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Being played. Paralyzed.

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Thanksgiving2016 posted 1/15/2019 21:50 PM

Speedbump please is there anyone you can confide in. A family member or friend. I am concerned for you.

fareast posted 1/15/2019 23:13 PM


I am so sorry your WH has broken your heart. You are doing the right thing by keeping no or minimal contact while you travel. You are also keeping them off balance. Well done.

But please take care of yourself. Do you have any friends you can talk to IRL? Try to use any spare time to exercise or pursue a hobby away from home. Perhaps a vacation back home would be a good idea. It could give you space to detach and get away from the cruelty and manipulation. Please see a physician if necessary. Your fears are normal. Wondering what happens to your life if you blow up their cruel game. I think we have all had those fears at some point. I know I had them at the time I was separated from my fWW. I do know that getting out of their cruel infidelity crap will bring you some peace. I donít know why your WH has become the liar and the cheat you see now. Perhaps he has always been this way. Perhaps he cheated on his first W. Good luck meeting with the solicitor. Take care of yourself first.

kaygem posted 1/16/2019 00:04 AM

The magnitude of the cruelty you are suffering from these two sociopaths is beyond words.

Find your anger. If you feel bad for him worrying about your weight loss...what will you do when he love bombs you after you tell him you know? You will quite possibly cave because you are right now A) in shock and B) Afraid of life without him in it.

But, he is already gone and he has destroyed the marriage. You MUST put on your bitch boots and kick some ass. You deserve to be treated better than this!

You say he saw his first wife die of cancer? And yet how much empathy can this man possibly posses if he is willing to stab you in the back over and over and over again? Doesn't sound like he views life or his current wife as precious...

Please, please...stop tormenting yourself by watching these messages. You have enough evidence. Get your plan in place and move fast. Get this cheating asshat out of your life. Because, this guy is not JUST a adulterer, he is also a first rate emotional abuser and sociopath. There is little to no hope for him.

He may decide to throw this whore under the bus when you find out, what will you do then? Accept his tears and his pleadings? I sincerely hope not. You are worth a man that treats you with love and like a queen, not like a maid and cook that he can come home to and have it all comfy..with his whore-cake on the side.

Sharkman posted 1/16/2019 00:48 AM

The reason you are so high in anxiety is because you feel out of control.

Letís reset your mental state. YOU are in control. YOU discovered someone who has been hiding his true self from you all along and like the empowered woman that you are you are taking action on this.

1. Get and stay angry. Anger will drive you. You are a victim of the second worst form of spousal abuse. You SHOULD be pissed!!!

2. You will speak to a lawyer and you will have papers served without warning him. Thatís next up on the punch list. (What happens after that from a divorce or reconciliation perspective would need to be discussed

3. You will get the same lawyer to set financial protection goals into motion

4. You will get a therapist ASAP. Nothing beats talking to a professional in person.

SpeedBump posted 1/16/2019 02:40 AM

Thank you kaygem, fareast, Sharkman and everyone! I am beyond humbled for everyone's support, the time you are taking to help me through this and for giving me the kick in the behind I really need. Everyone is so right, too! I need to get my power back.

I have felt like my light is dimming these last few weeks and haven't seen this for what it really is. Yes, it's such a cruel and twisted game they are playing with me and I have spent far too much time trying to understand my role in this, how it got to this, what I did to my relationship to make him do this and how I have let it get so far. It wasn't until I reached out here that I do now see the advantage I have in knowing what I know. Until now, I have only seen it for the life-altering pain it's been causing me and I'm letting myself get so lost in the hurt and sadness. It's been the most difficult time in my life, ever.

Your words are helping to pull me back from the abyss, especially helping to focus on how to get out of this hell hole I'm in and to stop putting any of the blame on me. I took a really wrong turn a few weeks ago and focused inward instead of on them.

You all are right, I need to get ANGRY!

Kaygem, you are also right that I have to stop reading these messages. I feel like I have become addicted to them. I have to see what they are saying and doing but every message sends me spiraling even further. I know enough. I have enough proof. What they do and say can no longer be a concern of mine so I have turned off the iPad. I feel like I should just pitch it but I know I have to keep it for proof.

Today I pledge to get up, stand up straight and start digging my way out of this nightmare. I don't know exactly what that looks like but I'll start with getting through my work day and then booking a ticket back to the US for a couple of weeks to gain clarity and line things up.

I do want to clarify a few things that are obstacles for me. I can't just return to the US with my job. I was able to come here for a very deliberate role and we are in the middle of a very big and important project to the company. I have to be here and if I were to ask to go back, it would be a big setback. I'm not saying I can't be replaced, only that a lot of people are involved who would be affected by my departure. The time to replace me would really hurt the project. I don't see the company agreeing to just let me return without this project implemented and that is still some time from now. I'd also hate to just abandon everyone. To be honest, my work has kept me sane, too. It's my safe space these days. And I want to see this through. There's a good pay-off at the end of it all, too. If I can get to that, I have a lot more choices about my future, including an early retirement or long sabbatical.

I would want to stay in Europe, with or without my H. It's always been a dream of mine and I won't give that up because he's lost his mind. Yes it is so hard being away from a support system but the life I want past this current situation would still include somehow making the most of this adventure. I can't let him take that from me.

I do think that no matter what happens, the house has to go. To much has happened to have me even consider staying in it. I guess either I have to go or the house has to go but I know I'll never be happy in it again.

I haven't quite gotten to the B17$H boots phase yet, but I'm wiping away my tears, lacing up my running shoes and going to try to head towards the exit. Thank you for helping to guide me along and giving me the strength to take the first steps.

SI and all of you rock.

Cooley2here posted 1/16/2019 06:24 AM

Please let us know how you are doing.

Since you are staying then finding out your legal rights is next.

Take care of yourself by staying hydrated and eating. When my kids were ill afterwards they wanted bananas for potassium and milk for calcium. Eat when you can. Take a multivitamin and try to sleep. Your body thinks it is in danger from a scary animal and does not want to let you eat in case you have to run from danger. This is why you are not hungry. You have to override your natural instinct to stay light enough to run. This time you have to face your enemy.

realitybites posted 1/16/2019 06:44 AM

I know that feeling of being frozen. Its called shock and then we go into denial. Many of us can say that we were there. So I get it.

I am very proud of you and how strong you are and that you love your job and are good at it! Your company does need you. But I do want to say that this is one very good reason you need to get to an attorney and one who is ONLY working on your behalf, if you are the major bread winner and depending on how the laws work where you are at or where you call your home base... this could become very messy.

So I think your idea of going back to see family, take a vacation, like someone else said, tell work there is an emergency, whatever you need to do and just get yourself some time to step away from the madness so you can work on getting a few ducks in a row. Also just getting out of that house, getting away from him for a bit, not sitting there as you said just reading those text messages and then going back and living with someone who is actively cheating on you is being in a prison, an emotional prison. And I think you might start to feel a tad more centered if you can detach from his dysfunction so that you can think a little more clearly.

Cooley2here posted 1/16/2019 07:00 AM

I hope my anger on your behalf is understood. They are gaslighting you and it would have worked if you didnít have access to what they are doing. This is cruelty. This is why I hope you go home for a visit. While there ghost him. Let him be exactly who he is. Copy and hide everything they write. It might not make a difference in court but it will give you clarity about who he really is. This is the hardest thing to overcome. This knowledge that the person you love and trusted has this much cruelty in them.
Think about this. You confront them. They donít know you know so they laugh it off as just being friends. They keep it up and laugh behind your back. They deserve each other and you deserve freedom.

Thanksgiving2016 posted 1/16/2019 07:01 AM

I wouldnít tell him Iím going home. I would let him think itís a work trip.

fareast posted 1/16/2019 07:12 AM

I totally get it if you need to stay to complete the project for work. It would not be right to let them destroy your dream of staying in Europe after completing your work. It really does sound like a good situation for you once the project is completed. Talk to the solicitor about your legal rights if you should split so you can maximize your advantage to complete the work project. Be prepared for pleading and to get love bombed once you confront him. Use your anger to drive you forward. You deserve to be treated so much better. Please try and get away from the situation for a while. Drinking protein shakes can help. Keep hydrated. Good luck.

[This message edited by fareast at 7:34 AM, January 16th (Wednesday)]

Furious1 posted 1/16/2019 07:24 AM


I hope your meeting with the lawyer goes well. It does sound like your WH and the OW are suspicious of what you know or do not know. I know that he might have told her that you don't know, but you know that he is lying to her about you. Keeping them in the dark is important and I can't help but wonder if your job would put you up in a hotel while you deal with all of this.


nothisfriend posted 1/16/2019 07:58 AM

you are also right that I have to stop reading these messages. I feel like I have become addicted to them. I have to see what they are saying and doing but every message sends me spiraling even further. I know enough. I have enough proof.

This is a good positive step. I spent 3 days (nights) reading and photographing WXH and OW texts on his work phone. On suggestion of IC I asked him to leave the house so I could get my balance back. That had the benefit of taking away that phone access for me and I started focusing on my future plan instead of killing myself with their words.

I agree that it will be important to finish your work project. Just that accomplishment will give you a feeling of control when the sh*t hits the fan over your M. And if you want to stay overseas then do it! All of your dreams are still yours and you can accomplish them.

ChamomileTea posted 1/16/2019 10:18 AM

Today I pledge to get up, stand up straight and start digging my way out of this nightmare. I don't know exactly what that looks like but I'll start with getting through my work day and then booking a ticket back to the US for a couple of weeks to gain clarity and line things up.

That's a great idea. How soon can you arrange it? It seems like just this little bit of distance during your brief work trip has really empowered you. If so, a few weeks away might bring you complete clarity of mind.

...I have spent far too much time trying to understand my role in this, how it got to this, what I did to my relationship to make him do this and how I have let it get so far.

The short answer is that you didn't do ANYTHING to deserve being treated this way. All relationships have issues and problems, all people have issues and problems... but only some choose deceit and betrayal.

I've spent a great deal of time researching infidelity, trying to understand what happened to me. Frankly, my WH's Craigslist cheating binge of four years ago wasn't his first time. The first time was ten years prior to that and didn't involve live partners. It was all online. The people involved were real. Hell, he was giving money to some of them. But I caught him out about two weeks before he was set to meet up with one.

At the time, I really bought heavily into the "unmet needs" model (which is still popular with some therapists). The unmet needs model tell us that we all have emotional needs which are being met (or not) within our relationship, by our partner presumably. Infidelity occurs when those emotional needs aren't being met correctly, according to these "experts" anyway. So, you can imagine how I reacted, right? I doubled down on my "good wife" game, empathized with how pitiful and lonely my poor WH must have been, poor muffin.

The problem is that cheaters don't cheat because their "emotional needs" aren't being met. They cheat because they use PEOPLE to spackle up the voids inside. We're meant to be self-fruitful in matters of personal satisfaction/happiness. That's what being a whole and complete adult is all about. But this is what we mean by "broken". These are people who can't be satisfied on their own, who lack moral boundaries (ie. not enough empathy to keep from hurting others, read "character"), and who feel compelled to get their "needs" met even when doing so conflicts with their stated values. These are people whose excuse is "s/he MAKES me feel...", because external approval takes the place of the internal approval they can't muster on their own.

So, you begin to see that this couldn't possibly be anything to do with you. It's not about what you were doing or not doing. It's not about the size of your boobs or how good you are in bed. It's not about being too skinny or too fat. It's not about cleaning out the sink or doing his laundry. It's not about you at all. It's about the cheater... always about the cheater.

What hurt me so much in the beginning (and still does when I'm having a bad day, tbh) is the thought that my WH could do this to ME. I had spent over 30 years with him by then. Through thick and through thin, sacrificing so many things I wanted for myself so I could support his career, give birth to and raise his children. Hell, there were times when he was eating the meal I cooked special for him while he was sexting an OW. He fucked one of them on my birthday, then came home and handed me a card which read "hope you find your happy place". My DDay was on Christmas when I woke up to find him gone for the first time in more than 30 years. It was sooooo abusive. Of course I was bogged down in "how could he do that to ME"?.

This is where we have to remember that it's all about the cheater. It was never about me. Just like the OWs, I was a useful object.. spackle for his broken places. And it's pointless to get down on myself for not seeing that earlier because why would I? Normal people don't think like that. Hell, even the cheater doesn't think like that. They rationalize their behavior to justify their actions in sometimes what is quite frankly astonishing mental gymnastics. It was never about us. We couldn't have seen it coming.

That's not to say that every situation is hopeless. But it is why so many of us talk about true remorse when we're talking about the potential for recovery. True remorse can lead to real empathy and real healing. It's imperative though that the WS is willing to repair the deficits in their character which allowed them to cheat and also to learn how to be internally fulfilled without stuffing people into the cracks.

So, why is your active cheater playing sadistic games with you? It's simple, albeit not easy to hear... You are a useful object which adds spice to the illicit nature of the affair. The risk of getting caught pumps up the adrenaline-packed biochemical cocktail which is the addictive part of the payoff. Meanwhile, triangulation affirms his centrality in two women's lives. He feels important, attractive, sexually and externally affirmed. The interior insecurities he can't manage to assuage on his own are spackled in by two women. And the OW is getting the same thing out of it, plus the added bonus to her pathetic ego of competition, getting one-up on you. Once you've eliminated the triangulation by getting out of infidelity, you've taken risk out of it, and risk is the driving force of the biochemical cocktail which made it all so tantalizing.

Sometimes the cheater comes running home. Sometimes they're actually willing to do the real work required to be a good and safe partner again. Sometimes they run off with the paramour, limping along for years and making occasional bids to get that triangulation going again. There are all sorts of potential outcomes. But (and here's the crucial "but")... your eyes have opened and you have AGENCY. You are in a position to say who and what you'll allow into your life, as well as how you'll allow others to treat you. Once you've detached enough to view adultery with a clinical view, you can see all the gears moving, why these people do the things they do, what compels them, and what the payoff is. But more importantly, you can let go of the notion that you could have influenced or changed it. We can't control other people. Surviving infidelity teaches us the fullness of that life lesson. We can't control other people.

Sorry for the long rant. I do hope you find something in there which strengthens you though.


Shockedmom posted 1/16/2019 11:56 AM

You have taken a huge step towards healing. He may be so shocked after exposure that he promises the world in order to reconcile. You now know exactly what he is capable of doing without remorse.
Taking time to heal and plan your legal strategy is smart, you need this for you. Please if you havenít already done it have the STD testing and find a therapist.
Iím glad you are able to focus on your work project. Good luck to you and your teammates.
When this is all over your life in Europe should be amazing.


HouseOfPlane posted 1/16/2019 15:04 PM

Speed bump, your knowledge gives you incredible power and control over the situation right now. Continue to use it wisely.

Your WH doesnít know you know (but maybe suspects something is bothering you?) If he knew you knew, he would be beyond desperate to know exactly what you know.

Right now he is fat, dumb, and happy, and thinking he is the master of his universe with his big lie. That will be ripped out from under him shortly. He will be desperate to regain control of his life, starting with figuring out what you know.

Everything you tell him beyond ďI knowĒ will therefore help him. He can start reshaping his lies to downplay your facts, explaining away things, getting back control of the narrative. The one-time payoff you get from that moment of looking him in the eye and being heard, needs to be balanced by the fact that you are helping him with anything you tell him.

So have ALL of your ducks in a row before telling him what you know, and if you really want to mess with his head, consider never even telling him you know anything. Ever. Just divorce him and move on. He doesnít deserve an explanation at all. Just remove him from your life like a abscessed tooth.

Sending strength!

kaygem posted 1/16/2019 16:15 PM

Speedbump, read Chamomile's post 2, maybe 3 times. Really let it sink it. You are doing a great job listening to advice despite your tremendous shock and pain.

I am wondering what is keeping you from confronting at this point? I may have missed that in this long thread.

SpeedBump posted 1/16/2019 17:07 PM

Chamomile -

Wow. Just wow. Your post means so much to me and helps me straighten out my thought process. As kaygem recommends, I'll be re-reading it to really absorb it and especially when I find myself heading down the track wondering what I could have done differently. I can't help but wonder but you're right. It's nothing about me. It's all about them, most especially about him.

Long day at work today but I did manage to put in a request at work to make a trip to the US. I have reason to go back and work in home office and then also take a week or 10 days to sort my personal matters including also consulting with an attorney there. Tomorrow I am speaking with the attorney here in Europe and hope to gain some insight in the separation / divorce process and what my liabilities, responsibilities, if any, might be. Everyone is right in that at the very least, I should know where I stand so I can make the best possible decisions.

Today, my H has texted a couple of times including asking when my flight arrived. I ignored it. Why should I tell him my schedule just so he can set up his play dates? Not only that but whenever I travel, I send him the details so it goes right on his phone calendar. If he just looked, it's all right there. He also followed up with, "well you must be busy since you're so quiet. Hope it's going well. Text me your arrival time." Crickets...

Then he sent just a "???" text. Still crickets. Here's the thing, I just hate doing what feels like playing games. Isn't that what this is? Who blinks first? I don't know. I feel like maybe I should reply but honestly, absolutely nothing comes to mind as to what I would say other than pounding out a ton of expletives telling him how I really feel. That's honestly what I feel like doing.

Instead I just struggle to say nothing and do as much as possible to ignore him. It's hard for me because I'm a do-er. I see a problem and I want to find and agree on a solution immediately. That's not what happens here, right?

Anyway, I'm searching for flights back to the US. Hopefully even as early as this weekend, I can be out of the hellhole I'm in. Thanks for listening...

PS...have so far gotten through the day without checking their chat. I feel calmer, too. Score!

Cooley2here posted 1/16/2019 17:35 PM

CT, that explanation is perfect!

SB, take care of yourself.

Shockedmom posted 1/16/2019 17:44 PM

You are doing something. You are seeing attorneys, plannng a trip to give yourself time to grieve in peace and create a separation strategy.

He is likely to begin love bombing you (sadly probably part of their disgusting attempt to gas light you) or asking about your health. Prepare yourself.

I know you have the iPad tucked away, do you have screen shots in case he decides to reset it remotely?

Sharkman posted 1/16/2019 17:46 PM

You have a great job in a place that youíve always dreamed to be and just have received the gift of knowing that you have complete control over a problem that needs to be fixed. A simple roadbump in the big scheme of things.

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