5 Types of Infidelity Recovery

infidelity recovery

Infidelity recovery comes in many different flavors. How we react to a crisis says a lot about us. What kind of chump are you?

In the beginning, many of us react to the discovery of betrayal similarly — we’re in shock, we sob, can’t eat, lose weight, feel numb. Over time, however, our chump persona emerges. Stages of chumpdom are like stages of grief and we move through different ways of coping (or not… it’s pretty normal to get stuck for awhile).

The basic schism of chumpdom, in my opinion, comes down to passive acceptance of or resistance to the chump state.

Here are some flavors on the infidelity recovery spectrum.

Amazon Chump

Some people react to personal crisis the way other people react to differential equations. This is a problem to solve, and if I just do my homework and research this bugger, I’m going to figure it out.

Amazon Chump spends a lot of time on Amazon.com, naturally, buying every book on infidelity and usually attempting to engage the cheater in study sessions with them. (“You want to SOLVE this, don’t you?”) Amazon Chump is often dismayed that the cheater does not share their passion for discovery, self-analysis, and Cosmo relationship questionnaires. Fond of therapy and online support forums, Amazon Chump is outward looking, solution-driven, and analytical. Amazon Chump, however, can be faulted for not realizing that sometimes the best response to infidelity is to put down the Rubik’s cube and walk away.

Limbo Chump

If Limbo Chump were a Shakespearean character, he’d be Hamlet. To leave or not to leave? Limbo Chump is awash in self doubt and recriminations, unable to find the moxie to commit to either path. Why do anything when you can live in a miserable muddle of constant vacillation?

Limbo Chumps want to keep all their options open, but frankly hate all their options. It’s scary out there, and they may fuck it up and have regrets, so better to just sit tight for awhile. Maybe the options will improve. Or not. Shit… they’re not improving. But maybe I’m not being patient enough… let’s give it some more time.

Inert Chump

Some people surrender unconditionally. Often confused with Limbo Chumps (“I’m still deciding!”), Inert Chumps aren’t really on the fence. They fell over it, curled up, and moss and lichen are starting to cover them, as rigor mortis sets it. This infidelity recovery shit paralyzed them, and they don’t have any fight left. What’s the point? Everyone sucks. I think I’ll take a nap. And another.

Closet Chump

Closet Chump is in denial about his chump state. Chump? Who are you calling a chump? My marriage is GREAT! Couldn’t be better! This has brought us closer, really. Oh sure I occasionally have mind movies and trigger violently. After puking, I fantasize fervently about divorce court, but I’ve learned to control that. You can pray it away.

Closet Chumps pass among their married friends, as stronger, healthier, and more Christmas newsletter perfect. But to those with chump-dar, you can see the tell-tale signs of chumpdom. The taut smile, the unblinking countenance, the secret life realized on infidelity support boards. Closet Chumps are afraid of their true nature, so they’re going to smother that fucker with a pillow and hope you don’t notice.

Recovering Chump

Recovering Chumps own their chumpdom. Yes, they got played and yes, to some degree recovering from infidelity will define them forever. But they’re okay with that, and even perversely proud that they survived this shit. Recovering Chumps often prefer the company of other chumps, as they tend not to smirk or call you “bitter.” Recovering chumps are secure in their chumpdom. They don’t need to flaunt it. (“Did I mention that my ex-husband is a serial cheating sociopath with a Q-level security clearance and has an adult child I didn’t discover until after the divorce?). It’s just a part of them now that they can live with. Like stretchmarks.

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Nord
Nord
11 years ago

Ha! I’ve been at least one or two…or three of those along the way.

Kristina
Kristina
11 years ago

I like this a lot CL! I think it hits on many of the variations.

I think, I may have been a little bit of a Limbo chump. I found out, I immediately called him and told him to pack his bags and get out, which he did, because I didn’t want to be around him at all. Plus, my emotions were running close to the surface, so I was absolutely positive that no kind of logical/productive conversations could come out of it. But it took me a month or so to wade through everything and figure out what it was I could and could not tolerate.

I just didn’t feel like I could be honestly happy if I chose to stay in that situation. And as far as my post-affair landscape, I guess I would say that it has been about figuring out what was going on with me that I was in that relationship to begin with. He’s not a horrible guy in the sense that he’s got a crazy personality disorder or whatever, but it just never seems to me to be additive to my life to sit around ruminating on him or trying to figure him out. Who I need to focus on is me.

I’ve found it fascinating, though, to read about how others who have been in this situation manage in their situations. I admire those who move forward and make positive gains, I pity those who remain stuck (either in unhappy marriages or divorced, but still trying desperately to figure out the why of the cheater who betrayed them as if that will somehow make them understand themselves better).

What I would be interested in knowing is your opinion of where certain of the BSs listed above (or as yet to be classified) fit into the personality disorder framework that has come up here so often in describing the cheaters and their other persons. Because I’ve got to think that some of those people I read over at SI and other BS forums have got some pretty bizarre psychological profiles working. I see a frightening amount of co-dependence, obviously, but is that it? So all the NPDs and Psychopaths of the world only link in with co-dependents and so that’s who we see come filtering out of the wash of infidelity as the ones who wish to reconcile?

chumpdiddlycious
chumpdiddlycious
12 days ago
Reply to  Kristina

I found a book named The Covert Passive Aggressive Narcissist by Debbie Mirza that was incredibly helpful in understanding the behavior of the FW I married. But ultimately it came down to CL’s advice: trust they suck.

another Erica
another Erica
11 years ago

I was so ridiculously the Amazon Chump!! Your description is almost hilariously spot on! In fact, I bought my first self-help book ever, Not “Just Friends”, on my Kindle the night I discovered the affair! And I have NEVER been so happy to have a Kindle! It should be in their commercials if it weren’t so incredibly depressing. Now I think I am close to being a recovering chump. Who still occasionally indulges in her new-found fondness for the self-help genre. At least the topics of interest have changed 🙂

BarristerBelle
BarristerBelle
11 years ago
Reply to  another Erica

Sheesh. If Amazon Chump wasn’t an exact description of me, then I was definitely Camping-Out-in-the-Self-Help/Relationships-aisle-at-B&N Chump. Ugghhh. That aisle. Just seeing how the books are arranged along that aisle is like a little relationship timeline in itself: The Rules/How to Date like a Man/Why Men Love Bitches/ why you’re still single – turns into- Men Are From Mars / 5 Love Languages / Dr Phil Relationship Rescue – turns into- Infidelity/ Should I stay or Should I Go / Divorce for Dummies – and ends with The Kama Sutra/ 365 Positions to try this year/The Joy of Sex.

Yes, “Not Just Friends” was my first purchase too. Then came other books on Infidelity, Codependency, Loving an Adult Child of an Alcoholic, more books about ACOAs, family dysfunction, then came books about Narcissism – and somewhere right along in here is where I also discovered Natalie Lue’s blog (Baggage Reclaim) as well as Chump Lady, and that’s also when I started to spend MUCH more of my time on ME and much less time figuring out all that’s wrong with HIM. Definitely moving within range of Recovery Chump these days – and continually moving farther away from the crazy.

chumpdiddlycious
chumpdiddlycious
12 days ago
Reply to  BarristerBelle

I went through so many of those titles too. Debbie Mirza’s The Covert Passive Aggressive Narcissist helped explain it best for me.

another Erica
another Erica
11 years ago
Reply to  BarristerBelle

I’m working on me more too… I got some books on self-esteem but then when they didn’t resonate with me as well as truly applicable self help books do, I realized I don’t have as many self esteem issues as I thought! Yay!

But I probably need one on boundaries. And my timeline is backwards because I never really “dated” before, so I’ve gotten a bunch of books on that now as well… though no real dating has taken place yet. Because that is what Amazon Chumps do… maybe I can solve some future problems! 🙂 And gotten some books on divorce. Anyone have some good ones to recommend? For divorce and after?

I wasn’t too interested in learning about him… but did just order my first narcissism book because I am actually worried about him affecting the kids. My STBX’s dad is a complete narcissist (and his mom a total enabler) and I don’t want my kids to get these traits as well. My STBX is generally a very good dad (weirdly) but does kinda treat the kids more as possessions and reflections of him, IMO. And I’ve kinda seen him subtly guilt-trip them when we transfer them back and forth… or I could be over-sensitive but he goes on a bit much about how much he misses them when they’re away. So am also re-upping on my parenting books. Whew! Got a lot of reading ahead of me!

Tequilatamm
Tequilatamm
8 years ago
Reply to  Tracy Schorn

Yep. Amazon Chump turned Revovering Chump here too.

Likewise, never so glad to have a Kindle than D-Night!

Funny how all that stuff becomes irrelevant once you get to a certain point. I think I see a pattern here though, those of us who thirst for knowledge seem to skip all the other chumpdom in between. It would have been interesting to experience those other brands of Chumpdom, but I needed to get to the bottom of things, and quickly. You pore through so much material in those books, you start to identify what’s bullshit and what’s not.

For me, some of it was useful. There was one particular book that made the statement: “You need to understand that even though you may have a conscience and emotions, some people really just don’t. Accept that and move on”

That one was a turning point for me.

I have all my self help books archived. Some I will never look back on or will look back and laugh at the poor advice. Others I have passages in reserve waiting for fellow chumps whose time has come!

Nord
Nord
11 years ago
Reply to  Tracy Schorn

I’ve given all my to my therapist. Should save the next chump who comes through the door some cash.

Aaron Crawford
Aaron Crawford
9 years ago
Reply to  Nord

Lol the closet chump’s last sentence is priceless….

Erika
Erika
11 years ago

I ran the whole gambit of chumps for about 10 days. But now, I am definitely a recovering chump…. STEP AWAY FROM THE CRAZY…. and pretty proud of that even tho it is S.L.O.W. – I still want to do all manner of mischief from my lower nature. But, as CL says (as well as so many of you) it won’t fix MY PAIN. Which is – all things considered – the only thing that matters. Soldier on.

lordmayhem
lordmayhem
11 years ago

Love this post.

I can name a couple of chumps off the bat at TAM.

Amazon Chump – falconcrap

Limbo Chump – Skaterdad

and a few more.

Sara8
Sara8
11 years ago
Reply to  lordmayhem

LM:

It’s good to read one of your postings again.

Just wanna’ say “hi!”

Dani
Dani
11 years ago

Thanks for this!

Been Amazon… Been Limbo… on my way to Recovering…

RC
RC
11 years ago

OMG, I was a prime example of Amazon Chump buying/downloading various books including to name a few: “Not Just Friends”, “Private Lies”, “The Script”, even “How to Survive Your Boyfriend’s Divorce: Loving Your Separated Man without Losing Your Mind” to try to get the Other Woman’s perspective. Finally, I found Chump Lady which saved me from myself and I’m proud to say I’m on the road to Recovering Chump.

Sara8
Sara8
11 years ago

I ran the full gamut of the spectrum.

In the end, though, I still feel like a chump, recovering or not. I hate being chumped.

I really thought I was smarter than that. But chumped I was.

I am, believe it or not, known to be very good a reading people, I guess I just can’t read the people who are closest to me.

Erika
Erika
11 years ago
Reply to  Sara8

I hated being chumped too – hated it – I also thought I knew how to read people…. and this person in particular. This has been a deeply destabilizing experience – not what I wanted in my late 50’s. Wouldn’t have thought it was possible. Still can’t believe it at times.

Sara8
Sara8
11 years ago
Reply to  Tracy Schorn

You sound “all better now” to me. I like your blogs.

Jeff
Jeff
11 years ago

The best example of the Anti-Chump was a guy I heard about who followed his wife to the motel, busted down the door, watched the POSOM scurry naked into the bathroom, looked into his wife’s eyes and turned on his heels and left.

Filed the next day. Never spoke to her again. He’s my hero.

Falene
Falene
11 years ago
Reply to  Jeff

He is my hero too.

Mike
Mike
7 years ago
Reply to  Falene

You mean to beeline straight for the bathroom?

Mike
Mike
7 years ago
Reply to  Mike

That was referring to the “presence of mind” comment.

KAI
KAI
11 years ago

I had ended the marriage because he had been treating me badly and didn’t discover just how badly for seven months. I might have been an Amazon Chump but likely not for long as I know I would press for details and then be enraged. I am a Recovering Chump.

MovingOn
MovingOn
11 years ago

Hopefully Recovering here… was an Amazon chump for about five days. I admit, like a previous poster said, that I’m still trying to accept that I’ll never get the “why” of it and should just stop trying to do so. I’m trying not to get too stuck in anger, and I think I’ll be able to make more strides once my D is final and my interaction lessens in the near future.

I, too, hate that I was “chumped.” I’ve always had a decent gut instinct about things, but I never saw the A coming.

Erika
Erika
11 years ago
Reply to  MovingOn

I didn’t see the A coming either – guess I’d have to say I didn’t see much of anything… I am so grateful for this site – I least with all the company here, I get to fuck up over and over again in private – probably still not finished yet – but today was a good day. I haven’t been down a self-help aisle for probably a decade – honestly, I have to say it wouldn’t have occurred to me to buy a bunch of books for (us) him/me – which is a good thing because I didn’t need to spend even more money I didn’t have (in the middle of the night) –

Did I ever mention, Mike is deathly allergic to cats – and I still have my cats. Thank God! I still have my cats. I don’t know why I feel so good about that right at this moment since they are both ignoring me in a go away closer kind of way. I think its time for a dog too…..

That “why” thing can really wrap me around the center too – god, what a time suck… not done yet I’m sure – shout out to Kristina – hey, I’m listening…..

Kristina
Kristina
11 years ago
Reply to  Erika

Shout right back at’cha!!! With time and distance it gets much easier! 🙂

Erika
Erika
11 years ago
Reply to  Kristina

OMG – I have to believe that –

Annabelle
Annabelle
11 years ago

I found emails from ow on his computer by accident. No suspicions at all. I am still surprised a little bit by my reaction. I said nothing, but filed for divorce and had him served during a lunch date with ow. He came home frantic and begged me not to leave him, but I never wavered. I really loved him, but I knew from the moment of discovery that he did not love me the way I wanted and deserved to loved. I knew deep in my gut that I could never trust him again and that in the end, staying with him would kill me. Even if he were the perfect, remorseful, husband. The SI peeps vacillated between telling me they were envious of my resolve and castigating me for not waiting 6 months.

My children and I are doing very well. I married a great guy 3 years after the divorce. He was a BH and we have primary custody of his teenager. My ex dumped OW immediately and spent a lot of time moping and begging me to come back. Even after my marriage. He has never remarried and dates occasionally, but still thinks of me as his “one true love.” I actually feel sorry for him, but I have no regrets. And I’m so happy I followed my natural instincts and did not waste years trying to accomplish a reconciliation that never would have happened.

Pagan
Pagan
8 years ago
Reply to  Annabelle

So wish I could have mustered the intestinal fortitude you did. Had I done that, my problems would have been solved.

MovingOn
MovingOn
11 years ago
Reply to  Annabelle

Well done, Annabelle. I’m another one who went to D pretty much right away. SI made me feel guilty about that, but I had to follow my instincts. Staying with STBX felt completely wrong; all I could think about was getting out and getting away from him. I’m glad I did it. I wish I had dumped him years ago, but at least I didn’t stick around for false R or to watch him enjoy cake eating.

Nord
Nord
11 years ago
Reply to  Annabelle

Ugh…hate that ‘wait 6 months’ thing. People told me that online and in real life and I listened for a couple of months because I thought maybe, just maybe, there was a chance after all these years. Then I smartened up, although it took awhile for my heart to catch up with my head. I say file right away and that’s that. You’re one smart cookie.

RC
RC
11 years ago
Reply to  Annabelle

Where’s the “like” button? Good job Annabelle!

Dani
Dani
11 years ago
Reply to  Annabelle

Nice work Annabelle!

Sara8
Sara8
11 years ago
Reply to  Annabelle

Annabelle:

You go girl.

mark
mark
11 years ago

i dont know what kind of chump i was.just an idiot.is that a category?i danced the “pick me dance”.i made her fat on ego kibbles. meanwhile i went from 160 to 120.after i filed for divorce the OM left her but after a while i continued to have an on and off relationship with her.a lot of embarrassing stupid stuff.about 6 months after the divorce she met someone else and remarried.she started being belligerent towards me at times then and i stopped talking to her for periods of time.(proto NC?) one day i got up the nerve to have her trespassed from my place of residence when she came and made a fuss(she would scream and yell and pound on the door) about(she wanted to) changing our mutually agreed to visitation schedule.(she never fought for custody,she thought she could get it anytime) her new husband started to spend months away from her and she started being nicer to me, i fell for it hook, line and sinker for a while. after about 3 yrs after the divorce, the despair i had been feeling evaporated and i filed for a court ordered visitation schedule and child support and it was granted.after that she continued to have financial and other problems and when ever she called for help i always came like a retarded puppy dog(some kinds of idiots need to be slapped really hard).. she called me up one day crying that she couldn’t afford child support.i called child support enforcement and told them to leave her alone,(she owed about $1200 then and they suspended her drivers license .a few months after that her and her husband got back together and they got a really nice apartment.her life really got better.we mostly stayed on civil terms after that.her husband left her a few more times and one day her never came back but meanwhile she got pregnant….2008 came along with the recession and i could not afford to keep a roof over our heads(my son and me) and gave custody of our son to her.stayed with her for a couple of weeks and left the state.now i pay child support. i barely make it week to week.shit sandwiches have not been good for my health.haven’t spoken 10 words to my ex in more than a year.. now i clearly see that she has some kind of cluster “b” disorder and i have some kind of screwed up co dependent idk what the fuck… hind sight IS 20/20 !!

p.s. went i left my hometown my son was just graduating elementary school.been back 2 yrs and my son in high school.im not the same person i was when i married… 🙁 🙁

Duped
Duped
11 years ago
Reply to  mark

Dear Mark,
Your story is heartbreaking. I’m so sorry. I admire you for being so honest in describing the difficulty you had letting go. Sometimes I feel that there’s a bit of judgement from the people on this site that were able to slice the ties and walk away without looking back. I too disengaged in fits and starts. We are all doing the best we can with this thing we were handed. Some people can do it, some will do it when they are able. I think we need to understand that there are reasons why we don’t all react with firm resolve.
Although I am competent and appear strong to the outside world, I had big issues with abandonment due to horrid childhood issues I had no control over. I’ve been to years of therapy and felt I’d resolved them but deep in my core, there were places that were still wounded. I don’t think I am less of a person because I wasn’t able to turn on my heel and leave him. I accept that deep, deep inside was the remnant of a betrayed child whose extended family disappeared after my mother died. I was left to strangers to raise me who considered me an inconvenience and were happiest when I stayed out of the way. They frequently reminded me that I was really not part of their family.
I don’t think there is anything wrong with examining and trying to understand his narcissism. It’s helped me intellectualize what he did to me and feel some compassion for him because he’s so fundamentally damaged and unfixable. I want to know why I was vulnerable to his charm and why I allowed myself to be twisted into the one with the problem in the marriage.
I think there are just different kinds of people and being an Amazon Chump or an Inert Chump is what we need to do to get through to the other side.
Mark, I hope the very best for you.
Duped

mark
mark
11 years ago
Reply to  Duped

thankyou

Marco
Marco
1 month ago
Reply to  mark

A lesson to be learned. Most people don’t change. No contact is very important. Any good deed will be used against you.

Sara8
Sara8
11 years ago
Reply to  mark

Dear mark and Duped

I do think that it’s important to take your time to evaluate your entire situation and decide what is best for you.

I don’t think Chump lady is totally against reconciliation. She is just saying really successful reconciliations are tough road and are likely rare.

I took my time deciding what to do, and even tried reconciliation for a while. I have seen a handful of really sincere reconcilations after infidelity, but in those cases, the cheater does most of the changing and the majority of the work and does it without holding a grudge for the rest of his/her life.

I do think there are cheaters who may be willing to do the hard work for the hurt spouse to recover, but I don’t think the majority of cheaters are in touch enough with their inner selves to actually do the work required. Still, there are some who will.

I do think, occasionally, a person can be so in lust that their frontal lobes go haywire and they lose self control.

But the proof that it was just lust, and just a one time thing, is in the cheater’s behavior after discovery day.

hiya there
hiya there
11 years ago

Sheer genius! Thanks for this, ChumpLady.

leslie
leslie
11 years ago

LOVE THIS ONE!
Ten kinds of brilliant! Tried to get a docterate in Amazon chump (with a tiny bit of Limbo thrown in)? Hey? Anyone want to buy 14 affair self help books for a penny?
I refuse to put up with this cheating! Either work on our marriage or let’s divorce! He’d “try” and then I’d catch him again. I should have thrown his ASS out the first time I caught him. I had a 10 month old, 2 year old and 4 year old at the time (stay at home mom) and I just COULDN’T believe that he wasn’t who I thought he was!!!
Working towards recovery chump. Very grateful for your hardwork on this site, Tracy. It has made a difference in my life. A big one.

Sara8
Sara8
11 years ago
Reply to  leslie

leslie:

Sorry to hear he was still cheating. Cheaters are such liars and have a lot of highly narcissistic traits. They are never wrong and love the blame game. It’s best to move on.

ww
ww
11 years ago

Like most of us here, I was the Amazon Chump, followed by the inert Chump. Funnily, my first book was also “Just Friends.” The difference is that I got all the books from the library, and then when the inert phase came by couldn’t care enough to return them. I think I got charged about $350 in late fees for the 30 or so books I checked out on infidelity, reconciliation, narcissism, self-realization, meditation, trauma, and sundry self-help.

Since I’ve moved out, my STBX tells me every once in a while that she’s found yet another book stashed somewhere improbable, in the back under the bathroom sink, or among the tools. I was both ashamed to be seen reading them, wary of having the kids see I was reading them, and afraid of her anger when she saw I was reading them. Now I just laugh when I see she gets pissed at finding them; a teeny bit of karma.

Kara
Kara
10 years ago

This is an old post, but I was totally a type 4 for a while. Too long.

EnoughAlready
EnoughAlready
9 years ago

Can’t see the other comments, so if’s been overlooked, may I suggest the category of stealth chump? This is when we rent storage units, move our furniture and household goods out from under the oblivious noses of the spousal unit, purchase houses in our own names, contact lawyers, make copies of pertinent papers, and live a secret life while we move all the chess pieces into place. And then we make the move . . .

SharkChump
SharkChump
9 years ago
Reply to  EnoughAlready

Wow! EnoughAlready! I am a total stealth chump. I’ve moved out, retained a bulldog lawyer, removed my stuff from the house and stored it. I’ve been stealth for two months. No contact, nothing. When I find out new information about my cheater – last week he had a prostitute in my house – – I just store the evidence. I don’t get mad anymore or say anything to my cheater about it, that would be kibbles… And if I start to get upset, I imagine myself as a shark, swimming unnoticed, until the time is right…

Anna
Anna
8 years ago

I’m a poor version of the Amazon chump. I’m a Google chump. My search history is an encyclopedia of chumpdom.

TheLadyisaChump
TheLadyisaChump
8 years ago

I can top Amazon Chump…I actually attended SAA meetings for over a year just so that my ex would go because he would only go to a meeting if I would admit I was a “sex addict” also (WTF???). Anyway, I did learn in those meetings that most “sex addicts” NEVER abstain permanently–they just get better at hiding their activities, manipulating, or they switch to a different behavior.

BTW, I don’t go to 12 step meetings at all. Why the heck should I? I’m moving on.

Pagan
Pagan
8 years ago

I AM a combination of just about all of these. Going on 18 months of separation and 2 years since D day and I’m still on the fence. Unfortunately, I feel bad for mine because he is seriously mentally ill. He was diagnosed bipolar/schizoaffective shortly after D day and has since had a PET scan that may show dementia but that has not been confirmed yet. I am allowing my conscience to dictate my decisions and I can’t leave him in this state although in my heart, I want out. I BELIEVE he used to be a good man. He had a 5 month affair and then continued on behind my back while telling me he had dumped her and it was all about me for another 4 months. So hard to tell now if any of our 15 year relationship was ever real. He has yet to confess to anything – I’ve had to catch him and prove it to make him admit it. Not cool. By the way for any of you still out there wondering, there is a wonderful download called Dr. Fone that undeletes deleted text messages. This is how I got him.

Enraged
Enraged
7 years ago

I had to add this: Where is the enraged chump?
That’s how I felt when I found out my husband, partner of 10 years, the father of my child, has been leading a double life. I felt like I wanted to rip his head off! As to the OW, a paid prostitute that he hired to ALSO babysit our child (are you enraged reading this?), I felt that if I caught her near my house, I would strip her naked and …. I don’t know.
Those feelings subsidised, along with not seeing any of them anymore.
But oh boy, even the thought of him made me catch fiiiire!

Libflow
Libflow
7 years ago

I’m a no 5 on spectrum… Oh my, like stretchmark.

Goodhusband
Goodhusband
7 years ago

It should say – recovering chumps stop reading infidelity books and infidelity reconcilation websites. Recovering chumps finnaly get it and read nothing but chumplady.com. I went through all the phases of chumpdom, shock, I can fix this. I can be a better person, I can change. Then sit in limbo waiting for remorse. After 3 years….You get it. You come out of denial and realize that everything the chump lady says is true. And once you become a recovering chump and develop some selfrespect, that’s when you are reading nothing but chumplady. And It’s all beautifull.

Zell
Zell
6 years ago

I’m ‘limbo chump’. Can’t live with the thought of myself staying married to this dirty epic sociopath level lying cheating wife. Scared to death of being without my daughter. I’ve sacrificed for this family- I’ve given disrespectful wife a second chance and she upped the anty by going full affair on me 6 years later. It’s almost as if me giving her a second chance before made her even more confident.

relentlessdad
relentlessdad
5 years ago

Amazon Chump through and through! Even though I was the only one trying to save the marriage for 6-7 months and she decided to divorce me after my half hearted serving attempt to try and ‘shock’ her out of it … I did learn a lot that can be carried on into future relationships and to mix that with what I learned the hard way to help others.

Houghton
Houghton
5 years ago

I’m limbo chump, inert chump (man oh man I’ve taken a lot of naps the past two years, it seems like I take one every time I get upset) and closet chump. I’ve been all three and still am. At least I’m aware of it, I guess. But my strongest characteristic is limbo chump, because of what I fear divorce will do to my kids. My wife didn’t think about that apparently, during her three month emotional and physical affair, but it’s all I think about. I think about it so much it gives me panic attacks still to this day. I feel hollow, empty and incapable of much real emotion — unless you count rage, sadness, regret, self-recriminations, emasculation, etc. I don’t trust anyone. I mean ANYONE.

Confused AF
Confused AF
1 month ago

Haha, this is so on point. I was such a Limbo chump for so long. And how exhausting that was. I hated and was terrified of both options – staying with a serial cheater and never feeling safe or leaving and being on my own as a single mother. We were on the “hallway” (that’s what our therapist called it as a metaphore of not deciding to enter any door – leave or stay) for over a year. Well, I was. He always said he wanted to reconcile. But each time I felt I could give him another chance, he suddenly pulled back and started devaluing me, etc. So it was Limbo all over. God, it was the worst time of my life. I am so happy to say that I am now a Recovering chump.

LookingForwardsToTuesday
LookingForwardsToTuesday
1 month ago

My therapist encouraged my to use the Stages of Grief to understand where I was emotionally during the period after I discovered that I was a Chump. Just as you can expect to cycle through the stages (the progress is not necessarily linear), I wonder if there is a staging process at play here too. While I don’t think that I was ever “Amazon Chump,” I’m pretty sure that I cycled through the other variants at various times.

Ultimately, I guess that the target is “Acceptance” (in terms of the Grief Cycle) and “Recovering Chump” in terms of the variants that CL describes; both of them have a distinct “Tuesday or thereabouts” feel to them.

LFTT

Stepbystep
Stepbystep
1 month ago

It is hard to overstate the impact of betrayal trauma in a long-term marriage. The shock, denial, shame, fear, grief are accompanied by an immediate need to re-establish a life. The chump is usually responsible for sharing news with others and filing for divorce. There is no funeral, no community acknowledgement of the loss. The cognitive dissonance, the surge of cortisol has no common medical intervention. Creating a support team (legal/therapy/friends), going no contact with FW, practicing self-care and reading CL got me through.

PeaceAtLast
PeaceAtLast
1 month ago
Reply to  Stepbystep

Well said.

Elsie_
Elsie_
1 month ago
Reply to  Stepbystep

So true. To those who say, “It must have been easy because he behaved so badly,” I say NO. That’s why it was so hard. I was bonded to this person and had great hopes for our future that, unfortunately, weren’t grounded in reality. We had a house together for several decades, the kids, and all the rest.

I chose to stay in the same town because of the kids and the rest. Sure, it was a lot to sort through, but I’m glad that I did that. My therapist said that it was healthier in some cases to sort through the past and the present in place. I can drive by our family house and accept that it was a mixed experience living there because of my ex, but I also have happy memories of our kids playing outside there. That house had to be sold because I couldn’t buy him out, but I like the house I bought later even better. It works better for me in so many ways.

My conclusion was that you have no idea unless you’ve been through it. That’s what Chump Nation is for. We get it.

PeaceAtLast
PeaceAtLast
1 month ago
Reply to  Elsie_

t is easier to leave if there has been a lot of devaluing bed behavior. No relationship to save. However, it is not easier to deal with it all emotionally in that I am kicking myself for putting up with the bad behavior for so long- especially now that I know what was going on behind my back the whole time.

The Divine Miss Chump
The Divine Miss Chump
1 month ago
Reply to  Stepbystep

Well said! I think I have experienced all of these stages at one time or another …

susie lee
susie lee
1 month ago
Reply to  Stepbystep

Yep and to me any Chump that makes it through alive, and not institutionalized is a super chump. Going through that is hard shit, really hard.

OutButNotDown
OutButNotDown
1 month ago
Reply to  Stepbystep

Yes!!! So much THIS! Thanks for articulating it.

Celene
Celene
1 month ago

I was the Amazon Chump. Only shared 2 things with the cheating ex – which he instantly found ways to negate or say “this doesn’t apply because (stupid reasons).” After giving up trying to use logic with that man I found real books that helped like “Cheating in a Nutshell,” “Leave a cheater, gain a life” and “Private Lies.” Private Lies helped me understand the bull malarkey I’d been through, Cheating in a nutshell showed me what the present/future issues for me as a chump would be, and Leave a Cheater gain a life gave me a path to the future I wanted.

Hell of a Chump
Hell of a Chump
1 month ago

I think I would call one of my stages “JSTOR Chump,” lol. It’s basically an Amazon chump who runs out of non-stupid books and starts hitting the academic journals but doesn’t want to pay individual subscriptions.

Fortunately, the academic journal rabbit hole tends to descend to such dark and unredemptive depths that hopium, RICery and Perelery compress and deflate like helium balloons in a submarine, especially when authors start cross-referencing the psychological quirks of serial adulterers with those of serial rapists and domestic murderers and you’re going “Uh, that sounds so familiar…”

Involuntary Georgian
Involuntary Georgian
1 month ago

I don’t want to feed anyone’s unhealthy habits, but I’m sure there are lots of people in this space who can grab free copies of academic articles. I do this pretty frequently for my neighbor.

Hell of a Chump
Hell of a Chump
1 month ago

I have my ways and can usually find them free but that’s a lovely offer, thank you.

I think of skein untangling as moving towards the direction of spackling. Definitely a bad habit. But when reading clinical stuff has the opposite effect, I don’t know what one would call it– unspackling?

Obviously in the initial stage of shock, the first motivation to pore over any book or study or to scour the web for information is invariably to “fix the cheater” so it’s dangerous. But I think the fact I quickly ended up wandering into some sobering criminal psych vein and began to see glaring associations I couldn’t unsee kept piercing the bargaining and denial bubble. In turn that made it impossible to accept FW’s or RICish minimizations. The more I absorbed, the more I dug my heels in and called a spade a spade, the more furious I got at any attempt to whitewash or split the blame. No, it was subviolent battering and coercive control which meant the problem was entirely quarantined to FW’s warped mental processes, background and MO and I was going to die on that hill.

I can’t remember who said that facts tend to cluster around a good theory. The coercive control model is a good theory and, once internalized, it only gathered steam, unearthed more forgotten memories that verified the theory and emerged as more and more true with time. It helps that it’s fundamentally un-victim-blaming in that it pinpoints all the insidious and menacing psychological tactics used to paralyze prey. And the fact that the statistics for recividism are no better than for domestic violence and that statistics show this can often presage violence isn’t exactly hopium-sustaining.

I suppose even “unspackling” by reading up on dark and creepy clinical associations can be dangerous if, say, an abuser is so mega-sociopathic that they hoover by pretending– for however long they can stand it– to willingly cop to the “domestic abuser” label and all that entails. But barring that, once it’s all over, the dark and creepy prognoses tend to allay any possibility of pining regrets after the fact or warped water color memories of the “good times.” You might still mourn the loss of time and other opportunities but not the dangerous freak you escaped by the skin of your teeth.

susie lee
susie lee
1 month ago

I think one kind of chump has been left out. That is the “no choice” Chump. If you are left, and you have to work to survive, for the most part that is what you do, or at least that is what I did.

I am convinced as nice as it would have been to lay in bed crying for a few weeks or months, the fact that I really didn’t have that option helped me. I carried on, showed up and did my very best at work. There are a couple things I might have done differently; but over all it was survival mode and the crying was relegated to night time, then I slapped on that strong amour and got through the days.

I don’t think super chumps exist, just folks doing the best they can to survive given their options and means. It can change daily depending on what smacks you in the face that day.

Chumps who still have young children at home are going to make their decisions based on those children, chumps who don’t have children will likely make different decisions.

There was no Amazon or internet when I went through it, so maybe that helped me more than hindered, I don’t know. I am so glad I never read any “how to win your man back” shit, or how to figure out your cheater shit.

I had my dad and my brother helping me over the phone, and they did offer me a safety net; but both made it clear that I could do this and I likely wouldn’t need that safety net.

My brother told me to concentrate on my job. My dad told me to hold my head high as I had not done anything wrong, and to get a lawyer. He offered to pay for the retainer; but luckily I was able to manage it all with the help of a great lawyer, a minimum wage job, and a part time job that I took to pay my legal fees. (back then lawyers weren’t as expensive as they are now).

SortofOverIt
SortofOverIt
1 month ago

I was Inert Chump for so long. I just went a bit catatonic. I am sometimes embarrassed by it. It didn’t help that DDay was during full on Covid lockdown. That made it easy to do nothing, as not a whole hell of a lot could be easily done and I was just not in any state to do anything. Then lockdown was lifted and I was already in a pattern of inertia.

I give all the props to those who upon discovery file immediately and don’t look back. I wish that was who I am but it simply isn’t. And I am learning to live with that truth. I forgive myself for allowing it to drag out with pick me dancing and hopium. I was terrified to the point of just freezing in place for a long time. It wasn’t the healthiest route, but it was simply where I was.

Just wanted to assure any other inert chumps that it is an understandable response. And as amazing as those “immediate filer” chumps are, they are rare. I’m sure there are way more of us inert dummies. We all get there eventually,

I will add this, an acquaintance of mine was an immediate filer. DDay arrived, and she took immediate action and got out. Then she eventually started dating. Met a “great guy”. They were getting really serious and she discovered HE was cheating. She dumped him, then took him back. He got caught cheating a 2nd time, and she still stayed with him. Now they are engaged.

I wonder about her a lot. I think that she found life post-divorce on her own super hard. This new guy came in and helped. And she really needed that help. As an outsider looking in, I’d think that anyone that could divorce a cheating spouse of 20 years and 2 kids immediately would for sure dump a cheating boyfriend immediately as well. But I think maybe she just doesn’t want to be on her own with her 2 kids again. Almost like she gave all her energy the first time and just cannot do it again.

I mostly came to say, chumps can be different flavors in different relationships too. I am hoping she at least is smart enough to protect herself financially with a pre-nup. Maybe she won’t end up married. But even if it does go that far, I am hoping she learned enough the first time NOT to trust that this guy won’t screw her over again and in multiple ways.

Chump-Domain Cleric
Chump-Domain Cleric
1 month ago
Reply to  SortofOverIt

“Chumps can be different flavors in different relationships too.”

I think this is very observant. People may react differently to relationships due to previous experiences and current situations, which by natute, both change between (and because of) relationships. I’m terribly sorry to hear about your friend. I hope she eventually leaves him, or as you said, at least gets a prenup and protects herself. It is better to be single than with a FW. And the kids deserve better, too.

hush
hush
1 month ago
Reply to  SortofOverIt

The men who prey on divorced moms are often much sicker than the mom is “smart” – to borrow from Sandra L. Brown, MA’s parlance. I feel your pain, as someone who has observed highly educated and well-resourced divorced moms knowingly stay with the most unrepentant users/cheaters.

It’s a gift to be able to decenter romantic partners & their validation completely, while being independent enough to live happily as a partner-free parent. It’s a self-love journey so many are unwilling or unable to take.

Bluewren
Bluewren
1 month ago
Reply to  SortofOverIt

I’m where she is- but as I see it, he’s the problem, not me.
I’m coming down harder on him than I ever did on the first FW.
Unfortunately for him, I’m very different these days 😆

Elsie_
Elsie_
1 month ago
Reply to  SortofOverIt

Among my friends, there are currently two rebound divorces going on. Both had been single for awhile after getting divorced and remarried someone they thought was going to be an old age partner. From my chair, I saw the red flags and mentioned that.

They did not see them, and now the lawyers are involved. Thankfully, both are employed. Of course, I’m all-in on their side, but it’s a warning to us older divorced people.

Last edited 1 month ago by Elsie_
FYI_
FYI_
1 month ago
Reply to  Elsie_

What were the red flags you saw?

Elsie_
Elsie_
1 month ago
Reply to  FYI_

Both committed quickly and didn’t really look into their ex’s previous divorce. In both cases, their wives had filed for divorce after decades together, and both divorces took years even though there were no custody issues. I expressed my concern that they were going too fast and hadn’t really considered the big picture. In both cases, the finances were very lopsided with the wife being a bit on the edge financially. I also mentioned that.

But here they are. One should be divorced this month or the next. The other is still in negotiations.

Elsie_
Elsie_
1 month ago

I cycled off-and-on through these as my marriage went down, trying to bargain my way out of going down a whirlpool.

Then we separated again, this time long-distance. It took me a year to get my head together. Very much on my own, I decided that there was no path forward with him. He was pushing for a crazy version of reconciliation that I knew would last only days at most, so why bother? He had been perpetually vague about how he was spending time in the interim period. My gut was saying, NO WAY. Part of me wondered if it was all a show.

So I cut it off. I chose reality and leaned into the buzzsaw.

Viktoria
Viktoria
1 month ago

My “beginning phase” (reacting to discovery) lasted a very long time; I’ve only recently emerged from deep shock and transitioned to “recovering chump”. So far so good.

GrandmaChump
GrandmaChump
1 month ago

Belated Valentine haiku:

Re Esther Perel…
Why do we even want to
Untangle her skein?

Bluewren
Bluewren
1 month ago

7 months of numbness as I was ghosted while working overseas followed by 4 and counting months of deep shock and grief as I tried to process the new profile picture evidence people told me about.
In those 4 months of the detonation of my life, I also flew to what was home, packed a few things, took back my car that he’d taken, took the cat he’d neglected and lawyered up.
I’m almost at court and he’ll have trouble even getting a lawyer as he’s refusing all instructions to disclose his documents.
If I have a label, it’s Sun Tzu Chump- I live by this little quote of his from ‘The art of war’
Let your plans be dark and as impenetrable as night.
And when you move
Fall like a thunderbolt.

2nd Gen Chump
2nd Gen Chump
1 month ago

My mother was a serial cheater, so I grew up watching my parents split and get back together. She’d run up the bills, take half the assets, and when the money ran out she’d come back to my dad. When I saw my ex’s emails to his Craigslist Fucktoy, I wasn’t mad I was relieved. I had been unhappy with him for most of our relationship and I kept making excuses for him. He’s threatened because I’m the primary breadwinner, he’s adjusting to moving out of state for my job, he’s grieving the loss of his father, he just doesn’t know how to wash dishes in hot water because his first wife was a stay at home wife, he’s charming but just not that smart. No, he was discarding me. No matter how small I made my needs, he’d find a way to disappoint – possibly on purpose.

I found a lawyer, drafted our separation, and six months after discovery day I was divorced. So I am a Relieved Chump. I finally had a reason “good enough” to leave him. If he hadn’t left those emails open I’d probably still be married and miserable to this day.

GrandmaChump
GrandmaChump
1 month ago

Healing starts with a decision…and a plan. I agree that there’s a place for Stealth Chump after Closet Chump, and before Recovering Chump. Stealth Chump knows it’s over, but has to get some things in place before pulling the plug. Calm acceptance and serenity rule the day while gathering evidence and establishing financial stability. “Don’t get mad, get even.”

Amazon Chump, you’ll figure it out with some research
And “a little bit of help from your friends”
Limbo Chump, stay or go? Or stay? Or go?
“Did you ever have to finally decide?”
Inert Chump, you’re going to stay and suck it up
Until FW leaves or you turn bitter and old, and disappear.
A cheating heart is no prize, so why are you still here?
Closet Chump, you’re smiling through your fury!
Are you kidding yourself that you’ve won FW’s heart?
…Or simply prepping for a stealth exit? We can hope!
Recovering Chump, you’re on the home stretch,
Or already home, and free again to be yourself.
Maybe checking the rear-view mirror from time to time
As you get on with your life.

JeffWashington
JeffWashington
1 month ago

I definitely cycled through everything but Amazon Chump at various points(unless you count the self help book our couples counselor recommended, which has actually been very helpful, but also after D-Day and end of the relationship, so I digress.) Or unless we count coming here…I experimented elsewhere but found my home here. In exchange for Amazon Chump, in that very Elizabeth Kubler-Ross sense I hit bargaining a couple of times a day where I argue with her specter about why what she did is wrong. Mental masturbation-I always win and I’m still traumatized. That part is getting easier at least.

During the Pick-Me Dance Year I cycled Limbo-Inert-Closet. (Anger-Depression-Denial anyone?) Closet and Limbo fueled each other. There were times where I felt like we were going to make it/I was winning the dance and I spackled(still teaching myself that it’s OK not to protect her from criticism). Other times I was wondering if I was going to come home to a half-empty apartment and a note(which it turned out was her actual plan, hilariously enough)-chance on hit that I would either be destroyed or elated depending on the day.

And frankly-a lot of that was locked into place by emotional abuse. She still had a use for me and/or was getting her jollies watching me cry myself to sleep. And in no small part helped by my codependence/silly belief that love would win out in the end. It did-just not mine. And not her’s, either-after all of that I don’t think she really CAN love.

It was only when I let myself be mad at her and started to accept that being cheated on was not my fault when I entered Recovery(good addiction term, btw!) Recovery being an ongoing lifetime state. And I wouldn’t have done it without coming here!(true story-I was warned about the level of snark here-turned out that was just what the doctor ordered to help me get through the “worse than death” phase at T+30 days from D-Day.)

Hell of a Chump
Hell of a Chump
1 month ago
Reply to  JeffWashington

What anti-snarkerian warned you about the level of snark here? 😀

GrandmaChump
GrandmaChump
1 month ago

Hell of a Chump – thanks for the new noun. I’m a snarkarian myself. Seems to call for a Snarkarian Society, yes?

JeffWashington
JeffWashington
1 month ago

It was the first person I reached out to that had in fact been cheated on and had done more about it than go on the rebound. In their healing journey they benefitted from a…how shall we say, “gentler touch.” They were right to send me here…after I sampled what worked for them, I came here out of exasperation and found my home with like-minded individuals ^_^.

2xchump
2xchump
1 month ago

This has to be one of the best of Tracy’s writings. I don’t think ANYONE can parse a chumps life and cut out the cheaters bull like her. Tracy and CN has kept me strong and resilient and healing!! I thank God for her every day as I laugh and nod in agreement. Yes after 2 cheaters I get my 🪽 wings. Now for today.writings from Tracy… I was all of these chumps at one time or another in my 32 years of basement (and later )physical cheater(s). I knew it , but I was not sure. I smiled for the Christmas shots, I fell over the fence and was paralyzed. I lied to my precious self in the face of gaslighting. I blamed myself, their mental illness, their cruelty and devaluing on their midlife crisis. I prayed for a miracle, I begged God,I watched other people going through divorce and got very worried with the way cheaters looked at these divorces by saying things like. Well it’s better to divorce than kill your whole family, or saying the cheater is awful when my man was cheating too. Or the silence that happened whenever we talked about porn addiction ( others addiction). So I knew, but I didn’t know. I had to be 1000% sure because I would have to hold up and be strong so as never to go back again. I had to be sure so i could explain it to all my friends and family and they would believe me. My cheaters x2 looked so good on the outside and I appeared so much weaker. With cake you get much stronger as a cheater and much wreaker as a Chump. So I just has to have no doubts so my cutting and running would be clean. i.HAD.TO BE STRONG AND BE SURE and it took years to get past all the Chump styles that Tracy described today. I was all of them but now, I am recovering and so close to meh even 6 months out of a horrific divorce. Heres an example of my recovery. This morning I got a text from an unknown number that said a dear former friend in my old neighborhood was very ill. They wanted me to know this. I texted back and asked who they were and that their number was not listed on my phone. A text came back…this is your xhcheater and I wanted you to know. I maintain NO CONTACT as per Tracy, so far 1 year. I got a slight chill and remembered that XH cheater never ever cared about anyone but himself. Why was he acting like i needed to know? Three other neighbors had already told me so this was not a news bulletin. I just reblocked and promised myself not to respond to anyone who I don’t have listed. Block block block. I.am a big time recovering Chumpette and no one will ever get to me like my 2 cheaters,ever again. I’m not going to remarry and everyone else is just a friend or fun to be with. I’m a thrilled former Chump and these cheaters will teach me valuable lessons but they will never ever define the rest of my life.

UpAndOut
UpAndOut
1 month ago

I definitely was Limbo Chump & given that moniker by CL when I found her site and was in enough pain to email her for advice.
It took me 2 years to leave, and 3 years before the divorce was final.
What kept me in doubt was
1. the financial implications of halving our income when 4 near-adult children were still softly dependent upon us. One has a disability & will always need assistance. I did not take the kids into my confidence, but afterwards, they all told me they were glad, some wished I had separated sooner. The mental health issues of my disabled son improved.
2. My faith, my ignorance, & my willingness to forgive. The EH started cheating on business trips early in our marriage. I readily forgave him on the first DDay. Later I found out he told me half truths . Years went by between DDays, 3 in all, then more years went by & I believe he just upped his game. He knew he could fool me. And our relationship worsened & I went somewhat into Amazon Chump mode until I found out he had never quit cheating. That’s when I found CL, and onto being Limbo Chump due to finances, struggling with the moral decision to divorce a “repentant” spouse, and not knowing how the kids would react and be changed by a divorce.
Then he lost his job, my salary had increased over the years, and only 2 children remained somewhat dependent. I had taken to heat CL message, “is this relationship ok for YOU?” And the answer was a definite NO. I didn’t have to wait until I had proof of a recent infidelity. I began to see him as a liability- at best he would leach off of me for our remaining year, at worst he could be arrested for using prostitutes, or worse.
I also saw that I wasn’t myself when I was with him – I cowered, I hid from people, I was starting to refuse to go places with him. That led me to work with a DV ministry.
Help came from different sources- a financial advisor to help me see that I’d be ok. A rental property for me from someone. And referrals to appropriate attorneys that were knowledgeable about DV.
So yes, I was Limbo Chump, then got up and out.

UpAndOut
UpAndOut
1 month ago
Reply to  UpAndOut

EH = XH!

Chump-Domain Cleric
Chump-Domain Cleric
1 month ago

Broke: astrology, Myers-Briggs, Jungian archetypes

Woke: CHUMP TYPES

(Also, I cycled through everything, although didn’t buy the self-help books on Amazon. Borrowed them from my mother instead. I was your stereotypical chumpy mess who stayed far too long and the cheating started so early, too – eugh. Wish I hadn’t fallen for the whole “But I’m chosing you!” “We can fix this!” “It was just a mistake, I felt conflicted!”)

Last edited 1 month ago by Chump-Domain Cleric
UpAndOut
UpAndOut
1 month ago

I wonder if there are stages of being a Recovering Chump.
I met an acquaintance who had just separated from her husband & she was almost inappropriately cheerful while she was telling me about why she separated, where she was living, and that she was discovering that she had always been emotionally abused by her husband & that her adult son was now confiding to her about his feelings towards his dad. I remembered I must have had that same expression of both elation and relief, on at least one occasion, when explaining to my son’s in-laws, why I separated. It came from having worked so hard at understanding what happened to me during our marriage, making that difficult decision, and then carrying it out. And being free and alive!
I remember falling asleep in my own bed, alone, with a smile on my face. This was interspersed with pangs of grief, like when I’d see an elderly couple in my neighborhood and know that that would not be me.

That gave way to usual life, but with all the lightbulb moments of just what had been happening in the marriage.

Then a few times I experienced anxiety – due to unexpected high cost home repairs, and an emergency health crisis.

Then back to usual life, again, knowing that I can weather through the typical problems & be glad that they are TYPICAL problems and not the mental torture coming from life with a cheater. I can’t even put it into words, so it’s great to have CL do that in a phenomenal way.

Ruby Gained A Life
Ruby Gained A Life
1 month ago

I was an Amazon Chump for months — about five of them. I couldn’t figure out why he wouldn’t talk to me except to nitpick, criticize and attack my character. I read Henry Cloud’s book about boundaries, and began to realize that I had none. I worked on that, and while I was doing so, I read about verbal abuse, and identified gaslighting and other forms of emotional abuse. (ILYBINILWY). So I read about abuse — and stumbled upon Lundy Bancroft and his, “Why Does He Do That? Inside the Minds of Angry and Abusive Men.” And I realized that his rage driving was not just bad driving, it was also abuse. So then I read about how to leave an abusive man. At least he wasn’t hitting me; I was safe from that! I was so heavy into denial — and hopium — that I hadn’t realized that the first time he knocked me down, he had crossed the line into physical abuse. So I cemented my plan, and was all ready to leave when we had to evacuate from a hurricane. For some reason, that trumped the abusiveness in my mind — I couldn’t just leave him all alone on in a hurricane. So we evacuated to his hometown, where my sister-in-law pointed out his inappropriate text exchange with his high school girlfriend. Turns out he had chosen to evacuate to that particular location to see the high school girlfriend while his sister and I were bonding with a little girl time.

I should have taken the car, the dog and left him then and there, but we went back home to find our part of the city still under water. Finally, I was so damned ANGRY over the cheating and the abuse that I couldn’t stand to look at him. I left with what I could carry and the dog as soon as the water ebbed enough to allow me to get out without his help and cooperation. Now I am a Recovering Chump, and I think I realized I had reached “Meh” on Tuesday. The day before yesterday Tuesday. Life is much more beautiful without a cheating, abusive man in it!

Elsie_
Elsie_
1 month ago

I didn’t have any boundaries either. I didn’t quite get that until I had an appointment with my attorney to go over my ex’s self-written agreement.

He began by saying, “So how often did you say NO where he respected that.”

No wonder my STBX thought I’d agree with all of his crazy plans for how we should divide things. I had no boundaries!

Put in the end, yes…I was pleased with the terms and had boundaries.

Last edited 1 month ago by Elsie_
GoodFriend
GoodFriend
1 month ago

Recovering chumps are secure in their chumpdom. They don’t need to flaunt it. (“Did I mention that my ex-husband is a serial cheating sociopath with a Q-level security clearance and has an adult child I didn’t discover until after the divorce?). 

I do tell people about Fraudster, and maybe it is flaunting, but really, he’s a world class liar. He joined a group of military veterans who are health professionals and told them he was an MD and a vet, although he was neither, got jobs by claiming to have MBAs from both Harvard and Dartmouth although he never attended either and never got a graduate degree, claimed he had a degree as a rocket scientist, also faked, and convinced fellow musicians that he won an international music competition twice–you guessed it, also a lie, he never even placed in the top three. At the same time, he lied about me, but in the reverse, diminishing all my professional accomplishments to make me seem like a wannabe, instead of someone with literally dozens of national awards in my field.

So yeah, it’s fun to mention his frauds to strangers. I’ve told a few people who are my friends. I am leery of telling people who were his friend first, both for fear he’d retaliate if he hears I told the truth, and because his friends seem to want to believe his lies, as if they’re special by association with him, or at least the false persona he created. They were quick to believe his lies that he left me because I became violent when I discovered he had given financial advice to a work colleague. In truth, friends escorted him out when he beat me unconscious after I discovered he had gave tens of thousands of dollars to a catfisher he found at a dating site. It’s satisfying to tell people what a conman he is, especially since I’m not the only one he fooled. Fitting that he got conned by a catfisher while bragging to “her” that he was astute in international finance. Too bad it was my money, and despite giving my lawyer and court the evidence –Western Union receipts, emails, photos of and actual gift cards, and bank transfers–I was unable to get that money back, or even more money he stole earlier.

Chumped in KC
Chumped in KC
1 month ago

What does it mean if you are or have been at one point, all of them?

susie lee
susie lee
1 month ago
Reply to  Chumped in KC

Means you are pretty normal I would say.

I didn’t have to make a choice; it was made for me. If I didn’t go to work, I didn’t eat, (not that I ate much for a long time) so I got myself up and went to work, and did what I had to each day. That doesn’t make me anything but normal, I mean if you have no choice what else do you do?

I knew I had to get enough money together to pay first and last months rent on a tiny apartment. I wrote a budget to include a good used car payment etc. I didn’t know in the first few months that I would have a year to save that money and get straight in my head, so that helped me get a head start.

However, before he left in the last few months I am sure I cycled through. I know I was confused and humiliated and scared. But I still went to work each day. I was scared not to.

How any of us get through with any sanity I don’t know.

MyRedSandals
MyRedSandals
1 month ago

I put “chumpdom” on the same axis as, say, grief… you know, like Elisabeth Kubler-Ross’ “5 Stages Of”. Unless you’re an emotionally-challenged robot, it’s likely you’ve experienced at least 2 or 3 of these chump types, and perhaps all of them. Early on, I sashayed my way in and out of the Amazon, Limbo and Inert categories, depending on the hour of the day. But I’ve been firmly in the Recovering category for quite some time and it feels goooood. I urge every chump to work through the shock & awe, the brain fog, the hysteria and the confusion as quickly, yet as effectively, as possible. Deal with the suckiest thing to ever happen to you and then release the dead weight formerly known as your cheating spouse into the coldest and darkest depths (picture poor popsicle Jack in Titanic). Joyfully move into Recovery so you can not just survive, but thrive.