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Newest Member: Goku06

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

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NowWhat106 ( member #35497) posted at 6:50 PM on Thursday, September 22nd, 2022

PricklePatch,

THIS is an exact description of my WH’s addiction to hiding and secrets, including his mom. The only important difference is that my WH didn’t do the work and is deliberately not self aware out of fear of changing himself and of learning how messed up he is. He also doesn’t see a payoff in it because he is not internally motivated to fix his shit.

Sigyn, your WH has not expressed remorse or even regret for what he’s done to you. Instead, he has declared that this is his IDENTITY, not a part of him that he enjoys: it is WHO HE IS to himself. He is telling you who he is. He doesn’t seem to have accepted any need or possibility to change anything, including his dishonesty and disrespect for you and your distress. THAT is what you’re working with.

If I could give ANY advice to new BS’s, it would be to warn them of the danger of the open-ended time frame for things to get better in a big way. Looking back, everyone said, give him six months to show real commitment to getting his shit together.

But my WH was more fucked up than usual, right? And it was harder for him, right? He needed the patience and understanding that I had always given him, right? And like always, he used my understanding against me and figured he could wait me out like he’d done many times before.

Years. I wish I had those years back. If I had given him a time limit and stuck to it, either I would have been free of this cluster fuck with ten more years of my life to heal and enjoy without his bullshit lr he would have for once understood that he had to really get his shit together.

A time limit and parameters of expectations. It is really critical. He can stonewall you indefinitely, sucking your soul and energy. It can be next Wednesday or a few months, but please don’t give him limitless options. He will absolutely take any advantage and use it against you.

EDITED TO ADD:

this boundary is YOURS to set. It is not a negotiation that he gets to have any control of. Don’t let him twist you up with feeling unreasonable or trying to FORCE him to do anything. He doesn’t HAVE to do anything. The boundaries you set are for you. They are about your needs to feel safe and sane and get time to begin tp recover. He can do whatever he wants—literally, he can and HAS already. You have to set the boundaries and parameters of what YOU need. He should not have any input into what those needs are. They belong to you, and he obviously has no clue who you are or what you need as a person unobligated to provide for him and his needs at this point.

[This message edited by NowWhat106 at 8:05 PM, Thursday, September 22nd]

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: 492   ·   registered: May. 2nd, 2012
id 8756560
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crazycatlady ( member #12849) posted at 7:30 PM on Thursday, September 22nd, 2022

Some hard truths ahead…
1. You were never truly married.
2. He will never spill the beans. It’s too close to his core and he would rather die than admit he’s a cheating, lying, narcissist.
3. You are only prolonging the agony. Let it go.
Remedy
1. Divorce. Asap.
2. Don’t be his secret keeper.
3. No contact without a witness.

Good luck.

Love all, trust a few. Do wrong to none.
William Shakespeare "All's Well That Ends Well"
D-Day: Nov 30, 2006
"For I have sworn thee fair, and thought thee bright, who art as black as hell, as dark as night."
William Shakespeare

posts: 1779   ·   registered: Dec. 4th, 2006   ·   location: Etherville
id 8756563
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Crazytrain101 ( member #48200) posted at 8:12 PM on Thursday, September 22nd, 2022

Sigyn-Yes I was the one saying that your life will be a constant part-time job as an investigator. You will spend more time than you ever should have to monitor him for life.

Here's what happened in my case--after I decided to R, we started out strong, full monitoring, I had all his passwords and email on my phone, I had a lock code on his cell that kept him from deleting any kind of search history or innapropriate sites, tracked his location, EVERYDAY a debiliating act of investigation.

I/We kept it up rolleyes for a about 2 years, I didn't see anything that made me suspicious, so I lightened up, stopped doing as much patrolling and figured my post-nuptial would keep him in check. Just after year 2 of reconciling (2018) I noticed my passcode on his phone had been removed, okay he said he couldn't get his updates on his phone because of it (yeah right) I found a strange text from Plenty of Fish (dating site) "mustv'e been the kids on his phone"...

Jump to today, WH has been caught up in multiple affairs. He like yours was a serial cheater with FOO issues, I have wasted another 6 years (although getting my kids older has been a blessing now 13,14). These kind of people don't change unfortunately.

My WH lives for the adoration, daily has mentioned to me or anyone who will listen how some woman asked him out for coffee, someone said he was cute at the Home Depot.. rolleyes They live for ANYONE to find them attractive enough to have sex with. MAybe yours more so for the adrenaline high..maybe just to feel that they are worthy of getting sex off of someone. (I mean isn't that the most physical thing one person can let another do to them--the most accepting thing one person can offer another is their body) it's the ultimate power for someone who has a damaged psyche.

[This message edited by Crazytrain101 at 8:13 PM, Thursday, September 22nd]

6 years ago-found out he was a serial cheater
Reconciled-2015
Back again September 2022 as WH is a cheater again
Heading to Divorce

posts: 1719   ·   registered: Jun. 10th, 2015   ·   location: Ohio
id 8756568
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 Sigyn (original poster member #80576) posted at 11:39 PM on Thursday, September 22nd, 2022

PricklePatch,

THIS is an exact description of my WH’s addiction to hiding and secrets, including his mom.

That makes three of us, right down to the mom issues.

This is really hard for me to write because it's something I've even struggled to journal and I feel so much guilt and shame about it. Don't tell me not to, it's something I feel, I will feel, and don't have the emotional bandwidth to examine in myself now.

But.. when I read about the multiple years of false reconciliation, monitoring of phones, polygraphs, addiction therapy or whatever other branches of the road there might be, another OW or two or ten contacting me in the future and my world falling in again - my mind doesn't even follow those paths for long at all as I'm sitting at work dreading going home.

When the Whistlesucker OW wrote to me and sent me his chats, the picture of him in our bed on video with her, when I saw the multiple, multiple sexworker tabs open, the sex gear and lingerie that wasn't for me, read his words in that chat group - that was enough for me to doubt I could ever believe in him again. I know you all say I'm ahead of where you were when you first found out and I don't know why or how I am, but the reality is that I feel incredibly ashamed that my mind didn't immediately go to putting our marriage on extreme measures life support. It just didn't. I am desperate for him to snap out of it and tell me the truth, just be honest with me for one hour and give me what I need to understand our life together. I am so desperate for the truth that I feel frozen in this limbo while I also just cannot stand being here. But my mind has never been able to see "my marriage" beyond this. My marriage was a partnership and he betrayed every single part of that that I valued. He had sex with prostitutes while I was pregnant, and then he had sex with me. We had sex almost every day he was home while I was pregnant, my hormones went crazy. There is no way he didn't have sex with me on the same day as one of his OW or a prostitute. None. The blanket the OW screengrabbed WH laying back on while video chatting her was a quilt we bought on our honeymoon, when we had so little money a quilt was a major purchase. We've had it reconditioned twice over the years.

I'm sure everyone has similar stories of the things desecrated in their lives but from the first week I took in some of what he did to us I saw that he shit on all of the most sacred things in our marriage. Almost like he was deliberately trashing only the most valuable parts. Like he was getting back at me for something I never knew that I'd done. He destroyed 17 years of what we'd built. A house fire couldn't have done more damage. Only this was marital arson, and it was done by him. On purpose. Over and over.

When I read posts telling me not to stay married to him I feel shame and guilt because even if he were willing to work on himself I'm not sure I could do it as others have done. I have fantasies of repairing things and if I could choose one path I would want to do just that, but I can't trace those fantasies forward into the real future. I can't see a marriage for us in any way that I would want.

I am not ready to divorce, please don't advise me to right now, this is still new for me and my emotions are too volatile and I want and need time. It's not time for him to confess or change, it's time for me. Some days I can't stand being in limbo, I'm crawling out of my skin, but those coincide with days WH and I have talk sessions in the house. Seeing him at our kitchen table in his chair messes me up inside and I can't stand it anymore. Days when we don't talk and I don't see him I just want time to let my feelings go wherever they go in privacy and safety. I can't face divorce, I'm not done working this out yet. Even if I never get another fact or confession from him I need this time for me.


Believe it or not I don't even spend time worrying about him texting his OW and complaining about me or strategizing. Nothing he could do in that realm could make it any worse than it is now. After a certain line is crossed the distance he continues going past that is almost irrelevant. I worry about other things, second families, legal things, medical things, all currently eating me alive inside. But he's burned the fidelity part of our vows down to the ground, they're just gone forever.

[This message edited by Sigyn at 11:46 PM, Thursday, September 22nd]

posts: 52   ·   registered: Aug. 15th, 2022
id 8756589
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veryconfused ( member #56933) posted at 12:51 AM on Friday, September 23rd, 2022

If I may - I believe we all understand the drive to know who we are married to. That lurch of reality on DDay is so disorienting and destabilizing that we have a hard time just seeing the world around us. The world truly changes.

It is okay to take your time, At this point. You have a tenable situation in that he can stay in the garage. This is a rare case and in home separation in extremely difficult. Set your boundaries, drive for what you need, learn from other posters married to the same type, and most importantly, triage yourself! Take care of you! None of this is your fault!

We know it hurts and we know the searching, and we know the disconnect from reality. This community reminds us that we are not alone and we are not crazy (though we certainly feel it at times). You got this!

[This message edited by veryconfused at 12:53 AM, Friday, September 23rd]

posts: 259   ·   registered: Jan. 16th, 2017   ·   location: Mid West
id 8756598
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PricklePatch ( member #34041) posted at 2:03 AM on Friday, September 23rd, 2022

Sigyn,

I found out the week prior to Memorial Day, WH was stubborn and belligerent. I had a pulmonary embolism from dehydration on Memorial Day from dehydration. The PE was a life or death situation. I had a unique set of circumstances that shocked and frightened my WH out his stance. My WH 1st wife died in her sleep with a unknown heart issue. The second circumstance was my PE. I was in a way lucky because he blamed himself for my PE, that along with his 1st W death made him more more truthful. He started IC in July, he didn’t become truthful about the extent of his infidelity until I told him prior to his IC appointment that I setup a polygraph for the following day. He went to IC in a panic and admitted he lied to IC about the number of sex workers. He came home gave me the truth it matched the poly.

I was the one who figured out his secret addiction. While he was single he had a sexual kink, once he showed me he never repeat it. He would go to something new. I was fortunate he became remorseful fairly quickly. I kicked him out of our bedroom and wouldn’t let him back until he worked through these issues. He likes to PLAY the victim. I can remember interrupting him and reminding he is not the victim, I am.

His slips aren’t sexual, they are stupid. The last one was him buying a bunch of razors from the 50’s and 60’s. He ended up telling our child about it on a 2 hour drive hey took. She told me. It was a small setback. We started working on radical honesty.

I get not being ready to divorce, as long as your prepared to endure the mental angst of the situation go for it. I personally learned to accept I would never fully get all the truth. I concentrated on the main things, which were his EA and his sex workers. The EA was never going anywhere she had her sites on someone else.

I think if my husband hadn’t know I was willing and able to divorce him he wouldn’t have kept up with his IC.
I remember my husband finishing replacing a floor was the impetus for one of his sex worker experiences, "he deserved a treat for finishing".

Who knows how they think this is okay. I certainly can’t understand it. I lived by the serenity prayer, accept the things I cannot change change the things I can and the wisdom to know the difference.

BS Fwh

posts: 3153   ·   registered: Nov. 28th, 2011
id 8756608
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NowWhat106 ( member #35497) posted at 4:30 AM on Friday, September 23rd, 2022

((((Sigyn)))). I hear you. I think the reason that we all say you are doing so well is that we remember our mental and emotional and physical state when we were as new to discovery as you. You are likely not feeling stable at all right now, but you have shown so much more presence of mind and ability to react than I had at that time.

I think more than pushing you to make decisions that you definitely aren’t ready to make yet, we are maybe just trying to give you the tools and information that might help you to avoid even more devastation and definitely some of the tools you need to go up against a master liar and manipulator. And I also know how painful it is, and even how possibly defensive of the husband you used to have that you may feel when we say things like that. I certainly wasn’t ready to accept that my WH was not on my side at that point, and I definitely wasn’t ready to understand that he would actively continue to harm me in the cruelest and most callous ways to keep his secrets. If I had been able to understand any of that, I could have protected myself and my kids better. I think we may all be hoping that we can pass that armory that we didn’t get to use in our own defense soon enough over to our sister in the hopes she can put them to good use.

Believe me when I say that when I was at the same point, I was in an emotional heap. I really just hit a wall of non-acceptance and disbelief hundreds of times daily. How could he have done this? How could he destroy our family without a thought? And most of all: HOW could he destroy his children’s family? HOW could he care so little about crushing their childhood and stealing their stable home from them? WHO the hell was he and WHY the hell didn’t I figure it out sooner?

I spent so much time in stunned shock while my WH went into ruthless self-protection. So while I needed what you need right now, my brain just couldn’t process the fact that this wasn’t my husband who was going to see me in the direst need of help that only he could give and do everything he could to do what I needed. THAT is what I think it’s really important for you to understand: that he isn’t your partner and he isn’t thinking about how to help you. Because he is very dangerous to your emotional and mental stability if you are not able to accept that.

The time limit on when he needs to show progress is mainly to keep you from sentencing yourself to endless limbo which is hell on earth. But you don’t have to be ready to do ANYTHING right now. You are in the ER. Let yourself get stabilized (and that may take quite awhile). Just try to keep him from slicing you up even more while you’re treating those wounds.

Get peace when and wherever you can—and yes, i know that’s easily said and almost impossible to do. Take care of yourself in every way that you possibly can whether it’s getting your nails done, scheduling a massage, taking a nap or a walk, spending time with your son, or talking to your sister. Do what feeds you emotionally, spiritually, physically. You will get stronger. You’re already so strong. You’re just very wounded and it’s hard to feel that way. And again, try not to interact with him too much to avoid more damage that will keep you in a wounded tailspin.

Only you can decide how you move forward. Everyone here will try to give you our best knowledge and experience from our own sad walk through this hellscape. We’ll always be here to give you a hug and our support. There is no perfect way to get through this except to come out the other side whole and out of infidelity and its clusterfuck of co-occurring abuses. There is also no wrong way except to stay stuck forever in the aftermath of trauma.

That’s not where you.are yet—either beyond infidelity or permanently stuck. You’re just trying to find your way and take your first steps. You’re still walking through smoke and smoldering debris and leftover minefields. Give yourself time, TONS of grace, and gentle care. That’s really all you have to do right now.

I;m so very sorry that you are experiencing this. It is absolutely THE WORST.

I saw that he shit on all of the most sacred things in our marriage. Almost like he was deliberately trashing only the most valuable parts. Like he was getting back at me for something I never knew that I'd done.

THIS SO MUCH!! This is exactly what it was for me. And I knew completely that our marriage was GONE. There was no bringing it back. What took me longer was accepting that my kids’ family was gone. That my desire for them to grow up in a stable home with an un damaged childhood was over and had been for years before I knew it.

Please don’t think for a second that you are required to consider staying with him if you have the clarity that you are done. I really wish that I had had the strength to make that decision so much earlier.

You will know when you are ready and you’ll know what to do when you are. This is very clear to us even if it isn’t to you. ((((SIgyn))))

[This message edited by NowWhat106 at 5:02 AM, Friday, September 23rd]

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: 492   ·   registered: May. 2nd, 2012
id 8756627
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LostInHisFog ( member #78503) posted at 10:42 AM on Friday, September 23rd, 2022

There is nothing I can say to put a positive on this, what I’ve come to understand with serial cheaters is they trivialise their partners and marriage because they’re incapable of placing value on anything beyond themselves, narcs or not.

I was were you are when I discovered my serial cheater’s identity, two decades, my entire relationship. He indulged his needs the entire time with anything who was willing to participate. Like yours mine was never remorseful for being a cake eater, he was on all the adultery socials and apps, he cried like yours cries, he focused on one justification like yours has. My xWH didn’t want to lose his oh-so-beloved happy marriage but still wanted his cake.

Your WH bragged he lies via omission so let’s connect these omitted dots.

⚫️ He nodded when he agreed his heart has always, will always be open to others.

⚫️ He "came out" as being polyamorous. (BTW he is regurgitating that, I’ve read that ‘coming out’ comment before in an adultery discord group, same cake eaters consider themselves ‘evolved’ and blame monogamy as being a social construct. They celebrate their coming out even though they’re still in the closet with their families and partners, it’s bent logic.)

⚫️ He exposed you (& your unborn child) to health risks for his own sexual gratification. Continued doing so for his fun.

⚫️ He agreed he loves/loved others.

⚫️ He blames his ‘why’ on his past.

Joining the omitted dots, what I get from that is you will never be the one and only and never was, there will always be a flavour of the month someone in his life. He doesn’t place value on anyone beyond himself. He doesn’t value the love of others. The value you placed on your marriage doesn’t match his value placed. He will continue to blame his past because that’s his scape goat justification and by bringing this up he is actually trying to make an attempt to make you feel guilty enough to drop the subject because, to him, only a monster would question that type of justification, a bad childhood, it’s pure manipulative trash. You and his family are worth the risk as long as he gets a climax out of it. As you can see, via his omissions, you’ve already been given some insight into his truths.

I wasn’t ready to divorce either at the stage you’re at. Since you’re in this new quicksand head/heart space of not ready to move forward with divorce but no longer able to accept WH version of marriage, leaving you stuck and sinking, can I suggest you move away from 180 and give ‘the grey rock method’ a go. Grey rock helps to start detaching without physical separation, it’s really a good stepping stone towards separation. Grey rock is often recommended when dealing with narcs in your life in general but it’s a great tool to use to get you out of the quicksand you’re currently standing in. My only warning is the grey rock method does trigger narcs because you’re starving them of attention (source of their validation) and they can lash out with nastiness but at least you get to peak underneath the mask when it happens.

Try to drink more water, even your child, because shock, distress and stress dehydrates your brain and body faster than getting drunk and a dehydrated brain can’t analyse, it clouds with confusion, it creates mind loops, it can’t think logically and it amplifies emotions. You’re starting to see WH manipulation more and more but you will be more on your game, more aware of his motives behind his words, with a well hydrated brain.

[This message edited by LostInHisFog at 10:44 AM, Friday, September 23rd]

I edit because I'm fluent in typo & autocorrect hates me.

posts: 267   ·   registered: Mar. 14th, 2021
id 8756635
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Crazytrain101 ( member #48200) posted at 2:09 PM on Friday, September 23rd, 2022

(Sigyn) As i read the last couple of posts, ironically all the last posters including myself have WH's with major mom issues. My WH had a mother who told him from day #1 he was not wanted, physically abused him, "supposedly tried to kill him as a infant on a few ocaasions, burnt him with cigarettes (some stories coborrated by a Aunt of his) duh Major mom isses, WH was taken from her care when his dad dies at age 5 and proceeded to live with grandparents who openly watched pornography around him like it was the Wheel of Fortune. barf

Then his grandfather dies leaving him alone in a house with nasty beast of an elderly woman (and narc)who abused him psychologically and physically--beside school isolated from the world to endure her abuse.

So I get fully the WH's with mom issues, I'm sure there is some clear connection between serial cheating and mother issues, I have thought maybe its a revenge on women attitude from displaced anger, searching and recouping that lost love of a mother. The thing is the love of a mother in essence is the most natural and innate relationship a person can have--I'm afraid with the lack thereof these men are created.

THIS below from NowWhatis106

Years. I wish I had those years back. If I had given him a time limit and stuck to it, either I would have been free of this cluster fuck with ten more years of my life to heal and enjoy without his bullshit lr he would have for once understood that he had to really get his shit together.

I'm right here with her with this statement, I can't like it or scream it from the roof tops with a megaphone any louder! My WH is the absolute same--the level of lies and compartmentalized life not only to me but to everyone--the secret life, the levels of risk and gamble with his children's lives. (they are literally the only 2 biological connections he has in the world--the one thing I "thought' he would never gamble with) NONE of it would/could/will or has kept him from his sickness and desires.

I too gave the naive gift of R, only to be now burnt again by WH.

So here's a little story I recently thought back upon a few days ago when I was trying hard to rationalize my WH, when we weren't even married a year and our first daughter (his first real biological connection & was overjoyed mad ) I was on the couch nursing my sweet bundle of joy, he was in his office on the computer, he kept talking to me and I suppose making sure I wasn't approaching him) the day after I saw the search history said he was on Craigslist--I then saw where he was looking at women's ad's for woman. This was 15 years ago, less then a year into our marriage!

He of course excused it off as laughing at desperate women and just entertainment. NOPE--this was the first concrete sign, bread crumb I'd say that my WH was a serial, FOO issue, narc.

I give this story so you see that these men are not correctable, fixable or will ever be safe for anyone to have in their lives. Yours or mine may marry again, and will not stop the behaviors because they can't and won't. No woman, no love, no child will stop the white knuckling of their desires. In my WH's case (were finally divorcing) he's already mentioned to my older daughter he'll remarry) He needs the "wife" as a social construct or hedge around himself so that the other life isn't so easily seen by all. Plus it fills the attention between the adrenaline kicks & meetups. I had hoped getting my WH down the road as long as possible would at the very least stop him from having more kids but that may not be the case.

Please take care of yourself, this road is hard, but for us who are in this particular situation with these kind of WH's it's really never over, it really will never stop. EVERYONE here on SI, told me what is being told to you about this kind of serial cheater, I will say I was heavily warned, I did everything that was suggested, IC, monitoring, 180, post-nuptual, watching, observing, looking for remorse, hard work on themselves, NONE of it worked for my WH.

I or anyone else wasn't going to change WHO he was. We are unfortunate sisters in this and want you to be as informed as our experience can provide. Take your time, gain your strength, let the fog clear and take it one step at a time. I think the couple last posters (who have the same WH's as you) can see clearly for you while your in this pain.

much love CT101

[This message edited by Crazytrain101 at 2:12 PM, Friday, September 23rd]

6 years ago-found out he was a serial cheater
Reconciled-2015
Back again September 2022 as WH is a cheater again
Heading to Divorce

posts: 1719   ·   registered: Jun. 10th, 2015   ·   location: Ohio
id 8756702
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swmnbc ( member #49344) posted at 3:16 PM on Friday, September 23rd, 2022

Sigyn,

I do think there are different types of affairs and some marriages have a higher chance of being salvaged in a healthy way (though as always, a relationship is a two-way street and we can only do our part). I'm in a group of 75 women who all met on a hobby site when we were pregnant 12-15 years ago. Two of those women discovered their husbands were doing what yours did . . . Craigslist hook-ups, "massages," mulitple APs, etc. One of them even picked up a hook-up with their baby strapped in the back and said it was a relative's child. barf And neither of them attempted to salvage things (and I'm happy to say found new partners in due course). I'm sharing this just to say that it's not your failure that you don't want to save the marriage. Your partner can murder the marriage in a way that is so cruel and unfathomable that there's no way forward. It's not an option. If it were, I'm sure you would consider it. There have been other affairs in the group, mainly a single AP at a low point in the marriage like mine, where the couple stayed together. The type of cheating, the cheater's guilt and remorse or lack there-of . . . those are all factors. You aren't trying to convince yourself that a fatal blow is merely a flesh wound, and that's a good thing.

Some days I can't stand being in limbo, I'm crawling out of my skin, but those coincide with days WH and I have talk sessions in the house. Seeing him at our kitchen table in his chair messes me up inside and I can't stand it anymore. Days when we don't talk and I don't see him I just want time to let my feelings go wherever they go in privacy and safety.

Practically speaking, what can you do to shift this so he's not coming to the kitchen table and messing you up inside? Tell him to communicate only in writing? Do a video chat? Take a set break from communicating period?

posts: 1786   ·   registered: Aug. 27th, 2015
id 8756736
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Cooley2here ( member #62939) posted at 3:22 PM on Friday, September 23rd, 2022

Years ago I read about this experiment. There was interest in why so many children from inner cities did not do well in school or as adults. There was a setup with a young mother and her baby, nine months old, left in a room with several bottles of formula and nothing else. It was a one-way mirror and for two hours she and this baby were watched to see what interactions they had. She never talk to the baby, she never interacted with it at all. The only thing she did was give it a bottle and about every 20 minutes the baby would vomit. This went on the entire time. When this video was taken to a psychologist he/she said it was obvious that even at nine months old that child recognized how little interaction was going on with its parent and the only way to keep that mother engaged at all was to vomit enough to get another bottle. That means preverbal babies who are mistreated are going to show those scars for the rest of their lives. This might not have anything to do with your husband but I’m guessing it does because we begin to place things together in our heads from the time we are born. And we do it without language. If he, and the other men mentioned here, have these kind of issues from childhood there is simply no way for them to heal themselves without extreme intense therapy and they need to do it until they get it and that might not be ever. Their mothers should be boiled in oil by the way.

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

posts: 3491   ·   registered: Mar. 5th, 2018   ·   location: US
id 8756738
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 Sigyn (original poster member #80576) posted at 2:56 AM on Saturday, September 24th, 2022

I get not being ready to divorce, as long as your prepared to endure the mental angst of the situation go for it. I personally learned to accept I would never fully get all the truth.

How did you? How did you get there? Was it an epiphany, or a slow realization??

Believe me when I say that when I was at the same point, I was in an emotional heap. I really just hit a wall of non-acceptance and disbelief hundreds of times daily. How could he have done this? How could he destroy our family without a thought? And most of all: HOW could he destroy his children’s family? HOW could he care so little about crushing their childhood and stealing their stable home from them? WHO the hell was he and WHY the hell didn’t I figure it out sooner?

This is just where I am and I feel like this will be my emotional state forever. Those questions are on a continuous loop. I talk to him in the car (he's not there) and invent answers, just so I can respond to them. I write letters from him to me, in my journal, with different answers and facts. I imagine finding his journal and reading what he wrote when he thought no one would ever see it, to ensure it was the truth. It consumes me to see into his mind so I can have one solid truth to hang on to. I don't know how to move on in any way - towards him or away from him - without knowing what was real. I feel like I believe what the OW said (which is just so incredibly messed up) and accept what she showed me, but I can't fit it into the tapestry of our lives. The tapestry is a different picture and she gave me some part of it, but not the entire thing. It's crazy making.

And I knew completely that our marriage was GONE. There was no bringing it back. What took me longer was accepting that my kids’ family was gone. That my desire for them to grow up in a stable home with an un damaged childhood was over and had been for years before I knew it.

This is also killing me. So much.

We used to foster dogs, but when our sweet older dog started to get into the very elderly stage of his life he was a little peevish so we temporarily put a pause on fostering. Our sweet boy recently passed away and I told the shelter we could start to foster again 'at some point in the future' and they called us yesterday to see if we could take on a foster. I kind of felt like this would be good for me and my son, something in the arena of self care. The garage apartment where WH is living is behind the house some distance and since our dog passed away the house is so very quiet and empty, I thought it would be good for us. So I said yes to the foster.

I took the afternoon off work and picked my son up from school and drove to the shelter and the second we saw the dog, my son and I both started crying. It wasn't that he looked anything like our beloved old dog, but having that dog energy in front of us when our house has been so empty was so very emotional for us both. I'm friendly with the woman who runs the shelter and she attributed our emotional reaction to our pet's recent death, thankfully, and after we spent some time playing with our new foster she took my son into the puppy playroom - which currently has two HUGE litters of beagles!! - and my son sat on the floor and was instantly covered with puppies! They just swarmed him like driver ants! He was laying on the floor covered with beagle puppies and was giggling helplessly, it was the most amazing, wonderful, perfect sound in the world.

Then on the way home, my son asked me if his dad knew we were picking up a foster dog. I could tell in his voice that he felt like it might be a secret that he would have to keep. And I immediately pulled over and told him that no, his dad doesn't know yet but only because I got the call while his dad was working and I hadn't told him yet, but he never, ever has to keep secrets from either of us, his dad and I love each other and even though we're trying to work through some problems, we both love each other and we both love him, our son, and that he never has to keep anything secret from either of us. In fact it would be great for him to text his dad that we got a foster dog and send his dad a picture, and then I sent my son a picture I'd taken of him covered with beagle puppies and said if he wanted he could send it to his dad and his Aunt, too. We had a short talk about secret keeping, how it was fun for things like presents and surprises, but not for big things, especially not changes in our lives, foster dogs, new friends (?!?!?!) and also problems. It's good to share those things with the people we love.

I realized that this is now a new thing in our lives. At some point I'm going to have to really explain to our son what appropriate secrets are and harmful ones. It absolutely floored me to think "Why did son think he needed to keep the presence of a foster dog secret?" and then have the realization that although he hasn't heard any of our talks, he still understands at his age that there are currently things that are secret, and this is a change, and he might be expected to take part in this new set of life rules. How awful is that. What child should have picked up on that terrible thing, to the point of asking his mom if our foster dog was a secret? It breaks my heart to think his innocence might be damaged by this, and then realize that no matter what happens WH has pulled our son into a world in which there are terrible secrets of terrible things. It's awful. Even a dog might be a secret. When did this become our life?

posts: 52   ·   registered: Aug. 15th, 2022
id 8756851
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BearlyBreathing ( member #55075) posted at 3:29 AM on Saturday, September 24th, 2022

I absolutely love the image of your son covered in beagle puppies—and I’m a little jealous wink .
How truly sweet. Keep that as your phone screen saver.


We may never know all the answers b/c our WH don’t have the answers to give. Those who successfully R take YEARS working their tails off to find those answers. But most of us have to adjust to the reality that our WH lied and hid from themselves as much as from us. And they are far too cowardly to pull the covers back and figure out the what and the why. And even further from being able to share that with us.

How do we accept that? Time. Distance. Realizing the true extent of brokenness that our WS have. And realizing that knowing that, understanding that, doesn’t change the outcome or your path forward. (My XWH called me a Jack Russell Terrier with a bone when trying to get to some answers. He was not wrong. I am persistent. ) In the end, it was a deal breaker and there was only way forward.

Speaking of that, for MANY of us, infidelity is a deal breaker. Even if we end up with the unicorn WS who truly wants to R and be a safe and better partner. It took me a year to realize that he was not going to stop with the AP and probably another year to realize that even if he HAD done everything "right", it was a deal breaker for me. You knew that right away— and that is what we are all seeing in you. You know yourself well enough to know that. Pretty awesome and show how strong you are, even when you feel so fragile.

And those saying you will know when you know— my therapist told me that through my year of false R and he was 100% right. One day I knew. I didn’t like it. Hurt like nothing else. But I knew I had to pull the plug. It was the hardest thing I have ever done (and coincidently my house DID burn down during the year of false R) but it was my only choice. Put your own oxygen mask on first…

You are doing a great job with your son. You will do what you need to do. Be kind and gentle with yourself. and enjoy the foster pup.

Me: BS 55 (49 on d-day)Him: WH. 64. D-Day 8/15/2016 LTA. Kinda liking my new life :-)

**horrible typist, lots of edits to correct. :-/ **

posts: 4966   ·   registered: Sep. 10th, 2016   ·   location: Northern CA
id 8756854
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NowWhat106 ( member #35497) posted at 8:08 AM on Saturday, September 24th, 2022

This is just where I am and I feel like this will be my emotional state forever. Those questions are on a continuous loop. I talk to him in the car (he's not there) and invent answers, just so I can respond to them. I write letters from him to me, in my journal, with different answers and facts. I imagine finding his journal and reading what he wrote when he thought no one would ever see it, to ensure it was the truth. It consumes me to see into his mind so I can have one solid truth to hang on to. I don't know how to move on in any way


You’re in a tailspin of grief. I so recognize it. This was me too and why I caution you so much about not letting yourself stay in limbo over it forever. IT IS REALLY POSSIBLE TO DO THAT. It’s possible to cycle through disbelief, flashes of really getting what has happened and being crushed or furious or everything at once, and back again over and over and over. . .all in one day. Honestly, I still have it hit me out of the blue: that really happened.

It’s like you can live in both of those modes at once: the devastation and chaos of discovery and all of the emotions it brings alongside the part of your mind that keeps cycling back trying to undo it or outthink it or get away from it. It is just. Plain. Agony. And looking at your child and ACHING that you can’t fix this was for me a mix of rage like I’ve never felt directed at my WH and utter devastation that i never had a chance to try to stop it and protect them.

So I’ll go out on a limb and say that you’re a deep thinker and the family problem solver. Your brain probably immediately sets to work on a problem that presents itself. Mine does this anyway. It is a blessing and a curse because in this situation, it will eat you up. It may eat you up almost ENDLESSLY. And it will start to take a toll on your physical health. I never experienced panic or anxiety attacks before my WH decided to go off the rails. I became hyper vigilant (with reason because he never stopped lying and manipulating). It wreaks havoc on your ability to calm your mind and find any peace. . .and it can become a habit that is very, very hard to break.

It’s easier if the source of your fear and pain is not around. If you don’t have to look at him at your table or in your space. To this day, my WH walking into view clenches my gut. It puts me on edge because he is an unsafe person, and everyone else has to bear the effect of that. Not him. The longer you can break from seeing him and just take care of yourself and your son right now, the more likelihood that you’ll be able to get some equilibrium.

I know this might seem counter-intuitive because, at least for me, I NEEDED to try to get some satisfaction, some answers. What I’ll tell you, even if you will probably have to try anyway, is that it is possible to move on and start to heal without those answers. At a certain point you have to or you’ll just stay stuck. I’d like it not to take as long for you as it took for me.

To be very clear, it wasn’t that I stuck around hoping to save the marriage. Like you, I was pretty clear very quickly that every sacred thing in our marriage had been shat on almost deliberately, including me. He pretty much disgusted me (even while my entire brain and heart were still programmed and set to the default setting that he was my trusted husband and friend who had my back). My WH talked shit about me to lots of people, as I later found out. His resentment was palpable in those communications. I stuck around thinking that it would be better for my kids (it wasn’t) and that he OWED me to find the truth and give it to me. To own what he did instead of blaming everyone else. I think I also thought that he OWED me just a little bit of devastation and pain over having destroyed our decades long relationship and our family. At the very least, I hoped that having to face what he’d done might motivate him to become a really engaged dad who had some don’t-be-like-me wisdom to pass to his sons.

So I expected someone who had shown me clearly that he didn’t give a shit about me and our family and our life and our history to be something that he clearly wasn’t at all and never intended or particularly wanted to be. I expected and waited for that for a long time to HELP ME HEAL. It never happened. It never will. At some point, I had to accept that and let go of what I really desperately wanted and needed from the person who had hurt me worse than anyone else in my life.

All of those pipe dreams circled around and around in my head for such a long time though. I recognize what you are describing so very well. It may be what your brain, like mine, is just used to doing with a problem. And this is the biggest fucking problem ever. But it truly is the no win. That doesn’t mean you can necessarily stop yourself from doing this right now or even that you should. You are processing.

You should just keep your eye on the days and be aware of how much time you’re letting pass without progress. It’s why I say, set yourself or him or both an amount of time that seems acceptable to you to spend on the horrible ruminating you’re doing and then, reassess. Crawling out of this is a one tiny step at a time thing. There will be regressions. Start trying to choose one tiny thing that you can do to free yourself from the spiral every day. Take a walk and just breath. Get a massage and let yourself sleep through it. Throw rocks at a wall.

And maybe, when you’re ready, start thinking about some baby steps you might take down the road to begin to heal without getting what you need from him. You’re not there right now and THAT’S FINE. You have just discovered this. You are reeling. It’s "normal" for what you’re going through.

Give yourself grace and take as much care of your body and soul as you can considering the circumstances. This really may be all you can do right now beyond reading and processing and learning to accept what has happened to you and your son. A dog is a great addition to your healing journey too.

Leave your WH to his own devices with his precious secrets. He is not helpful or healing to you, so he has no purpose.

And once again, you are amazing and strong and fiercely intelligent. You’ve outwitted him at every turn. You have kept your composure in the midst of a cyclone or two. You can do this. It will suck so much, but you can do it for yourself and your son.

Fuck infidelity and your ass of a WH. You are a badass. Don’t forget that.

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: 492   ·   registered: May. 2nd, 2012
id 8756869
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PricklePatch ( member #34041) posted at 8:18 AM on Saturday, September 24th, 2022

I got through our in house separation at times minute by minute. At other times it was longer. After 2nd day in Dec, I made arrangements for him to go elsewhere. Unfortunately that never when through as I had another health crisis. It was due to stress and blood thinners. My child even told him leave I will take care of Mommy.

In retrospect I should have left as my daughter has damage from what happened 10 years later. She has been in therapy but any disagreements and she goes into my husband is a piece of shit. Unknown to us she would hear us.

My husband at first regretted things but he did become remorseful by July. I still had a roller coaster of emotions for about 2 years.

BS Fwh

posts: 3153   ·   registered: Nov. 28th, 2011
id 8756872
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Kaciii ( new member #71196) posted at 7:11 PM on Saturday, September 24th, 2022

"It's not about saving the marriage at the moment. It's about saving my sanity. I want to know who my partner is. I want to know what he's thinking, how he's feeling, what his morals are. Literally WHO HE IS. I want to know the man I've been sleeping next to, because I thought I did know him. I thought I'd had every single conversation five times over with him."

I shared your story with my husband of 35 years. His first response was one of profound sadness. His second was that this was not fixable.

His opnion is that you are trying to understand and interpret a male mind through the female lens. The complex nuanced answers you are seeking do not exist.

The answer is his view is simple. Your husband wanted sex from different partners and is utterly selfish.

Stay with me here...It is not about you. What???

By all accounts you are a good, loyal exceptional partner and wife. So, ask yourself, what could you have done differently to prevent this catastrophe?

Exactly. Nothing. It is about his selfish choices...only.

My husband reminded me of the shocking experience I had when my bio-identical hormones were too high in testosterone...how suddenly every man looked good...and my level of testosterone was miniscule compared to men's levels. This is no excuse whatsoever in his mind or mine...but it is the launching point for unnacceptable male behavior.

You can either embrace temptation, or you can flee it. This man willfully embraced every temptation.

There is an old quote that goes something like this: Searching for truth is like a blind man in a darkened house looking for a black cat that isn't there.

The truth you seek is not there. The truth is simple, selfish and right in front of you. We pray you don't torture yourself in this fruitless pursuit, and start anew, painful though it may be.

Just one man's view for whatever it is worth...

posts: 2   ·   registered: Aug. 6th, 2019   ·   location: NC
id 8756911
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Cooley2here ( member #62939) posted at 9:27 PM on Saturday, September 24th, 2022

I cannot diagnose anyone because I do not have the training. However, in coming across this particular bit of information written by an author named Diane Fanning I just thought it is something you might look into.

The art of deception is a hallmark of narcissism. A person with NPD projects a false face to the world and manages all social interactions through this fictional self. People often become involved with a narcissist without having any awareness of who he really is.

He expresses surprise that society should hold him responsible and want to punish him for his actions. When faced with a judgment of others, he feels wrong and persecuted. It is rare for him to feel any regret for what he has done or any empathy for his victim.

If he is apt to experiment sexually with multiple partners. Sex for him is the ultimate act of objectification of another human being. It proves his superiority and fuels his narcissism.

He often embroiders details of his achievements and talents to game acknowledgment of his superiority. His humor is sharp and biting and cloaks a deep well of hostility and venom.

He draws to him people who offer positive affirmation they are the source of his narcissistic supply. He desires to impress and manipulate them and hold them tight.

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

posts: 3491   ·   registered: Mar. 5th, 2018   ·   location: US
id 8756929
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PricklePatch ( member #34041) posted at 10:44 PM on Saturday, September 24th, 2022

Btw. We fostered dogs, between my daughter, dogs and friends I made it. Remember recovery is not always saving the marriage, it is also about getting yourself healthy after trauma.

BS Fwh

posts: 3153   ·   registered: Nov. 28th, 2011
id 8756933
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ThisIsSoLonely ( member #64418) posted at 12:19 AM on Sunday, September 25th, 2022

Interesting. I foster dogs as well and had two rambunctious foster dogs at dday 1, and I swear if not for them I may not have gotten off the floor some days. They had to be walked. They had to be fed. They had to be cared for. So I did. In exchange they soaked up my tears and listened to my rants and were just…there.

The foster is a good idea. You all - the dog and you and your child - are needy right now - need each other. It’s okay.

"Sometimes you're going to have to let one person go a thousand different times, a thousand different ways, and there’s nothing pathetic or abnormal about that. You are human." - Heidi Priebe

posts: 1877   ·   registered: Jul. 11th, 2018
id 8756938
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VezfromTaz ( new member #80815) posted at 2:39 AM on Sunday, September 25th, 2022

I’ve been thinking about this experience of betrayal in the context of Maslows Hierarchy of Needs (others have written extensively about it ). You are an insightful person, you are moving toward self actualisation, and then in a moment you are catapulted back to the bottom rung. Your brain thinks you are under threat. It sounds like there is no immediate threat to your physical safety, having a roof over your head etc but your sense of security has been taken away (at least as it relates to your husband). I think that’s why it is so important to focus on those other relationships with trusted people and getting a sense of your true financial position if you were to separate. I’d been financially gaslit for so long with a phantom budget I didn’t actually know if I could pay the bills but surprise surprise it turns out I could.

In the same context, your husband has outsourced having all his needs met to you primarily and then whoever these people he has been associating with. Self actualisation is not something that would concern someone who was disordered as they have a distorted grandiose false self.

Although the trauma is awful, I know which person I would rather be in this situation. You have all the internal resources to get back on your journey, whereas your husband will always rely on others to meet his needs. It is sad really but you can’t save him from himself.

[This message edited by VezfromTaz at 2:45 AM, Sunday, September 25th]

posts: 34   ·   registered: Sep. 1st, 2022
id 8756950
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