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Tell Me How You’re Mighty, Boston Edition

Chump Lady and Vikki Stark of “Runaway Husbands”

Hello from Boston!

I gotta tell you guys, I had such an amazing time at the Jane Does Well Women of Courage event. What an inspiring group of women! What a group!

To anyone just tuning in, I was asked to be a speaker at Jane Does Well’s fundraiser, on a double bill with Vikki Stark of Runaway Husbands fame. (What a rock star! More on that in a moment.)

I’m so impressed with Jane Does Well — it’s a nonprofit to help women navigate divorce and find their tribe. They lobby their state legislators for family court reforms, and host events in the Boston area — everything from single mom with small kids meet-ups, to traumatic divorce support groups, to cocktail parties.

Are you anywhere near Boston? Join them! Or create a local chapter! We need to REPLICATE this.

And I’m so impressed with Christina Pavlina one of the co-founders of Jane Does Well. She and co-founder Sue Kisiday went through the meat grinder of divorce, and decided to build the kind of support community they wish existed. So that others would have it easier and know that they aren’t alone. #MIGHTY

I had the same kind of thought when I started this blog. How can I spare the next chump? After hearing Vikki Stark talk about her chump experience, I learned that she too tried to build a community she wished existed — for abandoned wives — because resources did not exist for victims of fuckwits-who-go-poof until she wrote her book “Runaway Husbands.” #MIGHTY

Telling her story, she had a great line about the self-recrimination chumps go through. How did I NOT SEE THIS COMING? “Hey, I was a marriage counselor and I didn’t see it coming!” One day, apropos of nothing, he announced: “I’m done.” And he left.

And then later she discovered the six-year affair. Because of course. Empty elevator shaft where a soul should be. CN has lived this.

But this wasn’t a get together about our Sad Divorce Stories — this was an evening of righteous mightiness. About rebuilding and gaining lives.

Four women were chosen as Women of Courage and sat at a roundtable to say how they took back their life. Lost 200 pounds, got an MBA, bought a house, stood up after being chumped with a 7-month old child. THAT WAS ONE STORY. Another woman with a 30+ year marriage was left for a high school Facebook Schmoopie (this is such a common story), moved into the city and signed herself up for sailing lessons. As a family, she had always sailed with her then-husband and children. But realized she had no idea if she even liked it, because her ex was always captain. “I discovered not only did I like sailing — I’m really GOOD at it.” (Thunderous applause.)

Another woman related how she held her head up and didn’t leave her community and her community didn’t leave her. “My garden club was there for me. They were MY people. Not his.” And an artist told the story of how she escaped domestic abuse, but now works with in women’s shelters to teach art. Channeling her creativity got her through it, and now she’s helping other women become “Wonder Woman” too, she said, as she unfurled a collage.

I LOVE the idea of celebrating this kind of mightiness publicly. So many people — newbies, in the throes of the meat grinder — came up to me and said how much it helped them to meet people on the other side and hear these stories. You can survive this. You can build back better. You WILL be better. You’re not alone.

Such life saving work.

Okay, now it’s time for the Friday Challenge. What else? We’re doing a TELL ME HOW YOU’RE MIGHTY.

You know the rules — all mightiness counts. Even if it’s a shower and a tuna fish sandwich in the early days of Suck. Lay it on me.


Ask Chump Lady

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  • I am still in the process of finally divorcing after being with the jerk for over 40 years. I am a member of Jane Does Well and they have been an amazing source of support and resources. I wish I could have come to see you last night, but I have no night vision so couldn’t drive. Thank you for all you do, Chump Lady! You are an inspiration!

  • I love your site! The comments and the support from the beloved citizens of Chump Nation have been the catalyst for some VASTLY good (and deep) changes.

    Way back in 2016, you did a Friday entry about “The Three Douchiest Things You Do NOT Miss”. It was great! It had 693 responses.

    Please consider bringing this one back, one of these days. It was eye-opening. It was cathartic. It was LAUGH-OUT-LOUD hilarious and healing.

    • Okay, we’ll run it next Friday. I’m sure in all this time more douches have perfected their douche-iness.

    • A douche compétition ? What a wonderful suggestion! Although… the FW might *love* the idea, hee hee #centrality

    • To kick things off early, maybe not exactly douchey but definitely in the ballpark, I do not miss Traitor Ex, way past preschool, picking his nose and eating it.

      I’m pretty sure the first time I saw him doing that was the last time I kissed him.


      Enjoy his booger hands and mouth, Craigslist cockroach!

      • Velvet hammer, I am always right there loving your posts, but today it made me barf! Good for you, and oh my god good riddance!

      • My sister recently said something to her 4-yr-old about picking his nose and eating it. His response: “Mom, please don’t yuck my yum.” At least he was polite and owned it. Far more mature response than you could expect from a grown FW, who you just know would get nasty and DARVO or project.

  • I live in the Boston area. Sorry it was so cold here! My ex is a ‘coach’ with my son’s disabled hockey team. I have coach in quotations as he only goes to practices/games on his weekends. I am currently in St Louis with my son’s team for a disabled hockey tournament as it fell on my weekend. He, of course, reluctantly asked if I wanted to switch. My son wanted me to go instead of him. So I navigated how to pack hockey equipment for air travel, booked flights, hotel, and rental car and here we are. Let the games begin!!

    • Any parent willing to fly with hockey gear is my hero. I saw a mom on the shuttle bus at the airport doing that and my inner voice was like “would you look at this awesome woman and her super power” I love my adult sons but they are terrible in airports and I have zero interest in flying with them. You are awesome.

    • Congratulations to you!! And – I started volunteering for a hockey team of disabled Veterans who are at that same tournament in St. Louis so I can completely appreciate the amount of effort that it took for you to make that trip!

  • Well this is such an inspiring post today.

    The first thing I did was to finish my Masters degree.

    I saved more money that I had ever saved when I was with my ex. (He liked to spend!)

    I bought a house. By myself.

    I also reclaimed a sewing machine that the fuckwit had bought for a single project and never used again. He would always tote to the ladies that he could “sew.” But never did any projects. I dusted it off and made my first quilt, and then another. The next thing I know, I was sponsoring a sewing club with my students at school and teaching them basic sewing skills. One if my students started selling items and paid her way on a trip to Washington D.C!

    Now I am working on my second Masters and raising my kids.

    I have traveled more than I ever thought possible with two kids!

    • DC, that is remarkable. I love quilts. I was thinking of making one all by hand, as I could never get the hang of a sewing machine.

      • You can do both ways! I hand stitched my first quilt and have sewed several others by machine. I have a special place in my heart with my hand stitched one because it’s much more personal for me. Just try one – even it is a table runner or place mats or something on a smaller scale.

  • My basketball team won the conference championship this year. It’s my 5th overall. The best part was being part of not just the team but a whole extended family of people who were on the journey with us. It’s a great example of how “family” and community does not have to be the tradition notion of marriage and children. We can find our own families. We can build a family, a place to grow love and hope.

  • Got a clean break divorce with the children staying with me, and a promotion at work that Ex-Mrs LFTT had maintained for years that I didn’t deserve and wasn’t good enough to achieve.

    The best bit was that because the promotion was announced a week after our divorce was finalised, she didn’t get a sniff of either the additional pay (circa £15K P/A) or the extra pension benefits (which were significant).

    She backed a loser in choosing her AP over the kids and I ….. and there are no “take backs” in this game.


    • Congratulations!

      FW told me that the only reason I had my job is because HE had gotten it for me, and that no one liked me. One promotion and three raises later (one of which was massive), and I’ve definitely proved him wrong. I’ve gotten commendations on my work from the highest people in the organization, and my team is very pleased with me. My group unionized, and now I get yearly raises, and have a pretty decent pension. OW dumped FW and ran, and he ended up dying alone a few months later. None of his many “friends” was anywhere to be found. He bet on the wrong horse…

      • Janis Joplin used to sing,
        “Freedom’s just another word for nothing left to lose.”
        Surviving the shitstorm of divorcing a cheater gave me incentive and a fearless attitude about a lot of things. Come on, if you can get through that kind of brutal betrayal what is there to be afraid of? I tore my house apart in a major remodel, joined a volleyball team, climbed Half Dome (two years in a row) and started dating. I realized I had undervalued myself at work after surveying like positions. I was offered a job at a competing company at a 25% raise and a big benefits bump. My boss matched it and the new benefits package helped everyone in the company. At retirement age now, that the extra money and 401k are looking pretty good!

    • 👏👏👏

      “…that Ex-Mrs LFTT had maintained for years that I didn’t deserve and wasn’t good enough to achieve.” Of course she did. So ridiculous!! Glad you’re free of that toxicity.

  • This is why we’re all mighty.

    This article on the science of grief explains what we were coping with as we made each difficult decision – to go no contact, to put our ducks in a row, to eat a shit sandwich, to let go of Switzerland friends, to be the sane parent. It explains cognitive dissonance.

    And it shows that the social narrative must change and more support be made available.

    • Thanks for this post…as a widow, I experienced this on one level then I had to grieve all my shit again 3 years later when I learned he had been a serial cheater. This article was feeling very familiar to me in a funny way and when I got to the end and saw the author, I chuckled as I have read much of her work.

      • Me too! We were married for 48 years. In Nov. he passed away from cancer. 2 months later I found out he’d been having an affair for 10 years and maybe more. Just as “Runaway Husband” author said – employee of his, young, flirted with him even when I was present, and he stated critiquing me more and more. She had an affair previously with an employee whose wife was pregnant. It’s so hard to have any loving feelings. When I look at our photo albums I wonder -was he cheating then? I’m grateful – no divorce and two lovely children who are wonderful to me. But, I’m not telling them. It would make them sad and what does it matter now.

    • Talking about the power and structure of neural patterns is a regular conversation at my house. I loved my
      biological psych class in college. There’s some comfort in knowing that some things are about wiring and not a reflection of character.

      Dr Louann Brizendine is a local neuropsychiatrist who has written a couple of very good books on the subject, The Female Brain and the Male Brain. Her latest book is about the female brain in midlife….excellent and encouraging read, especially if you’re a female who has been chumped in midlife who needs reminders that you are mighty!

  • Going to screenshot the photo of my 2 favorite people who get it!!! I had a fuckwit who went poof just weeks before Vikki’s book came out. It was my lifeline & then just weeks after divorce decree was signed I discovered Tracy’s newly minted blog. It’s been a difficult 13 years on my own but I know I’m not alone. Ended up dating a serial cheater – unbeknownst to me because we know how clever they are – but once the mask came off & cheating was discovered I ended the relationship right there & then. First asshat wasted 26+ years & recent asshat 5+ years. Tracy & Vikki, thank you for what you do but also sorry you had fuckwits in your lives.

  • I’ll be real with you all, I need to hear this today. I’m in the hardest part of my intensive master’s program (of which FW just had to also be a part of) and in January I had an accident which resulted major shoulder surgery (I’ve basically been in pain ever since, though it’s improving) and now, on the due date of the most important project of the whole program, my 4yo and I have pneumonia and I won’t be getting it turned in on time. My instructors are as understanding and flexible as they can be, but there is a hard limit. I’ll be ok, but it will mean frantically working on it over the weekend while very sick. Meanwhile, FW is headed into class all smug because he’s healthy.

    FW also loves to tell all his church buddies of my struggles under the guise of “pray for her” and they use that as a way to slide into my DM’s. “Hey, I heard you’re really sick. How are things?” and then I hear some veiled insinuations that I’m being punished by God for leaving the church.

    My logic brain knows that FW is not crushing it in the academic arena. I’ve heard complaints that he is absolutely the guy in the group project that does nothing. Despite being healthy and not needing extensive shoulder surgery, he is not as far along on this major project as I am. My logic brain knows that I’m not being punished by God and that the “prayer buddies” are just being awful human beings.

    So, I guess I’m mighty because I take my antidepressants, do my physical therapy, and just keep pressing on. I can’t wait to scroll these comments for all the wonderful mighty stories. I need some lifting up at the moment.

    • You are amazing. I’ve had pneumonia several times and the fact that you are even considering working while sick says a lot about you and your priorities. You will do well. Sending you all the best.

    • BDU,

      You’ve got this!

      By being aware of, acknowledging and are addressing the things that you find difficult, and getting help where you need it, you are showing the self-awareness and drive to self-improvement that no Cheater ever could.

      Go you!


    • Block block blockity block.

      I hate that you have to deal with FW all the time. Reminds me of my in-house separation with FW for a year and a half. One afternoon he drunkenly decided to call 911 to report a domestic on me telling them I was hysterical. I got to see him in action then, spinning the lies in front of my face. It was awful but nothing came of it. I will never forget the officer who said to sobbing humiliated me, don’t talk to him. I can go a week not talking to my wife. You can do it. And I did.

      From then on I let the lawyers handle the details. I left the room if FW entered. I seriously pretended he was dead to me, or a hostile stranger, both of which are true. If I had to be at the same sporting or other event with kids, I did not sit near him nor did not look at him nor acknowledge him in any way. If he approached I turned my back or went the other way. It took practice. At first I was angry. Now I’m just meh. He has ditched the kids so conveniently I am never in proximity much any more. For the rare moments, I do not approach or speak to him ever and I pretend he is just another face in the crowd. I don’t care what he thinks or says or feels. Those things are all irrelevant to here, now and future.

      FWs may reach out or send their flying monkeys but we are not obligated to respond. What we do is no longer their business, even if we are deathly ill. It’d be faux concern anyway.

    • BattleDancing, that cheater is not healthy. He’s a jerk and so self-absorbed and ignorant that he can’t smell the stench of his gangrenous character.

      There are antibiotics for what you have and you will get better. And when you are all better he will still be a gangrenous ignorant jerk.

    • I have been rooting for you ever since I read one of your comments. I am sending you blessings for healing and strength and stamina. I am looking forward to the day that I can cheer you for finishing your master’s program.

      (And I am looking forward to the day that I read that the EX-FW has failed spectacularly. Because I am betting that he will.)

      P.S. Sorry about all of those hypocrite-church-idiots.

    • Sick with a sick 4 year old too?! And you’re still working on your project? You are mighty mighty mighty! ❤️❤️❤️

      • When I graduate this summer (and I will, because FW does not win this), all ya’ll screen names are going on my cap. You are what I needed today.

        • I’ve been cheering for you from the day you joined this community and always look for your comments, BDU. You got this.

        • We want to be with you! And this weekend, call in reinforcements (your friends, DoorDash, etc.) to bring nourishing food while you work.

    • BattleDancing, none of these people should be able to “slide into your DMs.” Block anyone remotely connected to this jackass. Block, block, block. And if this is how they behave, then leaving their church was a great idea.

      Pneumonia is a horrible thing. I can’t imagine getting something important done, but sending you hugs, love and positive energy so you can get through this.

  • FW was very verbally abusive, and one of his constant refrains was that I was worthless and incompetent. When we split, he told me I couldn’t take care of myself without him and he just knew I’d jump into another relationship so I would have someone to “mooch off of”. He constantly accused me of taking money from my mother. And while I knew all those things were untrue, it still hurt, and I admit I didn’t have a lot of self-confidence by the time he dumped me for his coworker.

    Well, fast-forward a few years and…I just BOUGHT MY OWN HOUSE. And I did it all by my damn self. (It’s REALLY nice, too. Just what I wanted. Bigger than the house I had to give up in the divorce. With a 1/2 acre of land in the countryside, vs. a 1/10th of an acre in the city. I’m getting chickens and I’m going to have a huge garden [FW hated that I gardened, since it took attention away from him]. The house is super cute. And I’m doing it up in exactly my own style [I actually have enough money for furniture! FW and I lived almost entirely with hand-me-downs because he was financially irresponsible and we were constantly broke.) I’m also debt-free (other than the mortgage, lol). I moved in a week ago.

    A smaller win – we got a cat! FW was “allergic” to cats (though somehow was able to have one for several years with his ex gf?) and so we could never have one, and I love cats. My son is thrilled and adores our kitten. (She’s nuts, but we love her.)

    I’m almost sorry FW is dead and can’t see me doing well. It would have infuriated him. He died up to his ears in debt.
    On the other hand, I’m free – completely free – of his abuse. And I don’t have the stress of shared custody or dealing with schmoopie (she left him and I never, never, never have to see her again). The peace is wonderful. My son and I are very, very happy. Life is good.

    If you are in the middle of the discard or recently chumped and everything seems horrible, just know – it DOES get better. It gets so much better. The pain will fade, and your FW-free life can be glorious. (I’m single and intend to stay that way – I’ve found I absolutely LOVE being on my own.)

    • ISTL, you are mighty! And the life you’ve gained sounds fabulous!

      My 18-year-marriage left me with my self-esteem absolutely in the toilet. According to my ex, I was fat and unattractive, bad with money, antisocial and ill liked, a bad cook and housekeeper, and the less-good parent (a distant second to his Superdad persona).

      In the 13 years since I discovered his affair and left him, I have systematically attacked each of these untrue notions that I internalized, and gained a badass life: house, two cats, a ton of houseplants, hobbies, a handful of great friends, solid relationships with my kids, and rewarding work as an artist.

      Being almost 55, I’m definitely chubbier now than I was all those years that my ex called me fat, and I AM OKAY WITH THAT. I’m okay with my body, my size, my appearance. I’m okay with my entire self, because I’m no longer being made to doubt my intrinsic worth.

      • I got the fat and ugly comments too (unless he wanted sex – then I was beautiful; it started becoming really transparent). I am now happy with my looks. I stopped wearing makeup, because I don’t like it and I no longer feel the need to impress anyone or “correct” my “deficiencies”. I, too, am a bit heavier than I was. But I am also okay with that. I’m comfortable, I don’t have to deprive myself, and I still look hot as hell. During the split, I couldn’t eat and dropped to a dangerously low weight. I’d rather carry a few extra pounds and be healthy any day over being a walking skeleton with hollow eyes and sallow skin. OW was significantly heavier than me when the affair began, so I know it was never my weight that he was REALLY criticizing (though I saw her get thinner and thinner as their relationship went on, and knew exactly why). I’m 42, single (and happy that way) and IDGAF what anyone thinks of me besides myself anymore. It’s lovely.

        FW also said I was antisocial and that no one liked me, but that’s not at all true. People do like me, at least the people that matter. He said I was a terrible housekeeper, but my home is clean and mostly tidy (I’m not a perfectionist). After I left, his house, on the other hand, looked like sqatters lived there. Trash and rotting food everywhere, mold on the walls, dirt and dust and junk. The lawn was unkempt (to the point where he got over $500 in fines from the city), the tub was so covered in soap scum you couldn’t see the tiles, the toilet was BLACK inside and full of stale urine. It was GROSS. What baffles me is that OW stayed over quite often. If my boyfriend’s house looked like that, I’d break up with him (or at LEAST clean it). I wouldn’t have used that toilet if you paid me. He didn’t take care of anything and all the appliances started breaking from neglect. He claimed the dishwasher was broken, but when I looked at it (after he moved out), it turned out that the filter was completely clogged because he never, ever cleaned it. I couldn’t believe my son was living in that sqallor. When FW died, I went to get my things out of his rental (he had absconded with a lot of marital property) and it was just as bad as our home had been. According to my boss at the time (who had helped OW move), OW’s apartment was just as gross. So it turns out I’m a perfectly adequate housekeeper. The one thing FW almost never criticized was my cooking (because I’m an excellent cook), and it was one of the things he missed when we split. OW couldn’t cook (I had her food a few times and …). Oh well.

        Congrats on you bad ass life. Cats, plants, and art sounds absolutely delightful. Hooray for thriving FW free.

    • Cheaters criticism of me started in the morning and went on all day, every day. Developing and maintaining a decent self-concept was a full time effort for me. I used to enjoy his business trips just for the break in criticisms. The more he criticized, the harder I tried and the better I got at things which fed his insecurities and the pattern continued. I could give thousands of examples.

      Like you, I didnt want my cheater to die…I would have loved for him to see me flourish not being married to him. He would have just shifted his blame and claimed that I wanted the split so that I could get the “tall white guy” he accused me of wanting (I didnt want a tall white guy, I never minded his stature and I thought he was beautiful). Im short and “tall” wasn’t something I sought, so Forever Husband being tall and white is an irony.

      What I have found is that not having to push boulders up hill all day (like I had to do in a marriage with him) has left me with energy to do all sorts of things (publishing in my area of expertise, presenting at international conferences, advanced education).

    • Congratulations on the house! But especially on the cat! Pets bring more love and more love is always good!

      • She is the snuggliest cat I’ve ever had, and it is just lovely. She comes to wherever people are and curls up next to you (or ON you) and just purrs her heart out.

    • ISTL: my ex said the same to me that I “would have another man by the end of the week”. It made me realize that he didn’t know me at all. Projection was his game!

      • FW would say I couldn’t POSSIBLY go without sex for months, so I must be screwing his friends. I was a 27 year old virgin when we married, so clearly I’m the sort who just has random hookups because I’m too horny to contain myself. I told him that it hurt me when he said that because it showed he doesn’t know me at all, after almost 20 years. Of course, HE was the one having the affair.

        I’ve now gone 4+ years without sex, am absolutely fine, and have realized I’m demisexual, if not ACE, and don’t need sex to be happy. I really don’t care about it. It’s actually really nice not to have someone pestering me for it every day.

        Nor do I need a man to take care of me. FW needed someone and couldn’t be alone (he needed money, and emotional regulation, and sex, and praise, and a housekeeper, and a nanny, and a personal secretary, and a dumping ground for his misery). He made sure he had someone in the wings before he left me. He even admitted to the magistrate that he was only moving in with OW because he couldn’t afford a place by himself (I stopped paying half the mortgage, on my lawyer’s advice, because FW was living in the home and had forbidden me to enter it). Once OW left him (unexpectedly), his life just crumbled. He hadn’t had time to secure a replacement, and I wasn’t having anything to do with him (he tried).

        Projection indeed.

  • I was in attendance last night! What a pleasure/privilege to hear CL in person and to be inspired by all the other women on the panel. And I am now a proud member of Jane Does Well.

    How am I mighty?
    In 2019, devastated by the shocking news that my then-husband had been having a multi-year affair with a much-younger co-worker, I followed two seemingly unrelated paths:

    On the first path, I was strong Spinach who focused her energies on hiring a great lawyer, getting my finances in order, collecting documents, making spreadsheets of belongings, selling two houses, and finding a new place to live.

    On the second path, I was vulnerable, sad, rejected and SCARED Spinach who cried every day. I listened to LAC;GAL on a loop and leaned on wonderful friends and family for support. I upped my therapy visits to twice a week.

    But despite all this support, I decided at one point that life was not worth living. In that darkest moment, my phone dinged. It was my daughter (33 at the time). She had just sent a video of her own daughter who was then 6 months old.

    It was the jolt I needed. If the only thing left in my life was being a great grandmother to that kiddo, that was enough.
    I also realized that I shouldn’t let FW be the arbiter of my worth.

    Somehow my two paths merged–I was still sad but also strong and determined.

    So here I am, feeling mighty in my own way:
    This lifelong suburbanite moved 100 miles to the city to be near my kids (and grandchild). [Note: I have TWO grandkids now!!!]
    I have started a business and made new friends.
    I volunteer!
    I detached completely from FW. NC is wonderful!
    I have discovered what I like, don’t like, and need (which sounds minor, but after 35 years with a covert narc, my needs disappeared).
    I actually met someone on a dating app (I know, I know…but it worked for me) who treats me with kindness and respect.

    Of course, I’m not happy all the time. I still have flashbacks and fight old habits and negative self-talk. But I know that life now is so much better that it had been and would have been had we stayed together. I didn’t realize how miserable I was until it all blew up. In a strange way, as painful as it all was and as corny as this sounds, I’m grateful for what happened because I now have this new chance at life.

    As for that grandchild who was in the video, she’s now almost 4. The other night she slept over at my place. At one point during the night, she grabbed my hand! We held hands until she shifted position. I thought, “It doesn’t get any better than this. I’m so lucky!” ❤️

    • “If the only thing left in my life was being a great grandmother to that kiddo, that was enough.”

      At one point, I thought I’d never be happy again. But I knew I had to be there for my son, and I decided that for him I could deal with living in misery if I had to. He really saved my life, and I determined to get myself as healthy as I could so I could be a better mom. (Fortunately the pain did fade, and I found happiness that far exceeds anything I ever had with FW.)

      “I have discovered what I like, don’t like, and need (which sounds minor, but after 35 years with a covert narc, my needs disappeared).” SAME. It’s really been an interesting journey of self-(re)discovery. I like myself better now, and I am more solid. I would never let anyone take my life from me the way FW did again.

      “I didn’t realize how miserable I was until it all blew up. In a strange way, as painful as it all was and as corny as this sounds, I’m grateful for what happened because I now have this new chance at life.” So, so true. I, too, am grateful for the affair. I was living a life that was slowly killing me and had nearly destroyed my soul. Now I can LIVE.

    • Spinach, your words radiate such joy and deep contentment!

      Many of us would never have left our bad marriages had we not been chumped. I agree with you, it’s a gift.

    • My kids were in college locally when we split. Even though they barely spoke to me at times as they were working through the mess themselves, their presence was a huge motivator to figure out the economics and become the mom they deserved.

      When each graduated, I told them that they were welcome to stay and pay rent if they would be a good roommate. Housing prices are horrific here, and I have a house that is perfect for adults with their own friends and schedules. They stayed, and we have a ball when schedules coincide.

      I haven’t been on any dates since my ex left. I’ve had a lot of asks, but no one that I wanted to spend time with. The last one implied that he thought that I was a good candidate for some “action” after the twelve-step group where I’m a leader. I told him never, ever to speak like that to me again and that as a leader, dating is not why I’m there. I get that there are a lot of lonely 60-something guys out there looking for someone like me, but I’m turned off by the hard sell by someone I don’t even know. Just ick!

    • So happy for you, Spinach. I remember 4 years ago we were going through a lot of the same stages of discard and divorce together. (Today is actually literally the 4th anniversary of D-day/discard for me.) I’m so glad to hear everything is going so well for you, and I just wanted to thank you for all the camaraderie and encouraging words back in the day–they meant a lot to me.

      My story is still tracking yours in a lot of ways: I’m happier and healthier now in every way than I was in my marriage–big raise, a house that makes everyone who visits comfortable, a grounded and centered spiritual life, a full dance card with friends, family, sports, travel, volunteering. Not sure I’m 100% at Meh, but I’m certainly most of the way there: the way I know is a friend launched into some unsolicited details about Best Regards and the Wifetress the other day, and pretty quickly I realized I just…didn’t care. I wasn’t freaked out or angry or listening eagerly for the back-up beep of the Karma Bus, or anything. I was just like, yawn, good for them. And I meant it. It’s so clear to me now that the kindest thing Best Regards ever did for me was leaving me, so when I think about it now on the 4th anniversary of D-day, all I feel is gratitude to God and my friends and family for their love and support. He kinda doesn’t even enter into it.

      So, here’s to another 4 years of the same for both of us; it’s all upside now, all the way.

      • “I wasn’t freaked out or angry or listening eagerly for the back-up beep of the Karma Bus, or anything. I was just like, yawn, good for them.”

        Wow! I’m impressed! You say you’re not 100% at meh, but that sounds pretty darn close.

        I tell the very few people who might hear something about him that “I don’t want to know.” But, honestly, if I WERE to hear something negative–such as…let’s see…that his penis, or better yet, his fly fishing arm broke off–I might do a little jig in my head. Guess I’m further from meh than I thought. Or maybe this slight interest is, as Lizzo puts it, “the human in me.”

        Happy 4th anniversary of D-Day to you, Okupin! It’s a strange one to celebrate. Isn’t it? Onwards and upwards. Glad you’re doing relatively well and so grateful for this site and the mutual support of fellow chumps!

    • So glad you found your mighty on both tracks, Spinach. You are loved here and contribute so much.

  • I am 11 years out from divorce and 12 from last D-day. Since then: I raised my two boys to adulthood and they are hard working, kind men. The oldest is married, I love my daughter in law, and I survived a wedding dealing with FW and his crazy family. I went back to school and received another certification for my career, nominated and was elected into a honor society for nurses. I survived a pandemic while working emergency medicine. In the midst of all the crazy, I met another chump and we have been married 6 years now. The mortgage is paid off and I bought myself a boujee car (a BMW) and husband and I spend our weekends camping in our new to us fifth wheel camper. While life is not perfect, our FWs regularly cause commotion, but we are able to navigate it while giving them a blank stare. 🤷‍♀️
    Things were really, really bad for years; me, the kids and my husband had to be in counseling intermittently in order to deal with the 💩, but we have come out better and stronger. We are a testament that things do get better!

  • I’ve gotten into CrossFit and this week I squatted 190 lbs, more than my own weight! I love feeling strong. The weight lifting skills I am learning are fun and I get a huge rush from big lifts.

  • My mighty is acceptance and thanksgiving. I’m not worthless, there is much to be thankful for. Can’t thank you all enough for your snark, your empathy, your willingness to share and help the broken. In these past 5 years since D day I have learned how to play the Great Highland Bagpipe and have joined a band. I don’t suck anymore I blow!

  • Do you know what is one the best things about “getting to MEH” and “becoming mighty”? We have each other to witness our growth and triumphs. We are each other’s comfort and solace as we deal with junk. We are each other’s reward for the work that we are doing on ourselves.

  • Divorced since July, 35 years married. I’m keeping the promises I made to myself. I own my own home, car, work full time for a decent salary, am working on becoming a full time artist as soon as I retire (I’m almost 66-goal is to work until 70), I got a golden retriever and brother sister cats. I’ve decided I don’t want to date or be coupled, I’m a curly haired girl and am growing out my gray. My youngest told me that she was bragging to a coworker about how in her words “bad ass” I am and how I’m rocking reinvention. That was a big promise..being an example to my 3 daughters. I’m going to Ireland for 3 weeks in April..

  • Bought a house, car, several new jobs, survived cancer, heart attack, launched 2 kids from college to careers, and I’ve run two 5k’s again, but more importantly guided friends and strangers to CL/CN if needed and hopefully helped them change their own lives for better

  • My mightiest moment was I realized I was happy. Truly happy! After 44 yrs with a FW and narcissistic parents, existing without a crisis, was happiness. In truth I was always just waiting for the next crisis. Financially, emotionally and physically it’s been a 180%. At the time, I was old, poor and had a progressive disease. Now, financially stable, emotionally happy and disability under control.

  • More than a year out from divorce. I have a rocking job that appreciates me, great pay and even better benefits and my boss is a chump too. She never questions me taking time to put my daughters first as we all navigate this shit sandwich of being thrown into a single parent household. I have wonderful friends. My family can be a challenge at times, but they’re always there to support me when I need it. FW’s AP is showing her true colors as time goes on – a friend asked, if FW said he wanted to get back together, would you consider it? HELL NO. I’m building a great life and he doesn’t deserve any space in it.

  • I just wanted to chime in to say how wonderful it is to see you and Vikki together. You are both such an inspiration!

  • I read Vicki’s book when my husband left totally without any notice or clue that anything was wrong, 22 years happily married to zero in a couple of hours, and he did this WHILE I WAS DRIVING. My ex stuck around with sporadic visits because we had a business together. It was like. I’m not in love with you anymore, see you at work, ok?’ I showed him her book and he expressed interest in understanding what he did because he really could understand where all his feelings had gone, even more because he told me there was literally no one else, he seemed genuinely bewildered. He actually picked up the book, leafed through it and took away some printouts I’d made for Vicki’s blog. Chumply, I put my own hurt, pain and literal emotional death aside and worried for him. After marriage therapy at his suggestion and a trial wreckonciliation some 15 months later I found out that he’d been cheating after all. I cannot get my head round how he watched me fool myself looking for answers, took my sympathy, sat opposite me while at therapy knowing the truth. This is incomprehensible abuse, but if asked, he would say that he was trying to save me from hurt and excuse his behaviour. I am fucking mighty because 3 and a half years later I’m still breathing in and out, (that’s enough) bought him out of the business (still fighting for the premises), paid my grandchildren’s remaining school fees and bought a house. The business is a worry and I’ve been through therapies and medications and now feel I’m coming back up. Thank you Tracy, thank you Vicki. I still am not rid of him but really now feel I can cope and even have ‘meh’ days. I take my hat off to you all who go through equal shite with kids. We are all pretty mighty.

    • “I cannot get my head round how he watched me fool myself looking for answers, took my sympathy, sat opposite me while at therapy knowing the truth. ” so well put- thankyou chumpington- you rock!

    • >I cannot get my head round how he watched me fool myself looking for answers, took my sympathy, sat opposite me while at therapy knowing the truth.

      Yep. Their MO is that all your love & attention was just his due because he’s so great. It never crosses their mind that you were investing in a family/bond, which means nothing to him. Instead, he’s congratulating himself on his kindness as he pays you any attention at all. Poor girl, losing his superior awesomeness. The least he can do is pretend to pay attention as you grieve while he finishes his discard plans.

      He’s got the self-awareness & bonding-capacity of a monkey. So much makes sense once I realized these are just monkey-people. Not everyone develops the mighty power of humanity.

  • At the top of my Mighty To Do list is looking at CHARACTER. Improving my own, and at Traitor Ex as part of my mirage post-mortem homework so I can learn and benefit from this experience.

    There are a lot of things I can do for my outer world, but it’s in my face right now how important it is that I keep polishing my character.

    Cheating is about character. The debate goes on and on when the focus is on “love” and “happiness” and “chemistry” and “compatibility” and all the other horseshit excuses and justifications cheaters and side pieces come up with to defend what is in reality character rot.
    It’s undeniable that cheating and lying are evidence of defective character. The debate shuts down.

    Throughout my daughter’s life, I have told her teachers that I care about her physical and emotional health first, her character second, and academics third, because without the first two the third one is worthless (IMHO).

    I don’t want to be married or friends with character defective individuals, or be one. All the outer successes in my life are going to be based on and determined by the quality of my own character, and I am currently doing some housekeeping in that area to see what needs improving.

    To me, being mighty means Job One is being of good character.

    Below is from Dr. George Simon’s blog the other day.

    “Lingering gaslighting effects make you doubt yourself and your judgment even after coming to know better. And they can also make you question your ability to judge people in general, and when it’s truly safe to trust again. That’s primarily why I’ve written so many books and articles about character. It’s the most important thing to a relationship. And it’s a crucial part of emotional, psychological, and spiritual health. But discerning good character is a challenging task in our times. And finding a potential partner with enough character health to make a relationship work and last is particularly challenging. (See also: Mistaking Attractive Traits for Character.) That task gets really complicated when you’re still doubting yourself and struggling with trust issues in general.”

  • Yes, telling “win stories” is so very important. That’s why I’m very active locally and online with folks like us. I thrashed around in confusion for a year in a long-distance separation. I thought it was MY job to fix things despite all evidence to the contrary. I also had a lot of religious guilt. It nearly broke my health and emotional stability. But at the one-year mark, I said no more. I joined a twelve-step group and began asking around about attorneys. He actually kicked it off, but I was ready. My attorney was a superstar. He was a kind soul but a tough negotiator with a honed gut who got it done.

    After a career coach and 500+ unsuccessful job applications, I expanded a little side business I had opened years before and ably supported my college kids and myself. Then I bought the house of my dreams, all on one level in a neighborhood with everything I ever wanted. Now I’m winding down to semi-retirement. Life is good.

  • I’m finally figuring out how to be true to myself, after an early life of lots of dysfunction, and then 32 years married to a selfish man. I’m so grateful for my sons, and now my DIL, granddaughter, and we have another on the way! They have shown me so much support and love, which I truly needed. I’ve bought my own house, taken care of both my parents as they passed to the cosmos (and forgiven them, too), traveled a bunch (first time to Hawaii!), grown out my natural hair after a decade of dying, I love it! And the hobby I was mocked for, remodeling houses, I’ve been able to really persue. I’m taking a year off my work, to do things I enjoy! I bought a pretty trashed small house, and did it completely over myself, with two of my son’s help. Then, my boyfriend bought a 1900 house, and I’m working on that one! He told me I’m doing a spectacular job. It’s just so enjoyable for me, the Cinderella houses, LOL. I’m currently putting a laminate floor in my middle son’s house. My therapist calls this sava, acts of service, which I do believe is so healing, and good for our souls.
    CN is so inspiring, love hearing the stories. We will all rock our futures!!

    • Mocked for knowing how to remodel a house!??! That’s an incredible skill! Congrats!!!

      • He would say-Oh no! She’s got a hammer, what is she going to break now?? I always designed and fixed up all our houses, and he couldn’t care less. You know, it’s not focused on HIM, so it means nothing. Same old story a lot of us dealt with!
        Thank you for the good vibes! ❤️

    • He probably mocked you because he’s a talentless and lazy loser, and was envious that you are awesome.
      I know my fuckwit envied me certain things. FWs are competitive with their mates. It goes with being shallow and narcissistic.

      I work on houses too. I especially love restoring old ones. Enjoy working on that grand old dame. 🙂

      • Thanks, glad to know you’re doing it too! It’s hard work, and wrecks your hands, but so, so rewarding!
        And yes, he was supremely lazy.

  • I’m only feeling moderately mighty today because I’m tired. I know that I AM mighty, though. The ex is an energy and attention vampire. If I were still with him I would not have been with my mom supporting her while my dad went through his final days last year. And I would not be with her today as she recovers from major orthopedic surgery.

    • It’s funny that feeling mighty is not always the same thing as BEING mighty.

  • I bought my own house…..the first house I’ve ever owned by myself. And I increased my income enough to qualify for a mortgage while still on asshat’s mortgage (I’m off of his now).

    He was a prick to my kids and thought I coddled them even though he had a snotty spoiled daughter. But guess what? They’re now grown and one is about to graduate engineering college and the other is studying to be a tradesman. They never speak of him…’s like he never existed. They’re tight with me.

    I also just requested a duplicate copy of the bachelor’s degree I got while married to him with my father’s last name. My current one has ex’s last name on it and I changed it. I plan to die with my dad’s name. My gf’s and I are planning to get together to burn the old degree when the new one gets here.

    On a side note, I know a woman whose ex left her because he had to date other women and thought he could do better. Now he has Parkinson’s and is trying to come back.

    She has moved on and told him to fuck himself.

  • 8.5 years out from Dday (25 year marriage- 4 kids- blindsided- XH diagnosed as narcissist BPD). Divorce trial 6 years ago – I got 82% in no fault community property state. Since then I’ve:
    Raised my 3 minor kids;
    Took CA bar exam (after being a SAHM mom 8 years);
    Changed fields to employment law;
    Got a new remote job, got another job and promotion to partner (2017), last year got an offer of equity partnership at one of the world’s biggest firms— remote job— salary doubled and at 56 -I have the real possibility of earning 7 figures within 5 years (say what???!!! Still can’t believe it!);
    3 years ago started another side career as a realtor and earned 6 figures at that – love it!;
    2 years ago I became engaged;
    Partner and I bought a dream horse property with 2 homes and my grown son and his partner and new baby are moving with us —next TUESDAY! yup! A Tuesday!!! You can’t make this stuff up!
    I’ve been successfully no contact for 7 years….
    I could go on and on….
    Leave a cheater, gain a life!!!!!

    • That is mighty (((applause))).

      My ex was also diagnosed with NPD/BPD, on the malignant side. As my 20-something son says, “what a dumpster fire.”

  • I am closing on a house on the 27th and submitted my grad school application for mental health counseling, she’s never going to get me down again.

    The other positive is I know who I am, what I want, and where I want to go. I have many friends and I enjoy supervising the employees who work for me.

    Sometimes the sun shines on a dog’s ass 😂.

    • Congrats on the new house, Josh. As for a dog’s ass, I’d rather look at a dog’s ass all day than spend one second looking at a FW’s face.

    • There’s nothing this country (the US) needs more than competent mental health counselors and therapists. And that’s probably true for other places as well. Good for you!

  • As a divorce attorney, I was completely blindsided to discover my ex-husband’s serial cheating. At the time, I was pregnant with a very wanted baby after struggling for years with infertility. I did not leave right away. I was pregnant, afraid and I work in the “system” so I was terrified of litigating custody with him. We attempted marriage counseling, but more and more of the “truth” began to leak out. He was diagnosed with Borderline Personality Disorder (BPD).

    I gained my strength through therapy, meditation, exercise, probiotics, and the support of friends and family. It was scary for me, even as a divorce attorney, to gain the courage to leave.

    I didn’t realize until after he was gone just how much he weighed down the kids and I. The kids that I was so afraid of hurting have thrived in his absence. He was emotionally abusive to all of us, and physically abusive to me. Thankfully, he doesn’t seem to be interested in parenting and mostly leaves the kids alone. Children are too inconvenient for the lifestyle he wants.

    Since I left, I made my physical, emotional, and spiritual wellness my priorities. During my marriage, I had gained 50lbs. I lost all of the weight. I ride my bike regularly – it heals me physically and emotionally. This summer, I will be doing a 335 mile bike ride to raise money for a non-profit that helps disabled Veterans.

    When I made myself a priority again, I found love (when I was least expecting it) with a wonderful and caring man that supports me in a way that I’ve never experienced. We have real emotional intimacy and a real emotional connection. My children adore him.

    My career has taken off. I did not realize how much the ex was attempting to sabotage my career to keep me dependent on him. I have financial independence and an awesome divorce and child support settlement that gives me a ton of security for the children.

    My kids are thriving. We are happier than we have ever been.

    When I first found CL’s website, I didn’t believe the “gain a life” part of leaving a cheater. I was heartbroken and scared. But, I am happier with my life now than I ever have been. Thank you for reassuring me, CL and CN.

    Oh – and as a divorce attorney, I cannot even begin to explain how my personal experience has shaped my legal practice. I have so much more empathy for my clients now. I have become a better lawyer because of this experience.

  • FW now has Alzheimers and is living with his ex-wife that he absolutely hated (his family is literally paying her each month to caretake). That coulda been me. That was SUPPOSED to have been me! Minus the payment. #bulletdodged

    I’ve lost 70 lbs so far – 20 more to go (from the weight gain between DDay1 2013 and DDay3 2019 due to self-soothing with food and booze).
    I own my own house, and “miraculously” am not struggling financially (now that the douchecanoe isn’t spending all of the money).
    I got a work-from-home side gig in 2021 and saved every paycheck from it because BUCKETLIST (I have never traveled overseas – see above douchecanoe spending). I am leaving in September to spend 3 glorious weeks in Greece – after a week in the Aegean Islands, I will literally be on a yacht in the Ionian Islands for my 60th birthday, followed by a week on the Peloponnese. I’m traveling alone. No one else’s preferences but mine, and no one else to pay for.

    I left a cheater and got a life. Thank you Tracy. From the very bottom of my heart. <3

    • Side note: I did have several different friends who wanted to do all or parts of my trip with me, however, they wanted to change certain aspects of it to suit them. While I said it much more politely than this, the bottom line is that I no longer have to cede to anyone else’s wishes. This is my trip, and will be done on my timetable, the way I want to do it. Therefore: ALONE ADVENTURESS!

    • Καλό ταξίδι, pulchie. Traveling alone is so, so nice. And “I will literally be on a yacht in the Ionian Islands for my 60th birthday” is the best thing I’ve heard today!

      • It was a hard fought, long uphill battle, but the rewards are oh so sweet!

  • I was married 36 years and Dday was my 60th birthday 🥳 in September (together 41 years).
    Because of LACGAL I consulted attorney in November. I had taken the lawyer recommendation of someone I knew that worked at courthouse, confirmed my choice with a retiring female judge from my Pilates class .
    I was petrified to lose all I knew but filed January 2018, it would have been earlier had it not been for the holidays. I remember my son saying “Mom I know you’re scared but you’re strong and smart and you can do this…”. It took 2.5 years to complete because you know, FW & all that goes with that.
    I started filing tax returns married but separately,
    I figured out that my trust could be amended & found estate planning attorney and made sure he and 33 years younger AP wouldn’t get my share of anything if I died.
    I started doing some investing, contracted out some house maintenance that I couldn’t do, got bids.
    I started making arrangements for our foreign vacation condo to be sold just before Covid hit 🤩. He was horrible during the sale arrangements but I got it done. The US lawyers were not involved.
    I kept the friends, my family and his.
    My divorce was not as costly because I did as much of the legwork as possible myself.
    Sometimes I don’t feel mighty but I didn’t have to go to trial and my Marriage Settled Agreement says I’m free and that is mighty.

  • Things I consider(ed) to have been mighty in the 18 months after I developed the courage to say “enough.” (I stayed for three years after D-day, eighteen months of them pick-me dancing, eighteen months in decision-making limbo–I consulted with a lawyer during limbo.)

    Rented an apartment
    Moved in–on the same day I got a “positive” on a colon cancer test (turned out to be a false positive, thankfully)
    Went through additional cancer screening
    Hired a lawyer (not the one I initially consulted; much better)
    Opened my own bank/checking account, with new credit card
    Did all the divorce paperwork myself (he never hired a lawyer)
    Stood up to my then-stbx over division of property (and prevailed)
    Went to the final court hearing alone (my wishes, which I conveyed to my then-stbx)
    Did all of this while working in the same academic department as my then-stbx
    Re-negotiated my retirement contract so I wouldn’t have to continue to work with my then-stbx

    Took control of my retirement account and transferred it to a financial manager of my own
    Took charge of my taxes (my ex had always done them)
    Took charge of my finances–and improved my financial situation
    Faced down and solved several tech challenges (my ex was the techie in our marriage; I’m still working on this)
    Took the initiative with scheduling time and outing with friends

    Became the primary care-taker of my mother, including
    living on-site with her for six months after a serious stroke
    becoming Financial POA for her
    handling her monthly finances
    getting her to update her will and establish TOD’s for assets
    and, for the six months before she died, as her daily support person
    I was there alone with her when she died
    After she died, I became executor for her will, and am now in the process of administering her estate

    • Oh, and I forgot:

      Writing an essay about the breakup and aftermath of my marriage and having it published.

  • I am an Ambassador for Jane Does Well. I sat at this event 5 years ago – which was 9 months after my divorce wondering what I would do going forward. The next day I found out my ex had passed away that night. My life was changed in an instant. God has a plan. Now I am helping Jane Does Well spread their mission. Please check out it is a wonderful organization. Thank you for your talk last night! You’ve inspired so many!!

  • Vicki is another superstar. Her book is on my shelf and it was a very good, helpful read. I only keep the books I really benefitted from, as I would have to move out if not!
    Wish I could have been in Boston at that event yesterday and really wish there was a recording of it, that would be super cool!

    I came upon a Nietzsche quote this morning with my coffee and hummingbirds, that made me think of you, CL. ( no, it’s not God is dead and we have killed him,haha!)
    It was:

    “A good writer possesses not only his own spirit but also the spirit of his friends.”

    That’s what I feel you do. You channel all our pains, traumas, fears, hopes, dreams,desires and bring them into a well lit and safe room. There we get to process, grieve, heal and not EVER give up on our trampled mighty that lies dormant somewhere under 100 feet of cheater soot and debris.
    Thanks for all you do CL, I know you know it’s beneficial, but I don’t think you can fathom the full depth of it’s impact on so very many.
    I just looked over at my coffee mug and it has the word “ grateful” scripted on it. You couldn’t have foreseen ( or freakin wanted!) your reign as ‘Queen of Chumpdom’, but the crown is most certainly the perfect fit on your curly top head. ( 🎶“all we owe, we owe her!” 🎶)

    Honestly, I get some angst when we are asked about our mighty, because even 5 years post divorce, that’s still a daily work in progress for me to find. I don’t have any Nobel prizes, Oscars or NY Times bestsellers to brag on, my path is much narrower than fame or glory.
    I think what I’m searching for is a solid “okay” so I don’t have to duck from the ppl in my life that want to know “ are you okay?!”
    I have a strong inner core and I’m grounded in my truths, but I stay open to the unknowables and unseens that are always swirling in the atmosphere around me. It’s like being on some kind of life quest, but you weren’t given a compass or anything to drink.
    Still working on reestablishing trust in just about everything in my life, and I know that practically anything at all can and does happen, and that’s a bit unnerving to have seen proven out. ( the death of innocence) It makes you want to hide in your closet where your cape is suppose to be hanging, but instead, you never come out!

    “If you would be a real seeker after truth, it is necessary that at least once in your life you doubt, as far as possible, all things.”Rene Descartes:

    That’s pretty much where I see myself, on the rebuild and doubting, yeah, mostly everything.
    Tilling my forest with my 5 year old worn out rake, hoping my mail order seeds show up in time for planting season and surveying the area to see if there’s anything worth saving on the scorched earth that surrounds it.

    I am just back from a 3 week cruise around Cape Horn, went from Chile to Buenos Aires and it was quite an amazing trip! Shared a cabin with my sister and had two fellow chumps with scarily similar stories to mine within a year or so of each other’s, along with a couple married 50 years and incredibly, pretty damn solid! It was an interesting mix, what an adventure.
    I have found that trauma has made me more uncomfortable when good things happen in my life than when bad crap shows up. I think it’s an unwillingness or fear of not wanting to trust in the hope of a better tomorrow that causes that.
    So, even wanting to take the step and go on that South American trip was a bigger step than boarding the ship for me. I was willing to let something good show up without fearing it.

    My mighties:
    I taught myself how to solve Rubik’s cube recently and am working on a better time than 2.5 minutes right now. ( haha, not so mighty, but I loved that I cared to learn something for just the challenge to learn)
    I broke out my roller blades again and go to the rink alone to skate ( def the oldest person there, but who cares!)
    Going to a kite festival with my son tomorrow with our doggies, which I’m looking forward to. I volunteered with Habitat for Humanity last week.
    I actually do find plenty to do and I’m not ever bored. It’s just not anything life shattering.
    I’m alone most of the time but I wouldn’t say I’m lonely. I do randomly just tear up still, and grieve the loss of the life I truly loved, but it wasn’t the path I was suppose to be walking I’m forced to accept and I try to understand.
    My mighty is I haven’t given up after 5 years that there MAY Abe a better tomorrow out there and if not, I believe that “okay” is also out there and that’s all I really need to know right now. I can get to high ground and be content.

    Loving everyone’s stories here!! They are so powerful and encouraging.
    You are all bad ass chumps, IMO-chomping mightily down the road! Wish you all the most amazing adventures! Good weekend all. I have to go find a kite now. 🪁😊🌷👍

  • Gosh, there is so much Mightiness here! It is great that chumps can be mighty in the thick of the divorce process. My divorce was final in November and I got an excellent settlement. I sold the marital home (which I got in the divorce), a lake property (which I got in the divorce), bought a new (free from Cheater stink) home. Yesterday, I paid off the mortgage on that new home. FW finally paid the last of the settlement out last week after being threatened with going to court (that does not work out well for him). I am currently having some remodeling done in my house and have bought and restored a bunch of beautiful furniture that I thrifted. Life is pretty great without a FW.
    I just recently me a wonderful guy who I really like a lot! He is showing me what reciprocity is. It is wonderful! New but so far it is a good experience with a kind and caring fellow chump.

  • Tracy is giving off Shakira vibes in this pic!
    ❤️To CL and V.Stark
    Both their books and blogs were helpful.
    Saddened that there are so many FW’s and accomplices out there.
    Also amazed at the lack of backlash they (cheaters) get from society, when people who have integrity and don’t set out to hurt anyone (queer folks etc.) have to deal with haters.

  • Tracy & Vikki’s books post D-day helped me immensely. I had no clue that our seemingly happy marriage was a mirage and there was a married howorker sleeping with him for years. A lot has happened in the 3 years since our divorce and his fatal heart attack. I fixed up the marital home and sold it at probably the height of the market. We moved closer to family and friends and my kids are thriving in a new school. I’m fixing up the house we currently live in and I became licensed in 2 additional states to further my career. I’m enjoying time with family and friends and focusing on hobbies that my ex mocked. We’re able to go on family vacations which we never seemed to have the funds to do when we were married (his NFL games and front row concert tickets really sucked up the vacation $). I’m glad I found out when I did. I got a jumpstart on my grief when the marriage ended and I had a level head for my kids when he unexpectedly died. Since we’re divorced, his mommy gets to clean up his financial mess and I wasn’t tied to any of his debts. I was able to swiftly secure non-probate funds owed to my children as I certainly don’t trust his mommy dearest to look out for her own grandkids. Doubtful my kids will ever see a dime from his probate estate, but at least the children have legal representation so I don’t have to deal with his mommy on any probate matters. Bad enough that our young kids basically paid for their father’s funeral as his mommy took all the funeral cards & $ including all cards addressed to myself and/or kids!

    • Ugh, Badmovie, your former MIL sounds like a horrible person. Hopefully you and your children don’t need to deal with her at all. My ex died after the divorce too. At least his mother paid for the cremation. No service as it was at the very beginning of the covid shutdowns.

    • What is a funeral card ? It sounds different than a condolence card.

      • This is how it was where I lived: these little cards are at the funeral home, often right by the visitors’ sign-in book. They also come with little envelopes. Visitors can write a few words of comfort and solace, and also slip in a check or some cash. Then the sealed envelope is dropped into a slot (often in the desk of the visitors’ sign-in book). The funeral director hands the cards to the family at the end of each day of viewing. (FWIW)

  • ChumpLady was vital to me when going through my divorce nearly 7 years ago now. Giving me the clarity to see that the way my now ex was treating me was abusive. I also found a local group on Meetup that held meetings, where I could meet people who were going through the same as I was. I made friends there who helped me see the crazy that was going on in my life. There was even a person who made me feel special for the first time in so long.

    Since then, I went back to college and got a degree in IT as well as certifications to help me land a good job. Honestly the first year in this job has been terrifying. Every time I made a mistake, I thought they’d fire me. But they didn’t, and I’ve learned so much. Last year I sold my old marital house and purchased a house that was “all mine”.

    I also, randomly enough, went on my own to a concert to see my favorite band. I got a great ticket, small venue, and it was fucking magical. I later on the same summer, took my kids to see the band. Front row, the tickets cost an arm and a leg, but it was so worth it.

    Now, if you’re reading this and think: Wow, she’s got her shit together, I should be like her. No. Don’t think that. I had a lot of luck involved. I had an ex who, despite my expectations, paid child support on time. I also got spousal support, which he has paid. I lived in a cheap house, with a tiny mortgage. This meant that for the first 2 years post divorce, I could just pick myself off the floor. I worked part time at a grocery store. I had many times where I just fell apart at work. Due to the stable support payments, I was able to go to college full time for 2 years to get my degree. And then, I happen to randomly luck out and get this amazing job. Yes, I’m mighty. But there’s also been a good deal of luck. <3

    • I get this. I saw my pop star true love in a tiny venue in my spiritual hometown less than a year after dday—after the show, I chatted with him about being a single mom. It was fucking magical and so healing.

  • Reading through all these great Mighty posts! For anyone still in the thick of it, trust that you WILL get through this and you will have mightiness to share soon. The best part of leaving a Cheater, is that you will gain a Life just by virtue of letting go of the poison. FWs are poison. You get healthier by no longer ingesting the poison.

    How am I mighty?
    1. In the midst of the pain and trauma, I focused on my 9 year old son and got FW served 2 weeks after DDay
    2. My first attorney took advantage of me and spent everything I had… I was able to dump her and find a better attorney and got me to the end… divorced in one year from DDay — even when I was out of money
    3. I had awesome friends and former coworkers that helped me get a full time job in my former industry after I was a SAHM for a year
    4. I continued to fight for my son over 4 years to protect him from FW’s verbal and increasingly more physical abuse. And got the kid a choice to come home when things were going sideways… and for the past 3 years my son doesn’t stay with FW and creepy AP.
    5. I’ve taken my son on amazing vacations
    6. I moved from the original house without any help from FW (but plenty of help from friends) — sold it and paid off all my debts. My credit is back to normal finally.
    7. I found a nice guy that I like way better — he’s so much more fun and interesting than FW ever was. And he’s better to my son.
    8. I got to meh

    Peace and happy weekend to all

    • I was a SAHM for 10 years!! That was a typo above. I was able to get a job in my former career even after 10 years away —- thankful for an awesome network!!

  • After saying “enough” 18 months ago to my cheating, lying spouse of 27 years, I:
    –moved to a whole new city for a fresh start
    –secured a comfortable apartment with space for my adult children (but not STBX!) to come and stay with me
    –made great new friends
    –reached out to several long-time friends and a sister who I knew would be supportive – and discovered that they are absolutely golden, even more golden than I knew before
    –reached out to my oldest friends with whom I had lost contact, and discovered more gold
    –joined a community band
    –started volunteering
    –joined a Bible study for women who have gone through abuse/trauma
    –joined a women’s support group for those who have been or are in destructive marriages
    –went back to learning by enrolling in Yale’s most popular class of all-time, made into a very popular MOOC offered for free, called “The Science of Well-Being”. Loving it! It’s not just beneficial for teens. 🙂
    –resigned from a soul-crushing position I had for 25 years
    –continued doing work that I really love, developing programs that really make a difference in people’s lives, together with amazing, supportive colleagues and boss
    –have reveled in my freedom to operate on my own timetable – eating what I want and exercising exactly how and when and where I want. I don’t miss the control!

  • Let’s see. Last DD/separation four years ago, divorced a bit over two years ago – currently 66 years old. I moved out of my marital home, eventually filed for divorce from a 30 year marriage, stayed no contact, obtained financial/retirement advice, sober for over four years, leadership position in my 12-step group, leadership position in my volunteer groups, bought a new (used) car, own a cozy home in a much desired town, adopted a senior cat, kept old friends, made new friends, physically active, practice mindfulness, fix things around the house or pay someone to do it. Not quite at meh, but I approach challenges with curiosity and can recognize/avoid toxic behavior. Oh, I went through a pandemic living alone. Mic drop.

    • All of this is mighty indeed! But bless you adopting a senior cat.

  • So much mighty here. Ex and I had a horrible marriage and were already separated when I found out he’d been cheating on me for most of our marriage. I had stuck it out because I was so afraid of being able to make it on my own. Rationally that didn’t make sense because I was the primary breadwinner and we survived on what I made. We separated because I finally had enough of him. DDay was in June 2019 and our divorce was final five days before covid shut down the courts (phew). He died 7 weeks after the divorce so I’ve been a truly single mom since May 2020. My parents, my mom especially, have been a huge help. When I feel weak I remember how much I’ve accomplished. More money in the bank than we ever had during the marriage. Shuttling kids to and from school and activities and doctors and dentists and therapists. Keeping house. Going to work. Taking care of kids. All these little things are mighty.

    I met a guy a year ago and we started dating. We bought a ten acre property together in February that we intend to build a house on, by ourselves (he’s in the building trades) when my younger child graduates from high school. I’ve been keeping in shape because I need to be physically fit for this project and at 58 I had stopped working out so much. It’ll mean a move from the Midwest to New England, so a huge change of scenery but I’m looking forward to the change.

    My eldest kid dropped out of high school last year because of depression and anxiety. Online schooling didn’t work out with no one around to monitor. I worry about him. I’ve had a couple of health blips. Nothing that’ll kill me if treated but I hate that I even need to think about it. So not everything is super or easy but on the whole I’m happy.

    • SN, my youngest had to leave school for the same reason (a long time ago, she is an adult now) and unfortunately she never went back. Her condition did not improve all that much, but most do improve enough to go back to their old lives, so your son’s odds are good. I long ago stopped worrying about whether my daughter has a “normal” life, because this is just who she is. The advice I would give is to make sure your son has therapeutic support from somebody who gets it and won’t push him to be “normal.” It’s unconscionable that our FWs blew up families with children who were already suffering, but FWs don’t care about their kids. My FW had no problem putting her in the position of watching me fall apart and being my only supporter. She does not even consider him her father since then.
      Congrats in advance on your new home. I got my own place and fixed it up after dumping FW. Best move I ever made.

  • Well, I don’t have any recent grand achievements like earning degrees, getting a great new job, or losing a bunch of weight. I have some challenging health issues of late, so I consider myself mighty just to get through the day and keep up with my responsibilities. I’ve always kept myself in good shape, and it’s excruciating to be physical when you’re in constant pain. I grit my teeth and do it. I have also avoided becoming an opiate addict through sheer will of tolerating the pain rather than take a pill. That’s hard, so I guess it counts as mightiness. So I won’t feel bad about the lack of obvious achievements. It’s all about hanging in and surviving. Every day I give myself a pep talk to get out of bed. You can do one more day is what I tell myself. I’m retired, so thankfully I do not have to work at a job.

    I’m loving all these stories. 👏 Bravo, chumps!

    • Well, you’re one of my favorite chump commentors, and I’ve gotten a lot from your thoughts on our situation. Some of our members here are such excellent writers, and thinkers. CN is the best!

      • ❤ Thank you so much, FreeWoman. I’m so pleased that somebody is getting some benefit from what I say. I continue to post here in the hope that somebody will get something out if it. Plus, I love chumps and you’re all part of my life now, so I’m here to stay. I’ve never been anywhere where there are so many smart, lovely, eloquent people. It’s an island of sanity here.

    • OHFFS, I hear you about the peppy self-talk. I, too, “consider myself mighty just to get through the day and keep up with my responsibilities”.

      So sorry to hear about your constant pain. I admire your grit and your perseverance, as well as your resistance to consuming addicting pain medication. Sometimes when I’m feeling defeated I think about Mrs. Dubose determined to break her morphine dependence in To Kill A Mockingbird, and that glimpse of a plucky human spirit bolsters me.

      As a stroke survivor, I struggle all day, every day with my cognitive and physical deficits. A simple chore like driving the three miles to the general store to pick up my mail is a challenge, beginning with my inability to efficiently gather everything I need in order to leave the house. Once I get out on the main road, I have my permanent vision loss (blind on the right side) to worry about as well as trying to remember where I was going (I have lost zillions of yellow sticky notes in the last 31 years post-stroke). Then there’s the problem of the combination to my post office box (and my neighbor’s too, since I pick up his mail). Actually, I not infrequently spin the dial on somebody else’s box, since I cannot remember which one is mine. Throw in a three-minute chat with someone whose name I forgot AGAIN (and I see her every single day, six days a week), and I need to retreat to the refuge of my home, gather my strength, and figure out what to eat for dinner, since I cannot bear making another trip through traffic to the grocery store 15 miles away.

      I write this today because I know that not everyone in Chump Nation has an overtly laudable success story. Many of the members here are still plodding along, trying to figure out how to shift pennies around to cover bills and being determinedly cheerful for their children’s sakes, all the while with fake cheerful smiles plastered on their faces. I’m fortunate to own my home in a beautiful area and to be able to live on my meagre income, but I have also spent a good portion of my life with financial insecurity, so believe me, I get it.

      My point is that “mighty” comes in many forms, and for me it is defined as being content with my life and as anxious-free as I personally can manage to be. Like the snow that’s falling outside right now here in NH? I have my battery-operated lanterns, jugs of water, food that I can cook in the wood stove, and the knowledge that I can afford another $40 for getting plowed out tomorrow.

      And lest anyone think I’m Pollyanna, it took me a very long time to stop screaming and breaking things in my fury at my lot in life, but I eventually got here.

      • “I write this today because I know that not everyone in Chump Nation has an overtly laudable success story. Many of the members here are still plodding along, trying to figure out how to shift pennies around to cover bills and being determinedly cheerful for their children’s sakes, all the while with fake cheerful smiles plastered on their faces.”

        This is so true and so important to acknowledge. You sound incredibly mighty to me, eirene. Recovering from a stroke is no joke. You are amazing and we’ll get through this. ✊

        • Thanks, OHFFS. Things will look brighter tomorrow (quite literally) when the snow has gone and the sun is shining again.

          I’m not skilled at this, so with any luck the photo of the Pollyanna statue will miraculously appear here. If not, I hope that clicking on the link will display it. The statue is really quite charming.

          Pollyanna statue in front of the public library in Littleton, New Hampshire
          In 2002 the citizens of Littleton, New Hampshire unveiled a bronze statue in honor of Eleanor H. Porter, author of the Pollyanna books and one of the town’s most famous residents.

      • This is beautiful, Eirene.
        One thing about being a Chump regular is we are reminded nearly every day that life is hard. Even those with “overtly laudable” achievements encounter obstacles, shocking change, and grief. One of my colleagues had a stroke some weeks ago, and is already back at work, although with struggles he didn’t have before. What I want to pass on to you is how one of his students responded to hearing about his prof’s stroke: “Prof X had a stroke. Did you know that? He’s still teaching too. #legend”

        His professor has taught him a profound lesson that does not come in a book or PowerPoint. I’m sure you inspire people every day. #legend

      • I have not visited the main blog in a long time and know I am late but, Eirene, I want to say that I recognize and remember you (I used to post as Ninon 🙂 I’m sorry that you are navigating this. I see your power, knowledge, and patience, as well as your empathy. My story is different, but I know pain and scarcity, too. Thank you for making room for and acknowledging all the daily ways people keep showing up. I wish you peace and ease, a nourishing meal that comes together quickly, and safe passage through the snow.

    • OHFFS,
      You have my complete support and understanding. Just getting up every day is something to be celebrated!
      Please don’t read the stories of others and feel less than.

      I have a disease that has caused unseen side effects: horrible fatigue and almost constant pain. Was diagnosed over 30 years ago.

      I frame days that I can’t get off the couch as just doing the best I can. I don’t beat myself up and focus on being grateful that I can take the time I need to breathe thru the pain. When I can get up and out, I push myself to take long walks and do light weight lifting. Anything to stay active when I can.

      Don’t let you or anyone else tell you that surviving life like this isn’t mighty!!!! You’re a hero for putting one foot in front of the other! ❤️👏🏻👍🏻

      • Thank you so much, Rebecca. Wow, you are a superstar of mightiness! I certainly agree that none of us should feel eclipsed by the achievements of other chumps. There are plenty of chumps with health challenges. Maybe we should have our own offshoot support group.

  • I feel mighty because I got through a divorce from a very nasty narcissist cheater. Mine was the full blown double life tale that ended with him going full on emotional and crazy abuser. He was also a runaway type but was abusing from afar when I tried to separate. He wouldn’t even sign insurance over or any simple tasks. I know it’s a low bar… but through my grief and being abused (and more discoveries of his double life) I kept going and figured things out one by one, peeling back all the layers of things that he’d fucked up. I bought the house, I got my back taxes sorted, I got a raise at work, I have our child but only because he moved away, and I’m slowly building my life. I met a lovely man who is normal and real. I have my soul, my sanity (most days) and the love and respect of many people. I don’t feel mighty most times but I think surviving what I did was pretty amazing!

  • Returned to full time work after 20 years out of the workforce as a 50 year old chump! My FW ex one day was telling someone that I only earned 60k when we met….I am now on a contract income over 200k. He has gone from being a doctor, now deregistered for an affair w a patient, to repairing guitars. I am mighty and happy to be me 🤩

    PS: For a long time I held onto the belief that others would judge me by my husband’s action. They don’t and I am mightier because of them….

  • In the category of small (but feels big to me) mighty-ness: 4.5 years post d-day, I’m finally going to start teaching spin classes again. The thought of teaching – even just creating a playlist – was a huge trigger for a long time, it reminded me of the time when I was planning my classes – and taking care of a 4 year old, and doing all of housework/adulting – while being gaslit by my FW who swore he wasn’t schtupping one of the corporate lawyers at his office (except he actually was, friends). He even had the nerve to tell me that my teaching spin was “one of the things that destroyed our marriage,” because I “spent too much time” planning my classes (I only taught 2 per week, y’all) – and he was always jealous that any guys at the studio where I taught would be trying to convince me to cheat on him (hmmmm…projection much?).

    Anywho…I start again on Monday. (I kinda wish it was starting on Tuesday.) But it finally doesn’t trigger me, and I’m counting that as #mighty for now.

    • You’ll wake up on Tuesday to a new life you started the day before.

  • How I am mighty? I called the cops on him twice. The first time I was a frightened shaking stuttering mess when they came around. In between, he called the cops on me and I focused on containing my outrage while he poured blatant lies and the cops had me fetch the proof of my version. It was so frustrating that they did not make FW bring any proof of his claims!! The second time I had to call them, I was a poised lady meaning business. He tried again to spin his tales but I had gathered all my ducks he was out of the house within days. When he finally left, I bought my own drill and used it without making a tenth of the mess FW used to spread around when doing projets. I might be even more satisfied of the drill than of the eviction 🧑‍🔧

    • I <3 my drill.

      Calling the cops is mighty. I never did, because FW was a schmoozing charmer and I was so afraid he'd turn me into the perpetrator. He also convinced me that I'd potentially lose my security clearance by any run in with the law. There were many times I wished I'd called the police, but thankfully I survived it all.

      • Many thanks for your nice comment, ISawTheLight! Yeah I totally get why a drill is called a power tool 😁!
        Indeed my FW schmoozed the cops on my first calling them. It took a lot of time and energy to repeat my story, bring my documentation, repeat again. In the end, it helped me by opening a record on our case.
        I have been reading your comments and I believe your situation was volatile enough to be potentially lethal. You wrangled a whole septic-tank-sized shit-loaf when I dealt with garden-variety shit-finger-sandwich.
        Unfortunately my FW managed to schmooze the no-nonsense mediation lawyer too. However, being NC for a year helped me see through his mind games and stop caring. Calling the cops was an act of survival for me as he had started to shove me around in front of the kids (and the neighbours), and I was very tempted to retaliate. Fortunately I had read Mr CL’s gold “if it feels good, don’t do it”. My calling the cops was no walk in the park. Both calls felt humiliating (for me) an did irate him, which can be dangerous if the chump has nowhere to go (as appeared to be your case). Two years later when he attempted to schmooze the taxes regarding the kids, I was experienced enough and recovered 10k$ in one email (mighty me!).

        • The funny (?) thing is, I wasn’t nearly scared enough when I was with him. But AFTER we split, my PTSD and trauma hit me like a ton of bricks. I’d just been trying to survive and thus mentally downplayed everything he did (it wasn’t THAT bad, I’d tell myself). A couple years of separation and I was absolutely terrified of him. The sound of a text message could leave me shaking and sweating, my heart pounding. I had to down on the floor in the middle of JoAnn fabrics one time because I couldn’t breathe (it wasn’t even my phone, it was someone else’s). My therapist told me we can’t process our trauma fully until we are safe. Even when he nearly killed me (it would have been “accidental”, but still), I wasn’t truly able to grasp how close I had come. I am glad I survived. My ex could get so cold when he was angry. I realized during one phone call that had we been in the same room, he could have killed me and not felt a thing. I wasn’t human to him. He’d go from shouting and yelling to this flat, calm, chilling voice. I had him on speaker and my mom heard him like that for the first time and she was horrified. No one ever heard that side of him but me, usually.

          I actually did call the cops when I found out he’d been stalking me online, but they said there wasn’t anything they could do about that.

          I felt like an awful person at first because the overwhelming emotion I had when FW died was RELIEF. There were very few people I could say that to. But to realize I didn’t have to live in fear anymore was a huge weight lifted from my shoulders. I was sad for my kid, and for FW’s family. And I never wished harm on him. But I’m not sorry he’s gone.

  • I had to think some of what I did/do that’s mighty-
    I have been no-contact successfully since I got most of my stuff from him via my lawyer;
    I survived being alone and sick with Covid for 2 months (and did not lose my job);
    I adopted a senior kitty in hospice who taught me how love and a healthy relationship is supposed to be and feel like (I miss him deeply every day);
    I speak up and advocate for other chumps and victims of harassment and inequality

    • You bring tears to me eyes. All of this is mighty!
      But I really feel for the moments where chumps reach out to give love to the vulnerable–taking care of their kids, adopting pets, volunteering–and especially a senior kitty in hospice. Anyone sending love into the world is MIGHTY MIGHTY MIGHTY.
      When you’re ready, you might try another cat, maybe a healthy senior whose loved human has passed and who is sad and lonely.

  • I’ve spoken up before, and I’m doing ok post divorce, but two things in particular have actually felt “mighty” to me recently, even if it’s not the usual stuff.

    1. Saw Adele in concert in Vegas! (She was amazing live, btw). Here’s the backstory… when Ex and I were still together, after the “financial infidelity” I had discovered which involved months of lives and a 5-figure gambling debt… Adele had announced she was going on tour. My ex had asked me what I wanted for my birthday that year, and I mentioned I would love 2 tickets to Adele. Birthday comes and goes… and I no tickets to Adele. What I did open were 2 tickets to Vance Joy… an artist I had only heard 1 song on the radio and had never mentioned an interest in. When I kind of looked at him confused, he said, “Oh tickets to Adele were too expensive, so I got you those.” What in the ever-loving F?! My paychecks had paid off most of his dumb ass debt (because he had been fired for forgery the previous year and was restarting a career in a new industry and was unemployed for 18 months). He had no problem spending $$ on anything HE wanted, especially football tickets, but a once-in-a-lifetime bucket list concert (that we could afford!) was a no? Honestly, I was pissed… but I did my best to be gracious and thank him for the tickets… Vance Joy was not an act I enjoyed live, at all… So, me getting a pair of tickets to see Adele now felt very damn mighty (even if I did have to wait an extra year after she rescheduled). Also, Adele’s album 30 should be on any woman’s playlist that’s going through a divorce, it’s an anthem for sure.

    2. I don’t always have a lot of time or interest to date, but when I do, I’m ruthless about vetting now. I’d rather be alone than settle. AT ALL. You neg me on a date, or while we’re getting to know each other? Next. You flake or otherwise can’t confirm plans? Next. You let your ex handle all the heavy-hitting with parenting? Next. Ghost… then try to crawl back with lame excuses months later? Next. I don’t need someone with a huge bank account that looks like Henry Cavill… I’m looking for a single dad, at the same place I am post-divorce, that’s emotionally functional, and doesn’t look like a potato. Haven’t found him yet, and maybe I never will, but I don’t need a BF to prove my worth to anyone else.

  • I feel mighty because I was forced, by abuse through the legal system presided over by an impeached-then-reinstated judge, to relocate to another state 3 years post-divorce. 🤯 That’s not supposed to happen at all! My narc mother had refused to testify for me and my kids. Judge refused to look at any of my evidence at all, while OW’s childhood best friend who’d never so much as said hello to me tried to testify I had no friends at my child’s school and therefore was a social outcast who needed to relocate with FW and OW. Make it make sense! I had to take another big professional licensing exam twice more due to the pandemic cancellation. Had to pack up and move out of state alone to a place I had had no desire to live basically because my narc family hated me and sided with my sociopathic ex and his flying monkeys. This was 3 years after getting Chumped in the first place after a big cross-country move, and it truly felt like I had no one on my team at all. Except like 3 far-flung friends and CN. March 2020 was my rock bottom.

    Three years later, I am alive and kicking! Starting to feel like my old self again, safe in a little rental home my kids and I have made our own. Enough food on the table each day, decorations for every holiday, walls singing. Bizarrely COVID-free this whole time, too – like the 1 thing that went right. Lol Sometimes thoughts of the injustice of it all starts to steal my joy… but I reframe that shit ASAP and find the gratitude in the small stuff that’s going really well. Hang in there Chumps! Love ya’ll.

    • Dear Jo, when our afmily of origin let us down and we (finally!) see them for the narc they are, it feel like such a betrayal! I m still picking myself up after the triple whammy of discovering my ex, my (two!) parents, one sibling and a way to big proportion of my friends are narc. Hang in there! That discovery hurt a lot, but it is a diagnostic that will help fixing your picker. You are mighty! With a narc FOO, no wonder that picker was never good to begin with! Better days ahead {{{💗}}}

    • I’m sorry you had to endure so much 💩. A woman from my divorcé & recovery group father testified for her ex, she said his excuse was he was afraid if he didn’t the ex would get the children and maternal grandpa wouldn’t be in their lives again. So awful. They’re 50/50 with the children. The children’s father is bipolar and had bashed her head into a toaster oven while the 2 boys cowered under table. I guess since he has new meds and lives with Mommy so judge was fine with 50/50 time sharing.

  • Because of CL , I am slowly releaning how to be me. No more making myself , and my needs, small. Trusting they suck. Putting meself back togeather enough that I have my own trust in myself. Thank you CL and CN!

  • I was unemployed and suicidal when he cheated and dumped me over email. That was ten years ago.

    Today, I have a six-figure job I love, paid off all my debts, went to trauma therapy, and have a vibrant, wonderful community who loves me. Life is great. I didn’t know I could feel this stable and content.

    The turd is in his 50s now and never launched. I’m told he drives his wife crazy because she begs him to get a job but he keeps driving for Uber and talking about going for his PhD.

      • I know, right?

        Hindsight’s 20/20. It’s obvious now he was always a loser and I’m baffled I ever took his horrible opinions of me seriously.

  • I did not get a Masters or PHd, I did not buy a house, find a man to love and love me back,I did not get a raise or a promotion,or climb the ladder of my fortune 500 company, I did not start my own business or get a pet. I did not rebuild my house…..
    But I DID LOSE a cheater and gain a life at age 70 and after 32 years of marriage. I had to lock my STBXH out and get a protection order due to escalating intimate abuse. I had to call the police, I had to figure out the Combo to his gun safe and itemize all his tools because he put all his money in cash and took that with him. I do not have a good attorney and could not afford to change to another, but I am hiring a financial divorce specialist just for mediation! I moved out of my house because it was full of his stuff and I’d never be free if he had to move his stuff out or even if I had to haul it out myself, so I left it ( he never had time or money to fix our house up but he could buy 7 motorcycles in 2 1/2 years!!! What is that?? So now I live in a small retirement apartment that is uncluttered!!! I LOVE BEING SINGLE!! My grandson stayed overnight with me for the first time in many years because my STBXH got all nervous with kids around, so I had to calm him down and try to enjoy the grandsons anyway. But not anymore!!! It is freedom to breathe and not be treated like vending machine. Now my STBX gets to keep all his girlfriends and I no longer get his infections, Seriously!!! My church leadership was awful and betrayed me also, but I saw who my friends were and that is golden. No more wasting time with people who do not love me. The masks are off many faces now. It is beautiful. I have been in the divorce process for 9 months.And though my church pastors failed me, I got support from others and God never left me. I can sit in the pew with my head up at all times. I am not uncomfortable alone nor do I miss my husband sitting next to me. Now that I know he was cheating and lying and holding my hand during prayer and lying to the members. Who needs that?. I am free to be me and as CL has taught me…this is true love, to care for myself and to never let anyone devalue, discount, abuse, hurt, lie, cheat, steal funds, never fix the house up, use me, or discard me, or gaslight me or “pray “with me or eat with me or take me on Motorcycle rides again. I miss the hologram man I did not have. I miss the illusion of the marriage I had. I miss the innocence and the idea of being married but I do not miss this man at all. My new life starts at 70!!! I love it. Thank you Tracy for keeping me strong and wanting truth more than the lies.

  • I LOVE this! I found Runaway Husbands and Vikki Stark within about six weeks of dday, and I think it was somewhere after that (in a comment in a forum about the book? o in some middle of the night googling) that I heard about Chump Lady! Both were incredible resources for me in those dark days and early years and remain an inspiration even now almost 10 years later.

  • X told me 4 years ago, I was too scared and weak to lead my own branch at work. Not only have I taken that promotion since I divorced him 3 years ago, I won an award for Outstanding Leadership and I’m being promoted again. In reality he was angry that I was passing up a promotion years ago that would move me away from my family until he could join me. He said he wanted to stop cheating and us moving would have stopped that. The reality was, his cheating was his problem and a new city would just mean new opportunities for him to cheat.

    I’m doing great and I love my FW free life! Thank you CL and CN❤️❤️

    • As if moving could stop cheating. It’s great that you didn’t fall for that because clearly he was trying to isolate you away from your family and home community.

  • After 26 years I was dumped, horribly cruelly, for the ex gf from school 3.5 years ago. The ex spent a couple of weeks seeking to destroy me before he did the runaway husband thing. I then discovered the affair which, realistically, had probably been going on for the whole of the 26 years, with him in the UK and her playing at being a ‘life coach to Moms’ in Canada with her husband! Two chumps for the price of one. He denied the affair ever happened. She was sending correspondence to our marital home – no wonder he always had to get to the post first! I could write the book on ‘going back to my ex’ cheaters. But that isn’t what this is about.

    I was a retired 59 year old lawyer. No kids, Dad had died 6 weeks before the dumping. My intention had been to develop a portfolio career in my 60s and that’s exactly what I’ve done. Within 8 months of dumping I had 4 new roles. I have no idea how I got through the interviews but I did have a couple of lucky breaks. The downside was that I was earning so much money that he didn’t have to pay spousal support. But hey, I got free. I bought the ex out of our house. He took the reliable car and I was left transportless. But I managed to buy a demo model BMW for a brilliant price, all on my own, and I rediscovered my joy in driving. I could barely manage to drive when with ex because he rarely let me drive – both cars were ‘his’ – except when he needed a lift because he was drunk (to be fair, that was quite often so not rare). I got my gorgeous little whippet in February 2021 and he is the light of my life (ex did not like pets which for a woman like me should have been an immediate ‘no, thank you’ 26 years previously). And I am part of a group of brilliant women all over the UK and Ireland, dumped in a similar ways, who got together via Mumsnet and now visit each other and meet up for fun in real life. They know who they are and they have my heartfelt thanks for keeping me going, as does CL, CN and my amazing therapist P.

    Am I always happy? No. Life is sometimes sad and lonely. But life remains precious and I have found myself again, having been lost in the mire of that marriage for so long. Did I think I would get here? No. I thought that I would not survive one day without the ex. I was so wrong. What I have realised is that I didn’t love him very much at all. I thought I did, but I never applied any critical judgement to the feeling. I became the feeling of love for him. It was what I lived for. And he never attached in any way to me, leaving me dancing to get his attention. That dance left me, a strong, independent, intelligent, well-respected woman, as a husk. Now when I stand I feel the strength in my legs, my balance, my poise, the substance of me. That’s who I am. So thank you, my ex. I can show you compassion through my no contact. I am complete again, without you. In the words of Ms Paltrow ‘I wish you well’.

  • Mighty… I’m getting a lot of “I don’t know how you do it” which I know is intended to be supportive. 2021 and 2022 I won the director of the year award at my company leading an organization of 100+ people. I got the ILBINILWY speech out of the blue in sept 2021. Found out I was pregnant days later. 2 months later found out it was twins (I already had 2 boys). Was working hard at marriage counseling to then find out on NYE I had been chumped while 5 mo pregnant. My divorce has been final for 3 weeks now, March 2023. I gave birth to twins, fought like hell for majority custody, won, paid a lot of money for it and had to split half of MY retirement and the other frustrating things FW doesn’t deserve. I’m a single mom of 4. Killing it at work, crushing it at home. Made banana bread with my kids last night. All 4 of them. That’s a damn feat! I’m still recovering from child birth/nursing and all that. My babies turn 1 in 3 weeks. I am the sane, consistent, badass parent. I just refinanced my home in only my name and waiting to see if FW will actually qualify (with co-sign from his about to retire dad) to reFi our 1st home we turned into a rental property. Scratch that. The one I turned into a rental property because I got a 2nd job as a Realtor to help us afford all FW’s high spending demands since he couldn’t work hard enough for them. Looking forward to Tuesday for real, while I continue my badassery.

    • Re: “I don’t know how you do it”: we are all stronger and smarter and tougher than we give ourselves credit for.

    • Wow you are super mighty to do all that!! Seems like you are creating a fantastic future for your family!!

  • I got the house in divorce. I’ve remodeled, repainted, refinished furniture, taken care of the lawn, refilled large gas tanks, repair fireplace, had vents cleaned, removed the mounds of clutter left behind, and just bought my own little boat. It’s not half dome, (Wow you are mighty!!!) but I’m taking riding lessons and traveling /hiking west for 3 weeks; Yellowstone, Denver, aspen, Moab, Arches, and a week at a Dude ranch. Traveled to Nashville and Montreal. All within a year and now reconnected with college Bf who has suffered a traumatic loss himself. The home has been sorely neglected and I am paying the price of that but it’s all mine and it’s comfortable, safe, and my pride. I’m no contact with FW, his family and flying monkeys. I still have bad days and bad dreams but I let them come and go as part of the process.

    Carry on mighty warriors! Thank you CN!

  • Got a second job, transferred all the household bills and insurance into my name, bought a car that was MINE, take care of my babies, working on weight loss, honing my professional skills, reconnected with friends, paying down debt and saving money. There was so much that I just let FW do because hey, we’re a partnership and that stuff’s uncomfortable for me. I am pushing through the discomfort because that safety’s been stripped away — it’s all on me now. There are days where I resent having to do EVERYTHING myself, but I recognize that it’s making me a better, stronger, more independent human.

  • My DDay was Nov 16, 2021. I was completely blindsided. I had a vaginal infection that turned out to be an STI my stbxh gave me from sleeping with prostitutes unprotected. My stbxh left Jan 2022 and stopped paying for the mortgage. My mighty is going back to floor nursing after 12 years of being a head nurse. My boss is amazing and my coworkers are so supportive. This blog has helped me immensely!!!!!!! I’ve worked through vacations to pick up overtime to hold the mortgage, pay for my sons activities, his therapy and my lawyers bills. I started playing tennis and I’ve managed to ski a little this winter in between working extra shifts.

    Ive started dating again and because of this blog and therapy I know my own worth and I am super happy on my own. If I find a partner that respects and holds the same values as me it would great but I am complete on my own.

  • I returned to University at 57 years old, AND in another country. I’m traveling, studying, meeting new people and making an entirely new life for myself. I will graduate and have a new career when I’m 60. Am I scared? Hell yes, but I’m also determined and fierce so cheers to me and all grey-haired students!!

    • This is gorgeous. I wish there were more students like you in my classroom.

    • YES. I’ve always wanted to go back to university someday. I’m only 42, so maybe when my son is grown I can still do that. What an inspiration.

  • I do not claim to feel very mighty about much that I’ve done. I’m ok w/surviving still right now.

    But, I ran into one of my next door neighbors a few days ago. She’s the wife of the pair, a former high school art teacher.

    We talked briefly, and I apologized for not being around so much to visit w/them like I used to, before I started working for FedEx Express a couple of years ago.

    And she looked at me, and told me she sees how hard I’m working, the long hours I put in to keep what has been my house for almost six years since D-day (not the house I want to be in, but I have to be practical). And she said she thought I was doing a great job of keeping my life, and everything else going.

    That made me feel good about myself. That at least somebody thinks I’m doing well in keeping my life going. And it definitely made me appreciate how sweet my neighbor is.😊

    That’s all. I hope everybody in CN has someone like my neighbor, making them feel a little bit mighty. Or a lot.😁

  • I love this challenge and enjoyed reading everyone’s mighty big and small! Dday was Memorial Day weekend 2020. Somehow kept my cool and got my ducks in a row. I got the house, full legal and physical custody of the minor kids and a good settlement. He wanted to be “free” after being married 24 years. Divorce was final October 2021, he married AP in November and a few months later he moved halfway across the country. I don’t miss him, he was a bare minimum man. I never felt loved by him. He doesn’t really have friends, never liked to socialize so he stays at a hotel when he comes to visit the kids. All my neighbors know what he did because I was not about to keep his secrets or be his image manager. I’ve had to do a lot of things outside my comfort zone. The big one was hiring various contractors which I’ve never done because he works in construction and that was his realm. I had different contractors build a privacy fence (for the puppy I got 2 years ago), renovated my 2 bathrooms, repaired my chimney, painted inside and fixed many things that had been neglected. I’ve decluttered and gotten rid of so much junk that fw acquired. I would try to get rid of furniture and he would put it in the garage. Just cleaning out the garage was a huge many month project. I can now park my car in the garage and find things. I am so proud of the changes and updates that I’ve made to my house. There is still a lot that needs to be done and more things to replace but I feel happiness in my house and my walls sing.
    I saw an opportunity to take cheap grad classes that increased my salary. I renewed my national board certification. I’m hoping to retire in a few years and pick up another career. As others mentioned, I started to focus on what I want and things I like. I’m working on becoming healthier and have lost 40 lbs and hope to lose 20 more. I’ve taken my kids on a few cool vacations-Puerto Rico, Scotland and England. Then checked Costa Rica off my bucket list while my kids were with FW and his family for Xmas 2 years ago. My kids know they can count on me to be there for them, attend their events, encourage them and give them advice. I am close to meh. I have not tried dating but feel happy where I am and where I’m going. I just keep moving forward with the life I’ve gained without a cheater!

  • Late in the game, but I have been working on gaining my independence. I got a full time job, started buying my own things and started realizing the extreme amount of control I allowed him to have. I’m still shocked by this. I have a plan and am enacting it.

    • Good Luck, Keep your eyes on the prize, and remember to make you and your safty #1 on the to do list. CL is a rockin’ good place to get support and see that you are not alone.

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