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Tell Me How You’re Mighty, COVID Edition 2.0

We haven’t done another round of Tell Me How You’re Mighty since this pandemic began. And as we’ve soldiered on (and on and on and on…) I want to know how the dragon-slaying is going. The divorces, the first steps, the new haircut, the kind teenager you raised. Whatever you’ve got in the Gain a Life bucket, I want to hear about.

And if you’re not feeling terribly mighty, resiliency counts. You’re still here. I think you even washed your hair. That counts. You count. It’s good to take stock sometimes and remember this shit hasn’t killed you yet. And you’ll be goddamned if you’ll let it.

Tell me how you’re mighty!

TGIF!

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.
  • ExH cheated 8 years ago… Found this GREAT guy 3 years ago…. The day before our lock down in Arizona he sent me a text at 455p saying I love you. At 630p, he broke up with me. No explanation, no discussion, nothing. He knew what my ex-husband did to me and how it nearly destroyed me and he did almost the same thing.
    This time though, I was in counseling right away. I didn’t wait to go down the rabbit hole. I’ve been keeping a list to remind me I can do hard things.

    Since he left here’s what I’ve done:
    Installed new living room shelves
    Bought new cell phone
    Put all the items in boxes and delivered his stuff to his mom’s
    Planted bottlebrush
    Planted bougainvillea
    Planted Salvia
    Planted Lantana
    Steam Cleaned carpets
    Steam clean tile
    Got the roof redone
    Fixed the pool pump
    Used mom’s tv stand
    Alphabetized my DVDs
    Assembled new bookcase
    Assembled new kitchen island
    Redecorated living room
    Purchased tripod lamp
    Added small curtains to two small windows
    Hung up the tree of life
    Hung bridge on patio wall
    Put new comforter set on the bed
    New curtains in master bedroom
    Painted master bath
    Redecorated master bath
    Cleaned entry closet
    Cleaned office
    Sold shelves
    Sold projector
    Sold refrigerator
    Lost 45 pounds from 3-25 to 7-13
    (65 total) since January
    Removed vertical blinds
    Installed living room curtain rod
    Hung living room curtains
    Read 9 books
    Cleaned end tables
    Cleaned linen closet
    Detailed kitchen
    Purchased new patio cushions/pillows
    Lost a friend to suicide
    Sold 30 items on FB marketplace
    Had biopsy
    Diagnosed with Basel Cell Carcinoma
    Had lump in left breast… Asperated
    Fixed pool pump again…
    Cleaned out back bedroom
    Installed blinds in back bedroom
    Cleaned out master closet
    Cleaned out dresser
    Got promoted
    Made District Mgr of the month in June
    100% club for FY 20
    Started gratitude journal
    Made Sr District Mgr of the month in July and August
    Basel cell mohs surgery
    Nose skin graft
    Retiled kitchen floor
    Gutted master bathroom and remodeled
    Gutted guest bathroom and remodeled
    Painted entire house
    Switched out every outlet and light switch
    (24 switches and 29 outlets)
    Painted guest bathroom
    Painted Master Vanity Area
    Painted Master Bathroom
    Went to Las Vegas
    Removed dead salvia
    Planted gold star esperanza
    Planted 2 purple Verbena
    Updated my Theatre Resume
    Hired to Stage Manage Forever Plaid

    • I agree, that list IS impressive.

      I know this will sound like a nitpick, but, anyone who would tell you he loves you and then dumps you less than two hours later was not “a great guy.” He only appeared to be. Great people, even just “good” ones, don’t do that kind of thing. I’m glad you hadn’t made a bigger commitment with him.

    • I love this! I survived through lots of those kinds of home projects. It has a sort of miraculous healing power to transform, repair, upgrade your living space. My mom always told me that your ‘home’ is really your state of mind. I’ve built a business around this idea. Cheers to you!

    • Holy cow…this is an amazing list!

      I am printing this out and taping it to my wall for inspiration

      rock on, Ashley!

    • Turns out that wasn’t a GREAT guy at all. What a selfish asshole! I’m so glad you are free from a jerk like that so you can go on to do amazing things like this list without being weighed down by his sorry ass.

    • I work part time and have a young child with my cheating ex. One day he exploded our family and moved in with shmoopie- used our joint credit card to buy stuff for her apartment and left me with nothing. 14 months ago I had no savings and worried every night about how to pay the bills. In the past 12 months I’ve managed to save THIRTY THOUSAND dollars. I still don’t really know how, except I used the fear and sadness to drive me. I recognise that to some that won’t be much, but I feel like I can breathe again and I’m shocked at what I can do without this jackass in my home.

        • Thanks Serenity Now (and great name!)
          I think it also shows how much he drained our bank account. CL is right about these idiots being financially abusive/ deceitful.

          • I totally second this. Honestly, fear of not being able to pay my bills by myself was part of the reason that I stayed a chump for so long. In the past year I’ve saved 25k!! Turns out when someone brings in 40% of the income but spends 60%……you find a lot of money you never knew you had when you drop them.

      • I am trying so hard to get this through to a very dear friend who is really trying to get rid of a revolting abusive asshat of a spouse, and is understandably worried about money; that however little you might end up with, it will be more than you imagine because one of the ways dysfunctional cheaters operate is with theft and misuse of marital funds… because they’re super special and entitled to do what they want, when they want. Those secret little drug benders and expensive meals with skanks and so on are not cheap. Once those are no longer a part of your financial picture, it’s amazing how much ”more money” you have.

  • Have raised two girls single-handedly while running a business. Navigated COVID exposures, wisdom teeth removal, doctor’s visits, scoliosis, depression, virtual school, and their mom perpetually disappointing them. Damn.

    • Yay for you! Parenting without a partner (and cleaning up the emotional mess left by the other “parent”) is so hard (while running a business and a household). I’m proud of you!

  • Your point about survival calls to mind powerful lines from the poet laureate of survival-against-all-odds, Lucille Clifton:

    “won’t you celebrate with me
    what I have shaped into
    a kind of life?
    . . . . come celebrate
    with me that everyday
    something has tried to kill me
    and failed.”

    My mighty during the pandemic has been rediscovering poetry (there are LOTS of chump poets—anthologies are a kind of CN), and vowing to write 100 small prayer-poems of gratitude to remember the light in this dark time. 34 done so far, and I haven’t even gotten to the election!

  • Strangely enough, I’ve had more dates than ever during COVID.

    I was just beginning to see someone early in the year before the madness put a halt to it — it became clear that her mind was elsewhere and contact stopped in early summer.

    But out of nowhere, a rep from the local LunchDates office called me in August, said she’d seen my professional profile on LinkedIn, and wondered if I’d be interested in being introduced a client of theirs. I did, we went out 3 times — very nice widow my age (pres and COO of a major medical device corporation) — but nothing else came of it. LD continues to call every so often — I’ve been out to lunch or dinner with 4 other clients, and turned down introductions to 2 others.

  • Someone got me a “gratitude jar” for Christmas last year. Inside of it was a pad of sticky notes. The goal is to fill the jar by writing something you are grateful for each day, and at the end of the year, read the notes. It really helps keep things in perspective during this difficult time of chumpdom sprinkled with COVID and political strife for extra flavor. Turns out there is alot more positive in my life to appreciate it – really love this intentional practice.

  • I have not contracted COVID and have kept my sanity. That is mighty in my book.

    I am a nurse practitioner in Emergency Department. The surge is here in our community.

    This weekend I am going to decorate for Christmas and listen to Christmas music. I will be happy this weekend.

          • Thank YOU, Gonegirl!
            I’ll be thinking of you and hope you stay safe. I wish others thought more about how they’re straining our medical and other systems with their selfish choices.

            My STBX took DD9 to a “small, outdoor, distanced” (yeah, right) Halloween party, and they both contracted Covid and gave it to DD18. Fortunately, I (& my parents) have not been exposed, because STBX learned about their exposure, and became symptomatic, before it was time for me to take DD9 back. Now they are finishing out their quarantine, and fortunately, nobody’s had to go to the ER (though DD18 came close). Not surprisingly, fuckwits are fuckwits not just when it comes to having affairs and blowing up their families, but also in terms of pandemic decisions.

            Again, best to you Gonegirl, and I’m so sorry you have to deal both directly and indirectly with the crappy decisions of fuckwits in your professional as well as your personal life.

    • Yes! Thank you GoneGirl:)
      I have so far survived as well working TSA
      Apparently covid doesn’t exist in terms of $2 Spirit flights in Detroit. I just don’t get it…
      In terms of being mighty I have read approx 6 books including (LACGAL) in nearly 5 months, which prior to this journey would’ve taken me a “lifetime”. I am journaling. Met with an attorney who I didn’t quite care for(he didn’t pay attention to what I was saying and needed a FULL recap the second time we talked)
      I’ve made a few home improvements but he’s still here and regrettably is helping with everything. Anything I need. I feel like it’s a trap. I’m nervous and have anxiety about leaving. He’ll have to go I’m not giving up the house for his actions. I am also anxious that we’re becoming stuck in this space. I feel like the end will come and I don’t know exactly WHEN. I’ve detached greatly.
      Strangely I still “respect” him and care for him. Just not how I could or did.
      Cheers to all you warriors out there!

  • After my cheater, I decided to have a child. We had been trying. Along with the revelation he is a cheater, he let me know he didn’t want children. I finally got pregnant after a long fertility treatment journey. My son was born in April. Due to covid, I went to the hospital by myself. I have been living alone raising an infant and working full time from home. My mother comes over two afternoons a week so I can go in to work. She wears a mask and has all the windows open. I am grateful for my family and my job.

  • I went back to him in January, but he dumped me with a 6 minute phone call in July after 10 years of marriage. Since then:
    1. Bought a house, paid cash out of my sizable retirement funds that he didn’t get a dime of. Paid cash for initial plaster repair and floor refinishing.
    2. Bought a tiny camper and went camping by myself.
    3. During the COVID shutdown was able to maintain a business.
    4. Adopted a rescue cat.
    5. Saving up to gut the kitchen and bathroom.
    6. Planning to strip vinyl siding in the spring, my house was built in 1900 and has the original wood siding under the vinyl. Planning to restore.
    7. Spent every evening after work this summer lounging in a macrame swing – so peaceful.

    It’s just getting better and better.

  • A little context

    I was married to FW for 27 years (together for 30) pre d day, 28 by the time the divorce is final.

    FW walked out Labor Day 2019. Went to live with mommy and daddy while he hopped a plane to consummate the relationship with the OW (she is in Argentina age 38, we are in Illinois both 51-video call sex and porn seemed to be their main method of communications)

    My main focus from day 1 was me and our daughter (22 at the time) she had just moved to Illinois from Texas after graduating to start her career and her father blew up her family in 6 weeks. (what a way to start adulthood). His main focus was his private parts.

    FW ignored his child other than texts for 3 months, because “she wasn’t supportive of his love”. DUH

    FW also gas lighted me telling me in June (he left in September) that daughter wanted him to divorce me and move to Texas with her.. This of course had me traumatized all summer and it was a lie. He was laying the groundwork and blaming her.

    FW is also as of this day still trying to see her again. He wants to marry her, even if it is via internet, because he thinks he will get her here faster/cheaper that way.

    He is lucky if he talks to our child once a week and normally she has to call him.

    What have I done to stay mighty. Lets go!

    · I kept the house we built together going, paid the bills and kept a roof over my head when FW refused to pay the bills. (I make $2 less than him and he moved in with Mommy and daddy with his only bill being his jeep) Only when said FW was threatened with court, did he pay current.

    · I started therapy as soon as I could, because I knew I couldn’t get through this alone-I am still in therapy

    · I started divorce care the next day to get as much help as I could (ironically the session started the day after he left). I didn’t mind this but they got a touch too religious for my taste at times.

    · I talked to our daughter nonstop, reminded her she was loved, even if he dad was a FW …

    · I bought our daughter Christmas presents with what spare money I had and got them to her to open on Christmas day. He only texted her and bought NOTHING.

    · I had to put my house on the market right after Christmas, alone.

    · I had to repaint my entire upstairs, alone, (during my forced Covid vacation) because quite honestly his choice of paint colors stunk and what did he say, “I thought you would pay someone to do it”… Uh with what money…By this time FW was in his own apartment because he fought so bad with mommy and daddy he had to move out. Oh and he stopped paying me again for the mortgage and this time the court allowed it.

    · I moved on my own, once the house was sold, with the help of wonderful neighbors and drove a Uhaul. Go me.

    · I have gotten rid of his negative BS energy and while is still whining about life and everything to make himself look good, I have FINALLY been able to start laying the groundwork for my future.

    · But yeah in 14 months, I have dealt with my marriage blowing up, putting my house on the market, having my house on the market during a pandemic (and having to wipe down EVERY surface after every showing-beyond stressful), repainting the whole thing,, finalizing a divorce packing up a three bedroom house alone. And finally moving to a 2 bedroom apartment two months ago

    • I’m exhausted just reading your post. It will get easier, I promise. You are mighty. Hang on, a better life is coming…..

    • Judy–

      You rose to an occasion you should never have had to– amazing.

      FW is going to get eaten alive by “Tilinga,” which is loaded Argentine slang for a culturally detested type of woman that has political overtones. Composite definition: “Shallow, materialist, social climbing, party-crashing, gringo-phile user with spangled nail tips who lives far above her means and, to make ends meet, frequently resorts to bonking rich old married men who are expected to finance her tacky lifestyle and her entire family. Usually carries expensive handbags and wears cheap shoes, ironically trashes sex workers.”

      It’s even a song (https://youtu.be/lHFmXJQJO5Y)– notable because it contains the word “blowjob” in the lyrics.

    • Your XH’s name isn’t Mark Sanford, by any chance? Argentina seems to be exporting “soul-mates” rather well.

    • Cue: Clarke Gable. “Judy, Judy, Judy!! “

      Welcome to the Labor Day Dump club…
      Me,.. Labor Day 2017. 😂 🤘

      Done Good!!

  • – Re finished a deck I’ve been waiting on for 7 years
    – Painted the exterior of my house over the course of a summer in 2 hour spurts while my baby napped
    – Learned how to hunt and butcher deer on my own…because I don’t need him to provide local, organic meat for my anymore when I can just do it myself! Nothing says “I don’t need you!” more than that!

  • I don’t really feel “mighty,” as all I’ve really done is keep the ship afloat, so to speak. I’m almost embarrassed to put this stuff here.
    Since the end of January, I:
    – Found out I had glaucoma, quickly went almost totally blind for a couple of months; I had to walk around with a cane and sunglasses. Thankfully, I recovered most of my eyesight after a surgery. I can now say I have great sympathy for anyone who is impaired like that.
    – Came home from the West Coast at the end of Jan. with a mysterious, horrible cold; yes, it was almost certainly COVID, but no test was available to make sure, and the doctors belittled the whole thing. There is a good chance I might have actually been patient zero for my state, sorry!
    – My teenage son got the same thing from me, went into kind of a coma, and came out of it just fine
    – Broke a finger playing with my dog
    – Dealt with the death of my beloved dog, who was barely an adult
    – Was in an accident (not anyone’s fault) and broke several bones in my foot and leg; I had surgery, I’m doing well, and I’m starting to walk again
    I’m going to put in one more:
    – I learned to snowboard right before all this happened. It was such great fun!

    I’d say my accomplishment is “I’m still standing,” but, I’m only “standing” on one foot and a half :D!

  • I have been battling my X over him taking advantage of our custody court order during the entire pandemic because he doesn’t want to pay child support and he saw this as an out for that. Had the contempt hearing on 10/15 and still waiting to hear the judgement on that. Meanwhile I am compiling evidence and discovery to prepare for his complaint for modification, he is sighting that working from home is a material change, when it is just a temporary change, and even if it were permanent, it does not effect the schedule for the kids. I am mighty because I have held my shit together this entire pandemic. I have remained calm in the face of his evil. but I would be lying if I said my patience isn’t wearing thin.

    • Actually not feeling exceptionally mighty, lately, but here goes.

      —Tomorrow marks two years divorced. I’m still standing.

      —Relationships with kids going strong. Both have had COVID-19, which was beyond stressful, but both are doing well, and somehow I have managed to avoid contracting it so far, knock wood.

      —DD is rocking college. Can’t believe she will soon be headed into the second semester of her junior year. Grades fabulous. When the family was nuked, it would be fair to say that her academic world was in flames, but she somehow made it through, landed in a terrific college that she loves, and is now talking grad school.

      —DS struggles more. Every aspect of both learning more about and finally feeling safe enough to reveal what they already so painfully knew about who and what the ex is has been been shattering for both of them. The three of us keep working at it together, though, and I’ve hung on to the bit of my spirit that believes in truth and love and healing.

      —Still teaching the students I love at the college I love. All online, and I’m lucky enough to be comfortable functioning in that realm. Spent the summer designing the template for two courses, so it’s good to know that every teacher of those courses and all of their students have been well served by that work.

      —Invited to serve part of my load as an advisor next term, which is an honor. Extra training required for that will unfold in early December.

      —Also invited to be part of our first cohort of instructors to be part of a “master teacher” course, which runs all year, and will result in a special credential.

      —Still in court, for gosh sakes, and that shit is tiresome, not to mention expensive.

      —Ex lately peppering DD and DS with very unwelcome messages about how his “dearest desire” is to have a “good relationship with the mother of his children.” Puke, and fuck his proprietary pronoun. Absolutely not. DD, who had unblocked idiot during DS’s bout with COVID-19 when hospitalization seemed in the offing, blocked him again. DS, in a drunken moment, FaceTimed me and revealed how creepy he found all that. Zero contact is our friend. I’m not budging and have no inclination to, but it would, I confess, be lovely if idiot would relocate to, say, the opposite hemisphere, leave my (yeah, I said it) kids alone, and let it go, already.

      —As stressed out, overwhelmed, and addle brained as I often feel (these months and months of living life online, not traveling, not even being able to sit happily in a movie theater with a giant box of popcorn in my lap have been awful, even for someone mostly inclined toward introversion), I’m pretty happy. This life is better than the years of confusion, manipulation, lies, and abuse that preceded it. Would about kill to be in an actual classroom with actual students again, to stride happily across a bustling campus, to get a fabulously expert massage, to have more free hours to putz around in house and yard, but these are wonderful, normal, and finite problems, comparatively.

      —Both kids, with their hard won albeit likely temporary immunity, will be here for the upcoming holidays. Our little crew, including the giant fluffy dog and the recently acquired kitten rapidly becoming a proper and stunningly gorgeous cat, does keep muddling through. Still quite a lot of work to parent young adults, but fortunate beyond belief that they consider this motley crew their true family, and this place their true home.

      • So good to hear from you, cashmere, and great that you are still working at the college you love! (We met there in August 2019.) Sadly, my contract for teaching there has not been renewed for the spring – and since my enrollments were doubled without notice this fall, I think it’s time to move on to greener pastures. Very sad, since I’ve been teaching there since 2010, completely online since 2016.

        But I’m also glad that you’ve still remained Covid-free despite your kids being sick. The numbers are so scary in our area right now. My STBX managed to get herself and both our kids infected on Halloween, but fortunately I was not exposed, so am waiting for them to finish quarantine.

        I’d love to hear from you – am on Reddit, or you could email me until I lose my college account! All best to you.

      • Glad to hear from you again, cashmere. Well, not really, since I always hope that when people stop dropping by it’s because they no longer need to.

  • FW filed for divorce in Oct 2019. We just now are officially divorced in Nov 2020. During this year, I managed the sale of our home, bought a new house for myself and my kids, fought ex from winning 50/50 of our baby, worked full time, had our baby every single night while FW had daytime visits and adopted an abandoned dog – we were actually abandoned around the same time and this dog never leaves my side, hes been a true blessing.

    Covid actually helped me in my custody case, which is something I could have never predicted. Not only did it extend the time that I had our baby not having overnights with FW but he didn’t land the job he thought he would which would have opened him up for 50/50. He looked like a fool in court. So while this year has been one of the worst, there have been some victories.

  • Divorce final 2018 after 25 years & 35 years of knowing Asshat. Since then, sold cottage and marital home, after we had remodeled both and put $100ks in them. But I’m free!

    1. Remodeled my master bath so I now have the most amazing en-suite enclave just for me!

    2. Purchased a most amazing cottage in February–and it has no memories with Asshat. Only way I can afford it until my house is paid off in 2028, is to rent it out. I made enough money this year to cover costs and I’m more than half-way to breaking even in 2021!

    3. Worked with the most amazing loan officer to get my mortgage for my cottage. I really can’t afford it, but I’ve known her for years and she made it work. Girl power in action!

    4. Got a temporary job from Feb-Oct. I achieved 2 promotions, ended up managing 20-30 people and they affirmed & validated me almost daily. I also now hang out with several people from work and they are my new “tribe”. If I hadn’t gotten “screwed” in my settlement, I never would have had to work–I would have missed out on having these people in my life. I’m pivoting to things happen for a reason.

    5. Was able to navigate a narcissist boss by RESPONDING & not reacting. During the divorce from hell, I ended up in out-patience psych. One of the most important things I learned was communications styles. I lost $100Ks in my settlement, but what I gained in life skills to help me move forward, has been priceless. And I would have never gotten that, but for my journey.

    6. Asshat began following me on Twitter last weekend. I blocked him! No desire to go down any rabbit holes.

    Turns out, when you water the grass it does get much greener.

    • And I forgot the most important thing!

      DS covid sheltered with me and we had the most amazing time together. He spent the vast majority of his time with me, celebrating his 21 bday & spending Father’s Day with me, even though Asshat lives in town.

  • Perfect timing, Chump Lady and Chump Nation!

    Today is the 3 year anniversary of DDay. It is a day that feels like Kryptonite, but I have to respond with my own Kryptonite to neutralize the Kryptonite. Coming here is my first right response for the day.

    Since I found out on NOV 13, 2017, that I did not have a MARRIAGE….I had a MIRAGE…

    I have not had a drink.

    I have not had a drug.

    I have not had a cigarette.

    I dove deep into my spiritual program and I think/hope I am being elevated to a higher level of spiritual understanding.

    I have looked for ways to help others daily, starting with my daughter.
    (I’m not sure if I do but I try)

    I have not used another person (aka dating before the end of this relationship is fully processed) because it is clear to me that I have healing and homework to do; me and my daughter need all my bandwidth. I like being on my own and am in no rush to get into another relationship.

    I can see that I have healed a lot since 11/13/17.

    Those are the really big ones.

    To be honest, I do not feel mighty. But I know that
    my thoughts and feelings are not facts and I am a lot better off ending any relationship that is harmful to me.

  • The longer the time, the more the change. I split with my cheating ex in 2001. She stole and hid every cent we had and took 99% of the furniture. 3 years later I met a wonderful woman who was also a survivor of an abusive cheater.

    We were married in 2007 and have never been happier. Our finances are better than ever, we now have grandkids, and we have a new home. She’s a loving and faithful wife. What we both shake our heads at is that we both spent over 20 years with abusive, cheating exes.

  • Thanks for this prompt, CL. When I first read it, I thought that I have nothing to offer here. But then I forced myself to think and write. Once I started, I couldn’t stop. This was good therapy for me. So here’s my stream of consciousness list in the gain-a-life column (in no specific order):

    *One year from D-day, and I no longer cry every day.

    *During the pandemic, I moved to a different state to be closer to my kids.

    *I stopped drinking. 188 days now (made an exception with a glass of champagne when I heard the election results).

    *I climbed 4 mountains (2 by myself while listening to angry break-up music and 2 with my kids).

    *I got a Peloton and find that vigorous exercise is therapy.

    *I insisted that my ex set aside all my fly fishing gear (the sport HE loves and that I became reluctantly good at). What I didn’t tell him was that I planned to sell it. He wouldn’t be able to process the idea of parting with fly-fishing equipment. I patiently waited until after the divorce was finalized, so I technically wouldn’t have to share the proceeds, and then drove to a nearby fly fishing store with the gear (that shit is expensive). I left with a fairly large check. What the store wouldn’t buy, I asked to be donated to Casting for Recovery (an organization that provides healing outdoor retreats for women with breast cancer).

    *Every day, I’m grateful for the love of my granddaughter and adult children (and their spouses)!

    *I’m proud that I’ve maintained NC with my ex.

    *I’m proud that I’ve ceased contact with my toxic MIL who met with the AP only a few weeks after D-Day and completely invalidated my feelings, telling me to “move on” and “not judge.” Bitch. She’s been like this all my life, but I realized I don’t have to put up with it anymore. #divorceperk

    *I feel mighty that I got a divorce settlement that favors me. Even when my lawyer began to waver a bit, I stayed strong and insistent. He complimented me on remaining “poised.” I hardly felt poised but am glad I gave off that vibe.

    *I’ve cultivated my true friends (treasures!!!) and quietly ended contact with the others (the I-love-you-both ones and the ones who treated me as if I had something they might “catch”).

    *I got involved in the election!

    *I haven’t gotten COVID even though I live with my daughter (a physician) and take care of my granddaughter whose parents are both physicians treating COVID patients.

    *I have been working on figuring out why I stayed with an abuser for 35 years. After months of bemoaning my situation and blaming my ex (well, I still do that), I’m trying to turn the lens on myself. It’s not always fun or flattering, but I believe that self-awareness will help me be happier and stronger going forward. Hence the daily journaling and frequent therapy.

    *I’m practicing assertiveness.

    *I joined a CODA group.

    *I continue therapy through Zoom. And I’m SO grateful for my therapist!

    *I’m trying to figure out what I like (after years with my ex, I ignored my own wants and needs).

    *I come here every day for the entertainment and support. Posting here also relieves my friends from having to hear me complain. Thanks, CN and CL!

    *I’m beginning to appreciate life without my ex—the overwhelming peace and freedom.

    *I’ve made a few new friends in my area even though the pandemic has made that difficult.

    *I’ve gotten into meditation and am studying Buddhism.

    *Every day I try to think of at least one thing for which I’m grateful.

    *I read a lot.

    *I walk a lot.

    *And, for the win, yes, I wash my hair and floss my teeth regularly!

    • Mighty AF! Just the stopping the daily crying alone is huge. You are strong to have done so much, especially after having spent so long with an abuser.

    • We need to meet! You are mighty indeed and congratulations on not drinking! That’s huge! After I physically left Dr Sparklepants, I climbed some peaks too, it is VERY empowering! 3 months post D-Day, 3 weeks post NC, and I am filing for divorce. He sent me two self-absorbed cards for our 10th anniversary yesterday, and I was able to UBT them first time.

      That’s my mighty!

  • The biggest i did was get my daughter back. After a year of trying to get my very liberal community property state to see he was a fuckwit, I got primary custody from 50/50. The hearing was this past Tuesday, delayed from May. I see clearly why people give up. I almost didn’t make it and emotionally went backwards. I pressed on. My girl deserves better and kept on without any juice left.

    Besides lots of therapy, I hard-scaped my front yard since April. I laid pavers and rock. I also dug a 10 ft trench by had for a French drain. Bags of rock are at least 35 pounds each. I had over a hundred plus sand to put in place. It looks super nice and low maintenance.

  • I love the Mighty posts. Remembering all of the excruciating times in the beginning after Dday and during the divorce. Thank God the years passed, I survived and now thrived. 25 year marriage – very malignant narcissist/sociopath. It’s taken years to heal but I’m well on my way — Dday was 12/26/2014.

    So far this year I realized a life-long dream and started a real estate career – passed my exam in February just in time for shut downs but joined an excellent brokerage, have a wonderful mentor, and have had several listings and buyer clients. My significant other of 4 years also passed his exam and we are building a team with an awesome brand and website. Life 2.0! Meanwhile, continued to work 200+ hours a month (all remote) as a lawyer and concluded several huge cases. Continued volunteering as a Pro Bono lawyer too — yay Zoom! Our two youngest are doing high school at home and I’ve kept home clean and orderly with delicious dinners and snacks and routines. My oldest son and his girlfriend sheltered here for 6 months while doing essential jobs— never thought I’d get that precious time with him— we didn’t have a hard word between us. Being the sane parent through Covid is even more critical. Worked out every day in my home gym, joined a life coaching program in June (Life Coach School) and received weekly coaching to manage my thoughts. Attended 12step meetings on Zoom every single morning, sponsoring a bunch of women just getting sober, being of service. Read CL everyday and also post on FB CL group to help support newly Chumped to give back. Loving life. So glad to be free of the nightmare that was life with XH. Karma bus hit him and AP…. they aren’t mighty at all— they suck.

  • I love these positive life surveys. My latest empowering act is to bring new joy into my life with a puppy. For me, the challenge to meh that rears its ugly head too frequently is loneliness. My sons and their families are wonderful but they have to live their lives. Friends are careful to stay healthy cuz we are the over 65 crowd. So looking forward to puppy training and developing a relationship with a fur friend. Hugs to all!

  • I started a new career as an EMT about two months before the lockdowns started. My job never really stopped, and I’ve been bringing people in and out of hospitals this entire time. I’ve lost count of the number of COVID patients I’ve seen (youngest was 11 months, oldest was 82.) I can definitely confirm some people are asymptomatic. You would never guess they were sick at all (WEAR MASKS!!!!) and some people are knocking on Death’s door.

    I want to advance from an EMT to a Paramedic (EMT’s and Paramedics aren’t the same thing. EMT is the starting level of licensure for first responders, then AEMT, then Paramedic.) So since all this started I have:

    -Worked over 500 hours as an EMT by working over 60 hours a week. (required experience prerequisite to apply for medic academy)
    -Taken an EKG course to learn 12 lead interpretation
    -Paid out of pocket in full for a prerequisite class at the community college (I’m required to take biomedical terminology and anatomy to apply for the medic academy. Passing this class with flying colors.)
    -Saved up $2700 for medic academy tuition (goal of $5,000.)

    In all of this, managed to dodge catching COVID. Sometimes it feels like playing virus dodgeball, like “Is this the patient who will finally infect me?” It’s scary, but that PPE has been the thing between me and getting sick.

  • I insulated myself with my dad, a boyfriend, and a realtor. My dad’s time to go home came and went. Then I broke up with the boyfriend, clearly a narcissist, and am trying to be mighty and send the realtor packing as well. I told him I needed a break. He is updating the new house I bought without being accountable for the money. He’s doing it as a “friend”. Yeah right. I’m learning to spot gaslighting better all the time. I am now 6 weeks on my own, the longest during COVID and since my D-Day in May 2019. I’m trying to show myself I can do lonely and reaching out for old hobbies like singing, reading, and running. Ex-hat always showed hostility to the latter two as they took the focus off of him.

  • Decided I would not count on government handouts ( which tend to get clawed back in Canada—it’s a case of give with the right hand and take back with the left often). Promoted the heck out of my online business and worked like a dog in September and October while driving a school bus( masked and yes we are front line workers). But I did it! Earned a year of income in 2 months!! I will be just fine financially for the next year pandemic or not.

  • I am managing to work a very demanding and stressful job while parenting my now almost 14 month old full time with no day care (WFH). While I know lockdown is hard on people, and my heart goes out to them, I can’t help but feel grateful for it. I got to witness a lot of firsts during this time. She took her first steps yesterday and I got to see it first hand! She even surprised herself! It was wonderful!

  • I did not end anyone’s life.

    I get up every morning and get through every day without self-medicating or crying.

    I bought a Mercedes sports coupe and hung a crystal from the mirror so I’m wrapped in rainbows when I drive.

    I’m buying a historic home of my own in a beautiful river town and moving into it for Christmas.

    I can see Tuesday from here.

  • It has been so inspiring to read everyone’s “mighty” stories. You guys are all awesome!

    As a little background for me, I was living overseas due to my exH’s job when shit hit the fan in June 2019. I was 4000 miles away from friends and family trying to maneuver a financial settlement and divorce, arrange separate housing to stay in the country until the divorce was final, and figure out my next steps. This was all the while dealing with a spouse who was using me as an emotional punching bag, because “I took everything away from him” after discovering his (most recent) affair and filing for divorce on the grounds of adultery.

    Since that time, I successfully navigated finding a place to live in that country, fighting for what was fair during the settlement and divorce (including going to court), setting up my own finances both abroad and in the US, and making life-long friends that were absolutely wonderful helping me get through such a trying time. I also travelled solo to Hungary, Austria, Finland, and Jordan before the pandemic began. Then, the divorce was finalized in April 2020, and I took my settlement and returned to the US to be isolated near family. I decorated and moved into a cute little apartment, secured employment teaching at a university (which I love!) and also working in a hospital laboratory to assist in efforts to combat the pandemic. My self-love and self-respect have grown exponentially as I am still in therapy while also focusing on my spiritual health. I am cooking again, eating healthy, and working out daily to build on my physical health. I volunteered as part of the election, and I have also signed up to volunteer at the Salvation Army during the Christmas holidays. I just received my official divorce decree yesterday (delayed due to COVID), and I will be able to move forward with my name change back to my maiden name just in time to graduate with my doctorate in May 2021.

    In summary, it is true what I read on this forum daily and in the CL articles – IT DOES GET BETTER. Life can be amazing if you move forward and focus on YOU. For any of you feeling like you are struggling, hang in there. There is light at the end of the tunnel!

  • I found out about his almost-affair (yeah right) nearly 4 years ago. It was right in front of me at a wedding. I found out a lot more later. Since that time, we’ve been in counseling off and on and to be honest, I’m tired. I felt at 58, I should suck it up and “get over it”. 62 now.
    Well, covid has allowed me the time to rethink things, and while they may not be mighty, I’ve taken baby steps.
    I’ve realized that I don’t want this person taking care of me should I become infirm, I’ve begun packing boxes for our college aged son and I under the guise of the contents being from my deceased brother, I’ve got an attorney, though I haven’t spoken with her yet. She’s a friend of a friend and very good. I’m fixing things around the house, as well as making changes like getting a new patio, paint, cabinet hardware, etc. I’ve purchased some small kitchen appliances, dishes, silverware, towels, etc. Not much, but for me it’s baby mighty. Once I ask for the divorce, things are going to get scary, but I’m ready. I’ve already gone to the cool, bummer, wow statements as well as using “no” as a complete sentence. Funny thing is, he hasn’t even noticed. I know I’ll get through this. In a way, covid gave me the necessary down time to unscramble my brain.

  • I gained a rare and invalidating genetic disorder diagnosis.

    So not quite the life I thought I was going to gain. But I still prefer doing this alone than surrounded by that scheming snake.

    I also gained my state board certification to be a Psychologist and I will be taking clients from January 2021. I’ve been networking like crazy so it’s either that or Im also planning on doing a Masters in HR.

    Online possibilities opening up has been my dream come true!

    • Quetzal,

      Good luck! I’m sorry about your diagnosis. I wish you well. Kudos on getting certified as a psychologist!

      Glad you’re free of the snake.

  • I for sure don’t feel mighty, but I am starting to feel happy….

    1.5 years out from DDay, 1 year out from divorce from an 18 year marriage that I thought was rock-solid (though also rocky).

    I could list a bunch of stuff I did since DDay, but honestly a lot of that was trying to prove myself in my head to my ex. It was all oriented around the things he valued and the standards he told me I could never meet (so of course he had to cheat on me and abandon me). I was like: You think I’m fat and lazy? Look, I just lost 25 pounds and hiked the Teton Crest Trail. You think I don’t want to do the sports you like? Look, I just took myself on an overnight bike tour and ran a trail half marathon. You think I’m a lousy, timid climbing partner? Look, I just climbed Cathedral Peak…. I just ended up injured and exhausted, and none of it brought back my husband or my old life. I just ended up with his exercise addiction. Apparently that shit is contagious….

    So…I’m more proud of the things I was terrified to do but did anyway, like figure out how to refinance my house and manage my finances (my ex had always done that, if you could call it “management”—it was more like financial bulimia). Or repair stuff that broke at the house by myself. Or drive the RV (the ex was a super-control freak about driving and very abusive when I drove). Or start training in martial arts, which I never thought I could do but apparently can.

    And I’m most proud of the work I’ve done on myself, to figure out why I fell for a covert narcissist and why I stayed in an abusive marriage for 18 years. That took some uncomfortable, hard introspection and the reexamination of some FOO relationships that I had thought were healthy but weren’t. Not. Fun. But I’m really, really proud of that work and the woman I’m becoming as a result. I feel like I’m finally growing up.

    In the end, everything my ex did to me only made me stronger and more beautiful. And I’m grateful to God for that, and to my friends and family who stuck by me and took care of me. And while I’m not at meh yet, I love my new life, and I’m happy in it.

    • Okupin,

      I can relate to so much of what you’ve written.

      While my then-husband and I were dividing assets, I said I wanted my walking sticks. He acted surprised, saying, “Since when do you like to hike?” “Since always,” I replied.

      So, you got me thinking about my own comment above. Yes, I did climb 4 mountains, but I think I did some of that as “a weird way to prove myself in my head to my ex.” I hadn’t thought of that before. Ugh. I even went so far as to make a point of telling his sister about my climbs (still my friend, although I’m wary), hoping it might get back to him. *sigh*

      Healing takes time.

      Kudos to you for recognizing that you did some things with him in mind (great self-awareness) and for then taking on other stuff. You felt the fear and did it anyway! Yay!

      • Yes, I feel like the two of us are on parallel tracks in so many ways—headed uphill toward freedom and happiness, I hope!

  • I took 2.5 days off after my husband abandoned our marriage for his 20-something year old coworker and immediately worked front lines on the covid pandemic for the first four months, organized the divorce by myself. Somehow still standing

  • I decided to be a chump no more! My kids started back to school and I immediately went back to work after 9 years and filed for divorce all in the same month! Life is crazy, stressful with all of the new beginnings but I am taking my life back!

  • I got a brand-new job that I adore, arranged the logistics of the separation, hired counsel, navigated the divorce, have been working steadily, haven’t caught Covid yet (that I know of), have been curating and strengthening relationships with family and friends. Started back at the gym and lost 22 pounds. Still a ways to go, but I feel terrific. Throwing myself into independent pursuits and safe travel (day trips where I pack a lunch and explore my state). Reading more. Journaling A TON. Working on my music.

    I knew I was immeasurably happier, but I didn’t realize I was also maybe Mighty until I started tapping this out on my phone. Thanks, CL!

  • Oh my god we are mighty!

    -I had all the back taxes done that FW was supposed to do, but didn’t
    -I’ve paid the mortgage and maintained our family home for 1.5 years with no help or money
    -I’ve moved our business from the brink of being destroyed by what FW did to it, into a thriving company that just had its most profitable month ever (in spite of Covid)
    -I survived a breast cancer scare alone
    -I’ve redecorated my house on a shoe string budget, buying second hand
    -I’ve starting an online investment account and am learning about the stock market
    -I learned how to paint with my daughter and we painted her bedroom
    -I’ve booked myself a holiday over Christmas (Covid not bad in this country)
    -I talk to my mom, who is overseas, every day
    -I have found out who my real friends are, and dropped the rest
    -I cleaned out the garage. This is a big deal because it was a mess, and this was where my husband had all of his sex gear hidden for years without me knowing. He kept it messy in there so I’d stay away.
    -I burned all the love letters I kept from my ex during the first few years of love bombing
    -I’m in the process of trying to hawk my wedding ring
    -I’ve found out where all the family photos were stored and had a geeky friend help me back them all up on a hard drive (ex never would tell me where the photos were kept and everything was password protected. I figured out how to hack that shit open)
    -I get up every day in spite of tremendous anxiety and depression.
    -I cook and clean and have fun with my daughter even when I feel like dying.

    #stillstanding

  • I finalized my divorce. That was wonderful! Then he filed a motion less than a week later to change things because he ‘forgot’ to ask. I didn’t respond, just handed it to my lawyer. I maintained grey rock-getting better every day!

  • Mine has been home schooling my 2 kids while holding down my job. I returned to work full time in March just as lockdown commenced here in the UK. FW is a teacher and didn’t bother to ask if he could help with the kids while he was off.

    I was accused by FW of not abiding by the Covid rules. We barely saw anyone and our daily exercise was walking the dog. I DID NOT rise to the bait! Yay me!

    I was accused of letting my son put on weight. I DID NOT rise to the bait. Yay me!

    FW and new wife announced to the kids they were having a baby! He then sent me a shitty message about it. I DID NOT rise to the bait! Yay me! I did however feel upset about it, but after 24 hours I was….meh!

    FW bought a new car (5th car in 4 years)… I did not say anything as he smuggly turned up in the car to collect kids for 3 hours.

    I took the kids and dog camping in the Lake District for 3 nights. First camping trip with the kids and dog. It was really good. We also went away to York for the weekend in the summer when the rules were lifted. I met up with friends and had a lovely 2 days.

    I started baking in lockdown… I’ve made every birthday cake for people I know since and have invested in proper baking stuff.

    I decided to try open water swimming. Love it! I was going swimming at the lake twice a week. I don’t have a wet suit good enough for the winter swimming, but I might invest in one.

    I went on 2 dates…nothing came of either, but I got out there and did it.

    I’m sure there’s more, but that’s enough for now. I want to buy a campervan.

  • Geez, I don’t feel mighty today. My emotions are all over the place after reading the draft of legal documents: the petition for dissolution of marriage & the marital settlement agreement.

    The documents show that this is such a final & binding agreement. I am sad that my husband couldn’t change over the last 36 years.

    I also don’t have the benefit of anger to see me through this. I have been getting ready for a year, & now is the best time for ME. He has been unemployed for 15 months & kind of nicer & at least doing his share of the cleaning around the house. But when I saw his spreadsheet on potential jobs, he’s only applied for 5 in the last 10 months, since unemployment ran out.

    I think I have been in this sad situation for so long it’s difficult to get angry for myself. Then I think of all the hard work I’ve done over the past 10 years:
    Counseling for myself alone after being told by an attorney in 2010 that there’s no money & couldn’t we just live peacefully together?
    Getting a full time job, putting that money in an account he has no direct access to.
    Getting SSI/SSDI for my disabled son, now age 27.
    Acting as if I were alone & taking vacations & visiting with my adult children & my extended family without husband.
    Acting as independently as I can.
    Seeing other attorneys over the years to reassess.
    Finding CL, LACGAL, George Simon, & Omar Minwalla in 2018.
    Contacting a domestic abuse ministry at a local church in my community, telling them my story & having others tell me that this isn’t right.
    Having them offer help with access to financial & legal help.
    Being honest with most of my grown children. My 2 adult daughters already knew their dad caused a lot of pain, to me, & to them.
    Planning to move out in December.

    Intellectually, I know I did all this work with one end goal in mind: to leave him. Why is it still so hard?

    • In house separation, which sounds like what you’re in if I’m interpreting this correctly, is excruciating. You’ve been in this limbo since 2010? Quite frankly, I would have probably committed suicide if I was stuck with my fuckwit even a small fraction that long. You are mighty just for surviving. Of course it’s hard. That just proves you’re sane. I’m betting it’s not been so hard for that lazy, chronically unemployed, overgrown adolescent cheater. But it will be when his money tree is gone.

      It is sad that they don’t change. I’m pretty sure it’s that they won’t, not that they can’t. My cheater did make some pretty significant changes after D day, but not the ones he most needed to. These kind of fucked up people cling to their defense mechanisms as if it were life or death and need years of therapy to develop healthy coping skills.

      Hugs to you and I hope your move goes smoothly without too much fuckwit drama.

      • Thanks, OHFFS. I never thought of the last ten years as an in house separation. I was too busy smoking the “hopium.”

  • So my life has become like the movie “Under the Tuscan Sun”. All the things I thought I lost and wanted ..being needed, planning the day to day (meals, groceries, yard and house stuff) all here but not with a partner. With my brother and niece, my daughters and kids…. no room for a person especially a fuckwit. Cats and rats and elephants fill my life in a real way. I just woke up one day and I was there. This site is a god send….the message that the pain is finite and it gets better was my life line. I wish that this was not hte route that my life took, but I have no control over souless, morally deficient people.

  • Approaching the 3 year mark since he left to be with OW:

    – Managed to get the kids for 2/3 of the time in the access arrangement. Although ex wanted shared custody in decision-making, I do what the kids want and need, and he doesn’t say boo. My house is “home.”

    – Bought the ex out of the house (I was the higher income earner), then housing prices soared. In a year the house has gone up about $150 000. Now he’ll never be able to enter the housing market himself unless he inherits some $ or goes in with someone.

    – Have owned the narrative with family (on both sides), friends and neighbours. Have maintained good relationships with all my in-laws; still get together with my sisters-in-law and all the kids. The OW has never been allowed to come around and never gets talked about by his good-Catholic family. The wives of his friends are still my friends, and none have seen this woman. After three years, he still lives a double life, hardly sees his family or old friends. There was a three month period last year where the kids saw the OW about 5-6, then it stopped in January when our son was derailing (he has Autism and knows what his dad did with this woman).

    – Lots of painting at the house, replacement furnishings for the things he took, drywalled my unfinished laundry in the basement, started a vegetable garden, etc. 95% done on my own

    – Started a monthly wine club (stopped now in COVID); took guitar lessons; joined a hiking group and have done 100s of km of trails

    – Reconnected with an ex-boyfriend whose ex-wife cheated on him and had the most amazing sex of my life. Felt beautiful and sexy again; learned that I am actually very passionate and creative (Yey! The problem wasn’t me). We never became a serious relationship. We both recognized that we had a special friendship and enjoyed being “lovers”. It was a good support system while it lasted.

    – I am in great health. Lost some weight. Am fit. Used to suffer all kinds of deficiencies in iron or B complex and have hormonal imbalances. Nothing in the last two years. Never went that long without a problem throughout the marriage. Barely have a sick day at work, mostly take a day because of the kids.

    – Overall, the mightiest thing is just having peace in my everyday life and in my home. Things have settled down more with my ex. I still grey rock him. We usually just leave each other alone. I accept now that he wasn’t who I thought he was. I know that he was a lie in my marriage, but I was not a lie and my experiences were real. I can still get triggered more than I would like by now. I’m filing for divorce (our legal separation agreement took care of everything, so the divorce now is just the paper to dissolve the legal marriage) and pursuing an anulment in the Catholic Church. I have a good case. Hoping that the process of these actions will take care of what’s left of the ruminations better.

    – Have learned a lot in counselling and continue to do so. Have gotten so much better at taking care of myself, setting boundaries in many aspects of my life. Achieving better work-life balance. Ironically, my ex complained that I just too strong and he needed someone less so. Well, I would just plain scare the shit out of him now if he was in my life.

    • I love everything about this. The fact that you learned how to drywall would be more than enough to make you Mighty, in my book. But add in the wine club, the music, the hiking, the improved health, and the special friend? This makes me smile from ear to ear. Well done, you!

  • Since DDay in mid 2017, brought a new car (first one ever in my life at 58) and luxury caravan, dragged myself on a solo “tour of tears” around Australia, sold the van, divorced, did two contracted jobs for 12 months, COVID hit, got another job which I love, put my house up for sale which I paid Ex out and am moving out in three days. Buyer paid me $80k more than what I paid Ex 16 months ago (mind you I put heaps of effort into presentation, hauling stuff to dump, painting and fixing by myself), and my work is allowing me to move north, taking my high paying job with me to work remotely!

    I’ve spent time with my adult children, helping them renovate their fixer homes. Been NC for 2 years, really since DDay as he was gone. He told everyone he was never coming back after 34 years. So thats it. Us chumps have to push for every small step after the devaluation and discard. It’s all about me now, and my path is very clear.

    I’m very excited about the future and focused on controlling only what I can control. Everything else is meh!

  • Nitwit got the condo, so no home improvements for me. This list is going to seem pretty puny compared to those who have children/serious diagnoses/more mightiness than me but here goes:

    -Not at “meh” yet but there are days when I don’t think about him. I am also sleeping better at night because I’m just so doggone tired at the end of the day.

    -Was going through my old voicemail and resisted the urge to listen to one from Nitwit. Have maintained NC for 3 months now.

    -Moved as the summer wave of the pandemic raged.

    -Haven’t had a drink in 7.5 months.

    -Lost the 10 pounds I had gained due to stress eating. Gyms are still closed in my state so I did this with nothing more than an adjustable dumbbell, a yoga mat, and some workout videos.

    -Worked a record number of hours in the month of October and am looking forward to a nice fat paycheck. Best of all said paycheck is mine alone and will not be used to subsidize Nitwit’s parasitic lifestyle.

    -Started writing a fantasy novel (that Nitwit sneered at) and am now 3/4 done and am coming up with ideas for a sequel. I don’t think they’ll ever be published, but it has helped me work through my feelings using the characters as stand-ins for actual people in my life. The ironic thing is I would never have come up with the idea of writing a novel if Nitwit hadn’t introduced me to the DnD scene and if the quarantine hadn’t stopped me from putting my characters to use in a in-person DnD session.

  • I got into Al-Anon to try to figure out why I keep picking alcoholics (I’m not one).

    I read Leave a Cheater, Gain a Life.

    I’m slogging through the divorce process.

    Staying healthy and raising my kids. I had to take on another job, that makes 3.

    But I’m ok. Some days are harder, but I’m ok.

    • I think the Al-Anon thing is a good idea. The last thing you need is an alcoholic, whether an active one or a dry drunk (who doesn’t drink but still has all the problems).

  • I’m 9 days from the 7th anniversary of D-Day.

    All of us are mighty for doing the best we can this year under very trying conditions.

    I’ve been a mighty teacher. I got all my students through the sudden lockdown and shift to Zoom in the spring. I taught online Summer term, and this Fall, I’ve taught 5 sections of freshmen in a flex classroom (1/2 on Zoom, supposedly 1/2 in person). I learned new technology, new pedagogical techniques, and new ways to try to make people into a learning community in less than ideal conditions. My university has done a great job of establishing safety procedures that have kept us operating in person, at least in part. My students are all on board with sanitizing before and after class. We’ve gone straight through, no breaks. I’m super proud of all of us.

    In other news, I: got the garage painted, had one side of the house touched up, replanted my lamb’s ears and added some new perennials to the front garden. I had the kitchen painted and will do the bathroom over my break. Got a great new bird bath, some yard ornament rabbits (they’re gorgeous) and some mini-mingos to hang out with the 2 flamingos I bought the first summer after D-Day. In the spring, I went to a writer’s conference and got feedback on my novel and my query letter. I started a new academic project.

    Mostly I’m proud of how I’ve tried to live one day at a time, to stay calm in the face of stress and change, to be someone my students, colleagues, family and friends can count on. I’m proud that after a year of trying to get my yard tractor fixed, I haven’t yelled at anybody, whined about the cost, or given up on trying to get it fixed. Calling repair person #3 tomorrow.

  • Married for 22 years, D-day in May 2020, kicked him out within 10 minutes of discovery, threw his clothes out the front door at 1:00 am just like in the movies. Filed for divorce within a week. Carried my three teenagers to safety for the next few months. They are now thriving and at meh way before I am.

    Been a stay-at-home mom for 13 years, interviewed for a job within 2 weeks and miraculously got the position. Now studying to retake my boards and reactivate my medical license.

    Still crying most nights but now finally sleeping. Not easy being awake for 6 months.

    Most important of all, kids and I are a solid unit. He is floating space debris. Divorce is still pending. No-contact works like a charm but I get sucked in more than I want to. Cannot wait for meh!

  • Three (?) years post Dday#1, 18 months since I moved out, , 12 months since I closed joint accounts and put lawyer on retainer, 6 months since I told lawyer to begin divorce process. Should be completed in February 2021.

    Created a safe home for myself which I will own following divorce, lost 30 pounds, sober 22 months and attending three zoom AA meetings a week (although any 12 step program would work), switched from a therapist to a life coach, stepped away – for now- from my job due to Covid, participate in 3 to 5 service projects, re-connected with my family and old friends, made new friends. Most proud of being absolutely no contact for 6 months. Still grieving, but no longer blame myself.

  • I have turned down so many lame-ass men over the last three years! Every third one is a cheater liar sniffing around. I am really happy and I hang out virtually with girlfriends or my college age daughters most nights a week even if its just text stream of consciousness. I have a few friend I hike with IRL. I am so happy I don’t live with a narcissist cheater liar freak. I am so happy I don’t live with a narcissist cheater liar freak. I am so happy I don’t live with a narcissist cheater liar freak.

  • This year, I started a new, high-profile job in the arts while also contributing to a business that I co-founded after being laid off in 2019, dealt with the deaths of my beloved father and my mentor (I drove by her house today just to feel her presence), helped my teenage daughter get the medication and therapy she needed to address her OCD, said goodbye to a longish-term friend with benefits because it started to feel soul-sucking and really was just an easy excuse for not opening myself up to a more meaningful relationship…and decided to make a real attempt at eliminating booze from my life. Today marks 90 days. I always enjoy posts from Velvet Hammer, Motherchumper (hope that’s right – apologies if I confused the name), and others when they talk about their long-term sobriety.

    • Oh, and I bought a mower and mowed my own damn lawn for the first time in 30 years after my handyman got a serious girlfriend and started to go AWOL!

  • Does only eating half the leftover Halloween candy when I really wanted it all count?

    I have scant evidence of mightiness, but I did do the following:

    * Endured Disclosure

    * Dropped the treatment industrial complex sessions I was taking because chumps were considered co-dependent.

    * Realized that no, my marriage was not going to be “better than ever.”

    * Learned that the body will make an endless amount of tears. Practiced swearing instead of crying.

    * Planted a garden, my first, learning everything off of YouTube.

    I didn’t do much, but I am inspired and awed by what everyone else has accomplished, and overcome. If I am ever elected President, I plan to staff my cabinet entirely with Chumps, because you are invincible.

  • Someone asked me once how I defined “hero”. I said it was any person who saw the things they had to do, and took a deep breath and did them even if the reward was death.

    I stand by that definition, and applaud all of you here for being “Heroes”.

  • Just a few days ago was my one year divorce-aversary. Sold a bunch of the Python’s abandoned stuff (he had turned into a shopaholic hoarder) and it mostly covered my divorce lawyer fees. Ha!

    This last year has been a very “senior oriented” one. Two elder relatives who had no children experienced multiple health issues and hospitalizations (one had Covid); I felt privileged to be their advocate. In my career (winding down now) I had a lot of experience in dealing with doctors, nurses, and social workers so I was able to put that to good use. And after losing my 20 year old cat last year (had her 19 years), I adopted a 15 year old cat this year. He’s a total lap boy! More devoted than my ex, that’s for sure.

  • New Chump here. Dday was August 31 after 25 years together (he started the latest affair during lock-down for Covid). Since then trickle truth and snooping have revealed at least 4 other affairs, going back 10 or 11 years. Trying to reconcile, doing counseling, reading the books. He’s staying at his mom’s and has been coming over for family dinner for the last week as we attempt to “reconnect.” Last night found out about an affair with a co-worker. I lost my shit & slapped him. Now he’s “just fooling himself” and calling it over, quitting counseling. Can’t trust me??? Still loves me and wants to be my best friend and will be over just as much as before. Maybe someday we can be friends with benefits? WTF ? I don’t even know what to do with that. I’m sure there have been more affairs, but he won’t talk about any of it.

    Because this is about how I am mighty, since Dday I’ve started working out, lost 40 pounds (mostly from vomiting and no appetite). Cleaned 2 closets, redecorated my bedroom, learned to rewire a light socket, changed the batteries in the fire alarms (he somehow thought I couldn’t do it without him?) and have been taking the kids to do fun things on the regular. I’ve spent the weekend at the lake with a friend, went axe throwing, got my nose pierced. But I really don’t feel very mighty right now. I feel like an hysterical crying insane woman.

    • But have you filed for divorce, secured your assets, and gotten the best lawyer you can afford?

      These three things are going to determine your future, and increase your Mighty exponentially.

  • Four years out; still not divorced (because I have to organise that too!)
    I still work for the family business and see XH at least once a week. I had to face it and heal. Decided I was living a better life every day!
    I have sold my business
    Bought a tiny fixer upper to live in
    Bought a commercial building and creating a new business
    Reapplied for medicine, missed out by 2 marks on interview
    Accepted into Bio Medical Science
    When my husband was 60; he spent that year grooming his 25 years younger SAHMM. Together they took malicious delight in blowing up 2 families and being really vocal about my shortcomings. They didn’t last 12 months.
    I have gone from strength to strength. Diagnosed with pre diabetes I took to research to understand and heal my insulin resistance
    Adopted low carb diet, lost 19kg/42 lbs with more to come. Transformed my health, my life, my heart.
    I’m now 63 and it just keeps getting better. Great adult kids, great friends, great opportunities.
    One step, one breath, one bite, one sleep. However small the changes are, trust, work and try!
    THANK YOU CHUMP LADY! YOU ROCK!

  • My mighty? November 2 was four year anniversary of divorce and I did not realize it until a few days passed.

    Also, just repaired a toilet… diagnosed problem, ordered part and replaced, all for $9.50.

    Yes, grateful for the little things!

  • It has been 15 months since D-Day, and 3 months since divorce. My ex has helped me financially more than he is obligated to, so I am somewhat lucky. I immediately filed for divorce after finding out about all the deception, found a part-time job to support myself when I wasn’t sure what was coming, moved across country to a city where I don’t know anyone in the middle of Covid, found a permanent job with health benefits, renewed some old friendships, kept myself in shape, saw a therapist for a bit, and found empathy for my ex so am getting more and more to meh. Am now trying to sell the marital home which is mine now. No intention of owning property again at this point. I still am not where I want to be and would like to find a companion. So far, I feel pretty good about this horrible transition!

  • I got my STBX out of the house (after 4 months post D day and while she openly continued her relationship with the OG) and negotiated a separation agreement that gives me the sole option to buy out her interest.

    But the best thing is that I found her out!!!

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