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Dear Chump Lady, I suspect an affair

Hi Chump Lady,

I stumbled across your site a while ago. I wonder what your thoughts are on a situation I find myself in. While I have no positive proof my husband cheated, apart from dubious websites in the cookies on the computer (yeah I know, not terribly reliable right?) and some sites in the history. I can’t help but have a gut feeling that something has happened.

About 3-4 years ago he moved himself into the spare room, supposedly because the mattress on our bed was uncomfortable. I should say that we had moved previously back to my home town and he had to remain in his previous job, 8 hours away. He was getting a redundancy worth about $100,000. That was a bit stressful to say the least and looking back we would have done things differently.

Anyway, my belief is that he may have been participating in live webcamming (I think that’s the term). We went to counselling as I had a bit of a mini breakdown I suppose. Other things of course contributed. I did a soft confront, I’m learning all the lingo, and got a commitment but no real answers. I’m pretty sure he hasn’t been physically unfaithful, but to be honest I’m having doubts about that. I am a pretty conflict avoidant and don’t rock the boat sort of person.

I don’t know what to do. I have two kids, one with special needs and I had treatment for cancer two years ago. At the moment my priority is my kids future should it return. I know I didn’t have it as bad as others, but I am feeling very paranoid at the moment. You have that great talent of dishing out the right advise and I would appreciate a response from someone removed from us.

Thanks,

Anna

Dear Anna,

I’m going to cut right to the chase. I don’t know if your husband has been physically unfaithful or not. And I doubt he’s going to tell you unless you catch him at it. So ask yourself, right now — is this relationship acceptable to me?

A guy who sleeps in the spare room for three years, has prostitution sites on his computer history, and from what you write, won’t answer any questions and expresses zero remorse about the way things stand. (Dodgy sites, the way he’s withholds from you). Do you want to be married to this guy? Forget the cheating, he seems like he’s checked out.

You seem to keep your needs very small. Other people have it worse. You’re not a rock the boat kind of person. Hey, who are you to complain?

Uh, Anna — you’re YOU. Do you like this marriage? If not — SPEAK UP. Complain! You MATTER. You only get one shot at life and this is yours. Do you want to spend it with this dickweed? You went to counseling, you did a soft confront — perhaps you could confront harder. Try that. But I suspect you’re going to get the same answer you got when you did a soft confront — nothing. Nada. Crickets.

And you know what? No answer IS an answer. It’s a loud and clear message that he doesn’t give a fuck.

Is he trying to save his crappy marriage? Did he book those counseling appointments? Did he respond with love and compassion when you had a break down about all of this?

I don’t care how far he has to commute, or what his buyout package is — loving spouses don’t treat you like this. When you raise a SERIOUS issue like “hey, I couldn’t help but notice you spend a lot of time on sex-for-sale sites” a concerned spouse responds with EMPATHY. “What can I do? How can I assuage your fears? Let me be accountable. Let me demonstrate how I can assure you.” Why doesn’t he do that? Two possible reasons a) You’re not the boss of him. That makes him a passive aggressive freak who would like all the control and none of the responsibility. Ergo, he’s not marriage material. Or b) He’s got something to hide because he’s cheating. Ergo, he’s not marriage material.

Having a special needs kid or a history of cancer is NO REASON not to assert yourself. I’m sorry, Anna — people on this site have had both those challenges and left cheaters. It can be done. Sure, it makes things harder, I won’t lie. But so does having small infants, or being pregnant, or being stranded in a foreign country. It’s time to start being a boat rocker.

You’re in your home town, so I hope you have support there. You don’t mention it, but I hope you’re not dependent on him financially. If you are, start figuring out your employment options and see an attorney about what you’d be entitled to in support. Here’s another thing — people who cheat on you will financially fuck you over as well. Start watching the accounts. Consider a forensic accountant. This shit has been going on for years — and last I heard those sex webcam sites are not free. So, money is being diverted for this. Find it — ask for it back in a divorce.

Divorce?! In your mind you don’t think you have enough evidence to go on. If you need that, okay, be the marriage police. Keylog his computer, put a voice activated recorder and GPS in his car. Polygraph him. Ask him for a credit report. (Watch him balk.) To me, when you’ve gone there? The thing is already dead. You don’t trust him. But if you need that — do that. I think you have enough evidence that he doesn’t give a shit. And to me, that’s a non-starter. YOU need to bust a move. You can’t control what he does, you only control you. So vote with your feet, Anna. Talk to a lawyer and get your own shrink to help you enforce your boundaries.

You can do this, Chump Nation has your back.

Ask Chump Lady

Got a question for the Chump Lady? Or a submission for the Universal Bullshit Translator? Write to me at info@chumplady.com. Read more about submission guidelines.
  • Excellent advice, CL! My X checked out on our marriage when I was 8 months pregnant with your first child. If I could have a do over, I would have checked out then, too.

    Rock that boat, Anna! You deserve a happy, worry-free life!

  • Here’s the first red flag for me in your story: He moved to a spare room 3-4 years ago because the mattress in your shared bedroom was uncomfortable. This, in the age of TempurPedic. Because getting a better mattress was out of the question. The best idea he could come up with was to physically remove himself from the marital bedroom. It was a serious move away from intimacy with you.

    Your gut is on to something, Anna. Don’t dismiss it.

    Also, “No answer IS an answer.” OH HELL YES. Learned that one the hard way.

    • This was my thought exactly. He would rather move out of the bedroom than buy a new mattress? This is seriously weird. Especially since he has money to pay for porn sites, but not a new mattress so you guys can sleep next to each other. Wonderful guys don’t do this kind of thing. I am sorry, but he is treating you like crap here. You deserve much better.

      • Totally agree with RS (as usual) and DeeDee. The mattress excuse alone is enough to tell you all about what he is–and isn’t–willing to invest in.

    • My passive aggressive freak did that a lot. And I always believed it was about his back. Until he left.

        • Mine convinced me he had ED so I was trying to be supportive and concerned and didn’t pressure him. Guess what?! He wasn’t sleeping with me but he was paying for prostitutes.

          I’m a “give people the benefit of the doubt” and “everyone makes mistakes” type of person. Learn from what others have gone through.

          If something doesn’t seem right, something isn’t right. Trust your gut. Take care of yourself (and in your case your children) and don’t waste another minute with someone who doesn’t want to be in a relationship with you or cheats or lies or dismisses you.

          Hang in there.

          • THIS! Sex completely went out the window with Styx once we got married. He had every excuse in the book-bad back, tired, perpetual headache, he actually said his sex drive wasn’t the same as when he was 18? WTF he was 31 when we married. Then he had ED where the dick didn’t work and he fought me tooth & nail to go to the dr. I tried to be the understanding loving wife when I was on his penis rations……..then years later only to find out he has a porn & hooker addiction. His dick works fine for those things.

            He makes me fucking sick

    • Anna,

      When I was engaged, I bought some plain sheets in colors XH liked. I told my mother I guess my days of pretty flower sheets were coming to an end. She laughed and said, “Use whatever sheets you want. He’ll sleep with you anyway.”

      And he did…until he moved out to be with OW.

      It’s like that scene from “Sex and The City” when Miranda tells her friends that her date didn’t come up for sex because he had an early appointment the next morning. Berger tells her, no, that excuse is code for, “He’s just not that into you.” Because if he was, early deadlines – or lumpy mattresses (or flower printed sheets) – wouldn’t stop him.

      Anna, your husband is in the spare bedroom because he doesn’t want to divorce you for whatever reason, but he’s just not that into you anymore. BTDT, have the tshirt… 🙁

  • This is part of my deepest sadness, that long before Dday, I allowed myself to be abused and dismissed for years. And if it wasn’t for the OW, I still would be there. I’m not in a good place yet, recovery wise. I still have to remind myself that this is the case instead of just knowing it. I have no idea how to gauge whether or not I’m being treated well, because of FOO issues. For this reason I remain single. I remember the years of porn subscriptions and me just telling myself that all guys do it, not a big deal. Meanwhile, we are living in a one bedroom loft with two little ones, i house hunted daily, but the lack of sex was all my fault. We had the means to move six years prior and throughout. Gaslit, isolated, damaged but with my kids. Now divorced, lost, missing my kids and full of anxiety. Maybe the bill just came late.

    • Whatawaste,

      I understand how you feel. I too thought it was “normal” that he did the things he did. You can’t blame yourself for that. Now you know that he wasn’t “normal” or good to you. It’s not an easy recovery but you can do it. I know that for me taking one day at a time helps ease the anxiety about the future. I do something nice for myself every day and it doesn’t have to be big or expensive..just comforting. You can do this. You must do this. No one person should be allowed to determine your well being and purpose in life. He’s only one person. There are plenty of good people out there but you need to go find them and get involved again. As difficult as it is to believe he may have done you the biggest favour of your life…he’s away from you. You are free in many ways now. It’s hard to believe at first, but truly you are free in so many ways. Most importantly you are free from his abuse. I wish you happiness in this very difficult place.

      • Fantastic advice, thensome. Doing something nice for myself every day has been really important post D-Day, even if it’s something as small as allowing myself to spend 20 minutes in the library on the way home from work instead of rushing straight home to the kids. What’s also helped immeasurably is reminding myself that, no matter how hard the recovery process is, it will NEVER be as hard as one more day inside that damaging relationship. Healing your spirit and getting to the bottom of your own issues is tough, tough work, but instead of the wasted time and energy of trying to fix something that’s unfixable (i.e., a relationship with a cheater), you actually *will* reap benefits and move forward, in ways you never could have imagined. Wishing you peace, and hoping I’ll find it as well.

        • Yes, FoolMeTwice is right. See your own value.

          A friend said to me six months after I separated that I was finally nurturing myself. I spent 25 years of taking care of the fuckhead and once our sons were born, I made sure that they were cared for. I protected them and served as the mediator, the Head Spackler. I smoothed over everything.

          You are valuable. Your children are valuable. You deserve to be treated with respect and not disdain.

          I no longer have the anxiety problems. I have joy in my life every single day.

      • Anna,

        Thensome is right. “He may have done you the biggest favour of your life . . . . You are free . . . ”

        When I discovered the evidence of the affair, I had been living with the fear and the gut feeling for a long time. Once I got over the shock, I felt so much better. At least I wasn’t imagining it. I had been told for years that I was paranoid and jealous. I finally found proof. Before I would ask him and of course, he denied everything. I really wanted to believe that I was insecure and imagining things. I would never have left the fuckhead. I had made that commitment. It took me a long time to realize that he didn’t think the same way I did. He did as he pleased as I was continually in react mode.

        I’ve been divorced for over 9 months and life on the other side gets better and better every day. Two years ago, I was in the anxiety stage, worrying about the possibilities. Not knowing for sure was far worse than finally finding out the truth. I now know that I can trust my gut. I only have people in my life who are kind. I still get tears and I wish that I didn’t because I know that my life is better and it’s going to get better and better every single day. I still have a lot of healing to do.

        It was only after I discovered the affair did I realize that other wives didn’t cry as much as I did. Other wives were made to feel secure. They were cherished. They never had a reason to feel paranoid and jealous. My x had so little respect for me and I had allowed him to treat me that way.

        Like thensome wrote: I am now free. He did me the biggest favour of my life.

        • Joy-filled Chump, thank you for your post. Everything you said articulated for me my own experience. I am two and a half years out from his having left claiming we should have a “no-fault” divorce, when I discovered evidence to the contrary after he left…he had been cheating for at least two years…devastating, but like you, I had “made the commitment” and was continually in “react mode”. He was continually unhappy during the 2nd 10 years of our 20 year marriage, with drinking issues…five year cycles of weight gain, weight loss, drunkeness and the crisis DUI, ….sometimes I wonder whether he was bi-polar and didn’t know it! All this crap started to make me feel like I was the bi-polar one. Like you, I am getting to the point where I am seeing that he did me a favor by leaving me, and my life truly has the possibility of getting better every day.

        • “Other wives were made to feel secure. They were cherished. They never had a reason to feel paranoid and jealous. My x had so little respect for me and I had allowed him to treat me that way.”
          Seeing this is one of the hardest things for me right now. Knowing that there are so many happy couples, and the husband actually cherishes his wife, treats her well, actually wants to spend time with her..it makes me so upset that for 26 years I never had that. I cry and cry when I see this in other couples, because I never had it, and I don’t think I ever will.

          • Sandy R, I feel the same way. Since we met so early (age 16) and married at 20, I really had no other relationships to compare ours to. My ex never wanted to hold my hand or even act like he was connected to me in public. One of the first things I did post divorce was start dating a man who holds my hand. That simple little act was so precious to me! I think the hardest thing for me is to forgive myself for not trusting my gut, and for staying in a relationship where my dreams and goals were not supported.

          • Yes, I spent 16 years walking on eggshells and feeling uncared for before my wife told me about her cheating. If we didn’t have two beautiful sons it would all feel like a complete waste.

      • I used to find myself seeing something nice in a store–a throw pillow for the porch swing, a birdhouse, a book–something nice but inexpensive–and think how my X (not the cheater) or the Jackass would like it. Or I would go somewhere and think about how someone else would like it. Then I thought about how long it has been since someone had that thought about me when it wasn’t my birthday or some other occasion. It’s like I forgot how to make happiness for myself. That’s been a huge part ofmgetting my Self back.

        • This. For years and years, every birthday or Mother’s Day, STBX would ask me what I wanted to do. I would suggest we find a nice cafe and go out for lunch or a coffee. He would never disagree but when the day came, there was always some excuse – the lawn needed mowing, he was tired from the gym, he wanted to work on the car. In the twenty years we were married he never took me out for lunch or a coffee.

          Then the other day I’m having coffee with OW’s husband (long story) and he tells me that this cafe is where STBX and OW used to meet up for coffee. WTF? STBX used to spend so much time whinging about how I didn’t make him feel special but he couldn’t even take me out to a cafe once a year?

          Anna – the question is not whether he is having an affair or not. The question is whether the way he is treating you is acceptable to you or not. Does he do anything to make you feel special to him, or are you just making yourself smaller and smaller so as not to get in the way of his life? Please don’t make yourself so small that you can’t even complain about not being taken out for a coffee once a year (or not being worth the expenditure on a new mattress). So many of us have done that and wasted decades of our lives with someone who didn’t appreciate us, made us feel smaller and smaller and then stabbed us in the back with infidelity.

          What is it that YOU want from a marriage?

          • Rosie, this comment is so spot on. It’s time to stop making ourselves smaller. It doesn’t work anyway! Let’s focus on growing bigger, to full size, and bringing all our gifts and talents to bloom.

          • “are you just making yourself smaller and smaller so as not to get in the way of his life? ”

            THIS! A perfect description for what happened to me too.

    • ‘This is part of my deepest sadness, that long before Dday, I allowed myself to be abused and dismissed for years. And if it wasn’t for the OW, I still would be there.’

      Let me echo this, from the distance of 8 years out, and now thoroughly ‘meh’ on cheater-ex himself: what I regret most, what hurts most in retrospect, is my own complicity in being disrespected and diminished.

      I knew things were wrong in my marriage in many of the ways that you are describing. But I was heavily committed to the path of denial, partly for reasons of sunk costs but most solidly because of fears for my child’s well being if I seriously rocked the boat.

      I did ‘soft confronts’ on a periodic schedule for years, and each time I chose to accept the faux-remorse/’no, no, this time I will be different’ scraps of distraction my cheater blew my way. I never did the come-to-jesus, let’s-get-real, what-are-you-going-to-do-with-your-one-wild-and-precious-life audit of myself and my choices that Chump Lady is recommending. But I wish I had made friends with reality on my terms, rather than in the wake of a destructive exit affair.

      So, friend — please don’t waste this serious crisis: if this is the reality of your life, and all evidence is that it will continue to be so, how long are you willing to continue? 1 month? 6 months? 3 years? forever?

      I should say that I got to total and comfortable ‘meh’ about the ex about 3-4 years out with regard to our 20-year marriage. I suspect I was even on the slow side — my marriage is not the only place in my life where I settled for scraps and put others’ needs first in a thick fog of co-dependency. I bet you can get there too. (I should say that I am not ‘meh’ at all about the way he, then and now, continued with dicking our child around, which is what brought me here).

      But here is what I wish my therapist or a trusted friend had said to me (Chump Lady would have said it to me, had this site existed then): when a spouse de-couples unilaterally and silently, that says passive-aggressive explosive-device detonation. It suggests that he’s making choices for you (and your children, because in risking the marriage, he’s risking their security too!) without affording you the information you need to make authentic choices for yourself. That’s abusive.

      You need, and you deserve, to know what’s true. And you need, and deserve, to decide how you will live your one wild and precious life. Is what you have now honestly good for you or your children? My own experience says that your cheater isn’t putting them first, and won’t put them first when push comes to shove. If not you, who will pause, reflect, and make sober choices for their well-being?

      I am not an advocate of divorce. But infidelity completely explodes a marriage — it requires enormous amounts of deception, disrespect for the spouse, and phenomenal selfishness on the part of the cheater. Better to get out on terms you have some say in than to stay yoked to someone who is fully prepared to discard you for his own satisfaction when the bomb goes off.

      strength for your journey!

      • andthenirise:

        clap. clap. clap. clap.

        Brilliant post. Every single word of it. Thanks for this.

      • “infidelity completely explodes a marriage — Better to get out on terms you have some say in than to stay yoked to someone who is fully prepared to discard you for his own satisfaction when the bomb goes off.”

        This. My marriage is still over but I get a little bit of satisfaction from the fact that I served him with divorce papers as opposed to him walking out on me (though I guess he did effectively do that when he started seeing the other woman, didn’t he?).

      • AndstillIrise wrote: ” [W]hen a spouse de-couples unilaterally and silently, that says passive-aggressive explosive-device detonation. It suggests that he’s making choices for you…without affording you the information you need to make authentic choices for yourself. That’s abusive.”

        That goes for other committed relationships as well as marriage. The Jackass de-coupled months before I found out about the OW, and his disengagement was both unilateral and silent, accompanied by the gaslighting and other forms of dishonesty. I was very very lucky that he began to disengage before he actually moved in and I had more than a few thousand in the business account for him to walk with. But what I learned is that disengagement is a blinking neon sign to protect myself. I responded tomthe Jackass and the gaslighting with tears and pleas for explanations. Next time, I will check the pain and fear at the door and sit down and ask calm but pointed questions. And tell the fuckhead that no answer is an answer–and one that say time for me to disengage, too. No doubt he got a billion kibbles from my pain and heartache. And no doubt he wanted the disengagement on one side only, so the door would be open if he wanted to come back, aka, keeping the cake supply at hand. Getting closer to meh–now the onlynthing I’m running through my head is a better way to respond to a gaslighting, cheating, “You aren’t the boss of me” jackass with one foot out the door and the other wedged in my wallet.

    • Oh, and by the way, that “all guys do it, not a big deal” crap? It’s just that–CRAP.

      One of the biggest gifts I’ve had so far is sitting down with one of my closest guy friends a couple months prior to moving out, and telling him my whole sad tale. Of course all my girlfriends knew exactly what had been going on, but I’d never gone into much detail with my guy friends, partly out of shame, and partly out of fear. Because, like you, I was afraid that “all guys do it,” and the last thing I wanted was reinforcement for the fear that what was happening to me inside that relationship was not likely to be any different elsewhere. Anyhow, watching this friend’s face shift from shock to horror to disgust as I told him everything was a revelation, and I will never forget what he said to me: “FMT, this is NOT normal, and NOT all guys do it.” In fact, he was so upset over the whole thing that he offered to delay an overseas trip so he could come help me pack up and move out.

      Cheating is only normative among the fucked-up. So even though saying “all guys do it” (or “all girls do it”) may apply to a subset of the population–probably a bigger one than any of us would like–it’s not a subset we want to be hanging with. And yes: a porn addiction or paid webcams that take away your intimacy is cheating.

      • Totally agree. No, it’s not normal and “all guys do it” is such a cheater cop-out. They say it to try to make it seem like you’re the abnormal one, and so they can abdicate responsibility.

  • ALWAYS TRUST THE GUT! I know it doesn’t give you immediate validation to leave but it’s never wrong. If you feel like there’s something off, there’s something off. Unfortunately it’s also usually worse than whatever you first suspect.

    • Amen to this. Trusting my gut is probably the biggest thing I’m taking with me, going forward, and not just in terms of romantic partnerships. We are given the fight-or-flight response (the gift of fear) for good reason.

      • My gut knew 8 months before I got the truth. I will never doubt myself again. The day I first felt something was ‘off’ with my h, I ignored it and believed him. I regret it for the position I’m in now. Your body is incapable of lying.

  • I’m with Kat. I made huge mistakes not trusting my gut. She gaslit me and it really tested my sanity at a very stressful time of my doctorate. Turns out, I found out conclusively about one affair and I had a person she knows tell me shes all but certain of another one. She was also lying about about 150 thousand in student debt too.

    When I started listening to my gut, my decision making and life improved dramatically.

      • I agree. I grew up with a bpd mother who is a world class gas lighter – all i wanted was to have my own safe family, and after 27 years with my h, he spent months gas lighting and fucking with my head and there’s no question that it’s abuse. He’s the one who called it that. The level of denial in which I lived is humiliating, and I want to grab that girl who i was in 2013 and shake her for being so dim. Jackass desperately wants to reconcile and owns what he did, but I don’t feel safe and protected in this marriage.

        Anna, neither do you. Having more questions than answers is you being manipulated. If you do nothing else, check in with chumplady every day to hear from chumps who know of what they speak. I’m at the beginning of this mess and I hurt everyday but I know I’m going to be ok thanks to the people here. I’m sending you virtual hugs and a good shake too. But I think your writing to CL speaks volumes.

        • The trick is, that it’s just so hard to step back and really HEAR your gut when you suffered years of abuse at the hands of a master manipulator/passive-aggressive freak.

          Friends can be a lifeline. One of our friends from back home came to visit once (ex moved us 1800 miles from home) and ex said something to me that caused her to say “now THAT’S a mixed message!” And I felt like someone had hit me with a 2×4. I wanted to jump up and down (I think I actually may have) because someone else saw it and – while I couldn’t articulate what was happening – she put a label on it. Friends don’t let friends get gaslit 🙂

          • This is so true, movin on. This goes back to CLs recent post about over sharing. Sometimes we have so completely lost touch with our gut feelings through the gaslighting and slow pushing back of boundaries that we need others to validate for us that something is not right. I remember telling my friend over and over that STBX had been selling shares behind my back because I needed her shock to convince me that no, this was not normal or acceptable or excusable behaviour.

  • I would like to, also, reiterate what others have said on here. They cheat because they are selfish. They cheat because they feel *entitled* to be happy. They cheat because they are cowards. And their out of control ego is the driving force behind ALL of it.

    Read the page about “real remorse or genuine naugahyde remorse.” http://chumplady.com/2013/07/real-remorse-or-genuine-imitation-naugahyde-remorse/

    Sure, there are a few out there who do it once and stop. They know their fault. They dont try to damage control behind your back and make you out to be the bad guy to their friends. They dont impose on you how you will recover. They own the blame and dont blameshift. They take have patience with you and understand they will have to deal with your anger. Humility. Initiative. Honesty. Ownership. Recompense.

    Anything less is just naugahyde remorse.

  • Yeah the gas lighting is awful. I thought I was going insane. I really did. I trusted my ex more than anyone else and so what he said, well, I believed it. Silly but true at the time. The more distance I got from him the more I realized how I was bang on in my perception of what he was really up to.

    The one thing that is so so true; cheaters will mess with you in every way. Trust that they are not your friend and be careful to document everything. It’s not being paranoid it’s being practical. You have to release the notion that they still “care” about you. Push them a bit and you’ll see that “care face” disappear.

    • Thensome,

      You are reading my mind today.

      When I voiced my concerns, I was shamed. “Don’t you trust me?” I so wanted to trust him so I did even though my gut told me that something wasn’t right.

      Once I had some space, I started listing the times when I had been suspicious. I started listing examples of disrespect. I then realized that I should have never married him. He showed me who he is but I refused to believe it. I’m still in shock because the person I divorced isn’t the person I THOUGHT I married.

      What is ironic is that I visited his mother right after we were engaged and she told me not to marry him because he was “just like his father.” I felt so battered after that visit. He told me to blow her off. I thought it was so weird. Why would she say that? She knew.

    • “The more distance I got from him the more I realized how I was bang on in my perception of what he was really up to.”

      This has been my experience too.

  • Chump Lady says: “I don’t know if you’re husband has been physically unfaithful or not. And I doubt he’s going to tell you unless you catch him at it.”

    And, I would add, not even then. He’ll say (as he’s lying in bed next to OW and you walk in), “Who are you gonna believe? Me, or your lying eyes?” and “How can you not TRUST me?” and “It’s your fault for coming home an hour before you said you would!” etc. etc.

  • The hometown shuffle, that they can’t leave the job over money you go to the hometown and wait, oh yeah. When I found out on a surprise visit I learned he had moved into some stupid womans house! I wonder if yours is at someones house too. Don’t think he wouldn’t, he is far, no one is telling him what to do, you are watching your special needs child and you have been sick, he may be able to find a healthy replacement, and can test them out as you are an 8 hour drive away.

    I lived this, it all sucks.

    If you are thinking he is up to something, well, you know him the best, he probably is.

    Instead of rocking the boat how about just file? It will save you years of lies, I didn’t rock I watched the sinking of our marriage from my side he checked out long before, and I guess I was having to completely torture myself before I could really face it. If there was a glimmer of hope, I was on that like I could make it grow throw sparkels all over it somehow we could have a mind altering experience and would have no memory of his bare bottom in a sheet slamming a door in my face at the love shack (puke)…

    Honestly, the thing that hit home, is if you have to check it is already dead. Only in your heart you didn’t know so it didn’t die. It to me is more of a if they already did this, had sex, found women, all of that, even asking out or flirting, to me, I see now, at that first moment of them cheating and flirting, that is truly when the marriage is dead by them killing it.

    Run, file, run. Don’t look back you will be looking at a man who will hurt you again and again and again.

  • When I read that your H had moved himself out of your bedroom, the first thing I thought of was,’ oh oh…Porn Junkie’. I am so sorry, but there are tell tale signs of a Porn Junkie, and this sounds like one. I know this all too well, because I am the victim bride of a porn junkie too. With Porn Junkies, EVERY woman is the (potential) Other Woman. She just needs to be willing. Do not play nice and passive. And, do not ignore your ‘gut feelings’, or explain them away. Your ‘gut feelings’are an instinctive, inherent tools for survival. They are there for a reason. Im so sorry you are going through this, but glad you are here, (on chump lady.com). We are here for you, and can build you up. You and your family deserve better.

    • “With Porn Junkies, EVERY woman is the (potential) Other Woman. She just needs to be willing.”

      A to the MEN on this.

  • What I meant by I lived that, I had cancer, he had me wait in hometown with our kids and me waiting to move to where he worked, he was really good at lying there were so many delays and reasons he couldn’t move us just then, and then to find he had moved in with a stupid ass idiot woman who was fine he was doing that …. it makes me crazy, I had a mini breakdown too.

    Please file and run don’t do any I hope he comes back dance, he is a bastard for all this, you found all you need already….

    He is full of lame excuses he could have bought a new mattress! He just wants to have a fun life screwing around, he does, you don’t need to know more, run now.

  • Why is it the “you’re not the boss of me” or him if talking about that thinking fuckbarf attitude does it hit home so well! I swear it is the cheating motto.

    Thank god I don’t feel like I have to fix a man who thinks I am not the boss of him, smack me if I ever think I am the boss of a flaming cheater again. The skys can part and I can be taken to a black hole if I get that idea to put xmas lights on a cheating man again to hide his lies. (I never did that it just seems it might be colorful and blinky enough to sort of hide the lying monster in the lights)

    • You know, it occurs to me that if someone in a marriage says “you aren’t the boss of me,” that’s a big sign that he doesn’t get what marriage or commitment IS. No one is the “boss”–it’s a partnership. For them, a relationship is more adolescent than that. It’s something they do until someone else turns their head and then they cheat like some teenager lying to his mother or father about why he missed curfew. One thing about narcissism and entitlement–they keep people in prolonged adolescence. And then the Chumps who are actual adults feel like they are going crazy because they are trying to talk to an adult but actually interacting with a teenager.

  • CL nailed it as usual. Are you getting your needs met, are you happy, do you trust this man to have your back? Do you want to spend the rest of your life with this person? You only get one crack at the life thing, I wish I’d taken that more seriously, and much sooner. I hope you will take it seriously now.

    If you can’t find it in you to state your needs even to yourself then try this; When you die, what will you regret? When you die, what will you be thankful for? If you were to die tomorrow, what would that list look like?

  • All great advice and the only thing I would add is to consider hiring a PI to document the infidelity before filing. Talk to an attorney about this, because depending on where you are, if you have irrefutable proof, it could help you with custody and the financial settlement during the divorce.

    • I agree, hire a PI. You are not betraying him by doing so. Sometimes chumps get locked up in the battle of the trust they think they owe someone vs their gut. Trust is earned. Even if it was only webcamming it’s enough. He has crossed over the line of infidelity. Infidelity is anything that you know wouldn’t be ok if your partner was present. Btw, it’s never ever “just” the one internet thing. Get the PI. Justification for leaving is good, but leverage is better. This from a person almost a year out. My heart goes out to you.

  • Anna, my heart goes out to you. There are many parts of your letter that I could have written myself (the dodgy websites, the checking out, the awful gut feeling, the mini-breakdown, the soft confront). CL has given you brilliant advice, and if I’d found this site much sooner, I could have saved myself several years of grief. You say you don’t have any proof, but the only point I could see in spending money on spyware to catch him out is the leverage it could give you in a divorce. In terms of knowing what you know and giving yourself permission to own that, your gut is the only real proof you need. I shared before on here that last summer I spent $200 on a phone detective service (which I used only once, and even then I felt like a damn fool) to tell me what I already knew: I couldn’t trust my partner. Like CL said, it was already dead in the water. Looking back, I wish I had taken that $200 and spent in on more productive things, like replacing all the household stuff I’d given away when I moved in with my X. Lesson learned, albeit the hard way.

    CL also said that Chump Nation has your back. That is so very true. I’m pretty new here, but already I’ve found many voices that have become my daily reality check, and I look forward to their comments. There is also a forum here that you can register for so that you can talk to people more directly. I haven’t used it much yet because first I’m going back through each monthly blog and working my way through all the posts. It really is better than any prescription medication, and having daily validation for this experience has been a true Godsend. Hang in there, and please, trust your gut. You deserve better, and there is life on the other side of this pain.

  • You didn’t say what type of cancer you had, so I am wondering if it was by chance cervical cancer, which is a sexually-transmitted disease? Cheaters always have a way of dismissing their role in HPV infections, of course.

    Count me as one who is concerned with your smallness. Your husband is using it against you, and he is exacerbating your insecurities. Once you get away from him, you might find that you are worth more. You might start behaving in ways that remind you that you are worth more. You might find your back and your voice.

    “Our deepest fear is not that we are inadequate. Our deepest fear is that we are powerful beyond measure. It is our light, not our darkness, that most frightens us.
    We ask ourselves, who am I to be brilliant, gorgeous, talented, and fabulous? Actually, who are you not to be?
    You are a child of God. Your playing small doesn’t serve the world. There’s nothing enlightened about shrinking so that other people won’t feel insecure around you. We are all meant to shine, as children do. We are born to make manifest the glory of God that is within us.
    It’s not just in some of us, it’s in everyone.
    And as we let our own light shine, we unconsciously give other people permission to do the same. As we are liberated from our own fear, our presence automatically liberates others.”
    ~ Marianne Williamson Quotes from A Return to Love

  • I will add my opinion. I also have a child with special needs. My youngest has Down Syndrome. He will always need assistance and supervision. I understand how this shifts your priorities in life. I also know you have sacrificed yourself and your desires for the well being of your family.
    None of this is “fair” or your doing. It isn’t going to change either. My advice echoes some of what you have heard here. Be good to yourself. You need to gain as much strength and resolve as you can to deal with this. It seems clear that your husband is not following through on his responsibilities. However, you can make things better for yourself and your children.
    Firstly, see if you can find a support group for parents of children with disabilities. They will be able to connect you with services to help lighten your load. If you decide to divorce, this could make a big difference in helping you bridge to your new life. Secondly, be careful about who you trust with your thoughts. Sadly, some friends turn against us when we make changes.
    As others have said, take care of yourself, find a good attorney who will advise you before you make any moves. My attorney devised a plan for me if I choose to divorce. Once you have your ducks in a row, turn your attention to your husband and marriage. Until you have a plan and resources, don’t rock his boat . He has been content to sit in his room with his computer. Leave him there until you are good and ready. Then, follow your plan. If he truly changes, great. If not, you and your kids will be ready to move forward without him.

  • Sound advice as always, CL.
    “Cheaters will fuck you over financially” is the type of common sense statement every chump should remember.
    I especially like the point CL brought up in one of her earliest posts in saying that one cannot underestimate a cheater by assuming “they would never…” Oh, yes they would.
    A year ago if you’d ask me if my socially awkward ex was capable of meeting strangers online, paying prostitutes, luring bored housewives into his web of deceit, I’d respond with “he would never…”
    I believe it was Maya Angelou who said: “… now that I know better, I do better.”
    Amen.

    • They absolutely will fuck you over financially, even when telling you to your face that they will never do that. Yep, ask me how I know.

  • Anna–Your gut told you something was wrong when he moved into the spare room a few years back. The excuse that the mattress was all wrong is completely limp. Our mattress started to show its age, and you know what I did? I got us a new one! You don’t mention your sex life, but any changes to the sex life–and moving into a new room is a big one–are big red flags.

    You really need to see a lawyer to find out what you can expect in your state. You should work now to find out what the financial situation looks like. I would not let on that you’ve seen the dodgy sites on the computer. His interest in porn is shocking and disturbing. However, it’s not nearly as important as what’s in the financials. Focus on financial information. Has he been bleeding the accounts? It’s not unusual for porn addicts and cheaters to do so. Porn isn’t cheap, nor are affairs.

    CL has given you excellent advice. Everyone else around here echoes it. Regardless of whether there’s been physical sex, this is a man who checked out on you and your child at least 3 years ago.

    Don’t be tempted to stay just because you have a child. One of the most poignant responses to a CL post was from a woman whose autistic son discovered pictures of his father having sex with OW. In spite of therapy, the boy is still damaged from seeing those pictures. You don’t say anything about your child, but I would say that especially with a special needs child, you don’t need to have the ticking time bomb that is a porn addict in your life.

    I will also say this. Every step you take to deal with this situation means you’re taking back control over your life. Go to the lawyer, the first step in control. Check out the financials, another step. Getting a job (if your a sahm), another. As you do these things for yourself, you’ll discover that you start to wish you had more control. You’ll start to see how you’ve been gaslit. And you’ll come to the realization that you and your child deserve better than what you have.

    Best of luck!

  • Great advice by CL and Chump Nation as usual. I have nothing to add in that regard.

    But since a lot of commenters are mentioning porn addiction, I do wonder if CL has ever done an article on how easy access to a huge quantity and variety of porn has affected marriages. (Not to mention how Viagra has affected marriages).

    I’ve seen people become consumed by porn or online playing to the point where their jobs and relationships suffer. And of course I do feel that playing around with women online is certainly a “gateway drug” to doing it in the flesh.

    I feel sorrier still for the 14 year olds who are discovering porn now. It can really warp you!

    • I’ve always said that porn doesn’t bother me because “at least he’s not doing it in real life.” I had no idea at the time what a slippery slope it really is.

      • That’s so true, Ann, for some people more than others. It can become like a drug where you need more and freakier stuff. Then you get to the point where making “love” with your wife pales in comparison — it’s just not enough stimulation.

        Back in the “old days” you had to go to great effort to see porn. These days it’s almost hard to avoid.

        The first time I found a huge stash of porn on my husband’s computer I was repulsed because it was all of really fat naked women in high heels… Nothing against fat women, I was one and am still battling it, but I do not find it attractive, so I found those photos shaming because while he may like it, I do not like being this way. Yes, he asked me many times to dress like that, but I wouldn’t.

        I told him he could look at what he wanted to look at, but to no longer store it on the computer. He said okay, no problem. But I was so silly to think he meant it. He has a trillion ways to hide shit from me!

        After this husband, I’d look forward to some “vanilla” activity if I’m ever lucky enough to find the right man!

  • In your letter I did not pick up anything about love for him. It certainly sounds like you have emotionally checked out of the marriage as he has. You also do not mention anything about what kind of father he is. Your letter reads that you are terrified of what your future holds. So many people live many, many years with cancer and unless someone has told you differently You need to plan on just getting on with life. You have two children you need to protect. If this man is spending his money on porn he is spending his children’s future….. don’t let him!
    It sounds so much like porn addiction. What that does is numb the participant so that they are no longer interested in human interaction. That addiction consumes them. You need a junkyard lawyer that will grab him by the seat-of-the-pants and shake him until all that hidden loose change shakes out. You are no longer dealing with a human being. He is ectoplasm sitting in front of a computer screen.

    • Yup. There’s a great website called “Your Brain on Porn” that explains the neurobiology of porn addiction. It really is pernicious, especially because like all addictions it escalates, and people start needing freakier and freakier shit to get the same dopamine high. Even assuming you managed to figure out what your partner is up to (a lot of people just know ‘something is off’ and there is an increasing disconnect in the relationship), it can be pretty hard to unpack since porn has become so socially normalized (“all guys do it”) that anybody who questions it is too easily labeled ‘uptight’ or ‘prudish.’ Personally, I never had an issue with it and even enjoyed it occasionally with my partner before he became the “ectoplasm sitting in front of a computer screen.”

      Knowing what I know now, if I saw anybody else experiencing the whole Nancy Drew and the Mysterious Case of the Vanishing Intimacy, the first thing I’d say is, check the downloads and browsing history of your partner’s computer/other devices. At least if you know what you’re dealing with, you know what the recidivism rate is, and you can make an informed choice to get the hell out at the earliest available opportunity.

      • THIS! I would have run for the hills years ago if I would have known the truth about my stbx, the porn, and the hookers. Instead I wasted years trying to be everything I thought he wanted-skinnier, freakier, make more money, cook more, clean like I had OCD………..I was miserable. Only to find out after 17 years that it didn’t matter what I did or didn’t do-he was always going to want the porn & hookers. My son & I are just the front for him to look like a respectable husband and father.

        I’m still really angry for the wasted years but I get to be everything I want-staring with being rid of him!

    • Watcher-you are soooooo right about the porn addicts. The therapist had explained to me that these men are so disconnected with real people & that the porn fantasy becomes their actual reality. They do not have to satisfy anyone but themselves & over time they will resort to more hardcore and younger porn. My stbx is already hung up on 18 & 19 year olds………I’m not sticking around for that train wreck coming.
      Before I caught stbx, I noticed that the occasional times we had sex (if he could even get it up) he would talk & act like he was in a porno. WTF? Talk about feeling used.

      Of course it all makes sense now

  • Additionally, therapy isn’t always the cure. Mine is gaslighting, manipulating and lying to his therapist.

    Sex addicts have a very low rate of success. Add BPD to the mix and years of therapy probably won’t make a dent.

    • Before I knew what was happening (and ignoring my instincts), h set up mc for us – of course I thought our marriage sucked because of me and I desperately wanted to fix it. We spent close to $3000 on him lying to our therapist and texting his howorker from the waiting room. The marriage was crumbling because he had a girlfriend. Period. lying to therapists is in the gaslighter’s manual, section 1.

      • Mine lied to the mc therapist as well. I was blamed. It was a set-up. My mc completely believed him. He was incredibly manipulative and well spoken. It was a waste of time. If you are in mc and you feel worse after a session, find another therapist. A good mc therapist should talk to you both individually and then together. And they shouldn’t be afraid to call bullshit. If you believe you are on the receiving end of more bs after a mc or individual session, beware. Therapists will often try to engage the most reluctant partner and in doing so, leave you on the sideline. If you suspect cheating, get thyself to a lawyer first, therapy later….for yourself.

      • Rock Star – ditto your comments; I also thought I was to blame and wanted to fix it. But, you are so right. The reason the marriage crumbled was because he chose somebody else. Of course, now that I have a little hind-sight I see he was one selfish bastard to boot. And, boot him, I did.

    • Samian-sex addicts have to first admit they actually have a problem & want to get help.
      But then, you are right the success rates are extremely low………definitely not magic unicorn material for us chumps.

      My stbx is lost forever. I just want to make sure my young boy doesn’t follow in his path!!!

  • Another thing to watch for…

    We were living together. Legally I had to give him 30 day notice to vacate. During that time he trying to twist it into me being the bad guy for telling him to leave.

    One day I gave him two choices (just to see the reaction):

    1) full access, full disclosure, new phone number, new phone with contacts deleted, GPS on phone and car, complete transparency, loggers on the computers and tablets, spyware on his phone AND intensive outpatient sex addiction therapy

    or

    2) 90 days inpatient sex addiction therapy

    lol

    He chose neither but stopped trying to make me out to be the bad guy. Mission accomplished.

  • “About 3-4 years ago he moved himself into the spare room, supposedly because the mattress on our bed was uncomfortable.”

    I didn’t even have to read the rest of the letter. If he hasn’t cheated on you already, he’s definitely thinking about it. No matter what, he’s completely checked out of the marriage, only he’s too passive-aggressive and too chickenshit to address this situation like an adult.

    Remember, cheaters are the KINGS of coming up with drastic solutions to problems that are either benign or non-existent. Needless to say, these “solutions” only create new problems.

    PROBLEM: My wife and I argue often, mostly over financial matters.
    ADULT SOLUTION: From now on, we’re going to keep a closer eye on our finances, cutting costs where we can. We’re also going to work to improve our lines of communication, particularly where financial matters are concerned.
    CHEATER SOLUTION: I’m gonna go fuck a 20-year-old.

    See how that works? Your mattress was giving him discomfort so he MOVED INTO A SPARE BEDROOM?! New mattresses aren’t THAT expensive! Not to mention the cheap route: Little memory foams that you can place underneath the mattress cover to ensure better sleeping comfort.

    His “solution” was so wildly disconnected from the “problem” that it’s clear he was trying to send you a message. Sounds like the only thing he DIDN’T do is decorate his new bedroom with Hustler centerfolds.

    You don’t have the details. You’re not even sure there are details yet. Perhaps he cheated, perhaps not. Bottom line: This situation is only going to get worse. You need to take your emphasis away from “learning the lingo” and concentrate on protecting YOU.

    A “commitment with no real answers” is not a commitment at all. It’s simply one big delayed decision. A wound that’s only going to continue to fester. It’s a cheater feeding you just enough vague bullshit to get you to shut up about this whole accountability thing.

    Accountability, you see, is for grown-ups. Your husband is not acting like one. You’re certainly welcome to pursue the Marriage Police route, as CL suggested. But you’re only going to travel further down the Cheater Rabbithole.

    Trust us: That is NOT a place you want to be.

    • PROBLEM: My wife and I argue often, our relationship has been in major crisis. We have children who do not deserve a broken family, but we can’t seem to agree on much in regards to repairing the relationship. We are both unhappy. We have financial problems.
      ADULT SOLUTION: From now on we will address concerns in marriage counseling. We’re also going to work to improve our lines of communication, particularly where financial matters are concerned. As mature adults, we owe our children the stability of an intact family as well as positive role models.
      CHEATER SOLUTION: I’m gonna go fuck a 20-year-old.

      • This is fun and I want to play!

        PROBLEM: My wife is pregnant, we have a toddler and her mother just died. Wife is too far along to go the funeral and is a bit down. We’ve also just bought a new house. I’m feeling neglected.
        ADULT SOLUTION: Talk to her about what I can do to support her as she is dealing with so many different big things in her life. Realise it’s not all about me, but do say, in an adult way, that I am feeling somewhat disconnected and want to make sure we don’t lose what we have. Take her to dinner, get baby-sitters, put some focus on her so she remembers how important she is and we are.
        CHEATER SOLUTION: I’m gonna fuck some bimbo who works for me, then cast an eye around for more.

        • Me too!

          PROBLEM: My wife’s dad just killed himself and our son has been diagnosed with a chronic illness. Also we have just moved house. She seems a bit weepy lately and she’s not much fun when I come through the door after a day in the office.

          ADULT SOLUTION: Be kind and supportive as she’s having a really shit time at the moment. Be there for your sick child and give her a break.

          CHEATER’S SOLUTION: Stay out late, get drunk, screw ho-worker and start pretending you need to work late so you can see more of ho-worker. Get resentful about the fact that wife is not much fun to be around right now and feel that you really deserve some fun and frolics. Leave her to deal with child’s illness while you go out and have fun.

        • Problem: We’re about to take a huge life step and I’m afraid. I’m not ready. Maybe I can’t live out my commitment to you. You’ve taken big risks and I’ve promised to do so many things to support that.
          Adult Solution: Let’s take time to talk this through. We can make a plan to make sure both of us come out OK and our friendship remains intact, even if we end the intimate relationship. We will both be honest and transparent about our actions.
          Cheater Solution: I just got a letter from a woman I last saw 30 years ago, when she was 12 and had a crush on me. The texting is so exciting. She makes me feel so special! Powerful! Even thought I am living in my parents’ house, rent free. I wonder why her husband is not glued to her side at this family funeral? I am certainly better than this guynwho has lived with her for 20+ years…I can use that money the Chump put in my business account to buy a new phone…get on FB so her husband would see the texts….the Chump will just fade away until I need her again.

        • Ooh ooh me too!

          Problem: After I got married, I realized that a “normal” life with wife and kids was not for me. I like a wilder kind of sex life, possibly polyamorous situations, and frankly there are one or two women at work that I am starting to hang around with in a way that is improper and I know is leading to more. My wife and I just really don’t have the same viewpoints about sex and life in general. My wife is successful and that makes me feel inferior, and she does not praise me like these other women do. This just isn’t the wife, family or lifestyle for me. I just didn’t realize all of this until now.

          Solution: My wife will be very angry and upset, we have two young children. But she is already suspicious and asking a lot of questions. So instead of denying, I am just going to tell her the truth. That way we can divorce and she can move on and re-marry, and even have more kids if she wants. Then I can live the kind of life I want. And I will still have a relationship with and support my children, and in the end my wife and I may become friends or at least friendly as she moves on.

          Cheater solution: I will just lie to my wife. I don’t want to be embarrassed, everyone thinks I am a great guy. And my wife makes more money than these other women, I deserve to have that kind of support for my consulting business which I am sure is finally about to take off. Plus, I can have all kinds of sex and use the family’s money to look like I am a success, and the family is an awesome front and makes me feel like a big fish in a small pond. No one will catch me because I am so special, but just in case my wife does, I will keep the other women on a back burner.

          • Um, “the same viewpoints on sex”? Only half lizard demon spawn from the netherworld think that kind of sex is normal. I hate it when these guys stand by their “enlightened” sexuality like you’re the one lacking. It’s analagous to Jeffrey Dahmer looking down on the rest of us for eating normal food. It’s so popular to be understanding of sexuality in this modern world we think it justifies everything. I’m all for experimenting and exploring and a little kink but when one of these creepazoids looks down on me and tells me how very vanilla I am it pisses me off. In the Baskin Robbins of sexual variety your ex was shit flavored. Nobody should be proud of that. Instead of embracing this sexuality they should work that shit out in therapy, get on meds, have a soul retrival or exorcism. Or go back to the demon plane where they came from and stop trying to gaslight the rest of us into believing that what they do is anywhere on the normal spectrum of human sexuality.

            Sorry Kelly, I totally went off on a tangent. I wish they’d been honest with us but my ex and your ex are shit kings. I really really wish I believed in hell.

            • Thanks Kat, and I do believe in hell after what we’ve experienced, and that’s where these freaks are going.

        • Hmm. I want to take a turn!

          PROBLEM: I am selfish. I want to do what I want when I want, how I want. Rules don’t apply to me. I want to get married so I can have a wife and big house like other people I know, but now that I’m married I realize that having a wife means I might have to share and be responsible and considerate of another person. I’m not good at that.

          ADULT SOLUTION: Sit down with new wife and explain that marriage is not for me. Tell her we can work together on selling the house and splitting the proceeds. Take my share of the proceeds after divorce, move back to my bachelor apartment, have fun with whores and never get married again.

          CHEATER SOLUTION: Keep wife and big house, while continuing to do whatever I want, regardless of how it affects my wife. Lie and cheat on my wife with various women, while financially using her to support improved lifestyle.

      • I can’t resist.

        PROBLEM: My wife and I are hardly communicating these days and we fight a lot. I can’t work for anyone and have been living off her assets, which apparently now are all used up. She’s hocking her jewelry and other possessions and she gets angry when I ask her for beer and cigarette money. I go out every night just so that we don’t fight.

        ADULT SOLUTION: Find employment and help to support your family. Understand that your wife would naturally be upset knowing there is no way to pay rent or the electricity bill. Stay home with your wife a few times a week, better yet, take her out, she’s lonely and alone.

        CHEATER SOLUTION: I’m going to fuck these girls at the bar who think I’m amazing, witty, and funny.

    • PROBLEM: I’m out of town for work 4 days a week, it’ll last months. I’m super stressed, I hate being alone, and I hate not having sex those 4 days. There’s a woman at work who is flirting with me.
      ADULT SOLUTION: I’ll talk to my wife about how we can handle these issues together, and protect our relationship and our kids’ family. This is especially important because I cheated in the past, so I want to take responsibility here.
      ENTITLED, SELFISH SOLUTION: I’ll use the flirty colleague to solve ALL my problems, and my wife will never know! It’s perfect!
      (Took me two weeks to figure out – this time I trusted my gut!)

      • Can I play this on too?

        PROBLEM. Wife has depression due to FOO issues and the health issues she has faced during her last two pregnancies and that a child was lost in between. Youngest in now one and is a hand full, I am not coping and now I find myself having feelings for another man I have struggled in this area all my life but due to my upbringing am unable to deal with it.
        ADULT SOLUTION, As hard as it will be as wife has now had a full break down requiring hospitalization, I know she cares for me as in the midst everything on admittance to hospital she had written a letter to our church asking them to support me and the kids. I will need to own these feeling I have and speak to someone, if I really am gay it is best it comes out now with the possibility that my marriage may be over rather than give in and hurt her more and the kids.
        CHEATER SOLUTION, little does she know that part of her breakdown has been me manipulating her all these years, I met this guy and he is meeting a need she isn’t and well I have secretly wanted to go there for a long time (I’M curious) why not now they are all to busy looking at her. Oh hang on she is not in hospital any more and she is questioning why I am home late all the time, I know I will end the affair but that doesn’t mean I can’t have oral sex with random strangers for the next 8 years.

    • Oh, this is too much fun to resist – (did I sound too much like a cheater?!).

      PROBLEM: My estranged father died and his obit acknowledged neither his eldest son’s existence nor my or my four siblings’ existence – only his latest coupling’s products. But that didn’t matter because I never had a relationship with the son-of-a-bitch anyway! My own youngest son left for college and now I have an empty nest. I turned 50 and am losing my hair. I have to wear glasses more and I have to take medication for high blood pressure but that is only because my blood pressure goes up when I see the doctor. I don’t really need it.
      ADULT SOLUTION: Talk to the faithful person who has been by your side for more than 25 years and make a plan for the next 25. Talk to a professional about your existential angst about getting older, your loss (of the changed parenting role and of the estranged parent’s death), and your need for greater meaning and purpose.
      CHEATER SOLUTION: Fuck those ideas! In fact, I’ll fuck the next 31-year-old married flight attendant who makes me feel like the hero I am. That’ll make me feel younger. Continue to tell the trusting wife that I would never do anything to ruin what we had and that she is just paranoid and jealous.

      • Tracey, you really need to do a post where we share these “reasons” why the cheater fucked us over. I know you did one similar to this but honestly Chris’s “problem” “adult solution” and “cheater solution” does resonate :). Genius.

        • Mine is simple

          Bored: sleep with a hooker

          Have a disagreement: sleep with a hooker

          Madonna/Whore: sleep with a hooker

          Need for chaos: sleep with a hooker

          etc

          you get the picture

          *head desk*

          • Samian-my stbx does the same thing……….well, that and a huge porn addiction he can’t hide any longer.

      • oh oh – me too!

        Problem: I don’t have one but obviously my wife does because she thinks I’m screwing around on her. I’m too pure to ever do that. Why would she suspect that?

        Adult Solution: Ask your wife why she suspects something so awful like that. Especially after she found strange panties in her marital bed one night.

        Cheater Solution: Deny! Deny! Then dump wife of 35 yrs ice-cold for the owner of the panties, with no further explanation.

  • Anna,
    Your story is a lot like mine and I suspect similar to several who participate on this site.
    Your intuition is something you shouldn’t ignore. I did for six years after finding online
    activity on craigslist for escorts and no intimacy due to ED( or so he said). Fast forward
    to six years later when after his phone and all other devices being locked I accidentally
    saw his password being typed in his phone. We want the truth but when it stares us in the face we are too horrified at its reality. It’s a scary thing to know you aren’t crazy and this person who you have given your life to is a fraud. I had prophetic dreams and intuitive feelings for years. It’s God( the universe, whatever you believe in ) telling you the truth. Believe it and believe in yourself. Get support from any resource you can( counselors, church, family, Chump lady) and do yourself a favor and move on to a better life. It ‘s painful and difficult but we all deserve better than this behavior. Good luck to you.

    • Anna, I did the same for 17 years–prophetic dreams, “crazy” jealousy, feeling that something was very wrong, with no proof. I believed him when he insisted nothing was going on, because I desperately wanted to. And so I doubted myself and my very sanity. So did my family, some friends, and my children. But guess what, I was right, all along, horrifyingly so.

      I regret the loss of all of those years, trapped in a life of lies, being gaslighted. We are not meant to live a life of abuse, disrespect and creeping pathology. The most precious gift we are given is our time on this earth, to spend in authentic relationships with the ones we love and who truly love us in return.

      Anna, you already know the answer to your own question. (((Hugs)))

      • “Anna, you already know the answer to your own question.”

        This. Times 1000 on the (((hugs)))! The very thought of our one *Most Trusted Person* doing us wrong is a shocker.

        I agree w/contacting attorney first thing, and understand your options. Do this even before you ‘get proof’ of his cheating, while you can think rationally. Really. Brace yourself–you don’t know for sure right now, but what if your suspicions are correct (or the reality is even worse than you suspect)? You’re not going to recognize yourself, him, your life, anything for awhile after that hits you!

        I didn’t understand the meaning of–one’s blood running cold–until that *instant* when my ex’s cheating was confirmed to me. I am certain my face went white. The next few months were a blur of unspeakable hell as I struggled to make/keep appointments, get financials in order, discover my options and get out of there…all while thousands of miles away from friends and family.

        Make sure you get your exit strategy in place BEFORE you need it, in case your world crashes in an instant.

    • I had awful dreams that came true, that is not ESP or prophecy, it’s your intuition SCREAMING at you because you are ignoring it in your conscious life. Do not ignore your gut or intuition or whatever you want to call it. Read Gift of Fear and you will understand that your intuition is built on ALL that you take in, manipulative people will make you second guess it to the point of betraying yourself, don’t let that happen to you.

      • Yep. Mark me off as having horrible dreams too. I used to think it was because I was just paranoid. Surprise! I wasn’t.

        • Same here. I had dreams that he was cheating on me. Duh!!!! Guess my subconscious was screaming at me in my dreams, since I ignored all of the signs when I was awake!

  • Anna from what you say about your husband he sounds totally lame. I think you are doing what a lot of us chumps do – you are just putting up with shit and you don’t believe you are worthy of a better life.

    It’s very scary to consider an alternative existence without your husband but he is not there for you, if anything he sounds like an aggravation and he’s getting away with behaving like a self-indulgent teenager by what he’s doing, He is ignoring your needs.

    A simple solution to the uncomfortable mattress thing would be to purchase one that he finds comfortable. But you must know it’s not the mattress and it’s not you. It sounds like you have lost yourself in all his crap.

    I think the key thing in Chump Lady’s reply to you is – YOU MATTER.

  • Yesterday I bought my dream car. The financial manager at the dealership asked me about an extended warranty. I had already been advised to go for that–by my bro-in-law, a mechanic, and my financial advisor– if the deal was right (it was) because I expect to keep the car beyond 3 years and if any one electronic system goes bad they will cost more than the warranty to replace it. The salesman was not involved in the discussion but came in while Imwas signing papers. I mentioned I decided to get the warranty and he said, “That way, you’ll be safe.”. Then he looked at me and said, “You’ll be safe.”

    I had one of those “I might cry right here” moments because he got it that as a woman over 60 with no spouse or kids or other support, I make a lot of decisions I wouldn’t make if there was a safety net under me. And here was this very kind stranger who go it, who saw that I needed to plan ahead so that I would be safe. And the Jackass who said he loved me, would love me forever, who can fix anything on wheels for the price of parts, walked away without a thought about my safety now or later. I am writing this to say that as chumps, we get less concern, compassion, or support from our partners than we can get from a car salesman or the clerk at the local convenience store. No way we should accept that as our fate in life.

    • “I am writing this to say that as chumps, we get less concern, compassion, or support from our partners than we can get from a car salesman or the clerk at the local convenience store. No way we should accept that as our fate in life.”

      Amen, LaJ, Amen. Well said and so very true.

  • You all are awesome. CL you are awesome. I wish I’d had you all alongside me 12 or 13 years ago. Anna, please don’t give it another decade to make your decision. I did that because I couldn’t get enough hard evidence to head into the divorce. There really was enough evidence but I refused to acknowledge it because I was scared of what I thought I’d invested. I had eight kids, a part time job, and eventually a malfunctioning heart. I thought we could work it out. We couldn’t because he wouldn’t. CL, is right, the man has checked out. I wish I’d had someone to point out to me that checking out was exactly what my ex had done, way before he made his choice and his choice was the long-established other woman. One thing I can feel good about in my own mess is that I filed for divorce against his protests. He wanted to stay married and live with his honey. He promised to take away my health insurance if I divorced. My awesome attorney prevented that (until he lost his job but that gave me another year with health insurance). I’m in a financially scary place (and I’ve been divorced for a year and a half) but wouldn’t go back to the hell that was my marriage. I didn’t realize and couldn’t acknowledge half the pain I was in until I was out. All the best to you Anna!

    • Jedi Hugs to you kath! I’m glad you are in a better place and I cannot imagine the strength it must take to get out with 8 kids and health problems. Double Jedi Hugs!

  • Moving into another bedroom for the mattress is a bad sign. Why not move both of you to the good mattress? Why not move the good mattress into your bedroom? Why not buy a new and better mattress?

    My point is, if someone wants to sleep with you, they work these things out.

    I think that commuting a long distance for a job, plus a wife with a serious illness, plus kids who need a lot of care, could be a bad combination. That’s not an excuse or proof that he cheated, but you’re not crazy to wonder.

    I guess the thing to do is to try to find out more and as CL suggests, focus on your marriage. Whether or not he has cheated, is he taking care of you and your kids? Did he support your through your illness? Does he do his share with your kids? Would he move back into your bedroom?

    Also, maybe a tangent, but if he is watching porn, it might hurt your relationship. It might make him unrealistic about what he can expect in real life.

  • I am thinking that Baskin Robins needs to make an ice cream for cheaters ! Rainbow sparkles with shit chunks and peanut butter swirlies. Just to make it go down better…

  • Anna,

    You admitted outright that you are conflict avoidant. I’d bet money HE is, too.
    As for the “soft” confronting (or soft start-ups a la John Gottman)? I’d bet there are very few “start ups” at all.

    I think it needs to be, “back to the drawing board” time for Anna.

    So, while you are trying to figure out if you want to stay in a marriage with this man, PLEASE go to individual counseling to address why you can’t set appropriate boundaries in a normally assertive way, and to learn the skills that you need to do so.

    You can NOT fix this man. You CAN fix yourself.

    And, if in the fixing of yourself, he comes to see you differently, to respect you more, and to do the work he needs to do to be a real partner… then that’s an unexpected dividend which you will be in position to take or leave.

  • I am not sure if it is because I am tired due to playing my first game of competitive soccer today at the age of 42 or if I am hormonal. But I have pretty much cried my way through this thread.

    when a spouse de-couples unilaterally and silently, that says passive-aggressive explosive-device detonation.

    For most of my marriage I have felt if I could just good wife he will love me and I will never need to worry, then I had a breakdown 8 years ago which my then 7 year old son captioned one day when questioned by his teacher in front of his class what was wrong with me ‘ Mummy gets angry sometimes and can’t control herself so she is stay in the hospital for a while” I bet she will never ask that question again. But from that point on in my marriage I felt weak and unworthy and so I did everything I could to not present poorly, If I stay calm and don’t let things rattle me It will be ok, if I am the good wife, care for the kids do all the at home things so all he needs to do is go to work it will be alright. I won’t hassle him during the day because if he is happy at work he will come home happy so what if he is now in a job paying 20k less than his last one its ok I can get some part time work, I can work nights. If I work Saturday night I can go straight to church when I get home it will be ok He needs all the family to be at church together. He seems distant I will speak to him about it, it has to be me he has been so supportive of me through everything, he is such an amazing husband, Honey are you ok? You seem really distant have I done something.? No. you seem disconnected to me can I do anything to fix it. and yes I got my to do list. and I set to it as all our issues were my doing.
    And the weeks and years continue and the distance is increasing and I am no longer working part time I am now full time and I have asked all the questions, Have I done some thing wrong, have you been with some one else? Your not into me anymore? we hardly have sex anymore its like your not even here’. ‘Its like we share the same floor space but that is it’. And Im still hoping that if we can just connect somehow it will all be better that we will get that spark back, that if we had sex more often, ( I REALLY WANT TO CRY RIGHT NOW AND I CAN’T TELL IF IT IS BECAUSE OF THE HURT OF IF IT IS BECAUSE I WAS DUMB ENOUGH TO THINK IT WOULD MAKE A DIFFERENCE.) You know when your H is disengaged when you are having sex and you get the feeling that mentally and emotionally he is no longer in the room with you. (fuck that hurts)
    The lying and denial that continued right up to D’day. I am sitting here to day crying and feeling like shit that has lead me to over share sorry about that.
    I sat with a good friend yesterday and shared some of this and her words to me Sammie that is abuse (i can’t type the word without crying) The reason I am crying is that my STBX has been planting the seed for years that because I would become angry over issues and found it hard to cope with the situation that I felt in my gut but could not put words to, that I am an abuser and he is the victim. This is going to take some time to work through and another box of tissues.

    • Sammie – you worked harder and harder and got smaller and smaller and he manoeuvred you into that position and let you believe it was all your problem and all your fault. You want to cry for both reasons – because of the hurt of it all and because you are angry at yourself for falling for it. So cry, sweetie. You’re allowed to. It hurts like a bitch and he is a mean, cowardly, passive-aggressive prick who made you a scapegoat for the ugliness inside him.

      But he’s hurt your self-esteem enough. Take that anger you feel at yourself and give it back to him. You didn’t deserve to be hurt like that in the first place so don’t hurt yourself more. There will be plenty of time to unravel yourself.

      And you know what? You played your first game of competitive soccer today? Look at you, girl! You’re awesome and will only get awesomer!

    • I am so sorry Sammie. I wish I could give you a big hug!!!! My stbx did the same thing , I believe he disconnected 8 years ago!! He would pull away emotionally and I would ask him what is wrong and he would just say : I don’t clean often and I don’t cook which is not true!!! So chump that I am cleaned even more to the point where I could not sit for 5 min with out cleaning something!! He would never ever give me a compliment on how clean the house was or how hard I have been working to keep it at his standard!!!! In the meantime he is gas lighting manipulating me and being very busy assassinating my character to his mom( I voice recorded him talking to her about me) telling her lies and half-truths!

    • Sammie, you describe my relationship with my dad (and not coincidentally, my relationship with ex-fiancé, that brought me to Chump Lady). It’s horrible what your spouse does to you, and all of us here in Chump Nation are sending you Jedi hugs, love and prayers for your ESCAPE from his hell. You deserve it. Never doubt your worth again, and keep coming here so we can remind you.

  • Sammie,

    Woke early this morning, decided to read during my coffee, and found your post. Must have been destiny…

    Have you read this book? http://www.barnesandnoble.com/w/living-with-the-passive-aggressive-man-scott-wetzler/1102951001?ean=9780671870744

    From both a professional and personal perspective, I can say that this is probably the single most illuminating and most comprehensive work of illustrating the victim’s day to day and situation to situation life experiences with a particular personality disorder. I have read hundreds if not thousands of psychology books, and this is one of the best.

    The book comes closest of any I’ve read for explaining the big “WHY?” that plagues so many women.

    Gives great guidance for determining how to deal with “milder” cases OR when to take stock, cut your losses and split… for pure self-preservation.

    I wish Tracy would put it in her list.

    • Notyou, may I just say how much I appreciate your input and insight? The book you recommend was also suggested to me by “my guy” (a wise semi-retired psychologist whom I’ve been seeing for years.) When I first wrote down the title of the book, I dismissed its importance by simply assuming that it was “just another book about PDs), but when I finally got around to reading it, whoa, it not only opened my eyes to so much but I got angry at myself for not reading it sooner. Come to think of it, it just sat on my book shelf for months, what a shame and waste of time. By the time I got to chapter 2, I slammed the book shut and thought to myself: “Oh shit, Monika, oh shit… I thought I was a bright girl, but this is another world of possibilities…”

      • Yep, Monika, it is an EYE OPENER.

        Want to know how your gut will tell you the difference between a PA and a sociopath?

        The PA will make you so angry that you WILL have meltdowns on them, but you aren’t afraid of them. They just totally infuriate you with their manipulations. And then you hate yourself because you know that this is NOT who you are, and you can’t figure out what it is about this man that makes you want to literally choke him.

        The sociopath can make you angry, but there will always be this little frisson of fear or wariness of him deep inside of you that keeps you from being confrontational with him. You have this sense which tells you, “Don’t go there.”

        Narcs are a little more complicated. But a good give away is their deep rooted need for affirmation and the entitlement behaviors. PAs are not nearly as overt with their entitlement as Narcs. Many of them are downright self-effacing (Nice Guy) and it is all part of their guilt engendering manipulations.

        In the South we call PA people, “Nasty Nice.”

        But NEVER doubt that PA is just as dangerous and destructive to a woman’s psyche. It is just as emotionally lethal…perhaps in some ways more so than a Narc or a sociopath.

        • Can they be all 3? I honestly see traces of PA mixed with NPD sprinkled with sociopathic traits. The kicker? When I point this out to him, in mild fashion, mind you, he rages and accuses me of being the same (wtf?), which tells me there might be some self-awareness?

          • Yes, Monika.

            We ALL possess undesirable and potentially dangerous personality traits to varying degrees.

            Yes, even chumps!!

            It becomes pathological when these destructive traits become so pervasive and intense that we leave this swath of destruction all around and behind us…or also we self-destruct because of them.

        • Bottom line?

          The PA is such an accomplished, subtle, (typically non-violent) and expert manipulator that your perfectly predictable responses to him cause YOU to end up looking like the abuser to the rest of the world.

          Then your own sense of guilt and shame come into play and you hate yourself.

          Once you see the dynamic then you can LOSE the shame and the blaming of yourself ……and get a decent life.

          Trust me. I lived with one for 32 years and the fuckers are emotionally lethal…even to trained professionals when you also happen to love them…..

          • notyou,
            Do you have any tips for chumps on how to find a professional counselor who GETS IT?!?!

  • Sample review: IF DR. WETZLER HAD WRITTEN THIS BOOK 20 YRS. EARLIER, I WOULD HAVE ENDED MY MARRIAGE AT YR. 2 INSTEAD OF YEAR 20

    Every woman who has ever felt confused, misled, dominated, or manipulated by her date, fiance, or husband MUST read this book. Dr. Wetzler seals the deal (to marry or not to marry) by informing the reader of classic manipulative techniques that passive aggressive men use. My copy is highlighted and dog-eared. I’ve bought it for at least 5 women who thanked me ceaselessly. Dr. Wetzler gives instructions on “how to avoid playing victim, manager, or rescuer to the “P-A”—this I did without even knowing they were destructive roles (to me). This Ph.D. provides credible research and case studies. Page one begins with teaching what this man is like and moves forward into topics that include sex, family and parenting with a “P-A Man”. The author gave such vivid examples of passive aggressive behavior I wrote in the margin once, “Author must have lived in our house!”I thought I was doing the right thing. After all, I was trying to save a marriage, how wrong could that be since the whole world viewed my ex as the quintessential ‘nice guy’. But behind closed doors…..

    I didn’t find this book until after my divorce from 20 years of passive aggresive treatment. Dr. Wetzler helped me heal myself and understand all his ‘tricks’ so I’d never fall for them again with anyone, man or woman.

  • At the bottom of the page (just above the customer reviews) is Wetzler’s entire first chapter of this book.

    It, begins: ” When the King of Hearts in Alice in Wonderland tries to calm the Mad Hatter’s hysteria by saying, “don’t be nervous or I’ll have you executed on the spot,” the warning could easily have emerged from the lips of a passive-aggressive man. “Yes, no!” “Stop, go!” “I never lie, I was just protecting you from the truth!” What does he mean? The King of Hearts and most passive-aggressive men share the maddening characteristic of never saying exactly what they mean….”

    http://www.barnesandnoble.com/w/living-with-the-passive-aggressive-man-scott-wetzler/1102951001?ean=9780671870744

    • Thank you,
      I know this is one of those bad days that a friend warned me I would still have as I am only 6 months out, but I am so grateful to everyone on this ( crap am crying again) for your support, as only those who have been their get it.

      Rosie Boa, I went for a drive to buy dinner after I posted and had a big cry in the car. I hate crying, my grandmother always use to say when I was a kid and got upset and I quote ” if you pee’d more you’d cry less. and that stuck with me right into my adult hood. I feel like I cried most of January and am frustrated that I am back here.

      Monika, thank you for your honest thoughts on the book I think I will by the book in paperback rather than down load it just incase I get the need to throw something.

      Notyou as always thank you for your insight. the quote by Williamson posted earlier I think sums you up especially the last line.
      And as we let our own light shine, we unconsciously give other people permission to do the same. As we are liberated from our own fear, our presence automatically liberates others.”

      Still crying! think I will have an early night. Blessing to all

      • Ya know what, Sammie? It is PERFECTLY OK to cry when you need to. But, work on strengthening that resolve to HEAL and shed that fungus you’ve put up with for waaaay too long. (((((((HUGS))))))))

      • I went to an all girls Catholic high school and this old nun used to say it’s good to have a good cry. In my opinion, it releases all the toxins and bad things that were done to us. So cry your heart out. It’s good for you. I don’t think throwing things is bad either. Just get it all out. After what we’ve been through, we deserve to vent. Look at the crying and throwing things as steps in your healing.

      • Sammie, I am 5 months from Dday and I still bawl my eyes out! I don’t think there’s any set timetable in recovery. I kind of wish there was, so I would have something to work towards. Such as Month 5 you will only cry every other day, lol. I’m so tired of being so emotionally worn out!

  • Anna, never dismiss that gut feeling, it’s usually your unconscious telling you something. My heart goes out to you. Be strong!

  • Notyou, I will buy the book. Thank you for sharing.
    Funny thing happened when I was reading your post. I suddenly remembered an incident 23 years ago when I was dating my soon to be husband, (we married 6 months after we met). He was going through my photo album and he started to take out any photo of me with other boys. And one by one started tearing them and saying he loves me so much. I was 23 then and was very confused. I dismissed that gut feeling that this is just not right behavior. That was the first passive aggressive behavior. He did rev up to verbal and physical soon after marriage.
    And BTW “how wrong could that be since the whole world viewed my ex as the quintessential ‘nice guy’. But behind closed doors…..” my own mother and sister were floored when I told them how he would treat me behind closed doors. My kids have seen some of his verbal and physical abuse, but he saves his best performance just for me.
    Just recently when I was on my hands and knees crying hysterically for him to stop verbally abusing me, he said “Do you want to die, I wish you would die, why don’t you go kill yourself.” These were his exact words. If you met him you would think I am lying and must be out of my mind.

    • McGirontree,

      This man sounds overtly abusive…nothing passive or subtle about him. If he is both verbally and PHYSICALLY abusive to you, you need to GET OUT as safely and as soon as you can. Period.

      • Notyou, I am trying very hard, but his verbal downgrading has taken a toll on me. I have weak days when I think I must me wrong and he is this nice guy that everyone thinks he is. I am very confused most of the time. I have to keep reminding myself that a nice person, as he constantly tells me he is, would not wish his wife dead. Even in a fit of anger those words should never come out of anyones mouth.

        • No those words should never have come out of his mouth.
          I call this kind of gas lighting, ‘murder by proxy’.

          ” I have weak days when I think I must me wrong and he is this nice guy that everyone thinks he is. I am very confused most of the time.”

          LOSE the confusion. This is one angry and mean-as-hell man.

          Every time you feel confused, remind yourself of these words, ““Do you want to die, I wish you would die, why don’t you go kill yourself.”

          Then, disengage from him and go find something else to do besides argue with a tree stump.

          It takes TWO to have these kinds of destructive exchanges. If YOU don’t participate, he doesn’t have a victim.

        • MGirontree — please, please take care of yourself, first and foremost. If you have a relative or friend you trust, flee your home when your spouse becomes abusive and get to a safe place asap, and be around people who love and care for you and can help restore your perspective to sanity. I say this as someone who has needed to do this, and I know it will help you. You’ve got to get away from your spouse, and step one in doing that is confiding in someone nearby who will help you with an escape plan. Whether you escape for weekends for awhile, and then permanently, just start by taking the first small step to call someone you’ve been wanting to call but are afraid of “burdening.” You won’t be a burden. Please trust me on that. People who love you will want to help you, I promise you that. My aunt and uncle, and my best friend, are my safe people/places, and they show me what normal is, and that I’m not the monster I’m painted to be, behind closed doors, by a so-called “nice guy.” Trust that there are monsters in this world, they do suck and you do NOT deserve to die! Even though the son of a bitch makes you feel like you do, you don’t. Get away from him and save your life. It’s worth saving! Chump Nation understands and we’ve got your back.

    • MGirontree….I speak form experience…….when they start talking about wanting you dead, Honey….you are in danger. No if’s and’s or buts.

      YOU ARE NOT SAFE, RIGHT THIS VERY MOMENT. He is treating you like he hates you. He is not going to take care of you. He is not going to turn around and say….”Just kidding, Honey!” HIS SHOWING YOU WHAT HE IS…..PLEASE BELIEVE HIM!

      My ex husband turned to me one day, after treating me like shit for a long time, and announced…”When I feel depressed, I feel like getting a gun and killing you and the boys and then killing myself.” I got what he was saying, and started making arrangements to get myself and my boys the hell out of there. I did everything right,….got a restraining order. got a kick ass lawyer. exchanged kids in a public place, got sole legal custody of my boys….but could not get supervised visitation. Two years later he kidnapped my youngest son and killed my boy. Then he drove to another state and killed himself along with a buddy. I suspect he actually wanted to kill me but either couldn’t figure out how to do it and get away with it, was too cowardly to take me on, or he decided that killing my son would be worse.

      Either way he clearly told me he was capable of murder and wanted me and my children dead.

      YOUR HUSBAND IS TELLING YOU HE WANTS YOU DEAD. He is telling you right to your face. You are in danger!

      PLEASE BELIEVE HIM AND GET IN TOUCH WITH A BATTERED WOMEN’S HOTLINE, OR A BATTERED WOMEN’S SHELTER. THEY WILL HELP YOU GET OUT!

      Please, please do whatever is necessary to get yourself and your children safe.

      I will keep you and your children in my prayers.

      • OH my Oh my Tessie, I am so so sorry for your loss. I can not imagine a pain greater then the loss of ones child. My heart goes out to you.
        My 12 year old son who is 5 feet 8 stepped in front of his dad the last time his dad was verbally abusing me. He put his body between the two of us protecting me. I burst out crying as he held me and walked to the front door. He said “Mom don’t stand there and let him talk to you that way, LEAVE, you don’t deserve this.” I was overwhelmed by his courage and don’t ever want to put him in a situation where he feels he has to protect me. I will protect myself and my son.

  • “Here’s another thing — people who cheat on you will financially fuck you over as well. ”
    Anna..this is so true. For the duration of the 3 year affair I got every excuse when I questioned his paycheck being small on a consistent basis. Well, guess where the money was going? Yep. The OW. My problem is..he spent a lot of that in CASH so I don’t have a paper trail..I’d love to recoup that money. But that’s a BIG clue!

  • Anna, may I suggest that the reasons you give for not leaving your H–your illness and a special needs child–are the reasons you should leave him.

    If you believe in a mind-body connection, perhaps the psychological stress of living with your H has affected your physical health as well. Perhaps it was a contributing factor to the development of your cancer or at least exacerbated it. After leaving your H, you may surprisingly find an improvement in your psychological and physical health.

    All the psychological stress you are experiencing from being disrespected and emotionally abused by your H probably means that you can’t be the best mother you can be. Even all the time and energy you are spending worrying about what your H is doing, why he is doing it, etc., is time and energy that is not being spent on your children.

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