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Newest Member: rmf2rmv

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

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ThisIsSoLonely ( Guide #64418) posted at 3:34 PM on Wednesday, December 21st, 2022

You know what, these people can miss me with their self-congratulations. It is NOT hard to find someone who also wants an open marriage. It has literally never been easier than it is today. You're not monogamous but you also want to be ethical? Guess what buddy, that is actually a thing! You win an open marriage!

So this group of people is actually just a bunch of cheaters deluding themselves. It is not ethical to mislead someone or to enter a contract under false pretenses. Consent is the ultimate equalizer but these folks just want to get off on deceiving their spouses.

I recall years ago saying something like this to my WH that addressed the above issue:

Marriage is a contract. In just about any other contract when you trick someone into entering into it under false or misleading pretenses, the injured party can sue for fraudulent misrepresentation. And that in a nutshell is really what these people are doing - providing false or misleading information to their future spouse. I'm a lawyer and I've never sued anyone personally in my life - but for those entering into the marriage knowing this is who they are - this should be lawsuit material.

You are the only person you are guaranteed to spend the rest of your life with. Act accordingly.

posts: 2003   ·   registered: Jul. 11th, 2018
id 8770296
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NowWhat106 ( member #35497) posted at 7:25 PM on Wednesday, December 28th, 2022

I hope you’re getting through this first difficult holiday season finding joy with your son and family, Sigyn, and that you’re finding moments of peace. Sending hugs and best wishes for a new year of hope, strength and progress—whatever that looks like for you.

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: 542   ·   registered: May. 2nd, 2012
id 8771250
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Gracey ( member #79334) posted at 2:17 PM on Thursday, December 29th, 2022

So sorry you are facing this, it totally sucks!
You are in a state of shock and your unwillingness to fully comprehend this is because your brain is protecting you by blocking the full force of reality out in order for you to cope. I struggle still with this as it is a huge thing to accept that what you have lived is a lie. You will in time be ready to see a lawyer and as someone said now is the time you need to focus on you. Get a IC for you and just you at the moment. They will become your grounding as you discover more and more of whats gone on.
When your ready see a lawyer as it will help you sort out the financial implications if you divorce and you don’t need to be worrying about money when also dealing with the emotional impact of this.
I echo what others have said in that don’t look for an explanation as to why this happened or take any blame, this is less about you and more about a major personality flaw in your WH. I think its natural to look for reasons to make sense of our new reality and sometimes there just isn’t the answers we need. Its crazy making and once you accept that, you can start to be objective. Huge Virtual Hug

Together 33 years Married. 17 years

posts: 53   ·   registered: Aug. 27th, 2021   ·   location: United Kingdom
id 8771302
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childofcheater ( member #33887) posted at 1:41 PM on Tuesday, January 3rd, 2023

How are you Sigyn?

Me: 42 yo, him 41Married 19 years together 233 kids: DD15, DD12, DS9DDay 2/9/12 found suspicious text to coworkerStatus: in R, work in progress

posts: 567   ·   registered: Nov. 11th, 2011   ·   location: East Coast
id 8771857
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BigMammaJamma ( member #65954) posted at 2:02 PM on Friday, January 13th, 2023

HI Sigyn- Its been a while since you checked in. I know sometimes you just need a break from all of it. I do hope you come back and check in and let us know how things are going.

Me- born in 1984Him- born in 1979We both have 2 kids from previous marriages and we share a four year old. I might be a BS, but at this point, I don't know if I'll ever know.

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

posts: 276   ·   registered: Aug. 23rd, 2018   ·   location: Deep in the Heart of Texas
id 8773218
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 Sigyn (original poster member #80576) posted at 3:38 PM on Friday, January 20th, 2023

It's been a while since I've been able to find the heart and the words to post here. I do a lot of journaling to write my feelings out and just recently have tried to read back through some of the things I've written to look for signs of growth or understanding inside myself, but it really just feels like a lot of pain.

You all have been predicting pretty much everything that's happened, so functionally I don't think there are any surprises. WH after having a few breakdowns and moments of honesty has now gone on the offensive and has rewritten a lot of the story of our marriage casting himself as a victim and all of his affairs and one night stands and sex work as "acting out" against expectations that have placed upon him by the women in his life. His mother gets the bulk of his blame, but I'm right in there with her. Since his mother isn't here to defend herself, when I push back at him about his vague accusations against me, he is unable to support them in any specific way and just pivots back to his mother.

One of his revelations that he says he's arrived at in therapy is that he's been the family "rock" in our marriage, and being "a rock" doesn't leave him any room for vulnerability, hence his need for sex from literally SCORES of women. When I ask him what being a rock means to him, he says it means "stoic". When I ask him to give me an example of him being stoic, he says he's not "allowed" to express emotion. When I ask him which emotions he doesn't feel comfortable expressing in our marriage he backpedals and says okay yes he feels free to express emotions in our marriage, but in childhood he wasn't "allowed" to express them. So I redirect to our marriage - what does he see as the role of the family "rock" in our marriage? He says it's taking all of the responsibilities of the family on his shoulders. I ask for examples, he just says his work. I say okay, I work too, so if it's just the act of having high-level careers, are we both the family rocks together? And he says no, it's more than just work, it's that he's expected to be a responsible person. I ask for examples and he literally cannot think of any! None! He just keeps saying "you know, being responsible!" I ask what responsibilities he feels are uniquely his, and not shared by me, and again he just says his work. So I try to close the loop and say "You feel like your job makes you want to act out sexually?" and he says NO, it's the combined expectations of his job and "taking care of the family".

Here I have to say that if you're smelling bullshit, it's because WH is literally made out of it. We both have very advanced professional careers. WH works from home and always has, I work at my workplace. I do the bulk of the housework and cooking, we have household help for cleaning and our son is in school. We hire out all fix-it type jobs because neither of us is particularly handy. WH has an athletic hobby and also a creative hobby that he does quite a bit outside the home (or maybe he doesn't, maybe the time management of fucking 40+ other women has been his real hobby). The division of labor (including emotional) is incredibly skewed towards ME and always has been. I am the fixer, the arranger, the reminder, the driver of kids and friends, the driver on road trips, the one who takes the cars in to get fixed, the one who gets quotes from house painters and landscapers, the one who arranges our vacations, and the ONLY one who sits and listens at the end of my own long work day to let WH decompress. WH has had the time and freedom to travel alone enough to have had at least two long term OW that he's gone on multiple week-long vacations with every single year. This is not a man carrying the weight of his family on his shoulders. He's a man who resents ANY expectations whatsoever. This has never been clearer to me.

So after about five different conversations like this I told WH I won't discuss any of this again because it's a loop that never closes. He very very vaguely blames me for everything, when asked to explain any one of his accusations he admits it's actually not me, it's his mom, and there it ends. So essentially he blames his behavior on me when he's in therapy, and this empowers him to blame me to my face, and then when he remembers that of course I already know what he's saying doesn't make sense he backpedals and blames his mom. Repeat, repeat, repeat.

So down to the nuts and bolts of it, he signed the separation agreement. There will be NO couples therapy, but we have met twice (both of us, no son present) with our son's therapist and she will act as a family therapist for us to all meet together. WH is very good at his role play of concerned co-parent willing to bravely overcome our separation issues to be there for our son and I hope he keeps that up. Our goal is to help our son with the transition of his parents living separately. The sticking point is that I do want to tell our son we are divorcing, WH does not. WH still thinks there is a hail mary play in his future (this is what I think he believes anyway) but in any case he has agreed that our mother in law apartment isn't a good living situation for him and that he will find a local place to move into with two bedrooms, one for our son, and it will be dog friendly so our son can bring his dog.

I'm relieved that he's moving, I know I'm beyond lucky that we had the external apartment but living life either looking out my back window or trying not to look out my back window, wondering where WH is when his car is gone, trying to interpret what his lights being on at 1am is about - it's been terrible, just never ending mind games and obsessive thoughts and feeling like I can just summon him over every time I want to lay into him because he's just across the yard, then when I see him walking over I get a panic attack and feel like I made a huge mistake and just want him to leave. It's been awful having him right there. I am terrified and also desperately need to have him out of my sight.

I know the real question is divorce, and the answer is I've decided that no matter what I do want to divorce. I don't want to divorce WH as much as I want to divorce myself of the fake marriage I've been in. Does that make sense? I want the thing I've been calling a marriage to be severed and removed from my life. I can't see past the sham to even know what I want in my life. As long as I'm trapped in this fake marriage I can't even see who I am, who WH is, what I want in my future. Somehow in my mind that's different than wanting a divorce from WH. I want out of that contract that has me as a secondary actor in a play put on about a marriage. I want out of that pretense.

For some reason when I think of WH I see him separately than I see our marriage. More and more I wonder what is inside him taking the place of a mind, heart, soul and compass. What is he filled with? Is it all just self pity and blame and refusal to accept responsibility? Does he really believe that his laziness in our marriage was what being a rock for his family really means? Can he think of one thing he's ever sacrificed for his family? He hasn't even sacrificed his right to have sex and fall in love with other women! Which should be one of the bar-on-the-ground basics. Our finances are more or less equal. There is nothing I can see that he's done to nurture us that hasn't also benefitted him. But I CAN see that in myself. I DO sacrifice, I can name those things and my thoughts behind them and my motivations and the love that makes those sacrifices feel GOOD to me.

More and more I see that we are not equals and never have been. With WH out of the house, my work load has actually reduced! After work I can actually decompress, rather than sitting and listening and taking on WH's every detail about his day, his every problem, laughing at his retelling of the lame jokes he told coworkers that he didn't think got a big enough laugh, his worries, his outrage at various coworkers, all of the details of his work assignments. He hasn't asked me about my work in YEARS. If I have a hard day at work he cuts me off and immediately tries to one-up me, "Before you go any further, let me see if you can beat this!" and then he talks for the rest of the time we have for talking. He uses up all of the air, the importance, the attention, the empathy. When I come home from work now I can call a friend or my sister, journal, go for a run, listen to a podcast, pick my son up from his sports and ask him about his day and have all the patience in the world for him because someone else hasn't used up all the time and emotional energy.

I'm sorry this is so long, I guess I found the words I didn't think I had to vent about this! I could probably keep complaining for hours.

But I really just wanted to say that things are in some ways moving forward and other ways stagnated in a terrible place, but there's light in front of me somewhere. WH will be moving (this hurts so much, also can't wait to be on the other side of that move!) and while I have decided I want to divorce, I am not in any hurry and need the space of WH moving out of the apartment to really think and be myself some more before gathering energy to move forward.

Also I'm very sorry I was so short with some of you who encouraged me to divorce ASAP. I know it came from a really caring, empowered place and I get that now - I got it then, but it hit so close to a nerve that I couldn't look squarely at it. The help and understanding I've gotten here have been incredible.

posts: 99   ·   registered: Aug. 15th, 2022
id 8774069
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Charity411 ( member #41033) posted at 4:07 PM on Friday, January 20th, 2023

This is in no way a rant or complaining Sigyn. Reading your update is watching an intelligent, loving and loyal woman come to terms with a harsh reality and making her own choice. You had to go through those tape loop conversations to see it for what it was. Nothing was ever going to be his fault, and he was never going to stop seeing other women.

The smartest thing you did was banish him to the apartment immediately. He was close enough to make it not seem like you were totally alone, but it gave you a preview of what life would be like without him. It seems it surprised you that your life became easier, not harder. I remember coming to that realization about six months into being divorced. It was then that I knew I was going to be ok. You will too.

posts: 1676   ·   registered: Oct. 18th, 2013   ·   location: Illinois
id 8774079
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whatisloveanyway ( member #66450) posted at 4:21 PM on Friday, January 20th, 2023

Sigyn, Thank you for the update. It is so very hard to process all that is happening in your marriage and yourself and there is so much pain to work through, but it seems you are making the best choices for yourself and are seeing and handing things more clearly than you are giving yourself credit for.

There are so many facets to your WH's actions and explanations that mirror my experience and my slow coming to terms with who he truly is vs. who I have always seen him to be. Like you, I've been floored by the directions some of our conversations have taken, and the mindbending excuses from a past I wasn't even present for, including some mother issues, and I feel like I am still trying to understand who I'm married to five years downstream. I'm becoming more convinced I'm married to someone who will never really truly know themselves or even care to untangle the mess they've made or react in any way I would have expected on this journey. It is a sad fact of trying to reconcile without true remorse or understanding.

I am very happy you have an exit door for your twilight zone relationship, and I am so very sorry your WH never managed to comfort you or find the kindness to listen or care about what you are going through. He is a narcissist at his core and you deserve so much more in a relationship. At the least, you deserve someone as interested in your day as their own.

One of the hardest things for me in this saga has been processing how I let myself down, failed to see the truth, failed to act more quickly to regain my footing, failed to hold him accountable, failed to stop the negative spiral of emotions and obsessing, failed to have the perfect life and marriage I was sure I had..... That is the healing that comes after navigating the heartache of deception, betrayal, rejection and all the trauma the lying brought to the table. It is very humbling to have your self worth invested in the love of someone who never knew how to love properly, and I was very guilty of seeing myself reflected in his eyes, and not my own. It's the worst bit of growing up I have done since puberty, but I do think coming out the other side turns those perceived failures into accomplishments, learning experiences and testaments to the strengths BS' have when it comes to protecting their family and eventually themselves. I hope that if you feel any of the pain and disappointment that it fades daily, and your sense of strength and power grow even more. It takes a lot of guts to live an authentic, honest life.

I feel you are correct in thinking it will get easier when he is physically off the property and you don't have his presence as a source of pain. I hope you both can fall into a pattern of coparenting that is functional and hopefully friendly downstream. Divorce will unfold in its own time and pace as you are able to handle it, but it seems clear that you are accepting you do not and cannot love this person you thought was your husband, let alone try to build a life moving forward with him. I am wishing you all the peace you deserve and wanted you to know we are cheering for you here. I would not be surprised if your WH has to rewrite the story to make you the bad guy, and it would be satisfying if he could ever own what he did to himself and his family without trying to blame it on others. He may not be done disappointing you yet, but I hope he can rise to the occasion and keep playing the role of loving father and give you that if nothing else.

I wish the best for you and your son. I can't remember if you got or are going to get a new puppy, but hope the love and chaos of a new fur baby helps. I'm still grieving my old pup while training my new one, but I'm grateful every day for the energy and joy she is bringing to my life. All the best to you, and know how strong and smart you have been on this journey, to have travelled so far so fast, even if it feels nothing like that now.

BW: 63 WH: 63 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 and so many lies. I got rid of her with one email but she still haunts me. Reconciling, or trying to.

posts: 492   ·   registered: Oct. 9th, 2018   ·   location: Southeastern USA
id 8774086
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BearlyBreathing ( member #55075) posted at 4:33 PM on Friday, January 20th, 2023

I also didn't see that as a rant but rather as a really beautiful description of you arriving at a tipping point and fully understanding that you need to take care of yourself. And that you didn’t D right away— it took me over a year. It takes the time it takes. In a perfect world we would see things clearly right away and act decisively. But as every BS knows, this is not a perfect world. So I think you are doing great.

There IS light at the end of the tunnel. Not having him in close proximity will really help.

I’m not a parent, but I think that giving your child false hope would be cruel. If some miracle occurs and you get back together, well, you can cross that bridge when you get there. But your child will have enough uncertainty in his life - giving him the truth and being reliable and trust-worthy by being honest is a gift you can provide him.

You’ve come a long way. You have shown you are smart and thoughtful and strong. Really happy to see you making so much progress and finding your path forward.

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: 5303   ·   registered: Sep. 10th, 2016   ·   location: Northern CA
id 8774090
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leafields ( Guide #63517) posted at 6:37 PM on Friday, January 20th, 2023

has me as a secondary actor in a play put on about a marriage

This is really good insight, Sygn. To me, this is a very good description of what "it's not about you" is about. When I could step back and see my XWH's actions in the A, I noticed that I was collateral damage on the sidelines.

My XWH is still trying to make excuses to my SIL about how bad I was. She shuts him down & says all marriages have problems, but you don't solve them with an A.

My XWH had similar responses regarding pressure, expectations, etc. He couldn't name examples, either. As long as he was deflecting stuff so it wasn't his fault was all he cared about.

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

posts: 1970   ·   registered: Apr. 21st, 2018   ·   location: Washington State
id 8774121
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Cooley2here ( member #62939) posted at 10:07 PM on Friday, January 20th, 2023

I recently read on Instagram that we can’t help our emotions, and possibly our thoughts, but we can decide how to act on them. The difference between the two of you is that he acts out from his feelings and you don’t. He doesn’t care who gets in the way and you do. He is a child emotionally and you are an adult.
Congratulations for remaining the adult in this.

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

posts: 3807   ·   registered: Mar. 5th, 2018   ·   location: US
id 8774139
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ThisIsSoLonely ( Guide #64418) posted at 11:05 PM on Friday, January 20th, 2023

I couldn't have said this any better myself, so I will just repeat it here, only adding that when someone asks me if anything good came out of the whole infidelity nightmare for me, it is something very akin to this:

One of the hardest things for me in this saga has been processing how I let myself down, failed to see the truth, failed to act more quickly to regain my footing, failed to hold him accountable, failed to stop the negative spiral of emotions and obsessing, failed to have the perfect life and marriage I was sure I had..... That is the healing that comes after navigating the heartache of deception, betrayal, rejection and all the trauma the lying brought to the table. It is very humbling to have your self worth invested in the love of someone who never knew how to love properly, and I was very guilty of seeing myself reflected in his eyes, and not my own. It's the worst bit of growing up I have done since puberty, but I do think coming out the other side turns those perceived failures into accomplishments, learning experiences and testaments to the strengths BS' have when it comes to protecting their family and eventually themselves. I hope that if you feel any of the pain and disappointment that it fades daily, and your sense of strength and power grow even more. It takes a lot of guts to live an authentic, honest life.

I have a feeling Sigyn, that you will feel something like this someday too.

[This message edited by ThisIsSoLonely at 11:06 PM, Friday, January 20th]

You are the only person you are guaranteed to spend the rest of your life with. Act accordingly.

posts: 2003   ·   registered: Jul. 11th, 2018
id 8774150
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ChamomileTea ( Moderator #53574) posted at 12:32 AM on Saturday, January 21st, 2023

So happy to hear from you. As always, your post is so insightful and honest. You might not realize it, but just sharing the way you have is such a boon to us all, even those of us who are further down the road. Don't worry for a minute about any notion you might have about somehow ruffling feathers. We all get it. That's why we're here... because we've been there.

((big hugs))

BW: 2004(online EAs), 2014 (multiple PAs)
Married 40 years; in R with fWH for 8

posts: 6623   ·   registered: Jun. 8th, 2016   ·   location: U.S.
id 8774159
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kiwilee ( member #10426) posted at 1:51 AM on Saturday, January 21st, 2023

I don't want to divorce WH as much as I want to divorce myself of the fake marriage I've been in. Does that make sense?

Yes, it makes perfect sense. You have been living with a fraud and therefore a fraudulent marriage so of course you want to rid yourself of this fake marriage. It is so good to hear of your update. I know you don't see it, but your growth, courage, authentic self is inspiring to me and many.

I completely get your process and respect your need to do this in your way and on your timeline. That has been important to you from the start. And I think you have gained so much clarity and strength and therefore when you are ready to move forward, you will provide your son stable ground. Please keep trusting yourself, you have all that you need inside of you. You are a powerhouse and humble because you don't see it.

It is a blessing that he is willing to move out. Normally his personality type holds on to the entitlement to stay in the house "that he earned/created/whatever BS they tell themselves." So this is an HUGE hurdle and I am surprised that he is doing it. In our state, whoever abandons the house will lose the house. I am fighting the battle of in house separation because narc WH refuses to move out and it is HELL.

You have got this in every way. In your transition season of doubt, fear, anxiousness, pain, loneliness- believe all of us when we say you will be okay and I 100% believe better. There is only one way through this- and that is right smack in the middle through it (no going around).

Peace and relief are coming your way!

posts: 583   ·   registered: Apr. 17th, 2006
id 8774163
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BreakingBad ( member #75779) posted at 1:43 PM on Saturday, January 21st, 2023

Just reaffirming what others have said.

You lay your experiences, your thinking, your emotions out so beautifully. There is pain there, of course, but so much honesty and clarity.

The work YOU have done around this train wreck is astonishing.

You are someone I would love to be friends with IRL. You are fair and balanced in a situation that has stunned you and put you on the worst emotional rollercoaster imaginable.

I'm so pleased for you that you've reached a decision that will serve you well.

Your distinction between your marriage as a play and your WH makes sense.

When you talk about the support you provided him every evening as he vented about his day, I wonder how much of his work day he was rewriting--with him as either the hero or the victim. His inability to be honest about himself with himself will continue to serve him poorly in his life.

For now, he can wrap himself in a blanket of blame toward you and his mother. Without owning (and being honest about) his part in his own life there will be no growth or better functioning. His problems will continue, and his support system will continue to shrink.

I'm so glad that you'll be away from that failed play and be living your more healthy and joyful life!

[This message edited by BreakingBad at 1:45 PM, Saturday, January 21st]

"...lately it's not hurtin' like it did before. Maybe I am learning how to love me more."[Credit to Sam Smith]

Me=BW; fWH=online affairs with 3 APs over 3+ yrs.Both in IC & MC.Married 32 yrs now 2 kids-both in HS.Attempting R

posts: 358   ·   registered: Oct. 31st, 2020
id 8774196
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BreakingBad ( member #75779) posted at 1:58 PM on Saturday, January 21st, 2023

One more thought about telling your son about divorce:

Our kids knew we were in marriage counseling within weeks of Dday. (We couldn't hide ongoing counseling from them, just because of family logistics.) It was almist 2 years later that we told our kids the broad strokes of my husband's affairs. They were stunned--never suspected the "why" behind our MC.

I recently had a conversation with my daughter about the revelation and--now a year after they found out--I asked if she wishes we hadn't said anything. She said, "No, I wish you would have told us sooner. It felt like you kept it from us."

So, I wouldn't wait too long to tell your son the true direction of the marriage.

"...lately it's not hurtin' like it did before. Maybe I am learning how to love me more."[Credit to Sam Smith]

Me=BW; fWH=online affairs with 3 APs over 3+ yrs.Both in IC & MC.Married 32 yrs now 2 kids-both in HS.Attempting R

posts: 358   ·   registered: Oct. 31st, 2020
id 8774197
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Justsomeguy ( member #65583) posted at 4:22 PM on Saturday, January 21st, 2023

I remember when my STBXWW stood in the hall to our bedroom and told me I was an abusive husband who kept her under my thumb. I asked her how I was abusive and to give me an example. She just got flustered and stormed off after yelling that I always have to be right. I think WS are so desperate to not be the villain in their own narratives that they will say virtually anything in the hopes of maintaining their doublethink. One of the nice things about SI is collectively, all of the members combine to create a finely tune bullshit meter.

The reality of my own M was that I carried the lion's share of the weight, which given what we know about actual lion's makes no sense as a metaphor. Once I chose to S and actually got my own place, I realized just how little work being a single parent was compared to being married to a woman who was essentially my third child. Not only did I not have to clean up after her, but I no longer found myself constantly compensating for her actions and fixing situations. My life became peaceful in an instant. This peacecreally gave me the space to properly process and grieve the end of my M.

Now, schadenfreude being what it is, I was able to watch my EXWW flounder as she realized that life sucked for her. There was no longer anyone beside her that she could count on to just get things done because she couldn't handle the pressure of "adulting". It was delicious to watch. Still is mind you.

Her inability to handle life resulted in her immediately glomming onto a rather simpy guy who will beat her doorstep at the ring of a bell. Even the kinds say that she keeps him around because he does stuff for her, but she treats him poorly. It's a sad example for my girls, but hopefully they will rise above it.

You are in that liminal stage we all hate, but once you have separated your life sufficiently, you may be surprised by the feeling of liberation, like that feeling of removing your ski boots after a long day.

The Romans had this horrible method of execution which was reserved for the most serious crimes. They would strap a corpse, face-to-face , palm-to-palm, to the the condemned prisoner, leaving him to slowly die as he stumbled around his cell. Paul alludes to it in the NT when he tries to capture the feeling of being released from his old self.

Something about that always reminds me of my marriage...

[This message edited by Justsomeguy at 4:23 PM, Saturday, January 21st]

Me:55 STBXWW:55 DD#1: false confession of EA Dec. 2016. False R for a year.DD#2: confessed to year long PA Dec. 2 2017 (was about to be outed)Called it off and filed. Denied having an affair in court papers.

Divorced 2022!!!!

posts: 1459   ·   registered: Jul. 25th, 2018   ·   location: Canada
id 8774208
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Cooley2here ( member #62939) posted at 6:27 PM on Saturday, January 21st, 2023

I have written this so much all over this forum that I sound like a broken record but it’s something that you need to recognize and take in.
Children have jobs to do and they’re pretty complicated. They have to learn how to talk, walk, potty train, and most important figure out themselves all the time they’re living with parents who should be supporting them, educating them, and making rules that are easy to live by. I’m not talking about strict rules but I am talking about learning to live with other people. We are social animals so if something impedes our emotional maturity and we wind up at 20, 30, or 50 year olds still reacting to life as a 3,5,7 or 9 year olds, but we’re going to bump into Messes every day. What happens with people like this is they become a burden to the people that live with them and that’s exactly what you’ve had. You’ve been the strong support in your family but because you loved him you told yourself that he was OK the way he was. He is a child emotionally. Period

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

posts: 3807   ·   registered: Mar. 5th, 2018   ·   location: US
id 8774217
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 Sigyn (original poster member #80576) posted at 6:54 PM on Sunday, January 22nd, 2023

the mindbending excuses from a past I wasn't even present for, including some mother issues, and I feel like I am still trying to understand who I'm married to five years downstream. I'm becoming more convinced I'm married to someone who will never really truly know themselves or even care to untangle the mess they've made or react in any way I would have expected on this journey.

This exactly! I don't think people like this can face themselves long enough to know themselves. It would be painful to acknowledge who they are, so they might never. They just keep layering blankets of blame and finger pointing and victimization over the top and bury their real selves deeper and deeper as they go. You would think that being discovered in their affairs and lies and having to face potentially losing their marriage would have enough emotional weight to start that process - so many of those secrets and layers have been removed and they could keep digging from that point now that the most painful part has been initiated. But they double down and cover themselves twice as hard.


And another thing that really bothers me is that I'm not a perfect wife by far and my WH actually does have things he could legitimately complain about in our marriage. I don't understand why he doesn't complain about real flaws of mine. I know none of my flaws caused his affairs, but when he's up against a wall and feeling defensive, why are the things he flings at me not really about me? He doesn't say that I have a lot of preconceived ideas about situations that I'm really slow to change, or that I can be avoidant about some really important marital issues, or that I default to my own beliefs about parenting when I've agreed to compromise with WH's parenting ideas more often - these are all actual real faults of mine, but he's never mentioned them once since this started. Instead I'm accused of really vague things that aren't even really about me.

It's more like WH feels something negative inside himself and attributes that negative thing to me - like if he feels unable to express his emotions, he concludes that I must be making him feel that way. If he feels he's been unable to meet basic human expectations, he concludes that I must therefore be making him fail by expecting too much of him. It's almost like he's more concerned that I am responsible for HIS flaws, rather than possessing any flaws of my own. This has been an incredibly dehumanizing realization. Does he think I'm just a mirror for him? I'm not a human woman, his wife, with my own personality and faults and strengths, but just a way of reflecting WH back to himself?

It is a blessing that he is willing to move out. Normally his personality type holds on to the entitlement to stay in the house "that he earned/created/whatever BS they tell themselves." So this is an HUGE hurdle and I am surprised that he is doing it. In our state, whoever abandons the house will lose the house.

Actually your assumption was totally right - WH wants the house, considers it his, insists that if I'm the one who wants the separation I must have been prepared to let the house go. I don't want to post anything too detailed here but I'll just say that I don't care a single smidge about this house, and the agreement we made about it allows me what I want and need while allowing WH to feel like he won a major concession. One thing about completely self focused people is they think everyone is just like them, and that their priorities are everyone's priorities. I don't think it has ever occurred to him that my needs are much different than his. Oddly, my attorney has been even more illuminating about this dynamic than my therapist! She nailed exactly what would happen with this situation. It's depressing, alarming and shameful how many strangers can predict my husband's behavior more accurately than I could. Ugh that just hit me really hard this last week. Like I've been walking around blind and credulous with a "LIE TO ME" sign on my back for decades. But in any case, it's also our son's house so until a divorce the person doing more of the weekly parenting will live there with him, so that's me.

What happens with people like this is they become a burden to the people that live with them and that’s exactly what you’ve had. You’ve been the strong support in your family but because you loved him you told yourself that he was OK the way he was. He is a child emotionally. Period

You are so, so right. And to me the irony is the two women who apparently enabled him to be a forever child are the two women he's currently blaming for his sex life and lies. And maybe on some level that's the case. Maybe my willful blindness enabled him as much as whatever he thinks his mom did. He's always felt entitled to self indulgence and I just ... I don't know, I thought he deserved it, I thought he was a good man who deserved to do things for himself to feel good. If it had stopped at fancy haircuts and clothes I would have been fine with it. It so happens there was no apparent end to his self indulgence. I wouldn't be shocked (and on some level am expecting this to be true) that even now in the midst of this hellscape we're in, he's still doing the exact same things. Only with cheaper hookers, the sep agreement has some cash withdrawal and spending clauses.

posts: 99   ·   registered: Aug. 15th, 2022
id 8774301
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ThisIsSoLonely ( Guide #64418) posted at 7:45 PM on Sunday, January 22nd, 2023

This is spot on:

One thing about completely self focused people is they think everyone is just like them, and that their priorities are everyone's priorities. I don't think it has ever occurred to him that my needs are much different than his.

And they think that way about EVERYTHING!

When I outed the A to the wife of my WH's best friend (who subsequently told her husband who then confronted my WH) - a friend he has has since early childhood and who got divorced after his wife left him for another man...in other words a friend who has on too many occasions to count, discussed the hurt and pain of the affair with my WH and how much he despises infidelity - my WH claimed my objective in telling her was only to "ruin" his life and to "make sure he had no one and that he would be alone." My telling her had zero to do with him - I told her in a moment of total breakdown on my part - she had called to see if we were coming for Thanksgiving and she is one of those people who takes no bullshit - when I said I would not be coming she could tell something was wrong and pressed me hard and I just broke down and we talked for hours.

WH could NOT believe that is what happened. My motivations MUST have been about him. My feelings MUST have been solely focused on anger and some f-ed up form of revenge. There could be no other reason in his mind I would do that. My need to talk to someone? Bullshit to him. The need to release all of this sadness and anger and frustration and misery by talking with someone - just to have someone listen - never a possibility as he would "never do that" to me if the situation were reversed. In other words I was a liar because what I was doing was just impossible and it made me a horrible person to him because his priorities were to keep our dirty laundry to ourselves and the only reason to break that silence was for revenge. When that happened he told me he felt "nothing but disdain" for me because I had broken some sort of sacred bond by "turning against him."

Honestly I was astounded. At first I thought he was just being difficult because his friend had called him, read him the riot act, told him he had no interest in being friends with someone who had affairs so if he wanted to remain friends that was going to have to change no matter if he and I stayed together or not...and WH was PISSED at me for making him feel shitty about what he had done - about having to face it with the one person who really mattered to him outside of his romantic endeavors. But it really was because he could not imagine feeling the way I did or reacting in any way that wasn't like what he would do. He had ZERO ability to relate to me or any feelings he did not possess. He simply was not capable of even seeing that as a possibility.

What all this is to show is what you have figured out - it is all about HIM.

It's more like WH feels something negative inside himself and attributes that negative thing to me - like if he feels unable to express his emotions, he concludes that I must be making him feel that way. If he feels he's been unable to meet basic human expectations, he concludes that I must therefore be making him fail by expecting too much of him. It's almost like he's more concerned that I am responsible for HIS flaws, rather than possessing any flaws of my own.

You ask if you are nothing but a mirror to your WH and the answer most likely is...yes. But don't take it personally - it seems everyone has that some role to him. While it is terrible to live such a nightmare - at least now you can take it less personally if you think about it for a minute. The problem isn't you - and it never was. The problem is him as he is always looking at himself.

[This message edited by ThisIsSoLonely at 7:48 PM, Sunday, January 22nd]

You are the only person you are guaranteed to spend the rest of your life with. Act accordingly.

posts: 2003   ·   registered: Jul. 11th, 2018
id 8774310
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