My STBX is a marriage counselor, so when I met him (a couple of years after leaving a cheating and abusive husband) I was thrilled about the prospect of having a loving and honest relationship. However, after we married, I started to see a side of him that alarmed me. Angry outbursts, gaslighting, blameshifting… it was all there. I made excuses for the behavior initially… he’s really stressed out… his mom has been ill… he is having a hard time dealing with his teenage daughter, etc.
His behavior worsened when his daughter started to steal things from me and my sons and sell them online. I gathered evidence with screenshots, told him about it, and he told me that if I didn’t like it, I could leave. I didn’t want to fail at another marriage, so I kept trying to convince him to give her consequences, etc. He didn’t. But I hung in there because he had been so convincing all along that he would NEVER, EVER cheat on me. (He knew I was insecure about that because of my past).
Well, then D-Day arrived. He claimed that an old cell phone of his would no longer hold a charge, but I thought I’d give it a shot so that I might be able to donate it to our local shelter for abused women. I plugged it into a charger and left to run errands. Upon returning, voila, the phone was fully charged. So I turned it on, to be sure it was still operational, and it started updating. I saw the words in the subject line of an email “I’m VERY interested.”
Huh? What the heck? So I did a little digging and uncovered emails to and from men on Craiglist’s m4m section. The emails contained explicit details about what he would be up for… sucking, f*cking, whatever turned the men on. Oh, and that he is a “bottom.” I had to look that reference up, and then almost threw up when I found out what it meant. And then there were the nude pictures of him, taken in our bathroom, which he sent to these men.
When I approached him with this information, he swore that he is 100% straight, NOT gay, nor bi, and that he NEVER met up with any of these guys. (Although in the emails he told them what town we live in, confirmed that they lived nearby, and told them that he’d like to set up something “regular” for when the opportunities to meet presented themselves).
He was mortified that I had uncovered this information and said he didn’t know why he had been doing this. After he attended some counseling sessions with his “Christian” counselor (nothing against Christian counselors, but I’m sure they’re not going to want to tell him, “Yes, you’re gay.”) he claims that as he understands it through counseling, these email interactions were simply the result of his growing up with an abusive stepfather, and in some twisted way, he was attempting to seek approval and acceptance from males.
I personally cannot see any straight male, even one who had suffered abuse from a stepdad, filling that void by offering and soliciting sex from guys on Craigslist m4m. How about join a bowling league, a softball league, a book club? But telling guys that he loves how their c*cks look and that he’d love to suck on them??? To tell them that he’s naturally submissive in bed and is a bottom?? I don’t think that is the type of connection that would fill any void of fatherly love. IMO, that makes NO sense. Btw, when asked how long he’d been doing this online stuff (because that’s all he will admit that it was) he said around 19 years. Wow. Just wow.
Again, he still swears up and down that he is 100% straight. He wants to go to counseling and “fix” our marriage and he thinks it’s possible because like I said, he claims he never met up with them. I just feel so blindsided and lost. I thought he was the one guy I could count on to NEVER cheat.
I’m sick over it all. I’ve consulted my own counselor regarding whether she would believe what he said about this, and she said, “If it walks like a duck and quacks like a duck, it’s a duck,” adding, “Straight guys would NEVER even think to look at m4m ads, let alone solicit men for sex.”
Thank you in advance for any help or advice you can offer.
Blindsided and Reeling
Dear Blindsided and Reeling,
Don’t stick your head in the mindfuck blender. You’re not going to get confirmation from Dr. Frankenshrink that he’s a duck, a bottom, or a fraud. The longer you stand there checking his stories out (Is he gay? Does this sound gay to you?), the less time you have to RUN AWAY FROM THIS FREAK.
Forget what you think you know about this guy — that he’s ethical, would never cheat, is straight — and go with the evidence — he’s a liar. Ethical? He’s a “marriage counselor” with a double life. Would never cheat? He’s cheating. (Yeah, he gives all his stepdad stand-ins his home address.) Is straight? He’s been sharing his sexual fantasies with men for nineteen years.
Now add in abusive. He’s okay with you being robbed. And mindfucked.
Angry outbursts, gaslighting, blameshifting… it was all there. I made excuses for the behavior
Is any of this ACCEPTABLE to you? Could there possibly be a reason that makes this OKAY?
He feels totally entitled to HURT YOU. And that’s not a gay thing — that’s an asshole thing.
Let him spin his Jesus cheater therapy nuggets to some other mark. You’re not available.
I didn’t want to fail at another marriage…
That’s the crux of it. I feel you. BTDT, I stayed far too long with a cheater because I was afraid of failure too. I didn’t want to be a two-time loser.
But, I got some advice from friends that stuck with me. They were visiting me from NYC after D-Day and I said how I wanted to leave the cheater, but God, this whole second divorce thing makes me feel like a freak. Dana and Sara looked at me and said: “We’ve dated in New York. That doesn’t make you a freak.”
Me: “Really? What makes you a freak?”
Sara: “I dated a guy who said he was a vampire. That’s a freak.”
So, Blinded, you’re not-sleeping-in-a-coffin freakish. You’re not undead. It’s survivable. Look at me! (My incisors are perfectly normal!)
Two divorces sucks, but you know what’s worse? Being chumped.
Ordinarily this is where I give my little “This is not your shame to wear” speech. You didn’t do anything wrong, he’s the bad guy, etc. etc.
Today, I’m going to give a different speech, and I hope you take it to heart.
Never keep doing stupid shit because you’re afraid of failure.
Failure is ALWAYS an option.
I failed at two previous marriages. I chose truly appalling people to be married to. Part of that is on me and my picker. It’s failure. Now, I can give you a lot of good reasons why I made those choices (young, stupid, they didn’t appear appalling… #2 was a total predator) — but “trying hard with bad person” is not a crime commensurate with the punishment. No one deserves abuse, to be threatened or endangered or mindfucked.
Failure is ALWAYS an option.
You can learn from failure. Choosing abuse just means more abuse. There’s only continued suffering with zero enlightenment.
Blinded, it’s okay to say “Wow, I made a mistake here on Husband #2. He’s a freak, his daughter is a fence, and I’m not going to tolerate another second of this shit.”
It’s okay to walk away, put down the spackle, and own the failure. This was a mistake. I totally got this wrong.
Yes, this person completely misrepresented themselves. When faced with that — you have a choice. You can spackle — or you can leave.
Spackle says, “I CAN FIX THIS!” (No, it can’t.) Spackle says, “Pay no attention to this colossally bad investment in a bad person, I’M STILL HERE!” (How’s that working for you?) Spackle says, “I’ll staunch the pain!” (No, it won’t.)
Leaving (“failure”) is the better choice.
This guy is a scary fuckwit. Let him “fill his void” on Craigslist. Put the skein down, call a lawyer — and go no contact.