Talk About Marriage banner
Status
Not open for further replies.
1 - 20 of 43 Posts

·
Registered
Joined
·
16 Posts
Discussion Starter · #1 · (Edited)
Hi all,

This is my first time to post. I`ve been reading some of the other threads and I`m so grateful to have found this place!

I am in a bit of a pickle here! I`ll try and keep it as short as poss:

Been married 10 years. Moved to my husbands country on the other side of the world to marry him. This is a culture that is "set up" for cheating, and most wives turn a blind eye to it. I can`t and don`t want that kind of marriage and made it crystal clear from the beginning that I wouldn`t tolerate it.

When I was 34 weeks pregnant with our first child I found out about the first affair - through his phone emails. 6 months worth of history, even going back through our wedding day. It was a friend of a friend. It started just before I got pregnant. I was devastated and wanted to leave but by the time I got my act together was too pregnant to fly so had to stay. He was incredibly remorseful, immediately ended it, answered all my questions, and we had a new baby. I tried to start again and move on.

Our second child was nearly a year old when I found out about the second time. It was his office assistant and had been going on nearly two years. I had suspected something was up when on my BIRTHDAY of all days and me heavily pregnant with his son he disappeared off out of the house to make a business phone call - he would never normally do that. I could hear him pacing around outside giggling and laughing and then when he came back in he claimed it was a customer. I suspected but didn`t find the proof until nearly two years later when I found the emails - it was the same girl he had been on the phone with.

Again he was devastated, remorseful, and swore it would never happen again. He promised to do whatever it took to fix things. I agreed to give him one more chance, for the sake of the children. He is a great Dad.

Since then I have discovered more and more that I am married to a habitual liar. It is the constant lies - often completely innocent - that are making it nigh on impossible to regain trust. Some examples:

a) he claimed an "old friend" had got back in touch and wanted to meet us all for coffee. I was happy with that - until I discovered the "old friend" was an ex-girlfriend who had got back in touch after 12 years. He was about to set me up for coffee and niceties with someone and didn`t even tell me who she REALLY was!!! I wouldn`t necssarily have minded - but the LIES!!! And when he got caught he thought it was funny! "Oh! You got me AGAIN!!!" was his response!

b) I went home to have minor surgery. The night I came out of hospital I called him to let him know I was fine. He said he couldn`t talk tomorrow night as he was out with a customer. I later discovered (he didn`t realise if you put messages in your phone trash box it doesn`t automatically trash!) that the "customer" was actually an old female friend, and while I had been away he had arranged 3 dinners with her (including texting her two minutes after he had waved me off at airport security! He hadn`t even waited to leave the terminal building!!!). Again - nothing sinister in it - so WHY LIE???! What am I supposed to think given our history??!

c) I recently found a receipt for a cake and some flowers in his jeans pocket. He said he had given the cake to a friend (male) who had just got married. This is quite normal in this culture. I asked 4 times "Just the cake? Nothing else? Nothing else at all?" and 4 times he answered "No. Just the cake." So then I asked who the flowers were for. He answered "Oh, I gave him flowers too. I just forgot about those"! Again - I just don`t believe it!

He is extremely secretive. His phone is never out at home, or his iPad. He comes home and showers straight away (he always has). His work shirts are sent to dry cleaning and I never see them - he does it himself. His wallet is always clear of receipts. Nothing incriminating at all - everything it almost "too clean"!

I KNOW all these actions look suspicious, but I also think he has a mild form of OCD and that is why he is obsessed with everything being neat and tidy and in it`s place.

Last night I confronted him on his behaviour because yesterday I had tried to look at some pictures on his phone and he seemed REALLY antsy and tried to grab the phone back from me. So I looked at his phone - clean as a whistle. I told him I am sorry for accusing him but he needs to understand with our history and his secretive behaviour it just doesn`t take much for old wounds to open. He just rolled his eyes like I was the crazy one. Said he is a different person now. I SO want to believe it. But the truth is, coming from this culture I really think he doesn`t think what he did was wrong, and I have never in the years since it happened felt any genuine remorse from him.

I just don`t know how to move forwards, and it is going to destroy our marriage. It has put me on antidepressants for anxiety as it is. Please please please - any advice??!
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
2,979 Posts
Natalie, your husband is a serial cheater.

And you are 100% right: he is a perpetual liar.

He is obviously lying to you when he acts sorry about his affairs.

He is only sorry he was caught.

I know you feel like you laid the groundwork, and made it clear to him you wouldn't tolerate infidelity. But I have to tell you, EVERYONE feels that way. Precious few people, at least in many Western societies, would even bother getting married if they knew their spouse was going to turn around and cheat on them.

Your husband hasn't suffered any real consequences for his actions. Let me explain:

If your crying and experiencing extreme distress and pain were enough to stop your husband from cheating again, he would never have cheated in the first place for fear of deeply upsetting you. Therefore, telling him for the 4th or 5th time that you REALLY mean it, you will not tolerate infidelity, just doesn't get you anywhere.

My husband cheated on me for quite a long time, so I know how devastated you are. I had to catch my H twice (with the same woman) before he finally shaped up. He had to face the reality of losing everything he cared about--living with his children, the respect of friends and family, but mostly, me...before he was willing to recommit to our marriage.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
16 Posts
Discussion Starter · #3 ·
Hi Heartlife,

Well, this is good I suppose! I need someone to tell me it like it really is! I am so scared right now. I don`t know if I am strong enough to do what I know I should do and kick him out. Looking back now I wish I had done that in the first place. I was in a bad place then. I feel stronger now but am I really ready for the fallout this is going to cause?

I will continue reading and discussing on here and hopefully finally gather the strength to do what I have to do.

Just one question: based on what I have said, do you really think he is still cheating on me now? One of the things he said last night was that he was young and stupid back then and he is not the same person anymore. I also don`t know how physical his relationships got. He has never told me the whole truth about them. It took 6 years of denials before he finally told me he used to meet the first one and it wasn`t just all mail-based as he originally insisted - even though I saw a mail asking her what she would like him to bring her back from a business trip! I asked him how he planned to hand the gift to her if they "never meet" and he said it was "just a joke"!

Tell me: am I really really really really stupid???!
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
2,979 Posts
Well, what you can start on is insisting on transparency.

Read through this:

The Policy of Radical Honesty

Emotional Honesty

Historical Honesty

Current Honesty

it is long, but this is something you need to approach your husband with and discuss it.

You need to explain to him that honesty means real, deep, profound truth about who you are as marriage partners. He needs to understand that through this truth, you build TRUST and LOVE.

Hiding his phone, with his history, causes you to LOVE HIM LESS. You need to find a way to explain how much he damaged your trust.

Sit him down and say, that you know it's a challenge, but from now on, there must be no secrets between you. That this isn't just about women and sex. This is about sharing at a very deep level who you are as people. You should be able to look at his phone whenever you want or need to do that.

Point out to him how many times he's lied to you. Include any major lies, not just the infidelity. Explain to him that
1. Lying destroys trust, and destruction of trust kills romantic love.

2. Liars must be presumed to not be telling the truth, until they prove otherwise. It takes an extremely long time of a liar consistently telling the truth to overcome just one major lie. It can take years, and in fact sometimes a relationship just can't recover.

I know you've probably told him this one way or another.

May I also recommend my "favorite" book on infidelity (hate to call it that): Not Just Friends by Shirley Glass. A link to the google excerpts is in my signature. You need to educate yourself on infidelity, and also educate yourself on ways that your husband can rebuild your trust--if indeed, he wants it.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
16 Posts
Discussion Starter · #5 ·
Heartfelt: thank you. I completely agree with everything you have said. I will get a copy of the book you recommend too.

The problem I have is that everyting you say above, I have already said to him - after the second EA/PA (I don`t know how far it went.) I said the only way I can get past this is absolute 100% honesty and transparency from now on. And yet, 5 years or so on - here we are again.

I`ve just been talking with a good friend about all this. She said and I agree that he has a mental problem when it comes to lying. I can`t go on like this. I have been through all my thirties dealing with it. I am 40 in 3 months - I cannot face this through my forties as well. Was is it about turning 40??!

So here`s the deal: he agrees to counselling, or he leaves. That`s it. I am not sure if he can be helped, but we have come this far, I should at least try, no? But this is the final step - if counselling can`t help, I have to leave. I can`t continue to let him mess with me the way he has.
 

·
Premium Member
Joined
·
5,781 Posts
I think it's very, very obvious that he's lying and is a serial cheater. I'm sorry. You're on here because you really know this, too, correct?

I know you're scared, but it would be a lot better if you were angry. Other people will respond here, but I'm betting the opinion will be unanimous. Again, sorry.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
16 Posts
Discussion Starter · #7 ·
Hey alte Dame. Thanks for your response. I am sitting here in front of the PC hungrily waiting for answers from complete strangers because my head is spinning so much I just don`t even trust myself any more!

I don`t want to believe for a second that what you are saying is true - that he is lying and is a serial cheater. I have twisted and turned this every which way - even down to thinking he might have Obsessive Compulsive Disorder and that explains his needing to come home, take a shower straight away (dirt) put away his phone and iPad (everything in it`s place) and his moodiness and uncommunicativeness at home with me (stress over mess and noise because of the kids).

But no matter how many times I go over it I STILL keep coming back to one thing: he did it once, he did it again, the third time i am just not sure what happened and these are just the times I know about.

I guess the one redeeming feature of him now is that he is rarely home late enough to be up to anything. I don`t know where he would find the time! On the other hand he goes out at least twice a week to dinner with customers - so he says. Who the hell knows!

We have three children now. I am still here for them and them alone. No other reason. It`s complicated, but this is not a western country with western laws - like alimony. I don`t think he would leave me in the lurch financially - he is way too proud for that - but things will get complicated. There is no joint or shared custody of children here either. And allowing the non-custodial parent access is entirely at the whim of the custodial parent. And not being a national of this country, more often than not custody is given to the national, whether mother or father.

I don`t think that will be an issue for us though. We are still friends, and reasonable people. Even in the middle of the arguing last night we were still able to list the things we respect about each other and admit we still love each other. I would never keep the kids from him, and he would never demand custody over me, I am sure. It just makes everything more awkward, you know.

I wish I had left years ago when this first happened. He threw himself down at my feet crying and begging me not to go, and threatened to kill himself if I left. I know - drama queen much??! But at the time, in my pregnant emotional state, I was scared he really would! By the time I gathered myself together enough to realise how much I was being manipulated it was too late to fly and when our daughter was born he cried genuine tears and apologised to both of us there and then on the delivery table.

I`m SO thankful to have found this site. I was spinning when i woke up this morning! I called him earlier and asked him if he would go to counselling with me. He said he would do whatever it takes to fix "us". I said I don`t think you feel genuinely remorseful for what you have done, and the reason I can`t get past it is that in spite of the transparency and honesty I asked - begged - for after the second time, he is still lying to me about everything big and little. I am tired of being made to feel that *I* am the one with the problem, and now I am turning it around to him. I no longer feel inclined to prove to myself I can trust him - HE needs to prove it to me.

He asked me how he can do that. I said I don`t know but he needs to damn well start figuring it out because I am not doing another decade of this and if I don`t see genuine remorse and consistent action by my 40th (end of March) we are over.

I was never in a place to really mean that before. But I do now. And he knows. When he threw his toys out of his cot last night and said "Right! Fine! I`m leaving then!" I broke a habit of a lifetime - instead of begging him not to and saying we`ll work it out I said "OK, when are you leaving? Where will you be staying? How often do you want to see the kids? and How much money will you be giving me?" He packed a bag and stormed out....and came back 10 minutes later saying he`ll do whatever it takes.

Sorry - I sound flippant. This is not a game. But I think it has been to him for quite a while - a cat and mouse game where he ducks and dives and tries to pit his wits against me. Well - he may have more opportunity than me, but I am far smarter than he is and I am done taking him at face value - I have no idea what his real face even looks like.

Thanks to all just for "listening". My poor best friend has really had enough of this I think! And who can blame her really - her husband brought her home a little present himself a few years ago - a large dose of Hepatitis B!
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
1,380 Posts
I don't think he has ever stopped cheating on you. Nor will he in the future. He obviously feels he is entitled to it. And you have gone along with it all along, never really enforcing any consequences, just some minor inconvenience.

Just think about how remorseless you'd have to be to text at the airport gate like he did. Woohoo! The ball and chain is gone, let's party!

Don't waste anymore time on that cretin, all you will get is a load of lies and a life of heartache.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
1,380 Posts
What you should do is suggest a family vacation back home, and kick his ass out once you and your children are safe with family, or do you want to continue the way you are, to show your children that what you have is how a marriage should be?
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
16 Posts
Discussion Starter · #10 ·
Hey S&A - thank you for your opinion. The girl he texted at the gate (and then repeatedly for the following 6 weeks until he joined us for Christmas back home) was an old school friend. I don`t think anything happened between them other than dinner, but it was the fact that he kept it from me - deliberately selecting all the messages between them and putting them in his trash bin, lying to me about where he was the night after my surgery, etc - that just makes me feel like I can`t trust him all over again, even if it is innocent!

His excuses that time were:

1) He doesn`t remember saying to me that he was seeing a customer that night. (But I remember it clearly - I was just out of hospital. He uses the "I don`t remember" or "I forgot" excuse quite a lot.)

2) He didn`t tell me he was seeing her because he "didn`t want to upset me" - why would I be upset that he is having dinner with an old school friend, male or female? I find it insulting. Does he think I am so jealous/insecure/possessive that I couldn`t handle it? Ah, yes! Maybe because HE couldn`t if the situation was reversed?!

You see what I mean? There were DEFINITELY two affairs that I know of. But since then despite repeatedly asking for honesty I get this kind of thing in return. How in the world can I ever believe a word that comes out of his mouth??!
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
485 Posts
Hi Heartlife,

Well, this is good I suppose! I need someone to tell me it like it really is! I am so scared right now. I don`t know if I am strong enough to do what I know I should do and kick him out. Looking back now I wish I had done that in the first place. I was in a bad place then. I feel stronger now but am I really ready for the fallout this is going to cause?

I will continue reading and discussing on here and hopefully finally gather the strength to do what I have to do.

Just one question: based on what I have said, do you really think he is still cheating on me now? One of the things he said last night was that he was young and stupid back then and he is not the same person anymore. I also don`t know how physical his relationships got. He has never told me the whole truth about them. It took 6 years of denials before he finally told me he used to meet the first one and it wasn`t just all mail-based as he originally insisted - even though I saw a mail asking her what she would like him to bring her back from a business trip! I asked him how he planned to hand the gift to her if they "never meet" and he said it was "just a joke"!

Tell me: am I really really really really stupid???!
You're not stupid darling girl..you're a woman who would prefer to trust her hubby..

Question?

How much are you going to put with?

What's your self worth?

How would he react if you said you were thinking of leaving?

Just thoughts.


xx
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
16 Posts
Discussion Starter · #12 ·
Thank you Oncehisangel - it is really good to hear I`m not stupid even though I feel it!

To answer your questions:

1) how much? Not much more I think! he promised me years ago complete and utter honesty. I told him it was a dealbreaker for us to stay together. He hasn`t delivered.

2) My self-worth? Not very much at the moment I think! But I am working on it. This forum is a good first step.

3) It would depend what I mean by leaving. If I wanted to move nearby with the kids, I think he would offer to move out, find a small place and leave me with the kids in our home. He would make sure we have enough money. He is good like that. But if I said I was going back home to England - I don`t think that would go down very well at all. And I`m not sure I could do that to the kids either - they adore him. I think my best option is to keep on good terms as possible with him and separate amicably.

The thought of him moving into a bachelor apartment nearby and bringing home 20-something chicks every night having a grand old time while I lie in bed alone in our former marital home just makes me feel physically sick though! I feel like he will kick his heels up and move on and I will be left dried up and shrivelled at 40!!! Is that a normal feeling for people? It just pees me off, that`s all!!! Why allow him the easy exit?!
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
545 Posts
Welcome to TAM, im sorry you find yourself in this section, but I is also a sign that you might be ready to take control of your life and live the way you deserve to live. By that I mean a human being that is loved and respected by her partner, which I am sorry to say, at the moment, you are not.

Your dishonest disloyal husband is a serial liar and most probably a serial cheater. While you say that he is a great father and your kids adore him, he is setting a terrible example, and so are you by allowing it to go on. One day your kids will know the truth, and they will wonder why you put up with this for so long. So if you have a hard time doing what is right for you, try and do it for them.

You need rock solid proof of his behavior. I will make a few suggestions here, and you can do further research on this forum on how to properly do this.

1. Buy a few voice activated recorders (VARs) you can find really good ones at electronics stores or on-line for under $50 (usd). Use some velcroe to secure a var under the drivers seat of his car. Cheaters feel safe talking while they are driving in their cars. If you buy a few vars, you can replace the one you are reviewing with a second one, so you don't miss any days. If he uses his phone at home, away from you, place another var in whatever room he likes to use to be alone.

2. If you have access to his phone, and it is not password protected, you can install a program called mobile-spy (www.mobile-spy.com) it will silently monitor all activity on the phone, and allow you to review it using an on-line account, or your email (for longs). I've used this program with great success, it is one of the best out there. If you get the annual subscription, I think they give you a version you can install on a pc/mac/ipad to monitor activity on those devices as well.

3. Once you have the proof you need, save it, and make copies. Once you are ready to confront him, be prepared to enforce strict consequences, such as separation or divorce, and make sure you are willing to follow through. If you falter, nothing will change.

You are facing a tough situation, as the majority of people who post here believe that serial liars and cheaters are beyond hope. While I might not agree 100%, i can certainly tell you that you will be fighting an uphill battle. So sit back and ask yourself if this person is really worth all of this effort. Don't do it for the kids, or for your family, only do it if you believe in your heart of hearts that you want to try and that he is worth it. Otherwise, cut your losses, and embrace the rest of your life. You can and will find someone who will love you and treat you with respect, that person is out there, and that person may not be the one you are with right now.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
2,979 Posts
Natalie, I for one can't say whether he's cheating right now. It might be that he, unlike so many others, really does have some excuses for behaving the way that he does.

But you know him better than we do. If you think he's acting guilty, and his behavior reminds you of how he has been in the past, then it's perfectly logical to assume that he is doing the same things now that he did then.

It may be that he has found another way to communicate with women that you aren't aware of. He may delete texts, he may skype, he may have a secret email account that he uses via the Internet on his phone. Really, there are so many tech ways to cheat nowadays that it's dizzying.

Do you have access to his cell phone bills? Not sure what you have where you live, but you want the full set, not a summary. You need to look back over the past 12 months (or more if you can) and compare things like data usage, texts, etc. month to month. If you see huge spikes, that's a red flag. If you see thousands of texts, that's a red flag. You might spot phone numbers and hours of calling to those numbers.

I sincerely hope that your husband has learned his lesson, and all that is happening is that he hasn't expressed enough remorse, and hasn't figured out how to properly win your trust. Counseling would be a great idea, but you also have the hurdle of finding a counselor who doesn't condone infidelity. It's hard enough in the USA to find a counselor who takes emotional affairs seriously--not sure what you will find where you are.
 

·
Premium Member
Joined
·
5,781 Posts
You're starting to sound stronger & you'll need strength to confront this.

If you read more of the threads here, you'll start to see patterns. For instance, you say he is home at night, so he wouldn't have much time to dally. You'll see that many BS's say exactly the same thing when they begin their investigations & then find that the WS was able to find plenty of time to sneak around. And the old friend from school who couldn't possibly be an affair partner? Think again.

You absolutely know that he will not tell the truth about his behavior, so you will have to find it. It sounds like what you know already is not enough for you to decide to leave, so do whatever checking you can (record his conversations, check e-mail & phone bills, etc.) to confirm.

And yes, he may move across town and start a single life with 20-somethings, but that's better than him doing it secretly while married to you.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
2,979 Posts
Sorry, I totally forgot a possiblity: chatting through online games. You would be shocked how many people get into gaming via smartphones etc., which have chatting features. Quite a few people on these forums have had spouses who actually "fell in love" with total strangers this way. So that is another avenue that might not have occurred to you to check.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
3,940 Posts
Hard core cake eaters, serial cheaters like yours never change. It's sad but it's true. The entitlement won't disapear. You can catch him once in a while, expect the remorseful dance then he will start again. Rinse and repeat. Same MO.
The Unified Theory of Cake
Google serial cheating, go to more sites... they won't stop. Ever.
So, with this in mind, decide what kind of life you want to have. Short/mid/long term plans.
If you decide you don't want to life this way then just start a plan and commit yourself to implement it. Start envisioning your life as a divorced mom. Then...
-Evidence gathering (so you confirm he's obviously cheating again)
-Lawyering up. I'd go for the yougular, shark of a lawyer to nail him to the wall and procure yourslef the best financial future.
-180, emotional detachment plus self improvement.


I'm sorry friend.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
1,380 Posts
Hard core cake eaters, serial cheaters like yours never change. It's sad but it's true. The entitlement won't disapear. You can catch him once in a while, expect the remorseful dance then he will start again. Rinse and repeat. Same MO.
The Unified Theory of Cake
Google serial cheating, go to more sites... they won't stop. Ever.
So, with this in mind, decide what kind of life you want to have. Short/mid/long term plans.
If you decide you don't want to life this way then just start a plan and commit yourself to implement it. Start envisioning your life as a divorced mom. Then...
-Evidence gathering (so you confirm he's obviously cheating again)
-Lawyering up. I'd go for the yougular, shark of a lawyer to nail him to the wall and procure yourslef the best financial future.
-180, emotional detachment plus self improvement.


I'm sorry friend.
I agree, but get yourself and your children back to England, where you can expect equal rights and fair treatment.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
194 Posts
Oh Natalie, I'm so sorry. You've got a serial cheater. I lived that once. It's a painful, painful mindf*ck. Acadabo posted a link to the universal theory of cake -- come on over and visit me at Chump Lady -- there are a lot of folks there who have navigated this particular kind of hell and can help.

Short and to the point -- they don't change. They're disordered usually. Very comfortable with the high of deceit and a double life. They PREFER it. You need to get away and not model this disrespect, abuse, and dysfunction to your children. He's cheating on you, risking your health and well-being. He's not a "good dad." Being a good father begins with being a good partner to you, respecting the mother of his children.

You deserve so much better. (((Big HUGS)))
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
40 Posts
2) He didn`t tell me he was seeing her because he "didn`t want to upset me" - why would I be upset that he is having dinner with an old school friend, male or female? I find it insulting. Does he think I am so jealous/insecure/possessive that I couldn`t handle it? Ah, yes! Maybe because HE couldn`t if the situation was reversed?!

Mine says "how can I tell you? I can't tell you anything....you're hysterical. You can't handle it. " WTF?!?!? Uhhhh no..... He can't handle hurting me and dealing with the consequences of his actions. Of course you'd be upset!
 
1 - 20 of 43 Posts
Status
Not open for further replies.
Top