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Newest Member: Zinnea218

Just Found Out :
H is a complete stranger with a second life.

Topic is Sleeping.
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whatisloveanyway ( member #66450) posted at 8:05 PM on Wednesday, February 1st, 2023

Sign,

Oh my gosh. First hugs. I know what those awful discoveries can feel like, at least a little.

After I was convinced his affair was long over and he was 100% committed to me but couldn’t stop looking for answers because he gave me so little, I just found more. And then more, and then more. It was lie after lie and each one killed me a little. All my discoveries were digital, except for the card from his MOW, and I BEGGED him to do a deep clean and let there be no more for me to find. He assured me he told me everything, got peeved at me for pushing and then mad at me when I found the next data point to prove the short term, now long term, one woman only was really multiple attempts, and happening post discovery. I continued to find more and learn more by emailing with MOW, but each and every time, he ASSURED me there was nothing more to know, no more secrets, nothing new to learn.

I feel so stupid for believing anything after the first lie. But I am more confused by his failure to protect me. He claims to not even remember what was in his phones, computers, contacts, credit card statements. It’s as if he believed his own lies or wanted to forget all that he had done, or blocked it out of mind successfully to fuel his fiction. I’m glad I suffered his ire and kept looking. The crumb trail was small but steady. I’m horrified to think I could still be living under the original lies, sharing him still had I not found out the truth as best I could.

How in the hell your WH could forget a box of nasty sex toys is beyond me. I will diverge from the crowd here and say that I would deposit the box on his doorstep while he is out. Refuse to speak of it. Let him try to convince you it’s not what it is.

The sheer delusion and psychopathy involved in living a double secret life is unfathomable to regular folk like us.

So sorry he let you down again. I’ve said before both here and to my WH that I could understand the A, maybe even forgive the intimate betrayal, but it is the lying, manipulation, gaslighting or plain insanity of claiming to want to keep this marriage and failing spectacularly to protect it, or me that has done damage he will never be able to fix.

I’m so sorry you have the images of that discovery in your head, let alone the horror of sharing a bed with such a person. I would give it all back just as a final jab en route to divorce. Hugs to you.

[This message edited by whatisloveanyway at 8:08 PM, Wednesday, February 1st]

BW: 64 WH: 64 Both 57 on Dday, M 37 years, 2 grown kids. WH had 9 year A with MOW, 7 month false R, multiple DDays from 2017 - 2022, with five years of trickle truth and lies. I got rid of her with one email. Reconciling, or trying to.

posts: 569   ·   registered: Oct. 9th, 2018   ·   location: Southeastern USA
id 8775698
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 Sigyn (original poster member #80576) posted at 8:16 PM on Wednesday, February 1st, 2023

He won't ever volunteer anything I don't already know. I'm positive of this. I'm positive that this is how he made it this long without getting caught - he just compartmentalizes so completely that even me knowing what he's done is still not enough for him to open that door. Just that one time when he thought I was handing him divorce papers in the envelope with the separation agreement. That's the only time real information slipped out, and then he slammed that door and reverted to his victim story.

I was getting better. I was honestly starting to feel like I knew enough to 'get the idea' and that I didn't need details anymore, I felt like I understood the outline of who he was and that was enough for me to move on from needing to know the details. And now this! This is like ... it's just so unreal! He must think I'm so fucking stupid. And I was. I was just as stupid smiling and loving him and welcoming him home and rubbing the knots out of his shoulders and kissing him as he thought I was in those moments. Like someone else said, I was a house plant. How incredibly degrading.

I was listening to a podcast where they were talking about how 'closure' is a flawed concept because for most people what we see as closure is actually 'post traumatic growth'. I really felt that distinction just all the way in my bones. Trauma, processing, growth. I wasn't at the growth stage yet but I was definitely in the processing stage. I don't want anything new to process. I don't want any more mind movies. I don't need to carry this for the rest of my life! He couldn't even be protective enough of me to move his sex stash out of the house and save me the trauma of finding it.

posts: 124   ·   registered: Aug. 15th, 2022
id 8775700
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 Sigyn (original poster member #80576) posted at 8:22 PM on Wednesday, February 1st, 2023

I BEGGED him to do a deep clean and let there be no more for me to find. He assured me he told me everything, got peeved at me for pushing and then mad at me when I found the next data point to prove the short term, now long term, one woman only was really multiple attempts, and happening post discovery. I continued to find more and learn more by emailing with MOW, but each and every time, he ASSURED me there was nothing more to know, no more secrets, nothing new to learn.

I feel so stupid for believing anything after the first lie. But I am more confused by his failure to protect me.

We must be in a mind meld because I just posted this before I read your comment!! This is exactly where my mind is right now too!!! I'm at work today and just watching narcissist videos and posting here and thinking of how I never, ever want to find another breadcrumb again and otherwise useless in the professional sense. How many more days of work can he steal from me. How can he not just clean up his sex trail to spare me any more discoveries?

I don't even want to look at the box of his sex shit again. I don't know what I want to do with it yet, it's just sitting down there radiating ugliness like nuclear waste.

posts: 124   ·   registered: Aug. 15th, 2022
id 8775701
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WonderingGhost ( member #81060) posted at 8:27 PM on Wednesday, February 1st, 2023

Please don't be so hard on yourself Sigyn, you definitely weren't stupid. You were fooled and lied to. Your WH is an INCREDIBLY good liar, and it gave him an even BIGGER advantage that you were a loving, loyal, and trusting wife.

I don't want to assume what path you want to take right now, and I'm sure you've been doing a lot of reading already, but if you haven't already, might I suggest picking up [no soliciting]. It's a short read but very powerful. I'm currently going through my own infidelity mess right now, and although I'm giving my WH a timeline to work on himself and change before I make a decision to R or not, I've still read the book to give myself the right frame of mind and the empowerment to know that decision is available to me, and that I would have every right in the world to make it.

Lots of hugs and strength to you.

[This message edited by SI Staff at 3:18 PM, Thursday, February 2nd]

posts: 110   ·   registered: Oct. 1st, 2022
id 8775703
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whatisloveanyway ( member #66450) posted at 8:32 PM on Wednesday, February 1st, 2023

Sign, yes to all you just wrote. Mine has volunteered nothing I haven’t discovered before hand, with the exception of a handful of conversations early in the wave of the second discovery, before I found the other contacts, websites and underground A. I had one day where I felt like he was opening up and being honest and the door slammed shut on that and he has refused to self reflect or disclose anything further without getting angry at me for calling him a bad person. I have a theory that the truth I keep seeking and finding is not the narrative he has written for himself and it makes him very uncomfortable to be confronted with facts.

The man is a highly educated scientist and can’t handle being presented evidence contrary to this theories about how he is a good guy, did right by me by staying with me, saved his marriage and hers with the fun house outlet, a "win-win" he called it. It is insane. Makes no sense. Illogical.

And yes the insult and hurt of them failing to protect us with a simple hiding of evidence is the worst. I asked if he wanted me to find more and he said hell no, you think I kept track of which emails I used (at least four when I was assured it was only the spam one I deleted) or which dates or where they went or when? When the MOW told me they took trips together to 7 states, when he assured me it was two trips ever, to two different locations, I couldn’t believe he thought that lie would make a difference. I can’t believe he underestimated me so greatly. I had already found receipts to prove they went across country for days, not his normal business trips and at first he said he couldn’t remember. Then he said he didn’t want to remember.

A therapist would have a lot to work through with both our spouses, because they either lie pathologically or are incapable of knowing and accepting their own reality. Naughty stuff and lies are hidden and forgotten and therefore did not happen. When I did find that a thing did indeed happen, he always went with the excuse that it’s not what I think or only happened once or whatever lie his twisted brain could come up with in the pressure of the moment. Accepting the truth means he’s not the great guy he thinks he is. My WH still maintains that he always loved me and that we have always had a great marriage, even when he was causing me panic attacks and depression and in therapy to deal with his lies.

Again I am so sorry. But I also have to add that the only way I stopped the lies was shoving the evidence in his face and often he would still try to tell me it was not what I thought or I was making too much of it. Don’t destroy the most crucial evidence you have to shut up his lies without proof that it exists, just on principle. He has manipulated and gaslit you enough.

Your story and mine and so many others are why I default to thinking it is always worse than we think, there is always more to know, they will always lie to protect themselves first, when we have spent our lives putting them first. I am a jaded version of my former self, but I am stronger and smarter than I was before, so there is that to offset the death of the life I thought I had.

[This message edited by whatisloveanyway at 8:53 PM, Wednesday, February 1st]

BW: 64 WH: 64 Both 57 on Dday, M 37 years, 2 grown kids. WH had 9 year A with MOW, 7 month false R, multiple DDays from 2017 - 2022, with five years of trickle truth and lies. I got rid of her with one email. Reconciling, or trying to.

posts: 569   ·   registered: Oct. 9th, 2018   ·   location: Southeastern USA
id 8775704
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ibonnie ( member #62673) posted at 8:32 PM on Wednesday, February 1st, 2023

I'm so sorry this is happening to you. Your recent discovery reminds me of another poster -- HeHadADoubleLife, whose WS was a sex addict (and later on she also discovered a drug addict). Just mentioning this, because if you search her username, you can find old posts that you might find helpful.

I'm so sorry this is happening to you. Please continue to take care of yourself.

"I will survive, hey, hey!"

posts: 2112   ·   registered: Feb. 11th, 2018
id 8775705
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whatisloveanyway ( member #66450) posted at 8:50 PM on Wednesday, February 1st, 2023

Well, would you be comfortable texting him to come get his sex shit out of the house and think real hard if there is anything else lurking that might hurt you and get it while he is there? You’re right, you shouldn’t have to look at it let alone touch it again. I stooped to some threats of my own, once I found the mother lodes of data, that if I uncovered any further lies or deception or new evidence of seeking extracurricular activity that I would go nuclear and tell everyone we know and strangers who would listen the truth and why I had to leave our marriage. Maybe that’s why I still have all the evidence I found stashed in multiple locations. I let him know I would burn his fiction to the ground and dance in the ashes. I’m pretty sure he believes me, and is a little scared of the monster he made of me.

If nothing else, from this point forward, you know you deserve to make your life whatever you want it to be. He is not even a consideration in your future beyond the legal wrangling. He really did you wrong. And now you have to do yourself right. If I were you, I would need a glass of wine and a bitch session with my sister or my bestie just so someone could be horrified with me and give me a hug and help keep me grounded. That’s what got me through. Whatever it takes for you, do it.

And I just had to add wtf, you have a kid in the house. What if he had found that awful stuff? Clearly your WS could afford a locker somewhere, or at least have taken the ick with him when he moved out. What an idiot.

[This message edited by whatisloveanyway at 8:56 PM, Wednesday, February 1st]

BW: 64 WH: 64 Both 57 on Dday, M 37 years, 2 grown kids. WH had 9 year A with MOW, 7 month false R, multiple DDays from 2017 - 2022, with five years of trickle truth and lies. I got rid of her with one email. Reconciling, or trying to.

posts: 569   ·   registered: Oct. 9th, 2018   ·   location: Southeastern USA
id 8775709
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 Sigyn (original poster member #80576) posted at 9:55 PM on Wednesday, February 1st, 2023

If I were you, I would need a glass of wine and a bitch session with my sister or my bestie just so someone could be horrified with me and give me a hug and help keep me grounded. That’s what got me through. Whatever it takes for you, do it.

That's exactly what I need. I just don't want to tell anyone else right now, not even my sister or my best friend. It's so ugly and I'm so sick of bringing ugliness into all of my loved ones lives. Everyone has been so good to me and so supportive, but this hasn't happened to anyone I know in real life except me. My sister said she caught her husband flirting with a barista once and my best friend's first marriage fell apart when her husband left her for an affair partner, but even that seems so much less ugly compared to the pervasive sickness of my WH. I know infidelity is shattering even if it's "just once" or one person, I'm not dismissing their pain, but it feels so wrong to lay this level of ick on my wonderful support system. Another layer of ugliness, another jump scare in the horror show.

Also I'm just so embarrassed for him, and for myself. I'm so ashamed to be part of his life. I'm ashamed to be his wife. And I imagine the husband I used to think I had hearing me say "I'm ashamed to be your wife" - that would have been a death blow, an unforgivable thing to say in July 2022. It's like I actually feel sorry for past-me, the me of July 2022, for all the things that were about to happen that would lead to those words being my new normal.

posts: 124   ·   registered: Aug. 15th, 2022
id 8775720
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TheEnd ( member #72213) posted at 10:02 PM on Wednesday, February 1st, 2023

Sigyn,

The hits just keep coming. As someone else said above, with infidelity it is a never, NEVER ending trail. Each of us has been on the trail you are on. Desperately wishing it would just end. But it doesn't and won't until we get ourselves off it for good. You're getting there.

My childish self imagined you creating a facebook account for him and selling each piece of his dungeon online. It's beneath you of course but my anger on your behalf instantly thought: humiliate his ass.

My adult self however says perhaps check with your attorney. I don't know if infidelity matters in your state but if it does, whatever evidence you have should be saved. The toys aren't evidence but the notes and other stuff you found might be.

If your attorney says it's not relevant, I'd have a bonfire. Invite my sister over, open a bottle of wine and roast that shit.

Go look at some of those zillow houses. Just to look. Just to make the possibility seem real. How will you decorate it? What will your son's room look like? Start thinking about living with your son and how peaceful that will be. You will not have to deal with your abuser sharing your space. You will not discover sex dungeons in your basement. You will be safe because you will be in control of your life and space.

You are in control. You can have whatever life you want after this. You are still tied to your past which makes perfect sense given how long you were married and how you loved him. That's ok. But spend time every day at least imagining your new future. Controlled, calm, lovely, peaceful. That's where you are headed.

posts: 606   ·   registered: Dec. 3rd, 2019
id 8775722
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whatisloveanyway ( member #66450) posted at 10:14 PM on Wednesday, February 1st, 2023

Wow is my heart breaking for you. I didn’t want to tell anyone or keep talking about it either, but for more selfish reasons. I was just in shock, and embarrassed and didn’t want pity or judgement or drama. You are thinking of your loved ones in kindness, but I’m guessing they would want you to unburden with them rather than keep it in. My bestie said that’s what friends are for, don’t ever suffer alone, you come to me and I will listen and cry with you.

At least you have this outlet to unburden a little. There is something about in person though, that feels better for sharing and commiserating. Don’t be stronger than you need to be.

Like you, I was ashamed. Told him so and he asked what for, because I guess he couldn’t fathom what my life felt like, and I said mostly for not marrying a better man, for giving someone who hurt me more than one chance, something I swore to us both I could never do. It is a weak feeling and just part of the package. I felt permanently marked as one of the unlucky ones who got duped and cheated on by their spouses, I hate that it became the new title to add to wife and mother and survivor and all the other labels I had for myself. I am embarrassed for him too, I used to be his biggest fan and thought he was just the best kind of person in almost every way and all the ones that counted to me, but I was sadly mistaken. I also felt sorry for myself in the saddest regretful kind of way, like I did for my child self when I worked through some issues later in life. I feel a tenderness for those versions of me that got taken advantage of and hurt by someone else’s selfishness.

It is no more your fault or shame than mine, and work hard to shake those feelings like you would extra pounds or any other bad habit. Take care of yourself.

BW: 64 WH: 64 Both 57 on Dday, M 37 years, 2 grown kids. WH had 9 year A with MOW, 7 month false R, multiple DDays from 2017 - 2022, with five years of trickle truth and lies. I got rid of her with one email. Reconciling, or trying to.

posts: 569   ·   registered: Oct. 9th, 2018   ·   location: Southeastern USA
id 8775726
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NowWhat106 ( member #35497) posted at 10:37 PM on Wednesday, February 1st, 2023

Oh, Sigyn, I so know what you’re going through when you just keep discovering the endless layers of ugliness and selfishness and horribleness.

I'm just so embarrassed for him, and for myself. I'm so ashamed to be part of his life. I'm ashamed to be his wife. And I imagine the husband I used to think I had hearing me say "I'm ashamed to be your wife" - that would have been a death blow, an unforgivable thing to say in July 2022. It's like I actually feel sorry for past-me, the me of July 2022, for all the things that were about to happen that would lead to those words being my new normal.

This got me. I so understand the personal sense of shame and embarrassment that this is who you chose and that you spent your life being made a part of the ugliness and utter lies. To me, one of the most horrifying thing is that they included us in it. They actively chose to make us a part of this horrible shit. They could have pursued the dishonest, sordid life of lies that they wanted without us. It likely would have been easier to do. But they decided that they were entitled to choose it for US, as well. And worst of all, for our children. They alone decided for OUR children that there would be no happy, healthy, well-balanced childhood with great examples of how men and women and relationships can be.

When I realized that I would NEVER know anything beyond what I found on my own by investigation or by accident, I also realized that that meant he literally could be capable of anything, and I wouldn’t know. AFter all, I never thought that he was capable of being the person that he turned out to be—a person that I didn’t know at all. So how did I know that he wasn’t capable of even more? When the person that you are with lives by lies, there is NO safe place. Ever. And they decide for us that this is what we deserve in life because it works for them.

I have no ability to understand a person like that. None of us does. When we are dealing with this particular brand of dangerous WS, there is just nothing to work with. My WS is dangerous to me and my kids on every level, big and small. I don’t know the full extent of how dangerous he is, but that itself is part of the danger. The discovery that you just made is disgusting beyond belief, but it’s a reminder that you’ll never reach the bottom of the secret well. There will always be more. It will always be horribly ugly and surface unexpectedly.

I might go for leaving his shit on his doorstep without a word too. Helpful or not, there was small satisfaction in putting another secret out in the sterilizing light of day and letting him know that I knew. His secrets, after all, were more precious to him than our marriage, our life together, our children. But you "know" your WH better than we do. If it would make things more dangerous for you—emotionally, psychologically, physically, or any other way—take the path that will be most helpful to you. You have had pretty unerring instincts so far. Trust them.

And if you need a day or two, take them. New discoveries are always hell, even far out when you think you can’t be hurt of surprised any more. Do what gives you peace today (and maybe tomorrow too). We all get it. We’re all behind you. You are still and always amazing. (((((Sigyn)))))

Me BS
Him WS
LTEA with old HS GF from 25+ years ago
DD #1: 10/6/2011
DD #2: 10/21/2011
2DS under18
My marriage didn’t survive but I did

posts: 608   ·   registered: May. 2nd, 2012
id 8775730
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 Sigyn (original poster member #80576) posted at 12:49 AM on Thursday, February 2nd, 2023

I also realized that that meant he literally could be capable of anything, and I wouldn’t know. AFter all, I never thought that he was capable of being the person that he turned out to be—a person that I didn’t know at all. So how did I know that he wasn’t capable of even more? When the person that you are with lives by lies, there is NO safe place. Ever. And they decide for us that this is what we deserve in life because it works for them.

All of this. And because of that, I'm not going to leave his sex stash on his doorstep or on facebook marketplace, much as I'd LOVE to do that omg. I just don't want to end up with the details of my marriage being narrated by Keith Morrison. That's my new marriage goal. laugh

(joking, I don't feel in physical danger)

Omg, this sucks. Thank you guys so much for being here for me today. I'm heading home from work after being totally useless all day. I guess fundamentally nothing has changed. The smell of that cinnamon lube is stuck in my throat and the sight of all of his gear... ugh. I guess if I could stomach talking to his OW on the phone I can stomach anything that comes after.

[This message edited by Sigyn at 12:50 AM, Thursday, February 2nd]

posts: 124   ·   registered: Aug. 15th, 2022
id 8775750
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NowWhat106 ( member #35497) posted at 1:27 AM on Thursday, February 2nd, 2023

Mr. Cinnamon Lube. What a sad, disgusting cliche he is.

Good call staying off Morrison. Carry on in peace. I do think you’ll rest better when you know that slimy shit is not in your basement.

Big glass of wine tonight.

Me BS
Him WS
LTEA with old HS GF from 25+ years ago
DD #1: 10/6/2011
DD #2: 10/21/2011
2DS under18
My marriage didn’t survive but I did

posts: 608   ·   registered: May. 2nd, 2012
id 8775753
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VezfromTaz ( member #80815) posted at 9:35 PM on Saturday, February 4th, 2023

I am sorry Sigyn

I hope you have a lawyer as you should be relying on their legal advice about the implications of destroying evidence. It may be relevant to risk issues relating to your child.

And yes ~ he left it there deliberately. He is an arrogant prick and likes deceiving you right under your nose.

edited as read a few more comments:

My advice is dont acknowledge you found his stash by asking him to collect it. This is of no benefit to you. It is either supply for him (because he has upset you ~ how thrilling) or triggers some relapse (mortification). At the moment your focus is on moving forward, and keeping things stable for your son.

Minimise any opportunity for direct engagement.

[This message edited by VezfromTaz at 9:49 PM, Saturday, February 4th]

posts: 137   ·   registered: Sep. 1st, 2022
id 8776238
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 Sigyn (original poster member #80576) posted at 1:41 PM on Monday, February 6th, 2023

My advice is dont acknowledge you found his stash by asking him to collect it. This is of no benefit to you. It is either supply for him (because he has upset you ~ how thrilling) or triggers some relapse (mortification). At the moment your focus is on moving forward, and keeping things stable for your son.

I'm not telling him right now. I think I'm just going to leave it with his other things, not in its current hiding place though. If he were to ever come and look for it, he'd know that it was found, but he won't have the pleasure of making up some new insultingly bad lie about it or justification for it.

And I know from long experience he won't bring it up himself, he's incapable of broaching any subject that will bring him discomfort or embarrassment. He waits for me to bring those things up and then gets mad at me for making him feel uncomfortable, and then his memory of the bad thing he did is completely replaced with the memory of me 'making him feel uncomfortable' about it, which shifts the blame from him (for doing the thing) to me (for bringing up that he did the thing). I never want to go down that emotional rabbit hole with him again.

posts: 124   ·   registered: Aug. 15th, 2022
id 8776342
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DobleTraicion ( member #78414) posted at 1:58 PM on Monday, February 6th, 2023

Been traveling for work and thought Id check in to see how you are doing and my heart dropped when I read this...

Omg I found a hidden stash of things in the basement. Lingerie, at least some of it, maybe all of it, is for men, and sex toys that are also clearly for WH or for use with WH. A LOT of sex toys, like in the dozens. Lube. Souvenirs. Two notes. Business cards. I am so so sickened, WHEN will this end?? When will there ever be an end to the extent of his sexual life outside our marriage??? Why didn't he take his stash of memorabilia with him when he moved to the apartment or at any point since???? What was he doing with his body all of these years? How could he make love to me after whatever sex dungeon shit he was doing with other women? Why was I never given the option to consent to having sex with someone who did these things??

I'm so revolted, I'm just soul sick, I want to tear my own skin off to get away from the memories of him touching me after doing whatever he was doing with these other people.

I was literally gagging looking through this stash. I don't know what to do with it. I haven't told anyone yet.

Why didn't he give me a choice to opt out of this? Why did I not even have the chance to say no to being in his chain of sexual indulgence??

He must not have seen me as human! He didn't even give me a chance to keep myself safe! What kind of person DOES this to someone else?

I am so very very sorry. Pages back I wrote of peeling back the layers of his life and only finding more rot. I must admit that even as I typed those words, I hoped against hope that you had plummed the depths of the cesspool of his immoral decrepitude, but obviously that was not the case and I am horrified for you. There truly are monsters among us.

You ask, "What kind of person DOES this to someone else?" The answer is someone whos very soul is so warped by their twisted thoughts and desires that they are willing to risk EVERYTHING to fulfill their nasty, selfish fantasies....including betraying those closest to them, those they profess to "love" (obviously having absolutely no true concept of the meaning of that wonderful term).

My hope for you now is two things.

1. Steely resolve to complete the task at hand and divorce him with extreme prejudice.

2. Maintain titanium bounderies with him limiting exposure to him/communication with him to legal channels only.

I would also ask your attorney what to do concerning your new find. Maybe catalog it all with photos? Follow your legal counsel's reco here. I do now also hope you pursue sole custody of your child. Not sure how realistic that is but am very concerned for your son and the influence someone like your STBXCH would have on him long term.

Ma'am, I consider myself a mans man and am sickened by your latest revelation and that this guy is counted among the male of the species.

Brotherly SI hugs (((Sygin))) as you wade through all of this shyt.

[This message edited by DobleTraicion at 2:02 PM, Monday, February 6th]

"You'd figure that in modern times, people wouldn't feel the need to get married if they didn't agree with the agenda"

~ lascarx

posts: 297   ·   registered: Mar. 2nd, 2021   ·   location: South
id 8776344
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 Sigyn (original poster member #80576) posted at 1:58 PM on Monday, February 6th, 2023

I'm really down this week - I looked at the business cards I found in his stash and it's more revolting doors into his ugly little second life - but on the positive side I have been reading, watching and listening to a lot of the narcissist material you all have been recommending and it's been SO helpful!! I relate to so much of it.

I just read this (from an account called the Little Shaman, thanks to the person who recommended them) and it's so enlightening:

The ability to hurt other people may have as much to do with the ability to justify the behavior to the mind as it does with empathy - or more. Even when we have empathy, we are capable of doing things that hurt others if we can justify it.

"Narcissists understand the difference between right and wrong, so the majority of them need some kind of justification for their behavior.

Justification works to nullify any empathy for the other person or shame for actions that may exist in the person taking the actions. If we believe that someone deserves something or maybe that we were actually doing a good thing instead of a bad thing, why should we not do it? What is stopping us?

Perhaps even more than empathy (or the lack thereof), the ability to justify one's behavior may be the key to the level of willingness someone possesses to do things that are hurtful, dangerous, destructive, or wrong. Even with empathy, human beings can and will do things that hurt others if they can believe they're somehow justified in doing it.

Justifications can be things that are true or false, real or imagined. They can be weak excuses or solid reasons. The important thing seems to be how much a person believes the justification entitles them to do, how far it entitles them to go in hurting others.

Non-narcissistic people who feel justified in hurting others somehow usually still have a line they will not cross. Narcissists seem to believe that they are entitled to go as far as they choose because of their ability to justify their behavior."

Just reading that this morning makes so much sense to me! Because I've never thought that WH lacks empathy exactly, because I've seen evidence of what I think is real empathy in him, when he himself is not personally involved in the situation. But he clearly behaves in ways that I can't imagine anyone behaving if they feel real empathy towards their loved ones.

I have been journaling over and over again about this - why did he hurt his family SO MUCH just to get sex and attention? Why did he value sex and attention more than he valued me, our son, our family, our marriage, seemingly his own soul? Was the sex and attention that important? Was 'keeping a secret' from me that valuable to him?

But when I read this, this morning, it seems like the only thing that makes sense. It's not that he didn't care if people were hurt, it's that he acknowledged he was doing something that would definitely hurt us and then created a convoluted justification so strong that the justification became more important to him than the outcome.

It was rigged against me and our family from the start. Our marriage was poisoned by him from the very beginning.

posts: 124   ·   registered: Aug. 15th, 2022
id 8776345
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kiwilee ( member #10426) posted at 3:30 PM on Monday, February 6th, 2023

But when I read this, this morning, it seems like the only thing that makes sense. It's not that he didn't care if people were hurt, it's that he acknowledged he was doing something that would definitely hurt us and then created a convoluted justification so strong that the justification became more important to him than the outcome.

It was rigged against me and our family from the start. Our marriage was poisoned by him from the very beginning.

Yes this makes perfect sense. I have also been baffled by how can someone with narcissitic behaviors (but also displays empathy for others in many realms) do what they do. And this explanation of how justification is the real tool they use to morph into their monster side. And usually it seems like some type of numbing agent (alcohol//drugs) are present as well to help them forget about the choices they made. It helps the story line along of I am doing this because I have been treated so poorly (or insert whatever excuse/reason here).

Wow, this is a real "ding, ding" moment for me to understand. In my case, he uses the justification of how it is all my fault by how poorly I have treated him. So that is a double whammy to be blamed for all his terrible actions. Even if I am a strong person who completely understands logically that his choices are not my fault, it still hurts that is a pile on of more lack of responsibility. I hope you are also not dealing with being blamed covertly.

You have made huge strides and continue on your path forward out of this mess HE made. Yes there will be setbacks along the way, but more steps forward. Give yourself permission to recognize what you have accomplished and trust the courage that is inside of you to carry you out of this nightmare.

I want you to know you are NOT alone in this. Even though we are "strangers" your journey has helped me in my journey. And it is empowering to know we do not walk alone. You are a truth seeker and that will be your guide to freedom. The truth will set you free!

posts: 663   ·   registered: Apr. 17th, 2006
id 8776350
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whatisloveanyway ( member #66450) posted at 6:42 PM on Monday, February 6th, 2023

he's incapable of broaching any subject that will bring him discomfort or embarrassment. He waits for me to bring those things up and then gets mad at me for making him feel uncomfortable, and then his memory of the bad thing he did is completely replaced with the memory of me 'making him feel uncomfortable' about it, which shifts the blame from him (for doing the thing) to me (for bringing up that he did the thing). I never want to go down that emotional rabbit hole with him again.


Um, yes, mine too. It's a horrible cyclical rabbit hole and I haven't found the way to his evolution or understanding of what he is doing, he doesn't even see it. I recently got told the A happened because I hurt his feelings. He has made his entire mythology not allowing feelings to dictate his actions, not actually having the time or energy to waste on touchy feely emotions, but now they are the main reason for his A. Especially frustrating is that we both know my parenting instincts were the right ones, his were not, big surprise, but even now that the issues are null, the results are great because our kids are great, he can't let go of how I made him feel then, or how my reaction to his cheating makes him feel now. No mention of how our parenting issues a decade ago and his criticism and push back hurt my feelings... He only does feelings when it is to his advantage?

I have been told life is not fair, get over it, I've never apologized in my life and I'm not starting now and on and on.... so many blanket statements that exonerate him from blame or corrective action, and they have really changed how I see him and how I feel about him. In addition to the narcissism, the most stubborn pillars of belief he clings to are that I was never supposed to find out and nobody was supposed to get hurt, which puts blame on me for finding out, and that the A was going to run its course and was waning at year nine, and that was such a big lie, that he was on the path to faithfulness because I had evidence he was shopping to cheat on or replace her in 2012, 2013, 2016 and 2017. He truly believes his own bullshit. I am glad for you that you have removed yourself from the madness by cutting him from your life.

In the quest to make sense of all this, I have come to realize that I am not dealing with a sensible person who behaves in ways I can understand or predict. But recognizing the tricks and traits is a very useful tool in my belt and yours too. And like yours, mine can mimic or display empathy, which I mistook for actual empathy. I have not yet found proof that it exists on a level I need to function properly in a relationship.

We are all still pulling for you, to find a way forward to a better life for yourself and your son, away from all the confusion and manipulation. I'm not sure what side of himself he's showing you now but I'm glad you are removed from the direct harm he presents to you, and hope you find your way clear from further indirect harm through more shitty surprise discoveries. Take care.

BW: 64 WH: 64 Both 57 on Dday, M 37 years, 2 grown kids. WH had 9 year A with MOW, 7 month false R, multiple DDays from 2017 - 2022, with five years of trickle truth and lies. I got rid of her with one email. Reconciling, or trying to.

posts: 569   ·   registered: Oct. 9th, 2018   ·   location: Southeastern USA
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WhatsRight ( member #35417) posted at 7:47 PM on Monday, February 6th, 2023

Wow. Just Wow.

I have just seen this, and read it all in one sitting.

It is overwhelming.

I am 16 years out, and might not yet have progressed to where you are.

Only thing I know to add is something that you seem to already know. When we look through "normal" eyes to view/interpret not "normal" behaviors, there sometimes simply are no answers.

I don’t know if this will be helpful, and I certainly hope you will throw it out with the trash if it is not. But like me, I continue to hear you say, "how could he want to hurt me in this way?" Or "how could he…" (Choose your phrase)

When looking at the actions of individuals like these from the outside, it’s easy to interpret their behaviors based on our life experiences/characters. I’m not so sure that he did these things to hurt you. I’m not sure that he thought, "I’ll just do X, Y, and Z… That will show her!"I just think that he viewed them as something that he would like, and didn’t even entertain the thought of whether it would hurt you or not. Which, of course, is much worse. You might have been important to him to some degree through the years, but not so important that he would make choices with a consideration of how they would affect you.

Of course everyone’s situation is different. But usually, we can all see some sort of similarity in the whole experience. My husband was all about not facing up to what he did, telling me to "get over it" after about two weeks, etc. etc. etc. It’s so easy to advise, but so hard to implement moving on from an experience like this.

One thing to think of… If you should ever let the idea of letting him back in your life in a relationship form…

If you proceed down the road towards divorce, and something phenomenal/miraculous happened with your husband that convinced you he was worth another chance, you could always remarry. But if you stay, you can wake up and 35 years is gone.

I wish you and your son a happy and healthy future.

"Noone can make you feel inferior without your concent." Eleanor Roosevelt

I will not be vanquished. Rose Kennedy

posts: 8214   ·   registered: Apr. 23rd, 2012   ·   location: Southeast USA
id 8776385
Topic is Sleeping.
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