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Rage Plumbing and Other Acts of Productive Anger

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So you were chumped. So you’re angry as hell about it. What GOOD thing did that anger make you do?

I’m not talking about creating a funeral pyre of all your cheater’s things and dancing around it. We’re not about revenge scenarios here. I’m talking about the kind of righteous anger that creates showdowns with household appliances and lawn equipment.

“YOU WILL NOT WIN STRING EDGER! For I am STRONGER!”

When your world has fallen apart, when you’ve faced greater humiliations than failing to understand string edgers, suddenly lesser hurdles are not so intimidating. Goddamn it, I WILL MASTER THE STRING EDGER! Anger can make you mighty.

Luziana made this point in an excellent comment:

The Summer that Cold Slab O’ Meat dawdled on paying for the dissolution whilst he played poor discarded me to a host of co workers, internet dates and pregnant Schmoopie who couldn’t decide whether she was really a lesbian or not, my daughter and I built a deck. By ourselves. A 45 year old lady and a ten year old girl. EVERY NAIL had his and The Sluterus’ face on it.

This spring we remodeled three rooms more in our house. The rage of being alone to have to move a disgusting old toilet off the pipe, and my savings gone that I could have used to pay a plumber drove me. When I set the new one properly and bolted it down, the roar I let out felt like fear breaking off my heart and being permanently banished. Yeah, I know. For a toilet.

Rage plumbing. Is there anything mightier?

I made this.

As I’ve told the story here many times, when I left a cheater I took up welding. (That picture is CL circa 2008.) Not for any practical purpose, like pipefitting, just because I heard about a course being offered and I thought WTF, why not? Welding is essentially like playing with a glue gun that can kill you. In fact, once I didn’t ground it right and I shot a volt of current through the fleshy webbing between my thumb and index finger. Burned a perfect cauterized hole right through my hand. But the crazy thing is, when you’re in a world of heartbreak, burning a hole through your hand doesn’t really faze you. Bring it on MIG welder, I’ve suffered worse. 

So what did productive anger make you do? Start the lawn mower alone? Take up public speaking? Run for office?

Tell me about it. And TGIF!

This column ran two years ago and as someone who follows Luziana on Facebook, I can tell you she’s performed even greater acts of home repair mightiness. I’ve got the day off today, and my kid is home from college, so we’re chilling. Enjoy your holiday weekend everyone!

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Ask Chump Lady

Got a question for the Chump Lady? Or a submission for the Universal Bullshit Translator? Write to me at info@chumplady.com. Read more about submission guidelines.
  • I always said that I’d NEVER jump out of an airplane – it was my greatest fear. That, and being cheated on and left by my husband.

    After being emotionally abused, cheated on, chumped, and then being told that HE wanted a divorce, my whole world crumbled.

    My greatest fear had come true. For a long time I was devastated – deeply depressed, multiple anxiety attacks. PTSD symptoms. I thought I just couldn’t survive the heartache and unbearable pain. But I did. I slowly started to heal.

    And then a few months ago, I realized what I had to do – the other thing I said I could never do. Skydiving. On my 50th birthday.

    It was very strange – oddly, I wasn’t afraid at any time leading up to the skydive – not in the days leading up, not waiting on the ground to prepare, not even in the plane on the ascent into the sky. Strangely calm.

    My 50th birthday skydive was a giant FUCK YOU to the asshole who had taken me for granted. He’d always underestimated me. Brainwashed me to underestimate myself.

    All of my sadness, fear, and eventual anger got channeled into facing my greatest fears. I had nothing left to lose.

    My 50th birthday was a day of triumph over Mr. Executive Dickhead and a blind leap into a new life. I smile every time I think of that day. I did it!

    And I’ve got the photos to prove it.

    • During discard and divorce I had the urge to go skydiving. It had always been on my bucket list. I never found the time or the $ to do it, however. Now that urge has kind of passed. I am kind of disappointed that I didn’t do it while I still really wanted to. Now it’s still on my bucket list and but if I didn’t do it then, who knows if I ever will.

    • I went skydiving, too, on my 52nd birthday!! Skydiving was always on my bucket list. I keep adding to my bucket list and also doing things from my bucket list. 🙂

  • After wreckonciliation went down in flames, anger propelled me to fire my therapist, finally file for divorce, and FIGHT. And I discovered or rediscovered all kinds of passions that had been squashed in the relationship – running, hiking, biking, museums, theater, travel…

    But my favorite cheater fuck-you by far is that I sold my wedding and engagement rings and donated the proceeds to the Chump Lady blog via Patreon. Highly recommended for exorcising the demons from jewelry given to you by a fuckwit with a wandering dick.

    • BetterDays, don’t forget there are wandering twats, too! Fuckwits all. Taking her engagement and wedding rings were the first physical act of defiance I took after D-day, and just a few weeks after the XW left me for her fuckwit AP. She announced that she was getting her friend to help her move her dresser out of what was our bedroom and house. Playing the pickme dance still, I had offered to HELP HER MOVE!

      I was reeling from being blindsided by her treachery, and in a total daze. When she said she was taking the dresser, it started to wake me out of it. I started to realize that this was really happening to me! In a moment of clarity, I noticed she had left behind her jewelry box on top of her dresser. She was so sure I wouldn’t do anything to adversely affect her plans post D-day, she had left it behind. I decided I wasn’t going to just let things roll the way she wanted them to.

      I had spent a lot of money on her rings (including borrowing money from my grandmother, which I paid back pretty quickly), and to me they symbolized her love and devotion to me and our marriage. She hadn’t worn them in years, claiming after our youngest was born that she needed to get them resized. Now I knew the truth. She had secretly held so many resentments against me over the years, she didn’t want to wear them. Well, I figured if she didn’t love me or obviously give a shit about our marriage, she didn’t deserve to have them.

      I took them, and it took her a little while to realize they were gone, but boy was she pissed when she figured it out (I helped by telling her, eventually)! That was so necessary for me to do. If I hadn’t, she would have continued to act like I would do whatever she wanted, as if we were still married, but w/her getting the AP full-time as well.

      That was my wake up call to myself, and to her, that I wasn’t just going to continue to roll w/whatever she and her AP wanted to have happen. But for those first few weeks, I was doing whatever I could to try to get her back. Even after I kept the rings, I still tried to reconcile w/her, HARD. But I was beginning to wake up to the fact that this fuckwit no longer wanted or cared about me, so why should I care about her?

      As for what that anger has motivated me to do? It’s helped me realize how much fun being on my own again can be, and it’s pushing me towards starting a career I can work at from home. It’ll most likely be writing in some form, hopefully fiction writing eventually, but maybe starting off w/becoming a grant writer. As I’m sure many of you have noticed, at the very least I have a lot to say! Perhaps too much? Well, it definitely lets me vent my anger about my situation, and I very much appreciate you all being there to listen to my rants. Stay mighty, CN!

  • Don’t laugh, but I finally started to play Dungeons and Dragons. I’ve been trying to get into the hobby for sixteen years, but my ex always told me that I’d just fail at it like everything else.

    Turns out that he was wrong. I am having a blast and I’ll be DMing for an organized play event for the first time next week. I couldn’t be happier!

    • How does one fail at D&D? I don’t get it. It’s cooperative. Did he even understand it himself? Probably he just didn’t want you to go meet people and have fun.

      So I’m glad to hear you are meeting people and having fun!

  • I started my own business. he always would put me down and say ‘you know its a waste of time’ or ‘you know that will never make money’, but at the same time would pretend to be supportive. you knw what i mean!

    He left to jump ship into howorkers arms, a week after i resigned from my job i loved to become a stay at home mom (youngest was 6 months old). the first time in my life i was jobless and alone with a soeciall needs kid and baby.

    my fiends encouraged me to work from home. I started my busienss recently and i sell custom vinyl decals for cars, weddings, van advertising etc and custom t shirts. Its been empowering, exciting but also a little scary. In a way I hope he sees how self reliant I am off my own hard work and skill.

  • I know this sounds stupid, but I set up my own utilities at my new place. That was always Cheater’s job. (I hate talking on the phone.) And somehow I had developed a belief that it was complicated and difficult. I even thought about calling him and asking him to set them up for me, which I know he would have loved. Nope. I called myself. And I made an appointment for the internet guy. And I got my electricity turned on. And I found out the trash pick-up schedule. It wasn’t even that hard.

    I’m an introvert, so somehow painting walls, and even replacing a toilet, would not be nearly as difficult as picking up the phone and calling strangers and asking them to do things. But I did it.

    • I have a touch of that myself, but did all those things in my marriage because XW is from another country, and I know it’s particularly hard speaking a second language over the phone. During the discard, XW flipped this around on me and accused me of “financial abuse, because she had never bothered looking at any of our utilities, credit card, or retirement accounts and therefore didn’t know exactly what was going on. Fortunately, due to her “overlapping relationships” AP could take care of all these details when she moved out so AFAIK she still hasn’t had to take on much of this unpleasantness.

      XW did want the kids to go on her health insurance (I think as some kind of power play, though perhaps there are economies of scale by consolidating with AP’s kids on one insurance plan), so I was treated to a series of rage-filled texts the first time she was on hold for half an hour trying to resolve some eligibility snafu. It will surprise no one here that her conclusion was not “thanks, IG, for taking care of all of this for 17 years – I never appreciated how much work it is” but rather “it’s all your fault that I now have to deal with type of thing”.

      • Yup got accused of him having tried to talk to me as he was worried about money even though we had joint account and spreadsheets meticulously run by me he could view 24/7 and did I get thanks for those bills getting sorted, getting the best deals on our utilities bills, setting up trust fund for our daughter. No, he said you know I don’t have the bandwidth that you do. Hmm yeah I work full time too mate. I think I know who got the better deal and it wasn’t lil’ ok me but the narrative now is that he has been over generous. Christ.

    • Not stupid at all, Carol39! That’s very MIGHTY!! I hate calling people too. Now that I’m a nurse, I have to call doctors and a little anxiety kicks in while I pick up the phone.

      I lived on my own for nine years before I got married. I knew how to make the phone calls to get things going at a new place; I took care of it while I was married too. But it was so hard to make those phone calls when I moved out. And I remember sitting on the floor of my new apartment, looking at the cable box, router and TV. I was like, “Martha, you can do this!” I was determined to have my new apartment as nice and set-up as possible before the kids and I moved out. All this tasks that used to be easy for me, felt like I was climbing a mountain. But we did it, because we are MIGHTY! 🙂

    • Totally mighty. I have a touch of that myself. I have to talk to people often on the phone for various reasons including often for my job but I do tend to procrastinate any task that involves calling people.

      Most of my post discard mightiness (although I don’t know if it was necessarily rage fueled) involved taking care of all of the things ex used to do and just generally being independent. One of his complaints was that he had to do everything for me. I proved that he didn’t have to do anything for me. I just let him do things because I thought he wanted to do it. He seemed to want to have control so I let him have it.

  • It’s not an act of production per se, but I know that I wouldn’t have started taking care of my gums properly if Rhys hadn’t commented on them. I can fix my gums, he can’t fix his personality!

  • I’ve noticed a very curious lack of fear….zero hesitation in speaking up. My fight or flight response is AWOL. I have turned into a snake and my blood pressure doesn’t even move one degree. There is a whole world of crap that I am not afraid of anymore, that will never bother me ever again.

    This is the hidden, oddly-wrapped gift of having two people nuke your entire world. I intend to reap massive benefits from my new level of courage.

  • I became my own PI so that I could sue him good: not to have revenge but to take care of myself financially in our fault based divorce state. I also went back to school and got another degree when I found out that he had run our business into the ground while chasing APs.

  • Having started renovating the kitchen , the STBX left, leaving me with kitchen cabinets in the middle of the room ,drills , screws etc, all left where he dumped them . It was like a scene out of the Marie Celeste.
    I managed to reposition the cabinets back to their rightful place and cut and dress a wooden bench top . I was so angry I sawed the top with a hand saw .lol.
    I’ve since cleaned the crap left everywhere, beaten the lawn mower into submission, rendered walls and sanded floors . I also recently tackled the septic system that keeps blocking, havent quite won that battle yet but it’s coming. .

  • I became the Angry Landscaper. Couldn’t afford lawn care. I mowed it all down. Leaves. Flower beds that had turned to weeds. Anything. I continue with this approach to gardening. It saves me a bunch of dough and the satisfaction of the mower pulverizing things is beyond words. (Watch out for rocks and stones. They ruin the fun.) I am considering bringing the philosophy indoors. Stay tuned for the Angry Housekeeper.

    • I resemble this. Removed a lot of ivy and bamboo from a family guest house, labor I performed so passionately that it caused more than one neighbor to come over and ask if I was ok. I would introduce myself and politely explain that I was recently divorced from a serial cheater, my parents own this home, and this is my form of anger therapy. Each replied something like “Well, you’re doing a great job, thanks for cleaning the place up!” and got on about the day.

      Yard work is hard work, great for sorting anger.

      • I feel ya, I recently starting cleaning houses to make extra money and it is hella therapeutic!! I turn on some music and scrub, wipe, dust, etc, and it feels great!!!! Nobody is around to bother me, I’m in my zone and I finally have some me time to think.

        • Actually, ex used to clean whenever he was upset about something. I would come home and the house would be clean and that was my cue to ask “what’s wrong” and provide what comfort and support I could. Towards the end of our marriage he stopped doing that and I no longer knew when I was supposed to be asking “what’s wrong”. I guess he switched to fucking strange whenever something was bothering him. I wish he had stuck with cleaning house.

    • Yes to the Rage Raking et al ! I would spend my weekends doing yard and house work, five hours each day to clean up an acre of property and clean out a four bedroom Colonial. Sunday night I treated myself to an hour massage (my job benefits covered either massage or acupuncture) followed by steak,baked potato, something green and a couple of glasses of Cabernet Saveme. It took over forty hours to remove and clean all the screens,storm windows and windows. The list seemed endless… When I sold the house and property, I also left that job because I was being chumped there as well.The benefits were the only thing I regret leaving behind.

      Freedom !

    • I can relate to this with the half acre garden I got left with . The lawnmower is wonderfully cathartic.

    • I now must spend hours mowing and maintaining the yard each week and it makes me angry each week. I must reframe and reclaim my life and my yard.
      But I’m two months free of a serial cheater and my 34th anniversary is tomorrow. I can do this on my own. I am gaining my life back!!!

    • Asshat planted roses in the backyard by the deck that he said he would tend to. They became intrusive, pokey, and a pain in the ass, just like him. When he moved out, I pulled those fuckers out. By the roots. I replaced them with beautiful, non pokey, peonies. I also landscaped the front yard, planted azaleas, hostas, lilac bushes, and installed a huge window box with a self watering timer!

      Then I painted every room, bought new furniture, fixed the bathroom plumbing, tiled the kitchen backsplash… rage is such a motivator to clean out every little sign of him!

  • For me, there was great joy in just setting my home up nicely without an avant garde whiny space dictatoe who hated anything that felt even slightly cozy determining the decor. It finally felt like a warm and inviting space instead of some poor quality art gallery.

    Another great thing was finding out how great it is to share worthwhile sex. He was my first boyfriend, and I believed the sex was somewhat lackluster because of something about me. Sharing much better mutual participation with a fully present person was a real game changer, and it was pretty empowering to me to learn how different things could be from the snorefest he had to offer. 😆

    • I hear what you’re saying, Ami, and I get the rich hypocrisy of a cheater who wasn’t great with you in the sack. But the sex issue is a tough one for me, esp. because a lot of our cheaters justified stepping out by pointing to lackluster energy in the bedroom. In my case, I don’t have have the sexual energy I once did, over two decades after I experienced premature menopause due to cancer treatments at the ripe old age of 23. Now, it’s possible I would be more into it if I weren’t with a two-time Cheater, woman-child. But I’d like to think the “in sickness and in health” part of our commitments should cover various and sundry issues, and life stress, that may sap our libidos, without our having to fear that our partners are inwardly rolling their eyes, or that they would make fun of us after a breakup. At the very least, we *all* should be communicating what is and isn’t working for us, in any relationship.

      • Have to agree and love what you shared here. I think there’s a point-of-view facet that’s important to the jewel.

        For my cheater, for example, “lackluster in the bedroom” equated to anyone over 18 who was low on the fetishism scale, high on the deep intimacy scale, and authentic rather than fantasy/porn like. Those things are all the opposite of me and those views are all the opposite of mine.

        I like real humans, how they really are, who they really are, and I like mutually agreed upon sharing. I didn’t even know that about me until I experienced a person who approached it like that, and it made all the difference. I don’t care about any of the typical superficial stuff (who does what at what time, shapes of people’s parts, etc.) and now I know there are others in the world who feel that way, too.

        Sharing should be about sharing, not about who runs the show or whether the other person caters to one’s fantasies or whether one’s parts are a certain shape or work a certain way.

        I’m not saying my way of seeing it is common, but I’m also not totally alone, and that’s nice to know. 🙂

        • Amiisfree- So well put about the definition of lackluster in the bedroom. That was my ex as well. I’m “boring” because I’m not into fetishism. Sex for him was unrelated to love and intimacy which makes sticking with a marital commitment hard.

      • I also totally agree with you about fidelity in all situations and about honest communication. If you share a home and/or life with a person, the person deserves total honesty. Full stop.

  • Fuckwit stated that too many people were asking him to do things when he was home as part of the reason he fled to OW. Meanwhile, things were falling apart with my vehicle and our home. I have not done the work myself, but I have found the necessary people to fix these things, and have moved ahead with getting things done. Flooring replaced, bedroom fixed up, car has gotten to the repair shop on numerous occasions, etc. I have porches to get repaired next. I’m feeling mighty in that I’m getting things taken care of. I do have this urge to learn to be my own mechanic. I will check out the local tech college to see about doing that. Meanwhile, I have gone back to an old passion of programming, and I am learning python. I have already made process improvements at work with it. All this is my middle finger to the cheater.

  • Awesome! I write material for such games as a freelancer and publisher, plus I game a great deal. It relieves stress, and I have made some great friends through gaming. Get your game on!

  • Three months after I left my sociopath ex, my father passed away. I thanked my lucky stars LCB (Lying Cheating Bastard) and I were over, since in true narcopath fashion, anytime I had a crisis, he’d find a way to make it all about him. (Two years prior, he picked a vicious fight on the very day my mother died.)
    With the inheritance I received, I bought an old house, online, at auction, in a town I’d never been to, 100 miles away.
    I’ve lived in my house for all of 4 months and have renovated it top to bottom, including ripping out a walk-in closet, closing off a doorway, and refinishing the hardwood floors.
    This past week, I turned my attention to the back yard and built myself a stock tank pool and a deck.
    Oh, and! Since I’m no longer living with LCB who would drink every drop of alcohol I brought into the house, I keep a well-stocked bar and have taught myself how to make fantastic mojitos!
    I love my cheater free life!

  • Storytelling not only scratched a long-surpressed ‘performance itch,’ and gave me an outlet while dealing with KK’s shenanigans while sharing space, but it also helped me identify and better appreciate the good things in my life.

    Here’s my latest from a Moth GrandSlam event — how an event that involved KK early in our courtship came back in a positive way at a time I needed it most. Hope you like it.

    https://youtu.be/MoQeO6488_8

    • Thank you UX….my major fear is how this will affect my daughter…she is my life’s work and two people who don’t care about anyone but themselves came at her like shooting a little bird out of the sky….😪

      • PS UX….I am in town until Sunday if you want to meet up for a mini Chumpfest. 😊

        • Let’s try to make it happen! I’ll ping tempest to give you my contact info. I’m guessing you have some plans and people to see but if you’ve got any free time that coincides with mine …

    • Wow, wow, wow!!!

      You are an amazing storyteller! You definitely have the gift. I presume that you are Irish, whom are known throughout time to be absolutely fantastic storytellers. I loved it!

  • Hey, I did some rage plumbing with my son, too, just two months after D-day! 🙂 It felt awesome! I’m still in process on a long list of home repairs and such, but I’m inspired by Luziana, and I know I can do it, because pre-divorce I was always the working on the house and building things (treehouse, long picnic table) alone anyway.

    Curiously, I can’t exactly remember any special one thing that I focused channeling most of my anger into beyond the Thanksgiving plumbing episode. The anger just seemed to dissipate — some into trying to be better at my jobs, some into dealing with the divorce process and packing up his stuff, some into the woods and water near me.

    I channeled some into taking care of myself, too, especially when I had to take a very stressful, already planned and paid for trip with him and our kid’s band not long after D-day. I think that’s what I’m perhaps proudest of: creating a force field around myself, outside of which was all the crazy and chaos, and inside of which was perfectly calm and focused on the long game–getting out.

    During that time, I reread “Rita Hayworth and Shawshank Redemption” –the protagonist Andy Dufresne is such a great model for this. I read and reread this passage many times: “All I know for sure is that Andy Dufresne wasn’t much like me or anyone else I knew since I came inside. He brought in five hundred dollars jammed up his back porch, but somehow that graymeat son of a bitch managed to bring in something else as well. A sense of his own self worth, maybe, or a feeling that he would be the winner in the end… or maybe it was only a sense of freedom, even inside these goddamned gray walls. It was a kind of inner light he carried around with him.” Later King writes Andy wore “his freedom like an invisible coat” almost the whole time he was in prison.

    Love to hear these stories of mightiness–looking forward to everyone’s contributions to the topic.

    • AW, You all honor me. Four years on not everything is perfect. My spending and my once stellar credit rating still need work. One does not simply use PIE and trips to Goodwill as reasons to live. But I, too am collecting back my life, one piece of Persimmon Fiestaware at a time. And there is only one room left to do, and my daughter says I can’t redo her bathroom because she’s “sick of (my) cussing at inanimate objects”

      She also says she wants to live in an apartment when she grows up with one bowl, cup and spoon. LOL!

      • And I have to say, at this point I’m not even thinking about the Stars of the Free Love Bonobo Monkey Circus, I’m just cussing at generic stripped bolts and short measurements and getting paint on every good t-shirt I own.

  • It was a leap of faith, and it took some pent up anger fuel to get the nerve to travel alone to Europe. Where I met some wonderful travel buddies 🙂

  • I do it all now. No matter how scary it is, and I was scared a lot in the beginning.

    Drive kids to the other end of the state to look at colleges? Done it for 3 kids so far. Fix a leaky sink? Yup. Twice. Replace the innards of a toilet? Also twice. Buy major appliances? Yes. All by myself. Gone back to school for a graduate degree? Yup. I’m graduating at Christmas this year.

    Every time I have to do something hard that he used to do, I tell myself that if HE could do it, I certainly can. He never went to grad school though, so I totally win that one!

  • 1st ex husband (cheater #1) always told me I was too stupid to do anything on a computer. So I taught myself and now I work in IT as a developer. Not only can I do it, I do it very well.
    STBXH (cheater #2) keeps telling me I dont have it in me to raise my soon to be born baby on my own. Ha! Here I am, setting everything up for her arrival. Putting together furniture is awesome, especially since I kept all the tools!

    • Reciprocating saw! It became an outlet for my anger after Dday. Ex spent years building a model train layout in a room that was designed and built for it.

      After carefully boxing the expensive hobby that was unable to make him happy, I sold the good stuff and dropped off the crap at his moms

      I then spent days with the saw chopping the carefully built tables in to pieces that would fit in my fire pit. That exhausting work and hauling wood to the pit was exactly what I needed. A roaring fire with good wine was my FU to pencildick

      That room has slowly transformed into an awesome playroom for my grandkids I now enjoy finding great toys, puzzles and books at local thrift shops. Ex is confused why kids/grands would rather stay with me!!!

      • Love it! Power tools for the win! I’m keeping the drill. Dont care how much he whines about it.
        The only thing I carefully packed was his recently deceased grandmother’s crystal. I know what it means to the rest of the family, so I took it to his mother. The rest of his crap was just thrown in boxes which I left behind when I upgraded my whole apartment.

  • CL that piece you created is a work of art!

    I did not take care of myself in the past. After i found out about the cheating i started taking care of me, new hairstyle, new clothes, working out, working on the inner me, etc. The minute cheater left i went into his room and trashed whatever crap he left behind. Alot of stuff, i called a hauling company to pick it up. I arranged to have the roof replaced, it was an overwhelming thought. I am finishing the bathroom cheater used. I do the weeding, going to paint the outside of house, replace some damaged sub floors in the house, paint the inside, replace outside light covers (im scared of dealing with things that have to do with electricity) and indoor light in dining room. I am scared of heights and made myself paint a side strip outside of house by getting on ladder and using extension pole and cutting an overgrown tree that was about six feet above roof line (the only thing cheater ever did). I still need to go through cheaters stuff he left in storage shed, this will be a pleasure.

    Nothing mighty but overall i am no longer getting frustrated with handling things. Cheater leaving has brought about a new calm. I used to get so frustrated because i thought i had a partner to help me but he was never a partner. I have faith in me now…

    • Independence Soon,
      I don’t know how you manage it all with such strength of spirit! Thank you for being my virtual and IRL friend and inspiration!

  • My first mighty job was changing the lock on the front door! I’m no Luzzyanna, but I’ve put up curtain rods, learned how to operate the lawnmower, hosted and barbecued for 100 people, rocked my job and raised 2 teens alone for the past 2 years. This weekend I will finally, 2 years post divorce, get my garage cleaned out of all his junk and park my car in it. (My son and I have been hacking away at it, bit by bit). I redid my backyard (digging out old plants that were stronger than the Hulk and Thor combined – I honestly thought my heart might explode as I battled with those roots……) and had a shed delivered Wednesday to move the shovels etc out of the garage. I have scheduled a hazardous waste drop to get rid of all of his “project materials” and this weekend I will finally get it organized. He’s marrying his child bride this month. I’m committing to myself and a clutter free garage.

  • When that Faux turd left, I moved into my very first house/duplex and decided to replace the shower head fixtures in both bathrooms. I also fixed the garbage disposal without having to call the maintenance guy. I think it’s the first time in my life I’ve felt mighty or let myself feel that way. It was awesome and I have since done other repairs/fixes around the house. It has been a confidence booster for sure and I need to give myself more credit more often. It’s freeing knowing I don’t his his punk ass for nada!! 💪🏽💪🏽

  • my fuckwit is an expert at remodeling but do you think he fix any little thing around the house! no! i got out his tools and fixed stuff-broken hinges, painted dirty walls, broken fences, cleaned roofs, wrapped pipes., power washed everything, weed whacked the hell out of the back yard, and in the end sold both houses and downsized to a manageable condo. all while he was boinking his twu wuv of 16 yrs younger and living on my money [he hadn’t worked for 3 yrs]. hugs

  • After immediately learning of the infidelity, I Marie Kondo’ed just about everything I could (including him).
    Next month I am closing on my very own house that needs a lot of work. All those years when I managed every aspect of the home and life I shared with my X : building, renovating, repairing, painting, gardening- everything is now going to benefit me and my beautiful little house.
    Middle finger!

  • i also made a pretty stupid purchase of a f350 diesal super crew cab pick-up truck with a 6 inch lift-red. i have a boat and trailer that he pulled with his truck soooo. i called it my fuck-you – i don’t need your sorry ass truck. i recently sold it and bought a f150 that is a much nicer truck and i can get in and out of easily rather than using a step stool. it is still good for a laugh with my sons. most people thought I’d lost my mind-they were right.

  • I took the kids to Italy alone (trip was already booked when I kicked him out). I treated, neutralized, sanded and painted the deck and pergola – took well over 30 hours but the money to hire someone is paying his rent. Grrrrr. I started taking a water coloring class and all of the family portraits are slowly being replaced by my “works of art”.

    Tomorrow I will learn how to winterize the snowblower (yes, I know it’s July). This summer, I am taking the kids to Chicago.

    Today is my 22nd wedding anniversary and hopefully my last one. Good riddance.

  • Well I sold our house, dumped a bunch of crap. I bought a new house, new memories! I lost 50lbs and took back my HAPPY! Moving takes all the motivation you can get! Working on myself!!!
    Thank you cheater for leaving, and finding another sugar momma to take care of your sorry *ss!

  • I started hiking, all by myself, and it was very scary at first. And I lost 130 lbs. And eventually I hiked 13 miles up a mountain to 14,115 feet elevation!!
    Now I’m doing all the fun outdoor stuff I’ve always wanted with my new husband.

  • Mr. Sparkly Pants gave me an ultimatum at age 59 — leave my job and go traveling with him or he’d divorce me. I was still in love; thought he was in love with me. We got rid of the house, the cars, the furniture and anything that wouldn’t fit on our boat and off we went traveling. It was my lifelong dream, and it sucked because he was increasingly nasty and abusive.

    When Hurricane Irma churned up the coast of Florida, we left our boat in a hurricane hole and went to stay with his sister. Mr. Sparkly Pants went to see his “old friends” by himself, which I was OK with . . . until I found out it was his “old high school girlfriend” he was seeing. My sister-in-law, bless her heart, outed him. SHE took his phone and discovered the text messages, photo exchanges, call history — all of it — and insisted that he tell me. Then she stood there while he did, lying and minimizing away. The truth came out in trickles.

    He laughed at me when I told him I could go get a job somewhere and start over. Told me I was too old to work as a nurse; no one would hire me. And where would I go? Besides, the boat was my dream, and I was his wife.

    I left at 62 with what I could carry, and the dog. On Monday, I start my new job in a 1200 bed teaching hospital. Someone did hire me. I’m divorced now, and I have started over once again. I don’t have my own home yet, but that’s coming. Until then, I’m pretty comfortable living with my widowed best friend. Anger propelled me forward, anger kept me driving a thousand miles away from him and my dream. Anger fueled my search for a lawyer and anger kept me moving forward rather than going back to the boat. Now I can build my own life, find a new dream and make that one come true. I am mighty.

  • I was always left to do everything myself so I am very competent at all things that might be typical of the male gender. String trimmer, no problem. Painting, caulking, tile setting, fixing leaky plumbing, installing door hardware, yard and garden, installing rain gutter caps on top of a ridiculously high ladder, what have you. I can do it all. I also was the financial administrative person and did very well for our family in not only paycheck contributions but also investing our wealth.

    And those were reasons numbered 312-468 of why I Am Just So Awful and Had To Be Abandoned For A 25YO Gurl. He actually stood in the kitchen screaming at me that “You are just a guy, aren’t you!?!?” in the post-abandonment blowout.

    The entitled X Asshat man baby wouldn’t do anything. His passive aggressive personality disorder would not allow him to start and finish a job, especially if it was something I noticed we needed to fix. He would openly fight with me if he started a project and got stuck in the middle. My fault for being competent.

    I never berated him about it, ever. Never ever nagged. I actual speckled the hell out of it- I am the mechanical engineer and he is the civil engineer and we fill each others gaps! See, he is such a wonderful, quiet, NICE man! I was the SAIL driving us forward int he wind and he was the KEEL keeping our ship upright! We were perfect for each other! See? SEE?

    No. He was just a totally inadequate man. He forced me to do everything because he could use his not doing things as a way to punish me. In the end he left for a chick half my age but absolutely at his level. He never grew up. He was not the keel, he was just a chunk of lead dragging along.

    In the end I am completely competent but I am alone. I guess I had better get used to that but it really sucks to be punished for it.

    • I’m betting you will find a great guy who totally appreciates your competence and skills, Now IC! And you will either work on all those projects together, or he will be cooking you up a great meal and organizing the friends to come over to eat on the deck you’ll have just finished!

      I’m another one who was way more competent than my Ex, and spackled sooooooo much! I don’t have the ‘build and repair’ skills (my sister is the engineer in our family), but I know how to keep a job, to raise kids, to cultivate (and appreciate!) friendships, to keep life organized and the house running, to plan fun stuff, to maintain family ties ….. And he resented the hell out of that, ’cause he not only didn’t know how to do those things, he didn’t think he should have to. Tried to undermine me every way he could, and was super jealous of my competence, while enjoying the fruits of it.

      In my experience, competence does NOT intimidate GROWN UP men. It turns them on!

      • Thank you, I do hope you are right. I would really like to believe that I could be loved for just being me. Covert abuse has eroded my soul and fills me with doubt. ((hugs))

  • My STBX spent every spring and summer patching the grass in the backyard and ever summer spots would turn brown. During his affairs he neglected the lawn and it just got worse. This year my daughters and I patched it all back in with new grass seed and watered it daily. My son and I keep up the mowing every week. Yesterday my son said to me, “Mom, the grass you’ve filled in looks better than anything he’s ever done.” I said “Of course it does. Because when you tend to your grass and stop assuming the grass is greener somewhere else, your yard will thrive.” My aim high 5’d me. He knew exactly what I was saying. That was a mighty moment for me and I know the kids feel proud because it’s something we did together.

  • I rage hit the gym. FW always said I didn’t have a body like the p**n stars he watched and tore me down for not being plastic. It started as a revenge body type of thing and it turns out I actually really do enjoy working out.

    • Whereas mine subtly shamed me for having a bikini model body: they are never satisfied/appreciative/enjoy what they have.

  • Mostly just little things for me and not so much rage fueled as proving to myself that I could handle things on my own and really didn’t need him. One incident in particular that I remember was when the wheel broke off the lawn mower. I couldn’t find a replacement wheel that was the same size. A neighbor told me another neighbor had just put out a mower for trash pick up and maybe I could us one of those wheels. They were close enough in size that I decided to go for it. First I had to figure out how to detach the wheel on the neighbor’s mower. I got that removed but the attachment mechanism was different for that mower that it was for mine. I was able to rig something up using a paper clip. It worked and it held together for several more mows before the battery died and I finally had to admit defeat and buy a new mower. Still, I felt mighty for figuring it all out on my own and being clever and creative along the way.

    Another thing I did that made me feel mighty was getting my kids to the total solar eclipse which took place just a few weeks before the divorce was final. We were in an awesome venue out in nature. It was clear through the entirety of totality (although cloudy only a few miles away) and it was an awesome experience for all of us. I did that for them. I planned it, I executed it and it was a complete success. I also couldn’t help but be a bit pleased that ex had planned to fly Schmoopie down in his plane to see it and it was a total fail. They ended up watching a partial through the clouds at home. Neener, neener.

  • TL;DR I converted a warehouse into 2 dance studios and an office

    Now admittedly this was all done while I was in the middle of being chumped. D-Day came 2 weeks after phase 1 (the biggest part). In a way I kind of knew there was a serious problem, but in true chump style I speckled over it and tried to work myself into an early grave dealing with STBXW’s extremely bad attitude towards me (afterwards, when I discovered exactly when the affair started, I could see the mood change or rather when her true self came to the fore).

    The first part really was crazy. We had dance exams and had been let down again by places we were hiring so we had nowhere to use. But we had just taken a lease on a warehouse and so I accelerated the plans to convert them. In 6 weeks I managed to build enough that we could hold the exams. I really went a bit crazy. There literally were some nights when I worked all the way through, drove home at 6 am, had a shower and change of clothes, got the kids breakfast, drove them to school and went back to sawing, drilling et al. But I did it! Then in the summer I spent another (not quite as crazy) month finishing off the 2nd studio and an office.

    The amazing thing for me is that I’m not “handy” as they say in my part of the world. My sole attempt at DIY had been a TV multimedia table in my 20’s (I’d spent all my money on the TV and an expensive hi-fi). How hard could it be? I thought. I’m an IT dev, this can’t be difficult. So after putting together a few pieces of world, I proudly put my TV on top of it and it promptly fell over 🙂 Me & my housemates salvaged it though by putting 2 chairs either side to prop it up and to use as speaker stands and that was it for about another 30 years until 2 years ago.

    These days there are YouTube videos and I’ve watched so so many of them! And this time I did manage to build something and it’s lasted and our ballet families are very happy to have an actual home for their classes. I constructed 2 floating dance floors but the big work was a lot of 3.5 metre height partition walls. None of this I’d done before and I had no money to pay someone to do it (‘cos obviously the family & business money was being spent on her affair) but I somehow did it and far more satisfying than any website or software I’d ever built.

    As someone once said “Yes, we can…”

    • You rock! Betcha got blamed for the affair for not paying enough attention but thank god you put your attention and skill towards something truly rewarding and worthwhile. I am in awe.

  • YouTube is my teacher, and I’ve successfully replaced electric switches and light fixtures and faucets, repaired my own lawnmower, changed the oil in my car, sanded and painted my table and painted the entire inside of my home.

    I spent one satisfying day renting and taking a chainsaw to the fallen trees in my backyard after a storm. When the rental guy asked me if “my husband” was going to use the chainsaw, I replied, “Why would you ask me such a sexist question?” I could tell he decided I was one of those “feminists.” Damn straight, buddy! 🙂

    I’ve had my windows replaced and my home re-sided, so the kids and I are no longer “The Glossner House” (from “The Middle.”) on our street. It’s MY color choice and MY personal joy to come home and see how pretty our house looks now. It’s finally a “home.”

    I’ve also purchased two cars by myself. Seems I’ve become a pretty shrewd consumer now that I’m no longer kowtowing to a bloviating, misogynist who thought I was too dumb to buy one alone.

    With every repair, every improvement and every big purchase, I find myself saying out loud, “I’M A BADASS! And when my own sons come to me for help with big projects, I silently give thanks that I’m single and self-sufficient once again.

    Nothing and nobody intimidates me anymore.

    • What a sexist ass. Why so many men assume women can’t operate a tool I’ll never understand. We chumps have much experience with tools. 😉

      The apparently not sexist home inspector for the house I bought thought I was a contractor because I knew more than he did. Anybody, man or woman, can learn that stuff. A penis isn’t a tool that is used during demolition and construction, FFS.

  • Well since I’ve always been the lawn mowing, fix it person at our house I feel pretty good about being able to take care of that kind of stuff. However my hopefully soon to be ex husband is incapable of many basic tasks so I’m waiting to see how he survives. Obviously he will just use people for his own purposes like he did me. (He hired the OW because he thought “she would be good for business”???????). My future goal is to plan a trip to Europe for my three kids and myself. It slightly terrifies me to consider going out of the country but my 19 year old daughter is all about it. Hoping to have enough money to do this before they all get real jobs or get married!

  • Not good at plumbing at all, but a year after GTFO, when I was still going through hell, I went back to school (at 54), got two diplomas in psychology and together with my youngest son and a couple of my new college friends, started a teen suicide prevention foundation in memory of my oldest son.
    I went to the US twice to train as a gatekeeper trainer and specialize in suicidal crisis intervention. Ten years later, the foundation has provided expert support, a loving ear and real and virtual hugs to several thousand kids, and I have trained almost one thousand gatekeepers. We have an outstanding board of directors, a professional advisory team and an enthusiastic group of volunteer psychologists, all of whom believed in my dream and wanted to be part of it.
    And every time I feel tired or like quitting my demanding job (I’m 64 now), I just go back to that day 12 years ago when Two-Legged Rat called my sister to tell her, “she wants a divorce, and I’m so afraid because she can’t even go the supermarket; she won’t make it without me”. ROTFLMAO!

  • I own and run a DIY workshop, aka, a creative Makerspace. (BTW-building this business apparently damaged ‘somebody’s’ fragile ego.) Anyway, I’m an upholstery teacher first, then any other thing that I want to make, I figure out. I have a class called Chair UP! Upholstery Bootcamp. I’ve run it in person and online for many years. After emerging from the flames of cheater ex’s attempt at taking me down, I’ve been toying with the idea of creating an online class for people just like us. The tattered chair metaphor is obvious-broken, tattered, dirty, gross. Stripping it all down to the bare bones and then doing the repair work. (Get it?) Finally, the fun part–getting to add strong, new, fresh support materials, padding, and finally the dazzling, or simply super cool textile or fabric on top. The chair becomes a focus outside of your head for the rehabbing that we all have to do to some extent. And, some great power tool usage in the process adds a huge bump to personal empowerment. Also, without having the symbolism thrown in your face, each step is obviously matched up with a step along our own road to recovery.
    The greatest catharsis is the very 1st step–the teardown. You get to just tear off all of that old junk to get down to what needs to be repaired. I love this idea and I create some pretty good online courses, I just need to get my own badass kahunas in line to present this idea to my ‘other ‘ world of online followers.
    It would definitely be for the roll up your sleeve DiY’ers who maybe don’t find sitting in meditation very pleasant. (I actually love the meditating to go along with it!)
    Any thoughts?

  • I’m in the process of renovating my new house. I discovered mold under part of the floor and donned a hazmat suit and mask to rip out 800 square feet of flooring. I have put up new ceilings, (with help, have a few more to go) painted the rooms, and the new flooring and doors arrive next week, all in unfinished pine, and I will be finishing it myself to get just the shade I want. Prefinished is easier, but I might as well make it uniquely mine while I’m at it. Then the re-siding of the whole house with cedar shingles and board and batten starts, for which I’ll have a crew helping, but will stain it all myself. I have also had a lot of help from the ex out of necessity. I am a chronic pain sufferer and there are things I just can’t do by myself. I come back from there in so much pain that I wish I could die, but remind myself I’m a bit closer to a better life every day and I’m getting the sweet little rustic, cottagey home I’ve always wanted with no fuckwit in it. I’ll save at least 20k with the DIY.
    Gaining a life is hard work, but there is no alternative. Go, chumps!

  • We were married 36 years. My ex left at age 58 after we had tripled mortgage our home to promote his business ventures. Our settlement gave him the businesses, equipment, property, etc. but he thankfully left my teaching pension alone.

    I learned everything I could about financial literacy – what it takes to retire financially independent at age 62. I manage my savings, brokerage and retirement accounts myself with no fees or costs going to a broker or financial advisor. I live way below my means, own my house now and I am completely debt free. It is the greatest feeling in the world to know I won’t be a burden to my family.

    • @nain
      Wow, that’s seriously mighty! What financial literacy resources on retirement did you find the most helpful? I was (miraculously) awarded 100 % of my 401k in the divorce, but I’d like to do a better job of managing my future.

      • dejablue – I read, read, read everything I could get my hands on related to saving, investing, living in retirement – that I hit upon at just about the same time I found Chump Lady.

        https://www.bogleheads.org/wiki/Books:_recommendations_and_reviews#start-up_Books

        The site is a “.org” so I knew it was legit. There is so much information on the site and everyone in the forum is patient and helpful if you have questions or concerns that you’d like answered personally. A lot like this site and Chump Nation actually!

        I am now 66, and have been confidently managing everything myself. Whew!

  • Went NO CONTACT. I know that doesn’t seem like such a big deal, but my husband is an actual doctor-diagnosed narcissist. Our life was filled with constant text messages, emails, FaceTime… If I failed to answer/acknowledge any one of those within mere seconds, there was hell to pay.

    No Contact is driving him crazy.

    It is absolutely liberating knowing that I can leave my cell phone in the house and dare to venture out into my own backyard and not feel guilty for doing either of those things.

  • Threw out his trash. Put in new floors, ripped out a wood ceiling, put in a new bathroom with some help, paid the mortgage in full, and started my own business. And raised two children. When I realised the two things I could not do were drilling holes and finding my way I bought an electric drill and a navigation System. Within one month he was out of the house. I should send schwoompie flowers for taking the sparkly turd of my hands. But the kids took it hard.

  • I spent a lot of time raising kids while he told me he was playing golf. He had to have the most expensive clubs. He said I could not play as ‘women are the curse of the course’. After he dumped me on our 20th wedding aniversary, I found some clubs on the side of the road. I joined a social group and I just have so much fun. Also made some good friends, so screw him. Feeling mighty!

  • Doing the yard work. Our divorce is still in progress and I’m in the home. I can mow, weed whack, trim, etc like a pro now and using the push mower and hedge clippers are great work outs and it’s therapeutic. And for the tree limbs that are too thick, I’ve got a cute neighbor.

    • Me too! I feel so good when doing the yard work. I also painted the house. Fixed the roof. And got another job.
      Next week my daughter and I will make a guinea pig cage from scratch!😏

      • Cool! When I first started doing it, I cried every time because hubby should have been there doing it but I got over that!

    • Or buy a chainsaw! You can imagine all kinds of things you could do with it when you’re cutting those trees!! But a cute neighbor works too!

  • I have two lawnmowers (oooh get me showing off). One is big and heavy. The smaller one I find hard to start. I get them both out and stand there effing and jeffing until one roars into action. Then I mow the lawn and strut around thinking look at ME!!!

    Anger also made me not fall into tit for tat passive aggressive behaviour with him. Last time he was a dick (stole £10k from me) I git straight on the phone and said this stops now what the hell do you actually want just pipe up and say it and give me the key back while you are there as cleaarly you are a liar and a thief. Leave me alone and if you want something if it concerns us both just grow a pair and deal with it like an adult. Boundaries! Anger taught me boundaries and that if you give it about 46 attempts the lawnmower can be beaten.

  • My Ex walked out and left me with NOTHING except a 1956 T-Bird convertible and two small children (3 yrs and 12 mos). So yeah, I had to go on welfare or we would have starved because he sure as hell wasn’t paying anything. Of course, the T-Bird had been severely abused in it’s lifetime, but I learned how to repair it’s broken bits and kept it running. When I got the opportunity to compete for a “man’s job” in refining, I put that down as my hobby “Restoring a 56 T-Bird”. (Of course, that just meant restoring the parts that had broken and keeping it running), and what do you know, that got me a great job that allowed me to support my kids, eventually buy a house, and even retire with a nice little monthly deposit. Ta Dah!!

  • When I went to the therapist he asked where my anger was because I’d squashed it down one disappointment after another.

    I filed, he wanted a divorce. His attorney withdrew; heard Nanthony raged at her, a newbie. After a delay to get another attorney he didn’t show up. Again. Judge ordered him to show or default. Brought my friend as a witness in case.

    I had a huge briefcase to fuck with him. He had no idea what was in it; basically a prop.
    Waiting with at least a hundred people in the long hallway including attorneys. While I read what to do and not do I lost it. Found my anger. He never wanted my pension and lied to my daughter while telling my attorney otherwise. I ripped him a new one raging at the fact our kids wouldn’t respect him if he took my pension after cheating.

    It went in for awhile. Dead silence and every last person heard my rage. Once in court we went into a room and he stated.he wanted an attorney. My attorney said he had the right to representation. With my briefcase on the table I told him he’d be an idiot not to settle. I offered to cap what he needed to pay in health insurance at 600.00 annually. I kept my pension.

    Fucker paired with an addict. I’m thinking I found my anger at the moment I needed it the most.

  • I made a 6 figure profit on a foreclosed house, and used the proceeds to pay off my share and kid’s share of her college loans. (Yes, expensive college. And she had good finaid!). But still… My mighty momism.

  • 200+ push ups, crunches/day plus hour long hill climbs on my mt. bike. With each push-up I imagine driving my fists into the smirking face of the OM in spite of the ghostly protestations of Tolstoy and Jesus. This douche bag wormed his way into our family from a dark cave on Facebook, misrepresented his true intentions by pretending he was my good buddy, built trust with me and my kids, and then slithered away with my spouse back to his wretched cave. Of course I’m to blame for it all.

  • “One day you will tell your story of how you’ve overcome what you’re going through now, and it will become part of someone else’s survival guide”

    Tracy’s book,blog and all the comments from Chump Nation

  • First D-Day, I was a mess, crying and begging him to stay. He left me, living in HIS father’s house, with HIS father, to be with Schmoopie #1. I did nothing but cry and beg. The 2nd D-Day (yep, he came crawling back when Schmoopie dumped him) was very different. I didn’t cry or beg. I told him we were through. I had had enough of his loser ass. He barely worked, so I worked 2 jobs to keep us afloat. When he did work, instead of paying back balances on utility bills, or giving me money so I could get some things I desperately needed like new eyeglasses or shoes, he bought frivolous things for himself. He was always getting arrested for petty crimes. He had a reckless driving charge, so he had to pay a very high insurance rate to keep his license, when he didn’t pay it, his license would get suspended AGAIN. Getting it renewed involved going to the state DMV and sometimes court. Fickwit drove and got caught driving with a suspended license ALL THE TIME.
    So when DDay 2 happened, I was ready to walk and I did. sucked it up and asked my mom if she could lend me money to buy a condo. Within 2 weeks, I made a down payment, packed my stuff and a month later I moved into my own place. I was living alone, for the first time in my life. I had very little in the way of furniture, I didn’t even have a bed. I had my clothes, some dishes, a radio, and two small chairs, and one frying pan. No tv, no bed, no towels, no couch or tables. I didn’t have a car, either, as fuckwit took it in the break up. No big deal, it had cost me $250 and was a small price to pay for getting rid of fuckwit for good. He threatened to take me to court over it.

    It was very quiet in my new home. And with all the extra money I had from not supporting fuckwit, I was able to furnish and decorate my home my way.

    He tried to come back again, said he thought he made a mistake, blah blah blah. I told him to go shove it and to leave me alone. He stalked me for a few weeks, until a cop friend had a conversation with him.

    Last year, I found out that fuckwit was arrested, convicted, and sent to prison for sexually assaulting a 12 year old. He bribed her with money and gifts. So nice to not have to deal with this.

  • I had the sell my house and learn a new position at work after discovering the infidelity. For my first Valentine’s Day after the divorce I traded in my engagement ring along with other jewelry he gave me during the love bombing stage and had it made into a new beautiful custom ring!

  • After being a stay at home mom for over a decade, I went back to school and got a masters in biomedical engineering, a kick ass job, and built a rather intimidating body lifting weights (so I didn’t kill someone).

    • Do you mind if I ask at what age? Not sure whether to pick up my dreams where I left them or dig in with my current profession.

      • I was forty when I went back. It took me about two years to get my masters. I’m 49 now. Either way, the time goes by. But now I’m completely financially self sufficient. Chumplady, u can pass on my contact info if u want. I’d b happy to provide additional details. Basically, every time I felt like giving up, I dug in my heels and said, “no fucking way.”

  • Well, first and foremost, I didn’t kill myself which was my first impulse but I realized the futility of it knowing that our 3 children needed a sane parent.

    With that avenue shut I started emptying the basement. A task that when I even had the idea of having to ‘sort and toss’ the thoughts would send me into paradigms of paralysis. I became a machine and spent days hauling stuff up the stairs and into my garage. My grown kids gave me plenty of space and were probably scared shitless that I would toss them out too 🙂 30+ years of stuff and with each load I dropped a heavy weight that I didn’t even know that I had been carrying for so long. No longer paralyzed by the job I found I was actually energized!

    A friend came by one evening loaded her car up with stuff. I loaded mine and then I began to drop stuff off at the local ARC center every time I headed to the grocery store.

    Basement is now all organized. My energy has remained high and tasks that I formally dreaded are actually a delight to perform because I am doing them for me. I have always been the one to do the ‘stuff’ and because of it I had built up a huge bag of resentment – well that is gone now and I love, adore and look forward to tending to my home in a way I never dreamed possible.

    I also spend time with friends again. Something I had put aside in order to be at his beck and call. No more feeling guilty when I have friends over or when I visit them. I can be gone as long as I want and no facing an inquisition when I return. (Now I know why he wanted to keep me under lock and key – probably thought I would do what he was doing – he was/is a serial cheater)

    Love my freedom.

    Still heartbroken too so holding 2 such diametrically opposed emotions is odd but I am getting used to odd and know that what I lost was a fantasy and was always a fantasy. The X I thought I was married to doesn’t even exist except in my mind. How weird is that but it is the truth!

    Onward, I hear household chores beckoning me.

    Thanks for all who post here. You inspire me to think beyond my box.

  • I chopped two trees down that ex had been”going to get around to” (when he could from his busy schedule of TV and dodgy DIY projects that I begged him not to do because they made the place unsafe). I had refrained from nagging about them for over 6 months because I’d thought oh well, it’s a big, exhausting job. Once he was gone I rolled up my sleeves and both trees were gone within days. I was a tad sore but so satisfied.

    Oh, and dug up some very dodgy brick tracks that he’d laid down on our front lawn to protect it from his car parking there. The bricks were all over the place, crooked and sticking out of the ground. And the wheels missed them every time 😂😂😂

    • How big were the trees and how did you do it? I have two very large trees in my yard that I am dying to get rid of, but they would be too expensive for me to pay to get them down.

      • Not huge, admittedly. As to height, they probably just reached the eaves of the roof of the house. So nothing dangerous if a branch came down on me or anything lol. I can’t actually remember what kind of trees they were – it was back in 2005.

        I used a combination of saw and axe. I was not at all systematic about it – just alternated to give my muscles a break here and there. Hacked away for days.

        • Although now that I think of it, although the height reached the eaves, the trees themselves were down a slope, so their height was slightly taller than the eaves, if that makes sense.

  • I wrote 5 songs and I am recording an album with some friends. I’m a biochemist, not a singer-songwriter. But what a fun project this has been. I have gotten a lot of positive feedback at open mics playing a tongue in cheek country song I wrote with an exaggerated 2/4 beat and the chorus, “So throw our vows away. I’ll burn your clothes after I drink my Chardonnay. After all the hopes and dreams we never filled, there’s nothing left of our wedding day but one chipped bowl and a George Forman grill.” It came to me when I was making the kids a panini in the George Forman grilling machine someone gave us for our wedding. We had laughed when we got it because it was so NOT us. And it wasn’t on our registry. But then years later, the kids started using it for hot sandwiches and it came into heavy use. Pretty much everything else we got back then was broken, or lost, or replaced. It hit me that it was funny the George Forman grill was the only wedding present we still had. And then I noticed that we also had a bowl left from our wedding stoneware that we only used when everything else was dirty. And the chorus just came to me. And then the rest of the song. Like a verse-“Well I’m not one to write a country song but a lot of things I thought were wrong. Like you’d never lie, cheat, gamble with my life and then drive off with someone else’s wife” . : ) Music is therapy.

  • I’ve become more artistic and crafty and I’m good at it. 😁♥️
    One thing I’ve done is yard work. Both exhs always preferred to do yard work over house work any day.
    I now find raking leaves, hedge trimming, mowing therapeutic.
    Yesterday, I was down. I took it out on my hedges and trimmed them down, raked up the trimmings.
    I am in a rental surrounded by mighty oak trees.
    I feel so much pride when I pull up to my house and see how neat and trim everything looks.
    I haven’t been near as mighty as luzianna whom I admire, love, and respect so much, but I’ve had moments of mightiness.
    When I see my wreaths other people oooo and aahh over, when I see my paintings up on the wall, I feel mighty. I made that. I created that.
    I couldn’t ever have my own space with TEO. He always had to have his man cave, but all my crafting stuff had to be kept away. “Too much clutter”
    Now he’s gone, his man cave is now my crafting space.
    I’m making my own mighty every day.

    • You’re a woman after my own heart. In fact, I created a business out of making and teaching my creative skills. I love the pride in your talents.

  • Two months before my divorce was final, I negotiated a new job, a house, and a new (to me) vehicle. By. my. self. Yes, I closed one of those deals with homemade cookies, darn tootin’.

    (At that point it had been 18 months of separation and him effing around with draining bank accounts on his attorney, while having been with his now-wifetress for a year before he even moved out/we separated.)

  • I purchased a kickass brand new 4×4 and an off-road caravan and drove (by myself) around the outer edges of Australia. I swam with whale sharks, camped on beaches, walked trails and swam in water holes all the way. I free camped, fished and cried. But I did it. Alone but mighty. When I got back after 25000 Kms and 8 months I sold my caravan and picked up my dream job at 58. My life is awesome and I can wait to meet the man of my dreams so I can do it all again! NC is awesome!

  • I unclogged the drain in my kitchen sink that had run slow since I moved in. I snaked it and plunged it to no avail. Finally, in an act of desperation, I took two boxes of baking soda and 2 gallons of distilled vinegar. I took a box of soda and dumped the whole thing down the sink with a trickle of water. I then heated a gallon of vinegar on the stove until it was at boiling and I poured it slowly down the drain. I could hear it all as it went down the pipe and into the sewer line. That cleared the drain a bit, but it still ran slow, so I repeated.

    My drain has been draining properly ever since. I couldn’t even get lye to work, but the hot vinegar and soda worked great.

    I’ve done a number of repair jobs, since he left. He didn’t do much before he left, he was basically useless anyway.

    • Today, I’m going to work on my dishwasher since it leaked into the basement. Not looking forward to it.

      Oh, I also installed a new faucet in my bathroom, and repaired the rotting floor under a toilet. I didn’t reseat the toilet properly, however, and I need some help with that.

      • I also bought my first car, by myself with no help from anyone or anyone’s permission, last summer at 50.

  • I took my daughter to Sweden to meet her relatives on my moms side, even though I was terrified of flying. And I learned to cook steak.

  • I appreciate posters sharing their accounts of mightiness! I have no such accounts to share. However, I am embarking on a path to ‘internal’ mightiness–I have ‘swallowed my pride,’ accepting contract jobs that pay by lecture hour at a rate that amount to minimum wage when you factor in preparation time. Tough considering that my last executive boyfriend told me shortly before he left me (for his incredible rising star work subordinate, now wife and possibly mother of his newborn child), ‘RockStarWife,’ you are just re-starting your career (in middle age), but my career is at its zenith.’ (He later denied ever saying this.) And I guess that my having earned higher graduate entrance exam scores, scores that got me into a reputable doctoral program several years ago, didn’t count for anything as I don’t have the house, the salary, and the titles possessed by him and his current wife, who someone in my family called a ‘Power Couple.’ I am going to try to hold my head high working these minimum wage jobs because everyone has a right to feel proud for doing honest work. (If it weren’t for people like me, people like him and his current wife might not have developed the skills necessary to acquire and achieve what they have acquired and achieved.) Going to try to work hard to provide great service because my clients deserve it and, ideally, in working hard I will help me obtain good enough references to get into a position/positions in which I can earn a living wage. I don’t care about me anymore, but my kids need that boost in income, especially as I am losing spousal support this year. (I decided not to ‘fight’ my ex-husband in court again to continue spousal support. I let him win, although he ethically should pay me over $100K in legal fees and money he secretly siphoned from our bank accounts (for sex with prostitutes and mistresses) while we were married.) Also going to try to remind myself, regarding my last boyfriend, that he was a blameshifting liar who felt no qualms about privately and perhaps not so privately, manipulating, denigrating, criticizing, and trying to control women who loved him if he didn’t think that they, and I, were up to par and I don’t like people who do these things to others. So what have I really lost? Not as much as I often tell myself.

    The other ‘brave’ thing I plan to do is try to become completely comfortable and maybe even content without ever having a (good) partner even although I would really love to have one and would love to have good loving sex even at my ‘ripe old age.’ (I envy those who frequently get to have good loving sex with a good long-term partner and almost envy (middle aged and older) women who say that they prefer a sexless life. I hate this years’ long, perhaps eternal, dry spell but won’t have casual sex as I never have as doing so would violate my values and the ‘available’ men are too unappealing and incompatible with me for me to enjoy sex or even just time with them.) The only available men I meet through any channel are clearly incompatible with me and quite unappealing–and I don’t mean in merely physical ways. Not saying this in a way to imply that I am Hot Stuff and Better Than Thou. (It seems as though a lot of the ‘good ones’ are dead, gay, married, or want a partner who is 10-25 years their junior, and can get desirable women that much younger. It doesn’t help that I am a way underemployed, underearning divorced late middle-aged mother of young kids.) I tried very briefly dating a couple of guys who were (nearly) old enough to be my father–seventies–but the generational gap was too much for me to feel comfortable.) It gets harder and harder over the decades of my life to find anyone who seems close to decent to date, much less marry.

    Going to try to focus on learning how to fix my apartment, do more on the Internet and the computer and in accounting, and better (more consistently) manage my portfolio, i.e., become completely self- and family-supporting. It feels exhausting, but I will probably become prouder and grow more confident for the effort.

    I am two years past last Discard Day by last boyfriend. I still think about him every day although I am super busy, even overwhelmed. To those of you who are many years past this point, did you notice that you improved significantly from two years out to several years (five, six, or more out)? or am I a ‘hopeless’ case in terms of ever recovering?

    • Hey Rockstar wife, I’m 6 years out. It does get better and you make your life. It’s amazing to have my own beautiful home and it is all mine. My ex slipped over a million out of the family trust fund from equity in 12 homes. I got the disabled kids. His married. She is skinny and they look great together. I know him so I know what she is putting up with. The kids still look up to daddy and tell me I should get over it, he is with someone else now. He has all the money. But I’m the one that helps them on every level. I have had 3 boyfriends, all 3 have been duds. There is not much out there. I feel you are right. They are either taken, gay or want a young one. I still put the positive energy out there and hope to find my forever companion who is loving and trustworthy. It scares me that I keep getting older. So, I just have to live in today and make it the best day posible. I wish you luck, one foot in front of the other with a smile . From Aussie land x

    • Rockstar, I hear ya.

      That’s where I think the male chumps have a definite advantage over us chumped ladies. The older men have a lot of options with younger women, and our cheaters stole those good years where we could have matched up with decent men.

      My only hope is that there is a nice chumped man out there willing to take a chance on a good chumped lady like myself. But I can only imagine that given the option of pretty young thing versus mid forties me with young kid, pretty young thing will win out.

      That’s why most of us were cheated on in the first place. My cheater said it straight to my face explaining his acquisition of 17 year younger howorker: “YOU got old.”

      • I promise you chumped gals, we chumped guys don’t have it any easier. Online dating wasn’t a thing back when I played the game and now it feels next to impossible to get a woman to give you a chance with these stupid dating sites. My women friends on the other hand are so bombarded with online approaches they don’t know who to choose. So I promise you, it sucks all around I swear! (Going to get a dog myself!)

        • Casper,
          Are your female friends who are looking for a male mate over 50? IF SO, I would like to know what makes them successful in finding so many prospects. Are the prospects good prospects?

          Also, if you are in your late 40s to 50s and in California, I can probably introduce you to a lot of appealing women.

      • F and L,
        Your ex was a jerk, as was my last boyfriend, who made a lot of comments about my age, although I was only a few years older than him and people often guessed that he was older than me (he was ‘heavier’ and grayer). He’s married to the thirty-something, almost young enough to be my daughter now.

    • RockStarWife, I’m wondering what kind of settlement you got from the Rockstar? Does he pay child support, alimony or see his children regularly? Does he provide their insurance?

      I worked minimum waged jobs for most of my life raising three kids. To me there’s no age limit on getting a degree and furthering your education.

      Realistically, if a forty something guy hit on me I’d cringe as I did when approached by one years ago. I have a 40 year old daughter. Age isn’t a predictor of good character or compatibility.

      I’ve never once thought about being any part of a power couple; I prefer maintaining my own power.

      You are working hard, good job. Trust those scores and see what’s available to add on to your current degree. It may be a specialist in a related area, requiring less course work and time. Even if it takes a few years it’s worth it.

      • Doing Me,

        You are tough!

        My ex husband provides child support but no health insurance as he is self-employed and makes it look as though he is destitute by writing off tons of expenses (real and imaginary). My spousal support ends this year. My exhusband sporadically, infrequently sees our children as he works in the touring entertainment business and is this rarely around when kids are free.

        I earned several degrees and credentials in my twenties and thirties that I thought would be useful. Yet I cannot seem to secure a permanent family-sustaining job in my geographical area and probably cannot move with my young kids. The only degree left for me to earn that might be useful is the PhD, which was funded by university in my case but I sadly did not finish several years ago—left at dissertation stage! Highly doubt that in my fifties and financially hurting I will ever get to finish it. I might try to take some accounting courses so that I can get some accounting work. I feel sad that I am exhausted, working over 60 hours per week at a professional job (I can teach advanced math and college courses in a few disciplines) but cannot pay rent on even a small place for my family and don’t get any benefits! I sometimes feel like crying over my inability to support my family.

        Going to try to maintain a sense of humor about this situation. If I need to work over 80 hours per week at a job and concurrently raise my children, then I need to just suck it up. Sleep is for wimps, right?

        • Doing Me,
          While I appreciate the idea of generating one’s own power, two people working together can generate more than twice the power of one person working alone. (There’s a reason that poverty is much more common among families containing a single parent than families containing two parents.) Poverty and welfare-status suck for the adults and the kids! We can talk all we want about being mighty, but when you don’t earn enough to cover food and rent for even a tiny home in a safe neighborhood, it’s really hard to feel mighty. And many people DO look down on you if you get into this situation, even if you did not do something wrong. I would love to be part of a Power Couple!

  • I left cheater in our big house that he refused to leave and rented a two bedroom apartment and my teenage son chose to come with me. My son went from acting out by going on pretty heavy, scary drinking binges and struggling in school to getting a 3.8 gpa and being the star of his school play. Once I removed him from his cheating father’s disordered, unhealthy lying environment, he thrived. It took me months and a lot of help to be able to make this happen but we love our little place and are so much happier there. I couldn’t be more proud of my boy.

  • Last year I was so angry at my OH one day in the summer while crossing the street. I had nearly ended up homeless as a SAHM of six kids because of him earlier in the year. I had not worked for nearly six years and all my certifications had lapsed and I wanted to start my business again to give me some independence. As a result of this I was in the middle of taking seven exams. 6 online and 1 in an exam centre. I had one to take online and in the middle of the rage on the street I just thought “I am not going to ruin the rest of my day over this, I am going to channel this anger into passing my exam.” Took it that night and nailed it! Started my business again at the end of September and was profitable by about November. Now turning work away. I think the anger is very protective and productive when channelled into activities that are going to improve the lives of ourselves or our kids.

  • Took the old computer with all her emails, photos, etc. of her affair, stripped and cleaned it, reassembled, wiped the hard drive, put the newest Windows back on, overclocked it, and gave it to my girlfriend as her personal computer.

    Built a gaming computer from scratch for me, including overclocking it–it’s now faster than most gaming comps out there and at 1/2 the price.

    Then built a retro gaming emulator for my boys (Atari to PlayStation 1) and a kid’s computer (using the Kano OS) for my girlfriend’s daughter using single-board computers.

    I am now learning Python and have been helping my family members tune up their computers.

    I never knew I had such acumen for computers, but my anger at purging that initial computer drove me to realize it.

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