Stay in Touch

Check out CL's Book

New Year’s Friday Challenge!

Happy Almost New Year’s Chump Nation!

Boy, I for one am quite happy to see 2017 go down the shitter. Let’s hear it for new starts!

We’re all about gaining a life at CN, so in keeping with the spirit of self-improvement and personal growth (that isn’t girth — I rebuke you leftover Christmas cookies!), let’s do an inventory.

1. What are your New Year’s resolutions for unchumping yourself?

2.  What was the most important thing you learned about yourself in 2017?

And, if you’re not feeling entirely meh yet…

3. What are your (fanciful) predictions for your cheater in the new year?

Will he trip over a hooker and break his hip? Will she drown in a bottomless well of unearned self-esteem? Is anyone getting an indictment? A twitch? A new set of boobs?

Fill me in, CN and have a very happy 2018!

TGIF!

Ask Chump Lady

Got a question for the Chump Lady? Or a submission for the Universal Bullshit Translator? Write to me at info@chumplady.com. Read more about submission guidelines.
  • Am I first today?? West Coaster here. My bad back has kept me up all night. It must be a sign!!

    I’ll take #1 for $500.

    Unchumping myself. Huh. Maybe I should start with picking ME first. Nit just when playing Chumpvill either. I always do seem to cave in when people hound me. I’ve just recently been good about shutting X deown. There are others whom I really need to stop intruding into MY life!!

    Boundaries need repairs!!

    • Born Free
      Whenever I see your name I think this will be a good post, filled with good, sound advice, with a twist of humour.
      Keep encouraging fellow Chumps and here’s to all good, powerful, happening to you in 2018.
      You rock!
      You are Mighty!

    • It does seem to be a common theme for me and a lot of other chumps out there. Accused of not meeting others needs by the cheater, therapists, books, and in-laws. When in reality we never gave ourselves the chance to put us first.

      I agree. Time to start putting what’s best for me first for a change.

    • Yes. Fixing my picker by committing to an indefinite period of no romances. But heaps more group activities and friendships of all kinds!

      Also: in 2018, I will receive more than I give. I need to learn how to receive more easily.

      This year has been hell. You guys have been great. See you on the other side.

      • I’m in the same boat. I’m giving up on dating for who knows how long. I’ve spent waaaaaay too much time on dating sites and have only found mediocre possibilities. No. Just no.

        Anytime I spend on-line will be looking at tile, choosing kitchen sinks and lighting options. I’ll be looking more at the likes of Ana White and Nikki Grandy and spending this time building cupboards and redecorating and finding my mighty via table saw and pneumatic nailer. The only dinner dates will be with a frozen pizza and my paintbrush.

        Maybe my heart can get a renovation in the process.

        Fuck you 2017. You truly sucked.

        Please don’t disappointment me 2017

          • Lol to the wrong year on checks Sunflower!
            My firsf laugh of the day!
            8 1/2 hrs left till 2018 for me …… hopefully my STBX will pull her head out of the sand and start to participate in the divorce process,
            first court date in 31 days……
            Me and 2018?, wanting to stay strong, seeing the divorce through( I still feel like ass at times), start doing things for me and my esteem, start performing with my guitar again,
            pretty much anything my spouse said I had no time to do anymore…..
            Fuck her and 2017, give me some love 2018!!!

            • And I forgot:

              Happy New Year to all us chumps and the CL as well!!! I love you all and can’t thank you enough!!!!
              Stay strong brothers and sisters, best to us all in 2018!

              • (((hugs))) 50

                We all deserve ’em.

                And have fun with the guitar. I think I might take mine back up too. I hocked it way back when…might be time to do some shopping.

  • 1) I need quit drinking so much.

    2) I keep going for disordered people/unhealthy relationships. I know I’m doing it, and I keep doing it anyway.

    3) Meh? Yeah not really. So… thinking that the consequences of two narcs marrying each other will start to play out. My guess is she’ll get pregnant, they’ll struggle financially, their relationship will start to unravel… I don’t think this will play out in the next year, though. More like the next five years. I also predict what CL says, that by the time it happens I wont care anymore.

    OK so back to 1 and 2. I really need to get my shit together and start making better choices and building a healthy future for myself.

    • Same here. I thought I was good, but realized after going for another disordered ass that I really need to work more on fixing my picker! Like WHY do I keep falling for the same shit??
      And yeah, stop drinking so much…

      • In response to the drinking, I also drank too much mostly to relax and make it through another day with ex and his complaining. I realized after he left I didn’t drink as much or as often and eventually lost my craving to have a drink to relax to deal with his constant nit picking.
        I’ve had lots of stress in my life since he left but I don’t go out and buy a bottle of wine or think about having drink. I want to remain in control of my life, somewhat, have nothing else he can use against me if I were to do something stupid, and heaven forbid call him or drunk text him.
        That’s all I’d need is to give him something to exaggerate and twist to prove to the everyone that I’m mentally ill and an alcoholic which is one of the many things he accused me of being. I drank wine with dinner and maybe one or two glasses too many but I got up every morning and went to my volunteer job, took care of our family.
        It’s hard to dig through all the crap we’ve been blindsided with and been dumped on us. It’s much better for us to stay clear headed, as we dig through what seems like endless crap. We’re left to pick up the pieces and find out where we belong in the world after devoting our lives to them. They’ve had years or at least months of careful planning of their exit and have distanced themselves from us. It’s frustrating to see them so calm as they discuss ending the marriage and leaving. We’re in shock, disbelief, our past, present and future plans, life as we had known it has just been shattered. I hate everyone of them.
        It’s important to take care of ourselves and show them that we can survive quite well or better without them. There’s no better revenge than that.

        • I realized that, although he didn’t pour it down my throat, he wanted me to keep drinking with him. Let’s face it, we are so much more reactive when we drink. He drank every single day of the four and a half years we were together, but he always handled his alcohol better than I did.
          Can anyone else relate to this?

          At least twice a year, I would stop, and ask him to. I’d ask to make our relationship a priority. After weeks of him still bringing what I like to drink home, even when I asked him not to, and him still drinking 6 to 10 beers each night, I’d join him again. Many times I quit to try and take the blame off of me for our fights…etc.

          The day he told me he didn’t want to be with me anymore, I quit for good. I haven’t craved a sip. The fact is we can’t be our best selves and drink. We can’t be rational and we do more damage to ourselves.
          What good comes from drinking? None. We think it numbs us, but it’s only temporary medicating. The issues are all still there in the morning and possibly compounded because of our drinking. We don’t make the best choices when we are drinking.

          I want to stay sober minded in the new year and feel every bit of pain that I need to. I don’t want to prolong this process at all.
          I want to heal these nasty wounds in 2018. I want to let go of the anger I have towards the cheating SOB.
          I want to be and stay mighty.
          I am looking forward to seeing other chumps do the same.

          • My STBX drank every single night the entire 7 years I knew him. He started drinking more heavily the past year. He blamed the drinking on me and his unhappiness…not on the fact that he was having an affair and he needed to self medicate. And I highly doubt that he’s been sober the last few months since he left. I’m not a big drinker but right before I got pregnant last year, I found myself drinking wine or beer to try and have a commonality between us….how ridiculous. I know the OW is a drinker, so they can have that together.

            • Notthischump48 and Stretched,

              I can definitely relate. Drinking and socializing were priorities to my STBX. And after dday#1, I tried to join him more often in both frequency and quantity. Looking back, I guess I knew that if I didn’t join him that I wouldn’t keep him. He LOVED it when I over indulged. I think it was a conquering thing for him. If it was up to him, we would have gone out every night and left the kids home without us. Good riddance to that and him.

              • Fuckwit loved for me to drink too much and always made drinks strong and then denied it. I too would drink with him in an attempt to be closer with him but I was not a big drinker. I dumped all the hard stuff when he left and only kept the wine. I rarely drink since he left and don’t miss it a bit.

                He was drinking 4 or more vodka and tonics a night. He started out the marriage with 2 beers per night, progressed to 2 sweet mixed drinks such as hurricanes until he was finally drinking it practically straight and up to 8 drinks in one night per his own admission.

                When I found out about whore, I asked him if they drank together and he said oh yeah, a lot. What a loser- good riddance. Yet another strike against their new fresh love.

            • Yeah, include me in the drinking to numb myself. I sought treatment and was put on Antabuse. Once night we were at a leaving party and I asked for a tonic water. Ex must have laced it with half as much gin (it could have bloody killed me). And then he was smirking, thought it was funny. He was/is a very big boozer. While I was trying not to drink he came over one night with a bottle of wine, took one glass and then left the wine on the kitchen counter, saying you can have that. I asked him twice to take it away so eventually just poured it down the sink. He was FURIOUS. When I mentioned it to my therapist she just said “and you think that was an accident do you”? It hadn’t even occurred to me but as she said keeping me sloshed was the only way he could control me. So I want to kick that habit now and try to get fit (I’ll be 60 in 2018). As for the Twat and Schmoopie I can see that relationship going down the tubes but not sure how they will get out of it. He makes a lot more money than her so I think she’s just with him for the money. Don’t care really as long as he doesn’t try to come back to me.

      • I also have a “type” that I need to come to terms with in 2018!!!

        Narc x husband pastor, go thru terrible discard….

        4 years later move in with narc boyfriend who “has it all”, but is a total fixer upper in the soul department ( he got violent and angry after I moved in ).

        I did move out. Bought a total fixer upper of an old cottage at the beach and am currently dating that.

        I did however finish 4 years of school, start up my own business and kick some cosmic ass while separated and divorcing. I am mighty in other areas of my life!!!

        But my picker is fickle – 2018 is going to be a year of reflection and growth ( while sitting at the beach with a glass of wine ).

        • Can we share fixer upper stories…you on your cottage and me on my house. 2018 will be spent loving my power tools and perusing the home improvement stores for trim and paint.

          Happy renovating your home and heart.

    • Struggling, many years ago I realized that drinking was not helping me get through life. If I had an issue I’d reach for a drink. Well if one is dealing with an issue and you think it can’t get any worse , just throw a little alcohol on it and you can have yourself a full blown disaster. I decided to stop drinking over 30 years ago. While this year has been very difficult I doubt I’d be where I am right now (mostly meh) if I had still been drinking in fact I shudder to think what might have happened! Yikes! Just thought I’d put me 2 cents in for what it’s worth. Hugs!

      • Superchump, after 39 years of marriage he left me for a woman 2 years older then me! So the age thing is more in our head if she’d been 30 years younger I would have felt the same, devastated. Like you and others in long term marriages I was completely blindsided. I believed that he loved me and in fact he said so right up until days before he left. He had had a previous emotional affair some 20 years earlier , the women he was persuing turned him down. Looking back, there were other signs of emotional affairs, and other traits that I now recognize I spackled over. He was looking for someone “special” to make him feel special. All the years of cleaning, cooking, washing and ironing, working to buy a home, cottage, raising kids,the birth of grandkids, elderly parents in nursing homes, deaths of parents, death of a grandchild ….none of this meant anything to him or at least not enough. He abandoned his family for the thrill of someone he claimed to have a special bond with. So, I understand your pain and confusion. It’s been 8 months and I still have to shake myself that he actually did this to our family. He is disordered and I do believe that he will one day realize that he threw away the best part of his life and mine.
        But life does go on and we have a choice to either cry and torture ourselves for what we lost or accept the unfairness of this horrible mess and make a new life for ourselves. I thought he destroyed our family but he didn’t, they are till there and they care and love me just the same and on some levels show it even more. He destroyed himself and his relationship with his children and grandchildren.
        Let go of what you thought your cheater was and discover who you are now. Stop crying and start living in the present. We can’t change the past but we get to live the present anyway we want. I wish you peace and happiness in 2018.

        • Great advice, Lindaloo. I totally agree. The only time we have agency is right now, this very moment. Now is when we can lay the groundwork for a better tomorrow. Cheaters can only louse up as many of our tomorrows as we let them. Once we get past the paralyzed gut wrenching agony stage we have the choice, wallow or get busy living.

          It is tough to realize that the person we loved with all our hearts would not only be capable of such cruelty towards us, but could actually revel in our pain. They want us to be miserable for the rest of our lives. In their eyes, it is proof of their power over us and everything in our lives. In the case of some of the more sociopathic, they want to utterly destroy us.

          The biggest and best fuck you to a narcissistic cheater, is to go on and build a happy, serene, fabulous life without them. We gather our loved ones around. We begin to heal. We rebuild our lives, in a much healthier pattern. We do the hard work on ourselves. We fix our pickers so we welcome only people of good character into our world, and if we get fooled here and there, out they go. We never, ever settle again. Our lives improve a zillion times without the cheater.

          They, on the other hand, will eventually spiral down, as their ability to attract willing, rescuing victims wanes. Then they find themselves stuck alone with their karma. I truly believe, sooner or later, the chickens come home to roost. And when we have achieved meh, we not only don’t care, but we don’t even know because we are busy with our own fabulous life. That’s the best karma of all.

        • Lyndaloo

          “But life does go on and we have a choice to either cry and torture ourselves for what we lost or accept the unfairness of this horrible mess and make a new life for ourselves.”

          Very wise words. I tourtured myself for years staying with an cruel selfish man. And it took awhile to stop after I divirced hin.

    • Struggling. I know. I do that too. But I’m coming round. And I don’t do it so much anymore.
      I think it’s the loneliness. (Perceived loneliness). Cos really Being with a fake person is more lonely than being on your own.
      Hang in there and don’t be so hard on yourself.
      As you get stronger you’ll feel less need to over drink/eat/starve/isolate..etc. whatever any of us might do.
      The rest will come in time. (🤞)
      I hardly ever post here but I read every day.
      This place is a saviour.
      Thanks CL and CN
      X

        • Fuck yeh indeed it is
          I feel hollow
          Unlovable
          Mind fuckeried
          And my psych says (in the short term) if I’m still here, if I am not feeling the need to not exist, then we can deal with the wine later.
          It’s us chumps that are lonely enough to hear crickets. The narc’s never even listen.

          • Lexiechump, I hear you on the feeling hollow and unlovable. I don’t drink, but I do overeat to try to fill those empty spots. Completely ridiculous thing to do but I fall for it all the time. I just have to become more mindful of NOT doing it because I just feel worse afterwards.

        • Your right struggling, we drink out of loneliness, X was physically there but mentally he never acknowledged my existence. Loneliness and the feeling of being inadequate no matter what we do or how hard we try.

          OC Chump, I’m tired of being told I didn’t meet the needs of others. I’ve lived my life pleasing everyone else putting my needs last or non existent.
          One of my goals in 2018 is to put myself first and no longer question or doubt myself when I do.

          • Drinking out of loneliness. Absolutely. Not only did he leave me ALONE for many nights during our 35 years, he actually purchased all the alcohol and literally selected the bottle of wine for me for his Saturday nights at the casino! Never once mentioned that I had a drinking problem during marriage, it only became an issue during divorce! I guess he tried to “save me from myself” when he stole the two cases of more expensive wine that I was never allowed to drink.

            New Year, although he NEVER drank during our marriage (kind of hard to keep all the lies straight, you know, loose lips), have heard that he now is a drinker! I am working hard on becoming meh, but having a difficult time accepting his damage to my sons.

            This site has helped me tremendously, thank you all and a Happy Healthy New Year to all!

      • Getting married was the loneliest thing I’ve ever done.

        I also realised that I was drinking more than I’d like because I was stressed and very unhappy, especially when he’s unemployed by choice (none of his employers appreciated him enough) and I’m working extra hours to try to make ends meet – to find asshat takes it as an extra opportunity to go out to meet schmoopie and spend more money. I plan 2018 to be a ‘take care of me’ year

        • Loneliness here too. Ex was such an evil drunk that gradually people stopped wanting to be with us so he isolated us as we became social lepers. And like I said in my post further up I had never even thought that he wanted me drunk because he could control me that way. Gosh I’m a slow learner.

    • It wasn’t in front of him, thank God, but a month after I dumped Rhys was the first time I drank to the point of throwing up. They really do get in our heads.

    • Wow I struck a chord here bringing up alcohol. Thanks for responding everyone, it’s helpful to read others experiences, and to be understood. There’s nothing like the support of people who’ve been through it. People in my life care and support me, but no one really gets it like my fellow chumps. Love to you all and let’s make our 2018 a beautiful year

      • I don’t drink but you could replace that with over eating. Anything I am lonely or depression I reach for cookies. I am gained 15lbs since dd2 9 months ago. Need to find healthier coping mechanisms.

        • The new year is always a good time to start or get back to good habits! It sounds like you are aware of the stress triggers that lead to poor choices….that’s the first step!
          Cookies are my favorite go to comfort food too. I was told once to reach for good protein when I start to crave sweets. That advice has helped me!

    • A toast to the drinking thread. Oh, I’m not the only one that asks for us to stop drinking, and cheater brings home my favorite? I absolutely know that a glass or two of red takes the edge off. Turns the volume down on loneliness and grief. But I must, MUST do things for myself, and one of them is improving my productivity and my focus. Feeling like crap every morning does not serve.

      • Yup tired of the feeling like crap stuff. And I turned to the hard stuff not just wine. This year is THE year. No more hard stuff ever and I will wean off the wine every night. I will and I must. Stay mighty guys, 2018 is OUR YEAR!

      • The month between dday & when he picked up & left I would drink a Heinekin before he came home just to steel my nerves. Since I ended up a little tipsy drinking on an empty stomach I would have another one & then go to bed. I called it my “double Dutch dinner.”

        • I was actually sitting on my patio on a warm Thursday evening having my end of work week wind down, when he abruptly came home, packed a duffel bag and moved out! Yes, I guess that I subconsciously realized the underlying tension of awaiting his arrival. He left me post its that said “It’s about us”, “Let’s make this work”, “Maybe we can date” ???????

          One great thing is that I am now tension free as I walk through MY door after work. Yes, I got the house. I was much more lonely while married!

          • They seem to like that line. Completely unoriginal and meme solely to keep the BS firmly in place as plan B. I fell for that shit for a loooong time.

            Saw a friend recently who mentioned his wife is on her 3rd Rumspringa in 5 years of marriage. Although I suspect her ‘maybe we can date?’ Wasn’t regarding him, but OM.

  • In 2017, I learned that I am outgoing, likeable, adventurous, and can attract quality people into my life if I’m vigilant about boundaries.

    Sadly, I predict more DWI’s for cheater.

  • Here are mine:

    1. Look at actions, not words – thank you CL for this!

    2. His cheating was not my fault. I am enough.

    3. Predictions as to the cheater – meh.

    For me, I still have to work on myself. I want this coming year to be the year of really figuring out what I want. It’s hard to disinvest from a physically non-abusive, but otherwise emotionally gaslighting cheater. The “I am enough” part still needs work.

    I hope to have my divorce finalized this year. Cheater is dragging his foot but even that is meh.

    My son is away with the cheater for christmas and new year. I thought I would be devastated. I actually watched movies, did nothing and visited friends all this past week. Luxury!

    And…I am flying to NYC tonight from Canada to spend 3 days with my old friend who has confessed his romantic feelings. Bought my ticket yesterday night after our conversations turned quite serious. I have no idea what will come out of this relationship, if this 3-day trip will even turn into a relationship given our lives in different geographies, but I don’t care. I have no big expectations but just want to engage into meaningful conversations with a long term friend and maybe some more.

    Happy New Year, CL and CN! Not a day goes by without reading you, Tracy. You saved my sanity. Thank you from the bottom of my heart for all you do.

    And I hope, CN, this year will be better for all of us who are already here. And we’ll be able to reciprocate to new chumps and ease their pain.

    Happy New Year! To new beginnings cheater-free.

    • Just got back from NYC last night go see the Downton Abbey exhibit it is superb. Then go see the musical “COME FROM AWAY” it’s fantastic. Very upbeat and uplifting about this the Newfies took in 7,000.US passengers after 9/11. Well worth it. It’s not really sad but there was a tear or two. Happy New Year!

      • Lyndaloo, thanks for the recommendations. I know you were there with your daughters. Have been following your story from the first day you posted. You are one MIGHTY woman, you know, I admire you!

        I don’t think we would want to go out. All I want is a good wine, quality conversations, kindness and maybe some intimacy. He stocked up on wine:)

    • Longtimechump,

      Love your post! Hope you have a lovely time!

      ❤️❤️❤️❤️❤️

      PS—post Chump intimacy is amazing! I hadn’t even kissed another man in nearly 30 years when I kicked X to the curb after DDay and wreconciliation. I was nervous to even touch another man but when it happened it was glorious! No toxic trauma bonding/pick me dance porn moves needed. Just old fashioned appreciation for another and feeling appreciated and wanted by my partner. One of the seldom discussed joys of that “building a life.” 😻

      • Thank you, Motherchumper99! I am so looking forward to intimiacy and also so scared of it. And he told me a number of times he felt very shy. We had nothing other than good friendship for 15 years. And a shy man is good for a change after an entitled prick. You said it right, no more toxic bonding. Just plain and simple.

    • Your trip may turn out to be awesome and with your old friend.

      I had a similar situation to yours. 20+ yea down the toilet when ex wife cheated.

      I reconnected with my childhood gf in London, I’m in the US. We see each other once in a while here or there. Absolutely fantastic romantically!

      It’s amazing how much better a real honest relationship can be with someone on the same emotional level.

      Good luck!

      • Rick89, I actually saw this friend in NY last year in the aftermath of the false wreckonciliation and opened up with him. He knew my cheater (former colleagues). He did not have any negative comments towards the cheater but he really lifted my self esteem by pointing out to all I possessed. He made me feel I was enough. We kept chatting throughout this year, nothing romantic, and it just turned upside down last week. We both are looking forward to this and both are scared but it’s a good feeling.

        I am very happy for you and your gf from London. We never know what this will turn into but it just feels good and right. I feel grounded with this man while the cheater kept me in a constant anxiety and toxic bonding. Not my monkeys anymore. Happy New Year!

        • @Long Time Chump, Mother Chumper, Rick, and others who have romantically connected with friends,

          I am glad to hear that chumps can form happy, healthy bonds with old friends after living through toxic marriages and divorce from adulterers.

          I thought that I would experience the same as you did as my post-separation boyfriend (now ex-boyfriend) was my friend for 30 years and a chump. He seemed modest in spite of being smart, popular, and professionally very successful, We were a couple for 2.5 years, up until four months ago. By spackling, I convinced myself that he and I had a glorious relationship. I completely trusted him, thinking that even if he broke up with me, we would always be friends. He talked to me at least twice a day every day. We did a lot of activities together.We never argued. In hindsight, the lack of argument was NOT a good thing–it was a sign that he would rarely communicate his true feelings and thoughts to me, even if I gently asked him to do so. (I would deny to part of me that he would say unprompted things like, ‘I will never marry you,’ invalidate me (repeatedly tell me that I shouldn’t miss him while he was away for several days after I said, ‘I miss you,’ try to avoid having group photos taken with me, among many other very hurtful things throughout our intimate relationship. As he, like my adulterous, abusive ex-husband, kicked me to the curb for his work subordinate and now refuses to communicate with me, I feel tremendously burned, devastated, bitter, and lonely. I feel lonely as I lost my lover/best friend who I wanted to marry, another friend with whom I thought I had a strong bond in the last few months and several of my relatives (young and old) have died in the last two years or are near death from terminal illnesses.

          In my future, 2018 and forward, I hope to learn how to develop friendships. (As a divorced, fifty something mother of young children with a long record of staying in abusive relationships, I have given up hope of finding an enduring healthy, happy romantic relationship.) I hope to help others no matter how bad I feel. If all I feel I can muster due to my chronically depressed state is a smile at a stranger and a scratch on the back of the neck of an animal, then I plan to do it.

          I hope, in addition, to quit being a doormat, if for no other reason than to show my children how to honor oneself while honoring others.

          I also hope to noticeably move toward Meh regarding my ex-boyfriend, who I often wish would come back, even though he was Jekyll on the surface but Hyde underneath and I know that he won’t change into the thoroughly honest, morally brave man who would love and commit to me and I thought was my devoted partner and love of my life. Unfortunately, I do harbor some fantasies about him suffering (e.g., him dying from a brain tumor, like the one that destroyed his hearing in one ear several years ago), but I have not sought revenge and don’t plan to seek it. I think that life is unfair to many, including me in some ways, and accept that fact, as much as I dislike it. I wasn’t a perfect person or perfect partner to my boyfriend (I cried on his shoulder a lot as a result of concurrently occurring multiple physical, emotional, and legal traumas not caused by him) while I was his girlfriend, but I tried DARNED hard! Ideally, I will direct all the time and money I spent trying to make a mostly unappreciative partner happy and love me toward those who will benefit from and appreciate my time and money. At least that way, at the end of my life, I might not have succeeded (particularly in a conventional sense), but I will know that I consistently tried hard to be a good person.

          In the next few months, I will continue to let my mind wander to ‘crazy’ possibilities–moving to another part of the world, ideally east coast of the U.S. although I think that several forces (practical issues–like taking care of disabled parents and children on the west coast) might preclude me from doing so, joining an eighties tribute band, finishing my doctorate after having to abandon it a few years ago. I’m just so exhausted from ‘living with’ (merely robotically existing) major depression the last four months and dysthymia (mild depression) for most of my life that I can’t imagine getting up the gumption to do any of the things on my ‘bucket list.’ (I used to be an organized, intellectually curious person who did fairly daring, unusual things. Now I struggle to get out of bed every day.) After you feel as though you’ve lost everything you’ve every lived for, there’s only one way things can go, better, right?

          • RickStarWife, yes, things will go to the better now for you because you will direct them there. I know the devastation especially after trusting a 30-year friend and a chump himself. There is an expectation that they would understand the pain and not inflict it on us again.

            However, reading your posts recently, you keep mentioning that you wanted to stay friends with him. May I ask why? I understand he was your friend. But he is no longer. He did not treat you as a good friend would. He was not honest. What’s the point of staying friends other than hoping he woul be back with you? He is not an honest person.

            As for me, I am not even involved. I am just venturing to go spend a couple of days with another man who happens to be an old friend. After a 13 year marriage and an equally long affair, including Tinder and other little affairs. We were not very close and lived in different countries meeting here and there and chatting occasionally. I have no idea how he would be as a romantic partner. I am not even sure if we would want it after this trip.

            But I do appreciate your warning. We should not merely assume that these men/women are good simply because they were old friends and some were chumps as well. You mentioned some of the red flags and we do tend to spackle especially after learning to do it so well in our marriages.

            So maybe this year for you and me and many other chumps is to un-learn that habit, recognize the red flags and name them for what they are. The hard work is on ourselves. Hence, many here at CN warn against going into another relationship until we are firm with our boundaries and quit the spackle.

            Let’s work on it together, RockStarWife.

            (HUGS)

            • To un-learn the spackle habit is at the TOP of my list. Such truth and wisdom in your statements. Too often we give others (especially old friends and fellow chumps) the benefit of doubt that their intentions are good… Unfortunately I have mistakenly fallen in that trap a few times. I am learning

              After ending a long, abusive relationship, learning to love our selves and realize our self-worth again takes a long time. We truly have to mend and heal our wounds. I think, too, that we tend to move into new relationships before we are emotionally ready. The older we are, however, the more we feel that our time is limited or that without our youth we are not as attractive – also misconceptions. Those are remnants of our disordered exes’ shallowness and brainwashing dialogues – not what healthy normal people think.

              Rockstarwife and Longtimechump, your thoughtful comments touched me… You are such caring, generous souls. I hope you find peace and that good things come your way in the new year.

              • Over and Out,
                Thank you for eloquently presenting some profound points, and thank you for your kind words!

            • Long Time Chump,

              You bring up a good question, which I have asked myself a few times–Why would I want my dishonest ex-boyfriend to be my friend or even communicate with me at all? I think that I am STILL after many months struggling with shock and denial, as in ‘I can’t believe that he did this/he is this way? How can hundreds of friends and colleagues be wrong? Of course, they weren’t intimately involved with him as his other partners and I were. I need to trust MY gut, ‘trust that they (dishonest, cheating partners) suck,’ not trust the Court of Public Opinion!

          • RockStarWife,

            Thank you for being part of my healing journey. I always love your thoughtful posts and you are one of the first I remember from my early dark days in spring of 2015. You gave me strength and comfort when I most needed it.

            I’m so sorry your BF was another narc. Those types suck!!!!!!!

            Huge hugs💖💖💖💖💖

            • Mother Chumper,

              Thank you for the compliment. I am glad that I was able to help someone else as I often feel that people here on CL (and some other places) often help me.

              I am finally starting to realize that along with dating OVERT narcs (my now ex-husband and a few others!), I dated someone who had several traits of a COVERT narc (my latest ex-boyfriend)! I don’t just lecture on personality disorders, I date, marry, and breed with men who have them! If I could, I would make a movie on my life, not to become famous, but to warn others and to use the proceeds from the movie to support victims of the hostile, personality-disordered (those who have Antisocial, Narcissist, Borderline (acting out/hostile), Passive Aggressive) and just plain jerks!

          • Are you seeking medical help? Depression can be helped, as I’m sure you’ve heard, but sometimes it just takes someone making us get up and go to a doctor. Please consider it. You’ve got so much to be and do and to offer to the world.

            ((hugs from your friends here))

            • Soldiering On,

              Thanks for writing. I am assuming here that you are addressing me, RSW. I think that depression in some cases can be treated. I have tried many, many treatments to virtually no avail. I really hope that someday, a greater number of effective treatments will be available to people like me who do not seem to respond to treatment of virtually any type. I don’t want others to experience what I have–being imprisoned in one’s own mind or a haunted house, knowing that you were once very happy, but not feeling as though you can be happy, peaceful, or productive ever again.

              • After the Twat left and old school friend who I hadn’t seen for 36 years got in touch with me through Friends Reunited. He had upped sticks and took himself off to Bulgaria to live just on a whim. So he said Attie if you’ve nothing better to do why don’t you come out for a holiday. I took the precaution of getting a hotel room but we got along like you wouldn’t believe. I don’t think I have ever laughed so much (the hotel room didn’t get much use, if you get my drift). But I travelled around Bulgaria with him in his van for 2 weeks. We weren’t meant to be but it definitely was my Shirley Valentine moment. I am now seeing a Yorkshireman that I met in Peru 5 years ago. It suits me just fine that he lives in England and I live in France. We have the same attitude to life so we’ll see how that works out.

  • Since the thing with Rhys happened a while back, these are a bit more general.

    1) I resolve to better stand up for my own needs.
    2) I’ve learned that everyone has their limit.
    3) I only hope that no one falls for his charms anymore. I recently saw a picture of him and realized how very ordinary he is.

  • Boy I can’t to read everyones thoughts and comments to this post!

    My New Year’s Resolutions for unchumping myself? First starting by going NC with my cheater and divorcing him as soon as I can. I am also going to fix my picker so I don’t find myself with another cheater in the future. On to bigger and better things for 2018!

    The most important thing I learned about myself in 2017 is that I am worthy. I am finding myself every day and I realized that I don’t need to settle for a cheater to feel whole. I am whole all by myself. I am a smart, articulate, sexy, funny, compassionate woman that WILL get the happy ending I truly deserve.

    Predictions for the cheater? Well I think he will end up alone eventually. I don’t think he is truly happy with the OW and its going to kill him that he lost the best thing that ever happened to him (me) and I will have moved on and made a new life for myself.

    I think I can, I think I can, I think I can…

    Happy New Year!

  • 1. Rediscover who I was before cheater broke me down.

    I remember being so happy with my life and everything in it before I met him… fast forward to five years later and I was a complete mess, having just found out about his affair/drug abuse with a cocaine addict. Before I met him, I was so full of life and sass and confidence, and over the years his abuse really took a lot of that away. It happened really gradually, and I didn’t see it for what it was until the abuse escalated. After I found out about the cheating, it even turned physical. And I’ve never told anyone this, but around the same time (~April 2017), about a month after DDay, I found out I was pregnant. I found out in the emergency room, because I was having really intense pains/cramping. I found out when the doctor told me I was having a miscarriage.

    I was just 23, and it was the most horrible experience of my life… talk about compounding the feeling of loss. I was under so much stress and had barely eaten in weeks. I dropped 10 pounds in 10 days. I was so devastated because of what he did. I still wonder whether the physical/emotional stress he put me through is to blame for what I lost, and it’s the last thing keeping me from reaching meh. It still keeps me awake some nights. I try to look at it as a second chance, maybe to one day have a family with someone I love… but I can’t shake the feeling that he took something from me.

    They gave me some painkillers and told me to go home; that it would all be over by the next day. I went home and called cheater. He came home to give me “support.” I can pinpoint the moment I knew there was no hope for us. He sat next to the bed, but he wasn’t looking at me – he was looking at my desk, where my painkillers were. Then he asked if he could have one. At that moment, getting high was his first priority. I was with a monster.

    Fast forward 10 months… I still struggle with the aftermath of everything he’s done, but I’m doing a lot better, finishing another degree and planning the rest of my life. On the bright side, the whole experience has really made me a lot closer with my parents (and my friends), who were there to pick me back up when he put me down. I’m optimistic and am looking forward to a 2018 filled with even more of my old self and NO CONTACT 🙂

    2. That there’s no shame in walking away from a bad relationship. My parents were together for my entire life, through thick and thin. Giving up on my old shitty relationship didn’t seem like an option (before he cheated), but I’ve learned that you really have to pick and choose who deserves that kind of devotion. Life is short – I will never put up with disrespect again.

    3. Cheater will probably quit his new job, thus reverting back to his natural, unemployed state. How attractive.

    • Janet…yes, young and capable person has personality disordered enter life and nearly destroy them. My daughter moved in with her BFF to finish college. Friend drank and had random sex and self destructed while my D (who did party some) worked and finished school. BFF blamed, manipulated, harassed and incrementally destroyed daughter. She now questions herself and is a mess. It will take a while for her to detox off of such a horrible experience.

      Please remember the capable, contented person you were and know you can be before a monster made you question yourself. Get as far from him as possible and be you !!

    • Janet, I’m sorry to hear about your betrayal and loss. You sound like a smart capable women who got hood winked by a creep. You will survive this and go on yo have a joyful life because you walked away from a disastrous situation. I wish you every success and a very Happy 2018!

    • Janet,

      I’m so sorry for your loss. (big hug) I have had 3 miscarriages myself, and 2 of them were back-to-back losses in 2011. I remember after the 2011 losses, I was so depressed. I was homeschooling my children at the time and my STBX was in college, finishing his bachelor’s degree. The miscarriages happened in February and April; I normally had the “blahs” during the winter months, but that year, the feeling of sadness and no energy/motivation just stayed with me even when the weather warmed up. I didn’t know it at the time, but now I know STBX was having an affair while I was recovering from those miscarriages. All I knew was that I was hurting from losing 2 babies in a row and that my husband seemed disconnected and I didn’t know why.

      In December of the same year, I discovered messages between him and another woman. They were very sexual, but he claimed nothing physical had happened. I was still devastated and I decided to stop homeschooling and put my girls in our parish school after the Christmas. break. I remember thinking that I just did not care what happened to me anymore. And even though I knew it seemed crazy, I really wanted another baby; it seemed like getting pregnant was the only thing that would fill up the hole in my heart.

      I did get pregnant again–I gave birth 3 more times before I learned the extent of STBX’s infidelity and lies. Fortunately, by the time I knew “everything” (still not sure I know everything, but I know enough to know I’m done with the marriage), I had found Chump Lady and started to understand how disordered and toxic STBX really is. We’ve been separated for almost 2 months now and I have filed for divorce. I have a lot of support from family and friends, but I am really hurting.

      I could totally relate to what you said about losing yourself and being gradually broken down by abuse. My STBX’s abuse was mostly emotional, but it has been physical and sexual, too. I look at myself now and I think “What happened to me?”. I was talking to a childhood friend recently and she brought up how she had always loved my laugh; that it was contagious and she always loved to hear me laugh. And I could not remember the last time I had laughed like that.

      I’m trying to start a new life with my children. I will student teach this semester and graduate in May with my music education degree. But I am really missing the fairy tale I wanted with STBX. I know it wasn’t real with him, but I miss what he represented. I miss having a partner.

      • Chumped with Kids,
        I have experienced many of the things you have. My husband cheated on me shortly after I had my first miscarriage (from a pregnancy created by very expensive, painful high tech fertility treatment) and before I had any kids, which was especially hard for me as I thought that I might never have the kids I so wanted. My husband abused me in many ‘colorful’ bizarre ways. I mourn the loss of the intact family I envisioned and the fairy tale life I wanted with my now ex-boyfriend. (The ‘wonderful’ life I had with my now ex-boyfriend just seems like a sham since I discovered that he lied to me several times during our relationship. So even my life for the last few years seems like a ‘lie.’ I can’t even appreciate what seemed like a wonderful life, knowing that my boyfriend did not truly love me then–I was a disposable item to him.) I miss what I (and many others) thought my dishonest exes were. I miss having a partner, more specifically a good one, for a bunch of reasons! Unlike many respondents on CL, I do not feel strong and independent. You sound very strong and calm and collected. You’re doing really well!

    • I’m so sorry you were forced to endure that, Janet. (((Hugs)))

      I fully understand not telling people — and burying the pain. Given that you’ve hit a roadblock on that part of your experience, maybe consider talking to a therapist about it? I’ve had to do that with some of the circumstances from my relationship; some parts are just bone-marrow deep in the pain department and need an outside “assist.”

      You have an excellent head on your shoulders and amazing strength in your soul. May your forward momentum continue and blossom in 2018!!!

    • I set up a new email for sites like this one after splitting from N EX
      Findmywayback15 — because I knew I had lost myself and wanted to find me again
      It’s taken work but so glad I have come back to myself— new email?? Ivemissedme15

    • I had a miscarriage too many years ago. At the time it seemed devastating in spite of being in a relationship with someone who I think stilled cared back then. I was afraid I would never be able to have kids. I did talk about it, however, and discovered just how common it was. Suddenly half the women I knew had had miscarriages and then gone on to have healthy babies later. Sure enough I went on to have healthy babies later myself. You will too, and with any luck it will be with someone who values you for being the smart, capable and caring woman that you are. You are young and have so much more life to live. Your experience sucks all the way around, but you will overcome it and you will learn from it and it will all go into your bag of experience and wisdom. May 2018 bring good things your way.

    • Janet,

      You are amazingly strong!

      I got married during my second pregnancy (as far as I know), knowing that I would miscarry the baby. I decided to get married then, oddly, to help myself feel better! I was numb the whole day. I thought that the numbness was due to the physical and emotional effects of the high-tech fertility treatment induced pregnancy and impending miscarriage, but I think that part of me (intuition, reptilian brain, what have you) knew that I was making the biggest mistake of my life–marrying my future abuser.

      I wish you a much healthier, happier, improved life.

      • Rockstarwife – when I was seeing my ex I had the most bizarre shaking and trembling – we would laugh about it. Now I believe it was my body trying to tell me, warn me.

    • Janet- I, too, had a miscarriage two weeks ago. I , too, was afraid stress from my marital situation caused it.

      But I did a lot of research and talked to my doctor. I now realize it’s not my fault.

      I am not a doctor and even if I was I wouldn’t speculate about your miscarriage. Still, I pray you can come to a place where you know deep inside the miscarriage is not your fault.

      And I pray that I’ll stay in that place.

      ((((Janet)))) (parentheses hugs for you if you want them)

  • 1. My efforts to unchump myself….this is a big project as it was so many years in the making…

    My disordered, selfish parents wanted the most brag for the least buck back in 1982 and told me to go to a Military Academy for college. I didn’t have the math aptitude and wanted to be a nurse. Dad was disgusted. He had zero interest in helping me with my education. They threatened to cut me off regularly and I wanted to be financially independent ASAP so I went to a Hospital nursing program, graduated and have had a meaningful career.

    I married nowdeadcheaterpants who gave lip service to me returning to school but his hostility and endless blame made pushing yet-another-boulder uphill impossible and I didn’t even try.

    I completed 8 classes for my Bachelors in Nursing in 2017 and assuming I can complete the 7 I have planned, I will graduate mid Dec 2018. New husband has paid all my tuition and I was published in respected professional journals this year.

    If all goes well, a week after graduation, we will sail the Mediterranean Sea with our daughters and spend Christmas in Marseilles.

    • Thanks you guys…I am one of the unfortunate souls here who look back and realize that we were groomed to be a chump from the cradle. My parents acceptance of me was SO conditional and fragile…I knew the list of things that would get me thrown out and disowned was very long.

      I had done well in HS (except for a C in Algebra, I really struggled) and was committed to working hard in school/college, but my parents were SO desperate to find a reason to not pay (even though the social norm where we lived was to assist kids in college) that they started grasping at any straw. Before I took my first class, I watched my mom talk to her friend on the phone…she was literally flailing about in desperation “when she gets Cs, were CUTTING HER OFF!!!” mind you I graduated from HS 2 months after turning 17, so I was really young and had nothing and no-one.

      Mom later drank herself into dementia and has a long list of virtues she now dreams that she had. She recently told my newH that they spent “the entire decade of their 50s” paying tuition. I sat there quietly (with my husband thinking “uh oh, she is doing the math”) and said “Mom, I graduated from Nursing School when you were 43…you paid no tuition in your 50s”. That was the same day she waxed poetic that her first husband died. “He didn’t die, mom, he is sitting next to you, my first husband died”.

      For the love of God.

      • Interesting point though…I work in pediatric end-of-life and at a conference, we were put into small groups to explain to each other why we chose this work. I said it was an action of defiance to prove to my parents that I was an extremely capable person. The person next to me looked shocked and said “me too, I was being defiant”… you need some real inner bad-ass to do this work and we channelled out abuse into productivity…spinning straw into gold.

    • Good for you, unicorn. I hope you achieve everything your great loving heart desires.

      I totally get gaining something in life in spite of flaming narc parents. You GO Girl!

  • 1) Hopefully finalizing this 3 year long divorce… everyone can dream!

    2) The most important thing I’ve learned about myself… I’m easily fooled by sparkles.

    3) Predictions for the cheater… he’ll continue to drag out our divorce, keeping control of marital money and spending every penny we’ve saved over the 18 years, while he continues to live lavishly and I rack up credit card debt to pay for the needs of our kid. He’ll post his “father of the year” pictures all over Facebook and have everyone convinced he’s a wonderful dad, while he uses his parenting time to stay at smoopsies. So pretty much I predict everything to stay the same! Oh, except for I have to sell the marital home while he stays In His brand new house he bought cash with our stock investments.

    • That new house is half yours. Get your lawyer to have the court address finances right away, including money needed for necessities (not luxuries). This is dissipation which Narcs excel at. X Fucktard whittled away all our community assets during our two year divorce yet now has two new homes plus who knows what else, he too walked out on supporting our kids.

      • I think I need a new lawyer. In the (almost) 3 years this has been dragging on, I’ve asked her 4 diffent Times to file for temporary support, and I have yet to see any progress toward that. Everything I’ve read says getting a new lawyer means you start over. I can’t do this for another 3 years, but I’m not sure she is doing the best job for me. This whole thing just sucks!

        • It’s not just him dragging it on, it’s also your lawyer, because she’s wracking up hours which come out of your pocketbook…. joint accts and finances should have been earmarked/put under lock and key/monitored a long time ago. Seriously, get a new lawyer asap.
          You shouldn’t be asking 4x for her to do something, it should already have been on HER gameplan right off the bat, done and settled already. She’s milking you blind.
          Consider this: she was the practice run of how not to do things.

          • Got-a-brain,
            Your story sounds a lot like mine. In my three year divorce saga, I had four (4) legal teams (total of seven (7) lawyers). My last legal team was by far the best for me. If you give your legal team (attorney) multiple chances and aren’t feeling happy with the outcome, it’s probably time to change.

        • Definitely interview another lawyer. Three years and no temporary support hearing is ridiculous. Even in our State’s busy court system, I got a hearing within 6 months. I agreed to waive support from owed from January to August 2017 in exchange for a higher monthly payment going forward. Saved him $27,000.00 but in good Narc fashion he was royally angry and wouldn’t even stand for the magistrate when he was being asked if he understood the agreement.

          A good lawyer should be able to get you the back support to which you are entitled. Shop around and interview another lawyer or two if you can. A few hundred dollars would be worth it unless there is some reason that doesn’t come through in your posts with why he would be obligated to pay in the very least temporary child support.

          • The only thing I think could be relevant that was omitted is he’s been ordered to pay the mortgage. I have no idea how the law works, but I’m thinking if she seeks support he wouldn’t be obligated to pay it anymore???? I’ve asked specifically “why” she hasn’t filed, and I’ve never gotten an answer – mainly just a change of subject, unless I’m not understanding it correctly. Her response was she wants to push for a final status hearing – which can’t happen because he’s been compelled to file 5 years of back taxes (which he hasn’t done) and those are needed for a final status hearing. So even if that is her goal, it can’t happen without all the required financial information (or so that is my understanding), which will require more continuances. Pretty much the same reason this has dragged on for 3 years.

            • I think it would be worth your while to talk to another lawyer. Maybe someone else could at least explain it to you better.

              My temporary agreement gives me a monthly lump sum plus it holds him responsible for medical and homeowners insurance, taxes etc. we could have written negotiated anything into it and then a judge signs off.

              As far as taxes, I get why you need them to show his income. If you filed jointly, you should be able to request copies from the IRS. If he has been compelled by the courts and not responded, I would think your attorney could file a contempt motion.

              Good luck! #lessonsnooneshouldhavet0learn.

  • 1)..keep boundries with people that mistake my kindness for weakness.
    2) remember the douche is not my friend. Sociopaths don’t have friends, only victims.
    3) keep on keeping on…
    4) continue to be the sane parent…my actions today will shape the young men I send out into the world.
    5) remember everyday that I am a true badass…i survived
    6) just because I don’t see karma, doesnt mean it isn’t happening ..lol

  • Hmm, I am more than ready to say goodbye to a craptacular 2017!

    Unchumping myself…

    1. Finishing my divorce BEFORE the court date. He and his aggressive lawyer treating me like shit will not break me. Their tactics won’t exhaust me because I am smarter and mightier than they can even imagine.

    2. Growing into my role and kicking butt at my new job. I am surrounded by an Executive Board of powerful women and I will learn and grow from being in their orbit.

    3. TRAVEL – I will start to do the travel that I have always wanted to do. Next month I am going to London! Can’t wait (a little work, a little play)

    4. Working on me. Knowing I am good enough, smart enough, pretty enough – all the enoughs. I am. I know it. Dr Turd lost out on the greatest and best person in his life.

    What do I think for Dr Turd, Shitbag Extraordinaire? If his Sparkletits Howorker isn’t already pregnant, she will be. He doesn’t like to use protection. He will be saddled with her existing kid, their kid and paying alimony to me. His whining about working for the “rest of his life” will come true. I hope his card house falls down around them. I any event, I won’t care because I’m working towards my Tuesday.

    Overall, I hope to reign this year. It will still be a roller coaster, but I have started leveling off because of CN.

    FFF

    • Fox,
      I love what you said about learning and growing from being in the orbit of powerful people! I hope that, I, too, can grow in my role in my new industry (nonprofit that helps homeless) and become a significant positive force in the universe in that role and non-work related roles.

    • Bravo FFF! I’m going to try and model your strength with my STBX and his witch of a lawyer. I read a report in the newspaper of the attorney actually kicking someone in the groin in a dispute.
      Here’s to a new year and fresh start without cheaters and howorkers!

  • I can’t wait fir 2017 to end. It has been one hellish year. But on the bright, I have a lovely new home, leaving closer to my sister,
    put up a new garage, did some impressive landscaping, joined a knitting group, joined the Y Aqua fit and yoga program. Had many lunch dates with friends, two visits with my daughter from the UK. Hosted a couple of afternoon parties. Lawyer end up and got a fair settlement now just biding time to divorce in April! So in spite of, the slap in the face, from Doughboy after 39 years of marriage, I think I accomplished quite a bit.

    2018 is going to be a year of joy for me. I’m letting go of all the crap that this betrayal conjured up and I’m going to have fun trying new things. Loving my kids and grandkids and just generally being grateful for the fellowship I have found on this site and my new life.

    When I was in NY we were going out for dinner to a lovely restaurant with my kids and I was a little sad being Christmad and all, then my 20 year old grandson wispered to me, ‘you look beautiful Nan” now I don’t have to tell you my heart was just singing after that ! How lucky am I! Happy New Years Fellow Chumps !

  • I need to start making some actual choices about my life. I have ideas, dreams and wishes, but no solid choices. I’m tired of not having solid ground yet.

    I need to start embracing ME and stop feeling like I am lacking because I don’t have someone in my life. I keep falling for the same sparkly shit! Mumble a few of my favorite words (can be as simple as “hello”!), and I’m drawn right in…my picker sucks big time!!

    This year can’t end quick enough.

    As for Cheater McPornypants? I don’t care. I hope he drops dead ’cause I have a great life insurance policy on him!

    • Hear hear for the insurance policy ( although it only covers a portion of what he stole during wreckoncilation).

    • Pennydreadful,
      Love your moniker. I think that you WILL solidify (clarify) your dreams.

      When my last attorney told me ‘God forbid he (my then-STBX, abusive adulterer extraordinaire) dies,’ I thought, he’s worth much more to me dead than alive, partly because the pay off from his life insurance policy is greater than what I will get in support for our kids and me and partly because my ex-husband has harassed me for approximately 15 years and will likely never change. Although I occasionally wish that he were dead so that he wouldn’t harass me and would stop scaring off all my (few) romantic prospects (an odd thing to say considering that he cheated on me for years, filed for divorce, and is with his umpteenth partner since he left a few years ago), I am approaching Meh, though, in terms of my husband. I try to ignore the fact that he still breathes somewhere on this planet. Not nearly as close to Meh regarding my ex-boyfriend, though, as he was a mix of Jekyll and Hyde and I miss Jekyll!

  • Been thinking about this a lot the last couple of days.

    Yesterday, I actually ended a toxic relationship that I had gotten into during the shitstorm of my divorce last year. We got involved before I found CN and before I’d started counseling (my counselor advised against dating for at least a year, but I didn’t listen). I thought I wanted a casual no strings companionship. I just didn’t want to be lonely. Yes, I was going to try something new for me & just be in it for the sex. Oh, who in the hell was I kidding?? During the course of the “relationship” I ended up with feelings, he didn’t. Over the course of the year, he’d ghosted me 3 times, only to come back & toss me breadcrumbs & I gobbled them up. The last time he ghosted me was the end of October. Since then he texted me 4 different times for random reasons, the last one wishing me a Merry Christmas. This text prompted me to play a little texting game, knowing how he’d respond, and he didn’t disappoint. Long story short, I ended it calling him chicken shit for being a ghost & then randomly testing me out of the blue (ya, know keeping me on the hook as an option) and to lose my number and never contact me again. Then I blocked him on everything. I felt liberated, yet very sad.

    I share all of this because for the first time in 21 years, I am actually alone. During the ghosting periods this year, I did go on dates just for something to do. There was no spark, no chemistry nothing on my part with any of them. I think maybe I’m just not ready to date. Maybe if I’d listened to my counselor a year ago I would be a year progressed and not be feeling like I am back at square one.

    So, for 2018 I am going to focus on me. I have always put everyone else’s needs & wants ahead of my own. And for my children, that will continue to a point. My son is 20 & lives on his own & can take care of himself, but if he needs me, I’ll be there. My daughter is 17, lives with me, and we take care of each other. But, this is the year that I put brandib first. I am not going to focus on the loneliness of not having a man in my life. I am also going to put a stop to comparing my life to that of my XH. I’m bitter because of all of the shit he did & he’s walked away, living with embezzling skank, seemingly happy to have imploded the lives of the family he had for 20 years. He’s now trying to help her get custody of her daughter back, so they can be one big happy family. I hate it that he’s happy and that I’m not & he’s the main reason that I’m not. I am focusing on letting that shit go. I want to focus on getting to MEH.

    Here’s to new beginnings in 2018.

    • A great book my daughters have pointed me to is “Mr. Unavailable and the Fallback Girl” by Natalie Lue.

      It describes so many of the cheater-narc behaviors of love bombing/sparkles and future-faking, followed by the subsequent ghosting, and finally the inevitable hoovering. Good for you that you broke the pattern! The book will totally confirm your feelings about his behaviors are valid, it is good fix-your-picker stuff.

      • Thank you so much for the book recommendation. I will check into it. I really do need to fix my picker.

        One of the last things my XH told me before we divorced was that all men were alike. They lie & cheat & I needed to lower my standards & accept it. For some reason this keeps resonating in my head. I don’t want to believe this. I do think there are good men out there. I know he was messing with my head and I should just ignore it, but still it’s running through my mind.

        • I am taking a break from dating at present, finding that many men *on the dating site* were alike. Funny, huh? I still have hope that I will find someone of quality and character, but it won’t be there.

          But even if it’s true, that *all men* are alike and that *all men* lie and cheat (which I don’t believe at all), nothing says we have to accept it. It is better to be alone than abused.

          I like to think in the #metoo era (and the growing CN army) that we are starting to hold people accountable for their actions. Raising kids with healthy boundaries. It will be a long time coming, but maybe the next generations will be healthier for it.

          • In light of this last “relationship” I was in, I am taking a break from dating, too. I haven’t been on any dating sites & I do not want to even go there.

            I will accept being alone for the rest of my life (I’m 46 & I still think of myself as fairly young) if it means avoiding the abuse.

            I certainly hope you’re right about future generations.

            • Brandib,
              My recent life course sounds VERY similar to yours. I entered what I thought would be the RELATIONSHIP of my life nearly three years ago, just five months after my husband left as I did not want my friend of many decades ‘get away.’ I didn’t want Mr. Good Guy to be the one who got away. As it turns out Mr. Good Guy was Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde and threw me over for his work subordinate a few months ago. (Your mileage in Internet dating may vary–I have some friends who met their wonderful spouses through on-line dating.) I’ve tried internet dating with really awful results. Thus, I am going to fight my nature to bond (with a potential romantic partner) because I have been literally and figuratively too beaten up to enjoy dating. Also, although my latest ex-boyfriend seems to be living it up with my replacement 24/7 (they work together, making tons of money, doing impressive things, as they love their work and are childfree), I can’t imagine having sex with, kissing, or even holding hands with another guy as I would feel as though I was cheating on my ex-boyfriend, even though he mistreated me during our intimate relationship and kicked me to the curb multiple times to openly pursue other women! I have an over-inflated sense of loyalty (co-dependency?)

              • “over-inflated sense of loyalty”…this! Even through the ghosting periods I went through with ex-boyfriend, when I would try to date, I felt like I was cheating on him. How effed up is that?? The thing is, where I work, I have tons of men coming through my office on a daily basis. This place is more of a “meat market” than any bar. When word got around that I was getting divorced, ex-bf went in for the kill. I think he saw me as a vulnerable, low self-esteem, lonely, nice looking woman whom he could use for sex. He was a predator & I was his prey. I think he was just a lesson to be learned. But, I got involved with him before CN & I didn’t have the tools from here to know that I was entering dangerous territory & was probably going to get burned. Red flags I see see from the outside looking in, all of CN would have been screaming, “brandib, RUN!”

                I really don’t think all men are the same. I look at my best friend & she has been married to a wonderful, faithful man for 20+ years & they are extremely happy. Good men are out there (& good women too, guys). One thing I did rediscover from this past year’s experiences is that I’m not a casual sex type person. When I decide to start dating, it’s going to be with a purpose of finding a committed partner. Plain & simple.

    • Brandib,

      2014 was DD#1, 2015 DD#2 and final DD. I was married for 28 years until the divorce finalized in 2016. I Found Chump Lady a few months after DD #2 and she saved me untold future heartache, horrible mistakes and at the same time provided much needed comic relief. I am so close to Tuesday I can taste it, but I absolutely refuse to say I’m there until I know that I won’t care if Fucktard’s a success or failure, dead or alive (For the record I still prefer a dead failure).

      Go back through CL archives. There is so much wisdom from Chump Lady and all the wonderful people on this site. Focus on yourself, check out groups such as MeetUps (Google this for your area), but please don’t date until you get your mind straight and can make good choices for you.

      I feel that this is my “Yes Virginia, There is a Santa Claus” moments, so, Yes Brandib, there are good men in the world. I have to believe this and know it to be true because if they were all the same then women would be too. That would make me the same as the the woman my ex-husband had an affair with, and I’m so much better than her. I have morals, ethics, care about my neighbors and community, give to charities, take in strays, and mostly do unto others (again with me preferring him a failure and dead or even seriously maimed thing). Give them a chance, just not right now.

      May all Chumps have an amazing 2018.

      • Thank you for your words of wisdom. I’m usually stronger than this, but all of this is a couple of days old & still fresh. I like your name for your XH…I call my XH “Fuckatrd” too 🙂

        Happy 2018 to you!

  • 1. New Year’s Resolution for unchumping myself: Maintain No Contact

    2. Most important thing I learned about myself in 2017: I can see who the disordered are. I see who is manipulative. I identify their tactics. (Not just James Bond. Jesus-Cheaters. Righteous people. You know: the holy ones. Saints.)

    3. Most fanciful predictions for cheater in the next year: Who?

  • Like many of you, 2018 cannot come soon enough, though I am enjoying the end of the year in New Orleans with my kids.

    1. 2018: Time to get rid of my depression (non clinical, but clearly I had issues this year. I gained almost 20 pounds (on top of the divorce diet weight which I had regained the previous 2 years). Partially it’s because I can no longer do my favorite exercise activity, and partially because I am exhausted with all the kid issues and stresses… but time to get serious. No more excuses!

    I just found a new therapist, and I am taking a paid leave from work for a couple of months– goal is to finally get daughter on a good path, and for me to spend some time on ME. Plan to walk 20k-30k steps per day! Any virtual walking buddies out there want to keep me honest?
    I have been seeing a really nice guy off and on– time to maybe take it up a notch, and focus on fun for me.

    2. I am not Superwoman, or Wonder Woman…. I need to tell others I need help, and I need to take time for myself and learn to NOT STRESS. I get anxious about doing everything. My personality is that I cannot stand to be late (not good when you are the sole driver for two teenagers….). Time to settle down and get back in touch with me, and all my friends out there.

    3. Cheater will continue to be stressed over money. I know it means I am probably not at meh, but I felt grim satisfaction when I got ex’s plaintive email about money when I contacted him to ask for the payment which is 8 weeks late (not child support, he does cover that). Better new life and all that… ha!

    • If you have a fitbit, I would love to be virtual walking buddies. or just report out here.

      My 2017 was not bad, It was my 2nd year and I am pretty MEH about EX but angry and stress with the financial stress of two sons in college for the last 2 years and 0 help. But it also means he is not in my sons lives messing with their heads. Really a win, something I need to remind myself of once in a while.

      I had a numb year 2017. After two cancer surgeries (2016), I just never perked back up. I put on weight so now I am at highest point ever, and I do not feel good at this weight physically. The hormones are a mess… LOL I think I have also had some depression that I had trouble pushing past.

      So for 2018 …

      Make it more about me and finding some fun in my life. with exercise and travel. I have decided that I do not need a travel companion I am going on a few weekend end trips alone and work my way up to bigger ones.

      I am not ready to date, and I am going to let that be alright. I get a lot of well wishers pushing me to get out there, but I am happy right now with me. Why make myself miserable for others expectations.

      Learn not to let my self stay in dead in job out of misplaced loyalty. It is still my life and I have to be happy at the one place I spend most of my time. I was just so grateful to find a good one after being a stay at home mom for 20 years that I did not consider how lonely it would be.

      Learn to live a bit more from my heart and not so much in the mind. I have always been so logical and practical. Time to be silly and just in life for the fun.

      As for EX. My prediction is that he will marry his new (not OW) woman and take great financial care of her and her two kids. He makes great money at a shiny new job so he will be financially stable and travel often.

      His life will be shiny and new. I know he will slowly become unhappy but I do not think he will be self destructive. He will not miss me, he was unhappy with me (as he is with everyone) but that will be his cross to bear not mine. Once when talking to his EX-wife she said the greatest relief is not have to work so hard to make him happy, she was right it was a huge burden lifted off mine and the kids shoulders. Of course she also had a 10 year off and on affair with him while we were married. I learned this during the conversation I had with her while divorcing EX. I was shocked but found she was just one of at least 3. Better out of that mess.

      Happy New Year CN. May 2018 be filled with blessings!

      • Add me to the FitBit group! I want more friends on Fitbit dot com as I need the motivation and encouragement.

        @zyx321, tell your teenagers to walk, bike or take the bus. Mine has a bus pass and he actually likes the independence it gives him. I do make him check in with his cell phone so I know he’s safe.

        @zyx321 and TheBestMe, both of your posts point to the fact that cheaters are *never* happy. It’s almost as if they are the Goldilocks of the adult world: it’s too big, too small, too hot, too cold ——– and even “just right” is right enough or for very long.

        • Hi guys!
          In the New Year I will start a FitBit forum heading.
          Yes, my ex was never happy– claimed it was because he did what OTHERS expected him to do/be (me, my family, his family). Ummm, no. He picked the grad school topic, and post grad job.
          Kids and bus: daughter takes the bus 15 miles to her school. Son is out of district (we live 8 miles from the school) so no bus for him, though he does carpool occasionally with another family. It is more all the appts. But I do hope to get it more under control this year (appts the same week, etc).

          • I’m with the Fitbit too though I struggle to do 10,000 steps a day let alone 30,000. I backed off towards the end of the year (don’t you always) because got lazy but previous to that it was getting easier. And yeah I put on a shedload of weight (thank you menopause) but really would like to get it off in 2018. And to the lady who wanted to travel, you might want to check out solos groups. I’m British so fly out through the UK. I live in France and could easily go with French groups but when you travel with your own compatriots you all laugh at the same stupid jokes. They’re not dating groups by any show although I guess some people do hook up. I’ve done 8 trips so far (I think) and off to Costa Rica in February. So if you don’t like travelling alone (I don’t and in any case I wanted to feel safe) check out groups like this. (My absolute favourite travelling companion was an 85 year old Englishman with a fabulous sense of humour).

  • 1. What are your New Year’s resolutions for unchumping yourself?

    Continue to set goals and journal. I’ve gotten off track trying to survive during the holidays.

    2. What was the most important thing you learned about yourself in 2017?

    That I get what I think I deserve and to trust that they suck

    3. He is now engaged (less than five months since I kicked him out) he will get married and slowly let his mask slip to wife #3 while his disordered family supports his behavior. Step Son #3 will move back with his mom, step sons #1&2 don’t speak to him. He will continue to not pay his bills and maybe get a DWI.

  • Hmmm, New Year’s resolutions? Mine are more about myself this year. Making small changes to improve my life:

    * going to bed earlier and actually going straight asleep as opposed to scrolling through my phone for hours! (I am not getting quality sleep because I’m an idiot that plays with her phone instead!)

    * less swearing, or none at all (I’ve become too lax with naughty words, and it’s becoming a bad habit)

    * cutting down sugar intake (I have tried before, but I always get headaches. I must be a sugar junkie!)

    * becoming a more organised person (I am such a scatterbrain. And I need to NOT be, as I’m starting a new job that requires me to get my sh*t together and stay ahead of the game!)

  • 1). Reaching Meh
    2) That I am stronger than I had ever realised
    3) That his turning-40-induced crisis that brought him to boinking a granny old enough to be his mommy will have him perusing through the local senior centres, looking for new partners (an apparent personal preference that my coworkers and I have decided to name GILFs – Grannies Idiot Loves to F*ck)
    Yay for 2017 to be over!

  • Ok, I’ll play!

    1. I’m going to keep working on minimal contact as we share custody. Been doing a good job the last 2 months – I’m on a roll!

    2. I learned that I can do a whole lot of household maintenance that I always let XH take care of – thank you YouTube! And that I have many more friends who love and support me than I ever realized. And that maybe in 2018, I might be ready to venture back into dating. Here’s hoping!

    3. Cheater predictions? Eh, I’m sick of his drama. Custody battle over the surprise baby with now-ex-mistress, new girlfriend with even more kids…whatever. As long as the support payments are on time, he can wallow in the shitty life he created for himself. The karma bus hit him, then backed over him to finish the job! He’ll be working until he’s 70 to pay child support for the next 18 years, instead of retiring at 55 like he always wanted. I get to gain a life that is made up of 100% my own choices. I win!

    May 2018 be a year of opportunities, growth (personal growth, not girth – lol CL!) and abundance for CN!

  • Contrary to many here, I am not so anxious to put 2017 behind me. I did feel that way in 2016, 6months post dday. 2017, however has been a year of finding my voice and even though I have a long way to go, I am making progress albeit somewhat slow.

    This morning I decided to stop at Starbucks with my 15 and 13 year old after a day trip we are taking with another family got delayed. We all got holiday drinks and as we were driving away, my thoughts (unfortunately) went to fuckwit and how when we were traveling, he would stop at Starbucks and maybe ask me if I wanted something but never ask the kids. My spackling: he is driving, he earns the money, we shouldn’t spoil the kids…. If I did get something, it would be a small coffee, never a holiday drink. So today as I splurge, I remember how when we travelled, my dad would always take us to McDonalds or Dairy Queen or some such place and he would let us order whatever our hearts desired. It was a special treat and all part of the fun and a good memory. So I am trying to reclaim that part of me for my kids.

    I hope to continue to find my old self and build a new self in the process. I want to create healthy boundaries and teach my kids to do the same. I feel bad that at 50 plus years I am trying to learn something so basic but life is a process.

    People have told me I am strong and handling this well and I hope that in 2018, I will learn to accept compliments graciously and stop belittling myself and just thinking I am fooling them.

    I am thankful that chump nation is here to help me through it all.

    As for my wishes for fuckwit, I want him to stop taking up space in my Brain!

    2017- I have learned fuckwit and his disordered parents will never be “happy”. I, on the other hand, have found “joy”, and it is so much better.

    Here is to a joyful 2018!

    • Feelingit,
      Your post is so positive, filled wth hope, and most important, filled with love for your five precious Children, and now, for yourself- finally, it is time , enough is enough!🙏
      You grow stronger every day.
      You deserve all positive happenings in life dear Feelingit.
      I have said it before and will say it again, the TRUTH will prevail as you go through your divorce proceedings in the Spring of 2018.
      You and your good, kind heart will be victorious.
      As for the cheater and not a drink for the kids, well he can sip on his extra large Starbucks all by himself. His sad sad loss. He threw so much away!

      I hope to be sleeping as the clock strikes midnight and when I awaken to 2018 I hope for happiness to gradually work its way into the lives of my daughters and their families. It has been a very sad, difficult year.
      Every day as I read the posts I can’t help but notice that all Chumps put their Children first, always first is their devotion to making life as good as possible for their precious off spring.
      Cheaters, not so much!

      Happy New Year Dear CL!
      Happy New Year Dear Chumps of CN

      Xxxxxxxx
      Peacekeeper

      • Love to read your posts as usual peacekeeper.

        I was thinking today as we were driving on our fun trip( that fuckwit would have hated,) I am an optimistic person but Fuckwit tried to take that out of me for nearly 30 years and so it was dull but it is coming out again little by little. He once told me (a very long time ago) that he was attracted to me on our first date because when I came down to the lobby of my dorm to meet him, I was wearing a bright red coat and had a big smile on my face. In other words, I was vibrant. He was the one who I now realize was always saying “it will be better when…” and blaming me for everything wrong. He complained and cut down everyone. No more, as my daughter always says, “I am going to live like my blood type- b positive.”

        So thank you for saying my posts are optimistic. I will graciously accept your compliment.

        I think you are a very positive person and I will strive to do what you do.. I hope that 2018 will be better for you and your daughters and your grandchildren. They are all so lucky to have you. Your cheater is more that lucky but I am sure he doesn’t get it.

        Happy New Year to you!

        XXXX

    • I love everything about your post — especially about creating special memories with your children. You will never regret it.

  • Going to fill in mine first and then go back and read the others.

    1. What are your New Year’s resolutions for unchumping yourself?
    – Finish the disentangling from Mme YogaPants and get to meh. I’m sooo close. The last bit is the divorce which she was supposed to have completed more than a week ago. Email to lawyer saying “wuzzup” sent this morning. It “will” happen even if I have to do it myself.

    2. What was the most important thing you learned about yourself in 2017?
    – That I’m going to be OK. Even if I stay alone. I don’t “need” anyone in my life so a new partner will need to be special.

    And, if you’re not feeling entirely meh yet…

    3. What are your (fanciful) predictions for your cheater in the new year?
    – I hope that Mme and her guy get married and try for their happily ever after. I hope that her kids attend the wedding and stand around awkwardly knowing how this all came about (they do). Not sure about his kids.

    Then they need to deal with the reality of who they are. Maybe it will work perfectly fine for them. I was prepared to accept Mme for the rest of our lives even knowing her shortcomings. The bar for them though is set so very much higher.

    She would be stepping into the shoes of his dead wife. A mother, grandmother, a person who he would have trusted. Perhaps even one who hit all the marks of WIFE. I do my own ironing and always have, she was pretty poor at washing, f*cking was a chore for her and there was a definite lack of etc. I used to jokingly refer to her to myself as Mrs Minimum Payment.

    He will always be measured against me. I don’t know the man but I do know that by all accounts that I was a pretty darned good husband and father.

    • Bow tie, you sound like you have your act together! Good on you. I really don’t see myself with anyone else either! It’s just too much work at my age and I’m really pretty content on my own with my cute house, good friends, family and my faithful cats! LOL There is a life out there that I really wasn’t participating in, as I was too busy tending to Doughboy and his never ending needs! So now it’s my time to spend as I wish and it’s darned nice!
      As for Doughboy and Dumbell they both got what they deserve, a cheater. Best wishes for a joyful happy 2018!

  • 1. I’ve come to the realization that nothing will ever change no matter how hard I try. Some people are born to be abused, used and are throw-away people; Gods plan for my life. I’ve been trying my entire life to be a good person and do the right thing. Not perfect, but trying with the same results. I’m no longer playing the game of my life. It’s freeing saying, “I’m not doing this anymore.”

    2. I’m smart and can do well academically if I put in the time and effort.

    3. Ex-patho liar, serial cheater, serial adulterer/narcopath will live happily ever after. Nothing will ever touch him. He has and will get away with 100% of everything he did to me and all he has to say in the end is, “I’m sorry, Jesus”, and will even go to heaven! What a deal that is! My pastor said even Jeffrey Dahmer will be in heaven if he said he was sorry, so for sure my abuser will be there too. If Jeffrey and Cheater are in heaven, I don’t want to be there. Sounds more like hell to me

    • Your Pastor seems misinformed. Saying “Sorry,” is not a get in to heaven free card. There has to be actual true, deep, remorse and the real intent to stop committing whatever sins you are indeed sorry for, in order to be forgiven. There may be the possibility of forgiveness for all, but that is not the same thing as actual forgiveness of all. Many people continue to choose evil. If your ex is one of them he will spend his eternity clinging to one of Satan’s hemorrhoids trying desperately not to fall into a lake of fire, but close enough to have his pubic hair catch ablaze. People always want to remember the God of mercy, they seem to forget he is also a God of justice. I count on evil to continue to be evil and not actually be remorseful, therefore I’m pretty sure they are not bound for heaven. Maybe I’m not either, but it gives me some satisfaction to realize they may not actually suffer at all in this life (some narcs really don’t; they get away 100%), but they will in the next.

      And yes, it may even be true that you and I and many chumps will suffer here. But we can choose good anyway.

      • Jojobee you nailed it. I loved the bit about “Satan’s hemorrhoids trying desperately not to fall into a lake of fire, but close enough to have his pubic hair catch ablaze.” I have got to be careful reading this site at lunch and trying to eat.

        Thanks for this.

    • First, change your name from Garbage. You are not Garbage….you are Mighty, so start thinking of yourself that way. And things Can and Will Change the minute YOU CHANGE! You were not put on this earth to be abused.

      Get yourself a damned good therapist, because you are suffering some monster depression. This is your life and you can change it and find a measure of joy. But, it will take some serious work on your part to change your mindset. I get it, really I do. I was on your shoes not too very long ago thinking that this was what I deserved from life, but it’s not the case. We deserve, you deserve so much more.

      As for fuckwit and Jeffrey Dahomer, no chance would the God I believe in allow them into His Kingdom without true remorse and restitution to those they’ve harmed. Since we know that they are incapable of true feeling, empathy or remorse, I think Heaven is safe for you.

      ((((Hugs to you)))) please keep posting here so we can see your progress towards that better life you so richly deserve!

    • I’m so familiar with the self-bashing and the “giving up on the world” mindset … it’s such an awful feeling being stuck in that. In order to beat it — to find some solid ground with which to move forward, I have done a number of things to work on overcoming this mindset (like you, I was in a dark spot — so some truly kind people who’ve been through it — on this site — gave me a bunch of suggestions):

      1. I got a therapist to work through the ugly thoughts and to get an action plan for no longer allowing myself to be a friggin’ doormat.

      2. Distraction. When my mind starts to spin in a downward spiral toward the ugly thoughts, I try to acknowledge that is what is happening … then I try self-care (like meditation) and calming, distracting activities (like reading, cleaning, re-organizing cupboards … whatever gets my mind focused elsewhere and is not a negative).

      3. When all else fails, and something triggers me completely into a spiral — again, I acknowledge that is what is happening. I remind myself that it is temporary and I try not to encourage the spontaneous, negative thoughts that tend to come with it (self-bashing, etc.). And, I still work through the self-care routine.

      All of this has helped immensely to cut down on the amount of spirals I have — and the duration of them when they happen in spite of my best efforts.

      I promise you — it gets better.

      Sending a big (((hug))),

      Jess’s Mom

    • jojobee is correct. Just saying “sorry” doesn’t work with the Lord. A lot of people will find that out the hard way.

      Now, things will change if you want them to. It is not easy, but it does happen. As for your ex, as my Grandmother used to say “God doesn’t come down and hit you with a stick” but in the end, justice is served. I am seeing that with my ex right now and never thought it would catch up with her. It is.

      And please change your name. You are not garbage.

      • Garbage, it’s time for some EMDR therapy. My whole life changed after it and the self-shaming emotional flooding that happens disappeared as well. Look into not anyway. People can pick up on it when you’ve started to heal from PTSD that you sure sound like you have.

        • Agreed . EMDR therapy is really helping me too . It was horribly upsetting at first but now 7 sessions later I feel better .

          I accept I’ve been the scapegoat in my family and in relationships . I take on the sins of others and make them my own , thinking I was responsible for their bad behavior . I’m not that powerful !

    • Dear G(arbage),

      YOU are definitely not garbage and hope that you don’t think of yourself that way. You and I are kindred spirits. I get the part about people being born to be abused and thrown away. I used to joke to people that my life was the topic of those ‘anti-inspirational’ dark humor posters with slogans such as, ‘Do you ever think that your life is an example of how things can go wrong?’ accompanied by a photo of a sinking ship. I still think that my life is a ‘warning’ to others and, often think that no matter how hard I try to be polite, kind, and productive, that my life will never go right! Nonetheless, I think that I can at least sometimes serve as an example of someone who tries hard to improve the world in spite of feeling really crappy virtually all the time! I hope that you feel some solace in knowing that you have and are trying to ‘do right.’ By trying to do right, you serve as a role model to others and act as a positive force in the darkness. I think that most people are selfish or indifferent, which makes people like you very special–in a good way!

      If you are smart and can do well academically, you have a great gift! One of my kids has special needs. His challenges and those I have seen in some other kids who are greatly challenged remind me of how fortunate those who are smart and academically very capable are. Let this knowledge that you are smart support you when you are feeling especially down.

      I think that most of my abusive, lying, and in some cases, cheating, exes (plural) will live happily ever after and I very well might not. Agnostic, I don’t believe that there is a life after this one and that a loving, just god will ‘right the wrong’ or ‘even the score.’ The injustice in the world, to me and many others, is a bee in my bonnet. I have often thought about committing suicide but have not done so because I don’t want my abusive, psychologically disordered ex-husband to become the sole custodian of our (still minor) children. As I can’t ‘acceptably’ easily permanently ‘check out’ of life, I am trying to get ‘comfortable’ with the fact that injustice that I cannot ‘right’ exists by being mindful. Instead of seeking justice when I know that I cannot get justice, I try to observe what is happening in the universe, like a very attentive babysitter watching a baby, attentively observing what is going on around me until my shift (my life) is done.

      I really hope that your life takes a turn for the better. You deserve better. We genuine chumps all deserve better.

      • This resonated with me. Thank you. I can now frame my life and role a bit differently thanks to your words.

        We are “on shift” because they can’t be, they are sick (in the head) , off on holiday (shacked up with the OW) or have been made redundant (kicked out of the house). We are the only staff left to care for our children and carry out our duties. It is hard work coz we’re on our own but if we have a decent boss it’ll be with all the work and we shall reap the benefits.

        I can do this. I will do this. He is the failure, not me!
        I am renewed in spirit. Couldn’t do it without this site… x

      • Rockstar,

        🙂 negative thoughts cripple us. Open a window (figuratively speaking if you are buried in snow as I am 🙂 ) and let them out!

        https://health.clevelandclinic.org/2017/01/turn-around-negative-thinking/

        Banish them! We are no less than those that harmed us. Quit giving them the power to harm you! Step into your life 🙂 It’s so much better out here 🙂

        Quit giving your life to others … feel your joy! Your life, your children, your loved ones 🙂 Gifts! 🙂 Go there! 🙂

        Don’t dwell in hell! Let that life GO!

        1. I need to get a job that I want to go to.

        2. I am mighty. I survived abuse for all my life.

        3. I no longer care what happens in his life… I no longer lay down and take abuse from him or anyone. I was there for him and bunches of others…won’t do that for him or anyone ever again…that isn’t also there for me. Stop giving your time on this earth to people that won’t be there for you when you need. Just stop.

        …the ’empty’ void will fill up with people worthy of your love and grace 🙂

  • For 2018:

    1. Pay off more debt. I’m going to be throwing money at my car and will have it paid off by November or December of 2018. (I just paid off a personal loan from my marriage the other day. That felt like a second Christmas!)

    2. Start saving for a SERIOUS adventure vacation for my son and I. We want to go to Montana to hunt and fish with a professional outfitter.

    3. Seek professional counseling to deal with FOO issues. My mother is a narcissist, my sister is bully (maybe also a narcissist) and I seem to have taken the role of the scapegoat for a lot of years. We did Christmas Day at my parent’s house in shifts this year because my sister didn’t want to see me. I think she’s mad because me and my son started hunting. oh well. not her life, not her kid, not her decision. Mom wanted ME to fix it with my sister. Hell to the No. After she posted mean, cruel shit on facebook (yes she did and she meant to shame me) because we went hunting. Whatever. One less toxic person to deal with.

    4. Keep going to the gym, drinking red wine, eating what i like, cooking when i want and not cooking when i don’t.

    5. Loving my son and enjoying his company.

    6. Being Happy being single

    7. Doing the activities that I love.

    • *****raising hand ****
      Scapegoat here too :
      Went NC with my NPD father who was horribly abusive up until the day I went NC.
      I will never speak to him or see him again .

      Will not let anyone degrade , demean , belittle or manipulate me again . If I lose my entire family over it , I’m ok with that .

      This year I will strengthen my boundaries more , learn the art of being selfish and saying NO more .
      Anyone whom I have to explain common decency to will be immediately ghosted.
      I will no longer maintain friendships that aren’t 2 way , no more rescuing people from their bad decisions , no more dumping their emotional garbage on me .

      It maybe a very solitary year for me , but I have lots of hobbies and interests that I’d put on back burner to bail out and enable people who weren’t deserving a minute of my attention

  • 1 My goal for 2018 is to keep putting one foot in front of another. I am not even 3 months out from D-Day, so this very basic resolution is one in which I do not contemplate ending my life. It’s one in which I embrace being alive. It’s one in which I recognize that there are still beautiful people and beautiful moments in the world, and I let beauty and gratitude carry me forward.

    2 In 2017, I learned that one’s world can change in a moment, and that beliefs aren’t facts. The man I thought I’d grow old with in the newly purchased home of my dreams and a comfortably endowed savings account had been cheating on me for years and had finagled the house paperwork so I had no claim to it, although I had contributed my savings for the downpayment.

    I also learned I can survive. I’m here. I am bruised and damaged, and I’m wearing some really weird outfits to work because I left everything behind when I moved cross country to find work (and then lost 25 lbs due to stress.) I have PTSD and the oddest things — cupcakes and plaid pajamas, to name but two — cause me to fall apart and sob uncontrollably. But I’m here. I have some nice belts to hold up my pants, and Goodwill is helping me dress better. The sobbing is decreasing (thanks to being heavily medicated, and also to avoiding bakeries and only wearing solidly-patterned PJs). It’s all so ridiculous.

    I learned that I have angels among my friends and family, people who continue to drop everything to be with me, who take my panicked phone calls at 2am when I can’t sleep, who comfort me as if I am 4 years old, not 51, and tell me things will get better. I am starting to believe them.

    3 My cheater has always been someone who could fall into a vat of manure and come up smelling like roses. I predict that will continue. It is my hope that I will stop caring so much. In the words of CL, he is occupying too much mental real estate, and I’m sick of it.

    Happy new year, chumps. I wish you nothing but happiness in 2018.

    • Oh, Unicorn. You can do this. You ARE doing this. I will virtually join you in letting beauty and gratitude carry us forward. There IS still so much beauty in the world. Letting it in makes me weep, so I default to numb. I’m gonna go look at the sky and think of you.

      Let beauty and gratitude carry us forward. That is officially my resolution for 2018. Thank you.

    • Oh gosh Unicorn, I read your post and realize you are about where I was just over a year ago. I thought I would never survive. I thought if one more person told me to stay strong, I would scream and maybe strangle that person. I thought, what the hell does staying strong look like. I thought I was going to die of a broken heart. I, like many chumps lost a lot of weight that I didn’t need to lose and woke up every morning anxious and wondering how I would make it through.

      A year later and I know I will survive and I actually believe I am strong even though I still get scared sometimes. The divorce process is hard but deep down I know I will be OK.

      You would think after that, I would have some sage advice to help you feel better and I would imagine other chumps feel the same. I can’t point to anyone thing or any specific moment but I am so much better and I am not at meh yet so it will get even better.

      The biggest help is the realization that he sucks. I don’t totally always trust it yet but I am getting closer. Over time, this site and talking to people and reading have confirmed that fuckwit is a disordered narcissist who is mean. It is not my imagination, I am not crazy, he is good at manipulating empathetic chumps like me.

      Keep coming here and telling your story and I think you slowly realize and believe. Betrayal is the worst thing you can go through, worse than death because at least with death there is societal protocol for dealing with it. Hugs to you.

      You are strong because you can move across the country and go to work. That is so mighty!

  • This week has already been a time of working on #1. I’ve formalized the fact that my superficial social media connections with X’s Family have to go. They’ve been bribed with expensive trips to embrace OW. While X does not pay alimony. I had higher hopes this time last year, as I had beaten X in court, we had a written settlement agreement and X was acting civilized. A year later, X hasn’t complied and is rubbing it in my face. His family is sanctimoniously telling me that I shouldn’t react, as that would be “bitter;” I need to move forward and forgive. Because “forgiveness” is the main part of their loudly proclaimed Christianity that they embrace. Lying, cheating and stealing are OK as long as they get some of the cash. So they have to go and I have to go back to court and hit X hard. X tried to seduce me a few months ago and my boundaries weren’t adequately up. So continued boundary work is a big goal. Social media connections with Switzerland friends and X’s family are out. I also need to control my anger, as it is just kibbles.

    2. I learned that I was raised with no belief that I was entitled to boundaries. That an authority figure or partner could treat me with disrespect and I had to ride it out until their behavior calmed down, rather than walk away. When I was younger, I was better at walking away from abuse in non-marital relationships. In a marriage, where homes, finances and kids were at stake, not so much. I feel so much better – and am treated so much better – when I CALMLY assert my boundaries.

    I’ve also learned that we are in a very superficial society. Most people do not have your back as you ride the roller coaster of infidelity and abuse. They want it over with and want you to get back to being light and fun AT ALL TIMES. Amazing that you can go months or years without sharing the mess, but if there is a setback, most will react with impatience and change the subject. Thank goodness for CN.

    3. My cheater has been involved with OW – off and on, but mostly on – for 6 years. He hid it for over 2, until outed by OW’s sister via an email to my office. GINR and Faux reconciliation followed. His daughter then came out. He freaked and took off back to OW. Tried to sell OW to my adult stepkids and failed. Litigated with me, lost, agreed to pay me a fair amount, and so tried again to come back. (Came to “move his things,” jumped on me and broke my rib.) X then doubled down on selling OW to the kids, which has been successful. Because he did it via big expensive trips that he paid for using the money he was supposed to be using to pay me. So he is living large and I am behind the 🎱

    In 2018, to look like his mess is actually “twu luv,” I expect he will put a ring on OW. My adult ex stepkids are already sanctimoniously telling me that they hope I forgive, move forward, find happiness and look back with fondness at our time together. Because that is their prescription for making themselves feel better. They can’t abide awkwardness.

    I was well on the way to Meh, but the financial abuse has caused a relapse. For me, I see a year of frugality and hopefully – by summer – dating ahead, as I am angry at the breached agreement, but well and truly over X.

    • Exchange this horrible family for a court date with a hard ass lawyer.

      Good Grief their bad DNA shows doesn’t it?

      2018 will be a glorious year for you!!

    • Your post just gave me an a ha moment. In my deposition, fuckwit’s lawyer asked me something like isn’t forgiveness one of the tenants of your religion? I just said yes as I am not quit witted especially under stress. Afterwards, I thought of a million better responses. Moving forward, if I am faced with such a question, I will reply that my religion is a package deal and you are not allowed to pick and choose. Thanks Janus.

  • 1. Court date on Jan. 11. Hoping to end 2 years of trying to get divorced. My resolution is to cut off all monitoring of STBX’s activity. He is playing creative accounting games and I am trying to build evidence but once I have the decree, I resolve to cut that off even though I am sure he will continue or start a new plan to hide income for the future.

    2. I learned that I am an honest person and even with all the lying and cheating, I will not resort to do it back to him. And I will continue to make it through each day.

    3. My fanciful prediction is that he will drink and drive one too many times, get in a wreck, and die. My more realistic prediction is that he will get his young thing pregnant and want to get free of responsibility again and she will be cheated on, too. My hopeful prediction is that the judge on Jan. 11 will see through his crap and give us a settlement based on truth and maybe even a little compassion for me rather than believe the tale of lies he has woven. I really don’t want to get screwed over by the legal system on top of everything STBX has done.

  • For my New Years resolution, I have developed a 2 year plan to be out of debt except for the mortgage. MVM always had us on the cusp of bankruptcy living paycheck to paycheck and always losing his job. Now, I’m in the black every.damned.month. That takes a huge amount of stress off of me to finally be in control of my finances.

    What I learned this year was how resilient I can be. From being “not enough” and “ not thinking about things right”, I have learned that I am actually very capable and methodical. When the going gets tough, I put my head down and get to work until the situation is resolved. Finally realized that’s who kept it together all these years!

    As for MVM and his Cracker Barrel Whore, I predict that they will eventually get married as neither can be alone. When that happens, who cares? Two skanky whores are together, which makes the world a little bit safer for us Chumps. That is until they get bored with each other.

    Wishing everyone here a Safe and Happy New Year!

    • I could have written this word for word. I don’t know where the money is coming from. I went from a two paycheck household to my paycheck. I have increased my contribution to retirement, put money in savings each month, paid off a loan and my car, and never want for anything. What the fuck did he do with all the money? I’m in the same house with the same mortgage and utility bills and it’s not a problem. I went from living paycheck to paycheck to having a savings account and going on two awesome vacations per year.

      I was the one holding everything together. I even do basic maintenance on my house including drywall, trim, electrical, plumbing, and demolition (pool vs. sledgehammer). I figured if he could do it, I certainly could because I’m smarter than him and have Youtube.

      They did get married. Which still boggles the mind. I can think about dating again, no problem. But to actually think about legally binding myself to someone again makes me shutter. And that would be to someone who I trusted. To marry someone who I know is a cheater is just stupid.

      Happy 2018!

      • Annie we must be twins separated at birth. That was my story exactly. He got drunk one day and came back with a 60,000 dollar car! Nothing like showing up at a car dealership drunk is there. I took on all the debt and bought him out of the house (I only earned about 100 dollars a month more than him). But I am on track to paying off my mortgage 8-9 years early. The Twat makes the same in pension as I get in salary and they are still struggling (they have the same mortgage payment as me). Schmoopie then went back to work “because she was bored”. I think she is now seeing what it’s like living with someone who just blows through money. He left his rented property here in France without even empting it on 5 days notice. Excess baggage at the airport? Over 3,000 dollars. I’m so glad I’m no longer funding him and his way out of control life.

        • ;). Sometimes I’m struck with wonder on just how stupid he is and why the hell I didn’t see it before. Love really is blind. I have been absolutely no contact since the day of the divorce in June 2016. I blocked him from my phone. My boys told me he just couldn’t figure out why I wasn’t returning his calls or text. On my suggestion I told them to stay out of it and tell him to email me if it was so damn important. He did. It seems he realized when he signed the deed over to me, the mortgage wasn’t part of it. His name is still on it and he needed me to get an assumption of mortgage so he and cumdumpster could buy a house. I told him sure, but he needed to pay the costs. I haven’t heard from him again. I probably wont for awhile, if ever. Anything that requires any effort is rejected.

          After DD#2, he went out and bought a bright red truck with a lift. My youngest, 21 at the time, told me that it was stupid and didn’t his father know that the gas mileage would suck, tires would be hugely expensive, it wouldn’t do all that well in the snow and ice, and there were a ton more mechanical issues with a lift. I just smiled and said, “No, probably he didn’t think beyond the shine, but we know, don’t we?” He borrowed my eldest son’s truck to drive to Maryland to attend this sames son’s wedding saying the son needed to lend him one of his vehicles because he (the son) had three and his (Fucktard) truck didn’t get good gas mileage and her (cumdumpsters) vehicle had a lot of mechanical issues. Fucktard rolled his shiny truck on the icy highway the week after the wedding.

          The list goes on and on.

          Oh the joy of leaving a cheater and gaining a life.

  • I was so sick of 2017 that I turned the calendar to 2018 back in November.

    1. This sounds shallow, but my goal for 2018 is to look and feel great for my age. A recent picture of Poopsie inspired me … she is rough looking after 3 years with her (formerly my) twu wuv. Last year I accomplished a lot financially … I proved that I can make money and handle things on my own, I got some debts paid off, and I planned the next steps in my future. This year I’m working on myself … washing my face before bed will no longer be a special thing I do once a year when I have time!

    2. I learned that for me it’s better not to share dreams or even what I’m doing this weekend … I really got tired of friends’ feedback, as well-meaning as it was, because no one really reached the depths of insight that I wanted them to (except for CL and CN, of course). I’ve always overshared, and I’m finding being mysterious is much more fun. I’m an introvert anyway … 2018 will be the year to live quietly and keep ’em guessing.

    3. I predict The Evil Twins won’t age well in their retirement, mentally or physically. I predict that I will. 🙂

    I hope 2018 is better for you all.

  • So many of the comments here are about finding another partner. The notion that “we” aren’t good enough in our own rite is taught to us very early in life. We have to have someone in our life or we are somehow inadequate. I can remember my grandmother asking if I had a beau as a teenager? So out we go in the world and start frantically looking for someone before we even have a clue who we are, or what we should be looking for in a life partner. Then when we think we’ve found him/her we’re committed, never dreaming our life would be blown apart by this partner we thought was wonderful.
    It’s such a blow to the ego to be betrayed and replaced and then discarded, we often just rush back out into the dating again, looking for someone who will make us feel worthy. While this is possibly the worst time to get involved with a new partner. We are so vulnerable and hurt we can once again easily find ourselves a bad situation. So if your a newbee to this clan, think about fixing not only your picker but healing yourself before dashing out to find Mr//Ms right. Get involved in the things you like to do, take trips, meet up with friends and spend some time alone if you can to get to know yourself. Keep reading on this site and learn from the many stories posted here. Best wishes to all Chumps for a joyful 2018!

    • You are right. We are enough. I overcame feeling vaguely embarrassed to put up a solo photo on FB. Many of my married female friends don’t have me around anymore. (Some because I work and they don’t want their husbands getting any ideas.). I will have had no partner in any way for 2 years. And really not for 5 years. During that time, I have resisted overtures from 4 guys in various stages of being messed up. I am proud of that. However, I wasn’t attracted to any of them, so I have yet to test my picker on a messed up guy who looks like Aaron Eckhardt. (If I could find one and he is interested.). But I really would prefer to share travel with someone besides my relatives. Otherwise I give mental real estate to my X, because travel was a big part of our lives.

      • “Many of my married female friends don’t have me around anymore”

        Drop those “friends” like a bad habit, then. Fixing our picker applies to ALL relationships, including friends. Same thing happened to me. They believed my ex narc’s smear campaign, and their husbands took his side, and they are not high quality enough people to be anything but Switzerlands. In time, with the benefit of hindsight, I realized those friendships weren’t reciprocal. Their marriages are not ones I would ever want to be in, and they could not individuate enough from their husbands to maintain the quality of friendship with me that I deserve.

    • Lyndaloo,

      You bring up many good points. I don’t believe that ‘single (celibate) = inadequate.’ (I envy people I know who are very content being single (celibate).) However, I can understand why some people think that ‘single (celibate) = lonely,’ especially if one was once happy in a monogamous relationship.

      I was one (chump) who rushed back into the dating world, not because I needed financial support or because I hated to be alone, but because I thought that (1) Mr. Good Guy, the guy I considered my friend (as well as everyone else’s), was a great catch, a once in a lifetime opportunity, who I didn’t want to let get away (I used to think, ‘I should have started dating him when I met him when he was 17, not 45.’) and (2) the relationship with Mr. Good Guy gave me hope that the world was a just one (I could finally, late in life, after really bad relationships, have a great, healthy romantic relationship) and that the world was generally ‘good’ rather than ‘bad.’

      I got massively burned (again) by my last boyfriend, who has narcissistic traits and went through the narcissistic pattern of Idealize-Devalue-Discard, is somewhat psychologically disordered but not really narcissistic, and ‘was just not that into me.’ He seemed to play a cat and mouse game with me, alternately, sometimes within the span of a few minutes, holding my hand/telling me he loved me and then telling me that he wanted to run away from me/did not see me in his future. I am traumatized by the mindf–kery, especially as it came from a friend and fellow chump who I trusted with my life and came on the heels of many years of severe bizarre abuse, primarily by my now ex-husband. For the first time in my over half-century long life, in spite of being sexually and physically assaulted by various guys, I have become distrustful of men as a whole. (I know that some good men exist and think that some of my relatives’ and friends’ husbands are good men, but I am now distrustful of men as a whole and feel extremely cynical about dating and feel no hope of every finding a healthy partner who will love and commit to me as I will to him. Part of me would like to date (if I felt at all hopeful that something good could come from it), but part of me is too destroyed by dating/trying to healthfully engage in an intimate relationship such as marriage to feel anything other than aversion to it. Probably just as well I feel distrust and aversion as nobody who seems close to healthy, at all appealing, and even moderately compatible is banging down my door to even date me.

      • Rock star wife,
        I understand it’s difficult to trust again when you’ve been hurt especially by someone you thought was trustworthy. I don’t know that I fully would trust another man again, not that anyone is beating down my door either. LOL I just feel it wold be too much effort and after living to someone else’s agenda for 40 years it just doesn’t appeal to me. I’m pretty self sufficient and I like my own company. I’m sure there are many people on this site that feel differently but fir me …. I’m fine on my own. I have my cats, my family lots of good fridnds. I’m good!

    • “It’s such a blow to the ego to be betrayed and replaced and then discarded, we often just rush back out into the dating again, looking for someone who will make us feel worthy.”

      @Lyndaloo, so true, and even more so when you come from a culture where getting married by 25 is the most important thing (I am 29). I was hoping to get engaged and was naively dreaming of a beautiful proposal at his PhD graduation, considering that I was there for him every step of the way and thought by doing so, proved to him that I was the sort of person who would have his back.

      Forget a fancy proposal and a public acknowledgement of how much I meant to him…he discarded me like yesterday’s paper once he found a job, but he also showed very little appreciation for everything I’d done and sacrified (inc my career and finances). He had ditched me for OW once, but then we got back after a year of no contact when he was struggling with his PhD – which is where I showered him with love and support. Once done, OW reappeared and I became old news – except I didn’t find out until 8 months later, in August this year.

      This ‘ recycling’ situation successfully made me feel I wasn’t enough and I was at fault, somehow. My dreams of being happily married are gone, and sadly he will be happy while I navigate the night terrors, the feeling of brokenness, the sense of being ugly.

      I am still working on telling myself that I am NOT a failure or worthless, that it is HE who had a problem. My moral compass is solidly there and maybe I’ll fall in love again and bestow the gift of being unwaveringly loyal to the person who earns it.

      But before that, I need to find myself again.

      • Chumpte,
        You will find yourself, at 29 you have you whole life ahead of you. Just believe in youself and look forward not backwards! You probably don’t realize it but you ‘dodged a bullet’. I stayed with aCheater for 40 years, that’s right 40 years! I’m 72 and was thrown to the curb 9 months ago. I’d give anything for a do over but it is what it is and I’m determined to live the rest of my life happily! So hold your head up and realize how lucky you are to have learned this valuable lesson at your young age. If anyone asks about being single tell them you haven’t found anyone worthy enough yet! You are a smart, capable young women, you’ve got this! 😘😘😘

  • #1. I need to strongly enforce my boundaries and hold firm to my wants/needs in relationships. I really want to stop talking about my past life with my ex and the story of how he destroyed our marriage. It takes me back a few steps every time I do that. It’s very unproductive.

    #2. I have learned that I am more than capable of taking care of myself and I actually enjoy the high I get out of accomplishing various things on my own. I am engaged but I live at home with my two daughters and my fiance has his own home.

    #3. The only thing I can predict about my ex-asshole is that he will continue to put his OW/wife and his business ahead of his children as he has always done. My prediction is that a few years from now my daughters will no longer try to engage him in their lives. His loss!!!

    • Same here. The kids shouldn’t be the one to engage, the fathers should. My kids got no Christmas presents from him yet I run about buying, thinking, wrapping being Santa whilst he’s in his fuck chalet with a skank who was 7 when we met!
      Yes I’m still angry… There is way more to it but I resolve to have a fun, happy life in 2018. I have the houses, the kids, the self respect, the decent job, the good friends….

  • Well, since I spent most of 2017 being the ultimate chump (doing the dance and everything that comes along with it) it wont be hard to make 2018 better. Everything started becoming clear when I started visiting this site. I’m new BTW. So here it goes.

    1. Don’t give an ounce of thought to what she thinks, says, or does. I’m going to live my life for me and my two little guys.

    2. That her affair was not my fault and there is nothing I could have done to prevent it.

    3. Don’t really care. I’m sure whatever she does will be as healthy as she is.

    This website has been great for me.

    Thanks CL

    • Welcome to the Clan! You sound like you’re getting yourself sorted. It isn’t an easy road but once you realize the truth about your cheater and seeing them for what the truly are it gets so much easier. You sound like a very committed Dad, hold onto your little ones and keep coming back here. All the best for 2018🎉🎉🎉

      • Thank you. I spent a lot of time blaming myself. Glad I found CN.

        Not being a cheater is pretty easy but I guess my STBXW doesn’t have the character to keep herself from cheating.

  • 1. My efforts to unchump myself include graduating with my music education degree in May, staying NC with STBX, not dropping the PFA order I have against him, and going through with divorce (I filed in November).

    2. Things I learned about myself in 2017: I am smart and capable. I went back to college to finish my degree in August and have been gradually re-building the self-confidence I have lost by being married to an abusive cheater.

    3. Predictions for STBX: I am in the process of divorce with him and he is living with his parents. I predict he will continue to try to use charm and self-pity to manipulate the people around him. I am NC with him and have a PFA against him, but he still tries to get to me by talking to my friends and our children. He isn’t technically violating the PFA because he hasn’t asked them to relay messages to me, but they have told me about the contact and how sad/remorseful he is. He is *very* good at casting himself as the victim and I predict he’ll continue to manipulate people that way. But not me.

    I hope 2018 is much better than 2017. Feeling pretty broken down by 2017.

  • Here goes:

    1. What are your New Year’s resolutions for unchumping yourself?

    Continue to set goals–last year I lost weight, increased my exercise to a healthy level, and achieved some professional successes I’d been wanting for a long time. Of course, setting small incremental goals helped, but the real change was probably making my own goals (no matter their size) important again–something I’d lost track of during my marriage and which I had trouble finding the time for during the first couple of years after my marriage imploded (because being the single, sane parent sometimes leaves room for very little else!)

    2. What was the most important thing you learned about yourself in 2017?

    Hmmm . . . it is hard to condense this one down, but I think the best way to sum it up might be: I have options.

    3. Predictions: Fanciful and Otherwise

    My fanciful prediction (because “meh” still sometimes slips off the leash for me) is that when then the Karma bus does finally round the corner, he’ll be standing in the middle of the street insisting to the kids and neighbors trying to traverse it that it is his and his alone to use, look over his shoulder, catch a glimpse of himself in a reflection from the windshield, and be so busy admiring his own reflection that the bus will simply squash him flat.

    My more realistic prediction is that he will try to persuade our youngest child to move away from me to live with him in another state 1000 miles away. He has no custody, but our kids are old enough that my attempts to stop such a move would probably not work (especially if his parents weighed in legally and claimed they’d provide the housing and funds for the child to live with dad). My EX will go to his grave claiming he is the best dad ever (court records and domestic violence convictions be damned), and so it doesn’t take the skills of Nostradamus for me to predict that this coming year will include new attempts to manipulate the kids–and the youngest one is currently the most vulnerable to any promises of a lovely life in a more exotic local than my own.

    • …”and be so busy admiring his own reflection that the bus will simply squash him flat.” LOL! Funny!

      Beep Beep!!

    • “I have options”

      Eilonwy, I love this. My counselor said this to me a lot in the months leading up to me filing for divorce. I finally began to see it for myself over the past year, and it was a great feeling. I feel like I have been running toward the light at the end of this tunnel for the past 6 months now.

      After my stbx did a full disclosure last spring, I went to see an advisor at the state university in my city and was elated when i discovered i was within 2 semesters of finishing my bachelor’s degree. It was very empowering to know that i did not have to stay in the situation i was in, that there was a way out.

  • I am extremely fortunate in that I never developed a taste for alcohol. Can’t stand the stuff. There have been two times in my life when I wanted to get drunk and I couldn’t manage it. In fact ex used to complain about having to order wine by the glass in restaurants and having to drink alone. Poor baby. On the other hand, he always had a designated driver.

    As for fixing my picker? We’ll see. I did get asked out a couple of days ago by a guy who I am pretty sure doesn’t suck (and he doesn’t care for alcohol either ). At least I think he asked me out. Does it count if we were meet-up hiking buddies turned texting buddies and he texted that he would like to spend time with me in a non group setting? Anyway, my goal there is to go have fun with him and if it doesn’t work out it ends peacefully for both of us.

  • Below is a list of all the Tuesdays in 2018 there are 53. One of them will be mine.
    Tuesday, January 2, 2018
    Tuesday, January 9, 2018
    Tuesday, January 16, 2018
    Tuesday, January 23, 2018
    Tuesday, January 30, 2018
    Tuesday, February 6, 2018
    Tuesday, February 13, 2018
    Tuesday, February 20, 2018
    Tuesday, February 27, 2018
    Tuesday, March 6, 2018
    Tuesday, March 13, 2018
    Tuesday, March 20, 2018
    Tuesday, March 27, 2018
    Tuesday, April 3, 2018
    Tuesday, April 10, 2018
    Tuesday, April 17, 2018
    Tuesday, April 24, 2018
    Tuesday, May 1, 2018
    Tuesday, May 8, 2018
    Tuesday, May 15, 2018
    Tuesday, May 22, 2018
    Tuesday, May 29, 2018
    Tuesday, June 5, 2018
    Tuesday, June 12, 2018
    Tuesday, June 19, 2018
    Tuesday, June 26, 2018
    Tuesday, July 3, 2018
    Tuesday, July 10, 2018
    Tuesday, July 17, 2018
    Tuesday, July 24, 2018
    Tuesday, July 31, 2018
    Tuesday, August 7, 2018
    Tuesday, August 14, 2018
    Tuesday, August 21, 2018
    Tuesday, August 28, 2018
    Tuesday, September 4, 2018
    Tuesday, September 11, 2018
    Tuesday, September 18, 2018
    Tuesday, September 25, 2018
    Tuesday, October 2, 2018
    Tuesday, October 9, 2018
    Tuesday, October 16, 2018
    Tuesday, October 23, 2018
    Tuesday, October 30, 2018
    Tuesday, November 6, 2018
    Tuesday, November 13, 2018
    Tuesday, November 20, 2018
    Tuesday, November 27, 2018
    Tuesday, December 4, 2018
    Tuesday, December 11, 2018
    Tuesday, December 18, 2018
    Tuesday, December 25, 2018

    • Thanks for the list Spoonriver! I’d like to reserve one of those Tuesdays for me!

      1. I resolve to believe (and accept) that it doesn’t matter if my husband and the side piece are as blissfully happy as they are portraying on social media and/or whether everyone else views them as a power couple. His “relationship” with her and the caliber of their love and soulmate status also is insignificant. The fact that he incessantly lied/lies, broke our vows, and continues to disrespect me needs to be a catalyst for me to realize that no matter how wonderful he is treating her, I deserve better than all he did to me. I wouldn’t encourage a family member or friend to tolerate such horrific and abusive behavior, so I shouldn’t permit the same or less for myself. I need to redirect the time and energy I have wasted since DDay (over)analyzing the cheating timeline, fixating on what he and she are doing, and worrying about how others perceive them and/or me towards the productive focus of healing and bettering myself instead.

      2. In 2017, I learned that I’m both weaker and stronger than I ever perceived. My husband’s betrayal and infidelity plunged me into an abyss of utter devastation and a state of emotional, vocational, and somewhat physical paralysis. My weight plummeted to 69 pounds rendering me almost bed ridden and consequentially I had to take a temporary leave from work. Sleep became a distant memory and my overall mental and physical health deteriorated exponentially. I’m still here though somehow and not one of the catastrophic blows he continues to dole out has fully destroyed me yet.

      3. I predict a pregnancy for my husband and OW which could be the final breaking point for me since being a mother is an unfulfilled dream of mine. (I’m trying to prepare myself for this probable occurrence to lessen the shock if/when it is announced as I hear they are “trying”). I also predict an engagement for the two in spite of the fact we are still married. (That one, albeit painful, will also be laughable). There’s a highly probable chance for more DUIs for them and changing employers which is something my husband does almost annually (and of course it’s always someone else’s fault when he quits/gets fired). He’s also overdue for more hairplugs, so that’s probably coming up soon.

    • Just realized that my next birthday…falls on a Tuesday! How can 2018 NOT be better?
      Meh would be the Best Birthday Present Ever….

  • I realised I cant expect the truth from my ex. Celebrating in may 5 years since we split up. Seriously ill lost 25 pounds in 5 days (he knew) didn’t even ask how I was. We have kids that’s why I told him. Daughter sprained several limbs on activities didn’t ask how she was. We share Christmas day with the kids he said it was the worst Christmas ever. No the worst one was years before we split up and the ow phoned you 28 times in one morning. (he said he liked her because she didn’t want het own kids) fuck the bastard!

  • 1. Stop looking at his and the OW Facebook page. Not even a glance.
    STOP hoping he will ever apologize. I have given him so much time. What a loss. No more.

    2. I learned that I am “too alone to be proud”. I will accept and seek out help and friends from any kind soul who is good enough to offer.

    3. Triangulation is his life’s work. He will find a young desperate mother to triangulate his now girlfriend with and bask in women cat fighting over him.

    • Gilley,
      Many moons ago, I was a junior high school teacher. I saw lots of girls catfighting. It looked painful!
      Years later, I attended graduate school in a program known for dysfunctional behavior among its members. There, I got to see grown people who held PhDs cat fight. I don’t envy any of the combatants!

  • In 2017 (just a couple of weeks ago in fact) I learned that I’m not afraid of him any more. First time I’d seen him in over five years and I felt nothing. I’ve taken my power back. Best Christmas present ever. 😁

  • My divorce from Mr. Dickhead was final on December 27th! Merry Christmas and Happy New Year to ME!!!!
    1) I’m enjoying my new life so much! I keep reminding myself that I get to make all my own decisions and get to do whatever makes me happy and excited!
    2) I’ve moved 700 miles away, purchased my own home, and am starting a new career next week working with my best friend. Getting out and meeting new people and exploring new places!
    3) I have finally come to realize and believe what an ASS he is!!! As the MC told us “STTWMBA you’re going to have a hard time short term, but Mr. Dickhead, I worry about you long term!” Lol
    Apparently I’ve found Meh! Happy 2018 to all Chumps everywhere! Chumplady and CN you totally ROCK and have saved my sanity over the past few years! Thank you all. Hugs

  • 1. What are your New Year’s resolutions for unchumping yourself?

    Pulling it out by the roots … in therapy, of course, and with lots and lots of determination to never, ever experience anything remotely like this again. Accompanying this, I’m starting to have a bit of compassion for myself. I lived through a super traumatic experience (okay, several …), and it makes sense that I sometimes feel overwhelmed. The important part is that I dust myself off, get back up, and keep moving forward.

    2. What was the most important thing you learned about yourself in 2017?

    That my perspective on my marriage was 180 degrees the opposite of reality thanks to more than 20 years of lies, gaslighting, and (importantly) abuse. Accepting this fundamental shift (that my reality was not real) was devastating, but essential … you can’t change what you don’t acknowledge.

    3. Predictions: Fanciful and Otherwise

    With a much clearer understanding (thank you CL and CN!) of who my cheater/asshole is, I think I can be fairly accurate in my prediction …

    Unknowingly, I was his stability — his “moral compass,” which enabled him to hide his deviancies and forced him to at least pretend at adulting. Now that he’s on his own, he’s already falling apart. This will continue, probably at a dramatic pace. He has managed to keep his job thus far, but I suspect that won’t last. He is nearly 50 — and aside from work, he plays video games, watches porn, eats fast food daily, and has started drinking again, which is not so good given that he has massive rage issues. So, if he doesn’t die from alcohol, rage, and bad nutritional choices, he will likely end up finding gutter trash (his preference given that they don’t demand “integrity”) and mooching off of her.

    My fear is that his rage at me and desire to punish me will continue along with his decline. But, I’m keeping a very close eye on the situation. I’ll be damned if I let this asshole hurt me or my girls ever again.

    • Jesssmom,
      I, too, have been working on acknowledging that ‘my reality was not real’ although four months after my boyfriend’s discard of me, I would like to retreat into the fantasy of ‘This is all just a bad dream from which I will awake.’ I STILL have a hard time believing that the guy I thought I knew and loved for 30 years was someone very, very different than my earlier notion of him, especially within the context of an intimate relationship, at least with me. However, I tell myself that retreating into fantasy will do me more harm than good and that the fantasy is false and I could never comfortably live with the ‘real’ him, as I detest lying, especially when I can see no incentive, other than self-centeredness accompanied by moral cowardice, unwillingness to accept responsibility, and an unethical mindset, for it.

      Regarding predictions surrounding my exes’ lives:

      Ex-husband: He will remain the personality-disordered monster he is, suing people left and right. He may or may not ‘stay’ with his current girlfriend of a year. I envy her time with my kids, but I don’t envy her ‘having’ my now ex-husband. She’s a bit dysfunction and quite inappropriate (she told me what I should do in my divorce–speed it up, and asked me if were in a romantic relationship with someone other than my legal husband) at my father-in-law’s funeral, first time I met her. (Now that the abusive, adulterous guy I married and I are divorced, though, he will influence me much less than he used to. If I had known how much better off I would be without him, in spite of life being far from blissful now and being hundreds of thousands of dollars poorer due to legal fees and split in household, I would have divorced HIM many years ago.)

      Ex-boyfriend: He will marry my replacement. (When he dumped me the first time, he told me that he missed being married but that he would never marry me (although he knew that he meant the world to me). What a jerk.) They will likely have a very nice life together at work and in their nice, comfortable homes in an affluent area with their multiple long-standing friends. In their mid-late forties, having never had children in spite of having been previously married to others, it’s hard to predict whether they will ever have children. He used to sometimes tell me that, approaching 50, he felt too old to become a father–he didn’t want to feel forced to continue working into old age to support kids, but he lied to me about many things, so who knows? I don’t know whether he will stay married or get a second divorce. He used to tell me that his first wife was an abusive, adulterous monster, but now I sometimes wonder whether he, too, was a jerk in that marriage as well as his other intimate relationships.

      I am adopting a bit of a Buddhist, mindful perspective of ‘not knowing’ and not generally trying to predict the future. My life, with the exception of bearing two children, who I dearly love, has turned out nothing like I expected. For most of my life, I was very much a planner. Now I find the LACK of knowing somewhat comforting.

  • Happy New Year, Chumps! I’ve never been happier to say goodbye and good riddance to a calendar year (chumped in August ’17).

    1. To go truly NC as soon as all lingering issues with our old house are tied up. Only thing left should be tax season / mortgage interest. At least I have gone NC already so far as only speaking via text when absolutely necessary.

    2. That I need to pay more attention to my feelings when in a relationship and be vocal about them when something rubs me the wrong way, rather than protecting the feelings of my partner at the expense of myself.

    3. X is phenomenal at spinning everything he did so it wasn’t his fault, so he’ll do more of these mental gymnastics rather than face who he truly is. He’s not even comprehending why several of his very few close friends have become more distant (they know the truth as told by me). Schmoopie is not the brightest crayon in the box and will, as planned, abandon her successful professional life in another state because X wants her to move to him and his mother.

  • My 2018 resolutions:

    I want to be mighty – in both word and deed.
    I want to be selfist – and realize its okay to put myself first.
    I want to do things that keep me healthy.
    I want to look my best.
    I want to celebrate the good that came from my marriage – three fine children!
    I want to live in the present – not ruminate about the past or worry about the future.
    I want to remember that every day is a gift – and that I am a worthy and wonderful person who deserves to be loved and cherished, not criticized and told lies.
    I want to have the strength to stay NO CONTACT for the entire year.
    I want to model maturity, grace and class for my children in the face of an utterly disgraceful discard that knocked me off my game for the past two years.

    Happy 2018 everyone!

    • Love your resolutions @TiredChump! Now I don’t have to write my list, I’ll just say me, too! Particularly love the use of “selfist”-I envision an upraised fist in a show of determination and strength.

      Let’s make 2018 the best year yet for ourselves!

    • Love your resolutions, TiredChump! I have been trying to focus on the present, too. I’m finding that it is difficult to train the mind to do this! But even though it isn’t easy, I feel better for the few brief moments I am successful in doing so. If anyone at CN has tips on being mindful in the present, I’d love to hear them!

    • and I love your wanting to celebrate the good from your marriage. Your kids! Love that way of putting it, have had enough of people telling me to ‘be grateful’ for them (of course I am grateful to have them but it grates lol) So celebrating the good instead

  • Thank you to everyone who posted about alcohol. I don’t feel so alone. I also fell into the alcohol trap. I think I just wanted the emotional pain to go away for a while. Problem is, the pain was still there in the morning along with the shame of the drinking. It took me a long time to get control of the drinking and I need to forgive myself for that. Thank you everyone for sharing and I wish a happy and healthy new year for everyone at CN!

    • Textbook, you are right, It’s futile to try to drink away the pain, only to realize it’s still there next day and with the added bonus of depressing ourselves even further. I’m glad to hear you are making a deliberate choice to control your drinking. Don’t beat yourself up you’ve got this! Just reach out here for help when you feel you need too. All the best for a healthy 2018! 🤗

  • 1. Next year I want to read more actual books and less screen time

    2. Last year I learned that my dreams reveal my subconscious but I continue to try to avoid what I see in my dreams. Life is not fair no matter how much i want it to be.

    3. Not so “meh” – I hope he gets what he deserves, Karma! and that its his own fault.

  • 1/ I will find a way to stop my second job working off farm so I can start that gaining a life thing…
    2/ I learned that I have spent most of my adult life working out my relationship with my mother, who was an OW, through men. Hence all my troubles.
    3/ No idea, anything is possible with the Traitor and the Whore being so disordered.

  • My resolution is to stop crying. Just to stop crying. Husband walked out on 29 Dec last year, after 35 yrs together, announcing that he found a wonderful woman, 30 years my junior. Did not see it coming and cannot stop crying.

    • What do you think about anti depressants? Maybe you cannot stop without help. If you had diabetes you would need to be on insulin. The chemicals in your brain might be stuck like a record in a groove and they just need a push.

      I have also found that overthinking things almost always leads to sadness. From your post it seems like you have been dwelling on this and crying for one year.

      Maybe set a deadline to think about it for 20 minutes a day and after that 20 minutes is up-you’re going to have to force yourself to think about something else. Being replaced by a younger woman is agony because I was too. Especially in a western society that places such a bizarre premium on youth.

      But you will find that just because someone is younger does not mean they are wiser or kinder Or even have some type of magical sex appeal. They are just new. The cheater is like a child who doesn’t want to play with the toys that he has had for a couple of months. He just wanted a new toy.

      The miserable personalities Of both the disorder cheater and their partner in crime bubble up.

      And then miserable cycle of devalue and discard begins all over again. But the most wonderful thing is is that you will not be a part of it.

      Sending you positive beams of Hope.

    • Gilley has left some great advice. The fact that you are still crying after a year is not a huge surprise–you have a very long marriage to grieve, but after a year it is also okay to start looking for ways to get help. Nothing will be a miracle cure (well, maybe a forked bolt of lightening that strikes your jackass of an EX husband dead and simultaneously fries a bank circuit so that a million dollars suddenly appears in your account), but some better and brighter days should be possible–scattered among the many that are still hard. A year of tears is both a very long time, and so little time in the grand scheme of this kind of betrayal. I hope you can be both kind and patient with yourself and challenge yourself to seek some peace and joy in 2018. It gets better, but not all at once.

    • Superchump,

      You have experienced tremendous upheaval from betrayal by someone who is severely disordered and self-serving. Based on conversations with some of my chump friends, I don’t think that is unusual for someone to cry for a year. I, unlike them, rarely cried for three years following D-Day #1 (with now ex-husband). A few years ago, I could rarely cry, probably because a gigantic set of several physical, emotional, professional, and financial crises (which I envision as tsunamis coming in waves) occurred nearly concurrently–I was too stunned to cry. I felt as though a bunch of jumbo jets in rapid succession flew threw me, leaving a gigantic hole in my body, leaving me looking as though I had only a head and bits of arms and legs. Perhaps oddly to you and most people, I envied my chump friends who cried every day for a year. I was too numb to cry and most of the time now am too numb to cry over what I lost by marrying and getting divorced from my ex-husband and what I lost and never got to realize with my post-separation (now ex-)boyfriend. I view crying, in many cases, as emotional progress.

      In both my major recent intimate relationships, my official partner (husband or boyfriend) replaced me with younger models. I agree with Gilley that guys like yours, hers, and mine opted to replace a devoted partner with a new ‘toy’ rather than to maintain, repair, or more likely just easily enhance (strengthen) a relationship with someone who would gladly, unquestioningly support her partner through thick and thin.

      To make yourself feel better, if you have not tried the following, you might consider trying them (with or without a psychotherapist: EMDR, tapping, guided imagery, meditation (which you can get on YouTube) for free. Another thing I have tried which I find somewhat soothing in dealing with PTSD and other forms of long-standing emotional discomfort, is the visualization of ‘the box on the shelf.’ I am extremely ruminative, thinking some sad/angry thoughts hundreds of times per night. When I get up, I envision putting the distressing thought/emotion in a little wood box on a high shelf behind my shoulder to give me a ‘mental vacation’ from my trauma. I know that I can take the trauma out of the box whenever I want to, but I can help prevent the trauma from overwhelming me,affecting every aspect of my life every minute of the day.

      One more thing that I have tried, primarily to deal with chronic physical pain (back and lower body) from an incurable degenerative condition that I have experienced for several years, is acknowledging and carefully observing the pain. I acknowledge the pain and ‘accept’ it as part of my life for the rest of my life. Instead of running from the pain, I have tried to ‘live’ in it. I think about living life in chronic pain as an adventure that helps make me a wiser, more empathetic person. I don’t enjoy pain, but I feel as though I am getting something special by living in pain and thus developing extra others. By experiencing your pain you can empathize with others and thus provide others very welcome support.

    • SuperChump, I am sorry (((hugs)))…. My advice? If you haven’t already done so, is to begin something new. Something you have always wanted to do. Travel. Learn to sew. Take a dance class. My brain needed exercise those first three years out, I was in so much pain. Like who the fuck does this, right?!?!?! I walked up and down country hills and swam in our lake every day. It absolutely saved me. Then I rearranged the house, then moved five hundred miles away. I got out of my comfort zone and have been working on myself. Still am. You also need to forgive yourself. Cheaters are perfect cons, and unfortunately they are pod people as well. Just know you matter. I truly believe a divine power intervened on my behalf; my marriage had everything but an engaged, present honest spouse. My life was perfect, and he was doing everything in his power to destroy it. He ruined beautiful moments on a daily basis, and made me feel bad about all the gifts I bring to this world. Don’t allow your X to waste any more of your one precious life. We have a better shot now of “happily ever after” than we ever did married to a cheater.

      • Thank you all for the great advice. It helps to know that there are others who went through similar ordeals and survived, and even grew as strong independant women. This is what makes CN great.

    • It is ok to cry. Seriously – cry until you have it all out of your system. One day you will wake up and cry less…and over time you will heal.

      When my Mom died of cancer, by son was born, my Sister and newborn niece almost died and my Dad was diagnosed with cancer and Alzheimer’s.

      I stuffed my pain deep down inside for 10 years while my then husband ran around having his “midlife crisis”.

      When my marriage exploded – guess what? All that grief I stuffed down deep inside from the loss of my Mother came out ten fold. I was a hot mess.

      Antidepressants are fine, but work through your loss and don’t let anyone else tell you how long you need to grieve.

      Big hugs – you just loved with your whole heart and that doesn’t heal over night 🙂

  • After marrying at 19 and 23 years being strung along by a magnanimous liar, my divorce will be final in April. I never saw this coming but here I am so here goes:
    1. Build my private practice. Start sessions with my own financial counselor. Run a half marathon and pass my social work licensing exam. Love the hell out of my 3 beautiful kids.
    2. I lost very little of my life when my cheater left because, as much as I chumped my heart to him for too many years, I was also busy building beautiful friendships and a good reputation in my community. My life is still my life. I was shocked to learn how much of ME was/is still intact. I will keep building through my tears and my rage.
    3. I am working hard to not only make it through to my official divorce day but to also emotionally divorce from my STBX. I am becoming more and more meh every single day. He is his own best nightmare.

    Love you ChumpLady! Your swearword laden wisdom combined with 2 badass therapists helped me see the light far more quickly than I ever would’ve done on my own.

    PS – Watch the Amazon series The Marvelous Mrs Maisel – she is a heroine who handles her cheating husband with fabulous outfits and the most fierce sense of humor!!!!! It had to of been written by a chump…it is fabulous!

    • April,

      OMG! I checked out The Marvelous Mrs. Maisel. I went on a binge and watched them all. I couldn’t stop. It seemed like the attitudes, entitlement, excuses, and mightiness were taken from this blog. It was great. The characters were rich and I particularly liked the father. He told her he warned her about him and she said how, his reply was, “And this is your choice?” She replied, “That’s a warning.” He answered, “Do I need to spell it out for you?”

      I’ve posted the trailer below.

  • 1. Resolution- push through this divorce and sell this house so I can truly move on with my kid?

    2. I learned I can be strong. I can break away from my desire to love and care for someone who doesn’t love and care about me.

    3. Cheater wife will likely spend 2018 rolling around with as many men as she can fit into her schedule. Some will likely have wives. Sorry America. Let’s hope none of them are teenage boys and she gets arrested.

    • Hi Zell,

      I always enjoy reading your writing on this painful topic.

      How did you learn to break away from your desire to love and care for someone who doesn’t love and care about you? (My ex-boyfriend clearly did not deeply love me, although he sometimes told me he loved me, even after telling me, ‘I don’t see you in my future.’ Although we never argued, he would out of the blue tell me things like, ‘I want to run away from you,’ or, after I got into a car accident between his home and mine, ‘You shouldn’t drive up here.’ I clearly was in a very unhealthy, dysfunctional relationship, but I refused to leave it (he literally shut me out) as I was wildly in love with my boyfriend/friend of more than half my life. As such, I would like to learn how to NOT love someone who I put on a pedestal and was like air to me.)

      I hope that your wife and my wandering exes can be stopped, or at least slowed down, in their pursuits–for everyone’s benefit.

      • I’ve tried to think of it as addiction. I’m addicted to caring about her. I avoid contact with her as much as possible (kid together so 100% isn’t possible). When I’m around her I try not to look at her. I cast my eyes down or away from her (sounds weird I know) but it has worked to some degree. She has also reduced involving me in her issues (for the past 7 months of separation she would call me if she had a headache or a bad dream- she knew how to draw me in). Since I got a lawyer and filed for divorce it has almost disappeared. A couple of days ago she did inform me that she had to get a biopsy on a lump in her breast. I texted “I hoped the best for her health”. That was it, no more involvement beyond that. She didn’t ask for a ride (she got a friend to take her). She did send me an unsolicited photo of her bruised breast and asked me if I thought she should go to a doctor. Again I sent a simple reply to go if she felt she has an infection. I just try to keep communications minimal and basic and avoid any conversations other than: kid, divorce paperwork, and selling of house. No more drama. In time I hope to break further and further away from caring about her and reclaim my brain. Its a process and journey. Not always successful, but I’m working on it.

        • I’m with you with not being able to look at my STBXW. She asked me if I wouldbe able to look at her or talk to her beyond very brief conversations and I replied that I find it difficult because I still love her and didn’t think our marriage needed to end. I hope eventually to be able to break out of this too, but when I promised my heart to her I really meant it. She obviously doesn’t feel the same way any longer.

  • 1. Resolutions

    * focus on being the best I can be (keep Tweaker out of my head and claim my mental real estate back)
    * live my life with my kids in the moment and not ruminate so much on the past
    * stay strong for my kids since their dad can’t get off drugs and be a sane parent
    * be grateful I have a 2nd chance to create an authentic life for my self and my kids no matter how much it still hurts

    2. Lessons learned

    * I learned that I’m stronger than I ever imagined
    * I learned that there are seriously fucked up people out there but there are even more people out there that are amazing – my friends, my family, my in laws, CL/CN
    * The family I put first is still there – just minus a POS, selfish, drug addicted, nasty man.

    3. Predictions for cheater

    * That he can’t handle being an adult and that gold digging ho worker leaves his ass at some point.

    • Was he a real Tweaker? Because I was involved with one as well and my life was a living nightmare cliché but true.

      If you were involved with a Tweaker-then you know there is absolutely nothing you could’ve done. Except run for your life.

  • 2017 was the worst year of my life to this point, and I hope ever. I was blindsided late in 2016 and told “don’t ruin Christmas”, throughout the early part of 2017 I learned more and more. I had been hoping that my STBXW and I were having a bit of a rough patch, but when I get called at work by the OM’s wife to fill me in on what was going on, I knew things were past just a rough spot.

    We had been together close to 30 years, married for more than 20, and we have three lovely children together. I may not have been perfect, but I know that I was loving, caring, and support to my X and our children throughout. My main focus was always my family, with my wife above all. I am trying to cope with the fact that my wife did not reciprocate my feelings, and by her actions has shown how she feels about me and our family. I admit I danced the dance until the day I moved out, which was, painfully, a full six-months after formally separating.

    After I was out it was easier to distance myself and I have found out that I am a hell of a lot tougher than I thought I was. I have purchased a new home that my kids and I love. I have kept things together at work throughout it all. I have developed deeper friendships, and reconnected to friends that I had lost touch with over the years.

    For 2018 I need to come to terms with the fact that my STBXW made her own decisions and that I was not in control of what she chose to do. The blaming me for what happened was justification on her part. While logically, I get this, my heart still has a lot of catching up to do. I have been drinking more than I did before, but I don’t think it’s out of control, and I have been getting it back under control. I am getting active again, which was so difficult before as I just didn’t have the mental energy.

    My kids and I have good relationships. I am working on those for the new year. The idea of sharing their time has bothered me, but it is the new reality. They don’t know the origins of our divorce, and I don’t know if they will ever know. I am determined to be a good dad through all of this though.

    I don’t know what will happen to my STBXW in 2018. I still have strong feelings for her, so I have been intentionally limiting how much I am in contact. I don’t ask much, because I am still fantastically damaged by the broken trust and loss of our family. I don’t want anything bad to happen to her or the OM, but I do believe that she is going to find out that she has made a very big mistake.

    • It sounds like you are doing brilliantly in so many ways. The one thing that gives me pause is your reluctance to let the kids know the origins of your divorce. If you don’t make sure they know the truth (just the facts, no editorializing), then sooner or later your STBXW will make up an “origins” story that makes her a saint and either makes you the scapegoat for all that was wrong in the marriage or implies the divorce was some sort of natural outcome of people growing apart. Your deep desire to protect the kids is admirable, but it is not a desire your STBXW shares (or you would not be in this mess). Be honest and brief with your kids about why their family is not what it used to be. Being a “good dad” does not mean shielding your kids from consequences, including the consequences of having a selfish mother.

      • Thanks for your reply. You are probably right that they should know. I think that this is likely to come out this year, unless my STBX is planning to keep this guy a secret from the kids altogether. They know him from before this all fell apart, and they will ask questions. I am still at the stage that I foolishly want to protect her, and am worried about the outcome of all of this. I know this is self-destructive behaviour too, that is why I have minimized contact as much as possible. I am counting on the fact that my own actions towards the family all through my children’s lives has been clear and consistent.

        • I’m currently covering for cheater wife as well. She’s paranoid our daughter will find out. I’ll reveal things once I have divorce finalized. Helps to get cheater wife to be more cooperative.

    • No doubt your stbx will figure out she made a huge mistake, but it will be way too late by then. It sounds like you are about six months behind me. I also thought it was a rough patch and then got the call from OW’s husband while I was at work. It did take a long time to make any progress towards letting go of my feelings for him, but that is gradually happening. I had to first get to the point of being willing to initiate the divorce, then I was focused on the divorce. Once the divorce was final, however, I was able to start rebuilding my social life and it is getting easier and easier to not be hung up on him anymore. It just takes time.

      Meanwhile I will add my voice to the others who say you should tell your kids what happened. My kids found out the hard way when I lost my cool after finding credit card charges for Schmoopie wooing on the joint credit card while going through finances for the divorce. My daughter overheard my rant. It was a bit of a relief to have that secret off my chest, but it would have been better if they had been informed in a more controlled manor. Maybe you have more control over your emotions than I do and something like that won’t happen, but still, why keep it a secret. They are bound to find out eventually one way or another.

    • I actually hope to one day look back at this fucked up year with gratefulness and appreciation.
      I dont yet…

      For 2018 I will keep moving on; learning that I am stronger than imagined, working on (re)building my relationships with my two teenagers.

      My STBXw is struggling with her day-to-day. I think her decisions are crushing her. I too have mixed emotions about all that. I need to work on my anger and letting all that go.

      ……

      I am grateful beyond to CL/CN.

      Raising a glass of scotch to us guys (and gals); here’s to a better year and a better life and **hopefully**someday**soon-ish** a fantastic partner who loves us like crazy (can you imagine…?)

    • I wanted to comment on you saying you weren’t perfect in the marriage. They do have a way of making us think that somehow our actions caused their behavior. Fucktard told me the reason he cheated was because I went back to school to finish my degree. At first I bought into this. Then Chump Lady had the March 11, 2016 post, “The 3 Douchiest Things You Don’t Miss.” It was awesome. I still go back and read it. It’s my personal favorite and I even started this long list in my journal. It made me realize that everyone has their faults and a chumps answer to the cheater saying, “well, you did _____,” is “Whatever, I didn’t betray you my fucking someone else.” I would even say that to myself when I started wondering if I could have done something differently. Nope, I didn’t fuck anyone while I was married, so I’m good.

      You didn’t cause it, you cannot control it, and you cannot cure it.

      • Thanks, I know that objectively, I can’t be held responsible for the actions of my STBX but I know that she had a lot of my mental realestate so her words to me always carried a lot of weight. That is something I am getting better about, but it’s a slow process.

      • SO MUCH YES.

        The truth is nobody is going to be perfect and nobody is going to give you the full package of what you expect. But this is essentially what love is about, and why friends are for. Love is compromise. It is loving someone for who they are instead of shopping around for the qualities they don’t have.

        I was made to feel inadequate because I was insecure and unhappy. NB: I was GRIEVING for my parent. I did EVERYTHING I could to make the relationship work, to make him happy, to make the long distance less, to be a better person. I spent money. I fought with my family. I took countless leaves from work. It still wasn’t enough.

        But nothing, NOTHING gives anyone the right to cheat. I didn’t cheat even though he was far from a stellar boyfriend. Because I chose to work on the relationship instead.

        Having said this, for people who already face family of origin issues (like me) and who internalise the feeling that they aren’t worth it, it’s hard not to take this personally. I’m still occasionally beset by thoughts that OW and my ex are the perfect couple and I am no good, and it shows in my lack of self-confidence.

        2018 will be the year that I systematically break this negative self-image down.

  • 1) Unchumping myself – still working hard on “reprogramming” my thoughts. He still occupies way too much thought time, even after 2-1/2 years. I have to remind myself that I was trained for nearly 40 years and it takes time. 1a) Paying off the attorney. I’ve gotten the near $14k bill down to under $1k; I will do a major happy dance after sending the last check.

    2) I’ve learned that if I set my mind to something, I CAN do it! Auto maintenance, house projects, finances, all good! (Except for ceiling fans. In which case I have learned that DS26 will come running to my rescue with help, a stern lecture, and a new multi-meter, “So you don’t kill yourself.”)

    3) For EX – I hope the distant glimpses I’ve caught are really the Karma Bus coming to call. DD29 has made comments lately as to not wanting to drive the 100 miles to see him, as she doesn’t like it there, her hubs dislikes going as he get roped into helping with projects, granddaughter cries while there, and OW makes them uncomfortable. Then there’s learning that the idiot fell and hit his head and is seeing a neurologist. Now, I don’t really want any creature to suffer, but. . . if he’s not exaggerating a small problem (long history of that) and truly has an issue, I’d sure be tickled to hear he can’t get cleared for his precious competition driving license for next year. Or he can’t work in his precious garage. Awww. NOT!

  • 2017 started with a bang in January because I finally got the asshole into court and hammered out an agreement. I reached meh on Wednesday, July 5th when the paperwork was finally signed – after 6 years of trying to divorce the douchebag. I feel like a huge weight has been lifted off of my shoulders. In August I took back my maiden name after 16 years of marriage. I’m finally me again. He may have verbally, emotionally and mentally abused me but I am back. I know who I am again. I’ve learned over the last 6 years how to draw boundaries, be no contact and definitely not be chumped by anyone.

    In 2018 I plan on taking care of me. Time to get healthier – eat better, exercise and go to bed earlier. Like someone said above – less screen time.

    My prediction for him and his girlfriend (not the OW). He moved in with her as quick as he could because no man in his family can take care of themselves. My youngest says they fight all the time, but I still predict a ring by the end of this year. Good riddance and good luck with the loser. His mask will slip as soon as you say I do!

    To all of you new chumps just starting this journey – hang in there. It really does get better. I read here for years and never believed that it could. And it did. Everyone heals at their own pace.

    To CL and CN THANK YOU. You have no idea how you helped and healed me. The sage experience from chumps and the out right laughs and advice from CL were the only things that got me through some days.

    I truly wish that 2018 is OUR year!

  • 1. Resolutions – I hate to make them, and didn’t make any in the past. But this year I want to take classes, find meaningful work that will support me and my two kids, and work towards having my own home again, even if it’s renting.
    2. What I learned – I learned that I can push through fear and uncertainty and come out the other side stronger. I have learned that I can and should ask for more help when I need it. And I have an absolute steel spine when I or my kids have been wronged. They mess with the Kitten, they get the claws.
    3. I’ve already had sister Karma bless me this year; exH’s fuckbuddy #3, with whom he had hoped to cohabitate and share expenses, backed out and friend-zoned him around the middle of the year. He’s been dating and scrambling for other companionship, but so far nothing. These last few months he’s been texting me whining about what a lonely sad sausage he’s been around the holidays, missing the kids and I. While I am honestly trying to reach meh, it’s only been six months since the divorce, and I admit to savoring these little text-bursts like butterscotch candies, rolling them around on my tongue and sucking every last sweet bit to the end…while telling him to keep trying, there’s probably someone else out there bound to fall for his nice guy act, at least at first. I’m a terrible person. 😉
    Future prediction for cheater: More of the same sad sausage loneliness in 2018, as he realizes exactly what he threw out for fuckbuddies, strippers and happy endings, and has trouble finding an honest, kind person not put off by his clinginess and demanding, near-constant sexual/touchy-feely neediness(“you aren’t meeting my needs! MY needs! MYMYMYMEMEME!” New relationship energy! Sexual thrills nonstop! I am validated by other people’s sexual interest in me! I have no coping skills and rely on other people to regulate me!)
    It’s gonna be rough, I can tell. *purr*

  • This year Ring’n got her groove back and she thinks her kids are starting to feel pretty groovy too. I was 16 when I met Dr. Demento. I was a girl who wanted to travel and see the world, have adventures at every turn. He was shy but seemed interested in getting a life and having adventures. That was all a big lie. What he wanted was to be a famous scientist, read, have sex, be fed, have a layer of shiny frosting over him so he looked normal. I was everything else. Took care of the kids, the house the dog, work like a dog, cared for aging parents, while Dr. Demento achieved his life goals and cheated and practice 2 of the 3 narc channels with great frequency, RAGE and Pity, shitty sausage that he is. The man utterly lacks charm in any form except for a dry, cynical, subtly bullying sense of humore.

    When I met him I was just beginning a life of adventure. I hiked, I traveled. On the day after we married, all of that disappeared, he isolated me, raged at me, gave me full-on Stockholm Syndrome and so I was treading water through the affair and through life 32 years of life.

    Somehow in this, I had three really devoted girlfriends who kept me afloat.

    So in answer to this question, I realized that this was the year Ring’n got her groove back.
    1) No one has screamed at me or devalued me or my motives in 6 years. It has taken me this long to settle down my brain chemistry so I am not always fearing the earth will swallow me.
    2) Amazingly, people like me. I have always liked people (Dr. Demento doesn’t like them at all) but they like me back. I am amazed that people like me. One of my employees gave me a Christmas card this year saying she was so grateful that I am such a decent human and how happy she is that I am in her world. Sniff…
    3) I have developed a group of wonderful friends. WONDERFUL friends. Male friends who are happy to come over when I call them and fix things. Friends who invite me places, no one invited me places when I was married to Dr. Demento, probably no one wanted his glowering, awkward self around.
    4) I have been hard at work practicing with my narc goggles and narc decoder ring. One whiff of narc gas, from any the traits of Narc-dom and you are out the door. I ghost you, quietly on little cat feet. No drama just poof, I am gone. You know what? That seems to leave room in my head and heart for really wonderful people to find their way into my life.
    5) My kids’ brain chemistry seems to be settling too. I never thought it would happen. They were raised in this very subtle, desperate household where their mother’s first thought was, will this make him rage. But Dr. Demento has been gone for 6 wonderful years. DD20 is finding her happy place, surviving university and testing for her groove. DD32 is finding out that her mother is the rock in her world. Her mother, is ALWAYS there, always loving her, straight up and true. DS29 has round the love of his life and is ecstatically expecting a baby girl in Feb. Love of his life comes from a very loving family. I will be a Nana. How wonderful and grateful I am for all of this.
    6) This year I found my old adventurous self. I went home to Bermuda, my island and my heartbeat. I went to Burning Man with wonderful friends and spend a week of wonder, of art, and the possibilities of this life and this world. Then I went to Guatemala and Belize, didn’t get eaten by crocodiles but swam with sharks, and returned to my mermaid roots. Spent time with the Garafuna people who are as close as I can get to my own ancestors.

    7) Next year, a trip to Europe to meet my soon to be daughter in law, and my sweet Gbaby. Planning trips to Fiji, Vanuatu and New Zealand. Today a friend of mine who is also a recovering chump, left for a 3-month sail from Cabo through the Panama Canal. I have always wanted to do this. I asked about the cost $50 a day. Well within my budget.

    8) I will yet again try to lose 30 lbs, give up on the idea of meeting a man, just not sure that there is a man out there who wants this life.

    Oh and Dr. Demento, he and Slunty slip slowly and quiet into a life of isolation and boredom at best. Kids didn’t even call him on Xmas.

    The best revenge is living and loving well. So hang in there Chumps, work on yourself, work on your narc goggles and narc decoder ring. Be your true, lovely and kind self, trust that it is enough and that the world will respond to your beautiful selves.

  • For years I’ve been eating my frustrations and that really has to stop in 2018. I’ve recently been diagnosed with severe obstructive sleep apnea which, along with general depression about the turn my life took in 2014 and leaving my friends behind when I moved 2500 miles to live with and care for my elderly handicapped parents, has not helped me to have the energy necessary to take better care of myself. And to top it off I’ve also just been diagnosed as a borderline Type II Diabetic. So, all that said, this HAS to be the year I finally get my eating under control and STOP being a chump about my health. It’s just not worth it to cram food inside myself to fill the emptiness – it’s literally killing me.

    About myself – In 2017 I learned that I can sidestep around those uncomfortable memories and emotions and pretend I’m doing fine – until I can’t. So, I started seeing a therapist again in November and I’m finally working my way through the pain. Looking forward to feeling lighter and brighter in all kinds of ways.

    And what do I foresee for Mr. Quitter? I found out on an impromptu and wonderful trip back to my former life in October that he has had a Schmoopie since shortly after he walked out on me. She’s a couple years OLDER than him, not much to look at, and apparently a big hit with his entire dysfunctional family. She also is even more recently divorced than he is – which I find appalling. Anyway, I foresee them having the life they so richly deserve with each other. What that will be I really don’t care to know.

  • After a year of hell- catching the pervert, booting him, divorcing him and moving to a different state- I want a year of financial and emotional stability in 2018,

    This year, I learned that I can walk away from a 31 year marriage to a lying, deceptive pervert.

    My prediction for the lying deceptive pervert (Dancing Dick)……he’ll be happy as a clam with his new “head janitor” girlfriend. As if nothing ever happened.

  • Friends… (and I say that because I follow so many stories here, and every day I find some nugget of wisdom from some of the strongest men and women I can imagine. To find humor and courage in the light of tragedy is remarkable.)

    This year, I just want to find me. The ME who isn’t afraid anymore. Of ending up alone, or with a controlling narcissist that has me and my two kids walking on eggshells. Afraid of my ex ending up happily ever after with my friend who he left me for after a two year affair. I can’t ever write coherently, can you tell I’m a mess?

    I’m so from Meh it’s not even funny. One step forward, five steps back. WHEN will this constant thinking about them end? WHY do I still care? HOW will I regain normal brain function and sanity in order to run my business and be happy?

    It’s like they’re “winning”. This OW (my friend, my son’s high school mentor, my daughter’s best friends mother) said she envied my life, and wished she was me. I comforted her and told her how good her life was, tried to make her feel better. She repays me by screwing my husband, divorcing hers, and making moves towards a life with my husband of 21 years – never mind me and my two kids (we’re not divorced yet nor legally separated).

    I keep hearing things from her ex, that they’d been making long term plans since Fall 2016. All of 2016 and 2017 was me pick me dancing after finding out about their affair, 4 ddays, him leaving 4 times to “find himself”. Oh and the number 4 is significant because in numerology, four is an angel number and denotes the Divine is guiding you. This is from the OW to my ex. Have you ever heard such crap? And my 50 year old husband believed that. But he’s left me because blah blah blah (I’m not as thin as I once was, not enough sex, not a numbers person (I’m an artist), we just aren’t compatible, etc. etc.)

    I want to KNOW that I’m enough this year and quit exuding sadness about my lost family. I want to fall out of love with him… or if it’s not love then the trauma bonding, or cognitive dissonance, or whatever it is.

    I want to not have dreams of them every single night, or thoughts of them all day long every day. I want to find the joy in sheer living again and know that God has a plan for me and that I DID NOT CAUSE my husband to fall out of love with me. I want to quit caring about vengeance and validation.

    I’ll get there, right? I want to start the New Year with some hope that it WILL get better. 18 months is long enough to cry over someone who obviously doesn’t love me. I just don’t know how to get there.

    Thanks for any advice or words of wisdom.

    • I knew to be wary of the holidays, and it was true. I’ve had a setback. I look at my ex and want him still, love hime still. I went weeks without seeing him until the holidays, then he’s here in the house doing Christmas with the kids. Big mistake I know. I have to climb this mountain again 🙁

      • Dear Creative Lifer, we have all been where you are now and it does get better. You must believe that. One of the things I did to help me get past it was to make 3 lists: What I Need, What I Deserve and What was Unacceptable to Me. I posted those lists everywhere, carried them with me. When I had those moments of thinking of Miserable Vomitus Mass and his AFF, Cracker Barrel Whore- pulled them out and read them again and again until they were imprinted on my heart, soul and mind that I never deserved the shit they put me and my kids thru. Made me mad and made me mighty.

        You are a creative person, use that creativity to propel yourself forward. Paint in bold, angry strokes. Journal and pour out all the hurt and anger. It doesn’t have to be complete sentences or even make sense. Just. Get. It. Out!

        (Hugs to you) keep coming back here, it will save your sanity.

      • Maybe it would help to think that you’re not in love with HIM, you’re in love with the concept of who you thought he was. He’s not that person. That person is gone – left when he made his decisions to do what he did for YEARS.

        A mantra I’ve read on here from someone else might help when you have to see him: This person is not for you, they are against you. Say it to yourself over and over until you believe it. One day you will.

        I’m also not a numbers person. Neither was my X… he was a scientist and skeptic and OW believes in signs and omens. To the point that he noted down her observation that they wore sweaters one day in the same shade of green when they met for lunch. This was a sign. Grown adults, thinking matching jumpers was a sign that they should screw around on their partners. You gotta laugh. OR cry. Or both. Distance helps.

        You are enough. It might look like they’re ‘winning’ but in blaming you for everything, he’s not learned anything. He’s not dug deep. He’s not a better person than the one who treated you like shit. Trust that he sucks. That they suck. He’ll get into a rut with her when the day-to-day settles in (and it always settles in – no one is perfect). You are enough. x

    • Creative,

      You write beautifully, expressively about a very painful topic. I feel your pain.

      I, too, dream almost nightly about my ex-boyfriend and tremendously miss him both asleep and awake, months after he left for ‘greener pastures’ a second time. (I think that to him, I was just Ms. Right Now, Booty Call of Last Resort, not a woman who loved him more than anything.) I would love to fall out of love with him as, although he treated me, on the surface, well, he often treated me poorly and neither respected me nor truly loved me. He never tried to work things out with me before abruptly dumping me twice and now refuses to communicate with me in any way. Although I am not perfect, I would like to and think that I deserve to believe what I think is the truth–I did not cause him to lie to me and mistreat me before repeatedly leaving me. I really want to truly believe that I am ‘good enough’ instead of believing that I ‘lost’ to a ‘better’ contender for my partner’s love and respect. I, too, want to quit caring about vengeance and validation. I don’t think that it is possible to get either. As my ex-boyfriend has completely cut me out of his life and doesn’t care about me and perhaps even feels annoyed that I ever occupied his air space, even while I was pick me dancing while we were officially together, I cannot get validation from him. Even though I, to my own amazement, reached six out of six (100%) of my then current goals early this fall, he doesn’t care and is not impressed. He was more drawn to his work subordinate than he was to me. I can’t think of a way I could exact vengeance–at least not anything that is legal/ethical. (He did lose hearing in one ear due to a brain tumor nearly a decade ago and experiences frequent tinnitus, so I guess that he has experienced some hardship, but I still fantasize about other unfortunate events befalling him. I remind myself that my exes are not worth (my) potential jail time. I just put them on a pedestal and gave/give them way more of my mental real estate than they deserve!)

      I think that many of us on this site were not in love with our partners although we thought we were and were extremely loyal to our abusers/cheaters; we were in love with the concept of or the ‘potential’ in our partners. Most likely, our partners were NEVER the people we thought they were, honest, kind people who loved us. And although they may look as though they are great and having great relationships with replacements, it is very unlikely that our partners have had a sudden character make-over, or even an enduring physical makeover. Some of the warts (both literal and figurative) they carried while they were with us are very likely still there. I worked as a psychology researcher for some years. Many people in the field believe that personality traits (and I believe character) are fairly strongly established by a person’s twenties. (Not all researchers might agree, but I think that most of them do.) Although a person can change, a person has to be very insightful and very committed to trying to change for a long period of time. How many people do you know like that? Do you think that your ex or mine are like that. That at middle age or older that they are going to significantly change? The few I know like that have Nobel Prizes and Olympic medals. (I am not exaggerating.) The saying that ‘a tiger never changes his stripes’ has persisted because there is much truth in it. Thinking about the undesirable features of my exes that still exist and the desirable human features that never existed and will never exist makes me feel a bit better.

      Regarding us not ‘being enough,’ please keep in mind that dishonest, selfish people can think of a million reasons (both plausible and implausible) why we are not ‘enough.’ My ex-boyfriend told me that I did not have enough vacation time (to be his partner)–as a teacher, I had THIRTEEN (13) WEEKS PER YEAR. In what other field, which provides a living salary, do most people have that much vacation? He didn’t. He also told me that he had a problem with his career being at its zenith and mine just restarting (I had been a grad student while raising kids and had not ‘worked’ full time for several years.) Later, he denied he ever said those things. In sum, jerks will come up with all types of ridiculous reasons that you are not good enough to excuse themselves from responsibility and even to make you feel bad.

      I am tired of people saying in response to finding out that my ex-husband and my ex-boyfriend left me (for other women), ‘People change.’ Some people change a bit usually over a long period of time. But in our cases, the cheaters/liars did not change (just plain ‘grow apart from us’)–they showed us their true colors, which had always been there behind the mask. And saying that an intimate partner left us because ‘people change’ if the partner started showing signs of bolting after just months is ridiculous.

      Ideally, all of us here on Chump Lady can find ways to feel significantly better soon.

  • 1. What are your New Year’s resolutions for unchumping yourself?
    * Eat healthy. Sleep enough. Exercise as often as possible.
    * PURSUE PROFESSIONAL GOALS!!
    * Get lotsa friend action.
    * Consider the option of dating again if and when I’m really ready.

    2. What was the most important thing you learned about yourself in 2017?
    * I’m perfectly happy without any dating or romantic interactions whatsoever.

    3. What are your (fanciful) predictions for your cheater in the new year?
    * That he’ll get tired of hearing people wish I was still with him, that I was so much better for him, that I brought him joy and so much else.
    * That he’ll realize he traded sanity for insanity, traded gold for trash, traded love for a turd

  • My 2018 goal is to work on my finances. STBXH never provided consistently, and sometimes not enough (choosing to spend his money on *other* things he shouldn’t). Since he moved out, he’s actually been a bit better getting money to me, so I’ve been slowly but surely working through our debt. I need to have it as low as possible in order to qualify for my mortgage (I’m buying him out of his half of the house).

    And that’s my other goal for 2018…to get this divorce finalized (hopefully in January), and then to work on completely separating all the accounts and stuff.

    The thing I learned about myself is that I’m actually a lot more resilient than I thought. But I sometimes find it very difficult to breathe when I think about all the responsibility I’m under, to make enough money for my house and all that stuff, and taking care of my daughters. (Yes, he contributes financially, but that’s only for a few years…up until our youngest goes to college).

    My fanciful prediction? That he and the whore truly split up, and that he’s left in the depths of despair, whole heartedly saddened by his decision to ruin his family. And no…I’ll NEVER take him back!

  • My New Year’s goal is to be better than I was in 2017. I did some things right (had savings and running goals, volunteered a few times) but was dragged down by continued litigation started by XH ($$$). Also found myself drinking more than I wanted, since when the kids are gone I wanted to be around people. So short list: find other activities/hobbies, drink less…kicking around idea of a half marathon! On dating…not sure if I’m ready but think a “get out of the box/try some merging new” outlook might help!

  • So….my Karma/prediction for fucknut…

    He has been nonstop drunk for a little over two years since shit hit the fan….liver is apparently NOT happy.
    Has been diagnosed with diverticulitis….have another drink, that might help…(snark.)
    Has just been diagnosed with diabetes…well being 450 pounds will do that to you.
    Blood pressure is through the roof…see above for possible explanation.
    Surrounds himself with the other drunks in the town.
    Has resorted to picking up the town bikes in the bar because as a 62-year-old 450 pound drunk that is now your dating pool.
    Our son thinks he is a sociopath, loser and generally a waste of good air.

    My Karma/prediction for myself…
    Finally found my lady balls and am living life for me, moved to my dream teeny town by the ocean even though he lives there and continue total no contact….this is what meh looks like.
    No health, alcohol or “picking up losers in the bar” concerns.
    Have surrounded myself with…you know….normal people.
    Our son has supported me 1000% and thinks I rock.

    So does any of that change what happened, nope. But my life is better for him not being in it, I would rather be alone than disrespected, abused and lied to. If I count my pennies I will be just fine. I have the love and respect of my family, friends and most importantly my son. The “love” of an alcoholic asshole I can do without.

    So hang in there everyone, our paths are different than what we wanted/thought we had, but in truth if you were with someone who is capable of betraying you……you never did have the reality, just the fantasy they sold you. They are not good people.

    Wishing you all a healthy, happy, peaceful 2018.

  • 1. What are your New Year’s resolutions for unchumping yourself?
    I would say working on fixing my picker. I am in the earliest consideration phases of thinking of dating again, and that will be key. I have so far avoided several booty call & future clusterfuck situations, which is good. I want to continue with that success into 2018 and beyond. But in order to learn more, I must put myself out there more in a social sense. But if I never have another relationship again, I’m fine with that too. I wouldn’t have been in earlier years. These days, I like knowing there’s no other shoe to drop. My stress levels are way down and it frees me to work on *me*.

    2.  What was the most important thing you learned about yourself in 2017?
    I had been neglecting my health needs. So I have started physical therapy up again, and am putting long-overdue self-care at the top of the list. My ex really ramped up the cheating when I was going through 6 months of chemo all those years ago, so I concentrated first on surviving, and then dealing with the situation came a distant second. Now that all that is so far behind me I can’t even see it in the rear view mirror, I need to make *me* the most healthy *me* I can be! It seems weird and almost selfish to put me first. I tell myself I can be a better support system for others if I’m a stronger person. Most importantly, I can be a better support system for myself. I have to get to the point where I deep down believe I deserve this.

    3. What are your (fanciful) predictions for your cheater in the new year?
    It didn’t work out with Schmoopie, so the ex is putting out feelers with people on my periphery to see if there’s any way to get intel on my situation. (I *REALLY* went hardcore no contact; blocked and locked everything down I could think of.) Ex doesn’t know I know the full extent of the infidelity, and thinks there might be a way back. No, there is not. 😀 I assume there will be another schmoopie; probably one that’s a single mom who thinks she’s getting the helping hand of her prayers and dreams. Well, initially, she will be. It doesn’t last though. She’ll probably have a good-paying job and be generous to a fault. The ex can smell them a mile off. It will last until the money runs out. (Ex is terrible with finances and stole our youngest son’s tax return money this year.) I can’t predict what assfuckery the ex will be up to in 2018, but I have credit monitoring on all my accounts and security monitoring on everything else… just in case.

  • 1. My New Year’s resolution is to accept that the choices I made in the past, including that of a mate, cannot be unmade so I need to learn from them and just make better choices.
    2. What I learned from this year is that no one has power over me unless I give it to them.
    3. It’s Monday night, but since I still would like to see a big serving of Karma, it’s not Tuesday, sooooo, I predict that he will be homeless in another few years. He got married to her in October and I saw her for the first time during my son’s wedding in November. It was a little scary because I saw her from behind and thought she was my 22 year old ex-niece by her heft and attire. I just smiled and completely ignored him and her the entire night as I laughed, danced, and made merry. Two days after the wedding he complained to my son that “she” wasn’t included in anything and he was hurt, ’cause ya know, it’s all about him. Yep, he’ll be alone and homeless in a few years and neither son will have anything to do with him.

  • 1. NC with Mr. Path of Least Resistance. Focusing on myself, my health and what makes me happy. Living my values. Building relationships based on reciprocity and authenticity. It’s going to be a year of relaxing and discovery. Dating again when I’m ready. Travel. Crossing some things off the bucket list. Getting a life!

    2. This year I learned I am resilient as fuck. 2017 is not the year I got cheated on and abandoned. 2017 is the year I survived abuse and forged pain into growth.

    3. I’m sort of at meh for X – I think I genuinely wish him well. But I’ve not gotten there yet for THEM as a couple. I predict in 2017 My Fair Lady (my name for the OW – X says she’s “perfect for him on paper” but he just needs to give her some lessons in the art of holding a decent, interesting conversation and in how to think about politics) will move into my old house and somewhere deep in her shrivelled up egotistical heart it will bother her that everything in it was influenced by me and that it holds our memories. I predict the bloom will be off the rose for X pretty quickly after that, but he’ll continue along the path of least resistance as she begs him to love her (basically a continuation of their pattern built in 2017, but she’ll switch from ultimatums to leave me to ultimatums to propose to her and get a baby made). I expect she’ll amp up the pressure around the summer, because she’ll be turning 35. They’ll both tell themselves they’re happy. Deep down X will still be thinking: “I’ve made a huge mistake.. how did I get here?”

    • oneonefourone,
      There is so much strength in your post.
      “2017 is the year I survived abuse and forged pain into growth.”

      I remember in your posts how much you loved your home, your kitchen.
      You say ow will know the home she will move into is influenced by you.
      Ah ha perhaps she will be haunted by your ghost!
      But, you, YOU are mighty!
      Wherever you live now, there is peace and quiet. Integrity lives there with you. It dwells in your heart.
      I am so proud of you!
      Stay Mighty!

      Xxxxxxxx
      Peacekeeper

  • 1. More me. I think the children are on a good healing path. Will re focus on me . Some yoga. Resume good eating habits. Stick to a bed time! Just more me in 2018.

    2. I realise that I never liked BS and now I can not only say it but act on it. I actively display my intolerance for BS yet this has not resulted in me being a bitch but people do think twice.

    3. For stbx? I always knew what his future held…more of the same because he is the same. It won’t matter who he is with. The house of cards will eventually fall. Further down the road of life ,I can say with certainty that the obvious result is that he just won’t be as close to our children as he could have had he stayed. The natural devotion he will expect from them will not materialize… unfortunately. I see it over and over and over with other persons.

  • One month since he moved out and I am still in grief. Today is his day with our son and I am feeling all left out. Why am I excluded from the things that we 3 used to be doing together during the weekends? The cruelty of his mentally divorcing me and now physically excluding me…it really hurts. I just wish that 2017 will end soon and take away all these pain so that I can start all over again.

    • I recall that feeling. I really felt like you say ,left out. As if our family time was destroyed …and it was. At first I listened to pod casts ..positive things. Then I found one on cooking show called cooking with Marilyn and that kept my company on the weekends they were with him. Then I started arranging with a friend to go to a farmers market near by for breakfast on saturdays. I also would have someone come help me clean so it felt as if I did something useful and the children enjoyed returning to a clean home. Since that time I’ve come to enjoy the me time. Just try distracting yourself at first. It’s going to be crappy but tell your self that when you look back on this crappy period that you would also have sprinkled it with some good memories. Force yourself to go out. Come back home and crash out but force yourself like you forced your son out of your womb.
      As my father said to my son…it won’t always be this way.

      • I remember feeling left out- shut out too. As if I didn’t exist. The cheater/pervert just carried on as if nothing happened. It gets better.

    • You’re brand new at this stage; you mustn’t dwell on the holiday agony.

      He’s entitled to time with the child, you have that child all the time. Who do you think will have more influence over your child?

      You must not wallow in your pain; let it go by whatever means you can contrive.

      Hugs,

  • 2017 was the worst year of my life, starting with new years eve when my partner of 21 years and father to my twin boys told me he was tired of being grumpy, that he could see how the next 20 years would be and he wanted something better. Two weeks after leaving he announced he had started seeing someone, our boys sports coach, a woman who had been to my house and played sport with my partner. Now it all made more sense. They got engaged within 3 months got married less than 6 months after he left me and have now moved onto our family home which I couldn’t afford to buy him out of. This home has been our last 10 year project of renovating along with 10 acres of land we planted , a life’s work a place we were to retire in.
    My children are hurting and he won’t acknowledge it, he has never admitted being unfaithful and he says divorce and breakups are common and the kids should just get on with it. When he left he said he would be a better father if he saw them less often!! Less often alright, try once a week at most, and only for a couple of hours. Oh and she’s only 39 he and I are 51, and she has 4 kids of her own! The younger two younger than ours. Her kids are now moved into my children’s bedrooms, it’s horrendous.
    So 2018 has to be better than 2017 but he has ruined every new years eve for me
    now.

    I feel utterly replaced, he has just swapped her into his life and pushed me out. 21 years together and we never married, he didn’t believe in it! They are apparently soul mates! That’s what he said we were!

    Love reading everyone’s posts makes me feel less alone.

    • Replaced – yours and my stories are almost carbon copies! We were together (almost) 21 years but not married, 2 kids, he left beginning of Dec 16, proposed to OW within 2 months and married within 5 months. He moved in with her (she owns her own house) and I had to sell the family home – on 5 acres with amazing horse facilities (so horses also had to go mostly). Mine also will not acknowledge the effect of his actions on our children, particularly my eldest, and continues to just expect them to fit in with his new life (younger one is obliging more, although I know anxious, elder one is becoming more and more reluctant to engage with him at all).
      I am not destitute (as I have a good job) but financially I have very little security and very little in terms of assets or retirement planning – there was also gross financial infidelity on his part too, and much was lost. He, on the other hand, earns 4 times what I do and is buying (very) expensive cars, multiple expensive holidays (where had refused to come on holiday with us anywhere for over 3 years), the only reason he hasn’t upgraded their house yet is because her son refused to move, stating that it was his father’s house (she is a widow).
      It is just like you said – it is as if we have been replaced. Honestly, I don’t care – I wouldn’t want him back if my life depended on it, particularly now I see what a vile and cruel man he really is. However, that doesn’t make being replaced any less hard. My consolation is that his new wife is only a couple of years younger than me, (honestly) less attractive than me physically (I know that isn’t everything but it helps a bit), way less educated than me (again, not necessarily important but he is also well educated – but I think this is part of the attraction, she is totally in awe of him in this regard), far less worldly than me (again, an attraction for him, having the upper hand). I realize that it is not about her at all – it is all about him. What she does supply is great narcissistic supply. She is also very religious (which he has never been remotely) and has a wide network of friends through this – he had no friends of his own (all of our family/social life was generated by me) so she has brought him an instant network of friends, who are all quite similar to her – and, I suspect, in awe of him to a degree, for the same reasons, and unable to see through him, at least at this point. He is an excellent psychopath!
      Even though I am glad to be rid of him it is hard to feel so replaced – and the replacement treated so much better, even if it is shallow.
      Like you 2017 has been pretty crap. I hope that 2018 is better – I think it will be, but I still think it will probably have some significant hurdles. A friend of mine, who is 4 years out, said he thought of it like a complicated bereavement and I think this was very accurate. I think it will take a while to recover. I do wish you all the best in 2018 – very likely to be better than 2017 anyway! Xx

    • Dear Replaced,
      I am so sorry for how your cheater has treated you and your precious Children.
      I find it difficult to find strong enough words to express what a horrible partner and father to his children he has been.
      It sounds like the ow love bombed him, has changed his life completely around and now he has her four younger children thrown into the new marriage also.
      I doubt it will last, but now he and them are not your circus, not your monkeys any longer.
      You sound like a very loving, strong sweet lady.
      Please hold your children close. I hope your new home will be warm and comfortable for you and for them.
      Cheater is a shallow, uncaring piece of manure. YOU are so far above him!
      You don’t feel it, but YOU are Mighty.
      I am glad you are posting here and I wish you peace and happiness in the New Year!

    • I feel your pain as if it were mine. It all makes no sense. He is a cruel piece of shit. I hate the fact that we operate in good faith with them and they are happy to benefit from it but are themselves the ultimate serpents.
      I can only imagine the hell you are in now. Wish I could hurry it along for you. Just keep going. Don’t stop and stare.
      I know a man left his children for my aunt over fifty years ago. The two of them are still together, the man and my aunt. He never divorced his wife. She died a few years ago and finally married my aunt.
      I can tell you that their long relationship was an empty one full of shame guilt and controlling behaviors on his part. He tried to keep their son ,my cousin, away from his siblings but my cousin eventually found them out and learned the truth. His father was enraged . He had hoped that he’d come out smelling roses. This man is almost eighty years old and is a very bitter angry man. My cousin actually things he is mentally ill.
      Your partners wickedness will follow him. It taints their lives. There is no honor in what he has done. Fight not to let his wickedness taint your life indefinitely. Volunteer with your children to take the focus off of your own woes for a bit. Give and do good deeds.
      I’m sorry again. I can’t even re read your post. It is too hurtful. They are truly wicked and no love can change that, not even the love he claims to have with this wife. I suspect she is just in place to legitimize his actions. Image is all for these people.
      Fight! Fight! Fight! Don’t give up on you or your children. God bless.

  • 1) Get tougher on those boundaries, in every way. Reduce contact further, as much as is possible. Part of this will require a stricter visitation schedule, being less flexible about this – at least week to week as it currently is, making it 3 monthly then review or something similar. Just trying to sign back up to OFW again which had expired (but I can’t remember my username so a bit stuck!). Move to texting for emergencies only, either set up separate email or just communicate via OFW, no coming into my house anymore. Also better self-care of my physical health, in particular. Eat better, sleep more, bit of exercise.
    2) That I spent 21 years of my life living with a psychopath – shocking and scary, particularly when you still have to (try and) coparent with them. I always felt I was reasonably adaptable and resilient but this past year I do think I have been surprised by what I have been able to survive, adapt to and accomplish despite what I (and my children) have had to endure.
    3) I suspect that nothing too untoward will happen to him this year – he continues to live the shiny new life with the sycophantic new wife, and presenting an image of perfection to all will continue to take precedence so his narcissist cup runneth over, for the time being anyway. However, his attempts to control and humiliate me will continue (which I will get better at avoiding and regain some of the meh I had had a taste of a couple of months ago – hopefully) and, unfortunately so will his attempts to manipulate his elder daughter into increasing contact (all on his terms, of course) – and likely drive her further away (and be very difficult for her in the process). I can’t predict what will happen with our younger daughter – I think she is safe for the time being as she is behaving like a good little prop still and providing appropriate supply, who knows what the more distant future holds if she stops cooperating so fully. Obviously, what I really want to happen is that his personality disordered OW/new wife and he will both reveal themselves to each other (which I do think will happen in time, just might take more than this year – they are both too invested in maintaining the shininess for it to happen that quickly) and have to live with the miserableness of themselves fully, all exploding spectacularly and with much humiliation. That would be karma. Definitely not meh ….

  • Well 2017 was a shitful year, started off finding out online affair was a full affair of over a year. This was after throwing him out and then having him back for three weeks, in which he acted like an entitled ass still. Threw him out in Feb after seeing 600 photos on his phone documenting their time together, needless to say my world crumbled.
    Threw him out and have since endured his relentless hoovering punctuated with him dating casually and treating me like crap and mindfucking me.
    Lost my job in April and have limped through the year with work here and there managing to pay the mortgage on child support and unemployment payments. My brother bless him has been helping out giving me $100 a week.
    I’m studying Aged Care atm and will gain work in one form or another in the New Year.
    Positives, I lost weight and discovered yoga which has been key to my mental clarity and resolve. I look and am starting to feel great. I lost myself in the 13 years, my esteem was smashed and I let my health slide.
    CN has been my rock and I have learnt in the last 3 months that I don’t need to read crap from him. Yes I’m a slow learner!
    I deleted my old email address as I was still reading the crap that went to my junk folder. I have his number blocked and the only way he can contact me is on the landline and hell if I don’t like what he has to say I hang up. This has made my mind clearer, omg NC what a gift.
    Biggest lesson: watch actions not words
    Me 2018: extreme self love, me and my councillor had a good laugh about this, going to love the crap out of myself, get my shit sorted so he can’t poke through my armour, do more yoga and kick the booze. Been drinking half bottle of wine 4 times a week but know I’m less productive and it makes my mind uneasy.
    Prediction for him: he will ramp up the hoovering until March when his lease runs out, he only has online dating “friends”.
    He will continue being in debt, probably meet some random woman and claim she’s his soul mate. He will probably throw me some narc curve ball in the form of a crisis, can guarantee it!
    Hoping to look back this time in 2018 and think ‘yes I’m out of the shit storm’ the house is mine and I’m an independent strong women, maybe with a decent man on my arm, maybe not, won’t be looking too busy doing me…
    Hoping Tuesday is on its way.

  • Chump Lady and Chump Nation have really helped me so much, and more people should realize that doing this you save so many lives. ❤️

  • I’ve been unchumped now for three and a half years. Filing to divorce him was the greatest gift I’ve ever given myself.

    The most important thing I learned about myself in 2017 is that putting myself first while a challenge, is well worth the effort. Through years of taking responsibility for others actions I no longer personalize others actions and hold them accountable. Boundaries are for everyone!

    My (fanciful) predictions for ‘her’ cheater is that he will continue to con her into investing time and energy into the dreams he’ll never achieve. Perhaps, she’ll figure it out but having him is tourture enough. Don’t really care

  • 1- going to see a lawyer about ending our common law relationship. House +1 kid.
    2- I can be confident again. I’ve lost 35lbs this year.
    3- I don’t know. I rather get to meh.

  • 1. Continue to remove her from my headspace. She still has too much of it. I need to get to indifference.
    2. I can survive
    3. She will reap what she sowed in every way possible

  • My NY resolution is to disengage. The soap opera is fascinating, and it’s so tempting to react, but it doesn’t do any good in the long run.
    What I learned in 2017- I read Gretchen Rubin’s book, and I am an Obliger of Obligers. If I want to get stuff done I have to reframe it as an obligation to someone else- ie- getting my finances in order is an obligation to my kids
    also- you can give Viagra to rats with chronic pulmonary disease to help their breathing. There was no comment about other effects in the article.
    predictions-shit will hit the fan this year. 11 yo daughter has no intention of attending his wedding to Miss 1999, whenever it turns out to be. She just rolls her eyes and says ” I won’t be there.” people assume she’s cute and cuddly. She’s cute and the most determined person i know. he will assume I’ve put her up to it, because he assumes that every time they disagree with him.he will get vindictive.
    Prediction 2- other possibility is that engagement will explode in a cloud of intense jealousy and paranoia and the police will be called, like last time they had a major breakup

  • 1. What are your New Year’s resolutions for unchumping yourself?

    2. What was the most important thing you learned about yourself in 2017?

    And, if you’re not feeling entirely meh yet…

    3. What are your (fanciful) predictions for your cheater in the new year?

    1. Buy new car. It’s time.
    2. I am woke. I blame Trump.

    3. I am totally meh, but figured I’d share one semi-annoying thing that keeps happening: I never cared much for bottom-feeder bill collectors who buy debt for pennies on the dollar and proceed to break every law on the books when it comes to collections, but I care for them less now because lately they call looking for the ex, and I just say, “You have the wrong number”.

    I honestly don’t give it much thought, but these guys…..

  • Well, since I’m still living with entitled, spendaholic, I-deserve-my-privacy, two-time-cheater and trying to navigate the mess that I’m in, I hope 2018 brings about clarity, direction, and more self-love. I’m still not ready to leave due to my kids (8 & 5), but I think I’m getting there. It’s just very confusing because now she’s ready to work on things.

    I guess the good thing about her going out so much is I realized I’m a kick-ass dad that can take care of my two kids by myself. I actually prefer when it’s just the three of us. I also realized I have a lot to offer and someday (if things keep going the way they are) I’ll find someone who I make truly happy and who wants to spend most of their time with me.

    • “Well, since I’m still living with entitled, spendaholic, I-deserve-my-privacy, two-time-cheater and trying to navigate the mess that I’m in, I hope 2018 brings about clarity, direction, and more self-love.”

      Okay time for a not so gentle 2’4. You’ve got nothing to work with and staying for your kids means that you’re modeling how to be mistreated by another person while they overspend, cheat and expect you to reconcile. There is no self love when you stay with a cheater; there is only self loathing.

      Also-here’s a little something to keep in mind. Do you really know why your wife wants to work on things? When I found out that my now ex husband was having an affair, I made a plea to stay together and work on the marriage and we did for three years. He “broke” up with the other woman and she ran back to her husband. When I decided that I didn’t want to stay with the cheater anymore and told him I wanted a divorce, they “found” each other again and she left her husband for good. My ex and her are married now.

      Truth is that you don’t know why she wants to work on things but it’s probably because you’re her plan B. Do you really want to be someone’s plan B? Don’t make someone a priority when it’s clear they are making you their option.

      Sorry about the brutal truth.

  • I remember feeling left out- shut out too. As if I didn’t exist. The cheater/pervert just carried on as if nothing happened. It gets better.

  • 2018 will be better. I will make it better. Chumps, finding this website was one of the reasons I didn’t jump out of the 11th floor balcony of my workplace.

    In August, I was a broken mess, having found that the person I loved and trusted most in the world had been cheating on me since last Christmas. I am drawing lessons. This guy had cheated on me once, in 2014 with OW (announcing joyfully he had a girlfriend and asking me if he should send me her panties so I believed she was real, because I was too shocked to react). I went NC and rebuilt myself but then moved to the same city as him and ended up falling in with him again. He was struggling with his PhD so at the cost of my own career I helped him and became his BIGGEST champion. Once he was done and found a job, OW came back, unbeknownst to me, last Christmas, as I grieved my mother’s death. I only found out in August, on an expensive holiday…

    The bereavement, the betrayal, and other challenges in my life almost made me consider suicide. At the very least I thought I would go mad with grief. I medicated heavily to be able to sleep, and would wake up with nightmares. I couldn’t work and had to face disciplinary action for sloppy work. I put on weight from comfort eating and lost SO much hair from stress. I tried to beg him, went to see him, tried. I couldn’t understand what had happened, what was real and what wasn’t. Was she the OW or was I? What made her so irresistible that he went back to her even though I did the heavy lifting? Was I really such a shit girlfriend that he couldn’t handle being with me? I felt rejected, abandoned, worthless.

    On top of it my family was putting pressure on me to get married as in my culture, 29 is VERY old. Being cheated AND dumped was a death knell. My friends were glad to see him out of my life, but wanted me to speed up the healing process.

    Some comments on CN helped me see how I was doing all the giving in the relationship and this isn’t what a relationship should be about. Fellow Chumps here also validated my pain instead of telling me to forgive and move on ASAP.

    I had a mighty moment at Christmas. Christmases in general are quite lonely but last year was the absolute worst – spent alone, now with the knowledge of where my ex was (connecting with OW, like rediscovering a favourite toy…). I made sure this Christmas was beautiful. I cooked dinner for a couple of friends. There was good food, a twinkling tree, Frank Sinatra songs, carols at the church (even though I’m not Christian) and people I cared about. That’s what a perfect Christmas is, isn’t it?

    New Year is a bit more tough now as it feels like a definitive goodbye to 2017, and with it, to the man I’d loved since 2011 and with whom I dreamt of creating a family. It feels like losing a big part of myself. It feels like defeat while he wins – happily oblivious to the devastation he’s left in his wake. It feels like torture – this sense of looking at the void where my best friend, confidant and partner in crime used to be, knowing he belongs to someone else.

    But at least I’m not planning to jump out of the 11th floor balcony. It’s already a step in the right direction.

    I love you all, Chumps. Happy New Year!

    • I am so very happy you are still with us, Chumpyte. (((Hugs)))

      My hope for you in 2018 is that you find peace and joy for yourself. And the full realization that you deserve so much better!

      Happy New Year!!!

    • Your, oh, so sweet ex is a sociopath. He used you to finish his degree. Be happy that he is someone else’s mess.
      I hope you find genuine love. (Your age is perfectly fine). Just enjoy the fact that you DIDN’T marry him. What a horror that would be. I recommend you read THE SOCIOPATH NEXT DOOR…….after you read Tracy’s book.

  • I’ll play!
    1. Continue to stay low-contact (I “Co-Parent” with a Fuckwit) & quit giving Asshat & his hoho space in my brain.

    2. I am MIGHTY & I have amazing friends who have dropped everything to help support me. I am so much better off a year out. I can be alone and function better than I ever thought possible. My biggest take-away: Gratitude changes everything.

    3. Hope that Asshat can function in life just enough to not fuck up our kids.

    Thank you CL & CN! I come here everyday and can not express enough gratitude and love for all of you. Your stories of triumph & mightiness have changed my life. You’ve helped me accept that he sucks and it’s his shame to carry, not mine. I am mighty. I am worthy. I am enough. New Year! 💥

  • Former screen name: outtatime
    2018 screen name: justintime

    #1 Keep striving for “meh”. How?
    Trust that he sucks.

    #2 I’m stronger than I thought. Dday #2 came on December 2nd and I did NOT fall apart. I simply announced I would be filing for divorce on Monday. And then I did. To “Diane” in Wisconsin: Thank You! Although you were apologizing for “disappointing” him, you helped me so much. I truly believed he was my unicorn since my first Dday in November 2016.

    #3 Predictions for my cheater in 2018? I predict the Charm channel will be going strong. For how long? Only Vegas can handle those long odds.

  • 1. Choose my attitude and seek reciprocity.

    2. Disordered X was a narc. I survived first year out. NC rocks.

    3. Wish DX’d get therapy to work on the anger, manipulation and issues so they don’t impact the kids so much. Predict DX will continue multiple, continuous relationships.

  • I’m doing something kind of crazy and brave. I’m going to Mexico alone (I’ve never been) to a gorgeous beach town. My old boss lives there full time and found me a condo in her complex so I won’t be totally alone. I can’t get anyone to ever go fun places with me so I decided to do this alone. For TWO whole weeks. It’s been on my bucket list. I’m not even going to tell the XH I’m going. My life is none of his business. Ha!

  • Just now getting to answer Friday’s challenge…spent the weekend cleaning out clutter, and damn, it feels good! I am fortunate to have a “bonus room” in my house that doesn’t have a designated purpose. I had been using it as a closet, and it felt awful to have things piled in there like neither the space nor the things mattered. It has built-in bookshelves that I love, and I bought a daybed and some comfy pillows and a small TV, and I added some of my plants and a pretty throw that my sister gave me for Christmas. It is a simple, peaceful space.

    Two years ago, LadyLiar was deep into her affair, and I was pick-me dancing all over the place, and the holidays were full of searing pain. By this time last year, I was completely NC, and it was the smartest move I made through this whole shit storm. I won’t pretend that I am completely at Meh, because I still have moments where I feel like she punched me in the gut, but I am more mighty than ever. I moved our whole household, took care of myself and my daughters and our pets, and we are all entering the new year in good health and with hope for our future.

    She lives in a little apartment in a shabby complex. She makes a lot of money and has a lot of STUFF, but she gave up her only real family to indulge her addictions and her incessant need for new shiny things. I prefer having a heart and soul, thank you.

  • >