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What’s In. What’s Out

You know all those New Year’s listicles for what’s in for 2019 and out for 2018? I think CN needs one!

Out: Pick me dancing. In: See ya later, clown.

Out: Self-loathing. In: Mightiness.

Out: 200 lbs of mindfuck. In: New puppy.

Chasing unicorns was so last year. Tell me what’s trending for 2019 in Chump Nation!


Ask Chump Lady

Got a question for the Chump Lady? Or a submission for the Universal Bullshit Translator? Write to me at Read more about submission guidelines.
    • Yes!

      6 weeks after DD I enrolled in a trade that I had wanted before we spent every penny on 7 years of education of XH.

      After 4 long but productive ( many ups and downs ) I now own my own business and support myself.

      Great decision for anyone who is finding themselves at a loss for employment after the marriage ends.

      Best of luck and keep us updated!!!

    • Out: dwelling on fucktard ruining his relationship with his own3 kids
      In: finding out he’s got a baby on the way and he’s got new circus not to bother us anymore!!

  • Out: Being afraid to ever go back to my favorite Caribbean resort after 23 times being there because I fear the memories of being there with my whore-fucking ex-husband will haunt me and make my time there unenjoyable and sad.

    In: Accepting an offer from the owner of said resort to come back FREE for a week to welcome me back “home” because it turns out everyone there always liked ME, but thought he was “a little off”.

    Jamaica, here I come! 2019 is the YEAR WITHOUT FEAR!

    • Can I come, sounds lovely. Enjoy to the maxxxxx. Bet you have a better time than you ever expected. Good on you.

    • I am skiing with my daughter this weekend….same place I went with him…and I was very surprised I feel HAPPY to be here without him! We are having a blast! He can stay in the bathroom with his phone all he liked now.
      We were invited to France, Germany, Bali, Dubai, and Scotland by friends who live in those places.
      We are headed to Scotland in FEB….no Switzerland friends yet except one couple (the wife is a cheater and they have are still together).
      Contrary to my fears, the world is opening up instead of getting smaller. Like the famous experiments, I didn’t realize the box I was in with him. As for him, he is jealous and feeling left out
      (you know, the one who OPTED OUT OF THE FAMILY). More proof of how screwed up his thinking is.

      Here we come!

      • My family hails from Scotland, I’ve been many times visiting cousins, doing genealogy etc. it’s a wonderful place. You’ll have a great time! Enjoy!

      • Velvet Hammer, I took my kids skiing last weekend where my XW and I went for 18 years. Also the Hot Springs were great without the cheating Evil One. I am going to Europe next August for a month (XW won’t give permission for the kids to go!) But my circle of friends are expanding. I have cut out most of my Switzerland friends, except the ones who my daughter babysits for. I even have a wonderful former chump who has the patience of Job while I get my dating legs under me. She is Scottish also.

      • My daughter is going to school in Scotland and is loving it. I only made it out for a few days but hope to go back. It is a lovely country in so many ways.

        • I am in Ireland visiting my oldest who is finishing University here.

          Love it – we are currently checked into a Hostel. Travelling a bit – so different from my old life!

      • Yes! The bathroom thing! Mine was always in the bathroom with the shower running- hour and hours and hours….. So glad I don’t have to worry about any of that!!

      • I love this! Originally I could not imagine going to any place – restaurants, vacation spots, etc. because of how hurtful it might be. Now it is my mission to do everything we did so that I can move on without anything out there taking up MY mental energy. Call it my own exposure therapy I guess., but he doesn’t get to take anything else from me.

    • I was afraid it would be triggering for me the first time I went back to the family property in Maine. Ex and I got engaged there and married there. It was a big part of our lives for a few years. The last few times we went he hated it, however. He was upset because the family set up an LLC to manage it and shares pass down only to direct decedents of the original owners (my grandparents). He resented being left out as a not blood relative and then he went on to demonstrate exactly why it was set up that way. No way is Schmoopie ever getting her hands on a piece of that property.

      Anyway, the point is, the kids and I ended up having a lovely time anyway without him. Maine preceded ex and it will be there long after ex’s departure and the last few years of memories with ex there weren’t great anyway. The kids love Maine as much as I do so it is much more enjoyable to go with just them. We have now been twice since ex left. Maine will always be a part of my life. Ex was just passing through.

      • I recently returned to my home in the mountains. It was hard at first because I had never shared this special place with anyone before or after him. You nailed it. “Ex was just passing through.”

        It’s great to be reclaiming my life, my home, my friends, my peace, my happiness.

      • CiR, Maine was parte of my life and still is, my grandfather and now my uncle have a beautiful property there. I live in South América and I am always welcome in my uncle’s home. Sparkledick was just passing by. Thank goodness, because he ruined a couple of places for me, but he didn’t ruin Maine.

    • It’ll be great, I went back to my fav resort year after divorce, same kinda thing. It was wonderful as always.

    • Wonderful and inspiring…to live fearlessly! Enjoy your vacation!

      It’s typical for the chump to be the connection between family/friends and the cheating a-hole, since the chump usually has good character. Unable to make deep, meaningful connections themselves, cheaters feed off our energy as if they are the ones that people love most. It’s only after being separated from them that we discover that s/he was the one that was “a little off.”

    • ” because it turns out everyone there always liked ME, but thought he was “a little off”.”

      OH! You too?!

      There I was, thinking I was so awful, angry, unlovable … turns out that was in ‘his’ world according to ‘his’ rules, not the reality.

      So grateful to find this out. Now for the rest of my life!

  • Out: circular arguments
    In: removing yourself from the room with a smile

    Out: wondering endlessly what you did wrong
    In: visualizing your reclaimed life

    • I ordered a shirt today with Maxine water’s line “reclaiming my time”. This is my mantra for 2019. Taking my life back!! He stole enough with a 5 year affair- he’s not getting one more second!

    • Yes! out with the circular arguments.. Out with the wondering endlessly what you did wrong.
      I wasted so much time trying to figure out what I did wrong. Blaming myself for his moping around the house. I could feel the tension as soon as he walked in the door.
      Funny how it’s always the chump who readily accepts the blame for their unhappiness and is the one willing to fix things while the Cheater sits there like a sack of shit, never making any attempt to improve themselves or consider that they could be the source of their own unhappiness.
      I don’t remember Ex ever contributing to making our lives happy. He was constantly searching for something to criticize usually either myself or our son. Cheater would accuse me of being unhappy, or never being happy when I never understood why he would say I wasn’t happy when I felt perfectly content and happy at the time. Looking back it was so obvious it was cheater who wasn’t happy and never will be.
      Sparkly new wife will eventually loose her sparkle, her adoration of him will fade. Relationships aren’t built on sparkles, and they’re not always going to be shiny middle aged “newlyweds”.
      Honeymoons don’t last forever, coffee cups left in the sink, garbage not taken out, quirks no longer cute but annoying. Cheaters will never be happy and history will repeat itself. Not our problem..

  • Out: a 3-4 hour daily commute (on good days)
    In: retirement – since 1 January

    Out: worrying if I could afford to retire earlier than I planned because he always had me so worried about finances
    In: nah, I’ll rock it – I don’t have the money-draining spendthrift emptying our accounts on his toyes

    In: spending New Year’s Eve exactly how I wanted to – i.e. alone
    Out: “you’re no fun, you don’t know how to party, you’re an old lady” (this was all before the hangover from hell hit in the next morning). That’s what I call FREEDOM!

    • Attie— you are my hero! Congratulations on your retirement! I’m only 51 and I have a retirement funded but I’m working myself to exhaustion in a position I hate. I am so burned out I can barely do the minimum. I dream of a break but fear keeps me stuck… I’m getting therapy to help decide what to do — anyhow, your posts about retirement are inspiring me.

      • MC99, I wasn’t planning to go for another 2 years when my house is paid off but one time in June it took me 3 hours just to get to work (another accident on the motorway). It was 2-3 times a week (if not more), then the yellow jacket protests then ….. and we haven’t even had snow yet. Since my director wouldn’t allow me to work even one day a week from home (although others do it and it is company policy – he says no to everyone) I thought “sod you” and handed in my notice. Hearing that sharp intake of breath from his office was wonderful! He then tries to intimidate me by saying I would lose my repatriation benefits and pension (I’m an expat). I just looked at him and said “I worked in HR for 20 years and that’s a bunch of BS”. That attempt at intimidation was what pushed me over the edge more than anything. So I gave them 6 months notice and they still don’t have anyone to replace me. No-one is irreplaceable of couse but my job isn’t a job that can just disappear so they have to get someone in and no-one knows the job apart from me! Now this wasn’t a rash decision. I’m a Libran and went over and over the figures ad nauseum but in the end (despite losing a ton of money) I went for it. And so far it is nothing short of wonderful. But get this. My brother suddenly got sick mid-December and, shockingly, we have now learned that he has terminal cancer. We are looking at weeks rather than months. So I have booked a flight to North Wales for Tuesday and no return date set. And I don’t have to worry about work or marching to the beat of anyone else’s drum. I already feel the weight of the world lifted off my shoulders. And you know what, I know I can make it on my pension but if I need more money for whatever reason I can always get short-term contracts. The work was fine and I will miss my colleagues but I will NOT miss spending15-20 hours a week commuting. And now I realize life is too short! So take a look at the figures and if you can do it take a deep breath and jump! That’s my wish for you!

  • Out: Trying to make sense of STBX’s endless lies.

    In: Trusting myself. And trusting that he sucks.

    Out: Thinking about him at all.

    In: Peace!

    • DITTO! Couldn’t have said it better myself!

      No bullshit in 2019. It’s time to live fully again without a noose around my neck and feeling sad over a soulless human POS.

    • So done… I feel the same way. In: trusting he sucks, going no contact(going on 1 month of peace!!)
      Out: his lies, his cheating, trying to stay with cheating fucktard, also out the STD he gave me.

      Here’s to the path of reaching MEH!!!!

    • Perfectly said. I have been spending so much energy trying to figure out what I “don’t know” about his lies, cheating, etc., but recently decided that what I DO KNOW is bad enough to trust that he truly does suck.

      Wish I could go no contact but there are kids involved, so I am working on grey rock.

      • MehBeSoon,

        I spent YEARS trying to figure out what I didn’t know, etc. It was exhausting.

        Thanks to CL and CN, I kicked my STBX out 16 months ago. I am essentially no contact (I, too, have kids, but they are almost adults), and it is blissful. I have had to process new cheating revelations since we separated, but I think I can finally see Meh on the horizon.

        Happy new year to you! Keep rocking the grey rock.

        • So done, I remember trying to figure out why I felt there was something “off” or I wasn’t getting the whole story. The deep ache in my gut telling me something wasn’t adding up, but I didn’t know what it was. Thinking maybe there was something wrong with me for feeling that way.., trying to brush off the feelings of doubt. Exhausting, feeling tortured not knowing why. I was beginning to question my sanity.., what I was feeling and suspecting couldn’t be normal but why was I feeling his way? Scary.
          I’ll never understand how cheaters can come home after cheating feeling so smug, spewing lies while magnifying our “faults” to justify themselves blaming us for what they’re doing behind our backs. They actually feel good about themselves, in their minds, they won.
          They will continue to put us down, demonize us and feeling proud of what they’re doing. We could never feel good about ourselves if the roles were reversed. I know I’d be a guilt ridden mess.
          They on the other hand have no problem slandering us to friends and family, as they portray themselves as the good guy.

          • Same here. Just so hard to imagine that he was able to live a double life for so long. And then, once he decided to leave, everything was MY fault!

            2019: Following the guidance in “Healing From a Narcissistic Relationship”, by Margalis Fjelstad. It turns out that being a “caretaker” is good for everyone but you, as we have effectively erased who we are our entire relationship.
            2019: Discovering me!

      • Such a turning point for me too. Why do I need to know it all? All I need to know is he saw that I called when he was with her and said, “Darn, it’s my wife.”

        Darn, it’s the woman who was loyal to me and had my back for 27 years.

        Darn, it’s the woman who has been clean and sober and active in recovery for 33 years. She cares about having her shit together.

        Darn, it’s the woman who went to therapy with me for 27 years, trying to communicate with me and appropriately problem-solve.

        Darn, it’s the woman who I said is an amazing mother to the beautiful little girl she gave me.

        Darn, it’s the woman who helped build a successful business with me from scratch.

        Darn, it’s the woman who didn’t lie to me or cheat on me.

        In for 2019?
        Darn, I thought I married a man who was a winner but I was wrong.

        • Velvet Hammer — our stories are so similar! I’m 30 years sober and after 23 years of marriage X decided (after years attending fringes of Al-Anon (no sponsor or homegroup or step work) while he was also binge drinking and smoking pot and raging and abusing me and our kids and I now know also having affairs X was caught and instead of going to treatment and getting sober and having a spiritual awakening and working the steps and developing character, X is living with OW who is fine with his active addiction and rage so long as the money is going her way. Me? I’m now back in Al-Anon and working both AA and that program with all my abilities. Completely no contact. Praying for my kids’ sake that he hits bottom and surrenders. It’s so hard to sit in meetings with men a lot like him who have changed and share about their recovery but it takes years of effort to change character and I cannot and will not put my life on hold to wait for what may never happen. It’s very sad. The big book describes it perfectly.

          • I started my recovery in Al Anon in is such a perfect program for being clumped too. Thank God I had that recovery under my belt when the truth hit. We should talk….email me through Tracy or Tempest. There’s no repairing the damage fhia does; he could become Mr Program tomorrow and he still has murdered our “marriage”.

  • In: the vibrating purple dildo into the Chlorine Special’s ass
    Out: the vibrating purple dildo out of the Chlorine Special’s ass

  • In:
    Smiling more. Liking me. Tending my garden both inside and out. Supporting my own decisions. Letting it flow.

    Caring about cheater stbx. Giving fucktards in general the benefit of the doubt. Giving other people my power.

    • Langele love your list! Can I borrow it? And add:

      In: swimming in the sea as often as I can, reading as much as I like, not being fetishistic about Good Food

      Out: Resenting jobs I have to do around the house or worrying about treating the kids – because now there’s no ex sitting around not helping or not earning enough for us to enjoy life

  • Out: Cheerleading for and raising up those bent on misery, chaos, and self-destructive behavior
    In: Cheerleading for and raising up your own mighty, positive, stable self (and good friends who are also mighty, positive, and stable)

    Out: Putting up with disparaging comments, lies, blame, guilt, and minimizing
    In: Removing yourself from the circle of crazy

    Out: Always mysteriously out of money
    In: Mysteriously having enough to save, pay down debt

    Out: Compare and despair
    In: Try new things, grow, explore, experiment

    Out: Being made to feel ashamed that I wasn’t “sexier”
    In: Being comfortable and happy in my body and modest clothing

    Out: Restaurant managers
    In: Jazz clarinetists

    (Ok, the last one is wishful thinking)

  • Out-self loathing & wondering what you did
    In- reclaiming your self & inner calm

    In-searching amazing cruise deals for places YOU want to experience. Not a thought as to what cheater ass wants to do. Let the OW worry about that now.

    Out- being guilted in to co-signing for a truck he can’t qualify for without me & my salary
    In- being concerned about only ME!

  • Out: Any remaining trauma!

    The end is in sight and I am searching for the right specialist in trauma EMDR to get me over that line.
    8 years post DDay, 5 years post-divorce, many hours with my amazing therapist, getting on the proper combination of medication and slogging thru lots of shit with sheer grit along with the support of friends, kids and the Chump Lady community.

    In: A quiet mind!

    I never could have done this without the constant availability and support of this “world” Chump Lady created and MAINTAINS!!!
    This is my personal request for anyone that has ever been helped by one of my posts or have ever had something taken out of moderation…PLEASE help CL by becoming a Patron.
    See the red button at the end of each post.
    If one member of CN would support this site in exchange for each time Tempest or I stop our daily lives and wake up in the middle of the night to remove desperate, anxious posts from moderation, that would definitely put CL over the top!

    • Thank you Rebecca, Tempest, Tracy and all the other unseen caretakers of Chump Nation. Thank you so very much. XXX

    • Already do! ❤❤❤

      Out: Being on the sidelines.
      In: Putting my money where my mouth is.

      So now I waste the ???????????? on that I used to waste on Starbucks ????☕???? … at least it’s not going to my waistline anymore, LOL ????

    • Rebecca….Love hearing you are making progress!!

      Have you ever heard of “Body Talk”? I personally have not had a session; however, my bio-feedback therapist had some sessions. And she was blown away by the therapy! She highly recommended the modality to me, to go along with my biofeedback sessions. I did do research on the therapy and it sounds awesome. I am planning to do a session or 2 as soon as I have the $$

      I know that EMDR is an excellent therapy. Just wanted to share this info with you, as we need all the good options we can get, eh?!

      And {{{{HUGS!!!}}}} for all you do as you ForgeOn to the glorious land of Meh

      • I did BODYTALK!

        I have done everything possible to heal but felt I just had one small hurdle to get over before it was complete. I could not articulate what exactly I needed to do, but something.

        My waxer recommended Bodytalk to me months ago, as she is friends with the woman who does it.

        I went about a month ago and wow!

        She could tell that my nervous system was shot from all the fight and flight responses during out relationship.

        She made some observations about me and how the injustice of the situation was keeping me “stuck”. She worked my energy and voila! I left that table feeling 1000 x lighter.

        I noticed that I have stopped ruminating about the major incidents of abuse. He’s no longer the first thing I think of when I wake up or go to sleep.

        I’m going to paraphrase what I interpreted the Bodytalk woman said to me:
        “It’s not about erasing the memories, it’s about removing the energy charge that surrounds them. You will still have those memories, but when you think of them, it will be like watching a movie on tv and it happening to someone else, instead of reliving the moment and feeling the pain/upset/injustice and reinforcing the trauma bond…”

        I also took a lot of yoga classes around the same time that I did the Bodytalk session and one thing I observed is that yoga is very balanced. If you move one side of your body, you must move the opposite side. It must always balance.

        Perhaps because my situation with ex narcopath will never receive the justice I feel it needs, that is why yoga is so appealing to me: because it is a form of justice aka balance, for the body and spirit.

        • WOW!!! Chumpedincanada…..Most exellent

          Thank you so much for sharing your experience with Body Talk! I am now more determined than ever to rustle up the $$ to have a session. Am so grateful for your healing, Chumpedincanada. Each chump’s victory is a victory for all of this fine Nation.

          Would like to add here (once again) that I also had acupuncture sessions for PTSD. Very vital step for me to finally overcome

          Love all ya all as we continue to ForgeOn! together…..

  • Out: counting condoms when I’m at his place and being blamed for “not counting them right the last time”

    In: I don’t give a shit about your condoms and your Tinder whores anymore

    Out: stalking his fans (he’s a celebrity) on social media, comparing myself to random whores, selfloathing

    In: I am way better, classier, smarter than groupies who would sell their own mother for a backstage IG picture and “famous” dick

    Out: making myself crazy trying to trust and belive the unicorn

    In: more healthy eating, yoga, book reading, green tea, me time

    Out: expensive trips that I have to pay for two

    In: expensive trips that I can pay for myself

    Out: feeling sorry for “sex addict”, trying to be good gf for “supporting his addiction”

    In: love love love MOOREEE LOOOVVVEEE for myself

    • I can relate my ex was a semiannual rock musician…we were married 30 years with 2 kids…was hardest thing to let go of and have not reached meh yet as I am 1 year out…he told a therapist he felt entitled. Ugh

  • In: being able to get on with the divorce. I just can’t seem to pull the trigger though I have all the logical reasons. Something about the process scares me. (I hate decisions)
    Out: staying married out of fear!

    In: caring about my safety
    Out: giving care toward his ups and downs

    In: healing
    Out: holding on, controlling

    In: making new friends
    Out: caring about his whereabouts

    • It is frightening that you are concerned about your safety but afraid to move forward!
      How much of a risk are you taking?
      Is it concern or is there a real risk of your being hurt or worse?
      There are too many examples told by Chumps here that resulted in real harm for you to take that risk. If you can even suspect harm, then it can be very real.
      Have you gone to speak to a local shelter worker? Perhaps they would be able to help you figure out the risk you’re taking.

      Scared of pulling the trigger? Everyone here will agree that pulling the trigger is your first step to freedom. What you should be scared of is NOT moving forward. Staying in what keeps you stuck in the mental gymnastics and infinite pain. Leaving is what makes the pain finite! Leaving gives you a finish line towards peace and your own life!
      Most people here are not afraid for their safety. If that, along with all the success stories you find here, isn’t enough to push you off the fence, then I don’t know what will ever be enough.
      Please get some help to get yourself moving.

    • I was scared of the process also. But always remind yourself that one day your ex may find an AP that they are willing to divorce YOU over. It’s better to be in the driver seat on this. In addition, turn on the news- cheaters are killing spouses rather regular now to be with their affair partners. They see others busted on tv, but in their warped brain they always think they will get away with it.

  • Out: Trying to reason with stbx on the phone.

    In: going complete no contact except for email.

    Out: wasting time on sorrows over a lost marraige.

    In: Living my life MY way.

    • Divine comedy: I second the Out: wasting time on being sad about lost marriage.
      In: Yes I am living my life the way I want and loving myself

      • In: flying first class with best friend (who is a flight attendant) to Europe for a 7 day girl’s trip.
        Out: giving a rat’s ass about what STBX thinks about me traveling without him. Do I even tell him I’m going? I don’t know. Don’t really care!

        • littlesigns…..

          Yay for your upcoming trip!!! Give us updates when you return, please!

          So, ‘do I even tell him I’m going?’ you ask….. Did he tell you he was having an affair?
          Naw…..Did not think so. Aint none of his d___ business what you do now, my friend!

          Enjoy as you ForgeOn! with your awesome adventure

  • Out: Continuing to look for Mr. Sparkles personal ads online to “prove” to myself he hasn’t changed and to try to save future victims.
    In: Believing what I need to know – he cheated on me. What he does to others is no longer my issue.

    Out: Constantly reaching out on a one way line to my “X” adult stepchildren and spending valuable time/ money to maintain a relationship.
    In: Reciprocity. I’m always going to be there for them, but I’ll let them reach out for me for a change and pick up the tab.

    Out: Living a physically limiting life because of my weight.
    In: Gastric-sleeve surgery and an incredible future of climbing new mountains and exploring life.

    Out: Limiting thoughts about how far I can go in my career.
    In: Hiring a career coach to help me get my resume ready; networking contacts going; and interview practice for the next big opportunity so I AM READY.

    Out: Looking back.
    In: Moving forward.

    • Good job ICSTM! Keep us posted. I too have decided
      IN: Focus my time and energy on creating a well balanced and FULFILLING life.
      OUT: facilitating everyone else’s life and investing in relationships that are not reciprocal.

      IN: learning to stand up for myself and having faith that I AM a good person with good judgement
      OUT: taking the blame fully

      IN: knowing my worth
      OUT: selling myself short. Making myself small

      IN: enjoying the little things. Like my new mini blue Merle Australian Shepherd PUPPY
      OUT: feeling like my life is lacking

      IN: gratitude
      OUT: focusing on what is wrong.

      IN: embracing life
      OUT: running from it.

      Happy New Year fellow chumps. Thanks for all the lessons and guidance I have. Experienced here. I wish for strength and a joyful peaceful year for all!

  • OUT: 2018 – an utterly awful year; the worst of my 51+ trips around the sun.
    IN: Rediscovering “Me” as I take healing strides along the road to “Meh!”

      • And what a crappy point in life to be starting over, IMO. But…it is what it is.

        And now, as I coast down this hill that is the latter half of my life, picking up speed as I go along, I’m determined to try to make the best of it and enjoy the ride!

  • OUT: lying, lazy, con-artist weirdo

    In: PEACE in a long long time.

    Cheers to others starting off the beginning of their first year no longer married to a bad person !

  • Out: Expecting to be told the truth, feeling angry when stonewalled or lied to.
    In: Accepting that no one is required to give answers, you take for face value what you get.

    Result: Now I’m happy. What changed? Not the lies, for sure.

  • In: Making dates with friends to get together and then arriving within 10 minutes of each other at the stated meeting place.
    Out: Waiting one to three hours for the Kaiser of Loathesomeness to arrive.

    In: Working at a place that appreciates me.
    Out: Being gaslighted and lied to by my narc boss and her little toadies.

    In: A tidy house.
    Out: Clutter everywhere — that I was forbidden to touch because he was a hoarder and also because things like receipts from the fuckbuddies, condoms etc were in the piles of dreck.

    In: Happy dogs sleeping in my bed.
    Out: Kaiser’s fuckbuddies sleeping my bed.

    Happy 2019 CN!

    • Kaiser of Loathesomeness! I love that! I can imagine him in his uniform w/gold braid, stomping around like a toddler!

  • Out: People who lie and trickle-truth me.
    In: Keeping an inner coterie of people with the highest integrity

  • Out: People that justify, gaslight, and minimize bad behavior.
    In: People that share the same values of honesty, trust, and respect

  • Out: Projecting my own values, desires and perceptions onto others

    Also out: Projecting ex’s values, desires and perceptions onto NewGuy and all of the anxieties that go along with that on my end

    In: Figuring out NewGuy and what really makes him tick and not being afraid that he will perceive everything I do in the most negative way possible like ex used to do.

    • Yes, I can relate. It’s almost like muscle memory. I keep expecting an eyeroll, or sigh, or complaint, or criticism. I guess I’m just accustomed to it because of my long term marriage. And I’ve been divorced over two years! It’s just hard to believe someone can be so kind and gentle and patient with me. So great!

  • Out: Self-sabotaging
    IN: Stop it!! Stop feeling sorry for yourself. Do things that enrich your life. Find your worth – it’s in there and deserve to see the sun. You can do this, find your strength.

    Out: Thoughts of Dickhead
    IN: Push them out in favor of good thoughts.

    Out: Bad personality changes that came about because of Dickhead
    IN: Start living a life you are proud of, being that kind person that everyone says is there but you have a hard time finding. Find your mighty.

  • Out: Not understanding how passive-aggressiveness works. I was always frustrated by and angry over his (apparent) refusal to act in the face of what needed to be done, whether around the house, house repairs, communicating with me, or ending the marriage when he’d made it clear we had no future together.
    In: Understanding passive-aggressiveness: it’s not that he didn’t act, it’s that he was acting by appearing not to act, and I didn’t understand that. He was communicating very clearly by not communicating that he wasn’t going to communicate. Acting myself to end the marriage.

    Out: Fear that I couldn’t make it on my own financially after 35 years of dual income living.
    In: Increasing confidence now that I am living within my income and still saving over 20% of my salary for retirement.

    Out: Social isolation from restricting my social world to him, and the fear that I was unlikeable.
    In: A full social calendar: lunch, coffee, and pub dates with friends; walking buddies,; bird watehing pals.

    Out: Living in his closet while he pretended to the world to be someone other than the person he demanded I let him be at home.
    In: Honesty.

    Out: A life half lived.
    In: A life lived full-tilt.

    • Oh, and I forgot this big one!

      Out: Sacrificing myself for others in hopes of fixing things that were not in my ability to fix.
      In: Learning how to set healthy boundaries. Learning the phrase: “You are not required to set yourself on fire to keep others warm.”

      • Wow Adelante, that description regarding passive aggressiveness is so spot on. Thank you ????????

        • My thoughts exactly about the description of passive aggressive. Feel like I should read up more on it, except what’s out is reading anymore to understand him and what’s in reading things to understand me.

  • In: peace of mind, from finances in order to not tripping over three pairs of shoes when I get up in the middle of the night (after complaining, asking or putting another three pairs away myself).

    Out: 40 years of constantly wondering and worrying what I was doing wrong.

    • re: falling over his shoes: I think I would have been throwing those things at him while he’s in bed!!

    • Clearwaters,
      The tripping over shoes left on my side of the bed triggered me – I had this too. Lying Loser would complain if I turned a bedside low light on to see my way to the bathroom and when I stopped using the light, he would laugh at me when I hurt myself. Then, months or years later would say “Why don’t you put the light on, I don’t mind if you do.” Then, sometime later, months or years, there’d be a tantrum about the light going on. And so the mindfuck cycle would go on. Whatever the channel, the shoes were always somewhere in my path. So glad to be away from that!

  • Out: Relying on him to arrange details of travel trips
    In: booking and planning and arranging my own trips

    Out: Lies and deceit
    In: Truth

    Out: Wondering why we somehow are unable to arrange social gatherings to my liking
    In: Arranging as many social gatherings as I want in MY house

  • I adopted the grey stone method.
    I have stopped expecting the truth.
    I have realised his dealings with ow (s), prostitutes, he’s calls them, dodgy women, is his problem not mine.

  • Out: fake gluten free diets, worrying about his rude behaviour to others, constant woe-some behaviour, tattletale childish personality. Watching a middle aged man shuffle his feet around like a 90 year old.

    In: much less day to day anxiety, no demands to ‘care take’ an adult. No fear of being lied to. Ability to travel and go places without fear of a scene or unpleasantness.

  • Out: Worrying about what STBX: talking to him; hoping he gets his head straight and comes back home

    In: Not giving a damn about STBX; going grey rock as best as I can (we have kids); moving on with my life

    Out: Putting vacation and other fun events on hold while STBX “finds himself”; worrying about how I can maintain our house

    In: Planning and taking more trips with my kids; putting the house up for sale and getting a condo or townhouse

  • For along time I thought STBX was short for SHITBOX—I think it’s more fitting for a cheater than SOON TO BE EX. Chump Lady and all the wonderful Chumps in CN are sanity savers to me. Become a Patreon today—the thought of Tracy’s fabulous daily posts ending is too sad to contemplate.
    For the Chumps having trouble deciding to LEAVE A CHEATER GAIN A LIFE. A good decision book is from life coach Margaret Pazant—she says HONOR YOUR SPIRIT.
    Although the best advice is from Tracy—dump the cheater-enjoy your one precious life! Download the ebook and listen to it over and over—the message will sink in.
    Happy cheater-free living to y’all!

    • Pookie,
      I have listened to Tracy’s book no less than 15 times, start to finish. As you suggest, I listen to it over and over again in order for the message to sink in and become part of me. I wondered if anyone else does that, i.e., listens to it repeatedly. It works.

  • Out: Job on unstable team with toxic boss
    In: Returning to previous job on healthy team with awesome boss

    Out: My abuser
    In: Friends and family

    Out: Second-guessing myself
    In: Assuming I’m capable until proven otherwise

    Out: Watching TV
    In: Doing the things I loved to do before he put a bunch of TVs in my house

    Out: Surviving
    In: Thriving

  • Out: untangling
    In: spunky curiosity
    Out: anxiety
    In: wildly overpriced gourmet tea
    Out: Emotional labor “donations”
    In: Do it yourself. No seriously, I’m busy.
    Out: Sneaky forms of self-harm (“pain shopping”)
    In: Random days off for self-spoiling
    Out: Time machines
    In: Martial Arts
    Out: The drama triangle (or other shapes-eew)
    In: Bookstores
    Out: body shaming
    In: wildly overpriced lipstick
    Out: hiding
    In: seeking

  • Out: putting others needs before my own.
    In: saying NO

    Out:Stressing about retirement
    In: taking steps to increase retirement savings

    Out: Fear of failure
    In: Being confident to achieve goals

  • Out – being the marriage police!
    In – having more time for things that make me happy

    Out – doing joint taxes for a spouse who never ran his business like a professional *missing receipts and information*
    In – doing taxes for myself only (simple!)

    Out – putting up with his moodiness that made me edgy all the time
    In – having a relatively stress free life

    Out – trying to understand lies and cheating behavior
    In – prioritizing my needs and wants

    HAPPY NEW YEAR! Thanks CL and CN for getting me here!!

  • In: real friends. Out: false ones.

    In: deep natural sleep. Out: PTSD nightmares of AP holding my infant son.

    In: lots of home cooking and new recipes. Out: weight loss from grief.

    In: finalized divorce. Out: a life w someone who did not value me.

    Loving 2019 already!

    • For the both of us, I hope that our adult children begin to realize the damage done to them by watching their mother be emotionally abused all their lives. Prayers that 2019 is that year!

      • It is my understanding that children in general may never understand or it takes them a long time.
        I have made a difficult decision to not babysit for my grand children because my daughter is now spending (limited) time with STBX and his f—-buddy. It is too painful for me and I am taking care of myself. Divorce would fix this and more than two years in he is fighting the settlement.

        Keep the faith NotMyFault, 2019 has to get better.

    • I’m in this situation with my eldest. She literally texted (after I made a suicide attempt and she confirmed I would live and was in no immediate danger) that she needed to “stay away from the drama” and didn’t want to hear about my problems. She used pregnancy as an excuse for why she “couldn’t handle it”. She’s never checked to see how I’m doing since but still feels free to ask for money or a shoulder to cry on about her problems. I waited several months to give her time, then, to see how she’d respond, just after boxing day I texted her that I’d had some horrifying times over the holidays. As I had predicted, she simply ignored the comment and babbled on about her own life. There was zero concern or even curiosity about what her sister and I are going through. She never even inquires about our health. Yet when she talks to The Asshole, she asks how he’s doing.
      I don’t give her any more money or gifts after her display of callous disregard and I don’t intend to see her unless her attitude changes. Obviously, she takes after my narcissistic ex.
      What are your kids doing to you?

      • I did not give my sons Christmas gifts this year. Actually sent cards and signed them “always and forever your mother”. I cannot even expect common decency from either of them. Their treatment of me has been the absolute hardest part of all of this.

        2019 will be better.

        • That totally sucks and I’m sorry. I cannot fathom why anyone would be so callous towards a loving mother.

  • Out: Caring about what he thinks or feels about me

    In: Knowing my own worth

    Out: Wasting time on trying to find “closure”

    In: Investing time in friends and family who love, support, and value me

  • Out: Replaying and rehashing the trauma of 2017.
    In: Moving on with my goals and an understanding that I know enough.

    Out: Worrying who believes his lies.
    In: Loving my amazingly supportive family (including in-laws) and friends. The rest don’t matter.

    Out: Anxiety over the legal separation process.
    In: Filing for divorce and seeking an annulment with the Church.

    Out: What ifs, could’ves, should’ves and if only’s.
    In: Joy in the great life ahead and the amazing person I am.

  • OUT: Reading books on sociopaths and psychopaths

    IN: Reading fiction again

    OUT: Staying in bed, crying and letting the joys of life pass me by

    IN: Pushing myself to try new things and meeting new people (just signed up for a fun class!)

    OUT: Staying in my comfort zone

    IN: Stepping out of my comfort zone

    As the famous saying goes, “The definition of insanity is doing the same thing over and over again, but expecting different results.” 2019 is all about changing my life for the better. No more toxicity.

    • This is me, too. Especially about the reading! I went about a year where all i could stand to read were articles on Facebook and books on cluster b personality disorders and healing from narcissistic abuse.

      I am at my saturation level with that stuff and yesterday I absolutely devoured an awesome sci-fi book in 1 day!

      I used to read 100 books a year. Ex narcopath hated that I read. My kids dad, hated that i read.

      Well f***them and f*** that.

      I will damn well read 100 book a year and nobody’s gonna stop me!

  • Out: Taking ownership and blame for the following statements:

    I don’t love you and I don’t think I ever have.

    How can you claim to NOT know our marriage was in trouble?

    If only you weren’t so … I might love you.

    Finally: I am feeling attracted to Trixie at work. She understands me. Let me tell you what she does that makes me feel loved. I am intimating that you be more like her even though I’m fooling myself believing she is all of these things.

    In: Loving myself to laugh at him for being such an idiot.

    Out: Begging him to love me. Believing him when he says he’s over Trixie.

    In: Wow. You sound really unhappy. You have a lot of grievances about me. They were really pent up. It will take me awhile to clean up after that explosive emotional regurgitation. I love you and that’s why I married you. I’m sorry you didn’t love me but married me, anyway. That’s really not fair to either of us. Mostly me. I’m not going to change and try to be more like Trixie. I’m going to be true to myself and continue being me.

    Out: Him

    In: Me.

  • Out: Self-doubting and feeling as though I ‘made’ my last ex leave me for (marry?) his work subordinate. Feeling bad about me for not being ‘better’ (smarter, more accomplished, less wrinkled, higher earning, richer, more organized, more ‘fun’, more popular).
    In: Recognizing my strengths and aptitude, believing that I might have aptitude in some things I just haven’t tried.

    Out: Making decisions based on trying to avoid what I fear (e.g., poverty, being fired).
    In: Embracing fear (e.g., viewing poverty as an ‘adventure,’ quitting a job even without another one lined up as a middle-aged divorced mother of young kids).

    Out: Constantly bending myself into a pretzel to prove my worth and make certain others (e.g., intimate partners) happy, even when they repeatedly treat me like trash.
    In: Honoring myself.

  • Out: any doubt that ex narcopath sucks, on an epic level.

    In: Knowing that if I thought I loved ex narcopath THAT much, feeling really excited about a possible potential healthy mate, some far off guy in the future, and how absolutely dynamite it will be…. (even though am NOT actively dating, and ok with that)

    Out: the ruminating memories of abusive incidents that occurred during relationship with ex narcopath

    In: When the memories do pop into my head (much, much less frequently) reframing those moments as: how would a healthy guy have handled my concerns about things? Definitely did not deserve all that abuse!

    Out: forgetting my self worth
    IN: Loving my new life, and the healthy people in an, and no longer tolerating bullshit from anyone. Acknowledging that my time and focus is valuable and only giving to people and projects worthy of it….

    Out: plodding through my days, trying to suck it up when my kids were home from school but feeling like I was failing them…
    In: a new, reenergized mama, who has her shit together and is ready for fun.

    Out: Focusing so much on wishing I could change the past
    In: fixing my picker, facing toward the sun, and paddling my kayak off into a new adventure…

  • Out: feeling tapped in a toxic marriage due to financial dependence

    In: Demanding and getting a house, a car, half his salary and pension and moving to a town far enough away where he can’t easily bother me.

    Out: Wishing he could just love me again and we could go back to the way we used to be pre-affair.

    In: Accepting that he never loved me and the way we used to be sucked. It might not have been another woman who occupied his attention, but he found other ways to run away from having a real relationship.

    • Doingme, OMG! I can’t stop laughing! May I be the co-pilot, PLEASE! We are both from the same area…I have NO problem giving the NY wave!!

      • Hell yeah, I’d have you for my co-pilot any day.

        Just for you:
        Out: is in in?
        Out: You call that sex?
        Out: <2 inches and pumps. And not the ones you wear.

        In: Boom!

        Love ya, NMSB.

  • Out: catastrophising – please help, I’m scared, I can’t, I won’t, I’m stuck.
    In: self-reliance – dnt believe me, just watch, I can, I will, I did!

    Out: oversharing – my personal life is ONLY my business. No longer give ammo to shoot me with.
    In: self-nurture – I protect myself by establishing boundaries, I am safe & I healing my wounds. I listen to other’s lives rather than share too much about mine.

    Out: chaos/disorder – No longer at the whims of others agendas, reactionary or frenetic attempts to meet others unexpected needs/wants.
    In: self-managed – I plan, organise, monitor, evaluate and maintain awareness based on my needs/wants.

    Out: doubt/worry – feeding into others opinions, negative views of me, critical judgement, attempt to keep me living in fear so they can manipulate.
    In: self-validation – I remember how amazing I am, I commend my strengths, I own my power. I remind myself of all I have achieved, promote myself to captain of my ship and encourage the continued development of my character.

    Out: the I’m having more “fun” than you Olympics. Endless pursuit of “fun” at the expense of growth and development is exhausting and leads to poor choices/priorities.
    In: self-motivated – I am a mature, productive and goal oriented person. I see the joy in reaching for and achieving the desired results. A NEW life, a NEW me!

    All the best for 2019 CN & CL. And thank you all for the insights you’ve provided!

    • One thing every day.

      Wow. Lovely post. That’s me exactly. I must tint it off & live it as best I can this year.

      Good luck to you too

  • Out: Fear and jumping at every little noise in the night
    In: Earphones with relaxation music

    Out: Raging, ranting, all consuming anger
    In: letting go of anger at Lying Loser to make space and time for loving myself and gaining a life

    Out:2018 ‘Wasteland of Abandonment’
    Out: previous 30 years of spackling and pick me dancing while being eroded by abuse in ‘Narkville’
    In: 2019 ‘Sunny Land of Meh’

  • Out: my past fraud of a relationship (36 years!)
    In: just bought a house (my very own first house!); seriously selling my business, retraining and starting anew @ 61! Life will rock!

  • Need help:

    Almost 2 years from the the discovery and the divorce.

    Can’t get out of the mental loop of what she did.

    Trying to find a therapist to help, but they are so many types it’s hard to figure out what is effective and what is waste of time.

    Tried two different ones , but both wanted to analyze why she did what she did. and told me whithout understanding her motives I won’t be able to move on.

    After reading CL’s book and countless posts here I am not interested in spending my mental energy and time on “Untangling the Skein of Fuckupedness”.

    What is the best type of therapy (and a book in addition to CL’s book) to treat the trauma of infidelity?

    Thank you.

    • A lot of people swear by EMDR for all kinds of trauma but I cannot personally attest to it being effective as I’ve not yet done it. I don’t consider talk therapy to be of much value, but that’s just me. It might work for others. Cognitive behavioral therapy might be something to look into as well to help get out of that mental loop.
      I hope you find somebody good who can help you.

    • BlindsidedCHMP…….Sorry I am just now reading this in the AM…..

      “Body Talk” therapy is an excellent option. I have not done yet (appt next week) but chumpedincanada has and she said it was an awesome experience that gave her much improvement.

      I have done acupuncture and biofeedback. (neurofeedback is another to consider)

      I agree with Chumperella’s assessment of talk therapy—seems to have limited value, especially when dealing with cheating.
      Now, do not get me wrong. We have many chumps here who have had excellent results with talk therapy. But they found a therapist that knew ‘untangling the skein’ is pointless. Unlike the ones you found 🙁 Sorry that has happened to you.

      Anywho…..Also treating your physical body well and feeding your spiritual side with positive, uplifting thoughts and activities is a vital part of releasing the trauma of what you have experienced.

      The best ‘talk therapy’, IMHO, is here at this Nation and also over at Divorce Minister. Get his book, even if you do not profess any sort of ‘religious faith’.

      Best to you as you ForgeOn! along with this great Nation!

  • IN: Lots of international travel for work

    OUT: Me stressing about my cheating husband having ladies over while I’m travelling for work.

    ALSO OUT: Me being gaslighted out of thinking the now STBX is having ladies over while I’m overseas then love bombed into distraction when i get home

    IN: Business Class flights, turned down beds, spa treatments in fancy hotels

    OUT: The trolly dolly STBX is screwing/was screwing for last 3 years


    FTR He’s already hitting on me over Xmas 6 months out from DDay ???? After 6 months of smear campaigns against me, endless narc raging and police involvement ???????? #IDontThinkSoDick #TellHimHesDreaming

    Bet she’s loving that reverse triangulation now she’s main supply (still not publicly mind you #burn)

    #notreally #triangulationsux #trianglefreeme

    IN: 2 bed garden apartment in Meh Town

    OUT: Him. From our property title (settlement pending)


  • OUT: Cheater constantly following his bliss, doing and buying exactly what HE wants with no concern for anyone else
    IN: the kids and I living as a REAL family, supporting and caring about each other (okay, not all the time because they’re teenagers, but definitely a huge improvement)

    OUT: blaring big-screen TV constantly on to fill the emptiness of his soul
    IN: Mellow music or actual silence (gasp!), and being able to sleep without noise at 1 am

    OUT: Road rage and cursing while driving
    IN: Driving the speed limit and being courteous to other drivers (unless they’re aggressive douchebags like Assholio)

    OUT: Being taunted by Assholio for being “sedentary”
    IN: Taking walks and hiking, which he considered boring

    OUT: Buying whatever new and shiny object he thinks will fill his empty soul, using it for a few months, then leaving it in the attic to gather dust
    IN: Saving money and only buying something I’m sure I’ll actually use. Cleaning out the attic!!

    OUT: Protecting his reputation at all costs
    IN: Sorry not sorry I told his family, our neighbors and my friends

    OUT: 8-10 beers consumed every night
    IN: Much lighter recycling load!

    OUT: Daily shit sandwiches
    IN: An enormous buffet of all my favorite healthy foods!

  • OUT: watching him spend $$$$$ on his latest hobby (top of the range, natch) or toy

    IN: having 30% of our previous income – and having more money that I ever had before

    OUT: thinking endlessly of him, what I did wrong, what I could have done

    IN: Meh.

    OUT: fear for the future

    IN: concrete plans to build my business, and ACTION on those plans.

    Life is good.

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