Not Your Job Anymore

Newly liberated chumps often struggle with freedom. It seems a crazy thing to write — Freedom? I LOVE FREEDOM! — what’s not to love? But a lot of gaining a life is realizing that “chump” is no longer in your job description. What now fills the place where an entitled, impossible-to-please fuckwit used to stand? Agency? Hmmm. Not so sure what to do with that agency thing.

The German psychologist Erich Fromm described this condition in his seminal book Escape from Freedom (1940). Fromm distinguished between “freedom from” something (like fuckwits, as negative freedom) and “freedom TO” (gain a life, as positive freedom). He argued that “freedom from” can be destructive unless it’s balanced with the creativity of “freedom to”.

From Wiki:

In the process of becoming freed from authority, we are often left with feelings of hopelessness (he likens this process to the individuation of infants in the normal course of child development) that will not abate until we use our ‘freedom to’ and develop some form of replacement of the old order.

Unfortunately, a lot of chumps spend their “freedom to” chips on attracting another fuckwit, or as Fromm would put it, submitting to another authoritarian regime. But damn, we’re so GOOD at being chumpy! It feels so dysfunctionally normal!

If we stay in the chump condition, we eliminate uncertainty. We give our authority to fuckwits who will tell us what to think and how to act. (And where we missed a spot.)

Which brings me to this letter I got. (I get a lot of this sort of letter.)

Dear Chump Lady,

I am struggling with making a decision concerning my son’s 5th grade graduation.  I just finished a 3-year custody battle with my son’s father. He is a flaming narcissist with borderline and paranoid features.  He has proven himself to be a very abusive man and that is why he only has therapeutic visitation with our son.  There is no restraining order in place yet. The judge has warned my ex that he shouldn’t go anywhere our son is including the school. I don’t know why I’m so conflicted about whether I should invite him when the answer seems pretty clear. I guess I want to avoid being accused of parental alienation. At he same time, inviting my ex would open the door for him to begin his vicious cycle of abuse all over again.

Dear Newly Liberated Chump,

Managing your child’s relationship with his father is Not Your JOB. Your duty is to follow the specifics of the court order. You don’t have to send out engraved invitations to your ex for every event in your child’s life. He can read the school calendar just like you can. If it’s not his custodial time and he’s confused about whether he’s permitted on school grounds for a graduation, he can speak with his attorney. Managing all those details for him? NOT YOUR JOB.

Will he accuse you of parental alienation? Oh sure. He might. He’ll probably accuse you of a lot of things, like failing to sufficiently appreciate his splendidness. Is there any grounds to an alienation claim? I don’t know, ask your lawyer, but in my opinion (and I’m a chump, not a lawyer), I doubt it. Elementary school is full of awards ceremonies and events and “graduations.” (It’s entry to middle school, not medical school.) You really think a judge with an overbooked docket wants to hear about your ex’s hurt feelings over a 5th grade graduation ceremony?

Fuckwits like to rattle sabers to get you to submit. You don’t have to submit. You can shrug. Or yawn. Or pick the lint out of your navel instead.

Here’s your problem, Newly Liberated — you’ve escaped FROM the fuckwit. Now you need to escape TO that new life. Hand in notice on your old chump career, and write your new job description.

Which is also everyone’s Friday homework assignment. Replace the old order!

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UnchumpingMyself
UnchumpingMyself
6 years ago

Hi Chump Nation,

It’s been a while since I wrote here but I keep reading this blog every day. It has been one of my life and sanity savers and there are not enough words to express my gratitude to Tracy and every one of you for that. Thing is I am at meh.

Two years ago I was jobless, frightened and suicidal and in so much pain I couldn’t get out of the bed. But I did all the right things: no contact with ex, lawyered up, went in therapy, read ChumpLady and focused on myself and what I wanted to do, rather than ex’s shenanigans (I left my lawyer to deal with that). And slower than I wanted by faster then I expected things began improving: I got a well paid job, got a new car, signed the house on my name, acted on a stage, started drawing again, began coloring mandalas, making new friends, got rid of toxic ones and so much more. I am now booking a trip to go meet up with a long time friend who will take me surfing (something I have only been dreaming of learning in my previous life). My kids are doing well in school and in general. This life (no partner by the way in sight and not the slightest problem with that from my part) is soooooo much better than the abuse, gas lighting and shit I had to put up with my ex in my previous one.

I don’t mean to brag, but the point is: if I could do it, you can do it as well. There are so many beautiful experiences, adventures and people waiting for you, I promise. Love and hugs to all Chumps. ChumpLady, you rock!

Sayonara Sad Sausage
Sayonara Sad Sausage
6 years ago

I filed 14 days ago after so many DDays I’m not sure what # the last one was and your post is exactly what I needed to hear. I’ve begun a morning routine and a Pinterest board on self esteem and goals. Today is the first day I feel hopeful. Thanks Unchumping myself!!

mom2twonj
mom2twonj
6 years ago

Thank you for posting this!! I am 2 months in and have good days and bad days. I can not see the light….Yet!

TakingAStand
TakingAStand
6 years ago

What´s not my job anymore?
1. Keeping the spackle on Disordered STBX´s relationship with his 5 kids (that is now nonexistent)
2. Being his emotional punching bag
3. Caring at all what happens to him
4. Proving my worth to a monster that never will be happy
5. Listening to the unbelievable lies and betrayal
I have a new job.
My job is to stay true to myself and my kids. Find my worth IN MYSELF and never go back to that sham of a marriage I was in.
The more NC I am, the clearer it all is. It´s horrifying in many ways, what I have been put through, (and my kids), but, wow. What a wake up call.
I am thankful for my freedom, and that I can sleep until noon on a Saturday or Sunday instead of being literally dragged out of bed since disordered STBX couldn´t ever have any down time.
That I can have a glass of wine and watch what I want to watch on tv. Actually having that choice.
That I can raise my kids without his influence, they want nothing to do with him.
That I can breathe, sit in the sun and actually feel the warmth.
My court date is on my birthday, and on a Tuesday, so I´ll be getting MEH for my birthday.
Best present I could ever get:)

CeliA
CeliA
6 years ago
Reply to  TakingAStand

Realization that one is better off without a fuckwit and having Meh on a Tuesday would definitely be a birthday present that’s hard to top off 😛

Georgie
Georgie
6 years ago

Thankyou UnchumpingMyself! I needed that after a tearful sleepless night.

UnchumpingMyself
UnchumpingMyself
6 years ago

Wow, OK, so your comments brought tears into my eyes. Tears of joy this time, really. I am so touched by everyone’s kind words. All I can say is that this community is made out of amazing people, good people who deserve good and happy cheater free lives. This blog, your posts gave me the courage and clarity to act in my best interest. I live in Europe in a country where staying with a cheater spouse is very much encouraged “for the sake of children and marriage”. A country where if you say “abuse” or “narcissist” or “psychopath” people get very upset and look at you like you are the insane one. So I have learned to keep my mouth shut. All I can say is that before stumbling over Chump Lady’s blog my head was spinning from the toxic advice I was being given from “well meaning” friends and aquaintances. As my misery was only deepening, once I found Chump Lady, I thought I have nothing to lose but to take her advice on what a newly cheated spouse should do in order to escape the shit storm and free themselves. And I am the living proof that it worked. And it will work for each of you, through your personal journeys no doubt. I am not perfect, and my life isn’t perfect either. But it is more authentic and much better than it used to be when I was together with my ex husband. I have regained a freedom that I have long felt lost. And I feel happy. Hang in there and hugs to you all!

getting real
getting real
6 years ago

UnchumpingMyself I live in Europe too!!!!

I’d love to find more EU chumps. I’m in ?? Where are you?

ExpatChump
ExpatChump
6 years ago
Reply to  getting real

EU chump here.

Loulotte02
Loulotte02
6 years ago
Reply to  ExpatChump

I’m in France 🙂

QueenMother
QueenMother
6 years ago

See UnchumpingMyself? About the country where you live? I live in a neighborhood with lots of immigrants, and have come to be good friends with them. Some of the women are chumps too. I think this message of cheater-freedom is a message that women world wide need and respond to, whatever country of origin, whatever religious background.

OutOfSparkles
OutOfSparkles
6 years ago

I think you have definite bragging rights! I am definitely not at “meh”, although working on it. It sounds like you did all the right things despite feeling terrible (or having a guaranteed outcome) and it has paid off. It is great to hear stories like yours – as a reminder of where the end-game should and can be, and that it can be done!

Been Chumped
Been Chumped
6 years ago

It’s not bragging; it’s inspiration and hope!

Chumptitude
Chumptitude
6 years ago
Reply to  Been Chumped

I agree there is a big difference between bragging (being excessively boastful of small achievements) and providing other chumps with inspiring stories of unchumping ourselves!

We are all survivors, recovering from being cheated on is one of the most arduous tasks, and I salute you UnchumpingMyself for being Meh!! At the same time, reading your story UnchumpingMyself makes me feel validated as well as triggers many negative messages against myself: I should be further along in my recovery, see two years out and people have fabulous lives, and I am almost 3 years out and still struggling…

New and not so new chumps, here is my message to you: Everyone has their own chump recover time lines! I’ve been forging on, it’s been almost three years, and I’ve faced set backs to Meh… My path to Meh has been a tortuous one given shared custody and my X’s marriage to the AP, but one thing I have learned that I hope will be of help to other chumps is that every time I feel impatient against myself, I remind myself of all I have achieved instead of reminding myself of how much I still have to go to move from anger/disappointment to indifference when it comes to the unavoidable presence in my life of the cheating lying coward I share custody with.

Forge on chumps, life does get better after divorcing a cheating fuckwit!!

violet
violet
6 years ago
Reply to  Chumptitude

I know what happened to me will always be with me and I have learned to be ok with that. For me, it was like a death, the death of what I was and who I thought I would be. It definitely was the death of what I had believed my future to be. As an “older” woman, I was looking forward to those golden years with X. I have had to make a new future for myself, one in which I am alone. I have allowed myself to grieve that loss and I make very conscious efforts to choose joy and contentment. It isn’t always easy. Reading the comments here has been so helpful to me because it has given me confidence in my choices. Life does get better. Different, but better.

Bestie
Bestie
6 years ago

Yes to this! I’m only just over a year out, so thrilled to see what year two could look like. Thank you!

The Ex-orcist
The Ex-orcist
6 years ago

Unchumping-
This was me as well, and Tracy’s post makes total sense too. I also was completely lost as to my future. I felt I had nothing to look forward to after babysitting a sociopath for 18 years. I sure didn’t even KNOW how to put myself first at all.
Of course this blog was my lifeline during my grieving. I owe everything to CL & CN. I look back now and am not sure I would have had the mental strength to face the pain and leave that fucker once and for all.
Aww. Poor ClusterFuck Sociopath. I took care of everything for that fucker for years, while he built new chaos on a daily basis.
He recently bought me out of our beautiful home. I’m here temporarily until my new place is ready. He has been bitching to me about a very expensive furnace I had put in a few years ago because he went to jail and I had no heat.
Bwa ha ha. Furnace has been throwing off malfunction codes, and he is pissed off about it. He thinks if he bitches enough I will take care of it (like he was accustomed to). Um, no Sociopath, welcome to my world in which you were free from any responsibility and I was left to do EVERYTHING because I could not rely on you. NOTE TO CLUSTERFUCK B SOCIOPATH: the 40 acres I mowed by myself needs attention?????
I’m so happy CockSlobber wanted him so bad.
Every single thing he did led me directly to where I stand today-happy and free. All his attempts at hoovering-not even a chance. I absolutely would not want to be him. He has nobody to blame but himself and I’m sure his sour puss mood means CockSlobber’s prowess at cock slobbering no longer soothes the savage beast.
Who cares about him?? I’m the one skipping around now like a teenager.
Meh is awesome.

Lyn
Lyn
6 years ago
Reply to  The Ex-orcist

My ex took off at the same time my kids got married and moved away. In the span of a couple of weeks I went from being a wife and mother with children at home to living alone and shopping for one. I couldn’t see my future and was terrified of what it would bring. I daydreamed about joining a convent where I could live in peace and never have to deal with human relationships again. LOL. Now my parents are telling me I’m happier than they’ve ever seen me. Amazing what happens when you feel you have control over your own life again.

Eileen
Eileen
6 years ago
Reply to  Lyn

Lyn,
I know what you mean, I felt the same, and now even thou I’m still finding my footing, everyone tells me I look good. (( ‘and not even trying too))

Capricorn
Capricorn
6 years ago
Reply to  Lyn

Lyn.
You are so mighty. To have been through that and come out the other side happier than you have ever been. Kudos !
Wow. That’s some story. Do you ever look back and think damn, I did this!

Feelingit
Feelingit
6 years ago

Unchumping myself: I am crying as I feel like your post this morning is an answer to prayer. I think I am where you were two years ago and I needed to hear that you not only survived but are thriving! Last night was rather sleepless for me and I am feeling sick with worry. Last night all I could think is how can I do this on my own- without my fuckwit crutch.

My lawyer warned me that this will be the hardest thing you ever go through and it will get worse in some ways before it gets better. Stbx is doing every thing in his power to discard me but still control me so it is a constant battle for true liberation and like chump lady says now I have to learn to live free. I have sympathy for former prisoners. At least the sun is shining here today and I can keep reading about all you survivors! Keep your stories coming!

tequilatamm
tequilatamm
6 years ago
Reply to  Feelingit

It sounds like you have a good lawyer.

Don’t feel as though you have to get everything in the divorce to get justice. Don’t give it more headspace than it deserves.

I spent so much time feeling like things were so unjust.

I didn’t get everything I should have out of the divorce, but the freedom I finally got, that turned out to be the only important thing.

Look for that light at the end of the tunnel. It gets brighter everyday!

Erin
Erin
6 years ago
Reply to  Feelingit

U can do it! Your post made me tear up. I know how u feel. I am at the tail end of my divorce and mentally recovering at a good pace. It’s so hard in the beginning and trust me, there are days that so many bad memories all come back at once and slap me. But when my mind is done strolling down memory lane, I’m reminded why I said no more. Take the bad and the good. Time is your friend and your enemy. Time is what helps to heal u but time doesn’t move fast enough. My only regret is not doing it sooner. U can do it!

LovedaJackass
LovedaJackass
6 years ago
Reply to  Feelingit

You aren’t alone. You just aren’t towing a fuckwit behind you. People will help you get started. In the first summer alone with this huge yard, a couple of young friends did all my mowing. Then they moved! ACK! Back on my own. And I couldn’t figure out what to do because the riding mower scared me and was not working well. So I cut the yard (2 acres) with the hand mower, because that is what I could do. Last year, I got the rider fixed and VeryKindMan showed me how to put it in reverse and I had two tools–the rider and the regular mower. Now it’s not an issue. I just do it. The point of this story is you have to ask for help. People WILL help. But the goal has to be learning to be self-sustaining–that means doing what you can for yourself and hiring people to do what you can’t do. I’m on the fence right now about hiring someone to paint the porch ($$$) or doing it myself (ugh). So I will talk to people and get feedback and make a decision by next weekend.

Think of your situation as a kind of education or even “job training.” You are here on the planet to learn and experience. We’re all afraid. But courage is moving forward even though you are afraid. You can do what you need to do. Just set your goal self-efficacy–to be self-sustaining, independent AND able to ask for help when you need it.

lostntx
lostntx
6 years ago
Reply to  LovedaJackass

Loved hit the target with that comment. Most people do want to help. You just have to ask and that’s hard for a chump. Do it! Noting will help you feel better than accepting the kindness of others right now. Then in the future when you are better, you can pay it forward. Just ask.

KibbleFree_MightyMe
KibbleFree_MightyMe
6 years ago
Reply to  Feelingit

Hey, Feelingit – we’ve all been right where you find yourself today. Sleepless nights and a life consumed with worry about how we’ll do this life alone now.

I listen to Pastor Rick Warren’s free podcast “Daily Hope” every morning while getting ready for work. In one of my favorites in his series on suffering, he mentions Victor Frankl, the Austrian neurologist, psychiatrist and Holocaust survivor who devoted his life to studying, understanding and promoting “meaning.” His famous book “Man’s Search for Meaning” tells his story of surviving the Holocaust as a prisoner by finding personal meaning in the experience, which gave him the will to live through it. Warren mentioned that Frankl was stripped of his clothing and everything he had. Even his wedding band, but, he thought about how even standing there naked, he had the ultimate power to choose his attitude and response to their hate. No one could take that from him. Some of Frankl’s most beautiful quotes about suffering through circumstances and our mental freedom to choose our position are:

1) Everything can be taken from a man but one thing: the last of the human freedoms—to choose one’s attitude in any given set of circumstances, to choose one’s own way.

2) When we are no longer able to change a situation, we are challenged to change ourselves.

3) Between stimulus and response there is a space. In that space is our power to choose our response. In our response lies our growth and our freedom.

4) Each man is questioned by life; and he can only answer to life by answering for his own life; to life he can only respond by being responsible.

5) What is to give light must endure burning.

6) The last of the human freedoms is to choose one’s attitudes.

Interestingly, where douchebags like all the cheaters we’ve had blow up our lives are concerned, Frankl indicates a strong relationship between “meaninglessness” and criminal behavior, addiction and depression; that in the absence of meaning, people fill the resultant void with hedonistic pleasures, power, materialism, hatred, boredom, or neurotic obsessions and compulsions. Sound familiar?

So, you and all Chumps can rest assured that you WILL move forward and have a great life, but only if you’re willing to find the meaning of and power in your pain. You’ll get there. It’s been 3 years since my DDay and 2 years since the divorce. I feel stronger and more beautiful inside than I EVER did tethered to that douchebag over our 23 years. You will, too.

(((Hugs!!)))

ClearWaters
ClearWaters
6 years ago

KibbleFree_MightyMe, thank you for introducing me to this work by Victor Frankl.

The power of choice. That is all about us, mighty chumps (and also our cheaters, we must remember).

These are the sort of things that will make me follow Chump Nation for as long as it or I last, no matter how Meh I become. Here is the place to learn about human nature, for better and for worse.

TheMuse
TheMuse
6 years ago

That book was recommended to me by my therapist when I was in the worst of the early days. It truly helped me heal. I’m very visual and metaphors are very powerful for me, and this book was full of them. In particular, when the concentration camp survivors were liberated by the Allied Forces, they were actually scared; most of them had nowhere to go. Some even went back into the death camps, comforted by the familiarity of their (oppressive) surroundings. That image has stayed with me, as I learned about stockholm syndrome, and even now, three and a half years later, when I feel those “pangs” of longing for my old life, I snap myself out of it by reminding myself that I am like that, I miss my “crumbs” that I was willing to accept, in my cage controlled by my narcissist cheater.

saw
saw
6 years ago
Reply to  TheMuse

(I miss my “crumbs”that Inwas willing to accept, in my cage controlled by my narcissist cheater.). Wow! I always referred to myself as Rapunzel locked in the castle with no one to throw my hair down to escape.

Chump Mama
Chump Mama
6 years ago

Beautiful, Kibble Free! Thank you!

saw
saw
6 years ago
Reply to  Chump Mama

Amen! My doctor said that I had not released my anger and therefore, my blood pressure and other concerns were being affected. She gave me a card to see a good therapist. I didn’t say anything. My therapy is chump nation and chump lady. Y’all rock and are my rocks! I have been sending other chumps and their families to read chump lady.

Feelingit
Feelingit
6 years ago

I could spend $150.00 for an hour with a therapist and come out with nothing even remotely close to this wisdom and it’s relevance! Hugs to you kibble free mighty me!

ClearWaters
ClearWaters
6 years ago
Reply to  Feelingit

Feelingit, You bet! All the insights are right here! Don’t “spend $150.00 for an hour with a therapist”. Everyone here, especially CL, takes their time to share, has learned a lesson, has suffered and is generous.

Lyn
Lyn
6 years ago
Reply to  Feelingit

Feelingit, so glad you found us! It really IS the hardest thing you’ll ever go through, but believe me you will make it if you just keep putting one foot in front of the other. The way you are feeling is perfectly normal for what you’re going through. You will discover strength you never knew you possessed. Keep coming back for support!

Susan
Susan
6 years ago

You go girl!!! We were and are so much better than them!!!

nomoreskankboy
nomoreskankboy
6 years ago

Thank you for sharing! This gives us hope for our own future. May the world’s blessings continue to grace your new life. 🙂

JesssMom
JesssMom
6 years ago

I think this is an excellent example of what CL is talking about in today’s post … how to move toward freedom (and the amazing benefits of doing so).

Bragging? Maybe — and it is well-earned. 🙂 More importantly, though, you shared this in order to encourage others who are in (or were in) a situation like your own. That is a very KIND thing to do. Thank you so much for sharing.

conniered
conniered
6 years ago

That is the BEST first comment ever!!! Happy Friday!

mickeyblueeyes
mickeyblueeyes
6 years ago
Reply to  conniered

Totally agree with everyone else..go ahead and “Blow your own trumpet!” lovely post..well done you!

ImAPhool
ImAPhool
6 years ago
Reply to  mickeyblueeyes

Love it – and so happy for you. Esp the reality that it takes time, took you a couple of years. Thanks for sharing.

brandib
brandib
6 years ago

By all means, brag away!! This is an awesome reminder to all of us chumps that there is light at the end of the tunnel and FREEDOM in our new and improved lives. I am so happy for you!!

SerialChumpiness
SerialChumpiness
6 years ago
Reply to  Tracy Schorn

Thank you for posting this as I am in the process of “Escape To” after I break up with my cheating ex-boyfriend. I saw the foundation stain on the towel and the used feminine napkin on the trashcan when I visited my ex-boyfriend last January this year. That’s how I found out that he cheated. He admitted it afterward so I got confused. This is how we break up. Actually, most guys that I dated cheat on me. That horrific event last January 2017 keeps playing in my head. I definitely need to replace those bad pictures/memories in my head. Thanks Chump Nation.

MidlifeBlast
MidlifeBlast
6 years ago

Lovely x

Capricorn
Capricorn
6 years ago

Unchumpingmyself

Ahhhhhh. A lovely post. I could feel my shoulders relaxing back into position, rather than hovering somewhere near my ears, as I was reading. Thank you. I am going to assume this will be me in the future and the chaos around me at the moment, well, this too shall pass. ❤️

MightyAgain
MightyAgain
6 years ago

One thing, that the NEW Chump me can now do is say NO. It is so liberating. NO. “NO, I’m sorry I can’t go do that today” “NO, I’m sorry, I’m not available today”. “NO, I”m sorry, we’re not a good match”. I also got rid of all negative people around me. If you’re not a positive force in my life, I have no time for you.

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

+1
It’s perfectly acceptable to say no;it can even be a complete sentence. NO. I’m practicing saying “No,that doesn’t work for me.” without a chumpy explanation.

SheChump
SheChump
6 years ago

It doesn’t hurt to follow up that ‘No, it doesn’t work for me, but thanks for thinking of me.’

unicornomore
unicornomore
6 years ago
Reply to  MightyAgain

Mighty again…not trying to criticize, but consider rephrasing what you wrote above leaving out the “Im sorry”

“NO, I can’t go do that today”
“NO, I’m not available today”
“NO, we’re not a good match”

Fuck the “I’m sorry”.

MightyAgain
MightyAgain
6 years ago
Reply to  unicornomore

You are right of course, That’s still hard for me, leaving out the I’m sorry. But I can see how that is still Chumpy!

cheaterssuck
cheaterssuck
6 years ago
Reply to  MightyAgain

I learned this here: “No is a complete sentence.” When it comes to dealing with the disordered, you’re best to just leave it at no. No explanations needed, no sorry necessary.

UnchumpingMyself
UnchumpingMyself
6 years ago
Reply to  MightyAgain

Amen to that! This is one VERY IMPORTANT part of the healing process: learning how to say NO and not feeling the slightest bit of guilt for that. As Chumps it seems that we have been programmed to make our needs very small in order to please our impossible to please former spouses. Not any more. If you prove yourself to be a: control freak, cruel person, liar, self important or any type of an asshole, I have no longer the slightest need to fix you or spend time with you. It’s bye-bye. Keep rocking Chump Nation!

LovedaJackass
LovedaJackass
6 years ago

We make our needs small to please impossible-to-please spouses–and in many cases that sad ability was learned from mpossible-to-please parents. So that is our default and we must, must reset that default or the next relationship will look like the last. And we carry that chumminess into the workplace and into assymmetrical friendships with people who suck life energy from us and if we don’t wise up, we can teach our kids we are nothing more than gas pumps that produce money, time, baked goods, clean laundry, transportation and kibbles.

Freedom to. Starts with the freedom to say no. Hell no. And yes, when that’s what we want.

Lunachick
Lunachick
6 years ago
Reply to  LovedaJackass

YES TO ALL OF THIS. You’re so right. It’s no surprise that soon after I fired my ex husband, I also fired my father, who has severe NPD. I am so tired of being abused, and now I have absolutely zero tolerance for nonsense and bullshit. It’s really great!

LovedaJackass
LovedaJackass
6 years ago
Reply to  LovedaJackass

Sorry for the typos…brain dead from the end of term and not overriding autocorrect. Not “Chumminess”–Chumpiness.

OutOfSparkles
OutOfSparkles
6 years ago
Reply to  LovedaJackass

LAJ – what a great response! Yes, I make my needs so small in so many areas of my life and it did come from my childhood, most particularly going to boarding school age 9 – my parents sent me as they were living overseas, with good motivation, for a good education – which I did get, but not a place where there was much room for any kind of personal need or any opportunity to express your opinion and be heard. You fit in with what is expected – or perish. I know I do this at work (although I am better there than other places) and with my children too and it made me the perfect foil for my manipulative, exploitative ex-Narc who punished for any attempt at “no” fiercely (although often passively aggressively) so mostly I didn’t bother. He has continued to try and punish me since we split, particularly when I have not acquiesced or stood up to him (mostly for the sake of the kids) – I need to be brave and risk the wrath of “no” though. Otherwise it will never end. A hard habit to break.

Amiisfree
Amiisfree
6 years ago

I agree with your concept. I haven’t yet been able to shake Fein the guilt, personally, but I have been able to become mindful enough about why I feel it that now I can choose my actions outside of the feeling. All part of the journey.

Amiisfree
Amiisfree
6 years ago
Reply to  Amiisfree

I don’t know where Fein came from. That was f e e l i n g.

Bestie
Bestie
6 years ago
Reply to  Amiisfree

I love the idea of naming the false, fake guilt.” Be gone, Fein. I have no use for your pointless shenanigans!”

Amiisfree
Amiisfree
6 years ago
Reply to  Bestie

🙂

Tracy
Tracy
6 years ago

I’ve been coming back here lately because I have had to have more interaction with my Ex Fuckwit.
It’s draining…..we’ve been divorced since August 17, 2016. Here it is May 2017 and we still don’t have everything done….he dragged his feet on everything. I just got the Retirement settlement signed by him. So….this freedom “from”….freedom “to” is timely.
This skein of fucktardery I have had to be in is exhausting. It’s so close….yet so far. Coming back here reminds me that IT WILL HAPPEN….EVENTUALLY. I am more Meh now than I ever have been….but not full Meh.

I am thankful for CL…CN. Our stories help one another. I hate that we have this common thread of Fuckwits…but at least we are not alone.

QueenMother
QueenMother
6 years ago
Reply to  Tracy

Hey Tracy, James Bond has been dragging his feet too on our divorce. Gloating a bit, about how it gives him power.

Now I’m thinking, “I wonder if there is benefit to me in the divorce being drug out? How can I exploit this situation for my own benefit?” I ask myself, and the answers I find empower me a bit.

getting real
getting real
6 years ago
Reply to  QueenMother

Amen. I say the same to myself too. No rush. Drag as you like.

Lyn
Lyn
6 years ago
Reply to  Tracy

Tracy, I know how you feel. Our divorce was final in 2012, but it took 5 years of pestering the shit out of him to take care of the last thing he agreed to do. I finally had to get a third party involved. I’ve been told it will be resolved by the end of this month. So infuriating. Hang in there!

Been Chumped
Been Chumped
6 years ago
Reply to  Lyn

Wow, 2 years almost killed me. Hats off to you for hanging in there for 5! I cannot even imagine…

Attie
Attie
6 years ago

I love this post. I now have freedom not to drink in the evenings to try to relax knowing that the Twat was coming home but not knowing at what time. Freedom not to walk on eggshells. Freedom from that knot in my stomach because I never knew which way he was gonna blow when drinking (which was all the time). Freedom to try to sleep without listening for the key in the door, the poke in the shoulder and the “you asleep?” at 3 a.m. Freedom from having to sort his crap out after yet another fuck up because “you speak better French than me” – note: he lived in France for 30 years and had free French lessons provided by his employer and on work time – and freedom from never having to run up to the Credit Union YET AGAIN to either repair someone else’s car or his after another drink-driving escapade. I could go on and on but you get the idea. Life is wonderful and he’s a piece of shit.

getting real
getting real
6 years ago
Reply to  Attie

Attie in in the EU as well! ?? I’ve the same issue like you, cheater doesn’t speak the local language. Putain figure it out in your own. You fired me from the job of translator.

Attie
Attie
6 years ago
Reply to  getting real

Hi getting real. Don’t know if you will see this as it is quite old. I work in GVA but live in France. Putain as about the reality of it. A

The Ex-orcist
The Ex-orcist
6 years ago
Reply to  Attie

Attie
Wow, you describe my life perfectly. I used to tremble in bed knowing he would come home drunk and abuse me.
I’m sorry we suffered. I don’t recognize that person I was then.

Attie
Attie
6 years ago
Reply to  The Ex-orcist

It’s hard to believe someone else was going through the same thing isn’t it. Listening for that key was hell.

ClearWaters
ClearWaters
6 years ago
Reply to  Attie

Walking on eggshells is a common theme among chumps. That’ exactly how I felt. About common sense things like not spending money on things we did not need or could not afford (does anyone have cheaters who did not know simple aritmetic?)

ZHUCHI
ZHUCHI
6 years ago
Reply to  ClearWaters

Clearwaters.

I think at the time I THOUGHT mine was a bit dumb around certain things (never maths stuff but always spelling, planning, money), but what I realise now is it was part of the act and guaranteed (for him) the continuation of me doing everything. His lazy unaccountable arse would much rather I saw him as a bit stupid around things than actually have to do them himself. A trade-off he was willing to make. And when I think about it, he didn’t care about my opinion or feelings about him in any other domain so why would he care if I thought he was stupid?

Since we have no kids and the property settlement is virtually concluded the need to write business emails to each other is pretty much gone. but what I did notice is all his correspondence when it came had reverted back to teenage text talk. You know: “I can’t do it str8 away soz, will do it tonite” I know that part of this is because his new primary source is 27 and he needs to be hip, but mostly it’s because he knows it annoys the crap out of me! I think 50 year olds should speak and spell like 50 year olds and show at least some modicum of intelligence.

Wow I’ve gone off thread, but I am recognising more and more (still only five months from separating and final mask drop so still at point of realising on a daily basis the levels of non human-ness, deception, absolutely meaninglessness of the past 8 years) just how many ways in which they love to fuck with your head, get a reaction, demonstrate how little they think of you. And mine is an expert in stealth. Take one of his actions (like text talk for instance) and explain it to someone else – how it is a flagrant Fuck you Zhuchi, and the listener would just look at me as though I’m mad and completely over reacting. Mine does not attempt murder by a big sword to the heart, but by a million tiny pin pricks raining down.

Doh. Something just got triggered. Clearly. Having an angry!!!

Lady B
Lady B
6 years ago
Reply to  ZHUCHI

Mine played dumb always or got all pissy when asked to do something simple. Petulant teen really but cunning as a shithouse rat.

ANC
ANC
6 years ago
Reply to  ZHUCHI

VIRTUAL HUG. I get it.

OutOfSparkles
OutOfSparkles
6 years ago
Reply to  ZHUCHI

OMG, Zhuchi – that! Mine does not attempt murder by a bit sword to the heart, but by a million tiny pin pricks raining down! I would much prefer the former! I am also 5 months post D-Day.

And the playing dumb/memory lapses – you would think mine had dementia (at home, not work). He is still doing this – and we do have kids together, and still thinks it is my job to rescue him when he continues to totally macerate his relationship with them. Because of kids I have still done this to an extent, for their sake, but just decided no more. He is a psychopath who has just married OW who, just like him, has grotesquely put her needs ahead of my children’s. If he can’t behave like a vaguely decent human being to his children of his own volition and work he doesn’t deserve to have a relationship with them – and they are better off without him. (Actually they have been much better without him).

I am having lots of angries at the moment! 🙂

kiwichump
kiwichump
6 years ago
Reply to  OutOfSparkles

Mine plays dumb and smart at the same time. So can’t budget but sends me very formal texts trying to use the longest words he can rather than plain English, but can’t spell them and must have turned spellchecker off too. He also makes up words trying to sound official. Used to make me laugh before DDay. Now it gets up my nose. I have a very hard time staying grey rock about that. Sometimes I just reply agreeing with him repeating every thing he said but spelled correctly, hoping that gets up his nose….

NoMoreNarcs
NoMoreNarcs
6 years ago
Reply to  ZHUCHI

Z, I’ve totally been there and can totally relate to your reaction.

I hope your day got better after your angry.

Keep posting, it helps (especially me)

Attie
Attie
6 years ago
Reply to  ClearWaters

Clearwaters, Mine definitely couldn’t add up. Aside from spending a fortune in bars buying rounds of champagne, buying himself whatever he wanted (60,000 euro car anyone), he took care of nothing at all. BUT in response to your question, I genuinely don’t think he could add up. I mean, it stands to reason that if you have 1,500 dollars and your rent is 500, you only have 1,000 left to live on right? If you then go out and buy yourself a new guitar for 800 and a new bedspread for 400 you don’t exactly have money for groceries, electric bill do you? Not even rocket science is it, but I’m amazed at how many people can’t even do that.

KarenE
KarenE
6 years ago
Reply to  Attie

It’s not a lack of arithmetic skills. It’s entitlement all the way! They feel entitled not to even think about such mundane, boring concerns.
Just like my ex, who was ok w/money, but who thought he could do absolutely anything in our relationship and w/the kids, and there would be no consequences.
He’s so mad that there have been consequences. All my fault, of course.

Lady B
Lady B
6 years ago
Reply to  KarenE

Mines wants a medal for having a job, him having a job is doing ‘everything for our family’ He has an entitlement complex and sniffs out free stuff by playing on peoples sympathy, his Dad is the same, users basically.

ANC
ANC
6 years ago
Reply to  KarenE

Common cheater theme #798340593736422… Fiscal Stupidity.

I know cheater asshat felt like a freaking peacock with his new VP corporate title at a Fortune 500. What he never has done is self advocate for a raise, etc… so the title is a paper title without the perks because incredulously no one bestowed upon him the riches that commensurate with said title (entitlement- don’t you SEE how great cheater is!).

THEN… the entitlement to spend like you own the GNP of the US. Thankfully his debt is in his name only :). I’m crossing the t’s and dotting the i’s to make sure my kids are provided an education, food, shelter and clothing BEFORE asshat can begin to payoff his entitled vacations, Broadway shows and other forms of entertainment he demands to be entitled to.

kiwichump
kiwichump
6 years ago
Reply to  ANC

For years I thought the traitor had a brain impairment with numbers and finances. And in a way I still think he does. He decided to correct an error on the paperwork to go with 10 cattle to the meat works. Changed the numbers of cows and heifers which then only added up to 8. Of course that was wrong and there were 10. After telling him and showing him the form returned from the meat works because it was wrong he still would not believe it. He has an MSc in plant physiology and tutored undergraduates in stats. But he can never do basic primary school maths, and is always certain he is right. Can’t keep track of time or money either. Something is not working in there but what he knows for sure is that the world owes him and the sun shines out of his and the whore’s arses.

ClearWaters
ClearWaters
6 years ago
Reply to  Attie

Attie, did we have the same husband??!! I mean, even the extravagances are the same! Guitars, a Mini Cooper (very expensive in my country since it is imported; the yearly maintenance and taxes cost almost two months of my salary; I called it the mini pooper)

Susan
Susan
6 years ago
Reply to  ClearWaters

Mine had his MBA and is a CFO/COO for a state agency in SC and one that stresses family values. He could never understand the financials I provided every month.( I am a CPA) (took an accounting class at University of SC together cause he had failed it and I had the highest grade in the class) never understood bank reconciliations, never paid a bill, and used all that extra time to pursue women at work, 3 sexual harassment charges where I was a total chump. His last work conquest was the final one for me. Found out around midnight July 9 and had his ass out the door July 10. Divorced on February 2. Can you believe he asked me to do his 2016 tax return and said I was the only one he trusted. Of course I said no and will be filing married filing separately. I think they are insane.

Jasmine
Jasmine
6 years ago
Reply to  Susan

My X idiot was getting married to his OW ….he came around to my home to ask me to do alterations on their bridal party s clothing…..he actually thought I would do it and was shocked when I said no….unbelievable. ……and the ink was barely dry on his newly wedding certificate when he cheated on Smoopie ….they are now slugging it out for their seperation/divorce. …me happily at meh …..rebuilt my life with a man who is pretty much a male equivalent of me….couldn’t be happier ?

Lady B
Lady B
6 years ago
Reply to  Jasmine

Omg what a fucker, glad you are happiet and he is still shit slinging.

NoMoreNarcs
NoMoreNarcs
6 years ago
Reply to  Susan

Hmmm, methinks you’re the only one he trusted to do his taxes for free…

They’re insane, but they can smell opportunity a mile away.

Good for you for seeing through that one and congratulations on your splendid freedom!

Nanki Poo
Nanki Poo
6 years ago
Reply to  ClearWaters

Unfortunately, the fiscal infidelity theme runs very, VERY deep among cheaters. My cheating ex had racked up something like $100K in debts and penalties in secret. I did manage to get some recompense for that in my settlement, thankfully. But my ex was no different than most other cheaters, she had little or no regard (and/or understanding) of consequences.

TheMuse
TheMuse
6 years ago
Reply to  Nanki Poo

mine was just a straight up freeloading moocher.

JesssMom
JesssMom
6 years ago
Reply to  Attie

>>”Life is wonderful and he’s a piece of shit.”

This is a perfect statement. 🙂

Jodi Lynch
Jodi Lynch
6 years ago
Reply to  JesssMom

I love that statement.

JC
JC
6 years ago

During my divorce, I met my stbx wife to do our taxes. We had set up our federal and state withholdings in a complicated way, so “married filing separately” was going to result in a huge return for me, while she would owe too much. Instead of having to then include a transfer of those funds in our settlement agreement, it was easier to just spend 2 hours with her in front of a computer.

(It also gave her an extra opportunity to ask for another chance, which I denied, but that’s not the point of this story.)

When we were finished, and all balanced out, she asked if I could write down what she should do with her federal and state withholdings, as well as give her some tips on retirement saving (which she had previously referred to as “saving money for when you’re dead.”)

And I told her that it wasn’t my job anymore to do that. She could ask her father (at the time, I didn’t know she was still with her OM; if I had, I may have said that she could ask him!)

And it felt sad, given I’m a Chump and believe that marriage includes taking care of one another, and sharing our strengths to balance out our partner’s weaknesses (and vice versa).

But it also felt liberating. I didn’t have to worry about her financial illiteracy anymore. And I wouldn’t be made to feel guilty about being the “bad guy” who said that we couldn’t afford a vacation to some exotic locale. And I wouldn’t have to grit my teeth when she spent more in yoga in a month than I spent on an annual gym membership. Etc.

Not my job. Right on, CL.

lostntx
lostntx
6 years ago
Reply to  JC

Spot on for me also. No more BS when all i’m trying to do is set us up for retirement and save money for kids college. Now, I do what I want with my money. No more trying to satisfy a bottomless pit. Good luck to her going on those much wanted trips on that big box retailer hourly wage. I’m free of that shit!

getting real
getting real
6 years ago
Reply to  lostntx

Amen. Mine overspends constantly. CC bills 5k a month he pays off every month. He’s spent me dry. 4K in lawyers fees worth it to end the hémorragie.

leli
leli
6 years ago
Reply to  JC

I’m a graphic designer and designed a corporate identity gratis for a fledgling business my husband started up. Little did I know that he was in partnership with one of the 2 women he was screwing behind my back (and had been for 5 years). After everything was revealed by one of the women and I’d thrown him out, he had the cheek to ask me to make amends to the artwork. I told him that it was conceivable there was a faint possibility I might help with a business venture of his own, but was he out of his mind to think I would help with a business he was running with one of his tarts.

Mandie101
Mandie101
6 years ago
Reply to  leli

I had just been admitted to the bar. Mine was vocal the whole way that he did not support me furthering myself. He said that I’d make a c-class lawyer. But before he left he asked if I’d be the attorney for his little start up…Which has yet to materialize. I declined. Told him that as a ‘ c-class’ lawyer I couldn’t help him.
Added irony. He has hired two c-class lawyers in succession to represent in the divorce. My a- class attorney ( top attorney her year) and I just smile.

Wonder No More
Wonder No More
6 years ago
Reply to  JC

Wow, my experience also. He would want to do these boat trips where the gas was many 100’s of dollars, not to mention everything else. When we did do these things, I had a hard time being so ‘carefree’ as he would, not a thought in his mind how we were paying ridiculous finance charges on a damn credit card to fund the trip.

OutWest
OutWest
6 years ago
Reply to  Wonder No More

Wonder,

I hate boats with a passion. My x FIL had one that was his ‘floating place of passion’ and that same huge boat has been in probate for over 7 years is the ‘place of passion’ for my x. CANNOT STAND THEM!. I guess it’s a trigger point for me….eh?

But like many here, I’ve been reading CL for three plus years and I have come a long way. I have taken 4 amazing vacations with my children since the end of my world as I knew it….the last vacation I took my two kids to Machu Picchu. Talk about amazing. I was in the process of becoming a therapist during the divorce debacle and I am now two months from having my full license and opening my own business that focuses on Divorce Mentoring (Chump Lady style). After trying to date for over a year and having one hilarious but scary 2 month relationship, I have put that down and am open to a more “organic” meeting of a potential partner, but my happiness does not hang on being partnered. Three years makes a world of difference. The sky is blue, the birds are chirping. And today, I was able to start and use all my lawn tools….not bad. To everyone in the trenches, hang on. It gets better, unbelievably better! Michigan chumps we should try to get together!

conniered
conniered
6 years ago
Reply to  JC

I get this. It’s amusing that these people still expect you to be that person for them even after discovery of the cheating, separation and divorce. Talk about entitlement. Do they EVER realize what they had? Do they EVER realize how good they had? They still want that safety net of your guidance and care….which does not mean they want to be FRIENDS. Lord no. That requires something from them. They want to be able to take from a giver regardless of being the one responsible for the implosion of lives.

ClearWaters
ClearWaters
6 years ago
Reply to  conniered

“Talk about entitlement.” My cheater showed up at court for our first conciliation meeting all cocky, smiley, a true Lord of the Universe. I realized then that he was useful only to change the lightbulbs because he is tall.

happily ever after
happily ever after
6 years ago
Reply to  conniered

Can I get an Amen for this?

Yea buddy: “Talk about entitlement. Do they EVER realize what they had? Do they EVER realize how good they had? “

Feelingit
Feelingit
6 years ago

People keep telling me some day Stybx will wake up and regret what he has done and I always say I hope so. I don’t believe he ever will though and it is because he his disordered. Yes, a normal person would very much regret what he has done but he is not normal and the general population just doesn’t get that.

QueenMother
QueenMother
6 years ago
Reply to  Feelingit

See FeelingIt, I have been hoping that James Bond would wake up and regret it. That’s hopium.

Here’s my new understanding: they know what they’re doing, and don’t care that we (wife, church, community) don’t agree. This is from that book on the disordered, by Dr. Simon.

Tempest
Tempest
6 years ago
Reply to  Feelingit

No, they don’t have regrets because (a) they didn’t have real connections in the first place; (b) then they would have to admit they made a mistake.

My X doesn’t regret his actions, even though he suffered after I filed, because his current life is more sparkly, even if less substantial. He prefers sparkly.

Patience
Patience
6 years ago
Reply to  Feelingit

Feelingit/Lyn/Imaphool: He left in 2010, house foreclosed, he watched me sobbing, moving myself and the 4 kids out, leaning up against his truck, slowly blowing his cigarette smoke out, like a snake. I found a house to rent, friend of a friend, heard my story, destroyed credit, bla bla, moved in. His daddy bought him a house around the corner from my new rental…he stalked us for the first year, finally assaulted me in the kitchen one night after claiming he needed to come in to check on the kids.

To this day he has absolutely no remorse about any of it. The only pain he felt was his own for losing full physical/legal custody. How could I? they only know their pain, they only ever will.

I am still trying to figure out how to not be attracted to lousy men.

ImAPhool
ImAPhool
6 years ago
Reply to  Patience

I’m so sorry – what a piece of shit he sounds like. We’re all phools in some way. But we didn’t know. We’re not like them. We have a heart and it feels things. We thought they did too. Its not our fault for having feelings

Attie
Attie
6 years ago
Reply to  Patience

Oh my word, that image of him blowing smoke clouds while you moved your children out – wow – satan in human form. I’m so sorry for you and I hope the karma bus is heading his way soon.

Lyn
Lyn
6 years ago
Reply to  Feelingit

People always told me the same thing, but I firmly believe he won’t. He’s the kind of person who never looks in the rear view mirror.

ImAPhool
ImAPhool
6 years ago
Reply to  Lyn

I still hope for that day, some revelation he’ll have one day, but knowing it won’t come. Trying everyday to move him further and further from my mind.

kiwichump
kiwichump
6 years ago
Reply to  ImAPhool

+1

Thankful
Thankful
6 years ago

No longer my job
– having to act like the shmucks Personal assistant
– having to pre-empt what it is he is going to want or need and just make it happen.
– paying the bills on reduced wages because he couldn’t hold a job
– constantly needing to take responsibility for all the negative aspects of our life
– being both mother and father while he spent time with others
– constantly feeling robbed of my feminity because he struggled to be a man
– needing to make him the center of mine and our children’s existence, merely because of his title of husband and father, not because he wanted to be with us
– having to forgo any desire of studying or career, because my career was as WIFE and mother
– having to submit all decision making to the shmuck because capable or not he was the head of our home being the man. all final decisions laid with him
– being disregarded by my church for not submitting and being shamed for being an outspoken female
– not being able to grow in my pursuit of music because he was the prodigy musician all I did was sing
– never feeling as though I was an equal in my own life

My new Job:
– comes with a large amount of free head space, peace, love, joy and freedom
– freedom from all gaslighting, lies, deception and cheating
– freedom to make my own decisions
– freedom to study and pursue the career I had wanted for almost a decade (degree almost completed)
– freedom to pursue music on my own terms
– to go to movies, pubs with friends.
– wear dresses, colour my hair, do my nails, wear makeup. all without negative jibs shaming condemnation
– freedom to have friendships that he is unable to take over and make his own
– freedom to choose my own friends and live by my own discretion.

through the positive that now dwells in my life, doors have opened. Sure I am single and probably will be for some time yet but I am happy, gaining my internship with the agency I wanted to complete my degree, and this week learning I can join the choir of my new church and fellowship with others of a similar creative mind, all with the acceptance that I am a single female and I am entitled to think for myself and share my opinion should I want to. I govern my own life, It was hard in the beginning, painful to the point of just no longer wanting to breathe if it meant the pain would stop. But now breathing deep brings a smile to my face. Because it feels good, life is good.

Lyn
Lyn
6 years ago
Reply to  Thankful

The thing I enjoy the most is not having to flatter and puff up his ego in order to get him to cooperate. I never want to be in that position again.

Jojobee
Jojobee
6 years ago
Reply to  Lyn

Amen! That shit was a full time job on its own.

Thankful
Thankful
6 years ago
Reply to  Thankful

Oh and since leaving cheater and gaining a life, I have left Australia which I have never done before, and spent a week in New York, traveled to west coast of Australia for a friend’s wedding and spent time on the beach watching the sunset. I have walked 31kilometres (19.26 miles) for charity, and do as I please with my leisure time.

ClearWaters
ClearWaters
6 years ago
Reply to  Thankful

Thankful, I am thankful for your post. I can’t complain, bitter as my chumpiness is for me, You are an inspiration.

Thankful
Thankful
6 years ago
Reply to  ClearWaters

ClearWater, thank you for your encouragement.
Please do not think that my journey has been without its bitterness, There were many times I fantasised about tasering my cheater and watching him drop, especially as he got engaged to another woman (cheated on me with men) while hindering our property separation and increasing my legal bills through dragging his feet, all while claiming to be the victim.

It has taken constant reminders by people close to me everytime he has inflicted his own brand of crazy on my life that I should be grateful that I am free, and his impact of crazy on my life is now limited not every day. He is now someone else’s problem

To concur bitterness I suggest looking for things to be grateful for.

Right now I am grateful for purple hair, and a little black dog, (I got all the pets in the split) that is keeping my feet warm on a cold sydney night.

kiwichump
kiwichump
6 years ago
Reply to  Thankful

Thankful, what beautiful posts! So glad your freedom is everything that you deserve and you can flex your creative muscles!

ZHUCHI
ZHUCHI
6 years ago
Reply to  Thankful

Where in Sydney Thankful? I’m in Newcastle.

Nikki Lynn
Nikki Lynn
6 years ago

I did a little exercise a while back to create a four quandrant vision shield with images that respresent the following for my new life: Where do I put my TRUST?; What brings MEANING to my life? What is my HOPE for my future? And what is my COMMITMENT?

My trust comes from me–my gut–no more discounting that little voice inside that speaks to me.
My meaning comes from authentic, healthy, caring/loving relationships. I will work to cultivate/maintain loving realtionships (be they with friends/family/romantic love).
My hope is for a peaceful life. My image there is of Eirene, the Greek Goddness of Peace.
My commitment is to “paddle my kayak”! The image of a kayaker paddling in the river represents an understanding that there is a higher power that is at work here but that I need to do my work/do what I can all along the way.

Fresh out of divorce I am getting glimpses of just how satisfying this new life filled with my vision and focusing on my interests and needs can be.

conniered
conniered
6 years ago
Reply to  Nikki Lynn

Trusting your gut is HUGE.

It has taken me most of my adult life to realize that my gut is not verbal. I can not fully articulate the REASON of a gut reaction until some time after the alarm bells go off. I have had to learn to just act without understanding at that moment. That is tough!! I want to know the WHY…and sometimes so do others. It makes me feel slightly crazy to act on a “feeling” without being able to put words to it. But honestly, my gut has never been wrong.

Polly
Polly
6 years ago
Reply to  conniered

I seem to remember that gut feeling or intuition is simply a rapid accumulation of facts and knowledge enabling a quick decision. Think of expert medics in an emergency situation, they rapidly assess in a blink of an eye and their assessment is built on a vast store of knowledge and past experience that informs their swift decision making process. The gut reaction is simply you responding swiftly to a situation using a huge reservoir of experiences and knowledge. As chumps we may have ignored our gut senses but when reality really bites then we sit up and take notice finally. From that moment I think our gut response becomes much more valued and listened too.

cashmere
cashmere
6 years ago
Reply to  Nikki Lynn

This is a great exercise. Thank you for sharing it.

Magneto
Magneto
6 years ago

Sometimes it is very hard to step back and see the inappropriate relationship for what it really is, and the role you get sucked into playing, and more importantly, how to extract yourself from that dynamic.

If you find yourself repeatedly entangled and at a loss of how to stop being part of it, (I think it’s called being the hypotenuse here), check out info about the Karpman Drama Triangle. Once you realize that someone is an anchor – not in a good way, to you, you can then work on cutting the chain.

Being able to identify a problem is the first real step in healing.

Creativerational
Creativerational
6 years ago
Reply to  Magneto

Coyote ugly is a thing even after years of thinking you were married to a swan?

CharityFroggenhall
CharityFroggenhall
6 years ago

Buy your own mother’s birthday cards! Not my job.

JesssMom
JesssMom
6 years ago

Hahaha! Yes!

I would also include — nope, not reminding you of your own children’s birthdays. (Argh!!)

FreeNow
FreeNow
6 years ago
Reply to  JesssMom

This…

-Buy your own damn birthday, holiday, hostess gifts and cards!

-Remember your own child and grandchildren important life dates!

-Remember your neighbors names!

-Keep track of your own car keys, tools and stuff! No, I didn’t move them.

-Plan, book and confirm lodging, air flights, reservations and activities. No, I won’t be reminding you again.

Ahhh…I have more time for me and meh! Fuckwits!

ItAin'tMe
ItAin'tMe
6 years ago

This concept has been a huge part of my recovery and I’ve summed it up with the life motto “You Do You”. I’m no longer responsible for anything outside of myself.

My divorce has been final for 3 months. Chumps still in limbo- HANG IN THERE. The freedom that comes from the final decree was an even bigger relief than I expected. It will happen. Keep strong.

This has been my jam lately, how timely! https://youtu.be/j6sSQq7a_Po

Nikki Lynn
Nikki Lynn
6 years ago
Reply to  ItAin'tMe

Love the motto, ItAin’tMe. You Do You! And gonna add the Selena song to my playlist . . . Nice!

ImAPhool
ImAPhool
6 years ago
Reply to  Nikki Lynn

“Doing Me” – i heard this recently and I love it.

Kurleegirl
Kurleegirl
6 years ago

CL, this post is so timely. After a 3 year court battle and some issues with the judge, I finally got my divorce decree on Monday!! However I was determined that this was going to be the year I do me. The beginning of the year I suscribed to an online class share club. I need to update my job skills and school is too expensive for me and too time consuming. Also, I gained a few pounds, so I rejoined my weight loss club early this month. It’s slow going (lost 4lbs so far) but since I have made a concerted effort to concentrate on me, I find that my life is so much more at peace. I realize now that my Tuesday is fast approaching…yay!

Feelingit
Feelingit
6 years ago
Reply to  Kurleegirl

I keep seeing the reference to my Tuesday- could someone explain it? I think I should be looking forward to mine but not sure the meaning lol!

Pearshaped
Pearshaped
6 years ago
Reply to  Feelingit

It’s symbolic of the day when it hits you that you really don’t give a shit about what he/she’s doing and who he/she’s with. You realize your anniversary was several months ago and you think, “Huh. How about that.” You just aren’t worried about it. The day you truly reach Meh.

Chump Lady picked Tuesday, and it’s funny how many times I’ve read about Chumps realizing landmarks in their divorces happen on Tuesday.

My birthday was on a Tuesday so I guess I was born Meh. Explains a lot, actually.

ImAPhool
ImAPhool
6 years ago
Reply to  Pearshaped

LOL – you were born on a Tuesday – i look forward to my Tuesday when I truly don’t give a shit. Year and a Half later, I still do. I know, I know, Imaphool

conniered
conniered
6 years ago
Reply to  Feelingit

I think it’s also in the glossary here on the website. great information there.

Feelingit
Feelingit
6 years ago
Reply to  conniered

Thanks for that and pointing me to the glossary! ( without making me feel like I am an idiot as you know I have been a longtime chump)?

KibbleFree_MightyMe
KibbleFree_MightyMe
6 years ago
Reply to  Feelingit

Sometimes “Tuesdays” just happen for us. I literally just checked the calendar, and it was on a Tuesday last year that the x-douchebag lost ALL parental rights to our teen daughter. It also just happened to be the date of our would-be 19th anniversary. Yes. All on the same Tuesday last year.

I guess was already more at meh and completely indifferent to that moron than I thought, because those dots didn’t even connect until I just looked back.

That rearview mirror is pretty awesome. =D

conniered
conniered
6 years ago
Reply to  Feelingit

Feelingit….”Tuesday” is the day you achieve Meh. haha One day, not a particularly special day, you realize that you are OK. The cheater does not take up your headspace or zap you of your energy…you’re just kind like meh about them.

Amiisfree
Amiisfree
6 years ago
Reply to  Kurleegirl

CONGRATULATIONS Kurleegirl! You go! Show ’em how it’s done! 😉

Soldiering On
Soldiering On
6 years ago

After my Ex walked out, I wept. Later, I began walking again (too exhausted before he left), got a subscription to a world-class opera (something I’d always wanted to go see but he didn’t, so we didn’t), traveled to the UK for ten days, and when he made comments about how I was spending my money, told him to mind his own business.

Hurray!!

Amiisfree
Amiisfree
6 years ago
Reply to  Soldiering On

Yes!

MehGloriousMeh
MehGloriousMeh
6 years ago

I tend to worry about stuff like 5th grade graduation not only because I am chumpy but because I am *kind* and considerate. The “nice lady” in me wants to organize and inform and invite and include because it’s the right thing to do. It’s what I did throughout our entire marriage — I handled everything and made it easy for the Cheater to fuck his OWs and then slide in right on time, beaming like Father of the Year.

No more!!! Chump Lady is right — the school calendar is readily available to every parent who wants to be informed and involved. So LimpDick didn’t realize the play was this weekend? Oh well. Completely missed the registration for Spirit Week? So sorry. NOT MY PROBLEM to include a person who obviously has no real impetus to be involved in the first place.

Collateral benefit is that my kids finally get to see how mom always shows up and dad couldn’t care less.

GetMeFree
GetMeFree
6 years ago
Reply to  MehGloriousMeh

MehGloriousMeh, this was me also. I thrive on planning and organizing. I still put everything into Google calendars for the kids (it is how I manage all the stuff) and then share it with STBX. I look at it this way. He knows EVERYTHING that they do from practices to games, to school events, to haircuts to doctor appointments, etc. He uses it to send them a quick text “How was freshman retreat?” But the reality is that he misses 95% of their stuff. I then write whether he attended or not in a calendar. Proof that he is basically a non-participant in their lives AND evidence that he can never accuse me of parental alienation.

JesssMom
JesssMom
6 years ago

I’m fairly new to this process (just two months separated after 20+ years together) and I can be honest enough to admit to understanding what the letter writer is going through. (No worries – my logical brain is smacking my chumpy brain).

It’s sort of a schizophrenic-like feeling. On one hand, I feel kind of lost. I loved this man for so long. It’s hard to undue residual feelings of obligation toward him.

Then there’s the problem that I’m just so USED to him being with me. Some days I’m looking at pretty obvious questions or problems and just have no clue how to formulate an answer. Gee, the dog needs his nails trimmed. STBX used to do the dog stuff. What to do???? Panic mode. (Seriously, panicking over a dog’s toe nails … it would be hilarious in another world.)

On the flip side of this, I’ve figured out that I was married my entire adult life (18 years young when I met him – married at 19). And my childhood was filled with similar disorder. So, basically, I have no clue who I am – at least not consciously.

So, I’ve been working hard to figure this out. What have been my “go to” activities as an individual throughout my lifetime? Peeling back through layers of memory to figure out things that interested me, but I didn’t get a chance to do because I was saddled with a disordered husband.

I’ve rediscovered Chopin! I’ve been listening to Chopin while spackling (haha) and putting a fresh coat of paint on every room in the house!

I’ve also been able to indulge in reading again. I haven’t read a book in so long, yet books were always a mainstay for me — a lifeline when life truly sucked, and a treasure even when life was good. I had forgotten how much books meant to me.

And, I find the single-hood to be beautiful — even serene. A lot of this is probably because I’m finally not walking on a gazillion egg shells daily … listening for a change in the tone of his voice … watching his body language … gee, is he pissed but hiding it? Is he getting ready to rage? Argh. I don’t miss that — not at all.

I get a hefty reminder of how horrible that was every time I have to have any kind of interaction with the disordered asshole (even if by third party). My reaction is visceral. Blood pressure goes up, migraine ensues …. Damn. I don’t miss that.

MyRedSandals
MyRedSandals
6 years ago
Reply to  JesssMom

JesssMom: I get it… after a 40-year relationship with Asshat, I had no idea who I was, what I liked or what I was capable of accomplishing; the last time I’d lived alone or did any independent decision-making, I was 19 years old.

When Asshat dumped me for his married coworker (I’m sure she still doesn’t know she’s #14 in a long line of whores he finally admitted to grooming and then bedding), I truly thought my life was over. I couldn’t breathe, think, function, get out of bed, and certainly didn’t know how I would get from one day to the next. But good, loving and faithful friends and family members immediately circled their wagons around me and helped me to see that (1) his longtime pattern of irrational decisions were all about him and had nothing to do with me, and (2) it was only my life AS I’D KNOWN IT that was over, and one day, I would be grateful to be free of that existence.

We were separated for 3 years, and halfway through that stretch, I felt strong enough to completely disengage, go zero contact, and let my attorney serve as my communication conduit. That one decision to “go dark” ended up being the linchpin in my healing journey!

I’m now 22 months post-divorce and 40 months ZC, and I am well on my way to the land of Meh. I bought myself a cute house and remodeled it to fit my tastes, I rediscovered my former passion for making jewelry, I’m taking better care of myself via healthier eating and regular yoga classes, I’m volunteering in my community and making many new friends, I’m doing more traveling to visit my grown kids, and I am so enjoying my independence! I’m beyond grateful that the remaining years of my life will be spent in truth and freedom… not walking on eggshells, not wondering if he was telling me yet another lie, and not waiting for the other shoe to drop.

Of course, I still have occasional days when I miss being “coupled”, but I certainly don’t stress about finding a mate; eligible men in my age bracket (60s) who are not looking for a nurse or a purse seem few and far between. I’ve already decided that if I can’t meet someone new in an organic way, I’m just as happy being single.

Doingme
Doingme
6 years ago
Reply to  MyRedSandals

“If we stay in the chump condition, we eliminate uncertainty. We give our authority to fuckwits who will tell us what to think and how to act. (And where we missed a spot.)” To me this is by far one of the most powerful statements I’v read here on this site. It speaks to me in so many ways.

While no one would willingly allow a partner to inflict pain and abuse upon themselves it becomes our normal way of functioning despite having the ability to leave. The path to trusting ourselves is overwhelmed by pain and self doubt. While the pain subsides with clarity, self doubt lingers much longer. Our very identity was in being a wife/husband and part of a couple. At first we do gain ‘freedom from’ and this in itself is a necessary step. Yet getting them out of our heads and gaining emotional strength takes much more time.

Abuse is often unrecognized within a relationship as often times present and rooted in our families of origin without recognizing how this impacted our choices and what we were willing to tolerate. Or we were in a healthy family growing up and never saw the signs until it was too late.

How do we detach and become strong? It is with the development of rebuilding through self-efficacy, as LAJ so eloquently describes. That is the foundation which supports ‘freedom to’. The role an abuser plays in our lives is to always maintain power and control and is either blatant or covert in nature. It is usually present long before we become aware of infidelity. We are groomed in many ways prior to ever becoming aware. The goal posts move, and we up our support and feel helpless/hopeless and yet plug through it under the guise of having equal power in decision making because we are invested.

I can relate to becoming a prisoner who upon having the ability to gain freedom, remained captive due to Stockholm syndrome as Muse describes. What was absent was my knowledge of the breadth and depth the face of abuse can develop over years. Infidelity is often times the catalyst used to further break us down; it’s always the tip of the iceberg. The abuse came long before it was recognized as such.

Gaining self-efficacy takes one step and then another. Yes, I learned how to start a lawn mower, rewire electrical outlets, figured out how to replace lights in my car and remove the yellowing of my headlights. I supported my son and granddaughter while eating chicken legs for a year, learned how to cut and color my hair, and shop at consignments stores for clothing. And now after three years of supporting myself living on a good income, yet paycheck to paycheck I have learned to put my needs first. It’s been an uphill battle leading to ‘freedom to’. Yes, its and attitude knowing you can trust yourself regardless of the roadblocks because mightiness is knowing your self worth and living it each and every day with peace.

Beth
Beth
6 years ago
Reply to  JesssMom

JesssMom, I was married for 25 years, together for 32. I’ve been divorced for over a year but every once in awhile (thankfully not very often anymore) those “so used to being with him” moments still hit me. Today was one. I went in for my mammogram and was the only single in the lobby. Every other woman there was with her SO. The last few years I’ve had to do re-dos and/or ultrasounds because they’ve spotted something that looked off on the film. The first year my ex went with me for the ultrasound because I was so scared that I had cancer. So this year, as I was sitting there by myself, I had that “so used to being with him” moment. But then I made myself REALISTICALLY recall that visit a couple of years ago when my ex was there with me. When after 2 or 3 different re-takes of the mammogram and an ultrasound I finally got the all clear he sort of mocked me for being scared and said HE wasn’t going to worry about it until there was something to worry about. And when I wanted to go out to lunch to celebrate (I was too nervous to eat before the testing) he said no, he had wasted enough time and had to get back to work. When I really thought about how life was with him I realized that I was better off being scared by myself than trying to pretend I wasn’t because I didn’t want to have my concerns mocked and belittled. The getting to know yourself as a single person can be hard but I have yet to imagine a realistic moment with my ex as he really was rather than my idealized image of who I thought he was when I didn’t know I was MUCH better off without him.

JesssMom
JesssMom
6 years ago
Reply to  Beth

Ouch. I know that feeling of being with someone who just doesn’t care when there are medical concerns. It sucks horribly — and I’m very sorry you had to go through that.

My STBX was the type who just couldn’t be bothered when someone else was sick. Of course, if he had the smallest thing wrong, the world was ending and he expected me to baby him. And, when I didn’t (as I learned far too late) – it was fodder for covert revenge (woohoo – she didn’t baby me, time to go get laid somewhere else!).

Whatever comfort we thought we had with our disordered fuckwits just wasn’t real. Such a hard truth to accept, but true nonetheless. But, being away from that kind of degradation is a saving grace – as you said, even if it means we are dealing with the bumps in life by ourselves.

(P.S. It’s excellent to hear that your mammogram came out clean!)

Lyn
Lyn
6 years ago
Reply to  Beth

Beth, I’ve had that experience too. Recently I went in for minor surgery and the nurse was looking behind me as I came in. She asked if I had anyone with me and it felt weird to say no. Just me.

Lyn
Lyn
6 years ago
Reply to  JesssMom

Jessmom, I met my ex at age 16 and we were together 36 years. Same thing with a difficult childhood and not really knowing who I was or what I wanted. I love that you are listening to Chopin, that’s the first thing I turned to as well. As long as I could remember music has moved me. It was very healing to get as much music in my life as possible. Hang in there, it takes awhile for the bonds that held you with him so long to dissolve. It sort of feels like your brain is having to rewire after being in a relationship since you were basically a child.

JesssMom
JesssMom
6 years ago
Reply to  Lyn

Thank you, Lyn.

You said: “It sort of feels like your brain is having to rewire after being in a relationship since you were basically a child.”

You nailed this. I’ve literally been stopped in my tracks because my brain feels like it has hit a dead end and is frantically searching for a new path. It is the strangest thing I’ve ever experienced.

Music has long been a solace to me as well … I just started ignoring that somewhere along the way. I’m thrilled to have it back. Chopin, in particular, with his haunting yet soothing melodies is amazingly comforting to me. 🙂

Lyn
Lyn
6 years ago
Reply to  JesssMom

Jess, for at least the first 2-3 years I had a really strange feeling of being “lost.” It was sort of like anxiety, but not really. I finally decided that in many ways I’d lost my identity. I felt completely disconnected from life. Thankfully that feeling hasn’t been around in a long time. Sometimes I think of it as a computer that’s having to overwrite all its data with new information. It takes a long time to reorder a lifetime of memories and experiences with a new reality.

OutWest
OutWest
6 years ago
Reply to  Lyn

In addictions therapy we talk to client’s a lot about how they will have to work to ‘re-wire’ their brains. That drugs fast track, a super highway to the dopamine centers and that in recovery, what we want them to begin to build in scenic by-ways, detours, county roads. Then as you take the other roads i.e. grey rock, meditation, health coping behaviors, these roads become the new main roads. It took all of us a long time to grow accustomed to living with chronic anxiety, dysfunction, walking on egg shells etc. The journey to meh is taking thousands of back roads and learning to re-wire our brains. Chemically there is a change. Hope this metaphor works. There is science behind it. When I explain CBT techniques to clients I tell them that to “Fake it till you make it” is in the long run, laying down new, healthy neuro pathways.

StigOfTheChump
StigOfTheChump
6 years ago
Reply to  OutWest

Thank you, OutWest, that is fascinating.

SomethingNew
SomethingNew
6 years ago
Reply to  JesssMom

Jesssmom, I understand the feeling of the dead end, the “things cannot continue like this”. It’s great to finally realize what you don’t want (disorder) but it leaves a big, gaping, murky uncertainty in front of you. Well, that’s what I don’t want, but it’s all I’ve known…so now what? That’s why I picked my tag, I knew I had to fashion of myself “something new”, particulars TBD.

JesssMom
JesssMom
6 years ago
Reply to  SomethingNew

>>”particulars TBD”

Yes! The way I try to think about it (to make it a bit more palatable! LOL) is that it’s like a sculptor who has gotten her hands on a fine piece of marble. Now it’s her opportunity to create something beautiful. 🙂

CeliA
CeliA
6 years ago
Reply to  JesssMom

That’s beautiful metaphor. We certainly are the sculptors, engineers, artists, and architects of our life.

Sweet Redemption
Sweet Redemption
6 years ago
Reply to  JesssMom

JessMom, I too left a 20 yr marriage. It will be three yrs since my divorce and my life is now amazing. I also freaked out about handling some things that the Ex used to do, but I went ahead and figured out how to do them (YouTube videos are great for this).

You’ve got this. Make a list of all the things you’ve always wanted to do and start treating yourself. I joined meetup groups and took up ukulele lessons.

What I feared never happened. Yes it takes time to heal, but life on the other side is wonderful.

JesssMom
JesssMom
6 years ago

I just love that you took ukulele lessons. So cool! 🙂

Thank you for your encouragement. I know it is a long haul – and I’m okay with that. Stories like yours constantly help to refill my motivational reserves when things get a bit wonky and wobbly in my head.

Capricorn
Capricorn
6 years ago

JessMom.
Same here 22 year marriage. Ddays July last year. Divorce soon.
Looking back on my own time I too realised I didn’t know who I was, what I liked, what I didn’t. At first my efforts were all a bit ‘stiff’ as I was trying things that I might like and determined to try lots of things. Now it’s more natural. I am working on my garden with a lovely lady gardener to help and it feels easy. No pressure. I am sort of redecorating gradually. I am changing my car. I am planning a new wardrobe. It all feels ‘flow-y’ now. I’m not consciously trying to ‘be me’ I’m just being. It’s sooooo lovely.
That’s why I’m excited to be single. I used to look at couples and mourn what I no longer had. No I just look at them and think wise I’m so lucky I don’t have to fit with anyone else and their stuff. The amount of headspace I have feels liberating.
I have learned that if there is something that breaks or goes wrong I press the mental pause button. Think about possible people or things that will help and do my best.
I honestly didn’t believe my past anxiety was anything to do with my STBX until CL commented on one of my posts on a thread. Since then I know it myself. I still get anxious sometimes but have lost that high intensity background scream that was always there. And I have gained myself back. Not a bad outcome at all and something I could not have done without chump nation.

SomethingNew
SomethingNew
6 years ago
Reply to  Capricorn

Capricorn, I know EXACTLY what you mean. And I always blamed myself for it, all the anxiety and the crap that went along with it. It’s nearly miraculous how much of that high baseline anxiety has slowly melted away over the last 10 months since I evicted the cheater from my life (we have two small kids together, but my gray rock is solid). I have never, in my entire life, felt like myself. It makes no sense written out, but it sounds like you know the feeling. I didn’t know what kind of music I liked. Really. And so many similar things. I was so ashamed that I seemed sub-human. This stuff always seemed so easy for others!! I was always so jealous, and was trying to figure out how to get there. And now I am on my way!! Getting to know myself has been a very rewarding journey. I also couldn’t have done it without the therapeutic and insightful wisdom 2×4 of CL and CN. So much <3 for everyone here!

Capricorn
Capricorn
6 years ago
Reply to  SomethingNew

SomethingNew

” I have never, in my entire life, felt like myself. It makes no sense written out, but it sounds like you know the feeling”

I surely do.

I did not know myself because I had a tricky childhood and was always trying to make people love me by twisting into one shape or another. I didn’t trust that they would love me if I was just ‘me’. That set the pattern. Easy to spot in hindsight. I tended to go along with what everyone else liked. I dared not stamp my style on anything. I too tried to think my way into an identity. Copying stuff from others trying to see if it felt ‘right’.
Fortunately one of the side effects of the cheating has been to give me the choice of more of the same or take the risk of nailing my colours to the mast. Finally I can feel me emerging from the inside out. So, pass me the hammer….

SomethingNew
SomethingNew
6 years ago
Reply to  Capricorn

Yup. My life as I knew it felt like it suddenly burned down all around me, but hell if that didn’t make me take a huuuuge step back to identify where things went wrong on what I thought was my path in life. Now I CHOOSE to replace all the guilt-ridden “I should”s with agency-full “I want”s.

JesssMom
JesssMom
6 years ago
Reply to  Capricorn

Capricorn –

I know what you mean about the feelings of mourning when you would see other couples. I think I’m a bit behind you in the mental journey, but I am also starting to pull out from under the weight of “mourning coupledom.” Though, admittedly, I still can’t stomach the Hallmark channel (for those not in the US – it’s mostly romantic movies). 🙂

Thank you for describing your experience with trying to figure out who you are. It helps me to see that it won’t feel this awkward forever! I’ve consciously berated myself for the awkwardness … it really shouldn’t be this hard to figure out who I am, right? I’ve kind of been living in this skin for a while now … (a bit over four decades). Sometimes, when I’m feeling a bit feistier, I get ticked off because I know I’ve diminished myself to this extent — trying to be loved by people who weren’t remotely capable of it. The good news about this anger is that it is a healthy, “never again” kind of anger.

It’s keenly interesting to me that you mentioned anxiety. I had no idea I was so steeped in it, until I realized that I had only left the house a hand full of times in the last three years. Add this to the anxiety of dealing with the fallout from the implosion, the always-impending unpredictability of STBX, and … well, I’m kind of an anxious mess. I’ve taken up meditation and several other means to help control the anxiety. But I really like your idea of the “mental pause button” … if you don’t mind, I think I’ll borrow that. 😉

It is so uplifting to hear that you have gained yourself back — and that you are moving with full determination into a bright, optimistic future. Thank you so much for sharing your journey.

ImAPhool
ImAPhool
6 years ago
Reply to  JesssMom

I commend you ladies – 20+ years is a long time and you guys are staying strong even though it can be difficult. Hugs to all

JesssMom
JesssMom
6 years ago
Reply to  ImAPhool

(((Hugs))) to you too. 🙂

Amiisfree
Amiisfree
6 years ago

Another brilliant post that makes my heart ache because there was no CL to teach me this stuff back when I really needed it. I am so grateful you are here now, CL, for myself and for all of us. It’s a terrible thing to have to have in common, but a wonderful place to heal.

Chumpinrecovery
Chumpinrecovery
6 years ago

I ranted about this yesterday but I am still mad so I will rant again. Apparently one of the mediators in our divorce seems to think it is my job to encourage the kids to have a relationship with Schmoopie. Huh? Why is that my job? He says I should do it for the sake of the kids. How does encouraging the kids to have a relationship with someone who has a known track record of putting her needs ahead of our kids benefit them? If she and STBX want the kids to have a relationship with her it is up to them to convince the kids that it is in their best interests. This counselor/mediator was suggesting that I say things like “oh, isn’t that nice” and “it’s nice that she makes him happy” if/when he makes plans to introduce her to them. I would rather throw up. I told the man (of course it was a man, the woman lawyer was trying to get him to stop getting off topic because that whole aside had nothing to do with the legal stuff) in no uncertain terms that I was not going to do that although I would agree not to discuss her with the kids at all and not go out of my way to discourage them from having a relationship with her if they so choose. That’s the best I can do and I am under no obligation legal or moral to take it any further than that. Ugh!

lostntx
lostntx
6 years ago

Chumpinrecovery your job is to tell them to FUCK OFF! Tell them it is their choice and you will not be telling your kids to accept and eat a shit sandwich. It’s their opinion and that’s all it is. No laws say you have to do any such thing.

Lyn
Lyn
6 years ago

Chumpinrecovery, there is nothing healthy about lying to your children about your feelings. Sheesh. That mediator is an idiot.

Attie
Attie
6 years ago

Chumpinrecovery, hell no don’t “encourage” your kids to have a relationship with the skank. Maybe don’t badmouth her (difficult I know) but you don’t have to push them towards her. My kids are older but I was travelling to the airport with them this morning and I was telling them that my ex’ skank had rented a house across the field from me. I can’t actually see her house but it is only about 200 metres away. My son’s gf asked how I felt about that (she and ex split a few years ago but she was the one he ran off with). I just said “oh, I open the bedroom window and give her the middle-fingered salute”! They both just grinned. I make no pretense of being civil with that cow and they know it.

Feelingit
Feelingit
6 years ago

So with you chump in recovery! I think you should be praised for being civil in this situation. These fuckwit mediators/counselors have no empathy at all for what a cheater puts you through and that it is abuse. What they are saying is analogous to asking you to help and support your non-repentant molester.

Early on I had one counselor tell me I needed to be nicer to my cheater. My response was :” I think I am being very my nice, he is still able to walk through the door. ”

Screw the mediator, you are amazing chumpinrecovery!!!

Hugs and take deep breaths. Your children are lucky to have you!

flowergirl
flowergirl
6 years ago
Reply to  Feelingit

I had the mediator tell me that it was good that Stbx had even turned up without any financial information as many men didn’t. For a few moments I considered thanking him then I snapped out of it. When he left I pointed out to the mediator I could have chosen not to turn up or bring the required information too. Her response was we will never understand Men.

Feelingit
Feelingit
6 years ago
Reply to  Feelingit

I was thinking this afternoon, these cheaters pretend their spouses don’t exisist when they cheat so why should we acknowledge the whore’s existence. Did the whore ever encourage the cheater to be nice to his wife and kids and not cheat on them?

Patience
Patience
6 years ago
Reply to  Feelingit

Feelingit: Our mediator put in her report that she felt I had “mixed” feelings… Really? Of course I did! He was my husband, father of my kids, I was still bumping into walls trying to figure out what the hell happened. Part of me wanted to run him over with a truck, the other part was devastated and heartbroken. They are idiots.

conniered
conniered
6 years ago
Reply to  Feelingit

Oh yes!! I second this right here!!!

conniered
conniered
6 years ago

I’m thinking dude must be a cheater. Or his kids don’t like his current love interest.

Chumpinrecovery
Chumpinrecovery
6 years ago
Reply to  conniered

Actually, I think it is just because this group has probably never mediated a case that involves infidelity before (they take a highly collaborative approach) and they are trying to make our case fit the non adulterous break-up box. Everything he said about paramours would have made perfect sense if we were getting divorced, waiting a bit to heal and then casually dating before then finding that special someone. This case is different and mediator guy just doesn’t get it.

The other thing is that it is clear STBX doesn’t really want 50/50 placement, but the mediators are trying to shame him into it because in there experience (dealing with people who don’t have a current love interest in the mix), it is normal for both parents to want their share of time with the kids. I get the impression that they think that is coming from me and STBX is going along with it out of guilt. For now we are looking at a temporary agreement that gives me more placement with a future shift depending on conditions (such as a bigger apartment). My goal is to come up with “conditions” that would make it possible for him to bow out in a way that saves face. If he really does want that much time with his kids in the future I don’t want to deny him that as I see his desire to be a Dad as a positive thing, but I don’t want him to take on placement just because he doesn’t want to look like a jerk for not doing so. Yes, my trying to give him a graceful out is solving a potential problem for him, but in this case I am really doing it for the kids so they are only living with a parent who really wants them there.

SomethingNew
SomethingNew
6 years ago

I’m in a similar place (not that absurdity from the mediator about encouraging a relationship with the person who purposefully helped break up their family, that’s ridiculous and at best naive). But in that he feels pressured to take on my custody than he really wants to play “Good Dad”. I wish I had your restraint to give him a graceful out, I think it’s an excellent plan. While it’s hard to choke it down, it really show you have the best interests of the kids in mind. Go you. I keep trying to bribe him to give me more custody time…I’m not sure it a great plan actually….

conniered
conniered
6 years ago

Oh wow, that sounds pretty nerve-wracking and I’d most likely venting about that a lot too!!!

It’s lost on me how mediators can expect a formula to fit every case even when this case does not fit their formula. That’s crazy and it seems kind of counter to the process…..

Chumpinrecovery
Chumpinrecovery
6 years ago

Their experience. Ga!

ICanSeeTheMehComing!
ICanSeeTheMehComing!
6 years ago

CL – how do you always post what I need to read? It’s like turning on the radio and hearing a song that speaks to my heart.

JUST YESTERDAY… Mr. Sparkles sent me a text “As a courtesy, I wanted you to know that I will not be coming alone to our son’s play tomorrow night.”

The last D-day was September 2014, the divorce was final December 2016. He’s already cycled through the OW and this is his newest victim (whom he’s been with less than a year). )She’s like Voldemort… “She who will not be named”… seriously, he’s never used her name in a text or conversation with me – see how these NPDs objectify people?!?)

But, I digress…

And I read it and it PISSED ME OFF. Why does he think I give a shit at this point? I’ve got GREY ROCK firmly in place. A shared calendar for our son’s appointments, etc. Yet, he just can’t miss an opportunity to throw in my face… “LOOK AT ME – I HAVE SOMEONE… YOU’RE STILL ALONE… GUESS I’M NOT THE FUCKED UP ONE.”

Obviously, I’m not a meh – yet.

So… I replied that no courtesy was required, we are divorced… although it might be embarrassing for our son, but I can’t control that fact. His reply – SILENCE.

ARGH… newbies… this is why no contact is sooooo important. Not only is it NOT MY JOB to save this next woman from the pathological lying bisexual narcissist that is my XH. It is NOT MY JOB to respond to his communications if they don’t involve our son.

He created the chaos, but I played in to it. Now, if you’ll excuse me, I have to go take a shower with a wire brush 🙂

Rock on Chump Nation.

flowergirl
flowergirl
6 years ago

great reply I may use it if you don’t mind

ImAPhool
ImAPhool
6 years ago

Hang in there – take a nice warm bath with bubbles – ahhhhh. Save that wire brush for running it across his balls

ClearWaters
ClearWaters
6 years ago

ICanSeeTheMehComing!

I would not have replied a word in this case. Especially since his “courtesy” did piss you off. For me that’s the litmus test for replying to these provocations: if it pisses me off, no reply. I’d use cheater “courtesy” to prepare my face muscles for serene indifference during the inevitable meeting of Sparkles and his new “cycle” of OW (love that way of looking at the situation).

But I do agree that the intention was indeed not to “miss an opportunity to throw in my face… “LOOK AT ME – I HAVE SOMEONE… YOU’RE STILL ALONE… GUESS I’M NOT THE FUCKED UP ONE.” In fact I’m expecting this cruelty from my STBXH (I’m 65), I hear echos of it from my sons.

Attie
Attie
6 years ago
Reply to  ClearWaters

Clearwaters, don’t worry at all about them throwing their togetherness in your face. They can’t imagine that anyone could be happy on their own. I love it so they can go take a long walk off a short pier. There is an expression in French (I live in France) “mieux vaut être seul que mal accompagné” – better to be on your own than in bad company.

UXworld
UXworld
6 years ago

Thanks for this ICSTMC — I fully expect to start getting ‘courtesy’ messages like this from the Kunty Kibbler any day now.

And that’s EXACTLY what it is: “Look at me! Look at me! Someone is paying the kind of attention to me that I need! YOU were never able to do that! You SUCK!”

Pitiful. And we get to be anchored to them for as long as we’re on the earth.

Attie
Attie
6 years ago
Reply to  UXworld

Yeah my ex new schmoopie posts all kinds of pictures of them on Facebook and frankly he looks such a dork. Picture a J.C. Penney catalogue model looking beguilingly off into the distance. Oh they really look such a pair of prats it makes me laugh, so if being on my own means I don’t have to pose like a J.C. Penney catalogue model so be it (says she, gazing off beguilingly into the distance).

flowergirl
flowergirl
6 years ago
Reply to  Attie

That’s what stbx’ WhatsApp photo reminded me of a 1950’s knitwear catalogue.

Feelingit
Feelingit
6 years ago

Real world, real time- I see such things in my future- thanks for good advice!

Amiisfree
Amiisfree
6 years ago

Best reply ever!

Joy
Joy
6 years ago

Oh wow. I cant describe the weird power struggle that ensued over whether or not the NarcX was going to get the school’s updates from me or if he was going to actually subscribe to the school emails and send his email address to the teacher. He REALLY wanted to squabble with me about it and I really did have to muster some strength to consistently say, “yeah. Weird you didn’t see that. You should call the school. ” all while thinking “I’m not you assistant and I’m not your wife and I’m not going to get blamed for alienating your stoned, disinterested self because I didn’t keep on top of school spam.” My only point is that it is wonderful to see people honoring the small courage it takes step by step to be free. It was hard and I learnimg all the new calculations of my new life was real work.

Got-a-brain
Got-a-brain
6 years ago

I’m a slow learning Chump, it took me a while, but now I can easily say, “not my problem!”

I think unicorns have a way of conditioning chumps into proving we are good people. “Oh, you think you are a good person? Let me move that goal post and tell you how you’ve failed… keep trying Chump!” So we do more, try harder, and question if we did enough. It took time for me to stop trying to prove I was a good person. I am a good person, regardless of what a disordered fuckwit says! It’s a pain in the butt, but every time there is a situation that results in a disagreement about what I should be doing, I document.

Just recently douche made 2 errors within a 2 week period on a time trade, and couldn’t fulfill his parting time because he was out of town. To rectify his error he wanted to keep the kids 2 extra days after Easter (which was his holiday), and those to days fell between his next parenting time. He would have ended up having 5 days in a row. I said, “Sorry you didn’t know your travel schedule, I will be expecting the kids back here the day after Easter, as per the calendar.” (Thank god for Our Family Wizard). His response…

“You didn’t have the calendar updated until last week for this month or beyond. I am working and trying to manage my time with them the best I can, so if they come back to you Monday, I will expect them A different day as a trade for last week than Monday.”

Haha, good try!
1) Nowhere is it written “I” am the one responsible for filling out the calendar. He seemed to do a fine job filling it out the month before when he was taking smoopsie-pie and all the kids on Spring Break.
2) I am not responsible for knowing his travel schedule
3) I am not responsible for his mistakes

Notice the you’re to blame and feel bad for me tone? Nope, not to blame and nope, don’t feel bad!

I think we all want to do what’s best for our children, and that’s why it’s so easy to get drawn into trying to manage their parenting time… no one wants their kids to get hurt! I had to get okay with my kids suffering the consequences of hurt feelings when their dad doesn’t show up. Yes, it sucks, but I would be doing them a disservice by always trying to prevent their feelings from being hurt when it’s something I can’t control.

KarenE
KarenE
6 years ago
Reply to  Got-a-brain

And unless there are legal documents that say you have to make up for custody days he drops, you don’t need to do that either, unless it works for you and the kids want it.

Portia
Portia
6 years ago

It is not just your own attitude you have to work on to be able to enjoy your Freedom. It is also the attitude of those around you who have been socialized to believe that you are nothing if you are not part of a couple. Or, equally enjoyable, you are some type of a threat to them since you have “lost” your spouse — you may want theirs! I run into this all the time.

I also have to deal with the expectations of potential suitors who think they want to “date” me. Their idea of “dating” is to take me to a meal once or twice, and by then I should be so enamored that I simply cannot wait to jump into bed with them and fulfill all their fantasies, and then I should clean their house, do their laundry, and cook their meals. Yes — you guessed it — I am very disappointing!!!
They do not believe that I am really not interested in getting married, and I am quite content with controlling my own assets, and not transferring them into their control. Really, I can live quite nicely without a spouse around the house.

I am not trying to sound egotistical — it is just the attitude that I must be so LONELY, and DESPERATE, and I must YEARN for the comforting sound of a spouse snoring peacefully while I cannot sleep and must stare at the ceiling. I could not get up and go into another room, because that may hurt his delicate feelings when he wakes up and I have escaped — oops, am not there.

I think that you have to stop believing the entire mythology of what marriage is and how a “good girl” should behave, and why you should always “stand by your man.” You need to understand that not only is it alright to think for yourself — but that you are capable of having some really excellent ideas. You don’t need to be part of an “intact family unit” to raise children, and it is possible to obtain a reasonable life style without another person’s income — and bills — coming in. You adjust, and you will be fine. Believe it.
It is actually the small things that make me happy now. I love coming home from work to a quiet and orderly house, where all toilets have been flushed and dishes were washed and put away, and there are no crumbs on the counter or empty milk cartons in the refrigerator. When I sit down at the computer, it is not already “up” at a porn site. When I get out of the shower, or wake up in the morning — I don’t have to be groped, or admire a wonderful urine induced erection. I don’t walk into silent but deadly fart zones by surprise. I don’t open surprise bills when I review the mail. I watch what I want to on TV — or read without recrimination. This is the stuff dreams are made of, people!!! This is Freedom at its best! You will be ecstatic, soon! Seriously.

kiwichump
kiwichump
6 years ago
Reply to  Portia

Portia, this is so true and so funny. No more farts and burps at the dinner table, bath tub covered in hairs, greasy cutlery left on the bench, undies on the laundry floor, endless war history shows on TV, cleaning his ears with the fork handle at the dinner table…and the constant round of cooking to satisfy the bottomless gut. I only need to clean the house once a week now. Definitely something to remember when “coupledom envy” strikes.

Grace
Grace
6 years ago
Reply to  Portia

Finally, after DD#4 and him sobbing that it was his final mistake, I got my divorce. I was so angry, I arranged the divorce all by myself against his wishes and finalised it in 4 months. Never looked back.The boys stay with me mostly, I live in my house, paid off my car loan and the debt that was on my expense for having no prenup, I kicked ass and I thought I was at meh so well. I started volunteering for refugees, kept on working self-employed at 2 companies and started raising my sons on my terms. Felt wonderful.
Can anyone explain why, a year after feeling exited and free, my adrenaline dropped and sadness kickes in? I am still raising my sons, and working which is necessary for I am the sole breadwinner, but it’s hard and I don’t enjoy it like I used to. I suddenly cry and feel sorry for myself which I hate. I love myself for how great I got rid of my Narc ex. I absolutely don’t miss him, I just feel sorry for myself and lack energy to do what I set out to do, continue helping refugees, building a business and not only raise my sons but be their force. My whole heart wants to thrive, I know I can, I did, it feels like a step back and that freaks me out!

Phoenixrising
Phoenixrising
6 years ago
Reply to  Grace

I totally get that Grace. It’s just started happening to me after 18 months of feeling really positive and enjoying living on my own without him I feel like I’ve gone backwards emotionally some days. I’m telling myself it’s part of a process and trying to keep myself busy until it passes. Would be interesting to hear if this happens to a lot of people as part of the journey to meh?

Grace
Grace
6 years ago
Reply to  Phoenixrising

I am sorry to hear about your sadness but it is kind of relieving that it’s not only me, I have to admit. Would be indeed very interesting to hear about feeling like meh and than slipping into sadness. Maybe there also is the ‘meh from’ and the ‘meh to’?

MJB
MJB
6 years ago
Reply to  Grace

For me I think the rebound sadness is settling from the horribleness of it all. Once you rethink it over and over, you start coming to terms with it. You maybe even become numb to it. You look at that fucker and feel sorry for him. Then feel sorry for yourself. Then think what a waist this all was for our family and future. I don’t know. He’s been trying to burn up my text again ‘about the kids’. I’ve replied a couple of times but know this is a mistake. I’ve had a couple of dreams where I’ve reunited with him and felt trapped. I’m frantically trying to get him out of my life again, but he won’t go. I guess this is more like a nightmare.

I think the post of no longer “running from” and reshifting your focus of “running to” is going to be helpful for me. I have the kids most of the time. I’ve really tried to keep our home life as normal as possible and be there for them. They are both in high school and will be gone in just a few short years. I’m still trying to be ‘mom’ first and foremost for them. Then there will be ‘meh’.

BoundaryGirl
BoundaryGirl
6 years ago
Reply to  Grace

Grace, you were indeed mighty. And, like you said the adrenaline dropped, and the sadness kicked in. You had to be strong and angry and mighty to get all that done in such a short period of time. But you (all of us) have to go through the sadness. The mourning of who we once were, who we thought they were, the dead marriage, all that has to be mourned. When the the rage leaves, the sadness takes its place. Don’t push it away or feel like it is some sort of failure. Its just part of the process, and on the other side you will feel this accelerated growth. It sucks, it feels like shit, but its the uncomfortable necessary step to MEH.

You’re in good company here. All of us either are going to be where you are now or are there right now, or have been there. The narcs never go there because they don’t grow. They remain shallow as mud puddles, with the inherent emptiness that goes with that life. Whereas you, because you feel, will come back to your joy and hope. Trust me. Its waiting for you.

Georgie
Georgie
6 years ago
Reply to  BoundaryGirl

That was a great comment Boundarygirl. Going through the sadness is a horrible but necessary part of recovery and journey to meh. I find I cycle between anger, sadness and mightiness but the anger and sadness are becoming less intense and frequent. We just have to believe we will get there.

Grace
Grace
6 years ago
Reply to  BoundaryGirl

Thank you so much. I will hang in there and try to maintain my activities but not push the sadness away. Sometimes it feels like it’s taking too long and I am dissapointed because I did feel well, but I believe it will pass, needed that reminder.

Grace
Grace
6 years ago
Reply to  Grace

And I realise, crying about the dead narriage part was off limits. My ex is a covert Narc, he appeared to be my best friend, business partner, lover. I was on a pedestal. My world fell apart when I discovered years of lying and he kept explaining that he had a problem and needed my help. Upon discovery I cried in relieve that he felt sorry and believed he would not hurt me and the boys again, untill he screwed up again. And again. And I found CN (he hates it). I got it and left in anger. Mourning felt (and still somehow feels) like giving in again. Without his presence, I shoul be ok to cry now, but it still feels wrong and alarm bells ring and I feel like walking in the wrong direction.

MJB
MJB
6 years ago
Reply to  Grace

Grace I think mine is a covert narc too. I thought I had finally found a ‘good guy’ 20 years ago. He wasn’t boisterous and flashy like some other losers who would circle around me. I spackled like crazy. He didn’t reciprocate but he did do things–just things he wanted to do. I always said he was just ‘high-maintenance’. That’s spackle for have to walk on egg shells and do what he wants to do. I made my needs so small, yet he would tell me I was never satisfied with anything. I would question myself….

I was watching the movie ‘The Break-Up’ and the Bartender Scene really struck a nerve. This described my ex husband to a T. He’s the life of the party, every one loves him kind of great guy. What I knew was he didn’t do anyting he didn’t want to do. I told him once when I trying put my foot down and make him do something with me and kids that I really wanted to do “never mind, you’re only going to make the rest of us fucking miserable if you go”.

Here’s a clip or google “the break up bartendar scene”:
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=0mf2GLUcZV4
Only for mine, it’s not for failing to let anyone get close, it’s because he’s a selfish, entitled ass!

My history with the ex:
Strip clubs with a friend while I’m home with a toddler and a newborn (should’ve left then), porn (I finally figured out we couldn’t rent a family movie because our cable bill was high from this little habit), porn on the computer, then 2 separate Ddays with damsels in distress (aka step downs willing to tolerate his shit because he actually is a physician and makes a great living for the little amount of work he does -chump boss). The last one was our daughter’s 20 something assistant soccer coach. Talk about the shit sandwich for the kids and me. Shit where they live–how utterly embarassing for them! Hey, but he deserves ‘twu wuv’. He told our daughter ‘He didn’t mean to hurt anybody’. LOSER!!!!! And yes, I get the ‘boo hoo’ sob stories of how he didn’t know how it happened….

CeliA
CeliA
6 years ago
Reply to  MJB

Wah Wah Wah.. Me Me Me… Yes indeed he is a LOSER.

I thought of divorce this way – if STBX only wants to do what he wants, well fine! Let’s divorce and so we can both do what we want. He can be free to be a fuckup but not while I’m his wife.

To me divorce is not necessarily evil as I’ve conditioned to feel. I now look at it as freedom for both of us.

kiwichump
kiwichump
6 years ago
Reply to  Grace

Grace, feeling it too now that I got through the emergency coping first year on the farm. Things are in better order than ever before, I can work a bit less and relax but find I can’t relax and feel sad. I agree it must be normal, now that I am past the high stress period, to be exhausted and flat and it will get better. Need to find my new normal.

Grace
Grace
6 years ago
Reply to  kiwichump

Big hug to you, I teared up at the similarity, I hope we will heal soon

Tessie
Tessie
6 years ago
Reply to  Portia

Truth Portia! Love your post. Also true for me. I relish my single life. No interes