Hi Chump Lady,
We’ve been married for 8 years and we were both working parents to 2 kids. I’ve always been the breadwinner and he has no problem with that until recently. Last year my husband lost his job and became SAHD ever since. He admitted that he was unhappy and bored so I tried to find a job for him but I got scolded and he said that he’s insulted because he thought that I thought he couldn’t find a job on his own. I tried countlessly to communicate with him and trying not to offend him at the same time, I suggested marriage and individual counseling but he said that it’s just a waste of money. I found a hobby club of activity that we liked but he denied in a very rude manner to me. If I tried to make small talk about our kids he seemed nonchalant, God forbid if I say something about my job he’d make sarcastic comments or told me to zip it.
Since he lost his job everytime we argued, he always brought up about me being breadwinner and that he doesn’t want to be bossed around. I never bossed him around so I got confused and asked him to give example of when I bossed him around, he got angry but gave me no straight answer. I genuinely felt like walking on thin ice every single second when I’m home, I had to watched every single of my words and action so he wouldn’t explode, my marriage was a freaking minefield! I could never relax when he was around. He put me aside and blocked me out of his life and we started to disconnect
Two months ago he admitted that he had been meeting a stay at home mom (SAHM) of 4 kids for the last 3 months (at the time) about twice a week to talk, they met at local coffeehouse for lunch or dinner (if me or her husband working late). She said that she’s also in bad marriage so they had “genuine connection” (she cheated before so she got fired and her husband has to work longer hours and has no time for her, she told my husband about this but somehow managed to turned herself into saint and since he’s drinking the cheating koolaid he bought this). For sure he lied when I asked him about his day, he also told my 6 years old daughter to lie to me that he’s always home when the truth is he went on a date with her and he hired a sitter. He said he asked this SAHM to stop contacting him because she kissed him and he realized that it went too far. I didn’t buy that it’s just an EA at first so he gave me full records and access to his text and emails, surprise surprise it’s genuinely full of them whining and bitching about their spouses and life. I also hired a PI and looks like he told me the truth, the timeline he gave matched and there’s a security video from inside the coffeehouse that showed that she kissed him then he pushed her and walked away. The parking lot videos also showed that they always went separately. I was still suspicious that maybe they’re still in contact so I put keyloggers in his phone and laptop also GPS tracker in his car, she contacted him a lot but he didn’t reply and never went to that coffeehouse again.
It’s stopped at EA but I lost my ability to trust and respect him again, he lied to my face a lot of times and I feel so stupid and deceived, usually I can always tell when someone is lying but not with him because I trusted him 100%. He is the person who is suppose to have my back, but instead he maneuvered behind it and stabbed me. This EA also changed my POV of him
- he had no problem to lie to me
- he gave his support and kindness to her over his emotionally and physically neglected wife
- my full effort to engage him meant nothing compared to her emoji text
- he directed his anger and disappointment to me when I didn’t deserve it
- he took my trust and love for granted
- he prefer another woman’s companionship over mine
- he painted himself as a victim and me as a wicked villain
- he prefer ego strokes from other woman over my support with genuine actions
- my words of encouragement meant nothing and hers meant everything
- he left his sick 3 year old toddler son so he could go on a date
Now he tries to talk to me but I’m not interested or excited by him anymore. Hell I doubt that anything that comes out of his mouth is the truth. I buried my anger and sadness because I don’t think he can handle it. How could he when he can’t handle his own feelings? I don’t believe that a person can change in short time. I asked him if he misses her, he denied this and said everytime he remembered her he feels ashamed that he got so low that he preferred to whine about his problems to a stranger instead of fixing it. But who knows, he lied to me before so why should I buy what he said? My friend said that maybe he stays because I’m the comfort and the dough maker and I think that’s possible. He’s a model husband now, we are at marriage counseling, but it doesn’t get better like many reconciliation experts say.
Now I see him as a lying ingrate weak fragile little flower. If I forgive him it will feels like I settle for less. I used to trust and respect him 100% and I know it won’t go back as high as that, this is my new reality. Yes it’s EA not PA but I still can’t move on from it. I honestly don’t know what to do. Do I have to tell her husband? Did I expect too much from him? Am I overreacting? Am I being a hard ass?
Are you overreacting to an emotional affair? No. You were betrayed. He lied to you to get his fix of ego kibbles, and asked his children to lie for him. He talked smack about you to a women he knew was sexually interested in him. On the Richter scale of marital discord — your house is shaking and the earth is cracking open. It’s not a trifling thing.
Do you have to tell the OW’s husband? Yes, I would, absolutely. She already lost a job due to her infidelity, and then she tried to start another affair with your husband. She’s got a poor chump husband who is trying to reconcile with her and he’s missing a vital piece of information about his life — information that YOU have on video tape, thanks to a PI. Hell YES you should tell him. Let him judge the “just a kiss” for himself. It will show that guy just how grateful this woman is for another shot at her “unhappy” marriage. Fuck her. TELL.
Do you expect too much? Are you a hard ass?
Where did you get THAT idea? Let me guess — your husband?
No, you’re not expecting too much to expect your husband to demonstrate remorse. And I don’t mean showing you the text messages. I’m sorry, transparency is the LAMEST “I’m sorry” cheaters have — because transparency is so easily manipulated. Do you have all the passwords? All the texts? Every email account? Oh, maybe so — and then they can spend the next 15 minutes creating a whole new set of accounts you’ve never seen. Chumps should take absolutely ZERO comfort from “transparency” and never interpret remorse from it.
At the minimum your husband can convey his apologies by getting a JOB. IMO, he blew off your offers of help because he prefers not working, and not being reminded of the fact he’s not working. Also explains why you are not allowed to talk about your job, because it underscores that hey, you support his ass. He’d prefer to think magic monkeys fly from castles and deposit gold coins into his bank account each month. Magic monkeys from the Land of NeverGrowUp, where every day is a new day of possibility and unlimited options! Every citizen in NeverGrowUp Land tells your husband exactly how special and full of potential he is. The special people of NeverGrowUp Land are mortal enemies of the common folk who live in the Kingdom of Reality.
The Kingdom of Reality is a drag. People work and keep promises and expect things of you there. Affair partners, like Miss Genuine Connection, live in NeverGrowUp Land too. He likes living there better. All the monkeys understand him, and pat his head and look at him with genuine sorrow when he fuck ups his life in Reality. The monkeys live on a steady diet of kibbles and bitch cookies. “Did you watch your children today? That must’ve been so hard. Here, have a bitch cookie.” Pat, pat, pat.
And Irene, you there in Reality? Telling him to get a job? And talking about YOUR pain, like that matters? You can’t compete with the monkeys. You just can’t. Marriage counseling isn’t working because he sits there and dreams of a land of kibbles.
Yeah, I wouldn’t respect this guy either. He’s shown you his character and it’s not pretty. I don’t know what “model husband” looks like now, but somehow you’ve gotten the idea that you’re “overreacting” and if that notion came from him? He’s not one bit sorry!
You don’t respect the guy. You don’t trust him. He doesn’t have to sleep with the OW to make “no respect” and “no trust” deal breakers. Either start imagining your life without this guy and see a lawyer pronto. Or figure out exactly what tangible steps you need from him to feel safe in this relationship (assuming that’s even possible). Steps like, find a job. Don’t blame shift or minimize. Don’t freak out when I tell the OW’s husband. Get a post-nup and a credit report if you reconcile. Start finding ways to make your world feel safer.
If it were me, I’d begin by throwing the bum out. Let him demonstrate his sorry from the position of supporting himself. Should tell you exactly how deep his remorse goes. Then you don’t have to feel like he only wants you because of the money and family security. Take those off the table and sees what’s left.
Good luck, Irene.