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What Do You Tell Yourself?

Dear Chump Lady,

What do all the mighty people tell themselves when it’s too much? When you’re struggling for air? When not even your family understands? When you’re not allowed to complain? When you can’t show weakness? (After all, anything that can be used against you in court, WILL be.) When your kids fall for his lies? When he files yet another case? When your finances just can’t handle another case, but you gotta fork it out anyway? When he just won’t let you move forward? When it’s already been 4 years, and there’s no end in sight to his games (at least until the last child graduates or he dies)? When you probably won’t have a relationship ever again (because who wants to deal with a woman with 4 kids and a narc X)?

In a way I’m comforted knowing it wasn’t me. I know it was him. I’m confident of myself, happier than I ever have been. But he won’t stop hurting me and hurting my kids. (I’ve gone no contact but for necessary kids stuff.) He insists on dragging the kids through lies and court. So in a way I’m more disturbed at how common all this is because why haven’t the courts wisened up? If it’s so common, why do they get away with it? With harassing good moms just trying to move forward doing what’s best for their kids?

What do you tell yourself? How do you get back up every day and keep going? Even though your heart is breaking? Even though all your life has been crushed in front of your face and thrown out without a care?

I know I need to pick myself up and keep going, but what do I tell myself?

Happily Free

Dear Happily Free,

Tell yourself you’re mighty. That you’re stronger than a fuckwit. And that you’re going to be okay despite him. Better than okay. Maybe not right this heartbreaking minute, when you’re exhausted and feeling wobbly. But eventually, you’ll be free.

When you’re struggling for air?

Take a deep breath. And another. And another. Motherfucker doesn’t own air.

When not even your family understands?

Not everybody understands. Find a safe space like Chump Nation where people do understand. Vent here. You can vomit your grief anytime. We get it, we lived it.

Around those that haven’t lived it, tread carefully. You might have shared history, or shared DNA, but not everyone does grief and vulnerability. Doesn’t mean you have to ex-communicate them (I will allow you, however, to think a bit less of them), but perhaps they can distract you with conversation or a movie or some superficial normalcy.

For those you can trust with your grief, hold them close. They’re the best sort of people. Show up in return when life throws them a sucker punch.

When you’re not allowed to complain?

Says who? There are no stoicism police. You are not doing this wrong. There is just getting through it. We will not be awarding medals for stiff upper lips. (What would that look like anyway? A mounted titanium lip? Profiles in Frozen Facedom?)

Everything wounded cries. Either no one hears it, predators hear it and come in for the kill, (don’t do grief around fuckwits), or your pack hears it and circles round you to defend.

Find your pack. Need to howl? Do it online (anonymously!), in a shrink’s office, on a best friend’s soggy shoulder. We’ll comfort you and snarl at him until you can carry the load again.

When you can’t show weakness?

Let your lawyer be your professional fighter. You just go about the business of sane parenting and putting your life back together.

(After all, anything that can be used against you in court, WILL be.)

There is a difference between being devoid of emotion, and being discerning about sharing emotions. It’s not that you can’t show weakness or anger, it’s that you cannot lose your shit in court, or in public documents that could be shown to a judge.

Need support online? Do it anonymously with the utmost of cybersecurity. Don’t use usernames your ex might know. Create a new email account that’s not tied to Google or gravatars.

He baits you by text? Humiliates you in a thousand subtle and not-so-subtle ways? Give it to Jesus. Don’t respond.

Is this shitty? Yes. But as my husband the trial lawyer likes to say about being in litigation, “If it feels good — don’t do it.”

Don’t tell him off. Maintain your dignity. Whatever the other side is trying to paint you as — batshit crazy, hysterical, emotional — don’t be that. Be calm. Exude sane parent. Because you ARE sane, you’re just going through hell at present.

If you do the work, document the work. Time stamp it. Don’t get invested in the injustice that HE (a fuckwit) doesn’t get it. He doesn’t WANT to get it. He needs your bad guy status like he needs his Woobie. Stop trying to achieve consensus about your value or your children’s feelings, or the truth of how the marriage ended. Just do you. Parent. Show up. Love consistently. Valiantly. In spite of his chaos. Do. It. Every. Day.

When your kids fall for his lies?

You don’t control that. Kids also believe in Santa Claus and the Tooth Fairy. Why? Because some trusted adult told them they exist. They grew out of those myths and they’ll probably outgrow Daddy Is an Honorable Person. But maybe not. A lot of people we love have delusions. And we generally love them despite those delusions.

Try not to take it as disloyalty. The BEST thing you can do to counter his narrative is build a better life for yourself and model resiliency. Do NOT pick me dance for your children. You still have to bring your sane parent game and do the not-so-fun stuff like enforcing book reports and bedtime. You may not always be the popular parent, but you’re the Sane Parent. This is a long game.

When he files yet another case?

I’m sorry. I know how deeply this sucks. I had a freak who sued me four times for custody (and lost four times) — who sued me while owing thousands in back support. Pro se. Because he could. It’s about control. It’s abusive and it’s legal. And if I think about the money spent on defending stupid lawsuits from a fuckwit (money that could’ve paid for a college education or a house) — my head will explode. I’m sure your head wants to explode. So I don’t think about it. (Okay, some times I think about it and I treat the high blood pressure.)

I just want to tell you, I’m many years out from the experience and I survived it. And I keep this community alive so you all can survive it.

Postscript: My son is great. He still sees the fuckwit occasionally. But he calls us his “parents” and his father his “bio-dad.” (I first heard it in passing, when he was 20. I could’ve cried.) Like I said, it’s a LONG game.

When your finances just can’t handle another case, but you gotta fork it out anyway?

I don’t know your financial or legal situation. Talk to your local court about going pro se. Or mediation. Or read everything you can over at — they’ve got all the divorce and custody laws there, by state. Be your best goddamn advocate.

When he just won’t let you move forward?

He doesn’t control forward. But wouldn’t he love that? YOU captain this ship. Leaving him is a huge step forward. Build the new life. Enjoy every single fuckwit-free minute. There’s still joy in being a parent. (Really, despite the book reports.) There’s still ice cream and trilliums and puppy videos. There’s still Mozart and Alice Neel and P.G. Wodehouse. There are still a bazillion prophets of joy.

He is not Master of the Universe. He’s one singular fuckwit. Do not kiss his ring. Do not give him power.

When it’s already been 4 years, and there’s no end in sight to his games (at least until the last child graduates or he dies)?

He flings bait? Reject the bait. Hell, have a good think if every single provocation deserves a response. Use parenting software. Keep it to logistics and surgically remove all the emotion.

When you probably won’t have a relationship ever again (because who wants to deal with a woman with 4 kids and a narc X)?

Are you a fortune teller? You don’t know the future. I lived on one street in a small town in Texas and within 400 feet were TWO women who each had four kids with fuckwits and who both remarried very nice men. By the time I met them, it was 30 years later. Long game, Happily. LONG game.

Anyway, you will have relationships again. With your kids. With yourself. With people worthy of you.

How do you get back up every day and keep going? Even though your heart is breaking? Even though all your life has been crushed in front of your face and thrown out without a care?

And yet here you are. With the strength to write a letter. To fight and breathe another day.

How do you do it? You just do it. And then you do it the next day, and the day after that, and eventually the pain stops, and you’ve got some fine young adults, and the fuckwit is on a bender, or book tour, or was elected emperor of a piss-pot republic. And he’s a nonentity. A yawn. A mortifying relic of your past. He’s feathered bangs in your yearbook.

And you survive. It happens on a Tuesday. ((Hugs))


Ask Chump Lady

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  • Tomorrow is Tuesday. I hope it’s my Tuesday. In fact, I’m gonna make it my Tuesday.

    Love your wisdom and your help.

    • (((((Happily Free))))

      Love and many many hugs to you and your precious Children.
      I am so sorry for your pain.
      YOU are very very Mighty!
      CN understands and is here for you 24/7.
      Sometimes I don’t know what to say, but I truly care!

  • HOnestly Tracy everyday I pray to die I’m not happy, cheated on, gutted like a fish, smear campaign and parental alienation. I just feel tired! I was faithful 24 years, why?

    • im sorry Carol – we all feel this way at first. it gets better! then it gets good and you feel free again. hugs to you.

      • Carol?

        PROMISE. It gets so much better without them.

        But first, you have to go through how you feel. There is only one way – through it.

        When you are going through Hell, keep going! – Winston Churchill.

        One day at a time, one year at a time, and you gradually see life now is so much better without him in it. You get to see how shallow, how unconnected they are. How it must be actually, quite sad to be that inhumane.

        You get used to people treating you well, and asking how you are, and you wonder why actually you got so caught up, ground down and invested in his disdain.

        I never believed that it would get better, when people told me things were better without him, but its true. I am sad that I invested my life in someone who couldn’t return it, but I count the blessing of my children and other benefits – its still better ‘here’ than with him.

    • Why not? I mean, we like to think that if we are perfect (thin enough, sexy enough, loving enough, domestic enough, wealthy enough…) that no harm can come to us. Bad shit happens to everyone, even gorgeous sexy millionaires, so don’t get fooled believing someone’s highlight reals. You picked a dud spouse, but it doesn’t define you. Tuesday is coming.

    • So sorry Carol. Believe what other chumps tell you: many of us felt like this for a long time. I did too. But it does pass eventually. Hang in there, the pain is finite.

    • Carol,

      I don’t know if this will help you but it got me through to the other side. I too wanted to die. So much so that I found myself hospitalized for suicide idealization.

      My therapist told me the day I chose to become a parent, I gave up the right to purposefully die and leave them alone. Hated that promise but because I’m a chump my promise actually meant it was something that I couldn’t break.

      It was so hard to get myself through what you’re feeling time after time and day after day. The dark days seemed endless with no light ahead. The process of divorcing was endless, mean, cruel and horrible. I kept asking “why”.

      I made sure I got the most amazing lawyer I could. I did a lot of digging on my case but trusted her to handle the fight and direction. I knew she had my back. By the way, it took firing 2 other lawyers to get to her. Don’t know where I found the courage to fire and refuse to pay the remaining balance to the first 2. Didn’t know I had that strength in me but I couldn’t afford to pay for people who had fucked up.

      I found Chump Lady and this safe place. Tracy’s gift of this place is lifesaving.

      I had no family to support me so I figured out which friends had my back and rotated dumping on them so no one got all of it. I made sure that when I was having a good day I gave back to them. Unbalanced for sure but I tried to be there for them emotionally on my better days.

      I know that my work with my therapist was instrumental in keeping me going. It was a safe place to fall apart and somehow leave each session put back together again. Try and find the right therapist for you. They are out there! Mine pushed and pulled me through the worst and is still be the one I share the big successes with now.

      I read books and listened to podcasts and looked for advice on how to get through this shit. Some things worked in the short term and some things really helped for a long time. A DBT class taught me some serious skills for the dark times and even real interpersonal skills that helped me understand people who are disordered. I kept CL books next to my bed and read chapters over and over again to soothe my soul. Journaling didn’t work for me but was worth a try. Basically, I tried everything anyone here suggested to see what might help.

      I’m now living the long game. Almost 9 years from DDay (actually the DMoment I will never forget). I know that when the hardest days come that every day only lasts 24 hours and that the light will shine again if I just ride it out. I’ve learned to mentally surf. I have my kids who are now adults who think their mom is amazing. I’ve survived to see my cheater ex be unhappy and not care. I still don’t understand why he did what he did but I accept that my marriage was a fake for him. I was invested alone and that’s OK because I know I gave it my all.

      Do I love where I am now? Yes and no. Do I have a good life? Absolutely. Just not the one I thought I would have. Do I wish I had a partner? Definitely. But because I don’t have one right now doesn’t mean I will never have one. I am very, very lucky. I have my health, my amazing adult children and their families and a whole bunch of people who think I’m the strongest, most talented person on earth.

      Please take one day at a time, do the best you can every day and have faith in your inner strength!

      • Rebecca, thanks so much for this! I can’t get enough of these stories of how much better things get. I am just about 21 months out from D-Day 2, and though things have been relatively easy, I still have days like Carol’s and Happily Free’s. Looking forward to Tuesday!

      • @Rebecca this post has uplift my soul this morning. I am not even a year in and I wake up some mornings tired of living in this state. Other mornings I wake up feeling that life is a okay. I pray that these emotions will just go away, but I try to be realistic and remember I had been with this person for 22 years and it will take time.

      • Thanks, Rebecca. I have had to put my brain on cruise-control so many times. I also read, somewhere, that throwing up a mental pic of a stop sign can help, and it actually did (some of the time). Still, it is sometimes hard not to allow my brain to go “pain shopping”. It is still a choice I make every day.

        What I have come to realize is that our marriage was real to both of us, we just had different definitions of what “marriage” meant. I thought, however, that we were in agreement about the definitions before we tied the knot. He has admitted that we were, but then he unilaterally decided to change the definitions and not tell me. And, even after he came clean, he kept pushing and testing boundaries, like a four year-old. I FINALLY decided I was done looking after a toddler.

        Wishing you all peace.

        • This is the image I used while I was trying to quit obsessively ruminating over the details of the breakup:

          A big steel box. I’d mentally put him in it, padlock it, then shove the box off a tall cliff with a hard kick. Then I’d mentally watch it bounce and slam its way down the side of the mountain, and come to a crashing halt at the bottom. Kind of like a Roadrunner-Wyle E Coyote scenario.

          It usually worked, and always made me chuckle. 😀

      • That is just fantastic advice Carol. Your ability to put it into word is even more fantastic!
        I’m a Psychiatrist . And al, you wrote is what I did .. and do on the road to healing & recovery. I loved your saying that even though your life is not what you thought it would look’s still a pretty great life

        Thanks for sharing.

    • Carol, it will get better. You just have to navigate through this shit one day at a time. Find a good therapist and process this. I went two times a week for a year…. and I’m a therapist. Find a good one who will help you navigate through the shit sandwich. Journal, travel, church…. whatever it is that you find even slightly helpful. I’m three years out and it took me a solid year to not cry every day. I promise you it will be better, just don’t give up.

      • I cried for [too embarrassed to tell you how many years].

        I at least it means that I was loyal, and that I can love.

        He has the right to live life any way that has meaning for him.

        I have the right to decline that mistreatment. His behaviour does not determine my worth.

    • I felt the same way. Now I don’t want to die every single day. Eventually I won’t want to at all anymore. The same will happen to you. I know the pain is so brutal that life feels like it’s not worth living. But it is. You’ll get there. Just put one foot in front of the other every day and walk forward. I’m sending you love. ❤

    • Carol. Don’t give up.
      Isn’t it funny that people who don’t know you care?
      It’s because there are people who know that each of us has some intrinsic value. It is because we in CN and elsewhere know that there are evil people who delight in destruction of people and things.
      Alot of us felt like you.
      I hated waking up. I’d go to work and immerse myself, come home andc repeat the cycle.
      Then I got tired of not being who I was before my ex deliberately tried to hurt me.
      I got a gratitude app. Every night I had to write one thing I was looking forward to the next day. Sometimes I had to make things up in advance so I would have that thing to look forward to.
      Every evening I had to write what I was grateful for.
      I also started to help less fortunate people. It’s hard to feel sorry for yourself when you are helping others up.
      My sad days were mixed with good times. Now I can look back at that period with a mixture of sadness (and anger!) but also some happiness.
      Do not fret yourself because of evil doers. Do good…. Paraphrasing Psalm 37.
      Keep coming here. There are others just like you like Brit. You will make it. Keep putting one foot in front of the other.
      God strengthen you and bless you.

    • Carol…..I live this too. The parental alienation, the lies. And I pay child support to him, while he lets the kids live reckless lives. They are too old to go to court about now. But they made their choices. I can’t fight that. And I won’t sink to that level. I was told that the parent that is willing to sacrifice their child often wins. They sacrifice them by lying to them, by letting them have no rules, by fostering dependency, and bad habits.

      Praying to die lets him win. We have to find some happiness on our own. I come here to read the stories of what people have overcome. I read Joyce Meyers as well….Battlefield of the Mind is a good book she authored.

      When I get in a funk I get busy. Any activity helps.

    • Dear Carol,

      I know exactly how you feel. I lived it six years ago. It feels like you wake up into a nightmare everyday. Please know that these feelings will pass. The pain diminishes over time. Of course you were a good spouse and you definitely didn’t deserve this kind of treatment. It’s hard to believe in the early days, but the cheater acted this way not because of you, but because of something broken within them.

      A big hug to you. It does get better.

    • Carol, I learned to tolerate abuse from my mother who was a battered woman. There were two things she repeatedly said throughout my childhood. The first was, “I can’t believe he…” The other was, “Why would he do this to me?”

      You know I was strong, independent and cautious in picking a spouse. He was far worse in every way. The narrative began when we married. He was the victim. I had no idea what a covert narcissist was until I was 57 years old and filed despite loving my abuser.

      • My adult children and granddaughter were abandoned for two years while he shacked up in her dumpy apartment. He emerged depressed, broke and alone after being evicted. He moved a town over and adult children were happy to not only align themselves with him, they felt sorry for him.

        Hell, I maintained his image for years. The bar whore, while an embarrassment ( skank beyond belief) was what they had to tolerate.

        I maintain no contact and had to let go to survive. It takes time to grieve and process the pain. I wouldn’t trade my old life for anything. My therapist said early on that they’d see. They did in fact.

        The key is that I no longer have to tolerate the abuse. Just as you trust they suck; you emerge as a survivor and I BELIEVE and never question WHY as my mother did. Cause I KNOW and knowledge is power.
        You have value Carol.

        • Doingme, your comment about him emerging broke and alone after they broke up and then your kids aligning with him because of it tallies with my oldest son (as I said in the forums) pretty much siding with his dad because “you’re strong and he’s not”! It doesn’t make much sense when this was the kid who would come crashing into my bedroom at 3 a.m. to drag his drunken dad off me when he came staggering in from the bar does it. But like you say, while I am still ok with my oldest son, he is the one I have felt the most alienation from. I hope he really sees what a dick his dad is this time at son no. 2s wedding in July. It’s already hotting up!

    • Carol, trust all of us at CN that says it will get better. But unfortunately you have to go through this really rough stage. Don’t give up! Be super gentle with yourself. (((((Hugs)))) to you, sweet Carol. We are here for you.

    • Carol,
      I will share an ugly truth with you, some days the only thing that kept me going was sheer spite. I would NOT let my ex see that he had “won”. Sure he kicked the everliving crap out of me in the first battle, and the second, and maybe he would in 2, 10, or 20 more. But in the end I would be standing tall, free, and happy. Spite may not be the best long term motivator but it got me through the darkest days.
      And Carol, I lived through to see my ex dumped by schmoopie, and his next girlfriend and his next. I wasn’t at meh I reveled in spiteful Glee, and kept going. He had to declare bankruptcy and is sad sacking his way through life. Meanwhile, somewhere I dropped the spite and found meh it happened on a random Tuesday I can’t even remember Along the way there I have found a new place to live I love and a new job I’m excited about. I lost 30 pounds. I taught myself to paint, took up ballroom dance, and my son is thriving.
      Don’t give up! Don’t ever give up. Find what gets you through the dark days. Even if it’s something grim like I did. The better days are out there you just have to keep going. One of my favorite sayings from that point was “if I have to walk through hell, I’m gonna walk like I’m the bitch that owns this place. “

      • Too Smart, that’s awesome!
        It makes a big difference when we own our situation instead of lay crumpled beneath it.
        I get knocked down to the bottom a lot, but it’s these kinds of stories that nudge me forward. I’ve got to think the best days are yet to come.

  • Dear Happily Free,
    Keep saying your user name over and over. And big ((((hugs))))
    My ex turned my kids against me but by 16 they saw what a fuckwit he was & now they hardly ever see him. It’s a long game but they see the fuckwits for what they are eventually. My ex never cheated (that I know of) but he was a covert narcissist & an emotional abuser.
    My STBX is neither of those but he is a serial cheater so got the whole package in instalments.

  • I was and am faithful wife for 38 years ,raised a family, honored our wedding vows, but yet He met someone and has told me he has romantic felings for,and wants her. I have cried ,,been depressed, anxiety, panic attacks, not knowing what tomorrow will bring , knowing i dont know how I’m going to be able to take care of my self finianclly ,[ being a stay at home mom ,] But CN has given me hope, given me there stories to read, Showing me im not alone ,all though there are times that u will feel alone , so u come to this site and you join in with a great group , who by sharing how they did it gives us newbies a way to cope ,a way to change things. PS it can be over welming, but hopefully we can get though it together

    • hi lynn, glad you are here and sharing. these cheaters are hollow shells of human beings. you have great experience being SAHM for dealing with a narcissist. stay strong. hugs

    • Me too Lynn, 38 years but hey we will have a blast now free of them? Live a day at a time, the pain is finite, life gets better and even for us our Tuesday will come. Hugs to you sister, wish I could meet you for a coffee xx

      • Thanks for encouragement , and would love to have coffee that would of been great , making new friends

    • Lynn
      Same here. 34 years left for Owhore never looked back.
      He was having the affair 2 years before I caught them together. Said he loved her, didn’t love me anymore .
      Last year Owhore died & he quickly moved into another woman’s house.
      I’m financially strapped lonely at times but at least I’m not being abused & lied to. CN has helped me realize we’re not alone. Hopefully I’ll be at meh.. but not today.????. Many Hugs to you ????

      • ((((Kathleen))))
        YOU are Mighty!
        I hope today is good for you!

      • I don’t understand how we live with a man They screw up but we get penalized , They make the money that’s supposed to be for us to , but in the end they make out , and we just get out, thanks for your story they all help . Things will change for u soon for the better.

  • I am up in the middle of the night watching a movie that I like. A movie I previously would have been ridiculed for watching. I’m 4 years out from a 34 year marriage to someone that had cheated from day one. I’m content and grateful. Something I never thought would be possible. 4 years ago I was scared, half my kids weren’t talking to me, my finances were a mess and x was a crazy stalker. It comes down to playing the long game indeed. Thanks to this site I let go of the fairy tale I thought I had and forged a new life. My life. x threw everything but the kitchen sink at me and I survived. He has no more cards to play. I kept being the sane parent and after some pretty rough times I now have great relationships with all my kids. More importantly I have their respect. I lost bad friends and gained better ones. I am closer to my siblings now that I’m not catering to an idiot. My future retirement won’t be what I thought but it’s not the end of the world. But the best part is, I’m up in the middle of the night watching a movie I like. It does get better. This mess wasn’t created overnight and won’t be fixed overnight. Put your faith and your efforts into your life and don’t worry about what he will do. You will survive it one step at a time.

    • “We’ll comfort you and snarl at him until you can carry the load again.”
      This brought me to tears….
      It’s all any of us want. ????

      • That is just perfect Kez isn’t it. That was EXACTLY what I needed when I was walking through hell, and thankfully got it from my friends and family! Time to pay it forward!

    • “This mess wasn’t created overnight and won’t be fixed overnight.”

      Great reminder, I needed this today. We want to fast forward to the part where this doesn’t hurt and linger anymore…but everything takes time.

  • i was at my sons wedding yesterday sitting at the family table with fuckwit and amazingly i was good. i fely happy for my son and his bride. i danced, talked laughed and enjoyed myself. there was noone he talked to except his nieces and briefly our sons. he was alone. it was great. and i felt liberated that i didnt have to deal with him after the party. he is a curmudgeon and always grumpy and unhappy. tonight he was not my problem. yeah for me. he did whine to the pastor about how he is a broken man – his usual poor me story. when i told the pastor that he had never apologized for the shitty things he did, he realized he was being taken for a ride. that he was looking for sympathy. today may truly be my tuesday! thanks CN! i would have never got here without you. [please dont burst my happy bubble!] hugs

    • Thrive, I’m so happy for you. Son no. 2 gets married here on 4 July and fuckwit and his skank are STILL playing games about coming over from the States. He has been gone 10 years and still tries it on but thanks to CL and CN I have finally learned “he ain’t my problem to solve any more” and that’s what I tell my kids. I’m not worried about the wedding – I hear she is shitting herself and has him by the short and curlies! Pass the popcorn!

    • My youngest sons wedding was three years ago. His fuckwit mom was her usual self, all glittery, drunk, dancing and trying just too hard.
      We had to communicate and cooperate on some planning for the wedding, but afterwards it was back to no contact and meh. Tuesday had arrived!

  • I tell myself that “this too shall pass”, when it was early days. I repeated it as much as I could, when there were days I couldn’t get out of bed, or fall asleep at 3am. That the blinding pain is temporary, that all this fogginess and injustice is temporary. That as long as I put my feet in front of the other everyday, I would be able to get to where I want to be, very soon. Having a routine helps, and so does a new hobby. Do small things for yourself – change your hair, makeup, get some new clothes if it makes you feel better. Cry, feel the pain and grief, but know that this is temporary.

    And one day, before you now it, it’s Tuesday. <3

    • I tell myself a version of “this too shall pass.” When I’m afraid I won’t make it financially or that I’ll fail in my independent life or I’m (still) hurting from the devaluing and the discard, I tell myself, “You’ll be okay. It’ll be okay.” And I repeat that until I can calm down, sometimes through tears and sobbing.

      There were times in my past when I was hurting (not over the marriage) and people would tell me, “You’ll be okay.” Sometimes I’d resent that, because I felt as if it invalidated my pain. I wanted people to say, “Wow. That is awful. Come here and cry on my shoulder.” I just wanted someone to, as Tracy said, comfort me and snarl at what/whoever was causing me pain, to put down the burden for a time–or at least have someone offer to share it with me for a bit. And what I felt was that they were telling me to keep shouldering it myself.

      When two years ago I told my brother in law what was going on with my (now) ex, he said, “Whatever happens, you’ll be okay. You’re a strong and independent woman. You’re going to be fine,” I had a little of that feeling of “why won’t you acknowledge how awful this is instead of just reassuring me I can take it? I’m tired of taking it!”

      But ever since I moved out and started living on my own, I’ve OWNED that sentiment, and felt gratitude for those who reminded me that I was capable, and that I could withstand what felt like it was crushing me. I see their responses now as helping me gain strength. Because the truth is, for whatever reason, I DO get through things. I DO manage to keep going. I AM ok. So that’s what I tell myself: “You’ll be ok.” (…even though sometimes as I do I get a flash of that scene from “Thelma and Louise” in which Thelma tells Louise, after Louise discovers that JD has stolen all their money, “Louise, it’s gonna be ok,” and Louise looks up at her, through tears, and says, desperately, “How? How is it gonna be ok?” but I just keep saying it, until I calm down).
      Chump Nation and Chump Lady are the people that not only holds us when we need comfort, but better, also assures me I’ll be ok, and helps me understand what to do to make that happen.
      And that, she says, putting in a plug for Patreon support, is why I support CL monetarily–so she can keep doing this for all of us, and making it possible for us to continue doing it for each other.

        • I love it too. So so right. Tracy, and this Mighty Nation she created and maintains, will take some of your load AND tell you that you’ll be ok – in a “you got this” way.
          Don’t we all know here just how utterly weary we get?
          And so right too about us taking some of the load, via Patreon. It’s cheap, for having your life saved!

      • “why won’t you acknowledge how awful this is instead of just reassuring me I can take it? I’m tired of taking it!”

        Maybe they do know I can be strong and survive, but sometimes it comes off as, “what are you complaining to me for? He’s an idiot. You’re not. You got this. Why do I need to hear about it?”

        Yep. Sometimes the “you got this” comment hurts worse, but maybe it’s all they know to say.

        • It hurts when they say people have survived worse too. Like I should be ashamed of being sad or angry. The other night I screamed into my pillow “I existed!”. A large amount of my old friends, and the ex pretend like I was never there…I was there for 15 years! My children and I exist!

  • “Motherfucker doesn’t own air”

    In the middle of crying my eyes out and not being able to fall asleep yet. That brought a snort and smile to my face.

    People want to call me bitter or angry for enjoying that sort of humor (a huge fear of mine at this stage)? Well this shit hurts like the knife in the back that it is!!

    Thank you CL so very much for the snark. Thank you for making CN exist!

    • That fear is not worth your precious energy at this juncture where you need your energy to breathe in the free air.

      Screw those people who would judge your use of dark humor to survive. Those are the same sorts of people who would tell me that I needed to wait ___ years to have a partner after Cheater died because of some rule they have inside their heads that I dont share.

      They havent suffered this soul raping betrayal and destruction. I will let you know that I am an oversharer and in my desperation told more people of my pain than I probably should have but if I my crisis were cancer rather than betrayal, I wouldnt have been pressured to keep it secret. Just protect yourself by being somewhat careful.

      The course of my journey was very very long unique and quirky (alas, I thought I was a unicorn, except I wasnt one) and it sucked but it is done and I have a great life

    • I have a friend that has gone through this mess also. She says that she prays for her ex. Yes, I pray that a large rock goes through me ex’s windshield! (Sorry)

      • ????????????????????????????
        Sometimes I’d prefer him gone too.
        But a friend told me what you wish to happen to others can backfire onto to you. So I don’t wish him harm. But I do wish he’d feel some consequences one day.

    • right now you are bitter and angry and have every right to be. if you havent changed in a few yrs, then you might have to deal with it. but for now it is helping you survive. own it proudly

    • Dark humor works. I had a bumper sticker a friend gave me that said “I still miss my ex, but my aim is improving” that I kept pinned to my bulletin board for quite awhile. I had my share of Pearl clutchers that chided me for bitterness when they saw it. I told them, when you wear my shoes, you can decide how to walk in them.
      I left the spite behind eventually but it was a source of strength when I needed it, a bandage over a wound I would have bleed out from without it. Do what you need to for you.

  • Happily Free, by some standards I was in a better situation than many here. I had a job, the kids were already teens, I speak French – he doesn’t, although after 30 years living in France one might wonder why – I have a strong, optimistic personality and supportive friends and family. BUT, he had me so, so beaten down. Physically, emotionally and financially, I didn’t think I could get back up again. I don’t know how I got out of bed, or went to work, or fed the kids, I was SO shattered. That’s how good he was at what he does! Turns out he is bipolar (diagnosed) and ticks every single box for BPD. He could and did survive on 3 hours sleep a night so that’s what I got (if I was lucky) for about 10 fucking years, although the beatings started earlier. I started drinking heavily (because we all know THAT solves everything – not) and my kids saw me drunk, I’m ashamed to say. But I clung on to the support available to me by my fingernails. My employer, our staff counsellor, my doctors, neighbours, friends. I reported him to the police repeatedly. I documented EVERYTHING and told everyone. I would never have committed suicide because of my kids but I sincerely wished to not wake up one day. And then one day he ran off with his skank. Oh he kept returning home every couple of weeks “‘cos it’s still my house” (which was even worse than living with him actually) but I filed for divorce and battered that damn thing through. He didn’t know what hit him and even now, 10 years later, keeps hoovering but I have learned I don’t have to fix his problems or even reply. I know that’s not exactly your situation – everyone’s is different – but like the others say, you just keep putting one foot in front of the other and play the long game. I got help for my drinking, apologized to my sons, bought him out of the house and IGNORE THE SHIT out of that bastard. It helps that I’m in France and he’s in the States but that scenario wasn’t even on the cards when I was going through this. I couldn’t foresee that he would go back to the States so that’s just God’s way of looking after me. Sorry for the long ramble but just keep on keeping on. And big hugs from this side of the pond!

    • Attie,

      I love reading your comments about how you gained your strength !

      As I wrote to my divorced cousin who lives in Seattle “I am so proud of you for getting away from N. and am happy to know he lives far, far away in Germany. You’re free to live your life without having to worry about running into him around your neighborhood”

      She was married to a screamer/rager and thank God they didn’t have children. He’s very charming (and morbidly obese/a wine connoisseur a.k.a. an alcoholic) and managed to find another victim. Good luck to that woman who now lives far away from her support system and she’s not fluent in German like he is or culturally proficient.

      • Thanks my dear. I know he never changed for the skank he ran off with and I can only believe he won’t change for the latest Schmoopie. I don’t wish it on her as she did nothing to me (but she’s a real dickhead!! Ha, ha, he bagged another one!). Oh and he was a “wine connaisseur” too – used to pay €50 a bottle then drink 4 one after the other because he was a “connaisseur”. I pity your cousin’s ex’s latest victim but there isn’t much we can do is there. I’m just so glad your cousin got away from him, and yes having a HUGE POND between us and them is beautiful!

  • Hello, a small point that came to mind.

    I was dating a guy (the one before I met my ex husband, ugh! Never mind) any way, his dad was not his biological dad. Furthermore, there were 6 children in total, all now adults with a dad who was not their bio dad but they were one big family and the mum seemed happy enough, the dad was dedicated and they all respected them both.

    I never heard about the bio-dad much, apparently he left.

  • When you are having trouble telling yourself you are mighty, which happens a lot to us chumps, make lists. Make lists of all the obstacles you jump or crawl over, every single achievement no matter how small you think it is when you are feeling down. You will soon see that the list of all your achievements is very, very long! So no matter what you tell yourself, the list in front of you proves that you really are mighty, and it keeps getting longer.
    Keep working on these lists because it’s a chump trait to undervalue ourselves. And remember that your achievements count double compared to the cheater’s because you are under attack and still making progress.

  • Thank you Tracy! I had really been needing this. I have been drug through court since February 1, 2013. The divorce was granted 2 years ago but he continues to fight the settlement.
    The SUCK gets to me more often then it should. People that I valued dropped off like the dog ticks they were…with their bites of blood.
    I still attend family functions with head held high, but the events always leave me woobly for a few days.
    Thank God I dont have to deal with them on a daily basis. Thank God my adult kids, didnt take the deal on rose colored glasses.
    Chumplady and Chump nation You Rock!!

  • I needed this today, and all the chumps wisdom and snark.
    Hugs to CL and one and all

  • This was beautiful. Just what I need to get through this long game. I’m bookmarking.

  • This right here – “How do you do it? You just do it. And then you do it the next day, and the day after that, and eventually the pain stops, and you’ve got some fine young adults, and the fuckwit is on a bender, or book tour, or was elected emperor of a piss-pot republic. And he’s a nonentity. A yawn. A mortifying relic of your past. He’s feathered bangs in your yearbook.” – brought tears to my eyes. This is where I am right now, five years out. What Tracy said…everything single thing in this post rings true. Keep pushing forward, Happily Free, because you are mighty and you will get here, too. And, yes, it does happen on a Tuesday.

    • I skimmed CLs response first time through and I missed the “feathered bangs” reference, so thanks for quoting it.

      Indeed. My Cheater was the literal center of my universe for a very long time and he has gone the way of my feathered bangs.

  • Once I filed XW didn’t cause me too much trouble. She wanted to avoid court. For awhile she refused to sign the divorce decree, but I think she found a new guy and so she finally signed after holding out for about four months.

    There was still a lot of emotional strain, so what I told myself over and over was quite simple: “You can do this, her brain is a tornado, you will be better off”.

    You also need an outlet to discuss things with- a therapist is best if you can afford it.

  • Dear Free,

    Your ex thrives on manipulation games. So make your game not playing his. That’s what I did. Like Tracy says, ALAWAYS remember that air is Free.

    As for family not getting it and courts not wisening up, this involves a lot of WORK, and some people just don’t have the gift of work. It looks like you do.

    Do you think you should change lawyers? Read up on this as part of your game.

    Take Care!

  • The truth always comes out in the end and the sun always comes out after the rain.

    These were my two mantras when going through my rite of fuckwit passage.

    And they were both spot on.

    • The truth is like the dinosaurs in Jurrasic Park…it eventually gets out

  • Thanks. I needed this topic today. Lol @ “He is feathered bangs in your yearbook”. You nailed it. That is exactly the feeling I want someday!

  • This may seem like belittling the experience, but when I was going through it, I just kept reminding myself of potty-training. I thought it would never end. I thought the bed-wetting would never end. I thought I’d be cleaning up shit forever. Guess what? Eventually they grew up well enough to manage their own shit. Sure, I still sometimes have to clean up vomit, or cat poop, or other disgusting things, but the relentlessness of the potty-training time was finite (even with three kids!) but the more space there is between those episodes, the less burdensome they are.

    Your ex is a toddler who needs to be potty-trained. It may take a while. It may not look like other people’s experience. But eventually, his shit won’t be your problem. Maybe it will be a while before you realize you haven’t had to clean up after an “accident” in a while, but then when you do you’ll smile and say, it is so nice to live without his shit.

    Best of luck to you.

  • I needed this today, too. It took 3.5 years to get there, but I have been divorced and relocated an hour away from Ex for a few months now. He still won’t leave me alone. I don’t visibly react to his machinations at all, and every week, I react in my mind and heart a little bit less. I’ve taken back almost all my power, and I WILL take it all back in time.

    Today probably isn’t my Tuesday and because of end of school year functions, I’ll have to spend part of it in Ex’s presence. In therapy, I’m working on being more patient with myself and appreciating for how far I’ve come. One day at a time. I’ll have my Tuesday.

  • This post could have been written just for me today. Im exhausted. Emotionally spent. I’m drowning. It’s been 6 years since dday. I just got served court papers AGAIN last night! He’s trying to take me out financially and mentally so he doesn’t have to pay and can stick my daughter in a home. She has special needs. He’s a complete psychopath! I needed this today Tracy! You have no idea. I was just thinking an hour ago how much I want to speak to you! God bless this Chump who wrote this letter. God bless you for responding and posting. You’ve given me the strength and encouragement to keep fighting.

    • Hugs and positive vibes to you. People who abandon special needs children ( like my ex and yours) are the lowest form of life. I feel your pain on this I really do. Mine tried to get custody to avoid support. He looked like a fool when he didn’t know a single one of his kids specialists names when the judge asked. I’m out here rooting for you. Special needs mama’s like us have a depth of strength no one has ever found the end of. It may suck but you will be there for your girl. I know from experience. Wish I could take you out for coffee!

  • Thank you so much, Tracy.
    The entire thing was exactly what I needed to hear.

    “Everything wounded cries. Either no one hears it, predators hear it and come in for the kill, (don’t do grief around fuckwits), or your pack hears it and circles round you to defend.”

    Most of the time I feel like I’m in one of the first two categories and, missing the family factor, can’t find a pack.

    “We’ll comfort you and snarl at him until you can carry the load again.”

    I loved this.
    I get tired of the minimizing. Of the “It was just a mistake.” These are not mistakes. They are choices- choices for which he thinks everyone except him should bear the responsibility and consequence.

    I appreciate everyone here for calling it what it is. For exposing the very real damage these idiots’ happiness brings to all around them. For calling them what they are. I’m not one to use language, but the first time I read it, I couldn’t think of a better word.

    I got back up today. I’m going to keep moving forward.

    • The paragraph that starts “Everything wounded cries” is going straight into my little stash of “things I must remember”.

      Thank you, dear Tracy.

    • Good on you! You have been forced into a marathon as an unwitting and reluctant runner…but even an out of shape person can do 26.2 miles…you just gotta move slow and take breaks.

      I can’t add much more to what CL said–as always she’s spot on. Exhaustion is what it is. It takes lots of breaks to move through it. There’s no getting around that. And support is nice too–and a total bummer that you appear to have little to none. That super sucks and your family sounds lame–I’d disconnect that phone also.

      Through my struggle, often I muddled through with a positive “mirror check.” I was proud of the way I behaved during the divorce and as a parent to mu child. Proud of the actions I took and the work I did and the way I kept my side of the street clean. So, when I looked in the mirror, I was proud of the person I saw staring back. I’ve surfed big terrible waves on that pride, and it’s emboldened me to be even better and stronger.

      So, list all the amazing things you’ve done, said, been in the last sever years, and look yourself in the mirror and feel that pride. It helps. Best of luck to you

  • What do I do?
    Every Single Day:
    I tell myself to do the very best that I can.
    I tell myself that I must be stronger.
    I thank God that I have people in my life who truly love me, my children, my grandchildren, my true friends.
    I set goals to accomplish, even if I get one thing done, that is a good thing and I smile.
    I check in on CL, CN in the forums- I get so very angry at cheaters for how they have hurt so many Chumps, so badly that we can never never never be the same again.
    Yet, I marvel, I am amazed, at the strength of each and every Chump. Many have had so so many heartaches, hurdles and battles along the way.
    I have learned that DDay was NOT my fault, NOT my character, ( loving wife, mother and expectant mother), I have gone over every detail of our life together and I did NOT cause his cheating! CL, CN taught me this!

    Please note, I am NOT a Mighty Chump. There are Mighty Chumps here in CN and I salute them, I honour them, I love them.
    There are Chumps here who have made such an impact on my life that I will never never forget them.
    I am going to name a few: JeepTess, Tempest, Capricorn, Feelingit,Attie, Canyoufeelthemehtonight,MightyMamaBear, Tessie, Brit, Martha, Twiceachump,Amiisfree,unicornomore,SydneyChump,Pas,kintsugi…….oh so many many more….I could go on forever.
    I never knew these very kind people not too too long ago, and now when I see their name, my heart is uplifted.
    Thank you all for each and every kind word uttered to me.

    So, every day, I am thankful for all of these people that are out in the big ol world somewhere, AND, they get it, they really get it.

    Some days are harder then others, but at the end of the day I vow to be stronger and be a better person.
    Sometimes that really is all you can do.
    ❤️To ALL of CN!

      • Thank you Attie,
        I do try to be more like you.
        Every time I read one of your posts I think dang, he is a rotten sod, putting Attie through all that abuse.
        But, look at you, you dusted yourself off.
        You look real good from here.
        All of your CN family will be with you in spirit at your son’s wedding.
        You are going to rock it.

    • Peacekeeper, you are indeed MIGHTY! This is being mighty>>>>”Every Single Day:
      I tell myself to do the very best that I can.
      I tell myself that I must be stronger.
      I thank God that I have people in my life who truly love me, my children, my grandchildren, my true friends.

      You made me cry when I read my name in your list. Thank you for your kind words. (((Hugs))) 🙂

  • Let me start by saying that what we tell ourselves has to change as we go through the process. In the beginning, it’s just breathe, get out of bed, go to work, and “make the pain go away.” Later, it’s about doing the basic work of getting yourself legally and physically free. And finally, it’s about gaining a life, or it should be.

    But when I look at this letter, most of it seems like totally understandable frustration about being exposed to this disordered jackass’s abuse because of the family court system. But CL’s advice, consistently, is about “do not kiss his ring.” “He is not Master of the Universe.” “Do not give him power.”

    Here is an example of “giving him power”: “How do you get back up every day and keep going….[even] though all your life has been crushed in front of your face and thrown out without a care?” I’m a great believer that looking carefully at the language we use, because our unconscious minds have access to our deepest emotions and beliefs as we tell our story. [As an example, a kid will say without thought, “The lamp was broken” rather than “I broke the lamp.”]

    When Happily says “all your life has been crushed,” it gives the power to the jackass. He doesn’t have the power to crush “all” of anyone’s life. He can crush a marriage. He can crush the existing family structure. He can crush some dreams. But not “all your life.” He can throw out the marriage, but not your life. And “without a care” gets to the core of why Happily is struggling—she still wants the jackass to care, if not about her and the kids, about what he did. Here’s an analogy. You see a big Lexus stop and dump a battered, starving puppy on your street. You are outraged and horrified. But all the outrage in the world doesn’t help the puppy heal. Once the car drives off, the focus has to turn to the victim. We don’t say, “all of this puppy’s life has been crushed” even though the pup was thrown out without a care.” We see immediately what the animal abuser is—a monster—and our focus is not on him, but on taking care of his victim.

    It’s important to see clearly what jackasses do in order to know what they are. They lie and cheat. They smirk. They sneak. They create drama and triangles. The make themselves the center of their little universe. But the process of “gaining a life” is in some part the process of breaking the habit of seeing the jackass as central. So instead of “How do you get back up every day and keep going….[even] though all your life has been crushed in front of your face and thrown out without a care?” you say ““How do you get back up every day and keep going when you feel abandoned and crushed? When you were married to a monster.”
    Pay attention to your language. When you start asking what to tell yourself, tell yourself, “I won’t let this jackass take up space in my mind.” There are 24 hours in a day. Sleep for 8 of them. Don’t give him more than 30 minutes of the remaining 960. So 930 for you and the kids and the pets and your favorite TV show and your work. 30 minutes for him. Then get it down to the 2-3 minutes it takes to do business with him. He keeps you in litigation because he wants to be central to you. Take that attention away from him and turn it to yourself.

    • Standing ovation for LAJ.

      I wish you could have mentored me back in the day. I kept him as the Center of my Universe way too long.

      • I went through a marriage and some other relationships while allowing XH the substance abuser free rent in my head. So I learned the hard way. It took YEARS. I wish I could have mentored the me I was 30 years ago.

        • Another favorite saying, “Do not allow anyone free rent in your head unless they are exceedingly good company.”

    • You and I have both been on site for a long time. I am really happy I have been able to see your wit and humor, and have had the opportunity to know you, even if it is only an on screen relationship. You knocked it out of the park today girlfriend. You are one of the reasons I come back to this site on a regular basis. You, and a few others, keep it real, and pay it forward with your thoughtful and considerate answers. You help keep our attention focused, you are a source of power. Thanks!!!!

    • Excellent advice, LAJ!!! You are so right about what we tell ourselves and the language we use is so important. I recently had a shift in my inner dialogue. I’ve gone from “my life is over” talk, to saying positive things about myself. Instead of ruminating on all I’ve lost, I’ve been thinking about all that I’ve gained. And also the mental space that I freely give over to him and his whore; I like your advice about how to get it down to close to nothing. Thank you. 🙂

  • Years and years and years ago, I was a waitress while I put myself through college. I was dating The Douchebag and living in an apartment. I was broke and tired, but happy, loved, and had good grades. One of my coworkers was a lifer, waitressed from the age of 13 (and at the time was about 60). Her husband had left her when their kids were small (30+ years prior) and she busted her ass to provide for them and put them through college. She never complained, never gave anyone a hard time, was always helpful. She didn’t drink or smoke or swear, and attended Mass every morning. One night a bunch of kids came in, ordered hundreds of dollars worth of dinner, and once presented with the bill…literally ran out the door. That was my rent money. My tuition. My food and heat. I was PISSED. As I stood shaking with anger at the end of the night, this woman came up behind me and muttered “Fuck ’em, they’re trash.” It was hilarious. It was surprising. And it was TRUTH.

    And what do you do with trash? You put that motherfucker out and let someone else deal with it.

    And when I can’t breathe, it’s the trash odor that gets me moving. I get that shit out! Out of my head, out of my home. Bam, the stank is gone.

    And when I am depressed I always visualize that I’m NOT living in a trash filled home and a trash filled life any longer. It’s soothing.

    And when I’m overwhelmed with my kids, I remember that I need to be the sane one. The responsible, loving one. Not the one who brings trash into their rooms, their schools, their lives.

    This has been my mantra since D-Day in December 2017. Anytime I was lost, or conflicted about my feelings, hoping for a pick-me opportunity then resenting my situation. FUCK ‘EM, THEY’RE TRASH.

    • Love this, WomanScorned! I’m going to have to remember to say it silently to myself, though, as I’m working hard to be more socially appropriate, and I don’t want this wonderful phrase to pop out of my mouth too often. Thanks for the back story!

      • That was not a comment on anyone else’s potty mouth… I’ve gone way overboard with expressing myself with profanity lately, and while it’s quite fun and liberating, I have to tone it down in public.

    • I like the idea of “putting the trash out and letting someone else deal with it”. The Twat took up way too much headspace for many many years, just by my pure hatred of him. It took me ages but eventually I learned to put that trash out and now someone else can deal with it!

  • I feel Tuesday getting closer and closer.

    Every time he sends a bait message, instead of getting worked up and responding, I now see it as another sign that I wasn’t the problem, he was. Every time he makes parenting hard, I see it as proof that he is the difficult one, not me. Every time he refuses to act like a reasonable adult to simple questions, I see it as proof that he is the problem not me.

    A couple of days ago a friend was over and I asked my kid to pick up something for a second time. My kid responded to stop yelling at her, something her dad did countless times to me and still does. My friend looked at me and said “Wow, she thought THAT was yelling?”. It felt so completely validating. There are signs everywhere, every day that tell me I was not and am not the person he tells me I am. It’s those validating moments that help me get through it. I know every time I stand up for myself he is going to rage. I prepare for that response and then let it roll off.

    It’s taken 2 years to get to this point and I know I’m still not 100%, which is why I set up an appointment to start trauma therapy soon. I just want to cleanse myself of all of this crap.

  • After D-day, I had many near-collapse moments (including when my neighbor across the street called the home owner’s association to report that my grass was too tall the very week I went to court for my divorce). I let myself emote, allowed myself to think about how I might prefer to die, and then pulled through with the thought, “I will NEVER let that MFer Hannibal Lecher vanquish me.”

    Do not let the fuckwits win.

    • Agreed- something tremendous happens when
      we shift gears into protecting ourselves like never before. That anger is valid. Useful.
      And fuck the HOA complaining neighbor.
      Dump truck of dog shit on that lawn- via GoFundMe…
      People need to stop with the lawn obsessions-nobody is fooled that a perfect lawn = perfect life.

  • Two people who have never met and went through horrendous experience once said the same thing. One was British soldier who was captured and brutally tortured by his Iraqi captors. Another was a Bosnian Muslim woman who was imprisoned and for months regularly taken to be ganged raped. Both said the same thing that when it was at its worst they said to themselves that this would end one day, either they will die, captors will get tired of torture, they’ll be liberated etc. But they knew their pain is finite.

    The Bosnian woman is now a judge, upholding law and order and delivering justice.

  • Just yesterday the thought crossed my mind that if I met my ex husband right now I wouldn’t even look twice at him. I have grown so much since he left with schmoopie that a man like him wouldn’t interest me in the least. Meh is a wonderful place.

    • I’m right there with you, Chumptopia. Even when we were still living together post D-day. I said to him, “I used to think you were so handsome. But now that I see you for who you are, you are ugly to me.” And then a year or so after this, I had to be in his presence when DS went into the military. I saw XH being all charming, nice guy with total strangers. After D-day I witnessed him going from a complete ass to me and the kids and then when others were around, he’d turned on the charm and act like the person who I thought he was. I never really knew what charming was, but now my eyes are wide open. Never date a charming person! My XH turns me off so bad now. I even get chills up my spine thinking about him. Yuck.

  • I read this today and thought it timely,
    Imagine your mind like a garden and your thoughts are seeds.
    You get chose what seeds you plant in it. You can plant seeds of positivity, love, and abundance.
    Or you can plant seeds of negativity, fear and lack. You can spend time taking care of everyone else’s
    garden, or you can work on making yours beautiful and attract other beautiful people to your garden.

  • To Happily and many others here who are enduring strife brought on by a highly disordered jerk,

    Nearly five years after being taken to court to be served my divorce summons from my now ex-husband, I am being taken back to court for approximately the twentieth time. (He cheated on me for years, left me, accused me of committing crimes–all the things he did he projected onto me.)

    I often feel like crumpling. One thing has helped me recently. I am training for a half marathon. The physical training itself, unfortunately, doesn’t seem to be helping me (In training, I’ve actually sadly gotten fatter, and my knees hurt like crazy.) However, I’ve learned some things about this sport and the mental aspect of endurance sports. Some of the fastest marathoners in the world run with pacers, a team of people who run along side the race participant to help him or her maintain the speed required to set a world record. I tell myself that I get to know myself and others, especially the pain others feel, by going through the experience of challenging training. When I start feeling as though I hurt too much from abuse by my ex-husband and others and life gets super-challenging, I think of Chump Nation and other people I know ‘running beside me.’ That image helps me keep going. I also have had dreams of my ship going down in the middle of the ocean and having to swim to shore with my children on my back. I need to keep going for them (my children). Less than seven more years of co-parenting! One step at a time–Just like the physical marathon/half-marathon.

    • Beautiful post RSW,
      I would proudly run beside you any day.
      Endurance, along with your integrity, makes you a marathon winner !

  • A few “hear ! hear !”s to what Tracy wrote.

    I find support online at the library using a guest pass. No need to use my own phone or home computer. Pretty anonymous in my book.

    One of my high school teachers procreated with a cheater and severe alcoholic.They had four kids. She divorced him, he passed out one night in his bed with a lit cigarette and died a fiery death. Guess who remarried with four grieving kids in tow ? She did,to a nerdy (meant as a compliment) train engineer she knew from her childhood summers in the Poconos. They were married for thirty years and his obit listed her children and the grands as his own. How’s that for a happy ending ? She was shocked and hid her disgust after learning some of the details of my father’s discard during and after my own parents divorce. Her parents and my paternal grandparents had summer homes in the same community. So much for knowing my father, pedigree and all. Poor character is poor character.

    I’ve dated a few narcs in my time and thankfully did not marry this one loser. He told me he had a daughter who grew up on the other side of the country. When I learned the details, I took him to task. “Stop referring to her as your daughter. Her mother married her ‘father’ when she was five and you didn’t provide any child support before that. She’s your bio daughter !” He would roll his eyes at me and say “Whatever”. Lots of ego kibbles when the daughter would come visit though. This winner also left his two mentally handicapped brothers behind in a group home in his birth state and felt put upon when they would call him once a month, asking him when he would come visit. One died under suspicious circumstances and he didn’t bother to investigate. Total loser.

  • Sometimes I treat times like those as if they were physical injuries. It’s probably not always feasible to do this if you’re a parent, but it can help to get into a mindset of “I’m down for the count–temporarily–and need to focus on sleep, baths, as few obligations as possible, and hopefully getting someone else to cook for me.” Or whatever you’d do if you knew your health wasn’t anywhere near optimal but WOULD BE if you made sure to take care of yourself while it was at its low phase. That’s easier sometimes than the more “thought-oriented” stuff I used to try whenever I felt bad–you can’t always treat feelings with better feelings, because, you know, they aren’t there; but you can sometimes treat them with basic physical practical healing.

    If you can’t do this, at least do it in some symbolic way until you can. I know sometimes when I feel horrible it’s accompanied by a desire to prove how tough I am, but that’s a bad idea if it keeps you from doing what needs to be done for yourself. I also sometimes feel like I don’t deserve it, that it *shouldn’t* be this bad, but guess what? It is. But it won’t be forever. I hope you get into a stretch of better soon.

  • Dear Happily,
    Know you are cared for and loved by us Chumps. “Listen to God with a broken heart. He is not only the doctor who mends it, but also the father who wipes away the tears.” – Criss Jami This video helped me, I hope you can get some relief from it too;

  • This has made me cry. I’m nearly two years out and put on a good show of having ‘got over it’ but I haven’t, not at all. He ruined my life, my fertility and even now wants me and our daughter penniless and homeless. I fight on.

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