The minute we got home, he started with the screaming creepy stalker rants about her. Not raisin his voice, not hollering, litterally and precisely screaming. Creepy shit. About someone he spoke to a grand total of once in his life. If they were both single, and there wasn't a big fat age gap, I would not have thought it was love at first sight. I would have been thoroughly skeeved out. But no. He was my husband of nearly 10 years. FML. I thought it extremely unhealthy. I let him contact his new friend, but talked to him a lot about my concerns with the creepy behavior and screaming rants and the disturbing content thereof. He never did this before. I was completely flatfooted and dunbstruck by the whole situation. Maybe his lack of friends was driving him slowly insane? He did withdraw and lack social contact, and got meaner to me and everyone else in the months leading up to his meeting her... I thought maybe some friends would help. Shocked, bewildered, deeply disturbed. He was my spouse. I trusted him. This was completely out of character.
Basicly the phenomenon here:
combined with the trust and emotion inherant in any relationship over a decade old to give him the perfect springboard for abuse and gaslighting to start working their magic. As generally happens when abuse starts warping a person's perceptions, things just kept getting worse from there.
It still pisses me off I was out serving The Lord and my fellow man and she took that opportunity to get her rocks off.
And then the special app games, constant texting and hiding her cell phone commenced. Wasn't too hard to figure out by then.
The things I did notice I didn’t pay much attention to – it was when he started subtly accusing me of cheating and just being nasty and mean, which isn’t really him – one day, I still can’t explain why – I looked at his yahoo email – which was never password protected – and saw a fb request from a woman he worked with whose name I had heard him mention before – but still didn’t give it much thought – just tucked it away in my head. Could he? Maybe? Naaaa….not him.
I never dreamed he’d have anything in his work email (which also was not password protected) and just didn’t think it was worth even looking. After an evening of his being particularly distant and cranky – the next morning I looked in his email and there it all was – I was stunned – actually speechless.
He started being cruel. Critical. Rolling his eyes at everything I did. He could barely contain his exasperation.
I screamed, shouted, cried, pleaded, begged - I tried everything to work out what the hell was wrong with him and where the hell did my husband go?
I knew the first time I smelled another woman on his groin (I commented, we both gaslighted me then I proceeded with the BJ). I have a very song sense of smell. I KNOW what I smell like and that wasn't it.
I knew when I sat at a wedding with him which OWUmpteen also attended. I was 8 months pregnant at the time.
She was acting so weird. He was acting so weird. Their other prior OW colleague was also acting so weird. I kept asking him WTF was wrong with her. "Nothing - she's pretty dumb so doesn't have a lot of interesting things to say". I was surprised as he wasn't exactly a cerebral guy himself so didn't usually comment on others' intellect.
I cringe when I look back. Its as obvious as dogs balls now.
TBH I always knew he had the capacity to do it I just didn't think he would actually do it. Not to me. Not to us. Not to my girls. So I ignored all of the flaming, neon lit red flags. I saw what I wanted to see not what was really happening.
[This message edited by SoVerySadNow at 9:03 AM, July 24th (Wednesday)]
In retrospect (OW has the same first and middle name as me) there was a lot of him telling me: I told you this when he didn't
The type of fierce loyalty that I possess made me incapable of comprehending the level of disloyalty that he possessed
She was a co-worker of WH's, and we often did things with her and her husband. I also knew WH went to lunch with her at work sometimes (especially after his best guy friend at work started telecommuting). They had similar interests in a particular kind of music and went to a concert together once. Other people were supposed to go but bailed, apparently, and I was surprised at how uncomfortable it made me.
I asked months ago if he had feelings for her -- thinking he had a crush but never dreaming it was reciprocated, as she was a newlywed herself. He said, "Oh, no, we're just friends." And she was a very fun, likable, vivacious person, so it was easy to believe he just enjoyed hanging out with her. I did, too.
Then in May he told me he loved me but wasn't in love with me. I asked if there was someone else -- if it was OW. He swore there wasn't. We agreed to try to work things out, and a month later he cracked and told me he was in love with OW, that he wanted to be with her, and that she felt the same way about him.
I never in a million years imagined that he would betray me. For almost 10 years of marriage (12 together), he has been such a kind, considerate, loving husband and a wonderful dad. He's not hugely attractive (I wasn't really attracted to him at all, until I got to know him, and then he grew attractive to me). He works in a field that's almost all men. When we first started dating, it was pretty widely acknowledged that I was way out of his league! And he always seemed very happy in our marriage (despite what he claims now).
Absolutely everyone we know -- friends, family, etc. -- is absolutely SHOCKED by this. When I messaged my sister, she said she had to read the message three times before it sank in what I was even saying.
[This message edited by Violetta at 10:52 AM, July 24th (Wednesday)]
For my current WH, it was that he withdrew from me. Then I found porn on his computer. I asked if he had been unfaithful and he looked me straight in the eyes and said "NO". I believed him.
When I found the evidence on his computer - the pic of the prostitute with his erect penis in the foreground and her (naked) in the background, I remember that I didn't normally look at his computer EVER. I had mono and he was at church with the kids. Something just told me to check out his computer - just like that. I did. That happened 2 times with me. Once when I found the porn. The next time when I found the pic of her. I don't have good intuition, so I guess God took over!
Now that I read this whole thread with all these posts, I have begun to wonder if my husband withdrew from me and then subsequently was unfaithful, or if he was unfaithful way back, and the infidelity caused the withdrawal.
Shit. Actually never thought of that before!
[This message edited by WhatsRight at 11:13 AM, July 24th (Wednesday)]
I will not be vanquished. Rose Kennedy
Interested in things out of the blue: a football game, score of a game, certain television shows, brief, obsessive and overkill inquires about topics not consistent with what she normally liked, inquiring in a way that was not consistent with her character.
Blank stares and delays in conversations and dark glossy eyes, from being distant, due to her mind working overtime in the background.
Purchased a new set of phones for the house and she wanted to know precisely how they worked. She normally didnt' care about tech (but now she needed to know how to delete the memory)
Anger and inconsistent moods, and mood swings. I would do something that made her happy, then do it again and she's angry. There was no telling what kind of mood she would be in, other than typically angry.
Appearance, spending an excessive amount of time getting ready for work, and tatoo, botox, laser, eye lid surgery.
My feeling of hopelessness. The feeling of failure, difficulty in pleasing, wanting to give up.
She was doing things to build her image (so she would have something interesting to talk about.) Going to concert, going out with girl friends, pole dancing, overkill stuff. The more I didn't like it, the more she wanted to do it.
Encouraging me to do things that didn't seem right for a husband to be doing. Angry about me drinking yet bringing more alcohol home for me. Encouraging me to work out in the garage. Honey I picked up another 12 pack for you (go enjoy yourself so I can bitch about it to my AP behind your back.)
She called me for reasons that didn't make sense (because she wanted to know where I was, when I was coming home, and what were our plans.) She called me with high energy yet had nothing of value to tell me.
The more I tried to do or make something special for our marriage, the more she downplayed it.
Inconsistency with working at home on the computer. What? Right now? Its nice outside and our son has a game, and you need to stay home THIS MORNING to do your work, then do nothing this afternoon and tonight? If not this, then she was sick, and stayed home while we went out to a game, or whatever.
I can go on and on with little examples. Basically, the events boil down to inconsistencies, things that didn't match the moment. She always had an excuse. I always believed her. I thought I was the dumbass for not understanding.
[This message edited by still-living at 7:41 AM, July 27th (Saturday)]
Recovery is building a pyramid of inference from which to climb and see clearer, and heavy usage of the reflexive loop.
Then one day (which it was his third AP by then) I got into his car and I saw the crucifix necklace hanging on his rearview mirror which reeked of perfume. That's a pretty big sign.
I confronted him, he gaslighted, but I was on high alert. That was the day after Father's Day (she'd given it to him on father's day).
By July 8th I caught him. Because I watched his behavior and caught him lying about websites he was visiting (he was translating her texts from Spanish to English on a translation site) and then I went and looked at our phone records and saw the hundreds and hundreds of texts.
I still didn't know about the others, though I had suspicions which weren't confirmed for another year when he got fired for sexual harassment and forced confession.
Former 80s Icon wishful thinking
It gave me an ick feeling but I put it aside..
first TRUE gut feeling was December 12, 2007.. WH was distant, cold & mean & I just had an odd feeling something was off.. he had been calling/texting a strange number .. when I asked him he first denied any number then said it was co worker & they were talking about a gift for DS GF. .. Gut feeling wouldn't ease up & I kept telling friends & my confidant Aunt that I had a feeling he had a secret phone somewhere.. I was right & found the phone Dec 21 .. that day changed my life forever!!
1. We were in bed one night having mysteriously uncoordinated and out of sync intimacy. I couldn't figure out why after years of being completely in sync in bed we were suddenly so awkward with each other - he put his elbow on my hair just as I moved to sit up, and a huge amount of hair ripped out, then I raised my hand to feel my head and his hand moved in the same direction and his watch gouged my arm really deeply. All within a few seconds. My eyes smarted with tears, and he laughed. He actually laughed, like a giggle, like an unfeeling stranger might laugh at someone slipping on ice.
That emotional out of synch feeling combined with the physical one was when something inside of me knew he was not my husband inside his heart just then.
2. He started playing poker with his group from work. FOW was part of this group and a frequent host of the poker parties. My FWH is a gentle, overeducated academic who would rather read a book in his armchair on friday nights than almost anything else. Or go for a bike with his cycling group. He's not a gambler, and I'd never seen him play cards other than go-fish with the kids. Suddenly he's Mr Texas Hold'em?
And of course the defensiveness when I'd question why he was suddenly obsessed with poker. I "didn't want him to do anything fun" and I was "accusing him of having a gambling habit" and then I was also apparently "jealous that he had such a good relationship with his working group".
3. Cell phone magneted to his ass, under his pillow, and to his ear RIGHT UP UNTIL he pulled to the end of our driveway at which point he always hung up and couldn't remember who he'd been talking to. So cliched.
• The very first thing: Before the PA started, he lent her his car while hers was in for repairs. I remember thinking how unnecessary that was, especially since it inconvenienced us with our work schedules. I think they must have been EA by then.
• FWH and I sometimes went out with OW and her H. My FWH and OW would chatter away with each other, to the extent that her H and I had to struggle to insert ourselves into the conversation. That degree of mutual involvement made me suspicious.
• To quote SoVerySadNow:
It was the incessant mention with starry eyes. I hadn't seen that interest in a long time. Every single damn conversation had this person inserted into it.
• When we moved away from OW's city, he became impatient and snappish with me some of the time. I chalked it up to a difficult and demanding job. But actually, the PA had started just a few weeks before we moved, and they kept seeing each other in a city midway between her city and ours.
But in spite of all those indications, I couldn't make myself believe that my straight-arrow husband would actually commit adultery. Therefore, he was able to gaslight me successfully for a long time. Sigh.
D-Day: August 14, 2012
9 year LTA with former co-worker and family "friend"/7 years EA+PA, 2 more years EA
The second time, I had absolutely no clue until I got an odd call from a man while I was working. I am thankful that her husband called me even if he was very cryptic at first because I'd have never known and we'd have never worked on anything if he hadn't called.