Devotedmum (original poster new member #83044) posted at 10:05 PM on Sunday, March 12th, 2023
Just venting and wanting some comforting words as life is pretty painful and devastating at the moment- trying to be strong for my 2 children.
Husband of 18 years a few weeks ago text me whilst I was at work to tell me our marriage was over, he had no more energy and has given up! Can’t forgive himself what he’s done in the past so we need a fresh start! 3 years ago he was unfaithful with OW from my boys school (also had a family). Endured his lies and hurtful behaviour. Slept with OW and others during our separation. He blamed it on depression and I had neglected him. (Working full time from home and I put my energy in homeschooling boys during covid!) My dad passed away during this time and I had no support from him just him sleeping around! (Early years of relationship before kids he also messaged random women inappropriately but again I forgave him).
I was obviously heartbroken that our family could be broken and I just wanted that security so I never let him go! I begged and continued to be in his life even though I knew what he was getting up to. Because of his indecisiveness he moved out as I wanted him to realise we weren’t 2nd/3rd best and that he’d made a huge mistake.
After all this…. I at the time believed family should be together and could see how much it hurt my boys and he was all I had ever known since an early age! So I accepted him back last year and we were working on our marriage. His mental health was still not great - he had low days (practically told me to leave him be) to get his head straight then he would pick up after a day or two…. Refused doctors (already been on antidepressants and said he no longer needed them). I thought we were progressing…. It was hard and time was needed to heal…. He started having more good days and I felt like we were getting back to some level of that loving family unit again and us together was getting better……Not all rosy but things were progressing in I thought the right direction.
Fast forward to December…. All changed - he got ill then no energy- out with work colleagues he would not usually go out with. Being more and more distant towards me after Christmas ( we had an ok Christmas- more good days than bad) He Ignored me more, acted like anything I said meant nothing and shut me down, physically and emotionally withdrawn from me, but got the "it’s not us….. I wouldn’t be here if I didn’t want to be " January I put his behaviour down to withdrawing from quitting smoking - basically became the silent wife… just trying to understand where his head was and still supporting him…..emotionally draining! But then he started leaving work early and late…. Said dropping off male colleague ect…. Things didn’t add up so I did start questioning him and he became angry and defensive towards me.
So then get that text ending it…. Wouldn’t talk about it even though we had promised if any of us got so low because of the past we would discuss it together!…..Denied anyone else but whilst he supposedly going out with friends I found the email of him and OW (works with) applying for houses together! She has a kid (not his as previous affair was another women) Told me it was different from last time and they grew close after…. ??What within a week of ending our marriage you’re in a relationship and planning to move in with said person and child! Red flags- clearly his change of behaviour over the last couple of months towards me, marriage and children were due to him having fun at work with OW! Running away from the problems he caused in the past, focusing that energy on OW giving him attention.
So he’s left and is now living with OW and child who he barely knows. Our children are so upset, more so my eldest as he understands more. They are aware of OW but it has been explained in a way appropriate for them. I had to be honest this time especially because he has moved in with OW. He is one to be selfish and rush our boys so I made it clear it would be far too early to introduce OW and my children don’t want to and advised he spend quality time with them to build a relationship up with them first.
He doesn’t really prioritise his kids but does OW . They are devastated…. I think because he came back last year and within 10 months he left again! So very confusing for them. He’s previously been open he’s felt neglected since children and hadn’t really been hands on with them! I don’t speak bad of him to my kids but obviously seeing him daily to only 2-3 hours a week that he seems to only manage is hard for them. I’m doing what I can, keep routines as normal as possible and trying to have lots of fun but I’m just emotionally drained.
I feel like Ive let my kids down by giving their dad another chance coming back which was difficult to then go off with another women and leave us heartbroken again. I just want to protect them so I know in time we will heal…. But it’s so hard.
I burst into tears, not sleeping or eating properly, my head is just full of thinking constantly but trying to be strong for my boys… making sure they are ok. I have accepted it’s over (lots of hurt and pain in the past he’s caused - lots of lies and deception and things he’s put me through I haven’t put on here! - supported him and forgave through thick and thin…. I have no more to give)
Why keep taking him back… because I loved him, because I wanted a loving family unit, he’s good with words, I believed he would change and still saw some good in him, I didn’t think he’d do it again after the pain we went through last time!
Just some comforting words of wisdom to get me through this difficult time 🥺
Dorothy123 ( member #53116) posted at 10:20 PM on Sunday, March 12th, 2023
Devotedmum , welcome to SI.
Sounds like you have a ton on your plate right now.
One day at a time . One thing at a time.
Just put one foot in front of the other and do the next right thing.
I'm so sorry that you are hurting.
Hugs to you.
"I’ll get you my pretty, and your little dog too!" Wicked Witch of the West.
leafields ( Guide #63517) posted at 11:41 PM on Sunday, March 12th, 2023
Welcome to SI and so sorry you had to find us. At the top of the forum are some pinned posts that have a lot of great information. Another great resource is the Healing Library, which has a list of the acronyms we use.
The pain of in can be overwhelming. Concentrate on you and your children. FWIW, my kids are adults and when I told them I was divorcing their dad, they said I should have done it a long time ago.
Try to eat something, even if it's a handful of nuts or protein shake. You may want to see your doctor for STD testing, and maybe sleep meds.
If he's done other abusive things, you may be trauma bonded, which is a chemical connection in your brain that makes the break more difficult for you. Dr. Ramani has a really good YouTube video on it that explains the how and why. (Note: she specializes in narcissistic personality disorder abuse. I'm not saying your WH is a narc - just that the video helped me understand trauma bonding.)
Sorry, your WH sounds very selfish and only interested in himself.
BW M 34years, Dday 1: March 2018, Dday 2: August 2019, D final 2/25/21
Cooley2here ( member #62939) posted at 3:51 AM on Monday, March 13th, 2023
He is a serial cheater who happens to be depressed.
Once the new wears off this affair he will look for another. Very rarely do people change. She will wind up with a serial cheater who is depressed.
You need to concentrate on your health. See a dr if you need medication to deal with anxiety. Please see a lawyer asap. Drink lots of water. No alcohol. Eat small meals to keep your strength up. Try to get enough sleep. You might need a sleep aid short term because stress does a number on your body.
I agree with Dorothy. Triage. What you think is the thing to do next, do it. Then on to the next. Don’t let the unknown scare you into inaction. You need to protect yourself financially immediately.
((((You)))) a hug.
When things go wrong, don’t go with them. Elvis
ThisIsSoLonely ( Guide #64418) posted at 5:51 PM on Monday, March 13th, 2023
I'm sorry you are here. As others have already said, I think that getting yourself in IC (and perhaps your kids as well) to deal with all of this, and to gain some perspective (which often comes with esteem building) would be good for you. I am sure you have already been directed to the healing library - there is a lot of great info in there.
I wish I could tell you that the pain and confusion will end soon. I can tell you that one of the things I was told over and over again on this site (and largely ignored for several years) was to go as close to no contact as possible, not just to give your WH the cold shoulder - but more importantly for you to get some clarity and to gain some strength so when/if he decides to try to come back again you will have a better footing on which to make decisions.
Make yourself Plan A - what do you need to do for yourself in the event you are moving forward without him? Whatever those things are, do them, even if you are still hoping that somehow things work out. It will give you some sense of control over your own life and your decisions, and will be a bit of a distraction too.
You are the only person you are guaranteed to spend the rest of your life with. Act accordingly.
emergent8 ( Guide #58189) posted at 7:40 PM on Monday, March 13th, 2023
Welcome to SI.
I'm so sorry that he's not the man you wanted (and deserved) for him to be. I know you love him, but you must also see that he is a selfish coward who is so empty inside that he cannot stand to be alone for a single minute. That is why he monkey branches from woman to woman in a desperate attempt to fill (or ignore) the gaping void in himself.
I am so angry for you and your children. What kind of person abandons his family - and his KIDS!!!! - to play house with some woman (and her kid) that he barely knows. How old are your children? Their little hearts must just be crushed that he would rather live with another child than them. My dad did something similar when I was 19 and even though I was technically a "grownup" at the time, it still hurt. Are the kids in therapy? You have not let them down. You are going to be their constant through this. The person that they know that they can always depend on.
Please know that none of this has anything to do with you. There is no amount of begging, pick-me dancing, or rugsweeping you could do to make someone like this whole. He would rather continue to hide from himself and use OW and their relationship as a "legitimacy cloak" to mask his various and vast deficits in character. It is a relationship built on a bed of lies and deceit and is certainly not built for success.
I'm so sorry you are forced to endure this. It is time for you to put on the big girl boots and start taking charge of this situation. Have you seen a lawyer? Is there a custody order in place? Child support orders? Men who play house with other women and their families do not get to do so without consequences. It sounds like he hasn't had any yet. Do his family and friends know? Unicorn fantasy land is a little less magical when exposed to the light of day and the realities of life.
Please read up on the 180. He has PROVEN to you time and time again that he WILL NOT be a safe partner to you.
You need to be that person for yourself. You need to make yourself your own priority right now, that needs to be your new mantra. YOU are going to make it through this, YOU are going to be just fine. You are stronger than you think. It's not going to be easy but you are going to fake it until you make it.
We are here to help you through it. Hugs to you.
Me: BS. Him: WS. Together 16 years.
D-Day: Feb 2017 (8 m PA with married COW).
5 years (and two kids) into R. Happy.
Devotedmum (original poster new member #83044) posted at 8:57 PM on Monday, March 13th, 2023
Thank you for your kind words so far….. I’ve initiated no contact except minimal texting about our children. (They are 8 and 11). He tries to message small talk…. why I don’t know but I ignore him unless it’s about seeing children.
I can’t bare the thought of seeing him after more lies even saying he was starting a fresh on his own and finding a place…. then within 24 hours he had actually moved in with OW. He is just a compulsive liar throughout.
We had words as he took my youngest to new house before I knew and OW apparently was upstairs. Made it clear that they weren’t to be near OW for a long time yet. I’m not silly and know if it lasts they will meet OW and kid eventually but he does go from one to another and they are too young to be exposed to someone early then all of a sudden out the picture. I need to protect their emotional welfare and make sure if it happens it’s only when they are ready! But my eldest has made it clear he only wants time with his dad and will not go if OW is around. Youngest will go along with anything especially now he’s been introduced to OW dogs! We’ve always talked about a family dog in the past so this made him happy.
Humiliating and shameful I have done a test waiting for results as he did give me STI last time. I’d only ever been with him so I was so disgusted and humiliated by it all….And yet I still forgave him…. Crazy I know!
Honestly I’m so angry too that he would do this again…. when we separated last time he had his own place and although he was disgustingly acting like a single free man at least he lived on his own…. But this time to move in straight away playing happy families not knowing them really is so traumatic. I mean the child is a toddler and he barely managed our kids at a young age!
Mum and whole family are disgusted and ashamed of his behaviour especially putting our children through this ordeal again but unfortunately his mum said he is his dad! His dad did this to his mum throughout their marriage and final affair was with a work colleague Polish woman. So history repeats…. he too is now with Polish work colleague. Probably his only support in all this is his dad. Oh and a friend who covered for him when they supposedly went out but he was with OW…ironically just found out friend has just cheated on his long term girlfriend who doesn’t know!
Paying support as he earns way more than me but if he falters at any time I will apply via CMS. He is not good with money and spends recklessly before thinking about bills so I will have to monitor this.
I’ve made it clear due to their age they are not too-ing and fro-ing houses so as I have since they were born will continue with most of parent responsibilities (I’ve not really had much help throughout them growing up) but he will see them on weekends he’s not working (he’s managing a few hours here and there) and school pickups for an hour or so if I’m working and can’t collect them. No overnight stay for a long long time. When he moved out last time it took them a long time to feel secure with him so they only had a couple of sleepovers and that was just before we decided to reconcile.
I think because of everything he’s put me through in the past and now our children I know I would never take him back…. just trying to get through the emotional stages and the full blown rethinking and going over and over in my head. I know I gave my all to him and no matter what I did and all the support and luxuries and forgiveness he got it was never going to be enough and he clearly will never change his disrespectful, dishonest, no morals, disgusting behaviour even with a loving family!
leafields ( Guide #63517) posted at 9:30 PM on Monday, March 13th, 2023
He tries to message small talk
So that he's not the bad guy. (See? We text, we're friends.)
To keep you hooked and emotionally upset. (He feeds off of any contact, good or bad. Makes him feel good.)
Read up on grey rock. Whatever he says or does, you are a grey rock. No sound, no movement. It actually hurts them.
Hang in there. The early days are some of the hardest.
My children are adults, so I didn't have to do a lot of the small children things, so I didn't have to do a parenting plan. When you do one for your separation agreement/divorce paperwork, you can specify that the kids aren't to be introduced to partners until you've been dating them for a year (or whatever.)
BW M 34years, Dday 1: March 2018, Dday 2: August 2019, D final 2/25/21
Devotedmum (original poster new member #83044) posted at 9:50 PM on Monday, March 13th, 2023
Very much trying to appear to be the amicable one! Thinking we can still be friends. I fell for that last time and I couldn’t detach from him hence getting back together.
Always with please and thank you in his messages. Never had this before. Saying we must stay friendly and amicable for our boys. They mean the world to me and would never deny them of his contact as long as they are ok….. as they grow older and by his actions they will make their own mind up on the dad he has/hasn’t been……as for me I don’t need to know his lies, ins and outs now. We are not friends and I don’t see that anytime soon.
For me it would be more damaging to my mental health if I didn’t cut him off this time.
I panic going to the shops just incase I bump into them together….. I have to keep professional because of my job but at this moment in time I may not bite my tongue 😡🥺
Cooley2here ( member #62939) posted at 10:19 PM on Monday, March 13th, 2023
Devoted, you only need contact about the kids. Nothing else. If he is writing a chatty little note that you must answer do so with yes, or no. If it requires more info respond as if you are testifying in court. Only the facts. Nothing more. Keep all feelings out. Keep all suppositions out. This is now a legal issue so treat it as one. Once he realizes you are not playing this game with him he might stop. He is not getting any affirmation for his ego. I can’t stress this enough. I have to testify in court all the time and I go prepared with exactly what I need to say. The reason is because there cannot be any misunderstanding if you stick with basic facts.
Take care of yourself. Eat nutritional food. Stay away from alcohol. Get plenty of sleep.
When things go wrong, don’t go with them. Elvis
Summertime22 ( member #79796) posted at 10:53 PM on Monday, March 13th, 2023
Devoted I’m sorry that you are in this awful situation. I too was left my text message and understand how much that hurts. I can still remember where I was sat and everything I was wearing that night I got that message and the rush of a feeling I cannot even begin to describe through my body. My heart goes out to you. But it does get easier.
To get through the early days I made smoothies and soup. Just to get something down me. I cried and cried to get it out. I posted on here to keep me going. I called helplines to offload and counselling. It all helped.
I feel some similarities, my ex left me for the OW and still sent me ‘friendly’ texts. I know now that that was to make himself feel better about what he had done. He used depression as an excuse for his emotionally abusive behaviour, he used it to push me away and then pull me in again.
It’s very early days. But I know that I only started to heal and feel slightly better when I went NC. It was hard but I promise you that it works. The awful feelings will fade if you keep at it.
After NC I saw him clearly and the covert emotional abuse (never making me feel like I was never enough) became very clear to me. NC opened my eyes.
I also watched videos on trauma bonding which helped me understand the chemical impact of this on the brain. I know now I was trauma bonded. That really helped me. It helped me understand why I kept going back to a man that kept hurting me.
It will get easier. We are here for you.
You and I deserve better than I coward that ends relationships by text.
Devotedmum (original poster new member #83044) posted at 10:04 AM on Tuesday, March 14th, 2023
Thank you Summertime22….. I know I was at work when I got his coward text and I just broke down. I never take my home life into work but this day just broke me. Saying he didn’t want confrontation or to change his mind so no more talk about it! Just saying we were going round in circles and his guilt was tearing him apart!…. He’d have his good days then back to bad and couldn’t break the cycle - unbeknown (although I can see the red flags now) to me there actually was OW.
A few months before felt like we were reconnecting again, more communication, his low days getting less and less. But by god were those low days hard… he shut us all off completely- I couldn’t speak to him without a super frosted reception….. then he’d apologise late at night and all of a sudden as if a switch had turned him back to the person I knew and he’d appear happy again……
I’m not going to lie I feel he too used the ‘depression’ card more often than needed but all I did was try to understand his head and just be there for him….. and your right it was a constant push me away but then pull me back in saying he couldn’t help how he was…. He’s getting better and he loved me ect those goods days were the days I leaned on the most….. not knowing he was just looking for something else again to replace me.
You know looking back he’d make comments about the way I dress for example after first child I stayed in leggings for comfort for a while…. he didn’t like that and said I was letting myself go….. watching countdown and said I should have Lisa Reilly physique!!! Im not chubby but not slender and joined the gym but I found this comment upsetting….. he would comment how I’d do my hair and a particular style he never liked…. All these things made me feel I was never good enough for someone I’ve given my whole heart and support to.
NC is hard but definitely beneficial to me at the moment and I will look at the videos suggested. I don’t know why I’ve gone back to him time and time again…. Just always looked at the good in him believing he will change ect ect….and lost track of all the hurtful things he has done over the years which I have now journaled to remind me of the person he really was 😞
leafields ( Guide #63517) posted at 5:20 PM on Tuesday, March 14th, 2023
The pushing you away/pulling you back in may be considered intermittent reinforcement, and contributes to the trauma bond. You're willing to put up with the bad times because the good times are so good. Actually, it's a cycle of abuse. As are all the little digs about your hair, your looks, etc.
The further you get, you'll realize how much drama is missing because you don't have to deal with his moods and tantrums. You don't feel like you have to walk on egg shells all the time. You'll realize that you have peace.
BW M 34years, Dday 1: March 2018, Dday 2: August 2019, D final 2/25/21
Summertime22 ( member #79796) posted at 11:10 PM on Tuesday, March 14th, 2023
I can relate a lot to your situation. My XWS had a list of ‘concerns’ about me that he would very covertly relay to me. These included my age (I was 6 years older than him), that I may be too old to have a child (he didn’t come out and say it straight up but he covertly referred to this constantly). That he ‘wasn’t sure he felt the chemistry’, that I snored (I do snore a little bit-never bothered previous partners), that I had student loan debt from university. It chipped away at my self esteem. Like you I felt I had to be slim (I kind of am anyway but not toned) so I went running and was on a constant diet. I felt I had to look young for him as he kept referring to my age so had Botox and fillers. He made me feel that I wasn’t good enough and that no one else would want me. I waited on him hand and foot and walked on eggshells constantly in a futile attempt to keep him happy. He never was. He was always miserable and let me down. When I did walk away he would come running back telling me how much he needed me and what a great person I was.
According to my counsellor the push pull cycle is often attachment disordered behaviour. She said that the hard lesson to learn from this is that you think if you love them enough it will make them love you back. But it doesn’t work. She also pointed out that it is the cycle of abuse.
I am glad I am free from the drama. I will never walk on egg shells for another man again. No way!!!
I watched Dr Rahmani and Common Ego videos on the trauma bond on you tube. I found these to be the best. Common Ego explores covert emotional abuse. I watched them daily usually when putting on my makeup when getting ready for work. It gave me strength and set me up for the day. Morning were my hardest time back then and the videos were great.
Keep NC, I would literally call anyone apart from him. When I was really low and despairing I called the Samaritans, they were amazing.
Maybe research the cycle of abuse too. I did and it helped. The ‘explosion’ was him leaving me and then he would come back.
NC will give you strength and insight. Stay strong.
FindingaWayHome ( new member #78829) posted at 12:47 AM on Wednesday, March 15th, 2023
Welcome to a place where you can find support and sympathy.
Many of us understand the circumstances you are in, and the pain, confusion, disorientation and hurt that you may be feeling.
We also have been on this path, and with time and excellent coping strategies I found that it does get easier as I adjusted to my "new normal". For me No contact (NC) and the 180 that others have advised assisted me.
I appreciate your concerns about being friends and introducing your boys to the OW. He really doesn't get it does he?
Have you thought about the next steps that you might want to take to get out of infidelity?
Please keep posting, we're here to support and encourage you,
Devotedmum (original poster new member #83044) posted at 9:40 AM on Wednesday, March 15th, 2023
As the days go on I can see how much emotional turmoil he’s put me through…. I just don’t know why I have accepted it for so long…. I think in my head I always wanted a family unit so anything he threw at me I just accepted and forgave him.
Not mentioned previously but he even cheated on me when my youngest was 3 months old…. To the extent of faking an email from work to say he had training in Manchester…. But it wasn’t it was for OW…. He left over Christmas that year (me with 2 very young children) but I had no idea of OW and I put it down to pressures of a new baby and he told me again I wasn’t giving enough attention - it was only 6 months later when we got back together from a message from OW to tell me that it was all confirmed but by then I had already taken him back and moved forward with him!
There has probably been many more I don’t know about…. I know he likes his phone a lot and has chatted inappropriately to women more than a handful of times! Even got a message before our wedding (5yrs ago but together 18) to warn me he had all the social media sites and was messaging….. but I believed what he told me so we still got married….. but I even said 3 years ago when second cheating happened he needed help as he had a problem…
He literally got everything from me and you’re right nothing would make him happy albeit a short time….. his mum doesn’t think he’s ever had depression and it was just a way to keep luring me back…. and I fell for it time and time again…. I felt guilty and sorry for him so many times that I forgot and put aside myself and what it was doing g to me.
Yes I agree I homed in on the good because when it was good it was the loving family unit with him that I wanted and strived for.
I feel a fool and ashamed as I’m an intelligent women and I know what was happening was wrong and the way he’s treated me over the years but I still kept going…. Still supporting, forgiving, making sure my children had the family memories….. all for what him to keep breaking my heart and make the decision to leave our family for OW and kid.
I know in time it will get better…. Im already feeling less stressed over the atmosphere he’d create in the house or going out and yes constantly walking on egg shells not knowing which person I’d get or what time he’d eventually snap out of it. Enjoying more relaxing times with my children and getting into a routine and stability again.
My head however just feels so full and constant headaches as I can’t stop thinking over and over which is affecting my sleep and eating habit. Going to the gym when I can helps release and definitely having my children around knowing we have the best bond ever.
Cooley2here ( member #62939) posted at 1:36 PM on Wednesday, March 15th, 2023
You were married to a bully. He might not have knocked you around physically but he certainly did mentally and emotionally.
Let him go.
Be kind to yourself, you are recovering from a stab in the back.
When things go wrong, don’t go with them. Elvis
VezfromTaz ( member #80815) posted at 9:44 AM on Saturday, March 18th, 2023
"leaning in" is the current cringey term for radical acceptance, but when you are ready this is where you need to go
your feelings wont hurt you, not really, but it is a horrible process to face the truth of who someone really is
whoever mentioned trauma bond is spot on ~ you are detoxing from being in a loop of chemicals, and the best but most brutal way to heal is go cold turkey
do not let this selfish person back in your life, except for limited communication regarding children, preferably documented by text
all the best on your journey
Summertime22 ( member #79796) posted at 8:29 PM on Monday, March 20th, 2023
Please don’t judge yourself harshly for taking him back, I did the same, many times. It’s just the trauma bond and it’s very hard to see emotional abuse as it can happen slowly over time and worsen and you don’t see it as you are in too deep.
Would you consider IC? It really helped me so much. If cost is an issue I found a counsellor through a training school (they are qualified but just need to get the practical hours). She was truly amazing and it was very affordable. I had weekly sessions over zoom for 8 months. She helped me see that my XWS was emotionally abusive and also helped me rebuild my confidence.
As long as you can stay no contact you will be healing daily, even if you don’t feel it or see it.
Please be kind to yourself. We are here for you.
CoderMom ( member #66033) posted at 1:44 AM on Saturday, April 1st, 2023
Life just seems to be getting more and more challenging. Marriage is worth fighting for in my opinion. But it takes both parties fighting for the relationship with everything they have in order to keep it working.