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Chump Emancipation Proclamation


Hey, every day is a good day to overthrow tyrants, but a happy American Independence Day to you all! 

On the Independence theme, KibblesNBits wrote this a couple years ago, and I thought it was worth a rerun. 

Tell me in the comments what you’re doing for emancipation from fuckwits. 

Happy July 4 everyone!


Dear Chump Lady,

In honor of what will be yet another difficult holiday for some. I have re-written the Declaration of Independence for Chumps everywhere. Thank you for all you do! Happy Independence Day!

Our Declaration of Independence
When in the Course of human events, it becomes necessary for one person to dissolve the bonds which have connected them with a cheating partner, and to assume the powers of freedom, to which the Laws of Values and character entitle them.

We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all who have been cheated are created equal, that they are endowed with unalienable rights, that among these are Life, Liberty and the pursuit of Happiness.–That whenever any Form of relationship becomes destructive, it is the Right of the cheated to alter or to abolish their relationship, and to lay a foundation as to them shall seem most likely to effect their Safety and Happiness. It is their right, it is their duty, to throw off such an abusive partnership, and to provide a new life for themselves and their children’s future security.–Such has been the patient sufferance of the chumpted. To prove this, let Facts of a cheater be submitted to a candid world.

They have broken the bounds of marriage and commitment..
They have blame shifted and gas-lighted their partner info believing it is all their fault. Thereby inflicting emotional abuse.
They have recklessly spent monies secured for your family and children.
They have called together family and friends for the sole purpose of feeding them a false narrative and moving them into compliance.
They made their partner/spouse vulnerable to disease and sickness.
They have obstructed the Administration of Justice, by lying under oath, and spreading false witness against their partners and circumventing the law.
They have made partner/spouse dependent on their will alone, taking advantage of their empathy and using it to fuel their relentless desire for cake.
They have created false records, email accounts, craigslist profiles to troll for hook-ups and have enlisted their allies to cover their tracks.
They have kept among us, in times of peace, enough tokens of affection to keep us in our place, and in a state of confusion.
They have frozen our assets and cut us off from our family through alienation.
They turn our children against us for the purpose of feeding their own ego.
They declare themselves falsely sorry and falsely invested our relationships only to continue to cheat.
They have plundered our lives, ravaged our self-esteem, burnt our love to ashes, and destroyed families for the sole purpose of self-gratification.
Our repeated pleas to change have been answered only by repeated injury.

We must, therefore, acquiesce in the necessity, which denounces our separation, and hold them, and their actions in contempt and adjudicate responsibility upon them.

We, therefore, the Representatives of the united States of Chumps, solemnly publish and declare, That we have the Right to be Free and Independent; and have full Power to stand up in courts, demand child support, counter their false narrative, and to do all other Acts and Things which bring peace and stability to our hearts, minds and families. And for the support of this Declaration, with a firm reliance on the protection of divine Providence, we mutually pledge to support each other and provide council to those who have been newly chumped. To light the way toward the land of Meh.



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.
  • Happy Independence Day USA Chumps

    Love your friends in Scotland x

    • ‘Sic semper tyrannus’ ! – unfortunatly said after shooting Linclon. But it’s the thought that counts! I agree – cheaters can be a type of ‘entitled tyrant’ – part of their mentality is power and control over their spouse – like all tyrants they lie, manipulate, scheme, scam, alter history and use people and sometimes kill (see what’s happening in Connecticut) – it’s the same sickness as the real tyrants. They are totally abnormal!

      • Jax

        “But it’s the thought that counts!” – OMG priceless hilarity. Thanks!

    • Thank you, karenb6702, and all our friends in Scotland! If anyone could understand why the American colonies left England, it’s Scotland & Ireland. May you be blessedly free of fuckwits in your future relationships, and if you’re stuck w/one right now, feel free to give them a kick to the groin or head today (metaphorically, of course!).

  • I missed this one first time around! Love it! The United States of Chumps, lmao. I wish this reflected how I had behaved. I picked me danced like crazy and he left anyway. At least I’m the one who filed for divorce. I hope Knocked Up Chump from yesterday reads this, and anyone else lurking on this site who is still in hell. Declare a new cheater-free life for yourself!

  • Need this this morning. Waiting for my bf to wake up from his lorazepam stupor( mri last night). He was caught sexting on Friday while cuddling with me on my sofa. Said it was an error in judgement but changed his password on his phone. We are supposed to fly out west for me to meet his family today, my plan is to ask politely to see all of the texts. He will probably have an excuse for why I can’t do that, or he will have deleted them. I don’t think I will be getting on that flight. Wish me luck. Hey at least I see clearly and it only took 5 months this time( 2 years with the last user and 34 with my narc ex husband). I’m improving…

    • Newlady15-I’m so sorry. Good luck and good plan to skip that flight. ((Hugs))!

    • Don’t ask to see his phone Newlady15. No marriage police for you. Just leave. Don’t look back. Do not pass go, do not collect 200.

      • I agree. Those texts are long ago deleted. You’ll make yourself crazy. If he can sext while you’re sitting beside him he’s a crafty guy and he’s already covered his tracks. Don’t get in that plane unless it’s to another place to spend some time alone and focus on you.

        • If he didn’t have anything to hide he wouldn’t have changed the password. I agree that you shouldn’t get on that plane. Let him go visit his parents and you can use the fuckwit free time to pack your things and find a new place to live.

          I am very sorry you are back to square one but at least now you know the truth. Use all that extra free time for treating yourself right and fixing your picker. (((hugs)))

    • Uff. Good luck for sure.
      I worry about this as I’m dating.
      Forge ahead and send back a map so the rest of us can follow!

    • If you already caught him, and know what you know, why do you need further proof? In Thyself You Trust. Can you change your ticket to somewhere interesting as a weekend getaway?

    • New Lady, IMHO most important for me to fix is not necessarily my picker but my WALKER of LEAVER or GETTING-OUT-OF DODGER.
      Looks like you are doing just fine to me!

      We CANNOT always spot con artists, especially good ones. But leaving immediately when untrustworthiness is revealed, instead of glazing over in denial with the tub of spackle is the key.

      I am here in Boston for the Fourth, where the Declaration of Independence will be read today.
      I think I will print and read our version when I go to sign my divorce papers.

        • OMG!! UxWorld!! I am in Concord for the 4th…I leave Sunday morning…meet and greet Yaaaaasssss!!!

      • Hey Velvet — are you in town just for the holiday or are you a local? Always up for meeting a fellow chump face to face.

        • PS…I am a Boston native…moved to San Francisco in 1975…my roots here are deep….my heart tethered to the land…

        • Let me know how….I am on Tracy’s Patreon….

    • Yes, Newlady. If you caught him doing this and you allow any sort of “talking out of” then you have just convinced him that its “game on” for his hijinx…you saw what you saw and it means what it means.
      Dont go anywhere with him.

    • Grrl you need The Rules, which make it very clear that weeding out the wrong ones is just as important as finding the right one. #1 Rule: Love Only Those Who Love You.

      He’s been weeded out. Next!

      • Exactly! The rule reminds me of some song lyrics I had tattooed to my wrist to remind me in the future. “Need the ones you love, love the ones that you need”. No one needs a cheater, therefore they get no love. And my reminder paid off for me when I kicked my cheater to the curb!

    • Sorry this guy turned out to be another cheater. I hope you don’t get on that flight, but fly away from this asshole instead.
      He sexts other women while cuddling with you? Good grief! It doesn’t get much lower than that.

    • Newlady15…. don’t do the Pick Me Dance. Don’t add to the misery of what you already know. It’s Independence Day; set yourself free from this trap. Send him packing.

    • New Lady, celebrate you today! Let freedom ring loudly! You are strong.

    • DO

      Put yourself first this time. Don’t even give him a chance to weasel out of it. Use the time he is away to go No Contact, the path to the truth and the light. You don’t even have to tell him why you are leaving the relationship. He won’t learn to be a better human. He will only learn better ways to evade detection for the next person.

      You can even use the tried and true “It’s not you, it’s me” then silently in your head remind yourself “I deserve better”

      Good luck, you are mighty!

    • So sorry NewLady15
      At least you know before too much time has passed.

      This dating thing sucks.
      That is why I stopped dating. I’m much happier & content with my freedom to do ME.
      Being chumps makes us want to give of ourselves to others. I seem to fall into the same patterns of giving without receiving anything substantial in return. I will be forever grateful to CL for teaching me to expect reciprocity in all my relationships.
      I’m giving to myself going forward because I deserve to be happy & at peace. Freedom to do ME is priceless.

      Happy Independence Day to CN!!! May you have peace & the freedom to enjoy life as you wish.

    • Don’t get on that flight! Be strong and declare your independence!

    • I cannot disagree with others that you should not make that trip. However, a part of me says do it, and tell his family in detail what you caught him doing, that it was a pleasure to meet them, but that you and him will no longer be seeing each other. Then, get on the next plane back. Make sure you take your car to the airport, so when you arrive before he does, you can go home and change the locks. Which will leave him stranded at the airport when he returns.

      I realize that I don’t know anything about your living situation, like if you share a lease or something. And that my rambling may be more wishing karma, rather than a possible reality. So, please take it for what it is, maybe not good advice, but perhaps a good daydream fantasy.

    • Run and don’t look back!! Mine would say he wasn’t snap chatting, but I could see it in his glasses. He was a narc and an idiot. I’m out. Free at last!

    • I am so sorry you are going through this – sending you massive hugs

    • NewLady15, do NOT waste your time on this guy. Pack up your stuff and walk out of the door right now. Do not wait around to see text msgs, do not get on that plane do not do anything, ever again, with this guy. It’s over and you are better than this. Go celebrate your Independence with people who care about you and block him on your phone ASAP!

      • Update. It’s done. He tried to blame his brain ( he had a stroke and blames all bad behaviour on that) . I said nonsense you know right from wrong. Called him a liar and cheater and disrespectful. He said he wished I would go. I said no that’s not fair to your grandkids. Told him I wasn’t interested in being one of his harem. I shed a few tears as he walked out the door but I’ll get over it. Again. I thought he was the guy..

        • Hang in there. For every tear you shed today, you are saving yourself 100 tears. Sorry you have to go through this. Sorry any of has to go through this. What is wrong with them?

          • “For every tear you shed today, you are saving yourself 100 tears.” This is so true.

        • They all wish don’t they. The stroke made me do it; I think that may be a CN first.

        • New Lady

          You did the right thing. And btw, even IF by some remote chance his stroke “caused” his behavior, who the fuck wants to have that factoring in the rest of your life?

          Seriously, I’m a veteran of the Gulf War. And if my wasband (also a veteran) could blame his shitty abusive behavior on some traumatic brain injury AND there was no cure, I’d divorce him as peacefully as I could.

          I’d file his disability papers and I’d check in on him just to make sure he was alright. But I’d be free of that sword of Damocles hanging over my head the rest of my life.

          That’s ONLY because it would be a war caused injury to a fellow veteran, and the father of my 3 children and a 35 year marriage. I’d still divorce him.

          But a boyfriend?? With a bullshit blame shifting “the stroke made me do it” excuse? And apparently no treatment either.

          So you would just have to suck it up the rest of your life?? Wow that’s really tempting…

          Buh bye

          Know your worth. Which rhymes with July Fourth…

        • Newlady15, I’m so sorry your ex-boyfriend turned out to be another cheater. 🙁 I’m proud of you for not getting on that flight and for standing up for yourself! ((((HUGS))) to you.

        • Ugh. Newlady15, you’ll be so much better w/out that fuckwit. Keep working on your picker. You’ll find somebody that respects you and what you’re worth. Chances are it will also be someone who respects themselves. You have to do that before you can be there for others. Fuckwits don’t tend to get that far in their thinking. It’s the lure of kibbles they say…Well, fuck that & fuck them. I’m wishing you the best, a speedy repair to your heart, and better luck in your future. Forget about that asshole. We’ve got your back.

          • New Lady,
            To add to what The Long Run said, ‘You’ll find someone else.’ My ‘love life’ sounds a lot like yours, New Lady, and after more than three decades of dating/being married to abusive narcs and dishonest, entitled jerks, having been unwillingly single for two years and counting, I don’t hold out hope for finding someone decent to (romantically) truly love me, someone who consistently reciprocates love and respect. However, I am very gradually learning to love and respect me by establishing and maintaining healthy boundaries (refusing to tolerate very shabby behavior) and giving me the care and respect I wish that my former partners had given me. New Lady, I am sorry that the latest partner turned out to be a dud. I wish you a much happier future!

        • You did it! So proud of you. He wasn’t the one that’s for sure and be happy to know you won’t be taking care of a cheating stroke victim for the rest of your life!

        • Just want to chime in as another chump who is proud and pleased that you honored yourself. You deserve more. You deserve it all.

    • Do. NOT. Go.
      Absolutely not.
      He’s shown you he is not trust-worthy nor faithful.
      Celebrate Independence Day and leave.

    • Sexting while cuddling. Wow. He has a loving partner to cuddle with and he is doing that……..creeeeeeeepy. You can do better. A dog or cat would be more honourable company 🙁

      It’s ok to tell him that your feelings have changed and you want to be just friends.

      Don’t let the MRI business rope you in. My ex had many ‘serious’ health issues but he is still alive and kicking.

    • NewLady – that’s mightiness! Good for you and the best of luck. X

    • I’m sorry Newlady- stick with your gut if he tells you no. Your intuition knows if something is wrong. Wishing you the best. Be mighty!

    • A long weekend with your cheater out of town ? The perfect time to get your ducks in a row according to your living situation-pack up all his belongings or move out yourself.Look in the archives for the story of Left Him At the Airport.

  • Happy 4th of July to all American chumps!

    xxx from a Brit chump who loves you all. ❤️❤️❤️

      • That is hilarious. Are u single? God, I’d kill for any man I’ve been on a date with since the divorce to have anything remotely to that smart and funny to say.

  • Best of luck today! My unsolicited advice – do NOT get on that plane, regardless of whether he shows you those texts. What a powerful statement of boundaries for you to show that his sexting was completely unacceptable and you will therefore not be meeting his family this weekend and pretending everything is a-ok when it is NOT.

  • Whoops, hit the wrong reply button. This was for Newlady15! 🙂

    • Thanks all!! I was thinking about going just to avoid the drama but can’t do it.. he won’t be happy.. still sleeping.. that lorazepam is good stuff!

      • As I remember what it felt like to fake happy married couple in the early days of discovery with Dr. Cheaterpants and schmoops #2, it was nothing but absolute misery. You can bow out and he can tell whatever story to his family. You don’t need to fake it til you make it with people you’ve never even met. You know what to do.

        And as others have said and is finally sinking in for me, chumps aren’t cheater magnets per se. We just don’t recognize and an enforce that boundary immediately upon discovery and move along like others do. We are fixers, empaths, see the good in everyone. Think surely this was just an error in judgment and they are sorry now. Sorry they got caught is really it.

        And we’ve learned it’s no reflection on us or our worth but a reflection on the fuckwit and their internal mechanisms of rationalization and justification to choose their wants and desires over others. Every time. Hurts like a MF.

        Keep us updated after he wakes up!

        • Twiceachump, I’m w/you. Your last paragraph sums it up very nicely. Keep being strong. We need words like yours to remind us that we deserve better than these pathetic excuses of humanity. Happy Fourth to you, and all of CN. And of course to CL as well!

      • Shake him awake and kick his ass into the street in his jammies. Then throw his stuff out after him.

        • ???? the fact that I am posting this emoji shows where I am. I’m sure the hurt will come after. I know I’m worth so much more…. ❤️

        • If you can cancel your ticket now you may get a refund or credit to use within a year.
          Do so and then get dressed and drop him off at the airport tomorrow and smile.

          • I wish I could do that. He bought the ticket. I’m not going to feel bad about his loss since I spend just as much on a weekend away to Stratford plus rented a cottage for a week later in the summer which he has now said he’s not sure he can go to anyway( definitely not going now lol—I already invited my girlfriends to join me instead)

            • Stratford Ontario ?

              Just curious, I have roots near by.
              Love the festival ❤️

              Do your own thing this summer. Lots of great beaches and wineries in this neck of the woods where you can “fix your picker”!

          • Don’t drop him off at the airport, let him get a taxi. Fucker. ????????

        • chumpupthevolume.. Stellar Advice! So wish I Had Done So! Not one moment of sanity until its been done.And so much less to regret.

      • Tell him you’ll go…but that you have some last minute errands that you need to do and will meet him at the airport. Pack an old suitcase with 75 lbs of newspapers and even ask him to check it for you. Then 30 minutes before his flight text him a “fuck off” message and block him on your phone. Use your weekend of independence to then hefty bag all his shit. ????

      • Newlady. If you’ve learned anything from your time here on CL, it’s that you KNOW it isn’t your responsibility to try to keep things drama-free for a cheater. He created the mess, let him explain to his family why you didn’t accompany him.

        Please don’t get on that flight. Please don’t let him gaslight you. If you are living together, use the time he is away to gather your things and plan a move, or pack up his stuff so he can move on when he returns. Don’t play nice just to placate him.

        You’ve been down this road before. Take the shortcut this time.

        I’m sorry you are experiencing betrayal again. Be kind to yourself.

  • I missed this post the first time. Love it! I am stuck waiting for the cheater to step up and tell the kids. I don’t have to wait. This is my choice. Happy Independence Day to the US and us chumps.

    • You can do it.
      Narkles the Clown and I agreed to tell the kid together. then I wound up doing all the talking, breaking his heart, while the asshat just sat there like he was watching a play. Wasn’t till I read more here that, yeah, that’s pretty much what he was doing.

    • Mine beat me to the punch and told the kids he was miserable while he had them help him move/pack up his stuff while I was at work. Uh, yep, you are a miserable piece of shit. If he does tell them, he’ll likely minimize and blameshift. Better to tell them in age appropriate terms very simply. Dad left because he had a girl friend and you cannot be married and do this so he chose to leave.

      Talking with DS19 a few evenings ago, the thing he felt most upset about was not knowing what was going on 3 years ago. Frankly I apologized to him for not letting him know immediately what was happening (I had told him after his dad moved out and DD14’s 20-something asst sports coach suddenly was dating the newly separated, but had been miserable in his marriage, fuckwit). By then he had figured it out but was blindsided. My mistake was thinking the fuckwit had more sense then to do that. Not so much.

    • ChumpianX2-you can tell the kids in age appropriate ways yourself. I told the kids the night I kicked STBX out. There was no way I was going to let him tell them he was miserable when he was enjoying cake and using me. I’ll be damned if he was going to paint me in a bad light. The person who supported him and pick me danced after his first 18 month affair so he could have a second one for another year after that.

      No, you should continue to be the parent who shows your children what’s acceptable. He doesn’t get to control the false narrative.

      Good luck. ((Hugs))

      • Thank you All lOutofKibble, twiceachump, IrishChump. I so need to listen to this advice. He’s no longer with her since he was fired for relations with a subordinate. It’s a mess.

    • Nomar,
      I’ve enjoyed the intelligence implicit in your comments many times. This one is perfect. Just wanted u to know!

  • I found this site 2 years ago today. I was a mess. It was the first holiday my ex got the kids after our divorce. Glad to be this far down the road

    • Kintsugi! I have read so many of your posts! Thank you for sharing the slimey life of your ex. Keeps my faith karma comes around (while I don’t spend the rest of my life catching my breath, but letting it go). To quote Kelly Clarkson.

  • I declare my independence from an almost geriatric, bad back, knees, neck, liver, kidneys- rogaine and cialis using, nearly deaf from using the cialis but rather have a hard on than hear, cpap using (so sexy), controlling, cheating , lying, money hiding, sad excuse for a father, piece of shit. And to his equally horrific ho- worker -Thank you for the awesome divorce settlement and retirement funds!!! Enjoying my new home, bond with my kid and financial security!! Thank you and god bless America!

    • Love this ! You left out monkey-brained, wall eyed, knock kneed…….lol

    • I would love to know more about how you got your divorce settlement. I am struggling with this. We are in the pre-trial division of assets phase, and defining what I “need” for alimony going forward. My stbxh is the primary breadwinner, but I hold my own by owning a small business (my working too much is his given reason for cheating). I am 60 years old and planned to retire soon, then found him cheating 2 years ago, and the last two years has been spent chumping. My problem is asking for more than I NEED but rather I must ask for what I DESERVE and what I PLANNED ON HAVING after retirement. I need to ask for alimony because I will probably need to sell the business as part of the asset division (I planned to sell anyway, just not such an urgent situation). This business will take a lot of time to sell, so meanwhile I will be working and making money, but I don’t want to plan on that income going forward. If I found a buyer today I’d retire today, but in reality it will take months or perhaps years to find a buyer who qualifies. Any advice for me? I am doing a good job of detaching, saying I am planning my post-divorce as a retired person, so I will need income to live, and I want to live as I have become accustomed to. I live in a state works on the premise that both parties should not “lose” in divorce, but they should be able to maintain lifestyles they are accustomed to. It’s not 100% realistic, but I like the thinking. My stbxh has developed an outrageous spending habit on 22 year-olds, buying them $700 shoes and impromptu trips to Cancun (he is there now), so I’m very concerned that there will be no money from him. I’m very stressed out!

      • I live in jersey and they pretty much have a formula for alimony – 1/3 of the difference in your incomes. And as for assets- 1/2 of everything that was made during the marriage. And alimony is for 1/2 the years your were married. So I was married for 13 but since my son is younger I got 7.5 years- basically thru my kids 1st year of college. I didn’t get anything special just made sure I got what I was legally entitled to- remember the think the law doesn’t apply to them!!! Also if they spent anything on the affair- you are entitlted to 1/2 if everything they spent-because those are marital funds. If selling your business will make you have no income then you can probably keep it in lieu of or in exchange for a reduction in alimony since then you’d have no income! Talk to a divorce financial planners . They are trained to make sure you have a fair settlement. Your ex won’t think it is but the law doesn’t give a shit what your ex thinks!

  • I woke up alone in bed this morning and just laid there with the sun streaming through the window, peace in my heart and a smile on my face.

    I remember when there was no peace, no calm, just hyper vigilance always moving around trying to get things done, trying to make it right all the time for someone with ever changing goal posts. I remember because I can’t forget. I won’t forget. The Laws and Values of character are more ingrained in me than ever.

    If you haven’t left yet, and you are reading this, make today your Independence Day. LEave that cheater and gain a life. It’s a much better life.

    • Love this!! Absolutely!!!!! My son is home – we’re going to go watch Spider-Man then cook dinner together and enjoy this day!!!! Peace -it’s all about peace!

    • I too remember when there was no peace or calm just hyper vigilance, always moving trying to get things done, trying to make things right for someone with ever changing goal posts. No longer looking for approval only to receive looks of disappointment or disgust. I’ll never forget how I unknowingly lost my self respect trying to please a cruel asshole.

      No more sleepless nights, no more listening to criticism, or complaints. I’m no longer responsible for his unhappiness. A huge weight has been lifted off of my shoulders. I’m free!!

    • Beautiful post and great advice. My future is going to be with my deeply beloved daughter, my irreplaceable fluffy white dogs and my new life of woods, water and mountains.
      That old life of being lied to, used and crying myself to sleep all alone won’t even be in the rear view mirror in such a place.

      I’m so happy you are free and at peace. May we all get there.

    • I get the alone in the bed thing , I have my own bed , my own bedroom I love it but it came with a price , after husband Emotionally cheated on me , we have chosen trial separation for now , can’t afford anything else, so his prize to me is my own room , but in our house we own together, where we live as two friends as he wanted , No Wife or lover anymore Just friends or roommates , I’m trying to ignore him , staying away from him , My Own room helps out a lot For our seperatration I wanted to see who I am with out him, What I can do without him He , He just wants to be able to do what he wants with who he wants with out reporting back to me , I find the simple things in life are good for me , I’m trying to find myself , your writing I too am looking for my happiness taking care of me , putting me first Thanks for your words of hope

      • Hi Hopefull

        Just be careful with the live in separation. I did that for almost a year and my son was there as well. It just about killed me. I thought I was okay for a while but it got to be too much. I did all the work and responsibility while he partied and vactioned with his married colleague. We have moved separately in the last 2 weeks and I no longer jump when he comes through the door. I am so exhausted from that experience that it will take me a long time to reach equilibrium. If there is anyway you can speed up the physical separation, I would do it. Hugs . — Deee

  • Happy Independence Day Everyone! Thank you CL for creating this site to help all of us chumps. Thank you CN for all of your wise advice and support. Im so glad i found this site. Life changing for me – gave me the strength to change for me, understand my marriage was a farce and to fully understand STBX was a selfish, entitled user. I trust he sucks because he does. Im continuing to create my new life without a cheater. I will be so glad when my divorce is done and last child is 18, then its NC with scummy cheater. On to the land of meh, one step at a time!!!!!!!!!!

  • Been reading this site’s posts for a few months. It is eerie how closely the script reads out across such a wide array of people.

    D day (discovery) was middle of May. Finalized the D mid June. Clean break, uncontested. I kept the house and got residential custody. She took her car and it’s payments. No maintenance or CS. Split the kids’ expenses 50/50. Good deal for both sides. Gave her 3 days/week with the kids. Lawyer wanted to nuke her from orbit, but I didn’t want to make the kids’ lives even worse.

    Everything, and I mean everything, was textbook as shown in CL’s articles and the posts I see here. Lying, gaslighting, imitation naugahyde remorse, etc ad nauseum.

    Second go around with the same guy. First was almost five years ago. Did the whole RIC thing. Books, conferences, counseling, all of it. As far as I know, it probably never stopped, just went to intermittent contact and blew up again sometime over a year ago.

    Found the messages on one of her devices while she was out binge drinking again.

    It’s a wild experience to find out your life was a lie. Three daughters stuck in the middle, all trying to make peace with it.

    All that said, today we celebrate our independence from the narcissistic sociopaths which thought to bleed us of our sympathy and humanity. Today we remember that we are human beings with qualities our own and rights inalienable. Today we celebrate that we exist without them, that they suck and we don’t, and that our lives are our own.

    Happy 4th, Chump Nation.

    • How were you able to get that settlement? Any tips you can share?

      • Told her not to go to war with me, that I would utterly destroy her, then lined all that out. Key leverage points were that the debt she incurred and I held onto had balanced out what assets we had, so fighting for an even split would leave us both broke. It didn’t hurt that after she started throwing around threats I went and hired the meanest and most capable lawyer in town.

        I also reminded her that fighting and dragging it out would mean dragging the kids through the court process.

        I moved as fast as I could, keeping the pressure up. Also, I gave her a lot of concessions. I was generous with the kids’ visitation, and I let her take some furniture.

        To tell the truth, I don’t know if this would work in many cases. She was overwhelmed and I think she thought I would back off. I just pushed until it was done.

        Now she’s singing the blues and playing victim. As if years of cake eating and screwing around, lying and gaslighting, driving us to the brink of bankruptcy and all that were nothing.

        She sucks. I tried everything to do all the right things, and she used it for cover to bang some other guy. Not my problem anymore.

        • I did the same thing- I kept the pressure up- we used the threat of discovery and him having to detail everything he spent on the affair and then having to pay me 1/2 to keep the pressure. You have to file and keep the process moving- don’t back down. Mine still acts like the victim.

        • Thank you both. I’m filing next week. Realized that I am better off without the cheater regardless of how the settlement plays out and I’m not turning back.
          I’m not seeing any leverage though – my lawyer told me a few months of cheater’s rampage won’t matter.
          If you spend your assets on fighting for custody, do you split the remainder or does cheater get half of what was in there before you spent it on lawyers?

          • If you spend it it’s gone- we blew thru all of our savings paying for the divorce- however part of my settlement was him reimbursing me for my attorney costs because his dragging out the process was what cost is losing our savings which would have been 1/2 mine! Loved having him hand that check to my attorney at the divorce hearing! So talk to your lawyer/ it’s worth a shot.

    • You’v Been super mighty, DDD! Happy independence for you and your girls!

      • Thanks Karen. I hadn’t thought of it that way. I guess having years of unhealthy rehearsals in my head made me ready for it.

        At some point in the endless stream of BS I was hearing from her it just clicked. Insert keys, turn on three, two, one, launch.

        Happy independence day to you and yours.

  • Last summer I had the opportunity to visit Robben Island, where Nelson Mandela was imprisoned. One of the former inmates was our guide. Something he said stuck with me and it has been my mantra. He said the inmates lived by: “Turn your disadvantage into an advantage and prepare yourself for freedom!”
    May all of the newly chumped (or just found out they were a chump) prepare themselves for freedom!

    My divorce was final last week. Hallelujah! (and it cost Asshat WAAYYYY more than he thought it would).

  • Congrats on your freedom, losing the asshat, and him paying through the nose for his crime against you. ????????
    I love that quote. I sure as hell gave myself that advice. I took advantage of what the cheater did to get a post-nup giving me all our current assets in addition to half the income, then dumped him. He thought the post-nup would get me to reconcile so was eager to do it. Now he is one sad sausage. I get the equity on our house once it is sold, plus a new house in my name that the jerk has to pay for. Hahahaha! Advantage; chump. Thanks for playing, cheatiepants!

    • Way to go! The Asshat was already in “pity” narc mode, so he didn’t want a reconciliation. If I could have, I would totally have done what you did! Good job!

  • This is brilliantly written! It’s a great day to be free of a fuckwit!

    I will be celebrating tonight with a fellow chump. We’ve bonded over the shared trauma of chumptom and found a beautiful friendship on the other side of Meh!

  • 4/7/03! First morning I woke up in Australia. Arrived the evening before.
    16 yrs later to the day, ex is at home in Ireland getting married(today! As we speak)
    Well, between the jigs and the reels and the lies and the cheating and the ( at least3) secret children I think this is my Independence Day!
    It’s been a motherfucker of a ride!
    But it’s the first 4th July I’m actually INDEPENDENT! Have never felt so free! Xxxxx
    Happy 4th July to all you ‘Mericans!

  • Standing fucking ovation Kibbles! That is brilliant!

    For years, I packed my kids up and spent the week of the 4th with Cheater’s nightmare of a family. These are deeply toxic people with a very shiny veneer.

    This year, cheater has my babies, as it’s his custody week. My heart hurts, but I’m grateful to not be there as people get shitfaced and make bad decisions, grateful I’m not modeling that kind of behavior or giving it tacit approval through my silence.

    Declaring my independence today, I took down 6 saplings and pulled out a shit-ton of English ivy out of the backyard of my new house. I bathed the dogs and trimmed their nails by myself. I’m going to finish unpacking and do some home repairs. I am mighty.

    And so are all of you.

  • So grateful for Chump Lady and Chump Nation.
    Holidays can be such a mixed bag. It’s great to wake up in the morning and check in with all of you. “It’s not where we were that counts, but where we are going”.

  • Update for my CN family: I didn’t get on the plane. I didn’t yell( that’s such a huge step in progress for me!). I calmly told him I’m not going to Calgary today and that he’s a liar and a cheater and he was totally disrespectful to me, informed him I’m not interested in being in his harem. Also said he can do whatever he wants as he is single, but I don’t have to put up with the bad behavior. He didn’t tell me he loves me this time but did say he wished I would come, I said it’s not fair to his grandkids to meet me maybe love me and then I’m gone. He left with not much fuss and will come back to get his stuff after his trip. When he comes back I’ll make sure his stuff is waiting for him outside including his motorcycle. I am upset but do feel mighty. I am proud of me that I didn’t put up with the bad treatment for long…thank you everyone for your words of wisdom this morning. Much appreciated.

    • Sending you lots of love and big long-distance hugs. I am so very proud of you for being mighty and kicking ass. ????????????

      And HAPPY INDEPENDENCE FROM ASSHOLE CHEATERS DAY!!! ????????????✨????????????????

  • I declare my independence from the dread of waiting for the NEXT BAD THING.

  • “There is an illusion about America, a myth about America [marriage] to which we are clinging which has nothing to do with the lives we lead and I don’t believe that anybody in this country who has really thought about it or really almost anybody who has been brought up against it [cheating] — and almost all of us have one way or another — this collision between one’s image of oneself and what one actually is is always very painful and there are two things you can do about it, you can meet the collision head-on and try and become what you really are or you can retreat and try to remain what you thought you were, which is a fantasy, in which you will certainly perish.” – James Baldwin

    Happy Independence Day, CL and CN! Let freedom ring!

  • This is my 5th Independence Day since D-Day, GTFO-day four years ago.
    The first one, DD was with exh2/The Evil One, and I committed an act of mightiness against him.
    When he moved out two months prior, he left his beloved cat — a cat that he found abandoned a tiny newborn that he bottle fed and was his “baby” — with me to care for because his new slut-shack didn’t allow pets. It had become riddled with fleas that I had to deal with ad nauseum for weeks.
    That Independence Day, I put flea bag kitty outside in the ventilated/air conditioned water heater room with his litter box, food, water, and went on with my holiday plans.
    That Sunday, when TEO returned DD to me from the weekend, he looked around for his kitty and I told him he had been relocated outside to the water heater room.
    He went outside to see him, only to discover he had gotten out. Ooops.
    He called for him, looked around, got super-pissed threatening me with, “I swear to God if anything happens to him…” Storming out the house with, “I can’t believe you would throw him out like an abandoned child!”
    I yelled back, “Like you abandoned us?”
    Door slam as he left.
    I found it a day later, summoned him over to come get it, which he did begrudgingly.
    Today will be another day of peace.
    I honor my freedom from a lying, cheating, stealing, no-good piece-of-shit today by doing exactly what I want with DD here in my home.
    Him leaving hurt like a bitch, it was awful, not going to lie.
    But thanks to the mighty Chump Nation, friends and family IRL, prayer, faith, time, I’m here.
    Four years later, I’m still here and doing better than I ever thought I would be.

    • I wanted to add that the first year this was posted, I printed it out and kept it on my wall as a way to remind me to be grateful and thankful for my freedom from such a bad human being.

  • NewLady – that’s mightiness! Good for you and the best of luck. X

  • Today would have been my 8th wedding anniversary with Voldemort. It was so long ago, and I have forgotten so much since then, I actually had to look it up on Facebook just to verify the dates.

    Meh. It’s a beautiful thing.

    ❤????❤????Happy Independence From Fuckwits Day to EVERYONE! ❤????❤????

  • Happy Independence Day Chumps!

    As of July 1st, my house is in my name alone. It still hasn’t sunk in. Court proceedings are done. Life is moving on.

    I looked through some old baby videos with my kids today. There the cheater was….. oh how it stung to see him play-acting perfect dad when I know now he was thinking about someone else when that video was taken. But it’s a good reminder that I’m better off without that drama. I cringe when I think how unhappy I was dancing to his stupid tune.

    And anyway. Fuck it. I have one less child to look after now. Now, he is the OW’s problem.

    I am enjoying my peace. I hope you all are too.

  • So I am making a great craft project for Independence from fuckwits day. I found a bunch of freshly cut wood blocks on a dumpster at a construction site. Gonna paint each in a different boho print, and then add one black letter on each, to spell out, “I love men”. Then I will knock over the “n”, leaving, “I love me”. 🙂 CN feel free to make use of the idea, and of you’re crafty, make yourself a set. You can buy wood blocks at craft stores for next to nothing.
    I also macramed a belt with jute and wooden lettered beads, “l love freedom”. My X’s nickname is Fred. So, I started with, “I love Fred”, and added another e and a d above it with arrows! Ha. I have got the creative, smart, happy and independant me back. My walls are singing, and every day is Tuesday! Hang on newbie chumps, meh is on it’s way.

    • I lOVE your ideas, Kiminator! Projects are such great therapy. I collage things, which makes a huge chaotic mess of my house but calms my mind and restores order inside my head.

  • This is my first Independence Day after more than three decades of pick me dancing for Horace, who always had some fantasy or other that I was supposed to compete with (his own, or from the Internet). For a long time, I did. I quit a few years ago, and after a year of working actively to get out, I’m gone.

    I never knew life could be this good. It’s so much simpler to live without his addictions and his covert narcissism and his eternal passive-aggression.

    I don’t miss him. I miss a lot of what I left behind, but I haven’t missed him for one minute. Five years ago I would have told you he was the love of my life, but I was on hopium then.

    My only regret is that I took him back the first time he dumped me. That bad decision gave him permission to use me, and set the stage for decades of misery.

  • D-day with a serial cheater very much in-love-with bf was in January, went NC in March and last I heard from him was a poor-me letter two weeks ago in which he said ‘I’m sorry I didn’t show you my weakness’ and said how much he hoped I was now happy and that we might be in each other’s lives again one day… oh and that he has always and will always love me of course.

    I burnt the letter, continue to track my NC progress on a sobriety app (lol), am exercising, going to therapy, have started a new much better job, and am extremely tentatively going on a date next week.

    I still dream of him and cry whenever I really think about it. It can be horrible but not as horrible as staying would have been.

    Thank you CL and CN for helping this newbie Brit chump. So grateful! Happy Independence Day everyone! You are all so inspirational.


  • This isn’t really how I gained independence but, as the Fates would have it, last night I was watching an episode from a BBC mystery series that I like (Inspector Lewis; Season 5; episode 4 – The Indelible Stain) and it was a perfect visual statement of all CL writes about here so in a sense it did add to my independence in affirming that letting go was the right thing to do….RIC flunky here…

    Chump was a mighty woman. Marched right into her husband’s office and demanded his phone. NO arguing with his DARVO techniques – all textbook so whoever wrote that episode knows of what they speak…wondering if CL writes TV scripts on the side 🙂

    He handed her his phone and she promptly asked for his second phone….It was classic and then when OW who was a student, dumped him because the wife confronted her – he did sad puppy for a few seconds and she did not buy it and out came his the rage…all textbook. OW response was simple, ‘thanks, that makes this so much easier.’

  • ChumpianX,

    I wish that my last partner had been fired for having a relationship with his work subordinate. Instead, my last partner, an executive, just followed the path of two other executives in his small but growing company who dated and mated with work subordinates. My last partner almost immediately moved in with and within a year married and has likely sired a child with his work subordinate. (Someone close to me called my last partner and his new wife a ‘Power Couple’—so painful as I have been struggling tremendously for several years on multiple fronts.) It’s like Mad Men—fifty years later.

    At least I got to see my kids on Independence Day. I had not seen them for ten days and was glad that they returned home in time to see fireworks with my father and me.

  • How am I celebrating my freedom from James Bond?

    The devils are gone, the angels moved in. I am peaceful, settled, calm.

    I can sleep at night, no more bitter tears burning tracts into the skin under my eyes.

    I can think clearly, no more dazed and confusion from the gaslighting.

    I am confident. No more carrying his anxiety.

    • QueenMother, that’s beautiful. Yes indeed, all devils gone here too. Nothing but peace and contentment.
      I used to cry daily in my marriage. Now I truly don’t remember the last time I cried over someone hurting me.
      Living with a cheater is deadly.

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