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Dear Chump Lady, A home security system? WTF?

Dear Chump Lady,

I’m in the middle of divorcing a serial cheater. Huge narcissist. I am living in the family home. STBX is living 3 miles away. Haven’t seen his cheating face since February. In the past month, I have received 7 text messages telling me why I need to install a security system here. We live in a very safe area (think Father of the Bride house) and have our own neighborhood patrol car driving the quiet streets 24/7. We’ve lived here for 25 years and never once discussed a security system. Now he’s doing the full court press for one. Says he will pay for 100% of it himself.

Something’s up. I can’t figure it out. There is for sure an ulterior motive. He couldn’t give a crap about my safety. Court papers allow him to retrieve things from time to time with my permission. (I leave before he comes.) So he has occasional access. He’s already freaking about the lawyer fees, so why would he be willing to spend $1500-2000 with no benefit to him? He wouldn’t. Can you solve?


Dear Patty,

That is weird. If he’s truly a serial cheating narcissist, you can be sure something is up — and concern for your well-being is not it.

I could try and untangle his motivations (and I’ll indulge in that in a moment), but the big question here is — do YOU want a security system? No? Okay, then. It’s settled.

You’re divorcing him, which means whatever bee is in his bonnet is HIS problem, not yours. You don’t have to do anything about his sudden mania for security systems. Delete his texts and stay no contact.

A lot of narcissists have a hard time letting go of kibbles, so they devise various pathetic ways to retain kibbles. Creating a non-issue issue is one way to do that. It doesn’t seem like a play for kibbles, no! He’s just concerned about your welfare! Deny him kibbles, and that makes YOU the bad guy. Can’t you see how much he cares about your safety?

As I was divorcing mine, he used to fish for all manner of things. Do you have my book on West Virginia logging? Do you have my fountain pen? Did you take my grill brush? Stupid questions like this leave the door open for more contact — and future exchanges. (Here, take your damn grill brush.) More contact and future exchanges = kibbles. Maybe you’ll fall for the sparkles again, maybe you can be “friends,” maybe he can eat cake!

It may be that your ex would be willing to pay $2,000 for cake — and access to his former home. After all, he paid for the security system, surely you’ll let him know the codes to the security system. Or he’ll just work that out with the installer, put his name on the contract, thank you very much. Right now he gets his things via the lawyers, but how much nicer if he could come and go without them.

I don’t think he’s worried about your safety, and feeling guilty that there is no longer a man in the house. (I’m sure he was just fine with you rolling the trashcans to the curb. Didn’t offer help with that one, did he?) I think he thinks YOU are worried about those things… that you’re afraid to be on your own alone in the house, and he’s playing on that fear. Or taking a stab at it. If he can find your fears, he can manipulate outcomes.

Don’t let him. Change the locks on the house immediately, and don’t give him a key. If you get a security system, you pay for it, you sign the contract, and only YOU have access to the security codes. IMO, your biggest security threat is him. Take whatever measures you feel necessary to shut him out and stay no contact. A big German shepherd with a scary bark is a lot cheaper than a security system, and much more companionable than your ex-husband, I’m sure.

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  • Random thoughts – he knows one of his co -cheaters is mad?
    He wants to look good in court or somewhere else?
    he is trying to scare you?
    he is planning a break -in and wants to look innocent?
    He wants to know when you go and come or who comes home with you?
    he wants to lock you out?
    His lawyer suggested it because in some weird way it will help him get house?

    I tabor the theory that he wants to track your movements and go there when you are out or he wants to look good. Anyhow I think you should change the locks unless lawyer says not to.

  • Patty – my guess is he’s trying to monitor what’s going on in the home via remote camera. Both Xfinity and Verizon (and probably others) have home protection/monitoring systems that use cameras both inside and outside of the home that you can view on your phone or computer.

    This isn’t concern for your safety. This is wanting to know what you’re doing and you’re doing it with.

  • Patty,
    He wants to mess with your head of course. I think it’s his way of asserting himself and showing he’s in control. Now that he’s not there to ‘protect’ and control you, he plans to do it electronically. Would there be CCTV cameras in this security system? Would he have access to said camera footage? Or maybe, God forbid, he’s afraid that one of his psycho bitches will boil your bunny rabbit.

    Sound advice from Chump Lady. Men like that still love to think they have the upper hand.

    • Yeah, my thought too: he wants to spy on you and get information for court.

      If there’s video, that’s one way. One can also monitor comings and goings.

      If you haven’t already done so, get the phone switched to in your name only because that’s another way to monitor you.

  • Diana,
    I think CL hit the nail on the head with her statement that he thinks you are worried about these things and that you are afraid to be on your own alone in the house and playing on that fear.

    Think like a mad little vengeful 12 or 13 year old boy and you will see where his motives come from.!

    These people really aren’t sophisticated or mature in their thinking just mean and childish. Even though they really have no feelings they know how to try and play on yours to manipulate them without question and they fish for things, thus the random contact with weird things where they shine the golden light on themselves.

    The portray themselves as they wish to be seen and act out as they really feel which is mean, angry, vengeful and manipulative. They just want to make you feel bad as that’s how they feel. Misery loves company.

    I think once you really realize that it helps to getting to Meh and not letting anything they say or do bother you.

    CL as I asked in another post, please write a post on “THE ROAD TO MEH!” and the steps to getting there.

    • Deborah,

      This is my Road to Meh.

      Discovery. Anger. Get Mad. Express yourself. Then, realize that these folks are who they are. They are not going to change. They don’t want to. Dr. Simon is right. Take action appropriate to this realization (limited contact or none). Indifference flows in. It’s like a pain killer. The result is not perfect, but life is clearer, better. You realize that not all people are worth your limited time on this earth. Save your best for those who deserve it.

      Chump Son did not have to deal with infidelity, but with parent issues. That said, the chump dynamics were the same.

      I forgot to mention that finding CL was like finding a map for the Road to Meh!

      • Hi David,
        I have done your steps. I have had no contact, that was all easy for me. The minute I walked I away I never wanted to go back.

        My getting to Meh problem is when he tries to get back in touch or is at an industry show that I am at which recently happened. It still effects me if I see him or hear about him. It makes me shake and I relive the trauma of it all.

        This is what I am referring to.

        • Sorry about that. I would assume it’s a question of time. You are doing all the right things, and it’s perfectly understandable that you still could become upset. I see your point, but don’t have any easy answer. It sounds as if you are traveling the road, even if parts of it are still not easy. Maybe try to think of how much better your overall life is now? Even if you get upset some times, it’s only part of the time, so maybe concentrate on the positive, the time you have rightfully reconquered for yourself.

          Don’t know if that helps, but it’s the best idea I have right now. I know what you mean. It took Chump Son over 25 years to get closure with his father, so you are probably traveling the road faster than I did!

          • David,
            I think you are right, it is a matter of time.

            Without question life is better now being removed from it. Now it’s the pain and trauma left from this experience of six months ago.

            Thanks for the reality check. There is so much work involved and I will have to keep working on retraining my brain and going with the positive and away from the hurt and beating myself up over how I let it happen to me. After all, I have never experienced anything like this before so how would I know?

            Just to clarify, you, David are Chump Son?

            If you are, your posts are really good. Thank you.

  • I agree with the others. If there are CCTV cameras involved, and he’s paying for it all, you can be sure that he will try to gain access to them.

    Some guys, and I’m guessing he’s one, just can’t/ won’t admit defeat. This would be his way of maintaining a semblance of control in your life. Without you knowing of course. And the info he gains could be used to screw up your life in ways subtle or not.

    It’s a way for him to play God from a distance.

  • Wow Patty, he is up to something. He may be a hero-narcissist like my ex and want to look like a good guy somehow after all the shit he did, but I suspect there’s more to the story than just that. I also suspect trying to decipher it is like trying to unravel the skein of fuckupedness, and may lead to a break in the NC, so stay NC and change the locks immediately. These guys are scary.

  • Patty,

    I say change the locks, too. I think he may be thinking of breaking in and looking good. (“I told her to install a security system!”) Or he may want to monitor you. Or both. Install the security systems that you think you need that are under your exclusive control.

  • Patty,

    You were right to be suspicious and I think CL covered everything except for the point Red made about remote camera access. I had even thought of setting everything up for some sort of insurance claim.

    If the security system is on and he gives access to a buddy who gets in and steals something worth a lot of $$$ then the insurance will pay out.

    All reasons to be suspicious…..A great name for a German Shepherd is King!!

  • Is this a security system he suggested? I wonder if he isn’t wanting to set up video to watch u? Sounds really fishy. Suggest another company, and see what he says then.

  • I think it’s just simply about control; this says it all “Court papers allow him to retrieve things from time to time with my permission. (I leave before he comes.) So he has occasional access.”

    You should not have agreed to this, now you have your lawyer negotiate for him to list everything he wants out of the house and you box it up, he takes it and no more house visits. It may not be possible at this point or if you think it will anger him it may not be wise. He should never be alone in your house. I may be paranoid (I’m in security) but he could easily have installed wireless cameras in your house already. And he could take other items that you may not notice until after final divorce. My ex took hundreds of DVDs out the cases, after he left I discovered this – every single DVD was gone. Later found the same with my CD collection.

    At a minimum, you should have a trusted friend escort your STBX any time he visits the house.

    • I meant to say that chumpy me found out the DVDs were missing when I went to sort them so I could give him his favorites, sigh…he even took movies he does not like…

    • This ongoing house access was a terrible idea for you. Please, ask your lawyer to put a stop to this. Agree with him coming over one more time, and take what he wants from the end of the driveway! Then, hire a security firm to do a sweep of your house and look for cameras he’s planted already (or VAC’s).
      He must be a control freak, so beware. Patty Power!

      • Terrible idea. He can’t come in without permission, but it just puts me in the never ending position of saying no. Power to the Pattys is right!

  • Also, OFFERING to pay is not the same as ACTUALLY paying. He’s probably hoping to get some credit for “caring” even though he knows you won’t take him up on it. They are all about talking about how much they care and not so much about showing how much they care.

    And I also agree that he is either sensing that you are a little afraid and capitalizing on it, or just trying to fuck with your head where you didn’t have any fear before and planting a little seed there.

    Also he is pointing out something he accomplished just by his mere presence that I’m sure you never “appreciated”.

  • If you have kids, this is a non-issue. He wants to make sure they are as safe as possible.

    If it’s just you, it’s bizarre indeed. It has to be a surveillance thing, imo.

    • If he’s a caring guy Todd, then it’s a non issue, but if he’s a control freak or a regular philandering nut job then chances are he’s not really interested in his childrens’ safety.

  • I agree with others, he’s either:

    Trying to get surveillance in the house (although if he has access already to retrieve things, he could easily have already set that up)

    Setting up some sort of insurance scheme. HE’S planning on stealing (or having someone do it for him) things out of the house.

    Projection – he is thinking of harming you, so is projecting this onto some hypothetical bad guy, and thus you need a security system for protection.

    Is he suggesting a specific alarm company? If so, that is the biggest red flag of all. He might know a particular installation guy there, and have worked out a deal that the guy will do whatever your ex wants during the installation, including add cameras, not really hook the system up, or tell ex exactly what the code it.

  • Buy a trained guard dog and a gun. Send him the bill. Tell him you feel safe now 🙂

    I am truly kidding BTW!!

  • Thank you so much for all your help. I have thought of most of it already, but it is still straight-up bizarre. The only thing I didn’t think of is protecting me from his bat crazy OW. In any case, he is whacked. After months of fake reconciliation, complete with the counselor taking my H aside about my not trusting him (all the while he was still with the OW), he has now refused a settlement meeting. Now why would a serial cheater who is going to go down in flames over this, not want to take the Get Out of Marriage Free Card? Because he can then say to the kids that he tried to save the marriage until the bitter end and it was Mom who insisted on the divorce and she’s the one who broke our family up. Who would take a divorce to trial, and risk getting hosed by a judge when he’s guilty 10x over? Same guy who wants a security system in the house.
    This site has given me much strength. You are all so wonderful; I’d love to have you all over for a party in my unsecured house.

    No kids at home full time…away at college and beyond.
    No specific security company recommended. Said I could pick it.
    Could have easily bugged the house already. BTW, is that legal?
    Definitely wants to look good to all. He’s just the nicest guy you’ll ever meet.
    Deborah, Yes! Yes! Yes!
    Another Erica, your words are truth.

    I do have a dog, no Shepherd, but a medium sized mutt, who would defend me. Unless it were STBX…..She’d be confused, I think. Which brings me to another dilemma: pets. How do they get settled in a divorce? H wants visitation and shared ownership! Not happening. One more way for him to stay in touch and manipulate. What do courts do
    with beloved pets? How is “custody” determined?

    With much appreciation to all of you.

    • Get an outside kennel for the dog for when he wants to come visit. Put her in there and he can come take her for a ride and then put her back

      They actually don’t really want the pets, but will use them as pawns if it gets a rise out of you.

    • I would ask lawyer if paying for anything would help him get house in settlement.

      And I think you should follow advice to bring in an expert to look for snooping and document it if there.

  • Your house is probably already laced with cameras and microphones, and he’s probably sweating that you’ll find them. If he can get a security company in there, then they are the ones that placed them and you have given your tacit permission to being monitored and recorded.

    This stuff really, really creeps me out as I was tracked and eavesdropped by cell phone and nannycammed in my own house for probably a couple of years while he hatched his plots. To have your own husband be a peeping tom on your life instead of wanting to live it with you just blew my mind.

    Be very careful. New cell phone for talking with the lawyer is a must.

    • I might add that a good deal of the gas lighting that went on as well as the stiffness in our relationship that developed came because he knew he was on camera in the house and I didn’t. He just couldn’t relax and couldn’t pass up the chance to ask me leading questions to try to trap me in a lie or get me to go along with some bitchy discussion about his family.

      He destroyed his own relationships with this move. He became an observer and not a participant in our lives. Studying us like we were an ant farm or some new species of life form. Creepy.

      • In my case, I accepted a phone he bought for me just before he moved out. (yeah, too chumpy trusting). Doing internet research I discovered that a phone can be “infected” during a call that lasts over 10 seconds — that’s how long it takes to transfer the program. I don’t even have voicemail on my new phone, that’s how scared straight I am of spying.

        Actually, to really mess with his mind, leave your regular phone as is, but just watch what you say. Pick up a cheap Trac Phone for talking to your lawyer and keep him out of the loop.

  • Pets are really hard, Patty. In my state, they’re property, so can be divided 50/50. Custody over pets can be really vicious.

    I will have to face this in my case. However, I train the dogs. I walk the dogs. I feed the dogs. STBX pets the dogs and put them on pet insurance. I should tell him that I can put them on pet insurance under my own name. That will eliminate the one piece of financial obligation he has with the dogs. My dogs are sport dogs, and while they’re nice dogs in the house, one reason they’re “nice” is because they get mentally and physically worked each day. Otherwise they become brats.

    If you are the one who has spent time with your dog and done the work, then that would perhaps have some kind of relevance on how to split the time with the dog.

  • Look at under marital home q & a for case of woman who got home but man had security contract in his name and used codes to go in, it sounds like after divorce. Cute trick.

    Also you have to see lawyers to see if you have right to change locks at this point in your state – or if you should get legal papers that would allow it.

  • Don’t do it! He’s wanting to look good to your mutual friends and family. Poor little lady, I worry about her so much since she kicked me out. I want to get a security system for her. I’m such a WONDERFUL and KIND man….see what all I will do to protect her? But of course I will be the only one with the security code because I’m paying for it after all. Plus, with the security code and access to the house, I can go in at all hours of the day or night to see if she’s okay.

    I know men like this. Don’t fall for it! If you have an attorney, let him/her know about this development and get his/her advice.

    Dude might be wanting to add a security system so the house will be worth more when he sells it and kicks YOU out. Is the house in your name? If you don’t have an attorney, get one immediately!

  • Patty, pets are considered property so in my case I made sure I had the sale papers for my cats, which were in my name only, and I lined up friends to testify that I was the care person for my cats. You have a mutt so you probably adopted it, see if you have or can get papers that show you were sole adopter. When I was missing one sales paper I explained to the breeder what was going on and she graciously sent me a receipt in my name. I totally stopped talking about the cats and I think since my ex didn’t really care he didn’t even think to use them as leverage for more money.

    Don’t make it obvious the dog matters to you or you will end up with a fight. Don’t expect mediation, it’s a lie to drag shit out. File immediately and trust your STBX will settle before court date because that shit is expensive and he won’t want to pay. It’s the best bet.

  • I agree with CL: The only relevant question is whether YOU want a security system. If so? Get it yourself. But sounds like you don’t, so . . . ’nuff said.

    Though FWIW my vote is with the others who see his “helpfulness” as motivated by a desire to control, spy, and generally keep you entangled with him.

    Though also FWIW, if this guy is in any way scary and the German Shepherd isn’t an option, I’d purchase a handgun, earn certification to carry a concealed firearm, and drop that into some logistical convo with the ex. (“Sorry I couldn’t reply sooner to your inquiry re your golf clubs, but I was at the firing range”). The overwhelming majority of cheaters are cowards, and I think it would send a pretty strong message.

    • Hi – I’ve been reading the post here for some time trying to gain some strength. Please I need some advice. I was involved with a man quite a bit younger that myself for a year and a half. We had a great relationship I thought and he was kind, and supportive and all I could have hoped for in a partner. I’m a single Mom and he was wonderful with my daughter as well. I truly loved him. We spent every moment together. He had been married before and had cheated on his wife. He seemed to explain that saying they had no sexual chemistry. But we did and everything else that seemed to make us compatible. I was always a little worried knowing his past but he was such a great bf I thought it would be different with me. He was at some point without work because he lost his work visa due to his divorce. I helped him start a business and I gave him quite a bit of money to start it. He had to leave the country because of his status but we planned to have a long distance relationship because he swore he wanted to be with me and loved me. During the course of our relationship I noticed him becoming quite friendly with his co-worker. They texted each other a lot and I saw a strange posting on FB of a pic of them which looked too intimate. He dismissed the idea that anything was going on and said they were just friends.
      Fast forward he moves to India. We are still in touch – he says he loves me and everything we are building is for us. I went to visit him in Delhi and the first day I arrived he received a message from the same co-worker saying “I can’t wait to see and kiss my hunny” I confronted him and again he denied it. Said I was being insecure. I spent time there and things were a little distant. I came back to NY and he claimed to be going to a resort area in India and I got suspicious. It turns out she went to India to stay with him for 10 days. He finally admitted when I saw a picture she posted on FB. The whole 10 days he was with her he sent me texts saying he loved me and my daughter. I am so hurt. After I confronted him he admitted things but never once called or anything. He said it was just sex and nothing else. Said he wasn’t in a relationship with the girl. It’s been 11 months since D Day. I can’t get over this. I have been checking her FB and his (what little I could see to get the truth) This has torn me apart. He never called and only answered my calls and what’s app sometimes saying he always loved me and wasn’t with her. Yesterday I checked FB and realized he had just friended a lot of her friends which led me to believe that he is still with her and was also in NY. Today we talked and he finally admitted he is with her. He does have feelings for her and not me. I am so heartbroken. I love this man and he chose to be with this girl and lie to me when I thought we had this great love. He is trying the long distance with her… I don’t know what to do – I haven’t eaten and couldn’t sleep all night. I love and miss him and can’t understand how he could do all this…Please help – any words and support would be greatly appreciated.

      • NYC123,

        So sorry you are in this horrible situation, but you are among friends at this site. We have ALL gone through some version of the hell you describe. Spend as much time as you can reading in the archives here. It will help you understand what has happened and how to begin recovering.

        Also, please remember that the first rule of recovery is taking care of yourself. Without that, nothing else is possible. This is not a luxury or self-indulgent. It is necessary, for you, and for your child. MAKE SURE YOU GET YOUR REST. If you can’t sleep, see a doctor. The sleep aid Ambien may have saved my life, allowing me to get the rest and strength I needed to end my marriage of 22 years to a serial cheater. It is non-addictive and it is very effective. Also, eat. If the idea of solid food makes you sick, drink an Ensure liquid dietary supplement at every meal time. This will give you the strength you need to move forward until food is possible. Remember: laying down and giving up is how people die in extreme circumstances. You are in an extreme circumstances. Don’t lay down, and don’t give up! But keep moving forward.

        Also, post here often. You will be heard, and you will be understood.

        I pray for you to find strength.

        • Wise words, Nomar.

          NYC123, listen to Nomar and take care of yourself and your daughter. Hang in there. It will work out.

          Some people are just…not very nice. It’s hard to accept, but it’s true.

        • Thanks, it’s been a nightmare. I am just thinking about things and even now he is saying things that are lies. That he was here for 2 weeks and only saw her 2 or 3 times. He told me when I first found out he wasn’t in touch with her anymore. But he has been for many months now and that’s why he was never in touch with me. I am so devastated by all the lies. And she knew about me – he admitted that and she still started a relationship with her. It’s so hurtful. How can these people say they love us and then treat us with such utter disrespect. And how do they live with the lives they destroy? I don’t get that.

          • NYC123
            Be happy you don’t get it. It’s evil what they do and they don’t want to care so they don’t. They are not capable of it which is how they do this over and over.

            Block the FB, this just prolongs your torture. Don’t keep looking, if you continue, you will keep yourself from healing. I know it’s really hard but out of sight helps with getting it out of your mind and separating yourself from it.

            Think of you first.

            Yes, read everything on this website. It has been a lifesaver for us all!!! But also, work on you and doing what you need to do to help yourself.

            You have been traumatized as we all have, this is not an easy experience and not anything like a normal experience. Posting here is a good way to help keep things in perspective.

            DO NOT CONTACT HIM AT ALL!!!

            Nothing you do will change him and you can never trust him again as he showed you his true colors. You will never know the whole truth which is all you need to know to move on and let him fade away.

            This will take time to get over and go easy on yourself.

            FYI, I went through this 6 months ago and still struggling and in pain but it is getting better little by little but it takes hard mind work to get there and staying strong and putting yourself first. You will fall down and get up many times.

            But you will smile again and feel better with help from us.

            I am in NYC as well. If ever you want to get together to speak in person or via telephone, I would be happy to talk. Maybe we could help each other through this!

            • Hi Deborah,
              Thanks so much. Yes, I did block the FB – I kept checking to see if I could figure out what was going on – now I sort of know. He cheated on me and now he is with her. It hurts like hell knowing how much I devoted to him and this is how he treated me in the end. And for someone who did nothing for compared to what I did.
              I would love to get together. How can I contact you? It’s tough talking to people about this. Unless you have been through it it’s hard to “get it.” It’s been very traumatic for me. I found out about the affair almost 11 months ago and just this weekend he acknowledged he is still with her after denying it for months.

          • NYC123, welcome here, and know that we all understand and care and support you. You truly are not alone. And it doesn’t matter that you’re not a married chump. We know that betrayal is betrayal and cheating is cheating, no matter what the legal status of one’s relationship. I went through something similar to your experience with ex-fiance, and have been coming to Chump Lady site since last Fall, which has helped me so much with the healing process. I know what it’s like to be so depressed it’s suicidal, and to be where you are now, struggling to find out the truth, and still caught up in your boyfriend’s lies. Keep coming here and listening, and lean on your true friends there at home — and above all, know that you are NOT crazy — it’s your boyfriend who is full of sh**t — and your own God-given survival instinct knows it and is trying to set you free. Trust it. Your ex-boyfriend is a liar, cheater and user, no matter what he says. His words are meaningless. In time and with support from friends and folks like us who have been chumped too, your ability to see things as they are and to trust yourself will grow. Hang in there, and know that everyone here, in our own ways, are sending prayers of encouragement your way!

            • Thank you so much… I can’t tell you how much it means to get this support right now. I have been so down and out the last 3 days but am finally getting better. I slept last night. I am still really hurt but I keep telling myself I must get through this. I have to focus on myself and not them. Even though I can’t stop thinking about them being together. I have got to find a way to let it go and detach.

  • Patty,

    I was concerned when I read that your STBX has access to the house while you are not there. He could be going through anything and everything looking for God knows what. I DON’T believe the security system idea has anything to do with your safety and everything to do with some ulterior motive which he has, many of which have already been enumerated. If you are concerned for your safety, you sound perfectly capable of handling any details that would alleviate whatever concerns you may have, up to and including arranging for a security system, without his interference or “assistance.” These people are NUTS. After doing an end around to file for divorce, telling anyone and everyone that I was never the right woman for him (It took you 28 years to figure that out? What was the length of the bus in which you rode into town?), “accidentally” texting me pictures of him and the OW in bed (clothed) and kissing (yuk!!), he texted me to inquire if I still wanted a water purifier on my faucet. Seriously?!! That would be a negatory Mr. Jackass (my sincere apologies to hard-working donkeys everywhere). When he inquired about the purifier, I had discontinued allowing him to come into my apartment, so this appeared to be a way to once again insinuate himself where I no longer desired to allow him access. I didn’t like the malevolent energy he was leaving behind. Patty, you should do like those detective shows and put a string or something on your drawers and closets to see if your STBX is accessing areas where he doesn’t belong. I detect a strong odor of bullshit coming from your STBX.

    NYC123, I second listening to Nomar and I am so sorry that this happened to you. Things will probably work out better for you in the long run, even though it may be hard for you to see that right now. Be glad that he showed you exactly who he is BEFORE you married him. I don’t know what the laws are in NY, but is there any way that you can bring him up on charges of fraud to recoup some of the money you gave him to start a business?

    • I know I keep trying to remind myself I got lucky and found out. I may have wasted more time. I am still sad. I miss him and feel like he chose someone else after everything we shared.

  • Maybe I’m crazy or maybe I’ve watched too many “true crime shows” but if he establishes that he’s concerned for your safety and you do nothing then something happens to you he looks like he must be innocent – he was concerned. If you do install a security system, he can track you.

      • Patty, I second the advice other here are sharing: security system is a set-up of some kind, to benefit your STBX, not you. Do not under any circumstances comply with his wishes or fail to protect yourself against every possible contingency of bad intent and behavior on his part, from spying on you for advantage in court, to setting you up for robbery or worse, much worse. Do not assume he is incapable of killing you or having you killed. NPDs and sociopaths with no conscience are capable of murder and you really don’t know STBX as well as you may think you do. Do not fall for Mr. Nice Guy routine. STBX is a douchebag and capable of seriously harming you financially, emotionally and physically. Talk to your lawyer pronto, and have lawyer contact STBX only, you go completely No Contact from now on. Have a good lawyer handle/supervise STBX removing the last of his possessions, then prevent him from further entry to the home by all means legal and practical. New locks/keys are a must — right now. Hire another security company to sweep your house, computer, phones, for existing spyware. If they find any, this is evidence you can use against STBX for a restraining order, and you should if any is found. Point is to get as much documented and done to sever ties quickly and finally. Your kids are grown, he doesn’t need to keep contact with you to contact them. Sharing dog custody is out of the question, have your lawyer nip this in the bud too. Cut STBX out like a cancer, and quickly, Patty, because he is a cancer. Get a better lawyer if your present attorney isn’t smart enough to give you this kind of advice and assistance. God bless and good luck — and don’t forget German Shepherds!!!

        • Just to clarify, in case it seems like I’m paranoid in my advice to you Patty. It’s not your paranoia that I’m seeking to encourage, it’s your empowerment. By refusing all contact with STBX, and putting your lawyer into the position of contact you’ve been in instead, you not only draw a clear line in the sand with STBX, but you enforce it at the same time. A lawyer has no buttons that STBX can push like he pushes yours, for understanding, sympathy, etc. By taking yourself out of the loop of direct contact, you take away the weapon your STBX uses against you — your own love and kindness. And better still if your lawyer is a powerful man who can intimidate the hell out of STBX. I’ve observed that NPD men don’t even try to pull the sh**t with other men that they try to pull with women. Let your lawyer and a big German Shepherd loose on STBX. Get off the front lines all alone and unarmed, girl. You need to call in the heavy artillery and reinforcements.

  • If he’s allowed in your house when you aren’t there, and now he’s pushing a security system, I’d say I agree with whoever said that your house is already bugged, and he’s afraid you’re going to find it. If you find something, he can say that you “both” agreed to a security system and that he tried whatever he could to make sure you’re safe.

    Or he wants to get the security system in the house so he can mess with it when you’re not home, and thus be able to watch you 24/7. He has access to the house as it is, but only when you’re not there, so he could disable the system, get in the house, and then install his own surveillance system.

    It makes absolutely no sense at all. None whatsoever. But stalkers do that. Don’t get a security system and I would try to negotiate that he can’t be there when you’re gone anymore.

  • Here’s my thought on reading this: if you had sold the marital home, gotten your own place, would he be trying to pressure you into a security system in your new place? I don’t think so. I think it’s about ownership. Reminding you that it will never just be your house. You worked for it and bought it together, so don’t forget that.

    My ex stays out of my business for the most part now, but when he does stick his nose in it’s about reminding me to drive safely when I have “his kids” in the car, lock up the house, get the sprinklers fixed, once caught him strolling through my backyard “checking on his fruit trees”. He just wishes he could still have parts of the life he threw in the garbage. Calls the kids out of the blue when we are taking a road trip, keeps them on the phone forever and tells them to make sure we go to such and such restaurant and order a steak. I think he’s trying to make sure that he’s still part of my everyday life. So desperate to have a bit of ownership back. So pathetic.

    • You’re being tracked too. At least your kids are. It’s not a coincidence that he calls “out of the blue” when you’re on the move. I had several instances like that that I just put down to coincidence until I knew better. Once we spent several hours at a community festival, seeing only one mutual friend there, but daughter had told him that’s where we were going. Within minutes of our leaving, he couldn’t resist texting “so how was Old Fashioned Festival” to her. I just assumed the mutual friend had somehow let him know we were there. My God, I was sooooooo dumb.

      I’m actually glad now that it worked out this way. He’s basically lazy and armchair quarterbacking our lives suited him fine, except that it’s really creepy. If he hadn’t been able to do that he might have actually stalked us. Like your ex does with his fruit trees.

  • I can’t sleep – so hurt to know he is with this other person. I can’t believe he’s been lying the last 10 months. He threw away our relationship for her. I’m so sad but I realize I cannot check on him anymore I have to let him go. I have to go NC – am so sad so sick can’t sleep. Am devastated he would do this,

    • NYC, you have to go NO CONTACT. It is so hard but vitally important. That includes not looking at their Facebook pages etc. I agree with the comments above. You need to go back and read CL’s articles. You will see you are among friends, friends who have been through the same thing. And yes, as human beings it’s astonishing that someone we loved me trusted could do this to us, and we search for some ounce of real love or humanity left in them, but it’s not there. These guys are monsters, without a soul. I am so sorry you re going through this, thank goodness you weren’t married. Now get away and stay away and take care of yourself and your daughter. Sometimes you feel like you are crawling on our hands and knees, it it truly does get better once you realize what they are. This site helped me more than anything else. Take care.

      • Thanks Kelly, I have promised myself NC. The last 11 months I have been doing all the wrong things – calling him, what’s aping him – begging him for the truth. I have checked his and her FB and made deductions. Only to hurt myself over and over.
        I keep hoping he’ll be the person I thought he was.
        Now he’s with another single mom in a long distance relationship and he told me he met her son. I feel sorry for that child. He is so good at pretending to care about the kids and when he leaves he doesn’t look back. It’s awful. He doesn’t have a clue to the damage he does. Rather than working on himself even after he realized how much he affair devastated me – he jumped into another relationship with her. I guess she’ll be his next victim. My only worry is he’ll sort himself out for her and they will ride off into the Sunset and be happy after everything that happened to me. It seems so unfair. Or I think maybe since he cheated on his wife and few times and then on me – he’ll just remain a serial cheater and go from victim to victim. Part of me feels she deserves this as she was fully aware he had a gf.

        • Yes,yes,yes! You are correct! I also suspect new gf has something he needs (probably $), and he will use her up, then kick her to the curb too. Try to spend time understanding you for a change, take your focus off of him. Maybe make the list of ‘ my perfect boyfriend’, list all the qualities you want in your new guy and meditate on that!

  • Patty – My concerns…

    – He wants to monitor you. CL is right – if you want a security system for yourself, then get one, but YOU get to pick it and have it in your name ONLY. Also, be careful of other types of systems which aren’t security per se but they can minotor your comings and goings. COMCAST offers this as part of their services. If he has Comcast (or similar company) in his name still, he could set this up and be able to tell when you enter/leave the house. So make sure to put these services in your name, too.

    – Maybe he just likes scaring you. My husband (while we were still living together, but before the affair) told me that we were in danger and needed a security system. I think he liked seeing me scared. Fucked up.

    – Is the OW married? Maybe he is worried about the OW’s husband coming and destoying the house (read: HIS belongings). In my case, the OW was married and my husband was worried about the OW’s husband (drive-bys, prank calls, who knows what else).

    As far as your dog goes, that it is tricky with custody. They are considered property by law (kind of like couches, TVs, etc., messe up, I know, but it’s the way the law usually works). The reason I know this is because I had my dog written into my prenup, so that if we separated I would be the sole owner. Either way, though, If you can show that you bought the dog, care for the dog, etc., you will be in a better position to argue for ownership.

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