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Chump Nation Takes Australia!

I’m back from Australia! More than a little jet lagged, so if I don’t string sentences together with my usual panache, please forgive me. My ears haven’t unpopped from yesterday’s flight yet and it feels like it’s 2 a.m. somewhere. Our luggage is still at LAX, probably enjoying itself in the holding lot, freebasing Tim Tams. (Yes people — American Airlines is HOLDING OUR TIM TAMS. Forget our collective wardrobes, shoes, and souvenirs, there are Australian snack cakes in jeopardy.) I’m more than a little angsty about it.

But enough of my re-entry crabbiness (work? I have to go back to WORK?), I need to tell you all about the Southern Hemisphere Chumpapalooza.

It. Was. Amazing.

For those just tuning in, I was an invited guest speaker for Zhuchi, a mental health seminar, in Newcastle, NSW. Ostensibly this was an event for counsellors  — but really it was a celebration of resilience, a chance to meet the mighty chumps of Australia.

The daylong event examined the Reconciliation Industrial Complex, this blog, and changing the narrative around infidelity. I don’t know what I was expecting from the shrinks of Australia — push back? Hostility? A rallying defense for “unmet needs“? Instead what I got was love. Nodding heads and affirmation. Great questions. And maybe even a couple of “Amens.”

What?!

Australia, have you always been such a receptive and open-minded sweetheart? Now, it could well be, the naysayers sat it out because I’m not a therapist myself, so why listen? But those who did attend (many whom I suspect were chump/therapist hybrids) were energized and on board with “Leave a cheater, gain a life” ethos.

And really, no one needed convincing that leaving cheaters leads to better life outcomes, because the mightiness was on evident display right there — chumps! Gorgeous, funny, wise-cracking, brainy, insightful, badass Aussie CHUMPS!

The stories will stay with me forever.

You can’t imagine how completely surreal it is to travel half way around the world and meet someone who hugs you and says, “Chump Lady saved my life.” What? My words changed your life? But not just my words, YOUR words, CN. Your stories. I got to see the power of this community in ACTION in people’s lives.

It’s so incredible. You have to realize, I don’t get out much. Chump Lady lives in my head. That’s how it feels day-to-day. It’s column deadlines, WordPress wackiness, troll attacks and IT headaches. The blog gets amazing comments that I read, and I’ve gotten some beautiful letters too, but I don’t often take the opportunity to meet the people beyond the page. I’ve been to two meet-ups in 6 years, and the book launch. (Which was EPIC.) But mostly, I’m an introvert behind a computer screen.

In Oz:

I met a woman who told me she’d just left a 26-year marriage to a serial cheater thanks to this blog.

A self-effacing dentist (“He looks just like Sting!” said my husband) introduced himself and quietly told me he had to travel to meet me, because my book saved his life — both of them. He produced a copy of my very first self-published book to sign. (My husband kept saying what an idiot this man’s ex was “HE LOOKS EXACTLY LIKE STING. And he’s a DENTIST!” Thereby proving the Lola Doctrine that cheaters never trade up.)

“Lefthimattheairport” and I had a good cry together, especially when she showed me pictures of her children at Disney World. She’d had a harrowing international escape from a cheater, and we wrote back and forth in real time as she was plotting to leave him. So to MEET her, a couple years after her successful daring escape and new life? WOW. She graduated a master’s program last Valentine’s Day and her gift to herself and those kids was to take them to Disney. You’d sob too.

Ozziechump is an artisan baker and brought us all the most exquisite bread and pastries to share. She farms, she bakes, she runs a business. She left a cheater. HOW TALENTED IS THIS WOMAN? Then she told me, Goddamnit, she’s 60 years old and she wants to go back to medical school, because that’s where she was when she met the cheater. How’s THAT for “gain a life”?

One Aussie Chump sent a care package of tea towels that she created called her “Defiant Series” with uplifting post-cheater messages like “Fuck That Shit” and “All Washed Up? NEVER!” Need one for your new life? Look here.

SheChump broke her foot, but that didn’t stop her from traveling 10,000 miles from the Pacific Northwest to meet the Oz chumps. She financed it with her nice divorce settlement that she achieved thanks to advice she read on this blog.

Another chump, I won’t name, shared a story that I hope it’s okay to share here. It really shook me. She told me her son suffered from an eating disorder. It was terrible and he was near death from not eating. They had to keep vigil in his bedroom to make sure he wouldn’t throw up. When she left the cheater? He began to eat again. She told me: “I never realized it until you mentioned it just now in your talk — I think it was the secrets. He was carrying the secrets of his father’s affairs.”

I’m tearing up again. Thanks, CN. Thanks for entrusting me with your stories. Those stories are changing lives. You might not ever meet the folks who read your words, but last week I did. And it was one of the single most powerful experiences of my life. I’m so grateful to Liz Edwards at Zhuchi for inviting me and organizing this, which must’ve been a monumental amount of work. She’s leading the charge, changing the infidelity narrative in Australia.

I also want to say thank you to everyone in Oz for all the gifts and the Tim Tams, and for hazing me with Vegemite (pictures below). I love your country.

I’m going to wrap this up because I have to go pop my ears and have a nap at 8 a.m. Thanks Aussie Chumps! I’ll be back to my usual snark and letter answering tomorrow.

Some Oz pictures below…

Vegemite hazing ritual:

Tracy discovers the joys of mushy peas.

The beach in Newcastle — is this STUNNING or what?

Tracy and Paul (Mr. CL) in Sydney

We love your country, Australia. Please adopt us. Love Tracy

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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.
  • Bravo Tracy. We need to find a way to change that “introvert behind a computer screen,, only 2 meetups in 6 years” situation.

    BECOME A PATRON!

  • I’m glad you enjoyed Australia and I hope you make it to New Zealand one day too!
    Just a note though, New Zealand was the first country to give women the vote in 1893:) We’re proud of that one!

      • Dear Tracey
        Hamilton is a beautiful city with phenomenal botanic gardens that feature an amazing series of garden rooms. Magical contemplative spaces – free. It’s also the home of the creator of the musical Rocky Horror Show (he was a Hamilton hairdresser!) a fantastic place to live!

      • CL, I am 20 minutes from Hamilton, semi-rural, with a bit of land, a 2017 Masters graduate of said uni, with my youngest currently an undergrad there – your son is ALWAYS welcome at mine for a home-cooked meal and some sass from a Mum who gets it ;-)!

        • @horsesrcumin, I’ve read your blog (honest, poignant, strong) and I was sure you were a Canterbury graduate – had you living in Rangiora! Hope your article is going well!

          • Ha, Kazza. Article is a nightmare, but hey, what isn’t these days, lol.

            Funny how we paint mental pics xxx

      • Ohhh, I live at the beach, just 40 minutes from Hamilton. If you ever come over to visit your son I’d love to take you out for a coffee.

  • Come back SOON!!

    Love
    The Aussies from your adopted Chump Family
    (We’d be more than happy to return adopt you. And Mr CL).

    • We were so IMPRESSED with Australia! How friendly everyone was, how clean and efficient, and civilized things were. Not the one percent / public space is shit stratification you see in the U.S. People have a living wage, no crass commercialization, it’s warm and multicultural — and there are mushy peas and botanic gardens. LOVED IT. The US is going through some ugly right now… we may need a sponsor…

      • We had so much fun in your visit to Newcastle. Three nights of dining out, belly laughing and enjoying a fellowship to fortify the remainder of our days! I discovered the most intense of no bullshit courageous friendships – some hilarious discussions that can’t be elaborated and I have so much respect for the people I met! Thank you Tracey & Paul! I will be supporting you; giving Liz Edwards huge hugs for her selfless initiative and staying friends with all these incredible people! Thank you thank you thank you from the bottom of our hearts! We all love you to the moon and back!

        • Thank you! You have so many talents and were so generous. OMG, your pastries… Waiting to get our luggage home to enjoy the wine… a toast to friendship!

          • Thank you! You helped me frame the past and flick the picture on my wall to my future- lose a cheater, gain a life!

        • I ditto that. I was just there on the day, so glad I made the train trip from Sydney at 5am. It was so amazing to hear in person just how brilliantly Tracy can deconstruct the Psycho babble of bad behaviour. Here’s to continuing that and moving forward with the unspackled truth!
          Go us!x

      • I tried to tip a waiter and a cab driver. Both refused to take my money. They thanked me but said they got paid a good enough wage that they didn’t need a tip.

        Boy, the US could use some of that logic! And, rates are pushing towards 25%!

      • My older son spent a year studying abroad in Oz. He attended University Of Queensland, and lived on the Gold Coast. One memorable experience was his part-time job at a McDonalds over there. He was paid $15 per hour, in 2006. He experienced the scary flooding there, also, right before his year was up. My parents went to visit him at Christmas time over there, and they loved it, also.

        Tim Tams rock. Vegemite is an acquired taste that I nor my son ever acquired. I was so disappointed in the little container of it he brought back for me. I was expecting something more akin to hummus, and instead got some horrific combination of earwax and sea salt. I had expected to adore it, but, that’s one “treat” the Australians can keep. 🙂

  • Well, us CN Americans were doing our best in the southern hemisphere …Patsy and I have been friends for 12 years and we were seen frolicking in the Indian ocean and dancing the night away at the gala (for my professional organization I was there with).

    So Patsy sits next to a woman with whom she has some commonality with and in conversation, turns out this gal is a deeply hurt Chump who has never had her pain validated by anyone , ever. The next morning she threw her arms around Patsy and thanked her sincerely.

    Like you I got home yesterday with my sense of time so wildly fucked up that I have no idea what time my brain thinks it is.

    My experience as a Recovering Chump gave me the bravery to go Africa alone (Col Greatguy had stuff to do back home and wanted me to be able to have girl time and professional time.

    GO CN!

  • Welcome back CL! We need more CL meet ups so I will echo UXworld and ask everyone to become a patron!!

    Let’s do this chump nation!!!

  • Welcome Home!
    Such amazing stories…the story of the Chump son with the eating disorder due to holding his father’s secrets took my breath away. If I could wrap them up in my arms and protect them forever I would. Horrible and yet it makes so much sense. This is one of the worst examples of collateral damage yet it makes so much sense!
    If that Chump mom is reading today, please know you have this chump’s respect, love and support as you and your Chump-free family navigates the road ahead.
    On the other side of the spectrum, I need those tea towels NOW!!! Does she ship to the US?

    Lastly, THIS post is why CN needs CL full time and why everyone (including the lurking chumps – don’t worry, supporting CL will NOT out you) needs to support CL and become a patron. $10 a month to save lives seems like a no brained.

    We need Chump Lady and more Chumpapaloozas!

  • You do so much good for people. Finally someone says clearly that it is ALWAYS WRONG to betray your partner.
    No ifs and buts. Thank you for bringing clarity and hope.

  • I glad you had a good time, in the north of England we love mushy peas!, the photos were good, it’s good that a positive outcome can come out of a terrible experience (s)

  • I’m so glad it was everything you could have hoped for and more besides. Please tell me you brought sunshine. I’m sick of rain. I hope you didn’t have to face any of the washed-out roads due to all the rain that has fallen. Or bail out your basement!

    #SaveTheTimTams
    #BackAwayFromTheStash

    • A quick google search informs me that Tim Tams can be ordered online and delivered to my local Walmart for free so it looks Tim Tams are on their way to HATC……

      I just thought others might like to know that Tim Tams can be in YOUR tummies too if you are as curious as I.

      Enjoy if you partake!

  • OMGeee it was amazing to meet you Chump Lady and Mr Chump Lady! What an awesome couple. I felt very spoilt, getting to spend time with you both. Such a privilege to be able to THANK YOU in person. I will never forget it 🙌🏼

    SheChump also fell in love with OZ, I think. We had to keep reminding her about the “no tipping”, haha! We don’t tip in OZ. In fact, it’s kind of odd to tip! She was blown away by that.

    OzzieChump is indeed multi-talented! And her story – well, we had a good laugh at the absurdity of her cheater and his antics! Fun times. 😆

    And yes! The lovely dentist really does look like Sting! Mr ChumpLady is right- DentistSting’s ex-wife is an idiot!

    Everybody was so friendly, fun, kind, and inspiring! I had THE BEodtioST TIME! A huge THANK YOU to Liz for making it all possible. You’re a deadset legend, Liz🏆

      • Hey, lhata…..I think that new word is kinda bada__! Maybe ‘auto-correct’ got it right this time!!!

        Sooooo thrilled for you that you were there to give Tracy and Paul the love, thanks and gratitude we all feel for both of them

        Tracy and Paul….So thankful you are both back safely

        Love to all of this amazing Nation as we all ForgeOn unitedly to the Land of Meh!!!

    • Liz is the bomb.

      Oh yes, on tipping. We made that mistake too, especially with cab drivers. They just looked at us kind of stunned. Um? Do you not know how the currency works?

      Also rather sobering to realize that food prices are on par with what they are in the U.S. and all the waitstaff make a living wage. Apparently you can still have cheap hamburgers AND pay people decently.

      It was wonderful to meet you and thanks for all my Aussie presents… which alas, are in my missing luggage. I could use some papaya balm after that long flight…

      It was a FANTASTIC time! Yes, thank you LIZ!

      • That papaya balm is the shiz. It’s mostly for dry lips and cuticles, but my dad puts it on everything! (Sorry, bad visual.)

        Sorry to hear that it’s being held hostage in a luggage bay somewhere. I hope you get it back soon. Imagine if those TimTams never get eaten?! The horror 😱

  • Tracy, that introvert in you brought CL and CB to life. CN and I are so grateful.
    My stay in Chumpdom was relatively brief and yet devastating nonetheless. The SpunDoctor was evil personified and thankfully I can only imagine what it would have been like to parent with him.
    I read your blog daily and have learned so much. The survivors/chumps of CN and their heartbreaking and resilient stories have a place to shine because of CL. I give to charity and generally resist “subscribing”. Because CL and CN are truly changing the narrative, I’m now a subscribing patron. Thank you again CL. Rock on!

  • What a fabulous collection of triumph tales from Down Under. CN’s international web gets wider and more elaborate by the moment. Can’t wait until ChumpLady is the first site that pops up if someone types, the word “cheating.”

    Yes, to more Chumpaloozas!

    • Tempest, I found ChumpLady on my 2nd night after D-Day, when I googled “cheating bastard husband”. And the blog came up after I clicked “more results”. It’s 11th in the list that pops up on Google now when you type in “cheating bastard husband” (well, from my end it does).

      • Turns out chumps with potty mouths will find CL faster; I typed in “cheating husband” and Chumplady.com doesn’t make the first 40 sites in the search. “cheating bastard husband,” however, brings her into the top 13, stateside.

        • Haha, see! Yep, lucky for me I was experiencing righteous anger at the time, and included the word “bastard” in my google search. Imagine if I had not done that?! I might not have found Chump Lady!! 😱 I cannot imagine it! I don’t want to imagine it 🤯

          For once, having a potty mouth worked in my favour! #BlessedByBastard 🙏🏼

    • Dear Tempest
      Are there any stats on this shitstorm? It just seems to be deeply sexist and misogynistic. Both the wife & the other woman?

  • Those pictures are fantastic! It made my heart smile to see those pics of you gorgeous chumps and Tracy herself! Though I have only been reading a few months, everyone here has made such a difference to me. I just wanted to say thank you again…because I can’t say it enough.

    This is one of those all too frequent mornings where I woke up with an achingly sad soul. It hurts, but I will get through it. With help from people like you.

    You’re the best, Tracy! When you recover, I think you should do a tour of military adjacent towns for all of us thrown-away ex-military spouse chumps!

    • Dear Liz
      I feel your aching sad heart! The biggest change in my own narrative was the day I stopped saying; I wasn’t good enough!
      My heart still suffers sadness but less. I sit with my pain and let it settle. I was more than good enough! And so are all of us! As Lola so eloquently expressed; cheaters never trade up. I have distilled my pain to 3 short evocative words
      DISORDERED DISHONERABLE DIRTBAG

      • It is really hard to stop believing that you aren’t good enough. I know consciously that it’s bullshit, but I also look with shock (still shock) at what he did, and can’t help but wonder if I did something to “push” him there. Infuriating, I know! But I guess part of the process.

        What you said about sitting with your pain and letting it settle is exactly what I am working on. I read somewhere once that someone asked their therapist when the pain would stop and the healing would begin, and the therapist answered, “The pain IS the healing!” (Full disclosure: I probably read that here!!). But that is what I try to hold on to. Thanks for the reply. And your 3D distillation is perfect 🙂

        • Liz C., I fully hear and feel your pain. It is natural to wonder why a person we thought was great enough to marry would instead turn to someone else, and the first reason we think of is that we weren’t enough in some way. However, decent, genuine people don’t respond to their spouse being less than perfect by cheating with someone else. They instead nurture their partner, encourage them and empower their partner to be their best self, because love is about your partner, not yourself. If instead they cheat, it is because THEY are not a good enough human being to be a selfless, loving spouse. Hang in there. It is tough, but you will be okay and you are enough.

    • Being military chumped is especially awful. All the moving around and sacrifice. Such high stakes, and so much irony considering the values the military espouses. I’m so sorry Liz. It does get better, eventually.

  • A huge thank you to Zhuchi and Tracy and Mr CL for making this happen. We would love to adopt both of you, and award you an honorary shrink title for your brilliant insights into the dynamics of infidelity and your tireless devotion to challenging the narrative on infidelity in marriages. When I come across cheating patients feeling sorry for themselves I now think of them as timid forest creatures and sad sausages thanks to your witty terminology!

  • If Dr. Sting is still unattached, please tell him I practice EXCELLENT dental hygiene (wink wink)! And yes, his WF is an idiot… as are ALL cheaters!

  • I agree, this blog has helped me stay strong in the midst of a long drawn out divorce with an entitled cheater.

    I can’t count how many times I’ve second guessed myself (a symptom of almost 2 decades of gaslighting) while leaving a cheater. Then I read hear and realize, the intermittent reinforcement that shows up between the ruthless lies, is not a result of hurt feelings, guilt, or lingering cheater love; it is a pattern used to by cheaters as a smoke screen while they sharpen their knife.

    CN helped me break my addiction to hopium, encouraged me not to go into battle unarmed, and squashed the naivety that comes served with à la Esther Perel, and a complimentary side dish of “higher level enlightenment”… aka, non-reciprocal relationships smoke and mirrored into an illusion of love.

    CL your courage to challenge the RIC narrative is mighty indeed. I hope mental health professionals jump aboard, reversing the narrative that steers so many chumps toward prolonged devastation and destruction.

  • G’DAY LADIES!!!! (g’DAY Tracy and Paul–> Paul looks cool, does he play banjo? mandolin?)

    Thanks Tracy for the pictures. You took me back to Oz again with your blog today. I had warm feelings all over and think I’ll hold onto that Today!! (day after The Dragon visited (unannounced) yesterday- Fuckwits!LOL!) I put on my Dragon-UBT Neruolizer cap-YOU KNOW THE ONE. We gotta switch it on the LAC,GAL mode and hear the wisdom of CL&CN in our Chump-human subroutine.

    Damn! I was so excited for you getting a recharge from what a good civilization really looks like (Yeah, that’s your re-programing of my Chump wiring), that I actually made notes!! Where the Hell are they..damn… Oh! there they are! I’d forgotten the tipping part. Arrogant Americans!! LOL. The Aussies are ‘SIMPLY BADASS’, No other way to describe them.

    OK…

    1. Vegemite: Total intake of sodium for the day. YIP!? It was the first thing I wanted to ear there. Men at Work…the 80’s :O) ( 70’s were better though).

    2. Newcastle (brunch Anyone?) OMG. The FOOD! I’ll have whatever you had- Ginger Beer is my Crack!) and that fried BIT Paul had as well, Thanks! No Really CN, they take sooo Much Pride in their culinary preps…Food is a social occasion. Tracy, I’m living vicariously through you.

    3. Did you guys get to go in the Russian Submarine? The tour? Is it still there? Milson’s Point I recall? The harbor has sharks, did they tell you? Where’s my fishing rod?

    4. Mr. CL seriously looks like a Banjo player. Take him to The Fret Mill in the Noke when you visit the folks. (Sting! ROTFLMFAO <—–This blog- Priceless. Thank YOU.

    • My parents were on sabbatical in Australia when I was 6 months old to 1.5 years old. Apparently I liked vegemite at that age.

    • Marcus – Paul actually looks like he could play the violin too (something string, right?) and definitely the drums. Nice deep smooth deep even voice. I’d place a bet he sings.

    • Um… Paul used to own a banjo, and he does play guitar — and fiddle. And he’s seriously concerned that his earnest folky dorkiness is THAT evident.

  • Wonderful travel report and event news- congratulations to everyone involved.

    Note- I live in Southern California and just last night at Target, there in the snack aisle.. TIM TAM’s!

    So for those jonesin’ for a taste of genuine Ozsnackin’… or with waylaid luggage… check Tarzhay.

    • As long as they are Made in Australia; because the company that makes them sometimes produces them in other countries (like Indonesia) for overseas market, and they taste like crap. The original ones are Made in Australia. As long as the package is labelled as such, then you know you have the real deal!

      • That’s what I learned when I was about to buy a dozen packages for souveniers. My friend said they sold them in our drug (pharmacy) store. geez – is nothing sacred anymore. Very important to read the labelling! It’s a good thing they do sell them, however. I bought a couple packages of them and macadamian shortbread cookies for my good friends and I’ve almost finished them all.

  • Wish I could have joined you guys. Glad it was a fantastic meeting for all. And yes, Australia is fantastic, good friends let me crash with them for 2.5 months just after my divorce was finalized so I could get my bearings.

    • OMG, Chump Lady has THE BEST hair!! We were marvelling at it. And it’s naturally like that! People pay a fortune to style it like that. It’s very
      Nicole Kidman circa 1980s 🙌🏼

      • Oh YES, definitely, Airport! It was so naturally tight-curled – not your regular old boring common curly hair, mind you. And, a gorgeous shiny gold color. Yep – people pay up big to have (big) hair like that. (it may have been fun to see her emerge from a 25 hour flight – hehe) . ChumpLady – you are definitely a beauty!

        • I texted my daughters”I GOT TO TOUCH CHUMP LADY’S HAIR”. That’s how awesome it is. They were envious, and quite rightly.
          I didn’t know how much it would mean to me to hear Tracy speak until I started to cry.Just -the relief of being in a group where you never have to justify yourself, or defend your actions.
          It was one of the best days of my life. And the weather was amazing.
          Dear She chump- you made me laugh until I couldn’t breathe. I shall blush every time I even SEE a chocolaterie

          • Oh my, Moom – I would love to post those photos. Lots of choc-o-lot heaven on plates. I’ll mail them to Tracy. And, oh my, what in the world could you be talking about? lolololol. You are all nothing short of the biggest belly laugh of my life! And, I suppose you noticed how loud my voice is?

      • Thank you. It’s weird hair and I’ve come to peace with it. Thrilled you all like it. Vindication against my mother if she’s reading. “It’s FINE. NO I don’t WANT TO COMB IT.” (Anyone with curly hair understand, combing it makes it *worse*.)

  • Agreed with above — as always, your hair gives me life, Tracy! And kudos to all those Australian chumps keeping it real in fairy land. 👏

  • If any of the therapists are reading, I’d love to hear your take on CN. What CL preaches and how CN responds. And how will it impact your work?

  • Too funny! Before I scrolled down to read I looked at picture and thought damn, that dude looks just like sting. Huge police/Sting fan here, does my name give it away? Lol

  • Tears of joy and happiness overflowing right now for you, CL!!!!
    I have no idea where I would be right now, three years out, if not for the mighty chump nation and our fearless leader Chump Lady! I love, love, love all of you and am so grateful for you all that have been Fearless, brave Warriors against the false Narrative of the RIC!!!
    “To the world, you are one person; to one person, you are the world”

    • Molly – wonderfully said. So true about the simple but powerful words of Mighty and Warrior and Fearless. That’s exactly what it takes to Gain a Life. Even if it takes some digging to find the battle gear.

  • Thank goodness you left before that awful interview with our very own Barnaby Joyce and his Schmoopie. The UBT would have exploded.
    Great to hear about your trip and the awesome Aussie chumps.

    • I was determined not to see any of it but ABC news played a snippet with VC looking all pouty and whining “ I couldn’t help falling in love, it wasn’t deliberate”. Had to yell at TV and switch channels. Yuk. Same pathetic justifications, just public and for $150,000

        • If you ever needed evidence that they always trade down and Cheaters have no self awareness that was it. I only saw snippets as I didn’t want to reward that bad behaviour but fuck me if that train wreak is what professional media advisor on $150k can deliver I’m in the wrong job. Dumb as a bag of rocks and plastic to boot!

      • Joyce also said, in referring to his newborn son with OW, “Boy, you caused some problems, but it was all worth it”. Yep, blames the child for things that were HIS adult responsibility and equates his child’s worth with destroys the lives of his former wife and 4 daughters. Vomit.

        Poor kid is going to need the $150k for the lifetime of therapy alone.

        I just wish a portion of it was going to his former family, who must be re-traumatised to publically know, once again, that they *weren’t* worth it.

  • I’m so happy you are so happy! I’ve been following your blog for 2.5 years and have leaned on this blog and all of CN daily. I bought your book this weekend in support of you, too, and when I’m back on my feet, I will contribute to you in other ways as well.

    Thank you for all that you do. So many of us are blessed by you and we are endlessly inspired by your words and insights and you make us laugh when we want to cry. You have grace from above; there is not doubt!

  • Greetings from UpOver. I can imagine Tracy and Paul’s jet lag upon returning. I’m still feeling it a little and they live on the other side (right) of the country! Yow. Definitely a long trip made more fun when they cancelled my return flight through Hong Kong. Lost my passport, lost my laptop – but both found eventually.. But, happy that the jet lag did not hit me on the way down to Oz and, by the way Tracy presented in front of the early morning crowd was stellar, so she must not have had it going over, either.

    The trip was fantastic and I would do it all over again tomorrow. Meeting all the awesome chumps was such a highlight. People may wonder what my motive was for going so far for a one day presentation (my disapproving family for one) but I had an excellent reason. I was having trouble getting on that level platform called Meh and, today, writing this, I can say in all certainly that I have blissfully found the Highway. It boosted me onto the road – like overnight. To see and talk with so many others who have this in common, to one degree or another, was like finding a long lost family. The best family.

    I used to wake up in the morning singing in the shower. ~~fuck off and die bastard, fuck off and die bastard, screwly youly you~~~ or some such inventive song. I didn’t even realize I was doing it out loud. Many forms of that throughout the day and, I swear, were completely subconscious. I was also dreaming about him more than I cared to. Really really angry dreams. I guess it’s not easy to shed 35 yrs with the same guy.

    So, THANK YOU to Stacey and Paul and Liz and Ozzie and Moom and Airport and and and every single person that made this such a special trip for me. Your hospitality was amazing and I will never forget one of you.

    Sign me MEH Chump!

    • We love you SheChump- was my May highlight! I was on cloud nine for days! Every time I thought back, I started to laugh!

    • SheChump, I had a blast too!! Was so lovely to meet you and spend time with you. We had some great laughs and shared some wonderful moments. If there was an annual world Chump meet-up, I’d try and get to it! Because, this trip made my year! So very worth it, for so many reasons. It took a lot for me to get there (kids, finances, distance!), but I wanted so desperately to make it to Newcastle to see ChumpLady and meet fellow chumps. It was a gift to myself, for getting through the past few years of crap. Wish we could all go back and do it again 💕

  • ozziechump – ‘some hilarious discussions that can’t be elaborated’

    Ahhh c’mon, Ozzie….just a little bit? bwahahaha

    • You two certainly have us a lesson or two – belly laughs are so good for the soul. Thank you one and all

  • Delighted to hear how the narrative is changing!
    And so happy to hear your trip was fantastic and filled with chump love!

  • I see sting in the far there there. Lol. I said that to myself before reading the post. Yep. His ex is a fool.

  • I. AM. SO. FUCKING. PROUD. OF. YOU. GUYS.

    The bank account didn’t allow for a trip to Newcastle, but at least I got to do a guest post!

    And remember, the Lola Doctrine isn’t about looks – although that dentist really does look like Sting.

    Tracy, thank you so much for everything.

  • Dday was over a year ago and he’s been openly in the affair since. I bought into the reconciliation complex and have so hoped… But today he announced that he is leaving me to marry his tattoo covered, nose ringed, frizzy red haired, former crack addict, met her on Craig’s list for a one night stand ho whose name is Karma. They admit the whole relationship is just about sex—

    He’s celebrating his choice tonight. Laughing a lot. Never mind 27 years and 5 kids.

    Why does it feel like I’ve been eviscerated? Why am I so devastated? It gets better, right?

    • Please remember you are so much better than this shitstorm. From the deepest pain comes a dream that lay sleeping! Find it feel it do it!
      And never forget; we have your back!

    • Mary, I am so sorry. The pick me dance is exhausting and humiliating.

      So now, we change the record.

      I hope you are lining up the divorce ducks, getting the finances audited, and giving him his ‘freedom’ while getting the best possible financial settlement for yourself.

      Visit the forums here. Read the book. Read the archives.

      And yes, it gets much much better. Hang in there.

    • Christ Mary …sorry this is panning out like this for you – none of them are who we thought (and hoped) they were. You are not alone, we are here. Take one day at a time, breathe, eat and be kind to yourself. If you can afford, get a therapist, walk, run be with friends. Keep telling yourself first steps to my new life.It will be a better one – there is no awful bastard stabbing you in the back and lying 24/7 for a start – and that has to be an improvement. Let the skankho have him – hes not worth the effort or damage to your soul. May he reap the life he deserves. Hugs and love to you Mary xxx

    • Mary, so sorry, it really hurts.

      A good way to manage the heartbreak (and it is heartbreak) is to write a list of all the horrible, mean, cruel, disregarding things he has done in the last two years. Why two years? Because the last two years is about WHO HE IS TO YOU NOW, not the loving man when you first met.

      Every time you are tempted to remember ‘how it used to be’ you need to look at the list on your phone and remember clearly the reality now: he doesn’t not care about you. He is not connected to you. He is not respectful.

      Grief is about loss. Stay in the moment of who he is now, and you see you have lost a lot of hurt and disregard. Then you can mourn your loss, instead of fight the acceptance (it’s gone).

      They are making a mistake. It won’t last. But that is not your business. Your business is protecting you and making a life for you. PS this process took me a very long time!

  • How awesome, Tracy! Love the photos! Welcome back! Looks like it was a wonderful trip and a testament to the many lives you’ve touched!

  • It rocked
    You rocked
    Everyone rocked
    Chumps rock
    And fucking cheaters suck

    I was so pleased to be a part of it and to make it happen with the resources available to me.

    Remember: next time is “An Evening with Chump Lady – SYDNEY Opera House”

    Much love xxxx

    • Liz the Opera House ideas is not as far-fetched as it might sound! The Festival of Dangerous Ideas would be a great forum for CL (though it’s moving to the Ethics Centre, this year at least)

    • Liz the Opera House idea is not as far-fetched as it might sound! The Festival of Dangerous Ideas would be a great forum for CL (though it’s moving to the Ethics Centre, this year at least)

        • THEN an Australia-wide tour. Then a world tour.

          Vastra – the Ethics Centre would be a good place to discuss the total suspension of ethics needed in order to do the cheatery thing.

  • Great news to hear you’re home safely Tracy & Paul!! I’m so glad to hear your entire trip to Australia was a wonderful experience. It was great to meet you both. And to meet all the other fantastic chumps that made it to Newcastle.

    And thank you Tracy for the lovely compliments! Your site and and support back in 2012/2013 made all the difference. And LOL Sting!!!

  • Oooh! The comment I left on Kathy Meyer’s ‘save yourself from divorce’ got deleted!

    I was very polite and very respectful, just pointed out a bit of illogic.

    Like, if men don’t act like they are unhappy, how are you supposed to know they are? And, treating people with love and respect is a given. But nagging is often a response to your own unmet needs, and the ‘love them until they love you back’ advice is an unconscious contract made every day by people. I also asked where this advice worked for narcissistic people.

    It still got deleted! Oh dear.

  • Tracy it was my great pleasure to share my sons story with you, and now the world. The impact of cheater parents on their kids is under recognised isn’t it?

    You and Paul are beautiful people and I feel blessed to have been able to meet you and thank you for my fantastic new life.

    When I spoke with the other chumps, we all said the same thing; we came to thank you from the bottom of our hearts.

    By the way, I’m looking for a new CN name now, as clearing the cheater out of my life has left room for a wonderful guy, with whom I get to share THE BEST SEX IVE EVER HAD.

    Hallelujah!!

  • Ozziechump, me too! I feel like now I have a wonderful family that Gets. It. What a blessing!

    • Yes! Stay in touch. Brisbane and Newcastle are easy stopovers! Maybe your name simply needs to step up a superlative!
      Best sex!

  • Sarah P. from EAJ, just here to say: Amen, amen, and amen to everything you said in this article and have done for others in Australia and around the world, Tracy. So relieved to hear the RIC in Australia is receptive to your message and that you met so many mighty people during your stay. I shed a tear during the story you recounted about the woman who had a son who would not eat. It is so sad because even if children have never heard or seen what has happened or going on, their bodies “know” and absorb stress. So sad and so unfair. So happy to hear her son was eating again. Also thrilled to hear about the mighty escape another woman made to start a new life. Thrilled to hear about everyone you met.

    Congrats on all these exciting and life-changing events that are unfolding in your life, Tracy!

    Blessings,
    Sarah

  • Hey Tracy,

    I saw my (excellent) doctor today – who said, “what’s changed for you? It’s like you’ve got a new lease on life, new energy, more colour in your cheeks…?” I told him about the masterclass, this blog, meeting delightful you and Mr CL and the other dear-hearted chumps. I’ve only seen him a couple of times prior to this trip, so for him to notice a difference in the way I’m carrying myself is pretty epic to me.

    He mentioned that another of his patients had recently found out they were being cheated upon… and he’s going to refer them to CL (this, without even seeing this site!).

    He also said that in his practice, he’s had the misfortune of having dozens of cheaters come through his door, and barely any of them will look at their hurtful behaviour or change… and nor do they have lasting relationships.

    Thank you for your voice and heart, and visiting with us a while… next time stay for longer, won’t you?

    • That’s AWESOME about your doc visit! Yea!

      We’d totally love to stay for longer next time. So much to see and do in Oz… plus there are Tim Tams. It’s like your gateway drug to becoming an Australian.

  • Your blog saved my life! And the life of my children!! Mr. CL is so cute! I’d say without a doubt chumps trade up! My loving, sweet, faithful boyfriend is 10x hotter than my cheating ex! And 6” taller lol. And they have to work together so my ex gets to feel itty bitty 5 days a week 🙂 my story has a rather happy ending because I took your advice and left him. He’s forced to pay oodles of child support and after he came back to Earth from his affair, I beat him down so hard in mediation he knows if he doesn’t pick his kids up every week for 3 days a week that I will file for soul custody and move the hell away from him with his children in tow. Somehow despite being such a jerk for the year of our divorce he’s turned into a pretty good dad. He takes them on vacation and shows up to all their stuff, buys them things, and does all the hard work. They’re still little so I know it isn’t all tween/teenager sparkles he’s after. When he cheated I was pregnant with our 3rd and had an 11 month old and 6 year old. So he’s had years of diapers and overnights since basically D day. I’m not giving him props, I still don’t trust him. But he takes the kids so I can go on vacations with my boyfriend and I take them for him so he can go on his trips. And we share some snow gear for the kids. That’s the extent of our middle ground. But it’s been 3 years and the last year has been drama free besides him and schmoopie breaking up and getting back together. But who cares. Thanks for your blog and all you do!!! You’re amazing!!

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