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"But, I've changed."

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Eudaimonia posted 10/21/2013 12:27 PM

How do you know?

I didn't see anything wrong for 10 years, and it may not be that he's "just that clever." Maybe I simply cannot see these things. Maybe I can't tell when people are pulling things over on me?

I just started reading the Psychopath Free book that was mentioned in this thread:

I'm only about half way through and almost everything in it is spot on with WH-or WAS spot on. So, if he and his bio mom are psychopaths or NPDs, they cannot get better and they will never try, right? He fits everything in this book, and admits to all of it (he has not read the book, nor will I ask him to). But, he "has changed." "Is no longer that person." "No longer wants to be that person."

I know that "actions not words" is usually applicable. He helps more with the kids now. I guess. Sometimes, though, words ARE actions. He told me he loved me for 10 years, every day. He wrote me poems. So, if he does that now, does that mean that he's back to his old cheating/NPD behavior? I'm not trying to sound stupid, I'm just seriously confused as to how on earth I'm supposed to tell now when I could not before. I don't think that my gut works. I have a hard time in general telling what people are implicating by their expressions and mannerisms. How am I supposed to tell if someone is deliberately deceiving me?

I guess, long story short tldr:
If it is not possible for a person of that psychologically troubled magnitude to change/nor admit to it-but WH does admit he HAD those qualities-BUT has "changed" then he is NOT NPD or psychopathic by default. Right? -Or- is this "I've changed" bit the new game that he's playing to pull one more thing over on me? -Me, who has trouble reading things with people in general.

I doubt that made any sense, but maybe someone out there can translate.

Pippy posted 10/21/2013 12:36 PM

Really there is no clear answer to this. You're worried because you didn't see any signs of cheating before and are afraid you won't know if he's truthful now.

He says he has changed, but so have you. You're wiser now. All you can do is live day to day and see how things go. They usually are on their best behavior at first, so wait and see. You may be glad you did.

SerJR posted 10/21/2013 14:25 PM

Be careful about trying to diagnose NPD or other disorders. In truth, we all exhibit those traits to some degrees and different circumstances may amplify them. He could be, he could not be, but it takes a qualified diagnosis to know. Sometimes we stretch for an explanation to try to make sense of things - the fact that you said he admits to a lot of those traits suggests that he may not be NPD (but then again I'm not too familiar with your story, nor am I qualified to make such a pronouncement). What I'm trying to say is, sometimes... people are just assholes.

Anyway, people can change if they truly want to (although with true NPD it is very unlikely). As pippy says, you are wiser and more in tune with your intuition now and it will take time to tell. Consisteny of his choices and action, over the long term, will show him for who he truly is.

7yrsflushed posted 10/21/2013 14:34 PM

Some people can change. I can't tell you what that looks like since my STBXW didn't change. What I can tell you is for my case I could see what NOT changing looked like with my WW. I also could tell you that I did change as well. Took a long time but eventually I changed and it no longer mattered what my STBXW did or didn't do at the time. I just knew I was done. It did help that I could see that she had NOT changed or even made any real attempts and I was just sitting back waiting for another DDay to be dropped on me so I filed.

Sorry if that didn't help but I wanted to point out that sometimes it isn't the change in your WS that you end up seeing or recognizing, it's the change in you that helps you make a decisiosn one way or the other. I wish you the best.

DrivingPast posted 10/21/2013 16:02 PM


Well, I get what you are saying. And though there are a lot of differences in our sitches, I do think the same thing to myself.

For us, I was the one pushing him away, but he told me he loved me daily too. He wanted me to move back in (after I left him, but that was before dday), said he wanted to grow old with me and have children. All while he was looking for some slut on craigslist. AT THE SAME TIME, literally once... we were on the phone and he was on his email. Oh, actually that was dday.

For me, I dont think he is trying to meet people right now, because I did see a shift in his actions during that time. However, its the mental thinking path that worries me the most. WTH thoughts did he have our entire marriage? What thoughts are normal for men to have? What secrets is he still carrying? Is he constantly fantasizing about women and I just dont know it? Was he before?

My hubs says the same thing. I never want to go back to those things. I never want to lose what we have now. Im not that person anymore.

But how was he that person at all. Or, rather, WHO was that person? Its still him.. it was him... its a part of him.

I relate it to the serial killer next door. You never thought it could be them, that they were capable, and you have a hard time correlating quiet mr. thompson to a heartless murderer. but... THAT is what he is, nonetheless.

Hope some of that made sense!

doggiediva posted 10/21/2013 16:12 PM

Just know that whatever decision you make now can be reversed years down the line if WH shows enough consistent honesty.....

Eudaimonia posted 10/21/2013 16:50 PM

You guys all rule, seriously.
Thank you so much.

I am not at all trying to dx WH. But, I am trying to figure out why I do not see things that most people do see. It seems that most people can see what is going on from people's mannerisms and whatnot. I cannot, I have never been able to do that. So, I take people at their word. I don't have a choice since I have trouble with their actions/expressions. So, what hope do I have when person X is lying deliberately? I believe that this is working on myself. I need to find out what is wrong with me that I cannot see obvious things that other people clearly can see. As for him, I doubt he'll ever get dx'd. There doesn't seem to be very much importance in that with the therapists that he has seen except for insurance purposes and even then his CSAT has admitted that he skewed a thing or two to get us more sessions (which I think was very cool of him, financially). Maybe WH has changed, maybe he hasn't. Why can't I see it either way? Why can't I see these things in other people at all?

doggiediva posted 10/21/2013 16:58 PM

If you feel that you cannot read your WH correctly, than please protect yourself financially, and in other ways that you can think about that apply to your situation..
This will afford you the luxury of time .... Stuff like this can and will destroy your life as you know it if you don't protect yourself.....

[This message edited by doggiediva at 4:59 PM, October 21st (Monday)]

TXBW68 posted 10/21/2013 17:36 PM

I have had this exact same conversation over and over in my own head AND with my H. He says "I messed up big time. I was looking for something that I had all along. I don't WANT to do those things ever again. I don't want to hurt you/kids. The separation made me grow up. I've changed. Don't you see that?"

My response is "Yes, I can see your changes. I'm happy about them. But my problem is not just that I don't trust you 100%, I don't trust ME 100%."

I honestly never saw this coming - and when I finally did, I confronted him immediately! My H managed to carry on a 2yr long distance EA with #3 before they consummated on his business trip to her city. During THAT 2 yrs, he also "accidentally" had a ONS with #2 - all the while he's telling me and #3 that he loved only us. It wasn't until his true lurve #4 came along that I started seeing signs.

How the hell did I miss his 2yr EA???? We never stopped having sex, saying ILY, holding hands in public, etc. Yet, he was letting people believe we were already divorced?? Apparently, I was in a completely different marriage.

Truth, you are not alone in this. All I can say is that I watch his behavior and listen to his words every day. Somedays I'm triggerring hard and it's like I'm looking for the other shoe to drop. Most days now though, I almost forget about what happened last year. I actually see the man I Thought I was married to standing beside me now. He really has changed so very much!

And because of his current behavior - and my now excellent spy skills - I think I would be able to tell if there is ever a next time.

At some point you will have to have enough trust in yourself to be able to trust your instincts again. It's something that I work towards everyday. Only you will know when that day comes for you. Until then, watch his actions and listen to his words.


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