Some of the best emails I get are from folks who meet fellow chumps and become friends. Like this one:
The Dallas area chumps had an in-person chump meeting back then that resulted in me recognizing my NEIGHBOR whose daughter attended K-12 with my son. We are besties today and help each other put together Ikea furniture lol.
I love this! And who doesn’t need a plus-one assembling doohickeys with Allen wrenches? So fiddly.
Back when this blog had forums (which I sadly had to end for bandwidth IT reasons) it was wonderful to see all the meet-ups and friendships that resulted. But of course, chumps find each other without CN.
So your Friday Challenge is to tell me about your chump friendships. After you went through the meat grinder of infidelity, who showed up for you? Were you that guide for a newbie? Did you make a chump friend from a meet-up?
Any silver linings out there you want to report? Leave a cheater… gain a new friend.
Not the answer we’re looking for, but truthfully, no one. I’ve been very alone since.
I’m not good at making friends and by the time I left the cheater I didn’t have any left.
I am not good at making friends either. I don’t know how to have healthy relationships with people anymore, and tend to be over-generous and put myself in inconvenient situations trying to please people. I acknowledge this fault in myself and am trying to work on it, but it’s been this way for as long as I can remember. It seems to be my default setting.
Hey Screaming. Keep working on it, you’ll get there.
I have lost a LOT of people along the way, and I have been very heartbroken at times.
Despite being very independent and proud of being a solo traveller (both literally and metaphorically), I had a life-long habit of investing WAY too much in way too many unworthy people. “Please like me, no really, nothing is too much trouble. Wow thanks for throwing me those crumbs!”
Five years ago (a year-ish after Dday) I did a Facebook thing called “Mindful in May”. I was terrible at the meditating but it was great, for the two things turned out to be super-useful to me. Being introduced to interviews/conversations with very skilled, experienced teachers/academics/writers/philosophers, who had clues/practicable tips at their fingertips on how to be your better self, led me to become an avid podcast listener (and gain the equivalent of multiple degrees in LIFE). And the other was the request before beginning the thing to distil and write down the goal I hoped to achieve.
This goal-setting – really giving it time and focus – is a large part of mindfulness, and goodness, was it valuable.
I remind myself all the time of the goal I set then:
“Less: fiercely independent but lonely.
More: contentedly alone and self-sufficient.”
You REALLY don’t need many friends. A handful will do. There are not many people who can do relationships beyond the comfortable or the superficial. Save yourself for those who can. And give the rest of your love and energy to yourself, and the beauty in art and music and nature that we are lucky to have.
Mama Meh, thank you for this wisdom. As much as I wish for different, I think that last paragraph of yours is so very true. Painfully so. But also…hopeful. Thank you.
I would love to have a handful of friends. That’s a lot! I have one out-of- state friend and one local friend/acquaintance. I don’t make friends easily, and by the time I realized I was over-relying on FW to fill up my life and letting him isolate me by refusing to socialize with other couples so I could make new female friends, it was too late. At 60, yes, it’s possible to start a new life, but it’s darn difficult and friends don’t come easily as you age, especially if you are an introvert and have been, or have allowed yourself to have been, isolated socially for over 30 years.
I hope a great buddy comes your way very soon:)
Mamameh, thanks for this. I am not the chump, my brother was. When it was time for him to go our family, and his best friend, sat by his bed and said goodbyes. I talk to his friend all the time and we reminisce about what a wonderful brother and friend he was.
I have two best friends. I have known them all my life. They are the gems I have in my hand and when I open it up they are lying in my palm always.
Find your gems. You don’t need more. Too many demanding your time becomes static.
I really relate to this, Quetzal. I’m good-ish at making friends and have even made some good ones since having my world blown up by FW, but for me, being Chumped has been horribly isolating. Even when I’ve confided in people about what happened (all of FW’s activities were online, so there wasn’t public fallout), no one really understands all of the effects. Since it happened, I’ve felt alone in the world in a way I didn’t before.
I absolutely agree. The experience has been very isolating.
Couldn’t agree more, sadly.
I agree you feel alone in this. It’s like no one gets it. Not even family. Not even my two best friends. Perhaps I’m just wired differently but some strong support and some validation would help a lot
Especially since I’m still trying to figure all this out
Same here, Quetzal. Narcissistic isolation further supported by high-demand religion that taught that friendships between women were to be discouraged, because we might gossip about our husbands, and that would be like (gasp) adultery.
Some fun reading:
The importance of gossip in staying safe and living longer: https://www.womansday.com/health-fitness/wellness/news/a50821/gossiping-may-help-you-live-longer/
Reference to a theory that human’s tendency towards monogamy is substantiated by evidence that human language likely evolved from a need to keep tabs on mates’ activities through gossip. https://books.google.com.ar/books?id=9YInrVSoa9cC&pg=PA93&lpg=PA93&dq=Richard+Wrangham+infidelity&source=bl&ots=q-tnqvFW6Q&sig=ACfU3U23Oo2cyKM-naKs70vRPrmrGG4iig&hl=en&sa=X&ved=2ahUKEwiklu63wP_pAhX9mXIEHT1RBk4Q6AEwAnoECAgQAQ#v=onepage&q=Richard%20Wrangham%20infidelity&f=false
Gross really?!? That insecure about you ladies taking. I am so sorry!
Me too, Q. I was the first (and seemingly only) chump in my social circle, so I navigated/navigate the waters alone. The only folks I can truly talk about the experience with are you fine, anonymous internet folk.
As for my real life friends, well, that circle shrunk considerably. It’s actually a pretty lonely existence; if I didn’t have my family I wouldn’t have anyone that I am super close to.
That all sounds depressing (and it is, let’s call a spade a spade) but I am also, weirdly, content. I love my independence, my alone time, and my me time. I take myself out on movie dates, I have a lot of pets, I have children I’m still raising, and I’m working in my PhD. So, I’m lonely but I’m also not.
A neighborhood chump meetup does sound intriguing though.
I would certainly be interested in such a network. All you’ve written, here and in other posts, rings so true.
You are Mighty.
Reading the posts thus far, I feel a sadness, an understanding.
Being an older chump, who won the pick me dance, ( sadly) I so wish that those who went on in life after DD without their cheater, well these heroes should not have to suffer such a feeling of loneliness.
Although, my story is different than your story and that of many others, I, as you, try to find happiness in good people around me.
Sadly, even the best of these people just seem so uncaring, so into themselves.
Since I confided in no one I have kept so many secrets locked inside,
It seems so many have proven to be disappointing in life and I often feel alone in my struggles.
I guess sometimes, a Chump can just get plain tired of always being the one to reach out to others, to give and give, and so very seldom receive anything back.
Thank you to anyone reading this. Most days I am much better, and a chin up, positive person.
I am so sorry for all the pain felt and shared in these posts and comments.
Sending, love, understanding and big big hugs. ❤️
I didn’t notice until after the breakup that all of my friends had gradually become exes friends and how truly alone I was.
I wonder how many of us are introverts who got chumped by extroverts whose “friendships” were more? I’m fortunate to have some good (non-chumped) friends, but this experience, which for me coincided perfectly with the pandemic, has made for an existence of pure solitude with occasional socializing. And now I’m experiencing parental alienation, fueled by FW. That’s even worse, and something very few people understand.
When I make it through these years, I’m gonna be a force to be reckoned with, but one held together with a lot of duct tape.
Chumplady — it’s possible to make connections online with other chumps through sites and forums, but it’s very hard to translate those to IRL friendship. Anything you might do these days to help people connect locally as they have in the past through CN would be a huge, huge help to many. I’d certainly offer others at least the kind of virtual friendship that has been a powerful help to me through this continuing voyage.
Poet, I think some have connected locally through the chump Facebook page.
I imagine so — I just shy away from the public nature of FB, not to mention the extreme datamining.
Remember when everyone wanted their 15 minutes of fame? Now privacy is the holy grail. It’s impossible to function without leaving a bit of a data trail but there are ways to try to minimize what data is being grabbed. I’m not sure if you can still start a FB account under a nom de plume. I think the alias has to sound like a real name for FB to accept it. If doable, you can use this account only for advocacy. Don’t post identifiers or pictures and, once you grow to trust someone on a group, you can share email accounts (create one for that purpose) on messenger and communicate by other means. There are VPNs and Firefox has a stealth mode you can sign into and out of if you want to go the extra mile.
Avoid sharing phone number, physical location or address and real name by messenger. I never communicate anything sensitive on FB, even in private groups or messenger.
This is me. I’m not on any social media on principle, but now that I’m losing my FW’s large extended family and all of the wives of his friends, I’m thinking I might be forced to jump on Facebook. I’d love to meet up with other chumps in person. Even well-meaning family and friends do not understand being chumped. I didn’t understand it before it happened to me, so I don’t blame them, but it is isolating.
From what I understand, some people on the FB CL site create accounts with a fake name for that reason.
Poet. You wrote: “I wonder how many of us are introverts who got chumped by extroverts whose “friendships” were more? ”
Just to ensure this doesn’t inadvertently devolve into thinking extroverts are always the FW, it was quite the opposite for me. I’m more extroverted and friendly (and work in sales). I was chumped by a covert narcissist… very introverted. And his AP is an introvert too. I even got to read emails between them mocking extroverts (including me) as getting jobs just because they are extroverted — but FW and AP laughed that extroverts actually stupider than introverts.
As for the friendship piece, I was blessed that I had some solid friendships and they really stepped up for me and my son.
Good point, and I certainly don’t mean to say that this is always or even mostly the case– just that when it is, the isolation is heightened. I’ve personally never felt more alone, even though I do have friends. And not having the gift of easy banter with strangers makes the world a very different place. I realize in looking back that I came to rely socially on my ex’s extroversion as a way in to meeting new people. I hate that that’s true, but it is. And now it’s sink or swim as a fairly extreme introvert.
Sorry for the multiple posts, but yes, Poet, this was me. My entire social life was based on FW’s friends. If I tried to plan things with someone I met separately (and her husband), so we could go out as couples and deepen our friendship, he refused to attend, and I just accepted it and eventually gave up trying to make my own friends. But I never gave a second thought to attending every social event with his friends. I didn’t even see what he was doing.
Yes. I am a wild extrovert and Cheater was a covert narc introvert who looked to me (when I met him 35 years ago) as a quietly brooding bad-boy (which seemed fascinating and exotic to my foolish eyes).
I think the introvert chump/extrovert cheater and extrovert chump/introvert cheater models likely each have some predictable patterns and both are hard to experience as a chump.
There’s also the scenario where both chump and cheater are about the same balance of intro/extro. This was my experience. The difference was motivation for forming relationships and the amount of truth shared. FW has some solid male friends only because he’s so compartmentalized he can avoid sharing things that might shock someone with integrity. So men who think of him as a close friend actually know very little about him. I think this is easier to pull off because a lot of men bond over work and politics and other less intimate issues. Meanwhile I’m not a great compartmentalizer. My close friends and I get into it. I did get isolated in the worst DARVO stage of the affair but my real friends were still around when I began reaching out again.
Then there’s the fact I’ve always had solidly platonic male friends but FW’s female “friends” were never strictly platonic. That was so weird. He’d have decent male friends but the few women friends he had since college and the ones I met along the way were spooky and creepy. There was always something icky going on under the surface so FW would hide aspects of these relationships or hide them altogether even if there was zero chance of anything sexual happening. For instance at one point he had an elderly female “mentor” in his profession who obviously collected himbos (to someone in their late seventies, late thirties/forties is “young stud” material) under the guise of forming a professional salon. Then his flying monkey underlings were all female– basically “cheater hags” who actually rely on weakness of character in men in order to get creeps to rely on them and then hustle some advantage out of it. My industry was filled with these types and worse– those who’d facilitate and cover up harassment and assault.
No wonder FW was always leery of my guy friends and colleagues even when these men were eager to get to know him and trying to form couple friendships. He was even off-putting towards gay couples I knew, probably because his hustling lesbian work wife had also been his pimp so, to him, being gay didn’t rule out inappropriate dynamics. Obviously FW projected his own filthy dynamics onto me. I had a chance to observe a few of FW’s hags in action and realized all his ties to women were transactional where the women would provide sexual facilitation (pimping, cover up, morally relativistic feedback to assuage his conscience over wrecking his family and being a hypocrite) or ego boosts (flattery, simpering) and he would “pay” for the groveling with job perks and free booze and amenities on the family dime.
He wasn’t that successful in getting laid though. He batted out with a series of married office doorknobs. I was unaware of these dramas but experienced the fallout when he would crash in dejected depression after each rejection and developed a secret drinking problem. It took him some time to find a doorknob desperate and drunk enough to bonk him. She’d apparently batted out with all the young hunky trustfunders at work and had to settle for aging married dudes with thicker beer goggles who’d overlook her chronic acne, back fat and general tackiness.
During the marriage there was apparently a lot of work flirting but only one actual affair according to three polygraph tests he volunteered for during the lamentable RIC stage. I think the flying monkeys were instrumental in helping him build courage and create the conditions where he could finally act out in the way he’d always wanted to.
But with friends like that, who needs Orcs? I’d say he and I were equally sociable but I think my friends are real and his are seedy exchanges or friendships founded on false premises. In other words, he has no real friends.
@hellofachump …You’re a hell of a writer!
She had me at chronic acne and backfat????
Did you ever watch Ellen back in the day? “Carol from finance” lol. https://www.ellentube.com/video/holiday-party-help-1.html
Agree that the difference in processing styles can cut both ways. It’s difficult to imagine the thought processes and motivations of other people, the more so when their fundamental framework is very different from our own. I don’t think it comes from centering ourselves as the norm; it’s simply the only world we truly know.
We can only try to learn from experience and education to improve our understanding and communication skills. It can help to find friends with different experiences and interpersonal styles to share wisdom and to provide different perspectives. Different perspectives can be especially helpful to catch inequalities, misinformation, and tactical maneuvers that are outside your own experience and knowledge.
Agree that there are most likely different dynamics that have predictable patterns.
X was a brooding “good boy” who was a wannabe “bad boy.” Physician. Ivy league. Misunderstood, in fact, the saddest and most misunderstood human being. Moody AF. Painfully shy. Tried to act tough with the guys but failed. It pained me to see him interact with them.
Of course, I thought he “needed” me as his social lubricant. Yes and no. At a party, he needed me. But at work, he weaponized his shyness to extract pity and kibbles from women, particularly nurses and drug reps. He was good at manipulating people, including me.
One male friend remarked after D-Day, “How did he have an affair? He couldn’t string two words together?”
What I’m finding now is that he didn’t endear himself to most people, so post D-Day, the majority have left him, which most likely makes x feel even more sad and misunderstood. He envies me, I know, which is so effed up.
I recall an early text from him (pre NC). In it he said, “I’m done. I’m gone.” And that was interesting to me because he caused the problem and yet here has was complaining that he just had to “move on.” To me, that’s like an arsonist declaring, “Fine, the house is burning. I’ll just have to leave. I’m done. I’m gone. Are you happy now?” I mean, it made no sense to me. He caused all this.
I also am an extrovert and I was chumped by a covert narc as well.
Certainly a big difference in social styles can make it easier for an FW. My ex had so many friends and had so many activities going on that I was grateful to be excused from that I probably wouldn’t have realized what he was up to if someone hadn’t told me.
I’m not just introverted, I’m neurodivergent, which makes noisy, crowded events draining, and I cannot abide vapid small talk. FW had a close friend whom I utterly despised for being a bigot, a grifter, and a compulsive philanderer who preyed on emotionally fragile younger women. (Having a lifelong friend like that should have been a giant red flag to me right there.) That jerk provided cover for FW’s activities and doubtless mentored him in a loathsome way.
It could certainly go the other way as well. Introverts are good at staying under the radar; when we turn to the dark side, there’s no-one better at playing the long game. A selfish one may use introversion as a justification for dumping all the emotional labor onto somebody else. Covert narcissists may spend years quietly undermining others while working the Karpman Drama Triangle playing the victim. Societies and organizational cultures with a preference for indirect communication are fertile ground for this type.
I think it’s difficult for anyone to imagine how a really different social orientation works. I can’t comprehend some people’s strong need for external validation, or how they can gain energy from what I see as a performance that would drain *me*.
It’s possible, even common, for very different people to be good friends or partners if there is mutual respect and willingness to make reasonable accommodations. Selfish jerks (and personality disorders) come in all flavors.
The way you describe yourself reminds me of a beautiful early Jane Campion film, Angel at My Table.
I heard about the Karpman triangle in the context of organizational psych. My uncle’s company would thoroughly research every prospective employee for social history and “style.” Triangulators were out. I remember they refused to hire a lauded Russian engineer because he had a work history of pitting people against each other. Apparently people like that destroy flat organizational structures because they’re always trying to erect a hierarchy, usually with themselves at the top but not always. Some people just can’t stand equality. They need the security and familiarity of swaggering kings and frightened minions. My gut sense is that this relates to cheating in some way. Can’t have sparkly bonking without human sacrifice.
Q – and all the comments in reply – thanks for your honesty. Like Fourleaf wrote, the experience has been oh so isolating. Really wish for a way to meet some chumps in person.
Sending you a virtual hug. You’ve been there for me many times over the years on this site. There are A LOT of hurting newly chumped over on the FB group and I’m sure there are some who would love your warmth and friendship. I made my very best friend ever that way here. We live in different states but haven’t gone a day in six years without connecting. ????
I almost didn’t read the comments for this because I didn’t have a “best friend” magically appear after my D-Days, or after my divorce. But I’m glad I did begin to read the comments today. It helps to know that I have similar experiences to many here regarding friendships.
I never had a hard time making friends, until after DDay 2, when we moved at the same time as the fallout. Looking back, I was not good friendship material at that time & for many years afterwards. I didn’t blab my problems but I’m sure I came across as needy and definitely as not capable of having fun.
I survived by joining some hobby groups and AlAnon.
Being married to a FW was extremely isolating for me, made worse during the years I had preschoolers & was a SAHM whose husband traveled frequently. Even when he was home I felt lonely- finally understood that he was incapable of intimacy due to the lies he perpetrated.
Glad he’s gone! I continue with my groups & get together one on one with some that I’ve known for over 20 years, but I’m still a little sad at times that I didn’t have that one, best friend over the long haul.
My life is full enough with grown kids, neighbors, and acquaintances that I’ve known for a long time. I plan to remain this town that I had to move to 22 years ago, so there is still time ahead to open up to new & older friends.
Hi Quetzal and Screaming
I’m another loner. Have a big hug from here.
I have deep friendships, but they live a long way off. I’ve learned to live with myself, but maybe too much, because I spend most of my free time alone.
To be honest, it’s pretty worrying as I was dumped pretty late in life (now 63) and have no prospect of building a future partnership. But I really see limited options for opening up to new people as real friends or more. So many are in “coupledom”.
I have also been over – giving like you, Screaming, so know how that hurts too.
It’s not all bad. I travel (alone) how and where I want to and do adventurous activities I was always held back from. I love not having to plan my life around other people, their tastes, needs and demands.
I lost all my friends too. The only people that stood by me were my brother and my mom.
So sorry for you, Francee. But at least you have a few loyal people in your family, as some of us sorely lack even that.
Me too! I’m painfully shy and I like to think I’ve bounced back from all the trauma (in most ways I have) but I’ve gotten to the point where I have very few friends left and can’t bring myself to even try meeting new people. A chump meet up sounds awesome but I’m not sure I would actually go. It’s honestly the biggest challenge I have left after “gaining a life”
I joined an online support group and made a friend there who invited me to a Facebook group for chumps. These women saved my sanity, with support and humor, the twisted chump humor that only this community truly gets. We branched off into a separate group of those who divorced, so we could discuss the trials and tribulations of dating, and continue to be friends 10+ years later. Most of us have met each other in real life at this point. I am eternally thankful for this group of strong and courageous women!
One of my close friends got chumped in a horrible horrid way. They were together for 5 years though I never liked him. During all that time, he was cheating on her with the original OW who broke up his first marriage! and risking her health in more than one way at the height of the pandemic. 6 months into lockdown, she comes home from a jog to find his bags packed, and just like that, he told her he is moving into the OW’s house and has been living there ever since. The divorce was seamless but she still gets the occasional FW kibbles texts (“I miss you, I made a grave mistake”). Not to mention all the trips to the gynecologist, a high risk HPV infection and recurrent UTIs.
Anyhoo, the first thing I did when she shared her story was to recommend Chump Lady and Chump Nation. To my surprise, she said to me she did not like it. She said it was a group of bitter people and she preferred to read a book by a Belgian psychologist called “Esther Perel”. I was dumbstruck! She kept saying that in her opinion, infidelity happens and it’s not a big deal, it’s his loss, etc.
We both got chumped at the same time but we had distinctly different trajectories. I was completely depressed, I read CL religiously, I went to therapy. She seemed to be doing rather well and started dating within one month of the discard!
One year later, it was sadly quite the opposite. I was starting to wake up from my depression fog and pick the pieces of my life together. She was struggling and felt lost. We had a good heart to heart chat. I recommended my therapist to her. She confessed that reading Esther Perel felt like torture and made her feel worse. and She started to read Chump lady! We developed a habit of sending our favorite CL posts per email to each other. then we would discuss them over coffee. and she agrees now that infidelity is abuse!
I am happy to say we are both doing much better now, 2 years from D-day! Thanks CL!
I just have to say. Bloody love that! Wake UP people Esther is smug pretend-intellectual torture.
Yeah, totally. One thing about Perel and others who try to frame cheating as what it isn’t (enlightened) and not as what it is (abuse) is that they know how to tap in to the high-conscience low-boundary nature of chumps. They exploit our good hearts to gain money, and attention, and centrality. It’s also cheating, but rather than hiding a sex partner while trying to frame us as paranoid and jealous, the gaslighting deception is focused on hiding your own intuition from you and making you believe they would never do such a thing and you’re the one ignoring what deep down you know is true. Same game, different ball.
It’s diabolical and completely heinous. The worst.
(Also, there’s no failure in feeling bitter after someone shoves a bitter pill down our throats. Being jaded, afraid, angry, etc., exists because we have limbic systems that tell us it feels bad to be treated badly, so we’ll learn to stop doing what created that scenario. Those emotions aren’t just reasonable, they’re inevitable and necessary. We have to stop letting people frame bitterness as inherently flawed. That’s just more gaslighting.)
“Diabolical” describes it perfectly. Over a month ago, I was on the plane reading a book recommended to me, ironically a Christian book although not in an in-your-face way. He quoted Perel, and I tossed the book in the trash when my plane landed. What I had read up to that point wasn’t doing anything for me anyway.
It was here that I heard about Esther.
Amiisfree, so very well put. “… feeling bitter after someone shoves a bitter pill down our throats.” Ah, yes, that’s called a reasonable and appropriate response.
CL also puts it usefully when she points out that if someone blew up your house, poisoned your garden, ran over your dog, stole your car etc etc (words to that effect, can’t remember the exact CL line), OF COURSE you would be angry, confused, miserable etc etc. Emotional reactions that could be described as “bitter”. Especially when you just don’t instantly “MOVE ON” from it.
Also, I have found “bitter” to be a very gendered word. Rare that men are described as bitter.
Indeed one of the hardest things for me to accept after Dday was that I became an unhappy and bitter person. All my life I was a happy person and I believed in the best of people. And it was really hard for me to accept that there was a sharp cut in my life. I was a different person before and after D-Day.
Healing came when I accepted it, and decided to make the best of it. I was kind to myself, and I decided to like my new self, even though the old happy CLH was a much cooler person. This acceptance somehow removed most of the bitterness away. The loss of trust is still there. I will never look at possible romantic matches with the same innocence as before. I am the first of my girlfriends to raise eyebrows and think about cheating when they complain of something irregular in their relationships. and I am fiercely protective of my boundaries/have exacting standards about how I wanted to be treated now, in all relationships of my life, whether private or professional
Now I view all of these things as gains, lessons learned through fire
and I totally agree with @MammaMeh that bitterness is a gendered term
It is, like all spices, useful in moderation and spoils the taste in excess
On my IG last night I saw that Perel has a Masterclass in the Masterclass series called “How To Be With People” … teaching “relational intelligence” ????
she makes money off of people’s pain. In the medical field, she is the equivalent of those alternative healers who promise to cure cancer that is already in a very advanced stage.
Good for you for continuing to support your friend. So glad you are both doing better! I’ve been at meh for a long time now, but would have gotten there many years earlier had Chump Lady and Chump Nation been around when I was going through my peak Chumped period!
Honestly, just all the people that have shown up in my life. At first, I didn’t have anyone I felt safe to share with and really ended up feeling isolated. I made a lot of friends through a divorce support group, and being honest with them allowed me to feel comfortable sharing with others, and suddenly I had wonderful, trustworthy people in my life again.
I also feel like I’m connected to all of you, and that’s special too.
I joined a divorce support group and out of about 50 folks found a couple genuine friends. Some old friends pulled away for reasons unknown – triggering their own anxiety? Other chumped people “get” you like no others. Had my share of idiot questions which I now answer very boldly (“I guess affairs just happen.” “Yes- just like murders; spontaneously with no planning or consequences.”) and then I move on from those people.
I’ve had people say to me “sometimes people just decide to do their own thing” as if it involved wearing a blue sweater versus a gray one. Ah, no. Deciding to abandon the marriage was a huge thing. I say something like that and leave it.
The other one I hear all the time is “time heals all wounds, you guys should be friends.” My response is my attorney’s zinger, “Only a fool would be friends with the person who burned down their house.”
Choose your tribe, period.
I was so fortunate to have my friends and family.
Before I was able to move out and ex was in phony sad sausage love bombing playing dumb mode my then 17 year old son would run interference and hang out with me when ex was around.
My girlfriends thought he was a piece of shit. He actually left a sad sausage FB message on his bday after our divorce, of course conveniently leaving out the ex gf he kept around. My gf who hadn’t yet unfriended him called me and was pissed off on my behalf. I thought it was funny but I appreciated her.
I’ve had tremendous support and am thankful for that. I didn’t hide anything….I told everyone in my circle what happened. He hated it because he was super image conscious.
This week 2 new chumps have come my way.
The first is a cousin who chatted with me about peculiar incidents his gf had been involved in. You know the sort of thing CN, those quirks that just don’t add up. I asked him if the way he was being treated was acceptable to him. He blinked at me a couple of times, shook his head and said that it wasn’t. I suggested he leave her, get out ASAP, he came back with all the but, but, but… I know those, I’ve lived them. Fast forward 3 weeks she arrives at his late one Saturday night very drunk very dishevelled and DDay happened for him. He saw her being dropped off by a ‘work’ friend (yup most of us know what THAT means) via his Ringo app and the pair of them in a very warm embrace. Now, he lost his shit threw things around at the home (his as they live separately) packed up her belongings, launched them out the front door and told her to leave. 45 minutes later he was in police custody arrested for domestic abuse….. He never laid a finger on her. He’s currently at the despair and hot snotty mess stage (his mum also passed away last month so he’s dealing with that too) but I’ll walk in his pain and hold him when he needs it, listen when he needs it and advise if he asks.
The other is my next door neighbour. He looked sad. I asked if he was OK. He became very emotional, started to sob. He said that he’d come home at the weekend after being away for work and the bedrooms of his house looked different. At the time he was very confused but didn’t suspect anything with his partner (cos u know CN ‘we truuuusst’ them). Her phone pinged and he glanced at it and his DDay arrived in the form of a ‘great time with you, When’s he away again’ message from her ‘work’ friend. He told her to leave immediately… I commended him for this and expressed to him that the next few weeks would be tough (didn’t mention the months or years, he was already overwhelmed). I will check in on him, let him guide me as to what support he may want.
My heart breaks for them and all the newbies because it’s so very painful. I think only those that have experienced this truly know the utter wretchedness that pursues. However, it did show me just how far I’ve come, not that I’m smug, I will never be smug. But that pain, that despair, that heart ripping, gut punching feeling eases over time, there is work to be done, hard work, healing work but it does ease. Then one day you embrace a new chump and realise that you are strong enough to help them navigate through this shit storm of soul devastation, without it bringing your own pain back. I guess for me that’s one stop from meh!
Hugs to you all ❤️
While what you wrote reminds us of our own pain that we experienced, the support and love you are offering is beautiful. Thank you for sharing.
They are lucky to have you. My chump friends guided/ continue to guide me. Don’t know what I would have done without them
My chump experience was a doozy. The ex pulled a Woody Allen on my 31-years-younger niece when we brought her to live with us to get ready for college (and they only recently told my family that they secretly got married right after the divorce settled). To heal from the traumatic double betrayal and literally move on after I left Woody, I took a sabbatical Road Trip to Meh from Maine (land of my birth) to California in a meandering journey with stops to visit friends and sights on my bucket list. The Chump forums and meet-ups were active then, so I was also able to connect with several chumps along the way. I still remain in occasional touch with several–and one of them every day–because he’s now my husband and best friend!
Yep, when I had no thought of dating for years, if ever again, I bumped into the love of my life at a Chump meet-up in Arizona exactly five years ago this Sunday. We immediately found we enjoyed talking for hours at a time, and still do. Desert Guy and I will celebrate our third wedding anniversary next month. The first two years we had a commuting relationship while I finished up my work obligations back east, and then I changed to a dream job that would allow me to work from home most of the year. That, along with a beautiful sunset wedding in our new backyard, surrounded by people who love us, turned out to be a karmic Chump gift right before the pandemic.
Thanks to ChumpLady, I was able to gain a life in the desert–which I love even if I didn’t love the Guy. Thank you, Tracy!
Wow, what a great story. Your chumping does sound ghastly…in your own home by 2 people you trusted…euw.
My love was dumped rather than chumped (it seems she waited until she was out of the house to date and then became awful and mean) once she tasted the consequences of her decision, she blamed him for the fact that they aren’t married anymore.
Both of our experiences have fostered in us a huge sense of gratitude for having a good partner.
Is your Woody Allen still with his Soon-Yi? I know you don’t care (yay!), but I am just curious.
They got married soon after the divorce and are still living in the former marital residence, my dream house on a lake…a long story. Their gift of family drama keeps on giving.
Thank you for this Metha. CL should use it for a Tuesday story
A casual friend reached out to me. She knew my story and she was experiencing her first DDay. We got very close. Turns out, she’s not a friend. She friended my husband’s OW, which I found out on FaceBook. Quit FB and quit her too.
Ex and I broke up right before pandemic lock downs started. I’ve been trying to meet new people and develop friendships but it has been hard. I could probably be Ok never being in a romantic relationship again (I mean, never say never but I’m not crying about it) but I miss friends.
I have great friends and family. No dating prospects seven years out. I really don’t know anyone else that this has happened to, so I really do rely on this website to feel less alone about the infidelity part of my life.
An acquaintance who I never knew was chumped directed me to another infidelity site and from there I found CL nation. 6 years later and I still read both faithfully.
My life is in many ways richer since I left FW. More friends, more volunteer activities. I am part of a secular, 12 step recovery program and find that meets my need for right living folks. I don’t know if I would seek out a real life group of chumps unless it was somewhat structured. Misery doesn’t necessarily love company.
I helped with a divorce group through my attorney’s firm (they have an in-house therapist), and after a while, it wasn’t as good for me as my twelve-step group was. As it turned out, right when I was considering quitting the twelve-step group, a slot opened up on the leadership team for the twelve-step group that fit me perfectly. So I put my efforts more into that.
It’s been 3 years now since the divorce and the friends that I thought I had I have let go. One told me “ he hurt you not me” and still thinks he’s an ok kinda guy. The other said “it’s not like we’re in a restaurant and need to pick sides. Just get over it”. I’m so glad I’ve mastered no contact. I’ve seen them a couple times at the local bar and it’s just been the casual head nod. I am glad that I am no longer in that negative friendship circle. I don’t miss it at all. My life now is a different journey. I spend half the year in CO pretty isolated but enjoy the time to improve myself and relax and the other half in AZ ( love those desert sunsets too) with a great group of people that live life are positive and just have fun. So I have the best of both worlds. The new friends I have made are thoughtful kind and different than my old group and they thrive on positivity. So Ass wipes OW and negative people are in the past. My boundaries are different the people I let in are by my choosing and it’s a happier existence. Thanks CN for the ability to grow and change for the better.
Yes…. This is my story too ❤️
I’m not an extremely outgoing, make new friends kind of gal. I tend to be a loner and find my own activities for the most part. I can be quite social, but I’ve always preferred much smaller friend groups, my children and my very solid and loving extended family.
I am, however, taking a three week South American cruise next Feb with two fellow chumps and a few additional unchumped.
We each eerily have very similar blown up life stories.
Three highly successful FW’s with highly impressive resumes that looked made up but aren’t, very suddenly in their mid 60’s, dumping their 30 plus year wives. Most everyone who knew them assumed these were the happy, have it together families. All leaving for the WAY too young for them Schmoopies. All the ex wives then, very painfully and shockingly discovering these FW’s cheated on us our entire known lives together!
It’s uncannily similar circumstances and all equally warped outcomes.
All three of these couples went skiing back in the day with our young families( 7 kids between us) and use to meet up for dinner every month or so through those years.
Two of the three FW’s married the mistresses in 2020 and the third is still on the prowl for the 25 year younger Schmoop that he can wow with his greatness and snow with his abuse.
They are all malignant narcissist set on very destructive, blow up their lives, paths. Having the highly admirable surface lives with the ‘scorched to the earth’ lives looming large in the background most others don’t know exist. They are all able to maintain their circle of worshippers and admirers, despite the destruction they reined down on their families.
It’s just so crazy and bizarre!
We all live scattered in distant states now ( the three chumped exwives) but keep in touch throughout the year.
I am eternally grateful for the incredibly fortunate luck of finding Chump Lady, her book and this nation. (Thank God!)
Right now I would say Chump Nation has been a lifeline I look towards daily to fortify me. There is great comfort in knowing I am not alone, a community out there that genuinely cares and fully ‘gets it’ and they are all looking for healing as am I. My tribe.
It’s a tribe I never envisioned membership in,nor even knew of its existence, but am eternally thankful it’s there throwing out life ring after life ring!
I also enjoy the opportunity of being able to contribute to the dissection of these incredibly similar and pernicious abuses and maybe in some small way help others to avoid these massive sink holes we can’t even imagine possible until they are impossible for us not to see.
I got some help after DDay and after my divorce from some of my friends and church elders who were cheated on by their ex wife’s. They helped me to think of my XW as my enemy not my friend. They invited me out for beers or dinner at their houses. Gave a listening ear. Invited me on hikes and trips. Heck, it was a friend who first mentioned my ex was a narcissist. I try to give back to others also.
it is funny how many of my buddies went through it. I didn’t know until it happened to me. Everyone of them told me “you call me anytime, I don’t care if it is 3am”. Amazing how it is such a loyal group.
I was very fortunate with one particular friend. She and I met with our then husbands in pre-natal class during our first pregnancies. We kept in touch and got together a lot with other moms, alone and in couples after the babies were born. She went through the chump experience when the kids were four. I’m ashamed to say I had no concept of just how devastating and isolating her experience was. I kept in touch and certainly didn’t stay friends with her cheater, but I didn’t show the empathy that I wish I had. Flash forward to when the kids are ten and it happens to me. The minute she heard she was at my house with a bottle of wine and she has been with me every step of the way since. I think I offer her more back now than I did at the beginning, but I wish I had been the kind of friend to her in her early days that she was to me.
You don’t know what you don’t know. Your contributions to a friendship don’t have to be equal all the time. And you can always pay your current empathy forward to another chump if you meet one.
I’ve had the same experience. One of my closest friends was chumped three years ago, and although I was a good friend to her, with lots of late-night talks, I didn’t truly get some aspects of her experience. I thought her ex was an a-hole, that she didn’t deserve what happened to her, etc. But I did secretly think she was a little paranoid about some things. Well, now I understand she was a victim of narcisstic abuse – the type of abuse I’m currently experiencing. So I’m sure some people will think I’m being paranoid, too. My friend and I have become even closer through my experience. We have to give ourselves some grace that we didn’t “get it” 100% until living through it. I try to do that with my non-chump friends who are supportive but can’t comprehend all the facets of awfulness. I’m glad they don’t understand and hope they never have to!
Yes, my best friend from high school was married & chumped before I even graduated from college. I moved away from my hometown. We kept in touch and when she remarried years later, she sent a card saying “now I know what a real marriage is.” I was young & thought I had a normal marriage at that time, but something felt off & I definitely wasn’t gushing about how great marriage was.
Fifteen years later, I knew what the “off” was, and my friend & I reconnected when I brought my son out to that area to look at colleges. It was like being in high school with her all over again- only we had MORE to talk about. I was able to tell her how sorry I was to have not been capable of being a good friend when we were 22 & she had to go through her divorce. She has been happily married for over 25 years now & she & her husband have provided much emotional support over the past 6 years. We were able to get together at least once a year when my son was near them.
You just never know. I’m so thankful I kept in touch, and that she was forgiving of my naivety.
I had some solid friendships that withstood the crazy I was going through. Many really proved what awesome people they are. Also had a wonderful bunch of folks from Chabad in my area come and check on me and just go for long walks when I needed it.
One friend also introduced me to her sister who was going through other difficult troubles in life and we would get together and have coffee and vent.
And I helped 1 friend going through a divorce … she was certain her husband wasn’t cheating on her. But he suddenly wanted to divorce. All signs pointed to cheating but she didn’t believe it. I had her read CL. And pointed her in the right direction. And yep… he was cheating and spending marital money like crazy. She got herself a good lawyer and I gave her all the advice I could think of that I wish I I had had. Happy to have good things come from my experience. We still chat most weekends too.
Chump lady saved my friendships by giving me a vent until I could get my sanity back. This way I didn’t lean so hard on those friends and family who never let me down. But I was exhausting and I had no control. There were some friends for a season that I will never forget – just casual couple friends I got very close fast with – who fed me, gave me wine, totally sympathised and helped me move. Then we all moved on to just Christmas cards. God bless them always. I’m one lucky person is all I can say
I had a friend from the past who used to go to the same church. She and her husband worked at a radio station, he was Gen Manager and she was a DJ. (this was a Christian station) They insisted I come out to the station when she was broadcasting and I got to announce contests, announce songs etc. For about two months that was my weekend fun, and of course they used that time to minister to me and help me open up.
I got stronger and stronger and eventually I moved on, but I will never forget them. She got cancer and died a few years later and I had spent a lot of time with her and listened to her etc.
He lived another 20 some years and I had moved out of state, but I saw a couple years ago where he had died. His obit said he was reunited with the love of his life. He had never remarried. That kind of love really touched me. He was an amazing smart and attractive man, so remarriage would have been easy for him; but by all accounts he lived the rest of his life serving God, and waiting to join his wife.
Good strategy that! After the first DDay (and the second one), I leaned hard on one best friend in particular. Like really hard. She encouraged it–“I’m here to listen!”–and I trauma dumped on her for years. I don’t even remember all the phone calls; those years were a blur. Apparently, our last phone call involved *her* wanting some reciprocation from me: she was going through a tough time with her husband and thought he was having an emotional affair. Apparently, I burst into tears, told her that talking about affairs was triggering for me, and asked her to talk about something else for awhile. She said she had to go, hung up, and I’ve never spoken to to again. She blocked me.
I don’t remember that phone call but she told me, later in an email, that that’s what happened. I emailed back to say that I didn’t remember any of that and she was furious. She wrote that there was no way that I didn’t remember our last phone call and that I had showed her I was a toxic friend because when she needed a shoulder to lean on, I refused her.
I… well, she’s not wrong. I don’t remember that phone call or her telling me that she suspected her husband of cheating but she’s right: I did spend years of our friendship like an open faucet–my pain straight into her ears for years.
I apologized, she was furious and I decided to step back. I don’t chase people. If she doesn’t want me around then me, of all people can respect that. Distressingly I realized that she had put me on her No Contact list. It’s been years since, now, and I respect the hell out of that boundary. I don’t bother her and she has never reached out to me.
So, your strategy of venting elsewhere (online forums? therapy?) and not always onto friends is a good one. I wish I had done that.
These days I’m wary of close friendships in general and I keep a respectable distance from everyone. I’ve gotten good at developing making lots of good acquaintances and work friends but I’m not eager to find another “close friend.”
I had to learn the hard way to not expect friendship with a person in crisis. And now I’m a little more hesitant to get involved.
The bad experience I had was with an acquaintance from a hobby group. She called me, unexpectedly, saying she remembered a comment I made about my husband being an alcoholic & that she just found out her husband had been a secret alcoholic & was in the hospital detoxing. I listened & followed up by getting together in person. By then her situation exploded with infidelity, bankruptcy, worsening health problems, & drama from the family owned business. She was seeing a counselor 4 times a week, was venting to other friends, & began to call me often to vent but so much would happen between phone calls, I could not keep up and felt helpless. I also learned our values were very different. She was excited when the security guard at the hospital asked her on a date – I was horrified & wanted her to report it to the hospital but she answered me “ don’t you ever think about dating again?” At the the time, I was questioning divorce, but made no actions to file. I hated that she assumed I was like her, I realized that she was truly in crisis & could not reciprocate friendship. I was not equipped to be a counselor & didn’t want to be her counselor.
I stopped asking her to do things & stopped checking in with her & she gradually faded out of my life.
Her story did not have a good ending. I heard through mutual friends that she moved out of state, then back to her home country, then committed suicide.
U&O Being in crisis also opens oneself up to letting the wrong people in ~ I had the person I barely knew who latched on to me with messages of support and offers of outings, before the red flags started to show ~ one year exactly to the date I’d found Ex’s messages on WhatsApp, I wake up to being bombarded with abusive messages from this lunatic. I saw her at our mutual place of work acting completely normal going about her job (a lawyer in court), and then that night she spammed me again with more abuse. Fortunately I had read enough on disordered people by that stage to block her and grey rock her at work. And I’ve had to use my newly acquired skills to deal with more disordered people since then. Now the scales have fallen, they are everywhere. It’s horrifying. Thanks to CL for recommending Dr George Simon as I’m pretty sure he is closer to the mark than traditional psychology.
My fav Chump Buddy story is the gal who posts as Patsy here (a pseudonym). She and I met in an RIC board where we were desperate to fix our cheaters. I dont think either of us even knew the extent of our cheaters’ treachery back then.
Patsy is British but lives in South Africa. Im a yankee who lived near Wash DC
Fast forward, she was divorced, I was widowed and I learned I would be going to South Africa. She took a plane to the city where I would be and we had a slumber party. We talked long into the night and barely slept. The next day she supported me in my life’s work by attending a conference presentation I gave. We rolled up our pants legs and jumped around in the Indian Ocean for a bit and shared a ride to the airport where we parted company.
She is precious to me and Im amazed that we met virtually and in real life under such crazy circumstances. We Message each other support to this day
Oh…I will add that our RIC days were like 2005 – 2012…a long dang time
So I started online dating shortly after my divorce was final. I used the pandemic as an excuse to do video “dates” (aka interviews) before I ever bothered to drive to a dinner with anyone. It was genius. I could cross people off my list very efficiently! (Like the guy who called in with no clothes on ????) And I found that I didn’t trust anyone who was divorced for a general “we grew apart” kind of reason. I only am interested in someone who had been cheated on. Anything else sounds like cheater-speak to me. I’ve met several nice chumps and have been dating one for over a year now. He’s a truly wonderful guy. I still have my moments of panic, where I worry- WHAT IF I MISSED SOMETHING AND AM BEING LIED TO AGAIN?!!! Ensue brief panic. But I’m watching for red flags like crazy and think this is going in a good direction. Highly recommend this as a dating criteria!
My dating experience formed in me the theory that all divorced men claim that the divorce was not their fault and 80% of them are lying. There are really great guy-chumps out there but figuring out who is lying and who is telling the truth is a challenge. (Guy-chumps might challenge my 80/20 guess and I respect their right to do so)
When I was dating, I was on the lookout for : cheaters, porn addicts, self-inflicted financial disasters and substance abusers. On our first date, new husband told me he was in recovery from alcohol so that was right on the table. Our time together allowed me to scratch other concerns off the list. My clues that he was not a cheater were the long gap in dating (cheaters often jump from person to person) and the fact that he was devoted to his child and paid more than his share of support and went out of his way to maintain a good relationship with her with zero excuses.
So yea, I really get the moments of panic and I hope our stories help newer chumps fix their pickers.
I think that is why taking time to really get to know someone, and their background helps a lot. I was able to know for pretty certain that my H didn’t cheat as my supervisor knew him and his wife well, and she knew the basics of what happened. But, I still waited five years so that we were both really sure as we could be.
I never felt the need to fix my picker. I married at 18 and he was 18, whole different dynamic than when we have some years under our belt. It was the 60s during “war” time and folks just got married younger a lot then.
The exFW disliked all my friends (& my family) trying to isolate me, I guess. But, I kept a few despite him. They were my rock. I also opened to people at work/everywhere (even the grocery store, “oh sorry I forgot to bring my bags because I just found out my husband has an OW & my mind isn’t all there”) just matter-of-factly of what I was going through. I didn’t cry, I just blurted out words. I pushed through any shame that I felt & people were so supportive! Even the “hun, it’s okay, I’ve been there” from the grocery store clerk.
Being open, authentic & showing my vulnerability helped me get through this a lot. Usually I’m very private, so this was a really freaky scary thing to do. I think it was a self-protective measure to put the shame out there on my husband (where it belongs) & not to internalize it myself. I ended up having deeper, richer relationships as a result.
Thank you to my fellow chump in Utah, who I met here and have spoken to pretty much daily since the spring of 2018. We have never even met in person and you saved my life! I couldn’t believe we even got divorced on the same day/year!
Thank you to my fellow chump In Missouri. Same deal; we have never met in person but our frequent phone calls saved my life. May Traitor Ex and LTC Fuckface get married in hell.
Thank you UxWorld! It’s good to have you in my lifeboat. Little Hammer and I enjoyed meeting up with you when I was back home in Boston. You too have been rowing my lifeboat. May KK and Traitor Ex cheat with each other on LTC Fuckface in hell!
There are a number of other chumps here who are my phone buddies (like pen pals) who I am deeply grateful for. A couple of us formed a private FB support group. It was invitation only, and it grew from four women to sixty five in just a few months, if that tells you anything about the tragic prevalence of cheating. ????
I highly recommend getting connected with a fellow chumps here. It’s been life and sanity saving for me.
Build a little phone list of people you can call when it gets dark and scary. This site is great but actually speaking with someone is very different powerful medicine.
I got connected by sending an email to Tempest or Tracy, who acted as go-between and sent an email invite for me. I am available if you need to talk.
I haven’t met any Bay Area chumps
in person; if you’re here let’s have coffee!
VH, I’ve learned so much from reading your insightful words over the past two years. And I’m in the Bay Area. I’d absolutely love to grab coffee or go for a walk.
ExLifeLessons, I think stating the truth matter-of-factly helps drain the shame from being betrayed (and so many other matters). Thanks for the reminder.
Hi, can’t spin any positive stories about friendships made because of being chumped. I’ve got a few people who did their best to listen when I was a mess and a few friends who pulled away. No one circled the wagons for me, and I got through on sheer strength and necessity (someone had to raise the kids after FW moved out of state with Schmoopie).
I’m good now, with a few close friends, financially stable with a job I love, and a good life. But I’m lonelier than before. I have to admit, hearing that many of us are still a bit lonely years out is somewhat comforting to me.
I’m a 55 year old woman and I’m tired of all the expectations to be younger and thinner and hipper than I am. Maybe today is giving me permission to not be “rocking life” post-chumpdom. I’m content, alive, and being broken by my ex has made me less judgmental and more loving than I was before. Sunsets are still amazingly beautiful and tomatoes from my garden taste better than any food I’ve ever eaten. But I’ve been changed forever by my family being destroyed by the person I trusted the most. No one new (romantic or platonic) has come along yet to help me believe that love is going to save me.
Remember the quote from the Velveteen Rabbit about your fur getting rubbed off and stuffing falling out and how that makes you Real? That’s me.
I hear what you are saying and that was my favourite childhood book
Thank you for this, Getting There. It poked my heart, in a good way. I think you said how I feel too, and very well.
Thanks for sharing. I’m on your journey. I lost a bunch of folks along the way – left them in Switzerland or they left me because my trauma was too triggering. Serenity are how I define happiness these days. I’m working on accepting that I’ve been “forever changed.”
Gettingthere, I identify with so much of this. And I love how you’ve voiced your appreciation of sunsets and garden tomatoes 🙂
Thank you for this honest and touching post.
Survival and coping are mighty in themselves. Some people literally dont get out of this life experience alive but we are here.
I totally get the societal expectations for women in their 50s. I chose to let my hair go grey and the world treats me differently…its like I crossed a bridge to that older place and Im not returning.
I will admit that when I found a new and worthy partner, I had moments when I thought that love would save me and that was a really unfair, heavy expectation to put on him. He is a great guy, but he is a flawed human like everyone else and no one is big enough to rescue us from decades of other peoples demons – even looking for someone to do that is wrong. Those of us who do/did that likely risked the very relationship we tried to find refuge in…dangerous territory.
I read your post yesterday and it stuck with me. I hate that it seems you still feel less-than. In this instagram-image world, the pressure to “rock life” is big. Sometimes there are good rocking moments, but I hope those dont define any of us and I hope we see them as an encouragement, not a competition or expectation.
We here really treasure it when chumps survive to the rebuilding stage in whatever form that comes in. Please continue to give yourself permission to be OK in whatever stage of this you are in. You and any other chump who is struggling – your Velveteen Rabbit comment is lovely – you are real and that is pretty wonderful.
“ I chose to let my hair go grey and the world treats me differently…its like I crossed a bridge to that older place and Im not returning.” I also let my hair go natural and it really has been a bridge crossing experience. I just never thought it would be that big of a change to the world but it sure is.
My best friend was a life saver. I ended up moving out of state & away from all the BS. CL gave me the ground beneath my feet as the Mind F—k & gaslighting was hard to comprehend.
I joined a twelve-step group and met other women with “complicated” relationships. That helped me learn to set boundaries and to see things as they were. Those people are real and raw, and I love them.
I kept some (but not all) of our old friends, but the twelve-step folks are my besties.
My closest—well, maybe only— friend was a lifesaver after dday, but only for a little while.
Then, things happened.
—Realized she’s a raging alcoholic.
—Realized she’s a cheater.
—Realized that the mean comes on strong when she’s very drunk, which is often.
Sigh. I think I have too many trust issues ever to be good at friendship, particularly since I’m the bookish, nature-loving sort who appreciates solitude to begin with.
But I do have adult kids with whom I am very close, tons of students who keep life vibrant, and colleagues who are great to work with. All that, plus a giant fluffster of a dog.
A way better life than it was trapped in the marriage cage.
I was very fortunate.
I attended a divorce meet up I found on the Internet.
I had yet to file. There was one woman there my age / she just looked like someone I could talk to.
She had described having a very similar narcissistic abusive ex that I had. I had spoken first and she told me I was brave to tell my story
Her divorce had just been completed. We had children the same age. We agreed to meet for lunch
Since then she has been a pillar of strength for me
She was one of my friends who sat in my home while my husband moved out. There were days where we would speak multiple times
She was the one who got the phone call when my ex introduced my son to a woman he had met on the Internet – without warning my son in advance that he was going to do so. FW just showed up at the airport with internet hook up he had. Four months after the divorce. And a different women that he had been seeing before
My friend was the one who gets the phone call when I have a dream where I’m chasing my ex.
I get her phone calls when she saw her ex in the supermarket with his wife stress
Etc. etc. etc. While I am fortunate to have a group of friends who stuck with me they are non are chumps.
They try to be kind, but there are some things nobody understands unless you’ve been through it
My ex was such an arrogant asshole that he turned a lot of people off. And people were not interested in continuing their friendships with him
Even the men he used to golf with, husbands of my friends, dumped him because he was so obnoxious on the golf course
My chump friend and I understand each other like no one else.
All I can say is keep trying keep going to divorce meet ups and women meet ups and men meet ups for singles and divorce support etc.
Be open about your experience, you don’t have to spill your guts immediately, but just like our exes found their matches in people without integrity there are plenty of people out there with integrity, Kind people who ended up with terrible life partners by mistake and are now alone . Thinking of you all.
I feel the same soul breaking isolation though it self imposed as I make shallow level friends easily and an extrovert. It’s just I am frightened and untrusting of attachment as well as bone deep tired.
Like all traumatic experiences, it did help me separate the chaff from the wheat of friends and family supporters. It also made me more authentic. I have made new friends and still have a couple old friends who got me through. My split with FW coincided closely to my retirement and a major move. Lots of moving parts so I threw myself into a hiking club, a book club, a golf club, new community volunteer work. I took on the just says “yes” attitude about new experiences and seriously considering what kind of person do I want to be then go be that person. I have grown a good life. Like all things for me, I had to do the work. It doesn’t just come to me. I had to stretch myself. It’s a work in progress. Hugs!
when it all blew up a good friend of mine pointed me in the direction of a divorced woman i knew slightly. so, i spilled my guts to her and she listened and offered practical advice. my divorce doula. this was very helpful and i appreciated it greatly. time passed and here i am, about to file, and whammo, my divorce doula casually tells me about a married man she’s flirting with, both on and off the tennis court.
20 red flags fly up into the air and the referee falls over.
i tell her that’s not appropriate and she replies, “it’s complicated.”
a few more questions and she establishes this is an “exception to the rule”, i guess because she wants it so. entitled.
i’m presently extracting myself from the friendship.
people are disappointing. i’m about to turn 58 and wonder if i know anything anymore.
my one consolation is the 12-step group i attend on Mondays, the kind held in church basements with folgers drip coffee and coffeemate served in a styrofoam cup, you know the kind, and the real connection provided there calms me.
I really wish there had been a bad coffee meeting for betrayal victims when I went through it. There actually might have been, but I didn’t know about one. It was in 1989/90 and no internet or easy way to connect with others.
There were a couple women in my church who had been left by their husbands, one was 70 and she was patiently waiting for the H to return, the other was about 35ish and she was still letting her H come home every weekend for sex. (I was 40).
I just didn’t have anything really in common with them. They were both convinced that there was no other woman, he just needed time and space. Hopefully the 35 year old is living a better life now, and the 70 year old likely died waiting.
Being 73 now, I can understand the older woman more. She was likely financially ok, and she clearly didn’t want another man in her life; so maybe it gave her peace to live with hope of a husband who as far as she knew wasn’t with another woman. And maybe he wasn’t.
So relatable. When I found out that the friend who held my hand and dried my tears had and continued to cheat on her husband in assorted ways, it was a major bummer.
I connected with a woman I worked with who was going through a similar situation. She separated from her ex and then only afterwards, was it revealed that he was cheating with her best friend and had been for years. She connected the dots from all of their family vacations with their family and her best friend’s family and was devastated and humiliated that it happened right under her nose. To make it worse, her friend circle still remained friends with her best friend, even knowing what she had done, and when she asked them to choose her or her best friend, they refused.
She confided all of this to me on our work breaks and we made a plan to get a hobby to do together, to take our minds off it. We went to Costco and bought matching kayaks and spent our child-free time off together kayaking and processing our situations. It was really healing for both of us.
She started dating someone and moved in with him, and we drifted apart. They now enjoy kayaking together, and I changed careers and don’t have as much free time. So sadly, our kayaking days are a thing of the past.
We had tea together the other day and she commented that when she was going through the dark times with her situation, that I was the only one who blocked her ex and her best friend on social media, and how much that meant to her. That I was the only friend who stood beside her and protected her. (Because my friend and I posted so many pictures of our kayaking adventures, her ex and best-friend bought kayaks and would post similar pictures in the same locations – stalker-like, through their social media. Her ex had made threats against her safety, and I wanted to protect her, so I blocked them and all of their friends in an attempt to keep my friend safe).
“…he was cheating with her best friend….she was devastated and humiliated it happened right under her nose. To make it worse, her friend circle still remained friends with her best friend…” Me too, Chumped. Please tell your friend there’s another chump out here who knows the searing pain of double betrayal – or is it triple betrayal, when the mutual friends turn their back while embracing the AP? It’s effed.UP.
You, however, are a most excellent, bad-ass friend for standing in her corner, blocking the jerks on social media, protecting her. Thank you for caring so deeply.
I could write a wonderful book about this! In the throes of the worst hell a year after Dday when I was battling for my kids and my financial future (25 year marriage, XH made 7x my income and wanted to leave me in poverty????), I was asked by a dance mom friend to reach out to her childhood friend in another State who has recently been blindsided by her 20+ year then husband. I gladly did. She and I share the same first name and our kids were almost born on the same day. Our first call was March 9 2016. We have spoken or texted nearly every single day since then. We’ve visited each other and vacationed together. Our kids are best friends. She is my true sister and makes my life so much better. I will never be as close to anyone as I am to her— she gets “it.” We start every day commenting upon CL and have had just as many laughs as cries. Her handle here is @icanseethis18 ❤️❤️❤️❤️❤️ She is the VERY best of how my life changed after I was chumped.
I joined a Divorce Care group while I was going through mine. It’s a Christian based program, but even as an agnostic I recommend it. Mostly from hearing the stories of others in the group. All of us are still Facebook friends and we’ve had a few get togethers over there years. (I attended 4 years ago.) I became especially close with another woman in the group and she’s one of my best friends now.
4 yrs post- Dday, a smaller group of online forum Chumps all became supporters. A meet-up was entertained, so I arranged a location, booked a block of rooms at a fun destination, and 12 men and women Chumps reserved their room in advance. This led to Chumps talking among each other to make plans to go! Some carpooled, others shared rooms, others flew in together. We met up as though no one was a stranger, enjoyed day outings, had our meals together, and had more conversation and laughs than anyone was prepared for. We stayed 3 nights/4 days. It was the MOST healing and inspiring few days and helped each one of us beyond words! We’re all still in touch and know if we’re ever in each other’s area to reach out.
Never underestimate how helpful we are to each other! Whether we meet online here or elsewhere, or in-person; the value of shared compassion, love, and understanding between us is such a powerful healing agent.
This is why I still reach out to other Chumps here and elsewhere. Meh is a grand destination to reach, but paying it forward is my thanks for having gotten there. There really IS a better tomorrow!
A shout-out here to #ColoradoChumpNation & all the amazing, tough, kick-a$$ people in it… KlulessChump, BetterDays, FreeVix, Sam, just to name a few… and JustADad, you’ll always be one of us! They saved my sanity after Voldemort tried to blow up my world and everything in it. We meet every couple months or so and help each other stay strong — and even have some fun. (The Xmas ornament painting party with the kids was great.) One year we did Galentine’s Day at Dave & Buster’s so we would *finally* have a good V-Day f***wit free! It’s been so much easier to deal with our respective exes because we share information & compare notes. F’wits aren’t very original! If you’re in Colorado, please join us. We’re sorry you’re going through this… hopefully we can be here to help. Sending out big hugs to all my fellow Chumps everywhere.
That would be incredible, as I am in Colorado. Can I reach out to a moderator for your contact information? Today is being horrible and I could really use the in person support soon. This is the anniversary of my D-Day in 2019. I just completed a very painful list of questions for the STBX’s deposition on Monday. Haven’t seen STBX in person since the beginning of 2020, and I am dreading it. My lead counsel had to bow out due to severe back pain and my trial starts on Halloween. The STBX wants the kids and I living under a bridge before he plans to support us in any capacity and found a CPA to devalue his company by 300%. During the divorce process, our 19 year old son was diagnosed with autism, which STBX is denying (like you can fake being autistic!). My entire faith based community has been wonderful and supportive, but they just don’t get it! A hug from someone who understands would be priceless. I read here everyday, but my lawyer won’t let me post because I have a high asset/high conflict divorce and my legal team doesn’t want me to say anything that could be incriminating anywhere online until the divorce is over. It’s terrible! And I feel like my support team is getting divorce fatigue because this has drug out so long (thanks COVID and a self-representing FW that couldn’t file anything!) Or, I can be reached at email@example.com. Thanks!
Oddly enough my best support was a very close friend who married her high school sweetheart and has never been chumped. Nevertheless she was a rock and understood everything I was going through. Maybe it was her lack of fear that the same could happen to her but she didn’t do that “just world fallacy” thing of reacting to my trauma by trying to figure out what I’d done “wrong” to “cause” it in order to give herself the illusion of immunity. She just assumed FW had a screw loose and/or was a total fraud and I’d done nothing wrong.She told a lot of stories of other unnamed people she knew who’d been through the same thing and told of the various ways people dealt with it for better or worse. “Advice” came only in the form of cautionary tales of victims who pulled punches and got robbed, taken advantage of or endangered by raging FWs run amok. She had more stories of all the cheaters in the community, what clowns they were and how they inevitably ran themselves up the flagpole. She was conspiratorial and funny. She made it clear I wasn’t the only person who’d gone through this and that she was staunchly on the side of survivors. Despite having four kids in four different schools, she’d watch my children if I needed to to run around and get ducks in a row. Or she’d arrange to keep the kids busy so we could chatter and scheme. We had a great time.
When you meet people like this, you stop making excuses for others who *should* understand but don’t for whatever reason. She made it look easy. I’d do anything for her.
Oh, I’ll also add something else I noticed that seems important. Rather than treating me as pathetic, the fact that I’d gone through something extreme seemed to make this friend trust me more. She sought my feedback, confided her own worries and challenges so it all felt reciprocal. It wasn’t “all about me” which is an imbalance that would have made me uncomfortable because it’s a mark that you’ve been turned into a fixit project, a “charity” for which there’s usually an unstated price like letting someone foist control or make unreasonable demands.
My silver lining is the ex wife of my psychopathic ex boyfriend. They were separated, by about 2 weeks, when we met but he told me it had been a year. The entire 3 years we were together he harassed and stalked her while telling me she was harassing and stalking him. I hated this woman. She found out about me quite early on and tried to warn me but I thought it was more proof of her being the crazy person he had told me she was. He lied to her about me the whole 3 years, as was trying to get back with her. She nearly gave in once, and he actually drugged and raped her at one point during our relationship, during a visit to see their child who was born 6 months after I met him and he spent our entire relationship denying to me she was his. I finally caught him red handed in lying and cheating, drove round to her house to finally confront her after he’d moved heaven and earth to keep us apart for so long. She welcomed me in with open arms and we told each other everything and opened up a whole world of double and even triple lives, that have resulted in him currently having two outstanding charges against him, one being the rape for which I am also a disclosure witness for, a non molestation order against him (from her) and I’m in the process of getting one too as he has stalked me non stop in the 6 months since I left. She and I have spoken every single day since, picked each other up off the ground, swapped all the stories so we now both know we are not crazy as he tried to make us both feel that we were. We’ve met up for breakfasts and lunches and celebrated each others triumphs and healing moments and kept each other strong in dark moments. I don’t know what I’d do without her now. So thanks dickhead!!!! The woman you tried to hard to keep me away from is now someone I wouldn’t be without.
I love the outcome though I loathe what it cost to get you there.
Does anyone know how to meet fellow chumps in Charlotte, NC? What Facebook or other social media?
After dday1, I posted on an online infidelity forum for support. I was so desperate and hurting (you know the drill). A fellow chump reached out to me privately and offered to chat if I wanted to (she is ahead of me on this healing journey). We have been Google-meeting since then (nine months). She has been an absolute lifeline and an angel. I am tearing up writing this because she has saved me. She has listened to my pain on repeat every week, supporting me and just showing me such love and compassion. I am truly blessed to have her in my life. I’m in Canada and she’s in the US…and that hasn’t prevented us from forming a strong bond of friendship…and we even met in person in August! I love her so much and am so grateful for her friendship. Love you, KB ❤️
Awwww! I was just getting ready to post about how lucky I’ve been to bond with my mighty chump friend from Canada. And here you are! I’m so blessed to have such a strong, talented, compassionate and beautiful friend. You’re an inspiration, truly. Love you right back!
I wonder what a map would look like if we all put in our zip codes.
I approached my women’s meditation teacher about hosting a peer-support group for chumps, but she declined. I’m guessing the divorce support groups are filled with chumps, but I’m uncomfortable with the church based “therapy in a box” model. Domestic abuse programs might be a closer fit if they offered nonresidential (shelter) group therapy.
The loss of a relationship is a leading cause of anxiety and depression. Infidelity a major cause of divorce. Why is it so hard to find appropriate in-person support. It’s almost like they (mental health and legal system) don’t want us to talk to each other.
I was an advocate for abuse survivors and ultimately had to work outside the state-sponsored system because I found the “official” approaches and philosophy way too victim-blamey. That’s the shit that gets funded though so it’s the most prevalent. Abusers tend to cluster in helping professions because playing the hero in public while abusing behind closed doors is a typical abuser tactic. Psychology, psychiatry and social work are statistically jam packed with batterers for instance (and I’m sure every other stripe of abuser). There’s also the historical problem that shit rises so too many therapeutic formats and theories are created by abusers who jockeyed themselves into positions of authority and act as leading lights in their professions. And you’re absolutely right that one of the unstated agendas of the fox taking over the hen house is to prevent “hens” from forming coalitions and changing the dominant paradigm.
One of the main things the service I worked for did for survivors was to provide forums to detox from all the bystander-blaming and shitty therapeutic experiences they’d had prior. We kept a sort of library of research, tomes, articles and clinical papers that are internally critical of therapeutic victim-blaming and abuser-coddling, discussed the history and politics of corrupt theory, etc. Those resources were very popular. I recognized that CL and CN had it going on right away because a lot of focus is on how lousy the typical interventions, supports and approaches to chumps are. That’s the mark of good things happening as far as I’m concerned. People bond over their crappy intervention experiences. I think this is also radicalizing in a good way and encourages people to be creative in finding alternatives.
Lundy Bancroft (DV advocate) is saying similar things about how official DV agencies became blamey & unhelpful for the abuse target. So I thought I’d share some of his blogging on this.
I meant to attach this link (part of a series): https://lundybancroft.com/the-current-state-of-domestic-violence-services-part-4/
My 2 sisters in law got chumped by my 2 brothers. Both after 25 years of marriage. I got chumped after 30 years of marriage. They are 10 respectively 5 years past D-Day and they are my beacon lights since I am still in a state of shock 1 year after D-Day. Many, many friends and family showed up to support me. Even the FW aunt declared officially that she’s my aunt now, not his anymore. Oh, btw., I broke all ties to my brothers.
I wish my ex-SIL had the courage to be more like you, AwakeAtNight. She’s a kind person at heart, and her brother’s manipulative character and abusive behaviors put her in a really difficult position, but learning of her participation in my betrayal cut through my jaded numbness. I thought nothing could disappoint or shock me after the dday traumas, trickle truth and scorched earth I went through with my ex, but she and her kids were family to me for many years. It hurt when she revealed (after I’d finally left her FW brother for good, just over a year after dday 1) that she knew about his cheating months before I did, during the time when he abandoned me to take unilateral “time and space,” kept me off balance with confusing “push/pull” behaviors, and lured me back when I tried to leave with declarations of love and intermittent rewards. I would’ve preferred her honesty over her “friendship” during that excruciating, confusing time. I haven’t spoken to her in the two years since.
Many people let me down, including the mutual friends who told me that I came first and they disapproved of FW’s actions — and yet they felt sorry for him and remained friends. I never confronted any of them; I just cut contact. In contrast, I have so much gratitude and respect for the much smaller handful of mutual friends who stood up for me and for their own values, even though it meant discomfort and social consequences for them.
I have a great friend who went through a similar situation as mine around the same time. We could be real with each other. There was no “sorry to hear that”, offering of unwanted advice, or awkward conversations where we didn’t know what to say to each other. We would vent and make jokes about the fuckwits and the insanity they created. Having that friend helped me tremendously in getting through the shit storm of divorcing a sociopath.
I’m lucky. I met an amazing group of women in my situation on Mumsnet (funny in itself as I don’t have kids). We bonded and one of our number set up a WhatsApp group. Three years plus later we are still in daily contact, although we don’t all make contact every day. We did Zoom through lockdown. We’ve met up in different combinations. We’ve stayed with each other (I met one lovely at Heathrow and we’d never met before in real life but we knew each other instantly). We have been through so much together. And there’s always something new to go through. Some new trauma, horror, nightmare. But now it’s balanced with happy news, new relationships (not for me as I’m the old lady of the group), beautiful children growing up, children’s weddings, theatre, travel, shopping, museums, food, chat. We are all very different and that’s ok. They are my tribe and I love them (they know who they are ????).
Hi Mighty Warrior
Are you in London? Got room for one more in your WhatsApp Group??
My ex-husband (a narcissistic misanthrope and another lawyer!) chose to dump me two days after a hysterectomy – yes, his timing was as malign as he could possibly manage. I was shocked and relieved in equal measure. He was outraged that I had gone off him and he went to great trouble to ensure that I was punished for my disloyalty.
Although I couldn’t drum up the urge to ask him to reconsider, I did manage an alternative production of narcissistic supply for him and suggested that we might remain friends. I had let him isolate me completely and was facing a sort of solitary confinement and quite frankly felt quite desperate about the prospect of total isolation.
Then, just before he managed to move out during a break in lockdown I found out he had been cheating and whilst away “for work” during my op had in fact been with his “new love”. It was such a huge gift to find those love letters which were a quick cure for the preposterous desire to stay friends (clearly magical thinking on my part – who in their right mind knowingly selects toxic friends???).
It would be so great to talk others who don’t take the view that infidelity is morally neutral…
A kind lady found me outside the school gates holding my then 2 year old son after DD in a pretty catatonic state. I honestly believe she saved me that day. Helped me take my son to nursery and without any other plans, we went to ikea for the day. A firm friendship was built and she is one of my closest friends. She’s helped to facilitate no contact and poured me more wine than I care to admit. Now I’m flourishing, it feels good to have repayed the friendship when her father died last year. Another neighbour became my weekly lifeline during lockdown when we would meet for a walk and she would tell me about her cheat ex. I felt so supported and validated during the darkest times.
The ‘friends’ I thought I had, actually weren’t, and my closest friendships came from places I didn’t expect.
Now life is authentic and I’m discerning with who I welcome into my life. I didn’t just fix my picker with romantic partners (I now have a wonderful man who respects me), but I have close friendships built on solid foundations
I have been lucky as I’ve had my friends for about 25-30 years and they have stood by me and all think X is an asswipe. I am an introvert and my friends have very similar personalities. But I realize that I thought X was the one who had friends because he is such an extrovert. But after seeing his wedding pics (yes I shouldn’t have looked)- none of his old friends were at his wedding. In saying this all of my friends are far away and life can be lonely as I don’t have children and the friends I have here are all couples and don’t really socialize with single people. I wish I knew some chumps who lived close by.
One friend in particular reached out to me randomly very soon after DDay. She was a past coworker and one of those people that’s just a really good friend, who reaches out periodically even just to share a funny meme or “How’re you doing?”
Well as soon as she realized I was doing not-good, she invited me out even though she hadn’t seen me in a couple years (I had some babies, she didn’t, so not easy to hang out). I dumped emotions all over her I’m sure but she was gracious and funny dark humor as always. She had been ghosted by a live-in boyfriend of 7 years, so she understood.
She kept in touch and checked on me to the point that narc FW hated her, and manipulated some therapy book language to say she was “not a friend of the marriage.” (I think it was from Shirley Glass, but I definitely remember that phrase was meant to apply to APs and potential APs). Good, I thought. She’s a friend to me, not my abusive situation.
Very shortly after she invited me into a chat of other friends in the same industry (married & single, mostly women), and since then we get together occasionally and chat online a lot. We call her the introvert whisperer, because a lot of us are not very social but she keeps us from being total shut ins.
Last year she had major, sudden health problems and is still recovering. All her friends check on her and help her, and I wish I could do more for her. I owe her so much, maybe even my sanity. She is gold.
So these aren’t exactly chumpfriends. I have a number of friends who were key to my survival but two are key. One good friend basically came to my rescue after dday because my family was in a different state and travel was tricky during the pandemic. She had seen my exes dark side a few times and her husband kept telling her there was something wrong with my ex. My friends father was a serial cheater. She saw what her mother went through and she seemed to know exactly what to do and say to support me. Another is my best friend from high school. We were each other’s maids of honor. She separated from her ex for a different reason about 6 weeks after my dday. We cry together, commiserate and now talk about men together as if we were still back in high school. (Exactly like high school because we don’t go out with anyone we just talk about it!). I am extremely loyal I have a number of life long friends which I think the reason my ex was able to chump me so spectacularly.
I was on a particular forum for families that were suffering from a depressed family member. I have made 2 solid friends in the UK as a result. We meet up at least once a year (as we’re in different areas of the country), but we chat regularly. We all thought our spouses were suffering from terrible depression. It turns out they were just lousy people of low character. Maybe there was a bit of depression, but it still doesn’t evade their character was just shitty.
My FW convinced me that he had depression due to his parents passing relatively close. He wasn’t. He just used my kindness, sympathy and empathy against me. So cruel ????
I didn’t know we could meet! How do I find people in myarea??a
Try the CL Facebook page
In 2014, I was a quivering new, painfully recovering chump, leaning heavily on my dear friend for support. One day she asked me, What is that site that is helping you so much? My neighbor is going through something similar and I think it might help her. She sent the ChumpLady link to her, and in a week, heard back how much it was helping her neighbor.
A few weeks later we attended a party with her neighborhood friends. This beautiful woman was crying at the party, talking to others about her situation, still trying to reconcile with her STBX, who was enjoying cake and cat fights between two women.
She and I became fast friends and it was so incredibly bonding to share the horrible journey of divorce with her. It took two years for each of us and we got together often to gripe about our current status, read positive ideas to each other and brainstorm ideas for rebuilding our lives. We grouped with other Texas chumps via the forums and took a wonderful trip to Yosemite in 2016.
Today we are healed from that chaotic turmoil. We’re still close, we both have better jobs and improved financial health, our kids are thriving and we’ve each had some positive dating experiences. I’m so thankful for her and for the daily wisdom I received here.
The great ChumpLady speaks the truth! The pain is finite. It takes time, but you can get through this nightmare, one step at a time. Share your story here and IRL, write journals, go to divorce-care meetups, and anything that sounds fun to you — just try it. Care for yourself. Think about what matters to you. Put yourself and your kids first. A MUCH better life is waiting for you. ❤️❤️❤️
Wow. Here I was thinking I was likely to buck the trend of what I thought would be many of you saying what great friends you’ve made post D-day or divorce.
Instead, at least the first fourteen responses in are all about how y’all (I’m not southern in origin but that word is growing on me. So useful) aren’t finding deep, meaningful, bilateral friendships. Just like me.
Like many of you in that initial group, I’m introverted, don’t make friends easily, and it seems more difficult to do so at this stage in life (I’m almost 55 yo). I’m friendly at work, but that’s the main place of interaction for me overall (not uncommon for me to work a six day week), and I think my friendships there aren’t too deep.
Nor am I w/my coworkers all day long. I’m out on a delivery route for a majority of the day after we’ve gathered together at our station for a few hours early on.
And I’m ok w/all that. I’ve come to realize that in many ways I’m an introverted loner, who can pull off acting extroverted for a certain amount of time. I’d love some good friends, but I’ve only got one, kind of. He’s got his issues (I don’t think he wants to admit he’s an alcoholic), but so do I (mainly, I’m a solid introvert that doesn’t form true friendships easily).
So, I generally visit him once a week. And that’s enough for now. He was there for me in the aftermath of D-day, but he doesn’t get everything I’ve been through and how I feel because he ended his nineteen year marriage honorably.
I also lived my social life, like CBN, through the extroverted FW XW and her “friends.” I don’t think it was an isolation tactic on her part (although, she did isolate me from some fair-weather friends at one point), but I have always been a work my ass off at work to provide for the family type, so it doesn’t leave me with a lot of social time.
Not that I’m great at utilizing any of that time. I can flex my extrovert muscles just fine, but eventually I have to retreat and recharge. I thought the FW XW would be my best friend, lover and wife for the rest of my life. As Velvet Hammer might say, it was all a mirage.
So, I’m open to meeting other chumps, but social media is anathema to me. I never joined FB or anything like it. The closest I came was creating a Linked In account to try to get jobs, which I never use or look at anymore. It wasn’t easy for me to navigate, and it’s pretty useless to me now.
I wish there was a better way than normal social media to connect, as I too don’t feel anybody gets how I feel after the FW XW exit-affaired me. I think only other chumps would.
If it doesn’t happen, I think like many of us here I’ll keep plodding on, trying to enjoy my life as much as possible. And I do enjoy my fuckwit-free life. I hope we all are, or will. I just know how much a solid friendship can mean in affecting your life. Just as I know how much a romantic one can mean even more (if it’s got a solid friendship at its core). But I’d be happy w/friendship on its own.
Wishing everybody happiness and peace this weekend. We deserve it, just like anyone else who’s suffered because of life’s cruelty.????
Thelongrun – Your post suggests that you are articulate and thoughtful. If you are hoping to find chump friendships in real life, you may want to simply connect with more people. Consider volunteering for causes you support which often have opportunities for someone with a changing work schedule. Maintain your own healthy lifestyle and avoid toxic people.
Thanks for thinking I’m articulate and thoughtful, IcanseeTuesday.???? Normally, what you’re suggesting would be good advice. But I work 10-12 hour days for FedEx Express. I’m dead when I get home (but I do enjoy the job). The weekend (if I’m not working a Saturday for a six-day work week) is spent recuperating and doing laundry and running errands for the upcoming work week. And I’m diabetic. It saps my strength as well.
But as I said, I’m still pretty happy in my life. Especially being fuckwit-free. I simply wish there was a way to connect better w/other chumps to make more friends who understand where I’m coming from, and that I can also understand, empathize w/and support w/friendship.
For now, I’ll be fine. I’m simply hoping there’s more possibilities for friendship in my future (and who knows? Maybe even romance). I’m fine w/who I am and what I have until then. I do have a good sister and a good brother. They help me enjoy life as well. I’m just going to keep going, and see what I find in life.
Thanks again for responding. Hope all is as well as can be in your world!
I know a lot of people have commented on how they haven’t formed new friendships and how difficult they have found making new friends due to being introverted.
I wonder if anyone has had the opposite, where you feel you’ve become yourself again and are able to form new friendships?
I have always considered myself a bit of an introvert; when I was younger, I was very shy. My ex was very insecure, but he could talk to people and he could make friends easily. He had never moved away from the area and so had friends from school. I left school, went to Uni, moved to a couple of different cities for work and eventually moved back home and met my ex and I integrated into his life.
But, since we split, I feel like I’ve found myself (maybe it comes with age, I dunno) and I wouldn’t say I’ve made loads of new friendships, but I feel more confident to talk to new people. I’m more extroverted (might not be the correct word), I get involved more with the community and I’ve got a new job, where I feel valued.
I guess, I just wonder if this happened to others? Did you find your value/voice once they left? As I certainly do. Ex has not sniffed around me for a long time as I think he knows that I’ve changed. I still have to deal with the numpty as we have kids, but there’s no bulls%$t from him anymore.
Love this post! I am fortunate to have a few lovely, trustworthy, good hearted inner circle friends who have stood with me through thick and thin. I am in NYC and would be thrilled to meet up with any Chumps here. Wishing us all friendship, love and peace of mind. x
A few acquaintances were going through divorces at the same time so we formed a little support group and are now lifelong friends. Plus I had a solid group of friends who were there. What surprised me were the friends who came out of the woodwork…like people I knew only in passing who showed up in all kinds of ways. It made me remember that support looks all kinds of ways and sometimes it’s just a well timed offer to go get coffee or just a “eff that guy” etc that make all the difference.