This week we’re going to debut a new series simply called, “Ask Sarah P. Anything.”  This first ‘episode’ hits on often mentioned issues of transparency, control, trust and snooping. 

Ask me anything

Question:

I found out three months ago that my husband (of 4 years) cheated on me two years ago. I feel that I need him to allow me access to all of his email, but he’s angered by my requests—says they feel “wrong” and that I’m trying to control him. I honestly don’t believe he’s cheating on me now, but why does he want to keep this private? What should I do? Should I go behind his back to find out what he may or may not be hiding?

Sarah’s Answer:

After an affair has occurred, all trust is broken. The standard protocol that I advise is to turn over all email addresses, passwords, and social media accounts. If a person truly has nothing to hide, they will comply.  If a person truly wants to regain your trust, they must earn it. Earning it includes being transparent.

We are in very strange times due to the corona virus. This makes infidelity a truly deadly proposition.  Remember, a healthy person can be a carrier of the corona virus and show no symptoms. They can be passing it around without knowing it.  If your husband is having an affair, you need to know. Because of uncertain times, it’s okay to look at your husband’s email and phone. 

This is a matter of your health or your family’s health since there is no “social distancing” when it comes to infidelity.  An affair is the ultimate of social engagement and togetherness. In this time of social distancing, you need to know what the heck your husband is doing. If he is seeing his affair partner (AP), he could bring disease into your home, whether it be cancer causing HPV or the corona virus. 

Now, let’s go on to the idea that your husband thinks it is controlling for you to ask for transparency. One of the cheater’s best phrases in his of her arsenal is: you are trying to control me. A cheater knows that a person with integrity will usually self-reflect and then apologize for being too controlling. If a betrayed spouse believes themselves to be too controlling, they will end up playing a head game with themselves and then they will often back off because heaven forbid they are a controlling person. This is exactly what a cheater wants: a betrayed to do; to feel like the bad guy so that the cheater can be left alone. 

In my opinion, you have every right to look at your husband’s email. Better yet, hire a private detective. These days, affairs are no longer harmless (as some people used to claim). Affairs can be deadly due to a virus that is ravaging the world. You have a right to your health and through health of your family. With the corona virus on the loose, having an affair could literally be a death warrant to innocent family members. 

Getting to Complete Honesty After the Affair

What should you do?

You should certainly go behind his back and hire a private detective. Or find a way to hack into his email. He is the one who is in the wrong and you need to find out concrete data on whether or not he still has contact with the other person.

Your life and the life of your family members will depend on knowing what he is doing. Don’t get caught into a mindset where you think you are wrong by finding out the truth. You need the truth to protect yourself. And this is no joke. If he is still seeing the AP you and your family are in concrete danger. 

Readers: what do you think? 

Do you think she is controlling to want to know the truth? 

Do you see the corona virus connection and public health concern when it comes to affairs?

If you have a question for Sarah P. please feel free to ask them in the comment section below.  Or you can submit them to us here:  Contact Us. (It would be helpful to type “Question for Sarah” in the subject field.  Thanks!)

 

    42 replies to "‘Dear Sarah P.’ – Ask Me Anything! – #1"

    • Soul mate

      Dear Sarah P.,

      Since this blog is titled “Ask me anything”, I would like to get your thoughts on this.

      When I asked my husband what he got from his spouse poacher that he didn’t get from me and if he loved her, this is what he said and continues to say;

      “I never cared for or loved her and am very proud of the fact that I never told her that too.” He has told me this repeatedly.

      That he told her on several occasions that “He loves his wife and sex will never happen.” He even, right after dday when I asked if he had sex with her said “I wouldn’t F##% that fat ass if I was single and desperate!”
      That “she would stand on her head and spin for him and he thought it was amusing.”
      That “She became a serious nuisance at work and the constant texting when he was home and he was glad when she was down with a migraine and called in sick so he could have some peace at work”.
      That “he never meant for it to get out of control and when he realized what was going on he was afraid she would get his job involved and or tell me and that was the reason it went on so long”. He said that he told her several times that it was never going to go nowhere, she would back off for a couple of days, then engage him over work (she was his Case Manager) and she would push all over again. Sending sexy pics and texts and suggesting they get a hotel room.
      He also on DDay expressed great relief that I knew and that his contact with her was finally over. I know you’ve read my comments here so my question to you is this;

      What should I think about his answers? Can a man actually push it with someone they absolutely do not care about purely out of amusement then realize it went way to far then be paranoid of the outcome?

      I have to say that my husband got down on his hands and knees many times and begged me not to go. He has told me that I am and always will be the love of his life.

      I just can’t get my head around his thoughts and feelings about the skank. He said he hates her now and that she ruined his life.

      Not one nice word, not one. Ever. Could what he is expressing truly be his feelings both during and after his emotional affair?

      • Sarah P.

        Hi Soulmate,
        Thank you for asking. I hope Doug will chime in too.

        Not just one man, but many men have the ability to “push it” with someone they don’t care about or even like. Now, to be fair, not all men are like this. But, for some men, IF a woman comes on to a man, sends naughty pictures, and offers no strings attached sex, there are some men who will go for it.

        I am going to give you an interesting theory on why this can happen. And I am going to get into some uncomfortable sexual content here. So, trigger warning. But, some also might find this amusing. Being cooped up, me and my female friends have been engaging in some really off the wall conversations about our days in college. I think we are engaging in these off the wall conversations because the world is a strange place these days. I was talking to a female friend I have known for years and some how or another, we got on a very strange topic that happened in college when we were out with about 15 different friends. There were a couple more men than women that night and we were at a bar playing pool. After these guys got several beers in them, they told us they had actual names for their penises. These were not men we slept with, but they were men we knew socially in our early 20’s. So they each told us the names of their penises. I remember one guy called his Zeus. Another guy called his Hercules. Another guy called his Nestor. Another guy just called it “the one eyed snake.” And of course they wanted to know if we had names for our own “downstairs parts.” Us women looked at each other like we were speaking to a Martians because we women did NOT have names for our downstairs parts and it never entered our minds that maybe we should have a name for our parts. Naming one’s part was so far outside our context of how life worked for the women in the group that we were baffled. We had a good laugh after discussing that memory several days ago, but a moment of insight came.

        Before you stop reading there is a point to all this. My girl friend and I had an ENORMOUS light bulb moment after we stopped laughing ourselves silly. She said this:

        If a man has his regular name on his birth certificate and then if he gives his penis an entirely different name, this allows a man to view his male part as a completely separate entity from himself. It’s a type of psychological splitting that allows him to dissociate what his penis does from what he does. In this way “John Doe” is a completely separate entity from Nestor or Zeus. John Doe can be a great dad, John Doe night go to church. John Doe night coach little league. But, his “Zeus” may be doing something else entirely and since Zeus is an entity of its own, John Doe can better compartmentalize the times naughty old Zeus is up to something.

        And actually, the Zeus from Greek Mythology was ALWAYS up to something and he disguised himself as a bull, a swan, or any other manner of animal to play with human women. Yes, that is actual Greek mythology. It has a really big cringe factor. Zeus disguised himself as a bull to do you know what with a woman. SO GROSS.

        Let’s consider my friend’s piece of insight.

        From a psychological perspective, we know the male brain is better able to compartmentalize than the female brain. Don’t get me wrong, women can compartmentalize too. But, the male brain has less white matter and white matter is the thing that connects the two lobes. Women have more white matter than gray matter. It’s not as easy for us to compartmentalize, but we do. We just don’t do it as easily. It takes more effort.

        So, we know that the male brain is better at compartmentalizing from a scientific stand point. Then….If a man actually takes the time to name his male part, on a subconscious level, this makes it even easier to distance himself from what “the guy below” does.

        For a man like this, it allows a man to truly disconnect who he is from his actions and he has two ways to do so: he is better at compartmentalization due to how the male brain is wired AND he has a name for the guy downstairs. The guy, Zeus, who lives in the basement is subconsciously separate from the man himself.

        That is one theory on how SOME men can have sex without feeling anything for the other woman. I think my friend is into something.

        I am NOT here to pick on men, by the way. I am speaking specifically about male cheaters and how they can sometimes have sex with someone they are not attracted to.

        Then, there is the concept of “affair-ing down.”
        M. Gary Neumann did a study on hundreds of male cheaters. 93% of cheating men said the OW was inferior to the wife. So why would a man have an affair with someone inferior to the wife? These men explained that it met their need to experience someone else in bed while NOT being tempted to divorce their wives. They would hook up with inferior women because they did not want to get divorced. They just wanted to have their cake and eat it too. Also, I am just the messenger in terms of what M. Gary Neumann found out in his psychological study. I am not saying this is right or wrong information. I am giving you information to consider.

        Then, there is yet ANOTHER psychological study. The authors of this study found out that when a man is approached for no strings attached sex and IF he is interested, he will go through a process of analyzing the risk versus the benefit. If he is someone who has money and wants to keep it, he knows he will be engaging in a high risk situation if his wife were to find out and divorce him. In this case, the risk is too high. But, if he doesn’t have assets and wouldn’t lose something that he values if it gets caught, then he might go for it. Another factor that plays into this is a man’s exposure to opportunity. If he is a CEO, he will have opportunities everyday. He has a high amount of opportunity, but also a high amount of risk of losing $$ in a divorce. I did an article about that study several years ago. The title has slipped my mind.

        In short, it IS possible for a man to love his wife, to have an affair, and NOT want a divorce. This is a real phenomenon. It is possible for a man to have sex without even liking the other woman.

        As a female, this ability boggles my mind because I am unable to separate sex and love.

        Also, there are terrible female cheaters out there who are terrible people.

        Doug, can you chime in here? You are a man and know many men. Do you believe some men can love their wives and still have sexual relationships with another?

        If so, can you tell us from a male point of view WHY some cheating men have this ability?

        Soulmate, I do believe your husband loves you. But, it sounds like he got caught up with a spouse poacher who was offering all kinds of goodies for free and he was able to compartmentalize the sex, since he knew he didn’t love the OW.

        Also, SOME cheating men can easily have their cake and eat it too, even if they love their wives. It’s free cake.

        Soulmate, what else would you like to know?

        And a shout out to all. Doug embedded by black and white photo in this article. So now you can put a face to the name. Yes, there is a real Sarah P. and that is what I look like.

        Many blessings, Soulmate,

        Sarah

        PS- Anyone else want to ask a question? I promise that I don’t bite. I am very easy going and like to smile, as evidenced in the photo. 😃🤗❤️

        • Soul mate

          Hi Sarah,

          Thank you so much for your response.

          Our dday was Oct of 2017 and he has adamantly stated over and over the things I’ve listed previously. When the opportunity for sex arrived he said he could not perform. 1. Because she offered it in the back seat of her car in a parking garage and I can tell you for a fact he’s not that kind of guy and finds that kind of sex very distracting, and 2. because he couldn’t get me out of his head. It has been so hard for me to believe that. I pray it’s true. Because if it is a lie, that would hurt more than the truth.

          When she offered to buy a room, he told her it was never going to happen. Can you imagine a woman that is so desperate that she would offer to buy a room?

          I know he never spent money on her beyond a burger at McDonald’s as we both share bank accounts he has direct deposit and I pay the bills and monitor the money so no loss there. I went back over our accounts 3 years and nothing, no large withdrawals I did not know about, nothing. My husband has never been late from work and does not travel and is in my bed every night. Accept for the nights he was drinking heavily during the time he was sexting her. But even then, he would get into bed like nothing was amiss.

          One night after dday we were lying in bed and he said “You are my soul mate” and I perked up, “So why do you say that now after 28 years together?” and he said “because she told me that one day and I told her to quit being silly”. “I Love my wife and she is my soul mate”. Thus my name here on this site.

          He has stated to me that I am the love of his life, his best friend and he wouldn’t live without me. On our 25th he wrote that on his Facebook page and later, after dday he told me the reason he wrote that was he hoped that she would see it and finally get the picture.

          Yes, I do believe my husband got caught up like a frog in a boiling pot with a parasitic spouse poacher. Was depressed over many things that had happened in his life much like Doug only a little worse, was drinking heavily at the time and like he said, “made the biggest mistake of his life”. One he said he will regret until the day he dies.

          All that being said, I think it’s time for me to close this chapter in our lives and let this insidious invasion of our lives go. To believe him in all he has confessed and accept it is to be free again and also release him of the pain he has experienced and expressed in hurting me. As he has only expressed deep pain and shame in watching the suffering I’ve experienced right before his eyes. I just want to let this thing go.

          Peace Sarah and thank you again for your generosity and wisdom.

          • Sarah P.

            Hello Soulmate,
            You have quite a story about how you got the moniker “soulmate.” That would take me off guard too if I was laying in bed, after years of being married, and then to have my husband announce I was his soulmate. I mean, don’t people generally get married because they found their soulmate (or think they have found their soulmate?) You are a lot nicer than me. If I found out my husband was having an affair and then he told me the other woman talked about being his soulmate, and then if he told me I was his soulmate,

            I would be like: “What? So was I not your soulmate before and did it take you having an affair to figure out I was always your soulmate? Gee, thanks!”

            One of the things that is interesting about your story is how EASY it is for a man to cheat even when the wife does that bills and when the man comes home on time from work.

            In the past, I have heard hateful people say things like: “Come on. How can a wife NOT know her husband is having an affair. Deep down the wife knows, she just doesn’t want to admit it.”

            People who say that are both hateful and wrong. Your story illustrates perfectly that a man can have an affair and there was no way for you to know since you handled the money and since he came home on time.

            Soulmate, I hope this experience has brought you two closer. You are a very gracious human being.

            Hugs,
            Sarah

            • Soul mate

              Hi Sarah,

              In regards to my husband soul mate statement, no, I didn’t feel slighted at all. In fact I felt validated. To think some easy sleazy could come along and take what is mine would be so easy as to utter a fantasy childish cliche she probably has said to many other men in an attempt to manipulate them into her insidious games, to me, was not a surprise. The outcome was a surprise, it didn’t work on my husband and it stuck with him and had the direct opposite effect. And he validated that by his confession to me. I’ve always told my husband that he is my knight in shining armor and he has always called me his Angel and his life, I still believe that. I also never felt that my husband did not love me. Just that he did not love himself enough at the time the EA occurred. One night about a week after dday my husband and I were sitting together, holding hands and talking about what happened in the EA time and I asked him, “Honey, did you miss me?” And he fell apart. “Yes”, he said. “More than I can tell you.” “And I’m so very happy it’s over and you are here with me.” I will never forget those words. Affairs never spawn the healing lasting deep compassionate love of true soul mates, what they do spawn is all the insidious diseases that lie within a human being.

              As for your second comment on men having affairs while maintaining his lifestyle at home, yes they can. I would have to say, it wouldn’t be a very fulfilling one for the AP however. Sharing a man who devotes full time to his wife, family and a job can’t leave a lot of quality anything for a third wheel. Sad. Kind of like standing outside his house and peering in the window and wishing you were me? I did and do take care of all of my husbands affairs and needs as he has always wanted and encouraged me to do, right down to choosing his clothing. We make all financial decisions together. My husband has a tendency to neglect himself and give of himself to much to others, so I step in and make sure he has what he needs and he has always done the same for me and our family. I did have a gut feeling something was going on but I attributed it to his worsening depression and alcohol abuse, not an affair. He had fallen into his funk and I tried like hell to reach him and he closed himself off way before meeting her. As a matter of fact, when I thought about it, because I did periodically, his seeing another woman, I quickly berated myself for even going there as he was completely doting on me at the time. More than usual. Like I said, affairs are insidious disease. They spawn the most damaging and dangerous behavior in people. I understand that now even more just by writing these words. She fueled and worsened his depression and alcohol abuse and magnetized his feelings of guilt and shame. As my husband said, “it was an absolute nightmare” that he was “so ashamed and afraid of what he did and people finding out that he did not know how to get out of it.” Definitely NOT the making of a soul mate.

              Yes Sarah, my husband and I are and always will be close. I really do think that is the reason we are still together. If anything, my husband has awakened and expresses his feelings more than ever, as he says. “There’s no place like home.” 🙂 Good people do make mistakes in times of weakness. When my husband explains why, all he says is that he was weak. At first I thought that she was so great that that was the reason he was weak and couldn’t help himself, but now I understand his statement. That he was weak at the time it occurred due to his depression, his not loving himself , his feeling that he failed me and his family for things that happened before she reared her ugly head.

              I sometimes think that his EA was a cry out to me that he really needed me, he needed my attention in a deep emotional way, but had no clue how to ask for it. I’ve always told my husband that spending to much time in the shallow waters will tire you out sooner or later. Sometimes you have to take a deep dive to really find what’s lurking deep inside yourself. To find true meaning and peace in your life. Maybe “the ability to better compartmentalize” for men comes from being conditioned as a child not to show or dwell on deep emotions to their experiences in life, as it is a sign of weakness. To put experiences in separate boxes in the mind just peaking and living in the shallows and never diving in and exploring those boxes would mean spending to much time looking around and finding out what really lurks inside.

              Thanks again Sarah, for talking/writing me through this.

    • Nearly Normal

      Hi, Sarah.

      You don’t bite, huh? Well in this time of virusyness, you can’t be too careful. 😉

      Question: As I and others are cooped up with our spouses, we are forced to be in constant contact. That is, in the long run, a good thing, but in the short term a difficult thing. Especially when a betrayed spouse’s favorite tactic in dealing with the wayward spouse is avoidance, this is a stressful time. Do you have any advice in this area?

      Thanks, and keep up the good work

      • Sarah P.

        Nearly Normal,

        Lol. You are right. It’s a good thing I don’t bite. Although is the corona virus stored in human teeth? Sure hope not.

        So let me ask a clarifying question: have you gone into avoidance mode with your spouse?

        If you are going into avoidance mode, it’s best to communicate concisely and openly about it.

        You could tell your spouse: “I love you, but being in close proximity constantly is actually causing me to be triggered by your company. This has caused me to avoid you since I am still working through my wounds. I hope that you understand that I need to withdraw for a little while to process my feelings. This is not a reflection on you or my love for you. I hope that you understand that I need time on my own to process, otherwise this won’t be a good situation for either of us.”

        Is that what you were asking?

        And if you were asking that, how would your spouse respond to the prompt I gave you? Would it anger your spouse? Would your spouse tell you to get over it?

        What is the scoop?

        Sincerely,
        Sarah (who doesn’t bite)

        • Nearly Normal

          Hi Sarah.

          there are definitely some topics that I avoid. There are communication problems that are difficult to overcome, mainly because she has not worked on herself in any deliberate manner.

          I have tried to break through this pretty recently. I made a concerted effort to openly speak about things that I had been avoiding. She turned it into, “If you’re still healing after all this time, it must mean that you don’t forgive me, etc.” So that was simply painful for me and no progress was made. And she has other (unintentional) communication sabotage methods, but I don’t want to go into those.

          On the plus side, she has been generous enough that she recognizes that sometimes I need time to myself (although she does not always understand why). Of course, nowadays that is difficult when there is no “going out”.

          Going out is nice for me because then the only person I have to worry about is myself. I can take care of me, decompress, whatever I need, and not have to think about pleasing my wife and/or avoiding any pitfalls that suddenly (apparently randomly) occur.

          She has a way of turning statements like your prompt into, “You say it’s not about your love for me. That makes me think it IS about your love for me.” This is the kind of thing that got us into our marital mess in the first place. She had decided that I didn’t love her and she went looking for somebody else.

          I have found it impossible to fight these communication problems. The exact tool that is needed is communication, but that is the thing that is sabotaged.

          Here is an apt illustration for how I see my progress. You walk through a maze, and you can tell that you are getting close to the goal (healing? marital harmony?). But suddenly there is a dead end, and you realize that you are right at the ending, but you can’t get to it without backtracking to the beginning and starting all over again. But that is not going to happen, because you are going through the maze with someone who does not want to backtrack.

          So at a certain point, we try to make the best with what we’ve got.

          • Sarah P.

            Wow, Nearly Normal,

            What a perfect metaphor about being stuck in a maze while having a partner who doesn’t want to back track with you.

            It seems to me that your wife might be a master gas-lighter. Of course, if you told her that, she would have some form of explosion. Also a sign of a gas-lighter. She may not scream, but she may twist your words, tell you that you are thinking things that you are actually not thinking, and make you feel guilty,

            Nearly Normal, this is a safe space. So please tell us more about the communication issues that your wife has. I can tell you how to counter her arguments IF her arguments are not valid ones. Seems to me she just manipulates in order to keep the marriage running on status quo. But, I could be wrong. I am not saying she is a bad person, just that she manipulates to avoid the type of communication you need.

            Thoughts?
            Sarah

            • Nearly Normal

              Sarah,

              Yes, there is some truth there. I am certain that she is not deliberately a gas-lighter or manipulator. She does it from feelings of insecurity and fear. And probably nothing would make her feel more insecure than going over what she considers ancient history and dredging up examples of how she totally f-ed up. So for her, running on status quo is much to be preferred.

              She is not able to make me feel guilty even a little bit. When, for example, she says, “You haven’t really forgiven me,” I am more disappointed in her inability to engage sensitive topics, which would be helpful to me. She is limiting the possibility of full intimacy (communication, not sexual).

              So examples of her communication strategies: I mentioned the one where, if I really forgave her, then I would not still feel pain. I have explained to her why that is not so, (why forgiveness and healing are two separate things) but she does not seem to absorb the concept.

              One she has used is to challenge whether I trust her or not. I do not remember what that was in reaction to. We were having a pretty intimate conversation about my feelings and what my therapist was doing with me. I think the whole concept of me needing help to heal threatens her.

              She also has, when I bring up some situation where she has hurt me (not necessarily the betrayal) then she begins crying because she feels bad that she hurt me, and I end up comforting her when I am the one who was hurt in the first place.

              That’s a few of her favorite things. I’m not thinking of more right now.

              Thanks for your time, Sarah.

    • A

      Hi Sarah,

      I have a question…

      I found out in January my partner went on a date with a colleague, he says he has kissed her twice, once on this date and once in the work place.

      Since this discovery I have found him messaging her once that I am aware of. I suspect he is still messaging her because he has now changed the PIN number on his phone he has had the same PIN number for years.

      He said he is confused about what he wants and needs time to think. Well they have been getting friendly since November according to him, I think he’s had more than enough time to think about what he wants especially since the discovery 3 months ago.

      He said he wants to move to the spare bedroom to give him space to think. What do you make of such a request?

      In addition he seems to truly believe he has not cheated entirely because he did not sleep with her.

      Is there anything that I can do to make him see otherwise or does he just have to come to this conclusion himself?

      I have not got to the point where I feel like I want to end our relationship. I want it to work.

      What’s your thoughts?

      • Sarah P.

        Hello A,

        This is a tough one. It reminds me too much of the sneak attack my ex played on me only he swore there was no one else. Because I believed him, that there was no one else involved, it gave him and OW plenty of time to orchestrate my downfall. Due to not knowing a sneak attack was coming, I ended up losing my house and getting cervical cancer from his affair.

        Now, I did get treated for cervical cancer and I DID end up marrying someone. (Not my ex)

        But, knowing what I know now, I would have called an attorney, locked down all finances, and created such a formidable opposition to the two, they would wish they never met me. Granted, I would NOT have stayed with him, but I also would not have lost my house and the downpayment for it.

        Here is the bad news. I can guarantee that your husband’s coworker is putting his feet to the fire. Also, since she is a coworker, she could file a sexual harassment suit with HR. When I worked in the corporate world I saw many men do the “walk of shame” as they were escorted out by security guards. In each case, the OW presented it as “fun”
        and no strings attached. The men were dumb enough to believe it and they were in a position where IF they left their wives, they lost half of everything. But, if they decided to stay with their wives, the OW always got revenge by filing a complaint with HR.

        If I were you, I would seek the counsel of an attorney immediately and also the council of a financial planner. While your husband is taking time to think, I would ask him to leave your home and give him a sleeping bag and tell him he has all the time to think he wants in the backyard. If you are worried that would drive him into the other woman’s arms, don’t be. If they can be together the thrill of the affair is gone. Poof. Things start to get REAL.

        May I ask if you have children? If you do, all the more important to secure their future.

        What do you think, A? Is my advice too harsh?

        Hugs,
        Sarah

        • A

          Hi Sarah,

          Thank you, sorry to hear your story glad to hear you got treated.
          I have a child from a previous relationship we don’t have any children together. We have been together for 9yrs but not married.

          He insists on no one else knowing as we work within the same organisation but just different locations. I’ve been in the unfortunate position of having to bump into this female in the workplace but I’ve said nothing and no one knows.

          • Sarah P.

            Hello A,

            So am I hearing this right? You, your H, and the OW all work for the same company?

            And you have bumped into her? What was her reaction? Did she look ashamed or hold her head high with pride?

            My opinion: it is urgent you contact an attorney and keep time stamped documentation that you email to yourself.

            If you win your H back, I can guarantee she will retaliate. It could cost you your job. Document, document, document. Get an attorney and have him approach your company’s HR department regarding this woman attempting to coerce your husband into an affair while at work. You can win this but you must make the first strike with the help of an attorney and that strike needs to be so hard that the OW doesn’t know what hit her. Do not underestimate these women.

            You could have a claim that she is harassing you and using the workplace to break up a marriage. This could be seen as workplace bullying and coercion.

            Now, I am NOT an attorney. I just know the type of OW you are facing. She is a cobra and you need to send out an army of mongooses to defeat her.

            • Soul mate

              Yes Sarah P, You are exactly correct about workplace spouse poachers. My husband lost his job because of his. Because he refused her further sexual advances and was asking her to stop. It is exactly what happens. Women are NOT all innocent. After he was removed from his contract, she still continued to manipulate him into thinking his director hated him (which was a woman and a friend of the spouse poacher) and that was what turned up the fire on him thinking I would find out next. And I did. The spouse poacher sent a letter to me to my company address! I got it when I was at work! Little did she know that I can be one of the dirtiest fighters on the planet and have no problem fighting back using any instrument at my disposal without any regrets. And I had many. Hell, I wanted to buy a megaphone, go to her workplace, stand at the building door and broadcast what she did to everyone entering the building and I would have if my husband had not ended it right away and shown any other sign of anything other than pure remorse and I also wanted to stay with him and protect the thread of professional integrity my husband still had left.

            • A

              Hi Sarah I would like to say she hung her head in shame but she didn’t SHE SMIRKED !! I was so angry but I didn’t show it in front of her. I addressed this with the OH. His reply I’ll sort it. 😡 no anger or anything. There is a 15 year age gap this girl is immature and he thinks nothing of her behaviour what I get when I make him aware of possible problems she could cause is SHES NOT LIKE THAT.

    • Kittypone

      Hey, Sarah….

      It’s been a while since I posted here, and my DDay was a little over three years ago, but my thing is, since my h has never been transparent with his electronic devices (he makes sure to turn away slightly from me so I can’t see what his password is), doesn’t share email, tablet, laptop or ANYTHING with me, I have come to the logical conclusion that even though he MIGHT not be involved anymore with the harlot, he still is not fostering any kind of trustworthiness for me so, I simply don’t trust him anymore! My problem? That little by little, I feel more and more disconnected and disengaged from him and ever so slowly, losing any resemblance of feelings for him. I have seriously considered divorcing him, but I am a believer and I feel that God hasn’t expressly shown me that that is the route I need to go. I have not stopped my individual therapy since I started it three years ago, so I don’t lack for emotional or psychological support. I guess that my question would be: should I take his lack of transparency as his personality, or should I demand he gives me what I want when I’m feeling insecure? At this point, I don’t feel that he can do much to get me to fall in love with him again, as I feel a little more contemptuous towards him as time goes by…..sigh…..damned if you do, and damned if you don’t….

      • Sarah P.

        Hi Kittypone,

        Hugs. Nice to see you are back.

        What you are going through is unfortunately a common scenario. If a cheater keeps doing things that cause a spouse to distrust him of her OR if a cheater doesn’t really try very hard to help the betrayed feel better, the betrayed will often start to feel contempt. Contempt is one of the Gottman’s “Four Horseman” and any of these four horsemen show a marriage is doomed to fail, per years of research.

        But, here is the scoop. It is NOT up to you to stop feeling contempt. It is up to your spouse to stop DOING the things that cause you to feel contempt. Contempt is not an emotion that is pulled out of thin air. It is an emotion that develops in one of two ways:

        1) Someone who is being objectively harmed by another will develop contempt IF that person refuses to stop harming the victim.

        2) Then there is what I call false contempt. Cheaters will often develop contempt for their betrayed spouses because a cheater cannot own up to his or het actions. He or she will tell themselves that their betrayed spouse caused them to cheat. This will allow them to develop an unwarranted contempt towards an innocent spouse so that they don’t have to feel ashamed of themselves. These folks hate owning any negative actions; their fragile egos cannot handle it.

        You are dealing with normal contempt that was directly caused by your husband’s inability and seeming disinterest in repairing your marriage.

        A word of warning to your husband. Contempt is one of the emotions that allows a victim to turn off their emotions forever IF the person who is victimizing then doesn’t change.

        You may wake up one day and find that an “off switch” has been flipped in your brain and all love and desire to be with your husband will be gone. I myself have such an off switch when in comes to romantic relationships. (And my off switch I’d only triggered by romantic relationships. The off switch does NOT apply to friends, clients, people I do business with or family members. It’s only there for when I have to get free of a romantic entanglement that is no good for me and would be soul crushing to me. My off switch has allowed me to turn off my feelings in relationships that were SO bad they would have driven me off the earth). The off switch has been a life saver when I needed it.

        But, if you don’t want to get a divorce it’s better to warn your husband now. Contempt has a way of uncovering off switches that people never knew they had. Once that off switch is flipped, your husband will never be able to get into your good graces again. Or it would take a miracle.

        Sarah

        • Kittypone

          Wow, Sarah…..you have described what I feel down to a T! It’s gotten so deteriorated that I don’t feel any kind of respect or admiration for my h anymore…..that doesn’t mean that I want him wiped out of the face of the earth (now, the harlot, on the other hand…..) but I just can’t seem to regain any kind of loving feelings toward him and that worries me…..he is about 10 years away from retirement and he asked me what kind of plans did I have to work on towards that goal and I just told him, “Dude, I don’t see myself with you in 5 years, let alone 10 or 20”!!! I’m taking it day by day, keeping up with my therapy and also praying that God shows me either the way, or the door!! Mind you, there is no “war” going in the house; all kids are grown and gone, we both have separate incomes and separate accounts (like I would trust him with my paycheck in the same account, PUHLEEZE!!) and there is no fighting per se. We argue here and there over who left the mug out of the sink and trivialities like that, but I feel like there is a growing chasm that is separating us even if we live in the same house and sleep in the same bed….
          Any advice? Anyone?

          • Sarah P.

            Hi Kittypone,
            Well, this one will have to be in the hands of God.

            On the other hand….I believe you should go to Michael’s craft store and make a bunch of signs. You can have a green one that you hold up when your husband is behaving,. a yellow one to warn him that he is getting way too close to the point of no return, and a red sign that you hold up when he does things that can’t be taken back. Maybe you can even put a score board on your refrigerator where you mark off all the times you have held up green, yellow, and red signs each day. You can show your husband that when there are more red signs that green of yellow ones, he is officially grounded. Treat him like you would treat a petulant teenager.

            Another thing you could do to your husband is to ration toilet paper. Make him earn squares of it based on good behavior. Put that toilet paper in a home safe and give no one the code. If your husband wants toilet paper, he must earn it each day by building your trust. If he has a day where you had to hold up “red signs” all day long, the punishment will be no toilet paper for a week. He can get creative and use the paper from junk mail to clean himself up.

            Now this is not a new idea. Back in tbt day, many poor families used the Sears Robuck catalogues for this purpose.

            But it just occurred to me that this would be a hilarious way to hopefully cause your husband to have some insight.

            If rationing toilet paper doesn’t work, I am not sure there is hope for him.

            Now all of the above was written to make you laugh.

            On a totally serious note, you need to tell your husband that he is getting so close to the point of no return that there will be no future with you. And you can remind him that the dating scene is not as fun as it seems. He will meet a lot of women who want to use him just like the harlot you spoke of a very long time ago was trying to use him for $$. Or at least that was what I could infer from the comments you wrote way back when. I could infer that the person you spoke of was interested in $$ more than him. And I am sure she has moved onto a new victim or several.

            Your husband had better shape up and see what he has in front of him (you) or he is going to destroy his life. Meanwhile, the day you are free of him, go to the ocean, bask in the sun, and let the ocean carry all your worries away. Just because your husband is incapable of making repairs does NOT reflect on you. It reflects on him.

            Hugs
            Sarah

    • Sarah P.

      Hi All,
      If you want a GIANT but G-rated laugh, check out this piece of footage from the Carol Burnett show. Who knew toilet paper was a problem in the 1960’s.

      https://youtu.be/XMTSbSrvcRg

    • Sarah P.

      There was a problem with the first link. Here it is again.

      https://youtu.be/XMTSbSrvcRg

    • Laura

      Hi Sarah. My husband of 38 years, had a twelve month affair with a younger local woman (also married!), many times he professed it’s over, not contacting etc etc etc… Only to discover time after time that this was Not true! To my knowledge the affair /contact stopped three weeks ago. I am struggling to believe that this is Fact, as the OW seems to let things lie for a little while and then contact my husband, and he responds. He has told me that “I m his life”, he loves me and doesn’t want us to part (even though I have tried to call a separation on a number of times – he states emphatically ‘No!’ I don’t want that! He has told me that he is struggling with the No Contact, is still half in the ‘Affair Fog’ – that he knows he has to get his mind around this and start to come out of the fog, With the affair fog state he is in I am constantly in fluctuating emotional states, due to one day he is caring, loving and attentive and the next sad, withdrawn and non-communicative. I struggle on a day to day basis in no real full disclosure, not really knowing the truth of the here and now. I don’t want to be a victim anymore, but struggle with the roller coaster! I am at a loss, as to where to begin!

      • Sarah P.

        Hello Laura,
        Welcome! It’s so very nice to meet you.

        Robyn, this may be hard to hear and this in no way discounts what you are going through and what you have NOT chosen.

        But, here is the scoop. Your are husband is playing a game where he is giving you intermittent reinforcement. One day he is nice, the next day withdrawn. This is a strategy used by both cheaters and abusers. They give their victim just enough hope to stay and when they see their victim now has renewed hope, they will then pull away. This is an intentional act and it is used to keep a victim under the control of their abuser.

        But, there is a bigger problem that this push and pull creates: a victim will trauma bond with their cheater. And this will allow a cheater to get his hooks in even deeper to his victim/wife.

        A cheater will create this situation so that his wife wants to salvage the relationship and will accept crumbs, all the while he is with the other woman, doing as he pleases.

        This is called having one’s cake and eating it too.

        The remedy?

        Personal empowerment. Tell your husband that since he is unsure of how he feels about you, you can tell him that you are unsure how you feel about him. Tell him he is a cheater and a liar and someone who does not deserve an ounce of respect.

        Then go on with your life. You don’t have to get divorced. Go join a bunch of new social clubs where you can meet female friends who can help you whether this time. Try some hobbies you have always put on the back burner.

        Finally, look your husband in the eyes and say, “You are NOT the only man on earth. There are 4 billon men out there and many men would give their left arm to have a wife who is monogamous and loyal.”

        Then let him think about it.

        When you implement these measures the affair fog will soon lift because life suddenly becomes very real and very serious.

        Here is my question to you, how can I help bolster you up so that you feel confident in your own skin?

        And if you think I am reading your situation incorrectly, let me know. I am here to lift others out of the dark.

        Sarah

    • Super Sleuth

      Hi Sarah,
      I have been married to a serial cheater for 35 years. I have put up with his infidelities, illegitimate child, emotional abuse and constant lying for the last 25 years because I felt it was important to keep my family together. I have begged, ignored, yelled and acquiesced all in the hope of making him change. He will never change. He gets involved in long term affairs and then screams that he needs his freedom if I pull the reins to tight. He has had more freedom in our marriage than any other man I know. Freedom to him is the ability to cheat. I have threatened to leave, left and filed for divorce, but he still wants back, and I still take him back. All for my family. Well now my family is grown and on their own. Our children tell me that I should leave their father. And here I thought I was doing the right thing all these years! I know this is about transparency and snooping so I will get to that point. I finally put all my ducks in a row and left my husband 5 years ago. It was a good decision, but I fell for his lies again and took him back after 8 months. What I didn’t know was he was in another long-term relationship with another woman at that time, not the mother of his other child. I was blindsided but believed him when he said he would end it. He didn’t and he hasn’t. What all this lying has done is make me an expert sleuth. I have heard things and seen things that a wife should not have to be privy to. I have taped conversations, seen porn pictures the OW sent and listened to voicemails. It is amazing what you can find out. It has not made me happy, but it has proven to me that he will never change and at this point has no redeeming qualities. We do have fun together, have a good sex life and really do get along well, but knowing he cheats and that he still loves the OW is a bit more than I can take. He tells the OW that they will be together and then we build a beautiful house together that I know he would never want to leave, and I know he will not leave me on his own. He had not had contact with the OW for 8 months and then he used a friends phone and sent her a message for her birthday. Believe me, I know this for a fact. I drew a line in the sand and told him not to do it, and he crossed it – again. I am out of sand. So now I need to confront him and let him know that I know, and it is over. I do think he already knows and is being very nice. For him that is a sure sign he is aware! I can tell you his main concern will be wanting to know how I found out, not trying to fix the problem. These women he is with (there is one serious and 3 other women that he texts with and sometimes sexts with) are crazy. My husband left our hometown where these women are, to live where I moved to and we are now 1000 miles away. You would think that we are just around the corner from these women. The OW even drove by our house a while back and waited for for my husband to come outside. A thousand miles away!! They will not give up! But of course, he will not let them. Did I forget to mention that my husband is a narcissist?! So, any thought about just living my own life and maybe he will come around is pointless. All that will do is give him more time to cheat and lie. Been there and done that. Exactly what he wants. What would be the point?
      I am happy that I snooped and found out what I did. I probably would not know that he had contacted her this last time if I had not snooped so would I have been happier? I don’t know but I doubt it. Things always have a way of coming out in the end. My husband has never been transparent, and I have never been able to trust him. I was just hoping that I could at least believe what he told me and then he lied again. My husband finally gave me the pass code to his phone just a few months ago, but only because we blocked the OW number so her texts do not come through. It made me happy to block her number. Can you imagine being married for 35 years and your husband still locks his phone so you can’t see?
      What I am struggling with, among other things, is that I have worked so hard and so long to keep these women, these wolves, away from my door and now I am going to say to them come in, take half of what I worked so hard for all these years. Take my husband that I sacrificed so many years for and fought so hard to keep. How do I reconcile that I will be miserable for a while until I can get my feet on the ground and my heart off the ceiling and these women and my husband, will be happy and loving life? I know it is easy to say “well, he will treat them the same” but they don’t seem to care. The woman who had his child 20 years ago is still waiting for him and he has given her no reason to wait. The latest OW said she would wait forever if he wanted her to. Did I mention also that they are not exactly attractive, and they are overweight? I am not trying to be mean, it is just a fact. My husband once told me that if he ever married again it would be to someone who had already been married and had low self-esteem. That way he could do whatever he wanted. He certainly has put my self-esteem in the toilet. I never once cheated on him and have always kept myself in shape. Nothing was ever enough for him. We have a beautiful home that I do not want to lose. I do not want a divorce because I do not want to lose my health insurance. I just want the hurting to stop. He disgusts me and yet I am having a hard time letting go. We are both retired and spend 24/7 together. He has no opportunity to see any of these women. Everything we do, we do together. That is what is so baffling about this whole thing. He hasn’t seen these women in years. All they do is text and voicemail. Right now I am being passive-aggressive, but I can’t keep this up. I definitely have some control issues, but it seems to work with him, so why stop now? This is just a very toxic relationship, but it is all I know. So how do I let go and accept that they will be immediately happy while I will be struggling to find my way alone, after 35 years, thinking about all I have given up? If I stay, he gets away with it again and he will just keep doing it, keeping them hanging on and me also. I am good at finding dirt, but I am tired of the digging!
      Thank you

      • Sarah P.

        Hello SuperSleuth,

        Thank you for your comment. I am going to say several things that might surprise you and other readers. I am going to share a couple of my own stories first. These stories might have enormous sexual triggers for readers, so I am warning there is a lot of TMI ahead.

        I had two fiancés. The first one was my first boyfriend and I did not date until I was in college. Note: I never cheated. These fiancés were years apart. I broke up with my first fiancé because he had FIVE “friends with benefits.” He had one girl on Monday, another on Tuesday, another on Wednesday, another on Thursday, and the final one on Friday. I had no clue because I lived off campus and my fiancé did a lot of studying. He actually did study with these women, but they traded oral sex afterwards. Here is a huge load of TMI coming your way. Since he was my first partner, we used condoms 100% of the time. (Thank God). Also, because he was my first partner, I was not comfortable giving or receiving oral sex. My intuition screamed at me never to go there with him. And I am so glad I listened. The way I found out about M-F girls was due to the campus MD. My boyfriend had not been kissing me or really seeing me because we were in finals. That seemed normal. But, here is why he avoided me. The inside of his entire mouth and tongue was covered with thick, white yeast. He went to see the campus MD and the campus MD told him he had a massive yeast infection inside his mouth and such an infection was only acquired by giving oral sex to a woman. The MD asked him who he was doing this with. My fiancé told the campus MD about the M-F girls. Then he told that MD he had a fiancé and didn’t know what to do. The campus MD told him that it was his duty to inform me of my fiancés STD for my own protection. And his secret came out. I was so pissed but I had never heard of such a thing and asked him to show me. The infection was so huge it looked like he was growing a white beard inside his mouth. It was the most disgusting thing I had ever seen. I immediately broke up with him. Then, he began stalking me because I was “not allowed to break up with him.” It took two restraining orders to get him to go away. Soon he found a beautiful and equally naive girl who was majoring in elementary education. By happenstance, I met in person three of the five girls he cheated with. I asked each of them if they still traded oral sex during study breaks. Indeed, they did. I asked them if they knew he was engaged to a girl majoring in elementary education. Indeed they did. I asked them why they would allow him to use them like that. Their answer was he was handsome and that was true. But, these girls were all morbidly obese and they said something was better than nothing. They believed they were not lovable due to their weight. I actually started informally counseling a couple of them to show them that their value as human beings had NOTHING to do with their weight and that they should not accept crumbs just because they did not look like Cindy Crawford. I told them my ex was able to get a hard on with them, which was further proof they did not have to be Cindy Crawford to turn a man on. Through the years I have met many men who say it’s not about a woman’s weight. It’s about who she is, how she carries herself, and if she is kind. And if she is available in the ways a man needs. The moral of this tale? Narcissistic men target women who they know have low self esteem. And when they have affairs with these women they reinforce to the women that they are not “pretty enough, thin enough, young enough” to get any man and he tells them they should be grateful that he is willing to give them what we call “pity f***s.” This is planned and deliberate. It further destroys the sanity of the OW and will truly drive some of these women off the sanity cliff.

        I wanted to point out to the readers that you and your husband have a good sex life. That blows one of my favorite myths out of the water: that a wife was not meeting a man’s needs. This brings me to my second fiancé, the one who gave me cervical cancer due to his affair. We had been together nearly 4 years, owned a beautiful house together, and we worked at the same company. There was an explosive chemistry between us that NEVER left or died off. One of the reasons we lived together was because we simply could not get enough of each other physically. And nothing was off limits in our bedroom except for threesomes. If he wanted something in the bedroom, I supplied it. Now… I am going to shock everyone. I have never had so much love making in my life except for with my ex fiancé. One time I calculated how much we made love each week against the number of years together and I got a number in the THOUSANDS.

        Before I met him, I never had a sex life like that. And I have never had a sex life (to that degree) since then. I have been married for many years and I still have not even approached that number. Not even remotely close.

        Even though this is TMI, it shows that a man will have an affair EVEN if he has quality goods at home and those quality goods are able to keep up with his high libido. One time I told a female therapist the whole story. She had been practicing 30 years and dropped her pencil. I was the first person she had ever met who blew away all the myths regarding infidelity. Also, the OW in my situation was 8-years-older than me and she told him she would NEVER stop pursuing him and she refused to go away. She told him he was her soulmate and she would never go away or leave him alone as long as he was alive. I did not know any of this until after he called off the wedding and insisted that I leave my own house. For those who know about my story, they will remember that I refused to leave my house since I was not breaking up. He caught me off guard and physically battered me and I had to flee for my own safety. Then she moved in and the truth came out. She had never met me but told people that she got enormous pleasure out of destroying me. I know enough about her to say that she is someone who meets the DSM criteria for being a psychopath. She plays dirty wherever she goes, whether it’s with a coworker or neighbor. Several months after the breakup, my ex sent his friends to tell me that “she was scary and would become physically violent with him.” Too bad. So sad. Go away. He was trying to pull me into a pick me dance and I refused to take the bait. And how stupid was he to think I might take him back after he physically beat me and injured me? By that time I had also found out his affair have me deadly cervical cancer. I was in treatment for it.

        Now onto your husband. The past cannot be erased and you are married to a narcissist who admits he seeks those with low self-esteem. You are basically married to my college fiancé.

        But…You are both retired and it appears he doesn’t have time for sexual affairs. You say you have a great sex life and that you get along well.

        Regardless…

        Yes, these women will hang on and no one has control over that.

        You have assets in a time of great economic uncertainty. You have a nice house and health insurance. You are pretty much set up for life. If you leave, the OW benefits from years of what you built. And quite frankly you might find yourself in financial circumstances you did not prepare for.

        You husband is who he is. He will always be who he is and he will never get what he truly deserves even if you leave. Narcissists skate through life while damaging the rest of us.

        Here is what I don’t understand. Why do you keep having sex with him while at the same time being upset that he gets off the hook without a penalty?

        It seems to me you have been drawn into the pick me dance and when you have sex with him, he is quite literally having his cake and eating it too. In this way, you are rewarding him for his bad behavior. In a way, you are conditioning him to continue this lifestyle since he suffers zero consequences.

        He has a great in shape wife who gets along with him and who has sex with him despite his actions. For a narcissist, this is their dream life. Everyone is giving him what he wants at the expense of their own mental and physical health.

        If you divorce him, you lose half of your assets and then he just carries on with the other women per usual. If you stay with him and have a great sex life, you are showing him through your actions that he can get away with this bad behavior.

        Also, I have to add that you should be getting annual pap exams because even condoms do not prevent deadly cervical cancer. And who knows what he could be getting IF he has sexual relations in the future.

        Here is the path that I see if you want to stay: get a post-nuptial agreement where it specifies no social media, no burner phones, and he must go no contact with these women. Forever. And put in any other terms like obligatory marriage counseling. If he does not abide by the rules of the post-nup, he leaves with the shirt on his back and you keep almost all of the assets. You will need an attorney who specializes in these so that it cannot be contested in a nasty divorce.

        But, I am dying to ask you this question: you are retired, you are in his company 24/7, you get along and have a great sex life.

        Why do you keep having sex when you desire him to change? He had no reason to chance since he has access to you. It also seem you two get along well in general.

        And question two: what have you seen in your super sleuthing? Most of us will never have access to that type of data. What was the worst thing you saw? How low were these other women willing to go?

        Other readers: do you have advice for super sleuth? My advice is a rock solid post nup where she gets almost all the assets if he continues having contact with these women. We are in very scary financial times.

        Sleuth, I have to say from a practical standpoint you don’t have a real reason to leave because you get along with him, have sex with him, have a stable financial life, and he is not beating you or actively putting your life in danger. That’s why I think about post nups and then put down the shovel.

        Readers, what do you think?

        Sarah

    • Shifting Impressions

      Sarah,
      Regarding Super Sleuth….I think the question she might want to ask herself is why she would stay with someone who treats her so badly. After over thirty years of lying, cheating and basically being a selfish ……. well I’ll spare you the language I doubt he is going to change.

      Super Sleuth when some one shows you their true colours…..you should probably believe them. You speak of years of infidelity and emotional abuse. You say he disgusts you…..

      I would entreat you to get some really good legal counsel and some therapy as to why you put the bar so low for how your husband treats you. You said that five years ago you left but took him back. You say you were blindsided…..how is that possible?? He has shown you over and over again that he is NOT TRUSTWORTHY!!!

      You deserve so much more!!!

      • Sarah P.

        Hello Shifting,
        Thanks for chiming in. And I want to ask SuperSleuth the same thing. I was just going about it indirectly.

        Super Sleuth, if you are reading, please do tell us why you still hang on. I am not trying to be rude, but I don’t understand the mental acrobatics it must take to still have sex with him, say you get along with him, and then be disgusted at the same time.

        I have to say that I have never been able to stay in such situations. The moment I know someone I care about is having sex with others, it switches off all the feelings that I have for that person. I had an incredibly strong bond with my ex fiancé. I knew even then that if I went back to him it would kill me. My brain has an off switch that is able to overpower the most enticing relationships if they become abusive or if that person sexually betrayed me. My feelings for them switch off. Once that happens I cannot get my feelings back. God forbid my husband ever has an affair. All hell would break loose for him and the OW. But, mostly for him life would be hell.

        SuperSleuth, I seriously do want to know why you stay and meet all your husband’s sexual needs knowing who he is and what he is. I understand staying in the same house because these days finances are truly uncertain. But, how can you keep letting him run over you while still having sex!?

        I cannot wrap my head around why you stay with such an evil person and continue to meet all the needs of that evil person. Why?

        What do you get out of the situation?

        Again, I am not trying to be rude. Please help me understand what your thinking process is. Can you explain it?

        Sarah

    • Super Sleuth

      Hi Sarah,
      I will try to answer your questions and Shifting to the best of my ability.
      First, I continue to have sex with him because I like it. Plain and simply. He is not having sex with anyone else, I know that for a fact. We really are together 24/7. If I knew that he was, it would not be a question for me to stop sex. I have never cheated on him, so to find a partner on my own is not an option. So, first question – I like sex and I know at this time I am the only partner he has.
      Second – probably the worst thing I ever saw was the OW naked, from all directions. She loves to send porn pictures of herself. It is not an image that is easy to erase. Probably the worst thing I have read is that my husband told her that the best holidays he ever had was the one he spent with her. This was the year I left him and the only year he did not spend it with me or our children. Apparently, we just don’t cut it. I read that one just this past Christmas, as our children were at our house and celebrating the holidays with us, as they usual do. I had no idea this was such a chore for him. Some good things have come out of it thought, like when I found out she built a new house for them to live in and now that he is not there, she has to work 3 jobs to afford it. Apparently, he told her he would live with her, and I know for a fact he had no intention of leaving. And of course, there is always the “I love you unconditionally, does your wife?” And just the other day I was accused of domestic violence because I check up on him, shame him and I have isolated him from her. I could go on, but you get the idea. Some good, some bad. Some make me pause and others make me angry. Even a few make me laugh!
      Now on to the others. I have known this man since I was 14 years old. He is all I have ever known. I had other boyfriends, but we grew up together and he has always been a part of my life. After we were married, I foolishly thought that vows meant something, at least they did to me. I have believed him because I wanted to believe him. I could never trust him, but I told myself that my family came first. I left him 5 years ago because he broke a promise that was extremely important to me and our marriage. He did not talk to me about it before he did it. I was blindsided after I left him, because while I was away trying to make a new life for myself he would call and entreat me to come home, he would do whatever I wanted, he would go to counseling, he would be the best husband ever. I was lonely and missed my home and my friends. I would not date because we were still married. I came back home for a 2 week trial and could not believe there was other woman’s clothes in my dresser (size large!)! Here I was paying 1/2 the mortgage for our house and he had another woman living in it. So, I was stupid and yes, blindsided. I had no idea he was stupid enough to engage in another affair, which I came to find out later had been going on for 10 years. Especially after the first one resulted in a child that we were still paying child support for. It was very tumultuous for a long time and I was not ready to take him back after that, but he has a way and I really was lonely. We did counseling but he lied the whole time. We still had our home where he was, so he dragged his feet moving where I was, but he did. Once he got there, we started building a new home. My dream home. It took about 3 weeks for him to reestablish the affair, although this time strictly an emotional one long distance. Now I was financially in deep with him again, having 2 houses and 2 mortgages, so I confronted him, and he said it would stop. It did not and that is when my snooping career started. He makes you believe that the only fun you can have is with him. As to the affair going on for 10 years and not knowing, you have to understand, my husband had a lot of flexibility with his job. And I was working a high-pressure job and also helping out another agency at the time, while taking care of his parents and our home. He would tell everyone how great I was and all that I did for his parents and how they would be lost without me. He made me believe that it is my duty to do it all. While he was out doing, you guessed it. The last thing I thought was that he was stopping at her house every day for “happy hour” on his way home. So, you are right, he is not and has never been trustworthy. I have been stupid and trusting.
      Lastly, I am hanging on no longer. We had a “discussion” yesterday at his request because he wanted us to be more truthful with each other. He knew I was in his phone (no revelation there – he knew it all along) and wanted to look at the phone together if I wanted to see something. He then told me that he did contact the OW even though I asked him not to. He did it because he wanted to and because he wanted to prove a point that I was in his phone. First of all, he knew I was in his phone and second of all, he gave the OW renewed hope that he is coming back just to prove a point to me! When I asked him to leave he said he was not going anywhere and had no plans to leave. So, he allows the OW to think he is coming back when he isn’t? He also told me that I should have helped him not to contact the OW. Shouldn’t this be his responsibility? But now he wants to be honest with me that he wants to talk to the OW and I should, what, let him? He knew our marriage was over if he contacted her but he did it anyway to prove a point that we both already knew, and it is my fault for not stroking his ego enough so he didn’t call her. Now I am supposed to allow the emotional affair to continue. All in the guise of honest and open communication! I would say this relationship is over! What I think no one understands unless they have been in a relationship with a narcissistic sociopath, is how manipulative they can be. They confuse your thinking so much, that you start to rely on them for how you should feel and react. I could go into board meetings and stand my ground with men older and wiser than me and argue issues, but with him I can’t even make up my mind as to where to go for lunch? Somewhere along the way I lost respect for myself. I was told how difficult I am to live with. How I can never make up my mind. He is always correcting me. Other woman “friends” were so much smarter than I was. You hear things enough you believe them. You believe that this is the way life is supposed to be, because you have not known any other. It will take a lot of time and healing to come out of this, but I have my children’s support and some great friends, who now that they know the story, are willing to help me get through this. I hate to give up half my assets but I don’t see any way out. I am just not sure he will leave. I hope this will help someone else in a position like mine to get out as soon as you can. It never gets any better and it just sucks you deeper down the hole.

      • Shifting Impressions

        Super Sleuth
        Thank you so much for sharing your story. I absolutely believe your husband is truly manipulative and a master gas lighter. There are two really good books on the subject THE GASLIGHT EFFECT by Robin Stern and IN SHEEPS CLOTHING by George K Simon.

        I doubt your husband will ever change. He has you right where he wants you. You are right he most likely won’t leave…..but YOU CAN. I really encourage you to get help in pulling yourself out of this nightmare. It will be like pulling yourself out of quicksand…..something you can’t do alone.

        I understand some of what you are going through. We spent many years in a religious church that became almost cult like. We were young, naive and impressionable when we first started attending but over the years the leadership became very manipulative and controlling. It was a type of spiritual abuse. We were there for almost 18 years when I woke up to the fact that I was having trouble making decisions. Pulling ourselves out of that system really was like pulling ourselves out of quicksand.

        I hope you get a really good lawyer and a good therapist. Having a few great friends and your children’s support will be a great help. There is probably nothing you can do to change him…..but you can get help for you.

        • Super Sleuth

          Dear Shifting,
          Thank you for the book recommendations. I purchased them last night and will be reading them. I am so tired of reading and researching this strange disorder that I have lived with, but I think I need to understand it and know it was not my fault. He has been very good at making this all my fault and taking none of the responsibility.

          • Shifting Impressions

            Super Sleuth
            I hope they help. Just because someone blames you does not mean you have to take the blame. Both books deal with your own response when someone turns things around on you like that. Remember you are dealing with a master manipulator, Perhaps take a step back and observe how he manipulates others in his life. I imagine you are not the only one he manipulates.

    • A.M.

      Hi Sarah,
      Sorry, long post!

      I have been married to my husband almost 8 years. I just gave birth to our daughter 6 weeks ago. We struggled with infertility for several years and went through treatments to get pregnant with her. Shortly after finding out I was pregnant, I found out my husband had been having an affair with a woman he met 8 months prior according to him. We split, he moved out but told me he wanted to save our marriage, and that they had ended the affair 2 months earlier. The story with her was she was going through a divorce from an abusive husband. My husband said he cared for her and they had a “connection” but did not love her and only loved me. His words were, “No way! I wasn’t even thinking about love.”

      I did inform his mother about the affair as a reach out for help because he had also been drinking a lot more over the last year and a half to the point of passing out almost daily and we believed had reached the point of full blown alcoholism. He had lost his job of 20+ years in late 2017, struggled to find employment, but eventually settled for a job in a gym coaching clients which afforded him early days off around half day so he could sit out on the beach and drink which is where he met this woman. He wasn’t making enough money, I was working hard full time but couldn’t pull all the extra weight, he quit trying to find a sustainable career, caused a huge financial burden, was lying to me about trying to find a better job among many other things, and we had to move in with my mother due to the threat of eviction which he knew about and didn’t inform me of. He said he felt like he had failed us and was embarrassed of the situation he put us in. He also is very non-confrontational and poor with communication.

      Everything sort of spiraled. I tried to encourage him and suggest different career paths he would be good at. He quit trying to find a better job or work on our marriage and make me a priority which led to more frequent arguments that were usually one-sided due to his disdain for confrontation. He is also a compulsive liar. He was happy coaching at the gym because it was easy and he was adored there by the owners, other coaches, and members. Eventually it got to the point where we were like roommates. I made countless attempts to talk to him and fight for our marriage with no work from him.

      Back to his affair: As I said he told me he wanted to save our marriage. He never put any action behind those words. I couldn’t get ahold of him, he wasn’t trying to spend time with me. I knew he was still cheating which I confirmed 2 months later. We had been making plans to move out of state back to our home town. He didn’t want to leave but said he would. That also turned out to be a lie. He told me he loved me but that he knew I could never forgive him for everything he has done and he felt he could never repair the damage. A cop out. A total BS excuse. I moved back home, he stayed behind renting a room in a house with two men he didn’t know, and I didn’t hear from him for the last 3 months of my pregnancy. I was also informed that he had another affair with a second woman all during the time he was telling me he wanted to save our marriage who knew me and knew I was pregnant, but that he had moved in with the first mistress when he ended things with the second mistress, admitting he is “in love” with her. You really can’t make this stuff up. He also told horrible lies about me to the second mistress trying to make me look like the villain and him the victim. He completely assassinated my character.

      So, here we are, he has been living with that woman for 4 months and has virtually no involvement with me or our daughter, has not offered one red cent to provide for her either. He came up for her birth, but went back home after we left the hospital and has only seen her one other time. He is broke and in financial ruin, has had a hard time finding a job, is an alcoholic, and lying to his mistress and his new friends about me and his child and who knows what else. He is painting a fake version of himself to these people that don’t know him like he is trying to forget his “past life.” He has psychological issues from being bullied as a child. He seems to have lost his way completely. He will not talk to our old friends anymore. I imagine it’s because of shame and he doesn’t want to face what he’s done. He’s running. He literally has created a whole new life with all new players! Who he is now is not the man I married. Who I married was loving and kind, always put others first, felt privileged to have me and always let me and everyone know it, took care of me and our marriage, was my protector, was hard working, responsible, respectful, and put our marriage first. Nobody in our families, our friend circle, his co-workers, even acquaintances would have ever seen this coming. It really is mind blowing what he has done.

      As for me, my love for him is still there unfortunately. I have loved him unconditionally and I still miss him everyday even though the damage is irreparable even if he wanted to come back. I am still so shattered and wish he felt I was worthy enough to fight for, but he has thrown me out like garbage. We wanted to have a child for so long and when it happens, he’s gone. It has felt impossible to move forward even with therapy. I wish he felt like he was making a huge mistake and had remorse for blowing up our marriage and abandoning his family for someone else who doesn’t know him and has kids and baggage of her own with her ex husband. I can’t imagine that he is truly happy.

      His family has also not been very supportive of me. I think they partially blame me for the choices he’s made. I think that comes from the fact that they can’t imagine he would do something like this so they are in denial big time. It’s easier for them to blame the wife instead of admit to themselves the horrible damage and turmoil their son has caused, and how far off the deep end he really is. He has lied to them and manipulated them continually which has been proven, but they will still take everything he says as the gospel! It’s amazing. Not one of them have reached out to see how I have been doing with all that he has done! It’s like they don’t care and are sweeping everything under the rug. I don’t think one of them have ever called him out on this shit he has done. Nobody stuck up for me or his baby. I would imagine they are embarrassed of what all he’s done as well. They enable and coddle him and I fear that is only contributing to his poor choices now and validating them to him in a way. I wish they would guide him to seek help.

      So my questions are:

      Do you have any advice on ways to move forward? Coping mechanisms?

      Does it sound to you like his relationship with the OW will fall into the small percentage of ones that last?

      How can I better handle my relationship with his family because they really piss me off and have been totally unfair to me?

      I know it’s so obvious, but is all hope lost that the man I married is still somewhere in there or is that person dead and gone?

      Thanks!

    • Sarah P.

      Hi AM,

      I am so sorry you are raising a 6-week old on your own. This is quite terrible to be deserted when you and your husband had struggled so long to have a child. I am sorry he doesn’t know how “to adult.” This is just horrible.

      I am not sure the problem with your husband is communication. He knows how to communicate in ways that cause him to have power over many people. That’s usually the mark of a “covert” narcissist. Additionally, we know he has gone off the deep end and drinks.

      I understand that you love him and I am truly sorry. I hope that you are able to build a set of emotional
      support around you without him. Even though you long for him, he is doing you a favor by stepping out of the picture. Why? Because he has gone off the deep end. You don’t want your child exposed to him as long as he is not fit to be a father. Additionally, you don’t want him to turn into the guy who wants to be a father one week and plays with his child and then disappears for a month. Your child will ask you, “Mommy, why does Daddy hate me? Did I do something wrong when he came and saw me a long time ago? I miss him and I will try to do better.” Of course you will tell your child that daddy has issues. But, regardless of how the sane parent explains it, a child will develop a severe attachment disorder when exposed to a dead beat parent. Birth through three years old are the most crucial time. For the next three years you need to be there unconditionally for your child and keep bad influences away. You need to build a safe support network of unconditional love from birth to three. If your husband wants to be involved later and plays “hide and seek parent “ (That’s a term I created for unreliable parents who break promises and disappear for no reason). it will be less harmful to a child who already has a secure attachment. You don’t want your husband around playing “hide and seek parent” with a child who won’t understand why he or she sees Dad on a weekend and then dad stops communication for months. You also don’t want your child around a man who is dealing with alcoholism and who has affair partners come and go. This will cause such harm to a child that will be in therapy for years. During birth to three and beyond be your child’s unconditionally loving person and make it clear that you love your child just because he or she is your child. Now, this does NOT create a future narcissist, contrary to what some believe. Narcissists almost always narcissists because they never developed secure attachment. Also, unconditionally loving your child does not mean that they get away with anything. It means they receive appropriate punishment for a concrete act that they did and this involves a time out. I do NOT recommend to parents that they spank their child. A good time out paired with unconditional love is usually the most effective thing.

      Right now I would stay away from your husband and concentrate on bringing up the miracle you have brought into your life and the miracle you wished for. Please call local women’s shelters and see if they have reduced rent apartments or can point you to other free, community resources that can help you with your child. Your child did not ask to be brought into a dysfunctional situation, so reach out to local resources to get both the support you and your baby need.

      Don’t worry about his parents either. Sounds like you married into a very dysfunctional family. (His mom passed out on the floor from alcohol?)

      This may be a blessing in disguise. I am a mom and I keep very close tabs on who interacts with my children. I do NOT tolerate dysfunctional behavior, not even from my own in-laws. And my in-laws are so dysfunctional that I could write a tome as large as the Oxford dictionary about it.
      And so they have no contact with my kids.

      God works in strange ways and I say look forward to years of being a responsible parent. And look fir people to surround yourself with who don’t use substances, including alcohol. This is the baby you wanted and no baby should be exposed to toxic people, not even blood relatives.

      That’s probably not the advice you were looking for. But, you have a baby and there are NO do-overs.

      Big hugs,
      Sarah

      Readers, what do you think?

    • Sarah P.

      Hi AM,
      A typo… he passed out from alcohol (not his mom).
      But, it seems his parents enable his drinking and enable bad behavior and so they can’t necessarily be trusted.

      Also, I was severely bullied in high school. I was bullied daily by both girls and boys. It was one of the most horrific times of my life. I was already someone who could empathize with the pain of others, but being relentlessly bullied caused me to be even more kind. I refused to use the fact that I was bullied to excuse anything. And I was SEVERELY bullied; so much so it would have broken most people in half.

      It has caused me to have zero tolerance for the bullies of the world. And it has also caused me to have a special place in my heart for those who were bullied as long as they don’t use it as an excuse for bad behavior.

      Bottom line: stick to your mom. Find community support. Don’t tolerate his bullshit. Until he learns to become an adult I want you to look at him as no more than a sperm donor. Because this is how he is acting.

      I am on your side!

      Hugs,

      Sarah

    • A.M.

      Thank you for your wonderful advice Sarah! I have a wonderful support system. My family and friends have been my rocks and are by my side all the time helping me with my baby and offering advice on how to cope with being abandoned.

      This just isn’t like him at all as I said. It blows my mind that this is who he has turned into.
      Is this behavior due to his alcoholism and his other issues?
      Could he redeem himself and be a good person and possibly father if he got help?
      Or, is this just who he is for good?
      Is it possible that he is really “in love” with the other woman he left us for? Could another woman really be so important to him that he turns his back not only on his wife, but more importantly his baby?
      Will their relationship really last?
      She knew I was pregnant and she stayed with him anyway, and she is a mother herself! I guess there’s no telling what he told her about me and my pregnancy to make her stay.
      He just doesn’t love me and I wish he did. I don’t understand how the love went away. He’s the one who caused our hardships. I wish he saw me as valuable and better than her and worth fighting for. I know my worth does not lie within him, but it still hurts.
      Thanks again.

    • O.G.

      Hello!
      It’s been almost 4 months since my DDay and it’s being really hard to cope with it, especially since the covid confinement. I keep myself thinking and thinking and I sometimes feel stuck and I cant move forward. My boyfriend sometimes acts really supportive but others he say we’re stuck and we aren’t gonna thrive, and I hate when he says that. I know that time is key but i don’t know how to start healing and how to be able to forgive. Also i don’t know how to make my WS understand that I need more from him, even if the conversations turn uncomfortable. We haven’t seen each other face2face since confinement began and this makes everything more difficult…

      • Sarah P.

        Hello OG,

        Am I hearing that your boyfriend cheated on you? Is this correct?

        If you are telling me that you are not married and your boyfriend has cheated, I think it’s best if you find the strength to move on.

        If someone shows you their true colors before you have married them, please leave.

        So am I correct that you are not married?

        Thank you,
        Sarah

        • OG

          Hello Sarah,

          No, we aren’t married but would be your advice different otherwise? Some husbands make really terrible things and it seems they are allowed to make ammends for it, is it just because they are husbands instead of boyfriends? So the paper is really that important?

    • LB

      Hi all,
      New here, would like some advice. H had a 8 year affair with high school girlfriend . Found out by 4 Anonymous letters sent to the house, this was 10 months ago he has been Trickle truth and has apologized repeatedly!!! Although so much happened during this time period. All 4 of our parents passed away, then our only son.
      He continued affair during this entire time seeing her on his way home from work.Finally ending Jan 2018 so it’s been a while and he is so over it but I struggle with 8 years and him not being supportive to me during my parents deaths. Also I found a email from her on his computer and he said I won’t talk to her,
      then in the middle of the affair I found a phone number in his phone with no name I said who’s just get rid of it and I remember asking him once you ever kissed anybody has anybody ever kissed you “NO”
      It’s so difficult to get past lies and hurt…
      Thoughts 💔

      • Sarah P.

        Hi LB,
        I recently answered this on my triggers post. Go tell me your story there. This kills me to hear you lost your son.

        Sarah

    • Rachel

      Dear Sarah, it has been quite some time that I have been on this blog and I honestly have no where else to turn to. My 24 year old is recently very angry with me as I sold the family home after divorce after 5 years my ex cheated and wanted to be with his sole mate ( never happened.). He’s narsarsistic 20!times over. We were married 25 years) The upkeep of the house was taking a toll on me and my bank account. My son and I moved into an apartment and all was good as I thought. My plan was to move into a condo when it is finished in a few months. My son suddenly took a turn of anger as he decided early on not to come with me but to stay in the apartment until he found an affordable house. He’s talking about my alimony, my pay check and a dollar amount that only his father would have told him that I received from the divorce. My sons comment s are kids shouldn’t have to pay for things. First of all he’s not a kid. The water bill was over 20.00 from washing vehicles and long showers. I mentioned it to him and he said he’d give me the money but never did and I never brought it up to him again. But today when he mentioned my net worth, I’m willing to bet,he’s hearing the negative comments from his father. We don’t discuss his father ever. He suddenly has a stronger relationship with him and he’s now very negative towards me. He won’t even let me get near his dog. I’m hurt and very shocked as I have done everything for my son. Any advice please?

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