Hey guys, I’m on the road for a few days. Will do my best to post, but as luck would have it, this appeared in my mailbox this evening, and I thought I’d give “Rebecca” the floor. (We have another NYC Rebecca here… this is a different Rebecca). She’s got an inspiring “leave a cheater” story and some great advice. Enjoy!
I have been reading and following your site since I discovered it last summer. I want to tell you that reading your posts and the comments of so many of the wonderful participants in your regular gang of chumps has helped be get through some very difficult days. I want to thank you for that. You are an especially insightful, intelligent and witty person. Some days I read you posts and laughed so hard I got tears in my eyes. There is so much pain that comes from being betrayed, lied to, and manipulated by someone that was supposed to be the one person you could always count on – the person that was supposed to love you, raise a family with you, grow old with you… In the time I have been reading your blog, I have realized that I was married to a Narcissist. Every single description of characteristics and symptoms matches him exactly.
I have been married to my DBH (Dirt Bag Husband) for 21 years and 7 months (according to the petition for divorce I just recently signed). He has been lying to me and cheating on me for 10 of those years (that I know of). His cheating had many flavors (affairs, random women, co-workers, strippers, prostitutes, and massages with a happy ending). Such a cornucopia of cheating – a virtual cheating buffet!
I went through a period of the delusional believing in unicorns phase about three years ago. That was when I first discovered his cheating. He expressed what I thought was genuine remorse, started acting more like the husband he should have been all along, and insisted that we renew our wedding vows, exchange new rings, and recommit to the marriage. (All a smoke screen – just spackle and glitter to make things seem nice) Things were good for about 6 months after that. We went to counseling for a while – until we started getting to the meat and potatoes (his cheating and lying). When it got to the part where he has to explain why he cheated (exited the marriage as the therapist would say), he had to stop. He said he couldn’t go to counseling anymore. He felt like he was just being punished all the time, and he couldn’t take it anymore. So, his solution was to preach to me about putting it all behind us, focusing on moving forward, and focusing on each day at a time. Oh, and he said many times – “You are just going to have to trust me if this is going to work out with us”. [Yea, sure! That didn’t happen!]
Everything finally became crystal clear last week when I discovered that he has been having an affair for the past two years with the same woman he cheated on me with 10 years ago when I was pregnant with our daughter who is almost 10 now. He had a secret e-mail account that he had been using to communicate with her only. They have spent three weeks together this year that I found out about. Most recently, she was in Boston for the past 2 weeks with him while he was on location. I got confirmation about that last week as well. I filed for divorce the next day, and two days later had him served in Boston at his hotel room at 6:15 am with the mistress in the room! It was classic! Really wish I could have seen the look on his face in that moment! I have to hand it to myself for orchestrating it so well. Of course, he called me right away and said “You couldn’t wait until I got back in town to do this?” I said – “No! You are with your mistress right now, do I need to say anything else?” All he could say was “Okay”.
I few days later, I went to Wal-mart and bought a bunch of clear plastic bins with the snap-on lids and started packing his shit. I packed everything from the bedroom, closet and bathroom and loaded it all in his car that was still in our garage. The next day, I went out and bought myself a brand new bed and all new bedding. My cleansing had begun and it felt good!
Today, he is returning after being on location for 3 months. We are going to talk to the kids tonight and he pleadedwith me to put it off for a few days. I told him no, and that we are going to tell them tonight. (He just wants time to think of something he can say to deflect, spackle, and make himself look like less of an asshole.) I have already told him that I will not lie to my kids for him and that he needs to think about what he is going to say. [My kids are 17 and almost 10.]
Right now I am dreading going home because I have to see him face to face. The sight of him is something I am not looking forward to at all. But, I know that I have the upper hand in this situation, and I plan to take charge of it.
I have put myself through torture by staying in this relationship for the past three years. I was trying so hard because I wanted to be able to walk away with my head held high – knowing that I had exhausted my efforts. I believed I owed that to my kids and to myself. I also allowed fear to keep me in a stagnate place. Fears about money, logistics, spliting holidays and birthdays, and the reality that I will have entire weekends without being with my kids (which the thought of makes me want to punch him in the face).
To all of those other chumps out there: Please do not waste as much of your time as I did. I can’t get those three years of my life back. He has stolen those years from me by lying and cheating. I have waited longer than I should have, to file for divorce, and I know that now. My gut instincts were right all along – and yours are right too! Trust yourselves and take care of yourselves and your kids. Do not allow the sickness of infidelity to take years of your life away from you too.
I am thankful that I reached this place where I can confidently say that I don’t love him and I don’t want to be his wife anymore. That is a good place to be. I am no longer under the spell of hopium and believing in unicorns! What a relief!
I know the future is going to be a challenge, and I know there are going to be hard times. But, I also know that my kids and I will be much better off in the long run!
Thank you again Chump Lady!