Cookies are required for login or registration. Please read and agree to our cookie policy to continue.

Newest Member: Beschaedigt

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

default

 Sigyn (original poster member #80576) posted at 12:37 PM on Friday, November 18th, 2022

Don’t want to do that? Then you either don’t see that reimbursement money as being rightfully yours…or you think you have to pay for a sin you didn’t commit.

It's the second one. I am so ashamed of WH. And I've only tangentially written about this but there's so much in his behavior that seems to originate in what I'm starting to think is maybe deeply embedded misogyny. All of his life bitterness seems to be directed at his mom, and that spilled over onto me as if he's punishing me for his mom not loving him the way he wanted to be loved. He withholds really serious and necessary info for me as a way of keeping control over me, to be above me, to be the one pulling the strings of what should be a marriage of two equals. And it gets this control through the use of other women's bodies. He's admitted to me that he uses withholding information as a form of control, but denies that any of this is woman-centered. I don't believe him. I think it is. And I think that the reason he chose sex workers even when he had what sounds like multiple OW and a wife all simultaneously in his life and catering to him is that he felt above the sexworkers from the start. Like he was in the power position. It never had to be reciprocal.

I think right now I want to make amends for him. I want his need for control flipped to something positive for women who either are escaping from control, or who need to have their own power and autonomy. Maybe this is just another of the rollercoaster stages, I don't know. Every couple of weeks I get obsessed with a new aspect of what I'm dealing with and I think it's really me who needs to feel like I have control over my life right now. And making him repay that money - really FACE the spreadsheet with the dollar values that reflect his psychology, his endless pathological needs, his secret hoard of information completely exposed in a legal document as if it's saying: THIS is the magnitude of my need to control and take from others! - feels right now like it's so necessary and just??

It's not like any of this will happen in the near future, I don't think, so it's just an idea I'm hanging on to as a way of pulling myself forward.

I love the ideas of human trafficking organizations and also legal funds for women who can't afford attorneys in divorce or law suits.

And maybe I'll change my mind, I don't know, I just need something positive to think about, I feel like I'm drowning in the awful things right now.

posts: 76   ·   registered: Aug. 15th, 2022
id 8765695
default

Cooley2here ( member #62939) posted at 3:07 PM on Friday, November 18th, 2022

I so admire you. In the midst of all this pain you have zeroed in on exactly why your husband is the way he is and I don’t believe for a minute he will ever change. It’s his modus operandi and always has been. This book is kind of expensive because it’s $14 on Kindle and more than that as paperback but you need to get MEN WHO HATE AND THE WOMEN WHO LOVE THEM by Susan Forward. In it you will find almost exactly the same behavior that you see in your husband. I read this book in a used bookstore years ago by working there. I found tons of used books that have a lot of information and are still in print. The next book I recommend is GAMES PEOPLE PLAY because even though it’s an old book is still in print because it hits so many behaviors. These are mind games that people play with their innocent victims and you will probably find yourself and your husband in there somewhere. I think both of those books are pretty powerful in explaining how we get ourselves, in all innocence, involved with a damaged human being.

[This message edited by Cooley2here at 3:08 PM, Friday, November 18th]

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

posts: 3604   ·   registered: Mar. 5th, 2018   ·   location: US
id 8765742
default

InRetrospect ( member #18641) posted at 6:15 PM on Friday, November 18th, 2022

I appreciate your considering women who don't have the means for attorneys. I see so many people express that they can't afford counsel on this site, when they desperately need it. That need exists a bit below the bar of domestic abuse and sex trafficking, so they fall through the cracks.

But I do also like the idea of spending some on nurturing and uplifting activities for yourself and your son.

Of course I know this is not real money yet grin

What is it with men?

posts: 296   ·   registered: Mar. 15th, 2008   ·   location: California
id 8765832
default

NowWhat106 ( member #35497) posted at 10:39 PM on Friday, November 18th, 2022

One of the reasons that this thread is so very valuable is the stunningly eloquent articulation of so many of the issues surrounding this particular type of WH and the way relationships that involve them tend to function. Over and over I read things that are such a clear description of my life even though I’ve never been able to articulate them quite so perfectly, and you, dear Sigyn, have written many of them, but so have so many other wise people on this thread. It’s really a gift to have such a community of people who really get it.

there's so much in his behavior that seems to originate in what I'm starting to think is maybe deeply embedded misogyny. All of his life bitterness seems to be directed at his mom, and that spilled over onto me as if he's punishing me for his mom not loving him the way he wanted to be loved. He withholds really serious and necessary info for me as a way of keeping control over me, to be above me, to be the one pulling the strings of what should be a marriage of two equals. And it gets this control through the use of other women's bodies. He's admitted to me that he uses withholding information as a form of control, but denies that any of this is woman-centered. I don't believe him. I think it is. And I think that the reason he chose sex workers even when he had what sounds like multiple OW and a wife all simultaneously in his life and catering to him is that he felt above the sexworkers from the start. Like he was in the power position. It never had to be reciprocal.

This all over the place. This is my WH in so many ways. He lacks your WH’s assertiveness in pursuing so many relationships, but the lack of respect for women, the secrecy, the information guarding and covert decision-making as power, the massive veiled resentment behind so many of his actions, the need to feel superior, and yeah, ultimately all originating from bitterness and anger at his mom. My WH deliberately chose to gravitate towards women that he felt superior to. THere were so many relationships that I felt were borderline inappropriate that he would explain away in a kind of "as if" way: she’s so screwed up; she’s a complete mess; etc. He would listen to them for hours about their screwed up relationships, their disastrous lives, and feel smug, but he would also feel powerful, wise, superior. They looked up to him, and he. Looked down on them. Perfect. Ultimately, the woman that he had an A with was a completely screwed up mess too. It gave him power and control.

He definitely preferred the company of women to the company of men since he felt both competitive with and inferior to men. The only men he liked were similarly those that he felt he had some power position over and those that he didn’t feel were a threat. Yeah, he has issues with relationships and vulnerability. Full stop.

On the other hand, women that he felt were smarter, stronger, out of his league, he resented massively. So where does that leave me. As long as he could manipulate me and control me, it was, I think, the ultimate satisfying revenge in a completely subconscious way. We started out on more equal footing when we were younger, but little by little, I became less manageable and grew in ways that he didn’t like. I stopped being manageable, and his resentment grew. Ultimately, when we had kids was a major dividing line. My priorities (and my overwhelming responsibilities as he focused on himself and how he wasn’t getting as much attention) shifted massively, and behaviors that I had soothed and excused became friction points because they affected the kids. That was when I really became the mom, and that role had well-established behaviors and feelings attached to it for him. None of them were positive.

The life we built didn't deserve to be fake. I wanted that life and I was living that actual life. WH was the outsider, the faker, the imposter. I'm so furious with him and so disgusted and just so so so DONE. Done listening to him twist everything and done having every conversation turn into a competition, arguing over semantics, having the 'why did you do this??' conversation become completely shut down by his proxy battles over marriage counseling.

Yes. Yes. Yes. You have come to what you need 5 years faster than I did. I made the decision not to engage in those conversations that turned into competitions, semantic wrangling, blameshifting, deflecting, false equivalencies, and endless detours and distractions onto whatever grievance he wanted to use to try to manipulate me. I made that decision hundreds of times only to get caught off guard again because there was something that had to be raised because it involved the kids or finances or something. Whoever said that they are masters of manipulation and mind-fucking games was so right. How did we live so long without realizing how much we were getting played and gaslighted and disrespected? How did we convince ourselves that we were actually happy with our relationships?

furious with his smugness, his privilege in getting to be what is essentially a forever child with his wife holding down the fort taking care of the family responsibilities as he flew around sampling from various all you can eat sex buffets and then coming home to kiss me and engage in all those totally bullshit pointless conversations about how lucky we were to have a good life and love each other so much. Probably laughing at my ignorance, texting his girlfriends from the bathroom, feeling like king of the world. barf

Raising hand again. As I’ve said before, I ran myself ragged trying to hold things together as the mom of a resentful forever child who complained regularly that he never had time for himself and what HE wanted to do. We (actually it was probably more me, in retrospect) had those "lucky’ conversations regularly. Because I couldn’t believe how fortunate we were to have beautiful, healthy kids, financial stability, a great life, a happy marriage. But why wouldn’t he feel lucky too since he had all of that. . .and more that he got to secretly enjoy and smirk over. My rage and loss over his careless destruction of all that I loved and held most sacred was the ultimate act of petty resentment and disrespect. His destruction of the family that my kids loved and felt safe in is something I’ll never forgive.

But I will say that none of his shitty, dysfunctional behaviors brought him satisfaction or happiness. He felt like a total shit most of the time, I think. Not that he said to himself that he was a total shit. In the ultimate deflection, he told himself and his AP and even me after I found out that i didn’t have time for him, that I didn’t love him enough, that I didn’t make time for him, and any number of other bullshit rationalizations. Like your WH, he knew he was a liar and had articulated the best "technique" for getting away with it. But internally, he knew what he was—hence, his choices of co-conspirators.

I’m guessing that your WH has finally come face to face with his own shittiness too. And like my WH, he’s decided to hide from it completely and double down on not facing it and throwing blame and manipulation in every direction.

You, on the other hand, are becoming truer to yourself. Your strength and emotional intelligence are showing up to protect you and your son. Your integrity is provoking a lot of important revelations that will serve you better going forward. You are discovering that your integrity, compassion, and respect for life must also be offered to yourself. You are awesome.

So you will make a good decision about what to do with the money, ultimately, and that decision will reflect who you are and who are becoming in the fire of this horrible forge. I trust your judgement and you truly can too. You’ve got ALL of this, even though it is horrific and it doesn’t feel like you have it. You do.

And let that anger rage. It’s your friend no matter how uncomfortable it feels. It needed to be heard along with all of the other parts of you that you’ve been holding back. Huge hugs to you, Sigyn.

[This message edited by NowWhat106 at 11:24 PM, Friday, November 18th]

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 8765864
default

VezfromTaz ( member #80815) posted at 11:19 PM on Friday, November 18th, 2022

It's sort of ironic (hopefully not in an Alanis Morissette not very ironic way) that WH got himself into this mess (albeit deliberately) partly via an online forum, and you're (hopefully) getting out of it also partly via an online forum. Gotta love the internet. I suppose there is someone for everyone.

Regarding integrity, I found it was easier to believe or tell myself I had it, until I had to actually had to act on it and do something about disrupting my comfortable, albeit, dysfunctional fantasy life and world view. I had committed myself to being a good role model for my children somewhere along their childhood (yes it wasn't something I recognised until after I had children). There was no way I wanted my children to believe I sanctioned FWs behaviour. After we separated (I may have mentioned this before) my 18 yo son, who was sort of troubled at the time for some mysterious reason, came home from brunch with his dad (who suddenly was desperate to spend time with his kids) and gleefully announced "Dad said he was happy he didn't have to be a good role model anymore". What a lowlife. They all are.

posts: 64   ·   registered: Sep. 1st, 2022
id 8765872
default

ThisIsSoLonely ( member #64418) posted at 4:52 PM on Monday, November 21st, 2022

I wanted to comment on something you said that resonated with me - something I mention in passing on here from time to time that really has stuck with me more than just about anything else from this whole infidelity mess as it is a daily thing for me:

I'm questioning myself, I'm questioning other people's motives, I'm feeling like everyone is hiding ugliness inside them - even me - and that they have the potential to pop out like a jack in the box from any of us.

I realize that the year+ of false R where the affair went underground and WH lied to me daily/hourly - even after seeing how much the A itself hurt me, and even at times I begged for him to "just tell me" if he wanted to continue the A so I could move on - has scarred me in the way you describe above. I found myself questioning my own father's words about simple things, and good friends who I never questioned before - I wondered what they were hiding - what secrets they carried. I questioned my own motives about things (and sometimes realized they were less pure than I admitted to myself at the time) and I still struggle with that despite being 5 years out. But, but, but...

I think there is something profoundly okay with taking the rose colored glasses off about life in general so long as you don't replace them with something too dark. The thing is, most of us ARE hiding something, maybe from ourselves. It could be as simple as that we really don't like our mother's "famous" casserole, yet we say that we do year after year, so we go to her house and eat it, knowing we will eat what we want later. Maybe it's something bigger and "uglier" - a friend of mine confided to me years ago that sometimes she found herself wishing she did not have children - not because she didn't love them, but because she felt like the compromise she made in her life for them left her feeling empty, like she only lived for them, and that outside of them she had nothing. That she did not feel that way all of the time but she did sometimes and when she did she felt huge wafts of guilt for even feeling that way, even if just for a moment, like she should be stoned or hanged in a public square or something for even thinking such a thing as mothers are supposed to 100% love their children and a good mother would never even think about life without them. But life isn't that simple. We all have regrets and have made bad decisions, behaved badly, and been less than proud of our own actions at some point - or even just wonder what our life would be like if we had made different choices. The difference is being able to tell those who are good at heart and those whose regret about things, to the extent they have them, falls outside of their own self-protection. My friend is not a bad person for thinking about her life without her kids (as a childless woman it was not the first time I have heard a parent say something similar - I think those of us without kids seem safer to say those things to). What she chooses to do with those feelings - how she uses them as an agent for change to allow herself to make her life more fulfilling in general is the lesson from them IMO.

What I realize is after 5 years out from D-day and 2.5 from the end of the false-R train and my acceptance of the demise of our relationship as I knew it before is that we are/I am not perfect. I have bad thoughts. I have lied, numerous times, to someone about something - and not always just lies about my mom's casserole (I hate the thing but I'm just going to continue to eat it as to me the consequence of the decision to tell her just isn't worth it to me), I have done and said (or omitted) far "worse." And I presume other people have done the same at some point in their life. None of us are 100% "trustworthy" in that regard - we all have "secrets" in that we don't share everything we feel 100% of the time, and that applies to things we perceive as good and bad. What I have learned is that is okay. What I am still working on is trusting my own judgment - the new version of it that is willing to accept that no one is exactly who they seem. I am now more skeptical of things, especially those things in which I feel are important to me and I am less willing to blindly trust that someone has my best interest at heart 100% of the time, especially when my best interest may contradict with theirs. That's okay.

For awhile forcing myself to step forward with people, with myself, felt like swimming against the tide. In a way it's easier to stay within a protective shell, sharing little and holding back with others. But part of that, I now realize (but still do not always honor it) is allowing myself to say what I feel more often - letting go of the outcome - the consequences of saying how I feel, and nudging others to do the same. I have several friends who seem far better at doing that than others, and whereas before I found their honesty in setting forth their feelings to be grating - unnecessary - I now have a profound respect for them. The good side of this is that I used to have difficulty saying no, to just about anything. If I was capable of doing something for someone I almost always did it, even to my own detriment. And there is part of me that likes that about myself - that doing things without consideration of my own gain is a behavior I value in myself and that I do not want to wholly change...but, I am more measured now in my decision making. My go-to response to everything isn't an automatic "yes" anymore.

This is my longwinded way of telling you that how you feel in the quote above is not all bad. You can "grow" from it in that you can turn your other relationships into better, more healthy versions of what you have already. Being skeptical isn't all bad - but for a bit you too will likely have to force yourself to move through the desire to pull back completely. You may pay more attention to what people say - how people behave - and just be more aware. All that is fine, and I would say, for some people, very normal. It takes time to navigate all of these feelings, but some of the infidelity aftermath has really benefited me in the long run. You will get there. This too is normal.

[This message edited by ThisIsSoLonely at 4:53 PM, Monday, November 21st]

"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: 1914   ·   registered: Jul. 11th, 2018
id 8766164
default

BoundaryBuilder ( member #78439) posted at 8:44 PM on Monday, November 21st, 2022

You can "grow" from it in that you can turn your other relationships into better, more healthy versions of what you have already. Being skeptical isn't all bad - but for a bit you too will likely have to force yourself to move through the desire to pull back completely. You may pay more attention to what people say - how people behave - and just be more aware. All that is fine, and I would say, for some people, very normal. It takes time to navigate all of these feelings, but some of the infidelity aftermath has really benefited me in the long run.

Agreed ThisIsSoLonely! SOME of the aftermath of infidelity (could have done without PTSD :-) made me stronger with an improved no-nonsense attitude in so many areas of my life. One example, the pre-infidelity me was waaaay too willing to give people the benefit of the doubt. Post infidelity, I'm a firm believer in the Trust But Verify approach. Which is a much more realistic and measured way to deal with the world.

Here's a flippant metaphor - for me the aftermath of infidelity was like putting on the special sunglasses featured in the goofy 1980's John Carpenter sci-fi film "They Live." For those who haven't seen it, or need a refresher, the plot of "They Live" is very simple. A streetwise drifter discovers a pair of sunglasses which allow him to see subliminal messages hidden behind every billboard, newspaper, and TV commercial in the U.S., as well as showing the true faces of the masked skull faced aliens walking among us, intent to dominate our world in secret.

Infidelity forced me to put on the special sunglasses. H's betrayal was so traumatic - for a while I was paranoid. The discovery of the truth - that my Husband was a cheating liar shook my faith in humanity. My home wasn't safe, work didn't feel safe. And potentially friends and family weren't safe because I worried "who knew about this and didn't tell me?" Ultimately, I wasn't safe for ME because naive trust made me an easily exploited sucker. It took infidelity to slap me with the truth. WTF, skull faced aliens walk among us! And, MY HUSBAND IS ONE OF THEM! Is EVERYONE but me a skull faced alien as well?

In time, after navigating the initial urge to withdraw ALL trust, I was able to emerge from my shell and engage people with a new healthier self-protective approach. Sigyn, given time and healing you too will be able to grow/learn from this nightmare. Given the choice I wouldn't go back to the innocent time I naively trusted while H lied to me. Better to be slapped with the truth than kissed with a lie. The special infidelity sunglasses are now a tool I appreciate! Not everyone is a skull faced alien, but they do indeed walk amongst us. Better to be aware they exist, and use that knowledge for your benefit. Offer trust only to those who deserve it.

[This message edited by BoundaryBuilder at 7:27 PM, Tuesday, November 22nd]

Married 32 years w/one adult daughter
ME:BW 64 HIM:WH 65
13 month texting EA with high school X who fished him on Facebook 43 years later
PA=15 days spread over final 3 months
D-Day=April 21, 2018
Reconciled

posts: 146   ·   registered: Mar. 4th, 2021
id 8766185
default

TheEnd ( member #72213) posted at 9:38 PM on Monday, November 21st, 2022

Kind of along the same lines...

Trusting others can be a challenge after infidelity.

To me, trusting myself has been the bigger challenge. I'm an intelligent, intuitive, emotionally mature woman. How on earth did I let this happen to my life? No, I didn't cause his cheating but I wasn't dumb. I knew things were wrong. Way wrong. During false R my gut was screeeeeeeaming at me almost every day. So I know I can trust my gut, but what did I do to protect myself? Not enough apparently. Even prior to infidelity, how on earth did I let myself become so small in this marriage? And as miserable as I was becoming, why did I cling to him after I found out about his affair? Hell looking back on our 30 years I have the same thoughts. Why did I tolerate his selfishness? Why did I put up with his demands I mother him? What in the world was I thinking?

I know of course. But that's my work. Unlearning my conditioning and trusting myself to make better choices for my future.

I think if the trust in me rises, I will feel less skiddish with others. Because I'll know what my boundaries are and what I will or won't tolerate. What "others" do is their business. But if I can trust that I won't tolerate it, that I'll ask for what I need and/or walk when it's not working anymore, what real damage can they do to me?

Something like that anyway.

posts: 279   ·   registered: Dec. 3rd, 2019
id 8766188
default

NowWhat106 ( member #35497) posted at 11:00 PM on Monday, November 21st, 2022

Yes, to THisIsSoLonely, BoundaryBuilder and TheEnd! Trusting others is very challenging when you’ve been so completely wrong about the person that you thought you knew and could trust more than ANYONE based on years of shared life and experience.

It raises SO many questions and doubts about people in general but also about one’s own judgement. But as TheEnd says, it’s not like I didn’t know things were off. My job now is to figure out why I chose to ignore so many warning signs and never do that again.

Trusting again—well, that’s definitely a bit more challenging. Sadly, when you get those special glasses, there are a lot more people out there with major issues than I ever recognized (or thought about) before. They didn’t change, but I sure did.

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 8766197
Cookies on SurvivingInfidelity.com®

SurvivingInfidelity.com® uses cookies to enhance your visit to our website. This is a requirement for participants to login, post and use other features. Visitors may opt out, but the website will be less functional for you.

v.1.001.20221122 2002-2022 SurvivingInfidelity.com® All Rights Reserved. • Privacy Policy