Stay in Touch

Check out CL's Book

Why Do You Still Do This? A Peek Behind the Scenes at Chump Central

A bleary-eyed Chump Lady with her Darcy mug.

Maybe you’ve wondered where those Chump Lady columns come from. Do snarky elves visit in the night and leave them in your Facebook feed? Perhaps a wicked fairy pricked a sleeping baby, muttered a curse, and the child grew up to be a blogger instead of a sensible accounting major? Magical goats?

Nope. It’s me, Chump Lady.

AKA, Tracy, a regular person with a full-time job and not nearly enough coffee. I know you approached Monday looking forward to the Universal Bullshit Translator gobbling drunken ex sexts and instead you get this column. Me expounding on 7 years as Chump Lady.

The blog-a-versary was Friday, April 19 and I needed a weekend to compose my thoughts. (Actually, I needed a weekend to go worship the wisteria at Dumbarton Oaks. Do you love pretty blooming things? GO THERE. It’s wisteria MECCA. Not much writing happened this weekend. I blame the wisteria.)

I’ve been slinging snark at the RIC Goliath for seven years, and I think they’ve suffered a flesh wound. Sure, the Reconciliation Industrial Complex still dominates the infidelity discourse, but the Consider Life Without a Jerk message ricochets off their noggins sometimes. Anyone else notice that “pick me dance” has become part of the vocabulary? Or “chump” for that matter?

I think we’re changing the narrative, folks.

To celebrate our CN anniversary, I’m conducting an interview with myself. (It’s much like a lopsided marriage, talking to yourself. I have this skillset. Although it’s rusty now thanks to Mr. CL.)

Why do you still do this? Aren’t you OVER IT by now?

How cool is it to have a job that helps people. Trust me, I think about quitting, because I’d like to have some margin to my life. I get up around 5:30 a.m. Write a column. Go to work. Come home to 400 emails. Some days there are troll attacks. Seven-thousand-word single paragraph emotional vomiting messages. Suicide threats. Weird OW missives asking for my personal insight in to their Schmoopie problems. Password change requests. IT meltdowns (I’m having one right now WHERE ARE MY SHARE NUMBERS, Jetpack? WHY CAN’T YOU PLUG-INS PLAY NICELY TOGETHER?!)

And I get up and do it again, Monday through Friday. Unless I have to be somewhere early, in which case you get a rerun.

Until the advice on being chumped quits sucking, I’ll keep at it. Because the advice out there, really, really sucks. It’s all shit sandwiches over self-protection and self-respect. Hopium over faith in yourself. Shutting up and putting up, instead of owning your voice.

Sure, I’d like to write about other topics some days (and my work lets me do that occasionally), but infidelity is a rich vein — it’s tragedy and comedy. “I wasn’t buying strippers — I was buying self-esteem!” “I didn’t cheat on you. I cheated on your perception that I would cheat on you.”

I’m a writer. This stuff is gold.

Admit it. You’re getting rich on our pain!

I’m not getting rich on this. But wouldn’t that be cool, if you had some sort of Rumpelstiltskin contraption that could spin pain into gold?

It takes money to run this site. Those IT problems don’t solve themselves. Nor does WPEngine host this much traffic without charge.

Those incredibly annoying ads allow me to break even, and come a bit ahead sometimes. But Patreon has been a game changer. You guys owe everything to the generous 2 percent of readership who subscribe. Seriously, THANK YOU Patrons.

Is this like one of those public radio fundraisers? Are you going to guilt me into a tote bag? 

Guilt yes. Tote bag no.

I’ve considered other ways of supporting this site that don’t rely on a minority of generous people. And I feel immense guilt that I can’t always perform greater feats of content for subscribers. I’ve got some podcasts, a wreck of a video chat (fuck it, I’ll move to youtube) — and I could charge a minimal fee and let only subscribers read new content and leave the archives and older posts free.

It’s a continuing challenge. But I return to the mission of being a resource. I want everyone to find this place who needs it. To find this community. And a pay wall is off-putting and doesn’t help the mission. So — we’re back to the hero model of Patreon.

So how’s that revolution going? 

Two weeks ago — this blog flipped 25 million page views, with nearly 5 million unique visitors to the site. (I don’t think all of them were stalking exes. I’m waiting for that Google analytic.)

I fully expect people to graduate from needing this site, and I’m very grateful to the folks who return to help the newbies.  The point is gaining a new life. But what these numbers tell me is that chumpdom is VERY common. And we’re becoming the go-to resource to rival the RIC.

I’m very proud of all we’ve accomplished! Thank you for sharing this site with others. Thank you for reviewing my book wherever you purchased it. Thank you for all you do to help your fellow chumps.

The other crazy thing that I never, ever would’ve expected when I started this place, is the popularity of chump meet-ups. They’re all over the globe! In May, I met the Chumps of Australia! And last month I met a group of chumps in DC/Baltimore. It never stops being amazing to me how people connect over this site.

Chump Lady pretty much lives in my head. When I meet someone who reads here, it’s very disconcerting. It’s as if your imagination bit your nose. To meet someone who’s been helped by CN makes me misty and shy. I know real people are at the end of my computer, but it never stops being incredible to witness mighty in person.

What’s next? World domination. Okay, not really. But sort of. WPML is a plug-in that translates EVERYTHING here into as many as 40 languages. I’m starting with Spanish. Working out the kinks now — and if you’re worried that’s “Me talk pretty one day” translation — I can have volunteer translators clean up stuff. (But I’d have to trust you, I’m still working that out. Hire someone or volunteers…)

Is there a language you’d like to see this blog in? Let’s talk.

Well folks… there’s more to say. But the morning is getting late. In the comments, I’d love to know if you’ve met any other chumps through CN. What was that like? And what are you doing to change the narrative?

Happy anniversary and VIVA LA CHUMP REVOLUTION!



Ask Chump Lady

Got a question for the Chump Lady? Or a submission for the Universal Bullshit Translator? Write to me at [email protected]. Read more about submission guidelines.
  • Divorced and four years out from D Day, CN provides such a happy chuckle for me in the morning. Your wit and practical advice is fully appreciated and freeing. Thank you again and again!

    • This! Yes. Many thanks Tracy! You and CN have helped save my sanity. Ten dollars a month to help this blog reach so many chumps in need is money well spent on my part. I encourage everyone to contribute what you can.

      • Dear Chump Lady,

        There are not enough words in my vocabulary to express my gratitude for your selflessness and dedication to this nation you have created. It is hard, endless work and that is only on the surface. The time and thought you give to chumps beyond the column, comments and forum are astonishing.

        Tracy is indeed just like the rest of us (plus some mad writing skills). She has bills to juggle, never enough time to do all she wants to do, family pressures, a demanding job and she lives in an expensive city…PLUS all of us who depend on her.

        I have been here (maybe?) since the beginning and will say again how CL’s wisdom, snark and compassion literally saved my life.

        The discovery/divorce taught me skills that I never dreamed of and I feel an obligation to assist those who are new and the poor souls who don’t yet know their world has already imploded. We are an amazing nation!

        Running this blog, the comments every day, the HUGE forum (yes, even the comments and forum require 24 hour attention) is expensive. If any of you have been shocked at what small IT issues cost for your personal use, just imagine what it costs for every problem a blog this big. It is insanely expensive and time consuming. Tracy dedicates so much of her personal life to helping all of us.

        What I do not understand is the imbalance between the number of posts that reference owing their lives to Chump Lady and the relatively small number of people who give every month thru Patreon. There are so many posts that mention inspiration from something another chump wrote yet there would be none of that if Tracy didn’t pay Word Press to host this precious site.

        I am not talking about the readers whose financial situations are dire; I hope those chumps will continue to read and crawl their path to a new life. We are here for you.

        With 5 million unique users, a monthly donation of $5 or $10 a month MUST be doable for the majority of chumps! If people could really look into the hearts and offer that, Tracy could obliterate the narrative! $20 or more a month would be fabulous. But now only 2% give something!!!! Seriously? And if you can’t give monthly, there is always the donate button for a one-time contribution.

        I gave up buying coffee out of the house for a year to contribute a specific number. Then I had to lower my contribution but it was still something.

        We cannot let this blog disappear.

        Now I will get off my soapbox except to say I love this place and Chump Lady. It is a place where I can go and find understating, laugh a lot and breathe.


        • I could not run this place without you, Rebecca. You’re one of the mightiest stories on here.

          Everyone — Rebecca moderates comments on the forums, with Tempest, which is a never-ending task of fishing comments out of the spam filter, and offering support. Just the other week she wrote the most compassionate reply to someone who was posting suicidal messages (and their message got stuck in the spam filter and came to her notice.)

          Rebecca, you have a really big heart. Thanks for putting it in the service of CN.

        • Ok. I think this might answer my question – which I’ve submitted a couple of times! If I donate lump sum as opposed to monthly subscription (detested) I get the same access or benefits in accordance with subscription of same value?

          • Also, Chumplady, repeat performances of prior posts are great and are NOT you “not doing enough”, as you sometimes sound like you think.

            Did you have stuff to do one morning? Being exposed to the rich combination of helpful things in both articles And commentary from posts of any date, especially on this kind of subject, is worthwhile, like rereading a well-written book.

            “Wow. I didn’t catch that part before,” or maybe, “With all this currently going on with me, Now I see how useful this piece of advice is, ” and so on. Worthwhile.

            Did you just think this one post was good to re-post today, even though you already have the next one written? Run that baby. People visibly love it, and I swear, it’s broadly helpful.

            You pursue excellence in this, in an organic fashion, and that serves Chump Nation well. We understand plenty.

      • Hey if we all cancel our lousy gym memberships that we are not using and support ChumpLady I truly believe that our money is better well spent!

        • I traded in my monthly Birchbox subscription for the Patreon subscription. Much better deal by far.

  • Thanks for all you’ve done, Tracy. Everyone understands if it ends up being too much. I’ve profited from your insight and humor, and it’s certainly helped me move on. Good luck.

  • Hi Chumplady,

    Yes, the whole concept of leaving the cheater and gaining a life is what spouses need to know about. The phrases that you have crafted carefully show a person in the throes of discovery what happened and how to move forward. I am eternally grateful to you, and would have never made it through without the laughter you brought into my world, to heal me.

    I am becoming mighty, and will soon have the better paying job, and then I can be fair, and participate in Patreon.

    My students have occasionally asked me if I am married. I say, “I was. But he was a bad man, and I told him to hit the road, Jack, and don’t ya come back no more.” They chuckle and shiver, and show a gleam of respect in their eyes.

    Thanks again for the healing laughter from your spot-on humor in both writing and cartoons, really, it made such a huge difference.

  • Thank you, thank you, thank you, Tracy! For all you do–unpaid, but deeply appreciated. I found you by accident (as many of us do) while searching for a way to “fix” my broken relationship. Your take on all this made the most sense, but I wasn’t ready to accept it right away. It took a bit more pick-me dancing (i.e., banging my head on the brick wall) before I was able to walk through the door you were patiently pointing out.

    The opportunity for chump meetups has been fantastic. I’ve met some great (and mighty) people because of this site, and look forward to meeting up again soon. (Shameless plug for the upcoming NYC chump meetup: Are you in the metro-NYC area? Go to the meetup forum to get the skinny and respond to the survey re: where to meet and what time!)

    • Maybe I’m missing the most recent thread when I look for it? I only see the post ending in chats about October labeled “NYC Area Meetups”

      • Hi Sleepless! The most recent NYC thread is currently (as I type this!) 12 threads down in the meetup forum. It was started in July 2018, but there are 4 pages in it. To find the most recent posts and the most recent survey, you need to go to the very end of page 4. Please join us if you can!

  • Cheers to 7 years. This site helped me immensely over the first few years after my divorce. Tracy and CN were a godsend.

    I don’t come by as often anymore (per the “gain a life” side of the coin), but to any newly minted chump: stay here as long as you need; vent; commiserate; learn; and help others.

    In a world where the Internet’s net benefit is still increasingly in doubt, this site is proof of the upside of the World Wide Web.

  • Thanks again for all you do. This site made all the difference and i’m so glad an internet stranger sent me here. I’ll continue to do the same for others. You are appreciated.

  • Where would we all be without you?!!!

    Maybe at the Pick Me Dance-A-Thon. (Hey, they shoot horses, don’t they? Lucky horses…chumps had to suffer).

    Until Tracy came along!! Thank you, Jesus!

    I sent Wendy Williams (of the Wendy Williams show) a link to your book, the blog, and a heartfelt request that she book you on her show.

    I am so grateful for you, Chumplady!!

    • PS…I have a very dear friend now in Utah whom I met here. We are phone buddies and talk daily, walking together through this shit storm and helping each other. I am eternally grateful for her and without YOU Tracy, we would not have met.

      You are both beneficiaries if I win the lottery.

    • I can’t thank you enough! And yes I subscribe a pittance to assist. My daily fix – it’s my therapy, my sanity, my new reality! I found this site when one of my friends linked to the wonderful chump conference in Newcastle Australia by the fabulous Zhuchi. Meeting you Tracy, hearing the stories, feeling the love, the laughter, the mighty – it fortified my soul! You gave me the courage to believe in me and to change my own narrative. I daily pass my strength and my no nonsense on to others. I would love to attend some more chump meetups in New South Wales Australia.
      And the regulars who post on this site! You make my day! UX, Velvet Hammer, Unicornomore, Tempest – the list goes on. What a mighty kick ass supportive community, here because our strength makes our lives better. Thank you!

  • Thank you CL and CN
    When I was only a few months out, and stuck in “what’s so wrong with me?” self-pity – I discovered this site. The first thing I read I thought “these are angry angry bitter bunnies” but within few articles I was all “Hang on … they know EXACTLY what’s going on!” got me out the depressed stage and into the angry stage – and eventually I have moved on to semi-acceptance.
    My point … become a patron! or even do a one off donation!
    If you have ever had any benefit from reading CL she deserves some recognition and reward for her work and helping us all along.

    • *happily accepting the title of angry bitter bunny when it comes to my feelings about my sociopath, serial cheater, serial rapist, narc ex* 😀

  • OMG!!

    Firstly, you have changed so many people’s lives through your site! Like, SO MANY!!! Chumps can be very suicidal (rightly so) and so I’m sure you’ve saved lives as well. Like equivalent to how many lives a 30-year veteran firefighter in NYC has saved. All from your bed with your Darcy mug and laptop. That’s pretty amazing!

    Many of us read your blog like religious cult followers ????????‍♀️. You are our life line for as long as we need it…. until we gain a life. And still then, when we fall down, CN is there to pick us up 🙂

    Thank you for not charging for people to be on your site. With so much bullshit out there, I’m not sure I would have paid, as my brain was not functioning well at that time, but once I got my head together, I became a Patreon subscriber through and through. Maybe we need more fundraising type posts?!

    I had my first Chump meet-up a few weeks ago and those guys are the best!!! I could finally just gab on and on about my Cheater exhole and everyone got it! I wasn’t embarrassed or afraid to let out my story. Not only did they get it, they all had their own shit sandwhich stories to tell too. The best part was we were telling our shit sandwich stories (happened in the past) while we were eating real life delicious sandwiches together (happening currently=life gained) ☺️. So many huge hugs to you CL and all of CN ((((CN))))

  • I found this blog very shortly after DDay and, although I had already filed for divorce, it really helped me understand and process what was going on and stay the course!

    I also purchased your book for my local library collection and am happy when I see that it is being circulated so more chumps can read it. Just sad that it’s needed by so many!

    Interestingly I met so many chumps in the immediate aftermath of the devastation (when people might have heard TMI from me! 😉 … women who shared their stories and we bonded over the trauma that most people don’t seem to “get”. I still talk to several of them regularly. So it wasn’t directly though this website but it gave me an awareness that there are many other chumps out there and I was able to share your website and wisdom with them as well. Thank you, thank you so much for the work you do!!

  • Chump Lady,

    You amaze me every day! My gratitude is endless. You saved me and SO many more…you created a whole nation. Geez, how sad and how cool is that?

    I’m one of those chumps who hung around trying to help anyone new stumbling across this site. All that knowledge I gained by surviving discovery and divorce has to be passed on.

    What I do not understand is how hundreds of people comment that Chump Lady has saved their lives but decide not to help with $5 or $10 a month?

    I am sure that some truly cannot. But I am also sure that the majority can afford $5, $10 or $20 a month. If you think that $5 a month won’t help, you are SO wrong. There are 5 million unique visitors – do the math!

    Chump Lady is just like the rest of us – she has major bills to pay, works very long hours to keep it all going, family to care for and she lives in a city where everything is expensive. She goes out of her own pocket so Chump Nation survives. I don’t think that is fair and isn’t this site is all about fairness?

    I’m asking every reader to consider even a tiny donation every month. Do it for the people who came before you, the people whose posts speak to your heart and for this poor souls whose DDays are ahead of them. If you cannot do a monthly donation, use the donation button for a one-time payment.

    Sadly, webhosting this column, the comments and the forum along with the endless IT issues are not free!

    Thank youTracy for being the funny, generous and wonderful woman that you are!

    • My apologies for the two posts!
      My first post didn’t appear so I posted again and both got pulled out of spam.
      And how many of us has this happened to?
      THIS is another reason why we need CL full-time.

  • Thank you CL for still doing this. It’s the same reason that many of us who have moved on in life still return. We owe it to other chumps to provide a safe place.
    Any gospel or message of truth must be spread.

  • Dumbarton Oaks…SERIOUSLY on the top of my “to do” list for a year. I found the site when researching Byzantine art and learned it is local to me and when my daughter was jailed last year (for using a substance that was needed for her neuro disease and is legal in many places) I kept the idea of walking Dumbarton Oaks together as a goal which kept me from total despair. This week…I need to do it this week.

    Thank you to CL for hosting us all and to everyone for helping me process the evil that was inflicted on me while I was trying to be a good wife.

  • Happy anniversary to Chump Lady and Chump Nation! Thank you Tracy for helping me to leave a cheater and gain a life. And what a great life I’ve gained. I owe so much of it to your generous help. You gave me a language to talk about and understand my chumpdom. You helped me see through my cheater’s bullshit and trust that they suck. And you connected me with all of chump nation and realize that I’m not alone (and not the crazy one). I’m now in relationship with a fellow member of chump nation and couldn’t be happier. So grateful to you Tracy! Thank you for keeping up the fight.

    • Wow – Tracy – you should be really proud of yourself! That’s such a great Oasis of love in this whirling dervish of shit we have all found ourselves! I believe you and your (new) Chump will have a great relationship – if nothing else you’ll be honest – and that’s really all it takes!
      Great story!

  • I hope people that haven’t been chumped yet can read these letters and use while dating before they ever get to the first marriage. The younger generation. So they can hopefully avoid these wasted marriages to jerks. Life is expanding for women now with more options instead of the hurry up and get married. Get mated up.

    This is like in a strange way grandmothers wisdom passed down from others. In the past women didn’t have a voice on what happened. It was the ugly, oh she got fat, etc. that why he left her. It was always the mans point of view. The divorced woman was left in shame with no voice.

    People didn’t talk about this. Women didn’t have anyone to confide it. Maybe a friend or two. They seemed to shrink away from society and were forgotten.

    It’s going to keep changing and in many ways we can’t foresee yet. But to be able to help someone out of this horrible pain and find new understanding and higher ground is priceless.

    I see so many friends on FB (fake book) with these bad marriages and they stay for the children and all knowing about all the side affairs. I know most of them don’t want to break up their marriages. Being scared. Breaking up their families and messing up the holidays. It’s a hard choice.

    But one day the children leave home. Start their own families and they are gone. You are still stuck with the problem and it’s not going to resolve itself. You age out. You think back on the years wasted and the time it will take to heal and start over. I can see where making no choice is a choice.

    I’m really healing now. I’m looking forward to each new day. I’m so glad I got out of that horrible marriage. I was scared. I had no college to fall back on. But you know what. Things fall into place and you see new opportunities that weren’t here 10 years ago. There’s no telling if someone isn’t in a bad long term marriage that’s scared to get out because of money and being older that isn’t reading this and learning and planning ahead to get out whereas if they had never seen this column they might have wasted the rest of their life with these losers robbing you of the real things in life. Making you depressed.

    Most of these men will meet someone and dump you anyway. I hope someone reads these words and don’t waste their life on hope.

    • So happy for you beetle, you are mighty. It takes courage to pull out and face the unknown. Accepting the challenge knowing you’re not alone is key.

      • Thank you Doingme. I’m just burnt out from it all. I just want to find peace and move forward. ❤️

  • Your book and the sage advice I got on this blog has saved my sanity and my life. Thank you so very much.

    • The advice you provide is invaluable Chumplady! Everything here has been so helpful and I’ve learned so much over the years. You have an incredible knack to cut through the bullshit and see things for what they are. I’m still in awe of the UBT interpretations! You have a tremendous ability to apply logic and reason to deconstruct the category 5 tornado of cheater blame shifts, projections, and gas lighting that have destroyed our marriages and, in some cases, almost destroyed us as individuals. You’ve been able to dismantle the power of the affair partner boogey-man/woman and have revealed them as disordered, amoral people. You’ve provided sound advice about NC with the cheater, affair partner, and flying monkeys along with Switzerland Friends. You’ve helped us see the predictability in the affairs and patterns of cheater behavior. You’ve exposed the RIC and the disingenuous advice it dispenses – advice that is meant to keep the Chump dancing and purchasing more programs so that the Chump can: better tend their garden, not fall down on the job, meet cheater’s unexpressed needs; and regularly make kibble deposits into the cheater’s “love bank”.

      Most importantly, you’ve helped guide us in gaining a life. You’ve shown us what meh and mighty are. You’ve taught us what real love should look like. So many of us settled for “barbed wire monkeys” and no clue. You’ve taught us that we have pickers that need fixing.

      Thank you Chumplady. You are better than any therapist!

  • Happy to be a patron!! 2% you say? Well, la di da, look at me! I feel very fancy.

    But seriously, take the pressure off yourself. You don’t need to do anything extra for the money. I just like reading your absolute GOLD on this site (and listening to it on the audiobook – as I did over and over and over in the early months) and my patronage is a way of saying “thanks”. When/if I’m broke I’ll cancel it.

    • Me too! Happy to give back a tiny bit of the motherlode of thoughtfulness here through patreon!

  • Happy Anniversary of the best kind… helping people like me find the strength to file, be the sane parent, and get to meh. Happy to be part of your 2% too – though wishing the number was bigger.

    I keep coming back because I always get as much as I give here – it is the best example of what a reciprocal relationship looks like in my life 🙂

    And now, almost 5 years out… when I see a picture of the new GF (on whom Mr. Sparkles is cheating via Ashley Madison) dying Easter eggs with my 13yo son… I shrug “meh” and throw out a thought of gratitude that at least someone in that house is paying attention to him. <3

    Rock on Chump Nation… in any language, you are as mighty as you believe yourself to be… so believe BIG!

  • Tracy, I do believe you have been instrumental in saving lives… both of cheaters, their affair partners, but more importantly, chumps.

    “Don’t die for a fuckwit.”

    Some days, it was my mantra. I’m past that, thankfully.

    You’ve done crucially important work, and you made so we also do crucially important work for other chumps. You HAVE changed the narrative….

    What will things look like in another 7 years?

  • Thank you for all you do, Chump Lady! You have been a valuable resource for me to leave my cheater and stop putting up with emotional abuse. I don’t know if I would have acted as quickly as I did without stumbling upon your blog, reading your book, and finding encouragement here at Chump Nation. The first D-day was in November. I discovered your blog in January after only two months of buying into the RIC and wreckonciliation. Today I’ll be signing the final divorce decree that will go to the judge in two months!

    Thank you for answering my letter on your blog and to all the support from Chump Nation! I feel like I’m on my way to gaining a life and doing all the things he told me I couldn’t do. Just recently I passed my state’s teacher certification exam and will become a teacher for the upcoming school year. (He said I couldn’t do it, probably because he failed at it.) I ran my new post-divorce budget to discover that I’ll be better off financially with him gone because I won’t be paying his car note, his expensive eating out habits, ridiculous fuel bill, or expensive car repairs. I’m not getting much from the divorce because he doesn’t have much, but I’m getting primary custody of my children, which is the most important thing for me.

    He hasn’t argued with me on anything in the divorce because he doesn’t have money for a lawyer and because I’m able to use the documented evidence from the cheating for leverage. He’s been playing sad sausage about how “mean and vindictive” I’m being with the divorce. I just continue to remind him that cheating was mean, not caring about my emotional well-being was mean, lying was mean. Getting what I need in the divorce to care for my kids is self-protection. Asserting my boundaries and seeing my worth have felt so empowering!

    Life is already better on the road to ‘Meh!’ Those who are new to Chump Nation, listen to Tracy, and listen to all the other chumps here. A common theme I found is that nobody regrets leaving their cheater. The only regrets I’ve seen are those who regret waiting so long to do it!

    • True. I hit the hopium pipe for five years before I found CL and CN. This is going to be the Summer of Mighty.

  • Thank you CL! You and the wonderful community here truly saved me. I wrote a letter to you in December (Pissed in California) and you asked me the most pointed question I needed to think about. I asked if you thought he could change, if the pain of living with a long term cheater was worth it and you asked me if I wanted to live my life waiting for that answer. And was that acceptable to me? It’s 5 months later and I am in the midst of my divorce, last weekend moved into my very own apartment for the first time in 24 years with my teenage son, and I am finally feeling a sense of peace that I haven’t felt for many years. (I suspected I’d been chumped for years before DDay). I love my apartment and I’m happily settling into my new, Cheater free life Knowing the chump community has my back. So again, thanks to all of you. I’m seeing bits of meh and starting to gain a life. And best of all, I feel like me again after many years of suppressing my true feelings. Keep doing what you do. ❤️

  • 4.5 years blessed with my band of brothers and sisters in Chump Nation. Chump Lady, thank you for being my hero leading heroes.

    I have met several chumps through CL. I introduced two beautiful chumps who recently married each other and will soon welcome a child to their family. In my life journey, I have lost several partners (cheaters/consistently awful jerks), but I have gained wonderfully supportive, amazing friends.

  • I wish I had the spare funds for more than a basic patronage, but I’m glad it helps keep this site hiccupping along. Songs and carbs to the UBT.

  • Congratulations CL for running a great site!
    FYI – Brooks was just on MSNBC spouting his sad story ‘ I was in a valley’ crap – if he was ‘in a valley ‘ where was the wife he threw away? A ditch? A trench? A ordinary hole? Oh -he’s a ‘weaver’
    What a shit slinger!

  • I didn’t have a D-Day, motivating me. I had 42 years of being devalued, the butt of jokes, financial theft, gaslighting, doing all the adulting while waiting on him like he was king. I was ready to leave but felt something must be my fault. Then I found CL, nope , HE sucked, I was just a chump. I only wish the young who get a bad feeling about something their “forever “ love does, could know don’t spackel . RUN.
    I’m old, have MS and on fixed income “he gambled $400,000” away” but my ten dollars a month comes with my hope for others. Give a man a fish, you feed him for a day. Teach a man to fish, you feed him for life. CL teaches how to fish.

  • During my Road Trip to Meh from Maine to California I met several chumps across the country, including the man I’m now engaged to marry. Like Tracy, I made a big cross-country move to gain a life. It includes my dream job and a beautiful new home in the Sonoran Desert with mountain views out every window — sunrise in front, sunset in back, and saguaro silhouettes all around.

    The future Mr. Meht and I enjoy meeting up with Arizona chumps, chumps who are visiting the area to explore relocation options, and chumps who are just passing through. A high point was meeting the legendary Tessie while she was on the road, and hearing her incredible story in person. Some of our chump friends from outside the area stay in touch through social media, and no doubt we will connect again in person some day.

    Thank you for the new life, Chump Lady!

    • Congratulations, Mehtamorphosis (and I know who your to-be-H is!!)!! May you both be extraordinarily happy together!

      • Thanks, Tempest! Our families and friends tell us they’ve never seen us happier, and I tend to believe them. After all we’ve both been through it does feel extraordinary!

  • Proud Patron of Chumplady & supporter of Chump Nation.
    Thank you CL for your wisdom & thank you CN for your comments/insights.

    This blog helps you get out & stay out of LaLaLand.
    Many thanks for giving me at safe place.

  • My finances are better than they were, and somewhat stable, so I’m off to pledge a little bit on Patreon.

    Thank you, CL!

  • You saved me from madness Tracy. When d day arrived there were times when I thought I couldn’t go on. Two years later and I still check for your wise words at 12:30. Your latest posts arrive at lunchtime for me after a mornings teaching. So I sit with a cup of tea and think, it’s going to be ok.
    Thank you . I can’t actually thank you enough.

  • cheers CL. you are my hero! turning a rotten experience into a platform for growth. owning my present, creating nonnegotiable boundaries, externalizing my rage in a safe space, planning my clandestine attack to preserve my finances, and commiserating with fellow travelers on this journey of betrayal. raw, real and righteous. hugs

  • joined patreon again. thought i was done with CL but keep coming back and feel for newbies! want it to survive for them. hugs

  • I found this site and the Straight Spouse Network at about the same time. While the folks on Straight Spouse can identify more closely with the specifics of that kind of betrayal, what Chump Lady gave me was an education and a backbone. Tracy, your no-nonsense, no waffling, no hopium approach gave me the tools to understand what I was experiencing, the right kind of hope, and the determination that I could and would get through it and out to craft for myself a mighty life.
    I don’t think I’m the first to rely on both sites, and I’m happy to say that more and more posters there are referring to your blog and to comments made by the wise people of Chump Nation. I’m happy to be one of your Patreon supporters, and plan to do that for a good long while.

  • Good Morning.
    My name is ClearWaters. I was a hopium addict and I’ve been clean since June 2016, when I met Chump Lady, she opened my eyes with her clear logic and analyses and I then joined Chump Nation.

    Hopium was destroying me and my dreams, my finances, my sons, my health and my faith in myself.

    I was being abused without realizing it was abuse. Instead I felt sorry for sparkledick when he pouted that he was “confused” (the understatement of the decade).

    I had developed metabolic syndrome from eating so many shit sandwiches. Thanks to changing my diet, I have gained a life.

    Since CL is also about being a fair human being I follow her to care for my soul and help other people. I learn so much here.

    Chump Nation please become a Patreon, it is so worth it!

    • Yes clear waters I too was a hopium addict. Clean for 4 months. Oh my gosh without CL and CN, (which I found miraculously) I would probably be stuck in the fog still. Couldn’t figure out what was wrong with me. Probably all those shit sandwiches I ate for way to long. I truly know that he sucks now. Thank you thank you Tracy from a chump who appreciates your truth and it has saved my life. Bless you

  • I volunteer to help with any Italian translations you may need. I meet so many fellow-chumps who could benefit by the book and the blog, but are held back by the language problem. Some of them don’t even know they’re chumps yet, but listening to the narrative I get it, and try to gently steer them this way.

    I will never be able to thank you enough. CL changed my life.

  • Wow, 7 years. Looking back at 2012- life today is so different. Thank you Tracy, for all of your early mornings at the laptop. What you do every day is revolutionary. I was on the phone last night with a close friend of mine (of the non-chump variety), and we were talking about how refreshing and validating it is to see women as directors, TV/radio writers, “in charge”. The result is-our children will grow up to view women as real people. We have piles of dirty dishes in the sink. We leave the house with two different shoes on. We lose our shit at the kids school when things are on tilt. And we still kick ass, every day.
    These changes matter. My 13 year-old daughter knows what the “pick-me dance” is (the edited, middle school version of course).
    It’s working. Things are shifting. Thank you.

  • Thank you for all you do, Tracy.

    Still a proud Patron. This place is a lifesaver in the darkest of hours. Working hard on gaining a life. No one understands like Chumps do.


  • The world does need much more Chump Lady and far less RIC. Thank you, CL.

    It’s worth noting, though, that some people stay in terrible marriages not because of RIC type indoctrination or general chumpiness, but for materialism. For examoke, my SIL was chumped, hates her narc jerk of a husband, but stays for his money. She has a good job, so it’s not like she’s financially dependent. They fight constantly and their kids see it all. They tell themselves it’s best for the kids. What a crock. They are modelling a deeply dysfunctional, adversarial marriage based on material greed to those poor kids.
    I suspect it’s quite common to stay in a bad marriage in order to remain financially comfortable. I stayed for a long time (not knowing I was chumped) in an emotionally abusive marriage, not for materialism, but for survival. I am financially dependent and wasn’t aware how easy it would be to get my share of his income. I thought I’d have to battle it out in court and being clinically depressed and chronically ill, felt I did not have the strength for a court battle. After getting horrifically chumped, an STD, and PTSD, it didn’t matter anymore. I was prepared to live in a shoebox if I had to in order to get away from that creep. As it turns out, I can get his employer to send me my share without going through him. ????

    I just wanted to say to anyone out there who is considering staying in order to keep their cushy lifestyle; it isn’t worth it. You’ll have to eat shit every day and then take care of a miserable, ungrateful cheater when he/she’s old. Get out while you still can!

    • More common, indeed. It never ceases to amaze me the lengths that are reached in remaining spackle happy. Social media has made the spreading of fantasy cheap and easy. If your wealthy husband carries on a 4 year relationship with a co worker, why divorce him? Demand a vacation home and a new car, and just have him update his public access Facebook a year later that they just “remarried”. Saves face since he told all of their co workers that he divorced!! Except there was never a divorce!! This strategy never works long term, and eventually he will leave anyway. Take your half of the marital settlement, and go on to make a genuine life. That may not include a vacation home and a car that cost 100k, but there is something to be said to be free of a spouse you have to threaten and bribe in order to get to stay. I find it incredibly sad, and it happens more frequently than you might imagine. As a side note, kids raised in these homes are looking at a lifetime of confusion trying to cobble together appropriate adult relationships. This is a lose lose game all the way around.

  • Do I really need to sign up with Patreon? Can’t I just Venmo or Paypal you directly? Please?

    • Sorry, it’s the only service I’m using. I won’t bore you with the IT reasons. The accounting is just too hard with multiple services (esp. PayPal). I should point out, I’m not a nonprofit, so I’m taxed at 28% on whatever I earn here. A subscription service is MUCH easier from my admin POV.

  • Happy anniversary CL and CN. You have been my saviour, thank god for you and the wonderful people who are always there to help whenever I post. I’m a year out after 27 years, have Ill health which is one if the reason he left and I know I’m nowhere near meh yet but I can’t wait for that day to come. I so wish I could contribute financially but sadly he took all tjr money leaving me on disability but I’m truly grateful to those that do help financially. I’m so grateful for all you do and to everyone here. Thankyou so much x

  • My D-Day was December 23rd and he left on Christmas Eve without any warning. Then he came back and I danced and then he left when I wanted answers and then he came back and I danced harder and he left when I simply wanted to know why and then he came back and “tried my hardest” to pick me as I danced in a frenzy of save this marriage but I got tired of dancing and my leg kept cramping so in a furry of wisdom told him I wasn’t going to be his chump anymore. And he left. For good! And went to visit his girlfriend in another state. I filed. No court date yet. OW dumped him and he’s going after our hairdresser now. And is on dating sites. Have fun lovey! Fall in love! Be motivated to give me what I deserve in the settlement you credit card slinging, lying, cheating ass.
    Thanks Chump Lady for getting my head on straight and for helping me get from a devastated, crying, snot sputtering, dance-crazy mess to a place of power and for instilling a zeal for a mighty life. And for my fellow chumps for telling it like it is and making me see I’m not alone and I’m not the crazy one.

    P.S. I’d sure like to meet fellow chumps here in Boise and then in Tucson when I get there this fall (?). How does one go about doing that?

    • Hi CD,
      Click on FORUMS above the ChumpLady banner at the top of the web site page.
      Then click on Private: Chump Chat Forums
      Then click on Private: Chump Meetups
      Look to see if there’s an existing meetup listed for your area. Otherwise you can create one.
      Remember you are not alone????

    • ChumptyDumpty, when you are ready to move to Tucson please do check in on the Arizona meet-up forum. In the past we have had meet-ups in Phoenix, Tucson, and halfway between in Casa Grande. We don’t have a set schedule but meet when folks are able.

  • Congrats on the anniversary Chump Lady, you rock!

    Met my closest friend on this site and made other friends here as well. That first book launch, meeting chumps from all over the place was great, and I’ve met other local chumps from time to time.

    Though I don’t hang out on the site that much any more, I’m glad you are still here fighting the RIC!! Rock on!

  • I have been coming daily to CN for about 9 months. I am so grateful. This site has pulled me through some dark days and changed my point of view from total helpless victim to someone who now knows her own worth, and is mighty most days. This is something that therapy was not achieving (not knocking therapy for those who it has helped). Chump lady and chump nation, you have changed my life for the better and I have hard time really even putting it into words. I was not a patron before this morning but when I really started to think about your post today, it so important for me that chump nation will be here for those chumps to come that don’t even know they are chumps yet????. Financial support is the least I can do. So very thankful for all that you do, and of course your book too!

  • Thank you for all you do, Tracy! I attended your book launch party and became friends with another fellow chump. Even though I have supportive friends, no one truly understands the disruptive craziness like another chump. I’ve developed a low tolerance for people who refuse to help themselves and gained a life that I’m so incredibly happy and grateful for.

    I don’t visit this site as much as I used to and if I ever get a chance to talk to Tracy in person now, I’d probably be asking for gardening advice (moved into a new house in the DC area and don’t know what to do with the yard)! I’m a proud Patron and if there is a way for me to transfer my subscription to someone else, I would happily do so! I have no need for the podcasts or live chats and would rather have someone else benefit from them.

  • Dear Dear Tracy, YOU ROCK!!!! This site was a god-send and a life saver!!!! I am 7 years post “I’m going to the grocery store. Do you need anything”….those were his exit words. 5 minutes later I got a phone call, ” I am not coming home. There is a note on the desk”……yes, what a chicken-shit, coward…..also he said the words, ” no there is not anyone else, I love you , but I am not in love with you…..and 6 months later he was living with his MUCH YOUNGER co-worker)…… And my journey to hell and back started. I have never been much of a contributor to the comments, but your words ( and those of CN) ALWAYS gave me hope, wisdom, encouragement and STRENGTH!!!! Not to mention making me feel never alone in what I was going through. Yes, 7 years, and I FINALLY feel as if my life is my own again. The journey was long and hard ( side note….I was a 58 year old, stay at home mom, who had been married almost 40 years ) but I am a survivor and happy to say that your words of wisdom helped me to get where I am today. Yes, divorce women of a certain age always get the short end of the stick, but I have found a way to make it all work… bills all get paid, which was a BIG concern having no real “work” skills. My relationships, especially with my kids and grand kids, are wonderful. Do I still have “moments”, of course, but they pass and I move on. THANK YOU , TRACY!!!!

  • If it wasn’t for CL and the multitude of voices here at CN, I don’t know how I would have survived those first few months after the shit show started (which will be one year on Wednesday, divorce was final July 16). The wisdom, all the articles, the support, the knowledge, LACGAL – it helped paint a picture of what he is and why he is so uncompassionate and lacking in empathy.

    Just an idea – maybe the burden can be eased by guest writers. There are so many talented writers who have been through the chump wringer. We learn from you (CL) and from them.

  • Thank you for all you do. This site is a lifesaver. Personally I think you should consider doing YouTube videos. I know I would subscribe.

    • I was thinking about this also when I went back and read Rebbeca’s letter. I don’t know how much you can make on this. But it would be great to free up some time and have the Chumplady forum as a job with income. It doesn’t make sense to be this popular and work two jobs.
      Really this is the best information out there.
      I like Hoyt’s Kitchen and he’s changed over to YouTube. He seems quite popular. He had people suggest that he get on YouTube. Everyone is happy he switched over and is making money. He’s a nice guy. Nice family. I hope you will consider it and free up your time and enjoy the moment!

      • I’ll consider it. On the full-time job thing, I was going to make the leap and go back to freelance life, plus blog, when I reached out to my old editor… who offered me a full-time job. A great job in journalism, that had it been any other place, I wouldn’t be that tempted, but it’s a terrific job and the people are wonderful. And I’m in a dying (transforming?) profession. I took the great job.

        Also — imagine giving up your day job for a tip jar. Scary, right? Even great tips.

        Remember when everyone wanted to start a mommy blog? Food blog? And that was the path to easy riches? Maybe those people exist, but fact is most people want free unfettered content. Ads pay for that. Ads are annoying. The ad landscape is changing. People do affiliate links — I’m not in the business of selling anything other than my “don’t be a chump” advice. I’m not selling Keto recipes or some such.

        Video seems to be the next Thing. And podcasts, of course. I’m not opposed, and I like digital audio, but just like writing, it takes time, structure, thought. I’m a much better writer than I am Other Media person. Does anyone want to see my messy hair on video? I can crank out a column or draw a cartoon. (Perfect work for the introvert.) Those other mediums are extroverted, image-centric. It’s not my natural go-to space.

        Then again, I once thought blogging was a bit out there. (Give content away? Free? No dead trees?) So… I’ll consider it.

        • ❤️ Take care of yourself. I turned 58 this year and it seems minutes ago I was in my 40’s. Check all the resources out there.

        • I’d be fine with your messy hair, a cuppa and/or in your dressing gown. A just woken, getting your thoughts together Chump Lady, is still Chump Lady. You rock any way you present yourself! Do consider it. There would be a strong market for the younger up & coming chumps.

  • Datdamwuf……I remember your name back when I was hanging out here too. I, too, don’t hang out much anymore but still get the daily email and on occasion take a peek when the title entices me! 🙂

    I met a couple times with a few of our fellow chumpers locally. I would have loved to have continued but it just sorta tinkered out. 🙁 Hopefully that just means that all have moved on and forward to a much greater life!

    Thanks Chump Lady…..your advice has pushed me to the other side of having so much greater wisdom and clarity. Unbelievable! I can’t say enough!

    • We do what we end up doing, yeah :). We can catch up some time IHaveHate, though maybe your name is due for an update, or maybe not, heh.

    • Oh my gosh that is what got my attention to read this blog and her book. I think it’s definitely what I needed to jar me out of my hopium fog. You had my attention after the first fuck????

  • Thank you Tracy. This site was a life saver when my sanity was at breaking point. Im only 7 months out but the progress has been amazing, all thanks to you!

    I lurk on a reddit sub and send everyone who needs to see the light here.

  • I had no idea there where CL groups! If I had known I would join the Baltimore/DC group. This site helped me so much in my time of need. I would love to help others with advice.

  • Any chance you can get the forums fixed/restored? We’ve lost the new threads list that used to appear on the right side of the screen, at least for me on a desktop computer. Maybe it’s the plugins not playing well?

    • I didn’t know this was a thing! I’ll ask the IT guy about it or figure it out myself. I’m sure it can be fixed.

      • Hi CL,

        I didn’t really get what you meant by this part. Would you mind elaborating please?

        “Chump Lady pretty much lives in my head. When I meet someone who reads here, it’s very disconcerting. It’s as if your imagination bit your nose.”

        Thank you so much for all that you do for us (chumps), and big congratulations on the incredible outreach and success of your endeavor and toil (website & books).

  • Tracy, thank you. Thank you a thousand times. You didn’t just help me get on my feet after D-Day. You and the great people on this site 4 and 5 years ago helped me see that there was a lot I didn’t know or understand about relationships and human behavior. You helped me understand why my therapist said “You can’t go back.” There is only so much that can be done in a 50-minute therapy session. But there are 7 years of blog posts and responses here, plus the forums. And once I read my way through it, I knew 1) I could never go back to a guy like Jackass; and 2) I had to change how I treated myself.

    Thank you all, from Glad It’s Over and Rumblekitty and Tessie to KarenE and Cashmere and UX. I stick around here not just because the advice out there for chumps is so bad but because gaining a life is so important. In order to have that great life, to get past the idea that Cheater has a Schmoopie and it’s not fair for us to be “alone,” we have to learn to value ourselves. We have to learn about disordered people and the critical importance of fixing our picker, across the board. I wasn’t thinking that way 6 years ago. Now I know better, thanks to you, Tracy and to Chump Nation.

  • There are not enough words to thank you, Chump Lady, for showing me that I deserve (and can have) a better life. This site was my life line in my darkest months following my decision to leave my former fuckwit. I would not have had the courage and strength to follow through on that decision if it was for CL and the wonderful, kind, thoughtful Chump Nation that is my support.

    I read Chump Lady’s book 3 times in the first weeks. And now I visit this site daily. Chump Nation is my virtual tribe! I have met some Chumps here in Seattle also. At the first Chump meetup I met the most wonderful, supportive people ever. I knew they understood what my other friends could only try to understand because they had walked in my shoes.

    As a followup – my life has completely turned around. A year and a half after my decision to leave him my life is everything I could ever have hope for. I am truly blessed! (And I am a dedicated Patreon supporter of CL!)

  • Finding and reading volumes of archives was a lifeline for me in the midst of what I’ve come to call “my slow walk through hell.” I’m now at “meh” most days, but continue to check in from time to time. I’m also a Patreon with the idea of paying it forward for future chumps. I’m eternally grateful for Tracy’s invaluable positive contribution and roadmap out of hell for so many abused souls.

  • “Perhaps a wicked fairy pricked a sleeping baby, muttered a curse, and the child grew up to be a blogger instead of a sensible accounting major?” I am very glad that wicked fairy pricked you as a sleeping baby and muttered a curse. I grew up to be that sensible accounting major, not a blogger. But you are the one who helped me get through this mess, not my sensible accounting degree (after I started out reading all the RIC info to try to save my marriage).

    Your tell it like it is (and sometimes potty mouth 🙂 ) is the thing that got though to me. I get supremely annoyed when skeptics say your info isn’t “right” and you’re too tough. Um, no. I am glad someone is getting the word out there to change this narrative and not feeding the shit sandwich to people who have gone though this. I make sure to steer others to your site and recommend your book when I hear they went through the same thing we all did. (And since we are around the same age, etc., of course I relate to you in all those age related things too lol!).

    Congrats on your blog Chump Lady. You rock!

  • Thank heavens for Chump Lady and Chump Nation! I don’t know where I would be without you. With you, I am darn close to MEH. I happened on a Tuesday a while back. So thank you!

  • I can never thank you enough Tracy for you, this website, and Chump Nation. I haven’t posted a lot, but I’ve been here since 2014. D day October 24, 2014. Divorced May 17, 2015 at age 65. With hindsight I can see how much better off I am now since the cheater decided after 28 years of marriage that he “deserved to be happy”, which means having a very very long distance Facebook re-kindled romance/affair with his friend from childhood who lived half a continent away. I was ill at the time and he didn’t like that at all…..kibble decline, ya know? You gave me the strength to get through pure hell where the man I loved with my whole heart and soul became an evil person with no empathy or compassion. He wanted me out so he could move her in.

    Well, she never moved in. She is still with her husband of 30 years and her six children and her ten grandchildren, and her two great great grandchildren. He just retired and moved out there to be near her, but she is no longer interested.

    I, on the other hand have survived and have come to thrive. I have moved to Florida, retired, met a wonderful new man along the way ( a bonus, wasn’t looking). We are happy, content, and enjoy each other in a committed relationship that works. I do yoga, and have a small business of my own. I am financially independent, and my health has GREATLY improved since moving away from the cheater. I am so much happier without him. He is a sad, grumpy, mean spirited, selfish, narcissistic, lonely old man. You get out of life what you put into. You reap what you sow. Karma is a bitch.

    I was able to accomplish my new happy life with the great help of you, Tracy, and the community you have established. An invaluable community, doing so much good, filling such a great need in our society.

    YOU are a national treasure, Tracy. Kudos, applause, cheers for you and your wonderful husband who supports you. God bless you and PLEASE keep on keepin’ on….for all our sakes !!!! Thank you from the bottom of my heart !!!

  • Sometimes I like to day dream about winning the lottery and who I would share my vast winnings with. Chump Lady is on the list.
    Without CN, I would be a hot mess.

    Thanks to everyone here and Tracy for helping me through.

  • Thank you, Tracy and Chump Nation for this blog and all of everyone’s input. Chumps are truly the most beautiful, wise people on this planet.

  • Thank you CL! Just over 2 years from finding you soon after finally walking after way too long. Your new vocab helped in understanding & describing gaslighting, hopium, pickme. Swearing and humor helped shed light in tough times. Meetups were heartwarming to meet other folk who got it. Seconding the request for a way to contribute one off amounts (contract-income #tightbudget).
    Progressing toward Tuesday and meh – focusing on looking forward, with appreciation. Thank you CL and thank you CN!

  • Tracy, my D-Day was 3 1/3 years ago, and I’m coming up on the 2 year anniversary of my divorce being final. A friend told me about this website while I was in the thick of it, and the BEST thing it did for me is make me realize my ex was saying the exact same things all the other cheaters say. He thought he was soooooo special, finding his Twue Wuv and moving on to his Great New Life and away from me and our daughter. For me to find out that he wasn’t special at all, but just another jerk behaving like thousands of jackasses before him made it SO much easier for me to pull it together and kick him to the curb. I honestly haven’t spent a lot of time here (or commented) but really, I don’t know if I could have done it without you.
    All that to say THANK YOU, and thank you to CN as well! We are mighty!!

  • Happy Anniversary, fabulous blog! And many thanks to Tracy for keeping many of us from staying in bad marriages or from needing a defense attorney after D-day!!

    The help has given all of us as individuals is itself awe-inspiring. But there is a vast network of chumps across several continents, which means that if someone needs help, there are typically a few people in the same area who can spring to the rescue, or a much bigger net can be cast for someone who needs a financial boost (and other chumps spring to the challenge).

    Meetups happen routinely–there was a 2015 Europe trip, a 2016 Yosemite trip, and chumps in multiple cities who get together monthly. We are becoming a force, thanks to CL’s courage to challenge the status quo (my spouse’s affair was the best thing that ever happened to my marriage? Puh-leeze), writing skill, and avenue for us to collect as a support group.

    Viva la Revolution!!

    • Huge shout-out to Tempest — the Den Mother of CN and the Chump Guevara of the Revolution!

      I know she’s personally conducted a LOT of CN rescue missions.

      I could not run this place without Tempest and Rebecca moderating comments and the forums.


    • Wow — CN trips!! Sounds awesome — do they post them somewhere specific.

    • Hey Tempest,
      Please put me on the list for the next trip!
      My bag is packed and ready to go…????

  • Tracy,, and chump nation, this site is priceless and some days the only thing that keeps me sane.
    I started reading a little over 2 years ago, with a little hopium in my heart. That’s all gone. Still not divorced. Oh how wrong I was, thought my STBX would be decent in the divorce, turns he is worse than most. I’m preparing for battle this week in court.

    My credit card was hacked a few months ago and dropped my support of CL, I will redo ASAP. The snarky Friday’s, current news about crappy people and the limericks light my fire. Thank you all for the stories and the support that happens here everyday.

    • Kfindingmyway
      Do NOT give up or give in during your legal battle. It is exhausting. Going to war with someone you thought was your best friend is horrific. You have the combined wisdom of CN here to help with emotional support, tips and strategies to get you through. There is huge satisfaction when you get a settlement that allows for that new life!

  • Thank you Tracy for all that you have done to help me get to MEH. 7 years ago, I was one year out and I NEVER thought I would survive. Your blog and the responses from chumps all over the world helped me through the worst time of my life. I truly couldn’t imagine recovering from the pain and suffering I was living through on a daily basis. Your “take no shit” attitude helped me develop the boundaries I needed to live. You preached about no contact and I couldn’t imagine how it would work with two kids, but slowly I made it work. Reading that you and hundreds of other here were going through the same things as me with almost the same stories, made me feel less alone. When you’re the only one in your circle of friends going through a divorce, they just can’t truly relate. But you do and so does CN. I will be forever grateful Tracy for what you do early in the morning – so we can shake our heads silently, snort our coffee or shed a tear as we read along. You are the REAL DEAL and I thank you from the bottom of my heart.

  • Chump lady you got me through the darkest of nights when my lamp was almost extinguished & I thank you for that.

  • French A lot of Frenchy cheaters.

    Thanks for your hard work and dedication.
    Years ago I left a physically abusive and probably cheating alcoholic. I didn’t stay long enough.

    I recently helped save a friend after finding your site. I watched the cycle for a few years, emotional abuse via cheating. You wrote the cheating was abuse. When cheater was in a charm and sad sausage routine, I made it known that I couldn’t support the abuse and that cheating was abuse. I was staying away and not doing any double dates because Mistress would show back up again. It took her a few months to process, for him to disappear for a few nights, and for the mistress and her to talk to realize it’s been going on all along! My friend has left and appears to have really moved on! She’s gaining a life. And cheater is still after her during the week, and then meeting up with mistress on the weekend per mutual friends. They.dont.change.

  • What has CL done for me? After being caught up in the RIC, it was this blog that taught me enough to finally pull the trigger on filing. Understanding narcissism was key for me.

    Then as I walked the painful path, you/the blog provided the support with every step. I read the archives and was active on the forums.

    The humor was just what the doctor ordered. A friend posted yesterday on Facebook — “have you ever been so mad that the shit is funny?” We chumps know that feeling well and you tap into it in such a healthy way.

    And meeting people, yes, have done that too. Have met multiple chumps and have an inner circle of chump friends that are like chosen sisters.

    “Thanks” is woefully inadequate.

    Happy Anniversary! Xoxo

  • Dear Tracy,
    Dear dear, dear,dear, Tracy,
    Thank you very, very, very much and a lot.
    please keep on being Chump Lady.
    love, Fran

  • Happy Bloggiversary Chump Lady!!

    It’s been more than 5 years since I divorced the cheater and I give CL and CN a lot of credit for that. My dday happened in 2010 which predated this blog by 2 years so the ONLY advice out there was from the RIC. Since my ex is a coward who didn’t want to give up half of his shit, he agreed to work things out but in RIC-land that meant me dancing the pick me polka, pretzeling myself to make my needs smaller and the marriage a “happier place to be;” trying to manipulate and control the situation by doing the wretched `180 and allowing the fog to be an excuse for everything my ex did and didn’t do post discovery.

    I languished for three years in wreckconciliation until I stumbled upon CLs blog in the beginning of 2013. To be honest all the RIC advice seemed like bullshit but I didn’t listen to my inner voice at all back then. I needed to see it in black and white snark and CL was just what the doctor ordered. I eventually found the courage to leave my 27 year marriage and my life without the cheater is sooooo much better.

    I don’t come here very often these days. I contribute when I think I can help and I am a Patreon member so hopefully new chumps can find this site instead of the awful RIC sites.

    At one point I initiated and organized the North East Mighty Chumps and have had the pleasure of meeting Uniquelyme, Doingme, UXworld, The Muse, Lina and Echonomore, chumpella de Ville to name a few. I have since passed the torch of organizer but continue to stay in touch with a number of NEMC. It has been a very healing process. It’s been especially helpful to have met male chumps like UX to give me perspective from the other side. Chumpdom knows no boundaries, be they male, female, rich, poor, gay or straight. It sucks for all of us but it has been so helpful to get that real life connection when I need help with something!

    I change the narrative by telling the world what I’ve learned when the topic of betrayal comes up. I never settle for “reasons” it’s okay to cheat. I’ve even set family members straight on that. I don’t talk about it all the time but if the topic comes up, I don’t keep my opinions silent.

    These are all the ways that CL and CN have helped me in the past 6 years and there is much more work to be done. Viva La Chump!!!

  • Thank you CL and the CN. I’m 16 months post D-day, 11 months post “I’m done with this wreckoncilliation”. I wish I had found CL sooner. I spent too much time in the RIC, and it always felt very wrong to me. When I read CL, everything made sense, I knew I couldn’t and shouldn’t stay married to the fuckwit, but the RIC was strong and there was so much pressure to “work through it”.

    I read CL daily, because I’m still hurting a lot and have days of extreme self doubt. CL And CN words or wisdom and snark always lift me up.
    Thank you thank you thank you

  • And if you’ve benefited from this site, consider signing up to chip in $5 or $10 per month. You won’t miss the money. But it’s a way to pay forward what CN has done for you.

  • Thanks to Chumplady, I …
    1) Now know how useless it was to try to ‘untangle the skein’ of the husband I divorced in 2014 after 18 years of marriage. No, toxoplasmosis did not cause him to hit on my younger sister during a family beach vacation.

    2) Went ZC with the buffoon I dated post-divorce after I found out he hooked up with his old college girlfriend when we first started dating – back when he was pressing me for a way-too-early commitment and telling me he was ‘very monogamous.’

    3) Just respectfully ended a FWB relationship. It served its purpose and nothing bad happened – I just don’t feel like ‘it’s right’ anymore.

    4) Help other chump friends who are ‘in the fog’ following the devastation of betrayal.

    5) Eviscerate married men who hit on me. Recently a guy tried to tell me he & his wife were ‘just roommates’ so I said, ‘Cool, if I can just confirm that with her first…’ Dumbass.

    And I’ve only been in this site since summer of 2017. Thanks, CL and CN!

    • “No, toxoplasmosis did not cause him to hit on my younger sister during a family beach vacation.”

      For me, it was either Asperger’s syndrome or Cushing’s disease.

      Thank God for Dr Google – keeping bad relationships together through misdiagnosis since 1998.

      • Haha – I considered Asperger’s, too.

        Maybe that’s a Fun Friday Challenge: What disease or syndrome did you try to apply to your cheater to explain away his/her behavior…

        I mean, I truly did consider that a parasite from cleaning cat boxes had infected my ex-husband’s brain because I could figure out no other logical explanation for his freakazoid behavior. I read articles and everything.

  • Thank you for everything, Chump Lady! I’m so glad I found this site when I needed it, and I love continuing to read it almost every day, five years after D-Day, two years after marrying the most amazing person I could have never dreamed was out there waiting for me, and a year after giving birth to the cutest freaking baby you have ever seen. Life is so good on this side of telling the RIC to fuck off. Trust!

  • Hello Tracy,

    Look at your gorgeous face! 🙂 I am extremely grateful for this website. It’s like mental crack for chumps. All I need is this site and my coffee to inspire me for the day.

    You get suicide threats and troll attacks? Oh my. I am so sorry.

    You get letters from other women? Publish more of those please! (It’s incredibly ironic that they email you). The world needs to see the twisted thinking that exists in their minds.

    Heck yes you are changing the RIC dialogue and it needs to be changed. First off, a good deal of what is written in RIC is total garbage. But, I am also certain that a “gentleman with a spray tan and a comb over” whom shall not be named has regressed male/female romantic relationships by several hundred years. I have the strangest feeling that David Brooks (not him again!) would not have had the balls to make such a douchebag move as marrying someone his daughter’s age if not for “the man who shall remain nameless.” Sure, David Brooks had the balls to have an affair, but bringing the relationship out into the open and smugly putting a ring on it? And an expensive gift registry? That’s pretty courageous. But, DB has a very powerful role model to look up to – a role model who is on his third wife – and who makes decisions for the (free?) world. Also, notice DB (David Brooks) could be shorthand for douche-bag. Just saying. Yes, he STILL pisses me off.


    Thank you for this site! You are causing much-needed cracks in the RIC narrative and your writing on this site has greatly influenced how I write and think about infidelity. You are changing the narrative and I am happy to be a patron and pay it forward to other chumps like myself. The chumping may have ended, but it still leaves a life-long scar that can be aggravating unless we are constantly reminded that we did not do anything to deserve the chump scar. Few places in the RIC will put the full blame on the cheater. Chumps need a place where they can be shown over and over again WHY being chumped was NOT their fault…and why a chump could not possibly cause a cheater to cheat. (Scorpions sting and cheaters cheat). Chumps need a place where someone who understands can decipher the gas-lighting that fire-breathing cheaters constantly lob at their chumps. Finally, chumps need a community. You are changing the face of infidelity recovering. Hooray!!



    Here is some context to my comment about scorpions will sting and cheaters will cheat. It’s from the story of The Scorpion and the Frog and here is a retelling of it from the film, The Crying Game.

    And of course, the theme song from The Crying Game:

  • Tracy, I found your blog some time in 2014, and it was like the Rosetta Stone, the unified field theory, and the missing piece of the puzzle, all rolled into one.

    I read ALL the archives up to that point, and laughed my head off, in between facepalms. It was painful but exhilarating.

    Since then I have been given excellent tips on good literature and research, and I have also been there first-hand to see people transition from quivering wrecks to Meh, in what really seems like a very short time. It’s been a huge education for me.

    It’s also been wonderful to see No Contact used properly in real life settings – not as a variation on the loathsome 180 or the Pick Me Dance, but as an effective short cut to healing and moving on.

    I have been a huge fan ever since, and today I became a Patreon! I have been meaning to do this for a while, but I really do think that Chump Nation is beginning to make dents in the RIC.

  • I have not much to say.


    Without your work, I would have been lost in the process and become another sad statistics. Now I am able to reclaim my life.

  • I found CL and CN about 2 months after my divorce was final, doing a heartbroken midnight Google search for how to deal with co-parenting with a cheater. Reading through all the archives and all the forums has helped me process and heal so much faster and so much more genuinely than I thought I would.

    My new life is eclipsing the old and each day is one day closer to meh. I couldn’t have done it this well without you, Tracy. My prayers and donations will continue as long as there are chumps.

  • I’m not even joking when I say this blog saved my sanity. Chump Lady, combined with my therapist and my research into personality disorders, and reading the book, GOT ME TO MEH. And it is a beautiful, wonderful place to be.

    The support is amazing here. I am one of those who has “graduated” from the site, but if there are any new chumps I run into (online or in person), I immediately direct them here. It’s a life saver.

    Love you, CL and Chump Nation!!! STAY MIGHTY.

  • Thank you Chump Lady, Chump Nation. I found you at a very dark time. two and a half years ago and meh now feels so close. I can’t see unicorns, Cacti and kangaroos now without a quiet smile.

  • I appreciate Chump Lady and her continuous efforts to keep this blog afloat. Helping so many people. I don’t know where I’d be without you!! I wish some billionaire would sponsor your site. If I win the Lotto, I will!! Can’t wait for Chump Nation, the movie. Or TV series. Haha! Let’s do it ????????????????????????

  • Suicide is a permanent solution to a temporary problem.

    Never forget this.

    You may go on to the next life, but for those of us remaining – children, relatives, parents, siblings, friends – the emotional horror of this henious act never goes away.

    I have lost friends who loved life do to accidents and desease.

    What I wouldn’t give to have them back.

    To willing end ones life over pieces of shit, I cannot even comprehend.

  • Tracy I think your awesome and you have helped me immensely since DDay, Dec. 2016!

  • Ted Talks for you Mrs Chump Lady. We want you to go multi-national. Take on the likes of EP on the stages they love and may it bring you deserved fortune and as much fame as you can handle. I want to be sending your Ted Talk link to everyone. You can do it. Eternaly grateful to have found this site, things would have been awful without it. Awful. It’s the only place where you get any sense and a realisation that you are not alone and have been played like a (very predictable) fiddle.

  • I am forever grateful for Chump Lady and Chump Nation, who helped me through the darkest period of my life. I started reading in the Spring of 2016, and by the end of the summer, finally knew I had the strength to kick my “I still haven’t given up on our marriage but I’m not going to break up with [the AP]” cheater to the curb and file for divorce. Coming up on 2 years post-divorce, dating an amazing man who treats me better than cheating fuckwit ever did, and I KNOW that I couldn’t have done any of it without the truth, humor and support I got from this blog. I’ve been a Patreon since it started, and even thought I don’t come here often anymore, I’ll continue as long as Tracey keeps this site going because it’s a life-saver! Every time I meet a new chump, I immediately direct them here because I know they’ll get the support they need, any time day or night. Thank you thank you thank you, Tracey, for the wonderful support you provide to all of us!!

  • Hi, first post and would love to make a one-off donation (not in a place to promise regular support just now). Is there any way I can do this? Thank you!

  • Hi CL, I’ve been with you from the beginning of the blog. I still visit regularly b/c the boundaries you espouse pertain to all areas of my life, not just to the polyamorous/swinger cheater that was my husband. I had been trying to save my marriage since 2009, guess what…you were right. Remember my email to you about renegotiating the marriage contract? Your reply was so thoughtful and helpful. I didn’t want to see it, but you knew that my marriage was over. It took me a long time to see it as well. He finally forced my hand, demanding I agree to an open marriage or divorce. I chose to divorce and filed; it was the most painful thing I’ve ever had to do in my life. This September I will have been divorced for one year. I still miss him terribly, but I think it is the idea of him that I miss. He desperately wants me to remain friends with him, and does not want me to hate him. Too late…I will never face or talk to him again. I know I am a good person, and he tried to make me do things with other people that were against my value system. After 22 years together he tried to get me to change horses midstream and open our marriage. Not interested… even after all this time I do still need this blog, I hate him so I guess I still need help. I’m happy to be a Patreon, and hopefully my heart will mend. Thank you!

  • >
    %d bloggers like this: