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Your Mightiest Moment?

You know I’m all about the Mighty here. Facing adversity, building a new life, managing to eat Whole 30 for a whole 30 days…

Today’s fun Friday challenge is to tell me One Mighty Moment when you were your best self. Unlike our typical “Tell Me How You’re Mighty” challenges, which tend to be a litany of accomplishments (because you guys are badasses) — I want the telling detail. The nope, I’m not playing that game, and then I turned on my heel and  enrolled in medical school kind of story.

Maybe someone laughed at your joke and you remembered you were funny.

Maybe you stopped trying to save someone from their worst excesses and took up knitting instead, and now have some amazing afghans. (And spoiler alert — that person is still a colossal fuck up.)

Maybe you let some mindfuckery wash over you instead of engaging with it.

Or hey, maybe you left a cheater and finished your masters degree like Rarity there in the photo. You can read her astounding Tale of Mightiness here.

There are so many ways to be mighty.

Tell me about them! And TGIF!

Ask Chump Lady

Got a question for the Chump Lady? Or a submission for the Universal Bullshit Translator? Write to me at info@chumplady.com. Read more about submission guidelines.
  • In the 3 years since he left: Bought a house, bought a car, got a job, went to grad school and finished for a higher paycheck (hardest thing I’ve ever done), got 100% custody of the kids, successfullt fought for my child support rights in court, built up my savings account, taught my kid to drive, joined a church, made some good friends, got closer to my family.

    • If I am mighty, it’s on the inside. I wish I had a lot of the outer accomplishments of mighty to compensate for the horror movie I have been living in for a year. Hopefully I will. I feel so incapable of what I am reading about the outer accomplishments of everyone here….I have to believe if you all can I can too.

      My inner mighty?

      It took me six months to overcome the agony of “if only I had done/said X….if only I hadn’t done/said X” and get to “this has ZERO to do with me!! Why did HE do/say X?!!! Why didn’t HE do/say X?!!”

      I am asking myself “what do I want?” rather than “what does HE want?”

      Initially I wanted to fix this. What I really wanted was an alien mind-wipe.
      I did not want to be divorced. But I CANNOT be married to someone who intentionally brutally assaulted me and my daughter emotionally, mentally, spiritually.
      Someone who intentionally caused this much harm and pain and trauma cannot be my husband.

      I did not run out to find a warm body to replace him. I did that in 1988 when I was chumped. I am too traumatized and need to focus on healing me and my daughter.
      I am ON MY OWN and glad to be so. I was glad to be on my own when I met him at 27 years old….I can get there again.

      I now wonder WTF is wrong with HIM rather than agonizing over my defects.
      I showed up in counseling for 27 years, maintained my sobriety/recovery, did not lie or cheat….he didn’t get to check ANY of those boxes for who knows how long.

      I can learn to do anything he does or I can ask for help or I can hire help.

      I’m not making lemonade at my house, Beyoncé. When life gives you lemons, squeeze ‘em in the eyes of your assailant.

      Having my world as I knew it blown to smithereens, I am discovering powers I didn’t know I had. Rent “Finding Joe”….we are all on the hero’s journey. I have it on DVD and it plays on a loop when I’m at home working.

      Bottom line? I am still in Fake It Till You Make It mode a lot of the time. But if it’s the wrong relationship there’s nothing you can do to fix it. Lying and cheating and failing to communicate and possibly using/drinking and ignoring issues and starving/sabotaging the relationship means it’s the wrong relationship for me.

      He beat me up inside
      Invisible wounds of the worst kind
      He made me cry
      It felt like blood flowed from my eyes

      And he enlisted someone to help him.

      This is not love.

      • Velvet Hammer, there is nothing more mighty than the inner work you have done. Despite the fact that what you have achieved may be invisible to others, you have fought back against the lies you have been told which have made you doubt yourself and doubt what you knew about the world. You have made the incredibly brave steps to remove this poison from your life, despite no longer knowing if you can even trust yourself. I hear your pain, I see your courage and I know you are absolutely MIGHTY.

        • Thank you for the encouragement. I could use it today especially….I am leaking energy from First Ever Mediation Baby Step yesterday….

          He is a rotten apple!
          I don’t eat rotten apples!
          🍎🤮

          I also no longer want to be on the marriage police force or the world’s best PI…no more “Book ‘me, Danno!” me….turning in my 👮‍♀️🚔🔦🔍

        • “Velvet Hammer, there is nothing more mighty than the inner work you have done.”
          So true – the inner stuff is the hardest. But you are building a rock solid foundation upon which to build your new life. This new life may or may not come with a list of impressive accomplishments but it will be yours and you will be proud of it and of yourself. There is nothing wrong with a life that is humble and simple. In fact, that desirable state can be very difficult to achieve as many chumps will attest. For a while, I had a huge sense of accomplishment and pride because I bought the lawn mower that I wanted – you know one with an electric starter. I smile right now I as I think back on that small act of defiance. 8 years later I still love that little green mower.
          Be gentle with yourself Velvet Hammer. The road to mighty is paved with a gazillion small steps and many of them are invisible – even to those who know and love you.

        • I wish there were a like button! This is so true: your mighty future hinges on the inner work that must be done to get from untangling the skeins and getting to “trust that they suck” but it’s sososososo difficult and painful. So good for you, Velvet Hammer. You are mighty!

      • “I’m not making lemonade at my house, Beyoncé. When life gives you lemons, squeeze ‘em in the eyes of your assailant.”

        FANTASTIC!

      • Incredible mightiness is shown in the most insightful contributions you share regularly on this blog. Own it and stand strong!

        • Velvet Hammer…it’s taken me YEARS to get to mighty. It takes what it takes. We all get there on our own time line. First, we had to recover from a horrific trauma before we could even move. I was hopeless the first two years. But slowly, very s-l-o-w-l-y I recovered. You will too.

      • @Velvet Hammer – yours are the greatest of accomplishments! You don’t have anything to prove to anybody! You are pretty amazing, and so right even after two years I am in the fake it till you make it mode at times. You already made it in my opinion!

      • This is the whole deal, Velvet Hammer. This inner change drives outer change.

        “I am asking myself “what do I want?” rather than “what does HE want?” Or what is he thinking? Or what is he doing? Shifting from being outer directed to inner directed is the most important work you can do. Some people start with things like school, moving, new job, etc. Others (like you and me) knew that the work for us was inner. I DID things in the first year (even baking!) but the big work for me was inner work.

        And I hope everyone who reads here ponders these words:
        “He beat me up inside
        Invisible wounds of the worst kind
        He made me cry
        It felt like blood flowed from my eyes

        And he enlisted someone to help him.

        This is not love.”

        Indeed. This is not love.

      • Velvet Hammer – I am so proud of you!! You are amazing! You inspire me with every post! Chin up! You ROCK!! My story is found in yours. I am Grateful for such a mighty warrior to help show me the way to do the most important work for me – inner work. 🙌🏻❤️🙌🏻😘🦋🦋🦋
        All Hail Chump Lady and Chump Nation!

  • I feel mighty everytime I look at my finances and have no surprises.
    And that I have carried on blameshift-free. Oh my, does THAT feel mighty!

    I feel safe now.

    Simple as that.

    • Same here Clearwaters. I like to sit on my bed surrounded by my bank statements and yell “hey, I’m still in the black”!

      • Exactly the financial terrorism was the worst. Making me feel like i was spending too much on food groceries while he was ordering every dam bike gadget going (and getting them sent to his work obviously ) then if i dared question the need for yet another fluorescent whatever he would whine about how i was nagging him. You learn pretty quick to shut down cos you know where the conversation is going to end.

  • I have stopped questioning ex about the affair, realised that I will never get the truth. Maintained home, stayed positive for myself and kids. Daughter no1 got second place in maths, school said she is one of their best students, daughter no2, has special needs, is a librarian assistant and lunchtime monitor, received 396 positive points in one year. Trying for better job prospects, maybe higher education

  • I realized that perhaps I am mighty when an audience of over 1,000 people gave me a standing ovation; many of them were crying!
    I was recently invited to speak at a convention about my post-DDay battle with depression. All I did was tell the story about the person they saw on the stage (me) and the story about the person they couldn’t see on the stage (everything that my mind had gone thru after indfidelity).
    I stood on that stage astonished that others saw me as an inspiration.
    Huge, amazing moment.

    • Oooh, Chump Lady, is it possible that you guest invite Rebecca to write a summary of her speech for us?

      So much about being a chump is about the courage to keep on living when you are in so much pain, and then finding slowly that actually, life really IS better on the other side.

    • Coming back to to speak at a convention in front of all those people about your post-infidelity struggle w/depression and how you survived? CL’s right. You are a bona fide inspiration to us all.

    • Speaking your truth, instead of worrying about impression management, is truly one of the mightiest things you can do. And, in doing so, you show others that it is OK to speak their truth, too.

      I applaud your bravery, and hope to get there someday. To take the step out of the darkness and into the unknown zone of…….judgement, truth, what-will-people-think, is a huge step towards healing.

      I finally spoke out about my rape when I was 10 years old, “came out” on Facebook, only a couple of years ago, when I was 57. The outpouring of support I got was amazing and overwhelming. And, to my surprise, the old wound healed.

      While my body wasn’t raped this time, my soul certainly was. And although I am not there yet, another post will be coming regarding infidelity on FB. I will not deny my truth much longer.

  • Since I kicked my STBX out. I am saving money. Sleeping soundly for the first time in years. I feel mighty every morning waking up happy and cheater free.

  • When I bought the dated “eyesore” of the block, spent 3 years renovating, mostly (80%) by myself, while working full time, introduced myself to the new neighbors Halloween eve. They said “Oh, YOU’RE the one that lives in the beautiful house?!?!”

    Yup. My litter hipster house and I are doing very well.

  • It’s been a week since I shed a tear for the Dickhead. My heart is finally catching up to my head, and I am starting to see that he is a disordered cheater with no soul. My mightiness is propelling me to move forward with clarity and purpose, with no turning back. I can see Meh on the horizon.

  • I finished building my horse farm! I started realizing I did not need someone else to fulfill my dreams. It was an illusion all along. Now I’m hoping to find someone else who shares my dreams, and respects commitment and fidelity…
    Still going through grief stages but all in all Life is good.

    • A horse farm?! How exciting! I wish I knew you IRL so I could come for some farmwork therapy! I grew up on a gentlemens’ 25 acre farm with horses, goats, chicken, beef cows, fruit trees and Christmas trees. Those were some happy times. Way to go!!!!!

      • Horses are great therapy. My two have gotten me through so many bad days. Nothing like kissing a horses nose to brighten your day. congrats on following your dreams.

  • Did my first unit of Clinical Pastoral Care helping patients at a Trauma One center including overnights while my (now ex) wife was cheating on me. Continued on to a miraculously landing a CPE residency and not looking back as a chaplain.

    • Congratulations! That is a brutal rotation. I worked with chaplains and they are some of the greatest coworkers I have ever worked with.

    • DM…when I was in CPE…one day I was trying to write a verbatim and nowdeadcheater was in a rage and literally ripped the storm door off the front of the house and was threatening to go hurt someone (I cant remember who) but I quietly tapped away pretending I could hide my fear and horror which (as you might imagine) bled into my verbatim and at some point I coughed up a few tiny clues that I was in an abusive marriage.

      During that same time, my personality disordered parents were on some warpath with me (I had drawn a boundary with them). I reluctantly visited them when I was in their city and offered some vulnerability sharing the recent story of being the Chaplain in a massive trauma where I (also a nurse) saw the trauma surgeon about to make a mistake and I had a split second to decide what to do. The patient died and I had did the pastoral care. After hearing my story my mom summarily dismissed the whole thing with “well, how often does THAT happen?”.

      That was such a terrifying time…to know I had 3 kids and neither my parents nor spouse could be counted on. Im surprised that I survived that time and now can tell the tale.

        • I know this may sound foreign here, but my parents are worse than my nowdeadcheater was 99% of the time (with the 1% being the worst monstering just before and after Dday). As a nurse, I knew that any new job I might get would have me start out with nightshifts and I could never figure out how I could take that first step alone. People here have experienced worse and made it, but I couldnt take that first step away without help. If my parents had been kind, I would have run to them.

          • I too, can relate to a cheater ex AND bad parents. I somehow believe that we chumps were somehow brought up to think that we did not deserve any better and that is how we ended up being chumps. Only now am I finally setting boundaries and trying to understand that it is ok to have wants and needs.

            • Me three, and it is a long journey, but a worthwhile one. Having monsters for parents gives a person a lot to unlearn, but we get there eventually and then, boy, do we have great boundaries

              • I can relate to getting stronger boundaries too because of bad parents and a cheater. Most recently I reconnected with someone I dated 12 years ago. We talked quite a while on the phone one night and I didn’t talk to him the next day. I received pages and pages of text messages saying the most outrageous things like we need to be together and never give up on each other blah blah blah. I was like this is Red Flag City one conversation no contact in 12 years so I said I don’t want a boyfriend after all. He then asked me if I would had been drinking so I just blocked and deleted him. That may not sound like much but I saw a red flags felt buttons pushed and ended it right then and there. At first it felt weird because I am conditioned to be nice but I thought f*** it this is nuts!

  • I still like who I am when I face myself in the mirror.
    I trust my instincts again.
    I lead with love.
    I choose happiness.
    I’m single parenting -as in 100% of the parenting, and working full time trying to grow a career. I have amazing friends whom I love and trust. I can easily walk away from toxic people.
    I’m grateful for my life.
    I. Moved. On.
    Not a single golf club thrown.

    • The Dickhead was famous for throwing things in his fits of anger. His hunting bow, little putt-putt golf club (yes, the Dickhead would throw a fit if he wasn’t winning, even at miniature golf), a hand of Uno cards (see golf clubs) – would all get thrown when he was pissed off or angry because he wasn’t winning. It was very rare that he played any game and didn’t get pissed off.

  • To everyone of us; you are mighty because you are better than this! These fuckface don’t deserve any of us!
    In 2 years since discovery, i have continued to run the financials of our family business, won national awards, negotiated best commodity price for our business EVER; & run my own 70 hour week business. Is it mighty? No; it’s reality! Am I better than the shitstorm? Absfuckinglutly!
    I have also sat my exams for grad entry into medicine(missed out on interview by 2 marks! Because of all of the above. I have helped to write million dollar genetics contracts, obtained private rulings on our

    • Two marks is VERY close! Almost there. KEEP GOING! And hey, if that doesn’t pan out, you’ve got a super successful business to fall back on. Live your dreams.

  • Became immediately closer to my family
    Met some awesome new peeps from Chump Nation in real life at meet ups and made some really great friends.
    Spent a year helping my parents thin their 40 years of “inventory” so they could sell their house and move closer to my sister and significant other-now I am able to see them all much more frequently because I moved closer to them shortly there after.
    Started and Finished my MS degree; did a one year project concurrently that earned me a Six Sigma Black Belt.
    Had to take out a 10 year student loan for my degree but I paid it off before the first payment was due!
    Earned two promotions at work; received decent raises and now will be traveling frequently to our different sites.
    Cleared all debt-and have a great credit score
    Contribute to my 401K and IRA every month
    I have more savings than when I left a cheater and gained a life!

    I was with cheater ex for 24 years when my dday occurred and stayed for a heaping dose of wreckconciliation for 3 years after that so I know all about sunk costs. Fortunately I found CL and CN and realized it was a bad investment.

    Life is better on the other side!

  • Despite still being a mess emotionally and so many physical illness and a feed tube after surgery I still managed to use my medical training to assist at a nasty road accident where a 84 man bullseyed the windscreen, he face was badly damaged and I had to stem bleeding until I’d colleagues arrived and he was airlifted to hospital. I organised the scene, triaged casualties. My children were there and said how proud they were. I just went into the mode I was trained for . Now I’m back to that mess again, crying, missing him after 27 years, have feelings for him and jealous of her. I’m glad I still had some confidence but wish I could stop thinking about them.

        • Carol2706, YOU ROCK! Your kids are right to be proud! Lucky for them they have an AWESOME MOM!

          And you got this. You will survive. (Gloria Gaynor’s I WILL SURVIVE is a great pick me up song to listen to – try it if you haven’t yet!)

          Time heals. Hard to believe when you’re still thinking obsessively about that sparkly turd and the OW, but that obsessive thinking is typical of grief and it lessens in time. We are mourning the relationship we thought we had and would have into our golden years. I know because my thinking about him was nearly filling up my every waking moment for awhile there. And I still don’t go a day without some thoughts of him, but boy the quantity of brain time/space given to him is WAY down.

          It really gets better! Promise!

      • This statement is the truest – Mitz – how do you deal with the brainwashed children – the ones who can’t see poor character for what it is, even when it’s related biologically?

        Often times, we hear, give it time, they’ll figure it out. But, is there a way, a method, an example to set so that they can understand, see the very clear difference between lousy behavior and what’s right/wrong?

        • The best way to counter a cheater who demonizes the faithful spouse is to live better and by example.

          The harm is intentional, can be subtle and prolonged. One of the most difficult things is to step back and maintain boundaries with teens and adult children.

          Cheaters expose themselves over time as they rarely work on themselves and decisions are always based on entitlement and immediacy.

          Live better. Avoid triangulation with the disordered.

          Lessen the importance of what the cheater thinks or says.

          What chesater model is instant gratification. There’s no long term commitment to others needs. Kids figure that out over time in my opinion.

    • Carol2706, you are so mighty. You are a loving person, and you have shown you use your power for good. I also was chumped for what I now know was the final time after 27 years of marriage, and I understand how hard it is to change the habit of most of your life of loving a particular person, even when they choose not to love you. But one day you will wake up and realise that you are so much more without him than you were together and your better life will begin. You are mighty and you will be okay.

  • Our genetics income and kicked arse at every level. Was I ever good enough for Limp Dick? No. Do I ever want to be? NO!!!!!
    As a 61 year old abandoned woman,
    I will build a fabulous interesting life, I will leave this world a better place for so many reasons. And I know I am good enough! That’s enough! Believe in yourselves you fierce warrior men & women. We deserved so much better and now it’s time to reclaim that space! Go rustle up that hallelujah choir and make our collective walls sing with joy and happiness. You owe it to yourself!

    • Ozziechump! Much love to ya! Sorry to hear you missed out by just two marks, that sucks!! You’re such a hard worker – I am in awe of your ambition and gumption 🏆💪🏼👊🏼 Limp dick can have his swamp hoe. You’ve got bigger and better things to do in this life. Hope I can come back and visit you someday xx

      • Dear Left him,
        Thank you so much. So I missed out by 2 marks! That’s because I was working 80-90 hours a week and couldn’t study any harder! When I walked into the exams I knew I was not across my subjects! I am selling the bakery so I can properly address my ambition and I would absolutely love to see you again one day! Don’t worry; I will get there!

    • The Arrogant Ass (AA) always made me feel like nothing that I was, nothing I did, was good enough for him. According to him, I wasn’t pretty enough, fit enough, smart enough. My cooking, housekeeping, conversation, lovemaking…never up to his standards. I was telling this to my therapist, and suddenly the light just went on…I exclaimed, “Hell, no! I was TOO GOOD for his sorry ass! He should have been grateful to have me!”

      Her eyes lit up and she said, “Yes! Say that again!”

  • My ex told me about his special friend and explained how he wanted to “live the second half of life happy.” He did say we should stay roommates (I make a good nanny and housekeeper) and threatened me if I dare try to kick him out or divorce (he’s a lawyer which made for extra fun). He did also say I should “give him two years because that’s how long the typical affair lasts.” I retained a lawyer who insisted I file immediately and file a motion to have me in the primary residence and him out. After he moved out I got some clarity. He threatened, stalked, and tried to destroy me (did lovely things like close bank accounts and credit cards). I was a stay at home mom of three (one with special needs) ages 11, 7, and 3 at the time. I remember at one point before the divorce was final I had access to $47 – I had maxed out the two credit cards I had in my name only – with three kids. My parents had my back and were handing me envelopes of cash so they made sure we were okay. Their father didn’t care if they had food. He had been cheating on me for years and I had just refused to acknowledge it – choosing instead to taking care of the kids. What an ass!! I turned into high gear. I did everything my lawyer told me to. I figured out my bare bones budget and went back to school. I got our home ready to sell – sold it in two days – bought a condo (with my parents help) that was hideous but a bargain and with my portion of the proceeds from the house made it mine. I went back to school to become a physical therapist assistant and graduated with honors. I have a full time job right down the street from where we live. Meanwhile my ex had a revolving door of women, got a DUI (it got erased from his record – cause you can do that when you have money and are a lawyer), lived in four crappy apartments in five years, etc. He now has a ginormous house with his girlfriend and her girls and plays up being an involved (controlling) parent. His income is 10 times mine but it doesn’t matter. My kids consider our little condo home. They know I love them. Money can’t buy happiness. My kids and I are happy. I have peace. I am proud.

    • That is an AMAZING story of MIGHTY.

      I wish I could comment on every post… heading out to work now. But will return. I love these stories. You guys are why I do this.

    • Woo-hoo! Vickie is a badass!! She got her own home – And she don’t care that ex-f**kface earns more, lives in a bigger house, etc. This 🙌🏼 😍 To be happy and content with what one has, to be thankful for that, this is what we all need. Love it, Vickie. So happy for you xx

  • A bit quirky, but I feel the warm glow of my mighty moment every time I walk past my kids messy bedrooms.
    To explain, Shimmy Shammer told myself and the kids that they needed to tidy their rooms because our home was going to to be sold pronto so Shimmy Shammer could move on with their life.
    3 years on from DDay and I quietly smile to myself at their ‘lived in interior decorating styling’ every time 🙂

    • I have a lot of little moments like this, too. Aloe vera plants make me laugh. A collection of Christmas snowmen is like my own inside joke at STBX’s expense. These small triumphs would sound weird to the unchumped or unabused. But to me, they are signs that I’m moving on, can see the absurdity of his behavior, and that my sense of self and humor are intact despite his attempt to destroy them.

      • Enough and Riley,
        This is really helpful! One of the reasons I stayed was that I didn’t want to lose these kinds of inside jokes that only the two of us could understand. And later, he used that same reason on me to manipulate me, and I thought, oh, he’s invested in us, too.
        I wasn’t in a mental place then (hadn’t yet done the work Velvet Hammer writes about having done) to be able to flip that script and realize that there would be opportunities to make new inside jokes, traditions, and triumphs. Now I’m looking forward to doing just that–with the friends I’ve been able to reconnect with.

  • I had a moment of reflection last night at a basketball game. It’s been almost 3 years since I visited this arena, and it was 2 days before her EA turned into a PA. While we were out that night having what I thought was a good time, she knew what she was going to be doing 2 days later….
    The reason why I was reflecting is, I was courtside, last time I was there I was at the top of the arena. The reason I was courtside is I am a student at the biggest university in my state after graduating with an associates last spring! The view for where I am at was amazing! I actually vowed to never sit that high again after my last trip there here I am 5 rows out getting weird looks from people being 39 in the student section, and I have no fear of it. These $50 season tickets are going to be great the next three years and I can bring my kids sometimes!

    • Loved ed this as I too have a basketball arena comparison memory. Almost 7 years ago right after D-Day my 8 year old son sunk a half time half court shot at our high school game as were there to watch friends. I remember how happy and excited he was, then sad that his ball player Dad wasn’t there to see it. I cried for him. But now, the same boy at 15 and standing 6’5” tall is on that team and has figured out his dad’s true colors and told him he is not welcome to watch. I don’t miss a game and he knows I’m his biggest fan. The kids and I live a simple peaceful life – we have enough.

  • After serving the ex divorce papers at the Owhore’s house ( he was spending the weekend with her) I felt in control for once. I had reached the end of ignoring the red flags & realized my mental & physical health was at stake.
    Threw him in the basement where he tormented me but
    eventually he had to leave when I bought him out of the home. With tears in my eyes I felt mighty that I took my life back from a cruel evil sociopath. 3 years out now but the pain lessens as I move forward.
    Bless us all here at CN. ❤️

  • I was Lucky to find CN early after DDay. I read And reread the posts everyday. My story is similar to everyone else. 19 yr marriage, thought he was Superman and the love of my life. Found out he had a double life and an affair with an older colleague. I kicked him out three days after I got The ILYBINiLWU speech. 3 weeks later I found out about the OW. I filed that day for Fault in my state. I never Did the pick me dance.

    When was my mightiest moment? Everyday. Everyday I focus on moving forward. Everyday I remind myself that I’m worth more than being in an unhealthy relationship. Everyday I look at my DD and silently say to myself: god forbid you are in a relationship with a cheater/abuser/asshole someday. You will have seen your mom walk away with dignity and show you that you not only survive but thrive.

    I’m 5 months out from DDay. I’ve got a long way to go for the financial settlement but I will continue to be mighty everyday.

    Thank you CL and CN for sharing your experiences and support!

  • I built a fence. I fenced in the whole backyard. I bought a house on a block w/ an eagle’s nest and that’s cool, but I built a fucking fence. Myself. Well, my dad helped drill post holes, and that was fun, but the rest was all me.

    It looks cool— I went horizontal and modern…and it’s still standing!

    Never did that before….now I can build ANYTHING. (Ha!)

  • I’m still here fighting advanced cancer every day while he’s disappeared, off who knows where, with a new phone number, building his new life with OW as if I never existed.

      • Thank you. 🙂 I’m waiting for that karma bus though. He essentially abandoned me without bothering to even divorce and he’s off getting promotions and living large while I’m unable to work and sinking more and more in debt.

        • SusieQ, karma already hit him. He is with OW. Two shallow cheaters are with each other. Wonder how they talk about their wonderful relationship and trust each other knowing full well what the other had done. You take care of yourself.

          (((hugs)))

          • SuziQ,

            When you lose a cheater, you gain a life. Health, wealth and vitality will be restored in your life now. Keep going!

            How do I know this?

            34 years of trying to please an unpleaseable, unhappy and abusive cheater and I received a highly aggressive cancer diagnosis 3 years ago.

            I made the choice to save my own life and kicked the serial cheater out.

            While I’m still in treatment, I just celebrated one year no evidence of disease. I re-gained my life and am not looking back.

            Cheater? Karma? He married his 20 year younger back page massage parlor whore and has a 1-year old baby at 56.

            He’s become a sad cliche that no one in our life together resprects or has a relationship with. Just him, his whore, their wuv child (feel so sorry for innocent child), diapers, bottles, sleepless nights and image management so he can stay in his elderly narc parents will.

            I’m loving life single, cancer-free and abuse free. Enjoying my grandkids. I just booked a trip to Bali and plan to get certified in scuba diving while there. Life is beautiful!

            Know it gets better. Huge hugs! Sending you cancer-free energy.

    • There has just got to be some healing for you in getting rid of Mr. Not Love. I think the karma bus has arrived….picking YOU up and taking you away from an evil cruel person.

      I am so deeply sorry for what you are going through…I had a breast lump this summer and felt so alone going to the biopsy by myself. I can’t imagine how you must be feeling….please keep letting us know how you are.

  • My mightiest moments have been returning to my old self. I saw my vet, who is an old family friend since we’ve taken our dogs to her for so long. I gave her the high level overview of what had happened. She expressed her compassion and then said “You had been withdrawn for so long but are vibrant again. You’re back!” It felt so good after years of being made to believe that I had turned into a horrible person.

    The other was a couple weeks ago. I looked in the mirror and marvelled that I looked pretty again. It took me a little while to realize that it was due to the happiness shining through my face. I can’t say I see that every day, but it feels *so* good to be genuinely happy at least some of the time.

    • I compared a pic of myself, from Halloween last year, when I was in the depths of despair, to this year, and the difference is astounding. My eyes are brighter, my skin is glowing. Wow. I felt really pleased at how different I appear.

  • I’m rocking it as a mommy. My kids are kind and loving and doing great at school. They are both in the school districts gifted program. The other day, I got a random call from my daughter’s teacher, telling me how kind my daughter is and how she always helps her classmates.

    One of my sons classmate’s mom approached me last school year, telling me how my son stood up for her daughter when she was being bullied.

    My kids are amazing. And I’m proud of who they are becoming.

    On a personal accomplishment, I’m finally back in school, and currently getting straight A’s. It took me two years to figure out what I wanted to with my post divorce life. It was time I needed to pull myself together.

    Oh, and over the past few weeks, I redid my dining room/office area, and it looks amazing! I even painted on my office desks, and when I stood back and looked at the images, I could honestly say I did a great job!

  • My XW said I could never live on my own because I am disabled. That I would come crawling back to her. Well, I have been living on my own since January. Paying my bills, grocery shopping, etc. Plus having the kids and taking care of my parents. I have proved her wrong. She also said that no woman would want me. I have reconnected with an old girlfriend and she loves who I am. I have been Mighty. Still have to work on “Meh”.

  • I sold our home for $250k more than the value he was paid out on 3 months after our financial settlement. I bought a smaller property and fixed it up. I am working on building my business back up and back to driving a school bus for added income ( as I did when my kids were little). I am 58 and have started over and I’m rocking it—have lots of friends am very involved in the community theatre groups in my town and have a bf that loves me and I have firm boundaries with. My kids and I are a strong family unit. He still tries to keep a relationship with his daughter( the “chosen” one) but she knows not to trust him. I’m largely at meh…

  • The mightiest thing I did was get remarried to my Mr. CL. He’s an accountant, completely opposite to my exN. He actually cares if I am upset. He loves my dogs. He loves my family.

    He was chumped also, so he knows what it is like. Reads chump lady regularly.

  • He left just before our 21st anniversary and married OW a year later. (She is young enough to have been the flower girl at our wedding 🤨.) Total blindside, never thought he would cheat. Thought he was the most honest person I knew.

    Our dtr was going to be a junior in high school. It was a stressful time for awhile and dtr was overwhelmed by the idea of choosing a college. I supported the idea of her taking a gap year and then began to think I could use a gap year too. Started downsizing, donating, garage sale-ing our belonging. Sold the car and put the house on the market. Quit my job and dtr and I are on the first leg of our journey to travel the world for the next year or two.

    Still occasionally feel I am faking my mighty, but healing is happening and dtr and I are both starting to relax and breathe again.

  • A little over 3 months on from D-Day :-

    I kept the kids
    I kept the family home
    I kept the bank account (back to black!)
    I kept my dignity

    I lost the need to self-harm
    I lost thoughts of suicide
    I lost being humiliated and verbally abused on a daily basis
    I lost a cheater

    My mightiest moment? – the beautiful realisation that I was “me” again!

  • If you remember my post from a few weeks ago, I’ve got a whole lotta mighty to share.

    Since he left in January, I’ve lost 125 pounds through diet and exercise.
    We mediated last month and I got everything the kids and I need-and then some.
    I’ve started dating and am loving meeting new people and feeling desirable again.

    Y’all told me it gets better.
    Y’all were so, so right.

  • I took my kids to see the eclipse in 2017 about a month before the divorce was final when I was still in a lot of pain and feeling inadequate. I booked the hotel and got us to the perfect viewing site. We were out in nature and it was busy enough to add to the excitement of sharing a unique moment with others while not being insanely and uncomfortably crowded. It was also clear at our location at totality so we go the full experience. It was magical. My youngest said it was the most exciting moment of his life up until that point. I also got them home again through hours of bumper to bumper traffic without too much grumpiness on anyone’s part. It felt good to have been able to provide that unique experience for my kids (and me too).

    Meanwhile, ex had planned to fly Schmoopie to the eclipse in his airplane but the engine went out a few days before the event. He managed to find another plane to rent only to discover that the airports in the totality band were only accepting landings by advanced reservation and they were all full up. He was just going to fly over the area during totality but then thunderstorms cropped up between where we live and where he had hoped to fly. They ended up watching a partial through the clouds at home. This is only relevant because once upon a time I gave him way too much credit for the success of our family vacations. That event reminded me that I was always the planner/organizer of family vacations, I do an awesome job and I don’t need him along for them to be successful.

    • Haha, Chumpinrecovery, your ex and Shmoopie missed out on a most magical celestial event. Karma!!

      I drove several hours to a friend’s home in St. Louis and we had gorgeous weather and a perfect view of totality. So thrilling!

      I used to arrange for the Python and me to do meteor shower watching, eclipse watching, and space station flyover watching. He seemed to enjoy it – but I don’t know how much of that was an act, since I know now he was a consummate actor throughout our relationship. If he actually did enjoy that sort of thing, he missed out because where we live (we were separated in-house at that time) it was partly cloudy and the eclipse was only partial. I don’t know if he even bothered to go outside to look. (Don’t really care, either!)

      But I too realized that I did most of the planning ahead. He was basically incapable of that. Which is a basic skill in adulting. Cheaters suck at adulting, but we are mighty in that regard!

  • What amazing stories, CN. Today, my moment of Mighty was getting out of bed without crying. You see, it’s my 5th wedding anniversary, and I’m 3.5 months past D-Day. Mr. Not-So-Mighty and I moved across the country in April for his job. We had problems before we left and had actually talked about splitting up, but we agreed we loved each other and wanted to make things work. Our new state would be a new start. Three months to the day we moved into our apartment, he came home from work and told me he “couldn’t do this anymore.” (I had been getting speeches for a couple of weeks about how “tired” he was and how he “nothing left to give.”) A couple of days later, I found out he was having an affair with a co-worker. He said nothing physical happened, but I’m skeptical…he lied about it, they’d been alone together several times, during one of which he was drunk.

    I told him I’d be willing to make things work if he would end the affair, but he refused, so just two days after learning about his infidelity, I packed up a couple of suitcases and our dogs and left to stay with family. A week and a half after that, I talked to him on the phone, and he said he wasn’t in love with me anymore and wanted a divorce. So I moved out – back across the country to my parents’ house where I stayed for another 2 months before relocating AGAIN (1000 miles away) to what should be a better job market for me. In that time, I’ve filed for legal separation (not eligible for divorce yet), separated most of our joint finances, applied to a million jobs, started therapy, and been an emotional mess more often than not.

    I still have this stubborn hope that he’ll “wake up” and want to fix things. He told me the affair wasn’t the reason he wanted to end our marriage, and I’ve unfortunately internalized that narrative as much as I tried not to. I’m going to spend most of the day telling myself that he won’t contact me and I shouldn’t want him to contact me, while probably hoping – just a little – he’ll contact me. That I’ll get some acknowledgement from him about what today is. I doubt it though. I don’t think he believes he really lost anything that can’t be replaced; he had a rough patch after I left, but from what I hear, he seems to be doing better now. Meanwhile, I feel pretty stuck in the hope and trauma and occasional anger. It’s terribly unfair, but that’s life, right?

    Regardless of the hope and confusion and sadness, I have tried to make smart decisions since I left. I have tried to protect myself legally and financially, and I have mostly avoided discussing anything with him besides finances. (I went no-contact with him 2 weeks ago after deciding to pay the money to let my lawyer handle communications about bills and the settlement agreement.) I know if there were to ever be any hope for us, the initiative and work would have to come from him. I can’t do it, and I won’t. I think, eventually, I’ll get to a place where I won’t want him back no matter how I might still feel before finally, mercifully, not caring what he wants or what he’s doing.

    So, today, my moment of Mighty is getting out of bed and staying committed to a path that keeps me protected. Cheers to all of you, wherever you are on your journey.

    • Please don’t wait for his call.
      Make today special for yourself!

      Take the dogs for a long walk. Fresh air is great for all of you. Go to the market and get yourself some pretty flowers. Make plans to do SOMETHING that you enjoy today – go out for lunch, go to a new museum, go see a movie (or two; with popcorn) or anything you enjoy.

      Do you know anyone in your town? If so, call and tell them what’s going on and ask them if they can spend some time with you today. People’s generosity may surprise you. If not, today is a good time to practice being your own best company.

      Turn your phone off so you won’t be home or waiting for something you definitely do not need.

      We all promise that today will end at midnight, tomorrow is another day and every year gets easier.

      • Thanks, Rebecca. I’m living with two AMAZING friends and have two others who came in town just for today. They’re going to be with me all weekend and hopefully keep me mostly distracted.

        “Today ends at midnight” is a great perspective. Repeating that starting now!

    • Today – tis what it is, as we say in Cornwall. You are honest and real, and although today hurt, you saw it through, lovely! I hope there will be plenty of little and big joys for you this week x

    • I think this is the hardest part — starting on the new beginning but not having built that new life yet. Every day it’s an act of faith. Until pretty soon, day after day after day of this slog — this IS your new life. And it eclipses the old life.

      So, stay on the path TFM2! Be proud of how you’re navigating this shitstorm — and reject his centrality and vote on your worth. Those cravings for contact go away the longer you maintain NC. (And think about it — what are you craving? For him to reject you again and say how everything is YOUR fault? You don’t need that crap.)

      Stay strong!

    • You’re mighty just for getting out of bed!! Extra points for “without crying”! You are way ahead of where I was at 3.5 months….keep up the mightiness!

  • So so sooooo many mighty moments.

    Possibly the best one though. (background, in my country you just divorce after two years separation, DIY forms, witnessed by a Justice of the Peace, pay your money and send off the forms, the only divorce available here is this standard form, no suing for adultery etc)

    So, I told him I wanted a divorce. He was shocked. (ha! shocked.. like I still want to be MARRIED TO YOU?) We arranged to meet to get forms witnessed and he was to pay me his half of the fee for divorce. We got the forms witnessed and outside the office he handed me the EXACT half of the divorce fee (yep couldnt round up to the nearest dollar, I got serious coinage) I just snort-laughed when he handed it over (OW was definitely involved there in handing out the money, the kids tell me she is a total tightarse ) anyway I said I was going to get a bankers cheque to post to courts with the form. He said “oh that will cost you money, hang on I’ll give you half” I looked at all the little coins in my hand and laughed again and said, its ok, its on me. He looked about half an inch tall at that point

    Fuck you cheater. I got ALLLLL of this

      • I know, right? I’d have been mortified to do that, but obviously mommy-OW (who by the way is decades his junior) counted it out in his little hand to the last cent. Heaven forbid he paid five cents more than he had to *rolls eyes*

          • Nope but I gave them to the nice bank teller when I organised the cheque and told her they were contaminated so I didnt want them in my wallet. Her and her colleague laughed hard when I told her where they’d come from.

            My half of the divorce was paid for by selling my wedding/engagement rings. Seemed appropriate 😀

            PS: Got the fuckwit free life too, aint that grand 😀

  • I was an old fashioned Hospital educated nurse with a “diploma” but had built a great career with it. I was never brave enough to get a Bachelor of Science Degree because I had too many boulders to push uphill in my life with nowdeadcheater. My newhusband gave me the encouragement and support to finish and I have only 6 weeks left before graduation.

    I have been accepted to study for a Masters in Bioethics through a program at a prestigious medical school.

    Sometimes I feel like my Mighty isn’t as good as everyone else’s because I never left him. I had plans to pull the trigger during the very next rage (I had promised myself I had suffered the last one ever) including buying a Chevrolet (my Mercedes was in his name alone, of course and Im sure he would have claimed it). So oddly enough, when I see Chevrolets, I am oddly triggered that I am not mighty.

    Most of the time, though..I know that my Mighty was just different, not worse…we each faced a different set of challenges and have reason to be proud.

    • You were and are very mighty, Unicornnomore. God bless you in your new and improved life. You have given so much to so many.

      • Unicornnomore….you are VERY mighty and you help so many people in CN. Congratulations on your B.S. degree in nursing….that is a tough degree to get !!

    • You’re incredibly mighty — and you pay it forward EVERY DAY. Do you realize how many people you help? I think it might be the majority of people who suffer and don’t leave — and you share that story, and the truth of what it Really Was.

      Congrats on your acceptance to a prestigious masters program! I’m not one bit surprised.

    • Unicorn – you are one of the mightiest, kindest, brightest people I know.

      Also the most modest. ❤️❤️❤️

  • My mightiest moment…when after a year of knowing her slutfest ways and playing with her boytoy , ripping my soul apart all the while , and 2 weeks after our divorce , she came knocking on the door crying telling me “You were the best friend I ever had” and me calmly telling her “NO WAY , get back in your car and go back to where you came from.” I was free!I finally acquired MEH. I had full custody of our 2 small children and knew I’d find someone that would be 10 times the wife and mother that she could ever be…and I did. I’m 63 now and this was 38 years ago. Been married to an angel for 35 years.Bliss!

  • I passed the bar exam on the first try 4 months after the DDay. Almost gave up and did not sit for it, as I was the least probable person to pass on the first try – older than most law students; working full time; 2 young children; from a different country, therefore English being my second language ; and being a total emotional wreck after finding out about h’s secret life and still having to live with him, as I had to put any decisions and dealing with the situation on hold, while I buckled up and studied.
    But with God’s help and some inner mighty power that kicked into high gear, I did it….and became a “hero” at my law school….:-))

    You all are extremely amazing, CN.

  • Mine was one morning maybe 4-5 weeks after D-day, and 3 weeks after my ex ran off with the OM. I was in full-on pick-me dance mode, even though she was telling me that I really had little chance of “winning” her back from this d.b. (She had to give hope, but just a little bit, so that I would do the dance really hard!). I had been reading this book on how to get back your cheater, and at one point the advice was to type up a nice letter explaining boundaries to her. It said that as long as she continued what she did, I wouldn’t go to MC. It may seem hard to believe, but at the time, this was the most “harsh” advice I had yet seen for dealing with a cheater; everything else was all “just let her do whatever she wants, figure out what you did wrong to make her do this, and hope she comes back.” I was a puddle of terrible self-esteem and sadness, not knowing what to do.
    I typed up my letter, printed it out, then stopped to read it again. For whatever reason, at that moment the whole thing just seemed ridiculous to me. Why was *I* writing groveling letters to *her*, as if any of this was my fault? I didn’t make her do any of this. I know I had been a good husband to her and good dad to our kids, and even if I wasn’t, I didn’t deserve this; no one did. My reward was to have her sneer and make fun of me as she rode off in the sunset with this guy.
    I crumpled up the letter, then took it to the garbage can by the street so no one could see it.
    From that point on, I didn’t pick-me dance any more. I offered no reconciliation, nor did I agree to take it once she tried to come back a month later. I found this site a few days later, and it helped keep me strong.

    • I love reading about those moments of clarity when the Chump comes out of the hopium fog, and realizes that they don’t have to take the abuse and lies any more.

      Stay mighty, TTW. You deserve so much better.

      • I kept hanging on through the financial and physical abuse (and the cheating of course) because he was ill (diagnosed bipolar). In the end the doctor said “what are you waiting for – him to put you in a coffin”. I was convinced he didn’t mean it but in the end there is only so much abuse you can take and if he didn’t want to save himself I didn’t see why I should try.

      • Ha ha, that reminds me…a few months later, I found a little box in the back of her closet. The day she left, she told me that there had been multiple AP’s, going back to the first few months we were married. That box contained a whole bunch of pictures of the first AP. I also found a whole bunch of other things with it from that time period, presumably gifts or mementos.
        Oh, was I mad. That night, I burned the whole thing in a bonfire. Oh, it felt good.

  • My mighty moment was when I went absolutely and completely no contact, no email, no anything after I told him exactly how I feel about him and his nasty whore. He could not reply because he was blocked. Took three years to do it, and I love it.

  • It’s day by day, even two years out, but…

    * I moved and bought a house. I am making that house a home for my tribe.
    * I fixed my garbage disposal on my own!
    * I’m applying to jobs that will decrease my commute (my pay too unfortunately). However, being closer to home will let me be even more present and active with my kiddos. Unlike Tweaker ex who decided to relocate with his company several states away (had a perfectly fine job where he was and could have found others in the nearby counties). Fucking idiot. Actions speak louder than words.
    * I am the parent that is there for my kiddos 100% and put them first while still working on building my own life.
    * I work full time and single parent 100% of the time.
    * I live in the moment more every day and accept the emotions. Still a lot to process even 2 years out but I’m doing it.
    * I foster dogs. So far I have saved 4 lives with successful furever home matches (2 more saves expected this weekend – fingers crossed). In the fostering group, that I am working with, I have found a sense of community.
    * Finding CL and CN and flipping the narrative to speaking out against cheating instead of silence.
    * I have hopes and dreams again.

    Just making this list reminds me to keep fucking going and to be a badass warrior instead of the victim. I realize, in spite of the horrible shit show of the last 20+ years and a marriage to a fraud, I still believe in love and give love. That is who I am.

  • My ex is a musician. Good enough to get gigs as a bandleader, but not good enough to make a living at it. So I was the breadwinner while he pursued his dream of being a rock star. He told me that he had perfect pitch and that my singing sounded like fingernails on a chalkboard to him, so I wasn’t allowed to sing in his presence.

    Though I never sang professionally, I have always loved music and sang along with the radio. School choir taught me how to sing harmony. This killed my joy and he knew it. It was another way for him to keep me down.

    After I kicked him out, I taught myself how to play the ukulele. It’s taken me a few years and some tremendous courage but I’m now singing at open mics and doing karaoke. I’m having the time of my life! I’ve been told over and over that I have a beautiful voice. The validation is amazing!

    • So wonderful! What is it about cheaters and wanting to kill your joy and lie about your talents? The lying POS I divorced also claimed my singing hurt his ears. He would scrunch up his face and cringe when I sang along with the radio.

      I sang some karaoke this past summer in an exotic locale, in two different languages, and plenty of people came up afterwards to tell me what a beautiful voice I have.

      Cheaters are such colossal liars. They can’t stand others having joy or talent.

      Keep making the world more beautiful. The sounds of mighty lift the heart.

      • Mine thinks he’s the next John Denver. I am SO glad I no longer have to listen to that screeching – and you know playing the same first four bars of a song over and over and over again.

  • After years of living with an X who couldn’t pay a fricken bill on time, to which some costs us hundreds more then it should have to get fixed (like car registration and tickets were his favorites) I’m living with money in my bank account, no debt, ALL bills paid on time for the last 3 years and my dd is an A & B student. I’m happy, content and haven’t seen that dickfart in 2 years. Granted I’m not getting any support from him, but knowing that he’s racking up the support arrearages makes me smile sometimes more then it should.

    • Same here. He got drunk one day (every day actually) and went out and bought himself a 60,000 dollar car. How great is that – go out drunk to a car dealership. I was devastated as we had just finished paying on a loan I had to take out to repair somebody’s car that he hit while drunk. One of many actually! So I thought we would have a little more money coming in. I’m going to retire at Christmas as I will have paid off the mortgage I had to take out to buy him out in 7 years instead of 17. It’s an amazing feeling to not be broke isn’t it..

  • 14 months after Dday With the divorce not final due to X’s continued narcissism, i was still a wreck yet a clearly decent man at work was interested in me. I had to decide if I was going to stay wrapped around my X’s awfulness or move on quickly and possibly be with a very decent man. Moving on was still a hurculean effort for me but I was done with X ruining everything – even after he was gone. So I decided to go ahead with the good guy and be mindful of my baggage as I went. Thank God I did. We are married – he is a truly good person – we love each other – and I had a baby with him two days before turning 42. I could have grieved forever and I’m so glad I didn’t.

  • I am able to be the parent I want to be because I no longer have someone telling me everything I’m “doing wrong”.

    The results:

    – My son is getting straight A’s.
    – My son and I enjoy travelling and going on adventures together (leaving for Hawaii tomorrow!)
    – My son and I talk about real life and things that matter (note: solving a Rubik’s cube in under 30 seconds matters to a 13yo!)
    – My son hugs me without prompting (and still says “I love you, Mom” when I drop him off at school.)
    – I know I’m raising my son to be a good human because parents and teachers tell me how he behaves when I’m not around.

    Funny that, Mr. Sparkles. The realization I had (I’m 4 years out now) was that Mr. Sparkles sabotages his children – he’s done it to every single one of them. No one can surpass the almighty Mr. Sparkles in life. And I will not let that happen here. My kid will have every opportunity to live a life greater than mine.

  • As our children require the continued need for some contact between myself and the ex, I mark my mighty by each instance that I don’t get engaged in her attempts to “still be friends, lets chit chat” bullshit. My most recent deflection provided me an opportunity to be pleased with the progress I have made.

    Quick background for context. About 4 months after leaving me, she became the OW with a co-worker and lead a year long affair with him before he left his baby-mama and two children. They have been living together for the last 10 months.

    Out of the blue, following a text message asking about meeting time for children exchange, she wanted to give me a heads up. She let me know she and Mr. McDreamy were engaged. As opposed to earlier and on the heals of finding out that she had cheated on me, and dancing my ass off in and attempt to being picked, I replied with the following:

    “OK….congrats…..best wishes.”

    Then confirmed again the pick up time for the kids.

    She will be Mrs. McDreamy #4, so I wanted to add “good luck, sounds like you will need it.” But refrained.

  • I didn’t realize that I was mighty, but looking back I absolutely was. My cheater always ran the show, I rarely stood up to him by the end of our relationship, but I’ll be damned if you’re going to fuck with my kids.

    When he came home with his twisted version of ILYBINILWY, I had no idea about the OW. Over the next 3-4 days I was frantically looking for marriage counselors and he was getting meaner by the minute. I wrote him a text that said I was taking the kids to my mother’s house because it was really tense and uncomfortable for everyone and I wanted this to be a smooth transition so the kids didn’t get upset. He was livid and blew up my phone telling me I couldn’t steal the kids blah blah blah. He came home right before I was about to leave. He said I couldn’t take the kids. I said I was leaving anyways. My DD stood there clutched to my leg begging me to stay. I stared cheater down, hands on hips. Waiting……Waiting….. While DD sobbed. I was NOT going to take DD without cheater’s *permission* because I knew he would throw it back in my face until the end of time that I “stole” the kids. He finally asked DD if she wanted to go with mommy. She said yes. He looked up at me and said “Fine”. I scooped up the kids and left and didn’t come back to my home until after he moved out a month later. I’ve been mostly no contact ever since (only about the kids).

    And, during the next few weeks he texted to see the kids, I said I would bring them back in the evenings for him to see them from 6-9pm, the normal time he would see them before they went to sleep but they were not staying with him, they would stay with me. He said he didn’t like my “terms”. Sorry, I thought you wanted to see the kids, not “win” the “terms” of a business deal. He was so stubborn he didn’t agree to my “terms” and thus didn’t get to see the kids for a month. He eventually learned to accept my “terms” and I the set the backdrop for me being able to keep my kids in our home and mostly staying with me.

    And, the rest of this divorce is going down on MY terms, I was so afraid of losing him that I didn’t stand up for myself, but now I have NOTHING to loose and EVERYTHING to gain. So fuck him. I am mighty.

    P.S. I found CN in the first few sleepless nights and took all you mighty chump’s advice from the very beginning. Thanks for helping me stay mighty xoxo

  • My piece of shit Asshat (married 21 years, together 25) told me he had ONE affair on the same day we found out he was cancer-free. I cannot help but be angry when I think about how much he used me, how much I cared for his every need and was so worried that he wouldn’t survive. Only to have him “share his affair” with me just when i thought we could start living again…how we could start traveling and enjoying life. Turns out he had an Ashely Madison account for 5-7 years, spent thousands of marital money on strippers, happy endings, backpage, and most likely escorts. Of course, he strung me along for a while, insisting he would change and we went to marriage counseling. I danced for 3 months.

    My wake up moment: I discovered he spent 4 hours setting up a Tinder account while laying in bed with me, after Thanksgiving weekend. I called in sick to work (I never ever call in) and sobbed in my therapist’s office. I also met with my pastor and she told me to spend the day figuring out how to protect myself. I was a f’ing mess.

    I walked in my house and felt this calm and incredible peace. I knew what to do and who to call for help. I called a wonderful lady from church. Within 2 hours, her husband, a retired-attorney, referred me to an attorney. He personally called her. At 2:00, This amazing kick-ass attorney called me and said “Hi Newgirl, it sounds like you need protecting. How can I help?” That same day, I transferred all of our accounts into my name, leaving $10 in each account so it wouldn’t send account notices. Within a week, my financial disclosure and divorce papers were complete and filed.

    I served Asshat with papers at day 10. I still remember the shock on his face…he didn’t think i would EVER let him go. Or file for divorce. He was dumbfounded and balked when i told him all of our money (40k) was in an account in my name only. He just looked at me and said “what, did you think I was going to screw you?” I responded “you already have!!”

    It was the holiday season and he refused to leave. I had to make him look for an apartment. The week before he got his keys, I told him he would no longer welcome in in my house and he needed to move the day he got his keys. He was furious! He demanded our joint checkbook to pay for his moving truck. Denied. He had to apply for a credit card that day to cover the moving truck.

    A month later, I refinanced the mortgage and he signed off on the mortgage. I refused to give him his share of the equity until the divorce was final. He was so angry!! He refused to get an attorney. I did ALL of the work. My attorney was incredible and we went to court on day 121 (state law requires 120 days)!!

    It’s been 3 years since his cancer diagnosis and almost 2 years since I filed for divorce. I parallel-parent an 11 and 13 year old with this colossal fuckwit. I found CL the summer after I was divorced and slowly, things began making sense. I lost a cheater and gained an amazing, incredible life!! Stay mighty, CL and CN. ❤️

  • Two moments of mighty for me, and the best part is that they are ongoing:

    1) started a new hobby: kayaking.
    Background: When I was with ex narcopath, he wanted a new truck. We applied, and we were denied. Or rather we were accepted with an 18% interest rate, that I refused to pay. The plan was that I was to trade in my 1 year old car and take a major loss. He would contribute nothing, be a cosigner and keep his pos older truck, with promises to pay me half of the monthly payment. Our monthly truck payment would have been over $600/month.

    Luckily, the universe made this plan impossible, and ironically, I moved out 4 months later and I discovered his promises to pay for ANYTHING were crap, and he stole $1500 from me.

    5 months after our final 5th dday breakup, a relative gifts an inheritance. A decent amount but astronomical. I sit on it for a month, trying to decide if I want to use it for a down payment on a duplex or buy my dream suv.

    I had previously been a home owner and found it to be very burdensome, and enjoyed renting. Renting gives me the freedom to move, and puts the owners on my landlord to pay for any repairs. I live in a great apartment, everything included (wifi, laundry, snow removal etc.) for $850/month. Why would I leave?

    I chose to buy my dream vehicle. A 2018 Kia Sorento, seven seats. Paid for a roof rack, bought 2 kayaks and so began my journey of kayaking.

    I bought one kayak for myself and my one friend decided SHE wanted to start the hobby and so we went halves on a 2nd kayak that remains with me (cause I have the vehicle to transport them.) Bought 2 kid kayaks for my kids.

    Best summer ever. Kayaked 15 different locations with plans to do more next summer. Went out by myself a lot. Took the kids out fishing. Introduced other people to it. Everyone loves it. And it’s very peaceful on the water. I can unload those kayaks in under 5 minutes by myself.

    Feel like a total badass, with my new suv, loaded with the kayaks on top, driving with the windows down, blasting some good music, and my tan was dynamite.
    Also, I only work 2 days a week. I am very financially fortunate. I was off galavating quite a bit when my kids were at their dads (dad is NOT ex narcopath) for 5 day stretches.

    Ex narcohole saw me a few times passing by and waved like the weak coward fangirl that he is. My friend and I laughed, ignored the shit out of him, and turned the music up.

    2) as time went on, and the excruciating pain started to abate, my mindset changed from “how could he replace me so easily?” to “I fired that asshole. HIM. FIRED. TERMINATED. UNWORTHY. He is not entitled to one more BREATH of my world ….”
    And that feels fierce and very freeing.
    And HE IS NOT MY PROBLEM ANYMORE.

    ok. Wait. There is a 3rd thing.

    3) waking up in the morning to a peaceful home. My kids in the bed next to me, sleepily hugging me with their sweet breath and kisses and “I luv you mama…” They are safe and sweet and we finally have our peace.

    • I’m laughing and high-fiving you this morning. I love, love, love your mighty story. I’m going to borrow two phrases from you to start using: weak coward fangirl, and I fired that asshole!

      I love kayaking. It gives me pleasure knowing that although he did get one of the kayaks in the divorce, he will likely never use it as he could never be bothered to transfer the title and get the license stickers that are required for watercraft in our state. You know, stand in line, have serial numbers and paperwork ready—- the stuff that wife appliances were good for. It will all be too much bother, so it will gather dust like so many other “hobbies” he starts but never finishes because it takes effort.

      Thanks for sharing your story. You inspire.

      • Didn’t one of you ladies’ ex “steal” the paddles (or is that oars for a kayak) and he ended up getting 2 female ends?

  • the telling detail was the moment i recognized my anxiety of 27 years had vanished!

    then i proceeded to grieve, divorce, grieve some more, heal, rebuild, heal some more, and gain an anxiety free life.

  • I think the defining moment of mighty was at DDay #2, when he launched into a well-crafted speech about how what I saw with my own eyes was wrong and so indicative of my inadequacies in how to react properly. I suddenly knew in that moment that he was lying, had been lying, and that he was a lying POS who would always believe he could explain away the truth. And I decided in that moment that I deserved better and didn’t want to live with his lies any more. I had sunk costs of 31 years, but finally believed I was worth more than the continual buffet of lies and disorder that I was being served.

    It is so wonderful to be free of that cheater.

  • He asked if he could declare one of the kids on his taxes–one of the kids he’d walked out on. It would save him money–change his status. Chumpy me whimpered and panicked about being fair and not making him mad. Mighty me typed, “No. I mean, what’s in it for me? No.”

    Never in my life with him had I made a decision purely based on what was in it for me. It felt good. Really good. Certainly it was a concept that he understood intimately.

    A couple years later, he broke NC to ask again. This time I sasid, “Sure. Just let me know when you’ve transferred the car insurance and phone into your name.” *crickets* Mighty me is all grown up.

    • I was a very very compliant wife…I had some sass but mostly I did as he told me (trying to make him happy was my job #1).

      One of my mightiest moments was after his “Im divorcing you” speech and Dday, he told me I was to move to Calif with him and I said “No”. In the past I would never have done such a thing, he expected me to start packing and I refused to go.

      • Why would he want you to move with him if he was divorcing you? Makes no sense but then that’s probably just him.

      • No.

        It’s such a small little word that’s so hard to get out. Isn’t it something when you finally say it.

  • I refused to accept any responsibility for his adultery. I refuse to feel insecure about myself for even a second because of it. He’s a full blown narcissist and I see him for exactly what he is and I turned my heel and gave him the finger on his mindfucking. I’m done with that. He can run around telling anyone who will listen his lies about how he’s the victim but I have the proof and he can go fuck himself. Oh, and I started my own business and continue to homeschool my 4 kids he abandoned while he drags me through court almost monthly and is still not paying child support. And I rescued 2 of my horses from him in the early days. He tried to take absolutely everything from me and he failed. He sent his flying monkeys after me to damage my business and that backfired on him badly. I found the me he had beaten into an anxiety ridden mess that was hiding in a corner and I found my strength again and it feels damn good to be a whole person again. Nobody puts Baby in the corner.

  • My mighty moments have been learning to enforce boundaries. I never did that when I was with my ex. I let him do whatever he wanted because it was easier than dealing with suicide threats when he didn’t get his way. In the months since his textbook ILYBINILWU declaration (I mean seriously… is there a script for this shit? Why are they all the same?) I’ve listened to CL’s audiobook over and over while driving to work and it has helped me learn to enforce boundaries. I’ve dropped consequences on him when he’s breached the parenting plan we made at mediation (which I don’t want to talk about here as we’re going to court in 2 weeks). It has been really difficult as I’m still a bit scared.

    I’ve got a long way to go but this blog and the comments on this post are helping to think positively about the future.

  • My marriage resulted in my giving up all of my dreams and plans, which seemed okay at the time. I mean, I was married and *we* were making new dreams and plans. We had what seemed like a great life. I had a good job, though it wasn’t the one I’d always wanted to have. We traveled a lot and seemed like a happy and well matched couple. But I was increasingly miserable. And then I found his Ashley Madison profile. It all made sense in that shocking and painful moment.

    So, I revisited my original dreams and plans and strategized how to have the life I had always wanted for myself—teaching in a small town, near my family. I met with lawyers and planned my escape. I secreted out my belongings and stockpiled gift cards and cash. I was accepted into a rigorous, accelerated master’s program and completed it at the top of my class. I secured my dream job before I had graduated. I filed for divorce. And now, I live in the place I always wanted to live. I teach in the kind of district I always wanted to teach in. My kindergarteners light up my world. Every day they make my heart sing. And him? He’s floundering. Too bad, so sad.

  • Kiddo wasn’t allowed to play with toys downstairs or lay on the floor of the living room.
    The first day we left she laid on the rug with a stack of books, a chunk of cucumber to chomp, a movie on her old DS console, wearing science goggles from a toy kit, wearing stripy socks to her knees, and with her toys around her. She looked happy for the first time.
    Since then we won the house after a 5 year divorce,
    paid him £30,000 to go away,
    paid down £24,000 of his debt in my name,
    fixed the vandalism,
    stayed employed,
    kissed some pretty men,
    raised the same kid to A Levels and university offers (received this last week)
    and went on a little holiday to Crete.
    Life is hard financially but we are happier and safer. It’s pretty good.

  • For 12 years, I worked a flexible schedule which allowed me to be with the 4 kids when they got out of school so I could take them to endless activities, make dinner, monitor homework, clean house, do laundry, etc., but required that I work most weekends to meet the needs of my clients. I was the marketable one, so it was always on me to change jobs and start over when the flexible schedule was no longer working. Even though Asshat was “full time” at his cushy government job (where he met his government whore), I worked more hours than he did. After D-day, I went back to work full time (which is about 50-70 hours per week in my profession) and made partner in 3 years, at an age at which is usually too old to make partner. I still helped with the homework and attended all of my kids’ events up to the day they went off to college. Better yet, my kids think I am a rock star, and they are the only 4 people in the world whose opinions really matter to me.

  • I’m just taking things day by day, as they come. No story of mightiness from me, because i keep faltering, falling and smoke the crackpipe of hopium. But this last emotional affair did me in now for good. After 6 months of suspicion his affair/sextalk/whatever with married coworker was confirmed. I’ve packed him up twice. My brain is in the fog. Right now just numb to everything and concentrating on work and my son (not his kid). He acts the entitled ass as if he didn’t do anything wrong. 6 months of lies and denial, and the rest, you all know it.
    Planning on going to college in the near future to secure a degree and career. My current job is giving me a raise from around thanksgiving, so that’s great. Thankfully we are financially separated, no access to each others accounts.
    He still owes me back rent for 2+years of supporting him while he couldn’t keep a job, paid off 30k in debt and had to pay 2x child support per month. He’s slowly paying that off and our tax refund is going to me, because he couldn’t pay shut otherwise. I’m squirreling the raise money and refund for a down payment on a co-op…god willing, it will happen. I cry less and less these days but damn, the last 2 weeks have been hell. As have the last 6 months.

    • Mg, so sorry to hear you are struggling! But you are definitely advancing on mighty! I hope you can get out soon, and that you get an amazing co-op!

  • By the way, Rarity, if you’re reading this, I just love that picture, and your story. They just warm my heart so much.

  • After the last heartbreaking discussion with my h ( after which he just went into his regular pattern of blameshifting, anger, stonewalling and getting drunk) very tragical accident happened. It shook the whole (h’s) family…. my MIL was out of her mind with grief, h was also completely down…
    I look back and I’m proud of myself. I was able to step up and apply all my values and help people around me.
    Yes, I was still heartbroken, yes it was unfair, yes I was exhausted after few weeks of taking care of people literally 20h/24… but I look in the mirror and see the good person. Strong, capable and organized when needed.
    This experience was a final drop in redirecting my career and lifestyle.
    I am proud of myself.

  • Since my cheater left in January after 20 years married (27 years together), I don’t cry all the time. I cried every day all day for 9 months. I am sleeping better. I use to wake up every hour with night terrors. The anxiety has left. I use to have a tingling in my arms all day every day and had to have a weighted blanket to feel safe. I remodeled the kitchen, new countertops, new backsplash, new sink, painted cabinets white. Everything the cheater said I couldn’t do (he hates white kitchens) I love, love my kitchen and it is so beautiful and relaxing. I redid the downstairs family room which was his room that he would message his AP’s and hide from his family. Got new furniture and painted the family room and made it into a movie room and now it’s the kids favorite room in the house. They love to have their friends over and watch movies when they never did before because he was always in that room. I redid the living room, got new furniture and painted the piano. My house is looking amazing. I’ve almost removed everything that reminded me of him. I’m seriously thinking of going back to school in January (I’m 50) to get my degree. I just haven’t decided what I want to go into. I’m thinking elementary school teacher because I adore little kids. I still do all the books for our family business and have to converse with cheater weekly and he is still alive. The AP is still alive also and I’m not in jail so that is truly mighty. I have not retaliated in any way against these two scumbags even though everything in me wanted to. I no longer have suicidal thoughts and I am actually horrified that he made me think them at all last June. I just wanted the pain to stop. Now I know that the only way is to push through and it will lessen with time. Pain is finite. It gets better every day. I smile more! It can only get better from here. So glad I found CL. It saved me! Thank you everyone

      • Thank you. I keep going back and forth on it because of my age but I know I can do it if I just put all the fears aside.

        • I got through my pain by remodeling my home, too. It’s very therapeutic to reclaim your space and make it beautiful for you. I have good memories of the good music I listened to along the way.

          Well done!

    • I’m in my 30s and went back for a teaching degree. I’m teaching my first year of kindergarten. It is so wonderful! I am more exhausted than I’ve ever been in my life, but I’m also happier than I ever have been. So, it’s all worth it. I am thrilled with my career change. If you think you want to teach, it’s never too late!

      • Okay, it’s definitely what I want to do!! I’m going to register in January! Thanks for the encouragement

        • Good for you!!!!! I seriously love my life. I am more exhausted than I could have fathomed. But it is sooooo fulfilling. 💕💕💕💕

    • You can do this! As a fellow teacher and chump, you will have what it takes to be awesome; mighty strength and perseverance !

  • One of my great moments of mighty was when xhole texted me to let me know that the cancer (discovered about a year after the divorce and his marriage to howorker) was in remission. He gleefully shared his “exciting news” about the “amazing procedure” and the “fantastic results” that had not worked on “anyone else until now”.

    My response…nothing. I know him and I know that my total silence about his cancer remission spoke volumes to him. Silence can be golden!!

    • Not your job any more to be happy or sad or whatever for him. You’re nothing for him ever again. You are for you. Maybe the OW(s) in his case will be thrilled for him, yippee!

  • He refused to sell the house to me and I had worked so hard on it. One of his condescending things he said during the most DDay period was: “I think you would *try* to be a good steward to this house. Maybe one day you can own a house.” Basically implying: you poor lesser creature, you are not evolved enough to properly handle the responsibility, nor could you afford it. How sad…

    The irony was of course I was doing all the work at that house, so I went out and immediately bought my own house that I am restoring. Meanwhile he and OWife are living in the same setting that I designed from the paint colors down to the curtains I sewed. Lol! Pathetic!

    It’s been a Mighty trial by fire but at the new house I have:
    Hired and managed the repair of the the entire plumbing system
    Hired and managed the repair of the boiler and radiator system (including sourcing new radiators)
    Hired a man to repair the roof
    Hired workers to disassemble a giant satellite dish
    Learned how to repair plaster and have personally completed the repair of 3 out of 10 room so far
    Stripped and restored an entire staircase
    Taken a contractors course on lead abatement and am working on completing an abatement
    Performed abatement and painted all my exterior wood trim myself
    Personally removed a couple hundred contractor bags of construction debris from the basement.
    Installed a raised bed garden
    Restored two badly neglected flower beds in the front
    And few other things I am sure I’m forgetting! lol!

    I know I am way stronger than he is. He is nothing but a selfish coward.

    • Thank you for reminding me that I am mighty with this great story of raised garden beds and refinishing a house because I’m living in one that I lost my enthusiasm for and your mightiness gives me hope.

    • My ex refused to sell the house to me, despite not being able to finance it herself. Our kids would lose their home because of her spite. We put it on the market and it sold quickly. But 9/11 happened and the buyers panicked and backed out. The market took a dive and we could not sell it for six months. Wanting the cash, she relented and we made the home sale part of the divorce settlement.
      My teenage sons and I went to work remodeling.
      We tore out and relocated walls, created a second bathroom, rewired everything, drywalled, installed new doors and trim and painted it all.
      Ten years later my oldest had the confidence to remodel his own home to the amazement of his wife.

  • Moved myself and 2 kids +2 cats completely across country.

    This involved emptying a 3500 sqare foot house by myself, renting 4 Uboxes, driving to Uhaul, picking them up, driving them to my house, loading them with sporadic help from teenager in complete meltdown, driving each one back to Uhaul, cleaning said giant house and 3 car garage, hooking up trailer, bike rack, and roof rack, sending cats ahead in plane, driving for 2 weeks across country with said surly teen, spending 11 hours on phone with Uhaul to get them to pay delivery after dropping my boxes on the other side of the mountain, then setting up house and building a custom bed for younger daughter.

    I’m just getting started.

  • He as supposed to be planning his move out and when I asked to see proof, he told me “on the advice of my attorney, I’m not leaving”. He was trying to get residency in the state we had just moved to because he would have been entitled to more temporary support from me. I went around the house, gathered his stuff , threw it in the room he was in and said fine, you can stay in here. And then I hired 24/7 armed guard service to protect me and my possessions. It was delightful introducing him to the first one they put on duty. My ex was a big guy, 6’4”, 230 pounds. The woman at the security company sent over the biggest guy she had, 6’8, 275, a former Bulgarian military officer and policeman. My ex had to look up at someone for the first time in a long time. You want to play ball? Welcome to MY court, a-hole.

  • I moved away after our separation was legal. Went to doc’s office for a check up just a week or two later and my blood pressure had dropped from needing to start medication to low normal. The stress reduction was real.

  • After 26 years together and suffering 2 years of gaslighting and pick me dancing after DDay I divorced X, went all the way through a 10 day trial, got full custody and all our assets, took the California bar exam (22 years after getting licensed in my state), got a new job and a huge promotion and I work remotely and at home so I’m here for my kids AND make more $$$ than ever in my life, have two years worth of expenses in savings, max’d my 401k catch up, hired a Certified Financial Planner, re-did all my estate plans/Will,have been completely no contact for 18 months, moved in to literally a waterfront mansion with sweetheart BF and each of our youngest kiddos who begged to live here, hired a lawyer and did a co-habitation Agreement to protect my assets in case BF and I split, started PTSD/trauma therapy with a Chump therapist who “gets it”. Still a lot of healing to do but I try to support other newly chumped women whenever I can. Life is AMAZING! beyond my wildest dreams. I’m still devastated by what X did,but I’m surviving and thriving despite it all. X will not DESTROY me!

    • I have to ask because it has been on my mind. Did your lawyer advise against a co-habitation agreement? Mine sure did–said don’t buy a house with anyone, no cohabitation agreement or prenup and DON’T GET MARRIED. He is a friend and put it very bluntly–he said you involve lawyers in any of those and you don’t want lawyers involved( insert wry grin, I like the guy). Anyway, he said just set up BF as a tenant or vice versa if you move into his house–its simple then–stop paying rent and take your sh#t and leave.

      Thoughts?

      • To make it clear, I am 58 and BF is 62 and has a somewhat dependent 30 yo daughter whom he pours money on( my own two kids are very independent as they were brought up that way). I may not even go this route but it applies with any partner I may want to take that step with.

        • NewLady, that can work well in some jurisdictions, like here in Quebec where there’s no common-law marriage. But in the rest of Canada, for example, if you’ve lived together as a couple for 2 years or more, you have a lot of the same obligations and responsibilities (and rights) of a married couple, including possibly division of property and assets, provision of spousal support, etc.

          Me? If I ever co-habit again, some kind of legal contract or pre-nup will definitely be on the table.

      • It’s interesting to be a woman in a good professional and financial position when chumped. I do well for myself, don’t need anything from STBXH as I earn almost double what he does. I am buying out the house, as he can’t afford to, and I have a killer pension plan.

        I realize that there is almost no financial incentive to ever marry anyone again or co-habitate. To do so is only a financial liability to me – potentially giving some other man a go at what I have worked for. Unless he can prove he’s on at least fairly equal-footing, I would need to really look into how I can protect my interests.

        My fear is how much my STBXH is going to try to take me to the cleaners. So far he’s talked a good game. He takes his equity in the house. He takes his own retirement savings. He doesn’t touch my pension in exchange for not paying child support for five years as I have the kdis 65% of the time (my pension value is more). We’re disagreeing about whether he should share in extraneous costs. I don’t think he should get out of all financial obligations to the kids (it’s not like I’m a millionaire). It’s not my problem he earns just enough to make his own ends meet (yet seems to have enough to spend on the OW as I doubt she hasn’t been wined and dined at all these last 10 months since he left for good).

        As the draft of the separation agreement is going to be completed next week, outlining all of this, I pray that he just sticks to his end of the agreement. I put him through a whole university degree. He carried on affairs during his last year of studies and his period of unemployment while seeking a job. He has the best job he’s ever had the whole time I’ve know him – best job security, income-earning potential, work-life balance, benefits and pension. He never had this while we were married, which was one of the major sources of stress in our marriage, and now he finally achieved this and walks away.

        Oh yeah, I will be all about protecting my interests from here on in. I guess I can add that to my list of mighty achievements.

        • Meh. My ex signed an agreement to pay half of agreed-upon extraneous costs. When I tried to collect for the sports fee (half of $250) and for half of a pretty expensive international field trip, he balked. Hard. So, I said, fuck it, and I never asked him for half of extraneous expenses again. Is that fair? No. Not by my way of thinking, but he was PISSED about how much child support he had to pay. Chumpy me decided that it WAS a lot of child support, so I let him off the hook, only so that I wouldn’t have to contact him again and fight with him. It worked GREAT. For me–not so much for him. You see, sure, he got to keep his money, but he also just became irrelevant, because he wasn’t involved at all in anything. If I wanted my kids to have something, and I could afford it, I paid for it. Now, he and I are both pretty well-paid professionals, but, like you, I’m not over here making millions. I live well, but the ex does, too. I’m sure it warms his shriveled heart that he got to keep his hundreds (hahah!) of dollars. Goodie for him.

          Point being, consider taking your good agreement and running with it. You have a bird in the hand. Take it. What you’re fighting for isn’t a lot, ultimately. He might pay anyway, or, if you “win” and have to give something else up? He might not pay anyway. You know?

          Just my two cents, and worth what you paid for it! 😀

          • Thank you. I agree with you that it’s better to just let it go for the peace of maintaining what I’m already satisfied with.

            I hear you about the issue of him becoming irrelevant. Twice already my son has said “Mommy, you’re the one that gets us things.”

            Figure that if he doesn’t willingly cough up anything for the kids eventually, I can use the court of public opinion to shame him, namely his own family members. I would just say something to my in-laws and they would ream him out.

            Also, as the kids get older, I’ll re-direct them to hit up their father. “Hey kiddo, you want to go on the class trip to …? Well ask your father what he’s willing to contribute to your trip and I will match what he gives.” Then, take it from there. Especially if he is ever living with someone else and sharing expenses, then there is no excuse. I’ll just point out to the kids that it’s unfortunate that daddy and his OW chose to spend on money on X and now don’t help them with something the kids want, and let the kids mull it from there.

            Thank you for your more than valuable two cents.

            • Be careful with that, too. One reason that I had for giving up on collecting half of extra expenses was that he really made the kid feel very guilty for wanting extraneous experiences. He objected to being the wallet. It also gave him an opportunity to point out how much money he was sending to me for child support every month, which, to a kid, sounds like an astronomical amount. (Of course, given that he walked away from ALL custody, HE never had to take time off work for their activities, never filled out paperwork, never worried about their calendars, never took them to the doctor, bought groceries, clothes, phones, water/electricity, never picked them up from a party in the middle of the night, etc.) You know the drill.

              Anyway. From time to time I would ask the youngest to see if his dad would pay for a plane ticket home from college for the holidays, and that would be one less expense, but really for anything else, I didn’t want to put my kids in the position of being made to feel like shit for asking for help from their father (who makes well over 6 figures.) It’s not like the kids were lazy and entitled; they worked really hard for school and extracurriculars. My goal was to enable every reasonable opportunity to experience life, as long as they were doing well in school. And they did, so I did.

              Recently, youngest asked his dad to help me pay for super low-cost braces (like generic Invisalign). I was mystified as to why he asked his father, as I never indicated that I wanted or needed help. Apparently his father balked again, and son, I think, was disappointed (to put it mildly) enough to tell me about it in a very dispassionate way. He said that he didn’t think the arrangement was very fair. I told him that I don’t really think about it that much, and that if I want my kids to have something, and I can afford it, then I pay for it. Guess which parent he respects?

              I don’t ask my kids to ask their father very often, because I’m not there to make sure he won’t make them feel like crap for asking. Should my kids be considerate of their wants and expenses? Yes, but I don’t trust a covert narc to not bring his own baggage to the conversation. Often, it’s just one more opportunity to point out how he’s a victim, and it’s confusing for the kids. If he wants the kids to have something, then he will offer.

              It’ll be interesting to see what happens when weddings roll around–will he offer to pay half of the rehearsal dinners? (I think my boyfriend will insist that I break NC to ask, to allow him the opportunity to help. Ick.)

      • We are renting a house together and are both on the lease— we keep everything separate and reconcile at the end of each month. We each have other properties, businesses, etc and we live in a community property and domestic relations state.

        • Just a side note to all of us women with homes and pensions…we need to be very careful of ever getting hooked up again with a man. I’ve noticed that more than a few losers have liked me way too much. It doesn’t take much nosing around to find out they that have NOTHING. I keep what I have on the down low and never talk about retirement savings, etc. You would not believe how many bums are out there all dressed up pretty looking for a mama. They spent all their money on beer and women, the rest they just wasted. (~:

          • No “nurse and purse” with me. No more dates with men that ask how much money I make and questions about my investments,etc. Buh bye !

    • Motherchump

      Just wow!

      Chumps on this site are amazing… we should do it more often… it gives me hope and makes me smile

  • Ok I just re-read it. If I must pick one mighty moment–it is when the bank said they would give ME the mortgage and I bought him out of our house–I also negotiated hard for a decent price and deducted a portion of future real estate fees from his share. I just said nope, take it or leave it.

    • You joined Chump Nation, and you contributed, which is helping other people to heal as you help yourself. You are mighty. I bet there are other times where you did something you wouldn’t have believed you could do before you became a chump. Something small, even. Something new that you learned or learned how to do, or just did for the first time, because you had to. You are mighty.

  • The ex had a workplace affair in our business with a 15 year younger woman. I walked back into the office after 1.5 years of working from home and one month after learning about the affair. . I had to see them everyday, deal with his verbal abuse, her filing harassment charges against me and often came home crying. Nine months later when he triggered the shotgun clause in our newly redone partnership agreement, I bought him out. He never saw that coming. The “Her” handed in her resignation a week later. It has been 1.5 years since they left. I never knew I could do sales and marking, having been working as a scientist. I smile a lot now and have been known to come in dancing or singing. I saved 40 peoples jobs, revived sales, paid back almost 1/2 a million $$ of debt from his mismanagement and have brought our little research company to its most profitable ever.
    I also have 4 amazing kids between 20-25 that I am very close to and have a small but very incredible loving group of friends. I smile and laugh so much more than I used to and I am trying out new things. Having been together with the ex 32 years and married 30, I have vowed I will no longer wait “for when I grow up”. Every year until I am no more in n this earth, i am going to do something i have never done before. This year I rode a bike across southern India for two weeks with a group of strangers. I only think about the ex when something is up with the kids or I worry about having to see them at my daughter’s wedding. Otherwise I am no contact and doing the best to live a full life.
    I also want to say that this group is a lifesaver and CL is a goddess.

  • My father died of heart disease two months before my ex left me for the OW. Then during the darkest time of my life, my mother got sick (heart failure), steadily declined, and died two years later. I took care of my parents during the most challenging part of my life, but I was determined always to do the right things for them and never to put my burden of heartache on my mother, as she had her own burden. I wanted to be able to look at the end of my parents’ lives and know that I always did the right thing for them, and in that I succeeded. My mother passed away without my hearing a peep from my husband (we were still married); she had been his mother in law for 30 years.

    I put my daughter through grad school singlehandedly when her father refused to contribute. She has a masters degree in statistics now and a great job. I am very proud of her. Her father was not invited to graduation.

    I realized that as a victim of narcissistic abuse for so long, I had become too inwardly focused on myself. I made a conscious decision to shine my light outward, to let strangers see my humor and kindness, as well as my pain, and the result of that decision is that I have made so many new loving friends who know and appreciate the real me that some wonderful person is always seeking me out and I never feel lonely.

    With the help of a great therapist I have come to know myself and be at peace with myself more than I ever was able to during marriage to a narcissist. My anxieties have ebbed away, my phobias are gone, and I am far more comfortable both alone with myself and in the company of other people.

    I am fulfilling a lifelong dream to write a book, because I finally have a story to tell. It’s about my marriage to and divorce from a cheater, a story that sadly I anticipate far too many readers will be able to relate to.

    I general, I feel as if I am realizing a completely honest, full, and fulfilled life that I never would have had my cheater not walked out on me. This whole process has taken almost five years and I anticipate will last the rest of my life. It’s a journey of discovery that would not have been possible had he not set me free all those years ago.

    • I am so sorry for all the loss that you experienced. It’s hard to find sense in all of it. I hope that your book helps provide more clarity for you and for others.

  • I’ve made strides in breaking free from the trauma prison analysis paralysis of why all this happened and skeining the crap out of him and the OW. Spend far more time figuring out my own head.

    No longer feel anxiety over whether or not I can afford to maintain the home and kids on my own. Doing so well (and managing to still contribute to their college funds!).

    Glowing, having some fun, fixed my toilet tank, taking guitar lessons, in a support group for divorcing Catholics, seeking spiritual guidance.

    And I’ve had SEX! I know, not very Catholic. Connected with an old boyfriend of mine – the one I went out with for three years before meeting my STBXH. He got chumped by his STBXW over two years ago, and his situation has been absolute hell compared to mine. We’re like two widowers who lost a spouse and now support each other. He’s comfortable and safe. We are good friends. Likely no future in it but our current mutual support and really great SEX! The passionate and playful kind because he’s good at it, and I’ve learned that I am too. It’s great to hear someone say, “He chose to leave you and all of this? The fool.”

    • Option no more:

      I’m happy for you to find a joy in sex and to see the passion in your friend’s eyes….
      That should be given by our spouses…. ugh… glad you are finding it now!!!

  • It’s been many years since Dday and I’ve come a long way. I refinanced my house in my own name because I have excellent credit. I did a major remodel on it last summer and I’m planning on finishing the kitchen in the spring. I have an amazing job that I love and lots of friends. I traveled out of the country on vacation alone for the first time last winter. And the best thing was I fixed my picker. I’ve had three (3!!) old boyfriends from decades ago resurface in the last year wanting to see me again. I checked them out and saw where they were at in life and decided ‘no thanks.’ I’m not even tempted to date a man who doesn’t have his life together. I’m not ‘fixing’ anyone and there will be no more ‘science projects’ for me. Fixed my picker, Indeed.

  • Not so much after the first DD and gaslighting (cue pick me dance, major spackling, misery, creeping doubt)… however after DD2:

    Saw a lawyer and let X know I was done (cue major charm then sadz and rage),
    Bought CLs book and went NC (best ever).
    Got a new job, study part time and support kids and cats in a peaceful rental (hope to buy a place one of these days). Life is evermore peaceful, pleasant and moving towards Tuesday.

  • In the 3.5 months since I left my cheater husband I have accomplished:
    Got a new higher paying job
    Went to sleep by myself every single night without panicking
    Travelled to Mexico two times
    Lost 30 pounds
    Read 20 books (ya I’m an Amazon chump) on sexual addiction and all that disgusting stuff
    WAS ABLE TO CUT OFF CONTACT!!!!! So hard and so rewarding
    Removed my ac units out of my windows after summer
    Grew closer to my family and friends, minus useless Switzerland citizens
    Spoke to a lawyer about divorcing
    Turned 26 alone.

    The pain seems way too intense but I’m believing it’s finite.

    • Good for you!! Tomorrow, will be 4 months since I’ve moved out and 3.5 months since the divorce. I lost weight too, reconnected with a cousin who lost her husband to a heart attack (he was 46), got library cards for my county and local city, and am planning birding trips to Costa Rica in 2019 and Cuba in 2020. Hopefully, I will buy a house in late winter/early spring that will be my home until I retire.

      My pain was intense too. No contact helps tremendously. I also cut off all social media to him, the OW and his sinister sister. Last Friday, I had a clearing of the fog, enough that heart is accepting that he was never good for me, that he’s a bad person, and that he was never going to love me that way that I loved him. He doesn’t deserve my love, my pain, or my thoughts. He isn’t worthy of one ounce of my emotions or time. He’s a dickhead, always has and always will be.

  • The second summer after D-Day, a young friend recruited me to play in her co-ed adult sports league. Because I am over 60, and female, and Title IX was years away, I never had a chance to play organized school sports or Little League, none of that. So while I have lots of athletic ability, I didn’t have skills. And I was pretty old to be starting my team sports career.

    I got drafted by an awesome group of mostly young people, with a sprinkling of people in their 50s-60s. After a mediocre start, we got a decent seeding in the playoffs. We won the first game, came back from a deficit in the semis to win, and won in the finals. My first championship where I got to play!

    Since then, I’ve gone on to train with a sports coach and have developed some skills. I haven’t peaked yet. Along the way, I’ve greatly expanded my social horizons and really enjoy an annual picnic with my original team and other friends. But the moment I most remember is standing at the fence, watching the game, and realizing how deeply happy it made me to be part of a team. And I realized in that moment that I was recovering something that was taken from me at age 10 or 12. That moment became a touchstone for me–I learned that while I can’t turn the clock back and get what I lost, I can, in the present, recover things that I value in the present, in a new way.

    • Thank you for the wisdom that it’s never to late to recover or start over. I too am in the experienced category ha ha. The 30 plus years married , hit 60 this year and my friend through thick and thin said do you realize you’ve done more in the past 2 years of recovery than you did in all those years of marriage .

  • This is a story a few years in the making.

    So my last fuck knuckle was a fun one. I lived with him, and I was working and going to school. I was paying out of pocket for books, and struggling with school costs, and at one point had to shell out of pocket for tuition. (He often accused me of blowing my money on nothing, or lying about how much I had, and at one point threatened to look at my bank statements…)

    Once I graduated, I started looking for better work. A friend helped me get a job, and two days after I got the offer, he dumped me and started aggressively pushing for me to leave. He took me out to the suburbs to find an apartment and pushed me to get the first one I looked at, which I really couldn’t afford.

    I saw my savings disappear in just the first payment and deposit. He kept asking the agent how soon I could move in, then pushed for it to be sooner. The day of my move I got a truck at 10 am, he expected me to be done by 12.

    Surprise surprise a week or so later the new girlfriend appeared… “It was an accident!” He said. …yeah ok. Fuck you.

    Over the next six months I struggled more and more to keep the bills paid. The apartment was eating me alive. I could barely afford rent, utilities, or even food. My mom started sending me food. There were days where I just starved. Literally.

    I was also a few hours away from all my friends and I spent whole weekends alone with no human contact. I was so lonely and constantly afraid of looming threat of homelessness.

    I began looking for renters to take over my lease. I had to get out. A man came and applied. He got approved, but the day he was to finalize the papers (the day before rent was due…and I didn’t have enough to cover it) he backed out. I was terrified and at that point was going to make a desperate run (I had found a set of roommates and a place in the city at half the cost. I was willing to take a credit hit and deal with eviction crap if it meant I wouldn’t be on the street.) But I got lucky.

    There was a couple who had looked, but had been hesitant because someone else had applied (the guy who backed out.) I called them. They applied on Wednesday, approved Thursday, signed Friday, moved Saturday.

    I landed in my new place, credit intact…with $35 left to my name.

    I spent the next 2 years commuting 90 minutes from the city to my job, rebuilding my finances.

    I just got a new job. 20 minutes from the apartment I now have, which I can afford, that I live in on my own, and a credit score close to 750.

    …and a fridge full of food I bought myself.

    My 31st birthday is this Sunday, and I will be spending it with a group of new friends I made this summer.

    I don’t know, nor do I care, what that ex is doing. I fought my way here. His ass did nothing for me. And as for the “accidental” OW. If he’s the best she could find then I pity her.

  • Thank you, unicornomore and FindingBliss, it’s truly amazing what we all can do, even when facing such a horrible situation. I am mostly just lurking here, rarely posting, but you all are an inspiration!!! Thank you and stay mighty!!!!

  • My one significant “mighty moment” may seem insignificant, but it totally turned things around for me. I had been separated for two years and my still husband was always emailing and calling to chat. Every contact left me shaken. This was before I had discovered Chump Lady, so the idea if going no contact hadn’t crossed my mind. Then one day, after another contact, I turned to him and said “you are disgusting and I am never going to speak to you again”. It was the hardest thing for me to ignore phone calls and emails. But I did it and over time it got easier. When I started divorce proceedings, I got the emails of his feeling sad, threatening, etc. I ignored them all and actually found them funny. By then I had found Chump Lady and felt supported in my decision. So, going NC was my mightiest moment. It has led to many, many more mighty experiences.

  • Having a hard time choosing the mightiest.

    I guess anyone who has been chumped and had the guts to belong to Chump Nation is mighty. Period

  • Thank you so much for your website and community. It helped me through a very hard time… get to Meh!! After spending way too many years playing the Pick-Me-Game, I decided to take him out of the center of my life (after he divorced me) and focus on me and my healing. Now, I coach other women to do the same. I’d tell you more but I already do that on my website. And I’m heading out the door to the gym, for myself. Self-love… it’s so important!! 🙂

  • My mighty moments are when I am so low I want to die and I know that instead I need to reach out for support, and I do that. It’s hard to open yourself up and be vulnerable and open and ask for help but I am learning to do it when I need to.

    I’m not low from him, but from my current financial situation and overall life.

  • Ok, I admit it. I skipped ahead after reading many of the MIGHTY stories here. I’m going to go back and read the rest, I promise (got about 25% of the way in, a third at most). Just wanted to reaffirm the positive things I’ve done and experienced since D-Day w/ the STBXW. After loving her dearly (and trying to always show her that the best I could) for over 24 years of marriage, she left me for her pathetic, rich, politically powerful, now former boss. Since then, I have:

    1) Tried to reconcile w/her for a solid two months, and remained open to reconciliation until it only started to hit me around the sixth or seventh month of separation that maybe I’m better off without this woman that I was friends with first since high school. I’ve come to realize that my rose-colored glasses were most likely hiding the fact that she’s a sparkly turd. It still hurts, but as many others both here and locally have been saying, overall it’s diminishing as time goes by.

    2) Got a divorce lawyer and got her to sign divorce stipulations for the most part in MY favor. That’s what can happen when you divorce a man who’s been down on his luck jobwise and financially for a few years. Because the vows were for richer only, right? I only have at least 15 years of supporting the family and her with high paying jobs, at the expense of my own physical and mental health. Now I’m finding my path to a job that pays the bills, but doesn’t burn me out. I need to be there for my now 13 year old son, and to a lesser degree for his two adult sisters.

    3) Bought her out of her equity in the house that she forced us to downsize into in order to maintain her political pursuits, about a year before she started down the path of infidelity. This was done despite her telling me both on the phone and then separately (in front of the the mediator she requested during the divorce process) that I should move into a specific condo in the town we live in, to better handle things financially post-divorce. The mediator’s mouth hung open and his eyes bugged out at that. No lie. Both times, I held back saying anything. Both times she said, “I guess that’s not my place anymore.” No, it sure as hell is not.

    4) I’m getting better and better each month at not engaging w/her when she tries to act as if she can still expect me to do what she wants (as if she’s still my wife and I’m still her husband. She just gets the benefits of living with her asswipe partner), or tells me how I should parent our children. Because she knows best. Working very hard on getting to meh, but it’s a long, hard slog.

    5) Thanking God, The Great Spirit, or the universe (take your pick or add your own) for my sister, mother, brother and all of their families for being there for me in this time of need. They have been such a great support to me, as well as to my son.

    I’m sure there’s more, but it’s making me feel better just to get these out. I don’t feel MIGHTY, but I am getting happier being on my own, without her. My biggest concern is not screwing things up for our kids anymore than they’ve already had to deal with. We’ll see how that goes. Thanks to all of you for your inspirational stories. You help make surviving this disaster bearable. I wish you all the best. YOU are mighty!

    • You’re gonna get used to not having an entitled, bossy, demeaning bitch around all the time. Careful! You might like it!

  • The moment that I realized that I don’t want him back. I am so happy that he is gone, and feel sorry for any woman that he gets involved with. Lots of steps along the way, but this moment was the best and most uplifting. I was released for the nightmare.

    • I felt that way yesterday. Then had nightmares last night and woke up sobbing. When will the pain end? Why do I still care? It’s been 11 months of knowing he’s with another woman

  • This month I have been moved out for a year, after regrettably throwing any dignity or self-worth to the side and desperately pleading for my STBX’s attention.

    I have completed nearly a year’s worth of therapy, and have learned what boundaries are and have internalized them. I realize that the EA he formed with an online girl was never the issue, the real issue was his horrible behavior and entitlement and my collusion to abuse in accepting it. His father was abusive and a serial cheater, and my therapist has suggested that my ex may have NPD, but has also told me some of his behaviors were very sociopathic.

    My ex treated me awfully – hardly any sex, ignored me to play video games all day, every day and loaded me with all house and yard work while I struggled through chronic pain and worked full time; the verbal abuse was constant whenever he did interact with me, and he ramped it up to physical abuse when he threw me out of our marital home one night (screaming it was his fucking house). While online he would voice chat with one particular girl 30-40 hours a week that he jerked off to and ended up sending a chocolate bouquet and other various candy gift baskets. He also financially abused me by disallowing me to see our joint bank account. I was constantly told we were “so fucking broke,” and made to feel bad about doctors bills. I later found out he was spending close to one of my whole paychecks a month on online games and gifts to his schmoopie.

    In the span of two years, I had two miscarriages, skin cancer, and was run over. I received zero support from him, but did manage to acquire road PTSD and extreme fear when in vehicles from my accident. Whenever I was in the car with my ex, he’d gun the vehicle to close to 80 mph and slam on the brakes just to see me have a panic attack and laugh, while calling me crazy. When I had cancer and was crying – he called me crazy. When I was bleeding from the D&C and was crying – he yelled at me “What are you crying about now!” He liked to tell me that I was never happy too, a real mindfuck.

    Since leaving his ass, I’ve taken self defense to prevent anyone from EVER putting their hands on me again like he did when he threw me out of our house, served him with the only papers I could in SC (I am now legally separated and have been since April, but my state loves abusers, and gives them a year to torment us before we can divorce,) and I’ve conquered my PTSD and started driving! Most of all, I LOVE myself enough to NEVER let an ass like that abuse me! I can see my worth and value as an empathetic and deeply loving human! The biggest and most important reason I pushed past my driving fear was to have power over myself and my future, and so I’d never have to rely on a man for such a basic need again. I am pushing to fulfill myself so I never feel indebted or that I need to accept mistreatment from anyone else. I have also completed physical therapy, and live pain free!

  • My 31st Birthday was my mighty moment, and I did it with class.

    After Firefuck informed nonchalantly me he knocked up a Squirtin’ 40 Something Trollop and didn’t know what he was going to do, I went snooping through my heartbreak and confronted him after I found his dating profile/Craigslist hook up treasure chest in his phone. Naturally, he proceeded to assault me and try and run me over with his truck. After what he did a passerby called 911; Police were called, other firefighters were called, but, as per usual with first responders “professional courtesy,” the whole incident was kept quiet and he sent some of his fellow Firefucks to spy on and intimidate me.

    Needless to say, my entire life was shattered. For my own safety I had to get away from my home. I had to leave my job because as a teacher I could not afford to live on my own in a state with one of the lowest teacher salaries in the US. I had to cut ties with all who knew me for my own mental stability after being treated like a leper for having an unfaithful partner and being abused.

    To this day I do not know how I pulled through it. I ended up getting a job in sales and made great money, let my representation take care of FireFuck, lost weight, had amazing sex for the first time in years, and did things I wanted to do.

    On my 31st birthday I decided I wasn’t going to sit and wallow. My best friend and sister convinced me to fly out to New York City (my home city) and we flew my mother out as well. I decided to go to the Metropolitan opera and see one of my favorite operas on my birthday. I looked fucking stunning, my best friend had a bottle of champagne on reserve during intermissions for us, and I could pay for whatever luxury I wanted that day without any guilt.

    By this point in time Firefuck has already had his spawn, which carried it’s own karma, was engaged to this child support chaser who clearly thought she looked better keeping 40 pounds of baby weight on, and was stuck in a Podunk ratty suburb in her house that she got from one of her ex-husbands. I was looking out of the big windows at the Metropolitan opera house, and I could see my reflection in the glass, along with a gorgeous Christmas lights still on the trees, holding my champagne flute in a relaxed wrist. My best friends came up behind me to fill up my flute and he whispered in my ear, “This is my gift to you: he’s changing shitty diapers with a fat, imbecilic, premenopausal cow, and you are a fucking Diva right now drinking champagne at the Met.”

    I didn’t even want to turn around and stop looking at my mighty self gazing back. I just stiffened my wrist, and we clinked glasses.

  • I don’t consider myself as “Mighty”. Old. Worn out. Tired. Depressed. Broke….., but not mighty. However, two days ago I won my own home. I consider this my most mightesest moment and I praise God for that win.

    In 53 years I have lived at 48 different addresses. All I ever wanted was my own “forever” home – but the numbers speak for themselves. I could say that my oldest child’s father and I owned a house and his affairs caused us to lose it – the truth would be I was party to his bad decisions. A kid with a birth defect and all, I didn’t work due to the care my child required. Oh well, we lost the house. Bought a 2nd place owner fiance, and that’s where I divorced him from due to his ongoing affairs…..

    The father of my next 2 children a few years later, well, we bought a house, even sold it at a small profit to move out of state but the 2nd house well the man didn’t want to keep his job so we put it on the market and left the state, it was foreclosed on before 2 years were up. I had 2 more kids during this time, both had the same crippling birth defect as their oldest sibling – again, I mostly stayed home caring for kids with crippling birth defects….and being party to my mans’ bad decisions. But we bought another house owner fiance again, that lasted 10 months. He quit his job again and insisted we live in a travel trailer. That lasted another 10 months and then we were evicted from three different RV parks….starving and freezing and literally eating road-kill. I kicked him out.

    Kids medial problems were better by then and they could all 3 go to school. I had been home schooling but put them in school so i could get a job. A month after I kicked him out I had a full time job. 3 months later I had a rented mobile home (at least not an RV). My kids and I held our own there for 5 years.

    Introduce the next shitty man: Fuck I’m stupid. I thought that because I was already in y 40’s and had 3 kids to support that I would be lucky any man wanted me and he preyed on that. With out all the gorey but predicible details of lying, cheating, mental, emotional, financial, sexual and physical abuse….we bought a house. Let me clarify on that. I bought a house. I had the savings for a down payment. I had the credit to get a home loan with. He had none of that.

    We moved out of state to buy this house and help his career. I had to quit my job. The plan was for me to be a SAHM which I wanted – but he took all this as an opportunity to isolate me and ramp up his abuses against us all. 18 months in this house, I finally kicked him out after he nearly broke my arm.

    He tried to force me to sell the house and pay him money for a divorce. I refused to let another fucked up man leave me homeless. This is my home. I finally wore the bastard down. He agreed to take a chain saw and a couple other power tools, but I keep my house. MY house. A house nobody (no worthless man) can kick me out of. MY HOUSE. House number 48. No crazy parents dislodging me, no crazy husband dislodging me. My house, and God I love having my own damn house that no crazy bastard can kick me out of. That is the closest thing to mighty that I have ever had.

    • You raised a bunch of kids with special needs–hard enough in the face of it, but you did it with both arms tied behind your back, what with parasitic men who drained you. And now you have the home you should have always had, because you worked hard for it, swimming up stream. YOU ARE MIGHTY! You’ve earned your own peace. I’m seriously in awe.

  • This is my very first post as I have been waiting for a deserving post to provide my background and what better way to promote there is life after a narcissistic, serial abuser and cheater.

    My ex husband beat me our entire marriage of 12 years. Not only horrible physical abuse but like so many on these forums, he beat me down mentally. The last beating left me having surgery. That was the last night he ever laid a hand on me as I went NO CONTACT for months in order to not allow him to manipulate me into taking his sorry fucking ass back. That night there was a light switch that flipped off in me. I realized that for years I had confused love for hate. Two of the most powerful feelings on this planet but many people confuse these 2 feelings. Both drive deep passion.

    He left me flat broke with 3 young kids, flat broke, no decent car, and he checked him into a rehab to avoid the consequences of his Malicious wounding of my body.

    I left the emergency room at 2am and went to work at 6am and asked my boss if she could pay me at the end of my shift for that day so I could have money for diapers and food. I have NEVER been broke since that day.

    Since my evening of true awakening from my realization of how close I was to death at the hands of a piece of shit that swore to cherish me, I put myself through college and got a specialized degree while working 3 jobs and taking full time classes for my degree. I married my wonderful husband who took on the role as stepfather to my kids. I sobered up (17 years), hold a high position at a Fortune 50 company making more money than I ever thought I could. We own our own house with a beautiful farm that we are building and have 3 beautiful grandkids. My adult kids are so proud of me because 17 years ago, the light switch flipped and I have never looked back.

    I arrived at Meh that night as I saw what he was and I cannot believe I endured such abuse. I was a chump but wish to help all those chumps who think it isn’t possible to see how SHORT life really is and how removing someone so toxic from your life will save your life.

    I forgave him a long time ago. In fact, we have successfully Co – parented our kids after our divorce and subsequent re marriages. He has since divorced the OW he was cheating on me with and I am happily married to the same man for the past 17 years, who absolutely adores me and saw firsthand from afar what I endured. I invite my ex to all family functions, including major holidays. You can tell he regrets his behavior with me and would take me back in a heartbeat, but I am oblivious to him. He is someone from my past but nothing he can do can ever affect my now or future.

    • Wow Somewhere! What a great tale of mightiness! I’m sorry you were ever treated so badly, but very glad you got away from that POS cheater, and found such a happy and satisfying life!

      • Thanks KarenE. You are also Mighty and do not settle for anything less than what you give to those in your life. Trust me when I say there are chumps who love to share their lives on these forums to help those that are still on the fence about their path to Meh. My view of Meh and my path to that light is that it happens when you realize you are better than the life you have been living. I will never say that I had a hard life, only that I lived a hard life by the choices that I made. I hope chumps everywhere know how much support is here as I wish I had this outlet 17 years ago when I changed my life. I found CL about six months ago and everyone on here are so mighty and the feedback will help everyone through the course of their daily routines if they let it be their lifeline to Hope. Stay Mighty KarenE and Chump Nation!!

    • Somewhere — wow! Thanks for sharing your incredible tale of mightiness. I’m sure you’re giving a lot of people who’ve experienced domestic violence a lot of inspiration here and on the forums. It does come down to knowing our worth and demanding better from those around us, or removing ourselves from their lives. Well done.

  • I’ve been thinking about this all day, and I realize I think this was the moment I was proudest of: It was a cozy fall night, two months after my second D-day, when I demanded he move out because he had been having anonymous sex with men in our home. I was still trying to get my bearings, assess the situation, and plan my next move, so I’d focused on taking care of myself and keeping our son’s life as routine as possible. In the next room, our son was happily goofing around playing piano, and in the kitchen my mom (who came to visit for moral support) was drinking coffee and reading.

    Meanwhile, STBXH was trying to emotionally blackmail me by narrating a suicide attempt to me via text. Instead of renewing myself by enjoying my time with my loved ones, I was frantically trying to get him to call a suicide hotline while I attempted to get in touch with the friend he was staying with (who was at work). In trying to buy time, I asked him to think about what kinds of things triggered him, that he might avoid in the future. He said: I’m triggered at night, when I should be home with you and [son].

    For some reason, that sentence was like a slap in the face. Over half of our 25 years together, he had cheated on me regularly (I have now pieced together)–and he “should” be with us? $%^#@! You aren’t entitled to me and our kid!

    So I calmly texted him: Should isn’t the right word here. Used to be works. Wished I were works. But should–no way. There’s no should here, and there never will be.

    I don’t know why I was so proud of that, except to say that in the white hot stress of the moment, I was glad to have seen so clearly how even down to the level of his choice of words he tried to constantly guilt me into staying married.

    I never gave in to all the suicidal planning and talk, then or through the next year. I didn’t fall for his ultimatums re: marriage counseling–instead I said, you’re going to threaten me into counseling and make all these demands of me before coming clean? Then no thanks. I don’t care to learn the so-called truth, I don’t care about “working” on our marriage with you. Since then I’ve pushed us resolutely toward divorce via mediation on my terms, though he has stalled and delayed repeatedly. We are about half way through the process, and I’m almost all the way to meh. I already feel my life load has lightened–what a relief it will be to be free of the burden of him!

    • This is one reason why texting is so dangerous. They can write anything at all and all we have are the words to go by. Major gaslighting and manipulation tool.

    • The very best thing for any suicidal person is an ambulance and 72 hours in a psych unit.

      Suicidal people need help – but they don’t need OUR help. This mantra has saved me from being sucked in by manipulators in the past.

      I don’t know what the law and health insurance make possible in your home, but where I live, I can ask the person where they are and if necessary tell them I will come right over.

      I can then call police and send them round instead. If the person has attempted suicide, the police will call the ambulance. If they are just fooling around, the police will also deal with them very effectively. If they aren’t even there, well, no one can help them.

      Suicide is the single most individual decision a person can make. It’s all their own work. No one living should take responsibility for it, because there are always alternatives.

      Blackmail by threatening suicide is utterly despicable.

      • Yep Lola, totally agree. If they’re serious, they get the help they need and if not, nothing calms a fuckwit down and sends the message that you ain’t playing faster than a 72 hour psych hold. They’ll think twice about trying that again.

  • I went tandem skydiving on my 45th birthday (which just so happened to be 3 days after OW’s 28th birthday UGH!) This was my first birthday without my husband in our 25 years together as a couple so jumping out of a perfectly good airplane seemed like a fabulous idea. Truthfully, I wanted to actually experience the ground falling out from under me as it did metaphorically on DDay. I got a great deal on Groupon and then used the difference I saved to purchase the photos and video of my jump. Cheater always complained about the adventures I arranged for us (zip lining, whitewater rafting, etc.) although he adored posting pics after to feed his addiction for collecting “likes” on Facebook. I don’t have any social media accounts, but I got tons of accolades from real life friends via their comments about what they deemed as my “badassery”!

  • Oh, these amazing moments (and years) of mightiness have reminded me of one great moment;

    About a year and a half after Ex blows up first our marriage and then later his relationship w/his kids, after so much pain and change and coping, the two kids (then probably 12 and 13) and I were joking around, getting ready for something fun like having people over or a holiday of some kind. My daughter turned to her brother and me and said ‘We’re happy, aren’t we, mama?’ And I was able to say ‘yes, sweetie, we ARE happy!’. And there was a very satisfying group hug. We had gotten through the worst of it, and were able to enjoy ourselves again.

  • I’ve learned when to let people go when they do not treat me with respect. I have a new standard.

    Tonight I was ambushed via text by a friend of over fifteen years who has verbally attacked me when she’s smashed. I rejected her bullshit excuse and told her: “Having expressed yourself – without ANY room for misinterpretation – you’ll understand why I will express myself moving forward with perfunctory, neighborly pleasantries. Have a lovely weekend.”

    Feels good to let go of the relationships that are toxic!

  • It’s been 3 years since Dday. I’m at meh. I’m at peace. Today when I texted him about an issue with our daughter he texted that, “She is what God gave us and we will do our best with this gift.”
    It sounded so ridiculous because he lied and cheated and destroyed his precious gift’s family. And God? He doesn’t believe in God! Good grief.
    I wanted to say something to pont out some reality to him but I didnt. In fact, I didn’t even want to! I thought about it for a second and didn’t think it worth the effort to even think about it. I just left it alone.
    Ahhhhhh. Peace. And thank you, God, for taking an evil person out of my life.

    So many wonderful comments to read here. 🙂

    • Nomorecanping,
      I am sure God can always use a chuckle, which is what your cheater’s remark is, a big fat chuckle. He sure is doing his “best with this gift.”
      Meanwhile, You sure are Mighty!
      Big Hugs to You!

      • Schmoopie bought Cheater XH a gold crucifix to wear around his neck to ‘keep him safe.’ Cheater XH is the biggest atheist I know. As if because God blesses these kinds of unions.

  • Somehow lost first (unfinished) reply so forgive me if this posts twice.

    I found out he was having an affair with a good friend of mine and leader of my oldest daughter’s Girl Scout troop. I immediately told him to leave. Six weeks later the divorce was final. Five months later I finished a masters degree. My youngest was ten months old when he left. Continued to breastfeed her to two years old.

    My most recent mighty moment: after two years of (appreciated) silence, my former friend/his affair partner drunk texted me around midnight, sent 50 texts within an hour. All horrible, insulting, and upsetting. My response? None.

    • Wow. The nerve of the affair partner. But I am amazed that you were able to not respond. 50 texts can be considered harrassment and so I would keep the evidence. Not modeling good girl scout behavior but amazing that you took care of the infant without missing a beat with other stuff.

    • You know what, you are mighty as mighty ever was, and her? Well I’d say things aren’t going so great in her neck of the woods, she’s realised what a tool she’s landed herself with, all of her own doing, and she’s looking for someone to blame. Yeah, that classy lady who didn’t bow or scrape, made her actions speak louder than any words and has just done something (many things) totally kickass? Yeah, she’s the one you should totally blame, Miss Scouty Scout because deep inside you know you’ll never be half the women she is. So yeah, blame her for being the skanky two-faced schemer that you are. I hope she got the boot from the GS for being a person of bad character who is fit to be an example to noone.

  • I wish I was mighty. I feel weak.

    I know I check the important boxes and am progressing, but it does not feel right.

    I filed for divorce.
    I ran a 32 mile race.
    I ran a half marathon.
    I am slotted for a promotion at work.
    I painted a picture again.
    I did small home repairs.
    I did everything to make the kids feel normal.
    I did not kill the cheater even after the second DDay,
    I ,,,

    I simply still do not feel mighty. And feel like I am unlovable, at fault, and … I feel all alone.

    • Your life has been a marathon of taking the high road and being mighty! You are not alone and you are not unloved! Don’t let the moron rent out your headspace! We all feel those exact same emotions and I beat myself up regularly because I wasn’t worth loving?! But yes I was and am! We are all enough! Rejoice in your kindness, your decency and your huge capacity for love and loyalty. This is a really inspiring world out there! Let the sunshine in and sing! As loudly as you can! We are all here for you!

    • You are Mighty and do not ever forget that. Every task that we do that does not involve enduring another second of abuse, whether emotional, physical, psychological and the like, are mighty moments. Filing for divorce is a mighty step so remember it is by our choices that we make that dictate the outcome of our lives most often. You chose to not be with your spouse any longer. You will feel better everyday that passes as long as you choose to feel better by believing in yourself as a mighty SOUL. Sending hugs your way so you can feel love! Be MIGHTY!

    • FEELINGS ARE NOT FACTS!!

      You sound mighty to me, sister!

      And for SURE, anyone who refrains from committing homicide after being chumped gets a gold medal. 🥇🏆🏅🎖

    • I know why you feel weak and wrong. You are doing all this stuff by yourself.

      Are you building a tribe of people in the real world who have your back?

      Loneliness can be healed by catching up with a good person – any good person, even just once. Make some time to do this: it’s essential self care for newly single people.

      Try the forums here?

    • I built this place so you wouldn’t feel alone. Please don’t feel alone. You just sound exhausted to me. All this shit is the marathon from hell, but I promise the pain is finite and it DOES get better. Time. Self care. Faith in a better future. Working towards it. You’re doing everything you can to heal — you’re doing a GREAT job. It just takes time and no contact.

      Infidelity, divorce — this happens to literally millions of people. You’re so not alone in this. And you’re not unlovable. YOU set the price on your self worth — not a fuckwit.

  • My husband left when our youngest was a newborn and now I’m studying for my licensing exam to be a financial advisor, and oh yeah, I bought my own house and his parents own his, that he rents from them and lives in with his mistress. And he’s not paying for our daughters after school care and he’s on his 4th new car since our divorce!

    He sure looks cool on the outside!

  • I wondered at first what I had done in the year since Dday reading about all these mighty stories about degrees and new jobs! So I had to think…..well I foiled his best laid plans. Tell everyone “ we grew apart”, divorce on line, spilt assets as per his calculations, and get me to move into rented accommodation. I have a good solicitor who will get a good financial settlement, I’ve discovered his secret accounts, I did not go along with his story of growing apart, and I am still in our house. I am no longer lying in a foetal position sobbing. I’m definetly gaining a life. Shout out to the long termed amongst you, 40 years married for me. We can do it.

  • I just want to give everyone here a huge round of applause and a big dose of admiration and gratitude.

    I did NOT feel mighty yesterday….I got the bare minimum accomplished…I felt paralyzed most of the day and could literally barely move. I did go out for a drive….there is a local farm where I get my eggs. I met some tourists there (I live close to Napa/Sonoma). We exchanged phone numbers so I could text them places to hike and eat. A teeny way to be of service which helped me feel like I have some purpose (and STBXH was often annoyed by me talking to strangers in this way…we had to hurry up because he had stuff to do!!!!)

    I think this blog kept me breathing and smoking the correct hopium pipe…the one that has the hope that I will be ok and even better when I get out of the Andy Dufresne Shawshank Redemption sewage tunnel.

    I remember from the movie there was a needlepoint scripture framed on the wall of the warden’s office….the camera cut to it when the police showed up to arrest him….going to Google it now.

    THANK YOU AND CONGRATULATIONS TO EVERYONE.

    Lotuses grow out of the mud.

  • I lost myself in my marriage. Now I am taking my power back! I started investing in myself again. I have lost 25 pounds thanks to my personal trainer and the gym. I brought a new wardrobe. Taking trips with friends and child. I have my own place. Taking care of my child. Going to grad school. Got my lawyer, financial advisor and counselor. Got all my girls! Poconochump is getting her groove back. I won the authentic life he won the lie. 😈

    • It’s amazing how many chumps ends up improving their career/getting higher degree….
      I think we are suddenly left with so much of a peace of mind, that we are trying to fill it out with some positive changes:)
      That’s the difference between chumps and cheaters…

      Sure, unfairness is there- more than less they are in better position , living the “ single” life, with a family life destroyed and kids/wife as a collateral damage on their list….

      But we are still honest, trustworthy human beings.

  • Abuse changes the way we think about ourselves. Leaving a cheater in itself is the most powerful act of self preservation we take in order to gain a life. A friend once told me I’d know when I had enough. With the support of my therapist I filed for a divorce and a motion to stay in my home.

    Despite battling droression, PTSD, and financial struggles I faced each fear with massive tears and determination.

    Still four years out, despite paying down my debt, improving my credit, getting approved for a credit card, I feared being rejected for a car loan. My car was literally falling appart.

    Yesterday, I faced that fear and purchased my own car, all by myself. Yes, people do this every day. As a chump my lack of confidence has kept me from making necessary decisions.

    Last spring a self propelled lawn mower, yesterday a car.

      • Thanks guys, evidently there was a price error. The sticker price was lower because someone put the wrong price on the car.
        They realized the error after we agreed on the price.

        Oh, well. The old me would have ‘understood’; the new me took a picture of the price sticker with the vin number on it. Cause that’s how I roll.

        Thanks guys!

        • Well, add that to your repertoire. That’s how you get self confidence, by building it with your own hands. Nicely done!

    • I bought my first new car ever last year! I’m 63. A male friend wanted to help me, but I could tell he wasn’t listening to my ideas, so I did it myself! I got what I wanted, and I love the feeling that I did it on my own. It really boosted my confidence.

  • I had to take my ex back to court last week to enforce things on the divorce court order from 2 years ago. I represented myself, so I think he thought he could intimidate and manipulate me like he used to. On the day, though my insides were like jelly, I was AWESOME if I say so myself! He tried all his usual tricks both outside and inside the court but I stood up to him every time, every thing he tried. He looked quite confused, like he couldn’t understand what was happening, why he couldn’t bully me like he used to. The judge found in my favour on everything, and ex was so furious he stormed out of the court as soon as it was over. I felt so, so mighty, and have felt like an absolute mountain ever since!!

  • I’m alive and so is he. Together 16 years and would always joke, “I’m a nurse, I can make it look like an accident!” Post kicking his sorry ass out, “Yes, I don’t forgive but you are still breathing, consider that a gift!”

  • You all know my story. I rebuilt my life into something I could be proud of, after cheater ex and his family utterly destroyed it. I reclaimed my badass self from the ruins.

    Last year after retiring from a long nursing career, and four years volunteering as a senior companion, I hit the road in an old motorhome for nine months. Came back home and after deciding that I needed a newer, more reliable vehicle, I spent the summer building an extended passenger van into a mini motorhome. Today is my first day back on the road, and I am heading south. Posting this on my phone from a Walmart parking lot where I am boondocking for the night.

    I built a bed, cupboards with a sink and running water, a seat, a mini kitchen, and a cabinet for my composting potty, and my kitty’s cat box. Then I installed a solar power system.

    And it WORKS. I am so thankful for all the blessings I have been given in my life.

    The last and hardest has been detatching from my remaining son as he seems determined to drink himself to death. I have had to let go and turn him over to Spirit. Hopefully he will hit bottom and begin recovery before he dies but it doesn’t look good at the moment. He has been diagnosed with alcoholic dementia, Wernike-Korsikoff Syndrome. My heart hurts for him but there is nothing I can do but turn him over, and get on with my life.

    • Uff. I am so sorry, Tessie. You’ve endured more pain than anyone deserves. We here love you and admire you so. You are a bad-ass woman. WOW, I’m impressed with your handywoman skills! Enjoy the road!

    • Dear Sweet Tessie,
      I often think of you and wonder how your son is doing. I am so sorry, but you are doing the best that you can.
      I picture you and your cat snuggled in your mini motohome and I smile.
      There is so much love packed into your surroundings.
      As you travel along, probably singing a song, please know there is not a day I do not think of you and offer a little prayer to the Spirit to keep our Tessie and kitty safe and sound.
      I always love to read your posts and know you are out there in this beautiful world.
      Explore, and take time to rest my dear friend.

      Xxxxxxxxxx
      peacekeeper
      ( maybe at the next WalMart you will see our replies)
      😊
      Safe journey.
      Your nurse shifts are over.
      Thank you for all the TLC you bestowed on patients!
      With your kind kind heart you still reach out to others as you continue your life’s journey!

      • Peacekeeper, thank you for your lovely words. You made me cry, and then laugh, for indeed I am replying on my phone from another Walmart parking lot. My two kitties and my old lady dog and I are all settled for the night. There is the peaceful patter of rain on my mobile metal roof, and a snuggly down comforter in our immediate future.

    • Tessie I admire your carpentry skills. Your van sounds awesome. And a solar power system, wow!

      Detaching with love is one of the hardest things we can do. I’ve had to do the same with my oldest this summer. It’s heartbreaking but necessary.

  • Oh, Rarity–I just read your story over again, and I am so proud of you! You’re team Chump, and you make us all so, SO proud!

    Great work. I’ve said it before and I will say it again–I think so often that cheaters KNOW they are pieces of shit, and they are cowards who, instead of rising to the challenge of being with an great partner, simply fall off and slither away. You really ARE better off without them.

  • Seventeen years after the divorce the adulterous ex sends me an email saying that she wants me to give her the original copy of my birth certificate so she can use it to collect Social Security. (She had already asked my 93 y/o parents of it!) Remembering that this was the same unapologetic woman who had tried to swindle me out of our house, I said NO.
    A couple weeks later I get a call from my son who asks me to give HIM the birth certificate to give to his mom. I tell him NO and that I am very dissapointed that she used him to ask for what I clearly told her I would not do.
    Responding again to her original email, I told her that I said NO, but instead she tried to take advantage of my aged parents and put our son in the middle of her nonsense. I will not help you and being as you made this bed you will have to lie in it. Do not contact me again.
    So what have I accomplished?
    I have a sense of dignity, something she cannot comprehend.
    I have the respect of my kids, while she is losing it.
    I have moved on from our past, while she plays tired old games.
    Oh yeah, I am remarried, 15 years in June. We live modestly in the Napa Valley and am part of a beautiful, loving church community. My wife and I teach divorce recovery and Boundaries. Everyday we walk our dogs along vineyards and I create things in my woodshop.
    Life is good!

  • I tried hard never to bad-mouth my cheating ex in the presence of my young adult sons, though I did slip a few times by lecturing them about the importance of truth and integrity (they are smart, they know what I meant). What affected me more than any of the other realizations in the past three years since D-day number 2, and divorce:

    Out of the blue, my 21 year old son told me I’m his hero.

    • My daughter’s Mother’s Day gift to me was pasting a selfie of the two of us on Facebook and comparing me to Helen Parr/Elastigirl supermom and superhero. It really meant a lot to me. I can’t think of anything more flattering.

  • Making the OW apologize, in writing, then telling her husband. She’s been miserable ever since. Making The Asshole admit to everything, in writing, and using it as a way to get him to buy me my own house (in my name only) and sign a notarized document that he has no claim on it or on our new car (which he bought to help “bind us together” before dday). It’s the least he can do after all he’s put me through. I keep his confession locked away as a deterrent to him violating his promises that he will keep me on his health care plan and not cancel the $500,000 life insurance policy I also made him take out after dday. In addition to that I have a generous death benefit from his work and half his income in perpetuity. Me as beneficiary of his insurance and benefits is irrevocable, so he can’t ever give it to somebody new. He desperately does not want his family or friends to know all the awful things he has done, so his confession will keep him in compliance. I’ll be moving into my new house soon and leaving him in the dust.
    I now have all the power. Finally.

  • Well 14 months post BD. I didn’t beg or try and win my H back after 34 years of marriage. He was even too cowardly to tell me to my face our marriage was over so he told one of our oldest friends. But that’s on him….

    I got a financial settlement done in month 3 and then I sacked my useless lawyers; I packed up my rental house of my furniture all by myself in month 6; I purchased a new car and brand new off road caravan in same month and in month 7, I drove by myself over 26,000 kilometers around our beautiful country towing my 2.8 ton van. Swam with whale sharks, I fished, swam in waterfalls, explored rainforests, ate and explored off road tracks and free camped on some of the most beautiful beaches all. By. Myself. I got bogged, I changed tires and I made a lot of friends.

    I am now back home at my townhouse where my children are living. I’m helping my daughter find her first home, I have a buyer for my van, I have an appointment for a job on Friday, I’ve met with banks, accountants and financial advisors. I’m preparing my townhouse to take in Airbnb customers so have workmen coming all next week.

    Do I feel mighty…..absolutely! If I see an email from him or his lawyer, they are deleted, same for voice mail. I do not read, I do not respond. They can sort it out (divorce).

    I know now my H was weak and is not strong enough for me or our children. I’m 57 and I’m just starting to live my life for ME. Does this idiot think he is the prize! Pffft. After being the wife appliance for 34 years and 14 months post BD…..I’m heading up from here!

  • So I’m just a few days in CN and I’m thankful every day that I found this place!

    I’m not quite sure if I belong here because after reading archives and forums nonstop I have realized that chumps are mainly married people who were cheated on and have dumped the cheater or in the process of doing so.

    My story is a little bit different…. I already shared it in a forum but I also would like to share it again here:
    So I met this guy 4yrs and 3 months ago, and we instantly hit it off. We were so in love, or so I thought!
    About a year later I began getting a little suspicious that he was having an affair so I looked at his phone when I got a chance one day and saw the long conversation between him and a girl.
    I confronted him and he said she was just a friend. I wasn’t convinced so I looked her up on FB and messaged her. She confirmed my suspicions and sent me copies of their convos and photos he sent her etc. (She lives in his home country and we both live in a different country.)
    After I confronted him again with the evidence he got all defensive asking why I went in his phone and denied everything saying the girl stole his pics from FB and she was lying. I was devastated and we fell apart for a short time before I took him back.

    Fast forward 3 months later I had a further suspicious; this time I saw a different girl’s name. I found her on FB again and messaged her. She was very shocked to hear of my relationship with him but she told me about hers with him and sent me lots of pictures of them together. She even told me she’s been with him over 4 yrs (before I knew him!) I confronted him about this and he got super defensive and basically angry at me for finding out. He offered no explanations this time. Nothing! He basically blamed his lack of explaining on me saying that I was too angry and he couldn’t talk to me because I was too upset and wouldn’t believe anything he told me anyway.
    I basically told him it was over this time but again after a few months I took him back and he assured me he had left her. A part of me didn’t believe him but the other part loved him so much that I was afraid to lose him. So I guess u could say I basically went into denial mode. I deliberately decided to stop searching for info. Never checked his phone again. And things were great! Even though deep down I never trusted him again but I still loved him and I thought things could work if I just didn’t look for any dirt.
    I was literally living in a bubble for almost 2 years after. He hurt me a few times after that. Once when he was on vacation in his home country and I decided to surprise him and go there for a few nights.
    Huge mistake! I spent the entire 3 nights in a hotel all by myself crying because he never showed up. Gave some lame excuse about being at the other end of the country (a 8hr drive) and couldn’t make it down to see me! Can u imagine my humiliation! I came back home never seeing him once.

    Anyway after that things were rocky for a while until I forgave him again!

    Back story: when I met him he told me he had 3 kids with 3 different women. The youngest was 4 yrs old at the time and he was no longer with her mother. He told me he didn’t currently have anyone.
    In all the years I’ve known him I’ve never been to his place. (I know I’m an idiot!) He only comes to my place. I met his parents and sisters but he never really introduce me to them. Just saw them at church when I went with him. We have a very busy work schedule so we hardly go out together. Although I think that was deliberate on his part.
    He has asked me for financial help about 3 times since we’ve been together but has never really repaid any of his debts. He made a half attempt twice which was about less than %20 of what he owes me.
    I never really ask him for anything because I don’t need to.
    I’m 34 and don’t have kids yet. Every time I told him I was ready he would say “soon”. I think this is partly why I have been hanging on to him even after he hurt me repeatedly and I knew I should have left.
    I badly want to have children and I’m afraid if I leave him I might be too old by the time I find someone else to settle down with and be ready to have kids.

    Now to the present! I recently ran into him at the hospital taking home his newborn baby and the second girl! I’m so devastated I just told him it’s over this time because once there’s a child involved I can’t forgive him. It hurts a lot now but I don’t feel the terrible physical pain in my heart like i did when I had first found out about her. Back then i constantly felt like there was a tonne of bricks on my chest, like I would die if I lost him. But now I feel like I will survive losing him and finally I feel like I’m ready to let him go for good.
    But it’s still hard and he’s trying his best to make it harder for me to leave him.
    Now he’s playing the victim. He’s giving me detailed explanations this time about how it happened which I really don’t believe. He’s been begging literally on his knees for my forgiveness and another chance for the entire 5 days since I saw them.
    Telling me bs that he was planning to tell me but was waiting for the right moment. (Yeah right!) He even went as far as telling me he has no feelings for the baby! (The nerve of him!)
    Every time I cry he starts crying too yet he tells me to stop crying because it’s too hard for “him” to watch me cry. I mean he does some serious bawling; I’ve only seen him cry once in 4 yrs. It’s like he’s trying to let me know that he’s suffering too because of his actions so I should take pity on him and not let him suffer any further.
    I told him it’s not my responsibility to ease his suffering… Which i doubt he is because he was quite ok with the fact that he had a newborn baby until i discovered his secret.
    Now he’s suddenly suffering because I caught him red-handed.
    During his lengthy explanations he told me he allowed the girl and baby to live with him temporarily because her apartment is having work done.

    I have called myself stupid, the biggest idiot over and over again because each time I discovered a new lie I kept on giving more chances!

    But today I am so proud to say after discovering CL/CN 3 days ago and bingeing constantly on the wealth of experience and wisdom flowing here!

    I FINALLY had a mighty moment today
    and it felt so damn good!
    While calmly lying in my bed I just felt empowered to officially start NC and I did it! I blocked him on every possible avenue of communication. And Lord knows I didn’t feel panic or grief in that moment but I felt relief!
    I FELT MIGHTY!

    Thanks CL and CN. You guys are lifesavers!