I think with him, it's about the ego strokes.
mommato4, my fwh also labels his daily warm-fuzzy e-mail forwards, his visits to her desk, the lies, etc. with ow3 as merely 'inappropriate.' I want to ask, what does that MEAN?? It wasn't an ea, it wasn't really 'wrong,' it was just... 'inappropriate.' It belittles the pain it caused. I told him this morning I need a NAME, a WORD for what it was, because 'inappropriate' can't possibly hurt this much.
aphrodite, I'm still with him. Sadly, I think it's strictly because of the children at this point.
Hosea, I had to laugh at your post-- in the sense of if I don't laugh, I'll cry. My husband has also written or said things about how he prides himself on his honesty and integrity! Having weekly coffee dates for 2 or more years on end with another woman and lying to me about it... and he actually believes he's a man of honesty and integrity? Which dictionary is he using, because I want to sleep with the ten best looking and richest guys in this country, steal their wallets when I'm through, and still be a woman of virtue!
My husband has also written or said things about how he prides himself on his honesty and integrity!
Mine too! He really thinks that lies of ommission aren't really lies. So, he's honest, right?
He didn't want to hurt me, so he's virtuous, right?
And, he couldn't hurt OW#2's feelings by "putting her aside like a potted plant", then he wouldn't be the good guy, ya know?
And when I had my d-day it was all about OW#2, he swore to himself I'd never find out about OW#1, the one he was in loooove with. I found out about #3 and #4 (attempted affairs, didn't get to follow through on them) by reading his old emails from OW#2.
He is an unreformed, functioning alcoholic, and that has its own field of landmines.
Those of you who remember me from last year know I kind of set him up, baited him, and he bit the bait. Then I bailed without even letting him know it was a setup.
As I said in another thread last week, the nicest thing I ever did for him is let him belive our breakup was mutal.
As I said last week, mutual my big white ass.
I started feeling really funny about her and this construction worker, working on our new house!!! Her and the MC really started working me over about my lack of trust and paranoia...
Turns out she fell in with this guy (never met until 1 month after dday 1), the whole sole mate thing, rewriting our relationship etc.
We have a new MC and are trying to work through it but as you can imagine it is really hard for me. The first one I could understand on some level, the second one has me thinking some sort of *other* issue. Very sad times for me weighing divorce, kids, etc...
Welcome. Sorry to hear your ciscumstances. Post here. It helps.
Never be afraid of the truth
How many of you have successfully recovered your marriage with a serial cheater?
For those of you that have had numerous affairs, did you WANT TO stop but couldn't.......have you been able to?
I would greatly appreciate you info / advice
Thanks in advance!!
As to ow1, he pretty much made me the bad guy, saying I gave him an ultimatum and he hopes she and her husband never have to go through what he's going through.
the MC really started working me over about my lack of trust and paranoia...
Do we have the same counselor?? According to mc2, there was no need to talk about anything 'in the past.' We really just had to start fresh, I had to just 'make a choice to trust,' and in the end, the real problem according to him was my anger. Isn't it tempting to set his wife up with a few secret friends and see if he develops an anger problem himself!
I also forced my H to go to a SA meeting and then we discovered from our therapist that he was not a sex addict. they define a sex addict as someone who has sex with prostitues or on line affairs, who is not looking for the emotional factor. My H had many LTA and i had double betrayal too. He had many women at the same time.
These men are empty and broken inside and whenever they find a woman to tell them how great, handsome, smart. strong, funny and SPECIAL they are, they fuck them! It helps them see themselves as wonderful men, and makes them forget how insecure and empty they really are.
My H flirted with other women from the first time we met, often in front of me. I was broken when i met him, so i accepted this, but i grew up and he didnt.
We are in MC now, and the therapist says that my H never stopped loving me but that he was ANGRY at me, fot not giving him the attention he wanted.
OH YES, my H is a NARCISIST too. H always thought the world revolved around him and i enabled him to function that way.
Now i have learned.
Some days the pain is so great, i dont know how i can survive. Part of me wants to kick him the hell out, and part of me believes that he can actually change into the human being he says he can.
All i know is that this sucks. I regret the day i married my H, and wish that i had been a more confident person so i was not attracted to this kind of man. I wish i had not accepted all of his verbal abuse all of these years. My only crime was loving him and my 3 kids and wanting him to focus on us, instead of making everyone else like him all the time, and little did i know - about all the affairs.
How stupid could i be????
Everyone has regrets in their life. Things they wish they could go back and do over again if they had the chance. Knowing what I do now, no, I probably wouldn't have married my H either. But we dont' know that at the beginning.
There were hints, flags even while we dated, but I ignored them like I ignored the A flags. We thought better of them than they did of themselves.
All As are selfish, narcissistic in some form. And SA does not always include pros and escorts or online stuff... I believe my H is a recovering SA. He wasn't when he went into the affair mode, but became that way during it.
My H swears he never stopped loving me either, but in a family kind of way, not a sexual human being kind of way. And sexual anorexia with your love partner is a sign of SA.
My H also had to be the good guy, the go to guy, the be all and end all to everyone outside our family unit. We did without while he did for everyone else because they "appreciated" him more.
It's part of the A mode too. Your H probably moved on the moment the bloom was off the rose of each affair. My H went into each affair with blinders on, telling himself it was just for fun, for sex, meant nothing. Five years out from his last affair, he still believes that.
I know how you struggle. I do too. It's a waiting game if you have the patience.
Try not. Do or do not, there is no try. -- Yoda
It is a long, painful road to recovery. You will both be challenged but the bond that grows between you during this crisis can be amazing and unbreakable. Good Luck!
I am so pissed b/c we do still live in the same house, and part take a a few activities. I really don't want to go anywhere with him. I am trying to withdraw from him emotionally.
Yesterday, his aunts got into a car accident and the family members were at the ER. We dropped by, but after a few minutes I withdraw myself from the crowd b/c I didn't want to maintain his image of the perfect husband, son, uncle, newphrew, cousin, etc. I am not going to their house for the holidays as well.
I really feel that why he wants to keep me around, to uphold his image while living a secret life.
I also realized yesterday, what made the affairs end. Did he stop them or did the OW? I don't know much about the other affairs only one. But she told me that she ended it and he was upset. I can't believe that he would do those things and come home and look me in my face like nothing. It would have torn me apart if it was me. But he is not me.
I am coming to the conclusion that even if he does get help for his actions, I can no longer trust him and do not want to move forward in our relationship together. I want to move out with my son; but have to save some money and wait until my lease ends next year.
what made the affairs end. Did he stop them or did the OW?
In our case, the cyber-footsies and visits at the desk with ow3 stopped because I demanded it.
Coffee dates with ow2 stopped because she got a new job and disappeared without leaving a forwarding address, so to speak.
LT 'friendship' with ow1 stopped (if it really did) because I gave him an ultimatum.
It hurts and is telling that in none of these cases did he stop because he realized it was wrong and kind of sleazy to be lying to your wife.
He says he stopped because he couldn't get any lower, he was almost suicidal with guilt.
However, I also found out that LTAP had been arrested for dealing drugs just prior to his "quitting". I'm sure her higher exposure ruined the secret. He couldn't risk getting caught with her, with drugs.
He swears he told her he was done and she said "ok". AFter 7 years, she said "ok" with no fishing afterward, no pleading, no contact, everything just fine. I know he maintained at least a cordial relationship with her because they traveled in the same circles. And he couldn't afford to piss her off.
But the truth.... I'll never know.
We did have weeks of nightly hang-up calls afterward that finally ended when I said, "How are you doing, ow1?" But that, of course, was just a coincidence, and he swears she wouldn't do a thing like that.
my therapist says that anger MASKS guilt but i dont get it. he felt no guilt for many years and now feels so much.
He said even then it wasn't easy. He was so used to that life, that giving up his "easy" lays was tough. He turned to porn and MB for quite a while (years) to avoid going there. He still felt he couldn't be with me... partly because of the guilt, partly because he was still angry with me. And partly because he wanted to make sure he had no STD or anything. He never got tested the whole time... he f'd cheap hookers and never got tested...talk about denial.
While he was active... he was the most miserable, angry, self-righteous, arrogant SOB on the planet. We could do nothing right. My son's almost straight A report cards, well, why was there a B? He would punish the kids for C's. I was stupid and fat and purposely making him mad. If I let his favorite soup brand drop below 3 cans on the shelf, it was a reason to berate me for days.
The sad part is if my H sees his actions, believes he was really like that,he'll never admit it...still in denial.
There used to be a few Waywards on here with multiple affairs, they were very helpful in explaining some of the mindset for me.
I still don't trust him and he says it's been 6 years since he even wanted to be with anther. That he beat his "addiction". I still see him as being in recovery, so I will watch.
It's a horrid life.
My WH, like yours, feels incredible shame, remorse, guilt...the whole gamut. I have a friend who works with survivors of childhood sexual abuse and, while my WH wasn't sexually abused (not that he "remembers"), he nonetheless had an incredibly oppressive childhood. My friend explained to me that, for him, compartmentalizing was just a way of life for him. He would do something "wrong", then come home and look his father (a judge, no less) in the eye and say nothing. So, by the time he got to me, 15 years later, it was nothing to do something that, when he looked at it, was "disgusting" to him, then come home and be the family man. I can't imagine it, but I'm learning to put myself in his shoes and recognize how great the pain/sense of worthlessness was that he craved the release of a meaningless encounter like it was a drug. And now that he's actually acknowledging the feelings, it's all flooding back.
Now it's me who's the numb one!
My H was a bully in my house- intimidating the children and also demanding. he was physiclly abusive with my 2 sons as his father was with him. he never connected himself to other cheaters, when we discussed other people that we knew. how is that possible that he couldnt see that he was one of them???
how could he feel NO guilt and now feels nothing BUT guilt?? he says that he hates the old him and wants to be a whole new person, but i dont know if i can forgive him. he has not done anything sexual since d-day - 3 months ago. he has been depressed and sometimes suicidal.
i feel repulsed at the thought of him touching me. i have the visions of him fucking all the other women. do any of you feel this way?
My H NEVER saw the misery at home. Never heard my pleas for help. Never saw the kids disappointment and hurt.
I still have those images when I'm feeling bad about myself. That's why IC is so important for the betrayed as well as the betrayer. Our confidence in ourselves has been shot too. How could we not have known? What was so wrong with us that they felt they had to go elsewhere? Was life so terrible at home? Why didn't they leave then? It's all complicated and horrible.
I will tell you that my H has quit cheating on me. He screwed up 2+ years ago, but nothing sexual, I think. He became a much better father and an affectionate husband. He cares about our home and our family FIRST. I still cringe when I hear someone ask him for a favor and then am startled when he refuses. He needed all that "stroking" before. Now he gets it from his own pride at being a good person. He opens up to me about his fears and axieties -- kind of in a backward way, but he never did before. Before, nothing EVER bothered him, he was perfect and so RIGHT! Seeing him question himself is a stunning thing.
I'm not going to tell you I don't worry, I do. But learning that we can't control what they do, only what we do is a huge benefit. We know NOW if it happens again, we're out. We're done, there's no third chances. That's so empowering. And seeing THEM understand it is comforting.
You're very new at this. I could barely get out of bed at 3 mo. I didn't feel even slightly secure until about 14 mo. And like I said, I still have terrible moments.
Oppressive childhood and lying young: not sure he'd call it oppressive, but I know he decided long before I met him (when he was 20) that lying was a 'smart' way to live.
Not seeing the misery at home: I told him for years, in the nicest possible terms, that many things were a problem in our marriage. He didn't want to see it. He'd come home hours late, and just never even consider that we'd all been waiting and worrying, what it might have been like for me not knowing where he was, or for the kids having a mother trying to keep the agitation and worry at bay, and constantly asking, themselves, "where's dad?" and "when's dad coming home?"
Bullying: I don't think he saw it as bullying, but when I ask myself why I put up with this crap for so long, I remember how every time I tried to do anything about it, he started taking out his anger on the kids. He'd never hit them, but he'd get very short and angry with them. They'd bear the brunt of it every time I tried to do anything about the situation. So most of the time I tried to tolerate it.
And the not connecting himself with other cheaters: OH YEAH!!! Or is that all a lie, too, being horrified at the cheaters he knows? But if he really didn't have sex with any of these women, then I believe he's genuinely horrified at the men he knows cheating on their wives, and simply doesn't want to see that all his lying and sneaking behind my back is no different. Or maybe he did sleep with them but figures he's different because he 'always came home to me?'
Arrogant? OHHHHH, yeah! Funny, because there's this incredible lack of self worth, and yet arrogance all at once. He could do no wrong. His family could do no wrong.
The berating wasn't as bad as what someone described (at least after the separation was over-- I was called every name in the book during those 9 months) more of a drip, drip, drip combined with virtually no positives or compliments, ever.
And he will not admit that it was really that bad. Well, bit by bit, he's beginning to admit, kindof sortof, that he really acted like this. And I notice that the farther out we are from him having ow1 to run to in the e-mail and get reassurance that he's great, the more likely he is to apologize or admit, just a little, that he really did those things.
Sunflower, although he's only on the edges of admitting it, I do feel like he's waking up and seeing he was different from what he let himself believe at the time. I think it has in part to do with not having ow1 to run to. Of course, when you have other women telling you (through words or actions) that you're wonderful, then of course you can see yourself that way and blame all the problems on your wife. When they finally take themselves off that drug, they start to see reality.