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Leave a Cheater, Change Your Surroundings

Today’s Friday challenge is a riff on yesterday’s post about selling the family home.

How did you change your surroundings in your new life? Did you burn the bed linens? Throw out all the shit in their closet? (That they didn’t pick up… because of course.) Paint a wall until it sang?

Speaking of freedom from fuckwits, a very happy Juneteenth to everyone!

(To our non-U.S. readers — or the majority of us who weren’t taught about Juneteenth in our history books — June 19 was the day that word reached Texas in 1865 of Lincoln’s Emancipation Proclamation, freeing enslaved African-Americans — that happened 2.5 years earlier.)

TGIF! Especially if you have the day off today celebrating our new holiday. (Mr. CL and I do, thus the tardiness of this post.)

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.
  • A few days after the divorce was final I moved with my two dogs from Florida to California.

    And since you mentioned the bedsheets, they all got donated to the local animal shelter.

    • I divorced my older sister Sharon today. 8 years divorced. Tomorrow will be 9 years free from the fuckwad.

      I couldn’t be more pleased. Tables turned now. Angels from heaven saved me yet again from another mistake.

      • I am two years of no contract with my very toxic younger brother. It is sad but also liberating.

        • I haven’t talked to my younger sister since I figured out she slept with my cheating husband. The third AND the first. I don’t think she slept with the second because he preferred men of the cloth. Over three years now. I probably never will talk to her again. Thats a good thing.

      • Needed to see this today, my mom dumped for the umpteenth time. This time it was over me not attending me a cousin’s pandemic wedding last fall; I was supposed to risk my health to drive across 3 states and attend a large and at the time illegal party for a person who never bothered to come to any event for my kids in over 30 years, she even declined an invitation to be in my wedding years ago and didn’t even tell me my mom did. Now, my mom is turning 80 in a month and I struggling with whether or not to grovel and beg to be “forgiven” and let back into the family. I hope I can find your strength to do the right thing……

  • I left my fuckwit witth the house we bought together that he refused to ever make a home in. I got an apt with my kids in a kick ass school district. We finally sold said house after we moved his hoard out. I actually felt guilty about not buying again and that post kicked it up for me but I LOVE my apartment and the amenities. I love not having to worry about fixing stuff. I am close to being an empty nester with kids starting their sophmore and junior years in high school. I am not wild about where I live for me but it is perfect for my kids. When I am done with the high school years the world is my oyster! I have a job where I can live ANYWHERE I WANT IN THE WORLD. I have no clue what post kids will bring but I am free and my life is simple in the housing department. We have a lovely huge apt we rent on a high floor with lovely views and no snow removal (hello garage parking) I am good to heal. These are the figure it out and raise the kids 90% on my own years.

    • YES!!

      My daughter was accepted at our local high school for the arts this fall as a freshman. We are talking about moving to London if she were to get accepted at Central Saint Martin’s.

      ANYTHING I WANT!
      ANYWHERE IN THE WORLD!

      I am feeling major excitement at creating my Ultimate Bucket List.

      • Velvet, what a momentous occasion for you and your dear daughter. Congratulations on her successes.

        “Anywhere I want. Anywhere in the world.” My new motto!

        • I got certified to teach ESL and vowed to take the first job offer overseas (Which was long time dream of mine -and what I thought was also the DOCTOR’s–because that’s what he said and you know, to help people…)

          My therapist reminded me that I “could still achieve some of my goals in modified form”, despite the divorce. That was TRUE!

          I decided I would only accept a job that allowed me to take my dog (the family dog). Many countries would not and the journey to some places would be too much for my dog, so I threw it up to chance.

          The NEXT DAY I got an offer in Poland, which wasn’t even on my radar. (I knew almost nothing about Poland either).

          I liked the people and I loved the randomness of the selection. So off we went.

          It was the craziest &bravest thing I ever did.

          Totally immersed myself in a different culture, was a “foreigner” for the first time in my life, and I got very attached to my students.

          ZERO reminders of the DOCTOR.

          Kids visited me my first Christmas and we spent it in France. I travelled to 7 countries before the pandemic. My dog seemed to thrive – seriously.

          Built my confidence in a hundred little ways and then in some big ways. I made new friends who never knew me as a married woman. My healing leaped forward.

          Best thing I ever did for myself. Best compliment I ever got was from my youngest child, who told me I was a “badass” for doing it. My kids seem to see me in a different light now, and so do I.

          I’m not a victim of a cheater – I am a survivor of trauma and abuse and

          I am a FREE WOMAN.

          • I chose & loved our bed, but…

            I got a brand new mattress and gave away the very expensive one we had before.

            My back and my ass hurts less now.

            Enough said.

          • I love this so much! I feel excited for you just reading it!
            How long ago was D day? Just wondering how long it took you to get to this bad ass point.

          • All I can say is “WOW,” Dr.’s Ex-wife! That is just awesome. And fiercely brave. And radical. And independent. And rad. And wonderful! And inspiring! Thank you for your story!

          • I love this. I’m getting my MA TESOL right now and once my kids are old enough I’d love to be an ex-pat ANYWHERE and teach English. Thank you for this inspiration. And OMG did you learn POLISH??!!

          • Wow! That is an idea I never had before. Teaching ESL! I want to get out of my current high stress career by the time I am 60 but don’t want to quit working yet. (I’m half Polish ancestry but don’t speak a word). What a badass thing you did! Tucking this idea in my back pocket. 🙂

    • Once I got my settlement money I built my very own tiny house and I moved in last week. It’s lovely and ALL MINE. every thing in it was my decision alone and it’s wonderful to be able to spend my money the way I wish. To live anywhere without consulting anyone. I’m living on my friends farm and I have a mountain view. I also sold his antique furniture that he left when he left but the very The best revenge was to create a life that is the all mine.

  • I sold his prize Clive Custler books for a $1 each. Special fishing rods, he never used $1, numerous leather jackets $1. The only thing I keep of him was his ashes. Still not sure what I will do with those.

    • I picked up a Clive Custler book in translation as a beach read in Italy. I remember thinking “This is so badly written – why couldn’t they find a better translator?” Then I skimmed one in English and realized that the translation was, in fact, better than the original.

      I used to spend weeks every summer with my (now-ex) in-laws, hot and bored while lying on a beach, but even so I couldn’t choke down another Clive Custler.

    • “the only thing I keep of him was his ashes. Still not sure what I will do with those.”

      If it was me, I’d bin them. 😈😂😈

      • No, Chumpnomore6! She should spread those ashes somewhere they’ll do something growing some good. Probably more good than the bum ever did in life!🤣

    • Klootzak detests cats. I have often thought I would request to have his ashes scattered at a big cat sanctuary. lol That would give him too much attention, though. Since he craves so much kibble and centrality, I would give him none when he is gone. I would get permission to scatter the ashes in the middle of nowhere special. No ceremony. No words. Scatter and leave full of meh as though I had tossed out a used tissue.

        • He was listed as klootzak in my phone until my son saw it. I claimed the phone had gone crazy and made a typo, as I didn’t want him looking into it. But in my head all I call him is klootzak. I may mess up and say it aloud someday. lol

          • Lol yes I had to do the same with my ex. Turned her name from something profane to “kids’ mom.”

    • The toilet seems an appropriate place for his ashes. Easily accessible. In-line with other items that get flushed there. It’s a win-win.

      • An excellent idea – however, it will most likely plug up the toilet and it’s expensive to repair. And clean up.

        Almost sounds like I’ve tried it, doesn’t it?!?

      • If you can’t talk yourself into binning it, then please return the ashes to his relatives so it’s their problem or ask someone you know to get rid of them. The most important thing is to get that thing out of your house!

  • I kept the martial home but if that fat mess that I was married to touched it I binned it .

    I mean everything from beds , curtains , flooring bath tub , to plates and spoons .

    I decorated from top to bottom I’d have been cheaper moving and taking nothing with me but I love my house and I could afford to buy him out

    I feel at peace in MY house

    • I burnt my wedding picture when I moved into my new home. Get the clusterfuck out and not let it in again. Angels surround me now. Be at peace.❤️

    • Same! If there was any association with him I donated it or threw it out. Pictures, gifts, silverware, Christmas ornaments, jewelry, clothing, all of it. Out. I also had a house fire which took care of anything I might have missed. So cathartic!

      • Mighty, Chumpedonthewayout. Leave it to a chump to call a disaster like a house fire, following the destruction of life as she knew it, cathartic! This tells you something. Many things, actually. One of which is that chumps are resilient, optimistic, flexible and resourceful – as evidenced in all of the comments in this challenge.

        I think we have been all of these mighty things all along, even if we couldn’t see it or own it. Even if we have it away to unworthy fuckwits who took us for granted and took advantage of us. We lived with cheaters, most of whom had personality disorders. We lived with abuse. We obviously didn’t expect life to be perfect and were willing to sacrifice and compromise, and we obviously had a lot of integrity and compassion. It’s just that we had to learn a tough lesson in reciprocity; we had to stop pouring ourselves into a black hole for anything to come of our efforts and care.

        No wonder chumps have the tendency to catastrophize, when we’ve experienced painful failure after failure in spite of our best efforts. There was nothing wrong with what we wanted or who we were. We were just “looking for love in all the wrong places.” If only we could have seen sooner that we were trapped in a pattern, and that trying “everything” wasn’t the answer. I had to learn and accept the truth about the cheating and lying and abuse in order to access the strength and clarity I needed to let go.

        Sorry for getting off track! Fire comment sparked a rant that has been building all week.

        • Don’t apologize, this was very deep, and helpful to me (and others, I’m sure). It explains the sadness I sometimes still feel, over all that wasted effort!
          Got to let it go.

  • We are living the former marital home of my new husband (a Chump). It wasn’t our first choice, but there are children involved, so we decided to stay. It wasn’t easy, but we took back the house room by room. One of the things we decided to do was completely change the decor style and color story. We went from Ethan Allen Precious to Modern Practical. From Lady Bountiful-inspired pastels to saturated teals, browns, and copper.

    Heck, I love a good piece of Ethan Allen furniture, but this was about mental health. We needed to move our home from the previous vibe because it felt like one of those Grimm Fairy tales where the wicked witch lives in the candy house and eats children. Now our walls sing, and we are starting to take back the exterior.

    • That made me laugh! The Wicked Witch candy house 🤣 I’m sure we all can relate!
      I think your redecorating sounds delightful, (I hate pastels) and sometimes it’s better to stay put, and change things to your style. Good for you.

  • Left our marital home. Finally able to sell after two years because he would not sign deed (got a judge to appoint someone to do it without him). When the movers came to move me out I left his shit for a trash removal company to take. When the movers asked about the king size bed I said leave it, it slept with other women in it. I bought a narc free bed and a much smaller home that could be cleaned in a fraction of the time that our oversized marital home that he had to have but never did a thing to keep it up except fill with his hoard.

  • I moved 125 miles away from the ex fucktard, before the Decree Absolute, to the gorgeous county of Northumberland.

    I was *so* lucky to find an adorable little house, and spent some of the money I got in the financial settlement buying furniture, a bed, and systematically donating every single thing that had the slightest association with ex Fuckwit to charity shops.

    Now there is *not one single thing* in my home that has any association with that fucker.

    The walls sing! 🎶😊🎶

    • I too moved to my new home far enough away from my ex wife. I’m sat here now enjoying the sun with the summer air coming off the Irish Sea onto the Scottish coast, the sun shining over the Scottish hills and just enjoying how far I’ve come in the past 12 months. This time last year I had just discovered her affairs and had just filed for divorce and now freedom from that mess. I thankfully have nothing to do with my previous life with her in my home. Cheers to a fresh start 🍷

    • Northumberland!!! You lucky Chump! I have friends on Holy Island and my favourite shop in the world, Barter Books, is there. Still not sure if I’d move back up from Cornwall …

      • Cornwall is lovely too; spoiled for me though, because it was the last trip we took in our mobile home before Dday. Sigh. I’d love to see it again; perhaps, like CL “taking back Paris”, I might.

        Holy Island I love, haven’t been there for many years, but once covid restrictions are fully lifted, I’ll go again.

        I really do think Northumberland is the most beautiful place in England, and I feel so lucky to live here.

        I don’t know Barter Books, last time I was there was when I was at Durham, many years ago. But since I adore/worship books, when I get back to Holy Island, deffo going there! 📚😊

  • Does this count?

    6 weeks after the divorce was finalised, I got promoted at work, which saw me get a significant pay rise (think £10K plus) and a big lift in my pension benefits. Because she had agreed to aclean break, she didn’t see a penny of any of it.

    It was really hard work covering off a longer working day and expanded responsibilities as well as caring for the kids (she left them with me as they would have got in the way of her fantastic new life with her AP), but it was worth it ….. if only because it undermined her narrative about me being useless.

    LFTT

    • Ralph Lauren River Rock paint….it actually has ground stone in it and looks like it…”Garden Wall” is in my bathroom. It’s a pain in the ass to apply but the results are spectacular….

  • I bought my own house…first house I’ve ever owned on my own. Despite me making and contributing a lot more money ex always considered it “his” house because he bought it a month before my kids and I moved in.

    Douchebag kept pretty much all of the tools and appliances that he never uses anyway. It’s fine….I still make twice as much as his broke ass so I bought my own stuff.

    I purposely chose a house in their school district at the time with a small yard so cutting grass is no big deal, especially with the great battery powered mower I bought.

    I make 6 figures my job rocks, I work at home, and I’m 19 years younger then broke ass limp dick ex so I have a lot more money making years.

    My boys, now 20 and 18, have really stepped up their contributions to home care now that they don’t hide in their rooms to avoid douchbag.

    I decorate anyway I damn well please and my fish (75 gallon tank), 3 cats, and cockatiel don’t care as long as they eat and get some attention.

  • The first week, I bought new bedding, curtains, throw rugs and shower curtain. All big bright colors. When he came back die a “talk” he was surprised. The next week I planted bright blooming flowers (it was spring). Within 4 months I sold the beach cabin where he was living. Within 6 months I moved to a condo on a lake near our son and grandkids. Cleared out, painted and sold the family home within a year. Bought and remodeled a condo on the lake within 18 months. Yes-it is important to change environment even if it means new bedspread, sheets whatever you can afford.

  • The most important change I made to my surroundings is that I moved. My ex proposed a lowball number for either of us buying the other out of the house. He wanted me to buy it, but thought saying the deal would apply to either one of us would make me more likely to buy it. Well, I didn’t buy it, because I had been the one taking care of it for years, monitoring it for repairs and upkeep, and having to convince him every time money needed to be spent. I knew exactly how much work was needed (some of it substantial), and how much it was likely to cost (a lot!), so I told him I wanted him to buy me out. I lost some money on the house (and came out with a bit less than 50% of assets), but it was a price I was willing to pay for the freedom I was buying by making this deal.

    Because we’d been married 35 years, my income was going down by half (we earned the same amount), I was looking at retirement in a few years, and I was scared to death I wouldn’t make it financially, I decided to rent for a couple of years while I got my feet under me and decided where I might want to live long term after retirement. I also wanted to get out of the marital home asap after I told him I wanted a divorce, and arranging for a rental would take less time than buying.

    I lucked into a large, sunny, inexpensive apartment, all utilities except cable (but with central air), with a fireplace and large garage space in a house owned by the university where I taught (now retired), that turned out to be perfect for me. I took with me only the furniture and artwork that I inherited or paid for out of my own money (the money for any extra work we did on top of our basic salaries, which went into the joint account, we kept for ourselves).

    I had not rented since I was in my 20s, and we’d owned a house for almost 40 years, and I worried about giving up the autonomy of owning a house, but I have discovered that I like not having the responsibility for upkeep and repair, or feeling an obligation to “improve the property.” The university physical plant workers mow the lawn and shovel the snow, and there are specialist electricians and plumbers if there’s a problem. I knew all the physical plant workers already, and I feel like whatever improvements I make, either touching up paint or planting and mulching outside, or shoveling my walk when it snows, are gratefully acknowledged by these already over-burdened physical plant workers who otherwise would do this work or worry about the condition of the house.

    I’ve been here over three years now. That’s one year more than I had planned, but…pandemic. Now that the country’s opening up, I’m beginning to feel the pressure to figure out where I’m going next, and whether to buy or rent. Real estate prices are sky-high everywhere, so although I’d planned to buy, I will either stay where I am another year, or move to a rental in a new city.

  • I had 24hrs to flee a very dangerous and abusive situation that literally left me bloody, battered and bruised all because smoochie didn’t call him when he was expecting her. I moved me and my kids out of a 4 bedroom 4,000 sqft home just taking what was ours while he was in jail for battery to an undisclosed small old apartment. I sobbed when I walked in so sad thinking that I was “loosing”, when in reality, I was very much winning. We love our little apartment! It’s been 4 yrs with tears, setbacks but a whole lot of healing and growth. It’s the happy place on earth and we all love it! Everyone that visits says the same thing…it’s happy, loving, comfortable, HEALTHY AND SAFE! It’s a clear projection of how me and my kids are now compared to then. Cheers to surviving and finding your safe place❤️

    • Congratulations on your courage and resilience! I must admit, however, that it makes my blood boil that you and four kids had to move while a jailed jackass has the run of the family home.

      I am glad you and your kids are all thriving.

    • I hate your X for you 😡
      What a monster, I hope he enjoys his DV record.
      But see? You were the strong one, and you saved yourself and your kids! Happy life, and I’ll bet your place is beautiful and full of peace.

  • Sold our “dream” property which was mortgage free at 1.5 mil,this past January,(ding dong was apparently saying “ she has that priced way too high…yep sold full asking to a cash buyer… got the ocean front 2nd home in Nova Scotia also mortgage free, he took schmoopie there so I burned a sage smudge all over that place and wow the energy is new and positive and mine! Caveat….the home is surrounded by all of ding dongs extended family whom have expressed great joy that I got that house and have welcomed me in with open arms! I see and have taken trips, had parties with and continue a grand relationship with these folks! Hasta la vista baby😎

  • I bought a new bed and repainted the bedroom in colors he would never have liked. I took great pleasure in rearranging the main closet, bathroom, and linen closet to be useful. (Sloth and hoarding tendencies had reduced the space available to my use over time . . . inch by inch his collections and heaps had reduced all the useable space in our home, garage, and shed.) Kids who had shared a room now got their own room because without Jackass demanding his own office (which he never used except to stuff things into), there was space for them to have their own rooms. I parked my car in the garage (despite having a double garage, there was never room for a vehicle in it during our marriage because his boat and his motorcycle and other unused stuff took every inch.)

    Basically, without moving, my house tripled in size.

  • Knowing the impulsive side effects of trauma and grief before I got whapped with the infidelity stick, I have proceeded with caution when flinging belongings.

    One notable example was the 5K Hawaiian bracelet featuring the Mokolua Islands in Lanikai, my Hawaiian home, purchased during the Weird Bizarre Awkward Fake Wreckonciliation Christmas there a month or so after DDay. It is inscribed with ho’oponopono, in Hawaiian. The Hawaiian healing prayer. It arrived from the jeweler in Kailua after he had moved out. WTF do I do with this?! A very wise friend told me to put it away.

    It took me about three years to realize that he had not really bought it for me. I picked it out. I thought up the inscription and had it inscribed. All he had to do with it was hand me our debit card to pay for it. Many chumps may get the crazy denial-y fact that I actually projected the sentiment onto that bracelet that this was a romantic gesture on his part toward me.

    Lanikai is MY place. My daughter’s place. He was there with us but not as I thought.

    I wear my bracelet now and the next time I am there I am going to have a ceremony at the house and on the beach and at Island Snow and at Costco in Hawaii Kai purifying that place for us.

    I am all for launching things but I also think balancing it with a degree of caution is important.

    • VH, having run to Lanikai 3 times now to get away from my now X-FW, I completely agree – that’s yours! I hope you can get back there soon for your Ho’opono. I’ve found so much healing there.

      • Don’t miss a full moon rising over the Mokes. Stop by Neiman Marcus and pick up an aloha shirt by my dear friend, designer Amos Kotomori. Haupia from Diamond Head Market….Savers thrift store….Island Snow for shave ice with the Obamas….the farmer’s market downtown on Thursdays….I love Oahu. We are planning a trip there as soon as we can.

    • Hi Velvet:

      I grew up in Hawaii, and have been to some Ho’oponopono ceremonies, the traditional way. They are very, very hard. In the ones I’ve been to everyone speaks their piece, honestly, to restore the integrity of the family life, which is off balance. Through truth one gets there, and it is painful. It has to do with being upright, an upright person in a moral and emotional sense. You could not have picked a better or more sacred word for your bracelet. I love to think of it shining on your arm. You earned it.

  • I need to pick a nit with the way Juneteenth is depicted. No fault to CL. Juneteenth is typically explained as the day Texans learned that the South had lost the war fought to end chattel slavery.

    Texan, here, and Juneteenth was not the day that word arrived in Texas about the emancipation proclamation. Texas Confederates knew very well that they were to free their slaves in 1862 – there is record of that in Texas newspapers of the day. Juneteenth is the day that Gen. Granger sailed into Galveston with Army troops to compel Texas Confederates to finally obey federal law. The army brought their guns and staffed military outposts when they arrived. Not only did Granger’s officers read the proclamation and orders aloud in several places, but the troops were present to enforce emancipation.

    The reading of Juneteenth history as the day clueless Texans and their enslaved men, women and children were told that emancipation was law is yet another example of making slave traders appear as if they respected the union and the emancipation and were just waiting for the wheels of bureaucracy to squeal to a stop in their town. Texas confederates had fought to keep the enslaved, and they were taking advantage of their distance to continue the institution. Juneteenth was the day they finally had to comply with the law, though they obeyed the letter of it and not the spirit.

  • I moved across town and took very little with me. I bought almost all new furniture. I didn’t want anything except my personal belongings and a few pieces of furniture that were family heirlooms. And of course I took my beloved cat Mo. I rented a great little apartment that 5 years post divorce I still live in and call home. I miss having a yard. I was an avid gardener. I plant a few tomato plants in pots on my balcony and that is enough for me! I like the freedom of living how I want to live without the worry of clogged gutters, leaky faucets and broken water heaters. The only downside is that schmuck of an ex husband and schmoopie (our next door neighbor he was screwing for over a year ) bought a house exactly 1 mile from me! What an a-hole! I will honestly say it was rough at first. I felt like i was being watched or something. Ive never ran into either of them for the 5 years Ive been divorced so now I could care less

    • I had to bury my mother on the jerks birthday. When to uncle Steve’s house to mourn. I had to have a cake for his birthday little did I know I’d be posting on Chumplady.

      I put gone to heaven. Skip a couple years forward and his mother dies. My favorite uncle Steve is the fuckwads best friend and my sister Sharon.

      You can’t make the hard truth up. It is better than fiction.

      I’m enjoying my home but I had to bury my father and daughter Joy.

      I just figured out a business to start and I see a beautiful life ahead of me. When it’s opened I will tell you.

      Sign me better days ahead.

  • Two years before DDay, we both retired and sold our house so that we could follow our dream of living on our sailboat and cruising around the world. My dream anyway. His dream was to stop at every bar and liquor store along the way, and stay at every marina known to be a party spot. And, it seems, fuck other women. I was far away from “home” and any community I once had. No job, no church, no car, no home other than that sailboat which was getting smaller by the day as he ramped up his devaluation and discard. DDay came in the middle of hurricane Irma, and it took a few weeks for the flood waters to recede — the docks were under water; the marina was under water. The boat floated.

    I “Pick Me Polkaed” for about six weeks while the city dried out, Enterprise moved in some rental cars that hadn’t been flooded and I moved my money to where he couldn’t get it. (We’d started out equal, but he had spent all of his retirement savings and had amassed significant credit card debt. I’ll never know where all that money went.” Meanwhile, I got increasingly angry. One night I tried to rent a car and, miraculously, the transaction went through! Finally! The next morning I left with what I could carry and the dog. I drove a thousand miles to my best friend’s farm, and there I stayed until the divorce was final. Then I got a job and started saving money. It was never a matter of ridding the house of things he had touched; it was starting over with some beat up sailing clothes that I trashed as I could afford replacements and a few other odds and ends. Now I own my own condo and am slowly furnishing it with things *I* chose.

    I feel pretty mighty.

  • I sold the family home and moved my family across the country to start a brand new life. Best decision I ever made. I don’t think “meh” would have come as soon without doing this

  • Many big black garbage bags of his abandoned hoarded crap went out with the trash.

    Some of his “collection” had value so I sold it on eBay. Made a tidy sum!

  • I hated our dishes so after he left every time I used any I would throw them in the garbage instead of washing them. It gave me great pleasure as it served as a twice daily “fuck you” fuckwit. Once they were all gone I bought new ones.

  • I bought her out of the house after much spiteful drama on XW part. With the help of my sons we nearly gutted the place! Rearranged walls to create a beautiful second bath, more closet space and some classy built-ins. Refinished hardwood floors and carpet.
    Best of all, she never set foot in it again.
    Two years later with the kids college, I married another chump and we lived in the freshly remodeled home for a year. We sold it for a very, very nice profit and moved back to her home in Napa for the fairy tale ending.

  • Mr. Cheater called an online auction company to schedule the sale of all of the house furniture that he assumed I’d leave behind. In his dimwitted way, he assumed he could auction off all of my really nice mid century furniture that I had carefully collected. My business is furniture, so I had purchased the precious pieces through my business. For legal clarification, the pieces did rotate in and out of my shop. My home was just my ‘storage unit’ until I would switch things up. Anyway, as he smugly calculated how much money we would split from the sale of said AWESOME pieces, (all the while hooking up like a banchee via Match.com) I, single handedly, moved all of my pieces to storage, leaving him more than enough to set up housekeeping, but pieces that had no value. He never could appreciate the unbelievably fabulous home I created for our family, practically out of nothing. (Since he saw no value in quality). Granted, it is my thing, but while he licked his chops for whatever $$ he would get, Mrs. Ex swiftly and carefully moved all her good stuff out and away. I know it might sound petty, but I did, and still do, feel a little triumphant about that swift action. I made lots of bad decisions, but buying my own furniture that would rotate in and out of my shop was a small, yet brilliant decision.
    He could have opposed it, I suppose, but he was in such a hurry to move in with the woman who was supporting him, he just drove off after the house closing and after plying me with one more doozy of a lie. He also kidnapped the dog and left me petless.
    Done and Done.

    • I love mid century furniture too! My favorite chair I found with a neighbor put it out at the curb on trash day! I practically broke my neck running over there to grab it! It’s sooooo comfortable, beautiful teak, and I made new seat covers for it.

  • I loved our martial home. And I considered keeping it with my lawyer. Instead, I rented a townhome for about a year until I found a cute little home in a cool neighborhood and began to make it mine.

    It was a gift from above that this is the same neighborhood as my parents’. I see my father walking his dog past my house regularly and have borrowed a cup of sugar (and lawn mower) often.

    I did not try to make this happen; just the perfect house showed up near them. It feels like a blessing.

    • That is awesome for you Tall One! My brother’s renters broke their lease at the precise time that I needed to move from cheater, just this past April. His rental is next door to him and has been the BEST thing to happen to me and my kids. I feel the support I need to stay away from cheater this time and I feel safe because family is so close. It’s amazing to get reacquainted with my family. I realize now how much cheater separated me from them. Enjoy this time being close to your family! God works is mysterious ways!

      • I do not know if this comment is too late for anyone to read, but being separated from your family by a narcissist – that really hit home to me. My husband really did criticize my family. He would talk with him when he wanted to— then criticize them. He does this with the kids too. I have learned this is a way he drives people apart. But my siblings and parents are so amazing and have been here for me throughout the awful past 3 years. (D day 3 yes ago, separated 2 years ago, still not divorced fe my gay human and who is using the court system as a weapon to punish while he hides assets and manipulates our kids.) regarding my siblings, It makes me so sad about the past, but grateful to still have time to reconnect with them in the future.

        • Sorry so many typos and autocorrect weird words in that!

          The parenthetical part should have been:
          Dday 3 years ago, separated 2 years ago, still not divorced from my gay husband who is using the court system as a weapon to punish while he hides assets and manipulates our kids.

  • My son was only in third grade when Mr. Sparkles discarded us for the OW. I owned our marital home (or at least the mortgage) and he had a poor credit score from his first marriage (red flag #456).. I decided to stay so that I could provide stability for my son – not having to change schools – and for me because my support network is here.

    I gave Mr. Sparkles our bedroom furniture because that bed was nothing but bad memories for me. A week later my best friend offered to repaint my bedroom and help me redecorate… and burn sage! I’ve subsequently done two bathroom upgrades, installed an outdoor patio and hot tub, and pretty much redecorated and painted every room… over seven years. I love upcycling… I love nice things… I love that I get to make the choices… I love that he hasn’t “lived” in the HOME that I have created… but that my son and I have built together. My walls sing (but if you could do something about the birds at 4:30am, that’d be great!)

    Rock on Chump Nation – embrace change, embrace the adventure.

    • This makes me feel good. I love the home and want to keep it not just for the stability for my son but because I have dreams of what I can do with it on my own. I’ll burn some sage and move on. I have a bathroom renovation to do and some carpet and hardwood flooring to install. Can’t wait for my house to be fully MY house. Thank goodness for an outstanding credit score and ability to handle the mortgage for it… even if I have to buy him out on a high appraisal.

  • I kept the marital home. It was the last home my dad(a contractor) built before he retired and the only home my kids knew.

    But…I got a dog that I wanted (a black lab who lived in the house) and our outdoor cat decided he wanted to be an indoor cat. I bought a litter box, cat litter and a fancy dish for him. I immediately tossed the mattress and bought new bedding.

    The gender neutral wallpaper in the master bath (that I always hated) gone and the walls painted lavender.

    The boys decorated their rooms how they wanted and we redid their bathroom.

    Yes, it was the house we lived in as a couple but once he was gone, I made it into the home I wanted.

  • I was abandoned by e-mail (after 28 years married) in a huge, broken house in the spring of 2017. After it was clear there was no going back I turned into a military general and grabbed ahold of my life situation as if going to war.

    Within 3 weeks of D Day I had an auction company pick up everything of value and then gave away or trashed the rest. I kept only one chest full of sentimental kid things and moved to an apartment. I then spent 4 months alone, fixing the family home in preparation for sale–paint carpet, plumbing, heating issues, roof, yard; an enormous amount of work. In the asset split I leveraged the X’s guilt and negotiated some money to my side for having to manage the repairs and disposal of our material lives while he was hundreds of miles away fucking a ho-worker half our age. Within 6 months of D Day the divorce was final.

    2 months after that I bought my own adorable home that I have filled with things that fit me. I retired at age 50 in 2019, something I had been planning to do since I was 20 but figured was another dream lost upon his nuclear destruction of my life. Nope, I pulled that off too, walking into my own future free of that colossal fucknut.

    Looking back I am amazed at my own “mighty” but I know that the aggressive forward motion and making big changes for myself is what kept me alive. His abandonment put everything in his control at first– he unilaterally decided to ruin everything– and I reacted to that with a fierce sense of self protection. In my devastated state I still recognized that he was a conflict avoidant, passive aggressive escapist man-child who wanted to go screw around with a chick our daughter’s age, so I had to act fast to “let him” go live out his adolescent dreams and leverage whatever fleeting guilt he might have had about it. I am still stunned that I was able to do what was necessary every day for my own protection.

    I am still mourning my former life but things have gotten better. At least my surroundings are 100% mine, he will never set foot here, and my kids are also NC with him. I am grateful.

    • Very impressive! We can do so much, when backed into a corner, and we have to fight our way out!
      Those golden months where the FW is in a trance of Lurv, are the time to get moving! Glad you were so successful.
      X will never set foot in my house, either. My youngest son was the one who looked me in the the eye, and told me No- he doesn’t get to come there, ever.

    • There should be a seminar or class on steps to take when you are being discarded. Maybe a volunteer organization where former chumps can guide newbies? So many chumps are afflicted with the deer in headlights syndrome. Now I.C. as much pain as you were in you still moved quickly to get to the other side intact. Moving quickly and taking the right steps is critical but far too many chumps do not make any moves (in shock or hoping cheater will come to his/her senses) or wait too long. If the cheater is a somewhat normal person, playing on their guilt or getting them while they are head over heels for the AP will benefit the chump but there is a small window of opportunity. The guilt will eventually subside and the head over heels can wane over time.

      • FreeWoman and KB22- ABSOLUTELY the #1 tip is to act fast to protect yourself but sadly it is the hardest thing to do if this is your first chump rodeo. Fortunately for me it was my second ride on the fuckwit bull- he had an affair 9 years earlier with a ho-worker and nearly destroyed the family, so when I got his toodle-loo fuck off e-mail (he moved out while I was on a business trip) it was pretty quick to go full meltdown and get in control of the situation.

        I tried with him only for 2 days and in the end begged him on my knees to work on things and when he smirked at me and refused, (lying about the OW discovered shortly after that), I was really just done. Something in me snapped and it was time to be rid of the childish, petulant asshat I had endured for 3 decades. With enormous sorrow, I found my deepest strength. The alternative was literal death.

        In my heartbreak I managed a scorched earth mindset as I liquidated our life. We Chumps know what the clean up is like, it is always left to us, and not only did I deal with all the physical stuff it was also left 100% to me to notify friends and relatives since he blew town, knowing I would be his chaos janitor as always. Family camping gear, kids toys and school projects, my wedding dress, every single item had to be touched, considered, and its future decided upon. I had to inform my parents that the son in law they knew was gone as I delivered my freezer full of meat to them. All of the stuff of my life had to be dispatched out into the world, and so was I, launched into my own.

        In the end I won out over his horrid abandonment and betrayal. He now is a useless flyspeck living thousands of miles away who eats single serving holiday dinners from tin foil trays and has to wonder if he has grandchildren. A cartoon of a man, an old goat chasing young ass, he will have company only until he is discarded when his wallet and his willy give out. I win.

        I fucking WON.

        No, still not at meh, but feeling very grateful for how I survived and grateful to Tracy for her work. She is the tutor we all need to read and where to send fellow Chumps, I mention her often when cheating comes up among friends in my life.

        • Eating TV dinners alone and wondering if he has grandchildren 👏🏻🤣 You definitely won !

        • I.C. You have filled me with inspiration this morning. You are truly Mighty.

          I’m in a good place. Bought him out of the house I love. Bought a nearly new BMW (much better than the car he stole from me). And bought my gorgeous, snuggly, delicious puppy. He disliked animals (huge red flag). I’m gradually making changes to the house and garden as I can afford them. At 61 and working 6 days a week, time is precious. No kids, and I spend much time alone. But it’s my time. If we had still been together, today I would have been coping with his miserable, hungover, grumpy, petulant face following the England v Scotland match last night. Saturday is mine!

  • Still working on the legal part, but changing my surroundings to a new home in a new town with a new job was the best thing I could have done.

  • It’s such a long story, to get our family home sold, where crazy FW made everything so hard, that I’ll spare you the details!
    But I did end up finally selling our family home, and bought a home in the country, because I thought that’s what I wanted. It was so incredibly beautiful there, but was so much harder than I pictured! I found out country life is not for me, maybe because I’m 66, and slowing down! So, I sold it last December, and moved back to be near my sons and granddaughter.
    I bought an adorable, small, city house, its just big enough for me, and my sons are 15 minutes away. I’m having fun fixing it up, and filling it with bright colors and bohemian furniture! I love design, so this is very entertaining for me.
    There’s no hoarding, or smoking, or bottles of booze. (X is an alcoholic)
    Just good food cooking, music I love, gardening, and visits from my kids and grand baby!
    Such an upgrade, and I’m protecting it like it’s my castle!

  • I sold my engagement ring and renovated the master bathroom. He had wanted the value of the ring counted against me in division of property – but NOPE. Gift before marriage so it didn’t count. Loser.

      • *I* went to one of those shops where they give you money in exchange for jewellery, didn’t get much, but that wasn’t a surprise, neither the rings nor the marriage were worth much. 😈🙄

  • My divorce is not final, but I moved into my rental house on New Year’s Eve. It is a tiny two bedroom, for me and my son. There is a yard, and a sunporch! I took a loan out from my retirement savings and bought almost everything new!! Everything to my taste, and it was so easy to move! Totally worth borrowing the money, for the peace I have in return.

    • Hehe very restrained. No inadequacy. Takes us all different ways. It’s really just doing what works to help you to gain a life.

    • 😂😈😂

      Well done you.

      Fucktard and Viagra… ex Fuckwit was too cheap to get Viagra (before it became universally available) but sent off for some sort of herbal equivalent. Bet the rat faced whore was disappointed. 😈🐀😂

  • This cartoon applies so replaced the bed & bed linens.
    Also sorted and sold his hoarded, duplicated purchases from when he would go ‘to the hardware store’ on random errands rather than tidy and find what he had. Bit like his approach to relationships really.

  • We did a lot of painting and new flooring into our new place. It took me a while to pull the trigger on a new bed. I had my brothers old one which I gave away. I choose the marital bed and thought I loved it but I did leave it behind. My brain seemed to want something similar to it but I found one that I truly love and bought it. I think of it as a heirloom and it makes me happy. I didn’t have drawers for years but inherited my parents and they all work well together.
    We left 7 ys ago and we’ll be divorced 5. The biggest change was in the past several months. I have a huge private backyard that I fenced for my dog. It was a blank slate. I knew what I wanted when I was married and I tried so hard to fix things alone with a lot of resentment on my end. He would literally walk by as I was putting things together sweating my ass off. I’m hating him right now for those times. Anyway he had me in court a couple of months ago and I decided not to be fearful and plan my yard. I now have beautiful raised beds. I laid pavers around and mulched the inside. I always wanted a tunnel for peas and flowers to grow over and connected it to two of the beds. I built one and it’s thriving.
    I hired a company to pour a concrete pad in the middle so we could sit out and view meteor showers clearly. My dad had two beautiful 9ft wrought iron scroll columns that were on the first house we lived in so I have a bit of my parents with me. I connected them to the concrete and put solar lights between.
    But the big thing is that I had my eye on a fire cauldron for a couple of years but it was out of budget. I still had my jewelry and the kids didn’t want it so I sold it and put it toward my cauldron.I spent the day with my son moving flower pots around it that were my moms and now get to plan and add flowers. I put together a deck box for the cushions and games then I sat out last night alone with the fire watching things light up including fireflies. My dog was as happy as I was. I completed what I wanted in a few months that 33 ys relationship/marriage couldn’t. At first I thought why couldn’t he ever help create something like this with me? I know he was never committed and just not capable. I get to add and make any changes I want. My kids love it too and always take pictures esp with the moon over.

    • Sounds gorgeous. They were not in our league, we are the doers, the dreamers and we don’t give up! I was always toiling by myself, too. At least my sons would help, but FW never would! Now my sons have valuable skills from building with me, and memories.
      Congratulations on your garden, I wish I could see that flower arch bloom!

  • I literally wrote my Masters thesis on this very topic! Post DDay, pre-discard day, during wreckonciliation! It was amazing, and lord I wish I had you guys as respondents!

    Brilliant. I knew there was a close connection between identity, discourses about “home is where the heart is,” emotion and affect. It was my biggest step in healing.

    And when he started internet dating, shopping for a new wife appliance. The kids tell me he was deeply resentful of my academic success. The first thing I did for myself in thirty years!

    First Class Honours.

    The taint was too much. He fucked them in my homes. I’m so much more content in a cute, wee character home of my choosing, decorated by ME, with nothing touched by whore, in a gorgeous new town.

      • Lol. Academic AF. Probably not a light read, chumpedchange. Can always send you the link if you are serious 🤣

        • Horses, i am an Indexer. Academic work is my speciality. I would really love to read it and see how you treated the subject and made it part of ” academic discourse”.. Bravo you! I did my own thesis on schoolyard gardens and eco-art. I presented my paper at the world environmental education conference “Earth Our Common Home”. I like that academia is opening up to admit the overlooked. And i bet you will be presenting your work in the wider world.

  • I had a good cry the day I left our marital home of 20 years, but found a good place to land. My dog and I moved into a small rental house with a big, fenced-in back yard for her to run around in. I’ve been here for three years now, and am planning to move in with my boyfriend once the renovations on his newly purchased house are complete. I don’t miss my former home or the fuckwit like I thought I would. My abandonment wound is still healing, but I realize I’m a lot better off now than I ever was with Cheater X.

  • I was renting when I kicked him out. So I threw out the mattress and sheets and got all new and completely rearranged all the furniture in every room. After a year of being free from him I had enough money to buy a house. It still amazes me how much money he was siphoning and I didn’t realize it.

    Life couldn’t be better! Alot is due to the education I received from this group!!

  • As soon as he announced he was moving out to be with Married Howorker, I told him, “If you think I’m living in this gigantic country house alone, making the mortgage payments on one income, and taking care of all of the property maintenance, you’ve got rocks for brains. I’m calling the realtor tomorrow”. The house sold and after a short transition period of living in an apartment, I bought myself a sweet little Cape Cod bungalow which I love even more than that beautiful “forever” marital home. Every single thing that belonged to him, included him, or even referenced him was either delivered to him, donated, sold, or thrown out. He has been erased.

  • Yesterday and today’s post are spot on timely for me. I’m in escrow for a couple more weeks–sold the beloved family home; owned for 25 years and only home kids have known so our surroundings have definitely changed. Stressing on whether I’ll ever be able to buy again. Eldest and I were able to rent a cottage a little over a mile from family home; both kids have just graduated from college and we’ve decided to live together for awhile until we’re all on our feet as we are dealing with big transitions.

    Having said all that, we’re still in the process of clearing out family home and moving into new place and the thing that is most unexpected so far is that I’m…ok. I thought I’d be torn up and crying because we really loved our home but Eldest is working from home and loves this new place as his room here is better situated for that. I’m finding that I’m anxious to get everything out of house and–I can’t believe I’m typing this–NOT go back there again. I hadn’t realized that, for me, even though I had boxed every single thing of his that he’d left and replaced his stuff with my stuff etc., he still lingered. Every time Eldest and I had to try to figure out how to take care of the pool, I’d get irritated that Fredo never told us how and didn’t have to worry about it. Every time I had a repair I’d simmer thinking ‘how great for him that he doesn’t have this concern’. The painting and projects he was supposed to do and didn’t made me seethe as I decided what I could and couldn’t do myself. The furniture I had there still had his stamp on it, even the place on the wall where we charted our kids growing every year on their bdays were marked in his writing. His invisible presence was like a never ending fart that just hung there fouling up and seeping into every square foot, and I didn’t realize it until I wasn’t breathing that air. I had thought I’d keep stuff from the house for new place to save money but have instead decided to replace as much as possible–in fact, I just this morning had my new mattress delivered and with some delay/mix up on the bed I’ll get that in a week. I’m starting to look for couches, which I never thought I’d do. There is still a lot of crap ahead to do and a couple of mountains to climb, but I couldn’t be more startled and maybe even hopeful with how I’m feeling about it all.

    • “His invisible presence was like a never ending fart that just hung there fouling up and seeping into every square foot”

      Bwahahahaha!

      • Changing the furniture will help. He always sat in the same spot on one couch, I couldn’t sit there at all and would feel annoyed if one of my children did, so I changed the sofa set (which he had chosen when it was bought) for a modular after 6 months and don’t have that irritation anymore. It’s worth doing what you can, even bit by bit, to free yourself of their lingering presence.

  • We had sold the beautiful old house that I loved, in a small town, because the jerk had said it was too far from work. It hurt, because I had kid memories and deceased pet memories tied up with that house, but I did it for him. He was cheating before we even moved in. It turned out that the bastard didn’t want to be closer to work, but closer to bars, his drinking buddies, and cheating opportunities. I cried over leaving my home so he could get drunk and cheat? Oh fuck that!

    So almost immediately after Dday, I started house shopping. I bought a house in a small community, with very large lots and access to thousands of acres of woods with trails. I live for walks in the woods. The house is in my name with no fuckwit in sight. My first house ever that’s all mine. 😀 Now I have even more of the peace, quiet, privacy and nature that I gave up for that POS. He owns nothing in this world but a used car and the shame of losing his family. I lovingly remodeled my home in my very specific personal style which he would have kicked up a fit about, and it soothes me just to look at it. Forge on, chumps! I’m loving all the stories.

  • This house was my ex’s dream house. He loved it. It made him feel important and fancy (though the home is really not fancy, at all). I don’t love the house but I love the location.

    So I kept the house. It is valued way above my mortgage, so I have quite a bit of equity. I am slowly painting and decorating in a style that I like. And every time he comes to pick up our kids he has to see me happily in his dream house. I’m petty like that.

  • I’ve got a tough situation with the family home. I don’t really want it, but I live in a country with a major housing crisis. I want to move back to the US so I’m sort of biding my time. I’m trying to save as much money as possible so I haven’t chucked out our furniture and things. Fuckwit basically left and took nothing but a few clothes, his sex toys and things that were romantic to us, e.g. his French poetry that he read to me that he now reads to her (yes, pathetic). I have thrown away some of the things he refused to collect and ever since then I get threatening letters from his lawyer telling me I’m not allowed to do anything with the chattels because they are jointly owned. It’s just one more layer of control he likes to hang over me – he won’t come and get the stuff or decide what he wants but threatens me if I do anything with it.
    Even after all of that though, my daughter and I have managed to make it our own. His hoards of paperwork are gone. I can use the garage now whereas before he had it looking like a horror house that I didn’t dare go in to (that’s where he hid his sex toys). I have the full walk in wardrobe to myself. It’s clean and clutter-free. About 3 months before DDay, STBX had a temper tantrum and said, “This house isn’t cool enough for me!” I was stunned. I’d never seen him act like that before. I grabbed him and said, “Gosh, if you feel that way let’s put this place on the market and move. You work hard, you deserve to love our home.” I was always saying things like this to him to make him feel better. Truth is, he just didn’t care about me, my daughter and our life together. So, in a way, he rejected this house along with us. He just used it as a place to store his sex toys, get a meal, have his clothes washed and have the facade of a family life when it suited him. He didn’t value us or this house. What that means for me is that it was never really his – all he wants out of it is the money and the enormous amount that it is now that the housing market is off the charts. One of his parting shots when he left was that now he can go and make another family with his OW because she’s younger than me. Fine. Fuck you. Leave me and this house alone. We are working on finalizing property but he won’t disclose some of his investments so it’s holding it all up.
    I can’t wait for the day I can buy myself a nice two bedroom apartment or house and make it my own, back in my own country with my family. Being in a holding pattern is really hard.

  • —First move was alllllll new lingerie. Made me feel wonderful.

    —Wedding china hurled, piece by piece, against the side of a dumpster. Satisfying!

    —Gradually have replaced the towels, everyday dishes, glassware, silverware.

    —But the most significant thing was just getting the idiot gone. Finally, that was the thing that made this place a true home.

  • I told him to take the bed. I did not want anything to do with it. I bought a nice new one.

    I moved into an apartment in our university district and decorated it how I wanted and it looks so nice and there’s no teenager style posters or stuffed animals thumb tacked to my walls. And it stays so clean! And the most amazing Pad Thai I’ve ever had in my life is a block away. I’m on the third floor and there’s no elevators but I’m getting back into fantastic shape. I got one of those little carts so I can walk to do my grocery shopping and laundry.

    I’m sure some people would see it as a huge step down in lifestyle, my ex and his service animals would probably laugh at me. But before he rained all over my life and I became a shell of myself I was a very healthy and active person. My ex was the one who insisted we needed a ranch style home because he couldn’t do stairs. I love living somewhere I can walk everywhere. I’ve had to live by his standards and frankly he is lazy and old to me. Even though we’re the same age, he acts elderly (except when it comes to screwing, he’s too old and tired to do anything else but he’s always down to screw a disgusting person). And I never should have married someone who doesn’t like to exercise or be active but we were in the military together and he did those things then, I didn’t know he didn’t like it and was actually lazy and had to be forced into doing it. No more gamers, ever. Sorry to anyone who games but it’s just not a lifestyle I want to be part of.

  • The day I found out that FE had been living with his AP, found the pics all over her Insta, I lost it. Ripped his shirts off the hanger, buttons flying everywhere, shoving it all into garbage bags. I wanted to leave them on the lawn, but my mom talked me out of it. I filed the next day.

    We had a lot to do to the house we owned together in order to get premium price for it. My ex wanted to do most of the work himself, which meant that I would be living there forever if I didn’t light a fire under his ass. So I put a contract on a house in the city. I’d been looking for quite a while, and this one was pretty much perfect, tho the neighborhood was a bit of a risk. My ploy worked, and I moved 3 months later from way through heck out in the suburbs of St. Louis back into the city.

    The worst part was going thru all of the boxes of memorabilia in the basement and garage. On what would’ve been our 28th anniversary, I was out in the garage with my ex and our son, when we found a bunch of wedding things I didn’t even remember having. I about lost it and left the FW to deal with it. Later I tossed what had been in that box. Didn’t want my son to see me doing it.

    • Yes, my agreement required dividing all the pics and such 50/50. Since he took off and left me holding the bag, I had to do it. Talk about one big cry! It was horrible but I went through every single box in the house and carefully packed and sent them. I found wedding decorations, programs, my bouquet, and all kinds of things I had forgotten about.

      My ex let me know via email that he had all the boxes and said he had put them in his garage. Yes, all that work, and all those photographs went to his garage. No doubt they are toast or are headed that way. I told that to my attorney who said that his wife would KILL him if he even thought of putting photographs in the garage. Even HE knew that you don’t put photographs in a garage. But I avoided a contempt order over photographs and such. Good for me.

  • I sold two houses within three months of Dday and then I moved 100 miles away to be near my kids.

    My clueless ex thought we could keep the vacation/lake house, which explains why he wanted to put tons of $$ (my money!) into it. It pissed me off SO much that he pretended we would retire in that house when all along he was planning on living there with the OW. We started the renovations when the affair started.

    After Dday, he was shocked when I told him we needed to sell that place and that I was lining up a realtor.

    “Why can’t the family enjoy it for a few years?” he asked. (Translation: Why can’t my AP and I enjoy it more. We’ve already used it as an out-of-town love shack. Why should that end?”) WTF?? I responded, “I refuse to own real estate with you.” He argued that he could buy me out, which, of course, was his prerogative. But shortly thereafter he said that the AP “wants nothing of yours.” LOL!! The irony escaped him.

    • To clarify, I only know we started the renovations when the affair started because I looked back at the calendar after he confessed. At the time, he had the power of knowledge. I was completely clueless, and that kills me in retrospect.

      In fact, I think being kept in the dark is the lingering pain that hurts the most.

  • We sold the house in separation when we were supposedly trying to patch things up long distance. The college kids and I were still living in it, and he was many states away. His thinking was that he had decided not to come back and didn’t need “his” house that I wasn’t taking care of, but I think there was an element of magical thinking that selling the house would force us to join him. As if the two young adults would quit college and throw away all their plans so we could all be a happy family again. And as if I trusted him enough to believe that a new location would magically change our relationship.

    So we were moved out to what I could afford (a dump) ahead of his arrival with the moving van. I spent nearly all of my remaining savings moving and going 50/50 on updating a few minor areas of the family home and held my breath. I truly didn’t have the income to even afford the dump, but the house sold and we eventually got out of the rental and into a small house just before the big upswing in prices. The dump was literally falling apart around us with electrical, plumbing, and rotting wood issues, and we were so ready to get OUT. But it was home for a time.

    His furniture was mostly given away or auctioned off. I kept a few pieces we had bought during our marriage that I truly liked and what I had brought to the marriage that fit into the smaller house. I replaced the bed, linens, and got a headboard I liked from the house money.

    The old house was colonial in flavor with mostly beige walls, the new house is craftsman with all different colors. How times change! It’s small enough that I’ll be fine if one or both kids decided to stick around, but very easy to take care of. It’s in a “hot” neighborhood that has the best school district.

  • I did the pick me dance and wallowed in self pity for nearly a year fretting about the kids, the house, you name it. I didn’t change my “surroundings” so much as who I surrounded myself with. The narcissistic abuse that I had allowed, had effectively rendered me into a shell of a man. The divorce finally came to conclusion after 3 1/2 years. Thankfully I got mighty a year into it. Yes I still hated that I had to be in that position and wished I could get some kind of closure sooner, but I just kept clinging to the idea that I was going to be ok no matter what happened. I think after a while AND WITH SOME WORK, I came to see that the anger and the sadness no longer served me, or my children or my future. Were they necessary? Yes, absolutely!! I remember my own father asking me to give him a date when I was going to be “ok” again. I remember looking at him incredulously and saying, WHAT? I know now that he meant well, but it’s very hard for people who haven’t been chumped or even divorced to even remotely understand what we go through and that it’s a process. Changing you’re physical surroundings can be helpful to some, but it’s only a bandaid. Wherever you go, there you are. Bill W’s words, not mine. You need to change you’re perspective, about yourself, hell maybe about the entire world. Either way, change comes from within. Also not my words. Still good one’s.

    • When I stopped living in the problem and started living in the solution- all my problems went away. 🤘💪

  • I moved out first and he got what I didn’t want. It was a rental so I left the place trashed. He had to deal with 30 years of crap because I didn’t want it anymore no room. He offered to share a storage unit. Nah I’ll pass. He can’t get rid of anything so now his garage and a bedroom is full of useless items. My bedrooms have kids in them because they hate him. I think I won.

  • i’ve written about this on the fb page but I put my house up for sale and then realized I could swing renting it instead. Glad I did. About to put back on the market again adding 3 to the first digit. Fuck wit will die. He is newly remarried but seems really unstable.

  • That question re when are you going to be ok again galls me. I understand you cut your dad some slack, knowing he meant well.

    Only a month or so after Dday, I dined with a friend. I laughed at some quip, which prompted her to blurt out: “You’re good now. Right?”

    No!!! FFS!! I’m far from good. I’m barely vertical. I’m traumatized. I’m suffering. Sure, I can handle the sale of homes and divorce. I can laugh at a joke. But emotionally, I’m a wreck. Why can’t a good friend see that? Perhaps it’s too much to ask of non-chumps. You can’t know this pain unless you’ve experienced it.

      • Spinach
        The pawn shop basement scenefrom Pulp Fiction where Bruce Willis asks Ving Rhames “Are you OK?” popped into my head when I read this.
        “I’m FAR FROM FUCKING OK”
        😂

  • I had to think about this. I am way to practical to replace everything. I HATE spending money to replace things I already owned. I look at material things as such. Just a piece of furniture/sheets/clothes/decorations… I lost 50% of all that I owned.

    My ex wife didn’t care how I looked. She actually was called out on that, people would say to her “Don’t you care what he looks like?”. So I started buying new clothes, getting my nails done, groomed better, etc. I started having pride in myself. I eventually bought a new place with my now wife. It’s OUR place. It’s clean and neat. My ex wife was so lazy and a slob.

    I still have gifts from my ex wife and I didn’t do any destruction of her property/things. The best revenge is to live your best life ever. Plus she has to know I moved on with a better woman!

    • Glad you’re with a better woman!

      Stuff is just stuff unless it somehow triggers a memory. My therapist advised me to get rid of a cutting board, of all things!!!. She’s right that it’s a bit triggering, but I like the cutting board and figure I can reclaim it by creating new memories.

      These can be tricky decisions. I don’t want to end up punishing myself. But, then again, those damn memories.

      • It’s a very individual thing, some people, like SirChumpalot, are pragmatic, and aren’t bothered by these things; others, like me, just want to do a clean sweep and start over with new stuff that doesn’t come with memories. Everyone is different.

        I just couldn’t wait to jettison everything that had any associations with the fuckwit.

  • Within three months of Dday, I sold two homes and in the process sold, donated, and pitched a shit-ton of stuff (35 years of accumulated crap). In all my chumpiness, I tried to be fair in the separation of assets. I shared google sheets so that we could fairly divvy what was valuable. Neither of us wanted the marital bed, but, oddly enough, my ex wanted to keep the marital mattress (the one he enjoyed sex on with me, her, and who knows who else). Go figure!

    I moved to another state to be near my kiddos.

    I am realizing the joys of renting.

    I started a business.

    And I’ve dipped my toes in the dating pool.

    I’m still not at meh. I can physically leave and purge myself of stuff, but getting rid of that FW squatter living in my head, rent-free, ain’t easy. I’m getting there.

    Good luck to all my friends, here. I’m inspired by your stories.

    • “I’m still not at meh. I can physically leave and purge myself of stuff, but getting rid of that FW squatter living in my head, rent-free, ain’t easy.”

      I can so relate to that Spinach. It’s the same with me. Leaving and purging is good, but doesn’t do the trick entirely.

      I’ve said this before, but all the Covid restrictions have made it doubly hard to” gain a life”, I think if it hadn’t of been for that, I would be farther on the road to meh.

      ((hugs)) 💕

    • It’s a process. I thought I was 100% Meh, but recently the ex shot a lot of emails at me, telling me how awful I have been to her since the divorce.
      My answers have remained stoic
      “You are entitled to your opinion”
      “I will not enter a discussion about the past”

      But as a true chump, I still fill the need to justify, to show the evidence , to make lists of arguments.
      I don’t do it anymore but it’s happening in my head.
      But I think the more often we repeat the action, of not taking part in the madness , the better.
      I read a good quote about not caring if I end up being the villain in her version of the events.
      That is 99% correct, but she will poison the kids against me , so I have to be on guard.

  • Got rid of the newish Cal King bed frame and mattress on Craigslist. Donated the marital bedding–nice flannel, etc.–to FW and OW (ewww…enjoy….)
    Remodeled kitchen and a bit in the laundry room, painted pretty colors, tossed all the old ugly cheap worn furniture for new inexpensive Ikea, (but super cute) furnishings, eventually sold it all to move in with a good man ❤

  • It is so interesting to read how others have triumphed and created better lives free from cheaters/liars. I wish I had never married X. I loved our house, but he made it into a place I didn’t want to be, with his drinking, lying, abusive behavior.
    He wasn’t smart enough to sustain his double life for long, so he cracked up early in the game, before I knew for sure he was cheating. Abandoned me, the house, the dog…moved in with AP and took nothing with him.
    I changed the locks next day and started binning his shit.
    He signed a quitclaim deed and house became all mine. I refinanced and got a super-low rate with my great credit. He was bankrupt. I ALWAYS kept my finances separate.
    He sent me a list of possessions he wanted and I dumped them all out on the deck. I never saw him again.
    I was totally meh after about 1.5 yrs. I redecorated my house, got new furniture and have erased him from my life forever.
    My home is in the woods on a lake. We used to take walks together and upon returning, he would look at the house and say, “we have a very nice house.” So I know it pained him that he had to quitclaim and got no furnishings, nothing.
    He started over from scratch with AP and then I heard he was jailed after assaulting her in a drunken rage. He found another victim after that and moved on. I don’t care where he is now.
    I won too. My life is so sweet now. I will never remarry or give up my autonomy.

  • I moved out. got a massive bed, TV and treadmill all for me. I do what I want when I want. I am planning to move country in the next few years. Goodbye toxic – hello life

  • I kicked her out – which was a surprise to her.
    Immediately removed all the wedding pictures , which also was a surprise to her.
    Told her that she can’t enter my house unless I ask her in – which was offensive to her.

    Did a Marie Kondo style clean up of the house, and even burned some sage to get rid of her spirit.
    I’m not into that sort of thing normally, but it was important for a friend of mine.
    And the friend was correct – there was a lot of symbolism in that action and took me a step further.
    Now, I am slowly replacing furniture – the bedroom changed first , the living room will finally be done this month, after nearly 3 years.
    There are now photos of the kids and me everywhere, and it looks like a home.

  • I don’t have a a leave a cheater, change your surroundings take. YET. I bought the FW XW out of her share of the house we downsized into which we moved into a couple years after I burned out as a pharmacist. It was and IS a house I was never excited to live in. But since she wanted to keep the two younger kids in their school system (I did too, but not as much when I saw how much that would severely limit our house options), AND she wanted to retain her local political seat (the main driving factor, I guarantee it), I agreed to move us from a modern colonial on a quiet street to a 1932 Dutch colonial on one of the busiest streets in our town/village.

    The kids hate the place. My son was the only minor child I shared w/the FW XW when she fucked me over by having the exit-affair w/her rich, older boss, so he’s the only that has to share the house w/me. He prefers much of hIs mother’s and her POS partner’s modern condo to my house (an eighth of a mile behind my house). I understand why. My house is old and not very up to date in much of anything.

    I had a rough year in keeping my housekeeping up during Covid. Now that I’m working six days a week for FedEx (10 hour days are my norm), I don’t have the time or energy for housekeeping. I was never great at it to begin with. In short, the house is a mess. So, not doing so well on being the sane, stable parent on that end. It’s caused my daughters, my two oldest children, to stay away from me (also because Dad doesn’t parrot their wokefullness as much as their mother). Add to that that all the kids don’t like the house or the memories it evokes of their parents 24 year marriage destroyed by their mother’s exit-affair. I certainly get that.

    Oldest daughter has her own apartment (w/a roommate) but spends a lot of time w/FW XW (they are extremely alike. Eerily, at times), and younger daughter has been told by local psychologists/psychiatrists that she’s on the high functioning end of the autistic spectrum, and has moved back in w/FW XW and her POS partner after graduating college and living for a couple of years on her own (her last group of roommates heading to Hollywood for fame and riches). Both daughters are in their low to mid-twenties. My son is 15 years old.

    So, I’ve got a vacation week coming up the week before the Fourth of July, and I’m going to clean up the house as best I can. Hopefully this will go some way to repairing my sane, stable parent image.

    But my main reason for writing this reply is to say how much I’m looking forward to my son graduating from high school in three years and freeing up my options to CHANGE MY SURROUNDINGS. It has not been exactly fun staying in this house I never liked (there’s an understatement), but I did it because the FW XW trying to tell me where I should move to after she left me (continuing evidence of her sense of entitlement), I was so devastated and in shock when she left, I knew I didn’t have the energy to move. Just as important to me, I didn’t want to upset my children’s lives anymore than their mother already had. I wanted especially to make my son’s life as normal and stable as possible. If I could provide a place for my daughters as well, even better. It didn’t work out exactly as I was hoping for, but at least I tried.

    Now, the day is coming when I can see an end to my current surroundings. I’ll either fix the place up enough to hopefully rent it for profit (it’s certainly possible where I live), or sell it. Either way, I’ll get to move somewhere where I want to be, someplace away from the FW XW and her POS partner (soon to be her second husband come Labor Day weekend. Good riddance, too; those two FW’s deserve each other). Someplace w/no bad memories attached to it. That will be a magical thing.

    So, though I haven’t changed my surroundings, I can see when I will. So for all you newbie chumps that are stuck in your surroundings right now, take heart that things can change. Keep your eyes fixed ahead. It will happen if you work towards it. Take it from me.

    My sincere empathy and sympathy to all my fellow chumps out there in CL Land, and even beyond. Lots of love, hugs, and hope for you all. Also, a Happy Father’s Day to all my fellow father chumps. Love your kids the best you can. That’s all we can do.

    • This is what I thought when I read your post:

      No reason to wait to change an intolerable living situation.

      Best to you.

      • Langele,

        Thanks, but I’m ok w/making it easy on my son for his last three years of high school. Not to mention, w/my work schedule, I don’t have the time or energy to do much right now. But I appreciate your comment, and where you’re coming from. Best wishes to you.

    • I appreciate that you’re treading water so your son has a bit of stability until he finishes high school. FedEx has been an essential business during the pandemic. I’ve acquired all the material belongings I need and I do my own grocery shopping. The other tenants in my building, in their 20s and 30s, rely on Amazon, UPS and FedEx for everything. Packages delivered every day and the recycling bin fills up too quickly with cardboard.A generational difference.

      I was grateful to stay in my childhood home during my parents two separations and subsequent divorce. A place to stay during a couple of summer breaks whilst working. My mother should have sold the house after I, the younger child, finished uni and moved far away. It was too much house for one person. She worked Monday through Friday and spent her weekends doing yard work-an acre with lots of trees. I don’t know how your finances are in terms of hiring a cleaning service to help you.
      Best to you and your son until you’re ready to make a move.

  • XW left with nothing to live with AP(os). Had a walk in closet full of clothing so thickly packed it was difficult to insert another hanger into. (Red flag for me). She was constantly acquiring image management accessories and never wearing some of it. Impulse buyer extrordinaire. Same with makeup, perfumes,Victorias Secret bras, etc.
    I’d always visualized myself marrying a simple country girl that ‘kept a home’ and was loyal and comfortable in her own skin. XW faked that image well and luv bombed me into a 12 year delusion.
    Newbie chumps will find today’s feedback very useful. Take Action Early as hard as it is to do so. It pays benefits.
    I ‘cancel cultured’ xw in the last two of the ten month divorce process. Living in our house was a spiritual stone around my neck. I got an adjacent small 4 room cottage and my beagles in our settlement. 4 acres of pristine land with a pond and walking distance to a 45 acre state owned lake. Fish, fowl,game, fresh water sources and a very low cost of living. It is a very peaceful place to exist 9 miles from the county seat and civilization. I have good neighbors who respond and reciprocate help. No drama. No rat race.
    I’ve made friends with quite a few locals but only been on 1 spur of the moment date since. 4 years have passed since, I lost my brother to heroin and now spend 1/3 of my time visiting my 83 yo mother. I’m a typical chump fixer and attend to her needs for general upkeep, chores or what not. The beagles love going to her house even though they can’t run free but have a 100’ runner line to tether to. They lift her spirits considering the hell she endured with my brother. We’re directed to honor our parents which I take seriously and enjoy the sense of fulfilling purpose it brings. Not having a gf partner is working out for me in regard to parental care even though i do miss the human embrace.
    I remember wanting the feels to end when this episode started and being unsatisfied with the 2-5 year+ recovery period responses offered.
    It proves itself a reliable truth for me. My expectations of people and myself have been drastically revised. I’m not who I was. I’m who I am becoming.

  • Thanks Marcus, I love this “I remember wanting the feels to end when this episode started and being unsatisfied with the 2-5 year+ recovery period responses offered.
    It proves itself a reliable truth for me. My expectations of people and myself have been drastically revised. I’m not who I was. I’m who I am becoming.” I’m who I’m becoming. YES

  • The universe told me not to stay in the marital home that ex was offering to sign over to me with no-strings attached. So I hired someone for minor repairs, packed it up and sold it. I moved cross-country to my former ‘home’ state, decided to put off any more big decisions for a while, so I rented. It’s over 3 years later and it turned out to be the best thing I ever did for myself.

    The second best thing I started doing for myself was slowly changing out almost anything that represented my old life. And I say slowly because I wasn’t in great financial shape and wanted to give myself time to heal some first.

    The first thing to go was the old mattress. It wasn’t all that old honestly, but he’d slept in it so I didn’t wait to change that out almost the minute I arrived. Then over time my everyday flatware got an update, then my everyday dishes, then a new couch set. Over the course of 3 years I slowly changed everything about my environment that I could afford to change. It’s to the point now that very little of my space is representative of my old life.

    But ALL those cosmetic changes pale drastically to the bigger ones I’ve seen within myself–particularly over this last year. Covid was a horrible thing, and very scary, but it actually turned out to be a very good thing for me. I had more money, time, and emotional energy because of the virus-forced changes to lifestyle, so I used it all to my advantage by making significant strides in getting out of debt and by creating a new small business.

    My emotional footing is also to the point where the woman who landed in this space 3 years ago is almost unrecognizable to me now. Sure, I still have a way to go, and many of the grounding parts of me are still there–but inside, I’m starting to FEEL like a whole new person. An updated, happier, healthier and much wiser version of the old me…the one I used to know in the days before he existed. I’ve missed her. And I’m happy that the essence of who she was is back and making a starring debut in my brand new life.

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