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What Are You Throwing on the Virtual Bonfire?

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New year, new you. Anything you want to purge from the detritus of your old life? (Aside from your ex that is. I’ll assume you’ve already Kon Mari-ed the cheater.)

You’re in luck! Today is the Chump Nation Virtual Bonfire! Heave ho all that heavy psychic crap you’re carrying around. Into the flames!

What would you like to incinerate? (No exes or affair partners, please. We’re all about the meh here, not Biblical revenge or smiting with hot coals. I think there’s an entire Underworld for that.)

Awful presents you received? A set of screwdrivers? Elf lit? A tie-dyed license plate cover?

Her set of Franklin Mint collectible tea-cups?

His cross-bow?

Check out our funeral pyre and bring some flammables! Warm yourself by the glow and let’s make some cocoa. Who’s got the marshmallows?

TGIF!

Incoming!

(sizzle)

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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 tossing in the DVR’s and CD’s that hold the digital recordings of all the conversations he had with a certain “false pastor” detailing his sex-capades with his ho-workers.
      I don’t ever have to listen to them again, every single word is burned into my brain.

  • Nah, I sold the stuff and bought new stuff!!!
    But I wish I could burn this custody case and make it go away.

    • Sending strength Rad Momma. Don’t give up fighting for your Childrens’ well being! It will end at some point. We are here for you.

    • I feel that way too, but some of it’s so cute! It’s in a drawer for now, just waiting for me to decide.

    • I threw all the beautiful and sexy lingerie in the kitchen garbage can the day he told me that he “gave up” four different women for me. Mind you. He “gave up” the four different women for me WHILE WE WERE MARRIED. Also, the four different women were names I never heard of before and also none of the women that I caught him emailing, messaging or going out for coffee/lunch/dating with. This man-child triangulated me with women from 1991 to 2014. He intentionally made me feel jealous and crazy. He told me that my feelings were not valid. He told me that I was overreacting anytime I caught doing something he shouldn’t have been doing with other women. I’m so thankful that I now have the knowledge that the problem was him and not my reaction to his abuse. I’m so happy to be free of that evil mind fucker!

    • I had a tonne of cute lingerie. He said “I’m not here for a fashion show, I’m here for something else”. In the meantime he was sexting this super ugly cow and she was modeling and sending him dirty pics of her in yoga pants. What he did with the yoga pants after was super gross. Can I throw all yoga pants and pics of him humping them into the fire?

    • There are a ton of assholes all over. But can I share: I have a friend who’s dead-X gave her every reason for the huge wall she guards her heart with. She’s a total catch in my eyes; but her wall prevents any guy from getting through. She let him take this amazing part of her, her heart, to the grave.

      Chumps have powerful loving hearts. And thats what makes us awesome. Guard it, but don’t let your cheater take that too…

        • I really needed to do that too, i hated men and thought that they were all narcissist. I decided to open my heart again over a year ago. It was all good and we were going slow. I let him move in my house. He was very helpful, gets along with my kids. ( He still has his own place).
          However, with him now, I’m going back to thinking that most men are insecure and somehow wounded. He gets so angry at me anytime I don’t act submissive. He has to be the top human in our tribe and be the one with all the knowledge. If I decide to do things my way, I’m being accused of, making teamwork the most difficut thing in life, of being sour, not able to have fun with pple and I’m just the worst! He makes me feel like shit. So today, I’m erecting a huge thick wall and never letting any man in ever again. Being single is my life now. Today, I’m throwing all future romantic relationships to the fire.

          • I think this guy just isn’t *the* guy and dump his ass and move along.
            Not judging – you do you…, just saying its ok to be vulnerable.

            I don’t think we won’t get hurt again. And should we end up in the love we long for and then survive that partner’s passing; that will be very painful. But we’ll have that love we didn’t yet get (and why we’re on this blog).

          • You have the right to make that decision. Please do it. Anyone who treats you as if you are second-class in your own home has lost the right to any say in your life.

            • You are right. I’m now in the guest room because he kept telling me I was wiggly and I was just doing it to be annoying to him, at 4 o’clock in the morning!

              • Yep–tell him to pack his shit and get out or you’ll put it on the lawn for him.

              • Valerie, his criticism and negativity will only escalate, destroying your self esteem. His negativity isn’t good for your children.
                Let him go.
                Anyone who makes you feel like shit doesn’t belong in your circle.

      • I total agree , we have had our hearts broken by people we trusted and loved, we were bad judges of character, there are lots of honest open and loving people , they are just like us, but the fuckwits make us scared to try again , don’t let the fuck wits win, let the chumps find each other and have an amazing life free from dickheads

    • Good Ole Fashioned Southern Country Boys……like my girlfriend found. There were more people in her graduating class than my entire hometown.

    • Without hope or intention I’d just like to say you are beautiful. You will realise at some point that it’s not men or women in particular it’s just those of shitty character from either sex. Don’t make it a gender thing though – my ex wife was evil and the worst thing I could do would be to start believing that is women in general are evil. They’re not – it’s just some odd ones are “wrong’uns”

  • Dear Chump Lady, I am tossing on the bonfire my copy of that cheater classic, “What Did You Do to Make Him Cheat?”. I have never burned a book, yet I’m giving the old heave-HO, to “She is Everything You Will Never Be.” by STBX. Finally, here goes my copy, annotated, autographed and meticulously footnoted of “Raised in a Nest of Narcissists, How to Prepare for a Life as a Chump.” by my mother. Look at that useless book burn! Returning to the physical world I’m tossing his $1,845.11 shoes on the bonfire. I found the receipt for those while wearing shoes with holes in them. He never wore them anyway.

    I love a good bonfire. I brought Scotch for the drinkers and hand pressed orange juice for my non-drinking chumps. If you brought anything too big to carry I’ll help you toss that shit in the bonfire. I might need a hand with this virtual bag of reoccurring nightmares, they are slithering out and twining around my ankles. Stomping on things is frequently a part of bonfires, stomp out the sparks and flames that escape the fire. Stomp out that which doesn’t serve you!

    WhooooWeeeeee! This is a good time!

    • Count me in, 33 Years,
      I am coming to help you, and I am strong.
      Many hugs to you and all posting Chumps.

      Xxxxxxx
      peacekeeper

      • GentleChump, I’m rewriting my books, currently working on “Chump? Never Again!” and editing “Pissing on Your Boundaries; Marking Your Territory to Better Living.” I hope to shelve those in the permanent section of my emotional library.

      • MotherChumper, I love S’Mores! They go delightfully with Scotch and the smoke from the ashes of the past!

      • NotbLUEinTC, this bonfire is lit!!! I am in the MidWest and “The Best Mexican Dip in the MidWest” is a necessary element to a Bonfire!!!

    • Well said, Thirtythreeyearsachump!! Knowledge is power! The day you realize you were raised to be a chump is the day you can STOP being a chump!

  • I’m doing all the right things outwardly. However, I’d sure like to see my inner narrative in flames, embers, then ashes.

  • I’m actually feeling pretty good, so I’ve got the marshmallows, cocoa and whiskey for those who want it.

  • I’m going to throw all the printed emails and phone / text logs that I had kept during my marriage police days into this glorious bonfire. I’m also throwing any pictures of just him in the bonfire!

  • His collection of bicycles, none of which was ever good enough. The spinning shoes and yoga mat he used only to attend classes with her. The socks he asked me to buy him for Christmas because they were a style she liked. The re-gifted gift card he gave me that was from her. Our wedding photo which was on our mantle for so many years. Oh, and the innocence I lost. If I can find that I’ll throw it on there too.

  • Among the many things she left behind were an end table and a piano, both of which she got from her mother. A year and a half after the divorce was finalized, she made the first of three explicit demands for the end table, which was suddenly a “precious family heirloom” to which she was entitled. Meanwhile, I couldn’t give the piano away.

    Last month, I finally made arrangements via a disposal service for the removal of the piano. The cost was halved if I disassembled it myself — I have never had as much fun with a hammer and crow bar in my life.

    I notified her that if she was willing to contribute to the cost of the removal, she could have the end table. She responded with her usual rage-fueled, insult- and threat-laden invictives. (I should have realized I’d have been better off not saying anything.)

    And so, I now submit to the virtual pyre, an end table that she discarded when in the joyous throes of setting up her new life, that she formally signed away all right to in the separation agreement, and when she now believes she’s entitled to because . . . well, just because.

    And, when the weather gets better, I will find an actual pyre, and the cleansing will be complete.

    • If it’s a nice piece, see if someone will take it for free. No sense in burning it if someone else can use it. ( I refinish furniture and I’m always looking for things to re-do) See if someone around you has a paint store where they sell Fusion Mineral Paint and offer it up. Those people do some fabulous re-finishes.

      • Oh that would be the best! Agree with the person you donate it to that they send you a picture of the refinished item after they are done– the only payment you are asking for is to see how their project turned out.

        Then post that picture on FB and stand back and watch a real fire burn when KK realizes her “precious heirloom” (that is pronounced “discarded shit I might want later” in cheaterspeak) is now covered in a cool paint job.

    • I also had a piece of furniture that became a “family heirloom”. The cheaters entire family (cheater, mom, dad, aunts, uncles, cousins) was going to toss their deceased grandmothers only prized possession into the garbage/Goodwill bin — a wrought ironed legged, glass topped coffee table. I said I would take it as I couldn’t believe they were all willing to toss it on the garbage. Well, after D-day the cheater said it was a “family heirloom” even though just a few years before it was garbage to him and his family. So, just like all cheaters and their families who lack empathy and only value sparkly new toys and things that are of use to them — they all tossed me out like garbage. But now I realize the garbage took itself out — cheaters and users are garbage.

    • In a similar situation, I was tempted to write “K** is a cheater” on the underside of discarded furniture before donating it.

      But it didn’t feel very ‘Meh” – so thought better of it.

    • Yeah, my ex was given a date to get his stuff out of the garage.He rescheduled several times and I was accommodating for the first 3x. Then I wasn’t and had my attorney put it in the settlement. Once the date was set I gave him a full 12 hrs. Went to the beach with the kids for the day. When we got home(at midnight) he had all of his stuff in the driveway and a small van that in no was was going to accommodate the load . He was out there until 3am and still didn’t get everything. When after 3 months I called 1-800-ChuckIT to get the rest he had a melt down . When he got wind of what I did the texts rolled in. I was accused of destroying heirlooms, being vindictive, bitter, the whole nine yards. I just after 23yrs of marriage wanted to park in my damn garage!!!! Anything of value i put in a box for my kids. I didn’t ask for a dime in the removal (tip:-i had a chest freezer i paid to have hauled off, found out the Utility company in my area would have hauled it away for free and given me a $50 credit that would have really helped)why bother. I didn’t want the contact. Now it’s winter and i don’t have to clean my car off!!!!

    • KK’s rant is a testament to your boundaries, UXW. She HATES that she can’t manipulate you any more, that you’re not beholden to her whims and wants.

      I LOVE it. I love every time she flips out, the entitled princess of nowhere.

      Hah.

    • Hey table!! This is the END!!

      (Engulfed in flames …)

      She brought nothing to the table, in the end, you brought the end table to … nothing.

      But cinders.

  • Very happy to report that the actual detritus has been pitched overboard long ago.

    The metaphorical and emotional detritus has also mostly been scrubbed off and hosed away.

    It’s amazing to see what colour the tiles actually are.

      • I gave mine–Victorian style, designed and hand sewn by me–to the theatre costume department at the university where I teach. They were thrilled to get it. I figured that as he was acting the whole time we were married, my gown should contribute to the cause now that I’ve divorced him.

  • I’m throwing in an AP’s ugly, angsty, ink-and-watercolor self-portrait of a grown-ass man with a skate board, which my cheating ex-wife received as a gift from this AP (one of several) during their affair and HUNG ON THE WALL OF OUR DINING ROOM FOR TWO YEARS. More of that cheaters-marking-their-territory behavior, I suppose, and duping delight. Repulsive art from, and to, repulsive people. Burn, baby, burn!

    • I confess I actually burned this picture in the backyard after the divorce (yeah, when I filed for divorce and she moved in with a different AP she left it with ME). But I don’t mind imagining burning it all over again. 🔥 🔥🔥🔥🔥🔥🔥

      • Nomar,

        My ex-wife had a sizable photo on the wall in our house of her competing in a bike race with her douchey AP. Before she moved out, she insisted on keeping it up in her office.

        She did do me the service of taking it with her, although I saw an autographed copy (she is not famous) of it on the wall of my physical therapist’s waiting room. Ugh. Yes, we still share a PT, and the x is indeed a fine self promoter.

        This was a few years ago, I bought her out of the house and I sold it recently and had the thrill f dumping much of the crap she did not take, but said she wanted to. Threw all of it into the massive dumpster at the town landfill, felt very, very good.

        • I filled 4 dumpsters with stuff from my previous life. I did give away or sell what I could but my ex hoarded tools and other garbage. I can’t even tell you what all filled all those dumpsters, but it was so cathartic. I still have a few more things to get rid of but I’m letting my son and a friend of his handle the selling and giving them half the sales price.

          I do want to burn down the wall around my heart though.

        • Chumpion – can you surreptitiously customize that signed photo at your PT’s office with fart bubbles coming out of her bike shorts?

      • We had a framed poster hanging in our house, I found out that he bought ow#1 the next one of the set and ow#2 got one too, hanging on her wall! Gifted by him! We all had the same effing artist prints in each house he shagged in! Turns my stomach the level of his derangement.. Like we are all interchangeable!

    • They have bad taste in “art.” My cheater had a life-size cardboard cutout photograph of himself leaping into the air with legs pulled up and arms high in the sky, exactly like some kind of camo-garbed cheerleader. This lovely display was on a stand and graced our living room for years. I have no idea what he did with it once I moved out, though.

      • The extra large shirt he ordered after a motorcycle trip to a twisty turny highway that is so popular with bikers that photographers perch at various turns and take pics to sell you of yourself. You can have that professional grade photo of yourself – leaning into that turn – put on all kinds of things, including a shirt.

        Can you spell N-A-R-C?

  • I’m tossing in the DVR’s and CD’s that hold the digital recordings of all the conversations he had with a certain “false pastor” detailing his sex-capades with his ho-workers.
    I don’t ever have to listen to them again, every single word is burned into my brain.

  • Diabetes…..I got diagnosed last Summer. My doctor claimed with a few food changes, a bit of medication, and losing a few pounds…..it is possible to beat it. I have seen progress over the past few months.

    • SuperDuperChump: Dr Jason Fung’s work will save your life (he has bestselling books on Amazon and tons of work on YouTube).

      • Yes! SDC- and check out Vinnie Tortorich NSNG (no sugar no grains). It can absolutely reverse the disease. He references Jason Fung all the time.

        • Fortunately for me….I have been in a relationship with a vegan for almost 3 years. Still like my steak and eggs…..but have an awesome cook with alternative meals.

    • My two tribes are Chumplady and WW. Both helped me cut through the disordered insanity, see things clearly and without shame for the first time, and then go about setting them straight.

  • I have always found this funny: My therapist has told me to write letters to everyone I hate and burn them…now, what do I do with all he letters?

  • I’d love to set fire to the fear of my ex-wife’s rage. It was only ever really bad early in our marriage and when we tried reconciling. The seething version of her anger never scared me. The rage, that flips on like a light switch, does.

    She once mentioned this was “advice” from her mom. I don’t doubt it could have been. However, it was narcissistic rage that truly made it effective. Her mom supposedly told her that “whatever men think they can get away with in the beginning of the marrage, they will always think they can get away with. If you want them to change a habit, like requiring the trash being taken out daily, then you have to come down on them hard. Otherwise, they will never change”. Words of wisdom, that is. 🤮

    I never knew what would cause it. I could absentmindedly be doing something and turn around to find she’s got me cornered and she’s furious.

    It rarely ever happens now. Probably because of advice from her lawyer to keep up her “rainbows and sunshine” persona. Besides, the impact of it lessens significantly each time it transitions from in person, to phone call, then to text message. A text message rant will just prompt me to let out a sigh and turn off my notifications. However, it’s this very reason I don’t wish to have phone calls with her.

    The problem is I still feel a panic when I realize that something I’m going to do (even stuff she would never know about) could flip that rage switch. I’d love to see that habit of apprehension burn to a pure white ash while I dance naked in a shamanistic fugue state.

    • As a person who was subjected to abusive rage, I get it. Even with Cheater dead, I find myself getting anxious if Im in a situation where I might have gotten rage from him.

      One thing I gave up during our time together was any joy in travel, he was a nasty abusive asshole when we traveled…the dynamic if being in a strange place with 3 kids and no normal setting or transportation left me very vulnerable (3 kids in a rental car at 11pm in a rainstorm in Bumfuck, Montana and he rages). During rages, he always insulted my value as a person & spouse and if he was driving, he endangered all of us and anyone else who shared the road with us at that moment.

      Since he died, I have been to 16 countries and fallen in love with the adventure of travel. It is kind of a reverse of burning something…imagine the bonfire that was my life before…its like my passport fell off the pile only singed at the edges and I picked it up and said “Oh I will need this”.

      • unicornomore- exact same thing from my ex- abusive rages, especially during holidays of vacation, like they need to ruin everything and make it all about them. I took a trip abroad alone after DDay 3 and it was so relaxing and enjoyable. Makes travel more fun without a abusive nutjob.

        • On vacations ex wouldn’t outwardly rage, he’d go quiet, distant, drag his feet, look sullen. To look at him you’d think he was at a funeral. He was a load who had no ideas or plans who lacked enthusiasm for any of my suggestions. He’d shrug his shoulders, like a moody teenager when asked what he’d like to do. He had this fake innocent look, that included making his eyes big and round, what? who? me? as if he was being victimized when I’d ask if something was bothering him. As if he had no idea of what I was talking about,
          Yeah, I’d like to throw that in the fire…

          • That’s a really good description of my ex-wife when she was in self-pity mode at events or on vacation. She’d give obvious signs of something being wrong, but, when asked, she would act confused about why I could ever think such a thing. Finally she might say “I’m tired” or “my back hurts” in an unconvincing way.

            This mode was typically reserved for when I was doing something I wanted to do. She made it seem obvious she didn’t want to participate, but would never admit it. I think she wanted me to draw that conclusion, take pity on her, and move on to something she wanted to do.

            When it was her turn to do her activities, she’d be in full on charm mode, but also very selfish. She was having fun, so everyone must be having fun. I’d ask to leave or come back the next day and she’d say “I’m almost done” or “sure, just give me a few more minutes”. Then she’d happily continue as though I had never asked. It’d usually take several serious requests before she’d even think about it. Even then, she’d have the attitude of “you owe me”. No empathy at all that I was exhausted, hungry, sore, or whatever.

            • SweetPotatoFlakes, yes, if it was an event that ex was interested in or if he happened to be the center of attention his personality would be on the other end of the spectrum. (Like a Jekyll and Hyde).
              He would go from being miserable to giddy with excitement. The best way to describe it would be exaggerated enthusiasm. Overly friendly, making what he’d think were funny remarks loud enough so others could hear. Looking to see who noticed, with loud, fake laughter.
              I remember looking around at other people at these events and thinking no one else acts like this. He never acted this way behind closed doors.
              That side of his personality reserved for impression management.
              Looking back with time and distance between ex and I as an outsider it leans towards the personality of someone who is unstable.

    • SWP, my Ex was more the constant criticism and moodiness THEN some real rage on top type of angry narc. That feeling of anxious anticipation took quite a while to go away! I hadn’t even realized how strong it was until one day months after I finally got him out of the family home, when I came home from work and immediately starting tidying a small mess in the entrance hall and thinking of how I could ‘manage’ the kids so they wouldn’t be pissing him off. AGH! He was SO in my head!

      Fortunately, once I realized how strong that was, and that I no longer had to cater and tiptoe in order to try to manage his moods, I was able to deliberately let go of those feelings, when they rose up. I also LEFT the mess in the hallway and let the kids run a little wilder! That was a great way to affirm my freedom from his anger and criticism.

      You’re right that the anger doesn’t have to be constant or even frequent; it’s the unpredictability that made it so hard to relax.

      I am betting that by this time next year, there will only be ashes left of your apprehension! And the less contact you have with her, the faster that will happen.

      • This sounds very similar to my husband. He’s been on the charm offensive so long I forgot the anxiety.

        Until the Friday before christmas when I walked in and saw the look on his face. He raged about the mess the kids had made (building dens in the living room) and how disrespectful they were to him.

        Instantly the physical anxiety (lump in my throat, heart racing, cold sweat, teeth gritting) kicked in. How did I live with that for so many years?

        Then I remembered that I am not managing his behaviour anymore. So I stood calmly watching him rant, feeling completely detached from his drama. Then just said “are you done?” And walked away. His jaw dropping was pure gold lol.

        Then i went in the living room and said to the kids….”it looks like you’ve had fun today guys but would you mind clearing up so me and your dad can sit down, please?” They instantly jumped up saying “yeah course mum” and started tidying.

        My son even said to his dad….”all you had to do was say please and talk to us with a bit of respect Dad”

        It felt so good to not get dragged into his drama. He did then spend the rest of the evening making nasty covert remarks about me and women in general but I just replied with “uh huh” etc. While silently thanking him for reminding me why I despise him and need him out of my life.

        • So glad you’re getting him out of your life. Sounds like you handled it like a pro. Good for you. Keep on being strong!

          I do remember the covert remarks about me and women in general. If they can’t get to you, they throw their net more widely

          • Undiscovered,
            I remember that feeling. Its fear. They rule people using fear as control. Very unhealthy. You handled him so well, as did your son. X treated me me like a servant much of the time; he thought he was the king. Now there is no anxiety or fear. Freedom is so wonderful; I pray you can experience it.

            • Chumpalou

              Yes it took me a while to realise that. Isn’t it strange that I lived with it for years yet never saw it as a problem until I found out about the cheating. It’s like the blinkers fell away and I could see him for the monster that he is.

              And I always considered myself to be a strong intelligent woman. When in reality I was an ignorant, quivering wreck.

              I have seen glimpses of the freedom you speak of, when I am able to step back from the crazy and not engage, but as soon as I think about how I am going to tell him that I am divorcing him (later this month once i have my ducks in a row) the fear comes crashing back in.

              Visions of a peaceful happy future keep me moving in the right direction. I just hope I can find the courage when the time comes.

              • Its hard to confront and accept and maybe even harder to prepare for. Please don’t settle or start out thinking 50/50 split. Go for alimony for ALL the years you were married. Ask fir it to increase each year with cost of living and or his salary. Put in your decree he pays for counseling for you and kids and does transporting to and from sessions with kids. Cover college, camps, sports, school trips…
                Put in he must pay rent if he stores stuff in the house and must pay for Dr. copays (if you’re the one who does all the care during illnesses and takes them to the dr then he should do the financial portion and pay for insurance and keep it at same level as it is now. He must have a will and live insurance with kids as beneficiaries not AP possibly turned wife. Get power to move if you want. You could get him to agree to this in a post nup when he’s still trying to get you to stay. I could go on and on what i wish i put in what became my divorce decree because just last week my once so so sorry, contrite ‘I’d walk through fire for you if you’d only give me another chance and I’ll starve before you ever go without” – ex just texted me and his two young daughters, “you guys are all assholes to me and i only have to do what is written in black and white so chew on that shit!” This because we were all home sick and didn’t respond to evry one of his evry hour texts.
                When you go through and think of all these things and what your life will be filled with, you’ll see what he’s done to his family and your life and you’ll get angry and focused like you’ll need to be at certain points. Please go to a certified divorce financial advisor.

              • Undiscovered, your courage is already present!! I’m so happy you are getting rid of him!
                I hear ya…I’m strong and fierce and independent too. But under the thumb of X, not so much, because I feared his rage. Living a life in which you are NOT QUIVERING INSIDE is the goal!!
                You are doing great!! Please keep us updated :). There are good people for you here.

              • Undiscovered, TELL HIM IN A PUBLIC PLACE or with another adult in the next room, and only tell him once you are MOVED OUT or able to sleep elsewhere (w/the kids, if you have minor children together) until you can move your stuff out.. A lot of people get violent when told this type of news, or later on when ‘discussing’ the situation. If he already scares you, that means he’s used to controlling you with his anger, and that can REALLY escalate when he realizes you are about to remove yourself from his control.

                The other option is to move out, then send him an e-mail explaining. If he’s a HUGE jerk and deserves a little image management problem, you can always move out, then have him served with the divorce papers at work.

                If you have ANY reasons to fear his anger, no matter how small those might be, call a Domestic Violence hotline to discuss how to make this important move SAFELY.

                There’s a great assessment tool for risk of Domestic Violence here;

                https://www.mosaicmethod.com/

                Better to be cautious when not needed, than to feel scared but take that risk and perhaps pay a terrible price for it.

          • FindingBliss

            Exactly and that way if I challenge him he can say “I didn’t mean you!” Or “I was only joking”

            Yes I really hope I can stay strong for the storm ahead. In reality I just want to go find a cave to hide in and hope it all goes away on it’s own.

            • Oh UD, yes the “you have a bad sense of humor because you couldnt tell I was joking” excuse…horrid.

              It was about 3 months after he died when some problem surfaced and I was sitting in my room contemplating the problem when I realized that was the exact time he would have stormed into the room and yelled at me about all my flaws caused the problem in the first place. (that was step one for every problem…assign blame to Uni). and yet that day, all I had to do was solve the problem.

        • Been there with the anxiety of anticipating ex coming home. I had people tell me that they could aways tell when ex was home by the tone of my voice over the phone.
          I would feel so anxious and worried about what he’d find wrong and accept the fault finding and blame if things weren’t perfect. I’d dread him coming home wondering what mood he’d be in. Dreading the look of disdain if something wasn’t to his liking.
          I went from being fun, light hearted and care free to an overly anxious, nervous, bumbling mess.

          • His “coming home” abuse wasnt bad until his big affair with Susan of Seattle, the affairs he had early in marriage (which I didnt learn about until he was dead) didnt get him as worked up as that one. I was like a frog in a pot and didnt realize how awful he was until I was expecting him home at midnight and at 11pm I was feverishly scrubbing the floor in the kids bathroom terrified of how he would react if he found it messy. It was a moment of clarity but it still didnt motivate me to change anything. It was years before I was away from that abuse.

  • Funny, I literally held a ritual burning the day before my former husband was served with divorce papers. I gathered my “tribe” of about 30 women around me, and we sat outside and sent all that sh!t up into the cosmos. Love letters, moments from the honeymoon, emails, a photo of our family with kids ages 1, 4, and 8 when, by his reckoning, the 20 years of serial cheating began. Oh, and the flower wreath I made for my head on my wedding day. That burned spectacularly. It felt SO good. Now I am almost three years out from that day, and so abundantly happy in my
    life that sometimes I can’t believe it. The Burning was a pivotal moment in my freeing myself from it all. Highly recommend.

    • I love this! I sincerely want to know how you gained your tribe. 30 supporters?! Not having family around & being so psychologically abused that I felt people would side with him, I’m not sure about following through with leaving. The 3 things holding me back are money, a place to live, & trying to build up a network of people I feel safe with.

      • I am 2000 miles away from family, but I built my life working to better my community and church and I am
        blessed with many friends who rallied around me! I never would have referred to them as a tribe, until a divorce group friend called them that. I loved the idea that I had a tribe, and still do. And I especially love the friends who chose sides (well, my side in particular). I have one friend, because her husband works with my former, who has declared they are “Switzerland”. Good for them. I still see her, but she is less and less a member of the tribe. And the ones who are on Team What’s-His-Name? Good riddance.

      • LimboChump, my second recommendation of the day, to contact a Domestic Violence service. Psychological and emotional abuse ARE ABUSE, as is isolating you. They can provide a lot of help and info about finding a place to live, how to manage financially, and how to start building a good and supportive network.

        You’re not alone in this situation, there are services available near you, I bet, and CN has your back.

  • I bring my journals I filled with all the hate and anger after abandonment. And the Christmas socks he left at my doorstep for a birthday present to me (creepy and unwanted, I’m not a wearing socks kind of person.) I’ll keep the scrunchies he left for me too, the cats enjoy playing with them. But they get tossed in the trash when I find one in the catbox.

    I’m also bringing rumballs for us to enjoy.

  • Just realized how much I have already burned or discarded. It was easier for me since I sold the house and moved, which was basically the only way to get ex-hoarder’s stuff out of the garage. I still remember the incredible relief and joy I felt the night I dumped the last of the garbage on the street corner, leaving enough room to park my new car in the garage!

    Not sure what I have left except resentment of losing half of my pension to a jerk who couldn’t balance a budget on his own, who is so entitled that he needs to buy himself to best and most expensive things, all the while making sure I had the cheapest crap, broken down cars and gifts purchased from the local gas station. Once I let that go, I think I will have nothing left of our 20 year disaster.

    • Yes! Getting rid of the horded stuff!

      While married I found a small cabinet shelf full of…wait for it…bubble solution. Around 20-30 random bottles of it! I got yelled at when I tried to downsize to a single large bottle.

      When she moved out during our separation, all of them except one went into the trash! So very satisfying!

      • Very strange, but hoarding is something these nuts seem to have in common. Bubble solution, like to blow bubbles? lol!

        I would pick up crap from around the house, put it in a nice clear container in the garage, he would then freak out, go in the garage and drag it all out, while ranting and raving to himself. Somehow that is a happy thought. He also would take people in our garage to show them the mess and tell them it was my fault. So glad the nut and his mess are gone! His cheating did me a great favor.

        • That sent me down a rabbit hole! Your post got me thinking and I found an interesting study about hoarding. For anyone interested it’s The Relationship of Hoarding Symptoms to Schizotypal Personality and Cognitive Schemas in an OCD Sample.

          Without getting too deep in the weeds, it’s pretty fascinating. Hoarding is a symptom of certain mental disorders with certain symptoms. However the individual’s rating of those disorder’s symptoms correlate with significantly different other behaviours. This is what freaked me out.

          “Interestingly, significant correlations were also observed between schizotypal score and the following schemas: emotional inhibition, subjugation, emotional deprivation, insufficient self-control/self-discipline, failure to achieve, and entitlement”.

          It references a table that shows individuals with the above traits have a high score for hoarding, a moderate score for symmetry/order, and a much lower score for other OCD traits (i.e. contamination/washing, obsessions/checking, and superstitious)

          Looks like I’ve got another red flag I can look out for…hoarders who are somewhat organized, but are not bothered by germs or superstitions and don’t double check or obsess over anything.

          I know that seems really weird, silly, and trivial…but it fits perfectly with my ex-wife’s behavior.

          • Nope, not silly or trivial, they are all pretty much alike and we explain it away as best we can until we are hit in the face with facts. I did a lot of research too, it just helps to ease my mind because it really was him and he really was crazy and dangerous.

            I once read a piece about the cycle of abuse, it hit me so hard that what I was experiencing was real abuse I started shaking and couldn’t stop for 3 hours, that was my body catching up with my mind I guess.

          • Yep, XAss is a horder.

            When I left I took as much as I could out of the remote village house I was leaving, but I had to leave a lot behind. I had to get a court order telling XAss he had to send me my stuff. I’m sure it will surprise no one how much stuff never made it to me because A) he couldn’t find it, B) it wasn’t mine, C) I’m delusional and that item doesn’t exist.

            He’ll horde things that he can’t even use because he can. His excuse, “I might need it one day.” Yet everything is stacked, piled, pushed and shoved into every corner, shelf and cupboard so that it ends up lost, broken, ruined.

            It’s gotten worse as he has aged. He now has at least 4 properties that are full of crap. I feel sorry for our son who will one day have to deal with it all. Feeling a slight twinge of guilt that I feel nothing but a sense of relief that I don’t have to deal with any of it ever again.

            It seems that XAss has a classic Mommy abandonment syndrome that manifests as hording everything. Yet he actually hates woman. So he hordes his treasure, yet trashes the treasure. Much like a pack rat that piles up his horde and then pisses all over it so no one else will touch it.

            If my son ever asks me for help, I will hand him a match. (After I remove my antique cupboard and Athabaskan beaded fur boots that I am sure are still there somewhere.)

            • “He’ll horde things that he can’t even use because he can. His excuse, “I might need it one day.””

              I’ve heard the exact same excuse. A huge pile of post office mailer boxes took up a corner of our closet. We had never used them…not a single one. She ordered a case of them because, as far as I could tell, “they were free”. Absolutely could not get rid of any of them because of possibly needing them “one day”. These things are free for the taking at the post office. That portion of the post office is open 24/7. Just walk in and grab some. Still didn’t matter. I had to give up that corner of closet real estate so she’d never have to drive the 3 mile round trip to the post office, when and if we ever needed to use one.

              • What really got me was his insistence to save every single magazine he had in very large cardboard boxes. Its very wet and cold here. Mold is an issue. As well as space, we didn’t live in a very big house. So those boxes sat there getting filled with silver fish, damp and mold, but they had to stay because he might need to refer to an article one day. I’m talking hundreds of magazines. At least 6 boxes.

                He didn’t appreciate me pointing out to him that each and every article would be able to be accessed (much more quickly and efficiently) online. You know, that cool electronic device, the computer, that he spends so much time on social media on?

                I look around my small, but clean and neat apartment, and can breathe so much easier! Literally and figuratively!

  • I’m going to sell the ring he bought me after first D Day. I loved that ring and deluded myself that he felt remorse for his stupid behaviors. I had a talk with myself to see if I could just keep and enjoy the beauty of the ring, but it’s so tainted. I think I’ll use the money to contribute to my daughter’s wedding fund. (And let it be known that it’s not been easy for her to even set a wedding date. Whether it’s been the damage of divorce or she just isn’t that very marriage driven young lady, I don’t know, but I support her eyes wide open view of marriage.) Thanks for helping me through 2019. It’s been something I look forward to all every weekday morning.

    • Maybe instead of selling the ring you love, you could have it redesig ned by a jeweler and transformed into something new.
      I sold or gave away almost all of the jewelry the Worm/Apple flinger bought me. I had it appraised at 3 different places and got about half of what he originally paid for all of it.
      I loved the diamond in my engagement ring and was going to sell it as well, but my best friend said, “Why don’t you have it made into something else?”
      It was actually therapeutic to meet with the jeweler and transform that ring into the exact necklace that I wanted. I saw it as the ultimate FU to the Worm.

      • I did this as well. Sold several rings for the gold, then designed a pendant from small stones in my engagement and promise rings. I do not really like gold, so I used white gold.

  • Endless sports programmes
    Irish music
    Him pretending his parents were nice
    Trying to do diy but making things worse
    He ate simple plain food, suppose there’s nothing wrong with that
    Only he was allowed to be illl

  • My best friend has already planned a bonfire to coincide with my upcoming 50th birthday. Fuel for the fire to include:
    1. The underdress from my wedding gown. I’d long ago donated the dress to charity, but I recently found the undergarment while cleaning out a closet at my parents’. The symbolism will suffice.
    2. Wedding photos
    3. A shoebox of momentos from the narcissist’s lovebombing stage.

    I do wish I had some of the Christmas gifts my MIL had given me—a sketch of a water mill, frayed cardigan, framed stitched ducks, free perfume-sample-with-purchase (whatever she was discarding from her house)—but they were immediately dropped in the end-of-the-year donation box.

    No dancing around the fire here. Just a quiet night in the backyard to bring an end to the first half of my life, so I can start living my REAL life.

    • I burned his TV trays – the ones that reinforced the habit of watching TV during dinner instead of at a table, talking to each other and the kids…. I knew better but compromised anyway, so I’ll burn my tolerance of his avoidant behavior and my regret about it too.

      Now, how do I burn constantly thinking about him, trying to make things better than this?

      • Mostly it’s about the time, chumpstar. I’ve always been a huge over-thinker, so you can just imagine how much I thought about that asshole and the situation he had put the kids and I in. I used to have entire conversations with him in my head, and sometimes even out loud!

        It helped to actually write stuff down; then I didn’t feel I had to keep going over the same stuff again and again. My list of crap things he did, big and small, grew to over 130 points, in the couple of years after I kicked him out and through his fucking up his relationship with our kids.
        Then just the passage of time and my life getting filled up with other things helped. And at one point I started stopping myself when I was going there again. Recognize the over-thinking, take a deep slow breath, remind myself of my mantra; ‘it is what it is’, and on with my day.

        I hope you get to a more peaceful headspace soon!

        • “I used to have entire conversations with him in my head, and sometimes even out loud!”

          I always bottled everything up, but since I’ve been speaking out loud the past few months, I’m so much calmer. Thanks for getting me further down the road to Meh with the mantra “it is what it is”. Focus on controlling what’s within my power to control.

        • Another cost of being married to that fragment-of-a-man was isolation, so thank you! I’m starting to realize how much of his nonsense I accepted without question – things that my friends would have immediately called BS on, but were invisible to me. Part of my overthinking has been to figure out my blind spots. Plus, I needed to process how much of a dick he actually is (not just a momentary bad decision kind of dick, but a calculating, fuck the au pair, lie for a decade, porn-addicted, alcoholic, abusive, then BLAME IT ON ME kind of dick!)

          That said, I found some videos online toady about how thoughts shape experience and how (in a way) this creates reality. I’m skeptical, but I do believe that thinking about sparkledick all the time does make it harder for me to focus on the positive in my life – my kids, my work, my community and all the possibilities… I already paid a huge price for supporting that asshole, it would be a shame to miss out on more now, especially when I have control.

          Thank you all – this site is helping me move forward more than any resource I’ve found so far.

        • I too have a list of “every terrible thing she’s ever done”. At least a hundred entries so far. I can’t believe that I still occasionally remember something that’s not on the list, so it’s still growing! You’re spot on about how writing it down helps let ruminating thoughts go. Once it was cataloged, I knew I could revisit it later. However I rarely did. It’s funny how some days certain memories would get triggered and I’d feel this overwhelming urge to chew over them for a ridiculous amount of time. Then later I could look it it and be confused about why it bothered me so.

          That list is also great for any creeping doubts that I made the right decision to divorce or if I start to buy into the “practically perfect” persona she’s been projecting. I don’t even have to read the whole list before I get a firm sense of how unhealthy she was for me.

          • The fact that she turns on a dime on you and RAGES at you as she was taught to by her mother in a very calculating, controlling, manipulative way, is enough for me to know that you did the right thing. She’s an abusive asshole, but not in front of other people. That’s how a LOT of abusive assholes get away with their bullshit.

            Anyone who knows my ex knows him to be mild and kind and oh-so helpful. They didn’t see the passive-aggressive, entitled, lazy prick that I was married to.

            And your words about the hoarding have really touched a nerve with me, wow. Lots to think about with that one, hmmmm…. Thanks for chiming in.

  • I immediately threw away our bed. Too many bad memories. I upgraded to a king bed just for myself and now I sleep better than I have in years!

  • I will gladly bring the makings of s’mores and some whiskey to the bon fire. I have already burned up my wedding veil in my friend’s fire pit. I also took all of the paperwork to a shredding event. 7 years of emails and printed text messages that may have been needed for court while trying to divorce, along with the stacks of phone logs, text logs and other things I printed while I was in the policing stage. What a great feeling to expunge all of those things. The guys at the shredder truck though it was strange that I was taking pictures as the papers were tossed in the truck. I just smiled and walked away. I hadn’t felt that good in years.

  • The twee cards and naff doggerel he wrote to celebrate certain occasions … in fact time to have a REAL bonfire for that crap … old bull sh*t burns a treat 😎💣💥⚡🔥

  • I’ve got a tub full of his baseball cards and bobble heads, I think I am going to sell them though, I just don’t know how all that works. Would I use Ebay??? Anyone have experience doing this? I would burn them or trash them, but I think they are actually worth a pretty penny. And for the record they are all legally mine now.

    • I would search eBay first (make sure to select “completed auctions”) to see what your items have fetched recently, to see if it’s worth your time to list and ship. The main issue with card collections is that you’ll have to go through and figur out which individual cards are worth the most, and then bundle the rest into smaller lots (or try to sell the whole collection as a single lot). Best of luck to you!

      • Thank you so much!! My goal is to get rid of everything by the end of 2020, if I don’t sell it by then, I will just give it away!

    • See if there is a place near you who deals with sports memorabilia, they may be able to appraise the collection for you for free or for a small fee. They may even make you a good offer and take it off your hands right away.

        • Yeah, definitely don’t just toss it out or donate it! You might just be sitting on a small fortune. Last year I sold a coat on Ebay for $500.00 that I bought for $100.00 in 1989! It helped pay for my daughters passport, two new backpacks and other items that we needed for our backpacking trip to Europe! 🙂 I have sold lots of things on Ebay. Before giving things away, I always check to see if someone is selling something like it on Ebay and also seeing if it’s worth my effort. Good luck!

    • For the baseball cards check some of the auction houses. You’d be surprised what some collectors of sports ephemera are willing to pay !

  • I really have thought about burning our ketubah (Jewish wedding contract), after divorce is finalized, except that it’s got a couple of friends’ signatures on it (as witnesses). And it’s an original, hand-drawn work of art. But I have no idea which of us will end up with it, or what we would do with it except to roll it up and keep it in storage. Watching the ketubah burn sure would feel cathartic, at least in the moment – it’s the most direct physical representation of our marriage, and, like our marriage (as it turns out), it’s very flammable.

    • If you have kids, I would keep and show them when they are older. The document would speak for itself–marriage is a commitment, with witnesses & not to be thrown away lightly.

    • I have no idea what to do with mine: Beautiful, hand lettered, one of my most prized possessions—I can’t bear to throw it away but I also can’t have an ornate version of our marriage contract in the living room.

      • Worst part is, I spent months saving up for it and designing it, and since he blew up our marriage in six months; I never even really got a chance to enjoy it. Same with my wedding and engagement rings. I loved them, and now they bring me nothing but pain. After 12 years of living with this man I really wanted to enjoy these momentos.

        • I hear you, newlywedchunp. Ketubahs are beautiful, and it’s very sad to see such works of art rendered useless. (Yet another shit sandwich!) We probably will save ours in case one of ours kids wants it, but I really hope they never want to display I think in their homes or anything like that, because that would likely be painful to see. I hope in a couple of years or so, my kids will be able to see that it was best for us to divorce. That will be a hard place for them to get to, I think, because they are really bonded to their other mother (STBX is my same-sex spouse), and she is very adept at impression management. It has been hard for me to trust that’s she sucks – though I do, now! – and I know a lot more about her deep-seated issues than my kids do. Am just hoping that my conversations about boundaries with my kids will rub off, or at least plant seeds that they might be able to use later in life.

  • My ex-husband and I started dating when we were 16 years old and got married when we were 23 years old. Total time together was 23 years– 17 years married. He had an affair with our live in nanny (he was 39, she was 23). He left in March, 2018 and the divorce was finalized in August, 2019. We share custody of our three kids. His OW/nanny/long term co-parent as he calls her, are living together. I have been slowly giving all the jewelry he gave me over the course of 23 years to our 10 year old daughter. Most of it is silver and my daughter really likes it. The divorce was high conflict and typical of what we see around here at CN. He is a narcissistic remorseless cheater. But I see no need to purge pretty things
    my daughter could have.

      • So would I. That is how he refers to her. He says she is his “long term partner and co-parent.”
        My youngest child was 2 years old when his dad left
        for the OW/ nanny. He still calls her “the nanny!”
        Others on this site have said she is still the nanny to him, just now she is unpaid.

          • Kintsugi–I’ve appreciated your comments on this & so glad this topic came up, as it’s given me the heads-up. If I ever hear my kids say this, I want to come back immediately with a calm but firm reply.

    • Hear, hear!

      I second that motion. I want to burn the HPV-based cancer she gave me and the financial ruin from fighting it off with expensive chemo/radiation/immunotherapy.

      I also want to burn every trace of our 32-year marriage that ended in 2013. I keep running across things and pitch them in the trash as soon as I can.

      She got mad that I would not keep the very large professional taken and framed pictures of us in “happier” times (while she was cheating) and save them for when i felt better about her.

      They were in the trash almost the moment I put down the phone. No time like the present!

  • I throw out the belief that anyone else has more knowledge about my needs, beliefs, or abilities than myself. My needs, beliefs, and abilities are personal, and my experiences are real.

    • This!

      I have spoken to several well-intentioned individuals who have called me to convince me to try again. You have all the leverage! one of them told me. It’s all, “you can work this out!” until I give them a lay of the land. Then they are all dropped jaws and shocked gasps. I have denied my reality for far too long. Please step aside while I do what needs doing.

      • And why, exactly, would you want to stay with someone you had to ‘leverage’ into acting like a decent person for a while? Someone you had to ‘leverage’ into seeming to care?

        People don’t think this kind of comment through, before it comes out their mouth!

  • I’d like to burn my marriage certificate and his naturalization papers (who leaves something of that import with an angry ex?).

    • I thought of framing the marriage license and the final
      divorce decree side by side. But I decided against that.

    • Yeah, it’s weird how they still trust us, when they’ve proven to be so utterly, completely untrustworthy! My ex left all his important docs at the house, some for a very long time.

      I guess it’s because they do actually know that Chumps are trustworthy and are unlikely to do something vindictive, despite our hurt and anger. Sigh.

  • I found a few of his love bombing notes yesterday when cleaning out some files. The love bombing happened in cycles, not just at the start of the relationship. One note written during the separation had a lovely blend of love bombing and false accusations and self pity, things thrown out that used to hook me. Put them into recycling, not worth digging out to burn.

  • I actually did something like this virtual bonfire on New Years Eve… during the discard phase and while I lawyered up and found Chump Nation, I also created a Pinterest board named after Mr. Sparkles where I stored hundreds upon hundreds of memes about Narcissists, Cheaters, and my new found awesomeness. I kept it in the hopes that future girlfriends would discover it (a good Google search of his name would take you to it) and subsequently break up with him. (NOTE: this never happened to my knowledge, ha!)

    I decided (maybe realized) that I’m finally at meh, truly and deeply, and I no longer need to keep that board… so I deleted it! FREEDOM for the new decade and new year… glorious meh 🙂

  • All those boat-neck sweaters she knitted for me go on the fire. I told her I appreciated the effort to knit me sweaters, but I didn’t care for “boat-necks”particularly. She made them anyway because they were easier than V-necks or turtle-necks. Just another sour memory I don’t need.

  • Our first married Christmas in 1993, I was in law school and he was hotshot doctor just out of med school, so I obviously wasn’t bringing home any $$$. Dr. A**hat got me a cartoon book, “I Got A Job & It Wasn’t That Bad”. Flash forward to one month after DDay in 2017. For my 18 year old son’s high graduation party, Dr. A**hat purchased the out of print book “I Got A Job & It Wasn’t That Bad”. Dick.

    I actually want to frame that cover!

    • They are usually unsupportive 😡 Just when you need them most! What I would’ve given for a partner who was my cheerleader. I hope your son is strong!

      • Thanks FreeWoman (your name says it all!)

        My son is strong and gets it. His older sister (in psych ward when A**hat sent text meant for mistress to us) is manipulated by her father. It is a very challenging at the moment, but I’m stepping back and taking all her slings and arrows. When all is said & done, I’ll be the rock when she realizes her father is made of sand.

  • The “affirmations” I taught myself during wreckconciliation. I realized then how many of my thoughts were “I can’t stand this, I want out,” and instead of getting out, we went into couples’ therapy and I started trying to brainwash myself. Over a decade of it. It’s hard to uproot something planted that deep. I’ve been out for months, but sometimes I still hear “I love him, he loves me, and we’re going to be happy” go by in my head, and contradict it with, “I’m out, I’m free, I’m never going back.” I’m deprogramming myself day by day.

    • Yeah, people forget that changing negative thinking doesn’t mean switching to UNREALISTIC positive thinking. Any affirmations or mantras we use have to be realistic and encourage FLEXIBILITY in our thinking. So it would have been worthwhile to tell yourself something like ‘I love him and I believe he loves me. I hope we can work this out and be happy together. But time will tell whether that works, and I know I will be OK however this ends up.’

      And now you can just tell yourself’ ‘well, that sure didn’t work. On to a new phase in my life! I know I have the strength to get through this hard time, and it is only temporary’.

  • Into a literal bonfire, I hurled old cards, books he gave me about healing a marriage from porn addiction and infidelity (incidentally, it was incredibly satisfying watching those pages curl as the fire licked and then withered then), a hideous blanket that his mother had gotten me with some saying about how a daughter in law completes a family. There were probably other things I burned….but those were the most satisfying.

    Metaphorically, I am burning the feeling that I need to fix things for others, without any expectation for reciprocity. I am incinerating the idea that I can be held responsible for someone else’s happiness. I am setting ablaze the doormat that I had become.

    Lastly, I am lighting a fire in my own life—a fire to be my best self, to restore the things about myself that he eroded over time, and to silence the voice inside my head that held me back.

    Here’s to the best year yet, full of fire in all of its cleansing and galvanizing glory. Chumps, we’ve got this!

  • I’ve managed to get rid of the pictures on my computer and delete the emails. I’ve placed the 50 yrs (I met him at 14) of hard copied pictures, love letters, etc in a box for my daughter. Why I do not know. I’ve already burned the life size picture of him staring lovingly at me, barf !!! The very last thing I am letting go of is all the jewelry he has given me. Including my “good wife bracelets” He was told that in the Middle East a good wife gets a gold bracelet for their anniversary. I thought about sending them to the new wife but my therapist was totally against it… I only hope and pray I can put all of the past memories on the bon fire someday.

    • The bracelet thing really gives me the creeps! Here you go, you’ve been a good wifey this year, and I think you’ve earned this bracelet!! Sets up such a benevolent master spot for the man. I was married to someone who saw me as a ‘thing’ and a total possession of his, so I hate this concept.
      Equal loving partners is what I’m hoping for, not a gold reward system!

  • Something that makes me sad is that we got married standing on a hand knotted that my grandparents made. It’s beautiful and made with love and effort and supposed to be hung on a wall but I really can’t look at it in my home.
    But I would like to burn the shoes he always leaves right in the middle of the floor upon entering, so that you need to step over them. And I want to burn this depression and anxiety and guilt I feel- for maybe giving up too soon? What if he really has changed? Am I breaking up the family? Buy I didn’t cheat and lie and have drugs delivered to our home. I want to get to meh.

      • Miss Guided, put the rug away so you don’t have to look at it. It was made in love by your grandparents, so keep it. Maybe one day you’ll be able to re-purpose it for something else or in a few years you’ll be able to look at it again.

        He hasn’t change. They don’t change. You are not breaking up your family. The cheater broke up his family when he cheated. Do you want to be married to a liar, cheater and drug user? I hope the answer is no.

  • What to bring— I ditto the whiskey, and s’mores. I will bring hot chocolate for the non drinkers.
    What to burn?
    All the letters I wrote during false marital counseling, and all the cards and letters ex gave me. We were high school sweethearts who went to separate colleges, plus we spent time apart for work…. lots of letters and cards. (I really plan to burn them this spring.)

    All the music CDs he ever bought (so many!) and all the bad kitchen juju— ex would spend hours making homemade meals for the family. I thought it showed how much he cared about us, though I asked him sometimes to simplify things so we could have more family time. He later admitted he did it to avoid interacting with me.

  • Besides selling the wedding band to a pawnshop (nope, didn’t need it anymore), and removing any printed images of us (incl. family portraits that hung around our previous house) and replacing them w/images of just my daughters and me, I also purged social media of any references of her from my libraries, either by editing her out of family photos, or altogether removing her and any tagging I did of her through the years. Having apps like FB send annual reminders of past events on the same day was not something I wanted to relive, so I started this process a couple of years ago. Yeah, it took awhile (editing hundreds of posts over the years), but I’m glad to say over the past 2 years, that when I get a daily reminder of past events on social media, her face or mention are not there. I can’t burn the memory of her out of my mind, but any visual deletions help.

    Small things like this help in the healing process, along w/just purging my friends list of her family and friends who I’ve heard took her side.

  • I already had a bonfire right after Dday. I burned every single mushy card that he ever gave me along with our wedding pictures. I had a fake marriage, married to a fake man with a fake life.

  • I need to do another search of my house to see if I missed burning anything the last 5 years. Married to a serial ah cheater 32 years and surviving that along with the high conflict divorce, I thought I left no stone unturned. But I will admit it is an awesome feeling to rid my soul of anything related to him. He basically abandoned ship during the divorce and thought that he would be able to waltz back into our home and take what he wanted. WRONG! I changed the locks 2x and put all of his clothing in back out in the garage. He thought wrongly that I was going to be that nice gal he married and abused emotionally with cheating, lying etc. When I would get bored I literally did burn in the wood stove, all of his legal documents, birth certificate, passport, childhood baby book, multiple photos, pics of his family, all cards, fake love letters, books, paintings and many many other items. As I run across anything that triggers me I immediately get rid of it. My eyes Wide Open look at “things” very different now and for my sanity I don’t care of the value it holds. I should have held more value to him as his faithful wife and mother of our 3 adult kids and grandma to the grandkids. He didn’t give 2 shits about leaving me why should I give a shit about Stuff!
    Sorry Not Sorry :). Happily ever After

  • Nothing for the virtual bonfire this year. But something heartwarming to share. Now dead cheater ex’s favorite niece reached out to me at Christmas, sharing her love and family news, and I nearly melted. So, as intent and thorough as an entitled asshole may be at scorching the earth around his or her former chump, the damage may not be complete or permanent. Hugs to you all, and hopes that along the way a beloved flower blooms again in your path.

    • What excellent news, Survivor! I hope that other relationships with people you cared about, that he tried to undermine, also bloom again!

  • *A ridiculous assortment of hair products for “pompadour” upkeep;
    * A Chapbook, authored by him. It reads like a narcissists field guide;
    * Large set of rechargeable batteries, because you know, we chumps “are always missing the essentials at home”;
    * And yes- those fucking screwdrivers. Watching those rubber handles sizzle in the fire. In every assorted size.

    It’s hyping my morning to think about a couple hundred chumps just hanging out together-around a giant bonfire.

  • I moved into my new home in September and finally went through all pictures that moved with me including the one year in an apartment. Just realized that I have no wedding stuff. I either threw it away when I moved out is my marriage home or left it there for the Dickhead to deal with. The only memento I have is the marriage certificate in case I need it for legal reasons.

    I wish I could throw all the joint furniture that I now have into the dumpster but that will be down the road. No sense in getting rid of something I still need and use.

    • You will need it when applying for social security benefits, unfortunately. As well as the divorce decree. We had to produce all 4 wedding certificates, divorce decrees and death certificates on Grandma’s 4 marriages. That was a nightmare getting copies of all that.

  • I purposely left all my wedding photos behind, only to have A**hat give to the kids to sherpa during the divorce. So now they sit in my attic………………..waiting for the day.

  • Unfortunately not got rid of cheater yet but part of the motivation that keeps me moving towards my end goal of getting him out is the visualisation of burning all the trashy outfits he has bought me over the years.

    The outfits that he constantly berates me for not wearing. The nasty crotchless knickers that he expected me to wear to work! The stripper boots – super thigh high ripped denim, pointy toe, sky high stiletto boots. The ass cheek out shorts that he thought were suitable for supermarket shopping with the kids.

    So much polyester that the flames should be really pretty lol.

    Everytime I go in my wardrobe I dream of how much space I would have for the clothes that I love and that make me feel proud to be a professional middle aged woman.

    I can’t wait for that day *sigh*

      • Not anymore. My refusal to 10 years ago (when I got my degree and changed careers) was the beginning of the end I think.

        He carried on buying it though up until a couple of weeks after d day #2 when he asked why I hadn’t tried on the latest round of pornstar underwear. I told him that after seeing the photos of one of his online sluts wearing something similar I felt it was kinda inappropriate…..he actually had the nerve to look wounded!

        I then added that it was pointless anyway because he was never going to see me in anything less than fully clothed again.

        He hasn’t overstepped that boundary once since.

  • Three years after he ran off with Schmoopie no. 1 SHE cheated on him and left him. So he ended up renting a 3-bedroomed farmhouse (with a double barn as a garage). When Schmoopie no. 2 entered the scene and could no longer stay here in France he upped sticks and slithered off back to the States to be with his new twu wuv without emptying the farmhouse. He poofed in 5 days total. So I got to empty it. The kids took what they wanted, I took tons to the dump (loads of crap), all his decent clothes went to the food bank, the crappy stuff I cut up and use as rags (5 years later I still don’t have to buy rags)! My DIL asked me if I had any CDs I didn’t want as she was doing a project with her patients (she works as a psychiatric nurse) so I gave her all his Neil Young and Willy Nelson crap (with apologies to anyone who likes them but one of the benefits of the divorce is that I never knowingly have to listen to them ever again) and told her to “go for it”. I didn’t want them back. Slowly but surely I’m getting his stuff off to the charity shop but I’m not throwing it out without first looking at it. And there, in a book on fishing, was where I found the copy of the psychiatrist’s report when he was invalided out of his job. He was already diagnosed bipolar BUT it was also stated that in the psychiatrist’s opinion he was a covert narc alcoholic. Pure gold!!!! Validation indeed!

  • I wish I could get rid of the residual dread and horrible sick feeling inside at even the thought of any form of contact from the cheater, whether by email, text, in person, or phone. I do have him blocked in every way, but he really did a number on my psyche, and I suspect the trauma will remain with me for the rest of my life.

    • Those feelings will fade and go away. You might have trouble believing that they will because visceral feelings are hypersensitive, but as you move away from the troubled times and selfish, mean people and fill up the space with your practice of how to live well, you won’t give as much attention to those feelings and memories and you’ll feel so much better. It takes time but what helped me was to re-frame the dread and the sick feelings so when I felt them, I called them “poison” and imagined they were surfacing to my skin and leaving my body so that each time I felt that sick wave, I imagined I was growing stronger. That practice really helped me. I’m over 5 years out and I’m happy to say, it’s been a long, long time since I felt those “poison” feelings.

    • I have that too. We have children and when I have to look at the court server to make sure he’s not cancelling or has drama (cursing me out); causes me severe anxiety, dread to a very physical state. Luckily my Great Wonderful Dad does all the physical exchanges of the children for me. I have been out three years and its pretty severe the thought of any interaction. But he was extremely cruel. I figure that feeling will come the day my youngest is 18.

  • I recently gave up looking for a new relationship. I’ve been three years single and 2.5 divorced, but I was always somewhere in the dating and mating life cycle: in the heat of passion, recovery (even over a year off of dating was still getting ready) or dating and looking for love. Each relationship since I was 15 was effectively a rebound, as I never gave myself real time to be happy and flourish as a single woman. I’ve done better with having high standards but I recently got disgusted with the whole thing. There is the monotony of the dating process, wariness due to the number of creeps and “meh” men, and getting bogged down by the need for emotional recovery that comes with dating. I’m not anti-men, I’m now just pro-me. Think of how much brain power you spend on dating. Be honest. A part of your brain is always focused on where you are in the dating and mating game. Now my aim is only to devote my energy to improving the quality of my life, my kids’ lives and the wider world. I feel badass.

    • All of this has taught me that loving and trusting ourselves completely is the ultimate goal.

      I know that when I achieve that no man can make me doubt myself or alter my behaviour. Finding a decent man will be a bonus but i don’t need that to define me and if i am secure in myself the less damage any future assholes can inflict on me.

      Plus nothing is more attractive than people who love and trust themselves

    • Yes, the dating scene is so much different when your in your 40s and above. It seems so awkward now to use an app to scroll through people’s profiles, determine if you want to “like” someone because of their appearance, personality, or both. I used to take the dating apps seriously, but now I put my mind at ease that if I’ve “liked” you, and you chose not to respond, then you’re the one losing out.

      • Dating apps make me shudder now after seeing all my cheaters profiles. There is a very special pain to be found in scrolling through thousands of profiles looking for him….and the gut punch when his face pops up on your screen in amongst all those “single” men.

        I did that every night for months and found over a dozen profiles.

        I will never log on to one of those sites again

    • Yes – I feel the same way – I wasted so much time trapped in the romantic cycle.

      I still struggle with it internally, because the roots go deep: the need to zone out and escape, the longing to be rescued.

      But: when I look at my life now, the reality – single, more or less solvent, gainfully employed, active member of a church and extended friendship group of married and single people – is so good that I don’t need to zone out, escape, or be rescued.

      So yeah – singleness is a really good way to dig into your own root causes and address them using different solutions, rather than the fix-everything romantic partner.

      I think the biggest struggle single people have is dealing with the shame that’s pushed on them – usually by unhappy married people who envy us.

      If you can get past that shame and count your blessings and be proud of your achievements, that makes a huge difference.

      So yeah again – all the single-shaming can go on the bonfire!

  • I received my bankruptcy discharge paperwork the last day of the year. So I am jettisoning the huge amount of debt she got us into over the course of the marriage.

    • That’s wonderful news. My ex ran up so much debt but when he was invalided out of his job that debt was all pardoned. As for me, having to take on half HIS debt, nah, not so much. Still, it was worth it to be rid of him! Congratulations!

  • My cheater’s boyfriend died 5 years before I discovered the affair. She had a locket in her closet containing some of his ashes, which I flushed down the toilet. It felt good.

  • Tossed on to the pyre: all the sheets and towels. A hand made quilt gifted to me for our 23rd anniversary, a love seat, every picture that included her that I could find, the entire wedding album, the set of starburst plates her dad designed, every picture that she left, 2 pieces of Stained glass, pampered chef pans, her garden, all the potted plants, her trees that she planted in the yard, 4 bottles of her gin.

  • I am bringing the house I built (literally). The house I gave birth to our daughter in. The house he defiled with his affair. The house he threatened me out of (advised by police to leave). The house he moved AP in the day I left. The house he insisted on keeping in divorce. The house the children have to go to every other weekend. The house that my daughter says haunts her. The house that was never a home with him.
    I think I need a forest fire! I will bring some big marshmallows for new beginnings.

  • Very timely – I live in NSW, Australia and today is predicted to be one of the worst bushfire days we have ever experienced. Oz Chumps can literally smell the smoke of freedom that comes with burning the debris left by a cheater! My fav item to go on the bonfire is his ‘craft table’. Never used, moved from home to home and the only thing he contributed to the household when he moved in. Like him, gone and it feels good 🔥 🔥 🔥

  • Um-the house that will NEVER be finished and the 3 car garage we couldn’t even park in because it was chock full of shit!

  • I gave her back many boxes of things I didn’t want in the house, decorations, books, gifts that she forgot she received (who leaves a house and leaves gifts inside?)

    There were souvenirs I bought myself the year before it all went down, mugs, things like that. I all gave them back to her, I actually had to explain her they were based on a lie.

    So my X was my bonfire, in a why. At least she wasn’t completely useless…

  • Here’s my contribution to the bonfire.

    I confess that I wanted to reach out to my former friend and howorker of my cheating, bastard fiancé but didn’t. Afterall it’s been two years. I am safe. I am recovering. But I will share my thoughts for this special howorker and my former partner here:

    Hey. It’s been two years. Did he give you an engagement ring this year? Sorry I didn’t leave mine behind to be repurposed again. Keep in mind that he gave me a concussion and some nasty bruises during Year 3. But hey, maybe it will be different with you. Happy 2020. No FRIEND fucks another’s friend’s partner. This clusterfuck will not last.

  • Ex Douche always pitched a fit when I didn’t use the exact same pen to write entries into the joint checkbook. He finally got so exasperated with me that he bought an entire drawer full of the same f$cking pen. Throwing that whole f$cking drawer of pens onto that there bonfire.

  • She was a Zumba instructor and I thought this is impossible, I am better than her in every way. Even my arms are better, even I am a better dancer, and I am erudite and funny and successful and kind and why the hell did he bother recruiting me to the project of loving him, of marrying him for Gods sake, of remodeling our house, what a stupid way to even use your damn time, if you are just going to have an affair with Zumba instructor in our measily third year together. I stole this folder he had of all of my notes and letters trying to figure him out and school him on his issues and all of that. I didn’t want him to have that high quality kibble. I threw the folder away yesterday and I didn’t read any of it.

    • Good on you for throwing it away and not reading it. You will further deprive him of kibbles by going complete and total no contact! That’s what fuckwits deserve and as a bonus it usually drives them bat shit crazy!!

  • Virtually nothing to burn as last partner, like most of my ex-boyfriends fave me virtually nothing, not because he lacked money, he is rich, but because he didn’t love me. He gave me a swifter, a coat, and a Victoria’s Secret gift card. He left approx. six months after he gave me the card. I need neither pajamas nor lingerie as I have no love life, not even a ‘real’ date in 2.5 years. Would feel awkward giving it to someone as a gift, and none of my relatives/friends want it. May try to sell it at a loss.
    Just hope that I can purge (burn) bad memories from my mind so that I can clear my mind to think of ways to support my family. Lack of money and withdrawal of spousal support if you were the partner receiving it who needs it to support your kids as you are virtuallly out of work and cannot find a full-time job for years is an ordeal. Poverty and unemployment suck.

    • Yes, cheater induced poverty double sucks.
      Onto the bonfire I’ll throw my rose tinted glasses and my spackle spatula.

      • Yes, you can! Child support is based on salary. If you’re a stay at home home, the better for you. If not child support is based on a percentage of both salaries. I waited 5 years before checking into it. He was doing VERY well at that point and child support was increased a lot.

        After that he had his lawyer put in a stipulation that I could go for an increase every 2 years. My kids were toddlers when we split. Ha, Ha!

        Salaries go up every year! It’s worth looking into.

        • Unfortunately, no, I cannot modify upward child support, as my ex-husband now declares even less in income. (He is self-employed and does a lot of shady stuff and gets away with it.) Also, Gavron order, which is very common in the U.S., requires me to work or at least constantly search for jobs, which is worse than working.

  • I’m going to burn the copies he made of my therapy journal I kept while seeking help during the first few months he abandoned me. Turns out he broke into our home when he knew I was out with the kids and took photos of every page. I found this all out while sitting on the witness stand in my divorce trial when his attorney tried to use my own words against me to gain favor in the divorce. Luckily therapy notes are considered protected and private, but the invasion of privacy still haunts me.
    I will also burn the cards he gave me for one of my birthdays and our anniversary where he spelled my name wrong. I kid you not, he actually did that more than once.

    • Chump No More, that is a horrible act of betrayal. I literally threw all fourteen cards and letters from STBX in a Bonfire. Yup, fourteen cards after thirty six years together. He spelled my name every way possible. Perhaps not a misspelling but a variation of my name.

      What is it with cheaters and Misspellings? He also can’t spell the word, marriage. He consistently spelled it “marrage” on his Financial Affidavit.

      You deserve so much better!!!

        • You are so sweet… and funny Thirtythreeyearsachump!
          I didn’t burn mine, but kept them as a token of the nightmare and ridiculousness I put up with. One day I might even frame them and make it a conversation piece in my home. 😆

  • Dear Chumps, I could use some support. My story: 3 1/2 weeks ago I found some inappropriate texts on my husband’s phone, and when I confronted him about it, he admitted he had been having an affair with a co-worker since October. He also said he “knew that it would hurt me, but did it anyway, since it was making me happy” and that he “thinks we shouldn’t have gotten married.” Well; we got married in JULY, after 12 years of living together! He seemed so happy on our wedding day, which was less than six months ago! How could it all have been a lie?

    He left without much explanation of what he planned to do next (he “doesn’t know” but isn’t willing to stop seeing her) shacked up with the AP for a while, told me this week that he rented an apartment. I have been in a state of total desperation, for the first few weeks I couldn’t eat or get out of bed, now I’m just trying to go to work and make it through each day.

    I spent time the other night with some of HIS friends who have taken my side, they are all horrified and disgusted with him; and feeling a milder version of what I am—how could this person I cared about and trusted do this? They all work in the same industry as my husband and told me that the AP is crazy, has pretty much hooked up with everyone we know, etc. That had me feeling better for a moment because it lessened the feelings of—what if he has found his amazing soulmate who isn’t me—? but now it has me feeling worse. This is so shocking, and so obviously stupid, that I wonder if he might be having some kind of nervous breakdown or something. How could he throw away our wonderful life and our beautiful home for some insane waitress who everyone hates (no offense to any of the hardworking people in the service industry; but my husband is a chef so hooking up with a waitress—blech). I also heard he is having trouble at his job; since he is her supervisor they could be fired for consorting at work; plus they all recently got scolded for staying late at the restaurant drinking down the bar stock. His behavior is so insane to me and so obviously self-destructive that I’m almost feeling bad for him. He’s living in a crappy apartment in an undesirable part of town without so much as a bed or a glass (when he left I told him I would be keeping our house and all of its contents, save for a few personal items of his, and he agreed—for now), many of his friends now hate him, and he’s stuck with this apparently insane woman who he thinks is his true love 🤢. I want him to snap out of it and realize he’s made a huge mistake and come back. But I’m also thinking, am I SO bad that this is worth it? How could he leave me, our home, our beautiful cats who he supposedly loves, for THIS?

    I’m cycling through all the emotions—pity for him, rage, unending sadness when I come home from work alone and think of the married life I thought I had just a month ago…how do I get through this? Sorry for the long post, I just need support.

    • I get you. I don’t trust that he sucks and feel sorry for him and all that..
      Mine started the affair after our daughter was born. As far as I know he was faithful until then, which was the first ten years together. And as far as I know the ho-worker was the only ap he’s had. But it was for five years before he left me for her after she got divorced. But then they just ended up fighting together and he decided not to divorce me after all and came back, but still pined after ho-ho and lied about stuff.
      This is so hard..

      • Newlywedchump-
        First, I am so sorry you are going through this. I know how painful it is. Second, you came to the right place! CN has gotten me through some terrible times.
        I would suggest reading Chump Lady’s book (its awesome!), Read everything on this site. You will find invaluable information that will propel you to move forward. You should get a lawyer immediately for your protection…you need to act. They will tell you to check for STDs as well ☹️.
        You are not alone! You will make it through this! You are mighty!!

        • NWChump – He totally sucks. I too, am so sorry. The pain is almost unbearable, but he is NOT in pain/breakdown/remorse.
          He doesn’t care.
          I’ve been where you are, except for 11yrs married.
          Do not try to figure him out. He detached a while ago. That was a big hurt for me…”how can he simply walk away from his life”?? The answer is…he already started a new life you are not part of. A life we knew nothing about.
          Being blindsided also sucks.
          If he returns when something goes wrong, (and it will), are you sure you want to live in fear forever???
          They generally always cheat again. Read the book ASAP.

          • Thank you so much, IMarriedanAsshat and Chumpalou. I have an appointment with a lawyer (worries about our assets because he’s draining our funds at bars with AP) and a doctor for STD testing. Just the kind of things I was hoping to do in the New Year!

            A friend took me to see Little Women last night to get my mind off it and I LOST it. Not so much about the movie, but going to the movies was something we loved to do together, and the thought that I might never see a movie or do anything with him again hit me like a ton of bricks. It started to really hit me that my marriage might be over—something I never thought would happen in a million years. This person who was my constant companion for 12 years is just GONE and starting a new life with someone else. I stayed up all night and cried.

            • Yes, please keep doing things to protect yourself. If you possibly can…do not communicate with him. I realize you love him; however, whatever he has to say will screw with your mind. Look at what he’s done to you. Right now you are in deep pain; it’s best to surround yourself with righteous voices. The people who truly care.
              I lost weight, didn’t sleep much, kept to myself. Cried every day for a long time. This betrayal is so insidious and in my case, X was telling me sweet lies about his love for me up until the day he split. We even had a date planned for that very afternoon. The deceit and callousness was astonishing. I was an Inert Chump for weeks at first, couldn’t do anything.
              Great that you are making plans!!

              • Mine was the same way—very loving and “normal” right up until discovery. He had been feeling sick but still had to go into work so I made him up a cold and flu care basket (ginger ales, tea, bath stuff, citrus gummy bears which for some reason he always craves when he’s sick). Later that day, I found the text messages, but I left the basket out anyway and went to bed. That night he woke me up and told me how much he appreciated it, how I was the “best wife ever” and how much he loved me. Then I confronted him about the texts and it went from that to “we never should have gotten married, we should have broken up years ago” in fifteen minutes flat. I feel like such a fool.

      • Miss Guided, I’m so sorry for what you are going through. I’m glad we could connect here—I am here if you need support.

        • Thanks <3 I'm still under the same roof with him, though he is now leaving for work trip and if things work out I'm moving with our daughter to a new apartment.. Torn about wanting things to work out between us, but definitely know I want to live alone (with DD) now and probably for the rest of my life.
          Discovery day hits you like a sledgehammer to the chest, doesn't it?

          • Hands down, worst pain I have ever felt.

            I hope everything works out with moving into a new apartment. I stayed in my house with all the memories, although he is gone…wish sometimes I could start over somewhere new but it is not feasible for me at this moment. He is coming by tomorrow to pick up a few of his personal items and I’m torn between wanting to be there—I still do want to see him, even though he’s fucking with my head, but more importantly, I don’t want him to take anything more of what’s mine—and wanting to stay far the hell away. I want to settle the logistical things (division of property, divorce I suppose) so that I can really move on but it also breaks my heart knowing these may be the last things we do together.

            • ((((Newlywedchump))))

              Thinking of you tomorrow, hoping everything goes well.
              Stay strong sweet lady.
              Think of all the pain and sufferings other Chumps have endured, and continue to read of the strength many have recorded in the archives.
              YOU are Mighty.
              Do what your head and your best instincts tell you to do.
              This is all very painful, give your heart as much time as you need to heal.
              ❤️

            • NWChump….just be really careful if/when you see him. It will be hard to not break down emotionally.
              I changed the locks pretty quickly. Didn’t want X showing up and taking things while I was gone.
              He texted a list of what he wanted; a friend and I put it all outside. I never saw him.
              You may not be able to do it this way. X abandoned me; I gave him nothing but his personal crap.

            • Newlywedchump and Miss Guided,
              Hugs to both of you.
              It was the same for me. Accepting my new reality and letting go of the love I felt for XHole was the most difficult and painful experience of my life.
              Some of my friends assumed that I would instantly hate him, but the truth was I still loved him after he abandoned me, which came 4years after DDay1. I believed that we had succeeded in saving our marriage, and were more deeply in love. It was true for me.
              Just remember, although your soon to be exes were lying, faking, cheaters, you, as chumps, were the true ones whose love was real.
              Because chumps are normal, it’s hard for us to accept just how disordered the cheaters are. Never in a million years would I have believed that XHole would turn violent, smear me to family and friends and be hell bent on destroying me financially as well as the emotional devastation.
              But ChumpLady is right, cheaters fit a pattern. Let ‘Trust that He/She sucks’ be your new mantra. Read the stories of Chump Nation and heed the warnings. Go No Contact.
              I am praying for you that you both keep safe and get ‘cheater free’ as quickly as you can.

              • STBX left this morning for the two-week trip and started crying when saying goodbye to DD. I felt sorry for him.
                If he had leverage with our daughter, he may not be acting so civil towards me. Here 12 year old is the age when kids can decide with whom they want to live and if they want to see the other parent. My daughter is 11 now. I haven’t used this fact against him but he gets it on his own that being mean to me will alienate our daughter from him, who wants to live with me and stbx needs my support as is, to get her to visit him.

                I hope it goes well, as well as it can go under the circumstances, today, newlywedchump! Hugs.

              • Thank you, EnoughAlready. It helps so much knowing other people understand how painful it is—truthfully, I had no idea until it happened to me.

                He specifically asked to come by today at a time I wouldn’t be there (cowardly, much). Apart from his clothes and personal effects, he took one spoon, one fork, one knife, and one glass. Twelve years of life and stuff and he just walked away from it all. But I’m glad I didn’t see him—I think that would have been too painful.

                My neighbor, who I barely know, saw him packing up his stuff and left a beautiful basket on my porch for me with chocolates and wine, a candle and some bath stuff. I was so touched—it’s nice to know how many kind and thoughtful people there are in the world, even if the man I married doesn’t happen to be one of them.

                Hugs to you, Miss Guided and your your daughter! I’m thinking about you guys.

  • I’m throwing garbage Switzerland friendships into the fire. Just because a friendship is long, doesn’t mean it is quality. I went through Facebook last night and deleted several fairweather friends and people I just don’t trust.

  • I can’t believe how much energy I had put into trying to make sense of him….I have not seen him since our divorce. And the end his mask slipped completely and he was a cold eyed demon.

  • Her stupid smartphone. She spent hours and hours on it, mostly on Facebook. She’d play Farmville or some other stupid game on it rather than talk to her husband for 5 minutes. It eventually became the tool of communicating with the 3rd and final AP.

    • Good one– I am pretty sure my ex used Words with Friends or whatever it was called: 1) to not interact with me, and 2) to secretly chat with the married OW (now OWife)

  • I burned up/melted down the candles his last conquest had mailed TO OUR HOUSE TO HIM, along with the note describing them as “spiritual condoms to keep you safe from bad energy” that accompanied them. They’d met on a movie set, fell in movie love, and spent a movie night fucking under the movie stars on a movie blanket they’d lifted from the prop trailer. That box, with the note, was the last straw, and burning up the “spiritual condoms” that apparently were to protect him from his wife (me) didn’t really work; I felt vindicated and empowered enough to leave his sorry ass.

    • The ludicrosity of these ap’s.. My stbx’s ap thought she was a crutch in our marriage, keeping it together with her “life support” for five years. Yeah, really. Our marriage needed her like the plague.

  • Anger re the ongoing unfairness of financially disparity in income and his not contributing to kids college.

    Instead focusing on gratitude that I have agency to choose and enjoy what I have, and determination to be present, positive, and appreciative and I focus on gaining a life.

  • Seven (count them!) 1TB (that’s terabytes… honest) hard-drives full of porn. However, HIS therapist suggested that burning them might release toxic chemicals into the air and I would be better off taking a sledgehammer to them. They’re not my problem anymore.

    There are so many things I’m glad are not in my life anymore; it’s hard to know where to start. Not much left to burn. I’m gradually whittling my life down to just the things/people/experiences that are healthy, needful, and enrich my life. Happy 2020 everyone. Wishing you 2020 vision and clarity in your life journeys.

  • Into the bonfire goes my need to dance pretty for the people that I love. I give up the urge to make things all better for any adult in my family and let them work their way out of the mess they themselves created. I give up “making nice” with loved ones who think it is ok to behave badly around me, and am having in-depth conversations with them about respect and proper treatment of people in our family. Lastly I am not settling for anything but kind, and fair behavior around me. I have enacted good boundaries and won’t settle for less.

    Poof, there it goes, up in flames!

  • Newlywed chump,
    Be strong!! You must hold it together when/if you see him. If you fall apart do so after he leaves. Do not give him the satisfaction of seeing you in a crumpled heap on the floor. I filed for divorce in Nov 2019. I am still in the same residence and we share a 21-month old. It is so tempting to just put this divorce thing on hold and resume my normal life. But then I can hear CL and CN in my head asking me, “if this relationship acceptable to you?” The answer is a resounding NO.

    If at any time he thought he didn’t love you enough to remain faithful, he could and should have told you so. He should not have tripped and slipped into new pussy.
    He had a ton of options available to him that didn’t include crushing you.

    Do not ask him why. Do not ask him to come back to you. No pick-me dancing.

    You do not want him back you want the life you thought you had with him. I understand, but please do not give in.

  • His fishing gear, so important for those early morning ‘fishing’ trips but left in my garage when he finally moved out.
    While I’m at it, pretty much everything else that he never got around to moving out with, it’s time to say goodbye to taking responsibility for other people’s stuff.

  • My resistance to being vulnerable. It’s not terribly flammable because in my family, apparently all men cheat on their wives with other men, but after 4 years, it may have dried out enough to ignite and burn.

    • Whoops – posted too soon.

      I did it last night. I literally burned our marriage vows/ceremony – the one I saved from our officiants from 13+ years ago. The one that said, “respect” and “trust” a bunch. I also burned two of our wedding photos and a stack of cards that I kept from family/friends who wished us a lifetime of love and happiness. It felt good. They are all now just ashes… and that was done on the first anniversary of my D-Day.

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