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Poor Nigel

Last week this chump metaphor caught my eye — as the world mourned the death of Nigel, the lonely gannet on a remote island off New Zealand. Nigel was renown for his steadfast love of a concrete decoy. Apparently there are chumps in the animal kingdom too.

The Washington Post reports:

Nigel, a handsome gannet bird who lived on a desolate island off the coast of New Zealand, died suddenly this week. Wherever his soul has landed, the singles scene surely cannot be worse.

The bird was lured to Mana Island five years ago by wildlife officials who, in hopes of establishing a gannet colony there, had placed concrete gannet decoys on cliffsides and broadcast the sound of the species’ calls. Nigel accepted the invitation, arriving in 2013 as the island’s first gannet in 40 years. But none of his brethren joined him.

In the absence of a living love interest, Nigel became enamored with one of the 80 faux birds. He built her — it? — a nest. He groomed her “chilly, concrete feathers . . . year after year after year,” the Guardian reported. He died next to her in that unrequited love nest, the vibrant orange-yellow plumage of his head contrasting, as ever, with the weathered, lemony paint of hers.

“Whether or not he was lonely, he certainly never got anything back, and that must have been [a] very strange experience,” conservation ranger Chris Bell, who also lives on the island, told the paper. “I think we all have a lot of empathy for him, because he had this fairly hopeless situation.”

Oh Nigel! You died in vain! It’s not hopeless! The tragedy is you were out of reach of the Reconciliation Industrial Complex! Imagine the RIC spin on this…

Nigel needs to ask himself what he did to make his partner concrete.

With a bit of therapy this relationship can be saved.

Nigel is grooming her chilly, concrete feathers, making his marriage a better place to be.

Nigel thought his partner seemed stiff and unyielding, but he could work with that. He read somewhere that concrete makes a marriage stronger. Especially with rebar.

Nigel realized his partner had family of origins issues — namely someone poured her into a concrete mold — but he thought with time, she could learn empathy.

Nigel’s partner never did the homework.

Nigel spackled. His concrete decoy mate isn’t unmovable, she’s stoic. She’s not cold, she’s edgy. She’s not silent, she’s introverted.

Sex? Not tonight. (Or any night.) Nigel considers he should lose some weight.

The RIC declares this relationship a success, because they stayed together!


Now, if you think Nigel is pitiful, consider this — Nigel chose better than we did.

Concrete decoys can’t give you STDs.

Concrete decoys can’t steal your 401Ks.

Concrete decoys never hire hookers.

Concrete decoys don’t come with in-laws.


Please tell me how the RIC could’ve saved Nigel.

Photo still from youtube.

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  • Poor Nigel missed the important step of

    “Concrete-proofing his relationship”

    If only he had been smart like the other birds, he wouldnt have been in this spot!

  • Oh CL, Why didn’t I see the light, one of fuckwit’s favorite expressions was “hair doesn’t grow on concrete”, I think he is wrong and I empathize with Nigel who probably thought “feathers don’t grow on concrete!”

  • Nigel: “Darling, you regret things, don’t you?”
    Concrete Decoy:
    Nigel: “It’s difficult to talk about, isn’t it?”
    Concrete Decoy:
    Nigel: “That’s all right, my true heart. I understand. If you’ve loved me all along and are committed to our relationship, just remain bravely silent.”
    Concrete Decoy:
    Nigel: “I knew it! I knew it! Mother was so wrong about you—about us! I love you, too, Sweetheart!”

    Projecting my values and desperate hopes onto a cold and unresponsive partner? Been there, done that. No one deserves to die on that desolate island. #flyaway

  • Whenever someone asked if I thought I could find someone better than her, I’ve always replied: “a freshly caught154-pound yellowfin tuna would make a better partner than her — a tuna wouldn’t set me up to be accused of domestic assault.”

    Now I can say: “A gannet decoy made of concrete would be a better partner than her” for all of the same reasons


    • Now I want to think of other things that would be a better partner…

      A snack box subscription and a Netflix account? A giant metal sculpture of a chicken? A poorly taxidermied fox in a tweed vest? A library card and a prescription for anxiolytics? (That was my route the first year.) Hmm…

      • A half-dead succulent in a colorful pot? A knock-off box of Kraft Mac & Cheese? A pair of fuzzy socks with a hole in one heel? Lots of things are better partners 😀

      • Hahaha My neighbors down the road have a giant metal chicken sculpture on each side of their driveway. I will think of you every time I pass it. 😀 #marriagematerial #bestspouse

      • This is getting better and better the farther I scroll down. You guys are hilarious, and I thank you from the bottom of my heart.

    • It just occurred to me —

      If KK were to hear me repeat the tuna remark, I GUARANTEE that her reaction/response would be to accuse me of weight shaming, for insinuating that she weighs anywhere close to 154 lbs

      • Ha! So true Uxworld. The narcs tend to miss the point altogether. Truly idiots. Oh what I would have given for a concrete statue instead of him and his awful family. #LuckyNigel.

      • OMG – a new Chump Nation t-shirt on the horizon? We already have the mascot and everything! ????

        #IWasNigel (front)
        #NigelNoMore(back, w/ pic of Nigel)

    • Sounds like we have the theme of our next Friday Challenge! “What Would Make a Better Partner Than the Flamin’ CheaterFreak?”

      Today’s post? Love it!! You are BRILLIANT, Tracy….Totally Brilliant

      Love all ya all as we ForgeOn!

    • I hereby nominate Nigel as our official CN mascot. Who can silk-screen t-shirts?

      • And, we can all wear our new t-shirts to Chump Lady’s Tampa workshop! 🙂

        (No. There isn’t one scheduled… yet but here’s hoping!!!)

        • Star Tingover,
          Make it Orlando!! Quite central to most areas of Florida…

          CL, wouldn’t you love to visit Orlando for a conference of your own creation?!? I’m sure some of us would volunteer our help!!

        • Oh, I almost had a heart attack, thinking there was a Tampa workshop coming up! I, too, am hoping for a Tampa workshop (in case you’re reading ChumpLady). March and April are lovely months here… ☀️ ???? ???? ???? ????

      • I don’t silkscreen but I do create shirts with heat transfer vinyl. It supplements my meager Disability income and keeps me busy enough to keep from losing myself in my PTSD.

        If you are serious about it, I would be happy to come up with something incorporating #IMNIGEL and Team Chump Nation. ????

        • Great Idea. How about ‘I loved a Concrete Decoy and lived to tell the tale’? #IWASNIGEL.

          Give us a ballpark figure NIKWHLL – what a great T-shirt idea 🙂

        • I’m in! I really needed this today! Have been doing ok but (what would have been) 11th anniversary is on Thursday and I felt really shaky over the weekend.

            • Omg. Love this. Someone commented a couple months back (perhaps longer) that I looked really good. Happy. Too happy? I said yes – I dropped 220lbs of dead weight. Ain’t nothing gonna hold this fire down! Jajaja ????????????

      • Tempest,
        I know a guy… 😉
        Shall it say “#IamNigel” or a picture of Nigel?

      • Uxworld,
        Oh my god, I laughed so hard almost pee’d on myself!


        That must be the CN Mascot!!

      • Hi Tempest,
        Are you seriously considering the t-shirts?

        I have a local small family owned business I could use to have t-shirts made?

    • Ha ha! I had a similar comment to my cheater:
      “If I threw a a tennis ball into the middle of a Zumba class and married the first woman it hit, I’d guarantee she would make a better wife than you.”
      She never got it.

      Just so we’re clear, I don’t normally randomly throw tennis balls at women, especially ones I don’t know. That might hurt. I’m not sure why I picked that analogy.

      • CL has a similar analogy about “swinging a cat in a random bar and hitting a better mate.” Perhaps you were channeling her acerbic wit?

      • That’s ok, we know you didn’t mean it:). I think.,,,..????

        Post Nigel grief- you are forgiven!


    • Oh my gosh– great hashtag. I need #IAmNigel as a bumper sticker to remind me that my ex is a horrid person who, yes, WILL also hurt our kids when it suits him. A little part of me keeps hoping things will change, and that part of me is clearly Nigel!

  • This is interesting in that the world’s press seems to be of one mind in praising Nigel for his faithfulness. If he had been human, he’d have been blasted for his failures.

    I imagine the RIC could find a way to blame Nigel for how HE got his partner so isolated. Never mind that she was there first. It would still be his fault that his partner wasn’t able to ever reciprocate due to being isolated. His actions would be labeled as pressuring. He would be advised to find more friends, and stop making it all about HIS pain. He just needs to see things from her perspective.

    Great story. Spot on again, CL. Keep pointing out the absurdity of most of what the RIC spews.

    Happy Monday!

    • The good news is that Nigel never had to listen to a list of all his flaws that tempted his concrete-wife to cheat. I’d have taken that over the criticism + no emotional warmth that most of us suffered.

      • The List


        It was so extensive that the stuff at the end of the list contradicted the stuff at the beginning.
        I was both “too holy” and “too sinful”…amazing I could pull that off. The first time he gave me “The List”, it took about 2 hours.

        My newhusband can laugh now but part of “The List” against him was that the times he took her to Hawaii or Europe, they used his parents timeshares …poor dear suffered so. Now she vacations in her new BILs cabin in the sticks. I will be chuckling all the way to the Prague Hilton thinking about that.

      • First on The List from The Evil One was that I neglected him in favor of playing Candy Crush
        I should have retorted that at least with Candy Crush, I get positive feedback and encouragement.

        • Oh my word, he’d sit at his desk for hours supposedly doing paperwork for his business and complained that I played Cand Crush.

          He went to the gym for years, never once asking me to go. I joined a gym with my best friend and he was pissed. And he met 2010 at the gym. She was a victim who dumped him after I called her and told her he was cheating.

          When I took up knitting and went to the yarn store he showed up pissed that I was gone for hours. And I was shocked to think that anything positive I did for myself agitated the fucker.

          Yeah, knitting is a dealbreaker.

          • He was expecting to catch you cheating. You know because yarn fuck buddies are such a major thing… He was projecting his values on you. That is what he would have done (and apparently did do at the gym).

      • Yes. Nigel’s mate may have been cold, but at least she never gave love to somebody else while he had to watch on in despair wondering what was so special about the other bird that he got so much better.

  • Nigel just simply needed to clean up his side of the street. Lu-Creetia would certainly notice his self improvements and desire to improve herself to catch up with him!

  • I woke up stewing about my ex and the O-wife this morning and sat down with my coffee to read this.

    Snapped me the fuck out of it.

    Thank god, I will not share Nigel’s fate. Twenty-three years grooming his chilly concrete feathers was quite enough.

    Thanks for sharing this, Tracy, and for your (as always) spot-on witty commentary

  • Spot on nomar!!

    Similar circumstances here, and just like Nigel, my concrete statue has done nothing wrong.

  • If only Nigel had tried the 180, you know, adjusts his attitude, practiced acceptance, and examined his character. He missed that honest self appraisal that could have shed insight on why his mate was so stone cold to him. After all he is responsible for his character, stone decoys not so much.

  • Nigel was forced to stay with her…..because no one else would want him.

    • Don’t forget, there are two sides to this story and we will never know the gannet’s.


    • THIS!

      “Nigel was forced to stay with her…..because no one else would want him”


      • I wonder if Poor Nigel did the pick-me-dance versus the Pink Flamingo in the yard yard next door.

        • Haha yes I’d say he pick-me-danced for years, trying harder and harder just to get some little sign of affection. No response? Try HARDER!!!….Oh Nigel, if only you had left a concrete decoy, and gained a life. There were clouds to fly in, true gannets to meet with real feathers and a reciprocal grooming habit. He is a cautionary tale for us all.

  • Pray about it. Pray that she sees what she has done wrong, and can then return to you, Nigel, and make it right.

  • I take another approach with this story. That is how this ‘relationship’ came to be. Nigel was ‘lured’ to the island by wildlife officials that wanted a colony there. There has to be some of our chump stories in that as well. It isn’t just the Cheater that is pretending to be something they are not, but a host of friends and family members all knowing about their inability to be fully human, but playing along because they want something out of it as well.

    For my cheater, he has only one sibling and she is never going to have children. His parents wanted grandchildren, so they vouched for his amazing character. He was the ‘good guy’, even when he wasn’t. They wanted grandchildren from me, so they spackled and painted and patched holes all around him. When he spent money on webcam girls, they would fill in any missing finances – applying a fresh coat of paint to keep me in the dark longer and longer. When he ran to ‘confess’ to them after he had gotten caught, his father simply said, “I don’t need to know any details, just let me know how I can help you.” Yup, they were all ready to pay for the highest price lawyer that could be found to ensure they got to see their grandchildren as much as ‘they’ wanted. His mother even hid that fact that him and his sister were both molested by another family member – even from their father, because she wanted to appear to perfect mother and wife with perfect children that had no issues or problems or worries. It didn’t matter how much damage hiding that molestation caused (one of the reasons their daughter will never have children is due to that molestation, they just didn’t know it at the time and she was never given any help or support).

    It would be different if Nigel just flew their and fell in love- but there was more to the story. He was lured there by a lot of people who knew all along.

    • Cheaters are decoys. Painted all up to fool you into thinking they are something they are not.

    • “It isn’t just the Cheater that is pretending to be something they are not, but a host of friends and family members all knowing about their inability to be fully human, but playing along because they want something out of it as well.”

      Got to experience this when I went to talk to sister-in-law after Dday. She told me a slew of info I wish someone had told me about cheater wife 17 years ago. Would have saved me some heartache.

      • My ex-laws tried to help my ex empty the bank account and steal my firearm collection (worth several thousand bucks) when she was planning on leaving me for Prince Cheating. They said later they were just “taking their daughter’s side, as she’s always their daughter.” As if morality changes depending on who you’re related to.
        Whenever my ex complains that I am only nasty to them now, I simply say “I’m just taking MY side against people who are horrible to ME.”

    • THIS! ^^^

      Yes, I was lured & they still spackle for him after all the damage he caused. Now the FOO anger is directed toward me in order to preserve his image for his next victim. Sickening! All of them ????

    • …AND why didn’t the concrete wildlife “officials” ever provide a LIVE BIRD…EVER…to this poor, loyal Nigel? They just planted the decoy and watched…and watched…and watched. They DID repopulate this island – just with a lot of concrete (decoys and now THEMSELVES) and one poor CHUMP. Good luck with that next generation, wildlife “officials.” Guess it’s okay to intervene when it comes to planting decoys, just not when a live creature is lured and “trapped” by its loyalty & nature.

      The RIC are populated by similar “concrete wildlife officials” – taking home their paychecks no matter what happens, declaring “victory” at the cost of the one real thing in the equation. Oh, Nigel – your loss is NOT in vain.

  • This story is just devastating. Whose ridiculous idea was this? Nature can’t understand fake. It’s a human concept. This just breaks my heart. I am so tired of crying. I am so tired of bullshit and big reveals something you have been tending to for years was nothing but a empty decoy. I am so so tired of it.

        • 2nd Gen Chump,
          I don’t think anyone is shaming victims here – people are using Nigel’s story to illustrate concepts that correlate to our chumped experiences. Projection, loyalty to non-reciprocating, non-feeling narcs, and so on. 2nd Gen Chump, if you’ve ever been to RIC sites, they utilize the invested partner’s energies (“YOU can save your marriage!” – NOT the cheater. “Affair-PROOF your marriage!” Victim blaming and exacerbating chumps’ chumpiness to make a buck while peddling the snake oil that is the RIC: books, retreats, podcasts, workshops, webinars, etc.). As sad a story as this is (and it IS), it’s an illustration for me of my (sometimes blind) commitment to something that isn’t capable of reciprocating it: my STBXH. I wanted to believe he was real, was committed, loved me like I loved him. Sadly…NOT. I get a sense that we honor Nigel’s sad story; if we all don’t I know I do. Because I lived it & might have died tied to my dead-eye stare husband, waiting for him to love me…if not for the self-affirming lessons and messages I learned no where else (online) but HERE in ChumpNation.

    • Hi DM, I can feel your sadness through your response. I am sorry your are going through this. I hope you have set yourself up to not be taken advantage of anymore. Lawyered up, frozen assets, etc. all these self protection activities you need to do as you work through your pain. It gets better but it takes time and in the interim you need to protect yourself. Hugs to you! Not everyone is like the cheater, not everyone lies, right now you have a broken heart and you are tender and fragile. Honor that and take care of yourself!

    • I agree. After years of other birds not following Nigel’s path, the decoys should have been removed. It’s not the least bit amusing.

    • Dm,
      I’m sorry you’re hurting so badly. I sure know the feelings – it’s overwhelming sometime. Tracy & CN can empathize with you – it sucks to be chumped. And the emotions are just a (big) part of all we have to face after our Ddays. Thrive has great advice – please line up ducks, do whatever you must to protect yourself. And be kind to you. Let people help you – IF they are loyal friends. No room for Switzerland wannabes – they compound the pain by trying to play both ends against the middle. Find the best lawyer you can and let CL & CN help guide you through the labyrinth. It is hell at first, then less so, then intermittently, but it DOES get better. You deserve better. Trust that they suck.
      This story hurt me too, at first. Using its sad elements to help educate chumps and clarify complex concepts PROVES that this poor bird’s plight will not be in vain, as we can learn to advocate for ourselves and every Nigel we encounter…2-legged, 4-legged, winged, scaled or otherwise.
      Hang in there, Dm. Bug hugs! ((((Dm))))

  • Nigel’s picker was broken, so it’s his fault he got lured in by a concrete decoy whose entire existence and purpose was engineered to decieve. He needed to throw money at counselors and book sellers and fix his picker.

    • He probably told himself he had sunk costs. He flew to this remote island. Maybe he was too embarrassed to fly back, or forgot the way. So he settled for a concrete decoy thinking, “I’ll make this work.” And well, I’ve spent all these years on the island… kind of hard to leave NOW. What with all the twigs and stuff I’ve accumulated…

    • I feel badly for Nigel. He was so desperate for love that he fell for a concrete statue. He gave and gave and gave, yet the bitch never reciprocated! I would wish a lifetime of molting but the whore has no feathers. I bet she was boinking the other concrete statues, that slut!


  • Nigel had staying power wasting his presious life catering to an illusion. And who is to say he didn’t have other opportunities?

    He must have grown accustomed to her dead eye stare, cool indifference, and lack of reciprocity.

  • We’re here for you, Dm. We can understand how you feel, and I’m sure all of us who are finally free of the decoys will be holding you while you feel so tired. Big hugs!

  • Society really sets us up from childhood to think unrequited love is this magical force that can turn the unlovable into lovable. It pulls at our heartstrings and sets us up to believe we have the power of love to change another person –
    If we love them enough, they will change.

    Beauty and the Beast
    Sleeping Beauty
    The Princess and the Frog
    Peter Pan
    The Bible
    “But I say to you who hear, Love your enemies, do good to those who hate you, bless those who curse you, pray for those who abuse you. To one who strikes you on the cheek, offer the other also, and from one who takes away your cloak do not withhold your tunic either. Give to everyone who begs from you, and from one who takes away your goods do not demand them back. And as you wish that others would do to you, do so to them”

    Manipulators love this idealistic view of the world. They get to keep taking and give nothing in return. While you jump through hoops to love them into bringing out that wonderful person hidden deep down inside.

    They act like a nasty beast?? The problem must be your failure to love them enough.

    Someone abuses you??? You must not have prayed for them enough.

    They don’t want to grow up? Must be your failure to have provided them enough fairy dust.

    Let’s stop raising humans to believe that love conquers all. You can’t love someone to change. Period!

    RIP Nigel! CN understandings!

    • Very insightful. My IC asked me why I felt I always had to be “the bigger person”

      • I got the same thing from my ex. When he would fail to draw me in to some nonsensical rant he would get all frustrated and whine “Why do you always have to be the big person?” This from a 40-year-old lawyer.

    • So true. I liked how “Out of the Woods” turned most of those tales on their head.

      Best (and truest) line from the play was by Prince Charming. After being caught cheating on Cinderella (and she DUMPS him!! Yeah!!), he remarks, “I was raised to be charming, not sincere.”

    • I liked your post as usual gotabrain and agree that new messages need to be sent.

      Here is a personal reframe of one you mentioned that may help others. I was having trouble with the whole turn the other cheek until someone said: don’t turn it to be slapped, turn it and walk away without retaliation . To me turn the other cheek means no contact, gray rock and living well.

    • GAB – I totally agree with your point, however I’d differ on just one example used – the Bible.

      I think the gospels actually agree with you. Viewed fully, they represent the idea that love does NOT conquer all.

      I only say this because I had difficulty on this point, and it may help someone else. I struggled with the errors that years of parochial school and church services had imparted – forgive everything, be non-judgemental, be spineless before evil and endlessly supportive towards its change. This in fact isn’t the gospel message.

      When you look at passages on how to deal with sin, you are not necessarily looking at passages that show how to deal with evil. They are two different things. All good people sin. But their sin isn’t “what they are”. They have shame and are oriented against sin. But the sin of an evil person IS what they are. Those are to be identified (judged as evil) and then departed from. “Shake the dust of their town from your sandals as a testament against them” and leave.

      Christ’s admonition “do not cast your pearls before swine, for they may turn to attack you” jumps out like a good therapist explaining DARVO. Is there any better picture of how narcissists generally respond to correction? Don’t waste your time. Judge them (as being swine, aka evil), and then move on.

      Christ even lays out a specific set of escalating steps before instructing us to go No Contact. Tell your brother your grievance…if he refuses to listen, bring one or two witnesses…if he still refuses, bring the matter before the church (righteous third party)…if he still refuses to listen then treat him as you would a tax collector. Bye bye.

      The point of the full gospel perspective on sin/evil is to support the good person who errs, but don’t get changed internally by the sins against you (keep your goodnes intact) and don’t ever get sucked into engaging an evil person. You have no obligation there, in fact you are instructed to keep away. There are simply those who are weeds among the wheat, and they will get theirs in the end.

      The best depiction for this dichotomy was at Calvary. To one side of Christ was the thief who was a good person but a sinner. On the other side was an evil thief. Both had sinned. Christ utterly ignored the entitled egocentric demanding thief but forgave the repentant accountable and ashamed thief. Forgiving the sins of an evil person is like washing a turd, there is no point.

      Today I think the gospel is pretty clear on this if all of what it has to say on the subject is taken into account. And I think it totally supports the point you’re making.

      • Rich, TKO, very rich.

        Very good food for thought.

        Excellent material for reflecting on sin and evil. Thank you so much!!!

      • Also, for you TKO, and for HeChump, my therapist (recovery from abuse) told me that abusers and narcissists are attracted to religious people. And also, that faith communities have their own share of narcissists.

    • Interesting observation. For me, it’s been the classic definition of love from 1 Corinthians that has contributed to my own Nigelness (Nigelosity?). It’s been a very long time since I was a church-going man or anything more than agnostic. And I don’t consider myself naive. But the Christian philosophy of love and kindness is at the heart of who I am (or, more accurately, who I try to be). Without the right careful attention. modulation and boundaries, it can be a setup for chumpdom. I’m still learning that lesson, coming up on a year after DDay.

      • A new word for the Chump lexicon: Nigelosity

        When you stayed and stayed and tried and tried even when nothing improved. Ever.

  • On the bright side… Nigel always knew where she was. She wasn’t sneaking around on him, “working late” or “meeting up with her coworkers for a quick drink after work.”

  • I am picturing Nigel having a real bird mate. However, that real mate was out flying around with other birds and left a ston replica with Nigel. Nigel knows something isn’t right, but she looks the same. Somewhere along the line, according to the RIC, Nigel created “fertile ground” for his mate to stray. Another bird told her how pretty her feathers were, and a seed was planted. You know what happens when seeds are planted in fertile ground.

  • This is JUST what I needed.

    CL; ignore my emailed question regarding the subtle cheater.

    This has all the answers I need. I merely married a decoy.

  • It’s sad but is it ?
    In Nigel’s little bird brain, he had the perfect partner that he loved completely.
    She never betrayed him or flew away to hook up with another guy bird with a bigger plume, etc.
    He was in Chump Heaven projecting all of the best on his concrete bird spouse.

    It’s kind of like in the Matrix when Morpheus offers Neo the red or blue pills — live the lie and be happy or find out the painful truth ??

    For me and most of us we wanted the painful truth. People who fall prey to the RIC desperately want the blue pill and to keep living the delusion. This hit me recently when talking to someone who knew what I went through with my Dday and divorce and she said “I would never want to know…. I love my life just the way it is”. I can’t judge her and understand….living a lie can be wonderful as the little bird Nigel showed.

    • Perhaps Nigel was cheated on in his prior relationship, and chose the statue for his sanity. He no longer had to worry about a cheating spouse and could just LIVE his best life. The statue was better than a cold-hearted cheater-bird.

  • Choosing to believe that Nigel Trueheart lived in blissful unawareness until the end. He did better than me, so there you go. RIP, Nigel.

  • Nigel’s self talk each day: “TODAY will be the day that my love will turn her from concrete to real.”

  • You might be a chump if….

    You teared up in your office reading about poor Nigel and his love for a stone cold mate.

    Poor dude went to his grave loving her for who she was, flaws and all. And she was a souless bitch.

    There’s got to be a good country song for this one sided love. He stopped grooming her today?

    Where is my Nigel????

    • I’m TOTALLY a chump. My heart went out to poor Nigel, and I was furious at the people who did this to him.
      I want somebody who will give to me what Nigel gave to that concrete decoy. If I can’t have that, then I will be fine on my own.

  • Consider that a New Zealand park ranger has more insight than the RIC.

    “Whether or not he was lonely, he certainly never got anything back, and that must have been [a] very strange experience,” conservation ranger Chris Bell, who also lives on the island, told the paper. “I think we all have a lot of empathy for him, because he had this fairly hopeless situation.”

      • Agreed, Nigel is the innocent, aggreived party here.

        But really when the plan didn’t work and no birds but sweet lil Nigel fell for a decoy island, why not do something so he could go find real love? Did the Park Ranger just stay out of it, didn’t want to get involved, surely Nigel knows this isn’t a real mate? The whole family was fake but no one clued him in?

    • New t-shirt idea:

      Cartoon or line drawing of Park Ranger Chris Bell pointing at us (Uncle Sam style) with a quote:

      Don’t be a Nigel.


      • For the love! I got to work early, prepping for a walk through. And what am I doing when I should be stressed? I’m sitting in my office laughing so hard I’m crying!

        At least one thing that has come out of all this crap of divorcing a cheater, I don’t get as stressed about things that won’t matter a year from now (or a week from now).

        I need the t-shirt.

  • This story rang a huge bell for me…

    My extremely capable therapist (who started off as our marriage counselor before serial cheater XH announced he wasn’t coming back and would file for divorce) used to tell me that XH was a “poser”. I assumed he used that specific term because XH was a professional actor early in his career, and was very experienced in pretending to be someone else.

    But now that I read about Nigel, I get it! XH was nothing but a concrete decoy during our 40 years together, and that’s what made it so easy for him to justify living a completely double life… a totally fake (yet outwardly proper) one with me, and a very busy (and exhilarating) one with (at least) 14 OW, thousands of curvaceous and horny porn characters, and who knows what else.

    And that’s also what made it so pointless for me to build him a well-fortified nest, provide him with three beautifully-plumed offspring, help him to preen and pluck his graying feathers, try to get him to open up and share, and make a plan for our future on that lonely island I’d been lured to.

    Wow. Just wow.

  • Nigel’s story makes me really dislike people who manipulate wildlife for the sake of research. That just pisses me offf – not good for a Monday morning! Lookout students, here I come!

    Then we anthropomorphise about Nigel’s “feelings” and that projection makes us sad. It really sucks being manipulated and taken advantage of.

    The analogy to the RIC was brilliant, in a depressing way.

    Every time I imagine a happy, close, loving reconciliation, BAM!! CL and you wonderful people help me pull my head out of my ass.

    #IamNigel nailed it.

  • This is my very, very favorite CL post. And that’s stiff competition. Tracy, you love us, understand us, are kind to us… and you make us LAUGH.

    The wire monkey analogy is physiologically apt, but Nigel is our new mascot. He represents not just our needy acceptance of a fake, but our essential goodness, loyalty and generosity. We will go on loving.

  • He thought he could change her and one day her empathy might kick in. It never did. She didn’t even shed a tear when he died!

  • The RIC would spin this as: “Well, perhaps if Nigel tended his nest, his wife wouldn’t have been so cold. She had all of those unexpressed needs that he failed to meet. Nigel didn’t really provide a safe place for her to communicate with all his squawking about and leaving fish bits on the floor (she realized hates that). Nigel should have known”.

  • Realizing now that a concrete decoy would have been a better partner than cheater wife. New standard.

  • Why is it that I feel so bad for Nigel, but I am still–despite practicing “Mighty”– beating myself up for not being a better partner? I try to squelch the negative thoughts (“I should have cuddled her more.” or “I should have taken her out to more fancy restaurants.”) when I become aware of them, but I still have them. Divorced for 1 1/2 years and I’m moving closer to Meh, but I still find it easy to fault myself for her affair.

    • Magritte,

      You are not alone!

      I vacillate between feeling outraged that F–ktard ex-boyfriend mistreated me, lied to me, and hid our legitimate relationship for years (I didn’t know the real reason for hiding our legitimate relationship until after his last discard of me.) and ‘What did I do wrong? Would he give me another chance that be ‘better’ (not cry on his shoulder so much) and thus remain in my life?’ Must work on self-esteem/self-worth. I deserve WAY better! So do you! The chumps here were in extremely imbalanced relationships–we did the bulk of the heavy lifting in our relationships, many of us for many years.

    • magritte,
      I understand your questions – they come from a deeply insecure place t that I share. I have had them, too, then I realized I DID do all those things, but for cheaterman it was never “enough’ – nothing fills the void that is a narc cheater’s heart. Kibbles don’t come from longtime loyal wives – but from sparkly, if cigarette-stanky, NEW APs. And even the best kibbles (which he does manage to extract when I break NC now) are like Lay’s potato chips – you can’t have just one! If I did cuddle, it wasn’t a convenient time for him. If I asked how he was and if I could do anything for him, he dismissed me and said “nothing” was wrong.

      magritte – we had NOTHING TO WORK WITH. There is nothing we can say or do that will stop them from dropping the masks they fooled us with and showing us what they really were all along. How else can someone so easily discard decades of loyalty for short-term skank? How else can we end up on the short end of their internal cost-benefit ratio where they asked themselves, “Hmm? Is this worth it? SURE! I’m a special sparkly turd – I need more than other husbands. And I’m entitled to it.”

      Every text message, every surreptitious gift purchase under my nose in my own home, every clandestine meeting, every naked selfie sent and received, every day it went on (3 years – that he admits to) was another opportunity for him to decide “Yeah, this is worth it if I get caught.” Mathematically estimating a few times a day (conservatively, of course), that’s THOUSANDS of times he chose skank over me. I’m not even counting his affairs in our 3rd year of marriage, 26 years ago. I ate some RIC shit sandwiches – hell, the whole buffet! and VOILA – Unicorns!

      You didn’t deserve it, magritte. It’s who she is. Trust that SHE sucks. You stayed in it. You ARE mighty. Challenge those self-doubts every chance you can. They are merely chump fallacies.
      Congrats on your divorce. Meh can’t be too far!

      • Longingformeh-ca

        Yes to the comment – WE HAD NOTHING TO WORK WITH!!!!

        Narcs are empty, soulless, voidless, nothing to work with , poor excuses of a human being!!

        Just as Nigel had nothing to work with, but dammit he tried, and tried, and tried some more!!

        I actually found this story very sad!


  • My immediate thought was that this was so sad and that surely the comparatively omniscient park ranger could have intervened but on reading further it seems that Nigel did indeed have other options but he steadfastly did not revise his choice despite the whole concrete thing. Sadly for many of us at CN we totally relate to the idea of non-reciprocity and note that no response or interaction (zero) would have been better than the negative consequences of our Cheater interactions.

  • Margritte

    Yes, if only you put more effort into her needs. NOT.

    Infidelity isn’t cheating in isolation as you know. Now reframe it through the lens of what needs you had that were minimized and never met. Because when a cheater is putting energy into duping you, your needs were ignored.

    A month before Dday I was told we’d start splitting the cost of going out to eat. After thirty six years of marriage I had to split the bill for Easter dinner when visiting my son at college. I swear my son was embarsssed for him.

    And he wanted half the cost of the hotel room he put on his credit card.

    I too feel for Nigel putting forth all the energy knowing he wasn’t loved for all his time and efforts.

    • Hey rockstar — now when I find out there was infidelity, I err on the side of the chump and call the cheater an asshole: as in “that asshole!” Just so ya know. If I had found out that your partner cheated, I would say, “That asshole!” Not, “He was a nice guy.”

      • Thank you, Queen Mother! ;Love your moniker). Sometimes I feel as though I live in an alternate universe, so it’s nice to hear that I have not lost my sanity. I’m especially angry today because a very close relative of mine who is a psychologist told me that my ex-husband might have loved me while we weee engaged–although he cheated on me with strangers while we were engaged, six weeks after my first round of IVF resulted in a miscarriage of twins and we were preparing for the second round of IVF. I didn’t learn about the cheating until over a decade and two kids later. He confessed saying, ‘I was hoping that telling you this would help us possibly get our marriage back on track.’ That might he also told me that he had lied about multi-year long gay affairs. And these confessions came after he took me t four on false allegations of child abuse of our children! I thought, of the infidelity, ‘How unethical and selfish of him! I thought and nimbly said of his proposal that we reconcile, ‘I guess tomorrow we will continue the divorce.’) If he had told me about the infidelity during our engagement then I would have called off the marriage, avoiding the $100k divorce and the destruction of a family as I never would have bred with him. Maybe I would have met a decent long-term partner. Maybe would have invented a cure for cancer with all the time I wasted on monstrous ex-husband and awful corollary, post-separation boyfriend.
        Need to focus on the future now–or at least write a book about the past!

    • Doingme,
      I don’t think I know what to say!!! 36 yrs and he wanted to split the restaurant and the hotel bill?

      Wtf!!!!! I’m sure your son wondered, who is this person??

      I am so very sorry!!!! For all your wasted years!

      Seeing clearly

      • Thank you Seeing Clearly. My son ended up coming home to live with me and finished his degree online.

        What really made me laugh was that when he hired a lawyer he WANTED the hotel money. I’m talking a few hundred dollars. His explosive whore and the Limited unleashed rage on his female newbie lawyer and she withdrew.

        Whore Nancy thought he filed and only found out he lied over a year later. While harassing me I said, “I passed the torch and filed for the divorce.” I DIVORCED HIM. Wish I had a picture of her shocked expression.

        And he didn’t get the hotel money or my pension.

  • I too often hear, ‘They must have grown apart. Really after a couple of months or years even if the partners are middle-aged or older. I guess bird and slab grew apart then according to that line of ‘reasoning.’

    Also, from the peanut gallery upon hearing that liar had left, ‘He’s a nice guy!’ Based on what? Just him giving you a tip at the barbershop? Him saying ‘Hello’ to you at a party? How would you, person who is not his partner, know how he is behind closed doors in an intimate relationship? And why are you telling me, the discarded, this? Are you saying this to make me feel better? I just feel invalidated (again). Would these friends say that the slab was a nice guy/nice girl?

    At least gannet did not have to spend $100k in court mostly spent on fighting false criminal allegations.

    RIP, poor bird.

  • Actually CL I think you might be wrong. I think the RIC did reach out to Nigel and that’s why he stayed and did his version of the pick me dance for all those years. Look at the evidence: He groomed her daily, built her a nest and died by her side. He believed if he just “stood” for their union, she would eventually turn into a soft, loving mate. Someone sold Nigel a bill of goods for sure.

    After all, Nigel was blessed with the gift of flight and he stayed with this concrete being. If that doesn’t scream RIC, I don’t know what does!

  • Chump that I am, I teared up for poor Nigel. Living out his life alone on that rock and pouring all his love and energy into a creature of stone.

    Just like we all did. ????????

    May we all go on to meh with the guidance of CL and the support of each other at CN.

  • Isn’t the story of Nigel a lot like Pinnochio? The toy maker wanted a ‘real live boy?’ And in the end he got real live boy from the inanimate wooden one! We need to start teaching stories and making Disney movies based on reality–like the reality based on Grimms’ grim fairy tales to balance out the magical thinking upon many of us were raised and thus primed for Chumpdom!

  • I read this yesterday and it upset me for the whole day – I felt so sorry for Nigel – it was heartbreaking to read.

    I had to think of the spongebob theme singing parrot to cheer me up !

    Definitely not my favourite post – poor Nigel – probably died of a broken heart ???? ????

    • Meh, Tango not cheery today. Went to Kroger got her new grapes and a cherry, she still ran away! To let me know she is not concrete she is complaining.

  • Hey all. Off topic, but I wanted to say, exactly 9 months to the day from D-Day, I’ve had my Tuesday (even though it’s Monday). I have found my Meh. Truly. I would love to tell the story of how I found Meh sometime but it’s very long and there’s a lot of context. So i’ll just leave it as, I found Meh.

    It’s been a long 7 odd months that I’ve been regularly visiting this site. Everyone here is so fantastic, and there’s such great support. The CL materials helped me make sense of so much.

    I suspect I will start to visit this site less and less – it feels like time. I think it’s important to give back to others who walk the same path as us, but it’s also important not to linger here overlong. There comes a point when I think it’s healthy to move on. Best wishes to all of you, I will be around for awhile longer at least, just not as much.

    • Congratulations on your rebirth, Mighty Chris. Probably not a coincidence that you gave yourself exactly nine months, I guess. Good luck to you!

    • Hey MightyChris — I thought the same, a couple of times, but still come back. Even though I largely feel Meh, I still very very much enjoy the insight, the snark, the understanding — and feel that this is my nation now (one of my nations).

    • Mighty Chris,
      If you have some time, please sescribe your journey to Meh.

    • Finding Bliss,
      Yes, the RIC – it’s Nigel’s fault because he isolated her – she couldn’t spread her wings!!!

    • Mighty Chris,
      Before you go away, please share some of your journey to Meh!!!

      I haven’t overdosed yet, from all the wisdom on this site!!!

      • OK here goes. Funnily enough it came from realizing something else about my wife’s affair, after mulling on the recent Valentines post on CL Sometimes those ‘holy shit’ moments when you make a connection brings more pain, but…. in this case, everything, everything suddenly just made sense.

        Some of you will have seen bits of my story before. How, my wife was Danish, we were living in the UK, & I was trying to get her back to her family in Denmark by finding a job there. How, she cheated on me the day before our 1st wedding anniversary, when I was supposed to be away for a job interview in Denmark. How, the week before I was due to travel, she had suddenly got offered a ‘once in a career’ promotion (spackle spackle – nothing suspicious there) that she wanted to stay in the UK for. How she wanted me to go to the interview anyway, even though she had no intention of me actually taking the job, because of said career opportunity. How I withdrew from that interview (I couldn’t in good conscience let them pay for me to travel when I knew I wouldn’t be taking it), and was at home. How, on that day, when I was supposed to be away, she kept her plan to cheat – but since I was home, she told me she was “going out with friends” as cover instead.

        Well, all of that above, I know from the evidence. Hotel bookings, text messages, plain old detective work. I have thought for the last 6 months or so that this was the extent of it. But I realized something else. Something that I have no evidence of, just a feeling in my gut. These days I trust my gut.

        At the start of last year, about 2 months before everything else happened, I was applying for a ton of jobs in Scandinavia… I was in line to get a job with IKEA at their HQ in Malmo, Sweden. I’d had 2 phone interviews, 1 face to face. They were actually talking about it being a matter of “when” I started, not “if”, helping me find accommodation, etc. They told me I was the 1st qualified candidate they’d found in 10 months of searching ffs! It seemed like a done deal, we were certain that this would be the big move. All I had to do was go over for 1 final meet with the boss’ boss, that I was assured would be a rubber stamp exercise. For some reason he hated my guts the minute we met and I’m not really sure why – but, long story short I didn’t get the job. The woman who wanted to hire me fought for me, but was veto’d by the guy.

        I was utterly gutted. I couldn’t understand how I failed. I did everything right, they seemed to love me, they introduced me to the entire team…and…. this one guy for no reason I could fathom shot me down. I dusted myself off and kept applying for stuff, but all the same it was a blow to my confidence. Two months later, everything else (as described above) with my wife’s affair happened. At the time I felt worthless, since I thought for a long time that perhaps the two things were connected – my failure to get the job, my wife cheating on me. It was, on some level, all my fault, and none of it made any sense.

        I long ago overcame those feelings of it being my fault, but still wasn’t quite there with the meh. So what got me there? Well, I remembered that the night/day I was away for that failed job interview with IKEA was actually the 13th/14th Feb – Valentines day, hence the little competition the other day putting an idea in my head….

        …And this is what I suddenly realised: My wife was expecting me to get that damn IKEA job. She was expecting us to move country. I never suspected anything earlier…. but my gut says; she thought she could have a bit on the side while I was away, since she thought there would be no consequence. She thought we would be moving away, so no harm, right? Then, in a hilarious twist of fate, her plan backfired when out of nowhere I didn’t get that frakking job!! She started it off as a one off thing expecting it to be all within her control. Then, like an addict, she couldn’t stop herself.

        This brings me to an epiphany. The obvious: not getting that job, saved me from moving country with someone who had already cheated on me. The less obvious: Not getting that job, put her in a position where suddenly she was stuck with what had been a one-off fling now spiraling out of control. Not getting that job, and her getting out of control, put me in a position where I was able to catch her. Being in a position where it looked so certain that I was going to get that job, made her expose her character. I am literally shaking my head and marveling at how this turned out; some of the detail feels utterly ‘eye of the needle’ in retrospect – the number of events that had to come together how they did, to nudge me out of a bad situation that I wasn’t even aware of.

        It’s poetic in it’s justice. It’s all so beautiful I could actually weep with joy. This series of traumatic events that I thought happened to me, that had no rhyme or reason to them, actually is so carefully orchestrated to eject me out of a bad situation that I cannot help but feel it is the universe somehow stepping in, both to save me & to trap my wife in her crime. For a period in my life, all my plans went to rat shit, but if they hadn’t, i’d probably be in Sweden right now, and i’d probably be none the wiser. And she’d be a ticking timebomb, waiting to do it again. Instead, she got trapped in her lie and I got out.

        And with that realization, comes my meh. It truly was nothing to do with me. I am so, so lucky to have gotten out. Any other sequence and events and who knows where i’d be. But here I am. I’m strong. I am free.

  • Not the same. Nigel didn’t choose this existence. He was LURED into it by humans. He made the best of it. Poor Nigel.

  • I wonder what Nigel found attractive about that particular statue over the 79 others?!?

    Was it the way the sun reflected off her paint job? The promising calls on her audio loop? Perhaps the coy tilt of her head? Maybe her location on the island was an alluring nesting site?

    Sweet Nigel. He still loved her even after time and the elements had weathered her.

    #ItAllWasAnIllusion #FaithfulToTheEnd

  • Nigel did choose better than me! He didn’t have to worry about his mate whacking off at gannet porn/gannet web cam hoes. His mate did not send the other decoys 42 unwanted lewd texts either!

  • If a fucking bird can be faithful…..there’s no excuse for a cheater!

    • Leavingthecrapbehind- that made be laugh out loud and choke on my coffee.

      Thank you all for the witty, cynical sarcasm, the encouragement, and for baring your souls. I would be back together with the fuckwit if it wasn’t for all of your support.

      Poor Nigel.

  • Wondering if Nigel ever got tempted to fool around with the other decoys…..because his mate wasn’t “meeting his needs?” LOL!

  • Funny comments made me smile today. Love #I am Nigel.
    I know how he felt. My ex felt cold and distant for the last two years. I spackled (grooming his cold concrete feathers)though, saying he must be depressed and that I would help him through it. Little did I know he was in the midst of a four year affair and was only the cold concrete man for me.

  • # I was Nigel
    # Don’t be a Nigel
    I want both t-shirts. Or maybe one on the front and one on the back.
    I think she may have been stonewalling him.
    Poor Nigel. I read the story in the news yesterday and it did seem very sad. To be fair, this wasn’t done as an experiment, it was done to try and repopulate the island with gannets and the environmentalists did seem to have empathy for him. The saddest part of it was that, although Nigel had been there for years alone (well with only concrete gannets), in just the last few weeks several other real gannets had finally been lured there too but he didn’t interact with them. Perhaps, if he hadn’t died they would have been like CN and been able to convince to abandon his cold, heartless love …..

  • Inspired by the Valentine’s Day poetry contest and poor Nigel, I contribute the following:

    Concrete and rebar–
    You’re a shatterproof decoy;
    I’m like poor Nigel.

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