Hi everyone - like many of you I never thought I would find myself here. I am devastated by my ex-bf's infidelity but trying my best not to wallow in it. D-day was a little over 5 weeks ago.
My story... apologies for the novel.
Wayward boyfriend (WBF?) and I had been together for 8 years (both 36) and live together in NYC, not married and no kids. The last year of Covid, we started having problems with our relationship. I struggled with him no longer being a team player in the relationship, his immaturity (he often called me childish names, think like "butthead"), and when he was patronizing. I do now recognize that this is a form of abuse. He struggled with the fact that he felt like our relationship became had become more like roommates than that of BF/GF. There was also minimal physical intimacy. We tried couples counseling but they ultimately sent us off for IC this past summer. She thought WBF was depressed but thought we could both benefit from IC.
Throughout the summer and into the fall, things were status quo and I didn't want to poke the bear. I took care of him after he had a terrible accident and things seemed to be looking up for our relationship and he even told me that he thought everything was going to be fine.
He started a new job after he recovered, and things immediately started to go downhill. There were a couple of nights he was out extremely late at goodbye dinners with former coworkers from his old job. When he was around, I felt like a wounded animal cowering in our apartment while he would be in another room playing on his phone and ignoring/avoiding me. He basically gave me the silent treatment whenever we were home together. Throughout this time I 100% thought the problem was me - I wasn't giving him what he needed, I wasn't being the supportive partner, I needed to bring my A game to the relationship every time. I did some really serious self reflection during this time so I could to by best to be the partner he needed.
Shortly after this period of silent treatment/me desperately trying to make myself into his ideal partner, I left the apartment (left him a note) when he wasn’t there and stayed away for a few days to give us both some space. I never heard from him the while I was gone. I reached out after a few days to talk, and we wound up breaking up - at the time I thought it was a fairly mature conversation with him telling me he wanted to be independent, no longer wanted a roommate, etc. I made it clear I wanted to continue to work on the relationship, but agreed that we needed some time apart to heal ourselves/get away from the toxic situation. He even alluded to the door being open for us being together in the future, so I was clinging on to that tiny piece of hope as I went out of town for Thanksgiving.
When I got back from the holiday I said my final piece to him (along the lines it was a shame I couldn't apply the work I'd done on myself to our 8 year relationship) and he was cold and not moved at all. He was trying to hide his phone screen from me, I honestly thought he was just talking shit about me to his friends. I worked from home the next day and he went into the office, so I looked at his iPad while he was gone and that's where I discovered the A with a former coworker.
I suspect that they were communicating on internal company systems prior to texting as the texts didn't go back very far. The nights that he told me he was out having goodbye dinners were dinners with her. What really killed me was that the texts reminded me a lot of the start of our relationship with what they were sharing with each other, and the flirtations. I also discovered in the texts that they had slept together almost immediately after the breakup conversation.
I confronted him that night and told him he needed to get out and he could go stay with his AP. He tried to deny everything at first but then it dawned on him I had seen the texts. Even then he only copped to dinners until I told him I had seen the part about him sleeping together, and he claimed nothing had happened (which is BS). I said I understood he wasn’t getting what he needed from our relationship but he couldn’t go find it somewhere else while we were still together. He said he was confused about what he wanted. I had to ASK him to apologize for betraying me. As he was leaving he thanked me for letting him explain himself. I found this to be extremely selfish and after he left it really dawned on me how manipulated I had been.
Fast forward to now. I have repeated asked him to take enough things with him to just leave me alone until I move out at the end of January instead of popping by every few days to drop off dirty clothes and get clean ones. I am trying to go NC and get him out of my life to the best extent possible (we have a lot of mutual friends, especially in the city, so I’m not sure how this will go – those I have told have been horrified, but I don’t know how things will go over time). When he came over to get things this week we got into it a bit and it’s clear he’s not going to respect the boundaries I’m trying to respect vis a vis staying away until I move out. I was so riled up that night I didn’t fall asleep until 4 AM and feel the anxiety creeping back in as I know I’m probably going to get a text in the next few days telling me the next time he’s going to come and get another round of clean clothes.
I think this relationship is over – he has shown absolutely no remorse or interest in R. No independent apologies for what he did. There were problems before I found out about the AP. I know that this is for the best given his past abuse and lies but the emotional side isn’t there yet. I would be lying if I didn’t have "those days" where I experience the mindfuck of wanting to crawl into the arms of the person who did this to me and have him tell me everything is going to be ok. I also can’t seem to stop myself from seeing if he’s active on Instagram and asking my friends to tell me what’s in his stories, or trying to figure out what he’s up to and what his mental state is based on the clothes he takes with him, or the things he orders online and still has sent to our apartment. I don’t dwell on the AP too much – I looked her up, I personally think she’s much less attractive and I wouldn’t be surprised if he told her he was single - aside from wonder if they are still seeing each other.
Two things really stress me about the future – one, my age (I’m 36), and two, our mutual friends. From reading other posts here I think people will tell me not to worry about my age, but it’s stressful to think that by the time I am able to move beyond this, find someone worth spending the rest of my life with, and want to have kids I could be beyond child-bearing years. With respect to our friends, WBF can be really funny, gregarious, and entertaining (it got to the point that I was looking forward to having plans with friends because it meant he would stop being a dick to me for a few hours). The news of our breakup and his A has been a surprise to a lot of people, but I’m really anxious about how this plays out over the coming months and even years as the shock fades.
Thanks for reading my story. My friends and family have been very supportive throughout this whole ordeal but not many have been through something similar and can relate. I’m looking forward to better days ahead and moving on with my life when I’m ready.