Stay in Touch

Check out CL's Book

Where Are You Now?

best lifeHi Chump Lady,

Someone mentioned the other day that it would be encouraging to run a “Where are they now?” Friday Challenge to give us newbies some hope and maybe a recovery or projected timeline to “meh”. New Year’s seems like a good time to do this.

Previous posters could reference the date you published their original letter so we could go back and reread it. You published my letter July 6, 2022 (Husband Uses Massage Parlors).

Thanks again for all you do.

Jesus Cheater’s Chump

****

Dear Jesus Cheater’s Chump,

So where are YOU now? Away from the creep and working on that freak-free life, I hope. Fill us in!

CN has asked for a Where Are They Now post before and I usually demure because of the logistics. Foremost, people gain lives and don’t need this place any longer. So I don’t know if they still read here. As per reaching out — I’ve answered thousands of letters. And even if I were organized (I am not), people often don’t write to me from their usual emails.

But you know, what the hell. Let’s put a call out there — if I ever answered your letter — can you let us know how you’re doing? Put down that umbrella drink on the sunny shores of paradise, tell your gorgeous new partner you have a pressing errand, and give us an update in the comments.

For the rest of CN, who didn’t send me letters, or (sorry!) I didn’t reply, or you get what you need lurking — let’s do a Tell Me How You’re Mighty check in.

And remember — all forms of mightiness count. If it’s early days, we’re grading you on a curve. Oh heck, we’re not grading you at all. We’re cheering from the sidelines.

So, lay it on me — WHERE ARE YOU NOW?

Happy New Year, CN!

Ask Chump Lady

Got a question for the Chump Lady? Or a submission for the Universal Bullshit Translator? Write to me at info@chumplady.com. Read more about submission guidelines.
  • This year was the first Christmas in such a long time that I wasn’t depressed thinking about what should be. I was also able to take my adult sons and spend it with my sister’s and that helped tremendously. We had a great time. We always had to spend Christmas with his family. Even the year my mum died. I have gotten the last laugh though. Prince Charming and Cinderella went to New Orleans for Christmas. It must be very tense with the family after what he did. Personally, I would rather spend the time laughing with my sisters and nephew then visiting New Orleans. I am still basking in the after glow.

  • DDAY was 2015. I got divorced one year later. FW free for 7 and a half years.

    Here’s how I’m mighty… I live my life how I choose now. No more dragging dead weight. No more being bored and wondering how I got stuck with a sexless partner. If I want to take vacation with my kid, I go. If I want to buy something, I buy it.

    I have a boyfriend and we’ve been together for 6 years. Things are imperfect but still pretty great overall. I don’t want to remarry. I want to keep my financial independence and feel safe. And we’re on the same page — he is a Chump too.

    But what makes me feel most mighty? Being there for my son. He’s growing up. From being a traumatized 9 year old to nearly 17… I’m proud that I’ve been a sane parent. I believe he feels safe and loved. And I do too.

    Happy New Year, friends. I hope everyone finds their peace and happiness in 2023

    • Love your story Michelle

      I’m glad your son is doing well too. My son was nine at D Day and I worry. He’s awaiting counselling

      Here’s to being the sane parent

  • Thank you for choosing my Friday challenge, Tracy.

    I am separated from FW and working on getting divorced. My 14 year old special needs daughter occupies my days. She requires 24 hour supervision. I have family nearby to help, so I can get a break now and then.

    It’s so much easier to breathe with just the two of us in the house. Contact with FW is minimal, and that works for me.

    I was surprised how easy it was to remove FW from my life. At D-Day, we had been together 38 years. When I discovered he was using prostitutes in massage parlors, it’s like a switch flipped inside me, and he ceased to exist.

    Thank you, Chump Nation. Happy New Year!

    • So happy to hear you are breaking free from him! Though I have no proof, I’m pretty sure my cheater went to massage parlors too. (I only have proof of dozens of trips to strip clubs and several affairs so that’s proof enough) Enjoy your new life with your daughter FW free!

    • Awesome for you! I also experienced the flip switch. At the last discovery – Instagram messages planning a hookup, I was also done. Mine had also used sex workers and massages in Asia on work trips. Also dating apps while gone, I’m sure.

      Anyway the first year free I maybe overdid it as I felt I had so much energy freed up! I’ve had to have some recovery time to rebalance I think. But the emotional freedom from chumphood is still wonderful.

    • That light switch went off in my heart and in my body within 10 days of d-day. Once I escaped the house and got some safety I realized how sad a sausage he was. I am living alone no divorce as yet until hopefully this spring but I have never been happier without a man in my life. I get to sleep by myself in my little twin bed and I’m as cozy as a bug in a rug. I don’t want any man in my life but I have plenty of beautiful women and I thank God for each of them.

  • To be clear, I never wrote or had a letter answered but I’ve been with CL since very early days. I used to help Tempest moderate the forum (seems like a million years ago) that went on to become a Facebook group and a Reddit group. I had the extraordinarily luck to meet up with CL in real life when her first book was published.
    In other words, I’ve been here a LONG time!!! Why I stay comes later.

    I successfully navigated a horrendous legal battle, 2 lawyers and several years, learned how to dig and organize, got a job after many years out of the workforce, was a super-mom while my kids healed, fought through 2 psychiatric hospitalizations, went public with my mental health issues, became mentally and physically strong, planned a wedding, special occasions and welcomed grandkids, lost parents, moved 6 times (story for another time), got an adorable dog, learned to travel the world alone, dated and decided to stop dating and kept the most amazing group of friends ever while making a ton more!

    I am a survivor! My walls sing, I dance when I’m alone, I learned to really feel joy, I love to laugh and am a happy person 99% of the time.

    I’ve learned that the pain of being chumped is part of my core now. It surfaces sometimes and I have learned to ride the wave of all my feelings until it subsides again. DBT, EMDR, mediation, and therapy were all part of my arsenal.

    So why am I still here?

    Many of us stay and just read. I have Chump Nation friends who need to read every day to keep them going. Like a daily affirmation. Some of these folks are remarried and have whole new lives but they real CL every day.

    I experienced so much and learned so much about me, my kids, my friends, family who deserted me that I feel I should pay that knowledge forward.

    I learned so much and was lucky enough to have THE most amazing divorce team as my second legal team that it would be a shame not to share all that information. To be able to give my perspective on what a “no fault state” really means when you’re divorcing a cheater is priceless.

    Is being here still part of my journey? I’m not sure. But I am a giver like so many other chumps and feel that if I can help one chump along the way, then my life will have even more meaning.

    • Your last paragraph describes perfectly why I still read the groups on Facebook and here. Just a gentle reminder to others that there is life after divorce, also to me gives my life more meaning. I am not leading a perfect life – but I am enjoying the life I have now rather than mourning the one I had. Freedom is much sweeter than a life of misery with a person who doesn’t value you.

      • “I am not leading a perfect life – but I am enjoying the life I have now rather than mourning the one I had. Freedom is much sweeter than a life of misery with a person who doesn’t value you.”

        Any post I could write would be a version of your final two sentences, so I’m just going to say “ditto.”

        • ditto ditto! This is beautifully said, and pretty much where I have found my mighty. And though contentedly living in Mehville for YEARS I still read Chump Lady AND most of the comments daily–checking in with a community that remains part of my life. Peace and Love to all Chump Nation.

    • I always love reading your comments, Rebecca. I’m in a state that offers fault divorce but the bar is high and I have been told that making a fault claim forces the case to go to trial and causes the legal fees to go through the roof. I have been told that, for what one gets in return if they win, it’s not worth going through that. I would be interested in hearing what you have to say about no fault, as that is the route I will likely have to go. I’d appreciate if CL could share my email address to you. I would very much appreciate your insights on no fault divorce from a cheater. Thank you.

      • MrWonderful’sEx,
        I’m happy to reach out privately.

        To be clear, what I learned is that one can use adultery as a strategy rather than making a fault claim.
        Many lawyers, including my first, aren’t savvy about how to do this; they just follow an easy path to divorce.
        The really good ones will know how to weave the cheating into a larger narrative, including how to get financial info about waste of marital funds, to catch them in a deposition and how to use the threat or reality of deposing the affair partner. This usually has to be done carefully and quietly.
        I suggest asking a divorce lawyer during the initial interview how they personally feel about cheating, examples of how specifically they have dealt with cheating cases in the past and what suggestions they have for how you should conduct yourself with your spouse. The answers are quite telling.
        My first lawyer had a whole boring speech. My second lawyer looked at me and said that she hates cheaters and that she always charges them more so she can charge chumps less! ❤️😂
        I knew she was the one to represent me.

        • I’m in a no fault state of WA. I was the “breadwinner” because my ex POS husband could never hold a job. He wanted a crazy amount of spousal support, like $5k a month. He moved back to California and it was expensive there, plus he could only mooch off his mom, sister, and aunts for so long. It didn’t matter that would put his two kids and me out of our home. After a year separation and negotiation he would not budge on several financial issues. So I made a shock and awe strategic move that I counted on him freaking out (Initially because he would be delayed getting ANY spousal support or money). “Hey POS, we are going to court!”, my lawyer informed him. “Here are all the documents you need to fill out truthfully and under oath or you will be in contempt of court, go to jail, etc.” I had read over those docs carefully and asked if I could make changes. There was a section that asked if POS had extramarital encounters. I had my lawyer update and detail the definition of extramarital so that POS couldn’t weasel his way out. Yes, sticking your dick in a glory hole would be considered extramarital even if you didn’t see the persons face. Oh, you don’t know the person’s name you had sex with? Just put “n/a”. The housecleaning person you hired counts too and the money you paid her. Be sure to list all the money you spent when you were at your “AA meetings”.
          To add further stress of honesty to POS, there were 5 info areas/spaces to put in this extramarital info, I changed it to 30 and added “Use sheets found in next section to continue” or something like that. He was informed he had to fill it out himself (his sister could not help him), but don’t worry the documents will be public for anyone to read later if they want.
          I banked on POS not wanting to drag out in court; not wanting to be honest; not wanting his family to know the truth; not wanting to delay getting spousal support.
          It worked. I started paying him $3k a month in spousal and every 6 months it decreased until 2 years later he started paying me child support.
          Document strategy is important 🫶🏻

      • Laws need upgraded and inclusive of mental , money and physical abuse trauma as the effects and danger of cheating ! All states should also have alienation of affection on the books as well. I have often thought how the numbers of us here could possibly make for these changes .

    • What an inspirational post! Thank you for both your life story and your generous contribution to helping other chumps!

    • “I’ve learned that the pain of being chumped is part of my core now.”

      So true, and Chump Nation has become part of my core. Thanks for staying to help other chumps. I firmly believe supporting others helps us to heal as well.

    • I agree w/Laura, Rebecca. Your last paragraph hits the nail on the head. I keep coming back if for no other reason than if I can help some new chump, then I will have done something useful w/my life and my hard won experience as a chump.

      Ok, and also to vent. I’m coming up on 6 years from D-day in early April, and will be four years fully divorced in March. I am still in grey rock w/the FW XW because our youngest of three is a little over 17 yo now.

      I’m in the home stretch, and by October 6th of this new year, he’ll be 18 yo and I’ll technically be free of her. But as long as the kids exist, that won’t really happen. Not that I want anything to happen to them. Her and her partner, though? Hmm…Nah. Only if they do it to themselves. Which could happen w/these moral nimrods!🤣

      She still manages to trigger me by saying she wants to be cordial w/me now. As if. Funny, when you exit-affair your loving husband using your rich, older, married boss (father figure/sugar daddy), blowing your family and his apart in the process, cordial doesn’t come to mind. Be happy w/civil, you deluded whore, is much more likely to pop into my head.

      Ok, my spleen feels better for venting. Thank you all for putting up w/it, and me. Wishing CL and all of CN the very best New Year, and of course…may it be fuckwit-free!!😁

    • Beautiful Rebecca!
      I comment infrequently nowadays, but I still love reading ChumpLady’s hilarious wit and deep wisdom every week.

    • Rebecca, can you say more about “what a no fault state means when you’re divorcing a cheater”? I mean, I know that basically it means the cheating is not taken into consideration in any of the divorce proceedings… anything else?

    • What a beautiful person you are , you have overcome the most horrible times in a persons life . You have raised my spirit go girl you are an inspiration.

  • You answered my letter eight or nine years ago as I struggled with if I should spend the holidays with the lying, cheating ex. You made it clear I did not have to spend the holidays with exhole ever again. And I haven’t. We’re divorced, I sold the house and moved to a great one-acre home where I garden and raise chickens. I play music and found a great bunch of musicians here. I also remarried a guy who’s stable and has his own money so won’t blow through mine. I’m about to retire from my toxic corporate job and follow my dreams to be a writer. My life is blessed and I thank God every day I finally got out of the hell I was in. Both of my grown sons are making me a grandmother next year. What could be better?

    My sons are celebrating New Year’s with their spouses and friends on my youngest son’s property tomorrow. The ex and his parents from Germany will be there. My youngest is grilling all day and shooting off fireworks at night. I can tell he’s a bit disappointed I will not be there. These are hard decisions, but my sanity is worth it. I’m going to my son’s house today for breakfast and to hang out with them before the ex arrives.

    I’m also still settling the QDRO so the ex can take half of my hard-earned pension. I’m angry that I paid so much. It doesn’t seem fair after what he did to me, but I remind myself that I would live in a box under a bridge rather than spend one more day with the ex, so it’s worth it.

    Better dry crust in peace than feasting in a house of strife–Proverds.

  • I posted this awhile back on Facebook, after 10 years on Facebook, from 2009 to 2019. It’s long, but worth the read. Fo reference, I was 25-35, spent 4 years as a JAG, and now work as a civilian attorney for the Army. I met my Ex halfway through 2009.

    2009 was such a dichotomous year. The first half of 2009 was clubs, concerts, dinners, and occasional dates. I drove a sports car. I took a trip to Europe. I surrounded myself with incredible girls and guy friends. I strutted around in a uniform. I was skinny, stressed, and constantly on antibiotics. I did my best to prove to everyone in cyberspace that I was successful, confident, and completely fine with being single at 25. I didn’t realize I was trying to convince myself.

    The second half was confusion. Confused as to why I didn’t measure up. Confused as to why I wasn’t the person I was sure I was going to be. I was play acting like an attorney and waiting on someone to call me on my bullshit. The ring on my finger didn’t make anything better. I began a 5 year long argument with myself that it would.

    2019:

    I’m no longer skinny. I play act at losing weight and then call myself on my own bullshit and eat chips and queso.

    I strut around in business suits and professional dresses.

    Dichotomy is still present. Sometimes I’m mommy falling asleep on the couch to the Addams family theme. Sometimes I’m a tipsy adult falling asleep on the couch after two glasses of wine. Sometimes I’m both (with grandparents around).

    I write waaaaaaay too personal, long Facebook statuses.

    I drive a Prius. I spend too much money on life insurance and a mortgage. I attend therapy. I surround myself with incredible women and guy friends who I rarely see in person, but are there in a crisis. I’ve found a job that puts my resting bitch face to good use. I circle “Divorced” on my paperwork and wonder if anyone realizes what a victory that is. I’m relatively successful, snarky, confident, and completely fine with not being married at 35. I’m working on staring that measuring stick down and telling it it’s wrong.

    I am absolutely, positively, completely, definitely not the person I was sure I was going to be.

    I’m better.

    • I LOVE this!!! Happy New Year, Dbleighm, from a fellow shark (though I have never been in practice). 😉

  • Good karma rains down in abundance for this chump.

    In the 18 months I’ve been FW free I wrote a book, had a long-form non-fiction story published in two major publications, sold the rights to said story for TV/Movie development, and am working on book two as well as an anthology of long-form stories. (Last week, the story was named an editor’s top ten pick and top five most popular with readers in 2022!)

    My relationship with my adult daughters is thriving as I continue monthly therapy sessions in an effort to futher better my emotional and mental well-being. As a result,
    I feel whole and genuinely happy for the first time in almost 40 years.

    In September, I became reacquainted with a gentleman I went to high school with and we started seeing each other. So, for what is likely the first time in my adult life, I am enjoying spending time in a completely honest and mutually supportive relationship with an emotionally stable and mature empathetic person. As we slowly learn more about each other, I marvel at the stark differences I’m experiencing now versus the early days with Cheating Bastard Ex. No commonality whatsoever, and I think part of that is due to both of us being our most authentic selves from day one.

    Finally, I can’t say enough about how much strength I’ve gleaned from the Chump Nation! I still read every day as I grow ever nearer to meh. My biggest takeaway is the empowerment and healing no-contact brings to the newly (and veteran) Chumped. I’d never be where I am without it.

    • “I wrote a book, had a long-form non-fiction story published in two major publications, sold the rights to said story for TV/Movie development, and am working on book two as well as an anthology of long-form stories. (Last week, the story was named an editor’s top ten pick and top five most popular with readers in 2022!)”

      Congratulations!

  • Happy new year CN! I am ~5.5 yrs post DDay and 5yrs post divorce (yes I pushed it through), sold family home, bought and remodeled condo on a lake near grandkids. Retired and took up hiking then golf. Vacationed in Alaska, Hawaii, pre-COVID and ICELAND a couple months ago. Have NOT had a COVID! have an English Golden retriever who keeps me company, wonderful sisters from other mothers who stood by me and make my life sane and a male friend with whom I go to games, concerts, movies. I am content and drama free. It’s good. My sons are still struggling with their MIA Dad which makes me sad for them.” I wish he was a better man.” (Adele’s song). Things really started to feel new normal around yr 4. (30 yr marriage). Hugs!

  • Perfect timing as I am over 7 years free of the exhole and coming up very quickly on the 18th birthday of youngest so full and utter freedom is fast approaching!! I’ve got 1 and 3/4 feet into the land of ‘meh’ and it’s a beautiful sight.
    I stick around and continue to read to help me continue to hold my boundaries. I recommend this site to so many people- it’s been invaluable in terms of the practical aspects of life after a fuckwit.
    We have one more child support issue to resolve and then the morning of youngest’s birthday? I’m blocking the MOFO on everything.
    I’m happily remarried to a wonderful man and our marriage is a healthy model for my children to aspire to.
    Thanks to you CL and everyone in Chump Nation.

  • It’s been a while for me but I bred with a FW, so…here I am. My letter is here:
    https://www.chumplady.com/2014/02/dear-chump-lady-the-kids-are-starting-to-ask-questions/
    Since then I’ve reached meh in most of my life. My kids are 20 now and one still hasn’t figured out that his mother alienated him from me. So still working on that. Other than that I’ve gotten a great life. Met and married a fellow chump and am very happy. All the new chumps will get there too. Happy New Year!

  • I’m 4+ years post divorce and my only regret is that I didn’t divorce him sooner. I shouldn’t have married him in the first place, but I digress.

    I increased my salary 60% since I left and make almost triple what ex makes. I own a lovely house, the first one I’ve ever owned by myself so everything here is mine. Ex reluctantly paid me my share of what he considers HiS house (I contributed plenty financially…..more then him but since he’d technically bought it a year before we married he considered it his). He kept most of the lawn tools for himself because “his” house.

    Whatever. I bought my own stuff.

    My now grown young men live with me while they go to school and work and we have zero tension. We away had to walk on egg shells to avoid irritating or offending his majesty and my kids always got on his nerves so he was nasty to them. His spoiled brat daughter could do no wrong….she was grown and was a bitch to me but her ass still had to be kissed. He was in their lives 13 years from the time they were little and thet never even speak of him…it’s like he never existed.

    I don’t have to deal with Mr conflict avoidant nasty passive aggressive douchebag following me and changing the thermostat even though I paid the bill. My food bill is way down….I bought the groceries but he ate most of them. I don’t have to hear the shitty comments under his breath followed by him playing dumb with a phony smile. I don’t have to deal with his attention seeking and shitty boundaries. His whore can have all of that, although she was still on marriage #5 so they might still be on the down low.

    I used to have bad IBS….now it’s mostly gone.

    And I have a lovely bf of 4 years who as sweet as candy and very sexy. And he’s not a phony attention seeking passive aggressive.

    Happy New Years everyone!

  • Dear CN and CL

    I am a Lurker who has seriously benefited from all the shared experience and the straight-talking advice in this place.
    I was in too much pain to share my story. My GP got me into crisis therapy which saved my life. Keeping my kids safe was also a priority.
    My close friends & family along with a brilliantly no-nonsense legal team helped me (over 18 months) to finally kick my rubbish cheater off his DIY chipboard pedestal and right out of my life.
    My kids – adults now, were hurt and sad for a couple of years. They still have a FW for a father but none of it has to be my problem anymore.

    Six and a half years post D-Day, I’m living a ridiculously good life as a wood-fired baker & writer. The lovely friends, the strong relationships with my children & the having no urge to conform to the predicted path of a middle-aged woman are the highlights 😁

    Be strong, because you’re already strong. And mighty praises to Chump Lady and Chump Nation for making me battle-ready. I still come back here for top-ups! 💪🏽😍

  • I found CL while looking at divorce sites. I was/am disabled, almost sixty. My daughter and grandchild lived in my house. I had 4 pets I adored. I had been married 40 years. If I left I stood to lose, income, pets, house (I paid for before disability) . Basically everything. The letters, advice from other letters, CL snark helped me see through the fog, of helplessness. He unexpectedly became terminal just as I was planning my exit. CL, CN , helped me keep my sanity and grey rock until he passed.
    I got it all. My health improved tremendously. I bought a different house I choose. It took a few years to realize what I liked, wanted, not his choices. I have less monthly money and twice as much spending money. I now can recognize gaslighting, triangulation, narcissistic traits and just plain BS. Almost every day I’m surprised how happy I am. My whole life sings. Problems are just irritating, no big deal. My only regret is the time I wasted with the idiot.

    • To be completely honest, due to circumstances, I’m expecting to be in this same boat — and that’s part of why I haven’t leapt toward divorce. Illness is definitely a factor in my ambivalence. The ethicist in me has a hard time jumping ship when it is so likely he could be near the end.

      I’m glad you are finding goodness in this time and I feel you deeply on the regret.

      • I get it, if I ditched him while terminal, my adult kids would have thought me a monster. My catholic guilt would have been horrible. I’m just spiritual now, but! Then came things I learned here. (Mr CL) If it feels good don’t do it. Think strategically. I knew if he died I would get everything and not pay a lawyer. For a solid year, one month and seven days, he tried to make my life hell. I went grey rock, remembering my final goal.

      • I understand. I too debated. FW became a cheater & late life pill addict (found needles after he was out), heart stent, untreated high blood pressure and is a skin cancer factory. I decided he was too much of a financial risk to wait. He has judgments against him now. The adult kids blame me (jokingly) that he’s still living. I cooked well and healthy which backfired on me. He was a health care provider. Took 2.5 years to divorce and I’ve been free of FW for 1.5 years.

        • The financial risk angle makes total sense to me, Sandyfeet. That’s one of the dealbreakers we haven’t hit yet, but if we do, that will do it.

          There are a few other things that would motivate me, too. Illegal actions in general, physical acting out, stuff like that. If things weren’t pretty good in the status quo, I’d make a move. I have a good job and I’m not afraid to be alone, practically or emotionally. Just trying to keep life stable in the moment, I guess. So glad for you that you did what was right for you and are 1.5 years in to better times!!!

  • My D-day happened gradually, but the scales fell from my eyes in December 2017 when I’d been cleaning up after Thanksgiving and getting ready for Christmas. Things went slowly at first … so it wasn’t until August 2018 that I filed for divorce. I moved out of the house on August 2019, and it wasn’t until January 2021 that the divorce itself was final.

    I think when Chumplady tells us “no contact” it may be the most significant advice we’re likely to get from any source anywhere, bar none. Here’s why (in my case): from the time I first started dating my husband, up to the day I filed for divorce, I’d been with him over half my life. That’s how many decades I’d become accustomed to turning to him for advice, or for explanations or suggestions. It was pure instinct, evolving as it did over many, many years. When I started to realize what a complete fraud it all was … it felt to me like a phantom limb.

    Chumplady is telling us that the phantom limb is exactly that. It doesn’t exist. You can’t lean on it for support.

    The thing that most contributed to my recovery, was removing myself physically in August 2019, so he could no longer monitor my thoughts and activities. I may not have fully realized this at the time.

    We don’t have contact. Our daughter is in her 20’s. She told me some time ago that she would need to have a continuing relationship with her father, notwithstanding how fucked-up she knew he was. I respect that. I actually think it’s pretty mature of her.

    She spent Christmas with him this year.

    I have not yet gotten completely to Tuesday, but it’s definitely coming. I don’t spend my life having flashbacks trying to untangle what was real and what was fake. I still have nightmares and wake up with bloodstains on my pillowcase, but it’s happening with far less frequency.

    I’m okay, actually content with the Christmas I had, home with the puppy. To be clear, having a puppy doesn’t solve everything in life. On the other hand, it does make the morning happy and cheerful, and it’s nice having someone snuggle up to me at night if I’m thrashing around having a nightmare.

    Puppies do not lie or cheat, although they occasionally steal, usually socks out of the laundry basket. I’m willing to cut her some slack on that. My ex stole money, youth and happiness. I can afford to replace a sock here and there.

    • “To be clear, having a puppy doesn’t solve everything in life.”
      No, but it comes close. Enjoy the new year with your wonderful pup, who will be a wonderful fully grown dog this time next year. Dogs are everything.

  • Dday was September 2018 (not the first Dday-16 years married). I immediately applied to graduate school because I had no career, found a second job, and was okay, but money was not enough to keep my kids in the same school district so I needed a new plan. While continuing my graduate degree in one subject (teaching English as a second language), I began taking nursing school prerequisites (while caring for my kids 100% of the time, keeping our house running, etc). The pandemic lost me a lot of income (I was a musician) and FW was the boss at the university where I taught. Something fishy went down and my contract wasn’t renewed there so I had to find a new job (yes FW likely had something to do with me losing the job but it was a dead-end low-paying job and I was delighted to NOT have to work with him anymore). Now I have a job as a pharmacy technician (which pays more than my old job). I chose this because it’s super close to home so the kids can use my car when they need it and it will help me prepare for nursing school. I FINISHED MY MASTERS this December and I will concentrate on finishing my nursing prerequisite classes (holding a 4.0 in those now). I will apply to nursing school at the end of 2023. My lawyer has my mortgage paid by FW till my (hopeful) graduation from nursing school in 2026, so my kids can stay in the house they grew up in. I’m 52 years old, starting a brand new career, and getting a bachelor’s degree while my oldest son ALSO leaves for college next year to get HIS bachelor’s. FW lives with AP in the next state over and only stops by to see the kids a couple times a week for a few minutes (oldest son rarely sees him). He totally sucks. Divorce is not quite final, but hopefully any week now we’ll be signing things (I filed in 2019). I won’t consider myself at meh until I’m financially on my feet and can offer support to my kids, but hopefully that will only be 3 years from now. Never in a million years did I think I was smart enough to get through nursing school. That’s something I couldn’t contemplate while living in the manipulation fog with FW. Being out of that abuse is the best thing that’s ever happened to me and my kids. They are both nice boys (teenagers) with friends and just me taking care of them. It’s a good life.

  • Yes you mentioned my question about the trust bank and published My Dog Loves Mark. Basically after a year of dating I found he was on multiple dating sites and has an ad on Craigslist. I broke it off but he begged for us to get together and we started couples counseling. I wanted to believe he sincerely loved me and would be faithful.I took him back. Rookie mistake .Over the course of another 6 years his distain towards me set in. I knew he was continuing his antics and I finally dumped him. When I look back at the timeline, I don’t believe he ever stopped cheating. I was so distraught at being convinced to trust him after Dday 1 just to have history repeat itself. But now I am living my best life and he is probably still living with my former friend. It makes me smile knowing that his payback is the life he leads. I on the other hand am rocking my life. I bought a home and immerse myself in home improvement work. I plan to start a garden. I got a puppy! I do life drawing and plein air painting. I took a swing dance class. I love my job. My two adult children live with me and we are a happy family. I haven’t dated since I dumped him, because I can’t stand the thought of trusting someone who is evil, but if I sense a genuinely good person might be interested, I am open to walking that path. But no rush, as I get all the love I need from family and friends, and I get happiness from living my best, authentic life. I read Chump Lady every day, and start my day with her snark and sage advice. I am grateful for her voice ever day.

      • My girl 🐾 is 10.5 now. She was such a love 💕 when I’d have tearful waves of grief. I included her in settlement, didn’t want any questions on who she belongs with.

        • My dog has been one of the things holding me up, sadly. I just know klootzak would fight me for her because our child loves the dog. Though he has never been her care taker, he would insist on the dog going with him.

          Just recently, the dog’s specialist vet (the dog is at least 12 years old with multiple health issues) advised that her internal condition has worsened and she has, at best, weeks or month left. I will be devastated when she is gone but also unshackled from her being another thing he could use to hurt me. Caring for her has been a very expensive proposition, running thousands of dollars per year for the last several years. I am on a tight schedule of giving her pills before meals, shots, and pills with or after meals. As much as I love dogs, I am doubtful I will ever get one again. I’m getting too old to deal with much more heartbreak.

  • I was chumped and got divorced many years ago. Now I’m remarried, and poorly. We get along well enough (not brilliantly, but well enough), and I have no clear information that suggests cheating. But I can’t see how it wouldn’t be happening, because we’re not intimate anymore (for nearly a decade) and he’s focused on the online porn so many people have replaced real sex with nowadays.

    I’m not even interested in sex with him at this point because he’s not offering anything in the bedroom that I’d want. I don’t care at all about the erectile stuff or anything physical. I take people where they are in life. And I’m a very passionate person. But I do hate feeling objectified, compared, disrespected, and not personally desired, so that all really kills it for me.

    I’m also a lot older, and divorcing would be such a huge financial blow and life explosion, that I just sit here waiting to see what will happen next.

    I feel embarrassed enough by this that I don’t want anyone to know who I am. I realize I need to do something, I’m just not ready, and I can’t become ready because others think I should. So I don’t reach out. I lurk and consider what others share because I know I’ll change things at some point and the advice helps me. Until then, I just sit here gathering strength and organizing my life for readiness for the day the change comes.

    • Hey Lurky, people really don’t seem to understand the horrible, negative, secondary effects of porn (and aren’t the primary effects bad enough?) like the effects on faithful spouses. I cannot imagine how many partnerships and marriages out there have “lost their spark” in direct correlation with porn use (of course, you can add in a myriad of vices here like alcohol, too). I am sorry that you’re in this situation, and want you to know that you don’t need to be embarrassed at all. I also carried so much shame around at first, but am working hard to shake it off! You have no control over your partner, and few of us even has as much influence as we’d like. This shame isn’t yours to carry. I hope you’ll try to shake it off, too. Big virtual hugs, friend!

      • Thanks, Falling Forward. I think the reason it’s so humiliating is the same reason it’s so mean for a partner to hide their sexual secrets – because I really worked hard to bring a good picker to this choice after such a bad former marriage, and none was revealed until after we were married. Once again, I’ve been fooled, believed bullshit, entered this marriage with hopes and dreams (and this time having asked all the right questions) only to end up here, now, duped again, and uncertain of which direction I want to take.

        Thanks for your kindness. I appreciate it.

    • It took me a very long time to leave Lurky. I lurked here for at least three years before filing for divorce. I didn’t have definitive proof of cheating either, which kept me stuck. I was the breadwinner, and I didn’t want to financially ruin myself. He was emotionally abusive, but I “accepted” his “flaws” and absolved him by blaming his behavior on his atrocious childhood. I tried to be the forgiving, loving, understanding partner that I wished he was.

      In the end, I caught him in a very typical lie – he lied all the time – often about things that didn’t matter. But it suddenly clicked in, I’d rather be alone forever than be lied to one more time. I was more shocked than anyone that I had filed. Until that moment, I thought I didn’t have it in me.

      When you are ready, you will be ready. In the meantime keep a journal. Re-reading my journal, I was shattered to see how depressed and miserable I actually was. How I minimized my needs down to nothing and focused on his. I was shocked by hurtful things he did that I had brushed under the rug and forgotten. The journal was the beginning of living in reality again.

      • You know, I just bought one of those journals where you just write a few things but you can see over time what you did every year on that day. I do think it will be illuminating. Way to be mighty!

      • The journal. Same for me. I wrote a lot most of my life. There was a period of time I kept a calendar. It was proof for me just not enough to get away. I’ve burned all the journals one New Year’s Eve a number of years ago. Wish I’d been able to get to the letters and cards I’d written FW and burn them, too.
        It’s really weird but I can’t journal anymore. I’ve tried and nothing happens.
        Maybe it’s because I’m at peace.

    • I hope you can use your years to build your own best life! Not everything can always be about just getting out.

      Try to find friends who you enjoy being with. Find a new hobby or look on meetup to find an activity you might enjoy doing solo. Start walking everyday and get healthy or healthier. Ask the librarian to recommend books that take your mind out of your own troubles.

      In other words, try to move on without moving out. You may hate where you are and not see any way out bit that doesn’t mean you have to stay in his level.

      Good luck! We would love to hear that you found your way to a positive life for YOU!

      • Thank you Rebecca – I appreciate your advice and didn’t realise that ‘meetup’ existed. It looks really great.

    • Hi Lurky, Thank you for writing this. I feel that I’m in the same situation – my second marriage (his third) and it took me a while to realise that current cheater has very similar personality traits to my first cheating husband. I’m currently working on reclaiming my confidence and self-worth (from all of his lying and gaslighting) while trying to work a way out of this mess (in a way that doesn’t impact my finances too negatively). I hope everything works out for you.

      • For those of us chumps who are ‘hanging in there’ to time our run (for financial reasons), does anyone have advice on how to get through cheater’s emotional triggers – e.g. cheater starts singing one of ‘their’ special songs around house? I’m trying not to let on that I know about all of their shit – just trying to put everything in place before I run.

    • When one is ready the time is there.
      Don’t be embarrassed. Whenever I feel embarrassed it’s because I didn’t or am not doing what everyone is spouting as the proper fix. Those are just popular.

      Trust yourself as you’re sitting there.

      I sat on the fence for somewhere near 8 years and then found LACGAL. I instantly filed for divorce. Sure, I have some regrets and question myself what the heck did you do? But I know that I was very consciously hoping toward my marriage and that he was a good guy. It was a daily choice I made. Period.

    • Lurky, porn use ruined my marriage too. He started with porn, went to more and creepier porn, and then cheated when the porn was not enough anymore. I had no idea he was doing it, only finding out after Dday. You are quite right in thinking his porn use has lead to or will lead to cheating. Studies have verified the link.

      When you get ready to make a move, you know we are here to help you through it, and you can still reach out for support even if you are not ready to leave.

  • Six years ago today I was still grappling with D-day, which had occurred on December 11th. After that things imploded quickly.

    Yesterday I celebrated my 4th anniversary with an absolutely amazing woman. In that marriage I gained 4 young adult stepkids who had been abandoned by their own father who walked out on them several years before. I’m like their dad now, and one even calls me that.

    I was childless for 30 years in my previous marriage, and I treasure my relationship with my step-kids.

    We lost one of the kids to suicide several years ago, and that was the most horrible thing imaginable. But every time I find myself getting angry with my ex I stop to remind myself that if not for discovering her betrayal I would never have known that young man or been part of this wonderful family. I’d have spent the rest of my life investing in someone who didn’t really love me back.

    I am much better off now.

    • Observer, my deepest sympathies for your terrible loss. That is so painful.

      My daughter lost her best and oldest friend to suicide at the age of 16. Neither of us were ever quite the same after that precious girl died.
      What helped us was having a yearly memorial for her. I would take my daughter, her cousin (also a friend of the deceased) and my daughter’s friend (the deceased girl’s ex-boyfriend) to lunch and we would share memories about her and toast to her.
      She died 14 years ago, so we no longer do the memorials, but it helped get the kids through it for several years.

  • Officially 5.5 years, I’ll chime in as someone who isn’t anywhere near “gaining a life”, despite being a cheater, as health after leaving and the pandemic played their heavy hand in limiting my escape options. Im still financially related to the cheater, but I dont live with him and we have no kids together, so our interactions only revolve around my welfare (he’s gone ahead and built his own “nation” so he’s fine playing charitable ex-villain).

    Im putting this out there, so someone in a similar place doesnt have to feel bad about the “Christmas Newsletter” highlight reel effect of everyone else’s life turning out “more”.

    Im in the “stuck” section. For now. My turn will come.
    I dont live life by someone’s else book anymore, though, so while I feel guilty for not having been able to do “more”, Im for sure enjoying the IMMENSE PEACE of how everything turned out for me.

    • WTF, that should have read “who isn’t anywhere near “gaining a life”, despite LEAVING a cheater”- Too much editing gets me strange places!

      • Thanks, Tracy 🙂 I appreciate that! Especially today finding out that ex cheater is expecting with his new prey, I mean, girlfriend!

    • Peace is what it’s all about, Quetzal. I still have some financial ties to my ex. It doesn’t bother me, because I never have to see his stupid face. We communicate, if neccesary, by text, so I don’t have to hear his miserable voice either.
      You don’t have a thing to feel guilty about. You made a new life for yourself. That takes guts. Never forget that.

  • You answered my letter a year ago. One thing you said always stuck with me “Why would you want to (stay with a FW)” It came to my mind more often than could count.

    I did let him back. I could tell you the horrors of the past year, the serial cheating, the blaming, the DARVO, but instead I will say, I finally did it. 19 months after the 1st Dday, and 2 weeks after the 5th (that I know of) …my 17 year marriage is over.
    And all I feel is relief. A sense of peace I know will only grow.
    I face my own shame for staying, with grace for myself and focus on rebuilding my life, and my children.
    It’s amazing what happens when you just let go.

  • I wrote you back in October of 2018. You didn’t publish my letter but responded to me with such kindness. My ex decided to start “dating” when I was diagnosed with breast cancer. I found out in the middle of chemo, surgery, and radiation. I kicked him out.

    I had been a stay at home mom for nearly twenty years. Now I was sick, bald, being kicked out of my home, “lost” my youngest son to his father’s lies, and unequipped to support myself.

    The hits kept coming over the next couple of years, the pandemic making everything even harder. Some very dark days that I didn’t think I’d survive.

    Now four years later, I am cancer free, my hair grew back, and I am living in the condo of my dreams. The mortgage is covered by the required maintenance he has to pay thanks to a good attorney, even after he tried everything in his power to deny me.

    My job is only so-so, but I make enough to cover my expenses. I have great friends, my oldest son in beginning to prosper, and I am actually sort of interested in a dude.

    Don’t know if I’m completely “meh” yet, but I do see Tuesday; in no small part to reading this blog on the daily. And Chumplady’s book. But I truly believe life is good again and I find myself optimistic, if not down-right happy!

    • Dear bcchump, I too had an ex start cheating on me during chemo. After such grandiose (and public) pledges of support right after the diagnosis. Showing up daily for the yucky stuff? Skid marks and disdain.Cancer isn’t fun. Cancer partner support isn’t glorious and really turns up the flame under the exuberant defiance pot they always have going on the back burner. People like that have a core of toxic waste.

      HOORAY on cancer free! Hooray for dreamy condos! And Hip Hip Hooray for prospering children!!

    • Starting to date while you were getting chemo….that is ghastly horrible behavior and Im sorry you suffered through it.

  • DDay August 2020 (final DDay as there had been 2 others but they were only friends ‘GODDAMIT woman!’). Divorce finalised April of this year….. can’t remember the date! 😁 This was after much argey bargey from FW. I got my full 407k and some. Actually took some great advice from the good souls here…. especially LFTT regarding house and contents.

    My mirage (term coined from VH) was a long one spanning over 3 decades, there was much work to be done, its still in progress.

    I work less now and play more. Own my home and have it decorated to my taste. Have my loving family around me – 3 adult children and 4 grandchildren. I’m in a financial position where I can treat them as and when I please with no wanker scoffing at what I spend (although said wanker was always spending what he liked). Forgetting the financial side of things.. Its the simple things that I relish the most! A relaxing coffee while listening to the birds, the flowers, watching the sunrise and sunset, trash TV, reading my books, writing in my diary, planning my crops for next year, laughing at my chickens cos they are funny af and having the heating on!

    My life is peaceful and joyous. It gets better all the time.

    I can see my Tuesday…. Its right there just on the horizon. If I can get there anyone can.

    Hugs to you all ❤️

      • 😂😂😂👍🏼

        LFTT wrote on here about his ex wanting to collect items from the home after the divorce was finalised and he’d been awarded house and all contents. I made sure this was in my divorce. Lo and behold the wanker suddenly wanted contents that he hadn’t taken…. I happily reminded him that I now own EVERYTHING.

        • My FW tried this same bullshit- (we’re finalizing now) He put something like “husband hopes to have the ability to pick stuff up at the house if necessary in the future” – I had already PAINSTAKINGLY packed all of his stuff, plus some expensive marital assets that I didn’t want (documented everything) and left it for him in dribs and drabs every time he had visitation with the kids- took forever!! I squashed that completely and had my lawyer make it so all property is considered divided upon the signature of the decree (which should happen in the next month). They really are all the same.

  • I lurked here for years before I began commenting and sharing. The heart of the matter for me is the question, so succinctly put by CL: “Is this acceptable to me?”
    I apply it not only to romantic relationships but to friendships, family, work and business relationships… all of life.
    Because I had it backwards the entire first half of my life, asking “Am I acceptable to you?”
    It started with my mom. I was adopted as an infant and as I grew up, I grew into a person completely different from the daughter she expected to have. We loved each other, and I brokered a peace treaty between us when I was a young mom, but my for whole childhood and adolescence I alternated between pick-me dancing and rebelling.
    It shaped me. My ex-husband was another version of my mom. Critical. Manipulative. Impossible to please. Not for my lack of trying, though.
    I emerged from that 18-year marriage with serious body image issues and my self esteem in the toilet. He had me convinced I was unattractive, incompetent, unlikable, and socially awkward.
    If that doesn’t make a perfect target for a sociopath, I don’t know what does. Enter the Lying Cheating Loser and the worst four years of my life.
    May of 2023 will mark 13 years since I left my cheating ex-husband, and five years since I dumped the LCL.
    These days, I’m a chubby middle-aged cat- and plantlady with a bum knee, and I couldn’t be more content. I have walked away from all the things that were not acceptable to me. Not just the two cheating men, but lopsided or expired friendships, shitty jobs and bosses, and – maybe most importantly – my own thoughts and habits that did not serve.
    I’m not dating, and I doubt I will again. Thanks to this blog, I was able to recognize and unpack my broken picker. My picker was so broken it didn’t even pick. It just sat there until somebody – anybody – picked me. And then my childhood programming kicked in and I got to work making myself acceptable to that person.
    How am I mighty? All of my mighty comes from listening to, and trusting myself. I trusted myself to buy an old house at auction and fix it up. I trusted I could be a working artist. And every day, I trust that the people in my life (my kids, my friends, my family) love me for who I authentically am.

    • “My picker was so broken it didn’t even pick. It just sat there until somebody – anybody – picked me. And then my childhood programming kicked in and I got to work making myself acceptable to that person.”

      This is how I know I am not ready to date. I don’t even know how to tell if I like someone, I just worry if they like me or not. I got married because I thought it was my “only chance” and that “no one else will ever want to marry me.”

      I am working on self-love and self-worth with no aim of ever dating again, and I’m happier than I’ve been in decades.

    • WalkawayWoman , I asked myself “Is this acceptable to me?” in 2021 when half the people in my department at my level left, and my workload was increased by 30% for no more money. I decided it wasn’t. I wish I’d learned to frame situations this way a very long time ago.

      So I gave notice, at the age of 60, at a job I’d worked at for 4 years, knowing I might not be able to get another one. What am I living on? An inheritance, while I finish settling an estate and consider what I want to do next.

      Who knows, I may never work a regular full time job again. But at the least, I’m pretty sure I can pick up contract work. And I have the inheritance as a backstop.

      It’s better than being ridiculously overworked by a crappy boss.

      • Good for you, Daughterofachump! It’s such a critical tool for us chumps. I have been self-employed for most of my working life, and while I walk a financial tightrope, my time is mine and my “boss” is a pretty cool chick. 😎

  • You responded to my letter in April of 2020 when I was still giving my alcoholic ex another chance. In early 2022 I came to the realization that an affair was not something I was “getting over” and that being married to an alcoholic sucks. He would relapse after about 6 months of sobriety, and it was always me discovering he’d been drinking which was triggering. My ex got a hip replacement and I was thinking how I was expected to care for him in sickness and health and he couldn’t even do the same in health. We separated and divorced in October. Early into the separation he asked if we could date, and I was fine with that. I’m dating a thoughtful, kind guy who doesn’t drink much. He’s funny and a great conversationalist. My only regret is not getting a divorce sooner ….

    • This and several of the other letters hit home with me. The caring for someone when they did not do the same for you in health. My problem is I am caring for someone who could not care for me in sickness or health. Out of touch. It is one of those things where person gets bad diagnosis and I would look like a I don’t know what if I left him as everyone thinks he is a good guy (he is not all bad). I found out things were much worse re betraying me and being dishonest about a year after his diagnosis. I am not sure I would leave as our lives, finances, etc. are kind of set in stone and we are quite gray. I just think of the time I wasted with someone who not only did not take care of me or show concern when I had bad neuro diagnosis. This does not make sense at 2:20 a.m. I know but it sucks to have lived your life thinking you had only been deceived once and then almost a half century later you find out that there was more to it than admitted to when you found out and that there has been secret contact with an X since then and then more deception. Bravo to all of those who had the courage to leave and gain new lives. I am stuck in the thought of I am disabled too so things would be more difficult for both of us if we split and I would look like the bitch from hell if I gave up my care giver duties to live an honest life. Blessings to all of you.

      • Lee, stop worrying about how you’ll look to others. I understand staying because you are disabled and life would be harder, but I do hope you can get over caring about the opinions of others. If somebody mistreats you and breaks vows, then your duty of care to that person is over. He fired you from that job. Anybody who doesn’t understand that and would condemn you for leaving is a fool. Can’t you put him in a care home?

  • My initial letter and another after a wreck-conciliation:
    https://www.chumplady.com/2019/10/dear-chump-lady-but-what-if-i-leave-him-and-he-changes/
    https://www.chumplady.com/2020/09/ubt-if-you-need-me-ill-be-there/

    My life is peaceful, easy, cozy. Aside from dealing with a narc-y, elderly relative, things are serene. My youngest with special needs lives me. He’s doing so well. I’ve reconnected with old friends and hobbies. I work part time and putter around the house, crafting, gardening and working on various projects.

    I don’t miss my ex. I don’t worry anymore about the things that worried me in those old posts. I’m simply grateful to be free. I can say with certainty, I’ll never be conned by another psychopath again. In fact, I’ve been rooting out all of the toxic, integrity-impaired people from my life one by one. I have a few good friends, a lovely home and a happy, harmonious life with my son. It really doesn’t need to get any better than this.

    I’ve been NC for more or less 18+ months – with two exceptions (a death and to tell him I would get a restraining order if he didn’t stop harassing me).

    For the newbies – this is a wild ride and it’s really hard to stay the course, but there’s peace and healing to be had. It’s so much better than living with the abuse these idiots mete out and the crumbs they might throw at you once in awhile. I’ve learned that happiness isn’t the high of romantic love nor the highs of anything – it’s peace. I have that now.

  • I also have never written in, although i have read CHUMPLADY’s post most every weekday for approximately 8 yrs. My Dday was New Year’s Eve 2015. It is a very long story as all of our story’s are. Husband was cheating with woman our daughter’s age in a foreign country, turns out for 6 yrs. Took 3.5 yrs to get divorce. It took me 6 yrs to understand what freedom means. Tracy, I can honesty say you saved me in so many ways( I will be a patron till I die 😂)
    You helped me find my spine and helped me to stand tall. I now how to react when people say things like “ oh cheating happens, it doesn’t make him a bad person” and so many other things that have been said to me through the years. I am now a living example to my daughter, who is currently going through a divorce. I send her Chumplady regularly.
    I am now living my best life, traveling the world, accomplishing bucket list items.
    I can honestly say I would not go back to my old life for anything in this world. I will forever be grateful to you Tracy.

  • I too wrote a letter right after DD and CL responded personally (TY!). I’ve also had a letter published on a Tuesday about my Tuesday. I remarried a month ago. My wife is beyond my dreams in many ways. My young-adult children are launching. They care very much for their mother and thats their right. I’m not sure if they know what happened, but someday they will learn.

    The biggest gift my XW gave me was wisdom and confidence in myself. Never again will I be that low, that abused, that hurt. Sure, I’ll have pain and sorrow, but I am grateful for my journey and —actually— grateful for the experience; I am a better person through it all.

  • CL answered my letter around 2016 on Hysterical Bonding. A few yrs later I asked her to remove the post and all instances of my activity here. I was dealing with an impending divorce, a potential bunny-boiler, and trying to Leave No Trace digitally.

    Short background: married 26 yrs to a serial cheater; cheating the entirety off the marriage. The 2016 incident was discovering the decades-long affair with a married fool from CA, who he picked up at a bar in NOLA while on a business trip. FW is a covert narc who employed all the tactics and was successful in his double life and his real life with me & 4 kids. The 2016 discovered AP is one of MANY across paid sex workers, colleagues, clients and bar randos like herself.

    Where am I now: Rebuilding. Divorced in 2021. I gave FW over 26 yrs of my life which included leaving my career to support his professional goals across the globe and leaving my graduate education short of 3 classes to complete the degree. I am working my way back into paid employment and figuring out a way to complete my degree, support my college-aged kids and continue to save for retirement in a 10-15 yr horizon.

    I have NO regrets. I have 4 wonderful kids, a great circle of friends, a budding new career and my sibs. I waited longer than most to finalize the divorce because I am a bit pragmatic. Do I wish I had done some things differently, absolutely! I was completely dedicated to my marriage with FW to ‘win it’. Until the layers of deceit, manipulation, emotional & financial abuse kept surfacing. Liars lie and cheaters cheat.

    The worst thing was the immediate ghosting of me and the kids from the in-laws, who I have known 30+yrs. I made FW tell his family in 2016 some of the shit he did to me and his own kids. He and his sibs have experienced the same bullshit from their own fathers. MIL was married 2 times to cheating FWs with the last dying from natural causes and she, herself, remained married to the asshole until the end. Perfect modeling of rug-sweeping and showing her kids that cheating is acceptable behavior while projecting a false family front to the public.

    The outcome from the horror of this trauma is leaving a toxic asshole and the improvement of my overall well-being on many levels. The entire experience has been a horror for me. The cognitive dissonance, managing the stress of supporting my kids emotionally, mapping out my next steps. I didn’t plan for a Jerry Springer episode to become part of my life, but it did. I accept it and am moving forward. I am resilient, courageous, intelligent, loyal, trusting. And now very discerning! I am also judgemental to assholes to break their vows and commitments with intent and purpose.

    Cheating is not a mistake. It is 100% a choice to dupe someone else. Everyone involved in the game of deceit should be outed and held accountable- fuck them.

    Here’s to 2023! I wish everyone here strength and abundance at whatever stage you are in navigating a profound life event thrown at you. You got this!!

  • https://www.chumplady.com/2019/09/dear-chump-lady-i-built-my-whole-life-around-her/

    I’ve had a lot happen in the last three years. I got involved with the opera in my city as an extra (i don’t sing), I started learning swing dancing for fun, also started learning french and got to visit the country twice this year. I’m actually now in the process of moving to France by this summer as I have been conditionally accepted to a master’s of cancer research program there. Haven’t managed to find a new relationship even though I’ve dated a lot. Maybe I’ll find a girl in France. Thanks for your response to my letter btw. I’ve read it a lot, especially when I’ve felt down. Your work helps a lot of people Tracy.

    • i yearn for tuesdayville. maybe this year? the divorce will go through shortly, so maybe then? i hear you on the front row karma bus action, always entertaining/taxing/sad.

  • Good to read everyone’s striving and thriving stories here. Boy, are there some strong and fierce ppl on this site. It’s truly inspiring!!
    My divorce was final April 2018. I mostly feel like I remain in limbo land as far as any genuine life reset. Like, what’s wrong with me, when everyone else amps up their previous lives to such remarkably high bars? I feel like I can never fully get out of the quick sand I was living in for decades of my life and I let narratives into my head: ‘ maybe I was the issue’, since he’s remarried and just finished very successful 4 year post retirement career and now in a new house on the water, traveling, consulting, entertaining like mad, the rock solid power couple just living the dream.
    I moved in with my son to a one bedroom apt, to a state I had no connection with when my home was sold and……I’m still here.( son moved to another state 4 mos after my move in when he lost his job and had to relocate)
    I just keep renewing the lease every year now. I don’t want to buy a home, although I’d like to have a yard for my doggie to play in and more space for me, but I’m okay with being okay I guess.
    I don’t feel like there is anywhere I really belong yet. Just drifting along through space. Not working, ( I’m 67) because I don’t need to, I like the freedom to travel to my kids whenever I want and don’t want to be tied down to a job and I’m not trying to lock in to this town forever. ( I do volunteer stuff)
    The scary part is I feel like I’ve gotten no where at all and yet I’m the sane parent to my 29,31 and 32 year old unmarried children! 😳
    So, I can paint that picture and some days truly buy into it, that I’ve gotten no where at all since the divorce and one of my biggest fears is getting sick and not being able to take care of myself anymore.
    But to the rest of the circle of ppl that inhabit my life and love me, I have incredible strength, positivity and resiliency, lol!
    I have “ put the team on my back” as far as I’m seen by the ppl closest to me. ( I have 5 siblings with families in another state and my kids act as if I’ve completely put the moon up in the sky and see me as the strongest person in the family through this crisis!!) Lol, I feel like an imposter to that view!
    The odd thing about any of this is I think
    both views may be correct!
    Yes, I haven’t fully reset and yes, I am unbelievably capable of so many things and my advice offered to others through my trauma lens view, has been sought after, respected, admired and practically seen as transformational wisdom,hahaha!
    How can both images be accurate at the same time?!? But I even believe they are.
    I have an informed trauma wisdom that can kick the ass on anything the world throws at me and give advice to others with the same affect.
    Like the abuse made me a superhero of sorts,fighting dragons and narcissists with untold accuracy.
    I have modeled strength to my kids to a level they barely think they can make it without me. I don’t like them to have that view and I will set that straight whenever I need to, but I also like that they see me as fierce and capable instead of my frequent self view of weak and damaged.
    I find after 67 years of life, I have a great deal of random knowledge and experiences stuck in this old head that has shown itself to be of great benefit to my young adults in a vast array of areas.
    We all pool our life experiences and we have each others’ backs in a very deep way. Real and so solid, I don’t believe breakable. That’s the advantage of going through some awful shit together, either brings you closer or its opposite. We are closer and we were already super close to start.
    In being able to help one another out, we have all gained wisdom and strength that isn’t at all common. We get life deeply and we know what to value and why. There is a confidence that gives to you that transcends a lot of crap that life hits you with.
    Appreciate what you’ve been given and don’t sweat the small stuff are two life lessons that readily come to mind.
    We talk so frankly with one another, there is no reason not to. We all know their dad has dropped off the sanity cliff. It’s sad, hurtful, troubling and life changing, but we look truth in the eye and deal with it.
    Life is no cake walk, but when we are all together, we appreciate one another on such a level, it makes all our interactions feel so present, connected and almost with a spiritual element.
    I think it’s the going through trauma together, when all the world is not going to understand our experience is what forges the strength of our connectivity.
    We have seen the dark side of life together and are walking hand and hand through hell to get one another out. There is an unbelievable strength in that that others can only imagine exists, who haven’t been so challenged.
    So since divorce I’ve become a next level cook( my kids are my biggest fans with that) I actually know where my monies are and make financial changes as are appropriate. I feel more spiritual and connected to nature and each present moment. I have gratitude for what life has left me and great thanks for it daily. I take in the tiniest of joys in the course of a day and really celebrate them. I look to strengthen ppl in my world I know are struggling and I reach out more. ( always been empathetic, but it’s my life mission now). I am so curious and always learning something new and I share constantly.
    I see the world for what it is, flawed but beautiful. I’m more aware how brief a time we all have here and embrace moments with acute awareness.
    I feel the deepest connect to my internal world that I’ve ever felt in my entire life. I know who I am again!!!
    I’m not where I need to be fully and I’m still searching for a good solid footing, but I’m actually comfortable with being lost and the journey to find my way to a better place is not that scary anymore.
    It feels like this was meant to be somehow.
    I’m not trying to prove to the world I have worth any longer. I feel it internally most every day.
    I know I will have struggles and not always feels solid, but I am the most solid I have been in countless decades of hidden abuses I could not recognize.
    I SEE the world I live in now on a level I was unable to do before.
    Is it perfect? Far from it! Is it safe? Far from it!
    Is it going to be okay? Yes, it will be.
    My kids and I will be stronger because of the hardships we have suffered together from their dad’s drop off the cliff strangeness. We grieve the loss of someone we all loved so much, but we will move forward with our lives and appreciate joys that show up for us in spite of the pain he caused his family and maybe because of it.
    The drama continues with their dad, but it has less and less of an impact since we all know who he is now and can’t change any of that. It will always have an element of sad, tragic and senseless to us, but we’ve accepted it’s the real him. We didn’t create it and we can’t change it. It just is.
    Life has been given an indescribable sweetness we’ve all never tasted before, but we sure have appreciation for it fully.
    Happy New Year to all you good ppl out there in this world!
    I know the good outweighs the bad, we just need some reminders some days.

    • Chumpasaurus45,
      I love what you wrote so much!!
      So many feelings you described I can relate to but can’t articulate.
      I wish you were my next-door neighbor ❤️

      • Rebecca, that made me smile! Thanks so much! It sure would be nice to have some next door neighbors that get life, I would just love that too! 😊👍❤️

  • I wrote back in March of 2020 during the height of the pandemic about my X taking our son on a trip regardless of the risks involved. We got lucky, the kid returned to me fairly unscathed from the trip. (Though he did end up getting a mild case of Covid after returning to me from spending Christmas with his father that year. Thank god for those vaccines!)

    Today I’m celebrating the fact that my son is home with me for the Holidays from attending his first semester at college. He earned major scholarships to attend and loves the school. He’s doing awesome. Got a social scene, supportive teachers, and a girlfriend who’s as cute as a button! I couldn’t be more proud of him.

    His father? I was forwarded a photo of the X with the son taken at Thanksgiving, boy does X look like crap. I think I would have divorced him just for allowing himself to be seen in public that way! (LMAO). I hear he’s unemployed, but still traveling everywhere, while simultaneously crying how broke he is. And he’s still trying to find that replacement for me. They don’t seem to last long around him… wonder why???

    Meanwhile, I just got a raise at work. I’ve joined a local social club. My apartment sparkles with light and peace. I am contentedly single, but open to the possibility of meeting someone healthy, but with no intention of ever being married or living with someone ever again. And I am grateful everyday that I got us out 7 years ago.

  • Three years since d-day – some things are still a struggle, largely because FW cleaned me out financially.

    But on the great side, I have met someone and the chemistry is so “OMG, this is what it is supposed to feel like?” I can’t believe I went 50 years without experiencing this type of connection. I had stopped believing that it even really existed – I chalked it up to post-coital dopamine and oxytocin lying to the brain. But we waited on intimacy for a bit, and the feelings still grew so intensely. I don’t know what will happen ultimately, but I’m so glad I got to experience this.

  • Where am I now? Hm, well I have a fantastic job in an emergency room and I have gained several new skills in the healthcare field from that job. I also get tuition reimbursement and a residency program for my final semester of nursing school. Oh yeah, and I’m in nursing school at one of the major universities in my city.

    I have a boyfriend who treats me like a princess. He was one of my best friends that I’d known for about 4 years. When my last fuckwit fuckwitted off into the sunset, my friend was there for me, and eventually confessed his feelings he’d had for the last three years. (He said he didn’t tell me how he felt before because I was seeing someone else and he was not going to be disrespectful. I had ABSOLUTELY no idea he had felt that way for so long. He was damn good at hiding it.) But we have been together for about 7 months. Our mutual friends have been telling me I look happier than I have in a very long time, and it’s true, I don’t think I have ever been happier.

    I lost my beloved pet this year (a python I had for a long time, he passed from a hereditary spinal disease) but I have about 13 plants and they’re all thriving. Turns out I’m good at raising plants. My echeveria is getting so big it’s almost taking over the shelf and it’s roots are actually shooting out the side of it’s main stalk and growing over the side of the pot. I’m on the hunt for a pot big enough for this monster plant.

  • I was reading your blog years (2013/2014) before I commented on a thread way back when (somewhere around 2016/2017) about my court ordered custody evaluation. Another chump (I will keep her anonymous) chimes in and got with you to share my contact information. She helped changed the trajectory of my custody eval as she shared vital information with me that encouraged the courts to find a psychiatrist who specialized in narcissism to do our custody eval. Her help SAVED ME AND MY CHILDREN’s LIVES❤️. The psychiatrist clinically diagnosed my ex as a liar, controlling, manipulative, narcissistic, etc. and totally unraveled his and his flying monkey’s scheme to the court. I stayed custodial parent and finally got out of the years of judicial abuse (which I am still paying for).

    After that, I got some additional therapy bc my life was still spiraling in other relationships and in every aspect of my life (work, friends, family, etc.). I did a lot of hard work on myself and I realized I surrounded myself with narcissistic/toxic people in every area of my life bc I was desensitized to the abuse due to being a child of a narc (dad, clinically diagnosed). I didn’t understand boundaries or how toxic people “test” you to see how far they can take their abuse. It’s like I didn’t have a “they are dangerous, stay away!” meter. Instead, I always tried harder for them to “like” me regardless of the circumstance. It took a while due to the long term effects of gaslighting, cogitative dissonance, and trauma bonding but over the course of several years a lot of pieces started coming together for me to purge my life from the toxicity….I left a physically abusive 2nd marriage and slapped a restraining order on him, I quit my job after my boss sexually harassed me threatening to not pay me and blacklist me if I didn’t comply, I dropped toxic “friends” left and right, set major boundaries around my family, I dropped my long term friend turned (now ex) boyfriend who felt that the 26 yr younger than him co-worker/nanny was a better deal after she cut herself and threatened HR on him. After my 3rd time being a chump, a sexual harassing boss, and another “friend” turned AP I realized I still needed major help so I went on a sabbatical to Sedona and went through some major intense trauma therapy. It was the best experience and helped me unload the shit as well as connect the dots that I could never seem to connect before. I came home and continued connecting the dots, setting boundaries, and finally turned around my life.

    Within months of my trip to Sedona, I finally purged the last of the negative people out of my life and learned to surrounded myself with positive genuine people. I found a great job in an industry where I once had a stigma of going into bc I thought it was less than due to it not being “corporate”. I have an amazing boss with great teams. I worked my way up to one of my boss’s “go to” people for any situation. I get to positively impact my staff of about 500 people in so many ways that is pure and genuine. It’s so rewarding! I found great friends who get it! They don’t judge me or crap on me like my old “friends”. I now have really good boundaries with my family and thus good relationships with them. I’ve accepted what is and love the parts of them that I can while accepting that they are majorly flawed and it’s not my job to fix them. On that note, my father recently commended me for setting boundaries with him. In his old age, he has these spells where he realizes how much damage he did to his kids and my mom. It’s weird! It’s like patches of clarity and even though I have empathy for him during those short lived patches where he realizes and acknowledges his damaging nature, I still know he is a narc. and, sure enough, his narcissism reveals itself shortly after his epiphany. I have an AMAZING relationship with my kids! We are open and talk about everything. And, wouldn’t you know, I even have as good as I can relationship with their narc FW cheating dad. It’s gray rock and I’m at Meh. He is on victim #3 and nextdoor neighbor sidepiece is still in the mix. (Barf!). But, it’s not my monkey/not my circus…..if he steps out of line with me I have a piece of paper certified from the psychiatrist what a liar and manipulator he is and show it to whoever is involved…..he immediately shuts down and while I get his assholishness for a while to punish me for setting him straight, it’s well worth it! I haven’t had to do it in a while but he knows I’m not afraid to hit him between the eyes with it. Through my healing process, I started mentoring other chumps and/or families in abusive situations around town. I don’t judge, just offer my ear and experience as a voice of reason to help them navigate through the shit of staying or leaving. Sometimes, I’m up all hours of the night bc that’s the only time the victims can talk. I do it all under the radar and it’s been a blessing to get to help those that need it. Last but not least, I found my person. We get along like peas and carrots. He is a fellow chump and we are very happy. My kids, friends, dog, and family love him. It’s a healthy and normal relationship! 🙌🙌🙌 I never in a million years thought me (of all people) would find a healthy, normal, happy relationship. We are looking to get married in April of this upcoming year.

    In 9 years, I have done a complete 180 in life, love, work, family, church, finances, etc. and largely thanks to you and CN!!! A big part of healing from narcissistic abuse is educating yourself so you stop repeating the patterns and CL has been a part of my education. I read it just about everyday to remind myself: I’ve been through this, got through it, survived, thrived, and I will do everything in my power to never have relationships with toxic people like this again. Here’s to 2023 CL! Thank you for helping to turn my shit show around to a healthy, boundaries are beautiful, wonderful life! God Bless You and all of CN❤️❤️

  • If you’d asked me in June of 2020 about the state of my 20-year marriage, I would’ve said we were rock-solid, trusting, and loving (except he’s been working late an awful lot and his drinking has steadily increased over the past year or so).
    July of 2020 he called and said he was leaving me. A week later he moved in with the 20-year-old girl he’d been fucking behind my back. (He was 48.)
    So in 105 days I: lost my husband, sold my house, my dog died, got divorced, bought my current house, lost my cat, moved, found my cat.
    Not two months after D-day I started to hear remarks from trusted friends that I look YOUNGER — and I was still in the throes of grief. Now I understand why. Two months in a row of NOT worrying about how to pay the bills is my longest worry-free stretch of time in twenty years. The dude believed money was infinite. Now I’m debt free except for the mortgage, working towards my bachelor’s degree just for the hell of it, and I’ve achieved new milestones in my day job. Him leaving was like a boat anchor deciding to sever itself.
    I’m mostly at Tuesday, except for the occasional dream I have where everything is as it was, and he was the loving, caring, supportive husband I THOUGHT he was. Then I wake up. I’d love to hear others’ ideas on dealing with the subconscious.
    But last night I had a dream where I was making out hot ‘n’ heavy with Anthony Bourdain, so those dreams are more than welcome.

    • DWA… love it, yes, we cut loose that anchor!
      As far as the dreams, funny just this morning I wrote in my journal… “Hello???
      sub conscious??? What else do you have to process ???
      I’m done. Duh – Un! “
      Because I too, dream at least weekly of the X – it’s maddening.
      (I wouldn’t mind a dream with Javier Bardem, however… )
      I really have moved on, so I’m not sure why the dreams continue. Maybe someone with more experience can answer.
      Keep going with your fabulous new life, and I’m sorry… 20 years old? Let’s take bets on how long that will last. Idiots.

    • If you find the answer to dealing with the subconscious, do tell. I had a dream the other night that klootzak, who is retired military, was given a nice award thing from his last command to give me for the years I supported his military career and he had gotten it engraved with one of his AP’s initials instead of mine.

  • I wrote a letter in 2016 when I was freshly divorced, having just discovered CL blog and book. I was surprised and delighted to have my letter answered at the time. My topic of interest was “age-appropriate disclosure for kids“. The advice I received was probably the greatest and most unique, valuable piece of advice I got about parenting post-divorce, bar none—which is saying quite a lot because there is so much of value in the CL material.

    Kids were in kindergarten and 1st grade at the time. Now they are in 7th and 11th grades. They are thriving. They have as good a relationship with their dad as anyone could have with a basically self-centered, self-important, self-entitled parent. And because they know what’s up with him, they are better equipped than would otherwise be the case to slough off the disappointments and irritations FW dad routinely dishes out—chronic tardiness, controlling parenting style, disengaged with the day-to-day, putting his own pleasures and conveniences first, etc.—while still being able to enjoy his Disneyland-Dad indulgences. Basically, they don’t take the symptoms of FW’s character defects very personally, and they just enjoy whatever it is he can do with them.

    As for me, I got a new life. I established and enforced boundaries and financial agreements with FW. I found a new partner in 2017 and discovered what a reciprocal relationship is like. We bought a house together in 2018. I upgraded my career and fully replaced the loss of alimony (plus some) by the time alimony ended in 2020–and I will never again compromise my financial self-agency… I can afford our home on my income alone if I have to.

    I stick around partly because I am still coparenting with a FW, which means that I still sometimes have a situation that benefits from CL-style advice. Another reason is that I think I can be helpful. If the whole forum is made up only of newly-minted chumps and people in acute crisis, then I don’t think it would work very well. To be effective, the forum needs to include some old timers, who can speak from their lived experience about what works and what doesn’t. And the longer their track record of “meh”, the better.

  • I was chumped when my ex had a long term affair with a young coworker and walked out on my kids and me. Where am I now? I am in love and happily remarried! My kids have stepsiblings who they adore. Before that, I did some things that were never possible while married to FW, including international travel and getting a dog. I am much less anxious as well. I didn’t realize at the time how anxiety provoking my relationship with the FW was. Sending strength and healing to all chumps, especially the newly chumped.

  • Chump Lady you might be the most important person I have been lucky enough to cross paths with. You helped me see that I wasn’t the problem, the problem is unfixable, and that problem was dragging me down beyond my comprehension.

    It’s been 5 years since the problem was resolved and at the risk of sounding arrogant I have literally set a world record in my industry because of it and now my business is taking off. Thanks to your advice I cleaned house; ex is gone, unacceptable friends are gone, I was surrounded by narcissists because I was raised by one! I was never going to accomplish anything with all that dead weight dragging me down but thanks to you that’s not a problem any longer!

    Thank you!!!!

  • You published my letter back in November- “What Shmoopie thought they were getting VS. what they actually got.”
    Where am I now?
    Still compiling my list! It grows by the day! Lol
    Seriously- I have vowed to make 2023 a year where I DON’T think about those two, what they’re doing, how they’re doing or even relishing the fact that the homewrecker got the best karma ever – him.

    • Wanted to add – that I was having trouble last 2 months accessing this site. I kept getting a “400 request header too large” I missed this so much, I finally had someone look into it for me. I have missed Chump Lady so much, I’m glad to be back. TMT

      • TooManyTears and Sandyfeet , I use Firefox and seldom have any problems with the site. If I do, I have Edge and can use it although I prefer not to. AFAIK, Firefox is more secure.

  • I had to dig for it but my original post was: What do I do with the phantom pain of abandonment?

    I don’t think there are adequate words to thank Chump Lady and this community for all you have done for me. As others said, coming back here fulfills my desire to help others in this extremely unfair position of betrayal. Also, it helps me to keep my eyes on the road/reality and trust that he sucks.

    My update is so positive that I would never have believed it when I sent in my letter. I went scorched earth/no-contact in April 2019. The catalyst was one last manipulative lie to the tune of “you’re not mentally well enough to handle any news, which is why I can’t tell you the truth about the things I’ve done–maybe someday!”

    Something about the vicious, unbridled disrespect of that sentiment put me off him for good. There were so many awful things in those 17 years, but I guess you cannot predict the last straw.

    Now to the update: I moved to a beautiful city (far away), started a fulfilling and prestigious job, bought my dream home, made new lasting friendships and galvanized the (very dear) ones I had. I often remember that these wonderful things would never have happened if I’d stayed tied to that pair of cement shoes. There was no one bringing me down anymore and making me doubt/hate myself.

    I was content with my single life, work, and social group. I didn’t need anything else. Nonetheless, sometimes I would date if I was in the mood. Somehow, in the new city, I managed to find the man who is now my current husband. It is like night and day. He is smart, caring, handsome, kind, funny. Our relationship is HEALTHY, supportive, honest, and irreverant (he was a chump too –as if we need further evidence this happens to the best of people). Compared to the elevator shaft of good feelings that my FW had been, this man makes me a happier, stronger, better person. I learned what love was supposed to be like.

    And one last happy update is that I am pregnant and due in March. I never thought I would get to have a family because I was in my mid-thirties when I met my new husband. I guess I learned determination and taking responsibility to work to get where you want to be will pay off. I approached it all like a job. Time, friends, and family saw me through it.

    Every chump has value and potential. Someone who betrays you may have terrible opinions about you, but those opinions are not facts. They were designed to keep you off-balance. You get to decide your worth. Happy New Year and New Beginnings, my friends.

    • I think the last straw is unpredictable and personal too. I kept trying with the co-parenting and the conscious uncoupling until the day my tranquil Sunday evening was disrupted at nil notice by an entirely foreseeable upset with my younger son.

    • Congratulations! I too was in my mid-30s when I met my now-husband. I didn’t know if I’d left it too late to have children, but I had my first at 39 and even a total “bonus” second at 44! Nothing in my “past life” holds any meaning for me now, except in some odd way that it was the catalyst that got me to where I am today. Wishing you all the best in your pregnancy and a safe delivery. Nothing else in your life will compare to that…

  • I’m 2 years divorced, over 3 years since DDay. I was dumped a few weeks after my father’s death. The manner of the dumping was traumatic. Married 18 years, together 26 years. No children. The ex left me for his ex-girlfriend from school and home town. They had been conducting a long-distance affair (Canada – UK) for the whole of our relationship, emotional and physical, with breaks at regular intervals. The lies told to me were extreme. I was 59, had recently given up a high-profile career as a lawyer and CEO (and had ceased to be a cash cow), and I was blindsided and suicidal. It was grim. The ex in-laws and some mutual friends dropped me immediately, and with hindsight they knew what was coming before I did.

    Within 6 months I had found four new roles, two paid, two voluntary. I had achieved the portfolio career I was seeking. I had made new friends through a social media site; women in the same position as me, across a wide geographical spread and age range. We are close, chat via WhatsApp every day, visit each other and give each other a boost when we need one. I was able to buy the ex out of the marital home which I loved. I bought a BMW, with cash (first time in my life) and I love that too. I shed flying monkeys and Switzerland friends. I built new friendships with a few mutual friends but on a different basis – we are friends for reasons unconnected with the ex. I made new friends. And I bought the most wonderful dog who has enriched my life beyond measure. The ex hated animals – a red flag.

    Therapy has made much of the difference. I was going twice weekly for two years, and I cannot see me ever stopping once weekly sessions. I was lucky to be matched with a wonderful therapist. She has helped me to do a lot of hard work on myself and it is not easy. As I change, I have to manage uncomfortable feelings by acknowledging them and working with them and through them. I have cried a lot of tears, felt I was drowning in them. But I have reached a place where I am comfortable being single, and am not looking for another relationship.

    People say I look ‘well’ and ‘very young’. I will be 63 soon. I feel that I need to work on my fitness because I have lost that over the last 18 months (a ski injury early in 2022 didn’t help). But that’s doable.

    I was full of hatred for the ex and exgfOW for so long, it became boring. I pity him now. I can send him loving kindness (on occasion) because he will always be a big part of my history. Meh does not exist for me. 26 years is a long time. Cheating is abuse (and he was abusive in many ways, as well as being a functioning alcoholic). I sold my self short my whole adult life. What happened gave me an opportunity to reset. I would not wish what happened on anyone, except cheaters of course. However, I am now free! Life is mine to live well, and that’s what I am doing. CL and CN were a key part of my rehabilitation (definitely the right word). You have all been part of the therapy. Thank you for that.

    To newbies, hang on to the promise of a different, better future.

  • I am 7 years out. FW still plays sad sausage with the kids, it’s not working as well with one of them now. His latest relationship went down in flames (no surprise, the leopard never changes its spots). I am re-partnered to a happy person. My nerves are not wonderful, but are better every year.
    FW continues to go from one new thing/woman to another. He’s getting too old and ugly to pull the younger arm candy he wants LOL. I am so glad to be free of that evil scheming clown.

  • D-day was in early 2019. Divorce finalized sometime in 2020 during the COVID lockdown. I wouldn’t say I’m at meh yet, but working toward it. I moved to another state, got a job paying more than what I made before and feeling appreciated. Right before D-day, I had felt like I was finally really making strides towards being more organized and relaxed, ready to enjoy the fruits of 10 years of working extra hard to have a nice home and side income stream. When D-day hit, that all went out the window and I feel like I’m starting over with trying to get my “new” old house fixed up the way I like it so I can finish settling in. I’m making progress on my new life each day. I’m still absolutely dumbstruck at how the ex deceived me for so many years.

    • ChumpMD, I fixed up an old house in order to leave FW. I did much of the work and all the design myself, and I did it to my very particular taste as I only plan on ever leaving here toes up. I get so much satisfaction from looking at how lovely and homey it turned out. So will you, I’m sure. You’ll get over being dumbstruck, too. The knowledge of the deception and betrayal will eventually become tolerable, like background noise that’s always there but isn’t loud enough to disturb you.

  • AH went to a NYE party on 31.12.2009 and never came home again! I thought something was missing – figured we’d lost the cat, but then realized we never had a cat! Anyways, that was the catalyst to for me to push ahead with my own divorce even though he hadn’t cheated until then (the violence was more than enough, of course). I always knew what I had to do to get away from the violent, alcoholic spendthrift, but I also knew I had to do it at my own pace. My divorce went through December 2011. Schmoopie dumped him three years later “because she was afraid he would kill her” and then he picked up with an old school friend from the US, tried to get her a permit for France and when that failed moved back to the US in May 2015 and far, far away from me, thank God! As for me, I did 12 international trips with solos groups pre-pandemic and in Peru met Steve, who was an Englishman living in England. We hit it off so well and him living in England while I live in France was perfect for both of us. I think we had the ideal set up for both of us but sadly Steve died of cancer three years ago. Since then I occasionally go out with a former colleague but seriously, I’m not interested any more. I’m happy with my independence! Four years ago, I came back from a trip to Sicily on the Sunday night and on Monday gave notice of my intention to take early retirement (I hadn’t planned that bit)! And while I knew what I was doing with my own divorce the wisdom I gleaned from CN over the years allowed me to help my oldest son when his wife of 13 years told him she’d “developed feelings for someone else” (turns out it was their wedding photographer)!!!! Anyway, both my kids and little grandson live 30 minutes away from me. I love living in France and FW? He’s now living with latest Schmoopie back in the US, still spending money like it grows on trees and while I hear he has a nice house it’s right under the flight path of a major US airport! Happy new year Chump Nation!

  • HI Chump Lady, you ran my letter from FW, A Million Dollars to Reconcile, through the UBT. And you gave me excellent advice, some which I followed. He did actually end up giving me the million with no conditions after I used some of your, and other fellow chumps arguments (granted I muted the vitriol somewhat lol). I am not considering or attempting reconciliation, I’m at meh. But I am quite well off now, living alone and enjoying it. Thanks for all you do, much respect.

  • FW still trying to scam me, gaslighting about finances, through his lawyer and regrettably our 20yo son (who is either a clone or vulnerable to manipulation). But I am free because I understand.
    I:
    ~dont speak to FW at all in person
    ~only text about our 9yo if absolutely necessary
    ~am getting divorced March
    ~am mentally prepared for court for property, and two to three more years of bullshit that comes with that
    ~have sorted my emotions from relevant facts for purpose of court proceedings
    ~ have downgraded FW from dangerous psychopath to entitled private school tosser

    What has helped me:
    ChumpLady
    Dr George Simon
    Sam Vaknin and Richard Grannon who recently broke up 😳
    Robert Torbay and Sophia Bell on Quora
    SI
    My dv clients who have helped me more than I’ve helped them
    HOAC, OHFFS and Katie Pig to name but a few who post here who tell it like it is

    • Oh wow, thanks. It means a lot to know I’ve helped someone else. That’s why I keep coming back here. This place and all of you kept me alive when I felt like I could barely breathe, let alone function.

    • Thank you for saying that, Weedfree. I’m honored.❤ I’m also on Quora, though not much for the last few weeks, but I have times where I’m on there for hours per day. Look me up as Verity Payne and we can follow each other.

    • I read Robert Torbay and Sophia Bell on Quora daily! I didn’t realize FW was disordered, Googled behaviors which led me to Quora! It doesn’t get any crazier than experiencing FW mirroring the AP! These answers really help me! It has been the most unbelievable thing I’ve ever experienced in my life and I am free now!

  • In an up and down time.

    Negative: getting through the first holiday season and anniversary without my spouse, I didn’t think it would be this hard.

    Positive: I’m with my boys, in the best shape in a long time, and one letter shy of getting an interview to enter a master’s program.

  • I love reading about many of your post D-Day lives, so I’ll chip in here too. My letter to CL was published in September 2022 and in it I outlined how many years ago I was newly arrived in the USA from the UK, and finally facing the fact that my then-husband was an abusive cheater. After some particularly egregious episodes of abuse, I filed while he was away (1000s of miles) visiting his parents. He never responded, I got the divorce by default and I never saw or spoke to him or his family ever again. 
    I was on my own, with no family or friends, in a foreign (to me) country. But I had a well-paying job, so I put my back into that and tried quickly to save as much money as I could. House prices in my area were very different back then, so I was able to afford a very run down property in a not very good area of town (it’s very different now!). I started the renovations totally on my own. One younger (single male) colleague from work was also doing a solo renovation on his run-down house. He would visit and sometimes help me. I would sometimes visit and help him….
    Against everything I had vowed to myself after finalizing the divorce, I did marry this wonderful man a couple of years later. I had my first child at age 39 and my second at 44 (thank you Mother Nature!). We have been married for 35 years and every day I thank the Almighty for where I have landed now. Bizarrely I even occasionally find myself mentally thanking the XFW (now deceased) for all the twists and turns in my life that got me to this place. Right here, right now, this is where I am meant to be and I am very grateful for that.

  • My divorce was final in 2017.

    I own a city condo near a lake. It’s perfectly located near several large parks in a very nice part of town. I’ve always wanted to live in this part of the city due to its proximity to the water and parks and now I do! I love that my condo is always clean and orderly. I’ve painted the walls a coral color and have vibrant throw pillows on the most amazing leather couch. I replaced all the lighting fixtures in my home, and they bring me joy every time I flip a switch on. It seems like a small thing – but my marital home that I lived in for 15+ years was a complete disaster and had the worst fixtures. I wasn’t allowed to update anything as “it was fine” by his standards… but I can’t believe how lovely it is to have new fixtures in my new home that I picked out even though the old ones were “fine”. It barely took anytime to do and was worth the little expense. I like having control of my own environment and have pride that I’m maintaining and improving my home.

    I’ve also adopted cats! They bring me so much joy and love every day.

    I’ve also curated a loving and supportive community of friends and associates. I had good friends from before – and have kept quite a few. The difference is that there’s a lack of chaotic, disrespectful, and disordered people in my life. It would take me many paragraphs to elaborate on that point — but let’s just say, that I am very grateful for all of the amazing humans in my life and the memories I create now with them.

    I’m happy. I’m not lonely. Having the opportunity to build my own life without his interference was a blessing in disguise.

  • My life is better in literally every possible way. I have found a great girlfriend who is perfect for me. I make $28,000 more per year than I did when my ex-wife had her affair. I can save a more money now. Even my fuel economy has improved. Most importantly, I’m no longer with an abusive, selfish, manipulative, hypocritical narcissist whackjob. I have peace of mind.

  • After 21/2 years away from the whore I am way better off. Finally feel normal again and trying to find employment. Hope 2023 is better than the last.

  • I visit here infrequently now, but continue to be extremely grateful for the support and validation of my decision to leave sociopath ex when Chump Lady published my letter in 2017. It’s here, for newbie reference: https://www.chumplady.com/2017/07/dear-chump-lady-didnt-just-discover-cheating-hes-criminal/ (Ex is the shady psychiatrist who pimped his hooker girlfriend / patient and kept steel suitcases full of unexplained cash in a home safe, before I caught him.) I had been terrified at the time about the legal consequences of filing, after the first attorney I consulted declined the case with, “Lady, you need a criminal attorney, not a divorce lawyer.”

    The sequel: I found a better, quite fantastic (divorce) attorney who managed to extricate my kids and me from the situation, and have been happily divorced and no contact with Ex since 2018. I swallowed my pride, and allowed myself to speak up and accept help from associates and friends in getting my medical practice into a state of financial solvency. The latter took a few really lean, living-on-bean-taco years, but now I am back on my feet and will be able to semi-retire to a consulting-only practice in the coming year.

    Karma time: I even got the house, free and clear — the divorce attorney Ex retained (who, it turns out, is a criminal defense lawyer who represents clients in their divorce cases) apparently advised him to give it up and go away, rather than risk scrutiny of his personal and professional dealings!) Ex has been living in another city ever since, doing who knows what, for all I care.

    I have witnessed my adult children thrive, once out from under crazy dad’s influence. Of their own accord, they seem to prefer maintaining bare minimum contact with him, though I stay out of that. They have both completed their degrees and are independently working; I’m the one they call when they want to talk or need advice on something.

    I will leave here something my daughter wrote (and cc’d to me) when she received an email from one of Ex’s subsequent GF’s (or possibly old OW’s?) asking that she get involved in some kind of “elder abuse’ intervention: apparently (more karma!) the “abuse” is that Ex’s prostitute-patient is now blackmailing him for half-ownership of his home in (new city). Daughter’s very classy reply, as follows, made me proud:

    “Dear (GF):

    It doesn’t surprise me to learn this. I’m sorry you got hurt. While interesting to see facts, you should know this is a pattern. It was likely clear when we met, but Dad and I don’t have a good relationship. We never will.

    My advice: run away. FAR away.

    Elder abuse doesn’t hold water. He has what he wants, and makes choices. Trust me when I say there’s no-one else – except my brother – better qualified to say this. He chooses to hurt people; not because he hates them, but because he doesn’t perceive them. It’s a pattern. It’s who he is, has been, from the second you met. There’s no core underneath… Everything.

    What remains is what it means for us to have met or interacted with him. Having said that, I can’t answer. Meanwhile, I release Mom from need to “save” him. And me as well. I – we – must go our own way. That said, this is healing to read, as it confirms I’m not crazy. Not the point here.

    Thanks for writing. But stay away. For you, and us.

    Best,
    ________________ ”

    Takeaways for newbies out there:

    1.) It sucks, but it gets better, and stepping away from the crazy (which will ALWAYS continue) is the only sane choice.
    2.) Your kids will get through it, and probably be better than ever in the long run (and they will stop thinking they are the crazy ones; your STBX probably gaslights them too).
    3.) And especially — don’t let one attorney’s advice scare you into staying put! Get multiple opinions — a really good divorce attorney has seen everything and CAN get you through this (yes, even if your spouse is a sociopath)!

    Peace out, and go enjoy that rest of your cheater-free life.
    Hugs to all.

  • Hi All,

    My letter to Chump Lady was answered on February 21, 2018. So many years ago now. My experience of being cheated on and abandoned still influences on my life. I’m not quick to trust and I am quicker to want and appreciate the natural repercussions of the hurtful choices of others. I’m more cynical than I used to be.

    My life is tremendously great though. My ex-less life has more social engagements, deeper friendships, more joy, more gratitude, less loneliness, and–best yet–I get to live that life with my values.

    I still read here, though I don’t post. I wonder sometimes if that keeps me marinating in thoughts about cheating. Can’t quite let the site go, however, because I appreciate the alternative view on cheating than what is most prominently portrayed in media.

    I waited years before dating, needed to reflect and get straightened out first. Very glad I did that (to the extent that I think is possible). I have now been with an absolutely darling man for over two years. Just as Chump Lady suggests, being in a reciprocal relationship is eye-opening, even astonishing. I’m “allowed” to have needs! I had no idea how small I’d made myself in my marriage. I have trust demons that I can’t quite squash and a fury about our patriarchal society that seems to be growing, but my partner is patient and kind about both.

    Thanks so much Chump Lady and Chump Lady community! I don’t know where I’d be without you.

  • I didn’t write a letter, but I forwarded one of my ex’s emails to the UBT.
    https://www.chumplady.com/2020/01/ubt-its-not-all-sunshine-and-rainbows-over-here/

    Our divorce has been finalized .
    I had to deal with a huge financial loss and have worked hard to make up for it.
    I have tried dating, but no luck so far. I had a few short flings which were fun, but that is about it.

    Recently another school mum, who is friends with the ex and myself (our kids are best friends) suggested that the ex and I should get back together.
    ” You are both beautiful with your children, you both have seen who else is out there …”

    I just laughed it off.
    I understand her position: She is friends with both of us, and my ex, is a covert narcissist who plays the role of the timid forest creature very well. To her we are both nice people, who love their kids.

    In summary however:
    My kids are well, happy, have good social skills, have empathy, are having a good circle of friends and are doing alright at school.
    I recovered financially due to a lot of extra work on my behalf, as well as some good investments.
    I have successfully taken part in sport competitions and qualified for the national championships in the masters competition.
    I am reading about self-development, being a good father, seeing a counselor and genuinely try to improve myself physically and mentally.

    It is still a journey but I have reached “meh” when it comes to dealing with the ex, I am nore concerned about myself and my development.

    • “You have both seen who else is out there…”

      “And I’m not done looking. But I know there’s better than him.”

      • Her in my case , but that’s neither here or there. It’s hard for friends/acquaintances in a way. And apart from that stupid comment , I actually like her. And I know that the friends likes to avoid confrontation, like so many people; I won’t hold it against her.

  • It is now 3.5 years since I left my Jesus-cheater, porn-and-prostitute-addict, abusive asshole. I have never missed him even a little bit. The first few months on my own were rough because he did the usual things–refused to leave the marital home, helped me move to another state (actually drove the moving van himself), and then cried that I left him for no reason and tried to get me ex-communicated from my church, etc, etc.

    Now all three of my kids live with me. Two of them do not talk to their dad, and one talks to him maybe once a week for about 10 minutes. I am working as a domestic violence advocate, and I have money enough to pay my bills and pay for my daughter’s wedding, and put some money in savings.

    My ex (who took most of the assets) took a year off work because “God told him to rest for a while,” and he spent a lot of time in casinos during that restful year. Now he is out of money and driving an Uber for a living.

    The moral of this story is that losers remain losers. They really don’t get a personality transplant, as CL reminds us. If I had stayed in the relationship, I’d still be broke and scared. These days I am just fine on my own. Sometimes I think about getting remarried, but I always conclude that I don’t want to. I love my life exactly as it is now.

  • It has not been that long for me. My last Dday was July 2021. I filed after that and I filed fault based for adultery. FW fought every step of the way. Finally, my lawyer made a motion for a settlement conference. Basically, a retired judge floated between two conference rooms one with me and my lawyer and the other with FW and his FW (also a known cheater) attorney. We laid out our case and included the videos that FW did not know that I had (yep, he and Schmoopie doing the dirty in all kinds of acrobatic ways). Additionally, we showed where FW had lied in the interrogartories and told the retired judge we planned to pursue perjury with the DA. The retired judge than talked to FW and his attorney. FW left furious but within 48 hours was willing to settle for everything that I wanted plus some. Divorce was final at the end of Nov 2022.
    I got the marital home in the settlement but am in the process of selling it (for quite a bit more than we paid). Inspection was today. Hopefully I can close soon and pay off the house I bought when I moved out and away from FW (in home separation was a fucking hell). New house is totally FW free and free of any cheater stink. The other house always had a cheater smell in it ( may be just my imagination but….). I have been working on refinishing furniture and ust generally doing some improvements to the new house. Plan to do a few major improvements once I close on the marital home and have some extra cash.
    Life is so much better without a cheater around and the lies have finally ceased. Even the holidays are great without having to walk on eggshells and see cheater with a frown on his face because he never liked any gift anyone gave him. Looking forward to 2023. I have already made a few friends in the new neighborhood but a few want to fix me up with friends (a mercy date or whatever). Not sure I will know how to handle that.
    Holidays were so calm and it was great to have my son home on leave for a few days. Stress levels are down so much and everyone is happier (even the dog). I hope Schmoopie enjoyed her prize this holiday season.

  • The FW & Schmoopie still try and project a “twu wuv” theme & until they stop (it’s getting less & less) I will likely be here until that happens. The FW put so much blame on me & made me feel so much inferior to Schmoopie that I’m still shoring up my self-esteem! I have meh days & not so meh days! especially during holidays like NY which is built around “kissing at midnight”. I’ll kiss the rest of my family & lovely loyal fur members instead! Goodbye 2022 & here’s to a Happy 2023 for everyone here!

  • Her in my case , but that’s neither here or there. It’s hard for friends/acquaintances in a way. And apart from that stupid comment , I actually like her. And I know that the friends likes to avoid confrontation, like so many people; I won’t hold it against her.

  • I’m 2.5 years out and I’m doing really well. Back in November 2019 I got to experience a miracle. After a lifetime of being sick (literally since childhood), I figured out what was wrong, demanded tests, and started treatment. The experience was like that part of a movie where someone first gets superpowers. Now, I was a very fit and athletic child and teen but it was HAAAARRRRDDDD! When I finally started the shots, I was a mildly overweight almost 40 year old and I suddenly felt better than I had at ten years old. I’ve never had this kind of energy. Everything I did to succeed in any aspect of my life was a grueling test of endurance and discipline, since I was a little kid.

    Then in July 2020, the ex told me how much he hated me and wanted to kill me and how our whole 20 year marriage was fake. I was continuing to get even better by the day but it really put a damper on it for me for awhile. LOL But now I can fully enjoy the miracle I’ve been fortunate enough to experience.

    I have a handsome, bodybuilder boyfriend who does not expect me to wait on him and is the best friend I’ve ever had. I get to get up early every morning and go to the gym, and then work a full time job where I’m on my feet all day, and then bake and decorate intricate cookies for my coworkers, and keep my home very clean. I can volunteer and go to my church events and I don’t ever pass out or throw up from exhaustion anymore. It’s amazing. I read at least a book a week. I’ve started sewing again and making some of my own clothes. I can feel my fingers again so I’m relearning the guitar. And I was once a military linguist with a very high aptitude for language so I’m learning Spanish. I lost a lot of knowledge I had when my illness started affecting my brain but I’m getting it back. I’m also going to school full time for an accounting degree.

    It blows my mind sometimes that I was thrown away when I started to get better. Healthy me is rather impressive. Sick me used to remember how I used to be impressive and wonder why I couldn’t do all that anymore. Well, because I was dying. LOL But sick me was easy to manipulate. Sick me was easy to confuse. Healthy me isn’t. And while sick me made some poor choices, healthy me is very proud of her for surviving and doing as well as she did. I got a miracle and I’m so grateful for it. Everything else is just noise at this point. I’m happy pretty much from the moment I wake up until I fall asleep at night.

  • I love seeing so many familiar usernames crushing it in the “gain a life” department. You are all mighty, every single person in this comments section. To all of those who lurk– hear that you are mighty too.

    I’m halfway through my graduate program. I’m on the rise, and FW is struggling. He hasn’t failed out yet, but is just barely keeping his head above water. He likes to discuss grades and schoolwork, and I like to stare blankly and offer zero input.

    He’s co-parenting like a turd, and I’m having to pay 100% of the daycare costs because he just doesn’t pay his weeks, but I’m as free of him as I can be for now.

  • Ive shared about my great life that I’ve been fortunate enough to live after Cheater died 10 years ago. I was a stubborn hopium-addict who couldn’t figure out how to support my kids if I left Cheater (who by then was likely not cheating but he was mean and blaming). I had saved some money and was making some plans (including promising myself that I would never suffer another rage from him) when he died very suddenly.

    I have built a great life with “the nice guy I let get away” almost 40 years ago. We were reunited 6 months after Cheater died. I have accomplished so much in life/career with a supportive husband. Life before was like rolling boulders uphill all day, every day.

    Here, many times, I have bemoaned that my 3 adult kids have nary a healthy relationship among them. I feel like the stars aligned and the angels started singing, because at this particular minute, all 3 of them have good, decent, kind partners. One of them came home and demurred away from talk of his romantic life then unexpectedly showed me a photo of a person he has been seeing. I had long thought that there was a rainbow flag in his universe and there is an LGBTQI+ facet to their story and his new partner has been banished and disowned and really suffered. I assured son that Im full of rainbow love for his person and they are appreciated and welcome in our home and Im so glad that son has love. My daughter called me today to thank me for my openness to son’s partner and all her friends.

    In the summer, me and the kids are going to do a pilgrimage back to rural and far away family homestead of their late-dad’s family. We are still close with a lot of them and I really look forward to this.

    Be mighty and full of love, Chumpies.

  • We made it to the other side. Finally settled in BC, Canada. One whole Province between fucktard and our sanity ❤️
    It cost us $230,000 and all the precious baubles King Cuntard could get his hands on. Jewelry, land, investments … blah blah blah. I got my babies and our freedom. Small price to pay for freedom.

    In 22 months I have re-established by career (six figures), got one kid through high school, holding the last baby closely as they struggle with abandonment and on-going mind fuck from the man they use to call dad. (Lots of help from a kick ass behavioural therapy group, counsellor, and child psychiatrist. Love shows up.)

    I am forever grateful for CL and CN. I continúe to stay connected to this amazing, beautiful community and often write ChumpLady prescription for my struggling sisters and brothers.

    For anyone who is new here – you’re not alone; keep reading and connecting to this community. We see you. ❤️

    Don’t look back, you’re not going that way.

  • I made him get out in January 20 20. It took until June 2021 for the divorce to be final. This may I bought a house back in my old hometown. My own house.

    I live with my kids and my two dogs. My kids are young adults and they help. I got a new job working in higher education.

    I’m nearly out of debt, totally single, and bent on staying that way. Starting to have some good help for the future.

    Sometimes I get really tired , but there’s no yelling in this house. There’s no anger and fury in this house and I know for sure that nobody is cheating on me. That feels really good.

    Having said all that, I still have to reread the book once in a while. And no contact is something that I remind myself of every single day. No contact is where it’s at.

    • “There’s no anger and fury in this house”

      That says everything.

      Anger was my Cheaters default setting and I dealt with anger nearly every minute in some form (which sometimes turned to fury/rage if he was triggered).

      Life can be lived in calm and contentment – Im glad you found it

  • Happy (almost) New Year CN. My D-day was a little more than 22 years ago. Divorced 15 years now. Like all of us, I had many downs and, over time, more ups. Meh will come. For you today, I know some you are in a very painful and shock ridden place. I send a big hug. Right now, I am in Paris on my honeymoon with my new husband. Together more than 10 years, we are both in our late 60’s and having the time of your lives. xoxoxo

    • Congratulations on all your successes !

      As an older remarried person, I believe my earlier hardships facilitate me having a deep sense of gratitude I might never know had I not known how bad life with a bad partner could be.

  • I had to work yesterday and then focus on a family birthday, but literally, three years divorced yesterday. I didn’t even know at the time because the judge signed a pile of them, and then they didn’t get the notifications done until a week later.

    Even in an expensive area, I bought a house, and both young adults joined me there. All three of us work remotely, and what I charge them is way below having a tiny, old studio anyway. They do the yard and the grocery shopping, and all is well.

    No dating. I’ve had asks, but no one I wanted to get to know better.

  • Happy New Years Eve to all. Be safe.

    I started here unrelated to fws betrayal. I came here 20 something years after the fact because same fw and his o-whore was causing trouble in our sons life. Long story, but son and his wife handled it and they are fine now. But, I was so curious about folks like fw who seemed to just double down on their nastiness, so I searched for narcissists and voila there that nugget of gold called CL was.

    From CL I learned the basic truth which was they take themselves with them, there are no personality transplants. O-whore got a cheating liar, and also as an added bonus a dedicated gambler. FW got a well tread feral cat with a family full of folks just like her. I only know because we share a son. If that brought them both happiness, more power to them.

    The bad part was my son had to witness it

    I wish peace and love in whatever form that takes for all chumps. The pain is real and hard to recover from, and many of us will retain scars; but with your efforts most, if not all will do just fine.

  • I didn’t get to this yesterday, but am so loving reading everyone’s stories. It gives me hope.

    My status: My last big DDay was March 2018. I got him to move out in June, which was the best decision of my life. I did it because of the kids. I knew I could not be a functioning mother of three and have him in the house. It was a god send for me too. It took me almost a year to stop feeling like I was constantly in crisis, due to his constant threats and shenanigans, but also I just needed to detox from being near him. That next year, I spent really considering what I wanted and if our relationship was really over. At the end of that year, I learned that while I was busy working on myself and focused on the kids, he was out dating around and lying about it. Putting on his ring just for when he saw me, attending joint counseling, etc. I filed a week later. My attorney said, you don’t seem like you are ready to file. I made myself say: yes, file. My heart was still caught, even though my head knew I had to get out. What followed was so so revealing. He was a nightmare of threats and lies and legal gamesmanship. He couldn’t have done anything better to help my heart catch up to wanting him gone. I never missed him or considered what could have been again.

    Divorce was final Nov 2020. I want to tell you all that life is going swimmingly, but it’s not. He continues to harass and manipulate my kids and lies to me regularly about kid related items. Refuses to follow the custody or the financial agreement. This last month has been a nightmare as he invited his brother, who was arrested and is out on bond for molesting my kids, into his home. The courts appear useless – don’t get me started there. My kids have to actually suffer additional harm before they will act… They don’t believe me that he is a lying liar who lies.

    I am grateful every day though that my kids at least have a sane home they can run to when they need it. I’m just so mentally exhausted with it all. Periodically I ask google how many days remain until my kids start to graduate high school in 2025.

    It’s not all doom and gloom though. I’m using my new awareness of people and my own needs to make an exciting career shift. And I’ve been dating a guy for over a year who is the sweetest. And I’m making my house mine. I love doing little upgrades that are all mine.

    Thank you all for all the wisdom. I read every day and value it all so much.

  • I’m *loving* this thread, it’s so heartwarming and inspiring to read about so many chumps who have succeeded against the odds and are busy rocking new lives. 💖💐💝. And an awful lot of it is down to Tracy, LACGAL, and this blog. Thank you Tracy, you’ve been a lifeline for so many of us, and thank you to Chump Nation, your stories, empathy, snark and wisdom have been a bulwark for me, especially in the early days when I was still reeling and shattered. *Hugs* to you all.xx💫💖

    I sent an email to Tracy in the very early days, asking her if fuckwit’s explanation of his boastful texts about fucking the rat faced whore, that they were “just lad’s banter”, could possibly be true (how much I wanted to believe it). Her reply was succinct and straight to the point; “No. He’s gaslighting you. Go on the forums and get some support”.

    Which I did, and CN was wonderful, the combination of empathy and glorious *snark* really helped me get my head straight – my heart took a lot longer, but that’s true for most of us.

    I moved to the glorious county of Northumberland, the most beautiful in England in my opinion, found a dear little house, and settled down to trying to “gain a life”. Then of course COVID, and two years of lockdowns partly put the kibosh on that, but I’m back on track now. I’m gradually making friends, have joined various groups reflecting my interests, and am slowly but surely getting to “meh”, although not all the way yet – someone above spoke about still occasionally dreaming about their fuckwit, me too! I don’t understand why, because I really and truly “trust that he sucks”! Never mind, thank God it’s just the occasional dream, and not his malignant presence.

    I’m 71 now, and am still sometimes bitter and angry that I wasted 24 years of my life on a wretched piece of shit, but I count my blessings – a dear little house that reflects me, where there is not one single thing connected to fuckwit, where I don’t have to walk on eggshells, and which is full of books, flowers, and *peace*. That I didn’t have to be terrified on Christmas Day any more, and didn’t have to cook a ‘perfect’ dinner, but could just pack some sarnies and go for a lovely long walk.

    Which I did, and stood on the tops 2 miles above the beautiful little town where I live, the sun was shining, and felt so thankful to be here.

    NYE will be quiet and peaceful too, a small bottle of Prosecco for midnight, then some delicious snacks, my favourite film, “and so to bed”.

    A Happy New Year to Tracy, and all of Chump Nation. May our lives get better and better, without the baleful presences of the fuckwit’s we’ve finally shed!😂😆🤣

      • Braveheart, and then Rob Roy!🏴󠁧󠁢󠁳󠁣󠁴󠁿🏴󠁧󠁢󠁳󠁣󠁴󠁿

        I know they’re totally non-historical, and in real life Mel Gibson is an utter shit, but to me they’re still supremely entertaining!😄

        I’ve got Downton Abbey-A new era as well, but I’m saving that for tomorrow.

        Happy New Year Zip, and I hope it’s a really good one. You’re one of the chumps whose comments and snark I’ve found so helpful and inspiring. Hugs.💫💝💐 xx

        • Happy New Year back! Thank you❤️.

          I really wish I could meet some of you kick ass former chumps!
          I’ve tried to respond to a few people on this post but I’ve been having problems with this website for several months ugh…
          I feel a little like Chumpasaurus45, nothing exciting to report… just carrying on. I really do think it gets harder as you get older to have the big triumphant ‘look what I’ve done since my trauma’ stories. But I’m happy for others.
          I relate with many people who write in though. You get to an age and you realize there’s only so much time left… I don’t think about FW as much anymore (but still any amount is too much), trying to focus on myself.
          🤗 to everyone trying to live their best lives with integrity.

          • “You get to an age and you realize there’s only so much time left…”

            Yes. It’s hard. But I’m determined to make that time as good and fulfilling as I can, as I’m sure you are as well. I say to myself, well, he stole 24 years of my life, but I’m going to make damn sure thoughts of him are *not* going to taint what’s left.
            Easier said than done, sometimes, like you say, any amount is too much. I often wish there was a drug that would just wipe him from my brain. Hugs and love.😘

    • Have a great New Year C6, love your posts.

      I have been thinking of trying the Prosecco I have seen. We don’t drink often but occasionally like to try a new wine.

      • Thank you Susie, love your posts too!😘💝. Happy New Year!💥✨🌟. Prosecco is delicious – I’ve had some super expensive champagne, but I honestly can’t see any difference between Heidseick and Prosecco, except the price.😂 Maybe I’m a Philistine …😆

  • Dday was 2014. Divorced (finally) in 2018. It was an excruciatingly long process lengthened unnecessarily by the fucktard’s gaslighting and mindfuckery.

    But, during the process I became stronger, learned how to set boundaries and mastered no contact (thank you chump lady!).

    My children are recovering and doing much better now. The fucktard relinquished custody asap which was very difficult on them. He wanted his new life without any hindrances. My kids and I have a happy, peaceful existence without drama or any bs now. They are amazing people and I am so proud of them.

    There is no drama in my life now, only serenity. My business has flourished and I have time for hobbies and exercise. My current relationship is with a kind and trustworthy man. I have fantastic friends too.

    Life is so much better on the other side. I wish I left the chaos behind much sooner. Happy NY and peace to everyone in 2023.

  • Tracy wrote my letter back on July 11, 2018 “What if there was no sex?”

    Had I not read Tracy’s reply and all the comments, I don’t know how much longer I would have went on being a Chump, as I found out a few days later he was not only going to the strippers, but he was also getting oral sex, titty fucks, and their phone numbers! Also, back in those days he used to go around and let people think he not only wasn’t married, but didn’t even have children, so it wouldn’t get in the way of his dating opportunities.

    I filed for divorce on July 18, 2018.

    Currently, I am doing okay. I still work at the same job as I had then. Fuckwit files motions about once per year since the divorce was final in 2019, accusing me of parental alienation. So this year the court ordered us into an alternative resolution process in my state. This involves “counseling” with my fuckwit 🙄 It boggles my mind that a guy who uses sex trade workers feels he should have his day in court and be seen as dad of the year. And that family court takes him seriously. It’s so absurd to me that I still feel like I’m in Alice In Wonderland, as Tracy has referenced many times in reference to the infidelity experience.

    I’m not remarried, and don’t have a desire to re-marry. I have had one short-lived relationship that was satisfying, but ended. I like being single. And I really do like 50/50 custody, as I enjoy my free time when my kids are with their dad. I have learned to salsa dance, roller skate, play pickleball, kickbox, and piano. I pay people to come do chores for me now and since I am done having children, I don’t feel marriage is right for me, or necessary.

  • I wrote CL back in February or March 2017. Married to a FW for almost 40 years. Discovered he had been living a double life the entire marriage just as I was retiring from a great career. Of course I was the main breadwinner the entire marriage, paid all the bills and dealt with his crazy behavior based on his false FOO issues. I left immediately to sort out that my entire marriage had been a lie and I absolutely did not know any of it was going on. He was very careful with the porn, massage parlors, multi year affairs, etc. It still took me about six months before I filed mainly because my “expert” psychiatrist told me I should wait six months before filing to make sure I felt it was the right decision. When I left I just packed up a couple of suitcases and rented a place in another state so I could really be away from him to think straight. Read several books from Amazon and somewhere along the way I found CN. It took me about thirty days to absorb all the fabulous information coming from CN.

    Now I read the CN stories and see my past in so many of them. I am 5 1/2 years out from my divorce. I stayed in the Colorado town that I immediately moved to. My life opened up in so many ways because I had changed for the better. I no longer had a lying cheat psychopath around me. I have remarried and am living a wonderful life. Meet new friends all the time, took up golf and just turned 70. I can honestly say that once I knew I had to get away from FW and start my life over things just starting coming my way. My life moved in such a positive direction so fast it was amazing. Deep down I know now that I was miserable with FW for years and never understood why he was such a jerk. I took the marriage vows seriously and just kept swallowing the crap he dished out until I could not do it anymore. It was CL and CN that did it. You all slapped me into reality. So to you newly chumped keep reading the CN posts and believe it when you are told that you really do gain a life when you leave a cheater.

    • “my “expert” psychiatrist told me I should wait six months before filing to make sure I felt it was the right decision.”

      I can’t imagine why anyone would tell a chump to wait six months yet so many do. An unfettered cheater can cause tremendous financial consequences for the betrayed spouse, way beyond what they have already done.

      Standard advice from any professional should be to legally separate financial obligations as soon as possible.

  • I’ve always felt a little out of sorts posting here as my story is so different from everyone else’s. I never married any of my fuckwits (thank God), but Chump Nation is the only place I’ve found that acknowledges sociopaths exist and the trauma of dealing with them.

    I escaped a cult in 2015. I mean a real, bonafide cult, what you’d expect in a movie. I never spoke to anyone in the cult ever again, and these were people I viewed as family for a decade.

    I was 30, with no career and a pile of debt and trauma from the cult. I got a job waiting tables in a dive because that’s all I could do, but it still wasn’t enough to make above the poverty line. I took on side hustles, finally made a whopping $30K a year, ate rice and beans, and poured every penny into weekly train rides to see a trauma therapist two hours away. (Paid for out of pocket, of course, because I had no health insurance. Welcome to America.)

    I realized the cult wasn’t the only toxic environment in my life – almost every person I’d grown up or gone to school with was a selfish asshole. Honestly, no wonder the cult got me so young. I was primed for abuse and manipulation from childhood. I culled a lot of dead weight that year.

    I got a PTSD diagnosis, stuck with therapy for years and finally graduated. Life couldn’t look more different these days. I have a great corporate job, been promoted several times, no more debt, actually have a net worth now, healthy friends, good relationships, etc.

    I haven’t kept tabs on the fuckwit cheaters from my past, but I’ve heard some updates through the grapevine. They’re all still losers who haven’t changed one bit – still selfish, still broke, still committed to self-destruction, still despised by everyone they meet. A few are married and their wives are vocally miserable.

    It’s obvious to me now that I was never the problem, I was slumming with people who couldn’t play on my level. Probably my biggest lesson from therapy.

    • What an amazing and inspiring story, Cam. I know somebody who grew up in a cult. Unfortunately, she developed a borderline personality as a result. She has no memories of her time in the cult, which is ominous. I strongly suspect she was terribly abused, as the cult was notorious for it and the leader was arrested.

      I’m happy you broke away from that cult and all the assholes in your life. Way to go!

      • Thank you, sincerely.

        Honesty, I don’t know how I came out the other side with “only” PTSD and not a personality disorder. Several therapists have cried during our sessions or confessed to spending our first months together waiting for the other shoe to drop, and being absolutely baffled when it never did.

        I didn’t understand why until one explained I was (in her words) “shockingly functional” and that in her long career, she’d met few people with my level of trauma, and all of them were drug addicts who couldn’t get out of bed in the morning. She was stunned by the fact I was able to hold down a job and a growing circle of healthy new friends.

        • I’m glad to hear that you are doing so well. I think there’s definitely a common thread of abusive control that runs through many of these stories and I can see how it lines up with cult behaviour. I was also primed from the earliest days to not value myself but to put everyone else first. It was extremely damaging. All my therapists were shocked by various aspects of my story even though I didn’t really think it was that bad. It’s funny what we can adapt to if we have to. I also don’t have any personality disorder but I’m clearly traumatized. Happy to have you hear with us.

          • Thank you, and I’m so sorry you went through this, too. It’s shocking and weirdly validating to hear how alike so many of our stories are.

  • Just celebrated my 5 year Divorceaversary. My school age kiddos are all happy, and we’ve all made best friends. I decided to wait to attempt to re-partner at some point after my youngest kid graduates. My picker is in tip-top shape these days. Life keeps moving!

    I’ve never written to CL, only because I found so many similar stories to mine that fully resolved the issues I was facing at the time. The “Cool, Bummer, Wow” & “The Ones Who Just Leave” posts to name a few, are the ones I’ve re-read countless times. So, cheers to CN and CL! Love these singing walls!!

  • I had a lettered answered a few years back about how my FW was in love with my best friend and that I had disturbingly discovered that he seemed to have a habit of lying. It was the start of a very unsettling road where I discovered that actually he’d been cheating on me pretty much our whole marriage. I tried various ways of detachment and forgiveness but my anger just grew. In particular, I discovered about myself, that I had not been valued by my those closest to me all my life. My kids really suffered too and are all very paranoid about not being good enough. This is the consequence of a being in a highly critical controlling relationship. Cheating is a sign of abuse of power. My path now is to take back control of my life so that we can flourish.

    • I realized I was a bit light on the details and if anyone really needs to know that they are *just* seeing the tip of the ice berg (probably) then let me expand. I thought that my FW had found twu luv with a best family friend accidentally. Just sort of happened. That’s what I was told anyhow. But pieces didn’t line up. It took years for me to start remembering weird things from the past that I had brushed off at the time. Comments like, “I can keep a secret.” Jokes like, “Are you going out with your boyfriend.” A weird phone call that I thought was from a very old university friend but was actually from a recent work colleague. The fact that he gave money, time and attention to *just friends* while ignoring his actually family. How he would never spend time with us and even when he did, he was emotionally distant. The fact that I had to prod him into replying to anything I said. Like quite literally I would say something and then have to tag that with ‘what do you think’ because otherwise he would be silent. He was essentially not with us even if he was physically present. Odd shifts in interests. Changes in mood that seemed to have no correlation with what I knew of his world. Etc… And what seemed to just be starstruck magic love out of nowhere with a friend turned into decades of cheating both emotional and physical with multiple women, online dating Apps, porn etc.. So I thought he had a low sex drive, wasn’t talkative, romantic or particularly supportive. I mean even if that was the case, I should have left BUT he was getting his tank filled – by his own volition – elsewhere. And it wasn’t because I was lacking. It was because he lives in a constant cycle of criticalness to those around him. Once he knows you, you are not good enough. No one is good enough. It is an awful way to see the world.

      • CCC – Your detailed hindsight assessment of what had been happening in your marriage was insightful and brave. It reflects your sensitivity to his moods/needs and highlights the disparities we chumps are often willing to accept.

  • D-Day February 2014
    Divorced November 2015

    I fortunately discovered this site pretty soon after my Dday, and it absolutely saved my sanity. I was devastated but knew there was no turning back. ChumpLady’s articulate words and satisfying humor helped me move forward with confidence that everything would be OK someday.

    And it is!
    My friends and family stood by me and I couldn’t be more grateful. Each and everyone of those relationships have been strengthened, since I gained time to nurture them. Even the ones that ex had put a wedge between have now been, not only repaired, but stronger than ever.

    I fixed my finances. Step by step, I paid off debt and built a cash cushion which relieved SO much anxiety. Without the dead weight of a debt-laden chaos manufacturer around, it was much easier than I ever imagined. Now I enjoy delicious food, traveling, wardrobe upgrades and I make donations to organizations I care about, (including a small amount to ChumpLady each month).

    I have leveled up in my horticulture career and I’m working on becoming an arborist, as well as enjoying creative pursuits in my spare time.

    My beautiful son was five when everything went down. Now 13, we have a lovely, close relationship. I get to parent my way —so much easier without the resentment of thinking someone should be helping.

    After years of sporadic dating on apps and otherwise, I started seeing a fellow chump. We have so much fun together and have a lot of common interests. He is attentive, funny, smart and a good father to his daughters. We’re taking it slow getting to know each other. It’s gratifying to feel appreciated for just being myself

    X brings his latest girlfriend to our son’s events. He seems to have burned through a number of them. I couldn’t care less and I feel bad that they don’t yet know. I’m so thankful to be free!

    Thank you ChumpLady for all the emotional labor you bring to this community. You restore my faith in humanity. ❤️Much love and healing to every chump out there.❤️

  • Hi everyone, UpAndOut here, formerly known as LimboChump. Thank you so much to CL who answered my letter in July 2018 and named me LimboChump. I was so surprised – CL was real and responded to me! At that time I had just found out about CL and was trying to hang on to a marriage for over 34 years. I lurked for another 2 years feeling completely unworthy of CN yet too scared of the financial consequences to just jump ship. But I made use of those 2 years. Top of the list was going to an attorney to “see how bad it would be” if the FW did something illegal. When I realized that I AM GOING TO AN ATTORNEY TO SEE HOW TO PROTECT MYSELF FINANCIALLY AGAINST MY HUSBAND I knew I had to get out soon. I kept looking for opportunities to make myself emotionally independent, financially independent, and socially independent while still living with FW. We had 3 kids in college, and one son with a disability, so divorcing would have had huge consequences. For my situation this seemed to be the best solution, until it wasn’t. Over the next year, FW lost his job, and 2 kids graduated, leaving only one in college & not yet financially on her own. I delayed again. At the end of the next year, she graduated and was looking to move out. She found a situation, and at the same time, I did too. I moved out into a rental home in 2020. I had already worked out with the attorney what my petition and proposed MSA would be, so I asked him to serve the FW. The divorce was fairly fast – 9 months.

    I have mixed feelings about how long it took me to decide to divorce. Trying to clean up after problems caused by the FW is never going to be a neat fix, without harm to someone. I put myself at great risk, and our family became more fractured while I chose to live in limbo. No one, including the FW, was surprised when I finally decided to move out.

    Moving out was the best. I felt protected. I felt free. I could be myself with the kids, not trying to fake a marriage or needing to “cover up” for the FW actions. I used CL’s advice & told the kids the bare facts, without opinion but without hiding the reasons I separated/divorced. I have a few friends who also know the facts & that helped a lot to have people who really knew me. I had lived within a lie for so long. My family, which is only my elderly dad & two brothers, all out of state, offered what support they could, in touching ways.

    Fast forward to now. I am late to posting because I am mostly at meh. So much confusion in my mind cleared up once I was outside of FW’s orbit. I went through flashbacks, suddenly having clarity about past behavior of FW. Gradually over the past 2 years, the trauma of life with FW has been metabolized and has become like a healing cut. It will never go away, I am marked. The scar seems to be strong, but can also remind me that it is there, because I feel momentary pain at times, by FW sightings, or unexpectedly, like if I seeing an elderly couple who appear to care for each other and lean on each other.

    I have relied on reading CL daily. But in December, I found that some days I had forgotten to check CL. I got involved in a new crocheting project & just had so much fun! My book club and sewing group had Christmas parties. I continued the volunteer work that I have always done through my church. My husband still goes to this church, fortunately large, but I sit with my fellow workers, and visually draw a line between our “sides” of the building. I have a full time job, and kids who come visit frequently. My son with the high functioning autism had other medical problems in 2018 but has been stable since then. He is a joy to live with. Because of him, the FW must pay part of the health insurance. I remember he gave me that gleeful “got one over on you” look during the MSA negotiations when I had forgotten to add that he should continue to pay for part of the insurance for my daughter until she is 26. Now he has gone back to AA & wants to make amends and I have been NC. I have forgiven him, to the extent that I don’t want anything from him in return for all he inflicted on me & the kids, but I am not ready to extend friendship to him. I choose not to be with him for any time at all. I told my kids 2 years ago that I do not intend to be together as one family at the holidays or for vacations. I observe that my son with autism will see him occasionally, out of our home, for lunch. The oldest son invites him to his home about once a year. I don’t talk with the kids about him. I run into FW unexpectedly around town & I nod to acknowledge him, and then turn away. So again, only mostly at meh.
    Thank you CL and CN

  • Chump Lady never answered my letter about dealing with guilt over my ex’s suicide, but that’s okay because I realized shortly thereafter that the thing I wrote to her about was no longer an issue – I don’t feel guilt any longer!

    My husband dumped me in September of 2017 (denying the affair, and denying it was the reason for the breakup, though it was soon appararent that he was lying; he continued to deny the affair for over 4 years). It took a LOOOONG time for me to admit what was going on, but once I did I was done, done, done. FW moved in with OW in April 2021, and they broke up in May 2021 (clearly it was not bliss). FW took his own life in September 2021, thus ending our drawn out and contentious divorce and custody.

    Since D-day, I got a promotion and a raise (just got another – yay union!) and now make more money than I ever thought I would. My attorney unexpectedly wrote off my last $10K that I owed her which has opened up possibilites that I thought would have to wait several years more. I am currently looking to purchase my own home, hopefully with some land so I can have my dream of a garden and a few chickens. My son, who is autistic, has been doing great now that the stresses of shuffling between two homes and dealing with a controlling, depressed alcoholic father (and manic, alcoholic OW) are gone. He still struggles in school a bit, but he’s a much, much happier child. His anxiety is gone. His threats of self-harm are gone. He’s a cool kid and I’m lucky to be his mom.

    Even before FW’s death, even during the divorce, I was well on my way to meh. I had broken the trauma bond and no longer had any emotional attachment to FW. I no longer cared what he was doing or who he was doing it with (only how it was affecting my child). Now that he’s truly out of my life and there is no more abuse and no potential of using my son to try to hurt or control me, I have completely left that life behind. Now when I look back, I mostly just see the humor in the ridiculousness of it all. It hurt like hell, but it made me a stronger person and I genuinely like who I am now. I continue to come here because it validates my choices and I hope to be able to encourage newbies with my experiences. To let them know there IS light at the end of the tunnel, that life can be so much better once you are FW free.

    I am happily single and will probably remain so. The peace and freedom are worth more to me than a relationship. I’m not lonely. I’ve always enjoyed my own company. I’m not closed off to the idea of another relationship, but I am not seeking one out and am content with being single forever if that’s how things end up. I will never again change myself or make myself small to please another person. I will never again tolerate lies or disrespect or abuse. I will never again financially entwine myself with anyone.

    I love my life. I love being in my 40s and not giving a flying f*&(* what anyone thinks of me. The future is bright and I am excited to see where life takes me.

  • To all you new chumps,
    I’m 3 years in and the schmoopie and freak still triangulate with me as if somehow my lack of presence brings back those first few months of their undying love. Ignore and block and have the simple resolution “she is toxic my life is far improved without her in it. If she were to be in my life my life would suck.” It motivates me though MEH is still far away and I’m on about Thursday morning right now.

    Now, how do you improve your life? Listen to CL and CN. Do not waver. Is there hope? Hard to say but I can tell you that I took unbearable pain (betrayal), picked myself up and helped people who are in a dire, very dire, situation. I didn’t ask anything of these people rather I saw how small my situation is/ was as compared to them and their situation and I set out to help them. While my pain persists, I did something good for people who needed help and that feeling is so much better than anything freak ever gave me. Keep you chin up and sail to your new life.

  • Three and a bit years ago my Ex-husband told me has was in love with someone else and was leaving me for Shmoopie (in front of our 3 year old – what a great Dad 🤣).
    He left me with nothing but abuse and threats to take our child away. I didn’t have enough money to pay the bills and was paralysed by fear and a hopeless desire to get my family back.
    Now I’m financially ok (70g in the bank- who knew saving could be so easy without a fuckwit?) I own my own place (with a mortgage) and feel safe in the knowledge that I am strong and can rebuild my life with integrity if I need to.
    Parallel parenting with this loser and the shmoopie who quickly became pregnant and is now my son’s step mother (ugh) requires constant practice in radical acceptance. My ex still quickly slides back into abuse, but I maintain healthy boundaries and go back to BIFF whenever I goof up and expect my ex to act like a rational, kind human being.
    I no longer grieve for my husband and I don’t love him anymore. Now I accept that he’s shit, she’s desperate and I feel compassion for my son’s little sibling who has to navigate the world with TWO hopeless parents.
    An awful lot of this is thanks to CL and CN. Thankyou! I am profoundly grateful for this source of wisdom and clear-headed straight talking.

  • >