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Newest Member: Beschaedigt

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

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whatisloveanyway ( member #66450) posted at 3:37 PM on Monday, October 3rd, 2022

Sigyn,

The day I made my first awful discovery and realized my life was not what I thought it was, at first I was completely numb, static in my head. I came home from work, and without even thinking started bagging up over a third of my wardrobe, without even knowing why and I kept saying out loud "I’m not her, this isn’t me.." I boxed up wedding photos, pictures of us, anything that was mocking me in my confusion and then I started to cry. And yell. And laugh and cry some more, like a crazy person. I remember vividly standing in the middle of the living room and wondering what was happening to me. I decided right then and there that I was entitled to feel every single emotion that ran through me and I would not judge myself for any of it and I would not tolerate any one else judging me for ANYTHING I felt in the wake of the earthquake that still shakes my life. I never let go of that fundamental rule. I was and am entitled to any and every emotion that such a brutal, intimate betrayal brought to my life. I have never been a person who felt entitled to much of anything until this.

I said it out loud to myself and I hope you can say it too. You are entitled to your pain, sorrow, grief and rage. What has happened to you is outrageous. You know yourself and you probably cannot properly process bottled up rage or emotion. So let go of judgement, let go of disappointment in yourself. Purge the emotions, let them out and use them to help you move forward and find yourself again.

Please, don’t let your words to your WH make you feel less about yourself. Honestly, he probably deserves more than you are giving him. If he is like most unrepentant WH’s he is likely immune to most of it, or furiously working inside to build fortifications against them or turn them around to your failings not his. So let it rip, guilt and judgement free. You are ENTITLED to everything you say, and ZERO JUDGEMENT for what this makes you do while your WH continues to do nothing to help you. Help yourself to whatever and whenever you need to vent until you gain your footing.

Know that you will not always be this version of yourself, but this version is necessary to save yourself and vent the pain, anger and frustration he caused. It is those moments of unwarranted forgiveness and pointless hope that I regret so much more than the moments of hateful rage. I have said some horrible things, but in hindsight, none of them were untrue or unwarranted.

Be kind to yourself. You are doing the best you can with the awful situation you have been put into. Sending you hugs and strength.

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: 452   ·   registered: Oct. 9th, 2018   ·   location: Southeastern USA
id 8758060
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WonderingGhost ( new member #81060) posted at 6:21 PM on Monday, October 3rd, 2022

Dear Sigyn,

I just read through the entirety of your thread, and first and most importantly, I am so sorry that you and your son are going through this. It is unfair, as life tends to be, you did nothing wrong, nothing that's happening is about you, and I think that can be the hardest part. We like to rationalize things, saying "If I had just done X, this wouldn't have happened, I could have PREVENTED this." The truth is, you could not, because it's not about you.

I'm going to take the approach that your sister and lawyers have seemed to take in that I'm going to be very straight, so please forgive me if I come off as cold. I have the utmost of respect for you as a person and your right to make your own decisions, feel your own feelings, and I'm glad to hear you have a support network helping you.

1. Your husband is a serial liar, manipulator, cheater, selfish. I know you've lamented a few times saying "Who IS he? Who IS this man I thought I married? I just want to know!" This is him. All of these interactions you've been having with him over the course of revealing he's been caught? That IS him. All of the chats you've read of him on his cheating sites, to his side pieces, THAT IS HIM. Everything else you've experienced of him has been a lie. As soul-crushing as it is to realize, it's the truth. I've been mad FOR you while reading how some of these talks between you two have gone. The man has 0 remorse for the pain he's caused you, your family, your son, it's all because he is now uncomfortable, his secret life has been exposed. That is glaringly obvious to me. He has no remorse, only regret (for being caught), and there is a BIG difference between the two in this context. His interactions with you scream "SELF-PRESERVATION". He does not care that you are in pain. If he did, he would throw himself on the fire of his own lies and deception at the drop of a hat if you so asked. This is who he is.

2. You will never know the full truth of everything he has done. I am very rarely ever confident in saying I'm "certain" of something as sensitive as this, but by the info you've given, I am saying it now. Everyone is different, some people take the "don't ask don't tell" approach if they choose to R where they don't care to know every instance of infidelity, or what the full timeline is (Although I don't personally agree to this way, it's only my opinion), others need to know everything, every time they cheated, every way, with whom, when, full timeline, etc, because that's how you rebuild the trust that was shattered, by being truthful with every single detail. This is the only way I could move forward. So you need to ask yourself, if you do choose to work things out, are you okay with never knowing? With him only ever admitting to what you already know, and even then, just BARELY admitting to it? This is who he is.

3. His infidelity timeline is so long, so intricate, so terrible, that you've described it as a second life, which it is. Do you believe you could ever get to a point in your life where you could trust he ISN'T doing that? From what I've read, I wouldn't bet on it. He would lie low for awhile, and then start back up, but would take things deeper underground. He'd only learn from the mistakes he made the first time and use that to go back after what he wants. He has said his heart has always been open to other people, I don't think that will change. This is who he is.

I am, once again, so incredibly sorry. I hope you've been being gentle on yourself, NONE OF THIS IS YOUR FAULT. And the reason you may see so many people focusing on your WH is because he is the direct cause of your suffering, and the longer you are left to deal with him, the more you suffer. I wouldn't describe it so much as cutting off an arm, more like cutting out a cancerous tumour. You will be left with a scar, but with the cancer gone your body will begin to heal, slowly, as unimaginable as it feels now.

Remember that many people responding to you ARE on the other side of that healing process, they have wisdom unclouded by immediate pain and grief. I know we all like to think our relationships are different, our spouses are different, we'll be the exception to the rule - do not fall for this trap. This is who he is.

Please take care.

[This message edited by WonderingGhost at 6:32 PM, Monday, October 3rd]

posts: 25   ·   registered: Oct. 1st, 2022
id 8758089
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leafields ( member #63517) posted at 8:37 PM on Monday, October 3rd, 2022

The pain of infidelity can be so intense. I remember in the beginning that I just wanted the pain to go away. The rage came from an internal well inside of me. I said a lot of hurtful, hateful things. And once I got going, I felt like I couldn't stop. Sometimes, I'd go out to my car and scream until I couldn't scream any more.

It was months before I was able to manage my emotions enough where I wasn't burning with the rage and screaming every name in the book at my XWH. I'm thinking that it was more than 6 months but less than a year.

The emotional rollercoaster can take you all over the place.

BW M 34years, Dday 1: March 2018, Dday 2: August 2019, D final 2/25/21

posts: 1488   ·   registered: Apr. 21st, 2018   ·   location: Washington State
id 8758098
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LostInHisFog ( member #78503) posted at 12:31 AM on Tuesday, October 4th, 2022

The best day will be the day you’ll look down and realise you have two working arms and it wasn’t your arm you cut off at all. The arm you cut off was a stranger’s arm who was hell bent keeping you trapped with them for their own satisfaction.

You’re a list girl, on the focus days start one list for staying and one for going, don’t halfway bullet-point it, write out the actual linear steps that you need to achieve to reach your goals. Write the detailed step you need to complete before progressing to the next. Include estimate times, research costs by getting quotes, contact information and above all keep it factual/realistic (include nothing that is outside your control or is scenario based). I feel like doing this will keep you focused but it’ll help you “get out” what you need without making you feel bad for it.

I have some information on gaslighting on my profile, I was gaslighted by my xWH serial cheater cake eater for the better part of two decades, and there are some things you wrote recently, especially about deep guilt and self loathing for speaking up, that are raising flags that you might be suffering from the brainwashing, and it is brainwashing, from living with someone who has deeply manipulated you for a long time. Have you looked into long term manipulation and gaslighting?

I’m only mentioning it because of how strong your feelings are after you’ve put yourself first, after those periods of speaking up for yourself. Like you, when I confronted him after Dday and stood up for myself, spoke out loud the truth and called out his bulls**t, I felt so unwell afterwards. Sometimes shaky, panicked, anxiety, kicking myself unwell after I spoke up for myself after Dday. I was "programmed" to be housewife reliable, the one who took responsibility for a smooth sailing marriage, the one who let grievances go because the marriage was going great so why "nag" or " nit pick", the one who stepped around conflict because he was conflict avoidant and I always felt bad for making him feel bad.

So, similar to you, when the flood gates opened after Dday, surprise surprise, turns out I had hoarded a cache of truth bombs from over the years and every time I dropped one it hurt me like hell. Every confrontation I left more freaked out then I was during it. Working with a therapist who had experience with gaslighting, deception and manipulation abuse it took some time for me to understand that I was manipulated to live like I was, from both his actions and inactions I was sculpted into what he wanted and it was working for me because I truly thought I was being seen (I wasn‘t) , I was being listened to (nope), that I mattered (only as the title holder of ‘his wife’, me, the person, didn’t matter) that the marriage was great because I was being told I was loved and "shown" I was. But I was crafted to fit his role of wife, I didn’t become that way organically. I was being rewarded when I was good wife, ignored or was chastised when I was bad wife and started to adjust accordingly.

IDK I’m rambling, sorry, just ... please speak up about the negative feelings you’re experiencing after expressing yourself in IC please because the level of ugly negativity your feeling after expressing yourself, after speaking the truth, after expressing pain and your needs should be cathartic, a lancing of wounds, it shouldn’t create more internal conflict and self resentment like it is. I had two decades of it, I doubt he was aware of how manipulative he was because being manipulative was in his DNA, but it was and luckily, if you’ve been "programmed" to feel so bad for protecting yourself and expressing yourself like it reads, IC will help with that, swear it! It took me almost a year before IC positive reinforcement started to stick but once it does you’ll look back and be proud you had it in you during this time to still speak up, regardless if WH was a snotty mess or not. So please mention this in IC, the ugly feelings after you’ve spoken up for yourself, it should be more cathartic and empowering than it is right now. IC will help.

It won’t hurt to speak to your child’s therapist and get them to see if he has also been victim to this kind of manipulation, the good son is rewarded, bad son is punished (I.e good son keeps secrets, bad son tattles etc).

[This message edited by LostInHisFog at 12:32 AM, Tuesday, October 4th]

They can make as many promises as they want, but if they don't put action behind it, it doesn't mean anything.

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

posts: 300   ·   registered: Mar. 14th, 2021
id 8758118
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NowWhat106 ( member #35497) posted at 9:30 AM on Tuesday, October 4th, 2022

When I see him clearly, he hates it. He hates that about me. He considers it one of my greatest flaws as a wife, that I want to see him clearly including his flaws. He says it's painful and feels like deliberate cruelty to him. That was already well established between us

Yes. One thing that came clear when I discovered my WH’s years of infidelity and lying was how much resentment he had for me for pointing things out. I was his adversary before, and moreso after I discovered his secrets. I was the mom to get around and feel smarter than.

I felt like our job as partners was to encourage each other to grow and be better people, especially after we had kids. This engendered nothing in him but anger and panic. He doesn’t deal with negative emotions, so those feelings were turned on me.

If your WH resented you before, imagine how he’s feeling about you now. Imagine how much fear and corresponding fury you inspire. Not a pretty picture. Not a safe picture for you.

Avoiding invisible things we'd rather not look at is one thing, but this is the most visible, life altering thing in our lives right now.


AND

How can he keep hoping he can distract me and that it will go away, be absorbed and eventually invisible again?

Keep in mind that this has only ever been invisible to YOU. It has ALWAYS been completely known and acceptable to him. So you’re the problem now. As you’ve pointed out, you knowing now is just you being mean and seeing him clearly in the worst possible way. Since he’s always known about it, the problem is YOU knowing about it and not letting go of it. Focusing on you and how mean and unsympathetic you are allows him to continue not facing anything that he’s done. It fuels him feeling sorry for himself.

Of course he hopes that he can distract you, wait it out, gaslight you, or guilt you into letting it be invisible (to you) again. That is how he has lived for ever. You KNOWING and you REFUSING to pretend it doesn’t exist ARE the problem to him. Think about it: he’s made no steps to help you or tell you the truth even when he knows that you basically know it already. Instead, his dysfunctional self is telling him that if he can just find the right approach, you’ll be back in his control like always, and things can go back in the box for him. Yes, he is Just. That. Delusional. He has been able to control you forever. I’m sorry to say he has been able to do it because you helped him. Don’t be embarrassed. I did the same fucking thing. Many of us did. And they USED our best nature against us. Let this knowledge help keep you angry and vigilant.

I actually have been physically sick to my stomach after we argue, I have never, ever in my life stood while someone has sat openly crying in front of me, much less kept throwing painful words at them. It feels inhuman! . . . .

They hurt ME. The things I say actually hurt, even though they're true. I have to seriously think about whether I can live with myself being like this. It's shameful, but then I also know that I have to tell him how I feel and if he cries through it, I can either stop expressing myself or I can keep going and live with the consequences of hurting him. It's a lose-lose for me.

I would like to suggest that what hurts you is the trauma of horrific betrayal. Your words are just a manifestation of how traumatized you are. How would you not expect yourself to rage at this point? Would you really like to be stuffing your feelings down again? These are your REAL feelings right now. And you must also know that he HAS to hear what he’s done to you and your son. It’s really a sacred duty to manifest your outrage and horror at what he’s done. You are showing up for yourself and speaking your truth. DON’T BE ASHAMED OF THIS!!!! IT’S YOU FINALLY REALLY BEING TRUE TO YOU AND TAKING HIS POWER OVER YOU FROM HIM. IT’S CRITICALLY IMPORTANT. Take it to your therapist and talk it through with her. She will help you get to an understanding that this is NOTHING but right and fair for you.

Yes, it is raw and grossly uncomfortable: you are in HORRIBLE PAIN and OUTRAGE. You are expressing your trauma and his betrayal. Please don’t edit and censor yourself. You can see that your words don’t reach where they need to with him, but forget him. You need to say these things for YOURSELF and for your son. You will likely look back and see these moments as the birth of the new you risen from the ashes.

I have to rationalize that he is CHOOSING that pain over the pain of telling me the truth. That self honesty would be more painful to him than what is currently happening. This blows my mind

That’s exactly what he’s doing. Again,no surprise. Hasn’t he ALWAYS chosen himself over everyone else? Hasn’t he been dishonest with himself and everyone else basically as long as you’ve known him? I know that the real confusion is that you can’t imagine pretending at this point, but he has ALWAYS picked avoiding self-honesty over Every. Single. Other. Option. It is priority number one. This again is not a change or a new development to anyone but you. He has always understood this imperative. In the saddest, sickest possible way, he is being true to himself.

I've made myself so small, just a smaller and smaller version of myself in order to keep things flowing easily in our marriage. And they did flow easily, it was a successful tactic to keep things in harmony. I always knew I was doing this, it wasn't unconscious. But I can see clearly that it also contributed to WH being able to live such a massive double life for so long without me detecting it. And now when I tell myself I can express my real feelings, all that's coming out is rage and sarcasm and baiting. This just can't continue

Me too, my sister, me too. The first sentences here just hit so hard because I did exactly this too, complete with the awareness that that’s what I was doing. I come from a family of addictive behavior. I was not an addict or user, so there was only one job for me: holding up the world and helping the addicts around me to avoid their own agency, responsibility and flaws while putting up with their abuse of me. What about your previous life set you up for this role? For me, it was my (also non-addict) mom who groomed me for it.

What I really want you to see here is that YOU’RE the one who hasn’t been true to herself before now, as you described in your post. What might being true to yourself look like amid this mess? Do you think it might not look like shouting things that are COMPLETELY TRUE at the person who has committed abuse crimes against you? Revealing to him that you see him now very clearly and he won’t be able to continue the abuse?

You are DONE making yourself smaller. You are DONE accepting his lies about himself, his complete lack of character, and yes, his lies about you—that you are not able to see through his lies. That you aren’t smart enough to catch him. That you will stay and rugsweep all of this AGAIN, like you have rugswept many things that bothered you in the past.

Please see your blunt, fearlessly honest, not-in-any-way-conflict-avoidant truth telling as as sign of both your rejection of the role of smaller self for yourself and the rejection of whatever vision of himself he’s still trying to push at you. There are no revelations coming from him. He is just being consistent.

The revelation here is YOU. You are not going to stay in the role you’ve been in for so long. You have officially announced that and then backed it up. You are still living in the vicinity of the WORST THREAT to your existence and soul that you’ve ever experienced. This relentlessly, ruthlessly honest person is the you that will not let him continue to treat you with utter disregard and disrespect. When the threat (your WH) is gone, your inner defender will be able to stand down a bit, but right now, this is the you that you need. Don’t feel ashamed of that. Embrace it. Be PROUD. You are speaking truth and drawing your line to your abuser. You are protecting your son.

You have already acknowledged that this is what you need to be doing. Now, you just need to lose the shame. I think you’ll eventually see this as your cleanse and purge that allows you to move on clear in the knowledge that you left everything on the table and stopped sparing him from the reality of who he is and what he’s done. In the end, if he were able to hear any of it, this would be the kindest and most caring thing that you could do for him.

He’s not able to hear it. It doesn’t matter.

You are done making yourself smaller. Now if possible, stop feeling shitty about 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: 516   ·   registered: May. 2nd, 2012
id 8758143
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VezfromTaz ( member #80815) posted at 11:17 AM on Tuesday, October 4th, 2022

The comment about brainwashing ~ yes, and so you cannot necessarily rely on your thoughts being your own. Hence the need to reality test with your sister, lawyer and so on.

I still say NC or grey rock is the only way forward with him ~ why give him any more of yourself? He's only filtering what you say through a disordered mind so it's only worth doing if you are getting some benefit from it. There is a lot of power in saying nothing.

posts: 64   ·   registered: Sep. 1st, 2022
id 8758145
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 Sigyn (original poster member #80576) posted at 11:45 AM on Tuesday, October 4th, 2022

Keep in mind that this has only ever been invisible to YOU. It has ALWAYS been completely known and acceptable to him. So you’re the problem now. As you’ve pointed out, you knowing now is just you being mean and seeing him clearly in the worst possible way. Since he’s always known about it, the problem is YOU knowing about it and not letting go of it.

My mind is well and truly blown. How did I not see it from this angle? Our marriage didn't change on the day I found out. Our marriage has literally always been this way! I've been living with this exact same reality for 17 years, I just didn't know it. And he's always been living in the full reality, fully knowing it. At least 15 years of this exact, known life for him. The only thing that has changed to him is that I now also know it. The only thing he's upset about is that I have information, too. His tears, his anger, his yanking on his hair and self flagellation is all about me knowing, about me having access to information. That's what he's curled up on the floor weeping over. My knowledge. That I invaded my own real marriage, where before it was just HIS marriage.

I know this must seem obvious to everyone else, but I just hadn't put that exact vision together yet. He's upset that I know what our marriage actually contains. I'm traumatized by realizing my husband is a stranger, while he's traumatized that his wife can see the reality he's always lived in. He was happy when I was blind. I'm trying to let this sink in.

posts: 76   ·   registered: Aug. 15th, 2022
id 8758147
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Grieving ( member #79540) posted at 4:50 PM on Tuesday, October 4th, 2022

I do think it’s absolutely worth reflecting that he went 15 years just fine with what he was doing. Bragging about it, even. Nothing you have related gives any sense of him having been conflicted in the slightest. He was fine living in a marriage where he had all the power of knowledge and secrecy, while you were kept in the dark.

His emotional turmoil is related to his carefully crafted image being destroyed and to the fact that his secrets are revealed and his cake eating life is over. It’s not about being remorseful for his deceit, his moral bankruptcy, his physical endangerment of you, or his willingness to keep you blind to his double life, thereby depriving you of the ability to make free, informed choices about the most consequential relationship in your life.

[This message edited by Grieving at 4:51 PM, Tuesday, October 4th]

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: 274   ·   registered: Oct. 30th, 2021
id 8758179
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Hurtmyheart ( member #63008) posted at 7:42 PM on Tuesday, October 4th, 2022

You know what I find interesting, even in my late WH death, I find that I still don't trust him.

Without trust, the foundation of a healthy relationship, what is left?

posts: 873   ·   registered: Mar. 12th, 2018
id 8758203
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ThisIsSoLonely ( member #64418) posted at 8:36 PM on Tuesday, October 4th, 2022

Our marriage didn't change on the day I found out. Our marriage has literally always been this way! I've been living with this exact same reality for 17 years, I just didn't know it. And he's always been living in the full reality, fully knowing it. At least 15 years of this exact, known life for him. The only thing that has changed to him is that I now also know it. The only thing he's upset about is that I have information, too. His tears, his anger, his yanking on his hair and self flagellation is all about me knowing, about me having access to information. That's what he's curled up on the floor weeping over. My knowledge. That I invaded my own real marriage, where before it was just HIS marriage.

I will only add this, 5 years out, with a WH that actually has done some of the work and really does try to address his shortcomings to the extent he can...

While everything you said is theoretically true, I would argue that your WH may NOT have seen the "full reality" either. My WH certainly didn't. He wasn't just gaslighting me - he was gaslighting HIM. In fact, it was about 2 years after d-day 1 that my WH had a total and complete break down of his own doing. Immediately after d-day3 (the final d-day for me), when I had seen him with the AP talking and he had tried to convince me that it was not her I had seen (haha - can you imagine - they were like 25 feet from me not a half a mile), I had lost it, but not in a yelling and screaming way, in a very cool calm and collected way - I did not hold back a lot of nastiness about him - which I had tried to do to that point as I did not want to be that "person" (I wanted the moral high ground if nothing else). I mean I let it RIP for like 2 hours in a very monotone and calm voice, and then I walked out the door and left and came back the next day. I had turned off my phone and he had no way of knowing when I was coming home...I parked down the street planning to sneak in and out without having to deal with him and I saw him in the backyard and he was sitting there with tears streaming down his face and a huge bag of used tissues (this was rare for him - even after a year + of false R, A going underground and getting caught twice more tears were very rare indeed). IDK why I walked outside, but I did, and I looked up and he said:

"So many of those things you said about me - about us - were right. I never saw myself that way. I never saw our relationship as a sham. I never saw my behavior as controlling your choices, even though I clearly did. I never saw me as a horribly bad person. I never even considered that doing what I wanted wasn't right - I thought if it was the right thing for me it was the right thing, period. I knew you wouldn't like it, but I really believed what you didn't know wouldn't hurt you. I never really considered your choices at all. It was all about me, but had you asked me after the A started, I would have said I wasn't telling you to protect you even though it was hurting me by not letting me fully have what I wanted. OMG. I don't know what you want to do about us, but I know I am not a safe person..."

For him, the problem wasn't that I knew. It was that I was making him face it about himself and he never had before, and that was killing him. That he was just a liar and a manipulator (not just of me - the lies he told the AP were biggies too) and that he did not want to be the person that he clearly was. It was like he had a moment of "who the hell am I?" and he really didn't know because his version of himself did not match the real version, like at all.

There may be some element of this for your WH - as you have said he never wanted to face any of his shortcomings - ever, about anything. It's the whole mirror-analogy that people use on here - you are now a mirror and he may forced to see a sliver of that ugly part of himself for the first time and it's painful as hell.

I know its semantics but I think there is little hope for WS #1 who falls purely in the category of - the one who has known himself to be this way, owns it, and thinks its fine and has been hiding it from you and just can't stand that you now know it too. While there may be some hope for WS #2 - the one who when faced with really seeing the person they are is mired in fear and sadness and disgust as they had just avoided thinking about who they have been. Telling the difference between the two?

In this regard your WH differs from mine in that I don't think my WH ever bragged about tricking me (except to himself - if he really admits it there were times he had so much disdain for me just because I was THERE). He avoided thinking about me as much as possible - to the extent when faced with me it was more than he could bear because it was clear what a shitbag he had been and how much he had undermined himself. NowWhat is likely right about your WH - he falls into my "group 1" above. I'm sure there is a psych disorder attached to his behavior but I Know I'm not trained to diagnose anyone.

EDIT:

For your part, you keep focus on you - on your son - on what you need to do to feel safe. I can promise you this - if you WH wants to fight for your marriage - wants to change - he will adapt and try. Will it be enough for you? Who knows. But what I do know is staying in LIMBO - as much as I said was not ready - was foolish for me. In fact, maybe I'm wrong but I can't recall a single person on this site saying "I pulled the trigger too quickly to separate from my WS..." I'm sure there is someone but it is a rarity. IMO the faster you can get yourself to move out of LIMBO (as your WS is likely going to want to keep you there forever) the better off you will likely be.

[This message edited by ThisIsSoLonely at 1:17 AM, Wednesday, October 5th]

"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

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id 8758209
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Cooley2here ( member #62939) posted at 9:00 PM on Tuesday, October 4th, 2022

Grieving is spot on. Those tears are because you pulled the curtain back. There he is in the spotlight and can’t hide who he is anymore. His bragging, his women, his lies show him up. He was so happy fooling you, and others and now he can’t. Who can he be after this? His deceit is exposed. The sad truth is he is what you know in your heart. He is an unformed person. There is no substance there. And you will keep looking because you love him and you desperately want to find the hidden him. There he is.

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

posts: 3604   ·   registered: Mar. 5th, 2018   ·   location: US
id 8758214
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Solarchick ( member #80222) posted at 9:22 PM on Tuesday, October 4th, 2022

Sigyn,

One day, you will look back on him and realize that his inability/unwillingness to give you full disclosure or even a decent timeline just proves what a ball-less bag of crap your WH is/was.

Stay strong, honey.

Me: BW, 56, two awesome grown sons. Remarried in 2010. That lasted 11 years.WXH: Not even a blip on my radar anymore. I'm glad he's messing up the OW's life now and leaving me alone. D (with cause) in 2004.

posts: 113   ·   registered: Apr. 11th, 2022   ·   location: Hilton Head, SC
id 8758215
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DobleTraicion ( member #78414) posted at 2:27 AM on Wednesday, October 5th, 2022

We all process severe traumas differently and at our own pace, but the most important thing is that we do continue processing and, in doing so, keep moving forward....and out of our CSs infidelity (something I was a miserable failure at and paid a terrible price for it).

In the midst of your agony, you've continued to process and gain insights into what has truly been the state of your years with him. While an unutterably painful process, I believe that you will find in these insights, along with the amazing inner strength youve exemplified, the motivation to continue to move forward....and far away from this cesspool of his making.

Continued strength and clarity to you Sygin.

"You'd figure that in modern times, people wouldn't feel the need to get married if they didn't agree with the agenda"

~ lascarx

posts: 92   ·   registered: Mar. 2nd, 2021   ·   location: South
id 8758250
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DobleTraicion ( member #78414) posted at 2:28 AM on Wednesday, October 5th, 2022

We all process severe traumas differently and at our own pace, but the most important thing is that we do continue processing and, in doing so, keep moving forward....and out of our CSs infidelity (something I was a miserable failure at and paid a terrible price for it).

In the midst of your agony, you've continued to process and gain insights into what has truly been the state of your years with him. While an unutterably painful process, I believe that you will find in these insights, along with the amazing inner strength youve exemplified, the motivation to continue to move forward....and far away from this cesspool of his making.

Continued strength and clarity to you Sigyn.

"You'd figure that in modern times, people wouldn't feel the need to get married if they didn't agree with the agenda"

~ lascarx

posts: 92   ·   registered: Mar. 2nd, 2021   ·   location: South
id 8758251
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Hurthalo ( member #41782) posted at 12:19 PM on Thursday, October 6th, 2022

Sigyn,

I just wanted to add that I have read your entire thread, and I am absolutely amazed at how resolute you are being. I know that this is tough, and it is very, very bitter pill to swallow. I am in the middle of a D with my habitually wayward ex-wife (see my thread on my WW thinking she was polyamorous), and she shares a lot of traits with your H, i.e. the seeming inability to be monogamous to ANYONE, and the way in which 'the thrill of the chase' becomes an all-encompassing source of emotional fulfillment for them. They are worthy of contempt before they earn the right to be pitied.

You are sticking to your guns here, and you are 100% in the right. 3 months out from my separation (and believe me, I still cry in disbelief, but it is getting better), I thought I might offer some advice:

1. Get into IC. Being able to vent and be heard by someone who can give you advice on your gamut of feelings and emotions is invaluable.

2. You did NOTHING wrong. None of us are the perfect husbands/wives, but there is very little that warrants our married partners seeking solace in someone else. In your instance, your WH has FAR exceeded the levels of decency. If cheating can even appear on a decency scale!

3. Your son will learn the truth one day (likely on his own as you don't sound like the vindictive type), and your WH will likely reap what they have sown accordingly. I said to my IC, 'the greatewst injustice in this situation is that she (my WW) walks away with everything her beahviour would profess she has wanted; her own place, a financial payout, freedom every other week, and the ability now to sleep with whoever she wants.' He looked at me grimly and said, 'There will be justice. But for her it will come later down the line. It always does.' Your son will know who his rock is.

4. Get something to take your mind off the 'mind movies'. Start learning a language, take up that hobby you always wanted, go running, pick up an instrument. It helps ENORMOUSLY.

And when you start having second thoughts, just remember all the gaslighting he did to keep you as his emotional backup plan. Pause to think of all the bad-mouthing about you (also called projection) he would have done to inwardly justify his actions and flawed way of life. My WW wrote the most insanely vitriol to her cheerleading friend (who knew about her affair) about me about the most pedestrian of things to try and somehow elevate my behaviour as being even remotely equivalent to hers. I laugh in hindsight, she even bemoaned to her friend once the fact that I 'assembled an office chair in the lounge room' while she was cheating, almost like it was the equivalent of coming home drunk and smashing vases in the house at 3am! laugh

Looking to the future, if I can leave you with one great line from my IC that has helped me immensely with getting excited about life without my WW, it is this. I broke down and said that it was likely I would never be able to fully trust another partner ever again, and I was worried that I would be compelled to go into detective mode and assume I was being cheated on. He grabbed my hand and said, 'Cheating is not a normal behaviour. There are so many loving people out there in the world, that when the time comes for you to consider that, you will realise that you won't even need to.'

We don't always get what we want Sigyn. But that's because we deserve better.

[This message edited by Hurthalo at 12:23 PM, Thursday, October 6th]

posts: 185   ·   registered: Dec. 26th, 2013   ·   location: Australia
id 8758402
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 Sigyn (original poster member #80576) posted at 3:52 PM on Friday, October 7th, 2022

I would argue that your WH may NOT have seen the "full reality" either. My WH certainly didn't. He wasn't just gaslighting me - he was gaslighting HIM.

I honestly don't even know what I would consider worse at this point, if he's fully aware and gaslighting me, or so unaware that he's also gaslighting himself. I don't know how to wade through the tangled web of lies in any direction at all.

And when you start having second thoughts, just remember all the gaslighting he did to keep you as his emotional backup plan. Pause to think of all the bad-mouthing about you (also called projection) he would have done to inwardly justify his actions and flawed way of life.

It actually kills me that his OW, who wrote to me outing their relationship, told me that he said he was in a happy marriage. He also posted that on his cheating chat group, that he was in a good marriage. To me it means that there isn't a single thing that he was even using to justify his affairs, just the fact that he wanted to and considered himself to not be monogamous. It's chilling to me. From the beginning the one thing that clicked into place was that this is who he is, not something he did. I'm so sorry you also are facing this. It's beyond life altering.

posts: 76   ·   registered: Aug. 15th, 2022
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 Sigyn (original poster member #80576) posted at 4:31 PM on Friday, October 7th, 2022

Living the BS life of having had both a therapy appointment and an attorney appointment on the same day. I want to keep typing "I cannot believe this is my life" over and over but I know you all understand that feeling.

But in a way I'm glad the appointments happened like that, in that order, because I need to have an agenda and left to my own devices I'm just an emotional mess. For anyone reading this and trapped in limbo I have to share something my therapist did this week that gave me back some sanity - she had me bring in index cards and on separate cards write my fears, worries, things I find intolerable, my unanswered questions and what my needs are for my marriage. Then we ranked all of them as total deal breakers, critical needs and regular needs. And it wasn't even the writing that was the helpful part but the way I wrestled over the rankings. Because everything feels like a deal breaker and then I know if I put the card in that deal breaker category and there's nothing to be done to fix it, I'm essentially saying my marriage is over. So I didn't want to put unfixable cards in that category at all. And she talked to me about each one of those cards in particular. It helped me to focus on the most desperate issues, and in the tangle of emotions it was a way of lining up things that I KNOW are deal breakers for me, and just don't want to face the consequences of.

It's not fair that my own future life path becomes nothing more than a consequence of WH's choices. Because both life paths are intolerable to me. I don't want to divorce. I don't want to be married to the man WH has been revealed to be. I want something that doesn't exist and isn't possible. So I'm left with path A or B, just each of them with various sub paths. She said to take WH out of the equation and focus on my own needs and abilities. To assume that WH would never do anything differently, would never help me or our marriage, would never fundamentally change. So all that's left is me standing alone, a mother and a woman, just not the wife I imagined I was. I don't know if that sounds awful but I found it so grounding that I cried for the rest of the appointment. I am the mother and the woman I have always been. That's not a lie, it's not a mask, not a facade. I am the mother and the woman I have been this entire time.

I know it sounds crazy but I think part of my emotional upheaval is that I was trapped in the thought that my entire marriage has been a lie. And the first penny dropped when someone wrote that Wh's reality hasn't shifted, just mine. He's been living this life for 17 years and the only thing that changed was that I found out. The other penny dropped when my therapist pointed out that I am the same woman I've been for 17 years, and the same mother. I haven't changed. My knowledge of my marriage has changed but I as a woman have the same values, personality, relationship needs, strengths. I have more information now, and it's information I didn't want, but I am like a lighthouse in the middle of a storm. Calm seas, rough seas, storm - same lighthouse. This vision is so powerful to me. I feel like the earth has shifted under my feet and I have nothing to hang out to that's real, I'm just a helpless victim trapped under a rock - but envisioning myself as the real, steady, unshifting surface was unbelievably painful, lonely, devastating and then also such a relief. I keep searching around looking for one REAL thing to cling to - begging WH to tell me one real thing, one real memory, one real name, date, experience. But if I see myself as that one real thing, then I always have that solid foundation. It's painful beyond belief. I have never EVER wanted to be a solitary lighthouse, I wanted to be yin and yang with my husband. But I'm not, I've never been. So if what's left of solidity in my life is me, then that's what's in my control and it absolutely IS in my control.

I know you've all been telling me this. It's just somehow in the therapist's office with the cards it was right in front of my face.

I saw the attorney next and I can't write any details now but I left with my much beloved list of check boxes and bullet points. Please wish me luck with some impossible days coming up.

posts: 76   ·   registered: Aug. 15th, 2022
id 8758619
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Beachgirl73 ( new member #74764) posted at 4:50 PM on Friday, October 7th, 2022

Sigyn,

I so admire your intelligent portrayal of your situation and the courageous and forthcoming way you are handling it. Right now things seem bleak to you, but I predict a happy future for you and your son. Keep moving forward.

((Hugs))

posts: 42   ·   registered: Jul. 3rd, 2020
id 8758622
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DobleTraicion ( member #78414) posted at 5:49 PM on Friday, October 7th, 2022

For anyone reading this and trapped in limbo I have to share something my therapist did this week that gave me back some sanity - she had me bring in index cards and on separate cards write my fears, worries, things I find intolerable, my unanswered questions and what my needs are for my marriage. Then we ranked all of them as total deal breakers, critical needs and regular needs. And it wasn't even the writing that was the helpful part but the way I wrestled over the rankings. Because everything feels like a deal breaker and then I know if I put the card in that deal breaker category and there's nothing to be done to fix it, I'm essentially saying my marriage is over. So I didn't want to put unfixable cards in that category at all. And she talked to me about each one of those cards in particular. It helped me to focus on the most desperate issues, and in the tangle of emotions it was a way of lining up things that I KNOW are deal breakers for me, and just don't want to face the consequences of.

It's not fair that my own future life path becomes nothing more than a consequence of WH's choices. Because both life paths are intolerable to me. I don't want to divorce. I don't want to be married to the man WH has been revealed to be. I want something that doesn't exist and isn't possible. So I'm left with path A or B, just each of them with various sub paths. She said to take WH out of the equation and focus on my own needs and abilities. To assume that WH would never do anything differently, would never help me or our marriage, would never fundamentally change. So all that's left is me standing alone, a mother and a woman, just not the wife I imagined I was. I don't know if that sounds awful but I found it so grounding that I cried for the rest of the appointment. I am the mother and the woman I have always been. That's not a lie, it's not a mask, not a facade. I am the mother and the woman I have been this entire time.

I know it sounds crazy but I think part of my emotional upheaval is that I was trapped in the thought that my entire marriage has been a lie. And the first penny dropped when someone wrote that Wh's reality hasn't shifted, just mine. He's been living this life for 17 years and the only thing that changed was that I found out. The other penny dropped when my therapist pointed out that I am the same woman I've been for 17 years, and the same mother. I haven't changed. My knowledge of my marriage has changed but I as a woman have the same values, personality, relationship needs, strengths. I have more information now, and it's information I didn't want, but I am like a lighthouse in the middle of a storm. Calm seas, rough seas, storm - same lighthouse. This vision is so powerful to me. I feel like the earth has shifted under my feet and I have nothing to hang out to that's real, I'm just a helpless victim trapped under a rock - but envisioning myself as the real, steady, unshifting surface was unbelievably painful, lonely, devastating and then also such a relief. I keep searching around looking for one REAL thing to cling to - begging WH to tell me one real thing, one real memory, one real name, date, experience. But if I see myself as that one real thing, then I always have that solid foundation. It's painful beyond belief. I have never EVER wanted to be a solitary lighthouse, I wanted to be yin and yang with my husband. But I'm not, I've never been. So if what's left of solidity in my life is me, then that's what's in my control and it absolutely IS in my control.

I know you've all been telling me this. It's just somehow in the therapist's office with the cards it was right in front of my face.


This is amazing counsel and resulting self realization. Breathtaking really. Thank you for sharing this.

"You'd figure that in modern times, people wouldn't feel the need to get married if they didn't agree with the agenda"

~ lascarx

posts: 92   ·   registered: Mar. 2nd, 2021   ·   location: South
id 8758634
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whatisloveanyway ( member #66450) posted at 6:02 PM on Friday, October 7th, 2022

Thank you for what you have shared with us. Your thread is a master class on the process of surviving betrayal with grace.

I know that your life right now is painful, and is not at all what you had wished it to be, but your life it will become the masterpiece of your making.

I will be using your image of a lighthouse to help honor the rock I have been in my own life, when I always thought it was someone else. Like parenthood, this experience has stripped me down to my essence and has forced me to know myself in a way I hadn’t bothered to in ages. I am enough, and so are you. I hope your therapist continues to help bring you clarity, strength and self love. Take care, fierce mother warrior, and keep shining your light.

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: 452   ·   registered: Oct. 9th, 2018   ·   location: Southeastern USA
id 8758635
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