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Willneverlearn posted 9/8/2013 02:22 AM

Hi everyone..not sure if I am really posting in the right place and I apologise in advance for the length of this novel....
Two years out and I can't move on and feel crippled by the many acts of betrayal play over and over and I just can't seem to grow from it...I want to share with you a letter my husband wrote me last year...

He was away 4 days to compile this ...on recommendation by his IC/MC.
Upon returning he read it aloud to his/ our councillor ....they both had tears streaming down there faces.....a copy was taken by the councillor to keep for future inspiration to other couples...he was the poster boy for this "moving" letter he compiled.

My husband then came home and told me he had a letter for me to read when I was ready and to ring him when I wanted to read it and he told me where he had left it....he said everything would be great now and the councillor was very happy and couldn't believe the letter he had written....

I was in my continued state of " numb" and decided to read the letter the next morning ...however I didn't call my husband...I was too embarrassed to and didn't want his approval...

Sorry this is so long..I would like to share the letter...

Dated 13 November 2012(his bday)

To my dearest Lea

Well where do I start my darling- to explain and make right the wrongs I have done. I have struggled to get off the dark road of deception- I turned my back on reality-I turned my back on you- I turned my back on the family and I turned my back on myself- I couldn't see the implications and scale of destruction.

We faced some real challenges in......with the earthquakes and luck was on our side. We were all ok and still living that .....dream. I look back and wish we could be there with that lifestyle of simplicity. We weighed up our options however and made a decision to head to the south.

I began in ....I found it a huge challenge and quite daunting having just left the comfort and familiar employ of ..... Of 13 years. I don't have an excuse for what happened- nor will I ever have one as it is inexcusable. All I can do is make assurances and put boundaries in place to prevent in the future.

I was in a space of insecurity and in a way lonely. I had lost that secure network of sound friends and colleagues surrounding me. I then had this feeling of importance helping her with issues- issues that really have no significance in the scale of things.

I then made some extremely poor choices- decisions that were deliberate and harmful. I could not see or perceive the consequences for the resulting actions. There are things I should have done to keep you and the children safe but I didn't- I look at myself with disgust, how on earth have I put my family in such a position of insecurity. I should have been stronger- drawing on the goodness and strength of our family and learning lessons from the past experience, but I didn't.

As a result of my actions there have been some dramatic consequences- I became disconnected to the real world- the world that really mattered.

For you ..... It has stopped your world. It has taken the life from your being. It has taken the energy from your person. Created huge insecurities for your future and most of all caused you pain on a level unprecedented. Loss of love,care and connection. I cannot forgive myself for the toll on your self esteem. You lost you husband, your friend and loving partner.

For our children it has created some genuine hardship- amazing children being isolated from their father. Lack of support,love,attention and encouragement at a time when they needed nothing but. They lost their father, their mate, biggest team supporter and stable influence.

Our friends and family were discarded by me- I them behind and headed off in a direction of selfishness. I lost contact and I guess lost sight of their place in my life. I also regret the way it changed the way you interacted with them.

My workplace and status in the workplace has been impacted as a result of my actions- I can only blame myself and have a great deal of work to do to rebuild integrity, respect and trust with some.

Finally, the impact of this on myself. I write this not for sympathy or attention but for admittance and recognition of the change that occurred in that me during this period. I withdrew from you and became selfish. I lost that instinct to be your total protector above all. I became focused on another person- putting your well being and the total core of our relationship in jeopardy. I stopped being that devoted husband that provided support and total love to our essence. I overlooked the work we had done in the past and the forgiveness that had been offered. I forgot who I was- what I stood for and what was right or wrong. ( yes I knew it was wrong but I lost the ability to judge.) I became a different person who cared for himself and not for others even when faced with the resulting pain. I was ignorant and stupid but most of all heartless.

The last few weeks have been awakening for me- I am still working to no more and understand my behaviour but most importantly give you a life back- a life you deserve of honesty and love.

My behaviour and actions have been wrong- I have failed you, our children and ALOT of other people- I have caused you considerable pain, stress and embarrassment.

I apologise fully for what I have done- I take full responsibility for my inappropriate actions. I am sorry for all of the damage,avoidance of and slow response to deal with the issue. Please accept this apology for the way I have made you feel- the shame/anxiety/guilt/fear/insecurity and low self esteem. I am sorry to our children for the lost time and missed opportunities- this is time gone and can't be recovered but somehow I want to find a way to make it up.

I am aware of the challenges faced by you when I am away but the past week has been a time like no other- it has been an important part of keeping our family safe and getting to stable ground. It has been real reflection and genuine planning time to get a future.

There are things I am doing to keep safe. I am being accountable to good people, .... And ......I also want to have responsibility in the community again (BOT or similar) and be accountable as a person here. I want us to develop strong friendships with good people such as .... And out there as a family. I have realised that having good people around is good for me and for us as a family.

I know there is ALOT of work to do and it is not going to be easy but I know we can get to a better place than before. I love you ....I just got lost,really lost. You are my true soulmate- we just hit a mountain in the road. We need time together as a couple and as a family. We also need some time as individuals to be independent and reflect.

I will make this happen. We need to use the support we have been offered and not feel guilty about using it. I want to see you happy and feeling positive about yourself.

I know there is no quick or easy fix to any of this and there is hard work for me to do- this will be on going. We need to take things step by step remembering our goal of togetherness when we hit a wall.

The next two years need to be about us getting things on track- we need quality time and should get away when we can. In the five year picture this is all well behind us and we are in a place that is better than any we have been before.

I want us to have a good life with an open and transparent relationship. I want our children to stay growing as good kids- having fun and a purpose, being good people themselves.

I love you ....I hope you are able to find in your heart enough forgiveness and hope to find our future together. This letter is for you and only you to keep and reflect on, maybe one day we can burn it and put this all as history. I think you should read and reflect on this for a day or two- then we sit and talk. Hope you are doing ok- I say that with genuine concern. We can overcome this together,as a team, as we have always done.

Love always xxx

Ok..p,ease help me...p,ease give me insight into how my husband could write this and sneak away to be back in " her" arms within two weeks of giving me this. We had to go back to the councillor as he insisted on reading it again in front of councillor as he was apparently supposed to read it to me himself. Once again tears etc...etc...but I felt it was fake reading it to me in front of councillor when I had already read it myself.

Councillor said to you really think someone is capable of writing such and not meaning it...I just looked at him and felt bad for any scepticism that I felt.

He never changed...nothing changed...still sneaked around and carried on with affair. He has left us now AGAIN... Still sneaking around...secret phones etc.

I am having so much trouble processing this letter and many, many other acts of deceit....please help me see a way through this.

As mentioned this happend ten years ago....exact same thing....two years long and included a fake business trip to Japan for ten days while I was at home with three kids under 5. One who was very sick.

How does this happen...I am so hurt and feel soooo lonely that I could just die....who does this...his / our councillor can no longer see him as he has told so many lies.

He has turned his back on family..his and all our friends. We were high school sweethearts and have together 27 entire adult life with him. I adored him....I am lost...his behaviour and lies and choices have not altered in two years. The girl is in her 20 s...he is 42 and I and 40.'s out...a jumble...but I need help please...I feel like I have fallen apart ...I live in a very small town...everybody now knows....I didn't tell anyone for a year...nothing made a difference. I loved him and thought we were very happy...ESP since our move....he was sleeping with her before I even got to our new town with the kids. He moved ahead of us by a couple of months. I love where I live though full of triggers.. a truly beautiful part of the world but this town is not big enough for both of us...I feel like he is a dog peeing on every lamp post I this lovely little town.......he has taken over my little town and I feel suffocated and humiliated....I tried so hard to save our marriage and feel he just laughed at it from a distance...

What do I do...I have three beautiful and amazing children but this is affecting us all profoundly...

slater13 posted 9/8/2013 04:48 AM

I dont know you, but I understand. am a BS as well. I am sending you hope and my heart. I am so sorry for your pain. Your children need you now. Now is your time.

Blobette posted 9/8/2013 05:45 AM

Wow. That made me tear up -- in sympathy for you. This guy is a sociopath, a mind-fucker, a total asshole. He has taken you for such a ride. There is no shame in trying to make a marriage work, especially with someone who is so determined to put on a perfect facade. Sounds like he fooled even the counselor! You have to cut this person out of your heart, because he can give you only pain. I am so, so sorry.

And I bet that everyone in your little town will CHEER when you kick the bastard out.

Holly-Isis posted 9/8/2013 05:46 AM

You're in pain because you know this hasn't been dealt with. Not only is your WH a repeat cheater, he has the capability to put on a facade while he's cheating.

Your counselor is an idiot. Words mean next to nothing if the actions don't match. That letter...not worth wiping your @ss with once he cheated again. I'm sorry your counselor was fooled.

Get a new IC, screw the MC until Mr. Selfish is ready to do the real work.

isadora posted 9/8/2013 05:54 AM

It is hard to fathom especially when you look at the sitch with your own non broken lens. an unremorseful WS views life and their actions through such a distortion.

I am sorry for your pain.

sinsof thefather posted 9/8/2013 06:07 AM

Wow. Reading that letter - I was really fooled. I thought 'this man really GETS it', so to then read the up to date part of your post that says he was back in OW's arms within two weeks of writing this - I'm just stunned. My heart breaks for you. I don't know any advice to give you - my gut says this man has some kind of personality disorder that he can write a letter like that but then still carry on the affair.

The letter seems to show that he knows exactly the pain and hurt he's causing it's very rational too - he doesn't sound 'foggy' in the slightest and yet he carried on. If his own counselor will no longer even see him, well that tells you a lot too.

I confess that I'm not clear on everything in your post. Did he do this before 10 years previously? Was that a separate affair? Or is that a typo and you are talking about the same affair of 2 years ago?

I wish I had something more I could offer you, but I wanted to post to give you a big (((((HUG))))) and to let you know that you have been heard because your pain is very clear to me. Please keep coming her for support and advice - it's a great place and people are very caring. You have my thoughts and prayers.

happenedtome posted 9/8/2013 06:07 AM

I retread your post a few times but probably still haven't fully absorbed it. This man is a manipulative sociopath who evidently can successfully manipulate your/his counselor. Even before I realized (after reading the full post) that he was still involved in his affair, I didn't like the way he TOLD you where you would be in 2 and 5 years' time assuming you be loyally be along for the ride rather than what he would do to earn the gift of you being there in 2and 5 years' time. I found the letter to be disingenuous and non-remorseful. I was surprised it moved the C to tears. And that was all before I realized that he has continued his A. You and your kids deserve so much more. I hope you find the strength to kick him to the curb. Please find a new counselor. Hugs to you and please keep posting here where you will find support and advice from really good people. (Edited for clarification)

[This message edited by happenedtome at 6:09 AM, September 8th (Sunday)]

Laura28 posted 9/8/2013 06:21 AM


This is truly awful. I feel so sorry for you.

In the early days all of us with FWSs wake each day wondering if the remorse we see is genuine.

Are they really sorry? Or are their words and even their actions more of the deceit, the manipulation they used to con us while they cheated with their APs?

Honey, I just read all your previous posts. Then I re-read your post. I had to before I felt confident in my judgement.

From what you have written I suspect you are mid 40s.

Think of this.

You could have another 40 years with this man. Do you really want that? Really?

How much can you take?

My advice. Get rid of the fucktard.

He is evil.



solus sto posted 9/8/2013 06:38 AM

Words are easy. Anyone with a pen and paper or a word processor can write the ones that make him or her sound good.

Some if this does sound good, though I'm surprised by the ICs' acceptance of the words as face value and assurance that things would be okay as a result of the letter.

First, it doesn't work that way. Words must be followed by action. Secondly-- and this is what leapt out at me-- the letter lacks remorse. It contains no introspection. It's an inventory, but not a personal inventory. It lists what was done (but he decides what "issues have importance in the scale of things"--protecting his OW, something that would have raised a red flag if I were his IC), and to whom. He rather dispassionately describes the effects he imagines it has had on others-- with very little actual insight into the profundity of the damage--and rotely states the usual, "I know I have my work cut out for me" cliche-- again, with seemingly little insight.

It's a good starting place (if he were not a repeat offender with some mastery of manipulation--but not as much as he thinks because he omitted some very important stuff, if he wanted to be truly convincing), but does not make him a poster child for anything more than a WS trying to "get out of trouble." It reads like a school assignment about a topic about which he actually has little passion. In other words, just words he had to write to get a good grade.

It worked with the counselors because they could not feel, as you did, the disconnect between word and action. That he returned to OW-- returning you to Day One or worse, demonstrates this. It should teach each counselor how to better discern remorse, and how to better prepare BSs. That your counselor inanely says, "People who write such things MEAN them" shows a profound lack of understanding. Some people do, indeed, work very hard to manipulate.

My husband's IC, who is actually quite good and specializes in personality disorder, got caught on the word thing, too. The one time I met with him was post separation, at his request. He had been lied to, and was realizing that, and wanted to hear my perspective. At one point I said, about my husband, "he just says words." He looked puzzled--because IC focuses on words, really, and said," Isn't that what he's supposed to do, use words to communicate?" And I said something that seemed to startle him. I said, "No. He's supposed to tell the TRUTH--- and then back it with action."

I didn't feel remorse because there was none. I didn't feel connection because he would not or could not connect (partly because he was still involved with OW, as your husband was when he wrote his letter--at least emotionally--but mostly because he is personality disordered and any connection I'd ever felt was manufactured---largely by me-- with the help of his manipulation; it took lots of distance and that infuriating 20/20 hindsight to see this.)

It's incredibly difficult to process the pain of infidelity. It's harder still when you have a WS who believes a few pretty words, written while on sabbatical from the person he injured (a little vacation, given his subsequent actions, that likely involved contact with and input from OW), will somehow "fix" things-- but has no real intention of DOING anything differently.

What is he DOING to become safe? His letter claims he's working to do that, yet he went back to OW, if only temporarily---setting you back, and making abundantly clear that his WORDS are meaningless.

What ACTIONS is he taking? Does he demonstrate a deep, visceral understanding of the damage he's wrought? What is he DOING, now, to mend that, to mend himself?

Because, absent concrete actions, the grueling work, the establishment of emotional intimacy and trust and deep connection with you (which occurs incrementally, with that hard work, not magically upon reading a letter of platitudes and lies, written to placate people who then exert pressure on YOU to feel a way your gut tells you is neither safe nor authentic), all you have are some words arranged in a seemingly pretty, but really very superficial, way on a piece of paper.

You will process the pain with time and hard work. If your husband is now genuinely remorseful, then you can process it with his support. But it's really solitary work, yours to do, regardless of your husband's intent or actions.

And that part sucks, to be left with this horrendous wreckage, through which you must sift until you find enough pieces to put yourself back together.

Remorse helps. Having someone willing to hand you a cold drink as you paw through the wreckage helps. I don't know if you have that now; you did not when that letter was written, but that was early days. I suspect, though, that given the way you feel, you do not really have a partner in this. If you do, try to open up enough to let him help, as he can, as you work to heal. If you do not, recognize that you can heal, all the same. Really, you have to do it on your own, anyway.

If your IC is still of the mind that a remorseful man wrote that letter, and his return to the OW was a mere lapse (perhaps even because your response to his "hard, hard work," lo those many (four whole!) days--work that would "make everything great now" --was underwhelming), I'd consider finding one more experienced with infidelity and, perhaps PTSD and/or PISD (though many do not make a distinction).

[This message edited by solus sto at 7:04 AM, September 8th (Sunday)]

solus sto posted 9/8/2013 06:53 AM

Sorry for the novel, and for the extra post-- my tablet won't let me add to the last missive.

I, too, would strongly recommend ceasing MC. With a remorseless spouse, MC is emotional homicide of the BS.

Focus on yourself. Get a new IC, and do the healing work.

I suspect it will allow you to see the toxic nature of your husband and marriage and make some difficult decisions.

You don't have to remain married, you know, you've worked hard at it, but it's NOT your only option.

Willneverlearn posted 9/8/2013 07:06 AM

Thank you to all who have taken the time to navigate through my disjointed post.....

Yes my husband had an affair 10 years ago that mirrors this current took us years to work through the last one and I thought we had both come out better and thought our love would never be penetrated again...

I remember telling him last time that I would never survive this again and had reassurances many times over the years....both affairs were LTA for at least two years but I didn't have access to SI last time and for the most part did everything wrong..

Last time my darling children were all under the poor souls are 9,11,13...

His affair that he still denies being in is so similar to the last...both young Japanese girls...both with cancer etc etc

He walked out a few months ago when I asked one last time for a confirmation the affair was over...I no longer have a revolving door as it hurt me and the children two much...but he wants to be my friend...he wants to support us financially and won't file for a separation...this confuses me and I feel like we are just a bill payment to him...

I don't understand why he wants any connection like and the councillor asked him so many times if he wanted to end our marriage and he wouldn't...he won't commit to her either and pretends everything is still a big secret although my children are always finding his secret phone ad catching him on Skype....he won't be honest...I have no closure...don't really know the extent of there affair definitely EA and PA but everything is top secret.....I can no longer be a detective as any new info hurts too much....I can't move forward because they are so close by and I don't want to leave as I have only been here two years and it took me at least a year to settle the children into school and other children worshipped him....I don't even know what I'm dealing with....I have no closure...things are as they were two years ago....I'm sure he doesn't love me though says he does....

We gave away our life to move here for his career and I feel so ripped off...I feel chewed up and spat husband and my family were my life....I'm scared I'm going to be a minority and never get over the pain...and I am also scared that I will never find happiness again.....I sleep on his side of the bed so it doesn't feel so lonely and mostly have a child on the other side...even my 13 yr old son....they fight to sleep with me and I miss my husband so much....he has seen the anger side of me but I ALWAYS shift back to the quiet,rejected hurt self that wants to curl up and die...

It's like he doesn't care...says he does...there have been no actions at all.......many words...other girl has no intention of moving out of our life....he constantly tells me she's back in Japan when I know she isn' seems like such a game to my husband....I can't understand it...I came from a very loving....committed...happy functional family with strong...normal morals...I have been a very loyal,loving and devoted wife....the way he has treated me will never be matched by is just so cruel...

I have not read that letter very many times as it hurts me very deeply...he is going on about life as career etc...but he likes no body and has lost all family and friends but doesn't seem to care....he has confused me immensely and I don't understand how he could do this again and how or why he would want to give up what we had....we have spent our lives building it up and I don't understand....I'm so so hurt and just can't move forward without falling backwards...every time....exhausting...truly has sucked the life from my soul.....

Willneverlearn posted 9/8/2013 07:20 AM

Ps...souls...I am in a strange kind of separation although I have had to dictate everything.....he still lets people believe we are together if he can....we stopped seeing MC long ago and he can't get IC unless through someone different as he lied too much....we are two hours from any larger town that can offer this service and I have stopped IC as limbo seemed to have a hold of me....not a desirable destination by any means but husband left everything hanging on a hook.....I feel like I've been on a rinse cycle for two years....I'm on AD but have recently started getting depressed again....I feel like my life has essentially incentives have been dependent yes.....and having great difficulty being on my own.....I have never really known a life without at 14..... i don't think I'll ever laugh again.....Ever.......

nomistakeaboutit posted 9/8/2013 07:29 AM

This man, your H, seems to exhibit many of these characteristics.

not learning from experience
no sense of responsibility
inability to form meaningful relationships
inability to control impulses
lack of moral sense
chronically antisocial behavior
no change in behavior after punishment
emotional immaturity
lack of guilt

These things define a Sociopath, also called Antisocial Psychopathy Disorder.

Do you agree?

If so, do you want to be married to a Sociopath, who does not (mad probably cannot) want to change?

You are in the horrible situation of now having to question everything about your marriage to this man. What, if any part of your marriage, was real? You are in the unenviable position of having to come to grips,with a frightening fact, which is that you never knew this man, really. He fooled you. That's a scary thought.

The sooner you leave him, the sooner you can start to heal. I suggest walking into a divorce attorney's office tomorrow. Let the attorney read the letter. Then tell them that two weeks later he cheated. Tell the attorney you want to divorce this man and you need their help.

Good luck. I am sorry for your nightmare. Be the victim no longer.

Willneverlearn posted 9/8/2013 07:46 AM

I just feel sad and ashamed and letdown and humiliated and scared....I never wanted to be with any man other than the father of my beautiful children....I feel like life is one huge trick.....if I didn't have such beautiful..caring...intelligent and loving children I would have exited this planet long husband has destroyed everything I held dear...everything...

heartache101 posted 9/8/2013 08:18 AM

If you look into those childrens eyes you will catch a glimpse of who your spouse use to be from time to time.
Your spouse is not the person he once was.
I was there in that funk too. Then I realized I am responsible for my happiness. I was deeply depressed just totally devestated by how I married a man that cheated.

I know you are devestated. But I ask you do you want a man that is so low to seek out women that have a death sentence. I mean he has serious KISA.
He is very manipulating. As long as he is this person you and the children are better off with him out of house.

I get the dog and lamp post. Do you want to move or stay in the little quaint town? I love small towns.

Know his affairs have nothing to do with you.
Be safe drink water eat exercise.
Read on here in the healing library.
Talk to us..You will come out stronger.

brokengrandma52 posted 9/8/2013 08:30 AM

The letter just proves he can form words into nice sentences. It did not come from his heart...the letter serves to show that he is sooo wonderful. What a creep...he might be NPD. He wrote it for his benefit...not yours. Hugs to you. Hang in there.

Abbondad posted 9/8/2013 09:12 AM


I can't add much to the insight analyses the others have offered. On my D-day I received a extremely-condensed version of your letter from STBXWW. Like you, I was so moved, so relieved at her apparent realization of her crime, and so full of hope for us. The letter/note was so honest, so heartfelt, so full of pain and promises...

And then like yours, within two weeks she started up her affair again and I was in the hell of limbo for almost a year--waiting for her to "pick" me and our family. It didn't happen.

I have only of late given up trying to understand her. It is futile. The answers may be complicated or they may be simple. But the fact is that it doesn't matter. Personality disorder? Yeah, I guess. Incredibly selfish and remorseless. Absolutely. It doesn't matter.

What matters is you and your emotional well being. Life is so short, and ours is roughly half over if we are lucky. (I am 46.) I have no intention of living the rest of my life in misery. I finally resolved to divorce this toxic person who has brought such pain to me and our children.

I'm scared to death and scarred for life. But I am doing the right thing. I don't want to tell you what to do. But please take very seriously the hard advice of the good people on this site who have been through this horror and have come out on the other side intact and relieved and even happy.

You deserve so much more. We all do. Please try, as seemingly impossible as it is to do at this time, to permit your head to guide your actions. Your husband is a remorseless bringer of pain. It is so much more likely than not that he will continue to bring more and more pain.

I am so sorry, and I know just what you are experiencing.

solus sto posted 9/8/2013 09:21 AM

((((WNL)))) Please, let go of the shame and humiliation. There is no shame in working hard to save a marriage. We do the best we can with what we know, and with the situation with which we are presented.

You believed your husband was authentic in his remorse and that your reconciliation was real. You believed it best for your family to stay with him, to raise your children together.

There is NOTHING wrong with that.

Your situation is very similar to mine--the long-ago affair, "successful" reconciliation that really was only superficially addressed. The charm, the "love," the never, ever again.

For my husband, the infidelity never stopped. Yes, there were periods when he was a dry drunk (if you're not familiar, this is a term that refers to alcoholics who are not drinking, but are not in real recovery because they're not doing the real work that true sobriety requires)---he wasn't sexually acting out, but he did not do the work, experience real remorse (though he was mighty sorry he got caught), did not gain insight, did not work to make himself safe--not just for me and our kids, but to HIMSELF. He was white-knuckling it, and when opportunity(ies) arose, he took another "drink," because he'd never done the work.

I suspect your husband was a dry drunk, if not sexually acting out (which I would not rule out), during the years since his first affair.

He did not do the work. He did not gain the insight.

Ironically, he may have expended more effort maintaining a facade of reconciliation than it would have taken to authentically reconcile.

But not every person is capable of this. And not every person WANTS to do this. Not every person is capable of forming the empathy necessary to form remorse the way most of us experience it. And not every person is able to develop the insight needed to make the changes required for genuine, authentic reconciliation. And saddest of all, not every person is capable of giving or receiving love in the way that most of us take for granted. THAT is difficult to wrap the mind around, that the person who "loves" you really loves in a stunted, embryonic way that just cannot sustain a healthy marriage.

I understand your pain--right down to the "if it weren't for my kids, I'd kill myself." When you've spent years and years and years being lied to, manipulated, and gaslighted, it's very, very difficult to trust YOURSELF, let alone anyone else. I felt I had betrayed myself by staying with a man whose modus operandi was to do what he wanted, regardless of the consequences to others.

he wants to be my friend...he wants to support us financially and won't file for a separation...this confuses me and I feel like we are just a bill payment to him...

Gently, he is not your friend. He is not, and has not been. And yes, you likely are a bill payment to him.

Here's the thing: you do not need his permission to separate or divorce. He cannot keep you in a marriage of which you do not wish to be a part.

That is YOUR choice.

My choice was to tell my husband, who genuinely believed---with magical thinking that rivals that of any six-year-old--that either his affair would end and "We would be happy again!" OR "We'd separate, but be friends"--that no, we would NOT be friends. That he was not my friend, and had not been for a long, long time.

He was gobsmacked when I told him he was NOT my friend. Then he was angry. I had gone off-script, and it infuriated him.

His behavior to my, "I do not choose you as a friend" and to my response to his "last" infidelity (not really the last) in general, showed me how little he valued our "friendship." It showed me who he really was.

Seeing how little he valued me (and our kids, sadly) made it much easier to separate.

Your husband's response might be different. I hope it is.

We have been separated for almost 3 years. I have chosen not to divorce for several reasons, which I'll outline if you're interested. It is purely a business arrangement.

And yes, that was heartbreaking at first. But like you, I do not believe he loves me (or ever did). His IC says he is capable of love, but in a way that most would not perceive; he is profoundly personality-disordered, it turns out. The "love" was an act that elicited what HE wanted from me. I deserve more.

You deserve more.

Living authentically is such a relief.

ETA: I don't want to diagnose, because obviously no one can without a lot more information and a lot more expertise. But if you believe you might be dealing with a man who has narcissistic or antisocial personality disorder, has a lot of good information about the various disorders as well as support for people who love individuals with personality disorders. My husband was tested and diagnosed, so I know what I'm dealing with. It helps. It helps the kids, too. While I have not shared the specific diagnoses, I do tell both kids that their father is not ABLE to love in the same way others do, that his inattention is not because of anything THEY do or are, but because their father does not form connections the same way others do, and so on. I try to emphasize that this is not their father's fault--it's just the way he is (partially due to abuse as a child, which they understand because they've observed their paternal grandparents' monstrosity). While understandably angry at his behavior---and yes, struggling with some abandonment and trust issues because in the almost 3 years he's been gone, I don't think he's seen either kid more than a dozen times--they both are remarkably empathetic, as well. Empathetic, but detached--like me. Because they, too, know that this keeps them safe and strong.

ETA again (sorry): Like Abbondad says, there comes a time where you can't make sense of nonsense. When I say I know what I'm dealing with, I mean I know that I am dealing with something I cannot change. I can only change myself, and my response. Knowing THAT is empowering.

[This message edited by solus sto at 9:37 AM, September 8th (Sunday)]

myperfectlife posted 9/8/2013 14:55 PM

I am so sorry you're going through this.
I can't add much, except that my WS has said many of the same things as yours said in his letter.
I have yet to see any real, true, proactive effort on his part besides attending IC once a week.
One thing that I had to do to help myself through the stage you're now in, was simply to THINK about MYSELF.
I did get a script for prozac at a very low dose and it has helped immensely. However, trying to figure out why, how, when, who...any type of mental ruminations about him and his issues- I had to consciously stop doing that and return my thoughts to ME and my children.
You are around my age and I've told my WS several times " I could remarry in 5 years and be married for 40."
I know we thought we married the perfect person for US.
But would that person who is perfect for us continue to twist the knife inside us when they can feel the warm blood on their hands?
There's really no explanation that will make anything better.
Think of you-think of YOUR LIFE. Who are you aside from him and your marriage? You are someone. You are.

painpaingoaway posted 9/8/2013 15:02 PM

This guy is a sociopath, a mind-fucker, a total asshole.
This ^^^^^^

And, he probably didn't even write the letter himself. He probably paid someone to write it for him.

See a lawyer.

[This message edited by painpaingoaway at 3:03 PM, September 8th (Sunday)]

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