5 Years of Chump Lady? 5 Lessons Learned

Hey, today the Chump Lady blog turns 5 years old! No longer a toddler blog, it has fully formed incisors and can bite the heads off unicorns. When I started this venture, I thought it would just be a brain dump for what I learned about infidelity (stupidly, blunderingly) so you wouldn’t make the same mistakes I did. Little did I know this brainchild would morph into an enterprise closing in on 14 million views, a book deal, and a Hollywood agent. Blogs. They grow up so fast!

You might wonder what it’s like to read hundreds of thousands of infidelity stories over five years. (Not including the wasted time I spent on reconciliation boards huffing the hopium pipe, long ago.) What is it like to be entrusted with chumps’ 5,000-word, single-spaced grief-vomit emails? Hourly? Daily? Weekly? Yearly?

Humbling. Startling (yes, things still surprise me). Inspiring.

In honor of five straight years of this Chump Lady endeavor, I thought I’d share five things I learned from Chump Nation.

1. You are not alone. When I got chumped, I thought I was Freak of the Week, that my life was a Jerry Springer episode, that few had suffered anything so tawdry and mortifying. Fact is, this infidelity shit is really common. My cheater wasn’t unique – he was predictable. And my chump experience? I served a light sentence. I’m a rank amateur compared with what most people here have suffered. (I had a short marriage and no children with him.)

What I’ve learned reading all these shocking stories of cheating cheaters and the people who cheat with them is that not only is evil banal, it needs a better scriptwriter. “I love you but I’m not in love with you.” “He’s just a friend.” “I never intended to hurt you.” Really? Is that the best you got?

There are a lot of people roaming this planet who have empty elevator shafts where their souls should be. A lot of us saw “potential” in empty elevator shafts. Don’t be embarrassed. The chump condition is common, but fixable. The good news is, if you’re in pain from betrayal? You have a soul. It’s better than the alternative. Trust me, you have something to work with.

2. The world is way more twisted than I thought. Thanks to Chump Nation, I got a whole education on sex workers, sex tourism, underage prostitution, sexual trafficking, ranking sex workers like Amazon purchases, “sex addiction,” web-cam sex – and some idea as to what all these past-times cost. (Your pension, an inheritance, that Christmas bonus you never saw – oh hey, there’s another lesson – infidelity goes with financial infidelity. Double lives cost money.)

For some reason the discourse around cheating is on one-night stands and exit affairs liberating cheaters from oppressive Unhappiness. When in fact, cake – a partner and fuckbuddies (paid and unpaid) – is a lifestyle for many. I would argue that cake-eating (serial cheating) is the NORM for infidelity, and everything else is an aberration. We’ve got it backwards.

Researchers – come study this! Do we ever have a dataset here or what?

Let me also add to the “twisted” column the ubiquity (and profitability) of married dating sites.

3. Chump Nation is a rainbow nation. And I don’t mean unicorns. Cheating is not a gender thing, or an orientation thing, or race thing, or a left-handed Unitarian thing – cheating is a character thing. Anyone can be chumped. Trusting someone and loving with your whole heart is human. We’re a big tribe.

4. Chump Nation is changing the conversation. You know what’s cooler than meeting someone in real life who reads this blog? Hearing Chumpisms in common discourse – the pick me dance, shit sandwich, kibbles! Not only are we changing the conversation that infidelity is abusive, we’re changing the discourse away from pansy-ass euphemisms. You did that, Chump Nation! Bitch cookie! (No, a REAL cookie, because this is a REAL accomplishment!)

5. Chump Nation is MIGHTY. There might be a lot of twisted, dark stories and empty elevator shafts, but there is more mightiness. Only one motherfucker cheated on you. How many more people held you up?

Why do I keep doing this, for five straight years? I’ve been writing about infidelity far longer than I experienced it. I come back because you all inspire me. Because I cheer for the underdog. Because you won’t be down and out for long. Soon you’ll outgrow this place, gain that life, or maybe (I hope) stick around and bolster the newbies with tales of new-found meh.

Thanks for five years! I find it auspicious that today of all days, Starbucks has just come out with a special unicorn drink. I wonder what it tastes like? (Sad sausage tears?) Tell me in the comments!

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Lovey dovey
Lovey dovey
6 years ago

Happy birthday…thanks for helping me get through it.

feelthemeh
feelthemeh
6 years ago
Reply to  Lovey dovey

ChumpLady….Thank you from the bottom of my very happy heart!!!
I was married 25 years to a serial cheater, terrible excuse of a husband and father. Three kids with him. He left in May of 2016, for his latest chick, and thankfully I found you shortly after. I dried up my tears, got a theme song (Done by Band Called Perry) and walked as part of my therapy.
She dumped him five days after he moved out (thank you Karma) and when he asked back …it was too late. I found my worth!
He had several AP’s so number two got to step in to first position. Just weeks after my divorce was final I found out he was engaged to her. I felt sorrow for him being soulless and for her choosing to endure what I did for 25 years.
Only five months after divorce and my walls sing! So do I!
I’m a year away from finishing my degree, my daughter was inducted into the National Junior Honor Society, I got the house free and clear and all is well.
The cherry on top? My best friend of 33 years said he always wanted to be with me! He’s a great guy. We are vacationing this summer to see where things go. I’m taking it slow and enjoying life.
None of this would be possible without you!
A million THANKS!!!

Seeing Red
Seeing Red
6 years ago
Reply to  Lovey dovey

I found you very close to 5 years ago. Desperate, and through random Google searches. Very happy I did. Meh is soon for me now the roller coaster ride is coming to an end at last.

OneofFour
OneofFour
6 years ago
Reply to  Lovey dovey

Tracey,

Thank you so much for your book and this blog. I am forever grateful for the anonymous person who sent me your book (even though it may have been one of his APs). This connected me to your blog, which quickly became part of my daily reading.

I have a friend who started speaking out about her own domestic abuse after a friend and her kids were killed by her husband. She felt if she’d talked about it, the friend may have felt comfortable confiding in her. Your blog has given me the voice to speak about the abuse of infidelity.

What have I learned from you?
1. Infidelity is abuse.
2. Trust TheSpinDoctor sucks.
3. There is no need to hide the facts. It is better to speak up about the abuse.
4. No contact works wonders.
5. Cheaters feel entitled to cheat no matter what, and will do so no matter who they’re with.
6. Never pick me dance!
The list goes on.

I’ve purchased your book for many people and I will continue doing so whenever I hear of someone who is in the nightmare of infidelity.

You are a jewel!

Meredith

OutOfSparkles
OutOfSparkles
6 years ago
Reply to  Lovey dovey

This is the first time I’ve posted but I found CL very shortly after my discard 5 months ago and I am so eternally grateful. I started off buying “Concious Uncoupling”, “How to befriend your ex” etc books which I might as well use as toilet paper (actually a ceremonial burning might be on the cards) but ended up actually finding useful “Psychopath Free”, “So why does he do that?” And, of course, “Leave a cheater, gain a life” (and a few more similar although none anything like as funny). Your explanations and metaphors are just so spot on and it is so good to be able to laugh at them – their boring banal predictability really does deserve contempt. Honestly, I really am grateful he has gone now I realise quite how toxic he was/is. Unfortunately we have 2 children – and his horrendousness has now been transferred to them. He told me he was moving out 19 Nov last year, we told the children 6 December, he introduced other woman after 3 weeks to DDs age 14 and 11, hardly saw them but when he did always included her, took her back to UK for 3 weeks to meet his parents end of Jan (hadn’t been on holiday at all with us for over 3 years, we went without with him, MIL complete bitch – another story!) and is getting married to her next weekend (we were together more than 20 years but never married – again, another story!). My elder daughter ended up contacting a suicide prevention line the night he came back from UK as she was so anxious about the prospect of having to go and stay with him and fiancée the following weekend, we had visit from police and trip to emergency – fortunately all reasons documented so helped give her some agency (with support of her psychologist) to limit contact and no fiancée since. My daughters still haven’t decided whether to go to the wedding or not (something they shouldn’t have to be deciding at their age, so soon after our separation). My elder daughter became sick today with a potentially very serious condition, has had bloods/urine and we are awaiting more results tomorrow so that we know (we are both doctors so he understands this) and he emails me this evening to ask when we can talk about reintroducing his fiancée to the girls. The man is a psychopath, or as my therapist (who I chose because I knew he was Buddhist and was hoping he would help me through the process with compassion) told me after my first appointment “you have spent the last 20 years with a controlling, emotionally and psychologically abusive and, at times cruel, man”. Sorry – long post! Anyway, thank god for chump lady. There is a lot more to my story too and I don’t think I would still be standing without CL and CN. Thank you all 🙂

MJB
MJB
6 years ago
Reply to  OutOfSparkles

Thinking about you OutofSparkles. Praying your daughter is okay and you make it through this. As the sane parent, you have your priorities straight. It’s hard to go through all of this and try to navigate it for children too.

My fucktard exhusband was miserable to be around. Controlling and nothing was ever good enough. I walked around on egg shells. Mine decided to run off into the sunset with our daugther’s assistant high school soccer coach. Daughter 14, coach 20’s, fucktard 48.

When I found out, I had competing emotions-sick pit in my stomach and relief. It’s like I got a ‘get out of jail free’ card. My DDay was a year ago. I spent several months walking around in a daze and reading all I could. Found CL and CN in November and has opened my eyes.

My fucktard looks like a semi truck ran over him these days. The sunset wasn’t nearly as fun and exciting as he thought. I hope the karma bus is waiting for yours too!

horsesrcumin
horsesrcumin
6 years ago
Reply to  OutOfSparkles

OutOfSparkles, thanks for sharing your painful story. I hope your daughters manage their way, with your support, through this shit. But especially you. Huge hug.

As one who also never married (3 kids all now over 18) I relate. Almost 30 years living together. Mine wasn’t involved in an exit/discard affair. But when you saI’d it was five months after D-day, and he’s marrying the OW, I just threw up a little in my mouth. The reasons we didn’t marry were mostly mine (I thought mutual, but can now see he went along with my reasoning.) But the lack of a period in which the legalities of ‘down time’ prior to divorce seems so … hard to take. I am so sorry.

The OW in my case, I had known (a ‘friend’ yep) for (now) around 38 years. And she bought a wedding dress whilst they were fucking! He never knew. It was discussed once and he told her she was delusional if she thought he would marry her, after having so many (mostly) wonderful years with me. Why would he marry her? Obviously the message did not compute, because she also lost a ring at one point and told him it was okay, “because she’d be getting a new one soon, right?” He thought she was joking. Riiiiight. Hilarious. Not joking. Just a bunny boiler. Just so sorry you are dealing with such a fucktard.

Chumptitude
Chumptitude
6 years ago
Reply to  OutOfSparkles

OutOfSparkles – Welcome to CN, I’m so sorry for your pain, but happy you found our community!

I’m eating the same kind of shit sandwich, my kiddo was younger than your daughters when I found out about my X’s affair, moved out and divorced him. He pulled spectacularly sucky moves during the divorce proceedings, and continues to do so post-divorce.

It hurts like a MF to have our kiddo exposed to pain and setbacks because of how badly he sucks in ways that the courts won’t consider as reasons to change our custody plan… Yes, lots of shit sandwiches gobbled down…

It’s been a rough couple of years since Dday and the divorce, but I’m starting to see Meh at the horizon… I am as NC as possible with a kid, and I get to surround my kiddo with more support than he wanted me to, our kiddo started therapy at 9, has a great tutor, and a village of good friends that find her dad’s behavior as quintessentially abhorrent as it gets… I keep documenting, and keep moving forward in picking up the pieces of my life, building great new memories to crowd the sickiness out…

Hang in there OutOfSparkles!!

ClearWaters
ClearWaters
6 years ago
Reply to  OutOfSparkles

Ceremonial burning, offer the smoke of bullshit to the cheater gods and stick around here for mightiness.

Let us know how you are, OutOfSparkles, and how your daughter does. Your story helps us all carry on.

Eilonwy
Eilonwy
6 years ago
Reply to  OutOfSparkles

Your daughters are fortunate to have you and your advocacy on their side. Although their experiences (and yours) sound horrible, you are doing a great job being mighty for them. I am wishing you calmer days very soon.

Rebecca
Rebecca
6 years ago
Reply to  Lovey dovey

Three Cheers to Chump Lady!
Have I really been around for that long?

I feel proud to have been a member of Chump Nation (and CL devotee) because of all of those who came after me….
People I send books to (Vol. I and I)
Please I helped support via this site, email and face-to-face
Hearing “chumpisms” that are now part of the legal lexicon (my lawyer using D-day and skein of fuckedupness in her practice!)
Friends who send friends to me who I send here
Following the mighty stories that get even mightier as time goes on
Following the Chump Nation offspring as they navigate past age 18 and become thriving adults who understand commitment and stand by their sane parent after years of eating shit sandwiches

Thank you Chump Lady and Chump Nation. Long may it live, thrive and show the world who rules in the long run!

Rebecca
Rebecca
6 years ago
Reply to  Rebecca

Sorry for the typos – embarrassing

Capricorn
Capricorn
6 years ago

Tracey, CL, Chump Nation.
Thank-you so much. Unfortunately that seems like such a tiny, small, impossibly common word for everything I feel about you, this site and chump nation members.
It is a feeling I expect that everyone knows well encompassing things like deep gratitude, relief, joy (I can belly laugh through some of this? ) and just the sheer healing-ness of knowing I am understood, not alone and will come out in a place a lot better than the one I was in when I first felt the bottom drop out of my world.
I cannot find the words to express what I feel, I will just trust again (and what a deep satisfaction it is to know that I can still use that word too) that chumps know what I mean.
Much, much love and thanks to all. ❤️

left him at the airport
left him at the airport
6 years ago
Reply to  Capricorn

Well said Capricorn. Thank you CL for starting this blog and keeping it going. Here’s to another 5 years. And another 5 years after that. And another. And on and on. The world will always have cheaters and chumps, so this blog needs to keep existing as the soft place for the wounded to fall, come and heal, and dust themselves off on the road to meh. Thank you for helping me, I consider myself very lucky to have come across you and your blog.

Love the Starbucks unicorn frapp coming out on your 5th anniversary. How nice of them to celebrate your wonderfulness ? cheers! ?

Georgie
Georgie
6 years ago

I love the way you said that LHATA. ‘This blog needs to keep existing as the soft place for the wounded to fall,come and heal and dust themdelves off on the road to meh.’ It als helps you get out of the sea of misery and find the signpost ,then the road to meh. CL and CN are lifesavers doing an amazing job of saving chumps from drowning.

kiwichump
kiwichump
6 years ago

Who knows, maybe a chump high up in Starbucks sneaked it in. Like code?

MJB
MJB
6 years ago
Reply to  kiwichump

My daughter asked me if I’d heard of the new Starbuck unicorn frapp. When I said I had, she asked me how 🙂 We went to get one and there was a big sign they were all out. At the counter we were told no location in our city had them. I thought wow, not even the all powerful Starbucks can hold on to a unicorn!!

Longtimechump
Longtimechump
6 years ago
Reply to  Capricorn

Well said, Capricorn. One of my friends has been going through rough times with her husband for years now (no cheating is involved, he is emotionally abusive and she wants to end it but feels guilty to break up the marriage because of the kids). She told me she opened up to other friends and did not find any support, only scolding, shaming, accusations for even thinking to divorce him, etc. She was more upset with her friends than with her husband. She thought noone understood her and she felt unheard.

I realized how lucky I am to have found CL and CN – people that understand me, never tire of my complaints, give me the ear, the shoulder and the back, grace me with their stories where I often see way more pain than mine, way more years wasted, and yet way more wisdom and strength gained. I was on my knees broken when I found CL. I got up, picked up the pieces, glued them together and started functioning again. I have a plan for the next year (get rid of the cheater) and I am making plans for the next five. My head is clear. Sometimes I still feel my heart did not catch up yet to my mind but I quickly resort to reading the CL and the hopium dissolves.

CL and CN, thank you. From the bottom of my chumpy heart. I love you.

Tempest
Tempest
6 years ago
Reply to  Longtimechump

Longtimechump–Please tell your friend that kids do NOT benefit from an intact family where one partner is being emotionally abused. In fact, the boys who see an abusive father paired with a docile mother who just takes it are worse off than boys being raised by a single mother. The girls are also at risk for getting into the same type of emotionally (and/or physically) abusive relationships in their adult years.

Your friend should line up her ducks, line up therapy for herself and the children, and RUN. Tell her she has a new friend (me) and possibly lots of new friends in CN who support her.

Longtimechump
Longtimechump
6 years ago
Reply to  Tempest

Tempest, thank you, I will now show her what you wrote. I kept telling her to come to this blog and educate herself on emotional abuse and manipulators. She resisted as she maintained our issues were different and this was an infidelity blog. I learned and keep learning so much from here. Thank you!

Chumpinrecovery
Chumpinrecovery
6 years ago
Reply to  Longtimechump

It may not be infidelity yet, but it will likely get there eventually. Why wait?

IHaveHate
IHaveHate
6 years ago
Reply to  Tempest

Tempest….if only someone I knew did this. Her life would be soooo much better! But no, she didn’t and she, her kids and grandkids are fucked! It angers me.

kiwichump
kiwichump
6 years ago
Reply to  Tempest

Absolutely. I think especially of the girls because of this advice from Quagmire in Family Guy:
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=pX2s-PCDNU8

rockette
rockette
6 years ago
Reply to  Tempest

Seconded. I speak from experience when I say the damage done by modeling this type of relationship is something the kids will be stuck untangling for a long, long while. That shit gets ingrained.

My favorite thing I learned here was taking responsibility for myself – I have CHOICES, infinite choices. There is never any reason to accept abuse, and by accepting it I was just perpetuating a cycle of fucked upedness. Lots of love to you and your friend.

MidlifeBlast
MidlifeBlast
6 years ago
Reply to  Capricorn

Worded so much better than I could have!! But I feel the same way. This experience (although it’s happened to me an awful lot with different partners) has changed me. Your blog site has also changed me, I can now:

1. Articulate my feelings about cheating a lot clearer and easier

2. Break down other people’s bullshit with counter arguements that actually make sense

3. Feel more confident that other people’s crappyness is not my fault

4. Understand boundaries a bit better when it comes to friends and children.

One final thing. No one wants to win the prize in the “crappy dad” lottery but my overactive mind had a theory – maybe he could not offer them what they needed in life, maybe the input of other adults is needed in order to help them develop, perhaps this really is to their benefit and is designed by nature in ways that we can’t understand, it takes a village to raise a child. So I’m off on my adventures and nature/supreme being/universe has removed this waste of space from our everyday lives to make space for other more interesting, more inspiring role models.

ClearWaters
ClearWaters
6 years ago
Reply to  MidlifeBlast

Yes MidlifeBlast, I agree with you. Your kids lost a roof, but gained the stars. A cliché for sure, but true.

NewbieChump
NewbieChump
6 years ago
Reply to  MidlifeBlast

MidlifeBlast, I love your final thought on crappy dad! I never thought of it that way but WOW! So true! My kids have been blessed with
some amazing people (grandparents, uncles, coaches, teachers) who I believe will help them learn things their dad never could teach. As always CL and CN help me see things in a new way! Thanks and congrats on 5 years!

Lady B
Lady B
6 years ago
Reply to  NewbieChump

After 4 months mine seems to be turning into a crappy day, was ok not great before.
He has them for a few days and after I told him they had made sone money selling off some old toys on ebay he said he might need to borrow the money from them as he is broke,, umm hell no.
10 weeks after I threw him out the kids don’t have proper beds for the occasions they stay there. Mediation coming up I said get beds or they wont be staying with you. Sigh…

Freckles Are Beautiful
Freckles Are Beautiful
6 years ago
Reply to  Lady B

So sorry to hear this, Lady B! My BFF co-parents (three boys ages 16-12) with a narcissist who LIVES IN HIS VAN and still gets to have visitation! The system is insane. They don’t stay over obviously, but he comes and parks in her driveway and “parents” them while using her wi-fi to stream movies on his laptop. This has been going on for three years.

The lesson? Keep being the sane parent as CL has said. You can’t control what happens with him (though you can demand certain rights for them and go back to court again and again), and they need you to be strong and consistent and loving.

You can do this! You’ve already kicked him out, which proves your mightiness!

Lady B
Lady B
6 years ago

Mediation in Aus is not through the courts as neither of us have the money and this is a better option, frankly 1 night a fortnight and two evening or a full day a week is plenty. I would prefer the kids spend 80 percent time with me. They are bonded with me and he has to work crazy hours because he racked up debt on his whore and attempts to fill the void he has been trying to fill since forever, sorry but that’s your soul your trying to find. I figure they will be better off, he is deeply selfish. He was supposed to have them Wednesday to Friday but now has to work Friday, work has been his excuse for everything, that and being tired oh and me, loves to blame me…

ClearWaters
ClearWaters
6 years ago

“a narcissist who LIVES IN HIS VAN and still gets to have visitation! …. he comes and parks in her driveway and “parents” them while using her wi-fi to stream movies on his laptop.”

As Tracy says, the world is more twisted than she imagined.

Her Blondeness
Her Blondeness
6 years ago
Reply to  ClearWaters

Change the WiFi password, already!!!!

ICanSeeTheMehComing!
ICanSeeTheMehComing!
6 years ago

CL and CN gave me the courage to file first and go no contact… like a BOSS. I’m 3 years post the final D-day and come here every day. And, I’m teaching my step-daughter about “her Dad and kibbles”… I won’t let her be a chump to his manipulations.

Rock on Chump Nation… viva la revolution!

ClearWaters
ClearWaters
6 years ago

vive la revolution!!
Abolition!

lovedandlost
lovedandlost
6 years ago

I am so grateful for CL & CN. It gave me my sanity back after the gas lighting of my narc ex. It’s been 3 years after 20 years with him. I have glimpses of meh but not there yet. Last night I watched Grace and Frankie. It’s so well done it really took me back. Situation is a little different but the pain is the same. So, temporary relapse into pity pit but I’ve realized I cannot go back to who I was before I was married with kids. I have to push myself to be a new improved me and Move the fuck on! But not today…Netflix and gelato mmmmm

Tempest
Tempest
6 years ago
Reply to  lovedandlost

Netflix & gelato = self-care ; )

newdaydawning
newdaydawning
6 years ago

Thank you Tracy and Chump Nation!

QWERTY3.14
QWERTY3.14
6 years ago

Happy birthday! I’m glad CN is here and that I found it relatively early. As absurd as life gets pre/post cheater, we are not alone!

theotherwhitemansburden
theotherwhitemansburden
6 years ago

Happy birthday! This is by far the most useful site I have come across. I was lucky enough to have a friend point me in this direction in the early days of discovery — and have been doing the same for all the friends that needed it since. It helps so much to process, to regain sanity, and to understand that we are not alone in this. Thank you!

FarBetterOff
FarBetterOff
6 years ago

Happy Anniversary! Tracy and her Chump Nation saved my sanity, gave me courage and comforted me through the darkest time of my life.

I survived and thrive! God only knows where I would be now if not for CL. I will be forever grateful. Thank you.

Leavingthecrapbehind
Leavingthecrapbehind
6 years ago

I wish CL was around in 1988 when I first found out that my husband was a voyeur/porn junkie/adulterer. The “help” at that time- didn’t help. I was branded the “bad guy” for not forgiving and forgetting that my 34 year old husband was voyeuring our teenage neighbor…..and running up hundreds of dollars worth of sex chat line bills.

Forgive and forget….leads to a bad case of PTSD…..and/or STDs. Chump Lady has it right. Happy Birthday to you CL!

MidlifBlast
MidlifBlast
6 years ago

That’s creepy, I can’t imagine telling anyone to forgive and forget that

Leavingthecrapbehind
Leavingthecrapbehind
6 years ago
Reply to  Tracy Schorn

The voyeur never got arrested because I was manipulated into keeping his dirty secrets. The neighbor never found out- but I did. I caught him red handed in the corner of a dark kitchen- penis in hand. I was 8 months pregnant at the time.

The counseling I received was horrible. According to the “professionals” (clergy included)- it was my job to forgive and forget- and stop being such a bitch.

This time, he outdid himself with voyeuring another neighbor. Thanks to the use of technology…..the neighbor kept a record of his lewd unwanted texts and nearly had him arrested. Anthony Weiner….move over! My STBXH makes you look like an amateur.

Amiisfree
Amiisfree
6 years ago
Reply to  Tracy Schorn

It was tougher to prove back then, but no less skeevy for sure. As I follow this Cummins/Thomas story I often feel like it easily could have been me in Mrs. Cummins’ shoes, the wife of a man who would ceaselessly groom, then run away with and violate a moldable, insecure girl. For people who think of others as sex objects, there is often no limit to what they would be willing to do.

rockette
rockette
6 years ago
Reply to  Amiisfree

“For people who think of others as sex objects, there is often no limit to what they would be willing to do.” Yes, this!!! Yikes though.

Leavingthecrapbehind
Leavingthecrapbehind
6 years ago
Reply to  rockette

I had no idea what a voyeur was back in 1988. Never saw such a creepy, disgusting thing before he night I caught him red handed. Yes, he does “objectify” women. They are either saintly matrons (like his mother)- or sperm receptacles in his dark, twisted mind. I lost 50 lbs of shame and embarrassment the day I threw him out. So glad to be rid of him- and his reptilian mother!

Amiisfree
Amiisfree
6 years ago
Reply to  rockette

Yikes, indeed. (Shiver)

KRKing911
KRKing911
6 years ago

CL, thanks so much for helping me through. You are a Godsend!

neverwouldhaveimagined
neverwouldhaveimagined
6 years ago

Yes! Happy Birthday! I would definitely add setting and upholding boundaries, NC, and the UBT are big parts of surviving the shitstorm of infidelity. Knowing my self worth and recognizing red flags are important, too.

Also, feeling certain that this will not define me, I am not alone, and others have made it through the pain of intimate betrayal so I will, too, have helped me heal.

Thank you! Mighty and compassionate, this online community feels like a family and is full of support, encouragement, and wit. CN is my squad.

Carmel
Carmel
6 years ago

I agree. At first I was horrified to read the exact same words my x said to me, had been uttered by soooooo many other cheaters. Then I realised I would one day get past all the shit because so many others had….and I was right. Chump nation is mighty. Happy birthday

PuraVida
PuraVida
6 years ago
Reply to  Carmel

+1 to this!

Feelingit
Feelingit
6 years ago
Reply to  PuraVida

+2 it is just creepy how many phrases narc used are repeated on this site! And I thought I was alone!

ChumpedOff
ChumpedOff
6 years ago
Reply to  Feelingit

I swore there was a cheaters website with a script they all downloaded and recited, the words were almost exactly the same from case to case. That’s just creepy. Are they all pod people sharing the same uncreative brain? Eww!

Ninja Chump
Ninja Chump
6 years ago

I was with the arsehole 17 years before I figured it out. I wouldn’t have done it without CN, I knew something was wrong but honestly couldn’t figure it out. Your blog gave me clues and a roadmap to investigate, protect myself and then leave him behind. I believe this blog literally saved my life so Thank You doesn’t even begin to cover it but I will say it anyway, Thank You, Thank You, Thank You!

LisaLisa
LisaLisa
6 years ago

Happy Birthday. I am so glad I found y’all one month after D Day. I might still be a mess if I hadn’t. Instead, I’m happily divorced, I got a great settlement, and I’m looking forward to life without cheater man child. I would never have gotten here without this blog and all of the chumps sharing their stories. Thank you, everyone.

Used, pulled and trashed
Used, pulled and trashed
6 years ago

Hey there, Happy Birthday to ya…
Even though I am a chump guy and not a chump lady. I found this blog from a spin off of Shrinks for men…and the step down boyfriend.
Your world of wisdom have def help me through some of the hardest times of my life. The 7 stages of grief SUCK..but you were there pretty much from the beginning when I was discarded as would an empty sandwich bag. Through all the mind fuckery. Till it finally sank in that NC was the only healthy way to go.
Thanks for being here…
You are awsome

Beetle
Beetle
6 years ago

I found you after my divorce 3 years ago and it upset me even more that by reading your column it appeared the world was filled with these men. Now, I can read and I say yes, yes same thing happened to me. He’s not so unique after all.
My wish is that someone finds you before they are beaten down and pulls the tables on the Fuckwit, that would really make my day.
Im 3 years out from 26 year marriage. Still feeling chumped but I’m in a much better place. I pray people hear about you and read your column before they really need it and have it memorized what to do and what not to do. Divorce is rare in my family and circle of friends. I messed up in all ways possible except that I made sure he would pay for my daughters college.
I wish I had been armed with this before being beat down and crying.
Thank you for all you do and maybe one day if this happens to one of my daughters they will know where to go for resources and be mighty.
5 years, that’s a real celebration. Thank you again!

Newlady15
Newlady15
6 years ago

I am so grateful for chump lady and chump nation. I wish I found you 5 years ago after my first dday m. Things might have been very different if I had. Luckily he left after dday 2. That’s when my sister told me about CL. 36 years of marriage to this wackjob and now I finally get it. NEVER AGAIN!! I’m free and living my narc-free life. Thank you all!!

FSTL
FSTL
6 years ago

I got many things from this blog…. but only one of those many things (eg asking for a post nup) would have gotten me to where I need to be with my Ex.

But it’s the humour that was the cherry on the cake (much as I hate saying “cake”) and made this so easy to read.

Well done CL and CN.

Vivianne
Vivianne
6 years ago

Thank you. This would have been my 20th anniversary and I’m a little past 5 years since DDay. You helped me find my anger, and then find my mighty. Thanks, Chump Nation!

deedee
deedee
6 years ago

Happy anniversary, ChumpLady! Thank you for helping me through a dark and lonely time!

I’m more-or-less at “meh”, but every once in a while (like lately), I revisit the lies, gaslighting, and various indignities, and feel myself sinking into anger. That’s when I come here to read your snark, and Chump Nation’s stories, and it reminds me to trust that he sucks, and that I can’t untangle the skein.

This is a fantastic blog that provides an important service for new chumps and veterans alike. It’s like having a support group any time of day or night. And it’s funny!

Thank you, and congratulations!

dumberer
dumberer
6 years ago

Thank you Chump Lady for ALL you have done in 5 years! The great thing about this site is it is a foundation for changing the societal narrative on infidelity – imagine all the people we can reach and help in the future.
I found this site by complete random flukey chance – and I tell people to read it and learn from it. I would estimate that I have steered about 30 people to this site for various reasons – cheating spouses, dealing with malignant narcs not in a marriage, UBT of buzz words and phrases…. – and I know they have referred others to it too.
Thank you for helping me steer my way through the shit storm that is my life without losing my mind. Gaslighting is so obvious once you know its happening….

Mr. Chump Lady
Mr. Chump Lady
6 years ago

Let me just say, since Tracy is too gracious to say it, and since I am the only eyewitness to it, that this milestone represents 5 years of Tracy waking up an hour early every weekday to write the day’s column, an hour in the evening read comments, and countless smaller increments of time throughout every day and evening and weekend reading article links people send in, researching Word Press glitches, drawing cartoons, identifying and blocking trolls and their proxy servers, answering emails from chumps that don’t get published, etc., etc., etc. Thousands of (mostly) un-fun hours spent doing invisible work without which this website–and the life-changing advice and support here–would not exist.

Tracy’s analogy to raising a child is spot on, because it is a labor of love, comprised of an infinite number of tasks, performed over many years, upon which everything important depends. Sometimes you want to quit, but you never would, because what your doing is–beyond all doubt–needed.

I can also say, as an eye witness, that what makes it worthwhile for Tracy isn’t the page view numbers or the book sales, but hearing stories of chumps overcoming cheating and making new lives for themselves and their families. As someone who loves Tracy deeply, I thank you for those stories, because I alone get to witness how happy they make her. It’s fantastic to see. But know that your mightiness is the fuel that powers the Chump Lady change-the-world machine. Mightiness feeds mightiness. And while Tracy is a wonderful person (my personal favorite person, actually), but you all make her Chump Lady.

Thank you, everyone!

wideawake
wideawake
6 years ago
Reply to  Mr. Chump Lady

Out of the thousands of servings of insightful ChumpLady advice, Tracy’s recommendation for getting a post-nup (or in my case a hefty Transmutation Agreement) saved my sanity, my children, and our future. I shudder to imagine where we’d be without “the resplendent” ChumpLady!

“You’ve got to learn to get up from the table…
…when love is no longer being served.” ~~ Nina Simone

ChumpedOff
ChumpedOff
6 years ago
Reply to  Mr. Chump Lady

To Mr Chump Lady and Mrs Chump Lady…you guys sound like the perfect couple!! Seriously, we’re very glad you found each other, that you make each other so darned happy and are envious by how you support one another. It just gives the rest of us HOPE!

THANK YOU seems too small words to convey the huge feelings we have for you, your words of inspiration and encouragement, the feeling of community sparked here, and the knowledge, that at 3AM in our darkest moments, WE ARE NOT ALONE! Truly a mind-blowing revelation the first time we come to realize that others have, and are, walking in our shoes. Then out of the darkness reaches a hand, and another, then another, and more hands reach towards you and you’re lifted, up, up and into the dawn of a new morning. You’re now surrounded by new friends from around the world and bound together by shared pain, experiences, stories and encouragement. Welcome to Chump Nation. It’s one helluva village: like nowhere else on earth, and the softest place you could ever choose to land, but you’re safe here. Feel free to cry, rant, bellow, mount that soapbox and rally the call to arms. We’ll listen, cry with you, get angry on your behalf, offer counsel that worked for us, give you a hug when you need it, and talk you back from the edge. We’re a creative and devious bunch when we put our heads together. We laugh together at the dumb stuff our exes try to pull over on us, and we cry together when the court turns a blind eye to the obvious injustices, but we pull each other thru this hell called “divorce” so we’re never alone.

And we’re all here for one another because one brave, amazing woman who took on the world first and created this safe place for us to all find each other. So Thank You, Tracy, for taking those first baby steps to create this blog! And Thank You Mr. Chump Lady for encouraging her to continue the blog! You’ve both touched countless lives, hearts and souls that have gone on to heal and rebuild new whole lives for themselves, all because of what they learned here.

Sadly, we’ve seen that the divorce laws haven’t changed to make cheating more difficult. So the horror stories continue and the broken hearts keep finding their way to the blog and to CL/CN for help. WE CAN’T STOP NOW! ? Keep calm and carry on! ?

geekmom
geekmom
6 years ago
Reply to  Mr. Chump Lady

How very sweet! You, Mr. Chump, are a lovely, loving person. Mrs. Chump Lady has found a winner – deservedly so!

Chump Lady – you and Chump Nation nursed me through the worst experience of my 59 years on this planet. Thank you, from the bottom of my chumpy heart! It was, and remains, such a comfort to know I was not alone, this wasn’t my fault, and it wasn’t up to me to fix it.

I’m standing now with one foot in the Promised Land of Meh . . . allllllllmost there!

Happy anniversary! ?

Happily never after
Happily never after
6 years ago
Reply to  Mr. Chump Lady

That was beautiful Mr. Chump Lady. She is a beautiful person.

kiwichump
kiwichump
6 years ago
Reply to  Mr. Chump Lady

Mr Chump Lady, thank you for supporting your wife’s work and being understanding of the time we chumps take up in your lives.

NWBiblio
NWBiblio
6 years ago
Reply to  Mr. Chump Lady

Thanks to you both for all the hard work you do to keep this blog going. I have a tiny little amateur blog, and I simply cannot believe how much time it takes to put it out there. I write maybe a couple times a month; Chumplady writes every single day. And I second whoever said, above, thanks to both of you for providing a flesh & blood example that a good relationship might indeed lie on the other side of Meh!

Eilonwy
Eilonwy
6 years ago
Reply to  Mr. Chump Lady

And thank you for so graciously sharing her with us! I appreciate your dedication to the cause as well. I hope you both have a lovely day.

Chumptitude
Chumptitude
6 years ago
Reply to  Tracy Schorn

Happy 5th Anniversary and from the bottom of my heart, thank you CL for all the love, time and energy you are putting into this community!! Thank you Mr. Chump Lady for sharing Tracy with all of us!!

Thank you also to Tempest, the epitome of chump recovery, your wit and support mean the world to me.

And thank you to CN, this blog and community have been my raft in troubled waters, the beacon of sanity check I keep needing, as well as the mighty 2×4 that helps me endure sharing custody with my X…

Without your stories, generous advice and your willingness to be there for other chumps, I would have remained much chumpier, and would also have completely mixed up cheating with gender instead of seeing cheating for what it is: exposure to a set of devastatingly twisted character flaws that only NC can truly eliminate from a chump’s life.

BetrayedNoMore
BetrayedNoMore
6 years ago
Reply to  Tracy Schorn

… which meant I had the flexibility and financial support to take on this behemoth thing (which I had no idea would become a behemoth). That’s on Mr. Chump Lady. He did the hard work and gave me the space and resources to build this.

Hold up… Wait a minute… You’re grateful for your significant other for working for a living so you pursue what you wanted to do?!

Shit… I did the same thing (going out and working) so my cheater-wife could pursue what she wanted to do to. Only, she made sure to regularly point out how UNgrateful she was because I didn’t earn enough money so she could spend her ENTIRE day at home posting snarky memes on fakebook, sexting with her twu-wuv, and paying for regular “girlz weekends” away from her family.

P.S.: Thank you Chump Lady for helping me find my backbone again!

Amiisfree
Amiisfree
6 years ago
Reply to  Tracy Schorn

We celebrate both of you! 🙂 <3

MotherChumper99
MotherChumper99
6 years ago
Reply to  Mr. Chump Lady

Mr CL– you are a beacon of hope for many of us who spent decades with abusers. Chump men help too. To know there are men in the world who have a soul, who have integrity….. it makes my worldview better!

Amiisfree
Amiisfree
6 years ago
Reply to  Mr. Chump Lady

You are delightful for joining us and posting this. Thank you!

Also, CN, for those who can, remember that donate button! If every person who posted and lurked donated $5, it would build up quite a crowd fund. 🙂 Let’s support this space and this woman who have provided us so much support and information and education and laughter!!

ClearWaters
ClearWaters
6 years ago
Reply to  Amiisfree

I just tried to donate, but I am not in the USA and the paypal platform keeps asking me to inform my state. Am I a technoklutz about this? Can anyone help?

Giddy Eagle
Giddy Eagle
6 years ago
Reply to  Amiisfree

Actually… crowdraising is a great idea! It would help others discover the blog as well. And since Tracy has such a loyal following, it is certain to raise a significant amount of money, which then helps elevate the potential for exposure.

MightyAgain
MightyAgain
6 years ago
Reply to  Amiisfree

Done! I agree, everyone donate. Pay it forward.

Happy Birthday Chump Lady! Thank you Mr. Chump Lady for the support you give her!

KathleenK
KathleenK
6 years ago
Reply to  Amiisfree

Thanks for the reminder Ami – going to donate now!

Little Mighty Me
Little Mighty Me
6 years ago
Reply to  Amiisfree

I second this! Think of it as a birthday present to Tracy and the blog. You wouldn’t think twice about a $5, $10 or $20 birthday gift for the faithful friend who got you through the worst times of your life, would you? Click that Donate button. Keep the site running so it can save more chumps. Happy birthday, Chump Lady!

Amazon Chump
Amazon Chump
6 years ago
Reply to  Mr. Chump Lady

Thank you for being so supportive. Her success is also a testament to you. Thank you for sharing her with us!

JustBreathe
JustBreathe
6 years ago
Reply to  Amazon Chump

^^^This^^^

Rebecca
Rebecca
6 years ago
Reply to  Mr. Chump Lady

PERFECT post.
This is more than a blog. This has become Tracy’s labor of love and an insanely huge task.
We owe her and honor her every day!
Tracy is the BEST! ❤

Free Vix
Free Vix
6 years ago
Reply to  Tracy Schorn

People have been posting pictures of their unicorn fraps on Facebook with the order abbreviation “unic” on the side. Do you think Starbucks knows what a eunuch is, and can we take a moment to envision a eunuch unicorn in this context?

kiwichump
kiwichump
6 years ago
Reply to  Free Vix

Do you know someone who could fix that for our unicorns? We could all pool our resources…

Sucker Punched by a Saffa
Sucker Punched by a Saffa
6 years ago
Reply to  Tracy Schorn

I’m afraid to taste it-looks like one of the ingredients is anti-freeze !
I did buy some merch a few months when I purchased a Squatty Potty-the company mascot is “Dookie” a plush unicorn toy.
Reminds me of the dookie narc to stay away from !

Beth
Beth
6 years ago
Reply to  Tracy Schorn

From the Washington Post: “Starbucks’ Unicorn Frappuccino tastes like sour birthday cake and shame”. About what I would expect: Cake! (sour) and shame.

IHaveHate
IHaveHate
6 years ago
Reply to  Tracy Schorn

It’s being described as: “The beverage is made with a sweet dusting of pink powder, blended into a crème Frappuccino with mango syrup and layered with a pleasantly sour blue drizzle. It is finished with vanilla whipped cream and a sprinkle of sweet pink and sour blue powder topping. The drink starts out purple with blue swirls and tastes sweet and fruity. But if you stir it then it becomes pink, tangy and tart.”

Sooo sounds to me that just like the cheater; it starts off looking like one thing and with the mere passing sniff of another, it can change just like the stir of the straw changes its flavor and color. It can be many things….ie, double life!

NWBiblio
NWBiblio
6 years ago
Reply to  Tracy Schorn

It’s hard to tell what they taste like because every time I reach for the cup, it shifts just a couple inches out of my reach.

EyesOpenNow
EyesOpenNow
6 years ago
Reply to  NWBiblio

Love it, NWB!!!

kiwichump
kiwichump
6 years ago
Reply to  NWBiblio

LOL NWB!

ClearWaters
ClearWaters
6 years ago
Reply to  Tracy Schorn

I’m afraid I won’t be able to give my opinion about the unicorn because I avoid Starbucks for several reasons, one being that I had the worse coffee in my life at the Moscow Starbucks with cheater at my side.

I didn’t want to have coffee there since, after all, we are in Moscow and there were regional options. Plus the place was PACKED with young people, Starbucks was brand new in Russia and it evidently was all the rage for them. But cheater complained that I was being inconsiderate.

Well, the coffee was AWFUL! Cheater was rude and blameshifted and disqualified me the whole trip. Turns out I had unwittingly ruined his plans to take AP with him (I forget the chumpism for APs who work with cheaters). So Starbucks always reminds me of all this.

meh.twain
meh.twain
6 years ago
Reply to  ClearWaters

that might be ho-worker @ClearWaters

brit
brit
6 years ago
Reply to  Tracy Schorn

I read the Unicorn drink changes colors and flavors when you stir the Unicorn drink with your straw.
Flavors change from a berry flavor to sour like a Sweet Tart. Interesting…..

Calmafterstorm
Calmafterstorm
6 years ago
Reply to  Tracy Schorn

Easy – they look beautiful, smell delicious and taste like shit.

cashmere
cashmere
6 years ago
Reply to  Calmafterstorm

Love that, Calm.

cashmere
cashmere
6 years ago
Reply to  Tracy Schorn

Guessing they taste like crusty sweat socks, shattered dreams, and the blood of virgins, with an undertone of antibiotics, a bouquet of swamp gas, and an aftertaste of innocence lost.

FindingBliss
FindingBliss
6 years ago
Reply to  cashmere

Hilarious, Cashmere.

Tempest
Tempest
6 years ago
Reply to  cashmere

That is wonderful, Cashmere!

Chumpy
Chumpy
6 years ago
Reply to  Tracy Schorn

I don’t know what they taste like but they look like shit to me

Feelingit
Feelingit
6 years ago
Reply to  Tracy Schorn

Just looked at the Starbucks unicorn and all I can say is like the unicorns in our lives, it looks very unhealthy thus aptly named!

Chumpy
Chumpy
6 years ago
Reply to  Mr. Chump Lady

Aww Mr Chump Lady! What a great supporter! 🙂

Peacekeeper
Peacekeeper
6 years ago

“Who knows what tomorrow brings. In a world few hearts survive. All I know is the way I feel. When it’s real, I keep it alive.
The road is long, there are mountains in our way. But we climb a step every day. Love lifts us up where we belong.”

Today, I sing the lyrics to “Up Where We Belong” by Joe Cocker, to CL, CN!!
Thank you. You are mighty.
Happy BIRTHday CHUMPLADY.
I am so thankful you were born!?

Chumpy
Chumpy
6 years ago

Thank you CL, Tracy, and Chump Nation!!I wish I would have found this after DD1 but luckily I only ate the shit sandwich (more like a 10 foot hoagie) for another 6 months before DD2 and I left his sad sausage ass. Whenever I feel like I’m backsliding in my recovery I pick up the book to kick my ass back where it should be. This dude is a sorry sack of shit and will ALWAYS be even if his masks to the world shows otherwise. Me on the other hand will be able to show my daughter there’s more to life than abusing people! And just maybe I will find someone with real character! At least for now my anxiety is reduced tremondously and I’m not caught in the mindfuckery tornado anymore. I do want to write a piece to share called “What Flying Monkeys Say.” I have some doozies:))

Kar marie
Kar marie
6 years ago

From the bottom of my heart happy aniversary!! This place is a life saver and continues to inspire! Thank you cl and cn love you all! And a huge shout out to my girl jeep tess!!!

AllOutofKibble
AllOutofKibble
6 years ago

Happy birthday to this blog!
It is a lifesaver and I honestly mean that. Researchers can come study the fuckedupedness of our situations but I’m not sure they can quantify how much better my life is right now than it was two years ago. I’m one of those people that will tell you I’m not sure I would still be here if it wasn’t for this blog and the people here who supported me as I left a dangerous situation. I love you all and want you to experience the same smile that is glued to my face nearly every morning when I wake up.

MightyFree
MightyFree
6 years ago
Reply to  AllOutofKibble

??❤️

AussieChumpalicious
AussieChumpalicious
6 years ago

Happy Anniversary! I don’t post often but I read here every day. CL is my religion and CN are my spiritual advisors, who lift me up, show me the light and help me keep the faith. Peace be with you all.

MightyFree
MightyFree
6 years ago

Happy birthday!

Today is also my first divorce birthday.

CL helped and still helps me know I am normal and definitely not alone.
It gets better daily. It feels good most of the time now.

Mighty. Yes. That is a good word for it.
Thank you

Amiisfree
Amiisfree
6 years ago
Reply to  MightyFree

Happy DBD!

Tracy
Tracy
6 years ago

Happy Birthday CL. What a blessing you are to us who are in the midst of a mindfuck. Your no nonsense, in your face truth….like real up close in your face…so close I can taste the flavor of your Tic Tac on your breath. I needed that. I needed someone to say it was a Mind Fuck. I needed someone to call him a Mother Fucker. And I needed to not feel guilty about that. I have sent countless people to you.
Here is a really cool thing that happened. I had a fellow former Chump find my page on instagram. She recognized a few sparky things I have said. She recalled my teapots and quilt story. We…..your tribe… your people….we listen to one another. We listen to the hurt and pain without judgement. Our stories are Chump Nation. So for some lady to reach out to me…was so cool.
Thank you. Your pain was not done in vain. You have been blessed with a heart to help the broken and blinded. Mighty Mighty Mighty Warrior!!! ❤

Feelingit
Feelingit
6 years ago

Ditto the cliche I am so glad/thankful I found you! I went through about 9 months of Hopium after d day which does not include the pick me dancing I was unknowingly doing while he was devaluing and discarding. I wish I would have done differently but my deceased mom’s wisdom echos in my head “we do the best we can with the knowledge we have at the time.”

Anyway this site is amazing and the best therapy I have found. It gives me that “yes, you actually understand what I am going through feeling” and I feel empowered and energized after reading rather than the beat down feeling . I left therapy because I always felt so terrible after the sessions. The therapist said maybe you just have to work through these bad feelings. I had been living those feelings for years and chump nation helps end that cycle.

Thanks for the site and thanks to all the veteran chumps in recovery who stick around to share your wisdom with us newbies!

Sucker Punched by a Saffa
Sucker Punched by a Saffa
6 years ago
Reply to  Feelingit

Feelingit,

Congrats on trusting your gut about your therapist-sounds like you were being subjected to a form of therapy induced trauma. A good therapist should help you move past trauma, not dwell on it so s/he benefits financially with weekly visits that can go on for months or years.

Southern Chump
Southern Chump
6 years ago

Happy birthday! Thank you for your dedication, time, engery and wisdom. It’s hard for anyone hearing a ton of negative to stay in a good space and be able to give sound advise. You have helped so many when in today’s society everyone is so desensitized that they don’t care about chumps, until they become one themselves. You were one of the greatest gifts that my sister passed down to me during my divorce. I’m still dealing with the narc and read your blog everyday. It’s hell but eating the shit sandwich is easier. Thank you!

Right Brained
Right Brained
6 years ago

Happy Birthday, Chump Lady! I won’t ever forget the night I discovered you. And I won’t ever forget how much you helped me understand what was happening. You were like a life line. Each blog post was a light post along the way to Mighty. Thank you!!! Congratulations!!!

MightyFledgling01
MightyFledgling01
6 years ago

Dear Chumplady and Chump Nation,

Thank you for popping up when I googled “why won’t my husband sleep with me? Not “sleep with me anymore”, but “sleep with me at all? Ever?”.

Thank you for showing me that I am not alone, and not a conplete freak.

Thank you for teaching me that the hourly, daily, monthly, and yearly gaslighting, withholding, blameshifting, and deception my ex-husband doled out is ABUSE.

Thank you for giving me to know that his abuse of me isn’t my fault.

Thank you for making sense of his bizarre and fucked up ways of navigating life: a double life, image management, bullshit lines (it’s horribly funny that they all say the same old shit!).

Thank you for teaching me that staying together for the sake of the children is a bad idea. All but one of my closest friends advocated this position. They were all married to good men who would never dream of pulling any of the shit on their wives that I dealt with daily. The one friend who told me to get out had left her abusive, ass-aholic husband a couple of years prior. She was the only one who saw through X’s nice guy mask.

Thank you for letting me know that children need one sane parent to thrive. X has stepped up his parenting game something fierce since I dropped consequences on him (separation, divorce, child support, spousal support).

Thank you for helping me to rescue myself.

Love,

MF

Percival
Percival
6 years ago

“There are a lot of people roaming this planet who have empty elevator shafts where their souls should be…” That’s a good one. My D-day(s) was June 1st 2011. While trying to make sense of the bizarre behavior I had been putting up with for 19 years in what was obviously self-destructive behavior ( infidelity, spending addictions and drug and alcohol abuse) I discovered Chump Lady and Dr. George Simon. A light bulb went off in my head and I began the long road to self-healing. I’m still on that road and I’ve learned a lot about myself in the process. I don’t always agree with everything Tracy says but I do believe she provides a important service ( more like a bitch slap) to us chumps out there trying to make sense of this chaos that is the world. Happy Birthday Chump Lady

Beachgirl
Beachgirl
6 years ago

Thank you Chump Lady and Chump Nation for helping me get thru the most horrible experience of my life. For every evil awful thing my ex cheater did to me there was CL and a hundred fellow chumps that lifted me up, guided and inspired me. Where my ex almost ruined my faith in humanity you all restored it x1000. While I’m not all the way there yet, I find every day a bit better and I am finding joy in my life no longer dealing with the mindfuckery I so undeservedly received at the hands of the man who vowed to love and cherish me.

Chump Lady you deserve every great thing that comes your way: riches, books, a movie, happiness and joy and my undying gratefulness to you for giving me a backbone, righteous anger and a drive to live my best life sans cheater!

NWBiblio
NWBiblio
6 years ago
Reply to  Beachgirl

Well said, Beachgirl. A huge thank you to ChumpLady for providing a safe place where we could all gather, share our pain, support each other and even learn some valuable practical tips along the way.

Like many, after Dday, I felt like a total freak. This hadn’t happened to anyone else in my social circle and the reactions of my Switzerland friends were as difficult to deal with as the cheating itself, in many ways. OK, sure, XH’s dad left his mom for an OW…. And a coworker’s dad left her mom for an OW… And, yeah, my sister’s first marriage twenty years ago,… but those were all outliers in my mind. It wasn’t until I arrived on ChumpLady’s doorstep, a wrecked and sniveling mess, that I saw ALL the people this happens to and finally felt less insane. I firmly believe I would be nowhere near as healthy as i am now without the help of ChumpLady and Chump Nation. So thank you, thank you, thank you.

chump-tastic
chump-tastic
6 years ago

Love this blog, love Chump Nation. This summer marks three years for me since my cheater’s affair (well, the one that specifically know of), and though I wish I had found CL first thing, I’m so glad it’s been here for the majority of my journey. Divorce sucks, a whole lot. CL makes it suck a lot less. And now every single day is a great one in my life; I’m truly loving my family and friends deeply and enjoying the peace that comes to any household that offloads a narcissist. Thank you CL for all the time you put in, and all your empathy. It’s deep down in your bones, and it shows. And thank you CN for killing it with the comments every day! I’m indebted for all the nuggets of wisdom you’ve dropped.

Chump Advocate - Vickie
Chump Advocate - Vickie
6 years ago

Happy Birthday! And it reminds me of what I was doing 5 years ago too as the blog started right after my own discovery about Mr ‘too good to be true.’ He wasn’t ! Your humorous/realistic/no nonsense perspective saved me years of ‘wishful thinking ‘ and a support system to pass to others I encountered in my professional life who needed to hear it too. You have changed the dialogue and for that I am grateful.

Kinhopes
Kinhopes
6 years ago

Congratulations and thank you Chumplady. You and the collective Chump Nation made my experience so much better. I have referenced this site, not just for people who have been cheated on, but for any sort of betrayal so they can read how common and similar it is. I also send people here to work on their boundaries.

I also want to thank my cheating husband and fair weather friend who dumped me when I needed support. My husband has freed me to work on my picker, my boundaries, and to find love again with someone who deserves me. My fair weather friend let me know I was enforcing boundaries and fixing my picker in all kinds of relationships – no longer of use and resistant to manipulation – discard.

That is my big lesson – when you fix yourself, enforce boundaries & will not be used or manipulated, the bad eggs remove themselves, that’s when you know you are doing great.

MehGloriousMeh
MehGloriousMeh
6 years ago

CN and CL have been a lifeline to me. Love and hugs to you all, the biggest one to you, Tracy. <3 You are a dear friend to thousands of people you have never even met. Thank you for giving us the vocabulary to understand and describe our crazy experiences — and then to throw a lifeline to others in their own sinking boats.

KibbleFree_MightyMe
KibbleFree_MightyMe
6 years ago
Reply to  MehGloriousMeh

Yes!! “Thank you for giving us the vocabulary to describe our crazy experiences” is exactly right. I found Chump Lady in summer of 2014. I was 7 months out from DDay and had recently filed against the douchebag after wasting 23 years on him. The peer insight and common emotional experiences that I read about helped me understand that what was done to us was abuse, and I was absolutely right to end it. I also began to embrace my anger and use it to propel myself forward to secure what I deserved through the divorce (and more), and also reach out for a better, cheater-free life.

Finding this site also gave me the vocabulary to use during mediation just a few months later, along with my closest friends and family. I remembered “mental gymnastics” at just the right time during the 1.5 hours of child custody issues. I said in front of two lawyers and a retired judge/mediator, “So, I want to make sure we all understand the mental gymnastics you want my 14 year-old daughter to go through in order to force visitation on her: Dad is still married to Mom, but married Dad abandoned me, and is pretending to be some dad-like figure to a married co-worker’s toddlers and lives with them now.” Silence. Then I said, “No one at this table (all men) will ever know what it’s like to be a 14 year-old girl who now suffers greatly after being abandoned by a cheating dad at 13, and having her mother betrayed and abandoned in such a callous way, now will we?”

The judge/mediator agreed to uphold the child custody judge’s initial order or ZERO oversights and extremely limited visitation. Essentially dinner twice a week, and NO being around that whore. It only lasted a year before he ended up in jail for being an incredible freak, and since then, she hasn’t seen him in two years. She just turned 17. Both of our lives are better off for it.

This site has been a lifeline throughout this long-term healing process and I love and thank every Chump, and offer my most sincere gratitude to Tracy. You’re truly a hero to all of us. ??

kiwichump
kiwichump
6 years ago

KFMM, you are mighty, mighty, mighty! I am so glad you saved your daughter years of this mindfuck and bad influences. I wish more chump children were spared this too.

StartofSomethingGood
StartofSomethingGood
6 years ago

Empty elevator shaft where their soul should be.

Still my favourite description of all time and I use it often to explain my ex. Everyone agrees it’s the best description of him.

I tell them I got it from CL. I talk about this blog all the time and how it saved me. I send links, I drive around with copies of CL books in my trunk just in case. I don’t care what anyone thinks. This is where chumps need to start. NOT on the reconciliation boards! Happy 5th CL!! A thousand times, thank you!!!

Roberta
Roberta
6 years ago

Thank you CL a billion times over! This blog alone saved my life! I know the dedication and time it takes to administrate, create and maintain a blog like this and I salute your dedication to the broken hearts that seek the real truth about these dysfunctional partners they have. I’ve no doubt that you have also helped the children of these families survive and thrive also. I’ve watched chumps come and go from this blog and I am certain you have educated them to not only begin a new life they didn’t think they would have to venture into, but they are thriving and sharing that knowledge. Knowledge is MIGHTY! CL you are the very best of the best! Congrats!

cheaterssuck
cheaterssuck
6 years ago

Happy Fifth B-Day Chump Lady!

My dday was back in 2010 which unfortunately predates this blog. I only found RIC sites and Amazon which were both filled with literature about all the ways that my ex’s affair would improve my marriage. Just so long as I didn’t scare my “timid forest creature back into the underbrush.” I gave wreckconciliation the old college try and found Chump Lady during year three. Something always felt off about staying with the cheater but I ate the shit sandwich, often times without condiments and it wasn’t until I found this site that I started questioning that choice.

I feasted on the archives and laughed and cried simultaneously as everything CL wrote resonated with me. It all made so much sense. It was the stories from CN however that helped me see that there was life on the other side. That things really could be okay if I left and there would be hope and mightiness instead of dread, affair triggers and a life time job on the marriage police force. I would gain a life? I was starting to believe that and I finally found the courage to leave.

I eventually perfected no contact (a concept I learned here) and the real healing began. I am forever in the debt of CL and CN.

I think Unicorns probably taste like air because I don’t really believe they exist. Not the four legged kind with horns on their head or the kind we speak about here. 🙂

Shit bag wife
Shit bag wife
6 years ago

Thank you so much CN and CL.

I have miles to go, but this blog has helped me to see that I am not alone, my experience is not unique, and my STBX is no prize at all, just a really beautiful car, with absolutely no engine or interior. It hurts to lay my eyes on him, but inside he is empty.

Thanks for the support 😉

cashmere
cashmere
6 years ago

My only sorrow is not finding CL and CN sooner, but to have found this glorious place at all was a miracle. Saving me every single day. Now, I have the language for articulating the madness, strategies for overcoming it, and fellow travelers whose wisdom and support are just everything. Because of Tracy and all of you, I know that I can survive and thrive. Thank you so very much.

Datdamwuf
Datdamwuf
6 years ago

Chump Lady and Chump Nation; dismembering the Reconciliation Industrial Complex narrative every day for 5 years. Thank you for all you do CL. Thank you to the CN community.

You rock!

Beth
Beth
6 years ago

Happy Birthday Chump Lady!! Thank you for the courage to go against the flow in creating this space for Chumps. It took courage and fortitude to take that leap into the unknown. I am forever grateful.

Beth

heissobroken
heissobroken
6 years ago

Congrats on this milestone CL – you are a beacon of light and hope for those that have been betrayed.

Thank you for doing what you do – many of us would still be lost if it weren’t for you and CN.

Jeanmarie Bronson
Jeanmarie Bronson
6 years ago

CL, you helped me get through it. You continue to help all of us reshape our lives and to look back far smarter than we were before we met you. God bless you!

thensome
thensome
6 years ago

Happy Birthday CL!

This site has been so helpful to me – thank you for keeping this blog alive and thank you to everyone here for their comments and insight.

I’m years out now but I check in every day. There really is a good life after a cheater – a much MUCH better life. Thank you!!

Calmafterstorm
Calmafterstorm
6 years ago

I found my way to Chumplady via Reddit. Someone told me to find Chumplady. That was it. No other explanation. I googled you, found the site and began reading all the archives. I was lucky in that I found you within days of dday. Because of what I read here I became mighty. Ok, ugly crying in my car mighty but still pretty damn mighty!!

I filed within two weeks of dday. I went back to school and got on the Deans List (after being ‘jokingly’ told how dumb I was compared to sparkly Fucktard). After 24 years of marriage I had the courage to be alone.

Thank you, Tracey. This gift of Chumplady has helped me heal more then any number of therapists could have.

Dee
Dee
6 years ago

I was introduced to Chump Lady by a good friend…. who also happens to be ex’s ow’s now ex husband. Together, we muddled through the early stages of our DDay, very brief wreckonciliations, and the ultimate decisions to each leave our marriages. I think it’s safe to say that “Leave a Cheater Gain A Life” (both editions) and the blog have saved me unreal amounts time and money. The no bullshit advice here from both Chump Lady and Chump Nation helped me to be confident in my decision to leave, and kept me righteously angry and righteously strategic through the divorce process. Who’s in charge of this shit show now, Motherfucker??? Even my lawyer said, “Wow! You’re organized! You’ve got a plan, don’t you!?” Hell yeah, I did. My divorce was final in September, and I walked away with my head held high and a nice settlement.

The daily blog posts also kept me laughing through the darkest period of my life. Tracy, thank you for swearing like a sailor through the posts and allowing the same in comments! Being chumped is devastating, and many of us need to use strong language to make sense of it.

I owe a debt of gratitude to Chump Lady and Chump Nation. Thank you, and happy chumpiversary to all!

KibbleFree_MightyMe
KibbleFree_MightyMe
6 years ago
Reply to  Dee

Dee – you had me LOLing – “Who’s in charge of the shit show now, Motherfucker???” You’re hilarious! And I’m so glad you found CN as soon as you did. I wish I hadn’t wasted another 8 months on that d-bag before I filed. I likely would have found my anger, and done the same much sooner. Cheers to your freedom!

Dee
Dee
6 years ago

Good on you for leaving KibbleFree! We all get there in our own time. I made the decision to leave two months after D Day, but I had to buy a house and let my kids finish the school year. Longest four months of my life, Having to stay a little longer is not the worst thing in the world. If anything, it confirms that wreckonciliation would be a total disaster. It was soul sucking to play marriage police for sixty days, let alone the rest of my life, and I didn’t want to model that dysfunction for my children. Cheers to all of us for saying ‘Hell No!’ to that!