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Bitch Boots and Other Talismans

Wonder Woman has her bulletproof bracelets and Samson has his hair — what’s your totem of strength?

We often say around here “Put your bitch boots on.” Do you actually own a pair of bitch boots? (Clearly Nancy Sinatra does, to the left here.)

When you need an extra dose of confidence to face a fuckwit do you carry any sort of talisman? Wear a certain outfit? Bring a good luck charm to court?

I know it sounds woo-woo, but people have been known to find comfort in objects. Rosaries. Rabbits’ feet. Divorce summons.

Today’s Friday Challenge is to tell CN about your Bitch Boots/Members Only jacket/Grandfather’s dog tags. Whatever has meaning to you, and gets the job done.

TGIF!

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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.
  • 1. I wore rubber bands to all meetings and would secretly snap them across my wrist when I felt triggered. They kept me grounded.

    2. I bought a divorce outfit in which I felt handsome and attractive. It gave me confidence and in case it mattered, she could see what a stud she was loosing.

    • I updated my wardrobe during the divorce too. Ended up getting some professional shots taken of me in my awesome new suit and a few other outfits like a year later because I was trying to put together an acting portfolio.

      A few months after I guess she snooped my Instagram and then made a reddit account just to post a sexy pic of herself then comment on my posts telling me what an awful person I am. She’s not touched that reddit account since lol.

      Guess seeing me look good challenged her alternative reality she believes about me.

      • Love it. I worked in fashion for several years and think of clothes as armor for the most part. People socially protect themselves with clothes, demonstrate group affiliation, disguise themselves, express select parts of themselves, ward off evil by hinting at hidden power or flashing overt power, etc. Just a theory but if that’s the case, I think part of FW abuse is to “disarm” their chumps in all ways, render them nil and helpless and socially isolated as much as possible so “rearmament” is a great part of chump recovery.

        I was systematically stripped of my “armor” over the course of a 20 year marriage and rebuilt the arsenal after D-Day. Proof that FW had intentionally turned me into the camoflaged gray nest-mate to his flashy peacock was the look on his face when I showed up at the lawyer’s office for a meeting after kicking him out. He made some crack about “power outfit” but looked so panicked and disconcerted that I mentally shrugged it off. Aside from getting my hair done for the first time in almost a decade, I remember I had on some stellar suede bitch boots from Paris and a vintage knit Rykiel skirt suit.

        I don’t think he’d seen me like that since before we got married. Because I was just “mom” after my middle child developed a medical condition and then we had to move, FW heavily pressured me to give away all my glam NY career gear, presumably so we’d have less to pack and less weight to pay for. Because of this my uniform was ancient jeans and t-shirts for years.

        I thought I was helping to save for the kids’ futures but could have used the “armor” to fight for resources for my sick son and deal with a toxic school district. I think we were trampled on over and over because the district powers-that-be thought I was a piss-poor hippie and easily dispensed with. But if I bought anything new, even shoes for growing kids, I’d hear a scary rhapsody about budgeting and how hard FW worked, blah, blah. He insisted I looked much better in cotton and that he hated girly clothes and makeup. He never stopped complaining about the lipstick which I wouldn’t give up.

        He was still playing poor as he started the office affair with Miss Pancake Makeup Poly-stretch-lace Bar Fly. Turned out he’d hidden about 250K in assets and spent about $40K on booze, grub, hotels and dirty weekends. And clothes. Suddenly he began wearing all this overpriced goofy gigolo attire and skinny jeans from H&M and GAP at the start of the affair that were already going out of style even for 20-something emos. I thought it would hurt him professionally so I dusted off my fashion sense, scoured Ebay for deals on Burberry, etc., and re-outfitted him in understated elegant whatever appropriate to his job title. Somehow he didn’t complain about those expenditures. I think he was too busy man-scaping and nursing secret hangovers.

        When I found the secret affair credit card and discovered that he’d worn the wardrobe I put together on “dates,” I took it all to the basement with a box cutter. I was standing in a pile of shredded gabardine and splintered ski gear wondering how to recycle it for charity (stuff pillows for the homeless? Build an abstract collage?) and realized I’d gotten almost nothing for myself for years. Because the kids have turned into social justice warriors and hate the fast fashion industry (plus the AP was a tacky mall rat and any association with her made me heave), I hit Ebay again, this time for myself. I found amazing deals on runway items, groovy boots, Italian knits, Scottish cashmere, etc., and replaced the wardrobe I’d been forced to ditch. With my armor back on, suddenly everything in life went a lot more smoothly, including advocating for the kids without ever having to raise my voice.

        I don’t actually like the fact that people judge by appearance so much which is why I changed careers but socially martyring myself and the kids isn’t going to change the species. I have a close friend who trained in design and whose son is also recovering from the same condition as my son. She completely understood my post-D-Day transformation. Every time she’d see me she’d laugh and say “La-dee-dah, la-dee-dah, kiss my ass and sign the forms…” Everyone’s so nice when you look like you can quietly afford to keep an army of lawyers on retainer. If I had any initial motive to make the AP look low rent in comparison (not very challenging), in the end it was mostly about returning to self and reclaiming pragmatic status that FW had consciously or unconsciously stripped me of over the years, no doubt to make me less threatening and give me fewer options or modes of escape.

        Bonus– “forever fashion” lasts decades, doesn’t need replacing in the long run and all the resources are still channeled to the kids.

        • This is great. I just love classics. I have some things from the ‘80s that still look good today.

          • Ah, I love quality vintage whether classic or “out there.” Clothing makers of yore understood basic anatomy, drape, etc. so you can throw something on for 16 hours and not think about it.

            I learned this from my mother who bequeathed me a bunch of her NY career girl stuff that got me through the starving intern years looking like I broke the bank. She was sporty and professional and not given to obsessing about appearance but still learned to do everything by hand from generations of women from the “old country.” To her being fashion forward was all about armor and self defense because she was often the first woman in her field every place she worked. But she could touch something once and identify the material and tailoring techniques. I could tell she admired real skill in anything and everything. I still have some of the clothes she made for me as a kid. I was a very haute toddler and the clothes survived my rough and tumble daughter.

            The 90s were a great era too if you like Japanese design. Donna Karan went nuts with bias-cut wool and silk in that era, all sustainably made (but no more). Some of those pieces last literally forever if you can keep the moths away and never go out of style because they were never exactly “in style.” I also have a few handmade French wartime swing dresses that are still in perfect condition and a strangely modern-looking embroidered heavy silk satin dress from circa 1915 without a single broken stitch. I don’t understand how the wrinkles always hang out by themselves. It’s hard to even find fabrics of that quality now much less the construction.

        • Wow!

          That’s so cool you were able to glam up like that after so long! Any tips for what a nearly 30 guy should get in Paris? I’m going there on vacation for a month.

          And my wardrobe upgrade was just buying somewhat fashionable new clothes outside of my suit, a vest, and a few hats made in Ireland. For most of my marriage we were poor, and when we weren’t, buying a bunch of new clothes for me seemed wasteful when what I had worked still. Though a lot of what I had was from highschool.

          I remember her getting mad that I bought a new, and my first, pair of cowboy boots. My thought was that since they could be resoled it was a long term purchase. She was pretty mad, before that I was still wearing my super worn out army boots that were basically slicks I’d worn so much sole off of them. Turns out that was during her affair so I was spending money she was hoping to take…

          • Hi Luckycline–

            I kind of suspect FWs are in a race to blow a lot of money in the hopes that there will be no fuck-you-escape funds left for chumps. After hearing all the stories, it’s like they want/need to think of us lying alone, penniless in rags in gutters crying their names in perpetuity. I think especially the FWs who do the Houdini disappearing act are only doing so so that their last mental snapshot of their victims is of someone satisfyingly broken. They fear if they look back their chumps will have recovered, spruced up and happily moved on.

            So I’m all for sprucing up as insurrection. It’s illegal to go naked in most places so we might as well enjoy things made with skill and save over the long term. I love vintage cowboy boots btw.

            I hope Paris is hopping again as COVID measures start to wane. Because Paris can be a big ripoff and the first glance offers a lot of fashion-victim junk that looks polished but falls apart, if you have a certain amount to invest, I’d ask any stray dapper old gents where to find the best tailoring shops off the tourist route and go for a few suits and jackets made from top quality gabardine, cashmere or natural wool blends. The good stuff fits like a dream, won’t wrinkle, sag, snag, suffocate, etc., and never goes out of style. Or you can get fabric and bring it back home if you know a trusted old-style tailor. Also vintage in the provinces is a good economic option. There’s a vintage trend among the young rich set so it’s sometimes overpriced or hard to find in major metropolises. But off the beaten path you can find, say, cashmere sports jackets from the fifties in perfect condition that will last another generation or more and look like a million bucks with selvage jeans. And definitely get some certified Breton shirts but go up a size since they shrink. Scotland is the place for cashmere sweaters.

            Since your thirty something, you might not have suffered the effects of cheap footwear yet. Personally I prefer ergonomic, hand-made shoes because of sports and dance injuries and can get away with flats because I’m tall and stringy. But Robert Clergerie-Paris still makes everything on the old cobbling model so those shoes feel like Birkenstocks but somehow magically look trim and elegant at the same time. Plus they’re all leather and can be stretched. Those are the only heels I’ll wear. Many Clergerie men’s shoes are classic and elegant without looking weirdly tiny like Italian shoes. Some of the styles strike me as overly trendy but in such a way that you know they’ll come back in style a few decades later if you feel like going full mod. Since the brand is very expensive and I can always think of kid stuff I’d be better off spending the money on, I find them second hand. But hey, if you’re in Paris, you might find shops with men’s Clergerie shoes that will last thirty years or more and never fuck up your feet so the numbers work out. Good luck and have a blast!

            • P.S.– the “cottage core” trend that the Z’ers and younger millenials seem to love has the upside of being able to get gear that’s ultra fashionable at the moment but, if you go for quality natural fibers rather than H&M or J. Crew mass-produced synth-blend versions, can be worn for generations.

        • Brilliant post (in spite of the fact that the ex works for one of the fashion houses mentioned 😂). All my stuff was bought on sale even though I earned 6 figures. All his, new and expensive. The rolled up tight skinny jeans with pastel jumpers appeared during the discard. Our friends laughed and accused him of trying to recapture his youth. They had bets as to how ‘tight’ he would go. He also bought enhancing boxers, which he needed if the tight trousers were not to look a bit lacking. It’s necessary to dress the part. My divorce was all dealt with on Zoom so opportunities were more limited. However the power of posture became important. Look straight at the camera, feet planted firmly on the ground and chest out!

  • I wore a bitch dress to my divorce and felt amazing. It was appropriate for court, but is a head-turner. I felt like a bad bitch. Then I had a three-hour brunch with my gals in said dress.

  • My “bitch” boots… just me being able to hold my head high, knowing that he knows that I figured him out!

    • This was mine, I rarely ran into him, but if I did I put a look of defiance and disgust on my face. He knew.

      I never went to court, I kind of wish I had. Since it was uncontested I didn’t need to. I am betting he was there as he was a controller to the extreme.

  • I wear the nicest panties I have. Panties that are pretty and lacey. Panties that look great on me. Panties that anyone else would be dying to peel off of me. Awesome, beautiful panties.

    I’ve been celibate for over a decade now, so when I wear these panties I am doing it 100% for me. No one sees them but me but I know they’re there. I know they’re sexy. They give me a boost of confidence and so I wear them, as a magic talisman, for when I’m about to face a difficult situation.

    I call them power panties. And there are some days where you have to put your power panties on, chumps of all genders. It’s a nice +5 boost for your determination and motivation stats.

    • Similar to your “power panties,” during the divorce process, whenever I had to meet with my closeted, cross-dressing, sometime trans-identified autogynephilic now-ex, who “explored” his gender identity with a former student, I wore a lacy bra that I bought specifically for that purpose, and despite the fact that I do not routinely wear make up, I also varnished my nails, and wore mascara and lip gloss. I thought of it as the way I signaled with both “the seen and the unseen” that I was taking back my power.

      My now-ex had for some time been discouraging femininity in me (he referred to me as “butch,” for example, so he could be “the feminine one”), and distorting femaleness in objectionable ways. He gendered every damn thing–“women are smooth” (so he had to shave); “women are passive” (so I had always to initiate); “women are shorter than men” (so I had to stand on the stairs to kiss him); “women are coy” (so he’d lower his slip strap and then say “sometimes the strap just falls down”); “women like to be ‘taken against their will'” (which crossed the line and I refused to indulge him in even in my pick-me dance of self-abasement)–none of which I agreed with, but much of which in my naked, horizontal pick-me dancing I humored in him, in the process doing myself a lot of psychological damage.

      I bought that bra specifically for wearing to meetings with him to remind myself that, despite all the ways that he had discouraged femininity in me so that he could appropriate it for himself, I, the female, was the one who actually “wore the bra.” The make-up was a deliberate visual goad, my visible rejoinder to his having discouraged femininity in me so he could claim it for himself. I felt I was taking my power back, privately and publicly, in both seen and unseen ways.

      I am not naturally a lace or makeup wearing woman, but wearing that bra and that makeup when I was dealing with him gave me needed confidence and resolve not to give in to his demands.

      • While my X didn’t have the gender identity crisis that your has, mine discouraged me from cleaning up and looking nice in every way he could, he was so threatened by any move on my part to be confident about myself. He like to use passive aggressive comments to make me doubt my attractiveness. He would also tell me lies about the small community we lived in, “you shouldn’t dress like that. Its too revealing. You will cause attention to yourself that you don’t want…” He’d make comments when I put on makeup “Oh, I see you got your war paint on. You picking up someone later?” So I dressed like a boy, didn’t do my hair, barely wore makeup, kept to myself, didn’t go out and do anything with anyone, etc.

        I showed up in court in a sharp suit, tall heels, full makeup. I looked good. It was empowering! He looked like crap, and he’s gone down hill from there since.

        Yesterday I got two totally unsolicited comments from two co – workers, one male, one female, about how nice and put together I looked that day. Just what I needed to hear, and so unexpected, when I’ve been feeling fat, old, and unnoticed for a while.

        I also love to wear my fire engine red panties and bra underneath my boring work uniform as my hidden power source. I’m talking to the big boss, and he doesn’t have a clue that I got my power underwear on! LOL.

      • It sounds like he resented you for being the person (man or woman) that he wanted to be but just couldn’t become. Am I reading the situation accurately?

        Also glad you are free of that relationship.

        • You read it correctly. He wanted to be me, and he resented me because he couldn’t be me. He appropriated for himself what he wanted that I had (because I was female), and he discouraged in me what he resented me for being able to have. And he felt entitled to do both of those things because he can’t be the thing–female–that he wants to be. He also paraded in front of me his crushes on our younger female colleagues he both wanted to be and to fuck.

          I am so very glad to be free of all that crazy, and I have made great strides in healing.
          Today’s Friday challenge just brought it all back to me, I guess.

      • In a similar vein to this, my X always crowed about what a “natural beauty” I was and that he loved that I was “low maintenance.” I did the bare minimum feminine-wise (still do; it’s just not my style). Shower, brush hair, mascara… and that’s about it. He told me he loved how low maintenance I was.

        The Wifetress is, by contrast, very high maintenance. A lot of time, effort, makeup, and money goes into her appearance. Now, there’s nothing wrong with this; more power to anyone who wants to pir time into their appearance or not. I was just surprised that both girls he left me for (D Days 1 and 2) were high-maintenance-high-femme presenting girls when he kept telling me, repeatedly throughout the tenure of our relationship, that he loved how easygoing and low maintenance I was.

        Then I stop worrying about it, shrug, and realize that he was lying to me the whole time about many things, so why should this be any different.

        The Wifetress is resigned to a lifetime of high-maintenance-permanent-evergreen-sexiness. She’s always dressed to the nines, always on her A-Game, and my daughter told me once that she does so many makeup tutorials on Instagram that she’s even gotten a sponsor.

        Well… that’s okay for her then. I’m not going to belittle her appearance and maintenance preferences. I’m just glad that I don’t have to be on my A-Game 24/7. I’m blessed that I never have to worry that if I get below a certain level of sexiness that my husband will start looking elsewhere. That’s her life now. She’s welcome to it.

        I’m sexy when I want to be and I’m “sweatpants and old shirts” when I don’t want to be and the only on I worry about impressing is myself. It’s glorious. I love having all this freedom.

        • My ex was also very jealous of me. He was 19 years older and liked having a younger wife but he was also extremely threatened by it. He was having trouble getting older so he wore a shitty toupee and resented me.

          And he kept an ex on the side, but I digress.

          One year I’d had the flu and lost 20 pounds. I’m a small person and don’t carry weight well, us it’s bad for my blood pressure. Having the flu stunk but I did need to lose it so I made efforts to keep it off, which I did.

          We’re both runners and so many people commented on how great I looked and how my pace was faster. You know the one person who never once told me I looked good?

          Yep….my now ex. He wasn’t going to give me anything that might make me feel good.

          Yet he cried when I left.

          Oh well, good riddance.

      • A little mascara and lip gloss is such a “French” rebellion– all the more effective for being subtle. For me, going to the hair salon for the first time in years was an act of insurgency. FW wasn’t competing with me for femininity but he actively discouraged it because he obviously wanted me invisible and without options other than him.

        • “[He] wanted me invisible and without options other than him.” Well, I think that hits the nail on the head for my situation.

          • Hah, so true. It’s not about “would” but about could have options. You wouldn’t even need to act on it but the idea that a chump has other options on offer is intolerable to the abuser mentality.

            Someone here corrected me about the source of “Apres moi, le deluge.” (“After me, the flood”). It wasn’t Napoleon apparently but Louis XV of France. Whoever said it, it’s the classic FW mentality.

    • Sort of like when people say “Pull on your big girl pants,” but way cooler. No one during your day out and about can tell what type of panties you have on, but YOU do, and it makes all the difference. Love it!

    • Ha, 4leaf I use to have certain boxers I would wear on the days I did surgery. That was the only day I could wear them

        • I am finding out that a FW-ectomy is the most complicated surgery ever. It is long and painful. That I am in the middle of the procedure and the patient I don’t know how the recovery will be. I am worried about survival and complications however many great people (CN) have assured me that it will be a success and the long term prognosis is great.
          I trust you all and thank you for sharing your experiences. This is a very kind and compassionate group of people

          • Yes! I also feel like CN is an especially smart group, too, whether this is because that’s the demographic drawn to the site or because survival expands consciousness. Don’t know but I love it.

            Mysteriously, the FW-ectomy scar, though it continues to ache when it rains, is often in the shape of Snoopy dancing. https://images.app.goo.gl/TmgzoowhNmfycEZA9

  • I didn’t have any money, but I bought a pendant just a month after DDay. Dickhead FW abandoned me and our 9 year old in the summer of 2015 and we had already booked and paid for a beach vacation.

    My son and I went and I brought my mom (to help me and to drive — I was out of my mind still from the trauma). We walked into a shop and I saw this beautiful bee pendant. My son said that he loved it and I should get it. It was expensive but I was at a “fuck it” moment and used FW’s credit card. Decided it was a gift from my son.

    I wore it as I walked out of the store… and that’s when I flipped it over and saw it was inscribed “BEE BRAVE.”

    I wore it from then on. It got me through court. It got me through final mediation. And FW had to pay the credit card bill too.

    I love it. It was and continues to be a source of power for me.

    Here it is… https://www.waxingpoetic.com/products/bee-brave-pendant-aqua?variant=34481040162951

      • I don’t mind if anyone else gets the same bee — I’ve even recommended it and bought it for friends going through divorce. There’s several colors to choose from too. With a chain, it cost me over $200 which was crazy expensive for me starting my divorce (my son and I lived in Red Baron $3 pizzas for that year).

        Another piece of jewelry I found that is less expensive and also a great talisman is this “Phoenix Rising” bracelet: https://lucadanni.com/products/phoenix-rising-bangle-bracelet

        Anything you can look at, feel, hold that gives you strength —- I love this thread

        • I was in a similar situation except he was very mentally, emotionally, physically, financially abusive marriage. He would yell and scream at me if I spent any money on myself. I just started in real estate and had a big closing. Right after I got paid, I had a feeling to stop by a shop I had never been to before. I looked around and that’s when it popped out. A bracelet of a wing and on it said “Time to Fly”. It was around $200 too. Even though I had that big closing I knew that this bracelet would cause World War III but I wore it anyway. I called it my angel wing bc it was most definitely sent from my angels to give me a message, power and strength. I wore it everywhere. Soon after I got it that’s when things really got bad….the abuse, his infidelity, etc. That bracelet got me through the divorce, smoochie, a 2 year custody battle that had therapist cringing, and another abusive FW. After 6 years of pure hell it finally settled down. That year my friend gave me an “Evil Eye” bracelet to add to it….to keep evil away. It’s been 9 years since the angel wing bracelet called to me. My life is completely opposite of what it was then. The kids and I are very happy and healthy. We are living our best life. Praise to my angels watching over me.

    • Sweet indeed, MichelleShocked! My talisman is somewhat similar. I have an emerald cast glass pendant of an open hand. I bought it at a craft fair from the artist herself – because I loved it and because it reminded me of a stranger I once encountered on public transit (don’t worry, happy story):

      Age 20, traveling on my own and with very little money, an old man noticed me and commented that I looked tense and nervous. He gently suggested I open my tightly clenched fists and turn my palms upwards. It worked like magic.

      Now, I use this trick when feel burdened or stressed. It’s also soothing to rub my thumb along the rough cupped hand when I’m anxious and need a distraction. I share the technique with the kiddos in my life, and they love it.

      In case anyone is curious, here’s a link to the hand pendant (has gone up in price since I purchased several years ago): https://www.patedeverity.com/shop/beads

    • I have some Waxing Poetic pieces as well! During my discard and divorce, I selected the hummingbird charm to hang on a necklace. On the backside it says ONWARD. I wore it to depositions, court hearings, mediation etc. It continues to be a reminder to keep moving forward. It has additional significance for me. My mom passed from Alzheimers during the divorce. She loved hummingbirds and always kept backyard feeders full for them. The hummingbird charm made me feel like my mom was there with and for me.
      https://www.waxingpoetic.com/collections/sale/products/rise-charm-hummingbird?variant=34384282157191

  • I have a silver necklace with a bear claw pendant that I wear for strength. It is a talisman to help me channel my “mama bear” to keep fighting for my kids (and for the nameless kids in Evil Fuckwit’s cp cache). I plan to get a bear tattoo at some point as well.
    I also plan to take a piece of granite from my favorite hiking spot with me to court when this whole mess finally comes to trial. I think holding that will help keep me strong, centered and resilient.

  • I have bitch boots. I’ve worn them to every court appearance. Lacing them up I think of all the Chumps who are doing the same. I find great comfort in knowing there is Chump Nation, experienced warriors who have put a hand back to drag me up and encourage me to continue the battle. This legal battle will be three years long on May 2, 2022. I recently ordered new bitch boots in the exact same style as before. My bitch boots wore out but I didn’t.

    I’m divorced now but forced to return to Court by LTC Fuckface who doesn’t agree with the Judge’s ruling in the Settlement. So I’ll be lacing up my bitch boots to continue to fight for what I am entitled to by law. I’ll sharpie these words on my left arm “Can’t stop me.” , wear my tank that says “Underestimate me. That will be fun.” and finish the look with my Sunday School Teacher pantsuit that I’ve also worn to every Court Appearance. I accessorize with a simple strand of pearls so I have something to clutch. So I’m all business in appearance but secretly a Bad Bitch with some kickass boots.

    Tracy, I take a copy of LACGAL with me to Court. Your book saved me from the RIC and is my talisman.

  • I have bitch boots. I’ve worn them to every court appearance. Lacing them up I think of all the Chumps who are doing the same. I find great comfort in knowing there is Chump Nation, experienced warriors who have put a hand back to drag me up and encourage me to continue the battle. This legal battle will be three years long on May 2, 2022. I recently ordered new bitch boots in the exact same style as before. My bitch boots wore out but I didn’t.

    I’m divorced now but forced to return to Court by LTC Fuckface who doesn’t agree with the Judge’s ruling in the Settlement. So I’ll be lacing up my bitch boots to continue to fight for what I am entitled to by law. I’ll sharpie these words on my left arm “Can’t stop me.” , wear my tank that says “Underestimate me. That will be fun.” and finish the look with my Sunday School Teacher pantsuit that I’ve also worn to every Court Appearance. I accessorize with a simple strand of pearls so I have something to clutch. So I’m all business in appearance but secretly a Bad Bitch with some kickass boots.

    Tracy, I take a copy of LACGAL with me to Court. Your book saved me from the RIC and is my talisman. Thank you, Chump Lady.

    • You are the Mightiest of the Mighty 33 years.
      It is your strength, wisdom and guidance that has been a hand up to so many Chumps.
      H❤️GS!

  • My chump grandmother was married 42 years to FW grandfather until she died. She spent the last 7 years of her life bed ridden and died before turning 63. She had 8 sons and 6 daughters. She was married in the WWII era and had no way to leave. Her own mother died when she was a girl and she had no family support and an 8th grade education.

    I inherited her engagememt ring which had been worn so long the band had a gap in the gold in the back – worn right through. I paid a lot to have it restored after I inherited it. She was resilient. She was mighty. She did her best. She ate a lot of shit sandwiches.

    Early on when I suffered the RIC, I told myself that she had it so much worse but stuck it out. At least I wasn’t getting beat up physically! I couldn’t imagine being the first in my family to get a divorce. I wanted to be strong and make it work. After the second D-day, I looked at her ring and thought, “She would have left if she could have. She would have wanted a better life for her granddaughter. She would have told me you have an education and only one child. She would have said that even the cheating alone is abuse that I should not tolerate almost 40 years after she passed.” Her ring speaks to me. It tells me to GTF away from klootzak. It tells me to do what she couldn’t. Get a divorce in memory of her.

    When I want to feel mighty, I put on her ring. I feel like when I wear it, she is standing behind me telling me not to put up with his shit. I think I am making her proud.

    • What a story. Thanks for sharing, and I’m glad you have come to interpret it the way you have.

      My maternal grandmother was abandoned by my grandfather with 5 kids – I don’t know if she would have left otherwise, despite his serial philandering and general fuckwittedness. The most revealing story about him (that my mom tells – he died when I was 2) is that he used to bring home an angel food cake for the family and eat half of it, leaving half for the other 6 of them. Cheaters and their entitlement… I’m glad I never had to deal with him.

      But my grandma rocked her later years. She never again dated or coupled up with anyone, so far as the family knows. She finished raising the 5 kids and put them through college without any child support or alimony. She hid the fact she was divorced so she wouldn’t lose her job as a high school history teacher in a small Kansas town. By the time I was a kid, she had her own small house where we would gather for big family Thanksgivings (five adult children and their families!) and stuff it to the seams. She traveled to visit English gardens, and took other senior tours. She made quilts for the family and for strangers, and delivered Meals on Wheels to other “little old ladies” until she was well into her 80’s.

      Anything that belonged to my grandma is my talisman – I have several things, including quilts. I wish I could have talked with her after D-Day #2 and during my divorce. But something tells me she had been at Meh for so long that she wouldn’t even want to dredge up the old hurts. Better to move forward, enjoy the next Thanksgiving. ❤️

    • That’s lovely to have that memento. It sounds like your grandmother went through a lot.

      My grandmother was chumped too. Unfortunately she believed it was her fault and even lectured me once for not being a good wife (which I took to mean not being deferential and a doormat), warning that he was going to leave me if I didn’t “shape up” as a wife. It makes me sad to think she believed that’s how she “kept” her serial cheater, when in reality it was because she was of use to him. I didn’t visit her very often after that, which I felt bad about, but I just couldn’t take one more person in my life gaslighting me. We had been extremely close before that. I think she may have suspected the fw was a cheater, because the lecture came out of nowhere. She’d seen nothing between us to indicate there were any problems, but I think after being chumped so many times herself, she may have developed cheater radar. It was kept hush-hush, but I gleaned from an old letter that at one point, when she was pregnant with my aunt, my grandfather was thinking of leaving her for an AP.
      It’s so depressing to know that people still, in 2022, blame the chump and think holding onto a cheater by making themselves smaller is the thing to do.

  • I had to go to my stbx’s funeral (actually, I had to organize [and pay for] it as I was still “next of kin” since we weren’t divorced). I knew I’d have to face all my fair-weather friends who had abandoned me and welcomed OW, even though some of them had known me for 15 years. There was also the real possibility that OW would show up, in spite of the fact that both I and stbx’s sister told her she was not welcome.

    I put on my bad-ass bitch dress, a Little Black Dress that has leather and studs on the shoulders. It is short, fits me like a glove, and looks amazing. I paired it with a pair of stiletto boots and a black leather biker jacket. My hair was PERFECT. My makeup was on point. I felt like a million dollars.

    My best friend, who came to support me, took one look at me and said “I see you put on armor” (there’s a reason I love her).

    I was able to face all those “friends” with my head held high. I felt strong and in control, and I think looking like a bad-ass (and smokin’ hot) bitch helped a lot. I can’t tell you how many “you look great!” comments I got from people I hadn’t seen in 3 or 4 years. Always said with surprise, as if they expected me to look pathetic and awful. I’m sure stbx and OW had spread a lot of lies about me to everyone. And I had stayed off social media for quite some time. I realized I didn’t care about any of them or their opinions. Thankfully OW didn’t show, so I didn’t have to have her escorted off the premises. But I probably wouldn’t have cared if she had (except that I didn’t want his family to be more distressed than they already were, since he had refused to have anything to do with them for years, and then they had to deal with his suicide).

    It was an emotionally exhausting couple of weeks dealing with everything, but yeah, the right outfit really helps you keep the right attitude.

    • I’m really sorry you had to go through that, ISawTheLight. Despite all he’s done to harm me, regardless of the many times as I’ve wished my ex dead, no matter how distant and “dead to me” he is now, I shudder to think of being at his funeral. I don’t know if this is appropriate, and it’s a love song so N/A for an FW, but I can’t not share in response to your comment.

      “Dress Sexy At My Funeral,” by smog: https://m.youtube.com/watch?v=O41JlQxFnzo

      • I never wished him dead, either. Even with as badly as he abused me. I’m just not that kind of person. He’d talked about killing himself throughout our relationship, but I never took him seriously (he was prone to fits of depression, and I now think he was probably bipolar). Looking back, I think I talked him off the ledge a few times. When he had no one (his GF left him, I had pretty much cut contact with him, etc.), he hit rock bottom and there was no one there to get him through it. He always joked (?) that he wouldn’t live past 45, and that’s how old he was when he died.

        I felt guilty for awhile, like maybe if I’d been more sympathetic when he called me a few weeks before, but in the end I had to accept that I probably couldn’t have saved him even if I’d known what he intended to do. And then I felt guilty because I can’t deny my life has been easier since he’s gone. No more fear, no more abuse, no more threats, no more legal bills. My child isn’t bounced back and forth between two homes. I don’t have to worry about my son experiencing a string of girlfriends coming and going in his life. I have peace. With the life insurance and social security, my son is pretty well set up for his future.

        All in all, it was just surreal. I honestly felt like I was in a movie. Like, I kept looking around for the cameras because it seemed so unbelievable. When we found his body, it was literally like a crime drama, complete with mustached detective in a brown suit, the forensics team, crime scene photographer, coroner’s van, everything.

        My son and I are happy and my son is doing really well, so I am grateful for that.

        Anyway, thank you.

        • Oh, this reminds me of my ex. He always said he wouldn’t live beyond 30. Well, he’s 42 now, so…
          But, yes he also suffered with fits of depression and I think he is probably bipolar. It was always highs and really, really dark lows. It was always difficult to manage.

    • A woman after my own heart. “Fashion as armor” was my thesis when studying design. It places dress a cut above artifice because it has a protective function, not just against natural elements but the “human elements” in politics, discrimination, etc.

      There’s certainly practical application to some fashion, like weaponized studs when surrounded by the enemy at a funeral, or, for better or worse, smuggling weapons under hoop skirts. https://www.clarabartonmuseum.org/spies/

  • Mine was a bracelet inscribed with “she thought she could so she did.” It brought me enormous strength when I needed it.

  • I have used different things at different times. For mediation I wore a jade pendant. It was from my nephew so I felt his support. It didn’t help, mediation failed. I wore a jacket of my MIL at her funeral . She died before the divorce was finalized and was never told about it. She wasn’t easy to love , but I did care for her, she was a part of my life for 40 years. It made me feel a little closer to her and then it was brought up in depositions. WTF. Finally for the divorce hearing I wore a pink padded bra that made me feel like I had super powers. I still wear it when I need an extra dose of bitch boot power.

  • My ex and the OW bought my new daughter some baby clothes when she born (ex, up and left while I was pregnant and moved in with OW). There was a little note that it was from them both. I was appalled.

    So, I returned the clothes that were bought from a very high end store and I treated myself to some Wedgewood cups that everyone loves and then I splashed out on a claddagh ring that has the birth stones of my 2 kids. I love it and it gives me strength and I didn’t have to pay a penny for it!

    • “My ex and the OW bought my new daughter some baby clothes when she born (ex, up and left while I was pregnant and moved in with OW). There was a little note that it was from them both.”

      Dear God. That is just… I have no words.

      Well done you for getting the cups and the ring.

      I hope those freaks rot in hell. Who *does* that!? 😳😳👿👿

      • Also: barbed-wire people who don’t understand how ordinary human relationships work, like, if they don’t involve love-bombing and stuff. 🙄 People who are so intent on being “forgiven” and plying the “we’re friends and it’s all good” narrative that they will keep battering our boundaries. People who have no boundaries, no core sense of self, so they rely entirely on optics.

        Kudos to ChumpyLou for making some excellent lemonade out of those cheater-wrought lemons!

      • Ah, it all happened about 6 years ago now, so I’m at meh, but the whole present was more the OW. It was from a department store that my ex would never had gone in. It was all perfectly wrapped and he even left them in the porch when he knew I wouldn’t be around. I think it was definitely a way for the OW to put a stamp on things.

        They are still together and have a daughter now. I am certain that the pair of them are very well suited. Two seriously f***ed up individuals.

        • IMO, she was doing it to taunt you. As in; “Ha ha! I got your husband. Here’s your booby prize-a gift for the baby he didn’t stick around for. I get shivers of delight reminding you that you’ll be raising your child alone because I’M JUST THAT SPECIAL.”
          The depths of evil these people sink to never ceases to enrage me. Good on you for being meh about those cretins. They so totally deserve each other.

  • I bought my 18 year old daughter and I the same gold necklace with a single pearl on it. (My soon to be ex also lied and misled her so I felt she needed one too.) A pearl is formed from grains of sand (I think) attacking a mollusk, thus creating something beautiful. I explained to her the symbolism behind our necklaces and that, no matter, what my ex/her dad did to us, we are stronger and beautiful! We wear them daily!

  • My “bitch boots” is my first novel which I co-wrote with a dear friend. We started it about a year or so before dday. It is sitting with one publisher now as we await their decision and continue to query others. Our author website just went live yesterday, and the sense of accomplishment I felt was so overwhelmingly powerful!
    This is a lifelong goal of mine, and something cheating bastard ex showed zero interest in, much less supported and encouraged.
    I will publish it under my birth/maiden name because I feel as if I am back to being the mighty person I was before I met him and he tried to destroy me. There is no way any part of this should be associated with him or his name. This is belongs to me and my writing partner. And that feels pretty damned good.

    • Excellent – kudos to you, DMC! I personally think that creating something new is the best. #lifegoalz
      I hope you’ll share your work with us – maybe on the Reddit group, if this website is too public?

    • Wow 🤩🤩🤩👏👏👏
      Please, share!!! 🥰

      One year before Dday… You got your life back!!! Congrats 💪💪💪
      Wow again!!! I hope it’s bringing lots of joy!!!!!

  • A long gold chain with a Mary medallion I inherited from my Grandma who passed it to my Mom who passed it to me. I put it on after FW left and I never take it off. I can touch it whenever I need to tap into the power of strong women who love me. Remember my kids from yesterday’s post? I got them jade Mayan glyphs (they’re from Guatemala) on strong chains for their birthdays (that I thought represented their strengths) at the low point for our family last year, and they both wear them every day. Not gonna lie, I think they helped them turn the corner.

    • There is power in these things, especially if they have held meaning for people over the centuries; the power behind the symbol grows over time. I wear an ancient pagan symbol on a black silky cord as a neckkace under my clothing. It’s a symbol I superimpose in my mind over the image of those I love who I feel need protection. When I wear this ancient, powerful talisman I feel very protected, too.

  • I had two talismans, a small rainbow fluorite crystal and a bracelet inscribed on the inside, “keep fucking going.”

    The fluorite was small enough that I could carry it in my pocket, but also hold in my hand and run my fingers over the smooth crystal to calm my nerves.

    The bracelet was like my own little secret, since you could only see the inscription when I took it off. It reminded me to keep moving forward, no matter what was being thrown at me that day. I ended up getting 3 of them (gold, silver & rose gold) so I had one to fit every outfit.

    • Florite has many magical properties and is incredibly beautiful. It’s one of my favorite stones.

  • After finding this site CL’s book – LACGAL was the first things I had bought for myself in forever. Got it even though my funds were limited and kept it by my bed to re-read as I waded through legal crap from x.

    • PS At the time my public library did not have a copy. Recommended it and now they do.

      I recommend reading Leave a Cheater Gain a Life book to new chumps.

  • The Lying Cheating Loser and I got tattooed together once. Different designs, but we both incorporated Roman numerals representing the date we first started talking, which we considered our “anniversary.” Mine was on my left shoulder. It took a few months after I left him for me to save up the money to have the tattoo covered up, but right before Thanksgiving 2018 I got a beautiful bird wing coverup tattoo. It represents the song “Broken Wings” by Mr. Mister, which holds a special significance to me from long before I ever met the fuckwit LCL.
    I sent him a pic of my beautiful wing (I thought I was some special kind of chump who could move on and thrive without NC) and his reaction did not disappoint. I think the main ingredient was envy, because he couldn’t afford to have his tat covered up.
    In the years since, I have indeed learned to fly, learned to live so free. And I’m NC with the LCL.

  • My talisman is mostly a metaphor from Harry Potter, but I do have a physical amulet.
    Before the split, I figured my patronus would probably be an eagle, or perhaps a coyote.

    The surprise split, divorce, sale of marital home and purchase of MY OWN home (not to mention our dog dying) all happened within 104 days. After going through all that and sticking the landing, I’ve come to the realization my patronus is now a MF’ing Tyrannosaurus Rex.

    About a year after all that, I bought a necklace with a T-Rex pendant. I wear it when I leave the house and charge its energy through enjoying live music, letting the cats play with it to infuse it with their affection, wearing it to wonderful experiences. I wore it to the Tyrannosaurus exhibit at a local museum, and marveled at the real skeleton and how HUGE and mighty it was.

    I plan on getting a tattoo with a T-Rex in patronus form to remind me of MIGHTY.

  • The Colonel couldn’t be bothered to attend the divorce proceedings (as he was holed-up 8 states away with the Whoreable Mistake Army Captain), but I wore a very professional gray business suit with a black turtleneck to divorce him. (He did offer to “Skype” in. No thanks, Asshole).

    My case was the first case of the new year with the new elected judge. My hair was pulled back and out of my face. Make-up was perfect. The sky was the darkest shade of gray you can imagine, the thunder was ominous, and the rain was coming down in torrents. I had no friends or family accompany me to the proceedings. My strength came from a thick double-looped gold chain necklace that was my late mother’s.

      • Many thanks, 🍞 & 🌹-

        I look back on everything I had to take on leading up to that point and wonder how I got through it all without therapy or drugs. Had neither. Needed both.

        What saved me: My anger at the complete injustice of it all kept me focused and going forward.

        We are all Survivors here and I continue to draw strength from all the Chump stories and advice, even 4 years later. Thank-you for your part in that.

        • Yes, look out when the anger comes…

          Mine didn’t come until mid-way during the divorce process. My attorney would actually tell me at times that he needed me to get mad because he was mad. He’d swear and pound his big conference table over all the crazy.

          But then I started getting mad too, so we’d both pound the table and be mad, and then we’d bust up laughing. He was a fearsome attorney with a crazy sense of humor.

          I chose well!

          • Damn Girl!

            You DID choose incredibly well! Your attorney understood that a firm hand with some levity thrown in was the perfect combination!

            How did you come out in the divorce? Hoping with more than your 50%!

  • Short story long. My father was a FW. I have never met him — he and my mom divorced a few months after i was born. They had been married 6 years and had two miscarriages while she worked and put him through undergraduate school and then graduate school. He skipped around a lot and she got tired of trying to chase him down for child support. In the 1980’s the federal government passed a law that made it easier for mother’s to go after father’s who otherwise could not be bothered to pay for child support. She consulted with the county we were living in and they advised her to hire a lwayer and go after him for 17 years worth of child support. It went to court my mom asked me if I wanted to go. I said no.

    I got married 8 years later and have now been married 27 years. Last year i was cleaning out my moms house and found the court documents from those court dates. Here is an excerpt from a document submitted to the court by my FW father.

    —————————-
    I feel it should be said that and I were married for quite some number of years without any children. The decision to have a child was one made by her without my knowledge or consent. I had wanted children from early in the marriage she did not. It was not until she felt the marriage was truly in trouble that she alone decided to have a child to ‘save the marriage’. It was not a mutual decision, nor, had i been consulted, a good one. We physically separated at least six months before the child was born.
    —————————

    I found this documentation while my own FW was having her affair.

    The talisman i carry is in my head/heart was what my FW father said about me. “It was not a mutual decision, nor, had i been consulted, a good one”. It helps me walk around with a middle finger raised to all the FW of the world while trying to keep my heart soft for everyone else.

    • The gift I give my youngest child is not telling him that his mother never wanted him. When XW found out she was pregnant with our third child, she said she didn’t want any more kids and made me promise that – if she continued the pregnancy – I would do 100% of the additional work for the extra child.

      (I already did the vast majority for our other two kids, but I guess she was worried anyway. She threw this in my face during the divorce, bitterly complaining that I had broken my promise to her because I’d only done 90% of his care. In retrospect, I guess her point was that my breaking that promise was morally equivalent to her breaking her wedding vows, though at the time I didn’t know about her adultery so I missed the full significance).

      I’m never going to tell my son because it would wound him too much. But every time XW rails at me and insults me, I think to myself “you don’t even know how lucky you are that I’m not like you – I could destroy your relationship with our son, but I won’t harm him just to score points against you”.

    • Not a mutual decision? I guess it was an immaculate conception then. Jason, your fw father said in court documents that you’re equivalent to Jesus. That’s appropiate, since you’re a saint for not tracking him down and kicking his ass. What a lovely person you are and what a disgusting prick he is.

    • Jason – I’m sorry for your experience, but so glad that you have found your strength. You were neither a mistake nor a bad decision. Continue to be the example that your father couldn’t be.

    • I don’t know why you were downvoted twice for your post. You have found the spiritual path that brings you peace and understanding, and that’s all that matters. Many roads lead to the same place.

  • Mine is a silver cuff bracelet that my daughter bought me while I was visiting her, mid-proceedings, in SC.
    It has a tiny engraved heart on the front and on the underneath side it says ‘Keep F***ing Going. I wore it to each attorney meeting and court appearance. I have worn it every day since. It is priceless.

  • Sadly, I didn’t have any “bitch boots”… I was trying more to blend and go unnoticed that first year. BUT, within 3 months of his discard, I sold my engagement ring and signed myself and my son up for a trip to Hawaii. By selling the ring, I was telling myself “You are not going back!”… and I had always dreamed of going to Hawaii (it was my wedding theme)… so I felt that sent a good f-u message to Mr. Sparkles. FWIW Chumps… I’ve been back 3 times since then because my $$ is no longer disappearing for hotel rooms, personal ads, and dates behind my back, and supporting 5 step children (I still help them 1:1 when I can)… funny that.

  • My talisman is my hair. I cut it short during my painful discard year 5 years ago. I let it grow out long after FW and I separated and I moved out with my kids. It is beautiful, curly and healthy and not a single inch of it was ever touched by FW.

    I wear it with pride like a mama lioness and I feel beautiful again.

    • Old tradions throughout the world called for the cutting off of hair during times of mourning. It never occured to me why, until I read this from you. Yes, new growth untouched by the old trauma. Plus, bible stories talk about the power of long hair. Many indigenous cultures believe this, as well.

    • I did that too. It’s so funny how we all do the same or similar things – it’s like some subconscious understanding or connection. I love Chumps. We’re the badasses with soul.

    • I had the shortest Sinead O’Connor hair during the marriage. It was longer some times, but was always boyish short while we were together (26 years). I was dumped for exgfOW at close to 60. Then UK lockdown 1 happened two weeks after I started divorce proceedings. I’ve done all lockdowns alone (no kids) with some social bubble support. I hurt my back badly in April 2020. Coped with that. And grew my hair out. For the first time since 1993. It is now past shoulder length and so pretty. I realised slowly that FW preferred my boyish androgynous look. I had had suspicions about his sexuality for a while. He de-womanised me over the years, with my permission – I was worn down. Now I embrace my femininity with delight. My hair is my talisman along with a silver elephant charm which I wear as a pendant or on a bracelet. I will never forget that I am strong independent sensitive woman.

  • This reminds me of a poem I love called “I shall wear my nails red”.
    In my case, it was more “I shall wear my lips red” because FW always “hated makeup” and “preferred natural girls who didn’t try so hard”. My favorite shades are Maybelline brick beat, Chanel Etienne and Nars Golshan. I wear the hell out of red lipstick and red nail polish because I am FW-free.

    “Because a bit of colour is a public service.
    Because I am proud of my hands.
    Because it will remind me I’m a woman.
    Because I will look like a survivor.
    Because I can admire them in traffic jams.
    Because my daughter will say ugh.
    Because my lover will be surprised.
    Because it is quicker than dyeing my hair.
    Because it is a ten-minute moratorium.
    Because it is reversible.”

  • Wow. Just wow. So many stories…Jason…I love that you can keep a soft heart ❤️

    When I read the challenge, I thought that I didn’t really have anything, but then as I read through, I was saying: Oh! I did that too!! I actually have a whole list!! Lol

    * 3 necklaces: one from my kids that represents the 5 of us, one that looks like white sand and turquoise water from a solo trip I was able to take post divorce (5 months in the Caribbean house sitting and dog sitting and crewing on sailboats to keep costs down…it was AMAZING!!) and one made of wood.

    * a photographer friend took some photos of me (originally I was going to get them done as an anniversary present, but the shit went down so I was going to cancel…she told me that she wanted to take them anyways. Some of them turned out really great!)

    * I adopted a scruffy dog (or did she adopt me?) that I found on the beach on the first day of my epic trip. I got to bring her home with me! She is the sweetest dog you could ever imagine. ❤️

    * I also have Power Panties!

    * I started working out and I think I almost have some actual abs!! 😆

    * I got 5 tattoos: 1 is a tiny copy of my dog’s paw print, one is a heart that incorporates a softball and the name of my team ‘Saints’ (I joined a women’s fast pitch team and they are all such amazing, supportive women! My daughter and my sister joined the team too! So fun!) the 3rd is a heart that incorporates a sun, a wave and an airplane (representing my trip and hopefully future adventures!) the 4th…the words ‘Oh yes I can!’ In pretty script on my wrist…to remind me to be brave! And the last one is on my side… a quote that I love from Mother Theresa: ‘do small things with great love.’

    * I also have the knowledge that buying him out of the house was the best decision EVER!! The housing market has gone crazy here and the house has almost doubled in value over the last few years!

    ❤️

    PS I really hope the new site allows us to leave ‘Like’ or ‘Love’ responses. I read all the comments and would love to leave a ❤️ to let people know I have read their post and want to send love…or a face palm. 😆

    I tell everyone about this group of mighty Chumps. And the book…that I wish I had come across earlier. ❤️

  • 1. I decided not to hide my engagement ring in a box. Instead, I hired a jeweler to convert it to a pendant necklace. I literally reframed something that once represented my marriage.

    It ‘s a small symbol of my power and independence.

    2. During the divorce period, I made multiple copies of the following list and posted them in prominent areas of my house and car. One I carried with me at all times. Here’s the list:
    -Don’t trust him.
    -Don’t engage.
    -He’s the enemy.
    -Keep your eye on the prize (good settlement).
    -Get to meh!
    addendum: He doesn’t have the right to any kind of emotional relationship, and he caused this.

    3. CL’s book. Dog-eared. My bitch boots in book form. Thanks, CL!

    • Me too Spinach! I sold my wedding ring AND his, AND my engagement ring but had the jeweler take the diamond solitaire, add more diamonds, a pendant setting and a beautiful new lobster claw chain. The kids all contributed and I got a lovely reframed Mother’s Day gift for 2020. I wear my necklace every day and think of the best and most enduring part of my marriage—my wonderful kids!

      My talisman is a lotus flower. After the 11th hour settlement hearing got finally signed, I met my daughter at a tattoo parlor. We got matching ink in solidarity, defiance and celebration—a first for us both. The oriental stylized lotus represents renewal. It grows up from the mud in the bottom of the pond but becomes a beautiful flower. It’s a metaphor for me like the phoenix rising, that beautiful things can still grow from the muck they originated in. It gives me hope for recovery, renewal and a meaningful life moving onwards. It’s on my wrist so I can see it as a daily reminder and it is kind of a touchstone for me. I rub my thumb over it if I need grounding. Sometimes I recite a mantra but mine have changed as my FW enlightenment has evolved.

  • I bought myself a beautiful diamond ring. I wore it on my left middle finger for a couple years; a symbolic “fuck you” to him. A reminder that I can make a beautiful life for myself without him. I recently had it resized to fit on my right ring finger, but it has the same meaning to me regardless of which finger I wear it on.

    • I did that too! Not a diamond, but I got a big ass stone as a “divorce ring” the day it was official that I wear on my left middle finger.

    • I bought a divorce ring right after he left. It’s a single pearl flanked by two diamonds (representing the constant irritation and stress of our marriage, as well as my beautiful transformation from wife to life). I love the left middle finger idea and am definitely going to have it resized. Perfect!

    • Similar story here! After the final D-day, I put all my marital jewelry (engagement ring, wedding ring, yesterday-today-forever anniversary ring, and the wreckonciliation diamond band) in a safe deposit box and bought a simple goldish ring from the Metropolitan Museum of Art gift shop. The design was based on an Etruscan arm band – kind of a wrap-around to fit any size finger. It was an incomplete circle, so to me it perfectly represented my life – the broken commitment, the end of a marriage, the opposite of wedding band symbolism. I wore it on my left hand, middle finger as an FU symbol to my abusive ex and my situation after a 25-year marriage. Wore it for years and then one day I just stopped. Not sure it was a Tuesday, but by then I was totally meh.

  • These mighty stories are very inspiring from everyone. I had lost so much weight and my best friend bought me a beautiful suit that encompasses the colors of soft rose and black. I did wear bitch boots and black tights. I had a necklace a friend gave me that said “look fear in the face and do the thing you think you cannot do“ and during both mediations I was packing. I have a concealed carry permit. Just in case he tried something stupid in the parking lot.

      • I just got back from my morning walk and usually carry pepper spray/mace. Would I have blasted the man in the face who asked me “You wanna suck my d*ck ?” It took me a couple of beats to process what he said. The thought 💭 above my head said “Come closer you ugly bastard so I can knee you in the balls and knock out your front teeth !”

        Note to self. Keep my hands free and carry the tiny canister in my front coat pocket.

        • I lived in a boat for some years and would come home around midnight sometimes from my job. Walking around the warf in a known tourist-prostitution area made it pretty unsafe. I always had my knife open in my pocket at the ready. It wasn’t cat-calling the worried, more, I wanted to be prepard for physical danger.

  • I had a dear friend who was much older and tough as nails. She used to tell me she loved me more than her own children.
    When she passed she left me a diamond and garnet ring. I wore it through two court dates and three depositions of the OW describing her “friendship” with soon to be ex. Wearing my super powered ring I sat across the table beside my lawyer and never flinched once.
    My friend would love knowing how much her ring helped. And I love my symbol of strong women❤️

  • The most powerful source of strength for me is knowing that my Lord and Saviour is by my side, always. No material or monetary item could ever replace that. I don’t understand why the lies had to happen, but I know that there were some miracles involved in getting me through the divorce process. My life is still in a transition phase, as I have moved to another state, with a new job and a new home and am in the process of moving my real estate holdings here too. I am blessed with someone who also loves the Lord and seeks to serve Him. I need only to look at the big picture and realize how many blessings I have – that is what has kept me going.

  • After catching XH talking to Woman #2 for 2021 (there were others over the years and there would be a Woman #3 for 2021 that finally ended it), I took off my wedding rings and bought myself an opal and diamond ring in rose gold. It is gorgeous!!! I felt completely naked and humiliated not having my wedding ring on anymore, but the new opal ring was just beautiful, it made me smile and it gave me some confidence for some odd reason! Whatever works! And I get compliments on it all. the. time. 🙂

    • I also bought myself a Tory Burch bag after catching XH talking to Woman #1 of 2021 (she was 20 years younger, EXTREMELY unattractive, and lived 4 hours away, so I figured he wasn’t actually banging her and I took him back – which led to catching #2 and #3 (facepalm)). The handbag is probably my Bitch Boots over the ring now that I think about it. The ring is pretty, but the bag is bad ass! 🙂

      • I never thought anything of designer bags until I was working at Macy’s along with two other jobs during separation, and the lady who managed that section of the store taught me about the brands and when they went on sale. So I saved up for my first one, bought during the divorce process with my employee discount.

        My attorney complimented me on my bag, and it came to every appointment after that. He drove a big silver Mercedes, and he said if we went to court, my bag and I could ride with him and his litigation paralegal so we could make a grand entrance together. We settled without going to court (we threatened three times though), but I treasured that thought until my case was finally truly closed.

  • My face. My face was my Super Power! Twenty years prior to D-Day my husband stealthily abandoned his family. We had moved to a new city was the plan WE put together. It was his idea to move for jobs and we had spent a couple of years poking around the big city @ 100 miles from ours. So, when I had a great job offer, and he had earlier said a transfer for h was no problem, it seemed we were set. Then the FW started stalling. I moved on to the new job/city and he stayed back with our 2 toddler sons. He did Nothing to make our family move happen. He checked out. I was very confused. Tried to talk him about what was going on, he stonewalled. My new employer provided a moving company to get our household packed and into the house I found. The day the truck showed up my FW was angrier than I’d ever seen him. Hmmmm. First big decision I’d made in our 8 year marriage and he was freaked out. Our family was together again after 6 weeks. FW picked fights and was then distant. I o the other hand was jiggling finding daycare, a diapered kiddo, a commute, a new challenging job (which I loved!) becoming a first time manager and a new boss who was a freaking control a-hole. Less than a month of our little Fam living in our new city, FW tells me he will be going out of state for a few days to “help a friend move.” WTF. We have a “stranger” watching our kids, we have a zillion boxes to unpack and little ones to nurture!!! He’s gone for just over a week. Before my Mom flew in from 4 states away to help me with my sons, I ALMOST start the giving up “thoughts.” How will I manage? Am I going to be divorced? Where will we live? Why is this happening???? I’m in the bathroom giving kiddos their bath before bedtime. Feeling awful. Sad. Scared. Mind reeling. Then I stand up and get a glance of myself in the mirror. Who the heck is that aMaziNg! Woman? She’s cute! Looks confident, even with an old tshirt, no makeup, and messy hair. She Looks strong, capable and smart! I stared at myself. I saw who I was. I was so empowered in those few minutes. Amazingly empowered. I remember thinking, bring it. Why the hell was I so worried??? Look at this person! She can get a divorce if it comes to that and live to tell the tale.

    I carried on with my Mom & one of my sister’s help for the next week. FW came back with his stupid tail between his legs. More to this tale, but I gotta say, I’m no super beautiful model type, but damn it, My Face showed me my power that night and at other times later. It reflected what is inside of me, chasing away fear and doubt and replacing it with strength and (Super ) power! Carry On, Chumps!!!

  • I wrote “STFU” (AKA “Shut the F*ck Up”) on the back of my hand before we went into Court with my Ex. My barrister had warned me that Ex-Mrs LFTT’s barrister was known for trying to provoke his client’s other halves into losing their composure to try and make them look unreasonable/unhinged.

    Lo and behold he did just that and I didn’t rise to the bait, which only made him try harder. Unfortunately for him, he hadn’t done his research and he ended up stating a couple of things that were blatantly untrue (because Ex-Mrs LFTT had lied to him), which my barrister then skewered him on at the next Court appearance … which succeeded in making Ex-Mrs LFTT look like the unreasonable and unhinged liar that she is.

    Moral of the story is that is your legal advisor tells you not to say a word more than is required and not to lose your composure … then don’t.

    LFTT

  • My hair is my talisman. Right after I and the kids moved out, I dyed it a bright, rich red, a color he hated. The look on his face at the next kid exchange was priceless. He was literally snarling. I walked away smiling. Even today I still love my red hair, and find I’m treated with a lot more respect than I ever was with my natural hair color, blonde. Everyone thinks it’s my natural color to the point that when I went back to blonde briefly a few years ago, I was accused of dyeing my hair.

  • I collect tribal jewelry and he had never one time bought me a piece of tribal jewelry, so it really hurt when I discovered he had bought her a Tibetan wish box necklace. He told her to put his name in it.

    Evidently they really work, so I bought one for myself and put my own wish list in it. The Arya Stark inspired wish list.

    I found the seller on Etsy who sold him the one he bought for the Craigslist cockroach. She was a very nice lady in France, who verified he had bought the piece from her. I told her the story behind his purchase and whaddya know, she shared with me that she was a chump herself.

    She took the similar piece I bought from her to the Tibetan priests for blessing before sending it to me.

    I also collect queen chess pieces, to remind me who the most powerful piece in the game is. It’s the chump, without question. Walking away is the most powerful move you can make, ending the game and radically changing the dynamics of their illicit thrilling association.

    I learned the other day that the live-in boyfriend who cheated way back in 1988 and married the OW has gotten divorced.
    OW is divorce number 2 for him. His Facebook page lists “women” as his interests. Surprise surprise. I am SO GLAD I didn’t end up with that loser.

    • Other power objects….a London blue topaz ring, my wedding ring from me to me. I married myself.

      The Hawaiian bracelet featuring Lanikai, which I actually bought myself. It took me a couple of years to realize he did not buy it for me. His sole contribution was handing me our debit card to pay for it. I actually had thought myself into believing it was a gift he gave me. It was my Christmas present for the weird awful Hawaiian post November DDay Christmas. It arrived back from the engravers after he moved out, and someone told me to put it away. I’m glad I did. It actually took me from 2018 to 2021 for denial to dissipate and realize that he had nothing to do with buying it other than handing me the card. I even chose the engraving, ho’oponopono, the Hawaiian healing prayer.

      Mele Kalikimaka to me! 🎅🏻🌸🌴

      • ….and the Divorce Shoes.

        Gucci, Spring/Summer 2018…covered with Swarovski crystals.
        Downton Abbey meets Studio 54 meets Dorothy wishing “there’s no place like home”.

        Definitely FYOU shoes.

  • I bought a red Chanel wallet on a chain right after I filed. It’s my divorce F you.I also got a St Christopher’s medal,

  • I love making playlists. The right music setting the right tone can make a difference anywhere. I had my “hype music” playlist. Mostly 90’s r&b power-chick music. Think, Whitney Houston’s “It’s Not Right,” Desiree’s “Gotta Be,” etc.. When I needed to channel my anger more, I’d cue up Rage Against The Machine as loud as my ears could take… especially for the line “Fuck you I won’t do what you tell me!”

  • I did not have a specific piece that could be considered bitch boots. But I did ensure my hairstyle was new and completely different than any i had EVER had during the mirage. I went R❤️D Chumps! That’s a super power move right there.
    Also, I made sure to lay out very nicely coordinated outfits complete with pretty accessories to every single 4-way talk with lawyers etc. when you are that closely together in a room you need to have a fabulous outfit and never forget the makeup to coordinate also! I would wear a raspberry blazer with plum tone eyeshadow, and lipstick. Add a wee bit of highlighter to the cheekbones nose and chin for an AMAZING GLOW! No matter how tired and beat down you may feel…
    NEVER LETTEM SEE YOU SWEAT CHUMPS!
    Hold your head high. Go in like a Lioness!

    • Lay out your clothing and accessories (and boots) the night before Chumps! One less thing to lose sleep over and you will feel Mighty knowing the FW has NO CONTROL over how fabulous you are going to be.

  • To me, taking off the wedding rings, while they had been a huge deal to me was my first empowering “material” move.
    I replaced them with a lotus flower, giant golden brass ring. My ex even complimented me on it 🫣. I also added semi/gem stones rings on other fingers (moonstone, tiger eye, and recently rhodonite).
    I removed the lotus on, freeing my “marital finger” only after I could file. I’ve been single for 2 years, but only actually divorced for 2 months…
    I’m so glad to have found you guys. I’ve also been in a really shitty situation with my abuser for years and the damages were bad.
    It gets better. 🤗💪

  • I have something I call The Basher (which is like a cop’s nightstick only nastier) that I keep beside my bed for protection. I have practiced swinging it hard so the action becomes automatic if I should ever need it. When I do so I imagine I am beating the FW’s smirk right off his face with it. I cherish The Basher.

    Probably TMI, but what the hell.

    • Home invasion arsenal 🏏 chef’s 🔪 and 🐝 aerosol spray. The spray has range so one doesn’t have to be close to the burglar. And an air horn to alert others in the home and any neighbors.

      • Great arsenal. Bee spray is a formidable weapon which, if sprayed in the face, immediately disables a perp. Oven cleaner does the same in close range. I just don’t like keeping toxic stuff in my house. However, I keep a spray bottle of strong acetic acid (cleaning vinegar) which is non-toxic but will burn an intruder’s eyes on contact. Bonus- it kills weeds. I also have a beautiful hunting knife plus a small stiletto for when I’m out and about. It tucks nicely into a sock or a pocket and is extremely sharp.

      • No wasp emoji so the bee one came up. Think of a wasp’s nest under a roof. How to destroy it ? Lean out the window, aim, fire and then slam that window shut !

    • An old family heirloom 1800s era shotgun in a tooled leather blue velvet lined case. I put it together and cocked that baby by an open window (curtains were thankfully closed) one hot summer night home alone when I was a teen. The sound of the prowler’s running feet down the long drive was all it took to let me know he was gone. That long gun is loaded, by my bed now.

  • I have a small 1/4 ct. diamond bezel-set pendant I bought myself when I was a young flight attendant. I was on a trip to Hong Kong, excited, a little scared. It’s dainty but I feel powerful because I was brave, moving, long distance romance with boyfriend (now ex husband), traveling.

  • I’m buying a divorce ring from a local artist. She takes old rings and changes them. I already hawked mine for a mere $800 but she has other materials she uses.

    Also, for my recent mediation. I wore the sexiest panties and bra. I hardly ever did that for my husband because he objectified me so much that it made my self esteem plummet. I wore the gorgeous top my new man bought for me and I wore my big, chunky bitch boots. My ex loved that I had goth-like boots, even though he always wanted me to be natural without make up (even though new one is totally made up-think cos play). I had a great hair day and wore juicy lipstick. The FWs lawyer turned his head when I walked in and kept giving me sideways looks. I felt powerful and beautiful. My ex was playing the pity card that day of course, so he was playing sad man who looked small and old.

    My goal since DDay has been not to let him lay eyes on me ever again. That day at mediation I had to see him briefly in the beginning but then I was in another room. I requested to be told when he left so I had no chance of letting him see me again. That has been powerful-true no contact that I’ve imposed on him this time. He ghosted me and hid for years while he cheated- now it’s my turn.

    • Yay!!

      I, too, found power in not making eye contact during mediation.

      I wanted FW to realize his own insignificance.

      At mediation, my pencil skirt and heels made me feel powerful. Oh, and I had hired a very tall, dark and handsome 40-something lawyer who must have intimidated my x, a man who thinks of himself as an athlete but actually looks more like a small-boned, too-thin, older man without adequate muscle mass (despite his efforts).

  • I had a necklace made – it was super inexpensive- that had the phrase from The Handmaid’s Tale written on it: “Don’t let the bastards grind you down.” I wore it to every court appointment under my shirt. I won.

      • I’ve always wanted to get that as a tattoo! I loved the book long before the Hulu series came out. And because my cheating ex was nightmarish levels of abusive, I could relate to the main character, Offred. If she could survive, I could survive too (and I did)!

  • I’ve had a bracelet on my wrist for the past 5 years since right after Dday: “Life is tough.But so are you.” And my best friend gave me another bracelet that I never take off: “Do No Harm. But take No Shit.”

    Initially I played the pick me dance. Did all the usual. Not anymore!

    So these days: I am always ethical and honest with him; I do not, however, take his shit. He married schmoopie, but that didn’t stop him, for example, from asking to sleep on my couch when he came into town to visit the kids. Uh, no. He was pissed and played the victim….Apparently I was just being mean. In the past, I would have caved in order to “be nice.” Not anymore.

    • Yay! Good for you. I hope he had to sleep in a seedy hotel with bedbugs and they bit him on his balls.

      Personally, I see no reason to be honest with a liar and a cheater. They should get back what they give and I don’t think it’s unethical to give people what they deserve, albeit within strict limits. However, I’m just not built for dishonesty.

      • “ I hope he had to sleep in a seedy hotel with bedbugs and they bit him on his balls.” 🤣🤣🤣

        Good one!

  • My talismans is better health. I got very ill during FW’s affair and lost about 25 LBs. I wasn’t heavy to start with and looked like death chewing on a cracker during the worst of it. One of my kids had been on the keto diet for several years for a medical condition and my sympathetic doctor mentioned that the diet could be used for many health applications and had helped her with asthma. The woman is probably about 65 and has perfect skin and a tranquil manner so I started borrowing my son’s supplements and put myself on the diet. Sugar free organic bacon every morning wasn’t a horrible way to go so I stuck with it.

    Here’s the thing: what I always hated about being skinny was “aerobic face”– that the muscles in your jaw ripple when you chew. And rib bones popping out above the collar. I’d always thought I looked better with a bit of weight on. But on keto, though I didn’t actually gain much weight, my face fleshed out and I lost the Anne Rice vampire complexion. I didn’t need to buy new clothes, my feet stopped hurting and my shoe size went down to pre-pregnancy, my old sports injuries stopped flaring, I had energy and I looked 15 years younger in a matter of months.

    Oh, and the heart murmur– mysteriously gone. My doctor tests rigorously and also mentioned that high cortisol “eats” progesterone and she put me on a natural progesterone supplement. Since my son became ill as an infant, I’d been waking up after five hours of sleep and had had trouble getting eight hours. The chronic insomnia became life-threatening during FW’S affair and all the vicious DARVO bs that came with it. Now if I wake up too early, I slap on some wild yam ointment and knock off for another three hours like someone hit me in the head with a brick. I love the feeling of stumbling out of bed so sleep-stoned that coffee seems like a gift from God. There was a time when I feared caffeine because I was already so chronically anxious.

    I don’t think I would have tried such radical measures if I hadn’t been in such terrible shape. Sometimes a FW-ectomy isn’t enough to repair years of damage from stress. It’s not like I thank the trauma for finally leading me to solutions that fixed a lot of health issues but I’m glad for the upgrade.

  • Snake tooth earrings I bought from a Native American woman on my journey through the desert. And, of course, my double snake “nolite te bastardes carborundorum” anklet tattoo, which I had done immediately after he settled.

  • i took my rings in to a jeweller and had a new ring made up, a big ass divorce ring, and i’m happy with it. i wear it for myself. it doesn’t have a forcefield.

    i don’t see my X and don’t have plans to see him, even during the legal machinations. the kids are adults and make their own arrangements to visit.

  • I took my wedding band and engagement ring to the store they came from. They gave me full credit and I got a sapphire tennis bracelet. I call it my Happy Future. I love it 🙂 I wear it most of the time.

  • I wear a lapis and gold ring on my wedding finger that was a gift from my mom for my 40th birthday ( I’m 67 now). I never take it off.
    She died of breast cancer when I was 42. She was the best mom I could have ever hoped for in this life.
    The ring symbolizes to me the unconditional love we shared and reminds me that love really can exist in the world, just not in FWs.

  • I saw a pair of velvet slippers with a screw embroidered on the right shoe and the letter U on the left, facing out. Too expensive (Stubbs and Wootton) plus one couldn’t wear those to court. It’s the thought that counts 🤣

  • I have my dignity and fine reputation! Also, I do have a physical item—-a silver ring with my son’s name in cut-out. He outgrew it many moons ago & so I started wearing it. He has stood beside me every inch of the way, just as furious at his dad as I was. And just as sad and hurt. Plus, he was an innocent spouse with a cheating wife. Yea, he has been through so much with me! Love my most beloved and precious son…..Keep ForgingOn!

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