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Being played. Paralyzed.

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ChamomileTea posted 2/19/2019 23:17 PM

I hate being the one who keeps saying this, but the ball is still in your court. That level of disrespect is just not surprising or unusual. Cheaters are like hormonal teenagers getting one over on Mom or Dad. They aren't original. They're not inventive. Their sins are as old as time; predictable, trite, and juvenile. When you compare fucking in the kitchen while risking discovery to fucking without a condom where the risk is potentially a lifelong medical sentence for the unwary BS, it's not all that shocking. The vast majority of us have been exposed to non-consensual sexual risk.

The risk is part of the payoff though, part of the mental disease. And if anything, this tells you a little bit about what your WH was getting out of this behavior. He's not a victim. He's got some kind of ax to grind. If it's not with you personally, it's about authority figures in general or rebelling against his mom. What seems to be certain is that he's conflated your presence in his life with some kind of constraint. That's a starting point if you wish, or sayonara if you don't. Your call. It's demonstrably your call. The fact that he submitted the timeline to you is at least partial proof that you're in control.

kaygem posted 2/20/2019 00:08 AM

Ugh, broke my heart for you to read that! I do agree with Chaomile though, not unusual or different.

How was the rest of the timeline? Was it as you expected or very different?

sinsof thefather posted 2/20/2019 00:59 AM

Oh Speedbump my heart bleeds for the pain you must be in since reading that timeline. Did he include all the facts you did already know like the present under the tree? If he did, I know it won't mean much to you right now, but at least having an honest timeline rips the band aid off early rather than having the truly poisonous trickle truth filter out over time. It allows you to make your choice based on truth rather than continued lies.

I think Chamomile's post was spot on. Your WH now has a point to start work from (if the timeline is honest), although that may mean nothing to you now and that is totally your choice. But an honest timeline (if that is what you got) is something that some people never get.

Take some time now and try to focus on yourself. Have you managed to find a counselor to skype with, or do you have someone over there you trust who can support you in real life?

Try to be gentle on yourself while you let this settle. You're going through trauma, be as kind to yourself as you can. We'll all be here with our ears to listen, our vastly differing points of view, and our advice to offer, all hoping for the best outcome for you whenever you need us and whatever you decide. The ball truly is in your court now. The only 'right' answer regarding what to do next is the one that you decide. ((()))

Edie posted 2/20/2019 01:19 AM

Th' expense of spirit in a waste of shame
Is lust in action; and till action, lust
Is perjured, murd'rous, bloody, full of blame,
Savage, extreme, rude, cruel, not to trust,
Enjoyed no sooner but despisèd straight,
Past reason hunted; and, no sooner had
Past reason hated as a swallowed bait
On purpose laid to make the taker mad;
Mad in pursuit and in possession so,
Had, having, and in quest to have, extreme;
A bliss in proof and proved, a very woe;
Before, a joy proposed; behind, a dream.
All this the world well knows; yet none knows well
To shun the heaven that leads men to this hell.
Sonnet 129, WS

You’re not the only one Chamomile, thanks for saying it. I’m finding it difficult to understand some of the hyperbole of this thread. I note with interest that it seems that it is OW who seems to have initiated the trysts, at least the ones so far reported. Far from the being sociopathic as has been suggested, I suggest she has in fact a strong sense of others’ feelings, but wanted to be Mrs SB, or at least wanted to wound or destroy a good marriage, so either suppressed her sympathies for Speedbump, or in fact in her jealousy rather relished the taking of something that belonged to SB, thereby being very cognisant of her feelings.

None of which excuses Mr SB, of course, whether he was led up the garden path or not. The nickname TBB presumably coined by him is also very telling - and much depends on the kind of badmouthing of Speedbump by him in his texts, the detail of which we don’t have. Weirdly, it would be that, that level of disrespect behind my back that would finish me off (rather than two thrill-seeking adolescents rutting pathetically in my kitchen thinking they’re so ‘cool’) but sadly also that is not unusual either, it’s part of the transactional currency of an A often.

Sadly, as Frank Pittman and Shirley Glass have both noted, infidelity happens in good and happy marriages. What may have happened here is that by coincidence of timing a manipulative OW has tapped into and fuelled underlying but probably minor resentments Mr SB had, & also seems to have recognised and appealed to his KISA and fixing instincts, and so it all turned into a puerile and ultimately vindictive and escalating highly adolescent - & childish - lust game, with TBB cast as parent. More vapid and banal rebellion rather than sinister ‘Marnie’ scenario. My feeling is that he was more stupid and weak (and good at compartmentalising) than motivated purely by vindictive resentment, (but that depends on the level and extent of badmouthing In the texts), but it seems there was a level of malevolence in OWs purpose (I feel).

Just of course speculation on my part so hopefully people can disagree with me respectfully and not turn their ire on me, It’s a broad church of opinion on this thread, and members’ tolerance of others’ opinions, rather than the angry mob rule (often a projection of people’s personal feelings and situations) that sometimes pertains in JFO, is the best way for a newly betrayed person to gain the variety of perspectives that can help them ascertain their own. Being shouted down does not encourage those with alternative viewpoints to post.

If as it sounds that he has done a full and comprehensive timeline, without the usual minimising and trickle truth, then that is to his credit, and the madness described by Shakespeare above, now broken and loathed by him also. It would be helpful to know if in any of the discussions with SB or in the timeline what kind of awareness or self knowledge he is evincing - or not.

I don’t like to suggest one way or another, but nevertheless 😊 I do feel the need to say that if it were me, I would be looking very hard at the marriage and what was good and bad in it - if there was much good, I would be looking at that very closely and not immediately or automatically allow OW/ would-be Mrs SB to succeed in her mission to scorch it to the ground (she was presumably jealous because it WAS a good marriage, and so she decided to promote herself from position of third stool and thereby relegate SB to that position). I am wondering how well SB actually knew her WH, the difficulties and misunderstandings around feelings about his first wife seem to suggest the comfiness SB describes in her relationship did not allow for much digging or full open-ness (that not a criticism, just speculation again).

[This message edited by Edie at 2:23 AM, February 20th (Wednesday)]

Northerngal posted 2/20/2019 05:37 AM

This thread is so heartbreaking, but speed bump you are a champ. Amazing.

You took the lid off the garbage can and the light has made those cockroaches scatter. It’s horribly ugly, but the light is what makes the healing start. It won’t be linear, it will be dynamic.

No question that your wh sees the ugly now. When they think they are in complete control of the outcome, ie no one will ever find out, they don’t see how disgusting they are. He ripped a scab off something he now needs to face. My wh compartmentalized his actions and choices. Writing them out, saying them aloud - he had a lot of work to do and he was mortified, he saw that cruel person as someone else. I exposed - it was a work place affair at his family business, so all kinds of risks, and that exposure forced him into ic. There was no hiding from it. Granted his mom wanted to hide it all away and act like nothing had happened, but that dysfunction was what led him to his choices. Expose. It’s a hot potato that you should not be holding, throw that mother fucker back at him to deal with.

You are strong. As I learned more I was gutted, over and over. My wh was a complete asshole. But none of this was about me, and it was hard to accept that considering how Imbalanced the pain was. You wh is damaged, and your neighbor is a toxic loser. They enter our lives sometime, but they market themselves well, they’ve practiced behaviours that are considered fun, cool, likeable, their whole lives. Like you can teach a parrot to say I love you for a reward - who knows if they mean it, but they certainly get what they want for doing it. Forgive yourself for being her friend. Monsterrs appear in our lives. Even when we are mature and older. The one thing for sure here is that you will heal and you will survive this. I was vomiting in fetal position in my shower a lot, and I’m worlds away from that now. You will be you again. Regardless of what happens, you are ok. The set backs are not permanent. You are the sky, and every thing around you is the weather. You are permanent, the weather isn’t. And it’s not super predictable so be gentle with yourself on this journey.

My therapist told me to see myself as sitting in a window with cars driving past. Each car was pain — the ow, the shame, my insecurities. Whatever. Just watch them drive past you, acknowledge them and watch them disappear in the distance.
I found it and continue to find it a helpful meditation and exercise. The pain is finite. You are the prize.

realitybites posted 2/20/2019 06:38 AM

Cheaters are like hormonal teenagers getting one over on Mom or Dad. They aren't original. They're not inventive. Their sins are as old as time; predictable, trite, and juvenile. When you compare fucking in the kitchen while risking discovery to fucking without a condom where the risk is potentially a lifelong medical sentence for the unwary BS, it's not all that shocking. The vast majority of us have been exposed to non-consensual sexual risk.

The risk is part of the payoff though, part of the mental disease. And if anything, this tells you a little bit about what your WH was getting out of this behavior. He's not a victim. He's got some kind of ax to grind. If it's not with you personally, it's about authority figures in general or rebelling against his mom. What seems to be certain is that he's conflated your presence in his life with some kind of constraint. That's a starting point if you wish, or sayonara if you don't. Your call. It's demonstrably your call. The fact that he submitted the timeline to you is at least partial proof that you're in control.

Pretty wise words from ChamomileTea ^^^^^^^.

Cooley2here posted 2/20/2019 06:53 AM

T/j. This appears to be a short term affair. What sets it apart is the added pain in how it was conducted. He had all day to spend at the neighbor’s house. Instead, the two of them set out to “play” her. They mocked her. You can call what the rest of us write hyperbole but we wonder at the added cruelty of their actions. This goes beyond a bored husband and a man hungry neighbor. It cannot be termed anything but pure meaness. This is different. It just is.

SB, I hope you are taking care of yourself.

Edie posted 2/20/2019 07:02 AM

You can call what the rest of us write hyperbole

I wasn’t making a ‘them’ and ‘us’ comment. I was, however, agreeing with Chamomile that it isn’t that unusual and for sure I can say that after ten years here, this is far from the ‘worst ever cruelty’ that I’ve seen on SI, so that is the occasional hyperbole I was responding to.

I do however apologise if my use of the word was offensive, which was not my intention.

[This message edited by Edie at 7:14 AM, February 20th (Wednesday)]

nekonamida posted 2/20/2019 07:21 AM

I don't agree that this situation is par for the course. I have been reading here daily for nearly 6 years and the situation of a WS and AP conspiring against the BS in this manner is not common. It's not unheard of but many of us can attest to the fact that this was not a part of our experiences with infidelity and some of the ones who can have been posting different advice in this thread. It's a thick, extra layer of crap to wade through in its own right.

SB, do what's right for you. I think it's smart to separate and heal yourself right now.

Mizzbak posted 2/20/2019 07:44 AM


I'm sorry that you are having such a truly awful time. I add my voice to those reminding you that you are not alone. And that this will pass.

I had somehow assumed that full disclosure would reduce my pain. Because surely what I was imagining must be far, far worse than what had actually happened? And I suppose that it was. But I naively expected a feeling of anti-climax when all was revealed. And the truth has teeth ... and jigsaw edges that dovetailed neatly into the reality that was. Changing it and staining it forever.

Rewriting our history, editing the past with new meaning - scrutinising memories of facial expressions for sneers, conversations for double entendres and timelines for "opportunities". It really sucks. And it is incredibly disorienting and stressful.

Please don't try and pull yourself back from that brink (or any of the others you've been driven to) by yourself. You need emotional support. And more than what an anonymous forum can offer. I cannot recommend IC strongly enough. If only for the hard-fought objectivity and semi-dispassion that it can ultimately bring. And using your support network of friends and family, even if they are on the other side of the world.

I also battled with accessing IC across cultures and time zones. Picking a therapist from a culture and language similar to what you're most familiar with makes a lot of sense. And online options can enable that. Practically, its useful if they're in a similar (or at least compatible) time zone. If you're where I think you are, then perhaps consider the UK (and far, far south South Africa).

beauchateaux posted 2/20/2019 08:32 AM

I just think it's important for everyone to remember that even BSes who display a remarkable amount of strength immediately after D-Day are still fragile. I don't think it's helpful for everyone to be coming in here and turning SpeedBump's support thread into a debate about how much worse her situation is compared to everyone else who has ever posted on SI, why it's worse, what an evil sociopath her H must be, etc. In fact, she has TOLD us that those sort of messages weren't helpful for her.

I just feel like this is exactly the kind of thing that drives people off of SI. To us, it's a story that speaks to experiences we've all dealt with personally on a variety of different levels with many different outcomes, so we want to help and become passionate about doing so. To her, it's her life. He is (still, for now) her husband. She loved him, we didn't.

And if she's made her final decision on what she's going to do, then we should support her as she makes her way through the D process. But she may change her mind, and people need to allow her the leeway to do that without feeling like she'll be letting people down or doing the 'wrong' thing if she does.

As far as I'm concerned, aren't ALL affairs a conspiracy against the BS? Lying, sneaking, cheating, doing things that they know would be horrifically hurtful to the BS if they were discovered - that's what went on here. That's what goes on in ALL affairs. Maybe the difference is that SpeedBump's H is actually being honest about the depth of the betrayal, unlike some others. Nobody knows, so who can say.

If both parties want R and the WS is truly remorseful and committed to doing the work, I think R is always a possibility. I believe in redemption when it's earned. Whether Mr. SB does this - or is even given the opportunity - remains to be seen. And it's 100% up to SpeedBump.

SpeedBump - whatever your path forward, you'll find support here. As you can see.

[This message edited by beauchateaux at 8:34 AM, February 20th (Wednesday)]

Booyah posted 2/20/2019 09:21 AM

SpeedBump hope you're taking care of yourself.

Let me say, EVERYONE on here supports you, and it cracks me up when people make comments about it "being your decision".

Hello of course it's Speedbump's decision (and always has been). She's a grown woman and at the end of the day she's going to do what's in her best interest just as everyone else on SI has done.

Members might choose a different direction if in the same situation, but again that's not the point.....we're here to support her and to share experiences and things to think about.

Also, anyone who thinks SpeedBump is going to be run off this site because of a few comments has NOT been following this thread in its entirety because if they did they'd see how strong she is and not some weakling that's going to be run off a huge source of wisdom that's helped her through this shit storm she's going through.

For crying out loud it's a forum on the internet and there's going to be the occasional comment that's off base or out of line. She'll take what she needs and disregard the rest.

That said, Speedbump, I hope you're taking care of yourself and that you've been able to lean on loved ones for support.

Edie posted 2/20/2019 11:07 AM

I believe Beauchateaux has read the entire bread contrary to the assertion that she has NOT (not my capitals) as she has picked up, as have others, that Speedbump has occasionally felt very overwhelmed and downcast by some of high negative language (unusually psychotic, sociopathic) about her WS, and the sheer volume of it. Luckily there are other voices to balance that, a useful diversity of opinion, as I said.

As to the intolerance and disdain of others opinions and posts that I was worrying about above, and then evinced in yours, Booyah, as to ‘how cracked up you are’ about people telling SB it was her decision, I quote you below:

That said SpeedBump it's YOUR decision and whatever path you decide you want to go down I'll support it as I'm sure most of us here on SI will do.

It’s great that you will support her whatever path she goes down, Booyah. Let’s all be a little less argumentative. None of us are invested in being right, after all.

[This message edited by Edie at 4:38 AM, February 21st (Thursday)]

Cooley2here posted 2/20/2019 11:28 AM

SB, if you look at the number of responses from your first post you will see that responders, for the most part, saw malice in what they were doing. It was done with malicious intent. If you had not discovered the iPad info they would have ratcheted their behavior up. Each time you would have noticed, BUT, because you are innocent, you would have no way to make sense of it. You would have continued to ask your husband and he would have continued to deny everything with the very reasonable sounding answer that you three were friends. It is called gaslighting and those two were having a great time doing it. That is why responders, including myself, reacted the way we have. We have no personal investment in your final decision. We do hope you take care of yourself.

There is an answer to why people cheat. It is because they want to. There does not appear to be any answer for why he got pleasure from harming you except true malice. posted 2/20/2019 18:28 PM

I think that most betrayed spouses don't have access to all the texts that passed between the WS and their APs. If we did, we'd probably find a lot that is unsavoury. SB I'm sorry you've been exposed to so much - but I also know you are going to be fine.
You are going through the worst part, but it will get better and easier.

On the topic of timelines; I don't see the point.
If my partner has confirmed that he has had sex with someone else - I mean, what is the point in knowing about every encounter? I honestly don't get it.

Obviously I'm an outlier in this regard, but to ME, it would seem like self-harm, or "pain shopping". This is not rugsweeping, it just seems so unnecessary, and damaging.

Just throwing that out there for the newly betrayed. Just because this is what is advocated at SI, doesn't mean it's for everyone.

[This message edited by at 6:29 PM, February 20th (Wednesday)]

SpeedBump posted 2/21/2019 01:14 AM

I want everyone to know how grateful I am for the time you take to reach out to me. I have so little real support in my current situation and the last thing I'm willing to do is put any pressure on friends and family so far away to drop everything and come so far to try to help me through this. It certainly is not something I considered when I decided to relocate but definitely something to consider for the future. So your collective wisdom and messages you share with me here mean more than you can probably imagine.

Even so,it's all just very hard to take at the moment but I'm trying. I can't be here as much as I probably need to be because it's all so hard and painful but I'm trying. Still, I find comfort with all the messages and thank you from the bottom of my heart.

You can imagine, as no one else can, how much it hurts to learn even more. I feel like a human punching bag as I read, absorb and then try to make any sense of the timeline he sent, all while trying to deal with his panic. Yes, I have set the boundary he is on his own right now and I can't deal, but he swears he is panicked for me and being alone with his timeline because he knows how awful it is. I told him to back off and also that I'm not fixated on his horrible documentation of his affair but only on myself and my health.

So, I am putting that timeline on a shelf for now because I can't keep taking the hits while I'm already so fragile. I told him to work on himself and getting the house sold. We've signed a contract with an agent. I've told him it's all about me, my health, my healing, my work and my daughter right now. There's not room for anyone or anything else at this time. No talk of our marriage, no talk of the timeline, no talk of the affair, I don't even want to be involved in what he will do and where he might go - he's on his own about all of that. I can't deal with any of it.

He also did send her a no contact message and it was full of anger - pointed out what horrible people they are, how toxic they were and they would never see or speak again and she was never to try to reach me either. If they saw each other in public, he would never acknowledge her and she should do the same.

And yes, the timeline has a lot of detail and proves what everyone tells us here, that there is always more. It started earlier than I was aware, and I now know the sex started earlier and I'll now need to get STD testing. I have only read through it once before I pulled up all the messages I archived and started to fixate on piecing the details of my life together before I had to just STOP! I could feel the stress going through the roof and I knew no good was going to come from trying to make sense of it all at this time. I literally and physically can't take any more right now and forced myself to stop. It's when I wrote him and told him I am officially separating myself from him and this situation, which is required both for my healing and as a requirement for divorce.

It's all a giant mess. I'm still in a hotel, for Christ's sake! I can't even kick him out and go home because I'd never live there again.

And I can't even talk to him about anything...separation, divorce, recovery, nothing. I guess this is a whole different type of compartmentalization but it's what I need right now and why I'm quiet here. I'm trying to triage my life, not doing a very good job of it, but I'm trying.

So please don't worry about me. I'll be here less but will come around when I have the strength and need. And I'll come around to read all the replies for more detail and meaning again. I find as I go through this and my feelings ebb and flow, info shared here by all of you takes on a different / new meaning under a different lens and under different circumstances. Re-reading them has been beneficial so I do hope you keep sharing and advising, even if I go quiet. I have work to do on myself but this is an important part of that, too.

Thank you.

(Named for a speed bump between my former house and AP house. Just seemed appropriate and what I was fixated on as I stared out my window in disbelief when I found the iPad messages.)

WifeInterrupted4 posted 2/21/2019 01:52 AM

Whatever you need to do to help you on your road to healing and recovery, we're here for you!
Keep being your strong self. Even on the most difficult of days, you have shown so much strength!
Sending you all the love and support xo

sinsof thefather posted 2/21/2019 01:57 AM

I'm glad to hear from you Speedbump, and glad that you've got yourself and your health as a priority. Everything else can wait for a while.

You don't ever need to revisit the timeline if you don't feel the need to - one of the main points of that exercise was to see if your WH would stop lying to you and be honest - and he does, at least, seem to have been that.

I feel so sorry for you isolated over there with no in real life support and a job to uphold. If you would prefer more 'homely' surroudings are there properties around there you could let? You'd have more privacy - although at the hotel there is less physical house work to be done - so I don't know what you would prefer.

I'm glad that you've now got the ball rolling on selling the house. It's sad, but with the OW next door, essential that it goes. You could never feel 'home' there again.

I and many others here do think of you, and whether you believe me or not, I think you've been incredibly strong in your approach to this. Unless they've experienced it no one can understand the magnitude of betrayal. I think you've handled the situation and yourself amazingly well. Don't worry about not being able to update often, just know we're all thinking of you and here to lend a shoulder or offer advice and opinions anytime you need it.


The1stWife posted 2/21/2019 06:57 AM

You have our support whenever you need it. God Bless

Shockedmom posted 2/21/2019 07:21 AM

Glad you found the strength to post. Setting aside the proof until you are ready to take on that monumental task is smart.

Are you considering renting a flat or AirBnB until your work in Europe is completely? It might help. I hope you are able to go out and socialize with friends occasionally.

Wishing you continued healing and peace.

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