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Hooker Habit Revealed, Cheater Threatens Suicide

Hello Chump Lady,

I have lived with my husband for 8 years now and have been married for only 1.5 years. I recently noted odd behaviors (like always shaving his pubes suddenly), changing his passwords and not being as intimate with me…

I decided to do a little digging and found that he was paying escorts ($500/hr) for sex (multiple escorts).

I confronted him and he flipped shit on me about going through his e-mail, then proceeded to tell me he’s thought about shooting himself daily because he is so unhappy, hasn’t felt like himself for years, and needs a divorce or a bullet in his head.

He has been in medical residency and fellowship and I know he’s been stressed and unhappy with how little time he has for himself… but I just don’t believe this was my fault. I told him that, but he insisted a divorce would fix his unhappiness.

After that initial conversation, he refused to speak to me, wouldn’t respond to my texts, would ignore me in the house…. complete silent treatment. Thankfully, I had a vacation planned to go see my mom out of state for two weeks and since being here I will get random texts about how I’m doing or what I’m doing.

Because I am a chump, I answer them nicely and then he disappears for a few days. He most recently texted me asking me if I am afraid to come home. When I responded “What do you mean? Of course”, he didn’t respond.

I go home in two days. I feel like he completely lost it, I have no idea what to do. We just bought a home together and I can’t be living in the guest room while he ignores me and the situation any longer. I’m nervous about my finances, about how I’m now fat and in my 30s and pathetically I’m scared of my life without him. I know we need to talk, but he’s so mentally unstable right now, I don’t even know how to approach him. I don’t know what to do. 😭

Thank you for your time and book!

Betrayed & Desperate

Dear Betrayed and Desperate,

Don’t approach him. This letter is like a horror show where the audience is shrieking: “DON’T OPEN THAT DOOR!”

Your husband is mentally unstable, his double life/hooker habit was revealed, he’s threatened to end his “unhappiness” with a GUN, and said he wants a divorce.

You don’t need to “talk.” You need to remove yourself from the situation IMMEDIATELY.

Stay at your parents, call a lawyer, and let a legal professional advise you on how to remove your things from your home and begin divorce proceedings.

since being here I will get random texts about how I’m doing or what I’m doing.

Put down the hopium. He’s not asking about your welfare. He’s monitoring your whereabouts for whatever nefarious purpose.

How do I know? Because if he CARED he wouldn’t have created this clusterfuck, disappear for days without reply, or… oh yeah, insist on a divorce. 

NOTHING TO SAVE. I think we were done at the first paragraph Paying Multiple Escorts $500/hr.

Look, his texts are infuriating on many levels. Is he pretending like nothing happened? Or that he cares? Or even that it’s safe to come home? (IT’S NOT.) It’s emotional whiplash. I’m sorry you’re called upon to be the sane grown-up here, but you are.

He will not initiate this divorce, because he’s a lazy coward. He will not own what he did. He will blameshift that the greater crime is you checking his emails. He will not deal honestly with you — in person, in a talk, in a box, with a fox. He will create a HUGE diversion with MORE drama — (rage AND self-pity channel) — he’s going to KILL himself! Which, frankly, B&D is a veiled threat to YOU. “Don’t come near me, I have a GUN. And if you hold me accountable, I’m going to shoot.”

This is how all the Dateline nightmare specials begin. Do not be a Dateline nightmare special.

You cannot control this, placate this, or save this. The ONLY sane choice here is removing yourself safely from the situation and telling your family what’s going on.

I’m nervous about my finances, about how I’m now fat and in my 30s and pathetically I’m scared of my life without him.

These are the WRONG fears.

Finances? Work jobs. Loans. Sell things. Fat? Exercise, diet, or fuck it, love your thighs. Scared of your life without him? CORRECT FEAR: Be scared of your life WITH him.

This guy is training to be a doctor?!

I’m sorry, but the longer I read this blog, I’m just sickened by the misogyny of the sex industry. Men rating women like Amazon purchases. Back Page ads for humans. The happy hooker myth. All this sanitized bullshit about what “escorts” are. They aren’t taking your husband to a cotillion.

I once got to work early on K St. in Washington, D.C. It was pouring cold rain. There was a woman in the street with NO PANTS on. Just a soaked t-shirt. My immediate thought was she was having a psychotic episode, wandering the street. Then the horror of it hit me: she was selling herself at 7 a.m. in front of the D.C. Bar Association.

Imagine for one second the nightmare of wandering a city street, cold and wet without your pants, getting into a stranger’s car. If you read that link, the pimps brand these women with tattoos and track them with GPS.

Back to your husband — HE SUPPORTS THAT organized crime. For a fleeting orgasm he could have had with his left hand and a tissue.

If that doesn’t scare you, consider his firearm threats. Don’t you dare go back.

I’m deeply sorry you invested 8 years of your life in his potential. It’s time to invest in YOUR potential without him.

Please be safe and go no contact.

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.
    • 100% this. Most county health departments have free clinics. Guess how I know that. It’s also useful if you share health insurance and don’t want your STBX to know you got tested, because the next thing you know he’s accusing YOU of cheating and holding it against you. Guess how I know that too.

      • 1. Get out. Stay out.

        2. Keep all texts and record every single phonecall. If you can get him to say it again—that he wants to kill himself?

        3. Call 911 and tell them that a physician is threatening to commit suicide.

        4. Watch from an undisclosed location as the police and/or paramedics take him to the ER and the ER orders a 72 hour hold. Sit back and watch how he spins and bobs and weaves to try to talk his way out of the absolute shitshow that will now be his life—and he will never, ever forget that if he says it again—his license is gone.

        He’ll have more than you to contend with, and while he’s fighting for his professional life, you will be divorcing his sorry ass.

        You’re fat? So? And? Not quite sure why this means you need psycho doctor. Is it the money? Honey–I was where you are. Mine made over $1m per year after I got him through all of the shit residency and fellowship–only to find out he’d been poisoning me with various things to make me sick enough to “just die”. He had poisoned a fellow med student with e coli because she rejected him. I didn’t hear that story until I was hospitalized with a H&H of 6/24. That’s blood transfusion territory and no bleed evident. But cyanide does it—rat poison.

        You’re sketchy on finances? And this is a reason to stay with someone who threatens suicide when you catch him spending YOUR SHARED INCOME on hookers???

        Call 911 from your mom’s or wherever the next time he even hints at this shit. Watch him change his tune and never say it again. And he won’t fuck with you again, either—because his money and his hooker habit mean a whole lot more than you. Clearly.

        Dead is dead, honey. You want to keep dancing with devil in the pale moonlight? Stay with Psycho, M.D. and find out just how deep that rabbit hole goes. Otherwise—get the fuck out and be grateful he tipped his hand before you ended up like sosososososososoooooooooooo many “doctors’ wives”.

      • Yup, get tested. Just go to a clinic, or to your dr., and tell them the truth. You have NOTHING to hide…..but a lot to lose. Please, get tested for everything.

        I know about this the same way Mama Luna does. It’s mortifying but necessary.

  • B&D, get out!

    You must be young! So get out! Nothing at all to work on. Nothing to save.
    $500/hour escorts and YOU are the ogre for going through his emails? Well, talking about blameshifting….

    Medical residency? I hope I am never this spoiled dickhead of a brat’s patient. Would you trust this creature taking care of your precious child with meningitis?

      • B&D,

        I know your reeling. I am so glad you found Chump Lady and reached out.

        First, please do not go home. I’m guessing that there is part of you that desperately wants to… but please don’t. You are early in the game and hopium is strong stuff but it’s too risky. My STBX has physically assaulted me twice since DD day. Two years ago I would have told you he NEVER would have done that. Once the mask is off you really don’t know what they are capable of. You are now married to someone you really don’t know so take all your previous beliefs and assumptions and through them out the window.

        If you can, buy yourself some time. If you work, tell them you have a family emergency (you do) and take extra personal days. Stay with your mom and find a lawyer and plan your next steps.

        If you can’t extend your stay please do not go home. Stay with a friend or get a hotel, AirBNB, whatever. You do not want to be alone with him. At best, he is going to hurt you by ignoring you but the worst is what we REALLY worry about.

          • He has calmed down and is being civil…still, I am protecting myself and staying with a friend. Thank you all for your care and support. I have also told his family of his depression and whats going on so he has some support (wanted or not) as I don’t think the support he needs can come from me. Esp because he thinks divorcing me will solve all his unhappiness, I hope it does.

            -B&D

            • B & D

              I would also make sure that your cell phones and other electronic devices are not sharing and info such as: clouds, email accounts, phone accounts. This is a safety measure. He may be better now, but so many of us can tell you otherwise. People we thought we knew and loved were capable of crazy things. Please proceed with great caution

            • B&D,

              Honey, don’t be afraid to live without him. You aren’t losing that loving, nurturing, supportive relationship you THOUGHT you had. That relationship was an illusion; you are shedding a parasite.

              Trust me, being fat, 30, and single can be awesome. In fact I had way more fun in my 30’s than my 20’s (I’m 50 now.)

    • Do not return back to your home. He’s seriously unstable. The fact he asked you if you are scared to come home is terrifying to me. That’s a veiled threat, either about him or you. If you can stay at your parents do so. TRUST you are better off walking away.

      • This is when it goes from “but he was never physically abusive” to your parents planning your funeral. Sometimes I think men who were never physically abusive are more likely to go from 0 to murder when they’re caught because they think they have no other choice.

        • Mama Luna, you are spot on. I was with my husband 30 years and nor one outburst in all that time then he snapped when he got a girlfriend. Let’s just say I wish I would have walked immediately. I suffered beatings and verbal abuse that I can never forget. I look back now and don’t know how I physically made it through it. It’s not worth the trauma. There’s nothing left that can be fixed. Just leave and start a new quiet life.

      • THIS. “Are you scared to come home” sent chills down my spine. Call your local domestic violence groups for advice making a safe exit plan. Then ask them to refer you to a lawyer. This man is not safe.

        • Yes, that’s a HUGE red flag. He’s telling you that you SHOULD be scared. He KNOWS he’s dangerous to you.

  • Unfortunately my ex, used to do drugs and use prostitutes. according to ex men use prostitutes. He said they were always happy, no, there using drugs and have sti’s. Ex caught sti. He fell for the your so good at sex, crap.
    People are being exploited.
    Its a tragedy.
    Its how they pay for their drugs.
    I am in London a lady was wearing a tee shirt just past her hips, it was freezing, men were actually laughing at her, no skirt or trousers.
    I have heard people in my area, actually feel sorry for the pimps.

    • I made a stupid mistake of e-mailing the escort (as I found her website…can you believe that, they have websites) and she sent me an e-mail back that she makes more money than me and many of her clients and does this by choice – she is proud of her lavish lifestyle and for me not to be so jealous. I know I shouldn’t have emailed her but it was the night I found out and I was drunk and pissed. I decided not to respond.

      -B&D

  • Get out for your safety, get a lawyer for your sanity, and go no contact for yourself.
    You just bought a house together. Cool. He can buy you out and you can go get your own house. Or townhouse, or whatever living space you want for yourself. Trust me, when he gets all squirrelly again, you dont want him to know where you live.
    And YES get yourself checked.

    • Do not return back to your home. He’s seriously unstable. The fact he asked you if you are scared to come home is terrifying to me. That’s a veiled threat, either about him or you. If you can stay at your parents do so. TRUST you are better off walking away.

  • Get out for your safety, get a lawyer for your sanity, and go no contact for yourself.
    You just bought a house together. Cool. He can buy you out and you can go get your own house. Or townhouse, or whatever living space you want for yourself. Trust me, when he gets all squirrelly again, you dont want him to know where you live.
    And YES get yourself checked.

  • RUN SISTA RUN!!!! Listen to CL. Stay with your parents, get legal counsel and get the hell out!!! Do not dare go back. He is a smoking gun and will use that gun on you to kill you or beat you senseless…..I know bc I was that stupid chump that stayed in a relationship where he threatened to commit suicide and the only physical harm he did to anyone was to me. You will regain your life without him and, fuck, love yourself more for it. It will be a victory dance….one where you will be skinnier, healthier, more aware of asshats, and happier. Get your butt into a doctor to get STD tested (minor med do them too, not just your regular physician), get a lawyer, tell your parents you are bunking with them for a while, see about getting a restraining order since he threatened with a gun, and get the fuck out!

    • This is good advice. Mine threatened to harm himself, then turned the knife on me. It is no exaggeration that you may well be in physical danger if you go back into that house without protection. Seriously I would never have believed my ex to be capable of violence.

      Your guy sounds way more volatile, even if he is charming on the exterior. Once you have shown your intent to leave, or remove possessions, you become HIS ENEMY. Never doubt that for a moment. Do not divulge your plans, but simply set up a safe way to get your stuff and file for divorce. Or, if no,safe way, then walk away from the “stuff”.

      You will be fine. All of us fear being alone, rejected, and poor. I can tell you I’ve been there and it is much better away from these creeps. By the way, I found out later, using the ex’s passwords, that he had contacted over 300 hookers online while we were together. He had met up with a couple dozen of them. During that time, I suspected nothing, he was the perfect man.

      First thing I did was the STD test. Fortunately negative, but to this day I shudder at the enormity of his betrayal. Good luck.

      • I am sorry you had to go through that! Yes, it really is hard to think he would do violence to me…he has never shown any violence, but I am taking in all these personal experiences and processing that even though it seems unimaginable you don’t know what people will do at their worst – so I am making sure I am safe.

        It is baffling to me to see how many men have used hookers, I didn’t realize this was SO common!

        Thank you for your input and care.

        -B&D

        • B&D – I am the same and an convinced he won’t hurt me, but I have contacted DVAP anyway to put a safety plan in place before I present him with the divorce petition in January.

          These guys at CN, all their stories, have convinced me that it is better to be safe than sorry.

          Good luck to you. Stay safe

  • Get an attorney NOW. Get seen by a physician for STD testing and some meds to help you get a handle on your raging anxiety.

    Also, if he contacts you and in ANY WAY suggests he is going to harm himself – take it seriously and call emergency services to evaluate him. DO NOT ENGAGE any further. It would be best if you get a new burner phone and use it for everything that pertains to your plan to get the fuck out. He can ping you on the old one. Do not share the new number with anyone except your attorney. Even family who has your back can slip up. Do not give them the chance to alert him, even by accident, to your plans.

    Stay away from him. Save yourself!

    Medical residency and he’s threatening you? Ask your lawyer to contact his supervisor. I doubt he isn’t exhibiting other lapses in judgment and they should review any patients he has seen who had a bad outcome. The lawyer may tell you it’s not worth doing, but at least you broached the subject.

  • I’m so sorry for this shit show, but you really have nothing to work with. You don’t have to approach him, you can’t fix him. Paying 500 $/h for hookers reeks of entitlement. He works hard so has the right to play/party hard. Approaching him and be understand will just be beginning of your pick-me-dance. Please, get tested and get away from him.

    PS
    I have to confess I was intrigued by the title, because I read: Hooker Rabbit…

  • Betrayed, you mention that he’s stressed and has no time for himself. Not true – he found time for hookers. And that was time that he was not spending with you. And that money? How much has he actually spent on his stress reliever?

    His actions speak of a man living with secrets, not of man full of remorse and concern for his wife. Listen to Cl and get the fuck outta there!!

  • What the others have said, and if he has threatened either suicide or you PLEASE keep the proof. It might be useful later in your divorce!

  • You’re 30 years old – look at like this: If you think of your life so far as a ‘lifetime’ you could have two more lifetimes yet to live. Looking at 30 from where I am now, yes, I felt fully mature – but it was just the beginning. Don’t waste your time on a man who would treat you this way. It does hurt like hell, but once you get through to the other side – and you will – you will feel SO much better about yourself and about your future.

    • I’m looking at this and I was 29 when I met my fuckwit. 30 when we moved in together. Oh how I’d love to be 30 again and able to start over on myself with the knowledge I have now. You are truly blessed to know now. Go with grace and trust that he sucks. That hooker habit will deplete all his doctor salary in the future. He’ll be squandering your marital assets anyway if you stay with him. All that stability you hoped for when you married a doctor is already washed away.

      The suicide threats are a concern for me. Mine also threatened suicide. (As well as saying the IRS could come to the door with machine guns and now us down he doesn’t care). Told me he’d thought about it for the last few years. He told me that is proof that he’s unhappy in the marriage. All it tells me is that he’s unhappy with himself and does not know how to fix himself. Our love and our family life meant nothing to him. He’s all depressed and wants to kill him self if he stays one more day here. He said he wasn’t happy with the last 5 years with me and can’t stand 5 more years living with me. So he had to leave. He should have said something sooner. We could have worked on it.

        • One more thing I’m remembering. My x was very drunk and went crazy one night. He told me he was dangerous. Dangerous. Danger-us. He kept saying I’m danger-us. Danger-us. Over and over like that. He made dangerous into 2 words danger us. until I asked him if he was going to kill me. He walked out that night, saying he did not like the atmosphere. (I didn’t like it either, it seemed like it was getting dangerous). He was gone for good within 2 weeks. I am beginning to think my life was actually spared at that moment.

          Run like your hair is on fire.

          • I am sorry you had to go through that! Thank you for sharing your story…I am safe at a friends and he is being more civil and not threatening – stated he was just saying anything to deflect and apologized but still would like a divorce as he is unhappy. Maybe its a blessing he leaves me, as a hopeful chump its so hard for me to leave.

            – B&D

            • Yes, this is an absolute GIFT that this freaked out man wants to leave you voluntarily! And, it’s a window that most likely will close. Take control now, hire a lawyer, and get yourself out while you can. Seriously. When they want to hang on to you, it’s much, much worse.

              • I second that…..i wish everyday that mine would piss off of his own accord instead of trying to “save” the marriage

            • A man who’ll “say anything” in order to deflect (i.e. shift blame from his actions to you) is not apologizing for anything. He wants a divorce? Get an attorney, get a good idea of his finances, and file.

              Line up a therapist for yourself, too. In a few years, you’ll be able to look back and count your lucky stars that you didn’t waste more time with this asshole!

  • Save every text. Any phone calls go straight to voice mail and can be archived.

    You have less than a year in the house, so you have very little equity. Let him buy you out or agree to sell it after you have collected whatever you feel you MUST have available to you. He can have the damn thing.

    Also, was this a jointly used computer? Then it’s unlikely he can have his attorney charge you with illegally accessing it. So I hope you forwarded those emails to yourself. Or if you know his passwords, get copies of them (which isn’t legal, strictly speaking, but they may be useful later. If only to remind yourself of why you left your husband, the doctor, in the dust).

  • Your husband is a danger to himself, to you, and to all the patients he treats in that medical residency/fellowship.

    Don’t go home, go to a doctor for STI tests, lawyer to initiate divorce proceedings, and get your lawyer to contact his medical residency/fellowship supervisor, because not only does he need help, he is a lawsuit waiting to happen for the hospital or practice.

  • You can have a mom you can stay at, safely. Please do that and proceed from there.
    Do it for those who WISH they could have done that and couldn’t, if you won’t do it for yourself.

    There is PEACE waiting for you on the other side of “staying the fuck away from him”.
    Please don’t confront him and be safe!

    Sending love your way!

    • This ^
      Please do not go back. Take my (and everyone else on heres) word for it. Better that than being stuck and trying to make him leave while never being sure how he is going to react when you finally get up the courage to present him with divorce papers. I am in exactly that situation with a husband who has a hooker habit, threatens suicide and owns a couple of guns. It is pure unbridled hell.

      I know it doesn’t feel positive right now but you are already out the door. Stay that way please.

      Sending hugs

  • Betrayed and Desperate,

    This is Kate; my “sex addict” husband threatened suicide, moaned around the house, played pitiful, continued chasing women, and shot himself in the chest 8 weeks ago. While I am still in the house, (alone) I live in a state of constant vigilance and I am wary of having anyone over to my house because I am unable to get inside the mind of a sociopath and I cannot trust his insanity to make sound decisions. I am moving out in January to an undisclosed location.

    He ideated about suicide. Talked about it. Then he shot himself and dripped corpuscles all over my life. Take the threat of violence/suicide seriously and remove yourself from his life. You can send his family to help him. For you, this is a non-negotiable decision from every standpoint. Get out, move out, sell out. NOW.

    • So sorry, Kate. Since the fear lingers, I take it he survived. You are very wise to put great distance between yourself and his corpuscles.

      Be safe and well.

    • Betrayed, when I read your letter I immediately thought of Kate. I also thought about Tessie. I thought about my STBX who pulled out a gun to clean whenever we argued. Please, please, please don’t go back to him. Start calling every lawyer with a free consult. Choose one and file. Choose a damn good therapist to help you. Choose life. Choose you.

    • I am SO SO sorry Kate…that is a HUGE fear of mine. I am safe and he has not threatened my life at all, but I do understand what everyone is saying. This is just such a gut wrenching feeling 24/7…I don’t know when I will feel normal again…will I ever feel normal again?

      B&D

      • You will feel a different, better, normal soon and an amazing weigh will be lifted off of your shoulders.

        Don’t be afraid of change; it’s the only thing that is consistent.

  • Whatever you do, do NOT go back home. It sounds like a potentially dangerous situation. Get a lawyer, get tested, but especially get out. You are still young , you do not have kids – This was a learning experience.

  • Sending you hug and a wish for clarity here. Not only do you have nothing to work with marriage wise, you are in danger. There is a thin line between suicide and homicide. Ask me how I know.

    I’m my case, cheater ex had a number suicide attempts before I met him, and threatened not only himself, but my kids and I too, after we married and his mask slipped.

    Convincing the judge he was a danger to my kids at our divorce trial proved impossible. Cheater ex was granted unsupervised visitation. That enabled him to murder my youngest son and then commit suicide.

    Do whatever it takes to keep yourself safe. With this level of crazy, selfishness and entitlement, Honey, as far as he is concerned, your life is worth nothing. You are less than a fly to be swatted if you prove to be an annoyance. Don’t be handy to swat.

    Run like your hair is on fire. He is dangerous to you.

    • Tessie,
      I was hoping you would chime in with your story. You are so generous to share it with new chumps. It stands as a reminder of the real consequences of inaction (not that that comment applies to you). I hope B&D takes it to heart. She has to make some tough choices.
      Thank you for being here and sharing your experience. I think of you often and admire your fortitude and generosity.

    • Tessie, thank you so much for sharing your story. Love and peace to you. (And none to those in court who closed their ears to your warnings.)

    • Oh Dear Tessie,

      My eyes are filled with tears as I respond to you. I am so sorry for your loss and alarmed at the lack of protection we have in these circumstances. When my husband shot himself weeks ago, I found I had NO RIGHTS, no rights of information at the hospital, no rights to RED FLAG him so that he could not purchase another gun, no rights to prevent him from retrieving his gun from the police station. Getting a restraining order (which I did) is only an exercise in paperwork; he came to my home, sent letters, and I have nothing other than my wits to protect me.

      If someone lets us know they are unbalanced, crazy, suicidal, homicidal, our best recourse is to GET AWAY FROM CRAZY. These men who murder their wives or children look like ordinary people. We are disarmed by their ordinaryness and do not take threats or clues seriously enough.

      Kate

    • Thank you everyone for your kind words. They are much appreciated.

      Unfortunately the homicidal wingnuts of the world do not come with a warning tattooed across their forehead. And equally in these days where strides made in human rights are being rolled back at an alarming rate, we have to out think and out manuver the fuckwits of the world. That is why we have to do whatever we can to keep ourselves safe. Sadly, often we can’t count on the institutions who are set up to protect us to actually do it.

      Sometimes the only winning strategy is to run like hell.

      • Tessie – this breaks my heart. I am SO so sorry you had to go through this. Thank you so much for sharing your story with me. It is so hard as he has never been violent and the threat was more aimed at him and his pity party he has going on with himself right now – I just can’t even imagine him being violent towards me. BUT I also thought it would be unimaginable that he would cheat on me and use escorts.

        You and all the others have been so helpful to me – you are in my thoughts and I am deeply appreciative you shared your story with me.

        -B&D

        • B/D, cheater ex was never violent towards me or the kids either. He presented to the world as mild mannered Mr Rodgers type guy. He always backed down in a fight and then found a passive aggressive way to even the score. The crazy inside was well hidden, until it wasn’t.

          They are consummate chameleons. Don’t be fooled. Once you start divorce proceedings against him, you will become the enemy, if you aren’t viewed as one already. Once they are thwarted in any way, it’s war as far as they are concerned.

          Quick gentle 2″ x 4″ here. My friend, he doesn’t love you. He doesn’t care about you, and he has told you he is dangerous to you. Don’t think you are dealing with a good guy here. He is fully capable of killing you and not batting an eyelash. These guys are soulless monsters who cover well. Please believe me, you are in danger from him. Please do whatever it takes to stay safe.

  • I don’t mean to be funny, but what is there to talk about? You can talk though an attorney.

    Don’t chase why’s. They are never satisfying.

    He sold his soul for hookers; don’t sell your yours for a house. You can get another.

    But get out. The bullet/suicide talk is a giant safety red flag.

  • GET A RESTRAINING ORDER. then if you are worried about your job, contact your HR person & explain that you are must remain with your parents for a time & see if you can take FMLA. or work from their home. Get a lawyer, get tested. Change YOUR passwords. Open a PO Box, or change your mailing address with the post office. You don’t need him opening new account from some junk mail that showed up.

    Get a new credit card if you need one & remove any of your old ones from online websites from which you purchase. Give them all the new address, but you could also go paperless. Do NOT close the accounts. You may need the credit history for your future. Ask your lawyer how much of the credit card debt you may be responsible for & get his name off any joint accounts, in which you are the main cardholder. You could also say your card has been compromised & see if they will issue you a new # without messing up your credit score. Tell them you know the charges are ok up until whatever date you stopped using it. Plus, you will know exactly where he-who-shall-not-be-named, is spending money.

    Have any paychecks redirected to the new bank immediately.

    If you have joint bank accounts, ask a lawyer if you can withdraw 1/2 the amount in each. If so, find a national bank chain & have the money wired to that bank in another city from where you are currently, or where your crazy-ass idiot resides.

    I too had gained weight after having a child & for medical reasons, could not work out for a long time. I got with a weight mgmt dr & got started. am i a really good eater & follow the plans completely? no. but i showed up every month & tried. as soon as i could work out again, i found classes i enjoy with other people for a new circle of friends. see if your benefits from work offer discounts for that sort of thing thru a bigger program, that allows you to go to multiple places. Put your energy, sadness, confusion, to work for you. do yoga, swim, climb interminable amounts of stairs. clear your head for your own sanity & make a new plan for your life. Yes, you will rage that he did this to you, but better to know now, when you are young & not married for long, then getting screwed after 20 years with kids. Trust me.

    we are your nation. we are your people.

    • And get a copy of Gavin de Becker’s “The Gift of Fear.” The first two chapters will show you why you need to read every word.

  • Your husband isn’t going to shoot himself, he’s going to shoot you. Well he might shoot himself after he’s shot you, but you won’t care at that point because you will be dead.

    Do not go back to that house. Contact an attorney. Get a restraining order and a divorce. Never be alone with him and don’t let him know where you are at any point.

    There is nothing here for you to work with. Be safe.

    • This. You are in a lethal marriage. Get a safety plan. If you are in the US, the National Domestic Violence Hotline can help you make a plan: 18007997233. Hugs to you.

  • You’ve lost 8 years. I lost 32. I would give anything to have 24 of those years back. Don’t go back to him. Stay as far away as you can, because he is dangerous. Get a lawyer. Get all the way out. Live your life. Don’t waste it on him.

  • Dday was over three years ago now. This will be the fourth fuckwit free holiday season for my little crew. (But the first with the big fluffy dog, so I fully expect assorted toppled tree, broken ornament, and “isn’t this gingerbread house delicious?” scenarios before we are through.)

    I’m back reading CL because I can sometimes get a little melancholy around this time, and columns like this one are a great reminder of the stark realities of the disaster we escaped.

    Among the things no longer in my life:

    —The need to explain to my doc why a monogamous, long-married woman needs STD testing stat.

    —The sick oily ooze of the ex’s assorted doing with the sex industry. No more of things like him claiming to be at a wake when he’s really at a strip club. No more being ludicrously accused of not being family oriented enough when I am buying gifts for his whole family, spiffing up the kiddos and myself, and dragging all of us off to the family party he is skipping for a whole series of air quoted reasons: work, business trip, meeting. Amazing how often Vegas prostitutes were involved. Shudder.

    —Feat of his unpredictable rages, his constant stream of criticism, his very presence. The list of things that might tick him off was infinite.

    —Coping with his predictable rages. The things that routinely ticked him off—cost of school clothes, cost of dentistry, cost of eye exams and glasses—were unavoidable and instructive. Of course I was going to care for the kids. Only now do I see how deeply selfish this was. We had great insurance and a healthy income. Covering the routine cost of raising children required no belt-tightening. I skipped things for myself to provide for them, but I shouldn’t have had to.

    —On that hand and tissue thing? Yeah, he used paper towels and tissues, both, and left them for me to pick up. The entitlement of that one thing alone is mind blowing.

    The list could go on and on. Please don’t stay and let cruelties and abuses become your normal out of fear or because of some misguided notion that your love and loyalty can magically heal things in time. They cannot. The process of leaving can be stressful and scary but is blessedly finite.

    Leave him to steep in his madness alone. That house is no home.

    • Always glad to see you here, Cashmere. And your posts reminds us that when we have resources like CL, we can tap them when we need to.

  • Here’s the thing, the women giving you advice are those of us who made it out with our lives. The women who didn’t can’t tell their story. It’s difficult to overstate how dangerous your current situation is. You can be in our club or in theirs. I hope you choose ours. Please please don’t go back. Call an attorney and don’t look back.

  • Giiiirrrrrl, could’ve written that myself. Resident/fellowship doctor cheater person with hooker habit.
    Also in my 30s, fat, not a ton of money. But now I’m divorced and HAPPIER THAN EVER to have that LOSER out. Sure, I’m not living the life of a wife of a doctor salary and we had a baby right before i discovered all the shittery but I can’t imagine still being in what I now realize was a very fucked up relationship.

  • Not loving the whole deal of women calling themselves fat. Whatever your size, beautiful people, you deserve better—always have and always will.

    Ever see a woman who is just so utterly stunning that you just have to stop and gaze at her for awhile? I have.

    These beauties have included all ages and sizes, from an elderly woman with some kind of magical style and grace, to a bikini wearing woman at the beach who was absolutely nothing like a swimsuit model, but was so clearly at ease with everything about herself that she was the most gorgeous thing for miles around.

    Get your crappy cheater’s voice out of your head. Look back at pictures of yourself. See how beautiful you actually were even when you were telling yourself that a myriad of things from head to toe were wrong and awful?

    Yeah. You are still beautiful. Don’t forget it

    • Hell yah! Thank you for this Cashmere. I think of Adele or Lizzo. They are gorgeous. Men think so too…so stop calling yourself that. Find your inner badass. That’s what makes you beautiful…

      • What I couldn’t get over was how ugly I got being married to a loser cheating husband. I have shed ten years off my face and body once he was gone and I’m not kidding one bit.

        Your letter gave me goosebumps!! I actually ‘felt’ the scary vibes come off of it. Pay attention to what you are being told here. Leave this loser and do not, under ANY circumstances. go back there. You have nothing to work with.

    • I support anyone wanting to improve their health by losing weight, but her weight should be the last of her concerns right now. She is afraid to leave, feeling that because of her weight she might end up alone, but not afraid to stay because she might end up dead? Plus, she’s too old to start over at 30? WTF? I’m 56. I guess I should just give up on life completely, by that reasoning. These are just excuses to stay in what is an abusive, potentially lethal marriage. She needs therapy to sort out the self-loathing that keeps her afraid to leave an obvious psycho.

      He says he needs a divorce to be happy. No, SHE needs a divorce to be happy. This is a no-brainer.

    • Yes. Yes. Even we older women can turn heads, if we have style and confidence and some inner light to shine.

  • Unfortunately, this isn’t the first suicide threat story we’ve had on CL.

    And I’ve said it before, I’ll say it again: If he really wanted to kill himself, he’d do it.

    He’s not really suicidal, and he’s not going to kill himself. He’s just throwing a tantrum because you caught him. It’s a distraction. You can’t focus on going forward with divorce proceedings or getting your life in order and holding him accountable if you’re too scared he’ll shoot himself.

    It’s a threat, but not on his life, and it’s a control tactic. It’s how he keeps you scared, compliant, and quiet. Next time he says “I’ll kill myself” say “Do it” and see what happens. He won’t. My best friend had a narcissistic and manipulative boyfriend she finally got sick of and dumped. He did the same thing. He threatened to shoot himself and told all their friends he was going to kill himself. She actually said “Go do it then.”

    Guess who is still alive?

    People who use suicide threats in situations where they are trying to avoid responsibility for something toxic they DEFINITELY did are full of shit. Notice his unhappiness, “depression,” and “suicidal ideation” was not a thing until you found him out? Suddenly it’s a huge deal! Walk on eggshells! Stay out of his emails! i’M soOo uNhaPpY I wUnnna DiE. Be careful and don’t provoke him! HE MIGHT SPONTANEOUSLY COMBUST!! Can’t look at his $500 hooker receipts if you’re too distracted trying to figure out which wire to cut to diffuse the bomb.

    No. I call bull. He doesn’t want to die, he’s just mad he got caught. He’s controlling you with that threat. He’s also controlling you with the “I want a divorce” narrative. If he really wanted that, he’d just do it. He just wants cake. He’s in residency right? He wants the front of the married family man with a house (if he’s slapped with a divorce he might lose that house you just bought) and a wifey at home, and he wants you quiet and compliant so he can have his hookers too. He wants it all and he’ll use your fear to get it. That’s why he keeps sending you these sheepish texts too. To make sure you’re still going to come back and toe the line.

    So don’t. He doesn’t think you’ll initiate a divorce? You’ll just come home and play the nice wife performance for him while he goes to play The Good Doctor? Prove him wrong. Give him the divorce he claims to want so badly. When he freaks out, remind him it’s what he wanted, and KEEP GOING FORWARD WITH IT. Don’t cave to suicide threats either. Remember, it’s a tactic to keep you scared. If he’s so lonely and depressed and angry and unhappy, I’m sure he can pay someone $500 to tell him he’s great. …In all seriousness I don’t doubt he’s the kind of guy who honestly thinks that hookers actually like him. *eyeroll*

    And don’t worry about being 30. I got married at 25 to a man I met when I was 21. I was divorced by 27. I’m now 32. I am not re-married. But I found someone that is really amazing, a far better match for me than my ex husband, and I am in absolutely no hurry to walk down the aisle again yet. I do want to re-marry, but I don’t want to get divorced again, so I am content to take my time with this one. My ex husband? …He is (not even half kidding here) a polygamist. Multiple simultaneous wives and too many girlfriends to count, I am 1000% sure walking away from that was the right plan.

    This is something you can’t save. There’s just no way to come back from what he’s done. And why would you want to? It’s okay to have dealbreakers. CL is right. Stay with your parents, find a bulldog lawyer, and hire some movers to get your stuff out of that house, at least get enough of your stuff/clothes to spend a longer time with your parents. If you feel unsafe, you actually CAN call for a police escort to get your things.

    • Agree with absolutely everything you said, except for one thing. NEVER tell anyone threatening suicide or threatening you or both, to go ahead and “do it”. You have no idea how psycho that person actually is and what may push them over the edge into actual action. In legal terms that’s called inciting a person into action. If they do act, you might well find yourself in jail and held liable or dead because murder/suicide.

      You are dealing with a person who is in fact dangerous and even most trained psychiatrist cannot read these people correctly and miss on their evaluations more often than we know about.

      Do not presume anything. Most important is get out and get away and stay away from this person. If you believe that they really will self harm, call 911 and let them deal with him.

      • My point was more so that he’s not going to do it. If he’s so miserable then he can go with the two options he’s set up. Either 1) Actually kill himself, or 2) Initiate the divorce he says he needs to badly to save his life and sanity.

        He’s done neither. He’s gone with door no. 3, hookers. Which is why I don’t believe he’s serious.

        Either way, the danger lies in the fact that he is using the threat as a control method. Anyone who uses suicide as a threat to control another person through fear is dangerous. Whether there is or isn’t physical violence, it is someone to get away from fast. Because if they are willing to go right to emotional manipulation to avoid responsibility for something as damning as spending $500 per hour on sex workers is someone who will never take responsibility for anything and will never change. There is nothing to work with.

        One thing to consider here B&D, is that regardless of anyone’s opinions of sex work, it is federally illegal in the US to exchange money for sexual services. If you have proof that he has been spending $500 per hour for sex, you have proof that he has committed a federal crime. THIS IS LEVERAGE. Give that proof to a divorce lawyer and watch them have a field day with it. You want the house? You’ll probably get it. Want a sizeable chunk of that doctor money? He probably should have thought of that before he decided to go out hoin’

        You could seriously nail him to the wall with this information. And if I were you, I absolutely would.

        • Asking her if she’s afraid is a tip-off that he thinks she should be afraid. If he has a gun, he’s more likely to use it on her. This may be a guy who doesn’t want to buy her out of the house or lose 1/2 of what he has in a divorce or worse–pay alimony.

          • I don’t think he does. I think he’s full of shit. BUT he knows the threat is enough to scare her.

            I think he wants her to not come home because it gives him the opportunity to destroy evidence she can use in the divorce. And his texts and questions are checking to see how much time he has before she’s back. It’s how much evidence can he destroy in how much time?

            I don’t put it passed him that he doesn’t want to have to pay alimony or lose half the assets. Absolutely he doesn’t want to. That’s why he won’t initiate the divorce, and why he is checking on her. He KNOWS that the evidence of his hooker habit could legally nail him. And he’s scared of those consequences. So as long as he has her afraid to come home, the more time he has to eliminate the evidence of that possibility. If he keeps her scared with threats, he keeps control of her actions and the narrative.

            Absolutely, she needs to NOT come home. She does need to contact a lawyer and get that process. She either needs to send someone to get her things, or go get them with police escort.

            But I don’t believe he’s going to kill himself, nor do I believe he has a gun. I think he’s completely full of it. Like I mentioned before, notice he didn’t “want to die” or feel like his misery would only end with “divorce or a bullet” until he was CAUGHT. Which leads me to believe his threat is as hollow as his heart. Because if he was really, really, truly serious about how miserable and depressed he is, he would simply END THE MARRIAGE, but he won’t. He could have done that before his hooker habit was uncovered, but he didn’t. Those words only came out of his mouth once he was caught red-handed.

            Hearing her say “of course” when he asked if she was afraid is exactly what he wants to hear. It’s reassurance that he’s got control and he has more time to get rid of any damning evidence that could prove he committed the crime of purchasing the services of a prostitute. He knows his manipulation worked. And he knows he can use it again and again as long as she believes him.

            I agree she needs to stay with her parents, and get her stuff out, and get a lawyer. But I do think this man is a full of it.

  • We aren’t overreacting here, B&D.
    My blood ran cold when I read the part in your letter where he asked if you “were afraid to come home.”

    • That scared me too. I feel like he’s waiting for her to come back so he can do some shit. Please don’t go back there B&D. Take the above advice.

    • Yeah, his question asking her if she was afraid to come home made me scared for her too.

      Betrayed and Desperate, I hope and pray you didn’t go back home. Please take all of Chump Lady’s advice seriously. I’m not sure if you heard of Shannan Watt’s story. But her husband was cheating on her. She was pregnant and they also had two daughters together. She also stayed at her parents home on an extended summer vacation while her husband stayed back in Colorado where his affair amped up. He was acting cold towards her and saying that he no longer wanted the baby she was pregnant with; lots of other stuff that would now be considered red flags. He killed her and his two daughters when she got back from a work trip. Your husbands behaviors are all gigantic red flags!

  • I didn’t understand until after more than 30 years together that suicide threats are psychological abuse – of me. Don’t allow your life to be ruled by the thought that one day you might come home to find him dead, or that he might take you and any kids with him, or the reality of him threatening suicide constantly to manipulate your feelings and behaviour. Save yourself now. I can assure you that it is way better to be (way) over 30, fat and alone than living under constant threat of suicide or being discarded for someone else and left with an STI.

  • He’s going to kill himself? Really? Call his bluff, only do so, as CL says, from a safe distance. Do not return to this horror show of a man. Don’t chit chat with him. He needs a divorce to be happy, he says. That’s convenient, because *so do you*. Get one and be shed of this woman-hating, abusive POS who participates in the trafficking of other human beings. Another term for it is sexual slavery. He’s cool with being a rapist and financially supporting slave traders. He places no value on women’s lives. Yours is no exception.
    When it’s this bad, it’s not a dilemma. Are you really more worried about being fat and lonely than being dead?

  • The XAss covert narc has always been good at mirroring and blame shifting.
    Tactic #1 – mirror what the other has/does/is.
    Tactic #2 – blameshift anything that is negative back
    Tactic #3 – accuse the other of what they are doing

    The night of the big blowout he had just come back from a work trip and pretty much ignored me except to bitch about something, and then expected sex after what I thought was one of the worst days of our marriage -this after 6 months of escalating dysfunction. He now he thinks that I will be so happy he is actually giving me attention that I’ll drop everything and want to make love to him??? Note it wasn’t he wanting to give me comfort, cuddles, closeness, no this was him lying on the bed in his underwear and socks with his hands behind his head offering to let me service him.

    When I finished picking my jaw up off the floor at his gall, I told him (again) how upset I was, how I hadn’t been sleeping, eating, was constantly anxious over his treatment of me, and his response is to accuse me of having an affair – 10 years prior…..WTF???? So I asked him if he had fooled around on me. His eyes sliding sideways, squirms around on the bed, as he denied that he had, told me all I needed to know and confirmed all my suspicions. Now it was a just the degree of how many times with how many people? I told him that I was so emotionally/mentally exhausted and distressed that I had been contemplating suicide. This should have been a trigger for my health care worker husband to help me with this distress. (Even if the mention of panic attacks, heart palpitations, lack of sleep/eating didn’t) Instead he decides to tell me, no HE’s the one who is suicidal, and its all my fault.

    I didn’t sleep at all from that night on for the next 3 months while he was in the house until I got out because I knew he wasn’t going to hurt himself, but he just might hurt me. And the house was loaded with guns, including the loaded 45 beside the bed.

    No XAss had no intention of hurting himself, he just wanted me to give him a huge Pity Party, ’cause my woes were NOTHING to his woes. This is the narcissist.

    • I stayed so nervous all the time, I too could not eat. Lost weight like crazy. And I am a strong, capable independent person. But living with a lying and dangerous, angry alcoholic cheater kept me on edge.
      Dangerous men only become more so. X cornered me in my closet with a knife and the police made him leave.
      His AP told my daughter he held a gun to her head. This was a few yrs after my divorce. He has moved on to another woman and it will only escalate.
      His false persona is bad biker dude. I used to hear sirens nearby when he was out drinking and screwing around, and I always wondered if he had finally wrecked. I remember thinking how I didn’t care.
      So please, young lady, listen to us and exit your marriage. I guarantee it will get infinitely worse should you give your husband another chance.

  • This is a potentially deadly situation for you. Stop thinking about what he did or didn’t lie about, why he does or doesn’t do this or that, what’s going to happen to the house and belongings, who pays the light bill, and GET OUT. STAY OUT.

    At best this is emotional blackmail and at worst it’s potential murder/suicide. Happens all the time. Dumb fucks never just off their self, they always gotta take some innocent with them, and sometimes their kids too.

    And I don’t mean to sound too Jack Webb here, but I will, so what if he does kill himself? You’ll get off cheaper than a divorce and you won’t spend another minute wondering where he is or what he’s doing. What caused him to cheat or what he really meant or what was a lie and what wasn’t doesn’t matter anymore. There’s no getting over him, no hopium, and no contact is a given. Thing is, in that scenario, you’re still alive.

    Lawyer up, see if you can have him removed, but don’t go back. As long as he’s alive you’re not safe.

    Get out and stay out. You can’t risk going back to that.

  • When you caught him he blamed you for his actions and justified his hooker habit as an alternative to killing himself.

    He’s dangerous. You need to make your safety and well-being a priority over his mental health issues. Speak with an attorney and stay at your parents.

  • Thanks CL! What I can’t seem to figure out after all my soul searching, article reading and discussions with friends… is why these men ever get married, let alone start families! What is the point if they are covert narcissists, then why do they even settle down? Why don’t they just proceed through life moving from one woman to the next in search of their cake? Is there some handbook that tells them at a certain age they should act and play the part of devoted husband and father but then after so many years it’s self gratification time again?
    My ex and I both came from divorced homes and were deeply impacted by that. When we decided to get married we had lots of conversations about not wanting to repeat that behavior and to definitely never have our children ever experience that kind of hurt. Fast forward 17 years and it’s like watching a rerun on tv.

    • I had the exact same conversations with the XAss. They get married because they want a wife appliance, kids to mini-me, and image management with social expectations of the happily married family man.

      The wanting to have the marriage that my parents didn’t was also the reason I waited so long to get married in the first place. And why I danced so hard for so many wasted years.

      • Thanks for this. I kind of figured it was totally an image thing. I remember my ex telling me he “couldn’t believe he was going to be one of those divorced people”. All the while I’m thinking then why did you cheat on me and abandon me and the kids? Still waiting for him (and the OW) to get the karma they deserve. My friends keep telling me that it doesn’t come on my timeline. I know the karma won’t change anything, but I imagine it will feel pretty good since they have done nothing but intentionally hurt me and my kids.

    • The good man/father/husband/pillar of society facade is part of their demented game. Can’t really dupe people without that. Staying single and going from woman to woman is too honest, aka no cake. Leading a double life while fooling all kinds of people is big time cake.

      Sometimes I even wonder what’s more orgasmic for these demented beings – fooling the chumpy wife or fooling the OW into buying his bs despite the fact that the OW knows he is a cheater and a liar. I’m betting on the latter.

      • Foolishchump you are so right. Mine is still trying to sell the decent husband/good father image by telling people false stories about me and the situation. I have learned a lot about narcissism and gaslighting since this has all happened. It hurts to lose what I thought were good friends when they believe what my ex sells them about “our relationship simply ran it’s course” and not that he cheated on me with age inappropriate women, siphoned all of our money, and abandoned me and the kids. I gave up trying to set people straight about the truth because I realized that those “friends” aren’t truly friends and not worth my time anymore.
        I like what you said about the OW getting a thrill and also being fooled. I look forward to the day when she realizes she has invested everything in a known cheater and liar who will probably do the same thing to her once he is tired of that “cake”.

    • He was in med school. No doubt she worked! He married her and used her income to finance a house. This isn’t rocket science. He’s a user.

  • First of all, Chump Lady- I love you; as usual you get to the point and manage to dole out tough love without any judgement. And the misogyny of the sex industry- thank you for pointing that out.

    Now, on to betrayed. Everything CL said. I know it’s hard to see the HBO “for mature audiences only” drama your life has become thanks to the mentally unstable medical resident you married, but she’s right. You need to get the hell out.

    Buried in your message is a reference to yourself as “fat and in your 30s”. Don’t go there. You probably aren’t fat; the misogynistic view of female beauty that we are constantly inundated with makes us think that. And 30 is young. 39 is young. Like so many women, I struggled with body image issues for years. And then I found these pictures of my bachelorette party and I was dancing with a bunch of my friends…we were in our late 20s/early 30s, of varying sizes, shapes and conformations to the media concept of physical beauty. I know at least two of the women there thought of themselves as “fat”. And the first thing that struck me was how beautiful EVERYONE was. Even the random strangers in the background at the club. EVERYONE was beautiful. You’re in your 30s. You are beautiful. Enjoy it and put that part of your narrative away.
    As far as the finances go, that’s scary in this situation. Get a lawyer.
    Hugs.

    • Hey, I’m 68. And I’m gunning to get to 94 in one piece, with cameras and books and garden tools and cats in hand. So I’m in the late 1/4 of life but every minute is precious time for me to work on me and enjoy life.

      • I’m right there with you there my friend. Working on being the most authentic me possible, and if the world doesn’t approve…..pfttttt. No more pick me dancing, for anyone.

        I am a kind, loving responsible and giving person. I spent my life taking care of others. Now it’s my time to fully claim my life and enjoy the heck out of it.

  • B&D:

    I confronted him and he flipped shit on me about going through his e-mail, then proceeded to tell me he’s thought about shooting himself daily because he is so unhappy, hasn’t felt like himself for years, and needs a divorce or a bullet in his head.

    Maya Angelou said that when someone shows you who they are, believe them. The first time!

    Your husband has shown you who he is. He is a man who spends $500 a pop on hookers.

    I also think he’s a man who was perfectly happy having you support him through medical school. I did the math. You’re 30. You’ve been with him since you were 22. You married him mid-way through his residency and likely supported him through medical school. You have a lot of financial sunk costs. That sucks, but it is absolutely NOT going to get better.

    In fact, Chump Nation is telling you that it gets worse. That hooker habit isn’t going to go away. Now that he knows you know, he’ll take it underground as he gets better at hiding his tracks. The fact is that you are married to someone who has “fuck a hooker” as an option that he feels entitled to exercise. Even if he does therapy, he is always going to have that option because he has used it once. It’s there.

    The bottom line is that you control only you. You can’t control his hooker habit. You can’t control his stress. You can’t control how he feels about you or being married. You can’t control whether or not he’s suicidal.

    What you can control is you. Take action to leave this cheater. You’ll gain the rest of your life.

  • B&D,
    My ex had a robust hooker habit too. We were married 18 years, together 25. I wish I had gotten out earlier (he was kind of a boiled potato – not much of a prize- yet I was committed). I learned of cheating even before we married and spackled away. He cheated while I was pregnant with my 2nd and yet I stayed. I discovered the hooker habit about 7 years after I think it started. That is as far back as bank records go so it could have been longer. After Dday I was encouraging the RIC, thinking I could fix him and he would understand the error of his ways. Ha! At one point, in preparation for the Full Disclosure he made a list of 300 hookers *that he could remember.* My point is that this level of dysfunction is not fixable. Once it starts, I think it often just escalates.
    Mine too threatened suicide. He was raging and illogical, but the suicide threats were clearly emotional manipulation on his part. Medical residents have a different risk profile. Their stress levels are high. If you are truly concerned consider mentioning suicidal ideation to a superior or HR person. What was scarier for me was his seething anger saying that he could burn the house down. It horrifies me now to recall that I spackled and ignored that too. Weeks later I found a propane torch “flame weeder” in the basement. That is a garage tool, not an inside the house tool. I removed it from the house. A few weeks later I found a replacement in the basement. If I had angered him rather than supporting and babying him through his “Sex Addiction”(bs) counseling and 12 step SA groups I think he would have burned me, 2 teen daughters and 3 pets to the ground. I
    tiptoed for 9 months before filing for divorce and getting him out of the house. At that point he was less rageful and irrational. I don’t recommend my approach. If you can get out now, stay out, be safe and save yourself another year of marriage to a fuckwit.

  • Dr in my family. Talks about stress. Talks about divorces due to stress. NEVER talks about killing himself. Never visits prostitutes. Stable family life.

    Your crazy husband needs to be reported to the hospital and medical board. He is a walking time bomb.

    • I am going to go back on my suggestion. Talk to an attorney about what he has said and done. Don’t put yourself out on a limb.

  • The least he’s doing is destroying you finances that you would be responsible. The worst Is that his secretive exploits are worse than you know snd that he’s dangerous and may have a gun. Get a lawyer. Restraining order. Warn your workplace. After you move out, report his actions to hospital, preferably to a female superior, if possible. He should not be handling patients.
    Look. This is going to be a very emotionally difficult time for you. Because your dream and vision for the future, having a home and family has been snuffed out. Many men, especially after a long term commit to schooling for a career like medicine, without time to discover their authentic self, kind of explode into a rebellion that is self destructive and destructive to the plan they’ve built with someone else. Maybe he couldn’t have made it through without you but now he doesn’t need you and he is ready to toss it all away. So the sooner you face that this is the end, the sooner you can recover. Don’t underestimate his volatility. Don’t think it will all go away if he’s remorseful. Just let him go. Or he’ll take you to hell with him. Lord bless and protect you.

  • I watch Forensic Files like it’s my job. One thing I’ve noticed is that it’s not the chumps killing their cheaters, as I first would have thought considering what a devastation it is. It’s the cheaters and their schmoopies killing their chumps! This was surprising to me until I thought for two seconds about which person has morals, commitment, a soul, and which person/people are all about their own happiness.

    Stay away from him.

    • “I watch Forensic Files like it’s my job.”

      GUFFAWED. I guffawed at this.

      I DO THIS TOO.
      I don’t know about you, but being a chump really makes those cheating husband-kills-unsuspecting wife stories a little too IRL for me. My heart grieves for the women in those stories.

      There but for the grace of God go I.

  • These cheaters who threaten suicide? A form of natural selection. Sadly, they rarely take themselves out of the gene pool, and their threats are just a manipulative pity ploy. Only correct response to that is to call 911 for their own safety, then get out of Dodge.

  • Hello everyone,

    Thank you all for your input. I did have to go back to our state of residence as I have work, I am staying with a friend for now. I told my mother what was going on but she kept shifting the blame to me (you’re too weak he can see that, you gained too much weight, you spend too much money, etc…). I was happy to get away from her to be honest.

    I did speak with him when I went to the house to get some basic items and it was civil with no threats. He did state he’s depressed and feels like he has a tremendous amount of expectations on him from his parents, his job, me and even our dog? I personally feel I have been very supportive, he is very smart and is always getting recognized for his hard work…I never pointed out that he puts all his time and energy into his job while neglected me and my needs.

    Anyways, basically he justified what he did (states he did that to hold everything together) and that he needs to simplify his life. Stated he can’t do anything about the stress of his parents and that he made a commitment to his job but something has to change and he can’t stay married to me anymore. He stated he would buy me out of the house and give me whatever I want.

    I just am still shocked and it’s very hard to get rid of the hope I have. Maybe it’s all too fresh and I am still in denial? I also can’t help to feel bad about how sad and depressed he appears…I know, I’m a chump. I know I have to move forward and protect myself and I’m trying. I just felt like everything was good until I called him out and now he’s a different person.

    Thank you all for your support and sharing your stories with me.

    – B&D

    • This is the honeymoon stage. This is when you get your attorney to ask for and you are likely to get almost anything you want.

      Let him go. He isn’t a different person. He’s simply switched to the Sad Sausage channel. He’s also concerned about his image. Be prepared for rage and self-pity. Actually, be prepared by telling him to buy you out and for him to get out of your home. Once he’s out, you can prepare to sell it for more money in 2020.

      I am SO sorry your mother is on Team Cheater. No – you DID NOT force him to cheat!

      Think of all the money you won’t be spending on his hooker habit.

    • Lawyer now, and get it all in writing. Ask for the moon as he seems to be desperate to divorce and might give you more than 50/50. Do it NOW while he wants it too.

      My cheater promised me the house, loads of other financials, more than 50/50 child custody, the works. It all went POOF when time to put in writing. The I became the selfish entitled B that was being unfair. No deal for fearful then. I am still fighting for scraps.

      P.S: You are not the stress in his life. You are not to blame. LET him blame you for his crappy choices and character in order to get yourself out in as good a financial situation as possible.

    • Please let him go. Give him the divorce and save yourself. I have seen the rage in my STBX, and I told him to go, as I was worried I would end up dead. It hurts like hell to do so, as we are invested, in love chumps. They are not. I cried every day for 6 months. It was the most painful thing I have ever experienced. But I am at Meh now. I do not want to be with someone who does not care about me. I’m 15 months out and doing fine. You will hit your stride, too, and good things will happen. Trust this is the Universe/God liberating you for better experiences with better people. CN has your back. We are your tribe.

    • Get a lawyer, get things in writing, expedite the divorce. Stop worrying about him and his depression. Worry about you. Get your own life back on track. Let him do the same.

      And very sorry you lost the mother lottery and got one like mine. She was a great one to blame me for things other people did. Let me be your mom for a few minutes:

      Honey, you did your best. You were a GREAT wife! You’ve been very patient and supportive with STBX’s medical training and you’ve done without a lot of time and attention that you should expect from a husband. But please–eyes forward. Don’t look back. You can do better than this, even if you stay single for the rest of your life. Which you won’t. You’ll fix your picker and find a kind, unselfish man who doesn’t exploit women. Please don’t forget that he wasted your money on hookers and that he was using these women too. You are worthy of love and fidelity no matter how much you weigh or where you work or what you like to eat for breakfast. Here’s a big hug! You’ve got this. Now push that divorce forward, get the cash you need, and start looking for a great place to live.

    • I am so sorry that your mother has made you the villain of this piece. Since you have zero support from your family, I heartily recommend therapy. It is very possible that your Cheater’s behavior raised red flags earlier in your relationship but you were unable to see them because your experiences with your mother have normalized them.

      Your husband is in that brand-new, fleeting moment where he’s desperate for the divorce. Lawyer up quickly (find the best family law attorney you can afford), get a settlement drafted, file and get him to sign it. The faster, the better. He wants to buy you out of the house? Swell!

      Try asking for a bit more than 50/50. Med school debt, if he incurred it while married, is a marital debt (this sucks), so if you can suggest that each of you leave the marriage with the debts under your individual names, that’s a huge advantage. Turn over the different scenarios in your mind and get the settlement proposal drawn up as quickly as possible so that he won’t have enough mental energy to look at it closely.

      Best of luck!

  • When he steals opioids through his career channels I wonder whose fault that will be– don’t let it be you B&D. Many hookers trade services for drugs and even if he does not use them himself that is currency for his jollies.

    This is the type of creep that will over-prescribe his patients if they give him sex, or try to molest his patients. He does not see people as real.

    I wish these monsters had labels.

    Also, you were Betrayed but you certainly do not have to be Desperate. Take action and protect yourself.

  • Strongly agree with the many voices above recommending getting a good lawyer asap. That sad channel is designed to use your kindness against you. Even though it may not seem like it right now knowing his character and actions is a gift. He won’t improve with time. It is painful letting go of that dream future but it actually wasn’t real. It really does get better as you gain a life when you leave a cheater.

  • Hi B&D,

    Your story unfortunately sounds all too familiar. I was in a very similar situation a few years ago, where my husband who was completing his residency used similar outlets as a “stress reliever”. When I confronted him, he also threatened suicide, which made me questioning and really worried about his mental state. It was the most painful thing I have ever been through, and I do not wish this on anyone. I did learn a lot through the experience that I will share with you.

    First, it is not you, AT ALL. This is all on him. There is nothing you could have done to prevent this, because he’s a selfish and entitled person that would’ve done it anyway no matter what. It’s challenging at times, but please remind yourself of this.

    Second, I too contemplated reporting him, but am glad I ended up remaining calm and really thinking this through. It is important to treat every situation specific to the person, but in my case I did not have to worry about him not being mentally stable enough to practice medicine. In fact, his job really was in the best care under his hands, as it had been our entire marriage. What I mean is that he was excellent at what he did and ALWAYS put his job over me, so I did not have to worry that other lives were at risk. How did I know? I was friends with his coworkers and they confirmed for me that he was doing great at work. In fact, there is a risk that he can come back with a vengeance if you were to report him. Be careful with this, and if you know he is stable enough to practice, I would recommend to not even go there to protect yourself. In these abusive situations you need to react calmly. Keep your head on your shoulders, always be a step ahead of him, and remove yourself out of the situation safely.

    I ultimately left, and let his family help him with what he was going through. I suspect his suicide threats were just a way out of our marriage. Seems he is giving similar ultimatums with comments like “it’s either divorce or a bullet to the head”. Of course, you will have your best judgement and will react how you feel is appropriate. Again as I did, I recommend getting his family involved to help him and removing yourself from the equation. It was the best decision I ever made, and I am a happier and stronger woman because of it. I hope you find your happiness too and I am wishing you all the best during this painful time.

    – Happier Now

  • I am so sorry this is happening to you. The pain you are experiencing will end when you are free of the abuse. That kind of entitlement and selfishness is never cured it is just more carefully hidden.
    I found out about the hooker habit on year 38 of marriage. I got the suicidal threat also. The pity party didn’t last long but the divorce battle has lasted 3 years so far with the possibility of 3 more years. Get out while you can before it gets worse.

  • The most dangerous time for a woman is when she tells her partner that she is leaving. The chance of her being murdered is at it’s peak then.

    Don’t return to that house. Rent a room somewhere, stay on a friend’s couch, call the battered women’s shelter to ask about temporary housing…….. anything but live with this unstable man.

  • What are you “desperate” about? You have a job, right? Move your paycheck to a separate account. If there is money for $500 hookers, there’s money for a deposit on a cute apartment. Or quit your job and stay out of state with your mother. You are still young, in your 30s. He’s used you while he was in med school and internship and now that he’s on the verge of making bank, he wants out. Just another doctor-in-training who is really a user.

    Live and learn. You invested in his dream. Time to invest in yours. Figure out if you want to go back to your job and that location or whether you are better off starting over with your mom’s support. It’s a big world. There are many wonderful places to live, lots of places to work, and many people who aren’t users.

    And don’t waste your time “diagnosing” your husband. If you think he’s mentally unstable, he’s working with a whole hospital full of people in a position to notice that. Your job? Take care of yourself. Gaining a lot of weight may be symptomatic of your situation–you are unconsciously eating to feed your loneliness or maybe to keep him away from you because some part of you KNOWS he’s dangerous to you. Whatever “fat” means to you, you can go to a good weight-loss doctor and get help losing weight. I’m down almost 30 pounds with 15-20 to go. I’m 68. It’s tough to lose weight with an old metabolism but it can be done, if you love yourself.

    You don’t need this guy. You will be fine on your own. Make sure you are safe and have a local support system–including a kick-ass lawyer, a doctor, and a therapist. Plus someone to walk with as you tackle getting your health back in order.

  • I haven’t read through all the threads but CL forgot to mention one of the most important suggestions. Call in his threat to commit suicide. He is either a real risk to himself or he is full of shit. Either way he won’t pull that again and there will be a record of his unstable behavior.

    Do it NOW. And don’t go back to get your things unless he is committed for a few days, otherwise coordinate getting your things out from someone else.

  • I haven’t read any of the replies yet so I apologize if I repeat something already said. What I see is that you were supporting him through Med school and Residency. I see that he is using large amounts of marital funds on his hooker habit.

    How mighty I could have been if I’d been left in my 30’s instead of 50’s! You don’t mention children, be ecstatic that you won’t have to co-parent with a fuckwit.

    Meet with a lawyer, pronto. Make sure you get a generous cut of his future earnings, which you contributed to during the past 8 years. Let the house go or make him buy you out.

    You will be mighty, and you will live a life that is so much better than what you leave behind.

  • Ah honey, please run.

    There is so much life in you to live. The time and perspective you will gain from being free from your husband will allow you to work on YOU. Time for counselling, time for self-care, time for exercise, time for healthy eating, time for growing closer to family, time for building solid friendships with good people, time to reflect and pray.

    Time for sleeping. Time for decorating your own place the way you want it. Time to start a wine club, or learn guitar, or read the top 100 classics, or learn Spanish. Whatever!!!!

    Do not underestimate the negative impact that life with this man has had on your self-esteem, which is now causing you to feel trapped. Once you break free of it and allow time to heal from this trauma, clarity will set in. You will SEE for the for the first time. You will BREATHE. Your mind will CLEAR.

    For all the bullshit talk about affair fog that cheaters experience, the only real fog is that experienced by the victim of cheating. It’s the fog that sets in when we get spaghetti brain from the abuse to which we have been subjected. A fog that’s heavy with misplaced hope and the pain of a broken dream.

    I married when I was 33. I didn’t think I was over the hill. Now I’m 47 and have been separated for two years. I still don’t think I am over the hill. It is not too late for you to have a good life. Chumps here are starting again in their 30s, 40s, 50s, 60s and beyond. And not a single one of us would say that it’s too late for you.

    You need lots of care and love. Big hugs to you. Find good people to place around you and help cocoon you from this dangerous situation. You don’t have children to consider in your decision, and so you have the benefit of having no reason to ever have to see this man again. What I would do if I didn’t ever have to see my ex again, he would just become someone that I used to know and I would cross to the other side of the street if I ever encountered him. But, alas, I’m stuck in that way to make the best of it for my kids.

    There is some equity in your house, I’m sure, so take what investments you’ve got and use it to build the foundation of a new life for you. There are so many in their 30s who haven’t even got that much going on. Get a good lawyer to get you the best deal possible.

    Take a deep breath and start making phone calls to line up your ducks. It’s easy to start feeling guilty about what you are doing, I often started to wonder if I was really a bad person when I started to get savvier about dealing with my ex. I still allow him to think I’m stupid by playing dumb with him. But, it’s strategy for your own survival and well-being. Be careful.

  • I can relate to this scenario. I married my ex at 21 right after I graduated college. He/we went through medical school, then 6 years of surgical residency. When he started practice I thought he would finally be nicer to me and the kids. Nope, he “felt entitled” to take up expensive hobbies and do whatever he wanted. I raised the children and facilitated his life. I was a SAHM with four children. 23 years into the marriage I got the “I haven’t loved you for over 10 years and I want a divorce”. He failed to mention, until we were in marriage counseling, the over a decade of serial cheating, swingers clubs, illicit massage parlors, prostitutes, escorts and affairs. He, like OP’s husband blamed his hooker habit on depression and also said he had suicidal ideation. As a doctor he certainly knew the symptoms of real depression and how to get help. His own father had taken his own life, so I had always been aware of what depressive episodes looked like. The last thing that truly depressed people want to do is have sex. He wasn’t depressed he just wasn’t getting what he felt entitled to, all the attention and accolades. He felt entitled to all of the kibbles, none going to children. His double life gave him the thrills and he could punish me as a bonus.
    Even with all of that, I tried to reconcile. I had put him through medical school and residency, a large investment and I still loved him. He never changed into the man I thought he was. Once I got the letter from his affair partner telling me they had never really ended the affair, I finally filed for divorce at year 25. Once I filed I became the enemy. Then the threats began. He started buying guns and displaying them to me and others. He never overtly threatened, but he broke into the house (I had changed the locks per my legal rights) and put cat poop on my bed. I got scared then and called the police. After the report was filed I got an email from him stating he had “saved the cat that I had trapped in my room.” Not true, but a cover for his breaking and entering. I stayed with a friend for a few days till an alarm system could be installed.
    They don’t change. Please save yourself. Don’t think he will get better, he will likely get worse. Don’t let him put you at further risk and waste any more time on him! Been there, done that and wish I had believed him when he showed me who he really was the first time.

    • Thank you so much for sharing your story – it’s oddly comforting to know I am not the only person who is going/ has gone through something similar. I guess I was naive to how common the use of sex workers is.

      I see you tried to work it out as well – from what he is saying to me right now “there is no hope and he wants a divorce”. Pathetically, there is part of me who is hopeful he will come around and say he is sorry and made a huge mistake…I just wish I could make this hopeful feeling go away.

      • Leave now while he still wants a divorce. I stayed. It took over a year for me to finally accept who/what he was. By the time I figured it out, he decided that he “wasn’t done with me”. Those were his words. It’s almost as if he realized that I was done and then decided to be father and husband of the year. I used to have the support of family and friends, but they now see his good behavior as a reason for me to stay. It’s too late, though. Once you finally accept your reality, you won’t want to spend another minute in it. It was when I started to try to leave that the scary rage started. I’m still dealing with it. Again, leave now. You’ll be glad that you did, but it will take some time to get there. I’m so incredibly sorry that you are going through this. I’m crying tonight for you and every one of us that has had to deal with this.

      • You’re not pathetic. Oh hopium.

        Here’s a thought for the relentlessly optimistic part of your soul: telling you to leave might be a final act of love.
        He’s a profound disaster right now. It’s much kinder for you to gtfo before he ruins (OR SERIOUSLY HARMS, FOR REAL) you. If he’s secretly a loving person and he EVER gets back to himself, it will be a mercy and a blessing to him that you didn’t get wrecked and you still exist, happy, somewhere.

        If you have to believe in love, believe in REAL love… the unselfish, unhurried kind that values your soul and delights in your joy, regardless of their proximity to it.

        • (Because you can think what you need to think to get you out the door. But THEN when you’re safe, come back to CN and Trust that they Suck).

  • I agree with the chorus that his asking if you feel safe is really a threat and you need to stay far away from him. And your mother! With a mother like her, of course you picked a husband like him. Get yourself an experienced, aggressive divorce attorney.

    Hoping he will suddenly change, or you will wake up and it was all a bad dream, is totally normal. Go ahead and feel those feelings. Meanwhile, keep on staying far, far away from him.

  • I was scared and wanted to just leave, but the wisdom of the day was to not be a coward and tell him face to face. Bad move. When I told him I was leaving him, he took a couple of steps back and grabbed a gun from the front closet. I would bet that nobody facing this like I did ever expected it to happen. I instantly got a bearing on my chances here – none. He blocked both exits. I was right beside the phone but that was a draw I would lose. It was useless to run to another part of the house. In survival mode, I looked at him as contemptuously as I could and rolled my eyes at the drama and he paused, took the gun and ran out of the house and tore out of the driveway in his truck. When I called the cops, they caught up with him and he told them he was only taking the gun back to his parents. After he explained, it was fine with them. That was my first clue they’d be no help. The separation that followed was a similarly deadly nightmare for an entire year as the cops, who knew what he was doing or they were too dumb to be cops, let him have his way with me and told me to quit calling them. So, speaking from experience, I didn’t know what he was capable of until it was nearly too late for me. I should have moved far away but we had kids and he got a court order preventing me from leaving town with them. So he and his cop buddies enjoyed themselves for a year at my expense before a judge stopped them.

  • How many countries in the world does domestic violence be taken seriously? You guys in the US/Canada be grateful! I’m sure you all will not be able to imagine it but in my neck of the woods they say that is “family business.” Even our fucking leaders say that women ought to know who they allow in their bedrooms! I simply can’t make this shit up! Really I can’t.

    I reported that my Ex tried to run me over with a truck and then our daughter in the car. Guess what was done? Nothing! But the cops were his buddies and he told them I stole some money from him that was in the house and they wanted to arrest me. Go figure.
    I had to “disappear” for a while so that we could be safe. Imagine it – being on a wheelchair because he put me there. I know and understand what it is to homeless with no hope of survival and not knowing where your next meal will come from. And yes the motherfucker did threaten suicide. I was in a panic so I do understand. They do so to keep you off balance. Poor fuckers all with the same mindset while they go about fucking their whores. Life never gets better with these assholes it only gets worse.

    Most important advice- BE SAFE!

    And what makes it worse is when they have dual personality and appear to be “all perfect and religious” in the community.

  • Very interested in your link to the Happy Hooker myth article – it’s always struck me as bizarre that trendy privileged millennials at dinner parties sit around congratulating each other for being woke about sex work, but in the same breath would be scandalised by it in the reality of their own life or relationships.
    This article just came out and it totally purports the myth – https://www.vice.com/en_us/article/ywak3j/asian-massage-parlors-with-happy-endings-give-these-sex-workers-a-decent-living

    It’s like who does normalising sex work really benefit? Men men men, as usual. I don’t know, maybe there’s a world where you could have a state-run, std-free, empowered brothel offering male and female services but even that would be dehumanising I think. Also it seems part of the thrill is the illicitness and inherent subjugation. Gross.

  • I learned on the Freedom Programme for women who have been in abusive relationships that threats of suicide are a tactic of control. Like B&D I could never have imagined the way my ex husband behaved when we separated. I understand now that abusive men have a set of rules for the woman in their life and when you stop following their rules they feel entitled to use abuse to bring you into line. So the difference is that B&D is no longer following the rules and she will see totally different behaviour now. I recommend reading Why Does He Do That by Lundy Bancroft. You can get the pdf for free if you Google it.

  • It is amazing how much LESS alone you can feel WITHOUT a disordered partner. The fear? The sympathy for him? It guards you against fully experiencing reality: this is scary. He is being scary.
    I was in a similar situation and it wasn’t until I wrote into CL that I realized that it was, yes, THAT BAD.
    I called the national domestic violence hotline and explained what was going on, and asked, “Do you think I’m crazy or is this weird?” they gave me a local women’s shelter phone number, I called them and they walked me through an escape plan and provided me (free of course) with several advocates who came with me to meet police at my house while my husband was at work to get all my things.
    Make some calls and make your move. You have the freedom to choose a different kind of life.

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