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Your Triumph Moments

I think one of the defining experiences of chumpdom is being underestimated. Some of this can attributed to having a lousy partner who devalues you, but some of this we do to ourselves with self-defeating internal monologues that get their first.

My favorite part of this blog is reading all the triumphant moments when chumps surprise themselves with their mightiness. Whether it’s rage plumbing or divorce filing, weight loss or loser loss, chumps defy their OWN expectations.

They see themselves differently and others see them differently too.

So today’s Friday Challenge, apropos of this meme — how did you prove the motherfuckers wrong?



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  • I always wanted to buy an older home. (Pre 1950s) with a mother-in-law suite to rent out. I’m a property manager and I told my husband, at the time I could manage it. But he was never into the idea. Old houses are too much work, renting is a pain, yadda yadda… anyway. When he cheated on me with his 25 year old co-worker, I sold our boring turn key 80’s cinderblock of a house and bought a 1945 Florida bungalow with a finished MIL suite in the back. I adore my house and rent out the little house primarly to people going through divorce and it pays more then half my mortgage, which allowed me to go back to school. Everyone comments on what a great idea this was and why I never thought of it before.

    • Bravo Robin. I did the same but with a 70’s raised bungalow that I planned out the renos and moved into 2 years ago. The tenant covers almost my whole mortgage. It’s saving me right now.,

      • Would love to see a pic! I did the same, an 1890s Queen Anne. When I bought it ten years ago it came with a long term renter, she’s been here 30 years now. Can’t beat that security! Remodeling a house on my own gave me the confidence I desperately needed. In the beginning I’d use the physical labor to keep the circling what if’s at bay – too tired to think, too engrossed in a job to miss him.

    • Wow! I am currently in the process of buying a 1940’s Cape Cod style home! It was daunting to get the process, however I can not wait to close and continue to win at this new life!

      What else have I been doing? Working on my masters degree and working 2-3 side hustles mainly revolving around teaching online! My masters should be finished by this time next year.

      • Divine,
        I’m an adjunct instructor with a master’s, have been teaching online since 2016 and am very glad to be able to teach online during this pandemic. Good luck with completing the master’s and funding whatever work suits you – way to be mighty!

    • While I don’t have a tenant, I do have a house built in 1907. I adore it. When XBF and I first split and I went to have his name removed from the deed and mortgage, the mortgage lender tried to talk me out of keeping it. “But you’ll have so many memories there, it’ll be hard to move on,” she said. I replied “you know what I have memories of? Me doing all the fucking work, there’s no way I’m just walking away now”. Besides, XBF couldn’t afford to keep it with all his debt.

      Now I’m excited to be able to put some money into it as it’s all mine!

    • Love it Robin! A triumph and a very wise move.

      My story has a twist to yours: the house I had with sparkledick actually had a semi-finished mother-in-law suite. I wanted to finish it up and sparkles liked the idea, but didn’t move a straw, just kept ordering me around about it, really pestering me.

      Well, of course he couldn’t be bothered, he was just too “busy”. There is all kinds of cake.

      D-day came around, I got the house (good lawyers), sold it (I miss my garden) and bought a small ranch (not producing yet, but that will be another triumph story) and a run down care-taker’s cottage and renovated it. It is four times smaller than previous house but I love it, it is four times less work and expense. I am slowly planting a garden and I am just too busy with it and work to think about fuckwit.

      I would love to see your bungalow! Take care!

      • My dad passed away three months after I left the Lying Cheating Bastard, and I came into a small inheritance. I started looking around for an auction property that I could buy outright, and found a 1930 brick Tudor revival cottage in a town 100 miles away from where I had lived with the LCB.
        On Christmas Eve 2018 I was the winning bidder, and in March the following year, after some pretty serious renovations, I moved in.
        My cottage has a sunroom which I promptly turned into an art studio, complete with a work sink, and a one-car garage too small for my truck but perfect for a woodshop.
        Not having a mortgage or monthly rent payment has allowed me the freedom to build a thriving side business making art and signs out of salvage materials.
        One of the first signs I made after moving in was one for myself. It reads, “your walls will sing.”

        • Omg Walk away! A sign that says your walls will sing. That’s so awesome & mighty! I’m a sucker for signs with sayings (like my 1 that says, “Forget the Dog. Beware of the Owner!” Or “Sexy Women have Messy Kitchens!”). I’ve never even thought about making my own sign. You have given me an idea of possibly doing a CL quote.

          • My favourite:

            They whispered to her, “You cannot withstand the storm.” She whispered back, “I am the storm.”

      • This is actually the story of a friend-She is an artist, her ex is a financial advisor/advid runner/fuckwit. He always put her skill down telling her she would never make money doing that-It was a waste of time etc. Fast forward 20 years into their marriage she finds out he’s cheating (with a fellow runner in his club) and leaves him. She starts her new life and begins doing more painting than ever. She prays for something to come to her that will make her good money doing it. Next thing you know she’s doing pet portraits and making a killing! She has so many commission, she barely has time to do them all. I love that she covered her suv with advertising herself and he cringes every time he sees it!

    • I love to decorate in a boho/granny chic style. He was black leather and chrome. I now have a tiny home and it looks like the color fairy vomited all over it, it’s full of plants, full of weird crap I find at Goodwill and he would hate it. But I love my home.

      • That’s awesome. I love thrifting- I’m always on the hunt to find treasures for my place or to resell. My Ex-H hated my side hustle & now every time I turn a thrifting find into cash it’s great karma.

    • Sounds like my story! My ex never liked the idea but when I finally left him I took the equity from our house sale to buy an income property across the country this fall and use it as a short term/nightly rental and have crushed it. Mine is an 1902 old grocery store that’s been converted into 2 apartments 🙂

    • I love this! I’m looking to buy a small house with a big garden and I could build a studio for my work or a small house to rent out (and I could possible live in the smaller one myself after DD moved out). I want to buy something cheap outright, no mortgage, and do renovations. My goal is to pay very little for housing and not need to earn a lot. I’m an artist and textile designer and work for my own company, but due to chronic illness and lately extreme stress I just haven’t been able to work that much.

  • Not to sound like a bitter old hermit but I really don’t think I’ve had that moment of triumph . I mean I’m better and better off but still very damaged . I hold many relationships at arms length , doubt most of what I hear and half of what I see built defensive walls that make the old Berlin Wall look like a picket fence . My circle of friends has shrunk to a count them on one hand few and I take my only comforts from this and other sites, not to mention the bi monthly therapy sessions . Amid this shit show I am hopeful though. I am hoping the rage ,the mind movies ,the arguments I have alone in my car with her apparition, and seething when I see the OM around town will cease. I apologize for being negative right now but it’s one of those “trigger” days. I wish peace and happiness to you all

        • I laughed at “29 years,” NY, assuming that was the length of time you were miserable with her. Hope you didn’t mean that it has been three decades of single, post-relationship angst, but if you did mean that, please know that I’m seven years out from divorce and still skittish about all my encounters. I find it hard to overcome the certainty that everybody has a secret agenda and that I have to protect myself. It is a long process to learn to trust people again, and I anticipate that it will also be a life-long process for me, since I have a tremendous amount of long-term things to work through. Good luck to you.

    • Your triumph moment is that you’re still hopeful you won’t always feel this way.

      There. Fixed it.

    • keep going.
      that’s what I did.
      I just kept going.
      And it got better.

    • New York Nutbag, I think you have daily triumphs. Getting through each day and working through this are accomplishments. They may not be grand, but they are important, significant. I have obtained an associate degree this spring. It is not the end of my education, but I know that type of degree at my age is usually not considered an accomplishment. However, I know what I went through in my life and it most certainly is a necessary start to betterment. Sometimes I feel like I’m just plodding along till death, but on better days I am optimistic. I don’t think you are negative or bitter. You are being careful and protective. Your daily achievements are important ; celebrate them with the realization and recognition that you are on a better path.

    • We all have those days, unfortunately it comes with the territory. Over the years, I have come up with ways to manage those feelings. First, time away from the crazy helps. I look back at some of the things that happened and I wonder how I got through…But I did, and that in itself is a victory!

      Next, I do not try to stop the thoughts, but I do put them in their place. I allow myself a certain amount of time to think about all of it. Then, I imagine a chest to put all those thoughts in, lock it, and throw it into the imaginary ocean. When my time for rumination is over, I force myself to DO something, take a walk, make dinner, clean my oven (seriously, when I want to be stern with myself). Moving from thinking to acting helps cut off those bad thoughts.

      I also set aside time to fantasize about what my future could look like. Sometimes, I move myself 3000 miles away and start over in my mind. My only rule is that X cannot be in that future world. I must have travelled the world in my mind. At the worst of it, this helped me get to sleep at night.

      I also removed anything that reminded me of X. Furniture, pictures, TV shows we watched together, certain restaurants (I went back when I was ready). It was like a total detox of my environment. My purge included “friends” who wanted to “check on” me, and drag up all the awful shit X had done, not to help me but to titillate their sick curiosity.

      I did not so much fight bad thoughts as I managed them, until the passage of time allowed me to realize my former life sucked. My entire marriage was me doing everything for everyone but myself. It was exhausting and I still do not know how I did it.

      I am alone now, but I am not lonely. I have absolutely no desire to seek another romantic relationship. I realize I am an introvert who was forced to live the life of an extrovert most of my adult life. At home, I lead a very quiet life. I walk my rescue pit, work in my garden (this year I have both vegetables and flowers! I am so proud), read, cook, and pre-COVID occasionally have old friends to dinner.

      I am sure most people would be bored to death with my life, and would probably even feel sorry for me. But I am FREE; I never, ever have to diminish who I am to obtain someone else’s approval. My future is my own and the decisions I make are the ones that are best for me. Even on the bad days, I now remain clear eyed about my former life, and I am at peace with my aloneness.

    • I feel that way at least once a week NewYork, and I’ve been divorced almost three years. And nuts are nutritious, use your anger as plenty of fertilizer to get ahead.

    • Just chiming in to say that you are not alone. A little over a year after dday and about 9 months after finding chump lady, she had a similar column asking for post chump success stories. I was feeling anything but mighty and reading about all these people who seemed to have moved mountains. I responded similarly to you and got some great comfort.

      4 years later I still don’t feel like I have moved mountains. I am divorced but still in a lawsuit against the fuckwit over a business we co own. Now I read all these great things that people have done for themselves and tell myself, it isn’t a competition, the important thing is that I am living my life, making decisions and that is enough. I am worthy of life and love. It is wonderful that chumps are accomplishing things, and shows that there is opportunity but the biggest most necessary lesson for me was that I am good enough. You are too and getting away from a fuckwit is the most important thing right now. Depending on your fuckwit and your life situation, that may mean it is your mountain to move and you are mighty!

      • (((Feelingit))
        Love to you and the Children.
        YOU are so far above enough!
        Your triump is in having come so far over so many obstackles.
        Still, having to battle the fuckwit over the business, but that in itself, is a triumph. You have never given in to him. That has to drive a narc like him nuts!
        YOU really are Mighty!

    • Yup, when the ex has too much free rent in your head. Been there. It was like he was still abusing me by remote. That faded in time.

    • Oh the mind movies and intense “alone in the car” arguments aren’t just me? What I tell myself is “Self, it takes as long as it takes. He abused you for years don’t do it for him now!” Then I put on some loud music and boogie. Yep even in the car driving down the road. I’ve gotten some strange looks but who gives a f***. Find what helps distract you and do that whenever you find yourself caught up in thoughts of her. It does get better ((hugs)). PS I’m also originally from NY

    • NYNut, your circle of friends can be counted on one hand because now you know what a friend is. The rest were friendly acquaintances until they revealed their character to you. It may feel like a loss but it’s really that you’re operating on a new and higher level.

      As for arguing with her apparition in the car, I had that same issue. At some point, you have to start reclaiming your brain space. I used satellite radio (talk and music) plus local sports radio. Make yourself LISTEN. Sing. I had playlists to shift my moods. I did a lot of upbeat ones with themes. And I had one sad one if I need to feel stuff and was resisting that (saved that one for when I was on my way home).

      It’s hard to fight apparitions when you’re singing “Here Comes the Sun.”

  • Neighbour thinking women need men
    Above saying any man is better than no man
    Another neighbour saying you need to keep men happy
    children doing well in school

  • I put him through school. He makes $$$. The deal was I would go back to school myself after he got a good job. Only took him 10 years. Then he said no. He left after 30 years and I never got to finish college. Now… three years after divorce…. I’m not only enrolled in college full time for this fall, but it’s in IRELAND! Epic new life here I come!!!

  • I became a volunteer extra in my cities biggest opera and played background characters in front of hundreds of people. I also took up swing dancing and before covid was really enjoying it!

    • Yay for you! I can’t wait to go back to swing dancing.
      I will also take tango classes when covid lets up. Life is too short!

  • Early triumphs might be looking into your asshole’s eyes during proceedings. Or pushing back against their lawyer and getting more money.

    As you move away, hard things become triumphs; saying goodbye to switzerland friends really hurts, but it’s shedding their weight that becomes victorious.

    Meh feels like a wave that rises and calms along the way; first little moments give you that feeling, but it doesn’t last long. Then as you travel, you slowly rise up and stay in “meh” longer. Little-by-little you settle into it.

    My triumphs include building a fence and now floating deck, all by myself. Becoming a better father is also possible thanks to all of this.

    My biggest triumph is surviving divorce and building a new life and all the strength and courage that comes with it!

    • To all –

      You are the silent warriors, the honest souls who share your truths and heartaches so that others will not be alone. That I can come to this place and feel valid, sane, and not so bad, is a triumph. I owe it to you, especially those who still struggle. You are a treasure. Thank you.

  • I love this post! Most days I HATE my ex for what he did to us. It took me 5 months to peel myself up off the floor and start eating again. When I realized I was about to go broke, I took all that hate and redirected it into my business.

    My ex has three college degrees and I have no college degrees.
    He made double what I made.

    He used to poke fun of me that I was self employed and would tell our kids to make sure they marry someone who’s gone to college right in front of me. What a dick thing to say.

    Well, I have 5X my income and now earn more than double what he does.
    I have 5 rental properties and 3 airbnbs.

    If he even knew how much I made his jaw would hit the floor, that though alone makes me chuckle.

    We’ll see where I’m at in 3 more years 🙂

    Thank you CL and CN for modeling mighty.

    • Unexpected chumpiness, but expected mightiness. You got rid of an asshole who humiliated you In. Front. of. Your. Children.

      What a story! Love it!

    • Love your post! I’m definitely not knocking furthering your education, but depending on the college, a 4 year degree (BA or BS) does not carry the prestige it did years ago. Having drive and meeting/attaining goals is far more impressive.

      • All degrees are not equal as far as income potential. It’s not my intent to knock certain degrees….study is always good….but I have two bachelors degrees compared to my ex’s masters degree and I always felt like he thought that made him superior.

        Except that I make double because one of my degrees is in a hard science and his masters is in a very liberal arts field that doesn’t pay much. That never mattered to me but as he was always looking for ways to make himself feel better at my expense he’d make comparisons.

        On another note my father was a high school dropout and also the smartest person I knew …did very well for himself.

        • I have a BA, an MA and A PhD, all from Ivies or otherwise top-drawer schools. Exhole had a BA from a third-tier college. But, he did software, and I didn’t. (He also took every opportunity to derail me when I had a career success but that’s not for today.) He always made at least 3x and eventually 5x the money I made.

          However, and this is my mighty: I am a far better money manager. I got an excellent settlement, bought a house (sold it for a huge profit and paid off kid’s college loans). Bought another place. Made good investments. And so on. So I’m doing OK on about 1/3 or less of the $$ he has. He has the tax deduction of all time, and a sugar mama who pays the rent, but he still can’t stay out of debt. What a maroon.

    • DON’T let him know what you make if there’s any chance of him being eligible for maintenance or child support. He doesn’t deserve to know about it. 🙂

  • When I married Mr. Sparkles, I was 36… single, no kids, owned my own home, had a good 401K… and he was going through a very contentious divorce (red flag anyone)? SO… I asked him to sign a pre-nup. I’m not a Hilton or anything… but I had worked hard and had some assets and I knew the statistics on divorce.

    Flash forward 8 years later, he’s leaving me for OW #754. Yet, he won’t file. I offer him a settlement to accelerate the divorce after a year of waiting, he says it isn’t enough. He won’t tell me what he wants (besides infinite amounts of cake). SO… I file pro se with the pre-nup. He ignores it. SO… I hire a lawyer, he gets served at work, 90-days later judge upholds the pre-nup… 15 months later, the rest is history and divorce is final.

    Two memes that I love are: “Underestimate me, that’ll be fun.” And, “I thought of quitting, but then I remembered who was watching (my kid).”

    Fake it until you make it, you are mightier than you know… you’re here afterall.

    • >>you are mightier than you know… you’re here afterall.

      My spirit lifted at this. Thx

  • I’m not feeling that moment of triumph. I’ve had the shittest couple of years of my life starting with fuckwit & finding out my marriage was a lie, finally chucking him out, then my cat died, my 21 year old son ended up in icu after a couple of grand mal seizures we still don’t know why & he’s not able to drive, my car blew up, my other cat died, then covid, then my job contract wasn’t renewed, then I had to put my horse down & fuckwit is still being a shit about the property settlement. My triumph is that I’m still standing despite the profound shitshow that is my life. But I’m teetering & barely holding on. Luckily for me I have some lovely friends who have my back.

    • Wow. You have been through so much and you are still standing. That is a triumph for sure. Keep going! My daughter had some severe mental health issues after the split. I was glad that fuckwit was not involved. He would have made it worse for her.

    • Hug. In the face of the storm, you’ve managed to hang on. That my, friend, is mighty. Hope you can see the trailing edge of the storm clouds on the horizon. We’re routing for you.

    • I had a similar ‘slate cleaning’ a few years ago.

      It turns out that this clears the way for big and much better things, but OUCH it fucking hurts, every step.

      Hugs. One foot in front of the other. It will end.

  • From the moment the bad shit started, to KK finally moving out of teh family home, took just a little over a year, ending in December 2016 (though the divorce was final in Feb 2017). I told nobody at work about what was going on.

    In my year-end review, my then boss’ written comments began with the words: “A new [UXworld] has risen.” The review went on to catalog how I’d appeared to have a new vigor in how I approached my job, looked at things in new ways and interacted with colleagues with a discernably different mindset. Something positive was being noticed.

    All of this happened while I was gray-rocking the shit out of KK in our forced co-habitation, and going through hell trying to set a good example for our daughters.

    After some reflection, I realized being forced to look honestly at the state of my primary personal relationships — acknowledging and calling out (or gray-rocking) the bullshit while appreciating and nurturing the good — seeped over into my work and secondary relationships as well.

    I may never have another “primary” in my life, but that almost total reassessment of those within my world, and how I deal with them, is probably the mightiest thing to come out of that whole sordid ordeal.

    • That job evaluation was the most awesome validation! I’d a bust out in tears if my supervisor had told me that! You should be so proud of yourself!

  • My ex cheated on me countless times, expected me to earn all the money while just had fun etc etc. After DDay when he left with the OW, I filed for divorce (much to his astonishment because I had always been such a doormat in our relationship). I wanted to keep the house for my three kids so I engaged a tough lawyer, cunningly got a very low valuation, and offered to buy my husband out for all the money I could afford to raise.I knew he wouldn’t want to go to court.Anyway my triumph moment came when, after ringing a number of times to try to get more money out of me, he had a final go. He was so used (after 25 years) to always getting me to do anything he wanted that it was lovely to sense his puzzlement and frustration that this power had mysteriously evaporated. Then he said in a whiny voice,’But it is so unfair!’ And I just remained silent. He accepted the deal.

  • I bought ex out of the house as I was desperate to stay in it and it was the only home my kids had ever known. So at 53 I took out a 17 year mortgage (that was fun) but I decided to throw everything I had at it. Brown-bagged my breakfast and lunch, looked over every bill I had and easily knocked them down and I just kept going. And all while doing this I wasn’t unhappy, so money while money is important it doesn’t buy happiness as it turns out. I ended up paying off that 17 year mortgage in 7. I was planning to work to 62 (I could have worked to 65) but I got really sick of my horrendous commute and when I looked at the figures (over and over and over) I realized I could afford to retire at 60 and still live decently – so I did. It’s been 18 months now and I’m so glad I left. What’s more, a new express train started up (eventually it will connect Geneva airport direct to Chamonix/Mont Blanc). In the meantime, it connects Annecy to Geneva with 2 stops on the way, one of which is my local town. So all those commuters heading into Geneva now have the option of taking this train and avoiding the commute from hell. And the fact that I am only 2 km from the train station has already started pushing up the value of my house. Round here right now you could sell within 24 hours (not that I’m looking to). So yeah, life only got better and better after he moved out!

  • Oh boy I was on the floor. Lost my hair and my eyesight (not to mention my home) and thought I couldn’t breathe without him. Was I dumb!

    It’s taken a while but I’m on my feet now. Amongst other things I wrote a book: ‘Making Peace with Divorce, A Warm, Supportive Guide to Separating and Starting Anew’. He comes out of it rather better than he should (I didn’t want it to be a personal drama) but, given he (a banker) had stopped giving me (a stay at home mum) any money at all not even for the mortgage or our children, it still makes me smile whenever I think that if he wanted to read it he would have to buy a copy! The fact that it seems to have helped other people as well makes me feel pretty good.

    And now I’ve moved on and thank my lucky stars every single day that he left me, because I never would have left, and I’m so happy not to be in that marriage anymore.

    If anyone is doubting they can make it, I know how you feel. I never thought I would get to this place, which is not a bed of roses, but is authentic and all mine. In time you’ll trust yourself and not your ex. Priceless.

  • 1) My now-ex. He never thought I would see a lawyer and explore divorcing him, but I figured that if he could deceive me for three years the way he did, I could keep my cards close to my chest as I defended myself. The look on his face when I told him I wanted a divorce and had already seen a lawyer still thrills me.

    Also, although we had an informal agreement about keeping our own retirement accounts, after the final financial numbers came in, and I saw that the balance sheet of marital assets was tipped in his favor, and knew the court would side with me, I told him he was going to have to pay me some money from his retirement account. He raged, but he knew he would lose if he fought it and so he did it.

    2) My family. When I told my mother that I had initiated a divorce, she said, “I thought you’d never leave him.” She also told me my sister had said “She’ll never leave him.” Their lack of faith in me was a surprise. I thought they should have had more faith in me and their lack of it has colored my view of them and my relationship with them. They no longer get the benefit of the doubt.

    3) Me. At his insistence, my husband handled the money in our house. I was mostly ok with this, because I handled everything–and I mean everything. I never even signed up to be able to view our accounts online. We made the same amount of money, and deposited our checks into a joint account. When I began to investigate divorcing him, I started paying much closer attention to where the money was going, and was surprised to see how much of it he spent on a daily, weekly, monthly basis–more than I did by a long shot, although he always gave me the feeling I was spending too much.
    When I divorced, I was worried I would not be able to manage financially with only my paycheck, and with so little experience of managing money. Somewhat to my own surprise, I have made some surprisingly good decisions about money, decisions which I agonized over and second-guessed myself for. Now, a year and a half after the divorce, I’m in MUCH better shape than I would have predicted at the time I would be.

    Next step in proving I can do things I fear I can’t: buying a house for myself in the part of the country I want to live in. What everyone says above gives me confidence I, too, can do it.

  • I don’t even know where to start. Oh wait, I do actually:


    Everything is 100 times better every single day (I’m six months out). I have the house, I got to keep my dogs and my lovely neighbours and start really fixing up the house that he let get run down.

    I have peace. Omg. The peace. I don’t care who he’s texting or sexting or giving money to anymore or what he’s lying about this time. I don’t jump out of my skin every time I hear his teenage drug dealer son move around in his room. I don’t have to eat the shit sandwiches while that kid lies to me and steals my car and alcohol. I don’t ever have to watch my dogs shake with fear again while XBF rages on. I used to have heartburn every night shift and it immediately stopped as soon as they moved out. My plants inside and out are in full bloom after years of barely surviving (and some didn’t). I don’t have to pick up dental floss and used ear plugs from everywhere, even in the car. No more used takeaway coffee cups all over the garage even though there’s a trash can right there. It’s right there! No more doing all the housework and yardwork while he watches movies and plays video games and texts other women.

    NO MORE PICK ME DANCING!!!! Man, that was exhausting. I can actually stay up as late as a normal person now.

    I have more money because he was spending more than he made! And I lost 20lbs without even trying!

    Everyday I’m grateful. Every. Single. Day.

  • My biggest triumph was taking all 5 of my children (2 of which are adults with their significant others) on vacation and we all had a blast. There was no drama and lots of laughing. I even got a pic of my middle son grinning ear to ear, which is an epic milestone because he couldn’t even smile last year for as long as we could remember. We are living on the other side of the country and don’t have to see or hear from the exhole or his family anymore. I got my kids out of it and we are going to be ok.

    • ICMEH Yay, holidays with your kids are the best!! I took 3 of my five kids (aged 23,21,15) away on a cheap holiday to a beachside caravan park after the divorce 2 years ago. It was fantastic … youngest said he was nervous about going away because of past not-quite-idyllic experiences holidaying with the exh. But we talked, laughed, bbqed, walked, watched dumb movies, played table tennis … it was brilliant – relaxed, unstructured, ‘us’ time. Next January I have hired a really nice big villa by a lovely beach for us for a week, and invited them to come for as long or as short as they liked. They are all five coming,(age range 28-18) and they all immedately offered to pay some towards it. My oldest son is a really good cook, so I’m hoping for some great meals ????????

  • When I decluttered myself of both his presence and his issues, I then focused on decluttering my own life, and it’s been great. I’ve renovated three rooms, and my garden is doing well. I’ve always been a saver, so I’m doing even better these days now that I no longer have to deal with a secretive spendthrift.

    Regaining my health made me appreciate that my emotional and physical well being is more important than placating any partner. I also decluttered myself of several denizens of Switzerland, and as a result treasure my relationships with people even more. I’ve taken vacations solo and with family and friends, got back into my volunteering and hobbies and just am content in a way that I haven’t been for a long time.

  • My ex very much under estimated me and it makes me happy sometimes to think about. The guy got caught cheating and immediately filed for divorce when our baby was four months old. He incorrectly assumed he would get half of my savings from before we were married, I would agree to 50/50 custody, and this would be a quick easy divorce. He went house hunting for a home he was going to buy with MY savings..until he realized he doesn’t have a right to it. His lawyer told mine that he’s nice and I’m nice so this should be settled quickly and we won’t even need mediation HAHA. This disordered freak may very well end up with 50/50 custody but I refuse to go down without fighting it. 9 months later and we have no agreement and need to go back to mediation. I’ve had to fire a lawyer and hire a new one. It’s been a waking nightmare but I will say I am proud of myself for not being weak and standing up for what I believe to be in the best interest of my baby. Interestingly enough, he has been the one dragging things out. I’m not sure if he has a strategy or if he’s just really fucking lazy.

    • We have got to find a way to connect, our stories are so similar!

      Stbx filed when my daughter was 4 months old. He told everyone that the divorce would only take 2 months, and that we would come to an agreement ourselves without lawyers. He expected 50/50 custody with alternating weeks (I’m not in a 50/50 custody state).

      He has constantly underestimated me. I kept quiet about the affair. He thought he had me fooled until I submitted my interrogatory response that included a 25 page daily log of his adultery. He thought I wouldn’t invoke our pre-nup. I strategically collected nuclear leverage. He says he wants to be divorced ASAP, but he is not complying with discovery. I’ve told my attorney that I am done playing games and that we need to move forward with depositions, subpoenas, and a hearing for a motion to compel. My first attorney could not keep up with the craziness so I am on my second attorney who thrives on litigation.

      It’s been one hell of a ride. But I’m one hell of an opponent. I wouldn’t want to divorce me. He should have kept his dick in his pants!

      • Wow would definitely like to connect..trying to figure out a way to do that without revealing who I am on here! This is exactly what my ex is doing. He does not submit full discovery and has delayed as much as possible. Although I did find his trans escort habit when he did submit financials so I’m sure he has more to hide. Is this an attorney tactic or a narc tactic? I am pretty sure he knows the limbo makes me anxious. I’d love to move forward with my life.

    • Stay Strong! Mine was insisting on 50/50 of children he only changed 2 diaper! I went into mediation with all he had done to me and kids-. All my ducks in a row. I got 70 and he got 30. They don’t want to pay child support #1 reason they want custody. #2 is to use the child to control and abuse you. I keep documenting on a court server so if he takes me back -my ducks are still in a row.

      • That’s great you got 70/30! My ex has his parents funding his legal battle and they are definitely the ones in control although they don’t live in the same state as us. I’m not anticipating he will settle unless he doesn’t want his dirt coming up in court. I think I will be at the mercy of the judge and in my state it tends to lean 50/50.

        • I had a 4″ three ring binder of him and his ap stunts, threats and shit show. His parents have backed him financially to the tune of over 300,000 dollars. I was a stay at home mom with no Job, but I kept my head on and my ducks lined up. His lawyer insisted he settle in mediation after the binder came out and I said I was going to change divorce filing to adultery and ask for a Jury trial. I did my research! 18 months from divorce final and 3 years from dday. I have bought a house, make more money yearly than him and have my girls the majority of the time. My advice don’t give up, stay level headed and document, document the crazy!
          I wish you success!

        • Don’t be so sure Jo, my ex had parents with very deep pockets AND his new gf was a lawyer and court administrator. But since he was always doing really stupid things like not following neutral evaluators OR parenting consultant recommendations I wound up with maybe 80-20 custody. Since his gf caught him cheating and threw him out 4 months after our divorce was final it is now more like 90-10. Keep good notes and beg borrow or steal to get evaluations or mediators. I know they don’t always save the day but in my case they saw through his lies SO fast and knew that I was the sane and stable parent.

          • I’m sorry you’ve been through this shit show but I’m so happy for you that you have majority of the parenting time. I’m praying for a miracle that this happens for us too. I don’t have a ton of leverage but I’m trying my best.

    • My ex dragged things out too. When we found out he was cheating, he got defensive “I’m going to marry her!”And kept saying he was running down to city hall to file. He never did. I filed first. I got an attorney. He never did. He would consistently miss meetings to discuss settlement. Eventually, he came to a meeting, signed away everything, and we were divorced in March. For him, I think he didn’t really want a divorce but insisted out of bravado.

  • Triumphantly exchanged contracts on the sale of my house – today! (I walk away with a small profit but the walking away from Dr Narc is worth it).

    Triumphantly completed my first Aikido class today with my son (he is on the autism spectrum so this is a challenging experience). I’ve always envied seeing people in their white gi – today I wore one for the first time at 52 ????

    • My ex told my aunt that he might of ruined me for other men and he feels sorry for that. His parting gift, when he ran off with a 22 yr old was herpes. I am remarried to an amazing man who my kids adore. The judge put an order in that it was up to the kids of they wanted to see their dad. We have a rental and just bought land to build our dream home. I also kept the marital house in our divorce, which he said if we went to court the judge would force me to sell it. I was scared but went ahead and hired a lawyer. I’m looking at making a good size profit from putting it on the market. People told me life would get better after I grieved and it did. So all of you chumps out there get good advice and keep pushing forward.

  • Wow. You have been through so much and you are still standing. That is a triumph for sure. Keep going! My daughter had some severe mental health issues after the split. I was glad that fuckwit was not involved. He would have made it worse for her.

  • Before her I had 3 duplexes and work was optional. She never contributed financilly and refused to work only specific jobs which made employment difficult and stood in my way on real estate. The last 10 years overtime is a must have to survive. I recently set the goal of making overtime not neccessary. Last Wednesday I closed on the marital home gave the ex her share and am going to pay all my debt and OT will not be survival requirement. The amazing coincidence was the day I closed was the day my company cut the OT.

    • It’s stories like these that make me so happy. You deserved it so muxh to be able to libe without overtime.

  • Ex-wife left the kids and I in September 2015. That first Christmas (the kids were 19, 16 and 12 then) was just the 4 of us, and some members of my family hosted at our rented home.

    It was brilliant; hard work and a lot of tears, but we all came through it stronger than ever. Hearing my eldest daughter say”I didn’t think that we would be able to pull it off, but you were right to try because we did pull it off and it was great” was just the tonic I needed, as I was knackered; I had been covering – in effect – both the Mum and the Dad roles for longer than I can remember.

    What took my breath away was what she said next – “I’m so glad that Mum wasn’t here; she would have ruined it by getting in the way, getting drunk and starting arguments just because she likes to.”

    All I could do was give her a big hug.

    Fast forward to now and, oddly enough, ex-wife has never asked to have the children at any of the 5 Christmases since she left and none of the children have ever asked to spend Christmas with her. Draw your own conclusions from that ……. !

  • My life and my kids are my triumph. 5 years ago I was so beaten down from years of emotional and financial abuse that when my asshole ex texted me on our 10th wedding anniversary to let me know he was moving in with his girlfriend I was devastated. I honestly thought it would be SO terrible for me and my kids to be alone. Yeah, not so much. I got a good lawyer, dumped my best friend of 20 years who was cruel and unsupportive when I needed her most and was able to be present and be the parent they needed. I was sad and worried but I did it. My oldest son had been in and out of the hospital for severe depression when fucker took off. He still struggles with it (a genetic gift from our Finnish and Swedish DNA) but he now is working, has a band, and has recently repurposed the band tshirt making stuff to sell shirts and donate profits to MN Freedom Fund and BLM. (He gives them to people of color and charges white people a $15 “white privilege tax” ha ha ha ha). My younger son just finished his first year of college where he made a million friends. And my daughter amazes me every day. She was very active in her school’s GSA and was so supportive and welcoming to all.
    I still have the same two jobs that I did 5 years ago. Nothing is super easy or glamorous. But I am happy and I feel safe. My kids know I am always here no matter what. That is success to me!

  • Triumph moments: finding a few new friends who had been through it and were super supportive. Getting my own place where I could lock the door and have a safe space. Finding a singles group to travel with, had a blast. Doing volunteer work; putting myself in new settings that way. Joining a book club/social group that does fun outings. All were a stretch as I am an introvert. But all are good!

  • He told me I’d never be able to take care of myself. We lived remote, had huge gardens (which I did most of the work in), fished and hunted for most of our meat. He told me I’d never eat – live as well – as what he provided.

    The year after I left I put in for a local moose drawing hunt and got drawn (Amazing luck!). I borrowed a gun and busted my ass for two weeks trying to find an animal, which I eventually did, and dropped it all by myself (with one perfect shot). It was 8 p.m. at night, I was all by myself. I remember feeling so stunned that I had actually accomplished harvesting an animal to feed myself, my son, and my mother, and then the feeling of elation. I now had meat to cover us for a year! I let out a whoop that must have scared everything in a 10 mile radius.

    It was then I realized that everything was going to be o.k. and yes, I CAN take care of myself just fine thank you. (With a little help from some friends- who came out an helped me butcher. That’s the real work!)

    And while I do not own my own place (yet) and do not have big gardens anymore, I am living in a beautiful little place and my porch planters are blooming and my freezers are full.

    I am grateful everyday for the blessing of being here, on my own, free and clear, and finally, once again, A Happy Person.

    • That must have felt wonderful knowimg that you have enough food for the next year. You are an inspiration.

    • Skunkcabbage, That is awesome! But I have to ask- what does moose meet taste like?

      • If handled properly, IMHO, it’s better than the best cut of beef!

    • Wow! Talk about some survival skills!! In the event of the apocalypse can I come stay with you? I can garden like a wizard…

  • Let’s see…

    I bought a brand new car all on my own, what I wanted. A brand new red Jeep Wrangler. Totally opposite of what I drove when I was married.

    I joined 2 bands. I play 3 instruments and perform in front of an au. I played NO instruments when I was married.

    I fixed my picker and got remarried to my “Mr CL”, also a chump and we are happy. He is supportive of me and I am of him. Life is good!

  • I’m not sure if this is triumph, irony or karma.
    At one point during the 18 months of hell after D-day the Worm told me no one would ever love me and that he would be in our house with his Pookie moving out all his stuff as I watched. Well, fast forward about a year after that statement, I was the one moving out with the assistance of an amazing man that I married a year later. I remember thinking at the time about the irony. Only thank God the Worm wasn’t there to watch.

  • This was long ago, but I gave my (not married to me or anyone) guy an ultimatum; her or me. I was with him when they got together, but she went ahead, having heard about all the guys I supposedly slept with (not at all) and how much more fun she was in bed (she told me that with pride and confidence at one point, way to justify, lady!) Again, not the sanctity of a marriage, which turned out a good thing for me. But I was fully bonded, like a sad little dog. I had been one leg of a triangle for way too long, and lied to and unknowing most of it. By the time I gave the ultimatum, I knew what his choice would be (not me); but my head was ready (my heart, kind of never was). Anyway a few years later and the guy is still trying to build another triangle, this gullible woman is starting to think she wants out. So he tells her I am trying to get him back. This means them of course, but he is trying to scare her back into compliance. Which he did, many times poor woman. She hated me so much for this too, meantime I haven’t spoken to him at all, much less alone, so he is blowing smoke. What she really knew is that she couldn’t trust him, but decided to blame that on me. (makes me sleepy just to think of all this drama now, it is even boring after so many years.

    But the triumph, that was an emotional one, tho I do have a sweet little house and good job and pets and friends and all.

    When I heard that I was trying to get him back; I went home and fell out on the floor. Not in tears, laughter. I laughed and rolled and kicked my feet and hooted. Like I want him back (or the both of them). Oh yeah, I want that! It was so light-years far away from where I was at, I just roared. The downstairs apartment almost called the cops on me, they could hear it, just about hysterical. But this good long laugh was cleansing and purgative and a triumph. It was not schadenfreude (joy at another’s sorrow) it was just that even imagining about the insane idea that I would ever ever ever chose to go back into that, made me laugh and laugh.

    Very healing and final. Tho it bothered me for years that she’d even think I could do such a thing, I’ve since decided her credulity is not my responsibility, and she chose him fully informed. I was so well away from the both of them, it was a gift from straight from heaven. The detachment, and the laughter and the rest of my life.

  • No contact since DDay3.
    Dday 1, I was angry at him “how could you do this?”
    Dday 2, I was pleading “do you still want to be with me?” to which he would answer “yes”
    Dday3, I woke up. We had talked about talking again, taking it slow, figuring it out. I don’t know what overcame me. I sent him a text message asking a question and I waited for his answer. I saw that he was online on whatsapp. 2 hours later, still no reply. I had a racing heart rate of 150bpm. I was so anxious, sitting there, staring at my phone screen, waiting for his answer.
    Instead, I wrote a second text message, breaking us up for good. telling him I wish him all the best and let’s go no contact.
    So It has been for 6 months.

    It’s been incredibly hard. He is with her. But this is my triumph. Every day, I never wait by the phone. I never wait for a message. I don’t get near-anxiety attacks.

    • I feel this so much. Not waiting by the phone. That was my motivation for finally leaving too–both the EX and my Switzerland friends. I am tired of waiting for him to change, and waiting for them to care when he doesn’t. Walking out on people who just don’t love you is so hard to do… but when you finally do, you can start living and stop waiting.

  • I had a pretty severe eating disorder in the last few months of my husband gaslighting me before he abruptly left. I kept it a secret from him because I was afraid if I told him id had a relapse he wouldnt be able to support me since he was acting so vague/distant/weird. I had no idea what was wrong with our relationship and i tried so hard to communicate to fix it, tried to bring him to counseling etc. Finally i built up the courage to tell him I had a relapse and needed to get help. He pretended to be supportive for a few weeks but continued to be shady/weird and distant. Very shortly after he left (to immediately move in with his AP, i found out later), though i was devastated and broken, I found I could approach treatment and eating normally again. Like this huge weight had been lifted, despite my devastation. it was hard to have the perspective until afterwards that I was using food/my body as a way control what was happening to me and I dont know if i would have recovered ever if i stayed in that relationship.

  • Long time reader, first time poster. Thank you for today’s post, I seem to have woken up to one of those “bad” days where you suddenly start crying while ironing because your brain is showing a highlight reel of Cruel Shit They Said.

    1) I had stumbled over CN before D-day and also broken up but remained friendly enough with jackass to stay at my house for Christmas, even though he was discarding me big time and ramping up the cruelty over me taking away his kibbles. I asked him to pack his bags and leave on New Years because he was disrespectful to me, my parents and our home but I felt so bad about it and was second guessing myself over being too harsh to poor jackass at every step. Suddenly he tells me about his new gf a full week after breakup, Schmoopie, whom he had introduced to me a while ago insisting I “need more friends” and am “too anti-social”. It was like a fog lifted and I could see his shitty schemes fall into place. And I got up, calmly handed him his bag, showed him out the door, flipped him off and locked behind him while he was yelling over how I “deserve that honesty”. I only contacted him twice after that. One time to get in a written admission that he owed me, another time to send him tracking id’s for his junk (it’s illegal to throw away another’s stuff they left at your house here) and to tell him to not contact me again or I’d treat it as harassment. Thank you for preparing me for this moment, CN. I did not fall for his crocodile teary “I hope you are doing well blah blah” because I know now he was trying to manipulate me into being the new hypothenuse after I dumped him and tried to reel me back in after new years. Ain’t nobody got time for this shit.

    2) I handed in my doctoral thesis two weeks ago, am debt free, leased a brand new VW yesterday, landed a good job in a huge company starting in July and a gorgeous appt 200 km away. Jackass was supposed to also graduate this year but hasn’t even finished his masters because he’s too busy sitting on the couch playing video games, role playing with Schmoops and amassing a six figure student loan debt for his pipe dream of becoming the laziest professor in the entire world. This is the same person who once screamed “you have no ambition! That’s why you’ll DIE in that lab!!” into my face one Sunday night because I wouldn’t arrange my experiments around him wanting me to accompany him to some kind of “celebrity wedding” (never heard of these people, really) FFS!

    Trust that they suck, CN, and stay mighty.

  • My biggest triumph….I didn’t die. Was sure I would from the pain and then I wanted to….enough said.

    I am five years out. Lost everything…home, possessions, pets, retirement (he had a plan). So even though my finances are always gonna be sketchy, the most important thing I lost…someone who had this in him for the 40 years we were married and I never knew. Imagine if I had somehow wound having to wipe his ass.

    He is 63, no real friends or connections, porn addicted, alcoholic, bad knees and 400 pounds.

    I am 62, new town, new friends, dance three nights a week, and learned to ride a motorcycle. So this “old, not sexy enough” woman seems to be doing just fine without “his greatness”

    • I am so inspired by this! by YOU! I am struggling with what I envision for my looming 60’s. Eeeek! Are you me? I’ve been considering renting/buying an ATV for the sand dunes, riding horses on the beach, and remodeling a rental or two. Also, I want a kayak, thank you very much. So I’m not the only 60+ who refuses to give up FUN! If not now, when?

      “(…someone who had this in him for the 40 years we were married and I never knew. Imagine if I had somehow wound having to wipe his ass.)”
      ^This statement makes me shudder, good God :(((

  • My sons were concerned that I would fall apart. Instead I pushed through, got divorced within 7 months of dday, Got a promotion to VP, finished an international project that changed the way a specific disease is treated to much acclaim, sold both houses, bought and remodeled a condo on a lake that is gorgeous. I surprised myself and both sons are proud and have both moved forward in strong ways with their lives. It was hard and empowering.

  • We are way stronger than we ever knew, just gotta keep breathing and one foot in front of the other.

  • Within one month of DDay (4 years ago) I retired from a great career and moved to another state. Was divorced within seven months. Bought a house overlooking beautiful Colorado mountains one year to the day of DDay. Funny how that worked out! Went no contact and have never looked back. I am 68 and living the dream life now! I have even taken up golf at this stage of life. It is never too late. I am married to a wonderful man now. Tracy I owe 90% of my courage to your website and you!

  • Forgot to mention that I was with my ex for 45 years. Again it is never too late!

  • You are right. He always did underestimate me. He has no idea of my resourcefulness. My son told me “Mom, you make making food an Art Form.” I am the self proclaimed Queen of Making Do.

    STBX makes bank, he can’t manage a dime of it. I am surviving on temporary spousal maintenance that is less than a tenth of his income. Guess what, I’ve managed to save money while paying my Lawyer, all my bills, and improving everything I can. I have zero debt.

    While I’m waiting for the court to reconvene I have learned I can do so much with The Power of Goggle. I cleaned my own gutters. That was my own personal Mount Everest. I have a terrible fear of heights. I climbed that ladder anyway. I didn’t have money for a lawn service. I saved and bought a lawn mower. I mow my own lawn. My lawn is cut on the highest setting and is lush and green. I unclogged the kitchen sink. I unclogged the bathtub. I unclogged the toilet. I installed the window AC unit. I did all of these things by myself with no criticism from anyone.

    I am learning to be alone and take care of myself. I am my very own fierce Mama Bear. I’m getting to know who I am and what I want. I’m committed to me.

  • Bought a business that one of his ex girlfriends owned (she retired). He used to shop there. Not anymore!

  • I have tiny moments–driving to pick up my son from college, cleaning every last one of Fredo’s things out of the house (just finished that this morning actually), unclogging sinks. But overall I’m in the middle of a shitstorm still and no end in sight. So I’d just like to say THANK YOU to everyone for your stories; it has given me a boost in an otherwise wobbly day and I appreciate it so much. Special thank you to the over 50 crowd here with the ‘it’s never too late’ stories. I kind of live for these right now.

    • It’s been a long time coming for any stories of triumph from me but they have been so hard fought I loved the chance to share!

      Keep fighting the victories are so much sweeter xx

  • I lived. That is an accomplishment, since my mother (a narcissist) told me I would be dead before I grew up, and when I left home, she predicted I would never survive on my own. I married the EX partly because I was afraid to be on my own, and that I wouldn’t survive. The EX also told me that I would die without him, and he said it so much that I contemplated suicide as a way of escape. Well, now I am totally on my own. I am paying my bills, taking care of my kids, working, involved in my church, mowing my own grass … and 100% alive.

    • >>my mother (a narcissist) told me I would be dead before I grew up, and when I left home, she predicted I would never survive on my own.

      Ugh. Good job. It’s no small thing to find your way out of that.
      My mother said I’d fail at college. I wouldn’t be able to do laundry myself, etc. I couldn’t live without the abusive college boyfriend. I’m over 50 now, and it didn’t occur to me until I wrote that why I felt less prepared for life than my college friends. It wasn’t my failure, but my mother’s sabotage in bad adulting lessons. No one instills self doubt like dear old mom.

  • I didn’t have much leverage either…only the fact that I was the parent who was there and kept on parenting no matter what. You have that advantage Jo!

  • I bought a beautiful home for my daughter and I in an exclusive, safe, & friendly neighborhood, bought a truck, started a new job with a great to die for company & started my kick ass $1000/mo pet sitting business…All while continuing to enjoy his $2500/mo spousal/child support (4more years of it) while he rents a dump, drives a shit 12 yr old suburban that bleeds and humps the in again off again cum dumpster he left us for 4 years ago!
    I have a front row seat to the shit show and my kiddo, at the age of 14, has the narcissistic fuckwit figured out!

  • I have done so much in the last 16 months, it makes my head spin. But, the best of all has been slowly sorting through the accumulated detritus of the last 26 years of our family’s life. Paperwork, boxes in storage, tools, clothes, toys, every.single.thing in our house. It has required a lot of strength as I have come across many memories and heartbreak but it has also been cathartic. The more I do, the more mighty I feel. I view this time between d-day and divorce as a transitional time, where I have grown so rapidly it hurt. Very soon, I will be ready to launch into my new peaceful life having shed all the old baggage and taking only the things that are meaningful with me.

  • I’m still in the middle of proving everyone (including myself TBH) wrong. I’m currently enrolled in Community College, 3 (nearly 2) classes away from graduating with Honors (3.9/4.0 GPA right now). He made me feel like I was lazy, stupid and crazy with all his gaslighting. At one point, I honestly believed him.

    I had to spend 3 years putting my head back together and slowly but surely I’m coming out of my shell again. I am learning to trust my intuition again, which he had totally ground to dust with his lies. And I’m finding myself again. At my heaviest in our marriage, I was 316 lbs. I can’t even fathom how big that is. I’ve currently lost 50 lbs and counting. Oh and it turns out I’m not lazy, I was just overworked and underappreciated. Now that I don’t have a third child (him) to care for, there is energy left over to care for myself.

  • Nearly 3 years post BD, getting my groove back, picked up a great job where I am truly appreciated. Selling my house so I can explore other possibilities… has, in no way been easy, but knowing where I have come from over the past three years is truly amazing. I’ve literally travelled 30000 by myself (probably more) and survived. I’ve kept all our friends and gained back my family. I don’t know what my future holds, but I am starting to feel excited. You are all so mighty!

  • I filed for divorce two weeks after D-Day, hiring a great attorney after vetting several (which conflicted them out). Cheater chose a crappy lawyer that his therapist recommended. (The same therapist who apparently told my cheater that we could go to marriage therapy, and he could simply not mention the 2 1/2 year affair. That’s like going to a doctor with a knife in your chest but insisting on discussing a headache.)

    I demanded to live in our home and told the cheater to get an apartment. “It’s the least you could do,” I told him. (Later, when the twinge of guilt wore off, he would complain about the injustice of my living in a large house while he was consigned to a small (but luxurious) apartment with his schmoopie. You would think that a man in love with his soul mate would be in affair heaven in such close quarters with the love of his life. Alas, the victim narrative plays constantly in his deranged head.)

    One stormy night three weeks after D-Day, when the house I insisted on staying in lost power, I wheeled the ancient generator out of the garage and yanked that damn starter cord at least 50 times. I was drenched in sweat and rain. I was about to call it quits. My arm ached. But damn if that final pull didn’t start the thing. When that happened, I screamed “Towanda.”

    And then there were the logistics of selling homes and arranging the division of personal property. Of course, that job fell to me, but I pressed on (and miraculously got all the good furniture).

    I sold that home as well as a lake house. He complained about the real estate agents I hired. “But they are the best in this town,” I wrote. His reply, “I don’t care.” What an idiot! I hired them anyway and each home was sold within two weeks of listing.

    I documented the shit out of the situation. And the cheater stupidly wrote incriminating things in texts and email. Print!!!

    I fought my x’s determination/mantrum to re-do the entire mediated agreement because he realized he got a bad deal. “But, but, but…it’s not fair!!! She’s “sitting pretty. She got everything.” That’s what he told the mediator/judge.” Fortunately, the judge saw through his BS. I refused remediation, saying that I’d already conceded as much as I was going to concede. If we open it up, I will ask for more. I’m more than willing to go to litigation. That got him back to the table and he just signed the original deal (that he’d already signed). I tried to get him to pay my extra legal feels for his nonsense but decided not to die on that hill.

    The divorce was finalized remotely this week!

    I found a great apartment and moved to another state (during the height of the pandemic) to be near my kids and granddaughter (they who have gone NC with their dad).

    I’m free. I’m not walking on eggshells. I did that for 35 years. The peace is unbelievable. No more drama. I’m less stressed, I realize I can run again without hurting my back. The body knows!! And, most importantly, I have the love and support of my adult children and get to be with my grandbaby!

    Oh, and I bought a dusty pink bed frame because I can. He would hate it.

    True triumph for me will when I get to meh. It’s only been 8 months since D-Day. I’m getting to meh. And when that Tuesday comes, I’ll scream “Towanda” again.

    • ((((Spinach)))
      I love your post! You have a way with words.
      Is your name Spinach for Strength, like Popeye? ( just wondering)

      Hmmm, enjoy Father’s Day as the sane, present loving parent and Grandma!!
      YOU are so Mighty!

  • My biggest triumph: I stopped caring about what others think of me.

  • I found Chump nation after D Day four while googling RIC solutions to my marital problems only to figure out what I already knew the cheater was the problem not me! I leveraged his guilt with facts and ducks that I had put in a row We live in a reciprocity state , He did not want to go to court he did not want the facts coming out and he did not want me to sue his various mistresses,he didn’t get a lawyer just his ho, in the settlement postnup I received primary custody of my children, maintenance, child support and the family home, a bit of background of the family home was a fixer-upper we bought in the mid 2000’s to fix up together after about two years of working on it, He stopped being interested just like every other project he starts, fast forward to Father’s Day 2017 I discovered D-Day number five and his 10 year neighborhood mistress just one of many exploits, long story short he was out ????I received the family home and all the other things in the Postnup, It took me three years a lot of blood sweat and tears, a hefty personal loan thank goodness I have good credit, my children helped , my family helped but most of it was on me failure was not an option, I restored renovated that home myself from painting the interior, doing flooring total renovation of the master bathroom, Just to name a few projects,the only thing I hired professionals for was window replacement, and painting the exterior, he had given up his half thinking I would fail I did not ! He stalled the divorce as long as he could by refusing to be served, not giving his proper address, and anything else he could do so it took an extra year and a half to get divorced but it was well worth it ! of course I paid for the postop, and the divorce, and it took years, but it was money well spent, but at the time it was very hard had to take out a lot of loans! I sold the family home Last summer and turned around and bought a brand new house , Paid off all my personal debt, with the exception of the loan I still have with him because he’s not ready to pay it off early, money is still tight But I am busy with my new house doing projects and renovating my Garage into a studio, workspace, gym for me and my kids to enjoy and use up to our liking With the help of Google to up my DIY skill game, not to mention YouTube videos ❣️stay strong Chump nation I know it takes a lot of grit, sweat and tears you can persevere , you are mighty ! you are worth it !you are enough ????
    c’est la vie McCheater pants ????

  • Getting two really good jobs after I was told that I had ‘wasted my talents’. I had always been more successful than him and was shell-shocked. At the time I wasn’t in the right place to say to him ‘At least I have talents to waste!’. Oh well, ‘deeds, not words’.

    • Replying to myself. By the way, I’m 60. 9 months from discard, 7 months from D-Day of long-standing affair with long-distance ex-girl friend. I got lemons and made lemon drizzle cake.

  • I have so much to feel gratitude for
    It’s nearly 4 years since DDAy, & every day I’m living better.
    I negotiated hard, shifted the dialogue from adversarial to communicative with careful choice of language, got exactly what I needed to rebuild. I was 59 when my life went into the blender.
    I’m going to be 63 shortly. Sold my business, bought a commercial building and a small residence and will open my new business in September October. I spent 30 years being fat shamed, I studied nutrition, was diagnosed with hyper insulinemia, amended my food and the weight is falling off.
    I applied again for medicine and missed out on entry by 2 marks in the science section of my exam. I then applied for Biomedical Science and I start next year.
    Life is never easy but we will all rock it for 4 simple character traits that have sustained every single one of us! Character matters!
    For every single win, in the beginning and in the hard times when we all just need to get through the day
    Trust we will all rise and our victories are huge because we win at life!
    I see and speak to my ex husband at least weekly. It no longer bothers me. I forgave myself for making the best decision I could with the information that I had.
    His life is sad solitary and miserable.
    I just smile and live better!
    You will too!

  • Cheater left me for his AP while all this went down:

    a. Nationwide covid-19 lockdown started in my country, separating me from family and friends
    b. I was at the tail end of completing my Master’s thesis
    c. I was close to losing my job due to the lockdown gutting most businesses. Took a pay cut, had almost no savings due to keeping up with the fuckwit’s lifestyle
    d. The trauma made me get panic attacks in my own home

    I was alone, stranded, scared, convulsively crying between conference calls and crisis managing, desperate, tumbling through the stages of grief, and suicidal.

    Now, 4 months later, I’ve submitted my thesis, helped my company pull through the worst and kept my job, saw a therapist, just about moved out to my new place, have the full support of family and friends, and now in process of divorcing the fuckwit.

    Chumps, know that you ARE mighty and that this too shall pass.

    • You go CometoMeh! Congrats on achieving so much in such a short time!

      • Thank you Maybe_the_chumpiest ! Tbh it feels like time warped, simultaneously like 4 weeks and 4 years than reality of 4 months.

        Hope you are well, we the chumpiest are also the mightiest

        • ????

          Yes, we are the mightiest :).

          All the best to you as you continue to discover your own awesomeness!

  • This blog has changed my life. I am not exaggerating. I was high on hopium for a year, my STBX was waiting for his “love” to break up with her fiancee so that he could overtake her. But I didnt know that at the time, after first D-Day they went underground…He was faking reconciliation, oh he was good! I really believed he was trying to win me back. But I did, I did feel he was not genuine in that…So when I stopped crying I decided to take the steers in my hands. I bought GPS, recorder and I hired a detective. He was supposed to go to the mountains alone to “think about his life” and I have his romantic time with his lover documented. I am SO PROUD of myself I quit hopium. Now I have all the cards in my hands, I will fight for our new apartment to be only mine, I want full custody and if he doesnt agree – I am reporting them to the company (he is her supervisor, high manager and their relationship is against company policy). They will lose their careers if they dont play by my rules now.
    I feel so great I have the power now. And that I am so strong now, so determined. I hope it soon will be over!

    • Wow that’s amazing free_soon! You saw the chance and didn’t hesitate. I too hired a PI and it gave me what i needed to confront the cheater. Here’s hoping it’ll be over and done with soon so we can officially leave the fuckwits in the dust.

  • It was great to read all these triumphs by my fellow chumps. I don’t have the triumphs of many of you, but I can definitely count one triumph. I’ve realized in the last year or two that what my XW thinks doesn’t matter to me anymore. I used to give so much power to her proclamations about life and people. Not anymore. She’s a fuckwit. Why should I give her thinking any consideration? After more than 25 years of that, it’s the equivalent of a cool summer breeze on my mind. It gives me pleasure and peace.

    Ok, one other thing. I think I’ve realized that I may be totally ok financially when I retire. It was the one thing that gave her a slight pause when she left me for her rich, older boss, as we were better off than expected (I earned most of the money for most of the marriage, but didn’t put aside money for a 401K as well as I should have). Since I’m sure my loss of income was a big factor in her leaving me, she admitted she was surprised how well our retirement accounts were doing right before she embarked on her affair.

    She thought I hadn’t provided well enough for our retirement. No, I just could have done better. And if she would have worked w/me through my rough financial patch in life, she would have seen me doing all I could to improve us. No, why do that, when it’s so much easier to discard me and have an affair w/your rich, older boss? Pathetic.

    Luckily, I saw what Steve Jobs was doing at the beginning of his return to Apple, and despite being discouraged from investing as much as I wanted to at the time by an Edward Jones guy (I could probably retire now if I had stuck to my guns, but I had never bought stock before and didn’t have faith in myself as an investor), I bought some Apple stock when it was in a the low double digits. Even buying a tenth of what I wanted to is paying off big time for my retirement.

    And I made sure that it was clear when I divorced the XW, none of the money coming out of my retirement funds to pay her off for her equity in the house and her $25000 last minute extra demand was to come out of the Apple stock (oh, but she wasn’t going to hurt me anymore. Yeah, right). So now, I’m reaping the benefits of that investment, not her. Can’t say that doesn’t make me smile. As for her extra $25000, last minute request? She has been paying me child support for the past year and a half. She even increased the amount (w/out me asking her to) a year ago when she got a promotion. So that’s taking a good chunk out of that. Fitting, as it’s going towards our youngest child, whom she abandoned temporarily along w/me (not so temporarily) when she walked out of our marriage and our home. Our son deserves it a hell of a lot more than she does.

    So, keep going, my fellow chumps. It’s not easy, but in the end, it is rewarding. My best wishes to you all, and lots of love and support. We all need it. This week, I especially want to wish the best to my fellow male chumps that are fathers. Keep being the best Dad you can be for your kids. Even if not all of them appreciate you right now (or even if none of them do, as cheaters are frequently great manipulators and liars). You’re the one that has character, which is shown even when no one sees it or seems to give a shit. Here at CN, we know. Be sane, be reasonable, be the adult. Our souls and consciences will be better for it, if nothing else. But I have to hope our kids will see it eventually.

    • Thelongrun, I’m seeing many triumphs in your story here and I’m glad it’s worked out for you! Every chump already has a triumph: their own life back without a cheater.

      My cheating husband is the ‘rich, older boss’ in the affair, which unfortunately meant that I’d been depending on him for “our” savings. And now he doesn’t want to give me a single cent from his huge retirement fund, in the divorce. I wish I’d been as wise as you in investing for my own future.

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