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He Wants to ‘Explore His Feelings’ with Her Friend

Dear Chump Lady,

My story as chump began last December when I received a letter from my husband informing me that he had developed feelings for a close family friend and that they wanted to explore these feelings but only with my consent. He wouldn’t, of course, want to harm our family or me!

Now this doesn’t sound so terrible right? Kind of sounds respectful(-ish). Oh but there’s more. My reaction was devastation. I had noticed that they were texting like A LOT. She had been my friend and we all hung out a lot — her husband, kids and my family — so it was a bit weird. But my husband has always had a lot of very close female friends (cue red flag) that I had grumpily accepted. I mean, we’re talking female friends he would lend money too, drive their kids places and even once went on a trip with. Yes, I know I’m chumpy.

Well, I felt guilty not letting them have their love affair, but I said that given how he had romantically and sexually ignored me throughout most of our marriage that it didn’t seem fair for him to put energy into a new relationship when he should really be redirecting that into ours. He felt bad. He gnashed his teeth. He kept obsessing about her and how society and its norms were just so unfair. So I finally gave in. Stupid. Stupid me. Nearly immediately, I said hold up, I retract my consent. I feel replaced. I am not okay with this. You are hurting me. I get you might need this, but if so count me graciously out.

And then I started to snoop on his media… turns out my consent was never part of it. They were in deep emotional affair from the moment she told him that she had feelings for him. Conveniently he doesn’t believe in emotional affairs. Whenever I tried to bring up my concerns, boundaries, my pain, etc… he would go full stonewall for days forcing me to take care of the kids/household (not actually a new situation as his sad sausage game is strong) and just wonder if he would be able to get out of bed at some point.

I suggested no contact. No go. I started to notice that he would tell me one thing and her another. In fact, he seemed to lie about even little unimportant things. I started to wonder what else he had been lying about all these years. I realized that probably the only reason he told me about this OW was because she had an ethical bend and insisted upon it. Then she suggested no contact because she was just so ‘deep in love’ that she couldn’t ‘possibly be just friends with him’ as I insisted upon. Their two months of close time was enough to make lifelong commitments that threated my decades long marriage with 5 kids.

But no contact was ‘too hard’. He continued to lie, text her with ‘You will always be with me’ and other such drivel.

I started to feel like a horrible person keeping these two clearly star-crossed lovers apart, snooping on him (I feel really guilty about this) and generally crying so much that I caused inflammation on my face. I told him to just be with her but he doesn’t want to. I even asked the OW (who was one of my best friends) if she would like to be with him because I will happily step out of the way and she said “no, he’s abusive to you and once the shine wears off, he’ll probably be like that with me too.”

I kept giving him chance after chance after chance guided by wreckonciliation and hopium. But after every chance he slides back into communicating his undying love to her or trying to goad her into communication; they both do. I have started to make an exit plan because not only has he forbidden me from talking about this ever again but because I can’t believe a word he says.

Signed ChumpiestChumpinChumptown

Dear CCC,

Stop being so fucking gracious.

These people are emotionally stubbing cigarettes out on your face and you’re like, “Um, excuse me? I would not want to interfere with (stub, stub, sizzle….) your right to smoke (stub, stub, sizzle…. ), but you’re hurting me! (stub, stub, sizzle…)

it was a bit weird

I had grumpily accepted

I felt guilty

I finally gave in

I get you might need this

I suggested

I started to feel like a horrible person

I will happily step out of the way

CCC, you’re reacting to their ABUSE with attempted, inauthentic “understanding” (you are not “happily” stepping out of way, you’re fucking devastated). Also, you mistakenly think demonstrating your pain will motivate them to stop.

Stub, stub, sizzle…

THEY DON’T CARE. THEY GET OFF ON IT.

The proper response to someone emotionally stubbing a cigarette out on your face is to (figuratively) get a threaded pipe and shatter their kneecaps.

No, I’m not suggesting actual violence — I’m saying find your inner Hells Angel and PROTECT YOURSELF. You fuck with me? You’ve fucked with the wrong person.

You want to try and humiliate me with your continued affair? Goad me into a pick me dance? Pretend to be my friend while screwing my husband? And then have the unmitigated gall to commiserate with me about it?

NO!!!

Whenever I tried to bring up my concerns, boundaries,

You don’t bring up a boundary — you enforce it.

You tried talking about your concerns and the answer was…. stub, stub, sizzle. More of the same abuse.

I know it is painful — incredibly painful — to connect the dots that their continued shittiness means THEY DON’T CARE AND THEY GET OFF ON YOUR PAIN. And you made terrible investments in terrible people (we’ve all been there. Millions of us, if blog numbers are to be believed.) But it comes down to YOU — are you going to continue to tolerate abuse, or are you going to put an end to it?

I know. It’s not fair and you have deep sunk costs. Long marriage, five kids.

Still the same question — is this acceptable to you?

I have started to make an exit plan

Excellent, but it sounds tentative to me, because this entire letter was couched in “Well, if you don’t mind” chump-speak. Well, I’ll enforce this boundary only if it works for you, could we calendar Wednesday? Does that work? No?

Boundaries do not require consensus. They are YOUR BOUNDARIES. You get to have them! Really!

Now, you’d be a bit of a diva if your boundary was over the wrong sort of mineral water. But even still, that would be your boundary. But you really, REALLY get to have a boundary over your fuckwit husband torturing you with his undying love for your former “friend.” No one is shoving that shit sandwich down your gullet without a fight.

He kept obsessing about her and how society and its norms were just so unfair.

Oh, so he reads Esther Perel, huh?

His can find it all “so unfair” bravely on an air mattress across town. Paying support. Divvying up the 401K. I mean, the man should be out there living his ideals, not bound by convention. Oh? That costs money? It would deprive him of a wife appliance? Funny how this now becomes YOUR new norm — his entitlement is natural and you should cater to it.

I received a letter from my husband informing me that he had developed feelings for a close family friend and that they wanted to explore these feelings but only with my consent. He wouldn’t, of course, want to harm our family or me!

UBT: She was going to out the affair to you. It was never about your consent. Please do not inflict consequences on them. You wouldn’t want to Hurt The Children!

Chumpy you thought you were part of the equation. You were never part of the equation. Nor was her husband or both sets of kids.

I even asked the OW (who was one of my best friends) if she would like to be with him because I will happily step out of the way and she said “no, he’s abusive to you and once the shine wears off, he’ll probably be like that with me too.”

UBT: He only treats you like shit. I’m far too special to be chumped, but I will happily play Fabulous Muse He Can’t Get Over.

CCC, slap the burning cigarettes from their hands. Step out of this Twu Wuv triangle from hell and save yourself.

It doesn’t get better.

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.
      • CL, I thought you were going to work Tonya Harding in there some way :-).

        The other question is, why are FW and OW’s feelings more important than yours? That’s a conditioned behavior I learned from years with an abuser – amazing how hard that is to leave behind as I gain my mighty.

      • It’s a METAPHOR for ending a threat.

        So people, take “kneecapping” as a metaphor for stopping an abuser in his or her tracks.

          • Save your revenge fantasies for your journal. Or a passage in a fictional novel penned by you.
            No snow globe cracking your wife’s lover’s head open. No hammer to the mistress’s skull which your husband washes off in the basement sink after you’ve eliminated the competition.
            Great movie scenes but in real life ? Prison time for you and more devastation for any children, family and friends.
            Get away from them and don’t look back.

    • I have a threaded pipe. It is for hiking alone in secluded areas. I have no dog (yet! ????) I completely understand your meaning and will continue to use my threaded pipe (with wrist strap so it can’t be snatched away from me) for hiking alone in secluded areas.

      While we’re on the subject, I want to let Chump Nation know he is being roasted alive over red hot lava made up of his own words and actions in “co-parenting therapy”. I held out for the best in the area who is a cheater-eating shark wearing a Church Lady disguise. Gee, Traitor, if you’ve been telling everyone the truth about what you did, which would explain why your daughter is icing you out, why are your cohorts whispering “parental alienation” in your ear and why didn’t you tell Church Lady therapist that you had an affair when we met for the first time? The look on his face in that Zoom session every time I call out his BS, the look on Church Lady’s face when more of his word salad and lies are exposed, followed by her validation of ME and putting him on the hot seat has been worth all my very challenging standing down for three years.

      When I brought up his history of badmouthing me to our daughter, he said I was “throwing him under the bus.”

      Yep. You read that right.

      Because I made a commitment to remain calm, LISTEN LISTEN LISTEN, not react, and speak when it was my turn, I had the delicious experience of listening to her lecture about how damaging badmouthing a parent is and how it comes back like a BOOMERANG to destroy the child’s relationship with the inappropriately gossiping parent. I have known this for decades and have never done it.

      Velvet Hammer 2, Traitor 0.

      Please let cheaters fall into their own tiger traps. Let them be done in by their own stinking thinking. They will. An illicit relationship is NOT a winning move and is proof positive that you have been keeping company with losers and dimwits.

      Justice feels glorious from your faraway mountaintop, looking through your telescope at their mountaintop in flames.

      • VH,

        Applause, applause! ????I think we’d all like to have a front-row seat to this particular cheater roast. Ah, justice is sweet when it’s on your side.

        So inspiring! Good for you!

        • The most galling and rediculous thing about this is when they say “I want to explore my feelings” In other words, if they “explore their feelings” and the other person doen’t do it for them; they will give you the grand prize that is them, well you know until they want to explore again.

          My FWs version of that was “they say if you love something, let it go and if it comes back it is yours” Yeah, fuck you and the Vulture you flew in on.

          • “They say if you love something, let it go and if it comes back it is yours”
            I noticed this was a popular quote under the freshman (14 year olds) headshots in my junior high school yearbooks. Had to clean out the house by myself to sell it.
            Adolescent, immature “love”.

          • Omg, I got both. Mine wanted “explore his feelings” with the prostitute and told our kids he was letting me go because he loved me. Really, exposing your wife of 30 years to STDs while a hooker tries to ghost him. Now I’m “alienating” our 18 and 20 year old sons… he disgusts them. But alas, none of us appreciated him, the human “atm”, like his hardworking sex worker.

            • chumpnomore6, I remember once after he had moved out and he came back to tell me he was dating a “girl” they were in luv and wanted to get married; he tried to tell me about their “first time” I was horrified. I said “I am your wife, the mother of your child” you do not tell me about your sex life with another woman. He just ducked his head and as my parting gift said “I never loved you, and I was never faithful to you”.

              I think I just sat there for a while with my mouth hanging open, but the good news is, I got out of that mess; and he and schmoopie are basically existing in a run down mobile home now. Due to their own actions, he walked away with most of our assets; so if he and his twu luv gambled that away; that is on them. I am sure they are still blaming me. Lol.

              Note: Nothing wrong with mobile homes; but it certainly wasn’t where he started, though he did take her out of a mobile home park, and put her in a house; then they lost that.

        • Nice to read this VH. The DOCTOR has been badmouthing me to our 3 kids since we split. Our son has not spoken to him at all in over 2 years, and the others only communicate via text – (NONE have seen him in 3 years).

          You’d think he’d realize that badmouthing ME to THEM is simply self defeating. But no.

          He’s the smartest fool I know. Absolutely not educable when it comes to changing himself. Amazing.

          3 years ago – I was in the depths of my sorrow and loss. The DOCTOR had posted on FB about the “love of his life meeting the family” (which excluded our 3 grown children, btw). This was just weeks after our “trial separation”.

          I was numb with shock and betrayal and humiliation. I can now look back and realize that several mutual friends reached out to ME at that time, and they were horrified by the Cheater’s flaunting idiocy. Several of HIS friends did not choose him, but chose me. Very few Switzerland’s left. It was so hurtful to me, but also so utterly clueless and thoughtless of him- which I feel is worse – b/c that’s how utterly unimportant i was to him. Never crossed his mind that I might be devastated by the discard.

          And for the record, who the hell thinks their grown kids like seeing their mother publicly hurt?? The harm THEY SAW HIM DO TO ME affects how they feel about him!

          (Never mind the extreme parental neglect on his part over the years – I’m just saying that his “strategy” is idiotically counter productive.

          Anyway, my son said perhaps the best line at the time, which started a slow shift within me:

          “Say good riddance to lunacy.”

      • Dear Velvet Hammer, I appreciate you pointing out the importance of remaining calm and listen, really listen. You can outthink these dimwits, after all it takes a true coward to commit adultery. Don’t worry about how things appear to anyone else, you have to live with yourself.

        Do it the Taoist way and let them use their own energy to destroy themselves, because they will.

    • Don’t worry, Chump Lady, we know it is a metaphorical threaded pipe and metaphorical kneecap. And most importantly, that no threaded pipes were actually injured in the breaking of said kneecap.

  • Omg CCC, EVERY single thing that CL wrote is true. Find your mighty, these guys are stubbing cigs out all over you!

    I can’t wait to hear how this turns out in a year when you enforce your boundaries, please write in and let us know!

  • Please listen to Chumplady. Go no contact. Put yourself first. If you keep letting him crap all over your marriage vows. You will lose more of yourself. After I found out about my ex’s affair with my skanky cousin. I was devastated. I agreed to work on our marriage. He refused to own up to anything. Denied sleeping with her. He had a 4 yr affair with her. But, never slept with her??? Bull. When I finally kicked him to the curb. I felt lighter. It has been three years and I have never felt better. You deserve not to be abused. Cheating is abuse.

    • CCC: This^

      Cheating is psychological and physical abuse. Just because you don’t see bruises, doesn’t mean you haven’t been beaten. Would you feel guilty for not consenting to being beaten? Please find a good therapist and a lawyer, and get rid of that bag of trash “husband.” He’s just another fuckwit narcissist. Honestly, he’s lying around in self pity because he can’t fuck your best friend while you take care of his 5 kids?! ???? Think about the level of entitlement a person has to have to do such a thing!

      He has shown you who he is. Believe him.

  • CCC, I want to hug you ten times and kick your butt just as many times. Forget what you did or said before. Everyone of us are in that club, of chump. You need to kick ass for the kids. You are teaching them it is ok to hurt others, or be hurt by others. When they are grown you will watch them living your or your husbands life. That hurts more than, this shit. One healthy parent, with boundaries is worth gold, for their future. Go, be mighty for them. Every time you feel weak, think of them putting out cigarettes on your children’s faces. Be mama bear fierce.

    • I want to hug myself and kick myself at the same time. I’m so well aquainted with the chump speak. It’s not easy to unlearn it. Looking at small wins i.e grey rock. Low self esteem is a big part of it. Go out and live life love yourself. You will survive.

  • CCC,

    I’m afraid that I don’t buy “….. the only reason he told me about this OW was because she had an ethical bend and insisted upon it.” Ethical people don’t have affairs with married people; especially if they are already married themselves.

    He told you because he was about to get busted and wanted to control the narrative and played the old “wanting to agree that the marriage is open after the fact” gambit.

    LTFF

    • Agree 100%! My future ex sat down to have a talk with me because he “believed we should be 100% honest with each other.” He then lied and said he’d been having an affair for 2 years, which turned out to be 7. He only told me because the OW was threatening to contact me.

      I did talk to the OW, and she told me (a la “ethical”) that she’d wanted to contact me to apologize, so that she could “walk away with (her) head held high…because I’m no home-wrecker.”

      I suggested she keep it hanging.

      • Chumparoo,

        Ex-Mrs LFTT was busted by the kids (her iPhone synched to the iPad they used caused them to see some texts I’d rather they hadn’t been exposed to). She denied everything and then hit me with “We’ll have to get divorced – I would have suggested that we adopt an open marriage, but you lack the emotional maturity to make a relationship like that work.”

        I just laughed at her and pointed out that my emotional maturity wasn’t the problem here. As an aside, anyone who says the AP is ethical or … “they are a really nice person … you’d like them if you met under other circumstances” is full of sh*t.

        LFTT

        • LFTT,

          HA! I got an email saying he hopes I would “have the courage, the strength to take the road less traveled.” (Wreckonciliation).

          This after years of the opposite of courage or strength (abuse), this after telling me he was going to “roll up his sleeves” and fight for the marriage – then goes back and sleeps with AP.

          Pfffft.

        • LFTT, I got the same from my ex… “you know, you both are really similar and like the same things. You’d probably like her and you guys would get along”. What in the ever loving fuck nightmare?!?!?! That was the nicest thing that came out of my mouth that evening.

          • KT,

            I actually got the “he’s a really good guy” from my MIL (who I still get on with very well, much to Ex-Mrs LFTT’s chagrin). I shut that sh*t down really quickly and I’m glad to say that she learned her lesson.

            I thought that, as she is a chump herself, that she would have known better.

            LFTT

  • I hope our letter-writer has informed the “ethical” other woman’s husband – you know, just to keep it all ethical and shit!

    • Right?

      That should be the first step. And tell no one, just do it. Then when they hit the ceiling, lay the “well I am just being ethical”

    • Alas other husband knows and has known she had a ‘crush’ on my husband FOR YEARS but completely trusted her because she had never done anything that goes against his boundaries…. I have spoken to him. He generally defends and loves her which is good(?). I mean, I was genuinely a doormat in the compassion department for months. I even recognized this as problematic and requiring rewiring on my part. Then I snapped. I actually just couldn’t take it anymore and said in no uncertain terms NO but I couldn’t or haven’t properly given consequences. I am pretty sure the ‘consequence’ of having less access to her is what he considers sufficient…

      • The question is what consequences YOU consider sufficient! He certainly is applying the pressure to you to reverse that state of “less access,” by using all the abusive techniques of sad sausage and the silent treatment. Don’t give in. Kick him out.

      • I so mean this in a caring way. You need to get out and get out now. You need to see a therapist, a good one, to figure out why you would take this abuse. Don’t let these asswipes play this as being evolved (we will not let society’s constraints dictate!) and “this is bigger than all of us” horseshit. The OW’s husband loves and defends her? He’s another defect dumbass. When the OW stated that they should go no contact as she was too much in love with your husband? That was a fake grandstanding ploy. OW never had any intention of going no contact she just wanted to throw fear and desperation into your husband. All about control. Again, you need to get out of this insane dysfunction as you’ve been in it for so long I don’t think you quite grasp how you are being abused.

        • Wow—the hooker my stbx was obsessed with told him she needed 5 days of NC after I found out. It drove him wild. Until I read your comment I had failed to see it was a grandstanding ploy. She did it again after she called him at our house—which he answered in front of me. He literally begged her to see him. She cut him off again for almost 2 weeks. By then he was offering her the earth and I knew the person I had known was gone, literally gone from our marriage. Stupid chump that I am, I played along with counseling and wreckonciliation weekend trips, during which he regaled me with the stories behind her tattoos, her hard luck life story about how she ended up a sex worker, and was a triumphant success now, earning more than he was as a doctor. Tax free, of course.

          • Sounds familiar Faithful!
            Gotta wonder how they fall in “love” with fantasies instead of real people. My stbx liked to talk about how this young woman he was “taking out for client dinners” had a suicide pact with another woman. They were just so damned cool, gothic and dark that they were going to one day give into their depression and kill each other. He thought this was so cool, in the way a 15 year old goth might think of suicide as “cool”. When he told me this, I literally said, “something is wrong with you, let’s get help” and he laughed at me because apparently I just wasn’t sophisticated enough to see the charm in this. Little did I know he was fucking her, and now they’re living out their dark lives together. So pathetic.

            • If I was informed that someone I knew had a suicide pact with their friend I’d be on the phone with whatever social service would get them psychiatric help.

              And I would also be seriously questioning the sanity of whoever told me it was “dark and cool” because wtf kind of psychopath encourages that???

          • Your STBX is definitely being played! It’s what hookers do best. They know how to spot an easy mark and then hook the guy. The early life hard luck story, while more than likely true, is always something they use to have the sap think they can be saved. So cliche’. She will take him for everything he’s got and then give him the heave ho. He can pledge his undying love and she’ll laugh at him. As for her making more money than a doctor, seriously doubtful. He’s being conned. She needs him to think she is not after his money, which of course is the only reason she is giving him the time of day. I hope you have a kick ass attorney and get a great settlement. Your STBX deserves whatever con she’s playing.

      • CCC
        Emotional affiar my ass. My ex fed me that crap for years with a parade of women. Grown adults do not have crushes for years – those two have been having a physical and emotional affair for a long, long time and have fully enjoyed torturing her husband so much that they decided to pull you in for shits and giggles. Find a good therapist that understands trauma, emotional abuse and CPTSD – they can help you gain an understanding what you have been through. I found mine at the local YWCA – she helped me to get out of the FOG and out of the marriage. Your husband has you brainwashed to the point that you are worried about being impolite to him and his whore – I have been there. If it weren’t for my young adult children throwing him out after he declared he was in love with a scandalously younger woman who was married with 2 little kids and it was my fault for being a “shitty and abusive wife”. Best of luck <3

        • Meant to say if my kids didn’t throw him out I would probably still be with him. He had me fully convinced I was the root of all problems!

          • Oh, Chumparella. God bless your kids. What a level-headed bunch! [Imagines them calmly, coolly, level-headedly flinging him out the door so hard he cracks the sidewalk.]

        • Brainwashed. Yes indeedy. The most cunning of cheaters are very very good at this. I was fed the lie that he was the most dedicated honest adoring husband you could ever meet. I was so brainwashed that I got manipulated into all sorts of abusive sex acts that were ostensibly to make us closer (ester Perel style) but were actually devaluation and triangulation methods that have meant long term therapy with a trauma specialist. When I kicked him out it felt like leaving a cult. I spent years refusing to believe his abuse even after it was spelled out to me in a number of ways by a number of people including him. It is truly frightening how you can be so hoodwinked.

          • Same here CDU. I am still in the abuse counseling phase of trying to realize just how much brain washing I was subjected to. Some days I go right back into denial and I cry and cry and feel abandoned and gross and rejected and unloved and left for a younger woman. And then I re-read all the notes from the women’s refuge and it puts the shit right back into perspective. It really is frightening how you end up so totally at a loss as to how you were so manipulated, and for so long.

      • “I have spoken to him. He generally defends and loves her which is good(?).”

        Uh, no. He’s got about a ton of spackle he’s using to hold his dead marriage together. That’s a pretty one-sided “love” if his wife is having an affair.

      • Let me get this straight. Your former ‘best friend’ recognizes that your husband is abusing you, that she would be abused if she were to take your place, and yet she’s ‘in love’ with him. Please go no contact with both of them as quickly as possible. You’ll start to heal only after you put an end to their toxic mind-fuckery. Ask me how I know. ((Hugs))

  • And as you eluded to, there’s always another ho around the corner willing to play these games. Even if you won the turd this time, he will find two wuv again while you do all those pesky wife appliance things

  • CCC, my STBX is also an extremely sad sausage, operating primarily on the self-pity and charm channels. That’s how I fell for her Genuine Imitation Naugahyde Remorse after her first affair in 2004 – at least that time, she ended the affair right away. The toxicity continued, however, including with “affair-lite” behavior like intense friendships with people she was attracted to.

    When STBX informed me of her second affair in 2018, she had graduated to Esther Perel-like entitlement to engage in polyamory – only, of course, it’s not polyamory if it’s not negotiated in advance. (We are both women, and it was very confusing to STBX that polyamory is quite common in LGBTQ+ circles.) But changing the goal posts mid-marriage doesn’t count as negotiating in advance. If that “need” for polyamory is genuine, it’s probably time to end the marriage ethically and embark on something else. But for the most part, I think the “need” is for kibbles, or emotional supply from as many sources as possible.That’s unsustainable in the real world and emotionally unhealthy, stemming from some kind of disordered fuckedupedness that’s beyond our ability to untangle.

    But of course we didn’t marry ethical, caring people. We married emotional adolescents, who would rather wring their hands over their juvenile “needs” than care for us (and our kids!) in our pain and distress. Please don’t do what I did, and stay any longer than you must. I put my head in the mindfuck blender for about 15 months after D-Day #2, because I didn’t want to make irreversible decisions for myself or my kids while I was actively dealing with the trauma. But it eventually became clear that every new interaction with STBX was re-triggering, and my healing could not begin in earnest until I moved out, which I did this March. (Then Covid hit, bringing other stressors, but at least I’m not in the mindfuck blender on a daily basis anymore.)

    I know how hard it is to act on the knowledge that your marriage is dead, and your spouse is not who you thought. No amount of couples therapy or negotiation is going to change who he is, or save your marriage. You say he’s been disconnected for a while – was that acceptable to you, even before the infidelity and next-level manipulation? I’ll bet, upon reflection, you’ll see that he always was a fuckwit. You’re just now discovering the full-on mindfuck blender, and you don’t know how bad it can be, and how long it can last. We rational people might think, “they can’t be this delusional forever!” Maybe the delusions shift over time, but even if you see them for what they are, constantly being on your guard for manipulations is a huge energy suck.

    So please finish getting those ducks in a row, and figure out how to get some space from him. Maybe that means compelling him to move out; maybe that will involve moving out yourself. You can’t heal an open wound that’s constantly getting battered. All best to you!

    • Thanks for the reply. Yeah, it was all polyamory and our families can work together and other such notions. I tried (really) to entertain these things but I don’t think they were really about that. Instead it was more about them wanting to feel like they weren’t complete jerks. I get a lot of “we can’t help our feelings.” I actually think that I need some therapy to get over my completely ridiculous behaviour. I keep APOLOGIZING for HIS behaviour? WTF is wrong with me? Actual I know what, years and years and years of passive aggressive abuse type behaviour. First I excused it away as him being difficult then because of his anxiety, or job stress or _____ fill in blank with latest crisis. And yes I am modelling the wrong behaviour to my kids. I’m embarrassed by myself. Things must change. I’m also afraid of what he’ll do when I realizes the extent of my disaffection. I really need something firm before I drop the final bomb as dropping little bombs like “I can’t do this,” and “friends don’t hold hands and say I love you” etc… or “I saw your messages and they aren’t friendly” causes what varies from withdrawal to aggressive anger.

      • Start with seeing an attorney and getting a strategy to get out. Don’t tip your hand, yet. Make the calls today. Get appointments. You may be able to Zoom with them. That’s one advantage of COVID (not much of one, but still.)

        Then find a therapist whose JOB 1 is to help you find a spine and stand up for yourself. Unpacking the skein of your fuckedupedness will take months, probably. You need someone who will help you get out and to call you out when you do this terrible self-blaming. You know what’s wrong. You need help in getting past it and in finding new ways to think about your relationship to StonewallFuckwit.

        • I would add that you should dive headfirst into CL’s book. That’s a guaranteed, chump-spine stiffener.

          (My personal preference is the audible edition. Love the narrator!)

      • Your ability to face up to and analyze your own self-defeating behavior signals you are well on your way. If you have yet to see a lawyer, now is the time. Then you can plan and act in stealth, and will have no more need of the “little bombs.”

      • CCC this is NOT polyamory. This is abuse.

        It’s abuse. It’s abuse. It’s abuse. They want you to think it’s polyamory to dress it up and keep you from realizing it’s abuse. Yknow what abusers like more than anything? Maintaining control. And they believe they are not only entitled to control, they believe it’s right and justified that they have it, so they see abusive behaviors as a reasonable means to that end. They will say whatever, do whatever, and tell themselves it’s right if it keeps you under their boot. If it hurts you, well they just reason that it’s your fault for not obeying.

        This is ten flavors of fucked up.

        Cheaters and abusers like to throw out the title of polyamory as a way to shirk responsibility. But that’s NOT how polyamory works. You don’t cheat for several months then switch up and say you’re open. No.

        Poly couples agree to be poly from day 1. They communicate rules and boundaries. Couples who started monogamous who want to experiment with opening their relationship ethically have the honest discussion with each other BEFORE any extramarital sex occurs. BEFORE. Not after.

        And they do not forbid each other from talking about issues. Monogamous couples should not forbid each other from discussing issues either. That’s a power move to forbid you from talking about HIS (completely unapologetic) transgression.

        The fact that you said you’d step aside tells you they don’t want true polyamory either. If they did, they’d be fine with you leaving so they could conduct their “open relationship” as they see fit. Put their money where their mouth is and actually follow through with all this Esther-Perel exhuberance bullshit they’re prattling on about.

        But they won’t. Because it’s not about that. If you leave well…wh-whu who…WHO WILL THEY CONTROL?!?!

        It makes no sense to you because you don’t hold these fucked up values. But there’s no way to satisfy them and you need to leave.

        Also, yes, read Why Does He Do That by Lundy Bancroft. Read it three times. Keep it. Highlight it. It will help.

        • Amen. That book really helped me 2 years ago when I finally figured out that it was abuse. And finally got the strength to leave. The narcissistic abuse almost broke my spirit and it almost killed me.

          And that’s before let him follow me, convince me he’s changed – only to find out he’s been having an affair the whole time!

          BTW, I’ve also learned that Infidelity itself is also abuse. Think about it: power over, control, lies, gaslighting, etc.

          Then I found the LaCGAL book, and CN, which has helped me find the strength to kick him out and file for divorce.

          You can do it CCC! One step at a time!

      • The marriage vow you took was to him only. Tell him if he wants a new polyamorous agreement with you and her, and whoever else – then he needs to divorce you first. Your vows don’t cover this situation.

        But to echo what others said, gtfo. Sounds like he has become an expert in manipulating your caring heart to get whatever he wants. In the best case, he will do this to you for the rest of your life, in the worst case, your kids will learn to do the same. Leave FOR the kids.

      • CCC –
        Please don’t be too hard on yourself. You’re right that living with that toxic passive-aggression for years will wear down your boundaries (and health). I’ve never once felt rested in 18 years, and thought it was because of cancer treatments I had in my 20’s, but now I suspect it was my marriage to a fuckwit – even if the fuckwittery can often be subtle, I was still in the mindfuck blender all the time. Be aware that your spouse is not going to be okay with boundaries, or with any consequences that cost him something. Minimize your contact as much as possible, and go gray rock. If you don’t want to tip your hand about what will come next (which I understand), practice phrases like “there’s a lot to process and think about,” “I’m not up for talking about this right now,” etc. Don’t let on how disturbed you are about his words and actions, because he’ll just switch to one of the mindfuck channels. Again, he is NOT in your corner, and nothing you say will make him see the light. It sounds like you’ve already tried enough, and you have your answer. Once you have a lawyer and a plan, you will be able to reduce contact even more. We at CN will be rooting for you!

        • Definitely DO NOT tip your hand. These fuckers will drain your retirement, max your credit cards, dispose of assets behind your back. People with no conscience can be physically dangerous, especially when they feel backed into a corner.
          Mild-mannered Wasband did things I never dreamed he was capable of. I still can’t believe some of it.

          Bottom line: Protect yourself.

        • ” even if the fuckwittery can often be subtle, I was still in the mindfuck blender all the time.”

          I was too LC. Oh I didn’t realize it until long after our divorce was final, but I was. I knew the last 1.5 year was horrid; but was too ashamed to talk to anyone about it. The good thing is now there is CL, and many other good sources of info; and some counselors are doing a turn around on how to treat the betrayed spouses.

          I was lucid enough (how I don’t know) to get a lawyer fairly quickly and lock down the financial side of the mess. That alone gave me power. When he tried to talk to me about the settlement; I said all that is between our lawyers, I am too much in pain to think right now. Shut him up, and hopefully gave him a shot of guilt. Must have worked because he eagerly signed on to a six month generous temp maintenance agreement. (I could have gotten 3 years). Then when that six month was up, he drug his feet for six more months under the same agreement. Our state only required a two month wait.

          I can just hear it, schmoopie I can’t marry you now the bitch is dragging this divorce out. Lol.

      • My ex pulled this same “polyamory” excuse on me, too—and, also, after the fact. I actually researched polyamory and found out two essential truths:

        1. Genuine polyamorists are well aware of the person who claims polyamory as an excuse to have an affair, and they HATE that person.
        2. It is your PARTNER’S responsibility to keep you emotionally safe (by actively understanding and staying within your boundaries). It is the OPPOSITE of polyamory to make you responsible for “approving” and “disapproving”.

        It was quickly obvious that #1 was true of my ex. This was not polyamory; this was an excuse. Once I understood #2, I saw how not only was she not taking care to make me feel safe and protected, but she would actually stoke my pain as deliberate, explicit punishment for not “allowing” her to have what she wanted. That’s what made it clear that even if she still wanted me (and by “me” I mean “cake”) I would be saddling myself with someone who was eager to abuse me to get her way. I hated to admit it, but I no longer wanted her, because I could now see who she really was.

    • Marriage is a contract. You signed up for traditional marriage, not polyamory. The minute someone mentions wanting to change this in midstream, you’re well advised to separate, file for divorce and extricate yourself from the situation. Talk of “polyamory” in this case means that StonewallFuckwit and NeighborSchmoopie want to keep having their affair but don’t want to give up the perks of marriage.

      But trust me, once the kids are grown and child support is not on the line, StonewallFuckwit will be out the door, probably having dissipated your assets on the way.

      People who want to change the deal midstream are not to be trusted.

  • CCC you CAN do this. He is just a common or garden abusive man. Like all the other abusive men.

    I would urge you to buy Lundy Bancroft’s Why Does He Do That? And feel that fog of confusion lift from your mind. He’s doing it because he wants to and he can. End of story.

    At the other side of the leaving him process lies a future of peace, joyfulness and genuine plain happiness that you can’t even imagine now. But it’s their waiting for you, and your future self is cheering you on as you make those steps towards that wonderful calm peaceful future.

    Hugs xx

    • Oh yeah don’t just buy it – read it. Refer back to it anytime you waiver, write lists of every abusive thing he’s ever done and use that list as a bookmark for the Lundy Bancroft book. Keep referring back and remembering why.

      If you’ve been with him for decades you can get through the next few months of hardship as you detox from that traumatic bonding he has forced upon you.

      • ???????????????????????????????????????? Trauma bonds and fear of financial devastation kept me stuck despite heinous abuse by XH of 25 years (4 kids). Thank god I found CL and got enough anger to tell him to GtFO, filed for divorce, at trial I won everything we owned, full child support, alimony. Fast forward 3.5 years since divorce (6 since Dday). XH is more abusive than ever. His health is wrecked. He cheats on AP. He tries to hoover back to me for kibbles with creepy “how are you” texts late at night????. It took massive effort to get free AND time AND going no contact, but my one and only life is worth it! Yours is too. Call a lawyer today and start gaining your life back.

    • TenYearsFree,

      I know you weren’t writing specifically to me, but this is exactly what I needed to hear today. Thank you.

  • CCC – CL is totally on point. They are getting off on abusing you and seeing your pain. You are a part of a sick triangle and your participation is fueling their fun. Remember, all of this is at your expense and this next quote I am copying and pasting is, plain and simple, gaslighting:

    “Whenever I tried to bring up my concerns, boundaries, my pain, etc… he would go full stonewall for days forcing me to take care of the kids/household (not actually a new situation as his sad sausage game is strong) and just wonder if he would be able to get out of bed at some point.”

    He wants to make it all your fault because, well, cheaters don’t like to tak responsibility for anything that isn’t fantastic and puts them in a better light. How do I know? The same game was played on me and I know the snooping is a part of the triangulation – you are keeping yourself addicted to the feelings you get and the chemicals that are released in your brain and body from this abuse. CL calls it hopium and it is all fake with no good ending. Still, snooping is a great way to get your affairs in order, just be aware it does cause a real chemical reaction. In fact, the relationship you have with him and, yes it is true, with HER is causing real chemical reactions in your body that you are accustomed to. What a mindfuck! The good news: WE DO RECOVER.

    Get out, get out, get out. Find your fuck you attitude and get your ducks in a row and GTFO.
    CL is right when she referred to the way bikers approach problems, but getting a lead pipe to break knees is always a last resort – the most effective revenge is planned and delivered in an organized and deliberate way and the opponent is unaware until the dish is served.

    CCC – you have more strength than either of these fuckwits because you have HONOR and INTEGRITY.

  • Ok, let’s talk about the word “snooping” for a minute.

    I’m 100% on board with how unhealthy it is to spend a lot of energy in investigation mode. Once you know shenanigans are going on, digging more and more becomes morbid and sickening and hurts you as much as or more than it helps anything.

    Plus, there’s the ethical issues around digging in to another person’s private things, and those issues are valid, sure.

    However.

    If a person is keeping secrets, telling lies, and putting you at personal risk (health, finance, home safety, child well being, broken agreements), investigating the things that don’t add up in order to ensure your own safety isn’t properly categorized as “snooping”.

    If a police investigator finds thousands of child porn videos on someone’s computer, does the person’s lawyer try to get the case thrown out on the grounds that the investigator was “snooping” into their “private things”?

    Don’t accept their whining about snooping when they get caught — keeping yourself safe when someone is abusing you isn’t snooping. It’s identifying truth and reality. If they don’t want to get caught in an act, the best approach is to refuse to engage in that act.

    • Amiisfree – AGREED! The “snooping” allowed me to come to terms with my cognitive dissonance. And… I FINALLY saw just how dumb he is 🙂

    • Yeah, I guess I easily feel guilty. Partly this is because I never ever ever looked at someone else’s stuff before. I don’t read my kids diaries or phone discussions. I respect people’s need not to talk about a topic and don’t even try to lead them into doing so. I respect boundaries of others… If someone wants to tell me something then I will listen even if it hurts but- Therefore, I feel really bad about having this need to check up on them. I guess it is part of this convincing stage. It also revealed to me what I really hadn’t expected. That my husband, my support, the person I thought was the most important person in the world after my kids (kids first), was a liar. I was dumbfounded. And it made me doubt everything he’d ever said to me. It made me retrospectively realize that those female friends of the past were at best emotional affairs light and at worst who knows… If he could lie about stupid little things consistently, what else was he capable of? I felt like I was married to a monster the whole time and had no idea. It is really hard for me to accept. and yes I do have to put down the hopium pipe. I acknowledge that there is some sort of ‘addiction’ to this checking behaviour. I want to be free of it! The idea of having a life outside of this fuckery where I can have a normal conversation where I feel that the person speaking to me is actually interested in what I have to say, wants me and so forth is liberating. I mean, I mean I might never be in a romantic relationship again (to be honest the idea sickens me currently) but at least I don’t have to walk on egg shelves and stuff my feelings because I might bring out Mr Hyde.

      • CCC… I could have written what you just wrote. It was all an elaborate con. We can’t blame ourselves: they are master manipulators. I loved a person who never existed. XH would give just enough charm to keep me hooked. That’s why no contact is essential. It hurt so bad to tell him to leave and I was TERRIFIED to be on my own, but the truth was I was living a life that was harder than being “alone.” The kids and I are an intact, authentic family. Without the constant stress of dealing with XH, I have a whole new appreciation for life.

        Get mad! Tell yourself that what they are doing to you and to your kids is outrageous and you will not tolerate it!!!!! Use that outrage to fuel the massive action to call a lawyer, sign the engagement agreement, pay the retainer (borrow the money or put it on a credit card or have your lawyer go to court and get an order that husband pays)! Then download a scanner app on your phone, scan all financial documents and take pictures of all assets and upload to drop box or google docs or OneDrive. Take precious items (heirloom jewelry and pictures) to a trusted friend for safekeeping.

        As soon as you tell him to GTFO and he leaves, tell him it’s just temporary if you have to, get someone to help you install some WiFi cameras (they are cheap and small— Amazon) and change the locks. Block him on all fronts (social media, your phone, etc.). Email him and tell him all communication will be through email only. Have his emails go to a folder that you have a friend read for essential info— there won’t be any, trust me. You’ll be protecting your brain from his manipulation and rage, which is sure to come when you start to stand up for yourself. If necessary, your lawyer will get a protective/anti harassment order and directing all communication through our family wizard, which the Court can then see. Become a fortress.

        In a few months you won’t believe what you tolerated.

        Come on over to CL FB group for real time support. We are here to support you.

        • I think she should also call any of domestic violence organisations. She mentions in one of the posts above that she’s afraid of his agression. If he’s agression and I believe he is, she needs a very good and expert plan.

        • “Get mad!”????

          Yes!!! You deserve better treatment. Your anger will propel you forward. Channel that without apology!

          Whenever I was on fire, I was a force to be reckoned with. It mobilized me to file for divorce, fight for a great settlement, sell two houses, separate 35 years of joint accounts, write a new will, pack, and move to a different state.

          I waver now and again (re my comment to yesterday’s post), but a letter like this reminds me that cheating is ABUSE. And chumps have nothing to do with a cheater’s selfish decisions, dammit!

          You need to believe that you deserve better treatment.

          You deserve to order off a menu that serves something other than a shit sandwich.

      • “I felt like I was married to a monster the whole time.” This is, in fact, your situation.

        He’s a monster. He lies; he cheats; he craves an uneven playing field in your marriage. He stonewalls. He’s unplugged. He uses you to keep the family functioning. He shows zero concern for you. He shows no concern for your (and his) kids, nor for the kids in the other family He shows no awareness that abusing you this way would be publicly humiliating if people figure it out. So he’s cruel and selfish. He won’t entertain discussion of his behavior. He FORBIDS you to do the very basic stuff that you need to do to heal. I could go on. But he’s a monster.

      • I know she’s not everyone’s cup of tea, but Cardi B’s album Invasion of Privacy and the song “thru your phone” really helped me channel my anger and realize I didn’t have to be “nice” all the time, especially to people who are abusive or lying.

        Once people show you who they are, believe it.

      • CCC
        I was like you. Snooping and checking was never a part of me. Then I did it and it opened my eyes to a reality far worse than I wanted to know, accept or believe. It shattered my faith in reality, in love and in humanility.

        Enter deeper cognitive dissonance: So then I’d sleuth for proof that my abusive cheater wasn’t that bad, that evil – ‘see here this clue is affair-like not a smoking gun!’. I was trying to find clues to support the reality I clung to – that he loves me, he cares about ME, our relationship was real and that I mattered.

        Let all that go. He will NEVER change who he his. And he is that back stabbing betrayer – who found it A-okay to hurt you, who is willing to throw you aside mentally and spiritually (but keep you physically as his slave appliance).

        I have been alone 2 years now. I’m thinking about starting to date in my mid 50s. Scary but Life is GOOD. Happiness and meaning does return.
        I’ll never go back to walking on egg shells, knowing he is texting girls while I play the doting partner, and cling to him emotionally and physically when I know he WILL betray me over and over again. And not care for me!

      • That is, Amiisfree’s point about “snooping.”

        Is it snooping to do an audit if you think you’re business partner is embezzling?

        Please start paying attention to the language you use when you talk about this marriage. At every turn, you blame yourself.

        • Gah, you don’t know how hard it is not to apologize for apologizing 😉 Adding seek help to my to-do list along with retrain for a job and call a lawyer.

          • Forget about retraining for now— it’s an unnecessary distraction. Likely H will be ordered to pay for any schooling. You have a full time job: 5 kids!

            Put all your focus on two things: retaining a lawyer and going no contact.

          • Read some articles on narcissist abuse and you will recognize that is one of the signs of being abused by a narcissist.

          • The retraining can wait a bit. Don’t go back to work or to work at a higher pay grade until you get a settlement. Lawyer. Therapy. No contact. Time to think. Self-care. These are the 5 biggies.

            Self-care can be walking, clean diet, a glass of wine every day, etc. Try not to self medicate.

            And maybe start making a list of things you are tempted to apologize for. Then at the end of the week, check to see how many of them are things that you should apologize for–like stepping on someone’s foot.

    • I got caught attempting unsuccessfully to “snoop” on my then-wife’s phone because she had been refusing to answer my question “is there someone else?”. She erupted in rage and stormed out of the bedroom. I took a sleeping pill and spent the rest of the night in the bedroom while she roamed the house.

      It turns out that then-wife spent the rest of the night reading my email. Yes, her response to my attempting to snoop was … to actually snoop. She told me her behavior was justified because I had “deliberately” left my computer open “so that our kids would see the emails”. Never mind that my computer was open because she’d been screaming at me at 2 AM and I’d been banished to the bedroom. Or that she could have simply closed the computer if she’d been so worried about it.

      Like everything else in your relationship with a cheater, you need to decide on your own moral code. Don’t let them dictate to you – they either have no ethical standards, or they will decide that the standards apply only to other people, not to themselves.

      Also, like most complex situations in life, whether “snooping” is justified depends on the situation. If you have reasonable suspicions, it’s one thing. If you find yourself snooping over and over, and finding nothing, that’s different. I had never snooped on my wife before she started having an affair. I have never snooped on anyone else, before or since. This indicates pretty clearly to me that my snooping was a (legitimate) response to a particular situation (my wife was having an affair and hiding it from me), not evidence of stalkerism or poor boundaries or what have you.

    • Agreed. If I were molested by someone hiding in the backseat of my car, I think it would be logical afterwards to check the backseat prior to opening the door each & every time. I think “snooping,” after betrayal, “ is actually “safety seeking behavior.”

  • So, you told them both in turn to go be together and he went from tWu WUv star-crossed and society is soooo unfaaaaiiirrr to “no he doesn’t want to.” And she said “no, he’s abusive to you and once the shine wears off, he’ll probably be like that with me too.”

    This is just a mean spirited mind fuck and tells you two key things:

    1) They’re not in love. They like the thrill of sneaking around and going behind your back and emotionally torturing you. You gave them permission to be together and you’d step out of the way. And they said no. That’s how you know it’s not and never was about being in love. It was always about mind fucking you.

    2) The OW is NOT your friend. In fact, she’s a deeply selfish, narcissistic, and hateful person who likes seeing your pain. She basically just said it’s okay for him to abuse you, but not her. Yes, that IS what she’s saying. Think about this: it’s ok to her to fuck your husband, cheat on hers, and whine about being together “ethically,” but when offered the opportunity to actually be with him without the pretense of cheating, suddenly his abuse is wrong?

    No. FUCK THAT. Only a truly hateful person would have that kind of double standard. This woman is not your friend. I doubt it’s possible for someone that deeply entitled can be a real friend to anyone.

    Get a lawyer with teeth. This garbage needs to be taken out.

    • “The OW is NOT your friend. In fact, she’s a deeply selfish, narcissistic, and hateful person who likes seeing your pain.”

    • All of this. ^^^^^

      Plus they have kissed and probably had sex. Unquestionably. They’ve both lied to you repeatedly, so why would you think they haven’t?

      • Of course they’ve had sex. Nobody carries on a gross affair like this without having sex.

        They never went no contact either, that’s a big crock of shit too.

        CCC, stop believing anything they say. They’re demonstrable liars who practice daily deceit. You cannot trust abusers and cheats to tell you anything true.

    • Yes! Imagine how little you would have to care about another human being to destroy their life in this way. That’s how much these two cheaters care about CCC, no matter what they say. Their actions belie their real feelings.

  • This line at the end killed me:

    “…not only has he forbidden me from talking about this ever again but because I can’t believe a word he says.”

    He forbids you? He FORBIDS you? HE FORBIDS YOU?

    Who gave him the authority to FORBID that you speak about what’s happening to you in your marriage?
    Who gave him the authority to FORBID that you speak about climate change or the president or the new Taylor Swift album?
    Who gave him the authority to STONEWALL any discussion of how this impacts you and the kids?

    You did. This whole letter reeks of “he has all the power and I am helpless in the face of his needs and wants.”

    You can take the power back and you must, if you want to protect yourself and your kids. What kind of marriage are you modeling if you can’t speak your pain and rage, if your needs are dismissed so callously, and if you cry so much your face becomes inflamed?

    You want to know why he doesn’t want a divorce? He doesn’t need one! You are letting him carry on this affair even though it’s physically and emotionally killing you. So he can keep his salary, your salary, the retirements, the house, your savings and full access to the kids whenever he has a minute or two. He is a cake-eating, lying, cheating punk.

    I hope somebody puts up the “lining your ducks advice.” I’m at work. Get to the best attorneys in town and then pick one. Figure out what you need to survive as a single parent and go fight for it. Anything is better than this marriage that is empty of everything but abuse.

    • Yes, I have become powerless. It’s stupid and you are right it has to end. At the beginning I was ‘allowed’ to talk about it but then he had a few personal crises and his life is really hard right now so he told me that “if I talked about it again, he would not reply.” It was this and the fact that I found out that after he promised no contact for the umpteenth time that he had indeed emailed her though she did not respond this time. I think I was blindly falling into an abyss but I have hit the bottom and started to dust myself off. BTW, I wasn’t powerless really at the beginning of this marriage but decades of what I guess is emotional abuse has worn me thin. I hadn’t even realized it was abusive as my childhood was much worse (physical abuse, deprivation) so in comparison it seemed like stability. I have no real excuse now that I know. I just have to figure out next steps.

      • Next steps, sweet CCC: 1) look on AVVO for highly rated divorce attorneys nearby; 2) call two or three and book appointments (all virtual now); 3) find out on the call how experienced they are with narcissists and abusers, cheaters? If the waffle about it being abuse— pass and call another!; 4) ask the one you choose to send the engagement agreement today— you can sign using DocuSign -tell them you want temporary orders filed immediately (this can be done within a day or two)— if the lawyer can’t or won’t move that fast— pass to the next one — no lazy butts or overworked attorneys for you— get someone who understands your urgency and has your back— there are a lot of divorce attorneys out there-/ don’t settle until you get the one who will move fast and says they have the experience to handle a malignant narcissist and his tricks. You CAN do this! It’s only some phone calls. You could have this ball rolling by lunchtime.

      • If you look in this blog’s archives or Tracy’s book you’ll find a list of steps to take.
        I want to punch your husband and that bitch in their throats. Utter cruelty inflicted by them
        (((Hugs)))

        • Yes! I was just about to recommend that URL myself!

          So many excellent comments, but AT MINIMUM (1) memorize Tracy’s book “Leave a Cheater, Gain a Life” and (2) PROTECT your finances! He has stolen your time, energy, love — but nothing lights a fire under your butt like seeing in black and white and red how he has STOLEN your MONEY!

      • Here’s something you might now have thought about. Like me, you come from a FOO where abuse was part of your experience as a child. So you were prepared:
        1. to meet an abuser who would recognize your vulnerability and familiarity with abuse;
        2. to react favorably to lovebombing instead of love;
        3. to work super hard to please the abuser when he began to devalue you;
        4. to accept abuse as normal;
        5. to tell yourself it’s your job to fix this. If only you do the right thing…

      • It’s all about him all the time, isn’t it?

        He deserves to live completely alone, all by himself, so it can continue to be just about him without affecting anyone else.

  • Bitch doesn’t want him full time because he’ll abuse her, but she’s just fine with helping him abuse you. Prick won’t leave, he’ll just keep mooning over his twu wuv right in your face and neglecting his family. Because what fun would twu wuv be without it right there in front of you to hurt you. These people are both evil. Get rid of them. Maybe you need therapy to help you learn your worth, because this is ridiculous. You feel SORRY for these scumbags? The compassion is totally undeserved and is not reciprocated. Far from it. These pigs are enjoying making a fool of you, and this has little to nothing to do with any genuine feelings towards each other. It’s about hurting and humiliating you. They’re co-abusers and you are a convenient punching bag.

    Emotional affair, my Aunt Fanny. They have sex, my dear. They have sex and they laugh at you for believing it’s just emotional.
    Lawyer. The. Fuck. Up.
    You can do it. You can take back your power.

    • THIS!! Adults F*ck.
      I too thought my cheater had lots of female “friends”. They just liked him. Ones he set me aside for. Ones he ignored me to text. Ones he got angry at me over. Ones I was not to question him about.

      I believe CL said this early on like 2013 and when I saw it my jaw dropped. Adults f*ck. Like duh, how could I have believed his flirty trists were just as platonic friends!? Oh, because I wanted to believe it so bad — and he knew this! smh. He used my love against me.

  • Normal spouses don’t require snooping. Plus, you don’t even need snooping here. He TOLD you they were having an affair. He continued when it was clear you were hurt. That is more evidence than you should ever need.

    Call a lawyer. Go get tested for STDs. Of course they have been having sex. They are adults.

    I was truly shocked when I found out my ex was having an affair. I never snooped because he never seemed to be hiding anything…until the few months leading up to d day. His behaviour, in hindsight, was off. After 25 years together I was more concerned he was drinking or doing drug (he was 5 years sober then). An affair never even crossed my mind.

    My own d day was almost exactly 2 years ago. We separated immediately and have been divorced for a year. It was brutal, that first year. Affairs create paranoid and anxiety because of the lies and confusion and humiliation.

    Today I am happy and free. I have a beautiful life where I am refining who I am. I also have full custody of our teenagers as ex has moved on and had a baby, at 49. He is not happy. I don’t care! Lol we have very little contact and that’s fine with me.

    For 24.5 years I thought he was my friend and had my back. Then he didn’t. Those 24.5 years are over and cannot begin to make up for betrayal and lies.

    Get your lawyer. Protect your health and financial future. You will be ok.

    • A baby at 49. That is one tough road, assuming he is not wealthy and/or a caring nurturing individula; which I assume he isn’t.

      I wish that child the best, but dang that would be tough for me. I love children, and I am crazy about my grands, but I wouldn’t want them living with me.

      My guess is, baby aside; he is living in hell. I like that part of it. 🙂

      • You’re much smarter and kinder than I am, expressing concern for the child. I hope for the best for that innocent one, too.

        That said, when I read this – “ex has moved on and had a baby, at 49. He is not happy.”- my first thought was: “Karma! Yes! Be careful what you fuck for because you just might get it.”

        • “Be careful what you fuck for because you just might get it.”

          Ha, so true.

          My ex and schmoopie have made a mess of their life, (bankruptcy, family fights etc) and per my son a couple days ago it is getting worse, as FW bought a trailer in another state and is going to move there and schmoopie is really pizzed. I would never do it, but I would so like to look at both of them and say was the fuck fest worth it?

          Likely they would just say yes.

      • A baby at 49 is a mistake for anyone. The gf is not who I caught him cheating with…but she is his bosses secretary. So who knows who he was sleeping with when. As an aside, I work at the same company. Fortunately he moved to another city…so I don’t have to see him at work. Or her.

        Financially a baby is tough. We had planned to retire at 55. I still will. 6 more years.

        He has a good income, but not as good as mine. And he pays me child support.

        He’s a total narcissist. He sometimes messages me to complain about things….he is delusional to think I care….

        • I can’t believe they complain to the ex about their lives. Once we were divorced, that ended our communications. But, of course our son was grown so there was no need for contact.

          You should tell him, you got what you wanted; if you aren’t happy that’s all you.

          Or better yet ignore, which I am sure you do.

          • I generally do.
            We are work colleagues, so I occasionally have to interact over Skype. I shake my head, and don’t think about it too much as I am meh and I like it.

  • CCC, before I even read CLs reply I wanted to go after your FW and slit his throat.

    PLEASE get out!’You deserve more. Be grateful you have found CL and CN. You will find your way out of this creepy mess.

    Take care

  • I went through something similar. My XW had lots of male friends. She said That I was insecure and paranoid because they were “just friends”. I was like you. Felt bad and would apologize all the time. She would tell me enough about them for plausible deniability. In Reality she was screwing them. He is screwing them. My XW didn’t want to give up cake. Eventually I got 100% proof of one affair and divorced her. But I wasted 24 years of life and my health.

  • My story as chump began last December when I received a letter from my husband informing me that he had developed feelings for a close family friend and that they wanted to explore these feelings but only with my consent. He wouldn’t, of course, want to harm our family or me!

    Now this doesn’t sound so terrible right?

    Actually, yes, it does sound terrible. On a lot of fronts, and it sets up the rest of your situation.

    Your husband tells in in a letter? Are you kidding me? Grown ups communicate. They talk the hard truths. Your husband, by that very simple act, showed you that he can’t talk the hard truths. No wonder you started discovering that he lies about stuff that is so small he doesn’t need to lie about it!

    Then he tells you he’s developed feelings. This is crap. He’s married. The AP is married. You know, in the nearly 20 years I was married to CheaterX and in the decade before we were married, I never once “developed feelings” that I wanted to explore. The relationship you have with your spouse is the most important relationship you have. You put your time and effort into that relationship. If you find that someone is pursuing you, or if you start to think about someone else, then you do what adults do: put an end to those feelings. Realize that they’re fantasies. Avoid being around that person until you get your head on straight.

    When he told you that he wanted to explore his feelings with her–but only with your consent–he was telling you that he’d already been exploring those feelings, but now he was afraid of getting caught.

    And how manipulative! By telling you that he wanted your consent, he turns you into the Big Meanie for keeping him from the AP!

    Look, LovedaJackass is spot on. He has ZERO right to forbid you from speaking about this! Basically, he’s telling you that it’s not HIS actions that are the problem, it’s YOUR reactions.

    Go read Leave A Cheater, Gain a Life. You will see yourself in that and get a broader notion of the kind of abuse and gaslighting you are experiencing right now.

    Start preparing for your departure.

    1. Get tested for STDs. Stop having sex with him, since apparently you are swapping fluids with him, the AP, and the AP’s husband. Ewwww.
    2. Go see a very good divorce lawyer. See three. Don’t tell your husband. He doesn’t need to know. Get an idea of what you can expect from a divorce in your state.
    3. Start looking at your finances. Rarely does someone cheat without spending some of the marital estate on the AP. You need to know what’s happening with all the accounts, with the retirement, and with any investment portfolios. Get records and digitize them. Talk with a divorce financial planner about how to protect yourself and your retirement post divorce, and what you should negotiate for during the process.
    4. See a therapist. You need a lot of help here. It’s clear that he’s been beating you down for quite some time. You need a therapist who’s experienced with trauma bonding and abuse survivors.

    Taking these steps will start to empower you.

    Best of luck and keep us posted!

    • “If you find that someone is pursuing you, or if you start to think about someone else, then you do what adults do: put an end to those feelings. Realize that they’re fantasies. Avoid being around that person until you get your head on straight.”

      This. A thousand times this!!

      Til I’m blue in the face, I will keep saying the same. This is what cheaters don’t get. “I just fell in love,” they say. No, no, no, no, no, no. You let yourself. You could’ve shut it down.

      Velvet Hammer said it well a couple weeks ago: “Feelings follow actions.” These people have agency. These choose to have feelings. They choose to cheat.

      • Exactly, we have all had attractions to others, it is the human condition. When a committed non cheater realizes this they back off, and make it clear they are not available.

        Do these cheaters think they are the only ones to get attention from the opposite sex? (or same)

        • Or, if he simply cannot resist his pantsfeelings for the AP, if the feelings are sooooo powerful that they can’t help but accidentally fall into each other’s genitals, there’s another option:

          He can end the marriage as soon as he discovers and is allegedly drowning in said Pantsfeelings.

          It’s called Taking Responsibility For Your Actions.

          Talk about the Road Less Travelled…

          • Yep, but reality is they don’t really (most) in the beginning want to leave the marriage; they want a side piece. They think it will just be a kick, then they can go back to their comfy life until the next illicit hard on hits. Many do this for years until they run across someone more devious/cunning than they are. (which is hard to find).

      • Strangely I suggested much the same thing. I said when someone is becoming interested in me, I shut them down as I don’t want them to get the wrong idea. I was seriously puzzled by this. He did say to me that in the past he would have passed up this opportunity to which I answered, “So you were hoping to have these opportunities in the past??” I mean don’t let me stand in the way. You do you and whoever you want just not with me waiting at home like a good wifey.

  • I’m not even reading the other comments before I post this:

    1) STD testing. Now. Yesterday.
    2) Every scrap of financial information is going to be scanned and copied and archived. The phone bills. Utilities. 401K. HELOC. Bank accounts and their incoming/outgoing expenses.
    3) LAWYER
    4) Sign up for the “Parenting with a Fuckwit” course your county probably requires. Oh, they’ll call it co-parenting, but that is for normal people who cried buckets and filed BEFORE schtupping your now-former bestie
    5) Tell the kids the truth. We are separating because married people do NOT have a girlfriend AND a wife (in your case). Don’t sugarcoat it.
    6) THERAPY for you, for the kids. Leave Fuckwit out of it.

    Best wishes to you.

      • It’s perfect. I would just addL

        1. Find a safe place to store personal items that you value: jewelry, stuff that the kids made (etc).; family heirlooms, private documents, etc. One thing cheaters do is steal your stuff or give the AP access to it. So make sure that you put these valuable things out of their reach.
        2. Between now and the time the lawyer files the papers, start buying gift cards when you shop at the grocery store. In my area, you can buy gift cards for the supermarket and for gasoline. But gift cards are as good as cash and you can hide them. I like supermarket cards, Home Depot, Kohl’s, Target. Put away as many as you can.
        3. Make sure your car is in top shape. Check the tires, the battery, the lights. Fix anything that needs to be fixed. Get yourself and the kids to the dentist, the eye doctor. Get their shots up to date.

        • Yes! Also be careful with the security of your tech for all devices, (consider changing passwords to something hard to guess) , on’t sync or leave tech signed in (delete your viewing history if you share devices etc).

          • Yes to both! Add them to the list of must-do’s.

            No matter what, do NOT forget that he is NOT AN ALLY.

            No one in his family is your ally. None of his friends are (likely to be) your allies.

  • It took years of working with very difficult clients before I learn to say a hard NO. Just NO. There is no excuse there is nothing but a NO. You are leaving it up to him what to do. You do it. Get the hell away from that hairy legged, low hanging, sniveling, jackass piece of shit and let him go on his merry ass way. You’ve got better things to do with your life.

  • CCC you deserve better. Another voice encouraging you – you can do this and it is so so worth it. One step at a time, one day at a time and to do lists can get you there. I sincerely hope you take the good advice above and read CL’s posts on ‘how to line up your ducks’ and ‘how to leave a cheater’. As another chumpy chump now free after an long marriage with kids, to a cheater who showed those red flags of being flirty, disrespectful and emotionally abusive – once you are free it does get better so much better.
    Take action – you are worth it! Make the rest of your life the best of your life. My mantra was “it is what it is but it becomes what I make it”. You have agency! You can do this.

  • Brace yourself for the blame. Once you move toward divorce, and he figures out that his behavior has consequences, he will blame you for everything. He’ll claim you allowed the relationship(s); he’ll claim you drove him to it; he’ll claim he loved you above all else; he’ll claim you are the one who really wants to sleep with someone else. He’ll claim he is the honest one with his letter and that you are the deceitful homewrecker with your divorce attorney. You won’t be able to stop it, and the lies and injustice will sometimes infuriate you. There is nothing you can do but be prepared–the same way you brace yourself before jumping into a very cold swimming pool. Do not bother defending yourself. When he says, “See, you agree, even you know your actions are indefensible,” don’t take the bait. Just remind yourself that he is being entirely predictable.

    It sounds like you are prone to being accommodating. This is why you have to plan ahead. Once you hire a lawyer and agree to a plan, do not second guess it. You wouldn’t hang over the shoulder of other professionals asking them if they really need to unclog that bathroom drain or replace that broken headlight. Don’t pay for a lawyer and then disregard their advice. You need a professional to assert your needs and protect your legal interests because that is a skill set you do not own. (Lots of us chumps don’t!) No matter how good your lawyer is, you’ll be distressed and uncomfortable with the process at times. And your husband will work very hard to make you feel bad about it. Again, be prepared for that to happen, and be prepared to ignore it.

    Good luck.

  • It was quite obvious (from just reading your letter) that your abuse started in childhood, long before being with Fuckwit. You are exceptionally spineless, and need to get a kickass therapist, as well as attorney…ASAP!! And stop tipping him (and OW) off. He is 100% your enemy now…but fake it til you make it.

    • Haha I guess. I have actually escaped from a much more abusive relationship as a teen. Like full on premeditated leave pack my stuff in secret escape. But yes I think I am used to abuse.

      • This is why you need to get out of there and then you shouldn’t even date until you have a couple of years of living alone and working on yourself and your picker under your belt.

      • Don’t worry. A few years of living on your own and you will be badass. It’s amazing. You get all the blankets and no one leaves the toilet seat up. Yiu can even have cereal for dinner without complaint.

        Embrace it. It is an unexpected gift.

    • Damaged from childhood; don’t know right from wrong, no self-protection instincts, judgement fatally flawed. So many of us chumps fit that profile.

      We learn better.

  • CCC – don’t be me. Twenty years ago I was in the middle of a move out of state with STBXH & had 4 small children. I hadn’t worked in the workplace for about 10 years. STBXH had moved to a temporary apartment 6 weeks prior to the rest of us. During that time, I received a phone call from him describing a disturbing discharge from his penis & what should he do about it. I had a little bit of self worth & told him that if he could get something like that from a prostitute, he could call a free health clinic on his own to get it treated. He did. I moved to him anyway, as I hadn’t been in the current town for more than 2 years, and hadn’t lived near relatives since we had married, I didn’t have a job, and the house was literally sold & we had closed on the one in the new town. So he “went to counseling” and “the counselor thinks you should to to a counselor too.” I was in what I thought was full out protection mode of my family: complete the move & patch things up with my husband who claimed to be sorry. I didn’t think I was the one that needed counseling. In reality, I had been slowly emotionally abused over the preceding years & continued to be over the next 10.

    Get STD testing. It’s a bit of a reality check to have to tell someone why you need it.

    Since you grew up with abuse you may not have a developed sense of justice and cannot recognize injustices perpetrated upon you.

    Lundy Bancroft also has a daily reader that helped me: Daily Wisdom for Why Does he Do That? It’s little bites, easily read, focusing on 7 topics each week, including how to help your kids.

  • “… given how he had romantically and sexually ignored me throughout most of our marriage that it didn’t seem fair for him to put energy into a new relationship when he should really be redirecting that into ours.”

    Reading this brought so much of my past marriage into a new light. This is what I wanted to say, but couldn’t get him to understand.

  • Oh CCC, your letter makes me so sad. You sound like such a giving, loving person and this pair of twats DO NOT DESERVE you!!!!!
    I’m not sure of your childhood background but it might be worth googling co-dependency and Anxious Insecure Attachment- you’re totally minimising you’re own needs for these abusers, and it sounds like that might have been a pattern for you?
    Sending you lots of love and good thoughts. You WILL get through this, and maybe learning to say no and upholding consequences when your boundaries are breached will open up a whole new world. There are so many great people out there, stop giving all your energy to these two vampires

  • CCC – I’m absolutely enraged for you. But that really doesn’t mean anything, YOU need to be enraged for you.

    Who do these two mother-fuckers think they are? Their behavior is actually sickening. None of this is acceptable. Get the fuck out of there and leave them to their great lurve.

    Ugh great . . . now I have to go back to work pissed off.

  • One of the most shameful parts about my marriage is that I agreed to an open marriage after D-Day. He proceeded to violate every single term of that open marriage. He did sleep with the OW in our marital bed. He did hit on other women besides the “official” OW (surely nobody could expect His Fabulousness to be content with one extramarital girlfriend, could they?). Unsuccessfully, I might add, because this woman had a functioning moral compass. I suspect he had an OM in addition to an OW. And I never did get sex from him again, though in retrospect that is a blessing in disguise.

    I tried to act all sophisticated, like Esther Perel wants all us chumps to be, not that I had ever heard of Esther Perel before finding this site. I didn’t feel sophisticated. I felt miserable. This went for a little over 4 months after D-Day. Then he announced he wanted a divorce. After all the sacrifices I had made for our marriage, I had abased myself for nothing. I cried in the bathtub for hours straight. But after I finished crying I emerged from that bathtub fully committed to the divorce path. After all if anyone criticized me for divorcing him I could reasonably say I had done everything I could to save my marriage. I was sorry to lose the place I’d called home for years, but if he was determined to divorce me then I was going to lose the home anyway, so that forced me to make my peace with the fact that I was going to have to move in the middle of a pandemic. Of course he didn’t really want a divorce, he wanted me to dance harder for him, so ultimately I was the one who filed for divorce, but that’s a whole other story.

    And I’m one of the luckier chumps on this forum. By the time Nitwit came up with the brilliant idea of wreckconciliation I was already committed to divorce and practicing Gray Rock. Many other chumps got sucked into the RIC and spent extra years or decades of hell with their cheaters. Don’t make the same mistakes I did, CCC. Don’t give up your boundaries and your self-respect for a marriage that is already over in his mind. Don’t hand him any more ammunition to use against you in court (“But, Your Honor, we had an open marriage! She was okay with it!”). Find a lawyer today. If you have kids NC won’t be possible but learn what Gray Rock is and how to practice it. Dump the loser and experience life without him. You will feel so much lighter and freer without him. D-Day was less than a year ago for me and already I’m doing stuff I would never have been able to do with Nitwit constantly tearing me down (e.g. writing a novel). I won’t say I’m at “Meh” yet but I can promise that it does get better after the initial pain of separating yourself from the “devil you know”.

  • CCC – You are not snooping when you are looking for evidence that you are being deceived. It is a different matter entirely when you know our husband is being deceitful, but you really don’t know exactly what’s going on. Of course, they’ll deflect their guilt on to you and try to turn the conversation on you by blaming your for snooping. But, that’s when to stand your ground.

    HIM: I can’t believe you went through my phone.
    YOU: I can’t believe you have been sleeping with another woman. We are married.
    HIM: How dare you go through my things?
    YOU: How dare you avoid your guilt in cheating by trying to make this about something I have done. You are cheating.
    HIM: I can never trust you with anything.
    YOU: You are not trustworthy because you have lied about your affairs. You have betrayed this family. You have broken your promises in marriage.

    For 13 months, I did the pick me dance. And, never, not once did I look at his phone or his email. I actually believed I was being noble about that to show him that I still trust him. Meanwhile, I was naively handing him power to continue his affair quite easily. Then, he announced he was leaving for good two weeks before Christmas and got a place for the first of the year. All through our last Christmas with our families (pretending everything was fine), I noticed that he seemed to often go out to the car “for a smoke”. The next morning while he was in the shower was the first time I ever looked at his phone, and everything took a turn.

    Had I never done that, he would have gotten away with passing off his affair partner as just a friend. I knew that it had to be more but had no proof and his family didn’t know what to believe. He would have gotten away with his plan to wait a period of time and then claim that his feelings for his friend had evolved.

    But his phone revealed to me a secret email account. Within a day I got into that account and printed off a full binder of emails that detailed what had been a 21 month long relationship. That led to more “snooping,” and I discovered an affair before this one. I discovered another one towards the end that he slept with while leaving me to be with the “love of his life”. I discovered that for years he had been watching porn (which helped explain the ED problems that had gotten worse over the years). I also suspect that there was another woman for a brief time, but I didn’t feel like going down that rabbit hole.

    I knew enough to know that I wasn’t crazy after all. That I was with a bona fide liar and cheater. And, I had the evidence to share with his family, my family and our closest friends. No one questioned anything ever again. And no one told him that I had evidence. Three years later, he still doesn’t know and is furious that no one has accepted this relationship (his family refuses to speak of this woman and so they have never met her).

    It is not snooping when you are investigating the truth of your own life. However, you need to know when to stop before it become unhealthy for you. Does it really matter how many women he was with? Does it really matter how many years back it goes? You might find out a lot quickly. But once you find confirmation so that you can move on knowing that you aren’t crazy, don’t go to great lengths to find out more. It will just keep your head swimming.

    • Exactly, anyone has the right to investigate suspected fraud against themselves, whether financially or emotionally.

  • “Find your inner Hell’s Angel,” You fuck with me, you fuck with the wrong person.

    Wish I had found my inner Hell’s Angel a long time ago. Better late than never.

    • Same here. I did fairly well given I was pretty much alone, and I knew nothing of cheaters tactics.

      But, I should have been a lot nastier.

  • Oh. Shit. I absolutely could have written this letter, nearly word for word.

    Except listen to me, CCC, I’ve been doing this one-sided “open marriage” Esther-Perel-shit for 2 years now. TWO. YEARS. I know I’m obviously not one to give advice, since I’m still in the thick of it, but here it is anyways: get the FUCK out. Right now. While you still have time, a thin shred of dignity and maybe even a little sanity left. It only gets worse. And worse. And worse. I am telling you this right now: that disgusting woman will leave her husband (in order to make herself more available to YOUR husband and further triangulate herself into your lives) and it only gets worse after that. Do you really want to be enmeshed in this sick triangle where you will feel like the third wheel in your own marriage for the rest of your life? I didn’t think so. Get your running shoes on. Go. They can explore their feelings on their own time.

  • I can’t help myself react to the muse sentence.

    My ex sent two dozen long stemmed red roses to his muse on my birthday while he was here sorting through the house taking ‘his things’.

    They were special, and even though it was 25 years since their first affair they were in true luv.

    I hurt, still does a bit, this post just made me see them clearly. Thank you! I needed that today.

  • CCC, get the fuck out. Now! I’ve told my story before, but you need to hear it and run like hell…

    My husband asked for an “open marriage” because he wanted to explore S&M. I felt like he should have the right to do that. So, I told him I wanted to explore it with him. I told him I would allow for some experimentation, but we had to be honest and it was on my terms. He agreed. I gave him my terms, he said he was okay with that. The first term was complete honesty – no sneaking around. He agreed. The second was that he was only allowed to pay for it – no emotional attachment. He agreed. The third was that I would meet the woman who was the sex worker. He agreed. I said I would try it only for six months. He agreed. I felt like shit about this, but I convinced myself that I was being a sexually mature woman who was trying to save her long-term marriage and keep a home for her child. I wanted to support my husband and his fantasies (of course, he didn’t do anything about mine!). I sort of believed it was a “midlife crisis” and something he needed to get out of his system. I went away for a month with my daughter on an extended family road trip. My husband and I agreed we needed some serious “soul searching” time apart, and it was a period of mental adjustment while we entered into this arrangement. He got his wedding ring fixed, he said he would never take it off again. We agreed to take a holiday together after I got home – it was going to be our 25th wedding anniversary and we were going to do some sexual experimenting together and reconnecting. He said he loved me, I was his best friend, the love of his life, he adored me,

    Alas, while I was away, he went on a fuck fest, spent 3k of our marital funds on his girlfriend and “fell in love”. Cut a long story short…turns out he had been fucking around with whores (paid and free) since our daughter was born – so 13 years. Then he found a girlfriend who he could abuse (literally), because he was deeply into beating women. He tried to tell me that he was going to live part time with me – come over and “mow the lawn and do the taxes sometimes”, and then go to be with his girlfriend. I was stunned, to say the least, at his complete and utter devaluation of me. Essentially, he relegated me to “side” wife, who meant nothing (and apparently wasn’t there for love or sex or affection – just taxes) and the girlfriend fuck was the central feature.

    I felt completely duped – I can’t believe he got me into a vulnerable position to seek “consent” for his sexual fantasies, and then reveal that he’d been doing it all along anyway, and the rules had changed – I was just suppose to sit home and do the damn dishes while he was out fucking his whorey, desperate young girlfriend who allows him to flog her. His eyes went glassy, and he just spewed it all out without a care in the world as to how it sounded and how horribly hurtful this was. In the days that followed, he got more and more abusive and mean. And for the past year and a half, I’ve been under the reign of his power and control attempts from afar.

    CCC-don’t fall for this shit. And, any woman who says to you that she would never be with your husband because she may suffer the same abuse as you, is a completely sick and twisted bitch who clearly doesn’t care for you at all. She should be saying, “I’m so sorry, I’ve caught a glimpse of what your husband is like and I fear that he’s abusive to you. Please leave him.” But instead, she’s rubbing it in your face-and she’s fucked him. Don’t fool yourself.

    Read this: https://lovelesslyabandoned.com/2019/07/27/the-meddler-in-your-marriage/

    CCC-don’t put yourself up for the pain. Imagine your future self. What’s it going to be like in two years from now? He has shown you who he is. Believe him. I won’t lie, being alone sucks. It’s the biggest shit sandwich in the world to get abandoned and try to survive after a fuckwit shits all over your marriage. But love is a behaviour, not a concept. He is not demonstrating that he loves you – he doesn’t care that he’s hurting you. That’s abuse. I’ve been there, felt that. It sucks. Get the fuck out, you gorgeous mamma. He does not deserve you.

  • CCC – I really hope you kick him out. The “putting out cigarettes on your face” is apropos and, I hate to say it, but it could take a few months even after you lawyer up and file if he insists on staying in the home.

    That is what my STBX did to me after I caught her cheating. She insisted on staying in the family home and continuing her relationship with the OG.

    After four months, she finally left. That was October 26th. The last three weeks have been SO good. I feel like I’m starting to heal. 15 years in that relationship and kids 9 and 13 so it’s going to take time. But at least no more cigarette butts in my face!!!

    I wish you all the best!

  • I tried to kill myself to “exit” the affair. I no longer wanted to see what I knew was unfolding (ex-ex husband did the same thing), so I decided I wasn’t going to sit by and watch again.
    What did this get me?
    5 days at the psych ward (met some very cool people there)
    Two more months of couple’s counseling (I finally stopped negotiating)
    His shrink suggesting that he have an affair with the Twatwaffle
    Me playing the “pick me dance” for two months while he couldn’t decide
    More anti-depressants
    So yea, this was obviously not the route to go. I still don’t know what the right path to choose is/was. But I can eliminate this as a possible solution. Trust me, it doesn’t work.

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