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Tell Me How You’re Mighty

Hi CN. It’s time for another mightiness check in. I thought about heavier topics, but isn’t the world enough right now? Or my TV review from yesterday? So, let’s lighten the mood from “axe murderer.” I need to know about your badassery.

Whatever your accomplishment — 27 minutes of no contact, screaming into the void instead of hitting the send button, your child made the honor roll, you made the honor roll — if you’re gaining a life? We want to celebrate you. So bring it.

As for the Chump household, we’re about halfway through the boxes. I don’t have so much mightiness to report, but some sanity and joy. We moved from the city into the country, and I’ve felt my blood pressure drop 20 points since living here. Birdsong, trees, PEONIES (how have I lived the last 12 years without peonies?!!!) — it fills my heart and makes me happy.

And in two weeks, I’ll transition from full-time straight job with a side of blog hustle, to a full-time freelancer. Which I’m excited about, and is made possible by Mr. CL holding down the health insurance job. A big shout out of gratitude to him — there would be no CL/CN without him. Back in Texas he insisted I write the LACGAL book. Pushed me to finish it. Willed it into existence. And he has lost every morning for 10 years to me writing. (He likes his mornings. He’s chatty.)

As for his country life — Mr. CL’s taken a shine to the chickens. And they to him (if chickens have feelings. I’m not sure. They may be purely mercenary.) Every evening he feeds them freeze-dried worms, and sometimes tortillas. They follow him around like little groupies. They even show up on our back stairs. (Which is awful, they poop. A LOT.)

The rainbow picture above was the view from our back porch last Sunday. I think it’s a good omen. Hope there’s a rainbow on your back stairs too. And no chicken poop.

TGIF! Tell me how you’re mighty!

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  • Peonies for the win!! I’m so glad you’ve made it to the country. I’ve been sick with a weird virus (not Covid) that left me with laryngitis for nearly 2 weeks. My adult kids who live with me have kept the household running with basically no input from me. It feels like a big win. Also, the iris I planted last year are stunning. My daughter has been bringing them in for me to enjoy.

  • CL and Mr. CL, I am 500% thrilled for both of you. Drink it all in with zero apologies. 💚💚💚🌈

  • I can smell the peonies. Mine are not in bloom yet. MN go figure. I am mighty. I kept the promises I made to myself. Got a dog (Kevin)and two kitties (Todd and Lisa they are monsters) and I went to Ireland this spring. It gets better each day. Better go..I have more promises to keep.

  • After d-day number 2, i read the writing on the wall and made a 5 year plan to get my ducks in a row and get out (i was a sahm for 6 years). I chose a new career path, went back to school and got a 2nd bachelor’s degree, and finished my professional certification all within that 5 year time frame while raising my children and suffering through 2 more d-days. After the last one, I knew i was done with the 5 year plan and was in a position to file and i did. i am so proud of myself.

      • Ooohhh, I just spent a few pleasant moments trying out various languages on Google Translate. Loads of fun, and the possibilities are huge!

    • Big applause from over here. I’m chasing one last duck into line. You are amazing having made a 5 year plan! I’m hoping my plan doesn’t take that long. I don’t have a timeline; it has been dependent on the checklist. Reading stories like yours gives me real inspiration. Keep on rocking it!

    • This is exactly my plan right now! It’s been 8 months since d-day. I discovered my husband had been a sex addict ever since he was an adult and visited prostitutes (about 400 of them) during our entire 20 year relationship. I am still in shock, we are in therapy both individually and together and sometimes i even smoke hopium. But it’s like hè is an entire different person all of a sudden, who did not al all live by the values he claimed to uphold. He always seemed dedicated, but now he admits this was a role to him, of Someone he would have liked to really have been. Well, i would have liked reality for my life choices. I still cannot wrap my head around this all, but I am determined to come out of this mess stronger. We have three kids (one baby of almost 8 months, you do the math for the perfect d-day timing), so I have to get my ducks in line carefully. I am plucking him financially and will Triumph once i am the main breadwinner with my law degree in place. In the mean time I feel very supported by reading about all this mightiness.

  • I recently was able to listen to my young neighbor share her story of heartbreak. No cheating was mentioned, but the relationship was clearly dysfunctional and imbalanced. I was able to tell her that she was brave to identify the relationship as unacceptable and suggested “no contact” as a way to heal. I hope she understands that she deserves a healthy partner and reciprocity. She is young enough to recover and “gain a life”. The conversation was an important step in my healing, too.

  • I do have a new mighty, even after all this time. I finally, for the first time since the divorce (which was more than ten years ago) have a savings account large enough that it actually matters, and also large enough that I can pay an estate planning attorney to sort my affairs. That’s about $1500, so it’s no small thing. I started my career entirely over at 40, and I am now poised to have a decent retirement plan. Not loads of money, but some.

    It’s the first time I’ve felt stable at all for so long, and I never thought I’d get here. Took a long time, and a lot of sacrifice, and that is mighty. 💚

    • Wow, Ami, me too! Yesterday I marveled at my bank account balance (up to four figures!!!) and also heard back from the attorney that my estate planning papers are ready to be signed. Today I’m feeling all grown up and proud of myself. Ten years out for me too, and every single day I recognize signs that yes, I really AM a strong, capable woman. As unnatural as it seemed at first, now I know that all that positive self-talk is really boosting my morale.

    • This is very inspiring to me, thank you. My d-day and divorce hit right before I turned 40 and I’ve had to start over completely too. I’m working towards getting where you are and there are days I feel like I’m never going to make it. Thank you for giving me some hope with your awesome example.

  • Welcome back to suburbia! Nothing like the sounds and smells of earthly endeavors to snap us back to reality and lets us find our new perspectives rightfully refocused on what is true, good, honest and self fulfilling to our minds, bodies and souls, and to those we love and care for as well. We are mighty when we no longer need to untangle, no longer need to Switzerland, and no longer dance for sparkle turds or flying monkeys. Its all about the Mighty perspective and our new found ability to Focus. When we reach this we can: buy homes, cars, attain jobs, conquer cancer, heart attacks, assist children with graduations and starting their careers, navigate 401k’s, make deeper friendships using our new skills of discernment – all this happens on Tuesday, this has been my experience! (Hey CL, no need to unpack in a rush, I’m 4 yrs in my new abode and still unpacking, lol)

  • CL and Mr. CL: Enjoy your new digs and surroundings. Chickens do have feelings as they get somewhat jealous if someone is paying more attention to one than the other. Happy for you that you have made a move that is good for both of you.

  • I survived. I’m four years done as of today. Almost starved, almost died. But didn’t. Had to start new life and career at 60. SAHM for 20 years. Stopped taking shit and believing lies. Daughter lost her father (too distracted by all that new crotch), but she’s mighty and also left an abusive narc boyfriend. I have more peace and calm than I ever did with lying sparkleturd. I’m choosing staying single and plan to stay this way.

    • I wonder if the best benefit of your starting your new life was to inspire your daughter not to accept $#!++% behavior from a significant other. Perhaps the best gift you could ever give your daughter.

      • A. Friend, I totally agree! I think it did inspire her to expect better. My daughter was my sole inspiration at the time to gtf out of that 29 year mirage. Best thing I ever did, for both of us. And the abused pets.

  • I planted peony bulbs some weeks ago in the front bed of the house a bought a year ago. They are coming up now, and I am so happy. I may get some blooms next year or the following year. I bought three different types.

    We had peonies at the family house that I wept over when we sold the house. Then my dumpy split-level rental had them. We moved before they came up, and they were a welcome surprise. My daughter said it was a sign that we belonged there. I love, love, love peonies. I also have other flowers in the front and bulb begonias on the back porch and an herb garden. Nothing complicated, but it’s fun to see everything coming up.

    Yes, that’s my win.

    • When I bought my house 5 years ago in February, I had no idea what the yard would look like. In the spring I had weird asparagus-things pop up. My friend told me they were peonies – I had no idea!

      They just started opening today! Beautiful!

    • Elsie, I left behind many gardens, too, including a beautiful spring garden featuring peonies. Serendipitously, the summer before DDay, I rescued an elderly friend’s peonies from a swampy, overgrown spot and replanted them in a new garden, modeled after “my” spring garden.

      Last weekend, I went to visit my friend and to clean up his gardens. The peonies and other flowers (baptisia, Siberian irises, orange oriental poppies, forget-me-nots, columbines and more) are settling in and looking good — and should hopefully be blooming soon! We live in a cold part of the country, but the recent heat wave is speeding up Spring.

      Congrats, CL, on all the wonderful accomplishments and changes you’ve posted about recently — your move, your job transition, your son, your chickens and your peonies. Maybe I should change my handle to bread&peonies… flower of chumps!

  • I 8xd my alimony in 2 years. I moved 3 times, survived the great freeze with 4 children as primary parent in a hotel, and went back to work full time and got 3 raises. Divorce final 26 months ago. I still get entangled with fuckwits.

    • One foot in front of the other, one step at a time. Love you. Be proud of you. Don’t worry about anything else. You don’t need anyone, you clearly have proven you have a steel constitution. When you aren’t looking, that nonFw may show up. He may not. Who cares? You are what matters and you do matter.

  • That is a great picture of the rainbow. Every time I see one I take a picture. Reminds me of the lyrics from the Jim Croce’s Tomorrow is Gonna Be A Brighter Day. A song very relevant for many of us here.
    “nobody ever had a rainbow baby Until he had the rain”
    Have a great day everyone

  • I escaped a life in a very prosperous, but hectic Silicon Valley when I got remarried to another chump from Napa, CA. We moved into her dilapidated house. (He XH couldn’t be bothered) I set to work and remodeled everything but master bath, which is on the list. She is critical care nurse and the last 2.5 years have been hellish. We had been talking about a She Shed and this seemed like the time. Just completed the fence and gate to create a play area for the grandkids that just keep coming! Sometimes we just sit outside her little abode and count our blessings.
    https://photos.app.goo.gl/NzCQbSwpL7AWYVTb9

  • Officially divorced from the cheater on May 13 (Friday the 13th is now a lucky day for me) almost 8 months after my 3rd D-Day. I’m ready for the next chapter and genuinely feel happy and content!

  • M the Younger received an invitation to her high school’s Senior Awards Night to receive a small scholarship. 2 days prior — and after 6 years futile in trying to manipulate and manufacture situations that force us to appear together — KK sent an OFW message: “Please note that if students and parents will be sitting together, I will be sitting with M and you.”

    On the drive to the school auditorium, MtY informed me that “Mom is already there, and has reserved an aisle seat for me.” KK gave M the aisle seat, retaining the seat next to M for herself, forcing me to sit on the other side of KK.

    She said hello and asked how a recent work trip went, I returned the ‘hi’ and said ‘it was good.’ No other words were exchanged, no looks in the face.

    MtY got her recognition without incident, KK got a hug and drove home alone (“bonus dad” Chlorine Special was conspicuous by his absence), I got to reminisce about M’s high school years and talk about her college future over frozen yogurt on the drive back to our house.

    • You are mighty uxworld. I would have been nauseous the whole time. Not looking forward to weddings etc where I’ll have to see him. I’ll have to work at retaining my inner peace in the presence of the evil one and his evil sidekick.

    • UX, thirty years ago after I lost the right side of my vision after a stroke I always made sure to seat myself to his left. The blindness (plus the memory impairment) made those types of events much more tolerable, even a decade or two before the final DDay. Keep on practicing that grey rock!

    • They sell Chicken poop at Lowe’s as fertilizer. The call it Chicken manure. You could use the Chicken poop to fertilize your Peonies.

  • 7 years out from D-Day and 5 years out from the Divorce (I got a clean break and our children staying with me) being finalised.

    I have just secured a new job that takes my income above the level that the household income was when the now-Ex Mrs LFTT was still Mrs LFTT and I had no idea what she was a lying cheating POS who was stealing from me and our kids.

    To add to that, I’ve also (this morning) secured a “mortgage approval in principle” for a loan for a 4 bedroom house, so that the kids and I can get out of the rental that we are currently in.

    The future just got a whole load rosier.

    LFTT

  • I completely redid my beds around my house in the past 2 years. Before D-Day the FW helped me remove the weed-filled rock and the awful old landscapeing. After D-Day, after he was gone I did the rest.

    I put down the weed barrier, spread an entire truck load of mulch, planted 50 (!) Bushes and perennials – designed it all myself! I just finished it last night. I still will plant some bulbs this fall. I’m so happy with how it turned out.

    And my peonies are ready to pop!

    • Some peonies opened this thunder-y morning. I stayed in bed with my kitties listening to the thunder, and got up in time to get a cup of coffee and log in to my wfh job (still in PJs). #contentment

  • Happy Friday Chump Nation. And, Tracey, thanks for sharing those photos… a great reminder to all of us Chumps that no matter where we are at in our journey, as long as you’re moving forward, you’re going in the right direction… chickens and peonies await us all!

    Thinking back on moments of mighty… I don’t recall many from the early days where I was bargaining with my grief to please please please let Mr. Sparkles pick me and our family (thank God for unanswered prayers!)… mighty looked like getting to work every day after getting my third grader safely ensconced at school and having the ability to get in to a ladies room stall to cry before anyone could see me. Now, eight years out and his Mr. Sparkles is engaged to his current victim and shrugging “meh”. In between were a million baby steps of mighty like paying the bills on time to planning birthday parties for my son to seeing my therapist regularly to taking long walks. I just never thought of those normal life “things” as mighty… but looking back at what I was trying to navigate and rebuild, I can see now they were… so I hope you remember that too! Every minute further from your cheater is a mighty minute.

    Rock on Chump Nation – and east coasters… stay cool and hydrated! #heatwave

    • Thank you Icansee…
      Your writing is lovely and true-it’s a mighty moment when I just move forward resisting the siren call from the dark side suggesting I break no contact and talk to sparkle-turd. And might to pick up iphone, look for CL email and hear my CN people talking truth.
      Just staying on course with baby steps is mighty.

  • It’s been just over four years since I told Fuckwit I wanted a divorce (just under four years since the divorce was final). My life since then has been a series of challenges, some of which I was worried I couldn’t meet, but all of which I have negotiated successfully (if not perfectly). I found a place to live that has suited my circumstances. I renegotiated my retirement, and then renegotiated it again when my workplace offered a general buyout. Despite my fears about going from two salaries to one, a paid-off house (with FW) to an apartment, and work to retirement, I’ve not only lived within my means, but managed to save. I’ve made a social life–I had none with FW–and it’s satisfying, more so as time goes on. I haven’t yet overcome my tech aversion, but I manage to get done what I need to.
    Longer term plans have been put on hold both because of the pandemic and because I have taken over the bulk of my 95 year old mother’s care (she is now in hospice), including managing her health care and her financial affairs, which requires me to be away from home and onsite for months at a time. Somehow I’ve managed to stay sane, despite the emotional challenges (including meltdowns from siblings). The next few months as my mother enters the stage of actively dying will be yet another challenge, as will settling her estate afterwards (I am the executor).

    • Adelante, my heart goes out to you as you support your Mother. Until you are caring for a dying parent you have no idea the work involved. I am at the point in my Mother’s care that knowing this situation is temporary is one of the few things making it tolerable. I salute you!

      • I am in my third year of caring for Mom, spending 5-6 months a year there. Care-giver burnout is real!
        Kudos to you, too.

    • You’ve got this, Adelante. Kudos to you for being the kid that steps up. I held my mother’s hand as she took her last breath, listening to her favorite music. She constantly made it known that I was NOT her favorite, yet I was the only child to physically care for her during her last years of life. That stretch of time was painful beyond belief–even worse than being rejected by my errant spouse–yet it brought me peace to know that I had done my absolute best with the tools I had at the time.
      You’re a good daughter. And try to tune out the siblings for your own sanity.

      • Same here: I am the least favorite of her three children, but I am the one who has been there consistently for her, because I could not live with myself if I didn’t do this, and I know that after she dies I will have no regrets.

        • Oh Adelante.

          I’m on the other side now, after two months. I closed my mother’s eyes after her death. My sister and I cared for both our parents as they died at home – my father last year.

          Many, many mixed feelings while doing so – and yes, the work is immense and draining. But the forgiveness and healing that’s happened inadvertently was wonderful.

          And yes – it’s time limited, and that can keep you going. And carer burnout is real!

          And yes – you are a good daughter.

        • Eirene and Adelante: Regardless of whatever anyone else does or does not do, you will both KNOW you did the right thing. Peace to both of you.

        • Not favored in life but I did it too.
          It’s the right thing and I think in the end she recalculated and saw what was happening. With or without that – – it’s right to do the right thing.

    • Adalante: You are mighty to have survived dealing with an FW, a divorce and caring for your Mother during these uncertain times. I will keep you in my heart during the struggles to come. Hugs.

  • Grew some rhubarb a few years ago so well that I had to divide it & put in a big ole row. Discovered one of the few things that can tolerate [agriculturally] “hot” (uncomposted) chicken & other manure without yellowing is …. rhubarb. Side dress a few shovelfulls around the plant, water normally – or a little less so the leaves don’t yellow due to overwatering – and soon I had amazing growth. Mighty is turning chicken***t into rhubarb!

    • Rhubarb is so pretty too, my grandma used to grow it to make strawberry rhubarb pies. It must be hearty because that was in Michigan and it would come back after those brutal winters like nothing. I’m so bad with plants but maybe when I get a little land I’ll try growing some rhubarb since it’s tough. LOL

  • So happy for you CL! Thanks for being you! My recent mightiness being 5 yrs out, is taking up golf at 70. My family has always been involved in sport of some sort or outdoor activity. For me, it is important for health, perspective and socialization. It truly is a sport that requires mind be in concert with body. I am learning (not well yet) how to play through the self-deprecation-I don’t deserve to be out here-what do I think I’m doing-why am I so bad at this? . FW was very judgmental of this sport and his voice can still rattle around in my head (-elitist-rich jerks-blah blah obnoxious ahole play golf). Then our son became a golf professional (and so my desire to play for family fun). The sport is devoid of FW (absent his negative voice) which feels like freedom from the past. Everything else I do has the ghost of FW somewhere. So I feel liberated from his influence on my family in golf. I’m paying for family golf vacations yearly, lessons for grandkids and supporting my sons golf business as needed. Hugs to all! Sorry and glad you are here!

    • “Everything else I do has the ghost of FW somewhere”.
      Thrive – This feeling, this fact, has been my experience as a “senior” chump. It is especially useful to replace activities and the impulse to simply adjust our interests for others. On the other hand, it’s helpful for me to have these memories which validate my history as a giving partner.

  • Stunning rainbows from your yard, peonies (does it get better than peonies???) and chickens that love dried worms and tortillas!!!
    AND leaving your job!
    AND life in the country!
    You and Mr. CL deserve all of this and so much more.
    Wishing you and your family much happiness.

    Two weeks ago my son told me his father was giving his money to the AP. Longest running divorce was finalized 9 years ago this week. Ex is still with AP that was a family friend/his law partner. Ex thinks he’s dying because he refuses to learn to eat right or get into shape post triple bypass. And his dying request was for our first-born to reconcile with AP.
    😳🤮

    My mighty was that I kept my emotions (OK, rage) in check and kept my mouth shut!!! Keeping my mouth shut is unprecedented and HUGE for me!

    I waited 3 days to tell him 1) his father can only save himself by changing his lifestyle, 2) my son cannot feel guilty about his fathers choices, 3) it sucks for a parent to tell a child that he’s leaving his money to the woman he cheated and 4) he has zero right to ask for anything and 5) I would support whatever decision my son makes*.

    *Not sure how I will deal with any reconciliation but I will be the same parent and support my son no matter what.

    When the kids first found out about the affair, they asked their father for the truth and he refused. Ex said it was none of their business. I explained that their father refused their request so he shouldn’t feel guilty about whatever he decides to do with his father’s request.

    Hope CN can follow the above story. My son was grateful for my words and I definitely felt mighty.

      • For Reals,

        Thanks …. you have succinctly nailed something that I have struggled to articulate for a very long time.

        Ex-Mrs LFTT left me and our 3 kids to be with her AP 7 years ago. She lied to them then and still lies to them now about what happened. Sadly, some of her friends and family repeat these lies because they paint her in a more favourable light, although the kids now avoid contact with those that parrot her BS. The kids know exactly what happened, as they were the ones that discovered the affair and then told me. But despite all that, Ex-Mrs LFTTstill still sticks to her version of events; d*ck meant more to her than her family and she continues to put d*ck ahead of her childrens’ sanity.

        LFTT

      • A quote from a book on narcissism

        “Everyone is nice to you because you’re footing the big bill, and money brings good service. Maybe you’ll even leave a big tip or a nice inheritance to the people who kowtow the best.”

        • That’s a hard-hitting one all right. My ex certainly believes he can buy love and affection, but money doesn’t buy true love.

          He has tried it with our adult kids, and they aren’t believing it. I was out of state caring for an elderly relative when the latest installment arrived, and I told them, “Cash the check or not, you have to live with it.”

          • ExFW does give a lot of money to a couple of his kids. This includes letting the 40 years old that can’t keep a job live in his house with his girlfriend and kids and another roommate while he stays with OW. Same son beat up his 12 year old nephew and ExFW didn’t do or say a thing. This is the 4th time in 10 years they’ve moved in. Now they think his house is theirs. He hid many Western Union receipts of large sums sent to one other daughter. Meanwhile, he doesn’t file tax returns, pay his debts or take care of the things he owns. Glad I got out. Wish I’d have stayed gone the first time those kids moved in with us with one DDay down with DD.

        • Damn, that’s so true. My last d-day and finalized divorce were exactly six weeks apart. During the time I was separating everything (alone because he’s a princess baby man and can’t be bothered with responsibility) I noticed he started buying gifts for like everybody we knew. So, I received no support because he bought our friends. Which, even at the time, in all that pain, I thought my God, if they can be bought like that I do not want them in my life. But that is exactly what they do. Every “friend” he has is simply bought. I would never want that. I’d rather have only one or two actual friends then a bunch of gold digging vultures pretending to be my friends. I’d feel sorry for him if he wasn’t such a piece of shit. LOL

    • What an ass. It’s none of their business… ugh. Your son should tell his father that he can’t reconcile with the AP, since it’s none of his business. These cheaters are such cowardly liars.

  • I’m finally doing things instead of being in a holding pattern (Covid hit soon after D-day)!!! I’m flying away this summer for vacation, got two kitties so I have a reason to come home again after work & I recharged an old hobby & joined a club for it & we’re heading out on weekend activities so I won’t be dreading the weekends anymore! 😅
    Congratulations on your mightiness CL & to everyone whose achieved it, or on their way to getting there! ❤️❤️❤️

    • I got 2 kitties shortly after D-day. Much better than a guy. I also started DOING things as I used to hold back based on the wishes of the EXH, and then the FW after him. Living my best life, doing the things for ME.

      I like getting away, but I do miss my kitties when I’m gone.

  • One day of no contact (!!!) but, alas, today there is a funeral of a friend. I can do it. We are not going together so that has been my first step in trying to make it through a hard day. Trying to be mighty. I’m reading ‘Whole Again’ and trying hard to respond to my aching pain with love instead of unhealthy spiraling. I’m also reading ‘Dutchess Goldblatt’ – recommended on here. I’m loving it! Helpful in its own way but a little lighter.
    Happy Friday? No. But I’m trying ❤️

    • One day! Good for you! It’s the best way to get your mind calmed without his (her?) influence. Do nice things for yourself! You are special and deserve great self love. ❤️ Hugs!

    • Lost! I read Dutchess Goldblatt! I have her picture on my wall for inspiration. Good for you for no contract. I’m doing the same. One day down after a head-spinning relapse. We can do this! Best to you!

      • ‘We’ve got this!’ (She says unconvincingly after a week of head spinning relapses…) 😂
        No, but really, we do. We’ve got this.
        Check out ‘Whole Again’ too. I’m finding it helpful. Much love to you over the weekend. I find the weekends difficult.
        ❤️

        • Just to be clear – the ‘she’ who is doubting herself in my last comment is me, not you. In rereading I realized that my self deprecating sarcasm wasn’t super clear. (:

    • Lost, for almost two years after the final DDay, every single day I walked and walked and walked, muttering rhythmically (while sobbing with snot running down my face) “I can do this, I can do this, I can do this.”

      I stopped crying years ago, but those four words still get me through my challenges.

      You can do this.

  • 4.5 years after a shocking, traumatic dday involving stds and extortion from transgender hookers, I have a 20 year old in her sophomore year on dean’s list with a full ride. An 18 year old that had the lead in the high school play and is attending college in the fall with a hefty academic scholarship, a 15 year old junior volunteer firefighter with diabetes. Oh am I have an amazing fiancé! CL gave me hope and courage and sanity.
    Th ex still tries to guilt me for leaving. 😳
    Stay strong everyone! It can and will get better!
    Listen to her!!!!

  • I definitely feel mighty. My D-day was in 2005, divorce with plenty of drama final in 2007. At that point I was on long term sick leave with burnout and depression and I had a 14 year old son and 11 year old daughter to raise. X and two luv painted themselves out of the picture in 3 years. My son walked at MBA graduation last sunday (2nd masters degree, paid for by his job), my daughter graduated with honors in January and got a super exciting job this week. And I started my own, very successful business 5 years ago. I paid of my house and tended my garden and have 2 cute cats. Life is good.

  • My peonies were wonderful, now faded away. Oh the scent is magic!!
    Been divorced since 2007 after a 25 year ‘mirage’ (so accurate, credit to VH), and the abusive Cluster B DumbAss owes me (court ordered) hundreds of thousands of $$ that I’ll never be able to collect, BUT for the last few years *KARMA!* he’s been a thousand miles away in an assisted living facility (the kids and I feel much safer). I have been super frugal and hope I’m on track to retire in a couple more years with the economic situation now. Have to figure out where to move as I am peacefully solo (and have learned after a lifetime of service that it’s perfectly OK not to live life people-pleasing and orbiting around others – boundaries are essential). DumbAss still attempts contact occasionally, but none of us respond, and block his efforts. In the last 2 1/2 years, each of my children has had a baby, and cuddling your tiny, happy grandbabies is a wonderful stress reliever. They poop too, but certainly not as bad as chickens.

      • Huh! I bet the estate is responsible for that!

        Not a lawyer, but the executrix of my mom’s estate. And the estate is responsible for paying her debts.

      • Check with a divorce or estate attorney in your state.
        Also, make sure there are enough assets to make it worth the time and trouble and fees.

        In my case, DumbAss has nothing. He spent it all on living the high life with porny women, exotic trips, and lots of gambling. Small town lawyer thought he was big time stuff, even though he nearly flunked out of law school and it took him years (5 tries) to pass the bar exam. (I put the moron through law school in our younger years as we had agreed one of us would SAH to raise our children. Me – I had the uterus.) Several years after the divorce was final, he got sick and couldn’t practice and stopped paying spousal support. By then child support had ended. Apparently he had run up a lot of debts, and also hadn’t been paying any taxes (he couldn’t ‘adult’ without me), so his properties fell into foreclosure and tax liens took what he had. His sibling came and moved him closer to them – yay! Now he’s in a nursing home in another state far away, presumably living on SS disability.

        So I’m out a lot of money, since I had fully invested in an absolute a-hole for 25 years, was a SAHM, and had to start over on my own. There was no Chump Lady back then for mightiness and support, so I made some codependent no-boundaries mistakes. But things turned out OK for the most part. It turns out I was stronger than I thought. I reached meh years ago and looking back – Freedom is what’s priceless. You only get one life, and you should be in charge of yours, not some a-hole. You can do it, baby chumps!

  • I LOVE MIGHTY FRIDAYS!!! I can’t wait to read all the rest of the comments today. Here is mine: 17 months after I separated, divorce has been final 9 months. My kid and I are thriving in our little rental; I do miss my old house and garden (roses would be blooming now!), but I do some container gardening here. Kid is about to graduate HS and will head to college in the fall. I do get hit with waves of … stuff (take your pick… shame, rage, grief, ) and I do get activated by my X’s antics on occasion, so I know I’m not totally at Meh… but I can see the promised land from here. My stuff stays clean and unbroken. My time is my own. I can watch stupid TV, go out with friends, or dance the watusi naked, and I only answer to myself. I recently gave up on the 14 year old totally manual push mower (leftover from my “mirage”) and bought a small battery powered mower; now I keep my back yard trimmed and smooth in style and ease. I am coming back to life in my career… decimated by his problems and lack of integrity, on top of pandemic, on top of year of divorcing his butt. But I’m rising like a phoenix. I still need a lot of therapy, and some days being in my mid-50’s and single just seems impossible and like I’ll be alone forever.. and then I remember how much I like to be alone! Blessings of all the best kinds (maybe to clean up chicken poop?) to CL and this community of chumps… you all made this possible for me. You showed me a way out of the abuse. Everlasting gratitude.

  • After having been a SAHM for a number of years, I completely started over at 50. I literally thought I would die, that no one would hire me or love me EVER, and I would be leaving my beloved home and garden (full of my favorite peonies) behind. Turns out, I got the job of my dreams with a lovely new work family, an honest man who is a wonderfully loyal and kind companion to me and my now adult children, and a smaller perfect home ALL MY OWN with a garden full of hot pink peonies! Some days I can’t believe I did it.

  • Feeling pretty mighty as repairs are currently being completed on the house that was ours but is now mine. It feels powerful and mighty to move forward and make these adult decisions on my own. Currently getting foundation repair, stabilizing my home… and that seems so relevant to my life post FW. Stable foundation.

  • WalkawayWoman isn’t just my CN handle, she’s my badass alter ego – my version of Chump Lady. She’s a unique, creative, courageous woman who walks away from situations that no longer serve.
    20 years ago, she walked away from a 7-year stint of teaching preschool and launched herself into full time housepainting.
    12 years ago, she walked away from a long, cold marriage when her husband turned out to be a cheater.
    4 years ago, she walked away from the worst human she’s ever met – the sociopathic, parasitic, abusive Lying Cheating Loser, whom she was convinced was the LoVe oF hEr LiFe (barf).
    And just this month, she walked away from two decades of climbing ladders and crawling on floors, and launched herself as a full-time working artist.

    I am mighty. I have the courage – the audacity, even – to claim a creative life for myself. Even in the face of all the doubters, the well-meaning people who want me to stick with the Sure Thing. I’ve got news for them: there’s no such thing as a Sure Thing. Not in relationships, not in careers, not in life.

    I could keep painting houses until my body wears out, spending more than half the month away from my pretty little cottage, my cats, and my plants. And then sit there lamenting all the art I never got to make.
    Or I can get up and Walk Away.
    The choice is clear.

      • Thank you, Adelante! Your story of resilience and perseverance inspires me, and I love your handle too!

    • “4 years ago, she walked away from the worst human she’s ever met – the sociopathic, parasitic, abusive Lying Cheating Loser, whom she was convinced was the LoVe oF hEr LiFe (barf).”

      Yay you, WalkawayWoman! However, I wish there were a way to identify those defective people who get cast back into the dating pool before another chump wastes important time “learning a valuable life lesson.” I’m absolutely terrified to date, as I’m convinced there’s a very good reason that potential date is still single… (Which is probably exactly what THEY are thinking, too!)

      • I feel you on that, eirene! I’m 53. Met the LCL when I was 45 and left him right before I turned 50.
        For the longest time, I was angry at him for ruining what I felt was my last shot at a long term relationship. What I now know is that I picked a disordered partner because I hadn’t yet dealt with my baggage. If it hadn’t been the LCL, I would’ve picked some other fuckwit.
        I’ve pretty well processed my issues by now, and I am truly happy and content being single. And that’s a good thing, because my picker is so finely calibrated these days that the slightest hint of a red flag sets it off. I do believe there are good single men my age out there (the male chumps of CN are proof), and if I’m supposed to meet one someday, I trust it will happen.
        eirene, if you decide to date, try to trust your fw radar. We citizens of Chump Nation have our own internal UBTs.

    • You are right that there is no sure thing. It just sounds good to plan ahead and think you’ve got it all in line. And step forward thinking it will happen that way. Yet my life has rarely, if ever, happened in line with the plan. Why do we keep perpetuating that way of living by the questions we ask our friends or kids???

    • “But really, the ruthlessness, I think, comes in grabbing onto myself, in saying: This is me, and I will not go where I can’t bear to go… and I will grab myself and hurl onward through life, blind as a bat, but on I go! This is the ruthlessness, I think.”

      -from Elizabeth Strout’s novel “My Name is Lucy Barton”

      You are mighty and ruthless, Walkaway Woman. I hope to one day have the courage to do precisely what you have, and I’ve written your comment in my journal. In the meantime, I’m cultivating my own ruthlessness. I’ve been clinging to a job that was my bridge out of an abusive relationship, and I hoped it would be my ticket to GAL. After two years of spackling and pouring myself into this work, I applied for a job in the same field, but .5 and without health insurance. A week ago, I was offered and accepted the position. (A friend wrote me a congrats note with the above excerpt… no doubt out of context, but I love it.) I leave behind a secure, full time job with benefits that was entirely funding my masters. It’s a little scary, but I know I can make it work, and the new job has perks of its own (like free, healthy meals, a five-minute walking commute, and an art and metal studio). Much like when I left a cheater to start over, I have no regrets. Already, I feel more myself, grounded and alive than I have since DDAY 1. I hope you post an update sometime soon, WW. Congrats!

  • Lol love the chicken groupies but you may need boundaries with those ladies. I love peonies too. Maybe it’s time to take back that flower as I had them at the marital home I sold.

    My mighty is that I continue to pay my way in life with no spousal support and no retirement savings( he stole and blew 500k in his failing business before he left so no recourse), on a low income job and roommate money( and a bit of business income from my online business which is all over the map in terms of profit). My property that I bought after the financial settlement continues to grow and will provide me with a fairly secure retirement it’s just too bad I don’t have that without selling my home. I have largely accepted that reality. I have been no contact for 5 years and have perfected my listening but not reacting skills to anything my daughter tells me about the wackjob( my son is mostly low contact). In three years I’ll make a decision about giving up my side gig( I’m 61). I’m doing well on most fronts. Dating is not great and I still would like a (good) partner but at least I get rid of them more easily when those red flags appear. I just wish they wouldn’t hide who they really are. All of us chumps are mighty for getting through the pit of evilness these people create.

    • Very similar story here. I recovered financially, but had several years where we were going to an informal food bank. I had the money from the house sale, so no public assistance. I was working three jobs, and our college kids were working two jobs each. That was how we made it. I did NOT want them to quit college even though they offered.

      Now they make more than I do, especially the older one. Plenty of asks for dates, but skads of red flags. No, thank you.

  • Just yesterday I completed the process to have my very own military ID card with myself as sponsor. I didn’t have to have LTC Fuckface sign a single document or be involved in the process in any way.

    Last week I was back in the Courtroom as LTC Fuckface was petitioning the Court to change the Judge’s order. This is the second time in five months since the divorce that he has forced me into the Courtroom. He also attempted to have me held in contempt. Both actions were denied. I was mighty as I kept my composure throughout the process. I refused to look at Fuckface. He is dead to me.

    He approached me where I was conversing with my lawyer in the Courthouse hallway huffing and puffing in anger. He raised his voice at me and stormed away. My lawyer just looked amused. I ignored Fuckface and turned my back on him. The bailiff got up from his desk and walked over and stood next to me for a few seconds. Fuckface left after that. I was mighty as I truly wasn’t affected by his outburst of rage.

    I am very nearly free of his fuckery. His raging, bullying and attempts to intimidate me do not terrify me as they once did. I am mighty as I’ve found my strength and courage and will not be intimidated anymore.

    • Bravo for your strength! And please be careful and wary of this bullying, raging idiotic fuckwit. (((hugs)))

  • This week on my own I got my 18 year old son with autism through a lengthy surgery and hospital stay. He is struggling mightily but I am doing it on my own. The Fuckwit helped with the easier kid and has not even been to the hospital. It’s ok tough to love kid I got you I am your safe and sane parent. I can stand by you during hard times.

  • My manager just told me he’s considering me for a promotion where I would skip a step in the management process, which shocked me. I’m one of 3 people up for it and the other two have been there years longer than me. So, I don’t think I’ll get it and I won’t be bummed about it but it was a real boost to find out I was on the short list for it. This isn’t a forever job but I’m here for the next four years to finish my degree (they’re paying for it) so I figure I might as well make the best of it.

    My big, BIG thing though is I’ve gotten back into my creative pursuits. Back when I was a teen in the 90s, I carried a camcorder around with me and I made movies. I was a really poor kid too so that camcorder was a big deal. I would use multiple VCRs to sort of “splice” it all together to make my finished movie on a VHS tape. I was poor in a rural area with no access to real equipment but I wanted to do it so badly that I used what I could find. I’ve been wanting to do youtube for years and years. But every time I would start, the criticism and judgment would crank up until I just stopped because I couldn’t take it. I gave it a real good effort the year he was in another city but my sister was living with me and she started up on me. Oh, I guess it’s for my own good that they tear apart everything I do. Yeah, right, sick fuckers.

    Well, I got rid of both of them. And set a goal to make 52 videos this summer while I’m off school. So I can release one a week for the next year, and then I’ll do it again next summer. I have four videos put together and I’m just adding graphics and text and things like that. And I have footage for another five ready to go. And it’s only May.

  • Lucky you, CL, with chickens & peonies!
    My great grandfather came over from the Netherlands with crates of peonies and 7 children. I would not live without peonies.
    My mighty was making it through the first vacation with out of state son, DIL, & 3 grandkids visiting. They were respectful of my request not to spend time together with XH. We had a wonderful time, spent almost every day together, except one, when I had to work & they saw X. He was never mentioned at all – here’s to mighty forgiveness of “I forgive him AND I don’t want to be around him.”

  • I am mighty because I chose to give my trust to a man and enjoy a full relationship. There are no commitments or strings, but much companionship and intimacy. It was a brave thing to do and I am growing stronger because of it.

  • yesterday, i successfully removed my X from all the household accounts AND talked to 2 insurance companies about insurance packages (car + home). in other words, 3 hours on the phone.

    then i made meatballs for dinner and they were fucking delicious.

    #success

  • This challenge is food for the soul, for which I am grateful.
    In the past 18 months, I navigated two D-days, a new and better-paying job, saw my youngest son graduate from college, safely traveled to visit family and friends in several states, survived breast cancer and the accompanying surgeries and treatments, and finalized the divorce (not all in that order). And, am now in a lovely relationship with a fellow chump. I’m not there yet, but working towards gaining my best life!

  • Ahh, rainbows!! Rainbows have always been a sign to me that God has my back.
    I’m in a tiny one bedroom apt and have 20 or more various sized prisms hanging up and on counters. ( I actually burned a hole in a table beneath one recently, so need to be careful with that!) 😳
    When the sun is at the right angle and I get the rainbows to cover all my walls, I feel a giddy excitement,like I haven’t passed 8 years old and I don’t even care one bit.
    It’s a reminder to me that the simplest of things that show up can open my heart over and over again.
    If I’m blessed with a rainbow in the sky?! Wow, do I stop and take that in! I don’t need the pot of gold, the rainbow is the real treasure.
    I’m sitting on my deck now which has a solid half wall, so the only sensory view to take in are the clouds moving by, hearing the very active birdies, my very best buddy pup by my side and three lively hummingbird feeders three feet away from me, a coffee and CN. I love to be in this space.
    I have much gratitude for being able to appreciate simple gifts. I think I always have, but I’ve found trauma amps that up quite significantly. It sustains me now instead of being just a pleasure to enjoy.
    Which underlines for me a long standing belief, that out of anything bad that happens in life, something good always shows up if I’m looking for it. (Hope springs eternal.)
    I have a daily ‘sistas’ text thread, we all just briefly wish each other a good day and that sets all our days up for a kind, loving and solid start. We all so love that. ( have 3 sisters, they are simply amazing!) 💜
    I’m not shaking the world up in the business world, or formal education, moving to a new home, renovating, or other high levels of kick ass warrior strength I read about hear on CN. ( pull for all of you, love the energy!)
    I’m 4 years post divorce and still taking cautious baby steps towards my inner greatness that is hiding in a turtle shell on some remote island.
    I did get a text two days ago from my daughter just out of the blue “ I love you. I don’t know what I would do without you in my life” ( and she’s not your touchy feely kid, like my two sons are)
    Then also a mom’s day card from one of my sons “ thank you for being the biggest blessing in my life and a constant source of inspiration, your love is infectious”.
    I, of course, have that card hanging on my wall with a collection of laminated four leaf clovers I’ve found, and I take it down often to read it and cry once more and I just let it wash all over me.
    I may not be able to fix my own life just yet, but I see signs I’m not negatively impacting the ppl I love by my own roadblocks and can still make some positive contributions to life, even if I don’t get to see those strengths personally in myself just yet. That means a great deal to me right now. Like my forest has been burned to the ground but I see tiny saplings popping their heads up every now and again, that make me believe in better tomorrows out there.
    Rock on all you amazing warriors, fellow appreciators of peonies, chickens and rainbows. The hope and strength you share is intoxicating.
    You are my kind of tribe for sure! ♥️

    • Chumpasaurus, your post is beautiful and means so much to me. “I may not be able to fix my own life just yet, but I see signs I’m not negatively impacting the ppl I love by my own roadblocks and can still make some positive contributions to life, even if I don’t get to see those strengths personally in myself just yet.” Thank you. ❤️

    • Your life sounds just lovely to me. Your kids are doing well, you are safe and able to be happy and grateful for the things that matter–the people you love, your pets, the natural world, and your own health. That’s mighty.

      • Thanks Liberated and Loved a J ass!
        I’m just reading your comments at midnight when I laid down for the night. Appreciate your kind words so much! Don’t know where I would be without CN’s support. God bless you all. 🌻🌷😊

  • I’m feeling hella mighty today! I am no longer scared of my ex. I saw him today and had to figure out some scheduling. I spoke directly without fear and he cowered a little. Plus HE LOOKS LIKE TOTAL SHIT. I can’t quite believe how bad he looks. He must be drinking a TON. And as I was talking to him, I thought wow I am so glad you are no longer my husband bc it’s obvious you are not taking care of yourself.
    I’m rocking my life while the karma bus appears to be following that guy. I’m mighty!

    • “Plus HE LOOKS LIKE TOTAL SHIT. I can’t quite believe how bad he looks.”

      Amazing how often they can go downhill without us there to give healthy diet and fashion advice, isn’t it? I occasionally google my exH to see what he’s up to (praying he lives/works long enough to finish out his financial contract with me), and his new faculty photo shows a bloated old man wearing one of my father’s hand-me-down jackets over a bright aqua tee shirt that looks exactly like the one he always used as a pajama top, with sleep wrinkles and all. I’m sure his poopsie took the photo, just as his last one was taken by me about 15 years ago in front of our living room wall.

      • I sometimes think that the cheating is a sign of their already ongoing downhill slide. They can’t keep up the facade of normalcy and commitment and/or they feel that normal life doesn’t have enough kibble content. It’s not unlike how addicts need more and more of their substance as they deteriorate.

    • Mine looks really bad too. We have exactly one mutual acquaintance left (because she gave me one of my cats) and she posted pics from a party. Him and his new adult baby girlfriend our son’s age. He looks so bad now that my boyfriend asked if he was wearing a mask. His face is all bloated and he has a big gut now. And the girlfriend who was “so much hotter” than me now looks to outweigh me by 20 pounds and is dying her hair gray… like mine. I didn’t expect to see it and it was shocking but also hilarious. I guess I wasn’t everything wrong in his life.

      • Isn’t it interesting to look back and realize dysfunction follows these people like white on rice – and that we were obviously never the problem after all?

      • It’s so funny (also, disturbing) to see the APs try and look like us, isn’t it? My ex’s AP started dressing like me, grew her short hair long and dyed it red like mine, etc. It was so weird until I realized a lot of my style choices were based on what my EX liked, and he was making her do it the way he had me (subtle manipulation, like complimenting me in front of her), and also that she was jealous of me and scared of me (ex kept going back to me, and I’m sure used that as a threat towards her – obviously I didn’t know the affair was sexual or I’d never have even considered reconciliation with him). The AP in my case was about 50 lb heavier than me, even though my ex was calling ME fat and was on my case to lose weight all the time. At first I felt angry about that, but I realized it was never about my weight. AP was just more willing to do what he wanted, and was happy to praise him to the skies and flatter him, which I just couldn’t do anymore. I lost a lot of weight during the divorce and was the skinniest I’ve ever been, and what did FW say? “You’re too thin. You don’t look good.” So there’s no was no winning with him, LOL. After a while, AP started losing a lot of weight and frankly looked sick. So I guess there came a point where he bullied her into being “tiny” too. Now that she’s left him, she’s back to her normal size.

        It’s really odd how FWs find everything wrong about us, and then go on to basically recreate the exact life they had with us, down to how the AP looks, the activities we did, the lifestyle we lived. I always say it’s like when a TV show recasts one of the lead actors and just carries on as if nothing happened, while the audience is like “what?”. AP even took up the hobbies that my ex was always angry with me about because he considered them a waste of time (gardening, for instance).

        It is pretty hilarious.

        • The disordered bitch ceaselessly about us, yet steal from and mimic us because they KNOW we’re amazing – they just can’t admit it due to their inflated egos. They blow up relationships because they can never be happy. For them, abuse is the point. It gives them centrality and power. It’s the only way they know how to relate to others.

          Just goes to show how every abusive act (including devaluation) is rooted in lies about our self-worth. Of course we’re worthy! Of course we have value! Even the parasite thinks so, because they’re sucking us dry of time, money, sex, emotional labor, you name it. They KNOW we’re great and that we make their lives better in every way. Our value is never in question. Abusers lie as part of their addiction to abuse. It’s part of their game. None of their accusations are real except inside their own heads.

          Related story:

          I dated a malignant narcissist in college. Not only did he smear me to everyone, but one of his lies was that I was a crazy bitch who stole ideas, jokes, friends, and even my own interests from him. The way he told it, I was a creepy mimic with nothing going for me who modeled my life on his.

          I had no clue about personality disorders then, so I was baffled by his accusations. I had a busy life with a full plate of my own friends and hobbies, including a rigorous courseload and academic awards. I was recognized in the community for my achievements and had a lot going for me.

          Turns out he was accusing me of what HE did, of course. When you stripped away the charisma, I realized nothing about him was real. It was obvious in quiet moments that he was actually insecure, boring, and stupid with no personality, values, or interests. I remember expressing shock to my mother at how blank he really was, like milk toast.

          I only understood once we broke up and watched his personality and interests morph like a butterfly as he jumped to new girlfriends and new social circles, because he burned bridges so much. He donned new personas like a CIA spy: the handsome well-dressed playboy, the video game nerd, the studious academic. He changed styles, interests, even careers like hats.

          It was creepy as hell. To this day, I couldn’t tell you what really mattered to the guy beyond the vicarious thrill he got from hurting women. I really think he was a sociopath.

  • My mighty right now is sticking to no contact, and getting through each day, knowing that healing is a long process and letting myself feel the lows that come with that.

    • This is the path to the truth and the light (shout out to AllOutofKibble) and to sanity and Meh.

  • I am so happy for you CL and Mr. CL- the county, peonies, chickens. All is right with the world.

  • Five years after DDay I’ve started dating someone and it’s going really well. I never thought I’d date again and I’m really enjoying all of the beginning of a relationship stuff.

  • 2.5 years after splitting from ex who twisted my hand in front of our kids (ages 3 and 5 at the time) and then I found out about multiple online affairs, happy ending massages, howorkers, so-called “sex addiction” etc:
    – Officially divorced and I got to stay in the family home (this is a huge win for me as I also am an avid gardener and have chickens)
    – Daughters are thriving in school and life
    – Somehow managed to have a decent co-parenting relationship after we all went to family therapy during the transition
    – Got a decent settlement, considering he was a financial advisor and had a huge upper-hand in all the finances (I was a stay at home mom for 3/6 years of our marriage)
    – Now in a healthy relationship for the first time ever with someone who shows me what love really feels and looks like
    – Landed my dream job and doing really well within the company! It feels so good to be able to support myself and my daughters

  • I love the update and all your pics. So happy for y’all❤️ I understand about the boxes but they will get unpacked in due time.

    As far as mightiness, I have to tell y’all what just happened. The IRS has a pre-determination that I am innocent for 2016 taxes that my 2nd narc highly abusive FW forced me to do jointly with him. He threatened to blow up my custody battle with my 1st ex FW, dislocated my thumbs, beat me, along with a list of other things until I finally fled. (I think he also had a plan to kill me as he demanded to be put on my life insurance and remove my kids. I never did it and he became enraged). Anyway, back to the taxes. He never paid them, owed well over 6 figures for not just 2016 but other years previous in back taxes, apparently filed for bankruptcy and so the IRS came after me for the 2016 taxes saying I owed over $50,000 immediately. It was extremely overwhelming and I didn’t know what to do but I put my big girl panties on and dealt with it. This was a really big deal for me as anything with IRS, bills, money has been a huge trigger for me and one I would avoid because I freeze. I am so proud of myself and so thankful for my current life!

    • Wow, SouthernChump, that is amazing! Sometimes the IRS is reasonable. I had to write them a letter once, that showed them an employer was screwing with the W2’s, and they wrote back thanking me, I was off the hook!
      Happy for you!

      • I have a close friend who does IRS criminal investigations. She tells me that most of those letters are computer generated and the people are much more reasonable then the public thinks.

        They place a lot of weight on intent and are well aware that people make honest mistakes and get screwed by other parties (ie exes and employers). The ones they target are the ones who intentionally dodge taxes.

        They’re quite sympathetic and will work with people who acted in good faith.

  • I’ve made it through 2+ years of teaching in the COVID era.
    My friendships, including my friendships with men, are very strong.
    I’m playing softball again and enjoying my rep as a “team player.”
    I’m working my plan to keep the house in shape.
    I’m back to hot yoga after a COVID hiatus and I have the very best studio 5 minutes away.
    I was made a member of my university’s athletic hall of fame.
    I’m determined to get some writing done this summer.

  • My son this week proved just how successful he is after many years of hard work…..many times I was told by my ex that letting him follow his dreams instead of the well worn path of drudgery was a fools errand …. he purchased his 2nd super car …which was well past his first goal of buying one! He is a sensible young man still in his 20s ….not bad coming from a single parent home …his next goal is to buy his own home ….he is currently overseas …and can only buy one after her has been there 3 years.

  • Last week, I paid my real estate taxes on *this* house (the one FW accused me of “stealing” from him, while he was distracted by HW, and I was busy concentrating on a settlement) AND my little rental property (my dad’s house, that everyone insisted I should SELL because “there’s no way you can afford to buy out your sibling”, and “you don’t have what it takes to be a landlord”).
    Taxes are STUPID-HIGH where I live but I got a strange satisfaction dropping those envelopes in the mailbox. I own both houses outright, I have a nice little income stream from the rental until I’m ready to sell this house and move there when I retire, but more than anything, I HAVE CREATED OPTIONS FOR MYSELF. So I don’t have to feel scared, or stuck, or like a victim of someone else’s bad choices.
    I owe a huge debt of gratitude to the stories here that continue to inspire me.

  • I have survived five months past my “Liberation Day” as my therapist suggested I rename my DDays. There were (and still are) days where I don’t know if I can make it through to the other side. I still have zero clue what I’m doing with my new life, but in the midst of this dreadful sense of loss I feel, I have a strength knowing I’m gonna be ok. I WILL be ok. That fucker will NOT take anything else from me.

  • My amazing Daughter who suffered thru a terrifying bought of Anorexia after all trauma, has been accepted to Harvard summer school. Harvard!! And my son has become an amazing skateboarder who makes good choices in the midst of lots of friends not. Im so excited for both of them.

  • Meta comment: Love the format that boxes off original comments with associated sub-comments.

    If this format is old news, maybe I’m just seeing it now because of the PC restore I ran yesterday? Anyway, it looks great and is very convenient for tracking comment threads.

  • I survived a pandemic as a ED Nurse practitioner. But I would rather go through that again than my first marriage and subsequent divorce. The first was that bad. At least during the pandemic I got paid and paid for all the overtime I did. 🤷‍♀️💵

      • Lol! True. I would rather wear that hot, uncomfortable Hazmat suit every day at my job than go back to my first marriage. I am a GenXer and menopausal, so I sweat all day, every day at work. That is one of the reasons why the hospital is so cold. Y’all wear a sweater and be glad you’re not wearing a trash bag for 12 hours.

  • So happy for you and Mr CL! Wishing you every blessing in your new home. What a beautiful peony, what charming hens! Please can we have a picture of Dwaine? Or is he yet to arrive? Best cockerel name ever! My first cockerel was called Ranald, the current incumbent is Beauchamp, he is absolutely devoted to his wives. His favourite wife is my oldest, prettiest hen and he has lovingly crafted a Turkish dust bath for them all to enjoy just beyond my balcony. He likes to bathe en masse with his wives and also rather enjoys singing to his two youngest wives while they bathe alone together before him, its all rather x-rated. My moment of mighty is that I managed to keep my beloved bantams, moving them out of the marital home with me, on into a rental home, vis 6 weeks in a touring caravan before finally arriving in our new home. Travelling in style on these epic journeys, generally in a cat box with my two dogs and three cats in the car with us, as well as my pony in a trailer behind us, one brave hen laid a silent egg on the motorway. Poor lady. Nothing brings me greater peace and happiness than watching my hens strolling round our garden. Well I say our garden but they consider it entirely theirs. I love listening to their hen-conversations. They were particularly delighted to discover an ants nest when we arrived. It was rather like an all-you-can-eat Bantam buffet, I haven’t seen an ant since. Hope you enjoy your hens and that you and Mr CL have great peace, happiness and joy in your new home. Thank you for all you do, so very glad you have been able to leave your job, so well deserved. Thank you.

    • Thanks for the kind wishes. Alas we have no Dwayne. Roosters don’t make good neighbors (we’re in a village). I think the ladies enjoy the single life, or at least now they have Mr. CL as their crush object. LOL x-rated chicken bathes! I cannot imagine caravan life with chickens. They’re so squawky, but perhaps I don’t appreciate the art of their conversations yet like you do. Congrats on your move!

  • So happy for your makings of a beautiful, peaceful, rainbow and peony filled life! Sending positive energy to you, and Mr. CL, and the chickens! x

  • Aaah, life in the country! It’s so fine.
    So happy for your family, and you deserve it.
    My mighty is living alone, and being content with that. I’m not scared anymore, or feel less than, because no partner. I kind of smile to myself and think-this is pretty luxurious. That’s because of being bossed around my entire life, by my father, and then male partners, and now I’m holding the reins of my life every day. I have my 2 year old granddaughter to watch sometimes, and my sons and DIL. I even speak with the coo coo X once in a while, and he no longer affects me.
    It’s a peaceful life, I’ll take it!

  • Chump Lady and Mr CL – that peony, I believe, is called Bowl of Beauty. Mine are soon to come out to bloom here in the UK. Usually they are nice for two days before some horrendous rainstorm blows them to smithereens – but I still LOVE peonies all the same.

    I’ve got a new pretty senior job and frankly I am feeling mighty for surviving the week!

  • I own the first house I’ve ever owned by myself. I make good money and have no trouble supporting my college age sons while they get on their feet.

    Was told I may need to replace both my roof and AC soon and while it’s a lot of money i can write a check if I need to. I’ve gotten pretty good at home maintenance and my sons help out.

    I do have a lovely bf who helps our with stuff but I can manage fine on my own and there’s little I can’t handle.

    It’s liberating to be on my own two feet after a marriage to an abuser and a marriage to a FW cheater who accused me of “throwing away our good life”.

    Because he didn’t do that with his whore. I can laugh about how pathetic he is now.

  • chickens!!! absolutely LOVE it!!
    Mightiness:
    1. 1 month after Dday applied to grad school
    2. 8 months after Dday finished 6 graduate credits (4.0) and filed for divorce
    3. 10 months after Dday finally got FW out of the house
    4. 11/12 months after Dday fixed all sorts of stuff all over the house (built a retaining wall in my backyard so I could
    install an above-ground pool for my kids, fixed dry rot around the house, painting, exhaust fan motor, dryer belt…)
    Started a second job (conducting a choir and playing the organ- never played the organ before)
    5. 20 months after Dday quit one of my part-time jobs due to crazy pastor during the pandemic (done putting up with
    that sort of crap) started another job teaching piano lessons, still chipping away at my Master’s degree and
    maintaining a 4.0
    6. 2 years after Dday offered a graduate assistantship to help pay for my Master’s and got to work on cool
    research in a completely different field from my undergrad.
    7. 2.5 years after Dday finished and submitted research and purchased a cute chainsaw of my own to do all the
    pruning on my property (and weed whacking and lawn mowing….)
    Taught oldest son how to drive, how to check all fluids and refill oil, how to change the cabin filter and windshield
    wipers
    8. 3 years after Dday offered ANOTHER grad assistantship for a different research project and finally starting to feel
    like I know what I’m doing in my graduate classes- fellow students come to me with their questions (still rocking a
    4.0)
    Youngest son starts high school and I am queen of schlepping kids everywhere and volunteering at their school-
    still solo parenting
    QUIT my teaching job (a dead-end adjunct professor job that paid nothing) and begin prerequisite courses for
    NURSING SCHOOL (I’m 52)
    9. 3.5 years after Dday (present day)- divorce might finally be reaching a settlement, oldest son got a parttime job,
    aced his SATs and has his pick of colleges. I’m still looking for work in the healthcare field, while working on a
    pharmacy technician certification, doing nursing prerequisite courses, and finishing my master’s (6 credits to go)
    – and my first grad assistant research just got PUBLISHED so I’m listed as co-author (my MAIDEN NAME) in a
    scholarly journal- FW always lorded his master’s over me so I’m particularly proud of being published.
    Next year I’ll apply to nursing school and fingers crossed I get in and start a whole new career!!

    • Wish I could give you nine likes, chumped48. Your accomplishments are amazing. Congratulations to you and your new improved life!

  • Ahem! That’s a DOUBLE rainbow!!! God bless you both for making it happen and for that health insurance job! It’s the main reason I keep mine. Through all the migraines I’m taking college course, working in the airport(it a whole other world) and getting my ducks in a row for the future. Where I will be single and free. I can’t play this “time will heal us and I understand what I’ve done”. No. You don’t sir
    So I’ll get myself together in the meantime
    I am overjoyed for you and the MR

  • After my ex left me in a state of financial ruin and emotional shambles, saddling me with PTSD and a multitude of trauma, I’m now becoming a beekeeper. I was accepted into our local beekeeping association apprenticeship program and will be receiving my first nuc of bees this weekend. Ive always wanted to keep bees. After my life was uprooted, I decided, why wait? I am happier now, and fulfilled.

  • Left FW eleven months ago, after over twenty years of marriage, a decade after multiple ddays revealed a secret life for our entire marriage and dragged through RIC until I went numb. Ten months ago started a new low level job at a place I loved, after years of devaluing and non support of FW who refused to share his part of the parental load. Five months ago big promotion and raise, being recognized and appreciated for what I have to offer. Divorce finalized same month. One month ago moved into a home half the size of our marital home with three of my kids, which I own outright. I was frozen and numb for a very long time but when I moved…I leapt and was mighty!!! Now I’m going to rest awhile and recharge….

  • I might be last here, but here’s my mighty from today: spent 4 hours w/ my XW in the country supporting my (our) daughter during her activity. Xw and I talked casually about minor kid topics and not once, not an ounce of me was triggered.
    AAAAANNNNNNNNDDDD……
    I was complimented on my engagement right in front of her! (zing!)
    Daughter was supported. My life is amazing.
    X has no effect. Win-win-win-win
    4 years out. Feels great.

  • Chicken shit, superseded only by ducksplat in its eww factor but glad you two are enjoying country life.
    My mighty is, having read CL and read all of CNs mighty exploits over the last half a decade I have finally taken my freedom ride, found my own place, packed and moved my stuff into storage so that the necessary repairs could be made on our house to prep it for sale, moved in with minimal assistance working full time and trying to anchor my confused and acting out small child, at the same time decluttering and staging the house on practically zero budget while fw say like a bump in a log and did nothing as the mark of his displeasure. It was only when he realised the optics of the rest of the house versus his room would instantly mark him for the asshole that he is that he suddenly pulled finger and got on board for the photos etc. I miss my child during custodial split time but am hoping to use that time to get back to myself again and I can’t believe I actually ducking did it! Mostly because so many of you walked the path and then sent missives to kwt us know the trek was worth it. Thank you CN, for everything and thank you Tracey for being the one that began it all for the rest of us. I’m not sure what the beatification process is but you deserve the effort as Our Lady of Rebirth and Badassery. I can’t believe I did it.

  • I love that you found peonies in the country!
    Me too, sort of. In the six months post the legal divorce (separated aka pick me dancing for 7 plus years) there has been almost no contact, I got rid of most of my belongings, rented my home and moved to small-town Florida where my own son, wife and his kids live. I got a new job – also a huge step up in my life – that is basically next door to the beach. There’s a two mile bridge I cross every morning a see the glorious, peaceful bay!
    NOTE TO SELF: Whenever you are on the fence, get off and leave. Even if you still feel on the fence. Even if your mind isn’t decided. Just do it.

  • I have a lot of grass to mow. When we moved here I bought an self propelled push mower.it was angry exercise for me. Well, I couldn’t get it to start towards the end of last season so I had to pay to have the lawn mowed. I spent a half day trying to locate a spark plug finding they don’t make the one I need. I went to the Honda place where I bought it and he tried to find one that would fit. Sooo I never got it going.
    After doing the math, I bought myself a bad ass zero turn mower. It’ll pay for itself in a year. The price hurt and it was intimidating to use at first. Now I can have all the property completed in just over an hour. My son hasn’t seen it yet but I know he’ll ask why I didn’t have that when he lived here.

    My son launched into an apartment with his gf. I don’t hear from him or see him often so I miss him. But I know it’s part of growing up and gaining a life.

    I’m studying for a certification in auriculotherapy to use as a side business. My goal for completion is July. It’s pushing me out of my comfort zone. I’m working on not being held back out of fear.

  • 7 years ago, I escaped a cult (yes, like you see in the movies) with a megalomaniac leader who was raping his followers. Total narcissist, and he was clearly starting to lose it. I was convinced the guy was setting us up for a Jonestown mass murder scenario and feared it was only a matter of time before we made the news. I ran for the hills, leaving behind not only the cult but my abusive family of origin and several abusive exes.

    Within the span of a few months, I cleaned house of most people I’d known all my life and started over. I had nothing. I was 30-years old and felt like my life was starting for the first time.

    Chump Lady was the only resource I found that spoke to my experiences. I’d suffered infidelity, sure, but as we all know, infidelity is just the start of the abuse when it comes to the disordered. Chump Lady made me feel sane while dealing with insanity.

    I waited tables and lived hand to mouth for a while. I was broke, not a penny to my name, so I could barely afford groceries let alone health insurance. I put what little money I had toward trauma therapy every week, paying cash out of pocket for both the sessions and train rides an hour away to see the therapist. I’d wake up screaming with night terrors every night and was diagnosed with PTSD. I could barely function. I have no idea how I survived, let alone held down a job and paid bills.

    One of my exes (who had since married) came looking for me and stalked me for a year. I ignored him and thankfully he eventually went away. Meanwhile, I read every book I could find on careers and personal development and started building a professional network with strangers over email and LinkedIn.

    Within two years, I left waitressing and got my first freelance jobs, then parlayed those into full-time work with benefits. I got my foot in the door in a great industry and started working my way up.

    I’m doing well now, graduated therapy last year and got promoted twice at work. I recently saw red flags at my job that I didn’t like and did NOT stick around hoping things would magically get better, because I’ve healed so much in therapy and know “potential” is a bullshit word. I immediately started job hunting instead and am now entertaining several offers with great companies.

    I haven’t had any night terrors or other PTSD symptoms in at least a year. I have a great inner circle these days. My summer is already booked up with events and trips with friends. I have a growing 401(k), money in the bank, and stability. It’s amazing. I’m doing well. Thank you Chump Nation for being here.

      • Thank you. It was hell and I’m not sure how I made it, tbh. I think I was just on autopilot for years and then one day looked up and realized I was okay. Tuesday arrived quietly, without fanfare.

  • This is great timing since I feel I’ve turned an incredible corner straight into MEH! It just happened… when a man 10 years younger found me irresistible, I bought my new house, am owed 250 grand in equalization, and he continues into his delusional spiral of jerry springer drama with the homewrecker. Life looks so much better and I’m only 9 months out. I feel empowered beyond what I ever thought was possible and I have zero feeling, desire, longing to have us back together, especially for the kids. I will thrive in spite of him and he will flounder. Peace out midlife husband! Mamas got a new man in town… 20 years HIS junior. He thinks he’s cool with his new young chick but I will assure him that he’s done me a huge favour and I definitely win thanks to his awful choices. Thanks FW 😊

    • Powerful stuff – but you’re very fresh out of D-day, and have jumped into a new relationship. Dopamine high isn’t meh.
      Please take care of yourself. We’ve seen too many Chumps crash and burn on re-entry.

  • After years focussed on my ex and not having friendships, I emerge post-breakup with many new friends and friend groups, with savings, and with adult children and teens who remain emotionally healthy. I consider it a win that what happened did not break me and that I am still moving towards meh

  • I am feeling a bit mighty. I have a newly purchased River home and will host my family on Memorial Weekend for the first time in 5 years. 5 1/2 years since DDay and 2 years divorced in June. Attending a birthday party today for grandson, EX FW and the new bride will be there .
    I do not speak with them and keep distance between us . The anxiety and trauma are manageable now. I expect to enjoy the day.

  • My mighty never stacks up to much against all the amazing mighty I read in these posts. It has recently occurred to me, however, that I have reached meh.

    Does my life look anything like I envisioned it would? Am I living my “best” life yet? No to both questions.

    Did I make difficult, scary decisions and follow through with them? Am I doing what needs to be done? Yes to both questions.

    That is enough, I am at peace, and it feels mighty.

  • Since abruptly being discarded for his colleague, a few weeks after moving in to a new, expensive house with him in a new city for his work (I sold my own house to be able to contribute to the down-payment), I was devastated. Suicidal. Slowly, I got back together.

    I finished my PhD, lost over 14 pounds (and have kept it off!), got into running and started doing weekly half-marathons, got into cooking from scratch, met successful, attractive new men in the most random ways, and got a high-paying job in the sun and moved abroad, made a tonne of friends, am slowly building up savings, started doing some travelling to new places, I’m enjoying pretty much a little dream life in the making.

    I’m still very sad and hurt about things I lost, and mistakes I made. I go to therapy and I learned about attachment, trauma and emotional regulation. I’m not where I want to be, but damn I think I did pretty good from the abject despair I was drowning in.

    CL was a huge part of my recovery, thank you Tracy and CN.

  • I love chickens! I wish I could have some. I had them as a teen.

    My mighty for today is a small thing, but meaningful. I planted a garden this year. It’s only a container garden on my balcony, as I live in an apartment, but I am still so happy to have it. I had a gorgeous vegetable garden at my marital home, that I worked on for several years, and it was one of my favorite hobbies. Gardening helped immensely with my post partum depression. FW hated that I spent time (and a small amount of money) on the garden. Obviously I should have been devoting that time to him and his pursuits. The first four years after the split I was living with my mom and couldn’t have a garden. Now I have my own place and am loving watching things grow. It’s an act of rebellion for me, and is outward evidence that I no longer let FW control my life. Even though he died last year, and even though I’ve been doing really well, there were still times when his criticisms have reared their ugly heads in my mind. It’s been hard to erase a decade of verbal abuse and insults. But I feel like I have reached a place of emotional freedom.

    • I’m so happy you get to enjoy your garden! Its a relaxed rewarding hobby. I had one while married the shade took it over and the ex wouldn’t prune the trees. I moved into container planting and when we left I took the supplies. It took me a few years to pull everything together and use them.
      I have nice open back yard I fenced for our new dog and began using them two years ago along the edge. I assessed last year that I needed to utilize the yard and not be afraid of doing it incorrect or making changes.
      I now have 5 raised beds, an canopy trellis I made, mulched throughout with pavers I put around it. Not perfect but it works for me. I had some old fencing that my brother helped put in which gave me two more trellises this year.
      I enjoyed going out this morning for fresh snaps and sugar peas.

  • I want my young son to feel free to love all of his family – he’s an innocent and shouldn’t be hurt any further than he already has been by his Dad’s lies and poor ethics. Unfortunately for me, this has meant accepting (and it hurts to even type this) that FW and the OW are permanent fixtures In his life for now. On the weekend FW, the OW (now mother to my son’s little sister) and I threw a birthday party for my little boy. We’re under three years from D-Day and I never thought I’d be able to do it.
    This party has been the source of many months of anxiety for me and I got through it like an absolute boss. Because I care about relationships, all my son’s friends from school (and their parents) knew me and older friends came to support me as they knew the fuller story. Everyone was so kind to my son and I and no one bothered to talk to FW and the OW (I heard her complaining loudly that she was being ignored). There were so many friends there I was able to successfully enjoy myself with minimal engagement with them. I’m not quite at ‘meh’ yet, but damn it feels good to know I can do this stuff. For chumps our there who’s FW has made the OW family, know there is hope. It is survivable.

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