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dbellanon posted 8/9/2013 09:51 AM

I'm only just now starting to put it all together.

About four months ago, my WW blindsided me by telling me that she was having doubts about our marriage and thought that we should go into counseling. From the very beginning, her language was laden with contradictions. She said that she wasn't sure if she could stay married to me, which implied that she was still at least partially open to being convinced otherwise, but yet she used shockingly strong language, saying from the very beginning that she no longer loved me, and that even if I changed in every way to become a perfect partner, she still wasn't sure she would want to be with me.

It wasn't until I discovered the affair that I learned that she had decided months ago to end the marriage, and was already making plans to ditch me and come out with the OM. All the talk about being on the fence was just smoke and mirrors. It was meant to ease me into the reality that she had already decided to impose on us, and to give the impression that she was doing things the "right way." She told me that she wanted a separation, implying that she just needed space, and even pointing to a couple she knew who had gotten back together after a separation. It wasn't permanent or irreversible, she said. She wanted to be separated by July 1st. I later learned that she had been planning on attending a friend's wedding on July 5th with the OM. The only thing that prevented that from happening was that it turned out that the scoundrel was seeing another woman at the same time, who, by a crazy coincidence, was going to be a bridesmaid in the same wedding (long story).

She was leading me on, trying to wean me off of my hope gradually. Meanwhile, she was engaging in some of the worst character assassination, defamation and degradation imaginable, whittling down my sense of self-worth to a nub, bringing me to my knees in the dirt, begging her for a second chance, declaring my love for her, feeding the same narcissistic sense of self-entitlement that had led her into an affair in the first place. And all the while, she had every intention of allowing me to live in this cage of illusions and lies in which she had imprisoned me while she sat back content in her smug sense of moral superiority, hiding behind a veil of deceit the horrible betrayal that she was carrying on without my knowledge.

But it gets worse. After I discovered the affair, she was ready to quit, but I managed to cajole her into giving us one month of marriage-saving efforts. I knew her heart wasn't totally in it, but even if we faked it for a month, there was a chance that we could discover some potential there, so I thought. She agreed to a month-long trial.

But something was terribly wrong, and I'm not just talking about the fact that this crazy last-ditch effort required us to sweep the affair under the rug temporarily. I tried to work out with her what our mutual expectations of each other should be for that month, what we were looking for the other person to do. And instead of talking about what I could do to meet her needs or show her love or anything like that, she demanded two things: That I get a job, and that I begin IC.

I had basically been a stay-at-home father for most of the previous year. When our marriage crisis began, out of the blue, my WW began talking to me like I was some kind of bum because of this. It was bizarre to hear her talk like this because previously, she would tell everyone how grateful she was for my support at home and how she never would have been able to do what she was doing (getting her doctorate) without me (Later, when I reminded her that she said this, she got resentful for me suggesting that she needed me. Oy!). Still, I assumed that this was something she had been dissatisfied with and hadn't communicated to me, so in the interests of meeting her requests, I began a new job search, and planned to enroll our daughter in preschool full-time in order to do it.

I found out later that the real reason she wanted me to get a job was because she was worried that if I was unemployed or underemployed, she would have to pay child support to me. As for IC, I'm pretty sure she wanted to make sure that she could count on me to be stable when she finally began divorce proceedings.

While I was desperately trying to save our marriage, putting on the line absolutely everything I had left, she was using that time to continue to maneuver me into a position more advantageous to her.

She was manipulating me at every turn. I'm seeing it all so much more clearly now, and it amazes and shocks me just how absolutely diabolical it all actually was. It's as if every time I look back and analyze the situation more, the more heinous it all becomes.

Being manipulated like this. Being used like this. Has anyone else experienced something similar? And what's more, she accused me of being manipulative of her, something that I can only see as some twisted form of projection. What does this say about her? Is this a feature of her personality, or just a product of the fact that for one reason or another, she stopped seeing me as a human being, and just a means to an end?

[This message edited by dbellanon at 9:52 AM, August 9th (Friday)]

kiki1 posted 8/9/2013 10:08 AM


my wh did and does this very same thing to me. Its their MO, how they go about fulfilling their selfish desires.

Its incredibly painful that the person who promised to love and cherish you would do this to us. And we go along, wanting to make things right and happy again.

Most of us here were treated in this manner during the course of our spouses affair. They blame us or our shortcomings as the reason for their affair, so that they dont have to admit to themselves what wretched deeds they have done to someone who loved them.

I am truly sorry you were treated in this manner. It reminds me of myself, when i saw the marriage was coming to an end and was desperately trying to save it. however, he was already in affair #1 and I was the only one worried about it.

It sucks, I know.

Hang in there, you'll get through it. keep telling yourself you are a great guy!!

Dont believe the lies of manipulation now that you see them.

PhantomLimb posted 8/9/2013 11:48 AM

I found out about the A because my WS started demanding that I sign a postnup giving up my rights to spousal support. We had been long distance for a year while I was building up my credentials to get a job in his office. I did and was about a week away from moving home permanently when he started with all of the postnup talk.

He let me pass up a number of other job offers in favor of the one with him. Of course it made sense for me to pass up on those others in order for us to be together at the time, but he knew he was already in the A with a woman who worked in the office I was supposed to work in. Naturally, when I found out about the A and he didn't want to R, I had to quit the job, which left me completely unemployed (I'm a teacher, so it's not like it's easy to find a teaching position last min over the summer!).

So the whole postnup thing was because he estimated that there was a chance I would find out about the A once I got there and began working with the OW. According to him she had "gotten attached" and I think he was afraid she would tell me what they had been doing while I was gone. He disputed that that was his motivation, but what else could it be?

And even after his tearful and gut wrenching emotional display of regret on the day he told me he couldn't R (truly academy award winning)... the *very* last thing he said to me was "when you resign the job, there's no point in telling [the boss] that it's because of the A because there's no rule against it here. I could marry her and no one would care." Protecting his ass until the end.

He was also very cold about telling me on DDay. I told him that if he kept up with the postnup talk I would consider leaving him. He was taken aback by that and then started apologizing, saying he knew he could never really ask me to do that, etc. When I told him I was pissed enough by the whole thing to consider leaving him anyway he paused a long time and then said "well then this needs to be a longer conversation." Just like that.

The longer convo was DDay. When I think about how calculated he was, it's chilling. It's like he became a sociopath.

Ashland13 posted 8/9/2013 11:56 AM

I'm sorry, dbellanon, for your pain and the journey you've been put on that you didn't want.

Yes, I was extremely manipulated, as was my entire family, extended relatives, his relatives, my boss, his family...Anyone he could get to before me he did and touched nearly everyone in my life in a very short time, so that they all knew he was leaving and I did not, for a time.

Well, he also manipulated OW and still tries with me, but I'm working on a backbone vs. anxiety.

He, too, sat on the proverbial fence for quite some time, but I think it was to make sure he could solidify the other life before ditching this one.

What triggers me some days is thinking of our children and how he could just up and walk out on them...he snuck out in the middle of the night, was let back in (prior to cheating knowledge) and let back in three more times.

Still I don't want divorce, but have come to many realizations and don't imagine ever trusting this person that I basically gave my life to.

I, too, was a stay at home parent, when day care came to cost as much as I earned. Now his lawyer mocks me and is trying to take me to the cleaners, when I don't have a cent.

He also tried to take our daughter away and declare me incompetent and stupid and emotionally incapable of living a decent life and being a decent mother.

At one point I could have tried to work on the cheating aspect, but it was those and many other "declarations of resentment" he spit at me after reconcilliation turned out to be false, that led me to file.

It's disturbing and disruptive to come to realize that the person we thought we knew and lived with for so long was actually living something else altogether and is not even our friend or on our side. It took me a really long time to come to terms with this and lately much of anything I say to him he spits back or his lawyer does.

I'm sorry that you were so wronged and hope the shock will start to ebb away, with the passing of each day.

ETA that Phantom Limb hit home. He told me "lying got easy to you!" and he said it was like a high, every time he lied and snuck and thought he got away with it, he got a boost to his ego. I find this disgusting.

One of the counselors said that he sounded a bit like a sociopath and the way his manner was didn't help-completely void of emotion, thought or feeling.

The only time I ever saw him emotional was when he would come and go texting with OW and I suspect it was during several break ups, because he was on the fence and she pressured him. So I backed away and I lost, but I don't feel that so much now, just lonely.

He lies to her still and she accepts him and she "lets him" have other women in his life and that also disgusts me.

[This message edited by Ashland13 at 12:00 PM, August 9th (Friday)]

PhantomLimb posted 8/9/2013 12:41 PM

You know, sometimes I think when people say that to have a successful R you need an immediately remorseful WS it's not just because we need to feel safe and need them to commit to fixing things immediately... But it's because if we pause long enough to think about how they put us through a ringer and what sociopaths they are without feeling like we're making progress with R or MC or whatever, R will fail because it will become a deal breaker for us in the long run.

When I think about why I can't take my WS back now it's not because of the A. I could have gotten past that with time. It's because of the shit he pulled to pull the A off and the psycho he became once he was found out.

They aren't true partners. They aren't even friends. They can be disenchanted with their lives, fall out of love, fall in love with someone else. Whatever. But to treat their former best friends and spouses and mothers and fathers of their children (and children!) the way that they do... They are probably kinder to strangers. It's sick.

[This message edited by PhantomLimb at 12:41 PM, August 9th (Friday)]

Whatdoido333 posted 8/9/2013 13:07 PM

They are kinder to strangers...they are cruel to the ones that support them he therapist said it this way" they would throw their own mother under the bus" in order to be kind to a stranger.

My H was going to leave his elderly sick mother at home while she was throwing up in order to help OW's son move some furniture!!! I made such a fuss he stayed home with his mother but was fuming that I didn't want him t go.

Another time his mom couldn't decide if she wanted a ride somewhere, and he was in a rush to meet a "friend" so yelled at his mother to make up her mind. Actually yelling at this poor woman so h could run to meet a friend...of course a female friend. So it's not just us they manipulate and destroy, it's those closest to them

Nature_Girl posted 8/9/2013 13:36 PM

I, too, was a stay at home parent, when day care came to cost as much as I earned. Now his lawyer mocks me and is trying to take me to the cleaners, when I don't have a cent.

Same here. Long-term SAHM, I cannot even find a job (well, let's just say I've been looking for almost a year), and yet his lawyer mocks me and yes, I'm having to pony up money. Lots of money. Thousands of dollars.

Nature_Girl posted 8/9/2013 13:46 PM

Dbell, be prepared for revelations to keep coming up for a very long time. I'm over 2 years post DDay and I'm still making connections. I know it's very frustrating and maddening to realize how you've been fooled.

dbellanon posted 8/9/2013 18:06 PM

Ashland13. My WW also made sure I was the last to know that she was unsatisfied with our marriage. Instead of talking to me about her issues, she went on a character assassination campaign amongst her family and friends. In hindsight, this is obviously not the behavior of someone who had any interest in saving or improving her marriage. She had already decided to go outside the marriage for whatever kind of satisfaction she was looking for, and was simply looking for the right time and opportunity to discard me. She was biding her time and carefully planning her strategy.

She says that she wasn't trying to hurt me, and I believe her. She just didn't care about me at all as a person. I'm not sure which is worse.

dbellanon posted 8/9/2013 18:31 PM


It's a good point. If my WS had expressed remorse, but everything else had been the same, there would still be a lot of problems. At the same time though, it seems like everything worked together such that I couldn't even construct a coherent simulation of these events while excluding any of the parts.

In my mind, the traits that led her to the affair and her criminal mismanagement of this marital crisis are the same traits that are preventing her from experiencing remorse for her betrayal.

I don't know if there is a possible world in which she would have been remorseful. If she had been, I feel like I'd almost be dealing with a different person altogether.

crazyblindsided posted 8/9/2013 18:36 PM

When I think about why I can't take my WS back now it's not because of the A. I could have gotten past that with time. It's because of the shit he pulled to pull the A off and the psycho he became once he was found out.

^^^^^This not only was I manipulated by WH but by the MOW too. It was a sick and twisted game they played with me until I outsmarted them both.

It is everything post DDay and the fact that this isn't my WH's first rodeo that makes me see him differently now. It is the one blessing out of this horrid mess, now he cannot manipulate me. I can catch when he is being PA or CA. I no longer listen to the circle arguments that make no sense and I shut down those conversations immediately. I am still watching him very closely and make my decisions based on what I am seeing. We are only in the beginnings of R, but I am not betting anything on it. With my WH's track record the odds are against him.

[This message edited by crazyblindsided at 6:37 PM, August 9th (Friday)]

PhantomLimb posted 8/12/2013 23:41 PM

I don't know if there is a possible world in which she would have been remorseful. If she had been, I feel like I'd almost be dealing with a different person altogether.

I get the sense that remorse would make her an entirely different person because it would require that she come down from out of her head.

Look at how thoroughly she *tried* to work out your breakup and how she tried to control it to the last letter-- down to the DAY that she would S from you and the DAY she would publicly display the OM. Down to holding on to you just long enough to set you on the path most advantageous for *her* (i.e. so she doesn't have to pay you support), all the while being able to tell herself on some level that it was all for *your* benefit.

I get the impression that your WW thinks she is smarter than everyone else around her. She tried to act like some kind of puppeteer.

Makes me wonder to what extent part of her so-called "fog" now is the impossible realization that she is not pulling all of the strings. To admit this would be to admit she doesn't have control.

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