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Happy Thanksgiving!

Forgive my tardy post today. I was up early cooking the Thanksgiving meal and now I’m in a post-Turkey coma.

Mr. CL did the shopping and left to his own devices, bought a non-organic premium steroid-injected nearly 30-lb monster turkey. A freak of turkey nature. Turkeyzilla. The thing took five hours to cook (and probably a small army to take down.) The man LOVES turkey. And leftovers.

While I was cooking early this morning, my son came in to tell me that — today, on Thanksgiving — he was offered a job. (He’s a senior in college.) His dream job doing data analytics.

Me: “They wrote you today? On Thanksgiving?!”

Him: “They’re in India.”

Apparently, the job starts out with 9 months of training in India, then he’s off to the U.S.

Wow! I’m super proud of him. And I had a moment, between subduing the monster turkey and cleaning the home to my mother’s standards to reflect that the kid and I have come a long way.

He’s a good kid. It all turned out. I think he will launch. He’s still prone to occasional calamity (he blew his tire out on the drive here, and was stranded on the turnpike yesterday, case in point). But he’s okay. He’s responsible and employable and cleans up nicely in a pressed shirt. He’s kind to his grandparents and thoughtful, and brought me a scented candle.

I’m feeling very grateful today. To anyone still in the trenches — there were years (many years), I did all the parenting alone. The vomiting illnesses. The book reports. The solo awkward parent-teacher conferences. There were years I got sued (pro se) by a crazy man who defaulted on support. Who didn’t show. Who reneged on things. Who broke my kid’s heart. And then nonchalantly would show back up in his life. Who argued in court that my child was stupid. That I couldn’t be trusted to educate him. He spent money (that he wasn’t paying for support) on lawyers (who he later fired).

There was a lot of crazy I had to sane parent through. And I wasn’t always the sanest parent myself. It was a lot. But I showed up and I really, really tried. I’ve been remarried a decade now, and Mr. CL is my son’s true second parent. My kid knows it, and I know it. And half the “Wow! He’s launched!” pride goes to him today too. And to my parents. And to my extended family, who raised him too.

I’m rambling. The point is — miracles. Slow-motion miracles. One day you’ll be on the other side. You won’t live in a trench anymore. Some days are even rewarding and wonderful. And there’s a feast. And the people who love you are sitting at your table.

Stay the course.

I hope everyone is having a wonderful holiday. We can all go around the table and say what we’re grateful for.

See you back here Monday.

Happy holidays!

Ask Chump Lady

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  • Happy Thanksgiving Chump Fam

    There is light at the end of the tunnel. You can’t speed up or shorten the ride. It’ll take time and you’ll get there. Shit is hard but if you’re reading this, you’re hard too.

  • I’m grateful for not being a puddle on the floor anymore, trudging through the muck alone for a long long while, and now meeting someone, that even if it turns out to be just friendship, gives me hope that I might actually live a normal life on Tuesday.

    • So happy for you. It’s nice to just have that pleasant feeling of meeting someone new, even if it’s just friendship. Although true validation must come from within, it’s helpful when we see that others find us attractive and worthwhile. Have some fun. You deserve it.

  • Am grateful to be back in my home state with family and a dear family friend. We don’t have to talk about the awfulness, though I know that I could if I wanted to: they know my story and have my back. Am looking forward to having more quality time to spend with my family in future years! Best holiday wishes to all CN, and I hope Mr. CL enjoys his tryptophan coma.

  • I am so grateful that I can look at my former life and think, “Wow, I can’t believe I used to think I loved that life.” I am SO lucky to be on the other side.”

  • My heart is bursting for you CL!! They do tend to launch despite the bumps in the road. My own daughter is a zookeeper, her dream job, big into animal conservation, well respected in her field, and fast becoming an expert in setting up animal maternity wards, so to speak. My son is doing his band thing( solid fan base in the US and just finished a 6 week tour). He makes little to no money but is happy doing this for now and a good help to his mum with her online business. Life is good despite the biodad/narc./sociopath that imploded our lives. Happy Thanksgiving to all of CN that are in the US( ours in Canada was last month).

  • Thank you Chump Lady and Chump Nation for giving me a glimpse of hope. It’s the first Thanksgiving I’m sharing time, my step-children of 10 years are spending it with my ex and his whore, and I’m supposed to just be ok because “things have changed”. I’m a puddle in the trenches and just want to find my meh. But I’m still able to say I’m thankful for my life today, without him. Holding on for the miracles.

  • I am thankful for my children who are the ones I fight for. They are who got me through the darkest days, and my motivation to continue working hard creating a new and better life for. To see them grow strong and excel at life, that’s what keeps me getting out of bed every day.

  • Happy Thanksgiving to you, and chump nation.

    Your post made me emotional, but in a good way. This is a beautiful story, in the end, of resilience, and love.

    I’m not out of the trench yet but I’m not crying or dreaming in hopium at it’s bottom anymore and I owe you all a lot for this. Thank you.

  • Wow, I remember you posting about taking him to college / uni for the first time. It doesn’t seem all that long ago! Congratulations all round. Enjoy your post-turkey chill out.

  • This is my first Thanksgiving with out my daughter. I was dreading it. My family decided to push off dinner until she returns tonight. All of them. I’m very thankful for them. So we will eat at 9:00 pm and we will have a wonderful time.

  • I so damn thankful I managed to survive the hell of my married life, get him out my life in every aspect and I don’t EVER have to see him again. I’m thankful he’s also mostly out of my head, DEFINITELY a million miles away from my finances and that my kids can pick and chose when they have contact with him because God in his wisdom put the Atlantic Ocean between us. I’m thankful that I’m returning to the happy, optimistic, smiley-faced person I used to be before I met him and that my kids have flown the nest and are also happy. Happy Thanksgiving to all the US chumps!

    • Meant to add, I’m so thankful I didn’t have to try to cook a 30 lb turkey because I know darn well that thing would NEVER fit in my oven!

  • I’m grateful to CL and CN for helping me break through the gaslighting. He told me that I was just jealous, and that he had to hide a friendship with a female co-worker because of my jealousy. He told me that it was normal for him to spend all day with the female co-worker and that it was normal for them to go out of town for the weekend together. I wanted so much for my marriage to last, which is why I really wanted to believe his lies. Without CL and CN to give me a reality check, I would probably still be married, and miserable. Divorce was final almost 3 years ago. Life is better. Thank you!

    • He told you that taking a female co-worker away for the weekend was normal? Good grief. And then he called you jealous? Your ex is sick in the head. I’m grateful you found your way out of that mess. Life is better without the twisted mental abuse.

    • RainWoman,

      For 23 years my X told me that having very close female “friendships” was “normal” and that I was “jealous”. Mine also said he had to hide his female friendships from me, because he didn’t want to hurt me, because of my jealousy. After I caught him out on a date with a newly divorced whore. He said I was “judgmental, controlling and had trust issues”.

      The beauty of CL and CN is that we see that others have been told the exact same things and we realize we were actively being mentally and emotionally abused. I ditto a big thanks to CL and CN!!

      • Isn’t it amazing we all married the same narcissistic gaslighting passive-aggressive toddler? That realization made me pivot to his actions and not my reactions. I no longer start every sentence with “I’m sorry”.

        CL & CN provided me so many lightbulb moments since I discovered the mightiness of Chumps. Unfortunately not in time for the Triple D (Diminish/Discard/Divorce) Disco, but I’m here now to focus on my recovery. I’m putting me first & have jumped out of the pot of boiling water.

        What really pissed me off is how the legal system justifies the blame shifting. Both of these should be used in divorce pleadings when A**hat is attempting to blame shift:

        Newton’s Law: For every action, there is an equal and opposite reaction
        Negligence Law: The hypothetical reasonable person behaves in a way that is legally appropriate

  • Lovely post, CL! Thankful for your gift of You and the nation got me through so many awful yesterdays.

    Today was lovely in its quiet simplicity. I’ll never take a quiet holiday with my oldest son sober, employed and HOPEFUL for the first time in his life for granted ever again. And his two brothers cooked the entire meal and it was delicious! They enjoyed each other today! Happy sons = happy me.

    The trauma of being married and divorced from a mean man took its toll, and I don’t think I can ever stop waiting for the other shoe to drop. Today though was good; I was surrounded by the people I love most in the world. And everyone recognized the good parts of today.

  • I am grateful I now enjoy my single life. In the immediate aftermath of Dday I would never have thought it possible. I cried every day for 11 months and then took many more months to start enjoying life again. To the newbies hang in there, look after yourself as it will get better.

  • I survived today and live for tomorrow. We all have these days, unfortunately for me it has been months
    xo sweet PS. Life is still great, just waiting for a little spark in that direction

  • I’m grateful to hear other chumps journey to a better life…….a long way off for me. Grateful for the stories and sense of hope as I can’t find that in myself today.

    • Extremely slow Chump
      Me too, Deeeply Chumpy. Today was Divorce day. We still live together, which will continue for several months at least. But at least I finally divorced him. I’m a very Chumpy chump, though.

    • Extremely slow Chump
      Me too, Deeeply Chumpy. Today was Divorce day. We still live together, which will continue for several months at least. But at least I finally divorced him. I’m a very Chumpy chump, though. Hopium has been a dreadful drug when you add in financial distress. We will get to meh someday!

  • Dear Tracy,
    I just got home from work, no Thanksgiving in my country, like in India that landed your son a job today. Congratulations on many fronts. Grace, Peace and Joy come from unexpected places. Like Chump Nation.

    Wish I could taste your turkey, which I am pretty sure has never received any hormones, but rather was probably bred to be bigger than is in the poor bird’s best interests.

    • Clearwater–

      In America, TDay is a 4-day holiday & is the most travelled (much more than Christmas). It is a very matriarchal tradition–no matter where you are, you hit the road to get to Grandma’s. So houses are filled with families, joining together to eat that much needed giant turkey to feed the masses. The table is usually accompanied by a green bean casserole & other family comfort food (in my case a jello salad with colored mini-marshmallows–don’t ask!). So an empty house is a stark reminder that your family has been forever broken. It’s heartbreaking, especially with other holidays just around the corner, making the last 4-5 weeks of the year extremely challenging.

      TDay 2017 was mine first post divorce & death of my mother (all 3 occurred in November). I was too numb to realization the significance that year, but did feel the sting of making a much smaller meal. Last year, I ran away to some friends out of state, as I just couldn’t stand sharing my children. This year, I joined in a Friendsgiving, realizing this holiday can be redefined for me and still be joyful.

      PS And for us Detroit Lions fans, we watch our team loose–so at least that tradition will never be taken away from me ????!!!!!!

  • I still have a way to go in my journey towards Meh, but I am making progress and look forward to the promised land.

    Today I took myself away from my toxic ex who still thinks we should do holidays together ‘for the sake of the kids’ and from my annoying family who agree with him instead of supporting me. Instead, I had a lovely, relaxing thanksgiving with friends, and with my kids for part of the day.

    No cooking, cleaning, hosting duties for me this year. So peaceful. I can get used to this!

  • Congratulations, Tracy and Mr. CL. It’s super exciting to see your son succeed and his success is indeed your success. Your story today is inspiring. We do move on and we do find ways to do great things for ourselves and others.

    I went for a long walk today and smiled at how very far I’ve come in over a year. Never would I believe a year ago that I would have a new home, new job, new life and a future so unknown that I’m actually excited for everything to begin anew again! I’m letting the universe know, I’m ready to give and receive beauty again.

    You and CN are truly gifts. I’m thankful for all of you!

    Oh, I got hoovered today, too! Lol! But not to worry, I’m no contact! My life is on the upswing!

    Happy Thanksgiving!

  • I am thankful for realizing how fucking strong I am. And for this blog. Thank you, Chumplady. And congrats on launching a wonderful young man. Well done!

    • Congratulations to your son, CL and Mr. CL!!!!
      I too spent the day cooking, watching the parade on both channels, and the dog show, had a lovely meal with my children and their girlfriends and ex-in-laws.
      It was so calm and relaxing and pleasant.
      These days will come, fellow chumps.
      It does get better in time.
      You get stronger and wiser and learn.
      I hope everyone in Chump Nation had a good day!
      I’m sleepy with wine so I’ll sleep well tonight knowing all the stress and strain of Thanksgiving is over for another year

      • That’s become a tradition at my house-the National Dog Show every turkey day.

        Thor, the bulldog, won best in show ! Heartmelt.

        • How did I miss the National Dog Show? That would’ve done it for me yesterday. If by Saffa, you mean South African, I also got very, very sucker punched by a Saffa. I think he’s starting to regret the fact that our divorce is in California.

          • I do mean a South African-a real kak head ! The daughters have completely cut him off and he doesn’t have access to the grandchildren.

            • Mine is a regte doos, although he was wonderful for 20 out of our 25 years together. Then the midlife crisis hit, and suddenly he thought he was far too lekker-leks for just one woman! Lol.

  • “Stay the course.”

    Perfect advice!!!

    This is my 2nd Thanksgiving after I moved out.

    I spent it with my boyfriend’s family-I did last year as well-they are awesome.

    My STBX mother in law thanked me for being so generous with my kids on the holidays.

    I told her there was no need to thank me-we are still family-it’s just different now.

    It does get BETTER.

    Stay the course-and Happy Thanksgiving.

  • Haha! Love the Turkeyzilla illustration!
    How wonderful for your son, CL. Congratulations to him! And to you and Mr. CL.
    I would love to give you a big ole hug (( )).
    I spent a lovely day with a dear, much younger single mom who had her first Thanksgiving without her son, age 8. The boy was with his father and grandparents. We talked endlessly about all the blessings in our lives, learning from each other.
    I am thankful every day for peace in my heart and mind, peace in my home, and not living in fear and dread anymore.

  • Started a new single mom tradition with my son dinner at a friends house. It was such fun and in the end my son had a wonderful Thanksgiving too! At the start he was very upset he wasn’t going to see his cousins.

    Life must go on. Very thankful to have loving And supportive friends.

    Happy thanksgiving!! ????

    • That is great that your son enjoyed the friends dinner. Maybe you can invite his cousins over for a New Year get together? Movies and treats etc. A bowling night? New traditions all around!

      • Thanks for ur kind thoughts

        Last year sucked. It was so fresh and my ex had our son. I was really feeling the abandonment. I flew to my parents. They saved my Thanksgiving. I was excited when my friend invited me because my ex tried to guilt me into having him again for thanksgiving because I wasn’t going to my parents in Florida. I was excited to start a new tradition minus a covert narc. I wasn’t going to let that pos make me feel like shit and he didn’t. My son and I had a great time. We started a new Christmas Tradition last year with my ex sister in law (She was cheated on 4 years prior with my ex brother in law) and my sons cousins. Again it was a special day because we were with family. That pos thought he could break me (he was truly emotionally sadistic at the end) but with cl, cn, family, friends, solid moral compass, counselor and a good lawyer it wasn’t ever going to happen. I’m thankful that I’ m free and dancing into light.

  • Many congratulations to your son CL
    What a wonderful opportunity and experience .

    I’m not a parent but for all CN that are and are worried about your children please see this happy topic as to what 1 sane parent can achieve . CL has raised a young child into a confident and clever young man now going to travel the world .
    This makes me so happy and even prouder to be part of this on line community .

    We don’t have thanksgiving here but I am thankful every single day for CL and CN and I’m thankful that once I can get out of the trenches I can have a great life.

  • First I am thankful I woke up with my daughter.

    Second I am grateful to YOU Tracy, and Chump Nation. I am in KEEP GOING gear despite still feeling terrible pain. You and Chump Nation save my life and inspire me to keep going every day.


    I made a simple heat and eat turkey dinner in record time…mashed potatoes, sliced turkey breast, gravy, corn pudding, cranberry sauce. In 15 minutes. Thank you also, Trader Joe’s.

    I am worried about if my daughter will launch, and how the affair and it’s fallout have affected her….hurt her. Thank you also for your post. I am sure you and Mr. CL neutralized the BS that was handed to your son by the traitors in your life. I hope I can do the same for my daughter.


  • In England its common for one parent to do parent evenings (there normally in the afternoon), I normally always did them, whether your a single parent or not.
    Congratulations on your son getting a job.
    Our prime minister, was picking on single parents this week, single parents have a exceptional job to do, being everything, doing everything.
    His parents were upper middle class, rich he went to private school, then Oxford or Cambridge.
    Forgot to mention he cheated on his wives.
    He obviously lives in a different planer.

    • Susan Devlin–

      So does our leader. I believe my Ex has benefitted from such public displays of infidelity. It upsets me as it validates bad behavior and horrible life choices for my children. But anything goes nowadays. I just have to show my kids that it is not an appropriate way to treat people. I trust they will figure it all out when they are in their adult relationships.

      Your child(ren) know who has their backs. You are mighty!!

      PS Must admit, I do love when the OW cheaters get cheated on. I just don’t think I’ll ever get to meh with karma!!!!

  • Thank you for the lovely heartening share, CL! Happy thanksgiving. Wishing your boy the best of luck for his new job. As Khalil Gibran puts it, children are the arrows while parents are the bows: arrows stay in flight and have to go far, while bows provide the stability arrows need to hit their mark. You have shown what this means in reality and I hope I can emulate this success with my little boy. It is an immense responsibility to raise a good, sensible man in this world for a single parent but I’m thankful everyday that I chose to leave a situation that had stolen my peace and happiness for years. I hope I can be the foundation he needs to be the master of his ship.

  • Happy Thanksgiving to all Americans and everybody else too!

    I’m just wondering about the size of your oven, dear Cumplady. I guess everything is bigger on the other side of the Atlantic.
    Thank you for your site and thanks to all chumpmates for your stories and comments. There are a lot of silent readers out there and we are grateful for all the wisdom you all share.

    • al K–

      In America, it’s not uncommon to have 2 ovens (probably designed with Tday in mind). I remember when my mother got her 2 oven unit in the 1980s, she thought she was the bees knees. We do tend to do things large.

      I lived in Germany for 4 years (both my children were born there) and I was so surprised that our kitchen & appliances were the size of a postage stamp. Only two people could fit in the kitchen & some of our pans didn’t fit into the oven. My German fridge didn’t have a freezer section, so I had a 36-inch wide American fridge in the basement (it did rid of my ice cream habit as we lived on the 4th floor). I also had a separate American sized washer and dryer in the basement. The American commissary shipped in large turkeys for Tday, which wouldn’t even fit into my oven. My daughter attended German kindergarten and I forgot to tell them about the American hoiday. It was a huge no-no, as you do NOT miss school! So I made sure I walked her to school that Friday (we get a 4-day holiday) with my son in his stroller.

      But, but, but……I miss going to the bakery (bäckerei) every day to get fresh bread. I miss going to the meat market (fleischerei) to get never frozen meat. I miss the German holidays and traditions. And I miss the German beer!!!!! I do love Europe ????

      • Hey Not bLUEinTC, I lived in Germany. We had two back-to-back tours, followed by his deployment to Saudi, then yet another tour in Germany. I loved living in Germany. My oldest son was born there. We lived on the Economy for the first two tours and in Quarters for the last tour.

  • Happy Thanksgiving to Tracey, her family, and everyone here.

    Life is always full of surprises…… some good, some bad.

    Being around good people, even a few, who value me and respect me, is what I am most grateful for.

  • Chump Lady, Chump Nation, I am grateful for you. You have inspired me to live my better life cheater free. You have educated, encouraged and judiciously applied the 2×4 of Truth to me. You been my invisible friends. You have been there and I am deeply grateful for you.

    Thanks to you I rallied and hosted a Friendsgiving. We had enough food that I was able to send a plate home with my two guests. That made me so happy. It was my first holiday without my adult children. I lived through it. I enjoyed my company. We talked for hours.

    I was grateful to not cook for his ungrateful family. I was so happy to not be stuck cleaning up the mess. Last year I found food shoved between the couch cushions. Who does that? I was grateful to be in my little shack. It is clean, organized and comfortable. I’m safe, content and no longer allowing myself to be used by a Nest of Narcissists. I didn’t miss him. Not for a second. Now I have a cheaterfree Christmas to look forward too!

      • I had the misfortune to once be married to a jerk who elbowed his way up to a buffet table, wiped out 99 percent of what he thought were meatballs, discovered they were really chicken livers, and then tried to hide his plate in a potted plant. He then got another plate and decimated the buffet with his gluttony.

    • Thirty-three years,
      Congrats on a successful Friendsgiving and I’m glad you enjoyed the holiday! This was my first Thanksgiving without my adult children as well. Had a few moments of melancholy but filled them in with fun times with siblings and friends. Onward to Christmas!!

  • I’m grateful for the commenter who suggested I check out a site called “Chumplady” in response to an essay I posted on Medium.
    I had already researched narcissism and the abuse cycle, so I had gone no contact and was moving toward healing, but this community helped me see that I wasn’t alone. Thank you Chumplady and Chump Nation

  • This was the best Thanksgiving ever.

    Survived the cheating, lying bastard divorcing me in 2016.

    Survived Hurricane Harvey destroying my home in 2017.

    Rebuilt the home in 2018 and sold it in 2019.

    Moved to Colorado.

    I think I can see Tuesday… it is just around the corner.

  • Congratulations on the new job, Chump Lady’s Son!! And congrats to Mr. and Mrs. Chump Lady too! I hope you all had a wonderful Thanksgiving!

    I worked until almost midnight the day before Thanksgiving. Around 1:30 am, I realized I did not have to have Thanksgiving dinner on the table at 2:00. 2:00 was the time that the X in-laws somewhat demanded that was the “right” time for dinner to be served. X FIL would complain if it was any later. So for over ten years, I would get up around 5:00 am to get started on Thanksgiving dinner. All by myself, I made the turkey, stuffing, mashed potatoes, pies, green bean casserole, homemade rolls and gravy. Cleaned the house by myself, decorated and set a beautiful table. The only contribution from the lazy ass XH; he’d iron the table cloth and would wash a couple of pots or bowls in the sink. And then around 1:00, his family would show-up and they would all gather in the kitchen while I was trying to get dinner on the table. I would have to make conversation with everyone and be a great hostess, while I worked. The whole week or so leading up to Thanksgiving was so stressful and the entire day was all work, right up until the minute I finally had everything cleaned up and put away. So, the other night, I realized I did not have to get up early and get dinner on the table at 2:00. 🙂 I slept until I woke-up naturally and only then did I start my preparations. We had dinner around 4:00 and there was absolutely no stress. Oh, and no one took home all my leftovers. X MIL enjoyed handing out to her relatives the leftovers of the meal I 100% paid for and prepared. So thankful I’m no longer a part of that family.

  • I’m thankful for this kind, supportive, funny, purely human online community and for the message that CN has told me for years: You Can Do This.

    CL, you set a shining example for all of us that there is a light at the end of the tunnel (and no, it’s not a train about to smash into us.) The human resilience that is demonstrated and celebrated on this site is truly remarkable, and this community has helped me to believe that there truly are some good people out there. Thank you, all.

    After decades of practically killing myself working to make sure that everybody else had a nice Thanksgiving dinner, yesterday I spent my day peacefully. Traditional morning walk with friends followed by pecan pie, then home to my cozy nest. It has taken me years to appreciate all that I now have and not to miss all that I perceived I had lost. And you know what? I lost all the things that drove me crazy:

    The huge turkey that I had to prepare myself, except he had his absolutely maddening method of preparing stuffing and making gravy. Oh goody, now we have 20 lbs. of leftovers to manage in the refrigerator.

    My day was spent listening to the wind blow in the forest outside my home instead of trying to tune out a blaring television. That alone was enough to cause me to appreciate my unclenched jaw. No offense to sports lovers, but I’m just not into American football and the cult that surrounds it. There is a tv in my home, but I no longer have to try to tune out the cacophony for 12 hours per day.

    There are a zillion examples of why this year was so much better than my previous overwrought, taking-care-of-everybody-else existence. At the age of 60, I have finally learned to stop being so much of a people pleaser, and my years of therapy and self-examination have at least taught me to listen to my body: when I’m clenching my jaw and hunching my shoulders, no, that’s not normal and not the way I want to live my life.

    Good luck to everybody out there in learning to live happily with the cards we have been dealt. I have learned that my only job here is to be kind to others.

  • Thank you, Chump Lady, from the bottom of my heart. You are able to put into words the feelings that I couldn’t express. You, and Chump Nation, showed me that I was not suffering alone. You showed me that I didn’t cause his cheating, and couldn’t stop it. I’m especially grateful that I don’t have to shoulder a burden of guilt and shame that doesn’t belong to me.

    I spent the Holiday with my dog and cats. It was wonderful. I had several options of places to have lunch, but decided to enjoy turkey at home. I cooked the smallest turkey breast I could find and shared some with the dog. It was just so pleasant and calm. I’m a little over six months out from DD3, and I think meh will arrive on a Tuesday much sooner than I expected. I’m so thankful that I didn’t smoke the hopium again. I’m so thankful that I enforced a boundary and refused to accept abuse again. I’m grateful that I can choose my future direction without having to put a lying, cheating, betraying, angry toddler’s wants first. I’m free, floating gently in an ocean of possibilities. No one is forcing me to choose a path sooner than I’m ready. Just chilling out and enjoying my freedom feels so good.

  • Last night before bed it occurred to me that I’d not thought about my ex even once during the entire family gathering. NOT EVEN ONCE!!! IF you’d had told me that I’d be in that place 4 years ago I’d have NEVER believed it, but yesterday I was surrounded by my children and parents and my siblings their children and we talked and feasted and it was great! I was happy and whole and so very thankful that I guess it didn’t occur to me to even think about the ex until I was going to sleep when I suddenly remembered him and instantly thought, “ hallelujah I’m free!! What a wonderful gift to be free of the past!” I’m feeling so thankful ever since and I thought I’d share so that those of you not in that place will have hope that you, too, will be giving thanks someday soon!! Holiday Meh is REAL!

  • Thank you for this article, Tracy.

    The man whom you are describing qualifies as a malignant and emotionally abusive man. (I also suspect NPD; that would be a narcissist). I am so very grateful that you left him and that you spend many hours a week delivering wisdom to all who are still in the trenches and bravely crawling out of them.

    I am also grateful that you present your experience in the stark light of reality. Readers going through the same thing might not be sitting totally alone on the floor thinking, “How did I end up with the only f-ed up person on earth?” We get a window into your life and others lives here and realize there are a whole lot of broken and messed up people out there who do outrageous things like launching a pro se lawsuit over a child’s alleged stupidity. (I say your ex is the stupid one and your child the smart one). Congrats on your son’s success! The field of information technology is growing and he will do well.

    Love the concept of slow-motion miracles. Those are real and hopefully many readers will get to unwrap a slow-motion miracle soon. My holiday wish is that everyone here gets to unwrap a miracle in December.

    I am grateful for you and for this blog, Tracy! Thank you for being our online spotlight, leading us through infidelity recovery, so that we do not have to stumble through the darkness alone.


  • Yesterday I realized this is the 6th thanksgiving I’ve had since my ex whore bailed, and as always the kids and now grandson chose to spend it with me and not her and her AP. I sometimes wonder if that even bothers her. Thanksgiving was always held at our house together with her parents and my mom and her grandmother and sometimes other family members came, it was a full house from top to bottom, and now even though there’s only a few of us, it’s the ones that truly care about me that show up. (Her family discarded me from day one when she left, 24 years meant nothing, I learned ALOT from that shit)…Anyways happy thanksgiving to CL and CN

  • Happy Thanksgiving CN
    It’s 5ys post DDay.
    I have remarried since. Today we are celebrating our child’s christening . At the large table was every single person who held my hand through the toughest times in my life. There were no Switzerland friends .
    I still suffer anxieties from the betrayal, but I am so very grateful for this moment.

  • Thank you Tracy for showing us the way through the shitstorm and how to forge our path to meh. I am so happy for you and yours.

    For 20 years Dr. Cheaterpants, the kids, and I went to his family’s for Thanksgiving lunch then to my family’s for supper. This is the fourth Thanksgiving cheater free for me. He didn’t go to his 90 year old mom’s house this year but DD20 and DS18 went. They brought back a bunch of leftovers and a special plate of my favorites for me. No left overs have gone to cheaters house for him and his schmoopie. My mom is in the hospital with widely metastatic cancer so I ordered Cracker Barrel and we all gathered around her hospital bed for her last Thanksgiving. I’m grateful we get to spend it with her.

    Apparently cheater and his schmoopie are having a Thanksgiving celebration on Saturday and have invited up all of his family and my kids (not sure about young schmoopie’s family). My kids are discussing the latest time they can get to his house without him going ballistic. And also how he became enraged when DS18 told him some of the family wasn’t making the trip to his house.

    I would’ve had a big pit in my stomach and been upset about them playing house and my kids and his family attending a couple of years ago. Now I know she’s doing all the cooking, cleaning, and trying to not piss him off in the process. And it won’t be good enough. Then she will get to clean it all up. It is pure misery being married to that fuckwit.

    And I get the joy of having both of my kids in from college spending the entire time with me and only going over to his house to eat one meal – and they don’t even want to do that. Ahhhhh, I’m free. And I’m grateful. Happy Thanksgiving Chump Nation!!

  • I’m thankful for CN and for all of Tracy’s wisdom and insight – for giving me hope (not hopium). I’m thankful for windows. While my ex shut the door, Tracy and everyone here – and my wonderful friends and family – opened windows.

  • I’m grateful James Bond left, and took all of that DREAD out of our home, now mine. I’m grateful to have the liar and dirty cheat out of my life, and away from my family friends and neighbors. I’m grateful, that after years of therapy, I have (mostly) recovered from the emotional and spiritual harm he caused me.

    I am grateful to have knowledge about dealing with Sparkly Turds, because it comes in handy in: the workplace, in interactions with extended “family members” (who are actually not family, but pieces of shit), in the faith community to which I belong, and in understanding national politics. Today, we see in the world the rise of the Narcissist, and we Chumps have a master’s degree in how to deal with the disordered, so — grateful, kinda (?), I guess. Better wiser, than duped.

  • That was so inspiring CL <3 Life does get better, its different but definitely better! And finally I have realized how much work Ive don't to be truly grateful. After 32 years of pleasing the family I just have to worry about me now. Its wonderful! You will get there, it takes time but one day you will feel alive again.


  • I am soooo thankful for the CL crew for getting my mind right and helping me focus on moving forward. If I hadn’t found CL, I would have ended up in a straightjacket, or in jail for murder. The day before Thanksgiving last year, Fuckwit told me we were separated. I begged him not to do it. “What about Christmas?” I wailed. “Oh it’s just another day,” he said. Turns out Schmoopie was waiting for him at an expensive seaside hotel (that he’d paid for, of course). Also turns out Schmoopie was in the picture three years ago, along with a host of other women (including $134,000 on prostitutes and hotel rooms!).
    It’s been a horrendous year. Brutal emotional abuse, bordering on sadism. Massive legal costs. Trauma that will take a long time to heal, kids, the collateral damage along the way. One adopted and the other severely autistic. I’ll never forget standing by my mother’s grave, bawling on the phone to my long-suffering brother that it’ll NEVER get better, and that I really didn’t want to live. (Fuckwit was cheating on me WHILE my mom was in hospice care in our house – who does that?)
    And this Thanksgiving, I actually felt…happiness…took me a minute to recognize that feeling because it’d been a while. I’m in contract to buy a lovely house in a lovely neighborhood (for cash) and we’re in contract to sell the family home for way more than expected. After months of battle, I got the settlement the way I wanted it. I’m way more social these days, and discovering that I’m not the horrible person my ex said I was. To top it off, the kids went with ex to our vacation home (soon to be his) for most of Thanksgiving, and Schmoopie was there! I just shrugged it off and spent my time making plans for my bright future. Not so long ago, if I’d have gone ballistic and done something foolish. Kids came back in time to eat TG dinner with me. We ate whatever we wanted and had a nice evening. Thank you, guys. (P.S., once the lawyers have retreated, I’ll be sure to let Schmoopie know about Fuckwit’s hooker habit.)

    • Tizzypins, please don’t contact Schmoopie! I guarantee that you will be labeled as the crazy (if you haven’t been already!), unstable, bitter, jealous, etc XW. No contact is always the best way to go. She won’t believe you due to whatever lies he’s already spread about you. Let her find out the hard way. That’s what Schmoopie’s deserve anyway. Keep being your mighty self that is making plans for your bright future.

      And that is one crazy large prostitute and hotel amount!

      • I agree with Martha. There is no greater punishment than the slow burn of betrayal. Let her feel it all as it slowly comes to light in her life.

        It is likely that your ex is not engaging in the hooker habit right now as he’s caught up in the euphoria of this relationship, so there may not be anything to discover…yet. So, you’ll just look crazy telling her something that she has not had a chance to question herself.

        A year and a half after my ex left to be with the OW, my 11 year old son caught his father twice watching pornography in the middle of the afternoon. His father didn’t see that he was caught. But, my son was very upset at what he saw and talked to me about it about a month after it happened. Since then, my son has told me a couple of times that porn sites comes up on Daddy’s search history whenever he is allowed to use the computer. Well, pornography was an issue in my marriage as my ex started to suffer more and more issues of erectile dysfunction. He also claimed to turn to it because he felt no attraction for me anymore. So, what’s his excuse now? His own father had a porn addiction issue when ex was growing up too? So much for the relationship with the OW being all roses?

        Nope…let it burn and combust on its own. Your ex will return to hookers when the euphoria of the affair starts to wear off, if he hasn’t already. Let her live in her own la-la land and let the ugly truth take its time seeping into her consciousness. Let her live with suspicions and become the “crazy” lady. Let her make her discoveries and have her confrontations. Let him gaslight her and blameshift away so that it eats at her self-esteem, which will already be a lot lower than yours ever was as women of high value don’t have affairs with married men. It will be a slow burn and that is what she deserves.

        But as this slowly and inevitably unfolds, it will matter less to you. You’ll shrug your shoulder, chuckle a moment, and then go back to your fabulous life with a toss of your hair. Meh!

  • Congrats that’s awesome!! And thanks for this post. I hope everyone enjoyed themselves!

    It’s been two years since DD and I’m worried I won’t get over this. Had to see him Thanksgiving for exchange of kids then today and tomorrow for kids stuff. It’s a lot more communicating than typical. Holidays are still very hard.

  • What an inspiring post CL. Thank you for taking time out from such a hectic day to write to us.

    Canadian Thanksgiving was celebrated last month, every year on the second weekend of October, so I’ve recovered from my turkey high. Today is the first day of advent, so up goes the tree and decorations for XMas.

    I am so grateful for the many blessings in my life. I am approaching the end of my second year of separation. We hammered out the legal separation agreement, so basically everything is settled, signed, sealed and delivered (I’m almost done the divorce paperwork, will file that myself in court). I bought him out of the house, so I’m decorating MY home for the first time with the kids. They picked out new lights for the exterior. I will be getting up on my ladder to hang them for the first time while my kids hold the ladder to keep me steady. I find that to be an oddly symbolic act as I feel that it is my children that have been such a grounding force as I’ve grown in my healing journey.

    The tree we picked out is ready to be decorated with so many of the crafts the kids have created over the years. We will layout the holiday decor around the varying rooms of the house, mostly stuff passed on from my mother when she down-sized. The traditions I set out for my family remain intact with myself and the kids as I continue to be the parent that provides stability and routine.

    The weather is calling for freezing rain then snow in southwestern Ontario later on today. I hope to have the house lit up before it all hits, and then we’ll cozy ourselves up in our humble home with hot chocolate. There is peace in this home. Perhaps, the walls are starting to sing. For sure there is a steady hum.

    May God bless all of you in Chump Nation with inner peace and joy. Know that you are not alone, know that you are loved by someone greater than ourselves. Many thanks to all of you.


  • I’m thankful to everyone here on CN for their support and shared stories! You guys collectively (and Tracy!) have made me realise what I went through was emotional abuse, and because of that, was able to process and heal from it without the constant mindfuck from the cheater and IRC. I’m thankful that we don’t have kids, and that I am practising NC with him. I have reached meh!

    I’m currently dating a sweet guy for the past 8 months, and am grateful to see what a healthy and reciprocal partnership looks like. While I’m taking it slow and being careful, opening up my heart has led to many wonderful experiences for growth, and learning. I come back here to see how everyone is doing once in a while, and to remind myself of the strides I have made, and will continue to make from a 10-year long emotional abuse doled out by a narcissist.

  • This is my first time on this site. It’s been less than 2 weeks since I found out about the most recent infidelity and my husband told me he wanted a divorce after over 20 years of marriage. I’m trying to find my inner bitch while he constantly tells me what I’ve done to drive him to “do the things he’s done”…. all while watching him text almost nonstop on another couch across the room. Thanksgiving was miserable and I’m dreading Christmas, I do not see how I’m going to get to the side right now but I know I’m emotional and raw. It’s nice to see that other’s have made it through.

    • Hello Jenn, il very sorry for you, it’s a horrible thing to live. But it is a good thing that you found this site and it’s wonderful community so soon. As many people here, I’ve lived what you’re living right now and I can tell you it gets better. Read the other posts. ((Hugs))

    • Jenn, sending you virtual hugs now. Your husband is a POS and you deserve better. Better is out there, if only because getting rid of a soul-stealing cheater is addition by subtraction. You are living with a huge emotional tumor sitting on the sofa across the room—it needs to go so you can survive and thrive.

      No need to find your “inner bitch,” just need to find compassion and strength . . . for yourself. Protect YOURself, ask yourself what YOU want, and take actions that improve YOUR future (even if they hurt like a MF right now).

      A thousand chumps here will be rooting you on. For Christmas this year, give yourself a chance at a new life. ((More hugs))

  • I am amazed at how many comments by our compatriots are about the lack of pain, misery, abuse, etc. that is now their lives. If only those idiots knew what people think of them.

    Congratulations to your DS for his great new job, and congrats to you for being able to cook a 30# turkey!!!

  • wow! days later. Hey … mine ended up in Germany, found her life partner there. He’s a real, good, person. They talk. They’ve had ups and downs. It’s like, real life. I raised a wonderful person, and she’s going on to have a terrific life, in a civilized country (full health care, unlimited sick days, 6 weeks vacation, fantastic public transit, coming to terms with their genocide like adults. ) I miss her like my right arm, but hey, we raise them to become their own people, right? And it gives you an awesome place to visit.

  • Thank you for the comments, it’s nice to know there’s people out there listening. I feel very alone right now. I bought the book Leave a Cheater Gain a Life for my Kindle and unfortunately I’ve already made mistakes handling this. I will keep reading posts, and the book. I’m desperately seeking sanity.

    • You’re doing alright Jenn, it’s normal to make mistakes. I made tons of mistakes. You’re not alone and you’re really in the right place.

      • Is this where people make everyday comments? Is there another place to vent? I can’t keep myself from demanding transparency even though it’s horribly painful. I wonder if I am so sick that I am comfortable in the misery. I keep rereading parts of the book so I can try to keep from making the same mistakes… I know I need to take action and protect myself, I just can’t function yet.

        • It’s a good place to comment. There is also reddit, there is a divorce subreddit where you can vent or ask for advice. There is even a chumplady subreddit but it’s private. It’s also a good place.

          This is very recent for you I think, and it’s the worst time, where reality doesn’t make sense anymore. It’s like that a while and then it gets better, slowly. Also are you angry already? At some point your anger should wake up. I don’t know what your situation is but it’s a time where it’s important not to act impulsively.

          Describe your situation in the comments of the most recent article on this blog. You don’t care if it’s off topic. Ask for advice, you will get very good advice. Vent or cry, you well get understanding, compassionate ears.

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