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Tell Me How You’re Mighty, Pandemic Edition Whatever Day This Is

As I was considering a Friday Challenge today I thought, geez, isn’t life challenging enough right now? Rather than invite a recitation of cheater fuckwittery (although that has its charms), I thought, let’s look forward. I want to hear about all your badass resiliency.

Oh shut up, Tracy. I’ve been doing trigonometry in a shoebox with surly teens for months. Shove your optimism where the sun doesn’t shine. Sprinkle liberally with jigsaw puzzles.

Sorry, Snarlyface. I need an infusion of CN mighty. Tyra started the week off right with her Harley. More of this gain a life stuff, please. Your ex, who?

Did you get your vaccine? (PLEASE GET YOUR SHOTS.) I’m getting my second shot on Wednesday. #TeamModerna

Did you survive the divorce process AND a pandemic? Do you just lurk here and this site helped you years ago — can you tell us how meh is over there? Is this all new and you managed to wash your hair? YOU ARE MIGHTY.

Tell me all about it. And hang in there, everyone.

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.
  • Hahahahaha ‘doing trigonometry in a shoebox with a surly teen for months’ – I think you may have a live feed to my house. I’m still in the throes of discovering my mighty I’m afraid. On the ‘plus?’ side, I’ve discovered that you blog is an oracle that predicted that actually yes my fw was cheating our entire marriage etc… not just pining over his ‘one’ friend recently AND his previous relationship exploded because of his infidelity (all news to me). Gross. Okay, here’s some mighty, I’ve found work and have begun my journey to independence and self worth.

    • I’m in this group too….I would have sworn on the souls of my children (which would have been a terrible idea) that he had never cheated prior to the “big” affair, but I came to learn that he likely cheated ALL ALONG. Learning this is a huge shock to the system.

      CL says that she has come to believe that serial cheating is likely the norm and I agree with her.

      I am an empty nester and have tons of empathy for the parents stuck doing home school for a year…gah, that would be hard. There were a few days in all this when I envied the ability to have your baby birds safe in your nest since I worried abou tmine out in the world, but it all turned out OK for my kids.

      • I used to homeschool my kids and this is so much worse… Anyhow, no vaccine for me yet.

      • I’m an empty nester too and was learning to be alone again without anyone around me before the pandemic hit. Wow! I survived somehow just like I did after D-day with ex husband and D-day with ex boyfriend (?he was a chump apparently). I learned that I AM resilient! Working on life being better for ME for once…a lot of growing yet to do xoxo sweet

      • I agree that in most cases these guys are serial cheaters, and we chumps don’t catch on for a long time. Usually when they start getting sloppy because they think they are so smart, or when they get ready to bail and they want us to catch on.

        When my ex “confessed” I thought this was maybe a yearish thing, because in hindsight I remembered almost to the day when he started to get mean and distant. What I learned down the line was that he had been running around for years. Likely with many women until this low life whore (who was his direct report) sealed the deal.

        It feels like it would have been less painful to find out it had only been a year, rather than my whole marriage; but eh who knows; it is all horrendous pain and betrayal.

        • Oh sorry.

          In my case, it was many years ago and only triggered when the ass blew up his relationship with our son, and I found CL.

          But, I honestly did pretty good. When I was discarded I was working just above minimum wage for DoD. I stayed at it, and racked up several promotions. Within a few years I was out earning fw. I only know because I knew what he was making and what their pay scale was. His top rank was Captain and I made more than that.

          I remarried after a few years of dating and being engaged to a wonderful man. After 26 years with him, that is still my assessment.

          Met many great folks, and through my work did some traveling to teach classes on our program.

          Not perfect certainly, but all in all a good life so far.

    • I was fortunate to have been given the gift of truth from a chumped spouse that my husband of then 1 year had cheated with his wife (30+ years ago in a faraway place). When the big d day came 5 years ago , I was able to piece together the chronic cheater syndrome.
      On today’s topic, I started a new career , worked to retirement , began an entirely new life and am happily in a relationship. I think it would be beneficial and I would personally love to read a challenge of how many people learn their cheaters have a chronic, serial problem.

      • I think it would be interesting to know how many discovered SC’s too.

        Though honestly, I don’t really buy sex addiction, I think it is just people with low character doing what people with low character do. I also think that the only people who anoint themselves as “entitled” are simply folks with low character. It goes hand in hand.

    • OMG me too. My teen literally screamed at me over trignometry MINUTES before I checked out today’s blog LOL. My mind is melting over here as I try to continue to manage my high schooler at home and working and sales calls and a dog that always wants to go outside for a walk (we have no yard – ack).

      But guess what? STILL SO MUCH HAPPIER WITH OUT FUCKWIT — almost 6 years free of that ass and every day is brighter.

      EVERY. SINGLE. DAY. IS. BETTER. WITHOUT. CRAZY-MAKING GASLIGHTING CHEATERS — peace to all and happy weekend!

  • I got that funky, cold Moderna! Both shots and the two weeks past to achieve maximum coolness. I am mighty like that!

    I never wanted to be alone at age sixty, struggling financially, yet managing to pay my lawyer, pay the bills, and take care of myself. I am managing all of this. I am learning to be alone. It’s not so bad.

    I moved out of “Eggshell Manor” and into the “LoveShack”. If I listen carefully I believe I can hear my walls humming.

    • Eggshell Manor to Love Schack. Haha! Love this.

      I’m also 60 and managing ok. Learning how to be alone is a gift. But, in my case, I think I had a lot of practice. FW managed to be away a lot–sports, fishing, work, whoring. So, I guess I honed my alone skills throughout my 35-year marriage. But now I’m alone and at peace. That’s priceless. No more sullen, withholding and demanding FW to please. As much as I wouldn’t wish this betrayal on anyone, I’m “happy” that it forced me to leave him. I would have stayed forever and continued in clueless misery.

      • Oh, and I forgot to mention that he was away in spirit even when he was in the same room. That was the most painful alone time.

        #abusebysilence #withholding

        • Spinach, I can totally relate to this. My ex wasn’t a doctor, but he found plenty of reasons to avoid going with me to family/work/friend events over the 29+ years. He was a business consultant with frequent work travel, so he would use his trips to conferences, etc. to carry on his activities. Toward the end, he even became bold enough to book rooms with the 30-year younger OW he had been “mentoring” for the previous 2 years.

          As you described, he was rarely with me, even when we were in the same room. It does hurt. But as I read what you have written in this forum, it’s clear you have used that pain to help you grow. You are mighty!

          • Yes. I’m feeling less lonely now that I’m alone. The neglect was abusive. Didn’t see what it was until later.

      • Thirtythreeyearsachump and Spinach@35:

        Like both of you, I never expected I’d have to recreate myself at age 60. But I said Au Revoir to the 40-year-long serial cheater, big marital home, financial abuse and mindfuckery, and Hello to peace, a sweet little bungalow in my name only, financial independence and Zero Contact. Now, at age 66, I consider the last 6 years without XH to be a fantastic gift, even taking into account the isolation and periodic loneliness resulting from the pandemic lockdown. Barring unforeseen circumstances, I plan to work full-time for another 4 years, at which time my little bungalow will be paid off, and I’ll maximize my Social Security benefits. I wake up every day grateful!

    • 33YAC, you are me! My little shack is so peaceful. A big hug from 39YAC + so far one vaccine dose.

    • I also had two hits of that funky cold Moderna! And I’ve moved out of Angst Abode and into Peace Palace. Alone, but not lonely. Feels good.

  • During the pandemic, I moved my elderly parents out of their house (where I had to sell hundreds of items in a distance-safe manner…very difficult), went to my nursing job 4 days a week and finished grad school.

    My hospital exceled at giving shots to each other, so we started giving them to the community and it got bigger and bigger. As each staff member and volunteer got into it, we all realized we wanted to be a part of the solution. At its peak, we gave 2500 shots a day over 16 hours with people doing their day jobs then pulling 4 hour shifts in the shot clinic. I saw people I discreetly know to be millionaires giving shots and cleaning chairs.

  • Yes I got my vaccine. And yes I bought an RV in an amazing resort spot and am now able to be a snowbird. I took up golf.. something fw would never do.. love it and start in a ladies league next week. I love cruising on the golf cart with the dog and all the wonderful people I have met. This lifestyle I love fw would make fun of. But here I am rocking it out So life is so much better than what I thought it could be. And thanks to a nice settlement I am now semi-retired.

    • JustMe, i am just researching RV’S and leaving a life i’ve grown out of (7 years out from FW). I want a life even more liberating than the one I’m living now! Thanks for sharing. I would love to hear more. Making plans that excite me, excites me!! Chump Nation is a liberating place.

  • I moved out of the haunted, possessed by the ex MIL marital home, sold that house and am proceeding to my divorce.

    I moved into a rental cabin that I heat with wood. I split my own and I’m getting stronger. I’m getting my art supplies together again to oil paint when the weather breaks.

    I’m not there, but I’m making progress.

  • I’ve been exercising. I’ve been running even though so am not one. I got back to yoga. I am doing push ups and sits ups, that is a lot for someone that has never exercised. I’m doing it for me, to clear my head and look good this summer. I’ve gone outside everyday after a year indoors with online schooling, telework and a whole day of ruminating about where Fw is and what he is doing. Not anymore.

    This is all newish to me, so I’m am now back to work in person, showering regularly and got an appointment with a new therapist that hopefully doesn’t suck. I whitened my teeth and formed a local chump tribe, we support each other while our kids play together.

    Not at meh yet, but chugging along through self improvement. I chump hard some days, but I am finding peace and something to be grateful for everyday.

    • Runner here. 32 years…hs. college, junior Olympic gold medal, boxes full of race awards….many for winning the overall women’s race.

      If you’re running you are a runner. Take the credit you deserve.

    • Just want to say that after LAGCAL the best book ive read about cheating and its effects is ” Cheating In a Nutshell” it is so validating and helpful. The science is in on betrayal. Chump nation as usual, is ahead of the curve.

  • Had my first shot on Monday and my first job interview in 25 years yesterday!!!! Stay at home mom for 20 years. So scary and exciting. In the divorce process…. 8 continuances… meh. Oh, do you hear his employer contributing to his 401k? 50% is still mine. Idiot.

      • First off I cannot thank you enough for your insights and this group!! It has been 1 year since DDay and I have my final court date (hopefully) for the divorce proceedings. I have gone no contact for 10 months now, right after reading your book (several times lol) and I have stuck to my boundaries. It has been challenging at times as I have older children involved, both of which want to remain with me. I focus on my children and try to maintain a safe healthy home life for them as they finish their college education, obviously with no help from their mother. She is a self absorbed, selfish narcist as they all are, and I now see she always was thanks to you and this group. I have an excellent support group of friends and family who have been by my side since the beginning. I have one more hurdle to get past on Monday and this nightmare comes to an end. I know it is going to be expensive, as NY state law favors the woman regardless of wrongdoing, but if it is the price of happiness for my children and I it is worth it. Waiting on the karma bus!! Best of luck to everybody on here and thank you.

  • The months of quarantine seemed like they were dedicated to ME!
    First, it gave me the time to improve my painting skills enough to be planning for a show in 2022.
    Second, I spent a lot of time resting with my feet up. The swelling subsided enough I could locate the source of pain in my arch (at least 3 years old) A water-filled sac that could easily be drained.
    Third, the lack of going out and difficulty finding aides meant my adult disabled daughter came to the decision that an assisted living facility would fit her needs better.

  • This is basically a re-run from last Friday’s challenge on changing the narrative, but since it fits under the ‘mightiness’ label, I’ll post again . . .

    Kunty Kibbler has been especially ‘sparkly’ since E the Elder (daughter #1) began her college searching in earnest last year — taking her to visit expensive private schools in upstate NY (where KK attended), driving home the narrative that “the #1 goal is to get you to your first choice school,” signing her up (without my knowledge) for a $2000 week-long ‘freshman experience’ at one of these expensive schools, etc.

    Predictably, she’s been no where near as sparkly when it comes to costs, how it’s going to be paid for, and who will bear the brunt of those decisions — nor has she made any formal acknowledgement that all of these questions are facing us with M the Younger, who is only one year behind her sister.

    Long story short: KK’s message to me has been: “Chlorine Special and I will not provide any direct $$$ contributions to E the Elder’s upcoming college costs (beyond occasional living expenses), nor do we anticipate being able to do so for the foreseeable future. We also will not cosign for any private loans she may require — you make far more money than I do, so you should be able to take care of it. And if you don’t agree to all of us sitting down together ‘as a family’ and making sure that E the Elder understands all of this, you’re an asshole.”

    So, a formal Request for Child Support Modification to reduce or eliminate my obligation to her was filed in family court. I’ve been warned my my attorney that this process (as with all such requests) is notoriously slow, especially in the age of COVID, but no matter.

    Now that they are moving on into adulthood, I want greater control over how my income supports my daughters without any portion of it going to pay for KK’s underwear photo shoots (now at 4 and counting), flotation tank spa treatments, or whatever else she decides is more important than contributing to her daughters’ educations.

    • As a kid whose parents didnt mention that they didnt intend to pay for college until the end of HS Senior year (and the stepmom of a girl whose mom used a 2 word phrase in the divorce decree to refuse to pay anything for college) I hate that KK has dangled all the sparkliness of fancy universities in front of your child’s eyes while refusing to provide for any of it. That is a shitty thing to do.

      My now-husband long ago settled in the role of “sane parent” and not only made it possible for D to attend a great school but paid my grad school tuition at the same time. His method of resolving the issue might not be right for everyone (I trust you to find your way, with 2, this will be a challenge, but you are up to it) but I respect him for doing the hard thing in the moment.

      Never to disappoint with a tedious action in any given situation, his XW who paid nary a dime to educate her only child is now swooping in with a graduation gift so flashy and overblown (although totally useless), it has caused a whole new episode of eye-rolling in our house.

      XW also tried to forbid adult D from getting vaccinated. I said my piece based on being a healthcare worker then respectfully backed away and let D make an adult decision. She just got the shot 2 days ago but said her mother will never forgive her for it. (more eye rolling)

      • Wow. That’s messed up (well, a lot of it, but mostly the emotional blackmail to your daughter over the vaccine).

      • This is one thing my ex and I fight about.

        I am vaccine cautious… my kids have never had one, neither have I. My ex knew this when we married and was fine with it. Now his AP/OW thinks vaxing is awesome and he’s mad at me that I won’t subject my kids to any.

        If my kids want them when they’re grown up, that’s their decision. I don’t judge. They know why I won’t and if they decide they want that for themselves when they’re old enough… that’s their choice.

        Mostly I’m just saying those of us who refuse are not ignorant or stupid or careless. We have our reasons and they’re good reasons.

        There is NO fucking way I am EVER getting it… but you all feel free. No judgement from me. If just like the same courtesy.

    • I wonder if Daughters will take note that Dad has ~actual skills~ to offer the marketplace (and still enjoys creative things) while KK and CS are play-acting as academics, pod casters, and poetry slammers who don’t have the scratch to do right by the kids. Quite the contrast, and more is caught than taught to our children as we raise them. They must already be aware of who is the adult parent and who is the endless adolescent. Kids see.

      As you foot the bill literally and emotionally with your girls, I hope you have opportunity to continue to demonstrate that education is worthless without wisdom.

    • Well, KK, isn’t that tough that you earn less than I do. Because 50% of our daughters’ genes are yours. FYI, flotation tanks and underwear photoshoots do not cancel them out, but they do cost a lot of $.

      UX, I hope your RCSM moves along quickly and that your daughters understand what is important.

    • I am in the same boat the cheating ex wife feels she does not have to pay for anything regarding the children, but always shows up for the photo op to enhance her image as a caring mother. It is actually really sickening, but my children are starting to see her for what she really is. I am putting her share of the monetary costs for college in the divorce decree (final court date on Monday the 26th of April), this way I have legal options available based on her track record. Best of luck to you, as I am all to familiar with NY State divorce laws favoring the cheating Fuqwit mothers regardless of wrongdoing

      • So, my husbands XW…the stunt she pulled was thus:

        She rode daughters ass to get straight As, be valedictorian so that she could “go to a great school”. Upon doing what she was urged to do, her mother only “let her” go to a local bumfuck school of last resort. Im glad her city has a local university, it will be some kids only option, but that isnt what her mom promised. Her mom didnt even take her to visit better schools.

        We helped D visit and apply and get into top tier school but the divorce degree said each had to pay for an “agreed upon” school, so no matter it was Ds choice and she got accepted…all XW had to do was say “I dont agree”…poof…gone is all responsibility.

        When XW saw D was going anyway, XW took things away (phone, care insurance) but we stayed steady. D graduates in a few weeks and got accepted into one of the hard-to-get schools within the U. Her mom plans to come to graduation but has thusfar never stepped foot on campus.

        When moving in one year, stepD asked me to help decorate her dorm room and I was all in my feelings…well heck yea, but sick inside that her mom gave up that role. (We never made any attempt to limit her mom to visit and had she arrived for move-in day, we would have excused ourselves).

    • Since I got pregnant, we’ve been saving for our kid’s college education. XAss has a BS in Sci. His father was a Phd. He always spoke of how HIS kid will go to College too! Every single birthday / holiday check and 1/2 of the kid’s PFD goes into the college savings account since the day he was born. Good thing our son turned out to be an Honor Student.

      (He is focused on Math/Tech. The math problems he does give me nightmares! I tell him he has my utmost admiration for his ability to tackle them! Pandemic schooling for me has involved sending sustenance into the room and making sure the internet connection rocks.)

      Yet at our custody hearing my X extolled the virtues of living in a remote community with no career opportunities and the kid didn’t need a college ed to be successful. Kid is now a HS Jr. X made much more $ than I did/do and was supposed to be the parent to handle the financial aid forms. He has refused to fill out the FAFSA application, the first step in the process. Kid wants to be with me totally his Sr. yr. I’ve had to go back to Court to Modify Custody. XAss is grumbling about the custody time – for form “because he wants to have every opportunity to see his son” – but in reality he’s dragging his heels about divulging his income and having to pay me any more child support.

      Though I don’t have the $’s to financially support my kid’s college career, he’s got the smarts to get a free ride if we play the game right. So I’m the one filing out forms. Making sure he’s got the credits / classes he needs/wants. Getting that accomplished.

      I’m excited to see where the kid’s pathway will lead him. And XAss will be on the sidelines whining about it.

      • I am there with you on the headaches of helping a kid apply for college with one parent who doesn’t contribute, wants to claim custody, thinks stimulus checks should be split, and cannot be bothered with FAFSA forms. He may yet manage to screw up one of our kids’ ability to be eligible for in-state tuition. He somehow seems to think that if he makes college cost more than it needs to, it will hurt me rather than hurting the kids.

      • It’s been a long time, but my sister got a lot of scholarships due to not including my father on the FAFSA. At that time- 25 years ago, pre-Internet, my sister couldn’t locate my father and thus she used my mother’s income, which was solely Disability payments. Not sure if any of that helps you all, or if it’s changed substantially where the schools wouldn’t accept not including both parents on the FAFSA.

  • I got my shots! Yay science!

    Yay, too, for the chump vaccine that is CL! In this case, I received the main shot of LAC; GAL in October 2019. I follow that up with daily booster shots from this site.

    So I feel immune (95%) in more ways than one. I’m happy to be a part of a supportive community that helps innoculate me. Thank you to CL and CN!

    I’m not feeling particularly mighty, just grateful for progress (not perfection).

    #CN #TeamCL

  • I had covid last April 2020, hazard of my job, I work in the NHS.
    I had vaccination 1 & 2 this Feb/April, even though I still had antibodies.

    I’m now just waiting to have my other surgery for a total knee replacement while trying to divorce cheater pants,
    I’m still sharing a house with him & our 2 adult sons with whom he doesn’t talk to !! My sons & I grey rock & no contact him, I learnt from them, it did take me a while as I felt rude 🤦‍♀️
    He was going away every weekend till 3 weeks ago when he got dumped again. Guess the karma bus made a stop….

    Lacgal has been my awaking from the utter despair of being chumped.
    Chump Lady, you are a life saver, I’m feeling pretty good about myself & how far I’ve come over the almost 3 years that it has taken so far to almost rid myself of this total fuckwit

    I now please myself when I eat, where I go (covid restrictions allowing) what I do in my spare time, it’s all about me now, my kids are amazing, the sun is shining, not totally divorced yet as fuckwit keeps moving the goalposts but the end is in sight…..

    It’s almost my Tuesday 😁

    • Yes!!!! Congrats Chump No More!!

      Also, I can so identify with not wanting to appear rude and my own kids setting me straight.

      I just read a book about this. It’s entitled: Not Nice: Stop People Pleasing, Staying Silent, & Feeling Guilty… And Start Speaking Up, Saying No, Asking Boldly, And Unapologetically Being Yourself! I’m 60 and still learning this basic shit! Oh well. Old habits die hard.

      Good luck with the knee surgery! Ooof.

      • Thank you,
        I am also 60 😁
        I’m going to look for that book, sounds very interesting.
        Yes I’ll have my 2nd knee done, then onwards & upwards 👍

  • Pamela Egan says
    April 23, 2021 at 8:53 am
    This Earth Day month I volunteered with our local beach town & the Florida Oceanography Society planting sea grass in the lagoon. I did not once think about estranged decades married husband or how his lack of cooperation has cost me time & money, filed Jan 2019. I thought about improving lagoon water for the manatees, my children & grandchildren that I have a wonderful relationship with. He hasn’t seen them in 2 years. I was one of oldest volunteers at 62 Feeling mighty.

  • I finished my PhD ! Had to suspend for 12 months after d-day as it totally blew my mind that the last 4 years he was having a double life ‘twu luv’ affair (met on a hookup site! really? Who does that shit?). Anyway my viva is next month, so wish me luck! A new career and life hopefully beckons !!

  • I finish my Masters Degree on Monday!! And I have a job offer! Five kids- oldest was 10, and youngest was 3 months on D-day. It is now 6 years later, but I came up with a plan and worked it!

    • Congrats Anna
      I’m starting this rodeo… two undergrad degrees, time to step up and push myself a bit
      Once again- congrats mighty woman 🎊

  • Fully vaccinated
    Secured a full time job
    Threw him out of the house, and got him to sign off while he was still in the fog
    Got comfortable hiking solo
    Found yoga again and mastered several advanced poses
    Closer to meh than despair

    Wishing strength and peace to my fellow chumps

  • Hi all. Briefly- D-Day was August 19, 2019, divorce finalized December 2019. We were separated since May 2019, but he was hiding the affair with a close, married family friend which began around March 2019. (There’s even an academic paper on his affair since he was a minister.)

    My 9 month, exclusive COVID relationship ended yesterday when he told me he slept with another woman Wednesday night. We had our next date planned for last night.

    Two points I’m dealing with today:
    1) I hate the concept of being ‘thankful’ that he told me. 2) Also, he and my ex want to be friends with me. Why do cheaters think there can ever be a friendship?

    The COViD relationship guy wants me to call him after I get through this. I don’t understand this.

    At any rate, had a few girlfriends over last night for wine and fire pit. I’m fine. A few tears, but I’ve been through worse.

    Second shot is next Wednesday (team Pfizer), then wait two weeks and I’ll see if I’m up for dating again. I have great plans for this year with travel with friends and my daughters.

    Love to you all! ❤️

    • Hugs for you, Caroline.

      “I’ll wait two weeks and see if I’m up for dating again.”

      You are a rockstar!

    • What the hell do they think a friend is? These people completely detach from you, look out for their own interest…, hurt you… and say ‘let’s be friends.’

      They are narcissism and shallow. Clearly it makes them feel better about themselves being friends with somebody they just crapped on. But I actually don’t think they care one way or the other whether or not they remain friends… just another shallow, meaningless thing to say.

    • I suspect they want to keep us as “friends” in the hope that we’ll debase ourselves and agree to be plan b. They need that for when they are discovered cheating on their latest mark and have no other spousal appliance. Then out will come the loveboming. The twits think we’ll fall for it since we did before. They don’t want to accept that we now know they suck donkey dongs and we aren’t going to change our opinion just because they send flowers and slyly murmur “All along it was you I loved, you know.” 🤮

      The other reason is that they look better if the split is amicable. They hope people will think we just “grew apart”, as they like to say.

      Cheater hierarchy of needs;
      1) Somebody for narcissistic supply and to provide services
      2) Image management
      3) Duper’s delight
      4) Porn (and/or other substance to abuse)
      5) Food

      This guy is such an infamous Sinister Minister that somebody wrote an academic paper on his cheating ways? Now I’ve heard it all; “A Study in Fuckwittery; from Conjob to Blowjob.”

  • I finally cobbled a resume together and decided to quit my commission-only job. It’s not paying the bills! I’m penniless on this April 23rd, and bills are due on the 1st. (Yesterday a friend asked me to go to the store for her to pick up some meds… it was my last $30. She’ll pay me back one day – she’s sick now.) I will have to get a draw, if possible. (Not sure how it will go.) I sent the resume to a friend a few days ago, who offered to look at it, and she said it was IMPRESSIVE! But it’s just stuff… you know? Bits and pieces. A few things here and a few things there. I’m living in a very young town. It’s all about the resume that you send out now. That word “impressive” gave me a lift and I sent a resume out last night with a cover letter!!! (My big accomplishment!) The job was for a personal assistant, and it mentioned that older people should apply! (I don’t think of myself as “older,” and I remember when my grandparents were my age. I marveled at how young they were!) Hoping… !!! I will send out more today. My impressive resume has gotten my mind off of the cheater ways of the boyfriend I just dumped. I was right to do it, but it hurt me and I’m sure it hurt him, too (because I am so amazing!) Amazing with an impressive resume… that’s pretty good for 8:22am! It’s a decision to go for something better for myself! I like that decision. Yay for today!

  • My D day was years ago, but I pop up here time to time to contribute and encourage.

    I am an emergency department NP and I discovered how many hours I can work before I am exhausted. It’s way more than I expected. I discovered a new fondness for scrub caps and I have discovered the truly ultra waterproof and sweat proof mascara (Thrive Causemetics). I basically realized how strong I truly am an the staff I work with are true bada$$e$. Years later, we will be telling the newbies “pandemic stories and how we survived”

    I was one of the first group in my hospital to receive the Pfizer vaccine and I am truly grateful to the researchers and scientists who made it all possible.

  • My D-day was 6.5 years ago when I was pregnant with my fifth child. She started kindergarten this year (the others are 9th/6th/4th/2nd grades) and I started Law School!! I reached true euphoric “meh” a few months ago and I will never look back. I long for romantic love, but not desperate for it. I love my life!

  • So during covid and the protest and chaos in Minneapolis (I’m a Minnesotan) my son-in-law was carjacked and shot 16 times. He is in a wheel chair and learning to walk again. His wife, my daughter was 4 months pregnant and they have a six year old. I moved in with them. I drove them to the hospital on a snowy December night to have the baby – son-in-law, daughter, wheelchair, baby equipment. In spite of covid the hospital gave permission for both me and dad to be to be there. Baby girl was born without too much drama..she’s cute and healthy. When we got home we realized that we didn’t have house keys so grandma jimmied the screen and window,,rolled into the house and onto the couch ninja style.

    I got my first shot this week.

  • I can’t lie. Covid was and still is HARD. I work in a huge public hospital in NYC. I have worked for decades in my hospital with children as an educator. During the peak of the pandemic as my medical colleagues were being redeployed to areas that needed help I decided to volunteer for redeployment. I felt that it was the right thing to do—answering phones, delivering food, whatever… I won’t lie—it was SCARY! But my teens were proud of me. And as my schedule changed and I returned home from work at 1AM they would be up waiting in my bed to see what treats got donated.(Krispy Kreme was very generous!). Those nights in my bed eating junk food did not help our physical health, but we really became a fortified family. We laughed mightily! My STBX? He thought I was risking the health of the family as a “government sacrifice.” He saw the kids much less (not his MO). Why? Bc his shmoopie (my x friend) is a germaphobe. Regardless…I grew so very close to my teens who are asshole teens (as they should be). He will never be able to make up for lost time with kids who are soon to leave nest—even though he is trying now that we are all vaccinated. Covid gave me loving teens. Go figure?

    But I won’t lie. It hurt to hear the 7PM clapping and know that someone once so important to me was not proud or grateful for my service. And even though I tell myself daily—the only opinion that matters is those of the people I love and trust—it STILL hurt. That rather than rally and support me—he tried to make me feel guilty for doing the right thing. (Yes I know that this is not surprising from a cheater, but still…) And you can’t un-see the crazy. And sadly—this whole pandemic (and election) put a LOT of crazy on display. And I can’t un-see. So I feel wobbly. (Lost a young and dear co-worker to Covid. She died before the vaccine was available. Her death was horrific and we all watched hopelessly. And yet—so many of my co-workers are still unvaccinated. I just can’t make sense of it. And I’m tired of trying. I’m just tired.)

    Maybe I’ll bring home some Krispy Kremes tonight!

    • BigCity,

      You are the mightiest in my book and the warm memory of eating Krispy Kremes with your kids at night will fortify them for their lifetime.

    • Yes, you are mighty.

      Your ex didn’t see it but we do. Your coworkers do but most importantly your kids do.

  • You are all so inspirational! Thank you so much for this topic.
    I’m not sure, I can contribute much, the biggest thing, after losing my father last year, then kind of losing my job after 30 years at the same company, but then saving half of my clients and still hanging in there, was learning to drive. I got my driving licence at 18, but haven’t been driving for more than 30 years. I had panic attacks while driving, I just couldn’t do it. But now I inherited a small car from my father and I’m at my lesson 28. I feel powerful and free. Still bad at parking though…

  • Five years out now, fully vaccinated.yay. Thanks to CL and CN I realized I was being treated like crap, expected nothing from him. I had no idea of cheating, CL,CN, opened my eyes. He died during process of leaving. I got everything he hadn’t wasted, spent.
    I choose what I eat, how I decorate, who I socialize with, what I say, every choice mine after more than 40 years of his choices.
    Have my own house, six rescue dogs, a great yard and love every day. My multiple sclerosis has totally chilled and I manage just fine. I still feel anger or hurt when I have a memory and realize he lied again, and I believed him, but loving my last act.

  • I got a job during my divorce though not the best divorce strategy… bitch cookie please. I hadn’t worked full time in 10 years. Glad my self preservation instincts kicked in… I got stock options. Everything I own or have purchased since D has gone up in value except my car. I am now probably worth nearly as much as him. And I get to work from home… the silver lining of all this madness for a SAHM that was sad about not being able to be home after school for the kids. There have been travails too… my dating life has been a disaster. Started with a guy similar to yesterday’s column, most recently a guy who wore the mask well for a few dates and then just turned into a literal monster. Going to take a verrrry long break. I am doing a fabulous job at self care and am now going to just be doing it for me.

  • I got laid off from a decent but small time company because of Covid. Instead of staying home and taking govt payout and owing tax later because I suck at math, I joined a lawn landscaping crew. At 37, chubby, and not really lawn inclined, I learned how to run all the big ground tear up machines, plot tree removals, and threw 90 lb rolls of sod for 5 months 6-7 days a week, rain or shine, 10 hours a day. – from snow to +40 c (pretty sure it’s over 100 in Fahrenheit) and 90% humidity … for usually less than 1000 bucks a week after tax. Then I took a temporary job back in my field and have kicked ass for 9 months. And am now leaving that temp position to take a promotion to director of operations at a company I was working with – they liked my work and attitude enough that they recruited me away, with a permanent role. They didn’t post it, I didn’t interview- they just want me. Hells yes, I am mighty, I will get my shot as soon as I can, and Covid can lick my grits.

    • For someone “not really lawn inclined” you got to do some really cool stuff! And after that you ended up back in your field and got a quick promotion. Way to go!

  • No shots for me (yet). I did a simulation of when I would be eligible (in France) and last I looked it was 70 and up, or people with comorbidities. I’m ok with that anyway. I’m retired and can stay out of people’s way until I can get my shots. It’ll happen when it happens. FW has been gone 10 years and back in the States 5 so life is good (for me, not sure/nor do I care, about him). My oldest son got blind-sided last May by his wife who “out of nowhere” wanted a trial separation and “we can act like we’re divorced during that time”. She admitted she had feelings for someone – turns out it was the photographer at their wedding (they were friends). My son phoned me distraught while I was up in the mountains hiking and I kept losing network as he poured his heart out to me. But thanks to CL and CN I was chief cheerleader for him (although admittedly I don’t look good in a short skirt). I told him he was NOBODY’S Plan B and he needed to put his foot down immediately, not let his wife screw around for 3 months and then see if Plan A was better. And thankfully he agreed with me and HE insisted on the divorce going forward – much to her shock! He did get stuck in Switzerland in a hotel for 5 weeks as he wasn’t allowed to cross the border into France to stay here with us, but he’s come through just fine now. He’s buying an apartment (should be ready in July) and has been living with me in the meantime, and I feel I actually got my son back. I always felt he sided with FW ex because after beating the shit out of me for about 45 minutes FW would burst into tears. Son would say “I know you’re strong and he’s not and I need to take care of him”. Not that that’s an excuse but …. I got my son back and he is, I would say, happier than he’s been since he first got married. DS2 is now a papa to a 3 week old baby and we’re all mutually in love. I was so, so desperately unhappy in my marriage to FW and honestly didn’t see a way out of it – he had me so beaten down, but here’s little ole me 10 years later positively rockin’. Hang in there chumps, there truly is life on the other side!

  • Eggshell Manor to Love Schack. Haha! Love this.

    I’m also 60 and managing ok. Learning how to be alone is a gift. But, in my case, I think I had a lot of practice. FW managed to be away a lot–sports, fishing, work, whoring. So, I guess I honed my alone skills throughout my 35-year marriage. But now I’m alone and at peace. That’s priceless. No more sullen, withholding and demanding FW to please. As much as I wouldn’t wish this betrayal on anyone, I’m “happy” that it forced me to leave him. I would have stayed forever and continued in clueless misery.

  • I don’t feel mighty yet, but I recognize that I’m happier in a lot of ways. DDay was 10 months ago, divorce final 5 months ago so I’m still struggling with sadness and remembering all the hurtful and negatives things he said to me, during the 11 yrs of marriage but especially at discard. In the good days, though, I appreciate being able to come home to a house I pay for/maintain and not having to walk on eggshells. The kids and I have so much fun together, without a party pooper anchored to us “if he decided to play family that day.” I’ve been finding the “old me” again, since I no longer have to focus on HIM all the time. I’ve managed to line someone up to mow my yard, redo the landscaping, and I even caught a leak in my roof and got someone over to repair it. My kids haven’t met the AP yet, although I know it’s coming soon. That’s what I’m dreading for now. Once that big hurdle is crossed, I’m hoping I can make some more positive steps towards mighty.

  • I am three years out from D Day, two years from the divorce. I have helped my oldest head off to McGill Univtersity in Montreal (we live in Georgia) where he is rocking a 3.7 and plans to get his masters. I helped get my daughter into a private high school for her dyslexia (finishing her second year) where is excelling beyond my wildest dreams. She just got accepted for a paid internship at the city’s art museum and was selected by her school to attend an upcoming future leadership conference. We rented in the city for two years and just bought us a little townhouse in west midtown this month. Handling the constantly changing plans of a university and high school student, while also working full time as an event coordinator and traveling. I have also met a really nice guy and we have been dating for 6 months. Turning 45 in two days, and my normal feels a hell of lot better than it did three years ago.

  • Mighty for me involves stopping the negative self talk the second it begins. That shit stops now.

    It also means I no longer take criticism from someone I wouldn’t take advice from.

    Covid shot booked for early May.

      • The inside jobs are important too; my mind used to be like a run away train of all my failings and shortcomings, and of all the awful qualities the ex and my mother accused me of.

        Then one day I decided to stop. When those thoughts come I refuse to entertain them now.

  • 6.5 years out: got my second shot a month ago and because fiancé and teens are also vaccinated we went on vacation to HI (still needed PCR test— ok by me!). We had a lovely time and really unplugged. I laid on the beach and read 3 books. Not a cheater in sight. XH tried to Hoover but I’m so over his dysfunctional ways— AP got what she deserved…. a fw cheating liar who is trying to text his XW (me!) for kibbles from their bed. 🤮🤮🤮🤮. Nope! Block.

  • During the pandemic I left the physically abusive cheater. The sociopath put me in the hospital. As I was getting discharged from the ER, the doctor looked at me and told me to take my kids and run. I went through the courts during the pandemic to get a protective order and sole custody of my children. We moved out of state closer to family for support. I got a better paying job. Once it was safe, I packed up, cleaned out, and sold the marital home. I got pre-approved for a mortgage and am using my share of the profits to house hunt for a new home for kids and I. All this within a year. I’m exhausted and still working on the details to finalize the divorce but I feel mighty. I read here everyday and Chumplady literally saved my life. Thanks CL!

  • Got my vaccine. Ontario is a sh#Tahoe right now. Living my cheater free life is my mighty Every. Single. Day.

    Love to all! Stay healthy!

  • I don’t feel mighty, but I have survived this time and that is something. I’ve helped kids navigate their world imploding due to COVID attempting to keep things as normal as possible. We survived virtual school. I retained an attorney and started the separation process, which has been hard, trying and with little movement. My stbx has filed really hostile paperwork with slander about me, and yet I’m still here, ya know doing the parenting and all the unglamorous daily tasks. Meanwhile he continues to lie and be shady, and want he credit for any good that comes despite absences and little effort. I started working on my doctorate, not great timing for me but I had no idea just separating would take so long! I also have a new job, and its not my dream job its a step. And in the middle of the pandemic I took care of covid patients, prior to vaccines. I’m mourning the lie of my life, and some days really regret taking these steps. This is hard as hell. I see why I kept blinders on for so long.

    • That sounds like way more than just survival to me! But I’m also celebrating survival right now. People who are Jewish will understand: I want to say the Shecheyanu prayer every day (“Thanks for bringing us to this season.”). I certainly said it when I got my vaccine shots.

  • Dumped cheater who put me and my family at risk during COVID.
    Got my shots – both of them
    Took myself for one month trip to Montego Bay
    #onwardsandupwards

  • I want to thank Chump Lady for sending me a personal email! What an honor.!!

    im not sure how I am really mighty right now. After I finally filed for divorce I found out stbx had filed in March! I did not know it. He had it sent to an old email address that I rarely use and I just happened to check it and found the divorce petition. He could have had them send it to my current email, serve me at work, call me and let me know about it, but no I was almost in default.
    My attorney was not too worried about that and he is working on consolidation of the two cases.
    This situation really brought home for me I am done done done with this jackass.
    I’ve been diagnosed with severe depression and ptsd due to his antics.
    I’m so looking forward to being completely done as I think many if my symptoms will be relieved.
    I take lots of inspiration from other chumps who are on the other side.

  • Love the cartoon Tracy! I have had both Moderna vaccine shots and had no issues – age 68. Good luck to you! As far as being mighty I stepped out of my comfort zone and took up golf two years after DDay at age 66. Having fun even though my golf game sucks!! Hey I am outdoors in a beautiful mountain town and playing golf with my new wonderful husband. Life is great! As I have said before I don’t think I would be in this position in life if I had not found CL and CN. You all showed me the way to mighty!

  • This Earth Day month I volunteered in conjunction with beach town & Florida Oceanography Society. There were 3 boatloads of volunteers & scientists. We planted seagrass in the lagoon. This will help the wild life and improve water quality. I was one the older (62)volunteers, but I did it. I did not think about estranged husband or the mess he’s made. I have pride in doing something positive for our adult children and sweet grandchildren. They’ve had NC with him for two years. I filed January 2019. He’s been uncooperative & now trial has been moved to next year. Married 36 years when filed, I’m learning everyday how much more I’m capable.

  • I feel very mighty lately, 5 years out from D-day and 3 years out from divorce.

    I’ve had my 2 shots.

    I survived a year quarantined with young kids + homeschooling them while working a 3/4 time job from home. I simultaneously pulled us out of post-divorce debt and have righted our ship and my career, wrote a book for my work, planted a huge garden, and started new hobbies.

    I did NOT have to spend that quarantine time stuck with my ex.

    I found what appears to be a very promising romance, in the midst of Covid (yeay online dating!). That’s going on 8 months and so far it only gets better each week!

    Are my ex and his now-wife AP still bothering me? Very little. Will they manage to rattle me again? Of course, as our parenting plan is still a pain in the rump. Are kid-dropoffs still irritating when the AP always gathers the kids instead of their own father? Absolutely. Will I ever see the full amount of $$ he owes me? Probably not. But I can officially say that thanks to time, studious no-contact, and refocusing, most of the time I honestly don’t care. I’m fully supporting my own family, and it’s rare for my blood pressure to go up regarding him.

    And now to buy myself a brand new mountain bike……

  • I was shocked enough to learn of Knave-man’s seven-year affair, until he openly admitted to three other “dalliances.” I’ll bet there were more. All while I faithfully worked, raised our children, put his desires above mine, and cared for his mother and father till the end.

    I’m struggling to summon up as much mighty as is possible, and this group is a real asset to help keep my focus on what’s acceptable to me and what’s best for me. Our children are grown, so the priority now is ME !

    Think I’ll say it again ~ ME !

  • The mightiest thing I’ve done in the last year is bring my (now) 90 year old Mom to live with me. My D-days are long past, and I’ve been a resident of Meh for several years now. No real dating opportunities for a middle-aged woman in my small town, so I have settled into being happily single–really happy with the little house I bought, the garden I work in, the job I love. Last summer my mom had a medical emergency (unrelated to Covid, but you can imagine how much more fun dealing with hospitals and health problems for an 89 year old lady during the epidemic height was). I went to NJ for what I thought would be a week, stayed for three, and when I returned –after what was a spontaneous but good decision–I had my mom along, with all the possessions she could cram into my car!

    And since that day we have been just great! I was worried about giving up privacy, and how we would get along day to day, but we have a sweet, loving household together. Her house in NJ has been sold, and we are both really happy that instead of spending her last years alone, she’s here with me. I’ve been able to keep her safe from Covid risk–AND we are having a great time. Last night we drank pink champagne with dinner (because she likes it and we felt like it) and swooned over romantic costume dramas all evening.

    It helps that at 90 my mom is 100% compos mentis (we should all be so lucky) and a cool lady to boot.

    It’s not at all how I expected these years of my life to be, but here we are, and it’s just fine.

    We’re both fully vaccinated, and I am SO looking forward to introducing her to my circle of friends–she has heard about them, and they about her, for decades, so some happy (fully vaccinated) gatherings will be happening soon.

    So yes, I feel mighty for the happy life I have been able to make for her last years. Let’s hear it for loving moms and daughters!

    • Oh Cleo, you’re such an inspiration.
      I’m in the midst of deciding how I want to live the rest of my life post D-day with the Knave-man, and my 88-year old mother has asked me to move in with her – she has outlived almost all of her friends and family. I hesitate unless she requires my care; just think I would be miserable. Resettling myself here in the little seaside town I love — and having both her and my special-needs sister move in with ME, however, could enrich all of our lives, as well as preserve my own.

      I am already appreciating this putting-me-first-method of thinking. It’s working ! ; )
      Hope I don’t become selfish, though.

      • Aww, thanks for the kind words! But yes, find a nice place for you, your Mom & your Sis (or revision the place you are in, if it will suit), and a little seaside town sounds just lovely. Tell your Mom to ditch the old place and all the furniture and baggage while she is still mobile, alert, capable, etc. to get out and enjoy things–even just a walk. Now that my Mom is here we wish she’d come 7-8 years ago. Good luck with your changes.
        And you HAVE to be a little selfish. No one else is looking out for your happiness.

  • Let’s see… I’m halfway to fully vaccinated, I bought a little yellow house in a historic river town near the ocean (just waiting for the pink climbing roses to arrive), and I’m a step away from returning to teaching. My kids and I are closer than ever, and I spend my money on every little frivolous thing I damn well want (like a handmade swing chair from Lithuania, a Mercedes sports coupe, and cinnamon rolls for breakfast)!

    I’m feeling Tuesday morning in the life I’ve always wanted – no tension, no need to do anything I don’t want to, and no more resentful, lying, stingy, absent, judgmental, lazy, controlling, adolescent toad in my bed. Just me and two fluffy, purring kittens.

    Life is, indeed, good.

  • Mighty=not apologizing

    Mighty=getting in touch with my needs/want

    Mighty=being assertive (dammit!)

    Mighty=believing (truly believing) that I am worthy

    Mighty=no more eggshell walking

    Mighty=getting to meh (slowly but surely not giving two shits about my ex or the OW and knowing that they are indeed meant for each other–two peas in a putrid pod). I finally understand what CL means when she says that karma is those two being together.

    • One more (which should be easy, but it isn’t for me):

      Mighty=understanding what I’m feeling. The heart and brain were separated a while back, so they’re only now getting reacquainted.

  • Thank you Tracy for the constant encouragement to move forward. I have managed to survive finding my marriage was a fraud, ensuing divorce, sale of house, finding a new job and relocating to a new state. I feel more and more meh. I sure don’t want or miss him. But I do think I miss having a companion. That’s been hard to work on – that and friends, but I’m getting there! I took in a cat during the freeze here in Texas. Trying to rehome him – so still surviving that! I can barely take care of myself, much less a pet, but it’s coming along! What else – I have asked my ex to honor a commitment to send me an item. He asked if I would reconsider. I said no. I’ve lost enough. Anyways, that felt good – sticking to my guns and not feeling sorry where I shouldn’t. Happy Friday to all!

  • It’s not that I don’t feel mighty, so much as I feel stymied. Every time I feel that I’m either ready to–or can–start to act on my plans for my future life, there’s been a crisis: with my aging (now 95) mother, the pandemic. The first crisis with my mom happened before the pandemic, when a week after I retired I had to move 1000 miles away to care for her for six months, only to return home in March 2020, just as the pandemic was ramping up. I spent a relatively peaceful although lonely year following the health directives and making plans for when the pandemic lifted. Then last month, just a month after my two shots of the Dolly Parton-Moderna shot, and just four days before a trip I had planned to go look at houses in another state, my mother had another crisis.

    Now I am back at my mother’s again, caring for her and managing her long overdue move to assisted living. (She fell again yesterday so we spent yesterday afternoon at the Emergency room.) It looks, in fact, as if I will be moving into her place, making a commitment to live there a year to help with her transition and have time to clear out her condo. I would prefer not to have to do this, but it is a compromise between two competing values of mine, which are to re-build my life on my terms and to do my duty to my mother. But if I moved her in and left her high and dry, I could not live with myself (and that includes living with the person I’d be once I started justifying having done so), and at least I will be back in the part of the country where I grew up, and want to move, and so able to watch the market and pounce if there’s a good buy.

    • I hope you can make time for yourself from Day 1 when you move in with your mom. Maybe that means joining a gym for near daily me-time or taking every Tuesday night off to see friends, linger in a bookstore, or go to the movies (I am imagining a post-pandemic world, obviously). You are being a great daughter, but I hope you are as kind to yourself as you are to her through this tough period. See if there are community centers where your mom can spend a few hours each week to give you some time alone at home as well.

      • Thanks for your caring words. Mom is going to move into assisted living, and I am going to stay in her condo in the same town for the summer, to clear it out. I will likely then move my things in so I can be in town to help her adjust to assisted living, but I took Amiisfree’s words to heart about trying things out, and told Mom I needed the summer to see if a longer term arrangement was something I could do.

    • Stymied is a good word for it, Adelante.
      D-day was just before the pandemic, and I face your very same challenges with my mother and special needs sister, so it is difficult to move forward with a predictable plan. But not stepping up is not an option for us, as we are working toward a future that will include the peace of mind that we did the right thing.
      Step one for me = releasing Knave-man so that all my energies can go toward mother, sister, and self.
      Hoping for the best for you.

      • I feel the same way you do, that “not stepping up is not an option,” and that stepping up is a way to achieve peace of mind later.
        I hope you are able to come up with a workable plan–one that leaves time for you, too.

    • Following an international relocation post divorce I now live with elderly mother and sibling to stretch everybody’s resources.

      I am grateful that the discard brought me knowledge about covert narcissism/borderline (cluster b’s), a thing which, since I started educating myself in such matters, I know has always been part of my life (FOO). At least now I have a name for it all. It has come as a relief.
      I am still dealing with covert narcissism/borderline with my mother, and my sibling and I are now maintaining medium chill or very low contact to protect ourselves. It’s not ideal but there is nothing else that can be done.

      • On the other hand, and this is likely my main worry—most people here seem to be doing fine, but in my case

        I did not get enough out of the divorce thanks to no fault divorce. And the fact that I had to relocate for family responsibilities reasons to an area where jobs prospects are not nearly those of where I was in the marriage leaves me in a stupid situation.

        So, in a nutshell, I feel I am abused further by an ideological position that is on the side of the cheater. That is, no monetary punishment for the cheater and compensation for damages for the harmed party because of no fault divorce. And feminism has a lot to do with this. Throwing out the baby with the bathwater. And not admitting to it out of pride.

        Interestingly there are only a few voices here in favor of fault-divorce-on-grounds-of-adultery so I gather that there is large ideological consensus on no fault divorce. I owe my post divorce life situation to that ideological position. So by logic I have to admit that that ideological position sided with the cheater in his destruction of me.

        And on top of that one is deemed unsuitable for dating because one has been financially decimated in the divorce. Whose voice is that? That of those who feel superior because they got out just fine. Well, I am definitely very inferior.

    • Oh, Adelante!

      That’s tough.

      Here’s what separates you from your FW: “But if I moved her in and left her high and dry, I could not live with myself (and that includes living with the person I’d be once I started justifying having done so)….”

      FWs seem to have no problem living with themselves while justifying their behavior.

      Hope you strike it rich.

      Oh, and you are mighty!

  • Clumped lurker here. I am kinda shy, so I do not leave many comments, but I survived a divorce and a pandemic and I’m a freaking badass because of it. Learning the skills to navigate all of that has set me up to handle almost anything coming my way.

    I found out about the affair the end of January 2020. This discovery came close to the end of him obtaining his second degree in nursing… yes, I had supported him through 4 years of school. Did the reconciliation dance for about two weeks until he decided it was too hard and ran back to his girlfriend. On his way out, he told me I hadn’t sacrificed anything and changed the entire narrative of our relationship history to support his choices. He sees himself as a hero…escaping the clutches of a toxic marriage. According to him, we had communication issues, he was so lonely, and I was selfish. I was stunned. I had just spent 4 years putting every single one of my dreams on hold and working my ass off, so he could change his career. I was drowning in health issues from the stress…I gave him my best fertility years.

    It took me awhile and with tons of help from therapy, Chump Lady’s book, and the incredible community here, to be able to surface from the ocean of his lies. It’s been an incredibly lonely road navigating all of this through a pandemic. It was messy and I am not at meh yet, but I am hopeful. I got a dog. I got Covid. I got my vaccines. I survived. Thank you all for your words of strength and resilience. You’ve helped out a little chumped lurker more than you know. I will be at meh one day. I hope to be able to realize my dreams of having a child with a man who is good and kind and has integrity, but if I run out of time, I’m going to travel the world. Either way, it will be a beautiful life. And the best part is, he won’t be there to see it.

    • I think if we made this movie, we’d call it “The Taker Who Thought All He Did Was Give.” In the version I’m directing, it does not have a happy ending for the poor, sad martyr, but you are revealed in the final scenes to be riding trains across glorious landscapes with a child in your lap pointing at amazing things out the window.

    • Hey, now that you’ve broken the ice, don’t be a stranger. Your example of resilience could inspire new chumps.

      Fuckwits always rewrite history and project their failings onto the chump. Their delusions help them to they live with their shitty selves. It must suck to be such a loser that you have to lie to yourself and to others just to feel okay. It’s horrifying when you hear their rancid bullshit spoken aloud, but it helps cement in your mind how hopeless they are so you can detach. I appreciate hearing your story, Shy Chump.

      • Yes! Now that I’m on the other side of this mountain of pain, I want nothing more than to help other chumps through it if I can. I wouldn’t wish this on my worst enemy. Thank you for your response. It’s so nice to hear validation regarding what I’ve learned from what he said and did. Understanding why he said and did things breaks it down where I can see my truth.

    • That selfish bastard never should have let you put him through school without an agreement (with specifics) from him of how you would be repaid.

      I’m glad you’re free of that self-justifying taker.

    • Shy Chump:

      Letting go is hard
      But
      Being free is beautiful

      I am 6 years our from dday and 5 from divorce. I just said to a girlfriend today without thinking,
      “I have never in my life been so happy as the last 2 years”.

      Takes a while to get there, but you will.
      Hugs
      LIS

  • In the UK the first lockdown was end of March 2020…I noticed the strange happening within a week. DDay being end of July. With a younger work colleague OMG such a cliche. 31 years married. 34 together. 3 children together plus grandchildren…. A whole fricken life. Anywhoo I worked throughout the whole lockdown in a secondary school with no kids there because they were all at home 😂😂. But I continued to check upon their welfare along with their parents welfare especially for the most vulnerable. Plus I felt for all those who don’t teach who suddenly had to teach several children at different stages in a confined space 🤦🏼‍♀️🤦🏼‍♀️….. They are the true heroes 🙌🏼. It was a bit of a saving grace for me in a way along with the support of my family and close friends. I’m in the divorce grinder at the moment…. Its tough. I’ve had my jabs wooohoo offered them early due to working in education. Hugs to y’all (I love saying that). Keep on being mighty. You inspire me everyday x

  • It’s so inspiring reading everyone’s comments. I needed this challenge today because I forget how mighty I’ve been over the past few years dealing with FW. DDay was in June 2019 when we were already separated but I found out he’d been cheating on me for most or all of our marriage. I filed two weeks later and then dealt with hoovering, pick me dancing, anger, sadness, etc., all while working full time and raising our two children. The divorce was final in March 2020, just 5 days before everything shut down (phew). Ex died 7 weeks after the divorce was entered.

    So I’ve navigated home schooling for the kids, working full time, kid grief and anger, my grief and anger, my 15 year old’s depression and anxiety, home repairs, and applying for social security death benefits for both kids. On the more positive side, life is more peaceful and far less chaotic for all of us. I have more money in the bank than ever when I was married because cheaters are expensive. I started buying myself nice shoes and clothes again. I bought a new car, keeping the older one because 15 year olds turn into 16 year olds who can drive. I maintained my garden AND got my covid shots – team Pfizer! I want to travel domestically but I have one kid who is on board, and one who isn’t.

    I’m still not at meh. Trying to find me again. A friend asked if I had started dating and I looked at her blankly, like “dating? What’s that?” I have too much on my plate to think about it right now. My kids need me. I need me. I’m still healing. Kids are still healing. Everyone’s in therapy. I’m grateful for this blog, everyone’s contributions, and the book, which got me through, safe and sane.

    • Such mightiness! You’ve been going through a lot of changes and challenges in a very short time.

      I agree about dating. Healing absolutely must come first.

      • OHFFS, I don’t know that I’ll ever muster up the energy or inclination to date again. And I’m starting to get okay with that.

        • Me too, SN, and good for you. Lots of people are single their whole lives, so we can do this. It’s just weird after being so used to being partnered, or at least thinking we were.

  • I am renovating my new post-chumping house, mostly myself. I don’t want any contractors possibly bringing Covid here. I just couldn’t stay in the house that was supposed to be our forever home, which I had also worked on when we bought it. Before we’d even moved into our “forever home” he was cheating, and he was planning to dump me for her a few months later. It’s a pity that didn’t work out to his satisfaction because I’d have been rid of him much sooner, with the pleasure of knowing he was going to be cheated on. Oh well. Better late than never.

    My new house is 100% in my taste, all designed by yours truly. I didn’t have to listen to the jerk bitch about the colors I wanted and the high quality materials because he’s a conformist dullard who likes everything bland and beige inside with cheap white vinyl siding “like everybody else has”. He thinks he has good taste, but he actually has pitiful taste and terrible judgement, amply demonstrated by the fact that he preferred a witless, substance abusing, serial cheating little troll with bad hair and diarrhea of the mouth. Anyway, the neighbors tell me how much they love what I’ve done to the exterior, and I’ve heard them actually ooh and ahh as they walk by. In yo’ face, fuckwit!

    I spend my free time trying to keep fit and giving advice and support to victims of narc abuse, domestic abuse, and fuckwittery. It helps me to heal as well. I do a lot of research to be able to give the best advice possible. I’m staying involved in political/ social/ environmental issues as well. I’m an old timer at that. Hell, I’m just feeling old, period. It’s been a long road, but I’m on the upswing.

    No shot yet. Still waiting. I’m used to that after waiting for the jerk to grow up for so long.

    Love me some chumps. Hope you all get your shots and are safe from both fuckwits and the pandemic. xxoo

    • Wow!! Truly impressive!! You inspire me!

      Of course, now I want pictures of your place!

      Congratulations! It sounds wonderful. You seem wonderful, too.
      #mighty

  • Had my vaccines in February and then 2nd one in March . Was so scared and guess what ?? Barely had a sore arm . And I’m one who has never had flu vaccine , tetanus ( even though I’ve stepped on rusty nails , been bitten by dog and had a piece of old rotten wood stuck in my thigh )

    My point , PLEASE GET VACCINATED!!! It’s the only way this disease will start to go away and we can get back to somewhat normalcy

  • I am six years out from D-day. Life is so much better without him. All the time. Even the bad things aren’t AS bad without him. During Covid, my kids and I dug a rain garden and another garden in another part of the yard and we rebuilt our deck. Last month I got both my shots and have now reached full immunity.
    Life is good here in the land of Meh!

  • So great to hear the stories of survival and revival! I’m 6-7 years out and getting ready to spend my last year for awhile, in my ex husband’s state of Michigan. I have come to love a lot about Michigan but have always missed my home state of Wyoming, so I bought a home there during the pandemic. I will move out when my youngest goes to college. In Wyoming I will live 4 blocks from my day, 2 hours from my mom (distance between her and I is important) and 6 hours from my brother. I still have some aquaintences in my hometown so I am excited. I posted the other day that the kids and I travel quite a bit. Since my divorce my kids and I have become very close! and I’m lucky in that my ex follows our JOD and we are no contact except for kid stuff. My ex does have a decent relationship with our kids which I’m thankful for. I’m busy during the pandemic as people’s mental health has suffered and I’m a therapist. During my divorce I was in grad school, parenting full time and walking on egg shells. I think there was a meme the other day that I saw that said something like “I thought I was anxious, but I just needed to get a fuckwit out of my life”. That’s how I feel. No anxiety, no crazy mental zoomies all night, just moving along through the days. I’m thinking about dating again when I re locate and I have plans to travel again if the world ever comes to it’s senses and masks up and gets vaccinated! I’m team Moderna and grateful I have been working from home this entire time. No one in my family has caught Covid and we are almost done getting everyone vaccinated.

  • I’m now 6 months out from Dday. This website and CL’s book are truly saving me.

    My mighty so far:
    I kicked him out of the house…years of abuse made me fearful but I did it.
    I have retained a lawyer…again very fearful but I did it.
    I completely redid our upstairs and let my children pick whatever paint colours they wanted for their rooms….this was never “allowed” in the past.
    I have an amazing therapist who is making me realize so many things…I’m ashamed to admit I didn’t realize just what an abusive relationship I was in.

    I’m still feeling broken, a shell of the woman I was.
    But my young children think I’m strong and I feed off of that when it all feels like too much.

    Not sure if any of the above makes me mighty but I love reading all of your mighty stories and hope I might one day get the MEH.

    Also had my first dose two weeks ago! yay.

    • You are the mightiest. I’m about 6 months ahead of you in the process. I don’t have children, so I can’t even imagine how hard that is on top of everything else. Time truly heals. You’re doing all the right things.

  • Definitely lurked here for awhile!  I don’t post much but so thankful I found this site! I think DDay was in 2017 and definitely found meh. Couldn’t be more grateful for this experience because if I hadn’t gone through hell, I wouldn’t be where I am today! Since roughly 4 years ago, I have navigated the divorce (won full custody of my son), focused on healing myself and my lovely son, received 2 promotions and now financially independent, my son is nearly 18 and graduating high school in June and we are both moving back to our home in June (transpacific move) after 8 1/2 years. So excited for this next adventure!

  • I’m late to the party… but have to share… I hit Mehtown on a Tuesday quite a bit ago (I know because I literally don’t care if he breathes at this point and am 100% no contact except for emails when child support is late). It can be done.

    During the pandemic, though, my mightiness was tested. I have primary custody of our teen son. He came home from school one day followed by an email that he had been exposed to another student who tested positive. I informed Mr. Sparkles and all visitation was cancelled for 14 days (and don’t even bother thinking he reached out via Facetime or Houseparty or anything to still check in with our son).

    Blessedly, my son subsequently tested negative… but I came down with what I thought was a cold (since he had tested negative, right?)… and six days later my “positive” test came back and I didn’t leave my bed for six days. Guess what… I’ve raised a kid that can feed himself, stay on top of homework, and make sure his Mom was alive. #winning

    When Mr. Sparkles checked in to see if he our son was out of quarantine, I let him know it had been extended because I tested positive. Immediately, I got a text… “OMG… what do you need, what can I do, do you have blood oxygen monitor…” I replied, “Your son would probably like a case of Sprite, I’m good.”

    No excuse is a good excuse to get sucked back in with an NPD cheating fuckwit, not even a pandemic.

    #teampfizer #alreadyhadantibodies #covidsucks

  • —Fully vaccinated.
    —Returned to college teaching after many years away.
    —My students absolutely cleaned up in this year’s writing contests. They rock.
    —And here’s the hard move for a chump who made herself so small as to be nearly invisible for so many years: I was named writing instructor of the year this year. Awards ceremony this weekend, and my winning students will be honored during that, as well. The colleagues who helped me return to teaching (who miraculously made this impossible thing practically instant) and the students who constantly teach me how to get better at doing what I love will never know how much they mean—they rescued me, and the gratitude is wide and deep.
    —Earned a special credential in effective college instruction this year. Pinning ceremony in May.
    —Starting to feel like who I was always meant to be. Life is far from perfect, but it is beautiful, and being free to enjoy it without the stifling weight of abuse is a gift beyond measure.

    • Cashmere – your writing has always been incredibly beautiful and your students certainly benefited! So happy to hear you received well deserved recognition – and that you are happy! Well done you!

    • Wow, loved seeing your post update Cashmere – huge congrats to you. What a life you have made. I always loved your writing and posts.

  • I am mighty. Because of Chumplady.

    I’m in college at 58, in Ireland. Moved here from the states to go back to school after thirty year marraige ended and during a pandemic.

    Building a new life. I want to live the rest of my life in epic fashion. Going after dreams other people just keep dreaming. I just started sea swimming at sunrise. I’ve hiked the tallest peak in Ireland. I’ve written two children’s books about two Irish social dolphins and am learning self publishing. They are being released in the fall with hopefully actual launch parties in both areas where the doplphins’ stories take place. A 25 year Dolphin Charity based in London heard about my books through my networking and research and has adopted me and my books to help promote.

    I just completed my first year of a Bachelor Degree in Digital Marketing Communications and Public Relations and I have just started a boutique digital marketing agency.

    I can see the person I was always meant to be. I don’t cower any longer. I use my gifts of creativity that were once ridiculed.

    I am mighty.

  • Wow well done on landing the interview TT, and sending good luck vibes! Hope you smash it!

  • Have been working all through the UK lockdowns in my Primary School, supporting keyworker families; have landed extra hours doing 1:1 with learning disability children and am currently planting 3 gardens (mine for tge next tenants, my friend’s at the house we’ll be moving to in a few months, and the veg garden I run at school for my gardening club. And the PTA want to buy me a polytunnel, yaaaay!! Am tired, especially supporting my older teen twins through serious mental health crises, school refusals etc but am finding much joy in life. Choose to be happy, lovely Chumps ❤

  • Helpful Trigonometry video in lockdown math section of https://www.3blue1brown.com/

    Another now several years free from an x who turned out to be (and continues to be) a serial cheater (‘EA’ that wasn’t just, ex-marriage police, ex-pick-me-dancer). Decades with a capable, clever, entitled abusive partner.

    Mightyness now is continuing to study even though work got incredibly busy. Sane parenting and sole support for my studying young adults & gorgeous old pets. Providing a haven where the walls sing for us all. Cosy, tidy and happy home. Quiet, peaceful, authentic life with good conversation, laughter, friends and reciprocity. Light years better off. Jedi hugs CN! Please get vaccinated as soon as you can. (waiting here till its available).

  • Wow!! I just finished reading every one of these posts today and I am inspired beyond belief and so proud of everyone’s kick ass journeys through the deeply torturous, glass shattered paths in unshaded blazing hell hot deserts with rattlesnakes ready to bounce out from behind every other bush you pass. Mighty, mighty, mighty you all are!! It gets me through these days to read such powerful affirmative actions happening over and over again. So impressive!! It almost makes me believe it is possible to survive this level of pain that no one else can fully grasp but you all.
    # 2 Moderna will be May 15th, working on my adult kids to get theirs now.
    Three years this month since divorce was finalized, hard to say how many from D-day, since I keep mentally uncovering more of them. Married for 38 years to the “ love of my life”, we dated for 6 years before that thru late HS and college. Turned 66 this month, found out a couple of weeks back from my kids( none of them wanting the job of telling me) that their father, “ Chester the Cheater Boy”, got married sometime last year in 2020 to his 15 year younger mistress, who was in the picture unbeknownst to me, for the last 5 years of our marriage. He planned his charmed life with her at the EXACT same time we planned and built our retirement Chesapeake Bay dream home and renewed our vows on that beach with our three adult kids participating in the ceremony!!( WTF?!) Good to keep your options open I guess, just pick which one you finally want when you retire and throw the other in the trash. Wanted so much to believe the dream was real. He called his kids to say he was marrying Schmoopie 3 days before the ceremony and was really annoyed with them all because not one of them congratulated him,lol! (They were in total shock and disbelief in how badly someone could actually implode their own lives, but his pathological narrative will never be able to see that.)
    Well, I’m living in a tiny apt in San Antonio now ( gorgeous beach house vacant and triggering for me to be there, as much as we all would like to enjoy it) that I took over the lease of when my son relocated with his job for the past 2 years now. I was with my son for 2 months after coming back from a 6 mos hike of the PCT( pacific crest trail for non hikers, 2600 mile or so hike from Mexico to Canada) in 2018, while the divorce was finalized a month into my hike. ( cried every single night silently in my tent) I had never done any such thing, had not ever hiked more than 25 miles before that and had never camped out, but maybe a day or two in my life, lol, what the hell was I thinking?! I knew I loved nature and loved to walk, that’s all I had. The opportunity, the time, the friends doing it was a gift that arose from the crumbling marriage and I deep down needed to know if I had what I always imagined I did inside me, grit, strength, and stamina to really do it. I actually do!! ( our team of 6 ppl, age 63-72, laughingly were known as “ The Expendables”, those fast moving 20-30 year olds never took the time to look up from their boots to see the incredible mountains and vistas, we old folk 100% did and felt deeply grateful for the immensity of the experience we were being gifted with) I doubt I will ever really fully process that adventure.
    Then I came back and was hit with the heavy weight of the realization once again that the life I planned was completely and utterly gone from view and I spiraled backwards and suffered PTSD symptoms with deep grief and sadness. ( no Meh for me yet)
    I do take baby steps to move out of the steaming poop pile that has become my life and want so desperately to be able to get the hell out of the hole. Been through some rough life times, as we all have, nothing so catastrophic to my entire being as this is, and the only ppl in your world who can actually get it are fellow invaluable chumps as yourselves. ( thank God!)
    Pretty lonely spot, but I never minded my own company. I want to feel as strong and powerful as my kids believe I am. I don’t want to let anyone down, I want to be okay again. I want everyone that loves me to not have to concern themselves with worrying about me anymore. I’ve always been the caretaker type looking out for others, I don’t want to lose my inner strength that I’ve prided myself on believing in. Lot of pressure on chomps to return fully to the living world by others! Makes it tougher feeling responsible for that and not seeing a clear exit.
    I have been volunteering, clearing land for a community garden on Saturdays during covid, I love tough physical work, keeps the continual rumination at bay. I walk daily 6-15 miles with my soul mate Yorkie, who saves my life daily with his love. So connected to my amazingly beautiful kids, and we talk very frequently and connect deeply. I have listened to countless podcasts and audible books while walking on any and everything on the planet, my curiousity remains a super power I fully enjoy. I take long road trips to my scattered kids in different states getting adjusted in early careers, to cook them feasts and help them with gardens and house beautifying purchases and projects we thoroughly enjoy together. I love feeling useful!!
    I know I am loved and that’s huge, but I don’t seem to be able to move the heavy film that separates me from the rest of the world and prevents me from fully being who I imagined I always was. Many days I don’t even know who that is anyway or wonder if I ever knew.
    I have never stopped believing in Tuesday being out there somewhere, even though not possible to see it right now.
    Chump lady and nation has been an invaluable resource, I don’t know how anyone gets through this alone. The generosity of kick-ass warrior chumps sharing their difficult journeys and successes over horrific obstacles is so incredibly inspiring!! I read the posts, cry and cheer for you all. You are doing it! I really have no words to fully express the gratitude I feel for having that to encourage me. It’s massive.
    This week I am awaiting a cervical biopsy report, found out I had HPV from “Chester” in 2016 at age 61!! DAMN!! now it is active again) Lovely wedding gift for his unaware of what she’s got herself into new wife. (Would you like an STD to go with your champagne love?!) Maybe breaking up families isn’t the best life decision after all Schmoop?!
    I’m actually not looking or interested in karma and won’t enjoy seeing it hit, which I think is inevitable just the same. There’s no satisfaction in that for me, just sadness for the nuclear Holocaust of destruction that was detonated on a beautiful carefully loved and protected family. It had been my most proud life accomplishment.
    I’m afraid I have many many more mountain tops to traverse before ‘Meh’ appears, but I already know deep down to my core I have the strength to get there. Thanks for the help team. Chump on all!

    • Dear Chumpasaurus—

      My own take on things, for what it’s worth, is that the long-married/long-chumped (30 years married w/five years of dating before that, for me) shouldn’t get very distracted by the idea of miraculous meh showing up on some misty Tuesday yet to come.

      Trauma isn’t erasable, and long-term trauma certainly isn’t. Truth? I don’t aspire to meh at all. I expect that I’ll keep finding lessons in the trauma and learning from it for the rest of my life. That doesn’t mean I’m unhappy. It doesn’t mean I’m fixated. It doesn’t mean that I’m some pitiable little thing, forever contemplating her wounds.

      What does it mean? Well, many things—some of which I’m still figuring out—but among them are these.

      —It means that my notion of happiness is a richer and more complex thing than most of the going definitions in our culture. I don’t think happiness has anything to do with leading an error or crisis free life, for instance. I don’t think it has anything to do with stuff. I do think there’s an art to contentment that will carry us through dark times, and that we can cultivate the art. It has something to do with seeing beauty and absurdity all around, with finding things absorbing (many things that you get to choose according to taste, whim, or inclination), and with giving yourself the time and space required to immerse yourself in those things.

      —It means that I have zero problem living with this contradiction: what happened to me and my kids was wrong and even evil, but what I have chosen to find in and learn from it is good. Thought I was compassionate before, but maybe not so much. I’m grateful for the ways in which valuing and nurturing empathy have improved my life and the lives of those I care about. Doesn’t mean the wrong and evil things were okay, somehow. Nope. The depth of bleakness in them will always stun me. Does mean that bleakness did not squelch my inner spark. It’s a good thing to know, deep down, that our inner lights simply refuse to be extinguished.

      —It means that I’ve learned to let things that don’t matter burn away. Painful process, and I expect I’ll never be quite done with it, but an important skill. Cheater buying a mansion way too near me, trying (unsuccessfully, but still) to draw my kids into that world, expecting them to attend the gender reveal (sigh—when will people stop that nonsense) party for the baby he’s having with the AP despite his advanced age?Well, not fun, any of that, but not devastating, either. I can let all of that go and be glad that my little fam (two adult kids, one ginormous dog, a preternaturally affectionate cat) carries on with our connection and our traditions and our love. I can just know that we are utterly irreplaceable, but can also acknowledge that it really isn’t fun that a creepy person attempted that erasure with knowledge and malice afore thought.

      —It means that I give myself a break and carry on when I think of him, the past I thought I was living, the vast web of lies, the damage done and so on. Know what? Glad I have the kind of heart that doesn’t easily shrug off 35 years. It would be unutterably sad to possess any other kind of heart than this.

      Whatever to Tuesday, you know? It’s Friday, I’m about to order pizza, will grab one of that place’s marvelously decadent desserts when I’m there for pick-up, and will embrace the joy of being free to savor both without any of the fear or tension that I now realize touched every aspect of my life before. I make dozens of mistakes on the regular, things go wrong, I’m imperfect in every imaginable fashion and in countless fashions I’ll probably never be smart enough to be aware of, but pizza and dessert and dog and books and movies and kids and work and walks and things in bloom and on and on.

      • This was expressed beautifully, Cashmere.
        I am so grateful to hear all these stories of being mighty!

        I moved out in December, after 36 years of marriage. For me, I know a cheating event occurred back in 1993. I thought it was the first & only. He seemed contrite. I stayed. I thought I was not good enough & that’s why he cheated. I trusted him to not cheat again, & we had more children. It was always my dream to have a large family & he told me prior to our marriage that it was his dream too.

        I think I am mighty because I did move out. His ability to maintain the mask of a caring spouse & father deteriorated slowly over the years. Bits & pieces of information came out that made me realize that 1993 was not the first event & definitely not the last. I retained an attorney. My 2 adult daughters are proud of me. I sleep well at night. I am not angsting over what is wrong with me – 3 years of reading CL have put me on the right track. I needed to fully realize that I had been who I wanted to be all along.

        One of the challenges I had to meet was getting surgery done in March, without the STBX. Part of his impression management was to reliably show up at the hospital for the various minor surgeries I needed over the years & to pretend to be the caring spouse. Many of the surgeries were to remove a recurring benign sinus tumor, which I recently found out is caused by HPV. Anyway, this time I needed more invasive surgery by a more specialized ENT and a neurosurgeon & eye surgeon readily available, at a major medical center in the city, 50 miles away. I know it’s much less than so many of you have been through, but I was anxious from just recently separating & the fear of the small chance of losing my eyesight and/or brain functioning. That would mean not working & not being able to support a disabled son. I got through it just fine! I was able to rely on myself (courage, girl!), my other adult children, and NOT ON STBX! After 36 years, it is taking a while to lose the thought patterns that kept me hoping & believing that he cared. I found that I began to replace them with the righteous thoughts of “You did this to me! Do you think I’m going to f*cking let you to take me to the hospital & pretend to all the doctors that you care about me?” Swearing was never in my nature, but when it magically enters my head, I know I am beginning to process the anger that I ignored for years.

        I have moved almost all my possessions out of our family home. I kept my wedding album, because this DID happen to me: I got married, I loved him, he led a double life, and I saw that as a deal breaker, and not too late. I know I took a long time to do it. I know I did not have enough self esteem to act quickly when the first D day happened. I know I did my best with the beliefs I had at the time. I know that I bonded to him and wanted to think the best of him. He certainly could act like he was an honest, caring person when it benefited him! I know now that he had so much opportunity to lead a double life since he constantly traveled for business. Knowing these things makes me mighty today. Last summer I was just a chump.

      • “It means that I have zero problem living with this contradiction: what happened to me and my kids was wrong and even evil, but what I have chosen to find in and learn from it is good. Thought I was compassionate before, but maybe not so much. I’m grateful for the ways in which valuing and nurturing empathy have improved my life and the lives of those I care about. Doesn’t mean the wrong and evil things were okay, somehow. Nope. The depth of bleakness in them will always stun me. Does mean that bleakness did not squelch my inner spark. It’s a good thing to know, deep down, that our inner lights simply refuse to be extinguished.”

        Perfect summary.

        So grateful to read your encouraging posts.

  • Bought a house next to an awesome school for my daughter and I. My neighbors rock. My daughter’s making new friends. Refused to move near FW (who moved 30 miles away from the family home during the divorce). Took the case to court when we couldn’t agree where she should start school and won! He has since moved back to the area. Got both my shots! Dated a bit… got comfortable knowing my boundaries and sticking to them. Whether with dates or FW ex’s. Got my mojo back. Been going to PT for my diastasis recti and feeling better about myself. Learning more DIY skills for my house. I’ve done more camping & beach trips in the 2 years since we split than we had in our 10+ years together, stuff I always wanted to do more of, but he always had an excuse not to do (usually football or golf). I’m not totally at meh, but I can see it on the horizon. It’s the small comments & things you don’t see coming that set me back for a bit these days… but healing isn’t linear. There’s been a bit of delayed awareness that I’ve been processing. When you’re not focusing on the big issues in your marriage anymore… you realize all the smaller, crappy stuff you were still dealing with but didn’t have the energy to tackle because there were bigger fires to fight. Overall though, I’m enjoying my peace… and I’m committed to supporting and validating my daughter as she grows up so she learns to trust her instincts and doesn’t doubt her worth.

  • #Team Moderna, second shot done and 3 weeks into life with the vaccine.

    My mighty this year has been doing my job (teaching at a small university) under what I’ll call “adverse conditions.” I’ve learned how to teach with 3/4 of the kids lying in their beds on Zoom, with only a name where a person’s face should be, with those kids taking class in-person masked up and walking through empty hallways and sitting in half-empty classrooms. I’ve learned how to cope when the technology gods kick us off Zoom or when the screen suddenly goes black or when it seems Amazon.Zoom, Canvas, et. al, decided we can’t stream movies for a film class. The worst was the Spring semester when the lockdown happened, having to re-invent a course in a week and then figure out ways to convince the kids that we (they_ would be OK. One of my students said that what kept her going was at the end of every class I would remind that about masks and hand washing and then say, “You’re going to be OK.)

    I’m nearly 70 and I keep learning. I’m grateful for every day. I take care of the people and animals I love. That’s pretty much all that matters.

    • LovedAJackass, I teach at a community college and my life has been similar to yours for the past year. Everything you said was spot-on. In good times, students often have numerous commitments (classes, work, family, etc.) that compete for their time and attention, but the pandemic-related disruptions in students’ lives made it even more difficult to keep them engaged. Just when I started to think, “okay, I think I’ve got this,” one of my classes was “Zoom-bombed,” even after I had taken all of the recommended precautions to secure the class meeting. Turns out a younger brother of one of my students heard about Zoom-bombing too and just had to try it out, good times…

      But teaching remotely has been going okay, and we’re making plans to offer more on campus in the fall. I also refinanced the house he didn’t want, lowering my house payment significantly (thankfully my divorce was finalized before the pandemic hit, whew!). And I was able to replace some carpeting and fix a few things that were neglected as the marriage was blowing up. Making progress.

      Put me on #Team Pfizer, got my second shot yesterday. I’m a little headachy today but all in all feeling good – and grateful!

  • I seriously think my ex blew everything up during the pandemic because he knew it would be so much harder for me. This happened and he thought oh this is perfect, maybe it’ll be so hard she’ll kill herself. If there was ever anything that would force me to trust that he sucks immediately, this was it. It was such a nightmare I had to accept it immediately.

    I got a divorce in six weeks during a pandemic. I actually stopped talking to people about it because so many people told me I was wrong and it’s just not possible and that would be difficult even without the pandemic.

    I am not mistaken. I have the paperwork. I did it in exactly six weeks from d day to final divorce decree.

    I went out to lunch with a friend and was telling her the horror of everything I’d found out about my now ex husband of 20 years and she asked how the hell I got it all done so fast while dealing with the shock. I said “because I’m awesome!” And that’s when we realized several tables around us had been listening to my nearly unbelievable soap opera horror story because they all reacted. And I found it to be a pretty positive reaction. LOL

  • Three days ago was 2 weeks since my second shot – I’m fully vaccinated and so relieved.
    After almost 50 years since my last class, I started relearning French. Oui!
    I adopted a senior kitty who is a total love boy (he’s on my lap right now).
    I’m on the phone a lot advocating for my brother and sister-in-law who both have dementia.
    I can visit them now – yay! Must be masked but that’s OK.
    I can fix all kinds of stuff around the house. I love tools!
    I take a very brisk half hour walk 5-6 days a week and it’s like a wonder drug.
    Divorced 1.5 years, no contact – life is SO much better without a lying cheating narcissist!

  • I, on the other hand, find myself quite tired at this point. Divorced, relocated. Good that I am away from that experience. Yet I have been dealing with this narc/borderline stuff since age 0. And I am quite tired.

    • And this is likely my main worry. Most people here seem to be doing fine but in my case

      I did not get enough out of the divorce thanks to no fault divorce. And the fact that I had to relocate for family responsibilities reasons to an area where jobs prospects are not nearly those of where I was in the marriage leaves me in a stupid situation.

      So, in a nutshell, I feel I am abused further by an ideological position that is on the side of the cheater. That is, no monetary punishment for the cheater and compensation for damages for the harmed party because of no fault divorce. And feminism has a lot to do with this. Throwing out the baby with the bathwater. And not admitting to it out of pride.

      • Interestingly there are only a few voices here in favor of fault-divorce-on-grounds-of-adultery so I gather that there is large ideological consensus on no fault divorce. I owe my post divorce life situation to that ideological position. So by logic I have to admit that that ideological position sided with the cheater in his destruction of me.

        And on top of that one is deemed unsuitable for dating because one has been financially decimated in the divorce. Whose voice is that? That of those who feel superior because they got out just fine. Well, I am obviously very inferior.

        • I’m in Fl. When I said I wish it was a fault state, attorney said the only difference would be waiting longer,. He said there’s no justice in divorce. I’m mad about all the money estranged husband costs me by lack of cooperation in discovery. They don’t really enforce contempt as he turns in something…
          He’s dissipated assets too. Totally not fair & now my trial has been moved to next year due to new judge trying to catch up thanks to COVID.
          The good thing is I’ll be divorced eventually. Filed Jan 2019. Judge is Forcing mediation. How to mediate with a liar that hasn’t produced anything significant. I had to request a continuance from first trial date because he hadn’t provided 3 years of business taxes.
          Sorry Flower. But I know you’ll be ok eventually.

          • Sandyfeet,
            I wish you to get through your divorce as speedily as possible.
            Yes they so so about fault divorce because no fault is the current state of affairs/way of thinking. If fault divorce were the norm it would be different.

        • Hi Flower:

          If you go back and read earlier posts where this topic comes up, you’ll see that a large proprortion of us…maybe a majority of us…believe in fault divorce. I’m a fervent believer in it myself. There needs to be a financial consequence to fraud in marriage just like there is in any other contract.

          • I totally agree. If this was a a business arrangement, the FWs would be charged with fraud. But marriage is a business arrangement in some ways. My financial future is significantly changed. I was lucky enough to prove that some assets were mine prior to marriage so I didn’t have to pay him as much when buying him out of the house, but I have been working extra assignments beyond my fulltime load ever since the divorce to make sure I can afford to live on my own. If there was any hope of early retirement, that’s gone now. I’m definitely working to full retirement age and possibly beyond.

            But in spite of that, life is still so much better without him. My stress symptoms (GERD, hives) have really quieted down in recent months. I’m not at meh yet, but moving in that direction.

            • PrincipleLife, Jilted,
              Thanks for your comments. It’s reassuring to know that there is a good number of people who believe in fault divorce.
              And customarily, the pendulum swings one way and then swings back.

  • Got my 2nd Moderna shot Wednesday.
    Now, it’s all about getting my ducks in a row to see if I can live the rest of my life with whatever I get out of a divorce.
    The pandemic helped me realize just how bad things are and that I can’t expect them to change.
    Wish me luck!!

    • I wish you luck, perkypatti.

      I did not get enough thanks to no fault divorce. And the fact that I had to relocate for family responsibilities reasons to an area where jobs prospects are not nearly those of where I was in the marriage leaves me in a stupid situation.

      So I really hope you do get out well.

  • Interesting how many stories have referred to “eggshell-walking” in some form or other. There is a topic worthy of its own thread (along the lines of “how & when did you know something was wrong?”). AND I think an awesome idea for a Tracy cartoon, but Tracy probably gets tired of people telling her that! (Love you Chump Lady & Chump Nation!)

  • I haven’t been here in quite some time but team Pfizer here. Got my second shot back on 3/10/21 so I’ve been fully vaccinated since 3/24/21. Never had any doubts about the vaccine and thankful to be counted as a front line worker so I could be in Phase 1 in my state. -Got my first vaccine back in February.

    I am so thankful that I am 7 years post divorce and appreciate that I had nothing to do with the fuckwit during the pandemic. I have remained gainfully employed (at home) for the past year and I couldn’t be happier. I survived the biggest change I’d ever expect to endure in adulthood when I got divorced after 27 years so the changes that came with the pandemic didn’t phase me at all.

    I hope that all that are just experiencing this journey will hold on and realize better days are coming. It’s better on the other side even during a pandemic!

  • #TeamPfizer
    Second shot a week ago. Both shots kicked my ass but I made it through.
    During the pandemic I had major kidney surgery, worked full time at home and home schooled a 5th grader. Common Core is the bane of my existence and I am lucky to have some hair left from all the stress! But on a positive note, my kidney is better, I have received 2 promotions at work and now have my own dept AND I just bought a new little house in Texas! The kiddo & I will be moving in 4 months when the house will be ready to completely start our new chapter. It has been 4+ years since ex cheater-pants passed away and we are finally getting to leave all the toxic, painful people and memories behind. I still can’t believe we are getting our own new home! Something I never thought would happen. I am so proud to be able to give my son a real home-and soon to be a dog as well. It has been a hard road but Chump Lady saved my life and god has blessed it.

  • D-day was March 9th of this year. I’m getting emotionally and physically stronger every day, taking short walks every hour or so to keep my mood up. This site has been a tremendous support to me – thank you all! (And I got both shots. 😊)

  • This doesn’t belong on this thread, but I just need to vent. Please indulge me.

    Our granddaughter was born only months before Dday (Oct 2019). It just dawned on me that my then-husband volunteered our time to watch her one week/month to get me out of the house and out of town so that he’d be free to screw the OW. We both had just retired. But he never had any intention of spending a full week babysitting. And he never did. We took separate cars. He did two days tops! F**k him!

    How can these a**holes live with themselves?

    I remember that at one point he suggested we split our week babysitting: “You do four days. I’ll do three.” I responded, “Well, you can do 3, but I want to do the entire week.” [Part of my reasoning was that I didn’t trust him to watch the baby. My mama-bear brain knew to be protective of her.]

    Anyway, he used my agreeing to be apart three days a month as one of his lame justifications for leaving me. “You agreed to be apart for three days.” WTAF!!!!

    To make this fit the Friday challenge, I’ll add that I feel mighty for having kicked this FW to the curb. I am so happy to be free of that man, at least physically; unfortunately, he still pops up in my mind. I can’t seem to rid myself of these intrusive thoughts. #PTSD

    • I totally get it. Long after Dday, you’ll not even necessarily be thinking about it, when suddenly it strikes you that the fw deceived you in some way you didn’t realize before. I had the same experience many times and it always set me back.

      But using fake interest in seeing his grandchild to finagle a way to cheat! If I was the baby’s mom, I’d be outraged by that. I thought it was bad when I found out my fw used to text his ho when we were visiting our first grandchild, even doing it while the baby, and both our kids, were in the same room. It felt like such a violation. Who does that? But for *this* shit, there are no words adequate to convey how slimy I think that guy is. I hope he breaks his dick, gets ass cancer, and falls down a well. I hope his whore gives him a new antibiotic resistant variant of the clap that makes urinating feel like he’s passing an extremely large, sharp kidney stone.

      Some day these moments where you discover new examples of his vileness will end. In the meantime, big hugs.

  • Spinach, Not funny how he felt free to volunteer you! That must have been the favourite M.O. of my ex but he didn’t use the time for cheating – he just used it to tie up my time and be an extra set of arms and legs to do for him and make him look good to others – regardless of what my plans were. He volunteered me/us for many things entirely without discussing it with me and I’d find out on the way there and he’s driving – or when I got there. The look on my face when I’d find out what the real deal was helped his image management because the poor dear was married to a real bitch… I learned the poker face after a while.

    • Well, I wanted to babysit, so we volunteered together. Guess I wasn’t clear. But he had ulterior motives.

      And to think I thought he was this wonderful, giving grandpa for wanting to babysit. He bragged about it to co-workers and friends. “Look at me! I just retired, and I’m going to use some spare time to babysit.” Nope! It was all a ruse.

      (p.s. My daughter–the mother of this little one–went NC with her dad on D-day. He hasn’t seen the baby in 18 mos. You reap what you sow!)

  • In the past 20 months I’ve divorced a cheater, saved 47k (big for me, as it seemed impossible to save when married to Mr Potato Head), maintained and built a wonderful network of friends, been a present and reliable mother to my son and started to figure out a strategy of how I’m going to navigate my ex-husband and the OW just having a baby.
    Not easy, and like so many others have commented, not perfect- but I am above ground and continuing on. Everyone on this site is absolutely mighty.

    • AimingforMeh,

      Wow! Just wow! 👏💪

      Good luck with strategizing how to navigate the new baby. That sucks. Ugh. He sucks! You, on the other hand, are mighty!

      Good luck!

      • Thanks Spinach- so are you! Seriously, been a fan of your comments since the start of this journey 💪

  • CN I am feeling very mighty today. My stbx is hoovering me like a mofo!
    He allowed a young girl to live in the house and my attorney said he called and told his attorney to tell him she had to go. I told my stbx I still own the house snd I don’t want her there. I’m paying the mortgage and everything else and she is not paying rent. So she is no longer there. Removed by law enforcement I understand. He is now worried she might file some sort of complaint against him. I guess he can’t see how this was his own doing…
    Now he keeps texting me trying to find reasons for me to meet with him. His last thing is offering me all kinds of food she left there. I’ve declined all invitations.
    Honestly if this was a month ago I would be right there for him making him feel better. I’m not doing that anymore. He wanted out and said I’ve ruined his life. Well now he can see how he is ruining his own life…

    • Mighty, Ready! Great to hear you’re still Moving On since your last post. Stay strong, and know we’re rooting for you here.

  • Astra Zeneca ✅
    House sold ✅
    Divorce ✅
    Full time contract in 25 years ✅
    No emotional, physical, financial abuse, his problems✅
    Happiness for teenager sons and me ✅
    Thanks CL and community for all that you give, DC xx

  • Both Moderna shots, I had intense side effects, especially for the second jab. But even through the nausea and fever, I felt so profoundly grateful that after a year of confinement and fear, I would soon be free of the danger of dying of COVID19, and even more grateful that I was no longer likely to transmit COVID to loved ones and clients. I thought about my great-grandmother who lost both of her parents and two of her sisters to the Spanish flu, a shock so bad for her mental health, that it ended up destroying her marriage–and I realized how lucky I was to live at a time when a vaccine was finally available to keep me and most of the people I love, alive. Unfortunately, not soon enough for one of my relatives–he died of COVID recently.

    About Mighty and Meh–I am still struggling with my life, similarly to the way I struggled just before I met Mr. Sleazy–not mighty, alas. For me, feeling so deeply in love with him and completely believing he felt the same way toward me, set me free to accomplish mighty things I had not been able to do before. So learning that my cheater was leading a double life and that he was never committed to me, undermined my life progress in a way that I have not yet gotten over–projects almost finished, are still abandoned, and I am still fighting my inner resistance to taking them up again.
    BUT: I did some things I am proud of.
    When we were breaking up, I persuaded him to do a Hand-Parting ceremony, which is the Pagan version of divorce but it can also be used to terminate intense long term non-married relationships too. It really helped me to disengage from him emotionally and psychically. And I don’t think he realized how powerful the effect would be on him. It had the unexpected effect of preventing him from compartmentalizing away his real emotions about losing me, which meant that he experienced deep, gut-churning pain for at least a day or two. I did not take that opportunity to ask him to return to me, to abandon the OW–in fact I even encouraged him to stick with her, because I was afraid I might not have the sales resistance to reject him if he did come back to me, and I knew he was poison. So that at least was mighty.

    I heard a recording of him giving a lecture recently, and his voice sounded ugly and unattractive to me. It evoked no feelings of love at all. And in his pictures, I now see jadedness and dissipation in his eyes, and arrogance in his face, not the soulfulness and humility I used to think were there. It is like finally getting to see the hidden portrait of Dorian Grey. So, that is getting very close to Meh.

    I’m not mighty yet, but I am struggling to get there. I am longing to finish my projects, to sell my house, to adopt a little girl and go back to the country I grew up in, to break through the inner barriers holding me back. The closest I am getting, is that I am starting (or was, before the pandemic) to get a handle on my financial life, paying off debts and making my business more profitable. I’m trying really hard to be a better person too, but again, struggling to get there, not there yet–to be more reliable, more diligent, more energetic, to follow through and complete things and keep all my commitments to friends and family. But so far, the struggle is all that is evident, not the results.
    So, not so mighty. But I am so grateful to have another chance to grow, trying not to mess it up.

  • Whenever I do a mighty check, I’m awed by the stories here. Forgive me for not responding to each of you, but please know that I read every single comment. Your stories keep this site alive. It’s so powerful to have a compendium of proof, that the other side is real and that we are more resilient than we know.

    You guys amaze and inspire me every day. THANK YOU.

    • I strongly believe that I would have been stuck trying to solve his problems rather than building my new life without Chump Lady! People who have not experienced it don’t get it, you do CL and you still keep committing your time and energy to helping others. Proudly a recovering Chump 🙏🙏🙏🙏🙏🙏🙏🙏🙏🙏🙏

  • We’ve been trying to settle property for three years. I have an early email from him saying “I am going to drag this out as long as it takes to get what I’m entitled to”. I’m buying him out of the house.

    Then covid hit, and hoping this would send house prices down, it sent them the other way through the roof. Not great for our settlement. Long story short, he finally conceded that my 24% shareholding in the family business was worth about the same as his half of my retirement fund (he doesn’t have one despite my asking him to for years). Meanwhile, covid made my fund shoot up an extra $40k over and above what he was “entitled to”. So that balanced it out, I’m paying him out $25k more than the top figure I expected to owe him (thanks covid) but silver lining is the settlement is about $150k less than he was aiming for.

    I have no idea how I’m going to service this mortgage, at 50. But I have a home for me and my kids, and that’s all that matters.

  • Just completed the second semester of my Masters of Social Work. Pretty sure I got all As. Then I got in the car and drove from Columbus, Ohio to Boston so I can witness the birth of my first grandchild. Still waiting for labor to start, but I have two weeks here, so am hopeful. She is due on the 30th.
    I am learning, growing and being an awesome Mom and soon to be grandmom. Go me!

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