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Tell Me How You’re Mighty, Pandemic Edition When-TF-Ever This Ends

I don’t know about you, but I could sure use a shot of CN mightiness about now.

Did anyone get a cute puppy or finalize a divorce? Did a surly teenager suddenly say something warm and affirming? Are you having a good hair day?

I’ll take any mightiness, any at all — and I know you guys have deep wells of the stuff. From holy-shit-storm resilience to sane parenting badassery.

Don’t feel left out if you don’t have some I Overcame Obstacles saga of triumph. I’ll take any overcome obstacle — you showered, your pajama bottoms still fit, you didn’t die of homeschooling.

I’ll take 17 straight minutes of no contact, 42 seconds since your last skein untangling, or 14 minutes of raging alone in the closet instead of at your ex.

It’s January, there’s still a pandemic, so we’re setting the bar at Hey, I’m Still Kicking.

In my mightiness report, my Wordle run is unbroken. (Got it in 4 today. Not a banner day, but not too shabby.) And… I almost dare not put this out there… I don’t want to jinx it… this damn CL site redesign is built and I’m in the approval stages. It’s just been, what? OVER A YEAR.

I had to fire the first developer, who crashed the site, blasted all the draft files out, and then when I freaked, sent me a picture of her chocolate milk. I wish I was making this up. Then I got in line with an actual professional… and after a shit ton of behind the scenes work, it’s now in staging. I’ll write about what’s coming and when in another post, but THANK YOU for your patience and support, and a million thanks to the translator chumps who put the foreign language sites together.

I feel rather mighty that it’s almost over.

Also, my pajama bottoms still fit. #winning

TGIF!

Ask Chump Lady

Got a question for the Chump Lady? Or a submission for the Universal Bullshit Translator? Write to me at info@chumplady.com. Read more about submission guidelines.
  • I went back to work and divorced the cheater after being a stay at home mom and epic multi-time chump for many years. All during a pandemic!

      • Yes Millie! Me too! Super anxious about money though.

        Trying to tame my anxiety. 26yrs married,out of paid workforce for 16 freaking years. Basically starting at the bottom.

        • Oh you can do it! That kept me stuck there for years! It’s so much better on the other side, even if you are struggling financially. That was my fear also!!! We are mighty and figure it out! I went from being the bread winner to nothing and now I still make almost nothing. It’s worth it…struggling financially is so much easier even though it doesn’t seem like it now! I am poor and so much happier! I started dating cheater when I was just 15. I have 2 young children(one with a major heart defect that has had open heart surgery and need regular expensive medal care), I live my life on my terms now and it is so much better! Still hard but a different hard because you are not counting on someone who doesn’t have your back to help you.

        • Overit – I’m in the same boat. Been a stay-at-home parent for 17 years now. Had two job interviews today – the first since 2003. Feelin’ them nerves too!

  • You said “I’ll take any mightiness”, so I guess my status report is:
    3 weeks of fresh NC after ex-gf wished me a happy new year (and I took the bait).
    4 months since D-Day and leaving her.
    During that time I only stayed off from work for about two weeks (all days combined). I work, keep my apartment clean, eat and shower.
    Had several therapy sessions and seeing a psychiatrist in february.
    Here’s to a good 2022 and resolute end to Covid stuff.

    • CWLI,
      Sounds pretty mighty. Keep up the good work of no contact and remember she sucks. All the mighty you do even in the basics ( cleaning, working, mental health, …) are the key to your life. Take care of you and good will come your way. Hint— your ex is not good, so when she Hoovers you, just put her in the bin with the leftovers and cat litter. Go get it in 2022. Rooting for you.

    • This is misinformation and contributes to the stigmatization of mental health issues.

      • Medication can be a good option for some – and not every psychiatrist will prescribe to everyone they see. The person I saw as a teenager never mentioned drugs.

    • Psychiatrists are specialist medical doctors, so yes, part of what they do, when appropriate, is to prescribe medication.

      What an interesting idea, to cure, say, suicidal depression with Cross Fit. I get that exercise is great for mental health – I myself view outdoors, fresh air jogging as part of mental wellness even more than for physical health – but medication is a valuable tool in the medical arsenal and can be life-changing, if not life-saving in many, many cases.

    • Wait, can someone redefine NC for us chumps that bred with fuckwits? I have to talk to that moron for basic kid-crap but I would love to feel the victory of how many days without showing them that they triggered me. Can I count NC days as in the # of days I effectively held Grey Rock status?

      • TSiNMS,
        I bred with a FW and have 3 under 3 with her. My NC oscillates between NC and Grey Rock ( which is “friendly and amiable for the children” ). Problem is? Twu Wuv doesn’t want me around ( he’s jealous of me ) so at the moment pure NC. My advice, do what makes you an awesome sane parent and let the courts do the rest ( long haul marathon for me ). So if your life is somewhere between NC and Grey Rock then be mighty there.
        CN knowledge tells me FWs will jump between partners forever and the children give them a nice 90 degree line to triangulate back to you with more drama and narc behavior. It’s the worst shit sandwich you can ever imagine, so I put a lot of Tabasco and cheese on it as I choke it down and think of the kids. They want an awesome parent, so I’ll eat that sandwich but I will not engage with the FW beyond what the court orders. Hope your kids are doing great.

  • No contact for 22 months

    Created and maintain cozy home

    Divorced one year

    Retired 18 months

    Walk with friends(s) three times a week

    Walked away from uncomfortable/unequal relationships

    Gained some pandemic pounds, but best health in decades

    Volunteer with five different groups

    Vaccinated, boosted, masked and not putting up with shit from anyone

  • I finished grad school (something ex-FW bitched about) a year ago…I’m like CL’s super woman in the cape making good moolah & have a great job….and just yesterday bought my dream car (my kids are agape that I did this all on my own)!! Now I can zoom past my ex-fucker with a smile & my middle finger laughing all the way….

    • And if we ever end up at a traffic light at the same time, I’m gonna challenge him to a race. He’s got no chance 😂

      • I recently bought me a “big girl” car. My husband and kids were impressed. That car shows your mightiness!

        • I bought my first new car solo last year. Did all the research, negotiating, everything. My Ruby is the prettiest and most luxurious car I’ve ever owned. I gave my 16 year old daughter my car – no help or offer of help from her dad. So now I own 2 cars, and am responsible for both. Taught my daughter how to do as few things with it.

          • I remember how good it felt to buy my own little car. We were actually still legally separated. But, I only had my own credit to go on. I figured I would have to have my brother sign for me.

            Any way it was a late model Nova (which was a corolla with a Chevy body) I had always wanted a Corolla, but fw didn’t like foreign cars. Anyway this was perfect, and I had it checked by a mechanic. I went to do the deal, and I told them my brother would co sign, but I really would like to do it on my own. He said you can do it by yourself, you have excellent credit, and you earned it as much as the ex did.

            Thank you Dan Young Chevy.

            So I got it, bought the extended warranty (which, {thankfully} I never had to use) Paid it off in two years, and kept the car for several years after I paid it off. I went ahead an put the monthly car payments in the bank each month after it was paid off; and could pay cash for my next car.

            Meanwhile in fuckwitville, ex was cheating on whore, (they had separated twice) he was gambling big time, and within a few years he had gambled up a massive debt; and he and whore had to file BR. His first, her second. I only know because my son and daughter in law told me.

              • Driving that car was so easy and fun. I had been driving a large Cadillac. My fw just had to have it. It was and older caddy he had bought from good friends. I looked like a midget driving a semi. Hated that big bus.

                Oh and two days after I turned it over to fw, he came back and said the hood ornament was missing. I said it was on there when I handed it over. He said I am not sure it was. I said you are a police officer, you would have noticed it right off.

                Truth was I had no idea if it was there or not. But, he was living in an apartment complex in a shady area, I suspect it got stolen the second night he had it. He was hinting for me to pay for it. He truly would have noticed it, he didn’t miss anything; it was in large part how he was able to con so many folks for so long.

                I told him, I am not paying for it, but I gave you the entire tax return, so consider it prepaid.

                I wish I had put small bits of rotted fish in hard to find places, like my brother suggested. I didn’t. I am sure he and whore spread their fish scent all over it.

    • Turned 65. Took my grandkids for a spin in a red mustang covertible ( weekend rental) music booming – it was a blast! This would never have happened with the ex-Wet Blanket. He hated communal fun

  • Finally had mediation and it was a terrible process but a decent outcome. Got a cat! (Ex is allergic so we could never get one before) Kids are so happy with the kitten and she’s good company when they’re not here.

    • My cats give me more love and attention then my cheating ex ever did. I even feed strays in my yard who need help. Unconditional love from these furry God’s creatures deserve it. Never received that in 35 years married!
      Bless you and stay strong 💪

      • I got a cat during Covid too. A cuddle buddy that doesn’t lie, cheat, or spend his whole 401k on motorcycles.

      • I said goodbye to my cat Humphrey a year ago (don’t be sad, he had a great 20-year run) – and the last thing I whispered to him as he was sedated and falling asleep, right before I told him I loved him, was “you were right about [my first husband].” Humphrey hated him from the start and I came to realize that there were good reasons for it. They are wiser than they get credit for.

        • My beloved, incomparable cat completely hated my ex-husband too. Wisdom beyond words. So, so glad you had Humphrey. They know.

          • @sleepyhead @ArisocraticChump

            I should have paid more attention when my husky hated Cheater #1. I was travelling for work and in hindsite, I figure he was probably treating her and our other dog poorly while he chased ass. Wish I could turn back time so the poor dogs weren’t in that situation.

  • Thanks to the pandemic I was able to finally sit my state board exam from home (could never affor the traveling expenses & time-off before) in 2020 ! I have been a practicing Psychologist since 🙂

    I have yet to out-earn anybody, however…

  • Got a golden retriever named Kevin and two kittens Todd and Lisa. Kevin is a sweet heart. Todd and Lisa are monsters (except when they are sleeping).

    • Ohh…I thought my getting two kitties (Tuesday & Tony) in the last year was a bundle but 3 sweeties…you take the fur-baby trophy! 🏆💕

      • love the people names. I’ve got a Jeff. His tag reads, “I am Jeff” b/c one time he got away and I started getting weird phone calls from someone looking to talk to Jeff…. took me a while to connect the dots.

        • Stopped sleeping with fw. Making him move out today. I feel the untangling of my trauma bond skein, slowly but surely. Losing all of the mushy feelings for him.

          • If you are losing the mushy feelings and reading CL, you’re in good shape. For me, those two things signified that I’d broken the cycle, after YEARS of rinse and repeat. Act now and don’t look back.

          • Blenderhead,

            That is a big huge deal! Good for you for insisting he move out. Very mighty. Keep coming back to CL!

  • Started to love myself once again after I left my cheater. During this pandemic, I made my mental, emotional, spiritual and physical wellness a priority, after years of ignoring myself to please ex-FW. I lost 50lbs, became stronger emotionally and physically than I ever knew I was capable of, all while running my law firm and raising 2 toddlers on my own. I took a side job as an adjunct law professor at my alma mater and discovered how much I love teaching and mentoring. I took up guitar lessons – a lifelong goal of mine. I am currently training for a multi-day bike ride to raise money for a non-profit.

    Oh, and once I started loving myself and making myself a priority, I met the most wonderful man – a former chump himself – and I have seen what real partnership in a relationship is like.

    Leaving my cheater is the best thing I’ve ever done

    • Way to be mighty! My jaw was already dropped at “running my law firm and raising 2 toddlers on my own”, tough stuff, but the other things you mention… just amazing.

      I too love teaching, it saved my life and is keeping me sane during this time of social isolation (both things I owe to CL and CN as well, big time). Very happy that the summer break is over and I get to interact with my students again, even if it’s still online.

      Guitar lessons were my dream too since I was a kid. Maybe one day I’ll be giving it a try since my oldest son is now going to be drummer and maybe he could use a “strictly rythm” guitar player side-kick? I can do *some* chords 😅

      Cheers!

  • Ex left me and our kids to set up his new fun single life with his big inheritance and drinking buddies. After 4 long years (5 courtroom appearances in front of our Judge, custody and support battles and over 30K in legal fees) our divorce was finalized in 2021! Our daughter legally changed her name to my maiden name! She has not talked to Ex in over 2 years. I bought my own place and moved 30 minutes away from Ex and his goonies. I found my Tuesday in 2019 and met a great guy (who was chumped by his Ex). We are looking forward to our future together. His kids like me and my kids, and my crew likes his too! Ex can enjoy his money and the few times he sees our youngest. When I move out of the State after our youngest graduates high school, all 3 kids will relocate as well. He screwed me mentally and financially (as I will need to work for many years to dig out of the financial hole) but I have the unconditional love of my kids and a great new man! Better days are ahead for me!

    • Name changes are on the horizon for my girls as well. I’ve never stopped being mad that women give up their NAMES at marriage. If that’s not a setup, I don’t know what is.

      • OMG so much this. And when I got the discard and “I never wanted to get married anyway” speech, I was like, you insisted I change my name to yours, that’s how serious marriage was to you at the time. As a young feminist, I always thought I never would, but he made a very persuasive argument that everyone in a family should have the same name to show that they’re a family, and I wouldn’t want to have a different name than our kids. I wanted us all to take a combined hyphenated name, like the cool feminist college professor I really admired and her husband did, but he said that would offend his family, and family is so important to him. Turns out that was all crap too, the family-man thing was just a cover for the life he really cares about.

    • THIS, like you are telling my story, My 10 year old daughter asked if she could hyphen with my maiden name. We were finally dissolved at 5 years last week. I don’t have a new partner, too much focus on keeping myself intact, my kiddo from falling apart, and work. However, the mighty feels good when it all over. I have not received my final legal bill. Worried about that.

  • I nursed my beautiful daughter back from anorexia, and helped my son manage and hopefully combat suicidal thoughts and actions. I managed a full fledged mental health crisis during a time where I could hardly function due the nature of my marriage relationship. I am starting to slowly accept that it is abuse. Thank you for your extremely helpful and insightful website.

    • Wow! Congratulations on helping your children tackle those beasts! Wishing you all continued success and well-being! 💜🙏🏻

    • You are a hero.

      Whatever the nature of your marriage relationship, since it seems to be hurting your and your kids’ mental health, chances are you’re indeed being abused, if you don’t mind me giving my unsolicited and non-expert opinion. Assess the situation and leave if you find this is the case.

      Wish you and your kids strength, healing, peace and better days ahead.

  • Finally made a will – just 2 weeks ago. Divorced almost 10 years yet kept procrastinating on this step. A weight has been lifted.

    • Good on you Hurt1 !

      Cheater died without a Will and my midlife remarriage finances are complicated and require a nuanced document to make sure that my kids keep their proper share of what their dad left behind (new husband has 4x what I have and a lone child who will do just fine without my money).

      I have the slowest lawyer in the universe but we’re making steps to draft the document my kids/grandson need.

  • Turned 50. Divorce was final after 2.5 years and 9 continuances. Started work in the perfect job for me after being a SAHM for 21 years. Reconnected with a HS friend and having a lovely long-distance romance. 🙂 Feeling (dare I say) happy, confident and sexy. Oh, and Tuesday arrived and it is glorious.

    • LTT – It’s good for me to hear about SAHMs getting back into the paying workforce, as I’m trying to do just that. First job interview today in over 18 years. Feeling just a wee bit intimidated. Thanks for sharing.

  • No engagement in any form with the STBX for six months. Auto response set up on ant email coming in from him that says please go through attorney for any issue you may have. This pisses him off and tends to cut him off since he discovered what his whines cost him.
    Court date set up (not planned but it falls on a Tuesday).
    Have a great attorney with a solid plan.
    Totally trust that the STBX sucks
    Got a pay raise at work
    Weeded out friends that were not real friends

    • “No engagement in any form with the STBX for six months. Auto response set up on ant email coming in from him that says please go through attorney for any issue you may have. This pisses him off and tends to cut him off since he discovered what his whines cost him.”

      You’re living the dream, CFANM. I hope you can go on with this style of communicatiom forever after your Tuesday.

      Best of luck and congratulations!

  • I went back to reading my book stash, during the worst of the Pandemic.

    The worst thing to come out of the Pandemic is the loss of my brother and his wife on the same day, last Feb. It has been a long year with slowed down processes. We finally had their service 28 Dec. It was difficult to leave them, but I am glad we got them where they wanted to be.

    The best thing to come out of the last year, is the sweet little dog we adopted. Several years ago when my brother first got this little guy, his first dog ever since we were kids; he asked me if I would take care of him if anything ever happened to him. Who knew?

    Anyway, here we are and that pup is a sweetheart and has helped ease the pain of losing my brother who was next to my husband, my best friend. Of course his wife too. We were all close, even though we lived so far apart.

    • That is very good, congrats!

      I am still taking mine to different pediatricians since we moved to our new town but I am feeling like I have now found the right one for them. They’ve always had (since birth) a very wise and experienced doctor back where we used to live, and I get you, it is very reassuring to have a doctor that know our kids well and that we trust. I miss him very much (even though my XW once told me he flirted with her – it doesn’t look like him and I bet it was the other way around), but the new one is awesome too.

      I am still a little uneasy with my XW’s choice of therapist for our kids. I don’t trust her credentials and her approach sounds weird at times. I am going to ask her this week for a report on some verbal abuse one of my sons has suffered from a relative. If she downplay the thing, we’re over.

  • I am planning a short trip with a friend to an out of state concert in June. I survived my bout with Covid (5 year old i am granddaughter donated it to me😷) I’m vaccinated & boosted, so it wasn’t a big deal, I had an earache for 2 days.

    Admit, I am hopeful he jumps on the Karma bus.

  • 2022 is the year I will focus on healing. So, for starters, I joined a book club reading The Body Keeps the Score to learn about the full impact of the trauma of being repeatedly harmed by FWH and how to begin to heal. If anyone is interested you can join – it’s free too – at https://traumaresearchfoundation.org/lp/trf-book-club/ Two weeks in and I have learned so much and it is also great to be part of a community focused on healing.

    • TuesdaysR4Healing, thanks so much for providing the link. Spent time both yesterday and today learning from it!

  • Everything is signed and are zooming with the judge TODAY 🎉

    Happy freedom friday CL & CN!!! I would still be stuck if I hadn’t found this site.

  • I had to take out a massive loan at the age of 53 to buy FW out of the house and pay off debts that he ran up (it was worth it just to get rid of him). The loan was over 17 years but I threw everything at it and paid it off in 7 years, which allowed me to retire early at the age of 60. On a lot less money but I actually don’t need that much. FW blew through his payout and took on a 25 year mortgage at the age of 55. He and schmoopie make 4 times what I make and he still struggles financially! Oh and schmoops used to post on FB about being retired (because FW has a good pension) but soon found out that he is terrible with money and she had to go back to work at the age of 55 too! Since he’s been gone and as I love to travel I’ve done 12 trips with solos groups and absolutely love them. I get to see the world and make new friends – and I’ll be right back to it when this bloody pandemic ends!

    • Congrats on the financial freedom and travel! I will also be taking on a mortgage to buy out klootzak and will hopefully be on course to retirement at 59.5. I want to go travel Europe with groups and also buy a small camper to travel around the US and Canada in between Europe trips. I need to sort out how to do a bunch of travel before retirement so I can show my son more of the world before he is someday off to college. Your rapid pay off gives me hope I will sort out doing the same.

      Nothing as beautiful as freedom from a FW. Enjoy your Tuesday!

  • DDAY was almost 7 years ago… divorced almost 6 years ago…. and in this time we have only been able to communicate through Our Family Wizard or any texts between us had to include our teen son.

    Yet, YESTERDAY for the first time in forever we talked on the phone. We needed to work out payments for son to start getting braces. And I was graceful, polite and brief (in my opinion 😂). And he was fine.

    May not seem big … but seriously, this was HUGE just being able to have a civil conversation over orthodontics.

    • It it huge! Same here; phone conversations are “fine”. I’m not triggered like I once feared I’d be. Instead I go in proud of myself and my journey.

      never a long chat — no need for the small talk.

      I *almost* want to thank her for everything b/c my life is SO much better…. almost…

      • Same!! I’m no longer triggered and I would also *almost* like to send a thank you to AP for taking that not-even-sparkly turd off my hands! Things are SO MUCH better without him!!

  • Our parenting plan is pretty detailed. Lays out the timeshare for Xmas break. Used 2018 as an example, for clarity, and said alternate this.

    This year, FW manufactures a “dispute” and takes me to mediation. Says the parenting plan doesn’t lay out the split, must be negotiated each year, blah blah blah. But he will agree to it in the future as long as I give him exactly what he wants this year.

    At mediation, I destroy the entire argument, submit emails from the settlement negotiation demonstrating how we agreed to the split, no misunderstanding. Showed split has been used without objection last 2 years.

    FW demonstrated the level of his complete and utter disdain for me and disregard for any problems what he was attempting to do caused me. And the mediator noticed.

    And then the real reason this went down came out (I already knew but bring it up) as the mediator was trying to broker a compromise while trying to get FW to understand it was compromise or what parenting plan/ragingmeh says.

    FW wants a full Xmas w his family and then a nice trip to Hawaii with howorker. And that’s a very tight timeline and many people to impression manage. So he cannot and will not compromise. And mediator finally saw the whole thing – that he really had manufactured this and was taking advantage of the assumption both parties are acting in good faith.

    So where is the mightiness?

    I was so mad, so tired of this kind of thing. Why am I mad, having anxiety attacks leading up to this, still struggling to even comm in OFW w FW?

    Because I want there to be a mechanism to hold FW accountable, to stop this, to force him to treat me w the smallest measure of respect.

    And that is never going to happen.

    I have finally truly deeply accepted that there will be no fairness in all of this.

    I’m the only person who will see this side of him. I will continue to be antagonized via microaggressions like piercing our daughters ears without talking to me, get her vaccinated without taking to me, having howorker at those types of things in my place, trying to build friendships w the few parents I already have a relationship with.

    So, I will document..I will send emails objecting to what is happening. I will explain to my daughter why something is inappropriate and unfair to me as her mother.

    But I’m done with it emotionally. I have to be.

    I’ve done a great job with NC, not letting him see my hurt/anxiety/upset. Which was a huge win for me

    But now, I’m done w all emotion. There is something truly wrong with that man and what happened and is happening has 0 to do with me.

    I have finally internalized that. And my god does it feel good.

    • My boys are adults now and the oldest son is getting married next month. His best man? Not his “dad” it is his younger brother.

      When the boys have an issue they need a man to discuss it with? They call my husband, their step-dad.

      They may not say it, but one day they will see the light and that is when you get your revenge when all along you did not do a thing but be the sane parent.

      • I have never seen a father be the best man at his son’s wedding. I had no idea that was a thing. Brothers and friends usually fill that role, don’t they? I feel like I got married so long ago I have no idea what people do now. My own wedding was the last one I attended!

    • This is huge. You have my admiration. As my uncle always said: “Don’t let the badtards get you down.”

    • “I’m the only person who will see this side of him.”

      I have come to realize that no one ever really saw the monster that Cheater was with me. He was so careful to spit ALL of his venom my direction and not spill a drop of it when other people could see.

      I was his Life’s Scapegoat. Everything bas was ALL MY FAULT and that is how he coped, nothing was his responsibility. He did it for so long, he couldn’t have changed if he wanted to because he would have had nothing to fill the void.

      He had a split second Nasty moment in front of a friend of mine and I oddly enough treasure that. She Knows. My experience is validated.

      • Similar experience here, Unicornomore.

        He was a splitter, and I regulated him. He did slip up once with some mutual friends. So they saw Mr. Hyde, and I’m glad they did.

        Sometimes I wonder who regulates him now. The wifetress?🤷🏻‍♀️

        • Similar experience here, too.
          I was the ex’s scapegoat for everything he didn’t like about himself and his life, including all of what he considered his failures. And he never revealed this part of himself to anyone else. Mine is on his own now, and I bet he’s still blaming me.

          • Yeah. Mine probably still blames me, too, although scapegoating a ghost can’t be as satisfying.

            I know I shouldn’t care, but I like to think he needs to sink his teeth into a live human every once in a while. And I’m not there to do the honors.

            • Same here.

              My FW should be living her dream life now, but blames me for all that she thinks went wrong with her life. Apart from having our amazing, sweet autistic children (whose condition she resents and blame my “genetics” for), the rest were mostly due to her own choices (some pretty shitty) and her FOO issues.

              Congrats for ghosting the piece of shit.

          • What I didnt understand back in the hopium days (newbies beware!!) is that (even apart from the cheating) the degree of scapegoating really, REALLY prevented us from ever having an actual, deep, intimate, committed, loving relationship. It was IMPOSSIBLE…he was too far down that rabbit hole to ever come out.

            His scapegoating had gone on since the first weeks of our marriage 25+ years earlier…his mental processes were deeply entrenched.

            Married or divorced, he would blame me for everything until his last breath…which he did. When he got to Purgatory, I expect that God explained to him that he had a flawed process going on for a very long time.

          • Adelante – “I was the ex’s scapegoat for everything he didn’t like about himself and his life, including all of what he considered his failures. And he never revealed this part of himself to anyone else.” Same here.

        • Same here. Thank god for the validation and understanding we chumps find here! And at least my family and good friends know.

          I’m grateful for my mighty little sister. She rarely mentions “it” and is very conscientious, but this week she told me she’s been looking at old photos and keeps getting triggered when one of FW comes up… at her wedding, holding her baby, at my birthday, with my whole family visiting – in the foundation of the house WE were building (FW already at least two secret affairs deep). She said the foundation pic almost made her text him to say WTF… you just took it waaaay too far, buddy. She said she couldn’t even find the words to express her disgust. Tell me about it! My sister is more dignified me, though, and of course maintained NC. She cut FW out after she told him to STFU and leave me alone the last time he texted her to say he was worried about me (textbook) – just like she didn’t respond when FW’s OW was stalking her social media.

    • “ Because I want there to be a mechanism to hold FW accountable, to stop this, to force him to treat me w the smallest measure of respect.

      And that is never going to happen.

      I have finally truly deeply accepted that there will be no fairness in all of this.

      I’m the only person who will see this side of him. I will continue to be antagonized via microaggressions”

      YES!!! Everyone tells you about the long parenting arc and the karma bus, but it is such a bitter pill to swallow that FW’s get to continue seemingly living without consequences.

      Good for you being able to internalize what you have. That IS mighty. I aspire to get there.

    • Oh, Ragingmeh, I totally got you!

      Fuckwits screw up big time with the coparenting schedule and it does seem to be a power move on their part (“you’re not the boss of me”, post-dicorce version). It is unnerving and mostly what keeps me from getting to Tuesday and meh. And the stories and lame justifications and bald faced lies they concoct are sickening.

      I just learned from my oldest son after picking them up yesterday from his mom’s after her 15 days of summer break with them that they spent last friday at a beach three towns away from 9am to 5pm with no sunscreen and no lunch (but some hoochie mama pics at FW’s instagram). This is brazilian summer and the sunburns they’ve got are awful. This kind of recurrent things makes me want FW to go to hell and keeps me off balance and angry most of the time (but I keep my anger and outrage checked as best as I can, at least on the outside).

      Just today I’ve got an email from hers (that she told me she would send two weeks ago, but, you know, very busy during summer break) asking for fucking up the whole coparenting schedule for february (just when the kids go back to school). I will take my time to reply and see if I can work around her demands with the minimum fallout (rage, screaming phone calls, guilt-trip, you know the drill).

      It is all about them and their impression management and fuck everyone else.

      Glad you’ve made your peace with the fact that there’s nothing you can do about your FW XH’s assholery, I know you’re right, but I still feel far away from achieving this. This is mighty.

      P.S.: I too get anxiety attacks in the vincinity of these pointless confrontations with FW. It sucks.

      • Document. Letting your kids fry in the sun is neglect, maybe even abuse, in my opinion. A potential for skin cancer decades from now.

        • Totally, this is abuse in my opinion too (she has been more overtly and physically abusive in the past, but is managing her image now that the kids are able to recall things). This is not the first time this happens, and I have been documenting ever since I understood what I was dealing with. If there is something I learnt here at CL’s and with my lawyer is to document *everything*. Exhausting as hell, but better safe than sorry.

  • I don’t know where to begin. I filed for divorce on 2-2018. We didn’t get into the beef of the custody battle until the start of the pandemic. The fuckwit was awarded 50-50 in February 2020 after being a no-show since 2017. The good news is I was finally awarded exclusive rights so he couldn’t come into the house. On 11-2021, I was awarded 80/20. It took all my energy and strength I had left to prove he was unfit. The pandemic also delayed our court dates for dividing property. Plus, my poor attorney caught COVID prior to vaccines being distributed in early 2021. However, even though the lost the battle with Spousal Support (I have to pay him) for the next 30 months, yea blue state. I got my kiddo and my house. With my retirement only slightly scathed. 5 years! It was finalized last week. Talk about feeling like Atlas holding the earth. Most importantly, I shined at work during all this hell. Got offered amazing assignments. I finally can smile ear to ear.

  • OK, where do I start? I am an ER Nurse Practitioner. I have worked my A$$ off during a pandemic and am still standing. My D-Day was 11 years ago, so my mighty has little to do with FW.

    I have seen some 💩 that will haunt me for the rest of my life. However, I have learned what is important and what is not in the grand scheme of life. I have found myself thinking “Will this matter 5 minutes from now?’ and “Will this matter tomorrow, the next day, next year?” If it doesn’t Let that 💩 go.

    To deal with the stress I have taken up yoga and running. I am in the best shape in my life and I am in my late 40s. A bonus is: a new wardrobe!

    My husband (also a chump) and I are happier than clams and it absolutely pisses our exes off. And we don’t care. We are living our best life and we are financing our best life. His business has expanded and we are in the best financial situation we have ever been in. It has taken years and years of hard work and skimping and saving every penny, but we have done it.

    Tuesday is here friends, it may take awhile and a pandemic, but it is on the horizon. I hope you guys can read my story and maybe get some inspiration. Let that 💩 go!

  • I want to be that person in the cape!!! After 22 years as a SAHM, I plan to sit for the bar as soon as my divorce is final (which could be never with his stall tactics). But I am scared to death of failure!!! What if I don’t pass and they make fun of me or no one will hire me even if I do pass, idk but I know I need to change that thinking and figure out classes and studying. I’ve also considered getting my masters in counseling online while I’m waiting for divorce to be final. I would love to end up making more than him!!! Also my kids think it would be a BA move if I go work at the same district attorneys office as he and howorker (they are in special victims sex crimes, ironic, right???) Since GTHO day, I have done a lot of learning how controlled and manipulated I was. I still feel massively guilty sometimes and he knows how to play on that but I am getting better. Better at grey rock, days I don’t wake up thinking about it, and spending quality time with my children. I have taken on projects around the house FW would never get around to and found out who my true friends are and deepened those relationships. I am starting to see an inkling of freedom. Still working on hope for the future but all of your posts are so encouraging and badass that they encourage me to keep going because I am an amazing and strong person!

    • You can do it! The woman who inspired this cartoon wrote to me from Ghana. Her D-Day was the MORNING OF HER BAR EXAM.

      And she took the test anyway, and passed. Which I think it some kind of CN mighty.

      • I know I have read that story before, but it still never ceases to amaze me.
        That level of mighty is just crazy and surely to be respected.
        No wonder the red cape.

      • So great that she has the official seal of
        **Mighty**
        from Chump Lady to accompany her on the way to mightyness.in her new profession.

    • Bren, I’m a mom of 4, former 8 year SAHM. In height of divorce from hell while solo parenting I passed CA bar while working full time— 22 years after I graduated from law school. I live in the PNW and have worked remote these past 7 years in LA. BarBri was invaluable and a detailed work back schedule- I scheduled down to my bathroom breaks in the 12 weeks leading to the exam. Planning removes the drama. You’ve got this!

      • Holy crow, that is mighty. I am currently 24 years past law school. I can’t imagine taking the bar that far out. WOW. And the California bar is tough. They are like New York and Hawaii; they don’t want any more attorneys coming in! I feel like my brain melted in the SAHM years. That was a Herculean effort you made. Mighty isn’t a mighty enough word for it. Congrats on that achievement. I bow at your awesomeness.

    • BrenFawkes, the bar exam is just a gatekeeping tool. NOBODY is going to make fun of you if you pass it. Just taking the damn thing is mighty!

    • Bren, go go go! I just want to tell you, I was a practicing physician then SAHM for 15 years. Married for 23 years to what turned out to be a monster/conman. GTFO day was 2 years ago, divorce was 6 months ago. Like your FW, the ex threw every wrench at the divorce process to delay everything. I retook my boards alongside fresh medical graduates recently and passed it! I am now preparing to retake my specialty boards and also doing an online master’s degree. And I just refinanced the house last week! My kids and I are a solid pod. Still not doing well in other respects (NC is hard, I still get baited 90% of the time, still ordering books untangling the skein, still waking up with night terrors, gaining weight, now diabetic) but will crawl to Tuesday if I have to. Let’s do this!

    • You’ll do fine , I’m sure.
      For a few months after my EW and I separated I had the classic “I must be unlovable” , “I must be deficient somehow.” “I’m just not good enough” syndrome. But one weekend I decided to venture out with friends for a bit of clubbing and afterward a few of us went out for breakfast. Lo and behold , in an adjacent booth , was one of my EX’s “enabler friends (female)” , who I knew , and she was with her date and another of her friends and her friends date , who I had never seen but she knew of the situation , I’m sure. This girl , having never seen me before and knowing my EX’s AP , glanced over at me and then looked straight at the enabling skank she was with… her reaction was positively priceless , looked like “You mean to tell me that she (my EX) cheated on that and left for that loser AP.”
      That single incident turned my head completely around. I AM WORTH IT! I’LL FIND BETTER!

      You are and you will too!

      • “For a few months after my EW and I separated I had the classic “I must be unlovable” , “I must be deficient somehow.” “I’m just not good enough” syndrome.”

        Me too, but my symptoms subsided a lot after this friday challenge when I’ve got to revisit orderly for the first time how much shit I’ve got done from the depths of my despair.

        “You mean to tell me that she (my EX) cheated on that and left for that loser AP.”

        I’m happy for you realizing your worth reflects even in the eyes of strangers.
        Your FW took your awesomeness for granted. Pretty sure he’s going to regret this soon.

        For me it was the babysitter my XW hired for our sons to assist her during her time with them (!) that I have never met before a short visit to drop some of my kids’ toys.

        My oldest son came back to my house saying she told him she couldn’t wrap her mind around my XW trading me for her new boyfriend (a nice guy, nothing against him so far). It looks like this babysitter was traded for another too soon afterwards. 🤔

  • This is like saying a doctor prescribes addictive meds by giving insulin to someone with Type 1 diabetes. Sometimes our bodies don’t work. Sometimes we need medication. And it’s cool. I’ll take meds over dying or being miserable.

    • Agreed. I went on Prozac when I was in the midst of the discard. It saved me, helped me focus on my job, which was all I had to depend on. I had to work full time and part time for a while to survive, I didn’t have much time to naval gaze.

      I went off the meds at about the 9th month. I never went back on them again.

      • Reinforcing that medication can be so helpful. I refused to go on meds felt it would make me look weak make me dependent

        I finally reached a point where I couldn’t function well and I agreed to go on a very small dose.
        It saved me
        it allowed me to function through the divorce. process, smackin the middle of Covid , and sleep and calm down and get done what I needed to get done.
        I Had a very successful outcome in the divorce, I think in part because I was able to calmly sit and focus and prepare my financials and other documentation etc. make good decisions and handle abuse and threats thrown at me daily by psycho ex

        I was able to clear out 30 years of a marriage and get a house on the market and sell it.
        In the middle of this my mother had a stroke in another state and I was flying. back-and-forth arranging care.

        Without my meds, which were for anxiety, I wouldn’t have gotten through it without much more pain and suffering I am neither weak or dependent or addicted
        I’m fine, and take on an as need basis

        Take all the help offered to you, Including pharmacology

        • ” Had a very successful outcome in the divorce, I think in part because I was able to calmly sit and focus and prepare my financials and other documentation etc. make good decisions and handle abuse and threats thrown at me daily by psycho ex”

          Exactly. I had to be able to function. I had nothing but an entry level job to count on. I had just recently, a few months before he left, got a promotion, and it was dealing with checks and bonds for the Feds. I had to learn it, and be competent. I could have very easily lost that promotion, just when I needed it the most. It wasn’t a huge pay raise, but it was a good stepping stone.

          I was just starting to get the hang of it all, then Kaboom, my life was blown to smithereens. My doc was a Godsend.

  • I got busy living a cheating bastard ex free life and
    every fucking day is better than the thousands spent married to him.
    Tuesday feels soooooo close now.

  • Oh Tracy, just so you know, that “fire the first developer” thing is almost a required experience. Plus the year later than expected part as well. You are doing great with that timeline! Plus, your pajamas fit!!

    Two years ago was DDay part one followed by incremental mini DDays throughout the following year. Divorce was final 6 months ago. I was a mess until I wasn’t. I quoted part of your response to my letter to you to a devastated new chump yesterday – a few lines I still think of often if I’m jonesing for hopium. Who I am now vs who I was when I first read your response – OMG.

    In the last two years my life changed enormously. Y’all said it would and I couldn’t imagine it but chose to believe CN knew something I didn’t. In this time, I finally remembered me. I’ve stuck to my values. I’ve tackled lifelong fears and identified more to do. I’ve allowed myself a life I thought I didn’t deserve. I have felt enormous joy just to be alive. I have reconnected with old friends. My son got married and had an almost zero drama wedding, and no FWs were in attendance. In fact, he wasn’t even told – my son’s choice. None of his siblings told either. I didn’t miss him at the wedding – he’d have made things about himself. I also knew, watching my kids all happy and light hearted together and my brave son reciting his vows, that for all that FW got away with, for all his image management and DARVO, I got the best deal of all. And I’ve just realized yesterday would have been my 23rd wedding anniversary and not only did I forget, I really don’t care. I’m not all the way to meh yet but I’m very close.

  • In the last few months I made it through almost all the last stages of working toward my dream job (a five year journey), got a real estate license and RE job on the side, and feel confident in my ability to support my family no matter what dumb choices my partner makes. Divorce is going to be an especially long road for us, but no matter our legal status I have taken back my independence and refuse to be entangled any more than is absolutely necessary, financially or otherwise.

  • We were together 7.5 years and married for two. After I caught her with years of lies in May, went NC in September, and had divorce finalized in late October.

    Since ending the relationship and contact, I have been able to accomplish many things that she always told me I couldn’t do.

    I ran my first marathon in a time that was 15 minutes under Boston Marathon qualifying time despite being injured for a large part of training. I applied to biology PhD programs and I am likely to be accepted into a very good program (still debating whether it’s what I want to do in life, though). I also had a first author paper published at the lab in which I am currently working. Also had some quality time to catch up with close friends and family; this is what I really value most of all.

    I am still struggling with direction in life, but I’m glad to be cut free of the burden of a cheater and liar.

  • Just short of 7 years since D-Day and a little under 5 years since divorce was finalised:

    – Got a clean break divorce with the kids to live with me.
    – Got a major promotion at work – a promotion that Ex-Mrs LFTT said countless times I’d never achieve – one month after Decree Absolute was issued.
    – Went from a £25K+debt when we divorced to the point that I should be able to buy a 4 bedroom house for me and the kids in the next 2 or three months.
    – Supported eldest daughter (now 25) and son (now 22) through University; she got a 1st and he got a 2:1 – Go them!
    – Supported youngest (now 18) through school. She does her A-Levels this summer and then hopefully University to read Law thereafter.
    – Turned my home into an oasis of calm for me and the kids; we’re all in a much better place than we were 7 years ago.
    – Helped the kids to set appropriate boundaries with Ex-Mrs LFTT; she is an alcoholic, a liar and an arch manipulator. They now feel empowered to say “No” or “Stop” or “That won’t fly for me” to her when it is appropriate. When she hits them with the “BuT I’m YoUr MoThEr so you should do what I say ….!” card, she gets “Well act like it then” in return.
    – Avoided pressure from my wider family to date. Two of my aunts (known as the “Witches of Eastwick” for very good reasons) went as far as questioning my sexuality when I refused to let them set me up with someone at a family wedding; they’ve all been told ” I’ll date when I’m ready and not before …. and if I say I’m not ready then accept it or f*ck off.”

    Life is good and Tuesday is close enough for me to smell it.

    LFTT

    • Wow so very mighty and inspiring. Wondering if your X tried to blame her double secret life on her alcoholism. My FW does. Got sober and now thinks none of the alcoholic behaviour should matter.

      • TR4H,

        Sorry to hear about your FW; it’s never their fault is it?

        Ex-Mrs LFTT never blamed the booze; she was much more comfortable denying being an alcoholic to the point that she took to blaming the empty vodka bottles – to my face and whilst she was blazing drunk – on our eldest daughter. The pity is that the shade of lipstick around the neck of the bottle (and who drinks room temperature vodka direct out of the bottle FFS?) was Ex-Mrs LFTT’s; eldest daughter wouldn’t be seen dead in that colour.

        And I don’t feel mighty. I just got done what I needed to get done.

        LFTT

    • LFTT, wow. What a list! Way to be the sane, stable parent! This is an inspiration. I hope I’ll be able to say even half of this come 7 years from now.

    • The “Witches of Eastwick” heh. I have an aunt I call “my aunt the five letter word.”

      Coincidentally, her first name has 5 letters.

  • Ex keeps trying to get me to dog sit for him or even adopt his dog, because apparently he didn’t realize puppies need to be potty trained. I keep saying no. He is not happy and his house smells like pee. My house is lovely (just did Marie Kondo!) and my dog is trained. Life is good.

  • I was sick during a southern snowstorm with all 4 kids this month. Despite this, I kept them all fed, helped them in and out of snow gear, and supervised their homeschool all on my own. Honestly, it wasn’t too much different than when my cheater was still here. He never cared when I was sick.

  • I redid and sold the divorce house that I bought and moving back into my marital home that i’m slowly re-doing. My 4 kids have learned so much.

  • Divorced 5 years, love my job, love my friends, got a peloton this year and finally taking care to love my body so I don’t start to fall apart on this side of 50.

    My real mighty is making it through the past 2 years with my son who was devastated at age 14 when his “dad” (he was a soccer coach, covert narc, good dad until that day) texted us out of the blue to tell us he had left us with a woman half our age. (My daughter and I were at the grocery; my poor son was home alone when a text message blew up his world. He still gets triggered by long texts and is the only person under 30 who prefers phone calls to texts).

    Anyways, fast forward and my formerly sweet straight A student (my kids are adopted so way to activate their abandonment wounds a**hole) and I have navigated substance use, a DUI (the night he didn’t come home and his dad didn’t pick up the text so I was alone in my worry), his trauma and depression, barely graduating during a zoom pandemic senior year. I’ve negotiated therapy, substance use programs, curfews, slammed doors and awful words, zoom schooling, college admissions process with a reluctant teen. Finally and fingers crossed, he’s mostly sober, he’s taking antidepressants, he’s thriving in his second term at college, he’s nice to me and his sister. He’s exploring his heritage, he’s doing all the things he loves. I used to keep his dad (who moved our of state almost straight from our house and sees him every other Christmas) updated on his progress, but it occurred to me one day that he didn’t seem to care, so I stopped. (Honestly I think deep down he feels guilty so it hurts ex to hear about sons problems).

    My mighty is surviving living with a depressed substance using teen during a pandemic (while trying to protect his younger sister from the trauma and working full time). My chumply commitment and resourcefulness couldn’t save my marriage, but no way am I sending another dysfunctional man out into the world to destroy the lives of others if I can help it……

    • That sounds incredibly hard. You’re a great mom getting through all of that and doing so much for your son. I hope things continue to get better for you and your kids.

  • After thinking my career was secondary, and we couldn’t live without the ex’s salary (he was fired for f*cking a subordinate), this week I got a big raise and a big bonus. I now make more than that arrogant a-hole ever did. (And ever will. He’s literally destitute now.)

    Money isn’t everything, but in this case it’s pretty damn satisfying. Keep at it everyone — to MEH and beyond!

  • I’m not feeling particularly mighty today. It’s been nearly 11 years since my divorce was final. The children are all grown and most of them are no contact with the sperm donor. I’m still incredibly grateful that I dumped that sack o’ shit out of my life. He never overtly tried to separate me from my family, but he always felt that he deserved every bit of my time and attention.

    Despite the pandemic, during the last two years I’ve been able to spend a lot of time with my mom and dad. Between them they had two knee replacements and a shoulder replacement. We just lost Dad 3 weeks ago, and I was able to be there with him as he passed. (No, it wasn’t Covid) I can go visit Mom whenever she needs me. I know things would have been different if I were still married to the asshat.

    Right now, mighty looks like remembering to eat, stay hydrated, and go to bed at a decent time. Fortunately, I don’t have regrets about what I didn’t do and the time I didn’t spend with my dad.

    • The death of a parent reorders your universe, no matter how old you are. Right now all those basic things you’re doing for yourself require a lot of mighty. And you are especially mighty because not many people can say they have no regrets when someone dies.

    • Lizza,
      I’m so very sad with you for the loss of your dad. May he rest in power and peace, and may you and your mom be comforted by each other, and by memories of good times.

    • I’m sorry for your loss, Lizza. It’s hard to feel mighty when you are mourning….

      You’ll remember your mighty again soon. In the meantime keep being gentle with yourself.

      Take care

    • I’m so sorry for your loss. I lost my dad May 2018 same year I got divorced. Just found out my mom has a rare cancer at the end of 2021. Life is so strange. I don’t think I would have been okay if the cheater was still in my life during my dad’s death. I only had enough energy to shower, eat and grieve. Just wanted to reply and let you know that you are not alone. Life is still great xo sweet

      • I’m so sorry for your loss, Lizza. You have my heartfelt sympathies. My Dad was dying, and then died, during the discard in 2019 (26 years together). My Dad adored the ex. They came from the same part of England. My Dad admired and respected him. The ex behaved dreadfully while I was with my Dad in hospital a couple of hours away from home. With hindsight I regret that he did not dump me before my Dad died. The recollection of him standing at my Dad’s graveside knowing full well what he intended to do only a few weeks down the line, while I was still grieving, is upsetting. My Mum, who has been brave through lockdowns which she has spent much of alone, often says ‘how could [the ex] have sat at the funeral lunch, laughing and making jokes about funny things that happened to you both on holiday.’ She can’t get her head round it. How do you watch a man lowered into the ground, knowing what you are about to do to his daughter? He was exchanging ‘yearning’ emails with the exgfOW 4 days before the funeral. He had no shame, no integrity, no honesty. Shocking, really.

    • So sorry for your loss Lizza! I truly understand. I lost my brother 6 months after DDay. Was going through wreckonciliation with FW and told him that night that if he wasn’t going to stay with me to leave right then bc I couldn’t go through this with him if he was going to leave me later. He lied. He was already planning to leave. Now the whole thing is tainted by him and so much worse to endure. He didn’t actually leave either I had to use recording devices to prove he had second phone and then I kicked him out. It was trauma on trauma and grief on grief. I still haven’t fully grieved my brother bc I’m still grieving the marriage.

  • I put together a huge box of neatly folded and dry cleaned clothes for donation – went through my closet and put in a lot of clothes that held memories I didn’t want to remember and just before closing the box I added my wedding gown – felt so good to push it out of my house. I hope someone can use it for Halloween as the bride of Frankenstein. God bless CN and CL.

  • Cheater and I retired, sold our house and everything we owned and moved aboard our sailboat in 2016, planning to sail around the world. We made it from the Chesapeake to South Carolina before I identified that he was abusive, and in Florida (during Hurricane Irma) I found out he was cheating. A little over four years ago, while he was at a doctor’s appointment, I left the boat with what I could carry (and my dog), rented a car and drove a thousand miles to move in with my recently widowed best friend. Divorce took a little over a year, and I flew from divorce court in Florida back to Missouri for a Valentine’s Day breast biopsy. (Negative biopsy, but the hospital bill — WITH Florida health insurance — was over $8,000!) And then I got a job and started saving money. I moved into my own apartment just before the pandemic closed things down. During the pandemic I’ve been working as a nurse in ICU — that’s pretty mighty all by itself! And I looked for and found a condo for me and my dog.

    Three years after I left the Cheating Abusive Douche (CAD), I made an offer on a home of my own, and it closed a year ago today. Four years ago, I owned nothing but what I could carry and my dog. Today, I own a cute, quirky condo and enough furniture to be comfortable. I have a car. I also have more than one purse, two pairs of shoes and a wardrobe that fits into a single boat bag. (OK, a lot more shoes, purses and clothes.) I’m comfortable enough to think about retiring again . . . when the pandemic is over because nurses are a scarce resource these days.

    • Thank you for the work you do. I do work for hospitals but behind the scenes and rarely get contact with one of the people on the front line. That is demanding work and for those of us who can’t even stand the sight of blood, you are especially super heroes. I hope a beautiful retirement is in your future!

      • Yes, thank you for being a healthcare worker. I, too, work behind the scenes & at home for a hospital system. Feel guilty sometimes that I’m safe & comfy while the hospital staff is facing burn out like we’ve never seen.

        • And you have no idea how much we appreciate those behind the scenes who keep us running so we can do the patient care.

  • I’m in the home stretch. Walked away in late 2015, divorced by early 2017. Started a new life in a new town with a new job. Fought for kid last winter so he could live full time with me and be full time in this school system the whole of his senior year. Won it. Kid is rocking it with a 4.0 GPA, and just got accepted to his 1st college of choice (working on the financial aid stuff now to make it happen.). Put the kid on MY health and dental insurance this month. And got the process started with CSSD to ensure the X pays me (on time) the (full) amount he owes me for the next 6 months until the kid is 18.

    The last 6 years haven’t been easy, but each year was better than the one proceeding it. Every day I’m grateful that I escaped from that hell hole of a marriage and am now enjoying my life again and looking forward to the possibilities of the future.

  • 1. Sold off contents of 40-year/FW home, renovated and rented it.
    2. Moved to another continent.
    3. Lost 30 pounds.
    4. Finished 75% of book writing project and am on track to publish this year.
    5. Moving to beach in 3 weeks.

    Whew. Thanks for asking–didn’t realize what I’ve accomplished the past 12 months.

  • My Dday was 17 years ago followed by a long, terrible Wreckonsillyation which ended with Cheaters death almost 10 years ago.

    I had entered my adult life with 3 millstones (covert narc cheater and cluster B parents) weighing me down, so even though I accomplished a few things, every day was an uphill climb. I also chose to prioritize my kids in the middle of the endless mess because they needed one sane person.

    Im now in late 50s and realizing that I have abilities I never knew before. I finished my Bachelors in my early 50s then got a Masters a year ago and am serving in a challenging but important role. My employer is a dorky community hospital but in my new role, (due to some quirky circumstances) I have mentors from some of the most respected centers in the world who I can call on at a moments notice. The area of service is hard and the pandemic makes everything harder but this opportunity will not come again and Im making the best of it.

    I had planned 4 international trips during covid (to take advantage of low travel costs) and (through very dumb luck) thusfar 2 went great (falling during Covid lulls that no one could have ever predicted) and Im hoping the one planned for 6 weeks from now will do the same.

    Ive been remarried 6+ years and just the other day realized that my self perception has evolved.
    I am no longer the woman who was abused and whose husband cheated.
    I am the woman married to a successful guy who doesnt cheat.
    My husband could have a younger “trophy wife” but chose me who is his same age. I think Im a darn good trophy in my own right. Bam

  • “He” was the popular extrovert.
    I was (and am) the quiet introvert.
    Therefore, the pandemic isolation did not impact me as much, as I am used to being alone.
    I heard through the grapevine, that it totally upended him as he had to finally sit with himself. (And his 20 year younger co worker …) but I believe they sure learned a lot about each other during this time. 😂

    So, back to mighty… I used the 3 months off work to figure out how I was going to survive financially on one income.
    I, with the help of a contractor relative and friends – turned the first level of my home into a rental apartment. I put everything on a low interest credit card.
    It took a full year, getting a free stove, fridge etc off Craigslist. I learned to cut sheet rock, mud, tape, cut tile, grout, lay flooring, I did feel mighty!
    Putting the ad out for a tenant was frightening and empowering all at once. But I did it. And I have a nice Gal now living in the Apartment.
    Also, even though I was legally separated, I finally filed for the divorce this past July. He would not comply with disclosure and so I made the decision to file a default and get it going without his compliance.
    Divorce will be final next month.
    I never thought I’d get to the other side of it – my grief seemed overwhelming. But I did, and I’m thriving… and he – is not.

  • I was the first in my family to be vaccinated and wear a mask. I’ve sewn over 100 masks and given them away. My adult kids followed my example and were vaccinated and wear masks. I know the fabric masks aren’t the best option but it is better than nothing.

    I continue to keep my lawyer paid off. I continue to battle LTC Fuckface who feels entitled to pay me a third of what the Court ordered. My case management date is
    in February by Zoom. I’ve learned to use Zoom despite my Boomer Status. I’m anticipating hearing Fuckface’s explanation as to why he didn’t follow the latest Court Order.

    My 20/20/20 packet has been received by HRC and will be processed in 60 days. The QDRO has been received and his wages and pension will be garnished. I haven’t given up. I will be paid and I will receive my portion of our assets.

    I picked up my paint brush and dabbed paint on canvas. This process gives me joy. I paint for my own pleasure. I have defeated the voice in my head that tells me my artwork isn’t good enough and a waste of time.

    I have managed financially despite being consistently underpaid by LTC Fuckface. He thinks he can starve me out but he underestimated me again. I have no debt. I am responsible. I make do. I don’t need things to make me happy. I live a simple life within my means.

    I’ve learned to live alone. I’ve learned to be resilient. I’ve learned the power of my boundaries. I’ve learned that I am a goddamned delight.

    Thank You Tracy! I wouldn’t be here but for your efforts. Your book came into my life at my darkest hour. You saved me.

    • “I’ve learned to live alone. I’ve learned to be resilient. I’ve learned the power of my boundaries. I’ve learned that I am a goddamned delight.”

      This is so great.
      About sums it up!
      Happy for you 33

    • “I’ve learned that I am a goddamned delight.”

      This is the best. I love it. I’m sorry it took such a traumatic event to come to this realization but it will serve you well for the rest of your delightful life. Inspirational.

  • i’m still in the mediation straits, but it’s close. that said, i’m tired.

    but i did apply to graduate school and, regardless of acceptance, i fell back in love with my writing project and with writing as a whole, so i feel good.

    my kids are okay. i’m the sane parent and there are therapists for us all, so we get through. i have good friends, real friends, and that’s all i need.

  • Survived teaching full course load online. Then a semester in hybrid mode (half the kids on Zoom, half in person.) Then a semester in person with few COVID cases. And now a semester where the kids came back from Christmas infected and sent to quarantine but Zoom is only available through the campus system if you successfully beg and plead. Also the administration changed the email system in the middle of a term.

    On the plus side, I’ve figured out how to Zoom from home when the weather is bad, which all of us love when we get a lot of snow. So I feel like I’ve got at least a little control over something.

    After a year of failed repairs on my lawn tractor, I found a landscaping service that does a great job on the 2 acre yard, can mulch up leaves for 1/3 of the usual cost, and is currently keeping my gravel drive clear of deep snow and ice. Word is that he does mulching too, so maybe I won’t have to haul 100 bags of mulch this spring. The price is right, so long as I eep on working. But it’s like I got Fall back now that I don’t have to spend every weekend tackling leaves. I feel particularly proud that I found this guy because I saw he was doing a great job cutting the neighbor’s lawn and I went over there and hired him based on how meticulous he was with her yard. (He will also clean the gutters, too–literally my dream yard guy.

    I also found a contractor who has done everything from fixing a door problem to replacing a water heater to fixing the chimney flashing. Fast and highly competent. So life gets better because I have help with this old house. But here’s a shout-out to chumps who do this work for themselves. I do a lot of minor repairs here but a water heater is over my pay grade…

    Once I had my shots, I started back up with a hot yoga practice and I’ve maintained my walking practice. Now if I can just quit sugar…again…

  • I wish I could reply to everyone individually
    – All so inspiring and great to read!
    I said out loud, “Wow! over and over.
    So grateful to CL and CN.
    We truly are mighty. Let’s keep it going!

  • I’m still in the duck-lining-up phase and living with my cheater, and even though I am the one who said I wanted a divorce months ago, and he is supposedly trying to get me to stay, of course that’s all BS and he thinks I should be grateful to have won the pick-me dance.

    So, his go-to move to avoid accountability if I confront him about anything related to his cheating is to sadly and paternalistically announce that if I don’t shape up and act like nothing happened, he will have to go ahead with divorce. And it used to be crazy-making because I’d be like…dude…*I* am the one who wanted divorce and you are the one who wanted to try to reconcile (after Schmoopie dumped him, obvs), why would you even think I would…etc, etc, skein untangling.

    But this time when he pulled it, I was mighty. I very calmly said “Well, I’m sorry it didn’t work out, but okay, let’s start the divorce” and then I went and sat on my porch and enjoyed my beautiful view and drank a soda and felt great. Ten minutes later he came out to ask if dinner would still be on time, and since then he is pretending the divorce conversation never happened.

    Whatever, I can already feel being closer to Tuesday. It used to distress me *so much* if he was displeased, but since I found CL and CN, I internalized the idea of thinking of him as a fuckwit, not a god, and that has made such a difference. You can’t panic about the tantrums of a fuckwit, it’s just ridiculous nonsense. So grateful for Chump Lady changing the narrative and for everyone who shares their stories to inspire others.

    • I kind of wish that everyone could win the pick me dance and then instantly serve divorce papers. It’s like a spotlight suddenly flips on and you see that what you thought was a unicorn is actually garbage-eating goat who got his other horn chopped off in a meat grinder. Unfortunately the winning actually makes the divorce more challenging. The conversations are pretty funny when the only threat in his arsenal is the thing you actually want. 😂

      • Yes. Cheater threatened divorce so many times.

        He was trying to make me quit my job, sell the house and move the kids to go with him cross country (even though a few weeks earlier he said he was leaving us all).

        “I will divorce you if you dont move to CA”

        I said “If you want to divorce me here, I fail to see how or why you would decide Im worth being married to there, so no, we’re not moving”.

        I wish I had done as you suggested and waited to win the pick me dance and then leave.
        His OW married the fiancé she was cheating on during her OW days with Cheater. For some bizaare reason, Cheater told me when her wedding was.

        Imagine if the next day I had said “This isn’t working, we’re getting divorced.”
        It is the woulda-shoulda-coulda of my life (although not very meh)

        • I’m pretty sure that I didn’t so much win the pick-me dance as that I told the AP she had to stop contacting my husband, and left the consequences ambiguous, and we live in a very small town a lot like one mentioned the other day, where getting called out on the town facebook gossip page would be bad. She didn’t really want to blow up her life for some guy she met a few weeks before, it turned out.

      • I’m cackling at the “garbage-eating goat” with one horn! Going to start thinking that to myself when he acts out, “Ok, garbage-eating goat, whatever!” LMAO

    • I love this story, RuralChump! So inspiring – “You can’t panic about the tantrums of a fuckwit”

    • I am almost done with my ducks. CL truly changes your mental narrative and it makes a world of difference. Once you realize how common the FW is and how alike they are, you stop being anxious about dealing with them.

      I remember klootzak threatening divorce because I had insisted he get life insurance so I would have means to finish raising our child in case anything happened to him. It was the dumbest thing ever. And I had already read LACGAL and this was a duck I was setting up to cover eventual child support loss in case anything ever happened to him. So he called me to his office and was angry that I wasn’t letting go of getting insurance. He had accused me of staying married to him “out of convenience.” I said to him, “Trust me, nothing about being married to you has ever been convenient.” And his mouth just hung open because it was as close as I had come to saying, “Go ahead, punk. You feeling lucky? Make my day.” And before LACGAL, I would have been terrified and gone along with whatever he wanted.

      I have a friend going through divorce and her husband walked out over the summer. She always texts me that she feels sorry for me living with klootzak still, but my mindset change has made things infinitely easier.

      And yeah… it’s freaky when they fire those shots over the bow and then pretend the conversation never happened. When, lo and behold, we file, they will have the nerve to act surprised.

      • So true. I am certain that he thinks *I* was never serious about wanting divorce, because he is not, and he projects all the time, so if he would say he wanted a divorce just as a tactic to get his way, then why wouldn’t I also be doing that. It truly is amazing how you can literally feel your world shift when you read other people’s stories, and some of them are almost word-for-word a conversation you just had with what you thought was a really special and unique person with unique motivations. They’re not unique, they’re jut a fuckwit like all these other fuckwits, whoa!

  • -Kicked his sorry ass to the kerb after finding out about his 12 year affair – d-day was nearly three years ago
    -Hired a kick-ass lawyer but didn’t tell him so I had time to get my ducks in a row
    -Got lots of therapy and support from the police, adult safeguarding and the local women’s charity so I knew my rights and how to protect myself
    -Reconnected with all the friends I lost touch with during the abusive marriage and as my mental health deteriorated
    – sold my house during lockdown. Because of his foot dragging, Dimwit had to pay out around £70000 covering his share of the marital home plus an apartment near Flossie while he won her back (he told her we’d been divorced the last seven years – and let me tell her we weren’t)
    – Did nearly two years on my own through the various lockdowns, including surviving six months in my childhood home in a small town where I now know nobody
    -learned to drive again 17 years after passing my test. He wouldn’t let me drive and made me feel I was incapable. Now have my own car and have been going on lots of nice outings to visit friends and family
    – Bought my own place and decorated it how I wanted, including a gorgeous Swedish bed and double height flamingo wallpaper
    -Starting acting classes and took up burlesque dancing aged 47
    -Now gunning for a promotion at work

  • My story was featured in the fall of 2021, but let’s carry on! I graduated community college in the middle of a pandemic, got the most AMAZING job. My work is interesting, my coworkers are really nice, and my boss is the most understanding boss ever. I was feeling very overwhelmed and unsure of myself this past December, and then we had a year end review. My boss had nothing but praise for me. He then went on to say: I’m going to champion for you to get a raise. Wait what now?!?! You’re already paying me WAY more than I expected to get paid, and now I might be getting a raise? It’s “only” 2%, but dang, to have a boss that works with you rather than against you is amazing!

    While it’s 5+ years since my divorce, the divorce left me terrified of people. How my ex turned around and got so… evil in what felt like the blink of an eye. But surrounded by my amazing kids and amazing co-workers I’m slowly healing and seeing how amazing people can be.

  • I’ve stood up to my ex and his expectations that I would keep going along with whatever his latest plan was. I’ve had to go to court to do it, but guess what, I keep winning! Got my daughter enrolled at the school near me (I love our walks to school in the mornings I have her). Taught her to ride a bike, and am teaching her to ski. Got into paddleboarding, making new friends there. Dabbled in dating, and while I haven’t found a great new love, I am learning how to enforce my boundaries, which is an important first step. (Also finding that mom-bod and all, I can still feel sexy.) Stopped chasing people, including friends.

  • Got a cat called Shadow – he was called that when we adopted him! – who has brought light into the dark space that was created by ex fw.
    My son has also got more academic and good citizen accolades in school than ever before!
    Also got outstanding appraisal at work, my new employer said we know you’ve had a shitshow at home but we’d never have known from your performance.
    Also bought a nice new sofa, nice to know he has never sat on it!

  • I ended a double decade marriage, multiple d days were years and years ago, well before CL, I was dragged through RIC and told to suck it up until I went numb and lived another decade plus in survival mode. The pandemic set me free. I found myself again, established a career after being undermined for years, left a lying, cheating, entitled FW, got divorced, got my settlement, still stuck co parenting but am as no fantasy as I can be. I feel pretty mighty because I feel like myself again for the first time in DECADES.

  • I fixed the plumbing, all by myself.. Twice!

    Pumped up the tyres and checked the oil on my car.

    Bought a new car! (seems a theme on here today 😁)

    Have completed some serious DIY!

    Chucked in my job to go solo on sketching little scribbles that depict family life and I’m doing alright with that ❤️

    Got myself some chickens…. This isn’t the usual thing to do in the UK but I’ve always fancied having some. They do bring me joy.

    Renovated a garage that housed 7 motorbikes into a playroom for the grandchildren that also doubles up as a tiki bar come dance floor for the adults.

    Cut down trees. Cut the grass several times and it really isn’t a chore to huff and puff and moan about 😂😂. Completely revamped a big part of the garden along with digging out and creating a natural pond.

    Cleared the loft of all the crap!!

    Found peace and for that I am truly grateful.

    16 months since DDay #3. 14 months since I filed for divorce. 11 months no contact. Settlement about to be signed sealed and delivered 72% to little old me. 34 years of my life wasted on someone who didn’t deserve me but I’m free now and living my best life ❤️

    • Well done Claire, sounds like you are at Meh! Cutting down trees eh.
      Like the sound of the solo sketching.
      I am in the UK too!

  • D-day was September 2020. Kicked him out immediately. I’ve blocked him and been no contact for a full 6 months and it’s glorious! (It’s been 3 months since he tried to contact me, but I ignored him).

    I got 2 kittens – Cosmo and Stella -brother/sister. They are my world. My EXH and my EXFW hated cats, so it was the first thing I did after D-day. My teen daughter is so happy to have kitties finally.

    November 2020 I met a decent man.

    I’ve continued running with friends.

    Bought a new car all by myself!

    I’ve been to some incredible (covid-safe) concerts and on a few fun trips.

    I have several more fun trips, musicals, concerts, and races planned for this year.

    I’ve been working from home throughout the pandemic, so while I had to get new pants, I’m still active and happy to be home with kitties.

    Be glad we can’t post pics – I’d spam you all with my kitties. 🙂

  • I moved into a rental home with my son, leaving the STBXH in our home to deal with all the repairs that were neglected over the past 20 years. Then it was put on the market and sold quickly. The divorce came through 8 months after I moved out, and I bought the little rental home. I fixed up the bathroom & the floors & the roof this past fall & had Christmas with my grown children in my cosy little house.
    I have to admit, since it was 2021 and not the first year of Covid, it was easy to do the divorce via zoom and the attorney’s internet portal, and to get the home inspection & repairs done. All you who did things in 2020, I admire you so much! And a big, big thank you to paving the way!
    Moving out and divorcing made everything so much easier! Even things I never did before, like purchasing tires for my car, getting oil changes, & chafing the flapper on my toilet were easy peasey because a FW was not involved.

  • Wow, guys, so many things! Now I realize that yes, I’ve been a mighty chump too (immensely indebted to CL and CN). First DDay was July 2021 during the first covid lockdown. Since then I:

    – lawyered up and began indivudual therapy;

    – untangled my life from FW’s and have gone largely grey rock with her and no contact with her FOO (oh, boy, that feels great);

    – enrolled my kids in a good school with a resident special needs professional who adapts the curriculum and works one-on-one with my youngest, autistic son, who’s almost non-verbal but has just written and read his first sentences and started making a lot more eye contact;

    – endured one year of online schooling and half a year of a hybrid regime (now they’re back to school every day) all by myself and despite all my FW XW’s screw ups, while simultaneously teaching online for two years now.

    – didn’t take a sick leave from work even when I felt most broken. My tenure is within reach;

    – published a paper in a respected journal in my area, finished writing other two (with a coauthor) and the fourth is on its way (with coauthors). Got one paper rejected by two journals but didn’t let this break my spirits: we are submitting again any time soon. After you survived so much shit, it will not be some unfavourable reviews that are going to put you down;

    – rented, furnished from scratch (I let FW keep everything) and maintain a very comfortable apartment for me and my kids. It is at a walking distance away from FW’s apartment (which I rented and is very nice and cozy as well), from my kids’ school and from the campus where I will be back teaching in April. Near perfect logistics. And we have enough external area here to have a dog, a cat and seven (!) guinea pigs (they were just three in the beggining, but these little fellows are horny as hell 😂). My FW would never in a million years have accepted a pet in our (her!) home. She always hated animals, particularly dogs;

    – got wise enough to accept that turning down my dream job back where we used to live was the best decision for me and my kids (I struggled a lot with this one, but am at peace now);

    – started teaching my kids karate and jiu jitsu to keep them active during the covid restrictions and to foster their self-confidence and self-control (they deal with a lot of anxiety, just like me). They love it and I just can’t describe the contentment I get from looking at my cute boys donning my own 30 years old judogi. Never could do these things while living with FW, cause she is “against violence” 🙄. It is like they’re picking up from where I let go of myself for FW’s sake. We do some yoga together as well;

    – lost 15 kilograms out of sheer trauma and now look like a skeleton, but turning to the bright side of things, I’ve got to see my six-pack again! 😃🤣 hope I can keep it when I finally get to Meh, but I doubt it;

    – divorced the FW at last and got away having nothing to do with the crazy, huge debts she ran into with all her (and then AP’s) funny business. Divorce was final last november and the settlement my lawyer drafted stood unchallenged. In fact, the judge even cut me some slack and attenuated (sua sponte) some of my self-imposed obligations, while scratching her head as to why my XW was not going to contribute her fair share of money to our sons’ expenses. 50/50 custody, but FW just can’t abide by any rules so I usually get more time with the kids;

    – am growing accostumed to live alone for half the week (it still does not feel good though);

    – am taking good care of my elderly parents and my autistic adult brother, got them vaccinated (it was a struggle – they are negationists) and no one’s gotten sick so far. Also did right by an old housemaid (which is a mother figure to me, I am including her among “my elderly parents” above) who mom and dad have always mistreated. I am doing all I can to make amends for my parents’ abuse. It is sad she cannot have her time and youth back, but now she is retired, has her own money, answers to no one but herself and is getting to live her life abuse-free. She’s got her place and is always welcome to mine (mom and dad didn’t like that a bit).

    – got quite decent at setting boundaries and spotting shadiness in people. Had a couple casual sexual encounters with a neighbour (didn’t look for that though), but as soon as I noticed some red flags I had no qualms in dumping her immediately (with respect, of course: I stated very clearly I was not ready to date yet and told her it was over). It was easier than to deflect some sexually charged hoover attempts by my XW, but I’ve got that too, never had physical contact with FW again! 🙏 Also, overcome the urge for intimacy and am not looking for a rebound, I’m good.

    Sorry for being so prolix, folks, but it did feel awesome to ascertain myself that I am mighty. But I have to say that if Chump Nation didn’t exist, I would probably be broken beyond repair or dead by now.

    Tracy, you are a real life bodhisattva! Thank you so much!

  • All these stories are so inspiring. I have had depression and anxiety my entire life and get treatment when needed. DDay was 7 months ago. Got intensive therapy and within 2 weeks of discovery, I asked ex to move out, called a lawyer, filed for divorce, and am attending therapy and codependency meetings. Focusing on me is an odd feeling. I focused on him to not look at my own issues, my own feelings of inadequacy. I HAD to be needed to feel worthwhile. In some ways I crippled him by not requiring that he help with chores and cooking and pet care and shopping and scheduling all vacations, the list goes on and on. I got to be IN CONTROL. My mighty goals are to believe I can live alone and take care of myself. To let go of controlling behaviors. To learn that I am worthy of a happy life with honesty and trust from the relationships in my life, and trust myself too. That I CAN believe in me as much as I did my unfaithful and lying ex. Find out who I am, what I want, what I need. Right now I feel like an empty shell, but these daily stories and pep talks help me so much to not go backwards and to stay strong. I am grateful for all Y’all. Every day.

    • “Right now I feel like an empty shell”

      I remember those days. Things do get better and somehow, I feel like I’m a person with more depth and empathy because I survived those days – no that I would wish the experience on anyone. Once you start putting your needs at the top of your priority list it is very, very hard to let anyone tell you otherwise.

      Good for you CC and please keep coming back here.

  • I love that I’m able to reply to this thread, and thank you all for showing me the way.

    I forgave many instances of discovering him on dating sites, messaging hookers, and looking for a sugar baby. He said he was just “looking” at pictures, and messaging. Innocent fun. He claimed nothing physical happened. Fast forward to 6 weeks before our wedding, and I found out he was fooling around with someone from the gym.

    After he literally begged me on his knees to not leave him after the second time of “just looking”.

    I’m the one with the money and embarrassed to say he nearly bled me dry. I bought him a lot for his RV at the fanciest RV resort in the country, paid for expensive improvements to the house that was in his name only, and paid for the entire wedding.

    When I found out about the other woman at the gym, I finally believed that he sucked, despite his “aw shucks” good guy bs persona.

    I left, told him I’d take legal action to make him pay me for the improvements on his home, and costs I’d incurred. I had receipts. He told me he really wanted to keep the RV lot, and promised that he’d pay the lot payment, as well as association fees, but then only paid ONE payment. I told him if he wasn’t going to pay, I’d sell the lot for less than it was worth just to be done with it, and I listed it for sale.

    This VERY morning I got the call from the realtor. The lot sold, and I’m netting a profit of 14k. In addition, the cheater had to take 15k from his 401k to pay me what he owed me. He has no money, is in debt, has a dead end job he hates, and is broke because of medical bills. He has to sell his RV.

    I bought a Mercedes, met an amazingly sweet, smart man who’s a doctor, and am going to Paris with him in April. In addition, I got to keep my sweet dog (an import from Lancaster, PA!)

    Life is good here on the other side, and I can’t believe I got caught up in the web of a narcissist.

    Thank you Tracy for doing this!

  • Planned my first adventure for the year: backpacking the West Coast Trail in July by myself.

    In April I turn 40 and am heading to Texas for a bbq tour.

    Worked some side gigs to earn extra money and bought a new grill and am going to design/ hike an outdoor kitchen for my house.

    5 months post divorce and 16 months post d-day and I am in the best physical, mental, emotional, spiritual shape of my life. I now have a trajectory of life that I love, and I thoroughly enjoy my time by myself the 50% of the time I don’t have the kids. My house is cleaner, more organized, more peaceful without fuckwit around.

    • Booked a cruise with a bunch of singers and bands that I love performing! I will go by myself and am really looking forward to it. It was expensive and I waffled for a while but finally did this thing for myself!
      I still have alot of expenses but now that my exfw isn’t stealing from me and buying his girlfriend flowers every week on my credit card I have more to save or spend on myself!!

  • I got a hilarious text from my cheater’s current partner (not OW), who I gently tried to warn about him a few years back. We’re in touch for kid handoffs and such, and she’s pleasant to deal with.

    Anyway her text was like “IS HE ALWAYS LIKE THIS?!”

    Me:

    • I love this!

      Reminds me that they don’t change for a new partner.

      I often fall into the trap of thinking otherwise.

      • Me too Spinach, it’s easy to fall into thinking they will be happier. My ex does a major dose of normalizing his new situation- he’s just an all around nice guy who had a wife that didn’t want whips and chains. What’s a guy to do? Oh well, He had to get his needs met. I’m just collateral damage, but he’s okay with that because hey-a man needs what a man needs. Even during our recent mediation, my layer was astounded about how he made it all about him and how he painted himself as a man who feels a bit guilty, but he’s just doing what he’s gotta do. Key message is-they are fuckwits who paint themselves in any way that suits the current narrative. I keep coming back to the fundamental thing of-was this acceptable to me? No, it wasn’t. That’s all that matters. If they want to parade around like they’re happy then go for it! It’s all bullshit.

  • Hey, this is my first comment ever on here and can I just say: I love this community!
    I’m a young chump who was dumped in the beginning of December. Since then, I’ve

    – went to the gym regularly and am slowly getting back in shape
    – picked up working on my bachelor thesis, which I almost didn’t begin on time due to the shock and pain
    – meet up with friends regularly, even the ones I haven’t seen in a while

    My life is very slowly getting back on track. Although I still have a veryyyyy long way to go (I get annoyed at still thinking about her every single day and toking on the hopium pipe from time to time) I know that it’s all for the better!

    And I believe in you too, CN!

    • Welcome, FormerThrowaway!

      I was reading almost daily from this site (new posts and archive) for like one year and a half and it saved my sanity and helped me a lot in making what turned out to be the right decisions.

      Chump Lady has laid out the blueprint for a better life, all we have to do is to adapt here and there to our own particular situation, and the wealth of experience and insight from commenters really comes in handy.

      I only found the guts to put my story out there as of late, and am finding this very healing, to have support from a like-minded, sympathetic community is amazing.

      You may have a long way to go (so do I), but it looks like you’re off to a very good start, congratulations!

      I am one year and a half out of the first Dday and divorced since last november, but still think of my XW every single day and it pisses me off too. Hope we can get past it soon.

      Wish you the best new life, mate! Cheers!

  • Divorced in August. Sold marital home in August. Purchased my own home in September. Went back to work at my old accounting firm in December after not working for 10 years. Although my ex made me quit my former job, I kept my CPA license up to date all these years. Thankful for my old boss who knew my potential and jumped at the opportunity to have me back. First tax season in 10 years. I love being financially independent! Woohoo!

  • I settled in mediation last week after 2.5 years of chasing the fuckwit. I got a good deal as I used child support as my bargaining chip. He was so angry about having to pay it that I decided to make it look like a really good deal by signing away my rights to it. In truth, he wasn’t paying it consistently anyway and I couldn’t rely on it. My main reason for doing this was now I will never, ever have to deal with him again and I get to buy my house that I can turn around and sell when my daughter and I are ready! Win! I also grey rocked it like a champ during the mediation where he sat across from me and lied, lied and then lied some more. I didn’t even blink and I just let the lies wash over me. I was only focused on buying the house and getting rid of him forever. He’s tried so hard to keep his hooks in me from afar and not settle the property- it was magnificent to watch the mediator push him into settling and taking a deal. I am nearly free.

    In other mighty news, I’m bossing my job, going to be made partner soon, and I keep getting bonuses. I met a lovely man 6 months ago who is a real grown up, who shows up, who is there for me and wait for it…actually likes being with me! No more breadcrumbs. No more DARVO. No more mindfuckery. He’s what you see is what you get. I’m cautious but optimistic. He knows enough about what I’ve been through that he’s being kind and gentle and supportive while I build trust with him. I’m scared of getting crushed again, but I’m doing it anyway!

    For newly minted chumps, when it all happened 2.5 years ago, my best day was just being able to swallow a mouthful of food. That’s how far I’ve come. Chumps-we’ve got this!

    Stay mighty, big hugs.

  • Kicked my FW out in January of 2021, filed for divorce, worked on getting our kid healthy (bad reaction to COVID stress, FW secret life of porn, pot, and girlfriend and my spackling), got the family home ready to sell, found new place to live for kid and me, taught my university courses and supervised graduate students entirely on-line, divorce final in September 2021, went to be in-person teaching (wild), and survived the fall/early winter holidays as a newly single person. Still working with my kid on college applications and all the things she needs. 2021 was big moves and harsh survival. 2022 is steady progress, working toward better health (that was trashed by repeated DDays, lies, coverups, pick me dancing, etc.) and reviving my career. Whew!

  • 4 years post separation, 3 years post divorce.

    Almost 5 years post the worst day of my life, the DDay when XH admitted to a double life that spanned across our entire marriage.

    We had 8 kids, the youngest was 6 months old. I had been a SAHM for 17 years, had no college degree and no recent work history. I saw an attorney and made a plan to get TF out. I went back to college and finished my music education degree. I got a job teaching music. I got my divorce finalized and got a great settlement.

    I am now in my 4th year of teaching and just celebrated 2 years with my boyfriend. This year, i decided that teaching isnt a good fit for me. After getting royally screwed by the district i work for, i realized that i dont have to put up with shit sandwiches for a job either, so i made a plan to get TF out of teaching. Just got a “Youre hired” email from a company i interviewed with and will be starting a brand new job with (hopefully) much more respect and NO work to take home. I will finish my teaching contract, then start my new job when school is out.

  • At the height of the pandemic, and after selling two homes, I moved to a different state to be near my kids. X always wanted to move out west to a cabin in the woods near a river where he could fish. I don’t fault him for this dream, but I do resent that he got enraged when I said that I would do that as long as I had a small pied-à-terre near the kids and grandkids. Clearly, we were on different pages. He scoffed at me when I said I wanted a relationship with our grandchild. Who does that? (p.s. Now he’s angry that he has NO relationship with her. #myfault).

    I started my own business. It’s been slow to take off, but it’s something.

    I’ve made new friends. There’s one person in particular who is kind, treats me with respect, and makes me laugh. I love hanging out with him. (And I’m on the lookout for red flags. #trustissues)

    I’ve learned that “no” is a complete sentence and that boundary setting is empowering.

    I’ve been more discerning about friends and protect myself from toxic people and anyone who reminds me of my x or supports him in any way.

    I’ve worked hard with my wonderful therapist to understand myself and what caused me to stay in an abusive situation for so long (i.e.., why it took infidelity to cause me to leave.)

    I’ve watched with joy how my kids and grandkids are happy and calm when we’re together. I can appreciate that the absence of an abusive, moody man has made all the difference in our lives. No drama!!! No criticisms. No walking on eggshells while he stomped off for reasons no one could fathom.

    I’m trying to figure out what *I* like and need. Funny how I lost sight of that over the years (35 to be exact). I was so focused on x’s needs. No more.

    I can see more clearly now. I’m still a work in progress, but there’s progress, and for that I’m grateful.

    CL and CN have helped sustain me. Thanks everyone! You’re an inspiration.

  • I had several years of poverty-level wages. Being older and having been mostly a SAHM counted against me. My ex was sending informal support that covered my rent and kept us on his insurance for most (but not all of the divorce). Both college kids lived with me and were working multiple jobs, as I was. They offered to quit college, but I was so reluctant to have them do that when they were excelling and thriving in their programs. I had half the money from sale of the family house, but I only touched that in cases of absolute emergency because I had no idea how long the legal proceedings would go on or what the future held for me vocationally. We went to a local, informal food bank at times, and an unknown benefactor occasionally paid my rent.

    So there were several moments with I stepped out in faith, believing that it would come together. Partway through the divorce, I gave up support that was going to expire once the divorce was final (no alimony in my state because he’s retired) in exchange for something much, much better for me long-term. Then I gave up having him help with college because the kids and I couldn’t stand the thought of interacting with him. One had saved up enough to graduate, and the other went into a flurry of applying for scholarships and was given a cash award out of the blue. All covered. And finally, my attorney and I decided it was time to get a trial date set because my ex had stopped being reasonable. His attorney was over-the-top frustrated with what he called “the worst client ever.” I would run through most of my savings if it went to trial. Then his attorney threatened to quit if my ex didn’t sign, and my ex signed hours before the deadline.

    So I started my post-divorce life with poor income and no health insurance. He canceled the health insurance right after the paperwork went in instead of providing his employer with the settlement agreement as he was supposed to. If he had done it the right way, I would have had a free month and then an option for COBA-like benefits. Instead, I had to scramble and get ACA insurance lined up which included two months of being uninsured, and then my attorney and I fought his former employer for eight months. Ultimately, there was an injunction against my ex that dragged on for quite awhile (his problem), but I got my free month which covered my medication and ended up getting health insurance through them that is less than ACA for me.

    I ended up being largely self-employed which suits me well. Both kids are out of college now and are happily working remotely (as I do) from the house I bought.

    It was as scary as h*ll at times, but life is good on the other side. I’ve been divorced for over two years, and my ex dragged out closeout and still occasionally pings me. Every time I met with the attorney who did closeout, he asked me, “Why can’t your ex let go? It’s OVER.” Yes, it’s over.

  • I’ve been exercising every day! As a procrastinator, that’s a big one for me. Doing my arms, legs, and core workouts, even if it’s only for 15 minutes here and there. I’m pretty sore, when I get up in the morning, so it’s doing something.
    My house remodel is 2/3 done, and that keeps me busy five days a week. And, this isn’t strictly my win, but I helped- my son got a job! He’s been applying seriously for over a year. It’s crazy. And, he was just to the end of his savings, when he found a job he loves, in his field. I was his sounding board, and shoulder, because we’ve always been close, so I’m just over the moon happy for him!
    Keep the faith, Chump Nation!

  • I am 7+ years out from XFWH (22 yrs together) and 4 months out from DDay from XFWBF (6.5 yrs together) and 3 months out from NC. This time I learned from past experience to reach out to family & friends, and that it’s OK to get back on meds to help get through the trauma once again.

    I have been working on myself, mentally, physically & spiritually and realizing that I’m still that bada$$ person I’ve always been!

    I progressed from “hating ALL men” to “Eh, who cares about men? I don’t need a man for anything in my life”. So, I think I’m on the right track.

    I’ve been spending quality time with family & friends – more so than I ever have before, and it’s awesome!

    And celebrating the little joys in life like finding out my XFWH is riding that Karma Bus with having lost his job twice and is a new father in his 50s to his whores child, and got 2 speeding tickets. Hoping the XFWBF will be joining him shortly on that ride. 🤣

    • Yes, I’m fine with men in general, but another romantic relationship is out of the question. I’ve always worked in male-dominated fields and sometimes would rather chat with the men than the women in social situations. But a romantic relationship? Pass the bean dip, please.

      • 👏🏻

        I am happy for anyone who finds romance again but for me, once I am free, there is a whole world to explore and I will be independent to go see and do as I could never do while married to klootzak. When you have a partner, even a great one with much love and respect, there is always work and negotiation. There are always compromises. When I have my freedom, I don’t think I will want to go back to that. Ever.

        Divorcing klootzak will be my launch pad into wonderful. I may need to work longer and will have less, but I will also have so much more. To be able to choose how I spend my time and money and not walk on eggshells because something was put on the incorrect shelf in the fridge… I will never take that for granted.

        • I feel this so much. The insane demands to know why this thing is in this place in the kitchen, stop whatever you are doing right this instant and explain this can.

        • Yes, I recently flew out to help a recently widowed relative in her 80’s and spent over a month there because I could work remotely and help her. She was always an opinionated person, but she has always been there 100% for me and offered to pay every penny of my legal fees.

          But dementia has turned her into a version of my ex. Thankfully she’s so forgetful now that I could go out to the mailbox and come back, and she’d forgotten about the misplaced can. However, getting on the airplane was such a relief. I’m handling her legal and financial affairs, but I cannot and will not be her caregiver. Thankfully she can afford professional help. I know that she can’t help herself, but it’s too triggering for me.

          It did remind me why I don’t want to remarry, for sure. At my age, I’m done with that sort of drama and am not cut out for caregiving other than what I’m doing now.

  • Divorce is still yet to come (hopefully this year as UK law changes in April and I was in too much shock and pain to file in the time for adultery). Its been exactly 12 months since everything blew up but in that time, I found a new house for me and my children, sorted out a new phone, all my bills and have managed to stay grey Rock for the whole time even while I’m under the mental health team and have struggled with agoraphobia for the past 10 months. I know it sounds pretty basic stuff but it’s taken me this long to feel some pride in myself.
    Well done everyone for how far you’ve come and for still fighting for yourself.

  • I couldn’t wait to comment. Divorced June 2020 during the pandemic , 3-1/2 year but I got what I needed. What I learned from CL/CN served me well-in other areas.
    During the divorce I was badgered and sued by my builder. He sued me twice and lost both times. (Idiot)
    I am now advocating for my brother who was abused by his son. I have filed criminal charges against him. Exploitation of a vulnerable adult, criminal theft, neglect and threatening to creat fear. It is because of CN that I have the tools to understand his narc mind(son) and how to work through the system. I am like a dog with a bone and will not stop until I have brother safe and his finances locked down tight.

  • My FW notarized the divorce papers two days ago after consulting an attorney. No fight. No changes. Postnup was strong.

    I have about six weeks left until the decree. My case now goes on the docket.

    I hope his porn, pixels, hand and prostitutes are happy together. I recently found out about the prostitutes. I used to think it was just porn. But Mr. Master Masturbator (MMM) had other hobbies.

  • My letter was replied to a few days ago outlining the most recent gift of flaming dog turd infidelity has given me BUT since taking strength from the reply and your empowering comments I’ve bounced back to my zero tolerance of anything to do with my fuckwit (divorced almost a decade) and have discovered I have one hell of a support network, I’ve never had that before it’s humbling but a massive win.

    Still have no clue how these taunting shits know about the affairs or if they were APs but now I have “backup” we’ve all been shutting their shit down, they got spooked when I took their pic to share in town and yesterday there was a chance for them to be mean and crickets, nothing happened not even snickering so 🤞🤞🤞

  • Divorce finalized December 13, 2021.

    Got diagnosed with early-onset Tremor Dominant Parkinson’s disease a month earlier, and though tempted didn’t beg ex to take me back for the health insurance and future security.
    Having a progressive disease and facing it alone is scary, but my ex POS always made every crisis way worse, so my healthy self knows I’m better off facing this latest trial without him.

    Started a business in the fall coaching families of children with eating disorders with the Family-Based Treatment protocol. It is something I had to implement for one of my five kids while my ex was out cheating, so I’m trying to pay it forward and also follow CL’s mantra of “gain a life”. It’s been a pound down few years, but I keep showing up as best I can. Thank God for daily Chump Lady and CN – I would not have made it this far without you!

    • Two years out from when he left, 4 years out from DDay and although I tried “I couldn’t stop being a bitch”… he did it at the lowest point in my life saying “I love you but I’m not in love with you” because he finally got his ducks in a row. As I sit here in New Hampshire, in the blizzard zone, possible 20+ inches… bought myself a snow blower in the fall(he has 3 and kept them all) bought myself a generator in the fall(he has 4 and kept them all) Started a new job during the summer after quitting working on a slave ship and make $5 more than I did and working only 40 hours a week. I have more money in my TWO bank accounts than I did with him in one. Decorated my home to reflect my taste. Which everyone who saw the before said “Its not the same place, it looks great” Finally bought the truck I wanted but couldn’t afford when I was with him. Heated seats baby, heated seats! and 4wd! Picked up a part time job/ hobby for a local business that builds/ sells muzzle loaders… guys I get to help build muzzle loaders that will get passed down from generation to generation. That’s really cool. I could say I should have left him but you know what? Everything happens for a reason and I am soooooo happy and excited for my new life and when the spring comes I’m dragging my Harley out of the shed and ride her like I stole her.

      It’s awesome on the other side! It can be everything and more than you want it to be, you might just have to work your butt off for a while, but it makes you appreciate it all the more.

      Truth be told I turned 51 this year and age is only a number. Life lessons don’t have to drag you down unless you let them.

      My motto, from an 81 year old friend….Sassy, Classy and Bada$$y… we are all mighty. Bring on that blizzard, I got this🙂

  • In order of appearance:
    ….staked out FW during his BS narrative, caught him with skank from afar, 40+ incriminating photos…
    …which changed the course of the divorce, confidently got the FACTS out thererealized that a raised 3 bad-ass young adult women, who also consider themselves Chumps, who promptly went NC with FW as well
    …found a new job, in a new field during Covid lockdown, 2020
    …..simultaneously cared for elderly aunt, moved her to hometown, memory care, managed all legal affairs. Sadly, she passed in 3.2020.
    ….paid off house, keeping up with all maintenance alone, probably better than FW did
    ….sold 2 cars, bought new one for my daughter, all during pandemic
    ….daughters graduated from high school and college, one moved out of state, one went to college…I was the “single” parent for all of these transitions
    ….navigating a (ex) relationship with an aunt who has decided to align with FW (wtf?)
    ….after 37 years w FW, allowed myself a relationship with a much-younger man, no expectations, just for fun
    ….hard to believe this has all just happened in less than 3 years. I think I’ll be ok 🙂

  • 2019 was pandemonium, then came the pandemic. I caved and moved back in with an abusive cheater in March 2020. Left for good that August with little more to my name than a car and a degree. MC for over a year now.

    One accomplishment I am proud of is that since leaving, I have nearly finished a masters program – 100% funded by my new employers.

    I got kittens last fall. I wore earrings today. #PandemicGAL

  • I do wonder what his pandemic experience with OW has been like. All his drinking buddies (including her husband) died in the years just before covid. And I think they’re now both retired. I’m fine with a quiet lifestyle, but he was always making the rounds. Where does he tell her that he is going?

    And I wonder about the multilayers of trauma, grief, covid and isolation following being chumped. This is some heavy shit.

  • I left felony-committing-gaslighting creep in the middle of shutdown, birthed a baby several months later, filed for divorce and it’s almost finalized a year since filing, my kids sometimes struggle but we’re together and we’re safe, and I’ve finally figured out what I want to do for a career (something I haven’t known for my entire life!) Things are going up and I think the trend is going to continue. Hallelujah.

  • 62. Climbing Kilimanjaro on my birthday when I will be 63. It’s been arranged so that I see the sunrise from the summit on the day. So excited. Wanted to do it since 1988. FW is terrified of heights. And tents. And not having a shower for a week. As Ted Hastings would say in Line of Duty, ‘Jesus, Mary, Joseph and the wee donkey’, the FW is a bore. But I was told that he had a ‘growth mindset’ and I didn’t. Bear with me while I stagnate.

    In the meantime (2.25 years), I’ve got two paid and 2 volunteer roles in the law (solicitor here), bought a new to me BMW, bought FW out of the house, bought a beautiful puppy who is the real love of my life. I am so happy, I can’t believe it. Thanks to my therapist in large part, and anti-depressants which saved me when I was a suicidal 59 year old. And to my chump WhatsApp group who I met on a mumsnet thread (I don’t have kids!). Those women are my tribe and I love them dearly. I now dance like no one’s watching.

    To new chumps, if I can do it, you really can. Have faith in yourself. You are all you need.

    • Thank you for sharing your wonderful and hopeful story. What a dream, to climb Kilimanjaro! It’s good to hear people like me have something to look forward to.

      • Mary, you are still quite early in your travels from reading your story below. I was a gibbering wreck so few months out. I think you are amazingly focused and calm. You are Mighty.

  • I cried for 6 months over losing my cats to him – he had them last when I had the last Discovery and refuses me any contact with them. Then i went to the shelter and adopted my heartkitty- a 16 year old terminal heart disease kitty. I had him for almost 7 months and loved every second we were together. He is my guardian kitty.
    Now I am into cat rescue and socializing. Have helped over 38 cats and kittens, i have rescued 4 friendly abandoned cats and helped them find their forever homes. I feed a feral colony. I spent 270+ hours taming a feral kitten and he was adopted after 2 days at the adoption center. I saved 2 FIV+ cats from the outside. And one of them is living with me. I am his human now. His cat brother is my guardian kitty who helps him adjust to life with me. He’s doing quite well so far, after 4 days inside.

    I am changing worlds which is what I always wanted to do, just didn’t imagine it’d be the worlds of these cats.
    I am making life better for so many after having survived the worst of mine (not just finding out the real him but also a failed knee surgery, losing my heart kitty, and losing 2 uncles to COVID).

  • I have given Love another chance and choosing to Trust again. It is definately not easy!
    My life was turned inside out when I discovered the extent of betrayal and I chose to be happy and single for the last 5 years.
    But life has a way of disrupting our plans and I have met an amazing man who is my best friend loving kind and understanding.
    So I am being vulnerable again.

    • I never thought in the midst of the discard that I would ever marry again. I did meet someone when I started to move on. Did my research before I would even date him. This was back when research was a lot harder, but the woman I worked for knew him and the circumstances of his D.

      Anyway, honestly I don’t think either of us were thinking marriage. But we spent five years dating. (two of those engaged) and then married.

      I don’t regret it, but I certainly understand the fear for a lot of folks.

      Also, prenups are a good thing.

      Best of wishes, and as long as you take your time; I am sure you will do fine.

  • The *only* time I ever felt the slightest pang of regret for divorcing FW (just over 2 years ago) was when it snowed a lot and I had to shovel it myself. Years of back and neck problems made it physically AND mentally overwhelming, and I was scared to spend any money paying someone to do it. (We had a snowblower, but it was the size of a Prius and too big and heavy for me to even maneuver around the garage.)

    Two years ago when it snowed I was too angry to feel any pain. Last year I was in pain and in tears, feeling sorry for myself. But my industry grew during covid, and so did my salary (although it won’t be that way forever), so in the last few months I’ve loosened the purse strings, bought myself some kickass winter gear, took charge of my health by getting to the right doctors and started physical therapy. Also got into a sport I’ve never played and have made some new friends doing that. I am *so* much stronger than I ever was and almost pain-free.

    Woke up today to my front and back doors buried in 2-3′ snowdrifts and the bottom of my driveway completely plowed in. And I put on my heated gloves, -45 degree jacket (no that’s not a typo), my warm & waterproof boots, and shoveled Every. Damn. Bit. Of. It. And was grateful for the exercise, and the better health allowing me to do it.

    Now I’m going BACK out in the snow to play with the puppy!

    • Congratulations on your mighty! I too have suffered back pain for years and finally was able to get relief by using red light and near infrared light therapy. I swear it works better than any injections, medications, or ANYTHING I have tried. 3 badly herniated discs on the lower left back that causes hip problems on the right and have been using a small device since before Xmas and have been PAIN FREE. There are a bunch of different companies that sell them and as far as I can tell it is all the same technology. Might be worth a try! I also love my heated gloves and -45 coat.
      Happy for your mighty!

  • I retire on 2-2-22! My 63rd birthday. Never thought that would ever happen after FW blew up my world. Meanwhile, he moved back in with mommy and daddy. I will rock being retired!

    Grown son shared a compliment he received at work. “Your mother must have raised you well.”

    Life is good. I think Tuesday has arrived!

  • I’m progressing through my bachelor in computer science so I can one day be totally financially independent.

    I keep rowing along, with 5 kids (three with diabetes and one is also severely autistic), a broken foot, and an absent spouse who left the country three months ago when he found out he was about to be served.

    I’m blessed to have a support system of my father staying with us, my STBX still financially supporting us and paying for a care giver to help me, and meals coming from friends every two days.

    It would be easy to get wrapped into the fear of what may come next (horrific divorce process? Total financial abandonment?), but for now I’m centering myself on everything that is going well.

  • Dday was May 21 2020, kept quiet (told my siblings and a few close friends) got a lawyer and lined my ducks up. He asked for divorce in June saying he didn’t love me anymore and wanted to travel alone. I knew about OW but didn’t let on until after he signed the agreement. I got the house, full legal and physical custody of our 2 minor kids (oldest was 18 at the time) and child support with alimony. (Alimony has no end date). Our divorce was final October 18, 2021. We had been married 24 years. He secretly married the OW in November. Never told his kids or his family. #noreturnsyoucankeephim! He also secretly went to Colombia in November 2020 & 2021 to hang out with OW’s daughters and family. OW can’t travel because her papers aren’t legal yet. Throughout this soap opera, I kept my head on straight continued to work as a teacher and have been the sane, present and truthful parent. The kids recognize that most of what he says are lies and have low expectations for him. During the summer, I got rid of a lot of stuff (selling and giving away) so my house isn’t so cluttered. I can now get my car in the garage. I have had some work done on the house including a new fence for the dog we got last January. I still need to get more done on the house. I figured out how to change the garage code so he can no longer get into the house. I also had the locks changed. I am trying to take better care of myself.
    My big mighty was going to Costa Rica with my sister when he took the kids to Mexico to visit his family during Xmas 2021. When we first married I did all the paperwork for him to become a resident and then a citizen. All his family is in Mexico. Whenever we traveled it was to Mexico to see his family. He thought I would stay home alone on Christmas. Also, he told the kids that Costa Rica is a boring country even though he’s never been.🤣 In Mexico, my oldest took it upon herself to throw him under the bus, told all his family the truth and showed them pictures of the OW and his secret marriage. So it was funny when he continued to lie and say there was no one else and he was unhappy. Image management du jour.
    Then for my 52nd birthday in January, I did a spontaneous last minute trip to Puerto Rico with my kids. I did an adventure excursion in the Yunque and faced my fear of heights climbing and jumping off rocks into water. I’m not at Tuesday but getting close! I am enjoying my new life and adventures without a cheater holding me back!

  • DDay was in March. Discovery of active Adult Friend Finder account, Kik account, secret hook ups with men (and probably women). I kept quiet while getting ducks in a row. A few days after D-day, while searching for more information, I discovered evidence of morally reprehensible and highly illegal activities. Called the police and went into talk with the detectives.

    Due to the timing, I had to return home that evening, and perform my Academy award winning act of “Everything is normal; We are all a happy family” for the next three days. I did not sleep at all during that time. I was terrified. On day four, I got the kids and the dog out of the house to a safe place and welcomed the law enforcement folks with the search warrant. When they were done, I went into hiding with the kids and the dog. FW was served with his own personal search warrant that evening for his body, phone and car. He was arrested the next day, and spent the next week in jail, having been denied bond.

    My mightiness since then:
    Had FW served divorce papers while still in jail (so his official address on the papers is the jail address!)
    Got two restraining orders, and GPS ankle monitoring on FW once released pending trial
    Prepped my house for sale ALL BY MYSELF (with the kids’ help)
    Did all the legal work for the house sale ALL BY MYSELF
    Arranged for the movers and moved to a new place ALL BY MYSELF
    (side note: FW apparently thought I’d pack up his shit, too, so when his movers showed up for his stuff, they hadn’t been contracted to actually pack. They took the furniture and left his unpacked shit behind. FW had to hire someone to come in and pack the following week…)
    Got one kid into therapy (one refused)
    Started therapy myself
    Started a new job, with higher pay and more responsibility
    Discovered just how wonderful my community of friends and family are. I would not be here without their love and support surrounding me and my kids for the past 10 months.

    I’m still dealing with trauma and legal issues. Sometimes I break down and cry and punch pillows. Honestly, the infidelity was the least of the betrayals, and I don’t think I will ever fully trust anyone again.

    But I have survived.
    And so have the kids and the dog 🙂

    • Surviving on All Cylinders,

      Mighty you are indeed! Congratulations on your courage, integrity, acting abilities, compassion, resolve, resilience, organization, ability to function (just reading all of the trauma you described having been subjected to by FW in your post was difficult), step up, support the kids, carry on, and make things better is miraculous. I am so happy for you that you are free of that FW and making your own best life with your kids and community of friends and family. And of course the dog! Bravo on not only surviving but thriving.

  • Since March of 2020, I

    -Finally emotionally let go of my husband and stepped out of the three ring circus that was his life. I
    mastered the “trust that he sucks” thing.
    -Reached “meh” about his OW (I was able to read all her letters to FW I found after he died without
    feeling anger. I probably shouldn’t have, but I was curious. Mostly I laughed. It was weird and
    rather satisfying.) There were some boudoir photos in there too and I didn’t even flinch.)
    -Filed for divorce
    -Got a promotion and three raises
    -Paid off 100% of my credit card debt
    -Sold our marital home (I emotionally let go of that too)
    -Moved into my own place (I had been living with my mother while FW stayed in the house)
    -Got therapy to deal with my PTSD (ex was verbally and emotionally abusive to me for over a decade,
    and finally physically abusive as well – I was a shell of myself when he left me, and the abuse didn’t
    stop once we were separated but in many ways it got worse)
    -Learned how to be happy. I’m happier than I’ve ever been now. I had to rebuild myself from the
    ground up, and I DID IT.
    -Started doing the things that I love again (reading! Whatever I wanted! With no criticism from my
    FW. I rekindled my love of Medieval history and now attend online academic conferences and read
    tons of books and articles, I’ve started learning Classical Arabic and brushing up on my Latin, I chat
    with scholars and historians on Twitter). I’ve even connected with favorite authors on Twitter (I love
    Twitter), and one of them asked me to be a beta reader for her new novel and it was so fun (her book
    is great and I can’t wait to see it published).
    -Got some boundaries and finally figured out grey rock
    -Dealt with my ex’s suicide and even survived seeing all our “friends” at his funeral (everyone
    commented on how “great” I looked. I think they were genuinely surprised, given how I’m sure I was
    represented to them my FW and OW, who took delight in slandering me. I looked like a million
    bucks at the funeral.)
    -Got full custody of our son (I’m the only surviving parent, so), and my son is happy. Between social
    security and life insurance, my son is set up for college when he’s ready (he’s not yet ten)
    -Divorce case officially CLOSED
    -Sold my ex’s car (thankfully I was still on the title)
    -Am now financially stable in a way I haven’t been since I met FW (we were ALWAYS broke and I
    had to pinch pennies and juggle bills. Now I have five figures in the bank and no debt).
    -Learned to love myself and be happy with my appearance again (FW called me ugly and fat). I
    stopped feeling like I had to wear makeup (I like my face without it), and I wear what makes me
    happy instead of trying to please anyone else.
    -Recovered from my depression and the resulting severe weight loss
    -Deepened my relationship with my best friend, whom my ex didn’t like
    -“Graduated” from needing to watch YouTube videos about narcissism and abuse – i.e. stopped
    untangling the skein
    -Reconnected with ex’s family (ex had cut contact and threatened me if I ever talked to them, though I
    stayed in touch with my ex’s sister). Now my son has another set of grandparents, two aunts and two
    uncles, and two cousins, and a great grandma.

  • My husband passed away in February 2020. I discovered that he was a cheating, gambling, drinking narc shortly after he died — by reading the Chump Lady blog! That was my “a-ha” moment!!
    In the two years since my FW died, I’ve been very mighty:
    – Lost 55 lbs
    – Bought a Total Gym and exercise at home to keep the flab at bay
    – Joined a Meetup group that a long-time girlfriend belongs to and met lots of nice people. We’ve gone out together as a group and have lots of fun — I have never danced as much as I have in the last 2 years!
    – Got breast implants (I’m a breast cancer survivor so my insurance company paid for them)
    – I was able to stay in my home no thanks to the FW. I bought extra life insurance on him about 8 years earlier. The insurance payment allowed me to pay off all of our debts, and I am now easily able to afford my home on my salary alone.
    – Finally fixed leak in basement wall that FW couldn’t be bothered with.
    – Started online dating in January 2021
    – Met my current good guy boyfriend in June 2021
    – Got my first passport in July 2021
    – Boyfriend and I are discussing a trip to the Amalfi Coast, hopefully can do it in September (depending on Covid). The FW and I were supposed to go to Italy for our 25th anniversary in 2002 but it never happened.
    – I’m having the time of my life at the age of 65!

    It’s never too late to be happy!

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