Stay in Touch

Check out CL's Book

Happy Mother’s Day! Take a Single Mom to Brunch

Share on twitter
Share on facebook
Share on reddit
Share on whatsapp
Share on pinterest
Share on pocket
Share on print
Share on email

momHappy Mother’s Day everyone! I’ve got my son home from college and everything’s grand. I’m celebrating the weekend by making his dental appointments and replacing sports shoes, because… motherhood. Here’s a rerun and have a WONDERFUL weekend!

*** 

I was a single mom for most of my son’s childhood, and I have to confess to you as hokey and shameful as this is — every Mother’s Day I coveted one of those orchid wrist corsages like you get at prom. I wanted to be Matriarch for a day, surrounded by my well-dressed family at an ostentatious, over-priced Sunday brunch. But what I really wanted most of all was what most mothers want on Mother’s Day: recognition for a job well done.

Single mothers don’t get much of that. Putting aside how vilified single mothers can be in the culture, when your kids are young, they tend to be short on perspective. You’re only as good as your last mac n’ cheese dinner. If it weren’t for the prompting of teachers crafting Mother’s Day cards, the day would go by unnoticed for many of us.

My son would make me a card at school each year and I treasured and kept every single one. Every gift — the button and pipecleaner bracelet, the photograph of a horse (I like horses, he always remembers), the mosaic trivet he made in art class. He’s a super kid. But for most of his life there was no man around honoring his mom on Mother’s Day. I divorced his dad when he was four (and we never celebrated the holiday much when we were together; my ex neither honored his mother or myself).

But kind of like Valentine’s Day can remind single people how single they are, Mother’s Day has a way of making single moms feel quite alone. It’s often seen as a celebration of the traditional nuclear family. Of the legacy that comes from being partnered, of having a spouse say, “Wow, I’m so happy we made these kids together.”

When I was a child, Mother’s Day was always spent with four generations of women — my great-grandmother, grandmother, mother, and aunt, at an after-church luncheon at the Village Women’s Club outside Detroit. The men would be in suits, my grandfather would hold court. (He loved nothing more than to be surrounded by his family suffering the discomforts of formal dress attire). From my child’s perspective it was interminable. Adults having cocktails. Children staving off their hunger with dry breadsticks. Fidgeting. Reprimands. At last dining. And then, if you were lucky, breaking free to run across the daffodil gardens outside, where it was still early spring.

It was conveyed to me was that this was a day of importance. It was an occasion to honor your mother, that had the gravitas of formality, of obligation and ritual.

Fast forward 25 years to being a single mother in my mid-30s. I would’ve settled for a flipped pancake and a hug.

Single mothers work so damn hard, they deserve all the honor we can give them. I know single dads work hard too — but today I’m talking to the single moms out there — you rock. I admire you immensely.

I blog about infidelity, and every day, women write to me who were cheated on while pregnant, whose husbands walked out on them with infants, small children, walked out on their teenage kids and never called again, stay-at-home moms who find themselves trying to find work again with less than baseline child support and big gap in their resumes — heart breaking stories. And yet, they get up every day and do the hard work of raising kids on their own. Either entirely by themselves, or carrying the majority of the parenting weight. (And before the father’s rights people comment — they don’t do this by choice — but because men still exist who abandon their families.)

Single moms are mighty — and they deserve more than a bouquet of flowers and a nice breakfast — they deserve our respect. If you know a single mom, take a moment to tell her how much you admire the hard work she’s doing. Babysit her kids for an hour or two. Cook a dinner. Fete her with brunch. Sit with her children help them make her card. Do not let this day go unnoticed. This is a day of importance. It is an occasion.

It’s over a decade since I was that single mom with a preschooler. I’ve been remarried for going on three years. (8 years now!)  I don’t have children with my husband — we have a blended family of three young men. The first Mother’s Day we were together, my husband got me flowers. He wrapped lovely, thoughtful presents. He brought me coffee in bed.

Later that day, he put on a pressed shirt (he hates all things dry-clean), he made my son put on a pressed shirt, and my step-son put on a pressed shirt — and then three handsome men took me out to brunch.

Share on twitter
Share on facebook
Share on reddit
Share on whatsapp
Share on pinterest
Share on pocket
Share on print
Share on email

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.
  • It really does come down to the effort, doesn’t it? We don’t always have the fanciest Mother’s Day celebrations in my family, but my brother and I always make sure we know what Mom wants and that it’s presented thoughtfully.

    I know my fiance is the man for me already, but the fact that he does the same for his mother (making sure Mother’s Day plans are finalized and that he, his brother and their dad do things in a special way) makes me think that I have a good man.

    • Excellent Chump lady and my question is why do so many men still think they can walk out on their wives and children without any consequences?

      • Its very simple – entitlement, regardless of gender. And the concept of, in today’s modern society, people demanding instant gratification “or else”.

        These people happily smash through boundaries because not enough people put up consequences for shitty behaviour, whether that’s by not doing anything, or actively participating in abuse (ie. the OW/OM’s behaviour). If there was an immediate bunch of consequences (for example, if you cheat you lose all rights to marital property and ever seeing their children ever again, plus being forever publically labelled as a fuckwit) – less people would cheat. Because the consequences are slim to none, more people feel emboldened to be a fuckwit.

        • Totally agree with you Lania!

          I’ve thought the same too. If you cheat (and obviously it can be proven in court) then your spouse can divorce you immediately, take all the marital assets and can decide on child custody.

          Oh and yes a “Cheater’s Register” would be useful too. If I’m looking to employ someone, then the fact you cheated shows that you’re not trust-worthy so I won’t waste my time bringing you in for an interview. Jog on elsewhere…

      • Mine did. Our babies were just 1 and 2. He was caught/confessed, and 20 hours later took his packed bag and moved 2,000 miles away. In 4 years, has only visited his children once. I do everything. I have no co-parent. He removed his presence and access for these children to see or be with their father. He removed a co-parent of any kind from me. In these four years, he has fathered 2 more babies after marrying his affair partner who already had 2.

        He stopped paying child support and never explained why or asked how his children were surviving. He owes $40K in arrears. I had to take him to court and get enforcement involved. Afer that, he and the HomeWrecker sued me for custody and lost (who knew all about me and the kids and pushed for him to move there for her anyway) and began to call me names on FaceBook, calling me money-hungry and manipulative, cruel to keep the children from their father (cuz with all this support the courts are making him pay he can’t afford to visit, and I can’t find it in the kindness of my heart to agree to reduce it. Reduce what? He doesn’t pay unless it garnished anyway. And oh yah, screw you, no.)

        Today, I woke up excited to go to church and then out for a special brunch with my kids, my grandparents, my mom, and my sister and her family. Surprise, my daughter had a fever. So I had to call my family and tell them I couldn’t come. I went into my room and started to cry. I got over my pity party, cleaned myself up, and came out and cooked for and played with my kids. Then it occurred to me that today is supposed to be a Skype day where the kids talked to their father. Hell no. So I sent him a text that just read ‘please change Skype to Monday’. He wrote back ‘Totally understand. Have a great day with the kids and your family.’ We have almost no contact, so he just assumed that’s what I would be doing.

        I began to write back a reply about the fact that I would be missing out on Mother’s Day and then some snarky comment about how I’m sure his day would be just SWELL, and then I deleted it. That made me more upset than anything. Because in the face of sheer injustice, I have to find a way to refrain from saying anything that could be used against me in court or make me later feel bad about. And because this piece of garbage has, since the day he bailed on us, acted like Mr. Pleasant. Mr. Rogers. Mr. Nice Guy. That’s who his ‘new family’ see him as, as we once did. It’s fake. It makes me want to violently throw up while simultaneously throwing a chair through a window.

        But I stuff it down. I have to control myself and give zero reply to this obtuse fucktard who hopes I have a ‘fun day’ doing every task he dumped on me for the rest of my natural life! He’s missed the beautifully good, the amazingly bad, the poop diapers, the potty training, the hugs, the tantrums, ALL OF IT. It’s so deeply insulting and infuriating. The anger turns inward, I become disillusioned and over-eat, I get low and depressed, and I am so sick and tired of those feelings. They help nothing, I don’t want my kids to see me like that, and I need to get past this anger. I just can’t. It’s too big. I want to firebomb Tokyo (metaphorically speaking). Help. Any suggestions?

        • Therapy is one sure way to get rid of that anger. Also it gives you control over yourself and your own life. You are doing it already. Life can be great again but don’t keep falling down that rabbit hole because the X isn’t there to help. It can always be worse. Let him go. Release yourself and see how wonderful you truly are. Post note every good thing you can to get back to you again. You are loved!

        • Talk to a therapist or a friend and bitch your heart out!Also cry for yourself and throw a little pity party. Then brush yourself off and move forward until the next time you need to cry and bitch and throw a pity party. You’re doing a hard job and you need to blow off steam. The feelings will diminish in intensity and frequency. Be nice and love the mom who is trying hard.

          (((hugs))))

        • You are grieving, and have every right to do so. You will feel angry at times, it is a process. Allow your feelings to move you forward. I was so angry at being duped that I exercised hard for about two years, and it helped. When you get to Meh you will look back at this journey and know you are strong. Most Cheaters, even if physically present, are mentally checked out. In my marriage it always felt like something was missing, I didn’t have an engaged partner and did all the hard work surrounding our three young children. Letting go of the illusion of perfect family was hard. I realized then that just the kids and I were enough. Best wishes, Honey.

  • Chumplady – how lovely! You summed it up perfectly! I never felt so alone on Mother’s Day. I guess I didn’t realize how unappreciated I felt. Tomorrow I will have my kids help me in my enormous gardens. When their father was around – it was all about him. I am so glad he is gone and I made a promise to myself never to be treated so badly again! Happy Mother’s Day everyone. May we all find what is important in this life and be true to ourselves!

  • Mother’s Day has only been a thing for me if I make it a thing, or my kids do, husband or not. My soon to be ex always pointed out that I’m not HIS mother. We homeschool, so there was no teacher orchestrating crafty gifts for me.

    Last year, the last time I was under the same roof with the father of my children, his presence pretty much ruined the holiday for me. My son wanted to buy me a fancy cupcake. Husband offered to come along and stupid me took it as some sign of his repentance and actual care for me. By the time he almost caused a car accident, bought the cupcakes to go (while I had wanted to enjoy them on the patio at the restaurant, kind of like you described sitting court), then started texting the adulteress as soon as we got home, the occasion was tainted for me. I appreciated that my son initiated the cupcake outing and that my daughter made me a beautiful card. I hated that the man who shares these lovely children with me is a cheating creep. I hated that I said yes to him coming along, that I was such a chump, though I didn’t use that word for it yet. Idiot. Fool. Whatever. I knew I screwed up to hope for anything pleasant.

    Tomorrow will be my first Mother’s Day living apart from my husband. I expect any noticeable difference to be an improvement.

  • Happy Mothers Day to Chump Lady and all the mothers of Chump Nation (what the hell, I’ll celebrate you today too).
    Our kids are our best reward for surviving and finding a life.

    • Damn, was supposed to say…
      And all the single fathers (what the hell, I’ll celebrate you today too).
      🤦🏻‍♀️

      • Heeeheeeeheeee!!!!
        Here’s you Chump single dad’s that truly are double duty moms too!!!

  • DDay 2/4 came on mother’s day. Yes I chumped through 2 more. Divorced on a tuesday. Working on meh.

  • I spent Mother’s Day last year, 1st one post DDay, post divorce, and post discovery of who the OW was, explaining to my then 6 and 8 year old, exactly who that woman and her 3 kids were, that Daddy moved in with him barely a month after our speedy divorce and the day after my aunts funeral who was like my second mom and died unexpectedly.

    He theatened me not to tell them or he would file to change custody because I was telling them ‘negative things’ about him, which is not allowed in our Parenting Plan, and which I was served with Last Saturday ( he had to wait a year)

    This Mother’s Day, I’m in Denver, celebrating my Daughters graduation from college, with my other 5 daughters ( my son couldn’t come), and a baby granddaughter…..along with their father… my first ex husband, the beater. Sigh. It’s a long story. It’s after 6 am, I’m the only one up and sipping a cup of coffee, listening to classical music on Alexia and reading the first book written by my boyfriend doctor.

    This year is markedly a much better celebration of my most successful life’s accomplishment…. my children.

    They really are awesome people…and I am so lucky to be their mom.

    • Oh, and as to either of the baby daddys marking the day… no.

      When I was a kid, my dad made the ffor my mom and his mom,my grandma. I remember his building my mom a plant stand out in our entry/ porch that we kids guarded the door to so my mom wouldn’t see. He was really really good to my mom, and in my last divorce, I took my maiden name back, because my dad is the only man in my life who’s had my back.

      • I also (chumpily, lol) half expected my kids’ dad to at least acknowledge the day – my first single. Was I surprised when he didn’t?! (Ha, NO!) But still amazed at who he really is.

    • Sunflower36,
      Enjoy your day, and if you get the chance, punch the ex-beater in the dick, or grey rock, or toss a pot of hot grits on him (Madea’s grit-ball) or whichever works for you.
      ❤️🌷😎

    • It’s not negative if its the truth.

      If he didn’t want people telling the truth about his shitty behaviour, maybe he shouldn’t have engaged in said shitty behaviour in the first place? What a fucking novel concept!

  • Last Mother’s Day was when I found out he was cheating for sure. One year on, I’m working on finalizing the divorce and gaining my freedom and life, and I ordered myself a large bouquet that will sit on my table reminding me of my own awesomeness.

  • What I never shared with CN this year is that my beautiful, successful daughter who just grad from college uses weed for a neuro condition (and crippling anxiety) and this year was caught with some and went to jail. I agonized and suffered and worried and wrote her every day. I started a series of cards where there were cute normal things on the card and I added “since you are in jail” somewhere to make them funny.

    She said few gals got mail and all the gals passed my cards around and I became the mom to everyone in jail. I sent them all books (they had to be mailed from a 3rd party, cant just drop them off) I got them the Diary of Anne Frank (got one on Spanish) and The Hiding Place (I took my daughter to her house outside Amsterdam) so they could read about how other people experienced imprisonment.

    She was released the day I was leaving on a trip but I drove up to the jail and sat outside at 8am even though her boyfriend was supposed to get her. Well, BF overslept so it was a good thing I was there…we went to IHOP to get pancakes (I have no idea what a getting out of jail ritual is) where I realized that she and I were wearing identical shirts (who takes a North Face shirt to jail?).

    Very few people know she was in jail..not her bros, nor other family. Her BFs parents think she was in Belgium.

    So yesterday, 125 red roses arrived at the house and I earned everyone of those flowers. She said her friends said “you didn’t need to do that” and she said “Oh yes, I did”.

    Parenting comes in so many forms, many we dont like. I know I wont hear from my sons…they both live far away and suffer from mental health conditions which make getting through each day just about all they can do. I never imagined their dad would be dead (as well as not worth having if he were alive) and my baby in jail, but I got through it and we as a CN can weather what comes, we’re mighty.

    • Thank you for trusting us wnough to share that with us.

      Good work, Mama. You DID do good…

      ((Hugs)))

    • Wow, you are the Mightiest among Mighty! I cannot believe they jail anyone for pot anymore. (Okay, yes I can… I once lived in Texas.) That’s insane. But once again you took a horrible situation and reacted with grace and kindness. You didn’t just ease the burden on your daughter, you eased it for her mates there too. You’re an incredibly good person and an amazing mom. Enjoy those roses and Mother’s Day. Big ((hugs)).

    • UnicornNoMore,

      I bow to your mightiness!!!!
      Thank you for sharing that. One of my closest friend’s sons is about to be locked up for various drug related crimes. He is the ripe old age of 18, and my friend is beyond upset about it to say the least. It’s so sad because we’ve said for years how our sons (they used to be very, very close, they’ve known each other since K-3) were going to graduate h.s. together, we were all going to go on a trip together with them. My boy is about to graduate high school, hers is about to go to jail…😥
      Have a wonderful Mother’s Day, UNM!!! You’ve earned it

      • Unicornnomore, you truly are mighty (as well as kind, loving, strong and good). Thank you for all your posts. You are one of many here in Chump Nation that I look to for guidance and strength. I love all of you here for the compassion and kindness you give to others when you yourself are in pain. Thank you so much.

    • Glad that your daughter is free and that she show you appreciation. All the best to her and you going forward.

    • What a wonderful story. I love the part with the books. Those books planted seeds that you may never see grow but will be there nonetheless. You daughter sounds like a lovely young woman. It’s very likely that her experience with jail will be a catalyst for good things in her life, as those roses suggest.

      My BFF’s son did time in jail on a drug charge and was released unexpectedly when the state dropped charges. He lived an hour away and didn’t have a ride so he called his mother, who worked 2000 miles away. She called me. That was a long time ago. Last year, he posted something on Facebook about how he will never forget that I came to pick him up. And that’s because his mother always knows the right thing to do. What you did for your daughter will be with her for a lifetime. Happy Mother’s Day!

      • unicornomore, I really appreciate your courage in sharing this very personal story. The example that you set for all those women incarcerated along with your daughter is truly admirable and, I’m sure, will resonate with them for the rest of their lives.

        I have always believed that jails/prisons/penitentiaries should be places to learn how to make a better life, rather than merely places to be imprisoned and to wait out a sentence.

        I am certain that the notes and books you sent, and your daughter sharing those notes, helped these women in ways that you may never see.

        Your story has made my day be brighter, and for that, I thank you!

        • Thanks all you guys. Daughter gave lessons on financial planning while in jail. She asked for a Rosary but apparently it was a potential weapon, so she made them out of target bags.

          We hear stories on the news about inmates making outrageous demands…what you dont hear is stories of people being deprived of basics…she was not allowed to bring shampoo into jail so she ordered it and paid for it through the jail system but it wasnt delivered for 3 weeks.

          She had medication that was supposed to be given in very specific ways and they gave her the pills out of order (blatantly ignoring the instructions on the package).

          Families could order care packages of food to be delivered but it was rare, REALLY expensive and only junk food…you couldnt get them any nutritions food. Breakfast was at 4am and if they didnt get up then, they didnt eat.

      • She said it turned into the Latina Book Club where all the books got traded around.

        The time frame was all of lent…she went in near Ash Wednesday and came out on Holy Thursday or Good Friday…I joked that she was taking the Lent thing WAY too far.

        My whole life, this was something that happened to other people, but here we were and it was US…I became a “them”. She and I both said that now stories of people being locked up unjustly used to bother us but now they make us genuinely sick.

    • Sorry to rain on everyone’s Mothers Day parade, but this comment grabbed my attention.

      “even though her boyfriend was supposed to get her.”

      Please, please, please UNM, please tell you daughter that this is a HUGE RED FLAG and should be a DEAL BREAKER in your daughter’s relationship with her BF.

      DD about to be released from 125 (?) days in prison.
      BF “sleeps in” or “forgets” to be there to pick her up ? He’s not there for her ?

      Dear BF doesn’t appear to care too much about your daughter, does he now ?

      Enough of the rant. Happy Mother’s Day to all on CN. Enjoy your day

      • I thought the same thing.

        Pay very close attention how your supposed loved ones show up (or not which is a huge red flag) when a crisis arises. Actions speak much louder than words.

        • Yes I agree. My first bf didn’t show up to pick me up after I had been in UK for 4 weeks. He turned up at my parents 5 hours later. I was pretty upset and knew at 21 that this was pretty shitty and unacceptable. Thought the sun shone out of his ass. So dumb when we are young and in love.
          He slept in, yes care factor zero.

      • Yea, his blunder was like missing someones heart surgery or something…quite a big deal. He has some good traits and some bad ones…we discuss the issue of dealbreakers and acceptability in relationships.

        But I did say (on our way to IHOP) that this behavior of his was something to consider seriously.

        • Glad you had that conversation with DD UNM.
          Lets hope the message gets thru to BF

          I hope you and DD had a fantastic Mothers Day

          • We went to the Paul bakery http://www.paul-usa.com/en/. in Georgetown one of my fav places. Husband and I went to the Paul in Prague like 4 weeks ago, so I was pretty happy.

            This morning, a wonderful but brief rain watered my lawn for me and saved me an extraordinary amt of work dragging hoses to water…Im full of contentment.

    • unicornomore- you get it. Mothering is about being there when shit gets real, parenting through difficult times. So lovely of you to extend care to the others. Those simple acts of kindness will have far-reaching impact.

      Enjoy your roses.

      • and the shit got very real…I had to write Inmate # 2004700 on every damn card and knew they would all be read. She told me stories of the gals there who were all addicted to heroin and had heartbreaking stories.

        One day one of her letters said this (of Corrie Ten Booms “The Hiding Place”):

        “I love this so much I could get it tattooed across my chest ‘If the Gospels were truly the pattern of Gods activity, then defeat was only the beginning. I would look around at the bare little cell and wonder what conceivable victory could come from a place like this’. “

    • You are an amazing mother. Your daughter is so fortunate to have your love and support. Too many parents think think their job ends when their children reach a certain age. But our children need our gentle guidance. especially as they navigate early adulthood. You have shown your daughter what true and unconditional love is. That is irreplaceable, and will be something she will remember her entire life. Happy Mother’s Day!

  • Unicornomore, I guess the 125 roses were for her 125 days in jail? Your home mush have smelled…FABULOUS. Happy Mother’s Day!!!

  • My stbx always did something special for Mother’s Day. Never bought jewelry…but always did something sweet.

    However, last year I was presented with two beautiful birthstone necklaces- one for each of our boys birth months. And a card that read….”no matter what happens between us, you will always be the mother of my children. ” He had just dropped the bomb that he “wasn’t sure” what he felt for me anymore and “wanted to work on us”….the night before. WTH!?

    They were guilt gifts to negate the fact that he was already involved with and acrewing the OW…sometimes with our infant nearby.

    I spent the next several months pick me dancing without realizing that there was an OW involved.

    I never wore them…actually threw them in his face when I found out about the OW….months later. I guess (to him) being the mother of his children is some super special consolation prize for ruining our family, 12 years of marriage, 3 of dating, and 5 of friendship (where he pursued me the entire time.)

  • Since my JesusFreak’s OW is a disordered single mom, I read this with one eye twitching.

  • Last year, my three kids bombarded me early as they were wont to do. My 14 year old stood there sheepishly while his younger sisters presented me with their homemade cards and school fashioned presents. While the ex hovered, he then explained that our oldest had “every intention of getting me something”, but he was so tired and had grown too busy to make it to the store (since he was getting a healthy paycheque from his job as a ref). For me, it patently looked like a page ripped straight out my ex’s playbook and it frustrated me to no end – in no way was it going to be okay that my son did this. And my reaction had nothing to do with me (I wasn’t going to be taken for a greedy mom who just had to have a present) – instead it was the fact that I didn’t bring up my son to be thoughtless. I kept my son back as the rest of them went downstairs and commented about how I expected him to honor me (even it it was nothing but his own homemade card) for what he had even said a few weeks previous “mom, I don’t know how I would do it without you – you’re my life manager”. More importantly, I wanted him to honor his future relationships – friend, spouse, children – by recognizing special dates and showing gratitude to those people in his life (and in the back of my head, my brain was screaming “not be like your father”).

    That conversation with my son did get heated. At first he got his back up. He made comments like “what do you even want a card for? You will just throw it out”. I then proceeded to show him boxes in my closet that contained every card or homemade present the kids had given to me. He complained about how he did love me and wasn’t that enough? I told him that while these “Hallmark-inspired made-up holidays” (as his father put it) were important to me (and obviously most of society too) and even if he didn’t think much of the convention, I did and he should honor my feelings. He ran downstairs in a frustration of tears.

    I went downstairs, still clad in my robe, and my now-ex sat there on the kitchen computer (he was always there) and proceeded to give me crap for making my son feel bad. I then had to sit there and through frustrated tears, explain what I had just said to my son and complained “I do not know why I should have to be even explaining this to you”. I plunked myself outside on the hot deck, soaked up the sun and cried. A big part of that cry was me feeling guilty that as my ex would always point out “made the holiday uncomfortable” by asking for what I needed.

    After I pulled myself together, I went upstairs and got dressed. My son came up and gave me flowers and a card where he had quickly scrawled a message (he had taken his bike and went to the community grocery store in the 20 minutes since we quarrelled). I thanked him and cried – he apologized and said he would make sure I was a priority going forward. My ex later came up and told me that my reaction was justified and that yes, I should be accorded that respect (but that was after two hours of me thinking that in his mind, I had overreacted and “what was the big deal?”).

    Later, as we were at his parents honoring the ex’s mother (because narc to narc, he was for sure going to remember to fete her as she required), I got a call from my son who had to zip out for an hour to ref a game that afternoon. I picked up the call and it was my son saying “mom, I forgot my skates and the game starts in ten minutes – can you go get them?”. Without a word (his father would have given him crap for doing something so stupid), I ran to the house and got them to him with two minutes to spare. My son looked at me and said “I know mom – this is why I shouldn’t forget your day”.

    And he has been following up appropriately even since. This Mother’s Day he wants to take me to a garden centre on the day (a planter would be a struggle home on a bike) but he has been talking about it for a week and real up-front that this is important to him. And that is what is most important to me – the fact that he is making the effort and will do so for the future mother of his children.

    • I love this story. You’ve totally modeled to your son what it is to be a good son, a good father, and a good husband in the future. He sounds like an awesome kid. My son didn’t get the great bio-father example either, and he’s turned out just fine too. And hey, we’re off to a garden center now! 😉

        • Way to go, Kibbled Again! Be very proud of yourself, and know that you have helped your son to put another building block in his foundation of honorable manhood/humanity.

    • This made me tear up. I miss my mom so much, this it the 4th Mother’s Day without her. You sound like how my mom was, she would drop everything if her kids needed help. I enjoyed celebrating Mother’s Day with her and my wife before she split, it was always a big day of barbecuing and peeling and skewering shrimp for the grill…etc…now I’m solo and can look back and appreciate what Mother’s Day meant. I’m sure your son will remember this day forever now. Happy Mother’s Day..!

      • I’m so sorry for the loss of your mother. And I’d like to point out that you are honoring her with your post.

  • Three

    Growing up with a bat-shit crazy, narcissistic mother, life wasn’t so grand. Having my extended family around always made life easier, especially holidays/special occasions. One particular Mother’s Day, for some reason the family didn’t get together. My two sisters and I never got along well, so the idea of us collaborating to do anything nice for our mom on Mother’s Day wasn’t gonna happen. I don’t remember anything of that day, except for going to McDonald’s for dinner, which back then was a big deal, since there was one or two in a 60-mile radius around us in small town New Jersey. Anyway, at one point, my bitchy older sister decided to be snarky and mean to my mom (as usual) in response to my mom not buying her extra food or a milkshake or whatever she wanted. This was before chicken nuggets (gasp!) Yeah, I’m that old…. Anyway, mom went ape shit banshee crazy on my sister. She started screaming at us, slapping sis in the mouth, throwing food, calling us all named, etc. Why the rage, you wonder? Because A) her married AP at the time was spending the day with his wife and her family having a grand ol time; B) our father was too busy with his new g.f. to bother helping his kids celebrate their mom; C) mom was self-righteously pissed that we need”little gid’damn bitches from hell” didn’t make her feel special enough…Good times…
    Fast forward from that shit show to my first marriage. Exh1 was never good at “big” surprises, but he was sweet in a simple way when he wanted to be. Every year, I asked for the same thing— let. Me. Fucking. Sleep. In. Exh1 would oblige and keep the boys quiet, etc. until about 9 or 10 when he had decided I had slept enough (i.e. he was tired of handling them on his own) and would have the boys wake me up. I honestly don’t recall anything special during that marriage, except the last one, right after D-Day. He reluctantly went to a roadside flower man and bought me some almost-dead flowers and practically threw them at me.
    Last one with exh2/The Evil One was after D-Day, but before GTFO-DAY. I was Pick-me-dancing like crazy. The day before Mother’s Day, he had overdrawn our checking account $300, and I stupidly thought that part of that money would be for a gift for me for Mother’s Day.
    My DS2 asked me to join him at his church where he was active in their youth group for service. TEO reluctantly agreed to watch DD as a gift for me on mother’s day.
    I was at church maybe 45 minutes when he started texting me “how much longer”? I left service again stupidly thinking he had a surprise for me. Nope. He just said that he wanted to go into work early so he could get back earlier for dinner for me. He was sporting new sunglasses and a new shirt. Nothing, absolutely nothing for me, nothing.
    He went to work. I spent the afternoon with my sons and DD here at home. Got pissed off that I was doing his fucking laundry on mother’s day and ended up cooking myself dinner.
    He eventually returned mad that I had cooked myself and that I was pissed that he didn’t get me anything for Mother’s day, but treated himself, after overdrafting the account, which I had to cover when I got paid next.

    Three years later and I will be at the beach with DD enjoying MEH-dom.

    I will have a tasty cold beverage or two by the shore and I will raise my cup to you all chumps and fellow single moms, married-but-might-as-well-be-single-moms, the step-moms (except OWhore-step-moms), the grandmoms that are now mom’s to their grandkids (like my beloved Grandmoms did, Rest in Peace), the aunts that help out mom’s (like my Auntie did, God bless you, Auntie!!!) And especially to my tribe IRL- my fellow single moms that make life so much better.

    💐🌸💮🏵️🌹🥀🌺🌻🌼🌷💐🌸💮🏵️🌹🥀🌺🌻🌼🌷💐🌸💮🏵️🌹🥀🌺🌻🌼🌷
    For all you, Chumps!!!!

  • I recently found your blog and I am so glad I did! I am also ordering your book. After 10 years of marriage and me dedicating my life to my family and him and staying at home with the kids so he could advance in his career my ex husband cheated walked out on myself and our kids as soon as he started being successful in his career. We have 3 kids. My oldest is his step daughter whom he doesn’t pay much attention to since he left. Her own father was never really around and useless so he raised her. We married when she was 3 and shes now almost 18. ( I can only assume because she is closer in age to his girlfriend then he is. She is 23 he is 38 and maybe he is embarrassed? who knows)Our other children are 10 and 4. Our youngest was only 18 months when he left to relive his 20’s with his bar whores as I like to call them and has many times not picked them up when he was supposed to only to find out he was out with his friends and groupies. although he’s recently gotten a little better. not 100% but a little better. We have been divorced for awhile but it has taken me a very long time to get over it. I’m still not and still in therapy! But I feel like I relived the end of my marriage all over again recently. He came back filled my head with nonsense like I love you and I want to fix my family and blah blah blah even went as far as to say he wanted another baby because he knew I always wanted another and to say he wanted counseling. Well I almost fell for it until my friend brought a facebook post to my attention.( I haven’t been on facebook for years because I didn’t want to see things that would hurt me all over again) but just about a week after him telling me he wanted a baby and counseling and that this girl was nothing and never his girlfriend she posts pictures of them cuddling and them out hanging out with her family! So same hurt all over again. His lie to try to get out of it was they were old pictures, but yet she had just posted them so that doesn’t add up as usual when it comes to him. Anyway so here I sit feeling stupid and awful all over again and right before Mothers Day. I guess that was his present to me. I blame myself for not leaving him in the past where he belongs but I thought for a second he changed and had remorse for destroying his family, but I think it was just one of his backwards ways of trying to figure out how to get out of paying alimony and child support because he’s told me that before “if I can get you to remarry me I could divorce you a month later and not pay you a dime” (which isn’t true I asked my lawyer) He thinks he shouldn’t have to pay me anything of course and be able to run off into the sunset with this 23 year old and be the proper sugar daddy while his ex family lives in poverty. Anyway thanks for this blog and this Mothers Day post! It really makes me laugh and to feel not so alone with all this! Can’t wait to read your book!
    Cathy

    • Jedi Hugs Cathy ! You might want to check out the link at the top and log into the forums for more support. You are not alone. I’m not a Mom but there are many Mom’s on the forums who can help you through this.

  • I am a newly minted chump (DDay 11/13/18)
    and I am EXCITED about spending Mother’s Day with my most precious Mother’s Day gift, my 11-year-old daughter. She is excited too. My cheater moved out in February….on Valentine’s Day I decided to marry ME. The cheater is not happy, joyous, and free. I am staying on the high road no matter what….he will get no ammo from me, ever. My daughter and I will ride the waves of authentic feelings together, talking and journaling and crying and laughing and being honest about what we think and feel, and maybe taking turns hitting the deck with the foam bat we got at Target and yelling whatever we need to yell. Self-care and self-love are our daily instructions, moment by moment, one day at a time. Some days we break it into doing the next right thing, moment by moment, just for the morning, then the afternoon, then the evening. My husband is still emotionally illiterate; my daughter is fluent and feels and communicates circles around him. THAT is what is important to me now. I was a wife because I was married, I am a mom because of HER. She is No. 1 tomorrow as far as I am concerned.

  • Also: remember the childless aunt who always put a little money in a card for your birthday, at Christmas, on your graduation, especially if she is older and on a fixed income. A Hallmark card, a plant, a little money or a gift card to a favorite store, or just an invitation to lunch.

    Remember that step mother whose paycheck made lots of little things possible for you or who took care of your aging father so you didn’t have to. A card is sufficient.

    And if you are doing the single parent thing, here’s my best advice: give kiddos $5.00 each (plus change for tax if needed) and turn them loose in the dollar store to buy stuff for you. He can put it in some dollar store gift bags (you can supply those!) and they can show you how clever they are. Lots of GREAT stuff in a dollar store. Or if cash is tight–just $1. Make it fun. Teach them to be thoughtful. It’s way better than having a cheater buy a gift and put kiddo’s name on it. You still have time to get it done today. And maybe tomorrow can be a day where you get to pick what to eat for dinner. Takeout.

    I used to hate Mother’s Day but after 65 years, I finally found peace about my mother. That allows me to miss her, which is its own blessing. And since I never had my own kids, there’s always that hollow, blank spot. But of course, the cats had that $100 they got from selling the yard tiller, so let’s wait and see what they bought…Happy Mother’s Day.

    • Yup, mother is a verb as well as a noun. Many women ‘mothered’ us who weren’t our mothers 🙂 Thank you.

  • As a stepmom to 3 boys and a step-grandmother to 1 boy, I looked forward to Mother’s Day as well… I too fantasized about breakfast in bed or brunch with all my boys and my (now ex) husband. Every year I hoped that THIS would be the year I got flowers, or a card, or a handmade sentiment, or even a vocal “Happy Mother’s Day, Laura!” …and it never happened. Because of this, I have a newfound appreciation for stepmoms (My parents have been married to each other for 46 years so I never ever took being a step-parent in to consideration before my own experience with it…). I don’t know if I’ll ever be a mom (or stepmom) ever again, but I hope all mothers have a wonderful day tomorrow: Married, single, step, or other… Happy Mother’s Day. You are all fierce, mighty, and worthy of recognition!

  • I love your single mom’s post every year, CL.

    I have been a single mother officially for 6 years. The past five years I have spent Mother’s Day with my former SIL and MIL. We get along, and it is a way for the kids to keep in touch with the other side of the family. But I admit a part of me has always wished that I was not so generous, and wished it could be a day just for me. Longer term CN folks know my story– I have been helping my teenaged daughter with her mental illness (suicide attempts and all) the last 3.5 years. As all the single mothers know, it is EXHAUSTING even without the added medical and behavioral issues.

    This year, technically, I still am a single mother, but have found love with the sweetest, sexiest, most generous man on Earth. I had to go out of town recently, and Sweet Guy stayed at my house watching over the kids (house didn’t burn down!) and getting youngest to school at an ungodly hour. He is committed, and while he never has dated a woman with kids, he is learning and is extremely supportive.

    So what are we doing for my Mother’s Day this year? NOT seeing my former in-laws. We are doing what _I _ want to do. Tomorrow Sweet Guy and my kids are going hiking with me. Then we are going for a late lunch with Sweet Guy’s parents who live about an hour away. They are in their mid 70s with no grandkids in sight (nor likely, given both sons are in their late 40s). When I met his mother for the second time a few months ago, I pulled her aside and told her I was head over heels in love with her son, and planned to spend the rest of my life supporting him in all that he wanted to do.

    Sweet Guy was surprised I brought this up with her. I told him—your parents are in their mid 70s, your father is in poor health. Speaking as a parent– Parents never stop worrying about their children, and wanting the best for them. I wanted to give them the peace of mind knowing that you are loved and have someone to care for you.

    Happy Mother’s Day to all the Mothers out there (and single fathers filling the maternal role).

    You are simply AMAZING.

  • I hope all the mothers on the board, and particularly the single mothers, have a really awesome weekend.

    I have a mango key lime pie AND a Boston cream pie waiting for me from my family. Mmm. Pie!

    Single dads who have tossed or will eventually toss their adulteress fuckwit, I salute you too but you have to wait for your pie until June.

  • I’ve been divorced since last June. My ex sent a 3 word text the last 2 years for mother’s day( he always said you’re not my mother why should I bother and ignored his own mother as well). I always begged him to show his children that they should honour their mother on her day as they were taught to honour their father in his day. I’m not expecting to hear from him tomorrow but if I do I will finally block him from my phone—the kids are grown and can deal with their relationship with him. We have been no contact for over a year ( except the day he had to fix the sewage pump and I said about 10 words all business and grey rock). My lovely daughter treated me to dinner and a breakfast fit for a queen at her place on Friday since she is working all weekend. I feel honoured. I expect to hear from my son tomorrow who is on tour with his band in the US. My lovely boyfriend of 18 months who honours me every day will be here tonorrow. Life is good and I am ( mostly) at meh.

  • Happy Mother’s Day chumps. You are all mighty. Mother’s Day without a fuckwit is indeed a fine day. Mother’s day without your kids acknowledgement is hard. My teenage daughter will not be sending me any Happy Mother’s Day, any I love you Mum.

    She use to be so excited to give me Mother’s Day gift. She was always wrapping thing up for me when she was little. Little gift boxes full of screws, used erasers, buttons, the most random stuff, but her joy and giving and wrapping was so endearing.

    I know she will ignore me today but I also know it will be hurting her too. On some level she will feel conflicted because I know she loves me. She is so enmeshed in her dads narrative that she will be telling herself I deserve it.

    Today will suck but I just want to acknowledge all you wonderful mothers out there. I’m thinking about my own who passed many years ago. On days like today it makes harder that she’s not around.

    Happy Mother’s day chump, make the most of it x

  • Last year, the first Mother’s Day post-abandonment, I foolishly hoped that the fuckwit would say that the kids were the best thing we had done together and that he was glad for that part of his life.

    Nothing. Not a peep.

    At Father’s Day, I did say it. I told him that our daughters were worth it to me, they were real and even though things hadn’t turned out like I hoped they were still worth it all. I told him that I had wished he has expressed something similar the month before to me, as mother of his children. His reply: “I didn’t know you wanted me to.”

    I had heard this response about so many things from him in 31 years. If I didn’t instruct that fucker on every single aspect of simple decency and being an grown up he would drop the ball. From our first kiss at age 17 (I initiated of course, after several dates of nada from him), right up to this heart wrenching moment, everything required me having to point out what was appropriate and ask for every goddamn thing.

    I know now that this was his way of shifting all responsibility to me. By asking permission, by saying he didn’t know, by never ever speaking up, he was able to absolve himself of any responsibility for his life. He could declare me as being controlling because he never opened his mouth. How easy, just play stoopid and act like a child and then you can stomp your wittle foot and abandon. Because being an adult is simply a bridge too far. He sat there like a lump whenever some action or commitment was required. Passive aggressive. “He didn’t know.”

    My daughters have said now that they felt like they were raised by a single mom because he was so checked out. He liked to be Disney Dad but never was there for the hard stuff– the picking up after sports, the crying over a boy, the daily grind of homework and cleaning up after themselves. He is pretty surprised that they just can’t accept that he poofed on their mom to run to Europe and be with his 25YO Schmoopie (our oldest daughter’s age). He just doesn’t understand why they can’t get over it.

    I am closer to my girls than I have ever been. They have both already declared that they will willingly accept a new and decent fellow in my life and are prepared to treat him as the pseudo-grandpa to their future children. They are not prepared to accept their father’s Schmoops nor forgive his behaviors.

    He loses. I win.

    • Boy, do I see a lot of parallels here. Thank gawd your girls see him for who he is – my children are younger so one is there, one is sorta there and my youngest is off chasing butterflies and had no clue (but that’s okay – she’s happy). Happy Mother’s Day from a fellow chump who celebrates that at least she no longer has to parent a 45 year old man child.

    • You just described my stbx to a T. Checked out, passive aggressive, a shifter of responsibility and blame. Absolved himself of everything, and made everything my fault.
      This is my first Mother’s Day out of the marriage; I moved into my own place six weeks ago. Today at 7:45 am I got a lovely text from my son, telling me he was about to go in to the restaurant to prepare for the Mother’s Day brunch crowd he wanted me to know that he loved me and hoped I have the wonderful Mother’s Day I deserve to have. (We’ll get together at my new place on Wednesday, and he’ll grill for me.)
      I always have spent Mother’s Day gardening (probably started when my stbx asked what I wanted and I asked for lilac bushes, so he and our little son dragged them up to the bedroom in the morning, made me breakfast in bed, and then left the bush for me to take downstairs again and out into the yard and plant), and because I don’t have most of my equipment at my new place yet, I went over to “the house” (I am selling it to stbx) to get some things that will make the garden in my place feel like mine. Stbx, who knew I was coming, answered the door at 11:00 am in his robe, and although he asked if I was getting together with our son, never said, “Happy Mother’s Day,” or anything resembling it or “I’m glad we had our son together.” In fact, after he decided at age 58 that he’d rather be a woman than a man, he actually wished away our entire life together, including our son, because he’d have preferred to have known “who I really am” earlier (let’s leave aside the fact that he’s still in the closet). I still have memories of the days during which he was devaluing me bigtime, while exploring his newfound sexuality with an ex-student, and spoke those infamous words out of the cheater’s handbook that others have also heard: “I’m not doing anything for you because you’re not my mother.”
      I have wondered whether I will wish him a Happy Father’s Day…but after my experience with him today I’m betting it’s less likely, even if it would be the decent thing to do.

  • Happy Mother’s day the might chumps at Chump Nation.
    I hope you have your kids with you today.
    For those whose cheaters and their flying monkeys have poisoned the kids against them (and sadly there are many…), hang in there. There are people around you who know the truth, and people who appreciate you as mums.
    Thedisordered can’t poison everyone.

    • Thanks @kiwichump, In those moments when my guilt and shame of not having contact get the better of me I have good people around me who know me, know the truth. People who were part of our life and can untangle the gaslighting with me and assure me I was a sane, loving parent who had a healthy relationship with my daughter. It’s true, the disordered can’t poison everyone, just the one who I love the most.

    • Very true. And you can love a child up close, or still love them from afar. It’s just one day of the year, a day where the pain of comparison can be a downer.

  • My X secretly married on Mothers day in 2012 not telling my son….as he was with me….moving in said woman ( not the one that broke up marriage) another weekend when he was with me and then sprung the news on my son when he had him….. My son wondered where the 20 sexy halloween costumes came from? No furniture just clothes and hollowed costumes. I am bittersweet about mothers day yes I get to have my son that day parenting Time or no…but I can help to feel yes lets celebrate….your dad and step moms anniversary…… just another effen hallmark day. Never received a gift, breakfast, or a card… but ehh. whatever… have a great ay moms.

  • Some chumps never had the opportunity to become mothers. Being a non-mother on Mother’s Day when your greatest unfulfilled wish was to be a parent is perhaps the loneliest state of being of all. Regardless of how one’s Mother’s Day celebration is minimized, sabotaged, or even completely ignored by a cheater, the torturous mourning over a child that never was is further exacerbated on Mother’s Day, a day which painfully excludes the infertile and any female of childbearing age who doesn’t have children for whatever reason. Non-mothers are made to feel sub-female on Mother’s Day, even those who are childfree by choice.

    • Pie for you too and a big bunch of flowers. You are mighty, Still I Rise and if you touch the life of a child, even if you are not the biological mother, then you deserve that and a lot more today. Aunts, cousins, family friends, extended family of your best friend’s family (who practically raised you at times) – no one should be overlooked.

      • Allo-mothers–any woman who takes on the nurturing role for others, a term taught to me by my best friend who is the oldest child of eleven–are also mothers. As “No Shit Cupcakes” says, if you’ve touched the life of a child, and that means by inspiration or example as well as act, you get the credit.

    • It gets better, I promise. Especially when you grow a thick hide, and shut that shit down before it starts. And eat all the cupcakes gladly, and rejoice in the baby photos of others.

      Seriously, once menopause sets in, your mommy brain switches off to a large degree, and you wonder what all the fuss was about.

      THEN your life starts in earnest. We are the first few generations to survive in huge numbers after childbirth. You know those scary old proto-suffragettes and Victorian lady explorers and kickass social reformers? And Mother Teresa?

      They were OLD women. Old, and unstoppable.

    • Still I Rise,

      A BIG hug to you today. I don’t know what your circumstances are BUT if you want to get over the hurt of not being a mother, there are so many opportunities still for you to fulfill that yearning. Seriously! You can decide to Foster care a needy child, become a volunteer at the local hospital and rock drug addicted babies going through withdrawal. Volunteer at a local school and help kids with their reading. You could go to your local elementary school and volunteer to be the room ‘MOM’. Start with a kindergarten class and then next year move onto 1st grade, 2nd grade etc. Help a day or two a month or maybe once a week depending on your availability. As you establish your steady willingness to participate in the lives of children you will note teachers, students and other parents will form a bond with you. This will work to rid the empty feeling of not being a mother on Mother’s day and a new world of discovery and personal satisfaction will come to you.

  • All of you beautiful and courageous mothers are making me cry with your stories. You have been so strong.

    I felt the sads hit me today, as I happen to have had confirmation that my ex is taking his OW/new wife to meet his mom today…the same mom I was great friends with for 13 years, when I was her daughter in law. The same mom that quit talking to me shortly after her son left me for another woman, one year ago this week.

    I never had kids with Ex…he didn’t want them, until he got with OW…but I hope someday to be a mother half as wonderful as you ladies. Enjoy this day in your honor. Your love for your children, and your strength in caring for them through so much adversity is a testament to your characters. You are amazing!

  • Ya, “Mags” feelin’ the sadz. Until I realize offspring one became a doctor this past week, with a grade of 624 when 500 is competitive for residency. She’s going to do aiiight. She’s moving to new town right now.
    Offspring two is in Toronto, off to Australia for two weeks.. .. by herself.. .. because, reasons. Worried but rather impressed with her gumption.

    When you step back and realize those chicks not only left the nest, but those birds are dive bombing towards life – priceless.

  • Just wanted to pop in today and say Happy Mother’s Day to everyone who’s doing this alone. It’s not easy but we are all Doing It, and that’s what matters. Our kids will be okay – better than okay – and so will we.

  • This is my first Mother’s Day post-divorce and post-permanent discard by my post-separation ex-boyfriends end. Haven’t heard a peep from my ex-husband this weekend (yeah! He roundly criticized me as a mother, wife, etc. a few days ago) and haven’t heard a peep from my ex-boyfriend (oh well, can’t convince the guy I for years wanted to marry to give me the time of day now that he has new supply) . However, I got to make a cake for the mothers in my family, throw frisbees to and fro and swing on the swingset at the park with my kids and help my child with special needs write an essay and catch up on homework. Fabulous Mother’s Day!

    I try to never take Mother’s Day for granted as I went through years and $30k of high tech fertility treatment and two miscarriages to finally bear a live child at 40. I was then ‘gifted’ with a surprise pregnancy six moths later. Infertility to someone who badly wants children is extremely psychologically difficult. So I am sending love to both parents and childless people who wanted to create children but did not get the chance love and wishes for a happy, fulfilling life.

  • Hello all! I want to first say Happy Mother’s Day to all of you ladies that are mother’s in one way or another. You are to be praised for your mightyness. As zyx321 said, you all are simply AMAZING. I can’t say that to my STBXW, so I’m telling those I can.

    My background as to why I’m contributing to this blog, you ask? I’m a soon to be single father (nearing sign-off on divorce stipulation), after confronting my STBXW last year, April 6th, after roughly 24 1/2 years of marriage & over 30 years of knowing and caring about her, starting as friends in HS.

    She’d decided that after I’d had to leave my high paying job to keep my sanity, and two years in to the four year depression I fell into after leaving said job, that she was no longer in love w/ me, when I was definitely still in love w/ her, and thankful she could be the breadwinner while I figured out what I could do to get myself into a better situation overall (yes, I did get a job during my depression period, just not a high paying job. For the first time in 15-20 years, I was making a little better than half what she made, after having made double to triple what she made through the preceding years. Just giving you some of the basics of the situation).

    This coincided w/ her “falling in love” w/ her new boss, so at the end of my depression, and her throwing herself most likely for two years at her 15 years older said boss (she’s 50, he’s 65), he decided to risk sexual harassment by telling her how he felt about her. They then decided to start a three month plus affair, when I finally confronted her (she was angry I didn’t figure it out sooner).

    She moved out on my dead father’s birthday last year, April 19th, leaving me at our house w/ our then 11 yr old son, now 12 yrs old (two older daughters, 23 & soon to be 20 yr old).

    She and her soon to be former boss (she was fired because of the scandal. They agreed before it all came out that SHE would take the fall, because she’s such a strong, independent woman) moved a half mile down the street from me & our son into a new apartment building that her AP could easily afford on his high paying salary, even if he did have to pay half of it to his former wife of 40 years (he’s rich, and a well known high ranking former politician in our state, and since she has political aspirations, he’s going to mentor her & push her like I couldn’t towards political greatness).

    I’m working towards meh slowly, as it’s been hard as a loving and devoted husband of so many years (not a perfect husband, by any means), to give up my love for her, despite her affair, at first. I tried for a solid two months to reconcile w/ her, and after failing at that, it took six to seven months of our separation just for me to START to realize that maybe I am better off w/out her. I’ve made strides since then, but it still hurts. I may be a chump, but I’m working hard on never being a chump again, hopefully.

    • Stephen,

      I’m sorry that your wife didn’t appreciate the excellent deal she got with you!

      Can’t help but wonder if she has ‘Daddy issues,’ getting together with her much older married boss. You have my sympathy on this issue as my last partner (post-separation ex-boyfriend. the guy that I thought had been my friend for 30 years) abruptly discarded me for his younger work subordinate. (She’s almost a decade younger than me, childless, and high-earning.) Like you, I plan to never be chumped again (already have been by a few guys)–I am seriously considering becoming a Buddhist nun as soon as my youngest reaches majority. Even if I don’t become a nun, I’m not worried about being chumped ever again–I can’t even get a date with anyone I consider anywhere close to compatible/appealing to me.

      You sound strong, recovering quickly. Wish that there were more men like you in the world. The world would be a much better place!

      • To Chump Lady, RockStarWife and Chumpinrecovery:

        [I apologize up front for the length of this, but I had a lot I needed to vomit up. Please forgive me.]

        Part I:

        This is the man for whom Chump Lady graciously changed his username from his actual name to Chumpchak, and for which I am grateful (for some reason, I thought my name was not going to be published. I was under the weather yesterday, for a variety of reasons, and wasn’t thinking my best. I just realized that sounds suspicious, so I want to let you all know no drugs were involved in my condition. Just health reasons, both physical and mental).

        I’ve registered now, as Chump Lady suggested, but used a different username, as Chumpchak didn’t quite speak to me. Please don’t think me ungrateful Chump Lady. I’m not. I just didn’t want to go around the rest of my time on this blog as Chumpchak. Thank you for helping me out, and hopefully you’ll understand my desire to change my username, and not take offence.

        Now on to responding to RockStarWife:

        First, thank you for your very kind words. You, and the people on this site are probably some of the few people who understand how much a compassionate response like your’s, Chump Lady’s (her’s was private, but very appreciated), and Chumpinrecovery’s mean to someone in our shared dumpings and chumpings.

        Now to answer your comments. Yes, I’m sorry my STBXW didn’t appreciate me enough to try to work things out, instead of just leaving me for her convenient escape companion, her former boss (she had to know if she could make the leap. Such BS). I’ve done some therapy and research following this horrible betrayal, and my therapist recommended a good book for laypeople as to what’s the psychology behind affairs on each side, both the wounded party and the party doing the wounding. It’s called After the Affair, by Janis A. Spring.

        Probably you all know about this already, but it was a big help to me. It mentioned how often over time the betraying partner forgets how the traits or attributes that attracted them to their partner or spouse in the first place have different facets to them, not always the same one that attracted them early on. And if you don’t realize that, you can overlook that the same trait that attracted you initially is now annoying you by presenting itself in a different way. I’m not giving her a pass on betraying me AT ALL, but it helped me understand why she might not have appreciated me as much.

        But there’s more to it than that. I won’t go into it much right now, but suffice to say that she admitted holding resentments against me for 10-15 years (turns out she claims her affair partner also was unhappy in his marriage for the same amount of time. More rationalizing for why they betrayed their spouses. Pathetic). The point she missed, which our one marriage counseling session glaringly pointed out, was she never TOLD me directly that she was unhappy.

        This was pointed out by our female marriage counselor to her (she requested one, and I gladly agreed, as I was still hoping for reconciliation, whereas she made it clear from the beginning that she was not), after listening to her detail everything she found fault w/ me in the marriage for 45 minutes of an hour session. After making sure I was listening, accepting, and willing to try to change, the counselor pointed out that in all her talk of me, she never heard my STBXW say that she told me directly she was unhappy w/ me.

        The counselor said if she was expecting me to mind read, no-one is good at that (her idea of communicating her unhappiness was cryptic passive-aggressive hints. Yeah, that works so well). She told us that in a relationship of any kind, you have to tell the other person at least two and ideally three times bluntly what’s bothering you. If after the second or third time, your partner hasn’t responded in a satisfactory way, you tell them that you tried to convey the problem to them, they didn’t listen, and this is what you’re now going to do. She was helping us to learn from the pain, as she put it.

        As for Daddy issues, I think you hit a major nail on the head. She comes from a large family, and all five daughters had Daddy issues, in my opinion. They are all looking for a Daddy to properly appreciate them, like they never felt they got from their own Dad. If he’s a Sugar Daddy, all the better.

        I’m sorry to hear about your experience w/ the post-separation ex-boyfriend. That is a thoughtless, inconstant, pathetic man. You deserve better. I’m sorry you feel you can’t get a date w/ anyone you consider anywhere close to compatible/appealing to you. I’m afraid I feel the same way, right now. I’m just hopeful that this will change. It’s only been a year plus of separation for me since confronting the STBXW, and the divorce is not fully settled yet. I’m not rushing towards anyone. I’m just trying to stay open, to see what the universe brings my way. And watching out for myself. I was naive before all this. I’m doing my best to be aware of how other people really are, not just accepting them for their superficial face or words.

        As for becoming a Buddhist nun, I’m assuming you’re familiar w/ Pema Chodron (still haven’t figured out how to get those accent marks on Pages). I read her book, When Things Fall Apart: Heart Advice for Difficult Times (actually lent to me early on by the STBXW. Probably she thought it was the least she could do. I gave it back after I read it. I don’t want to be beholden to her for anything else besides the kids), on the recommendation of my therapist. I don’t claim to have gotten everything she was advocating, as it’s a very Buddhist approach to life, and I’m not there yet. But there were some things I appreciated (especially her moment of clarity when her former husband admitted to having an affair and wanting to leave her for the OW. She noticed and remembered how everything looked and felt at that moment. Then she threw a rock at him. Gotta love that!).

        As for me sounding strong, thanks for the compliment. But the reality is, I feel very brittle. The woman I thought I would live the rest of my life in love with, and die with, or who I would care for if she were dying, or would be cared for while I was dying, has abandoned me for another man. That’s going to take a LONG time for me to heal from. Same as you, I’m sure. I wish there were a lot more faithful, loving people in this world, like the people on this site. Like you.

    • I couldn’t help but notice that the first half of your story sounds so much like the first half of my story with ex. My ex left his high paying investment banking job in order to keep his sanity. He was a stay at home Dad for two years. During that time I got a new job half way across the country so we could live where he wanted to live. He eventually managed to start a new career as a flight instructor making about half of what I make when he used to make four times what I made. During this time he fell into depression, but refused to acknowledge it or do anything constructive about it. Here is where our stories diverge. In our case I did remain devoted to him. I supported is leaving his banking career because I didn’t want him to be miserable in his job on my account. I supported his training to become a flight instructor in spite of the considerable expense at a time when income was way down because I had faith in his ability to succeed. I gave him my love and support when, quite frankly, he wasn’t being very lovable. I picked up the slack when he didn’t have the energy or the will to carry out his usual household contributions. Instead of being grateful for what he had and the love and support he was given, he chose to try and make himself feel better by having two affairs. Then he fell for Schmoopie 2.0 because “she cares about me” and because “I love you but I’m just not passionate about you” (ILBINILWY). Even then I gave him the gift of the opportunity to reconcile and he threw it back in my face. I guess he felt unloved and inadequate, but I am not the one who was making him feel that way. He did that to himself.

      Why is it so hard for some people to count their blessings and be happy with what they have instead of always thinking they could do better no matter how good they have it. Your wife could have chosen to have compassion and understanding of your situation and appreciate your good qualities, offer support while you were down, and admired your ability to pull yourself up again. Isn’t that what she promised to do in her marriage vows? Isn’t that what “for better and for worse” means? My ex could have appreciated my doing all of that for him. I really don’t understand how some people think. What is it like to live without empathy and compassion? What is it like to be so self-centered? I think I am glad I don’t know. Your children are lucky to have you in their lives.

      • Part II:

        My response to Chumpinrecovery:

        Yes, we do seem to have some situational similarities here! I want to first say that I’m very sorry your ex didn’t appreciate all you did for him, and chose to be a faithless, treacherous dog in your relationship. I absolutely get how terrible his depression was, but that’s not a reason to throw you to the side, after all you did to support him. There’s just no excuse. I wish you better men (or people) in your future. You deserve it.

        On my end, I am sure that my STBXW thought I didn’t appreciate all she was doing to keep things going during my depression. I was feeling dead and had no energy. I was cranky because of that, and I’m sure I took out some of my anger and frustration at not being able to snap out of the depression on the family and my spouse. Not in any abusive way, but I’m sure I wasn’t great to be around at times. I was never very good about helping out around the house, and it got worse when I got depressed. Add to that, I had been unwisely combatting my depression for years w/ sweets, and got Type II diabetes from doing that (I can manage it by eating almost no sugar or carbohydrates), which made me even MORE tired and cranky, and I was in a downward spiral between the two diseases.

        Throw in some ED because of the depression, the Type II diabetes, and also probably my unconscious awareness that she was pulling back from me in love over a two year period. I wasn’t helping by not going to a doctor, as I’d developed a phobia about getting my blood drawn (which I’m mostly over now), and I also thought I could right myself on my own (I was not thinking my best during this period, obviously). [I’m going to mention that I actually slimmed down to my high school weight w/ all of this, the only plus out of all my health troubles. I’m still there, thank God. It helps to have majorly cut sugar out of my life.]

        Looking back, I realize that instead of stepping in to try to help me on the path back to a better life for me and all of our family, the STBXW decided that she’d had enough (what w/ all the resentments she’d already been holding against me through the years, plus the new reasons I presented her with), and instead decided it was time to judge me, and find me wanting.

        And there was Mr. Wonderful just as she’d decided to judge me (or possibly his presence got her thinking this way), and he was just SO much more together and compatible w/ her than I was at that point. She supposedly had unrequited love for him for almost a full two years (all the time she knew him, basically), until he told her right before Christmas of 2016 that he had feelings for her.

        Even better was she decided to carry on the sexual/emotional affair w/ him, while still having sex w/ me (I would call it making love, except I realize at this point it wasn’t for her. Possibly for a lot longer than that, too). I made sure to tell her that I got tested for ALL sexually-transmitted diseases after the affair was admitted to at my next doctor’s appointment. She told me not to worry, because he was married for forty years, so what diseases could he have? Yeah, that’s what I’m dealing with.
        I also asked her (to try to make sure) that he couldn’t have kids, as technically she could since I got the vasectomy to make her happy after our last child (our only son, whom she blames me for getting her pregnant with. But that’s another story). I just didn’t want her having a kid w/ him while she was still married to me. Hopefully, that makes sense to all of you. I never thought I’d have to worry about that w/ her, but then I never thought she would cheat on me!

        When I confronted her last year in early April, she told me I had gotten so negative, she couldn’t take it anymore. Yet, I can assure you that I told her daily both in words and in some deeds (flowers, taking care of the kids so she could pursue her political career and be w/ her friends, thanking her sincerely for the few times she’d now cook for me) that I was very in love w/ her, and very thankful for her.

        Turns out, a major piece of her problem w/ me was I just wasn’t showing her my love in the ways she wanted. I was actually starting to be better about doing housework at the end of 2016, as I was starting to come out of my depression slowly, and wanted to make up for my lack of energy and enthusiasm for household work over the years. Of course, this is when she decided to start the affair.

        I don’t know why so many people can’t count their blessings and be happy w/ what they have. In the case of the STBXW and her AP, it seems the grass is always greener w/ someone else. Good luck doing well together when that’s a mutual philosophy. As for “better or worse”, it seems that at least half the population doesn’t believe in that, based on divorce statistics. Sad people. No character. And yes, both your ex and mine are self-centered. I am too, just not THAT self-centered. I don’t want to put myself on a pedestal. That’s where I got in trouble w/ her, because I did have her on a pedestal, and that blinded me to what she really was capable of. She’s very good w/ empathy and compassion, so long as it’s not a situation that affects her DIRECTLY and NEGATIVELY.

        We are now sharing custody of my son 50/50. The scum AP is trying to be my son’s best friend and acting like a stepfather. My son’s too young to understand why I’m worried for him being around two people who are so self-centered that they will abandon committed relationships and family when they think something better comes along. He loves both his mother and his father, and he’s trying hard to please both.

        My older daughters seem to be split on what happened; the older seems to lean towards me more than her mother (the news of her mother’s infidelity happened while she was studying abroad, and she was very angry w/ her mother initially. Plus, she never liked the former boss, having met him numerous times in the two years before the affair. He can’t seem to ever remember her name!). The younger daughter and I are a lot alike, and so have butted heads for years. So right now she’s decided to live w/ her mother and the AP, because she never liked the older home we had to downsize to when I left my job and couldn’t find another to replace it and the money it brought.

        And they’ve just moved into an expensive, newer condo an eighth of a mile behind my house (I’m hopefully refinancing in my name as soon as the divorce stipulations are agreed on and signed off), so why would she want to be in an old house she never really liked, w/ a Dad she butts heads with? Mind you, we’re a lot better about not butting heads than we used to be. She’s also attracted to new, expensive, shiny things. Sigh.

        Here’s to us all finding better people to be with in our lives, who appreciate us for all our attributes and in spite of all our faults. Who realize that mature love is choosing to stay w/ the person you committed to, or at least trying to work things out as much as possible before throwing in the towel (and not figuring out if you can make the leap w/ an AP. How cowardly). Realizing that there is no perfect love, no perfect partner, no perfect relationship. It’s what you make of that relationship, that partner, that love. That’s where you show you have good character, not a lack of.

        Again, to all you mighty mothers out there, all you faithful, loving mothers, wives and companions who were wrongly tossed aside, I send you love and appreciation for Mother’s Day. Thank God for you, and curse those that are inconstant, treacherous and faithless.

  • I know I am a day late to this one but I just wanted to say how blessed I am to be a mother. Being a mom is a lot of work but in my case I have to say it has all been worth it and I am so happy to have the children that I do. They all make me so proud. These last couple of years have been hard on them with Dad leaving and mom barely holding it together. Granted their dad and I have done our best to make their lives as normal as possible, but it hasn’t been normal and it has been hard. I know they were all affected, but they have all chosen healthy ways to deal with their grief. Instead of turning to drugs, alcohol or other forms of self harm they have put their energies into more constructive activities that will help them to have good futures in spite of their parents. They also show their love and appreciation of me every day in spite of being teenagers and an almost teen. They could have chosen to rebel, but instead they have shown maturity. I am even proud of them for continuing to love their father while understanding that what he did was wrong. I am so proud to be their mother.

    Here is to all of the single mothers out there, especially those who became single mothers while their kids were young. You do good work. Keep it up because it will all be worth it in the end.

  • My daughter just sent me a text thanking me for pretending that this Mother’s Day was not hard. She is very insightful.

  • I found this thread too hard to read yesterday. Why? I spent most of the day crying because my children, steps and biological, didn’t remember to even send me a text until late afternoon. Yeah, those stepchildren whose own mother (as I am often reminded of my second class status in her eyes) couldn’t be bothered to work fulltime at her union job to provide them health coverage. I’m the one who gave up bonuses for summer camp, braces, volleyball lessons, chaperoned trips, you name it. I did it in the name of happy family blending and all that, but it has gotten me naught.

    Oh, and biological son? He spent the day with his father (Cheater #1) and showed up with a nice cookbook he had picked out for me, albeit late in the day when I was already sad. Also with hand lotion (???!!!). When I looked puzzled, DS told me that Cheater #2 gave him the hand lotion for me so “you have something to give your mother for Mothers’ Day”. Gee, thanks for the sentiment. The same smelly crap that his (Cheater #2’s) mother uses. Yes, I want to smell like an old English mother – think overpowering lavender. Uh, no, not really. Why don’t you rub some of that smelly shit on hoe-of-the-month to cover her stench?

  • >