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New Beginning Tuesday

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Hi Chump Lady!

On this day, seven years ago, my divorce became final. After the judge proclaimed it officially done, I sat in my car in the courthouse parking lot and wailed as if my soul were being ripped from my body. A 25 year marriage legally erased. On the other side of a vast metropolitan area, on that very same March day, a stunned man came home to discover that his wife of 25 years left him for the man she had been dating online –- a man she had not even met.

Two years later, the combination of a benevolent universe and a fixed pickers brought me and that no-longer-sad-or stunned man together. This man, this gentle, hippy, vulgar, mystic, sage welder was the opposite of my ex-husband. Not a speck of arrogance or pretense that described my academic ex could be found in this man. With an unassuming confidence and deep decency this man showed me that trust and devotion are the cornerstones of love. Toss in some extraordinary sex and bingo, a keeper.

So tomorrow we gather at an organic farm for our welding. Yes, a welding. We will dine on Japanese-Appallachian food and our favorite local folk duo will play. We will exchange vows (as my welder says, with someone who means them) and rings — that my welder made. People will be dressed in hippy finery and Ren Faire splendor. Our closest circle will be there. And later into the evening everyone will bring out their instruments and we will all sing and play.

Seven years ago, this would have seemed the wildest of dreams for countless reasons. Yet here we are.

As I have sat in my car, listening white knuckled to NPR this week, I keep reminding myself that it’s life’s uncertainty that is the constant. But then I am comforted and renewed to remember the strong hippy welder that gently told me that we will survive and we would do it together. This week has been a test for sure (and sadly, I fear, we’ve not seen the worst) but I am deeply grateful to have found a steadfast partner with whom to face this uncertainty.

And tomorrow night, in the mountains of north Georgia, on the banks of a river, I will raise a glass of Prosecco to you.

Thank you for everything.

Chump Life Gained

Dear Chump Life Gained,

As I publish this letter I received last weekend, you’re now husband and wife. Congratulations! I decided to run your story most fittingly on a Tuesday. (CN maxim — “When does the pain stop? Tuesday. I don’t know what Tuesday, but Tuesday is out there.”)

Chumps have an intimate knowledge of calamity — that life can suddenly fall apart. What we often fail to remember is that life can also knit itself back together in surprising ways as well. You can be broadsided by good fortune as well as bad.

Thank you for this reminder, at this time of all times. It took a lot of guts to get over the death of a 25-year marriage and a lot of guts to make yourself vulnerable to new love. I’m glad I could play a small part in your healing.

Seven years ago, this would have seemed the wildest of dreams…

Your dispatch from the other side will give a lot of people hope that “wild dreams” like the love and respect of a good person are possible.

Walking into the scary unknown is the hardest thing, and at CN, we’re cheerleading people to take those leave-a-cheater steps. It helps the message so much to have chumps report back — I left, I did it, my life wasn’t worse, it was immeasurably BETTER. 

Of course, not every new life winds up on a Georgia mountain at a wedding party. But it might. Who knows where courage will take us?

Chump Life Gained, I love that you married a welder. (As readers here know, I took up welding after divorcing the cheater. It’s kind of like a glue gun that can kill you.) I love the idea of welding itself — taking disparate materials and forging them into one. Breaking them down, literally melting them, and uniting them.

May your seam hold forever.

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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.
  • Thank you so much. I was married 25 years too and it’s only been 3 months since I filed (after 3 years of cheating.). I feel such incredible rage and then heartbreak back and forth and am having a tough week. Timely post. I hope my Tuesday really does come-it’s hard to trust anything right now, but I hope it does come.

    • It was 31 years for me and only been3 months for me too. I had a really rough last 3 days. still fighting back tears every day. This gave me hope. My Dday was a Tuesday and I hope I get my real Tuesday soon!

      • My dday was also a Tuesday. I’m about a year out and my meh and Tuesday aren’t anywhere near in sight. It’s exhausting, but I’m still trying to get there.

        • Hi Suzy, Joy and Magically, Trust in your awesomeness and the wisdom of CL and Nation. You will get to a better place, I promise, but there will be rage, pain and wry laughter along the way. I am 13 years from divorce finalization. I have a blessed life of family, friends, and now a beautiful soul of a partner. I am grateful for the comfort in knowing that I am great just the way I am. The stress of being with a narcissist with whom you never quite measure up~gone!!!!! And I still read regularly these posts on CL. They validate my experience, make me reflect on my good fortune, and even if don’t comment, I send out my best wishes to all my fellow chumps who are asking for help.

      • True words! I’m two years out and actually thinking I might like to date again. I’ve worked hard to figure myself out and am happier and emotionally healthier than I have ever been. There were definitely ups and downs to getting here.

    • Mine is over 8 years ago, and less than 2 years ago I married my dream man too. My story is remarkably similar to the OP, 20 years and a cheating loser. Now I have a partner who I trust and who treats me the way I deserve to be treated, with trust and love. He adores my child as well. Tuesday comes, and really, it will come faster than you can imagine. It is soooo much better on the other side!

      • I just wondered, are there any key differences between how this relationship started/feels/is, to that with the cheater?

        A few weeks ago my world was blown up by my ex saying he met someone at work he was the last person on Earth I thought capable of cheating so I have no idea how to spot it coming a second time!

        There are a few red flags about his behaviour now, ie, hiding resentments, agreeing to things he didn’t really want to do then seething about it – ie, a lack of clear, close communication that allowed us to grow apart and for me not to know how he was really feeling. Plus he’d broken up with me abruptly twice before and it was more me that seemed to bring us back together really (I know I know).

        But other than that – kind, warm, generous, helped me through cancer, successful, no addiction issues… Any insights or experiences welcome!

        • Sounds exactly like he fits the pattern of a Cluster B personality-disordered husband, specifically a covert passive aggressive narcissist— definitely check out Debbie Mirza’s book “The Covert Passive-Aggressive Narcissist.” Also “Runaway Husbands” by Vikki Stark. Happened to me, too— he wore the faux “great husband” mask well for nearly 15 years. Very hard to grasp this type of cheater. Hugs!

          • I just finished Mirzas book last night…..it literally could have been written about my life and marriage with STBXH. It was uncanny, even scary. I have read Starks book as well. I HIGHLY recommend both.

        • Half of the answer is YOURE better. YOURE in a spot to see YOURSELF and others better. You like yourself enough that you are ok being alone, so you’re able to let iffy people go.

          I was in a lovely post-D relationship. There might have been a red flag or two…but it was WAY easier than my marriage ever was. However, I was NOT ready to know and let her go.

          It hurts like hell. But I trusted my gut. I was honorable to her. I played it safe. And I feel WAY more comfortable being alone, trusting myself now.

          So, Im getting ready for who’s next. Little by little.

          And that feels WAY different than being 20-something.

          but it starts with YOU.

        • Same here. No abuse, best husband and father. It’s hard to detach when you only have great memories. He is a monster now and I see myself as a widow. But like you I can’t get to trust anymore because I think I will always expect the mask to eventually fall.

        • Well, I did date a few others before I settled on this one. I had decided that I would only include someone in my life if they 1. Truly wanted to be there, and 2. Made my life better for being in it. Not someone who completed me, because I’m already whole.

          Also, my son had to be my first priority, full stop.

          I had a date who stood me up because “he forgot”. Kept asking for second chances, but no, I had spent my whole life catering to someone who put me second, I’m not tolerating that. Also, if that is how they put their best foot forward, I’m obviously not a priority. I wasn’t mean, but just decided I could be picky now.

          Another expected me to put my son as a lesser priority “eventually” in the relationship with him. Nope. My son is always first.

          I ended up finding someone I really clicked with, who genuinely enjoyed my company and the company of my son as well. Took it slow, we were together for nearly 7 years before we got married. He is cognizant of my previous partner both cheating on me and financially abusing me, as well as his alcoholism. My husband is proud to be none of those. His drinking is about like mine, once in a blue moon. Not because he changed, that’s just who he is.

          Neither of us was changing for the other in any huge way. We just worked together. And he was willing to take the time. I’m not saying it is perfect and there is no guarantee that he will never cheat on me or do anything else, but life has no guarantees. I have had to let go of the mistrust I had for my ex, and start anew with more trained eyes now. I just got pickier.

  • Beautiful. Just beautiful. Thank you Chump Life Gained! All the best and good health!

    Come to think about it, all of us at CN have already gained a new life. No matter what stage we are at, our lives *are* new.

    Just yesterday I was thinking: how wonderful, only 2 1/2 years after divorce, 40 years of marriage are already in the mists of the past. I am so, so busy, these mists just took over.

    I hope CN takes this virus very seriously and keeps as well as possible in this global crisis.

    • Oh thank you for this post! My 24 year marriage has ended due to a horrific cheating story and a “scorched earth” type move that nearly ruined our business. It’s been 8 months and last night I sobbed myself to sleep which still happens at least once a week. My grief is immense and I feel alone and abused. I live in a foreign country because he kept me away from my family and now I can’t leave because we had a child here. Now the world is mad. I feel like the protection I had in my husband has now shifted to his affair partner. He won’t look after us at all and wants me to fail-he’d love that.

      It was so wonderful to read a story of hope and love in these dark times♥️ . It’s funny, last night I had a dream about another man who popped his head around the corner and said hello. It was comical and this morning I was so relieved that I didn’t have a dream about my ex (like I usually do). Then I woke up to read this!

      Hang in there Chumps! As we say down here, kia kaha! Stay strong

  • I love this story. I wish I could find a crafty, older, open minded gent to even share dinner outs with. However, I’m still working on myself and my picker. Every now and then I glimpse that I need a little more work to be companion ready. Maybe I’ll never feel totally healed, but I know I’m getting there. But as for Chumplifegained, just enjoy the heck out of a fresh, new life. My personal superpower is teaching people how to tear down side chairs, repair, refinish, and reupholster them. Don’t get me started on that metaphoric process!! Yee Haw!

  • Chump Life Gained,

    Congratulations and to you both a long and healthy life together! What a heartening story!

    It is Tuesday today, and for me it is also Meh Tuesday. Two years ago today with much angst and apprehension I viewed the apartment I now live in, and although my lease didn’t start until April 1 the very kind rental agent who showed it to me allowed me to move in right then–and didn’t charge me for the days I occupied the place before April 1. Seventeen months ago my divorce was final.
    I’ve spent the last six months a thousand miles away from my little place immersed in caring for my 93 year old mother, and although that has not been easy, it did allow me to focus on something other than the pain of my marriage breaking up. Now I am back home, and I find that, like Clear Water, my 36 year long marriage has receded into the past.
    I have actually wondered whether there’s something wrong with me that 36 years could come to feel so distant. Then I think that the final three years of my marriage, which were characterized by trauma after trauma, and the many years before that when I didn’t know what was wrong in my marriage but blamed myself (and was blamed), were not normal, and what I’m feeling is the absence of tension and trauma.
    Here’s to coming through to the other side, to Tuesday. And if we’re very lucky, to a Welding!

    • Adelante, you expressed my exact feelings. How can 25 years just fade into the past? I realize now that I had been grieving the loss of my relationship for years before the final end. I was living with a ghost.

      I don’t know if I’ll get the happily ever after with new partner. I’m coming to accept that although a loving partner would be great, being coupled is not necessary for a meaningful life. As I become my best self, I will attract good people to me.

    • “I have actually wondered whether there’s something wrong with me that 36 years could come to feel so distant.” I feel this so much, Adelante! One of the constant criticisms my ex hurled at me during our separation was that I was “fixated on the past” (because I enjoy genealogy) and I would never be able to put it behind me. Well, he was wrong about that like he was about most things. It’s like he never really knew me at all – which of course he didn’t. For the 33 years we were a couple he was always too busy hiding who he really was to make any effort getting to know me. Not to mention he is simply too shallow of a human to go deeper than “she likes genealogy so she must be fixated on the past and that is going to affect me.” In the meantime, I was constantly trying to sort out all of the mixed signals I was getting from him, figure out why actions never matched words, try to keep the peace, make him happy, boost his ego, etc.

      Without him in my life, I spend my time thinking about the things that are important to me. I devote my time and energy to the things that make me happy or the things that concern me and I don’t have anything left to spare for rehashing the past. He’s become a factual footnote in the history of my life. Yes, he was there, yes, those things happened (both good and bad) but it’s of no more importance to what occupies my thoughts now than what score I got on my college entrance exam. That happened too, and it was relevant at that time in my life but it’s just not relevant to my present.

  • Chump Life Gained, what a gorgeous story! Congratulations and wishing you a long, strong and happy union.

  • Worth reading today.

    I’m just a hair over 4 years from my own D-Day.

    While I have a lovely Lady in my life right now the most important part of my own journey to Tuesday was realizing that I was indeed far better off and happier alone than I had been for 26 years with Mme YogaPants.

    Some of us here moan about “starting over”. Part of my journey was realizing that there is no mulligan – no re-do. What happened is indelibly part of my past and so I am able to step forward, away from what was towards what “will be” – whatever that may be.

    BT

  • I love hearing these stories.

    I was in a 24 year marriage. My XW had multiple affairs. My life cratered. I hit rock bottom. But rebuilt my life one day at a time. Fixed my picker.

    Met a wonderful nurse. I am disabled. Her husband left her for another women who he had gotten pregnant. We started off as friends and then decided to start dating. We got married last May. She is Jamaican. So we have a “Rainbow” Blended family.

    I now know what a reciprocal relationship is. What a great lover is like. She shows me what true love is by her actions. No love bombing. My XW was very selfish. All about her needs. We take care of each other. She says “you make being a wife easy”.

    I never thought this would happen after my divorce was final. PLUS we closed on a house Thursday AND bought a new (used) car on Friday.

    Don’t give up. Learn self-love. Fix your picker. Leave your heart open because you will never know who will walk into your life.

    Congratulations on your marriage!

    • {{{{HUGS!}}}} to you and that precious love of yours, Sirchumpalot.
      Thanks for sharing. Really warmed my heart

      I am so grateful to all of Chump Nation for sharing their comments on this post today.

      What an amazing group of precious people. Love you all as we all ForgeOn!

  • I love this! I’m so happy for you that I cried. It sounds like an absolutely lovely wedding and I wish all of the best for you and your welder. Live your very best life!

  • “ May your seam hold forever”

    Such a wonderful, fitting wish as you continue your journeys together.

    I wish I could see photos of this amazing occasion! Truly a reason to REALLY celebrate here with Chump Nation. We understand the pain, the trauma, the guts and the faith this coming together took. And such happiness makes it all worth it 💗

    I’m 10 years out from DDay and happily single by choice. Dating wasn’t for me.

    I’m quarantined with one son, my daughter-in-law, my grandson and dog. I’m beyond grateful to be with people who all love each other and that they chose to be with me. The father in this scenario is off on his own with the AP, still together. How insanely blessed am I that my kids know him for what he really is and left him in the dust?

    On this Tuesday I’m thrilled that love can conquer after adversity and love comes in all shapes, sizes and configurations from weddings to self-love!

  • I cried, very hard. Tears of joy and happiness. What beautifully written story. Hope for the newbies, reminders for us oldies. I am almost 7 years out, remarried and happy. Kids are thriving with me by their side, launching them into their young lives. 22 years has been erased. Not even a twinge. Tuesday is out there newbies, we promise!

  • Congratulations Chump Life Gained!

    Would you be willing to share a photo or two of your welding with CN? Perhaps a photo of your welding rings?

    Cheers to you and your welder!

  • That’s a wonderful story. As I sit here on this Tuesday, I’m wearing my meh armor and working out a separation agreement. I could be divorced—after 25 years—in a few weeks. I can only hope there’s a next chapter for me too.

  • With all the confinements and cancellations that are being imposed, being alone now is weighing heavy. Your story brought me to happy tears that yes, Tuesday is real, and that its waiting for us all. Big hugs and best wishes on your welding.

  • Thank you, CL! I check this site everyday! I have for 2 1/2 years now. It’s saved me from myself and despair more times than I can count. My DDay was April 14th 2017. My divorce final a little over a year after that. 25 years of marriage. I needed this message today. I can list the mighty things I have done, but still find myself caught Off guard by dark depression. Mostly brought on by some horrible thing I find out he currently doing or did before and during our marriage. No contact and no news is the path to peace. The more I know about him, the more horror I feel and it affects how I feel about myself. This is truly the one place where I can come and know I am not alone. Professional counseling has been a great blessing. Why did I think so little of myself that I put up with him and believed his lies over my own instincts? Probably won’t ever fully know the answer to that! I have moved forward, but boy has it been painful. Sometimes, I cannot believe how many years he has stolen from me. I feel like I am stuck in time some days. I have built a new life in terms of a new home and job, but not socially. I am very isolated because of the trauma I endured and fear of being hurt and fear of being judged because I was married to this horrible person. So, the whole “self isolate” For the pandemic- it’s just a regular day for me. I had finally started to go to a new church. Two new churches, actually! But, I have some real bad days mixed in with some okay days. I don’t laugh or smile like I used to. I don’t feel happiness anymore. It’s like he killed a real big part of me. I used to be funny and felt at home in my body and in my life. I just feel like I am faking everything so my kids can feel Okay. Then, they won’t have any obligations to me or my feelings. I need your little nuggets of hope thrown in here and there and your humor. Laughing helps. This place has helped. Hope helps.

    • You’re going to be ok.
      Not too many months ago I could have written what you have to say about your feelings, and I probably would not have believed anyone who told me what I’m telling you–that it will not just get better but will be good.
      I used to think about young pine trees that get bowed over by the snow and bend so much that the structures in their trunks never fully recover, and they never spring back up to be straight again, and wonder if that was going to be me. I had good days and bad days, and couldn’t tell whether the good days were mixed in with the bad, or the bad with the good.
      And yet, over time, with hard work on myself, lots of grief, lots of anger, it did get not only better, but good.

      • Thank you for the words of encouragement, Adelante! Sometimes, I just need that one or two words of faith to keep going. When someone on here shares that they now have happiness after 25, 30, and even 40 years of horrific betrayal, gaslighting, and abuse – it’s the one thing that gives me a little hope.

    • Perfectlife

      “My DDay was April 14th 2017. My divorce final a little over a year after that. 25 years of marriage.”

      We are walking the EXACT same path together, although April 14, 2017, was my second DDay. Vindictive narcissists are hard to divorce and take time to work through the pain to peace. Look how far you’ve come!!!! Try not to look at the sh*t show in the rear view mirror. You’re changing for the better because you’re doing the hard work. NC is the only way to go.

      I found out last night that my daughter is Facebook friends with the HoWorker–and instead of reacting, I was calm. I would not have been in that place even 6 months ago. I’m still not at meh, but I’m getting there. Therapy & laughing are essential. I’m lucky, as for some reason, I don’t have many regrets (except not hiring a better attorney!).

      Tuesday is coming.

        • Thank you, NotbLUEinTC. I am sorry we have this shared experience. It’s just unbelievable to me how horrible these people are and how easy it is for others to brush off your pain. How truly thoughtless our kids, family, and friends can be. Emotionally wounds are not visible and therefore no consequence in the eyes of people you love or to the divorce courts. I wish for one day my loved ones could actually see the damage – the heart scars could be visible. What people do to one another – it’s heartbreaking. Then, there’s the stranger who – like you- who is willing to just say a few words of hope and try to understand. On top of everything he has done – the dismissal and casual callousness from people I love was a second betrayal and even more wounding than his.

          • You are so right about the kindness of strangers. So many of my angels saved me during this journey and most I only met once. I now know why it’s called heartache–sometimes I’d wake in the middle of the night with such chest pain.

            I found the betrayal of friends and his family (known since 1983) to be devastating. It came in waves and the final outrage was when I found out the true nature of my “best” friend. I was with my husband from the start of his business and was integral in its success. Everyone sided with Ex & HoWorker. I truly believe this acceptance of bad behavior has made it much harder for my daughter and I to heal our relationship. She sees it as a “fork in the road” and doesn’t understand my anger. Seeing other people’s behavior “justifies” her father’s decision.

            Walk toward the darkness, for if you always follow the sun, you will never see the sun rise.

    • Perfect, it’s been an unbelievable struggle for me as well but it’s starting to get better. I’m compiling a list of mantras that I will be sticking all over my home to help me change my thought process when I start obsessing and can’t get out of the pain. I’ve been wondering if any other chumps have great mantras that help them change their focus.
      Like: I am more than worth it; chuck it in the fuck it bucket and moveOn; I face my future with confidence etc.
      Congrats to the newly weds 😁

      • Zip, I did have little notes to myself on my mirror and by my bedside. I also bought these little “brighten up” your day cards and would open one every few days. I needed the positive words. I try and lay in bed each morning and hug myself now before I get out of bed. I tell myself that I am okay. I am good and I list off things to be thankful for. It sounds silly, but it has helped me. I stopped talking to anyone about what he did to me because I could see people could not handle it and just wanted me to go find a new man and get over it. I have kept in counseling every month, so I have at least one person to process with about some pretty horrible abuse, but mostly I have to try and be my own best friend. I decided that I was the only one who was going to give a real shit and I better start being good to myself. Prayer has helped, but an occasional hug and a few words of home coming from anyone can help you make it another day. When I don’t have that (which is almost never) – I just give it to myself! 🙂

    • “Why did I think so little of myself that I put up with him and believed his lies over my own instincts? Probably won’t ever fully know the answer to that! I have moved forward, but boy has it been painful.”

      This is the hardest part I believe. Looking back and going over the crap that you put up with and didn’t call it quits or put your foot down right then and there. I had very supportive parents and a very strong mother that didn’t put up with anything but yet I put up with crap and although it was a very long time ago I remember dwelling on it for a long time after the relationships ended. Two asswipes in a row. I still think back and wish I could have done better or taken action earlier. Although now when I think about it I am totally indifferent. You’ll get there just be patient.

  • Dear Chump Life Gained….. I’m sitting in my doctor’s office crying my head off reading your beautiful story. My life’s trials and tribulations have left a hardened cuticle on my heart and psyche but your story is so awesome and hope inspiring that it got me. The others in the waiting room think I got bad news! Lol. I’m honored that you shared your lovely story with us. Blessings for a lifetime of happiness

  • So happy to read this story today. Is anyone else having a really hard time these days? I’ve never lived alone before and the self-isolation, panic and lack of regular structure is making me miss my cheater ex like crazy, and just feel so so lonely and sad. Sending big hugs out to anyone else in chump nation that might be feeling the same way right now.

    • @newlywedchump – Yes! For whatever reason I’m having a hard time lately. I mean, I know that losing my job in a merger and this cough I have is contributing. And I’m in the middle of this whole process, I think anyway; I hear it gets better after the dust has settled though from this view I’m having a hard time believing that. But a few days ago I was angry and now I’m lonely and sad as well, enough that I’ve been allowing Cheater von Shithead into my thoughts. It’s incredibly disconcerting. Sending you a virtual hug.

      P.S. You are an incredible person who didn’t deserve what happened to you. You are worthy and strong and and I for one will be sending you all kinds of vibes filled with happiness, kindness, peace and ooey gooey goodness. (Just had an urge to let you know that).

    • Ah, Newlywedchump, hugs to you during this especially lonely and isolating time. I’m almost 5 years post-Divorce and can’t begin to imagine going through the Ddays and divorce at the same time as this global pandemic. I just realized a few weeks ago that most of my 29+ year marriage was so lonely that it was practice and training grounds for doing well as an older divorced woman living alone. But that was before lockdown and self-isolation.

      I will admit to using way more social media than normal. Reaching out virtually, sending and receiving loving messages, reading funny memes, watching blissed out dog and cat videos—everything helps. And putting this in perspective—that being quarantined with the lying, gaslighting cheater without any outside escape would be a chump’s worst nightmare.

      Of course, CN helps us feel supported and understood. In the early days, I used to spend a few hours a day here. Now I only check in from time to time. I have found a way to travel a lot on a shoestring budget, but now that’s come to a halt. So I’m at home spring cleaning, organizing, and binge watching Netflix series. I may start a room painting project or tear out carpeting in one room. Something big and engrossing to take my mind off of the current difficulties. I gave up my house in the divorce in exchange for stock, and watching it lose most of its value over the past few weeks is not a good pastime.

      I think Chumps might be ahead of the general population in one regard. We have already survived a personal tragedy of such a magnitude that we know we can survive almost anything now. No, we don’t have super immunity to a nasty virus, but we have already had our worlds turned upside down, our lives as we knew them destroyed, and we survived. Lean into that strength and knowledge. Come here to reach out. Share. Pray. Enjoy our amazing virtual community.

      I have no regrets in leaving and divorcing a lying Cheater. My days might vary in mood, energy, health, economic outlook, etc. But true peace of mind is priceless.

      Hang in there. One day at a time. It gets better.

      • newlywedchump,

        I can relate to what you are feeling. Yesterday, after waiting in a massive line maintained by an armed guard outside of the grocery store for my turn to go in only to find virtually everything sold out, the reality of my solo-status hit me so hard. I’ve always considered myself to be a strong person, but realizing I am facing this global crisis all on my own suddenly felt so overwhelming. Not sure why though because if I reflect honestly on cheater ex’s character (or lack there of), he was not someone to count on in any challenging moment. (Unless the problem could be resolved by throwing money at it). I just miss having a sense of normalcy by being part of a couple/family, even though mine was a complete facade apparently. Focusing on keeping my pets happy and comfortable now has become my priority while being off from work due to closures. Animals are so intuitive and they channel our emotions. Give them extra cuddles and love everyone! PS There is absolutely no logical reason for stockpiling toilet paper to combat a respiratory virus! Stop being so aggressive in general in stores as well! (Our community has now designated certain hours just for seniors to shop due to the ridiculous behavior being exhibited by shoppers). You’re better than that CN! Be positive role models for others!

  • I’m so happy when someone shares such a positive story! Thank you! And then others add to it! Since today is St. Patrick’s Day, I am praying my Irish luck will help me continue to build my new life. While in self-quarantine to protect my elderly mother, I am currently weeding through all the books I bought during the divorce years and letting go of all the RIC recommended ones. I might as well burn them since I don’t think it’s fair to donate them to the library and sucker some other poor chump into searching for a unicorn.
    I hope Meh Day comes soon for everyone here in Chump Nation! May the road rise to meet you!

  • OK CL…Question?
    Wire feed or stick welder?
    Which would you recommend for welding a steel buttress plate onto a rusted Toyota frame?

    Since Aug 2017 I’ve been on this journey to Tuesday. I think chumps are empaths adrift in a sea of predators. I’m at Meh which I believe is a precursor to Tuesday. Just as CL promises the pain to be finite Tuesday is Out there.

    At 60, with two divorces…alcoholism and infidelity…I’ve got more road behind me than in front of me. My marriages averaged 13 years each so I don’t think I have another 13 years to invest.

    However in that short timeframe, I know that if my side of the street is clean that good things are ahead. If justice is real a balancing of the scales must occur. I’m learning that being alone is OK. It’s also a state of mind. We’re never really alone.

    CN is our new tribe.

    • “Wire-feed or stick welder?”

      The answer: Yes

      Either will work. It depends on how clean, if enough voltage on the wire welder and if out of position, which direction you weld.

      I couldn’t help it but answer.

      Oh, and the welding of a marriage theme is very cool. Mine was a result of JB weld(glue) and even that didn’t get mixed properly.

      • You guys are hilarious!
        During nightmare reconciliation, I bought X a welder and helmet for Christmas. He played with it all the time, as he was an unemployed alcoholic. His welds were crappy and never held. When things got super bad, he pawned the welder along with lots of other stuff…to buy booze.
        My marriage was more like bad bondo…dull gray and not mixed properly.

        • Bondo = Spackle.:)

          Wow, my cheater was a flashy used car on the outside with plenty of Bondo to hide the rust. She always kept her paint perfect, but the interior was a mess.. And little did I know she was always seeking a dead battery jump every chance she got.
          Oh yeah, her ”empathy” light was always flashing on her dash.

          Stupid, impulsive buy on my part!

    • ML No welding advice, but can relate to your post. I find myself going between satisfied with single life and wondering if there might be love out there for me somewhere. All the work I’ve put in to being the best me makes me think someone out there might really appreciate these sweet new skills haha.

  • I believe you could see many comparisons to what is happening right now in the USA (and other countries) and the breakup of a relationship. The survival advice particularly is the same — quarantine yourself and care for yourself, keep a safe social distance, and concentrate on your health and well being. This will pass. We have survived many ups and downs in our lives, tragic things happen. Be sensible and careful — it will increase your chances of survival. Chances are we will start to thrive again soon. Sometimes hardship can build character. Sometimes another’s actions during hard times show clearly that they have no character. Either way, you learn something.

    The news has been broadcasting many stories which highlight both the good and bad actions of people to a tragedy. I live in Tennessee, last week a tornado took out a sizable community in middle Tennessee. The next day, thousands of people who did not lose their homes turned out to help those who did, and to search for survivors, or those who didn’t survive, so at least their families would know. I find this remarkable. It gives me hope that there is more good in the world than bad. Sure, some of the volunteers turned out to have bad motives — finding copper, jewelry, things of value in the wreckage, for personal gain. But, the majority of people were there to help. The message is clear, good people will show up to help you recover from tragedy. Tuesday will come, even for those who lost every material thing, because there are good people willing to help who seek no material gain from their actions. Maybe it takes a traumatic event to get our attention, and make us see the truth. Maybe finding hope in the darkest days makes us remember how important it is. Any way you look at it, you learn something of value.

    We may not all end up on a mountain, marrying the partner of our dreams, but congratulations to those who do. It is nice to see others who fulfill their dream, who end up better off in the long run because they learned what was truly important, and discarded that which was not.

  • My Dday will be 4 years on the 28th. It was horrible. I contracted Herpes from Captain Save a Hoe. She also gave it to the other married man she was having an affair with. Ya, she overlapped both of them. It was devastating. My middle child tried to take her life twice and was medicated for 1 1/2. She was the closest to him. My son’s self confidence disappeared over night. My oldest handled it the best. After 1 year of divorce proceedings the judge told my ex that it was up to kids if they wanted to see him since they were having such a hard time and he was off spending his time at resorts instead of any time with my kids. Only my oldest who is now 20 sees him about 6 times a year. After all that, I meet this amazing chump and remarried. He has helped my son build up confidence in himself and brings peace to our home with my middle child. My oldest is very protective of him even to Captain Save a Hoe. I am not saying my life is perfect because divorce is hard and not pretty but he has brought peace, love, patience and hope into my home. We had a beautiful wedding with our children as our wedding party. He also has 3 children and we just purchased 2 1/2 acres of land to build our dream home with our children. So YAY to New Beginning Tuesday.

  • I too emerged from the rubble and met someone I truly never expected to meet. We “dated” for four years. Just a little gun shy, here. Then we merged our lives and became life partners with a good co-hab agreement. From start to finish the story of this love is something I would have never imagined for myself. We met 8.5 years ago and our love is deepening and a great source of joy and comfort. He just turned 72, and I’m turning 63 next month. Every single thing that matters in a relationship is so far superior to what passed for a marriage to my first husband, who I loved with all my heart and to whom I was faithful for three decades. The first time my new life partner really kissed me I nearly fell on the floor. It was just that good and still is. Slowly I have learned what it’s like when someone loves me. Better late than never. A good person is worth everything, and the intimacy that is possible with someone real has been both scary and wonderful. I had been on a starvation diet for decades. Happy endings don’t need another partner. I was already ahead in my happy ending when I met a partner in mine. I was already ahead. I had changed the way I was a steward of my precious life. And that’s probably why I knew who he was when we found each other. And he plays the banjo.

  • Congratulations! At times it can be very dark on this site. Cheating, broken hearts, and broken family’s are tough Topics. Not all sparkles and rainbows. Glad you gained a life. I’ll toast my cappuccino to u. Panara’s drive through is still open. Thank God. Cheers. 😍

  • Aaaaand here I am, M54, tears streaming down my cheeks. May the Universe bring you and The Welder joy, immeasurable joy.

  • Also shedding tears here. Congratulations to you and your welder! The transformations of metalwork are beautiful metaphors for this process. I used to do bronze casting and am thinking particularly of the investment process, chasing, burnout, the pour, release…all the labor and heat it takes to change one element into another.

  • Hi CN – it’s me Chump Life Gained,

    Thank you for all the well wishes. The evening was lovely although a much smaller gathering than we’d planned. Almost magically, our dreary Georgia weather shifted from rain to streaming rays of sunshine as the ceremony began.
    There were a couple things that I wanted to add.

    First, our humble Tracy edited my letter and removed all expressions of my undying gratitude for her work. I told her that she modeled fearlessness and by doing this, has made us fearless as well. I write this as a chump who was completely paralyzed by fear – a gutted wreck of humanity. She changed my life – no hyperbole,

    Also, something that you all might find encouraging is that I am barreling toward 60. My life was upended in my early 50’s, when I thought my world was set and the sailing would be smooth. But here I am, an adventurous woman who in the last year sold her house, moved to a new area and found a new job. Did all this make me anxious? Yes! But I always held this tiny nugget of power in my heart. This nugget that reminded me that I had weathered infidelity and all its agonizing fall-out. This nugget that told me that I could continue to write my story and it would be good.

    Hold the faith – it will be good.

    • So happy for you! There’s a line in a Mary Chapin Carpenter song that I hold to: “We’ve got two lives/One we’re given/And the other one we make.” You’ve made this good life. Wishing you every happiness.

  • I am going on 3 years post D-day and I am a happily engaged chump with a man that makes me realise what love, respect and reciprocity look like…and how embarrassing my past relationshit with the exhole was. There is panic shopping happening here and I am at work but he waited in line for two hours before the supermarket opened to get four cans of baked beans, two jars of pasta sauce and bottle of disinfectant for my elderly parents. I didn’t ask him to do it, he asked them what they needed and went out and did it. My exhole wouldn’t have done that…no way. He’d have sent me and my parents a shopping list of what he wanted and then complained if we couldn’t get it. He really was a sh*theel.

    When I found my way to Chump Nation a few days after Dday there is no way that I could fathom what my life would be three years later and how much better it would be than what I had with exhole.

    It does get so much better and life looks nothing like what you expect – take courage from that. There really are new and exciting opportunities before you. I didn’t believe it during the dark days after Dday but my life really did blossom in new and exciting ways which didn’t actually have much to do with finding my beloved! I bought my own home after extreme frustration, I got job opportunities and I made some amazing new friends. I am living a wonderful and full life in ways I never could have with the exhole.

    Stay safe everyone and let’s do our best to stop the spread of covid-19 to the most vulnerable people in our population -even if my exhole is one of those immune compromised people- there are many other very good people who need us to care to care enough to do right by them 🙂

    Much love and biggest hugs to all those that are hurting. You can get through it because you are so much stronger than you realise!

  • I’ve had two years of post D day shame attacks and emotional flashbacks to triangulations and rages I never want to experience again.

    2 weeks ago I left my very last support group because I was getting stuck. I have also been purging the pain for the last 3 months. Desperately sad, lonely, and starting to lose hope.

    Started trauma work with my psych. And on Monday, as the world panicked I found my groove. For the past two weeks I’ve joimed online single groups (not singles looking for hookups, singles looking for acceptance by a society that thinks you’re incomplete if you’re not half of a couple. I’ve been anchoring, breathing, and purging the trauma. And I finally feel GOOD. Great even. When you suffer from the anxiety of hypervigilance that comes from 15 years of abuse and a toxic family of origin before that, what’s happening in the markets (there goes my property settlement dreams) and across the world (I’m not too fussed by dying, we die, I’m good with that) is easy. I’ve spent my whole life anxious. ANd finally I’m not. Even my kids are being adorable, peaceful and kind to each other instead of the agitation I usually get from them when they return from their angry dads for the week. It’s Wednesday here, but I had a great Tuesday. And am finally at meh. My advice, leave the groups and just keep coming here for snark. There’s no untangling the skein and moving on is sweet like honey, especially when you are happiest on your own.

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