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Dear Chump Lady, The Hallmark Channel Is Fucking with My Head

Dear Chump Lady,

In my quest to do something normal after he goes to bed drunk and angry (because it’s my fault I found out about his affairs and yet will still make him dinner) and calm myself (just until I can get him OUT… I have a plan in motion), I watch a little late night TV. Just about an hour’s worth. It just feels normal and somewhat liberating to actually be able to use the remote control for something I’d like to see.

I go for comedy or re-runs of shows I’ve not been able to watch until now. (Did I mention he’s controlling?) I will do an occasional movie if he got blotto early enough. But I’ve done myself in more than once by watching something that put me in a total funk and thinking, “I can repair this marriage! I can save him! I can save us! I must! Look how happy that couple ended up!”

OMG. How did I get in that place? I cannot save someone who does not want to be saved. My simple aim of forgetting about the hell of present day just gets worse by a bad escape choice.

May I suggest to Chump Nation that we help each other out and suggest movies and TV shows one should NOT watch while from D-Day until free from the scumwad.

And suggest movies and TV shows which would be helpful during this time to help steel one’s courage.

I can start with what NOT to watch:
The Notebook
ANYTHING on the Hallmark Channel

What TO watch:
Two and a Half Men (lead character is total scum and very off-putting!)
The End of the Affair (she dies because she goes back to her lover)

Thanks for your writings… they do give me courage to know I’m not alone and I can do this. I can do this. I can do this. I can do this. I can do this…

TitsAndAssAndAllThat

Dear TitsAndAssAndAllThat,

Yes you CAN DO IT. I’ll ask CN for their escapism suggestions only if you promise to actually ESCAPE this fuckwit! And never get in a car when he’s driving. And stop making his dinners. Okay, I have a lot of conditions, but he’s a cheating drunk. This shit needs to end immediately.

Now, about the Hallmark Channel. I’ve only ever flipped past it, but my mother watches it. (Volume set at 11… because why wear the hearing aids your daughter insisted you get? There should be a Hallmark movie about that. “Mom Learns to Hear — A Christmas Miracle!”) So forgive me if I’m tetchy about the Hallmark Channel. I associate it with screaming blonde women in cable knit sweaters, standing in perfect kitchens the size of airplane hangers, baking cookies for guys named Brett.

Brett has a winsome, half-lame Labrador named “Bob Dole.” And he works as an architect in an mixed-use development kombucha bar/yoga studio/dry cleaner.  But Brett has Issues that keep him from fully realizing his Relationship Potential with cookie lady. He cannot properly knot a tie. Oh sure, he looks dashing in an open collar shirt, with flashes of perfectly groomed chest hair. But he freezes when confronted with a half-Windsor. This affliction has kept him from ever committing fully to a woman, lest she demand some sort of dress-up event. Will Cookie Lady understand?

Fast forward to the Tragic Orphan Leadership Summit where Brett has been asked to present the Tragic Orphan Leadership Prize. In a dramatic moment, Bob Dole steals his clip-on tie! And Cookie Lady is WATCHING! Will she love him for HIM? A goon who cannot knot silk?

A shirtless Brett stands in airplane hanger kitchen, while Cookie Lady plies him with snickerdoodles. A gentle snow falls in the background. Bob Dole winks.

****

It’s a mindfuck. Brett never has REAL problems, like a 20-year old lovechild he had with his mistress, who wants to borrow his truck. But his wife needs the truck, and she’s unaware of the lovechild.

We’re lead to believe that whatever Brett’s handicaps, everything can be solved with loving understanding and a square jawline. Cookie Lady will OVERCOME. She can WORK with IT. Just like that time she had to substitute baking powder with baking soda in that recipe. Like that, only it was crab lice.

Anyway Cookie Lady can FIX IT. And Brett is FIXABLE. And so, so very grateful. And shirtless.

Yeah, don’t watch that crap.

Any TV escapism suggestions, CN?

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.
  • Before D-Day i used to enjoy watching ‘Cheaters’…ok ok, i’m partial to a bit of trashy TV every now and then.

    Funnily enough Yo Yo Knickers used to turn her nose up at the show.

    Now i guess i know why.

    • I second “Cheaters.” Because I watched it and thought, “That’s fucked up.” And also, “That’s my life.” And putting 2 and 2 together, I knew I was doing the right thing to divorce a cheater.

      • After D-Day I saw Cheaters and had the Dvr record every episode so she’d see every time she put on a show for the kids, lol. Ain’t I a stinker. I find that pop culture often uses cheating as a quick way to tell the audience “this is a bad person” just like they use the death of a child as a way to say “they have suffered a profound loss” after having kids and being cheated on I find both offensive. Showtime should be ashamed of its show The Affair. Yeah the guy’s life is a mess but it’s still the older man younger girl fantasy and she’s not bad because, oh shit, her kid died, she’s suffered a profound loss, lol

    • (Warning: contains spoiler)

      That scene in Sideways where Sandra Oh beats the shite out of Thomas Hayden Church when she finds out he’s engaged. Props for the creative use of a motorcycle helmet in a very cathartic scene. But he marries his fiancée in the end – who of course has no idea what has happened because of his enabling friend and their cover-up scheme. So maybe don’t watch the whole movie… :/

      • I watched that one very shortly after DDay and there were 2 cheating lines in that movie…the Paul Giamotti character pines after his XW and when he chases her down at the wedding, she said “why all this now, you told me I made you feel ‘less than’ and that is why you had the affairs”..it was so fast, it could have been missed. So all along, his sad sausage schtick was dysfunctional narc got called on his shit.

        No matter though, back then, I was in so much pain everything hurt.

        • I have been rewatching the Sopranos. Even though big boss is always having affairs, I didn’t get triggered until Wife finds out from mistress calling. Her gut wrenching screams and crying reminded me of my own Dday. I thought that’s exactly how I looked, thankfully I smiled because I’m so much better off and stronger.

    • The Worm used to watch cheaters……what a weirdo. He was probably looking for ideas….
      You can always watch the Shining.
      It has a happy ending….

      • We used to watch Mad Men religiously . . . now I think douche wanted to emulate Don Draper and was taking notes the entire time. Now if I hear the intro music to that show makes me want to vomit.

        • Same– I think my ex saw himself as Don Draper. We watched the first three seasons together, and then I discovered his cheating at the beginning of the fourth season, so that was the end of that show for me because it featured so much cheating.

        • OMG. Mine also thought Don Draper was the best / genius and kept saying how he thought his wife was annoying. I was thinking well shes only being “annoying” cos shes suspecting infidelity but is just putting up with his shitty behaviour instead of confronting him.

          He also kept emphasizing how great an actor Don Draper was because everyone’s meant to hate him in the show due to his douchery but everyone loves him.

          When the piece of shit decided to up and leave, because I wasnt giving him the psycho reaction he envisioned in his head, he he had the audacity to change his Facebook cover picture to a quote from the “genius” Don Draper and started smoking to be just like him. He never smoked before. Quote from Don Draper:

          “Happiness is the moment before you need more happiness”

          Of course you had all these idiots that he interacts with liking and agreeing with that shit. Just as pathetic and fake and hollow as he is. This website culls that BS down perfectly:

          http://www.kevinhabits.com/happiness-that-moment-before-you-need-more-happiness/

          Once again just chasing the high of bullshittery. Guess what asshole… I wasn’t overly “happy” to be with your lazy ass entitled shit either but i accepted it. Though I was the one always on overdrive taking on all the responsibilities so he could go to gym n play xbox all night and weekend and not be annoyed by the dog he begged me to get and significantly outearned him which resulted in him having everything he wanted… i was content because I thought that made you HAPPY but no… apparently that made him realise he needs “more happiness”. My happiness wasn’t even a blip on his radar. No offers to help out around the house HE lived in. No cooking. Whinged if I asked him to take our pet to the vet as he was scheduled to start work later than me. Whinged if I ran late from work lest he miss 1 out of his 5 gym sessions a week. If I helped my friends out or did something nice for them “ugh I feel like you always put them first before me”.

          Good luck to that fugly hoe. She’s an immigrant probably wanting an in to the country… jobless… brainless… no car… highly dependent… oh but her magical vagina and the fact that she smoke n drinks (because I didnt) will keep him fulfilled forever 🤣 he wont be chasing “happiness” ever again… yeh right… NEXT!!!

    • Marcella
      Shes a cop
      Kills the mistress
      Fucks up his life
      Yay
      Any british crime show shetland, peaky blinders

      • Dr Foster is good too, a bit triggering for some maybe, but excellent portrayal of a manipulative character

      • I second the PeakyBlinders. 🙂 Definitely has some interesting plot twists. That show is how I got my name on this amazing site. And of course, it describes my incredible ability to not want to see/admit to what was happening in my own life.
        Also, the Punisher (Marvel show) and Lucifer are interesting shows.

        I do not recommend Nurse Jackie. Lots of triggers there…

        • I recommend Revenge Body with Kloe Kardashian. Get past the fact that it’s a Kardashian and skip to the MIGHTY in every episode. Sometimes we have to get mad to become better versions of ourselves.

        • I got sucked into Nurse Jackie because I really like Edie Falco, but it was difficult to watch because she was so self destructive. It also made chemical dependency and drug abuse seem like a good idea . . . numb the terrible pain.

          • I got sucked in momentarily, but then I had to shut it off for the very reasons you mentioned, Triumphafterterror.

    • Hahahaha, yes!!! I loved watching Cheaters, exh2 didn’t, he said it was “made up”… After D-Day I realized that you really can’t make this shit up

    • Agree with Cheaters. JAMF used to love it, until it became completely relevant and I knew. After that, he despised it.

  • Crazy Ex Girlfriend for seeing a disordered view of relationships combined with some mental illness. Tackles tough real issues, and is very funny. And I don’t really love escapism tv- today there are so many good tv shows with real depth and story lines, so go for something like that instead of Hallmark channel or Real Housewives. And I agree with CL- get out of the mindfuck!!

    • Absolutely! Crazy Ex-Girlfriend really digs in deep to some pretty serious stuff, while having funny moments and engaging songs.

  • TO WATCH:

    Elizabeth – with Cate Blanchett

    Seriously… watch that TODAY.

    NOT TO WATCH:

    The Way We Were

    Have a great day Chump Nation!

  • I’m really into killing eve in bbc right now. The assassain is a sociopath, but she is a delightful one. The lack of fs she gives is refreshing.

    • I saw the commercials for that, I wanted to DVR it, thanks for the reminder!

  • I haven’t had cable since 2004, so Netflix and Amazon Prime it is. I spend pretty much any time to view TV with 2 kids who like Disney and Scooby-Doo.

    I watch Hoarders and am thankful I’ve managed to NOT drag everything with potential into my home. There’s something cathartic about watching people learning to toss that shit away. And it makes me want to clean.

    Sister wives… because it’s a train wreck.

    Vikings.

    Orange Is The New Black

    Comedies of any stripe.

    Anything Downton Abby-ish

  • I absolutely hate the Hallmark Channel, especially during the holidays. The fascination with that drivel is so confusing to me. Fb is Alight with women so excited for all of the movies coming up during the Christmas season!!!! Get your wine ready and have a girls night binge watching absurdity!! Are we really that pathetic of a society that the Hallmark Channel is a something to get excited about? I can’t even see a post without rolling my eyes. The whole thing is just weird.
    Yes, watch movies about ass kicking. Or pick one for some eye candy. Will & Grace is hilarious. Catch up on shows you missed on Netflix. My personal faves are cop dramas. I’m not a fan of the romance stuff. 🤢

    • I have no use for the Hallmark channel nor Lifetime Movie channel
      I loved the mighty movie of the weeks on the major networks

    • Mother may I sleep with danger? It’s supposed to be the worst, so that might be entertaining.

      • StigofTheChump:

        Mother May I sleep with Danger, is horrible!! I love the Lifetime channel because many of the shows are horrible and make me laugh.
        Most shows follow the formula of: happy family, someone cheats, dies, gets sick, someone goes nuts and then happy ending.

    • EX loved the Hallmark channel and we watched all the Christmas movies together
      – until he decided to move out in November 2014. I can’t stand the channel anymore and leave the room when my mom starts watching it during the holidays. Such unbelievable tripe! I love police dramas – very happily watching NYPD Blue on Hulu right now. After X left and before I moved 2500 miles away I watched a lot of Food Channel and Law & Order. They kept me sane.

      • I loved NYPDBlue! I cried like a baby when Bobby died.still mad at them for killing him off.

    • I second “Insecure”!! And I liked how it dealt with infidelity in it as well…there were real-world consequences. He didn’t take her back. It killed the relationship beyond repair. And even how the consensual nonmonogamous relationship affects Molly…v realistic.

      • Yes! I thought it was really good at depicting how devastating cheating can be on a relationship and how there’s no turning back at some points.

        Also, I like how they depicted Lawrence as being unable to commit now, and that girl he was seeing called him right out on it at the BBQ. I felt that!

  • I highly recommend Doctor Foster. While I do have some complaints with the second season, it does a really good job of capturing Darius aspects of the affair and what it does to one’s life.

    • Agree with you @CakelessinKalamazoo, loved the first season of Doctor Foster. The gaslighting, the image management and how it really captures how you think you’re living your life…and that illusion is shattered in an instant.

      Season 2, I was just yelling at the screen. “No, no, why are you doing that?” But Season 2 absolutely drove home that your kids will be damaged by your bad behavior during the divorce.

      • I recommend Dr Foster too! I have a friend who is not a chump & she watched it too. It’s interesting to hear a non-Chump’s thoughts about the show. I’m biased I guess & I root for the chump all the time. She pointed out where the chump did wrong too.
        But Dr Foster captured so many aspects of what we chumps go through that others who haven’t been there will never understand no matter how much they love us.

  • I suppose I’m kinda geeky to love Antique Roadshow. Mostly because people find treasures within and honestly are amazed the value of these items they had hidden in their attics.

  • I watched “An Affair”- a series rather than a movie. It really hit home how they just don’t care about the consequences on the wife and kids. It is all about them. Karma hits big time towards the end.

    • The Affair, on Showtime? I thought they did a really good job, in the first two seasons, of showing the fallout of an affair. And Maura Tierney was fantastic as the betrayed wife.

      There is a bit of the cheating apologist philosophy driving that show, but it did resonate with me, especially Maura’s character’s responses.

    • Yup. If you wanna get weird and dark, then watch the miniseries The Life and Loves of a She Devil (you can find it on YouTube) it’s about a kind and plain-looking woman whose husband leaves her for a prettier, shallower woman, and so she goes about totally destroying both of them, and then getting extensive and painful plastic surgery to look like the other woman. It’s a good one for both “you can beat them at their own game,” as well as “not moving on and wallowing in your anger just leads to more suffering.”

      For non-divorce TV stuff, Great British Bake Off (just cheeky British puns and baked goods), Timeless (silly time-traveling action fun) and Brooklyn Nine-Nine (one of the best comedies out there).

      • Love, love, love the Great British Baking Show where the meanest thing anyone says is “I believe it’s a tad overbaked.”

  • “First Wives Club “was better than “The Other Woman”. It was still great to watch the asshole get what they deserve. That doesn’t always happen, until chumplady. Keep pushing chump nation. The reconciliation industrial complex is cracking.

  • I used to watch HGTV and the Food Network, but not anymore. I like comedies now and my favorite is Schitt’s Creek on Netflix. The episodes are 30 minutes which is good for me since I still have problems with focusing my attention for longer periods since my divorce almost a year ago.

    • That’s a grief thing, as well as forgetfulness. I feel like I am FINALLY regaining my memory and it’s been a year and 8 months since he dropped the bomb.

    • Yes – Schitt’s Creek!!!

      Also Sherlock. Broadchurch. And my guilty pleasure was going back and watching all the seasons of Depreate House Wives ( not immediately after BD of course)!

        • If you like those check out Vera. Brenda Blythen is sooo good. I just noticed it on Hulu after watching it on PBS.

      • Can’t watch Broadchurch, as the woman who cheated with the husband of the dead boy looks EXACTLY like one of the ho’s my (now ex) husband cheated with me on this past Fall.

    • The Food Network was actually a trigger for me, specifically Diners, Drive-ins and Dives. He told me that he took his AP to many of the restaurants in our state that were featured on the show. He never took me anywhere, not even the grocery store. He took her to the grocery store every week after they would go out to eat. I always wondered why grocery shopping took six hours and he would never answer his phone while he was out. He told me he didn’t hear his phone when I called. I remember thinking it was weird, as he was able to hear his phone when anyone else called.

      • OldCrone, this is a classic narcissist tactic.

        They know what you want, and DELIGHT in not giving it to you, because you are Not The Boss of Them.

        People will say, he never went on vacation – but he took OW to the place I always wanted to go to. It isn’t about you, its them.

        I always wanted to go to the Japanese restaurant Nobu. He never took me for morning coffee, let alone Nobu. I made it a condition of reconciliation, that we would go to Nobu. Didn’t happen.

        Ho hum, I will go to Nobu myself. You do to DDD places with a friend, yourself.

        • Thank you, Patsy. Your “you are Not The Boss” really rings true, although he used to call me “Warden”. Like he was in prison. Well if our marriage was a prison, then security was lax as he was able to “escape” whenever he wanted. As I read this site and others, I realize that the man has narcissistic tendencies and has been like this for the whole 44 years we have been together.
          I really don’t want to go to the places they went together; he tried taking me to a place they went to all the time and it didn’t go well. The staff were clearly confused when he nervously introduced me as his wife. I will never go back there. No loss, it wasn’t so great. Actually it was terrible, but their taste was terrible as evidenced by their being together.
          Neither of them are good people (entitled, angry, cheaters, liars, users, lazy, substance abusers) and she is the tackiest person. A couple years ago, Schmoopie went to his mother’s funeral wearing a short, tight purple dress (she’s almost 50 and about 150 pounds overweight), with matching purple high heels and PURPLE lipstick. Gross. Who goes to a funeral univited, looking like a cheap whore? She got a lot of attention at the funeral (raised eyebrows), so I guess the outfit worked for her. This was about the time (I found out later) that they were on the outs. They had a really rocky relationship even though they were together for 10 years. Guess she was trying to seduce him back by looking so beautiful🤮. She was a clueless, classless asshole, but so is he.

  • For female chumps of a certain age, watch Jane Fonda and Lily Tomlin in ‘Grace & Frankie’!

    It’s something I can laugh at and find inspiring. Even though my body has not aged like Jane Fonda’s I can relate to dating way past the point where I ever imagined that I would.

    • I really enjoy Grace & Frankie! Nice to know we might date way past ‘our use by date’ almost at the point I could think about it! Still not sure however. I am burned forever!

    • Two thumbs up for Grace & Frankie! Jane Fonda is the bee’s knees as Grace, and Lily Tomlin is just a hoot as Frankie. Martin Sheen and Sam Waterston are hilarious too as the husbands, Robert and Sol, who turn out to have been lovers for decades and leave their wives to get married. The guys are a little campy and over the top in their acting, but in a good way. The four adult children are also great — I especially like June Diane Raphael as Brianna, who is very snarky and badass (reminds me of my daughter, actually). The show overall is very funny, and yet there are poignant turns in the storyline as well, with lots of currency in its issues. Loved the moment when we see Sol knitting pussy hats!

      The show does address cheating, but it wasn’t at all triggering to me and I watched the first season right after I left my ex when lots of shows did trigger me. Bawled my eyes out all night after the scene in The Crown when Princess Anne gets schmoopified by Peter Townsend.

    • Jane Fonda’s body has not aged like Jane Fonda’s! The amount of cosmetic surgery and disordered eating required to keep her looking like a taut mNnequin are alarming!

    • Love Grace & Frankie! I am of the gray divorce crowd also so can relate. I also enjoy Elementary. I envy the total lack of romanticism in Holmes’ and Watson’s characters.

        • Me too Jo, there are quite a few of us here. I love Grace and Frankie too, but it was a little to close to home the first year I tried to watch it.

        • Yes it did ! The writing is superb especially for the character Sherclock. I have to pay very close attention to follow his brilliant mind.

    • I love the show, too, but what sticks in my craw is how the two husbands come clean about their affair. For those of us chumps whose cheaters are in the closet, this is about as close to a unicorn as you can come–it rarely, if ever, happens, mostly because what keeps closeted cheaters in the closet is their narcissistic drive to maintain image management at all costs. I would have given anything if my X had been willing to come clean and move on like two adults but no, like 99.9% of cheaters, he denies his behavior, blames me, and continues to act as though nothing has changed at all.

      • Amen!! Gay-in-denial narcs like ours would never do a big reveal like the husbands in Grace and Frankie did. To this day, mine still denies any infidelity, despite being caught cohabiting in a fault state with a gay couple during our mediation… fortunately, judge saw right through him. They love their closet more than anyone or anything,

  • My go-to are The Office and Parks and Recreation. But I recently started watching Bob’s Burgers (which is an adult cartoon and it’s hilarious) and Last Man on Earth. Also another comedy is The Goldbergs.

      • Ooh, Archer, very sharp, and short episodes, which helped as I couldn’t concentrate on much. Parks and Rec is amaazing, and not too heavy. Suburgatory was funny, light and charming, with awesome characters and acting. If you want something to get your teeth into, oldie but goodie – Deadwood (R rated language for those that might be sensative to that). I went through a binge of Arnold Schwartznegger movies, Die Hards, Lethal Weapons, just straightforward 80s action flicks, with not too much thinking, and it helped. Designated Survivor – I want to make a drinking game where you drink everytime he says “Sonovabitch” or does something Extremely Kind. It’s really Jack Bauer’s twin Kevin who went into town planning but opens the can of whipass when people are mean to one another.

    • Bob’s Burgers is my favorite! I also recommend Rick and Morty for any adult cartoon fans. My favorite Rick quote…Weddings are basically funerals with cake 🙂

      • Jenny,
        “Weddings are basically funerals with cake”
        That strikes me funny!
        I did have the traditional wedding cake,
        Seems the traditional cheater too!

        I don’t watch much TV, ok, I love to watch some hockey games.
        About 9 months ago after my eldest daughter lost her husband very tragically, suddenly, I spent a lot of time with her. For some reason or other we ended up rolling a few episodes of Grace and Frankie. We laughed, we cried. We spent time together, sometimes not saying anything at all.

        To me the Hallmark Channel Movies =Adult FairyTales.

  • First on the docket should be Doctor Foster. Triggers galore, and in keeping with the need for imperfect relatable heroes she makes some bad choices herself, but it’s awesome. (As is Mrs Maisel.)

    • Love love love Dr. Foster. Season 1 is best for Chump to watch and Season 2 for the OW.

  • I like to listen to the daily news shows and watch clips from night night comedy. Rich material! Like a 19th century novel, full of louts who get their comeuppance, just sayin. Every single day we saw karma unfold for assholes, so yah, reality wins — lovin it!!!

  • I can’t believe The Notebook used to be my favourite movie! I am disgusted in myself.

    Cheater watched TV constantly so, when he left, I turned the TV off and enjoyed the serenity. I read a lot now (mostly Chump Nation forums!) 💜😉

    • Aussie, that was my reaction: to never watch TV again because of sparkledick’s irritating habit of spending entire weekends on the couch and telling me to shut up when I tried to talk about something.

      Plus in my country cable TV is 30% adds, which of course idiot consumers are paying for. I prefer to use my $ being a patreon for Chump Lady and use Netflix and Amazon.

    • We did the same thing chez moi: no TV atall! Eased back in to fin thing and remote CONTROL that *I* control! Whoo! Until DD16 gets to it…mostly youtube videos &or music!

  • Things never to watch: Fireproof. Yeah, nobody is going to do “The Love Dare” to great effect. The cheater won’t smash the computer to avoid porn, and leave you flowers where it used to be. Concerned friends won’t step in with deep spiritual support. In-laws won’t pray unceasingly for the marriage to be restored. There will be no transformations or vow renewals in bucolic settings before rustic wooden crosses.

    Nope.

    What cheater and AP apparently routinely watched together: those reenactment shows where the betrayed wife gets offed by either the spouse or the new love. Yup. Nice, right?

    • That’s creepy, Cashmere.

      And yes, totally agree about Fireproof. STBX and I did The Love Dare a few years back. Kind of. Not really. Ok, it was just ME that did The Love Dare. Surprise!!

      • Same here-
        “And yes, totally agree about Fireproof. Deceased cheater and I did The Love Dare a few years back. Kind of. Not really. Ok, it was just ME that did The Love Dare. Surprise!!”

        Facepalm

    • You’re so right Cashmere!!!

      You have listed everything and everyone I turned to for help!! Did you also mention religious community? Where adultery is forbidden?? Prostitution is out?? Window-peeping taboo??? How about he preyed on YOUR daughter, asshole!!! (Instead of prayed WITH).

      James Bond mused, “I guess God just doesn’t want us back together. . . .” I guess not if you can’t straighten up and fly right.

    • There was a time when I help so much hope in thinks like “Fireproof”… I think people who make shows like that mean well but simply have no idea how disordered people really are.

      Yea, so anyone tempted to watch that show should instead quickly punch themselves in the face – it will feel the same and take less time.

  • “Andy Griffith,” Because it’s good-hearted and gentle and content with itself despite the fact that NONE of the characters has an intact family except for Otis the town drunk. The original “It Tales a Villiage.”

  • Dolores Claiborne.

    “Husbands die all the time, Dolores. Why, one is probably dying right now while you’re sitting here, weeping! They die, and leave their wives their money.”

  • It’s actually a relief to be done with the tyranny of watching tv. There were so many shows we ‘had’ to watch every week, it felt like a part-time job. Even if the shows were good…

    Time has been filled with rediscovering lost pursuits, and life’s tedium is filled with podcasts.

    Podcasts for Chumps – now there’s an idea for another column

    • Oh boy do I have podcast suggestions.

      But to avoid going too off-topic, if you’re a podcast fan and not listening to Beautiful Anonymous yet, go subscribe right now.

    • I can relate to this. When we separated all of a sudden the TV was OFF. The only time anyone in the house watched TV was my daughter on the weekend.

      It was very freeing.

      • I’m with you, Alexandra!

        The wonderful peace and quiet of not having to put up with having the TV constantly on, if not the radio, or both (X would complain if we ever even ate dinner without “music” — but of course it had to be of his choosing) is so freeing. I think some narcs just require constant background noise/stimulation because when they’re alone with their own thoughts, there’s truly “nobody home” = boredom. Mine would always purposely turn every light in the house on, who knows why. He couldn’t stand to be alone, ever. (Maybe even he doesn’t like toxic company?)

  • Unbreakable Kimmy Schmidt is pretty great.

    Young woman gets freed from a doomsday cult in the Midwest, decides to build a new life in New York, and somehow its one of the funniest comedies ever made. Finding the funny in tragedy is a great survival skill.

    Don’t watch House of Cards. Too much casual adultery, and it turns out Kevin Spacey is a creepful nightmare shit in real life too.

    • The difference with House Of Cards is that Claire knows he’s strategically boinking everything that moves, and it works for her.

  • Watch the Great British Baking show! It is charming, contestants, judges, and hosts. It is definitely a feel-good!

    • I second this! It’s a great show! It’s The Great British Bake-Off in in the UK, but due to trademarke issues with Pillsbury, it couldn’t run with that title in the US. One of the features of the show is the way that the contestants encourage and help each other.

      Love Your Garden is pretty heartwarming. For newer, rawer Chumps, I’d recommend any of the British cooking or gardening shows.

      What Not to Watch When You’re a New Chump

      I’ve enjoyed the Mysteries of Laura, but I don’t think it’s great for Chumps who are right at the Dday stage. The main character divorces her serial cheating husband, but the series is based on a kind of wreckonciliation theme. The CheaterX decides he wants a chance to prove that he’s a good guy after all, so he tranfers to her precinct (they’re both cops). I keep wanting to tell the main character that no matter how nice he is, he’s not done the work. You just don’t change from a serial-cheater to a faithful spouse overnight. That there’s a unicorn siting

  • The Santa Clarita Diet is a weirdly funny series, and a great escape. I also really like the Marvel series on Netflix. Jessica Jones, in particular, is badass and fun to watch.

    • SCD is hilarious, but if you’re going through a cheating spouse, it might hurt to see a husband as devoted as Joel Hammond. He’s totally there for her throughout his wife’s undead and cannibalism issues because hey, no marriage is perfect, and your POS spouse can’t even keep their pants on?

  • I don’t watch First Dates now because I can spot the total tools from 50 paces. It becomes like a superpower and spoils mindless tv watching.

  • In the immediate aftermath of moving out and getting a divorce, I was obsessed with justice type shows. Law and Order, Criminal Minds (can’t watch that one right before bed though). Any type of half hour comedy provided entertainment too.

  • GLOW(on Netflix) is great, especially after one of the main characters discovers her friend has cheated with the character’s husband and goes for an old-fashioned ass whooping. She also sees straight through cheating husband. I love the way the women are there for each other and don’t let any man come between them. The ending of Season 1 has a typical wresting twist. I love it even though I am not a wrestling fan; it spoofs the entire industry.

  • One of my all time favorites (I’m going to show my age here) The Color Purple

    G.I Jane
    Thelma and Louise
    Erin Brockovich (spelling?)

    There was a time that I could not watch anything involving affairs, I would have a gut level reaction to them. I don’t recommend this movie to anyone who hasn’t reached MEH in relation to the affair partner… and for gods sake, don’t become their best friend! This movie does make me laugh though.

    The Other Woman

      • Omg, I just saw they changed the name of it! It’s now called Love and Other impossible Pursuits: the other woman. Lol

  • Watch:

    DVD Sets:
    Lost, Six Feet Under, Scrubs, Curb Your Enthusiasm, The Wire,
    Orange is the New Black, Justified, As Time Goes By, Keeping Up Appearances.

    If you feel dark and gritty: Oz.

    When feeling a bit stronger: The Sopranos.

    Start at Season One, Episode One. See how a remorseless cheater thinks and acts. Watch the best acting and writing in the last 100 years on television. The one box set I would take on a desert island if that’s all I could have. Aside from survival tools.

    And watch Sex and the City. On this site, some people have believed it is a cheater apologist show. As someone who has watched it so many times I know the dialogue by heart, it is absolutely not. When Carrie cheated, Charlotte was going to end friendship over her lack of character. Aiden left Carrie and she was left alone and miserable after she confessed cheating. What she also thought was a love letter was a letter from a law firm demanding that she paid back for her apartment Aiden bought. When Samantha was caught groping a married man she was banned from all social functions by a blue blood mafia type. Consequences.

    Likewise, when Steve cheated on Maranda, she moved out immediately. They did have a reconciliation but you have to remember this is HBO.

    They do not breeze over or make jokes about cheating as some shows like Everybody loves Raymond (so depressing – women as nags- men as long suffering buffoons- how original!)

    SATC is complete mind candy. Like crack TV. It is perfect for allowing yourself to escape. The episodes are only 30 minutes long and they are very clever and funny writing. It is very good for helping with intrusive thoughts. You’re in another world, a fantasy for about 30 minutes and it’s usually pretty good company.

    The absurdity of someone who writes one weekly column living in an apartment the size of Carrie and wearing $1200 shoes is stupid. But it is just escapism.

    The themes that run in our lives that are so similar is shocking. The last time I was at my mothers, I said we can watch anything but the Hallmark Channel.

    A great show to feel completely in control of your life and like you have your shit together is Hoarders. Those poor people. And a great metaphor for living with a cheater .

    But do not watch it while you are trying to eat.

    • “A blue blood Mafia type” LOL !

      Those Upper East Side/Wall Street/Hamptons/Greenwich wives are downright scary !

    • I second Justified–you can binge watch it on Amazon and Walton Goggins’ talent is something to behold. I’d never even heard of him before I watch Justified and now I’m his biggest fan. It’s pretty true to Elmore Leonard and it’s the first violent show I’ve ever liked. A friend of mine said it’s not that violent by modern standards, but I thought it was pretty violent, but worth it.

  • I have a morbid obsession with Forensic Files and got DD16 hooked on it too. She wants to fast forward through any that have a wife with mystery symptoms mimicking the flu (chronically sick, bed ridden/wheel chair) but no one can figure out what’s wrong with her. It’s another poisoning, usually arsenic, trying to off the spouse so the cheater can ride off into the twu wuv sunset with their schmoopie. Some have already sent out wedding invitations before the spouse is dead. Is this a downer? Maybe so. Or you can be grateful you got out of the shit show alive no matter how financially screwed over you may have been. No one can believe this has happened! They were the perfect couple! Or there’s a staged break in and shockingly the spouse was killed and the cheater survived. What? Schmoopie moved in the next day and at the funeral? That’s just a coincidence.

    I suggest avoiding any movies where the female is ‘rescued’ by the white knight that just needs to be tweeked a little but he’s otherwise perfect!

    • Yes! I was going to suggest Forensic Files. It is alarming how many husbands kill their wives. So if you need extra motivation to get out…it’s the show for you.

      • Forensic Files: Cheater #2’s fav show. Scary. If I quit posting suddenly, have them exhume my body and redo the autopsy. ; )

      • Forensic Files, it is alarming how many husbands kill their wives.
        These episodes of Forensic files are the husbands who get caught, I can’t help but wonder how many have gotten away with it.

        twiceachump, it’s always interesting that they were the perfect couple, no one can believe it, he was a great guy. Schmoopie moved in the following week, are seen together shopping for engagement rings. Oh, but he was lonely.., she was helping him grieve.., or helped care for his children.

        I especially enjoy seeing the husband in the courtroom, tears streaming down his face.

    • “Crash Course” is a Forensic Files show depicting just that in our rural MN town. OW waited for him, he’s out of jail, they got married and it just sucks.

    • Regarding poison: statistically, more women kill by poison than men. But I think there’s a real similarity between poisoners and cheaters. In the May 2005 National Geographic, Alphonse Poklis, a professor of toxicology and pathology (and other things) at VCU, is quoted as saying, “Poison is the weapon of controlling, sneaky people with no conscience, no sorrow, no remorse. They are scary, manipulative; if you weren’t convinced by the evidence, you wouldn’t believe they could do such a thing….[Poisoning is] not in the American character. If you are going to kill someone and you are a true American, you shoot them. A real man doesn’t sneak around.”
      In the same article, Marcella Fierro (who inspired the character of Kay Scarpetta in Patricia Cornwall’s novels) says, “I see the poisoner as a smooth psychopath who would lie to Christ on the Cross, and you would believe him. I only know of two who pled guilty.”
      Interestingly, the City Confidential episode about Anjette Lyles is playing in the next room as I type this. She poisoned her family members and pretended to tend to them lovingly as she watched them die a terrible death. I believe some of the cheaters described here on CL are capable of this.

  • WATCH
    Orphan Black is an awesome series.
    A Place to Call Home is an Australian series that tackles really complex topics extremely well.
    Man Up, a wonderful movie with Simon Pegg and Lake Bell.

  • Sitcom re-runs (King of Queens, Golden Girls), re-runs of Whose Line is it Anyway, and the Arrowverse (superheroes are the best escapism!).

    I’ve definetly been using TV as escapism at night, during the day too when I can’t make it to work … I’m just starting out on the road to meh. My wife of almost 14 years moves out Friday (’cause I asked her to finally after we both went back and fourth for a couple of months post D-Day). 4 kids … I’m not okay, but hope to be someday.

    • I’m so sorry you’re going through this. The road to Meh will be much better when she moves out. She sucks.

    • Yesshesucks, Welcome to the club nobody wants to join. You are migty for telling her to fuck off. Your road started last Friday. Tuesday Meh is on the horizon. Glad you found CL so quickly, she and CN are life saviors. Keep checking in, this is the mightiest and most supportive nation in the world and we’ve got your back!

    • It’s so hard. I too had days where I just couldn’t bring myself to go to work. But everyday gets a little better. I promise. Hang in there!

    • Welcome aboard, matey @YesSheSucks …the club no one wants to join, but ends up being a lifeline.

      Marvel/superhero shows are great escapism.

  • Most uk soaps operas, always affairs, Emmerdale lady had affair, because she was bereaved. Cornation street repeated from 30 years ago on itv 3, boyfriend expects her to pay all bills, and cheats, (later tries to kill her). Dr foster suspects her husband of cheating, they divorced. He married cheater, season 2, apparently she wants him back. Dr foster was is and still is big in uk.

    • “Last Tango in Halifax” absolutely breathtaking in some of it’s plot lines! Very cool and funny and sad; you never know what’s going to happen!

  • I watched “The Other Woman” with Leslie Mann on a continuous loop after my last D day and the ultimate discard.
    It actually premiered on Starz or HBO like the weekend after he left, I set my DVR to tape. That recoding is still there today.
    It was one of he few things that made me laugh. I would go to bed at night and that movie would lull me to sleep.
    Hilarious……

  • The series ‘Suits’ on Netflix is great. The lead character Harvey Specter refuses to indulge in adultery or cheating of any description. Not only is he easy on the eye and successful but he becomes a hell of a lot sexier when he says cheaters are not his sort of people. His mother cheated on his father and he saw the humiliation and devastation of his father first hand. He went mad at his secretary for kissing him when he was dating someone else… says it drew him into being a cheat.

    I rarely watch TV except one UK soap opera called Emmerdale – which is 25 mins chewing gum for my eyes on weekday evenings. I was hooked on Suits 🙂

  • Since living alone, I barely watch TV. Mainly sports or the news. Skankboy and his mother when she would visit for 3 1/2 looooong months would have the TV on 24/7. Now days will go by without a radio or TV blasting. Ahhhhhh, peace at last!

    • I remember skankboy and his mother would watch “Cheaters” together. How funny, both cheaters themselves! Probably gathering ideas.

  • Longmire on Netflix. 63 episodes. Smalltown sheriff wraps up big problems in every episode. Lots of dark issues, but so satisfying to see cases solved.

    • Yes, I enjoyed this one! Also, NCIS, CSI, Crossing Jordan….all cop/crime shows. Blue Bloods. Started watching Jennifer Lopez’s show (Blue Something, also cops) but it left me feeling like a I needed a shower. The same for “How To Get Away With Murder.” Blech.

  • Original Will & Grace got me through some tuff shit last year, double eps 7.30pm, had me in stitches.

  • Jessica Jones (available on Netflix). Yes, she is messed up in a dozen ways, but she’s a survivor! Season 1 features the worst of gaslighting, mind-controlling villains–pretty much the super villan of narcissism. (I am still only half way through Season 2, but she’s shredding the competition and facing down the nasty rumors people tell about her so far!).

    If asked, people would probably guess that my secret alter-ego is someone like Martha Stewart or Terri Gross. But in my head I rock a black leather jacket, drink my bourbon straight from the bottle, and can fling jackasses across the room without breaking a sweat just like Jessica Jones!

  • Whatever you do don’t watch the notebook!!! Watch les diaboliques. That is a glimpse of the deviousness you are dealing with. I’m sure all the freaks watch it and take notes. But there is always some nosey detective wandering around…freaks beware!!!

  • For female champ mightiness , I like
    Enough-Jennifer Lopez
    Sleeping With the Enemy- Julia Roberts

  • To be honest, what you watch depends on where you are in “the process”.

    During Dday & divorce, I watched justice shows where the wrong doers faced consequences and justice — it made me feel better even though I got hosed in court.

    AFTER the divorce is final and you are “fixing your picker” then the depression sets in. This is the time where the Hallmark Channel movies and the like are great for cheering you up. It is mindless fluff but it reinforces in your mind that romance is possible again and you can be happy again as well.

  • Titsandallthat, please get that man out of your house. For your own well being. And stop mothering him! Don’t cook for him or do his laundry! You will feel a huge weight lifted once he is gone. Get a lawyer or get the authorities involved if he refuses to leave. Heaven forbid he becomes violent, alcohol brings out the worst in people. Keep yourself safe! You are mighty! You can do this!

  • An old favorite cult classic I’ve watched over and over is Firefly, a futuristic sci-fi series written and directed by Joss Whedon and starring Nathan Fillion as Mal Reynolds, a sort of cowboy Han Solo figure. The writing and acting are sharp.

    And there is no cheating, just some honest smuggling and the like.

    It’s available on dvd or Hulu, not Netflix.

    • True, it the sexy, desirable woman on that is a courtesan (high priced hooker). I find that depressing.

      • I can see finding the role of the courtesan on Firefly depressing just cuz, although I just find it intriguing how the show depicts the “oldest profession” in this world, where we also have a warrior woman (Zoe), a genius mechanic (Kaylee), and a psychic wundergirl (River). The character Inara is a Registered Companion in a respected Guild and brings a level of prestige to the ship, although Mal mocks her, calling her “the ambassador.” She take umbrage whenever he calls her whore or belittles her work. Which he does a lot. But she has boundaries and ethics that she holds firm.

        • Yep. I watch this series over and over. Hello fellow firefly fans!
          I appreciated that Companions have absolute choice in selecting/ screening whom they want to be with – that’s pretty distinguishing, maybe empowering. I can’t imagine Inara going off with a married man. And I like that the horrid/ dodgy clients get totally blacklisted, never allowed to contract with Companions ever again – my justice-seeking streak wants this to happen with all cheaters (Episode 4 – Shindig)
          And Episode 9 – Ariel… near the end, when Mal confronts Jayne about his betrayal of the crew/ him… when Mal says, “the next time you stab me in the back, have the guts to do it to my face”… gold. I wonder if I’ll ever get so into Mehville that I will say that to the gutless Switzerlandy “friends” who have so wonderfully justified/ minimised cheater’s behaviour.

  • The movie She-Devil starring Roseanne Barr puts a hysterical spin on the “best revenge is success” mantra. Check it out, but try not to be too inspired by how cheater and OW get a massive taste of well-deserved “karma”.

  • I binged watched “the Orville” with my sons and thought it was hillarious. IWhen the captain is chumped,, he goes no contact and dumps her sorry ass then when they are forced to be together, he does his best gray rock. It was all good until infidelity is shown to be out of her control but he still doesn’t jump back in.

    To all you great chumps inquiring on updates, a big thank you and I certainly want to hear your updates!!!

    Monday has passed, still no offer! Ugh!

  • Tracy, the next time you’re in “The Noke” holla! Texas Tavern? bowl with & a Cheesy Western.

    What not to watch (for me). THE ORDER with Heath Ledger. A young priest exchanges his vows to sleep with a former love. “Till the wheels fall off”. That was a promise of love between them. My VSTXWW and I adeopted it as our “tru wuv” mantra. It’s actually a great movie if you haven’t seen it IRL.

    What to watch: Riddick, Pitch Black or any in the Riddick Series. FEAST 1. Hilarious with scary monsters. FEAST 2 has midget Mexican wrestlers, one is quite well endowed. Trailer Park of Terror with a bit role from Trace Adkins. The x would leave me for Trace. NO, her standards were actually much lower. HA. Anything SciFi is escapism.

  • Can’t think of movies NOT to watch.

    And there are so many karma-for-cheaters plot ones to watch. Two of these would be ones I recently saw on flight entertainment: The Invisible Guest (IMO The Setback would be a better title). It’s a Spanish movie and I loved the way the lawyer prepares her cheater client for court.

    The other would be L’Avenir/Things to Come with Isabelle Huppert. I just loved the way her character handled Christmas dinner. And I know exactly how she felt getting her things out of the beach house. Except my story is far worse, I am still in a daze about the facts.

  • No suggestions as to what to watch – although I’m going to check out several shows already suggested – but, Chump Lady: HOW did you get your mom to go get hearing aides?!?

    My widowed 84 year old mother lives with me and, although the rest of her functions quite well, she can’t fucking hear and I’m tired of the TV set to window-rattling volume and needed to repeat everything I say 3-4 times!! Arrrrgggghhhh! (What? I didn’t hear you.)

    • I bought my dad one of those headphones that plug into the tv. He puts them on and he can crank the volume up BUT the tv gets to stay at a normal level!!

      • I add the closed captions for my elderly mother who lives with me. It helps, but as their cognitive functions decline they can’t keep up with complicated plots and so we end up watching Hallmark! I have to explain things every night. I also recommend silly shows like Psych.

        I also used to enjoy watching Unfaithful: Stories of Betrayal on the OWN network. And of course, Cheaters. I used to fantasize about getting on the show and outing my XH.

      • We have the headphones; she won’t use them. And I do closed captioning and YES, have to explain EVERYTHING.

        Oh, well… I’ll be there myself some day!

        • Oh geekmom, I know just how you feel on this one! I have to keep stopping the program and explaining so often I feel like I am losing my mind! And my mom won’t ever let me watch any 48 Hours or Dateline because “your father used to say those stories aren’t good for you.” I just wait until she’s asleep and then I watch and am glad that I left the cheater and didn’t get bumped off! But it is very hard to take care of an aging parent and I pray for more patience all the time! Yes, we will be there too.

          • SAME. What is it with over 80’s that don’t want to try hearing aids? My mom says she has (ONE) friend who paid ‘over $5000’ for hearing aids and they didn’t work. So that keeps her from ever trying them…

            She has some weird volume boosters that she sometimes wears but if there is a lot of back ground noise they come out; too much she says…

  • I used to enjoy the movie “Love Actually” but now the scene where Emma Thompson crying in the bedroom after opening her husband’s hit too close to reality.

    I would recommend the movie “Saving Grace” with Brenda Blythen. Grace has an interesting way of solving the financial crisis her dead cheating husband left her in.

    I always love “To Kill a Mockingbird” because Gregory Peck as Atticus Finch and Scout in her overalls is just a bit of a badass.

    PBS’s Masterpiece Mysteries are good for an escape. The characters ar usually so twisted that it made me think that my life was a piece of cake camoared to those people.

    I always enjoy a good CSI episode and Law and Order because you never know when you’ll need to beat forensics – just saying.

  • The ID Discovery shows. Game of Thrones marathons. Westworld. I like things saturated in revenge. 🙂

    Also, Brockmire. Because he drinks a lot and I love baseball.

    Steer clear of any movie where the husband and wife are estranged but somehow manage to come together in the end. There’s a ton of them out there.

    • Oh, yes. To be Cersei, dusting her hands as she walks from the window after she blew the High Sparrow (and a bunch of others) to kingdom come!! Or leaving the Septa behind strapped to the table….. oh yes……

  • Ooo also TCM. Especially Noir Alley. Where women are dames and men wear hats and everybody smokes like chimneys. And Godzilla movies. (Destruction!)

  • I have seen Cheaters but the idea of DVR’ing all episodes so that when narc cheater goes to watch something he see it… gonna set that today!

    May 11 my friends are taking me to see “Life of the Party” with Melissa McCarthy… if you haven’t seen the trailer you need to watch… gonna have some drinks, popcorn and LOTS of laughter…

    • Agree, Breaking Bad is as good as tv gets! But, glad that I watched the Skyler cheating with the scuzzy boss parts before I developed my allergy to cheaters.

      • I see your point but I found it therapeutic. The guy is handsome, seems successful and it seems like Skylar’s getting an upgrade but he turns out to be a scuzzy, cowardly spendthrift who just further complicates her life: hahaha.

  • What I can never watch again without feeling a pang/bittersweet:
    Mike & Molly
    The Big Bang Theory
    Star Trek
    NCIS
    Grey’s Anatomy
    Game of Thrones
    Scorpion
    Among others

    What I do watch for mindless entertainment these days:
    Archer
    Bob’s burgers
    I watch a lot of movies repeatedly, so I’m not sure what to avoid, but for me I avoid even now:
    Tom Hanks-Meg Ryan movies
    Just about any rom-com these days

    Movies I do watch:
    Bad Moms 1
    Fried Green Tomatoes
    The Joy Luck Club
    The Wedding Singer
    How to Be Single
    The superhero movies, Marvel over DC any day Deadpool✓✓✓
    Fridays

    I watch the following but do not recommend when in throes of D-Day, divorce:
    Snapped, Dateline, 48 Hours, etc.
    Anything on IDiscovery or Oxygen channels

    • My favorites: 48 hours and Dateline.

      My girlfriend: Anything that involves Matthew McConaughey taking his shirt off.

      • I’m a fool for Dateline and 48 Hours. I can’t help but exclaim ‘Love Gone Bad !!!’ to no one in particular while I’m watching. Lol

        • LOL, I could listen to Keith Morrison read the phone book. 😍🤣😍🤣

          I stay watching those shows, even in the midst of D-Day/divorce. Made me realize how much I appreciate those shows. God only knows what exh2 had planned…

  • Escapism movies revolving around a struggling, imperfect love story:

    “Witness” John Book & Rachel Lapp

    “Lawless” Forrest Bondurant & Maggie Beaugard.

    • LOVE Lawless!! One of my absolute favorites!! Watched it numerous times and will watch it again! 🙂

      • I searched the newspaper articles and background online…..

        Forrest and Maggie did, indeed, get married after he got out of the hospital. Stayed married until his death in 1964.

  • I saw Girl on a Train with my cheater not long after d-day. She didn’t enjoy it as much as I did. Imagine that!

    • I read that book not too long ago, and it was like a window into my life. The character names were even the same. Except for the murder part . . . but that was always something I was in fear of.

  • OMG

    I watched a Hallmark movie recently about Bill W and Lois the founders of AA and Al Anon.

    At one point she said to him ‘I have loved and cared for you all this time (now you are sober and ignoring me for your meetings), when is it my turn? Yes, I remember making that unconscious contract. One day, he would pay me attention.

    I refuse to believe a man as attractive as Bill W did NOT have affairs.

    But she loved him and detached with love and applied the 12 steps and It ended happily ever after and love conquers all.

    Now I feel a total failure.

    • Ah, AlAnon!

      Harmful, harmful stuff, in my opinion, a forebearer of our present RIC — I’m not surprised the founder Lois was a chump. It was those guys who brainwashed me into staying with X during his rehab stint 10 years ago, when instead of “detaching with love” I should have kicked his narc ass out for good.

      • The term 13th stepping was coined to address Bill W.’s creepy predatory behavior towards newcomers in 12 step programs.

  • I can’t stand “Love Actually” which of course makes me some kind of pariah. The ooohs and aaaah from so many women about how great that movie is want to make me barf. The message throughout is that you can’t help who you fall in love with and usually that person is simply who you happen to be in physical proximity to (co-worker, best man at your wedding, sales clerk…blah blah blah). I am sure my fuckwit’s little co-worker twats were totally swept up in that shit and just couldn’t help themselves.

    Even before I knew that I had a continuing cheater on my hands I was always frustrated that my greetings at the airport were never met with the kinds of warm greetings as shown at Heathrow in the movie. I would pick him up from a long trip in the Middle East where he had been working and he couldn’t bring himself to do any display of affection at all, I always had to ask for even a fucking hug. I spackled over that shit though, of course. I hope Schmoopie is enjoying being ignored by that disordered asshat.

    How about “Damage” and “Unfaithful.” Those will fuck with your head and are a good reminder of how much voluntary shit you can heap onto your life for the excitement of a fling.

    I guess I don’t have any good advice on things to watch.

    • I agree; I disliked “Love Actually” even before I realized I was a chump. “Unfaithful” was a pretty good portrayal of a wife who fucks around because she feels like it, despite having a wonderful & caring husband. His emotional reaction to the physical and emotional betrayal (the snowglobe) was gut-wrenchingly on-target.

      • Not a great idea to pick up the closest heavy object and brain your wife’s younger handsome French lover ! Understandable but not reasonable behavior. Bro be crazy.

        A friend I call “Watermelon Launcher” threw one out of the third floor window as her cheating boyfriend was packing up his car. Didn’t hit him but landed on the car roof with a thud.

        • Lol, at first read, I thought you meant she threw him out the window, hahahaa

  • Dexter. (best in the 6 months after D-day. Make sure you’re not in the same abode with your cheater, lest you get ideas.)

    • I love Dexter-
      (and his sister Deb)
      He only killed the “bad” people
      I still laugh sometimes about his narration comments like “Do I see plastic sheets in your future?” or him referring to Jimmy Smits as “dressing like the uni-bomber”

  • The Godfather Trilogy always satisfies. Watching Sonni knock the shit out of his sister’s cheating husband is delightful.

  • I enjoy watching: Outlander, VEEP, Barry, The Americans, Jane the Virgin, Timeless, Doctor Who, Sherlock, Big Bang Theory, MOM, The Middle, Will and Grace reboot, Midsomer Murders, Grace and Frankie, Stranger Things.

    I do watch the Hallmark Mystery Channel sometimes, in the hope that the stories will get better. And they have Psych on there.

    There’s plenty of great television available to keep me entertained, it’s the insipid advertising, which is designed to make you feel ‘less than’ that I hate, so I DVR everything to skip over the commercials.

    • Oh, I do too!!!
      Commercials get on my nerves… Like the one with the guy bragging about how he hides his insurance rebate check from the wife and kids and she sits there with ear buds in… Made me think/wonder, “hhhhhmmmm, what else you hiding, bro?”

  • Don’t watch “Battle of the Sexes”. I can handle the lesbian sex, but I couldn’t handle the adulterous nature of it. Every time the other woman came on the screen I wanted to claw her eyes out. It also made it difficult to root for the main character. Meanwhile the “villain” really wasn’t as big an asshole as he pretended to be.

  • Do watch faulty towers. Mr. Faulty may have been a bit of a screw up but his morals were in tact. There was an episode where he did not go for the French temptress despite the fact that his wife really was a cold fish. Actually, it might be a bit triggering after all. I do seem to recall getting pissed at my ex all over again for not being faithful when he had less cause than Mr. Faulty.

  • [Waving my history and PBS nerd flag high and proud]

    I watch very little TV, but my favorite zone-out show is Antiques Roadshow. I also love The American Experience and all of the Ken Burns documentary series. Watch the one on the dust bowl if you want to feel mighty on a national level, and the one on the National Park Service gets me weepy me every time. (Public lands as social justice, wealthy philanthropists investing in the good of a nation, the loss of Hetch Hetchy…my lower lip is all a-quiver.) I also love Downtown Abbey. Mary makes us all crazy, of course, but I admire her firm boundaries and her love of self. For comedy (since this is not PBS’s forte), I love Netflix re-runs of Arrested Development. The characters are hilarious, and I love how the show gives them each a major strength and a crippling weakness.

    Since D-day I generally avoid programs and movies that are too emotionally taxing, like The Walking Dead and Breaking Bad. They’re great for escapism but I just don’t have the energy for that kind of drama (real or fictional) at this point in my life. Anything romantically sappy just pisses me off, so I don’t bother.

  • Netflix
    Altered Carbon
    Stranger Things
    Brooklyn 99
    Troy: fall of a city (yes, but the cheaters are painted honestly for once and that was satisfying)

    • I forgot Grace and Frankie-one of the best on Netflix. Yes, the ex-husbands cheat and end up together and yes, they are eventually “forgiven”, but the way the whole thing is handled is wonderful. I also love the way the series addresses how aging people are treated in our society. Last season ended with Grace and Frankie having their home sold out from under them by their well-meaning children. Tough stuff wrapped in humor. The main characters are not one-dimensional and there is an ongoing theme of the ageism which exists in our culture.

      Another of my favs on Netflix is Comedians in Cars Getting Coffee with Jerry Seinfeld. While in the surface it is a conversation among comedians, in reality it is more of a philosophy of life type of show. The guests reveal how they became who they are. To see Mel Brooks and Bob Reiner talk about comedy is inspiring and amazing. The two men have eaten dinner together every night for the last 60 years and are still going strong. Netflix has the other stations beat and Jerry’s show is one of the best.

  • Miss Fisher’s Murder Mysteries.

    Nothing soothes my soul quite like watching a woman with money, brains, and panache do exactly as she pleases to make the world a better place.

  • I’m on board with Dr. Foster – the 1st season spells out what it’s like to uncover an affair. Kind of hard to watch in the grip of DDay, but great show. The 2nd season, I’m not so sure about. I was only able to get through the 2nd episode of season 2, but it’s already off to a rocky start.

    I just finished watching Dark on Netflix. Loved the show because it had to do with time manipulation and such. Really fascinating – but spoiler, there is an affair that happens in it. Worth knowing because it might trigger if you’re still with your cheater.

    I still get triggers from just about anything I watch because there always seems to be some sort of element of cheating, except when I watch anything David Attenborough.

  • I still love the mushy love stories! The mushier the better! I love Hallmark Channel and all the old love stories. What i hate is the Lifetime Movie Network! That has some creepy stuff on it. I used to watch the movies where theres a peeping tom or rober or raper in the neighborhood and a pair of detectives knock on a womans door because her husband is a suspect and she is all “I’m sorry officers, you have the wrong guy, my husband would never do anything like that, hes the nicest guy you would ever wantto meet!” Turns out he was the mysterious peeper, robber, raper. I feel that way now. Looking back there was always something I couldn’t quite put my finger on about my now XH. I don’t think he was a peeper or anything but i guess I just can relate because I was basically married to a total stranger, definitely someone I really didn’t know. Its sad😢

  • TV shows to watch:
    Bar Rescue
    Bring It for the dancing and Diana’s humor
    The Orville–seen it suggested before but love it.
    Any Food Network except ANYthing with Bobby Flay and teeth girl Gianna in it. They are both cheaters and liars who have broken up many families.

    Movies:
    First Wives Club
    Enough
    Under the Tuscan Sun

    Just off the top of my head.

        • Ugh, could never really click with Bobby Flay nor Giada, even before I knew they were cheaters…
          Always liked Rachael Ray, Guy Fieri, Barefoot Contessa, and Emeril

    • I watch the murder mysteries on the ID channel. It’s hard to believe that people resort to murder rather than divorce. Shows me there are so many people worse off than I am and I should count my lucky stars. But, the best series I have ever watched is THIS IS US. It’s on NBC and there are 36 episodes that I believe you can watch for free on demand. 11 months since D Day and I still can’t believe this happened to me after 29 years.

  • Things I’ve enjoyed watching

    Six Feet Under
    The Americans
    Alias
    Gotham
    Anything on the food network
    Handmaids Tale
    This is Us (although that one won’t be for everybody)
    Divorce with Sarah Jessica Parker on HBO Canada
    Friends
    Gilmore Girls
    Chicago Med/Fire/PD
    The Amazing Race
    Survivor
    The Ellen Show
    Sex and the City
    Game of Thrones
    The Unit
    24
    Lost

    I still enjoy Love Actually, because I want to believe that there’s an imperfectly perfect love out there for me in my future. I like cheesy comedy’s like He’s Just Not That Into You, Because I Said So and Mama Mia.

    I also have young children so Trolls and Inside Out are great ones too, especially Trolls.

    • DD keeps me in the know of all things Disney, Shopkins, Tsums Tsums, and Nick Jr.

    • Along those lines… I love The Proposal… Betty White, Sandra Bullock and Ryan Reynold’s and the rest of the cast is hilarious

  • Just after DDay, I had a friend recommend that I watch “Diary of a Mad Black Woman.”

    Other than the whole annoying theme of “you must forgive and befriend your cheating ex for you to move on” (which I do NOT agree with) it is actually a great movie about a woman who has to deal with infidelity and discard and then is given an opportunity for revenge. I won’t say much else to avoid spoilers, but I did enjoy watching it – especially the revenge part!

    • Yessssssss!!!
      I completely forgot about Diary of A Mad Black Woman, absolutely live that movie and drew a lot of inspiration from it

  • OOOOOOOOOO! Watch the Marvelous Mrs. Maisel!!!! Her husband has an affair and she SLAYS him as a stand-up comedienne all whilst dressed in the most beautiful Breakfast-at-Tiffany’s style clothing. And she can curse like a sailor!!! Whoever wrote that script must’ve been a chump and played out their fantasy response in the show. It is AMAZING!!!!! https://www.amazon.com/Marvelous-Mrs-Maisel-Season/dp/B06X9579J1

    Other than that…I am watching Seinfeld starting at season one. The dating scenarios are so ridiculous and outdated and yet realistic enough that it feels like training for the day when I throw my hat back into the ring. And it’s also just stupidly funny.

  • Movies to watch:

    ‘You Will Meet a Tall, Dark Stranger’
    ‘Learning to Drive’
    ‘Big Little Lies’

    Movies not to watch:

    ‘Bridges of Madison County’
    ‘Cafe Society’

  • I’ll add my vote for “Antiques Roadshow”, as well as NOVA on PBS. I cannot do romantic comedies right now, and they used to be my favorites.
    My guilty pleasures are:
    Dr. Who
    The Office
    Sherlock
    Random movies I pick up at yard sales.

    Immediately following DDay 18 months ago, I couldn’t handle any media at all. I was self-imposed engulfed in silence for a couple of weeks, while I attempted to sort through my actual reality (not the one I thought I had).

  • I would say to stay away from anything that had to do with cheating, even if the cheater gets what’s coming to him/her in the end. All it really does is just remind you of all the bad things going on in your life, even if it has a “happy ending.”
    In the early days after D-day, I found watching things with positive moral characters unabashedly doing the right thing (with no relationship drama!) to be very helpful. Think “Lord of the Rings,” “Star Wars,” or “Rudy.” I’m a guy, so that list is heavy on action & sports. If you need more escapist stuff, try “Clueless” from 1995.

    If you must watch something with cheaters, go with “Silver Linings Playbook.” Whoever wrote that movie HAD to be a chump. The main character is trying to improve himself to win the pick-me dance , but (spoiler) learns to live a better life without the cheater. I had a hard time watching it, as the cheating flashbacks made me almost vomit, but it is as good a lesson as any for being a chump.

    • I watched Star Wars the force awakens on repeat, every time I needed to watch tv.

  • STBX and I started watching Season 1 of Doctor Foster together and then he lost interest…just as he was beginning his affair!

    Season 2 of Happy Valley is amazing with Sarah Lancashire famously playing a kickass survivor–I think I’ll rewatch it solo.

    Since DDay, the most “fitting” things I’ve seen have been old favorites: Muriel’s Wedding, Pride and Prejudice (1995 of course, with Colin), and Volver. I also found Things to Come with Isabelle Huppert on Netflix. Her character is an academic married to an academic who leaves her for a younger woman…lots of resonances with parts of my current and former life.

  • Couldn’t watch anything involving cheating (still can’t). For some reason couldn’t do comedies either ( I can now – 11 months out). Stuck with documentaries.

      • Zell, I was like you. So distracted that I couldn’t watch anything that was close to entertaining. So, I picked Nazi documentaries for about 3 yrs. Took me a long time to finally get my concentration back. My reading also suffered, unless it was about adultery. And, I couldn’t watch any adultery movies for a long time and then I needed to watch all there was available.

        Don’t forget about the older movie with Jill Clayburgh (1978) called ‘An Unmarried Woman’. Warning – adultery.
        It is a very classic movie and rather hard to find. I eventually had to buy it on dvd but it was definitely worth having in my library.

  • The Fall.

    “The Fall is a British-Irish crime drama television series filmed and set in Northern Ireland. The series, starring Gillian Anderson as Detective Superintendent Stella Gibson, is created and written by Allan Cubitt and features Jamie Dornan as serial killer Paul Spector.”

    So good. Gillian Anderson kicks ass! It’s empowering and awakening. It’s about seeing and exposing predators, sexism and double standards. I love this show.

  • Grace and Frankie on Netflix – I love it. It helped me through when ex was being an ass AND he hated it, so it was all the more appealing! I’ve also watched all of Midsomer Murders multiple time – it’s enjoyable without really having any triggers. BTW, most people don’t realize how difficult it can be to find a show that doesn’t trigger. I used to love the movie Love, Actually (don’t judge me!) but I can’t watch it at all anymore.

    • @Love Actually…me too. Loved it. Now it just makes me raw and I realize there was very little love in that movie.

  • Last night I cranked up the DVR and watched John Mulaney hosting Saturday Night Live and had first belly laugh since D-Day.

  • In my super catholic country religion has the same philosophy of a Hallmark channel, just listen to a priest and you realize why everyone will blame you for leaving a cheating husband.
    I’d like to ask what this mighty chump nation thinks about “Mad Men”. I remember watching the first episodes made the pain of infidelity resurface. So I stopped.

    • I didn’t go talk to my priest because I was afraid he would talk me into staying. Here I think most of the priests under 60 would support a chump but I wasn’t taking the chance :).

      I’d avoid anything that has to do with cheating personally. I like movies that let me escape, like the Marvel movies.

      • The priest never discouraged me from getting divorced and my Catholic therapist did. But almost 5 years out, I went to voluntarily lead a divorce support group at my church and had to meet with the diocese Office Of Family Life person and she told me that the Catholic Church didn’t consider infidelity grounds for divorce! I was appalled, tried to argue my case: cheating, stealing marital money for girlfriends, STD… Nope, she didn’t consider those grounds for divorce. Of course I later found out that she had never been married or had children. Hopefully, when I apply for an annulment she won’t be asked her opinion. I say just do what you’ve got to do and ask for forgiveness later!

    • My priest was one of the principle supporters I had for leaving. He saved my life and then helped me through every step of the annulment process.

  • In the very early days I watched a documentary on Netflix, Flight of the Butterflies, to help me stay calm. Binged watched several series;
    Narcos
    Blue bloods
    Mom, ex is an alcoholic so I liked the humor this had.

    Like many here I also love cop shows, maybe we like the justice side, who knows.

    Just finished Seven Seconds and have one episode of River left.

    Last Tango in Halifax is good.

    Happy Valley is one of my favorites, Catherine Cawood is a badass!

    Grace and Frankie is another. The beach scene in the first episode where Grace asks Frankie isn’t she angry about being abandoned and she says, no I’m heartbroken, makes me cry every time. But I love how they rebuild and have a life. I do think it’s unrealistic how they are so close to their exes, I want to shout “hey no contact” but it is a comedy……

    I Love Lucy and The Golden Girls are my go to for background noise. I watched nothing but the Golden Girls when he was around and usually hid in my basement because well y’all know. He was like so many here. I hate now I barely watch it now since it seems to bring me back to that time. I try to put it on sometimes but I find it can bother me.

    What I won’t watch is anything with cheating, it usually bothers me so I’ll change it and anything he liked to watch;
    Sports
    Any reality show, most are of men acting like children anyway.
    Game shows

    Chick flicks don’t bother me and the hallmark channel was fun to joke about.

    Mostly love that I dumped expensive cable and can do whatever I want. It was always a battle with him, everything was really. He said I could cut the cable and go antenna then would complain about it. Nothing new there.

    • Another yes for “Last Tango in Halifax”! The seventy-somethings give me hope that I could find love again and build a new life with a partner. I need to do some work on myself first, but I’m only 52…

  • Princess Bride. It’s got plenty of adventure and mostly interesting characters mixed with a bit of humor. The whole “True Love” bits are sappy enough that you won’t really feel like you are missing out. Actually, it is even better to read the book as it kind of mocks the whole “true love, happily ever after” thing a bit and the author’s fictional personal life is a bit closer to reality.

    I prefer reading a good book (especially sci-fi or fantasy) to unwind rather than watching TV or movies. I don’t usually run into too many triggers (I am not into romance novels), although it is hard to avoid them altogether. Avoid Ian Rand, however. Her work condones adultery and even rape.

  • I’d like to suggest something daft like Father Ted. In D Day week ‘The Great I Am’ and I watched ‘Forgetting Sarah Marshall’ which I sat all the way through thinking ‘Oh My God, now the Great I Am will understand what I’m going through’! only for him to say he thought the film really spoke about his sadz!!??!! I still think it’s a good film though – funny and it’s great to see the cheater getting her comeuppance.

  • Comedy Sitcoms

    – One Day at a Time is amazing. It has the silly elements of a classic 1/2 sitcom, but it’s also very real and digs into serious topics with love and care. And it has Rita Moreno, which is enough for me.
    – Grace & Frankie is not only good but it embraces surviving after a devastating loss.
    – The Good Place is unique, fresh, funny
    – Schitt’s Creek has comedy veterans Eugene Levy and Catherine O’Hara, who let the younger generation (including Eugene’s son, Daniel) shine. It just gets funnier and more heart-warming as it goes on.
    – Marvelous Mrs. Maisel others recommended it and I 2nd/3rd/4th/whatever it.

    Sci-Fi/Supernatrual/Superhero Shows

    – Travellers is a under-rated sci-fi show on Netflix, starring Eric McCormack. The 1st season was good, but the 2nd season was great.
    – Wynonna Earp another show that had a better 2nd season than the first. It has a great lead cast and a good take on a legend.
    – Jessica Jones I recommend S1 to even non-fans of superheroes. It’s dark and angry and Jessica is suffering from PTSD and a whole host of other issues, but despite her cynicism she’s a fighter and refuses to be a victim again.

  • On YouTube, I absolutely lost myself for months in historical BBC productions. They had the history of the modern house, they had all the historical presentations on the British Kings and queens, they had histories of all the major castles in England and Europe. I would sit there on my phone at night and just overdose on one YouTube video after another. When I got sick of BBC, which is hard to do :-), I would watch Red Green. It is kind of like a grown up Mister Rogers Neighborhood. I also second the recommendation for the Roseanne movie, She Devil. I really liked the way she fought back against the odds.

  • I watched Big Little Lies, which could be very trigger-y for many because there is serious domestic violence. My cheater wasn’t physically abusive but I strongly identified with the cycle of abuse and Celeste’s reactions/spackling/behavior. There is also some cheating, so again, ymmv on this. For me, though, it was a stark look at the cycle I went through over and over in my marriage. It was actually sort of cathartic for me even though I sobbed mightily through the last couple of episodes.

  • Thelma and Louise is a yes! Love Actually is a big no! If you want to spend a lot of time, I think Gone With the Wind is an interesting exploration of cheating. Rhetts “harmless” cheating, Scarletts lifelong pining for an unsuitable married man. What a pair!

  • While waiting on the divorce to finalize was the only time that I binge-watched anything: The Wire. All five seasons, free if you have Amazon Prime.

    Great show. Definitely addictive, and distracting. And not about love. A month of evenings went by, and I can’t really account for them. There’s both pros/cons to that.

  • Sex and the City the movie. When Steve cheated on Miranda, they met on the. bridge and he begged for forgiveness, I bawled my eyes out! Good for the RIC! Not so good for NC and divorce.

  • I am enjoying the Roseanne reboot. Pretty funny! My favorite movie of all time is When Harry Met Sally (it shows both the ups and downs of relationships). Divorce on HBO is entertaining and what many of us are going through. The Marvelous Mrs. Maisel is a great time period show. I find any standup comedy specials on netflix or amazon prime are great when you need to just laugh. I am staying away from romance stuff in general, ha.

    Have a great day everyone out there in CN!! Stay Mighty!!

  • What not to watch: The Story of Us, Spanglish, The Women (either version).

    I’m on the fence about It’s Complicated. He shows he’s still a cheating douchebag, but w/ex-wife doesn’t really learn much from the whole encounter and screws up some relationships on her own.

    My all time favorite movie after I tossed the ex out and before the final divorce day was Dawn of the Dead. The 2007 (?) version. Why? Because there was no hope, everything went to shit, everybody died… but at least the assholes died spectacularly. I cant watch it anymore tho. I get this clammy cold sweat gut clench thing happening when I watch zombie movies.

  • I’m dating myself with this one, but Snakeface and I rented Spike Lee’s “Jungle Fever” (on VHS!!) shortly after we reconciled following his first affair. I was bawling at the end of the movie because it struck a still-very-sensitive nerve.

    Not long after that, we watched the David Lean version of “Dr. Zhivago” shown on PBS one evening, and I was just furious when it was over. I’d loved the movie since I was a teenager, but after suffering through Snakeface’s infidelity, the scales had fallen from my eyes, and I was no longer buying the myth of the Sensitive Artist and the Strong, Noble Other Woman, whose affair was dignified by their Great Love, which endured war and the devastation caused by the Russian Revolution. I wanted to give Yuri a good slap and push Lara in front of a speeding troika. When I watched the movie for the first time in high school, I never imagined I’d eventually identify with Tonya.

    I may re-read “Madame Bovary”. At least Flaubert reveals how selfish cheaters are.

    • Yes! Boo to Dr. Zhivago! I have no desire to ever see that film again.

      Madame Bovary is wonderful. I also love how it shows that endless shopping and the desire for things will leave you empty and unfulfilled and that you will never be truly happy with a partner if all you want to do is change him.

  • Malcolm in the Middle, Roseanne (the old series, haven’t seen the new one), Frasier.

    South Park, always cracks me up, takes no prisoners.
    The Walking Dead, I love Michonne, Carol, Daryl, Herschel, Glen.
    Breaking Bad
    Insecure was good. She fucked up and lost a good man when she cheated, and there was no going back. The ending when she imagines what her life could have been was very good.

    I loved Madmen, although it was triggering, even before DDay, because my father was a cheater and my mum was the OW. Gave a good portrayal of the era I was born in.

    I like watching the narc monster mum in Veep. Charm, self-pity, rage flipping 101.

    To feel better during the worst times, all I did was watch nature and animal programs. Nothing about humans. Good medicine.

    Can’t bear Country Calendar anymore, too triggering. Used to watch it religiously with the Traitor, making plans, comparing ourselves with the people on the show. Anything that shows a happy family on a farm is a no-no these days.

    For entertainment, the Graham Norton Show is good fun.

  • If the pain is fresh and you aren’t truly and deeply meh yet, I would avoid “The Good Wife”. If you’re way down the road, like me, you might find it insightful about how dysfunction ends in destruction despite all image management that suggests the contrary.

  • The Arrangement – a new series. Because if you think YOU’RE relationship is a mess, check that out! Also a very pretty cast to look at.

  • As an aside to this brilliant post today, what is up with the Hallmark Channel’s leading men’s hair? Is it a too much product issue? Are they badly coiffed wigs? Seriously. They need to fire their hair person.

  • Tried watching that reality show “Married At First Site” thinking it would be hilarious since the relationships rarely survive. The wedding ceremony episode though turned out to be painful- stopped watching- wouldn’t recommend.

  • Movies to watch:

    – Tommy Boy (one of the funniest movies of all time…perhaps)
    – Wedding singer (yes the boyfriend cheats but he gets beat up by Billy Idol and who doesn’t want their cheater beat up by Billy Idol)
    – Central Intelligence (Kevin H and The Rock…great combo)
    – The Impossible (you will cry your eyes out with this)
    – So I married an ax murderer (classic)
    – Yes man (we should all say yes a little more)

    Movies to STAY AWAY FROM:

    – Valentines day
    – 27 dresses
    – Any movie with Hugh Grant

  • I sometimes watch true crime stories where a couple starts out all lovey-dovey but ends up with one killing the other. For some reason it always makes me feel better that at least we didn’t get to that point.

    • I watched a lot of true crime and still do because it is awesome! Murder mysteries are the best! On top of that…it did help remind me that my exit from the cheater could have been a LOT worse.

      But initially after DDay – I watched Disney movies *blush* My favourites were Moana, Zootopia and Frozen. Strong female characters that forge new lives for themselves. Those are powerful, uplifting and emotional messages for a traumatised, confused and very sad brain to absorb. Bright colours and happy. Sometimes I cried and other times I just felt empowered. I was starting over and really coming of age because the cheater forced me to grow up (even at my age!). I lost my innocence that the love of your chosen one was true, forever and faithful.

      Apart from Disney I also loved comedies and period dramas. No rom coms. It’s lies and sets you up for failure.

      • True crime spousal betrayal episodes ALWAYS start out as lovey-dovey! We once devised a true-crime show drinking game that involved downing a shot every time a couple was described as “inseparable.” Two shots for “they quickly became inseparable.” There were a couple of other shot-trigger lines as well but it was those two that led us to have to revise the rules to prevent the players from winding up passed out twenty minutes into the program. And of course all the “inseparable” couples wound up being murder victim and murderer by the end of the show. True crime is still my secret-shame escape pastime, but I immediately lose interest if the spouse is conclusively ruled out as the murderer.

  • To Watch:

    Better Call Saul. Good for a laugh, and crooked slimeball X even makes Jimmy McGill look like a saint!

  • I love the Christopher Guest mockumentaries… Best in Show! “Rhapsody has two mommies”

    • I love Best in Show! That movie is a freaking riot.
      I adore Catherine O’Harra/Eugene Levy

      “Bob Mackie, where are you?”

  • Stay away from the Hallmark movies for women!!!! Watched one years ago. Man comes back to hometown and screws his high school sweetheart and they are in LOVE! Problem is she is married. At the end he gets killed and my spouse was crying. I looked at her and said he got what he deserved! Glorifying adultery in the name of soulmates!

    • So many hallmark movies are really about cheating. Couple is engaged then “true love” comes back and they end up together. It’s BS but the way they do it makes it look perfectly acceptable.

      • What I didn’t know was she was doing the same thing. Probably projecting how she would feel if he died. Now I know that movie was right up her alley.

  • Any show with a “figure it out” premise I luv because my brains works on something ELSE. Law & Order SVU, NCIS, Bull or ghost hunting shows like Dead Files. I also like Tanked.

    But STAY AWAY from the Reconciliation Industrial Complex. Hallmark Channel and my most hated Dr Phil (just waiting for him to get someone killed). Those are on my HELL NO list

    Hang in there. Get him out and reclaim your life

  • Twin Peaks (old and new) was good, distracting, quirky binge material after D-day.

    Made the mistake of watching Nocturnal Animals a few months after discovery, which is [SPOILER ALERT] a story within a story about a guy who loses his wife and child to infidelity… yeah, this one hit a little too close to home having just lost my own wife and family unit to an adultery situation. The worst part is where the bad guys (the AP) drive off in the family car with the wife and daughter in the backseat, leaving the husband/father behind on the side of the road badly beaten and powerless in the middle of the night. Awful! Maybe don’t watch that one.

  • I love Law and Order: SVU. Olivia Benson is a single mom who kicks ass every episode defending victims of sexual assault. I don’t think that her character has ever cheated in the past, but I can’t remember. I just admire Mariska Hargitay’s portrayal of her; I like how she doesn’t act as though her life is over because she doesn’t have a man. She actually breaks up with a decent guy because she feels she needs to put her son first. Very anti-Hallmark!

    For what it’s worth, I get why people like the Hallmark Channel. It’s silly escapism. As long as you don’t think that everyone’s life is like a Hallmark movie, and you are the only one who is all alone and sad, they can be fun to watch if you’re feeling pretty meh.

    Oh, and go see The Avengers: Infinity War. Many mighty characters (both male and female) who join together to fight the bad guy. Just know that the ending is a cliffhanger, but I think the next film is slated for 2019.

    Also, on Netflix, the first season of Nailed It! is up. It’s basically a Cake Wrecks version of Cupcake Wars, and I laughed my head off through every show. I enjoy that and Will and Grace for laughter therapy these days.

    • By the way– people have mentioned cheating in the Hallmark films. I’m not sure I’ve ever seen any with cheating, but if there are, I certainly do NOT condone that and would not recommend any film with cheating as part of the “romantic” premise.

  • “The Resident”!! A new medical drama! I signed up for a trial of hulu just to be able to see it. I won’t watch the current one until I’m caught up. Watch from the beginning, Season 1. A Graduate lesson in manipulation and evil people…

    My votes also for “Under the Tuscan Sun”, one of my favorite movies ever… I need to watch it again, and find a white dress 😉 and “The Marvelous Mrs. Maisel” was wonderful. I hope Season 2’s go as well.

    • Under the Tuscan Sun! First movie I watched after cheater left. Stumbled upon it. It was a God send and set the tone for my approach to recovery. Even bought the book.

  • Person of Interest is an amazing show! It has nothing to do with cheating. You can catch all 5 seasons now on Netflix. Very engrossing. It took my mind off my dragged out divorce.

  • My ex was another compulsive screen watcher, so I don’t watch much of anything anymore-but I will count myself forever and always a Supernatural fan, even though i have yet to watch the last 2 seasons. That show was my best friend when I was desperate beyond reason and I felt alone in the world. I went to a convention in LA a few years ago ( from South Australia!) and the cast are amazing, friendly and kind to their fans. And Jensen Ackles is, actually, an alien. No human being can be that attractive.The girl in front of me in the queue for autographs hyperventilated and passed out, and I quite understood.

    • Offtopic, but…
      Hey Moominmamma! I hope you read this! Are you on the forums? Can we talk transport to NSW for CL in Oz?
      Cheers, fluency

      • I am told there are direct flights to Newcastle from Adelaide now, but I haven’t booked due to Life things.Whereabouts on the forums?

    • Sorry I am a dummy today. The Marvelous Mrs. Maisel on Amazon. A woman being mighty after being cheated upon. . . .

  • No one who knows me would believe it but the movie ‘Legally Blonde’ cheers me up, I recommend.

    For insomnia nights ‘Cloud Atlas’, do not try to follow it, the reason it’s good for sleep is that it’s disconnected if you don’t pay close attention and sound doesn’t flux. This only works after you do follow it and get it. A peaceful movie

    ‘True Blood’, whether it just makes you laugh or you escape into a world where life is way more fucked up than any of ours ever will be. I’m rewatching it now cos free on Amazon Prime.

    ‘Pitch Black’, ‘Riddick’, ‘Dark Fury’ – get your bad ass on with Vin Diesel

    Cheesy old 80s movie; ‘Streets of Fire’, probably because when it came out my Dad said Amy Madigan’s soldier character reminded him of me so I had to watch it. It’s not a very good movie…and damn, I’m nothing like her character, heh.

    ‘True Grit’ cos Kim Darby, then you must watch ‘Rooster Cogburn’ because Katherine Hepburn is a badass

  • Never watched Hallmark or Lifetime. Never liked sappy romances…must’ve had a sixth sense but it didn’t work with STBX until the big DDay.

    I stay completely away from any romance or family story/movie right now.

    Love Homeland, Walking Dead, and John Oliver.

    Any comedy special!!! Netflix is my buddy. I’m dumping cable as soon as I move.

  • The British crime series “Unforgotten” currently airing in the U.S.

    Skeletal remains are found in a basement and the detectives have to figure out who it is and what happened. In the process of tracing people connected to the victim ,the team uncovers secret past lives of the people still living. I don’t want to give away too many details but reactions to adultery are portrayed more realistically than in Hollywood dreck/Harlequin romances. At least the mother of the victim gets closure decades after her son’s disappearance.

  • I’m not sure if they still are showing it but Bravo had a series called a Girlfriends guide to Divorce that got me through a lot when I needed it the most

  • Investigation Discovery…will kill your hope dead!

    Some Law and Order :SVU to top it off

    • God, I freaking LOVE that movie!!! I watched it so much when I was younger, I knew it by heart

  • For motivation I watch Hoarders and My 600 lb life. In comparison, my life isn’t so bad, and I take great inspiration from the people on these shows that pull it together and overcome .
    For escapism I watch Ancient Aliens, because nothing takes your mind off your problems more than the possibility we evolved from little green men and women.
    For comedy nothing beats Absolutely Fabulous on BBC

  • Anything on CI channel works. Cold Case Files, Disappeared, First 48. Humanity never fails to disappoint.

  • I don’t recommend Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind (Jim Carey/ Kate Winslet) – quite triggery for me, though I quite liked the film years ago.
    Plot: A couple break up (not due to cheatery) and find out about a sciencey-firm which can completely erase their memories of their relationship. [To that end, it would be excellent to be able to do this in regards to our cheaters, but since this is not actually possible… well, the unfairness was a weird grief-trigger for me. Another trigger was one of the characters re-remembering – and desperately trying to hold onto – the joyous memories of their former… just *hard* to watch.]
    The couple meet again and fall back in love with each other. There is also a subplot, late in the film, about an AP who had her memory erased of the affair… and then makes a move on her previous – and married – lover, which the chumpy wife witnesses. Ick ick ick.

  • Sorry I’m so late getting to this. Finals week. But holy heck, this is my wheelhouse.

    One of my favorite movies: “Hope Floats.” Early career Sandra Bullock in an under-appreciated film about a woman whose D-Day happens on a TV talk show. The film is about her getting a life. It includes some snot-crying on the bathroom floor and having to live with her mom in her hometown. Plus fixing her picker to get past “former quarterback-itis” with Harry Connick, Jr. It might trigger some people, but the film shows what infidelity does to people and the value of gaining a life.

    Ditch the Hallmark Channel. Watch Hallmark Movies and Mysteries channel. There’s nothing like bad guys getting caught to shore up our belief that eventually there are consequences. Most of the heroines are are attractively middle-aged and married to guys who can’t control their crime-fighting impulses. But even better, the channel shows re-runs of “Monk” and “Psych.” “Monk,” of course, is about a man who has lost his wife to criminal violence, which exacerbates his crippling OCD and often massive selfishness. His years-long devotion to his murdered wife is linked to his mental and emotional struggles, but that devotion makes some sense, both given his emotional landscape and the circumstances of his death. He’s totally faithful to her, even after death–but the show asks us to both admire that (given she was murdered and he is devoted to finding her killer, devoted to justice) and to see how not being able to let go cripples him in life. It’s also very funny and Tony Shalhoub is genius.

    Now “Psych” isn’t for anyone. It’s essentially a buddy comedy-drama built around a highly intelligent and observant young man pretending to be a psychic because he isn’t disciplined enough to be a police detective like his father was but he’s a genius at solving crimes–usually after making 2 or 3 bad guesses at who did it, but way ahead of the police. Again, for some people the fact that Shawn’s life is built on the lie that he’s a psychic might trigger some people–but hey, what would a real psychic be, other than someone who takes in lots of information that other people don’t get? But the show is built on relationships–Shawn’s conflicted relationships with his father and his absent psychologist mother (Cybill Shepherd); his father’s stunted life after his wife leaves him; Shawn’s mid-show dating relationship with a HS sweetheart and his slow-growing relationship with Juliet, a female detective. But at the heart of the show is his lifelong friendship with his buddy Gus and how they put up with each other’s quirks and issues. The writing is super clever. Characters are both well developed for TV and sort of cartoony predictable. But the show works in the stars’ love of 70-80s film, TV and music and their love of musicals and tap dance. They spoof all sorts of pop culture, from “Twin Peaks” to an episode that crosses “Blair Witch Project” with “Finding Bigfoot.” It’s silly and funny and touching. Hallmark M&M runs both shows in the afternoon but they also do marathon weekends. Both are also available free on “Amazon Prime.”

    But what got me through the first 2 years after D-Day? “Law and Order,” old school variety. Sam Waterston! Jerry Orbach as Lenny Briscoe! Young Chris Noth! Jesse L. Martin! And Jeremy Sisto as Cyrus Lupo! Hundreds of episodes, all over cable. I do like SVU but spent a full year marveling at Vincent D’Onofrio. But I also discovered “Blue Bloods” reruns and lots of other crime TV on ION TV (on our cable system). I can pretty much turn that on in the morning and leave in on all day.

    That stuff plus lots of HGTV rehab shows. (I’d like to drop-kick the people on House Hunters.

      • It’s the best show about actual love (not sex) between all sorts of people–friends, parents and kids, police office partners, ex-spouses (not cheaters), even “frenemies.” The haters are all criminals. If you have $100, do Amazon Prime (or ask for it for your birthday). That gets you lots of good free stuff to binge plus free shipping on stuff.

    • Thank you LAJ. I stumbled on Hope Floats years before my cheater and thought it was fab – I forget the name of th the main characters young daughter – wonderful acting, so funny and true to life.
      I have Amazon Prime so appreciate the recommendations (sometimes there’s so much on offer I can’t make a choice !)

    • I was reading through the posts and started thinking, “No one’s mentioned Hope Floats?” LOL
      I like that movie, even now.

  • *NOT “’Psych’ isn’t for anyone”–it isn’t for everyone. It’s 3:55 a.m. Sorry.

  • I like Sarah Jessica Parker’s—- Divorce And a series called Casual (and I’m british but these are Us shows)

  • I watch My Blue Valentine every (would have been) wedding anniversary. Ryan Gosling and Michelle Williams.

    They probably got married for the wrong reasons and he is definitely in love with her, but she’s changing and wants him to change along with her and he likes who he is. He knows things are going downhill and is doing everything in his power to love her into staying, but you feel in your gut that he’s fighting a losing battle.

    This was me for waaaaaayyyy too many years, and I want to reach into the screen and yell, “Don’t waste your time! It’s hopeless!”

    Surprisingly, watching this movie doesn’t make me pine for my marriage. It makes me remember once again that it was completely OUT OF MY CONTROL — a marriage to a narcissist is destined to fail no matter how much you pour into it.

    The absurdity of the space hotel room he rents out and thinking that if they just get drunk together and have a fun time, everything will be okay — is a sobering reminder that we are better off GONE.

  • Traci, the mention of hearing aids always brings a laugh as my wonderful father in law a ENT surgeon who in his later years needed them but announced,” He had heard enough!” Loved this brilliant man. His son was unfortunately not like him!

  • I hope you watch this stuff after you’ve left him. You see, I was married for too long to someone, who I would be left alone while he did his thing. And I would zone out in front of the t.v. of course for escapism. The REAL escaping, divorce, gives you your life, smile, joy, and everything else back. Sure the first year or so isn’t fun and is tough to go through. But if you stay another year with that person who is an addict, it will only make you more of a co-dependent. It will steal another years worth of your happiness, while you try to numb out those bad feelings with more t.v. And I think you realize since you are on this site that you have to do something, he’s not ever going to change for the better. Believe me if wishing and praying and hoping and waiting worked, none of us would be here on Chump Lady.

    There’s plenty of time while you’re transitioning and grieving this non-relationship you’re in, after you leave, to watch t.v. In fact I really NEEDED it at that time for laughs and to just not feel bad for that time period while I watched a movie or a t.v. show. Though I’d never watched the ” Roseanne ” ( older episodes ) t.v. show before, I started watching the reruns. Because though she’s a narcissist, her humor on that show was cathartic for me. She would get mad and have problems with her family and I would not feel so alone. Though it’s a dysfunctional family that no one should emulate, I think everyone can see bits of themselves in it. Especially us damaged and trying to heal ex-victims of the kind of abuse we went through. They are such flawed characters it can make you feel better seeing them struggle with life too. I laughed a lot watching it and it helped heal me.

    I also watched the movie ” Sliding Doors ” which helps because it shows how good life can be if you leave juxtaposed to if you stay with a selfish lying cheater. I also watched ” Groundhog Day ” because it shows that if you want it bad enough you can change your life, even if it seems pointless and stagnant. That if you care and are a good person, that’s what makes the real change. I know we are good people, but we can still get stuck in a bad rut of a relationship. And you know what a rut is? It’s just a grave with both ends kicked out. Leave him, pop popcorn, watch cathartic shows and I hope you heal soon. Best wishes.

  • 1. Carrie Pilby – it’s about a girl who will not compromise her moral code.
    2. Sliding Doors – because, Gwyneth Paltrow
    3. The Holiday – it isn’t about cheating per se (well one character does get hoodwinked) but about finding self-worth
    4. Hidden Figures – not so much about relationships, than it is about three BADASS black women battling stereotypes but ultimately helping put a man in space at NASA. So inspiring.
    5. Legally Blonde – about a woman who started doing the pick-me dance but then found herself instead
    6. Under the Tuscan Sun – because, Diane Lane. (and also it doesn’t focus on a relationship as the ultimate source of happiness).
    7. Bridget Jones – I watched all of these because I identified with her drinking vodka and singing ‘all by myself’ and rooted for her.
    8. Not going to lie, I binge-watched Game of Thrones right after D-Day because I was so numb and watching people get roasted or beheaded felt satisfying.
    9. Forgetting Sarah Marshall – this was also quite satisfying.
    10. Queen – it’s a Bollywood movie about a woman who gets left at the altar but decides to go on her honeymoon alone anyway.
    11. Wild – a movie that shows the empowering side of solitude and finding strength in oneself.
    12. Wonder Woman – watching her kick the butts of villains feels so good.
    @Traffic_Spiral… I used to watch the Great British Bake Off with my ex. I hate that I can’t watch it anymore without feeling sad.

    • Sliding doors the best!

      Great British bake off – Paul Hollywood is a creepy old perv. Yuk!

  • Netflix “Grace and Frankie”. I love it. its funny and quirky and adresses many issues the chump and family goes through after infidelity (and subsequent divorce). Especially for us “mature women” All with a bit of comedic relief.

  • I watched Downton Abbey and Call the Midwife. I went with a friend to see the Theory of Everything, didn’t know the full story before I went; I found it very hard to watch

  • Those of you who like crime shows might like the Australian show “City Homicide.” Four seasons of it are available on TubiTV.com. It’s a drama, not a true crime show, but I like it better than American crime shows, probably just because of the accents and the faraway place-ness of it. One of the cops has a cheating wife in Season One so you might want to skip that even though it hardly even qualifies as a subplot. The show doesn’t really get in the groove until Season Two anyway.
    And you’re all going to think I’m really simple-minded but I honestly recommend some of the ridiculous animal videos, and especially the laughing baby videos, on YouTube. Laughing babies, for me at least, are a reminder that Life Is Good.

  • My Name is Earl, because it’s funny. I watched all the episodes on Netflix after my EX left.

  • I know I’m really over-posting here but I forgot to mention NPR Tiny Desk concert videos on YouTube, and some of them are really good, eg:

  • Don’t watch The Intern. I had no idea what I was getting into and it just upset me more with surprise affairs.

    Also, I couldn’t watch the break up on New Girl. Really brought up bad memories and I had to start skipping episodes until it was over.

    I couldn’t watch TV or read at all for the first few months. My brain would not stop thinking and mourning.

  • 1/24/19…. Stumbled across this site quite by accident searching for something else. Best reading in a long time! 👍 You ladies here are funny as hell. Mind u, what happened to all y’alls is NOT funny … but your biting sarcasm, sharp as a tack insights & your overall disdain for all things dumbfuck with dicks is just what the dr ordered. Oh, I’ve been where most of u stand & I, too, have horror stories. One too many. I’ve had enough. At age 65, I’ve sworn off men forever. Period. Not even casual encounters. They have even MORE power than usual in those situations. No thanks. What’s left out there over age 60 is downright scary. So, unless I suddenly wake up as a lesbian one day, I’ve finally accepted the fact that I will die alone & “unconnected.” If only I could’ve/would’ve been able to accept that at age 40 … I’d be a much happier person. I’m now thoroughly convinced that 90% of all men on this planet are shallow assholes & spoiled, selfish, narcissistic, clueless, heartless shitheads. For those women (or other men) who have stumbled upon & hooked up with a member of that rare 10% club of normal men/human beings, I hope they appreciate the unique situation they are in. As for TV shies/movies to watch after you’ve been fucked over .. 🤔🤔 .. Enough (happy ending… lol)

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