My husband cheated on me, I didn’t find out through his phone (he doesn’t have one, he doesn’t like them). Didn’t find out though his laptop, (again doesn’t have one of those either). I found out though him.
He was feeling guilty, so he told me, his version of it, which after he told me and I asked questions it seem to change.
He was relieved after telling me. Everything all good he thought. Nope. I cried, a lot couldn’t believe it. I wasn’t doing very well, health-wise and mentally. He stopped seeing OW. He told me that while I was trying to recover from his betrayal, and to figure out what I wanted to do, he was seeing her as a “friend. “
Since I couldn’t forget or forgive him, he suggested a trial separation, so I could figure things out, he was “trying to help,” not!! He was securing the notion that he could now date and not get into trouble for it.
So date he did! He thought it was in secret, that I didn’t know, which I found out. I should of left, but I was told not to leave because I could lose my rights to the house, so I didn’t leave. But I kept a journal of all that he did.
I have now gotten to the point where I don’t care what he does. Even though he broke up our marriage, our life as I knew it, the biggest part that hurts me isn’t the fact he has a different plus 1, it’s what he did and said to me.
He said so many horrible mean things, that hurt me so deeply. But because of financial reasons we are forced to live in our family home. I have my own room as he does too. Separated we are, for me it’s real for him it’s when it’s useful.
He has told me many times that I’m worthless, and I won’t be able to take care of myself, because I don’t know how to do anything, so I better behave. And then tells me, “Oh by the way, our marriage is a lie.” He never loved or wanted to be with me, so I have wasted 40 years of my life with him. I am in my 60s now. I don’t know if I can start all over again. (I have never lived on my own).
I am scared!! But I don’t feel worthless! I just want to find what’s right for me, which clearly isn’t him. What should I do?
I suggest you don’t behave. Focus all your energies on leaving him. Quietly, stealthily, start making plans and lining up your ducks. You don’t tell him this. You pretend as if you’re just numb, agreeing to this separate lives while living together thing.
This is going to take a lot of strength, but C, it’s taken a lot of strength to live 40 years with a fuckwit. You can do this. I have faith in you.
What he’s doing to you — especially now, during a pandemic! — is abuse. He’s risking your health “dating” and he’s emotionally terrorizing you. Unfortunately, it’s a very difficult time for abuse victims now, the usual escape valves — the courts, domestic shelters, are closed. This situation is changing every day, and what’s open or not is very local. So the first thing I want you to do is go sit in your car, or walk around the block, and call a family law lawyer. (That’s a link to SuperLawyers if you’re in the U.S.) Get professional help immediately.
You will feel SO MUCH BETTER when you start protecting yourself. Abusers want to isolate you, make you feel like you can’t do anything without them. Fuck that. Take the first step.
I better behave.
This is chilling. It reads like a threat, and verbal threats are as damning as physical ones. Tell your lawyer about the verbal abuse and if you can get an emergency protection order. (Again, this is local. Some courts are open for emergency orders now.) If you can get an order, you may be able to force him out of the house until your temporary order becomes a permanent one.
Oh Tracy! It’s not as bad as all that!
Victims of abuse minimize how awful things are as a coping mechanism. You know how you can tell you’ve been minimizing this to yourself? When you drop the silence and tell someone — a BIT — of what you’re dealing with, and they’re shocked for you. And maybe you try to walk it back, or spackle over it. But their shock is your REALITY CHECK, that yes, it’s that’s bad.
Let the professionals — your lawyer, a women’s shelter, help you determine your safety level now. Some further reading here:
Women’s Law — email help line, divorce laws in every state
Mosiac Threat Assessment — helps you assess a DV threat for women and men
Infidelity is one flavor of abuse, verbal abuse is another, controlling behavior is another. I don’t think your husband told you he was “dating” as a kindness. It sounds instead like he’s finished with you as a wife appliance. And he gets off on the cruelty.
So, in the short-term, while you’re stuck in this ring of hell, this is what I want you to do.
1.) No contact, as much as possible. Don’t interact with him if you can at all avoid it. He’s in? Go for a walk, drive, mask up and get groceries. Try not to be in his space. Especially as right now his “dating” is dangerous as hell during a pandemic. Lysol all the things.
2.) If he tries to verbally abuse you, distract or agree. “You’re worthless!” Yep, I guess I am. Do. Not. Take. The. Bait. He abuses to get a reaction, deny him one. Be incredibly boring. “Oh hey, I made toast. Wheat toast. I like the multigrain, but I couldn’t get it…” natter on. That’s distraction. What you do NOT do is counter-attack. “I AM NOT WORTHLESS!” Do not stick your head in the mindfuck blender. Let him be spiteful.
3.) If he tries to charm you, be boring. Do. Not. Take. The. Bait. Charm is just one more channel of mindfuckery. If he wants you to sign something, or act like your old buddy, or behave in anyway you perceive as feeling “guilty”, don’t buy it. To him, you’re just numb. Boring. Let him think he has you where he wants you — compliant and vulnerable.
4.) Line up ducks like a motherfucker. Get all your financials together. Make lists of what you own. Take pictures of every room. (So when you move out there’s no argument of what existed and what didn’t.) Prepare asset statements for the lawyer, figure out your debts. Run a credit report. Call that lawyer. Do whatever homework they ask for. Are you going to have to work? Make a resume. Go research jobs for people over 50. (That link should help.) Keeping busy with these tasks will help when you feel overwhelmed. Just do the NEXT THING.
5.) Imagine freedom. What kind of throw pillows are you going to have on your fuckwit-free sofa? What’s the birdsongs like in that apartment? What friends are you having over? Visualize yourself there. Indulge this fantasy of you FREE from this nightmare. Free from him.
You can “start all over again.” People do it every day. We’re here on the other side, please join us.
Legal caveat — remember, I am not a lawyer. I am a chump with a blog. Reach out to professionals for your situation.