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I am a cheating, abusive liar...now what?

wantstorepair posted 6/6/2020 13:13 PM

I am truly at a loss for where to go from here. I am an adulterous asshole who hurt his wife more than I can comprehend. I am a liar who denied her agency and truth and freedom of choice. I am a narcissist who is in constant need of external validation. I grew up spoiled and never truly facing consequences and learning. I do not know what it means to love, or be loved. I am defensive and arrogant because i donít face who i am. I have unpacked my whys and believe that my need for validation came most certainly from the very transactional relationship with my parents from whom I did not know or learn love. I believe I turned to sexual validation because I am emotionally vapid and stunted, and physical validation is the thing that ďfeltĒ good. I lied because I am a coward who never learned to sit with himself and the consequences of his actions and face them; there was always a way out, a loophole, a bail out. I was thought that wrongs could be corrected with justifications, that reparations needed with Iím sorry, and that being forgiven was an entitlement, and that the other persons pain and damage was less important than how I felt. I am truly a awful man. I admit it, yet I still struggle. I recognize all of those things, and the whys and am trying to not be like that any more and be and do good for goodness sake, not for kudos or props or ego kibbles. Do I fail sometimes and slip back into the need for ego validation? Yes, I feel it is much less frequent, up it still happens sometimes when I am not sitting with my asshole self and do and say things to pump up my ego trying to solicit positive feedback and kibbles. It is wrong and selfish, especially to do that and demand it from my BW.

I know all these things and cannot undo what I have done, not can i deny that I am and always will be an adulterous, abusive liar. I know this and admit it, but I am not living it. I still have arrogance and entitlement and resentment despite trying to be humble and contrite. I still try and stand for things, as a husband, patient and person despite having zero moral authority. How do completely debase myself and realize my awful actions have taken away all credibility? I am failing at this. I still want desperately to be with my BW, but only manage to keep hurting her. I am told I havenít changed and am not doing anything. So I get defensive because I feel like I am constantly doing things. Then I come here and through everyoneís wisdom I see that me working, parenting, cleaning, chores, projects, are things that I should be doing if I werenít the awful person I am and had not done the things I did to bring her pain. I need to be doing more. What is that? What does that mean?

So I remain at a loss, what to do and where to go from here. What can and should a lying cheater do? What does change look like from all of your perspectives, as the BSs and from the WSs? Thank you for your help.

nekonamida posted 6/6/2020 16:19 PM

WTR, you need an IC that specializes in infidelity and/or one that deals with abusive partners.

Every time you post, I can see the resentment you have for your BW. Resentment she doesn't deserve. Resentment over the fact that she's still hurting from your actions. Resentment that she's not acknowledging that you've stepped up as a parent. Resentment that she isn't giving you ego kibbles. Resentment over what her reaction will be if/when you get those ego kibbles from someone else. I worry about her and look for her posts because your resentment is so powerful and dangerous. It has full control over you and it is driving your further abuse of her.

Personally, I fully believe if you are unable to stop treating your BW with contempt and abuse, you need to separate yourself from her. It is selfish of you to cling to her knowing that it's hurting her and preventing her from healing. When you truly love someone, you do what is best for them even if it's not what you want. The more you try and make things work with her, the more it proves that you are still number 1 in your world. It doesn't matter how terrible you say you are and how much you claim to understand that. Your ACTIONS scream out that your desire to be with her is more important than her healing and her happiness. You will never succeed in R if you cannot put her above yourself.

Give her SPACE to heal even if that means moving out because you keep pestering her with your wants and for ego kibbles. If your attempts at talking about the relationship keep devolving into you further abusing her verbally, STOP initiating those conversations. If you can't stop yourself from doing this dysfunctional dance with her, and it sounds like you can't because you've apparently been trying to for years with little to no success, then you have to be the one to make the hard choice and physically remove yourself from her until you are able to have a healthy conversation about the A and the marriage. Otherwise, you are creating a road covered in glass for her to crawl her way to freedom on while you're weighing her down. There is no happy middle ground where you stop the abuse, stop the resentment, and genuinely work at R otherwise you would've already been doing that. The best that you can do now is support her by leaving her alone to prevent yourself from hurting her again.

GuiltAndShame posted 6/6/2020 23:35 PM

wantstorepair, I have many of the same feelings that you do. I feel absolutely terrible and awful about what I have done to my wife and our relationship. I grieve over the damage that I have done to her, to the pain and uncertainty and disillusionment that I have caused her. I am and will always work on improving myself to correct my flagrant cheating flaws, and I harbor no resentment toward my wife. Actually, I am extremely grateful that she has given me a chance, because I donít deserve it and I think many BS would not give a similar WS a chance. So every day that she allows me to stay is a gift to me, every time she gives advice or offers wisdom is appreciated, and every time she shows affection or caring is an unexpected and undeserved joy. Of course, I cannot expect her to always act that way because I made myself untrustworthy and unsafe to her, and I broke her heart and smashed her dreams and hopes. Some days I may make her sick with anger and sadness, so she will naturally not want me around, and I totally understand.

LadyG posted 6/7/2020 01:03 AM


You sound a lot like my WH.

He too is Trying everything.

He has to work at it as it doesnít come naturally. Generally does good when it suits him or thereís a reward in it for him.

I am trying to help him.

I examined his life and he was shocked that his parents were the first enablers and continue to do this. Unfortunately it has been difficult for him to see the need for change.

He has a very vindictive side also. Donít ever cross him.

Only last week WH told me an employee may have C19. WH was upset about how the workload was going to affect him and especially that he may loose out on some income. I quickly turned it around and made it about the health implications for all of us and anyone else who may be infected. WH shared office space with employee.

Ok. So he started to see the wider picture.

Does your BS, understand that you may indeed have a personality disorder?

Thereís no quick fix. We work on it constantly and hope that the good deeds will come naturally without any underlying resentment.

Just donít cheat again, please 🙏🏼

wantstorepair posted 6/7/2020 08:43 AM

Lady G, she understands me, better than i understand myself, and she does help me see the bigger picture and can explain to me how i am acting is wrong or selfish and what the better way to act and be is. But she only has so much in her and asking the abused to help fix/heal/change her abuser is abuse in and of itself. I donít want to hurt her anymore, and for myself and decency and goodness want to be a better man. She is a genuine good and caring person who deserves happiness and healing.

steadychevy posted 6/7/2020 11:02 AM

Have you read "How to Help Your Spouse Heal From Your Affair" by Linda J. McDonald? That might be a place to start. No guarantees but could provide insight.

Notmine posted 6/7/2020 13:32 PM

If you truly want what you are saying you want, the only avenue for change is IC. You need to learn the tools necessary to be able to make better, kinder choices for yourself and for your wife. You need help to do this. Please interview the counselor. You need someone who has expertise in infidelity.

josiep posted 6/7/2020 14:36 PM

The change has to be inside you, in your heart, in how you view people and in how you view the world and your place in it. Your behaviors will automatically change to be in tune with your core being if you change within.

The best way I can think of to do that is, of course, an experienced IC but also, the 12 Step programs are exactly all about changing our perspectives, our ways of viewing things. There's AA, of course, but also AlAnon and Adult Children of Alcoholics. Perhaps you could look into them and see if there's one that would be a good fit for you.

I wish you happiness ahead.

Thanksgiving2016 posted 6/7/2020 19:21 PM

Good gloss over nekonamidaĎs post.

wantstorepair posted 6/7/2020 19:45 PM

Thank you for being so straightforward. I have been re-reading your post in denial, As is evidenced by the fact that I glossed over it, and Am rightly called out on it. No she does not deserve resentment. But I still give it with entitlement and arrested development, wanting everything better for me yet calling it better for her and the kids while I try and tell myself that my actions are doing good for her and them. I am lying to myself, and it is coming out as resentment at her. You are right about all of it, and I am going to find and IC that specializes in adultery. I really donít want to keep hurting her, and she deserves happiness and healing.

I have my own place, but I always seem to find reasons and excuses to be there at her house. There are certainly times where I donít know where Iím supposed to do and what the right decision is so so what is best for her. I am trying to write and propose a new custody schedule with the kids, while trying to make headway on house projects for the house she is leaving in can be sold next year when she wants to move. As Iím reading what Iím typing, I can see how the entitlement and resentment is there, and how it is all making excuses. Again thank you for your response, and with regret for my cowardly gloss over.

nekonamida posted 6/7/2020 22:24 PM

I really think that you should also look for an IC who treats abusive spouses. In fact, that may need to be your initial focus. While infidelity is also a form of abuse, it sounds like you've been manipulating, gaslighting, lashing out, and have even gotten physical for years. Whether that's implied violence like hitting walls and breaking things or you've laid hands on your BW, it's still extremely damaging behavior that creates an environment of fear for her. It's a fear and anxiety that lasts EVERY SINGLE day because she never knows if today is the day you kick off and get violent again. Doesn't matter how long you go between episodes because she doesn't know when the next shoe is going to drop. It's a kind of stress that takes YEARS off your life span because it's constant. It's always somewhere lurking in the background and it gets louder every time you snap at her, everytime she is put into a position in which she has to disagree with you or point something out to you that she knows you won't like, anytime your temper flares because she knows how quickly it all can spin out of control. It never goes away and it probably won't ever truly go away even if you never do another hurtful thing to her again BUT it can potentially be managed for her if your abusive behavior stops and stops for good.

This so much more complicated than infidelity. Infidelity was one of many tools you used to put down your BS and gratify yourself. If you don't also treat the part of you that chooses and justifies the other forms of abuse, you will still be an unsafe partner for your BW and you will continue to hurt her. It's one thing to type these posts about how terrible your behavior has been but it's a whole different experience to actively seek help for these issues because it makes them more real.

wantstorepair posted 6/8/2020 18:19 PM


Have a new IC appointment to address my abuse, entitlement, rage and resentment issues. I donít know why I have and harbor these things, especially when it is all nobodyís fault but my own.

woundedwidow posted 6/10/2020 12:09 PM

WTR, I'm an old member but I read here regularly and I always check for your posts. Why? Because you seem to be either clueless about how your behavior really affects your BW or trying to ignore it while continuing that same behavior. It doesn't do ANY good to come here and talk about how awful you are and how badly you've hurt your wife when you don't change at all. You've been saying the same things for months. You have a separate residence now, apparently. The best thing you can do for your BW is give her the funds to have someone else complete the home projects she needs to get done and stay away from her as much as possible. She needs to have peace in her home and her life. You are not providing it. Get IC for yourself, since you know you need it, but I think you know that you need to let your BW go.

Hurtmyheart posted 6/12/2020 16:38 PM

Wantstorepair, you sound so much how my deceased WH used to treat me. He passed almost 3 months ago, with hardly any notice.

But I stayed and his hurtful behavior with other women continued. And I grew further away from him intimately. I had my walls up. I didn't want to allow him the opportunity to hurt me on an even deeper level. And in a sense, I regret having to stay with him but I also felt that I didn't have any other options to find a healthier life. I was dependent on him financially. That is all I knew.

I agree with what others keep telling you, let her go and put more time into working on yourself; IC, some kind of men's group meetings, SI and whatever else you might think of to put you in the right direction for your healing.

Life sure can be exhausting.

Hurtmyheart posted 6/12/2020 16:40 PM

I was thinking that maybe tell yourself that it's okay to back away from her for 3 months and take that time for reflection. See where that gets you.

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