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A Week of Fridays!

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Tired of me prattling on, column after column? Do you look forward to Fridays where you get to take part in the Great Conversation at Chump Nation? Well, starting Monday it will be a week of Fridays, featuring our greatest participatory hits like “Freak of the Week,” “You Might Be a Chump If…”, and “Problem, Adult Solution, Cheater Solution.” Every day you guys can tell your stories and out freak each other (aka: compare chump notes).

New chumps join our ranks every day, so perhaps they’re unaware of the Epic Tales of Chumpdom here — the gifted boxes of half-eaten Wheatena, the cheater who made a dramatic escape bouncing in a sleeping bag, or the parrot who answers to the SpongeBob Squarepants theme song? A week of freaky sharing, and CN, I promise you won’t feel so alone in all this. You might even break a gut laughing. (It’s a laughing with you thing, not a laughing at you. Promise. We’re all chumps here.)

Why the slight change in programming? Well, I’m taking an actual weeklong vacation with Mr. CL to Paris. (Don’t hate me.) We’re on the Take Back Paris tour. (Last time I was there was 2006 on my honeymoon with the cheater. Last time Mr. CL was there was his 20th wedding anniversary with his cheater.) Oh hey, that’s a participation post too — you can tell me in the comments, what are you taking back? So tune in and play along, and I’ll see you all back here in a week! Talk amongst yourselves. 😉

P.S., “Leave a Cheater, Gain a Life,” is out on audiobook at last! Check it out! (That’s not me narrating. That’s a professional dropping those F bombs.)

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Ask Chump Lady

Got a question for the Chump Lady? Or a submission for the Universal Bullshit Translator? Write to me at info@chumplady.com. Read more about submission guidelines.
  • So happy for you two to Take Back Paris…just last week I worked a bit more on my Take Back Tampa effort since Maj Cheaterpants and Susan of Seattle defiled it.

    Have fabulous time and we promise to behave.

    Does this mean I get to again tell the story of the morning after DDay where I put the gift from his OW in the toilet and pooped on it?

      • WAIT CL

        So first you get time off (for surgery) and now you do this? Seems selfish to me.

        You never let us go to Paris. You never let us be happy…

    • Well…I better do this now…busy day and I dont want to leave you all hanging.

      One of OWs things was to give nowdeadcheater personal gifts that he could have/touch/see in plain view… a new wallet, a tie, shampoo, tea. She is Chinese and introduced him to her culture and he became quite the tea drinker. She bought him loose Chinese tea with rose buds in it…he was a badass US Marine and she gave him rose tea for his retirement.

      I did tell him when I was in the suspicion phase that they day one of the smelly guys from his office gave him rose tea would be the day that her gift was appropriate.

      So there was a DDay after I cracked his computer and found the letter he wrote her for her birthday…cue massive meltdown in our home.

      The next morning, I was still in my jammies, I dumped all the tea in the toilet, pooped on it and sent it to where it needed to go.

      I later took a razor blade to the wallet and threw the shampoo bottle across the bathroom. I replaced it with something I bought and into the shampoo, I added some holy water.

    • Chump Lady & Mr CL ~ have the time of your lives! I suspect this trip will be so much better since because it IS reclamation for both of you. Exorcising ghosts should always be so delicious! This is a perfect time of year for Paris.
      Joyeux voyage á tous les deux!

  • Good for you and Mr. CL, Tracy! Enjoy the reclamation and each other and Paris. We’ll keep the light on here in Chump Nation.

  • CL,

    Have a great time in Paris. Check out the Musee d’Orsay or the Pompidou center if you want to see some great impressionist (Orsay) or modern (Pompidou) art. Everyone knows about the Louvre, but these other two, while smaller, are just as artistically relevant.

    And for another treat, on the Ile St. Louis, the Marron Glace is delicious. It’s a chestnut ice cream, only available some of the time at one particular little shop. Seek it out after you see Notre Dame.

    Peace.
    aeronaut

    • Berthillon, that’s the ice cream shop. It’s literally something you can’t get anywhere else in the world, at least authentically. Enjoy the city of light.

      aeronaut

        • Ahhh Paris!! Disneyland for adults!

          Aside from the big attractions (Louvre, d’Orsay, etc.), here are my faves:

          Musée Jacquemart-André on the Blvd. Haussmann–a little gem of a museum housed in a lovely 19th c. second-empire mansion, not as crowded as the more famous spots.

          Unicorn tapestries at the Musée de Cluny!

          Macarons!! Ladurée is the most well known, but I like Pierre Hermé. Well worth a wait in line. Try a variety of flavors.

          Mimosas on the terrace at Les Deux Magots on the left bank! Sit where Hemingway, Picasso, Rimbaud, Jean Paul Sartre, Simone de Beauvoir used to sit. If you’re so inclined, there’s an intimate little Louis Vuitton shop right next door (I’m so inclined). Afterwards, stroll toward the river and browse the books at Shakespeare and Company, a must-see stop for a writer.

          Monet’s water lily paintings at the Musée de l’Orangerie! Then the next day take a day trip to his home and gardens in Giverny. You can take the train, then rent bicycles at the station and ride to the home and see the water garden in person. Breathtaking!

          Buy a silk scarf at the Hermès flagship store on Faubourg St. Honoré! Wearable works of art and less expensive at the source. Don’t forget to get your VAT tax refund at the airport on your way home.

          So, so much more! I am unspeakably envious! Have a wonderful, wonderful trip!

          • Oh my gosh, I almost forgot my most favorite, must-see place in Paris of them all–the stained glass of Ste. Chapelle on the Île de la Cité. Surreal beauty—almost enough to turn this atheist into a believer. (But not quite.)

  • Can’t think of 2 people who deserve a love and passion-filled vacation in Paris!

    Take it back like the bad-asses you are…kiss everywhere, savor every bite of the fabulous French food and declare your chump independence for all of us in CN!

    Bon Voyage 💕 🥐 🍾 🇫🇷

  • Enjoy your time away from writing. I took back my wedding day. It is now my brideversary. Not even a divorce can take away how beautiful and happy I was that day.

    • Kate Kate Kate ~ oh how I love this. Even 33 years out my wedding day was magical and swirling with love. I’ve buried that day under the infidelity wreckage but today you gave me permission to take it back. Thank you, sweet Kate. I raise a glass of prosecco and lovely slice of wedding cake to you!

      • Thank you, Kate. I’ve struggled for 4 years trying to assign some other way to give that day to something or someone else. But you’re absolutely right. It was my beautiful day, and I was a gorgeous bride who had 100 of my family members there to celebrate with me, and it just so happens that I gave my life and loyalty away on that day to a douchebag.

        BUT, it doesn’t change who I was on that day, and every day for the next 17 years after. I’m reclaiming that day.

        Thank you, Kate. ❤️

    • Yes! My wedding day has been put on the back thought burner to deal with in the future for me. But I loved it! I have my anniversary box with my wedding items that I still really like and don’t want to throw away. I have the image of my/our family surrounding us— and I think that may be OK to leave be. It is now my Bride a versary! I love it. I was fortunate have a magical wedding (that my awesome parents paid for) – and I appreciate that still. No way he is stealing that.

  • What am I taking back? In December when I return from my Road Trip to Meh, I will go to the marital residence with a group of friends and take back my dignity, my motorcycle helmet, and every other last thing of mine that my niece Bazooka Jane is using since Woody moved her into my place during our so-called “separation.”

    In fact I’ve even had second thoughts about my expensive new bed. Let them fuck on the floor like the adolescents they are (she’s 19, and he sure isn’t acting 49). I used to think my intrusive thoughts about their sex life would never end, and I would never be able to sleep in any bed they betrayed me in — but that was when I still had a fuck to give about him. Now that he’s lost every last sparkle, I’m not crying over thoughts of him doing this and that with her on that comfortable pillow mattress.

    After being on The Road to Meh since August 9, I’m thinking damn, I miss my own bed! Taking that too!

    • Take your bed back, Mehta! If you love it and want it, take it! I have the marital bedroom set too, but I loved it since we first bought it. It’s classic Ethan Allen furniture and I remember when we first just bought the bed (that’s all we could afford), I remember thinking that it was timeless and I’d have it forever. I’ve gotten rid of a ton of stuff that reminded me of him, but for some reason, the bed doesn’t remind me of him at all. lol 🙂 Mehta, your story truly sucks and your cheater and niece suck too!

      • My guess is YOU are the one that wanted it and picked it out. The mattress could go, but the actual furniture was a “you” purchase. Like most cheaters, he probably just went along because he didn’t really care. That is how I feel about most of the furniture in our house.

        • GetMe, you do “get me” on this — I definitely picked out the bed and he just went along. When it arrived he didn’t even like the bed and complained about it being too high.

          • Well… that’s just because EVERYTHING is “too high” when you’re standards and behavior are sub-level and bottom of the barrel. Jerk.

    • Meta…get the bed! I too have the marital mattress set and it makes me smile every time I crawl in! We loved that set (Tempurpedic…FYI) and I got the house and contents! The mattress he and Baby Doll sleep on he hated. He got the retirement castle we built in the settlement and it still has HVAC issues…especially in the Master bedroom. A Cold room +ED + a miserable mattress one hates cannot be a great combo for Baby Doll (age of our adult kids)…what do you think?? Get that bed and sleep tight!

      • And CL I love your Take Back Trip…stomp all over those memories and joyously make new ones. You are the BEST!!

      • @Blown Away, love the cold room and ED combo on the crappy mattress! That’s some dissolution karma right there. Well done!

        For my part, Woody gets the dream house on the lake with the big mortgage, and I get the two rental properties that generate sweet income so I will be able to move far, far away from the uncle-fuckers. I’ll get myself a new dream house on a lake wherever I move for my new dream job, and maybe I’ll even find a new man to dream about in my expensive sleigh bed.

        Loving this thread. Thank you Chump Lady!

        • Meta – I’ve been following your story when you post. So glad you are getting rid of the scum!!! Your plan sounds awesome!!!! You will find happiness w that new guy someday. Take back that bed!!!! F them!!!! You rock!!!!

          • Queen, it’s an incestual relationship according to my family and the values of all my friends. Woody will have big bad karma coming back to bite him when he starts taking her out and about as his “partner” instead of as his STBX wife’s niece. She lived with us for two years, after all, and everyone in our circle knows who she is. It’s not as if our friends, his family, and his colleagues aren’t going to figure out exactly what happened…

        • No worries, Mehta – that little bitch is a Gen Z kid (kids/tweens/teens right now). Studies show they have an 8 SECOND attention span. As soon as some 25 year-old guy shows an interest in her (cuz she’s a hoe), she’ll dump the old douchebag and be off to all things more sparkly. Hope her family disowns her.

          Then he can sleep on the floor alone! LOL! Douchebag.

          Meanwhile…Mehta has moved on and is getting great sleep in her beautiful bed, and has a great, new, cheater-free life!

          • Oh, I think Woody is already lining up backup supply in the inevitable event of losing his teenybopper. One of his older (and “over”) emotional affair “just friends” who was supposed to be “our” friend has chosen to sniff around trying to “help” him get Bazooka Jane back into college after meanie Auntie made her withdraw and go back to her daddy. I told the “friend” that there’s no such thing as Switzerland and I don’t want any contact with anyone who socializes with Woody and Bazooka Jane or condones their “relationship” in any way. I don’t want any flying monkeys feeding information to him or from him.

            This friend chose Woody. I guess she’s hoping she still has a chance to play third string in his game. I’d warn her to be careful what she wishes for, but, NC!

    • Visions of a burning mattress bring a smile to my face. Not sure about residential burning laws, so I may research. Perhaps a dump & metaphorical burning…? I love yoyr ideas, CN! You are amazing!

  • You get on that Take Back Paris tour. Show all the Chumps who get sad thinking about the beach or their favorite restaurant that cheaters don’t get to take one more thing from us.

  • Have a wonderful time Mr. and Mrs. Chump Lady!!! I love that you both are taking back a wonderful city. I went to Paris twice with my ex-cheater. We did the whole “backpacking through Europe” thing. We had a great time. I thought I was with my life traveling partner, but no. I was with a narcopath who had been lying and cheating on me from the very beginning of our relationship. I gave my ex all our photo/scrap albums from all of our trips. If I would have kept them, they would have been in the garbage a long time ago. I threw out all the photos before the kids were born. Our entire relationship was built upon his lies and I don’t want any of it in my new life.

    What am I taking back? I’m taking back ME! And it’s a long and hard process to do so as I totally lost myself in my relationship and marriage. I was pretty much the trip planner in our marriage. I didn’t do everything, but close to most of it and the cheater would come along for the ride. He did, however, help with a lot of our Europe trips. I’ve had a dream to walk the Camino de Santiago and decided to go next summer by myself. I then thought to ask my daughter if she’d like to go and she said yes, so we are going to go together. She’s only 16 years old and has never been to Europe, so instead of walking the full camino, we are going to see lots of different cities and just do a part of the camino. I already purchased flights to Paris ($125 one way flight!!!!) at the end of June 2018. I’m taking back Europe! And backpacking!! Narcs like to “mirror” you, so I’m thinking the whole backpacking through Europe was my true interests as I was the one who had the initial idea to backpack through Europe. So I’m taking it all back! It’s mine and I can do it all on my own as I’ve did just about everything in our entire marriage almost all on my own!

    I love looking at other peoples travel photos, so it would be great if you could share a few here! Oh, and the bridge in Paris with all the “lovers” locks was cut down. The cheater and I were going to take the kids on a backpacking Europe trip and I remember finding out about that bridge and thinking that I’d love to put a lock on it for the man who told me I was his “soulmate and love of his life.” My local male chump friend actually took his wife there and put a lock on the bridge maybe four years ago? And she turned out to be a cheater too. And of course it was him that put the lock on, just as I was thinking I was going to put a lock on. Cheaters would never do something so permanent!

    • Awesome Martha! So happy for you and your daughter. What a great deal on the plane ticket!
      It is a journey getting to the other side but I can tell you are on your way. Hugs!

    • Martha – that’s awesome!!!! I have never been and my STBX and I were always planning that we would go. I will definitely be taking my son one day when he is a bit older. And how did you get such cheap flights? Awesome!!!!

  • Enjoy your trip with your real, genuine, spouse! So happy for the two of you!! It’s a tall order to hold down the fort without you though—thank goodness there are some well seasoned chumps on here to take the reins and help the newbies and the ones of us still struggling with the craziness of cheaterdom.

  • I never tire of your writing. I could read it all day, everyday.

    One morning- go here for breakfast.

    Des Gâteaux et du Pain
    63 Boulevard Pasteur- take Metro

    When I was in my hot twenties and church mouse poor Quincy Jones brother took me under his wing and bought my breakfast here for many days. He even let me sleep in his room when I had nowhere to go. He was a complete gentleman.

    I wish I had married him instead of the douche bag I mistook for a human being.

    One of my best food memories : A pot of expertly prepared Tea, homemade croissants with little pots of jam and fresh butter -or some kind of butter like you’ve never tasted before. Then decadent Fresh pastries with raspberries and strawberries with heavy cream.

    Mouth joy.

  • Have a lovely time! You both deserve it!

    I’m new here but yesterday my new sectional was delivered. The old one was dog and kid thrashed (we have a pool and a constant stream of wet kids sitting on it) and I found out that my stbx (lol that autocorrected to styx) had relations on it with his work admin “fit-n-floozy” back when the kids and I were at my parents for Thanksgiving last year. I would post a picture of the couch but I don’t think it will allow it here. But now we have a new beautiful dark brown leather sectional and me, the kids and the 2 dogs fit on it perfectly! That’s my 2nd take back. My first was the master BR upstairs. Not a hint of him exists up here, thankfully.

    Anyway, he’s paying for the new sectional in the settlement, and a new downstairs bed, and perhaps a 2 week cruise to Hawaii for the kids and I. We will see how flexible he remains.

  • I wish there were like buttons!! I so appreciate all the posts, the humor, and th decent humans here. Thank you!

  • Thanks for all the good wishes, travel tips, and Take IT BACK stories — keep ’em coming! I’ll peek in occasionally, but thank you all for giving the Universal Bullshit Translator and me a week off.

    I’m sure I’ll be refreshed after a week of decadent French dining and more squidgy than ever. New posts when I return. Meanwhile, you’re in good hands!

    • From what I’ve read, you’ll do all the great food and wine and still come back having lost five pounds because of all the walking you’ll do!

      Enjoy–you’ve picked the perfect time to visit there.

    • Have a beautiful time with Mr. CL, Tracy! Safe travels and I hope you get to see and do EVERYTHING on your list! ❤️🇫🇷

  • Yay, Tracy & hubs! You guys are living your advice! Not only telling us but showing us how to ‘gain a life’! Love it…..
    I went on the trip of a life time (my life, anyway….I know many of the Chumps here have traveled extensively, but I have not) during the week that USED to be wedding anniversary. I made new friends and new, precious memories, on a trip I had always wanted cheaterpants to take with me. So, pppbbbttt! on him!
    Besides, it sure was a waaaaaay better journey without him than it ever would have been with him. New friends were encouraging & even saying prayers for me. Old friends were so supportive. Most of all, we were all so focused on the awesome sights (Niagara Falls, ON being one of them…….A ride on the Hornblower, too!) that there was really no room for even thinking of my old life. I took back that time in September and made it all about the good things in life……True friends / being close to my Creator / making genuine memories.

    Thanks for leaving us an ‘assignment’ while you are away, so we can continue to ForgeOn!!!

  • Ooooh, have a lovely trip CL and Mr. CL!! Eat all the cheese 🙌🏼

    As for me, what am I taking back? I plan to take back the country we were living in. You see, I was there first. I’m the one fluent in the language. I’m the one who knows the culture and respects it. I’m the one who undertsands the people and loves them for all their colours. The place is like my second home. I was there for a long time. The place stole my heart. Not him! But he still lives there! And I feel like as long he’s still there, it is tainted and I don’t wanna go back to visit.

    But, he’s probably never going to leave that country. He has it too good there. And so, I plan on taking it back. Why should I yearn for my second home and not go back to at least visit just because that butthole is still there?! I’m looking at taking a trip there next year with my kids to catch up with lovely friends that got left behind. I don’t want him to EVER take the place away from me. It’s too much a part of me. He doesn’t even belong there, he’s got no respect for anything.

    • Have a wonderful time on your trip, Chump Lady. I’ve never been to Paris, but maybe one day I’ll get there.

      I’m taking back the city where I lived with Mr. Quitter for 30 years. I have since moved 2500 miles away to live with and care for my elderly parents, but last week I was invited by my former church music director to be a guest artist for their 40th Anniversary. I worked at that church for 27 years and was a part of the 10th, 20th and 30th anniversaries. I thought I’d be there until they had to pry my cold, dead fingers off the keys, but Mr. Quitter ended that for me. Anyway, they are flying me in, completely paying my way, and I’ll spend a week visiting old friends (whom I dearly miss) and playing lots of music and maybe seeing my younger sister who lives about an hour away. I plan to go to all of our old haunts and make memories that have NOTHING to do with HIM! I can’t believe how excited I am. Maybe this will remove the pall that October has had for me these past 3 years. Tomorrow, October 2, is the 3rd Anniversary of the “I don’t think I want to be married anymore” chat. Well, take that, you jerk! Who needs you anyway?

      • Yay for you, Peachy!!!

        I love that you are getting to do that! It will help to vanquish any remaining negative thoughts, feelings or what-have-you that you may still be dealing with.

        Yes, we rise & shine in spite of all the crap these freaks throw at us!

        ForgeOn, Peachy

  • Have a wonderful time!
    I am not a huge fan of Paris (I prefer off the beaten track, though maybe that is a reaction to my ex… He spoke French and lived there one semester in college while I interned in another European country) but I did enjoy Musee de Orsay (most of the Louvre’s 19th C. Collections, in an old train station), and I preferred Sainte Chapelle (Holy Chapel?) over Notre Dame. It is a small Gothic chapel where the kings of France were crowned.
    Please have a Nutella crepe for me!

  • I hope to take back Paris one day as well! My cheater became more and more distant as we neared our 10 year anniversary. I thought his distance was just due to insanely long and late work hours and his alcohol and weed use (also deal breakers for me now… I put up with a lot of shit). I sat in therapy wondering what I could do to “get him back.” My then-therapist encouraged us to spend more time together. We planned a trip to Paris for our 10th anniversary. He was in full discard mode as the trip approached. I couldn’t figure out why he looked at my with dead eyes. I got diarrhea every time I was around him. I was so anxious around him I could not eat properly. Inside i was terrified to go with him. The morning of, he got extremely drunk and high. I felt like dying the whole way. Then once there he verbally abused me, ridiculed me, picked fights for no reason, and drank constantly. He called me boring when I didn’t want round 4 of sex in one day. He yelled that he was leaving and said “go back to your fucking country by yourself”. I’ll never forget that moment.

    Once home, we needed to drive 5 hours each way to pick up our daughter who had stayed with my parents. He picked a fight so he wouldn’t have to go… later I found out he went straight to the OWs house to fuck her. I drove to get our daughter, deliriously jet lagged and alone.

    Three days later I found a text from OW and kicked his ass out.

    I’ve needed to tell this story for a while! One day I’ll take back Paris, alone or with a friend! Tracy, I wish you the best time.

    • SolteraOtraVez, thanks for sharing your story. My heart breaks for what you went through. I’m sure most of us can relate to your story in one way or the other. The being distant from us. The picking fights. The anger. The coldness. I’m so sorry he tainted your trip to Paris. Just more proof (not that we need anymore!) how much cheaters suck! I know you’ll take back Paris! He didn’t deserve to go with you. (((HUGS))) to you.

    • What a nightmre, SolteraOtrVez. I’m so sorry you had such a terrible time. That cheater truly SUCKS. I will hold your take back trip vision until you can do it yourself. You deserve so much better. I’m ever more convinced alone is better than togetherwithcheater. I am beginning to enjoy my own company, too. But the cheater-shaped hole can be dumped along with him, making room for caring friends and, possibly…a loyal partner one day? Gaining a life is tough, but better than cheaterlife hell. Good for you, SOV!

    • SOV, I was chumped in Paris as well! I went with my ex for a trip to France that included a few days in Paris followed by a week on a luxury barge in the south of France. This was huge for us, and I’d been planning it for about a year and a half.

      I found out after the fact that my x had been flirting with another woman for a few months prior to our trip, and he slept with her for the first time FOUR DAYS before we were scheduled to depart. Then he slept with her a second time three days before our departure!

      Throughout our trip, unbeknownst to me at the time, they were texting each other. Here’s a sample of a text she sent to him while we were in Paris: “Hey handsome…how’s my international man? Hope you are having a great trip, eating yummy food and seeing masterful pieces of art and architecture. I have been thinking about our sweaty bodies having hot sex…fun. Mostly, I am really happy we met and am looking forward to your return.”

      His reply: “I have been thinking about sweaty/soapy hot sex with you constantly. Makes me hard just thinking about it. I’m really happy we met also and can’t wait to see you when I get back. Have a great weekend my hot lover.”

      Fortunately, as vomitricious as these texts are, they did not ruin Paris for me! I returned a year later with my daughter and my sister and I suppose took it back for myself, although that was not a conscious thought I was having when I returned.

      Now four years after being chumped in Paris, I can look at those texts and laugh, and be glad I’m well rid of that lying, disordered, damaged piece of narcissistic donkey crap. I never even knew who he was, but I’m guessing by now the OW has found out. She can have him! His karma is being who he is, and her karma is not being able to walk away from it.

      Perhaps all of us who were chumped in Paris should meet there someday and celebrate being cheater free in the City of Light!

      • My God what a heartless piece of shit. I remember seeing the emails between my cheater ex wife and her new boytoy, just a sickening find. Glad you are able to laugh now and have moved on.

        • Yes, sickening is right. And so weird—the person I saw in the text messages was completely different from the person I had known for 30 years. It didn’t make any sense at all until I learned more about narcissistic personality disorder.

          Hope you’ve moved on as well, Kb! The bottom line is we are so much better off without them.

    • I am so sorry you went through this!!!! You are so mighty for kicking his abusive ass out as soon as you found the txt!!!! You deserve so much better!!!! One day you will take Paris back!

    • Mine too – went there with my college sweetheart in the snow (should have married him!).
      Good on you CL – have a great trip.

  • This is a wonderful idea, and perfect timing for me, as today, I take back my fall trip to the orchard! I took my daughters to get pumpkins and apple cider every year when they were little, and I invited LadyLiar to come once she joined our family. I felt so good about integrating her into all of my family’s rituals, always trying to quell her bad feelings of being a “step ” parent and offer her experiences her own f*d up family never did. But when my life blew up, everything was tainted. All of those things that mattered so much to me now have her memory written on them. I’m one year, 5 months out from her moving out and me taking back my life. And I’m really excited about taking my daughters to pick pumpkins in an hour!

    • Good for you man have a great time! My kids are adults now but I’m still getting pumpkins with my daughter this year also.

  • I want to take back Ireland, where we went during our 25th anniversary year. Between that trip and poof day we talked about Ireland as the best trip ever, just incredible.

    I understand now that he was not on the same trip I was– I believed it was incredible because my heritage comes from Ireland and I was getting to spend my first trip to Europe at this magical place, a totally new environment; so foreign, beautiful, rugged. We played and ate and drank and made love all over the Emerald Isle, staying in B&Bs and old pubs. I was thinking it was a wonderful way to spend time with the person I have loved since I was 16 years old and could not have wished for anything else.

    He was thinking, “Cool, Guinness.”

    Fuckwit.

    • My eventual “take back” trip will be to Australia/New Zealand. You see, I planned this incredible 30 day trip celebrating our retirements. It cost a fortune. I had such a great time. But that was soon squashed after D Day when I found out he emailed the OW every day while we were on that trip, pretending he was by himself. What a shit. He is now out of the house at my request, living in a small apartment. I am in the marital mansion and enjoying the heck out of it. He is in therapy trying to discover why he “F’ed” up. I am out hanging out with friends, traveling, enjoying myself. Waiting for him to realize the marriage can never continue. Hoping he will still feel guilty enough to give me everything. So far, I’ve said “jump” and he’s said “how high”.

      • Get the “F” out,
        Your story most closely resembles mine. Hello! I put STBX out in June & he’s living in a relative’s house, doing therapy and trying to “reclaim virtue”. Um, yeah. No mansion, but I want the house (30 years of my loyalty & support should count for somethng!). He’s jumping, too, and it’s an interesting twist. I’m done. Filing. We should chat, GTFO.
        I want to reclaim ME and my dreams & energy. I morphed into a zombie over these last years, allowing fw to suck the vitality out of the marriage & family…until I found out WHY. I had already started to take charge of my health & life. Dday3 just pushed me closer to the real me underneath. I’ve lost 40 pounds over the past 20 months and am continuing to get healthier. My emotions are still all over, but I’m beginning to dream of my new life-filled life, businesses I’d like to start, places I’d like to go…. no consulting w sulk-monster required! Yes!

      • Perfect! IMHO, don’t wait- you should say, “Sign” and he needs to say “Where” as quick as possible while he is still feeling his sadz.

        My divorce was final this week. Less than 6 months between abandonment and the big D, and he is still smoking the guilty pipe so I got some nice chunks sliced off the pie and onto my side of the balance sheet (we are in a 50/50 state so it was totally on him to give these things up, it’s a no fault for fuckwits state). The guilt iron was hot so it was time to strike.

        • One day I may just have to inform Schmoopie how much her twat is worth in cold hard cash, maybe after he poofs on her and blames her for being Controlling and Judgmental and how he never loved her at all. It cost him cold cash and two daughters, no price too high to chase his dreamz.

          • Now IC…great advice. Thank you! You are an inspiration. It is amazing how stupid cheaters are…the only way they understand is consequences…and they still don’t learn. Ugh

            • I agree get everything while the guilt is there. My ex wife left me and our daughter so she didn’t get shit and knew she’d be fucking over our daughter is she made a move on the house. So she got some pots and pans and I got the house and kids loyalty.

    • I honeymooned in Ireland. Definitely some place I would visit again anyway, and now certainly to take back the memory and make it happy again. Maybe when my daughter is old enough…

  • I took back Maine last summer. There is family property in ME on my side of the family. I grew up going there for at least two weeks every summer. I spent two summers working there. I shared it with ex. we got engaged there on a particular rock on the shore. We got married there. We spent time there as a family with our kids. I took the kids there by myself last summer. I was so afraid that it would be triggering for me, but actually it was comforting. I was reminded that Maine was always mine. I was just sharing it with him. It helps that he lost interest in Maine as he started to lose interest in me. The last few times he went he really didn’t enjoy it and was downright bitter about it in recent years. He was offended that the family was set up as an LLC to pass it on from generation to generation and it can only pass to direct descendants by blood or by adoption and not to spouses. Then he proceeded to demonstrate exactly why it was set up that way.

    Anyway, the important thing is that I had a good time there with the kids. I didn’t even really see it as something I shared with ex anymore. His recent bad attitude towards the place actually helped with that.

  • I plan to take back New York one day soon. It’s where we went to get “re-married” after dday#1 and wreckonciliation. Just total BS. Fake wedding with a beautiful carriage ride to Central Park and meaningful words( to me) said in the ladies gazebo. I thought it was real he just thought more cake. POS. that was on the day of our 30th anniversary. I loved that trip and knowing he was an Edgar suit( thanks Beth) can’t spoil the memory of the trip that we had so much fun on. I’ll take anyone else but him and go back soon.

  • Im taking back my writing. I wrote a story about my life which was published and bought for tv in Australia. In the divorce papers he put that he wrote it WTF!!!!! Idiot, it was a lot about my childhood, he did not even meet me till I was 26 ????.. I have a book almost finished which I need to pick it, polish off and get published —– just for me. The first book i dedicated to my ‘loving husband’ this one has a chapter on Narcs. How life changes as we get older and wiser.

      • We’re not all THAT stupid ALL of the time. Writing takes tons of focus and time, and that takes cheaters away from screwing everyone over! Sorry, douche, you did NOT write a thing.

        Good for you, Carter Chump!!

    • Carer Chump,
      Writing!! Yes! I penned 2 poems within days of Dday3. They’re more like lyrics & i may polish them for that. But they SAVED ME.
      Good for you! Your cheater proves that they cheat about EVERY.THING. Steal hearts, memories, ideas, dreams. F them! Write your truth, write that narc right out of the shadows!
      Reminds me of the story behind the film Sad Eyes…have you seen that?
      Write on!

  • Enjoy Paris! I love the concept!

    I took back my house–kicked him out, purged it of all of him, bought him out, remodeled it. I’m currently procrastinating applying primer paint in the bathroom….

    I took back the master bedroom, and I do mean sexually. Mm-HM. The Coward threw sex in my face, and I went without for a long time (y’know, raising our teens alone), while he and The Rescue Twat rooted all over each other, apparently. Now? My bedroom–new bed, new paint, new curtains, new side tables, new partner–is MINE. There are no ghosts. I like the new deal better than the old deal, by a LOT. Mm-HM.

    Awesome Boyfriend met the owner of a local (very, very nice) restaurant in my town last week. He said he’d love to take me there–had I heard of it? I told him that it was at one time my ex’s favorite restaurant. Awesome Boyfriend deflated. “Oh, so maybe you wouldn’t like to go there.” I told him that my ex gets to claim NOTHING, and I would eagerly look forward to dining there in Awesome Boyfriend’s company. I’ll take that back, too.

    In May, I will take back Hawaii. It was maybe two years after my first ever visit to the Islands with The Coward, our children, and two dear-friend families, that The Coward flew back to rendezvous with the Twat (she lived there, apparently, at the time). I’m soooo chumpy that I believed him when he said he was just going for a quick trip to hike and clear his head because work had been soooooo stressful…. I think The Coward and The Twat believe that Howaii is their special place. Nah. They can’t have it. For my 50th, Awesome Boyfriend is treating me to a week-long stay, and we will meet the same dear family friends (minus kids) there. Should be epic!

    Life is good.

    • Epic take-backs, Stephanie! I live the house makeover…that must have been so therapeutic for you, step by step. I am far from it, but beginning to plan for the same. Me & my cheater were married in Honolulu. Honeymooned in Kawai. My daughter has wanted to go, so I’ll have to start planning that soon. Enjoy!!
      Your attitude is fabulous!

        • Stephanie- you rock!!!!! Love that you are happy w a new man. You give me hope!!!! I’m not quite ready to date yet but I can already see myself happier in the future with an awesome new man. I’m already happier at 3 months out with doing things for myself and my son. Can’t wait to find real love again!!!! Rock on and enjoy Hawaii!!!!!

          • Thanks, mil23! I waited for the right time to date–4.5 years out from D-day. Had a great time with my kids and friends and just me. The wait was worth it. It’s like CL says–it’s really nice to sync with someone who is thoughtful, and who reciprocates. Someone patient and appreciative. It’s SOOOO nice. I want that for everyone here–we deserve good people. You’ll have yours, too. You’re doing it right.

            • Thanks for the encouragement, Stephanie. I was with the d-bag from age 16 to 39. Haven’t dated or gone out with guys since I was a teen. I know how to be married and loyal, how to grow my career, and how to raise ass-kicking children essentially alone, but dating? Not so much.

              I’ve been wondering if I should feel bad about not being “ready” to date; friends and family always ask because I just turned 43. But honestly, I’m just enjoying the solitude too much right now. Didn’t get to do my 20s or 30s alone, and I was a teen parent. Now my youngest is graduating from high school and I devote a ton of time to volunteering with her activities. I figure I’ll have all the time in the world to devote to a real man when/if that time comes. In the meantime, I’ll be grateful for this time with family and grown kids, and just being attentive and kind to myself. 🙂

    • I am hoping my 2 adult daughters and I can take back Hawaii this winter. We went as a family a couple of times and it was always driven by what the fuckwit wanted to do, which was always go-go-go, run-run-run, dash from one thing to the next. The girls and I will probably see the volcano at OUR pace, play on the beach and snorkel where WE want to go, and – gawd forbid! – lay around a CONDO POOL one day drinking our asses silly. It WILL NOT BE miles of driving daily around the island searching for some hole in the wall restaurant that serves something the fuckwit just has to have. NO MORE staying too long, too late, too much, for every site on his agenda.

      The girls and I had a name for all the trips we went on that were like that, “Dadventures.” It used to be a funny sort of thing that encompassed how we were always the last one dragging into a state park trying to set up tent and tarp in total darkness because The Special One just had to pull over and see every fucking ball of string on the way. Now the term is said with disdain. I always put up with it because I thought we were building common memories together, but that leaky fucking bucket simply doesn’t ascribe meaning to those things we shared. I could have been anyone, and he certainly is showing that he wished I was someone else.

      None of it has meaning to him and it wore me the hell out, so nevermore am I going to race around on a vacation. Just not going to do it.

      • I don’t miss the anxiety about money–nickel-and-diming me on coffee or a treat for the kids (I earned and saved what he earned and saved, and it was plenty, but he wasted thousands a month on a second home that was a disaster, and on his collections…and a divorce, can’t forget that.) Vacations with him were hit or miss. When he was good, he was a delight, but so often he was sulky and petulant, stingy and resentful when the kids and I were having fun. Unless, of course, other families were around, and then he was Mr. Affable alternating with Mr. Generous. I don’t miss traveling with him at ALL. I enjoy my trips with the kids immensely, without the added stress of his moods and his demands (defiantly spending an HOUR in a book store when family was waiting for us to catch up). And, of course, I adore traveling with my sweet Awesome Boyfriend, who never snaps at me for taking too long to get ready (I’m SO low-maintenance).

        Ah! Don’t miss the ass one bit.

  • I wish I could take back France. And Paris…Wish I could take back 40 years!
    But I have a great daughter who is getting married, You know what is so great about her upcoming marriage? The guy is nothing like her dad. He is authentic and grounded.
    But I will be in London next year and maybe I will try the chunnel to Paris for a couple days!

    Have a great time in paris.

  • Tracy, every time Paris pops up on my “screen” for what ever reason I remember your wasted trip there, as well as mine.

    I feel so good that you are going to reclaim Paris with an honest man at your side that it is like reclaiming own trip.

    Have a wonderful time. UBT deserves a rest, CN will manage.

  • Tracy, wishing you and your husband a lovely vacation. I would imagine that any time spent together with someone you love (and who loves you back) in Paris would be insanely cool.

  • Enjoy your trip!!!!

    I live in a really big town. My STBX’s AP lives on the east side of the town where the night life/trendier restaurants are (and where their affair carried on). I’m 3 months out from DDay and our divorce is almost final. I have been avoiding the east side of town like the plague. It’s a total trigger for me.

    This is inspiring me to take it back!!!! As hard as it is going to be I am going to make plans to go out with friends there back to the places I love. I get stronger every day and I know my son and I will be ok!!!!

    We also share our birthdays because his is the day after mine. For 20 years we celebrated together. This year I had a nice birthday with my son and parents and celebrated with friends on the weekend. And I had a nice birthday!!! It wasn’t as hard as I thought it would be! Leave a cheater gain a life – I’m out trying to gain my life back 😃. Sending hugs to CL and CN!!!!

  • Oh wow!! Have so much fun Tracy! So happy for you, You worked hard for this moment!!
    Not jealous, because my time is not here yet, but it will be someday, and if not, ah well… I have a cheater free life, thanks to you, CN and my will to want better for myself.

  • I want to take back my city (small city, but really great restaurants, lots of parades, festivals, marathons, etc)
    Cheater lives with Schmoopie in downtown where all those activities happen, and I see them everywhere now. It used to terrify me, always afraid if I would see them, if I was alone, but so far, every single time I’ve seen them or him, I have been with either friends or on a date.

    Fuck them – I have nothing to be afraid or ashamed of, I look great, I look happy and I look like I’m always having tons of fun. I’m taking back my city!!

    • I’m so proud of you! I was always terrified of running into the two of them, or him or her. Never did, and yet the thought still freaks me out. But you? You’ve conquered that fear and did it well!

      I’m a firm believer that one problem chumps have is that we are to ready to yield. But not you–you’re not giving up what is yours so that the two of them can claim everything.

      Great job! You inspire!

  • Enjoy Paris. I had a Claim Back Berlin holiday with my pal. My dirty ex went to Berlin for a week with Bitch, telling me he was working away on a job, he then went to Berlin with Slutface (affair partner no. 2, whom he was seeing simultaneously as Bitch!) about a year later….
    We initially went to Berlin as a family in 2014. So he has been every year for last 3 years. So I went this year to claim it back and make new memories. People thought that was weird but I really enjoyed the holiday!
    I can’t wait to tell my story on here. I think it might be astounding to some as I still struggle to comprehend his audacity and selfishness and lack of respect for me and his kids! The thing putting me off is typing it all out….
    I am nearly a year down the line (D-day was Nov 13th) and feel so much better. I have immense anger towards him as he continues to be a pathetic Arsehole…. I want nothing to do with him and he has at least made that easy by dissappearing… He ran away to live in a caravan in slutfaces’ parents garden! Doesn’t give a toss about his kids either!
    Enjoy the life!

    • X works for a company in Darmstadt, and I went with him once to hang out for the week. I wish I went out and did more — I mostly waited for his boss to let him out so we could walk around together (it was supposed to be “light” week for him, and it ended up being just as busy as any other). Found out later that some of his prostitute stops included Germany (no surprise, it’s legal there, but still…UGH). He even pointed out the legal prostitutes when we were walking around. Makes my skin crawl now just thinking about it. Some of his co-workers sounded shady as fuck when it came to that stuff too (at least one who also had a wife), which he also told me about, totally straight-faced and even with some disgust in his voice. Nasty hypocrite. I liked the Darmstadt/Frankfurt area of Germany though — it was easy enough to get around and the architecture and food was awesome. Would love to return on my own some day. Need to pick back up on that beginner’s German.

  • Have a wonderful epic holiday CL and Mr CL

    I like the concept of taking back special places. There are several that I hope to make new memories in one day…
    Still working on the basics of getting a life at the moment but you are showing the way forward yet again and with another good thing to aim towards.

  • I second Musee d’Orsay, and add Cluny Middle Ages Museum (with famous Lady and the Unicorn tapestries) which is easily combined in a walking day with St. Chapelle, Notre Dame, font St. Michel and the St. German des Pres with the famous literary cafes and their famous hot chocolate too.

  • Remember the Montmartre area with Sacre Coeur with a lovely view overlooking Paris, with the funicular going up the steep hill affording another romantic view…

  • Have a wonderful trip, CL! I’m sure you’ll have an amazing time – I am very jealous! Very well deserved, of course, though!
    I have been to Paris a few times, only once with The Sprout – and this was definitely the least enjoyable one, coincidentally! It has been different every time and, apart from Sprout time, always wonderful. The last time I went was taking my 2 daughters for 4 days with my mum – it was my older daughter’s 13th birthday. This was prior to separation by 18 months, but, as usual, he didn’t want to come with us – yay for us!
    Bon Voyage!

  • I reclaimed my birthday! My last birthday was when I turned 30 a month after my wedding. I was due to relocate to cheater’s country but had to finish a work project so there I was with family and friends in a karaoke bar. We partied and sang and danced and it was lots of fun. Then with cheater no birthday or any other holiday (christmas, mother’s day etc) was worth celebrating. Not even worth mentioning. Not even saying happy birthday. Nothing! I cried. And cried. And suppressed all expectations. And cried. And more. And convinced myself that it was ok. Not a big deal really. After DDays and recomciliation I was expecting him to do something about it. Now he understand, right? It’s important, his attention…or just please me because I want it, your wife, who took you back after all the shit she uncovered. I waited and waited and waited last year. And I realized…that’s it. It’s what I get if I choose to be with him.

    This year I invited new friends in a new country of residence and boy we sang and sang and sang. All the oldies and cartoons songs – I finally celebrated my birthday like I did 13 years ago. With friends, my son, and cheater-free!

    Still need to reclaim Mexico where he had randez-vous with main AP. Never been there and was put off and don’t want to go but will have to go on business soon.

  • Going to Nicaragua with my sister, her man and ‘my friend’. Can’t. Fucking. Wait.

    Take it back CL and CN! Take it ALL back. It was always yours to begin with ❤️

  • Zut alors !

    I hope I’m not too late to recommend places to visit and food to eat Mr. and Mrs. C.L. ! As a pillow on my bed says “Paris is always a good idea”.

    Berthillon for ice cream, Poilane for bread (try the petit pain aux raisins), Barthelemy for all those French cheeses you can’t find in the States, the rue des Rosiers in the Marais for the best falafel I’ve ever had outside Israel (green storefront called l’As de Falafel) and then dessert at Sacha Finkelsztajn (fromage blanc cake is my favorite-a lighter version of a cheesecake). Wine bars…

    Retail therapy-a huge lingerie selection at Galeries Lafayette ! Sabbia Rosa’s pieces cost a fortune but just looking through the window costs nothing and Carine Gilson has a boutique on the rue de Grenelle.

    I second the suggestion for the Musee d’Andre Jacquemart. The Rodin Museum is quite the gem with a lovely garden behind the mansion it’s housed in. The Louvre-goes without saying but I would just pick a collection or two and spend a couple of hours.

    Such a beautiful city day and night ! Walk as much as you can and “amusez-vous bien” !

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