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Being played. Paralyzed.

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Cooley2here posted 1/30/2019 17:37 PM

I truly believe she is a sociopath. He isn’t much better.

Why do you need to see him and talk to him? If you want to divorce then let lawyers handle it all.

This man took part in a mind game that is so awful I don’t have a word to describe it.

You take care of you. The breathlessness during your hike was probably asking too much of your stressed out body. Baby steps. Just take baby steps. And heal.

Furious1 posted 1/30/2019 17:47 PM

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.

SpeedBump, I took the above quote from your first post.

He says he "wants" to come here because he wants to see me, talk to me, explain things to me, take care of me, be here for me, and on and on.

When you wrote that he wanted to explain things to you, all I could think of was how he wanted to gaslight you in the same manner that he has gaslit you up until now.

You do not need your WH to explain anything to you. You have a really good ability to make common sense decisions about what did or did not happen. You made it this far in life and managed just fine on your own before he started lying and twisting everything with his abusive gaslighting.

Even by going back and reading their message, it is almost like you are bracing yourself for whatever twisted gaslighting that your WH is going to pull in telling you that you interpreted their messages wrong. That is classic gaslighting on his part.

The fact that he has gaslit you so repeatedly and profoundly in the years that you have been together so that you are now conditioned to defend your own ability to interpret what is going on makes my heart break for you.

So if you are tempted to actually do what he wants so that he has even more opportunity to gaslight you, go back and read your posts so that you can refresh your memory of just how cruel his mind games are.

Given the fact that you made it through life just fine before he came along tells me that you have an outstanding ability to make common sense judgments about what it is that is going on in the world around you. It seems like it has only been since he came into your life that he has repeatedly and consistently gaslit you into believing that your judgments about him and his actions are so faulty that he has to reinterpret everything for you. Sounds strange to me since it seems like you have done quite well for yourself up until he came into your life.

Maybe your judgement and your ability to understand messages isn't the problem here like he wants you to believe. Maybe it's spot on and he is just trying to mess with your head so that you stop trusting yourself. I guess the question that really begs to be asked is what does he stand to lose if you stop taking his word for everything? And what do you have to gain if you start trusting yourself again? You certainly wouldn't settle for the low expectations that he has taught you to have of him.


kaygem posted 1/30/2019 19:57 PM

If you do meet him face to face, I’d recommend being the mirror that allows him to destroy himself.

He will be hoping to manipulate you in some way, and the manipulator depends on you having some measure of trust in at least a little of whatever he is saying, no matter how small. He will use that as a jumping off point. I sill care, I miss you, I never talked bad about you, look at these flowers I got, etc.

Your mission, I am recommending, is to steadily, calmly, patiently, but inexorably convince him that you don’t trust a single atom in his body. How he has proven through the lies he has told that he is capable of lying about anything, and that his actions that were taken toward you are completely incompatible with any possible interpretation of love, and since he has proven he can lie about anything, you’d be nuts to accept anything he doing right now as anything other than total bullshit. He will likely try to argue, but you can just cite example after example of lying and disrespect back then, that show he is fully capable of lying right now, that it all being another horrific, cruel sick joke is as equally likely and indistinguishable from him turning a new leaf.

In short, give him no handholds, no purchase from which to gain control. Just let him swing in the breeze.

You’d be doing him a favor by doing this. Until he understands that what he did was monstrous, which will come when he understands that you see him as nothing but a monster, he will keep trying to stuff the genie back in the bottle. It could be the thing that breaks through to him.

Or he could just be a now out of the closet sociopath, unredeemable.

Sending strength!

I agree with every word here. I refused to "help" my WH in any way. It was heal on your own with God helping you because I'm not here to give you anything at all. Nothing. In fact, I made it hard for him. I held back affection, I refused to coddle him or make him feel better about anything.

I let him see himself as he was...a monster. It's really hard for some WH's to get to that point..they hold onto the bullshit that they are simply "good people that made a mistake". No, no you are not "good people". You are a bad person that needs to own his shit and admit you are a monster. You need to really be broken and remorseful..THEN you get to work on becoming a "good person" again. Of course it is possible for them to come back from the abyss. But not until they understand that they are actually living there.

k8la posted 1/30/2019 21:58 PM

I agree with Furious1

He's demonstrated a callous disregard for your wellbeing and gaslit almost your very life from your body.

I wouldn't put it past him to show up on your doorstep either.

Pure lack of respect and full of total selfishness to think that given what he's done - that HE KNOWS he's done to you, that you could be talked into taking him back. Pure, unadulterated ego.

whodidimarry posted 1/31/2019 02:14 AM

SB, I rarely post on here anymore. I was always more of a lurker. But I wanted to write a short message of support and solidarity. I'm appalled by the cruel abuse that you've endured by your WH (the very person that is supposed to protect you) and I'm in awe of your strength. You are not pitiful. You are a strong person who is facing great adversity right now. Nothing pitiful or shameful about anything that you are going through. Please be kind to yourself. Give yourself the time and place to come to terms with where you are now. Recovery from this will take time.

Remember, you don't owe your wh anything right now. If you choose to speak to him, it's by your grace and should be on your terms. Don't let him hijack the narrative. I seem to remember that you asked him to take care of the house. Did he mention at any point in his "me-fest" that he's doing the one thing that you asked of him? If not, it's pretty clear that he's still in covering-his -own-ass mode.

My heart goes out to you. Post here as often as you need. Rest. There are no deadlines with regards to this.

ShutterHappy posted 1/31/2019 04:09 AM


Have you shared your story with your daughter? With your family? Friends in the US? You need to do that.

I also suggest to tell your WH not to communicate with you directly but to send emails to (insert your closest trusted friend/family member here)

That person can separate the wheat from the chaff.

I respectfully disagree with a poster saying that R is possible. Your WH seems to have a history of manipulation, and if you were a family member, I’d worry if you were to return to such an individual. But I might be wrong.

In the long run, you’ll be just fine, I promise

Cooley2here posted 1/31/2019 09:42 AM

All of us here realize you need to talk to him in hopes that he really is a good guy and wasn’t that bad. Yes he was. It is human nature for you to want him to be different. This is who he really is. He didn’t just become a monster. It was in him all along. He just needed another monster to bring it out.

That text telling the neighbor to make a reason for him to go to her house so they could have sex with you innocently next door was awful. Think about that for a minute. He told her to use the words “screw” and “large hammer” when she asked to borrow him. This is pure evil. There are no excuses for this. None.

His trying to see you is because he misses his gravy train. They deserve each other but he certainly does not deserve you.

You are still too weak in mind and body to deal with him. You have a job waiting for you and a safe life to live. Leave him to the vulture next door.

[This message edited by Cooley2here at 10:02 AM, January 31st (Thursday)]

beauchateaux posted 1/31/2019 10:58 AM

"I want to explain things" = "I want to try to minimize and soften what I did so that I don't look so terrible and maybe you'll sweep all this under the rug and come back, and we can move forward with minimal consequences for me, even though you've gone through a huge emotional trauma that ultimately put you in the freaking hospital and forced you to have to leave the country to get away from me and clear your head while I work on selling our home because you can't live there anymore since the person I merrily wrecked your life with is right next door".

Well - that's what 'explain things' means in your case, specifically.

If I were you, I'd probably have to have the conversation with him, just for my own closure (no matter where it ends up going for your marriage, or lack thereof). Before I let it happen, though, I'd print out the worst bits of their texts (or maybe everything) and bind them into a pretty little book, and hand it to him before he even gets going. I wouldn't even care that I'm revealing my source. Then he can go ahead and try to soften what he did while he's holding his own gross words right in his hands.

Because he may know that you saw something, but he probably doesn't know you saw everything. It's one thing for him to know that you found out he's been having an affair - in his head, he can work with that. Once he knows that you've actually read the WORDS? Screwdriver, big hammer, 'I dare you'? Please. Barf. That's a whole different ball of wax, and he'd know it.

That's not advice, though, really. I'm not sure that would be wise - maybe it is better to keep your knowledge close to the vest. Other people here are smarter about that stuff than I am. That's just what I would do, because I'd want to see him squirm under the weight of his own words.

You're doing great.

[This message edited by beauchateaux at 11:01 AM, January 31st (Thursday)]

Edie posted 1/31/2019 12:11 PM

As I said earlier, I went overseas to work for a while about a month after DDay. The physical distance/ separation was great, allowing me the freedom and space to think (albeit ending up in hospital like you). WS and I did however do a lot of writing to each other, and this was very useful for me, at least, allowing me to ask questions I needed to, although on the whole I seem to remember writing missives at a level of comprehension he wasn’t at that point capable of. Yet, it really opened up an interesting dialogue between us, one had time to chew over a response. My situation was very different, my WS had finished the affair and confessed it to me, and it was a very common of garden variety without any of the mental and emotional cruelty presented by your WS. Your current policy of ‘crickets’ is absolutely the best one for you at this moment, but I thought I would mention how effective the letter-writing had been for me (us), in case there that is a mode that’s useful for you at some point.

hcsv posted 1/31/2019 12:58 PM

Speedbump, I just wanted to say I admire how you have handled this.

I too, ended up passing out due to dehydration, malnutrition and excessive weight loss after DDay.

I broke my nose in 2 places, got a concussion and during the scans to check for facial fractures they found a brain tumor. (Most likely benign, being monitored).

The divorce was 6 weeks later. I had no business signing court documents, I was physically and mentally a mess (my lawyer almost didnt let me), but I had to be done with it.

Take care of yourself, I am so happy you have distance from him and are with people who will love, care and nurture you through this mess.

heartbroken_kk posted 1/31/2019 13:16 PM

Painshopping has its place, and then it has served its purpose and needs to stop. I did the same thing, went back an re-read the threads between them, and let myself wallow in my anger and dispair, let those words sear in my brain. The place it served was to anchor me to the reality that his behavior was so completely unacceptable, and that trying to reconcile, no matter how desperate I was to try to pull my life back together, meant that I would be reconciling with somebody who would do THAT to me. And it helped me choose the right path forward to a new life, instead of the wrong path back to hell, because hell was familiar, and I was apparently, committed to it. UGH.

Suggestion. Download all of the texts and emails, download all the "incriminating evidence" to a thumb drive. Maybe a second thumb drive too. Then give one to a family member or friend to hold for you, and put one in a ziplock bag and stick it under the spare tire in your trunk and close it all up and throw things on top. Then cut yourself off from accessing where you are going to pain shop. Give the ipad to a family member. Something. Put distance - physical distance - between you and that little house of horrors.

Commit yourself to your choices for now. Give yourself a good six months commitment to stay away from that creep and go NC. Forge forward in your healing and let your connection to those painful discoveries fade a bit.

Shockedmom posted 2/1/2019 19:27 PM

Hi SB.

I hope you have had some good friend and daughter time this week. Have you had moments of clarity to is it still an absolute blur? Pain shopping just plain sucks but it’s almost impossible to stop reviewing the proof...maybe wishful thinking that it can’t possibly be as bad as you thought. Making a plan to look at it maybe once or twice a week and hopefully soon it will lose its power to flay your soul.

Are you eating healthy and taking good care of yourself? When do you plan to return to work? A busy and productive mind is really important while you are in the early stages of recovery.

Been thinking about you and hoping for the best. Take care.

SpeedBump posted 2/1/2019 19:41 PM

I'm still here, Team SI, and at least once a day I come here to re-read the messages to me and pick out nuggets of info and advice to help me get through the day. What a huge help plus the well wishes really touch my heart and help me with o forge on.

Just to update on a few things:

Yes, I am spending time with my daughter and loving every minute of it. She is very busy though so we get together for meals here and there but it's been time well spent. She knows about the infidelity and with whom but she does not know about the mind games played at my expense. She has met OW and they have previously texted and are IG followers of each other. My daughter posted a pic of us the other day with a message saying, "My mom is my rock and strongest woman I've ever known". OW messaged her and asked if I was in the US with her so daughter replied back along the lines of "Why do you ask? What is it you really want to know? Leave me alone, leave my mom alone, delete me and never text me again. I'll be doing the same because you're a sociopathic sleazebag I would never have as a friend". And she has since blocked her so has no idea if there was a reply.

I haven't a clue what would motivate OW to try to reach my kid. She is a psycho, for sure.

And on that note, I then took Stevesn letter advice and replied to H pretty much laying out that this was ME time and to respect that, use the time to make arrangement for the sale as I know work that is underway needs to be completed to make it more marketable. I told him to get that done as quickly and cost-effectively as possible.

I admitted I had no idea what would happen but knew for certain I would be moving from the house as soon as I returned. I said that he should also be figuring out what he planned to do and then set about doing it, whatever that was, and that speaking to me should be immaterial to his plans. I did say that one day we would of course speak about all that has happened and how we move ahead but it wasn't going to be right away.

This may sound like a defense of my H but I did want to clarify a little more about the dynamics of our relationship. He is by no means a kept man. I feel I need to clarify that more for myself than for his sake. Yes, I currently earn far more than him. However, he has his own money through his former work, years of saving and investing and from a pension. We could split up and he would be fine though he would have to alter his lifestyle to fit his budget. What I allow is for him to have been able to make this move with me and not have to worry about finding work in a foreign country and I cover most of our day to day expenses. He contributes by doing almost all the work on our house which needs a lot of updating and it helps to keep him busy. I know it sounds like a defense for him but I just want to clarify he is not a deadbeat and living off of me and my hard work. We both contribute but in different and maybe non-traditional ways and we discussed in great detail before we made the leap overseas. All this to say that he would be fine without me, too.

Maybe it is a bit of defense in that it's possible he could want me for me and not for my "stuff" which maybe helps me just a little...a very little. So not really sure why I felt the need to clarify...maybe just to make me look less foolish for letting someone so easily take advantage of me.

He did reply to confirm he got the message and would wait to hear and in the meantime would wrap up projects in process and not start any new ones. He felt the need to tell me he does not see or speak to neighbor and that once again he is very sorry for the pain he has caused me.

I do feel I am slowly making some progress. I am going to work in our office here all this coming week and then will have to be back in Europe no later than middle of the month. I have to find a place to move to so have something to keep my time busy.

All in all, I am making progress,albeit baby steps.


[This message edited by SpeedBump at 8:16 PM, February 1st (Friday)]

Odonna posted 2/1/2019 20:03 PM

I seldom post but I read a lot. Know that there are many many more lurkers learning from you!

fareast posted 2/1/2019 20:16 PM

Hi SpeedBump:

I hope you are feeling stronger and more in control. You have done very well so far in this emotional trauma. I reread Stevesn last post to you and I want to second his advice. He has given you some excellent thoughts. Do some nice things for yourself. Always remember: you are the prize. Good luck.

beauchateaux posted 2/1/2019 20:34 PM

OW is reaching out to your daughter in desperation, wanting info because she can’t get it from anywhere else and she’s going nuts. She thought she had all the power, and now she’s been cut off and made irrelevant. She can’t stand it.

That’s my take anyway. At least it sort of validates what your H is telling you, which is that he is completely ignoring her.

Again, you’re doing awesome. Keep on truckin’, as they say.

Cooley2here posted 2/1/2019 23:32 PM

For some reason I have taken what was done to you personally. I cannot stand con artists. They are truly sociopaths. It seems that you married one and lived next door to one. Years ago I read a true story about two young men who committed a murder as a thrill killing to see if they could get away with it. A psychologist said that each was an incomplete personality but together formed a lethal one. Since those two were in the act of trying to wreck you emotionally I put them in the same category. There just does not seem to be any other explanation.

It is so nice to read about your daughter. How wonderful that you have raised such a strong person. It says a lot about both of you.

Keep mending. .

sinsof thefather posted 2/2/2019 02:52 AM

Hi SpeedBump, I'm glad to read that you feel you are making progress, it sounds that way to me for sure. I also agree with Stevesn's advice and I think the message you sent your WH was perfect.

I do think also, that those saying the OW is a sociopath are probably right. Your WH I'm not so sure about though. He most certainly participated in the torturous games willingly, that's a fact; shown perfectly by the example you posted of him asking her to call him over, and her posting about needing him to help her with a bed. And also, the fact he placed a present to her under your Christmas tree at home. They were both playing a sick game at your expense.

But... in their reactions to discovery - I feel that is where a difference shows between them. He's seemingly capable of being ashamed of his actions. She's not. Even to the extent of her trying to toy with/con your daughter to get information about you. I know that his life circumstances could change for the worse, and OW's could change for the better with your knowledge of the affair now, but I just feel that their different reactions reveal more differences between them than just that fact.

I'm certainly not excusing your WH for what he did. It was cruel and disgraceful behaviour and he most certainly would deserve divorce for his personal part in this. I just feel that there is a distinct difference between him and the OW now (who I truly believe probably is a sociopath). It seems he's stopped communicating with her and is hoping/looking for ways to repair the damage he knows he has caused. For him the game is over. But her? She's still playing it. Evidenced by her having the gall to contact your daughter!

All this, of course is only my gut feeling. I'm not suggesting you forgive or divorce your WH. That choice is for you along to decide and I think you should continue to take all the time you need to make it. And I am SO glad you are moving away from that house and OW whatever you decide!

whodidimarry posted 2/2/2019 03:12 AM

You're doing great! I know it may not feel like it all the time, but you sound really strong; much stronger than when you first posted.

Keep going, trust in yourself. We're all here for you.

Maybe it is a bit of defense in that it's possible he could want me for me and not for my "stuff" which maybe helps me just a little

Of course he wanted you for you...why wouldn't he? You sound amazing. He didn't do this because he didn't want you; he did this because he has some serious personal demons that he needs to deal with. It wasn't about you. It was never about you.

Northerngal posted 2/2/2019 06:57 AM

It’s so hard to realize none of this is about you. I was the “kept woman”, stay at home mom with 3 kids and the entrepreneur husband with no time for anything found time for an affair. It was during the affair that he decided I had used him for 20 years by not contributing financially - an arrangement that we had agreed on before the kids were born. My staying home facilitated his career 100%. But he changed the narrative in order to justify screwing his direct report for a few months. It’s no more than opportunity and mental gymnastics for compartmentalizing. I was really the one with time to screw around, and during the shitty parts of our normal marriage I could have and didn’t. Was I faithful because of him? Nope - because it was my character to not go there, bpnothing to do with him. You’ve handled this perfectly. My wh also threw the mow under the bus immediately, the irony of the whole thing was that this loyal married hard working career woman (I laugh) with a pile of kids was actually using my wh for his money. He was offended until I verbally slapped him. He was using her for all the invalid and untrue flattery that made him feel like Mr 1%. He’s not. The whole thing was a house of cards, not a love affair. He became a punchline and just another idiot who said yes to her. He’s not proud.

Having the means to physically remove yourself is a true privilege and starts your healing. Take full advantage. You’re doing great!

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