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Being played. Paralyzed.

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SpeedBump posted 1/14/2019 10:23 AM

Sorry as this is probably all over the place and not making much sense but I really need help. Through a total random turn of events, I discovered what seems to be a really twisted affair my husband is having with our neighbor 'friend'. I've lately felt a shift with them and have my cackles up around her, even though she's really my friend who has now become friendly with him in the last couple of months. At this point, no one knows I know anything because I'm literally frozen in knowing how to handle it. It's crazy and I feel like I'm losing my mind and for the life of me, I can't figure out what to do. I have been trolling here for weeks looking for strength while I am watching this sick game they are playing with me and I feel like I am slowly losing my mind.

From what I have seen, they are taking more and more risks in trying to do things behind my back but literally right in front of my face. I never imagined that he could hate me this much to be doing this to me. She seems to 'dare' him to do things with me around and he takes the bait. She told him she wanted him to kiss her in front of me and he just said, "Deal." And they do kiss in front of me but until recently, I just saw it as the kind of friendly kiss on the cheek you do with friends - just hello and good-bye stuff. Now I have noticed more and see they actually kiss on the lips and last time I saw him then wink at her after he kissed her. I did tell him that night I saw it and thought it was not appropriate at all. He told me I didn't see what I saw and was wondering why I was being so sensitive. I now know this is classic gaslighting but he refuses to acknowledge it at all and says I'm imagining things.

I should say that I have found this out because I was looking for and found an ipad we had not used in some time but needed because my laptop was out for repairs. Well, as I charged it up and started it, I noticed his iphone was connected to it and so I have been seeing all their imessages. I have gone all the way back as far as I could see and it looks like they started getting friendly in September/October, then flirty, then pics and gross sexting. My stomach and heart sank when it appears that late in November, they slept together while I was on a work trip and they have been ever since. They do this even when I am around as part of their "I dare you" sick game! She has told him to pop into her place first before coming into our house for a "quickie" when he was coming home from running some errands. She said she wanted to give him a "present that he'd really like!" This was around Christmas.

They are so disgusting but I'm even worse because I am such a fool. I literally am frozen as to how to proceed. One day I want to tell them I know and then the next, I just want to pack up, move without them knowing and then blast them with all the lies they have been telling me.

I know my marriage is over. He has been saying such awful things about me and yet, I work so hard and thanks to that, we have a pretty nice life. He does contribute but I make far more than him and he has always contributed in what we call "sweat equity" because he does a lot of renovation work on our home because he's really good at it and has worked in construction. He still does work on a part-time basis. I just always thought we were complementary that way but now I see he resents me and literally I feel like he can't stand me. BTW, the neighbor AP would get him over to her house to help with things around her house and it seems that's how they started getting friendly and flirty. Her husband passed away before we moved here and we just always felt bad for her, even though she's still young enough to have a new, full life. It seems she wants that but with my husband now.

Please, I really need help getting unstuck. No one knows as I have not told anyone. I should also say that we moved about 2 years ago to a European country for my work and so neither of us have family nearby and I have only a few friends from work. She was one of the few I thought was a friend of mine. I do have a great family and amazing friends in the US but no one really close I can confide in here. I think it's why I am so paralyzed. I feel I will be totally alone as he will chose her and then I'm here in Europe completely on my own with a broken heart and life. It's not how I saw this experience going, at all.

Please help me figure this out. I'm not a weak person but I sure am acting like it here and now. i'm literally sick to my stomach all the time and I'm just so, so lost right now. And so heartbroken.

ChamomileTea posted 1/14/2019 10:41 AM

I really do think you need to see an attorney as soon as possible. As the breadwinner you have quite a bit to lose. Does your employer offer any legal benefits?

Typically, confrontation would be best once you have a plan in place, but this is just raw emotional abuse. While I'd hope you could hold out to consult an attorney before confronting, if that's just not possible, try buying him a one-way airline ticket to your home of origin, giving him 30 minutes to pack a bag, and telling him you know everything and he needs to get out of your house. It's possible that he'll be rattled enough to go.

I'm so sorry this happened to you.

Gutpunch posted 1/14/2019 10:43 AM

I am sorry you are going thru this.

I know your pain and went thru this many moons ago.

I think your first step is to secretly see a solicitor (lawyer) and determine what your rights are?

Do you have any children? I hope not as the emotional pain just amplifies when kids are involved.

[This message edited by Gutpunch at 10:44 AM, January 14th (Monday)]

lieshurt posted 1/14/2019 10:47 AM

I would also save a copy of all of the texts/emails somewhere he can't access them. This way, you have your evidence and he can't delete them.

fareast posted 1/14/2019 11:11 AM


Sorry you find yourself here. Seeing how you are being disrespected by your WH and OW makes me angry for you. You do not have to tolerate this abusive behavior. I know you feel isolated in a foreign country but please see a solicitor to learn your rights. Get a plan in place to protect yourself. Save your evidence of the A in a safe place. I also like the idea of buying him a oneway ticket home give him 30 minutes to get out or he can “dare” to stay and put up with your wrath. Cut off his funds. Isolate your credit cards and accounts. As you say your M is over. Don’t keep letting them rub your face in their A. In the “I Can Relate” section of this site is a section for those experiencing a double betrayal such as yourself. You might refer to it as time allows. Most importantly, take care of yourself, get tested for STD’s, eat healthy, exercise and get good sleep. It will help you deal with the stress. Once you have confronted, expose him to his family and friends and his cruelty, as well as to your family and friends back home.

Strength to you moving forward.

beauchateaux posted 1/14/2019 11:16 AM

They are so disgusting but I'm even worse because I am such a fool.

Firstly, I'd like to just comment on the above and tell you that no, you are not a fool. Please don't feel like you are, even though I know we all do at the beginning.

It's not foolish to place trust in our spouses and friends. That's what we're supposed to do. The fact that they've betrayed your trust doesn't make you the fool, it just makes them crappy human beings.

I am not much for practical advice - I give more emotional support around here, but I will agree with those who have recommended that you get your ducks in a row before you confront.

I often say that I wish I could have my D-Day back, so that I could have the knowledge and advice from this board. The best and most satisfying outcomes for the BS (and this includes stories that have ended in D and in R) have resulted from a BS who calmly and methodically got everything together - contacted the attorney, had the papers drawn up, got their finances in order, gathered the evidence, planned the confrontation - and hit the WS with everything at once.

It puts a lid on a WS who might have thought they could lie their way out, or minimize, or gaslight, or sweet talk their spouse out of leaving. It sends the very clear message that you know, you find it unacceptable, and you are DONE. Even for BSes who think they want to reconcile, this is better - it eliminates the 'pick me' nonsense and forces a stark and clear-cut reality in the WS's face - you cannot behave like this and expect this marriage to continue.

Then they get to be the ones who are blindsided and lost.

Anyway, more folks will come along with good advice. You've sat with this knowledge hanging like a stone around your neck for this long (and I'm so sorry, I know how horribly painful and wrenching it is to have to live like that) - I agree with ChamomileTea when she says that you should really try to hold out on confronting just a little while longer. Just until you have everything buttoned up.

Keep posting here. The folks here are a wonderful support system - we've all been there, in some form or another. Hugs to you.

Hopeful30 posted 1/14/2019 11:32 AM

You are blindsided and what he is doing is abusive! If he was beating you with an actual stick, it would be the same result!

Take back your power!! Do not reveal your knowledge. See an attorney first. Get a plan. Save all your evidence in a safe place. Eventually He will try and deny and you will need this to remind yourself you are not the crazy one.

Get your finances in order. Do you have an auto deposit to a joint account? Who is taking care of the children? So many things to think about. Is the AP in a relationship?

Can you get a VAR and out it in your bedroom and his car to get more information?

Take care of you first!! This is a sick game being done by sick people who do not deserve you as a wife or friend

sisoon posted 1/14/2019 12:05 PM

Not anywhere close to being a fool.

Every sitch is different, and you have to find your own way through this. Not knowing what to do at the start is normal.

I don't know if your H is being cruel in order to be cruel or if he's under the thumb of a neighbor who majors in cruelty. Does that matter to you?

Do you know what you want? If R were possible, would you want R? Be honest, because either answer is OK.

I imagine living like you are is torture. Confronting could stop the torture, at the risk of your H choosing ow. But that could be better than living like you do now. In fact, you might even want to kick him out.

Have you seen the material on 'the 180?' I recommend 'The Simplified 180' - The 180 helps you detach and find the strength that is already in you. It also helps enhance that strength.

Also, is IC available to you? If so and if you haven;t started IC, a godd IC can give you a lot of help.

You call yourself 'SpeedBump.' Gently, you haven't hit a speed bump. Your H has crashed you into a big concrete barrier. He's dumped immense emotional pain on you. He's traumatized you.

I read a lot of pain in your post. That's real pain. Don't minimize it, but keep faith in and with yourself. You really can survive this and thrive.

Buster123 posted 1/14/2019 12:47 PM

I'm sorry that you're here but glad you found us to help you with your difficult situation, first, get tested for STDs and stop having sex with him, consult an attorney and have him served D papers without warning, D can be stopped at anytime before it's final if he comes around, ends the A, shows true remorse, commits to NC FOREVER with OW (you will have to move), gets IC to find out his "whys" and agrees to do the heavy lifting to restore your M, if you realize this is a dealbreaker for you that's OK too, just file for D and don't look back, either way you get out of infidelity.

I feel I will be totally alone as he will chose her and then I'm here in Europe completely on my own with a broken heart and life. It's not how I saw this experience going, at all.

Remove that option to "choose" from him, you're the one that needs to choose now whether you want to stay or leave, and based on what you posted and the disrespect involved (he's cheating right in front of you) I suggest you D.

squid posted 1/14/2019 12:48 PM

I 100% agree with kicking him out, telling him you know everything. Document all the evidence and store it somewhere for safe keeping. Consult an attorney and file.

You’ll feel more in control once you take your life back. I’m sorry he’s abusing you like this. Very cruel.

Furious1 posted 1/14/2019 13:12 PM

Speedbump, I am so sorry. Please consult with an attorney ASAP. Since he has done this sort of thing enough to be very practiced at gaslighting you when you call him out on the things that you have caught him doing, I don't expect him to react any differently if you tried to confront him about any of it. That is psychological abuse and you don't deserve any of that. Get proof of his A if you can. Since you know how he is going to gaslight you when you confront him, letting your lawyer confront him with papers while you move away might be for the best for you. Gentle hugs.


Marz posted 1/14/2019 14:29 PM

The reality is the only one that can keep you stuck is you.

No one else can.

See an attorney first.

If she's married infirm her husband.

Why are you playing a waiting game?

That will get you nothing but more of the same

Wenda posted 1/14/2019 19:39 PM

I am so sorry this is happening to you. Nobody deserves to be treated like this. Infidelity is terrible but having it flaunted in your face by your husband is just cruel and malicious.

Your husband and this woman deserve each other. They are both clearly the scum of the earth. They seem to be getting off on emotionally torturing you.

I really don’t see any way out of this for you aside from divorce. Is he usually such a douche? Does he have a personality disorder? Unless he has some really good explanation for why he has had a sudden character transplant I just don’t think this is forgiveable. Your husband is acting like a monster and he and his girlfriend are losers. Get a kick ass lawyer and kick him to the kerb. If they end up together one day one of them will be doing this to the other.

Btw, when posting I was warned not to post as it is ‘only for betrayed spouses.’ I would just like to point out I am a betrayed spouse not a WS or OW. Hopefully a moderator can fix this

Shockedmom posted 1/14/2019 20:04 PM

Their behavior is incredibly cruel. Prepare yourself with an attorney, medical testing for std's, a therapist and perhaps a forensic accounting. You WH is capable of anything as you have witnessed. Have your proof stored away from your home and not on any technology that he can access.
I am so sorry, your situation is terrible.

Cooley2here posted 1/14/2019 20:17 PM

Take your money out of any shared accounts and open another one. I don’t know about utilities in Europe but if they are in your name get them turned off. Then get someone to move your furniture to a flat but don’t tell him where you’re going and just leave. The two of them are getting off on doing this in front of you. This is a sick, sick, sick place that those two horrible people have put you. You owe him nothing. After you have moved yourself out find a lawyer and start the process of divorce. Do all this when he and she are away from home. In fact take everything you possibly can that belongs just to you. If you have to leave furniture that you share with him, so what. There’s not a stick of furniture on the planet worth you staying in that house another day.

NotInMyLife posted 1/14/2019 20:27 PM

I'm sorry that you find yourself here. Fortunately, it really is the best place to deal with your situation.

You are not the fool, he is. You now have the information you need to make that clear to everyone where you are and at home.

Do not confront him until you have an exit plan. You probably will not be able to do as spectacular a job as Punched in the gut ( but you actually hold all the cards now.

Do not let him know about the iPad. That way you will have advanced notice of his shenanigans and can "innocently" thwart their sadistic dares while you are working on your exit plan.

Can you get a transfer to a different location; either elsewhere in Europe or at home? If so, start that process now. If necessary, tell your boss that problems at home make it imperative for you to transfer. Also get a lawyer and learn what the divorce procedure is for your current country. Find out what you can and cannot do financially -- transfer funds to an individual account in the US, etc.

Do not give him any indication that you know until you are ready to move out and on without him.

SpeedBump posted 1/14/2019 21:53 PM

It's 3:42 am and I can't sleep which is not at all unusual. I'm sitting here with tears in my eyes and not because of him, or her, but because the messages from everyone are making me feel like finally someone hears and sees me. I'm so grateful although feeling a bit overwhelmed, and some relief, or maybe release, from all this pent up emotion. I literally am living in a hell right now.

I am going to carefully read each message and reply but for now I really wanted to just say thank you to everyone who has replied to my cry for help. I will be doing a lot of reading here today because I will be traveling. I actually now look forward to business travel and getting away from it all. I'm not even concerned, for once, about what they can and probably will do while I'm gone. At least I say that now.

Thank you for helping me through this. I'm going back to read your replies in more detail.

WifeInterrupted4 posted 1/14/2019 21:55 PM

Hey SpeedBump,

I'm so sorry to hear what you're going through.
The only thing I can think of that's worse than affair is when the WS doesn't come forward and the BS has to piece things together for themselves.

The actions of your H are very alarming, as he's not only turned your friend and neighbor into an inappropriate relationship but as well as a play-thing to disrespect you. You don't deserve any of this. It's selfish that he leads you on having you believe nothing is amiss.

If and when you confront your husband, can you honestly ever trust him to be telling you the whole truth? You've found everything out on your own. It's obvious he doesn't feel remorse for what he's done.

I think it's disgusting how in the midst of him hurting you, he's made a game out of his A. That shows such a gross level of disrespect and inconsideration.

I hope you find the strength to do what is best for your health both emotionally and mentally.

SpeedBump posted 1/14/2019 22:49 PM

I really appreciate all the amazing advice and want everyone to know that:

1. I have secured the ipad and it is at my office now so he won't ever see it. I haven't done anything to secure the messages but will definitely do that now and I'll be sure to store it all. I never even thought of that.

2. She is widowed so there is no husband or boyfriend to tell.

3. I am his 2nd wife. He lost his first wife almost 14 years ago to cancer. We have been married for 4 years, together for 7, and he is my first marriage but I was in a long term relationship before for nearly 15 years. I have one adult daughter from that relationship who is doing post-graduate studies in the US. He has a son in the military based in CA. I sense that they, H and AP, bonded over losing their spouses because he had mentioned how they could relate to each other's experiences. He rarely talks to me about his first wife's passing but he also isn't overly emotional that way and I've gotten used to that.

4. He does have his own money, too, but I am definitely the breadwinner. We mostly live off what I bring in though we bought the house here together. I know he sometimes struggles with the financial imbalance but I never make it an issue and we don't live a fancy life. We are just comfortable and have no financial worries. We can make small and medium type purchases without much worry but I just always felt we were on the same page, looking for a simple life.

5. Our sex life has tanked since this all started. I'm not even sure I need an std test because thinking back, I don't think we have had sex, which is very unusual, since they started. It was just a couple weeks between them starting their physical affair any my finding out. Once I realized what was happening, I have avoided sex with him and he isn't pushing me.

I can't eat, can't sleep and have to force myself to get through each day. I have used some of the info I glean from their messaging to ruin or interrupt their plans so I am trying that way to make it tough for them. What a sick game, though. I don't want to be in this game at all yet here I am.

Not that it matters, but they don't say 'I love you.' She seems more smitten with him than he does with her. Again, not that that really matters but I have noticed she mostly reaches out first and he does turn her down because he has work going on at the house or I'm around. Oh, and one thing that annoys me is they refer to me as TBB in their texts. I had to read back to try to figure out why and saw where he referred to me as 'the big boss' once and so I gather it refers to that. It's where I first figured out he has resentment about me I didn't sense before. I guess it could mean something else but I think that's what it stands for.

There is so much more to tell that I am sure will help paint the bigger picture and help with getting a plan into place. I really do feel so much better just for being able to get it out here and feel like I am able to talk to at least someone about it, even strangers on the internet. It took me a couple of weeks just to get the nerve to post my story but yesterday I just started typing and couldn't stop. Thank goodness.

I hate saying this, but I really do/did love my husband. I am so shocked at the turn of events these last months. We have a good life. We still had fun. As more mature adults when we met, I wouldn't say we had that lustful, infatuation, 'can't stop thinking about you' love affair when it all started. But it was lovely to me and I really felt loved by him. We wanted stability in life and love and felt that we had found that in each other. He wanted to marry me. I was never pushing for it so I'm at a loss how we got here now and so fast.

Freeme posted 1/15/2019 06:14 AM

I am really sorry that you are going through this. I would take pictures or save the emails to a hard drive disk so he can't delete them from another source. Realize that he might not want a divorce either. So many WS freak when they are confronted, they never though they would be found out, they never thought about how much pain they were causing you, they never though... I'm not saying he deserves to be forgiven, or that he has the the making of someone you can/should reconcile with. All I'm saying is that this affair and everything he has written doesn't mean that he wants a divorce or has ever considered divorcing you. It sounds like most of the "fun" in their relationship revolves around their abusive talk about you, and treatment of you... The decision very well may be up to you. He is treating you extremely badly right now ... I would use the word abusing you. You've got to confront just to end their games.
Go to a lawyer and get your ducks in a row and then do what is easiest for you. Have him served with divorce papers and ask him to leave or just confront him and ask him to leave. Are there people you can expose the affair to? It might take other people's disgust to knock some sense into him.

I hate what you are going through but really feel that confronting would be better that the abusive limbo you are in now.

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