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Newest Member: Goku06

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

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 Sigyn (original poster member #80576) posted at 8:15 PM on Thursday, September 1st, 2022

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.

That's exactly what he wants. First he wants to tell me all of the other people who are at fault that led to this, so when he gets to the punchline he's already absolved himself of most of the responsibility. barf

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.

If only we hadn't already spent so much time on his FOO issues in our marriage, if he hadn't already been to therapy for them for years... it's like, if years of talking to his wife about them as well as the care of professional therapists didn't help, then maybe his FOO issues are simply not solvable. Maybe he's stuck like this forever.

I've been through something similar to your situation, with my deceased WH and all of his other women.

I am so so sorry. It must be such a mind scramble to have to deal with both the knowledge of his infidelity as well as his death. What an absolute mess they leave behind in every possible way!!


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.

Thanks for the advice, I've used it! I mean I've asked for a timeline, I don't know whether he'll give me one. I've read so many articles now about people who see boundaries and consequences as ways other people are trying to 'control' them. People who feel that way are massively disordered. It's scary. I did not know how incredibly manipulative he was until this ugly, ugly door was opened. Someone compared it to him wearing a series of masks our entire marriage and it is exactly that! I think I'm seeing some of the person under the mask and it's like he's made out of defensiveness, hiding, power and control grabs and misdirection. How did that set of traits manage to run the good guy persona for SO long?? I don't get it. And I'm slowly realizing what you all have been telling me - I may never really understand or have the answers I'm looking for.

posts: 52   ·   registered: Aug. 15th, 2022
id 8753355
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trustedg ( member #44465) posted at 8:26 PM on Thursday, September 1st, 2022

I am so sorry you are here, but it is a great place.

You are on the right track. You can't fix him and he may just be "unfixable". I know you want to help your children through this, like having him come to dinner, but if it hurts you that doesn't help the children. They are going to need a strong mom. Might help to get them some counseling. Are you getting counseling?

Stay on course, listen to the attorney, protect you, your children, and your finances.

Me BWHim WH DDay 12/2012Married a long time, in R

posts: 2331   ·   registered: Aug. 11th, 2014
id 8753357
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 Sigyn (original poster member #80576) posted at 8:39 PM on Thursday, September 1st, 2022

Thank you, I am getting counseling! One emergency session already and then a weekly scheduled session from now on, at least for the foreseeable future. I'm very lucky that this is a therapist I know well and saw for years, we just stopped during Covid because I had screen fatigue and felt like my life was 'so stable and happy' ugh.

posts: 52   ·   registered: Aug. 15th, 2022
id 8753360
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ChamomileTea ( Guide #53574) posted at 9:09 PM on Thursday, September 1st, 2022

If only we hadn't already spent so much time on his FOO issues in our marriage, if he hadn't already been to therapy for them for years... it's like, if years of talking to his wife about them as well as the care of professional therapists didn't help, then maybe his FOO issues are simply not solvable. Maybe he's stuck like this forever.

Exactly. FOO issues don't cause cheating. Neither does depression, or anxiety, or low self-esteem, or sex addiction, or any of the bullshit excuses that cheater's make. To be fair, I don't think they have enough self-awareness to understand that. It stands to reason though that the cheating can't happen unless there's a character defect, a gap between the WS's stated values and his actual deeds. He's got a "but..." in his core value of Fidelity. ie. "He believes in Fidelity, but... not if he won't get caught". rolleyes

We've all got our own demons but they don't CAUSE us to cheat. How many people do you know who have FOO issues or depression but are faithful in their relationship? It's about integrity. It's about what you do when other people aren't looking. By your WH's math, everyone who had his kind of FOO issues would be cheaters, but they're not. Cheating happens in some people with no problems at all. IMHO, it just comes down to not having the boundaries in place which should be surrounding and protecting those core beliefs. Those values are either too weak and permeable to prevent the cheating or non-existent, and that doesn't mean irreparable, but it does mean pretty darned difficult and not possible until the cheater understands the need to change.

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: 5927   ·   registered: Jun. 8th, 2016   ·   location: U.S.
id 8753367
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TheEnd ( member #72213) posted at 9:11 PM on Thursday, September 1st, 2022

How do you even juggle what's best for everyone?

In the long run, what is best for your health and well being will be best for your son.

He needs a healthy and strong mom to keep him safe, well fed and growing. That doesn't mean you can't be sensitive to his needs of course, but you cannot provide him with the stability he needs if you're drowning yourself. If disconnecting from your WS keeps your head above water, that is what you do. It's what is best for both of you.

The old "place your mask on first before assisting others."

Keep the lines of communication open with your son (age appropriate levels obviously). Check in with his thoughts and feelings from time to time. Let him know it's ok to be sad right now because you all are, but worry is your job not his. He is loved and cared for and that will not change.

Perhaps WS could take a break from constructing his tale of "most misunderstood victim of all time" and put in regular, one on one time with his child.

You're doing great! Glad the lawyer visit helped you feel a bit empowered.

posts: 247   ·   registered: Dec. 3rd, 2019
id 8753369
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Hurtmyheart ( member #63008) posted at 9:48 PM on Thursday, September 1st, 2022

It hasn't been easy figuring out who my deceased WH really was and the information came in mostly after his death. And I thought that we were in some sort of R while he was still alive. But also found it odd that I never felt like I was healing... because he was still in active cheating. I honestly struggled wrapping my head around the fact that my deceased WH was in fact cheating on me. I was in complete shock and denial of who he really was. And yes you are correct, they did mess our lives up.

I have found that there are others out there who have gone through similar experiences as mine. I am not alone. But one thing for sure, I am no longer being blindsided and being kept in the dark of who he really was. It is no longer a secret. It is sad but at the same time freeing to not have to live like that anymore. I personally don't think that they are capable of change. I think that is who they are.

But one thing I do find interesting is that they chose not to share this vital information with us prior to marriage. I now know my deceased WH used me and the kid's to keep the appearances up so that he could continue his secret double life. He wanted others to believe that he was a good man. Obviously, it was just a lie and none of it was true.

Your WH will most likely want to contunue to protect his image at all costs, keep the facade going with family, friends, etc. His reputation is at stake. Be careful, your WH is very emotionally unstable, especially right now. He's been found out.

posts: 870   ·   registered: Mar. 12th, 2018
id 8753376
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 Sigyn (original poster member #80576) posted at 9:54 PM on Thursday, September 1st, 2022

Those values are either too weak and permeable to prevent the cheating or non-existent, and that doesn't mean irreparable, but it does mean pretty darned difficult and not possible until the cheater understands the need to change.

The thing that gets me is that it's not like he's ever lacked sympathy for having a dysfunctional mother. He spent over a year in therapy specifically to go through those issues when they started to interfere in another way with his relationships with others. He absolutely loved discussing every aspect of his childhood wrongs but at some point his therapist was like okay, now let's start to think of how all of these issues have manifested in you as an adult, and how you can change the ones that are harmful. Reasonable!!! But H totally balked at that. I can't remember why I didn't see this for the gigantic red flag that it is!

I've been reading so many infidelity related things including things from 'the other side' and there's a recurring theme of how the BS must have known and turned a blind eye to it. I can't stop thinking of all of the red flags I can see now. It wasn't that I was willfully blind about his entire second life, it's just that I didn't think his love of control and unwillingness to admit to his own flaws equaled 15+ years of cheating, escorts, bragging about not being monogamous, calling other women his girlfriends, telling them he loved them. It's like if you see a red bump on your face you think you have acne, not deadly flesh eating bacteria. Yes there were red flags but not about THIS. I don't know why I'm arguing in my own head with internet strangers who weren't even writing to me. I've been journaling a lot... mostly freeform rage.

posts: 52   ·   registered: Aug. 15th, 2022
id 8753377
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 Sigyn (original poster member #80576) posted at 10:02 PM on Thursday, September 1st, 2022

But one thing I do find interesting is that they chose not to share this vital information with us prior to marriage. I now know my deceased WH used me and the kid's to keep the appearances up so that he could continue his secret double life. He wanted others to believe that he was a good man. Obviously, it was just a lie and none of it was true.

Your WH will most likely want to contunue to protect his image at all costs, keep the facade going with family, friends, etc. His reputation is at stake. Be careful, your WH is very emotionally unstable, especially right now. He's been found out.

It's doubly unfair to you that you never got to tell him that you knew, ask him things, try to figure it out, even if he didn't budge. The whole thing is so insanely unfair.

My H will very much want to protect his image, I'm watching as he's doing that right now. He's very concerned about who I've told, what I've told them. And I'm definitely keeping some of this close to the vest. He knows my sister and BIL know that he's had affairs, but he doesn't know the details of what I know so he also doesn't know what I've shared with them. I'm already shocked by his emotional reactions to even the most mild of consequences.

posts: 52   ·   registered: Aug. 15th, 2022
id 8753378
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Dontforget ( new member #74342) posted at 10:15 PM on Thursday, September 1st, 2022

You are my very first post and I am unsure if this helpful since it has been pointed out both by you and other posters that you may never comprehend the scope of the betrayal and the underlying causes but you have referenced several times FOO issues and years of therapy for your wayward husband, What is the likelihood of your husband NOT telling your his therapist of such a large (perhaps the largest) part of his life? In all likelihood the therapist may be aware of what has happened in your marital life in way that could be very revealing to you. If you think that for your own healing you need some version of the truth so perhaps you could insist on meeting with your wayward’s therapist either alone or in a joint meeting. Make it a condition. Frankly it is very unlikely his therapist knows nada. I recall reading in a well known memoirs of an affair that the author visited her dead husband’s therapist and he knew a lot more about her marriage and the affairs then she ever did. Something to think about - make it a condition to your husband that you meet with his therapist. And if he hasn’t told the truth to the therapist - well no wonder there hasn’t been any kind of epiphany.

posts: 1   ·   registered: Apr. 29th, 2020
id 8753382
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ChamomileTea ( Guide #53574) posted at 10:16 PM on Thursday, September 1st, 2022

I've been reading so many infidelity related things including things from 'the other side' and there's a recurring theme of how the BS must have known and turned a blind eye to it.

They like to think that, but no.. it's a bullshit excuse that cheaters make in an effort to not feel like human scum for their deliberate choices to deceive and to expose other people to physical, emotional, and financial risk.

The bottom line is that you don't think like a perpetrator. Your default setting is compassion and trust, not subterfuge and betrayal. These people go to great lengths to fool us into a false sense of security. That's what all the lies are for. And yeah, in hindsight, you DO see the red flags that you missed, but should you have seen them before?.. no. You've got a NORMAL psychology that involves personal values and empathy.

I don't know why I'm arguing in my own head with internet strangers who weren't even writing to me. I've been journaling a lot... mostly freeform rage.

Pro tip from my former therapist... try jotting down a little something positive after each entry. It's supposed to train the brain to look for optimism. It doesn't have to be big and it doesn't have to have anything to do with the subject at hand. It can be how nice your morning coffee smells, or how blue the sky is today, or a stranger's off-hand compliment. Anything that makes you feel grateful or like maybe the world's not totally bad. smile

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: 5927   ·   registered: Jun. 8th, 2016   ·   location: U.S.
id 8753383
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BigMammaJamma ( member #65954) posted at 10:37 PM on Thursday, September 1st, 2022

Has he shown any concern for your wellbeing at all? From what you shared, it seems like he is still only worried about the fallout from his own choices--which is so incredibly mind-boggling when you considered that he bragged about it on a forum. Does he even make the connection between the upheaval of your son's world and his actions?

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: 239   ·   registered: Aug. 23rd, 2018   ·   location: Deep in the Heart of Texas
id 8753389
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VezfromTaz ( new member #80815) posted at 11:08 PM on Thursday, September 1st, 2022

First time posting I hope I'm not too heavy handed but like others you dont have anything to work with here, other than finding a new world order for yourself where you are in control.

I will assume what you are going through/about to go through psychologically is similar to my own experience, as you sound like a decent minded person who has been married to a fraud. Firstly if you haven't checked in with a health professional please do so as you may have adjustment disorder and require treatment. I didnt really understand what that was, but I do now. As someone said, make sure you eat because your hair may fall our from stress ~ mine did so I now I spend my days looking at hair toppers ~ what fun!

What I wanted to say was this ~ the scales are beginning to fall off your eyes as to who your husband is, and soon you will understand that this is how many people are. They do not care for others ~ they cannot as that part of their brain doesnt work. They operate off instinct, and consequences.

Your brain does not work like that, because you are a fully developed human being who can attach to others.

Every time your husband has contact with you, it will be nothing more than a further attempt at manipulation to regain control over you, and the narrative. Unless you are a robot, you will be manipulated in that exchange. You cant not be ~ you are human.

You sound much stronger than I was, so whatever information you collect keep it for legal proceedings (which btw will become a further opportunity for control). I got rid of so many texts as I was so disgusted and horrified to realise who my ex really was/is. More than that, I came to realise I had lied to myself about who he really was.

One time after separation my ex sent me a text that said "I've calmed her (the AP) down". I realised then that was what he had been doing his whole life, probably since he was a kid when he would do the wrong thing and his narc mother would scream at him. He'd been doing it his whole life ~ he had no other way of operating.

I'm sorry to be so heavy handed. I'm a domestic violence lawyer so I see overt displays of control very often. This is covert abuse and it is really devastating to experience. The legal system isnt very good at responding to it, but it's just as damaging to victims and it's been happening since the day you met your husband.

I'd suggest you look at Sam Vaknin videos on covert narcissism ~ there is a good one on doormat to psychopath. And read up on communal narcissists as that's what your husband seems to be.

I'm 18 months out, my ex continues to breach boundaries using the legal system to delay property settlement (through lying) and my child (wants our autistic child half time but leaves him abandoned in house for hours so he can attend sporting events) as weapons. That's what they do. My ex was the nicest person you could ever meet. No one could believe he had a double life (I dont actually know the extent of it and never will), which is a lot of the reason I couldnt get out of relationship from the start when alarm bells should have been going off. Cognitive dissonance is a killer!

Good luck on your journey.

posts: 34   ·   registered: Sep. 1st, 2022
id 8753393
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VezfromTaz ( new member #80815) posted at 12:13 AM on Friday, September 2nd, 2022

I just wanted to add one more thought (I am full of thoughts these days - thoughts begone!) regarding narcissists and how their brains operate. I recall you said he had been on a forum/chat telling people how to deceive their partners. In addition to sourcing sex partners, this is an example of how a communal narcissist might obtain "supply" - go on a forum, provide expert information and advice to a group of people (so helpful), and receive kudos and praise from the community for how brilliant and superior he is (albeit at deceiving their loved ones).

Once again, I'm sorry.

[This message edited by VezfromTaz at 8:22 AM, Sunday, September 4th]

posts: 34   ·   registered: Sep. 1st, 2022
id 8753402
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 Sigyn (original poster member #80576) posted at 1:44 AM on Friday, September 2nd, 2022

I'm asking for honest feedback right now. I've reached a stage where I would rather hear a brutal truth than polite lies.

I know we're not psychotherapists here and I'm not looking for a professional diagnosis, just for opinions.
Does my H really sound like a narcissist? It breaks my heart to think of him that way, I love him deeply and have my entire adult life, and I suspect his mother is a narcissist and it would absolutely kill him to be anything like her. But the things I've seen and heard from him have been above and beyond anything I'd ever suspected he carried inside him.

And he hasn't comforted me, apologized, asked how I am, asked what he could do to help me, sent a text to tell me he was thinking of me or missed me or felt terrible about our situation - none of that.

I read other people's stories and I'm ashamed to say that even a panicked lie and begging to stay would feel like there was some care for me and for our life inside him. He's been angry, defensive, silent, manipulative and very self pitying, but I haven't gotten anything coming my direction at all aside from that. No comfort or pain in response to my pain. I even felt like his tears during our talk with our son were about himself, his loss of comfort and the loss of idolization he always had from our son and probably from me as well in a different sense. Not that I idolized him, but I always had his back and presented a united front with him and dealt with any issues behind the scenes when we were alone. I felt like the crying while talking to our son was more about his loss of the stability of his family, and the anchor we provided for him. I wonder how far off normal we've been this entire time without me recognizing it.

posts: 52   ·   registered: Aug. 15th, 2022
id 8753412
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VezfromTaz ( new member #80815) posted at 2:16 AM on Friday, September 2nd, 2022

I was going to say the answer to that question doesn't matter whether he is a narcissist, because it is abuse. Or as a popular online infidelity blogger says "is this relationship acceptable to you". Or Richard Grannon who says something like "stop trying to put the fish in the bucket - it's abuse".

But of course it matters when you've been betrayed - to try to make sense of who a person really is, what motivates him (to create logic and order in a time of chaos, which btw narcs create and thrive in), but you wont get the answer you are seeking from your husband.

The only question I ask myself these days is who I am, what sort of person do I want to be. I've had porous boundaries my entire life, but I've learnt to say no (albeit through my lawyer, which sometimes becomes the only way communication can occur).

When I was a couple of weeks out, I was lying in bed soaked in sweat not having a clue what was going on around me. My elderly mother had to look after me (I am normally a stable, clear minded person). You are doing so well and sound like an amazing person!

posts: 34   ·   registered: Sep. 1st, 2022
id 8753417
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The1stWife ( member #58832) posted at 2:31 AM on Friday, September 2nd, 2022

My H became a lying jerk during his affair. Honestly the entitlement he displayed was maddening.

My H had the audacity to flaunt his affair in front of me.

I don’t know if your H is a narc or just selfish. But I can tell you that he is behaving like so many cheaters once they are caught / lie, deny, blame everyone else, don’t admit anything etc.

So sorry for you.

Survived two affairs and brink of Divorce. Happily reconciled.

posts: 12497   ·   registered: May. 19th, 2017
id 8753419
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Cooley2here ( member #62939) posted at 3:39 AM on Friday, September 2nd, 2022

Someone told me that the EU no longer differentiates personality disorders. I agree with that change. Many disordered people have 2/3 diagnoses. They can be narcissistic, Histrionic and more. I think covert narcs are just as damaging as overt ones. Each PD type is too exclusive to me. They often bleed into each other. Anyway PD behavior is on a continuum. They can’t be diagnosed as one without meeting strict guidelines. Your husband is disordered but who knows what he would be diagnosed with. PDs seldom get to therapy on their own. Your husband might not ever get the right kind. He might be real good at getting the therapist’s attention on his childhood to the exclusion of anything else. He sounds like an well developed manipulator.

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

posts: 3491   ·   registered: Mar. 5th, 2018   ·   location: US
id 8753425
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veryconfused ( member #56933) posted at 4:25 AM on Friday, September 2nd, 2022

Personally, I am of the opinion that the term narcissist gets bandied about all too often. Is he? Who knows! I can say that he is definitely a broken person with some real issues.

However, all cheaters are caught in their own self absorption for an extended period. The cheater who says I am truly sorry and can back it with empathy from the start is a unicorn. Seriously! Speaking of empathy, I would bet that the vast majority of cheaters have no empathy for themselves. They can act the part, show care for others in order to maintain an image, but under the hood, nada!

Look at him and your history with those fresh eyes, remember to not apply your belief system, and see if there was any real empathy. The point here is simple. If he does not have empathy for himself, he can not give you what he does not have.

He is going to have to learn to accept responsibility, own his choices, drop the defensiveness, provide his own confidence and validation before he can ever give you what you are looking for.

In the mean time, while you are waiting for a real human to appear, you can easily spend hours, days, and years attempting to classify for your own understanding. That trauma brain needs to understand what happened.

posts: 259   ·   registered: Jan. 16th, 2017   ·   location: Mid West
id 8753428
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Hurtmyheart ( member #63008) posted at 6:07 AM on Friday, September 2nd, 2022

It's doubly unfair to you that you never got to tell him that you knew, ask him things, try to figure it out, even if he didn't budge. The whole thing is so insanely unfair

.

Those red flags I chose to ignore early on in our marriage helped me to fill in the blanks of his past. And when he was alive, like your WH, he kept everything inside and proceeded to rugsweep everything. I do believe though that he was slowly allowing his real self to emerge. As others have said about their deceased WH, now God gets to deal with it.

I'm 2 1/2 years past his death and around 8 years out from those first d days, I think everything has blurred somewhat into the past. And time sure does fly, so my timeline isn't 100% accurate. I am still sad though because of our ending but also have some peace and forgiveness in my heart. I just don't want to allow it to continue to eat at me because it will.

We are here to help and support you. Just try to stay in one day at a time. It's okay to take breaks from trying to find out all of the answers at once. Everything will unfold. But most important is to continue to try and eat and to drink liquids; water, juice, etc. and solid food. I lost so much weight because I was so unprepared to deal with his revelations and at the time I didn't know about SI. I was on my own and I had no clue what had just happened. Anyways, protein shakes helped sustain me somewhat. I was so thin and dehydrated. Try not to let this happen to you.

posts: 870   ·   registered: Mar. 12th, 2018
id 8753433
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SnowToArmPits ( member #50943) posted at 7:19 AM on Friday, September 2nd, 2022

OP, you think he's been cheating on your for 15 years. That is not normal behaviour. I"m guessing he could be diagnosed with a disorder(s).

Whatever diagnosis he might have... he's been cheating for 15 years, his whole adult life. I think some people, like your husband, just don't have it in them to be monogamous.

He has had no problem being cruel, being extremely selfish, unbelievably disrespectful to you.

When confronted, what does he do, he cries like a baby. Won't admit to anything trying to stonewall you, it'a all because of how he was raised. On top of all of this is the hypocritical religious front he's portraying.

You wanted it straight, OK here it is - he's about as bad a husband as you will read about on the Surviving Infidelity website.

posts: 487   ·   registered: Dec. 25th, 2015   ·   location: Canada
id 8753434
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