Do You Feel Like a ‘Chump’?

Do you feel like a chump? Does the term offend you? Does “chump” describe the gut punch of infidelity and if so, does the conning, defrauding connotations of that word hinder you from moving on in any way?

I was recently asked a version of these questions by a psychologist/marriage counselor who was concerned I use labels. We’ve been having an email exchange, so I thought I’d put it to you by way of a Friday Challenge.

Chump: Love it or hate it?

The query was:

What do you think about the concern that labels that people strongly identify with can both interfere with their self-understanding and evolution? Or if you only see yourself as a “chump,” how might that impact your self-confidence in future relationships?

I’ll go first. I have a few thoughts

1.) People don’t just see themselves as chumps. It’s a term of solidarity (Chump Nation) that’s been converted from a slur to a badge of honor, like “queer.”

2. ) It’s an accurate word that conveys the experience. You can’t chump someone alone. You need a con artist. A chump is a mark, someone of use. To chump someone is to defraud them. So much of the language around infidelity is sanitized — wayward, for example. I chose my terms deliberately to be a bitchslap wake up call. You aren’t just sad and betrayed, you were PLAYED. Chumped. And yes, you feel foolish and dumb, because you trusted.

3.) Labels don’t keep people from recovering, the severity of abuse does. I think when someone is recovering from their partner’s double life, the least of their hinderances is the word choice of a lady blogger somewhere. The hard thing to get over isn’t “chump,” it’s the reality of being chumped. The theft of your reality. The future you imagined, the family you thought was intact, the STDs you caught, the monies you lost, your children’s therapy bills, or the trust issues you have going forward.

I hope “chump” is a word that helps people process the violation, the devaluing of their love.

Recently someone said in a book review they were taken aback by “chump.” They asked:

Why not “victim”?

Excellent point. You could argue thinking of yourself as a victim might hold you back more than “chump”. But yes, victim is more to the point. You cannot be a victim without a perpetrator.

I think I didn’t use the word “victim” in the beginning because my own thinking on this was evolving. I hadn’t read a million stories as Chump Lady yet. I’d just spent years on infidelity forums with my own chump story.

No one in 2012 (or 2006 when I was chumped) was talking in terms of trauma and abuse as it relates to infidelity. So, I came up with my own language.

I actually wrote a longer post about this in 2020, when a guy Barry took me to task for not using “a more neutral” term.

The conversation has changed. Chump, victim, badass-who-isnt-taking-shit-any-more. Whatever works for you.

What are your thoughts?

Subscribe
Notify of

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.

106 Comments
Oldest
Newest Most Voted
Inline Feedbacks
View all comments
Velvet Hammer
Velvet Hammer
2 months ago

I have found accurate descriptions of my experience to be nothing but extremely helpful.

What has been a hindrance to recovery is the minimization, dismissing, social acceptance, sugarcoating, whitewashing, downplaying, and refusal to respect infidelity as abuse that is harmful.

If someone burned my house down, would this psychologist/marriage counselor be all concerned about the term I used to describe my status? I doubt it.

To me, her objections to the term “chump” feel more like misplaced objections to the ideas about infidelity Tracy puts forth here.

2xchump
2xchump
2 months ago
Reply to  Velvet Hammer

Nothing but love and support spoken here

doublechump
doublechump
2 months ago
Reply to  Velvet Hammer

100% agree. framing me as somehow responsible for his choices, it being an indicator of *waves hands* relationship problems, or dismissing it as “this happens to a lot of people” doesn’t make it any easier.

Elsie_
Elsie_
2 months ago
Reply to  Velvet Hammer

One my attorney’s quips was, “Only a fool would be friends with the person who burned down their house.”

Indeed, it is healthy to get away from arsonists, whether actual or figurative.

Last edited 2 months ago by Elsie_
Velvet Hammer
Velvet Hammer
2 months ago
Reply to  Velvet Hammer

As for the term “victim”, I’ve noticed there is an aversion to using it these days.

It means this:

Noun: victim
|vik‑tim|
An unfortunate person who suffers from some adverse circumstance
A person who is tricked or swindled
= dupe

That’s all it means, despite all of the negative connotations assigned to it in recent history. I have no objections when it is used accurately. I only object when it’s absconded with by a perpetrator as a disguise to avoid taking responsibility.

If someone calls me a zebra, or anything else, that’s their opinion of me, over which I have no control and to which they are entitled. I have enough brain cells functioning (despite appearances) to know who and what I am, whatever labels, descriptions, eptithets, monikers, terms, or nomenclatures are in play.

We’ve gotta call something something, for Pete’s sake.

Last edited 2 months ago by Velvet Hammer
MamaMeh
MamaMeh
1 month ago
Reply to  Velvet Hammer

Agreed as well. And no alternative word beats “chump”, for descriptive purposes.

My only problem with the actual *word* is that, to me, it’s not a particularly attractive or elegant word. Rhymes with hump, lump, frump and trump (bleugghh!). And makes me think of chump chops.

TaraBelle
TaraBelle
2 months ago
Reply to  Velvet Hammer

Agreed.

susie lee
susie lee
2 months ago

Chump describes betrayal better because a victim is not always a chump, but a chump is always a victim.

Example: if a fire wipes out your house you are a victim; but it was not a betrayal (barring Arson).

Dontfeellikedancin
Dontfeellikedancin
2 months ago
Reply to  susie lee

Exactly what I thought. Well said.

2nd Gen Chump
2nd Gen Chump
2 months ago
Reply to  susie lee

I like this distinction because the Chimp Nation doesn’t welcome affair partners here after they are inevitably betrayed by a cheater. (Except to maybe revel in the schadenfreude, that is.) They knew all along that their partner was a cheater and chose to believe they were special. They may be a victim, they are definitely stupid, but they’re not a Chump.

Orlando
Orlando
2 months ago
Reply to  susie lee

Exactly! You just have to say I was a chump or I was chumped and people instantly know you were betrayed.

UXworld
UXworld
2 months ago

Love this thought exercise, Tracy. I’ve been asked a few times myself about use of the term and why I use it. My thoughts:

When I was first introduced to this website and your book (by my guardian angel 4am4ever), I was ambivalent about the label. I was so swept up in the content and how everything started making sense and validating my own experience that for all I cared, the label could have been “allen wrench” or “three-toed sloth.”

But the badge of honor use of the term that you refer to (and which I continue to embrace) came on very quickly, because I knew I was not alone. It’s shared community of people who survive and then thrive after that give the word its power and lessen the stigma that it might retain when applied in a single example.

To extend the “queer” analogy further — when the perception ‘at large’ is that instances of queerness are rare and isolated, the original “strange” and “odd” definitions have more power. When it’s understood that they’re not rare and isolated, the original definitions lose their power.

That’s why changing the narrative about ‘chumpism’ is so important. That’s why sharing our stories is so important.

I always had a personal struggle with the term “victim,” even though I cognitively know that it applies. I freely admit that part of it may because I’m a male and may have a natural inclination to downplay any victimhood for psychological reasons. But I think the word “victim” is too broad and might invite comparisons to other types of victimhood, which serve no purpose other than to create a “tiering of severity” that nobody needs.

NotTodayFuckwit
NotTodayFuckwit
2 months ago

I was uncomfortable with the term “chump” at first, but I think that was because I was in the extreme anger phase of grief when I found CL.com. Now that I’m in a better mental place, I feel like the term is perfect because there is an implication that the person who was chumped was completely unaware of what was happening – and definitely didn’t deserve it. I suppose you could argue that “victim” implies those same things, but “chump” really drives home the embarrassing nature of the abuse. (Not that any of us should be embarrassed or ashamed by what our fuckwits did – it’s just the reality of the experience for most.)

kokichi
kokichi
2 months ago

I felt the same way. It took me a while to get to where I felt like I could “own” the title of chump because of skipping straight to the anger phase. I saw (and still see) myself as a scrappy, little fighter taking down the giant FW, so that doesn’t immediately align with with “chump.” (All of my lawyers call me a bad a$$, so that is technically the title that I identify with!) Now, I proudly wear the title of chump. And like others have stated, I can’t think of a word that I would use to replace chump.

Leedy
Leedy
2 months ago

“‘Chump’ really drives home the embarrassing nature of the abuse”–yes.

OutButNotDown
OutButNotDown
2 months ago

When the main source of psychological harm is the lack of transparency and honesty present in infidelity, I wholeheartedly agree with Tracy that we should be honest with ourselves and others about how to label those who went through what we went through.

I learned the very hard way that “my friendship with her” and “work meeting” were NOT words that meant the same things between my mind and my cheater’s mind.

Until D day I trustingly thought they literally just meant “friendship” and “work meeting” in reality. HE knew they didn’t, designing to deceive me. So yes, I was chumped. And seeing and admitting this has only HELPED in my recovery.

I can’t thank CL enough for reliably cutting through the bs. She leads the way in showing how having crystal clear, sharp insights about us, about our cheater, and about friends and family we thought we knew can help us gain new lives!

LookingForwardsToTuesday
LookingForwardsToTuesday
2 months ago

I like the term “Chump” as it describes what I see as my “tribe” … people who have been Chumped and are in the process of dealing with it so that they can gain a better life.

I suspect that those outside of Chump Nation who don’t like the term “Chump” are those who are uncomfortable with dealing with a victim of abuse and would prefer that we kept quiet about our suffering. When I’m dealing with someone of that mindset, I usually will ask whether they would prefer if I used the term “Survivor” instead.

LFTT

2xchump
2xchump
2 months ago

Survivor reminds me of those who have fought cancer. Though we are this too. Survivors of the lies, devaluing and abuse.

JeffWashington
JeffWashington
2 months ago

Something I have noticed in the greater culture is that it really takes getting seriously chumped to comprehend what it is like-I have had many, MANY people dismissively say “she must not have been satisfied” and move the conversation along. The ones that have been there? It’s a solemn nod and their own story. Granted, I kind of feel like it’s like that with a lot of trauma and crime-until it visits your home you just as soon assume it’s hysteria and propaganda.

I confess that I did not take it particularly seriously until it happened to me. It was easy to write it off as “Baby Mama Drama” and continue with my day. And you best believe that I have sincerely apologized to the people I knew I was dismissive of in that regard.

Waitedfartoolong
Waitedfartoolong
2 months ago
Reply to  JeffWashington

It’s with a deep sense of shame that I confess I never took seriously the anguish and heartache of my ex sister-in-law when my younger brother began his infidelity marathon. Now I understand the unmanageable pain, sense of shame, despair, loss of identity, confidence and self worth experienced by my ex sister-in-law as.my brother’s despicable behavior was revealed. A very personable multi linguist with extensive travel requirements, he had affairs in five countries on three continents. Remorseless and even perversely proud of his cheating in a toxic Alpha male way, he has cut ties with me after my American wife’s several affairs were revealed and I reached out to his ex-wife in England to apologize and try to make amends for my dismissal of her pain, and the tacit approval of my brother’s reprehensible betrayal, my silence inevitably conveyed.
I had not the slightest inkling of the acute trauma of infidelity until it happened to me. What a christening experience when one has previously been blithely dismissive of the betrayal trauma and pain of others.

2xchump
2xchump
2 months ago

Until the plague visits your house. How admirable to reach out. Few do this and it means so much. Even years later

2nd Gen Chump
2nd Gen Chump
2 months ago
Reply to  JeffWashington

When I hear “baby mama drama” from a guy on a first date I ask him if it’s really drama or do you owe her back child support and refuse to pay for supplies? Is it drama or do you keep messing with the visitation schedule so you can date? Is it drama or is she left to do all the heavy lifting of parenting (a hurting/grieving child whose whole world has broken down), making sure they eat vegetables, brush teeth, do their homework, and help around the house while you swan in as fun Disneyland Dad and undermine all her rules and discipline? If you’re looking for sympathy you won’t get it from me, I don’t have anything invested in you at the moment so I’m going to nope out of this. Thanks, but no thanks.

Last edited 2 months ago by 2nd Gen Chump
2xchump
2xchump
2 months ago
Reply to  2nd Gen Chump

Or the crazy x wife who won’t forgive the one time you slapped her. I’m ashamed to say that 34 years ago I believed he was sorry and would never do that again. It wasn’t a slap the next time, it was worse. Abuse goes underground

Bluewren
Bluewren
2 months ago
Reply to  JeffWashington

More power to you Jeff.
Not many would admit they may have got it wrong in the past.
So many don’t want to see that they are wrong in their assumptions that a FW is of good character.
The problem must be you instead.

Orlando
Orlando
2 months ago

Initially I rejected applying “chump” to myself, but after a while, I realized it was appropriate. I was chumped; therefore, I am a chump. It’s also a word that sums up my whole experience in my marriage. When I say I was chumped/I was a chump, people instantly nod their heads, knowing what happened without me getting into any of the details. I’ve also had a good laugh over calling myself a chump to lighten up an occasion when calling myself a victim would’ve been a bummer for all. Do I still think I was a victim of betrayal & deception? Absolutely. However, if thought of myself as a victim only, I might have put all the blame on my ex. Instead, by applying the term ‘chump’ it meant that I also had played a role in why & how I had become & stayed a victim chump for so long. Therefore, I had to do some inner work. This will help protect me in any future relationships. Do I think I’m a chump in all areas of my life, an overall Chump? I do not. But I had weaknesses that caused me to be an intimate-relationship one. I think the term “Chump” is brilliant actually!

Last edited 2 months ago by Orlando
2xchump
2xchump
2 months ago
Reply to  Orlando

Self exam so important – not blame, examine.

JeffWashington
JeffWashington
2 months ago

Grand Admiral Thrawn posits that to understand a culture you must understand its art. I disagree-to understand a culture, you need to understand its language.

I similarly do not describe myself as a victim. I was victimized(past tense) by her, but I am no victim-her’s nor anybody else’s(I am my own victim, but that is what therapy is for.) One of the first things I learned in serious practice in my field is that “victimization is a constant state-you become a SURVIVOR when victimization ceases.”

To identify as a “Chump” is not pejorative to me. I wear it as a badge of honor.

Yes, I acknowledge that I came to very direct and awful harm-the worst I’ve ever experienced, as it transpires. It was worse than all of the bullying I dealt with in school. Or dealing with the mood swings of an alcoholic parent with a personality disorder. Or getting robbed at gunpoint at my own home.

I prefer those things to the complete and total betrayal of everything I hold dear and the loss of my sense of self, purpose, and future. In fact, flashing back to a silver gun pointed at my chest and the laughter at my fear is positively quaint by comparison.

Being a Chump is not a point of shame to me.

Coming here, joining the Chump Nation…it’s done me a world of good. The isolation of abuse is over. The lack of empathy and patience is over. I know better now and am slowly finding my sense of self again and rebuilding a future. There were things I was foolish about. I want to try again someday.

Yes, it’s a label. Like “queer.” And “victim.” And “witch.” And “strong.” And “Mighty.” But you know what? If you take the time to understand the label, you see what a Chump really is.

A “Chump” is a former “victim” that is on the journey to becoming “Mighty”!

Much less “Scarlet Letter”, more “Red Badge of Courage.”

To me, it’s a mark of survival. It should have killed me(or perhaps killed the old me), but it didn’t. She blew her chance to destroy me in her hubris. And in my hobbies…any amount of HP greater than 0 means I’m still ready for action!

And in the words of one of my favorite childhood villains…”I still function!”

Waitedfartoolong
Waitedfartoolong
2 months ago
Reply to  JeffWashington

Jeff..Completely agree regarding understanding a culture by its language, I would only add look deeply into the vernacular in any culture’s language, particularly in how it expresses and portrays violence.

wisedupchump
wisedupchump
2 months ago

I always assumed it was an homage to the Limp Bizkit song “Nookie” that Fred Durst wrote when he was cheated on. LB was one of my favorite 90s metalcore bands so I thought it was pretty cool.

I paste an excerpt from the lyrics below for reference.

I came into this world as a reject
Look into these eyes
Then you’ll see the size of the flames
Dwellin’ on the past
It’s burnin’ up my brain
Everyone that burns has to learn from the pain
Hey, I think about the day
My girlie ran away with my pay
When fellas came to play
Now she’s stuck with my homies that she f*cked
And I’m just a sucker with a lump in my throat
like a chump
(Hey) like a chump
(Hey) like a chump
(Hey) like a chump
(Hey) like a chump
(Hey) like a chump
(Hey) like a chump

Should I be feelin’ bad?
Should I be feelin’ good?
It’s kinda sad, I’m the laughin’ stock of the neighborhood
And you would think that I’d be movin’ on
But I’m a sucker like I said, f*cked up in the head
And maybe she just made a mistake
And I should give her a break
My heart will ache either way
Hey, what the hell, what you want me to say?
I won’t lie that I can’t deny

Chumpty Dumpty
Chumpty Dumpty
1 month ago
Reply to  wisedupchump

oh wow no wonder you thought it came from this song1

Elsie_
Elsie_
2 months ago

I agree with this, “Labels don’t keep people from recovering, the severity of abuse does.”

I do a lot of volunteer work with abused women, and it takes some time for them to come to the point where they get that they didn’t deserve what happened to them, no matter what their own misdeeds were. This is, of course, particularly true of those who suffered childhood sexual abuse and then acted out in unhealthy ways because of that and more in adulthood. Once they get that what happened was WRONG, they can begin the baby steps of working through that. Others who work with people struggling with that sort of thing may have more to add, but that’s been my experience.

In my own case, not defining myself by what happened has indeed been a process, but I am years out from the breakup and divorce. I’ve met some truly lovely people along the way and had one of the very best legal teams possible. I am active in a twelve-step group that has contributed so very much to my life.

One of the reasons that CL Nation is so amazing is the emphasis on reality and growth. That’s the key to evaluating what happened to us and what we need to do next, even if it’s only one step at a time.

GrandmaChump
GrandmaChump
2 months ago

Tracy Shorn and Chump Nation reset the connotations of two words – chump and snark – so that they are words of empowerment.

A chump is a trusting soul who got played by a player, some of us multiple times, or by serial players. We got played, but we survived, and we’re determined not to let it happen again. We’re not just victims who hope it won’t happen again; we’re actively sleuthing out ways to identify types of players, the games they play, and how to defend ourselves and each other from their shenanigans. And with any luck, to come out at the end with 1) a sense of humor about the exigencies of life and 2) the ultimate win, where “chump gets the mine, and player gets the shaft.”

Snark is a chump survival tool, not a synonym of snide or sarcasm as is commonly understood. It’s a saucy “talking back” in our heads if not out loud; snark flips evil words back on the perpetrator so they don’t worm into our brains and do their destructive work there.

Thanks, Tracy and Chump Nation!

Leedy
Leedy
2 months ago
Reply to  GrandmaChump

GrandmaChump, I agree with everything you say here. And you make a really subtle point about the place of snark in our rebuilding of our mental privacy and integrity.

Maryse
Admin
Maryse
2 months ago

Sounds like another run of the mill person who is more offended by how we react to abusive behavior than the actual behavior.
I have one word/label for that therapist: Quack!
And I have a question: what are YOU doing to help victims of intimate betrayal?

Valerie
Valerie
2 months ago
Reply to  Maryse

I can’t “like” this enough.

Sirchumpalot
Sirchumpalot
2 months ago

Yes and no. I suspected and tried to catch my ex wife cheating. It took me 14 years to get 105% proof that she had cheated. I suspect there was more but I have accepted that I will never know the whole truth.

SortofOverIt
SortofOverIt
2 months ago

I didn’t love the term “Chump” at first, and in hindsight, it was because the word is TOO accurate. It wasn’t that I took issue with the label, it was early days, I took issue with having been CHUMPED.

I think, as others have said, that it is more accurate than victim.

There are aspects beyond “they cheated” that make one a chump also. In my case, he was the most jealous and suspicious person. I was almost never out of his sight and yet he accused ME of cheating. Well, we all know that was straight up deflection. But I’ll tell you, finding out that I suffered through all that BS at the hands of someone that had a secret years long affair right under my nose? Yeah, that is being CHUMPED. And every member of this community has those stories.

I also think think “Chump” is the perfect word for Tracy to use because it plays into the idea that it isn’t our fault. Is it a little embarrassing to be be cheated on in a spectacular way? Sure, but we should all embrace the label because as a recent post reiterated, the shame is NOT ours to carry. Why shouldn’t I tell people I am a Chump? I didn’t do anything wrong.

Cindy Goodrich Yancey
Cindy Goodrich Yancey
2 months ago

I don’t find “chump” a label that interferes with my self-understanding or evolution. It is a term to describe where I was at the time and what was done to me. Most other infidelity groups do not even attempt to characterize the adultery as abuse–Chump Nation does. Chump Nation sees through the prevailing euphemisms in the counseling world and calls a spade a spade. But by using the term “chump” for myself and my fellows who were abused via unfaithfulness, I don’t see myself there forever. I understand that I contributed to the state of the marriage before the adultery–it was a RELATIONSHIP so there was relating. But what I DID NOT do was contribute to the mental, emotional, verbal, spiritual, and financial abuse that is adultery!

I don’t “only see yourself as a ‘chump’ .” That is a portion of who I was as a person–I was chumped–but now, like a victim of a crime, I am no longer a victim but a SURVIVOR! I have had relationships after my exH was unfaithful and we divorced–two marriages: one was happy but he passed away, and another I’m in now where I am ecstatically happy. My self-confidence is strong, not because I don’t label myself as a “chump” but because I worked on rebuilding a life that was acceptable TO ME, and I worked on rebuilding myself to the woman I want to be.

Josh McDowell
Josh McDowell
2 months ago

I guess it’s a label for a chapter in my life, it may have been an identifier, but not an identity. I identify myself as mighty now, no is okay, boundaries are good, I like my life, I am working towards wholeness and healing (I will say counseling for now is almost complete as my counselor asked me if we had more I would like to work on). I choose what I want to identify myself as such as Christian, Great Father, Mighty, Stable, Caring, etc. Chump was just a chapter; one I may look at from time to time. It’s in my past, a learning experience that influences my present and future, but it does not control it.

MollyWobbles
MollyWobbles
2 months ago

I like the chump label. It makes me feel less alone, especially with the term Chump Nation in our vernacular. My FW tried to tell me that calling him an abuser would keep me from moving forward, keep me stuck in the victim role. Nothing could be further from the truth! Finally calling him an abuser (30 years of cheating, lying, gaslighting and a double life definitely qualifies) helped me get away from him and move on with my life. Labels can be helpful, even empowering.

One last time
One last time
2 months ago

I have no problem with the term Chump, and I think it is accurate. We trusted with our whole heart. Looking back I’ve discovered that I projected me feelings on her. I loved her completely and would never betray her, so when questionable behavior came up, I couldn’t see myself doing the worst, so I gave her the benefit of the doubt. I now realize I breezed past so many red flags. If that wasn’t being a Chump, I don’t know what it.

Bruno
Bruno
2 months ago

Last night I had two different dreams with my FW in them. Our divorce was long ago and I don’t often have dreams with her in it. But in both dreams she was acting oddly and I was aware that she had an alternate agenda and was playing with me. I was also aware that if I questioned her actions or motivation there either more obfuscation or an emotional hell to pay.
I was being chumped.
The term fits perfectly to the experience most of us have lived. It is not because we are stupid. We get taken advantage first because our partner’s deceit and secondly because our love, loyalty, life circumstances and cultural training are weaponized against us by the FW.
It is a setup.
It is analogous to going skating with your partner on a frozen lake. You are having a lovely time with your sweetheart. But they are gradually are skating a little further apart and unbeknownst to you, they lead you onto thin ice. Next thing you know you 10 feet down in freezing water, weighted down with skates and heavy clothing. Your affection and trust have been weaponized.
You were chumped. If the term fits, wear it.

2xchump
2xchump
2 months ago
Reply to  Bruno

This is attempted murder…maybe by comparison it is true. They destroyed the old you and now, we must arise a new person. Full of love but trusting only after proof.

Cuckoo4Karma
Cuckoo4Karma
2 months ago

You are being too kind, Tracy, by entertaining a snowflake quack who thinks it’s a good idea to language-police the Internet. But if he/she/they must, then the energy would be better spent slinging rocks into whatever corners of the internet The Grande Dame of Cheaters, Esther Perel, is occupying today. Or any of her RIC ilk.

Viktoria
Viktoria
2 months ago

Never knew about the word chump until I discovered this site. Now I use that word along with “injured party” and “betrayed partner” and even “abused wife”.

“Chump” also has a slight humorous tone to it, and the slight levity suggested by the word can help us to process and heal.

Upon hearing us say the word chump, the hearer’s mind likely asks the question, “What kind of person chumps their partner? “Ohhhhh.. a lying, cheating, tricking, dirty rotten scoundrel!” This helps them get how serious and devastating this is to us. (It helps dispel mythical romantic notions of infidelity.)

All a Blur
All a Blur
2 months ago

I’m about as politically liberal as somebody can be, but in the era of identity politics, I’m finding more and more conversations around language/labels troubling – I feel like we’re sometimes in danger of fabricating sensitivities that become counterproductive instead of, as you say, embracing things as maybe-ironic badges of honor.

Maybe that means I’m approaching the “get off my lawn” singularity that visits most of us, but I personally really like having this insider term that might seem insensitive or demeaning to those who aren’t in our camp. Because A) we mostly don’t seem to experience the term as insensitive or demeaning, and B) we all have been chumped [by someone] and emerged mighty. To me, “chump” recognizes the trauma that brought us here. And it recognizes, as I think you said in the “Barry” post, that somebody was the aggressor/betrayer.

There’s enough lack of accountability in infidelity talk. I am very happy to embrace “chump.”

Bluewren
Bluewren
2 months ago

I personally don’t mind the truth when it comes to being a part of Chump Nation.
Yes I was played.
Yes I was naive.
Yes I let too much bullshit go on for far too long.
Yes I should have got off my arse long before I did and started asking some hard questions.
And I don’t mind having that all pointed out to me .
Yep- we were all fucked over big time and probably laughed at behind our backs by a few for good measure.
But here I am – out of the cage and into the ring.
I’ve been bringing it and won’t stop until he’s down on the canvas for good.
It’s to my advantage that he never really cared to know who it was HE married.

Spinach@35
Spinach@35
2 months ago

“Victim” seems too broad.

“Chump” is “victim but with a wink”–a bit of light, gallows humor.

And, yes, a badge of honor. This is our term. Don’t fuck with us. We’re claiming this!

We know it’s a word that some might not like applied to them, but we’re all in on the joke here. I like that feeling.

In the early days, I mentioned “chump” to a supportive relative. He bristled, viewing the term as an insult. “Why would you take on that label?” Others just don’t get. And that’s ok. In fact, it’s what makes it a good term.

Last edited 2 months ago by Spinach@35
doublechump
doublechump
2 months ago

He used me for 8 years to support him emotionally and financially while he led a double life and built a business. Once he landed a successful client (only one), he revealed that double life spectacularly.
The term doesn’t bother me at all. I like the snark. It keeps me grounded while dealing with the sh*t show that is betrayal. It also highlights who he is – a user and a conman.

sgarnsey
sgarnsey
2 months ago

If it hasn’t happened to you, you just can’t fully understand it. (Or, if you’ve been a cheater, you are more likely to be offended.)

Personally I appreciate the stark honesty of the word. I formerly called myself a “not enough,” but I was absolutely, positively a chump – a well-meaning, trusting, naive and earnest spouse who was tricked, fooled, taken advantage of and discarded like trash (after 37 years together!)

Honestly you could’ve used the word potato and I would still have been thrilled to find a community of people who truly understand the experience and all that goes with it.

Yes, labels matter. But let’s tell it like it is and stop glazing over the horrible truths about infidelity. Chump may be harsh, but it’s accurate, and obviously, it resonates powerfully with an ever-growing community of survivors.

So, mental health professionals, let’s stop nitpicking the victims and start addressing the abuse.

Irrelevant
Irrelevant
2 months ago

Short Answer: No. Not offensive.
 
It could be construed negatively, but it never has for me. It’s community, it’s a tribe, it’s a nation, and I’m so grateful and proud to be a part of it.

Marco
Marco
2 months ago

No one can make you a chump but yourself. Limbo is a self imposed state.

susie lee
susie lee
2 months ago
Reply to  Marco

I don’t agree with that, I do agree that we can choose to remain a chump. But the very essence of a chump is that they were played and lied to. I didn’t allow myself to be lied to, or stolen from, I trusted my husband to have my back just as I had his.

GrandmaChump
GrandmaChump
1 month ago
Reply to  susie lee

I’m proud to remain a chump in the same sense that a recovering alcoholic takes on that label; it’s a reminder to never forget. Fooled once, shame on me, fooled at all, shame on them!

Marco
Marco
2 months ago
Reply to  susie lee

No one can make you a chump. If you dump them up front you were never a chump.

Chump-Domain Cleric
Chump-Domain Cleric
2 months ago
Reply to  Marco

I would call that incorrect on both fronts.

1. If you dump them when you figure it out, you were still lied to, gaslit, used, and had your health put at risk. Still a chump.

2. Abuse dynamics are very good at keeping the victims “trapped” in their situation. There does come a point where one should just LEAVE, absolutely, but trying to work it out or “fix” it after is a natural response for many good people, and manipulation tactics often lead to feeling stuck or unable to leave. It’s not the fault of a victim for being abused.

Marco
Marco
2 months ago

Nope, the only one that keeps you trapped is yourself.

Chump-Domain Cleric
Chump-Domain Cleric
2 months ago
Reply to  Marco

You are wrong.

susie lee
susie lee
2 months ago
Reply to  Marco

You are wrong.

Marco
Marco
2 months ago
Reply to  susie lee

Your opinion not mine.

Amazon Chump
Amazon Chump
2 months ago
Reply to  Marco

So…, I have to ask. Why are you here? Especially if you’re not a ‘chump’. Are you here to shame the rest of us? Or are you using the term ‘chump’ in a way that the rest of us don’t? I cannot speak for everyone else here, but ‘chump’ means that my significant other, the man who said the vows to me to be faithful till death, and I trusted to be with the rest of my life, took the time to lie to me and deceive me, not once, but many times. Had it been just anybody on the street that lied to me or cheated me, somebody that I had no investment in (like kids, family, and finances), then were I to call myself a ‘chump’ in that circumstance, then maybe you’re right. If I didn’t discard that person, then maybe I would have allowed myself to be a ‘chump’. But if you use the definition of a ‘chump’ that the rest of us seem to use, then I’d say you’re wrong.

Marco
Marco
2 months ago
Reply to  Amazon Chump

It’s a choice. Continue to be a victim or not.

Last edited 2 months ago by Marco
Amazon Chump
Amazon Chump
2 months ago
Reply to  Marco

I suspect you are a troll. Since you disagree with us, perhaps we’re not your kind of people and you’d find yourself in better company elsewhere.

Marco
Marco
2 months ago
Reply to  Amazon Chump

Nope. No one is allowed an opinion different than yours?

Amazon Chump
Amazon Chump
2 months ago
Reply to  Marco

Of course not. I certainly am fallible. But I honestly (thought that I) tried to reason with you by asking you if you’re using the term ‘chump’ differently than the rest of us. And rather than responding, you adamantly reply to me (and others) that it’s our choice to be a victim or not. Rather than engage, you just confront me with a very curt sentence. If I was the sensitive sort, I’d even think that you’re attacking me; I’d think you were insinuating that because I disagree with you, then I’m the kind of person that believes that “no one is allowed an opinion different than” mine. That is certainly far from the truth. I believe it is even possible that were you to read the majority of the well written and lengthy comments on this subject, and take the time to understand why we’ve formed the opinion about the word ‘chump’ that we have, perhaps you would be a bit more lenient with your stance. That is why I asked, ‘are you using the term ‘chump’ in a way different than the rest of us. So again, I ask… Why are you here when you don’t want to change your stance in the least. If you don’t agree, then why even be on this site? If it’s only to cause contention, it seems to me that you have done an excellent job of it.

Marco
Marco
2 months ago
Reply to  Amazon Chump

Nope, a victim of infidelity isn’t necessarily a chump. A chump is in my opinion someone who stays in harms way after getting victimized.

lisadarena
lisadarena
2 months ago

Yeah… I am NOW A PROUD CHUMP

Choosing
Happiness
Undying love
Myself &
Peace

I will take being a CHUMP any day and EVERYDAY over living with my FW and that life over again. I have recommended reading LACGAL to so many people I have lost count. UNFORTUNATELY!! I HOPE AND PRAY people wake up to the pain it causes and the REAL damage it does to future generations, but we live in the here and now, and right now, I AM FW FREE AND HAPPY!
Tracy, I say it all the time on Facebook, THANK YOU from bottom, right back to the top of my heart. thank you!!!!!!

d doc
d doc
2 months ago

It wasn’t until I saw myself as a Victim/Chump, about 5 years after I was discarded, that I began to heal. Until that time I was following everyone’s (sincere, genuinely caring, intended to be helpful) advice and comments: live your best life now with no one to answer to; enjoy your freedom…clean house…peace and quiet…whatever…; you are strong; you can be the bigger person; you will have no problem finding another man; you’re lucky your kids are older; you’re lucky you have a good job to support yourself; etc.). None of which actually addressed what I was really feeling. I was devastated, debilitated, lost my self-esteem, my dreams, my past and future, my sense of reality, my ability to trust, my desire to live. When I fully accepted that this was done TO me by a lying, cheating, thieving b@$t@rd whom I had loved with all of my being for over 30 years, and that yes, I was
, in fact, a Victim (despite my psychologist friend trying to convince me otherwise), I stopped trying to find what I might have done wrong and finally got angry at the one who did this TO me (and the legal system that apparently doesn’t recognize marriage as an actual contract). Then I was able to begin to focus on me and creating my future as an independent woman rather than me-as-a-hurting-ex-wife. LACGAL was instrumental in me reaching this stage. Seeing myself as a Chump was difficult at first, as I had always considered myself strong and capable and level-headed and able to meet and rise above and power through challenges. But it was necessary for me to accept that I was not invincible, that I was in fact broken by someone else’s actions. Shattered, actually. And then I could begin to pick up the tiny pieces and start to create a new mosaic. Yes, “Chump” is harsh, but accurate!

Leedy
Leedy
2 months ago
Reply to  d doc

d doc, this is all so eloquently put! And it resonates with my own experience.

Amazon Chump
Amazon Chump
2 months ago

I think ‘Chump’ is very accurate. As many here have already stated, ‘victim’ is almost too benign, whereas ‘chump’ means that you were intentionally lied to (deceived, gaslighted, whatever.) A ‘victim’ could be somebody in the wrong place at the wrong time. ‘Chump’? We were in for the long haul, Our attackers purposely ‘attacked’ us. We weren’t just people that just happened to walk by. We were definitely abused. Call it like it is. A spade is a spade.

Shadow
Shadow
1 month ago
Reply to  Amazon Chump

Yes, and what’s worse, is that many of us were targetted by the FW , who saw our good qualities- kindness, decency, honesty, integrity- and decided to use them against us, probably within minutes of meeting us! We get chumped by them because we didn’t know that they actually chose us because we are decent people, and decent people tend to be trusting because we ourselves are trustworthy!

Chump-Domain Cleric
Chump-Domain Cleric
2 months ago

Chump works fine as a label for me, but I can understand why people have a problem with it. Chump is not used as a neutral term – it’s an insult. Chumps are losers, clueless and inept. Chump is often used in a derogatory manner. And in a situation, if someone uses the term chump, they are often putting the blame on the person that is chumped, not the person conning them. I think that’s the main issue – when “chump” is used, it is often used to blame the person that is conned.

But even then, that’s a problem with how we use “chump” in general. Is expecting others to be decent humans really a crime?

Chump-Domain Cleric
Chump-Domain Cleric
2 months ago

To clarify: So, no, I don’t have an issue with the term. I simply know it is often used as an insult. I view it as reclamation, which I already do with slurs that were used against me.

It is not a crime to love. It is not a crime to believe others. You do have to learn how to put taking care of yourself first, but I don’t believe any of us were “bad” for wanting to believe the best of our partners or holding out hope for a period of time.

marissachump
marissachump
2 months ago

As a queer person, I’m a big fan of terms of reclamation. They convey meaning, power, and empowerment beyond more mundane commonly applied language. Chump as a term includes within it the sheer hurt, betrayal, and abuse we have all faced at the hands of cheaters as well as our reclamation of our own lives and power when we see cheaters for what they are and get to safety.

cathleen
cathleen
2 months ago

It doesn’t bother me at all. There are lots of words that describe me and the things that have happened to me, and chump is one of them. I don’t think it is a horrible word, or that it is implying that there is something wrong with any of us chumps. I also appreciate the solidarity of the “chump nation.”

MotherChumperNinetyNine
MotherChumperNinetyNine
2 months ago

Such an interesting question! I’m 9 years out from Dday, 7 from divorce, 25 year marriage 4 kids. In the immediate aftermath of Dday, my predominate feelings were: terror, disbelief, horror. I later added gutted, destroyed, rejected, despondent, disgust, rage, sadness, despair, desperation, abandoned, indignant, powerless to the mix. After divorce I felt relief, vindicated, angry, hopeful, excited, scared, resigned, empowered, sad, exhausted and exhilarated. Seven years after divorce, I feel content, hopeful, love, compassion, peaceful, fulfilled, proud. In the immediate aftermath I would have described myself as a victim. As an person abandoned and defrauded by my XH. The word Chump is a good fit. After divorce I’ve reverted to describing myself as: a female, mother, grandmother, a lawyer, a partner, sister, daughter, friend, American, Scandinavian heritage, landowner, investor, volunteer, animal lover, book lover, writer, fit, healthy, well-adjusted, survivor…..among others.

I hope my contribution helps change the narrative!

Leedy
Leedy
2 months ago

The main point, for me as for some others above, is that readers of this
site, or “chumps,” come to share a distinctive form of RAISED CONSCIOUSNESS
about how cheaters and the RIC operate, and how one can break free of the
mindfuck. So yes, we’re victims; but because we share a conceptual
framework that unmasks cheater gaslighting and RIC ideology for what they are,
we are an awakened brand of victim that deserves a special word. 
 
Tracy, not just “chump” but all your coinages—cake, hopium, ILYBINILWY, RIC, and so on—give me a welcome little jolt of angry self-reclamation, in the same way that feminist coinages did for me when I was a young woman beginning to come to consciousness politically. 
 
 

Hell of a Chump
Hell of a Chump
2 months ago
Reply to  Leedy

Agreed. Plus I love how identifying as chump firmly pronounces “not a cheater” as if that was (because it is) among the worst things to be. It draws a line in the sand, it takes sides and delineates. Cool.

luckychump
luckychump
2 months ago

I’m also not fond of the term “chump” it strikes me as “foolish” or “incompetent”. Rather than worrying about semantics, I view us as all as resilient and brave. However, I do love the term “Chump Nation” and I view it proudly, it conveys the support and caring we all show to each other.

Chumpolicious
Chumpolicious
2 months ago

This speaks to trending woke culture.

We cant say my son is Autistic we have to say he has Autism. You’re not a diabetic, you are a whole person who has diabetes. You are not a chump, you are a person who was chumped. Its psychological voodoo if we call a chumped person a chump we will internalize this and identify ourselves as a chump.

This is assuming we are fragile creatures with no coping skills and nothing else in our lives.

There is an article out today saying Gen Z are not able to handle normal emotions such as sadness or stress. Gen Z is into talking about mental health and confuses normal emotions we all have on a daily basis with mental health issues. As they mature and have life experience they will learn normal coping skills and gain the ability to deal with life.

So this question seems like a contextual issue to me.

ChumpQueen
ChumpQueen
2 months ago
Reply to  Chumpolicious

I teach high school English, and what they’re saying about Gen Z is so true. On the one hand, I applaud their openness and acceptance of mental health issues. On the other hand, I wish I could slap them out of it. I have students who don’t come to class or do their work because they’re overwhelmed by everyday confrontations or gossip. It’s frustrating to see so many kids with “anxiety issues.” It’s simple teenage drama, along with self-consciousness and embarrassment turned into a mental health problem. Unfortunately, too many well-intended parents and counselors indulge them, and they become incapable of handling stress. I hope they grow out of it, but I’m honestly concerned.

As for the chump term, I have no problem with it. It’s not an identity. It’s an experience.

Hell of a Chump
Hell of a Chump
2 months ago
Reply to  Chumpolicious

Actually “woke” was originally coined by an African American musician and activist in protest of lynching. This happened in the 1930s when Ledbetter risked getting lynched himself for saying this. It was reinvoked– I think appropriately– during BLM and was then coopted by racist detractors as a mocking term to condemn anything overly PC and the misuse went viral. I can understand why a lot of people object to the cynical misappropriation. Too much real blood and stacks of corpses on that word so I simply use the term “PC” instead.

Hell of a Chump
Hell of a Chump
2 months ago

I agree on all of CL’s points. I never really thought about it before but was just instantly attracted to the “Chump Lady” banner. I didn’t get any first impression that the chiding title meant the forum, aside from mocking cheaters, wouldn’t also delve into serious territory, probably because I’m a big fan of Gene Sharp’s principles of nonviolent resistance in which humor is a major and very serious strategy. When Otpor first used Sharpian principles like employing humor as a weapon against Milošević’s reign of terror, they were accused in some corners of making light of the death squads and repression but accusers simmered down after the strategy worked. By the time it was used in Arab Spring protests, people got it.

There were apparently similar debates during the Chilean referendum in the 80s to vote out Pinochet which the film “No” documents beautifully. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=hGOcFPzx1H0 Some of the people who’d survived torture or whose family and friends had been “disappeared” under Pinochet at first strongly objected to the “No” side of the campaign’s use of humor and catchy jingles rather than somber footage of mass graves being uncovered or survivors talking about harrowing experiences. But the “No” campaign organizers weren’t kidding around either. They simply understood that this is what would work to get past public defenses and finally oust the monster from power.

In any event, I wasn’t at all surprised to find out that CL and CN don’t shy away from the dark side of the issue of cheating and overlaps with domestic abuse and coercive control because it’s what I’ve come to expect when seeing the Sharpian wink.

Marco
Marco
2 months ago

If you deal with infidelity in strength refusing to be played upfront you are not a chump.

Samsara
Samsara
2 months ago
Reply to  Marco

I guess most of us here would say regardless of how we dealt with the infidelity, once aware, we were chumped by sole fact of the infidelity having occurred when we were unaware. We did not have the information we needed to understand our reality which was being manipulated because of our abuser partners. It was being deliberately withheld at least until discovery.
How we dealt with it is in the “your mileage may vary” category.

But if it happened at all, ipso facto you were chumped.

Marco
Marco
2 months ago

A victim of infidelity is not necessarily a chump.

GrandmaChump
GrandmaChump
1 month ago
Reply to  Marco

Polo.

Divorce Minister
Divorce Minister
2 months ago

Labeling is another way of saying, “naming.” I believe the proper naming of something is necessary to heal from it. We need language to help us see the reality we inhabited or are inhabiting.

“Chump” does this well. We were played and have a tendency to be a too-trusting group of people. The word does well to describe this. It is not the entirety of anyone here. However, it is a good diagnostic term to name the problem–so to speak–that we own.

On Divorce Minister, I refer to chumps as “faithful spouses.” This frames our identity through our virtue. It is true as well.

Finally, I am in the process of stepping further out of the shadows with other Christian leaders. This has pushed me to use language that identifies my position on cheating and those cheated on. I find that I use the terms “infidelity abuse survivors” to talk about my ministry. It conveys that cheating is abuse as well as identifying that I am interested in supporting those abused–making them visible.

Last edited 2 months ago by Divorce Minister
Chump-Domain Cleric
Chump-Domain Cleric
2 months ago

“Faithful spouses” to focus on our virtue. I like that a lot! It is a wonderful thing, to love and trust your spouse.

GrandmaChump
GrandmaChump
1 month ago

Of course, we were faithful spouses before and after we got chumped. All chumps were faithful spouses, but not all faithful spouses (thank God!) have been chumped.

2xchump
2xchump
2 months ago

At first, reading Tracy’s book LACGAL for the very first time, 4 months after D day I was shocked! A good Christian gal like me, chumped was the least of all the words that made my heart say, Stop ✋️ 📚 reading!! Here is the F word and labels for the 2 cheaters I suffered with 32 years apart.F words, S word, B words, sometimes all in the same sentence. But Tracy had recovered from 2 cheaters and I knew the character and patterns so well having been used and chumped as a 34 year old new mom and now a 70 year old senior. Tracy was so on target 🎯🎯 that I could not put her book down. The F words and Chump name just turned into background noise as I dived into the Bible for chumps. At the end of her book I wanted more so with great Thanksgiving, so I keep reading here. All Of Tracys words fit my brains need to describe the years of someone using me and devaluing one so precious as I.Once you read the book, listen to the Patron podcast s,blog or where ever you find Tracy, you KNOW you’ve found your tribe and she knows and speaks the truth of those without character or warm blood. I can’t describe it in words because it is an emotional and Spirit filled connection. It’s like a nick name you get in grade school or your siblings decide on one that fits you perfectly and you like it, a term of endearment. I could not be anyone else. I called myself that to my therapist and she was agast at first until I explained it in its loving intention. Now she goes along. A Victim could be anything or anybody and yes we are that. But Chump explains it briefly and clearly and I’m proud to be called that by any of you. If either of my cheaters called me that, their could be a homicide next, but in this circle I’m good with it.

Chumpasaurus45
Chumpasaurus45
2 months ago

I remember vividly telling me kids how incredibly fortunate they were to have the father they had growing up. He turned into something foreign to all of us and it will never not be the most shocking thing any of us have ever experienced, bar none. You can’t see that coming when you believe with all your being that your partner is as loving and trustworthy as you are in your life.
When that proves untrue, we have no ability to absorb that. It’s a complete destruction of all our preconceived premises and beliefs and there is no way on earth to process that level of annihilation. It destroys everything we knew and then we we begin the rebuild.
Humor is essential in those darkest places and can soothe areas that nothing else can get to. That’s where CL dropped from the heavens.
That’s how I see CL’s descriptor “ chumps”. It provides a community of some of the most devastated souls on earth to bond and heal.
It’s our worst nightmares to think we were sleeping with evil ppl that chose to harm us over the loving partners we had imagined lying there.
But nothing is more real or true and nothing was capable of crumbling our foundations with more effectiveness.
But we find that we can survive the worst thing that’s ever happened to any of us through a magical bond of strength, understanding, compassion, love, giving, sharing, shockingly gratitude and yes humor, lots and lots of humor.
The moniker “ chumps” is the name supplied to our bonded level of pain, grief, and mutual understanding. Chumps get us!!!
Do I like being a chump?
Hell no, I wish to God I wasn’t a member of the club, no one is begging for a membership application.
I belong in the club though and I’m very grateful there are ppl in the world that understand what I’ve experienced, as much as I truly wish they didn’t have to be members in the club either!
I think we should just err on the side of kindness. Some ppl prefer the word chump to describe us, others are turned off by it. I actually can see both sides and can debate either very easily.
That we got conned by someone who should never ever have been able to con us is NOT a mark against us as being naive and stupid. There isn’t anything wrong with believing in trust, love and commitment. It just can’t be applied to all ppl and we have to hone our skills. But skills they are, not weaknesses.
FW’s are weak and lost, not us. We have great strength to love that deeply, I will never see it as a weakness in myself, it is my absolutely my greatest strength.
Let’s be kind to the ppl that get us, know that some are farther along on the journey than others and it’s pretty easy to get triggered by so many things out there, the use of the word “ chumps” being one of them.

susie lee
susie lee
2 months ago
Reply to  Chumpasaurus45

Yep, my fw proved he was weak. He thought I would be the one to crash and burn, nope. He continued to destroy himself. Still astounds me, and a part of me feels bad because that is my sons father, the one I made sure he looked up to as he was growing up.

Amazon Chump
Amazon Chump
2 months ago
Reply to  susie lee

I did the same. I made sure that my sons respected their father. Did he ever tell my sons to look up to me? I seriously, seriously doubt that. His behavior taught them that I was not worthy of respect. Fortunately, I was the one mostly involved in their upbringing, and though their dad did not hold me in high respect, I ensured that they treated me with respect throughout their youth. I taught them by my behavior, that since I treated them with dignity and respect, that they in turn must do the same with me. However, as with their father, I learned that I also had no control with how they treated me once they became adults. So rather than allow one ‘particular son’ to treat me as I don’t matter, I just don’t have anything to do with him. As I said when I got rid of the fuckwit, I’d rather be alone the rest of my life than to ever allow someone to mistreat me again. That one particular son, if he chooses to be in my life again, will be required to give me a heartfelt apology. Else, I won’t bother with him until that day comes, or until the day I go to his funeral.

LovelySpider
LovelySpider
2 months ago

I suppose at first I was curious as to why you used “chump” but when it was explained in your book, my curiosity was satiated and like Glenn said, it never bothered me. It also never kept me from moving on- I’m still baby-stepping- and the word ‘Chump’ is now a word of comfort to me because I know I’m not alone and am in excellent company.

Shadow
Shadow
1 month ago
Reply to  LovelySpider

Yes, CN is a great group of people! We’re all so different but we all share some really good, admirable and precious character traits- the ability and willingness to trust, to care and to love selflessly (and , I would say, courageously!)
The refusal to love selflessly that characterises most cheats is actually an act of grave cowardice as well as of pathological selfishness IMO!

Brit
Brit
1 month ago

The name Chump brought me to reality. I was blind to being taken advantage of by an imposter. It was the term Chump that made me stop and think about what was actually happening. The imposter took advantage of my trust and kindness.
Chump helped me see not only the imposter for who he is but the Switzerland friends.
I now choose my friendships more carefully. It opened my eyes to reality and saved my sanity.
I don’t see it as insulting. It’s reality.
I suppose there are other terms but I find they’re usually too general, fluffy or soft.
Being called a Chump for me was a wake up to reality and stop believing the bs from the imposter who was out to destroy me.

Shadow
Shadow
1 month ago
Reply to  Brit

Imposter is a good label to put on cheats, because it does seem that so many of them have pretended to be someone they aren’t and never were, and for a long time, even decades! Can I borrow it please?

FormerlyKnownAs
FormerlyKnownAs
1 month ago

Hell ya I’m a Chump! Even my lovely mother often reminds me that I’m a chump so I need to be careful about trusting people right out of the gate. I own being a chump – it’s not my fault in any way, but I trusted blindly and smoked the hopium pipe way past what was good for me. Chumps are great people, and yes, we’re victims too but we got played and ergo we are chumps. Really good, honest chumps! I prefer being a chump to being a victim somehow. There’s also a dark humor to being a chump that I can get my head around. Being a victim feels too heavy sometimes too. I like the reframing – it really takes the sting out of it and brings us together as a chumpy group.

GrandmaChump
GrandmaChump
1 month ago

We are chumps over the hump (not over the hill.)

GayDivorcee
GayDivorcee
1 month ago

Hmmm…Chump was a term that initially did not sit well with me. To me, it implied that I was foolish and naive in some way. Which, when I stepped back and thought about it, I was indeed. In fact, I often felt anger at myself for letting the indefensible persist for as long as I did. So chump summed up well the complexity which I was feeling.

The one term I still haven’t fully embraced yet is Fuckwit. I wonder if it is too harsh and judgemental towards my xH. But then again, he is a man who holds a Master’s degree in moral theology, was a former Roman Catholic seminarian, and was 61 at the time of our marriage’s dissolution – all while engaging in drug fuelled sex parties (crystal meth), extreme BDSM (severe bruising to torso, nipples, back and neck), gaslighting, deception and manipulation that would make Vladimir Putin blush. To add icing to the cake, it was all carried out during the darkest pre-vaccine days of the pandemic. No disclosure. No consent. And with a big helping of sad sausage DARVO.

I think I might be coming around to Fuckwit after all.

Amazon Chump
Amazon Chump
1 month ago
Reply to  GayDivorcee

Oh yes, your description is what I’d describe as a Fuckwit.

Chumpty Dumpty
Chumpty Dumpty
1 month ago

I completely get why the shorthand designation “chump” was coined. It’s helpful because it de-escalates the tone that typically is used around infidelity and reframes the experience of betrayal. It uses humor to neutralize the hugeness of having your reality violated. It encourages people to take back agency through the distancing of self-deprecation. So in that way, it pushes back against shame, isolation, helplessness, pain like a wisecracking, world-weary friend. It restores a sense of humor and provides a neat narrative, which is so healing. “I was chumped!”. Chump nation has created a vocabulary and identity that is really life-saving. “Chump” is rueful. It’s a club. It cracks wise. And it’s better than Sucker.

It’s a good term for early days of a crisis of betrayal, when we need to be jolted out of helplessness. With time we can shed the concept of chumper/chumpee and think of ourselves in gentler terms. I don’t want to feel scorn for myself for being fooled.

GrandmaChump
GrandmaChump
1 month ago
Reply to  Chumpty Dumpty

“Chump nation has created a vocabulary and identity that is really life-saving. “Chump” is rueful. It’s a club. It cracks wise. And it’s better than Sucker.” Well said!

Chumpty Dumpty
Chumpty Dumpty
1 month ago

“The devaluing of love” — brilliant