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Being played. Paralyzed.

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GrayShades posted 2/11/2019 09:28 AM

I'm so sorry, Speedbump. Either he blames it all on her (and therefore avoids responsibility for his own choices) but then chooses not to shun her for what she did to you OR he owns some of the responsibility himself (as he should) and doesn't see how horrid he was to you, not just for the betrayal but for the ugly taunting, so feels OK with continued 'friendly' contact. Either way, this would be a dealbreaker for me because it shows a lack of remorse. He saw you hospitalized because your physical and mental condition was so endangered that you collapsed because of what he did. And then he 'helped' her. Please take care of yourself.

ChamomileTea posted 2/11/2019 09:35 AM

Cheaters are seldom successful at NC immediately after DDay. More typically, they're conflict avoidant, or have a KISA complex, or are feeding a sex/love addiction, or indulging whatever internal defect which allowed them to disregard their stated values to begin with. They aren't magically cured at discovery. And yes, the cure involves the shock of confronting their own deficits on DDay (along with assessing the risks/losses they took), but it also involves dedication to getting better, consistent NC, doing the work to get their "whys" and then installing some better coping techniques. If every potential R was permanently derailed by a broken contact, I don't think many of us would be here. Not that I'm advocating R. What I'm saying though, is that you still have choices. That is, if you want them. There's nothing wrong with deciding right out of the box that you want D. Divorce only requires ONE willing participant. R requires two.

I do think that if you're going to keep your options open though, it's time to have that discussion with your WH. He doesn't have any road map home. They get the road map when we state our boundaries. Boundaries aren't rules for the WS though. They're rules for us. They're about what we are willing to tolerate from a life partner. ie. I will no longer tolerate a partner who keeps secrets, so passwords to emails and apps must be shared.

You don't have to commit to R in order to keep your options open though. You can list your boundaries and take an observational stance to see what your WH is willing to do in order to earn another chance. But, and here's the big "but"... communication is necessary. We do the 180 when we're actively distancing ourselves. That would be when the WS is recalcitrant and still engaged in the affair or when we're decided on D. When we're still on the fence though, we need to open up the dialogue, because it's through conflict resolution that our path clarifies. We see either that the WS is capable of change or that he is not.

From what you've told us, you're still in a position of choice. Be aware though that even though it's not unusual for a WS to break contact in the early days after discovery, the next step is to make that boundary crystal clear to him. He needs to KNOW beyond all shadow of doubt that you have no tolerance left and that he's used up the last of your benevolence. Once the boundaries are installed, it's "go" time. All in or all out for the WS. He needs to know you mean business. Further, you're only giving him some time to prove himself. You're not committing to R.


ETA: Just wanted to add that it's not at all unusual for a WS to not "get it" this soon. It's kind of like how they aren't magically cured on DDay. It takes TIME for them to understand the betrayal. If we try to describe it to people who haven't been through it themselves, yes.. they sympathize, but they don't really FEEL it. Even our closest loved ones can't comprehend the depth of the pain. The WS isn't traumatized by his actions. He's not repulsed by his behavior or by the AP. He has to live in his own skin and he freely made every on of those horrible choices. So, while they are capable of learning empathy and of reassessing their role in the betrayal, they very seldom truly understand it from our perspective.

[This message edited by ChamomileTea at 9:53 AM, February 11th (Monday)]

Shockedmom posted 2/11/2019 09:36 AM

I am so sorry. That he could do this after knowing how terribly traumatized you are in awful and stomach turning.

I know you need to pick up your things at the house. While you may not be ready to see him and hope to do this alone be aware that the OW is likely to show up and harass you. Please have someone you trust to block her from any contact with you.

You have been given good advice. Choose what makes sense for you. Remember to hydrate and get some protein today.

beauchateaux posted 2/11/2019 09:46 AM

I agree with everything ChamomileTea said regarding R and what needs to happen if that's still an option you're extending to him, even on a trial basis. Well spoken.

sinsof thefather posted 2/11/2019 09:52 AM

I do take it as a positive that he didn't lie to you about contact. If I were you and I were even thinking about trying to R with him, I'd ask him to put the house up for sale as it is (or get builders in to finish it) while he rents somewhere else. I know he should be able to be no contact with OW NO MATTER WHERE HE IS - but with her being next door and seemingly intent on phoning, texting, knocking on the door - I think him moving out would show a clear sign to you BOTH where his loyalties really lie.

alphakitte posted 2/11/2019 09:56 AM

I'd like the chance to explain.

Yes, I canít wait to hear the excuse for his continuing deliberate acts of disloyalty.

nekonamida posted 2/11/2019 09:58 AM

I didn't tell him I knew anything, I only told him they had to be no contact and he told me he couldn't give me that.

Even if he didn't use those exact same words, he did basically tell you that. You were very clear - NC - and then his response to you catching him wasn't to cut her off again or re-establish boundaries. It was to explain to you why he needs to keep contact. Nope, can't R that way. Entirely impossible.

Also don't believe right off the bat that this was a platonic visit in which all he did was fix her sink. He may not know that you can monitor his texts but he probably has figured out that you did read them at some point if you quoted or referenced them. They know not to leave a paper trail like that again.

After the A is exposed, any contact is a continuation. Even if everything was above board and he really did only fix her sink, it would still be an EA. They would still be holding onto the fantasy of the A on some level by continuing contact. And since him fixing things for her was such a hallmark of their deception, how could you ever feel safe again with that?

SB, I had some hope for you and him - that maybe he was just a selfish idiot who had a little too much in common with top notch con artists and narcissists but wasn't entirely malicious. Now I don't believe that he is any where as well meaning as everyone here thought. He wrote that long, mature, and insightful answer to you while still talking to and possibly being intimate with the OW. He is a master manipulator and he will lie, minimize, and gaslight you as his first response every step of the way. He is a terrible candidate for R so please see a lawyer and work on separating yourself from this toxic mess.

Cheaters are seldom successful at NC immediately after DDay. More typically, they're conflict avoidant, or have a KISA complex, or are feeding a sex/love addiction, or indulging whatever internal defect which allowed them to disregard their stated values to begin with.

It's true that broken NC is common and yet still many WSes get it together and keep NC. You may not mean this as an excuse but it comes off as one. Unless a WS is mentally impaired, they can hear the words "NC" and understand that they are risking their only chance at R if they can't abide by it even if the BS doesn't tell them that broken contact = D. FOO issues may have weakened someone to have an A and be in denial of the consequences but once the BS makes it clear that NC is needed to move forward, breaking it is entirely a choice and a risk that they know they are taking.

SB's WH heard loud and clear that she was not sold on R, was considering D, and she needed him to go full NC. He agreed, promised her he would, and then broke NC anyways because he didn't think he would get caught. And instead of apologies and re-established boundaries, he tells SB, "I can explain why I need to contact her!" That's an attempt to get SB to allow them to be "friends" in the making.

nekonamida posted 2/11/2019 10:03 AM

Yes, I canít wait to hear the excuse for his continuing deliberate acts of disloyalty.

Exactly. I'm pretty surprised by the number of posters who think this is just par for the course. Do they not know how many successful Rs here started off with a BS saying any contact means D? Or how many WSes have successfully managed to go NC from DDay? It's a lot and I'd wager it is over 50%. It is not the norm for a WS to pay lip service to the BS and then turn right back around to continue the A days later.

alphakitte posted 2/11/2019 10:26 AM

I did lower my expectation and gave up something that is important to me...warm and demonstrative affection. I thought it was OK to balance that with what I thought he offered elsewhere, stability and loyalty. Well, I guess this taught me! I won't be relenting on such important matters going forward.

It seems from how youíve described your husband that he may not have the skill set for warm and demonstrative affection (something important to you). He has demonstrated he doesnít have skill set for loyalty.

Whatís left to work towards reconciliation with?

ChamomileTea posted 2/11/2019 10:37 AM

It's true that broken NC is common and yet still many WSes get it together and keep NC. You may not mean this as an excuse but it comes off as one

An "excuse"? Why on God's green earth would I offer an "excuse" for this guy? I don't know him and I'm not his personal advocate, alright? But I'm not going to stand by while the OP is told her choices are gone and that R is hopeless when that's not necessarily the case. Lots of successful reconciliations have experienced an incident of broken contact, my own included. Some have even recovered from multiple broken contacts. I don't post for the WS to get what he wants or for any personal agenda. I post in an effort to help the OP get what she wants.

Edie posted 2/11/2019 10:43 AM

Am with you on this Chamomile.

SpeedBump posted 2/11/2019 10:54 AM

Chamomile Tea - thank you for talking me off the ledge with your sage comments and clearer view of this mess. I feel so hopeless and then you offer clarity. I forget I have choices and I'm in control when I feel quite the opposite. I feel I'm in a spiral at times and the only outcome is utter destruction of my life. You help make sense of something that otherwise is senseless to me. I have endless gratitude for you and many others here...Stevesn, 1stWife, Cooley, many.

I'm calmer now but so hurt. I'm shocked I'm so hurt and shocked that I'm shocked to learn of the contact. I mean, deep down I knew that of course there was probably contact. They are next door to each other! I think I held on to the fact maybe he did care enough he would never! But of course the reality is far from that.

But I'm calmer now and making plans in my mind to finally meet with him and begin whatever it is I need to begin to start healing myself. Maybe the path will become clearer. Eventually, I do hope so.

HouseOfPlane posted 2/11/2019 10:56 AM

Jesus, I can't catch a break.
If you were hoping he'd be what you wanted him to be, I agree.

However, if you value the truth, whatever it is, he gave you a big break by showing you who he is. I'm so glad you checked the messaging. Thank goodness you did.

Sending strength!

Sallie2 posted 2/11/2019 11:10 AM

Hi Speedbump. I have not responded to any of your posts as you have been getting a lot of advice, and I know how confusing that is. I have been reading all of your updates and I have been pulling for you. I am sorry you have been hurt and disappointed again. My heart is breaking for you.
I do want to say that I agree with Chamomile. Most WH's don't get it in the beginning. My own WH still works with his AP which is hell for me, but they rarely see each other as they both have home offices. In the beginning, on DD and shortly after, he was begging my forgiveness and didn't want to lose me, BUT, he also thought that he could still be friends with her, that they could still be friendly if they saw each other at work functions. He had to see her a few days after DD and they chatted briefly.
In his mind, as long as the affair was over, and he was completely honest with me about contact,it was okay. He had no clue what it takes to heal from this, and at the time, neither did I.
It takes a little bit of education and seeing our agony for them to get it. It does not happen right away. Him responding to her text's and fixing whatever was broken in her house, is not against you in his mind I don't think. He's just trying to keep being the good guy as he now has to face that he has not been, and that's a hard pill to swallow for anyone.
From everything you have written about her, she is evil. She would use any excuse in the book to try to keep contact. He doesn't have the tools yet to manage that.
Our MC told my husband, even if she tries to talk to you about work related stuff, it is likely manipulation. Don't fall for it. My husband is the type that needs everyone to like him so ignoring her was very difficult for him. He now does it like a pro.
Honestly, I remember the early days of finding out and staying at my friend's the hell I was in. I wasn't able to start moving forward until I finally spoke to him, he saw my pain. The early days are just a blur of pain.
I would not take this set back as a sign that you can not reconcile. This is common.
I do think that speaking to him sooner rather than later is important. That way you can lay out for him exactly what you need for reconciliation and what your expectations are if you are even going to think about it. Absolutely no contact being the first and foremost, with an email that you are copied on to her stating that in no uncertain terms. The other thing is I would tell him that before you speak to him, you want a guarantee of no further contact, and you want him to read "How to help my spouse heal from my affair". That will help give him some of the initial tools.
I am really, really sorry you are going through this. I have been through it twice, first marriage ended in divorce upon discovering his affair, and now in my second we are reconciling, which is going well, but it is very difficult. Both divorce and reconciling are difficult. Each have their own pain to live with.
I really wish you good luck. I find myself thinking of you often during the day and hoping for the best for you.

nekonamida posted 2/11/2019 11:49 AM

But I'm not going to stand by while the OP is told her choices are gone and that R is hopeless when that's not necessarily the case.

R is impossible without NC and without honesty. SB has neither and her WH hasn't even committed yet to either of those things. In fact an in person meeting and friendly conversations for whatever reason is continuation of the A so this A is still active and she is still in infidelity. R at this moment is impossible. That could change but letting it slide will never get them there. You have to be willing to lose the marriage in order to save it.

SB, do what you feel you need to do but be very wary. Don't accept anything less than NC. Don't accept "well she's a neighbor/friend/whatever" as an excuse for broken NC. You were very clear with your boundaries and he needs to understand that his chances are very limited from here on out for this to work.

Cooley2here posted 2/11/2019 12:00 PM

We donít know what country you are in consequently we donít know about work requirements. My suggestion is he gets a job. A full-time job. The work I do has made me very aware of how destructive bored men are. I wish we did not have to have a discussion about either gender but this seems to be across the board with males. If they cannot find something constructive to do they will inevitably find something destructive to do. That would be one of my criteria if I was married to this man. My husband owns a small business and talks about retiring from time to time. Iíve told him he will never retire. When heís bored he can always find something to do around the house that breaks something or destroys something. He canít help himself, heís a guy. I am not making light of this at all. I really mean what I say. You cannot have an able-bodied man in a country where he has no constraints wandering around because he will find something destructive to do. He already has done this once and I assume he will again unless he is gainfully employed. If he canít do it then I suggest the two of you move back to the states and he gets a job here. That is if you decide to r.
Sorry guys but what I write is true.

[This message edited by Cooley2here at 12:31 PM, February 11th (Monday)]

Furious1 posted 2/11/2019 12:34 PM


You do have a choice about what you do going forward. You do not have to allow your WH to lower your expectations so that you accept ongoing contact between him and the OW as a normal thing. Ongoing contact after D-day is common, but it is far from normal or healthy.

You have every right to grieve the fact that your WH is not the man you thought he was. You have every right to be upset that he continued contact with the OW after D-day because that is not what someone does when they make the claims that he made to you. If you think about it, someone who truly cares about you would not want to have anything to do with the person who volunteered to help him hurt you so badly. So you have a right to be disappointed in him for letting her leaky sink allow him to not care about you, your feelings, or his lack of character.

I am so sorry that you are going through this. However you decide to handle it is entirely up to you and we will support you no matter what. I do hope that you exercise caution in your dealings with him since he is very good at manipulating you into buying into his gaslighting while he plays the victim. Gentle hugs.


fareast posted 2/11/2019 12:59 PM

I want to second the advice from ChamomileTea and Sallie2, Stevesn. And they are not giving your WH any excuse for his terrible decision to help the OW out with a leaky sink, if thatís indeed what happened.

I also agree that if you want to keep your options open you do need to have a conversation with your WH. He does not have a road map home and does not know your specific boundaries, although no contact with the OW would seem pretty obvious a lot of times the WS just doesnít get it right away if they think the A is over.

But if you donít want to keep your options open thatís okay too. Just call it a dealbreaker and file for D. You are in charge and you get to make the choice. Sit down and talk to him and tell him your requirements or not. Iím very sorry this happened to you, but it is not uncommon for no contact to be broke as others have stated. Good luck.

crazycatlady posted 2/11/2019 13:24 PM

First time commenting on this thread so hear me out. Infidelity betrayal is the worst thing that has ever happened to me. However your WH and Nextdoor Whore have taken that to a new level of evil. They conspired to mock you and laugh at you. There is no way of coming back from this.
And he is still in contact. Well, divorce is the only option. He and her are a cancer that must be excised.
I am so sorry for this and I wish I had a better opinion but there it is. Time to move on and begin to heal.
Good luck.

CometGirl posted 2/11/2019 13:36 PM

Did he respond to her text about not wanting to lose the friendship? That would be telling. Was their only communication about the sink?

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