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Merry Christmas!

Merry Christmas from CL headquarters!

Even if the holiday sucks this year, you are among a legion of people who have survived sucktacular holidays. And if you have to have a sucktacular holiday, at least you’re doing it in the Olympic suck year of 2020. You’re not alone.

But no gloom today from me. 2021 is going to be brighter.

The Universal Bullshit Translator is just waking up, having overdosed on lebkuchen. It’ll be resting its sockets, having some stollen for breakfast, and saving up its energy for all the bullshit in the coming year.

The pine cone elves have formed new colonies. The original establishment was Elfadelphia, but now we have Elf Paso and Elfdorf. This year my sister in law sent some new elf agitators (Elf-tifa) to protest Elfadelphia, and those were a welcome addition, because pine cone elves are all about democracy.

(To anyone new to the site, I have an obsession with pine cone elves.)

Off to go push the UBT off the sofa, and wake up my son (I’m old now, he doesn’t wake me up on Xmas morning.) And Mr. CL is making a fresh pot of coffee. God bless him.

Back to regular blogging on Monday. Happy holidays! And here’s to a new year! — Tracy

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.
  • Chump Lady Tracy and all of you at Chump Nation are the gift that has kept me going through this year. Thank you to Tracy and to each poster for your comments and compassion to fellow chumps.
    And to chumps who are afraid to post for fear their real name or email will appear, be assured that the name that shows up on the website is what you enter in the name box, not your real name or email. Giving yourself permission to post may be one of the best gifts you get this year.

    • Thank you, Goodfriend, for this helpful tip. I’ve wanted to comment for months, but have been terrified to do so because I didn’t know what to enter in the Name or Website box. You’ve given me courage to peep up.

      Thank you to CL and CN for keeping me alive this year. When I look back over the past twelve month period, I see myself mercifully lashed to the mast of my ship by triple-twisted ropes of wisdom, truth, and community, saving me from an otherwise certain shipwreck on the rocky coast of the RIC. That siren call to wreck-onciliation is so seductive.

      I’m a little more than 2 years out from Dday. The first 18 months were a torturous round of humiliation and a cascade of betrayals. This past spring I’d finally had enough. This blog, this community, gave me the courage to spit out the shit sandwich. I’m now in the process of divorce, but so tremulous still. There’s recovery from the trauma of spousal betrayal, and then there’s further convalescence from the additional injuries wrought by the false hope & subsequent suck-tacular disappointments of the RIC.

      For new readers here, I can’t encourage you enough to buy Tracy’s book. You’ll want to own a copy because it’s not cool to underline and dog-ear library books, plus you’ll need it longer than three weeks. Additionally, start reading this blog from the oldest post forward on one device, while keeping up up with current daily posts on another. I’ve found it an efficient way to getup to speed with the zeitgeist of this very special group, as well as learn the acronyms. 😉

      I only wish I’d found this blog earlier. I wasted so much time, money, and mental/emotional/spiritual energy on books, marriage counseling, and the rest of the RIC nonsense. No more. No more John Gottman, or Janis Abrahms Spring, or Michele Weiner-Davis, or Linda MacDonald, or Shirley Glass. And, seriously, fuck the noise that is Esther Perel. (Excusez mon français.)

      Tracy, thank you for doing what you do. Your work makes the world better; it saves lives every day. There must be thousands of chumps like me who faithfully read, but never dare chime into the comments. But mon dieu, we appreciate you SO MUCH. Words are insufficient. Once my divorce settlement is completed and I know where I stand, my first act of independent financial exuberant defiance will be supporting your work on patreon❣️

      • ActaNonVerba,
        Ah yes, I echo everything you said, although I have commented off and on over this nightmare journey. My story seems similar to yours in the 18 months of “cascading betrayals” following Dday. I took a little longer to enter (finally) actual divorce proceedings (2.5 yrs). Once I’m not dishing out thousands to an attorney I absolutely plan to support CL Tracy on Patreon.

  • Merry Christmas Tracy – and love to all of Chump nation (Merry Christmas, Happy Chanukah, Happy holidays, or just a calm peaceful Dec 25th and beyond).

    If you are spending the day quietly and early in the pain, please know you are not alone. Please reach out to friends, family, watch Wonder Woman 84 on HBO Max (I will be), walk the dog, Meditate or do whatever helps you feel better. Best wishes to all

    • This is my first post. I’ve listened to the book on Audible. It was great. I listened through it completely the first night and basically listen to it on repeat just to stay focused.

      Today I wanted to start new traditions with my mom and my furbabies. I planned to watch Wonder woman along with three other new movies today.
      I filed for divorce on Dec 17 after almost two years of hopium, accepting her lies and manipulations. It’s a long story I won’t get into here, but last night she came over unannounced, and BROKE in just to see me and leave gifts. I was pissed! I felt so disrespected that she would go so far to push herself on me just to get her way. She’s so narcissistic. She refused to leave. I called the police. Then she turned to me and asked, “You’d really do this to me? You’d really call the cops on me?” But we are here because of HER lies and cheating. What about that??
      My heart is broken. I didn’t want to do that. After the police arrived, I was so scared I was shaking. I prayed that she would just stop talking. All I could think about was the many unarmed black men and women who ended up dead at the hands of law enforcement. I feel guilty for standing up for myself and enforcing my boundaries. I didn’t sleep at ALL and so today was even harder to enjoy. Ugh! This sucks. I want to apologize to her and let her know how scared I was, but I want to appear strong and continue to stand up for myself. This entire day I’ve been checking my phone for her. I’m so sad.

      • Dear not so merry,
        My heart winced reading your post. I had a different path, almost 40 years together, he cheated with our employee so double whammy. Very painful. I kicked him out the moment I knew. He never tried to get back in and yet I feared that either one would (him or her)would try to get in. She is a crazy and has a legal history of domestic violence with exes and kids so I lived in fear for a time. TG nothing ever happened but I installed a security system that I really couldn’t afford.
        My point is, you did nothing wrong in calling for help when your safe zone was violated. You were trying to have a peaceful evening and she had to invade. That was her choice to invade. You did the right thing to stand up against that. I’m happy the police read the signs correctly and you are safe. Keep your boundaries tight. If she is willing to force her way in to “force presents on you” that is not normal. Please be well.

      • Not So Merry

        Don’t apologize for protecting yourself. You were brave and continue to be brave. Listen to the book again. No contact. Hugs from me and CN.

        • No contact is becoming very difficult from yesterday to today. I just want to reach out to say sorry for risking her life. I feel so regretful about losing my temper. Let me explain, it was not a physically abusive relationship, it was emotional. I did try to push her out at one point, but that’s it. I’m really struggling.

      • NotSoMerry, you did the right thing in calling the cops. My biggest regret from my marriage is NOT calling them when I should have. I also had to call them once after my divorce was filed. The best way to get a bully to leave you alone is to call their bluff and bring in the authorities. I’m posting this on the 26th. I hope you see it.

      • Hello NotSoMerry. You did the right thing in calling the cops when she forced herself in and she did not listen when you told her to leave. That was the logical next step in enforcing your boundaries. I guess she was not used to see you do that 🙄. It’s great that the cops backed you up. My STBXH still considers treason from my side that I had to call the cops when he attempted to kick me out of (our!) house in the middle of confinement. Well, I had to call them to request an authorisation to leave home, duh… I did not expect them to come home, though. But today I am thankful they did! That is the day I finally grew a spine and explained I did not want to leave home, but I needed the screaming and harassment to stop. Finally, he was told he could not force me out, but could leave anytime if he wanted 😂

        • Alas…that’s funny that he could leave whenever he wanted. That’s true! Lol. People wick sometimes, huh? Yes, part of th reason I decided to call was because I think she expected me to fold. I needed her to see I was serious. But I am so hurt that she continues to have so little respect for me.

  • Today is the 5th anniversary of the final D-Day & official #EndOfMarriage (w00t!), winding up what had been a painful & difficult 18 month separation. There’s nothing quite like getting dumped right before you & your friends & family go to your favorite restaurant… and having to put on a good face through the entire thing. But that’s so far in the past now I had check FB to verify the actual dates ’cause I barely remembered. That whole getting a life thing’ll do that for ya 🤣

    Anyway, sending lots of love and big long-distance hugs to all my fellow chumps… and Merry Chris-MEH! 🎄🎁❄☃️😍❤💚

  • Happy Holidays Tracey and to your family and everyone at Chumpnation. I’m so blessed to be with my children and Grandchildren today, its my third Christmas after the covert narcissist walked out of our 27 year marriage. I’ve had improvements but still had some tears this morning due to the ptsd. I can’t wait for meh. You are all my inspiration. Here’s to a better 2021 for us all. Xx

    • Tears are OK. They’re signs that you are alive, that you FEEL, that things matter to you. I got teary thinking of my parents this morning. I always miss them on Christmas.

      Enjoy your day!

      • Thankyou as always for your kind words. Yes I fully understand about shedding tears for your dear Parents, I miss mine so much but I hate i cry over a cheating, thieving , lying abuser still, and wonder what he and her are doing, I just hope they are having a miserable time when I’ve been surrounded by my children and grandchildren. I do hope you are doing ok especially during these difficult covid times. Big hugs xx

  • Merry Christmas! Anticipating how awful it may be to spend Christmas away from my kids and distanced in town from family just didn’t pan out. I popped out of bed, built a fire in the fireplace (making me feel more than empowered-those simple skills can really pump up that girl muscle), made coffee and put on some Spotified Christmas tunes. Not the traditional stuff, but -Jazzy and Blues. It’s way more soulful and does not remind me of Christmas’ past in which Ex was the czar of what Christmas music was acceptable.
    Yee Haw! ‘Being alone is not necessarily lonely.’
    Thank you to CL for getting me through Year 2. I could not have stayed as strong as I have without your no BS morning doses.

    • Oh my word yes! What music was acceptable, what color lights were acceptable, whether ribbon or garland was acceptable, when and if we could go to church, and on and on. I sing, hum, and whistle so much now because it wasn’t permitted before. Holidays away from FWs are the best! Freedom from micromanagement is the gift that keeps on giving.

  • Merry Christmas to Chump Lady, Mr. Chump Lady, Grown Son and Chump Nation!

    You and your UBT and it’s titanium alloys, transponders and weakness for the finest of baked goods have sustained me through my own personal 2020 and actual 2020. They have sucked, you have not.

    Chump Nation you have surrounded me in love and encouragement when blood kin turned their backs. You have been steadfast in offering me support when friends of nearly four decades blamed me for his actions. They suck, you do not!

    It is a different Christmas and I thank you for that!

  • Merry Christmas,Tracy and CN. Your book gave me the clarity to see my situation for what it was, the strength to realize I could stand up for myself. The future is scary but the further I get out from my marriage the more I realize how emotionally abused I was for almost 30 years. I’d rather be alone than constantly made to feel less than. Thank you, Tracy.

  • Aaaahhhhhh, Christmas. Mixed bag of emotions.

    3 years ago (but like Sunny noted above, I had to re-check the year) – I picked up The Colonel at the airport on Christmas Eve night about midnight. He had taken the last flight back from Boston from a 10-day Army assignment. (At the time I was unaware that the Army assignment was a 34-year-old Army Captain). 6 hours later, something felt very off. I chalked it up to stress regarding his upcoming deployment and lack of sleep. At one point I had to ask him to smile for a Christmas morning picture and even made the comment that he acted like he didn’t want to be here. I look back on that picture and wonder to this day why I didn’t see that something was very much amiss behind those soul-less dead eyes and smirk.

    • The FW in my life is a now-retired Navy commander. Officers seem to especially feel entitled to all the cake and that women should worship the ground they walk on. They also cultivate quite the image of being oh so perfect. I also have a series of photos from last year where he wore a weak smile like, “Ugh, I can’t believe I have to be here.” A few days after Christmas he ran off and I thought the same thing; I should have seen it coming based on his smarmy face in those photos. Ugh.

      • The military in general has a high divorce rate, especially the higher up they go in rank. They get their pin and immediately also pin on an extra helping of self-importance and entitlement.

        Wish Colonel Fuckwit had abandoned me right after Christmas as Commander Fuckwit did you. Would have saved me an additional 3 months of emotional insanity, blatant deception, and even a few roundtrip “military assignment” airport runs to fornicate with his daughter-aged Whore-able Mistake (unbeknownst to me). Well… maybe “attempt” to fornicate. She has no doubt become aware of his hydraulics issues. 🤣 No take-backs, Baby Ho.

        • It is weird about that power thing.

          I noticed a marked difference in his attitude when he got his (Captain) rank at the PD. It was like, ok now I am entitled to my side fuck. It had already been going on for a few months, but I am guessing they were keeping it under wraps to not mess up his impending promotion.

          He held the Captains rank for less than a year after someone outed them. Oh well, hope the fat little side fuck was worth it. As someone on here said, he paid way above market value for her.

          • Susie Lee –

            Love this – “he paid way above market value for her “ and so true. It is still satisfying to me when Karma kicks him in the ass. Maybe you get a tingle up your leg too?

            Colonel Fuckwit blew up a 34-year Army career and an almost guaranteed promotion to a 1-star. After the investigation it was strongly suggested to him that he retire…. immediately… and 4 years early. Coincidentally, Captain Ho is no longer in the Army either.

            • Yep can’t say that it bothered me when it happened.

              I didn’t know this until a couple months ago, but my son told me his dad had retired early, and it cut his retirement benefit almost in half. (this was years ago). He has been retired for years now.

              Must have been tough on the job after he crapped all over where he ate. Otherwise I know he wouldn’t have retired early. I always just assumed he worked to full retirement age.

              • ‘Must have been tough on the job after he crapped all over where he ate.´
                😂😂😂
                I hope it’s tough for all work place cheaters and their cheating partners.

  • Merry Christmas to all. Tracy your book was completely transformative, what an eye-opener! It brought enlightenment on many levels and reassurance. Thank you! It brought me to meh and beyond. I see a lot of things differently, I have grown, and I am moving forward. Moving forward happy, knowing it’s so much more peaceful and better to be alone than with a cheater, liar…. I will never settle again. For those of you still in the tender phase trust Tracy and Chump Nation. You will make it through.

  • Merry Christmas Chump Nation!
    So much better than the first Christmas as a chump when I white knuckled my way through it, pick me dancing the entire time. Had I only known their were better days to come. The next Christmas I was fuckwit free and my entire family, 20+ strong was at my house for feasting and presents.
    This year my wife and I celebrated last night with her family. Tamales and egg nog! This morning I take her to work the day caring for Covid patients on ventilators in our local ICU. (She got her first vaccination injection Monday. Yeah science!) I will walk the dog and watch the sunrise at the dog park wedged between vineyards overlooking Napa Valley.
    The fuckwit?
    Meh. No clue what she is up to.
    But life has turned around since that first awful Christmas.

    • Amen!
      4 yrs ago was a shitty xmas that kicked-off the divorce process. 3 yrs ago, the kids were with her and I never felt so alone until they arrived midday with me. 2 yrs ago I tried attending new parties, started new traditions, had a gal-pal to hang with. 1 yr ago, I was getting used to kids being there xmas-eve and my quiet Xmas mornings. 4 months ago I went on a date and felt the love- “lightening” that people talk about. 1 day ago I had two families have a new, totally weird, virtual-gift opening event. Today, my kids are with me this morning!!! (A gift of the pandemic).

      Who knows what tomorrow will bring. But the joy I have today was never there in that marriage. The confidence and pride I have in myself is a result of living through that hell.

      My XW gave me the best Xmas gift 4 yrs ago. A new and better life!

  • Merry Christmas

    Was supposed to be visiting my brother in TX, but had to cancel.

    Hope it is a blessed day for all.

  • D-Day came in September, I left with what I could carry (and my dog) in October, but for some inexplicable reason, I agreed to spend Christmas with him. Hopium, I guess. Three years ago last night, I sat in our favorite restaurant with him, stunned, as he had a tantrum because I forgot to recycle a water bottle. One water bottle, that I pulled out of the trash and put in the recycling as soon as I remembered that there was a recycling option (since November.) He screamed at me how stupid and useless I was, how fat and ugly I was, voice getting louder and louder, face purple, veins bulging and spit flying everywhere. Other diners were craning their heads to look, at least one was recording us and someone looked as though they may have been calling the police while I sat frozen, unable to believe what was happening. Then he threw his napkin at me and stalked out of the restaurant, leaving me there, stunned and sobbing. I may have left in October, but that was the end of my marriage. Divorce was final in February 2019, and the next day I had a breast biopsy — negative, thank God.

    That tantrum saved me from every wondering what it would be like to “try again.” For that, I am grateful.

    My life is so much better now. I have a new city, new job, new(er) car, my own apartment with my very own couch and bed and TV (and remote). Next month I close on my new house. (OK, a 48 year old house, but new to me.) I wish I’d had Chumplady BEFORE I divorced the fuckwit. I might have spared myself considerable misery and divorced him much sooner!

    • He had that public tantrum to make himself feel better at your expense. These cheaters are wired differently. Terrible!

      Enjoy your new and better life!

      • Yep. (sorry you experienced that Ex Mrs. S P.

        I remember the FW about three weeks before Dday, doing a scream fest against me at a gas station. Just went off on me for evidently not following him close enough driving home, after I spent two days working on his and schmoopies (unknown to me) love nest on the river. I just sat there in my car, all of a sudden he stopped and looked over at the station and several men were just staring at him. He immediately shut up and said, go home.

        I did, as I was stunned and scared. He came home and I guess for what it’s worth (nothing) apologized and put it off on stress again. Three weeks later he dumped me for schmoopie.

        He had been having scream fests for almost a year against me, but that was the first and last public one.

        In hindsight I wish I had told him to get the hell out that night, but I was still desperately trying to figure out what was going on.

    • That is shockingly vile. I’m so glad you’re away from that abuser. I’ll raise a glass to your awesome abuse free life. Congrats on the house. I bought a 70 year old house and am fixing it up. I used to live in a 110 year old house. Old houses have soul. You can feel all the memories, almost as if they were stored in the walls.

    • Wow, at least Nitwit stayed mostly on the charm and self-pity channels. Never saw much rage from him. Your FW sounds like a real piece of work.

      Hugs from a fellow Xmas chump.

    • I suspected something was up because he started criticizing me, my makeup, what I wore to bed, that I was talking too much, how I loaded the dishwasher etc. During one Christmas season when we had he said he was going to the mailbox to get a package I ask him if he wanted me to do it because he had sprained his ankle the day before and was hobbling on it. He screamed” Can’t I do anything on my own?” I said “Why are you so cranky?” He then screamed “Fuck Off” and drove off and walked back in a few minutes later like nothing had happened. Later when I looked at our phone records I discovered that was an act so he can drive off and call the escorts he was meeting. I also know now that was abusive behavior.

      • The problem is with the abusive behavior is for many of us, it wasn’t always that way; and then they change. I questioned him about his behavior and he put it off to job stress. So we are wondering around in the forest see the trees.

        At the very end it was clear just me breathing was enough to set him off. I honestly should have told someone what was going on, at least our preacher. My guess is he would have know right off the bat was was wrong. They do have all sorts of training in this area.

  • Love you Tracy and Paul. Two of the kindest, warm and thoughtful people I’ve ever crossed paths with.

    Bless you for the endless energy and money you pour into shepherding Chump Nation thru the days of disbelief, the dark days, the days we have to fight for money to keep us going (because that’s what divorce is all about), the days of reconciling our new lives vs. our crushed dreams and the days we walk towards “Tuesday”.

    May you and your beautiful family be heaped with many blessings for all you give to so many.

    And to Chump Nation, from the newest members to us long timers, I wish you all peace and strength. Remember on the days you feel most alone, YOU ARE NOT ALONE!

    Just a personal update: 10 years since DDay, I am surrounded by my devoted, now-adult children who walked thru those hot coals alongside me. The cheater is long in our rear view mirror (with minimal contact because of the grandchildren). We love, support and lean on each other and it is wonderful. It’s been a long road. While I miss the life I thought I would have and still struggle at times, I am grateful everyday.

    Tracy, thank you and Merry, Merry Christmas and good lord, 2021 has to be better!

  • Merry Christmas ChumpLady and Chumpnation! I love to think of all of CN stretched across the world and connected only by our computers and our values. It gives me strength to know that you all are out there fighting the same fight I am and understanding without much explanation. This is my 4th Christmas post divorce and every year is better. My goal was peace and I feel peaceful more often than not. I am not quite at meh, but even if this is the best I can do, it’s good enough to live a happy, peaceful, fun and meaningful life.
    Thank you to all the chumps who post and lift me up with your wise words. And of course thank you to Tracy for giving me the words and logical arguments to be able to speak clearly about my situation. Happy Holidays to all.

  • Merry Christmas! I’m doing it solo today because we got bad weather and we’re all too old to drive on bad roads when tomorrow is just as good as today.

    So if you are on your own today, you aren’t alone. But do it up right. I’ve got my Christmas playlist going and a wonderful candle lit. Sarah McLachlan is singing “Silent Night.” The house is quiet. The cats got extra Fancy Feast! The birds are fed! There is snow to shovel! I might venture out for a long walk in the falling snow later. In case of bad weather, I planned for an indulgent dinner tonight–macaroni and cheese, kale and spinach with dried cranberries salad, key lime pie. I’ve got a pile of Christmas movies. I’ll call all my peeps later. I’ve got my presents from me and a few from others to unwrap. (Seriously, always put something fabulous for yourself under the tree. It’s life changing. We always do so much for others and we fail to delight ourselves, to give ourselves the thing we really want. And then the ugly sweater you get doesn’t matter so much…).

    Remember: alone is not the same things as “abandoned.” That’s your old childhood pain and fear talking. You’ve got the wheel now. And you won’t abandon you, no matter the circumstance or the weather! Merry Christmas everyone!

    • >>Remember: alone is not the same things as “abandoned.” That’s your old childhood pain and fear talking.

      Wise words I needed to hear, for other reasons.

    • Wise words! Thank you. The thought of Christmas alone would have made me old me stay in my f-ed up marriage. Now with a pending separation and really unsure future, I am beginning to realize that alone does not equal lonely. I’ve been lonely in a marriage for a long time. Hearing all your stories enjoying your peaceful Christmas gives me hope and strength.

      • Yep, the last Christmas I spent with FW was awful, so awful. He treated me like shit. I didn’t know why for sure, though i had begun to suspect around the end of Nov.

        The last year had also been horrible. His constant screaming and insulting me. (devaluing stage).

        Yes I was really lonely for the first few weeks after he left, but then I began to realize; while I was alone, I was also at peace. Being alone is definitely not have to mean lonely.

        If fact if there was such a thing as a do over machine; I would go back in time and when he said we are going to visit family for Christmas, I would say go by yourself, I am staying home, and your shit will be packed and ready for pick up upon your return.

        • Good to hear that your happy and not putting up with that bs any longer! So many things we all likely would do differently, particularly how long we put with with them!

          • Yep, that is the only thing really I wish had happened different. I wish I had found out immediately, and ended it then. Actually, three years earlier would have been perfect.

            I likely could have still got him to file, as he definitely needed her to stay hidden until he got his coveted promotion.

            No do over machines though.

            • Ahh, likely another ho-worker situation? That’s been my life. Except she got the promotion, now I’m thinking she may have discarded him? Who knows he’s doing a holiday Hoover. It’s like in your situation sometimes we don’t have all the facts until later. But eventually they can’t hide it all.

              • Oh yep she was his direct report. In fact, I found out a few weeks after he left that he had petitioned to the city counsel to get her a raise. When they found out, they wanted him fired. Luckily for him, he had basically gotten the mayor elected because he knew a lot of folks in the district that he needed to win. I helped get the mayor elected too, I still think he was the best choice for the city, but that is another story.

                So he only got busted and put back out on the street.

                Honestly I never suspected her, not even when I started to suspect something was up. I expected a hot 20 year old. Not a frumpy 35 year old with three almost grown ass sons.

                Was actually kind of insulting. Even one of the other Police Officers said “I thought the idea was to trade up, not down”

                But, when all is said in done, I am grateful to her. Who knows how long he could have kept me in the dark had he not gotten in that bind.

    • Merry Christmas, a few days late LAJ. “Alone is not the same as abandoned”. Yes. I used to be very comfortable on my own. Now all my insecurities are magnified. Working on it. Spent the holiday with my kids and am ever grateful for the small things…..I hope to get to your level of comfort…..I know it is hard won.

  • Merry Christmas one and all! (Or Hanukkah, or Kwanzaa, or a peaceful Solstice…. joy to all, however you celebrate ).

    Thank you, all members of the CN, and of course, especially Tracy, Mr. CL, and for Grown CL/Mr CL Children,

    It has been 8 years my first painful Christmas, sharing the kids. This one might be the last where we are all regularly together, as the youngest is hopefully off to college next year. I still try to live in the moment, and appreciate each and every day.

    For the newbies, it does get better. Just remember, different can be good. It’s ok to be alone, as was said above, that does not equal lonely. Jedi hugs to all suffering through fuckwits at this time. My ex is mostly silent these days, but occasional rears his head. He sent presents for one child, but not the other. Then I was a chump, and emailed ex and asked if he wanted me to wrap them? The gifts arrived without notice, addressed to youngest.
    Sigh.

    Today I am spending a quite day with my Sweet guy and his family— third year together! Life is sweet.

    Jedi hugs to all.

  • Thank you, Chump Lady, Chump Nation, and the Chump Universe for being such decent people. You are all my gift this year: the knowledge that there are other good, caring, like-minded people out there just trying to experience life and to do no harm.

    Peace and contentment to all.

  • Happy Birthday Jesus !!
    Maranatha Adonai

    Thanks fellow chumps for your kind and endless support. Thanks Tracy and crew!!

  • Merry Christmas Chump Lady and Chump Nation –

    It’s been six years since I found this community. On my first Christmas (2014) after D-day, I actually let Mr. Sparkles sleep at our house so he could be there when our son (then 9) woke up Christmas morning. That is how much hopium I was toking on back then – go ahead, have your little affair with the latest OW, you still love us more because you’d rather be here on Christmas morning became the bitch slap of reality that she had her kids and couldn’t have Mr. Sparkles until Christmas dinner that night when she handed off her kids.

    Flashforward… my son is 15… well-adjusted and no rose colored glasses when it comes to what and who his Dad is… but he still loves him and that is his journey. As for me, I’ve got a mimosa… I’m wrapped in a beautiful cashmere sweater Santa left me (she has great taste)… and the walls of my house sing (read the archives about Tracey’s aunt).

    I love you all… for your humanness… for this shitty situation you find yourself in… for the cheater free life that awaits you.

    Six years out and I couldn’t imagine a life with Mr. Sparkles now. I’m single, my career is strong, my son is awesome, my stepkids still visit, and I travel (when there isn’t a pandemic). I even survived Covid without someone here to look over me (15yo have their limitations!). 2021 is going to be a great year – God bless us everyone.

    • Dear Tracy,

      Thank you for CL thoughts and words in 2020.

      Happy Holiday with many Pine Cone Elves and all the things that make you happy.

      You are a gift to all of us.

  • My brave, brilliant, beautiful niece contacted me (Aug ‘20) with the shocking news of her husband’s announcement: “I deserve happiness”
    Behind the scenes was the OW, the Mate-Poacher, but such wasn’t known yet. I got online & found all the RIC info including E Perel.
    I searched to find info on Betrayed Spouses who chose to divorce instead of reconcile & how they healed. Finally found this place & by doing so found
    The Divorce MInister too. 2 articles I forwarded to her got truth & wisdom to her (1 from Chumplady; 1 from Divorce Minister). This was the beginning of the end to Hopium & Pick-me Dance.
    I am grateful she has been spared from unnecessary pain on top of the betrayal trauma & grief. Her big, generous heart is broken, of course, but her head, heart & feet are all in harmony & in the right direction – a future with hope. THX❣️

  • To any chumps out there who feel less than merry today, know that you’re not alone. We’ll get through this!

    D-Day for me was Oct 2019, so this is my second Christmas without my ex. I didn’t anticipate feeling so sad today. The dreary weather doesn’t help….

    Know that I enjoy hearing happy stories about chumps who’ve arrived at meh. You give me hope!

    • Spinach,
      You will get through this! This is my third Christmas out, and for me the third one is the charm. I have had an exquisitely happy Christmas Eve and Christmas Day all by myself, and my adult son will be here for supper later.
      I am so grateful to Chump Lady and to Chump Nation for opening my eyes and stiffening my spine, and for the wise advice the Silver Queens gave me when I asked (on the old Forum part of the site, now moribund).
      Happy Holidays, all, whatever you celebrate!

    • Spinach – I didnt realize you were just a few months out from me. Today is 11 mo from DDay. (ILYBINILWY was Sept ‘19 and D-Day came Jan 25th.)
      Glad you made it thru. I always enjoy reading your comments and hope you stick around in 2021

    • Merry Christmas, Spinach. Feeling blue is part of the healing process, so just let it flow. Wishing you love and light in the New Year—we’re on our way to becoming stronger and more beautiful versions of ourselves than we ever could have been while married to our abusive exes. We just need to trust that truth and lean into our future selves. It’s all upside from here on out. I do believe that even if it doesn’t feel like it some days. <3

  • Merry Christmas. I’m a little over 4 years out and I have to admit enjoying my holidays so much more without the grump. He was such a downer!! Enjoy your freedom fellow chumps!! Rock on.

  • My gratitude knows no bounds today for having found this group and Tracy and her book. For all you newbies out there, stick with us, we are a lifeboat in the sea of the misery! Seriously, 4-1/2 years out and life is good. Happy holidays all and thanks to all of you for being my lifeboat! 😁

  • Im 15 years out from the Nasty Christmas in Chumpland, 5 1/2 years into new marriage with Col Greatguy and he gave me white victorian style lace sheets for our bed with hearts on them. If anyone compounded 2020 with Chumpdom, you have my sympathies…you survived the WORST…keep going …the good is ahead.

  • Happy holidays CL and everyone at CN.
    So far my ex has yelled at both our child and myself on Christmas eve because we didn’t want to see him for Christmas. But fuck him, it’s not ruining our holiday. I made cranberry pecan cornbread and am cooking a feast. ❤ to all!

  • This is my first Nitwit-free Christmas and I am already loving it. I slept in, opened my presents, and had an awesome shepherd’s pie last night that my family and I made from scratch without Nitwit complaining about it being vegetarian.

    My divorce won’t be final until early February, so the best is yet to come.

  • Thank you, CL. I am not getting the full holiday I want this year (like so many other people), but one of the reasons I’m managing to get parts of the holiday I want is due to all I’ve learned from you and the many chumps who people this site over the past 8 years or so. Learning to parent sensibly in the face of an obstacle course thrown up by the jackass has always been tough, but Covid has only made it tougher. (Jackass says not to worry about Covid–no one has responsibility for anyone but themselves!) But, I soldier on, telling my kids I love them, setting boundaries, and holding the holiday celebration for our immediate family that means something to me.

    I hope you all finds moments of joy in your holiday celebrations that light the way for even better celebrations in years to come.

  • Spending Xmas alone in a different city from my two daughters. XW and sparkledick live together; so HE gets to enjoy the holiday with my kids. My dog. It’s getting easier to just roll with that; but I’m nowhere near MEH.

    The guy basically ‘took my spot’. Like right into the house, into my old bed, using my old lawnmower and snowblower and plates. Probably wearing my slippers and robe too. Now this I have trouble understanding. Personally, I could never walk into another man’s world and take his place; at least physically.

    I feel that meh is around the corner…xmas is the last thing hanging on…at least at the moment.

    • That is painful for sure.

      I think my ex and schmoopie thought she would just slide in and take my place seamlessly. Didn’t work out like they planned.

      I am betting he isn’t being accepted by others as well as you think he is. At least not folks who knew both of you.

    • Ugh! To be substituted like that must feel awful. I’m sorry.

      Take heart in this: Chances are that all is not well in Chesterville. Don’t be fooled by appearances.

      All the best to you.

        • Thanks for your kind words Spinach@35. I both do and don’t take heart in the fact that all is not well. I mean, it’s satisfying but the more I think about that feeling I realize the childish pettiness of it. These days I tend to feel it more in terms of balancing what was lost against where we are today. Oddly, in spite of all of these feelings, I know that I’m better off without HER. But after 23 years together you end up leaving behind a lot more than a person. I miss the family unit that we and my two daughters made up. Like a team. We travelled well together, and did fairly often, and had many great meals and movie nights etc. It’s a whole ecosystem left behind. The split ended up being very acrimonious so I don’t get invites over. I suppose this is all good since I won’t have to see that sparkleturd sitting on my fucking couch.

        • Probably Susie Lee. I should add that when I discovered evidence of the affair I sent all my electronic evidence to the sparkleturd’s wife. She kicked him out. I ended up meeting with her for a few hours. Nice woman. 2 young boys. Happened 5 years ago and the oldest boy doesn’t speak to his father over it. Tragic.

          • My ex’s schmoopie was indeed going after the meal ticket. Oh I am not saying she has no feeling for him, but he was far from her first married mans rodeo; and in fact it was common knowledge.

            All the other married men, took the freebees and dumped her, my fw married it.

            I guess I will never know for sure if the fact that she was his employee (direct report) had a part in it. Hard to believe he was that stupid, but it is what it is.

      • I know I couldn’t. Hat’s off to someone who can, I guess. I mean, life must be simpler for you if these kinds of things don’t bother you. I’ll tell you one thing; at minimum, I’d buy a new couch.

    • Mike, I don’t understand it either – for me it confirms these people are sick and shallow. My H discarded me and got his own place for show – but really has spent his time at OW’s home with her kids; her chump H moved out.
      So my H did the same – zoomed right in there, became the new man around, brought the BBQ over that we used for our many big family dinners – he even brought over the table top he made for our huge family gatherings.
      They are so shallow.
      He thought he could buy me out of our home – and had discussed this with OW before Dday – to see if OW and her kids wanted to move right in. Shallow attachments.

      • Zip I think there’s some sort of logic switch that gets shut down when these idiots get into ‘affair mode’. There’s an article on this site…the one with the head in the blender; equating THAT to talking to a cheater after discovery. I think it’s the same circuit that give you the dead-eyed stare and all the other infuriating behaviors post-discovery. That mentality that ‘our love is for the ages’ seems to permeate and poison everything. Of course your love seems like it’s ‘for the ages’ when you don’t have to argue with schmoopie about laundry.

        • Ugh, so infuriating. I need to find that article! Do you remember how long ago it was posted? I remember saying something re logic to him… He had been the most logical and intelligent person I’d ever met… And upon discarding me he sounded like a stupid six year old.

          There needs to be more education out there for people… Or maybe it wouldn’t make a difference if people are entitle. It’s just a lot of us Chumps have commented that we knew that we could or would be attracted to other people. We knew this was normal and we knew how to shut it down. It seems like the cheaters think this is a lightning bolt from the gods ( rather than they’ve encountered a person who is v needy / selfish and wants the inappropriate attention of a married person). They think it was meant to be and their current life was simply a mistake. Even if they admit to how in love they were with us – as mine did – it’s apparently different with the OW. They had a connection !!!!!!! They don’t even realize that an affair isn’t a real representation of a relationship so they’re comparing apples to oranges. They don’t think about the quality of the person who is poaching them. Then there’s always that one example of someone who left their spouse and is seemingly happily married to their AP. They look to that as proof that this will all be worth it – they think they will always get the euphoria they get from having smoke blown up their ass by the poacher.

          • “they think they will always get the euphoria they get from having smoke blown up their ass by the poacher.”

            Ahh haha Zip you always nail it.

            My ex was ephing other women in just under two years of marrying schmoopie. She was horrified. The only reason I know is that my daughter in law told me. I was kind of suspicious because I had gotten some telephone calls from what sounded like young women (kind of a valley girl tone) at my house looking for him.

            This was in the days just before cell phones were rampant, and I had kept my land line phone number when I moved out of the marital house. (he had a cell phone for work, but I assume he didn’t give that number to his whores). Schmoopie still found out, she had the advantage over me, she knew she couldn’t trust him, I didn’t.

            I doubt he quit when she found out, just took it further underground. Hey way more exciting that way. He had give up his reputation, his promotion, his cozy office and the respect of his grown son; I am pretty sure he wasn’t going to give up getting strange for the woman who helped him self destruct. He didn’t value me, so I don’t even count; but dang losing that promotion must have stung. Reality is I helped him get that promotion (and he knew that, and before he discarded me gave me credit) she helped him lose it.

      • Mine did too Zip. Like the whole town didn’t know he was humping the dog catcher. I guess he got tired of doing it at the trailer park.

        These guys/gals lose their minds.

        I left him the marital house, I didn’t want it at all. I got the one property that was paid off, and he or I had never lived in it. Worked better for me.

    • Ouch, that has to be hurtful. However, that’s really weird for him. He obviously isn’t “normal” bc that would make most people uncomfortable to say the least! I guarantee it’s not as rosy as the scenario may seem when you play it in your mind.

      I finally tried to look at my situation from an outsiders perspective, like as if I was my girlfriend… and what would I think? I provided me with enough “trust that they suck” true realization that I feel I’m making progress on that front (at least today).

  • Merry Christmas to all CN who celebrate!

    For those who don’t, I hope you made today all about your sanity.

  • Have a wonderful holiday and a happy new year!! The holidays can trigger me a bit but I am better about it every year. Thank goodness

  • I’m frankly fed up with everything and cheaterville, you don’t really ever move past this 100%! My former Narc destroyed us financially!😡

    • Dear Carol,
      No, many of us never move past this even close to 100%. I’m sorry this is so hard for you. Your anger, frustration and worry is understandable. Sometimes I wish I could reach out thru my screen to comfort those feeling so much pain. Words are all I have.

      Time heals all wounds? Not so sure about that! But time helps stabilize our path forward because there is no choice.

      I hope that your finances stabilize as well. No matter what we got out of the divorce process, it is very rarely enough to put us where we hoped to be at any point in our life. Hopes and dreams are killed by the one we trusted most and by a system that is defective at best.

      Please know that you are in my heart and prayers. I hope that a new day brings a bit more peace to your soul.

  • Thinking about past Christmases and how he was living a “double life” just was extra emotional. It’s taken me a year to realize the last 13 years have been a lie! Thinking about how I ensured the kids (and him too) had a great Christmas, every year plus hosting HIS family each year meanwhile he had some side piece, it’s just a lot to take.
    Now realizing he was likely wishing he was with someone else and it was all a lie. My happiness was real, just as my sadness over the whole thing is so real it’s almost breath taking. He of course denies it all, but just like any trauma victim I get flashes of memories back. Like finding a pretty wrapped jewelry box in his vehicle, and the realization on Christmas morning it wasn’t for me. The weird thing is that I can’t remember if it was 4-6 years ago, it’s all so foggy and I sometimes wonder if I dreamt it. Just when light shins in one corner it feels like it another bad, repressed memory pops up.

    • Longtime Chump,

      I get these flashbacks (or whatever they’re called), too. I think they’re becoming less frequent; I hope that’s the case for you as well.

      It’s trauma. Just now I fished out a tee-shirt from my drawer to do a workout. I bought it while in Quebec on a wonderful trip with my daughter to celebrate her Ph.D. The problem is that I now know that my ex took advantage of my being away to fuck this woman (or at least he claims it was during this trip that the physical affair started). A simple act like putting on a tee-shirt triggers all these memories.

      The worst ones for me are the ones that evoke a memory of exact times when I was unaware, when he said he was doing one thing but was doing another, when I had no reason not to trust him, when I was 100% in the dark.

      I feel re-traumatized every time one of these memories and associated emotions slip into my consciousness.

      • Spinach@35,

        You are exactly right and described it so well,
        with your T-shirt example. It seems to be the worst when the fucking of other women happens simultaneously during a time that should be celebratory. (In addition to when they took full advantage of our trusting nature). I was over the moon with our newborn and to learn his 2 hour trips to the gym and work overnights were to fuck the last known other woman.

        I refuse to let his lack of morals and character ruin all the good memories of that time. I’m still working my way out… as in he refuses to leave although I’ve had my attorney in communication with him. I hope and pray it improves with time and with him moving out. I at least no longer walk around in utter shock that this is my life. It sounds like the moments of being re-traumatized slow with time.

  • No contact is becoming very difficult from yesterday to today. I just want to reach out to say sorry for risking her life. I feel so regretful about losing my temper. Let me explain, it was not a physically abusive relationship, it was emotional. I did try to push her out at one point, but that’s it. I’m really struggling.

    • The book “why does he do that?” Is helpful for realizing abuse tactics, emotional counts too. The book can apply to females as well. Those of us super empathic people feel things in a big way. Try reminding yourself not to become the emotion. Sometimes it helps me.

    • NotSoMerry, emotional abuse is still abuse. Not need to wait for a broken bone before enforcing your boundaries! You really did what you had to do, and called the cops *before* violence. You did good. Dhe could have left you alone when you asked her. She chose to force your door and impose herself. You gave her warning. She decided not to listen.
      I wholeheartedly second Longtime Chump for recommending the book “why does he do that”. Illuminating!

  • I spent Christmas alone (again)- but not. This year actually turned out a bit better than the last few Holidays I’ve spent on my own. Thurs night I joined an online Trivia game with friends across the country and helped raise money for small charities. I had a long walk with an equally alone friend yesterday mid -day under blue bird frosty skies. I set up a Zoom meeting with my Mom, my bro and SIL, and my son that went off without a hitch (so unusual!). And then I watched one of my ‘holiday’ movie favorites “The Life Aquatic” which, ironically enough, is about a narcissistic biologist chasing a dangerous shark to re-boot his career (and avenge the death of his colleague) with Bill Murray, Angelina Jolie, Kate Blanchett and many more luminous actors. I think I might be getting better at the Surfin the Holiday Single and On My Own thing.

    • NOT Jolie, Angelica Houston….

      And when I think back on that first Christmas alone – I left him in Nov 2015 – the kid spent the HOliday with his dad and I spent it with Tequila and Kill Bill movie marathon……Definitely an improvement this year!

      And may each subsequent Holiday or Event get better and better for us!

  • Merry Christmas to Chump Lady and family! I am a long-time follower, and want to thank you from the bottom of my heart for all you do and all the support you provide. Thank you for continuing the blog even with everything else you have going on in your life! It truly is a beacon of light in the RIC world.

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