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My husband and I have been in a toxic relationship for 12 years. I have always felt that he didn’t love me and was only with me because of our son. I have always felt that he was lying or cheating however I have never found 100% proof. I feel he is just really good at hiding it. I feel like I can relate to the term gaslighting and have quite often feel he is to blame for a lot of our issues. I have caught him in lies and suspected lies for years. After finding an email address (all emails were deleted)!in his gmail account that he left open. The email address was trashy and was not work related. When I questioned this email address he got severely pissed and I’m not sure if it’s because I looked at it or because he nearly got caught. He claims he’s sick of the accusations. He pointed out that I am very controlling and super jealous. I never considered myself as controlling, jealous and low self esteem with insecurities yes! So how do I know when it’s time to give up on this marriage? I don’t know if he is really good at this game or if I am the toxic one with controlling issues. I need help in determining if this is my fault. If I do leave him (I am on the fence for many reasons) will I just ruin future relationships with this same controlling behaviour? I was married before for 10 years and didn’t have the same issues with him. Why do I not trust this one? What should I do?
 

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What are the lies that you have caught him in before? Either something valid has your gut instincts on alert, or you are dragging baggage from something in your own past that is making you not trust. What is it that has made you feel he doesnt really love you? There must be SOMETHING... unless your self esteem is so trashed you dont believe yourself to be worthy of love. The secret email is a big red flag, for sure. Did you remember to check the sent or trash folders? Many times people forget to clear those out. You say you didnt have these issues in your past marriage.. what ended that marriage?
 

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I agree with @3Xnocharm that it would help to have some examples of the things that have made you suspicious.
 

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Is the relationship good otherwise? Do you guys laugh and get along and go on dates and have sex? Do you guys show each other affection and make each other a priority?
 

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Don't tolerate lies. Period.
"So how do I know when it’s time to give up on this marriage?"
When he started lying to you.
" I don’t know if he is really good at this game or if I am the toxic one with controlling issues. I need help in determining if this is my fault"...sounds like he's gas lighting you.
Or it sounds like you know deep down your the one with issues. Which would actually be the best scenario...You can always change your behavior.
 

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Discussion Starter #6 (Edited by Moderator)
Thanks for the replies. A little more background on my situation. Previous marriage didn’t work out as we just fell out of love after 10 years. He was what I thought as controlling at the time.

Being the type of person that feels incomplete without a bf/husband, I started dating about 6 months later. Met my current husband and shortly after ended up pregnant. From day one he Refused to talk about himself and his feelings, it was always a secret or none of my business how he felt. He seemed to have commitment issues at first but got over it so I thought. He moved in and 6 years later I was still waiting for him to ask me to marry him but he didn’t so I asked him. He said yes and seemed ok with it at the time. However recently told me that he was embarrassed that I asked him and doesn’t know how to tell people how he proposed.

So now I feel super guilty for asking him and wish I could take it back.. He has worked a lot of hours and home late most nights and he got upset if I questioned him. Found an app on his phone where he seemed to have sent a photo to someone and they replied but there was no photo so I feel he deletes things right after they are sent/received. At the time he of course denied it and said he didn’t know what the message was about. Then said “maybe you should ask yourself why I might do that”. Making me feel like it was somehow my fault. Over the years it’s been a lot of lies to other people which made me believe he could be lying to me as well.

The past couple years have been stressful for him at work and the company he co-owned closed so he went into a depression. (I have had depression and anxiety for years.) the past 6 months have been hell and I just feel that he has been up to something with someone based on his moods and the times where he is late coming home from work (new job). As I look back I am sure I have been ignoring the signs that he may be cheating. Other than the email address I found in his gmail, I don’t have real proof of anything. It’s just a lot of little things that happen on a daily basis. We have not been intimate for a couple months now. He never says I love you unless I say it myself.

He also recently told me he is not sure if he lives me, he doesn’t know what live is because his parents were not loving so he doesn’t know if he loves me!?!? So he recently told me that I am controlling him and he doesn’t think he can handle it any more. When I stop and look at myself I don’t see myself as being controlling at all. However I am a jealous person and just have a gut feeling that something isn’t right so I do tend to question a lot of things and that seems to stress him out... but I feel he is getting stressed out because I may be close to catching him in a lie or find proof. I fear he is stressed because I am in to him.

Anyway it bothered me that he has always put the blame on others for everything. I have read about gaslighting, narcissism and sociopaths and feel like he fits this description but I am scared of telling him this. One moment I am in tears and crying because I so badly want someone who loves me and have the perfect family. But the next minute I hate him and want him out but don’t know how to tell him. This flip flop emotions and feels is very draining. I am scared of being single at 48! I don’t want to be single and alone. I’m shy and fear I will be alone for ever. I am also an introvert and rarely leave the house and have one friend and a few coworkers.

Any advice good or bad is appreciated. I just need for someone to help me make this decision for fear of making the wrong choice. I look back and feel like my first husband wasn’t that bad, so I fear the next guy I let in will be like.
 

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Well... no one likes to be questioned all the time, so I kind of understand why he gets bothered. However, the things you have spelled out here do sound suspicious, at least to me. I get where you are coming from, and would be poking around as well.

It doesn’t sound like he is all in with you, and that he tends to not be very nice. This is what I am seeing from what you have posted. Just those two things alone can justify a breakup.




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If he is cheating and you want to catch him at it, you need to stop confronting him and telling him when you find things. Just watch for a while and he will slip up if he is cheating.

If he is cheating, when do you think he's doing it? At work? Lunches? Before or after work? Or does he got out other times and maybe lie about where he is?

When you find something like chats, etc, save them. At least use your cell phone to take photos of them. There are things you can do to figure out what's going on.
 

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Your are either controlling, lacking in self confidence or your gut is screaming at you.
I would suggest you lie low, do not question, do not ask, do the 180 on him. Place a VAR in his car and in his room (study etc) and go out more. Try and have a life without him, go out with family, friends, etc.
Wait and see what you can find.
Take it from there.
 

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Your are either controlling, lacking in self confidence or your gut is screaming at you.
I would suggest you lie low, do not question, do not ask, do the 180 on him. Place a VAR in his car and in his room (study etc) and go out more. Try and have a life without him, go out with family, friends, etc.
Wait and see what you can find.
Take it from there.
@anjelrae

A VAR is a voice activated recorder. A lot of wayward spouses (WS) use their car as a private phone booth to talk on the phone with their affair partner (AP). If you put a VAR in his car, you might be able to record some phone conversations that he's in while driving. Use some adhesive backed Velcro to secure it up under the driver's seat.

Also check what the laws are where you live about recording conversations that you are not a party to. Usually, anything you record in this manner should not be shared with anyone because it's generally illegal to record a conversation that you are not a party to. The idea is to get info. So that you have the basis for further investigation.
 
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