Time to tap out
Hi everyone, this is my first post. I’m 2 months into IHS from WH after 3 years of false R.
Married 21 years at the time of the A, 2 teenage kids. Life has been challenging, youngest was born very ill with complex special needs, I became full time carer overnight. I’ve battled for 20+ years with chronic illness, depression & anxiety & was in the midst of seeking treatments for another bout of suicidal ideation when WH started cheating.
June 2017 - AP Howorker had just transferred to WH workplace, she was his direct report. They’d known each other less than a month when the EA started. After 6 months it became a PA which WH vehemently denies to this day.
It lasted for 8 months & I copped 3 DDays during that time. It was a shitshow, I did everything wrong.
DDay 1: 08/2017
WH had been acting sketchy for weeks, I got sus & checked his iPad.
I found hundreds of messages between them. Shocked, I confronted him before I even read the whole thing. He denied it, lied his arse off & immediately deleted their entire conversation. I confronted OW via text, at first she admitted to what she deemed “out of hand conversation” lol & then after a day or two she just denied & lied too. Over the next couple of weeks WH begged for forgiveness, convinced me it was nothing and that it was over. Stupidly I gave him the benefit of the doubt. HB ensued.
DDay 2: 10/2017
I saw a text from AP in a new messaging app pop up on WH’s phone. I confronted them both immediately again, they each tried to blame the other lol. The lying & gaslighting they both did was swift & brutal.
When I threatened to leave him this time, WH panicked. He begged me for another chance, swore it was a mistake and that it was over. He lied, TT’d, minimised, manipulated & hoovered me like a champ over the next few months so he could maintain cake. I had no idea what hoovering was at the time so I fell for it. I started quietly working on what I believed was wrong with me & how I contributed to our M problems.
They simply took the A further underground. By January 2018 they started meeting before work in the basement carpark for early morning rendezvous in order to rapidly escalate it into a PA. Classy.
DDay 3: 02/2018
By now I’m a completely paranoid insomniac, snooping into everything I can find & questioning my own sanity. I got into his phone while he was asleep & saw his records of secret conversations in FB that included proof of PA.
Text and phone records showed they were continuing contact the whole time he was claiming remorse & pretending to R. The level of arrogance & deceit is staggering. I confronted both of them again, I got more denial & gaslighting. It was crazy making. In desperation I outed them at work, by telling the workplace gossiper. That quickly shrivelled their thrills. Later on I anonymously contacted OBS. He was immediately aggressive & didn’t believe me, threatened me with violence & told me to fuck off. I didn’t have any solid proof to show him so I gave up.
I started making plans to leave WH, again he begged & pleaded, complete with tears, promising me the world. I mistook that manipulative bullshit again for genuine remorse & thought ‘now he’s coming to his senses’ & we were starting ACTUAL R. Yep, I’m THAT pathetic & stupid. Only then did WH finally end it with AP & only on my demand - he didn’t do it willingly. He recorded himself ending it in person. Her response? A cool, testy “Fine by me” lol Such true love. Much romance. What a pair of delusional buffoons.
Fortunately once the fantasy & titillation of the A tanked in the cold light of day, he got to see her for the truly shallow, narcissistic, self serving snake she is.
On a side note - in digging further I found suggestive inappropriate messages from 2015 between him & a former girlfriend so I know he was actively open to having a side piece at least 2 years beforehand. I believe an A didn’t happen sooner with that ex GF simply because of distance. Knowing that fucked my head up further. Just how deep do the lies go? Was AP really the first A? I felt like I was living with a complete stranger.
So even though the A was over, he continued to work closely with AP for another year & a half. That was another level of constant pain & hyper vigilance.
AP turned on WH at work, (now he was no longer her muppet fuck toy), scapegoating him or taking credit for his hard work (depending on her needs) so he would come home most days gaslighted & enraged by her. Fun times.
That continued until his NC choice was made for him, late 2019 he took a redundancy offer & quit his 30+ year career. The lovebombing, hoovering & forced teaming intensified. Everything was “we”. He inserted himself into everything I did, under the pretence of solidifying R. Then COVID happened.
I say I believed we were in R because he spent 2+ years convincing me he was remorseful and claiming since dday #1 that he loves me & the children & would do anything to save the M. However his actions didn’t match his words.
Any questions I asked were met with “I don’t know/don’t remember“ or TT minimal information that I already knew. Or more lies. If I wanted to talk about A, he would get defensive, deflect, minimise. So I believe I’ve gotten no honest conversations or real ownership from him. At times he said he didn’t want to talk about the A. He said he hates AP, wants to forget the A ever happened & move forward. He once told me to “get AP out of your head”. Any triggers/PTSD I suffer have been met with limited empathy & impatience.
He's read one short article on Affair Fog. He’s tried to outright blame me for the cheating - I didn't do enough of whatever for him. He’s tried to blame my illnesses. He’s blamed ongoing stress from kid#2, his job being too demanding, being the sole income earner being too much responsibility & he even blamed OW a few times. The reasons changed frequently.
When that didn’t work he circled back around & attempted to equally share the blame with me on the state of M before the A.
The final straw was 6 months ago he suddenly changed his device passcodes & didn’t tell me. When I found out, he wouldn’t give me the new code, just a bullshit excuse. I gave him a few chances over a few weeks to willingly tell me. He didn’t. We got into heated arguments over it, he just fucking doubled down. He gaslighted & DARVO’d me & STILL wouldn’t give it. Claiming- “Well I don’t have YOUR passcode!” Also somewhere in the midst of that he told me that I’m very hard to love :(
That insanity went on for 2 months.
When I wouldn’t be distracted nor back down from requiring the passcode as part of R, he eventually came clean & admitted he didn’t want me to have access to his devices anymore because he wanted to keep his ‘individuality’.
I reminded him that he AGREED 2+ yrs ago that FULL access to his phone at any time was part of the R deal that HE made. After a few days he apologised for being a dick & that he’d refused to give me the code because he “didn’t want to conform”. Wtf?
I said I need to separate, I can’t take any more.
Suddenly he was falling over himself to give me the new code. Are you fucking kidding me?? Since then he’s repeatedly tried to show me the phone. Apologies aplenty for being stupid & selfish & OTT grand show of sudden ‘transparency.’ Whatever. Fuck off mate. Stick a fork in me, I’m done.
That was a turning point for me. I realised as much as I had hope & wanted to try to R with him, he has zero respect for me. I’ve been extremely patient & given him way more than I should have. He just won’t take accountability nor simply be honest - I’ve nothing to work with.
I moved into the spare bedroom in January to get some mental respite, physical breathing space & set a clear boundary. He's tried to hoover a few times, crying about how hard S is on him. Promising he's ready to be an equal partner, in ALL of the things. I told him I now have specific requirements (like an A timeline, answer all of my questions truthfully, etc) in order to move this R forward. He didn’t bat an eyelid at the time, nor did he ask what the requirements are.
Unsurprisingly the willingness to be an equal partner has rapidly diminished. Oh wait, he now empties the dishwasher after 25 years of arguing with me about it. Let me throw a parade.
I’ve worked hard in regular IC for about 5 years now, unpacking & unlearning a lifetime of abuse & trauma from an NPD clusterfuck FOO & their fringe dwellers. Actively managing my illnesses. Trying to improve my health & practicing self care finally. Went back to school to study a trade. Working through the trauma & aftermath of the A, seemingly alone. I still have a long way to go, one step at a time.
I’m completely drained, very alone & somewhat lost. I feel stuck in limbo. I have no family or friends for support, (I’m working on very low or NC with everyone in my life because I’ve since woken up to myself in Narcissistic City - yikes) I only have & trust my IC to talk to.
I guess my question is where do I go from here? I have no idea what practical step to do next, it took me 3 months just to get up the courage to say enough is enough.
I'm afraid if I close the R door for good, I could possibly make the situation worse for my kids? The unknown is terrifying, I’m afraid of making the wrong decision.
I needed to get this off my chest here in hopes I’m not alone or crazy unreasonable.
Any advice from those who’ve been through IHS is very welcome please. Thanks so much for reading. That post was so long it’s borderline obnoxious lol
[This message edited by Adira at 8:16 PM, March 18th (Thursday)]
20 comments posted: Sunday, February 21st, 2021