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Her Cheating Husband Spies on Her

mindfuckDear Chump Lady,

I’m not sure how this message will be received as I’ve not had an “official” D-Day. But I’m writing to you because your site is keeping me going as I feel like I’m treading water here.

Over the past year my husband’s behavior has changed drastically. Moody, angry, causing fights over really small and dumb things. He got a new job last year and started working late. And it always seemed like he worked a lot but I now know that he cannot work more than 80 hours a week.

Here is the (very shortened) details to my crazy situation. He asked me to drink a lot that day because I have a lubrication issue. Well, when he got home he got me a gatorade and kept asking me to drink. I don’t remember falling asleep. When I woke up our phone GPS showed he left in the middle of the night and went to the end of the road where it is a dirt road and nothing else. Not one but TWO phone GPS’s showed this. I also found a very strange picture of me asleep on his phone. Well, here is the kicker, he is really tech savvy (as I will point out later) so it never made a lot sense that he left with the phone tracker on. Anyways I suspected he gave me something, when I searched his backpack that he keeps in his car he became super angry and started emptying it and wouldn’t let me take it into the house.

After we came inside he randomly started crying. That he was stressed. This was unfair. He didn’t do anything. I have since found that there is a hidden pocket in his backpack that he conveniently did not check. Of course I spackled. It was much easier to doubt my senses/gut than it was to believe that him being so tech savvy and smart would take his phone. I’ve checked the phone records. Checked credit card statements. Nothing. Well, this January and Feburay (two months after incident) I noticed several days where he came home smelling of perfume and in a great mood. So I started keeping up with his time at work in my calendar. All seemed normal. About a month later we were at a party and he behaved strangely after one of the friends mentioned infidelity on Gay hookup sites. So we had a confrontation because chumpy me thought he would confess. He didn’t but he behaved strangely all week and I decided to reach out to a PI (I’m in a fault state). We are 2 years short of a 10 year marriage with a child. He is the primary source of income and he carries the medical insurance.

Well the PI confirmed that these are all signs (plus a few more that I didn’t mention). We know he started up seeing AP not long after. While I was trying to covertly get the PI paid. Once I paid, all activity stopped. I have since found out in the last few weeks that he has coded/created spyware that he is giving away online that tracks all movement on phones. He also seemed to know information that I never shared with him, so he is obviously using it on me. I did use a burner phone for the PI. But right after the PI was paid he started mentioning things that I’ve looked up on my burner phone. Which I was hiding in my bedroom. Well after lots of digging I have found a hidden camera. So obviously he found the burner, probaby got into it. And knows about the PI.

This week he wanted me to look at a song on his spotify and it had two songs in his most recent. One that was basically talking about cheating. The other the lyrics mentioned being hidden and safe (the songs were electric worry by clutch and the other was bubbly). I’m positive he did that on purpose and when I got up to walk off, he started singing one of the songs.

I’m a trainwreck. Since reading your book I am noticing the severe manipulation, the gaslighting, and the 3 channels they run on. After this week I also think he is getting some sick kick out of this. He could have hidden or went around the song thing. But I feel that was purposeful. He seems to be following the OPSEC on the adultrey subreddit on reddit. The PI says he will start back. We just have to wait. My therapist and a trusted friend have told me to just leave. I may never get proof and he might always be a step ahead. Forget getting proof just get out.

I plan to leave if I have proof. There will be no RIC. I’m tiny and still losing weight. I’m terrified that if I leave I will always wonder. That I will not get any closure, feeling of being right, and possibly financial justice. What words do you have CL?

I might not have access to this email after I send this. If you post on your blog, I will see it.



Dear Readytogainalife,

A hurricane blew off my roof. I’m waiting to determine if it was a Class 5 hurricane or a Class 4 hurricane before I evacuate. What words do you have?


You’re married to a psychopath. He drugged you. He spies on you. He enjoys your pain. Every minute you stay with him, you’re in danger. GET TO SAFETY. LEAVE.

I know that if you’re reading this, and not dead in a ditch somewhere, you’re thinking I’m overstating it. Like, you feel validated, (I’m not crazy!) but also well, he’s not always a psycho…. we go entire stretches without drama...

Ready, you’re frog soup. You’ve boiled so long, you don’t know you’re boiled.

I know you have sunk costs, a child, and you’re economically vulnerable. This is what domestic abuse shelters are for. Go to stat and find your nearest organization that can help you get out NOW. You need a protection from abuse order (it will be temporary, at first, just tell them what you told us) and that will get him OUT of the house. Or they can help you find a shelter and connect you to legal resources.

(For anyone in the US, you can also call the Domestic Abuse Hotline at 800.799.SAFE (7233) — I recommend because it has exhaustive information on divorce law and types of abuse. And they run an online legal clinic staffed by law students. Also, if you’re feeling generous — donate. We need them.)

Back to frog soup — you know what’s a good sign that you’re in an abusive relationship — when everyone around you is horrified and it begins to dawn on you that you should be horrified too. It’s because you’re in survival mode. You’ve been mindfucked for so long, and you KNOW that leaving is dangerous — for fuck’s sake he’s monitoring you! So you try not to set off the trip wire, and get mired in analysis paralysis instead. Oh… maybe when I have enough proof!


Game over. Buh-bye. Check the aisles for any items you may have left behind. Exit.

He also seemed to know information that I never shared with him, so he is obviously using it on me.

This is why you need to call the professionals. I’m just a lady with a blog. You need law enforcement and legal help, Ready. Show up at the court house and get that protection order. Or go to the library to do your online research. This guy is scary AF. You need the heavy boot of the law.

I’m positive he did that on purpose and when I got up to walk off, he started singing one of the songs.

Night of the hunter

So, you’re living Night of the Hunter? (Creepiest film ever. Robert Mitchum plays a predator who sings hymns as he stalks his prey.) Time to go all Lillian Gish on his ass.

But I feel that was purposeful. He seems to be following the OPSEC on the adultery subreddit on reddit.

Don’t untangle the skein on where his mindfuckery comes from. Just get away from it. Abuse is abuse is abuse. It’s what these freaks do. He wants to up his abuse game on the interwebz? GET AWAY!

The PI says he will start back. We just have to wait.

No. You do not have to wait. Take your life back.

My therapist and a trusted friend have told me to just leave. I may never get proof and he might always be a step ahead. Forget getting proof just get out.

They gave you excellent advice. Take it.

I plan to leave if I have proof.

Quit toking on the hopium pipe. You can’t chump a chump. I’ve been there. This is you bargaining. You don’t want to accept the situation, or feel the wall of pain that it’s as bad as it actually is. You tell yourself little lies that you can manage the hurricane. You don’t want to face your fears — fears that he’s stoked — that you can’t do it alone.

You won’t do it alone. You’ll get support and you’ll GET OUT NOW. We’re here for you.

You don’t need anymore proof. He DRUGGED you. He delights in your pain. That’s your proof. It’s ENOUGH.

There will be no RIC. I’m tiny and still losing weight. I’m terrified that if I leave I will always wonder.

If you stay you’re going to wonder every flipping second what he’s really up to.

Let go of the monster rope? Take your life back? He can have his creepy secrets. They won’t be relevant to your life.

That I will not get any closure, feeling of being right, and possibly financial justice.

You’re a stay at home mother. The court is weighted in your favor. Talk to a lawyer — he may be forced to cover your insurance, and pay you alimony. You’re basing your decisions on UNINFORMED fear. Get information. Get help. You can rebuild. A bazillion people here at CN did, and you will too.

Closure doesn’t exist. There’s just acceptance and that comes in time with a lot of no contact.

It’s past time to leave. Please get out.

Ask Chump Lady

Got a question for the Chump Lady? Or a submission for the Universal Bullshit Translator? Write to me at [email protected]. Read more about submission guidelines.
  • Run! I was in the same situation, Xhole acted crazy and abusive during times he was cheating, but very savvy about hiding his trail. I never had proof so I stayed. He constantly badgered me and stalked me once I did start divorce proceedings, after 20 years of abuse and cheating and proof of his love cruise with another woman. He enjoyed my pain, he enjoyed scaring me. He got a kick out of his lies and deceit. Your story reminded me how horrible it was and how I wish I had left sooner, even without proof, because deep inside I always knew the real truth. You need to get your child and yourself to safety. Run!

    • I also wish I had left when I had suspicions instead of waiting until I had proof. It haunts me that I let myself be treated that way.

  • This is scary and you haven’t told us all! Get out now. With some space you will see just how crazy it is.

  • My pulse quickened and my heart started pounding as I read this letter. This fuckwit is dangerous on every level. Please, please heed CL’s advice and get yourself and your child to safety, whatever it takes. Godspeed to you, Ready… and when it is safe to do so, please let us know that you are well.

    • EXACTLY how I reacted… this is heart pounding terror situation. Please let the OP get out safe.

      • Same! Every alarm bell in my head rang. This man is going to kill you and/or the child. Get out NOW!

    • This is the most frightening letter I ever read. I know some here have lived through horrific experiences and could have been killed, but they are out. She is not safe.

  • Ready, if you can’t find it in your heart to leave for yourself, please do it for your kid. There’s no guarantee that your husband wouldn’t hurt them too.

  • Please leave. This is abuse, this is criminal. You are in a living hell and all the alternatives are better. Let go of the need to know, the need to prove, and the need for certainty. Focus on the need to survive, for you and your child. Sending you a prayer of strength for the journey ahead.

  • Very few chumps had all the facts before we acted. In fact, it is only with distance and time that we are able to think clearly. Make a safety plan and leave.

  • This man is tracking you electronically. He is a sick fuck who thinks he owns you, and can do what he likes with you.

    He may try to kill you if he thinks you’re going to leave him.

    You are in danger. Get your things together and your child, and run.

    And please, please don’t go back – because you’ll never get a chance to escape again.

    • I posted further below. When I ultimately returned to our house to gather my things and family heirlooms, I had an armed cop with me.

  • This is a terrifying individual, and as CL said, you must exit. Now. Please be out of there today and do everything she said. Check in with us as you gain your sanity back along with the life you truly deserve.

  • Beyond “get out” it might be helpful to share how you let go of the quest for More Information. It’s a loop a lot of chumps get stuck in.

    • I was never in a situation as seriously dangerous as this writer, but I did spend some time trying to get more proof of what exactly was going on. Peering through financial records. Asking friends what they had seen. And more.

      What got me out of the rut of looking for more evidence was the great CL question: Is this relationship acceptable to you?

      And that is the key question. Answer no, and you should get out asap.

      Even if you think staying quiet for a while and gathering evidence will lead to a more favourable outcome, you get to decide this intolerable. (In the letter writer’s case, she is in danger, and that means she needs to get out now.) You aren’t going to fail some cosmic “did she manage this perfectly” test.

      Thinking the right evidence will make a difference is a way of holding on. How do I know? Because even with clear proof that my ex was hiding money and hadn’t been truthful on his financial disclosure forms, I eventually had to face the fact that it would cost me almost as much to go after him in court than I would get — and a court case would force me to keep engaging with him.

      Even if you have absolutely clear proof and live in a fault state, going after money might be too expensive. Focus on what you want instead: like getting away from the person who is hurting you and then legally getting the settlement (or even alimony or custody agreement) that meets your needs and aligns with your priorities.

      (Note: I was in different situation as he TOLD me he was going to spend the weekend with a woman in a different city and then suggested a “trail separation” so he could figure out what he wanted. My search for evidence concentrated on getting details and then, when he started spending time with me again, figuring out if he was still seeing her. My breakthrough was realizing I knew enough to decide the way he had treated me was not acceptable and that I would never be able to trust him.)

    • If you remember high school science class, you may remember Schrödinger’s cat. There’s a cat in a box, and you don’t know if it’s alive or dead unless you open the box. Until then, the cat is both alive and dead. It’s a rather macabre thought experiment. My name is Schrödinger’s Chump because I never had a D-day. I’ve never gotten proof that my ex was cheating on me. Sure, there were signs, but he never admitted to anything, and I never found proof. But it doesn’t matter, because I decided the relationship was unacceptable to me and I left. I did not want my son to think that that was what marriage was like, and I didn’t want him to grow up treating women the way his dad treats me. We have chumps here who left and didn’t discover evidence of cheating until the FW died. You do not need incontrovertible proof of infidelity to leave the situation you are in. You wanting to leave is enough.

      • Good point SC. I’ve wondered about your name in the past and love that explanation.
        I agree wholeheartedly but want to add that sometimes the proof comes long after it matters, even after one has stopped looking for it.

    • “… share how you let go of the quest for More Information.”

      For me, it was the realisation he was prepared to lie to my face, blatantly gaslight me, and had so little respect for me he thought I would believe his most egregious bullshit.

      I understood then I would never be able to trust him again, or believe a single word he ever said. I was also tremendously helped by LACGAL, all the posts, the forum, and you yourself, CL. Your crisp reply to my pathetic email, looking for a reason to believe him, jolted me, and knocked that hopium pipe right out of my mouth. Thank you.

      But what the OP writes goes way beyond ‘just’ lying/gaslighting – this psychopath fucking drugged you, Ready!!!

      If he drugged you once he can do it again, he can drug your child, he could murder both of you in cups of hot chocolate, while you’re waiting for ‘more proof’.

      What more proof do you fucking need!!

      Get. Out. Now. It’s not just you at terrible risk, it’s your child.

    • There is an article on the Surviving Infidelity website titled something like “You Will Never Know the Whole Truth”. It is very enlightening. Cheaters have no incentive to tell the whole truth — why should they? Any admission of how long the affair went on, or how many times they had sex, only makes the cheater look worse. I read this article, then printed it out, and read it several more times. It helped me come to acceptance that I would never get the closure that I wanted from my cheater. My only closure and peace has come from ME consciously moving my life in a different direction away from the cheater and towards my new self-directed life.

    • I was able to let go of the quest for more information when I realized that no level of information was enough and it wasn’t ever enough of a smoking gun. Plus everything I did find, cheater manipulated me into believing was fine. I also wasn’t able to see that cheater was being physically, sexually, and financially abusive and I wasn’t able to see how cheater was praying on underage girls. If ever there was a smoking gun, it’s that your drugged you and tracks you. This is the behavior of a deadly psychopath and you and your child are absolutely in danger.

    • I was told to let go of the need to prove by a counsellor. He was slippery AF so I stayed. That allowed him 4 years to basically steal my entire retirement fund (at56). I didn’t listen when I should have. Please please please don’t be me. When he finally did leave for AP #2( that I knew of, he stalked me and became very very dangerous. The tears are welling in my eyes in fear for you and your children. Please leave. Let us know when you are out. You are not safe.

    • I thought about all the times in the past that I didn’t trust my intuition regarding previous relationships or something as simple as “I knew I should’ve taken the other way home, now I’m stuck in traffic” and how I was mad at myself for not trusting my gut. Applied that same logic to my ex. It didn’t feel right and I’m in tuned enough with myself to the point that that’s all I need. Bye.

    • I was probably still high on hopium. I thought if I took control, left with my dignity, he would come running after me. He didn’t. So I filled the next days making decisions which would help my future. Most of them were reversible if he ever made a sincere effort. He didn’t. Days turned into weeks and months. I got a lawyer and therapist. I left and separated our finances. I told our families. I learned to manage my fear and grief with exercise and meditation. He didn’t do anything to accept responsibility or repair the harm. There’s no benefit to staying.

    • One of the best things I got from CL was “is this relationship acceptable to you”. It’s a much easier question to answer than “am I 110% sure there is cheating” – and it’s the *right* question.

      But the drugging and spying are pretty terrifying, so please:

      Get a new phone and get rid of your old one. With a new number and a new SIM card. If you must keep your phone, do a factory reset and still get a new number and SIM, but that is not a guarantee.

      If you have a laptop, get rid of it and get a new one. If you can’t, ask a tech savvy friend to help you backup your data and wipe it with a fresh OS. If it’s Apple, maybe the Genius Bar can help.

      Change all your accounts to use this new number – especially financial accounts. But not any shared account where he can see the new number. You could use a free Google Voice number for those shared accounts, if necessary.

      Change your email/google/facebook/etc passwords. Actually, change all your passwords, but especially those.

      If you use Google, check your location sharing and email forwarding settings. If it is set to share with him *screenshot it*. Either turn those off *after checking with law enforcement*, or just start a new Google account and do not use the old account for anything. Log out of the old account on your devices in that case.

      If you use Apple, check the “Find My” app under People and see if you are location sharing with him. Same comments as for Google.

      If you use another email service, it may have a forwarding setting as well you can check.

      Setup 2-factor authentication for your google and facebook if applicable. You can use “Google Authenticator” on your phone for this.

      • Go to your local library and ask for a laptop. Change all your passwords while in the library. Never do this at home. Check your new secret accounts only at the library or a trusted friend’s house. You’ll be tempted to use your old/home devices since you changed the passwords but this guy likely installed keystroke software on everything to record your new login details.

        And say this line over and over to yourself: HE IS SICKER THAN YOU ARE SMART. His brain is wired differently than yours. The game is rigged and no matter how right you are with proof or laws, he will always find a way to beat you or make your life hell trying to.

    • Ready, I hope you are safe & that you are reading this from safe spot.
      This is how I let go of the “quest for More Information” after being “Limbo Chump” for 3 years.

      I was able to look at it as safety issue.
      Three things happened to help me understand that I was not safe in the marriage.
      1. His behavior became more erratic, he ignored us more, and even one of my adult children asked me “what was wrong with dad.” From past Ddays, I knew some of his activities included using prostitutes and looking at porn. I went to an attorney privately to find out what steps to take in case he was arrested for soliciting or for having child porn. I also worried about him getting fired for using porn on his work computer or during work time.
      2. He began to spend more money, on whims, like auction sites. I realized that I could not stop him from spending our joint financial resources, or from liquidating his substantial 401K.
      3. I finally understood that the prior surgeries that I had to remove a “recurring papilloma” from my sinus cavity meant that I really had HPV & that it would have come from him. I went to my GYNE to ask for STI testing. Yes, I was positive.

      I knew I was no longer financially safe. I knew that my body had already been harmed by him. I didn’t need to know any more details. I had enough proof that he caused these issues, and it was getting worse, not better. It was clear that the marriage was NO LONGER ACCEPTABLE to me.

      I know it would be nice to wait until the 10 year mark & to have proof for an at-fault-divorce. But get your safety plan NOW. Leaving a marriage is a horrible decision to make. Lundy Bancroft has a daily reader that helps you think about your life with an abuser, in little 1-2 paragraph chunks every day.

    • My husband never drugged me . . . At least I don’t think he did, but now that I think about it there was that night that I slept really soundly and when I woke up, far more of my pain killers than should have been were missing. I had cancer; I thought he was taking care of me. I never had proof that he was actually cheating, and there was a time when I thought that was VITAL to me being able to leave. I will never have proof; he never admitted to cheating, never expressed remorse for the “emotional affair” he did admit to. What he did do was set up “accidents” for me.

      One of our neighbors was killed in a boating accident . . . She was crushed between the dock and the boat her husband was driving too fast into their slip. She died before the paramedics could get there, with a dozen of our horrified neighbors helpless to do anything for her. Another woman we knew died in a boating accident after her husband ran aground, and the boat sank. He got off; she didn’t. My husband soaked up every detail of every boating accident he’d ever heard of, and then tried to re-create those “accidents” for me. And still I didn’t get it until YEARS after I left him. That’s the thing. The idea of your HUSBAND trying to kill you is so foreign and so messed up that you cannot wrap your head around it. And this was thirty years after my second cheating husband strangled me and left me for dead on the highway. So I KNEW it could happen — it had happened to me.

      Yeah, my picker sucks.

      You will never have enough “proof” until you’re ready to accept that the marriage you thought you had is over, likely never actually existed, and that you really ARE in danger. You don’t need proof of the cheating — financial, physical or otherwise. What you need to do is get your child out of the situation before they witness your husband killing you. And yes, it IS that serious. You already know that he drugged you, and that he’s spying on you. You already know in your heart that he’s dangerous. But marriage is a sacrament, and you don’t want to leave until you’re forced to. I told myself that for years. And I’m not Catholic. You are in a position where you HAVE to leave to save your child from growing up to believe that kind of toxicity, dysfunction and contempt is normal. You may not believe YOU are worth saving, because for a long time I didn’t. But do it for your child. YOU are the only person who can save your child.

      Our boat was docked next to a boat owned and lived on by two clinical psychiatrists. They heard my husband screaming at me day after day, night after night. The woman sat me down one day while we were both doing laundry in the marina washers and dryers, and she told me point blank. “He’s a narcissist. He’s dangerous. You’re in grave danger. RUN.” It took me six days to get out, but only three to start planning my exit. I knew in my gut that she was right. And I’m betting you know in your heart that he’s dangerous, that you are in danger and that you need to leave NOW. Don’t wait around for proof. It’s not worth your life. Just leave.

      You may not understand that you are worth it for a while — weeks, or months or years. But trust me that you are, and that one day you will get it. “Proof” isn’t worth your life or your child’s. That “man” isn’t worth it either. One day, you will wonder what you ever saw in him and you’ll realize that you are dangerously close to being “frog soup.” Trust that he sucks; you KNOW that he does. Trust that you’re worth more.

      • Perfectly explained. This is exactly how I feel about Cheater Peter… I just didn’t understand because he’s a nice guy. Never tried to kill me with a boat. But then I had a man before him. He slapped me across the face and I left for work. And left him immediately. Went “No Contact”. He trashed things in the house. He stalked me for over 5 years. I learned the books about abuse. Never ever did I apply it to the Cheater… until I found Tracy’s book. Two weeks later I filed for divorce.
        My “understanding” has become very clear.
        I should have left the first second I found the cheating because me as a younger woman knew she was never ever gonna accept cheating. I spent way too many years thinking about what to do and what had happened.
        This is NOT acceptable to you or you wouldn’t have written to Tracy.
        You will survive.
        Then you will thrive.
        There are truly shelters etc to help women. They just are low key to protect all the other women.

  • He drugged you!! When is it EVER ok for anyone to do this. He is a scary fucked up individual. Don’t expose your child (or yourself) to this sick fuck anymore. Run. Run fast. Once you are away from this toxicity you will think clearer. Please protect yourself and the kiddo. Believe us when we say there is a much much better life for you away from the crazy.

    Hugs to you ❤️


    • Ok, so my first comment was just RUN, but I saw CL’s note about finding ways to let go of the need to know…(Quest for More Information) — Ready, you have enough information. Right now. When you wrote that you might not have access to email after you sent the message to CL, you had enough information. When he drugged you, you had enough information. When you hired a PI, you had enough information. When your therapist told you to get out, you had enough information. Your feeling about need to know is fear based and it will keep you stuck in a very very dangerous situation. It’s ok to leave. It’s ok to stop this terrifying process. It’s ok to have privacy and not be spied on; it’s necessary even! You have enough information right now, this very minute. Grab your kid and your essentials and GET OUT TODAY.

      • Exactly, Dawn. What is cheating as compared to him drugging her anyway? She’s okay with being roofied and him taking creepy pictures of her unconscious (and God knows what else), but draws the line at being cheated on?
        That blows my mind.

  • 2 words: Abuse Escalates. It will keep getting worse and more extreme, not better and less extreme. Leave now, Momma.

  • I am terrified for you. If you won’t listen to your friend and therapist, please listen to all these kind internet strangers who tell you to ESCAPE WITH YOUR LIFE. You are being drugged and surveilled in your own home. Take your children to a friend’s house and call the national domestic violence hotline from there. Leave any phones at home. Don’t worry about any possessions. You can sort through all that stuff later. Get out with your life and your children’s lives while you can.

  • Holy Fuck! This is a movie of the week in the making! This sick man has scrambled your brains! You need to mama-up & get your kids away from their twisted father!!! This is the only way to save them! Why the hell did you not go to the hospital when you knew you were drugged?! That is messed up that you didn’t. But you can figure the why not later, getting away from that sick fucker is stat priority. Yeezus.

    • For Reals, please don’t blame Ready for not going immediately to the hospital. I have been drugged, and it took me days to realize my slumber was artificial (Ok, I had been drinking too, but with hindsight I am certain my drink was spiked by an aquaintance. I woke up with him IN me…). Ready noticed immediately. That is mighty! Collecting proof is quite a remote concept when dealing with the realization that you have been drugged (and probably more…)!

    • For Reals,

      Your comment is critical, ignorant and a bit victim shaming.

      When somebody is under the influence of any drugs (pot, anesthesia, for example) or alcohol, willingly or unknowingly, that person is not fully compus mentis. This person was drugged by her spouse, her abuser.

      • Nut Cluster: No, my comment wasn’t intended to be anything like you suggested! I’m not critical, ignorant or victim/shaming, thank you very much!! It was to shake her up that this was a really crazy, dangerous situation & she should seek medical help, if not for her, for her kids. She could’ve died, leaving her kids without a mother.

  • RUN, NOW, this minute, go go go. And don’t tell him where you are. You think it hasn’t occurred to him that he’d be better off if you were dead and he didn’t have to give you a settlement or pay you alimony? He’s just trying to figure out how to do it without getting caught. If you’re alive and reading this get the fuck out NOW.

    • This. And a dead kid, or in (dad’s) full custody kid, doesn’t get child support payments either.

  • My answer to CL’s question — how do you let go of the quest for More Information — is to imagine if your child, once grown, came to you and told you they were experiencing in their marriage everything in you are experiencing in your marriage now…would you want your child to stay? Would you feel you needed more information before telling them that they already know they are not safe? I think you would want your child to get out without waiting for even one more snippet of information. So apply that to yourself.

    Also, don’t get hung up on the cheating (which it seems is the definitive info you feel you need). Just assume he ISN’T cheating and you’ll never learn otherwise. Even without cheating, this is not an acceptable marriage or a safe situation. Cheating is a reason to leave a marriage, but it’s not the only reason to do so. Set aside the cheating narrative and ask the most important question: with what you know RIGHT NOW, is this relationship ACCEPTABLE to YOU.

  • For the get out of the loop part, I had some on-line support where I was asking some question about figuring something out about cheater in order to help with ‘knowing’ that filing for divorce was the right thing and I wouldn’t regret it, similar to you (OP).

    I was told that going down this rabbit hole will only lead to another, and then another, not answering questions, but adding to them, creating more questions and uncertainties. It’s true. This can go on forever. Usually I would say you can always change your mind later, but in your case, HE DRUGGED YOU. That is all you need. The creepy other stuff is psychotic and you need to make sure you have a lot of people at the shelter, your friend, law enforcement, lawyer etc. know all of this and are looking out for you and your child.

    Take care and don’t show your cards that you are planning this. I also personally wouldn’t let him be alone with your child at any time.

    • After you go through a couple/few ddays, you learn that you will never get honest answers. Even if you could, they wouldn’t be satisfying. They would be the sad and disappointing, yet liberating, truths that all chumps who leave eventually come around to. I decided to stop putting my life and reality in the hands of someone who repeatedly, shamelessly lied to, cheated on and abused me.

      If I process what you have shared, Ready, I think it would almost be worse if your husband wasn’t cheating on you. You have plenty of proof of this man being an abusive POS. This is the scariest letter I’ve read here. Please, please find help and get to safety. We are all telling you that this is an extremely dangerous situation. Do not get into a back and forth, don’t try to reconcile. Get out and find people who can help you protect your identity and privacy.

  • When you leave, don’t take either phone (tracking software) and have your PI check the car for tracking devices. The most dangerous time during abusive relationship is when the person tries to leave. Your husband is getting off on the lies and the power trip. You need to think of protecting your child. Please make a plan and get out.

    • Exactly. The shelter is a good place to get help. They know about abuse. A PI may not not all the tactics of an abuser.

    • Have a taxi pick you up. Untraceable, unlike some ride shares that require a destination


    Google these names.

    Yes, you could be the victim of a violent crime that leaves your child without a mother, or results you AND your missing.

    All the proof you need you already have. If you were in a relationship where you were safe, you would not be writing a letter like this with those experiences.

    If you are choking on smoke, or smell
    gas, you don’t need to find the actual source before deciding if you should get out of the house.

    No one can convince me that cheating has anything to do with unhappiness or love. There is something deeply wrong with people who cheat and people who screw around with people in committed relationships.

    • TYPO….

      “or results in you AND your child missing”

      No one believes it can happen until it happens.

      • I am thinking about the child, too. As it stands, Ready, your husband could walk into your child’s school at any time, pick up your child without question, and just leave. Someone who would do all the things he already has done to you, absolutely would would use your child against you. And even, I am so sorry to say it, hurt your child to hurt you. He’s a sociopath. Do this for your baby if you can’t do it for yourself. You’ll get there in the end. Right now this is about protecting your child’s life and your own.

      • PS….he drugged you. What if your house caught fire while you were unconscious? You and your child would die. I know someone who fell asleep on the couch and forgotten to turn off the stove. It took him two weeks to die in the hospital from his burns after firefighters got him out.

        You and your child are in danger danger danger. Please let us know what happens.

    • You forgot Fotis Dulos. They still haven’t found Jennifer Dulos and there was no prior history of physical violence.

      • Two smart, successful female partners at my law firm were killed by their husbands. None of us on the outside knew a thing. It happens far too often, to people you would never suspect. Take it very seriously.

  • Dear Readytogainalife,

    I don’t want to be alarmist but take CL and the good advice of your therapist and friends. You might not even be dealing with an ideal charting situation but with something much more sinister. You mention a dead end road…. Get law enforcement involved on your way out. You are a pawn in his game and there is no winning here. You might just escape with your life.

  • Jesus Christ…you’re married to a psychopath. Who cares if he is cheating or not…get out! This guy will not want to pay alimony or child support willingly. You need to go to a shelter. I just read that someone in my hometown was found dead under her deck…she was divorcing her husband and attempted to get a restraining order. The order for whatever reason was declined. She changed all the locks to the house…didn’t stop him apparently.

  • Ready, please get out. This is scary, this is definitely abuse. I stayed way too long because I thought if there are no bruises or bloody noses, it was not an abusive relationship. Then I learned there were different types of abuse. Don’t ignore your pain, don’t ignore your needs. Right now you and your child need to be safe, badly. Run.

  • Occasionally I see a story on here that really scares me because it is so familiar. Yours is one of them Readytogainalife. Please listen to me, I finally got out of my marriage because I found out he was planning to kill me.

    He never hit me. I never would’ve believed for a second that he would do anything like that. He was a lot like how you describe your husband. In a way, I got really lucky that I pissed him off enough one night that he told me some of his plans. That was the only thing that finally woke me up and made me take action. Please don’t make my mistake. I stayed far too long. I had all kinds of weirdness going on in my home just like you do. I had a phone that constantly died and when I got myself a new phone the transfer turned it into an $800 paperweight. Because of the spyware it had on it. He would get me drunk and leave the house too. At one point I wanted to prove it was happening and then I wanted to prove it was him. No, I should have just fled. I’m lucky to be alive. When you get out and look back at your marriage, you’re going to realize how lucky you are to be out of it too.

    Your husband is abusing you. That’s your big issue here. Even if by some ridiculous miracle he was 100% faithful, you would still need to leave to protect yourself and your child because he’s abusive. And he’s sadistic about his abuse, he enjoys it.

    The closure you are going to get is when you are away from him and you finally start to feel safe and you start to realize the horror you experienced living with a psychopath. It will wash over you in waves sometimes. You won’t wonder if you did the right thing, you will know you did. You’re too in it to see the full horror of it now. Once you are out of it, you’ll be able to examine it and it’s going to shock you how much he put you through and how much you put up with. Trust me, I wanted closure so badly, I wanted proof. I got it, just not the way I wanted. But it still works. You know, you can’t always get what you want but if you try sometime, you might find, you get what you need. Get safe, get healthy, things will come out in the divorce. You will never know everything but you already know enough, you just have to work on accepting that. Please stay safe.

    • Amen to everything you just said, KatiePig. And bonus points for the Rolling Stones lyric.

  • You are in danger. Please leave. It’s not about cheating. Don’t use “waiting for proof of cheating” to leave. The abuse is way worse and could be deadly.

    CL and CN are a great resource even when there isn’t definite cheating. You will get support and advice here. Please heed it. Please be careful. Please stay safe.

  • This is right out of some horror movie level scary.
    I sense he is feeling like a trapped wild animal by his actions, he knows you know and he will do ANYTHING to control the narrative he wants you to continue believing. It is not worth the risk for you to have stronger proof of what you already know full well in your soul, but you are being manipulated with fear and barely masked threats, and it’s hard to think straight when we are in fear. It’s so overwhelming.
    He truly sounds like a barely contained psychopath to me. HE DRUGGED YOU for God’s sake, there cannot be more solid proof than that alone of his intentions towards you.
    It is not worth the risk to you or your child’s well-being to back him any further into a corner with a brighter light to call out his actions. It’s way too dangerous. You already know enough now!
    You are not safe in your own life. Set the questions you need answered in order of priority and realize you will never get all the answers, never.
    The most important question to ask yourself is this situation acceptable to you? Your life and health has priceless value, how much money you will be able to walk away with in a divorce doesn’t even rate on the scale compared to your life and sanity.
    You need to be fleeing the tiger chasing you right now, needing proof of the tiger’s motives and a bit more back story on that tiger before you run will do you absolutely no good at all. Just gives the tiger more time to hurt you.
    It just doesn’t matter, he’s a very dangerous tiger!
    You are smoking the hopium pipe that there’s this good guy buried in that tiger costume that will surface again any day now, you just can’t give up until you have solid proof he’s not coming back.
    You already have that solid proof, but you’re just too scared to accept it yet. ( understandably, we ALL were!)
    Don’t wait for your PI to find that solid proof of the mistress.
    Get yourself to safety and get divorced, don’t let him know any of your actions towards that.
    You’ll get all the solid proof you want after you leave, he’ll come out of hiding within a couple of weeks, he won’t be grieving the marriage, he’ll just be back to business as usual and on to the next victim or the same one he’s screwing down the end of the road to manipulate and abuse immediately. They can’t be alone, there’s always a replacement in the wings, they all have a copy of the same manual.
    His actions will be your proof that you were right all along and you can then begin your healing journey towards your new life of not having to live in fear and on high alert 24/7. ( it’s sooo exhausting!)
    It is not acceptable to live like that, we just don’t even know we have options when caught up in the surreal ongoing drama.
    You will be so glad you chose the only viable option, the get the hell out of there one, no matter what funds you might have to leave on the table.
    You are WAY more valuable than the money! Way, way more!!
    Please get to a safe place. Safety and peace will always trump money.

  • Occasionally I see a story here that reminds me of my own and it scares me. Because my ex was planning to kill me. And Readytogainalife, he was a lot like yours. I had spyware on my phone, it would constantly die and doing a transfer turned the new phone I bought to get my own phone plan into a $800 paperweight. Mine would get me drunk and leave the house. He would mess with my head to the point where I became paranoid and started wanting to get cameras for the house so I could see what was going on. Shit, I got a ring camera for our front door after we had a peeping Tom (probably connected to my ex) and suddenly weird shit started happening with the garage door on the other side of the house opening and closing randomly at night. Scared the shit out of me. I’d go downstairs and the garage door would be closed again but the door leading from the garage to the kitchen would be wide open. Scared the shit out of me. I started thinking I was haunted. No, he just had to be sneaky through the garage because he couldn’t be sneaky through the front door anymore.

    My ex never hit me. I never, ever felt like my life was in danger until he quietly told me what he’d been planning. I had zero idea of that. But my subconscious was screaming at me, just like yours is. That’s what the digging for proof is, and the hiring a PI, your subconscious knows something is so incredibly wrong. It’s not just cheating though, it’s abuse. And you are in danger. These are the type of men who murder their wives. The guys who seem normal and seem to have a happy family and then just brutally murder the wife and maybe the kids too… they are like your husband and my ex husband. You have all the signs of that just like I did. Remember the Watts case? His wife knew something was so wrong, you could see it in her texts to her friends. But she didn’t know what. She was being “paranoid” for worrying and just needed to “talk to him” and now she and her little girls are dead.

    Ready Lundy Bancroft’s book Why does he do that? You can get it here for free.

    I never in a million years would’ve thought my ex husband would kill me. I never would’ve called him abusive even. But that book was eye opening for me. And it took him literally telling me how much he wanted to murder me to wake me up and make me take action. I’m lucky to be here. Don’t wait as long as I did. You’re going to get closure eventually when you leave. That closure is going to happen when you get away from the horror, get safe, and look back at it and examine it and realize what a psychopath he is. It’s not the type of closure you’re imagining now but it’s satisfying. I’m on the other side of it now and it’s a good life. I don’t need to know everything he did, I know enough to just be glad I’m way from him. And you do too, you just have to get safe so you can work on realizing and accepting that. Please stay safe. Protect yourself and your child. Get away from this man.

  • Ready, I’m one more person urging you to please leave. There is so much help for you, because you’ve been abused. Therapy, shelter, legal advice, it’s all there. Do it for your child, if you need another reason! I’m concerned that you’re losing weight, this is chewing you up inside and you need a safe place, so your mind can relax and rebuild. He’s taking horrible advantage of you!
    One more tip- don’t go back, once you’ve got free. He will 100 % try to pull you back with many promises, that’s what they do. Fake promises. Be ready and don’t fall for it, and I’m hoping you listen to us. I’ll bet you’re a sweet lady, and you deserve a sweet life.

  • Add me to the list of horrified. GET OUT. My 2nd FW was a bipolar psychopath, and it became clear to me that I could easily be a victim of a murder/suicide.
    You need a safe place to hide cash that he can’t track. I managed to save up $1000, told him I was going to do a gig in another city for a few days, went elsewhere instead. I got a PO Box in a nearby city and an unlisted number (pre cell-phone era).
    You will probably need to borrow a friend’s car until you can get one on your own. You don’t want him to be able to track you AT ALL.
    You need to vanish.
    CN, I don’t know how this will work with a child. I know you could be accused of kidnapping. Can you take your child to your parent’s house for a visit and clue them in to what is going on?
    This dude is scary. SCARY.

  • Taking Chump Lady’s advice on how I got out of the loop of “I need more information” (which I now believe is a subset of hopium and denial). I adopted as a mantra a line spoken by a character in the story I taught, “The Collector of Treasures,” by the South African/Botswanan writer Bessie Head. I refer to this as my “Bessie Head moment.” In the story, a woman whose husband is a school supervisor who keeps looking the other way when the male teachers yearly impregnate students. The woman/wife is angry, but cannot act, as her husband is the school supervisor. Then she is confronted on her doorstep by the parents of a girl who has become pregnant after her own husband has raped the girl. At that point, the woman is finally moved to act, and she says to the parents, “I have seen enough.” And she kills her husband (after which she’s sent to a woman’s prison where other women are imprisoned for the same crime). The story, by the way, is not condoning murder, but is making a point about what is considered a crime, and who is held to account for those crimes. In the prison we meet women who have been abandoned, along with their children, women who have been subjected to marital rape, beatings, and other behaviors that even if they are criminalized, are not punished.

    “I have seen enough.” “You have seen enough.” That is what I said to myself every time I had a doubt, about what he was doing, about whether he would keep doing it, and when I hesitated to make a move to leave before that doubt was satisfied. “You have seen enough.” “I have seen enough.”

    Ready to gain a life, it may seem as if that Bessie Head story isn’t relevant to your situation, but it is. You have been conditioned to accept the kind of behavior your husband is displaying, and that conditioning has made you believe you need overwhelming evidence in order to act. Well, your husband’s drugging you with a glass of Gatorade he pressures you to drink by telling you you aren’t good enough (“lubricated” enough for sex, a ludicrous excuse) is your Bessie Head moment.

    You have seen enough.

  • Gather all the paperwork that you need, plus items for you and your baby, and go to the nearest police department or sheriffs office. They know where the women’s shelters are and you need to be in one right now!

  • “I plan to leave if I have proof” Proof of what? Of cheating? At this point, in terms of problems, cheating ranks with “put the toilet paper on the roll backwards” This monster DRUGGED YOU, and YOUR LIFE AND YOUR CHILD’S LIFE IS IN DANGER. Please follow the good advice you’re being given by your therapist, your friend, and your new friends here.

    When you read stories about women being murdered by their husband, you think “why didn’t she get out?” Ready, your letter is a window into the mind of someone who does not grasp the danger she is in. You are thinking about things like “why did he leave the phone?” And “why is he humming that song?” When all you should be thinking is “HE DRUGGED ME I COULD HAVE DIED!” Sorry to be harsh but you need a wake-up call. I am terrified for you

  • I volunteered at a women’s shelter. They had clothing, food, job resources, connections to law enforcement. They fully expect women and children to show up with nothing. You can go back later when you have police protection.

    I had an acquaintance move out of state to her family. When she returned, she had a police and family escort to get their stuff. He tried his darndest to get her alone but she ignored all attempts.

    She knew he had a girlfriend as he’d come clean in therapy. She still stayed to save the marriage until he turned threatening to their son. Knowing didn’t help her and staying only made his behavior worsen, as he felt like he was losing control.

  • When you’re in the mindfuck maelstrom, it’s almost impossible to think clearly and act rationally. I was with my parasitic, sociopathic Lying Cheating Loser for four years. For the last 2-3 years, I objectively had enough information to GTFO. And still I didn’t.
    He blatantly lied and cheated. He mooched and took financial advantage. In fights, he slashed my tires, punched me in the throat, dragged me by my hair and threw/locked me out of my own house, threatened my life holding a knife. It still took me a year after the last violent incident to leave. I was living moment by moment. Hyper-aware at all times of the whereabouts of his phone (so I could look though it in an unguarded moment). Counting the beer bottles in the recycling bin before I walked in the house from work. Monitoring his social media. It was a miserable excuse for a life and I was definitely a boiled frog.
    How did I abandon my truth-seeking mission, decide to trust that he sucks, and finally get myself out of the boiling pot? It wasn’t some dramatic event, some massive discovery or final boundary violation. It was a slow, gradual tipping of the scales in my mind. In order to leave, I had to stop spackling, stop believing my own lies (he loves me), and let go of my cherished outcomes. Leaving was the hardest thing I’ve ever done. Also the best thing.
    I’m four years out now and have gained a badass life. But old habits die hard. I still had contact with the LCL for a couple of years after I left. I also still snooped. As a result of that, even more lies, cheating, and general fuckery was revealed to me.
    I now know with 100% certainty that everything I ever suspected him of doing but didn’t have definitive proof of, he did. Because that’s who he is. That’s a sociopath.
    Ready, your husband is a dangerous psychopath. He is capable of murdering you and your child, and he has no conscience or moral compass to deter him from doing so. Everything you suspect him of doing but don’t have definitive proof, he did. In addition to much, much more you have no clue of.
    I hope your letter to CL is an indicator that you’re ready to take your child and GTFO. Don’t wait for the moment where you feel 100% sure you’re doing the right thing by leaving. That moment will come, but not until years after you’ve left, when you and your child are safe, and you begin to process the trauma.
    Feeling paralyzed, unsure, fearful – it’s normal. You can still leave. I did.
    There’s a great life awaiting you on the other side.

  • Alibis are stories that explain where all parties were, and can prove they were, at a specific time. Law enforcement is far from perfect, and timelines can be iffy, especially early in the investigation. If you are investigating him, and he is investigating you, you are already in an untenable situation. You do not get a prize or praise for being “right”. You certainly are not married to a prize. Get away from the toxins in your life. Once you are safe, your head will begin to clear, and your priorities will realign. It is a process, and everyone operates on a different timeline.

    I was raised in a FOO culture of “what will other people think, or say, or do.” That, too, is a toxin. It does not matter what others think or say or do, what matters is what is acceptable to you? You are capable of building a new life, for you and your child, and you will feel so much better when you do something positive for yourself. You cannot change another person, and you cannot rewrite history. There is nothing to salvage here, based on the facts you presented. Leave this loser, start a new life.

  • I’ll try to address letting go of the need for information.
    When I got to the point that I was spending my life obsessing and looking for information, with my gut, physical and mental health screaming, I eventually went to the local woman’s shelter and spoke with a counselor. They wanted to help me file a protection order but I chose not too because I knew he would be furious and it would escalate his madness
    What did I do? I pretended. He knew I had figured him out and he did increase his abuse. I slept on the couch. I stopped being the marriage police and began documenting everything he said at me with date and time.
    I made an appointment with an attorney. The morning of he looked at me and said, “you know you’re being followed and little birds are telling me everything.” I cancelled it and found another farther away and paid parking within a police municipal deck.
    I wrote and notarized an abuse affidavit giving copies to my attorney and physicians.
    I didn’t set a date to leave. I left working with the shelter and determined when it would be safest. It was the middle of the night with trash bags and a moving truck when he was out of town with fast help from family that I called hours before and they showed up. They wanted me out in two hours because that was his distance but it took us 4. The main things I wanted was all the kids things, things my parents gave me, and documentation/tax records etc. I had already sweated making copies for the attorney but wanted the hard copies. I’m so glad I got those.
    We stayed out of sight for a couple of weeks. I did meet him in a public place once and with the kids twice.
    I cut off all communication except for the kids and I didn’t bother with that much because I’d always been the single parent and he never requested any info and try to ignore their medical expenses he was orders to pay. Everything went through my attorney.
    Divorce was final in 16 (left in 14) and I was allowed to get the remainder of my things then. I hired armed detectives both times I went on that property. When we went in for recorded inventory he had left 5 loaded guns on the bed. Hand guns to ARs. I didn’t know if he was hiding there with another. It was nerve wracking.
    I heard the phone is tapped, I was being followed , suicide threats, ominous songs as well as you have. He hated my fiends. Talked shit about everyone.
    Just be as careful as possible. I was left with CPTSD from that marriage along with stds.
    I realize most of what he said was bullshit for control but when you’re in it it’s a pure mindfuck. If you’re not out already, I hope you make plans to exit safely. It’s a long process but it’s better on the other side.
    As a note – i had through the roof anxiety having to see him in court but my therapist reminded me that I’m very safe there with all the law enforcement present. He did corner me the first time we were there and I didn’t realize that all I needed to do was raise my hand for help. I was wondering why they were not intervening. You have to reach out for help. You are not alone as he wants to make you feel.

    • I also realized he was going through everything I owned. Clothing, shoes, drawers etc. funny enough the book I was writing what he told me was left on the kitchen counter and he never opened it thankfully. He just thought I was as secretive and hiding things as he was.
      He even mentioned a pair of boots I owned that were “missing”. I kept my car locked so he couldn’t put anything inside that may get me arrested. I always had to try to think a step ahead and it was exhausting. However, it gave me good practice when when working with my attorney. She was surprised at what I said his next move or sentence would be actually happened or was said.
      I gave her copies of Bill Edddy , Lundy Bancroft, George Simon, and Sandra Brown books. It was before I found CN.

  • this is disturbing, ready.

    you have been physically assaulted with a chemical. who knows what that chemical was and how it has affected you on a cellular level. he could’ve overdosed you, intentionally or unintentionally. further, your H may have sexually assaulted your while you were unconscious.

    report this matter to the police.

    next, gather the documents you need for yourself and your child (passports; DL; birth certificates; marriage certificate; copies of all bank account numbers/balances) + a sum of cash money. copy digital info like the photo to a stick. pack a go bag for both your self and your kid. have the PI check your car for tracking device and, if present, access another vehicle. switch to your burner for all communications.

    leave to a safe location. if at safe house, access all the services available to you there–health services + counselling for both you and your kid.

    go to a clinic for a check up and full STI check, including hepatitis. buy a pack of liquid diet supplement to ensure you’re getting vitamins required and try to eat as best possible.

    if you have fully reported this to your therapist, i believe they may be obligated to report their safety concerns to the police?

    take care of your self, ready.

  • Wait… WHAAAAT? Please, please, please listen to CL and run for your life. This man is a monster. There is not much I can add to what CL has said. I just want to reiterate that you are being severely abused by a psychopath. This is the kind of person who may be capable of murdering you. Seriously. He drugs you and takes creepy pictures of you out cold, but you need proof he’s cheating? What for? You can file on grounds of abuse instead of adultery. I shudder to think what else he might do to you when he drugs you. For all you know he’ll invite strangers in off the street to rape you. Maybe a whole football team of them FFS. He’s capable of it and you are in grave danger. GTFO and go to a domestic abuse shelter post haste.

    CL, I love you even more for the Night of the Hunter reference. That’s exactly who this sicko is.

  • You must get out as soon as possible. Your life is in danger.

    I had a wonderful friend who moved to a different state to be with someone she knew from high school. After about 5 years she was diagnosed with a deadly cancer. She was having periods of being sick, then come home to family, she’d get better, go back to her bf, she’d get sick, come back here and get well, etc. Her adult child went to the other state to bring her home when she became acutely ill, and also took a bottle of the water the bf was encouraging her to drink. It was tested at an independent lab, and was positive for arsenic. She died on that trip home from the cancer. And her type of cancer can be caused by arsenic. Her children did not follow up with police about the arsenic. The relative who told me about the arsenic encouraged them to report it, but they didn’t.

    Your husband has no moral values whatsoever and is taking delight in abusing you. Leave before he hurts you.

  • You have proof that you do not have TRUST and SAFETY in this relationship.
    These are the essential qualities of a healthy relationship. Where there is deception, there is no relationship.

    You have proof that you don’t know what he is doing. That he has secrets. That he is willing to hurt you.

    I do think it’s difficult to let go of the need to seek information. That was a process for me, not an instantaneous behavior switch. Information-seeking and making sense of what happened is a normal response to trauma. You can take action to protect yourself even if you have urges to seek information, so be sure to spend energy on taking protective action.

    I need to say again that SOMEONE WHO DRUGS YOU IS EXTREMELY DANGEROUS. As humans, we can become accustomed to adverse situations and the unacceptable as a way to survive, but it really means we have a hand on a red hot stove and can no longer feel our skin burning. Time away and distance from the situation is when clarity can begin to happen.

    I had no idea I was in an abusive marriage. Only after lots of time away from the situation did the fog begin to lift. Even now, the average person who has met him thinks he is Such A Nice Guy. Our daughter and I know different. Good people don’t lie. I wouldn’t date him for all the money in the world.

  • Readytogainalife: For one, NOT “lubricating” for a lying, cheating, abusing, drugging, spying, sadistic, psychopath, is NOT a “problem”. He is the problem. And you not realizing the severity of the situation is YOUR problem. Take your kid and leave immediately, and then contact the advocates/lawyers that CL recommended. This controlling psychopath is going to kill you, kill or kidnap your kid, or try to frame you, and get full custody. You need to leave and file a restraining order immediately, before he can turn this all on you. OR drug/kill you.

  • I always seemed to be playing marriage police with my ex husband. Trying to figure out what he was doing and who he was with. Ultimately it didn’t matter because the relationship was not acceptable to me. I understand that it’s hard to walk away without concrete proof that a partner is doing something bad. We’ve all told ourselves that “what if I’m wrong? What if I’m overthinking? What if it’s not so bad? Am I making a mistake?” Clearly, if your therapist and everyone on here is giving you permission, even urging you to go, you CAN go. It doesn’t matter what the reason is. Your safety and the safety of your child are paramount. If you find that you have to know what is going on there is nothing preventing you from examining the situation safely, later, and from a distance. Once you have already left for safety.

    My ex was an addict and there were times that he was high and scary. It suddenly dawned on me how fucked up the relationship was, and how skewed my thinking, when I calmly listened to him while he was out of his mind telling me about how he used to kill people for money and hide their bodies in a swamp. To this day I have no idea whether he did that or not but it doesn’t matter. The fact that he even told me that is abusive. The thoughts that “I could vanish and no one would know what he did” popped into my head. People in abusive relationships go very far down the rabbit hole trying to normalize what is clearly NOT normal or safe behavior. I was that boiling frog. I lived that life for 15 years. It all starts slowly but then the abuse starts chipping away at your self esteem.

    I was lucky that my ex didn’t hurt me physically but he sure did a number on my psyche and of that of our two kids. He’s dead now. An overdose took him two years ago. I look back now and shake my head that I put up with the madness for so long and also heave a sigh of relief that it is over. You can get out. You can leave for every reason, or no reason at all. Is this relationship acceptable to you as it is right now? Taking that step away from him and towards the light is frightening, I know, but it can be done. Take care of you and your child.

  • Ready, Although getting proof positive is what you want, sometimes gathering that evidence is not worth it. You need to get out of there before the psycho kills you or your kid or both of you. Having proof is well and good but if you are dead it will be meaningless. Sure, it would be great to file for adultery in a fault state. The issue is safety. You can get divorced without the adultery proof. Ask the folks on CL and CN. Stop waiting for proof and start packing. We know you want closure but mostly with the FW personality, there will be no closure EVER. Even when confronted with evidence, they will continue to deny it and tell you that you are crazy. Now is the time to get out, lawyer up and start the ball rolling on spousal and child support. You can do this. Get yourself to safety.

  • I also wanted to add that I had already kicked my husband out of the house before I found out that he was cheating on me, and had been cheating on me the entirety of our marriage. His behavior was so unsafe that I could no longer deal with it and my health was starting to break down. It was so incredibly stressful that I lost a lot of weight when I was already too thin. I was getting odd fevers and always feeling ill. That was enough to ask him to leave. I didn’t file for divorce until the cheating was shoved in my face.

  • Ready, you and your child have to leave as soon as possible. You already know that this man is ruthless, skilled at concealment and manipulative. He took a photo of you after he’d drugged you! He thinks you are helpless in his grip – evidence the song episode. He thinks he controls you.
    Let go of the monster rope. (CL, that is perfect.) Very few of us had all the evidence we felt we needed, and it was only through no contact or grey rock that we finally saw the reality. This relationship is not acceptable to you so leave. I will bet 100% that when you have some distance you will realise what a terrifying, abusive and dangerous man he is. Please be safe, Ready, leave ❤

  • Do this: 1) Contact a dv hotline and 2) screen divorce lawyers asap. You want out of this nightmare situation to protect yourself and your child. It sends a message to h that you have the law watching out for you. I was in a similar position where I could tell then h was cheating and he put something in my food to make me very, very ill. I got out. I left and things are much, much better. I don’t feel like I have a target stuck on my back any longer.

  • After reading all the comments, I want to suggest something for the “Escape Your Abuser” checklist. Do all one’s research, including reading this blog, from a public library or a 100% trustworthy friend’s or family member’s home or phone. Some internet connection that a psycho spouse does not have access to. Do this as soon as you start suspecting something.

    A friend’s sister purchased a burner phone with cash (and would add minutes, with cash) and only used it at her therapist’s office to communicate with her attorney,etc.
    She suspected her now ex of slowly poisoning her via her morning coffee. He accused her of being crazy like her mother and grandmother. Both mothers had killed themselves by jumping off local bridges. Things had escalated when her abusive ex insisted that their young son do a bowel movement every day. When he didn’t (who would in such a toxic home ?!), Mean Daddy would administer an enema.

    • Ps The woman was “allowed” to see a therapist because she was “crazy like her mother and grandmother”. Not.

    • Honestly, tell the librarian you’re in a DV situation. Most of them know who to contact and what to do. They can help.

  • “When I woke up our phone GPS showed he left in the middle of the night and went to the end of the road where it is a dirt road and nothing else. Not one but TWO phone GPS’s showed this. I also found a very strange picture of me asleep on his phone.”

    *insert creepy soundtrack here*

    You are physically isolated in addition to everything else. I can’t emphasize enough how much danger you and your child are in right now. Do not think he won’t kill you. Do not think he won’t do horrific things to your child after you disappear (he’ll say you ran off). Do not believe for one second that your child will be raised by a monster and come through it unscathed.


  • This sounds like a script to a horror movie. Jordan Peele could’ve wrote this. Please leave.

  • Please get out right away. In this situation the cheating is the lesser evil. The constant violation of your privacy, mental health, and physical safety are egregious and way more than enough reason to go. People seem to forget that they have the right to leave a relationship if it is not healthy for them, even if they don’t have all the proof that they want. If you don’t feel safe in a relationship, it’s not for you and you need to leave it.

  • Dear ReadyToGainALife:

    Oh my, I went into the fetal position just reading your story. You’re not just “treading water“… you’re that poor little froggy sitting in a pot of cold water that’s quickly coming to a rolling boil. You’re so deep into his mindfuckery that you’re in way more trouble than you think. Everyone else can read what’s written on the billboard planted in your front lawn; please clean your glasses and read what it says. No one in their right mind needs more “proof“ (circumstantial or otherwise) than you already have.

    Ask yourself:
    * Has his behavior changed dramatically? ✅
    * Is he withholding information? ✅
    * Is he being deceptive? ✅
    * Is he suspected of cheating? ✅
    * Is he tracking you electronically? ✅
    * Is he bugging your phone? ✅
    * Is he tracking your vehicle? ✅
    * Has he installed hidden cameras in your home? ✅
    * Is he scaring you? ✅
    * Are you afraid to make him mad? ✅
    * Is he drugging you to the point of blacking out? ✅

    * Could he be raping you while you’re unconscious?
    * Have you considered that he might kill you or your child?
    * Could he have opened a new credit card — one that you know nothing about? He’s way too smart to use your regular credit card to fund his secret life.
    * Could he have another cell phone — one that you know nothing about? He’s way too smart to use his regular cell phone to coordinate his secret life.


    This monster is emotionally and psychologically abusing you. You mean nothing to him except as a pawn in his sick and dangerous game.

    If you are truly “Ready to Gain a Life”, then the time to leave is at hand. But remember… women are most vulnerable when they try to leave an abusive partner. You need a rock solid exit plan — and fast!

    The next time he leaves for work, gather as many of your important personal and financial documents as possible, pack a bag for yourself and your child, and go to a pre-arranged, safe location as far away as you can physically go, a place where he cannot find you or make contact. Leave with the assumption that you’ll never again see the inside of your home or touch any of your possessions. Remind yourself that NOTHING you own is more important than your life and the life of your child; everything else can be replaced if necessary.

    ***HOWEVER*** if he’s got you under 24/7 electronic surveillance, you’re going to have to be very careful and very clever in order to keep your exit plan hidden; you want to leave NO trace of it for him to uncover and potentially end your life before you have a chance to escape.

  • Readytogainalife,

    I looked up the lyrics to those songs and this one is extremely concerning! I don’t think I’m reading it the same way you are. It sounds like an overt threat:
    “Someday baby you ain’t worry my life no more.”
    “Bang, bang, bang, bang
    Vamanos, vamanos”

    Electric Worry by Clutch

    Well, you made me weep and you made me moan
    When you caused me to leave, child, my happy home
    But someday, baby, you ain’t worry my life no more
    I get satisfaction everywhere I go
    Where I lay my head, that’s where I call home
    Whether barren pines, or the mission stare
    Take tomorrow’s collar and give ’em back the glare

    Bang, bang, bang, bang
    Vámonos, vámonos
    Bang, bang, bang
    Vámonos, vámonos

    [Verse 2]
    You told everybody in the neighborhood
    What a dirty mistreater, that I was no good
    But someday, baby, you ain’t worry my life no more
    Doctor or lawyer, I’ll never be
    Life of a drifter, only life for me
    You can have your riches, all the gold you saved
    Ain’t room for one thing in everybody’s grave

    Bang, bang, bang, bang
    Vámonos, vámonos
    Bang, bang, bang
    Vámonos, vámonos

    [Verse 3]
    If I had money like Henry Ford
    Lord, I’d have me a woman, yeah, on every road
    But someday, baby, you ain’t worry my life no more
    Invocation of the dummies, requiem for a head
    Cash in at the corner, piles of street cred
    I get satisfaction everywhere I go
    One day, baby, you’ll worry me no more

    Bang, bang, bang, bang
    Vámonos, vámonos
    Bang, bang, bang
    Vámonos, vámonos

    PLEASE head straight to the police TODAY – and then from there straight to a women’s shelter. Take your child, but don’t take your car or anything electronic that would allow him to find you! Get a friend to drive you.
    Praying for you!

      • Shades of Chris Watts and Fotis Dulos. “Bang bang”– duh, what’s that a reference to other than a hammer to the head or a gun going off? “Grave” is explicit. I hope the songwriter’s partner gets combat pay. It’s also a bald admission to cheating but this is overshadowed by the death threat. Maybe it’s an admission he’s a serial rapist?

  • Yep, this sounds all too familiar. The anger, the pathological lying, the long hours at work …

    I got lucky and found irrefutable proof but my ex was not doing the crazy stuff your guy is doing.

    Drugging? Holy crap! That is an assault. It is criminal. So too is filming you with a secret camera. WTF!

  • Piling on here

    LEAVE. And do not get hoovered back in.
    Get a good lawyer – they are worth the expense – and make sure you get a psych eval for the custody decision.

    My husband never hit me, but I did trip and fall stepping out of the house to get away from his screaming. I suffered a concussion that took months to heal. After the fall, I drove myself to the ER and he LEFT to go to Mexico and spend the weekend with random women he met on the internet. I think 4 in three days.

    ER triage pulled me out of line, I had a huge shiner, put me behind a curtain and asked if anyone had “hurt ” me.
    I knew what they were asking, I could have had him brought in for questioning – but technically he did not touch me. I did trip. I just said not physically hurt, nurse looked at me strangely and said let us know if you change your mind.

    My friends cared for me. Agreeing that there was nothing to be done because he did not lay hands on me. What he did do was leave me with a serious head injury and not care if I lived or died.

    He had been sexting for months and a couple of online emotional affairs and one office. He also drove like a maniac. when I was in the car. Nothing but luck kept me from being in the list mentioned above, Shanaan Watts, Petersens, Coleman RIP

    It took my almost killing ( accidentally) myself because of his neglect and emotional abuse.

    I knew then I could not grow old with him and contacted and attorney, I waited four months organizing before he was served or knew.

    Whenever I have doubts or fantasize him changing, I remember I am lucky to be alive.

    • Under coercive control laws in some states that amend dv statutes– or even without– the fact that he basically “drove you off a ledge” because of his threatening behavior could count as endangerment if not assault. I understand that some cop shops use discretion against victims and refuse to file charges though sometimes the stars align. I once was forced into the street and into oncoming traffic on 9th Ave in New York due to the ravings of a psycho. There were multiple witnesses and police told me I could have pressed charges– at least terrorist threat or endangerment– but I decided not to because I was afraid of courting more stress. I didn’t make the same mistake again and pressed charges against a subsequent workplace stalker and got a conviction.

      • Thank you for the information very interesting
        . It would’ve been his word against mine we were alone in our home. And also at that time I needed to focus on my health
        I couldn’t look at a screen I couldn’t hear noise or keep a Train of thought
        wasn’t even the tripping and the falling, it was abandoning me after after that was the straw that broke the camels back

        Ready , don’t be me don’t be seconds/ inches away from what could’ve been a crippling injury

  • I will add, you will also have no life, no way to develop as a person or your child have a normal childhood and you be able to parent normally if you stay enmeshed in this horror story

    That is what I learned It is a waste waste of your life

  • This is so creepy and reminds me of my ex. Although he didn’t drug or spy on me, he delighted in his lies and he was frankly really creepy. It was in hindsight when I found out about his S&M black bag of tricks that I got really freaked out. It looked like a murder bag, full of weapons including a knife and duct tape. My mind flashed back to all the nights he was gone, when he flung that bag over his shoulder, kissed me goodnight and left. When DDay imploded me, he seemed quite happy about all that he’d gotten away with. He was kind of high on my pain. Any person who has a backpack stashed in their car with a hidden pocket for drugs that knock people out and a bunch of spyware tech is not okay. Get the fuck out!

  • My ex never hit me. Until he did, when I found he had sent tens of thousands of dollars to an online affair partner who catfished him. He flung aside our grandson, who tried to intervene, then literally beat me to the ground, unconscious. My grandson and I went outside and waited for rescue to arrive. During the time he was ostensibly packing up, he sabotaged the house, tried to steal our computers, and changed all our passwords. I was lucky he did the latter because the IT tech who came to fix them is the one who got shocked by a live wire, instead of us. The house was set to blow up and catch fire; even the smoke detectors in my office, grandson’s bedroom and elsewhere were literally shattered. Later, I realized that he had assaulted me before, when I was asleep and awoke when he smashed his foot into my knee and later my ankle, and claimed he was dreaming. One he was gone, I learned he had been physically and psychologically abusing our grandson, and had systematically stolen all my money, as well as marital funds, going back more than 10 years (and past the statute of limitations). He had gaslighted me into an unnecessary risky medical procedure earlier. During court-ordered visits to inventory our home, he continued to find ways to sabotage the HVAC system, outlets, etc., even while supervised.
    Evil is evil. He’s had plenty of time to learn methods to harm or kill you and your child. Get out before he puts them into practice. Don’t join the murdered wives club. Don’t let your child be a victim.

  • Ditto to all the comments here but picking up on two minor things you mention, just to prove how even these little nuggets are proof enough of their cheating (as well know they have the same playbook). You searched his backpack and he randomly cried. DARVO much. Prime cheater behaviour. I read a (frankly diabolical but hilarious) poem out to my ex that I had found that he’d written to the OW. So banged to rights etc. Guess what, he just started crying.

    And the thing with the songs, again it’s taunting you, prodding you to say, I’m watching you but in a really creepy kind of way. I went on a brief holiday with EX just after D Day (why I don’t know, well I do cause my daughter was excited and ex’s dad was also coming, thank god he did) and it was HORRENDOUS. I was in the car and he was playing a playlist with the names coming up on the screen of songs – ‘Awaken My Love’, ‘Free’ and all sorts of just shite like that one after another. It’s taunting and bearbaiting in the most peculiar and twisted manner.

    You have way bigger things to worry about but to point out that all those little things are cheater 101 behaviour, and yours is a crazy ass so wishing you all the best for a safe route out. Don’t confront him about anything, if he’s behaving like this now he could escalate things quickly. Go carefully won’t you x.

  • Ready,

    As a former advocate for victims of violent crime including domestic violence survivors, I’m with the others here that you need to get away from this psychopath first and ask questions later.

    I recognize from the way you write that you’re scared and in full-blown PTSD– wild eyed, wild haired, clinging to the walls. I’m sure you’re the soul of tranquility when not being boiled like a frog. At the very least, the longer you stay, the longer he has to gather “evidence” that you’re crazy and not a fit parent which is the favorite game of those who would deliberately drive us mad. Stay away from substances. Gather friends and resources. Do super fun things with your child and document them.

    You’re acting as if gathering evidence vs. getting safe are mutually exclusive choices but why only do just one? Take it from me you don’t actually have to be currently living with an abuser for a PI to gather evidence. I did all this from thousands of miles away when traveling, including paying a PI via cash sent from Western Union. My main residence was also in a fault state and it mattered that FW was running around while still married. It affected settlement and prevented him from painting me as nuts which affected custody. There was also safety in having the PI dig up who the AP was, whether she was dangerous in her own right, if she owned firearms, had priors, was a “bunny boiler” as they say, etc.

    The following are suggested steps depending on what you and a lawyer think is the safest course of action:

    1) Have a friend drive you to your doctor and/or to a lab to get tested for various knockout drugs. A hair strand test is standard for finding evidence that you have been doped with “roofies” or rohypnol– the date rape drug. A hair test can find evidence of the drug in your system from thirty days prior.

    Do not discuss any of this by phone or in your house or car but meet the trusted friend in person without your phones and use their computer or an internet cafe computer to search for resources for lawyers, testing, etc. If the tests come up positive for anything, hang onto this proof that he drugged you. Also test for every type of STD, including getting a pelvic exam and tests for HPV which can be hard to test for and these tests will need to be repeated frequently.

    2) Use a friend’s phone to contact lawyers explaining that you cannot use your own phone for this and why. Schedule free consults with all the sharkiest lawyers in town to create a conflict so that your FW cannot hire them. Again, never bring your phones with you if there’s any chance there are trackers on them. In a pinch you can remove the battery to prevent being tracked but it’s better to leave them at home. Get a second burner and only use it when out of the house. Choose one of these lawyers and get a ride to their office to meet in person. Get advice on state laws regarding filing criminal complaints for illegal drugging. You want to go to a lawyer about this first in order to protect yourself and your rights to custody. Reporting illegal drugging to police could trigger a police investigation of your house to find drug stashes. If you get ahead of this with police and have a lawyer working with you, there is less chance your FW can try to pretend that any drugs or illegal substances found on the premises are yours. If your FW is getting these drugs illegally, it could be evidence he is using them to drug and rape random people so this kind of investigation can be serious.

    3)Simultaneously ask lawyer the procedure for getting orders of protection along with information on separation and divorce and use of evidence of cheating as a “fault” grounds.

    3) Different states have different procedures for getting orders of protection. If you’re directed to make a police report first, leave your phones at home and walk to a friend’s house to get a ride to the police station or simply walk there yourself and either have your lawyer or a friend meet you there. Bring any evidence you have to get the order.

    4) Upon getting the OOP, change the locks on the house and install an alarm system immediately. Again, arrange for all this using a trusted friend’s phone and do not discuss this in your house until the moment it’s all being done. Then have the house and car swept for bugs and hidden cameras. You’ll want to get your own cameras installed to guard doorways, your car and points of entry so, if your FW starts tampering with your vehicle or house or is stalking you, you’ll have proof.

    5) Follow lawyer’s instructions for cleaning out bank accounts and getting important documents together. Instruct the school that no one is to pick up your child other than you. Beware of “Swiss” friends who may be reporting your activities to your FW. Keep what you’re doing between you and your lawyer or maybe one tried and true contact. When you get an OOP you can tell neighbors to be on guard.

    6) Do not agree to meet with FW “just to talk” either in private or in public but follow lawyer’s instructions to the letter. If you think the lawyer is giving bad advice, find another.

    Side notes: As you go to police and meet with legal authorities, understand that you are giving the subtle Oscar-winning performance of your life because simply being innocent is not always enough to surmount some of the obstacles set up against victims in the justice system. First off, getting evidence of cheating is for divorce proceedings, not something you want to put emphasis on while dealing with police and getting orders of protection. Police will see jealousy as a motive to lie. This is partly because, statistically, a lot of cops cheat and abuse spouses and many won’t want to see your side but, if you play it right, they may be compelled to do the right thing anyway. If your lawyer advises it, admit you hired a PI to police or whichever authority you have to speak to regarding OOPs, but frame it as fear that he may be planning and arranging to do you harm or committing illegal acts outside the house (if he’s using roofies, there’s something to fear here) that you wish to distance yourself from, or that friends had mentioned to you cases like Jennifer Dulos where cheating husbands might engage enablers to harm their spouses and/or children.

    Your job is to appear sane, steady, the best mom in the world and clear-headed even though you’re in scary circumstances. As you meet with whatever authority required for an OOP, preface calmly by saying that you haven’t been sleeping well due to the stress and they should ask you to repeat anything if it doesn’t seem clear. That should provide a bit of cover if you seem nervous or garbled but otherwise try not to appear confused or ramble. Police and ADAs who don’t want to do their jobs have little tricks of riling and upsetting victims that they can then use as “proof” that the victim was crazy as a way to justify inaction. So if police try to wet blanket or minimize your grounds for asking for an OOP, ask for their names and badge numbers in a gentle earnest voice saying that you just need the information for your notes and you tend to forget if you don’t write things down (while innocently batting your eyes). A fellow advocate called this necessary passive aggressive tact the “knit brown pursuit of truth.” You’re not THREATENING to report them to higher ups, oh no, you just need that information for your records because you’re a fastidious person. The PO you’re interfacing with will likely get a sudden flash of how appealing, sane and credible you’ll look on the six o’clock news as you explain how this PO refused to help you before your husband’s psychotic break. The PO may suddenly find it in themselves to help you. Use this “knit brown pursuit of truth” method with any official who gives you problems. Do not fall into their traps of losing your cool. Do not overdue the sweetness. Just stay calm. Show how credible and likeable you’ll look on the stand. Express fear using words not frantic behavior. Say things like, “Due to his history I’m afraid FW might do X and I’m worried for my child.” If your lawyer says you have to admit you hired a PI to police, coordinate with the lawyer to come up with a viable reason for this, i.e., it was a good idea because of the alleged drugging, to see if your FW was following you, buying firearms, etc.

    Just because you take possession of the house doesn’t mean you have to stay in it. You might want to dodge and weave and stay in other places for a time until you can get an OOP or your FW gets charged with drugging you. Even then you’ll want to watch your back. If he breaks the OOP, document and call police every time.

  • GET OUT NOW! he is dangerous. .. nothing to work with and he might just kill you

  • Regarding proof, it would be difficult in Australia to obtain a protective order ousting him from the family home with a description to police or courts of being surveilled and emotional abuse ~ however document whatever you can if you intend to seek an Order ~ dont wait to see where this goes. You dont need proof someone is a fwit, but there may be consequences for legal proceedings (parenting, property or DV) if you assert you are at risk because of x, y and z. I agree with CL ~ that you are at high risk and to seek a place of safety whilst legal matters are resolved. In Australia if you are experiencing DV contact Legal Aid in your state to see what legal assistance can be provided.

  • Not to scare you any further but you need to leave the house with your child like it’s normal but leaving your phone at home along with any bulky bags (DO NOT TAKE ANYTHING with you that he may have a tracking device on), take your car to a shopping center and leave it, then take a bus or a safe friend to the police and get a restraining order on him because he drugged you and you are afraid for you life. Then go to a shelter. Get a restraining order first so he can’t retaliate and say you kidnapped his kid. If he is this tech savy he has a lot more cameras and other software watching you and probably even this site. Be careful!!!!

    • Southern Chump,

      I thought the same thing after my suggestion above.

      If a chump who lives with such a creepy, tech savvy control freak is researching their escape from such a nutter on a computer or smartphone surveilled by the nutter, nutcase is reading our advice. Good grief ! ????

  • Leave before he kills you. I’m not joking.

    The drugging, the stalking, the spying, the mindfucking … girl, he DELIGHTS in hurting you. Your pain gets him off. He enjoys throwing it in your face too, and driving you crazy because “you can’t prove it.”

    Get the fuck out now. I’m serious.

  • Ready,
    Although I completely understand your desire to know, just leave now and trust that the stink of the truth will reveal itself in time. We are all scared for you because we have seen these monsters and we know what they are capable of.

    My ex was the same. He is also a sociopath. And also very tech savvy. He enjoyed watching me all confused. Two years ago, he pushed me down the front steps of our house. When I called our therapist to tell her what happened, she said the ex had already called her and told her that I pushed him down the front steps of the house and he had a bleeding lip from it. When I checked the camera footage, he had already deleted it. They are always one step ahead. Don’t engage. You can’t beat them at this game because you are limited by conscience and fear of the law. Sociopaths, by definition, have none of these.

    The divorce was final last year but I still learn horrific things every few weeks. And he is still dragging me to court regularly. There is no closure with these dark creatures. Just get out and it will be clearer in time. Take care.

  • Ready, please keep us posted on how you’re doing. Many folks here are genuinely worried on your behalf.

  • When I read this letter I just feel helpless. While CN can give her emotional support she needs more than that. I Pray that one day could have volunteers in different cities that can help people in these situations out. Chumps who are connected to the community and can recommend the right attorneys, financial professionals, investigators and counselors to ease the burden and allow a safe exit in situations like this

  • Totally MESSED UP. Get away from this creep. There’s no way of knowing what he’s capable of.

    My ex gaslighted me, and thankfully I know what that was and didn’t argue with him. You don’t argue with crazy, you know. My mother did the exact same thing to me. But he did convince his family that I was way out there and incapable. They believed him. He also told his divorce attorney some things that thankfully the attorney took with a grain of salt.

    But alas, I also took a lot of hopium. Perpetually optimistic, I thought it might turn around. Nope.

  • I got such chills reading this, how absolutely shattered the OP actually is, the jumping about to different threads of the story, the absolute HORROR of what they’re going through right now.

    Please, please let us know you’re okay. Please leave. Just take your child and go to a friend. Please talk to your good friends, tell your family, tell everyone who has your back. Understand you WILL be believed by the majority of people. I have a dear friend, also absolutely tiny, who tried so hard for so many years to try and deal with her flaming asshat of a cheating, disgusting husband and never told ANYONE how bad it was, or what he’d actually done along the way, let alone her family. As soon as she did, the very day it came out began the process of her extricating herself. It wasn’t easy, it was very stressful, it still is in some ways, but she’s FREE, her children have choices about how and where they live and her family was immediately there to help. Immediately.

    Please tell everyone you can think of, then leave, immediately. Get legal help ASAP.

  • i think he uses u for a front for his life. hes married, has a child. so people think hes normal. but hes spying, drugging u. hes probably up to all sorts. you say he could have given u a infection, u n u need tests. hes scared of u finding out, that is why hes spying on u.

  • Ready, that drugging seems like a dry run for something even more sinister. For all you know he could be at the end of that road digging holes. Please take all of the advice above and leave.

  • There are two possibilities here–you are suspicious to the point of having a mental health problem, in which case any ordinary partner would have left you, and your therapist would have told you to get more help, and your friend would be talking to you about psychiatric care. But he hasn’t left you, your therapist has told you to leave, and your friend has told you to leave. Now CL and her army have chimed in with the same advice.

    This leaves the other possibility–he is manipulative to the point of criminality, and you need to stop worrying about infidelity and focus all of your attention on the safety of yourself and your child.

  • It’s the vagueness that made me doubt my eyes and my ears and the accidents. I was attempting to evaluate logically whether this stuff would have reasonable doubt as if this were a court of law.
    There were indications he was trying to read my computer — I’d been an IT geek for 40 years, so I went with the approach of letting him see everything because I had nothing to hide. There were more incidents and a really creepy one that showed up after I left.
    I fell down our stairs — it made me very uneasy but not enough to leave.
    He did small physical things — accidentally pushed me out of bed onto the floor. Flailing his hand to swat the back of my head claiming it was a fly. He did a very large physical thing. I was recuperating from torn achilles heel on right foot. Had hand controls installed so I could get to work. He sprinkled large nails over the side of the garage where I parked.
    I left with my clothes and my computer gear. With hindsight, I should have left much earlier. These days, I believe he was attempting to harm me or kill me. Still … I harbor a teensy doubt that gets smaller each year.

  • It’s the vagueness that made me doubt my eyes and my ears and the accidents. I was attempting to evaluate logically whether this stuff would have reasonable doubt as if this were a court of law.
    There were indications he was trying to read my computer — I’d been an IT geek for 40 years, so I went with the approach of letting him see everything because I had nothing to hide. There were more incidents and a really creepy one that showed up after I left.
    I fell down our stairs — it made me very uneasy but not enough to leave.
    He did small physical things — accidentally pushed me out of bed onto the floor. Flailing his hand to swat the back of my head claiming it was a fly. He did a very large physical thing. I was recuperating from torn achilles heel on right foot. Had hand controls installed so I could get to work. He sprinkled large nails over the side of the garage where I parked.
    I left with my clothes and my computer gear. With hindsight, I should have left much earlier. These days, I believe he was attempting to harm me or kill me. Still … I harbor a teensy doubt that gets smaller each year.

  • Ready, please let us know if you are safe. I can’t help thinking that the “drugging” could have actually been an attempted murder and he just didn’t use enough of the substance.

  • One question…. I spied on my ex when I suspected infidelity.

    In this article, spying is domestic violence…. I actually feel guilty about spying on my wayward spouse.

    So which is it? Eventually I quit spying because the marriage was over.

    • Safety seeking behavior = privately looking for information that will help you understand if you are in danger. It is your right to be safe. These behaviors happen frequently in people who have experienced traumatic events. Or when intuition tells you that something is wrong.

      Spying= privately seeking information in order to gain an advantage over someone else, or in order to cause harm to that person.

      Some RIC & “sex addiction” counselors get these definitions mixed up & blame the victim.

      Or, the perpetrator mixes them up to blame the victim.

  • This brings back memories. My ex wife put a back door on my phone so she could read my texts, emails, etc.

  • Ready, I don’t post much here anymore, but so horrified I had to. Last night, after reading your post I had a horrible dream that was so real. Your husband was meeting a hitman down the street so he could familiarize himself with your location. It was not the first meeting. The picture was at the hitman’s request, so he could kill the right person. It was not a flattering pic and they joked about that. Your husband hasn’t decided whether it’s just you or you and the child. The hitman hasn’t decided whether he will do it, or just extract some upfront money and leave town. Your husband has drugged you before and has titrated the dose so he knows what works. Your husband’s glee as he sings songs about killing bodes very ill. He is already celebrating your death. I hope that if you read this, and you are still alive, that you get up, grab your purse and child, and leave immediately, as in right now, this instant. Your child needs a sane, living parent, and not to be raised by a monster. You already know he is a monster; the rest is just details.

  • I’ve been reading Chumplady daily for the past 15 months. (Thank you Chumplady – your site is the best). This is the first time I’m writing a response because I’m scared for you. I was married for 24 years, never thought STBX would cheat on me because he “loved” me soooo much. Anyway, when I started to get really suspicious, like you, I knew that I had to actually catch him physically cheating on me because he was such a good liar. To make a long story short, I did – and thank God I did. He would have kept lying, gaslighting, blameshifting, lovebombing and successfully fulfilling every other action in the narcissists playbook if I didn’t physically catch him. So I completely understand that you need physical proof for the sake of your children, your sanity, etc. However, as effed up as my STBX is, HE DID NOT DRUG ME. If he has the balls to drug you, he can be capable of much worse. Normally, I would say catch them in the act – but in your case get the F outta there before he drugs you with something fatal. Always trust your gut. Unfortunately, we have been conditioned to question our gut feelings by these sick a-holes but the proof is right in front of you. Get out of there before it’s too late. This is worrisome.

  • This man is torturing you he is absolutely a psychopath and he’s dangerous. I’m so sorry this has happened but he’s a horrible person. People who love (he isn’t capable of it) are warm, safe, predictable (because they are stable) and really take you and your feelings seriously. Not only is a bad person you’re not safe. I know how hard it is to leave an abuser because you never have closure. Read ‘Why does he do that “ by Lundy Bancroft after you get out. It really helps you get closure in your own. Waiting to find out definitive proof hurts even worse because then you realize how long they sat there looking at you, watching you and just feeding you lies and playing a game. Watching you suffer, be confused and enjoying pulling strings. It’s horrific to realize that. This guy is the opposite of a good partner. There’s a life out there that doesn’t feel like this.

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