He finally admitted to calling her and talking to her. He said he ended it with her, but I'm thinking she has really been the one ending it and he can't get his head around it. He said she didn't say anything and he did the talking. I'm not buying much of what he told me, though I know there's probably truth mixed in with his BS.
Right now, I am willing to see where this can go and if we can get to a point of truly recovering and reconciling. And if he can't figure out what to do I am ok with ending this marriage. It's not what I want, but as many of you know it's really what might be best for me.
What I need some insight for is his response to me last night after I confronted him with his phone. Over the next two hours I think I saw every possible phase, repeatedly. He apologized over and over. He blamed me by bringing up little incidences/problems I have been wrong about. He stated he was leaving because he couldn't live with my questions. He railed at me saying I didn't trust him and then would admit he knew why. He tried to bluff his way around his conversation last night with OW when I said I needed to call her and confirm what he was telling me he said. He blamed my IC for 'beating him to the ground, through me' (!!!) In essence he threw so many temper tantrums I actually laughed at some of them, which infuriated him. Last of all, he started 'packing' by randomly walking around the house and pulling out some of his possessions like old cigar boxes, some old papers and calendars, etc. And every time, other than 1 or 2 slips, I didn't back down or argue or plead with him. I nodded my head when he said he was leaving. I agreed with him that he was 'lower than the mat on the floor' and other such brow beating claims. In many ways I felt pretty good and like I might be finally getting through to him that I mean business...
But I can tell you all that his actions scared me. In our 40 years of marriage I have never seen him do anything like this and seem so out of control. I need some advice or encouragement about how to handle whatever may come today. I'm sure he will try to either reestablish his dominance in our relationship or act so beaten down that I'll start to feel sympathetic. I don't want to lose this slight momentum I feel I have taken...but I feel lost right now and so unsure of my next steps.
The idea here is to think within yourself that you are strong, you will be fine, in fact - you're pretty awesome!
Keep that within! It's true.
His crazy actions are all about trying to avoid, minimize, and blameshift...and really, it's cowardness. Fear of facing himself.
You face you. Ignore him.
Until he owns up, and embraces true remorse, what have you got anyway?
Tell him he can be with anyone he wants - but your choice is that marriage is only between 2, not 3.
If he wants M, that's the rulez.
If not, well...there's the door!
Be strong, sister!
And thanks for the encouraging words!
Until he gets uncomfortable, and until you take a firm stand on what you're willing to accept from him and his relationship with this AP of his, he will continue doing what he's been doing for a very long time now.
Don't give in now. He hasn't bottomed out yet. He will probably escalate.
Going around the house picking out things to pack is his attempt at Chinese water torturing you.
If you want to continue living with this kind of behavior, give in. You may not realize it, but you have taught him in the past that his controling behaviors work.
If you don't want to live with someone who treats you this way, be willing to shove him out the door. Call his bluff, throw him out, go NC.
He will not change until it becomes too painful for him to stay the same.
Thanks, Josephine, for the encouragement. I don't want to live with this behavior any longer, but even so it was very hard for me not to start to feel sympathy for him as he seemed to flop around grasping at reasons and excuses, pulling his hair and rubbing his eyes and hanging his head...But I felt that I was pretty steady in being firm that I wasn't going to cave in and do my usual 'try to make it alright' moves. I just agreed with him that he was an ass, that he made a mistake (s), that he was a scoundrel and that he was free to leave and find someplace else to live and someone else to be with.
So far, he hasn't caused any problem with snarky remarks or unkind actions today. I half expected it as retaliation for me seeing him so out of control last night. He doesn't like people to know him very intimately, so that was really a big display. But I am steeled for him to try to turn the tables in his favor at any time. I just need to be vigilant and try to maintain my resolve. I know it's like anything else when you have to show someone they have lost control over you and they no longer are going to be effective at manipulating you. It's just a small step, but a big one for me.
We had one more go around yesterday. I have known that he has hidden a couple of photos - one recent of her with her grandchildren and one of them in HS when they went on that date. Included in that stash was about $1300. He hasn't mentioned it and I wondered if it was still around so I looked in the 'hiding place' and it was all still there. I know people say to not reveal your sources, but I realized that I didn't care anymore because if this doesn't really turn around I won't stay with him any longer and I don't need to keep monitoring him, because I will truly just let it all go along with him. So I told him how I knew about the money stash and I mentioned the photos. He lied and said he had destroyed the photos, and I told him he hadn't because I had just seen them in his new, 'secret' hiding place. He kinda blew up at that. (we had met up outside while he was on his walk and I was walking my dog, so he walked along with me for a bit. After some back and forth words about what it means to tell all the truth and how I needed that to be able to begin to trust him, I told him he could go back home - I was fine.)
When I returned to the house later he had the photos out along with a pair of scissors and told me I could cut them up. I did cut up the photo of her w/grandchildren but told him he could do the rest. So he did. He also wrote down all his passwords and accounts and gave them to me. He put his cell phone on the counter and said he no longer needed it. He told me about some searches he had made on his computer that morning and why.
But now he tells me about his every move and where he is going and how long he will be gone. I told him I didn't need that kind of information, but he has been insistent on being sure to do this. I have the distinct sense that though he says it in a flat voice, there is some sharp criticism implied...maybe I'm just feeling the guilt again about having to do that kind of monitoring to find out what was going on...
But this sucks!