c) give back to your community, and d) enjoy being your best self.

Which is still a bazillion times better than one hot minute with a cheater.

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Got a question for the Chump Lady? Or a submission for the Universal Bullshit Translator? Write to me at info@chumplady.com. Read more about submission guidelines.
  • Which is just a long-winded way of saying, I don’t know how to find a chump to date. But you can improve your odds.

    No one has a way to test chump bona fides, except character revealed over time, slowly. Trust your resilience (as I like to say, your heart was forged in a blast furnace after infidelity). And pay attention to red flags. (That whole fix the picker thing.)

    • Yep, and slowly is truly the key. People who understand things like boundaries and the significance of commitment and trust move slowly, even in friendship. This has been a huge learning process for me.

    • Dating a fellow Chump doesn’t guarantee anything.

      Luckily, I waited until I was emotionally sound to seriously start dating.

      Happened across a lovely guy, we learned about being chumps over the next couple of dates and just as I was starting to think maybe, he tells me that he had been seeing a former girlfriend and wanted to get back with her.

      I guess it took being intimate with both of us simultaneously to decide he wanted back with her.

      He chose the day after the election to tell me this (why not add more to an already emotional day?).

      Perhaps being a fellow Chump made him come clean? But that would be scraping the bottom of the barrel to give him points!

      • If you two were just dating, I would consider that just one of the normal painful realities of life. Unless you had explicitly agreed to be monogamous, there’s nothing wrong with what he did.

        Our goal is to avoid being clumped by a narc or sociopath again. Unfortunately that doesn’t protect us from normal relationship let-downs.

        • I think the honorable thing to do is say that a person does NOT want to be exclusive before sleeping with someone. But perhaps I’m just an anachronism (which is why I’ve stayed out of the dating pool).

          • My philosophy is that people with similar values recognize it when they see it. The only useful question for me is whether the thing is ok with me. Doesn’t really matter if anyone else thinks it is ok. If it isn’t ok with me, then that person doesn’t get to stay in a relationship with me.

            It’s so easy to say “I didn’t say anything because I didn’t think it was a big deal.”, but the reality is that if a person deliberately leaves a detail out that might have worried you had they included it, it’s clearly a big deal – big enough to hide it, at least. That’s one of my deal breakers. Each person gets to choose his/her own.

            • If satan had presented as he really is the first time I met him…there wouldn’t have been a second date. Theft of 36 years of my life by deception.

              • …ugh, huh Chump Change! Took me a long time to forgive myself for buying into his fake persona…

                Thank goodness we are FREE of that hell on earth!

                🙂

          • I agree Tempest, back in my day when someone asked you out it was because they were free and single, none of this non exclusive bs. Now I’ve ticked being dropped by text off my bucket list, looking forward to all the great things dating this century brings ??

          • From what I understand dating multiple people at once used to be common back in the day as well. It was the difference between “dating” and “going steady.” It’s certainly not wrong to want to date one person at a time and have that person do the same, but perhaps it might serve you to make this preference explicitly known early on, like on the second or third date if you want to continue. Assuming a person you are just getting to know has the same dating style or compatible values is a bit unrealistic.

            Theres a reason you are getting to know this person, but you don’t know them yet. Things
            Ike dating styles are red flags for abusiv people as much as they are for being incompatible at that point.

        • Having worked in OB-GYN I have seen my share of venereal warts, STDs and other nasty critters. For me, it’s either monogamy – or no one! One place I worked had a literal trail of VD- stemming from one person who was banging half the town. No thanks.

        • Oh, and you believed him!

          I don’t know, I’ve been buried so to speak before I met my now XH. I thought I met all ranges of narcs, sociopaths and psychos.
          Now I live with my toxic mother and I have no idea what more lessons are to learn from this.
          She opens her mouth and is always something negative. Doesn’t matter about whom or what. If there is nothing bad to say, she’ll fabricate it. Lies, lies and more lies.

          My point is that we don’t know the whole truth. We take for granted what people tell us.
          Toxic people lie, like my mother does:
          1. to make themselves look good by putting someone else down
          2. to appear as victims
          We must really pay attention in order to see straight.

          • I know his first to girlfriends cheated on him as I knew of him then as we ran in the same pack. He is a reformed drinkers and imo swapped alcohol for affairs and his iphone which he is most certainly addicted to.

          • Enraged, before I married X. I thought I finally met someone of who was sincere, shared my family values, had integrity, was conscientious, and trustworthy.
            He portrayed himself as sensitive, caring and empathetic all traits I admired and felt relieved that I had finally found this perfect man.
            Over the years these traits and the considerate person I thought I married disappeared while an arrogant, condescending, wicked ass took his place. I chose to make excuses for his behavior thinking it was temporary and only a rough exterior, or he was under stress. I believed the person I married was in there and that he’d come back once he was less stressed.
            This is when I began the pick me dancing which was humiliating. eventually I blamed myself for his shitty behavior and began stepping up the pick me dance, kibble, kibble? please another kibble.
            In reality he was always a jerk and I was conned into thinking I had married John Boy from the Little House on the Prarie when in reality I married Satan from the Bible.
            Posts such as yours with a list of what to look for I write in my journal and if the day ever comes when I meet someone I’m interested in I will use as reference as to will they stay or will they go.

            • I could have written your comment brit… I continually adapted to put his professional success and our family life first, trying harder every time he was “stressed” at work…

              Finding proof of his affair was a painful way to realize that I was “beyond reasonable doubt” married to a cheating lying coward… Yep I was thoroughly duped for over a decade, but thanks to NC, and an iron-clad custody agreement, I’m building my next chapter and our kiddo is starting to see right through his image management routine.

              • The word “coward” jumped off the screen. Pervy Pants only voyeured women with no strong males around to defend/protect them.

                He would never voyeur a woman with a Navy Seal/Army Ranger husband with PTSD.

                After he was caught red handed- he ran and hid in the church. Talk about a coward!

            • Yes Chumptitude~ they are good at hiding who they are- until the trap door closes on the chump. Once the chump falls in love with them and makes a commitment- the fun starts. The narcissist and the chump begin the “devil’s waltz”- until the chump figures it out and boots the narcissist. Luckier chumps spot the crazy dance with the narcissist early on- and promptly remove themselves from it.

    • I agree CL. A chump dating sight is dysfunctionals’ nirvana. Everybody likes a good person…Even wicked people. We are catnip.
      There actually was a chump site that was a spin off from the cheater TV show. Don’t think it did well for the reason CL mentioned. It’s just too attractive a market for these sickos.

    • Thanks Tracy!

      I was thinking that divorcees will say “Im divorced.” I want to know why.

      Did you engage in adultery? Did you use pornography? Did you use webcams? Did you seek out strangers for sex on the internet? Did you screw your wife over behind her back? A dirt bag would never answer these questions honestly. Almost certainly – they would blame the betrayed spouse/partner.

      Thanks to Chump Lady…and other resources, I know a red flag when I see it. And….I don’t brush it aside!

  • You’re encouraging people to let go of the feather and realize they had the ability to fly the whole time.

  • I’ve been getting myself out there, getting involved in faith organizations, and find it very fulfilling. (I’m not at all interested in dating, however.)

    Now that I can identify narcissists, however, I identify narcissists. And it’s not only in romantic relationships that the self-centered pretenders show up. They’re on the administrative board, or that task force, or committee. The people who are charismatic, flattering, say the right words, do the wrong things (usually nothing, they are lazy) or push their agenda while they stab you in the back. How to deal?!

    I figure that in a group of 100 people, there will be 1 or 2 pretenders, people who are not straight-forward, who rage when they don’t get their way, must be the center of attention, and lack empathy, as well as they above endearing qualities (charismatic, flattering, say the right words, do whatever the hell they want, push their agenda, stab you in the back).

    • I would have said one or two in a group of ten, and they are usually high-ranking in the group politically. 🙂

      • The stats on NPDs and other cluster B’s seem to be on the low side vs reality. I think it is much more prevalent than 2%.
        I believe this is for a number of reasons:
        1) They avoid a diagnosis by never being treated.
        2) Those that are treated are not Diagnosed intentionally , as the therapists want to avoid stigmatizing them and want to continue to get paid, as insurance may not cover treatment of an intractable condition.
        3) they are just hard to diagnose as they mask themselves in therapy.
        I would say about 5-10% is right.

        • I think the world is full of a lot more assholes than people think even without being a diagnosable personality. There are plenty of people without pathologies that you just wouldn’t want to be with romantically, doesn’t have to mean they are actual sociopaths. ? ?

          • Possibly, but I think if they are acting as assholes, they ,probably do have a pathology. Seems to me that assholes are self centered and lack empathy. That is why they act as they do, and those seem to be major criteria for having a PD.
            I mean if someone is rude and obnoxious and uncaring etc. such that he or she is an asshole, and they are doing this regularly, I think that person has a PD.

            • I had a self-centered, lacking empathy gf that carefully hid her true personality. She was a love bomber that swept me off my chumpy feet. Lots of “love you forever” talk that kept me anesthetized until D-Day.

          • I try hard not to use my narrow scope of experience to assess the number of Cluster Bs in the world … (it would be more like 50%). 🙂

            So, strictly from the data I’ve seen, I think the 10% stat is about right.

            • I agree, I think it’s a lot closer to 10-15%. There seems to be people on this spectrum everywhere, although a good number of them seem to have a mild form of the disorder. Everywhere I go I come across people who generate a little disruption constantly, the office gossips types who are always trying to get you on side against various people to prop themselves up are everywhere.
              Also I am wary of the volunteer types now. The worst self-entitled arseholes I’ve met in my life were involved in that. And since I’ve done a lot of volunteering I seem to run across them more than people who stick to paid work.
              The traitor was also one of those, he practically had no paid work when we met but was involved in 4-5 community groups. And yes, he was the one lugging the gear with a cheerful smile too. But he was also on every committee…
              Before him I was in another org where I gave hundreds of hours of work over 2 years before I realised that only 2 or 3 people “at the helm” really kept the benefits and accumulated privileges for themselves, and had everyone running around at their whim. So the ratio was about 25 chumps giving their time and sweat to 2-3 keeping most of the benefits. And I think only 1 or 2 slowly realised what was going on. When I did I left in disgust.
              So be careful and have your Cluster B radar working everywhere you go!

              • kc, this is quite familiar to me.
                I initially started to volunteer for my company, right after the discard. Jeez I met a few “clicks”, they can shove there shine up their asses. See ya! Not ne nor of me..

            • ^^^
              10% is more accurate, actually I’m in agreement with JessMom leaning more towards the 50%.

              Cluster B’s are imposters and pathological liars, I wouldn’t expect them to answer a survey honestly or be truthful in therapy.
              Everything they do and say is well thought out and manipulative.
              It would be exhausting for me being a Chump to always be thinking on the defensive, scheming, carefully choosing my words and always out to win no matter what the cost.

              • cont. Problems in a relationship are never their fault, if they’re caught cheating it’s ultimately something their spouse did or didn’t do. They were the victim and suffered in silence for years married to a spouse with a mental illness, any lame ass excuse they can come up with drove them to seek friendship “affection” and understanding elsewhere.
                Much like Chameleons change color, they change personalities, depending on the audience and what they need from them.
                Manipulative.,
                The only thing we know for certain is they suck,

              • Hey Brit — the part you write about always having to carefully choose their words, have you scene this recent study about cussing? Shows that people who say a few four-letter words now and then are considered more trustworthy. Evidently, unlike cheaters, they aren’t constantly self-monitoring their words, and sometimes let loose a peppery word.

    • There is a documentary on this topic: headfish.
      Also a book: Snakes in suits. Yep, I can see them too.
      What can you do? Document, document.

  • I met my fellow chump on a long airplane ride. Turned out we were headed for the same destination. At the end, he asked if I would like to meet up for a drink in a specific location a few days later. We ended up sharing some casual travel experiences in the following weeks, had a long distance relationship for the next four years (once a month visits, an hour’s plane ride away). While that was slow torture, it allowed us to observe each other for a long time before we finally agreed to co-habitate where he lived.

    I kept my old house for a year as an escape just in case things didn’t work. So, after about five years, we are finally together. Trying to merge adult step kids etc, but we seem to share similar moral ideas and enjoy each other’s company. He had his soul torn out by the cheating ex, i was the subject of attempted murder by mine. We are both quite boring people really, but we have found a life we enjoy, near the ocean, only an hour’s flight from continental Europe. I feel as though things are good. I always keep a Plan B in mind though in case red flags start flying again.

    • It sounds like you’ve finally found some peace and TLC!
      All I wanted from my relationship was to be like Marge and Norm in Fargo. Quite boring sounds so lovely!

      • Yes, kiwichump, sometimes I wonder if I’ve gone too boring, but then, I look at him and feel gratitude for my unassuming companion who would give me his last dime if I needed it. He works hard, loves his family, has some interests…not on the same intellectual level as me, perhaps, but intelligent in his own way.

        I feel as though this arrangement will be fine as long as we live. I wish the same for all of you on CN. Just make sure you keep a big portion of self-love going, and cultivate that love.

  • I came to CN to find help thru this shit storm of a cheating divorce. In the back if my mind I always hoped and prayed that I could find love again. What I found was that I have a new life to live. In the process I’m making new friends and maybe one of then will be more than a friend. Won;t know that for a while, you know.

    In the meantime I’ll make new friends and cycle will repeat.

    • Same here Jmurman. I’m focusing on enjoying my time being single. I’ve joined a couple of meet-up groups and even started taking ukulele lessons. Mainly, I’m expanding my circle of friends and if I meet someone, great! and if I don’t, no worries. I’m living and loving my life and appreciating everything that comes with it.

  • I have been a member of a few different divorce fb pages. You are absolutely correct. The support on those pages is incredible. It just makes you feel not so alone, stupid, unloveable…Just as wonderful is the feeling of offering support to someone who is where you were 2 years ago.

    • I had a strange experience on a divorce support page last year. I started talking to a guy whose wife had just left him after confessing she had started an affair with her best female friend and decided that she had found herself, after 15 years of marriage and 2 children…We texted and emailed and supported each other for about 3-4 months, no hint of anything romantic, both fresh in the shit storm anyway. Then he just stopped answering out of the blue. I texted a couple more times to ask if he was ok or if I had done something to offend him. Nothing. So I just emailed to thank him for the support he had given me before, which had truly helped, and to say if I didn’t hear back I wouldn’t contact him again but wished him well. Never heard a peep after that. A few months later I found out he had become FB friends with the Whore’s crazy sister about a month after I last heard from him. A bit of digging and it turned out the wife works with the Whore’s sister. Small world New Zealand even though he and the Whore’s sister live at the other end of the country. So I guess I can figure out what happened…I would have thought a chump would stick by another chump. Guess he chose the Hopium and wifey and her supporters hoovered him in.

      • Wow small world. Yeah you think he would get it, but evidently some chumps don’t learn much from their mistakes.

        I had my own small world encounter. I was confiding in one of the other cubscout moms about Schmoopie 2.0. Found out later she was Schmoopie 1.0 (oops). On the other hand, there might be a bit of Karma in having her find out about Schmoopie 2.0 from me.

    • This! I volunteer at my church now once a week for a divorce support group for this reason. It gives purpose to the pain. I love being able to say ‘Look, I know you think the pain of this will kill you, but it won’t. Please trust me. Here’s what 3 years down the road feels like.’

      And whenever I tell my story there, everyone always feels better by comparison…because usually no one has a story as messed up as mine! Oh, the joy of standing out for the wrong reasons. 🙂

  • That’s the kindest and wisest article I’ve ever read about meeting fellow chumps (with or without the end-result of a relationship), thanks CL! Chumphood is like an international secret society – I was so comforted early on by people (like teachers and fellow school parents) who had heard that my ex had walked out on us, and quietly came up to me to let me know they went through the same years earlier, and that I’d get through OK. I try to do the same when I realise it’s happened to someone else, it was such a huge comfort to know you weren’t alone.

  • I’m still too scared to date. My X really did a number on me on the discard period. I see visions of him when I think about dating and having someone else like him. I have been looking at guys and imagining them, what they are like and all.
    I know this was part of his plan to crush me completely.
    But I still believe in love and good guys. Cast your bread upon the waters and it will come back to you. I love that! Thanks for the get up and go quote.
    I know my X can’t hurt me anymore. I’m in a safe place and deep down I know I’d take things slow and listen this time and see. I wouldn’t let something that bothered me slide and haunt me as it did my 26 year marriage. 3 years out and still learning to let go and live.

    • Beetle, your thoughts are common with us chumps. I’m 2 days away from the split with the X and 1 year past divorce. After a 29 year relationship, almost 24 married. I’m stepping out and giving it another chance. It took me a long time to decide I would try another relationship, but like others I want a partner. As advised here, I can and will make it without one. I also continue to build a life that I like. If I find someone to complement it, that’s just an added bonus. Good luck on your journey!

      • Lostntx, I agree with you. I just need to stop using him as an excuse not to live. I’m happy in a different way and I have grown. This texting stuff just freaks me out. Side baits all over the place. That’s what I mostly fear.
        I hope you having a Happy dating life!

  • When I was 19, I was dating a number of fellows and one of them was SO NICE. Why is it when we are young we dismiss the nice ones? Oh anyone I fall in love with will surely be NICE, she says to herself (smack me, please). Nice guy lived a plane ride away so I set him in the “friend zone” and dated fascinating dark brooding bad-boy who I married.

    Nice guy actually came to our wedding. Fast forward 26 years of cheating and abuse, brooding bad boy dies. I cant find nice guy online since he does counter-intel and flies under the radar. He was not the divorcing kind anyhoo (as if that were a thing) he probs is still married and coaches soccer.

    My dad, who honestly hasn’t had a good idea in 30 years (bless his heart) used secret squirrel methods of finding nice guy and succeeded. He was long-ago-divorced and lived 40 miles away on a street with the same name as my street. He didnt describe himself as a chump, but his story was very chumpy.

    And they lived happily ever after.

    • unicornomore,
      You write a beautiful love story!
      The best part is,that it is true.
      You deserve such a happy ending!?

    • UNM that is awesome! I’m so happy for you! I know your story but didn’t know about the new partner until recently. We all deserve an awesome last chapter and it’s encouraging when one of us gets to start writing one.

    • I am so happy for you! What a beautiful new beginning/ending love story. It brought tears to my eyes. And HOPE. Just a little bit of hope for the rest of us. thank you for sharing.

    • // , I think we all know, deep down, why they “dismiss the nice ones”.
      There are biological reasons that young women tend toward men with so called “Dark Triad” traits. Perhaps yours can act as a cautionary tale for the younger generation.

      I’m glad to read that it had a calm ending.

  • I too have met fellow chumps and I have had interest shown in me by men. Nice men who have let me know they are interested but aren’t pushing it, and neither am I. I have met them through a Meet-up group, a social one, not a singles one.
    One of the more difficult things I have done is knock someone back because they worked away and I want someone local. My ex worked away a lot and I want a different romantic experience. I am flattered by the attention but very willing to take it slowly and let life unfold. And what an awesome life it is.

    • Hurting someone is hard for chumps. Even someone you don’t really know. Just remember that in the long run, it is best for all involved. It’s ok to have our requirements this time. I have them and i’m not going to compromise them. I won’t do a long distance relationship and that’s just how it is. I know why and it is important to me. You have met people and that should be our goal. If you find someone doing it, that’s just icing!

  • The truth is you never know where you will find someone.
    Exhibit A: AllOutofKibble found love in a PTSD support group. It was certainly the last place I was looking because it was the safest space I had to cry ugly, validate my anger and show up with zero make up in a pair of jeans and a comfy T. I was not my “best self” that’s for sure.

    Go live your life, meet people, and if someone seems interesting ask questions, maybe even “would you like to get a coffee?”

  • I cant speak for anyone but myself my heart and soul ate still bruised but healing. Ive moved hours away from the pain place, have a little house, my dog babies and a part time job. Took three and a half years to get here. If im content that makes me happy. Ive no desire to date at all i have trust issues. I grow very weary being told im wasting myself not being coupled up and the fact i refuse to date troubles some. Its my choice for the first time ever i decide, me alone. Perhaps in the future i may change my mind but i doubt it. I hope everyone who wants to find love with a partner again does and with a great person but its not for me im done ive too much healing to do yet still rediscovering myself. Im fine how i am, sure it gets lonely sometimes but for me its not worth taking the chance. I know these persons mean well but its my choice and they dont seem to want to accept it. I will remain single and be damn happy at it! Love you guys!!!

    • It’s like those people who can’t accept that everyone doesn’t want kids. If your life choices aren’t hurtful to others or yourself what is the problem. I’m with you. Not another man. I’m going to see my children off and have fun along the way!

    • Some people just don’t understand that you can be single and fine or that you are just not ready and you know within yourself you wouldn’t even be a good date anyway, to much fear, pain, trust issues. You just want some space. I have a younger neighbour who, within a week of hearing about the split, was trying to set me up with his new partner’s widowed uncle. And he keeps trying!

  • Be careful.
    I started dating a great guy about a year and a half ago. He’s sweet, attentive, we listen to each other, laugh like crazy and love eachother very much.
    Problem? His mom lives with him. She’s 70 and has issues with chronic pain, takes excessive narcotics for that pain, and has depression. He sees me a couple evenings a week and when he’s here he’s texting to check on her, or she’s texting to just be in communication with him. She’s a shut in, has no friends, only him. He’s home with her like 5 nights a week. The whole thing is very strange….. the other night when he was here she texted him just to say good night. It was “Ni Ni…❤️❤️.” I wish I was making this up.
    It kind of makes me think my picker isn’t fixed because I feel like I’m in a new triangle, with his mom.
    I kind of feel like an idiot for even allowing myself to get involved, but when I met him I didn’t really understand what the deal was and I wasn’t looking for anything super serious. Now we love eachother and he feels like he can’t leave her…..I’m the mistress. If I put my foot down I seem like a mom hater, even though it’s clear to everybody but him that she’s a master manipulator.So fucked up.
    To all those thinking of dating, just know that screwed up relationships come in many forms.
    As much as I love him, for me I think I need to walk away. I’m too damaged already to battle for a normal relationship and this isn’t for me.
    I’m learning that there’s more than one way to mess with a chump.

    • Run for the hills. That’s what was a big thing in my marriage the invasive mother. It gets worse. I believe deep down these mamas boys hate women. When she died he took his inheritance and divorced me in what I thought would be our golden years. Meanest guys you could ever meet. Just go. Wish I hadn’t wasted my life with him. MIL was a busy body the whole time. To think I had a nice guy I wanted to date for a long time asked me out and I turned him down for the loser I married. Oh if I could go back and change things.

    • I had one of those. It’s a terrible situation to be in. It felt like I was dating his father. Pretty much same dynamic except the father wasn’t shut it but boy was he the king of guilt trips. He expected his son to be home to feed him but would drive to a fast food joint and buy his picky dog a hamburgee because that’s all the dog would eat.

      If son was away for the weekend the dad would text repeatedly and my Boyfriend was constantly calling his dad to see if he had eaten . . . And of course he hadn’t just to add to the guilt of boyfriend being home. It was terrible. Lol! Grown ass man can’t feed himself. Shaking my head.

      I realized after 10 months I just couldn’t do it. Codependency comes in so many messed up forms. My picker was definitely broken.

    • That’s a tough one, but I’d tend to agree based on your description that this is something HE needs to fix if he has his priorities straight, or else you need to move on.
      Be kind and loving, but really honest. You never know. Maybe he will find a way to put the right boundries in place with his mom. You deserve that.

    • I agree. Run for the hills. You deserve to be first and he should know that. He shouldn’t be dating at all or fix his situation with his mom.

      I dated a guy for a short time who’s father, a retired doctor, lived with him. Needless to say, his father was arrogant and entitled. He lived with the guy (also a chump) because he was the single one. Lord, I couldn’t handle that. Hell no. He expected Chump to be accommodating to what he made plans to do. He needed a “date” for all his extra curricular activities….even though he has his daughter 50% of the time and was very involved. Crazy.

      I went on date #2 with a guy where he admitted he lived with his mom, not the other way around. Major turn off but also the fact that he lied to me during our texting/emailing and then finally told me the truth. I’ve had enough lying to last me a life time.

    • Reddit has a sub: justnoMIL, it’s full of stories about narcissist MILs without boundaries and their hapless DILs. Go and lurk for a while, even I’ve posted there!! These MILs are crazy!!

    • I think your example, along with those of other respondents, is an example of a different sort of relationship which just doesn’t work. You must choose your own boundaries, whatever they are. I, personally, would be creeped out by someone in such a dysfunctional relationship with their parent or child or dog. — Having said that, *I* have dysfunctional relationship with my dogs. Their needs are very important to me, and I won’t travel or work or even go out for the evening if I am concerned about their health or welfare. And if someone came to me and said, “Hey, NWB, you are one hot smokin’ mama [I am], but this thing with your dogs is intolerable to me,” then it’s better off for both of us if we go our separate ways — I’M not gonna change, and I don’t want HIM to feel HE has to change, either.

      • Raises hand; I’m in a dysfunctional relationship with my dogs, too. They eat better than some of my students (yup, little bits of rotisserie chicken on top of their premium dog food). I walk them even when I have work that should be done. One of them had a very sad puppyhood and has aggression issues. But all of them give me more love, affection, and loyalty than Hannibal ever did. If having 4 dogs limits my chance for a relationship, so be it. I will never attempt on-line dating, but if I had a profile, it would start with “must love dogs.”

        • Hi! My name is Happily Ever After and I have a dysfunctional relationship with my cat and dog. I am in the second house which I will have to replace all the non-hard surface floors because they pee on them. I have this belief that the cat is “perfect” — he isn’t. I have a spackling problem.

          There is no hope for me.

          But oh how they snuggle just at the right time…..

          • I am looking at a hard flooring to replace carpets as well. 20+ years of puppies to very senior dogs has done a number (ha ha!) on my carpets. Also raised a couple kids here, so there is some spilled juice, crumbs and God knows what else! And then the cats! I have one that will eat dust bunnies and dryer lint (If I’m not careful) so she is like a self-perpetuating hairball machine. But you know, they can’t cough up a hairball on an empty stomach. STBX hated my pets.

            I might be dateless forever, ha ha! Maybe a long distance romance where I do all the travel and they never see how I live…

            My ad would read: must love dogs, cats, kids, hamsters, and people who do a half-assed job of cleaning up after them. Might potentially need to love indoor birds, turtles or frogs. And ducks, bunnies and neighborhood cats in the yard because I feed them.

            Yep! Dateless forever is me. bummer.

        • Uh…my dog is very important to me. I don’t leave her at home more than a few hours at a time. She goes to work with me. She’s the most faithful, loving and supportive partner I’ve ever had. LOL.

        • I am the same way about my two cats. Oh, but I had my beloved dog when I met XH and he even tried to con and love-bomb my dog while we were dating and it did seem like my dog liked him. But my loving, loyal dog started to turn on him too after we married and he saw that XH treated me like shit. My dog passed away last year after I got rid of XH and I losing my dog was a million times more painful than losing XH.

        • Four dogs Tempest? Pshaw, that’s nuthin’! I have SIX large, uncouth, shedding, hamper-raiding-find-my-underwear-in-the-yard dogs and I wouldn’t trade one of them for a human partner. I do have an online dating profile and I list some deal breakers: if you don’t love dogs, books and monogamy and if you hate the Buckeyes, keep on moving. 🙂

      • Me too Tempest and NWBiblio 🙂

        Beau’s welfare comes first. He too was abused, he’s a rescue.

        Beau gives me more love and affection and loyalty than satan ever did also. PLUS he is a Monster Slayer 🙂 (and he eats spiders 🙂 )

        Yes, anyone that doesn’t like it can bite me 🙂

      • Cosmo has earned his place in my heart and will never be replaced by another. Fortunately, there is plenty of room in my heart for more animals of all sorts, including humans!

        • Mine, too, DC — I remember reading a short story by Cynthia Heimel in her first book, and there’s a bit about the husband character singing songs to the dog while strumming on his guitar while she’s fixing them all dinner. And I thought, That right there is my dream guy — sings songs to dogs. I do that ALL the time, including changing all the words of “Sounds of Silence” to “Sounds of Huskies” — it works. Try it.

            • My oldest dog sings songs with me, our favourite is Bohemian Rhapsody, great to howl along to. Oohoohooh, I don’t wanna die, sometimes I wish I’d never been born at all… try it with a howling dog when you’re feeling down! You’ll soon feel better.
              Any prospective date will have to put up with 7 spoilt dogs, a spoilt cat, clingy pet lambs, a big boar, 2 goats and 2 chooks, some ex-pet lambs now smelly old rams, one famous old whether whose picture hangs in a restaurant in Japan, and the knowledge that 1500 ewes and their lambs come first. Tough bikkies.

      • I have a blind, elderly, previously abused, beagle. I’m still working on my boundaries but one that has never been a problem for me is the ‘must be appropriate with pets and service people’. My asshole detector works well for that at least.

    • He’s not available for a relationship. You can “love” him and not date him. I’m 65 and doing fine without an adult son in the house 24/7. I knew a guy who was smart and had a tenure track position but left it to move home with his mother, who lived another 20 years and vetoed yet another job a few years before she passed. One of the steps into adulthood is individuation, being a person outside of your mother. So sorry, PaintWidow, but I think you’re right.

  • Well – I am going back to the beginning to fix my picker. Again?

    Dated a man who I believed to be a chump. Wife left him ( for a highschool crush ) and took the kids. Nasty divorce – but he had been single for the last few years.

    His teenaged kids are great and get along with my teenaged kids ( not an easy thing to achieve).

    Long story short – he convinced me that moving into his lovely century country property would be a fantastic idea.
    I kept my rented house for another 6 months and then made the leap.

    I moved in while he was working away for two months. I loved it!

    Two weeks back he is acting like a giant entitled ass. He is drinking more than I had seen before and one afternoon after getting into a disagreement he punches me twice – hard in the head while I am in the car. Afterwards he swung the door own and ordered me to get out. Middle of now where too….

    He has turned it around – I made him do it. If it happens again – I am out.
    Thank you for showing me your true colours.

    I am trapped at the moment – just starting my own business – but looking around in the area for something I can afford.

    Luckily I was married to crazy – so I have loads of experience in acting like nothing is wrong.

    All I am saying is that just because somebody was “chumped”it doesn’t mean that they are s good human being.

    From now on I am only looking out for myself and if a great guy comes along – I would welcome the chance to get to know him. But I will no longer date.

    I ended up with a concussion and bruises to my shoulders and neck where he pinned me to the car seat .
    Next time it could be a bullet. Who knows. I sure did not expect that!

    • “If it happens again – I am out.” What? You need to get out NOW. And file charges. Don’t give him a second chance to do that to you. File the charges so he’ll think twice about hitting another woman.

      • No – he said if it happens again I am out.

        I am done. I have no where to go. No friends or family here ( relocated for X husband’s career right before BD ).

        I am just looking for a rental or inexpensive purchase in the area.
        I just commited to buying out an existing business in my field – of course – in this area and am stuck.

        So, I am
        Lining up my ducks. I am out the moment I can get away safely.

        Until then I am detached and out of the house as much as possible.

        I don’t believe in second chances any more!!!!

        • Lucky, I am glad you are going to get out of there ASAP!!! I also do not believe in second chances anymore. If they do something unacceptable and you give them a second chance, in their minds, they think you love them so much that you will put up with it and, in my experience, they usually end up continuing the behavior or even ramp it up and get worse.

        • Holy Cow Lucky, I am so sorry. That sounded scary as hell and I was worried for you. Be safe. I still hope you consider filing charges…..

        • Lucky–your situation worries me. Is it possible to find out if there are chumps in your area where you could stay for a week or two until you can get your feet back on the ground? And/or someone to help you back up the truck one day & get all your stuff out?

        • Lucky, he’s an expert manipulator, you can guess why wife left him (escaped!). He tricked you and this was a truly violent attack. You need to get out and report this so he is ordered to stay away from you. I even wonder if you could get out of this business deal if you explain the situation, so you can move away from this monster. What kind of local reputation does this man have anyway? If he’s grown up there, he must have done something nasty to a number of people and you may find more support than you expect. Put your safety first.

    • It will happen again. Only next time, he might pick up a shovel and brain you or knock out all your teeth. Or maybe beat your teen agers.

      I am not being ugly, but you sound like you are minimizing his behavior to an alarming degree. He beat you. Game over.

      Even if you have to perch in a Red Roof Inn, flee for you and your children’s safety. Your lives are more important than money or a new business.

      • I agree with Hazel H, once someone ever hits you or gets physical in any way, pushing, shoving, hair pulling , whatever the relationship needs to end immediately. He thinks he has you trapped, that is how he was all along but he was hiding it. Please trust us on this one, I’ve been there and done that. It will never get better, only worse.

        • I just rented a storage unit. Going to quietly move totes and boxes when I can.
          My oldest does not live with me and my youngest is staying with Dad for now ( he knows ).

          I have a place that I am interested in and am waiting to hear back from the landlord. But there is little for rent in this area.

          For now I am all smiles and focusing on my career. Until I can walk. And I agree about the further chances for abuse. Been there done that – no more!!!!

          • Good. If I may add, him thinking he is rejecting you is just dandy. Preserving his fragile ego injury is good for your safety. Cold Grey Boring Oatmeal on out of there!!

            • Lucky
              When the time to move comes, just evaporate wuth no confrontation. You cannot afford to enrage this man again. I too did a slow plan to plan my move away from my first cheater and just left when the opportunity arose. I left things behind, but the best strategy was No Contact, ever, once you go.

          • Oh Lucky…flee as soon as you can!! Im so sorry you are in this mess. Suckfest.

            Me and Lucky are friends from another board from way back, she is a good egg.

            • Thanks – of course I remember you too Unicorn!!!!

              I will keep you guys posted. Am going to start moving stuff into storage and also not afraid to walk away from “stuff”. I have done it before and it isn’t important.

              I have an offer in on a small trailer on the lake. Me and my little sail boat, kids and dog would love to live there.

              Keep your fingers crossed for me guys!

          • Yes, take care, Lucky. And please urge the landlord to give you priority. And let us know how it goes. Prayers for you and the kids.

    • OMG LUCKY!!! 🙁

      GET OUT OF THERE!

      I agree with everyone else. Get out of there now and file charges and get a protection order! Play hardball with this idiot. He must have done this before and gotten away with it…seems pretty comfortable doing it to you. Save yourself and others that may come after you. Get yourself somewhere safe and file charges on him.

      I just read a true story about a woman who was beaten by her husband, divorced him and moved on with her life. Three years later she was found beaten and barely alive in a trash can in a storage unit. Her x was charged and is in prison…but she suffered and almost died. GET OUT of there immediately and file when you are safe for a protection order.

      These people need to be stopped!

      • I used a women’s shelter after my marriage imploded. Such wondetful, kind people!!!

        If I need to I know that it’s an option.
        I will not hesitate to go if I feel uncomfortable in any way.

        Thank you everyone for your kind words xoxo

    • I’d be terrified to be dependent on anyone. When I was unable to work because my kids were babies- that’s when the pervert really starting acting up.

      Please friend……get yourself free. Run….and don’t look back. When they have you trapped/dependent on them- all hell breaks loose.

    • Lucky….your “picker” is broke, busted- kaputz! Get away from the slime bag! Work on you only. Living in fear turmoil does not allow for working on yourself- because you are too busy trying to survive.

  • This is great advice. I found it amazingly surreal to go out, try new things, meet new people and found out how many of us are out there. And I’m talking people who are cream of the crop, give you the shirt off their back, help you out and teach you, and make you laugh!

    I have stumbled across Chumps at:
    *Meet ups for things I’m interested in (wine!! haha)
    * the gun range
    * through mutual friends
    *at the gym
    * the guy I hired to make my front yard beautiful
    *at Church
    *my kid’s basketball team-mate’s parent
    *in my neighbor…although she has stayed 🙁

    Surely, we see the good in each other and gravitate to each other…and it sticks. Most of the time. That kind of shared experience tends to bind us I think.

    • Me, too. We’re everywhere. Tell your story and sit back & watch how many others are out there.

      • So true!!!!! All you have to do is make a subtle comment regarding your situation and you see that knowing gleam in their eye, or they stiffen or say “me too” or the flood gates just open.

        I am friends with a fellow lady chump on Facebook and IG. We have never met in real life and it surprises the hell out of me because we have so much that tie us together. I think God intended it. We both homeschooled before DDay, we both have a son named James and, back in the Fall, my uncle die and we found out we are related by marriage. Talk about amazing!!

        I am ahead of her in the whole DDay/divorce process and I love that she can send me a message and I can give her hope. It’s tough. She was a SAHM with 5 kids, the youngest was not even 1 year old. She is a Christian as well. She sent me a message the other day about her divorce being final and that he made her file since he wouldn’t. I told her “Be at Peace, A. Adultery is a biblical reason to divorce. You are now FREE to live your life as you choose and that means not being married to a cheater”.

  • I used to cringe whenever Kwame tried taking credit for the casinos and the two new stadiums. That started under Archer’s watch. #detroitlove

  • My problem with dating sites in general is that they are a perfect trolling place for narcs and sociopaths. I remember when Christian Single opened up, and my ex was one of the first to sign on. He NEVER was involved in a church, and had no known religious convictions. He had been taken to church as a child, and he knew there were women who cooked and who thought their Christian duty was to be forgiving. Heaven on Line! What a great place to sparkle!!!!

    I have not met anyone I am interested in seriously dating, and I don’t “need” to marry again. I do enjoy companionship, and I have found some of that by following my interests. Except for being regarded as a bit odd by many of the married folks, since I don’t have any interest in marriage, it has led to a positive and enjoyable way to spend my leisure time.

    When I was in college I had several girlfriends who had come to college to get their MRS degree. They experienced a lot of pain and rejection, always wondering if they had found “The One.” One of them in particular was a chaser, and she tried to be so convenient and available and wonderful — so much of her, all of the time. She would get angry when some fellow she had been pursuing would ask someone else out, often right in front of her. I tried to convince her that men didn’t like to be chased that way, and that some of them would just use her and discard her. She did not want to believe it, and continued this behavior until she finally married in desperation at age 34 to a horrible man. Her three closest friends (including me) tried to talk her out of it, and tried to get her to leave the church and flee. She thought her “love” could “change him.” She was miserable, and finally, after spending miserable years, divorced him. She finally married again, but didn’t pick one much better than her first. I know she is a good person, but I also know she defeats herself by this strong desire to be married. She just doesn’t believe she is enough all by herself, and no one can convince her. I think she will be miserable all her life.
    Whenever I consider dating someone, I think about her situation. I know that I cannot know everything I need to know about someone without dating them, but when I feel there are too many differences and too many conflicting points of view up front — I know there will be conflict ahead, and that it will probably not work out. I trust my gut now, and I don’t give someone an opportunity to hurt me just because I see “potential.” I need time to see character, and actions — I won’t be rushed. Living alone is very enjoyable to me now, and I would have to meet someone special to convince me to compromise my living arrangement. I don’t believe love is one of those things you find when you are looking for it, and there is no treasure map with a big X to show where the treasure is buried. If love finds me, I will be happy, but I am not looking for Mr Good Enough.

    • I love my “single” living. My son and I have made a home for ourselves and I’d be hard-pressed to move from it and it’s not really big enough for another person! I bought it because it was perfect for our 2-person family. I am seeing a man. It’s lovely and we are taking it slow and steady. I like it. He likes it too. I’m not sure that getting married again is in the cards for me and I am kind of OK with that. I wasn’t always OK with that.

    • My XH frequently was caught on dating sites. “Just looking” he always said – he said he never followed or contacted any of these women, like that made it ok. He also told me many men do this —

      What a crock of shit. He was also “Mr. Holy Roller” in the church. We visited our Parish Priest for counseling, after I first found out about the sites — XH acted so HOLY, that because I didn’t like to attend mass, I don’t, that he was a “long suffering” Catholic.
      Father almost bought into all his $#!t, until I let it known my husband was checking out Catholic Match (he had to find a GOOD woman, you know).

      Priest jaw simply dropped. Didn’t know what to say, for once.

      This is the same man, who wanted to divorce and annul our 30 year marriage… wanted me to go along with the tribunal process – because “I would benefit, too.” He was moving into OW apartment that week.

      Needed the ability to wed her at the alter of God, I guess…
      Sick, blown out flat tire of a brain.

  • Hmm. Interesting. I’m struggling to meet new people because the things and places where I’m most happy have been “taken over” by the ex. He moved here and then of course I shared my places.

    After a few weeks of running into each other at my favorite hiking spot, Chinese restaurant, etc. we initiated some contact. It wasn’t reconciliation in the sense that I told him I did NOT forgive him and I would not offer it…but we did both discuss wanting to be in each other’s life in some capacity.

    Has anyone ended up in a friendly place with their cheater? I know I harbor feelings still but I also know those can fade. I understand the position I’ve put myself in by agreeing to see him is somewhat…unwise…but I can’t quite shake it.

    • I look at it this way. I wasnt good enough for him to honor as his wife why would i then be good enough to be a some what friend. His plan b, his booty call, his image management agent….see see everyone what i did wasnt so bad…see see we are still friends! I dint think so not my job to make him feel good about himself. Ive heard a thousand reasons to be his friend…not gonna happen. These are my feelings with friends like that pod who needs enemies. I say be gone spirit!!!

      • love to hear this. This helps us newbies trying to stay strong no contact as well as being relevant down the road in the picker department although that seems like not even on the radar yet.

      • Thats exactly how I feel. Why do they want to be “friends”? Friends don’t betray other friends either, and why would I want to be friends with the guy who emotionally abused me and was unfaithful? Makes no sense. Image management is all it is and I’m not playing that game. Ever. And my son will have nothing to do with him, so his delusional plans aren’t working here. He threw a live grenade into our marriage. It’s still exploding.

    • I also could not shake an intestinal parasite I picked up in Oman. Does that mean I should feel wistful and bonded to it?

      This person shit all over your marriage vows. Sacred vows. Now, help me understand why you would want him in your life as a “friend”? Do you believe people are only dishonest in the area of bedroom antics?

      You are most likely just lonely. Be lonely. On the scale of bad ideas, 10 being dousing yourself with kerosene and lighting a match, I would say your idea is a 7. Unwise? Yes and dangerous. Maybe he did not do a good enough job breaking your heart the first time…give him another shot?

      Danger, Will Robinson.

      • (Yet another example of the awesome geeky wit of chumps — we’re just so awesome…. And also smart, as in this example…. [kerosene… hee hee hee…])

        My philosophy is that I am a “real boy” (girl..woman.. XX, whatever) and XH is a fake toy. I have blood and guts and heart, and he has … stuffing. I don’t need a “stuffing” person. So, no, I don’t want to be friends with someone who could do something like what he did, to someone I care so much about (me).

    • Don’t do this. This is the beginning of hoovering Cautiously. Before you know it you are back being triangulated. When you catch on he says “You know we’re just friends now!” Please don’t do it. You ask if you can be “friendly” with your cheater. Try taking the “your” out of it. Would you be “friendly” with just any old cheater? A cheater in general? If you just met someone and they said “Hey, I use people up, betray them horribly, and then abandon them–would you sign yourself up if you didn’t already know them? Of course you’ll run into them in the old spots–those are his territorial HUNTING grounds. Don’t become prey again. Find new places. One thing I did with one cheater I broke up with (yes, unfortunately it’s been more than once) was just do some research of the city, area, state I lived in. On the weekends I would just drive to new destinations and check them out. It was amazing, but within an hour of my house really were all kinds of fun things and beautiful places that I didn’t know existed. Find a new place, not an old heartache.

      • That may be easier said than done. Some cheaters have no imagination. They will take all the things you showed them and use them to impress their next victim.

        • This is actually one of the things that pisses me off about the situation. This is MY hometown, these are MY happy places.

          I will NOT give them up.

    • Mine has shown up at the nursing my father is in. When I went in to see my father on my birthday he was there. I went to my fathers room to wait on him, but I didn’t know what to do. I don’t want anything to do with X. I called my twin sister and she told me to leave. It was a Friday afternoon and he was all dressed up like he was going on a date. The trash will stoop to any low level to get back at /with you. Can’t imagine seeing him show up more anywhere else I’m at would lead me to be friends with him again. I thought we were friends before he chumped me. Seconds, no way. Find new places to be and leave the trash behind. What a nightmare to be “friends”. He’s hoodwinking you.

    • I think a chump could be civil and polite to their cheater depending on the circumstances. But you are in a dangerous place. You are particularly vulnerable if you still harbor feelings for him. No contact is the best way to protect yourself. Yes, my cheater wants to be friends with me. And he wants his children back in his life (they’ve gone no contact – 18 and 20) Of course he does! Image control!! I’m not so bad – see we’re friends! If he cheated on you he does not have good character or integrity. Why would you wantthat as a friend?
      Ugh. Danger danger indeed!

      • Also, this happened between me & XH after we split up just three years into our relationship — we remained friends, then friends with benefits (after he left OW), then back together. We married, spent thirteen more years together, then he pulled the exact same shit with a different girl and broke my heart this time.

    • X and I shared a lot of academic & other interests (including 2 children together). On principle, I will not permit someone who betrayed me back in my life, no matter how fun or stimulating they are. Just no.

      • Well, he’s proven himself to be selfish, weak, cowardly, right? — As the saying goes, With friends like that, who needs enemas? 🙂

    • I can’t be friends with my ex. He knew me so well, took the trust he knew i placed in him and abused me with it. No way is he a friend, Now having said that, I do hope for civility so that he will feel comfortable to ask me about his 9 yo son. And honestly, I don’t believe he truly wants a relationship with me. My boundaries are too clear I think and I am just too much for him. Always was…..

    • A little bit of context on my situation as I’m new to the site (though I read the book).

      Gay male. Late twenties. Wasn’t married, but in what had been agreed upon was a monogamous relationship.

      Cheater cheated when I was on a business trip. Of all people, my roommate told me about a month after the incident. Roommate was seeing the “other man” at this point and put some pieces together. I stupidly talked to OM and got way more details than I should have.

      I confronted cheater and he didn’t lie, but wasn’t remorseful. Told me he, “had to sleep with [person] to determine if I wanted to take things to the next level with you.” I raged. I responded, “if you have to sleep with someone that isn’t me to decide if you want to be with me, there’s something wrong with you. You fucked up. I’m breaking up with you, but you ended the relationship with your actions.”

      I definitely recognize that I’m in a danger zone and that no contact really is the correct course of action, that what he did was not indicative of something a friend or a partner would ever do to someone, that there is nothing wrong with ME that made him do this, and that my self worth is much higher than what I’m allowing myself to go through…

      …but I can’t shake the connection that we had, the really bizarre and “fateful” way we met, the goofy things he does that make me smile, the way I feel (felt?) when things were good.

      I guess where I’m at is questioning whether or not I actually can forgive someone for this. Don’t we all err and make mistakes sometimes? I dunno. If nobody ever got second chances, wouldn’t most the world be alone?

      • That’s a mindfuck, my friend. Cheaters don’t cheat “for you.” They do it for themselves. No matter how committed you are, he’ll still be shopping.

      • Cautiously, watch out for the belief in fateful meetings. I used to believe in that. I was fated to end up with my previous partner before the Traitor because of the lucky way we ran into each other in London again after meeting at on a training course.
        Then with the Traitor, he had been given an antique as a present which just happened to have my name engraved on it (and it’s a very unusual first name).
        Both cheaters.
        When we’re in love, we look for and see signs it’s meant to be. But we could also logically interpret it to mean we were fated to be chumped by them, rather than to find true love with them!
        I think you can be civil with anyone, but someone who doesn’t respect you and lied to you can never be your friend.

      • I hear ya…and here comes the tough love. You aren’t that special to him. You ARE special and worthy. Just not to HIM.

        • Yeah, I need the tough love. I really know I need it. I totally know I’m not to him.

          I’m just sick of feeling that pain. I know the way to stop feeling it is NC and fixing my picker so I can actually meet someone nice.

          I’m just…I’m not ready? Is that crazy?

    • Oh, cautiouslyoptimistic, learn from my fail! No, you can’t be “friends” with your cheater anymore than your can be friends with your mugger, robber, or rapist.
      I stupidly resumed contact with my cheater after a year of NC, figuring that since all the lies were exposed I had control over the situation. Aw, hell, no, I did not. Mr. Cheaterpants continued to lie about easily verifiable things, jerked me around, and gave me some weird bacterial thing that took a year to get rid of.
      Anytime you are nostalgic, or thinking what he did wasn’t so bad, envision your cheater dipped in shit, surrounded by cartoon stink lines and flies. Because that is what he is: a giant, steaming, fly-covered turd. Do not be friends with a turd!

  • I agree with several others. Chumps come in all varities, just like anybody else. How many of us were married to the Good Guy Sad Sack who cheated on us. I think they make a career of it. So it’s no guarantee someone who’s been cheated on hasn’t cheated in the past themselves, or that they aren’t putting on a front.

    Personality disordered people will use anything they know to get close to you. Predators will see being cheated on in the past as a way in to your life, and use it against you.

    • So true, Anita! Part of XH’s sad sausage story was how his first wife cheated on him so he knows how horrible and painful it is. Yet, he haf no problem becoming the cheater and making me the chump in our marriage. So yes, the personality disordered will use anything and manipulate you in any and every way they can.

      • Yep, Traitor grilled me on fidelity when we were dating. No one had ever asked me before if I had ever cheated on anyone. It was odd but I assumed it to mean he had been cheated on and very hurt and didn’t want a repeat. Wrong, he was testing me. He also asked me if I’d ever been cheated on and why I had stayed. I passed that job interview with flying colours, of course.

  • Ok, I’m one who has mentioned this in comments and the forum a few times. I totally get why CL would not do it. Main one being mentioned that narc’s would flock to it to find victims to abuse. It’s a fun thought though. I also really appreciate the suggestions provided. I really believe it’s the best way to meet someone. Dating sites suck! I also always push for an actual chump nation. I’m not giving up on that one! A tropical island and all inhabitants have to pass a vigorous review process with an actual Chump Lady interview being the final step. Anybody wanna start a crowdfunding for it?

      • I’m in for an island, for sure. Can I bring my dogs? (j/k … sorta)

        I, too, have had wistful feelings for some of the chumps here on CN and thought, Man, I would really like to get to know them better. When they are chumps of my preferred gender, I also confess to letting those thoughts drift toward “what if?” — But it would be a shit ton of work. I write a tiny little blog (mostly for myself) and can’t believe how much work it is! So if we chumps want to do it, then it’s up to us.

        In the meantime, though, I will say that I did start a meetup while I was in Oregon but then I moved, so it folded (even running a meetup group is a bit of work!). But while I was there, I did meet some wonderful people — only women attended in the time I was there — and I’m grateful for that.

  • Way off topic, Chump nation, but I’m sitting here in court today hoping to get the final decree. Please pray to whatever entity you believe in for me. Nervous and scared as hell.

  • I had forgotten about this, bit e the whore my ex was dating while married to me presented herself as a serial chump. The ex actually told me one day she would not be involved in cheating with anyone because she had it done to her. While they were simultaneously cheating. These people are flat out delusional.

    • Same. The whoremat was all “Boo hoo hoo my evil husband hits on me and cheats. I’m so sad I think you need to stick your dick in me to save me. Because I LOVE YOU idiot cheater! And you’re the nicest person I’ve ever met!”

      When I asked idiot cheater about how sad MY situation was, married to an idiot that CHEATS. ON. HIS. WIFE. He at least had the courtesy to look guilty. So poor whoremat was in such a TERRIBLE unfortunate situation because she’d been with the guy for NINE YEARS, knew who he was and married him anyways to “fix him”, she DESERVED my husband? And to destroy my life and my happiness?

      With the stories chumps here tell about what their cheaters say, I know a lot of “chumps” could actually be cheaters that just want the pity kibbles (not here, but IRL) and that makes me want to stay in my hermit cave of broken heartedness until I die 50 years from now ☹️

      • My STBX’s Schmoopie was also cheated on by her husband so I can relate to your story. STBX thinks he is her knight in shining armor rescuing her from her awful husband. “he was so cruel to have cheated on her and she was so kind to have been willing to take him back” (of course he doesn’t get the irony of those words). In reality, he is the villain for devaluing and discarding the one who actually loved him.

        I also don’t get how somebody who has been put through the humiliation of being cheated on would have no qualms about being a participant in inflicting that same pain on somebody else.

        • Traitor told me he suspected his first wife of cheating on him. Suspected.
          He was 400kms boarding with the Whore’s grandmother, Whore became his partner “3 months after the birth of his 3rd son” with his wife. Yeah, right.

          • My Ex claimed to have been cheated on by his last gf – and proudly told me that he’d picked up a girl 30 years his junior the night (he suspected) his gf cheated and got laid! “That showed her!” BIG RED FLAG – turns out that he kept them both on the go for six months and treated them both appallingly badly – the ‘original’ girlfriend had to get a protection order then move house to get away from him. The local cop told me that after cheater ex went to the police station to lay a formal complaint AGAINST ME that I had sexually abused him. ‘Credibility gap’ – discovered all sorts of stuff about ex’s past wrong doings from that policeman!

    • Pretty sure Narkles the Clown tells people I cheated on him.
      I no longer trust what I can’t verify by third party. If someone says they cheated, I want to compare therapy or talk about how long I took to handle certain situations, thoughts on No Contact, the path to the truth and the light, etc. if they can’t have those conversations the way we do here, I smell lies!

      • In my STBXs Schmoopie’s case I know her ex did cheat because he admitted as much when he called to tell me about the affair. He also implied that STBX wasn’t her first affair. STBX says that was an exaggeration, however because she is such an innocent angel doncha know. I wonder how he will feel about her when he realizes she is the vengeful type.

        • Well it should be no problem because you know she would never do something like that to him. She’s so nice and it’s twu wuv ?

  • I’m just going to give a quick defense of dating sites (although I agree that a specifically chump one wouldn’t work as anything but Narc bait). I met my new husband on Match. The truth is that dating sites are like LIFE. Full of all kinds of people. Some great, some absolutely horrible. You have to refine your picking skills however you happen to stumble on people who ask you out. I don’t believe there are more narcs than good guys. I don’t even believe that I personally meet more narcs than good guys. I think the difference between a chump and non chump is that when a non-chump sees something in a date that is narcish, they break up with them right away. Chumps brush it aside and keep on dating that person. That’s it! That’s the only difference. My biggest hurdle was just learning to unapologeticaly tell someone after two or three dates that I wasn’t interested in seeing them again. Now, I caught a LOT of shit for this. Occasionally from a guy. If they throw a tantrum and try to tell you that you owe them an explanation or a better reason–well, you know you made the right call. But, I got far more shit from girlfriends (and my sister) for being “mean” and “not giving a guy a chance.” Or, a “second chance.” I was told repeatedly that I was “too picky” and wanted someone who “was perfect.” I didn’t listen because I knew it wasn’t true. I think I dated every single guy in a three county area for more than a year. I went on dozens of first dates, second dates, etc. A few relationships of a couple of months each. Until I met someone who didn’t ever make me feel “funny.” I never thought “why’d he do that?” I just met him and we got to know each other. And he didn’t let me down. And he kept on not letting me down. Not having to apologize. Not having to forgive. Not having to explain his behavior. For more than two years. It really is as simple as that. Think about it. Did we chumps ever consistently let our mate down? Did we chumps ever have to explain any “friendships” to our partner? Did we chumps consistently act irresponsible? Nope. And that’s how you spot us. Truth is, maybe I did cut a few nice guys loose accidentally. But, I am okay with that. Better safe than sorry. And my sister who refused to be so “harsh” as me? Still dating five years later. She is currently involved with a narc douche who is going to drain her dry. I told her that. She doesn’t believe me. She believes in unicorns, not in cold-hearted logic.

    • Jojobee,
      Thanks for the different perspective. Really interesting insight about how friends can push you in the wrong direction by telling you you are too picky etc etc. I might try Match, but I need to get way more solid in myself first. Love hearing your story!

    • I met my now-husband on PoF. My brother is married to a woman he met on Chemistry.com, they are incredibly happy together. As you say, there are good and bad on the dating sites.

    • This is a great post, JJB. thanks for sharing. And, for me, it highlights one of my own major flaws, which is impatience. I spent about a year getting to know XH, living together then apart then together…. And yet I expect to date a guy a couple of times and somehow just “know” he’s the right one for me.

      Life doesn’t work like that. It takes time and courage and perseverance — you showed all three and were rewarded in finding a great guy because of the WORK you did.

      Sometimes I think this is one of the biggest scars I have from XH: As much as I mock him for saying it, he said he found his “soulmate” and I’m jealous and now want that spark, as well. I KNOW it doesn’t exist — not really — and if it does, it’s probably a BAD sign, if anything at all (perhaps just indigestion from the Taco Bell I had for lunch).

      Slow and steady, be patient, watch the actions — and, yes, draw boundaries in spite of other people wanting you to continue. The guy I dated briefly after Dday … there was something weird there, tingled my “spidey sense” (those little hairs on the back of your neck) so I broke it off and caught SO much shit from friends! But it’s my decision to make, not theirs.

      Thanks for the pro-dating-site encouragement — maybe I’ll give it another go.

      • NWB,
        Good insights – and I feel everything you mentioned in your post. Slow and steady. Maybe within the year (or two) I’ll give it a go. Right now I’ll give all my love to my two little terriers, Sonny and Gus. I watch their actions and am convinced it’s true love they have for me. And they are a little too shaggy to be sparkly. 🙂

  • We’ve been divorced a few months, living apart for about half of that, and (according to my mom), my wife’s been spotted out on dates already. I, on the other hand, am about 20 light years from being ready to even consider a date. Of course, she had a “head start” on that process. I also told my mom, I couldn’t care less and didn’t want to hear about anything about her anymore. And as a sign I’m at meh, I really didn’t care that she was dating.

    Anyway, when I do end up looking again, I’d probably use the same tactics that CL suggests. Look for someone genuine and nice, look for a generous person, no gossipers, look for semi-introverts (no sparkles), no selfies up and down the Facebook page (big red flag I think), probably shouldn’t look in a bar either. Internet dating looks like too much of a crap shoot and too much work.

    • One thing I noticed when I tried dating last year (bad idea, I am not ready) was that guys I was talking to said “I’ve started dating someone, or talking to someone, so now I’ll stop talking to you”. Maybe they were just being polite and wanted to stop talking to me…
      But frankly, I want to talk and meet for coffee, lunch, with several people, getting to know them. It’s just dates, making new male friends. I don’t see anything wrong with that as long as they know that’s the deal. And I don’t mind if they are doing the same. Then I would like to narrow the field and decide there’s someone I’m really interested in and see them only and take it from there.
      Or am I nuts and is that breaking the rules?
      I’m staying away from dating now, I think the guys are too pushy. I just want to make friends and see what’s out there, not looking for my next husband after a couple of texts!

    • Also not there. x however has a live-in relationship and has reconnected with OW1. That would have been ouch but thanks to CN and CL wisdom it’s more like whatever as I’m aiming for meh.

  • I believe you have to push yourself in to meet people–of any variety. X and I were isolated–no friends, little bits of family contact. So when I kicked him out, healed a little, then started joining meet ups. Have made many great women friends and some male friends. Am now involved with one of the males–taking it very s-l-o-w-l-y. He may be love-bombing me. Thanks to CN, I understand that term and am aware of it!

    Push in. Find your way on your terms.

  • ” It’d be like one-stop shopping for sociopaths.”

    As usual, Chump Lady hits it out of the ballpark the first time at bat.

    My whore fucking ex husband used to “joke” that the best place to find a girl was at the battered women’s shelter, because they didn’t expect much from you. I can’t tell you how many times I heard him give that oh-so-funny advice to anyone who would listen. I would just keep my mouth shut, because I was used to him being “off-color” and was pretty well trained not to call him out on the shitty things he’d say so we wouldn’t have to fight.

    He friggin meant it. I didn’t realize at the time that his wife was pretty much battered every day. I’m healing now.

    Start a chump dating site, and he’ll be the proud owner of the first account.

  • Okay, the funniest part for me was the cartoon today. The day I realized what was going on…the day I got the proof gathered, and was going to confront him, I knew it was over. This was 2nd Dday and there was not going to be a third, so I knew this was pretty much it.

    He came home, I greeted him with a smile, told him dinner would be ready soon and could he please install the air conditioners while I finished up?

    I was always proud of my forethought. Yeah, next few days were horrible, and I didn’t always handle everything perfectly, but at least I did it comfortably.

    • Maybe at that age, proposing on the 3rd date doesn’t count as love-bombing ….

      Gives me hope! Heck, I’m ‘only’ 58!

  • I would really like to not be alone – but I don’t think that translates into me being ready to date. I’m still dealing with some PTSD around the physical abuse and physical intimacy “stuff”. Mr. Sparkles fucked me up good.

    BUT – by facing it head on, I’m hoping to build a better picker so IF another man crosses my path that interests me, I’ll know how to self care first.

    Until then, I’m getting involved in “finding my tribe”… golf lessons, new church, parent meetups, offering to “host” potlucks for my son’s teams… when the time is right, it will happen again.

  • I met my wonderful ChumpGuy on an online divorce support site, BUT I wasn’t looking for someone to date. I hadn’t found Chump Lady yet, so I was feeling very sad and alone. I just wanted to find people who understood what I was going through. As luck would have it, ChumpGuy was in the same stages of things, and we began to message one another. We became a great team, sharing our stories, encouraging one another, and just listening. His emails became my oasis in a crazy time, because he understood me! We got to know one another through these emails, sharing more and more of who we are beyond just Chumps, and eventually we started talking on the phone when our kids were visiting the Cheaters (he also has primary custody of his kids, another sign that he’s a good one!)

    I’m sharing all that because, during this time, I was also messaging a few other people on that site, and honestly, some of them were downright creepy. I could tell from a mile away that they were trolling the site for “new blood” and I cut off communications immediately (my first boundaries!) So, be smart and safe.

  • The problem I have is I met my cheater at a Christian camp for children. We were both leaders and were friends for 1 1/2 years before anything romantic happened. I thought as we all did that I had found someone who had the same values, morals etc as me. He attended church with me up till a week before D-day, and was actively involved in helping out with events and helping me run the youth group. Obviously I see now that I couldn’t have been more wrong about him. I realise that not only has he not got the same morals as me, he was wilfully willing to abuse, control, manipulate, lie, cheat and abandon me, without any remorse. I guess you can find disordered people anywhere these days. I still struggle daily with the fact that I must be some what to blame for what happened. I guess that’s the whole mindfuck and it’s exactly what he wants me to believe. I know I’m worth so much more than what he has done to me and I think pregnancy hormones are not helping me at all. I guess I still have a lot to go through before I can begin to heal, only been 4 months since D-day, divorce not final yet and baby is due in close to 4 weeks. I am desperately trying to be strong and I am distracting myself during the day it’s mostly at night that it is hard. I think I’m still trying to work out what happened and why but I’m fully aware that is not going to be possible and I’m just causing myself more hurt trying to do the impossible.

    • Pregnant Chump-
      I am so sorry you are going through this. I was in your shoes a year ago. Husband left me and moved in with his girlfriend within weeks of abandoning our son and my pregnant self. I still don’t know all the details. Any really. Not even the name of OW.
      I don’t need to tell you what being neglected while pregnant is like. I am so sorry. Stress is detrimental to the pregnancy so please take care of yourself. I was a total mess.
      Know you have friends here to help you get through this.

      • We had a son already together too. I have unfortunately had the pleasure of meeting the OW, she is a teenager. He took me to the place where they worked together during his affair and she came over and spoke to us. They are truely nasty pieces of crap. I’m sorry you and your son went through this too. How has it been looking after a child and a newborn?

        • My cheater tried to return to our family about six weeks postpartum. He’s here living with us but I’m just​ working on myself. Trying to earn some $$ to get out safely and sanely. I gave up my work three years ago to be a SAHM. So getting back into the work force is no easy feat.
          We co-parent relatively effectively, but as far as a marriage- that ship has sailed away with his fidelity. Roommates until I can get out.
          Even if stbx shares a home with us- it still feels like I’m a single parent. The guy would rather eat a turd than watch the children, albeit he loves them dearly. He just can’t handle them independently even in micro doses. He’s really good at rule setting and enforcing… But has epic meltdowns when left even for an hour alone with the kids.
          I enjoy our children and I find it relatively easy and rewarding, taking care of them independently (essentially). If there is anything I do not fear about finally being on my own and divorcing my narcopath, it’s being a single mother. Having said that; I mourn the family we could have been. But I’m working on a very different kind of family. A family filled with supportive loved ones who have helped me cope through stbx’s indiscretions. I am the matriarch of my queendom and knowing this moves me closer to my goal everyday.
          What your husband did to you is unspeakable. It doesn’t get much worse than leaving your pregnant wife for a stupid slut who has no sense of family values let alone having a conscience so dim, she fails to see that she is a willing participant in destroying a child’s innocence (because they know something is taking daddy away) and potentially putting your pregnancy at serious risk.
          It’s an unspeakable betrayal that no one should ever endure.

          • Bless you that sounds awful. I couldn’t let him back in my house now. I went back to work after baby #1 but I have had to claim lots or state benefits because I’m now on maternity pay and it pays next to nothing. I can understand that you need to get some cash behind you, it’s just so crap that you have to put up with living with someone who cheated on you. I am trying to go as minimal contact as possible but I’m not sure how possible that will be when the baby is born. I am so angry at him for what he has done to me and to his son. I have never hated anyone as much as I hate him. It’s not in my nature to hate people but I am making an exception for him. He must hate me too, I can’t imagine why anyone would do the things he has done to me if they didn’t. I am lucky that I have lots of lovely friends and family who love me and my children. I like you am holding onto those people and thanking God for them.

            • Dear FedUp Chump and Pregnant Chump,
              This evening on reading your posts I feel very sad, because I know and I understand the pain you are feeling at this time.
              My cheater changed jobs and we moved to a different city, far away from the ow. We had a three year old and I was pregnant with our second child.
              At the time of affair discovery I was estranged from my family and I did not confide in anyone. I kept it all inside. No one knew but me.
              I adored my precious children and loved caring for them. I had a very rewarding career. The years were filled and passed quickly. The children never knew of the affair.( I knew no details of the affair, not even the ow’s name).
              It was never easy and do I wish I had not taken him back? Do I wish I had had more courage, more “ducks lined up in a row”, finances arranged?
              I think at the time each chump does the very best they can with the situation at the time.
              We aren’t here to judge each other.
              There are chumps here with so much knowledge and advice. I think they are awesome, brave and outstanding. I hope they are able to guide you.
              Myself, I just want to emphasize again, that I truly understand your pain and I am so sorry.
              I know I always was and I remain, the sane parent. I cherish a very loving relationship with my children. That is most important.
              Your strength shines thru in each of your posts.
              With love to you and your precious children,
              Peacekeeper

              • Apologies if my post sounded judgemental. I was just one of many chumps here whose cheater just left. I don’t know what I would have done if he had wanted to stay. I totally admire everyone on this site. The stories are heartbreaking and each is unique and as important as each other’s. I agree we all do what we can at the time and what we think works best for us. I hope things are better for you now Peacemaker. I hope I can continue to be the sane parent my children need. You are mighty and thank you for your encouragement.,

            • You’re a strong woman and mother. Your children are blessed to have you and your husband is a fool for betraying you so catastrophically… My heart is with you. ?

            • Pregnant Chump,
              I have never found your posts judgemental. They are from your heart, very sincere.
              I am sorry if my wording implied that.
              My heart goes out to you in your struggle. I understand the added pain as you carry, and are about to bring a new life into the world.
              I hope you will let Chump Nation know when your baby is born. We will rejoice with you.
              I remember feeling that whatever happened in my situation I would have enough love for both of my children.
              A mother’s heart has an unending supply of patience and caring.
              Xxx
              I hope you sleep well.

              • Ladies, I am sorry for what these cads did to you. Your children may have drawn the short straw with their fathers but they’ve hit the jackpot with their mothers. You are all mighty. XO

    • The Church is not exempt from harboring cheaters, porn addicts or perverts. The BTK killer (Dennis Rader)- was a deacon in his church. My STBX pervert sat in church with me…..with a cell phone loaded with porn/hook ups- as he was singing “happy Christian songs.”

      • You’re right. My therapist said the disordered, in fact, are attracted to faith communities, and it makes sense, a jackpot of kibbles, chumps, understanding, forgiveness, and a great front for the secret life.

        My faith community, however, once it came to light that a brother (my cheating husband) had a disorder, were not at all interested in working with him. No couples wanted to befriend us (James Bond might seduce the wife? Probably, so their instincts were right). No man of integrity wanted to confront the cheater / liar / gaslighter / blame-shifter, that would not be a job for the kind-hearted, that’s for sure!!

        Yah, he didn’t just cheat, he seduced young women, porn, pornography and window-peeped.

        • He wouldn’t dare step foot in church again or go near any of our mutual Christian friends. A few people including our rector have tried to contact him. He is too much of a coward to face what he has done that’s why he left like he did. He also didn’t just cheat, that just helped him get out of our marriage. He knew it would require him to admit that he is a shitty person. Much easier to just leave and blameshift everything onto me.

      • My Male parent now-deceased brother prey on older widows. My brother told me that our Uncle had bragged to him, getting those “old, horny, rich widows” by going to their church was a great game.
        I’ve tried to get my parent investigated and arrested, sent all my evidence to police and agencies- but his victims protect him. They are complicit in knowing that he’s using “love fraud” on other vulnerable women, and are afraid to be arrested as the Accessories that they are. Somehow these chumps think they’re special b/c he’s downloaded a keystroke logger on their computer. One of these women had a grandkid who contacted me for help.
        When the grandkid wouldn’t get cops and a lawyer involved, I noped out. I’d been NC for decades and didn’t want to shovel up after their Circus Drama animals in the first place.

        Grandkid had said “oh pleeese help us, he’s abusing my grandmother” – only to find out he’d had a secret love child with now-Grandma from back when they were in high school! This stranger is actually a blood relative.

        I’m sure Male Parent got off on duping us all these decades. He also used to happily brag about torturing animals-now I knew why my pets had disappeared.

        Just consuder whatever you know about these sociopaths could be only the tip of a horrific iceberg. And look out for “charming” men, church or anywhere. As Gavin de Beker says in his book “The Gift of Fear”- “Charm isn’t something people Have. It’s something they DO.”

  • I recently was seeing a former chump. I was the first woman he “wanted” to date since his divorce 1 1/2 years ago. I told him I didn’t want a boyfriend and/or intimacy because I’m still married and going through a divorce. I just wanted a friend first with the option to be more than friends if it seemed like we could be more later. He said he was ok with that because he was scared of dating and getting hurt again.

    Fast forward 7 weeks later and having met him only 5 times – he tells me he’s falling in love with me! I froze. Then I laughed and said “ya I love you too” jokingly because it was awkward. I didn’t think much of it after that.

    Then he started acting all clingy and telling me he wanted to be exclusive. And he wanted me to define our relationship. He wanted to know if we were “boyfriend & girlfriend”? Wanted to know when we would be intimate. I told him it had only been several weeks and that I’m not ready for all this. I asked him if he remembered the initial talk we had about me not wanting a relationship right now? He said yes but that he thought he could change my mind. His ex wife had an open 5 year affair and he stayed in that cruel situation. He’s had to deal with alot and refuses to get therapy. I learned all of this over the last several weeks.

    So obviously he wasnt even listening to me or the boundaries I told him about. This is a big red flag for me and being a chump myself I didn’t want to cause him anymore pain. We had plans for breakfast on Saturday and I just couldn’t do it anymore. Ive been in therapy for 5 years and 2 of those years were focused on healing from the narc abuse of being with my stbx for 20+ years. I don’t feel like I’m healed enough to help someone who won’t help themselves. I told him I can’t see him anymore. Gave him a hug and asked him to go. It was difficult but I have to heal myself first. I told him it was “me” and not “you”. He said it was “ok and that he knew I would do this to him because all women do this to him”. (He had to make me feel bad and guilty – I guess) He said I won’t call you and he left. I was fine with all of this – kinda relieved. I needed to get back to focusing on me anyway. I’m so not ready to date! He has sent me texts and called me several times since Saturday – so I’m completely no contact. Not even grey rock! I don’t owe him or anybody an apology for my actions when I told him from the beginning what I wanted and expected. I think this was a normal dating issue where I just wasn’t that into him. I think I’m still attracted to narcs and I really need to fix my picker before I go out with anyone else.

    • Great story – you have good healthy boundaries and are strong enough to enforce. You are my role model!

    • Nice that he blameshifted on his way out the door… methinks he doth protest too much.

    • Yes, it’s such a painful lesson that he refuses to become less toxic, by the simple act of going to a therapist and becoming a healthy adult.

      Pfft.

      I just had one of these vv similiar. He hugged me without my permission and I could feel it draining my energy. He’d texted me that he could “use” a friend. Ha! There’s some truth! He couldn’t engage me; I’ve done too much work. But watched him writhing while musing “Wow. That ish used to totally work on me. Look how hard he’s trying and he thinks it’s working. Hilarious.” But I still had to cut him clean out. Don’t want him to find a way in around my shields. It was the first time I’d tested them.

      Just ghost! They know why.

  • I have to learn to love myself again before I can even look to another person as a romantic interest. I’d be disordered crack at this point in my life. I swear, they come out of the woodwork sniffing around like fiends when I am out without my kids.
    I consider my children natural birth control. Nary a glance when I’m packing my infant and toddler around with me… And I’m just fine with that.

  • It’s not whether someone has been chumped; it’s whether the person has gone on to learn from that experience: to value kindness over “niceness,” to insist on reciprocity in relationships, to value honesty and authenticity over the sparkle of instant attraction, to take it slow and learn who the other person is before “falling in love.” It’s whether the chump is comfortable living alone and managing life. It’s whether the chump has put the past in the past and can live in this moment, right here, even when times are tough.

    • LAJ, you are so wise!

      I just think of it as; not every person who was cheated on is a Chump. Only the top quality ones, as you described, deserve that title!

      And I would love to be with a Chump-type person, whether they had been cheated on or not.

      • And (reading Paint Widow’s story) anyone can represent their divorce as a chump story. But we all know cheaters lie.

  • You know, I never trusted the “falling in love” feeling. Even when I was young, my experiences taught me that if you can fall into love you can fall out of it. To me it’s now more important to develop a deep friendship that can become more. I’m more interested in a reciprocal, companion type relationship than when I was young. Now, I feel like I have the best of both worlds because I’m dating a friend I’ve known for many years, but we both live in our own houses. I love having my own place, making my own decisions. Don’t feel like I’m up for the type of compromise it takes to live in a full time relationship any more. Don’t feel like I can really trust anyone but myself. It’s not so bad, it’s really freeing in some ways. I love the support I get from my current relationship, though. The way we call each other every day to talk about how things went. Having someone who would notice if I went missing. LOL. I’ve given up on that “ideal” relationship that I craved for so long. Just going to appreciate what I have for as long as possible. If my current relationship ends I’ll be sad, but grateful for the time we had together (as long as he doesn’t cheat on me :-). After going through the chump experience, I’ve learned that something else even better might come along if our relationship ends. I’m not so desperate to hold on now.

    • It was the lack of that “in love” feeling that caused STBX to actively seek affair partners in the first place. He had some funny notions of what long term relationships are supposed to be. What is he going to do when that passionate “in love” feeling goes away with Schmoopie?

        • Maybe Schmoopie will cheat on him first. Schmoopie knew darn well he was “taken.” Yet she flaunted herself at him. That means Schmoopie is of low moral intelligence also. People with low moral intelligence indubitably cheat.

      • Falling in and out of love is something I figured out as teenager. It’s just hormone surges, it can lead to true love developing over time but it’s not love itself. At least that’s what my experience has taught me.

        I would always tell my husband that love is a decision and a commitment, but obviously didn’t agree.

  • After a low mood week, I had a I gotta tell somebody Moment that only you chumps could truly appreciate. Stbx calls this morning –(btw his picture comes up as Pinocchio and his name as liar). I do not answer. A half hour later I get an email request from him concerning banking. I forward the request to my lawyer and ask how to proceed.

    This afternoon lawyer emailed “Do not question him on anything, shows weakness, and right now you are in the driver’s seat, do nothing.” Music to a chump’s ears. I am giddy happy I chose this lawyer.

  • First time posting with a few thoughts that have hit me after starting to look again.

    I don’t think anyone is ready to start dating again, even if we think we are!

    I thought I was, but I wasn’t!

    After being with someone for 27 years I’d forgotten how quirky I am and ended up hurting a lovely girl……but that happens when you date! We still email about kids and whatnot once or twice a year.I have some great memories about brilliant days, but we didn’t match….still glad I met her.

    The fact of having Infidelity in common is not enough.

    The second lady I dated had cheating in common too.

    Had a lot on her plate with sole custody of her two boys.
    But was looking for someone to rescue her and that was a previous failing of mine…….but gosh it was tempting for the wrong reason. Those boys were cool kids.

    The third was a friend of 24 years, and it started as talking about how her life had exploded and somehow ended up as Friends with Benefits……..which now I’m sure is something I can’t do …even if it does exist!! Didn’t end well! Probably lost a friend, though hope I haven’t.

    Right now I’m seeing a lady I met on OK cupid…
    I harnessed my inner geek and shot for the best match on my bell curve of options.
    I think we matched 92% on their site and it is amazingly comfortable.
    This is a first for me, and I’m enjoying it.
    We are both nerds, and it is very cool!

    Dating is Dating……odds are it won’t work
    You might hurt someone
    Someone might hurt you
    Nothing ventured, nothing gained.
    It hasn’t changed!
    But my picker has!!

    • Geek love is the best. That’s my hope, too, that I can meet someone some day and say, “Well, I am *A* doctor, but I’m not THE Doctor,” and they’ll get it. I may throw in a TARDIS reference to help them along. — I’m sorry for your trials, AI, but you probably learned some things along the way which will serve you well in the future, whether the nerd thing works out or not (though, of course, for your sake, I hope it does).

    • I wouldn’t know where to begin with dating. I do know that I do not fuck my friends. Friends are friends……and I like to keep them separate from romantic partners….and/or fuck buddies.

  • My picker is way too fixed for dating. I’ve accepted it’s just not for me. The risk far outweighs the reward. Way too many creeps/users out there.

    I went on a couple dates with someone I met through friends. He was morbidly obese, but I gave him a chance because he put in a lot of conversational effort. On the 3rd date he tried to guide my head to his crotch. When I pulled away he actually WHIMPERED. I had an overwhelming urge to throat punch him.

    Probably safer for the world (and me) if I stay off the market!

    • There are some, ummm, “not great guys” out there (ladies, too). I’m with Morse — chances are you will never have this experience again with anyone else ever in your life (and for all of our sakes, I hope the rest of us never do, either). Yuck.

    • Farbetteroff….me too!

      Dating sites are loaded with porn addicts, cheaters, and other miscreants. I know…because my STBX pervert is on quite a few- fishing around for “fresh meat.” While I was tracking my STBX perverts’ activities after d-day……I “happened upon” a married neighbor of mine too. I just shook my head and felt sick in my stomach.

  • Although many divorce support groups may be healthy and helpful, the one I attended a few months post filing for divorce and D-Day 2, was awful! The counselor running it was nice, but I could not relate to the experiences of the other participants. They were worried about sharing dog custody, while I was navigating STD tests and reconciling the fact that my husband had spent over $100k on hookers! The participants were nice, but clearly wanted to use the experience to meet new partners, go out drinking, and have new party buddies. I was absolutely not in an emotional space to handle that. For me, the divorce support group added to my trauma. I was a drop out at week 8, with week 9 being about dating again and week 10 being about safe sex.

    • Oh, definitely. They aren’t all great. Against my judgment, I went to one that was religion-based (not my thing, religion). But I still enjoyed the camaraderie with some of the other participants — when they got to the religious bit, I bailed, as I told the group leader I would at the very beginning (after I saw the weekly schedule — Hmm, abstinence? No.).

      I think that’s been a nice side effect of Dday: i’m now very comfortable saying “This isn’t for me, and that’s OK” and walking away without guilt or obligation.

  • CL is right. I am involved in a local variety charity show. We get new single men and women most years. My guy joined last year. He is quiet, intelligent and introverted, pretty much opposite to my stbx-wackjob. He is widowed and much to my surprise we clicked after several months of friendship and just over a year of my separation. He respects that I can’t talk about the future yet. He’s ready but I’m not and that’s fine. If it doesn’t work out I’ll be fine. I just bought a house and sold the matrimonial prison–oops—home…
    Gaining a life is good..

  • It makes me feel kind of sad that some chumps are kind of indirectly blaming themselves for getting involved with these creepy cheaters. It’s a rough blow but it’s really likely not your fault. Your “picker” may have had some problems once but that doesn’t mean you should never date again. Nobody is above you in any way, they can only be below you, IF they are a jerk. Every one just about has been cheated on. Odds aren’t higher that if you were cheated on before it will happen again, it’s still just random crappy luck.

    Just try to have fun with dating, don’t take it too seriously. I dated a lot back when I was young, there were a lot of creeps back then. My friend and I would laugh about it, and move along to the next one. Believe it out or not, your picking gets better with practice. You can’t practice if you don’t get out there.

    • My STBX pervert was literally “Prince Charming” when I first met him. He was able to override my picker’s warning signs. I don’t blame me….I blame him for being a deceitful, false, liar.

      • Same here, leaving the crap behind. Cause that is how they roll. And they really fool a lot of people who don’t know them well. Who in town jump on the band wagon telling you got nice they are, how lucky you are, what a great catch they are. It’s their stock in trade.

  • I think a dating service for chumps is an excellent idea, since both chumps and the entitled ones appear to repeat their behavior. One problem I see with it is that it seems mostly women comment here.

  • If you meet someone who purports “humans aren’t designed for monogamy”- RUN! The beautiful red Cardinal bird- mates for life. If a fricking bird can do it….people can do it (if they choose to do so).

  • My STBX pervert is 60 years old…..he’s looking for women between the ages of 18-40. It would be a nightmare if a fellow chump found him on Match.com or some other dating site.

  • I was having a conversation about this very thing with a therapist who specialises in sociopaths.

    It is along the lines of ‘fix your picker’ and find your tribe. There is no need whatsoever to engage with selfish or drama or any other crazy. Lots of people don’t draw you into their drama.

    He said: crazy shows up very quickly. Dating should be called DATA gathering. Dating is putting their best data forward, but they drop clues. How they treat the waiter. How they over patronise the waiter (which is they know this one, and are schmoozing). Decent people act decently without a big show. How they eat. When the first bit of selfish comes up.

    Any over premature declaration of love is a RUN FOR THE HILLS magnitude of crazy. How many Chumps fell for this projection? I know I did.

    They can’t hide it for long.

    • PS there is a correlation between sociopathy and drug abuse; and between narcissism and alcohol abuse. That is what he said! Obviously the caveat ‘not every ….’ applies. Its correlation, not causation.

      Avoid crazy.

      • Patsy substance abuse is a definite red flag. No boundaries…..no respect for one’s self……..no sense of “social responsibility.” To me, that translates to = high risk for cheating.

      • I’m also thinking that some cheaters brag that they don’t drink or smoke or take drugs.

  • This past weekend I sparked up a conversation with a man I met in the lobby of a hotel I was staying at. He went on to tell me that his internet date stood him up. He said that he is in a “committed relationship” with his girlfriend of 4 years…..but he wasn’t getting “his needs met.” I asked him if he was meeting “her needs.” He looked at me like I had 2 heads.

    I shook my head…..and walked away. Is this the prevailing social norm? It’s all about “ME” and getting ‘MY needs” met? If so…….I will date myself.

  • Chumpdom is not a good enough qualification for me. I can certainly empathize with a fellow chump- but there has to be more to it than that.

    Being chumped does not always mean you are a “good guy/gal” – sometimes cheaters, liars deceivers get chumped by the hoes/gigolos/bimbos they betray their spouses and partners with.

  • A Chump proactively stole my ex-hole husband. Just because someone was Chumped doesn’t automatically make them empathetic. Sometimes just even more pathetic.

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