Newest Member: ibelieveinspring

Reconciliation :
False reconciliation times three

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 DaisyDuke (original poster new member #79581) posted at 9:17 PM on Wednesday, November 10th, 2021

Hi. Happy to find a site where I might be able to hear from people who can relate.

WH and I are both retired. I learned in December of 2019 that he was having an affair with the secretary at his old office. From what I could gather, it had been going on two years. I confronted, he assured me he wanted to recommit to our marriage, but that the OW would not let go easily. He expressed concern for her emotional state and "volatility" so he had to let her off easy (ie string her along). He texted her that I found out, and that he was recommitting to our M because it was "the right thing to do." But that was not the end of their communication.

Weeks passed, and email messages continued to flow between them. (Unknown to him, I did have the code to his phone and when he changed it, I saw him type it in so knew that one too). I kept asking my H when it would be over for good, and when he would provide me with passcodes to all his devices and accounts. He would say "soon."

February of 2020, he claimed to have ended it. Except that all he actually did was change the communications to another email account. To be fair, most of the messages were from her -- nearly daily missives, very long, pages long sometimes, declaring her love for him and disparaging me at every opportunity. I found evidence of his use of that account (in his computer history) and asked him about it in October of 2020. He gave me the PW to the account and sent her another message, saying that I was monitoring the account, and the emails should stop so they could "let our hearts begin to heal." (puke!)

She then FB messaged him a new email account name, at which time he blocked her on that account. Yay. I know this because I guessed the password. After a few months, she started sending messages under a new email. Those messages disappeared and I found no evidence that he responded to them but for all I know he was deleting his sent messages. Eventually messages on that account dried up. I honestly thought she had gotten the message and the contact was over. Till this week.

He left his Facebook open and while he was out, I checked private messages. There was a message from her two months ago, right around his birthday. Along with all the lovey dovey stuff, she came right out and asked if there was a chance for them (say yes) or not (say no). He responded with a single heart.

I am devastated. He has had multiple opportunities to break it off completely and permanently, and even the OW has asked for a straight answer so SHE can get on with her life. He gives her a heart.

I am ready to pack up and go to our winter camp in the mountains (my happy place) as a Plan B action. I want to tell him this is unacceptable, disrespectful, and for my own emotional well-being, I need to be away from him with no contact. He can stay at our house. I know this gives him the opportunity to be with her, but I cannot take this any more. As much as I love him and look forward to a fun retirement, I cannot tolerate the OW still being in the picture. BTW, this OW is certifiable. She is a documented cheat, liar, and thief. Claimed her husband abused her, then abandoned her teenage kids with him so she could chase my H. Her ex-H says her abuse claims are total BS and she is a whack job.

My question is how to deal with his anger that I snooped his FB account. His approach to reconciliation has been to sweep the whole thing under the rug. He will be angry that I don't trust him but why should I? He is communicating with OW behind my back!! There has been no IC, no MC, nothing. Just pretend it didn't happen. I have been afraid to rock the boat, and when things are good, they're pretty good. He claims he wants to stay with me. But he has this seemingly secret side that cannot let her go.

Sorry for the long post, but that is my sorry story. Any words of wisdom are welcome.

Me: BW, early 60s
Him: WH, early 60s

LTA (both EA and PA) w/former co-worker
Several false reconciliations

posts: 3   ·   registered: Nov. 10th, 2021
id 8697910
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asc1226 ( member #75363) posted at 9:37 PM on Wednesday, November 10th, 2021

My question is how to deal with his anger that I snooped his FB account. His approach to reconciliation has been to sweep the whole thing under the rug. He will be angry that I don't trust him but why should I?

F*** his anger. Cheating and breaking trust comes with consequences. He should have become transparent with all devices/accounts/social media from day one. This is the prize for playing nice and doing the pick me dance: an active wayward.

Check out the simplified 180 in the healing library here.

I make edits, words is hard

posts: 391   ·   registered: Sep. 7th, 2020
id 8697915
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This0is0Fine ( member #72277) posted at 9:38 PM on Wednesday, November 10th, 2021

Very respectfully, you are in the wrong forum. Consider asking for a move to general or JFO.

You are still living under infidelity. You aren't even at the starting line for recovery.

He is in contact with AP, going against promises (lying), and has done nothing to offer transparency or a chance for you to heal. As you pointed out "false R".

So you need the same kind of advice we give people on JFO. Tell him what you wrote here. Also, he doesn't deserve privacy. He can just suck it up that you read his facebook messages. He should be willingly offering them to you.

The way you deal with the anger is, "You never provided me with a safe environment. You said you would give me passwords 'soon' but never did. Everything I did was to try to confirm and reassure myself you weren't cheating. Instead, every time I looked you were still cheating on me. You are a real piece of work to feign anger at me for sniffing around when you are acting like a complete asshole."

Love is not a measure of capacity for pain you are willing to endure for your partner.

posts: 1484   ·   registered: Dec. 11th, 2019
id 8697916
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nekonamida ( member #42956) posted at 9:47 PM on Wednesday, November 10th, 2021

My question is how to deal with his anger that I snooped his FB account.

You don't. He's angry because you ruined his fun by exposing his lie. So what? FB should have never not been open for you to check up on in the first place. That's what TRANSPARENCY and HONESTY is all about. His anger is a reflection of how he is not R material and will keep doing this as long as you stay and allow it.

His approach to reconciliation has been to sweep the whole thing under the rug. He will be angry that I don't trust him but why should I? He is communicating with OW behind my back!! There has been no IC, no MC, nothing. Just pretend it didn't happen. I have been afraid to rock the boat, and when things are good, they're pretty good. He claims he wants to stay with me. But he has this seemingly secret side that cannot let her go.

He's happy to stay with you as long as he can keep talking to her and carrying on an EA behind your back. He's happy to stay as long as you accept that you will be sharing him with her. If that's not acceptable to you then let him be angry and let her have him. They deserve each other. YOU are the prize. Not him. Don't compete with her for him. If she wants a cheating liar so badly, that's her problem.

Given what you've said about OW, I'm betting there's a lot more going on than just what you've found. Maybe she truly is an obsessive stalker who is fine living a delusion 24/7 while he ignores her for months on end but chances are he's feeding into her delusions far more than you know and giving her a reason to keep holding on. There are tons of options for him to re-connect with her outside of FB after sending that heart. Secret email and social media accounts, burner phone, etc. He could have used the secret messaging feature right then and there on FB to contact her without you knowing.

Follow through with Plan B. Move out and separate. Check out the 180 in the healing library and follow it. Only consider going back to him IF he follows through on:

- Sending permanent NC message to OW that you witness
- Opening ALL email and social media accounts to you so that you may feel assured that he did not reach back out to her after he sent to NC letter
- Attend IC and figure out why he was willing to hurt you and throw this marriage away for OW
- Take a polygraph test to prove that the timeline you have of the A is the correct one and that there are no other OW lurking around that he's been seeing

posts: 5066   ·   registered: Mar. 31st, 2014   ·   location: United States
id 8697917
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Luna10 ( member #60888) posted at 10:14 PM on Wednesday, November 10th, 2021

I’m sorry but you’ve got nothing to work with, he’s been cheating pretty much with your approval for close to two years. He refuses to cut contact because you allow it.

I’m afraid that whatever you say to him will not matter because it did not matter for the last two years.

I’m the last one to tell you what you should do but I can tell you what I hope you could do, pack your bags, go to your happy place and have him served. Do not communicate, do not explain. Let him face the consequences of his actions.

BW - 38 at the time of the A
WH - 45 at the time of the A
Dday - 27/9/2017

posts: 1412   ·   registered: Oct. 2nd, 2017   ·   location: Europe
id 8697922
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grubs ( member #77165) posted at 12:36 AM on Thursday, November 11th, 2021

My question is how to deal with his anger that I snooped his FB account. His approach to reconciliation has been to sweep the whole thing under the rug. He will be angry that I don't trust him but why should I? He is communicating with OW behind my back!! There has been no IC, no MC, nothing. Just pretend it didn't happen.


He doesn't get to be angry at this. He forfeited that right when he strayed and lied in the past. If he does look up darvo and understand what that is, because if he gets angry when you confront him that's what it is. The only way this works is radical honesty and transparency on his part. Get yourself into IC. You need to process your feelings over the shit storm he has brought into your marriage.. I think a bit of NC on your part will do you both good on deciding what you want. Because this is really your decision now. He blew it time and time again. See an attorney. Get clarity on what divorce looks like for you. You need to know that.

posts: 831   ·   registered: Jan. 21st, 2021
id 8697940
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gmc94 ( member #62810) posted at 1:00 AM on Thursday, November 11th, 2021

My question is how to deal with his anger that I snooped his FB account

IMO, you don't. He gets to be as angry as he wants about whatever he wants. Whether to be angry or to unleash his anger (like living a life of deceit, having an A, and continuing to lie to you) are HIS choices. Was it "wrong" of you to snoop? Maybe - tho IMO once a spouse decides to cheat, they've given up their "right" to privacy from their BS. If they don't like it, they can file for D like anyone else. His anger about being caught really isn't your responsibility.

And why do you even need to tell him how you know he's still in contact? If you ask if he's in contact with his AP and he lies, you basically have a data point- i.e., that he is perfectly OK with dishonesty (you already KNOW he's perfectly OK having his cake & eat it too). All you have to do is say "I know that is a lie, and I'm going to [happy place] to consider my options due to your ongoing A". End of discussion.

I'm more curious about how YOU are doing and what we on SI can do to help support you in a journey out of infidelity. You've known about his A for nearly 2 years. It is ongoing. It seems you've been keeping your fingers crossed that he will end things, but on HIS terms. What are YOUR terms to remain M? Cuz you cannot change him, you cannot force or cajole or coerce him into being faithful, or honest, or not angry. You only control YOU.

I feel you on the looking forward to happy retirement. I was looking forward to that as well.... and sometimes what we'd planned on, hoped for, and sacrificed to ultimately get, just doesn't pan out as hoped. You can stay M and you can still retire with him (and he can keep cheating). If that's what YOU want to do.

I need to be away from him with no contact.

How can we support you through this? Also, as to telling him why you will leave (or really giving him a piece of your mind, which I TOTALLY understand, as my WH got enough pieces of my mind I'm surprised I have any mind left), I don't see a whole lot of point in that AT THIS JUNCTURE. What do you hope to hear/get from telling a liar (and cheater), whose actions clearly show just how selfish he's willing to be (even if it's harmful to you) about your feelings?

I'm super sorry you are a BS. And I'm super happy you are here on SI.

[This message edited by gmc94 at 7:06 PM, November 10th, 2021 (Wednesday)]

M >25yrs/grown kids
DD1 1994 ONS prostitute
DD2 2018 exGF1 10+yrEA & 10yrPA... + exGF2 EA forever & "made out" 2017
9/18 WH hung himself- died but revived

It's rude to say "I love you" with a mouthful of lies

posts: 3509   ·   registered: Feb. 22nd, 2018
id 8697943
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The1stWife ( member #58832) posted at 8:25 AM on Thursday, November 11th, 2021

Regarding his anger I have a suggestion.

You pack up your things and have them in you car ready to go. You then inform your H you are leaving due to his continued choices to cheat. You inform him you are not going to be around while he has a girlfriend that he continues to have contact with.

And you leave the house and get in your car and drive off. Don’t give him one second to explode in anger in your presence. As he starts to yell or rage, you just leave the home.

I did this with my H when I told him I was D him. I said 3 sentences and left the room. It was NOT a conversation- it was a statement.

[This message edited by The1stWife at 9:50 AM, Friday, November 12th]

Survived two affairs and brink of Divorce. Happily reconciled.

posts: 10890   ·   registered: May. 19th, 2017
id 8697952
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MIgander ( member #71285) posted at 2:07 PM on Thursday, November 11th, 2021

One thing about handling his anger, it is HIS to manage. I'm a codependent and it sounds like you may be struggling with that too?

FirstWife gave great advice- if you're not willing to have him rage at you (why should you put up with that anyway?), get ready either late at night or early in the morning- while he's sleeping. Then, when he wakes up, be showered and ready to go. Tell him and leave.

While you're in your happy place, I suggest reading "Conquering Shame and Codependency" by Darlene Lancer. It helped me tremendously in my WW work of owning my actions, reactions and shame. It revealed the amount of unhealthy responsibility I was taking in keeping everyone "happy" and the resentments I allowed to build up around that. I enabled him to treat me poorly, walk over my boundaries and give myself permission to cheat barf . I see in your situation the same enablement that I used to justify my affair.

Please don't disqualify what I'm saying because I'm the WW. Working through my codependency REALLY helped me gain courage in the face of my husband's anger, and I really hope you can benefit from working through it too. It's helped me be able to build healthier boundaries and assertive, healthy ways of expressing myself and REALLY helped me reduce the resentments/stored anger that built in the first place. You need to find your voice and you DESERVE to have one. The book and exercises are very empowering, please take your time going through them.

Also, while you're driving, "Codependent No More" by Melody Beattie is a book on tape on You Tube. I think it has 2 parts. I often go back to it when I'm struggling with shame, enabling and self hate. It's REALLY helpful, and a good primer.

You're not responsible for his anger or his choices of what to do with that anger.

You deserve better.

Your marriage won't have a chance at recovering until you recover your voice and your agency. You won't be able to be free of infidelity until you speak up for yourself.

Also, I had to go very LOW contact with my narc mother. I have muted her regular text threads and sent her emails to a separate box in my email account. This gives me the freedom to read them when I feel ready to deal with them. You can put your WH on the same settings and have his calls go right to VM without blocking him on your phone. Also, if you install a voice to text app for your VM, you can read instead of hear his messages. The reading instead of listening will provide you with the emotional distance that will help you not be manipulated back into "rug sweeping."

Best wishes, I'm sorry you're here.

posts: 205   ·   registered: Aug. 15th, 2019   ·   location: Michigan
id 8697968
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Notaboringwife ( member #74302) posted at 5:02 PM on Thursday, November 11th, 2021

I have been afraid to rock the boat, and when things are good, they're pretty good.

I related to this. Three months before D-Day, I knew something was really wrong with our marriage. But I afraid to confront my husband and we did have good times. So I just hoped that our troubles would go away. They did not. And when I discovered his LTA, I rocked the boat hard.

You have a "happy" place, go there to gather up your thoughts. Leave. 1rst wife gave good advice to distance yourself from his possible anger.

He is actively cheating on you. You can't hold any honest conversations with an active cheater. I've been there. And you are experiencing this yourself. Once the AP is dumped forever , only then can any talking and planning happen. Until then, you have a threesome marriage and retirement.

I wish you courage and fortitude.

It's your road & yours alone. Others may walk it with you, but no one can walk it for you. Though nobody can go back and make a new beginning... you can start over and make a new ending.

posts: 247   ·   registered: Apr. 24th, 2020
id 8697984
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BluerThanBlue ( member #74855) posted at 9:10 PM on Thursday, November 11th, 2021

First and foremost, stop revealing your sources of information. Every time you do, he just moves to a different medium of communication that he thinks you can't track.

Second, what are you hoping to get out of this confrontation? You have busted him and then argued with him numerous times before; it hasn't stopped him from cheating. What makes you think that on this specific occasion, the outcome will different?

Third, which of the following situations is most tolerable to you?
(1) You spend the rest of your life turning a blind eye to your husband's infidelities and/or keeping your mouth shut each time you make a discovery to ensure that he is always happy and content.
(2) You spend the rest of your life playing detective trying to catch your unfaithful husband, which results in conflicts that go nowhere because he won't stop and you won't leave.
(3) You get out of infidelity entirely by separating from him. Maybe this is a wakeup call, or maybe he keeps his girlfriend. There's a chance you will be alone but you will have peace.

I realize that all these choices suck, but based on what you've written, they are the only choices that you have.

BW, age 40
Divorced WH in 2015; now happily remarried to a great guy

I edit my comments a lot for spelling, grammar, typos, etc.

posts: 551   ·   registered: Jul. 13th, 2020
id 8698003
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 DaisyDuke (original poster new member #79581) posted at 11:25 PM on Thursday, November 11th, 2021

Thanks, all. I think I will be pursuing the option of separation. Nothing else has worked and I am tired of playing detective. I would hope this will serve as a kick in the butt for WH, but if he refuses to dump her for good, then maybe I will have peace in my life.

Me: BW, early 60s
Him: WH, early 60s

LTA (both EA and PA) w/former co-worker
Several false reconciliations

posts: 3   ·   registered: Nov. 10th, 2021
id 8698012
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Rnzwithscissors ( member #57292) posted at 11:54 PM on Thursday, November 11th, 2021

My response to my cheating husband when he complained about me "invading his privacy" was he forfeited any rights to privacy when he cheated on me.



posts: 60   ·   registered: Feb. 6th, 2017   ·   location: NJ
id 8698017
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gmc94 ( member #62810) posted at 12:14 AM on Friday, November 12th, 2021

Nothing else has worked

IMO, that's where the rubber hits the road (or the BS hits the road!).

After dday, and despite all the wise advice I got on SI, I just could not seem to get it through my thick skull that there is NOTHING I can do to change my WH. I didn't create his problems, I didn't make his choices, and I can't change or fix any of his crap. It's 100% on him and up to him. It took a 6 months separation, to see what had been right in front of my eyes.

I was doing all the homework in the hope that I'd somehow find the right book, or SI post, or podcast, or IC, or my own words to make him "get" how effed up everything was and become the man I thought he was - the "great guy" I thought I'd married. And man, was I ever wrong on that front. When I (finally) "got" that the TON my awesomeness and energy I was spending on HIM and trying to fix him was a fool's errand, I realized that all of that precious time and energy would be WAY better spent focusing on ME.

Take the time at happy place and focus on YOU. Go completely NO CONTACT with him, other than the "business" of your M (e.g., kids, finances, and the like). You are no longer his sounding board. Whether or not he had a good day is no longer your concern. No daily calls to "check in". If he can't find where the pineapple corer is, he is a grown up and can find it himself or do without. His problems are HIS problems. Not yours.

I'm not a betting person, but I do believe if you are able to really detach and go 180 / gray rock / NC with him, you may be surprised at how much better you feel. Give yourself some time and space to grieve all that's been lost by his selfishness. Learn to love yourself again. Do the things that make YOU feel good about YOU. Another BS here says to wear the fancy frilly underclothes, even if it's to take out the garbage, just because it feels good... or use the fancy bath salts, or whatever it is that helps you support you.... let EVERY day become it's own special occasion to do something for yourself.

Godspeed in this journey...

[This message edited by gmc94 at 6:15 PM, November 11th, 2021 (Thursday)]

M >25yrs/grown kids
DD1 1994 ONS prostitute
DD2 2018 exGF1 10+yrEA & 10yrPA... + exGF2 EA forever & "made out" 2017
9/18 WH hung himself- died but revived

It's rude to say "I love you" with a mouthful of lies

posts: 3509   ·   registered: Feb. 22nd, 2018
id 8698021
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 DaisyDuke (original poster new member #79581) posted at 1:06 PM on Friday, November 12th, 2021

Middle of the night panic attack. Heart racing. Fighting tears as I don't want to look like a wet salty puddle of pathetic mess, and trying to act like all is well when he is in the room. Have an appt this afternoon, then my schedule is clear and I will be free to go.

Me: BW, early 60s
Him: WH, early 60s

LTA (both EA and PA) w/former co-worker
Several false reconciliations

posts: 3   ·   registered: Nov. 10th, 2021
id 8698069
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The1stWife ( member #58832) posted at 2:42 PM on Friday, November 12th, 2021

It’s ok. You will survive this. We all do!

This might be the hardest step or move to make. However your only other option is to live with a lying cheating spouse.

Sometimes YOU have to be your TOP priority. Not him. Not the "fake marriage" you have. Not his feelings. Not his image. Not the kids or pets or in-laws.

We are with you in spirit. Continue to check in so we can support you.

Survived two affairs and brink of Divorce. Happily reconciled.

posts: 10890   ·   registered: May. 19th, 2017
id 8698090
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Gottagetthrough ( member #27325) posted at 9:24 PM on Friday, November 12th, 2021

You have a second house. You have some assets you want to get.

Go to an attorney. Do it now, do it swiftly. Dont tell your husband you know anything .

Have him served. Then go to the winter home. Demand your fair share and more of the assets. Take out anything in the house you dont want ow to take (ur grandma’s china for example. OW 1 in my story got a uhaul and took it all when I left the marital home, at WH’s ok.

Dont dawddle. I have. Learn from my huge freaking mistakes. Do it now. And have that fun retirement with someone who deserves you.

And if wh gets his head out of his butt, you can always get remarried. But divorce fast and now.

posts: 3638   ·   registered: Jan. 22nd, 2010
id 8698213
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GraceLoves ( member #78769) posted at 4:14 PM on Saturday, November 13th, 2021

I can relate in many ways to this, if it's helpful. It will be long, but maybe parts will touch on what you may have felt. I know the situations are very different, but sometimes with these complicated messes there are similarities in the midst.

My WH had an affair with a work colleague / neighbour and we also had three D-Days over six months of R and I'll explain a little of what was going on so there are maybe insights for you also.

We were separated by distance (he was working at home, I was away studying for two years) and the pandemic hit and we could not visit in the end for over a year. She was both a close colleague and lived more or less next door, and she was interested in WH from the outset and was obviously persuing him, which he didn't really as she was old enough to be his mother and knew he was married.

Over six months of on an off lockdown and working from home they got very close as friends (all her instigation but he did little to resist as he says he was lonely, stressed and no one else was around). Psychologically classic I guess - she presented herself as a Mamma figure and love bombed him. Very kind and caring, very supportive, asking lots of questions and listening to all his dull problems about work. Miraculously (draw your own conclusions), she liked all the same things as him. He loves scrabble and plays on his phone all the time. OMG, she LOVES scrabble and can they have a tournament please? He likes Bluegrass music. OMG, she LOVES Bluegrass and does he want to come over for lunch and listen to music. HE works out 5am every day. OMG, she LOVES working out at 5am, and how about they do it together????

Basically, I think she just faked the entire thing to become his best friend as she fancied him as a partner, because honestly no one likes bluegrass or 5am workouts?! Surely. Anyhoo. WH is pretty clueless so I do believe all this just slipped by him and he thought this was just a great friendship. The line got crossed with emotional intimacy. Again, classic psychologically. She presented herself as "abused" by her ex, damsel in distress. Made him (who had an abusive childhood), identity with her. Then he started sharing his deeper thoughts and feelings, which really WH doesn't do with anybody.

Boom. It's an EA. Not romantic in nature, but very close intimacy and basically every day spent together. She offered emotional support over coffee, dropping over food, keeping him company over lockdown for movie nights with all HIS favourite movies of course, wanting to spend every minute with him and showering him in adulation. She also showered him in alcohol, and he was never a drinker but with her it was alcohol all the time. After six months of this, when drunk, he slept with her. Then began a PA.

It was a PA in the sense they were basically doing couple things all day every day, and getting drunk and sleeping together once every week or two, but he never sent her lovehearts of professed any feelings. It was more like FWB. She told him she loved him and and he said he loved me and didn't want to have an affair and just wanted to be friends, but he didn't stop seeing her so the sex kept recurring. I have asked why, and he said he doesn't fully know (hoping he will figure it out in time). I think he didn't want to let go of this amazing friendship he believed he had with her which made him feel so understood and special.

There was a big element of her creating a strong emotional dependency on her over such isolated circumstances, endless alcohol, him being depressed over the lockdown, childhood issues in him that made him crave external validation, me being gone for over a year...and he said there is also a big element of believing that as he'd slept with her once I would definitely leave him, so once he got drunk, the self-destructive part of him would think, what did it matter if he did it again?

Immediately after the PA began, she quickly turned from fun-time-Sally into a fruitloop from hell. You name it, she did it. Threats to call me. Blackmail. Hitting him / herself. Drunk driving. Public tantrums. Breaking into our house / car. It was bonafide fatal attraction and she could not accept after them spending so much time together every day for 6 months that he still loved me and didn't want her. All the while my hapless WH tried to keep going back to when they were "just best friends" and thought and believed he could achieve that and somehow save the situation he had created.

It blew up in his face after four months of this when she called me. At that point she had already attacked him multiple times, demanding he leave her for me, and he was on pills for stress. After that call, when we started attempting R, she basically stalked us both for several months. Letters, gifts, hacking into my social media...we had to call the police multiple times. It was bad.

Although he stopped seeing her, he also would not properly stand up to her, and everything was about "she is unstable and threatening me so we have to do it her way", and it was a huuuuge mistake to do that. I wanted him to make a complaint at work about the stalking, he refused claiming he was worried about her following through on threats to ruin him. I wanted him to block her on social media, he refused, claiming this would make her angry and she'd only come and break into the house again.
I think, looking back, part of him was genuinely terrified of her because it was obvious she was crazy, part of him felt responsible for her and guilty because he thought he had made her that way and part of him didn't want to lose her attention (even if it hurt me) and part of him wanted to still believe she was his best friend and all the good times were real.

With us still long distance, and pandemic travel still extremely hard, this made R almost impossible. He was still seeing her every day and not seeing me, and his boundaries with her were far too weak. At one point she was coming into his office crying every day asking to meet and talk and he was refusing to stop her. Our R became VERY rocky as a result, obviously, and despite his efforts (counselling, reading the books, supporting me) there was no way I could R with her rubbed in my face every day and him seemingly not stopping it.

This made it false R really, because he was not really doing the full work needed to make me feel safe. As things got rocky with us and our R, and she continued to stalk and blackmail him, he unravelled mentally. She was putting SO much pressure on him to meet up with her to give her comfort, and he was coming home from work in the middle of the day sick. Meanwhile I was getting angrier and angrier and I ended up telling him I wanted a divorce and having a lawyer send him a letter.

That very day he got the letter, he went out, got blind drunk and ran into the psycho and slept with her again. The next day, he confessed to me and that was DDay 2. I cannot explain how bad that was for me. It was so much worse than the first DDay, that he would do that with someone who had been frightening and attacking me and making me sick. I think he just ran to his known source of love when I rejected him. In his weird, WH logic, the stalking just proved how much she loved him and even though he didn't return her feelings, it was source of validation and comfort to him when he felt like a piece of shit.

After that, he got very ill almost immediately. Panic attacks turned to depression and constant crying which turned into more or less a complete breakdown with paranoia, disassociation and almost catatonia. He lost about 25lbs in a couple of months because he stopped eating, and he quit the gym and started drinking a litre of spirits nearly every day just to function. That was awful to watch but I was still far away. I helped him a lot through that, because I was genuinely scared for him but strangely at this point he was both absolutely TERRIFIED of AP (I mean he would literally be screaming if she called and threatened him, which she frequently did), and also simultaneously missed her friendship and how things were before the affair started and blamed himself 100% for all her behavior. Weirdly, he saw her as two people - one the terrifying psycho abuser, and the other, his kind and lovely best friend.

Over 5 months of him being very unwell in an obvious way, AP manipulated the entire situation to try and harm him. For example, she started to call me to tell me she was worried about him being mentally unstable and tried to befriend me and turn me against WH. She was very convincing and even I believed the concern was real. The AP was honestly the master manipulator! After months of stalking him and breaking into his property and desperate and insane behavior, SHE told their boss SHE was concerned about WH being mentally unstable and suggested he be put on mental healthcare watch!!! She spread gossip about WH being insane in the community and with fellow colleagues and spread the narrative that this had happened because he was so in love with her. shocked All the while, I was supporting him long distance and doing everything I could to help him. R was put on hold completely while he tried to recover to some level of function and I was completely selfless in that process.

We realised we were never going to be safe from AP, so we decided it was better if he gave notice at his job to move to be with me, as my degree was coming to and end we thought complete relocation was the safest idea. As he began to get better and went back to work, he and I were separated by distance still for another few weeks, and although he still had to work with her, he was meant to be in NO CONTACT on a personal level.

After 8 months of R and not exchanging a single message with her over that time, he did it again.

She began popping in for coffee at work again and expressing concern and how much she cared about him. He allowed that to happen, because he said she had a new boyfriend now and he thought "everyone had moved on" and he wanted to close the situation off nicely before he left for good. She was blocked on everything by now but started sending him loving emails to his work account expressing how sorry she was for all she had done, and it was just because she loved him so much and reminiscing over their wonderful friendship and how special what they had was. For the first time since R started, he his this communication from me and instead of deleting it, he responded, saying he forgave her for everything and really missed her friendship but could never tell her that because of me, that he was sorry he had hurt her, and they had wonderful times as friends together and he was so sad he could not see or speak to her anymore after he left.

It blew my mind that he did this, but he did!

True to psycho form, she immediately screen shotted the emails he sent her, send them to me, and voila - DDay 3.

I think it was partly down to him still being physically distanced from me and seeing her every day still. Partly down to him being in a feeble state and her basically acting all kind and nice again and making out to be no threat. Partly down to him genuinely believing they had a real friendship and feeling grief over losing it. Partly down to just not having done the work of R to realise that lying to me again and communicating with her like that was a betrayal worse than sleeping with her.

He came home a few weeks after that, and for a while AP continued to stalk. He deleted all his social media accounts as she was setting up fakes. He changed email, phone numbers and jobs. It took him about 3 months of being around me and away from her for his depression to lift and he is 60% better now. AP even came on "vacation" about 3 miles from us! She is a psycho, no question. We both have ongoing fears over what may happen with her, but like you, I have some confusion over how FOR SO LONG he allowed his boundaries to be crossed.

We have a long way to go with R. I don't get how he betrayed me as much as he did over such a long period, but I need him to do the work when he is better. Things are definitely rocky, but any feelings of attachment he had for AP are finally gone now. I think the truth for every affair with an emotional connection, is that it is hard to break. The affair is meeting a need which they find hard to escape from, even if the AP is crazy.

I know the big question is, "why did he not get this need met by ME", and I think the answer is that people who have LTAs are generally a little bit damaged or vulnerable in some way to needing things externally. They're not necessarily possessing of the skills they need at the time to make healthier choices, like self-awareness or empathy or calculating consequences. They just have a need and get it met.

I don't believe my R even began until the last time he saw her, so for me it's been a year since DDay 1 and about 3 months since R began, and R is a hundred million times harder than it would have been if he had not betrayed me after the first DDay. The truth is, he was not ready to give up what he was getting from AP. Even if it was toxic and scary, he was needing it, and when he was weakened by shame and doubt about us, he was more vulnerable. He needed to get himself in complete no contact before he could even begin to work through it himself.

BW - seperated since Nov 21
DDay 1 - Nov 20, LTA during LDR. DDay 2 - Feb 21, ONS with AP. WH will maintain we were separated
DDay 3 - June 21, discovered WH had exchanged closure emails with AP

posts: 130   ·   registered: May. 9th, 2021   ·   location: London
id 8698307
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The1stWife ( member #58832) posted at 9:55 AM on Tuesday, November 16th, 2021

The truth is, he was not ready to give up what he was getting from AP. Even if it was toxic and scary, he was needing it, and when he was weakened by shame and doubt about us, he was more vulnerable. He needed to get himself in complete no contact before he could even begin to work through it himself.

My situation as well. Dday2 was horrific for him. That’s when I stood up to him and told him I was D him!!!! And plan B was in full execution mode.

Emotions make people do really stupid crazy things. His response to the OW with the ❤️ would set me back too. And probably send me to a D lawyer ASAP.

I don’t know where you go from here. Maybe your plan to physically separate is your best option. I understand your pain and devastation as I had a Dday2 as well.

It’s like being sucker punched all over again.

Can I ask if your H feels the need to rescue her? As in the Knight in Shining Armor syndrome? There appears to be some emotional element that has not ended. Or perhaps he just likes the attention and ego boost. Hmmm…..

[This message edited by The1stWife at 9:57 AM, Tuesday, November 16th]

Survived two affairs and brink of Divorce. Happily reconciled.

posts: 10890   ·   registered: May. 19th, 2017
id 8698653
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GraceLoves ( member #78769) posted at 5:09 PM on Tuesday, November 16th, 2021

@Th1stWife I think, yes, to a degree she would play the damsel in distress and that spoke to the abused child in him as he never wants to see people unsafe. Especially not if he's responsible for it, and she constantly threatened suicide. But it's a bit more complicated than that. I think his situation with her complex.

There was a classic abuser dynamic. He was very isolated with her at the time (Covid more or less locked down with her for months on end) and could quite literally not leave or escape. Telling me was not an option. He could not leave with no jib.
He felt he could not tell anyone the terrible truth. So he thought it best to just try and appease her. Part 1 of Stockholm Syndrome I guess.

After befriending him and being very kind for several months (friends for months before anything happenned), she started classic control techniques -

Isolation from others: such as telling him other people didn't like him, that he could not trust anyone but her and so on, that it was obvious I didn't love him because I had gone away to study.

Manipulation: Which was very complex, from lovebombing and meeting all his needs for human validation and so on but then simultaneously breaking down his ego and making him feel the world was very unsafe. Tricking him into believing they were "the same". Classic psychological abuse.

Let's put it this way, whether he had been married or single, he would STILL need therapy for a breakdown now because this woman unravelled his psyche completely. He's reduced back to a 17 year old kid in a lot of ways.

As the abuse began I don't think he understood that's what it was. She told him it was love, and that she just wanted him to leave me for her. He told her he didn't want an affair, he just wanted to be friends, and she would agree but then there was a lot of manipulation and emotional blackmail. Each time he refused to leave me, she would attack him, threaten him, blackmail, him. He has severe PTSD now.

The cycle of abuse was:

1. She would do something terrible (attack, hit, blackmail or go on a 7 or 8 hour rampage breaking into the house and so on)
2. He would be terrified and run / hide (at times he literally slept outside to avoid being home for his safety)
3. She would then come when he was weakened and scared and apologise, say "I only did this as I love you so much and I would never hurt you? I won't mention Grace again, can we please just be friends like we used to?"
4. He would want it to be okay as he was dependent on her and could not physically escape so he would agree
5. They would be "friends" for a day or two
6. Back to point 1

That cycle went on for months. So I guess it's understandable he has PTSD.

She was the one who caused him to feel mentally unstable and terrified, but the abuser dynamic was that she had convinced him that (a) he was completely responsible for her crazy behavior and therefore responsible for caring for her, even at my expense and (b) that she was his friend, and they were bonded by the trauma in some way.

So the dynamic was, he and I were doing okay and happyish in R, but physically separated and she would not respect NC and kept on stalking us both. He would ignore her attempts, but full NC was impossible to get as she lived 20 yards away and worked closely with him, or stop stalking us both, so this would cause fights.

For example, one week, she went crying into his office TWENTY ONE TIMES in a week, begging him, crying, saying if he would just meet her for a coffee for her "closure" she needed to move on that she would leave us alone. He would be sweating, having panic attacks, unable to sleep and after a long time of pressure, he would say to me "maybe I owe her a coffee to give her what she needs to move on". Because she was in his head that way.

When we fought, because I was furious about him even considering her feelings, I would cut off contact or threaten R and then she would swoop in saying she was sorry that I was so unstable and obviously didn't love him, but she did and did he want to talk.

He fought her off pretty much, but there ended up being 3 DDays because of this dynamic and I was put through living hell.

As well as abuse, I think it was some kind of parental abandonment being relived. His mamma left him when he was small and AP was 15 years older, and mothered him. Their affair was never romantic on his side WHATSOEVER. More like two people hanging out and looking after each other. When she went coconuts and told him it was his fault because she loved him so much and he had "led her on", I think he just felt terrible.

The whole thing was pretty screwed.

BW - seperated since Nov 21
DDay 1 - Nov 20, LTA during LDR. DDay 2 - Feb 21, ONS with AP. WH will maintain we were separated
DDay 3 - June 21, discovered WH had exchanged closure emails with AP

posts: 130   ·   registered: May. 9th, 2021   ·   location: London
id 8698704
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