I have recently come across your work. As you may have already gathered, I’m here because I may be a chump too.
I’m 29. I was married in 2019 and only lived with my spouse for a total of 5 months (1 month after marriage and 4 months in 2020 due to lockdown). He lives in Pakistan and I’m from the U.K.
After I flew back in 2020 post lockdown, I wrote his family off. My heritage is Pakistani and I was pressured into this marriage. Shortly after writing off his family, I wrote him off too. Mostly because they were dysfunctional human beings in my opinion and based on my experience with them. When I was out there with my partner, I caught him on a private WhatsApp (in addition to the normal WhatsApp he had), this WhatsApp was called: WhatsApp business and he lie next to me texting another woman. When I asked to see, he deleted all the chats and handed his phone to me and proceeded to go to sleep. I tried hard that night to retrieve the messages. The following days (due to lockdown) I was stuck. He reached out to my mother who was in the U.K. and she called me to let me know how ashamed she was that I was accusing him of infidelity. She pressured me (which isn’t an alien concept in my life) to reconcile with him.
When I got back to the U.K., I mentally divorced him but my family would not let me divorce him in actuality. I come from a culture that’s very dominating where I’m not seen as a person with her own collective thoughts but rather an extension to a family and their “honour”.
Recently we found out he has been visiting brothels and prostitutes for 10 years of his life (way before he met and married me). We found out courtesy of my mum who finally decided to explore my doubts. I know my mum has known for at least two years but only shared this with me 7 weeks ago. I know this because the friend that sold my partner out to my mum has been sending my mum audio recordings between my soon to be ex partner and himself that date back to 2021.
That’s the gist of it all. Obviously I’m in therapy and have a great support system in place but at the same time, the recovery/healing is not so healing. As you already know the internet mostly talks about reconciliation so I’m passed the stage of googling for some help. Even therapy talks about his toxic masculinity and how he must have been abused in childhood to seek validation in prostitutes. In addition to visiting brothels, in his business he owns a van and drives students to colleges and universities. All his passengers are females and we have come to know he’s been taking advantage of those young women too from taking them to private hotel like rooms and paying them for sex to getting blowjobs from them in his van! I estimate there’s a minimum of 50 women to maximum 500 women he’s had sex with. He’s been in this line of “business” for a decade of his life. It’s quite fair to assume he’s a sex addict.
By now I hope you have assumed that I’ve been psychologically abused by this “man” (and I use the word man very loosely here). I’ve also been on the receiving end of the typical manipulation, gaslighting and victim blaming. Maybe a story for another time. For now I reach out as I need help. Many if not all forums talk about how anger will slow the healing process and can cause more detriment than healing but the reality is anger is a necessary part of this process right? Basically I’m very angry. So angry that I fear resentment will build from this. My anger has started to interrupt my self care and sleeping habits (it’s not 02:03am and I have work at 8am).
I guess this email is a plea for help. Please help me. I know my healing is in me and no one can guide me but some times we give up and can no longer help ourselves. I fear I have fallen there. All I want is acknowledgment and an apology from him and for him to recognise how hurt I am. The irony is we made a pact on our wedding night where I pleaded with him to not cheat on me. Not because I had an instinct back then but because I had just recovered from my dad’s infidelity over the years.
I have a lot more I want to say but I’m already aware this email is more an essay than an email at this point.
If you see this and can reply, I’d be so appreciative. Whatever you have that you can share with me, I’ll take!
A sad loser
Dear Incredibly Strong Person,
So, your parents married you off to a sexual predator and you wonder why you’re angry?
Holy shit! I would burn with the fire of a thousand suns. I’d join a motorcycle gang and tattoo warnings on my neck. I’d be so angry people would hide kitchen knives from me. I would crush small buildings as I stormed Godzilla-like through the metropolis. Environmentalists would seek me out because my anger would be a renewable energy source. My rage would power New York City. You could toast marshmallows off my hot head from across a boiling ocean.
HOW ANGRY WOULD I BE? SO ANGRY.
And yet here you are penning me a polite letter, and you haven’t killed anyone. Gold star for restraint. I mean seriously, OF COURSE YOU’RE ANGRY.
Stop apologizing for it and start looking at your anger as a friend. Or maybe a really protective junkyard dog that guards the perimeter of your soul.
You sign yourself “sad” — and that’s normal too, but I’d much rather have anger on my side than sadness. Sad paralyzes but anger comes out swinging. You’re not even divorced from this freak yet and your parents colluded in your abuse — so anger’s got a full-time job right now.
It won’t always feel raw and unmanageable. But you need to get to safety. You’ll have to process all of this and that could take a long time. Anger will settle down. But sometimes that junkyard dog will tug on its leash when something sets it off. This is your warning system that you’re being violated. Don’t turn it off.
So be a shrieking harridan, Tracy?
No, channel it. Get the divorce done. Focus on your new life. Emancipate yourself from all those cultural shit sandwiches, like this is your fault. Or you’re an extension of your family’s “honor.” There is ZERO honor in hooking your child up with a sexual predator. NONE. So, their “honor” is a failed currency. You call the shots in your life.
He reached out to my mother who was in the U.K. and she called me to let me know how ashamed she was that I was accusing him of infidelity.
Has she apologized for doubting you? For knowing what he was long before you did? Given that she comes from place of normalizing her own husband’s infidelity — why would she shame you for suspecting?
She totally let you down here. And I’d be furious. Which is a very complicated feeling when it’s your mother.
She pressured me (which isn’t an alien concept in my life) to reconcile with him.
Sadly, this is a very common response — cultural and family pressure to reconcile. A bazillion chumps send hugs of solidarity. Going forward work on your boundaries. No one gets to pressure you into major life decisions, especially not people who don’t share your values. This is your one precious life.
my family would not let me divorce him in actuality. I come from a culture that’s very dominating where I’m not seen as a person with her own collective thoughts but rather an extension to a family and their “honour”.
But you are divorcing him now, correct? They relented on this? In any case, you’re an adult. You don’t need their permission to divorce. I realize you’re probably paying a huge price with them emotionally — which is TOTALLY UNFAIR (cue rage). You get a choice if you want to live as an “extension” or as your own person. They probably won’t like it. Oh hey, you didn’t like being married off to a sexual predator.
I know my mum has known for at least two years but only shared this with me 7 weeks ago. I know this because the friend that sold my partner out to my mum has been sending my mum audio recordings between my soon to be ex partner and himself that date back to 2021.
Seven weeks?! You only found out about this staggering betrayal SEVEN WEEKS ago? And you’re managing to shower and go to work? Forget anger for a minute — you’re functioning. You’re in the top tier of dealing with shit. WTF is wrong with your mother?
She should be a grizzly bear protecting you. Something went wrong with her internal warning system years ago. Societal misogyny. I don’t know, but it isn’t okay. I hope she comes around. What you’re going through must feel very threatening for her. If she ate the shit sandwich of Husbands Use Sex Workers What’s the Big Deal? — and you resist it? She may be questioning her life choices.
he’s been taking advantage of those young women
Quit framing this as sex addiction. He’s a sexual predator.
Even therapy talks about his toxic masculinity and how he must have been abused in childhood to seek validation in prostitutes.
Oh fuck that shit. He uses sex workers because he’s pickled in misogyny and entitlement. And it’s unquestioned. And this goes beyond a hooker habit (which is terrible enough) — he preys on vulnerable young women as a hired driver.
Why do rapists rape? That’s a question for social scientists — it’s not a question for victims. His theoretical motivations are irrelevant. And it’s OFFENSIVE that a therapist has you untangling that skein. To what end? To feel sorry for him? Go easy on him? See the wider kaleidoscopic picture of his technicolor FOO issues? NOT YOUR JOB.
Your job is to get away to safety. Fuck untangling his skein. And fuck that therapist. (Oh hey, my junkyard dog is acting up.)
Many if not all forums talk about how anger will slow the healing process and can cause more detriment than healing
There’s a lot of reconciliation bullshit out there that encourages victims to untangle cheater skeins and not make any sudden decisions. That shames victims for feeling righteous, normal, HEALTHY anger. You need a proper trauma specialist not the Reconciliation Industrial Complex.
Anger had you fleeing home and divorcing. Anger is your friend. #TeamAnger
Basically I’m very angry. So angry that I fear resentment will build from this. My anger has started to interrupt my self care and sleeping habits (it’s not 02:03am and I have work at 8am).
You’re SEVEN WEEKS out from a devastating blow that your mother knew of your abuse FOR AGES and encouraged you to stay in it. You’re in the middle of a divorce from a SEXUAL PREDATOR. That you can manage ANY self care or sleep is a testament to how mighty you are. Stop expecting so much from yourself. None of this is okay — you’re in crisis mode. Your reactions are totally normal.
As for “resentment”? Is that the worst thing? Are you afraid of being tarred with the “bitter” brush? Yes, I resent that my parents arranged a marriage to a sexual predator and shamed me for trying to get out of it. Yes, I resent that my mother knew he was abusing me and gaslighted me about my “suspicions.” Yes, I resent that I wasted years of my youth on this traumatic shit show.
Sounds sane to me.
If you mean you worry you can’t get over it and you’ll carry this trauma for the rest of your life — Yes, you’ll get past it and yes you’ll carry this trauma for the rest of your life. You can live with scars. You can also build a really amazing life for yourself. A gazillion of us here have done it, which is why this place exists — to learn from each other and show that there’s life after.
All I want is acknowledgment and an apology from him and for him to recognise how hurt I am.
Common chump rookie mistake. Don’t go there. He’s incapable of acknowledgement and apologies — he’s a predator. He’s not safe. Any “apology” would be hoovering to lure you back into the cycle of abuse.
The irony is we made a pact on our wedding night where I pleaded with him to not cheat on me.
So he’s a lying liar who lies. His apologies would be as worthless as his vows. Let that expectation go, okay?
I had just recovered from my dad’s infidelity over the years.
I read this as you were groomed to expect abuse from men. And you resisted that narrative. Which makes you a very strong woman. A person with integrity who knows her worth. That’s someone to be proud of. Don’t let anyone diminish how incredibly mighty you are.