How to Say No and Stop Being a Chump

Cheat_on_meMy name is Tracy, I’m a chump, and I’ve been spackle-free for five years.

It’s a struggle, of course. Some woman from the local charitable sorority will press me into service for the garden tour and it’s a battle to say no.

I’ll think, “I just did two straight years of graphic design for you people! The historic home tour? Hello? ‘Hey, can you type this up?’ and it’s written on a cocktail napkin and I have to google the addresses, oh, and can I take some pictures? And could we have 200 copies, and you don’t mind fronting the printing costs, do you? And I do ALL THAT, plus posters, and street signs, and 5 months later you’re after me for garden tour brochures? There are 40 people in this organization, doesn’t one of them use a computer?!”

Answer — no. They’re all over 70. And hey, it’s so much nicer when you do it. We do tell you how NICE they look! Bless your heart.

Chumpy me thinks… don’t be churlish. It’s for literacy. Say yes. You don’t want to disappoint these good people. Healthy Tracy thinks, I have contributed. It’s okay to say no. Write a check.

So I say “no” — and yep, I feel bad. But I’m not spending the next month doing InDesign for seniors who don’t know what a PDF is either.

Yes, I still struggle with being a chump. I have a Vitamin N deficiency.

This term was introduced to me by an older mom friend who said all kids need “a good dose of Vitamin N.”

Vitamin NO.

Some people have a hard time setting boundaries and saying NO. (Chumps.) And some people never get Vitamin N, or reject it, and live in entitlement. (Cheaters.)

I own that I’m a people pleaser, and I’ve had to work on my issues of seeking value by what I offer other people. The pleasant side of that is you can count on me to give you a ride to the airport and I get great performance reviews in the work place. The uglier side of that is I tend to over estimate my powers. I WILL MAKE YOU LOVE ME! I can control any bad outcome if I just WORK HARDER! I accept responsibility for things I shouldn’t. And I resent it when people don’t notice my “kindness.”

These faults directed at a garden tour brochure are pretty benign.

These faults directed at a cheater are really toxic. They kept me stuck for a long time.

One misconception people have about this site is that I don’t blame chumps. Well, in a certain sense you are right — I absolutely do not blame chumps for being cheated on. We’re good people, we have a hard time conceiving that anyone would do us so wrong because we see the world through our own moral lens. Of COURSE we’re shocked by infidelity. Of COURSE we’re gutted. We were totally committed. That’s how we roll. We love with our whole hearts.

But dear God, people, that doesn’t mean you don’t have shit to own — you’re a CHUMP. I’m a chump — that’s why I named this place “CHUMP Lady” — it’s everything I learned about infidelity and myself in about 500 articles of brain dump. Some people are manipulative pieces of shit, and they’re good — but we need to be better.

That doesn’t mean you drove your cheater to cheat. There is so much of that crap out there, so much blameshifting from society and from cheaters that we chumps get defensive. Don’t you DARE insinuate that I made this person cheat on me!

That shit pisses me off too. We did NOT make them cheat on us. But we are 100% responsible for how we respond to abuse. THAT is on us.

I didn’t respond well. I don’t fault myself for the sobbing and puking and paralysis. I do blame myself for giving him four D-Days before I left for good. I blame myself for making idiotic financial decisions that kept him in cake. I blame myself for valuing myself so little that I took his crap and didn’t enforce a protection from abuse order the first time he threatened me.

I know why I did those things. I know what my fears were, and my FOO issues, and why I did the pick me cha cha as long as I did it. Doesn’t make it any less chumpy. What he did was WRONG. Horrible, cruel, abusive. But I stuck around for that shit after he showed me who he really was, and that’s on me.

The important thing is I figured it out eventually, and I forgive myself, and today I try not to be such a sucker. I preserve the nicer parts of my chumpy tendencies (rides to the the airport), but stifle the uglier side (trying to control things I can’t control).

It’s so easy to lose yourself in the cheater. As the saying goes, the villain gets all the best lines. Bad guys are so compelling. What makes them tick, why they did what they did, how much it hurt us, how unjust the whole clusterfuck is. Going through the skein untangling is inevitable in the beginning — but don’t get stuck there. Because you’re never going to understand or control that wing nut. You only control you. So ask yourself — why did I accept this crap? What am I afraid of? What are MY values and am I honoring myself and living my life authentically now?

Cheaters are going to spin, try to pin their crap on you. People will gossip or second guess you. It’s hard not to get defensive and correct their lies and assumptions. All you can do is speak your truth and live your values. Let go of what you don’t control.

I think it’s totally okay, necessary even, to react to blameshifting with anger. How dare you try and pin this shit on ME, motherfucker! But don’t let that stop you from self examination. You don’t have to justify yourself to the cheaters and the rubberneckers in your life. But you do need to answer to yourself. Who WAS I in that relationship? How did it get to this point? Why didn’t I enforce my boundaries or know that it was okay even to have boundaries? How can I honor myself going forward?

Because unless we examine our issues, we’ll be chumps for life. And that’s a shame, because being a chump is such a treatable condition. We just have to know our worth and assert it when people trample our boundaries.

I suppose being a chump wouldn’t be such a bad thing if the world were comprised solely of fellow chumps. My chumpy tendencies are muted paired with my husband’s chumpy tendencies. Okay, delightful even when we’re both trying to out-please the other. If he resents the fact that I do not sufficiently appreciate his French toast (I don’t like French toast), the world isn’t going to end.

But the world isn’t just full of chumps — it’s full of bad guys who will play you. And even more full of people who just Need Things Done and will sniff out your chumpiness and use you. So say NO to the garden tour brochures, people! It doesn’t take everybody to be your friend. Know your worth and let people earn your gifts — don’t be quite so free to give of yourself unquestioningly.

Forgive yourself for crimes of spackle, for not being your best self at the worst of times, for failing to see where you stopped and the other person started. Forgive yourself for not connecting the dots between words and actions. Forgive yourself for your fears and vanities. Forgive yourself for baking another cupcake for the cake eater instead of setting fire to the kitchen and leaving. Forgive yourself for being a chump.

The first step is owning that you were one.

I’m Tracy, I’m a chump, and I’ve been spackle-free for 5 years.

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March
March
9 years ago

My name is March, and I am such a chump.

Kelly
Kelly
9 years ago

I am Kelly and I am a chump too. I have a particular problem, as most of us do, with those “creeping” and slow-moving boundary violations, you know, the ones that sneak up on you somehow like the frog in a pot of water slowly heating, pushing the limits out and out and out. And I have had to understand why I let that happen—because I trusted in the inherent goodness of people in general and my ex husband in particular even when my instincts told me otherwise, because I so wanted to BELIEVE that things were as I wanted them to be, and because I so did NOT WANT TO SEE that that was not the case. I realize that I simply did not believe in and honor myself enough to trust and believe MYSELF and my own self-worth. I will never allow myself to be blind and blinded again.

ThatGirl
ThatGirl
9 years ago
Reply to  Kelly

I too am a frog.

I allowed my WXH to keep moving my boundaries back and back, inch by inch, until at the end our marriage was so lopsided and unmarriage-like that I didn’t even recognize the relationship at all.

In hindsight I can see it clearly, and how I should have reacted to his behavior – and that is mine to own so I never allow myself to be boiled again.

Chumpectomy
Chumpectomy
9 years ago
Reply to  ThatGirl

This is so insightful. Me too. My boundaries were so far back I could not find my shape.

I had two modes:

1) I would see his bad behavior and try to get him into a better mood. Or
2) I would get upset and then explain why I felt hurt by his actions. Teach him. If I explained why his behavior hurt me–when he would flirt with other women and treat me like I had leprosy
(did I really have to explain that!? I get it now. If you have to explain that the person has to treat you with dignity and respect, it’s time to leave.)
So, I thought I could teach him to respect me and to treat me well. He played that one so well. “yes,” he would say, “I understand how you would feel.” he would say this in a eerie way. Then he would get colder and more distant and it would all start again.

Free at last (from this particular shit) –to observe myself when I get into my modes—I don’t need to beg soulless to love me anymore.

Jode70
Jode70
9 years ago
Reply to  Chumpectomy

Chumpectomy, so true. I would try and spackle everything over. He would flirt outrageously with anything in a skirt around me and I got told, deal with it, that is who he is. I would ask him not to!! I would get the apology which usually lasted oh about a week or two and he would be back at it.

He was never home either. I would ask him to spend time with his family…. I now think when you have to ask your husband and father of your two children to just spend some time with you and our children, there is something seriously wrong.

In a lot of ways it really messed with my head… I am only just starting to see all of this after 3 years (he ran off with the last affair), I became such a shell of a person. All for some conceited, selfish prick… Never again!!

perdido
perdido
9 years ago
Reply to  Kelly

I too suffer from the “creeping” – I am so the frog.

Freeatlast
Freeatlast
9 years ago
Reply to  Kelly

Same here. I think I did it because I thought there is give and take in a relationship and it’s not always even. So sometimes I would push back and enforce and other times, just let it go. Sadly, I didn’t want to see that the odds were NEVER in my favor.

Whatawaste
Whatawaste
9 years ago
Reply to  Freeatlast

Freeatlast,
Same here with the give and take. I figured I’m not perfect and so, I didn’t expect perfection back. But like that frog, over the course of 20 years, I was being slowly boiled to death by both my abusive, gaslighting ex and my own generosity that was fueled by my fear of abondonment.
I’m still shaky two years out, but I’m trying to take to heart that living to avoid fear is not serving me or my kids. Having said that, I don’t think living with the ” nobody’s perfect” approach is a bad thing. I just need to learn how to feel the heat and jump before its too late. Whereas before my challenge was to fold when in the relationship, now I’m challenged to avoid the hermit lifestyle and risk love again. Right now I can’t even get my head around it.

Hawk
Hawk
9 years ago

I’m a chump, I’ve been low spackle for a year and spackle-free for almost two weeks now. My default answer to nearly every request is no. Gives me time to evaluate if it’s healthy for me to do and if it’s something I really want to do.

lale
lale
9 years ago
Reply to  Hawk

that is a great MO! I always say yes and then feel crappy for backing out – I’m adopting this, thanks Hawk!

KarenE
KarenE
9 years ago
Reply to  lale

Iale, “I’ll get back to you” is my default answer; gives me time to think! Used to be easier when we didn’t all have our calendars in our phones, I could just say ‘let me check my agenda and get back to you’. Now I have to own up to the backbone a little more. Some people push still even when I say that, but I do the broken record trick; ‘yes, I understand it’s not a big thing, but I’ll have to get back to you on that’.’I understand you need an immediate answer; in that case, it’ll have to be ‘no’.’

Datdamwuf
Datdamwuf
9 years ago
Reply to  KarenE

I can barely read my calendar on my phone and it’s not always in sync with my PC so I still say I have to check it at home.

lale
lale
9 years ago
Reply to  KarenE

Even better Karen, thanks! Cause if I said no to everything I’d be pretty likely to leave it at that and watch Netflix for the remainder of my life 🙂 seriously though.

Hawk
Hawk
9 years ago
Reply to  Hawk

And I love this post, Tracy!

ANR
ANR
9 years ago

My hair’s darker and I dress better, but otherwise this looks like a picture of me. WTH?

Rumblekitty
Rumblekitty
9 years ago
Reply to  ANR

I can’t stop looking that sweet, sweet ass!

Kelly
Kelly
9 years ago
Reply to  Rumblekitty

Rumblekitty, you make me laugh!!

🙂

ANR
ANR
9 years ago
Reply to  Rumblekitty

I get that a lot. Kind of a curse 😉

Freeatlast
Freeatlast
9 years ago
Reply to  Rumblekitty

I know right ?! 🙂

ANR
ANR
9 years ago

Anyhow, my name is Alex, and I am a chump.

Lucky
Lucky
9 years ago

Tracey – you nailed it again!
Why do us chumps think our worth measured in how others percieve us, rather than how we feel about ourselves…..big stuff in this post. Although not responsible for the cheaters, we Chumps do tend to create the perfect environment by giving more and more, compensating more and more, being Mommy more and more….spackle spackle spackle because how we feel is always the bottom of the list.

MovingOn
MovingOn
9 years ago
Reply to  Lucky

Absolutely– I’ve always been a total people pleaser, and it used to bother me to no end when people “didn’t like me,” or I worried that they wouldn’t.

With the dumping of my ex has come an acceptance that I can’t please the world, and I’m going to stop trying. It has been so freeing. Only took me about 40 years to get there!

Jode70
Jode70
9 years ago
Reply to  Lucky

Why do us chumps think our worth measured in how others perceive us, rather than how we feel about ourselves…..

Like!! Lucky, that sums it up for me.

Wow Tracey, just wow… I just read that and every word is written about me. You so totally rock!! Now just have to work on those boundaries and Goddamit… stop spackling and taking on other peoples issues!!

Maree
Maree
9 years ago
Reply to  Lucky

Very good post Lucky. I particularly like – “Why do us chumps think our worth measured in how others percieve us, rather than how we feel about ourselves”. That is me to a T.

Maree
Maree
9 years ago
Reply to  Maree

PS – A bigger Chump than me, you will never find.

kimmy
kimmy
9 years ago

I’m Kim, I’m a Chump and I have been spackle-free for 1 year, 4 months, 3 weeks and 2 days!!!!! I am no longer anyone’s doormat and I only give love to those who I receive it from. I have established clear boundaries and while I am not perfect, I no longer accept less than I deserve. If I am unhappy about something I address it. This is mostly with my children. They are learning how to be assertive as well!!!! I see only positive things coming from this otherwise painful experience of infidelity. I refuse to be a victim any longer.

I love this post as well!!!!

flyingsquirrel
flyingsquirrel
9 years ago
Reply to  kimmy

One of my favorite things to say to my kids is, “It’s OK to speak up for yourself.”

Congrats on being spackle-free for over a year!

Freeatlast
Freeatlast
9 years ago

I am Julie, and I’m a Chump. I have been spackle-free for almost a year now! Yay!

Joespino1
Joespino1
9 years ago

I am a BIG CHUMP. I’ve been a chump since my very first boyfriend in high school. My first boyfriend left me with a kid and no child support ( he was verbally and then physically abusive btw), the second boyfriend left me with $40,000 of his debt on MY credit cards while i was a single mother just getting out of nursing school, the third boyfriend I was supposed to marry and he left me 5 months before the wedding (he stated that he just didn’t want to get married anymore) and left me with a very large house that we got together and the cancellation of the wedding, and then I met my husband. I thought God had seen how much I’ve suffered through my past relationships and handed me this guy, who later on happened to love CAKE and CAKE EATING! I wanted it so badly that I spackled everything. There were signs throughout the 7.5 years of marriage, but i chose to spackle. My forgiveness and me seeing the world through rose colored glasses along with his ability to manipulate with his words, making everything he did seem less severe was a recipe for continued abuse. I can’t keep going this way. I’m going to seek counseling and I’m going to be more strict on my boundaries. Dday was March 25th this year. Having him leave the house was step #1, Starting divorce proceedings was step #2, No Contact except when it involves the kids is step #3. There are more steps involved, but i’m already feeling much better. I do miss having an intact family structure, but I will take my happiness and mental and physical health over dealing with that crap. I have my eyes wide open now.

lale
lale
9 years ago
Reply to  Joespino1

I also am a repeat Chump – the last time was also because I was sure I was finally due a “good guy”. I put so much of myself into “fixing him” that I completely lost who I was. I’m enjoying re-finding that out now with the help of a good therapist. P.S. it didn’t work, he’s incapable of loving anyone but himself (surprise!). I’ve been cheater-free, NC, spackle-less for 4 months now!!!

MichaelD
MichaelD
9 years ago

I am Michael and I am still a chump.
Its making me giggle like a little boy saying a bad word lol. I dont have a single problem saying good morning I am Michael an alcoholic in front of a meeting, but yea I guess its the same thing.
Step 1. We admitted we were powerless over our cheater & our lives had become unmanageable. It might just work 😉 Something tells me tho when that person gets to the 4th & 5th step it will stop,,,, at least my NARC does not think they have anything wrong or defects of character to my NARC she is perfect and just the bestest,, so getting to the 6th step will never happen 🙂
I could go on & on about the word NO & boundries both were non existent to her.
But today I am going to smile today I want to smile so fucking bright I look stupid, because I know the truth. It was not my fault she threw me & our boys in the trash can.

I didnt make her cheat it was not my fault ! And today I am going to turn my anger & resentment over to the God of my understanding and have faith that 1 day at a time I will be a better man and smile for me,,,,,,, 🙂 🙂 🙂 🙂 🙂 🙂 🙂

Patsy
Patsy
9 years ago
Reply to  MichaelD

Hi, Michael, I am finding Al Anon hugely helpful with my chumpness and general fear (of life).

Although my cheater is a functioning alcoholic, in my opinion that is the least of my problems. I wouldn’t care how much he drank, if only he could feel and care (funny how narcissism and substance abuse go hand in hand). So I substitute ‘narcissist’ (professionally diagnosed) for ‘alcoholic’ in my step work, and it makes much much sense.

The 12 steps just works so much. It teaches you how to put the focus back on yourself, take care of yourself first, live less dysfunctionally and love more wholly. It is this miracle that everyone has heard about but doesn’t know much about.

MichaelD
MichaelD
9 years ago
Reply to  Patsy

It really does lead us from the brink of total insanity and gives us a new way of thinking , living & loving. I am humbled by the peace I have & I thank God for that everyday 🙂 Stick with it Patsy the rewards are so worth it 🙂

Rumblekitty
Rumblekitty
9 years ago
Reply to  MichaelD

Nope on Step 1. You are NOT powerless over your cheater. You just think you are. 😉

diana L
diana L
9 years ago
Reply to  Rumblekitty

I think you are in a way. You can’t control them or make them stop cheating. You can get them out of your life to some extent, but that seems more like power over you and your own life to me.

MichaelD
MichaelD
9 years ago
Reply to  diana L

You really cant control the person or their actions. I have to turn it over & let it go or it will lead me down a path of destruction & then I am no good to my kids and to myself. The Serenity Prayer is my best friend 😉

MichaelD
MichaelD
9 years ago
Reply to  Rumblekitty

I know silly its the 1st step in AA I switch alcohol with cheater 😉

Rumblekitty
Rumblekitty
9 years ago
Reply to  MichaelD

Now that you mention it . . . my alcohol intake has increased a bit since D-day. I’m sort of powerless over my six pack after a hard days work. 🙂

It’s just that it goes so well with gardening. 🙂

MichaelD
MichaelD
9 years ago
Reply to  Rumblekitty

Yea it did for me too 🙂 BUT that 6 led to 12 the 12 led to the bottle of Crown Royal and led me to be a fucked up drunk. Not saying thats you Rumble but it is me. 1 is too many & a 10000000 is never enough. Its funny I missed it when I first got sober but now its like MEH,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,maybe if I used that logic in other parts of my life ,, ,, ,, , , , , , , , , , , ,

Rumblekitty
Rumblekitty
9 years ago
Reply to  MichaelD

Oh and you should apply that logic; you’d definitely get to Meh. 🙂 I’d say I’m 90% Meh most of the time, which is something I thought not possible when my world caved in.

Rumblekitty
Rumblekitty
9 years ago
Reply to  MichaelD

I’m putting myself on No-Fun Weekdays starting Monday. I can’t maintain my delicate girlish figure if I’m pounding beer everyday. And it’s expensive. Damn it.

FoolMeTwice
FoolMeTwice
9 years ago
Reply to  Rumblekitty

“Delicate girlish figure.” Man, I love the language on this board. No matter how heavy-duty the topics are, there is always something to make me smile, or snicker. Thanks Rumblekitty.

MichaelD
MichaelD
9 years ago

And dont forget ” keep coming back it works if you work it” 🙂

LiningUpDucks
LiningUpDucks
9 years ago

I’m Ducks, and I’m a super-chump.

I’m very conflicted about this post. Things do go better for me when I enforce my boundaries. But I don’t think my condition is curable. It’s *manageable* through life-long Vitamin N and lots of daily effort. My true nature is still ‘chump’ and that comes out whenever I’m not paying attention, or when in crisis, or just when I haven’t had to enforce boundaries for awhile, I go back to my chumpy nature. Because that’s who I AM.

You know how we always talk about how Narcs are who they are, emitting ‘Narcles’ all over the place, and how hard it is to change their true nature, even if they want to? I believe the same is true for me. I’m a chump, and I emit ‘Chumples’. A ‘chumple’ might be when you say ‘Yes’ to the Garden Brochure. (As a side note, it rhymes with ‘crumple’, appropriately.) It is damn hard for me to change my true nature, too. And there’s a big part of me that’s sad that I need to.

I’m still trying, though.

MichaelD
MichaelD
9 years ago
Reply to  Tracy Schorn

Ok in two days I have seen a ” stray penis ” & “chumple sniffing narcs ” my week is now complete ! Oh the visuals 🙂

Rumblekitty
Rumblekitty
9 years ago
Reply to  MichaelD

CL – You should do a cartoon of a sad little stray penis, with an unhappy face, holding up a sign saying, “Free to good home”.

Gives me the sadz just thinking about it.

whodathunk
whodathunk
9 years ago
Reply to  Rumblekitty

Rumblekitty, you’re on a roll today! Thanks for the visuals & giggles!!

Gio
Gio
9 years ago
Reply to  whodathunk

Rumblekitty. you are a howl!~ Yes…CL stray little penis’s with sad faces ‘Free to Good Home.’
Too funny!~

MichaelD
MichaelD
9 years ago
Reply to  Rumblekitty

Rumble you better trade mark ” stray penis” asap… I see a line of T shirts iphone apps cartoons little stray penis books etc etc, could be your ticket !! 🙂

FeralBlue
FeralBlue
9 years ago
Reply to  Rumblekitty

I’m dieing here with the imagery this invokes. Love it and needed the laugh today. Thanks Rumble!

MichaelD
MichaelD
9 years ago
Reply to  LiningUpDucks

LOL “chumples”

Hecate
Hecate
9 years ago

Hi, I’m Hecate, and I too am a chump. I found this site a couple of weeks ago, on the eve of DDay, when I thought I was losing my mind. This is the first time I have been vaguely coherent enough to post.

Today the I-guess-STBX told me this was all very hard on him, too, and he had *cried,* at work, and let me know that dealing with my grief was very difficult on him. And god help me but I commiserated. After all, he tells me he cried! How ghastly for him!

I am such a chump. But this whole thing where I need to learn to turn off my ability to empathise with the person who betrayed me is so hard, because in any other situation, chumpiness = being a good person. It’s the taking advantage dynamic that changes everything.

Meanwhile, he skips on his merry way, and I am here on the sofa, drinking pastis in the middle of the day.

Chumpectomy
Chumpectomy
9 years ago
Reply to  Hecate

Hi Hecate,

My ex bawled on my shoulder saying “I treated you like shit” and I hugged and comforted him and told him that I would be okay. (I am not okay). I still see this scene and can’t believe it.

Thinking about it, it seems really complicated. I have been raised to empathize and take care of people and see things from their perspective and appreciate them. I also loved this bag of dirt and was living with him at the time. I had no distance and in a was still treating him as the person I was committed and responsible to emotionally.

It was chumpy of me to console him for being cruel to me. It made him feel better—off the hook and then skip away.

I can tell these tears are shallow because he never wanted to hear about what he has done. I understand now that he simply tried to get out of accountability—in essence— telling me “look I am punishing myself already, I feel so bad, continue to help me by comforting me and don’t bring up what brings me so much pain or you will be cruel.” He had forgiven themselves and simply didn’t want to experience any accountability. He wanted to frame the story of his cheating and not hear about it from my perspective and I hugged him and let him know that I was going to be all right.

I will be all right and so will you but we get to have our stories and authentic experiences. You should leave this toxic creep. A year after D-day I am still struggling, but at least I am clear about what I experienced and how I feel about him and what he has done.

Hecate
Hecate
9 years ago
Reply to  Chumpectomy

I am so incredible grateful for this wonderful site, in which we can share our stories and experiences; it may be the only thing keeping me sane right now.

Because after I consoled my cheating STBX for his alleged crying-at-work jag yesterday, I began to sob myself, and he responded: “I can’t talk to you when you’re like this,” and when I stopped crying and became furious, he said: “I thought you’d be less angry by now.” Because telling me you cheated, then vanishing leaving me alone and devastated, is so likely to make me think better of you!

On the plus side, anger gave me the energy I needed to get off the sofa for the first time in two weeks today.

Lilac
Lilac
9 years ago
Reply to  Tracy Schorn

It took me months to realize that my hot pocket cheater really didn’t give a damn. If I tried to continue the conversation, I got yelled at for ruining his meal. Hang in there, Hecate. Although there may not be a quick solution evident yet, you
WILL become strong and empowered. This site was what did it for me. We are all here for you.

ExpatChump
ExpatChump
9 years ago
Reply to  Lilac

It wasn’t a meal for my STBX, but sports. Never mind that I’m in hysterics, if it was time for his weekly volleyball or basketball session, he’d just go.

Chumpectomy
Chumpectomy
9 years ago
Reply to  ExpatChump

Mine would look at his phone. After D-day I would sob–“how could you not have told me? how could you leave me to be told with my son in the back seat by a troll who was the messenger of Cabbage Patch pig cheater president? How could you set me up for that and live a lie for five years and breaking down with troll when I need to care for our son?” Him: ignoring me plugging away at his phone–tap tap tap.

Not something I could ever believe a person capable of.

Never again please God.

Hecate
Hecate
9 years ago
Reply to  Hecate

Although I still can’t wrap me head around the fact that, immediately after I consoled him for crying over cheating on me, he *complained* when I began to sob myself. How is that even a possible thing that someone can do??

Southamericanchump
Southamericanchump
9 years ago
Reply to  Hecate

Hi Hecate, also thinking about you…I am five months past DDay with wedding anniversary coming up, which I plan to celebrate with friends in the sense of not being with him anylonger…what you´ll get from this site, is that cheaters consult the same cheater manual or go to the same cheater school because they are all quite predictable and act in similar ways.

This blog allowed me to see that who I thought was someone very intelligent and “special” who would never hurt me in the way “commoners” do, was just as low trash as any other cheater, and that he had no problem in making our special relationship into a statistic, really helped me to get moving very quickly with the divorce proceedings. Every time I would get “hopium” I would read this blog and the resulting disappointing event would be identical to the what I read here. So this blog serves as a crystal ball into the future of cheater logic, which will allow you to survive the spackle and get to a healthy “meh” someday (I am still not there yet)…They say it takes one month per every year you were with thecheater to feel completely better and “meh”, so just be patient and use your rage to move ahead and get the psychological and legal support you will need for the following months ahead…

FoolMeTwice
FoolMeTwice
9 years ago
Reply to  Hecate

Hecate, welcome, and glad you found support so close to your D-day. This place is a sanity saver for sure.

I too got the “I cried” comment. It’s the closest my ex ever got to empathy for me, which is a scary concept. Interestingly, I never saw him cry or felt any actual remorse; the mere reporting of tears seemed to be good enough for him. I’m ashamed to say that at the time it was good enough for me, too. That’s how hard I was trying to hold on to a big armful of nothing.

Anyway, the fact that you’ve wended your way here so quickly can only be a sign of positive things ahead for you, no matter how momentarily lost you feel on the couch with your pastis in hand. As for your STBX’s supposedly “merry way,” I don’t think there’s any real merriness there. Just like the tears of remorse, it’s all Velveeta.

Tess
Tess
9 years ago
Reply to  Hecate

Hecate,
Uh huh. He ‘cried’ today. How very thoughtful of him.
Mine ‘cried’ too. Not when he left me but a couple of years later when he was soon to be caught for embezzling. I saw REAL tears!!

Imagine that.

Nat1
Nat1
9 years ago
Reply to  Tess

Omg that’s awesome. Embezzling hehe. Poor poor him. He got so cocky he thought he’d get away with cheating on everyone! Bloody dufus!

Lyn
Lyn
9 years ago
Reply to  Hecate

Hecate, don’t feel bad. I too commiserated with my cheating ex when he was suffering so from depression. All his tears and sobbing really pulled on my heart strings. At first I accepted that I was the cause of all his unhappiness, since that’s what he told me. I’ve always been one to accept responsibility even if it wasn’t mine. I’d do just about anything to keep the peace. I’ve had to learn to turn down the “empathy for others” dial and turn up the “protect myself dial.” They were pretty far out of balance.

Hecate
Hecate
9 years ago
Reply to  Tracy Schorn

Thank you so much for the kind words and welcome. It is a little overwhelming when an online community of perfect strangers so instinctively and generously offers the empathy and understanding the person who hurt us withholds/is incapable of. Chumps are so nice!

That’s not the moral of this post, I know.

Datdamwuf
Datdamwuf
9 years ago
Reply to  Hecate

Welcome! and Jedi Hugs Hecate!

and please notice that your cheater did NOT cry about the pain he caused YOU. He told you who he is, he said he cried because this “was all very hard on him”. LISTEN to your cheater instead of hearing what you want to hear (spackle) and your empathy will drop for sure.

Kelly
Kelly
9 years ago
Reply to  Hecate

So sorry Hecate, you are in that dusky nightmare of early days. Of course you sympathized, you are desperate to believe he actually cares or at least cared for you and children (?) at some point. You are desperate to understand, and you are wishing this just was not truly happening. I too “sympathized” for my poor poor ex, how hard it was after he cheated on me and blew up our family. You are going through the mind-fuck, through the stunned disbelief, through trying to unravel and understand the un-understandable, the realization that much of your marriage and therefore your life was a lie. It SUCKS MIGHTILY. The best thing I can tell you is, it does get better, but you must get and stay NO CONTACT. Also, read all the articles, all the comments, everything on this site. I lapped it up like a starving animal when I found CL. It is the only thing that kept me sane through the incredible nightmare. We will be here to hold your hand and sympathize and encourage you. We understand the incredible pain. Don’t let him play you anymore, you know what he is. (((BIG HUGS))) to you Hecate.

Rumblekitty
Rumblekitty
9 years ago
Reply to  Hecate

Two weeks in? It’s definitely going to suck right now. There’s no way around it. Sleep, water, boost shakes, walks. I thought I would feel awful forever . . . but I came around. Now I’m damn near bulletproof, happy and very content. You’ll get there.

Welcome fellow Chump!

Chump in the Sand
Chump in the Sand
9 years ago
Reply to  Rumblekitty

Hecate, I’m so glad you found this site. I only found it about 3 months after D-day.

Something that helped me was focusing on an image from CS Lewis’s The Great Divorce. There is this little, silent dwarf, that holds a leash on this handsome Tragedian actor. The angelic wife knows that the Tragedian is trying to play her, and ignores him entirely, speaking only to the dwarf. Sadly, dwarf only communicates through the Tragedian, and keeps shrinking until he disappears, and only the actor is left. When he tries to talk to the wife, she basically says, I have no idea who you are, and I don’t care.

It’s a good read–easy to read, because it’s a story instead of a self-help book, so it doesn’t feel like work to read it.

RNE is going through the big D and I don't mean Dallas
RNE is going through the big D and I don't mean Dallas
9 years ago
Reply to  Hecate

Those first couple of weeks are the worst. I hardly remember much of it, it was like another person took over my mind and got me away from him while the real me curled up in a ball and died. You’ll get through it. Don’t even feel bad about his tears, he was probably making it up anyway. They will do and say anything they can to get you back to being your chump self. Don’t let him. Huge hugs! You’re going to be okay. <3

Ken is Kim
Ken is Kim
9 years ago

wow! I am a huge chump! Speaking of the cheater saying and doing anything to get ya back to chumpness, just the other day he told me he wanted to die and was thinking of driving his can off of the highway. I had sympathy for him. I am 3 months since D-Day and six months since he left.

ANR
ANR
9 years ago
Reply to  Hecate

Let him deal with his own pain, Hecate. Not your problem. Big hugs to you.

lale
lale
9 years ago
Reply to  Hecate

Do you have kids? Something that really helps me (I’m horrible with having empathy for the asshole) is to think what I would tell my son if someone treated him this way. If not kids, think of your best friend. I know damn well if someone treated my son like shit I wouldn’t feel sorry for them, no matter what their reasoning or how “sorry” they were. It helps see the situation from the outside, and not from the cheater’s sad little self-pitying lens.

BloomingRoseinWinter
BloomingRoseinWinter
9 years ago
Reply to  lale

THIS.

Jamberry
Jamberry
9 years ago
Reply to  Hecate

Hecate, you are still in shock. It takes time to work your way through all of this and I hope we are a source of support to you. Yes, the pain that he caused you is causing him a lot of pain. In short, his infidelity is causing him a lot of pain…this is called natural consequences of his shitty decision-making.

I am sorry that he is causing YOU a lot of pain. Hang in there, sister!

scotty
scotty
9 years ago

My name is Scott, and I too am a Chump.

However, I’ve learned that “no” is a complete sentence. It requires no further explanation or reasoning.
Just yesterday I caught myself in a Chump Moment with a friend, found myself being taken advantage of/disrespected, and put an end to that shit right quick. No guilt. It’s liberating. Chumpy Scott would’ve caved, re-arranged my schedule AGAIN for this person, and likely have been pissed off about it. Probably would’ve thrown a little passive-aggressive behavior in the mix after the fact rather than expressing my feelings of displeasure with the situation directly.

In hindsight, the erosion of my boundaries is perfectly analogous to the “Boiling Frog”. I swear remember having them early on. Unfortunately an Unaware Chump is no match for a Manipulator. I do ok with boundaries with relatively healthy people these days…but I think it’s best if I simply identify and avoid the manipulators altogether. It’s a rigged game that I don’t want to participate in, let alone win.

ThatGirl
ThatGirl
9 years ago
Reply to  scotty

“but I think it’s best if I simply identify and avoid the manipulators altogether. It’s a rigged game that I don’t want to participate in, let alone win.”

I so agree with this.

Chumps are nice people at heart, we want to help, to give – it’s our default state of being, the knee jerk reaction. Unfortunately that’s a recipe for pain when paired with a user. I’m seriously working on my people picker.

TimeHeals
TimeHeals
9 years ago
Reply to  scotty

I think it’s best if I simply identify and avoid the manipulators altogether

Avoiding manipulative adults whenever possible–especially in more intimate relationships—IS healthy behavior, I think.

TimeHeals
TimeHeals
9 years ago
Reply to  TimeHeals

Actually, I meant you should avoid having more intimate relationships with manipulators or end relationships with them if they are very manipulative.

Avoid is not the right word in the context of “intimate relationships”.

RNE is going though the big D and I don't mean Dallas
RNE is going though the big D and I don't mean Dallas
9 years ago

My name is Rebecca and I’ve been a chump all my life. Dday was February 23rd and I found ChumpLady the very next day. This blog has saved me in so many ways, but mostly, it’s shown me the truth of myself and given me the tools to try and fix it. I’m still a chump, but I’m on the right track to recover from it. Once you accept what you are, it’s just a matter of recognizing the behavior and pulling back from it. I wish there was as easy of a solution for recovering from a broken heart.

LilyBart
LilyBart
9 years ago

I am the chumpiest chump who ever chumped down Chumpway Avenue.

I’m working on it. I’m really struggling to find that happy balance between saying “No! No! No!” like a child who just learned the word and the chumpy “Sure!” through gritted teeth. Looking for the middle way.

Gio
Gio
9 years ago
Reply to  LilyBart

LilyBart,

‘I am the chumpiest chump who ever chumped down Chumpway Avenue. ‘

That cracked me up~~!

Too funny.

Gawd, I’ve been realizing what a chump I’ve been with my adult child. Holy Crap, I’m only invited if I get my Chump Outfit on and get my Chump wallet out. Or my Chump debit card. Chump Cash is the best!!

I’ll do ‘anything’ so you like me. WTF? I backed away from that one fellow chumps and it was HARD.

ANR
ANR
9 years ago
Reply to  LilyBart

That’s me too, LB. I recently stopped wearing my wedding ring — worry that my cheater will feel bad about that. I kid you not.

George
George
9 years ago
Reply to  ANR

Yes, ditch the ring. Rid yourself of every damned thing that reminds you of her. Get a clean break from it.
In fact, buy something that you know would annoy the hell out of her – I know a guy who bought a snuff caddy – the ultimate redneck fashion accessory.

ANR
ANR
9 years ago
Reply to  George

That’s easy — expensive lighter and cigarette case.

Rumblekitty
Rumblekitty
9 years ago
Reply to  ANR

Awe, that broke my heart a little ANR. 🙁

I’m glad you took that ring off! I took my ring off immediately but I had it on my dresser for awhile and it keep making me feel bad. So, I took all the jewelry he ever bought and threw it in a box and it’s all locked in a safe until I can sell it all.

After I sell it, I’m going to pick out something awesome and put it on layaway as a divorce present to me. 🙂

Wow33
Wow33
9 years ago
Reply to  Rumblekitty

You could give all that jewelry to a jeweler and they can melt it and make something coustom for you!!!

ExpatChump
ExpatChump
9 years ago
Reply to  Rumblekitty

I only plan to sell the wedding and engagement rings and replace it with another one (kinda been looking). I’ve got lots of other fabulous jewelry he’s given me over the years – diamond earrings and necklaces, tennis bracelets, watches – which I will be keeping and wearing.

ANR
ANR
9 years ago
Reply to  Rumblekitty

At least I won’t have to worry about what to do with all the nice gifts she gave me. The ring’s about it, really. And we picked it because it matched hers.

Rumblekitty
Rumblekitty
9 years ago
Reply to  ANR

That sounds like a nice little item to unload at your local pawn shop. Get rid of it; it might as well be tin.

Bella
Bella
9 years ago
Reply to  ANR

My DDay was January 12th. When I realized that there was going to be no reconciliation, I stopped wearing my wedding ring (some time in March)- felt absolutely terrible about it. The interesting thing is that although I have lost about 35 lbs since January and my ring never ever bothered me before, I just tried to put it back on today b/c I missed the feeling of having it on my finger and the sucker would not go down passed my knuckle. Isn’t that crazy?

KarenE
KarenE
9 years ago
Reply to  Bella

Your body is telling you, Bella!!!

Lyn
Lyn
9 years ago
Reply to  ANR

ANR, I felt terrible taking off my ring. I’d worn it every day for 32 years, except for when I was having surgery. My ex, on the other hand, stopped wearing his ring about 10 years before he left. What is it with us being so committed to someone who clearly isn’t committed to us?

Emily
Emily
9 years ago
Reply to  Lyn

Once I took that ring off I could NEVER put it back on. Very big and symbolic step for this chump. Just another step in making me a stronger person. Such an amazing journey, that I feel proud of having made and survived. 2 1/2 years from DDAY 1#

Chumpdiddlyumpcious
Chumpdiddlyumpcious
9 years ago
Reply to  ANR

I felt the same exact way! My divorce was final 4/16 & I felt guilty taking our wedding photo off the mantle this past weekend.
~ Super duper chump!

Lily Bart
Lily Bart
9 years ago
Reply to  ANR

ANR,

Yes, I totally relate. Don’t be too hard on yourself, though. You’re a good person, and you’re aware of the problem and working on it. These are all positives in my book.

~LilyBart

BloomingRoseinWinter
BloomingRoseinWinter
9 years ago
Reply to  ANR

Get Yourself a Sharpy and write NO where it Used to be.

Kelly
Kelly
9 years ago

Awesome, Blooming Rose!

Dani
Dani
9 years ago

I bought myself a silly silver ring that says LIVE on it and I now wear that on my “wedded bliss” finger. Just to remind me that my life is about living these days. Not about my sham of a marriage. It also keeps some of the creepers away. Some of them…

Jamberry
Jamberry
9 years ago
Reply to  Dani

Dani, I love the ring. Am thinking about getting one myself. “Live” is almost like a beautiful command to yourself, you know?

chumppalla
chumppalla
9 years ago

hahaha BLOOMINROSE – sharpie that NO where the ring used to be – YES!!!!

Current chump
Current chump
9 years ago

OMG-THIS!

SheChump
SheChump
9 years ago
Reply to  Current chump

My asshole stbx actually thought I was such a chump he asked for my wedding ring back. After 35 years? And, ha – I actually said yes. Of course, that’s until I read this thread today – no more of that kind of chump for me. What was I thinking!!!

echo
echo
9 years ago
Reply to  SheChump

She Chump, I’m not surprised he expected to take the ring back. He took his promise back, didn’t he? Hang on to it gurl!

Current chump
Current chump
9 years ago
Reply to  Current chump

I meant the sharpie NO comment

GladIt'sOver
GladIt'sOver
9 years ago

Ha, this is awesome! Seriously, though, ANR, I suggest selling the ring at one of those gold depot type places that give you cash on the spot for old jewelry. Then take the money and buy yourself something you really want, but would never have spent the money on previously. You deserve it.

ANR
ANR
9 years ago
Reply to  GladIt'sOver

That’s a good idea. Wish I could sell her rings — they’re worth a lot more than mine.

Louise
Louise
9 years ago

I refer to myself as chump emeritus because I have served out my term of chumpdom! Now, I proudly refer to myself as the pushy bitch from hell who won’t take your shit!( I work in a very male-dominated profession and any strong woman is subject to be called that word, so I wear it like a badge of honor).

Uniquelyme
Uniquelyme
9 years ago
Reply to  Louise

I may be a bitch but a damn good one.

Gio
Gio
9 years ago
Reply to  Louise

Good for you Louise!~!~

GladIt'sOver
GladIt'sOver
9 years ago
Reply to  Louise

There’s a bumper sticker I see occasionally and like: “You say “bitch” like it’s a bad thing.”

Patty
Patty
9 years ago
Reply to  GladIt'sOver

When one of my coworkers was called a bitch by a student she very calmly said “That is MS. BITCH to you, and don’t forget it.

Sunny
Sunny
9 years ago
Reply to  Louise

You know what bitch stands for, right?

It means, “Boys, I’m Taking Charge Here”!

Hawk
Hawk
9 years ago
Reply to  Sunny

Like

Kelly
Kelly
9 years ago
Reply to  Louise

You go pushy bitch! Awesome!!

notyou
notyou
9 years ago

Another HOME RUN, Tracy!

You are getting to look like Ty Cobb [ all time highest batting average of .366] 🙂

Ted Williams (Rank #6, Average .344) once made a PROFOUND comment about the game of baseball which is equally profound when applied to life.

Williams said that those who FAIL ‘only’ seven times out of ten attempts will be the greatest in the game.

I repeat: Williams said that those who FAIL ‘only’ seven times out of ten attempts will be the GREATEST IN THE GAME.

This analogy illustrates another point about one of the less recognized but equally damaging reasons that Chumps spackle:

***THE USELESS NEED FOR PERFECTION***
(aka. I’m Never Quite Good Enough)

A person with low self confidence tends to set themselves unreasonably high standards. They’re a perfectionist. This seriously undermines their confidence because nothing they do is ever quite good enough; therefore, they never give themselves credit for their achievements.

Why is it so damned easy for manipulators to induce Chumps to do the “Pick Me Dance”and the “Spackle Shuffle”? Whether consciously or not, your manipulator knows how to find and push the “Perfection” button because YOU have demonstrated consistently by your behavior that it will “quick start” you to PROVE that you are perfect.

The advertising media is relentless in peddling totally unrealistic perfection–especially for women–who make up the bulk of their target audience. Perfectionistic parents and peers played their role, too.

But just because you bought into the perfection trap does not mean you cannot self examine and opt OUT.

Trying to be “perfect” all the time creates a deep seated anxiety that pervades everything we do, and ironically defeats the very purpose of enjoying life. Sadly you are frequently not fun to be around because there is always this underlying tension due to the useless need for perfection.

There is a good chance that we will NOT be perfect at about 7 of every 10 things we attempt in this life. Not only is this normal; it is “perfectly” OK to do the best you can do ….because if you can have a “batting average” like this you ARE (hear me now) one of the greatest in the game.

Do your best. Don’t expect the impossible from yourself. Forgive yourself quickly and completely for your “perceived” failures when you know you’ve done your best. And then LET. IT. GO.

HappyXChump
HappyXChump
9 years ago
Reply to  notyou

Have you read “The Gifts of Imperfection” by Brene Brown? An excellent read on this very topic. The tag line is “Let go of who you think you’re supposed to be and embrace who you are”.

Also, listening to her Ted Talks, like this one on vulnerability are so enlightening for us, Chumps.

https://www.ted.com/talks/brene_brown_on_vulnerability

LovedaJackass
LovedaJackass
9 years ago
Reply to  HappyXChump

I love her books. When I was going through the stage where the Jackass was gaslighting me, I read her books as if I were starving and they were food–which sorts of fits since I had problems with eating even before D-Day because the changes in his behavior were so drastic and sudden. And my body knew what was up before my mind would admit it. But Brown helped me sort out the importance of vulnerability, authenticity, and giving up the need to be “perfect,” or as I thought of it, “bulletproof.” Ironic that she talk about the importance of vulnerability and I was, at the time, just being gutted emotionally, but the book helped me redefine and hold onto the right values. I think I might have closed my heart up after D-Day but I was trying to practice living the way Brown talks about, and I knew that I had to have the courage (as she say) to love, to risk, to be vulnerable. She also has one of the best explanations of betrayal; I’ll find and post it.

ExpatChump
ExpatChump
9 years ago
Reply to  LovedaJackass

“because the changes in his behavior were so drastic and sudden” same with my cheater, only these changes didn’t manifest until AFTER DDay. I can’t stop wondering what has happened to him. He really is not the same person. Not physically violent, but cold and manipulative. He’s so different in fact, I’m beginning to fear for my daughters’ relationship with him. Always daddy’s girls when they learn about the ow they will be crushed.

ExpatChump
ExpatChump
9 years ago
Reply to  ExpatChump

And I should add we were together 20 years, married for 17 and I never saw a glimpse of this other person he’s become

LovedaJackass
LovedaJackass
9 years ago
Reply to  ExpatChump

I concluded that the mean, cold, lying, manipulative guy is the real “him.” That He had been careful for years to mask that with me, and when i saw it slip out in his relationship with others, I spackled like a pro. I got the gaslighting and the changes before D-Day because I think he was trying to get me to either end it or lose my mind so he would have an excuse to break his commitments (financial, emotional) to me. He had a shot at living free in his family’s home, maybe scoring that for the rest of his life, and his skank MOW right around the block. As my shrink says, he likes convenience.

LovedaJackass
LovedaJackass
9 years ago
Reply to  LovedaJackass

I think this is from her book “Daring Greatly”; it describes the devastating impact of someone we love disengaging from the relationship. Most of us experienced that not only relative to D-Day but also well prior to that time–so even before we discover the cheating. we have been betrayed in the “crazy-making” way:
. If I had to choose the form of betrayal that emerged most frequently from my research and that was the most dangerous in terms of corroding the trust connection, I would would say disengagement.
“When the people we love or with whom we have a deep connection stop caring, stop paying attention, stop investing and fighting for the relationship, trust begins to slip away and hurt starts seeping in. Disengagement triggers shame and our greatest fears – the fears of being abandoned, unworthy, and unlovable. What can make this covert betrayal so much more dangerous than something like a lie or an affair is that we can’t point to the source of our pain – there’s no event, no obvious evidence of brokenness. It can feel crazy-making.”

The full passage, plus context is quoted a:t http://www.psychologytoday.com/blog/owning-pink/201209/the-worst-kind-betrayal

FoolMeTwice
FoolMeTwice
9 years ago
Reply to  LovedaJackass

Wow. This passage expresses it so perfectly. Thanks, LaJ.

Rosie Boa
Rosie Boa
9 years ago
Reply to  notyou

My mother was a crafty woman and a maker of beautiful quilts. There is a tradition that many quilt makers follow, including my mother, which is to include a deliberate imperfection somewhere in their otherwise perfect works – a scrap of fabric that doesn’t match, a piece where the corners don’t join up squarely, the wrong coloured thread in a section. The intention of this is humility – recognising the ‘only God is perfect’.

I am not religious myself but the meaning is still very relevant. I have suffered from perfectionism all my life, which fuels my chumpiness, but have learned that of all the billions of imperfect people in this world, it is terrible and tiring kind of pride to imagine that I alone should or can be perfect. Why should I expect that of myself? I have never met another person who is perfect!

TimeHeals
TimeHeals
9 years ago
Reply to  notyou

I’d be over the moon if one thing out of ten turned out perfectly … especially on a first attempt 🙂

notyou
notyou
9 years ago
Reply to  TimeHeals

Time,

You only have to get 3/10 perfect to make the Hall of Fame.
So, 1/10 is a pretty good performance. Don’cha think? 😉

GladIt'sOver
GladIt'sOver
9 years ago
Reply to  notyou

Excellent post, NotYou. Fear of imperfection is a big issue for me, and leads to procrastination, which prevents me from making as much money as I could and causes me a lot of stress. I’ve slowly been getting better in this area, but it has taken a lot of therapy and cognitive work.

BloomingRoseinWinter
BloomingRoseinWinter
9 years ago
Reply to  notyou

This. THis… T H I S !!

Y E S .

Mehphista
Mehphista
9 years ago

Right on, Notyou!

I am trying to counteract that perfectionistic drive with gratitudes, and I am grateful for everyone here.

Spackle free seventeen months, three days.

x-Meh

P.F
P.F
9 years ago

Looking back, I see why, I became a chump.

Personality disordered folks are attracted to chumps. Chumps are fixers, chumps are practical, chumps bring with them balance and consistency, Chumps have empathy and chumps are givers. Personality disordered crave both stability and excitement and their needs are never met by just one person. Personality disordered see the people in their lives as an extension of themselves and not as separate individuals.

I am a chump…..but, a chump in progress, I really don’t want to change who I am. the only thing I can change is my picker, along with my daily dose of NO vitamins.

Chump Lad
Chump Lad
9 years ago
Reply to  P.F

Very profound P.F. and a good sum up. I am two years out of a destroyed by cheating twenty year marriage and you gave me just a little more insight on my ex. She loved having me as a warm, agreeable and understanding base with her parallel high excitement and somewhat vapid boyfriend. She navigated the double life for nearly 5 years with amazing facility, and I can see now it fed her needs.

Anyhow, keeping with the theme of this, I fed into it, I was too agreeable and I must own it. I will however never ever lose my empathy, kindness and trust, but I have a duty to be a whole lot wiser and careful.

Lucky
Lucky
9 years ago
Reply to  Chump Lad

Well said P.F. My X actually wanted me to continue to organise his life and finances, have dinner with me and the kids 3 times a week (because he couldn’t imaging a better family life), and arrange ‘family’ holidays for us all while he live with the OW. He was honestly hurt when I told him that wasn’t how the world worked. It made me realise what a mega-Chump I had become and what a twisted person he was.

perdido
perdido
9 years ago

I definitely got stuck for a while in the examining the skein of fuckedupness. I have for the most part moved past it. I’ve been in therapy ever since he was arrested but honestly we haven’t talked that much about why I did the things I did (fall for the gaslighting, accept such shitty behavior, keep choosing losers, etc etc I could go on and on but I will save that for later) – I think I’m going to bring that up today because coincidentally I have my appt today but I’m also going to work on that on my own – examining my self.

Moving Liquid
Moving Liquid
9 years ago

Oh I am a chump alright. I’ve got no problem owning/admitting it. The problem is if I stop to think about how my chumpiness has ruined my life, I am overwhelmed with grief. I’m probably not getting the point of the article, but feeling worse about myself is something I just don’t need right now.

Admitting I’m a chump, forgiving myself, and doing my best to change this pattern is all I can do. Giving myself a harsh does of Chump Ownership is more than I can handle right now. Maybe it depends on your current state of mind. I’m still too raw and still too hard on myself.

Louise
Louise
9 years ago
Reply to  Moving Liquid

Sometimes, grief is the hardest part. We live in a culture that doesn’t like grief and, in fact, often medicates it. It is okay to grieve; grieving allows us to come to terms with what happened to us! Please don’t beat yourself up for being a kind person; the world needs more kindness. Just know that it will get better and give yourself permission to “rise”.(If you need a boost today, YouTube Maya Angelou reciting her poem “Still I Rise.” I promise you it will make your day a little brighter!)

notyou
notyou
9 years ago
Reply to  Louise

Louise,

There is great truth in your observation about our culture’s strong aversion to grief. To people who’ve never been in “grief shoes”, grieving people can be too painful to endure…. except on a superficial basis. I believe it is because most observers feel powerless to help; but there are also shallow people whose attitude is that grief just isn’t “fun” to be around (and besides that shit might be contagious) so I’ll just come back around when you are “fun” again.

In cases of uncomplicated grief there typically is little if any need for medication. Sitting with the pain and working through it speeds up the recovery process because the person can focus primarily on the process of mourning their dead loved one.

Complicated grief is a whole other matter. And usually one who is grieving the loss of a partner, a marriage, and an intact family as they knew it while simultaneously dealing with the rage and helplessness of Post Infidelity Stress Disorder simply has too much on the plate. It can knock the strongest of us to our knees until we are able to figure out how to break into the vicious cycle and get started. And until we can, we do intuitive things that make our situation worse. [It is totally counter intuitive to go No Contact, but NC can be one of the most constructive actions we can take when very sight of someone elicits the whole shotgun blast of emotions. ] IMO transitional medication is invaluable in these cases…not as a “cure” nor as a permanent “crutch,” but utilized like a cast on broken arm…support until the limb has begun to heal enough that it can finish the process on its own. They give us a fighting chance.

My younger sister was widowed (long term marriage) not quite 5 months before my H nuked our long-term (32+ yr) marriage. Both of us were basket cases. One day Sis looked at me and out of the blue said, “Yanno, I think you’ve had it worse than I because at lease I can tell myself that his illness took ****** instead of the office ho-worker.” I knew that his decision had been his choice and the woman only a cheerleader, but the essence of what Sis said rang true….there was no dignity in it.

An acrimonious divorce, especially one due to adultery is, “death without dignity,”….initially we don’t know how to get a handle on it. and those who have never dealt with it don’t either. There is going to be complicated grief. Mental health professionals need to be acutely aware of that fact, and chumps need to know what they are experiencing.

SheChump
SheChump
9 years ago
Reply to  notyou

notyou – I also had this experience with a young, wise niece of mine. She had 2 toddler boys when her H committed hari kari (glad he didn’t take out the family too). It was hard to understand her grief at the time but here, 10 yrs later we talk and she says – ‘Auntie – you have it so much worse. Your husband is alive. At least mine is dead.’ I can’t believe this young 35 yr old had more wisdom than I. And, boy, did she understand my grief!

lale
lale
9 years ago
Reply to  Moving Liquid

I think it’s about knowing your part so you can defend yourself for the future, not blaming yourself for the past. Like if you were robbed, you could either be angry at the robber and live your life scared of being robbed again, or you could decide to take a different route, learn how to fight or buy a gun. It wouldn’t be your fault you didn’t do those things already, the robber is the asshole, but now you’ll be ready to avoid and/or fight the robber if it were to happen again.

Lyn
Lyn
9 years ago
Reply to  lale

lale, I think of it this way. You got robbed and it wasn’t your fault. The robbery was all on the burglar. However, you didn’t lock your windows, you didn’t leave your front porch light on, you let the bushes grow too tall which gave the robber a good place to hide. So now you’ve been robbed and you’re livid. You scream “I didn’t do anything to deserve being robbed,” but you did leave yourself more vulnerable to being robbed than your neighbor, who installed a home alert system. So perhaps that’s your problem. You trust people too much and don’t protect yourself with reasonable precautions. After you learn that you’re too trusting, you make an assessment of your vulnerabilities and your fix them. It doesn’t guarantee you’re not going to be robbed again, but it will be harder for the next burglar to get in.

TimeHeals
TimeHeals
9 years ago
Reply to  Lyn

I have two dogs. It’s easier for a robber to select a neighbor 🙂

nomar
nomar
9 years ago
Reply to  TimeHeals

I have two dogs as well. But I’m defenseless if the robber brings pizza crusts.

Kelly
Kelly
9 years ago
Reply to  nomar

Hahaha Nomar

SheChump
SheChump
9 years ago
Reply to  nomar

Last night I did something I’ve never, ever done. But, was distracted, I guess. Left my big garage door open all night and the door to the house unlocked. My 3 Danes sleep with me and, trust me, if somebody had of broken in, they would have had 350#’s of scared mad dogs to face. No cookies would have helped at 3 am. One of my dogs is a true guard dog at 190#’s and thank god all the neighbors and workers here know this – he don’t like people. Still, talk about leaving us all open to getting killed. A robber could have a gun and shoot them all. Sorry for being off topic – but, I still seem to do stupid things now that I find myself alone. Vigilance seems to be key to getting out of Chumphood, I guess.

Chumpdiddlyumpcious
Chumpdiddlyumpcious
9 years ago
Reply to  Moving Liquid

ML, to add on to points made by notyou & Tonya, owning it isn’t about beating yourself up, it’s about empowerment. It places your power back in your hands to choose better for yourself. Anytime I feel like I’m slipping into self punishment or rumination I say out loud to myself “Stop! You’ve been through enough” and I remember to be gentle with myself instead of adding to the pain. I can’t control or change what my cheater did but I can control my response to it.

Moving Liquid
Moving Liquid
9 years ago

So many good responses to my comment. And all of them good and useful. Thanks, everyone. Your compassion means everything to me right now.

LovedaJackass
LovedaJackass
9 years ago
Reply to  Moving Liquid

Sending powerful thoughts your way! Keep up the good work!

Chump Lad
Chump Lad
9 years ago
Reply to  Moving Liquid

M.L., great comments to your post. Do not beat yourself up because it is self loathing… which is essentially crazy.

Another positive to going the empowerment route; you learn to make decisions in your life that (at times) center around what YOU want to do and what makes you comfortable. No one else can know what you need at times except you. You do not have to depend on some more directed and selfish person to run things.

Tonya
Tonya
9 years ago
Reply to  Moving Liquid

ML, that’s understandable. I remember feeling so indignant when someone pointed out the fact that I was complicit in my own relationships. It was said not to excuse the bastard who fucked me over but to alert me to the fact that I attract people like this with my chumpy ways.

It’s kinda liberating when you realise that by toughening up a little you can safeguard yourself from some of the shittier people in the world. It is more about empowerment than blame so don’t go beating yourself up.

notyou
notyou
9 years ago
Reply to  Moving Liquid

Moving Liquid,

Owning your chumpiness does not mean beating yourself up with it. It simply means acknowledging that you bought into some stinkin’ thinkin’ unrealistic ideas about who you should be… as opposed to who you are.

Apply that 7/10 rule that I mentioned above and just see if you aren’t one hell of a lot more of a resilient and successful person than you have convinced yourself you are.

BloomingRoseinWinter
BloomingRoseinWinter
9 years ago

HI, Tracy 😉

You Got a GREAT Hubby for the ” Bargain ” Price of 2 Assholes and a Coupla Years of Hell.

We ALL Pay for our Chumpiness…
but I Like to Think, What Goes Round comes Round Too..
And if THAT’s the CASE…
The REST of US got Something AWESOME Waiting for US Too…. In Time. 🙂

Jodezter
Jodezter
9 years ago

Hi my name is Jodez and I’m a chump. I have been spackle free for about 4 months.
‘Why did I accept this crap?’
That’s what I’ve been trying to figure out for these 4 months. I actually found a photo of myself as a teenager and wrote a letter to me. To that young, innocent, chumpy girl. It’s a letter I wish I could actually send. About how much more she should demand from life and from a relationship. How much potential that young girl has and how she deserves someone who really loves. You have value baby girl. You are important. You have a good heart but don’t let that blind you to the evil.

I forgot my worth. I allowed someone else to control my stock price, so to speak. I’m not sure how to word this analogy exactly, but I shouldn’t have floated my worth on the open market as a public company, if that makes sense? Allowing someone else to determine my worth that day.
And that’s on me. I allowed that.

And it’s so hard to change the way you determine your own self worth. How long before it’s not tangled up in someone else? Someone who doesn’t know a good person from a shitty one anyway! He shouldn’t be controlling that! He’s incompetent! I need to take charge of this the same way I was in charge of everything else. It’s almost like that was his only job in our marriage and he fucked that up too.

You have worth. You are important. They do not determine your value in this world.

Lyn
Lyn
9 years ago
Reply to  Jodezter

“Allowing someone else to determine my worth that day.
And that’s on me. I allowed that.”

Amen to that. I sometimes think it’s quite odd that it took total rejection and abandonment to make me stop looking for my worth in another person. How did I let him become the judge and jury of my self worth to begin with?

thensome
thensome
9 years ago
Reply to  Lyn

This is me too Lyn. Since when? I think I believed that he knew best. I have no idea why I gave my power away but I did. I felt so diminished over time that I didn’t know if I was buying the correct food. It was ridiculous.

It’s now that I see. I see the control and manipulation. I just didn’t see it then. I see how much of myself I gave away to a person I could never please. I was a HUGE chump.

Jodezter
Jodezter
9 years ago
Reply to  thensome

Yep. I’m not sure how? when? why?

And it took the slap in the face of him leaving and effectively saying my value was zero, that made me think “Shit, hang on. How did I get here?” (of course first I wallowed in my misery for a while, and believed he was right).

From all the reading I’ve done on this site I don’t think any of us really ‘see’. If we did I’m sure we’d leave these relationships long before the cheating. Well, I hope I would have…
….honestly, I probably would have just tried to fix that too…..geez, maybe I’m a lost cause 😉

heartbroken_no_more
heartbroken_no_more
9 years ago
Reply to  Jodezter

I think many of us have self esteem issues.

BloomingRoseinWinter
BloomingRoseinWinter
9 years ago
Reply to  Jodezter

🙂 Thanks for This….
and I Understand you.

I Think Everytime we Meet someone who makes our Hearts go Pitterpat, We Should Look at Our Inner Child, and Ask ” Is THIS Person OK to Unleash Upon THEM ? ”
If we’re Not Sure…Go SLOWER.. if The Answer is NO..Get OUT, N O W..and Don’t Look Back…and Without Hesitation…Without APOLOGY.

Jodezter
Jodezter
9 years ago

It made sense to me but I’m not as articulate as a lot of Chump nation 🙂

I think you’ve hit the nail on the head with your advice BloomingRose! This is going to be my plan now. Is this person/behaviour something I would advise for that inner child? That young girl?

I think the ‘without apology’ part is going to be tough for this Chump….Gotta get STRONG

Tonya
Tonya
9 years ago

Great post!

I was a child chump, a teenage chump and I then became an adult chump. I am now a chump in recovery.

If I could turn back time (to quote Cher) I would dance on all of the people who fucked me over. Those bitches who once chased me home and for no good reason shoved my ice-cream into my face – to the man I married and trusted and some those awful boyfriends and ‘friends’ in between. I never fought back. I just took that shit lying down.

Chumps it is time to rise up. It is better to live on your feet than die on your knees.

Kelly
Kelly
9 years ago
Reply to  Tonya

“Chumps it is time to rise up. It is better to live on your feet than die on your knees.”

Exactly.

Moving Liquid
Moving Liquid
9 years ago
Reply to  Tonya

Just as the nerds and geeks are rising up, we too shall rise up, we are Chump Nation!

Lisah
Lisah
9 years ago

Hi. I am the chumpiest of Canadian chumps ever! We aim to please!
There is an episode of Family Guy where Stewie and Brian go to Canada ( eh ) and their vehicle breaks down. Of course it’s winter (polar bears and such ) …
They meet a Canadian. He gives them his snowmobile and then offers to hack off one of his legs. This of course will leave him to bleed out slowly in the snow – but that’s what. Chumps do!!!
I think that about sums up how I feel. He took it all down to the last drop, and then left me to rot.
I am learning all about boundaries and I have learned that I tend to be attracted to these fucktards narcs. Reading up on codependency had helped.
I am slowly putting my spackle down. It ‘s not easy ( having been a Minister’s wife – # 1 spackle artist ) to step away from the people pleaser role.

Chump in the Sand
Chump in the Sand
9 years ago
Reply to  Lisah

Oh God, the minister’s wife! It’s hard to give up spackle when people are handing you the trowel on a regular basis. It’s like an alcoholic walking into a bar.

I speak from experience here, Lisah–I’m a Canadian minister’s wife too….

ChumpedinCanada_eh?
ChumpedinCanada_eh?
9 years ago
Reply to  Tracy Schorn

Tracy I think it would be closer if Canadian chumps were to car pool down to Texas for a chump trek convention.

While I was taking a tour of the rabbit hole to find out how deep the skein of fuckedupness goes, the result of course is it’s pretty fuckedup down there. I was trying to find out why all this cheating is supposedly my fault according to XW and her blaming my multitude of deficiencies (***cough*** bullshit). Along the way though, I do realize I’m pretty chumpy. You see I’m not a jealous person, so my XW had free range to go whereever and see whoever she pleases. After all, at the end of the day she is coming home to me so why should it matter. Just didnt realize my home wasnt the only home she was visiting. I also realize that most of her friends are male, she only has 2 female friends and even then she doesnt spend much time with them. Other women can see through her shiny sparkles and call her on her shit, where certain other men just think she’s the best. Flirty and dirty.

Now that my eyes are wide open, I’m still not a jealous person so if I dare imagine meeting a future mate I still wont be possessive and clingy. But I do realize I had not put in place any boundaries whatsoever somewhat reinforcing in her mind that she can do as she pleases without consequences. I wont repeat that mistake.

Lisah
Lisah
9 years ago

I have my B class – I could load us up into bus ( sure we could fill more than one ) and do a Chump Pilgrimage to Texas.

We all live in Toronto right?!??

Kidding !

ChumpedinCanada_eh?
ChumpedinCanada_eh?
9 years ago
Reply to  Lisah

Chump Bus aka Canadian Karma Bus. Love it! and Lisah you are the bus driver. I sure hope our cheaters aren’t jaywalking in front of us. What’s the emergency stopping distance on a bus anyway…nevermind just floor it!

SheChump
SheChump
9 years ago
Reply to  Lisah

You Cannucks are totally cracking me up. And, hey – as a former and still Cdn, don’t forget all that Whale Slaughtering they’re doing up in Winnipeg. (I’m a westerner) The ignorance about the country is knee slapping funny.

Chump in the Sand
Chump in the Sand
9 years ago
Reply to  Lisah

ROAD TRIP! Canadian-style!

Canada is about…as large as Texas believes itself to be….

FoolMeTwice
FoolMeTwice
9 years ago

Ooooooh, I love the idea of a PNW chump asylum! CL, if you ever find yourself in Vancouver or thereabouts, you will definitely have a very warm welcome, and as much fish as you could ever hope to eat. Plus cilantro. Never even heard of it ’til I came here (Detroit born and raised), but now it’s the one herb I can’t live without.

Seriously, though. Wouldn’t it be awesome to do a chump retreat? A weekend of connection and rebooting? I would so love to be part of that.

KarenE
KarenE
9 years ago

Lake pike, don’t forget lake pike!

ANR
ANR
9 years ago
Reply to  Tracy Schorn

Ha!

Meg
Meg
9 years ago
Reply to  ANR

Apparently there is an epidemic of sinister ministers (thanks CL!) up here in the Great White North. The bucket of spackle included in the job description of minister’s wife is very heavy – even without a cheating husband. I guess I should be grateful the OW is holding the bucket & trowel now 🙂

ANR
ANR
9 years ago
Reply to  Meg

So … he married the woman he cheated with and is still a minister? There’s a denomination that sets the bar high.

Meg
Meg
9 years ago
Reply to  ANR

His god understands and is OK with it, mine is so NOT OK with it.

ANR
ANR
9 years ago
Reply to  ANR

I think the phrase for this sort of things is “doing a Prince Charles.”

Chump in the Sand
Chump in the Sand
9 years ago
Reply to  ANR

You’d be surprised how easy that is…go on sick leave and be HEALED! Hallelujah!

blue
blue
9 years ago

I am a chump. Looking back, I was a chump even before XH’s affair. I put up with a lot of crap–from him, his parents, sister. Why did I put up with that? Because I thought that was part of being a “good” wife. In the end, it didn’t make much difference and, if anything, caused XH to disrespect me even more. But what options did I have back then? In the beginning, I would speak up because it bothered me, but there was no convincing XH that he was wrong, and XH would say that I was being “selfish” for bothering him about these issues when he needed to focus all his time and energy on building his career.

If it weren’t for XH’s affair, I don’t think I would ever have the impetus to file for divorce. I didn’t even realize I was being emotionally abused until I went NC on him, though I did sometimes feel like leaving him prior to the affair, because of his unpredictable temper and his continually blaming me for everything that was wrong with his life.

What can you do if someone is emotionally abusing you but has not been unfaithful? It’s easier to explain to people that you’re divorcing because of infidelity, but it gets harder to explain if your spouse just has “anger issues” with little or no physical violence, especially if you have children together and your spouse seems like a rational, funny, good guy on the outside.

I never thought I’d say this, but, in some respects, I am sort of grateful for XH’s affair. (A year ago, I would have told you that XH’s affair was the worst thing that ever happened to me in my life.) XH’s affair made his disrespect of me crystal clear and undeniable. And XH’s affair was a good enough reason for me, my parents and friends to leave him, though a few friends tried to persuade me to give him a “second” chance (which I had, but XH continued to lie about seeing OW), go to therapy with him and/or try to own “my part” of the break-up.

blue
blue
9 years ago
Reply to  blue

Thanks for all of your replies. Yes, I think part of why I put up with the emotional abuse from XH–the criticism, anger, yelling, blaming, comparing me to others (my in-laws were particularly fond of this)–is that my mother was that way to me when I was young, and I had to “understand” and “put up with it” because my mother was under so much stress and there was always something I wasn’t good enough at. Even before the affair, it occurred to me that my XH and mother were similar–very social and “charming” on the outside and very concerned about image and status–but angry and rageful at home.

I’m not sure what I should do with this insight, as my mother has definitely changed since I’ve gotten older and has become much mellower (no yelling at me, though she still yells at my dad), and has helped me out A LOT with the kids and the whole divorce. Any advice?

Chumpectomy
Chumpectomy
9 years ago
Reply to  blue

Hi Blue,

I have the same experience. My mother would say things to me growing up such as “there will always be someone prettier than you.” “You’re a dirty girl” “Look at Elana she always does her homework.” Always comparing and me coming up short. She is hypercritical. I married someone like this at home and then a super nice guy in the street and in other people’s homes. It was so painful to feel so shitty about myself and to constantly look at other women in a way that I wished I were like them. Horrible way to live.

My mother is now happier in her life (on her third husband who is actually a nice person) and is more helpful to me. However, she has not changed all that much because she is not particularly working on it. She thinks I should get over it and just move on in a very critical way.

My feeling about this is: I have love for my mother but she is not a person I can really trust to respect me and my life. I hold her at a distance and enforce my boundaries and try to give myself what I need (good trustworthy friends who appreciate me, meaningful work, a rich life and a great relationship with my son) I do struggle financially and am trying to figure that out. What I do know is that I cannot give people who do not respect me power over my finances, emotions and intimate life.

With mom it’s giving to her and receiving from her without opening myself up to more of the same mind numbing chest and throat aching comparisons. I do not see my mother very often. I know that if she responds well one day, she will be compelled to attack me on another. This has meant mourning my lack of safety at home and also learning how to let it go. Nothing short of living my values each day.

I say receive her help with appreciation as long as you understand that it does not give her license to make you feel shitty. Cut it off (the conversation, interaction) when it goes that way. It sounds like your mother may have changed in a way that you are no longer her target. I hope that is the case, but if not that you can shape the relationship that feels honest and supportive to your life.

ANR
ANR
9 years ago
Reply to  Chumpectomy

This is how I was raised too. I married a woman just like her, down to the big dark eyes and awful love/hate relationship with her mother. Now Mom has Alzheimer’s and I’m the her only child in town. It’s a wonderful life!

Sandy R
Sandy R
9 years ago
Reply to  blue

Same here, blue. I put up with physical and emotional abuse the entire time we were together. He lied about things from day 1, and I never knew what to believe for 26 years. And I stayed. I guess I was so desperate to save my marriage that I put up with so much crap it’s unbelievable. Hindsight is 20/20, right?

KarenE
KarenE
9 years ago
Reply to  blue

Two years out, and feeling like that too; his cheating the second time was my ticket to freedom, although it sure didn’t feel like it at the time.

Life is harder in some ways, now – financially, single-parenting, no sex …. But I feel so much lighter, the atmosphere in our house is so much more pleasant, without the ex around. If I’d known how nice it would be, I’d have left years ago.

BTW; ‘I’m really really unhappy married to this person and there doesn’t seem to be any solution to that’ is a TOTALLY LEGIT reason to divorce. But even that is hard to do because the narcs seem to sense when we’re getting to that point, and draw back on the nastiness for a while, treat us a little better for a bit. Blergh.

Kat
Kat
9 years ago
Reply to  KarenE

Sex…..what is that?

KarenE
KarenE
9 years ago
Reply to  Kat

Ya must have some faint memory of sex ….. 😉 If I recall correctly, it felt pretty good!

I never realized I’d one day be glad that menopause ended up doing a number on my libido ….

scotty
scotty
9 years ago
Reply to  blue

blue, I too am grateful in a lot of ways. I HAD to take the Red Pill, own my reality and peek down the rabbit hole of who I was/had become – all of it – the people pleasing chumpiness, the FOO and childhood self-esteem issues I’ve been dragging around for 30+ years, my lack of confidence in my own intuition, how I let my spouse define my worth, how I allowed myself to even become involved with a poor-charactered individual like her in the first place, you name it. I could’ve done without all of it, and probably lived out my life just fine. But I am certain that I’ve never had my head screwed on straighter than I do today, and I still have work to do. There’s nowhere to go but up from rock bottom.

BloomingRoseinWinter
BloomingRoseinWinter
9 years ago
Reply to  blue

By Being Emotionally Abusive He IS Being UNFAITHFUL..It’s just a DIFFERENT Kind of being UNTrue to what You NEED.

Chump in the Sand
Chump in the Sand
9 years ago

Hello, my name is Sonja, and I’m a chump.

I’m learning that I’ve been raised a chump, and once I reached the age of maturity, have chosen to remain in my chumpiness. Part of my personal rabbit hole is finding out how deeply entrenched my chumpiness is rooted, and YANK IT OUT!

I have little to any idea how to apply Vitamin N. Anywhere in my life. But I sure as hell am going to learn…

KarenE
KarenE
9 years ago

I’m Karen, and I’m a double chump. Once to the sweet, loving, smart, sexy ALCOHOLIC of my twenties, and again for the smart, sexy, but not even sweet or loving CHEATER of my 40’s. You’d think I’d learn for heaven’s sake!

And I really needed this post today, because I was about to chumpily let the new cleaning woman walk out of my house without pointing out to her that several things are not actually CLEAN. I pay a person to clean, I want CLEAN! Yes, around the back of the kitchen sink! Yes, at the base of the bathroom taps! Vim and a toothbrush, lady!!! When I do it it’s CLEAN when I’m finished, so I want it CLEAN!!

Sorry, just needed to rant … helps strengthen my backbone.

Lyn
Lyn
9 years ago
Reply to  KarenE

KarenE, I am the same way! It would be hard for me to point out places the cleaning lady missed because I wouldn’t want to hurt her feelings! LOL

SheChump
SheChump
9 years ago
Reply to  Lyn

Oh, me too about the cleaning – but I seem to have a harder time getting away from CHATTERERS. Either on the phone (gotta go seems like I’m offending them) or in person (learned to say, gotta go feed my puppies) – all those folks are time-wasters and just want to talk about themselves anyway. Gotta work on this chumpiness by setting a little clock of how long I’ll let them go on. (see what I learn from my therapist!)

BloomingRoseinWinter
BloomingRoseinWinter
9 years ago

I Think we Women Need to stop letting All the Derrogatory Words people use to describe Women who Take No Shit bother Us. Who Gives a Shit what USERS THINK or SAY About us ?? I’ll Take THOSE TITLES title over Their Abuse and My Own SELF Hatred and Regret that would have Transpired if I Played the FOOL for THEM Again, Anyday.

We gotta Remember..It’s ONLY Words..and They Only Have the POWER that WE GIVE Them.

Roxie
Roxie
9 years ago

Hi, I’m Roxie and I’m a chump.

I think I’ve done a good job of untangling what made me so chumpy with my XH. A lot of things I should have done differently, but of course hindsight is so clear. I often think of a quote by Maya Angelou “I did then what I knew how to do. Now that I know better, I do better.”

What I still struggle with is being a chump daughter. My parents are elderly, and my mother (hugely NPD) has mastered the art of manipulation, and she uses my affection for my chumpy stepfather to get things out of me. After a lifetime of living large and not planning for tomorrow, my mom finds herself in a rough spot, and wants me to fix everything.
I am trying to do better, but sometimes the right thing to do isn’t so clear.

Louise
Louise
9 years ago
Reply to  Roxie

Roxie, I still have to set boundaries for my NPD mother. I would go NC, but I adore my very sick and elderly father and am truly afraid of how she would treat him if I wasn’t in the picture. Trying to make sure he is taken care of is so difficult because I am fully aware of the way my mom manipulates the situation (she is a”poor me” narcissist).Roz Chast’s new book “Can’t We Talk About Something More Pleasant?” has helped me laugh and cry at the difficulty of navigating becoming the parent to your parents!

Roxie
Roxie
9 years ago
Reply to  Louise

Thanks Louise, I will check out that book!
I think you and I are in the same boat here. I am afraid of how my mom treats my stepdad when I’m not around, because I see how she treats him when I am around! It’s a shame really, because he’s never been anything but fantastic to her, but now that he needs a little help……..
Gah! It ‘s aggravating!
My model for a good parent isn’t my mom, it’s my stepdad, and he’s pretty chumpy, but truly one of the finest men I’ve ever known. I hate to see him disrespected, just because he’s no longer able to provide for her as he used to. I don’t think my mom knows just how screwed she’d be if he wasn’t around, because he’s pretty much the only reason I haven’t gone NC.

KarenE
KarenE
9 years ago
Reply to  Roxie

Roxie, you’re in one of the hardest spots. The narc mother deserves to be given short shrift, but the nicer step-father does not, and they’re old …..

It’s going to be a balancing act for you, figuring out what you can do for them, and what you shouldn’t, how far you can go that’s safe for you, and when you need to set your limits. Just remember to make those decisions based on YOU and YOUR values, not on her demands and complaints. Maybe ear plugs would help 😉

Hope you have a good therapist, you’re going to need it.

Roxie
Roxie
9 years ago
Reply to  KarenE

You’re right, it is a delicate balancing act.
At least now though, when I’m being chumped by her, I’m very aware of being chumped and I only agree to do things that are truly necessary.

UnderConstruction
UnderConstruction
9 years ago

My habits of ignoring my own boundaries and spackling grew into me becoming someone I’m not. I got so far away from ME and my own passions and talents, in the name of being “nice”, that I ended up a shell that my husband or many friends couldn’t relate to any longer. My artistic soul fell asleep at the wheel while I was busy cleaning our home and laundry and making dinner parties and taking care of bills and my husband’s schedule, etc..

I became a supreme chump. Trying hard to be everyone’s friend by doing favors while letting my own true spirit wander toward death.

I’m rebuilding now. I have many regrets and lost so much in these past several years. The idea to cheat and lie are all on him… but in a way, I was lying to him as well. Not being the woman, the artist and creative driven person, that he’d fallen in love with.

There’s no going back to the start for my husband and I, so I’m rebuilding the true ME and will never lose myself in the “nice” zone again. I’m establishing those boundaries now and will work daily at maintaining them while using my best energy for my own creative endeavors.

Thx for this site! I’ve read and learned very much over the past 4 weeks since finding you guys. My best wishes for all of you going thru this stuff too.

Lyn
Lyn
9 years ago

I so relate to everything you said UnderConstruction! I love the idea of never losing ourselves to the “nice” zone again. Why is it that we are so hell bent on being nice, when others seem so proud to be nasty?

UnderConstruction
UnderConstruction
9 years ago
Reply to  Lyn

Lyn, I think my issues with it go back to the behaviors I developed in my family growing up. My Mother and sister (older than me) are both dominant and controlling. To avoid conflict, I’d either not stand up for myself, or I’d share my belongings with my sister if she had used all of her own (crayons, candy, clothes, etc). Peacemaker was also my role when my Mom and sister would be arguing for days.

My Dad was more laid back like me, into music and art like me.. so when he left us (I was 6), I was focused on accepting his once or twice per year visits ok in my head – I think that’s where the spackling started. He was killed when I was 16 and that’s where the fear of abandonment and doing everything I could to keep the people I love around.

Anyway, not sure of the origin, but these things are what go thru my mind when I’m thinking of how to do it better next time. And how to feel deeply good and joyful and appreciative of myself and my creativity again. It’s like I’m getting a new life with getting shaken enough to wake up those parts of myself that fell asleep for so long – but my heart is still breaking for the parts of my husband and my relationship that has kept us close friends all of these years even after dday. I get overwhelmed thinking of how different things could be and how many amazing opportunities I didn’t find while I’ve been sleeping. I’ve always had some of it going on as my paid work has always been artistic, but working under a director of some sort lacks that deep satisfaction and peace that comes with your own creations.

I’m rambling a little. Not sure why this post really brought up a lot that I’m thinking about these days.. had to post!

Lyn
Lyn
9 years ago

Under construction, I’m an artist too and sometimes wish I was less sensitive and more linear. Life would be a lot easier if I didn’t feel so deeply. My mother was sick and depressed all my life and my dad was a workaholic. I learned young to lay low and be quiet. Speaking up never did anything but make the climate in my house worse. I never saw anger worked through in a healthy way.

Sandy R
Sandy R
9 years ago

This article really hit home. Right now I am so angry with myself for my actions after Dday. I did things that I don’t even want to mention to “win” him back, and have him “pick me” and not the OW. Seriously, I am embarrassed by what I did! And the assfart didn’t deserve a damn bit of it. Oh yeah..he was getting off on having me begging and pleading for him to stay with me; while probably having a great laugh with the OW, knowing that he abandoned me for her, yet I still wanted him back. I think it will be awhile before I forgive myself. Right now, I am just trying to make it day to day. To get myself out of bed in the morning and trudge through the day. And like CL, I have a good heart. I will do just about anything to help anyone. Trouble is, the good people like us getting taken advantage of the most! You can’t win for lose, some days.

Moving Liquid
Moving Liquid
9 years ago
Reply to  Sandy R

Sandy, what I find so interesting is that I could have written your comment above; it seems that many of us could have. In a way this makes what my husband did less “special” which in turn eases how badly I feel about myself. He’s just a run of the mill narcissistic cheater after all.

MichaelD
MichaelD
9 years ago
Reply to  Moving Liquid

^^ This & i dont think I want to rehash the pick me dance shit. I am prob still doing it.
Fuck me.

Jodezter
Jodezter
9 years ago
Reply to  MichaelD

I’m with you MichaelD. Makes me puke in my mouth when I think of all the humiliating stuff I did. Bleh! The cheating wanker didn’t deserve any of it. Should’ve kicked him in the balls with steel capped boots on!

blue
blue
9 years ago
Reply to  Sandy R

SR, me, too. I did things after D-day, on the advice of “marriage coaches” like Mort Fertel, that I wish I had never done and am totally embarrased by, like writing XH a letter listing the hundreds of things I was grateful for him doing (which XH tried to use against me in the divorce proceedings), getting up extra early to cook him breakfast, bringing food to his place of work because he didn’t have time to eat (which he was really angry about btw, because he thought I was “spying” on him), buying sexy lingerie and trying to seduce him, saying “yes” when he asked if he could fantasize about OW while having sex with me (particularly humiliating, I know, but he was still “grieving” the OW), giving him questionnaires to fill out about his emotional needs, giving him massages, getting a whole wardrobe and hairstyle makeover (all to please him), staying up late to watch movies and converse with him and “pay extra attention” to him (because he felt “neglected”), chasing him down the apartment hallway barefooted begging him not to move to his new apartment, calling him throughout the day and buying him expensive gifts! All while working a full-time job and taking care of two young kids, one who was less than a year old.

What was XH’s response to this pick-me-dance? “I notice it, but it’s too little, too late. My mind is made up. I already told you, I’m leaving you,” though for some reason he was hesitating about filing for divorce, even though he had already moved to an apartment that he wouldn’t tell me the address of (because he “feared” for his safety). It was only AFTER I went NC and filed for divorce that I started to get emails/texts from him that he couldn’t live without me, losing me is the most painful event of his life, he never wanted a divorce and he would do anything to save the marriage. Funny, when I called him to discuss what he could do to save the marriage and regain my trust (e.g., write the OW a NC-letter, give me his email passwords), he backtracked on most of it, giving ridiculous excuses (e.g., the affair had already ended, but if he sends OW a letter, she might get suicidal and/or hurt the children).

I think doing the pick-me dance is good evidence that it wasn’t anything that you did to cause XH to have an affair, so perhaps it’s not all for naught. You know that at least you tried the “make the marriage a better place to be” route, and it didn’t work. And, thanks to another site, I was making plans to go NC and was seeing lawyers towards the ends of my pick-me dance, but I could have definitely prepared better. If you have your wits about you, you could use the time of the pick-me dance to get your ducks in a row, though I know that’s very hard to do when you’ve just been emotionally devastated.

Sandy R
Sandy R
9 years ago
Reply to  blue

We could have a whole thread dedicated to “The Stupid Things We Did During The Pick-Me Dance) lol! Maybe it would relieve some of the feelings of shame and embarrassment we are feeling, remembering what idiotic things we did to “win” them back!