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Who Was Your Infidelity Angel?

I was reading on Facebook and a friend of mine (a fellow former chump) had recently lost her mother. She requested that instead of flowers, to pay it forward for someone in need instead.

If you’d like to give in honor of my Mom, she was a pay it forward type of person and she adopted people that needed help so I’d like to leave some suggestions … Instead of sending us flowers, pick someone in your life that is having a hard time or needing something and send them a bouquet, pay their rent, give them a gas card or gift card for HEB – find a single Mom whose children would like to play in city league sports and pay their fees, or treat them to a movie or dinner – if you are out and see someone having dinner alone, pay their tab or pick a person in your life who works hard and never seems to catch a break and do something to totally make their day.

Such a sweet request and it got me thinking about people like this woman. So today I thought I’d ask you all — who was your angel? Who helped you in real life through the meat grinder of infidelity? What was the casual kindness that made all the difference?

I had many angels. Tops would be my friend Yoma who financed my escape at the scariest moment. Who never wavered (even when I did) to trust that he sucked. To my friend Caroline who watched my dog and my kid when I had to travel for work, who was always cheerful and positive. To my dad and my aunt who came right after I threw him out to pack up his shit with me. To my mom who sent money to tear down the wallpaper. That may sound weird, but NOTHING could make me happier at that time than to rid myself of that wretched wallpaper in the hallway. (Wallpaper removal is my love language.) To the total stranger I met at a Christmas party once, an old man, who told me that the worst thing that ever happened to him — a hail storm that wiped out all his crops — turned out to be the best thing that ever happened, because he left farming and became a successful stock broker.

They were all lights along the path out.

So, tell me — who paid it forward in your life?

Art is copyrighted by Tracy Schorn from “Leave a Cheater, Gain a Life,” (Hachette 2016). 

P.S. I think of Twig Lady as an angel of sorts. I kind of modeled her on Andrea Dworkin.

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  • I had no one. I know this is not uplifting, but we’re not all lucky enough to have people like this. I would have really appreciated someone like this. What I can say is that I would be someone ‘s angel if I am so needed.

    • Suprême, this is so sad, but I love how you can turn it around. Even if you don’t have an angel, you can be an angel.

    • I had no one, either…..but here goes: The “person” who never let me down and carried me through the darkness was my piece of crap car. I lost everything in the divorce….even my truck. My $50.00 car should have broken down, but never quit me. Got me to job interviews, a new city, back and forth to a new job. Every morning, especially in the winter, I always expected it to not start…..but it always started. I was forced to start a new life…..and it never let me down.

      • I love your car story. As someone who also relies on a very old car, this really touched my heart. You have such stength.

        • It is a 1992 Geo Metro. Ugly, faded, peeling paint. I have to roll down the window and stick my arm out to open the door. Won’t go faster than 60….but, it was always reliable and had a good heater. I have it stored in my garage. I would like to restore it someday….it was the only thing that didn’t go wrong in my life when everything else was falling apart.

          • Oh, I had a Geo Metro, too. Someone saw it once and said he’d need two — one for each foot. But I loved that car!
            Best wishes to you, SuperDuperChump.

      • Last January, when the Cheater was going to travel and was dying of the excitement of knowing he was going to fuck his cousin-whore in a few days, my car was supposed to take him to the airport. It never had any issue. At all. But that morning it did not start. No battery. So the Cheater took my electric car (not enough to take him to the airport) and tried to use it to jump start my other car. The EV did not work either. Asshole had to take his car out of the garage, where it was going to be safely stored for the duration of this trip, and used it to jump start my car. I am so grateful of my two cars: they were just things, but they were more loyal to me than the Asshole. And I’ll never forgive the stupid Asshole that I had to sell them for nothing when leaving.

      • In times of chaos it is the simple things. In the aftermath of my Dday and leaving the cheater… no home to go but staying with family whenever and wherever… my car was the constant. Always there and never betrayed me 🙂
        I feel you on every bit of what you said about your car.

    • I’m sorry, SupremeChump; infidelity is a huge trauma to face on your own. I’m glad you’re part of an awesome community now.

      • Hugs to you Supreme Chump. And thanks CL for creating ChumpNation so that we can virtually be there to support each other.

    • I’m sorry. That sucks. My cheater expresses his dislike for my friends, and his disapproval of my time spent with them, in such subtle ways that it took me decades to notice. After they had all wandered off. Please, please know this isn’t you. It is about cheater wanting to be the only one you care about. When I finally leave (getting my financial ducks gathered), I am prepared to pay the price of our last remaining joint friends. I feel ready to do this because I already feel so alone. You are MIGHTY for doing this solo. Heroic.

      • Yep, they slowly separate you from family and friends so they are your only focus. Bonus: no one will tell takes because you can’t/don’t talk to any of them anymore. I expected to have no support when the shit hit the fan. As soon as the staunchest friends heard, they crashed back into my life and helped keep my head held high through everything. Was completely amazed.

        Currently trying to pay it forward with my step sister. She’s been off again on again with this guy for 8 years now. He blames her for everything and she wouldn’t hear me about ditching him when she found the messages on his phone to some other girl (who’s pregnant and married… ) about how much he loves her and could he come over, etc. I tried explaining that men who dont intend to cheat, dont send messages like that. I have CL’s book ready for her.

      • My 3 sisters, 3 kids and 3 incredible friends including a new one.

        I had been hospitalized for a sudden neurological condition (adult onset epilepsy, nice) so I was fucked up for months. Could not focus or keep a train of thought. 2 sisters flew out to CA and thought, acted and packed for me. They helped me downsize from a 5000 sq ft house to a large storage unit, in 4 days, with loving ruthlessness.

        The other sister took me and my dog in to her home for 4 months, & her husband flew out to drive me and my dog cross country in a moving van. We made it in 4 days. The trip was a blur of a carsick dog (until I got her medication from a random veterinarian, who also helped.)

        My 2 older children took time off their jobs & drove 4 hours north to help me pack, along with 2 women I had befriended years earlier.

        They 2 friends had been the chumps years before, so yeah, it circles back. There were MANY other with small acts of kindness

        including the neurologist who treated me gently but with hope, the woman at Trader Joe’s who gave me flowers when she heard why I had moved back to be near family after a 35 year marriage ended in divorce,

        and the woman at the electric company. When she told me I had to pay a deposit due to unpaid medical bills (Which the DOCTOR said he’d “take care of”), I almost started to cry. I told her why I had moved and she said

        “Well maybe you were leaving something that was causing you pain…” And she was right.

        And my faith in the universe (for me the term is “God”) has helped convince me along the way that in the end, somehow I’d be alright. And happier and with more peace in my life.

        The divorce is not settled yet and the feelings of injustice can overwhelm. But I am actually glad not to be married to the father of my children b/c he’s a lousy man. Troubled or sick or confused, whatever, he inflicted a lot of pain on the 4 people who loved him the most.

        So this terrible divorce ordeal is still (going to be) one of the best things that has “happened to me” in my life.

      • I remember that feeling of isolation well. Part of lining up ducks was tentatively reaching out and nurturing some existing sparks of friendships with my own old friends and starting to build new friendships and take up opportunities to do so. After leaving that cheater I may be time (and money) poorer but life is all the richer for building friendships, and joining groups. The company of good people is a treasure.

      • Sending you virtual CN support. The CN forum particularly helped me. Totally understand this is difficult. Hoping it gets better before too long. Hugs.

    • I have nothing but admiration for all of the chumps who have to go through this alone. You are so mighty to have survived. I would have completely fallen apart without all of the support and validation I received post DDay. I wish I could have been there to help you. I hope to be there for others in the future.

      I met someone at a meetup recently. She was telling me how she suspected her husband was having an affair. He moves the family every five years or so which makes it hard to put down roots and make close friends. I told her to check out Chump Lady. I don’t know her well, but I will do my best to keep in touch with her and be there for her when she needs it as she inevitably will. Right now she is still in that “I’m not sure I really want my suspicions confirmed” stage. I told her knowledge is power.

    • I agree with That Is Not a Thing — you are MIGHTY, and it’s very possible that it was asshat cheater who kept you isolated from others in your life. But we at ChumpNation will be your virtual angels — fight on!

    • Same here. It’s tough to go it alone but it truly builds your character

  • OMG. I have a friend, thought she was a casual friend, you know? Well, when she found out what happened, and heard that me and my kids had no where to stay, she made her husband BUY A HOUSE, just to rent to me.

    Then she turned round and told me there was an opening at her job, and now I work there making good enough money to take care of us.

    When I thank God for people, I thank him twice for her!

    • This brought tears to my eyes.. I don’t know your backstory but this deserves an article its stories like these that gives me a twinkling of hope in humanity. God bless you and the family who helped you!

    • Yes, thank God for her! That is awesome. My story isn’t quite that awesome. When I decided to leave my cheater, I looked all around for a decent rental. Nothing. I happened to contact a woman who had a couple of houses on the market to sell. Her granddaughter & my daughter had attended school together & I had only met the grandmother once…I didn’t think she’d know who I was. Anyhow, when I contacted her & told her my predicament & that I just needed a rental, but it would be a long term rental for at least three years, she immediately agreed and contacted her realtor & took it off the market. That was over a year ago & I’m still beyond grateful that she did that for me & my daughter. My daughter tells me this house is more of a home than the one we left. 🙂

    • Carry On,
      WOW!! That’s amazing!! Such a great story…you were so blessed!!

  • I was very fortunate to have a few angels. First was my life long friend. He was my witness. He sat and listened to me for hours over the first few months. He was my validation, my link to sanity. It truly was a gift. I had 10 years of crazy to get out! He also encouraged me to sing and play music again. That was one of the first steps to feeling happy again.

    The second is my son. He moved home from 2500 miles away. He helped to teach me how a normal man behaves. His calm demeanor, his willingness to help, his ability to just have a conversation. Living with him helped me to remember that walking on eggshells is not necessary.

    The elderly lady at the coffee shop. I was feeling so old and unattractive. She was a complete stranger. She just brushed my cheek and said, “so pretty”. I held that in my mind for months. I guess I still do at times. I would take that thought out and hold it like a treasure when I felt less than.

    My 90 year old neighbor. Her comment that made me laugh, “some things are so broken they can never be fixed and he’s one of them”. She delivered that with a container of chicken soup and some Xanax.

    I am divorced for 3 years now. I still find angels along the way. I am having issues with an underwater mortgage and not making ends meet. The real estate lady listened to my situation and the cause of it. She then told me of her similar experience 10 years before and helped me to find the proper help.

    It is so amazing how good people respond when you need it. I do try to pay it forward as best I can. I cannot do so financially at the moment but I have become more appreciative of good when I see it. I try to speak it to the person and I hope that makes a difference.

    • “I held that in my mind for months. I guess I still do at times. I would take that thought out and hold it like a treasure when I felt less than.”

      Not all help is financial. Look what two words and a gesture from a stranger did for you. You have much to offer. Just surviving what we all have gives us wisdom and empathy to share.

    • freedom2live,
      “sing and play music again”
      Your words brought tears to my eyes, bless the friend who encouraged this for your heart and soul.
      Reminds me of how, after DDay, I could not listen to music again. I had played and sang in a school band . Music meant the world to me. I was always, humming, singing, just music music everywhere. It never was the same for me again, never.

      Your son is a wonderful man! You must be so proud of him.

      YOU are mighty, so many people saw you for the lovely lady you are.
      Your post is inspiring. Thank you for sharing.

      • That’s odd I still find music difficult to listen too, I can no longer endure to read. What’s that about?

        • Polly,
          I think, perhaps, it is that music is just so beautiful. It can lift our heart, make us feel light and peaceful. At least it used to be that way.
          I always trusted , held music close. After DDay I felt that I could no longer trust music, the words lost their meaning and it just made me feel so sad.
          I still try hard to listen. Funny, this post made me think that I turn the radio on, a certain song will start and I automatically turn the radio off. I don’t feel comfortable with it.
          Reading is ok for me. I always have a good book on the go, although I am not a sitter so it takes me a long time to finish a book. It is a lovely escape for me and I can often relate to characters in the story.
          I am so sorry that you are unable to read and I am sorry that music is difficult to listen to.
          I understand. ((((Hugs))))

          • I also cannot listen to music or see live bands (X is a musician). Instead I have audio books from my county library downloaded to my phone. I can listen when I’m driving, walking the dogs, etc…they are free from my library. If an item is not available right away I can either choose from what is available immediately, or place a hold on the book that I want.

            • StillMad,
              Sending you hugs.
              You are strong!
              I like your name, it says a lot.
              Yes, books are so important to me.
              I am almost finished one and have four to choose from, plus others in a cupboard.
              I buy them in a lovely second hand book store, like new.
              I know someone else has read them, smiled when I smile, cried when I cry.
              I pass them on to friends.
              (I understand about the music and I am so sorry).

    • ” She delivered a container of chicken soup and some Xanax”

      Love this.

  • I was fortunate to have had numerous angels to whom I will forever be grateful. The first was a work acquaintance who insisted that my kids and I stay with her until a restraining order could be obtained (ex assaulted me in front of our kids). That took a couple of weeks to get the order and to file the divorce complaint. Second work acquaintance wrote a check to retain an attorney and put no timeline on the repayment. A 3rd angel was a woman from our kids’ former daycare who picked up my kids from school twice a week, fed them, and kept them until I could get home from work. She refused to take any money for this. I hadn’t been especially close with any of these women, but they were there 110%. They taught me firsthand the power of sisterhood and how women just get shit done. And when I asked one of them why she was so willing to help, she told me that I was a good person and that I had more friends than I realized. After many years of abuse and isolation, I felt so unworthy, and these women helped me start healing. Like Supreme Chump, I also stand ready to help the next person in need and had occasion to do so about a year ago when the mom of one of my kids’ school friends needed a place to stay while leaving an abuser. Oh, and I also have the Wifetress written into my will, with the provision that the money I am leaving her is to be used only for the purpose of retaining a divorce attorney. As much as I don’t like her, I can see that she is already isolated/trapped and I’d even be willing to lend her a hand should she need it.

    • Runningviolet,
      Today’s post topic is filled with so much emotion. I feel overwhelmed reading each Chump’s post and find myself responding like a mad woman…..actually like a very touched woman, very touched by the human Angel response of every day people, reaching out to a Chump in a time of great need.
      I am so happy you had so many Angels appear, and now, you are a true Angel yourself.
      YOU are Mighty!

    • Granting an escape clause to Wifetress is one of the most powerful things I have ever read on here. Throwing light at darkness. Damn.

      • Thanks, TINAT, for getting this. About a month after I left my abuser, I was diagnosed with advanced stage cancer and had to draft a new will in case of well, in case of needing one. I think the cancer catastrophe ushered sharp clarity with warp speed. I am now in the process of life coach training with the intention of helping other women reclaim their mightiness in a way that is in spiritual integrity for them. One of the first things I purchased for my new place was a MLK poster with the “Darkness cannot drive out darkness; only light can do that”. I have held onto this belief through every shit storm with my ex and the Wifetress, who are expert parental alienators and deeply broken beings. There are many days when I have sat and stared at that poster until I could connect with that part of my soul that is compassionate. When I do, it brings immense peace. And this is what I want to help others find.

  • So lucky to have so many angels on my side. The spirits of my beloved grandmother (she’s the original kmanning) and my gone-too-soon friend Chris. My badass sisters who stepped right up and went through every divorce document line by line, taking time to use their MBA and JD expertise to make sure I wouldn’t get (any more) financially screwed.

    My sister’s in-laws, who GAVE me their dad’s car. He passed away during my divorce process, and they knew I was driving a 14-year old car in need of major repairs, so they offered it to me.

    Colleen, whose ex is an evil, toxic narcissist, has given me great advice about how to co-parent. She is a model for patience and true goodness, and living a happy life every single day.

    Thanks to all of the angels who get me through every single day!

  • Being a chump gives you 20-20 vision/clarity on the people in your life who care about you as a person of value.

    Every one of my five sisters essentially told me to get over it. To this day, they have no clue how much their dismissiveness and thoughtlessness hurt me. My pain and my children’s pain were inconvenient to them.

    Two neighborhood friends, on the other hand, saved my life. They showed up on December ninth when he finally left after ignoring a court order to be out on the first. They let me weep that night out of frustration and relief he was FINALLY, physically gone. Being witness to him emotionally abuse me and our kids for years, both understood the significance of that night. His reign of terror was OVER in the sense that he would no longer, EVER be in close proximity to me.

    I took the next day off from work to have a locksmith come change the locks. One of those angels took the day off, too and showed up at the front door with a sledgehammer to help me destroy the homemade bar in the basement. That piece of junk symbolized so many moments in our marriage when he deliberately made me feel insignificant and worthless. It was the most glorious sound when we finally kicked the last piece of plywood to the floor.

    The other angel always made sure my three kids had rides from school and practices, and a place at her family’s dinner table when I had to work my second and third jobs, or be in court to get their father to follow orders. She never asked if I needed help; she just told the kids what time she would pick them up. And she made it seem like nothing out of the ordinary to them. She just mothered them when I couldn’t be there.

    Both friends knew what mattered to me, and made sure it mattered to them, too.

    • Love this! Today is restoring my hope in humanity. There IS still good in this world!

  • I had many angels too. At the beginning I was so afraid of being alone. I had left everything to follow the cheater in his academic life, so I didn’t have dear friends or anything in the city I was living. And my startup was in danger, and I was actually laid off a month after DDay. So I was so afraid of everything, what I was going to do if my car failed! (And it did, obviously).

    Then, people helped me. The nurse that hugged me when I cried when she took the blood sample for the STD testing. My therapist who recommended me a mechanic who discovered the cheater had forgotten to check something that made dangerous to drive my car. My brother who came in a hurry to be with me. And then my friend Tim who got me a temporary job in the other side of the country. My friend Roberto who got me a room with one of his friends. My cheater dad who came and cooked 2 weeks for me to make sure I ate, and packed everything I was taking with me. And then this new friend, Ricardo, who took me under his wing for months. And then Roberto again, who is going to host my cat when I travel for work.

    I realized I wasn’t alone. I was never fucking alone. I was loved, my friends were with me, my acquaintances also were with me, and they help me when they could, even if just being with me. I realized he was alone, and the trouble with him is that he always knew how horrible he was and that people noticed. That’s why I found his google search “how to attract people’s attention”, for I never had to do that, not even in my darkest hour.

    • Gato,
      I love all your Angel People, especially the nurse who hugged you. Probably because I am a nurse, and I would definately see the hurt in your eyes and I would hug you!
      I also love all Chump Lady’s Angel People.
      Each one is amazing.
      I did not confide in anyone, kept it all inside. No CL, no CN at that time.
      But, today, it has all made me stronger.
      I am lucky to be a real people person and eventhough I can be shy, I don’t hesitate to help anyone I can possibly help, even if it is just with a hug, a smile or a kind word.
      I have said it before, in previous posts.”There are Angel People all around us”
      CN, Angel People, I am so thankful for each one of you!

      • I loved that nurse. She came out of her side of the counter, because I was crying even before the put the needle in my arm. She hugged me tightly and told me that I needed to leave him. That he was an asshole, and never was going to change. That I was going to be ok. And stayed with me until I was better. She was one of the amazing people that stopped to comfort me when I was crying on the streets.

    • (People noticed in some weird way I can’t explain myself now. Most of them are surprised, very surprised, when they hear what he did. Even the people I love in his family. However, most people we knew were at most lukewarm about him, and they didn’t keep in contact with him after we left or anything. He doesn’t have deep friendships, and the friend he has now is a whore too, somebody who I’m pretty sure rallied against me, and played a puppet master of sorts).

    • I love this post because it reminds me that I have been loved by family and friends my Son and even by her family, She is alone 1200 miles away with the home wreck. I am truly happy for you Gato that you have so much love and support!!

    • Hi Gato,

      I too have to thank the nurse practitioner that hugged me and prayed for me while I was crying yesterday getting checked for STD’s. I have been so fortunate to find kindness in strangers but mostly in my parents for taking me and my girls in. I reached out to my former neighbor yesterday, whom I loved like a sister and she was so excited to hear from me. She immediately offered to drive with me tomorrow down to the vacation home in Florida to clean out the closets. That home is set to be sold on Tuesday, another painful hurdle. Two more painful hurdles to clear this month and then hopefully the smoke will start to clear. I love your statement “I was never alone, I was loved”. Thanks for that reminder.

    • The whole searching for “how to attract people’s attention” and other how to get woman to notice you stuff is all sooooo cheater handbook. It’s like a disease they choose to have. Uuugh

  • Supreme Chump,

    You’re not alone on this one. Some of the people I told were vaguely kind (my boss went a little easy on me, and occasionally inquired how I was doing). An out of state friend emailed a little more frequently.

    But someone I considered one of my best friends just disappeared. Maybe if I had asked for more those who knew would have done more, but basically I feel I’ve been muddling through on my own.

    • I think often Chumps are terrible at asking, at receiving, at taking. It’s one of those skills we need to work on, like boundaries and dealbreakers.

      I think we forget that many people, kind people, LOVE to give, to help, to lend a hand or an ear when it’s needed. We shouldn’t deprive them of that opportunity, when it would also help us so much.

      • You are so right KarenE! My therapist mentions this often and advises me to work on it. It’s hard though. I’m used to being the giver and not asking for anything. The few times I asked my ex for something he couldn’t or wouldn’t respond. After a while we become conditioned not to ask or expect anything. It’s another mindset that requires work to overcome.

      • Karen, you gave me a lump in my throat. Self-recognition right there.

      • KarenE,

        I have revised that saying I was raised with “Tis better to give than receive” with “It’s okay to give and receive”.

        Reciprocity and mutuality are the key to emotionally healthy relationships, in my humble opinion.

      • I totally suck at asking. I really don’t know how without feeling like I’m too much or out of line. I’ve had to just do things myself for so long that I am used to that or letting things be undone.

  • The whole, awful experience showed me *everybody’s* true colors, not just my cheater’s. I learned a lot about people’s character by who showed up and helped, and who unexpectedly ghosted. It was really interesting and I am grateful for the lessons. Among my girlfriends, ironically, the two former friends of mine whose own dads had suddenly divorced their mothers after cheating on the mothers when the friends were little kids — but they were not left in poverty and had relatively privileged lives with professional-career having, physician dads who still paid for them, and stayed in their lives— those were the friends who totally ghosted me. I’m guessing my own situation was too triggering and too similar to their own childhoods for them, plus they have some narc tendencies of their own no doubt inherited from those narc doctor dads. I never fret when an old narc in my life ghosts me, and the new friends I have made are a narc-free bunch.

    The people who stepped up— my parents let me and my 3 little kids move in with them for a few months during the divorce, and helped out so much. My neighbor took care of my house in my home US state, after my narc ex tricked me into a cross country move and tried to mire me in a long-term family court system morass that kept me in the foreign US state for far too long. Old friends reached out constantly. Friends recommended attorneys and therapists to me. Friends sent little gifts to cheer me up. I let the Switzerlands go very early on and just stopped trying to do anything make shitty friendships last that weren’t meant to. Now I look for reciprocity in all of my interpersonal dealings.

    • True colors indeed!
      I found the most support came from a high school acquaintance who checked on me at all hours. I wasn’t sleeping after D-day so it was welcome to get a message of kindness urging me to move forward with my life and leave Narkles the Clown behind. There was also the former coworker who saw me in an elevator crying and shaking and sat me down to find out what was going on. Then the college friend who fled for divorce two months before I did who reminded me I was beautiful and worthy of a better life. They were all awesome people who I was not ever close to, but they all had one thing in common,they had been clumped and knew exactly how I felt and how to make me see that D-day was bad but that I would learn to see it as more of a liberation day in the end.

      Like you I was somewhat surprised at who had nothing to say and no words of comfort outside of “sorry to hear that.” But I found comfort here too. It was The Clip who taught me I didn’t have to coparent with a fuckwit and DDW who talked me into getting help from a nearby DV shelter because she was right, after all the years of mindfuck I had no idea how dangerous my situation was.

  • My angels have been so numerous. My Mom, who said “of course your divorcing him” even though she is Catholic. My brother who went with me to the first appointment with the lawyer. My lawyer, who I used to babysit for long ago, and the people I work with. Darla and Jamie got me through the discovery of unfaithfulness at one location and when I moved to another branch ( I work in a library system) Barb, Diane, Shannon, Nakia and others helped me through the divorce. These days I try to be the angel, looking for others who need a hand.

  • I had, still have, no one in my corner.
    I fled back to my parents’ house where my mom fake-welcomed me because “of course, it’s faaaamily, that’s what you doooo”. But manages, along with my dad, to sprinkle abuse on me whenever my Grey Rock fades a bit. It’s been hard to rebuild from nothing and it’s still very much a work-in-progress.

    But I did meet my Infidelity Angel 🙂 and for that, I’m so very thankful.
    It was my hairdresser, back in the town where I used to live.
    I was back to visit this summer, escorted by my family. We spent a week “vacationing” with my ex (such a great experience to confirm he IS an unreformed abuser!).
    So one day we all went to my hairdresser, I was waiting to get my hair done there because I truly love the place. I remember being there on several moments in the past 2 years, while managing reconciliation. I was there the night of my engagement. They are a super-great team, you walk in and peace and joy instantly surround you. It was one of the hardest things to give up, honestly (I live 150 miles away now).

    Anyway, on August 23rd we all went, me, my mom and my ex (me and my ex would always go together, people thought we were cute for doing this). I was under attack those days on both fronts, my dad had made a scene a couple days earlier, my ex had showered me with verbal abuse the minute we were left alone. I was physically in distress while I was sitting there with my head in the sink. Then my ex finished and he left. Shortly after, my mom was done and she left, too. And a second later, this calm and peace slowly washed over me. I realized I was finally fine. I was fine being by myself, surrounded with these nice people, I was with “my tribe”. It was such a difference feeling like “myself” again.

    So when the hair stylist (who is also the owner, a warm, spunky 40-year old with an unapologetic lisp and several tattoos) came over to me we start talking about my hair and I tell her that unfortunately I didn’t mean to “betray” her but I’d had to get my color done elsewhere in the previous months, because I’d have to leave my ex and move. And I start tearing up and telling her that I wouldn’t do that because her salon is my happy place. And she tears up as well and rushes to hug me, saying that’s the best thing a customer has ever told her, because that’s her goal for her business, to bring joy to people.
    It was such a warm, joyous, positive moment that made a stark contrast with how I’d been treated in the previous days that it really made me believe good people must exist.

    Then another stylist, a gay guy about my age, switched over to do my blowout and caught wind of the topic about me leaving home and my ex, so the conversation continued between us. He got soooooooo enraged and furious on my behalf when I told him this story that it really made me think of CL’s column about having a friend get mad for you. It’s really so therapeutic! He went on and on, pausing in between expressions of aggravation, then he’d pick up again like he couldn’t shake it out of his head. He’s always been very fond of me (he said I was such a calm, serene customer) and said “They always do this to the good-hearterd people, don’t they? They can never pick on ugly bastards like them! This bastard! F*ck him!!”. It was actually funny, too 🙂

    When I left, they gave me a non-expiring discount voucher, and told me I could come in whenever I could and they would accomodate me. We said some heart-tugging goodbyes. It’s hard to say if I’m ever going to be able to see them again, but that afternoon stays in my heart forever and brings me love and light and peace whenever I think about it. It’s a small, silly thing, maybe, but it was the only drop of support I ever got and I’m cherishing it! I’ve been crying like a fountain just typing this out lol

    • What a wonderful hairdresser story, Jgirl. I’ve long thought the best thing someone can do for the newly chumped is get angry on their behalf–very validating.

      (Until you can find better social support, sign up for the forums–top right. Someone’s always up to give advice or an encouraging word; most of the CL veterans frequent the Private: General forum.)

      • I had a similar moment, with a client/friend at work. I was still new & uncertain about how to tell people, without crying (at work) or vomiting the whole sordid story but instead telling the succinct summary version. She, the nicest sweetest little old lady, had a shocked look on her face and just said, definitively, “Motherfucker.” You could have knocked me over with a feather. The incongruity of HER saying THAT was so hilarious I couldn’t help but laugh. And cry. With relief. — Yes, “anger on [our] behalf” is a true shot in the arm.

        • NWbiblio,
          I have heard you tell this story before and every single time I imagine this little old lady coming out with the supreme word and the priceless look ???? n your face!
          You made my day!????

    • Jgirl,
      You are a wonderful writer!
      What a fantastic hair shop.
      Your story is amazing!
      As Tempest says, come to the forums, she is spot on. You will find them encouraging and everyone would welcome you.

    • Beautiful story JGirl. I can relate to that feeling of temporary total warmth. I have been both isolated and in response have isolated myself in a way. And I have lived an existence that has made normal life (light hearted, inconsequential, social interaction; normal pursuits; normal envisioning of future, and so on) come to seem so entirely foreign. I have all but forgotten what it is like to be that way or have that normal form of life.

      One afternoon in fall two years ago I was with my side of my extended family at our lake house for end of season yard work, pier removal, etc. After finishing up, we all sat around together resting, chatting in the Indian summer evening, and I was struck by how odd it felt to at long last feel simply “comfortable” for a moment. To not be on guard or otherwise occupied by all this. No one there held any slander campaign doubts in their mind. No one was a threat to betray me or undermine me. There were no agendas, no secrets, no inscrutable disordered abuse. There were no LIES. There was just normal healthy adult interaction. And I almost felt drunk with it. Unbeknownst to the others there, I marvelled privately at how taken I was at the feeling of mere human normalcy after so long under this other kind of daily existence. I didn’t want it to stop but I knew they’d all shortly get up to head back to their own homes. When they did, I did too, slowly, and yet tried to remain in the feeling as I drove home. I thought how far I’ve fallen, or how starved I’ve been, to have what was formerly such an ordinary occurrence now feel so stunningly warm and nostalgic.

    • Honey, let me tell you about 150 miles.

      I travel 150 miles to take my kids to a dentist that we literally searched a year for. We went yesterday and it was worth all the hassle. We love her and her staff. They are warm and welcoming and give excellent care. I make appointments for my kids 6 months in advance and we make a day of it because it’s worth it.

      A hundred fifty is NOTHING when you love a place. You’re getting WAY more than just your hair fixed. Maybe you can’t do it all the time, but you can sure do it some. It’s too valuable to let go!

  • I had and still have an amazing crew: my girlfriend who made me meet her at the lake to go walking, took me out on the town (probably a bit too much), and she always answered the phone when I was trying to unskein the fuckedupedness. My other girlfriend who made me walk about 3 miles every night while I processed the BS and reminded me that no matter what I did wrong in the relationship, I didn’t deserve the mindfuck and lies while he pretended to be working on our marriage (while taking homeslice on a birthday trip and banging her while still going to marriage therapy). He has since moved in with her and got engaged while we were still married….. seriously, wtf.
    And my faith friend… who reminded me that God is bigger than cheaterville.
    I have an amazing tribe who saw me through the worst of it.
    And he gets stuffy mclovin chubby elbow arms with 2 young kids. I get my freedom since our kids are grown. He gave me a gift, truly he did. It took me a long time to see that, however with enough distance comes clarity.

    • Lost220,
      Your “stuffy mclovin”made me smile. Does not sound like a happy meal to me.
      YOU are mighty!

      CL, thank you for this post topic.
      Eventhough I confided in no one, still Angel People helped me then, now, always have, always well.

  • I only had one angel at the time, a woman in a nearly identical life scenario who gave me a disk (my story dates itself…) with her recently executed divorce papers on it. Saved me hundreds of dollars and much precious time. I was able to act mostly before he had time to think of new and exciting ways to hurt me.

    Otherwise, my angels came years later in the form of wise and compassionate counselors. After searching for a long time for my first good fit, I was finally able to begin a true healing process.

    I am immeasurably grateful for their guidance and presence as I work to heal my many past traumas and grow into a person who is difficult to exploit without hating the world and everyone in it. 🙂

  • I had two people offer emergency, get-out-of-dodge shelter when STBX lost his fucking mind and I had to get a restraining order because he was flagged for homicidality — and I’m eternally grateful that they were kind enough to open their homes to sudden, endangered guests.

    But, nobody wanted to hear about the two decades of deceit, gaslighting, porn obsession, etc. I had three people I thought I could turn to with anything. Turns out, I could turn to them about most things,
    just not this. From them, I’ve heard the following:

    — “It must hurt him to face the truth” (Sympathy for the pathological lying? Really?!?!)
    — “Well, cheating is pretty common.” (The implication that I’m overreacting was a common theme)
    — “He watched porn in front of the little one? That was stupid of him. But why are you so worried about your little one around him?” (…. this one still pisses me off …)
    — After explaining he was lying to his counselor … “Oh, it’s great he’s in counseling, though! He can HEAL now.” (I’m still puzzled over the word choice here …)

    Every attempted conversation left me feeling like shit about myself. Not worth doing. Not at all. I’ve since learned to shut my mouth — even with my the three people I thought I could turn to with anything.

    Luckily, my adult girls get it. Though, I don’t “confide” in them … it’s wonderful that they fully understand my anger, fear, and confusion.

    And, luckily, CN gets it. The validation I get from this site — that I’m NOT overreacting — that his behavior is NOT justified — that the physical AND emotional safety of my kids and myself is paramount … that has meant the world to me.

    • JessMom,
      I am sorry that you have to be here on CN but I just want to say, shout actually, that YOU are a very very caring person, who so willingly and lovingly listen to and encourage other Chumps daily.
      The above responses are unbelievable. These people obviously have never experienced what you have been through and they are indeed very fortunate people.
      I am so sorry no one got what hell you were living through.
      CN gets it, JessMom.
      We are here for you, as you certainly are for each one of us!

      • Peacekeeper: Thank you so much for your kindness. (((Hugs)))

        The hardest part about getting responses like that (dismissive or irrationally sympathetic to STBX) is that it took soooo long for me to really accept how bad things were and that he purposefully chose all of those hurtful things. Accepting that I didn’t deserve to be treated that way is still pretty fresh (perhaps a bit too fragile) for me … so, those kinds of responses tend to push me back to my self-criticism and feels of defeat.

        But that is why I make sure I come here often. The people of CN are so caring and fantastic in their patience and understanding. I always leave here with more clarity and strength … never have I left here feeling defeated. Not once! 🙂 And that says so much about the beauty of this blog and the people here … people like you, Peacekeeper. Again, I’m sending my heartfelt thanks for your kindness. Best wishes to you.

  • My mom was there through all three DD days…whether it was 5 in the morning or 3 in the afternoon. She listened to me for hours. The cheater’s brother, brother’s wife and sister. His family banded together to offer their support emotionally and financially. My brothers who helped my daughter and I pack our lives into a rental van and drive 937 miles away from this disordered asshole….but the most important thing of all is that 10 months later, these people are still in my life…reaching out to let me know that we’re still family no matter what. This website and all the amazing people who post have also helped me…oh…I can’t forget my new friend who had the courage to come down to the city that day..because of her courage, I was able to walk right behind cheater and his mistress two entire NYC blocks – walked right behind them as they held hands whispering in each other’s ears…if it was not for this friend, I would still be living a lie today.

    • Yeah for those people who don’t just get you through the initial crap but continue to be there down the road!

  • My sons are my angels. One grabbed me by the shoulders when we were in crisis mode and said “mom, this family has lied and covered up for the last time, we will be honest about him from this day forward” . He made me promise to think of myself for once and leave his father. My other son hugged me and reassured me I needed to get out and that it was my turn to take care of myself and not be invisible anymore . I was shocked at the friends who offered help , they told me they were tired of watching me walk on eggshells for years, watch me struggle financially for years even though I had a good job. Even though I had isolated myself to mightily sparkle my life , they took me back and provided shelter, meals and hugs. I was shocked at all the kindness shown me. I try to pay it forward with acts of kindness every day: tell shell shocked people after their DDay about CN, let people with less items go ahead of me, listen more, pay attention, ask questions to show I’m listening , and go back and thank people and tell them what they did that gave me strength.

  • My brother and sister-in-law who, although they live 300 miles away, were available 24/7 with listening ears, shoulders to cry on, talking me off the ledge, and the funds for the attorney’s retainer.

    My adult son, who was right there and witnessed everything – he literally picked me up off the floor when I discovered the email cache – held me as I shook and sobbed. He and his girlfriend were my rocks through the divorce and move and the emotional shoals.

    My mom, who did everything she could to soothe me – and still does.

    My friends, who I discovered were actually MY friends, not his, who were there to comfort, offer help to move, meals, emotional support, and lots of laughs when they were desperately needed. Even the ex’s “best friend” of 45 years will no longer have anything to to with ex after what he did (although the ex calls occasionally, 2 years out, still “needing to tell his side.” Friend won’t return calls.) This man, ex’s bestie, has been right there to help me with anything needed.

    The young doctor in the clinic I saw for insomnia, when my regular doctor was not available. She discovered my blood pressure was really high and they gave me meds and monitored for a bit in the office. Then she came in and sat down and ask what was going on. I was kinda zombie-like at that moment and unloaded. We then spent an hour, in tears, she holding my hand, as she shared that her mother had committed suicide a few years earlier as a result of her father’s infidelity and emotional abuse and she knew – actually KNEW – how I felt and how it hurt. She hugged me, gave me her private number, and told me to hang on – I’d get through.

    There’s many, many more – acquaintances and strangers – who’ve offered help, a hug, a kind word, and encouragement.

    Angels abound.

    • Love this doctor! Sometimes, it is the strangers who touch us the most. Friends and family already love us, but these people do not have to get involved or spend this kind of time with us…yet they do.

  • My children’s daycare worker. Above and beyond, she watched my 3 year-old *overnight* so I could fly to the other side of the country for a job interview. My daughter kept her awake all night, and she had to work a normal day the next day. It was a great kindness she did for me.

    I got the job, and escaped. I don’t know how I would have been able to do this, if not for her help.

  • I was so lucky. My neighbors, who called the police one horrible night that shook me completely out of the fog.

    My supervisor, a really nice man and fellow chump in whom I finally confided when he asked why my performance had been down lately (they’d been thinking of terminating my training). He certified me later that day.

    A casual friend who offered me emergency shelter when the police were called, let me and my kids stay with her, and went with me to get my stuff so X couldn’t talk to me.

    My parents, who remind me I’m valuable and precious and to remember the look on his face that night.

    Turns out I had a lot more friends than I thought.

    • I love these stories of people who surprise you in a good way. Kudos to them and glad they were there for you

  • My parents abandoned me in practical terms so I’ve always struggled. Newsflash: being unsupported and alone makes you quite the target for a predator. They were everywhere, always. So I can tell you that when someone helps, it changes EVERYTHING.
    Most recently when I needed help, some online friends who have totally different interests, but who I’d been chatting with online about this n’ that for years, drove HUNDREDS OF MILES to come and be with me on the day when my ex left at dawn in his rush to be with the OW whom he’d funded with a lying GoFundMe-thing so they could close the 3000 mile distance between them and be physically together. My ex and I were living and working together at the time. He said that since he was being honest that I shouldn’t be at all upset. I did not reveal my devastation to anyone except these online friends, because I know that revealing weakness is dangerous, it can take you from the frying pan into the fire. My friends were with me for eighteen hours until he came home. He left at dawn the next day too, and in all the days after until he flew her back home, but my friends shifted me out of being completely utterly crushed. A few months later a total stranger, who read something in an online group I administer as a volunteer, offered me free rent for six months so I could get myself straightened out. My ex had been continuing his affair proudly and telling me the whole time that my devastated reaction made no sense, acting like it didn’t matter AT ALL, and I had been feeling lower than the shit under his shoe. I did not know the stranger well, I visited and we spent about an hour together. But I moved in. Got myself together. Then moved to a new home. If you ever have a chance to help someone in genuine need, and you feel doing so is relatively safe for you, please do it. I have always done this myself, including giving thousands of dollars to people escaping abuse. Do it. Just help.

  • I had plenty; all of my family and friends stuck to their guns and reminded to use logic when I tried to give my STBX a pass on something.

    But what resonates in my experience are two colleagues at the company where I worked. One had recently finalized her divorce, and the other was initiating her own. Neither of their divorces involved cheating (at least not that they told me!).

    I got happy hour with each of them separately. And it was…just…kind. We each listened to one another’s stories, making connections through similar experiences. There’s a lot of pain in this world; getting to share our stories helps us all to process it.

    I wasn’t friends with these women before my divorce, and we didn’t end up developing friendships out of these few happy hours. I now live 2,500 miles away from them and haven’t spoken to them in years.

    Regardless, to Tamra and Elizabeth, cheers! I hope you’re thriving in your new lives.

  • I was fortunate to have many angels. My dad who died three weeks before ex left and then I felt guided me to evidence of his affair a week later. My two best friends, one who constantly checked up on me even though she was unwell and who I could drop in on at any time. The other who brought me flowers and took me away to the beach for a weekend. Other friends who took me out for coffee or breakfast or a walk. My younger brother and his wife who invited me around for dinner and took me out and swore about my ex with me. My older brother who shared his experience of being cheated on by his ex wife many years ago.(I now realise at the time I probably wasn’t as supportive as I could have been not then having experienced betrayal myself.) I am eternally grateful for their support and I feel closer to all of them as a result.

  • I have been so blessed to have had so many angels in my life:

    My sister, who told me he sucked, guided me to Chump Lady, and has always had my back.
    My friends, Ann and Donna, who came over just to sit with me and make sure my daughter and me were eating.
    Maria, who works at the grocery store I go to, who offered to shop for me and bring groceries over.
    My doctor, who gave me her cell phone number and told me to call anytime I just needed to talk.
    My neighbors, who have offered to help me with taking care of the house, and the yard.
    A Kind Woman, who had the misfortune of sitting next to me on an airplane when my emotions got the better of me, who listened to my story and empathized.

    I could go on and on. The list is staggering. And realizing that makes me feel so grateful.

    Most of all, today, my angels are the people here on CN. You lift me up.

  • I wrote about my angel 4a.m. 4ever last year:

    I’m exceedingly pleased to report that she’s been living and prospering in Dublin since the beginning of the year. We talk weekly and text throughout the week, whenever our respective disordered invertebrates does something particularly noteworthy (or laugh-worthy).

    Once the decision was made, I brought in my parents and sisters and reconnected a number of other angels — friends and family from whom I’d been effectively cut off by 15 years if making excuses for KK (“she’s not feeling well, she’s tired, she doesn’t really mean what she’s saying/doing..”), as well as the great people at the Northeast Chumps Meetup.

    But having 4a.m. 4ever with me (albeit by phone, email and text) as I navigated the absolute worst of the discard and deceit was an absolute blessing (and as an agnostic, I don’t use that word lightly).

  • My best friend that lives far away, who I had contacted very little during my 14 year marriage. The night I found the phone records that confirmed my suspicions, I was awake very late and in shock, trying to distract myself with Facebook. She noticed I was online and messaged me asking why I was up so late and if everything was ok.

    Despite the fact that I had basically given up on our friendship for 14 years, she was there for me. And she has been ever since. I don’t deserve her. My daughter and I spent Christmas with her last year, and it was the best Christmas we ever had. Ever.

    All my other friends, the ones I had been in what I thought were close friendships, completely and utterly abandoned me. They didn’t want to hang out with or help out “sad FBO”. They only wanted to see “happy FBO”. They didn’t care about me at all.

  • I have had many people be my angels. In addition to STBX leaving and discovering the magnitude of the cheating, that first year and a half, I also gave birth to a baby who then had her first seizure at 4 1/2 months. 6 more trips to the ER and 4 more hospital stays (including 3 days in ICU on a ventilator) followed. And I lost my job. And STBX was about 1% involved. Last Christmas, my older daughter and I made candles out of the baby jars and sent along the following note to everyone who helped us out:

    Life in 2016 has been hard. It has been devastating and touched with despair at times. Through it all though, we have continued to see God’s Grace weaving through our lives.

    For every meal a friend or family member dropped off, He was there.

    For every text message, phone call or card sent to offer moral support, He was there.

    For the kind nurses and doctors that cared not just for Daugter#2 but our family, He was there.

    For all the rides that have been given to my two older kids, He was there.

    For my babysitter who was willing to continue to watch Daughter#2 knowing that she may have to deal with a life threatening seizure, He was there.

    For my parents who are there in every way and keep me from drowning, He was there.

    For the co-workers who have taken over some of my work responsibilities while I was in the hospital and dealing with appointments, He was there.

    For every single person who has opened their hearts and given of their time to help my kids and I, thank you for allowing God’s Light to shine through you. We are eternally grateful.

  • My parents. My 85 year old dad who came to stay with me to “protect” me from crazy X. My mom, same age who let him come – and they even missed their 65 year anniversary together. Such love for their daughter. My parents were so distraught that my X of 32 years would treat their daughter so horrible and them also. They are my sounding board. I love them.

    Friends who called me every day to check in.

    My kids who had my back – my daughter who let me live with her because X would not leave house.
    My son, who took me to Italy because X and I were always supposed to go and never did. My son took me this past summer.

    Friends who see me tell me I look great – really good. I find that interesting!

    The boss who recently hired me me to sell at a store I love.

    The attorney who took me on a week before mediation as she could not believe my story and my previous attorneys actions. She got me the proper and fair settlement.

    Thank you angels.

  • Thanks for this column. I still come back here now & then, three years later. So it’s good to reflect on those who helped get me where I am and to know that now I can help be that person for someone else.

    My angels were:
    — A work friend who’s dad was a cheater, and when she heard XH was moving out that day, she said matter-of-factly, “Nope. You can’t be there. Come to my house while he’s there.” A complete surprise, because I never thought of her as that kind of friend;
    — An old college friend who was, lucky for me, not working. And he responded to my daily emails, every single day for many many months. Never with impatience or criticism, just love and support.
    — My boss who forgave me when I was at wit’s end and made a very very stupid mistake. [For those of you who know I’m a veterinarian, I assure you the mistake had nothing to do with patient care.]
    — My sister, a chump herself, who managed to be both sympathetic and no-nonsense. When I heard her tone of voice, I knew XH was gone for good and never coming back, helping snuff any Hopium fumes still wafting around.

    And many many more. Please note that nowhere in this list is there mention of any of our friends from within the marriage. They all took his side. Every last one of them. — Sometimes I think that if I had kids, this would be the main message I would try to teach them: don’t cut yourself off entirely once you find your life partner. Because someday it might all go to shit, and it’s nice to have something, anything, you can rely on. For me, this was: work, college, family.

  • I always think and sometime say outloud to close friends, I had 5 angels who saved me….

    1) The final and real psychiatrist (not like all the other 15ish?? couch counselors who didn’t offer shit or blamed me over years…) who finally diagnosed his NPD and told me privately to leave and start a new life and stop running on the rat wheel to make it work…because it NEVER would.
    2) A longtime business associate who sold his company just in the right moment and got my shares paid out to me when I was broke, broke, broke….
    3) A dear friend who owned a property management company who got me and daughter placed in a house for a month while I searched for a permanent home at no cost.
    4) A business partner who has been there still, always, with something to help me in the long aftermath
    5) My mom….ditto….

  • You do see so much of people’s true colors when you share – I’ve been astonished by the reactions of some more casual friends (including friends who were the STBX’s friends originally) who have been completely on my side, and equally astonished by the Switzerland reactions of some of the people I’d always considered to be my friends or people with a strong moral compass.

    But my best and most helpful angels have been two friends – one of them was a dear friend from college who lives several states away, but who has made trips to help me nest in my new surroundings, will talk on the phone at any time of day or night, and invited me to join her and her family for their summer vacation at a family camp.

    The other was a friend who I’d originally met through my STBX – she was the first person I told after D-day, the person who recommended a therapist to help me deal with the trauma, the person who offered me a place to stay if I needed it, and the person whose focus all the way through was on me. She listened to me as I worked my way through the situation and got to the point where I was ready to leave, and she was outraged on my behalf, but she also encouraged me to go out and do some “awesome adulting” – that response was a true gift. So many people have reacted with anger but also with pity – sort an “oh poor you” response that is well-intentioned, but makes it seem like my life without the cheater is somehow less. This particular friend helped me realize that my life without the cheater is more – that although it is a tremendous betrayal, it’s not the only thing that defines my life. She was the cheerleader for the “gain a life” mantra before I even found CN – she encouraged me to think about what I would do with the time that had been freed up, what I wanted for myself, and how to move forward, and I am forever grateful to her for viewing me as more than just STBX’s cheated on spouse even before I could see myself that way.

  • Great topic! Sorry everyone – this is realllly long. It means a lot to me though. This is the first response that I’ve actually composed off-line first because I think it’s a great story and didn’t want to hit submit too soon.

    My main angel was a wonderful woman who I will call “Buffy”. Not her real name but after she heard about me telling others how great she had been for me she asked that I not use her real name.

    We had an interesting history. I was recruiting for a tech project that I was running and her resume came across my desk from one of the best agents that it was my pleasure to work with. She didn’t have any recent experience but she had a depth of past experience. She also didn’t have any experience in my industry, nor with the technology being used. But she was cheap and her soft skills fit the project need so I interviewed her. She blew me away in the interview with her ability to understand and analyze and got the contract. She did require some extra effort and patience from me but she got the job done and then was able to parley that into a successful new role that has allowed her to stay current with tech.

    Later I learned that she had dealt with some personal “chumpy” sort of disasters of her own (I listen but don’t pry) and that the job that I gave her hauled her out from a path that might have ended up very differently. She refers to me as “the best boss she ever had” which makes me feel good.

    Some time later, right after DDay, she contacted me about perhaps a joint project we could do on the side. I was in a very bad place and wrote her back thanking her but letting her know that I had just discovered that my wife had been cheating on me and wanted to leave and that I had to focus on saving my marriage. Well! You’ve all seen the classic movie scene where the cavalry comes over the hill behind the lone horseman. That’s how I felt. She instructed me to write to her every day and to tell her what good things I was doing for myself. So I did. Long, tedious letters that went in to far too many details many of which made her quite uncomfortable. Many of them she would respond to with highlights and comments of the “you’re an idiot” sort which is what I needed to hear. We would have dinner from time to time (told my wife I was having dinner with a “friend” to be “mysterious”). I also found myself getting drawn towards her and probably could have been an easy conquest if she had wanted to do that. We kept it “just friends”. After a while I burned her out. She was so very frustrated with me “allowing” my wife to treat me with the way she was – much of which was driven by the hopium I was being fed by a Reconciliation website that I was active on. We drifted apart a bit and then after a rest reconnected but not in the same sort of intense way that it had been. I had healed some in no small part due to her.

    Sometime later I met IRL one of my friends from the RIC website I was active on. We had a very intense correspondence, much like mine with Buffy. She told me that for her I was “her” Buffy which made me feel good because paying things forward is important. Buffy warned me about her though because it didn’t seem “right” to her and sure enough this person turned out to be a classic narc who had gotten dumped and latched on to me. As a laugh, Buffy told me that if I ended up in a bathtub full of ice missing my kidneys that I would only have myself to blame. I dodged a bit of a bullet though because I had hit the discard part of the cycle when we actually met and I haven’t heard from her in months. It was a good experience though because this younger, beautiful, intelligent woman was interested in “little ol me” – so in some ways perhaps this narc was also a bit of an angel. I’ve developed a bit of an understanding of the narcissist mind-set believing that many of them act the way they do without intent. It’s just who they are which also means that they’re unlikely to change.

    There are others – so very many others. I encourage people who when they are in a crisis to reach out their hand. It’s amazing who will lift you up and it’s often not the people we expected it to be.

    And yes – I have a number of friends, some of whom where angels to me for whom I try my best to be an angel. I’ve also encountered a surprising number of chumps and sat with them, seeing the tears in their eyes in some cases decades after they were chumped themselves and just listen and not judge.

    If I can say anything to anyone who wants to be an “angel” themselves. Don’t judge. Just listen. Often that’s all that people truly need. They need to know that someone understands. They need to know that someone cares.

    Oh – and I sent a text to Buffy this morning reminding her that’s it’s been a long time since we last had dinner and it’s my turn. She’s doing fine – and thanks to the angels all around me, I’m doing … better. One thing that may be a challenge if I ever do form a new relationship with someone is that it will need to have room for my angels in it too who are of various genders, nationalities and personality types. And yes – a guy can have good female friends that he will give big hugs to and to whom he’s not romantically involved.

    Thanks to anyone who read. I’m grateful to be able to share this story.

    Thanks CL and CN


  • I can think of two:
    1) The counselor I went to on my own after too many D-Days, who had a daughter in a similar marriage, who gave me the clue that I was dealing with a Cluster B personality, and basically gave me a mandate to divorce him. (Every other counselor and church friend was RIC.)
    2) My grandfather. The ex had taken out a $10,000 high-interest loan in my name to keep his ass out of prison for theft. When I divorced him, I ended up taking on that loan and his truck payment to buy him out of his half of the house. When my grandfather heard about the insane interest rate on the loan, he paid it off for me and is letting me pay him at 0% interest so I’m not stuck with it forever. (This has gone a long way in helping me see the light at the end of the tunnel. Divorce was just finalized in May 2017.)

  • There was my dad, a very conservative guy. I didn’t know how he would take the news that my husband was a cheating scumbag who had Thai prostitutes and girls on every continent. He was my rock and my strongest supporter in my divorce battle.

    But he was in the US, and I was in Australia. So there was my group of dog owners at the dog park. Each one of them spent time with me and offered me solace, staying at their houses for various periods of time to get away from the idiot.

    There was an acquaintance, who got me a job contract which made it possible for me to make enough money in 4 months to be able to take the rest of the year off to concentrate on getting through the divorce.

    But the biggest one was an old school chum and her mother. My school chum had been married to a physically abusive guy who, it later turns out, got thrown in jail for 170 years on child molestation charges. Luckily, my friend and her young son got out before the molestation started… it was the half-siblings that came later who made the charges.

    My chum’s mother had therefore been through a bad divorce with her own daughter. They had me over to dinner, and she looked me in the eye and said, “The first and main thing you need to know is that you’re going to be OK! You will make it through this and come out the other side with a better life! Trust me, I know what I’m talking about.” She said it with such conviction that for the first time, I believed it.

    My friend’s mother was going through her fourth bout of cancer treatments after having had both breast and lung cancer. She told me that she would be waiting for me to come back and tell her that she was right, that I made it through the divorce battle, and that life was better.

    She was going through pretty serious chemo at the time, so I told her fine, she’s have to beat this cancer and stick around for awhile so I could come back and tell her she was right.

    Two years later, I showed up at her door with my new fiancé and a big smile on my face, to tell her she was right.

    About 8 months later, she died, but she stuck around long enough to hear that she was right! It meant a lot to be able to give that back to her.

  • Fortunately I had my family who I reached out to. Every single one of them, my two cousins who lived near, aunt, uncle, my brother and sisters who live out of state, my cousin who lives overseas offered to come stay with me. Even my boss knew because big reveal was when I was at work and he saw me and I just blurted out what was happening. He told me to go home and take a couple of days off. I was overwhelmed and so thankful. Since I moved out a couple days later, my family wouldn’t leave me alone. Even though at times I wanted to be alone. For the first couple of months someone always stayed with me on the weekends because that’s when I was toughest to kill time. I believe they were there for me because of the true genuine love we all have for each other. They were all very close to my ex also but they way he handled everything it showed he was not genuine or sincere and only thought of himself. I’m sad to hear those who didn’t have people on their side. But don’t be afraid to reach out. You never know who will be there. I’m glad most of us did find some angels out there.

  • Countless friends who regularly check in, drop off random pizzas and bottles of wine, encouraging reminders that they’re praying for me…

    My mother and father who sleep over my house twice a week to help me with the two little ones so I can catch my breath.

    My mother (again!) who regularly sends food home with me because she knows it’s hard for me to cook after working full time and corralling the kids alone.

    My extended family who showed up at my house to paint and landscape and organize to get my house on the market ASAP.

    My friend’s husband who ensures my lawn is mowed and asks so I don’t have to.

    My boss who stops by my desk almost daily to remind me there’s “no upgrading” from me. He always makes me smile with that.

    I am BLESSED by my incredible support system. They are keeping me afloat.

  • Honestly, I’ve not found many angels in real life yet, though I’m early in the process. I wonder now if this isn’t a function of my own disorder, if I don’t just form shallow attachments to shallow people.

    My counselor has been amazing, and the online 2x4s I’ve gotten here and elsewhere have gotten me unstuck more than once.

    But, strangely, my best angel has been me, not as I am, but as I’m supposed to be. My counselor calls her “Adult NotToday” and she first showed up when I became pregnant for the first time. It’s when I step out of myself and imagine one of my kids in my situation. I give myself the advice and support I would give them.

    Every day since DDay1, I’ve known that if my daughter called me up and told me her husband had treated her the way Mr. Justification has treated me, I would drive to her, pack up her stuff, and help her any way I could to leave that SOB.

    So even on the days I don’t feel any outside support, that actualized version of myself is my angel, pushing me into the next baby step out of this marriage.

    • NotToday,

      This is powerful. I think when you are too giving with no boundaries (a chump) it does draw in a more shallow crowd. Our open wounds drawing in the preditors. I found that I lost a lot of “friends” that were not sad at what was happening to me. As you turn into your hero, you will draw in strong and loving people.

      You are mighty!!

  • I was shocked at the friends I thought would be there for me who were horrified at what happened to the “perfect” couple on the street and avoided me like it was contagious. I had always talked so highly of the EX that they could not switch gears with me after I found out about his affair with co-worker. I got comments about my weight and if I looked better he would not have strayed.

    My angels were my pastor at church who met with me and my sons weekly. a woman who use to go to my church but switched, she just reached out to me one day on Facebook and ask me to dinner. Said she knew something was off. She was a mighty chump who left her cheater the day she found out about OW (she chumped when he moved out saying he just needed time and space to think but later when she found OW she was done!!!!) She let me talk and would get so mad for me, she got it.

    But my sons who were 15 and 17 at the time were the ones in the trenches with me, they were rocks with such great boundaries they kept me moving forward. How can you be the worlds worse person when you are looked at with such LOVE even when you are at your not your best self. They taught me true acceptance, like a previous poster said, there was no more walking on eggshells in my house. I had two surgeries (cancer) and they took care of me and nursed me like professionals. Instead of getting angry and acting out (mostly) they turned their energy into putting a family back together again. Now 3 years later, they are both in College and Men I am proud of.

  • The fellow parents in my daughter’s class at school. For a year, we were invited to a variety of amazing dinners- barbecue, Filipino food, Persian food, whatever their specialty was. No one of them took X`s side. I had angels who were closer to me like my sister and a few best friends, but the unexpected support from that group meant so much.

  • These are such amazing and uplifting stories, thank you all so much for sharing them. I have tears in my eyes and I hope some day I have the strength to be able to help others as they and you have helped me.

  • I was lucky. I had 3:
    1) The poor marriage counselor who told me quite directly “Don’t you DARE take her back unless you hear things like ‘I’m sorry,’ and ‘I’m going to change, and here’s how.’ And even then, wait till you see the proof before you let her even have an inch back into your heart.” She knew darn well none of those things was going to happen. She would follow this with “You go do what makes YOU happy. Don’t worry about her.” She knew I was better off without her, and did her best to help me see that.
    2) A therapist who said “People who have multiple affairs have a hole in their souls that cannot be filled. You can’t ever make her happy.”
    3) A brother who was deployed in the military overseas. Sadly, he had seen many affairs, both by deployed people and by their spouses back home, and he was very cynical about the whole thing. He was also quite blunt in his assessment.

  • I can’t even finish reading these. I’m at my desk with mascara running down my face. I’m not out, yet. But by all that remains holy, I will be an angel if I can. And you people without angels? Message me. In the end, only kindness matters. — Jewel (this dates me).

    • Sometimes you have to be your OWN angel first. Are you not out yet because you’re getting your ducks in a row or because you’re hoping your partner will change? Get on the road to mighty. It is rough terrain, but it takes you to a MUCH better place than Chumpland. ((hugs))

    • That Is Not A Thing,
      Your post is very very kind.
      I send (((((many many hugs)))))) to you.

  • My Angel came in from an odd place. It was a friend/co-worker of my ex’s. Ex told her and her spouse TERRIBLE lies about me and used “going to their house” as a way to get out of the house to see married gf without their knowledge. There was a back fire when we all happened to be together one day and ex complained that we both needed to do some things on our own – this was a way to go be with married gf and justify it. I had no one. I shyly asked her work friend if we could go get a pedicure and lunch the next day. I was way into the pick me dance and would have done ANYTHING that sparkly dog turd suggested. To my surprise she said yes and we went. We got to talking about things sitting in those chairs getting pedicures and had a good day. What I didn’t know is that she went home to her spouse and said she knew ex was full of lies and shit within 20 minutes of talking to me. We became close….sisterly close. She held me up when I didn’t think I would make it. She gave me advice that I wouldn’t take and still stood behind me. I love her and know I wouldn’t have made it without her. She literally saved my life. She is the reason my children have me today….I am positive I wouldn’t have survived. We both hate my ex. Sometimes I wonder if she hates her more than me even! lol She is my person in a non-romantic, BFF kind of way. So thankful He put her in my path…..

  • I was on a farm when my ex left. He left the cows and sheep behind, but took the tractor and all the tools with him to OW’s farm 800 miles away. So I had all these hungry animals to feed (until they could be sold) and only huge big-baled silage for them to eat, and because I didn’t have a tractor I couldn’t move the bales. A neighbour farmer told me to ring him every time I needed a bale carried and opened, and not to worry about bothering him for an instant. For seven weeks this man would drop everything and drive three miles to my farm every time I rang him, move a bale with his tractor, and open it for me. He was happily married to his second wife (former chump himself) and just told me gently that I’d find someone much better than my husband one day and be happy again. He’s not popular locally (I think because he is quiet and doesn’t go out much with his family) but I will always admire him for doing that for me. A real angel. Just did it to be kind.

  • I was so shocked after my Dday when people who I thought were my closest friends turned on me and believed my Ex’s lies. My best friend who I had known for 20 years (and he and his wife were my friends years before I met the Ex) told me “where there is smoke there is fire” and I want you to keep away from my wife and daughters (Ex was telling everyone I was a cheater and womanizer and I cheated on her not the truth which was the other way around). That hurt because no matter what I said they would never believe me. There were many others as well that I thought were friends but were not.

    My family didn’t help much because they had always hated my Ex, never wanted me to marry her and hated having to deal with her. When it all blew up, I got a bunch of “I told you so’s” and “You’re a grown man and got yourself into this mess, so get yourself out… I don’t wanna hear about it”.
    I still talk to them but they wonder why I’m not close to them like I was before.

    My Angels: First I know many reading this don’t believe this and it is OK but I think that when you pray to God for help, does a big hand come down and help you ?? No, people out of the blue feel a compulsion to help you…I believe that is God helping you.
    I had a really rough time during the divorce yet out of the blue 2 coworkers who I was not that close to before really stepped up and helped me immensely. They were there for me and I am forever grateful.

    When I got married earlier this year to my true love of my life (5 years after divorce final), they sat at the head table next to us and they didn’t understand why. I told them that if it wasn’t for them we wouldn’t be there that day. That unbeknownst to them, right when I met them I was contemplating suicide and their friendship was what I needed to keep going. They are 2 of my closest friends and all my former friends and family who had no time for me, I have no time for them.

    • Laughing Gator, your story brought tears to my eyes. God brought these people into your life. Greater good was coming to you. Congratulations on your marriage to your true love.

  • So many angels! People who helped me move, some of them just acquaintances. People who gave me gift cards for groceries, who likely didn’t realize that at some points I had absolutely NO MONEY. People who gave me furniture, who actually delivered it and set it up for me. And most of all, the ones who said many, many prayers on my behalf.

    Another “friend” who helped me: Ali Wentworth in the television series HeadCase. A friend loaned me the series on DVD and I watched it during some of the darkest days of my separation and divorce. It was the most wonderful little distraction from the shitstorm, and she was crazy enough to make ME feel just a bit more normal. <3

  • My angel is and has been my mom. She was a chump herself with my dad. She was married 25 years to a narc playboy. The last time she caught him with a girl my older sister’s age, she told him she was done. She had never truly believed she was mighty and I never understood why. She was the breadwinner working 6 days a week and doing all the adulting. My dad’s ‘job’ was really a hobby that took him on the road ALL OF THE TIME and sucked up more money than it ever brought home.

    My dad cried to me (15 years old at the time) that mom was leaving him. The skank girl ended up pregnant and he married her. She had another baby less than a year later. I found out years later that he tried to leave her several times and she would try to commit suicide and be hospitalized. My dad had to do all the adulting and raise those kids. The oldest one moved out and into her boyfriends house when she was 14 years old to get away. The son is a hot mess, sounds like he’s really lazy and uses people. They were married for 30 + years but my dad continued to be on the road and doing what he’d always done. The wifetress had a boyfriend that lived with them.

    For the icing on the cake, my mom said she was so furious for years. She said she never in a million years ever thought she’d feel sorry for him. My dad would call my mom throughout the last 10 or so years and chat about his life, the kids, how well all the grandkids were doing. It was one of his only windows into our lives. When his cancer progressed this spring, he asked my mom if he could still be buried beside her in the mauseleum where her parents and sister are buried. His parents are also in the same cemetary. The wifetress is from another town and wanted to be cremated, so she didn’t care about eternal resting with him. He also wanted my mom’s priest whom he had never met to perform the ceremony. My mom had to go to her church, the funeral home, and the cemetary with the wifetress and my dad’s sister to make all of the arrangements.

    So my mom is a saint. She had found ‘meh’ many years ago. My dad’s sister is a very strong personality and my mom had to set her straight a few times. The wifetress is a timid forest creature and would sit in the corner and only come forward if she needed to sign something. My mom only said ‘she’s a little more country and simple than I ever realized’. Yep, there you have it. A life of karma for my dad.

    My brother and I went to his service. My sister didn’t attend. His wife hid out in the back of the funeral home for most of it smoking. My mom, brother, and 1/2 sister were left to attend to the visitation guests.

    So when I was chumped, my mom told me she understood having to get out no matter how you had to do it. Even if you leave money on the table, you have to do it for your sanity. She had no regrets on her decision and neither should I.

    • twiceachump,
      I just read your post and am amazed by your Mother.
      This wonderful Lady passed on her strength to you.
      You both are Mighty!

  • This is a wonderful column – to read about all the kind people – genuine I care types. Encouraging!

  • When I first read this article, I wanted to say that I have no one because of isolated feel alone and work long hours. But I will say I am extremely grateful for even the kindness of strangers and acquaintances. CN has given me peace and support on the sleepless nights, the times crying too hard to be around people and validation through shared experiences and wisdom. I had gotten to the point where I thought I was crazy and that there was something wrong with me. That’s what happens when you’re with extremely abusive narc Who has an arsenal of God and spiritual Lingo to attack you with. Thinking about this post made me realize two things number one I am A chump, b there are good people. I’m a chump bc the people who are closest- friends, family, the leech- all abused me didn’t come to my aid- in some way I’m trauma bonded and keep abusive personalities closer to me than good people. But people came to my aid Dianna by friend from NY would text me all day and all night, god put a wonderful woman in my life in this isolated area I just moved to who has become a close friend. She went thru a cheating husband episode herself. Then my dad (sans my narc mom) calls every night to check on me. My sponser has been living and supportive opening her house to me when I travel to the city. And lastly my friend M who opened her house and her life and tells me I’m always welcome. It really made me think about cleaning out these selfish BFF I supposadle love and and loyal too. This was so painful and I only received one text from my best friend. In a month. Thank u all again online community For your support !!

  • I had many angels, including the spiritual kind. I felt the influence of my loving ancestors guiding me, and pushing me forward. My neighbor Tracy, who could watch X from her porch as he went back and forth to the OW house! She clued me in gently when I told her he gave up OW, told me- no, he’s with her all day when you’re at work. ????
    A guy coworker who told me I was desirable, when I felt like such a toad. My Mom, who let me move into her basement, and threw X off her porch twice! My sons, who held me, and always were on my side, even though they can’t help but love their selfish Dad. And, CN. My many cohorts, who truly understand this shit, and make me tear up, and laugh, too!

  • I had several angels, but I want to mention 2 –

    1) a fellow expat mom (our kids were in the same kindergarten class) who would insist I go to her apartment after we had dropped the kids to school. She was the first person I confided in (after my mom) when I found out about the cheater’s secret life. She would make me chicory root “coffee” (good for digestion) and bake me home cooked lunches while I sat at her kitchen bench bitching and moaning. I’d be sitting there crying/getting angry/frantic and she would be basting a chicken with turmeric and lemongrass, or preparing a healthy salad. She let me get it all off my chest. And she helped me scheme up my exit plans. She was a gem! I miss her. She’s another lovely friend that I had to leave behind.

    2) Another important angel was our driver. We were living in a country where most people who own a car also employ a driver. Cheater always treated our local drivers like shit. We had only had him as our driver for a few months when I discovered cheater’s secret life. I formed a bond with the driver, and soon he was telling me all kinds of things about the cheater’s life outside of the home. Like, where he actually was when he said he was at work (Eg: he would text me “He’s at the bar right now” at 1am, when cheater had told me he would be working until late on the project). Driver and I ended up becoming good friends. Driver would drive me past the clubs and bars during the day time and point them out, so I knew where exactly the bastard cheater was going at night. He also drove me past the hooker mistress’ apartment so I knew the exact address (all lovely evidence that became useful later on). Unbeknownst to the cheater, I met driver’s wife and children. Driver and wife also helped me with my exit plans. They are still my good friends. I will visit them one day when I go back to that country for a holiday. Yes, I know… I was damn lucky. I don’t know anybody else who has had this level of assistance. I had a spy. And BTW….cheater still has NO IDEA that it was the driver who helped me. I was very careful about how I told cheater about the evidence I had collected, intentionally so he wouldn’t discover it was the driver who had helped me. Also, driver had moved on and found other employment 2 weeks before I left cheater at the airport, so as to not rouse suspicion he was on my team. #winning

    • I should add, I didn’t tell cheater ANYTHING until I was back in my home country with the children, safe and sound. And only after I had lawyered up and had all my ducks in a row. Only then did I come forward with the evidence of what I knew. He thought the kids and I were just going home for a short holiday. But, we had left for good. After the ducks were lined up and I was back home, that’s when I started trickling bits and pieces about what I knew about his secret life, and informed him that we were OVER. He was DUMBFOUNDED. He had no idea that I knew. And like I said above, I trickled it out carefully and deliberately in a way as to not implicate the driver. Butthead cheater STILL doesn’t know it was the driver who was helping me. And we are 18months on from me leaving him at the airport. Hahaha, makes me laugh. He’s so dumb

      • left him at the airport,
        You write so well,
        Your story is intriguing and writes like a movie.
        It was not easy for you. You got through hurdles with dignity and strength.
        I am so glad you have a happy ending.
        YOU are mighty.
        I respect your driver. He is one in a million!

        • Peacekeeper, I know what you mean – even I look back now and think it all sounds so preposterous. It’s like I’m watching a movie about somebody else’s life. But no. It is my life, and these are real things that happened. Crazy, right?

          YESSSSSS, the driver ???????????????? If it wasn’t for him and his awesome information, I wouldn’t have had all the glorious evidence. I would have only had a feeling something was going on, but no confirmation of it. I owe my new life to him, for helping get me out of my old life. Eternally grateful for him coming into our lives ????????

  • About a year before DDay, I sensed my husband was detached from me and instinctively I knew I needed to do something for me.
    I had been very fit in my 20’s and 30’s and I had lost that feeling and wanted it back. So I indulged in a personal trainer who was a fantastic motivator and within a year I had lost loads of weight and had to change my wardrobe. I felt and looked so much younger.
    My husband never commented, which felt weird.
    Anyway, DDay arrived and the shock was so great that I walked into the gym, told my PT instructor what had happened, that the Doctor had prescribed beta blockers because my blood pressure had sky rocketed and I was having panic attacks.
    Immediately, he put me through an hour of intense workout with boxing gloves too, the lot. Told me not to bother with the beta blockers and to just train harder. I was 57 but I’m tough.

    In the next year that followed, he was amazing. He kept telling me that I was gorgeous, incredibly sexy and that my husband was an idiot. He boosted my self esteem when I was at rock bottom and feeling unbelievably old, unattractive and rejected. Discarded for a girl half his age.
    I honestly don’t know how I would have got through the hell of this infidelity if I hadn’t had the respect and nurturing of this man.
    I will forever be grateful to him for literally propping me up during that time and never forget what he did for me.

  • Ohmygosh, I have a wonderful circle of friends who have supported me through the last 18 months. Myndivircenisnnot final, and I’m still in the Famiky house with my daughter, so I haven’t faced the financial realities yet. But I am in a far better situation than most. I realize how much larger their burden is and admire their strength to pull through.

    My cadre of Angels all come from different aspects of my life — work, school volunteering, daughter’s ski team, etc. I met one of my best friends in a shoe store when we weee both pregnant.

    DD#2 happened at 24.5 years. For my 25th anniversary, I gathered my cadre of Angels and hosted a dinner party to thank them for their love and support. It was an absolutely magical evening for everyone and a wonderful memory of what could have been a horrible day.

    I’m 18 months in and still struggling. (I don’t miss him but an enraged that I dedicated myself to a faux marriage.)
    But these wonderful friends are still by my side.

    My ex lives 150 miles away and when he comes down to visit his daughter he doesn’t have anywhere to stay. We’ve lived in this town for 27 years and he doesn’t have a single friend he can stay with. What does that say?

    Anyway, I feel like I owe my future life to my Angels. I see it. I don’t know how to get there yet, but with the help of these wonderful friends, I know I will.

    • Giddy Eagle, I’ve been contemplating this of late too. “We’ve lived in this town for 27 years and he doesn’t have a single friend he can stay with. What does that say?”

      I moved away from former home last year, out of state, and DICK lives across the country. When I (frequently) have to be in former town for a Court hearing, I have multiple places to stay, with friends fighting over me for ‘visiting time’! I have keys to their houses and my wifi automatically logs in. I know where the wine is! My favorite tea is in the cupboard. Their dogs & cats & kids all love me too 😉 Sometimes I cook for them, sometimes we grill. They’re just THERE for me, whatever I need. I’m a low-maintenance houseguest too, which helps. My grown children also drop in on said friends and are welcomed as family, for Holidays, parties or anytime. My daughter even shows up occasionally with LAUNDRY to do, lol!

      In contrast, DICK has nowhere to stay except hotels now. He was staying with a friend’s Dad who was widowed a few years ago, but that friend (a cheater too) broke up with his OW and had to move in with his Dad ‘temporarily’. At last month’s hearing DICK told not a soul he was there, no texts, not even our children knew about it… (I saw both kids, although briefly)

      Thank God for my angels! I am truly blessed. <3

  • Mine was my friend Susan, who pointed out to me — even before D-Day — that STBX was not only a shitty father to the kids but would also likely be a terrible, tyrannical person to have to grow old with. This was sheerly on the basis of his inconsiderate, boorish personality, completely unaware of the cheating / tax evading bullshit. So, I already trusted that he sucked even before I learned of the infidelity. In a way, it was a relief to finally have an excuse to divorce him without feeling guilty! And when I felt guilty EVEN THEN, she and her husband provided the necessary 2×4 and helped serve STBX the papers.

  • I had my friend, Rachel, who lives 1500 miles away, but who would stay on the phone with me for hours at a time while I cried and wailed and laid on the floor willing death to take me.

    I had my daughters. My 20 year old, who showed up at the house after seeing her dad with his latest affair partner, walk into a restaurant holding hands, walked downstairs, came up with boxes and started packing her dad’s stuff; we put it all in the driveway for him when he got home. In the days following, my daughters forced me to eat, made me try to sleep, made me laugh, watched the dogs, bought the groceries, and basically were the adults for a couple weeks. A special shout out to my 17 yo (who never expresses emotion), who three days after DDay, when I found out I was accepted in to the State Bar and I’d be a real life lawyer and struggled to find joy in the accomplishment because the one person I wanted to share it with was living with his 29 year old girlfriend, bought me a bouquet of lily’s and gave me a card that said in part said I’m the one she always looks up to, that I’m the one who never failed her, and that no matter what life throws at us, me, her and her sister “got this.”

    My friend, Anna, who is married to my STBE’s best friend, who called or texted me every day to make sure I was okay. She let me vent, listened and reminded me that he was a steaming pile of shit and that I was better off without him. She repeatedly said “I know I’m not supposed to pick sides, and I love you both, but I don’t like him right now, and remember, he’s a liar and a cheat and you deserve better.” She was my verbal reminder that I was doing the right thing and not to look back.

    My co-workers, but more importantly, the partners in my firm. They all gave me the pep talks, the reminders that this was no reflection on me, and the space to grieve. They let me cry when I needed to and reminded me to laugh. They told me when I looked like shit and they sent me home when I needed sleep. The partners especially, because when they’d walk into my office to ask a question about a case and I’d look up with tears streaming down my face, they didn’t get weird or bolt out of the room. They didn’t fire me when I came in late. They were all understanding and supportive and that’s fucking magic in this profession.

    Finally, CL. Because on day 3, I bought the book and found this website. And all of you. Who keep me in check and remind me that it could be worse and that it can get better.

    My circle is small, but fierce, and I love each and every one of them. And all of you!

  • I had several D-Days, each one darker than the next. I didn’t want to confide in anyone because I was still safeguarding his reputation, so the only support I had was crappy marriage counselling! Eventually while scouring the internet to find ways to help HIM (ugh, that truth makes me gag now!) I stumbled upon SOS (sisterhood of support). The women there were all going through the same thing, and it is an understatement to say that they saved my life! I was on the site maybe for 6-8 months, received plenty of empathy and first-hand kind of understanding. I got lots of great advice, much of which I initially ignored–because my POS ex was a “unicorn”–except that he wasn’t. Then one day it dawned on me, that I was hooked on hopium. My situation was as bad or worse than anyone else’s. These amazing women (sisters) who were alternating between being patient and impatient, gentle and stern, pathetic and heroic were such a source of strength for me. And they were the mirror of truth that finally pushed me to freedom and yes, happiness! That was almost 6 years ago, and my life today is so incredibly beautiful. I will ALWAYS be grateful to those wonderful open hearted women!

  • I am also one of the fortunate ones. I had/have so many which is why this is such a long post:

    1. My coworker. We both come in early. After ex said we needed counseling, I confided in her that all was not well in my marriage. She gave me support even then. She was there when DDay happened as I received the call from Schmoopie’s husband. She has been there ever since. She checks in with me every morning when I arrive at work. She has been a god send. The most important thing she has done is remind me that none of this is my fault, it has nothing to do with me and I am a good person and an attractive lady.
    2. My parents. My dad was the first one I told (besides co-worker) when he happened to be at a meeting in nearby town with-in a week of DDay. His first reaction was that Schmoopie sucks and is just using him and what an idiot he must be. Getting in digs at Schmoopie makes me feel better too. He was also the first to ask out loud “would you even want him back after what he did to you?”. They flew me out for a weekend visit while they were on vacation in ME shortly after ex decided to move out and I really needed to be around people who love me unconditionally. While there, they took me to see some dear friends of ours who were my former bosses at a local museum and the husband is also an ordained minister who married us. They also provided unconditional support. My parents have helped me some financially and have provided emotional support whenever I ask for it, but I try not to lean too heavily on them as they have plenty of other things to worry about.
    3. My sister and brother in law. One nice thing ex did for me was move me closer to them. They are still three hours away, but that is close enough to visit often or meet up with the kids half way and we have done so frequently. I was slow to tell her what was going on (Ex made me feel ashamed for telling anybody including my own Dad), but once I did, she called me every Friday to check in on me and lets me call her anytime I need to vent. She and brother in law (who really is like a brother to me) are coming to spend Christmas with me so I won’t be alone as ex will have the kids that day. There are plenty of other places they could be. They also send me flowers at random times. Most importantly they have always been on my side. They said that even before DDay they had noticed that he had been behaving selfishly in recent years. They didn’t suspect an affair, but were never the less not surprised that he would do what he did. They weren’t fooled by his great guy image. Everyone else was shocked.
    4. The wife of long term couples friends of ours. They had kids the same ages as ours and we used to travel together. Her husband has been friends with ex since grade school although they were never really close and he wants nothing to do with ex now. She has been very supportive of me and is angry for me which helped get me angry enough to follow through with the divorce. She is very religious and pro marriage, but she is still the one who told me “I don’t believe in divorce, but he isn’t right in the head and you need to get divorced to protect yourself and the kids”. She also validated me, just after I told her and her husband that ex and I were in marriage counseling and I was sure he was going to leave me (I didn’t tell them about Schmoopie until later), she looked me in the eye and said “You were a good wife”. It made me feel better because she knew us well enough to know.
    5. Ex’s family. They still love and support him as they should, but they are angry at him and embarrassed by his behavior and generally distraught over the whole thing. His mother and sister have made it clear that they don’t want to lose me just because ex is being a jerk. Ex’s mother has let me vent to her a couple of times and validated my feelings although I try not to do that as it doesn’t feel right. Sister in law told me I am the only sister she has ever had, I am a great person and she doesn’t want to lose me. Ex’s aunt has also expressed support and sent me flowers for Mother’s day because I am such a great mother to the kids. She has always been close to her nephew, but their relationship is now strained because she has scolded him so much over me. That last makes me feel good and bad at the same time. She also keeps telling him he needs to be kind to me, but he spoils it by saying “aunt told me I need to be kind to you so…”
    6. My former nanny who worked for us for seven years who validated me by also getting angry on my behalf (before she even knew about Schmoopie) and telling me “I saw how much you did to make his life easier, you were a good wife”.
    7. My therapist who helped me get past reconciliation notions and work towards escape. She has done much to help me see that he sucks and he did me a favor by leaving.

  • Gosh, I’m late to this but My Infidelity Angel was a delightful, unexpected surprise. I had and have a High School friend who’s my complete opposite. We’re 48. She’s a fitness freak. I’m a Schlub. I’m a Lib, she’s a Con. She voted for Trump. I voted for Anyone But. She doesn’t touch sugar. I’m a baker. She’s a Christian. I’m a Buddhist with string faith in Science.

    The moment I mentioned I’d finally gotten the MY FEELINGS FOR YOU HAVE CHANGED speech cajoled out of Cold Slab O’Meat to reckon a month and a half of verbal abuse, she was livid on my behalf. “You check his Facebook, Luz! You get the *&%$ phone bill. People don’t just DO THAT to their wife! They don’t!”

    When I was Chumpily listening to Cold Slab’s litany of Things I Had Done Wifely Wrong and dancing like a meth addled grinder monkey begging to be loved again, she said, “Fuck that! he promised to love, honor and obey, he made a VOW! You bust your ass. Ask my husband the last time I made glazed goddamn carrots! Ask him the last time I ironed his shirt! And yet, he’s still not texting some bitch a hundred times a day. It’s not the same. It’s NOT OKAY.”

    She knew. Her first husband had been a college sweetheart mistake, and she knew the Cheater Playbook and had already defended her Life Goals. She had told the bastard to GTFO and a few years later met her Forever Husband and had twins. She was filthy mouthed, hilarious and determined that I not give up either. She was a revelation.

    Then I found this place. and I was going to be okay. I found FMT and Tessie and Married a Jackass and Tempest and Jane and Moving Liquid and Tempest and SD Chump. And Tracy. It’s my understanding that when my son died last year, several of you sent money along with SD Chump to pay for a Town Car to pick up Henry’s aunt who doesn’t drive so she could attend his Memorial Service. I have found more than angels in this place. I have found laughter and warmth and real friendship. And the kindness that left when the husband I adored turned cold and I lost my boy.

    I still post because I hope new chumps get a bit of the comfort I found here. I think that’s how it works. I think that’s why it works.

    • “Dancing like a meth addled grinder monkey.”

      Goddamn, Luz. Your posts often crack me up first thing in the morning, and this one did not disappoint. Thank you.

      Somehow I was not aware that you lost your son. My heart aches and my eyes tear up, reading that. I’m sorry.

      — HeChump

    • I didn’t know about the loss of your son either. I am so sorry. Now that I have been betrayed and left by the man I thought would love me forever, losing a child is the only thing left that I really fear. People who survive losing a child with or without the soulless spouses are strong. Strong or not, however, my heart aches for you. When someone loses a cheater we can say “good, now you can gain a life”, but when someone loses a child there isn’t much comfort except that he was lucky to have had such a good mother when he was alive.

      • Thank you both. Sometimes the unthinkable happens more than once. We still have a good life. We choose to, my daughter and I.

        My favorite musician is Nick Cave. People either seem to love him or have no idea who he is. My son and I shared a love for him that overlapped in musical tastes that were pretty divergent. he’s sort of one of the original gothic kings of punk and poetry. Four months prior to my son’s death, his son Arthur, close in age and similar looks to my Henry, also tragically died. His obituary called him “our blonde, beautiful loving boy.”

        Rather than go on endless interviews about it, he and his wife Susie chose to allow a filmmaker friend to make a one time document, ask the questions once, have some modicum of control over the pound of flesh that would be forthcoming to explain This Thing That Should Not Happen. The movie is called One More Time With Feeling. In it, after months of private mourning and the acknowledgement that this is the wound in their family that will never completely heal brand new he says:

        “We decided to be happy and our happiness would be an act of revenge, of defiance.”

        I say this every day to myself. It’s a tremendous gift. A child is a tremendous gift.

    • Luziana,
      I did not know of your sad loss of your son.
      I always love your style of writing. It is so uplifting, so real.
      To go on, choosing happiness, you and your daughter, really touches my heart.
      You both are an inspiration to life and to all. Reaching out to others, as you so lovingly do, is a wonderful tribute to your precious Son.
      ((((((( many hugs to you and your daughter)))).

  • There are such beautifully touching stories today. Thanks everyone for sharing.

    I had many angels and their identities constantly surprised me – because many were not close friends. The outrage they expressed on my behalf!! It was powerful and shocking to me because I had kept the secret of X’s double life for 18 months during “wreckonciliation”. During that time he pulled the usual narc behavior of blame shifting, minimizing, discounting etc etc which I started to believe a bit. So when these women emotionally expressed such outrage I felt complete validation. It was jaw dropping. Ever since I started telling my story, people’s responses have lifted me up through their powerful validation.

    And a funny angel – my 18 yr-old-son’s older skateboarding friend, Tommy. The fury and outrage he expresses whenever we talk about X (I see him regularly as he house sits). He had a narc boss and has read up on the disorder. For some reason it makes me chuckle (now that I am so close to meh) to see him, such a young passionate man of integrity getting so royally pissed off for me. So many good people out there!!!!!!!!!

    • That truly is the best. I have become so jaded that even when I hear or think about friends’ spouses who are supposedly faithful, I can’t help but wonder what really goes on.
      But when I hear about young men setting the record straight against lies and speaking out against abuse, like it is the case with many of the sons here at CL’s, my heart truly rejoices that there is hope for humanity, after all.

  • This is a small thing, but it really touched me:

    A few weeks ago, I was chatting with my barber as he gave me my usual cut. He’s a good 20 years younger than I am. He mentioned that he and his live-in girlfriend had recently broken up. So I mentioned that my wife and I had just separated, and that it was sudden and unexpected. He said, quietly, “I’m sorry to hear that.” When it was time for me to pay, he knocked half the price off my haircut and told me to use the rest to “buy a couple of beers.” It was a simple, heartfelt, spontaneous, caring gesture. I was surprised and grateful. I’ve been getting superhuman support from dear friends, but this bit of kindness from someone I don’t know well felt wonderful to receive, and moved me. I took it as one more sign that the arc of the moral universe bends toward love and justice, and that, in the end, the fuckers won’t win.

    — HeChump

  • My angel this time (yes, you read that right…) was actually the man who was divorcing the woman my husband was sleeping with. It wasn’t his first rodeo either. And my second angel would be my friend that I met 20 earlier and just recently reconnected. They both were my saving grace. I will forever be grateful for them.

  • I had my BFF who lives 2000 miles away and flew in to spend 3 weeks with me over winter break after Christmas. It wasn’t a lot of fun for her–there was a polar vortex, lots of snow, and I cried a lot. I had no desire to leave the house. But she was steadfast and by the time she left, I was on the road to recovery. She stood by me and still does. She voted to send all Jackass’s stuff to Goodwill while I was willing to drag it in the freezing wind to a storage facility. She refused to do that and while I did the “nice” thing, I still recall her outrage that he had not only cheated but left me to deal with his crap.

    During the slow-motion discard, I had both cats with me, but the quirky one died of lymphoma a week or so before D-Day and was probably the reason that I discovered what was going on. The double hit of grief made it easier to reach out to Jackass to “let him know,” but his indifferent response was my first clue not just that he was discarding me, but that he was empathy-free. I resolved to cut the ties and that effort led to finding the Facebook page with his MOW. The other cat was my comfort cat. I swear she saved my life.

    The woodpecker who drilled holes in my house. That might sound crazy, but as annoying and damaging as his behavior was, I was rooting for the little guy to make it through the very horrible winter. He did and I did and I wrote a poem about us.

    My cousin, as close as a sister, who loves me no matter what stupid ass thing I do. That’s church.

    My young friend Angie (may she rest in peace) who walked miles with me and was the one person who loved to make fun of the MOW when I was in that stage. And then she helped me wean myself away from that so she gets double points.

    My priest, my astrologer friend, my former boss (now friend), my colleague Maria, my yoga teachers, fellow yogis, my boxing instructor, my fitness trainers (yeah, I have a staff…). My basketball team. All of them knew I was going through a rough time but never mentioned it. They just kept me focused and moving forward.

    But my therapist. Who said: “You can never go back” when she heard about the FB page.

  • I had 4 “close” girlfriends when I found out my (now X) husband was cheating. Two of them swooped in and had lots of advice. They had both divorced cheaters. So, I really thought they had my back. Well, it was in a short period of time that they were criticizing me in all sorts of ways. They said things like I should have known he was that kind of person, I should take him for everything, I should… and on and on it went. They were angry when I didn’t do everything they said. They ganged up together and told me I was stupid to not have thrown his things onto the street, for allowing our sons to stay with me and so on. Then they ghosted me.

    My other two friends, who have solid marriages and no personal agenda, stood by me throughout. They listened to me as I ranted and raved. They never offered their opinion, but were just there. When I felt lonely they would invite me for a meal or propose going to a movie or some other outing. I never felt stupid around them.

    Over time, my shattering got better. It has now been 6 years and the latter two friends remain my best friends. I have never heard a word from the first two and I have not contacted them. I will never understand why they were so antagonistic, but it is what it is.

    My sons, my sister-in-law and nieces (from X’s side of the family), my family and friends have been true friends and supporters. I am so thankful for them.

    • They probably lost their shit and did some maybe crazy things that made them look bad when they found out about their cheaters and they wanted you to do likewise so that they could feel validated. The fact that you may have taken a calmer approach and been less vindictive probably made them feel embarrassed about their own responses (which may have been perfectly valid for them and were the responses they needed at the time).

      Your married friends had no preconceived notions of how one should react. They just knew you were hurting and wanted to make you feel better. Sometimes that’s all you need.

      We all deal with these issues in our own ways. All are valid and we need to accept how others respond to this kind of trauma even if it is different from our own responses.

  • 1. Many members of my church family especially the ladies in my bible/prayer group, a solicitor who helped me so much with the divorce and was so pleased when I let him know it was completed and a anonymous member of the congregation who gave me a sizeable amount of money to help pay rent or whatever I needed when X walked out.

    2. My community midwife and other midwives during my pregnancy. My community midwife was a fellow chump and she was so supportive all the way through. All the midwives were so supportive of my wish to not have him near me during or after birth. They were also brilliant when I gave birth on my own without a birthing partner.

    3. A friend of my x’s from work. I didn’t know her that well when x left but she has a son a bit younger than mine. We have developed a really lovely friendship the past 9 months and she now has nothing to do with x. We are going to be going away with her for a few days later this month.

    4. My family but especially my brothers. They are great with DS and they are really good role models for children. They are young guys so they enjoy a drink and they do smoke but as far as there characters go they are brilliant. Our father was a cheater and I don’t see that manifested in any of us even though my mum was a chump that reconciled a number of times until he left for OW now wife. My cheater father, OW and my mum have been there for me but it’s a bit harder to confide in them due to their own situation.

  • Wow, I needed this today. Been depressed and reading CL and all the sad stories made it worse. Usually it helps. So I thought maybe I had outgrown CL. Too negative…but today again Wow!

    My girls they love me and are supportive but blunt. They call me on my shit and don’t let me look back. We talk about our “new normal” when things are weird.

    My Sister-in-law who has known my STBX since he was a little. She cried with me today. She reassured me. My Brother-in-law( my STBX’s older brother) sat STBX down and told him his behavior toward me was cruel and inhuman. It made me feel protected.

    My sisters and my brother who listen. My new therapist who has lead me through the darkness..she is amazingly intuitive.

    AND….Chump Lady who pointed the has made all the difference.

  • One of the kindest things was my dentist, we had been going to him as a family for 15 years when EX left and he knew us… My Ex had had a heart attack 5 years before that and I literally saved his life that night. Well I am in the dentist chair after dday and finding out 7 months later he is still seeing Co worker, and he says my sons look stressed, are they ok? So I tell him EX was cheating and we are divorcing. So dentist starts working on my mouth and calmly says “Well it would have been better for you and the kids if he had just died 5 years ago”.

    I almost choked on his hands, maybe not true, but it felt good none the less.

  • Today’s post made me emotional. I have been blessed to have so many angels who have stepped up in both big and little ways to help me get through such a difficult time.
    -my parents, who although were hurting from the separation as well, drove a far distance to visit me several times and to make sure I was ok. They cleaned my house, did repairs, cooked for me, and watched my kids when I couldn’t deal with real life.
    -my sister, who has listened to me pretty much EVERY SINGLE DAY since he left, without complaining, and always reminding me to trust that he sucks. She has also traveled from afar to visit me several times, despite having two young children and a husband of her own and a job.
    -a colleague that I hardly knew prior to the day my world crashed down, who went through something very similar and coached me through and reminded me to take care of the practical stuff, like hiring a lawyer, even when I wasn’t ready to.
    -my neighbours/friends, who have helped out in so many ways such as coffee dates, wine dates, mowing my lawn, watching my kids when needed, and continuing to invite me to events even though I’m the only single one there. They have never forgotten to include me.
    – people from my past that I don’t have as much contact with any more sharing their support and love for me. I had four university friends that I hadn’t seen in over ten years fly here to visit me recently, despite them all being busy professionals with kids. It meant the world to me that I meant that much to them.
    – another friend that I hadn’t been there for in the past, but who came through for me when I really needed someone.
    -CN for always being there to listen and point me in the right direction when I lost my mightiness.
    – my kids will always be my angels for being awesome and loving despite me not being as great of a mother as they deserved during my darkest days. They continue to be strong and resilient, which helps so much.
    Crying now, but they are happy/grateful tears!

    • I almost forgot one of my most special angels…a friend and my kid’s dayhome provider, who has helped me so much with childcare, inviting me in for a drink and chat, and letting me vent whenever I needed to. She keeps her eyes open for potential quality men, and reminds me to have fun! She has been a lifesaver as well, and even stayed overnight with me during one of my worst days. She is now one of my best friends!

  • So I had the double whammy of having cancer and having my husband cheat and leave me. It’s been almost a year since my diagnosis of cancer and 9 months since my chump diagnosis. There have been so many angels along the way.

    First, my family and some family friends decided not to give each other gifts last Christmas and instead gave me the money they would have spent so I could pay hospital bills. I also had a coworker set up a Go Fund Me and a few people brought frozen meals over. Of course, the cheater was first confused why people were helping, but after he left he took credit for their kindness, implying they felt sorry for me because he left.

    However, my favorite angels have been my neighbors, who snowblowed my driveway when it snowed and mowed my lawn all summer.

  • 2 of the Traitor’s sisters in law were and are my infidelity angels. I didn’t tell anyone what was going on until he said he was leaving me (and still tried to lie about the fact that he was leaving for the Whore). They live 400kms away but used to travel for work and always arranged to meet with me, we had wine nights and lots of tears nights. And they’re doing their best to ensure that the Traitor doesn’t cut off his family again, as he did when he was with the Whore first time around. So humouring and smiling, cool, bummer, wow, with the Traitor and the Whore. I asked them too, because I don’t want his kids to miss out on the good side of the family.

  • My local police who extracted me from a situation that far more dangerous than I would accept. X became scary after being confronted about cheating and refused to leave the house, which belonged to my mother.
    The police kept up a vigilant watch on my home and (against my protests) went privately to the judge with evidence of my X’s deviousness (beyond cheating, obviously). They chased X off while he circled my home whilst I was moving out so he couldn’t follow me.

    I am also eternally grateful for 2 work buddies who are now lifelong friends. One homed me for 10 days while the sheriff was serving the TRO on X.
    The second friend moved into my house to guard me – after X returned the SAME night he received the TRO (using his front door key “Hi I’m home!”)! Another police call – this time with guns drawn.

    My tough as nails mom who couldn’t understand my spackling but supported me with love anyway.

    I’ve got a lot to be grateful for!

  • God got me through it. My wife meant everything to me, probably to the point that I had made her an idol in my life. God allowed me to biitch about it all, and started walking me through it. My son was playing baseball, and a woman who had a son on another team lost that son and her husband in a camping accident where they left the lantern on at night and suffocated from carbon monoxide. In all my mess, she had lost far more than I. She became my concern. I sent her gift cards each month for a year for various things to help her and her daughters. I actually enjoyed writing the cards to her and praying over her and her family. I’m tired of carrying around the burden that I perceive I am owed some sort of debt that neither can, nor will, ever be repaid.

    • Onefleshwithacheate: That was very sweet of you…Good deeds pays off one day!

    • This is beautiful. So wonderful of you to do that for that woman. I’m sure you made a big difference in her life.

  • I realized after I got out, man I need to go make some friends! I’ve always put my energy into my stbx and now almost 3 y.o daughter, I have acquaintances but no real girlfriends. Really my 2 sisters are my rocks and I can always talk to them, we live so far apart now. My older brother adores my daughter and is a loving male figure for her, she adores him and her cousin, calls him brother. My mom and dad came down and helped me move out of the house in 1 afternoon, my dad has heart issues but we picked up that furniture like super man and Wonder Woman!

  • My love and gratitude goes to my lovely and mighty mother, two sisters and friends who helped me see him as an insane person who does not deserve my love! Never especially my mother doubted my goodness and never did she try to put any responsibility on my shoulder! That was the best support i could ever get!

  • My mum and my brother who Face-timed me every day from New Zealand after I kicked cheater out and despite my sister in law having just given birth to a little girl who is disabled.

    My friends who rallied round and came to the house and sat with me/watched movies/bought me food.

    All the people on eBay and gumtree who bought every single one of the things shitty cheater bought me through the marriage, and helped fund my solicitor fees.

    My solicitor who was the most badass but gentle bloke.

    The real estate agent who got an amazing price for my house.

    My bosses who were lenient and flexible and gentle with me needing time off.

    My work colleagues who made me laugh and bought me protein shakes to keep me alive.

    I am, and was, lucky.

  • I have several angels that kept me going. First would be my twin brother. Even though I was caring for him thru colon cancer, he just kept telling me not to worry because God was holding each of us in the palm of his hand. He lost his battle 4 months after Miserable Vomitus Mass moved out and 1 month exactly from our 49th birthday.

    The second was Dr Suki Hon, my brother’s gastro dr. She insisted that I come in for an appointment, asked me how I was holding up, hugged me and offered up herself and her office anytime I needed to talk or get away. She is the most caring Dr I’ve ever seen. She calls occasionally to check in and tells me how much she misses my brother.

    The 3rd was an Emergency Care Dr. I went in with bronchitis during the wreckonciliation and Bob’s cancer care. He took on look at me-asked what was going on in my life that was causing so much stress and I unloaded on him. He did a full physical, gave me sleeping pills and anti anxiety meds and the name of a good therapist. He and the staff kept following up with me to make sure I was ok and getting the help I needed.

    The fourth would be my middle son’s chorus teacher. She had heard from my son what was happening at home and that MVM had left and was not supporting us. She called a retail manager she used to work for and got me an interview for a 2nd job. 2.5 years later, I’m still working there and able to keep my kids fed and housed.

    My darling sons have stood by me and the oldest one even told me to “lean back.” Meaning that I didn’t need to always try to be strong that I could lean back into them and they would be strong for me. I have needed that on occasion.

    The last would be my older brother, his wife and their son. My older brother and his wife took off from work to be with me all day in court for the divorce. They have come over for game nights, invited me to the places my brother’s band is playing, called and listened.

    I have been blessed. All those years where MVM made no effort to be a part of my family of origin and disparaging of them, and yet, when I needed them they were right there to support me.

    All before I knew of Chump Nation, they held me up and kept me going, for which I will always be eternally grateful.

  • I have many.

    –One of my coworkers has become a good friend through all of this; she is like my amateur psychologist! Always can calm me down. And she made sure to get me out of the house to do stuff.

    –My family. They were amazing. They surrounded me with love and support.

    –Several friends, online and in person, rallied to my side.

    –Chump nation!!!

    –My therapist. I am so, so incredibly grateful for everything she’s done for me. She’s in my corner and she has exposed my douchebag ex for what he really is: a highly skilled, manipulative narcissist. In fact, I called her in a panic this morning because crap hit the fan yesterday with the ex and I was feeling incredibly broken inside and panicking because what had happened. She called me back and even though she had a patient to see in a few minutes, she took the time to talk to me and calm me down. Remind me to send her flowers!

    All in all, I’ve been incredibly blessed to have the support I have. I know ex has little to none. Well, he has his whore, but she doesn’t count.

  • I forgot one very important person, MVM’s long time best friend and best man at our wedding. When he heard, he called several times. All while he was dealing with his own wife’s cancer. Told me that MVM was an ass and he’d never speak to him again. His wife passed from her cancer and his family found him dead in his home 2 months later. They called to tell me and invite me to his funeral. They also told me that they knew how he felt about MVM and he was not being told. He was a great example to me of a loving husband and a man of integrity. May he, his wife and my brother all Rest In Peace. They were beacons of light in this world.

  • I had many angels and I needed each and every one of them! So many friends gave me a hand with packing up my house full of 23 years of accumulated shit. Ex didn’t do anything to help. Surprise surprise! My parents loaned me money for my lawyer. My boss loaned me money to help with a few bills. Friends of mine are in construction and came with me to look at homes I was interested in buying so I didn’t make any big mistakes. So many friends and family called me nearly every day to offer support, shared a bottle of wine, ran errands for me, had me over for dinner. Literally, without them I don’t know how on earth I would have made it!!!! They were the very best!

  • My sister’s. One turned me onto this blog, and thankfully too. My sister and I would talk almost every day as I was driving (hands free) to work. She would encourage me and gave me helpful advise. And she kept me from going over the edge at least twice a month when I wanted to hurt him. Shes suppirted ne and made me realize (with this blog) that I am mighty and can be a badass. MEH is coming, and it will be on Tuesday. Because of what I’ve learned from this sight, I pay it forward to ladies at work and people I’ve meet on the internet.

  • The first person that I thought was my Angel actually turned out to be a Flying Monkey.

    She and her husband were our best couples friends, and she had what I believed was a nonsexual “emotional affair” with Woody that supposedly ended years ago with deep apologies from both her and my husband. But after Woody moved my niece Bazooka Jane in with him, when I told my “friend” that there’s no such thing as Switzerland in this situation, she chose to stay friends with Woody, not me! Who condones a relationship between a 49-year-old and his wife’s 19-year-old niece that ended her friend’s marriage???!!!

    Now, chump that I am, I realize signs are pointing to Flying Monkey and Woody having a physical relationship before Bazooka Jane came along and distracted Woody with shiny new supply. I think Flying Monkey is hovering with hopes of getting the Big Prize. Hope she does–because that will get the gullible prey niece out of his clutches, and will serve Flying Monkey right when her own marriage is destroyed and it’s her turn for the inevitable discard by Woody.

    Meanwhile, Woody is back in a love triangle between Bazooka Jane and Flying Monkey to keep him feeling good about himself. So glad I’m far, far away from that now and covering my eyes and ears. See no evil, hear no evil, No Contact!

    Other than the Flying Monkey Fake Angel, I kept the truth to myself from January through the end of April across the first 5 DDays of evidence of Woody’s emotional affair with the niece with “plausible denial.” But during that time I did have one true Angel, my “work spouse,” who I was supposed to be mentoring as new department chair but turned out she spent the semester covering my ass. I couldn’t bring myself to tell her what was really happening–my husband and my niece!–so I just told her my husband had done something horrible that was causing depression, anxiety, insomnia, and trauma triggers, which explained why I couldn’t be my usual competent, efficient self. It was my worst semester ever and she made it possible for me to survive it.

    Once Woody’s so-called therapy and the wreckonciliation failed and I decided to leave on my Road Trip to Meh, I told my mother and my brother and all of my best friends the whole truth, and as I knew they would they all came flying to love on me. That circle of Angels continues to grow. Dear friends old and new have invited me to stop for anything from a brief visit to a whole month on my journey from Maine to California. Just this morning I stopped in Illinois for coffee with a friend on my way to Tulsa. Healing my broken heart with the love of others has made all of the difference.

    If I had it to do over I would do it very differently. But, that I will pay forward.

    • Oh, and the new friends have included two chumps from CN so far, JeepTess and Beth in Yellow Springs, Ohio! Working on lining up a meeting with Desert Guy and some other Arizona chumps on Monday, too. Chumps are the best Angels of all because you get it, and you give the best advice.

  • An eight year old cat wandered into my backyard right during the time I was at the height of suspicion. He acted more like he was 3-4 years old, but the vet told me otherwise. That fluffy thing had been brought to town and abandoned (with his name tag still on). He has been my rock always knowing when I need him most.

  • Alas, I didn’t have an angel. Because of that I ended up having 2 nervous breakdowns in 2 years. I did have a wonderful therapist but she retired a year or so after my treatment.

    My parents are long deceased and my brother lives 14 times zones away. I have friends from childhood but they live where I grew up hours away. They listened the best they could but I’m sure they grew weary with my tearful calls early on.

    My female coworkers are of the ilk that it was 50% my fault even though they know he cheated. They are in the “move on” camp of thinking.

    Oh, how I wished I had somewhere to go after work to spread out on a sofa for some tea & sympathy. I still take antidepressants & try to remain active gardening, reading, knitting & reading Chump Lady everyday. The lonliness and finacial worries can be crushing but I’ve excepted that my life is what it is.

    • Hurt1, there are some low cost ways to reconnect to your local community and find friends – not necessarily people to complain to right away, but people who you can get acquainted with, take your mind off stuff, and most importantly GET YOU OUT OF THE HOUSE.

      I don’t know your age, or location, or circumstances, but:

      – – browse and see if there is anything nearby
      – Your local library noticeboard
      – Volunteering opportunities – try online for your area
      – Church, temple – even if you’re not formally affiliated, or very religious, there is no harm in trying!

      None of these should cost you up front, and you might find some distraction and a change of scene.


      • I love this advice.

        Are there events at your community center or library? Bingo, readings, crafts, exercise classes?

        Even just going by yourself to an art gallery, show, museum, etc. — being around people, and possibly bumping into someone interesting?

        Get in the car, or on a bus or train, and visit a historic site? Or a friend or relative you haven’t seen in a long time?

    • Hurt1 –
      I can’t afford therapy. My cousin – a clinical social worker with the VA – suggested Al Anon.

      It isn’t traditional talk therapy, however it’s been a lifeline for me towards learning healthy coping behaviors. And it’s very cheap, only a few $ donation per meeting.

      My favorite meeting is a woman’s only meeting. It doesn’t matter if your X was an alcoholic. If you feel beat up by life, this might help you.

    • Hurt1, I’m so sorry you are suffering. I hate to hear about your co-workers comments. Hang in there. Sometimes life surprises you and I think I can say for certain that good things will happen.

    • Dear Hurt1, it breaks my heart that you are suffering through this alone.
      Although its not like having someone there for you in the flesh, I would like to recommend to you the books by Lundy Bancroft, especially “Should I stay or should i go”. They have helped me incredibly in the “sofa&tea” department, his words have a way to speak about abuse and cheating that soothes the soul, I think in particular for those of us who have received little sympathy on this journey. Even though my decision (to stay away) is already made, I still go back to reading that book because its like water on a burn.
      It has also small exercises that you can do, sort of like a meditation to guide you into your new life.
      Here’s hoping you can find loving wings to surround you soon enough!

    • You are not alone!


      What kind of tea do you drink? I have all sorts.

      Are you comfy, would you like my dog/cat to come and cuddle you (or not)?

      You are wonderful, you are brave, you can do this.

      Allow new people in to your life. Now that the toxic cheater has left you alone.

      It is a huge blessing once they fuck off.

      And yes, try to get out of the house. There are many affordable community activities you can join. I have started going to a drop-in church service. I am not religious. At all. But I am deeply spiritual. And they have snacks after lol.

      I have been twice so far and really enjoy it. It’s free and I can drop in whenever I want, no questions asked. Can you find something similar, doesn’t have to be church, that you can slip into easily and help fuel your soul again?

  • I had decided from the beginning that I was only going to tell one person. My reasoning was that I didn’t want to listen to the bullshit. Either I would hear pity, scorn or more of, “well this is what I did”. I figured the less that knew was better, I was also planning on staying with him at the time, so I didn’t want my family to ostracize him or people to judge him for his fucked up choices! Even reading that as I type it, it makes me laugh, what a fucking spackler I was!! Oh poor baby, I don’t want anyone to be mean to you, I know you didn’t mean it…. LOL! man that was some good hopium I was smoking. Anyhoo, I digress…. I only told my one BFF, she came over immediately hearing the distress I was in, brought some magical sedatives and some booze, and I cried and vented for a whole day and night. She stuck with me, would let me call her all the time, was amazing in her listening skills and always made me feel better. When I hated him, she did too, when I loved him, she jumped on board. When I was finally ready to give him the boot, she was right there.

    Fast forward to a few months ago, she calls me to tell me she met someone, she was so excited! I was excited for her. She tells me all about the phone calls, the texts, the meet up, the sex……then she tells me he has a GF. So he says!!! What.the.actual.fuck???? Did she just start fucking a married man, knowing everything I went through and then calls me to tell me all about it. Holy shit, it got ugly and we stopped talking for awhile. She was a smart cookie and knew what she had done. So I recently found out that the guy she started dating asked her about an open relationship, he wanted to see and sleep with other people!! Haha! I almost laughed out loud on the phone, but I took the high road. Paybacks are a bitch, this was the best kind of revenge, a beautiful dish served cold! Fuck her and fuck them all, trust that they suck!

  • My angels:

    1. The doctor who tested me for STDs and laughed at parts of the story. Not at me, but at what thoroughly dorky loser my ex was.
    2. The drunk bum who saw me crying at the beach while the ex was out surfing a week after the second D-Day. I told him the story he offered to kick my ex’s ass and told me I was hot. Also that that marriage was sacred. The experience gave me a little hope for humanity.
    3. A cashmere sweater that had belonged to my grandma. She was fabulous and classy and I had kept the sweater after she passed. I ran across it years later on one of those horrible dark days when I just wanted to give up. I buried my face in it and it smelled a like her perfume. It was like getting one of the big lipsticky kisses she used to plant on my forehead as a child. Sadly the sweater now just smells like a sweater.

    That’s it. Ex insulted friends and their kids to their faces, refused to participate socially and over time I lost them all. Our “friends” were all his friends, all of them women and they are gone. The few remaining acquaintances vanished during the divorce. I am trying to repair my relationship with my family. They will never understand the kind of person the ex was or the damage he caused. We moved so many times I did not (and still do not) feel like I belong to any sort of real life community.

  • Debbie, who checks out groceries in my local supermarket. I was shopping and in one of my incontrollable “crying my eyes out” fits. She came around the counter, hugged me, listened to my whole sad story, promised me it would all get better (she was right). That was two years ago and I still love to see her in the store.

  • My D-day happened while I was on a weeks vacation from work. When I returned to my job,I went out on the usual runs.(I’m a truck driver.) At my first pickup that day,at a place I went to twice a week,the dock worker I usually dealt with noticed immediately that something was wrong. Her name is Michelle,and she is an incredible sweetheart. When I told her what had happened,she hopped off the forklift and gave me a huge hug..just what I needed! For a long time after that she always asked how I was doing and made sure that I didnt have to wait to get my truck loaded,and handed out a hug whenever she figured I needed one. Having a mere job acquaintence care that much more about me than my wife was a real eye opener and helped me begin the emotional healing process. I’m having a beer right now…so here’s to you Michelle! And here’s to you,CN and CL,because reading what all of you have written here has helped me tremendously as well.

  • My mom and sister. It’s because of them that I “lawyered up” and stopped being a chump (still working on on that but definitely much better). My Dad (who passed away a year ago). I know he would be proud of me. And my kids. They are the reason that I haven’t given up even though I feel like many days.

  • Haven’t had time to read through the thread, but two angels:

    Aunt F, my close friend, who, like many others here believed in me and helped me when I had to move and fix up the rental. She is my son’s godmother and mischief buddy.

    Misha, the Fur Princess: my dear departed husky that *hated* Cheater #1. So much so she barfed on his bare foot once. Peed on his clothes that he left on the floor. Chewed his clutter in the living room. Snarled at him if he came up behind her unawares. LISTEN to your dog! They know better than we do.

    Sidebar: Damn, I miss Misha. Reminds me of the Tom Petty song “you’re so bad, best thing I ever had, in a world gone mad, you’re so bad”. RIP Misha and Tom.

    • Her Blondeness,
      I love your Misha,
      She is your beautiful Guardian Angel watching over you.


  • Of all the things that happen when a cheater blows up your life, some are just so damn hurtful that they reveal your cheater’s character in forms there is simply no way to spackle over. Maybe it’s a way of helping us reach “rock bottom” so we can get help for the addiction. Our family had a (then) six year old lab and I wanted to add another dog to our household, so I started looking at shelters. None of the young dogs seemed like a good fit, but I found this senior dog with medical needs who I couldn’t stop thinking about, and I asked LadyLiar if we should adopt her, reminding her of the expenses (prescription food and several medicines). She strongly encouraged me to adopt her. I later discovered that she was a few months in to her affair when I brought the new dog home. She told me she “knew it would be good for me to have someone when I was going through hard times!” She stole our lab when she moved out and refused to let me visit with her. My widowed mom and Nan, in their 70s and 90s, respectively, sent me money from their social security checks each month so I could keep buying my dog’s food and medicine. These “old ladies” (including the four-legged one!) are my angels.

  • Wow, after reading so many angel stories I’ve been struck by how many of us lost friendships over the years due to our Xs. So many angels from unexpected places in our lives stepped up for us.

    Hugs to all

  • My mum. My friends. Like that old man and the hail, this will be one of the things that happened to me.

  • So many angels… some were here for a moment and some have stayed and will stay.

    Now that dickhead is dispatched (in the legal, not mortal, sense!) after six years of ridiculous litigation, it’s amazing how quickly I am gaining clarity and can look back on this experience as something that was not all horrible.

    The love and support of the people I have met, or renewed relationships with, outweigh the flimsy support of my former husband a thousandfold. It was a great trade, just so hard to see at the time!

    Reading these stories reminds me of many little flashes of caring from random strangers or mild acquaintances… I wish I could remember them all to thank them, but the best I can do is try to reflect the light they shed on me to someone I come across in my life.

    And my family- I have reconnected so strongly with my siblings, it’s incredible… they all picked me up/rescued/ass-kicked/supported… we finally all got to know each other as adults through this experience. It would never have happened if dickhead hadn’t run away…

    How can I thank everyone? I’m planning a key celebration- have been collecting antique funny old skeleton keys of all sizes and shapes over the last couple years, and also collecting and making small tassels of different materials.

    As I have time, I will write a personal note to the many, many people who kept me afloat, and send them a key with a pretty tassel to thank them for being a key to my survival.

    Angels among us, yes… and I hope I will sometime fill that role for others to help keep the evil and darkness of the world at bay!

  • Forever grateful to these angels
    elderly Mum who was instantly supportive and said what took you so long?
    amazing sister half a world away who rang regularly with love, care and concern.
    incredible school friend who took time off work and helped me collect my sentimental items.and belongings one very pressured day.
    lovely hairdresser who squeezed me in at a busy time of the year, when I suddenly got three job interviews.
    wonderful friends who go for walks, empathise and care.
    purring cats
    CN who brighten and inspire with insight and wisdom.

    • Onwards,
      “Purring cats”
      I recently lost my 15 year old 4 legged, bestest friend ever.
      When she was very ill several years ago I syringe fed her for five weeks.
      I cry thinking of her, but they are happy, thankful tears.
      Please give a gentle hug and a treat to your’s from me in memory of my girl!


  • My sister was a Godsend to me, I cried for months and she listened with a thoughtful ear. Every time I called, she picked up. But then, she packed up out of her marriage and left her husband during the day with a note to go move across the country with her Love. The note didn’t even say she left with another man!!! Alas, it didn’t work out – she came back not 6 weeks after blowing a hole in her husband’s heart. He took her back. I truly wish I could have been there to support her like she did me, but the circumstances just wouldn’t allow it. Being a chump, I wouldn’t wish it upon anyone and I’m very sad that my sister did that. It really put a hole in our relationship.

    I was part of the online support Daily Strength and the first Thanksgiving after my ex left, my cat got hit by a car. I had to use my last $200 to rush him to the VET – luckily he survived, but not soon after that I received a check in the mail from one of the ladies on the site! I cried with thanks and try my best to pay it forward every day!

  • Wow, I am blown away by these stories today. Some brought tears and some laughter. These stories would make an an inspirational book.

    I am still in the midst of this hellish divorce but angels are no doubt seeing me through.

    One angel that was so amazing turned out to be my 15 year old daughter. The deposition of stbx’s whore was at 9:00am and at 8:45 just as I was about to get out of my car, I got a reminder on my phone that said God is with you. It was so powerful. I didn’t know how it got there but later dd told me it was her. That is why I must always remember, God can use the worst marriage for incredible good.

    Like so many, I am finding out who the true friends are and my closest friends have become closer. I have my sister, and two friends that are my inner circle. They have listened to me for countless hours and boosted me more than stbx ever did. They appreciated our children far more than he does.

    I find myself telling people who help me they are angels to me, like the wonderful clerk at the department store who helped me find the right accessories the night before a court hearing . She was so kind and told me about her aunt’s sad divorce. She hugged me and said she would pray

    I had one friend who was there right after stbx left but has faded. She phones or texts occasionally but when I call or text, she is always busy and doesn’t get back to me. A few weeks ago she texted and said “she was lonely too because her husband was traveling out of the county a lot.” I was a little offended and just ignored because I don’t think having a husband traveling for work equates to my situation unless he is a cheater too. Also, I am not lonely. I have been sad and angry but not lonely. I think that is because cheater was never really there for me so his absence doesn’t make me lonely. I have my kids and friends so I am not lonely. In the beginning I missed having someone to talk to and share the kid’s lives with but that was more just the shock and the routine interruption. I am adapting.

    I sense people like me better without STBX.

    I think I am returning more to the me I was before, tuning into others and giving people the benefit of the doubt. I just hope I can identify the demons as well as the angels!

  • Omg… The two ladies who showed me this blog, started helping me. One of them, thought she was my ex husband’s “best friend”. As his veil of lies unraveled around him, she realized she’d been lied to for 20 years. And I for 10 years. His best friend became my rock to lean on as he raged on.

    Another one of his friends came along and offered the support she could. She eventually had to pull back, and I understand that. There was so much drama.

    One of my kids classmates grandmother became my go to for child care when I needed to go to see my attorney or the courthouse. She also would listen to me as I cried my eyes out. She was my only local friend.

    My parents supported me as much as they could emotionally, but being on a different continent, there wasn’t much else they could do. But especially in the beginning it was good to have someone who I could call at 3am without waking up.

    And, while nothing worked out with him, there was B, who showed me that I am a good person and I am desirable. And that sex can be absolutely fantastic, and that it wasn’t me, but my ex who sucked at it.

    Last, but most importantly, there were my kids. They don’t know it, but if it weren’t for them, I’d probably not be here any more, I was that low at one point. They were the reason I had to get out of bed in the morning, and take care of them.

    And now I’m crying again, thinking about the past year and a half. I think my tear ducts were a bit clogged.

  • These posts have been incredible. It’s really something when you reflect back and realize just how many helping hands were lifting you up. When you’re in the middle of the shit show, you’re just plowing through it any which way you can. But I really believe I have experienced Grace, too many times to count. When it all went south for me, it went south in a major way. My D-day/GTFO day coincided with my stepdaughter’s death from brain cancer, my ex-husband’s departure from the country, and then trying to hold on and support 2 severely traumatized teenagers in the aftermath, one of whom became suicidal and spent the next year and a half planning different ways to kill herself. It was just horrible. In the middle of all this, a few people stepped in and shone a light in a very dark place. The first was my family doctor. I went to see her to fill a prescription, an appointment that should have taken less than 5 minutes. Instead, she sat with me for an hour because she’d noticed I’d lost a lot of weight in a really short time and wanted to know what was going on. When I shared with her some of what my ex had been doing, she said, “He is a very sick man. You and your girls have got to get out of there as soon as possible.” That comment lifted a terrible weight from my shoulders because it was the first time that someone outside the family had validated what I already knew to be true–and it meant even more because she had been his family doctor long before she was ever mine. Later, when I followed her advice, a friend I had met through ex helped me make my escape. She literally drove the getaway car, and not only that, she helped me go through garage sales, Craigslist freebie pickups, anything and everything to set up a household from scratch. In one incredible afternoon, we finished it all, including picking up a filthy-but-good-bones couch for free which we then scrubbed within an inch of its life. This woman later took the side of my ex, even after she learned he was billing me for his Cialis more than a year after our split, and we’ve had no contact for several years now. But I will always be grateful for the truly angelic support she gave me when it was critical mass, including with my suicidal daughter. What I’ve learned from this experience is to not expect blanket support but rather to be grateful when it does show up. Friendships can be real and transformative even if they’re not the forever kind. Ultimately, it wasn’t sustainable for us to stay in contact because the connection really was based on a rescuer/rescuee dynamic. She wasn’t interested in reciprocity in the end, and I couldn’t keep being the poor beleaguered chump. That doesn’t make me any less grateful to her for everything she did for me and my kids at the time.

    Other angels were my colleagues, especially my dean and vice-principal. Work was the one place where I could go and feel like I sort of knew what I was doing, and there were some tricky logistical issues I had to sort through at the time. I’ll never forget my vice-principal, who really went to the mat for me, leaning across her desk when I was crying about what a mess it all was. She said, “I’m glad to do this for you. WE.VALUE.YOU.” She said it super slow and looking me dead in the eye, and it just made me cry even more. I’ll never forget it. That comment made me feel everything I had never felt with my ex–valued. I hung onto that until I could start healing enough to value myself again.

    Gosh, there are just so many other people I could write about–at 4 years out of that whole mess, I really see how lifted up I have been. But my real angels in terms of the deep healing have been the folks on this blog and on the forums. The power of being heard and validated can never be overstated. That’s what I received here, from the very first day I logged on, and it’s why I stick around 4 years later. If I can pay forward even the tiniest fraction of the support I’ve received, then I’ll consider myself fortunate for sure.

    It’s about to be Thanksgiving here in Canada (coo roo coo coo!), so this is a really great theme for where my head’s at right now. To Tracy and to all my fellow chumps, you’ll never know just how thankful I have been for your stories and the chance to share my own.

  • I’m weighing in a bit late and haven’t read all the responses but I had no angel. My grandmother and I were close when ahe was alive and I thought for sure she’d give me the reassurance I needed. I told me cheater the day I found out we were done. I told him he would never touch me again and I didn’t care what he did with the rest of his life.

    I did tell him it would benefit all of us, me, him, and our two kids if I could finish my degree in health management so I could be in a higher pay bracket and be easier to keep two households. Other than that, he was dead to me.

    I told my mother and my grandmother within the first week and was floored when they advised me to reconsider. How hard it was going to be on my own with two small kids. Now mind you, like most of us here, I was already doing everything. I was already mighty.

    I think what they said almost hurt me as much as my husband blowing my life up. My best friend encouraged me to work it out for the sake of my kids. A few years later, I found out my best friend had been cheating on her husband during this time.

    I WISH I’d had some support. I had to second quess every single decision I made and it was horrible.

    I then was in a very bad car accident and HAD to live in the same house wondering if I’d ever walk again. Everyone encouraged me to stay with my husband.

    I stewed and planned and I always knew from day one I could never live with a liar and cheater. If I had to live under a bridge, I wasn’t staying.

    I’m still bitter how no one wanted to get involved, support me verbally. ( I never asked for money or help with the children) all I wanted was verbal support and that never came.

    Life is pretty good now but I still hold a grudge against my family for not supporting me.

    Oh, on my husband’s side, I did tell one sister in law and her advice was for both of us to go to church. ????????????

    I’m talking years of serial cheating, prostitutes, the whole sha-bang.

    • Wiseoldowl, take heart, you are mighty despite the deck being stacked against you, you persevered. Your children will benefit from your never giving up or in. Even if you didn’t have an angel, you can be one for your children.

      As I read your post, I think you were conditioned by those around you and that is how you ended up with a narc in the first place.

    • Wiseoldowl, you are now my HERO!! Good on you for standing up for yourself despite a family culture of sweeping everything under the rug. You are an inspiration indeed. So sorry nobody else in your family was blessed with guts.

    • Hi, I’m almost done with my degree in health information management. Is that your degree or different. I find that many people want you to stay with a cheater because they are projecting their fears onto you. They would be scared to leave so they expect you to be scared as well. Stay strong. I’m proud of you.

    • Wiseoldowl,
      YOU were wise and Mighty from the beginning.
      What a sane, present, loving Mother you have been and always will be, to your children!
      I am sorry for all your suffering and I am in awe of your strength and fortitude.
      MIGHTY is YOU!

  • This is a great question – and one which deserves more consideration from myself. I am a member of my local Zonta Club and all those ladies stepped up. I will never be able to express the depth of gratitude I have for their support in that moment of chaos.
    Within their ranks were half a dozen who had also been victim to their own cheater and knew the hints and tips to keep going, and the reminders I will recover. Others who got me to the doctor, to a lawyer, turned up with a locksmith, with food. Some took me for coffee – and many phone calls and msgs every day to make sure I was still eating and washing and getting out of bed.
    My most precious angel hosted me at her house, fed me, brought cups of tea, listened to emotional vomit, kept pushing me to keep doing my emotional work to look after myself, rang me every night at bedtime to check on my day.
    Only 2 women couldn’t cope with my situation and I had to detach. I found the most extraordinary, unexpected level of support and care from so many women around me. they are all beautiful angels.

  • My dear friend was my Angel. She was the one who told me ‘he will never change so don’t be fooled by his behavior now’ – which unbeknownst to me is ‘hoovering’. For one weekend he was the husband I had always wanted and never had. Sad to know that he did have it in him, he just chose not to me ‘that good guy’. When I was beginning to waiver my friend reminded me that ‘that is not who he really is’ and I stuck to my guns and made him leave. She was right, I never saw that ‘good guy’ again.

    The best karma is that he is now married to a controlling wife who is scared that he will cheat and leave her like he did me. They have a relationship that his family describes as ‘when she says jump he asks how high’. While I think that is funny and just, it is not a relationship that I would ever want. He even told his sister that he wants to leave but he needs her insurance. That karma bus is awesome!

  • Three angels
    1. The nurse practitioner whom I met with to get tested for STDs, and as with others here, I broke down sobbing in her office, and she hugged me and listened and was so kind and patient, and she gave me prescriptions for mild anti-depressant and mild anti-anxiety medications to help me get through this period in my life. I found out months later that she had just returned to work that week after having a baby that died in childbirth.
    2. My dog, who is always thrilled to see me and shows me how to take joy in simple things like throwing a ball or taking a walk or just watching TV together, every day helping me put the lies and betrayal further behind me.
    3. Chump Lady

  • I am brought to tears by the Chumps here who were all alone. I have never felt more saddened and blessed at the same time. My mom is my angel. She has been with me every step of the way. The greatest moments where when the baby was just a few weeks old and POSH had just walked out on us. I tried to do it on my own because I was ashamed. I felt guilty. I couldn’t give up on my baby like her father did. One night my daughter and I were both in a tizzy. Neither of us could stop crying. My mom drove 30 minutes, walked through the front door, gave me a hug and a kiss, took the baby, and said “go soak in the tub. Run it scorching hot, add a bottle of bubbles, and cry it out. You have to release this. The baby will be ok”. Baths have always been my safe haven and she knew that. I cried for an hour. I had to rerun the bath water because it went cold i was in there so long. When I stopped crying. So did the baby. I knew then at that moment my baby and I were forever connected. My mom asked me if I noticed that she quit crying when I did. I said yes. My mom said “know you understand why I came to you tonight”. Its been 8 months since that happened and I think about that night often. How brave, strong, and loving my mom is to have sat in my house listening to her own daughter gasping for air because she is crying so hard all the while pacing the floor with a 2 week old also crying her eyes out. I aspire to be half the mother to my daughter as she is to me.

    • You guys have got me in tears.

      My Mum did the same for me. She flew across the country to help me pack up the house I shared with my narcopath who abandoned me (thankfully – I see that now).

      She literally packed up whole our house in 48 hours, while I was comatose on couch. She didn’t even eat, she was running on pure adrenaline, trying to get me sorted so I could move safely.

      We didn’t know at the time if narcopath would hoover back, so she wanted to make sure her baby was safe. I will never forget it.

      I’m so grateful that my family helped protect me when this abuse was happening.

      My Mum tried to help me see that I didn’t deserve this abuse, even if it took me a while to see it myself.

  • And for all of you who said you had no one you are Mighty. You are strong. You made it through. You are an inspiration to me and everyone here. Thank you for sharing your stories.

  • It was YOU Chump Lady! YOU were my Infidelity Angel. I did and still do have support from my family and close friends, but no one, and I mean NO ONE, could have steered me in the right direction like you did. I made decisions based on your advice and they supported me in them….most of the time.

    Thank you!! I am mighty because of you, because of this blog and because of Chump Nation!!

    • I agree with @conniered.

      Thank you Chump Lady, and the rest of Chump Nation.

      Two years on and I still check in a few times a week.

      This place was crucial during the acute phase following D-Day, wreckonciliation (yuck) and finally moving on with my life.

    • I agree with @conniered.

      Thank you Chump Lady, and the rest of Chump Nation.

      Two years on and I still check in a few times a week.

      This place was crucial during the acute phase following D-Day, wreckonciliation (yuck) and finally moving on with my life.

  • My lesbian friends prepared their spare room, with pillows, packets of spice biscuits (not that I could eat) and stuffed toys. They insisted I come over, so I wasn’t alone. They kept an eye on me. They tried to get me to eat.

    (Meanwhile, our Governments have the gall to oppose gay marriage. Whilst my heterosexual – but highly disordered – cheater was free to be his most (pathological?) “vibrant self.”)

    Those girls honestly kept me alive. I actually could get a few hours sleep. I felt safe in their house. They told me he sucked. I couldn’t see it yet, but they helped me on the path to me. They helped me get mighty.

  • Fellow Chumps how may be physically alone… you have CHUMP NATION.

    Please use this blog, and this forum AS MUCH AS YOU NEED.



    We’ve got your back.

  • Like Luziana said:

    “I still post because I hope new chumps get a bit of the comfort I found here. I think that’s how it works. I think that’s why it works.”

    This ^^^^°°

    When exh1 cheated on me, I shut down. I went into survial mode. I didn’t even have the courage to tell anyone. I spackled, I danced, I did everything but confront or condemn…6 years letter, he did again, this.time packing up and leaving…. I learned. I remembered. I vowed never again.

    When exh2/The Evil One started to red flag mamba, I didn’t dance. At all. I circled my wagons. I told. I got my ducks in a row. I documented. I found chump lady and the mighty Chump Nation early on

    My angels were many. I was blessed. I was wiser than the first time.

    Angels like my friend that refused to allow me to retreat within, nor wallow in self-pity. She taught me updated makeup techniques. She helped me restyle my hair. She let me cry, but not too long. She went with me to his lawyer’s office to sign the papers. She made sure that I didn’t look over a single stipulation. She was my voice ro the attorney about making sure I had everything I was entitled to. She was my friend, and I’m forever grateful.

    Another friend has been my friend for almost 20 years. She remained silent when TEO would absolutely enraged her in his treatment of me, and our daughter. She was the first person I called on DDay. She was my “secret keeper” (shout out to Harry Potter). I checked in with her daily, numerous times a day and she never complained or said, “enough!”

    There many other sideline angels that contacted me when I announced his departure to tell me their cheater stories, to encourage me, to enlighten me, to help me.

    I am forever grateful.
    That’s why I’m still here, paying it forward, trying to at least.

    Camus said, “…in the depths of winter, I found within me lay an invincible summer…” I discovered that quote around 30 years ago, and I’ve always clung to it…

    Eleanor Roosevelt: ” No one can make you feel interior without your consent”

    And last but not least, Stephen King/Delores Claiborne: “… Sometimes a woman needs to be a high-riding bitch to get what she wants…”

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