When I first visited the Chump Lady web site, I assumed Tracy Schorn was just another scorned and forever-bitter man-hater. But then I started digging deeper into the site. In her digital library, I found much wit, wisdom and profanity. I nodded, laughed and cried. And I decided to buy her book.
The Chump Lady Survival Guide to Infidelity, How to Regain Your Sanity After You’ve Been Cheated On is a soft book. Literally. It’s not fuzzy, but the matte cover has a silky-smooth quality to it that I’ve yet to notice in other paperbacks. But I don’t think you should buy the book because you’re looking for a good feel. I think you should buy the book because it’s fantastic. That is, of course, if you have been the victim of infidelity.
I’ve always been a little kind and understanding about adultery (makes me an easy target). I subscribed to the notion that an affair is a symptom of a deeper problem in the relationship. I assumed cheaters were either emotionally starved by their spouses, or deeply confused. And on some level, I still believe that’s true. But the message that echoes through Tacy’s book, the message so many chumps need to hear is this: Trust That They Suck.
That’s a hard thing for chumps to do, and Tracy gets it. As a former chump herself, she knows we’re are typically good-hearted, responsible individuals who are high on hopium, believing the cheater has the potential to be a better person. In the pages of her book, chumps can recognize themselves and their tendency to eat shit sandwiches, untangle the skein of fuckedupedness and dance to the tune of “pick me!”
The Chump Lady Survival Guide also shines a big bright spotlight on the cheater, dissecting dirty words and deeds and restoring dignity of chumps everywhere. Tracy explains the cheater’s need for ego kibbles, their incessant desire for “cake” and the tactics they use (blame shifting, gas lighting) to get what they want. She reminds the cheated over and over that cheaters have a choice, and they choose scandalous acts, secrets and lies.
Chumps are then guided toward the light, or, in this case, “meh.” The Survival Guide offers tips and tidbits of optimism laced with reality to propel the aggrieved toward Tuesday, when the pain will end. The final pages leave the reader feeling confident that 1. “I’m not crazy” 2. “Cheaters suck” and 3. “I can find a partner who better meets my needs”.
Cheating hurts. The Chump Lady Survival Guide to Infidelity helps.