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Can’t believe I’m back

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Hurtmyheart posted 5/31/2021 23:08 PM

And then two years ago I met my BF.

You've only met him two years ago and now this?

I don’t want to go into all the details but two days of TT and my life is in pieces. I found out he has been on countless message boards, sexting with so many women. He rekindled a friendship with a very toxic friend from before we met that he said was out of his life - from reading all his messages I don’t think that has ever been sexual or romantic, but he has still been lying about it. And twice he went out to actually participate with strangers.

I think you better reconsider your options here. This guy is a serial cheater and a liar and it sounds like he has been at this for a very long time.

And to think he knew your story, empathized with you and how your ex husband cheated on you and hurt you and yet your bf has lied to you countless times over the past two years his truth.

I'm sorry but I'm not feeling too optimistic for this relationship. I know it hurts but I think you are going to end up spinning your wheels with this guy that you barely even know. But the best part about your situation is that you caught it early. These are red flags (warnings) about how your future may end up looking like.

When I first met my now deceased WH almost 35 years ago, he demonstrated many inappropriate behaviors towards other women at the beginning of our relationship. I either overlooked his awful behaviors, got upset, swept it under the rug and even believed him when he promised me the moon and that he would never let it happen again. Of course they were all lies.

Now I can look back and see that my deceased WH behaviors were already ingrained in him and today even when I go through the what ifs, what if I would have seriously confronted him and gave him an ultimatum the first time I caught him, would it have stopped him from continuing his behaviors? I don't think so.

Personally, I believe your boyfriend also has had these ingrained behaviors for a very long time and although I know that you love him deeply, I'm just not very confident in believing that he will be able to change but I may be wrong.

I feel bad for you but I also feel that you are fortunate to have found out so early in your relationship how deceptive he could be. The question is though, what are you going to do with this new devastating knowledge?

I'm curious, how old is your boyfriend? And can you give a little history on his past relationships?

[This message edited by Hurtmyheart at 11:12 PM, May 31st (Monday)]

Tallgirl posted 6/5/2021 06:06 AM

A couple of thoughts.... I am sorry to hear this.

There is no way that this behaviour is recent, this is him and has been.

Do you want to stay with someone who has likely lied to you for your entire relationship?

You are a smart woman. I am sure you are thinking this. Please have him detail his behaviour before you meet.

Notaboringwife posted 6/5/2021 09:57 AM


You seem to be such a grounded person. Those discovery shocks are devastating and I feel for you.

As a former betrayed wife, having felt gut punched, having felt rage and anger, having felt just miserable etc., I made a promise to myself that if ever I was in a relationship where I discovered infidelity one more time, that person would be GONE from my life. In no way, would I allow myself to go through the emotional mess of having to deal with living with the wayward.

That person could be my husband with whom I have reunited with for the past two years, should he ever cheat on me again, or anyone else for that matter.

In other words, no chances for anyone who chooses to betray me. Regardless of their reasons/excuses/middle life crisis /childhoods etc. etc. I have had it with active cheaters!

I made this promise to myself after the first year of reuniting with my husband. I thought it through, rationally and I will not change my mind.

What ever path you choose, may it be the right one for you.

Triedntesty posted 6/5/2021 22:18 PM

Hi. I agree with Notmine
"This man is a serial cheater. This kind of obsessive/compulsive behavior will take years to deal with, and the reality is that serial cheaters are rarely able to be safe partners"
My feeling is you should cut your losses and don't invest anymore into this relationship. What you found on that app is the tip of the iceberg. You sound very bright and I think you're an empath. But you can't save any man, save yourself. There's a way better man out there for you. TRUST the universe, God, whatever you call it. This was a sign for you to get the hell away fr this guy. Good luck, stay strong and I'm really sorry for you

redrock posted 6/6/2021 21:06 PM

If the nature of the cheating determined the outcome of R, I guess one of our moderators and success stories, wifehad5 should have shut it down and walked away too.

Happening has been through the shitstorm before. She chose to walk away and heal herself. She’s earned her bones and in her judgement, she’s going to take some time. Time to watch her partners actions. Time to make a decision about her life going forward.

She hasn’t committed to R. And she came here for SUPPORT.

I respect posters who say they wouldn’t make the same decision, but wondering how that moves the support needle for happening. She’s expressed her situation well and is being proactive in working toward her own healing and is watching the actions of BF to determine if she’s willing to consider R.

That’s about 1000 percent ahead of where I was when I arrived on SI.

Papercoversrock posted 6/7/2021 07:01 AM

I highly recommend listening to the “Helping Couples Heal” Podcasts. The therapists’ and their guests’ understanding and explanation of “Betrayal Trauma” is tremendously helpful and is also useful in evaluating the type of counselors to work with (ie, ones that know about this recent “Betrayal Trauma” research on the issues.

Start at the beginning and listen to all the relevant episodes including interviews with other therapists, etc. It is tremendous validating (in a non-hippy way) to learn that we are reacting completely normally to devastating information, not weak-minded losers who can’t just suck it up and get over it.

Warning: The therapists assume the betrayed is always the woman and the betrayer is always the man, rather than using the neutral SI language of Wayward and Betrayed. Those of us who have been betrayed by females just have to make frequent pronoun switches in our heads as we listen.

Also, the Therapists tend to assume (or at least speak as if) ALL Waywards are sex addicts though they are often just people with low morals who occasionally make really stupid decisions.

Happening posted 6/7/2021 12:22 PM

Hi all, just letting you know I am here.

I do appreciate the support, and I know those of you who are more pointed in your advice are doing so from a place of wanting to protect others from being hurt. Some of those comments seemed blunt, but I know we all have our stories. I was not quite so collected the first time through this fucking mill.

Redrock is correct, and kind - I am not committing to anything except my own healing at this point. Last time I felt rushed and trapped into making a choice, from pressure from my ex, to the number of people who knew about it and tried to intervene in different ways. This time, I will not do that. My BFs actions made choices for me, and I have drawn a line in the sand. I will make my own choices now, on my own timeline.

Yes, he seems very remorseful and set on R. But maybe it isn’t something that will last. He seems very committed to working on his issues and discovering why he made these choices. That’s up to him though, I have made it clear that I am not a prize to be won by hard work, I will make my own choice. He can do all the work in the world to address his actions and become someone he can be proud of, but that places no obligation on me.

I want to put me and my healing first, honestly, for the first time in my life. Of course I will watch what he does, I will have choices to make regarding him one way or another, but not until I am ready to make them. It might sound a bit cold, but right now, this particular part of my life, really has very little to do with him. I am trying to get back to me, so that when I choose, I know it was all me.

Also, podcast recommendations gratefully accepted, please!

cbgrace1980 posted 6/10/2021 16:23 PM

The only thing you can do is what you already said: take care of yourself and your feelings. You will get through this with so much strength and you will be equipped for so many things that life may bring. Good for you for hanging in there and doing self care!

WhoTheBleep posted 6/10/2021 16:57 PM

I haven't read every comment. I got to Buster123's, and then Halftime, and stopped.

What they said.

This boyfriend of yours is terrifying in his smooth deception. Fell to the ground in tears only when you found out.

You've only known him 2 years. Please cut your losses now. I know you are devastated and weak right now. I completely understand. Take whatever time you need to get your thoughts settled and straight. You will know what the right choice is for yourself. You deserve so much more than this. When someone is doing this behind your back, all the good stuff you see on the surface is not real. It can't be. I know how hard that is to reconcile in your mind. Who we are when nobody is looking...that is our true character.

[This message edited by WhoTheBleep at 4:59 PM, June 10th (Thursday)]

BluerThanBlue posted 6/10/2021 20:47 PM

Happening, I have to be honest... I think you’re making a huge mistake with this “wait and see approach.”

You have seen the hoof prints, you heard the neighing, you smelled the manure... but you’re now trying to convince yourself that the beast in front of you is a unicorn when you know for a fact and from past experience that it’s definitely a horse (or, more appropriately, a jack ass).

It’s one thing to not want to run toward a divorce and have to legally extricate yourself, a very long-term commitment where your lives are deeply entwined, or the father of your kids... it’s quite another to cling to relatively short relationship because you don’t want to let the fantasy die and can’t bear the disappointment.

Please know that I’m not making light of your emotional bond or the intensity of your feelings for this man. But my fear is that the longer you stay with him, the more invested you will get, and the more skilled he will get at lying to you, hiding his disgusting acts, and manipulating you into denying reality.

[This message edited by BluerThanBlue at 8:48 PM, June 10th (Thursday)]

redrock posted 6/13/2021 10:30 AM

I’ve been pondering how to say this respectfully, I guess I don’t have the skills. This thread is a good example of why people come and go from the site.

It’s hard to take the support and leave the rest when almost every post is to dump and run and not much support. I’m not opposed to honesty. Just wonder how happening can derive anything from everyone saying her BF is irretrievably broken. You don’t know that. Not with certainty.. no one does.

Happening has not committed to R. She’s verified that infidelity has ended. She’s taking time to work on herself and make a decision.

Happening.. keep on trucking. On the whole past behavior, in general, is an indicator of future behavior. But people can change. Kind of the purpose of a whole site.

R candidacy is determined by you and if you want to decide today or tomorrow or in 20 weeks that your call. Continue to work on yourself. No matter what happens, you are going to be okay.

BluerThanBlue posted 6/13/2021 15:18 PM

RedRock, if you’re referring to my post as too blunt, there was a reason for it, as I said in my post. Happening said that she doesn’t want to feel pressured to make a choice because her ex forced her hand previously. What she doesn’t realize is that her ex did her a favor. His obstinance and utter refusal to even pretend to do the work made the choice very clear for her.

Her current boyfriend, on the other hand, looks like the kind of guy who could string her along for years in false R. This is a conclusion that is easily inferred by the facts of her post. He is adept at keeping his double life a secret not just from her but others with whom he is close. He is an excellent liar and manipulator; he only got caught because he got careless and sloppy. When she busted him, he immediately broke down crying and made the whole conversation about his pain and “brokenness.”

This man is not her husband. I can understand taking time to consider whether or not to reconcile a marriage because you have made a legally, financially, and (in many cases) spiritually binding commitment to that person. If she had kids with him, he would always be in her life one way or the other, so again, waiting to see if salvaging the relationship is possible might be in the best interest of herself and her family.

This is a boyfriend. He was auditioning for the role of husband and he failed. He hasn’t even been with her that long, and he’s already cheating on her and put her health at risk.

Could he change and become a better partner? Perhaps. But at this stage, she has far more to lose by rolling the dice then to gain (or keep) if she were to cut her losses instead of investing more of her precious time, emotional, and mental energy and putting her sexual health at risk in the process.

On a final note, people choosing to “cut and run” because they don’t like the advice doesn’t mean it’s bad advice.... it just means that it’s not what the poster wants to hear. Maybe they will be ready at some point to absorb it (as many have in the past with posts such as “I should’ve listened”), maybe they will bury their head in the sand. Or maybe they already made up their minds about what they were going to do, in which case, it doesn’t matter what we say or don’t say because they already committed to a course of action.

If Happening does nothing and it works for out for her, she won’t need anyone to validate that choice because it will prove to be the correct one, regardless of anyone’s opinion.

But no one is doing Happening— or any BS who might be lurking this thread— a favor by sugar coating their perception of her situation and supporting her choice to do something they believe is harmful to her.

[This message edited by BluerThanBlue at 3:36 PM, June 13th (Sunday)]

Justsomeguy posted 6/13/2021 16:11 PM

I'm not sure how cut and run is not supportive. R is one option and leaving is the other. Every poster here has walked through the fire and has his or her own bias, based on earned experience. The contrasting opinions are valuable in avoiding an echo chamber. I think labeling those who see a situation differently as unsupportive may be counterproductive. Support comes in many forms, and I think we all want what's best for the OP, while our version of best might vary.

For me, I think a cost/benefit assessment is in order. OP needs to weigh the risks of cutting versus staying. I do agree that the BF was on probation and failed miserably. Part of OP's challenge is to decide if she is making a decision based on abundance or scarcity. Does she feel that she has many options or is she feeling forced to choose? And it's not a binary choice either. If she leaves, she is not relegating herself to a purgatory of loneliness. One can be quite happy alone, or in any number of relationship types.

The key is for OP to really cherish herself enough to be selfish with her life and worth. Only let the highest quality people in.

Let's look at it like buying a car. There was a day when I might buy a project car. I had a house with a garage and all the tools I needed, so some sweat equity made sense. Now, I'm a single father raising two girls. I live in an apartment and no longer have tools or space, so the risk of buying a car that might work well one day does not make sense for my situation. I need a car that works right now. I just dont have it in me yo absorb any risk. Its sounds like your guy is a fixer upper, maybe. Do you have the luxury of time and strength to see if he just might be able to possibly step up? Your call.

redrock posted 6/13/2021 20:16 PM

I'm not sure how cut and run is not supportive. R is one option and leaving is the other. Every poster here has walked through the fire and has his or her own bias, based on earned experience. The contrasting opinions are valuable in avoiding an echo chamber. I think labeling those who see a situation differently as unsupportive may be counterproductive

You can see it differently. I am not saying it is bad advice. I am saying that, at this time, she is choosing to wait to make a decision.

That even if that is something you would not do or advise someone to do, if that content is the focus of your replies, then I understand why Happening will slip away.
Yes, we all bring our own bias, but can we also bring grace and empathy? Respect for the decisions, at this time, of a person who came here for help?

Length or relationship or manner of cheating do not necessarily directly correlate to success or failure or R. What is much more predictive of success are the actions of the Wayward partner.

She full well understands what she is dealing with and how many, many, many of persons who have had their own experience with infidelity would NOT make the decision she is making- which is not to R by the way- but to work on herself and to take some time to make a decision.

She gets to make it. And I can guarantee you that she will not come here to talk and get support if she has concerns/fears/troubles with BF because of the flavor and tone of the replies on this thread.

Yes. It may not work out. The BF may well want to make grand gestures and not dig in for the work that would take as long or longer than their relationship. And then again it might.

Time and actions are going to bear that out. And as what happens, happens, hopefully we will be here to help her get on her feet.

And by the way, I will be right there agreeing to the cut and run theory if the actions aren't there.

We can spend 2 more pages talking about what a piece of shit BF is and how he's not worthy or we can respect her decision-AT THIS TIME- and give more of our experience. Those of what to do and what not to do. I personally can give lots of advice on the ‘not to do’ front.

Here are some things I would like to know:
What has BF done organically/himself at this point?
Is BF in IC?
Is he looking into the possible sexual addition angle?
Is Happening in IC?
Did Happening set up any boundaries/ lines in the sand for herself?
Have you dug into any books like 'Not Just Friends"?

If you want to help someone in pain who may not take the exact path you lay out or would have chosen, do you think that support is continuing to tell her that you would not have made a decision she made already and boy or boy is she gonna regret it? And I’ll say it again, the odds might not be in her favor, but none of us know how her life/situation is going to bear out.

Or should we address what she has on her plate today or tomorrow or next week if she has the courage to share specifics knowing the tone that is already here. Infidelity is devastating no matter the length of the relationship. And actions, not the length, of a relationship are the telling feature in R.

I hope you come back Happening. I hope you know that while we all have our opinions, we do all know the pain you are in and want to you find your way through it. What decisions/actions are going on now that are moving you forward?

HellFire posted 6/13/2021 20:28 PM

That is one of the greatest things about SI. Everyone gives support and advice in their own way. What works for one person, may not work for another.

The mods do their job. So, maybe, instead of lecturing members because YOU don't like the advice, or tone,maybe simply give the advice you think someone needs..just like everyone else.

And I can guarantee you that she will not come here to talk and get support if she has concerns/fears/troubles with BF because of the flavor and tone of the replies on this thread

This is not true. There are many,many people in this forum who get blunt honesty,and continue to come back. And, over the years, there have been countless members who have thanked those members who were blunt, or harsh, because he helped get them out of THEIR fog.

[This message edited by HellFire at 8:31 PM, June 13th (Sunday)]

redrock posted 6/13/2021 21:07 PM

thanked those members who were blunt, or harsh, because he helped get them out of THEIR fog.

This thread isn't 28 pages of decisions to 'nice' someone back. Context matters.

I want to put me and my healing first, honestly, for the first time in my life. Of course I will watch what he does, I will have choices to make regarding him one way or another, but not until I am ready to make them

It was not my intention to offend or be a smartypants lecturer but do see that is in effect what I have done. I don't see much balance and while no one appointed me anything on SI and my opinion is no more important than the next poster I stated something that I thought needed to be said.

And as instructed by someone, who is in no way lecturing, I will stop the threadjack and go back to trying to help Happening.

You are welcome to report me to the mods if you feel I am stepping over the line.

BluerThanBlue posted 6/13/2021 22:14 PM

Red Rock, no one has said anything harsh or inappropriate. There are people who come on here and say “OP you’re a cuck!” which is just an insult with nothing constructive behind it.

“I think you’re making a mistake and here is why...” is a perfectly valid response. OP can take it or leave it. If she doesn’t like the responses she can say so. You’re not the arbiter who decides which comments have value and which don’t.

Enough thread-jacking... Happening, this comment is for you:

If you feel like you need to take your time to think and come to a decision you can live with, then do what you need to do. But just don’t over analyze to the point of paralysis.

Happening posted 6/14/2021 07:08 AM

Hi, I have been trying to figure out what to say to all of this.

I have been working to understand where everyone comes from, I know the comments come from a place of personal experience and pain from each of you. Redrock is supporting me too, not threadjacking, but I hate there being disagreements over what helps and what doesn’t, so yeah, I will weigh in.

I don’t particularly want to talk about him. He did what he did, he will either do the work to figure out why he did it and become better or he won’t. I have no control over that, anymore than I had control over his choices then. I have done my research into his past and present to be confident I know everything that happened. He is making moves in the right direction, seeking IC and will be attending an addicts support group meeting tonight. But to be clear - that is up to him - I am watching, but it is not my primary goal to see him fixed or our relationship fixed, etc. Whatever he does to work on himself imposes no obligations on me.

My primary goal is to heal. I came here because I found it a place of support in the past. I start my therapy this week, I am doing my research into healing. I honestly don’t know what I will choose yet. But I know that I will know when to choose and that by then I will know what is the right choice from me. I am NOT in this house for him, I am here in my home to take the time I feel I need. I am quite confident in my own abilities and my independence. I am fine alone, and if that’s my choice, I will make it happily knowing it is correct. Basically, I know I will be ok, but I know it’s a long road.

I wanted this to be a space to step away from thinking about him, and moving into a place of healing for me. Again, I know everyone is coming from a place of personal experience. I would really love to hear about that, what helped you heal? What research, books, podcasts etc helped you start to feel your strength again? Independent of the wayward, what got you back on your feet, feeling like an individual who was healing? Can I ask for that please? What helped you grow individually?

maise posted 6/14/2021 08:03 AM

What helped me heal was my going to IC and my IC helping me to stop focusing on my WS and what she did. I was very codependent and very used to not honing into my own wants/needs. Through IC I challenged my self-destructive “coping” (really avoidance if anything) strategies….I was drinking, not eating, considering an RA, cutting, smoking, distracting as much as I could…I couldn’t sleep at night and had ptsd, and I was raging at WS and AP.

It took everything in me to stop the destructive patterns one by one. I challenged myself to stop avoidance if my own hurts as much as I could and learned to sit with myself and process my pain. If I found myself triggered by what my WS did, rather than getting angry or going to my WS for emotional support that she could never give me anyway, I would instead sit still and not go to her and not react. I wouldn’t let myself act on my rage, I wouldn’t let myself go to her, I wouldn’t let myself grab a drink or whatever else…I would sit and attempt to understand my emotion. What’s hurting me? Is it triggering any other thoughts or memories from when I may have felt this in other areas of my life? How can I allow myself to feel my feelings, express my hurt, and then be there for myself?

I would allow myself to cry, to break down, to journal, to meditate if I needed to find the emotion again and then once I felt I had let everything out I would challenge the messages i may have been telling myself (whether it was self blame, self criticism, etc.). If I found myself stuck I would keep challenging myself and then go to iC and have my IC help me get there.

Little by little as I continued to work through this with myself I got stronger and more detached from my codependencies. I had to learn a lot of self-compassion and correct a lot of the messages/internal dialogue in my own mind about myself. I had to stop abandoning my emotions/wants/needs, stop putting myself on the back burner, stop compromising myself so much for the sake of others - I was very emotionally caretaking of others at my own expense.

I was recommended a lot of books but I honestly didn’t read many of them…I couldn’t get myself to, that would be me doing something for myself and that’s not something I found to be very easy…

Therapy, journaling, meditating, challenging myself to do things differently in my self treatments and no longer focusing on what someone else did to me was my path to finding strength, individuality, and freedom. No more justifying why I should go against myself, no more blaming myself for what happened or how I responded, no more minimizing my emotions or neglecting them all together. It’s been three years for me, I’m still working on being less critical and am challenging myself each day to do a little bit more toward things that make me happy. Still in IC but the sessions are honed in more toward my own self treatment rather than the affairs. Boundaries, compassion, listening to myself, etc.

You can do this ((((hugs))))

[This message edited by maise at 8:10 AM, June 14th (Monday)]

Anna123 posted 6/14/2021 09:11 AM

What helped you grow individually?

Time on my own and setting myself up to be self-sufficient if he decided to not pay support somewhere down the line.

Focusing on my son, my hobbies, having fun, reconnecting with friends, and building a new mini-career. Actions in addition to just thinking.

For the first year or so, mental discipline and reminder lists which kept me from forgetting his abuse of me through his cheating, which I would overlook by default if left unattended. When I would let it slip, I would start to feel a dependent connection again, which would make all of my re-focusing very difficult. Eventually, this view of him turned into my new default.

Take care.

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