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“People Don’t Want to be Called ‘Chump'”

Dear Chump Lady,

I like a lot of what you have to say, but I find your aggressive writing style makes me uncomfortable.

People who get abused by infidelity don’t want to be called a “chump.”

Can’t you find a more neutral word that captures what you want without insulting people who are already feeling the worst they can feel?

Honestly, i do agree with you. Infidelity is abuse. I just don’t think the way you write helps the case any.


Dear Barry,

I guess I missed the meeting of the Universal Order of the Betrayed where you were elected spokesperson.

I don’t have a “neutral” word because infidelity is not a neutral experience. There’s a bad actor and there’s a victim. There’s a con and there’s a dupe. There is a cheater and there is a chump.

You can’t really wrap your arms around a problem unless you know exactly what you’re dealing with. That’s why I prefer descriptive language to euphemisms.

I chose the word “chump” deliberately. I wanted this place to cut through the bullshit and call a thing a Thing. Thus, you’ll see no soppy “betrayed spouses” here. (Not everyone who is chumped is married, and you’re more than the experience of betrayal.) Nor do I brook the nonsense of “wayward.”

“Wayward” sounds soft in the head. Like they weren’t off pre-meditatedly boinking someone they met on Craigslist but rather got befuddled, lost their car keys, and couldn’t find their way home until a kindly adult came and pinned the directions on their sweater.

Chumped means you got fooled. You cannot be conned without a con artist (see “Wayward”). You were played for a stupid person, but that doesn’t mean you’re stupid. It is, however, meant to be a verbal slap — “HEY, YOU’RE GETTING PLAYED!”

I’m not trying to insult you, I’m trying to get you to see the abusive dynamic. “Hey! FRIENDLY KITTEN AHEAD!” doesn’t convey the same gravitas.

Finally, Barry — I get what you’re saying, but your aggressive writing style makes me uncomfortable.   It’s like telling a woman she should smile more. I’m a friendly person, but this is not a friendly topic. It’s a painful topic and my language reflects that. It’s also swear-y and profane and snarky.

If you don’t think I “help the case” any, why don’t you go create a support site, get 5.5 million people to come to it, flip 29 million page views, write a book, get it published with a big 5 publisher, sell the audio rights, earn out your advance, get optioned for a TV series, and get back to me, ‘K?

Ask Chump Lady

Got a question for the Chump Lady? Or a submission for the Universal Bullshit Translator? Write to me at [email protected]. Read more about submission guidelines.
    • I agree with the writer. Chump sounds too much like, Stupid Person. Should have known better. My fault.

      No, it is not my fault. I am not stupid. I may have been taken advantage of but it wasn’t because I was stupid and I did nothing to deserve this.

      • Have you read here? Did anyone call you stupid or that you deserved this? Stop it already.

        • I read here almost every day. The word Chump, to me, implies something less than normal. See this from Webster:

          Chump – dupe, gull, mug [chiefly British], patsy, pigeon, pushover, sap, soft touch, sucker, tool

          • Which is exactly what we all were when we were cheated on. Saps. Suckers. That doesn’t make us bad people or stupid people. It makes us loving and trusting people who were taken advantage of by the one person we should have been able to trust above all others. In other words: chumps.

            • Plus, the point is that we WERE Chumps. If you spend any time here, you become MIGHTY. THAT is the point!

              • Barry, were getting all grammatical here. If I can pin it down, perhaps you don’t like chump as a descriptive noun of who you ARE. I get that.

                Chump may be a description of what we WERE when we were being conned, duped, fooled etc, but now that we have gained a mighty life, some of us would prefer an honorific more like “Superhuman”. Or “Once Was Chump”. Or as a verb, which references the cheater a little more specifically: “The Chumped”.

                But everyone knows that semantics arguments are BORING. So let’s just leave it in the magnificent Chump Lady’s capable hands and trust she only does what’s good for us.

            • You can only be a ‘chump’ if someone ‘chumps’ you. They made us chumps for them. It’s not a life time sentence. We are chumps because of their shit and duplicitiousness…..

          • Yup, those words all describe me, in my relationship with Narc Cheater, pretty much perfectly! I was a dupe, a pushover, a soft touch, a CHUMP. I trusted WAY past the point of ‘really, how smart is this?’. I spackled behaviours that now horrify me – and should have then, too. I gave him the benefit of the doubt far far far too often. I projected MY values onto him (while he was projecting his onto me ….). I made his life easy, then easier and easier. I maintained his image w/our kids, our circle in general (but people saw through him anyway), and did all I could to coach him into maintaining it at work. I behaved as I thought I should, as a caring person and loving spouse, and when he didn’t reciprocate, I let that go, and explained it away, and stepped up MY game.

            Definitely, in that dictionary there should be a picture of me under ‘Chump’. And I know it wasn’t stupidity on my part (I’m actually way smarter than him, it turns out), it was CHUMPINESS, which is not at all the same thing.

            • Oh yes, you had me at projecting…same…I like chump because it makes me feel that I’m NOT an idiot—only trusting, I’m NOT weak —though strong enough to recognize I can’t change a cheater but I can leave one, and that there are a lot of chumps with hearts like mine— JUST like there are a lot of people with NO morals or empathy.

            • I kinda agree with Chump Lady here…chump is succint and to the point and sums up nicely my personal experience of believing what I wanted to be true. Others could see but I read books about saving a marriage singlehand, clung to the smallest signs of the outcome I wanted while willfully ignoring huge red flags. To me being chumped is more than being lied to and cheated upon…though that is a big part of it. Its the clinging on to a sinking ship of a relationship at the expense of your self respect, enduring indignity, pretending and covering up, convincing yourself that somehow it will all come right when all the evidence suggests it wont.
              Anyone can be lied to and betrayed but being chumped usually involves our cooperation after a certain point.
              CL and CN showed me that my cheater experience was really rather commonplace and that my situation was happening all over the world…the same tired old lines that I had taken hope from were being repeated almost word for word everywhere from Texas to Tipperary! I fully participated in my chumping, pick me danced and attempted reconciliation on the slimmest of reason for belief.
              Tiptoeing around the truth and keeping my head in the sand done me no favours.
              We can decide to unchump ourselves but it is tough…if we get as far as CL then we know enough to be honest with ourselves.
              If people dont like being chumps they they dont have to be them…or they can be them but call it something else…or they can find another site that fits in better with where they are at. I was a true chump and still have chumpy moments and like AA I am willing to own that…it truly is the first step.

          • If you find the word “triggering” substitute it for something else. I don’t know what to tell you.

          • Also, I find it confusing that you take offense to the absolute main term on this site. A site I’m assuming you find helpful as people who frequent here. Why would you take the time to complain about it, unless you just enjoy complaining or taking offense where none was intended.

            Coming to to complain about the term “chump” is like visiting and bitching because there’s too many cats. It makes zero sense.

            • I did not say I was offended. Neither did the original writer. I can only speak for myself but what I feel is that the word implies I am to blame or at least share the blame. I know that this website does NOT intend that meaning and goes to great lengths to ensure that the cheated do not feel they should take the blame.

              So whatever, great site. The word Chump seems to me to not be the ideal term to describe me but I still love the site and didn’t mean to trigger everyone else. Sorry. I’m not complaining or bitching. Just agreeing with the original writer who, IMHO, was ganged up on and berated beyond a reasonable degree.

              • I love this site. It has helped me enormously. HOWEVER, I know 2 “chumps” who are reeling from cheater discoveries and are too furious to come to the site –

                BECAUSE of the term “chump”!

                They resent the hell out of the implication that they were stupid. Maybe it’s too soon for them, or maybe they’ll never visit this site. But the writer and CHEATED are not alone in finding the term “chump” off putting.

                I admit, I also did.

                I still decided to visit this site though I don’t recall how I overcame my reluctance. Anyhow, it is very funny & damn insightful so I’m glad.

                But I don’t think the writer of the letter was being sexist in the way a man saying “smile more honey, you’d look prettier that way” would – (which was actually said to me on a plane to my dad’s funeral).

                Anyway, I’m just writing to say that this guy isn’t alone in having trouble with the term, nor is he alone in discovering the level of duplicity of his spouse painful as hell.

                I’d say the single worst thing about all of this is how frustrating it is for me to see that MY ROLE in the divorce was in believing garbage way past the point of rational intelligent behavior dictates. I must have been asleep, but I’m awake now.

                Hopefully we are all EX CHUMPs as in, “Never again.”

            • CL isn’t everyone’s cup of tea – but if the word “chump” really bothers someone, they should find another site or support group, not criticize CL and demand she CHANGE TO SUIT THEM. CL – you saved my life and sanity. We love you. You do you.

          • Agree. I’ve been helped by this site and all of the members here for years, while the member forum existed. Were we all “chumps” by thinking that the forums would exist forever? No. We were people in a relationship via an online community. We rode it out with truth and dedication, barfed out stories and souls out, in earnest and even embarrassment at times, until one of us changed our minds about the continuance of the forums. yet, all of our secrets are still out there. We are not fools for thinking that that bond would exist forever, right?
            Anyway – I’ve never subscribed to being a Chump anything. I am not any victim. Not a fool of any sort. Don’t let negativity distract you from any of the positive growth given here, though. Things change. Sometimes unilaterally. In a marriage or long-term partnership, when one person cheats, it is all on them for betraying the pact. Which is why I’ll always refer to my x as the cheating partner and myself as the betrayed partner. I was betrayed, plain and simple. And that only adds to my strength as a human.
            While the word “chump” takes away from me as a person.

        • Clearly Barry and Cheated have completely missed the point. And with a name like “cheated” I think it’s pretty clear why. 😀

          • Beth, what a stupid, disrespectful comment. Your comment, and others like yours, demonstrates the ugly side of CN, where any different opinions, however respectful, are met with high agression.

            We are better than this.

            • Amen catharsis2017. Good for you for coming forward. I agree that comment was WAY out of line.

            • Thank you catharsis.

              Also, its not like I want CL to change the name of the site. That would be nuts. Just wanted to defend the fact that it is ok for Barry and others to not like the word.

              I do understand though the avid followers defending the word. Its like the true fans of the Washington Redskins. I bet there are a lot of them that agree with Native Americans that the name could be seen as pejorative by some. Still, those fans would never advocate for a name change.

              It is just a name. It is what it is. Come to the game or not. Come to the site or not. I choose to come. I find it helpful. I bet Barry does too.

              • No, I’m a long time follower and big contributor while the member forums existed – and I have never felt comfortable with the title of “chump”. I’m no fool. I was betrayed by a person I trusted. B/W in my book. He is a cheater, I was betrayed. I leave the whole mess betrayed but now flawed, not a mess, not anything less than I entered our marriage as. Still me, still trusting and hopeful to meet another honest person in my future. None oof this is on me, so why would I ever take the title of being dubbed a “chump”??! Ahahahah, uh, nope!

            • catharsis2017

              While I applaud your effort to defend opposing opinions, to use the word “stupid” belies the true heart of a CHUMP. That word made me physically flinch, as it’s how my Ex and his now Wife attempted to make me feel in an effort to empower themselves. Words like that hurt and diminish your extremely valid point.

              I agree–we are better than this.

              • NotbLUEinTC
                I did not call Beth stupid. I called her comment stupid and disrespectful, which I still think it is, and there is an important difference. I would never call anyone stupid.

          • Wow, wow, wow…holy f’ing victim blaming Beth. So absolutely not okay.

            Berry and Cheated can have their opinions and make their points, which they both did in a respectful way, without being abused by the group that they come to for support…seriously people. This makes me sick and incredibly disappointed in this community right now.

        • Unfortunately I call myself stupid for putting up with all his sh** for so many years. Yes, I was way too gullible and trusting. Yes, I question my stupidity ( and yes, I am smarter than he). Call me stupid but no one can ever call me an adulterer!

      • Cheated == see my comments below.
        I think there’s truth in your comments, BUT I think we need to be honest about it; doesn’t mean we aren’t kind-hearted, all in, etc…. It doesn’t mean we weren’t blindsided.

        BUT wanna get cheated on again? Didn’t think so.

        We gotta get smart about who we’re in relationship with. And we have to own up to that.

        • This is so true. Now we know. Instead of ignoring the mounting pile of evidence (Why did my husband leave at 2 am and come home at 5:30 am, just before me and the kids get up? Without his work computer? Oh, he said he had to go into work. Ok. Cool. Without his computer? Oh, he said he didn’t need it. Ok. Cool.). Now if that happens in the future (with a new, respectable husband), we don’t just shrug it off because we should just trust our spouses. I mean we should be able to trust our spouses, but we also have to take responsibility for allowing behavior to be too easily explained away when it’s pretty clear it shouldn’t be.

      • But, Cheated, that is why we are here. That is why my name is Patsy.

        noun: patsy; plural noun: patsies
        a person who is easily taken advantage of, especially by being cheated or blamed for something.

        Because, when I asked the love of my life and my best friend for an explanation of his changed, distanced, contemptuous, dismissive, rejecting:

        “Are you having an affair?”
        “NO! But I have had enough of your [fill in the realistic faults that drove me to spend the next two years trying to be a better wife and human being]

        I believed him. Why would your best friend lie? Surely someone who loves you cannot be that hate filled and cruel?

        The cruelty and emotional abuse of that, that he blamed me for my own mistreatment whilst HE KNEW WHAT HE WAS DOING caused spiritual scars that will never heal. Not interested in relationships and I don’t trust anybody.

        What is that, if not a Patsy or a Chump? It isn’t my fault. I didn’t deserve it. But I still got Played and abused. Call a Thing a Thing, People!

      • Would you prefer a another term? …. victim ? survivor? aggrieved party?

        I like the word Chump. Because it’s a gentle slap upside the head to the betrayed. One that we need.

        The message is DON’T BE A CHUMP and/or STOP BEING A CHUMP

        In a world where we are encouraged to forgive and forget, keep going back for more abuse, accept and make excuses for cheaters and liars, we NEEDED someone like CL to tell us to wake the hell up, and get the hell out!!! That we are worth more than being chained to a fucktard.

    • Oh Barry why did you even bother with that letter? I think I can assume you’re just trolling, no one who has been cheated on and then dumped by a narcissistic fuckwit who dynamited the family unit minds being called a chump. It was the slap in the face I needed to comprehend what the hell just happened. Yes. I was played. CL and CN saved my sanity

      • Totally this. The word Chump was the slap in the face I needed to get off the Hopium. You can’t fix stupid in someone else, and stupid in someone else is the cheater. But we can fix the stupid in us. The one that wants to “work on us”, the one that’s hooked on Hopium, the one that dances to the tune of pick me.

        It’s raw, it hurts, and owning whatever was lacking in us that meant we stayed longer than we should and forgave more than we should until we couldn’t anymore is vital in the road to mighty and freedom.

        Being a chump is the kick up our arse that wins our pride and self respect back.

        • Yes, to not be a chump you have e to get tough! If the word triggers you then act so it is no longer a description of you.

      • I agree kbchump. Seems like a trivial thing to write in about. I love the word chump. That’s what I was. CL has a way of making everything clear and gets us to face up to reality. Her straightforward no BS way of speaking is a big part of why she is so good at what she does.

    • If you live in the country aka- the boonies,(????????Oops!Sorry Barry- Ahem, …Rural America)…
      And have enjoyed a few rotations …
      you’ve probably flipped over that wheelbarrow to find a nest of White Faced Hornets ???? ????
      that exquisitely defines the concept of ‘being present in the moment’

    • Chump lady
      You have saved me and many like me who had somewhere to turn too when things got too much,
      We are all people who loved someone and got fooled, so your column is superb, but here is my but, Barry asked a question and Barry should have a response, but your response was unfair, Barry may need the support of your site to get him over the like and move forward with his life , but when you quote your successes and asked him to come back when he has done half the things you have was unfair, we have all being duped by fuckwits , lets be kind with each other’s hearts

  • Chump lady’s snark and bluntness is exactly what I needed to kick my ass into understanding what sicko I was actually dealing with. I needed the 2×4 years earlier. The other books actually kept me in a vulnerable place. When you are dealing with a narc you need to be extremely strong and have a backbone. CL and Chump Nation provided that.

    • Precisely! I wish I had found Leave a Cheater, Gain a Life much sooner. As CL says, she was my friendly cold bucket of water.

      I had had months of couples marrage counseling where the topic of adultery wasn’t even talked about. Apparently it was to be addressed once we had rekindled our love for each other. I was praying for a cold bucket of water after all that crap. Oh yeah, I also found out later that she was having another affair while we were in counseling.

      I understand. It was really hard to hear I was a chump (sucker was the word I used for myself). However, treating infidelity with kid gloves keeps chumps stuck with struggling to be patient and it keeps cheaters in cake. That is exactly where I was and would have been for who knows how long. Silently suffering through all of that, while my sanity slowly eroded.

      Previously, my ex-wife was controlling the pace of our “reconciliation”, while I had to be patient and optimistic. I didn’t need patient optimism; I needed to be righteously indignant. I needed Chump Lady, her book, and this site. She’s the only one I’ve found who tells this monumental betrayal exactly how it is. I owe her a lot and she’s a huge factor in helping me get out. I still struggle at times, but it is a minute fraction of the soul crushing worry that I felt when married and committed to “working it out”. My soul crushing worry was because I was the only one truly committed!

      Adultery needs to be treated harshly, because of how serious it is. Two of the ten commandments are about it! It’s not just wrong to commit, it’s the only act that is considered a sin to even THINK about. It’s so bad it had to be mentioned twice. It’s really time we treat it as such.

      • This was me exactly, SweetPotatoFlakes! I wish I had found Chump Lady sooner. Marriage counseling while he still carried on his multiple affairs!

        • OMG yes! If Chump Lady had existed in 2005, I would have saved YEARS of wasted time, energy, pain, and money, and could have built a healthier life for my kids so much sooner. The books and couple therapy all encouraged reconciliation and made it sound so reasonable and feasible. They all assumed the Cheater was ALREADY clear on how stupid and hurtful the infidelity was, AND actually cared about that. Nobody was saying ‘this is what real remorse looks like’ and ‘a person who was selfish and entitled enough to cheat long-term, or repeatedly, would have to change their character to become a decent partner. Here’s what it would take, and this is how you can see if they’re working on this long term.’

      • SPF – I share in you pain too. Spent 14 sessions with a counsellor who asked me to set aside the issue of adultery to work on the marriage itself. Her rationale is that once the love was rekindled, we would be better equipped to tackle the issue of the adultery. I bought into it and put myself into the smallest box possible. Meanwhile, I later learned that he got back in touch with the OW and rekindled the relationship.

        Very bad therapeutic practice indeed.

        • I must have gotten the therapist of all therapists because she is the one who told me my ex was being abusive. Our story is a little weirder – open marriage that turned polyamorous that turned into him leaving me for his other partner and breaking every rule we agreed on. I felt so stupid because I agreed to let him audition my replacement in front of me! I simply trusted him to keep me number one. And wow, was that trust misplaced. The betrayal was so shocking, followed by the shame of “well what did you THINK was going to happen” when people found out. Well I THOUGHT that an open marriage required trust and I THOUGHT that I could trust my husband. My bad!

          My therapist was a rock star. When I started seeing her we had already agreed to get a divorce. Honestly? I did the Pick Me Dance for about 2 weeks while I came to terms with what was happening. One night he said he didn’t love me anymore and wasn’t sure if he still wanted to be married to me. 2 weeks later he said he had to decide what he wanted to do and I told him I did too, because he treated me so poorly over the last 2 weeks I didn’t know if I wanted to be with him anymore (yeah that shocked him a bit). The next morning we decided we were done.

          I had thought about leaving him many times over the 17 years of our marriage but I knew he would make my life a living hell. Once I saw the path to the exit was clear of any obstacles he would have placed, I bolted. Never looked back. My therapist was there for me the whole time. Held my hand when I was scared about him hurting me (he never had before but he had suddenly become a different crueler person) or when he threatened to take full custody of our kids (she exposed that scare tactic right away).

          Honestly, without her I don’t know what would have happened. She put me on the road to recovery from abuse and I don’t know if I would have gotten there on my own. She pulled no shots and told me flat out he was abusive and ticked off the ways on her hand. Even when I questioned it (“that doesn’t seem like something I would put up with”) she explained to me how we look for people who feel familiar (my father was verbally abusive my whole life). She put the scattered pieces together so I could see the whole picture.

          I wish for you all to have a therapist who cares about you as much as mine cares about me.

          • Polychump, you and I are among the lucky ones. I too had an amazing therapist (clinical psychologist). She put EVERYTHING! Into perspective in a way my frazzled brain could comprehend. I too wouldn’t be where I am today without her patience and guidance. Sometimes it takes a stranger to give you perspective and help you believe that you are valuable, fabulous and lovable
            Chumplady was not around in my early days but CL and CN have helped me complete my healing in the latter stages of the road to “meh”.
            All the best for you continuing journey

      • After Dday, I told my ex, “You and your friends must have had a good laugh about all this. ‘Look at what a chump Sisu is!'” Yup, I called myself a chump within 12 hours of discovering his affair with his married co-worker. When I found Chumplady, I knew I was home.

      • When we found out about my husband’s cheating our then 13 year old son said “well, now, I guess dad’s not exactly following the 10 commandments, is he?” He comes by his snark naturally, thank you. My husband, of course, is SPECIAL, so he justified his cheating by saying he was going to make things right and marry HER, instead of honoring his vows. Husband is a Jesus cheater, by the way. Reads the bible, quotes all the scripture, criticized me for how I followed my faith. On the way home from church not that long ago, our 11 year old googled the 10 commandments and counted 7 that her father had broken. He’s a thief and a liar and a cheater. Go figure. And he should be punished. He will be eventually, but it will be because of his criminal activities and not the cheating.

        • I hate that you and your kids went through that, SerenityNow. My ex-wife is a Jesus cheater as well.

          I actually think that she’s a communal narcissist also. In other words, she gets her narcissistic supply from her volunteering efforts in church and the community. Effort placed at home would only get her praise from me and our child, but effort in the church and community would get her praise from many. She would say she felt “recharged” after going to church. However, it was only when she was actively apart of something (e.g. choir, nursery, class leader, etc). Otherwise she was extremely bored when she went and only got to listen to a service. A few minutes into the service she would start doodling in the notebook that was usually reserved for taking notes during church. Caught her checking her phone and replying to messages on several occasions. Learning was extremely low on her church priority. She said her “ministry” was to “serve in the church”.

          I’ll never forget what she told me when news of her affair got to the church leaders and they removed her from her positions. She said I had destroyed everything she had worked so hard to build. She also told me that her AP was a better father and Christian than I was.

          I was too stunned to come up with a scathing reply at the time. However, after finding CN, I saw exactly how my ex-wife’s behavior is exactly the same stupid crap that other unremorseful cheaters say. They really do work from the same game plan.

          Even a pastor told me that someone who is truly altruistic will be that way in every part of their life. Giving would never be reserved for certain situations. The people that did that only did so for image management.

          I hope you are out of the marriage or will be soon, SerenityNow. Dealing with Jesus cheaters is a special kind of crazy-making I wouldn’t wish on anyone. *Virtual hug*

    • Amen girl! Frankness is what we need when our emotions are all over the place, wishing it was something different. Facing the true reality is what empowers the chumps!

  • Wanna bet Barry is a cheater who got caught and his Chump is divorcing him? Or quite possibly a therapist who finds it really handy to blame the betrayed party and was blind-sided when the Chump said, “No – it doesn’t take two to tango when one is a lying cheating turd and the other one isn’t!”

    Cuts into his income stream in one manner or another.

    • Yup????????????????????????????????????????…. Barry, you’re an asshole and you DO NOT SPEAK FOR ME!!!!

      I was a chump and now proud to have kicked cheater XH of 25 years out, divorced and at my divorce trial was awarded every single hard asset we had and judge said he wished he could have given me more—- and this is a community property state!!! (I was the primary caregiver for our 4 kids and worked part-time, which permitted XH to “work” (and whore-around) 70+ Hours a week and his earning capacity is 7x of mine). I’ve since nearly doubled my 7 figure net worth, started a new professional career making mid-six figures, all while caring for my devastated kids who are slowly healing from XH’s abuse, building a new social life, and getting to my healthiest and lowest weight since high school. Because of CL and CN, I am no longer a chump! I will never let any narcissist user dupe me again!

      So, fuck you Barry! Keep in your own lane!

    • My money is on him being a chump with a fragile ego who can’t handle taking responsibility for his end. Of course we aren’t at fault for what happened to us, but we also ignore a LOT of shit for the sake of our marriage. That’s on us. It’s also on us to pick up our damaged baggage and move on to better places. That the entire point of Chump Lady. Yes, something bad happened. No, you didn’t deserve it. Yes, it’s ok you what happens from now on.

      Some people like to stay in Victim Mode. I prefer Fuck Off You Don’t Get To Tell Me How To Live Anymore Mode.

      • I know Tracy has a post entitled “Spectrum of Cheaters”. I’ve been reading this site daily (Tracy’s post and ALL the comments) since finding it four years ago and sense there is a spectrum of chumps as well. Everything from those groomed as children by (a) disordered parent(s) to those married/partnered to really sneaky buggers.

      • “Some people like to stay in Victim Mode. I prefer Fuck Off You Don’t Get To Tell Me How To Live Anymore Mode.”

        Very interesting. One of the things that kept me in my previous relationship was that I felt entitled to being a victim. Even in victimhood, entitlement can occur. I finally got over myself and was like yes, you are a victim, but you don’t have to be. Get out of it. Because that entitlement not only kept me a victim and kept me in the relationship, but it also kept me bitter and vindictive and I did things I knew were wrong but felt justified to do because I was a victim.

  • Bwahahahahaha. Note to self and the Barrys of the world, don’t come at Chump Lady. That was an impressive 2×4 smack down!!!

    Chump Lady, you have inspired me. I won’t be nice. I won’t live my life to suit others. I won’t back down! I will stand in my truth. I’m proud to be a member of Chump Nation. I aspire to wield a 2×4 with such dexterity and precision! I salute you!

  • “I guess I missed the meeting of the Universal Order of the Betrayed where you were elected spokesperson.”

    Made me laugh out loud! This entire response is beautiful shade.

  • Barry, Hmm I suspect you are not a chump. If you were you would understand what Chumplady is all about. I was a chump. I did not choose to be a chump. My husband chose to lie and cheat on me with my cousin. His cheating ripped my life apart. If you do not like Chumplady’s writing style then do not read it. Cheating is abuse. I do not at all feel that being called a chump is an insult. If you do not like what you read start your own advice blog.

  • I feel like I am watching the end of “Revenge of the Nerds” except everyone is chanting “Chumps” instead of “Nerds.”

    (We Are The Champions playing in the background) “I am SuperDuperChump….and I’m proud to be a Chump”

  • I appreciate people who aren’t mealy-mouthed. Cl is straight-forward and that’s just one aspect that I like about her and this wonderful place.

  • OMG! Opted for a TV series??!! Your success helps me believe that all is right with the world. That wonderful things happen to good people. You keep rocking it and apologize to no one (unless you actually did something you need to apologize for, NOT USING THE WORD CHUMP, geez Louise…). So excited for that show and potential casting of some kickass comediennes!

    • Nothing happening on that front at present, but who knows? It’s flattering to be considered. 🙂

      • You should at least get residuals for that cbs (unfortunate) drivel “The Unicorn”. They totally stole that concept phrase from you.

  • When I first started coming here, there was a lady in the comment section continually berating anybody who swore. She found it offensive. She was told to fuck off repeatedly as I recall . . .

    We never get to see half the absurd letters you get. More more!!

    • Oh man, you really don’t want to see my mail! It’s a lot of other women. And some Barrys.

      • Post idea….Other Person of the Month….most outrageous letter you get from an OW/OM fed into the UBT….

      • I don’t get why OW would write you? But I just love it when you smack them down, too. If you have a big audience of OW writing you, I wish you’d sell their email addresses to spambots and make a little cash off the assholes.

      • Oh but we do though! It’s so cathartic to respond to OWs and Barry’s. We get to vent without having to break NC or gray rock. I love Velvet Hammer’s idea of a Other Person of the Month post. Can we please do it? “Stupid Shit Cheaters Say from Chump Lady’s Mailbag”?

        • Okay… I’ve run them before and it’s like throwing raw steak to labradors. Most of them are just “do I tell the wife” now that we broke up stuff.

          • Sparkly Turd trophy or crown cartoon for the OW/M of the Month, please!

      • Wait a dang old second. Chump Lady, do not even tell me those whores write you letters. What are they doing, bragging? Defending their whore honor? Whores write? I thought they’d all be too busy spouse-nabbing. I feel so badly for the good old Universal Bullshit Translator. I’m never disappointed at how low a cheater will go, never.

    • I would love to read some of those delusional, ridiculous letters.
      UBT the F out of them some times.

  • Time to pump the brakes before you run off and try to police the language around here. Calling a chump, a chump is like calling a spade, a spade. It’s what we are. It’s a necessary 2×4 to wake us up from chumpdom and get us going towards LACGAL.

    And when did I miss the poll on this? I’m quite capable of speaking for myself and do not need a white knight to attempt to speak for me.

  • Thanks for running this letter, boss. I strongly suspect that our boy Barry here is trolling, but I’m sure that someone needs to hear this today, if only to know, “Hey, I *was* doing everything I could, it’s not my fault I crossed paths with a con.”

  • Barry is entitled to his opinion. I ran the letter to discuss euphemisms and why the RIC uses them. If Barry felt insulted before, I’m sure he feels worse now.

    People do tell me “chump” turned them off at first. Or maybe it turned them off permanently, I don’t know. But thought it was worth a discussion.

    I also thought Barry was being a bit high-handed. Thus the smackdown.

    • Sure, Barry’s entitled to his opinion. But Barry’s mansplaining to you why on your own blog you shouldn’t use terms of your own invention is “high-handed” to a degree it sticks in my craw.

      • I’ve had my cheating ex wife try the say the same bullshit to me when I was telling our group of friends, kids and families.

        Maybe the correct term should be abusersplaining. Cheatersplaining.

        I’m not sure anyone would appreciate me saying she was just womansplaining things away.

        • Oooooo… I like the word Cheatersplaining! STBX was great at Cheatersplaining. And it really captures the aura of all their bullshit.

      • Relationship Industrial Complex.

        The vague conspiracy sense that religious and for-profit institutions want you to try to reconcile indefinitely

          • Urgh. I was thinking about something else at the same time I was typing. It still fits, sorta. But it doesn’t lock in quite as well, does it?

            Thanks for catching my mistake.

            • For some of us, the entire “relationship” was nothing but reconciliation! ????My pleasure.

    • I don’t particularly like being called a chump because I don’t particularly like that I am (was) a chump.

      Never in one hundred million years would I have considered telling Chump Lady (or suggesting to her) to stop using the term ON HER OWN BLOG or IN HER OWN BOOK.

      We don’t tell other adults who they should be — or, if we do, we may get our asses handed to us, because it’s not appropriate to tell other adults who they should be.

      Suggestions can sometimes make for good feedback. Veiled suggestions and direct orders, not so much.

      I’ve been here for a long time and I’m ok with “chump” because, painful though it is, it’s accurate. I didn’t like being a chump so I set about working on being less and less of one, not avoiding the term so I could live a lie but just not talk about it so people won’t notice. (That reality avoidance stuff is how cheaters think — and that’s not for me.)

    • A turd by any other name would still smell like hell with Barry the bullshitter..I prefer to not use kid gloves and I was a chump..and my stbxh is and always will be a cowardly piece of shit. He is not a wayward in a fog somewhere he is a moron with no moral compass. He will always be lost in the dark but I chose to walk in the light of truth. Preach on my tribe. I am in a kick ass mood today..send Barry to me ! He walked in but he will crawl out!????

    • I think the whole point of chump is because you have to ‘own’ what your aspect was- you need to fix your picker and set good boundaries and you got the short end of the stick when you held the relationship in good faith. Not that you did anything wrong, You just got had. the subject of a gag, the person who is set up and framed in a crime, all these chumps who do the work and get pwned? We have something in common with them. We were naive. And now we put down our upset feelers, pick up those unsuspecting knitting needles which were so faithfully making our cheating asshole partner a scarf, or our computer programming brain stops writing code for our kitten in cute costumes app and we insteAd sharpen those needles, and kitty claws. We start smartening up about who and what we deserve and how we approach life. Doormat no more, chump recovered, in fact, it no longer is a terrible name, a slight, NAY! It is a mantle I am proud to wear, I EXPECTED DECENCY. I expected love. I expected parity and honesty, and if that makes me a chump…. well, it’s a badge I wear proudly. Fuck the dupers and the whores they rode in on. My world is better. My view is clearer. And I will wear a scarlet C on my chest for all my days to proudly bear witness.

      I. AM. A Muther F’in CHUMP!!!

      • This is great:


        This is my new mantra in the face of an STBXw

        who wont stop saying “everybody cheats” and “get over it” and “what did you expect?”

        We should NEVER feel ashamed because we DID WHAT WE PROMISED WE WOULD DO and expected others to do the same

        Stay mighty, fellow CHUMPS!!!

  • The thing is, if you have a pattern of accepting abuse you are likely a codependent to some level. Nursing those snowflake tendencies isn’t going to help your case. Getting tough is and accepting the truth is the first step. If you can’t accept the title of Chump, without defensiveness and with a firm resolve to unearn the title, you’re still, imo, struggling to accept the truth.

  • I like “chump” for the gentle inferring of a “dopey-spaciness”. Not dumb, not half-wit, but a certain “innocence”.

    On the other side of the horror, I gotta own up to my “innocence”. For all my best intentions, I picked the wrong monkey. I would NEVER partner up with another barbed-wire monkey.

    This site, this army, this movement is a lot about getting “smart”. If you want to make it to Tuesday, you gotta get smarter. I like that “chump” gently calls me out to be smarter.

    I don’t say this out loud in many circles, but that monkey and what she did is forcing me to become a better, stronger, smarter person. Its a f-ed up blessing.

    • I used to use the term “gullible dumbass” to describe myself, but “chump” gets the job done and is much more effecient.

      • It doesn’t even use the word ass, which some genteel ears may find quite the affront.

        Oh my virgin ears

    • Well said Tall One. I like it too for the reasons you gave. It a hard-earned title. And whilst secretly hoping CL was wrong and her strong language unwarranted for, it turned out my cheating husband really did EVERYTHING she said cheaters do. The charm-rage-self-pity circle of hell, the blame shifting – as if CL had a crystal ball and could predict his behavior. I would still be high on chump-hopium thinking MY cheater is different if she had not been right EVERY step of the way. So, yes, super chump-me, wears the title with pride.

  • Thank you Barry for mansplaining all that is wrong with Chumplady’s style. What would she do without helpful people like you? Perhaps you have wardrobe, hair, and makeup style suggestions for her that would make YOU less ‘uncomfortable”, so sorry the “uncomfortableness” of the description is inconvenient for you, heaven forbid YOU feel uncomfortable. Maybe you should examine WHY it makes you feel uncomfortable? Hint: the word “denial” might be useful. Sheesh….

    • I’ve had my cheating ex wife try the say the same bullshit to me when I was telling our group of friends, kids and families.

      Maybe the correct term should be abusersplaining. Cheatersplaining.

      I’m not sure anyone would appreciate me saying she was just womansplaining things away.

  • Chump here and proud of it and sad to be one.

    It stands for Cheating Husband Used Me Painfully on Purpose and I am Pissed Off and Peeved.

    So I am actually spelling it CHUMPPPP.

    I have a peeve about telling writers how to write as well…..

      • Though it doesn’t work for many of our male Chumps, who probably feel as if they’re a minority here.

        Big shout out to those male Chumps brave enough to post their experiences. Betrayal hurts no matter what your gender or sexuality may be.

        • Thank you kb.
          I do sometimes cringe when “mansplaining” gets tossed around, but I have to confess that I have been guilty of chauvinist assumptions and talked down to or over women. It is not OK and I am sorry for occasionally being a perpetrator. Being chumped and working hard to become healthier in relationships has helped me see it in myself and want to do better.

          • We have to find a gender-neutral word for this tendency. ’cause I have a female friend who does this fairly often. Any suggestions?

            When it’s a cheater or other abuser doing this, it’s just general mind-fuckery and gas-lighting. They LOVE to try to control our view of reality, or at least to confuse us so much we are not longer sure what’s real.

        • Cheating Human Used Me Painfully. Applies to all genders and combinations and can even apply to friend/family/workplace dynamics.

          • Yes! And I think I did use “human” for the H when I have posted this before…..


        • You don’t need it to be cheating husbands. Cheating ho used me painfully works perfectly for you delightful men. Thank you for posting, men do get cheated on just as much, and beat their stuff in silence sometimes. It’s good to see you here.

  • I can only imagine the Universal Bullshit Translator doing its thing:
    “I find your aggressive writing style makes me uncomfortable”
    Translation: My betrayed better half found this site, called me out on my bullshit, left me to rot, and would no longer accept my condescending narcissism and gaslighting. Let me try it out on you.
    Chumpnation: Fuck off Barry.

  • No shit, people don’t want to be called chumps! Just like they don’t want an abusive gaslighting lying asshole for a partner. Duh!

    So Barry, instead of chump you can elect from any of the following to be called instead: a moron, stupid, idiot, dumbass, co-dependent (because nothing says your really fucked up as a being called nice therapy term), desperate, needy, etc. Not sure about you (since you are obviously a man) but I’ve been called all of those things by different people. So while you, Barry, want to say the term chump is offensive I think it’s way more fitting than the other. Maybe because your a man, and society as a whole has more sympathy for men, you haven’t been called those things but being the butt end of infidelity for a woman looks a whole lot different. We are shamed, looked down upon and called all of those things and more. Maybe you should really think about that and put into perspective for all of us “chumps” out there.

  • (music by Queen, lyrics by Chump Nation)

    We’ve been hit hard
    Really been burned
    We’ve done the lifting
    And got shit in return
    So we come here
    Lest we forget
    We have a name that we claim as our own
    With no regret

    We are the Chumpions, you see
    And we’ll keep on feeding the U-B-T
    We are the Chumpions
    We are the Chumpions
    No time for fuckwits
    ‘Cause we are the chumpions . . . of the world!

  • I am a chump but hopefully won’t remain a chump through the rest of my relationship(s) ????

  • I read CL’s book before I found her blog. I think my first response to the word chump was “ouch, I don’t like that” . But by the time I finished her book I realized I was a chump. No, it is not a nice word; no one wants to be a chump. Also, one wants to be cheated on, lied to and abused. But guess what, they are all true. Embracing the word chump allows you to be mad and understand the dynamic of what was really going on in your relationship. In a world that describes cheating as a mistake, I needed to hear Chump Lady tell me I was a chump!!

  • In order to fix a problem, you first have to admit there is a problem. It’s why drug addicts and alcoholics go to anonymous groups and stand up, introduce themselves, and tell everyone that they’re either an alcoholic or a drug addict. If they can’t admit that, then they can’t address the problem. Pretty much the same thing in this group. In the beginning most of us embrace our chump title, work on getting rid of the problem, and continue to do the work so we NEVER accept that kind of behavior from anyone else EVER again.

    Euphemisms help no one, except maybe the reconciliation industrial complex!

  • Barry – what you need to understand is that accepting the label ‘Chump’ has been empowering. Say it loud and clear. I am a Chump. It has allow me to step out of the shadow of that deep humiliation which is the added bonus to betrayal. It has allowed me through humor and snark and community to own my situation on my terms. In the middle of the night when you’re googling if and how everything you loved and cared for will be taken from you, this site is such a delightful sanctuary. Welcome to Chump Nation, Barry. We are loyal and will lift you up when you are at your lowest with good snark, legal advice and a knowledge that you’re not alone.

    • Very good response. I got eviscerated for a letter here awhile back, during my identity crisis, wondering if there is some way this could be the best thing that ever happened to me. Yeah the whole thing has been super shitty. But damn it I’m leaving, making my own life, no more doormat shit, doing whatever I want, setting my own goals. I have every intention of making this event the impetus for a wonderful life. So yeah poor Barry getting thrown to the chump nation wolves when he really just needs to buy the book and join the community.

      • I too have decided to use this shitty experience to build a better life. Good for you, Mac for turning a negative into a positive.

  • Barry, this is sometimes the only place sweet little Spacklin church ladies and gentlemen get a chance to vent. Rarely do I get to spit out frustrated curses in writing but it can be cathartic, especially when in my real life I get a lot of shit sandwiches to choke on. We are free of the nice police here. I hope you can understand that.

  • I didn’t like the term chump when I started here either. It made me feel “less than.” However, I LOVED the writing style. Snark and swearing help me get through the day sometimes.

    I was duped by my husband. He’s a monumental scumbag, but I smoked that hopium pipe, much like he hit that crack pipe. I hoped he’d get better. Then after DDay I hoped he would still turn things around. That didn’t happen and I’m hoping, now, that the real healing can begin once the divorce is final.

    At the end of the day, I was chumped. I am a chump. I don’t like it, but I have to work with what’s in front of me. An ugly word for an even uglier situation. I’m glad I found this website and the book, because both have gotten me through some dark days with helpful tools I needed to stay sane.

  • It is exactly Chump Lady’s writing style that meant I sat up and took notice and differentiated it for me from the other backloads of garbage on the interwebz. And not least because in my darkest times it had my laughing my head off pretty much every day.

    Don’t change a thing. I’d got for more cuss words but that’s just personal choice.

    An option on a TV series you say……. Interesting. Haven’t you got an election coming up next year too?

  • Maybe it helped that I wasnt familiar with the word “chump” prior to this blog, but if I ever had a double-take at benignly being called “stupid”, I always kept in mind it’s how Tracy appoints herself (Chump Lady), so how much of an insult can it really be? It’s clear there is a point to the message.

    And I definitely believe the blunt, wake-up calley language saved my life.
    All others resources are impersonal and speak in general terms. What you’ll find here is simply different and thank heaven!

    • Totally saved my life!! It woke me up BIG TIME and helped me move forward with ME in mind


    Before Assigning Rules Remember You’re a Yokel…..

    (I love acronyms!)


  • The amount of nicknames here incorporating “chump” into them tells clearly that we chumps don’t generally mind being called chumps.

  • Oh I totally needed to recognize my chumpiness, come to terms with it, and OWN IT when I first visited this site. Thanks for helping me do that, and helping me banish most of my chumpy ways and reclaim dignity, Chump Lady.

    Just wanted to also point out that there are a lot of other current movements that are similar in terms of how they reclaim a term that was commonly used derisively, fat positivity being the thing that comes to my mind first! ????

  • I agree, “chump” is the best term. Frankly, the entire experience of being cheated on is so humiliating, so degrading, and so destructive to your self-worth, any shame from being called “chump” doesn’t register. I’m proud of being able to say I’m a “chump,” if for no other reason than making sure the outside world truly understands how bad this is. Someone deliberately took advantage of the closest trust two people can have to commit acts that would kill me inside, and then went through enormous gymnastics to hide it; when discovered, she went through more linguistic gymnastics to blame it on me. So, yeah, I’m a chump.

    I’m guessing “Barry” has never been a chump. His letter reads like advice on childrearing from snooty people who don’t actually have any kids of their own.

  • “…I find your aggressive writing style makes me uncomfortable.”

    That’s kinda the point, Barry. Writing and sharing of thought is not meant to make you comfortable. Chumps don’t change a life situation or challenge thinking about the status quo or make progress by remaining “comfortable.” Being chumped isn’t comfortable. Dealing with the aftermath of infidelity isn’t comfortable. Writing about infidelity cannot and should not be “comfortable.”

    The better honesty here is to identify why you are uncomfortable with a word choice. The discomfort shouldn’t be at the word “chump,” but in the situation that make you a “chump” in the first place. Only by focusing on the nature of our own discomfort can we overcome it and be stronger in the end. (I mean, it still sucks, but that’s the control we do have in the situation.)

    Thanks to Chump Lady and this community for telling it like it is and being a continual support. Long-time lurker and first time contributor, and glad that I found this resource each and every day.

  • Former Chump here…And I love the term! It’s like taking back your power like any disenfranchised population in history. Take those slurs and wear them proudly! Says that these things you did to me, these words you apply to me…they don’t define me. ????????✊

  • Rock on Chump Lady. I’ve been a long time reader, first time post.

    When I first discovered chumplady I just ‘got it’. Chump. Describes the situation in one five letter word. Incorporated in chump is codependence, abuse, theft, gaslighting, blamesiding, irrationality, duplicity, dysfunction, lying, loneliness, loss, devastation, vomiting, crying, suicidal ideation, panic attacks, pick me dancing, narcissism, cruelty, misery, jealousy, hate, anger, rage, but also love, laughter, understanding, support, gentleness, hope, meh, Tuesday, snark, a virtual hug, a kick up the backside, truth, reality, honesty, encouragement, independence, kindness, connection, recovery, wholeness, excitement, humour, joy.

    I think the word Chump does exactly what it says on the tin.

  • While I love your response, I’m not sure I completely agree with you assumption of the intentions of the writer…..I don’t think the writer of this letter was trying to “girl-smile-more” you. I think he was simply grappling with the pride-swallowing effect of being cheated on. Having to brandish the title ‘chump’ was just too much.

    Admitting you’ve been chumped is pride-crushing for anyone, however, males I know have a harder time admitting it, compared to females. Just a theory.

    For the record, I also like the word “Conned” because it sums up the chump situation pretty well, too. It’s not a title, it and of itself, but it does a pretty good job of explaining the dynamics.

    • Totally agree with you. When you’re already at your lowest point after discovery, you want to be wrapped in a warm blanket of comfort. But, warm blankets keep you cozy. Accepting ownership of Chumpness gets your butt up and out lol.

    • This guy wants her to re-name her blog and change her writing style so he won’t be personally offended by it, so I’d say you’re being a tad too generous about his motives. I do agree that it’s not a “girl, smile more” thing. It’s just garden variety sensitivity fascism.

      That being said, it was kind of you to defend him and I salute you for it.

    • By the time we get here, guys have already learned they are cucks, beta males, and pussies. Chump is so tame compared to those painful titles. I think Barry is in the throes of his identity crisis. He hasn’t read enough chumplady. Barry, the whole point of this blog is the cheater is fully responsible for their actions. It is a rebuttal to the “it takes two” established narrative, which is extremely harmful (I believed it for a few months). You aren’t to blame. Your life is not about infidelity. If someone wants to call you a cuck or a chump, it actually doesn’t matter. What does matter is you healing from betrayal and returning to good mental health. Therefore, leave a cheater gain a life and find peace knowing this mess does not define you.

      • Cuck… beta male…. that is red pill incel terminology, which I never thought I would read on chumplady.

        If incel stuff is your thing there’s plenty of blogs out there for you, chumplady probably isn’t it.

  • Who wants to be a chump?? Show of hands. Anyone?? **taps mic** This thing on?!

    *sigh* I hope Barry isn’t getting discouraged. For some, being called a Chump is an acquired taste. But NOBODY wants to be a chump. That’s the point.

    For me, the term “chump” didn’t bother me… but, I had a hard time swallowing the jagged pill that I was a repeat-chump. Because it placed the ownership of leaving on me. (Well shiiiiiiiiit.)

    I was over being a Chump, but I would have kept being a chump had I stayed in my abusive/toxic marriage any longer than I already had.

    Barry, the bluntness harsh reality of being a chump is part of the wake up process. Maybe it’s not for everyone… but neither is idling sugar coating the harsh reality of being cheated on.

    • Chump is so much better than being the partner “equally to blame” or the person “not handling the divorce(or breakup)” as well as the cheater.

      • EXACTLY!! Understanding that you were chumped and are not to blame is the first step in getting your power (and your life) back.

  • Face it Barry…a chump IS a chump. By definition, a chump is an ‘easily deceived person.’ Get it? With the support of CL and CN behind them, chumps will not let that moniker define them indefinitely. Why Barry? Because they have the love, support, understanding and the ‘aggressive, uncomfortable’ snarkiness from someone that I myself, now consider a Champ! Her words, this site, CN? Together, we make a strong statement that defies everything the RIC will ever have to offer.
    Signed-Proud to be a Chump!

  • Yes, there are indeed chumps who are timid forest creatures. Apparently, Barry needs a safe space where he doesn’t have to hear words he personally dislikes. Well, majority rules, so Barry needs to go someplace else where his tender sensibilities will never be offended. The problem for Barry is that such a place is not found on the interwebs. It’s not even found on planet earth for that matter. So it would appear Barry has two choices; he can decide to stop being so easily offended or he can leave the planet. Oh, I forgot the third one; be perpetually offended and lecture people who don’t conform to his beliefs about using the proper words (we can find them in The World According to Barry, volume six) so as not to upset timid forest creatures. Good luck with all that, Barry.


    I am a Chump.
    On rip the heart out day, known as DDay, ( is DDay an ok word to use Barry)?
    my world was turned upside down.
    Some know some of my story, cheater stayed, we moved away, he changed jobs….
    I did not confide in anyone, went about my life staying the present, sane, loving parent, for my beautiful Children.
    ( cheaters are often narc like characters and they can make life pretty difficult ( is narc an ok word to use also, Barry)?
    Well, things were never easy and as the years passed I often wondered how can a person be like this. What is the matter with him?
    Not that many years ago, while googling, I came upon Chump Lady!

    Well, let me tell you Barry!
    I learned cheater is a cheater/ narc.
    I am a Chump!

    Did that upset me to learn I was/am, a Chump?
    Hell to the NO Barry.
    I learned all of the crap was NEVER my fault.
    I learned so much here.
    I cannot see,but I can feel the presence, of so many understanding, loving, kind, powerful, CHUMPS.
    I am proud to be among these beautiful people.
    ( of course I wish I had no need to be here, but in reality Barry, I am a Chump, I belong here).

    I don’t think anyone here can help you Barry.
    Please don’t waste Chump Lady’s time.
    She is so very valuable to us real CHUMPS.

    Still, being a peacekeeper, I am sorry for your pain, and I hope you can find some happiness in this beautiful world.


  • Hey Chump Lady–I’m not sure, but I am thinking Barry is the same one who criticized you when you told me not to use the word “scorned” in reference to myself …when you responded to my letter almost a year ago. Maybe not, but that person had the same tone. I love the word chump, because it captures so many aspects of the situation. Chumps are not to blame for any of the terrible things done to them, that led to being duped. Chumps are only to blame for not taking care of themselves, for not seeing the deception. The word chump reminds us that what we can control is our reaction to a situation, our analysis of a situation as it is happening, but not another person. It is really the only word that summarizes us. I do like using euphemisms like “woman scorned” but that may require my bitchy, “faux Shakespearian” delivery tone to get the sentiment across. Chump, on the other hand, stands on its own.

    Please, please, please X10^10…post some OW letters. That would be such a fun Friday post. Even when we hit meh, co-parenting over the holidays can bring up these little relapses, and digging claws into an OW letter might be just what the chump needs.

  • I found my anger, and my voice, and my STRENGTH!!! when I found Chump Lady.

  • I think “Chump” is perfect. I also think most of us are a bit weary of some people’s warped control nonsense being used under the guise of “sensitivity”.

  • Can’t please everyone. I needed ‘Chump Lady’s’ style to wake me up. I would not have benefited with subtleties or a humorless approach to what happened to me. I find Tracy’s column (wit, writing, critical thinking, etc.) to be exceedingly effective, as is. Hope you work through it, Barry.

  • Don’t change a thing. The label of “chump” works.

    It goes with your assertive, active voice writing style that inspires those of us dealing with a cheater to snap out of it.

    Indelicate wording?

    Of course!

  • I like the way Chumplady writes. I permanently refer to my ex-husband
    and his adulterous nanny girlfriend as the FW and the OW. FuckWit and OtherWoman.
    However, I personally prefer the word “betrayed.” But it does really matter?
    Getting to Meh and Trusting that They Suck matters more to me.

  • I’m proud to be a chump. Because being a chump means that I was willing to be vulnerable, and honest, and open my heart to another person. My husband was a liar and a cheat; that’s on HIM. You can’t control what other people do; you can only control your response to it. I will take my broken heart and hopefully give it to someone who deserves it next time. And my chumpdom will serve as an early warning system to avoid liars and cheats next time. You live, you learn. Oh, and Barry? You can fuck right off.

  • CL’s work and language choices require no explanation.
    Change happens when humans get uncomfortable and start telling the truth.

    Sometimes cheating overlaps into a discussion about gender, race or orientation. Or all three.
    RIC-washing, gender washing, white washing, virtue shaming, hetero-normalizing- we need language to get uncomfortable, because it moves the fucking needle.
    Paraphrasing from another revolutionary woman-
    “We can’t run into a burning house and rescue a baby casually, gracefully”.
    Maybe some people have time to wax intellectually about the perfect words to describe the dysfunction.
    I will be over here, with CN, using everything I’ve got to change it, and using whatever descriptive language is necessary to usher real change.

    Angled ad-hominem attacks? Most of us pick those out of our teeth in the morning, before our day even begins…

    • “Angled ad-hominem attacks? Most of us pick those out of our teeth in the morning…..” some would make the mistake to assume that chumps aren’t as intelligent or as strong as cheaters. That couldn’t be farther from the truth…..another reason I love CN.

  • Personally, I like the word CHUMP because it implies a state of being that can the changed… I can learn what red flags are… I can discover what boundaries I need… I can get better so that it doesn’t happen again… it makes me feel mighty and it should make others who may try to dupe me in the future be fairly warned!

    Rock on ChumpNation!

  • We all have word sensitivities, and no one wants to be named anything derogatory. But words exist to describe things, and situations, denying the truth does not help anyone.

    We worry about perception all the time. We have an inordinate amount of adulation for the concept of strength. Everything depends on the context — an oak may be strong, but it can snap because it cannot bend. If the willow survives by bending, which tree is actually stronger? Depends on the situation.

    We tend to blame the victim of crime in our culture. What did you do to deserve that? Nothing? Really? That can’t be right. He/She NEVER did that to ME!

    My own mother doesn’t want to take medication because she thinks it makes her look weak. She believes she can use her will to control her health. She needs blood pressure medication, she fell twice last week because she was lightheaded and the fall is much more deadly than the medication could ever be. Anorexics think they are controlling their world by not eating, and they are just slim. Much worse to be plump than to starve to death you know? If I am diabetic, or bi-polar, or have cancer, is it my fault?

    Many crimes are never reported because people don’t want others to know they were conned, robbed, beaten, raped . . . the list goes on. You have to name it, describe it, figure out what you can and cannot do about it, to change it.

    It is confusing to me how one race or gender can use a term to describe another race or gender, and that is wrong, but they can use the same term to describe members of their own race and gender and that is ok??? Comics point out our absurd behavior all the time, and some of the observations must offend part of the audience, but we are incredibly inconsistent. I am not condoning being rude or offensive just to shock, but we will never get better if we don’t use language to describe and we refuse to use language to heal and prescribe solutions,

    I am a smart, strong, productive, responsible dependable full grown woman. I was chumped at least twice, and intimidated or abused throughout my life to varying degrees by various authority figures. Their abuse of power does not define me. Their bad actions are their responsibility. Call me what you want to, I know who I am.

    • Hi Portia, I agree it can be confusing, but Ta Nehisi Coates has a great explanation of why certain words can be used within a group, but not by outsiders;

      People here OWN their chump-hood. A lot mention they found the place a bit harsh in the beginning, but gradually realized all that harshness described their reality very well. Perhaps one day there’ll be so many realistic sites that show cheating to be the abuse it is, and point out the factors indicating the unlikelihood of real reconciliation, that there will be sites for everyone’s tastes, including ‘gentler’ language. But at some point, hard reality has to be pointed out, otherwise we stay in our daydream of unicorns. And the harsher language sure does that, as well as allowing us to admit and own our fully-justified anger.

      • I understand what he says, and agree with it up to a point. If one of my friends calls me bitch, I may laugh, a stranger may get a different reaction. I am more uncomfortable when two women who disagree about something, usually a man, call each other whore . Usually these woman are both sexually active, and it is not clear why one is a whore and the other is not, or if they actually mean they think each other are both prostitutes? If a man calls a woman a whore, he should have paid for her sexual services, or keep his mouth shut. If I had to describe my ex’s I might think man whore, but I doubt they were ever paid for their sexual services. I’m being a bit facetious, but it is an inaccurate use of language. If someone has multiple sexual partners, we may call them promiscuous, but that term is not generally applied to men. I think people of color do each other a disservice if they use the n word, but I have also seen (especially older, white people) use the word as if they have no reason to feel bad because that is how they were raised. I think about Mark Twain’s Huck Finn talking about Jim, and he does not intend to insult Jim, I think he actually loves and admires Jim, but he is not at all aware that Jim has been addressed that way all his life, with no choice or recourse.

        Someone here pointed out the word itself can never be as bad as the action that caused its use. I believe that is probably as close to the truth of the matter as possible. Maybe we cannot change what happened, and we think there might be a better way to describe it, but changing the word will not change what happened. We need to focus on changing the perception and the context of why a person becomes a chump. That situation is not chosen, but it happens. We have to deal with what happened, no matter what we call it.

        Some times our words lack sensitivity. Some times we need to choose our words more carefully than others. Sometimes they are used humorously, sometimes cruelly. I think our word, chump, is an attempt to accurately describe what happened to us, but some people think we are calling ourselves stupid. I am not stupid, but I did trust someone who did not deserve my trust, and who intentionally used me. What better word to describe that situation?

  • Barry, despite your declaration that you speak on behalf of the “People”, your opinion is solely your own and you do NOT speak for everyone, just yourself. I’ll leave it at that, because I suspect you’re a troll.

  • For nearly a year I was flopping around like a fish out of water, reading everything I could read, trying to make sense of the nonsensical. “his needs”, “it takes two”, “infidelity is just a symptom”, blah blah fucking blah. What is wrong with me? why do I want to puke when I see/hear “his needs weren’t being met”? was I really to blame because I didn’t care about his needs? NO, I couldn’t accept that. When I found Chump Lady it was like a light from the heavens broke through the fog and shined down on me! She articulates so exquisitely what I have been feeling and thinking since DDay. Finally, validation! A place I can come to really see things clearly. Chump Lady had/has the courage to go against the grain and speak truth to idiocy. She is my HERO! PLEASE DONT CHANGE A THING!

  • I am really sick of the pervasive trend that some have to want to control the language of others. If they can get you to change your words they have the control. They claim they are offended, (more often they are piously offended on the behalf of others they will never meet), and they enjoy correcting you to display their superiority. They prefer doing their correcting in a public venue for all to admire their superior virtue. Sooooo many examples.


    Don’t fall for it.

    I, like others have said, found sweet relief when I found Chump Lady. It was the wake up 2 x 4 that made me understand I was being played for a sucker by the RIC, by my X Asshat, by Switzerland friends and relatives who prefer the easy path of not picking sides.

    I will never go back to sleep and I refuse to allow anyone to dilute the message by scolding me about the word.

    I am Now I.C., and my name is Chump.

    • So True.
      The word police can go fuck off. Like the word for the thing is so much worse than the thing. Or delicate sensibilities or some nonsense. FOH with that shit. I was chumped. No amount of pretty language will change that.

    • “I am really sick of the pervasive trend that some have to want to control the language of others. If they can get you to change your words they have the control. They claim they are offended, (more often they are piously offended on the behalf of others they will never meet), and they enjoy correcting you to display their superiority.”

      Could not agree more….I posted something similar but you put it beautifully.

  • You don’t like the words she uses? Find a different place to read.

    F&&k Off, Barry.

  • Well, Barry, you can be a nice juicy prey for the RIC all you want.

    But we are chumps. And we’re proud of it!

    However, I am NOT proud of being a spackler and of being addicted to hopium.

    I’m so glad there is this word CHUMP that wokeme up in one stroke. Chump Lady: I’ll never forget the first time I saw the name. And I knew it pointed to the path of health for my soul.

    Give me a C. Give me an H.

  • When I first mentioned CL to the X, he got visibly uncomfortable. He hated the word “chump” because of the negative implications for HIM, not me. He would say, “I wish you wouldn’t call yourself that”. Don’t know why. Don’t care.

    • Yeah, ’cause it would mean you realized you were DUPED, which meant you realized he was DUPING you. Which might make him look bad. Can’t have that.

  • I like ‘chump’ much better than ‘A Woman Scorned’ …Ugh!! I actually had someone call me that right after Dday. I also had a man make the comment to me that I must not have been giving my husband enough sex so that’s why he cheated. No, I can say unequivocally that was NOT the case. We had plenty of sex. It’s just that the cheater was so entitled that any skank who spread her legs for him was fair game. I love the way CL tells it. And the posters on here are funny, kind, smart and my tribe.

    • My own brother said “Well you never know what happens in a marriage, I don’t want to take sides.” Still boils my blood 6 months later. Really want to say, “Hey dumbass, the cheater says you’re not allowed to be alone with our daughter.” I’ll just bite my tongue instead. Lesson learned is that many or even most people have no idea about this kind of betrayal. You devote your life to making somebody happy and they turn around and crush your hopes and dreams, take your children and money, and drive you crazy with lies. I’m in therapy exploring “my part in the failed relationship.” I’ve come to understand that my part was being the chump, full stop. When I leave I will no longer be the chump.

      • Mac…gah! Your own brother a Switzerland dude. Sorry about that. I know for sure that unless someone has gone through this kind of horrific betrayal they just.don’ I went to a conference this summer with my boss and we were talking about my ex (he worked with both of us) and my boss said ‘I sense you still have some anger towards him.’ Really?! You think? I was gobsmacked. I started to chumpsplain and then I stopped, realizing that no one gets it but US.

    • I really wish I could recall what I was searching for when I came across this blog. Nevertheless, I didn’t heed the advice right away, stayed on for a few more DDays. Stop coming here because I wasn’t ready to face the truth. Returned and was determined to SEE the situation for what it is. I think a combination of becoming a mom and not wanting to model this behavior to my son, and the unvarnished truth that resides within, was my wake up call. I have found everything I needed when I needed it. You all are seeing me through this nightmare. For the first time I feel like I can breathe. Trying to make things work with my stBXh was like trying to fit a square peg in a round hole. It was exhausting. Our prelim hearing is tomorrow. He wants me and our 21-month old out by the end of the month. Go figure. No worries, my lawyer is on it, but the sooner the better.

      Can “home” from work to implore me to stop this process. We can make it work because “he’ll do anything.” Came here for my dose of “stay the course … trust that he sucks.”

      Thanks, CN!

  • I am a chump? Well, I did chumpy things in a chumpy way and smelled like chump while chumping, but that does not necessarily chump me as a chump. I believed my ex that she was just staying late to put away things, but chump I did as I chumped even when it felt wrong. Chump chumping chump chump my chump. I excrete chump chump. But I would never use that offensive “chump” word!

  • I remember telling a friend of mine, who I had confided in after D-Day, about finding Chump Lady and how helpful the information was. She also took offense the word “chump” and felt it was negative. She didn’t see me as a chump in her definition of the word (I certainly was). She thought I was strong and independent and that my cheater was an asshole (he certainly is). I explained the entire dynamic of what makes a chump and it wasn’t a bad thing to be a chump. I honestly didn’t realize I was one, until I found Chump Lady.

  • Oh how I long for the day when being labeled a “Chump” is my biggest problem. One of the worst possible things in life has happened to us, so who really cares what we are called? I just looked up synonyms for chump and “boob” was an option…I think people would have a very different expectations/ reactions to books and websites from “Boob Lady” 🙂

  • Call it what it is. Look up George Carlin’s routine on euphemisms. Euphemisms demean the reality of it. I want to know what it is and I don’t want to be chumped again.

  • From the get go I saw the word CHUMP as anti RIC. Especially considering the nonsense that comes up on any web page search. Now that shit was offensive!!

  • Chumped.. taken advantage of ..fooled ..conned …screws over Royally….6 in one half a dozen in the other ……stop splitting hairs…. put on your big girl panties

  • Barry – its OK. if you were betrayed, your feelings are all over the map and you don’t need another hit. I’m sorry you are going through this crap. if you stay around, you’ll find your voice that says “I’m mad and I’m not going to take it anymore”. I found it tiresome for my friends and family to have me always sad or angry. even one friend when she asked me how I was and I started crying said – oh crap. here I can blubber, swear, whine away until I get over it. be well my friend-this sucks and we are here for you. hugs.

  • there is an element of humor in that the word “chump” is gentle when the cheater has chumped several with one blow-like the now dead cheater who chumped me, deceiving that he was single, the chumped woman he was cheating on, who bought a house to house him and his 2 grown sons, who cheated on her hubby to have this cheater, and former 2x ex-wife who he cheated on in both marriages. A better word could be monster for him and for me, chump is just fine.

  • I think Barry missed the long history of many many many examples of people reclaiming hurtful words to make them powerful.

    Your queer reader

  • I am going to assume that Barry genuinely feels insulted or personally attacked by the word “Chump”. I think Chump is a rather kind, euphemistic word that sums it up without triggering me. More accurate, “aggressive” words to me would be: Abused, Suicidal, Ruined, Humiliated, Disgusted, Assaulted, Gutted, Doormat, Loser, Piece of Sh*t, [email protected], and more. I have either been those things or called myself those things when I was in self-hate for being abused and manipulated by my ex spouse. So I think Chump is funny and kinder. Aside from euphemisms like Chump, I love the writing of this blog because it doesn’t sugar coat anything.

  • I fooled myself 4 times thinking the person standing in front of me was an honest broker in our relationship. I think I’m a chump. Worst part is, after reading the articles on this site, I can look back now and realize where I was tipped off that I was being played for a fool, fooling myself and being a chump.

  • Through this site, I have come to understand that I was taken advantage of because I am a soft-touch, and that my compassion, willingness to forgive and optimism can be strengths overdone. I have also learnt that I have choices, one of which was to be no longer married to a person who cheated on me. Barry also has choices, and he could do well to learn that one of them is to not access this site if he doesn’t like it.

    • Well said. This site led me to those exact same conclusions. It has been so liberating! But to me Barry is obviously very confused… think back when some dumbass therapist told you affairs are the symptom of a bad relationship and implied that if you had simply met your spouse’s needs you wouldn’t be in this situation. Barry is just new here and it is a pity he kind of stepped in shit by questioning the title of the blog. Poor guy, he’ll develop perspective and better conclusions over time. Clearly he desperately needs chumplady if this is the issue he is worried about.

  • I know, right!!! What would it be? A talk show, or a sit-com? Who would play CL? If she weren’t gone too soon……Gilda Radner? I’d watch! Remember Mr.Roger’s trolley…….toot toot…..the Karma Bus!

  • I would not be in the right frame of mind today if it were not for and the REALISM here. I am a good person I am hurt and I am THANKFUL I came across Tracy and chunplady. It saved my life and is allowing me to create my new life that I was meant for. Amen. Mic drop indeed. Fully support everything here in every way.

  • Despite all of the problems social media platforms promote, the joy of such technology has been to offer isolated people the opportunity to access information and connection that can, quite literally, save their lives. The diversity of blogs and networking sites available to anyone who can get on the Internet is mind-blowing. Most of them are not my cup of tea, and some are hugely offensive to my values, so … I don’t visit them! There are some that offer me content I find valuable but aren’t written particularly well, so I visit them less frequently and don’t enjoy them quite as much, and then there are just a few that have become central to my daily life. If I couldn’t visit Chump Lady, it would have real negative consequences for my well-being. Ahhh, the pleasure of personal choice (especially after decades of being a CHUMP who was denied complete and truthful information that I should have had available to inform my decisions). WE’RE JUST NOT THAT INTO YOU, BARRY.

  • I was chumped. But I’m also a chump who is growing into a mighty, strong woman. I need the occasional slap in the face or kick in the butt to remind me that cheating is abuse. It became so normal to me it was just a way of life. I’m not ashamed to own up to my complicity in being use and betrayed. I wasn’t taught any better. I must never forget that no one can make me a chump again except myself. Tracy is like an angel holding high a flaming sword of truth. That truth is brutal, and awesome. The knowledge of how to protect ourselves from future abuse is here, and in The Book. We can choose to learn, or be doomed to languish in misery.

  • A lot of words have multiple meanings and uses ( how many ways can F*ck be used? ) For me “chump” is one of those words. It depends where on your journey you are, as to how it makes you feel.

    In the Chumplady world I stopped thinking about chump meaning- a foolish or gullible person. I started identifying as being a member of an amazing group of people growing, learning new life skills, sane parenting, supporting others in the same situation and generally being mighty!

  • I’m a chump! I’ve was chumped! I’ve been in over two years of therapy to change my chumpy ways! I’m proud! Thank you chumplady and cn! I couldn’t have gotten through this wo you!

    • And a resounding “No” to the smile diktat. If I sense that I won’t be verbally abused, I might respond “Why, did you say something funny ?”

      • And my last thought…Doormats ‘R Us filed for bankruptcy

  • I would rather be called a chump than still be trapped in that loveless marriage with a lying cheater who was pretending to be too hurt from a back injury to even sleep in the same bed as me let alone have sex with me. The actual fucking of another man in my bed and in my house does not make me as mad as that trickery. The gaslighting that led me to believe I was taking care of the wife I loved was insidious. I was chumped. I have not let it change me. I am a strong, honest, loving man and I am almost to meh. I dont mind being called a chump because there are lots of us. We are legion and we will call a cheater a cheater.
    May they all turn up in the desert in a barrel some day. Not very meh, but I am almost there.

  • I think we can all look at this another way – Chumplady has given a whole new meaning to the word “chump” without taking away from the actual meaning.

    We got duped – hence we’re “Chumps”. And I am proud to be one. Coz being a chump, also means that I’m not the cheater. If cheater and chump were part of an equation, I would be on the good side of it.

    Through ChumpLady, I have found that all of us chumps have a new found definition – people got duped, because they had more generosity and good character than the cheater. And NOW – now we chumps are also the very definition of strength and resilience. We don’t let the cheater or their bad choices define us. “We / Chumps” define us.

    And most importantly let’s not forget – Ms. Schorn has showed us her humility and strength and taking her identity (put her actual self and her name) out there and associated it with the word “chump’ and has become “Chump” Lady.

    And for that – I will always owe her my utmost gratitude.

  • When I found Chumplady I was in the paralysis state and unable to eat or sleep. What I found was a group of amazing people who understood and shared my experience. The pain was finite. That gave me hope.

    Defining myself as a chump meant I wasn’t alone.
    Forever grateful.

  • I hate the word “chump”, too. But it’s reality. I was a chump. Hardcore, pathetically a chump. I couldn’t heal without first understanding that reality. Then I pulled on my big girl panties and did the work. I WAS a chump. Now I am a MIGHTY SURVIVOR. My past does not define me.

  • One of the most dangerous things we can do is lie to ourselves. If we can know and admit the truth, then we can act on it.

    If you’ve been cheated on and betrayed by someone you trusted, you are by definition a chump. Face it, own it, change it.

    Maybe the people who strongly dislike the term just aren’t ready to admit how damn well duped they were. Like, they refuse to acknowledge that about themselves. There ego won’t allow it. It can be hard to face the mirror sometimes. But do yourself a favor to do so.

  • Anybody who reads insult into “chump” deserves a Masters degree in Seriously Missing the Point.

  • Somebody who has been wronged is called a victim. That does not imply stupidity , culpability or responsibility for whatever occurred. However whoever has been wronged is also known as a survivor. So being a chump or having been a chump is not a derogatory term. It just means you were wronged.

    Vive la chump. Gain a life.

  • I’m a chump – at least from my cheating ex wife’s point of view.
    And realising this was an important first step to learn about her narcissistic personality.
    So I don’t have a problem with that word.
    I won’t be a chump in future anymore, but that’s up to me

  • My name is Chumpova and I was a Chump. It has been a humbling discovery to realise I was Chumped. Now I’m getting over it. I was Chumpable. Now much less so. None of my Chumping has been “nice” or “neutral”. I didn’t want to be a Chump. But somebody Chumped me. Chump Lady and Chump Nation has helped me understand how and why and how to unChump. Pick me dance over. Divorce settled. Currently en-route to Tuesday! Sorry Barry, looks like Chump Lady isn’t the right site for you. But it is for a lot of us. Cheers

  • Love the site and Tracey’s views , but have to be honest- hate the word chump , maybe in the uk it has different meaning but it implies idiot/stupid over here — yep I realise plenty of us were but it isn’t alwaysthat great to be reminded of it— however from a business angle and I have a good business, it probably works well and does the job vi

  • In our final session with our marriage counselor, she called Nex out on his boorish and bullying behavior. Nex refused to ever go see anyone again, the truth had been exposed and he did not want that. Oh the stuff there is no room to tell! BUT the counselor did say “Sometimes a man will find a stupid little girl….” She was describing Nex’s behavior, and I knew I was the “stupid little girl” in this scenario. THAT right there is when the switch flipped for me. I was being played by someone I trusted and she was sending me the “message”. Things were going to change, I I was going to be gone. I have been gone now 11 years now. No, I was not offended by this dear doctorate in psychology, she was the MOST help than all 6 others put together!

  • Tracy’s use of the word CHUMP has been very, very helpful to me. I have been a repeat chump and done all of the chump things. There are other powerful words that go with me like Author and Doctor than might have made it harder for me to get what a CHUMP I had been. Facing the truth helps me root out other chump and hopium and bullshit situations. It helps protect me. Tracy’s useful abuse vocabulary make her a human rights champion.

  • What’s the word “chump” when you’ve lived through being called much worse? I don’t know about you, but what I lived through, the names I was called by my ex was much much much worse than the very tame term of “chump.” I’m not saying that what anyone on this site has been through isn’t harrowing, but if you don’t have a thicker skin than to take issue with the word “chump” what are you doing here? I’m sorry, but that’s some serious insecurity talking. Get over it and move on to the real meat and potatoes of this site. It’s here to help, not make fun of you. If you can’t do that, there are other sites out there or as Chump Lady says, you can start one of your own.

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