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NorthernMSB posted 3/28/2019 09:08 AM

He won’t tell MamaDragon. I very calmly outlined why I wanted the disclosure re: living with lies for over 20 years, affairs thrive in secrecy etc so on. It is not fair that I have to carry this load of secrets and lies along with my own pain. No go. It is not their business, he will not tell and I am not to tell them or anything we are trying to do right now is over.

A rather one sided argument ensued with me outlining my state of mind and what I was trying to do to move forward and him just slinging things at me about how mean I was being, exactly like before. Ya sure. All this occurring over text while I walked in the frigid outdoors to just get away from his angry bitter face. One of the last texts when I asked him to just try to be a better man was what seemed to me a negation of responsibility for the cheating.

“No I’m not a better man. It was wrong to do what I did but you’re were sure as fuck wrong to treat me like you did. My recourse was to talk to someone who was nice to me and that’s what put me in this position now”

You know, we fought, he always felt like I was looking down on him (I wasn’t but neither here nor there), many of our fight were because I was “controlling him and never seemed to trust him”
go figure.

But this was not my fault, I didn’t deserve any of this, and I sure as hell wasnt a controlling bitch (his words) RIGHT when we got married and I adored him. He still cheated at that time too. So...maybe I’m taking that text the wrong way but it sure as hell seems like he is blaming me.

Booked a counselling session for tomorrow for the first time. I don’t know how to heave myself clear of this. I guess I need help.

[This message edited by NorthernMSB at 9:30 AM, March 28th (Thursday)]

Edie posted 3/28/2019 09:12 AM

I hope you’re hearing us about the abuse, you seem completely fixated on the disclosure.

NorthernMSB posted 3/28/2019 09:26 AM

I can only slay one dragon at a time. (Pardon to any dragon names here!)

Yes he is abusive. I have read several books recently on this very subject. The Nice Girl Syndrome, The Verbally Abusive Relationship, Co dependent no more.

I recognize some behaviour I have had with him as damaging. I have certainly called him names in the past. My husband is a scorched earth fighter. Everything is fair game, no ammunition left on the shelf, win at all costs. I am a facts and logic gal, I am surprised I don’t have spreadsheets and powerpoints in place during arguments. He is very good, when trying to speak or make a point he HAMMERS at you using a single word out of context, some weak point in your emotional health, family members, the dogs, the past, whatever...and Hammers in a tsunami of words, no let up, no way to interject until all I want to do is scream “stop it, stop it, stop it!!” Then he wins and I am broken again for a little while.

This cheating is something I cannot map out, put in a spreadsheet, make a gantt timeline to understand. I am wired for information and being able to figure things out. I cannot figure out how I got here. Yes, he is abusive and when I am out of this infidelity I will tackle that issue...maybe with stickers and whiteboard.

tushnurse posted 3/28/2019 09:28 AM

No go. It is not their business, he will not tell and I am not to tell them or anything we are trying to do right now is over.

This is manipulation. He knows you won't go anywhere, and historically he has been successful in shutting you down by doing this. So you have to switch things up.
Tell them, if you feel they should know. If he is worth having around he will own it and step up and do what's right, and if he doesn't then he didn't ever deserve you to begin with.

“No I’m not a better man. It was wrong to do what I did but you’re were sure as fuck wrong to treat me like you did. My recourse was to talk to someone who was nice to me and that’s what put me in this position now”

Again, using anger, and blame to shut you down.
You can reason w/ insanity. Step back (going for a walk was good) setting an appt w/ a counselor was better.
Finding your inner strength, and your voice will be the best.

Remember even if he can't do the work and own his shit, your kids will see you demand the respect you deserve, and breaking the cycle. You are showing your kids everyday by your actions what an M is supposed to be and how it is supposed to function. Do NOT allow it to be abusive and harmful.

(((And Strength)))

Edie posted 3/28/2019 09:38 AM

maybe with stickers and whiteboard.

You’re a survivor 😊

MamaDragon posted 3/29/2019 07:21 AM

no worries, we dragons have thick skin

Since he won't tell & you won't (don't want to - understandable) reveal....what are you willing to live with for the next 30 or so years?

Do you want to be talked down to, demeaned etc by this man? Is he getting help for that part of his personality?

You didn't do anything to warrant him cheating you. If he wasn't happy, he had the choice of leaving - or seeking marital help (MC). To carry on with another woman so long...he wanted his cake and to eat it too.

I can't remember if you are in IC or not, if not, please get talk to someone. You seem co-dependent on him...and he uses that to his advantage.

IC can help you determine what you can live with/accept and how to be a stronger person. I would not allow him to rug sweep this affair because that allows an affair to creep back into your marriage. He already tells you how horrible you treated him, show him how mean you can get - tell people about his affair.


Odonna posted 4/16/2019 11:31 AM


You disappeared; I do hope you are OK?

You are in a double-bind: dealing with the fall-out of the A, but also having been abused for years and just now coming to see that.

Can we help you sort things out? I am concerned that you just fell off the site.

NorthernMSB posted 4/17/2019 10:00 AM


Thanks for inquiring. I don't know what I'm doing really.

I am working to finish one book and have taken on another one IMMEDIATELY after so perhaps that is my way of being too busy to deal.

Went to the doctor yesterday who we saw right after the DD#1 because my WH thought he was depressed or something. He wasn't, just still freaked out he got caught and panicking that the other more serious betrayal had not been revealed.

I went alone yesterday for me. 40 pound weight loss, not sleeping, not concentrating, REALLY low blood pressure, catastrophically low iron and hemoglobin, elevated cortisol levels, hair falling out in handfuls and a new and wonderful "woman's issue" that may or may not be related to menopause or something more serious. Doctor was appalled at husband and wonderful to me. Tests forthcoming and he wanted me to try a mild sleeping pill to get me back on track. Probably won't take it, don't like pills.

It is funny. Before I went to the doctor's I mentioned to my WH the previously mentioned "women's issue" is sometimes a symptom of cervical cancer. My WH gave me HPV right at the start of our marriage because he didn't mention he had it. Apparently after he was treated in his 20s, long before us (and ironically HE got it from the lovely lady he cheated on me with for 22 years when THEY dated in the 80s) he thought he was cured. Stupid. I digress. Anyway, when I mentioned my concern about cervical cancer, my WH became completely unhinged and couldn't fathom losing me. I mean completely smothering me in affection, statements of love, etc so on. I told him I feel like a toy he threw away years ago and now wants to play with because his other toys are gone. I do think the idea is freaking him out though.

After the doctor, WH was quiet and concerned when I told him about everything but then got very strange when I offhand spoke about the slew of other things (weight loss, not sleeping etc). He got defensive about these things being "his fault" and me now blaming him. That I had some of these things before every once in a while etc so on. I very calmly said that what I was experiencing now is 100% his fault. No question. And I slept in my son's room. I am really just tired now. No crying, no drama. No real feelings at all to be honest.

Working, working, working....

[This message edited by NorthernMSB at 10:01 AM, April 17th (Wednesday)]

tushnurse posted 4/17/2019 10:14 AM

Speaking as a medical professional.

Please consider taking the medication he gave you unless it's Ambien, then tell him to shove it up his ass and give you a low dose of Ativan.

Ambien is a dangerous drug, and I'm honestly surprised it has been pulled off the market, and suspect one day it will be, as soon as the drug manufactures come up w/ a better one.

However old school anti-anxiety meds taken by someone who is cautious with them can bring you some peace.
Cortisol levels rise in any fight/flight situation, but they can remain elevated for ongoing trauma and stress (insert picture of NorthernMSB here). The caveman brain response to those elevated levels, and fight flight is being unable to eat, that was so we could run from dinosaurs and tigers, to stay alive, and not be weighed down by full tummies. However extended periods of being unable to eat cause significant malnutrition (studies have shown that a body under stress without nutritional supplementation can go into a starvation mode within 48 hours - That's why we put feeding tubes in patients in the ICU within 24 hours if they are unable to eat.)

Amyway without proper nutrition you get fun things like anemia, brittle nails, hair falling out in handfuls, overall decreased immune function. Guess what those aforementioned pills to help you sleep do?
They let you sleep, which resets the cortisol hormone pumps, and it allows you to eat again, which in turn helps your anemia, your hair, and most likely your other health issues you are experiencing.

I get not wanting to take stuff, I was that person too. I was resistant to meds for most conditions I have encountered, however as I am approaching 50 I have fully embraced the whole "Better living through Chemistry" belief.
My period of fight/flight lasted in total about 6 months, with a 50lb weight loss. I had hair falling out, and while in it, I also got to experience an autoimmune response that has resulted in psoriatic & inflammatory arthritis.

Please consider taking meds to help yourself. You need to make you the priority.
The feeling flat? That's your brains way of saying your body needs a break from the bullshit you are dealing with, and like me, you choose to throw yourself into your work so that you use that fight/flight energy, and still keep the monsters of infidelity locked in the closet for the most part.

Don't. It's not healthy, and you will eventually crash and burn.

PLEASE PLEASE PLEASE make you the priority, and if you can't eat, drink some protein shakes muscle milk is really tasty. Make sure you are getting at least 5 hours of sleep 3 nights a week. If that means drugs, then do it.

Odonna posted 4/17/2019 11:06 AM

You mention you slept the other night in your son’s room;where do you usually sleep since DDay? I do hope you are not sleeping with your abuser.

You said a while back that you planned to address the abuse once you got out of infidelity, but I think your priority should be to stop the abuse. After all, the infidelity is just one form that his abuse takes. Please go back and re-read all your thread and perhaps you can see what we all do. Are you in IC? I think that should be a very first step; let the therapist read everything here for starters.

Post often and take care of yourself!

[This message edited by Odonna at 11:10 AM, April 17th (Wednesday)]

NorthernMSB posted 4/17/2019 13:36 PM

Thanks Tushnurse (love the name!)

The sleeping pill is not Ambien, I can't remember the name. Low dose, non addictive etc. However it caused weight gain so honestly I probably won't take it because although this weight gain was too fast and brutal, I don't want to gain anything back.

I have just reached a blah phase where life goes on generally and I am simply ignoring everything so I can get work done. My WH is as I said going WAY out of his way to be nice and affectionate. I can sometimes see him mentally course correct in a conversation or situation to NOT make the dick response he would in the past but instead say something supportive. It is kind of fascinating to observe.

Generally I am not triggering right now at anything. He says he loves me, I am all he needs, I am amazing etc so on, and all I think is you didn't love me enough, you OBVIOUSLY needed someone else, If I am amazing why ruin me...etc so on. I am glad not to be crying every day anymore.

Odonna: I have been sleeping with him. Enjoying finally a little hysterical bonding because for 20 years it has been difficult to get him to touch me at all let alone in a way that I enjoy. I have a higher sex drive and have been lacking in that department for decades. Is what it is...I will take it.

With respect to abuse, he is a dick. He has always been a dick and probably a bit of a narcissist. He admits to being an absolute dick to me and seems genuinely baffled that I stayed all these years with someone who treated me so shoddy. I have not been perfect either. I come from a very loud family and I can yell with the best of them. I have a very extensive university enhanced vocabulary that I can use like a knife when provoked. Between his scorched earth fighting style and general dickyness (not a word ) and my expert level sarcasm you have a recipe for disaster. Through all that though it never once occurred to me that he would cheat. Be a dick, selfish, and cruel on occasion but not cheat. So here I am.

Working, working, working...

tushnurse posted 4/17/2019 14:22 PM

Stop sleeping with him.
That is causing you confusion and conflict that you don't need right now.

Get a BOB to meet your needs, and then implement the 180. You truly don't want him touching you since he clearly doesn't respect anyone including himself or you.

Do NOT ever question if you are enough....

all I think is you didn't love me enough, you OBVIOUSLY needed someone else, If I am amazing why ruin me...etc

He is a very broken person, and he chose to cheat because he could, and he liked the ego kibbles. His choice to cheat has ZERO to do with you. This was a very tough thing for me to understand back at the beginning, but it is soooo true. They can blame us, and say it's our fault, but it is not.
It was his choice. He consciously chose time and again to lie and cheat.

Make you a priority. Focus on yourself. Let him twist in the wind for a while, until you see consistent action over an extended period of time, will you know if he is even worth the gift of R.

nekonamida posted 4/17/2019 16:00 PM

Northern, what he is doing is called love bombing. It's part of the cycle of abuse. Google it. The issue is it's temporary and unless he's in IC and working hard to fix himself, he will abuse again as soon as you let your guard down and he gets comfortable. He's been at this for years and he's not going to change with the wave of a wand. He needs to do the work and anything short of that is rugsweeping.

NorthernMSB posted 4/17/2019 16:20 PM

So, is there ever a point that people here experiencing this life event just move on with their lives. 100% aware that what happened was unfathomable and completely unacceptable, not rug sweeping just looking at everything clearly and making a decision?

I have read and researched EVERYTHING on infidelity from love bombing to hysterical bonding to every book that has been recommended here. I didn't find any of them particularly helpful generally. Listened to podcasts, audible books, watched youtube videos, spoke to a therapist. I am educated beyond belief.

I am not remotely confused sorry to say. There has never been a moment throughout this whole nightmare that I was leaving my marriage or asking him to leave. I needed to work through the details and facts, mourn my previous view of my marriage and take a good hard look at my future and what I want it to look like. I am sure I will get pitying head shakes and dire predictions about how blind I am etc and maybe you are right.

I don't monitor his phone, email, or any other social media. I won't live that way and it would make me crazy. I gathered all the evidence I needed to outline the depth of his utter betrayal and I do not look anymore. I assume every single one of you, BS and WS knows if someone wants to cheat they will regardless of monitoring and boundaries. If he cheats again, and he certainly might, it is 100% over. That day. That minute. No reconciling. No details. No nothing.

Until then I will just get on with it. I need to work. I need to take care of my dying father. I need to parent my boys. I need to do all the things that go into living my life. I do not have time to worry about my WS emotional health or who he is talking to in the middle of the night. Since I sleep beside him, and I do not sleep, it will have to be me.

I appreciate the advice and information. I will just have to get through this part intact because spring is FINALLY on the way here and the snow is FINALLY melting. It will be a better day tomorrow.

[This message edited by NorthernMSB at 4:23 PM, April 17th (Wednesday)]

tushnurse posted 4/17/2019 17:11 PM

Sounds like you are very overwhelmed.
Yes others have chosen to accept it happened and stay with no work done to rebuild. With a spouse who is still quite broken. It becomes a soulnsucking experience for most and many end up very broken and spend decades being unhappy.
Life is very short. You deserve to be happy. You do not deserve to be abused.
Think about what your father would want for you. Think about the example of M you are showing your kids (that was what motivated me to finally put my foot down).

nekonamida posted 4/18/2019 09:09 AM

If he cheats again, and he certainly might, it is 100% over. That day. That minute. No reconciling. No details. No nothing.

Good. I hope that is truly the case.

Northern, we're concerned because people like Tushie and I have been here for years. We've seen people come and go. We've seen these stories play out over and over again. We know what works and what doesn't from years of experience.

It's okay if your choice is to focus on you, your work, and your kids right now. That's not a bad idea at all. But to step back and allow your WH to simply continue on as usual after nearly 20 years of infidelity is a recipe for divorce. If you're okay with the fact that you're going to have another DDay and/or a divorce in the next few years, then this is fine. Maybe deep down you're not really sure if you want to still be in this marriage so you're okay with the high likelihood that this marriage will end.

The only thing that I believe could be an issue is if you don't stick to your boundary and unfortunately, I see that happen over and over again. The BS says, "If it happens again, it's over for good," rugsweeps the A, then gets another DDay and they don't have the strength to end the marriage so they repeat the cycle again and again until they are so beaten down and miserable that they have to save themselves and spend years recovering from the trauma.

If you are confident that you can pull it off and be in a position where you're ready to pull the trigger in the event of him continuing or restarting the A, then I think you're doing great.

NorthernMSB posted 4/18/2019 10:21 AM


Taking a writing write something here!

This whole experience has been the most damaging nightmarish event of my life. Shattered all my expectations of my marriage and tainted many wonderful memories from the last 20 years. Immediately after the Ddays I was super sleuth and every second was taken up with dredging up all the available details. I even called our old phone company and had ALL my WH bills sent to me back to 1997, imagine the cost on THAT little venture. Anyway, I am pretty much up to speed on what occurred and how it happened.

Generally my asshat WH is a child who needed to think he was still the man, talking to his rather dull and dense ex girlfriend whenever real marriage stuff intruded. Fight over, financial issue needing to be, wife shutting down because her mother is He passed a polygraph regarding any other texting/calling non physical relationships and about anything physical with the 22 year affair or anyone else our entire marriage.

She is NOT the brightest bulb and believes I actually saw all their texts and was very forthcoming about things I claimed to already know. I also sent a text message to her using one of those apps that spoofs another number (his) and long story short, they kissed twice only and SHE is very angry still that for 22 years he always told her he loved me and would never leave me. VERY ANGRY! She also confirmed no sex or touching because he was a "coward" and "a tease" apparently She signed off by telling him (me) to F%#k off.

They never had sex. They kissed once in 2015 and just held hands and kissed once in bed with her on top of the covers and him under them in 2007. WH had a pretty serious erectile disfunction problem through those years and is really embarrassed about it. So does not do ANYTHING when that is occurring, no fondling, no kissing, no nothing. It was after midnight, alcohol involved, a bit of pot, and he left at 3:45am to get home in the morning. Apparently also in his mind as long as he never did anything physical at all, it wasn't cheating. Idiot.

Anyway, I made the decision to move the hell on. Honestly, this can drag you down a deep dark tunnel and never let you out again. I was heading there obviously judging by the physical impact. I choose to move on and get on with the life I want. Again, if he does it again, I am done. I have my ducks in a row. I have the support of my family and kids. My WH knows that is the deal and the price if he cheats again.

He is not continuing as usual for sure. This is a man I don't recognize and he is doing everything right now that I asked him to do with respect to boundaries and behaviour. I am not his keeper and I am not making him read anything or research anything. He is doing all that himself without me leading him by the hand.

We are talking more and about things other than the kids and bills etc. I have learned things about him that I never knew and wish he had shared before. This may all blow up in my face for sure but I would say that I am tentatively optimistic but ready to move on alone if need be. I have never been someone who needs a man in my life, I just like them.

So, we will see.

[This message edited by NorthernMSB at 10:24 AM, April 18th (Thursday)]

Odonna posted 4/20/2019 07:03 AM


That the affair was not a full-blown PA does not mean that your pain is less. He gave her emotional intimacy that he promised only to you, his wife.

Two things: you probably have already read Linda McDonald’s book of advice to a WS explaining how to help a BS heal. Has WH? If not, download the free pdf and ask him to read it, too. It is a short read but a huge wake-up call for a WS who wants to re-build. And can you get some IC for yourself? Even an on-line therapist? I think you should explore why you tolerate the abuse he heaps on you and dismiss it as just “dickyness.” If you really are determined to stay with him, you must work on setting better boundaries so you do not spend the rest of your life as a victim.

Perhaps it is because you write so well that we are so alarmed here about the abuse. I suppose it is possible that your dramatic flair made it sound worse than you truly think it is. But the cruelty you describe sounds real. It worries me.

I am so sorry that you are losing your father and going through trauma-related health issues. Please take good care of yourself.


[This message edited by Odonna at 7:11 AM, April 20th (Saturday)]

Cooley2here posted 4/20/2019 07:43 AM

Most everyone here who read your story understand why you do not want to leave. It’s too hard to untangle a life. You have your habits, your day to day routines, and all of that would be gone. It is so difficult for people to step back from their life and see it in it’s entirety. You have a husband who is, and always has been, trying to take your power away. Most of us talk all around the subject because we don’t recognize it but life really is a battle about power. It begins at birth. Children to say “no” to everything because they recognize they are separate entities and they want what they want. It is a lifelong struggle in a family as to who has power and who doesn’t. A healthy family is where the power is in the parents but as the children grow they get more and more of it until they are able to stand on their own 2 feet as adults. Your husband has systematically been chipping away at your sense of self worth and you have fought back because you are probably a healthy enough person to not completely give in. Still, he has made you feel “less than” many times and that is unforgivable. Please don’t assume that this sweet man is going to stay that way. He’s lived 50 years of his life the other way. He certainly has not had a lobotomy.
You need to keep a close watch on your health because of std he gave you.
I hope you find peace of mind.

[This message edited by Cooley2here at 7:45 AM, April 20th (Saturday)]

NorthernMSB posted 4/20/2019 11:14 AM

Odonna: If anything I have minimized what he says and does rather than making it dramatic. When there is so much, years worth of interactions, you cannot separate out the individual moments easily anymore. Then life is normal for a while, you are watchful without really knowing the concessions you are making to mood in order to avoid a blow up. I often felt I was an open nerve scanning body language, tone of voice, facial expression, analyzing every word spoken to come up with the best response. And that response was wrong.

It wasn’t all time obviously and Good God I worked and worked which took me out of my home self and into the flat out awesome professional self that kicked ass. Can you say workaholic? He could be great but it was almost worse because you get your hopes up and all that love and optimism pours back and then it is ripped away again in the next outburst of bitterness by him.

I don’t consider myself a victim. If you met me you would walk away thinking I was one of the strongest women you ever met. The victim label doesn’t sit right. Stupid in my choice of spouse. Yes. 100%. Insecure personally, in the last 15 years, for sure. Lost myself being a mom and wife. Yes, have taken care of everyone to my own harm. Letting some guy hurt me and get away with it. Yes, currently. If we hadn’t suffered a catastrophic financial setback 6 years ago, I would have 100% been gone (or him gone) on Christmas Eve when those naked boobs showed up on my iPad. Gone.

Cooley2here: you are 100 percent correct. All of it. I scare him. Intellectually and by being competent in all things I do...except skating...can’t skate. He knocks me down when I get too big for my britches. I can trace a line from my achievements directly to an esteem chipping outburst on his part. Almost every time. I cannot untangle my life right now financially. And if I kicked him out he would certainly leave me with everything to handle. He threatened many times what he would do if we broke up, get his friends to lie about me being an abusive mother, declare bankruptcy to avoid paying anything, you name it. My lawyer said if he did that he would get away with leaving me with all the debt and no payment for my son. I am. I am also supplementing my dad’s nursing home on top of everything.

Honestly, had a big discussion yesterday with WH about his ongoing assertion that he cheated because I was too busy for him. And he wasn’t happy with being “down the list” behind the dogs even. I said that was his justification and excuse for cheating not the reason. I am still stuck on that point.

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