Today I found another secret phone line that my husband has been contacting the OW with. We have an initial appointment for mediation in one week. I think I have finally decided after 7 months of back and forth that divorce is the right choice.
I have found numerous evidence over the past 5 years that points to physical and emotional cheating. He had admitted to one incident of cheating on Craigslist 5 years ago, but the doozy was discovered 2 years ago, when he began an emotional/physical affair with a woman he met while working. He admits to kissing her but still denies everything else.
We tried reconciling, she got pissed and called me, telling me he was a scumbag and they had sex. He almost lost his job due to a conflict they had. I stuck with him until last spring when I realized this relationship was causing me to feel depressed. I discovered a secret google phone line with months of calls and just today found another phone line with magic jack that he has been talking to her on. When I confronted him today, he said, “Well, what am I suppose to do when you keep telling me you want a divorce?” And then he launched again into how much he loves me and that our family is all he wants — and that if I told him I would work on it then he wouldn’t talk to her.
Why does he do this and why can’t he clearly see that he is messed up? He continues to say what a good guy he is and that everyone makes mistakes. He has blamed his behavior on everything from PTSD to lack of melatonin. (He works nights in a high-stress police job). I know I need to step away from the craziness, but I feel guilty because of our two boys. Why do I feel gulity for moving forward in divorce when I haven’t done anything wrong? Thanks for your guidance.
Gee, I can’t imagine why you feel guilty being married to Mr. Blameshift there.
Did you find a secret cell phone? Oh hey, well it’s only your talk of divorce that Drove Him to It! He wouldn’t talk to her if only you would work on the marriage!
Is he a serial cheater? He has PTSD! No hang on, he has a bad case of insomnia! No, no… or was that gout? Malaria? Palsy? Male-pattern baldness? Post-nasal drip? Freckles?
The point is, MG — It’s Not His FAULT!
Dimmer people might construe screwing a coworker (and multiple other women) and concealing one’s activities with the purchase of secret cell phones as decision-making. Many, many decisions. And agency. And purpose…
But those people would be WRONG!
He is but a child. Blameless. A lily in the field that blows whichever way the wind blows.
You Make Him Do Bad Things! You Brought This On Yourself! Only YOU Can Prevent Fucktards!
And you wonder why you feel guilty for divorcing him? Because you’ve been living with a steady barrage of gaslighting and blameshifting, that’s why. Also, you’re a chump. Good people tend to question themselves and reflect on decisions as major as divorcing their partners. We ask ourselves how we could improve, how might we save this, what might we do differently to avoid this painful outcome. And that distinguishes us from disordered people, who don’t do those things, but exploit that quality in their chumps.
He’s pushing your guilt buttons, MG. Don’t let him.
Fact is, life has deal breakers. You gave him several chances to save this marriage, and he repaid your generosity and self-abasement with more cheating. And then, adding insult to injury — he tells you your reaction to his infidelity (considering divorce) is the pretext for his continued cheating. It’s the classic mindfuck: The Problem Is Not What I Did, It’s Your Reaction to It.
It was never your job to save this marriage — it was his. He broke it. Your gift to him was the opportunity to try. He doesn’t get to hedge his bets and keep a couple OW stashed in his pockets, just in case. He doesn’t get to shove all the risk on to you, and line up Plan B, C, and D on the side. No, if he wanted to save this marriage and that family he purports to love so well — he would’ve been all in.
He wasn’t and that is on HIM.
He launched again into how much he loves me and that our family is all he wants…
That’s a lie, MG. I’m so sorry. But people who love us don’t cheat on us and make unilateral decisions about our health and welfare. They don’t gamble their children’s home lives for a sidedish fuck. They don’t disrespect us and emotionally abuse us with gaslighting and blameshifting.
Whatever “love” this man has to offer you isn’t a healthy one and shouldn’t be modeled to your kids.
— and that if I told him I would work on it then he wouldn’t talk to her.
You already told him you’d work on it. How many attempts at reconciliation is this now? How many times have YOU been all in only to discover he’s still cheating?
He wants you to think you control this.
That is SOooooOOOOOoooo tempting to a chump. OMG, it’s the secret of the Reconciliation Industrial Complex — this belief that you can control cheaters through your behavior. It’s false hope. It’s voodoo. But we want it so bad. We so want this cup of pain to pass us by. We want to save our children the pain of divorce. We want to save ourselves from that pain. We don’t want to levy consequences on this person we still (despite ourselves) idiotically love.
So we fall for the idea that if we just Worked On It, just tried harder! we could save it. He’d STOP! He’d recommit!
But the entire notion is offensive, MG. It implies that his cheating is YOUR failure. It’s NOT your failure. It’s HIS failure. He must do the work to repair what he broke, and he’s just not doing that.
Ergo, you’ve got nothing to work with, my friend. (((Hugs))) Do not feel one bit guilty because there is no other outcome but divorce. Okay, I suppose you could stick around and keep getting cheated on and blamed for it. But assuming you’re not a total masochist, divorce is the only sane path here. You’ve got a serial cheater and not a shred of remorse.
So get on with your life right now. See a lawyer (don’t tell him) and get those ducks in a row. Expect more Hail Mary plays for sympathy. Expect him to cycle through rage, charm, and self-pity — but just keep marching forward toward your new life.
No contact will help you heal faster, and those feelings of guilt will lessen. Also some good therapy for yourself can help with that too. But as long as you live with this man and his assault of blameshifting, it’s going to be hard to clear your head. He’d prefer you down on the ropes, confused, exhausted… so he can continue to eat cake.
Don’t let him. We’re here for you, MG. Leave the cheater, gain a life.