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Support in Unexpected Places?

stitched heartHi Chump Lady,

I was wondering if you’d be willing to do a Fun Friday Challenge about the unexpected members of the “tribe” of true friends that a chump needs after being cheated on. What made me think of this was the show “Ted Lasso”.

(Slight spoilers for the TV show)

Both the male and female protagonists are going through divorces, and in the female lead’s case (the character’s name is Rebecca), her ex brazenly cheated on her. However, almost everyone else in her old social circle finds the ex charming. On top of it, he’s passive-aggressive whenever they’re out in public. However, because Ted didn’t know Rebecca’s ex before the divorce, he actually sees right through the bullshit, and tells Rebecca, “I promise you’re not the only one who sees Rupert for what he is.” Rebecca is clearly relieved, but you also get the sense that she’s thinking, “Wait, since when did this folksy guy from the Midwest start defending my honor?” The characters become good friends, and thus far, it’s not being played for romance.

(spoilers end)

With that in mind, I was wondering if anyone in Chump Nation had stories of finding support in unexpected places. To give an example, I remember my dentist of all people jokingly promising to kick the butt of someone who had stomped on my heart. As silly as it was, it did help.


Dear VulcanChump,

Your wish is my command. Help in unexpected quarters is our Friday Challenge!

My submission: I’ve told the story here before, on D-Day, we were having a furnace installed. So, while I was in total shock, I had to write a large check to this furnace guy. Something about writing a check for 8 grand on top of betrayal started me crying (I had literally just found out, I hadn’t cried yet), and suddenly I’m sobbing snot and tears all over this poor man’s paycheck.

I apologized and told him I’d just found out my husband was cheating on me. He looked extremely uncomfortable, as anyone would be. But then solemnly said, “I’m going to hold you up to Jesus in prayer.” And recited a little prayer there on the spot.

Not as satisfying as a promised butt-kicking, for sure. In the moment, I just felt totally mortified. But I’ve always remembered that HVAC guy. He could’ve grabbed his check and run away, but instead he took a moment to be compassionate and throw this shit to a Higher Power.

Now it’s your turn.



Ask Chump Lady

Got a question for the Chump Lady? Or a submission for the Universal Bullshit Translator? Write to me at [email protected]. Read more about submission guidelines.
  • My ex sister-in-law. When I told her all of the things that had gone down and that my ex had called me controlling, she came right out and told me “Ex is the controlling one and has always been chasing that next high…”. That stuck with me and she helped get me through the darkest days.

    • My sister in law adored her bro but was also capable of grasping that he could also be a giant ass was in my corner for endless call phone calls from me blubbering over whatever the more recent episode of abuse was. She told me that no man was worth what I was suffering and I think she meant it (despite her love for her bro).

      My inlaws also loved their son deeply but I learned later that his anger issues were bad from way back in his childhood and they knew whoever he married would have quite an uphill battle. (To this day, Im convinced that my late FIL could have modulated Cheaters behavior somewhat and that he chickened out in the moment).

      After Cheaters death, my FIL did a very brave thing (as he was risking feeling terribly disloyal to his dead son) when he admitted to me in front of my then-boyfriend (now husband) that his sons behavior was “so terrible, I dont know how you stood it”. That was a gift…I had told my BF the truth (that parents and Cheater were all pretty awful to me) but everyone says that kind of shit and many of them are lying. It was helpful for him to hear it from Cheaters family that he was bad.

      • Good for your former FIL. I never got that from any of my ex-fuckwit’s family members. Even the wives (my former sister-in-laws through marriage to the fuckwit’s brothers) never reached out to me and told me what a fuckwit their brother-in-law was. That messed with my head too as I wondered (yet again) what was wrong with me. I can see the gift your former FIL gave you. He validated you. Something that I no longer need, but it would have been nice to receive.

        • My sisters-in-law have been silent and I was really close to one of them. I miss them as I once knew them. But based on their behavior during 23 months of shit sandwiches and litigation, I have seen their true colors.

          • Sarah, sad but true. More often than not you lose the in-laws. Yes, true colours.

    • I could use some help here.
      How do you know when they haven’t stepped up to the plate?
      I have friends who have not shown up—after all the years of chaos and craziness before the separation- they decided they were “going to step back”!
      In stepping back from him they also stepped back from me!
      Szo they aren’t friends any more -right?
      Another friend-hasn’t contacted me since I told her “we aren’t together”. Does this mean she dropped out too…? Or is she maybe in shock and anxious and uncomfortable? Do I reach out to her? Or just take the hint?
      Do you ask people to get into your corner ..or give up on those who don’t show up…??

      • I have a small group of friends who went above and beyond in supporting me and helping me to feel alive again. I also have friends who offered nothing but mild word service and remain social media friends with the douche bag ex. I don’t want to sever ties but those people have firmly been relegated to the outer circle in my mind.
        I think ex-chumpdom offers the hard won gift of clarity and learning to see people when they reveal themselves to you. You don’t necessarily have to cast people off, but do ask yourself CL’s question ‘Is this relationship acceptable to you?’

      • Chumparella there’s nothing like a marriage breakup to sort out who your true friends are. And it ain’t the ones who don’t show up, or step back, or try to stay neutral.

        Cut your losses. Don’t waste your time chasing them. At best they’ll stay lukewarm acquaintances, at worst they’ll be flying monkeys.

        My friend list is much shorter these days, but they are all in my corner all the time.

      • (((Chumparella))))
        I am so sorry this happened to you.
        “ going to step back “ friends aren’t true friends at all and the friend who has never reached out or contacted you is not a true friend either.
        Hold your head high, you did no wrong! Some people would never understand until it happened to them, boy, then they would get it.
        You are the type who would understand and be there for someone in need. You truly understand the pain and the need to find comfort.
        You will meet “true friend” type people. In the meantime be kind to yourself ❤️
        I told no one at DDay time and it was a very very long, painful, and lovely journey. It still is.

        • Agree with all of this. The “take a step back” people, in my opinion, are the ones who have bought into the lies that “they just grew apart” or “affairs just happen sometimes” and are unwilling to stand up and firmly say no, cheating on your spouse is immoral, abusive, and the person who engages in it is wrong. They don’t actually have strong moral convictions when it becomes uncomfortable for them. Then you have to look and see if they also “stepped back” from their friendship with FW, too. Maybe they have chosen a side and it’s FW’s but they lack the fortitude to be honest about the state of your friendship. Or, they were never really friends with either of you – just people who hang out when times are good and it’s all a party but not in a deep, really there for you way.

          In any case, good riddance to them, I say. Klootzak’s only friends were those who came by to drink his booze and party on a Saturday. Most of his co-workers didn’t like him and he invested all his spare time into schmoopies. My circle of friends has not shrunk at all. Once the pandemic dies down, I will have all the social time I want, as my friends saw through klootzak’s BS facade and didn’t like coming around when he was home. We hung out on play dates with the kids and ladies’ dinner out once a month as means to avoid klootzak but then klootzak started inviting himself to our play dates at the park as he got advice to play super dad. If anyone wants to “step back,” don’t let the door hit ‘em on the way out, I say!

      • cheaters have many faces. The face they show you, the face they show their friends, then their parents. its surprising how many people think abusers are nice. they don’t see the real abuse, do they.

    • This is so encouraging. My sister in law was flabbergasted and kept saying that she had no idea he was capable of such deception. She lives in another province far away. My husband died last August and I haven’t spoken to her really since that time. Not because she and I aren’t “speaking”, but because she has been incredibly devastated by what happened and does not know what to say to me. I wish I had her support. You’re incredibly fortunate.

  • My in-laws. I wasn’t particularly close (or distant) with them during the marriage but when he moved out to be with smoopie, my father in law came over and told me his son was an idiot and helped me clear debris from my yard after a storm. My ex mother-in-law (a very religous woman) hounded the ex until he agreed to give me the house free and clear because she said, “Jesus saw what did.” Lol I’m not religous or in still in touch with the in-laws, but I did get the house and always appericated their support.

  • I was on an airplane – new into divorce and started chatting to the the person next to me. I spilled my story(was doing that at the time – I think trauma related) and turned out the exact thing happened to her and she spilled her story. We learned that we lived close to each other and are friends to this day.

    Pretty crazy cool.

    • I made a friend in the DMV with a woman processing my car registration because of our shared stories. Also an Uber driver who had been chumped. It’s sad that betrayal is so prevalent.

    • This made me remember- I was on a long distance flight, and seated next to a older man, he was nice, and we started chatting. I ended up telling him about being betrayed by my X, it was all pretty new and I’m sure I was upset. ( this was before I found CL, and I didn’t know what to do, I was just devastated). He was so comforting, and talked me down from crying, and then said my X must be a fool, because I seemed like a very fine person. It did mean a lot to me, at the time, my self-esteem was so low!

  • Flight attendants are wonderfully compassionate people. I was coming back from a business trip I had planned because my son (10 at the time) was being taken on his first vacation with Mr. Sparkles and Schmoopie and her kids. I landed to a stream of text messages that told me the vacation wasn’t all sunshine and unicorns and my son was really struggling (lots of crying and making it “awkward” for Mr. Sparkles… after all, HE didn’t do anything wrong, HIS happiness matters, “our son is baby who just wants his Mommy”(a statement he truly made).

    I was in such a high state of anxiety to get home, the flight attendant obviously noticed and enquired. I briefly remarked “I’m divorcing a narcissist”… she slipped me a couple Jack Daniels and a diet coke from wheels up to wheels down. <3

    (My other is that I had two friends: one male, one female who always took my call… any time, day or night and always had my back. Truly blessed.)

  • My dental hygienist. An angel. One of many that qualify for the Friday Challenge, but she is the first one that I thought of.

    When I told her what happened, she told me, “Get away from him.” And then told me her own story of being an immigrant from Persia, who did not speak English, who did not drive, who had three small children, and found out her husband was cheating.

    And got away from him and became a dental hygienist! MY dental hygienist who saved my life that day and encouraged me and inspired me with her story.

    Of course, Chump Lady is also on top of the list. This site is proof of God IMHO.

    • My hygienist and my dentist in my corner too!

      The hygienist was saying that my gums seemed almost inflamed, and I burst into tears, because that was something Rhys had harped on me about, even for us never officially being a “thing” – funny how the narcissistic types claim ownership, isn’t it? Anyway, she seemed surprised, but when I explained that it sucked to know my ex was right, she was pretty gracious about it, and explained how I could get my gums back in order. When I filled the dentist in, he said, “Hey, I’m pretty sure two guys I went to school with are in the Mafia – want me to call them and have Rhys meet the business end of a baseball bat?”

      It was so ludicrous that I started laughing, but at the time, it was still nice to be thought of.

      (This was all years ago, I’m now happily married with a beautiful baby girl, but I figure even if my narcissist and I never got hitched, I can still share my experience)

      • My brother called me up and said, “Do you want me to come down there and kick his ass? I hear that I’m a pretty good ass kicker.” I said, “No, my sons don’t need to know that their Uncle Jimmy kicked their dad’s ass.” But I sure was tempted! And my sister called me up and said (about the skank), “Do you want me to come down there and help you break her knees?” I had to turn her down as well. The fuckwit and his skank definitely needed their asses kicked; however, I have no doubt whatsoever that they’re now getting their just desserts since they married each other. It’s so nice to hear from my son, “Trust me, Mom. Dad is miserable.”

    • My X and I still share a dentist. I just happened to remark about the reason for the divorce ; ), you know just in conversation.

      • Oooooo… Tempest, I did the same thing 😉
        Is it because I harbor a wish for our shared hygienist to omit his numbing gel and poke extra firmly at his plaque when he comes in for his next cleaning? Will I settle for what I’m sure will be an uncomfortable, silent, and overly polite interaction? Hell yes.

        When my dental hygienist referred to him as a prick (in classier words), it seemed to momentarily remove some of the onus from me. When my pals see my anguish and call him a prick (in those exact words), it feels like someone else is helping to carry the load. I feel validated, confirmed, and less crazy.

    • My ex MIL. (Lovebringer69 is her only child and she raised him alone .) This day I cried to her that the counsellor had told me that she was never going to counsell me to take him back because he was a serial cheater and in her opinion he would never change.
      I was expecting my MIL to say of course you can but instead she said ‘oh no you can’t take him back he has been doing this a long time and you deserve better!’
      She has had no contact with her son and is a great support. The funny thing is we didn’t like each other at the beginning of my marriage

  • Yesterday, I went to the dog park where I hadn’t been for a while because I didn’t want people asking me where FW was. I ran into a lady (in her late 70s) whom I used to talk to a fair bit. She commented she hadn’t seen me for a while and asked how I was? I thought ‘what the heck?’ I’ll tell her. She didn’t give me the usual shock and silence reaction. She told me she’d been cheated on in her first marriage over 30 years ago. She knew exactly what I was going through and how I felt. She was calm and compassionate and explained how she had handled things. She was adamant about ‘no contact’ in order to heal. She was like this voice of wisdom which made me feel someone understands the hell I’m going through (like CL). I came away feeling so much better because of the kindness of this lovely kind and caring soul.

      • Love that phrase “odd or God”, going to steal it, being the religious type over here.

    • Older ladies helped me so much, when they would offer just enough sage but sober compassion along with a “you’ll be okay.” No shock, no outrage, no pity, just assurance. It really encouraged me, every time.

      • I now consider myself an ‘older lady’. Unfortunately, us older ladies have lived longer on this earth and have more than likely had to eat several shit sandwiches. It has (for the most part) a tendency to make one wiser. I’m glad you’ve found several older and wise ladies to help you through the shit show. And I found some absolutely wonderful (even) older men to help me through my shit show when I was going through it.

  • I think that the fact that both my MIL (Ex-Mrs LFTT’s mother) and Ex-Mrs LFTT’s sister said that they were willing to speak in Court in my support should Ex-Mrs ever try to contest me having custody counts; I definitely did not expect them to have my back (and the kids’ backs) to that extent. As it was, I didn’t need them to (all Ex-Mrs LFTT wanted was my money, my pension and our house, but that’s another story), but it was good to know that I could count on them if things got difficult.

    Also, the female colleague who asked me “Are you OK? You don’t seem yourself today” the day after D-Day has my undying gratitude. I did not expect that either.

    I guess that learned that, while not all of the people that you think are your friends will step up to the plate when you need them to, there are also people who will step up, even though you didn’t think that they were your friends.


  • My best friend lives 4 hours away. I can message her any time. She has helped me through many times, but this time especially. People get tired of hearing the same old story, but I can always tell her when I’m struggling.

    Also CL and CN. This is the best badass support group ever. I’m close to Tuesday and meh but it is great to have this tribe.

    • There are a few, one that also includes a flight attendant. But my favorite was the doctor.

      I packed everything in the minivan and moved from Maryland to California. When I got there, I had to see a doctor to keep my prescriptions going (1 high blood pressure, 2 antidepressants, 1 anti anxiety, and 1 Ambien for insomnia). All of them had been prescribed after FW left.

      When she asked me what brought me to California, I told her my husband left me for another woman. She said “wow,” looked at my paperwork again, looked at me again, and said, “I hate him for you.”

      It made me a little weepy, but she was the kindest doctor I’ve ever seen.

      • Oops. This was supposed to be a general reply to all of CN. ???? I need some coffee.

      • The kindness of strangers … a psychologist i saw 2 or 3 times called xh an a*hole. The detached way he said it, like it was xh’s name, made me laugh.

      • I remember how kind my doctor was when I wanted to get checked for STI’s because my ex wife had unprotected sex. I was married 23 years at that point. The kind look on his face said it all.

        • I also had a really kind doctor. Older gentleman who was my primary care dr and who watched me break down in sobs in his office during a visit shortly after I filed for divorce. I got the feeling from
          His advice he’d been chumped before too, but otherwise was really kind and compassionate and spent much more time in that appointment with me that any other medical appt I remember.

      • Mine was the Nurse Practitioner I see for all my Gyn appointments. I told her I needed to have a full STD blood panel and why and she was so empathetic and compassionate towards me. At that time I hadn’t told anyone else other than my therapist about my situation so her attitude was a Godsend to me.

  • In 2018 I connected with a woman here because of our similar circumstances and timelines, and we have talked every day since. It’s been an amazing gift to help each other on this horrible road that we were thrown onto, and we are now having conversations marveling at the progress we made and laughing together about things that caused major distress not that long ago.

    Three years ago I called her on my way to the airport. The traitor was allegedly going on a business trip and I just had to see if her car was there. I knew I was crazy and I felt crazy, so I called her and we talked during the whole recon mission. With the itch scratched, I have not had the urge for that kind of PI work since. I really believe it was because she talked with me through the whole insane mission. We laugh about it now. She has also been relieved of the desire to do so many of the xrazy things many of us do in the aftermath of DDay.

    I highly recommend getting a fellow chump as an accountabili-buddy.

    • To clarify….

      I went to the airport to see if the Craigslist cockroach’s car was there.
      I called my friend, who talked with me the entire mission.

    • That’s so amazing that you have a Chump friend!!

      I mean, obviously not amazing that it happened, but what a friend to have!!

  • My priest friend, who ignored the fact that I cried through the whole Midnight Mass and told me how glad he was to see me. And the veterinarian who made a house call when it was time to let my beloved cat go. I didn’t tell either of them about the betrayal, but they could see that I was in bad shape. And of course my BFF who flew in from the West Coast and spent 3 weeks with me after Christmas. During a polar vortex.

  • My soon-to-be ex is a vile freak, whose infidelity and deceit was so great that her twu wuv and his family thought my unborn daughter was his– she was born in March of this year and DNA proved she is mine, however, her twu wuv was so enraged that the baby is mine that he forced my ex to keep me away from my children (I haven’t seen them since March) and now he and my soon-to-be ex are preggers (he wants his own too and yes, she’s preggers again after birthing a child in March, my poor daughter 🙁 ). The silver lining in this? Twu Wuv’s sister contacted me (I didn’t know this woman) and told me she couldn’t stand watching what my soon-to-be ex and her brother (twu wuv) are doing to me, she told me that I must get my children away from her brother because he is an evil human– his own sister told me this. Of course, this enraged twu wuv more because his secret is out, but I told this woman, “at least you and I can get drunk at family weddings and mock these freaks together.” — in the interest of my own sanity, however, I went absolute no contact (including twu wuv’s sister) but I still respect her for thinking of my children because it shows there are good people out there.

    • Wow XX, I am so sorry! What a nightmare this is for you. You may want to contact AP’s sister again. Make a file of everything she says and document any weirdness you see going on with your kids. Take pictures of any marks or bruises. If they can talk, don’t ask leading questions about their time there; just let them tell you their stories. With a good stack of evidence, you could get primary custody. If custody hasn’t been ordered yet, you have an even better chance. But judges will modify orders if you can prove it’s in the best interests of the children.

      I worked in a family law firm out in California for a while and specialized in custody issues. I also worked with the courts investigating child abuse cases.

      It scares me that his own sister would call you, a stranger, to warn you. This means something bigger than you may realize. He sounds very controlling and overbearing (your ex is pregnant with a 4-month old!)

      I suspect AP is either violent or a sexual predator, if not both. Do a public records search, and maybe hire a PI. For a small fee, you can use one of those “people finder” programs online. It will at least give you an idea of the places he’s lived, who else he’s been involved with, his financial situation, and his criminal records. Stay vigilant. Your ex is making a laundry list of terrible choices that could have very bad consequences for your children.

      • In Maine, I’ve asked for a guardian ad litem whose only purpose is the interest of the children. Meeting judge next week to confirm but my soon-to-be x is against it (for obvious reasons). As dreadful as it is, people show their colors and my ex is painting herself as a “modern” woman who made “modern” choices and as she says, “the children are young, life is long, so there will be a time when I will be daddy again but twu wuv is a better father figure for my kids at the moment because he understands her.” Good riddance. And yes, twu wuv’s sister will be interviewed by the guardian ad litem as will twu wuv. Should get exciting.

    • Can you get a custody evaluator to intervene? A court? I don’t think they can bar you from seeing your own children.

      • Be careful of custody evaluators. They’re often reminiscent of bad social workers. You wonder if they paid attention in class, when the last time they read anything about child psychology was, or if they’re just too worn out to care. And once a judge orders a custody evaluation, there’s no turning back. That evaluator’s report is the final word. Plus, they’re expensive, and the parties are responsible for the costs.

        The judge might order one after evidence has been admitted in a contested case. In that situation, the evaluator has to consider the evidence, which is a better scenario.

        In the meantime, the very best thing to do is handle everything yourself (with a PI if necessary) and collect evidence, evidence, evidence. There’s no such thing as too much evidence, but too little will kill your case. And judges get pissed when parents continue to request custody modifications after orders are in place.

  • A teacher I worked with but didn’t really know on a personal level, I’ll call her HD, came to my room after school one day. My dept head had specifically gone to her after hearing my ex was falsely accusing me of child abuse. HD said the word narcissist and recommended a well respected custody evaluator in our area. She was an amazing help to me and a willing sounding board. We shared many stories and tears.
    I will be forever grateful to YL for going to her and for HD – for reaching out to me. They saved me.

  • My ex BIL took me out one night to tell me I should stop trying to save my marriage to his sister and get a divorce. He went through a similar divorce years earlier that we (his FW sister and I) helped him through. He knew what I was going through but I wasn’t ready to hear it yet. I still couldn’t believe it.

  • The biggest support I found was this incredible moment 4 years ago, just a few months after leaving and fleeing to stay with my parents, when I decided to travel back 150 miles just so I could go to my beloved hair stylist.

    They were so happy to see me and let me spill my guts about what had happened and they did the “getting angry for me” thing that Chump Lady talks about and that is so magical! They knew us as a couple because we would go get haircuts together. They made me feel so loved and validated at a time where I was living in pure chaos (I wasn’t safe with my parents), still trying to wrap my head around the abuse.

    It was so precious and I’m crying just thinking back about it.

    Happy to report the year after I moved back into the area (admittedly, a big part of the reason was so that I could still go to that salon!)

    • I would have never been safe with my parents either and that is one reason I never left.

      We all once stayed with my parents for 2 days before we closed on our house. My then 5 years old (very out of his norm in the midst of a cross country move) made a grumpy little “harumph” sort of sound to my dad. Dad grabbed him, held him up high and shook him. I rescued my son of course but that moment (and others) convinced me I could never return there.

      As horrible as Cheater was, my parents were worse. Im so sorry you weren’t safe then.

      • I think the whole unsafe family of origin especially the parents is what made us the perfect target for cheaters/abusers. My parent 1. was happy when I broke the news that he left for another woman. 2. promised to help me financially (they have enough money to may $100,000 donations to charity what needed was pittance by comparison) and then backed out when I did not loose my 401k to him (had to liquidate it to sell my house that was underwater and by another – what I was asking for was slightly more that the taxes and penalties I ended up paying) 3. got angry with my teenaged daughter who was freshly dealing with the shock of her dad’s cheating and abandonment with some made up transgression about not being sufficiently polite that is too ridiculous to even bother to say here.

  • My youngest sister who I had never been very close to and had an at times fractious relationship with. Long story, bear with me.

    She posted on facebook about Lundy Bancroft’s “Why Does He Do That?” I secretly bought it on kindle, read it, fell into shock because it read like the guy was in my house the last 10 years documenting my marriage.

    Stuffed it all back down into the too hard vault. No way could I leave my husband. We don’t do that in my family.

    Anyway … ONE WEEK LATER I slip late into Church. My xh hated my faith and made it really hard for me to go to Mass. It drove him wild when I wouldn’t give it up. He often did stuff so I’d be late or couldn’t go at all . Dipsh*t.

    I Glance around. There is my sister right next to me on the back pew. She lives 30 min away from me but was housesitting nearby. What are the odds?

    I was so pissed. It was like God was saying – do it, do it, here she is for you, c’mon, what do I have to do to make you do something about your jerk of a husband?

    And I’m like, Noooo. Nope. Not gonna ask her about the book. No. Nopety nope. No. She doesn’t even like me. No. No.

    So … we say hi after Mass. I think she said come and have a cup of tea. I end up in the passenger seat of her car. It just pops out of my mouth: “You know that book you posted …”

    (She told me later she thought I was going to tell her off for posting about such horrible stuff. Thats the kind of relationship we had ????)

    I burst into tears and vomited my story all over her shoes (thanks, yesterday’s column ☺).

    She became my staunchest champion and supported me unstintingly through the worst year of my life. She listened, decoded bullsh*t emails, shored me up when I was wobbly, listened, gave me some furniture and appliances, made me laugh, listened. She was ALWAYS there for me. She recruited another sister to my cause too. They both stayed with me the day I left. Man, I couldn’t have done it without that support.

    She put me on to Chump Lady. I lawyered up, made my exit plan, sorted all the business, leased a unit and left. Now, we do have easy no fault separation and divorce here but as we all know f*ckwits can complicate anything to make it hurt you more.

    But thanks to her this GOAT Chump got out with surgical precision and 67%. Ex was totally blindsided.

    She was amazing. I will be forever grateful. My miracle sister. Who knew ❤

    • Sounds like your sister was protectively watching over you, sending you hints, waiting for you to be ready to take the steps!

      Like Chump Lady says, it’s all in the actions. I’m so happy you have found each other through this!

      • Quetzal, quite possibly. We are 8 years apart and it took my crisis for me to get to know and appreciate her.

      • My two “little” sisters were my biggest protectors, and they continue to be. It has been strange, because I’ve always been the protective, independent eldest sister. I am lucky to have these two strong and good (and hilarious) women in my life; ‘til death do us part. Their love is my reason for being, in many ways, I do not know if I would have made it through the past couple years without their support. Not a surprise that they’ve been here for me, but I’m amazed at how patient and validating – and fiercely protective – they’ve been. I also never imagined I’d be so vulnerable and need them so much.

    • I wish I had sisters. Especially ones who lived nearby. You are a lucky woman!

      • My sister told me to put on my big girl pants.

        Her husband died suddenly several years later.

        I wondered about her pants, but I did not mention them

      • There are sisters, and there are sisters. Just yesterday I saw a wall hanging that said, “Sometimes I speak to my sister and it’s like therapy. Sometimes after I speak to my sister, I need therapy.”

        • Yeah true that, lulu and Mitz. I have four sisters. Notice I only mention two!

    • Wonderful!! I’m so glad you have such great sisters! You are very fortunate and blessed!

  • I sat on a train heading to Sydney to attend a Project Mgt course with my sons staying with their father for the first time. I told the woman next to me my story in tears. My fears of his actions ending his medical career and being covered by the media. She shared her story which included an ex husband who was a financial adviser who embezzled money from family and clients. I couldn’t believe how similar how experiences were, she told I would be OK and I am!
    I have a fantastic new project mgt job, a divorce and my ex was deregistered and in the media and I have survived and thrived…..I wish I could tell my supporter from the train.

  • My doctor. When I first told her what was going on, she seemed uncomfortable, and I was sorry I’d said anything. The next time I saw her, the first thing she said to me was “I hope you have divorced him.” It was unexpected validation at a time I needed it.

  • I also have to give a shout out to my Mom’s first cousin – my Anna May… my Mom had passed away the year before Mr. Sparkles abandoned his family for an OW. I suspect when she got to heaven, she actually orchestrated the discard because she saw the abuse she had always suspected and wasn’t haven’t it anymore for her daughter 🙂 BUT… since I didn’t have her to call when the my world was falling apart, I called Anna May. You want straight-talk, sit down next to a person who grew up during the depression, raised 8 kids, buried a husband and most of her contemporaries, loves singing in her church choir, and lives at the beach… she doesn’t hold punches and she gave me the “tough love” I needed… she reminded me that Mr. Sparkles was a shit-person, he wasn’t a “loss”… I ignored warning signs because I was in love with him and our son, but they were always there and it was time to see them now… and she told me my Mom would want me to be happy and that in time, I will get there.

    She was right about all of it.

  • My boss at the time. We were friendly but not close, she’s much older and always seemed a bit starchy. Early in my mess she stopped by my office while I was in tears. I blurted out what was happening and she shut the door and told me her awful chump story. From that moment she was (and still is) an incredible source of support and friendship. Once my story was out I was surprised by the number of fellow chumps around me.

    • Chumps everywhere. Your story about your boss reminded me of something from way back when I was first (?) being cheated on but was clueless. I was coaching Girls on the Run – funny, in retrospect – with two coworkers who were both attempting reconciliation and dancing Pick Me hard (one friend showed up at her unworthy, POS husband’s new apartment, naked and wearing nothing but a trench coat and stilettos). I didn’t know I was in the chump club, too, but I was sad, stressed and confused because I was being fucked over by a fuckwit, too. Anyway, we lifted each other up while doing something good for girls in our community. Glad to report both women left the cheaters and gained lives. They don’t know about my story, but it’s nice to be reminded of this sisterhood.

  • When my ex husband asked his AP to marry him, he of course texted everyone around to shout it from the roof tops. My sister-in-law, who is the birth sister of my ex (who was adopted) sent me a screen shot of my ex’s birth mom (whom he had found and with whom he was close) that showed the following:

    Ex husband: “Hey Guys, Dropping you a note to let you know I’m engaged!!, Love Fuckwit”
    My mother in law’s response: “Not sure how to respond knowing how the whole situation has hurt (Former Groupie) and the kids. But I best the wish for all.”

    She didn’t have to say that. She could have been entirely Switzerland. And, to this day, she doesn’t know that I know she responded like that. There was no fanfare. But her loyalty to me, and her recognition of the tremendous pain and damage he caused with his affair to him that took the shine away from his announcement I will be forever silently grateful to her.

    What is that saying? Integrity is doing the right thing. Even when no one is watching.

    There were other people who stepped up and for whom I will be forever grateful. I was lucky to have oodles of support in that terrible time of crisis. It made it a tad bit easier to wallow through.

  • The unexpected support has been everything.

    First, my kids. Have always known they are great, but until this all unfolded, did not appreciate the extent to which they will always have my back. My daughter was the one who painfully discovered what was up. Nothing like finding graphic nudes of the affair partner on dad’s phone during the special yearly daddy-daughter vacation. She was crushed and traumatized. She eventually told her big brother who, freshly graduated from college, confronted his dad, and told him it was time to be a man for once in his life and tell me the truth. Love that those kids made ex tell me for himself, and that they excoriated him for “making our mom feel bad about herself.” Their world had just been blown up, too, but their main concern throughout has been my welfare.

    Next comes gas station Mike, owner of the little neighborhood spot where I fuel up not only the car but my soul. He has watched my kids grow up, has been appalled by ex’s every move, and has been my friend and guru every step of the way, from finding work after years of being a stay-at-home mom and 24/7 techie, writer, and editor for the “family” business through wading through the emotional repercussions of ex’s shotgun wedding to the affair partner and the impending birth of their baby. A devout Muslim and a wise and generous man, Mike has encouraged me to keep on going and assured me that the divine deeply treasures faithful wives and moms, that teaching college students is a worthy and respectable calling, and that ex’s demons aren’t mine to contend with. Through the endless legal battles (another trial in about a week, here), he has been a steadfast cheerleader and friend. He tells great stories just when I need them—parables, really—and has more than once taken my hands in his, partly to calm me, but I think partly to somehow infuse my body with some of his magical spirit. A blessing from him is everything.

    Oh, and so many others, especially when I was still in that freshly wounded, “everyone will hear my story, whether they want to or not” state, but afterwards, too. When my car broke down on the way to my first faculty meeting, the guy from the dealership who picked me up to drive me to the rental I’d need expressed genuine shock that anyone would leave me. Not thinking dating of any sort is in my immediate future, but there’s a special place in my heart for every single man who has flirted or openly admired (in non-creepy fashion) from abandonment day through now. Being left for a much younger woman after thirty years of marriage and watching age sixty close in fast can be a pretty deadly combination as far as self-esteem and body image go. So, people like the young man who pulled up while I was loading groceries into my car last week, rolled down his window, smiled, said, “You are really beautiful,” and calmly pulled away are more important than I’d ever have guessed. (I wonder if he knows we’re engaged, now? Snort.)

    There have been eye-opening disappointments: not a single in-law checked in even once, a disheartening number of (former!) friends confessed their own infidelities, too many people default to either the “it’s not a big deal so just move on” or the “you probably weren’t sexy/fun/sweet/supportive/interesting enough” camps, and the world seems bursting with infidelity apologists. A lonely road much of the time, this thing. But then again there has been the life-saving gift of this place, the many people who came out of nowhere with some perfect bit of support or wisdom and just as quickly disappeared again, the smart and sassy lawyer who has in many ways made my transition from a wounded creature to an independent woman possible (though he is 25 years my junior), the distant professional colleagues who miraculously made me a teacher again, the dogs young and old who served as emotional support animals and protectors when I didn’t even realize that’s what they were doing, and on and on.

    Still a decent ways to go on whatever this journey is leading toward—healing, growth, escape, peace—but even though the whole prospect of the miles yet to come can be pretty exhausting, at times, there will certainly be many more guides, rescuers, friends, and angels to meet along the way. Would be lost without them. Hope I can be that for others, too.

    • I’m so glad you had a lot of support. I can truly understand former friends (with their own infidelity flippant attitude of ‘we just grew apart’ and ‘maybe you weren’t meant for each other’). Even after some rather heartbreaking issues that I went through, i.e., one of my sons has nothing to do with me, total shunning from fuckwit’s side of the family, my own siblings getting exhausted hearing my same old story and saying, “Get over it”, a counselor telling me that I need to wear dresses more often and fix my hair (because it’s obvious that’s why the fuckwit cheated), other friends saying, “Maybe you’re too independent” and “Maybe he really does love her”, and other mindfuckattitudes, I had some wonderful encounters with strangers. I had to fly somewhere shortly after D-Day and got stuck overnight in DFW. An older couple (also stuck) invited me to dinner with them and I ended up spilling my guts. They thoroughly commiserated with me and are friends with me nearly 7 years later. I went camping, and again spilling my guts to the next-door neighbors, I’m still friends with them. In spite of all the not-too-sympathetic close friends and family members, I have made some wonderful new friends. Life is good!

  • Telling others about your problems is always risky. Sometime you find good souls, sometimes vultures, looking for some bones to pick.

    I have a few good friends who have always had my back, and I made some good work friends, who were kind when we worked together. I still hear from my work friends on occasion. I treasure these friends.

    I made the mistake of thinking someone I found as a professional, a nail technician, was a friend. I had been her customer for several years. She had met my children, and I met hers. We exchanged stories about our ex’s, and experiences. She presented herself as “a good Christian woman” searching for a good man.

    One of her other customers, a realtor, suggested she meet my ex, also a realtor. She asked me about it, and I warned her off. He was a serial cheater and a liar throughout our marriage, and not religious at all.

    One evening he called me and insisted on seeing me in person, about something urgent. I met him in a shopping center parking lot, thinking it was something about our children. Instead, he had my nail tech in his car, all dolled up for a date. He said she would not go out with him unless I knew — they wanted my permission? Blessing? What a croc. I told him they had obviously made the decision to date, and I had no right to restrict either of them. She knew he was a cheater and a liar, but bought his story of “I’ve changed.” Christ tells us to forgive, right?

    Needless to say, I changed nail techs. She was much younger than I was, and I was 8 years younger than he was. She was Asian, and was not a citizen. She fed his idea that Asian women were subservient, and would not question him or challenge him the way I did. She wanted status as a married woman, more money, and citizenship. They “dated” for awhile, but it was tumultuous because she “knew” he was a cheater, and she was jealous, My children did not approve of their dad’s choice, but to be fair they did not find any of his dating choices “appropriate” over several years after our divorce.

    When their Dad told my sons he was going to marry her, they were not pleased. No one knows if they actually married, because no one attended the wedding. She has retained her name, but she did become a citizen. Her own children have little to do with her, and my children are polite, but not close. My oldest son told me that from where he sat, my ex had his best years when we were married, and he threw them all away. He settled for a perceived caretaker. She settled for a man who was not good, or Christian. He mocks many of her fundamentalist beliefs. They both probably got what they deserved.

    Would I have changed anything I did, if I could? Yes. I would not have ever held her in “friend” regard. That way, I would not have been disappointed in her. I already knew my ex was a loser. She got the “Sparkly Turd”. Good for her!

    Just be careful of trusting people with your intimate knowledge. They might be a vulture.

    • Wow. People suck. The good news is that, in this instance, two who really suck to the max are together of their own accord. Endless fun, I bet. Karma works in mysterious ways.

  • I have some friends that are very devout christians – the kind that always wears long skirts and the little white caps. I was so afraid to tell them that I was getting divorced, I assumed they would no longer want to associate with me. I finally had to tell the wife that I was moving, and was getting divorced. She took my hand and said “We have been watching God taking that man to the periphery of your life for years, and you’ve been fighting God every step of the way. Your pain comes from fighting God while he’s tried to get that man out of your life. Let him go so that God can bring a better man to you.” I was floored. They are the kindest people I have ever met.

  • It was a couple of weeks after DDay. A church elder friend asked me if my then wife had a mental illness. I replied “not that I know of”. He mentioned that he thought my then wife was a narcissist. He said when they moved into the congregation his wife and him knew right away that she was. It opened my eyes to see who she really was. When I was suicidal he invited me over and listened.

    Years later, after I remarried, he mentioned how “I deserved to be happy”.

  • About 10 weeks post D-day (during which time I had talked to NO ONE), I failed my post-partum depression screening (it was my six-week check up after my fifth baby). The very young midwife looked me squarely in the eye, very serious, and said, “Tell me what’s going on?” I burst into tears, told her I found out my husband was cheating on me. She got visibly rigid and tense with anger, advised me to get a lawyer and said the word “divorce,” which made me cry even harder. I said, “I don’t want a divorce. I can’t get a divorce. I have five children…” She said, “No one gets married thinking they’ll get divorced, but it happens.” It helped me start climbing out of the fantasy world of reconciliation. A couple months later, I connected with a distant relative who pointed me to chumplady. And I thank God for you, Tracy.

  • My doctor. I arranged to get tested for STDs after D Day #1 and the nurse took all my blood. Later I was ushered into the doctor’s room where I waited patiently in my little paper gown until she arrived. She walked in with her regular small talk, looked at my chart and blurted out spontaneously, “…! I’m going to kill him!!” before she recovered and began speaking professionally again.

    It was just a small moment but it meant so much to me. FW was gaslighting me so much in those early days, it was hard to know what was real. I felt crazy and paranoid. It felt really good to know that an outside third party could briefly look at the objective data and confirm everything for me: “Girl, you are NOT crazy; you’ve got an STD and your husband is an ass; what’s he telling you because the proof is in your bloodwork.”

    You don’t realize how twisty gaslighting makes your world until someone storms in and cuts through all the BS you’ve been force-fed. I will be forever grateful for my doctor’s spontaneous blurt of anger.

  • The teachers and the principal at the elementary school my daughter was attending on DDay. She was in fifth grade.

    Her teacher had been chumped and was happily remarried and expecting a baby with his new wife. (His former cheater wife was getting divorced, again….surprise). He excused my daughter from the Family History project, realizing it was too painful for her. He hugged me every day and offered words of encouragement.

    Two of her former teachers at the same school, both women, had dads who cheated when they were growing up. They were, and still are, there for my daughter to talk with. Their numbers are in her phone for support and advice.

    The principal, who also became a friend, also had a father who cheated and left when she was growing up. She texted with my daughter many days when I was struggling to get us both out of bed and to school. She deputized my daughter as an assistant at school. Her number is also still in my daughter’s phone. We have a thing in our family for “sponsors”….people who have been there that can help you through something. I believe it’s especially important for kids to have trusted people who understand to talk with!

    When my daughter started middle school, again the staff were amazing. Many mornings we were able to use the principal’s office when I brought my daughter to school and she would fall apart and she needed to make a pit stop to cry and get glued back together.

    I have found that in being honest about what has happened to me, staying factual, I have received incredible help and have also helped others. For that reason I believe it’s important to speak up and tell the truth. It’s all about that If You See Something, Say Something.

    Knowing that other people have a right to share their experience, strength, and hope might inspire “some people” to clean up their act. It’s been my experience that the cheaters expect their victims to follow the
    “don’t talk, don’t trust, don’t feel” mandate. Fuck that.

    Be careful what you do and say. You might be the only Bible someone reads that day. If cheaters don’t want anyone talking about what they did, that’s a big fat clue they shouldn’t have done it.

    • PS

      It struck me like a 2 x 4 between the eyes that the person I was married to, her own dad, was completely incapable of the emotional awareness, empathy, compassion, understanding of her 5th grade teacher who excused her from the Family History project….

      The affair SHOWS YOU WHO THEY ARE. Mirage-busting. At the end of the day I have to be thankful I was shown so I could get away. If that makes any sense.

      • That’s EXACTLY how I feel. I’m incredibly thankful his true character was exposed. I’m much better off as a single mom of five kids than being in a horrible marriage with five kids. I’ve actually grown to resent people who pity me now. I am far from pitiful!

      • Makes total sense. I have reframed my experience in this very way. It sucks but it’s what is true. Give me truth over lies any day. If what we thought was real was a mirage then onward in our search for real water!

  • The AT&T phone rep!

    Our family cell phone plan was in the name of The Lying Liar Who Lies. Even after he left us, he refused to release my number and stalked the account page to see who I texted and called. I contacted AT&T and was informed that only the primary account holder can release individual numbers.

    A few days later, I called back in tears and desperation. I reached a random female account rep who listened to my story with gratifying indignation. She lowered her voice and whispered that she too had suffered from an abusive ex. She said she couldn’t release my number but advised me to get a new phone in my own plan and leave him holding the bag. Sucks to be him!

    I was a SAHM married for 26 years. Everything was in his name. The AT&T lady was the first and only account rep who validated my experience. Customer for life.

    • I had a similar experience with Verizon. Klootzak works from home (as do I) so not only was he watching every dime I spent and who I texted or called, he also controlled where I went. Even to take the dog outside, I was forbidden to walk her any place except the sidewalk to the west side of the house a little bit where he could see me from his office window. If I walked to the east side, he would run outside, charge down the driveway, and glare at me from the sidewalk and demanded to know why I walked her where I was not allowed. Seriously. But I digress….

      One day he decided to go attend a networking lunch somewhere (or that’s what he said it was). I messaged my boss that I urgently needed to take leave to attend to personal business. There is a Verizon store not far from our house. I turned off my phone’s tracking and ran there on foot. Klootzak also monitors the mileage on the cars so he would know if I had driven somewhere. I ran into the Verizon store and made it clear that I needed to buy a phone fast and get it set up. No time for you to try to upsell me or whatever. I nervously watched the street out the big storefront window in case klootzak suddenly returned early.

      The Verizon rep could tell I was in fear of being caught. I was breathless from running over. I couldn’t believe how long it took to buy and get things set up, but I had to do it there because I would not have access to wifi (Klootzak doesn’t let me have the password to use it) at home to do it later so we got everything up and running in store. I needed unlimited everything. Texts. Data. Whatever. The clerk asked if I was OK. And that was it. Out spilled the shortest version I could manage of why I was there. Cheating. Financial abuse. Controlling. Emotionally abusive. But no, I have not been hit. Trying to plot a safe escape. Need a phone for security and to find legal help and so on. I told him klootzak had left the house for the first time in ages but I didn’t know how long I had. He nodded and worked faster. When we were done, I thanked him and he said his mother had lived in the same situation with his father and he had wished she would have found the strength to get out. He said almost the same words my medispa lady had, “Don’t be afraid. Rip that bandage off and go. No wife should ever have to go through what you are.” He said to please come back if I needed any further help and that he was pulling for me. It was so amazing. I had never met this person but having been the child of a controlling cheater, he got it. And it made me think that maybe this would be my son someday and I don’t want him just wishing I had done it. I wondered if his mother had passed or if she was still married to his father or how it had ended in a way that she hadn’t been able to leave. I didn’t have time to chat. I ran back home and sealed my new lifeline away where it couldn’t be found.

      • Bravo and well told! I remember the stomach churn and the panic. Seizing those windows of opportunity is half the battle with a controlling person isn’t it.

        I wasn’t allowed a car or decent mobile phone until I got a job. That job saved me. Even to a big redundancy payment that funded my exit and lawyers fees.

        • I have a job but he has the passwords to all the financial accounts – checking, retirement, everything – and even has his personal email address listed as the contact in MY accounts. I was so desperate for a means of communication so I could reach an attorney and I paid for the consult with cash that I sent in the mail. All planning has been old school off the grid. My son has a friend a little younger than him who is one size behind him in clothes. His mother is one of my best friends. I would say that I was “dropping off hand me downs that kiddo outgrew” but, in truth, half the clothes in the bag would be things in the next size up for my son that she would hold do if we needed to escape in a hurry, I already had a complete stash of things for us at her house. If klootzak ever goes psycho, I just need to grab my work laptop, kid, and dog and walk away. Our “go” bag is gone; no need to pack. I’m preparing for every eventuality but trying to ride things out a bit longer for multiple reasons. It’s crazy but I’m being extra careful. When I file, he is going to snap and I need to be super careful about our personal safety.

          • That sounds very scary, MWE. Much more dangerous than my situation was. I hope you can get away safely with your son and file for divorce soon.

          • It sounds like you’ve strategically planned your escape. I read your burner phone purchase up thread on the edge of my seat. I’m rooting for you and I know others as well.

  • When D-Day came, my Mum was on the other side of the world on a cruise ship. She does live on the other side of the world to me normally but it’s fairly easy to get hold of her with phones / the internet these days. I didn’t even know what cruise ship she was on! I phoned my youngest brother, he didn’t know but told me I wasn’t to be ashamed or a terrible wife because it had happened. I phoned my eldest brother, he was away for work so I spoke to his partner, who sadly had experienced the same herself. She gave me loads of practical advice. I spoke to my Aunt, who actually knew roughly what cruise ship my Mum was on. The first ship I rang, was the wrong ship but she advised who to call next. When I finally got through to the ship, they tried the room and my Mum was out. When I explained the situation, sobbing down the phone, the lady promised me to let my Mum call back for free, which she did. When I finally got in touch with my Mum and I told her, she said “Thank God it is just that and the children are ok”. It still makes me laugh. She got back from her cruise ship and got on a plane to the other side of the world within days. She was in her late 60s.

  • So many really. There are angels everywhere.

    One of the first people I called the morning after DDay was my Chabad Rabbi. He was so upset that he asked to call me back. And then it was like he gathered the troops… suddenly he showed up at my door to help. He offered any and all support. His wife helped me. Another Rabbi’s wife called to walk with me daily. The whole community surrounded me with love and comfort and would walk with me or take me to coffee. It was extraordinary. So many offered me and my son meals and comfort. One Rabbi even invited me to dinner with his family and got me a job with someone he knew.

    A neighbor would come by to walk with me and just let me talk. She and her husband had us (my 9 year old son and me) over for many dinners too.

    Another neighbor from Turkey — she’s a very smart doctor — brought us homemade meals and said to me “whatever you do — don’t take him back.”

    My next door neighbor was a single doctor, about 50 years old. He found out what happened and informed me that his father had done that to his mother when he was about 10 and he didn’t talk to or try to forgive his father until he was in his 30s. He said that he only forgave to move on but has no respect for his father and was thoroughly disgusted with FW. When he heard I was moving, he said that I was a great neighbor and he no longer wanted to stay either… and he moved away right after me.

    A male friend from college heard what happened. He informed me that his dad had done this to his mother and had come back multiple times. At 13 he told his mom to stop taking his dad back. He then told me to never let FW back… that it is only destructive to the kids. I had known him for 20 years and never knew about this. It helped give me peace that I was doing the right thing.

    A friend from high school found out and she revealed her dad did this to her mom. He was a Jesus cheater… a minister who moved from the East Coast to California to run off with his secretary and leave his wife and 3 daughters behind. She reassured me that I would be ok.

    I had to attend a summer meet-and-greet at a park for parents of 4th graders. While the kids played on the playground, I sat alone at a picnic table while other parents chatted. A lovely Indian woman came over and said to me something along the lines of “I sense your sadness. I want you to be strong for your son.” (she didn’t even know what had happened) She then recommended some amazing Hindu videos on youtube to help lift me. I watched them and they were awesome. She was a gift in every way and continued to check in on me for several years.

    So many more! Try to be open and accept all kindness. It’s so hard when you feel deflated and useless after the gaslighting and discard by a FW.

    • So many good people came up to you! It heartens me to hear it.

      “Another neighbor from Turkey — she’s a very smart doctor — brought us homemade meals and said to me “whatever you do — don’t take him back.”

      Dang! I wish someone had said that to me. And if they did, I wish I had listened.

    • I was surprised how many people had experienced the same in their own lives. I lost count at the number of friends, who had a parent who were chumped or even previous partners that had done the same (Some I had no idea even existed as they never talked about them). I’ll never forget the women who told me about her Mother, who had been chumped. She said that both herself and her sister considered her an absolute Queen and adored her. Her Father on the other hand, lived alone and although they still saw him, they considered him tragic and didn’t have much respect for him.

      • Right? After I was chumped, it was like this whole hidden world revealed itself. Everyone seems to keep it a secret that they were chumped or their dad did this to their mom or whatever. Some of these people I’d know for 20+ years and I had no idea.

        There were 2 more examples that popped up as I was thinking back too.

        1. I started working again at a full time job after 10 years of being a stay at home mom. I was so nervous. Within the first week, a young man (in his late 20s) in the office came up to me and pulled me aside. He said “I heard you’re a single mom and you have a son. My mom raised me herself and she is my hero. I fly down to see her in Atlanta as often as I can. You are amazing and I respect you so much.”

        No kidding! And he never asked for anything. It wasn’t a scam. This was for real. I will never forget how awesome that was or how that young man made me feel. Kudos to his awesome mom for raising such an amazing son!

        2. A few months after FW left, I was so sick that I had major GI issues. I had always had GI issues and had a long time gastroenterologist, but this episode sent me to the ER and then I had to go to my gastroenterologist. When I saw my doctor, I explained that FW left me and I was really struggling. He lost it! He dropped F bombs and completely flipped out about what a piece of shit FW is. I still smile when I think of it. I even thanked him for it years later at one of my appointments. He reiterated that FW was a piece of shit LOL!

  • Also, regarding the original posters statement regarding “finding your tribe”: I found it very interesting that, in the example they gave from that TV show, that we get this compassion, often, from new people, acquaintances, or outside sources–often, it doesn’t come from our immediate friends.

    This I can understand. My old friend group (the friend group I made in high school that knew me and FW as a longterm couple) is almost all gone. Many (a disappointing lot of them) wavered and eventually drifted over to FW and Wifetress’s corner. (Again, I can somewhat understand: on my side is despair, pain, antidepressants, and slow recovery; on their side is: charisma, fun-times, happy stories that always put them in a favorable light, etc.) I let those friends go. If they want to party with FW/Wifetress then I’m not going to stand in anyone’s way but I’m also not going to stick around for it. Other friends I pushed away in the heat of my own trauma and they were hurt enough to never come back. And finally, other friends, supremely uncomfortable with both FW’s behavior and my trauma, just sort of drifted away from us both.

    I look at the dissolution of my old social group and, yeah, I’m sad about it sometimes. Those were some bonafide “old-school” friends that are mostly gone now. A FW’s adultery doesn’t just break up a family, it ripples out and affects everything.

    I don’t have many friends these days–no time and trust issues. But the ones I have made have no history with the coupling of me and FW from days of yore.

    • I get you. I lost lots of couple friend and other friends. Stumbled along with temp friends for a while too. But refound some old friend. Better friends. It’s better now than before. I’m not isolated. Had been isolating wth all the usual narc shit stuff. Glad to be on the other side of that poo poo pile.

    • I think it helps that Ted isn’t from Rebecca’s world – he’s a middle class American, she’s a famous and rich Brit who has to fight the local tabloids. Ted isn’t bound to the same balancing act she is.

  • My ex’s best friends, a married couple. Within days of discovery, they called me, told me to stay away from him, and I literally talked to them every day for the first 2 years. Within a month, they drove 6 hours, told me to get dressed up and together we let out some steam with drinks and fun in Nashville. Needless to say, they are MY best friends now and I “won” them in the divorce!

    • Klootzak’s best friend was the best man at our wedding. I had become friends with them both, too. When D-day hit, I wound up telling them and asking them if he had always been this way or what did they know. Klootzak was playing sad sausage and I was making plans to leave. Klootzak seemed despondent, so I had asked his friend to check in with him so klootzak would have someone to talk to. The answer was no. They could no longer be friends with him. They have no respect for a cheater. Stopped talking to him completely. Don’t want someone like that in their lives. They are still my friends, though. I didn’t intend to “win” anybody. I have been happy to know people like them who don’t try to make excuses or be Switzerland friends, though. It has been 9 years and klootzak has only figured out in the last year or so that he was unfriended. He thought they were just busy people but then tried reaching them related to his military retirement and they wouldn’t respond to him.

    • Two of my closest male friends (still! I am eternally grateful for their loyalty and don’t know what I did to deserve their friendships) grew up with FW, became close mutual friends and are very well-respected in our community. Both stood up for me and made it known that they saw fuckwit for who he was and wanted nothing more to do with him. They respect my privacy and won’t discuss the situation publicly unless they feel the record needs to be set straight.

      When FW went crying and lying to one (not the first time) during his PR campaign after I left for the final time, my friend calmly told FW he didn’t want to hear it and asked him to leave. This friend is a colossus, and I felt safer knowing he had my back, especially as my ex became increasingly volatile.

      The other friend offered to collect my things from the house for me. When he arrived and FW predictably gave him the runaround and tried to keep things of mine, he texted me to verify what was on the list of items and let FW know he saw through the BS. When FW said while sobbing, “I’m worried about B&R. Is she ok?” My friend just looked at him and said, “You need to worry about yourself.”

      I guess a male Switzerland “friend” I’ve cut contact with – also heavily involved in the community 🙁 – recently gave this friend shit for cutting FW out and ignoring his texts, etc. My friend said he made it clear why and told the guy not to mention it to him again.

      Cheaters lose loving partners, extended families, friends with integrity, and their own reputations. When they discard us, they also destroy relationships and communities: neighbors, friends and family members favorite restaurants, places of employment. There’s a ripple effect even beyond the immediate circle.

  • After DDay, I of course went to my doctor for STD testing. Awkward, because my husband and I were both his patients. I was sent to the lab immediately where the lab assistant started pulling out vial after vial to fill with blood. I just started sobbing uncontrollably. She held my hand for a moment and then she said, “Honey, you don’t have to say anything. I used to have a husband, too. I’m filling eight vials today. The next time you talk to your attorney, you tell him you want a price tag put on each vial. This is abuse, and he needs to pay.” I called my counsel, and it was added to the stack.

    The other was, of all people, my gynecologist. I went in shortly after seeing my primary care doc to get checked in all the nooks and crannies. I’d already had my yearly Well-Woman exam, so when he asked why I was back for Round 2, again, uncontrollable sobbing. I spill the whole start, and while I’m there in the stirrups, completely exposed, he starts singing George Strait’s “She Let Herself Go,” which is a song about divorce. All I could do was laugh. The visit that confirmed my STD—another George Strait song, “Just Give It Away.” It’s an odd kind of comfort having a doctor that will serenade you while you’re spread-eagle on the tab.

  • My father, not a man with a high EQ, nevertheless had an uncanny intuition about the jerk. At one point, during the affair nobody knew about yet, and from his hospital bed, my dad point blank asked fuckwit why he didn’t love me. Another time he told fw that I was beautiful and kind and that he was a lucky man who should be happy to have me. Fuckwit didn’t answer the question and disregarded his advice, of course. The question was asked when I had left the room to get him a snack, so I didn’t know about it until fw told me after Dday.

    My dad fought a long battle with a devastating neuromuscular disorder and died before Dday, but knowing what he had said helped me. It took me back to before I married the jerk, when my dad expressed some reservations about his passive personality. I didn’t pay it much heed, as to me that was not a deal breaker. But dad also made some general comments in another conversation about divorces being caused by certain men being fundamentally unsuitable as husbands. At the time I did not know he meant the fuckwit. Now I do.

    So my dad gave me comfort from beyond the grave. I was relieved that somebody had seen through the facade, because my other relatives were still convinced fw was a good guy who just made “a mistake” and were of no help, but by God, if he had been alive, my dad would have cursed a blue street at him and offered me money to help me escape.

    I was so focused on caregiving to my dad and spending so much time with him that I didn’t notice the signs. After he passed, things became unbearable because I could no longer ignore fw’s mistreatment and how much time he was spending “going out with the boys”, coming home shit-faced, etc. I told fw I was deeply depressed over the state of the marriage and asked him to go to counseling. Naturally, he refused. After Dday he desperately wanted marriage counseling. I refused. Back at ya, bitch. I said; “What’s for me to discuss? You want me to give a therapist a hundred different reasons why you’re an asshole and I’m dumping you? Because I will.”
    Yeah, he pretty much lost interest after that. Douchebag.
    Thanks, dad. ❤

  • I think one of the problems with being in an abusive relationship is how emotionally isolated you become. I spent so much energy making sure my kids were happy (translation: covering for their father) and our family was “intact” that I drove my shame – over his behavior – as far down as possible. I couldn’t imagine there were so many others who had been through it or that people would place the blame squarely on FW.

    For every fuckwit and Switzerland idiot out there, there is at least one chump or chump champion (chumpion?) to balance out the world. It gives me hope to know that some people really can be trusted.

  • My OB/GYN nurse when I went into get tested for STDS. She shared she had gone through something similar. Felt less alone. I had a couple of great ladies from therapeutic support group…they stayed married
    I did not. When it came time to divorce 5 years post dday my parents and close friends helped keep me strong.

  • My adult daughters have been super-fans of a rock group for their whole lives, a group introduced to them by their father. After the abandonment the girls are NC and are wondering if everything they loved is even real. We attended one of the band’s concerts to be sure it was still our thing and not just a narco-pasting of preferences by the X Asshat. Good news, we do still love them (throws horns)!

    After the show the girls knew they could speak with the band leader if they wanted but decided not to hang around for him. As we were leaving the venue the lead came running after us, calling our names to chat and thank us for attending. He asked about the Asshat not being there because he was familiar that it was their father who first got them into the band, and between the 3 women we over-shared and told that we had been abandoned so the Asshat could chase a chick half his age. Without a beat, the band leader said, “What an asshole. We hate him!” Perfect response.

    It makes me smile to know that this very talented rock-god guitar musician that the Asshat worshipped and first introduced the family to knows that he is a complete pile of shit. I am sure the Asshat would cry if he knew what the guy thought of him.

    • Great story! I bet fuckwit would burn with humiliation if he knew.

      My ex fuckwit and his whore were huge fans of a musician and used going to every single one of his concerts as trysting opportunities (and I’ll spare you the disgusting details). The best thing about that is that the musician is actually an ethical person who had been horribly chumped himself and would absolutely despise the two of them. The idiots knew all the angry lyrics he wrote about his cheating ex and would drunkenly sing along, totally unaware of the irony.
      I snicker whenever I think of that. Fws be stupid.

  • after the initial visit to order tests for STI’s, my family GP asked me to come in every 2 weeks for a visit, “just to see how i was doing”. she probably wanted to put her eyes on me, make sure i wasn’t depressed–i have a past history of situational depression. these visits went on for 4-5 months as i struggled through individual counselling/marital counselling + mixed messages from my H, and tried to figure out what next to do.

    GP was calm and continually refocused me with “what do you want?” and “what do you deserve?” when it all came down at the end, she said, “you’re okay. now you move on.”

    and she invited me in whenever i want to talk. i’m grateful, beyond words grateful, for her support. we don’t have a lot in common but have known one another for 30 years, as long as i’ve been married.

    i also have a friend in the writing community who is divorced and, although we didn’t know one another very well, opened her home to me during COVID so i could go over once/week and let it all hang out. it’s hard when the kids are with you to find time to let go. anyway, we’re good friends now and i’m grateful for her support, too.

    i have a good group of girlfriends, old and newer, who’ve supported me. funnily, i think i’ve learned a lot about love during this time.

    • Yes, my kind GP said to me that he could not stand to see what the ex had done to me. He was almost frantic in telling me to NOT return to the marriage.

      That was really helpful as I was teetering on going back, and it would have done me in.

      My real estate lawyer called me to tell me to not buy my own house, he said ‘stay with your mother for a year.’ I did buy the house, but I am always indebted about much he cared. I wasn’t just a client. As I left his office after the closing he gave me a piece of paper on which he had written ‘you create your own life.’

      Also my mother. We never had a very good relationship. But here was this woman in her 80’s who detests driving, taking me to appointments all over town, and coming in with me to be another set of ears.

      • “That was really helpful as I was teetering on going back, and it would have done me in.”

        I am so glad you didn’t. I let my ex come back and he screwed me over again, and all it took was a week. All he wanted was to get in the house and use the car for his politicking, I assume he also told all the folks we were getting back together. For the week he was there he treated me like shit after he schmoozed me enough to get in the house. Was cold distant, then on about the fourth or fifth day he said he just “couldn’t get his feeling back”

        Asshole conned me again.

        I did kick him out, but I have always regretted that. I should have told him to go to hell, but I was still hurting and as CL has stated I was looking for that grain of hope that he actually ever gave a shit.

  • I too, an independent woman, had saviors who made me realize kindness and community once more:
    The HVAC guy who helped me deal with a broken well pump and the ensuing team of people who helped me dig a new well line
    The loggers on a neighboring property who left me extra potatoes from their gardens and homemade tomato stakes for mine
    The people who would plow my driveway in the winter “just because”
    The women who knew my quiet struggle and nominated me for families supporting families and gave my kids wonderful Christmas presents when I was unable to.

    I felt so swept up and cared for by my entire community at a time that I felt so lost, abandoned and burned. Their love will never be forgotten and I can’t wait to pay it forward.

  • For me it was some little old veteran guy at the grocery store. I was living in Cincinnati Bengals territory and had worn my Green Bay Packers sweatshirt to the store. This old guy came up to me with a gallon ziploc baggie of parachute cord macrame keychains and said I looked like I could use a little gift. He dug around and gave me a green and gold keychain. He told me how he’s retired and makes these keychains to give away for free anywhere he is. I teared up and said that my 3-yr-old daughter would love it. He told me to wait right there and that he’d be right back. I did, because I’m a chump and he brought me 3 more keychains with jingle bells on them for my daughter. I was still weepy and offered to pay him for the keychains and he laughed and said no. It was just his way of bringing a little joy to the world.

    I put that keychain on my keyring and it’s still on there, 4 years later. I don’t think I’ll ever take it off.

    *raising my glass * To the little old veteran guy at the grocery store.

  • I think the one that helped the most was when his life long best friend and wife visited me and his best friend told me “I told fw that he is going to regret this”.

    In my case he lied to a lot of folks, given he was screwing his direct report. His character was on full view once he was outed. So just knowing that helped me a lot. I was well known, so even if he berated me, he likely didn’t get a good reception except for the whores family. And they were all desperate for money, so…

    Also, he got busted at the police department and put back out on the street. Now the mayor didn’t do that for me, he had to do damage control; but still it put a bounce in my step when I read it in the paper. (It was couched as “organizational restructuring”. Lol, yes of course it was, why everyone knows it is just common place to bust officers less than a year after they have been promoted.

  • Love this theme! For me it was my chiropractor—who was also HIS chiropractor. I showed up and sobbed as she adjusted me and it sounded like she was going to spit nails. “If people think they are going to do this kind of crap and be seen by me, they are wrong.” But there was also little acts by people I didn’t know well but who just said the right thing at the right time. Like my friends’s mom who just looked at me and said “oh this is hard but it gets better” because she had gone through it too. I was also lucky to have an amazing band of pals as well as a small group of us going through a divorce at the same time that brought me amazing comfort. I’m still friends with these women today. I can’t imagine going through this without my posse.

  • Two people stand out. My former brother-in-law, ex-cop, conservative right wing Republican (I have I’ve always been known as the antiwar lefty in the family) and a childhood buddy I’ll call Max. My former BIL and I have a little in common but have always gotten along OK. When he heard her story about “falling out of love” he asked me if she was cheating. He’s the only one in the family that stood up and called bullshit and basically cut her off. He doesn’t talk to her much at all anymore. Everyone else, her liberal parents included, are all on board with her version of history. My friend Max when I told him what was happening wanted me to send him a picture of the fuckwit that was cheating with my wife. He said he was going to “drop him” on the street by smashing him in the face. “Trust me, he’ll never know who did it.” I told him he didn’t need to do that, but damn that it’s her feel good hearing him say that.

  • My priest. That’s right… a Catholic priest. I went to him for guidance early on in an attempt to forgive my STBXH for cheating on me repeatedly. I told the whole ugly truth to him and his first response was: “I want to punch this guy in the nose.” His second response: “You do realize, don’t you, that you have grounds for an annulment from the Church.”

    To get validation from that source… was the best feeling ever.

    • That is so great. I down the line convert to Catholic, and they were amazing to me.

      Like any other group of folks, there are some bad actors.

      When I was going through my discard, my preacher at the time was so helpful to me. He even said at one point, “you need to get really angry” I did, but given my personality I didn’t show it in public much.

      I withheld from my preacher how I was treated in the last year of marriage, I should have spilled it all. I am sure he suspected, but still I should have spilled.

    • Me too! I also went to my Catholic priest to ask forgiveness, but I was asking it because I was divorcing. After I told him my story about all the cheating, I asked for forgiveness. He angrily said, “YOU!!!! What about HIM!!!” I said, “Father. I’m not here for him, just me.” He said “In this case I think God will understand!!!” I couldn’t have asked for a better person in my life at that time. I really needed to know that God had no problem whatsoever with me divorcing.

    • Susan M Yes! A young priest in my parish was marvellous in confession. I was a mess – just after i had left xh. He listened, clarified that I and the children were safe, and if I had personal and professional support, and spoke so sensibly, wisely and comfortingly, I’ll never forget it. Utter validation.

    • Me, too! I had a priest friend through a group I belonged to. He had been my best friend’s uncle’s roommate in college. Have known him forever. The military had us living in his area when D-day 1 hit. Klootzak did not support my going to church so I had fallen away from it, but I always kept in contact with Father because he was such a great guy and so wise. Well, I didn’t feel like I could talk to many people after D-day #1, but as a priest, I felt Father would keep things in confidence. I had not been sucked into the RIC yet. The priest was against me even attempting counseling. I mean, for myself, sure, but not marital and trying to save the marriage. He also told me I had good grounds for annulment as klootzak misrepresented his intentions when we married. Father was pro-divorce and I wasn’t willing to hear it. He was clear and vocal about it. I wish I had listened. But anyway, his advice has always rung in my head and made me feel like I had permission to go. It wouldn’t mean I was a bad wife or a bad person; it meant I had boundaries and morals. That meant a lot mentally.

  • The insurance agent on the phone who listened to me cry. Doofus refused to take my name off of his car registration because that forced me to pay for the insurance. The insurance guy could not cancel the insurance because that exposed me to personal liability. But insurance guy was genuinely on my side, and I’ll never forget him.

    • Yeah there’s nothing like a heartfelt sincere interaction with a stranger to keep you afloat on a bad day. That is so cool. I’m a high school teacher and though I think I hid my feelings well, I remember a student asking me if I was okay. I said I was, but he nonetheless gave me a hug on his way out the door and told me to hang in there.

    • I had someone, a vendor or a maintenance person, call my house looking for the fuckwit. I replied that he wasn’t there. He asked when he would return. I said, “He won’t. He doesn’t live here anymore. He decided to have another woman. I disagreed with his decision so I’m divorcing him.” He was silent for about 2 seconds and then said, “God is with you and He will grant you peace.” He didn’t have to hear about any cheating; he knew without me saying it. And he was absolutely right. I am at peace.

  • Most of you are lucky. After almost two years I am still waiting. Being somewhat introverted, compared to my ex-wife who will become the center of attention at any event, I am just pretty much forgotten about.

    • @Justin, you have us. We see you. I know it is not the same as being seen IRL, but we see you nonetheless.

    • Justin. As the center of attention, she will show who she is before too long and people will talk about her to others and before long, wherever she goes, she will continue to be ‘the center of attention’ but not quite in the way she likes. She will see the looks of unbelief on people and she will know why they look at her in a not-so-welcoming way. The day will come and it’s not for you to worry about it. Focus on you and on healing. Two years is still so early. Be kind to yourself and learn to love yourself for who you are, warts and all. You did not cheat. She did. So pat yourself on the back. After you find peace (and it could take a couple more years), you will know without a doubt that she did you the biggest favor in the world. You won’t spend years and years trying to make someone happy that can’t be made happy. You may or may not find someone to share your life with, but you can be happy all the same. And as for introverts (I’m actually an extrovert), I found a wonderful introvert man to spend my life with. Your probable-extrovert ex-wife is probably her own downfall. It’s all about her. Your value is not dependent on whether or not someone recognizes it. Your value is simply because you’re a human being with great qualities. Start loving yourself and you’ll be very, very lucky too.

    • Justin, that hurts, I know. I’m an introvert too. For a while I missed the more active social life I had with xh. Then I realised how shallow it was, that I did most of the work, and how stressed and drained it made me. And none of those people ever made any effort to contact me after I left him, even the ones I was most friendly with. That did hurt. I was where you are.

      But quieter-than is not less-than. In time you will make the sort of social connections that introverts prefer and enjoy your life again on your terms. You will become comfortable with who you are again. It may take a while simply because that’s how we roll, right? Also extrovert narcs find it easy to discard and move on. We don’t because we have real attachments and real feelings so we need real time to recover.

      I maintain no contact with my extrovert narc xh but when you are part of a very large extended family and live in a fairly small and isolated city you can’t help but hear stuff.

      Last I heard he’s living his best life floating about the gay and entertainment communities.

      So glad I’m not the XO of that sh*tshow any more.

    • I found Captain Awkward’s posts really helpful in navigating friend groups as an introvert; and I think good-hearted introverts bring a valuable awareness, balance and depth to a gathering. Don’t let your awful ex decide your valuation of yourself in social situations.
      Wishing you peace.

    • Justin, I hear you. I am as introverted as you can be without actually being a hermit. I have no friends. Several close members of my family were angry and mean to me when I decided to leave the jerk and I am still not on speaking terms with some of them. I’m also on the spectrum (high functioning type) and people seem to find me weird. If that wasn’t enough, I have social anxiety and chronic physical pain that limits my ability to participate in activities. So there’s no hope for a social life or for meeting somebody new.
      I’d be lonely if I didn’t have my pets. I like dogs better than people anyway. Consider adopting a needy animal.

      You’re not forgotten about because we care.
      You want somebody to talk to, you let me know. I don’t mind posting my email.

      • You did the right thing for you, which is what matters.
        I truly don’t understand why some people get angry when people split up. My mum was mad when I split with my last boyfriend, because it was going to hurt his feelings. He didn’t cheat as far as I know, but did flirt hard with a new person at our social group (not that she responded, because she was so withdrawn and shy) so I’m sure he would have at some point. I just felt like crap being around him in the end, but of course, my feelings didn’t matter ????

        • Shintoga its deeply hurtful when your mother invalidates you like that. My mother is the same. Not all mothers are good mothers. Peg Streep “daughter detox” is very enlightening in helping understanding this and managing it.

        • Oh yes. Mine did too. But in my case it was a husband of several decades, which is a bit more understandable, but it’s still wrong.

          But a boyfriend? What the hell? She cared more about his feelings than yours? That’s outrageous. Is she like that in general?

          My mom also felt more sympathy for the poor sausage cheater than for me, which came as a brutal shock to me. She was so furious and determined to be right that she even made up an incident that hadn’t even happened to try to bolster her claim that I was the bad guy. Months later she did apologize, but the damage was done, and she continued to occasionally snipe passive-aggressively. We didn’t speak for a year until she quit doing it. I never quite trusted her after that and she died suddenly of an aggressive cancer before trust could be fully rebuilt.

          My eldest also went suddenly incommunicado with the whole family and has stayed that way. My youngest, OTOH, is a darling and very supportive. I hope you have at least one supporter in your family.

          • My sister in law is supportive, and my brother, but I’ve been in counselling since November and it’s helped me see the dysfunction in this family more clearly (alcoholic/narc father, enabler mother. Father recently passed but secretly, all I feel is relief). I have been blamed for stuff that wasn’t my fault (e.g. near-misses while driving, when the other driver pulls out too soon are apparently because I drive too fast!) and had my feelings invalidated quite often, though. I don’t hate her, but I don’t feel that close to her, either.
            Thank you, as well, New Chump, daughter-detox sounds very helpful so I will look into that!

    • My situation is similar, Justin. My XH is the extroverted center of attention who has no problem making friends wherever he goes. Even though he behaved objectively horribly when he first left me for GF#1, many of our mutual friends kind of went over to his side because he was… well, fun and charismatic.

      I’m introverted and definitely turned inward after he left; I hermited up, big time. I was on my own with no money and two babies, so surviving took up most of my energy. Many years later I decided to venture out into the professional field that I had left behind me, years ago, as XH also (prolifically!) works in that field. I felt that I had built up enough courage and I had done a few noteworthy and freelance projects in that field before I had ever met FW, so I had a bit of a name to work off of in what is a relatively small pond out here.

      FW had many years of a headstart on me though. He’s been pushing his own work out there for years, while I was getting out of the fetal position, and he’s social and extroverted to boot! When I started putting my work out there again, I attracted an interested client, who also works closely with FW, whose first words were, no joke: “I’ve got my finger on the pulse of [this industry] and I’ve never heard of you before! Have you just started?”

      It was a bit of a kick in the gut but I understood why. FW’s extroversion definitely aided him professionally; my introversion and trauma-recovery-time held me back.

      So, I get you. I really do. Compared to my XH, who will become the center of attention at any event he enters, I am pretty much forgotten about also. So, I’m not aiming to become more well-networked or more well-known than him; I’m concentrating on getting my degree and producing high-quality work, even if it’s not trumpeted with bells and whistles.

  • I was going through the check out at a Walmart shortly after Dday. And older black man was my cashier. He said the noticed that I was looking very low, and asked my first name, and said he was going to pray for me.

    It meant a lot.

    I have never seen him there again.

    I later sent a Christmas card to a very successful colleague/college mate. I mentioned that my long term marriage had failed. I had included my new phone number. I was lonely. She phoned me and told me she had been too ashamed to tell anyone that she had recently learned that her husband of 30 years had been cheating on her, almost from the beginning. That relationship has been very supportive to us both now.

    • A former co-worker who has remained an acquaintance the last 15 years reached out, having been chumped. She had no idea I had been, too. It is weird because she hasn’t been spilling to everyone she knows. She just needed help finding a lawyer and knew I had contacts and – boom – we are great supporters of each other. It was like the universe meant for us to reconnect when we both needed it.

  • Love these so much.

    They have touched off more:

    —Daughter’s boyfriend, who has quietly driven by our house periodically whenever he knows I am alone here because she’s at school, and who has also plowed my driveway after every substantial snow storm. Ex, needless to say, left me to shovel countless feet of snow.

    —Our doc, who not only compassionately managed the STD testing early on, but also supported both kids throughout, and was suitably appalled when she heard that ex’s infant will get a name virtually identical to my daughter’s.

    —The priest who assured me that giving the question of forgiveness (and repentance) over to God would be plenty good enough.

    —My daughter, who recruits friends to ensure that I get a cake and flowers and a card on my actual birthday when she is at school.

    —All of my kids’ friends, who have supported them throughout, who say they always thought ex was weird, who crack me up with the totally inappropriate things they say about ex’s chick, and who text and leave assorted goodies on Mother’s Day.

    —All the kind people who helped with billing shifts and name changes.

    —Every single person who has wordlessly forgiven the times when trauma paralysis has set in. (Still happens, sometimes.)

    • Cashmere, I’m counting my blessings as i read too. Its easy to forget how many good people there are.

    • Well said, Cashmere! Thankfully, we sometimes get the opportunity to pass on this kindness.

  • Day after D-day I went for my regular 3 mile morning walk. Coming toward me on sidewalk two women chatting so I stepped over to my right, stopped to let them pass by. When I started to walk again unknown to me my feet were tangled in a yucca plant, I tripped and face planted into the sidewalk, scrapping my knee badly. With blood running down my leg I continued my walk when it started to downpour rain. When I got near home a car came out of my cul-de-sac with a couple inside that I did not know but they both waved. As I walked on in the rain almost home the car did a U-turn and the man driving noticing me crying, blood running down from my knee, soaking wet asked if I needed help. I told him I was OK and almost home. Then his wife got out of the car in the pouring rain and said ” no you are not Ok, we live right across the street, you come to us any time you need to.” Since we had recently moved into the neighborhood I did not know these people but their kindness will always be with me and passed on. Turns out the man driving the car is head football coach of a well known team.

  • So many unsuspected supporters:
    1. Old friend that I kept touch with only via Facebook but who I knew had gone through the experience a few years earlier giving me advice through texts when I found out about the cheating, but wasn’t ready to confront. She saved me from making a complete ass of myself and not admitting to things that would get me in a bad position later.
    2. A new friend who sat with me and let me cry while sharing a bottle of wine soon after D-day
    3. Somewhat friend, now best friend who used to work with FW, who, upon hearing what he did said, ‘what a moron!’, and helped me to put together some of the pieces of the puzzle of his affair with a much younger subordinate. We still talk almost every week.
    4. Financial planner, who helped me make sure funds didn’t get moved during divorce proceedings, and was very sympathetic on the phone.
    5. Two ladies on a very crowded train to NYC for Pride weekend, who listened when I blurted out my story and didn’t run away.
    6. My siblings who all rallied around, listened and supported. My brother kicked FW out of their fantasy baseball league that FW had joined 10 years prior. It his only non-work hobby. My sister flew out from CA to help me move from NY to OH. My other sister sent me a book on online dating, “for when you are ready”.
    7. My college best friend who repeatedly offered to drive from OH to NY with her husband and his truck at any time to help me pack and move. She went with me on a Yoga retreat to Belize to help clear my head 6 months after d-day, let me stay at her house while I apartment shopped, and has cheered me on throughout the divorce process.
    I am very blessed.

  • Almost everyone you would expect, friends,family, people from church,neighbours, doctor,and some you’d not, including my inlaws
    One unexpected person was a guy who rang up wanting to upgrade his phone contract which for historical reasons I was still paying, I continued to do so as he declined to move his number to a better plan and I was getting so much abuse and obstruction to the divorce proceedings had I ‘lost’ his number I’d have got much more
    I chatted to the guy and poured out my tale, he thought I should just stop paying it, well so did I but see above
    He then told me how his father had done the same to his mother, and to crack on with the divorce and I’d be fine, his mother had not looked back since her divorce, she was enjoying a much nicer life than she’d have had with his father
    Shortly after that the monthly bill was much more than usual so I looked at the calls and saw that he had not actually been ringing his sick mother, as I’d assumed, no idea who it was but I mentioned to him how much the bill was and I’d looked as wondered if his mother was ill again
    Well I got accused of spying on him by looking at the calls on the bill I was paying. He decided to find himself a new plan, so result
    No idea who the number was he’d been ringing it wasn’t ow’s or any family member’s. But it must have been someone else very important in his harem for him to react thus

  • When I left my ex my girlfriend group was amazing and listened to all of my rants.

    One who is FB friends with the ex (I don’t care) was pissed off on my behalf when ex left a sad sausage post on his bday after I divorced him. Of course no mention of skank ex gf, LOL.

    But one of most impactful moments came when I was chatting with an older guy at a 5k. I knew him casually from running and we’d exchange pleasantries when we’d run into each other.

    He told me that he never understood what I saw in ex (ex is 20 years older) and that ex always struck him as uptight and phony.

    It was that moment when I realized ex’s bullshit nice guy impression management didn’t fool a lot of people.

    He then told me I was better off because I was smart, attractive, and genuine and that I could do much better.

    I do think I’m smart (degree in physics and work in data science), and while attractiveness is subjective I’ve had a lot of men show interest.

    And as I’ve had a lovely bf for a couple of years who is closer to my age I did do a lot better!

  • I want to shout out to my cousin, who I hadn’t seen in years, when she made the comment, “The time he spent with her is time he stole from you!” She also said, “Tell everybody!” I was almost convinced by the fuckwit that ‘our issues’ were our own and not to be aired in front of the kids. Thank God my cousin popped back into my life at the time that I really needed support.

  • A Husky. My neighbor’ dog. On DDay I found out my husband had been cheating on me WITH MEN for decades. After finding out I met my neighbor’ new husky in the elevator. Asked her if I could take her dog for walks and runs at lunch break. That dog made me laugh that very day only 4 hours after finding out. I knew if I could laugh during such socking moment I’d be fine. And I still walk her and she still makes me laugh.

  • After DD1 was stuck in financial-fear abuse, disrespect, fear-of-anger knowing EA, pick-me dancing, hopium when DD2 EA happened. I used a box of tissues at a counselor. Right at the end after he listened to me grieving and my fears he said “…and get yourself to a lawyer”. It stuck with me – borrowed cash, left my tracked cellphone and did.

  • Also teen eldest who said ‘he is abusive. he is not going to change’. Helped kill the hopium.

    • Those sons are the best.

      When I let my ex come back after he had left me, I told my son who was grown and stationed out of state. He said “be careful mom, I love dad; but he is messed up” I wish I had listened.

      He was right his dad was messed up, and his dad went on to prove it more and more the older he got.

      I think only really mentally disturbed people can pull of a double life for a long time.

  • My mechanic. He helped me get the California license plate which spells CHEATER. I didn’t have a vehicle to assign it to so he let me assign it to one of his vehicles and gave me one of the plates.

    Prior to DDay, I had gotten the traitor a custom plate for his Dodge Ram hookup truck which spelled out the name of our business. When the idea struck for CHEATER, I was thrilled to find out that no one had it and I could not resist. I currently resist urges to print paper copies and see how long he drives around with them……????

    Of course when I went to the DMV to pick them up, everyone wanted to know the story.

    I hung it on the back of his truck one evening at drop off and snapped a few pictures. I keep it in the trunk of my car where my daughter won’t find it.

    It cost me 50.00 and I’ve gotten way more than my money’s worth in laughs.

    A great mechanic is a chumped woman’s best friend!


  • There have been so many. Two friends have been there every step of the way, checking in and providing practical help during COVID. An acquaintance I hadn’t seen for years took me to the courtroom for the first status conference so I wouldn’t be alone with a new lawyer. One of my ex’s main business associates refused all business with or from him, at a significant financial loss. My vet was so supportive, then sent her assistant in to comfort me. Two workmen cut their home repair prices. Two of my business tech vendors did a lot of work for me and pre-teen at no charge. A woman I barely knew became my secret Santa and gave us a magical holiday. A classmate I haven’t seen for years sent a basket of goodies. And then there was a friend’s gentle, compassionate and very spiritual church pastor who asked to meet with me, looked me in the eye, advised me to look inward, and accept this truth: “Your ex is a monster.” It was shocking, and so incredibly validating.

  • My saving grace in human form was my mother. My cat was definitely a rock for me but my mother was amazing
    She was in her late 70’s and starting to have some issues with depression and senility. I was heartbroken to have to tell my parents what happened. They loved my Xh and treated him like a son for the 20+ years we were married. My father passed 4 years ago and the image i carry of him is the hurt on his face the moment i told them. He was devastated. First time I ever seen him cry.
    My mother was amazing. I don’t know where she pulled her strength and common sense from but it was wonderful
    “Bottom line little girl, you can’t change it and you have to find the strength inside to move on. Your dad and I are here for whatever you need from us. We love you and will do anything to help you through this.” And she did
    She listened, she held me when I needed it and she pulled no nonsense common sense out of somewhere. Every morning since dday she has called me. Every single morning. Just to tell me how much she loves me. She never asks about him. She never pushes. The only family picture we have on the wall in her house has all of us in it, including the xh. Its the only one with my dad so she keeps it on the wall. She cut out a picture of Mickey Mouse and put it over my XH’s face i. That picture. It still makes me smile when I walk down her hallway. Its amazing how mothers can dig deep and find what they need to find for their children.

    • So true, and also fathers.

      My dad was 800 miles away, and too old to do a lot of travel, but he called me every night for the longest time. Cheered me on, prayed for me and desperately kept telling me: “you will be fine, let him go, you will be miserable the rest of your life if you take him back etc”

      I think back to when my ex told me that whores parents want the best for her too (meaning him) I just said “and they think that her sleeping with a married man is the best she can do”.

      But then later my dad beseeched me not to take him back and I thought, hey my dad wants the best for me too and it sure isn’t the cheating ass wipe. (My mother had died years before)

  • On my way out of the courthouse to complete the divorce, an elderly woman looked at me and said may I give you a hug? I do not like people to touch me if I don’t know them. This woman reminded me of my mom who had passed just a year prior.For some reason I just nodded. She whispered to me “you are strong and this will not define you” I still don’t understand why I let her hug me but I am glad I did. I have thought of her many times since that day especially when I am letting it define me.

  • The day after I found out, I told the owner of our company I needed to talk to him. We go in his office, I close the door, and he semi chuckled and said, “I hope you aren’t pregnant again”. Yikes (I had a two year old and a baby less than one year so he was selfishly thinking I would be missing some work).

    When I told him the story, he immediately looked me right in the eye and said, “You have an Army behind you”. When my mom passed ten years later, I was in my small home town waiting for her funeral to start when I saw our pilot walk in. I thought why is Luis here, and I then noticed that the entire management team from our company was walking in behind him to attend my mom’s funeral. I have to say I felt that Army behind him just like I felt it behind me after DDay and continue to feel it to this day. I’m blessed.

  • So many for me.
    My nail sank was the first. I had an appointment the same week of discovery. The technician spoke minimal English, but when she asked me how I was I started sobbing. I don’t cried like a maniac. I started getting weekly texts from the salon to come to my “appointment” where they would try to feed me amazing food they brought and give me like a hand or foot massage. All while being told how beautiful I am, how much he sucks, and they would offered to set me up with different people they knew( which of course I didn’t except but it was funny) They did this weekly until I moved! I became friends with each of them One friend in particular, Hannah even came to see me in Las Vegas after I moved.
    I have probably 15 stories of unexpected amazing support.

  • This thread has made me cry, but in a really good way. There are so many people I could name; here are some who shone a light into a very dark time:

    My obstetrician, at my 6-week post-natal check. It was only two days after the first D-Day and I hadn’t told anyone. I’d been existing in a fog of shock and grief. When she talked about needing to use contraception I burst into tears and told her I’d just learned my husband was having an affair. She held me and let me cry. I swear she was also praying for me in her native language – I couldn’t understand the words but I could feel the spirit of what she was saying.

    My sister-in-law. When she learned what her brother had done, she sent me a message telling me she was so sorry, and that I deserved better. The next morning, she and my FIL took the day off work and drove 2 hours to be with me. My FIL told XH not to bring “that f*****n bimbo” anywhere near him.

  • My XH is a volunteer running coach for elementary school children. Our kids were in high school and college. It turns out his volunteer work included having an affair with a mom of one of the little girls he coached. One of the families on the team who were good friends with XH for many years, had my back big time. I am so grateful for them 🙂

  • My three adult kids, who always have my back and I theirs. My kids are spectacular and know from their own formulated view what a sad sack of a dad they have.
    My siblings (two brothers and three sisters) who know as I do what family truly means giving unconditional love and support whenever it’s needed. We are all not in the same state, but their love carries me a long way and always will. The four sisters text a good morning message every single day on our thread, it’s short, but it’s a warmth of love daily. My youngest of six brother is an Internist, an outstanding man on all fronts. He was 8 years old when I starting dating the serial cheating narcissist. He looked up to him with such great admiration as a role model and it hurt me so deeply to see everyone that loved him get crushed and hurt too. But they have been so strong and supportive, I could never have made it without their love.
    Our mutual families ( cheater boy and mine) were very close, we grew up in the same town, so similar roots, and up until the breakup, when my immediate family came to town visiting, we always made sure both families got together because we all enjoyed it. Now, I have no relationship with my ex in-laws at all, after over 40 years of what I considered love, so it’s a mystery and sad. They sided with their brother’s choices and narrative and now that he’s married the adultery partner last year, that bridge will remain burned and destroyed. It will never seem right to me, but that’s what happened and I have to get past it.
    I also have great support from the ex’s work colleagues of 40 years, who have been like family through so many decades now. They no longer have a relationship with the ex. ( I was the stay at home mom, so you would think their friendship would be more solid, but it’s me they stand by, not him. They think he’s lost his mind by his actions and they don’t support that. )
    I have other friends too that are so solid and loving. Two of them are also chumps. I have a group skiing photo packed away that was taken at Winter Park, Co of our three families with 10 kids between us. Fast forward 20 years or so and all three fathers in the photo have left their wives and families in their 60’s for women 15-30 years their junior and two have married them. Hard to take that in, so crazy and none of us saw it coming. Three supreme narcissists, two were astronauts and a third, a CEO of a Fortune 500 company and they all believed they were entitled to anything they wanted in life and anyone they wanted and were willing to throw away their families to get it. The two wives and I have a great deal in common and the support and validation has been so critical to our healing. It’s all within the last 3-4 years since divorces were final. None of the fathers have good relationships with any of their kids. Funny how they planned on having it all, but the universe told them it doesn’t work that way. Hope the pretty young things never grow old or leave your asses for someone younger with all your money. ( #Karma!) Amazing how a narcissist can only see what he wants in this here and now moment, consequences remain buried in the superficiality of their fake existence. They are not the bargain these morally corrupt women think they are, but I guess, neither are you.
    Thank God for the priceless souls that have given us a hand up! I shutter to think what would have happened without loving support and ppl that just care about you.

  • We had a very abrupt D-day which led to my husband being kicked out of the house at 1am. My middle schooler son had ASB elections that day and he was running for president. He lost, so it was such a traumatic day for him. When his teacher found out what happened, he announced that all who ran but didn’t win are welcome to serve on a special volunteer committee. My son said no. He asked him again a month later and he said no. He asked again after another month and my son was moved by his persistence and he said yes. He worked in the ASB harder than anyone else the whole year and got the leadership award at the end of the year.

  • I was living in a snowy country in northern Europe when he walked out. I had an infant and a preschooler at home and had moved there following his job, so all our financials were linked to his job. He threatened to me on a Friday afternoon that he was removing me from our joint bank account (my source of finances) and was taking my name off our joint mortgage that I had sunk my life savings into.

    The reason? He had been to our bank and tried to do it behind my back, without telling me, earlier that week. Those bankers had made clear that they couldn’t allow it without my permission. They showed so much compassion in helping me to set up my own account, which was a stretch of the rules given my freelance income, and advised me of my rights in no uncertain terms. They explained their shock at his callousness, and offered me any help they could to help me dig my way out of that situation. It was the first real compassion I’d received from a stranger in that situation (but not the last), and such a lifeline at a horrific time.

    • Are you ok now JJ.

      Did you get at least your part of the money? These people are awful beyond belief. My fw didn’t try to take my name off stuff, but he siphoned off thousands of dollars over several year to the whore and her kids. It broke my heart and angered me at the same time, that I was scrimping and saving, so that fw could have his boat and his river property and the whore was getting the money I was saving.

      Luckily for me I had credit card proof. It helped me get a maintenance period while we were legally separated that gave me back some of that money. We were in a no fault state, but fraud is not covered under no fault.

  • It was the small acts of kindness from strangers. Just after d day I had to go on a business trip to Paris. In the taxi I just could not hold it in, and silent tears just poured over my cheeks. The taxi driver said nothing, but after a while passed me a chocolate bar, smiling at me in the mirror.

  • So I have a woodstove in the house that I’m renting post separation. And I had to hire somebody to bring wood to the house. It was very nice fella shows up with a truck full of wood. And we ended up texting back-and-forth a little bit mostly because he had offered a lot of good advice about how to effectively burn wood and I’m a novice. It was nice because he was funny And there was no pressure. It was just talking. At one point I had to go to a protection from abuse hearing and he asked me if I wanted him to come. He said he would bring his tire iron. And I thought that was funny.

    It never went anywhere but still it was nice to have some crazy support. Unfortunately I am now well-stocked with wood for the next winter and I’m pretty good at keeping my stove going without help, so I don’t talk to the wood guy anymore. I miss that guy.

  • So many instances, but the biggest one was from the other betrayed spouse in my situation. (It was a long distance affair; I was totally blindsided when the x dumped me. A week or two later I got in contact with him to see what he knew about the affair.)

    He was so generous to me—it was useful in the thick of things to have someone who unfortunately knew the situation as well as I did. We’ve become great friends, and these days compare notes about dating adventures in our new lives.

    But so many people were there for me: my former sister-in-law has become a great friend, old friends that were ready to hide the x’s body if I needed it (joking), and new friends who had shared similar chump trauma.

    I’m not glad I went through all of that, but I’ve got better and deeper friendships than I did before it.

  • I love reading everyone’s story. Thanks for this heartwarming Friday challenge CL!

    The landlords who were very nice when I visited rental places to move to by myself with my two kids after X left us. I was worried that I wouldn’t find a place with a single income and two kids in my very high rent area, but they were all very understanding and supportive.

    My FIL and his best friend came to my new rental apartment and helped me put my kids’ bedrooms together.

    My daughter’s first grade teacher. My daughter was in 4th grade then but she was still very attached to her and I explained her situation when she was struggling the first couple of years of separation. This teacher was very kind and supportive. She listened to my story, comforted me and took both my kids in her classroom after classes and later the school library when she became the librarian. She gave them a safe, quiet space to hang out and read or do homework until I could pick them up after work. It made a huge difference for them and for me, knowing that they had someone looking out for them when they were sad.

  • I grew up with good-looking crazy….nice clean decorated houses in middle class neighborhoods, working professional parents, a mom who was the local beauty queen at the county fair, a family where alcoholism, domestic violence and all the dysfunction that goes with it was accepted unchallenged and nurtured.

    I went for help at 22 to recover with a goal of doing all I could to make sure I did not pass it on to the next generation. I met my husband in AA and for 27 years I trusted him and believed he shared that goal, him coming from an even worse good-looking crazy violent alcoholic household than I had. For so long I wanted to have children but was so afraid; the marriage I thought we had gave me the courage to bring my daughter into this world. Then in October of 2017 I found out my husband was a stranger and I have no idea how much of half of my life was true.

    What he did is now the worst thing that has ever happened to me. It eclipsed the pain and damage of my childhood because HE KNEW about the pain and damage of my childhood and watched me pour superhuman efforts over 27 years into recovering from it. He PRETENDED to be on board with recovery. He was not in denial but DEFRAUDING me. Since I found out who he really is, I have felt despairing and doomed, sentenced to suffer from what happened to me growing up and unable to escape my childhood, like no matter what I do I just cannot have an ordinary life made up of decent people I could trust and feel safe with.

    After what I have read here on this post today, I realized that ironically the worst thing that has ever happened to me has set me on a collision course with the kindest people in the world.

    Goal accomplished. Not in the way I thought, but goal accomplished. The Switzerland friends can go. They’re not good for me. Space is limited in my life and reserved for those who are protective of me in words and actions that match up.

    I don’t see how lying and cheating and hurting your family could be perceived as a means of bettering your associations in life, but I am happy to leave cheaters to perpetuate their delusions while I make my way forward with the new pair of glasses I’ve been given.

  • We can all hold our heads high and be proud of stepping away from the disfunction that we did not cause. I admit the crap I learned after I decided to divorce after 32 years was painful and incomprehensible. HOW did this happen under my nose and why had I been so blind to not see the double life. THAT is how good he was at the charade called marriage. Sadly I didn’t have tons of friends, family and aquaintances that rallied around me. But that made me stronger as well Eyes Wide Open always.

    One day about 3 years post divorce I had gone to Costco, basket loaded and when I went to check out the clerk told me my card had been cancelled. I knew I had switch the credit card to my name but apparently the membership part did not change and therefore AH was the main member. I was so humiliated and started to almost shake at how could he remove me for no good reason after being a costco member for 28 years. Long story short the clerk allowed me to check out but she could tell I was visible distraught. She took a hold of my hand (pre covid) 😉 and looked me in the eye and said honey it will be OK, Let it Go, don’t hold it in. It calmed me down and she walked me over to customer service where I discovered that Xh had removed me a few days after Xmas and had added his gf to the account. No warning, and I remembered that he also had removed me from health insurance the day our divorce was finalized. I didn’t even have a chance to sign up for something else. Being unaware of the cancellation I went to pick up a prescription and again was mortified. That had happened early on though. the Costco event was 3-4 years after divorce. I will always remember the kindness of the clerk and her understanding.

    There are really awesome people in the world who are placed in our path at the right time if we see it. Not always but mostly. The X has continued to show me what a complete, selfish jerk he is – I now believe it with all my heart. My life is so much better not dealing with the fake man I loved for more than half my life.

    • Oh my gosh. I can just imagine shaking with fury and embarrassment in line at the store having that happen! Thank goodness your clerk was so great about it. 🙂

      Klootzak is retired military so we are able to purchase groceries inexpensively at the commissary on base. When divorce is final, I will lose my military ID. Part of my financial planning involved estimating a large uptick in my grocery costs when I have to buy from the nice grocery stores in town. I had that same feeling that he will feel smug and powerful having my ID taken and I will be poorer because my costs will go up. Then I learned that having custody of my son, who remains child of a military retiree – divorce or no divorce, allows me an agent pass to shop for groceries for him on base. This will help tremendously until kiddo grows up and moves to college. I am sure klootzak has no idea. If he ever finds out, he’ll be furious, but it will not be in his power to control. I will still need to buy my things out in town, but buying food for a growing boy is no small cost. I have been relieved that I will still have access.

      I can’t imagine unexpectedly standing in line to buy things and have the clerk say your ID is now invalid. I get teary just thinking of it.

  • My ex’s cousin.
    Her sister, another cousin was with the ex when she was texting the affair partner. She told me about it. She knew about the ex’s covert narcissism.
    We are good friends still; something which annoys the hell out of the ex.
    Not my problem though. And the cousin herself told the ex : “well you made your choice. That way you lost a husband and a cousin”

    • When the couple next door learned that cheater had packed and run, their kindness poured over into my yard.

      She brings over fresh cinnamon rolls, plates of Easter and Thanksgiving dinner, shovels
      sidewalk snow and asks if I needed anything from Costco.

      He is a contractor so whenever “ something “ needs repairing, he is here ASAP. And I
      always ask for his invoice. Excellent work. Sweet, kind angels. So grateful to them.

  • In the immediate aftermath of dday, I had to call the accountant for my ex’s practice to get some
    tax info. She expressed instant disgust with the cheating and with my ex. When I told her that one of the nurse’s wrote to me that “I love you both,” she responded, “I *hate* that.” She proceeded to give me key financial info. In the end, she said she’d pray for me. I’m not religious but really appreciated the gesture.

    I think the empathy from near (in this case) or total strangers is especially meaningful because their reaction isn’t expected or biased by family connections.

    I mean, my sisters kept me vertical, but their siding with me is more of a given. Their telling me right away that FW is no prize helped me see my ex as he was, which was hard because I’d spackled for 35 years.

    • To clarify, by “one of the nurses” I mean one who was friends with both me and my ex. She declared herself a Switzerland friend immediately, so I dropped her. The accountant saw the ridiculousness of the Swiss-friend stance. And for that I was grateful.

  • My d-day was long ago. I was far away from home, living in a new city. I knew no one. So I made myself busy, joining clubs, taking classes, going to church, meeting new people…

    It was before cell phones, and every night, when I came home, the red light on my voice recorder would be flashing and lighting up the house. I had a MESSAGE. And every night I picked up that message, and it was my grown daughter, saying, “I just thought I’d check on you today!!!” in her cheery voice.

    Then I’d go downstairs to check my email. And there would be an email in my INBOX. It’d be my other daughter, telling me what a lovely person I was, how much she enjoyed my company, how I made her heart sing and how much she missed me.

    I’ve heard of alcoholics being thankful that they became alcoholics, because of all that they learned in AA.
    There have been times, looking back, when I’ve been thankful for the divorce, because I experienced those continuing, never-ending expressions of pure and fierce love from my daughters.

    What joy was mine, night after night, in those moments of opening the door and entering the empty house… when I heard their voices, calling to me… with glimmers of hope, helping me survive until the next day… their love reaching through the miles, whispering to my broken heart to keep on keeping on…

  • I had an appt to get Botox 2 days after the last D-day. It was a treat to myself (NOT pick me dancing) that I had scheduled months before. The medispa where I used to go was popular and appointments aren’t always easy to get. I say that because, I wanted a forehead refresh and would have rescheduled if I could have but I knew it would take forever so I went.

    I sat down in the recliner and the nurse who does my work sat me up and said, “Are you OK? You look like you’re not OK.” Well, out poured the short version of D-day. Her own ex had been a Navy accountant who cheated and she learned a lot about how they hid money and whatnot to fund their affairs. She gave me the name and number of her attorney who was a total bulldog. Then she said, “Don’t even think of going to counseling with that scumbag again. Rip off the bandage and start a new life without him. No wife should be treated like you have been.”

    Then she asked if I really wanted Botox or was this just for him. I assured her that I really wanted to erase a few wrinkles and then she was happy to proceed. She was the first person I had told face to face. She has always been a big hugger and the hug she gave me before I left felt so good. I needed it. She took my face in her hands and said, “You are going to be OK,” and I believed her. It was such a gift.

  • It’se so ironic but when someone’s spouse dies, there’s an outpouring of support. People rally and show up with casseroles. They offer to pick up groceries and do the child minding so the person can grieve. When a spouse is Chumped, we are often treated like we have the plague. It makes people uncomfortable, suspicious, judgmental, cruel, and petty towards the person who just had their heart ripped out. “She must not have been putting out… “ is the first assumption. Or, “she must be a real bitch to live with.” People scrutinize the CHUMP instead of the FW behaviour! This still makes me angry.
    Also, people desert chumps. You lose the friend circle and in-laws you invested decades of your life and caring towards.
    I still don’t get it. Where is the COMPASSION for CHUMPS?
    I don’t really have any one person who truly understands. When I try to share my feelings to heal, I’ve often been told, “you need to put it behind you.” Fair enough if it was a quick fix problem. But infidelity has ripple affects that circle you far and wide. 5 years out and I’m
    Still suffering. Still searching for appropriate support and therapy.
    If there are any Chumps here who need a solid companion who is sincere about healing together… hit me up.

    • I’m still “peeling the onion” with the way “friends”, fellow church members and others treated my mother decades ago when my father abused and dumped us all. Cruel and heartless.
      I did track down a true friend of the road that my mother had who supported her during the divorce. Bobbie and her husband moved away (New Jersey to Long Island) and I found out she’s still alive so I wrote her a letter of gratitude. This woman even accompanied my mother to court the day of the dissolution.
      I’m so glad other chumps had support from unexpected folks in addition to family and friends.

    • Chumpadellic,

      You’re right. I’ve thought of this so many times too. And I think that – dying is so FINAL, that No Contact isn’t even needed, you know? It seems easier, in a way…

      I think it’d be great to talk… you can call if you like…


  • I have a friend and she told me this story (she and I were married on the same evening, and our missionary friend from Thailand actually sang at both weddings! She sang at mine, then went across town and sang at my friends’!)

    Here is the story:

    She was driving in a neighborhood that was a long way from where she lived, and she saw a church. She wasn’t Catholic, and it wasn’t a Catholic church, and she wasn’t in the habit of going to a church in the middle of the day, but she decided to pull in and pray. So she stopped. The church was open.

    She went half-way up the aisle and slid into a pew, and kept sliding until she got to the middle of the pew, and then sat there for a minute. She told everything to God, silently.

    Her husband had a mistress, and the mistress was pregnant. My friend couldn’t have children. And the husband was confused (or now I understand that he was enjoying the attention) and he was going back and forth between women, and she was letting him do that… she didn’t know what to do. She went to the church to ask God what to do.

    And then a woman came into the church. She came up the aisle to the same pew, and then slid all the way to the middle until she was right next to my friend! My friend said it scared her at first, but the woman’s presence was very calming.

    The woman said, “I came here to tell you that it would be okay for you to divorce your husband.”

    My friend said, “Who are you?”

    And the woman got up and left.

    True story.

    My friend left the church and filed for a divorce.

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