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Newest Member: Stark

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

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TruthIsPower ( member #75776) posted at 12:49 PM on Tuesday, August 30th, 2022

Even though you are still drowning in pain and unhappiness and grief and despair you need to really make plans to move on because you are going to wear yourself out and into an early grave trying to fix him. I don’t think anybody can fix him

1000% THIS! Only he has the power to fix himself.
My life paths recently crossed with 32 y.o. drug and alcohol addict who happened to be admitted to the rehab once again. My neighbor (volunteer mentor for addicts) told me the other day that he told her that this time he does this for himself, not for his mom and dad.
My fWS has the same mentality as OP's WS, but he was able to pull himself out of the swamp and continues to work on himself and grow.

"Stop giving people the reasons to love you. Not all will see the beauty of your soul. Those who know, those who know who you are, will love you with something fierce and never let you go. Those are the ones worth holding out for."

posts: 216   ·   registered: Oct. 30th, 2020   ·   location: US
id 8752929
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 Sigyn (original poster member #80576) posted at 7:30 PM on Tuesday, August 30th, 2022

Line has been drawn in the sand, and 180 will now commence.

I told H by text that I did not want to hear one more word from him without a full admission about his life outside our marriage.

He called, I answered, and he immediately started trampling that boundary - how he can't tell me anything until I have the "back story" (by that he means his childhood tales of victimization, all of which I've heard about extensively throughout our marriage), how he's "finally" trying to express his feelings and I "won't let him", how I'm trying to control his behavior!! and change him as a person, and on and on. I waited until he wound down and then told him again I will not discuss any of this without a full admission about his life outside our marriage, and if he starts in on this again I will hang up the phone. He the started to tell me that HE wouldn't talk to ME again unless I ...did something, but I didn't hear what it was as I cut off the call mid-sentence.

I've never hung up on him like that before. I want to feel empowered but it just feels cheap.

Anyway, I need space to breathe and now I have it.

posts: 55   ·   registered: Aug. 15th, 2022
id 8752984
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whatisloveanyway ( member #66450) posted at 7:51 PM on Tuesday, August 30th, 2022

Sigyn, So, he wants to give you his whys (excuses, rationales, justifications) before he will admit to his whats (number and types of illicit relationships, locations, durations and expenses).

Maybe he thinks he can soften the blow or gain your sympathy. He is only making you crazy.

Have him write out all his why. Then the what. Email it to you. The entire assignment. You can skip to the part you asked for and read his extraneous filler if you need to. Way to stay strong and limit how much you let him upset you right now. Still no kindness? Love? Sympathy? Wishes to keep the marriage intact? Just childhood analysis 101? This is a new version for me, but I'm still a youngster here. Maybe others have seen this approach.
Best to you.

[This message edited by whatisloveanyway at 7:52 PM, Tuesday, August 30th]

BW: 62 WH: 62 Both 57 on Dday, M 35 years, 2 grown kids. WH had 9 year A with MOW, 7 month false R, multiple DDays, years of trickle truth.
I got rid of her with one email. Reconciling, but the lies have piled up. Trying one more time, again.

posts: 436   ·   registered: Oct. 9th, 2018   ·   location: Southeastern USA
id 8752987
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TruthIsPower ( member #75776) posted at 8:26 PM on Tuesday, August 30th, 2022

Sigyn,

kudos for 180!

how he's "finally" trying to express his feelings and I "won't let him"

Blame shift

I'm trying to control his behavior!!

In addition to blame shifting, He violates your boundaries and is not used to take requests of others into consideration, selfishness.

and change him as a person, and on and on.

He defends his behavior, sees nothing wrong with it, tells you that his character traits will stay the same. I do what I wish mentality, and nothing will stop me. To himself, he's a wonderful person with great reputation, loved and cherished by the OW's. His future can be very very ugly.

As Jordan Peterson said, the ugliest thing that can happen to the person is when he/she remains an old infant. Scary...

As for childhood issues... sorry to say, but he needs to man-up.

You can ask him for a written detailed timeline. This may work due to his shame.

You're finding your power and getting angry!

[This message edited by TruthIsPower at 8:30 PM, Tuesday, August 30th]

"Stop giving people the reasons to love you. Not all will see the beauty of your soul. Those who know, those who know who you are, will love you with something fierce and never let you go. Those are the ones worth holding out for."

posts: 216   ·   registered: Oct. 30th, 2020   ·   location: US
id 8752991
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ChamomileTea ( Guide #53574) posted at 9:23 PM on Tuesday, August 30th, 2022

I've never hung up on him like that before. I want to feel empowered but it just feels cheap.

It's not. You've established a boundary with him, maybe for the first time. And he responded to that by NOT LISTENING to what you told him. Instead, he immediately tried to steamroll over you. It feels counterintuitive because your default setting is compassion and care where he's concerned.

Believe me, I get it. I'll be married for forty years in a few months and everything I did in terms of boundaries and self-preservation just felt wrong and weird. There's a good book about boundaries called Unhealthy Helping by Shawn Burn. You might check it out if you need some bolstering. Your discomfort in this regard is so normal though. You're dealing with a change in data regarding your WH and your habits will naturally have trouble catching up.

((hugs))

BW: 2004(online EAs), 2014 (multiple PAs)Married 38 years; in R with fWH for 7

No one can make you into a liar but you.

posts: 5967   ·   registered: Jun. 8th, 2016   ·   location: U.S.
id 8753000
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BigMammaJamma ( member #65954) posted at 9:29 PM on Tuesday, August 30th, 2022

He is trying to maintain control. Why? So he can manage his image and your perception. He has seriously miscalculated and he is continuing to underestimate you.

You know, I just have to say I do not know if I am a "veteran" per se, but I have been in the betrayed club since 2017ish, and it would seem you are one of the rare newbies I have received (and continue to receive) clarity and insight from. You are force to be reckoned with, Sigyn. Your disordered WH's choices are not a reflection on you whatsoever.

[This message edited by BigMammaJamma at 9:29 PM, Tuesday, August 30th]

Me- born in 1984
Him- born in 1979
We both have 3 kids from previous marriages and we share a four year old. I might be a BS, but at this point, I don't know if I'll ever know.

Update: As of 5/8/2020, my WH confirmed I belong in this club

posts: 241   ·   registered: Aug. 23rd, 2018   ·   location: Deep in the Heart of Texas
id 8753002
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jb3199 ( member #27673) posted at 9:40 PM on Tuesday, August 30th, 2022

You have handled yourself well, and the way to continue to do so is to DEAL WITH THE PERSON WHO IS STANDING IN FRONT OF YOU.

Is this a person, today, that you would like to spend the rest of your life with? Not the man from 1 year ago, but the man from 1 week ago?

Can he change? Sure. But you definitely shouldn't plan your future on that. He has not shown one positive sign of a person wanting to change since he has been outed. Right now, he is absolutely a cornered animal, doing everything that he could possibly do WRONG. So, don't tolerate it. Continue to tell yourself that you are looking to get AWAY from the person in front of you. The sooner that this person is out of your direct life, the better.

If the husband that you thought you knew comes forward, with a boatload of contrition and the willingness to give you what you are asking for....the truth....then maybe that will be the pivotal point. But again, he has not shown you he is willing to do this(actually, the opposite), so you need to keep the detachment rolling. The person in front of you is not a good companion, so he needs to be treated as he presents himself....as a selfish, immoral person who has done a lot of damage to the ones he supposedly cares about the most.

BH-50s
WW-50s
2 boys
Married almost 30yrs.

All work and no play has just cost me my wife--Gary Puckett
D-Day(s): Enough
Accepting that I can/may end this marriage 7/2/14

posts: 4093   ·   registered: Feb. 21st, 2010   ·   location: northeast
id 8753005
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NowWhat106 ( member #35497) posted at 10:31 PM on Tuesday, August 30th, 2022

There is so much gold in this thread. Even though I’ve been around a long time, I’ve found some amazing insights and information here. And I’ll say again, Sigyn, you are paving a path here that will allow you to move forward with your sense of you much more intact than many of us have. You are staying true to yourself intuitively, and I’d imagine you don’t even know yet how vital that is to coming out of this better and faster.

What sticks out to me is that your WH is not thinking about you and how devastated you are AT ALL. You aren’t even on the radar. The only thing that he is working hard at is trying to control your perception of HIM. This is probably how he’s been operating all along. My WH was/is the same. I didn’t and don’t exist as an actual person with feelings like him. His feelings are super important. Mine don’t exist in his universe. He’s very committed to deciding for me what my feelings should be and assuming (with conviction) what they actually are.

So he’s focused on explaining everything so that his actions will seem understandable and sympathetic. This might even have been possible if he hadn’t destroyed so much of your life. It’s like running a red light and hitting someone with your car and then, rather than helping them and calling medical care, you are compelled to tell them why it wasn’t your fault and how upset you are about it and how worried you are that you’re in trouble and may face consequences that you don’t think would be fair. It’s kind of hard to care about how they’re feeling when you are the actual victim of their crime and are bleeding out. This will continue and your outrage at having to share any space with this person that claims victimhood for himself while you are the actual victim of his actual crimes against you will probably grow. . . A lot.

When I asked my WH what he expected to happen when I found out, he answered that he thought I would be mad. . .like a 4-year-old. He had all kinds of ideas about what I would do/feel and what I should feel and how my actual feelings were incorrect. He never actually listened to what I said I was feeling and even DISAGREED WITH ME ABOUT MY OWN FEELINGS. Or told me that my feelings were not the correct feelings for me to have. That is how committed they can be to believing that they actually control all narratives and responses.

He is committed to sneaky and dishonest behavior. Mine too. There is something that they really need/enjoy about feeling that they’ve done something secretive. The position this puts you in is his mom. You are the person that he needs to evade and hide his behaviors from. Every time you catch him in a lie or call him out, he will resent it massively. When I look back, that was always my WH’s response. No remorse. No self-examination. No change. Just anger at being caught. Anger at me for exposing him and making him feel shame. He never accepted blame, error, or the results of his behavior on others. He was too engrossed in his shame spiral and the fury that it provoked in him. He attacked in every direction when that happened until everyone shut up about it.

This is the biggest thing your WH has ever been caught in. It’s THE things—ALL of the secrets—that he’s been protecting forever. Expect him to completely shut himself off in shame, fury and attacking to get you away from it again and stop making him feel bad about himself.

I resigned as wife AND mom to my WH. He was not up to the adult task of fixing his own brokenness. He just waited for me to let it go so he could go on like it never happened fully ready to strike out if it was ever brought up again. I can tell you that is not a tenable life for you. It wasn’t for me.

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: 496   ·   registered: May. 2nd, 2012
id 8753021
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BreakingBad ( member #75779) posted at 10:38 PM on Tuesday, August 30th, 2022

I can tell from what you are sharing with us that this is so hard. You truly are handling yourself well in an extraordinarily difficult situation.

His self-centeredness persists.
He wants to have you listen to his own experiences as a victim instead of help heal you or meet any of your needs that you have been crystal clear about.

He's been getting his needs met--in all sorts of ways. He's clearly seen to that.

Now that he's traumatized you, he's not willing to meet your needs.

Sadly, it's that simple and that awful.

"Don't you love it, don't you love it?
No, I ain't happy yet.
But I'm way less sad."[Credit to group AJR]

Me=BW; fWH=online affairs with 3 APs over 2.5-3 yrs
Both in IC & MC
Married 31 yrs now
2 kids-both in HS
Attempting R

posts: 227   ·   registered: Oct. 31st, 2020
id 8753025
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Seeking2Forgive ( member #78819) posted at 7:27 AM on Wednesday, August 31st, 2022

Sigyn, I'm proud of you for sticking to your guns and not letting your WH gaslight or manipulate you.

Your search for answers is a normal response to the trauma of having your world shattered by betrayal. The sad thing is that many BSs with WSs who are without remorse never get those answers. If you see an IC familiar with betrayal trauma they may be able to help you deal with that possibility.

For your WS, if you have not already I would suggest that you ask for a written, detailed timeline of all his As. Tell him that you will listen to whatever he has to say about his "backstory" *after* you have that and after you have it verified by polygraph (if you wish).

All the "controlling" talk is typical of cheaters. You are not controlling him, you are stating what you require in order to consider trying to salvage the relationship. You have a right to set boundaries for what is acceptable to you in a relationship. Lies and secrecy most certainly are not.

[This message edited by Seeking2Forgive at 7:28 AM, Wednesday, August 31st]

Me: 60, BS -- Her: 59, FWS -- Dday: 11/15/03 -- Married 37 yrs -- Reconciled

posts: 439   ·   registered: May. 18th, 2021
id 8753094
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BigMammaJamma ( member #65954) posted at 1:51 PM on Wednesday, August 31st, 2022

Good luck at your appointment with the attorney today, Sigyn. My hope is that you walk away feeling more informed and impowered with a little more control over your life. <3

Me- born in 1984
Him- born in 1979
We both have 3 kids from previous marriages and we share a four year old. I might be a BS, but at this point, I don't know if I'll ever know.

Update: As of 5/8/2020, my WH confirmed I belong in this club

posts: 241   ·   registered: Aug. 23rd, 2018   ·   location: Deep in the Heart of Texas
id 8753108
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Hurtmyheart ( member #63008) posted at 5:42 PM on Wednesday, August 31st, 2022

Hi Sigyn, I'm just checking in to add my support. I've been through something similar to your situation, with my deceased WH and all of his other women.

It's a horrific journey that you are on but you will get through it, just as we have too.

Keep your head up and keep moving forward. Stay strong. You've got this. I hope that you get some answers today from your lawyer.

Don't forget to drink lots of water and fluids and be sure to eat. You need the energy especially for your child. Getting enough nutrition is essential in keeping your strength up while you prepare for the battle of your life.

Once again, I'm sorry for your new discoveries. There is hope for a better future but it is just dimmed right now.

Keep us posted.

posts: 871   ·   registered: Mar. 12th, 2018
id 8753161
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Cooley2here ( member #62939) posted at 5:54 PM on Wednesday, August 31st, 2022

By this point his FOO no longer should matter to you. He has walked his own path for so long that most of us don’t feel like there is a "fix" anywhere out there. It would take decades with no guarantee.

You need to take care of yourself. Always.

When things go wrong, don’t go with them. Elvis

posts: 3500   ·   registered: Mar. 5th, 2018   ·   location: US
id 8753163
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CometGirl ( member #56179) posted at 11:11 PM on Wednesday, August 31st, 2022

I’ve been thinking about your post a lot. And what really bothers me is how he’s trying to make the hurt from his past make it OK to hurt you now. Stand your ground. You are doing so well. Don’t let him gaslight you. Hope the lawyer appointment went well today.

[This message edited by CometGirl at 12:23 AM, Thursday, September 1st]

posts: 95   ·   registered: Nov. 28th, 2016
id 8753244
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Grieving ( member #79540) posted at 12:47 AM on Thursday, September 1st, 2022

I do think FOO issues are impactful and follow us much longer than we want or deserve (my husband’s affair brought up FOO issues for me that I literally had not thought about for years and years).

So, if he wants to include those along with a detailed, written timeline of the full extent of the betrayal, in your shoes I’d be open to that.

But I suspect for him, it’s not about actually dealing with FOO issues. Instead, these are the smoke and mirrors he wants to hide his wrongdoing behind. This is the man who very explicitly and purposely chose to live a dual life that involved treating you like garbage, like a person not worth treating like an equal human being, like a caged, subservient, lesser being, not a partner. He endangered your health. He turned years of your life into a lie. He deprived you of the agency to choose what you wanted in a relationship. He imprisoned you in a box and wants to Stockholm syndrome you into comforting him and letting him off the hook. I’m not without sympathy for someone with issues as deep as his, but you are the victim here, not him. Take care of yourself first. ❤️

Married for 20 years with two kids when my husband had a six month affair with a coworker. DD1: 6/2020. DD2: 7/3/2020. Reconciling

posts: 236   ·   registered: Oct. 30th, 2021
id 8753261
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The1stWife ( member #58832) posted at 10:56 AM on Thursday, September 1st, 2022

You hung up on him! Good for you. Next time he starts the diatribe hang up immediately. Or cut him off by asking him "are you going to tell me about your life outside our marriage? If not I’m hanging up".

If three words in he’s not answered - hang up again.

Either way you need to set very clear boundaries with him.

Survived two affairs and brink of Divorce. Happily reconciled.

posts: 12542   ·   registered: May. 19th, 2017
id 8753288
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SnowToArmPits ( member #50943) posted at 11:34 AM on Thursday, September 1st, 2022

how I'm trying to control his behavior


Somebody should, he can't control himself. tongue

That was quite a stand you took on the phone there, good for you.

Here's hoping he cuts the BS and gives you what you want. What you described there he was flinging some grade A horseshit at you.

You've got to co-parent with this guy, sigh.

posts: 487   ·   registered: Dec. 25th, 2015   ·   location: Canada
id 8753293
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Butforthegrace ( member #63264) posted at 12:16 PM on Thursday, September 1st, 2022

Nobody wants to be the villain in his private internal narrative. This is why he keeps harping on his difficult childhood. He has twisted his mind around to see himself as a victim. This is how he has justified, to himself, his wicked choices. He wants you to also see him as the victim. In his twisted logic, this will translate to you "understanding" why he did what he did, and therefore being okay with it.

Keep in mind that he has had years to build this narrative in his own mind. Brain research shows that repeatedly thinking one line of thought over and over can literally "wear a trail" in the brain, like a deer trail in the forest. The thoughts reinforce and build, eventually preventing other thoughts.

Clearly, his fucked up logic runs deep, as evidenced by the degree to which he led this second life. It is not realistic to expect that in a few months, or a year, or even 5 years, he could be capable of seeing the fundamental flaws in his shit-pile of synthesized rationalizations and become remorseful. You really are beating your own head against a wall if you think otherwise.

"The wicked man flees when no one chases."

posts: 3973   ·   registered: Mar. 31st, 2018   ·   location: Midwest
id 8753297
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BigMammaJamma ( member #65954) posted at 1:57 PM on Thursday, September 1st, 2022

Morning, Sigyn! How did the appointment with the lawyer go?

Me- born in 1984
Him- born in 1979
We both have 3 kids from previous marriages and we share a four year old. I might be a BS, but at this point, I don't know if I'll ever know.

Update: As of 5/8/2020, my WH confirmed I belong in this club

posts: 241   ·   registered: Aug. 23rd, 2018   ·   location: Deep in the Heart of Texas
id 8753304
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 Sigyn (original poster member #80576) posted at 8:04 PM on Thursday, September 1st, 2022

I'm going to update and then respond to others, you guys have called just so many of the things that have happened.

I got more of the story and also saw the lawyer. The lawyer was actually really reasonable and logical and ranked all of the potential paths I could take from safest to ugliest and what would be required for each. Right now this was information gathering, but I got some advice about two of the legal issues I was most worried about and so I have a to-do list based on his advice, which made the appointment feel more empowering than I was expecting. Honestly was just dreading it.

But I've also gotten more of the story from H, who just would not stop pushing to do all of his justification first and save for last the facts of what he's done to us. He spent yesterday trying to throw in my face that all I asked of him on day 1 was to tell me WHY he did this and that I didn't care about the details of WHAT he did. And yes I did say that on day 1, I wanted to know 'why' more than I wanted to know specifics, since I was fresh off of Messenger with his OW hearing and seeing more than I ever wanted to know about the details of what he's done.

But this isn't day 1 anymore and my emotions have been torn to shreds and put through the spin cycle since then and right now I don't care about why he did it and only want to hear him admit what he did. So things have changed inside me since day 1 and he missed his chance, now I want details.

I've therefore had to cut him off numerous times since the first hangup. I've lost my temper entirely with him and been absolutely brutal. I'm so done with his infantile behavior, just done.

I finally got from him that yes he's been involved emotionally and physically with other women, "but not for our entire marriage" he said, but then he mentioned something from a place we lived for our first 3 years of marriage, so when he says not our entire marriage he means there were less than 3 years after our wedding before he started and probably more like 2. And I know from Messenger OW that she and my H just parted ways this summer. We've been married 17 years, so that's probably 15 years out of 17 that he's been cheating. And I don't even know if I believe that the first 2 or so years were monogamous.

He also claimed the massages were just massages, "yes they were sexy but they were not sexual". I cut him off and said they were sexual, I already know, and then I gave him a couple of specifics to let him know I'm serious. I told him I want a full accounting of the money he used for the escorts, in writing, emailed to me. I have no confidence at all that he'll do this.

On the advice here I also asked him for a timeline of our marriage with the months and years that he's been involved with other women. I told him I already have quite a bit of evidence and my own version of a timeline based on the things I've discovered, so I'll know very quickly if he's lying or minimizing like he did with his claim of sexless sexworkers. No idea if he'll comply with this.

Meanwhile we've had to say something to our son because of our living arrangement right now. H cried through some of it which distressed our son so much!! I tried to be okay with family dinners with H coming over and then leaving after and I might be able to get back to that point but right now I can't eat if H is near me. How do you even juggle what's best for everyone?

posts: 55   ·   registered: Aug. 15th, 2022
id 8753351
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