He told me the IC told him his actions suggested he wasn't as confused as he claims... which is how I found out the A went underground (DDay#2). He told me he kept asking IC to help him think through what he would do if I had been the coworker that was there and *she* was the one out of state (working a job I didn't want to do for *us*). IC told him it was a useless question.
Why else would he ask those things if OW and I weren't on the same plane in his mind? If he didn't think he was in love with her, too?
I guess I knew this was possible on some level. He just hid it so long and so well, I kept denying it was a real possibility. But it makes sense. The last time I saw him in person, he kept talking about her so much it made me really uncomfortable. It was something he hid on the phone and on Skype, but not in person. She was on his mind all the time.
Even during one of our phone calls I thought I heard her in the background. "No way!" I thought. I'm hearing things.
This is probably why he didn't break NC with me when I told him he could. No need. His life is all set.
I lost my job in *their* office because of this (what choice did I have?). The only job I could find in my field pays 1/5 of what I was going to make. I realized tonight that I really can't afford the lease that I was about to sign and will probably need to back out, move in with family... because I'm going to have to pay crazy $$$ for health insurance. The list goes on.
Ugh. Just a bad night. I keep going over with friends and family why I'm so much better off. They remind me how strong I've been maintaining NC. During those conversations, I get it. I accept it. At times, I even think I believe it. Rarely, I even think maybe I'll be the lucky one in the long run because I technically have all kinds of options in front of me once I get back on my feet and get through this rough patch.
But, after reading SI for so many weeks, I have to accept that WSs like mine rarely apologize. Rarely "wake up" and at least feel bad for what they did. Rarely even face consequences or karma of any kind.
Bottom line: I can't believe he let himself cross that line and love someone else. I just wish he had been honest with me as soon as he felt himself begin to slip. I think, after all that time, I at least deserved that much. And if he made the additional mistake of not telling me, thinking he could hide it, not realizing until too late he was in too deep... I wish I at least got the truth.
I hate having to piece it together like this...
It sucks to have to move on with your life with so. many. unanswered. questions. It is downright demoralizing to have to struggle & scrape by, barely hanging on, while the cheating bastards live life merrily, never seeming to have a hard time of it, plenty of cash in their pocket. It's not truly satisfying to be told they aren't really happy, especially when you're divorcing someone who is character-disordered and actually probably is just fine & dandy.
Please know that you'll probably have several more moments of revelation, as you've had tonight, in which pieces fall into place and you suddenly understand something. As much as these insights hurt & set you back, you'll also find them healing because one more layer of truth is revealed to you.
Be gentle with yourself. ((((HUGS)))
Read these links - both gave me so many lightbulb moments that I saw spots for ages.
Romantic Infidelity http://www.psychologytoday.com/articles/200910/beyond-betrayal-life-after-infidelity
She's Special (second article down)
And don't believe everything he tells you. The sad clown used his IC's supposed advice/observations as manipulation tactics. Very sneaky, very effective.
Remember they hear what they want to hear - whatever it takes to justify what they've done.
The biggest lies are the ones they tell themselves.
And now I'm going to tell you a little something about "love" from the POV of a narcissist.
Ns are actors in a play they wrote. Every word, every gesture, is scripted based upon what they've observed in others. They don't generally have the capacity for emotion (except anger, and even then some of it is an act) unless it's an emotion they've observed. People are props, and are generally labeled as well. "Useful buddy." "Useful wife." "Useful financial advisor." Props are picked up and put down all the time, to further the story of the play.
** Aside: Imagine an actor putting a cup on a table, turning to give a monologue then turning around to get the cup... which has walked off to a different place all on its own. That bafflement? That's what happens to an N when his "props" act on their own. They can't understand how it happened. **
For a while, a new attachment like he made is going to be wonderful. Each emotion feels new because he's mirroring it for a different person. So if he's never been on a skateboard in his life and she boards, the joy she shows when they board together is going to be the joy he emulates. Her happiness at seeing him enjoy it will also be emulated.
Are you starting to see how the cycle starts?
Eventually, what's going to happen is the same thing that happened with you. You'd been around him long enough to see the chips in the side of the mask. At some point, you saw the face behind the mask. This is the one time -- the ONLY time -- you'll see genuine emotion from an N. That emotion is rage.
You saw behind his mask. He turned vicious. Meanwhile, he's spiraling upward in his cycle with OW. So yes, from your POV it's going to look like he's in love. But the reality is that soon enough she's going to notice a chip or crack in the mask.
And then guess who'll be raged at?
He doesn't love her. He was simply a man faced with creme broulee or a cookie and unsure of which dessert would fill him up. You're not unloveable. You just weren't new. They always need new. To them, new = better.
I'm 18 years away from my N now. I married a man who every day tell me he's thankful I'm with him and will be with him throughout our lives. He's not looking for new. He doesn't need new.
I want that for you.
You're well clear of the mess that's going to happen with your N. I wouldn't be surprised if his job blows up as a result of all of this. Get your lawyer to look into the spousal support.
ETA: corrections for typos. I'm still on my first coffee.
[This message edited by Threnody at 8:33 AM, July 23rd (Tuesday)]
I was looking at him and trying to understand his actions based on my own filters. But they are not like us. Narcissists are a separate breed. They use people, we don't. They toss aside their vows to feel that thrill of the chase. We know what love is and commit to our relationships. We were only useful to them for awhile, then we were tossed aside.
My WS used to buy new cars, all the time. I mean over the course of 8 years, he had close to 100 cars. Spend all this time researching the new car, buy the new car, then buy all sorts of accessories for the new car, quickly get bored of it (that thrill was gone) and then start the search for the next one. I was just another car for him. Just another "new purchase" in the string of cars he had had. I was his 3rd wife, he cheated on wife #2, twice!
His affair has nothing to do with you. It was inevitable that it was going to happen because, simply, that is what they do. That is what they do to fill up the hole that is inside them.
They don't know what love is.....just infatuation and the high they get from that.
Threnody was spot on. They are actors (so well put). In the text's that I read that he sent her, he quoted me verbatim. Only this time, it was words that he was using to woo her. He couldn't even come up with an original line!!
If I had any advice to offer, talk to an attorney. I was able to get temporary support. From what I have been told, the court will want you to have the support you need to get back on your feet. I went back to school 3 years ago and have one more year to finish. Then I will have an internship period. My marriage was short 5 1/2 years, so I won't have support for long, but will take everything I am entitled to.
Take good care of yourself. I know it is hard, but lean on your friends and family for support, post here often, read the Healing Library if you haven't already. It took me time to do the 180 - was just too hard to completely disengage. But eventually I got to the place where it became too painful to remain in contact with him. No Contact = no new hurt, and I found that to be so true!! I ended up changing my phone numbers to avoid his calls and texts and blocked his email. My world has been much more peaceful since I did that.
This time is about YOU now, do what you need to do to heal, grow stronger and be the amazing woman that you are.
Some of my friends have said that it screamed "he had an affair" without saying it. Some say that it didn't.
OW is going through a divorce, but I only know her first name... think I figured out her last name... but she doesn't seem to have a FB account, etc. I have no idea how I would get in touch with her STBXH to tell him what's been going on with them... but, again, no fault state anyway.
As for support: until this year we were poor grad students and lived in crap apartments (or with my parents) because we were making under the poverty line. He got this job, is making six figures now, but I didn't live there this year because I was finishing my grad work while working a stepping stone job to get the position in his office. So our place out there, all the furniture, everything... all in his name. Things that were obviously mine he shipped out to me. He kept a lot of weird stuff (my yoga things, the china, stuff for the dog, etc)... but I have a lot of our mutual things here in storage, including electronics and whatnot and he hasn't asked for them back... so I'm content to just let all of that lie.
And I untangled any shared accounts. Only he has the power to change me as his beneficiary (I tried to take myself off but can't).
Other than that, the L says we can send him letters to try to scare him to pay back a loan my parents gave him and any lost wages for me (threaten to garnish his pay)... but they would be just that. Threats. Where he works/what he does has him working daily with legal counsel. Like, top of the field legal counsel. Like, I would be screwed.
The L has recommended we just walk away and I start over.
The good news is, other than some low numbers on a couple of credit cards, I'm debt free. He's over 1/4 mil in the hole between student loans and credit cards (we kept those accounts separate). Once he got he new job, he started buying me lots of expensive things (diamonds, LVs, etc). I'll never use those things so, technically, I have things I could sell.
I could afford an apartment-- but it would be really tight. It would be "I can never get sick" "No xmas presents for anyone" "I hope you like tuna" tight. If I live with family, I'll just have to pay for food and gas and I'll have money left over to pay down my credit cards and, assuming I can get a better job next year, I'll be in a better position.
Frankly, the commute will be brutal (4 hours a day in the car, 3 days a week), but I don't mind all that much. The thing that gives me an anxiety attack is that it will kill my social life-- a social life that was almost non-existent this past year while I was slaving away at this job and we were long-distance (unlike him, I wasn't getting it somewhere else every night... so the five times we were able to do it all year, yeah, that was it for me). But I suppose I'm not supposed to focus on that.
[This message edited by PhantomLimb at 10:27 AM, July 23rd (Tuesday)]
Otherwise just let it go, stay at home with people who love you and work on yourself. I too often we see the WS as a monster but we have to look at ourselves to see the clues that we missed and if we are really expecting the type of treatment we deserve in a relationship.
Read Thren's post again, my WS is a diagnosed narcissist and they prey on people who give them that adulation and don't hold them accountable. That is why you are getting the differing opinions on whether it screamed he was having an affair.
[This message edited by why2008 at 10:37 AM, July 23rd (Tuesday)]
The L has recommended we just walk away and I start over.
That's what I did. And believe me, I lost the house I purchased on my own prior to our being M, my car, all the furniture I had inherited from my grandmother, all the furniture my mom gave me after she & my dad downsized from my childhood home to a town home, my entire 401K ... and that's just the loss I can remember off the top of my head.
In return I got a D and xWH is no longer in my life. I don't hang out much in D/S because I never needed to do so. No legal entanglements. No lawyer's fees.
Was it the right decision? Well, you can't squeeze blood from a stone. I could have spent 1000s chasing 1000s but to what point? If what I really wanted was free and clear?
Getting over the whole fucking mess that was my M and the D was emotionally difficult for me. And I knew it would be. I knew I wouldn't bounce back. I knew I'd spend years chasing my tail and whining. And so I wanted to get going on that so I didn't waste even more time!
I'm healed now. I've recovered better than had I hung around and chased some money and some financial retribution. I have a chance to rebuild on my own.
You do have to weigh the pros and cons, but that fact is, you are going to pay a price regardless for being married to a worthless dick, so what you need to do is decide what costs to pay rather than worrying about that you have to pay them. Focusing on the latter will keep you bitter and stuck. And for sure he's not worth being bitter and stuck.
Cut yourself free as fast as you can. The sooner you are, the sooner you can heal and rebuild. And I promise, no matter how scary it looks now, your NB will be good and you will be glad you divorced and you will be able to see the good outcomes that resulted from some of the unintended sacrifices you made.
[This message edited by cayc at 2:37 PM, July 23rd (Tuesday)]
This is what I think: I consider us in a kind of play now, a play about life and he is the main actor. He has chosen to change the primary people on stage with him, as his situational needs change.
He has OW on a pedestal now because she accepts his NPD self and is where I was 20 years ago, gullible, eager, charmed beyond belief and so on.
Also, nearly ExH's ego was down because he couldn't get a job and he took it out on his family, instead. He is very dillusional at present, I finally understand that, and he thinks other people will boost that back up for him. The theory is that this will last a while but not long, as he has cheated on OW already and she is aware that he is...flawed, at best.
I am sorry for your job loss, PhantomLimb and have said sometimes that I wish he could have "just" cheated, gone away and left the rest of our lives alone-I wish that for you, too.
The times, they are'a changin'! -Bob Dylan
I think I intuited the idea of just being a prop in all of this. That's why I NCed and stuck with it. I just felt in the pit of my stomach that it was over for him (I was getting the "shark eyes") and she was the new leading lady. What else could I do but back away and start the process of reflecting/healing for myself.
I think the trigger for me today was realizing I couldn't do the apartment. It was like one more disappointment (on top of the job and the A itself, etc). Stupidly, I got all excited about it and sent photos to friends, etc. Now, just like my move out to where WS was, new job, etc... it's something else that's not going to come to pass and I'll have to "explain" to people.
Even my new job kinda stinks. I'm glad I have it, but it's going to be a lot of work for little pay and poor benefits. I went from having our furniture custom made to not even having a place to put that old couch from grad school that had the bugs in it.
But this is why I'm in IC. Why I keep moving forward. I hope for better, but I'm learning not to expect it.
[This message edited by PhantomLimb at 7:15 PM, July 23rd (Tuesday)]
" I just wish he had been honest with me as soon as he felt himself begin to slip."
PhantomLimb the problem is that he didn't "slip". Normal people slip and make mistakes. What he did was purposeful and calculated. He made those moves not because he "fell in love" but because he found a good source of narcissistic supply and that is more important than ANY AND EVERY thing else on this planet to a narc. They are nothing without another person to suck the life and energy out of. The "truth" for a narc is transient. Their "truth" is totally made up in their heads. Reality is just something that gets in the way of their delusions and "truth" is whatever they need to believe to keep up the delusions they have about themselves.
It truly is a sick and sad world inside of their brains and everyone they "love" will become a victim of their need to keep up the image of themselves that isn't at all based on who they really are.
Not long after separating, Ex and I were talking (more like arguing about whether or not the affair was my fault) and he made the statement that went something like "So what? You wish I was the type of man who went around crying about everything?"
My answer was "No, I wish you chose a better way of dealing with whatever you were feeling at the time and didn't choose something that was so damaging to our family and the home we made for our kids"
His response...completely ignoring what I said and changing to favorite avoidance topics which are "moving on" and "living in the past"...
Whenever I make a point that hits home for him he HAS to shut me and my words out. He cannot acknowledge something that goes against his "good guy" image. He couldn't make an argument against what I said in that moment so he had put it away until his brain could come up with some totally illogical argument that will invalidate anything that goes against that image.
It's so hard to comprehend that the man that I thought I married doesn't exist and to accept the man he is proving himself to be is that person instead. I wish I could have a normal human conversation with him and get something other than a robot-like emotionless response or anger and blame. But that is all there is to him.
(((PhantomLimb))) Those pieces are never going to fit together and make a picture we can understand. If anything it would be a picture of his disordered mind and that would be a picture of a scary ass ball of confusion!
[This message edited by Housefulloflove at 7:40 PM, July 23rd (Tuesday)]
I wish I was like you and didn't have to worry about divorce proceedings and sharing a child. It hurts me to know that I have to deal with him for th next 15 years, whether I like it or not. I know it doesn't offer much solice but you are getting away free. He is a train wreck who will never have a meaningful relationship. He is also very irresponsible and that is something you don't want to be tied down to. He did you a huge favor. My ex did me a huge favor... And at some point in the future, it will be clearly appearant why.
"They cling to their bad choices out of shame, because it is far easier to continue to destroy yourself than to do the heavy work required to fix yourself." - a wiser SIer