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Tell Me How You’re Mighty Holiday Edition

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Every so many months I do a “Tell Me How You’re Mighty” post, to check in on the general state of awesomeness around here.

Awesome? I don’t feel awesome, Tracy. Isn’t this blog about overcoming crappy chump stuff and snarking about sociopaths? 

Yes it is! And mightiness. So at this holiday season, let’s think about the True Meaning of Christmas — resilience.

Did Frosty the Snowman remain a melted puddle? No!

Did Rudolph stay home and despise his nose? No!

Did Little Baby Jesus die in King Herod’s Massacre of the Innocents? No!

However you’re spending the holidays, or if it’s another Wednesday in your world, take a minute to consider how much crap you’ve slogged through this year and all you’ve overcome. And tell CN about your mighty.

Remember, all mighty counts. If you’re in the early days of suck, we all get it. We’re glad you’re here still holding on. And THAT counts.

I believe in amazing trajectories, because I witness them every day on this blog. Okay, who’s got a Christmas miracle they’d like to share?

TGIF!

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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’m now 4 years post D Day, about to head out on a week of holiday travel with my amazing new boyfriend. 💖 Facebook memories remind me of the early days of suck. I only post good stuff on social media, so I see pictures of myself going to holiday festivals and fun times and I remember all the crying I did on the same day before I left the house. Kids band concert pic and I remember the devastating phone call fight with ex right before I wiped my tears and headed out the door to go. So much mighty to make it through! Sending peace to all those in the early days.

    • It seems strange to shout out how mighty I am because indeed the credit goes to God, Chumplady and friends who freaking “got it” and supported me to say ‘eff you, I’m worth WAAAAY more than this sh**” because I am.

      We ALL are.

      4y since dday. Less than a year since final dissolution.

      I was terrified probably more than 80% of the time but I totally faked pure ‘unadulterated’ 😉 confidence in all 5 court cases.

      Women who had trodden the path before me taught me how to get a handle on the PTSD, even for just a short appearance in court.

      I STUDIED my eyes out for over 2 years regarding the application of Law in my cases, whilst posting ditsy pics on FB of peace, love and mung beans, as though I hadn’t a care in the world. This worked a treat as it completely blindsided cheater for a change.

      Churches fed us and prayed for us.
      I worked in my professional field all through.
      Collected metal and sold it.
      Sold almost everything we owned to pay Attorneys.
      This is a vastly abbreviated list of course.

      I was betrayed by family, friends and more.

      EVERY ONE told me to give up. I didn’t surrender but prevailed against all odds.

      Talk about miraculous trajectories!

      Now???

      I’M FREE OF THE FUCKEDUPNESS woohooooo!

      I only had to pay it 10% of assets which didn’t cover it’s attorneys fees hahaha.

      The house has nearly doubled in value since a freak rise in property value in our few streets here in the last year, thankyou God.

      My retirement fund has gone ballistic since separation which ex idiot had no claim to.

      The children have all changed their career choices to protective ones such as police, law and psychology. Sad but wow.

      Through desperate times the children got part time jobs and happily earn a stack.

      Dickwit has lots of STIs now which is quite deserving. Wrecked its car. Had DUI charges. Has been in lots of trouble with constabulary. Meh.

      I’ve received consecutive pay rises and because loony tunes had to get it’s first job in forever, it now has child support TAKEN from it’s wages.

      Dare I say that the children never have to see the person who failed to destroy us.

      HE MADE US what we are today, strong, resourceful, resilient, POWERFUL.

      We enjoy our peace whilst he can certainly keep the drama to himself and his minions.

      I have a gorgeous boyfriend and we are all planning a long overseas trip with all of our children this time next year.

  • I can’t go away at Christmas–I’m a full time Christian minister (Church of England). I’m happily single, but I don’t like spending Christmas on my own. So I joined an organisation called HOST which arranges for foreign students to have home stays over Christmas with British families. Two women from China will be joining me on Christmas Eve. The students come with me to church services, help me prepare traditional Christmas lunch, we watch the Queen’s Speech, then play board games and watch movies. This is the ninth year I’ve hosted foreign students, and it’s been fun every year.

  • I am alive. I never thought I would make it through.
    The disbelief that someone could be that dishonest about something so important and so cruel and vindictive about how they handled it – I mean deliberately cruel to try to hurt you when you aren’t expecting it at all as they told you they loved you and had sex with you up until the dday. And then switching it off like a light and blame shifting all of it onto you. It still gets me now – that last article about believing they suck really helped. This place helps – although feeling a bit weepy about Christmas. Nearly eighteen months out now – feel like I should be doing better.
    At least I didn’t get financially raped as well as emotionally raped – I’m not sure that I wouldn’t prefer to have lost everything and still have what I thought was going on. But apparently wasn’t (a decent honest marriage)….
    Good luck to everyone out there and just to say that if you’re feeling like killing yourself over this, please don’t. There will be some little events in the future that make you feel like it’s worth being alive, despite having been chumped….

      • Dear She Lied and Left,

        Being Mighty is getting up every morning when you wish you weren’t here. I know just how hard that is. I am sending you love and strength for those moments when you feel too sad/lonely/tired to go on.

        Please don’t be weepy about Christmas. Channel that into finding little things that can bring a tiny bit of warmth to your soul. Make a list of the little things that bring you peace. When that sad feeling comes (and it will) pull out that list and DO one of those things!

        Feeling sad? Go have that peppermint latte and fuck the calories or $5 per cup. It’s Christmas! Dark, late and cold? Get in the car and drive around a new neighborhood and look at the decorations. I’m Jewish and those inflatables always make me laugh! Go see a movie or go to the library and tell the reference desk you need a great book that will take your mind off your problems. My librarian actually has a list of books just for that. She had a horrible divorce and she created that list for others just in case. Who would have guessed? Take a walk or clean the house. Money free and you’d be surprised how great it feels when you’re done. If nothing else – keep telling yourself it’s only 24 hours. On tough days I repeat that to myself over and over and when the 24 hours are up, I feel a real sense of accomplishment.

        DO NOT EVER tell yourself that you should be doing better!!! Says who? Not me! Not Chump Nation! THERE IS NO FINISH DATE until it comes; just that we call it Tuesday.

        I made the decision to turn my tornado of discovery and being dumped into a public crusade about overcoming situational depression and suicidality. People who google me (including anyone I date) find every publication I was interviewed for and every video that was made about my story. I told everyone about my struggle to stay alive. What was truly remarkable was seeing that no single person walked away thinking I was crazy. I got so much support from my kids (who are very proud of how tough their mom is), my friends and strangers. My mightiest moment was telling my story to a room of over 1,000 people, receiving a standing ovation (seriously? It’s just a story.) and seeing most of them crying.

        I’m no one special. I’m just another chump who made the decision that my ex sucks. What he did sucks. The divorce sucked in SO many ways. But I DON’T SUCK! And I can only imagine how much mightier I will be once I get to that last step into Tuesday.

        CL – Sorry for highjacking your reply.

    • It has been five years since my rebirth (I prefer to call it a rebirth rather than my divorce) and I found a new tribe of like minded people whom I’ve flown across the country a few times this year to meet up with and to see our favorite band play. So I’ve become mighty by allowing my life to be filled with music, friends and travel. Going on my seventh road trip this year. I definitely am making up for lost time, 13 years to be exact. Vacations then, no matter the destination, felt like visits to nuclear waste sites. Now they feel like visits to Nirvana.

    • I am four years post DDay and three years post divorce (36 years married). Yes, the holidays are difficult. We have been forced to rethink everything we thought about our lives, now, we must create “new” holidays, too. I am not the holiday person that I once was, but now am happy just to make it through. I just “gifted” myself a 2020 trip to Spain and Portugal. I was not in control of my past, but am in control of my future. A Merry Mighty Christmas to all!

      • Inspiring! 35 years married. 1 year divorced.
        As the ex moved to another state with his latest gal pal, I engineered a Christmas in Boston (I live in Indiana) with my three kids at my daughter’s in laws to be. Getting out of Dodge so that he can’t interfere feels powerful and decisive. I dread what he’ll do to get back at me, but I can handle it once the holidays are over. I’m so grateful for all of you here. We’re an under celebrated faction of strong, resilient, tougher than nails women. I’m reminding myself how brave I was to put an end to his emotional abuse of me. We all deserve safe, loving, kind relationships, romantic or not.

        • “We’re an under celebrated faction of strong, resilient, tougher than nails women.”
          Well said Shelly – that we are. But I just want to shout out to the strong, resilient tougher than nails men that are in the trench with us. One thing I have learned on this site is that both genders can be horrible or fabulous and mighty. I love hearing the guys chime in and would never want them to feel excluded.
          Thanks for your comment and I’m glad you found CN. I wish I had it in the early days.

    • She Lied and Left,

      I’m the one who wrote that letter to Tracy about “trusting they suck.” I’m glad it helped. It helped me for a few days too. But now I feel like I’m falling off the wagon again. The same thing happened to me. “I love you’s” and real intimacy straight up until D-Day. I was happier then I had ever been. I couldn’t wait to spend the rest of my life with my wife. Then BAM…”I don’t love you anymore.” then out the door to fuck her new drinking buddy.

      I’m so scared. This is my (and my kids) first Christmas without her. I’m not going to be able to hold it together. She destroyed my life. I just want to stop feeling like this.

      • I have major depression disorder. I had it BEFORE she left me. I think its one of the reasons she left. When I was really REALLY low, and her shoulder to cry on. Now I have no one.

        I’m a fucking mess and I don’t want to do it anymore.

        :_ (

        • I often feel like I am on a homemade makeshift raft in the middle of a stormy ocean with 100 foot waves. I hang on I hang on I hang on. I get a break….feel
          level for a bit, and then another storm comes. This blog has saved my life. So many times I have had to weather not caring about being alive, not because of being without a fake fraudulent asshole of a husband but because of how much this hurts. Hang on hang on hang on! Everyone here knows how you feel….what you feel is normal for what she did to you….and what she did to you is NOT normal and the most evil and cruel and fucked up thing ever. There is no one lower than someone masquerading as loyal to you while knifing you in the back and destroying your family.
          Many many here have overcome this injury…that means you will too.

          HANG ONTO US!

        • You can do it. And your kids need you.

          To anyone who might need this 1-800-273-8255 is the suicide prevention hotline in the US.

          No shame in calling. I did it the night of my D-Day. I just had an overwhelming need to talk to anyone and blather incoherently.

          I’m a LONG way away from that despair — and someday you will be too. It’s FINITE. I swear.

        • I want her to suck,

          You WILL do this and you WILL make this a new and different holiday for your kids.

          I was told that the day I decided to become a parent was the day I lost the right to not be there for my kids.

          The pain does not last forever and think about how great you will feel if you can make this a happy memory for you and your kids.

          Been there. Done that. I will be thinking of you during the holidays and am happy to just be a text or call away. I’m only a fellow chump with zero training but lots of patience and time. Will happily be alone during the holidays BY CHOICE.

          Please reach out to CL for my contact info if you think that would help 💕

          • Rebecca,
            I already thought of you as amazing, but your stocks are up even higher. What word is there after amazing and Mighty?? You are ALL words powerful. YOU always give me hope.
            I have many difficult days, but I never feel suicidal. CN is a great source of comfort to me.
            I like how no one judges here. AND no one should ever judge because all life situations are different and what one Chump chooses to do is so very different from what another Chump would believe to be best.
            Trust me, I am doing what I have to do. Some days I am just weaker and I pray for strength.
            Strength comes in different forms, in different people, people like YOU. THANK YOU.

            IWantHerToSuck,
            keep coming here. Do what CL, Rebecca, and all the other loving, kind, experienced, Chumps tell you.
            You cannot see us, but we are real people. You can feel us in your heart and that tug you feel is us, holding you up.
            Look into the eyes of your precious children, do it for them. That is what helps me most, my children. I do it for them.

            Xxxxxxxxx
            peacekeeper

        • Hang in there, please. I don’t know what else to say, but it will get better, it does get better, you will not always feel like this.

          I know the feeling of not wanting to do this anymore. I would wake up each morning and wonder why I was still here, to wake up to another day of this mess.

          You matter, and no one outside of you defines you. Please actively seek out people to help you through the holiday. People who love you want to help, let them. Please be well.

        • PS…..she DOES suck. You have to believe every single one of us here until it sinks it.

          She Extra Strength De Luxe Sucks because she put a lot of effort into Being Nice (Bernie Madoff kind) while knifing you in the back. The Being Nice charade is what has you confused…..a NORMAL response to Ms Mixed Message Manipulative Masquerading As Married.

          The Being Nice is all about assuaging her guilt and throwing you off balance to keep the upper hand….not authentic kindness.

          BELIEVE US UNTIL YOU COME TO BELIEVE YOURSELF.

          ❤️

        • It’s very hard to hard to hide the fact that I’m crying at my desk, at work, with an open air office design. I have practically given up trying.

          • IWantHerToSuck
            Today, you must see your family doctor or go to ER or a Medical Clinic. Talk to a best friend, take someone with you, don’t be alone.
            Come here to CN’s open arms, but do reach out today to visible help. You are not alone, always remember that.
            Do you have someone close to you who can make sure the children are cared for. Do not count on your ex. Do not let her use this against you.
            YOU can do this. Breath, slowly, in through your nose, out through your mouth, slowly, don’t hyperventilate. Take this one breath at a time. Collect your thoughts.
            We believe in you. You are going to be ok.

              • ((((IWantHerToSuck))))
                Thinking of you.
                You can do it!
                Stay strong, because to get this far, YOU.ARE.STRONG.
                ❤️

              • FEELINGS AREN’T FOREVER.

                Glad to hear you are going to counseling today…I went at least three times a week for a long time…use your resources….WAIT OUT THE FEELINGS….feelings will pass and they won’t kill you…
                You are in the Chump Nation life boat!!!

              • I hope it gives you what you need, sweetie. You’ve hung in thete for your kids and for the truth so far – you have my respect as a man with a loving, vulnerable, breakable heart. You’ve been so badly hurt because you know what loving, respectful, reciprocal relationships should be like. If the pain we Chumps have to go through was taken away or dulled, we wouldn’t become the mighty people we all can be, including you. Read CL’s archives and know this was never about you or the life you and your ex had, and remind yourself it’s all on her, therefore she sucks. Sending you and your kids my best vibes, lovely xxx

              • Hang in there IWantHerToSuck,
                Your story and your suffering have touched me (and anyone who reads here).
                Please know that people all over the world are thinking of you right now.
                (I’m in the Caribbean for the month). There is something so beautiful about people being connected through the internet by these slim threads of hope and caring.
                I am saying a little prayer for you right now…

          • There are many chumps who would be willing to talk to you. Contact Tempest for my email. I have been exactly where have you been and can talk to you today. Your kids need you.

          • Christmas brings with it an expectation of an idealistic day with the perfect family, perfect meal, singing Christmas carols, loads of presents, etc, etc. We’ve all seen these images on TV. You should do or not do whatever the hell you want to on Christmas. It’s just ONE day. Most people do not have the “perfect” family, whatever that is. Perfect is what is right for you.

            IWHTS: This sounds horribly cliche, but take it one day at a time. Only think about the present day and what your plan is just for the day. It’s incredibly overwhelming to take on this whole ball of shit, day in and day out. It takes time to heal and you will. I know it doesn’t feel like it will ever get better but it does, slowly. Be patient and kind to yourself.

            To say cheating is self-absorbed and selfish is a colossal understatement. Infidelity has absolutely nothing to do with love. It’s an escape from the reality of one’s self, an addiction problem, a core belief of inadequacy. It has NOTHING to do with you. She will be sorry she lost you because you are a man of integrity and sound morals who doesn’t tolerate being cheated on and lied to. Stand up for yourself and know you deserve better.

          • I hope you don’t mind platitudes and sucky suggestions. Get a dog. Get a happy dog from your local shelter. Get a leash, find a popular walking trail and go. So many people will ask if he is friendly enough to pet. People like to pet dogs. Then they will ask you what he is. You won’t know become he is a mix. Ask if they can help figure it out. The next thing you know a crowd of friendly strangers will chat with you about your dog.
            Dogs give kisses. They kiss tears off faces. They love us. Unconditionally.
            If you can’t have a dog, get a cat. They will tell you what to do. And you will do it because cats rule.
            If you aren’t able to do either, walk dogs at the animal shelter. They neeeed dog walkers.
            If you allergic mentor a child. Be a big brother or sister.
            My brother, and his kids, were abandoned in exactly the same way. Gone. Just gone. I hope I never see another man cry like that. I hope I never see children paralyzed by grief like that. He got mad, got full custody, divorced, dated, had a great time, remarried and had more kids.
            Life is tragic, and, weird, and funny but it’s ours. Hang on to yours. It will get better.

          • It gets better, I promise you that. In the early days I cried in front of my coworkers and my clients. It was horrible. My cheater XH was so freaking cruel when he left. He told me ‘to go get some friends (you know, the ones he ran off)’ To go ‘get a boyfriend’ and to wear my hair up because I looked sexier that way and could attract a man better. I mean, WTF? My HUSBAND coaching me on how to get out there and find a new man?!

            I thought many times of ending it all but then four little faces of my grandchildren would pop up in my mind and I knew that I could never do that to them. Trust CL when she tells you the pain is finite. It was really hard for me to believe too and it took YEARS to get to Meh but I got there on a Tuesday. So will you. That’s a promise I will stand by. Also, you can reach out to Tempest and she can put you in touch with me by email and I would be happy to talk to you too over the holidays. I’ve met some real friends here that I see. They come visit me and I go to their houses. We get together as often as we can. We’re all here for you.

        • You MUST keep on! Be stubborn & fight. I was diagnosed with MDD years before my DDay. I will be on the max dosage of an SSRI for the rest of my life because I refuse to go back to that excruciating pain of worthlessness, severe sadness and fear of a monotonous life. I know the pain can be so intense that you can’t even pick up your head and you just want it to end but hang on. It gets better. Find yourself a good psychiatrist and therapist (if you haven’t done so already). Surround yourself with family and friends as much as possible to keep an eye on you. Do what you got to do to beat this. There is a whole other life waiting for you to enjoy. Your ex was never worthy of you and deep down, she will always have that ugly, shitty side. Why would you want that? You deserve real love and real happiness from real people. Sending positive vibes your way and many hugs. I stand with you in the fight against mental illness and assholes!😊

        • I’ve had major depression. I hope you see a therapist regularly, I had to go weekly, and to a group. I did both the paid and free services for that in my area. Depression lies to us. It tells us that everything is hopeless, and that we are at fault for everything. Don’t listen to it.

          There is a great video on YouTube called ‘The Black Dog of Depression’. It is excellent! YouTube has lots of excellent videos about coping with depression, and recovering from loss. I used to spend hours watching them. And getting out to the gym, I did swimming. It did help to get physical. I did call the help lines as well, they were helpful.

          My therapist had me made a list of activities I could distract myself with when I felt I was entering the loop of despair. The loop where you start mulling over and over where you ‘went wrong.’ I finally accepted that my ex lacked empathy and was a con man. He played the part of loving spouse when it suited him!!. But underneath he was totally self centered and all about himself. I am free of a man who was a predator. He has fooled a lot of people, but I know the real him.

            • My D-day was Dec 8 three years ago and my ex didn’t want to tell his mother about us splitting until after the holidays, and so he wanted me and our son to pretend everything was fine while we stayed at her house for Christmas. Meanwhile, my ex happily snuck off the call his girlfriend while I cried in secret. It was hell.

              I’m an alcoholic in recovery, so when D-day happened, I got myself to a meeting and got a therapist and someone to prescribe anti-depressants and anti-anxiety meds (non-addictive). I talked to someone daily, even when at my ex-MIL’s. IWHTS, please be sure to find someone to talk to every day. See if you can find a support group, like codependency or something. Heck, if you’re desperate, go to an AA meeting and raise your hand. People there will help you and over the holidays there are often 24 hour gatherings to help people through the holidays. Just say you don’t want to drink over this and you qualify to be there.

              Hugs to you. I’m so sorry your soon to be ex wife is such a selfish idiot.

              • There’s a few Friends of Bill here…I’m in recovery since 10/85…and a friend of Lois too…..

            • Yo Soldier. This too Shall Pass.
              With a lot of work required on your end. You cannot walk around this. You walk through it. We walk Together through the snot and tears and self doubt and self pity. It is Finite. It has an end.

              PTSD. The trauma after the shock. MDD is life threatening. Self care must be learned and practiced. Everyday. Ask me how I know.

              MDD means Your brain chemistry is not in Equilibrium. Serotonin and Norepinephrine levels are FUBAR. I’m back on SNRIs and glad to be. This is round 2 post disaster. I’m exactly where I’m supposed to be. You are Too. I Thank God for Venlafaxine and CN.

              Step 2 in AA says “We came to believe that a power greater than ourselves could restore us to Sanity”.
              “Came to believe” are the key words here. It’s a Process. It takes Time. And Pain.

              This is my third Christmas solo. The first one 2017 was the worst. The second 2018 a little better, but not much. This one will be a lot better. To me it’s another Wednesday with my fur babies. With a visit with my 8 year old granddaughter. And she’s a handful. She never lets me get sad. 😂❤️ Last Christmas we played Rolling Stones ANGIE together with her playing lead and me rhythm guitar.

              My step son and I talked a few days ago. He was audibly upset, angry and stressed at something. He calmed down a bit into our discussion and told me why. He’s agreed to meet his mother’s not-so-shiny fuck boy (with our Granddaughter . The one she left me for. I won’t be surprised if he learns of her forthcoming (4th) husband. I’m at a point now where I smile and want to shake boytoy’s slimey hand in gratitude for taking Ownership of her. “If They’ll cheat With You, They’ll cheat ON YOU” rings through my brain like the 12 days of Christmas and a millisecond of Schadenfreud follows.

              Just a suggestion for a reality check activities… take your boys to a homeless shelter, church, whatever and volunteer to help. Service work. Serving meals, preparing them…anything necessary where helping is needed. It will remind you that others have it far worse than you do. It will install in your progeny the truest meaning of the season if they’re old enough.

              This Christmas Brother I wish for you and your kids some small moments of clarity, peace and freedom from the bondage of self that you feel that someone else created. Everything you need is inside you.

              We understand now what Christ felt with Judas’ betrayal, Peter’s denials and even questioning whether there was a GOD. It’s the same abandonment.

              My screen name is Marcus Lazarus. I chose the last name Lazarus because I’m being raised from the dead with the aid of CN, CL, friends and family.

              IWHTS. COME FORTH.

              • It may be too late to volunteer this Christmas, plus many organizations grow weary of dealing with people who only volunteer for Thanksgiving, Christmas and to a lesser degree – New Year’s Eve.
                Plus you and the boys may need training prior to serving, or they may not meet the age requirements.

                Definitely do SOMETHING you enjoy or wanted to do with the boys but couldn’t do so. Can your brother come to you or vice versa? Go caroling around the neighborhood? Check in with seldom-seen neighbors? Maybe invite one over for hot chocolate or summat?

            • Yes – but all these things, like flight or fight etc, are actually attempts by our brains to protect us, ironically! Mental illness is just as debilitating and all-encompasding as a very serious physical injury. Treat a broken brain just like you would a broken neck – acknowledge it and seek every bit of help you can, therapeutically and medically. Best of luck!

            • I agree, when I was at my worst I blamed myself for everything, and felt guilty about everything. Then I learned that depression TELLS us all these negative lies. Our brain chemicals have been wounded by betrayal. You will get better.

            • I was seriously depressed for years. After being abandoned, I cried for six months straight and had suicidal thoughts. 15 months out, my depression has disappeared. I love my new job, and things are looking up. So many things i have read about living with a covert narcissist say they often affect your health. My health was spiraling before, but i am ok these days. Btw, my STBX abandoned his parents, too. They were living on our property at the time. Now, they are in my home. My parents are long deceased. These are really good people. The MIL has dementia. They are saddened that their fuckwit son left them after promising to take care of them. Christmas is even more rough for them. I love them dearly.

        • I WHTS-I understand your feelings. My soon to be ex wife did much the same. She left on 11/2/18, 2 days after I turned 54.

          When the holidays came, she wasn’t there-she was with her boyfriend and his family. She actually told me she enjoyed not being at home with her family because where she was, everyone “doted” on her.

          My divorce will be final on December 26, 2019. Her birthday is January 12. So yeah, this will be not only another holiday for me without my wife and the boys without their mom, but I’ll always associate Christmas with divorce now.

          All I can do is focus on my sons. They deserve that.

          • CaliChump – what do you think that ex wife of yours is going to do when that “doting” stops, and it eventually will. The shiny will wear off and she’ll be treated like everyone else. That pathetic twat won’t be getting the attention she craves to make herself feel good about herself. She’s an empty shell of self serving, selfish inadequacy. LET HER GO.

        • I’ve struggled with depression all my life as well. The breakup and divorce was the lowest of the lows for me. I’ve been battling 4 a.m. panic attacks for years.

          This year I started practicing Mindfulness and it has helped me tremendously. Please look into information about it. At its very basic, we have to rework the neural pathways that take us down the well-worn trails of negativity in our brains. I wake up chewing bones and immediately start the steps. 1) Is this worry something I have control over? 2) If yes, what small step could I take to promote my goal? 3) if a worry I have no control over, I acknowledge the worry and then go to important step 4) THINK OF SOMETHING ELSE. Anything. Even if its just chanting a single word (Peace, Love, puppies) a sound (chanting, humming, a single tone like ‘Ohm’), or a go-to happy place in my mind – that perfect empty beach with nothing but the sound of gentle waves washing. Anything to distract my mind from tripping down that well worn path that leads to the land of misery.

          It DOES get better – even after decades of negativity. You CAN do this! As for your first holiday alone – my first holiday was totally alone. I had to send the kid to NX. I spent it watching Kill Bill movies and eating whatever I wanted to when and where I wanted to in my most comfortable clothing. I gave myself the permission to do exactly whatever it was that I wanted to with no expectations from anyone else. It was glorious.

          I now alternate years with NX for holidays with kid. This year I get him and we’ll be spending it with my mother, just the 3 of us. Should be really relaxing and uncomplicated. We’ll probably watch something silly like Young Frankenstein and go for a walk if the weather is good, games if not.

        • I want her to suck,
          I went through the exact same thing. We were together almost 25 years when I learned about her AP and then she bailed on our daughter and I. That first Christmas was challenging. I vividly remember walking the grocery aisles trying to figure out how to cook a Christmas dinner with tears streaming down my face as Christmas carols blared through the store speakers. But I pulled it together, shopped and wrapped gifts myself, put up the tree with my daughter. I took pics of that tree and the gifts because that was a huge hurdle, knowing if there was going to BE a Christmas at my house it was on me. That was 6 Christmas’s ago. Since then I pitched that tree and kept those ornaments boxed for the kids if they ever want them and bought a completely new tree and ornaments that don’t harken back to my past. Slowly you make it.
          Please don’t hesitate to talk to your doctor about what you are going through. I spilled my guts to my doctor and he point blank asked me if I was suicidal. He was very concerned and helpful, prescribed Xanax for quick relief (which helped tremendously) and another anti depressant to slowly take over. I’m off all those now but they definitely helped me over the hump.
          Take care, it’s a long slog but be there for your kids, mine have been my greatest strength. There is light.

        • IWantHerToSuck: Today is not the worst day of your life. The worst day of your life was the day you met her! It’s an icy cold person who can bail on a spouse in crisis. Now that you know who she really is, each and every day will be a better day!! I know it doesn’t feel like that today but its true. Don’t let her win. I bet if you die, she inherits everything. Don’t fall for it. The kids need you and will thank you one day for being the strong parent.

        • I’m a mess too. I don’t want anyone to hurt especially during the holidays. It’s the fantasy we held onto for so long that keeps us down. Only reason why I’m not falling apart is because once you hit rock bottom there is no other place to go but up. Please go up and realize there are people who love you and want to always love you no matter the circumstances. Keep swimming up because you will eventually find a better life then you imagined up there with real people who love you xo

        • Were you depressed when you thought it was good? If you were then too you have a disorder. Your supposed to be depresses when it is crap. But that will pass.

        • I am floored by the support in this community. It means so much to me.

          I want everyone not to worry and to know I am not suicidal and I’m not going to hurt myself. I’m just so goddamn exhausted from all the negative emotions and crying everyday. I want it to stop.

          It fucking…HURTS. SO. GODDAMN. MUCH…..but you all know what I mean.

          • I feel you brother. I’ve always considered myself strong, independent and tough (I have 2 black belts, I’ve hitchhiked across the country for several months as a 20 something, living out of my tent), but this left me feeling insecure.

            I hate what she did to us and yet if I’m being honest, I have to admit that I’ve been hoping against hope she would change her mind and come back, even though intellectually I know it would never be the same. My life is forever changed..

            • I don’t know what I would do if she asked to come back. I don’t think she would. She is stoic. I do think there is a small part of her that knows she fucked-up big time though. But she mostly doesnt give a shit. About anything really.

              • Most Precious IWantHerToSuck!

                (I am late to the party, once again. Out living my cheater-free life! Many excellent comments already….But, here goes)

                No, these type do not give a s___ about anything outside of their ‘parts’
                And, most obviously, she DOES suck, so even if she asked you if she could come back, there is No Way In H___ you want back on that ‘crazy train’

                In my situation, cheaterpants sorta threw out an ‘invitation’ to come back, but my (silent, in my own mind) response was: “To what?!” No…..once off the ‘crazy train’, stay off…..

                Anywho…..My brother suffered much of what you are going thru, nearly 20 years ago. He cried for MONTHS on end! And was committed to a facility of some sort, not because he was nuts, but because his spouse was nuts! She convinced doctors & my brother that he had mental issues when it was really her. And he could not stop crying. Wonder why?! It all got sorted out in the end, but…..Crazy Crap

                Real Men do cry! In fact, I dare say any ‘male person’ who does not cry through this ‘soul rape’ is suspect.

                Today, my brother laughs, smiles & jokes as though nothing tragic ever befell him. He is so very close to his now-adult daughter who was just a toddler when she-devil pulled her stupid crap. He has remained the sane parent & daughter can see that clearly. He has close, caring friends, in addition to his daughter, granddaughter & other beloved family. The ex? Not so much….Daughter can barely stand to be near her….

                Please, consider the possibility that dealing with your disordered spouse thru the years caused much of your depressive issues. It did for my brother & it did for me.

                Getting away from the crazy will allow your mind, heart & emotions to settle down a bit. No drugs needed……Just get away from the crazy & provide your body and brain with nutrients & therapies to heal.

                Much love & prayers for you as we all ForgeOn! to better & cheater-free lives!

          • As someone else said you have feelings. That is a positive. It means you can relate to people in a genuine way.
            It took me over a year to stop crying every day and feeling like I didn’t want to feel that way. Now at almost 3 years out I am happy with my single life. Had to wade through a lot of crap but with the help of friends, family, counsellors, keeping active
            I reached the opposite shore. No life is perfect but you will feel better on a Tuesday. Focus on your children, plan some fun activities to do together. They need you more now than ever before.

        • Oh Honey, SHAZAAM wish granted…. she SUCKS!!!!

          You do not suck…. you just got suckered…. and now you’re un-suckered and get to live a suck-less life!

          It’s hard. I still have really HARD days/weeks and I’m over 3 years out. I’ve called the suicide hot-line. I’ve sobbed uncontrollably and emotionally vomited all over strangers. I’ve let my emotional shirttails hang out all over Chump Nation. There have been MANY times where I said “fuck the high road” and contacted my ex…. he gave zero shits about me and used what he could to his advantage.

          Sometimes, I had to repeat the words, “Don’t die for a fuckwit” over and over again. Some days, it was my mantra.

          It doesn’t stay like this forever. You will not feel like this forever.

          But it’s hard fought and hard won.

          Hang in there. Lean on us.

      • I lost my home, my kids, my career, my emotional health, and all my possessions in the final separation. I started with zero again in my fifties. I cried every day for 3 years, had to live with an aged relative, had the clothes on my back.

        6 years later I have a comfortable, stable home with a normal, loving new partner. Life is far from perfect. There are still down moments and days. But over all I am safe, and balanced.

        Some days all you can do is put one foot in front of the other and keep going. Or spend a day in bed crying. One day only. But life does stabilize again eventually. The shock and horror of it all does dim. And you will be able to plan and participate in so many positive activities and events. It does come. It really does.

      • I had the same thing; what I thought was the perfect marriage, great sex life, a man who on the very day I found out about his affair, had held my face in his hands and kissed me and told me how much he loved me. A couple hours later, I tracked him to a hotel room with his AP in the middle of the afternoon.

        That kind of shit fucks with anybody’s head.

        Realize you will feel awful about this for awhile. There’s not way around it, but it will pass. In the meantime, I highly recommend you make sure you eat, Boost shakes if you have to. Get some anti-depressants if you need them, Ambien to sleep, and find a good therapist. I did all those things right out of the gate. I needed help because damn, what I thought was my reality didn’t exist.

        It’s going to be hard for awhile but it really won’t last forever, promise. I’m 6 years out, remarried and very happy. And I didn’t think I could be happy ever again.

        • “I needed help because damn, what I thought was my reality didn’t exist.”

          Glad for the progress report, Rumblekitty. Very glad that your are remarried, happy, and (still) wise.

      • Just a reminder.
        You were the one who made your life great then and you are the one who will continue to make your life great.
        She was sucking out all of your best energy.
        You have it back now.
        That’s what it means to be free from a fuck wit.
        Merry merry Christmas new chump.
        Love and light to you and yours.

      • IWantHerToSuck – If you can’t yet feel mighty, if you are doubting yourself, your state of mind, your value to your kids and family then try spite.

        If you attempt or succeed in harming yourself then the selfish cowardly STBX AND her Fuckbuddy win. They get to raise and twist them. They will erase you.

        Do not let them! Reach out at any time – we have your back. Also, get angry. Anger is energy. Energy that ended slavery, got women the right to vote, and it will see you through this bleak period.

        You are disoriented, empty, lost and flailing. It can be like birth – this is your opportunity to embrace the void and change things for the better. Eventually.

        • I can attest that this approach can be useful. My father sexually abused me when I was a child. When I was 40, he committed suicide, and everything I’d held in came rushing back to me. (Paradoxically, because his death meant I was now safe from him forever.) I’d always had bouts of depression but in the year after his suicide I became suicidal.

          Every single moment of every single day–and this includes nights filled with nightmares– was a struggle to just go on. One thing that kept me going was telling myself that if I killed myself, then he had won, and I was determined he would not triumph over me. I was determined that his abuse of me would not define my life.

          That was 25 years ago.

          You can make it.

          • Adelante

            OMGawd!! Your post just reminded me of those mind Videos…That robbed me of precious, healthy Sleep. They were torturous.

            I HAD COMPLETELY FORGOTTEN ABOUT THOSE. Healing. 🙏

          • Most precious Adelante…..

            I have no words……Horrors upon horrors for that little child you once were

            {{{HUGS!!!}}} and many prayers for you

            It is a great privilege to ‘know’ you…..Love how you have ForgedOn! in spite of the most evil & cruel thing anyone can ever do to another. Your gift to CN, to yourself and to all of humanity is that you are alive and well. THAT is amazing!

            And love to you, MARCUS LAZARUS, as it sounds as if you endured a similar torture. Am privileged to ‘know’ you, too…..

            So much Mighty on display. How glorious!

          • Adelante – not chump lady related, but my father was the same. Just sending hugs and understanding.

            I’m turning 40 this year, and my child just turned the same age I was when everything went dark for me. It’s been a rough year. But, like you, I won’t let any of the many men who have tried to destroy me win. I will carve out something for myself. The same thought keeps me moving.

        • First of all, great big hugs to all if chump nation this holiday season. While y’all were not around when I was wading through my own personal hell, finding chump lady after the fact was so healing because it helped me make sense of it all. That’s priceless in my book.

          And using my anger, and (I have to admit), my stubbornness helped me survive. Losing a child was my worst fear. Cheater ex kidnapped and murdered my youngest son. He wanted to utterly destroy me. They love the feeling of power that wreaking destruction on someone gives them. He might have succeeded if I hadn’t gotten really angry at that point. I thought fuck him. The best revenge is to live well and thrive regardless of what he and his nest-of-narcs family threw at me. It stood me in good stead when his family had someone burn my home eighteen months later. Fortunately I had great insurance and rebuilt right there, which cost me a friend or two. At that point, the last thing I was going to do was turn tail and run. Him and his narc family, had taken my child, my pets, everything I owned, and my home. All I had left was my life, and I was going to stand and fight. (I also got a big dog and a .357 magnum.) Well after that, their lackey cased my new house for a few more months till I spied him yet again in his car one evening, and went out and took his picture from across the street. He peeled out and never came back.

          A few years later, I sold that house for a huge profit and moved to my dream place in the country.

          My point is, if we can hang on and not give up on ourselves, we can outlast the fuckwits and thrive. We are resilient people with more internal resources than the disordered can even imagine. All it takes, like Velvet Hammer said, is to hang on. It will get better.

          So, hugs, my friend, and know the might of chump nation is behind you. You’ve got this.

          • Hi Tessie. I will never forget you or your son. The tragedy is beyond any comprehension. May you have a peaceful holiday season. 😘😘😘

            • Tessie–

              To me, you’re CN’s Spirit of Christmas Future, always pointing me toward what will be the finding the joy of a life on my terms.

              I adore your fortitude and tenacity. Trust that you help me in so many ways and I will always carry your spirit with me.

      • What you are experiencing is grief. This is grief. The person she was died, your marriage died. It will be like this for a while. Feel it, cry when you feel like it, acknowledge the pain. Give yourself permission to grieve and get angry. Its ok to be angry at her! She did this! Its ok to not forgive her, no matter what anyone tells you. If you do decide to forgive her, just remember that forgiveness takes time and it is on YOUR time and terms, no one else’s.

        Take it one day at a time. You and your kids will be okay, it will take some time, work, and therapy. I’ve been there. I’ve been the kid (parents divorced because of my narcissist, alcoholic dad’s serial cheating) and I am also a chump. You can do this, your kids need you, I know it is scary, but please believe me that you and your kids will survive, and then you will thrive.

    • If anyone and I mean anyone feels like they can’t cope or needs to scream I’m on Reddit ( same user name) DM me I’m happy to talk and give you my number .
      I maybe far away but I’m only a phone call away

      I will be alone for the first time ever at Christmas but I’m just going to do what I want when I want . This may or may not be spending all day in my pyjamas 😀

      • Karenb6972, that is such a kind offer. I’m glad you are fuckwit free and can make the choices that benefit you.

      • Karenb6702–

        I decided to visit my brother’s family the next few days as my adult kids’ will be bouncing back and forth from my house to A**hat’s. Now I wish I was home by myself in my jammies!!!! He’s 57 with kids 8 & 11 who are LOUD & CRAZY.

        If I could figure out Reddit, I would take you up on that offer! Let’s meet up somewhere next year and have someone else do the cooking & cleaning for us! 😀

    • She lied and left…. 18 months is early in the process… you are right exactly where most of us were at 18 months. It gets better and better— keep posting here, that helped me a lot.

      I agree the blame shifting and sudden discard after 25 years was the worst part— one minute I was his -adored” wife and soulmate, then when he was caught by our kids red handed on Christmas the narcissistic mask was ripped off and the rage and contempt was crushing. I wanted to die. I’m so glad I didn’t. Life is wonderful today.

        • Thanks for that, Hammer – the husband spotted the woman’s desire for melodrama just as I did!! I hope the husband keeps a clear head – once a cheater always a cheater.

          • I’ll bet that wingnut would blow a gasket if her current husband cheated and blew up her family….I hope Tracy UBT’s the “beautiful story”…….

          • No I don’t think that’s true AFKAC

            Once a cheat always a cheat . My ex will never cheat on his AP or she him . They’ve both got exactly what they’ve wanted and neither of them will cheat on each other . She was single he was married to me and yes he cheated on me but he loves her ( he never loved me ) and won’t do that to her so as I’ve much as I’ve read it’s not true once a cheat always a cheat . They only cheat on us chumps not the AP

            • If your cheating ex never cheats on schmoozing, then he’s the rare bird. Most of them get off on the cheating more than on the sex or even than on “true love.” Cheaters love themselves more than anyone else.

            • Karen, I detect sarcasm…. cheaters always cheat and especially on the APs. I know for certain my XH has cheated numerous times on the young goldigger he ran off with many times these past 5 years. Thank god he’s no longer my monkey!

    • Ditto. I too almost didn’t make it out alive. If I didn’t have to be the sane one to get the kids through college, I would have checked out. Yes, the disbelief, the blindsiding, the confusion and dissonance, the mental whiplash of the woman you loved and protected and provided for all those decades suddenly switches it off and becomes an evil nasty entitled slut with lawyers hired to destroy you. I did get financially raped. It just became a big game and money grab for her. Us normal people just can’t fathom the cold callous calculating brain of one of these psychos.

      • Cold and calculating. Soulless and cruel. You said it, Quantum. After the shock and pain, we make our way toward the light and healing. So many of us felt like we would never survive this. But look at us now!! Mighty, free, and here to tell our stories of survival and growth and thriving and able to reach out to help others on this journey through the gutting pain of betrayal.

        I salute all of the marvelous and strong Chumps on this site who have remained the sane parent, the kind person, and the amazing human being. You all rock!

    • Wow!!! This is my story(I’m a man), almost down to the timeline, sex the day before and then “I married the wrong person and I probably never loved you…” After 17 years. I know we’re not suppose to untangle the skein but I just can’t help wonder how people are capable of this. Something that helps me get through a rough time is seeing how mighty some women I personally know are. They were cheated on and held it together and keep their head held high. I salute them and figure, if they can do it, so can I. Hang in there brother.

  • Resilience is the word! That’s been my superpower all my life, along with trust, which ex transformed into my kryptonite. I divorced him in May after 2 long years of uncertainty and hopium. Now I’m financially secure (for the moment!) with the help of excellent and honourable friends (they kept THEIR promise). I’ve had a difficult year with my gorgeous daughter taking 3 overdoses and being unable as yet to confront the roots of her depression and PTSD but now we have a close and loving relationship. She says I am her rock, which means I have had to plumb the depths of my resilience but I’m determined to help my children heal their lives. My sons have struggled but the older now works and I can see his self-respect growing. I was frustrated and scared about my performance at work with little stupid mistakes every day from ongoing stress, but have eaten those shit sandwiches, have much more confidence now and am a reliable, useful colleague doing a great job with SEN children. My challenge next year is to make sure I care for myself as much as I should and set goals for me and my family to have lots to look forward to and a peaceful, hopeful life. A very Merry Christmas to Tracey and her family and to all my beautifil fellow Chumps! ❤

  • I worry a LOT about my children. But I had a moment of thinking we are doing OK when my eldest checked the ex’s work roster and said gleefully “oh Dad’s at work for Xmas!”
    He has to be the centre of it all and has put a damper on so many things for them. They get a great Xmas because he isnt involved in it.
    Im also a lot healthier than I was last Xmas or the one before. Im terminally ill but not dying yet. So thats another reason to say how mighty I am. Fuck you cancer you didnt get me yet.

  • Since finding Chumplady and all my fellow chumps, I have discovered that none of his bullshit was my fault. I have come to terms with the solid gold “pick me” dancer that I was and pushed her off the stage! With the joy that I discovered when the asshat left, I found the energy to: paint and redecorate nearly every room in my house, install a backsplash, shiplap the fireplace, build plant shelves for every room, clean out my art studio, travel with friends, and…. buy a motorcycle for me! I’m not a biker, I just have had dirt bikes since I was 8. Asshat was always making comments about bikers and such, so I never dared to consider one for me. I bought a sweet little Indian Scout and named her Ruby. Merry Christmas Chump Nation! I would never, every have gone on to see his betrayal and abandonment for the sacred gift that it is!!

  • I just walked up to my publisher’s table at a holiday book fair, where the marketing professional who had been screwing my partner on the side while she repped me sat, and chatted with the lovely person who I now work with in her stead (to whom I reported the OW’s behavior), while completely ignoring the OW. And the OW couldn’t even raise her head. I still felt sick as I left the fair, realizing I could probably never publish with them again, but I am not afraid to take my place as an author in public. She committed the breach of trust and privacy invasion, not me. I’m not staying home.

    • Go Artemis! I’m proud of you. I remember when you were in the thick of the betrayal. Love to hear how you are owning your place and holding your head up high. Mighty!

  • I’m just finishing a solo 12 week tour of 12 countries signifying the end of one life and the beginning of the next. I moved continents to be with cheater taking the youngest 2 of 4 children through a traumatic move as teenagers 6 years ago. I didn’t know that my ex already had a girlfriend in the new country. After D day 5 years ago, we went through various wreckonciliations. Finally divorced in May this year, I finished my job which had been wonderful and challenging in July and am moving back home. The Christmas grocery order is arriving the same time as me on Sunday, and the 5 of us will see off the last decade together. I’m ready for 2020.

  • I filed for divorce from a FW without looking back. I am NC for nearly 5 months. Despite living in his home country. I am doing better. I have a good job that allows me to have a good work-life balance. I have a peaceful home. I cook delicious food for myself. I enjoy my freetime. I exercise daily. I have my energy back. I do the things I love. I come home to a space where I am safe to be myself. I am proud of myself. I didn’t get help from anyone, not even my abusive family. I have found myself so proud that I regard myself as “the strongest person I know”, and I admire myself.

    This is way more than I would have had buying into the lies from the years of gaslighting and devaluing. I am safe. I am free. I am myself. I am happy. Thank goodness.

    • Love this . Sounds like you are leading what my psychologist calls “ the gentle life “ . Looking after you .

    • Ms,

      Except for exercising daily, 🙄 , living in a foreign country and the fact that I am 2 1/2 years NC, I could copy your letter word for word and sign it ClearWaters.

      And I bet you also have organized finances and know exactly where your $ is going.

      I agree with Christina: it is a gentle life indeed.

      Peace in 2020!

  • There are lots of ways I don’t feel mighty yet. HOWEVER, Exhole used to earn three times more than I did but In two years, I now out earn him and all his fancy college degrees that he used to run in my face.

    I’m getting my kids two big awesome toys this year for Christmas. My best friend asked me if they were coming from Santa. I told her probably. She said “fuck that”, exhole is always trying to one up you, you tell the kids that Santa ran out of those toys so your mom was the hero and got them. HA! I love it! I’m taking the credit for those awesome gifts that I’ve worked so hard for ☺️ Can’t wait to see their faces!

  • The divorce was final two years ago last month. He still hoovers but is reduced to sending letters through snail mail which I toss in garbage .
    After finding out he gave me herpes I really struggled with the trauma of it all ….

    I was using my home as an Airbnb to help pay the mortgage as I’m on disability for an incurable and very painful bladder disease .

    In July I started selling on Etsy and eBay for just a few extra dollars a month for little luxuries

    It’s going so well I’ve had to hire to a lady to help me with orders and I’ve lost my disability because I make too much .
    My ex was always making me think I was useless and couldn’t do anything . His words “ you’ve never accomplished anything “

    And he’s the one unemployed now .

    It’s going to be a great Christmas for me !

  • I am about 9 months out from signing my final divorce decree, but that came at a heavy price. Despite him cheating and abandoning me and the kids, he also wanted to destroy me financially and as a mother. He managed to alienate my teenagers from me completely for 6 months to gain an advantage in the divorce. Luckily they slowly came back to me at the end of 2018. Fast forward to now and my relationship with my children is the best it’s ever been. They even complain about their father and his girlfriend! Oh, and as for the loss I took in the divorce, my ex ended up leveraging for himself in a stupid way, and is now being sued personally! It’s not the karma I was hoping for but I’ll take it.

  • In January it will be three years since D day. I am no longer that depressed angry women I once was. I realize now that I was depressed and angry because of him. Decades of verbal abuse and financial abuse. I did not realize at the time that me paying all the bills and him only giving me $400.00 to $600.00 a month was financial abuse. That left him quite a bit of cash to fund his outings with Skankella. I estimate that in the 4 year affair he spent at least $400.00 a month or $19,200.00. He refused to put me on his health insurance because it would cost to much. Every vacation(I paid for) I would end up in tears because he would insult the hotel or say only an idiot would pick a place like this. The years of emotional and verbal abuse wore away at my soul. Only to be cheated on with my cousin.

    Now I am at piece. I no longer have to worry about money. I am actually saving money. No more cigarette smoke in my bedroom. No more cigarette burns on my expensive comforter. Can listen to any music I want when I am in my car. I have realized that I am not that horrible person he made me think I am. I did nothing wrong and did not deserve to be cheated on. He is the horrible person who chose to abuse and cheat on me. Being cheater free is awesome. I have come a long way in three years.

    • Cuchump, you are definitely mighty! Our sense of how things are ‘off’ in that important relationship, plus living with their selfishness and negativity can be truly DEPRESSING! I’m so glad you have created a healthier, happier life away from that fuckwit.

  • My story probably sounds really vain and selfish, but exN was/is obsessed with money. Post separation, he became hellbent on destroying me and for the most part, he did. I had $74000 in legal fees because he kept changing the goalposts during my numerous attempts to settle and filed countless motions and letters. He took me to court so much that I lost my job of 5 years that provided free, really good health insurance for my daughter and I, as well as a free apartment and an excellent salary. I lost everything. My lawyer needed to be paid as well as my own bills, so I cleaned out my IRAs and daughters 529. I was left with nothing, and he refused to pay alimony or child support.

    Now, 6 months post divorce I have a government job with excellent health care, a defined benefit pension, a 457b, universal life insurance policy, a 529 plan for daughter, car is paid off and a part time job to help pay off my legal fee loan of 11k. I am making it on my own, which is exactly what exN said I’d never be able to do.

    I’m free. I’m happy. I’m grateful.

  • This has been an AMAZING year for me. I am 5 years post DDay, and my divorce has been final for just over a year. This time last year I had started a new job, was a full time student ( had to take additional college classes for my teachers certification), and was driving a super budget mobile-all I could afford at the time. In 2019, My two youngest graduated high school, and Community college, respectively. I organized their graduation celebrations, helped them apply to and get accepted into the colleges of their choice, navigated FAFSA, and student loans, and moved them into apartments ( no on campus dorms at either college), I was able to purchase everything they needed to set them up in their apartments as well. I studied for and obtained dual certification in Biology and Chemistry, then participated in a two week residency certification program for a national program I teach in. The business I started a few years ago is beginning to take off, I moved it into a studio, so I can serve even more people. I took charge of my health and lost 30 lbs. I am back in the gym lifting free weights again.. I traded my budget car in and purchased a really really nice vehicle that allows me to cart my gear around for my business and travel in style and comfort. I am able to give my kids a very nice Christmas because of my business profits and I am purchasing a used vehicle for my son to use in January and am on track to purchase one for my daughter this summer. ALL WITHOUT ANY INPUT/HELP/SUPPORT from my ex husband. BOOM!. I am 57 years old and living my best life. I am so grateful that I chose to use the worst pain I have ever experienced in my life as a way to grow. I take time each day to express my gratitude for all I have and for those who supported me along the way. I am so much more aware of my worth and have healthy boundaries now. If I can do this, so can you. Your life is waiting for you!

  • Being single at 52 is different than when I was single at the age of 31. I was so ready for a boyfriend that was marriage material that I fell hard for the Dickhead’s lovebombing. Twenty-one years later, here I am single again but the mindset is different and I’m okay being on my own. I’ve bought a house, traveled to the Galápagos Islanda (#1 bucket list destination and a place I want to experience again), and to Costa Rica. I still get lonely because my group of people is very very small but I’m working on it. I have a life to live and that exactly what I plan to do.

  • Extending love and sympathy to all those still hurting. We’re mighty when we get through each day!

    I wanted to add that Hanukkah is a story of resilience, too (as is just about every Jewish story). The Maccabees didn’t give up the Temple after just one day!

    Wishing all CN the brightest possible.holidays – I hope the lights we’re kindling outside ourselves help to dispel at least some of the darkness within.

  • I was diagnosed with rectal carcinoma on the 10th October. I had the operation to remove it on the 9th November. There was no lymph node involvement, so I don’t have to have chemotherapy. I have a temporary ileostomy bag (they pull the small intestine through your abdomen and you poop into a bag). My friends and family gave me amazing support. I am alive! Best Christmas ever!

  • So… 2019! What a year.

    I was sucker punched. I picked me dance. Lost my sanity. Forgot who I was. I asked for help. I was wonderfully helped. I stood up. I remembered who I am. I got back to being here for my four kids. I find pride in that. I understood that I wasn’t guilty. Yet I try to see that for an opportunity for improvement. I discovered like minded people. I discovered CL and CN. I let my brother, truly. And my sister too.

    It’s like the most awful storm appeared out if nowhere in a clear blue sky. There are still clouds, and wind, and rain, but there is sunlight too, and the Earth is wet, and I’m quite interested in what’s going to grow out of it.

  • I hate the fact that my ex-wife still channels Mary Poppins (practically perfect in every way). She started about a week after I told her I wanted a divorce and continues to this day.

    I still feel like I’m on a leash when it comes to my time to parent our child. My ex rarely punishes and is often very indulging. I will indulge, but I also have a list of rules that have to be followed. Because of that there is plenty of arguments and punishments that end up upsetting our kid. Then they get told to my ex and she explodes in a rage of how I’m a horrible parent. Listing each and every thing she thinks is unacceptable.

    I finally found a great technique that works when replying to her texts. It’s called fogging. I just agree with what she says but don’t take ownership of what she is accusing me of.

    An example is:
    “You did this and that…why? That’s completely unacceptable”

    “You’re right, that would definitely be unacceptable”.

    “Then why did you do them?”

    “Yes, truly unacceptable to do anything like that.”

    I know it’s a bit manipulative on my part, but it’s like trying to nail jello to the wall. She was so furious by the end that she ended up making several threats. Those are in the document pile in case I ever need them. Now I just have to make a handful of replies like that and she gives up ranting at me!

    • There is no upsetting drama in my life. Only peace and safety. Any person who disrupts my peace, or intends to, is left in the dirt.
      5 years ago, there were many tears, many prayers and constant reading. I pretty much kept to myself and worked through the anguish alone with God. That was second cheater X.
      First X (30 yrs ago), cheated too. I utilized every service available to me at that time…therapy, medications, and an 8 week hospitalization for clinical situational depression. At that time, I considered divorce to be a shameful thing…was raised to believe that. I loved both Xs fiercely, (maybe too much?) I rejoice at how much happier I am now as a single free person.
      So very grateful to God for sustaining me, providing for me and giving the mighty Gift of Jesus Christ.

    • Next time try, “There’s nothing to discuss. This conversation is over. Click. “

      Tracey gave me 3 more words for Christmas this year…when discussing “The Other” household
      Cool
      Bummer
      Wow

    • My ex does the swirl talk, name calling, trying to control what I do with the children and trying to start a fight anyway possible. So I have resorted to 3 responses
      #1 Ignore
      #2 If you don’t like it take me back to court and see if a Judge will agree with you.
      #3 Instead of focusing on such trivial issues why don’t you pay the back child support you owe or your 1/2 of the kids health insurance you are behind on.
      It generally shuts down his drama- Find statements to shut down the drama.

    • Just stop talking to her on the phone and texting her. She has nothing to say about your parenting. Not her business.

      Indulging kids is not the best idea, and you seem to get that. But it might be smart to figure out ways to deal rules, consequences and kids’ attempt to evade them. Arguing with them never works. Just as telling my grown up kitten “Didn’t I tell you to stay off the counter? Didn’t I? What are you doing up there? No catnip for you!”

  • Well where to start

    D day was 16th March I got divorced 6th November . You have to be legally separated for 1 year before divorce here unless you can prove adultery or unreasonable behaviour .
    My ex ( only contact was ever through lawyers ) said we would wait the year . I said fuck that noise no way am I being married to him a day longer than I have to be . I filed on grounds of adultery and served her too . Both pleaded no contest which would have been impossible since she’s pregnant with my husbands baby . I was granted my divorce 😀 I’m so proud I fought and proved my point

  • D-day was March 27, 2018 and my divorce was finalized in August, 2019.
    Ex-husband of 17 years (3 kids) had affair with our 23 year old live in
    nanny. When he told me he wanted a wife and a mistress I told him he was fucking crazy and
    asked him to leave–which refused to do for 2 months. I did the pick me dance for a little while and then stopped when he chose her.
    Since then I have survived humiliating and cruel treatment from him including
    a total revision of marital history, daily emails and texts, gaslighting, manipulating, you all know the drill.
    I bought him out of the house, kept the car, kept the kids in their school, and joined a church. He continues to hoover and harass me while denying all wrong doing. I am working
    up the strength to have to see his OW in January while he is out of the country for 3 weeks. He refuses
    to leave the kids with me on his custody days (50/50) and I will have to co-parent with the OW. All kids are in therapy and they are struggling. I have moved on the best I can and I have a wonderful boyfriend who is very supportive. I still have nightmares about what he did however and I know still have healing to do.

    • I think I would ask a lawyer if you have to send them. Visitation is for him to see the kids and build a relationship and I know she can have them when he’s here but if he won’t see them at all why would she get custody?

      • I second Olderandwiser’s suggestion to check with a lawyer. That doesn’t make any sense that the OW have them when their father is out of the country. If you can’t afford to check with the lawyer, I’d call his bluff and let him contact a lawyer over this. Custody is not for the OW, it’s for the parent.

      • I called the lawyer. And she said there is a paragraph in
        the custody agreement that says if someone else
        can do the childcare while the parent can’t it is okay.
        I am furious. I took that to mean, my mother could pick them up
        if I was at work. Not that the OW could take care of them!

        • Uggghhh! That is awful. I had a stipulation put in our settlement agreement that if there was any overnight travel by fuckwit, then I get first right to have kids with me and vice versa. If your ex travels a lot it may be worth going back to court to get the language changed on that. Best of luck to you!!

    • I third that vote!
      I would call an attorney. Mine told me I didn’t have to hand kids off to anyone I didn’t feel comfortable with. Visitation is for him not his mistress.

    • 1. You don’t have to co-parent with anyone. You can parallel parent.
      2. Use email for all contacts. Don’t respond to texts or phone calls other than in any emergency.
      3. What does your custody agreement say about who watches the kids if he is out of the country for an extended period? Call your lawyer. If he travels, it’s worth clearing this up. Get the kids’ therapists input of this, but the argument that the parent has custody is compelling. A few days is one thing; three weeks is another.
      4. And he’s remarried already? Yikes.

  • When EXasshat and I first moved into our home, we bought a little Spruce tree, which he named Bruce… Bruce the Spruce. Well, this year, Bruce is going to get cut down Christmas Eve, and be a surprise 2nd Christmas tree for when the kids wake up Christmas morning. We are all so mighty. Never forget that.

  • I’m sitting in my pretty house that I designed the renovations and remodel for. It’s all decorated for Christmas. I know I’m mighty, and it’s been more than 4 years since he left after 32 years of marriage for his schmoopie, I am doing well but that doesn’t stop the waves of grief that still come. Maybe they will never stop but I know I am in so much better a place. I don’t love him anymore maybe didn’t for many years I was so trauma bonded to that sociopath, but he did such awful things to me it comes back and is close to the surface. I just live my life and love my kids and pets and friends. I am surrounded by love and that is what counts. I let the waves of grief wash over me, allow the tears and then move on with my day. Much love to all of CN and CL for being an additional shoulder to lean on. Have a Merry fuckwit free Christmas. 🎅🎅🎅🎄🎄🎄

  • My sons are spending Christmas day with their in-laws, don’t know when asshat is around them, and Christmas Eve with me sooooo I am going to a wellness spa on Christmas Day for the next 5 days. Since dday to now Christmas is difficult and I still have a meltdown on occasion like yesterday. At least now meltdowns are in privacy of my home but not happy or proud about it. All the self talk about it’s one day, sharing is good for the family, blah blah blah still leaves me feeling sorry or angry for myself so screw it. Taking myself to someplace nice and yogaing, meditating, riding horses, massaging, all inclusive. Happy holidays my fellow chumps. Enjoy!

    • Your plan is still you telling yourself a good story about you and your life. Good decisions! That’s erously mighty! Taking care of yourself is job one.

  • I think I’m mighty because…I am blessed to not be emotionally abused by my EW anymore. I no longer wonder what I could have done differently in the marriage to prevent her from cheating on me and our children. I am a good father, I am a good person, and I was (in comparison to what I heard about her co-workers and friends’ husbands) a great husband. I was in no way perfect as a husband, but I in no way ever thought on cheating on the marriage, even through the many business trips and beautiful women I interacted with through work and client relationships (and there were many who I would find out later on wanted to get to know me better). The disappointment in what she did to destroy a family is still there, but the NC policy that I adhere to is helping my emotional health. As an example, while attending a class presentation for my youngest last night, we were about 3 feet away from each other, and I felt no inclination to acknowledge her or feel a need to show my hatred. So, I call that continued progress of being able to move on.

  • I was the chump who tried wreck-onciliation because of a 24 year marriage and four children. I did the pick me dance for almost a year and found out he was still not being honest (full disclosure is what I required) Three months separated and no effort on his part to work things out. Also, no willingness to get a divorce and very little effort to spend a normal amount of time with the children because “I was alienating him because he didn’t live in our home anymore.” (insert eye roll) Six months later he has decided that he is not allowed to see our children per the divorce petition which states that he is restrained from talking about litigation with the children or anything that could alienate them from their mom. Blame shifting, rage, manipulation….I have experienced it all. We haven’t even made it to our first court date yet. I am mighty because I am looking for the good things. I am moving forward each day. I am excited about the new life of freedom that awaits me no matter how much it financially costs. I am only nervous that he will destroy my relationship with our four kids. I already have one that is not speaking to me, but I am going to believe that one day he will see the truth without me saying a word. I am so thankful for the sharing of similar experiences and the support of everyone here. We are all mighty!

  • Every year it gets a little better bc I learn more about my OWN Mightiness! I’ll admit Ive been bat crazy letting go of 32 years of creating the happiness of holidays in my home with family. 4 years post divorce from Xah. First 2 years out my 3 adult kids picked me to spend time with, last two years no so much. Apparently X has weaseled his poor sad sausage self back into their homes and lives and wants to know why HE can’t be with them on the day OF celebrations. This year my two adult grown boys who are married with small kids simply told me to “stop by on Christmas”. WTF ?? When I pressed in to confirm what time X wouldn’t be there, I was ripped up by one of the boys to “Get Over Myself”!!! They have made it clear that they don’t want two separate holidays to accommodate me! WOW ….

    This year I will give my Time and Energy toward my own life, my own emotional wellnesss and people who really love me. Merry Christmas to ME and Ive learned I matter to me!

    Peace and Joy

    • Your boys need a lump of coal in their stockings.

      Glad to hear you are going to use this time to celebrate you!

  • I had a small heart attack (as far a heart attacks go) and I watched her love die that day. She thought “oh no my husband appliance is on the fritz and worse yet, he’s out of warrantee!”. She continued to leech off me while I paid for private high school for our kids. The moment the kids went off to collage she had many affairs, moved out, moved money, hired lawyers (with my money) to destroy me. Left me penniless as I’m pushing 60. While the parasite is now leeching off other victims.

    But now I’m selling our house, working my way out of debt collections, and I’m engineering a Christmas with my adult kids in another state. She will likely be alone or spending time with the family of whatever fuckbuddy she is shacking up with these days. Eating some fruitcake’s fruitcake. I’d say that’s Karma but I don’t think she even cares. Part narc, part sociopath, the only person who maters to her is – her.

  • I’ve been divorced since February, and this is the first Christmas I’ve ever spent alone. I started a new job this year (I’m a critical care nurse) and figured I be working Christmas but nope! I worked Thanksgiving, am scheduled to work New Year’s Eve and New Year’s Day but I have Christmas off. My best friend and roommate went to Idaho to celebrate Christmas with her family, but I couldn’t go this year as I just get off Christmas Eve and Christmas Day. So — alone. I just bought tickets online to go see the latest Star Wars movie on Christmas Day. Now I’m searching for restaurants open on Christmas Day. It’s MY Christmas, and I’m going to do exactly what I want.

  • I am not Christian and I am not from a Christmas celebrating country but the 25th of December is when I got married so it seems like a good time to remind myself of how I am mighty. My ex walked out on me when my son was 2 months old (I later found out why!). I was in the United States with my little boy (I’m a graduate student and was studying while pregnant) and he was in our home country, so he basically left us to our devices in a foreign country. We had been together for 12 years, and I invested a lot in my relationship and marriage with little reciprocity (I noticed this in retrospect) because I loved him fully. But something about this callousness woke me up. I felt very lost at first, I am from a conservative, Muslim culture and men simply don’t walk out on their wives like this, particularly after a child. It is the ultimate humiliation and abandonment; I felt like I am trash. I don’t know what it is about having a small newborn that made a lightbulb go on in my head about my options, but I decided that I will take my chances being a single mother, that I can do this, that enough is enough. I first asked my parents for their support, and then I asked my ex-husband for a divorce because I didn’t have the right to initiate divorce. I even had to give HIS parents closure. And I made the most of every moment of my son’s first two years and he is the happiest and most peaceful toddler now. I did whatever I could to protect myself and heal. I managed to pass my graduate exams, and I am writing my dissertation now with my two year old. I never planned to be a single mother but I know it was me and my son since the day I conceived him because my ex was never really there. And I wouldn’t have it any other way because I have done a damn good job. My ex got engaged to the poor idiot 4 months after our divorce, got married 3 months later, has no idea how to be a father, didn’t change one bit and is still unemployed and depressed. I am inching towards Tuesday and I still feel very raw pain time to time, but I know I am not building a house of cards. I am building a castle made of bricks. Hence Queen (I’m not the narcissist).

  • Last Christmas Eve, my husband walked out on me standing in front of the tree I’d just put his gifts under. He had a suitcase and said he was going to spend Christmas with his family. “But, I’m your family.” I said in disbelief. I was in a new town with no family or friends. Later, he told me about OW and his plan to divorce me.
    This past year has been constant heartbreak and turmoil as I repeatedly discovered more and more lies and shitiness and that he was a complete fraud for the whole 13 years of our marriage. I’ve struggled with matching up the wonderful memories with the truth.
    I spent 40 hours a week logging and analyzing every bank statement, credit card statement, every single item I found in his office or in the trash on the tiny flash drive I found on his office floor after he’d moved out his computer system. I wanted to understand what the fuck had happened and his court papers saying we were $300K in debt meant I needed to get a handle on how he had handled the finances because clearly the man did not handle anything. I sent numerous spreadsheets and essays to my lawyer trying and trying to get him to understand the depth, deviousness, and complexity of my particular divorce.
    I spend hours seeing an excellent therapist who finally convinced me to stop doing the pick me dance (he’d come back to reconcile on New Year’s). then she convinced me that this whole fucked up situation had nothing NO THING, not a bloody thing! to do with me. And she causally mentioned narcissism and that led me to the horror of discovering what that was all about and how well it fit to stbx’s behavior. Suddenly my “he’s been SO exhausted and overwhelmed and I think he’s having a mid-life crisis” theory was shot full of holes.
    I filed for divorce, I kept seeing the therapist, I attended a divorce group, I joined meet ups and met new people, I walked over and introduced myself to my neighbors, I volunteered for neighbor activities, and I grieved the end of my marriage and the life and husband I had loved. And my in-laws, I loved them too.
    I sold a lot of stuff, gave away a lot of stuff, gave the lawyers over $25k, cried a lot, cursed a lot, and did a tiny bit of stalking because that kept me sane. I considered both suicide and homocide, repeatedly. I cared for my puppies even when I didn’t shower for days. I took meds I’d never heard of for things I was reluctant to agree I had. I lost weight and sleep and my dignity and my mojo. I got strange offers from my male neighbors, who would stop by a lot. I struggled to keep my head and to find something, anything that felt normal. I was forced to move out of what was supposed to our dream home back to my home town and a small bedroom in my sister’s house.
    But angels kept appearing. The woman who delivered my iPhone and stayed and talked to me for an hour. The Mormon Sisters who just happened to knock on my door while I was wailing in agony, these young girls, unexperienced in heartbreak but able to comfort me with their love and caring. The dentist who not only filled my cavity but whitened and fixed my teeth cosmetically for free. And then called me that night to make sure I was okay. The man on the hiking trail, finding me foolishly without water on a hot day and shared his. The policeman who pulled me over for speeding but just gave me a warning. The neighbor who fixed a water leak, killed a snake, and helped me move the heavy stuff. The other neighbor who comforted me over the back fence and shared his own story of his father. And the woman across the street who would come over unannounced just when I needed the wine and the company. My sisters, all far away, each ready to take my call and to hear one more time how unfair! it all was. My son who came for Valentine’s Day so I wouldn’t have to be alone on what was “our holiday”. And my physician who hugged me close each and every time I saw her because she understood how much I needed that physical touch.
    All of this got me all the way to Christmas this year. I am struggling with the holiday but I am still here. I am rebuilding. I have plans for my future because these angels helped me see that there was going to be one. Today I baked cupcakes for a party being held tonight old friends in my old town where I now live.
    Life is not perfect, yet. But I am still here and my field of vision keeps widening. I am MIGHTY.

    • I am absolutely convinced that you have a great life now, however shaky it feels, and that you will make it even better because YOU CAN SEE THE ANGELS WHO COME TO HELP YOU. That’s mighty. That’s very mighty.

    • I read your post. I read all the posts. I cheer you on, just as I know you will cheer me on. You are all remarkable people dealing with such sadness. For that’s what it is. Sad for chumps and the children of chumps.
      I’ve just had our Christmas (my son and his wife and new baby are off to the States on Christmas Day). My FW has never seen his beautiful, glorious, first grandchild. I’m a year on. The first Christmas in another guise. It was difficult, but fine. I dressed the house, wrapped the presents and wanted it to feel the best it could feel and it did. My daughter’s new boyfriend cooked a fabulous meal. We ate, we drank, we marvelled at the new addition to our family and basically got on with it. I was sad, I will be sad for a long time. We were together over 30 years and most days I wake up thinking Wtf. But, it is what it is and, for now, he feels very sorry for himself. The damage done to me and our children is so, so, very sad.
      I come here often. I read your stories, that often sound like my stories and I marvel at you all and wish you well. We will all be ok, we will. I’m across the pond – but I empathise with each and every one of you and take my hat off to Chump Lady. Merry Christmas one and all.

  • Bless you, Chumpiness! It’s nice to hear your voice, I’m really touched that you remembered my story. I was so afraid back then that I couldn’t even say on the forum what my profession was. Now I can say it–she is the publicity assistant at my press, and she sucks! And he sucks for essentially killing my comfort level with my publishing house. But I am still going strong–performing all over the place, and good relationships there with the people who matter, who have integrity. A hug and happy holidays to you.

  • I’m not feeling particularly mighty today; I’ll spend time by myself on Christmas (again). At least I see the kids for half the day. But, I’m thankful for small things.
    The kids and I got the tree up, and decorated, last week.
    I put up my little corny Victorian village (you know, the ones that were the rage 10 years ago?). Another building is busted, but the rest of the little town still (mostly) lights up. It’s probably the last year for it; I can’t find inexpensive replacements any more.
    I got one strand of lights put up outside.
    I made some cookies for my outdoors club meeting.
    All my Christmas shopping is done.
    I got a trip planned for myself once the kids go spend the rest of Christmas break with their mom.

    • Sounds like a plan.

      But don’t give up on things that are “busted.” A little glue, a little wire, a little velcro, a little play-doh, Whatever it takes. 🙂

      • LovedAJackass (I love that name 🙂 ),
        I’ve done my best over the last few years, but I think the state of repairs may be too much for my little village. I’ve super-glued every little building at least once. I’ve patched wires, replaced bulbs, and even made make-shift trunks for a tree. Too many little accidents have taken their toll. The sign from Nick’s pub hangs out with wires dangling, several broken roofs couldn’t be salvaged, and the little man feeding the pigeons has lost both his hands. Most of the light-up features won’t work at all any more, and frankly I’m afraid they might be a fire hazard! I love this little Victorian Christmas village so much, it brings me so much joy at Christmas, but maybe it’s time to give up on it.

        • NO NO!! Go online to Estatesales.net and check out the sales. I see these little Victorian village scenes all the time!!!!! You can select sales within a specific mileage range and there are many photos on the sales sites.

  • This is my second time to go through this shit. First time was 2016 at the beginning of November when I discovered his phone calls to an out of state number. He had been shopping on Ashely Madison for some time. Met her in a city where he had a conference for work (but “nothing” happened-ugh). Hit him up about it. He moved out for a month. Said all the “right” things. We half-assed counseling (4 sessions). He, however went to a leader in the church and had someone to check on him daily. Meanwhile, my son was in his first year away at college (400+ miles away), my daughter was a sophomore in high school and heard the whole damn confrontation, and my mother was in the fight of her life battling breast cancer. I don’t know how I made it through that Christmas, but I did. My kids were struggling and did want me back with him (lots of back story with his treatment of us). I showed grace. I wish I had of run across chump lady then. But here I am again same time of year (November) 3 years later. Asshole doing the same shit. I did my homework for a week every day while he showered in the morning. I was able to get messages off KIK and hangout app. (So he had shopped again but found an AP close to do “nothing” with). Oh and all the pics of his wonderful lower body (if you know what I mean). I was a mess the whole week. But by Friday, November 1st, I had my booklet of phone records, pics of him, and screenshots of messages ready to give him. He wanted to lie…..again but soon realized I had way too much. I had told my adult kids (22 & 18 now) the night before that I was divorcing him this time. I also let him know that the kids and I wanted nothing to do with him. All of this is after living a school year apart (2018-2019) for his job in another city while my daughter finished her senior year in high school. I’m so mad about following him yet again for him to treat me like this! But I know that now. I am strong and will do life without him. I have my wonderful kids!! Court day is coming up soon (22 days).

  • For those of you that are new to the reality of it all- some tips:

    -It does get better over time- this is Christmas #3 for me since Dday, separation, and then divorce. Daughter insists on spending time with me for Christmas Eve and morning each year then heads to XW late morning and on. First year was sad at drop off, but it improves. Advice: Preplan the empty time with stuff. Check Meetup site- plenty of groups set up events like movies, hiking etc… If sitting on the couch alone watching movies will depress you, then don’t do it. Figure out other things to fill the time- take the dog for a walk in the park, go to the movie theater, etc… And whatever time you do have with your child- make the best of it, start NEW traditions for your new life.

    Your life has value. Hang in there.

  • I’m writing from 30,000 feet, returning from a phenomenal work day I had yesterday for a client in court (I’m a litigator). Dday was 5 years ago next week. 26 years together, 25 married, 4 kids. I was literally blindsided. I pick-me danced almost to my grave for 18 weeks after Dday. Finally, when X said he “couldn’t” stop seeing young golddigging OW (as opposed to the old, client OW that I later learned he also had at the same time!), I told him to GTFO. Rage ensued. He tried to destroy me financially in the divorce. I batted all the way to a week-long trial where I won every single hard asset we owned — and we are in a community property state! The Judge said he wished he could have given me more because XH’s income is 7x of mine. That was 3 years ago.

    I studied for and passed the bar exam in a new state (definitely a mighty-move as I hadn’t taken a bar exam for 20+ years), got a job as a partner and work remote in a new area of law, have sole custody of my teen (others are grown) and do a great job as a mom to all my kids — definitely the sane one! I have a significant other that is compatible with me and has no history of cheating or narcissism traits. We moved in together in 2018 and have so much fun and love and laughter and care between us. I shared that last week we went to Hawaii for an early Christmas present and before all of our 6 kids return for the holidays to stay with us. I feel mighty because I have healed enough to open my heart to love again — X did not rob me of the capacity to partner and love and bond.

    I have several fun trips planned with my kids in 2020 and hobbies and new career interests I am pursuing. I am reading a lot of literary fiction now — I was devastated to lose my interest in reading for pleasure for nearly three years after Dday, but it is slowly but surely coming back now — yay!

    My health is better than ever at 52. I started intermittent fasting and the keto diet 2 years ago and am smaller and fitter than I was at 18 while working out less (thank you Dr. Jason Fung and the amazing “Obesity Code” book I read two years ago).

    I hired a certified financial planner in 2019 and implemented all of his suggestions and found out that if I continue living within my means and earning, I will be ok in my older years. I am almost 100% debt free and moving steadily towards paying off my mortgage. No one can ever terrorize me about money again. I am in charge of my financial destiny now. XH used to control and manipulate me with fear of financial insecurity, which was total BS.

    For those of you that are in the depths of despair and terror, hang on! It will get better, I promise you. It may take a few years and the healing will seem to be glacially slow at times, but it will happen. You will survive this and will thrive one day.

  • * I got my act together and lost 27 pounds. I still have 15 to go to get back in my favorite work clothes.
    * New garage doors, another $8000 in tree work, engine repair on the tractor, money for help with leaf removal but I’m still on target to be able to retire when I’m ready to stop teaching full-time.
    * I’m building on all of the traditions I established after D-Day (which was at the end of November, 6 years ago. Replaced the sofa with one that reclines and has ports for charging phone and iPad. Got new winter bedding. Changing things up! Refreshing the house to reflect my own changing tastes.
    * Adopted an adorable kitten this time last year and now have a happy, blended unit of three felines.
    * Checked an item off the bucket list! I got to pet a baby tiger!
    * Finished a major project at work and I’m celebrating having worked around a lot of pissy people to build a strong program.
    * Bought a chain saw of my very own. And a backpack blower.

    This time last year, I didn’t feel mighty. I felt like a potato. But that’s the ebb and flow of things. Life smacks us around and sometimes we lose forward momentum. But one thing about the mightiness challenge–it reminds up to set goals, to value how we deal with adversity, and that we can always dust ourselves off and begin again.

    • LAJ, I’m so happy to hear that you are doing well! You helped me so much, with your kind and thoughtful posts…I hope you will add “inspired and gave hope and wisdom to newbie chumps” to you list.

      <3 Artemis.

    • Hi LAJ! I want a chain saw and a blower! 🤣🤣🤣. I have a great pressure washer, though! So satisfying to use.

  • I’m mighty because I am the example for my kids that my STBX never had. I respond to his dumbfuckery with dignity and restraint, and even though he treated me like crap, I refuse to be the source of more pain in the world. His family traditions – abuse, narcisism, victimization, neglect – will effectively end with my kids’ generation. I will surround them with examples of compassion, personal responsibility, integrity and strength – starting with ME.

    And cookies – because I just replaced the oven that he took apart 2 years ago and left me to deal with.

    Best to everyone – stay strong! 🙂

  • 1 year 8 months here.
    Don’t recognize myself, inside or out.
    So much healthier.
    I’ve done lots of stuff, slogged through a lot of dark days but what I feel the most proud of?
    Not thinking of him. He’s not in my head anymore.
    Fucking sweet relief.
    On the occasion that I do think of him, my voice inside is stronger, solid and lovingly walks me away from that bastard’s lies.
    Chump Nation and Chump Lady got it goin’ on…
    solidarity.

  • My ex reached out to me twice recently and I remained no contact. I actually laughed at the absurdity of him thinking – after al the fucked up lies and cheating and non-disclosure of life long venereal disease – that I would even reply back. HAHAHAHAHAH! I couldn’t get out of bed and truly lost my way post D-DAY. I needed therapy and thought life wasn’t worth living for… A year and half later, I’m laughing and feeling blessed with how happy I am. My savior is Tracy, this community, a willingness to change and NO CONTACT. It might be simple but knowing I’m no longer pining away or excited to receive that email was a HUGE win for me. I feel mighty. I don’t need him or anyone else to make me happy. My head is on straight again and I will never step foot on a crazy train ever again.

  • After spending 23 years as a pastor’s wife who made thousands of cookies and meatballs for the annual Christmas tea (and did ALL kin-keeping holiday activities bc he was “too busy”), I’m finally free. He had an affair with a female slut-pastor 15 years younger and burned down our lives. 10 months after D-Day, I bought a house, renovated it, and can truly say I’ve worked in the best interests of my four daughters.
    Ex has daughters this Christmas, so I did what I’ve NEVER been able to do over the holidays: bought a ticket to Miami Beach. I think this is the beginning of a new tradition! Go me!!!

  • I moved out and set up lovely home. Closed joint accounts. Retained lawyer. Lost 35 pounds. Kept friends and made new ones. Re-connected with family of origin. Volunteered in community. Walked in nature. One year sober. Traveling for Christmas to see cousins and then attend a retreat. Next year – file for divorce. Heart broken, but mighty. Thanks to all. I truly couldn’t have done it without you.

  • Congratulations on your one year, lemonhead! Woo hoo! 31 years sober myself and there are others in recovery on this site as well who have shared about their recovery (Velvet Hammer also has 30+ years)😘😘😘😘

  • I refinanced the house so it is MINE. I bought new (used) furniture. I purged every single thing of his from the house right down to his childhood Xmas tree ornaments (which I boxed up nicely and gave to him). I have organized the house and taken care of my wonderful children and started new traditions. I have done my best to fill our lives with light.

    My 25 year old daughter and I have started collecting yarn from whoever and wherever. We sort it into colors that go together – and then we crochet afghans. Dozens! And then we donate them all to a domestic women’s shelter to be given to the women as a gift for their new home once they leave the shelter. (Each one would retail online for about $80.) My husband only threatened to hit me but I understand it on some level – and I want these other women to know that they deserve beautiful things.

  • This year has been difficult. I definitely feel like it’s had me on the ropes, but I am still fighting. We had a huge financial disaster when we temporarily lost our public assistance, my youngest was diagnosed with ADHD, and to top it all off the apartment we’d been on a waiting list for over the last couple years became available right around Thanksgiving. So we need to move in the next couple weeks, and it’s only my 13-year-old son, my six-year-old daughter and I who will have to do all the packing, sorting, and organizing to go through 16 years worth of stuff. I am completely heartbroken because I love this home, but due to the devastation we went through financially after the divorce, we can no longer remain here. I have no idea how long it’s gonna take for the house to sell since it is a buyers market here in West Michigan, and I have no idea how the hell I’m going to afford rent plus the mortgage plus Utilities, and the kids are very unhappy that they have to leave our neighborhood, their friends and their schools. But I keep trying to tell them that family is who you are not where you are, and that as long as we have the three of us, we will make it somehow. Big gentle hugs to all the chumps out there and I hope we all get through the holidays the best we can.

    • You are amazing, Cakeless – changing homes is difficult under the best of circumstances and you are doing under emotional distress. Yet you still took time to wish the rest of us well! Your kids will learn from your resilience and generosity. Your message about family is a powerful one – it will be there for them during dark times in their lives and that’s a beautiful gift.

    • Careless,

      One of my kids has special needs, and we, too, had to move (to a different county). I had no house to lose, though, just most of life savings.
      My kids generally seem to have adapted to new school district. I hope that your kids do, too.

      I have been out of full-time work for nearly one year. This holiday season, I continue to write papers on topics I know nothing about for jobs interviews (I was a researcher), even though I keep embarrassing myself in interviews for jobs I would love to have. Getting rejected from minimum wage jobs, too. Got to keep trying, though, to keep kids sheltered. I really feel for the homeless and try to do something charitable each week. At the rate I’m going, my income may soon qualifying my family for life on the street.

    • Cakeless, I’m so sorry to hear of your financial struggles and having to move, but I am glad you wrote in. I was wondering how you were doing. I hope your son can really pitch in to help you.

      Sending hugs and praying for you and your family.

  • Last night while I was out, I got a text from my home-from-college son: would I please iron some pants for him? By 8am? At 1:30 am after I got home from the fun night, my boyfriend (bf? still can’t believe it) stood there talking to me while I ironed pants. He asked me why my son needed ironed pants so urgently. I explained that ‘she’ had arranged for my grown kids to have portraits made as a Christmas gift for Ex.

    He laughed. “Oh so you are having to make sure the woman your Ex had an affair with can give the perfect gift to your ex-husband? That’s funny.”

    “Yep,” I said with a press of spray starch. And I laughed mightily.

  • This is pretty well timed for me.

    I saw my therapist yesterday and told her that I had seen a lawyer and arranged to go back in January to start the divorce process.

    Fuckwit is still acting like we are a happy family and I am playing the game through xmas. Letting him believe that he has his feet back under the table.

    So me and my therapist were discussing the best way to break it to him. I need to write a petition with 5 examples of unreasonable behaviour unless he is willing to admit adultery (which he won’t). I am hoping that if I tell him before he receives the petition he will opt to admit adultery rather than have a judge know what a complete wanker he is but I am not banking on it.

    Anyway as I was about to leave my therapist asked “are you proud of yourself?”

    I had to stop and think for a minute but when she reminded me how much of an indecisive mess i was a couple of months ago and how far i have come since…..i had to say Hell YES

    I may still be living with him
    I may still be in limbo
    He may still think he has me fooled

    But I am standing up. I am not pick me dancing. I know that he sucks!

    I am mighty!

    • Undiscovered,
      Why do you need a petition? Can’t you just get a divorce? I don’t know of any judge (I had five) who cares about adultery (or prostitution, theft of marital funds, harm of children, illegal drug use, or perjury—at least when it comes to my now ex-husband).

          • And we now have online divorce which if fw doesn’t contest it and the judge considers my examples, of which I have many, strong enough the divorce could be final within 4 months.

            Wishful thinking but you never know

  • Sorry it’s been so long since I checked in. Was keeping operational security in mind. 4 1/2 years from DDay, 27 years married, 2 grown children. What seemed to be a never-ending Court battle has ended, with much relief. Wow, it has been a wild ride! I have fought a legal battle with STBX’s partnership, with my wonderful attorney’s, until last week. Funding gone. BUT, I, Mighty ME, showed up to that goddamned hearing representing myself, and I NEGOTIATED AND SETTLED WITH THE PARTNERS, RIGHT THERE IN THE HALLWAY OF THE COURT. Three lawyers (about +$1,000/hr collectively?) and ME! I went 100% Professional HoneyBadger, made a deal I can be proud of, then went back in and reported to the Judge that we had reached an agreement!!! Paperwork is underway and deal to be executed by Dec 31st. HAPPY HAPPY NEW YEAR!!! If I can do THAT, and I have survived my life being torpedoed at 56, sold home of 30 years, moved out of state, all by mighty little self, I have Nothing Left to Fear!! I will stare down whatever comes at me and watch it burn.
    Then it’s just a matter of divorce paperwork. Goal for January 2020: Final Divorce.
    Other than legal matters, I don’t give a thought to what STBX is doing. I guess that’s a step closer to Meh.

    Happy Holidays to ChumpLady and ChumpNation! I would not be here today if it weren’t for you all. IRL, I’ve still got my old time-tested friends and I’ve made some new friends along the way too! I’ve had to edit few people out of my inner circle, which I’ve done with kindness for the most part, but set my boundaries firmly. I have ZERO drama in my personal relationships. I’ve taken up painting again and rediscovered a great deal about who I am and what makes me happy. I’m going to be alright!!

    Also planning to add a doggo to my little household this year, so got my radar up to adopt some adorable little puppster! I found myself laying on the floor getting hugs from a cute 85lb golden retriever the night before Court. I need that kind of positivity in my life on the regular. 😉

    Parts of my life are still a dumpster fire, don’t get me wrong, but more like a controlled burn instead of an inferno. Those remaining problems can be solved with cash, which it appears, is forthcoming. Finally!

    Hang in there, it really does get better!!!

    • This was an inspiring read. I’m having a lot of anxiety about the divorce process (and it’s moving slowwww), and dreading having to see him in person at court. I keep experiencing this mental block – like I can’t possibly start my recovery process until the papers are signed. I get so agitated and angry whenever I think about still being legally married to that fuckwit.

      Reading your comment makes me realise that the divorce is just a piece of paper, recovery can actually start now.

  • True Story: I have met delightful chumps from this site in real life. Two of them are going to be my best friends for life. We get together as often as we can. We’ve spent the night at each other’s places. I’m going to suggest we go to Mexico together the next time we meet up. They are hilarious, super smart, great sports and gorgeous inside and out. Just goes to show you that Chumps are the BEST !! Merry Christmas to CN and CL. I love you all.

  • I’ve hit a new milestone – I’ve stopped crying (finally, 2 months after D-Day) and managed to hang onto my job. My initial reaction when he dropped the stink-bomb was to take a few months off from work to recover, or even quit entirely. Funny how my job turned out to be a life-saver instead, keeping my sanity intact in the early days…. when it felt so overwhelming.

    I’ve hardly left the house though, and still plan to hide at home until the holiday season is over. I don’t think I could bear the sight of happy families walking around everywhere. My goal is to leave the house and start venturing into the outside world when 2020 arrives. I’ve just finished reading Leave a Cheater, Gain a Life this afternoon, and have decided I really need to kick myself in the ass to get out of this depression.

    I have a question for other chumps – what was the recovery process like for you all? I was so relieved when the tears finally stopped, it felt like I’ve finally reached the very first stage of ‘meh’. However, now it’s just replaced with a numb and empty feeling in my heart. And I wonder if I’ll ever feel human / alive again. I’ve been keeping myself busy by reading a lot of self-help books, but some days I can’t even manage that, and end up just staring a the wall blankly.

    My thoughts always go back to blaming myself, for never realising he was a sociopath all these years. I’m struggling to accept the fact that he had an affair with a married AP, destroying 2 marriages at the same time. It’s not even case of zero moral principles, it’s more like negative-100-percent… I’ve always taken pride in my ability to read other people’s characters, so I’m so stunned that I’ve made the biggest mistake of all. A real chump.

    I’ve finally accepted that the cheater is not worth my tears, or love. I no longer feel any affection for him, but I’m still going through the grief of losing my marriage, my identity as a wife, and my place in society. To make things worse, my married friends are acting like I have leprosy, and are nervously avoiding me, adding to my loneliness.

    How long should I let myself wallow in sadness before I set a time limit on it? I feel so lonely and lost in, and the world suddenly seems so vast and scary.

    (Sorry, I know this is supposed to be a positive comment about being mighty, but it kinda went downhill, oops. The wounds are still so raw. I still do consider it a small victory that I’m no longer crying about it, and I’m finally sleeping through the night)

    • Oh you are mighty! 2 months and you’ve stopped crying? AND you sleep through the night? AND you trust that he sucks? That is massive mighty in 2 months. Soon you will be out of the house per your admission. That’s major steps forward.

      I cried daily for 9 or 10 months. Now it’s just a whimper here and there every day. Not flat out balling. I look forward to the day when I can look myself in the mirror and not break down in tears at how skinny, sickly and drawn Out I look. Li lost 60 pounds ( I needed to lose some but now I’m just too sickly looking) I just started sleeping through the night about 3 weeks ago. I’m 11 months post DDay and 1 month past divorce.

      My mighy has come in the fact that I kept my sobriety. I almost gave it up on DDay in order to party with him because he “wants to have fun” don’t ya know! Only he doesn’t want to do it with me. He chose alcohol over me. And his drunkard girlfriend, just like him! I am mighty to have maintained my sobriety over this. 9 years.

      And I investigated and found the adultery evidence. He denied the affair this whole time. Leveraged it in court and got the house and all assets 100%. Mighty indeed! So now I have my kids, my sobriety and my house. Now to gain my sanity And my life back bit by bit. I’ll get it back.

      • Thank you for the kind words and encouragement 🙂 This is my first time reaching out to a divorce community, and I can really see the difference in this site. I do have a very solid support system offline – my family and friends who have been glueing back all my broken pieces. But at the end of the day, the loneliness still really hits me when they don’t really understand the true darkness and despair inside my heart.

        Some of them even liken it to a normal relationship breakup, which is not really the same – you don’t stand in front of all your friends and family and say your vows. You don’t have kids, and you don’t dream of growing old together. You don’t carry around that stigma of ‘divorce’, like a neon light flashing above your head everywhere you go.

        I’m so glad you managed to get evidence of the adultery and fight it out in court. At least some justice was served! I wasn’t able to, and was even blamed for the failure of the marriage. But oh well, but like Chump Lady says, stop waiting for the karma bus!

        Have a good holiday with your family (the real ones who really do care!), and take care 🙂

        • How kind of you to offer your splendid words of encouragement! I appreciate it. The darkness and despair of being chumped cannot be understood by the average person. We get it here. Keep reading here. It’s helped me daily through my darkest days. I could not have made it out alive without reading daily here.

    • It amazes me how much we chumps have in common. Unless one has experienced the emotional abuse that infidelity is, one will never truly understand the trauma it causes. Tracy’s book was a lifesaver to me and helped me detach from my cheating stbx wife of 30 years. Besides having affairs, she would often put me down even though (or perhaps because) I am more educated and accomplished than she is. She would lie about little things so much, I have often thought her middle name should be “Bullshit.” There is no doubt that she has a personality disorder, like many cheaters, and I am feeling a sense of liberation now that I am becoming free of her. I “spackled” her throughout our marriage and now see her as she really is. I spent Thanksgiving and I am spending Christmas with my three grown children and am taking them to Hawaii next month. My ex is currently vacationing in Mexico. She doesn’t reach out to our kids as she seems to lack a mothering gene. I still have a hard time forgiving myself for having such poor judgement in choosing a spouse, but I do feel better when I focus on my kids and on the future. I don’t think you can put a time limit on your sadness or force it to go away. Anger and sadness are a part of being a chump and they will dissipate over time. I think it is important to develop new social circles, hobbies and other activities. Focus on your own needs and your own future. One of the most painful consequences of infidelity is the feeling of being unloved. Cheaters, who have demonstrated an ability to lie pathologically, live double lives and carelessly hurt the people they should love most, may not have the capacity to show real love. When you are ready and can open your heart, real love is out there, just know your boundaries and “fix your picker.” I know think that D-day was a blessing in disguise in that I know longer wonder why my ex treated me the way she did. Sure, she would throw me crumbs of affection, but I could always sense an underlying hostility and when I discovered the truth about her cheating, it was an epiphany to me about her true nature. I shudder to think that I could have spent the rest of my life married to a woman I had suspected for decades as being unfaithful, if she hadn’t accidentally left her email account open almost 2 years ago. I still have moments of sadness and anger, but they are less and less frequent. I wish you happy holidays and I know life will get better for you!

      • Pardon the spelling errors.

        I meant to say “I now think that D-day was a blessing and I no longer wonder why my ex treated me the way she did”

        • Thanks for highlighting the ‘spackling’ and ‘picker’ parts of the books. You are so right, I ‘spackled’ a lot of red flags in the relationship. And I totally get what you mean about being put down. I was constantly put down in a lot of areas in my life because of a better education and higher earning power. I started to develop a really low self-esteem, even afraid of asking for raises at work in fear of earning more then him. You are right that we all do have a lot in common! Seriously, someone should create a Chumps-Only-No-Cheaters-Allowed dating website.

          I keep telling myself D-Day is a blessing as well, because I’ve regained the family and friends that I’ve lost over the years, due to my obsession with fixing a broken marriage….

          What you’ve said about them being pathological liars and leaving double lives, that’s what haunts me the most. I can get over the feelings and love I have for him (he sucks!!!), but to reconstruct my reality and perceptions of what a human being is truly capable of – that’s the part I’m struggling with. It’s really hard to understand it as a chump – all I know is honesty, love, respect. It’s so maddening how someone could lie and still sleep at night! He was sleeping like a baby the night before D-Day!

          Thanks for sharing your experience, and happy happy holidays to you 🙂

    • This journey is nonlinear and you are on your own timeline. Make no apologies and please know that none of this had anything to do with you. CN is here if you ever need questions answered, spew after a hard day or a resource for empowerment (and maybe even a rare smile). I found CL after my May 2018 divorce, and it’s been a lifesaver. You will discover that cheaters area all the same unimaginative narcissistic black hearted soulless creatures from Planet A**hat.

      It’s good that you have a job, family and friends to support you. Make sure you have a good legal team in place, because unfortunately, it all comes down to money. Bring the GFs with you to court if you need the support. Go as completely No Contact as you possibly can. If I could go back in time, that’s the one thing I would do over!

      One day at a time.

    • Honest people can not fathom the behavior of there psychos. I’ve been in shock and denial and even with a strong gut feeling and some evidence I just did not want to believe he could be THAT bad. My cute, sweet, kind, sensitive, genius husband. No way that he’s a cheating, whoring, lying manipulator who had drugs delivered to our home. But he is and I’m still trying to wrap my mind around it as I wait for the STD test results. I’m not stupid, I’m a chump.

  • I haven’t been feeling mighty.

    Grief is on its own timeline. I feel I should be happier, but its been a hard couple months. I write this to any new chump who (as I did) looked up old posts right after discovering CL. This is hard stuff.

    The butterfly goes through a complete transformation to become its lovely self.

    I’ve had lovely times recently. And Im better without the idiot; even now. Transformation takes time. And I want the real thing; real true love. And so I have to go through transformation even though it hurts.

    Somehow, that is mighty in itself; to grow, change, and evolve. I think. I trust.

  • Late, but I wanted to say thank you for all the beautiful, powerful testimonies and also to mark my own growth. Two years out…because of fw’s shenanigans, this is my first Christmas with my son since 2016. The first year was more dramatic in terms of mightiness, but I am becoming more anchored and starting to find my agency: I was promoted and received a raise, took on new projects/leadership roles for work and secured grant funding for these projects; I’m continuing to save towards a downpayment. I took tap lessons and several trips out-of-state, and reconnected with old friends. I am working to restore my health. My son still suffers from his father’s actions, but I am finding my feet and my confidence as a single mother, even as X seeks to rattle me. And this is silly, but I have revived my long-subdued sense of style–I think it’s one gingerly step towards taking up more space and allowing myself to be seen.

    Thank you CN for being there.

    • Oops, I meant to type “at work.” Also: I no longer grieve for X, my marriage, or my “intact” family. I still carry a lot of rage, which I am trying to move. But I like myself and my life more now—and I am starting to know my own strength and worth.

  • My ex hat would not agree to let me have christmas morning every year even though I live 1000s of miles from family. So i’ve given up on Christmas morning at home and will make new traditions with my four beautiful heartbroken children (average age 7) This year traveling for a brief ski holiday and let my mom play Mrs. Claus. That’s what I try to recreate anyway. My body aches from getting them to and from lessons and my own 1st day on the slopes, and I had to agree to give half of my alimony to their college fund which he was supposed to pay for anyway, but I took comfort in being the better person. Trying to feel mighty.

  • Here’s my mighty: two hours ago, I ended what I thought was a blossoming relationship because I discovered him inappropriately texting another woman. He’s a man I had slowly been developing a friendship with over the past year, and we had started to move things forward. It has been 2.5 years since the catastrophic D-day with the Kaiser of Loathesomeness.

    I was honest with this new person (also my first person after the Kaiser) about my history, and told him that I could live with disappointment if he wanted to end the relationship, but I was not going to accept a cheating fuckwit ever again.

    My heart hurts because of the betrayal and because I thought I’d fixed my picker. My heart also beats with pride because I didn’t spackle, pick-me-dance or equivocate. I ended it, and am now at work, on an overnight shift, keeping it together.

    Thank you CN and CL for helping me grow.

  • It seems that many of you have not only have thrived, but have also gone on to find new partners. I would like to see a post that allows you all to tell us how you found love again. I’m very wary of trying any online dating. At any rate, reading your “new love” stories would be inspirational.

  • I went today to get tested for STD’s and I was completely cool and didn’t even cry.
    After STBX’s newest lie proved to me my suspicion that he’s had sex with a prostitute (at least once but how much stuff there is that I don’t know about…) and the fact that my health is crap, I want to know for sure. I just got this sick feeling yesterday, did some googling, an apparently 5 STD’s don’t necessarily show any symptoms at all! And I’m sure STBX had one STD treated last year after a trip abroad. He claims the antibiotics were for some mystical nose infection. Yeah right. He could easily prove it to me by showing his medical records. I wonder why he hasn’t…

    I have thoughtful gifts for my lovely, spirited daughter and we’ll spend the Christmas with my sister’s family and a few other relatives. Our new apartment is empty and just waiting for us to get the money stuff sorted out and we’ll move hopefully in a couple of weeks.

    I have an appointment with a psychiatrist and I plan to ask for a sick leave. I work for my own company but it’s still possible as I’ve been paying insurance for retirement /unemployment /sickness.

    We will live a stone’s throw away from the beach, by the sea. I will change my last name and I will live happily and peacefully with my daughter and cats and I’ll never fall for sociopathic mindfuckery again.

    God is with me, and the truth is on my side. I’ve been through hell the past five years and though I would readily give away the most painful days, I never knew I could be this strong. I am mighty.
    Happy narc-free Christmas to all fellow chumps!

  • Total NC with xh. He has managed to send a holiday card for my adult daughter to my house, last 4 years, postmarked on our old wedding anniversary. Used to strike me as a “jab” at me, but gave the card to kid anyhow.

    This year, during a holiday luncheon at my house, daughter questioned, I said “It’s the 21st. Will be in mailbox”. People at the table were like, “Naw”.

    It was. Was not even a blip on my emotional radar, except what a predictable pud he still is.

    Now that she’s moved out, maybe that will end. Dos not matter…

  • After DDay, I was diagnosed with MDD, GAD and CPTSD. Anti-anxiety/anti-depressant meds calmed my frantic mind and depression enough to function again. I reached out to my local women’s shelter for support to process the abuse/trauma (weekly individual counselling and group therapy programs). Finally, after four years, my brain and body are almost recovered. And I feel hopeful about the future.

    I supported my daughter to recover from severe anxiety and depression (weekly therapy, meds, and daily mom support). She is a freshman at college – and loving her life again.

    But the mightiest thing I have done is hire a divorce attorney! dim continues to gaslight/lie, but now it’s all being documented! When we go to court he will no doubt try his usual “I never said that” or “I never did that” (regularly withdrew thousands in cash) or “I forgot” (forgot to disclose all his income). Bank statements and tax returns are my new best friends.

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