My husband has cheated on me (EAs) repeatedly with the same woman (OW2) over many years.
He knew her before we met in 1999 and had sex with her while she was already in a relationship. So right off the bat she has no morals.
Fast forward to 2009 (we’ve been married 9 years) – I saw a conversation on Twitter that was a bit flirty with someone that lived close by. He was grooming her to “catch up for coffee”. I got a bit sus and looked at an old phone bill. I kept this info to myself.
Didn’t see her number, but I found a phone number I didn’t recognise. Long calls that were always made when I was at work. I figured out who it was. It went on for months. (OW1). He also spoke to this OW1 for hours during the day while I was at work on messenger and on the phone. He would call her while I was on my way to pick him up after work and hang up as I approached. I kept this info to myself.
I looked further back at old phone bills. And found another number (OW2). Months and months of calls and texts dating back to the middle of 2009. And my world crashed down around my ears and my life has never been the same since.
182 text messages to OW2 on one night alone (I figured out I was at the hairdresser at the time). Hundreds of texts to her mobile and hours of calls to her home phone number, always when I wasn’t home. It went on for months. And then petered out. But the damage was done.
I looked at his email. Particularly the trash. Amongst other things, I found that he’d joined a fetish website. Looked at his profile and found that he’d declared that he was “into everything” to do with a woman that worked at his work (OW3). Under erotic naked photos of her he’d just written the word “perfect”. I cannot begin to describe how I felt at that point in time. I have never felt so low, so absolutely crushed. I tried to keep this to myself.
I told him all I knew. He told me I was overreacting and nothing was going on. Refused to talk about it. Etc. It was brushed under the carpet. I carrie on. Very confused and living in a fog. I have not trusted him since this time.
Fast forward to last November. All of a sudden he puts his own pic on his Twitter profile (had NEVER done that before – he’s a very private person), never leaves his phone around, takes it everywhere with him etc etc. My spidey senses tingled. I knew something was going on, I just didn’t know with who.
I looked through his computer. Found pictures of a woman I didn’t recognise, in various stages of undress etc. They were recent. I kept it to myself over the next few days. I checked the folder where the images were kept and each day new photos would appear. He would spend hours in front of the TV staring at the tiny screen on his phone instead of using his laptop. He’d smile occasionally at his screen.
Fast forward to Christmas Day. We have a nice day with the family (we have older kids – mine from my first marriage). Christmas night we are relaxing on the couch watching TV and he says he has a stomach ache and disappears to the toilet… for 2 hours. I have a phobia about vomiting and he sends me a text from the bathroom to say I shouldn’t come in because he’s vomiting. I ask if he needs anything (I am genuinely concerned) and he says no.
The next day I check the directory again and there are 2 new videos. One of her masturbating and another one of her masturbating and calling his name as she climaxes. She’d made them and sent them to him while he was in the toilet the night before. While he was “vomiting.” On Christmas Day. There are also new photos from Christmas Eve (my birthday).
I am so angry I cannot stand, speak, think straight. My head is literally spinning. My legs are shaking and I feel like I’m going to throw up.
I wait a few days and think about my course of action. Further investigations on my part mean I find out that it is OW2 from the phone bills years prior back on the scene. She has been married and divorced during this time (there’s a shock) and now figures my husband is fair game. I find hours of text conversations where they discuss my husband leaving me and how he’s pleased that her mother approves of him. He talks about how he loves buying her things and how I got well ****** the other night because of the pictures she sent him of herself in a corset. My heart physically aches reading this one. It is pounding in my ears. I feel sick.
I know that I cannot speak to him without breaking down and completely losing the plot, so I write an email that just says that I know all about her and that he needs to make a decision, it’s either me or her because I’m not going through this again.
He says he chooses me and is very remorseful etc. Promises NC. That was January 14.
I question him about what has gone on and ask for honest answers. I find out he calls her from work so the numbers don’t show up on our bill. He NEVER calls me from work. He texts with imessage turned on because it uses the data plan and doesn’t show up on our bill. He tells her not to follow him on Twitter because it will raise suspicion. The level of deception is incredible.
I know from texts that he bought her something. I ask what (even though I really don’t want to know the answer). He bought her earrings as a Christmas present (paid cash of course) and walked to the post office and packaged it all up and sent it to her. This hurt. This really really REALLY hurt. He has NEVER gone to those lengths for me.
Things are ok for a while but I still don’t trust him. I buy him an ipad for his birthday later in January and write a heartfelt card pouring my heart out. He cries and says he loves me. I think he is genuinely remorseful.
Things are ok for a while, though I still don’t trust him.
May 8 – I am still checking his devices occasionally. I check his texts and find he’s at it again with her, and sending pics of himself to her (always when I’m not home) FROM THE IPAD I BOUGHT HIM FOR HIS BIRTHDAY. Text likes “I’ll be alone tonight after 7, you might get a nice surprise” etc. She talks about how no boys want her. He says “you’re mine”. My heart falls through the floor. That stung, possibly more than any of the physical stuff I’ve read and seen. I am gutted. It’s happening again, and I’m still not over the last time, or the time before that. I am a shell.
I confront him that same morning. I throw my wedding and engagement rings at him and tell him we’re done. He begs and pleads and tells me “he’s not coping”. His sister was diagnosed with breast cancer a few months previously and he’s in a stressful job at work. I honestly don’t see how they’re related to sending pictures of your **** to people, but cut him some slack because he has been under a lot of pressure (and I’m a big softie). Again I get the remorse story. He says he will never cheat on me again. He promises NC. I send OW2 a text telling her to f*** off and leave my husband alone. I also send her an email that I had written the last time which I never sent on the off chance she would have a shred of common decency. (She doesn’t). That was May 9. He wipes his ipad that day to get rid of any traces of their conversations. He assures me he will go to counselling and get help. I wait and wait. Counselling never happens and life goes on. I am numb but carry on.
I keep checking devices for the next couple of months. During this time his sister passes away after a very tough battle with cancer that ravaged her whole body. She passes away 2 weeks after her 40th birthday. I support him through this (as any decent human being would – it was an incredibly sad time and hard for his family). We have some time off to spend with his family, making sure they are taken to where they need to be and things are done. It’s a rough few weeks. We go back to work after some time off and things are ok.
September 1st. I check his devices. I hadn’t for a while. And there they are. Imessage texts on his ipad again (he had turned off spotlight logging for messages – what he didn’t realise is that even if you say don’t log messages, they still do, they just don’t show up in Spotlight search. Recheck ‘log messages’ and there they all are). So they’re at it again. I am calmer this time. I knew it would happen again. This time I am just numb. I sit on this info. I write a very pointed angry email to both of them, telling him I am done and telling her she’s won and she’s welcome to him.
I pick my moment. Ever since the videos etc in December I have had nightmares that result in me crying and waking in the night. They always revolve around him leaving me for her. I have told him the contents of the recurring nightmares and he wakes me when I start crying in my sleep.
Lying in bed that night I mention my recurring nightmares and innocently ask if he’s had any contact with her since I told her to **** off last time. He says no. I know this is 100% a lie because of what I’ve read over the last couple of days.
I can’t sleep that night. It is literally eating away at me and making me physically sick. I get up in the middle of the night and come back to bed and he asks me if I’m ok. I matter-of-factly ask him when he’s going to stop lying to me about OW2. I feel him start to physically shake and sweat in bed while he tries to cuddle me and deny anything is going on. I have proof.
There are no tears this time, not then anyway. I am numb, I am indifferent. I’m cold and guarded. I am matter of fact. I ask for honest answers. He tells me they’ve spoken once or twice. He rings her from work. She has sent him pics of her but he deletes them after looking at them. I ask who initiated contact this time. He tells me she did. I ask why he didn’t tell her no and to go away. He has no answer. I want to scream and hit him.
And that leads us to the current moment. I am very very unstable. I swing wildly between being incredibly angry and a teary mess. I am incredibly and utterly profoundly sad.
I am not wearing my wedding rings any more. He doesn’t deserve it. I have not told him I love him since he admitted he had been in contact with her again. I am guarded and cool towards him. My defences are up.
Apart from his cheating, we have a great marriage. But I cannot get past this cheating. The lack of respect for me. He keeps telling me he loves me. I cannot reciprocate. They are just words. If you love someone, you do not cheat on them, not once, let alone repeatedly.
When I ask why he keeps cheating on me with her, he says “because I’m stupid”. Cowardly answer and one I don’t believe. I ask him what is missing from our marriage that makes him keep returning to her. He says nothing and that it’s not me. I’m not buying it for a second.
I cannot keep going on like this.
I need help.
I am so desperately, soul-destroyingly sad. I want to see a counsellor but I cannot even pick up the phone to make the call at the moment without sobbing hysterically. Even typing this sentence about calling a counsellor has made me cry. I also am too ashamed to confide in anyone about it. I cannot speak to anyone about it. I just can’t.
At what point do I say enough? And actually leave? The thing is I don’t want to have to leave. Our marriage is great apart from his serial cheating. I’d almost prefer if it was with different people – the fact he keeps going back to this one woman makes it ten times worse. There is obviously an emotional connection (although he swears there’s not).
But for my own sanity (I am not sure what a nervous breakdown feels like, but I think I’m pretty close to one), I cannot continue waiting for the next cheating episode. I am now living with the expectation of a next time. And he does nothing to reassure me that it’s not going to happen again.
It’s now at the point that I avoid leaving him alone at home, because I just don’t know what he’s going to get up to while I’m gone.
I am lost. And I don’t see any way to make things better. It’s the 4th time I’ve caught him now in the last 8 months. Each time he says he’s sorry for hurting me, and within months they’re at it again. Each time I ask him how long it would have gone on for had I not caught him and he says “not long”, or “it wouldn’t”.
I need to leave. But at the moment, I’m just not strong enough or angry enough to go. I just don’t have the strength. I am too desperately and profoundly broken.
Since writing this post (which I wrote and sat on because I wasn’t sure I was ready to post it) – I sent OW a very pointed text saying “which part of keep the **** away from my husband did you not understand?”.
Within 10 minutes she responded with “maybe take some advice I should have taken. Don’t stay with someone who obviously loves someone else”.
I showed WH and of course he denies that he loves her and says he loves me and he wants it to work and he is happy to go to MC. I’ve heard this before. I think he needs to have some IC before I contemplate MC together.
Anyway, I just don’t know what to do any more. I am just broken.
I have 2 daughters. If they had been treated as appallingly as I have by a partner I would have told them to kick him to the kerb the FIRST time. So why am I still here?
Because I’m weak. And so very very broken.
IC can be a wonderful, safe place to let your story out, and to eventually flourish again. You are stronger than you think, I'm certain of it. Please, please make the call to speak with someone. You can (and in my opinion, should) take that first step for yourself.
I'm also certain others with more wisdom and experience will be along to walk through this with you, the weekend is often a bit slower. When you're feeling weak, we will all be here to lend you stregnth. That's the greatness of this place.
Sending you my thoughts of peace.
This is not going to change.
Look, I hope my response isn't OTT, but, please understand that I have only your best interests at heart, this is how I see it.
He's not going to change, he's just not... unless there's a point when he can't lie, deny and confuse his way out of it.
You've gone above and beyond waiting for him to do the right thing, and he just won't do it.
He says the words you need to hear, but his actions prove that it's just that.... words. As soon as he can, he's back to her.... and it's not like she's the only one, he's made quite an art out of cheating.
This OW obviously has some serious hooks in him. Please don't subject yourself to further harm by contacting her again. She's not going to help you out here, she has a vested interest in him leaving you and going to her.
Have you read about the 180? It's in the box at the top left hand corner of the page.
You need to read it, digest it, and live it. I mean this with all seriousness. Print it out if need be and keep it in your pocket for reference. It will be your friend. The 180 is about making you stronger, and better able to make healthy decisions about your future.
This ends when you say it does, when you say you're choosing YOU.
He might never do what you need, drop the OW and become a model WS, but you don't have to stand around waiting to find out. In fact, giving him any more time will only serve to destroy your self esteem and self respect even more. He's keeping you paralyzed, scared to make a decision that might have the outcome you don't want. But I have to ask you, could his leaving be worse than sharing him with the OW?
Make a list, start with a top divorce lawyer, find out what position you're in should you decide it's time to leave. (Divorce in this part of the world is quite different from the US, it takes quite a long time).
Next phone call is to find a great IC for yourself. You need someone to unload all this pain on (as well as the 40,000 here who care about you!), someone who will support you and not pass any form of judgement. Don't just accept the first one, they're like shoes, keep trying to you find one that's a good fit. Best to email them first with some questions and find out their thoughts on infidelity, then decide based on the answers.
Next, if it's an option, confide in someone you trust, someone who will give you a shoulder, a tissue, a cuppa... someone who genuinely cares.
Make sure you eat, drink plenty of water and get some sleep, if need be, go to your GP for a little something to help deal with insomnia and or anxiety. This is not a sign you can't cope, it's self-care.
I can feel your pain and anguish, your devastation, your need for help, and I'm so so sorry you find this happening.... but how it plays out from here on is up to you. Hugs, many many hugs.
[This message edited by hard_yards at 6:12 PM, September 8th (Sunday)]
I cannot continue waiting for the next cheating episode. I am now living with the expectation of a next time. And he does nothing to reassure me that it’s not going to happen again.
The other posters are correct---nothing will change until he faces real consequences. And even after that , he may be too weak to look introspectively.
You state that you are weak and broken---and that is true. FOR THE MOMENT. We all were after discovery, and I will bet that a very large percentage of us would never have thought that we could have made it through this mess....me particularly. I don't think that there was, or will be, anyone weaker than I was when I joined this site.
But you have to believe me when I tell you that you will get though this ordeal. That you will be happy again in the future---with or without your husband. That is the name of this site, and that is exactly what they do---help people survive infidelity.
I notice that you do not blame yourself for his actions, and that is very important. You would be amazed how many members here initially share blame for their spouses transgressions. It is simply not true....ever. This is their issues to address, and there is nothing that we can do to change that. But what you can do, and must do, is start the work on yourself. The work of rebuilding your shattered world of crushed self-esteem and reclaiming your strong sense of self.
It starts with the basics--first off, is to take care of yourself physically. Eat, drink, and sleep---something that we never thought that we would have to force upon ourselves. Then it starts with arming yourself with knowledge. Read The Healing Library in the upper left hand corner of the page. Post, ask questions, share your feelings, and post some more. Take what information resonates from other peoples stories, and apply it to your own situation. See a lawyer---this one is important---to know where you could realistically be if the eventual path is divorce. Separate your finances---these are all steps in reclaiming your life. And while these are obviously easier said than done, they are things that can be done on your own. Don't be afraid of talking to your doctor, and the possibility of antidepressants. Set an appointment with an IC---even though you are afraid at this point, once you take these initial steps, the rest will come easier.
This is a long road ahead, and it isn't fair that you were forced onto it. Your husband dropped a bomb in the middle of your marriage unilaterally---and now you are left to pick up the pieces. But once you can motivate yourself to start the process, you will learn that nothing can stop you but yourself. Don't be afraid to take action. You have been paralyzed by fear so far, and it has got you nowhere.
The first steps are the hardest, but you can do this.
[This message edited by jb3199 at 1:19 AM, September 9th (Monday)]
All work and no play has just cost me my wife--Gary Puckett
D-Day: 9/18/09 D-Day#2: 2/19/10 The Marriage Killer: 6/6/11
Heading for D
This is what I find hard to accept:
Yes you were probably responsible for half the marraige problems as we all were but none of his cheating and lies
His cheating is the sole problem with this marriage. Apart from his cheating, we have a loving relationship, get along well and I love being married to him. There are no other problems apart from his repeated betrayal and deceit.
Maybe this is a stage I need to go through but I find it difficult to accept that I am in any way even remotely responsible for his repeated betrayal and lying, cheating and sneaky behaviour.
I purchased the Just Friends book today and started reading it. I'm finding it very helpful.
I'm not ready for IC yet, but I can feel my angry is building.
He assured me again today that he will not cheat on me again. Of course I've heard this all before, and I told him that. He was adamant.
We shall see.
I've been more open with things with him - stuff that I would have never said previously because I didn't want to hurt his feelings.
It's a different dynamic in the house, that's for sure.
You are NOT in any way responsible for his decision to cheat.
Yes you were probably responsible for half the marraige problems as we all were
Don't start down this slippery slope.
The problems in the M are not the issue at the moment. The cheating is the issue. It is THE GREAT BIG FUCKING ISSUE!!!!!
Everything else can wait. The issue now is the cheating. We need to deal with the cheating - THE GREAT BIG FUCKING ISSUE!!! The other crap can come later.
Because that's what it mostly is. Crap. If the BS was such a lousy partner the WW spouse could have left. End of story. The end!!!
You are NOT in any way to blame for what he did. Get that thought out of your mind now. Right this minute!!!
The first thoughts most of us had when we find out they cheated were: "What did I do wrong? What did I do that made him do this? Am I too fat? Are my boobs too big/small? Am I boring?"
What they should be are: "Why are you such a dickhead/fucktard/arsehole? Why didn't you leave me if you were so unhappy? Why are you so gutless thinking it was Ok to sneak around? Why did you lie when you made those vows? Are you a psychopath? What else have you hidden from me/ lied about? Were you and the whore planning to get rid of me? Should I change my Life Insurance? How could you do this to our children?"
These to me are far more important questions. So before you start dissecting your M and he tells you he couldn't live with you because you burnt his toast sometimes or didn't give him a BJ often enough, ask the questions above.
Maybe a few years down the track you can look at how miserable he was because you burnt his toast and deal with that then. AFTER he has come totally clean about what he did, begged you hundreds of times to let him stay, devoted every waking moment to helping you heal and given you a pre-nup (or is it post-nup?).
Anyway. You have a long way to go before you even think about dissecting the M. From what you have said it may not be worth even starting the journey. He sounds like he is so immersed in his dumbfuckery his brain is mush.
I need to leave. But at the moment, I’m just not strong enough or angry enough to go. I just don’t have the strength. I am too desperately and profoundly broken.
No sweetie. You don't need to leave. You should NOT leave!!! You do need to kick him out. You need to mean it. Tell him to go. Tell him he doesn't deserve to share a house with you let alone a bed. You do need to get angry. How dare he do this to you and the girls?
Honey you are not weak. You have been dealt a crushing blow but now you are getting better. You are starting to see him for what HE is. A broken, weak wimp. He is weak and broken. He is a coward. Not you.
It's your life honey. Take control.
Please consider counseling. And consider kicking him out of the house. Big hugs to you.
A broken, weak wimp. He is weak and broken. He is a coward. Not you.
This is so true it's not funny. Weird how seeing it written by someone else makes it crystal clear. The more I think about his behaviour, I just keep thinking "you weak minded, cowardly piece of shit".
In the midst of the intense portion of the A in December (the Christmas episode), he bought me a Tiffany necklace. I stopped wearing it a while ago and told him it was because it hurt my neck when I slept (I didn't want to hurt his feelings - stupid me). The other night I pointed at it and said to him "you know why I don't wear that?" BECAUSE I HATE IT, I ABSOLUTELY HATE IT BECAUSE OF WHAT IT REPRESENTS AND I WILL NEVER WEAR IT AGAIN". It felt good.
I am slowly gathering a steely resolve. And when I am ready, I will make my move. Until I am ready to do so, I will stay in OUR house and leave when I am ready and financially able.
Is it normal that I thought of having my own A, just to get back at him? I did contemplate this briefly, but when I was being brutally honest with myself, I don't want to. I'm not that kind of person and I don't want anyone else. I just want him to not be a weak, sneaky piece of shit any more.
I think he's noticed a change in my demeanour this time and he's a bit on edge and worried. I told him I wanted a D and I don't think he believed me. I haven't mentioned it again since and he is working really hard at doing the right thing.
I think this is my own modified version of the 180 - its certainly working for me at the moment and is helping me clear my head and see through the fog.
Thanks for your ideas and support and allowing me to blather on.
Way to go honey!!! Now you get it.
"you weak minded, cowardly piece of shit".
Yes that is what he was. Maybe he still is? Who knows? Only time will tell.
So now he gets to show you what type of person he REALLY is.
I will stay in OUR house and leave when I am ready and financially able.
Yes. Yes. Yes!!!
When you found out about his A you were heartbroken. Desperate to save your M. Frantic to work out how to fix it all. Now you have realised a very important truth. It is HIS responsibility to do all this. If he is worth keeping you will keep him. But it is his job to prove he is worth your effort.
So now you need to realise there are two possible scenarios
(a) He pulls his head out of his arse and becomes the H you always deserved.
(b) He cheats again - with her or someone else.
If (a) everything is roses. If (b) You have to decide in your heart, in your soul, in the depths of your being, whether you want to continue to suffer. And start this merry-go-round again, and again, and again. You can choose this option. It is your choice. But personally I think it is not a good one.
So. Keep up your 180. Demand your rights. If he doesn't like it he is not worth keeping.
A very wise man here once said something like unless a WW is grovelling, sobbing, with snot running from her nose and mascara running down her face then she is still not ready for R.
When you write to say he is begging you to stay and you believe he means it then there is hope. When he is the male version of that woman. If he does this be very clear. No more chances. If he starts up again, then I'm sorry your chances of true R are nil to none.
Is it normal that I thought of having my own A, just to get back at him?
Of course it is normal!!! Why not? Wouldn't it be wonderful to have them feel the pain that we do? BUT... and it's a big BUT, then you lose lots of things. Self respect, your image of yourself as a faithful spouse, your image of yourself as a person of integrity. So many things. Too much for me.
I was tempted like you. Really tempted. But then what would it achieve? You would probably end up in bed with some deadshit who thought it was OK to screw a married woman. No future in that! Then you would feel the guilt. EWWW!!!!Regrets. Oh. They hurt. The conversation with yourself would be: Why did I do it? Now I am just like him? Oh God. What have I done?
No honey. You don't need an RA. It will just make you feel worse.
ETA: Shortly after dday I changed my will. If I die my kids get my half of EVERYTHING. I told him. He knows this. If he wants me he has to accept that. Tough Shit!!!
[This message edited by Laura28 at 4:01 AM, September 10th (Tuesday)]
Nothing changes if nothing changes.
Good luck to you.
You need to see a lawyer, because you have to be willing to lose you marriage to save it. Are you willing to stay in a marriage with a man who constantly lied to you and cheated on you? If you feel you can continue then you need to take the follwoing steps:
-see a lawyer, protect yourself
-get some IC, this is so necessary when you have been betrayed so horribly
-Make a list of what YOU need for this marriage to continue. Open access to everything, 100% transparency, IC and MC for both of you...etc
But as long as you continue to catch him and then forgive him with out any consquences, then this behavor will not change. Get those bitch boots on and take back the power in this situation.
Reboot you life or the pain will never go away. He is irretrievably broken.
Save your proof in several safe places and file. The only thing you are prolonging is your misery.
"The world breaks everyone and afterward many are strong at the broken places." ~Ernest Hemingway
He knew her before we met in 1999 and had sex with her while she was already in a relationship. So right off the bat she has know morals
Right off the bat, you knew they had no morals. His lack of morality is what's at issue, that's what can hurt you.
If you date a man who waddles and quacks, marry the guy anyway...don't be surprised to find yourself married to a duck.
Kick this guy to the curb, before you lose your self respect. FTG!
[This message edited by Safeguard at 3:05 AM, September 11th (Wednesday)]
He isn't scared enough to realize he may really lose you.
The things you are doing that make you feel good and more powerful in this situation are the very things that will make him get better at hiding his behavior.
There are risks in playing this hard... he may walk away and go to his girlfriend. In my opinion, if he does; good riddance. I know that would be very difficult in real life but in all honesty; I don't want someone who doesn't want me. That is just too much work.
He has to be hit hard with the reality that if he continues his behavior he will lose you (and your kids, house, whatever you have in your situation.)
If my husband had continued his affair I would have:
1 - played the dumb wife so his life would be 'business as usual'
2 - collected ALL the evidence I could possibly collect
- while -
3 - moving all assets I could move into my name
- and -
4 - moving all debt I could into his name
(I personally would do this in a fair manner keeping 'my' debt and 'my' belongings although I know many people would gouge the other)
5 - ensuring I had all birth certificates, diplomas, shot records, etc. of each member of my family
6 - getting divorce papers prepared with an attorney
7 - tell him to get out of my house after he had been presented with papers
I would have had ALL my ducks in a row PRIOR to presenting him with divorce papers.
I probably would even have a big yard sale so I would have less crap to deal with in the event I chose to move.
He is going to continue his behavior. You are giving him a 'slap on the wrist' and he will accept that. It is like the kid who enjoys misbehaving and will continue the same behavior after getting a spanking.... the spanking 'is worth it' to him.
Show him you mean business: Get in or get out.
:Soon Enough: Your future life without him would be better. Your future life with him would be better. He better chose.
Failure to attempt is failure.