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New here-20 years in with him, and I STILL get sucked into his lies

This topic contains 18 replies, has 5 voices, and was last updated by  20yearswasted 1 week, 2 days ago.

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  • #41381

    20yearswasted
    Participant

    Hi all,

    I just stumbled on this website, and it is helpful to see so many others who understand the pain of being involved with a narcissist or sociopath. My husband of 20 years (we have three daughters) was diagnosed as NPD/BPD (he has traits of both) in court ordered therapy which he started two years ago due to a restraining order I had to get. We were so not a “typical” family to have this drama, and the past two years it has been HELL trying to figure out what to do, how to get out of limbo and make a decision once and for all! In a nutshell,if I am honest I knew something was “off” when we were dating,but i was young, naive and I ignored so many red flags because he “looked good” on paper. He is a doctor, financially secure/good investments, takes good care of his health, and love bombed me like crazy from the get go, making me feel sorry for him that his first wife left him. I was 24 when we met, am 45 now.

    He has always been un-empathetc, closed off emotionally, easily detaches and does his “own thing.” A secret keeper from a long line of secret keepers. His family on the surface seems great, but I quickly saw through the small talk and realized there was no depth, no compassion/caring for anyone in the family or for humans in general. Very selfish people, out to “get what they can from others.” I come from a complete opposite family so that was and still is disturbing to me…the utter selfish behavior.

    I will cut to the chase…after years of emotional abuse, his lack of any type of support/help/understanding or even curiosity about me and what makes me me….I started researching and for several years thought he had Aspergers syndrome. Then I slowly learned more: he had killed a cat when his first wife left him (their pet, and he coldly told me he wanted to see what would happen as a scientist and also wanted to “be rid of it.” His words. He scared me and our daughters more times than I can count with his aggressive and angry driving, swearing, breaking toys/household objects, loud demands, swearing, and his inability to respond to any sort of medical issue (ironic since he is a doctor) and rather just ignore. He is extremely frugal and won’t spend money on a lemonade or doctor visits (well, we do, but it is not without a battle) yet over the years, as I have discovered he has spent THOUSANDS on hookers/escorts/burner phones/ hook up website memberships, etc. Discovering his secret double life in 2010 is what pushed our marriage to the breaking point. It seems the deeper he got into that life (which I did not know of at the time it was happening initially), the more he got angrier, more aggressive with verbal abuse, no patience, no empathy. It all got worse, for me and our girls. They are currently 4, 13, 15. The four year old, sadly, is the result of him forcing himself sexually on me and refusing to wear a condom knowing full well I had recently went off birth control…we were already well into major dysfunction and did not need to bring another innocent child into it. I love her to pieces, but it has made the situation harder.

    My reason for this long rambling post is that…. he is now claiming he is a “sex addict” and has started a 12 step recovery program. This is because he was only a few months ago caught AGAIN with hiring an escort. He has seen more than I can count, but in the last year when he was in therapy and supposedly trying to win me back (we have been separated for two years other than a 5 month stint I let him back in only to discover he went to a medical conference in Vegas and saw FOUR hookers…one a day…while there). I have better detective skills than I ever thought possible, but it is not a skill I ever wanted. So, he has been “trying” and promising change, going to therapy regularly since the Vegas hooker fest, but because he was not getting what he wanted from me (reconciliation, moving back in to the family home) he decided it was hopeless and continued to buy burner phones and see hookers/escorts. I made a discovery in March, he went nuts with saying “this is it, I am at rock bottom, I can’t do this anymore, etc.” only to get caught again in APril!!! This was after two weeks in a 12 step program, but now that it has been about 13 weeks in….he claims that and a few audiobooks are “the answer” and he is finally getting the help he needs, being honest, and committed to being the man he always wanted to be for me and our daughters. He is so convincing every time, and there is always “something new” that makes me feel I have to stick it out to see if “this time” he can really change. I am lost in confusion and limbo.

    Just wondering if anybody else can relate. As an aside, after the most recent discovery in April….and my reaction which was to file for divorce..he spent over $16,000 on a luxury vacation to Mexico for himself and removed himself from our family phone plan. He never went, because I discovered his plan (he said he was going to spend two months in Mexico, walk away from his work, and then kill himself). His therapist intervened and now he is acting like it was merely a “cry for help, not a big deal.” It felt like a huge discard, though it did not truly happen. Also, I discovered he has been taking cialis for his hooker/escort trysts (and getting it illegally by calling in a prescription under his family physician’s name…along with an antidepressant he only took for a few months to “please” me and my “demands” (his words). So all of that, plus a recent discovery that he has been lying about his income and not filing correct taxes. So many things!!! The obvious answer is to LEAVE AND NOT LOOK BACK but in person, it is not that easy with three kids and him “trying” so hard to change and admitting his sex addiction, finally, not that I am certain I believe that is what all of this is. But I am left feeling guilty if I don’t “support him” while he is doing meetings, therapy, going to church every week, and trying to talk to me. I have no interest in connecting or talking because I AM SO MAD. He has put me through so much! THis is long enough……

    Thanks for listening for those who got to the end.

  • #41384

    Jan7
    Participant

    Hi 20yearswasted, what a hellish nightmare you have been living! So glad you researched the net & had the courage to post your horrific events with this disorder nightmare of a man!!

    What you are describing is also sociopathic narcissist personality disorder. I wonder if his diagnosis was not fully disclosed by the therapist who conducted his personality disorder test.

    I have read your type of story more times then not on Lovefraud & other sites. Like you my ex h (a sociopath with narcissistic personality disorder) cheated on me endlessly from day one. I believe his words over his actions. HUGE mistake!!

    When I finally crawled out of hell, I drove 3000 miles away. As I set out on this long journey I felt a weight lift literally from my shoulders. My body & subconscious mind were relieved!!

    Once I reached my destination I found a counselor who was fully educated on sociopathic abuse. As I walked into the session I had no idea that in just 20 minutes I would finally be told the truth. The truth being I was married to a sociopath. Despite not fully understanding what this meant, I knew right then & there that I would be ending my hellish marriage because I know had the answer I had been needing for 12 years (I wasted almost 14 years).

    My new counsleor gave me a book on “ being marriage to a sociopath”. Everything was in the book. I never looked back. Yes, my husband tried to suck me back in with pity play, lying, manipulation and when that did not work belting me by calling me “stupid” etc.

    But I can tell you that that the worse decision of my life was to allow this hellish man into my life when I saw MARCHING BAND OF RED FLAGS from day one!

    BUT THE BEST DECISION I EVER MADE WAS FILING FOR DIVORCE & GOING THRU WITH THE DIVORCE!!

    This was not an easy task to do as my ex like all sociopaths & people with personality disorders, conditioned me to want to “keep working at the marriage”. But I soon learned that I can not “Fix” him…nor can you “fix” the man you are married to.

    And guess what?

    IT IS NOT YOUR JOB TO “FIX” HIM!!!

    Dont you think for your sake & your children sake it’s time to let go & fix yourself & move on to a VERY peaceful & calm life for you & your children??

    What I learned myself after I left & began to research sociopathic abuse.

    1) 70-90% of “Sex addicts” are Sociopaths!!!

    2) it takes an average of 6 – 9 stays in rehab to stop a person from addictions like drug & alcohol. SO if by some slim chance he is not a sociopath, he would most likely fall back into old sex patterns with hookers & other cheating habits over & over& over!!

    Are you willing to take on this nightmare over & over & over & over?

    More importantly, are you willing to subject your daughters to this nightmare over & over & over & over x 6 -9 times???

    3) GET A COURT SEPENA (SP??) OF YOUR HUSBANDS MEDICAL RECORDS ASAP!!

    If he has been hiding his cheating with hookers WHAT ELSE IS HE HIDING MEDICALLY WISE. After all he is a medical doctors so he would know how to hide this. But if he had to go to a “specialist” then their is recorded of his medical issues that could have harmed you & your 4 year old daughter which you should fight now in court for more $$ for future health issues.

    During one of my sessions with my counselor I told her that I thought my husband cheated on me at least 8-12 times during our marriage. She told me that it was more like 3 to 4 times that amount as serial Cheating is what they do!!!

    So for me he cheated on me somewhere around 50 times? But know I realize it was more then that because he traveled for business weekly including overseas trips for weeks at time including Asia. It’s hard at first to grasp this and step out of denial but once you do it helps you to slam the door shut on this hellish nightmare of a man for you & your daughters sake.

    There is a wonderful website called: One Moms Battle. com (USA). Tina Swiften site creator married & divorced a narcissist. Her site was set up for others in in the same nightmare situation to deal with divorce court & child custody issues.

    If you go to the top right corner here at Lovefraud & do a search on One moms battle & Tina Swiften you will find writes by Donna Anderson (LF site creator) about One moms battle.

    Also they have a Facebook page that is excellent to chat on, get support & ask questions regarding court issues.

    IF you chose to chat on their Facebook page I would HIGHLY recommend that you open a fake email account & a fake Facebook account to chat so that your husband does not see what you are chatting about & his family & friends too!

    Keep asking question here & venting, It really does help & is part of the healing process. If you go to the “home page” here at love fraud & look at the “Yellow” box, Donna has posted valuable information on healing.

    Sending you lots of hugs!!💜

  • #41385

    20yearswasted
    Participant

    Thank you for such a thoughtful and helpful reply, Jan. I do know all about Tina S. and her One Moms Battle website and fb page. I read the posts, but don’t chat there. I have read every book out there on sociopathy, psychopathy and narcissism. I am well educated on it, yet I keep finding myself questioning whether or not he is “really” in that category…especially now since he is working so hard do be a better husband/father/man. He is using the “I didn’t know I was a sex addict” line to explain away his serial cheating. I bought my own house in January of this year, so I have a pretty good amount of peace, but he has definitely still caused a lot of pain and drama with his actions of lying, cheating, and plans to commit suicide and leave us all. I am having a hard time committing to a divorce because I am so exhausted and he fights SO HARD when he does not get what he wants, or he pulls the manipulations like the Mexico trip he was going to go on. He got some of the money back, but not all, by sending in an obituary claiming it was his grandma’s (he found the obit on the internet, he didn’t know this woman from anyone). He is so quick to lie and then justify by saying “Well, do you want me to lose all of the money? It was the only way.” Or with his income and tax fraud, he says “Well, I was doing it for you and for our family so we could enjoy our life more.” And when I discovered a secret bank account he kept for his hookers he said “I was saving that money for US so we could put it towards our dream home.” Always a justification.

    My hardest thing right now that leaves me confused is feeling like I am giving up/walking away when he “FINALLY” is doing the real work of change, but it has only been a few months since the most recent manipulation and cheating (April) so it is too soon to know if it is real or just part of a ploy for him to control and get what he wants.

    I will continue to read, but just can’t find anybody with similar details. I always hear/read that true NPD/BPD or sociopaths don’t want to get help and don’t think they have a problem. This is where I struggle because despite mine doing terrible things for decades….he seems to WANT to change and does admit he is at fault, that he is the one causing so many problems to our family. Yet he kept doing it, despite promises. Now this time, he believes he finally has what he needs to get better. (12 step sex addiction recovery group, continued therapy, reading several books on sex addiction and church/committment to God). He throws it in my face almost as though I would be crazy to leave now when we are the cusp of “finally have the marriage we always should have had.” Sigh…

    Those stats about relapses are scary, and I am quite sure I would always live in fear of it, as well as fear of him continuing to do it and getting away with it. Every time he gets caught, he takes it deeper and stealthier but I have always managed to catch him. I hate living like that. THat is probably reason enough to call it quits for good and find the peace, but I am afraid it won’t be peaceful but instead entirely stressful to try to raise three kids myself (which I already do for the most part, but with his financial help and an occasional ride for a kid from him). Our older teen daughters are disgusted with him and don’t want to spend time with him. Our 4 year old loves him and that is also what keeps me from pushing the divorce forward. I know it will get ugly because he will fight me and make it difficult on purpose if he doesn’t get what he sees as his (me and the girls).

    This is such a hard decision and life. I feel so bad that there are so many of us struggling with the same or similar issues.

  • #41388

    Jan7
    Participant

    20yearswasted, You’re so welcome!! Been there too. I needed someone to swoop in and carry me out of my marriage as I was literally mentally, emotional & physically exhausted from my then h’s chaos & drama. But that never happened. It is up to us to shut the door on them fully. So ask your most trusted friends & family to help you. You will get there.

    I want to congratulate you on the amazing steps you have taken to move forward into your new life. You, in your darkest days were able to buy a home, pack up belongings & move in all while dealing with a nightmare of a husband and with 3 children. So BRAVO to you hon!! These are HUGE HUGE HUGE steps towards your freedom!!!!

    So pat yourself on the back!!

    Not only that, you gave your daughter a peaceful & calm environment to clear their minds & most importantly to be kids!!

    Wonderful step!!!

    On top of all of those amazing steps, you have been educating yourself on his horrific behavior & leaning so much.

    Please keep in mind, these disordered individuals including your husband, have been conning people with Pity Play manipulation, gas lighting, reward & punishment, pathological lying manipulation, etc etc THEIR WHOLE LIVES!!!

    They learned at a very young age exactly how to manipulate people to get what THEY WANT!! And its been working ever since!!

    Your husband is using PITY PLAY MANIPULATION google (that with the words narcissist)to make you stay in a chaotic & drama filed marriage.

    Is that what YOU really want?

    Do you want to be manipulated into staying with him?

    Or do you want your freedom like you had before you meet him?

    THERE ARE MANY MANY RED FLAGS IN YOUR POST that you MUST take seriously!!!

    You state:

    “…but he has definitely still caused a lot of pain and drama with his actions of lying, cheating, and plans to commit suicide and leave us all.”

    Let me pull out part of this text for you to read over & over!!

    ”..and plans to commit suicide”

    THIS IS DANGER!!!

    THIS IS A MAJOR RED FLAG!!

    This should send shivers up your spine. Because a lot of these types who do commit suicide first MURDER family members then kill themselves!!!

    Your local abuse center will tell you this is common with abusers!!! They will say this and some will go thru with their words!!

    YOU NEED TO DEAL WITH THIS ASAP!!

    YOU NEED TO PROTECT YOUR CHILDREN & YOURSELF!!! ASAP!!!

    What should you do to protect yourself?

    Call your local abuse center and start working on a SAFETY PLAN & EXIT PLAN out of this abususive relationship.

    IF YOU ARE IN THE USA YOU CAN CALL THE NATIONAL DOMESTIC ABUSE HOTLINE 800-799-SAFE to talk with a free counselor and to discuss your husband stating that he has threaten to kill himself. DO THIS ASAP!!!

    We hear so many stories in the news now a days about husband/fathers murdering their wife & kids after the wife left him.

    SO PLEASE PLEASE PLESAE BE WISE!! AND GET HELP TO DEAL WITH THIS VERY DANGEROUS SITUATION!!

    Also get a home security system installed. Either one that a company installs and monitors the home (that is the best option for you if you can afford the monthy fees) if you are tight on money then either ask friends/family to help out with the monthly fees or you can get a home security system at a large hardware store like Home deport or Lowes (US stores) which are easy to install & take batteries.

    DONT TELL YOUR HUSBAND you are getting this!! This for your protection so he does not attempt to disarm it!!

    The first option is the best option because typically the home security company will call the home if the alarm goes off & I believe if no one answers they will call the police. But check with them.

    Get a lawyer involved and talk to him/her about make a will out so your husband gets nothing (without your husband knowing!!)

    I just want you to know how proud I am of all the steps you have take so far & the amazing courage you have for posting your story today.

    Sending you lots of HUGS!!! 💜

    Take care.

    • This reply was modified 2 weeks, 2 days ago by  Jan7.
    • This reply was modified 2 weeks, 2 days ago by  Jan7.
  • #41390

    Jan7
    Participant

    Google:

    DOMESTIC ABUSE SAFETY PLAN (then with the words “you tube” to watch videos”)

    DOMESTIC ABUSE EXIT PLAN (then with the words “you tube” to watch videos”)

    Domestic abuse exit plan Dr Phil

    National domestic violence hotline website (read up on these two plans)

    PLEASE ALSO OPEN UP TO YOUR FRIENDS & FAMILY SO THEY TOO CAN PROTECT THEMSELVES!!

    Keep a journal on everything he states to you!!! This can be used in court also. Ask your friend to do the same when you share things he said to you. Keep dates & times.

    Back track too on all the dangerous things he has done & said to you or your daughters or your family/friends.

    ****

    View your husband as a cult leader & you as a cult follower. This is part of the reason it is so hard to leave them.

    In addition get a fully medical from your doctor including STD testing. Plus cortisol levels, vitamin/mineral deficiency, thyroid T3 & T4 testing etc. All of these issues can occur with a toxic relationship.

    Look into Adrenal Fatigue…sites like Drlam. com & Adrenal Fatigue. org have a lot of valuable information for you to learn about this health issue. Most woman who leave abusers have PTSD (so do children) one of the things that must be healed to heal PTSD is your adrenal glands (they site on top of your kidneys & regulate blood pressure, blood sugar, cortisol & adrenaline levels and over 50 hormones). Under stress the adrenal glands become fatigue and wreak havoc on our bodies and mind. Some symptoms include anxiety, depression, mood swings, sleep issues, fatigue, brain fog…check their site for more.

  • #41405

    AnnettePK
    Participant

    20years,

    I can relate to your reluctance to leave. I am 5 years out of a fake ‘marriage’ to a psychopath porn addict (including child porn), pathological liar, abuser. For a long time, especially when I was still interacting with him, it was difficult for me to give myself permission to go for what I deserved and not feel a weird sense of guilt. I’ve read it described as FOG – fear, obligation, and guilt. I felt like I had to justify my decision to leave and take care of myself to others.

    From what you describe, he sounds like a classic psychopath and a pathological liar. It sounds like he is potentially even more dangerous than he already has been – He has raped you, he has killed a pet, he has put you at risk for an STD, and the emotional and psychological harm he is doing to you and your children may be more extensive than you realize. Consider that he may have done other and worse things that you have not found out about.

    He may be manipulating you even more than you are aware of. It sounds like he is using your guilt and your reticence to leave him to stage fake getting help/trying to change scenarios. Consider that he may be spying on your computer use, on your phone use, on where you go in your car, etc. He sounds like he could be very dangerous to you if he knows you will leave him. Is it possible that you are reluctant to leave him because your subconscious on some level knows that there is a risk that he may try to seriously harm you if you leave? The Gift of Fear by Gavin deBecker is a good book on the subject.

    It is unlikely that he will ever choose to change. It sounds like he is doing exactly what he wants to do and he is putting his efforts into not getting caught. When he does get caught he puts a lot of effort into faking that a change is just around the corner to manipulate you into not leaving.

    You sound amazingly strong and sane considering the betrayal and manipulation he has subjected you to. It sounds like you already know that leaving him is the right thing to do, and you recognize that there is something stopping you. It sounds like he is doing what he can to mess with your head to prevent you from making the final decision to leave.

    Consider planning your escape carefully so that he does not suspect your plans. Let him think you are buying his change that is just around the corner. Consider getting the best attorney that you can, lining up a safe place you and your children can go that he cannot find you, etc. There is lots of good advice available on the steps to take to leave safely and remain safe.

    You might consider working through this threat assessment survey tool https://www.mosaicmethod.com/ It can be helpful in organizing what you know and drawing conclusions. Also, the book Should I Stay or Should I Go? by Lundy Bancroft was helpful to me in coming to the best decision.

    Take care of yourself and your precious children. I wish you success and safety in getting away from this horrible man and finding a fulfilling and safe life.

    • This reply was modified 2 weeks ago by  AnnettePK.
  • #41411

    20yearswasted
    Participant

    Jan and Annette….thank you. It just feels so good to be validated and understood. These relationships are not your normal “bad” relationship….they are so toxic to the core, and as you both bring up, so dangerous. Annette, I never thought of what he has done to me as “rape” and wow that is heavy to read. One time, in 2014, after I discovered he had seen a hooker in a hotel and he lied to me about it…he forced me to have sex with him, also. I confronted him, and he refused to sleep anywhere but our bed and pretty much forced me to lay next to him because he was hounding me all night. By 4 am, he still hadn’t let me sleep, he was crying, carrying on about seeing angels, knowing how much he loved us and wanted to be a better man, and just PUSHED and PUSHED for sex…like…kept touching me, walking to my side of the bed and getting in my face and saying the same stuff over and over about regret, apologies, loving me and him “needing to have sex to make sure we were OK.” I never really consented, he just did it. It was awful and after I cried and stayed curled in a ball as far away from him as possible. He slept as though all was well.

    I have read the “Should I stay or should I go” book but should re-read it because I read it before I knew all that I now know. I didn’t realize he was in the midst of serial cheating back when I read it, I thought he had seen an escort “only” twice due to “mid life crisis” and also didn’t know about the porn, the other lies about our taxes, his false income reporting, prescription drugs, secret bank accounts, alias names, burner phones, multiple secret emails, memberships on Adult Friend Finders and so many other things. I read that book because he was so verbally, emotionally and even physically abusive to me and our girls, and so quick to anger and take it out on us or objects. IF he wasn’t angry, he was detached, a million miles away. He was physical with our middle daughter (shoving her, pulling her by the hair, slapping her shoulder and leaving a bruise). He also threatened to “throw her to her death over a balcony” (with words, not actions) and she came crying and shaking to me that night – in a posh resort in Vail, CO. I had been in another room with our 6 month old (at the time) so didn’t witness it, but it was very traumatic. The next day, while still in Vail, the girls and I walked around and I remember being so physically and emotionally drained from the chaos and drama I could barely function. He was walking around with fake cheer, taking the girls into the candy shop and just acting like a very dedicated happy family man. CPS got involved when we got home because I immediately went to a counselor with my daughter who was so traumatized. They reported him immediately. Also, she ended up talking to a teacher and that teacher reported the abuse as well. We were investigated (well, as a family we were but he was the target). They let it slide because we already had things lined up that they recommended (counseling for the girls, marriage counseling and his individual counseling, which he never attended at that time).

    At the time, those things were happening and our life was unraveling over the course of a few months. It has been a full time job getting everybody to counseling and keeping them safe from his abuse. All of this is what led me to get a protection order against him two years ago. He again got into a physical battle with our middle daughter (10 at the time) and injured her (and himself minorly) by trying to make her leave with him and they were both slamming the door/pushing it between the garage and house. She was sobbing because she did not want a ride to art camp with him and he was so angry that he was leaving anyway and if I gave her a ride, I would be wasting gas. (he was super controlling about money). He was using all of his 6’2″ adult male force against a small 10 year old child and it hurt her wrist. He jammed a finger and he actually called me leaving a voicemail berating her, angry about her “disrespect” and carrying on about his “jammed finger.” Meanwhile, I was in the courthouse obtaining the order. The judge heard just a few stories and immediately gave it to me.

    He hasn’t had that sort of anger anymore, but he also hasn’t been around us much, so who knows if it would return.

    I just keep getting caught up in the thought that “this time” is different since he seems to be diving in so sincerely to recovery, saying how good it feels to finally be free of secrets and to be living his life honestly. Yet, because of the YEARS of history of his lies and betrayals, abuse and neglect….I truly don’t believe it and why would anyone? It seems insane. I have been very strong, as so many of us learn to be, and have maintained as “normal” a life for our three girls as possible. I do worry about how affected they are. My older two really don’t think about him much, don’t want to spend much time with him at all unless (sadly) he dangles something fun like this coming weekend he is taking them rafting and in a few weeks horseback riding. For all the years he lived with us (and he has not lived with us for two years other than a 5 month stint in the middle of that) he really stayed pretty detached from the kids and I unless they were doing something he also wanted to do, like hike or swim in our pool…things like that. He always went to concerts and conferences, but kind of seemed robotic and not highly engaged. I guess his mind was always elsewhere…on the secret double life!

    I do worry that he could snap and have felt that way for years, especially due to his lack of empathy and his cold, calculated feelings of “if I can’t have what I want, then you (whoever) will pay.” It seems easier towing the line of peaceful separation, but I get so exhausted with his long texts about his change, committment to recovery, undying love for me and the girls, etc. Today he is getting his STD test (maybe his 5th that I know of..what a joke in a marriage). He keeps acting like once he does that, we will be “free” and says “we are on the cusp of greatness, the best marriage ever, the life I deserve that he should have given me at the beginning.” Feels like love bombing, and even if he means it in the moment, he has said this sort of thing before and then always goes back to the hookers.

    I bought my own house and firmly do NOT plan to leave and sneak away. I have a good lawyer, but he has the “best” shark lawyer in town, who he retained two years ago and will definitely continue to use. I am afraid of that, too. I am afraid of the expense, both financially and emotionally of full divorce. It seems like the path of least resistance to just continue to do nothing other than stay separated, but he will ramp up the pressure, especially once he gets his STD test which he 100% assumes will be “fine.” I found out he actually gave oral sex to a few of the escorts he saw, yet he doesn’t see that as the same type of exposure as unprotected intercourse (and he is a doctor!!). And what type of escort allows oral from a paying client? Even if he had miraculously changed, the fact he did all that while married and after getting caught so many other times is so disgusting I don’t think I could actually touch him ever again!! I thought he had been doing well in February (he was going on about his change back then) and was intimate with him once. Turns out he had been with an escort just a few days before yet allowed us to be intimate anyway. This was just after his last clean STD test, and I thought we were on the path to a possible reconciliation as he had me convinced he was doing so great, in therapy, etc. I was and still am livid he would risk my health like that! Again!! As I am sure over the years I was put at risk over and over again…..

    I believe I am in that FOG (Fear, Obligation, GUilt). That describes how I feel perfectly. How does one fully get out? I have been through so many awful experiences with him it has almost become normalized. I guess i already know what I need to do. I have to just walk through it…the pain, the fear, the ugly battle I know will happen in court. I keep looking for a sign, for some sort of answer to let me know the RIGHT thing to do…believe in his change or be done. I flip flop multiple times a day on the “right” thing to do. I am fearful of divorcing and then realizing maybe he really did change, maybe he really wasn’t narcissistic/psychopathic/sociopathic (whichever it may be).

    Sigh….. this is so difficult.

  • #41414

    AnnettePK
    Participant

    Thank you for taking the time to share more details. There are several similarities to my psychopath experience. We lived apart for several years. It was a situation constantly in limbo. In retrospect it was a blessing for me but at the time it caused me consternation because I was trying to make the ‘marriage’ work. My ex used the living separate but still having contact to keep control of me and my thinking, and to continue to use me for status, impression management, money, etc.

    Every time he got caught, my ex put on the fake change, going to Sex Addicts 12 step program, confessing some lies (which may have been fake lies, and always insisting that he was clearing the slate once and for all and confessing all the lies so I would never find out yet another awful thing he was doing nor another lie he had told and established). This was a pattern that went on for the 4 -5 years. It’s a pattern that doesn’t happen when a person is internally motivated to change and actually makes a change. It’s a pattern that’s based on getting caught and doing some things to manipulate the victim into staying around so the spath can exploit her for whatever he wants.

    You may already have the sign that you’re looking for. Viewing my experience from 5+ years out, I realize that if my ex was really motivated to change and he really did change, I would have known it. I would not have doubted or felt unsure. The fact that you are uncertain to the degree that you are having doubts whether his change is real may be a sign that your inner wisdom knows he is operating under the same motivation that he’s always operated under and that he is doing what he always has been doing because that’s what he likes to do.

    Another thought that comes to mind is the Biblical wisdom that people can be discerned by the results of their behavior. “You will know them by their fruits. A good tree cannot bear bad fruit, nor can a bad tree bear good fruit.” (Matt 7:16,18) If you look at the results of his choices and your interactions with him, he has caused you pain and stress, the children are uncomfortable around him, a pet cat died at his hand, etc. A man who loves his family and makes choices taking into account the well being of others does not have the overwhelming negative impact on others.

    I was married (and widowed from) a wonderful man 10 years before I was targeted by the psychopath. I was happy and content. We had normal ups and downs, but overall it was wonderful. I didn’t doubt him, I didn’t want to leave the marriage. Our energy went to navigating our work and leisure activities, relationships with friends and families, spiritual growth, etc. Having had a normal and right marriage helped me to recognize how evil and abnormal the psychopath was, but I still doubted myself and took a long time to leave. They are master manipulators.

    If your ex is a medical doctor could he manage the system to show you fake results of HIV/STD tests? Have you considered getting tested yourself to be sure? I insisted my ex psychopath get tested at the local health dept, and I saw the written results.

    Keep in mind that your ex does not think and believe like normal people. It took me a long time to get this about my ex spath. They do not care about others’ well being. They are not bothered by harming others – no conscience. They get pleasure from duping, controlling, and manipulating others. They like to appear ‘normal’ and ‘good’ so that they can get benefits of others not knowing what their true perverse motivations are. They do not bond with anyone – they use people. They do not experience sadness nor discomfort of any kind if they are cut off from someone they are ‘close’ to. They may experience discomfort usually felt as rage and a motivation for revenge when they lose a benefit associated with someone – money, a place to live, sex, a prop for impression management, or whatever they want.

    When I finally figured out some of how my ex psychopath thinks, what he wants, and the techniques he was using to control me, I was able to predict his behavior fairly well. I also came to understand how dangerous they can be because they have no conscience nor caring for others to restrain them from doing anything that they think will get them what they want if they think they will not get caught.

    Everyone is different and every situation is different. You will make the right decision for you at the right time for you. It’s difficult to the point of a nightmare, a horror, and a walk through hell. I hope you’ll find a solution that brings you happiness soon.

  • #41429

    pauliengen
    Participant

    Hi
    I can really connect to the situation. Take this as a warning. He is a psycho. Just think about the life of the three girls. They need a stable and secure life. I suggest you to get rid of him . There are many domestic assault lawyers whom you can seek for help. Think of a better future and drive off the past. One of my friends has gone through the same situation. Better you cut the bond with him as these type of people are very difficult to be dealt with. You will find it much harder to adjust when time goes. There is no need to suffer all these harassments . Take a legal help and end the relation.

  • #41437

    20yearswasted
    Participant

    Annette, you sound so knowledgeable with this sort of situation. I do wonder if the 12 step program is actually working just a bit, though. He has went faithfully for 14 weeks. Yet, I only have to look backwards to realize that he ALWAYS comes back to the lying, cheating with escorts and everything else. And you made a very good point: the pattern is based on GETTING CAUGHT not wanting go change and coming clean on his own. Every single time. I am actually afraid of pushing the divorce through, mainly because I feel he will do something crazy. He is not a violent person, yet he seems the time who want what he wants and if he can’t have it…maybe he feels nobody should. Like those guys who take out their whole family and then themselves. I just read about another one today…a medical doctor who killed his 1 year old son, girlfriend and other of the child and their family dog. Supposedly out of jealously and her wanting to leave. That one hits close to home because people don’t typically expect this sort of thing from professionals in the “helping profession.”

    I don’t trust my gut enough, because it is all over the place. He claims I don’t see the change because I won’t spend time with him (I see him once or twice a week and he sometimes bombards me with voicemails and texts, other days is more quiet.). I think I am just so sick of hoping he has changed from the past experiences, then being devastated to discover more cycles of cheating and lying…that I can’t see anything other than protecting myself from more of the same. Always waiting for the other shoe to drop.

    My STBXH can’t manipulate the STD results because he did go to the county health clinic, just yesterday. We’ll see what happens. He is 100% confident he is fine.

    You also mentioned how they don’t experience sadness. I think that is true. He does it in inappropriate bursts when he is not getting what he wants from me, but I will never forget when his grandparents were killed by a drunk driver and we were at the funeral (a very sad occasion 18 years ago when we were just married)…he never even cried. He just sat there when he heard the news, went to a dark room and was totally quiet. THen, at the funeral, had a glazed look but wouldn’t talk about it (or couldn’t) and never cried. I remember thinking it so odd and creepy.

    I am sick of being in limbo yet too afraid/paralyzed to push forward and end it legally. I do see a counselor, but I am still stuck in the muck. I think I have normalized it and when he acts rational and “normal” in between crazy episodes…I start to think maybe I am over reacting. Sigh…

  • #41439

    Jan7
    Participant

    20yearswasted, are you 100% sure your husband goes to the 12 step meetings??

    They lie about everything, especially where they have been.

    Not saying he is not going, but are you 100% certain.

    You have been living in a tornado just trying to survive emotionally & mentally…and from time to time the tornado you have been living in everyday comes to a stop & you see bits of the truth but then the tornado starts again and you are back to survival mode & it’s hard to see the truth through his tornado of chaos & drama he creates.

    You have made great steps out of this relationship. From what you have shared with us, my indication is you want out fully. I get your fear of leaving him…rightfully so. So your GUT INSTINCT is working correctly. He is dangerous. He has been physically abusive towards your daughters in the past (maybe you too??).

    I can tell you from my own experience, I wanted out of the relationship when we were just dating. I never wanted to date my ex, move in with him or marry him. He knew how to manipulate me to keep driving into his hell. I would often tell myself in the beginning of my dating relationship with him “I need to get away from him”….never had I done that. At the end I was saying “I need to get away from him & screw my head back on” because he has fried my brain with stress and my gut was telling me throughout the relationship to GET AWAY FROM HIM…I just did not listen to my gut.

    YOUR GUT IS TELLING YOU TO GET AWAY FROM HIM!!! How do I know this? Because you moved into your own home & you are hear getting help plus seeing a counselor.

    We are taught many many myths growing up. Example: “Marriage is hard work”…”you need to work on your marriage”. NO marriage is not hard work unless you are married to a sociopath or narcissist!! IN your mind hon you are tying to follow this mantra…”Fix the marriage no matter what toll it talks on me or the children”. but I can tell you, you are never going to fix this marriage…how do I know this?

    Because you have been trying to “fix this marriage for 20 years”!!!

    Your name says it all “20 YEARS WASTED”.

    DONT WASTE ANYMORE TIME. Not every marriage can be fixed…nor should they be. You are living with a very disordered individual. No matter who he is with he is going to bring this behavior into the relationship!

    At What point do you say…I cut my losses & now it’s time to RUN AWAY from my abusers?

    What I now know is these narcissist & sociopaths narcissist are CULT LEADERS. It does not matter if it’s one person they control i.e. domestic abuse or a million. They literally use the same mind controlling & brain washing as a dictator of a communist country like North Korea or Cuba.

    The slowly & methodically start to take over your mind. This is what you are dealing with hon. But the good news is you are breaking free your mind from his control.

    The fact that you still see him once or twice a week is not good. With any relationship with a sociopath you want a clean break from their mind control. The best thing to do is follow the No Contact Rule (google & search on LF). But With kids it’s harder to do this so you need to follow the “Low Contact Rule” (google). Here at Lovefraud Donna has written about “Grey Rock Method” (do a search up in the right top corner here at LF).

    EVERYDAY READ EVERYTHING YOU CAN GET YOUR HANDS ON i.e. Here at lovefruad & also look at Psychopathyawareness. wordpress. com. The more you read the more you will open your mind up from your husbands brain washing & mind control. When you are crying = READ, when you are sad = READ, when you are angry = READ!!! Once you read some new information try to analysis based on your own relationship.

    What you need to do slowly is to break off the contact with him via email & text if you are doing this daily. Then slowly break off the phone calls with kids you might have to limit them. This will set things up for when you do decide to finally break free of him. You need to do this SLOWLY…so he do not sense what you are doing. You need to play a game with him without him knowing. This for your protection & your children protection. But do this with the help of your Local abuse center!

    I also want to share with you that when I finally had enough, I packed my bags & drove 3000 miles away from my (ex)h. I was lucky enough to have been directed to a good knowledgeable counselor & I also went to my local abuse center for free counseling & women group meetings.

    The counseling does not discuss personality disorders but The counselor shared with me her personal story and it helped tremendously. She recommended that I go to the women group meetings. Which I did and was a true true blessing to hear all of the women stories (40 of them). It was the first time I literally heard my same story being told my others who lived the same hell as I did. It was quite shocking and also a true awakening that YES leaving was the RIGHT thing to do.

    I can tell you that before that first counseling session at my local abuse center I sat in the car for 30 mins crying my eyes out. I was so embarrassed to go inside. I sat in the car thinking to myself..how the hell did I get here when I saw all the warning signs the second I met him!! Literally the second I met my h. But there I was in my fancy car, collage educated, a top career in my field outside a local abuse center.

    But walking in changed my life!! It was a blessing. This is why I keep mentioning for you to go to your local abuse center for free women group meeting. They really are a blessing. You dont have to go to one every week. But try just one. Dont be embarrassed or shame to go to these meetings. But do it without your husband knowing & your youngest child (she might slip without knowing she is giving away this life saving step to your husband on a visit).

    Ask yourself this question everyday.

    How many more years am I going to waste with this abusive man?

    Hugs to you!!💜

    Take care

    • This reply was modified 1 week, 6 days ago by  Jan7.
  • #41441

    Jan7
    Participant

    Hi 20yearswasted,

    Just wanted to add a few more things for you to look at:

    If you google “Oprah Dr Phil Life Code you tube” and “Dr Phil Life code video” you can watch his/Oprahs interview on his book Life Code. the book is about spotting with narcissist & sociopath without mentioning the words sociopath & narcissist.

    Google “The sociopath next door by Dr Martha Stout You tube” to listen the audio book for free. She is a Harvard professor.

    Watch Donna Anderson’s videos up at the top of LF.

    In addition your local library may have books on domestic abuse & sociopath books. Like I stated the more you read & learn about his disorder the more you will open up your mind.

    My counselors gave me the book “Woman who love psychopaths by Sandra Brown. It was extremely helpful.

    As for your husband not crying at such a traumatic event as the loss of his grandparents. My ex & his whole family (which I believe them all to be sociopaths too!) did not cry at their grandmothers funeral.

    Like you I sat in the church in disbelief at ALL the family members not crying. It was so shocking & bazar so much so I notice, like you, their odd behavior. And at my ex h’s mothers 3rd husbands funeral..his mother refused to give any ashes to his grown children & had my ex h & his brother go secretly to spread the ashes in the church grave yard without his children even present.

    His mother was always verbally abusive towards her 3rd husband who was the kindest man. So sad. I remember at the funeral telling my ex h & his brother (when hearing that his sons wanted some ashes) to give some ashes to his kids so they could do what they wanted i.e. keep them or spread them somewhere they thought he might want to be. It was a RED FLAG into their disordered mental mindset just like your husbands.

    Sociopaths & narcissist lack empathy & compassion for others!! It’s one of the top ways to identify one of these disorder individuals.

  • #41446

    20yearswasted
    Participant

    Jan,
    You have such insightful posts, it amazes me. You sound like a therapist…very clued in. I guess decades with a sociopath/narcissist will do that. I have read everything I can and do feel very educated as well on the behaviors and red flags. This is why it is so amazing to me that I keep doubting my situation. “Is he REALLY a narcissist/sociopath?, or did he just make bad decisions?” Mine is so covert in many ways. He never has called me names (just ignored me), always has kept a steady and actually thriving career/financial income, never used me for money/a place to stay or anything other than I suppose a “beard” to make him look more normal? I hate to even say that because I do know a part of him really wants the normal family life, he probably just can’t maintain it (the narc/sociopath thing) forever before he has to dive into some sort of secret deviance. So why is his talk of change and 12 step program sounding so sincere? Ugh. Yes, I do know he goes. I know where the meetings are held and see that he is there (on the life 360 app which he uses as a way to show accountability, though I realize it would be easy for him to manipulate that as well). I have seen his workbook with his copious notes from the meetings and he talks about it, always seems really motivated after he attends. I know he goes to therapy regularly, too. Despite that…it could be an act, something to tick off a list, but I do think there is a part of him who wants to be better. I also think there is that part of him that gets easily frustrated and impatient and feels entitled so when he does not get what he wants….he does what he wants (acting out with hookers or whatever it may be).

    It sounds like we have lived some similarities in dealing with them as well as their families. I found my in-laws to be very toxic, definitely not “normal” people as they have no friends at all and only spend time with each other or other family members. My FIL spends 12 hours a day on the computer and my MIL said she suspected he cheated and is also into porn. He ignores her, yells at her, and she serves him his three meals a day and does all the housework while he sits in his cave looking at stocks, political stuff, and whatever else he does. It is such a strange existence. I felt like I was one of the only people who could see through their odd behaviors, but my husband has 2 brothers and all three of them have cycled through wives. I am wife #2 for mine, the others are on wife #3 each…which I suspect will be my husband when we are divorced. And the family never speaks of it, just pretends we never existed and moves on excitedly to the next victim. It is all so strange…

    I did go to a domestic violence center for women and children two years ago, attended some counseling sessions (they were the first ones who pointed out that I was dealing with abuse as I thought abuse was physical at that time). They also helped me get the restraining order. That whole time was like a blur. I never attended womens groups, but I, like you, remember sitting in the parking lot in my nice car, nice clothes, knowing I held a highly respectable position in the community with my work, thinking….”I don’t belong here. This does not align with my every day life.” I am embarrassed to admit the stereotypes I had of “abused women.” So, I have done all the research, received help, but I still get sucked in. Yes, I am living in my own house and he is not here, but I have been trying to keep things amicable because I am fearful of what will happen if I don’t. Also, our 4 year old really loves him and they have a great relationship. I don’t want to take that from either of them.

    Jan, you give me so much to think about. Thank you.

  • #41447

    AnnettePK
    Participant

    20 Years,

    I can so relate to much of what you describe. I did not really know what abuse was before my psychopath experience. I never thought I could ever be the victim of abuse – I am too well educated, too street wise, too savy, and I have too much self esteem. I didn’t realize my arrogance since I’d never really consciously thought it out; it was just a basic assumption that abuse could not happen to me. I was humbled, and recalled how standoffish (and unconsciously feeling somewhat superior) I had once been to a woman at church who was open about her struggles to overcome past victimization in abusive relationships.

    When we got a call that my ex spath’s brother was in a serious motorcycle accident and was being airlifted to the hospital, my ex didn’t seem affected. I was pretty upset and got caught up in getting out the door and to the hospital as quick as possible, and didn’t notice his lack of distress. My preteen son said, “(Spath’s Name), you don’t seem to be upset,” or something similar. Spath said something along the lines of well I just know he’ll be alright. That moment came back to me later on when I started to understand what was going on. It was part of a pattern.

    I was targeted by a psychopath who is very very good at what he does; and I was gullible since I did not know people like him existed. It was a year and a half into our relationship, about 6 months after we ‘married’ that I first caught him in a lie. It took me a very long time to understand what his motivations are and a very long time to leave him, considering we have no children together, and finances were not an issue as I, like he, have a professional career. He continues to successfully fool most people, other than my family and close friends of decades before I met him who know me well.

    Leaving emotionally, psychologically and physically, is a complex and difficult decision. You’ll make the right decision for you at the right time. In my case, it took continued horrible behavior by the spath before I finally got it. I also recognized how much my young teenage son was being harmed, and I made a commitment to myself that the psychopath would have no contact with my son. From that decision, everything kind of flowed towards permanent separation.

    I recognized that my decision to leave was predicated on the spath’s behavior. If he changed his behavior and underlying motivations, I was prepared to reconcile. Of course the change never happened.

    My ex spath attended a 12 step program, several counselors, and several abusers’ groups. He told some truth and some lies to the groups. He manipulated his sponsor into taking his side in conflicts between the spath and me. He subtly blocked me from attending the meetings for family members. He quit going when it no longer served his purpose (to keep me hanging on), and he said he quit because a minister mentioned in a sermon that the world’s counseling, etc, is not effective without faith and God’s intervention. He twisted around this basic Christian view into meaning God doesn’t want him to use available tools to overcome his sins.

    It’s my understanding that people who choose these behaviors generally do not change, although miracles can happen, but it’s unlikely based on expert’s experience with the disorder.

    You might consider that the good relationship that your youngest child has with her father may be due to the fact that he can control her, and he may be able to use her to manipulate others. Men who lie, cheat on their children’s mother, abuse and bully their children’s mother, are not concerned with the well being of their children. I understand your desire to facilitate positive interactions between them, but consider staying on the lookout for him causing her harm if a situation ever arises where it suits his purpose to do something that may not be in her best interest.

    My ex spath used whatever techniques worked on me – he was subtle. Spaths tailor their manipulation and abuse to whatever works on a particular target. They may be ‘nice’ to one person and ‘mean’ to another. This has nothing to do with the target although the spath will blame his choice of behavior on something the victim says or does. It has everything to do with what the spath wants and what he thinks will work to get it. Spaths will switch from behavior generally considered ‘nice’ to behavior generally considered ‘mean’ on a dime, depending on what they think will work. They will also switch very quickly from acting angry to love bombing to whatever else they think will work. Normal people cannot move from a genuine state of anger that fast – the spath is faking emotions so he can turn them on and off abruptly.

    You might consider that your ex may be manipulating you and the situation so that you are living separately but remaining married. He may prefer interacting with you only one or two days a week. It gives him the freedom to do porn and whatever else he does, and he conveniently blames you for the separation. My ex would create arguments/fights and abuse/bully me and/or my son until we left. When he’d got his fill of having the house (my house) to himself while my son and I slept on the floor of my son’s uncle’s condo, the spath would fake make up/repent, usually just in time to take us to church on the weekend. I didn’t recognize the pattern for a long time, since the spath kept lots of confusing spin going, contacting me just enough to keep me confused, disappearing and refusing to interact when it would drive me crazy, etc.

    You sound like you’ve got self control. Regrettably, I did not do so well. The spath was always successful in eventually pushing my buttons and I’d lose control and go off, no matter what my resolve had been. I never could master the grey rock technique, and I never was successful in using to my advantage what I knew about him when I began to understand his motivations. I had to go no contact and get away from him to get control of myself and the situation.

    Having no contact with my ex spath removed the source of the pain and confusion; and I began to feel much better and think much more clearly. No contact is the best way to recover and have a good life. That may not be an option for you in your situation, especially with minor children.

    It sounds like your ex blames you for the mean, unethical, dishonest behavior he chooses to do. It sounds like he likes making you feel bad. He knows what hurts you and what will result in your happiness, yet he continues to choose harmful behaviors and then lie to you about them to keep you hopeful and engaged. My ex was constantly trying to make me think he was just on the verge of change to keep me on the hook. He knew exactly what he was doing.

    It’s likely your ex knows what he’s doing, and that he likes doing it, and that he’s doing a lot of things to keep control of you to get you to do what he wants you to do. From what you describe it doesn’t sound like he cares about your well being. Given that he’s a pathological liar, it’s likely that there are things he’s done that you aren’t aware of. From what you’ve described, it sounds like he is not likely to change. You might consider making a pro and con list of different courses of action you can take to make your life better, for example remaining married and living separately until the children are older; divorcing now; staying in your town; moving to another continent; moving back in together; It might be worth considering lots of possibilities even if they seem extreme and unrealistic, as the brainstorming may help you organize your thoughts about the problem and decide on a course of action in which you can find peace. You might consider employing the grey rock technique https://lovefraud.com/the-gray-rock-method-of-dealing-with-psychopaths/ while you slowly distance yourself, maybe move to another town an hour or two away on the pretense of a new job, a new school, being near a friend or relative who needs you, you going back to school, or the like. That scenario may not make sense in your situation, but you may find something that will work for you.

    You might consider taking action now based on your ex not changing. If he does make a real change, you can always change course.

    Best wishes for you to find a way to make your life as good as it can possibly be given the circumstances, for the sake of yourself, your children, your other family, and your friends.

  • #41475

    Jan7
    Participant

    20yearswasted, Donna just posted a post regarding Mary Ann Glynn FREE online chat THIS Sunday at 5. Mary Ann has written several postings on the Forum section. She is a licensed Counselor. Recently she & Donna did a video interview together that was excellent. I would highly recommend that you take the time Sunday to join this chat group. Here is part of the post. Just look on the main “blog” post for the full post.

    “Join our free online video/voice chat (your choice) Sunday, July 23, 2017 at 5 pm EDT (to accommodate European time) at www. destructiverelationshipshelp. com. To join, let us know ahead of time (using the Contact Form at the bottom of the Home page) and we will send you a link.”

    • This reply was modified 1 week, 4 days ago by  Jan7.
  • #41485

    Jan7
    Participant

    Hi Wasted20years, I was where you are now without having information as to what my (ex)h was at the time in our marriage. I wanted out. But I felt mentally, emotional & physically stuck. I would cry for hours and think to myself that I would never have put up with someones crap like I am with him.

    What kept me stuck in my abusive marriage for so long and what keeps you stuck in this relationship?

    1) These disordered individuals know how to keep their victims stressed out. When you are stressed your body releases cortisol, adrenaline and mess with your blood pressure, blood sugar and hormones. When stress happens continuously from a toxic relationship these things wreak havoc on our body’s & mind. When you are stressed out you can not make good decisions!! They some how know this instinctively.

    2) These disordered individuals play so many mind games that you end up not knowing which way is up & which way is down let alone be able to find the door out of the relationship.

    3) they are Cult leaders dictating to us so that we can not think for our selves and become more & more & more dependent on them for everyday life. Even though you feel like you are more independent from your h, he still has control over your mind since to see him a few times a week.

    Your h is a Cult Leader & you are his cult follower. And so is your youngest. Your older children have broken free from his mind control and see the truth about him.

    4) The install fear & phobias into our minds so there is a fear of leaving them. Feeling that we cant live without them.

    5) they break us down so much emotionally, mentally & verbally that we think that we are unloveable. But it is really them that is unlovable!!!

    6) they occupy our time so that we can not think about getting out of the relationship.

    7) They groom & love bomb us to change our minds to their. To doubt our gut feelings. i.e. he is telling you he is changing so now you believe him. just like my ex did but guess what when I finally escaped him he had 5 women on the hook two different states & having sex with 3 of them…I know there were more. This all along telling me that he loved me, happy he was married to me blah blah blah. ALL lies.

    8 -1000) the list is endless of what they do to keep us stuck.

    But what can you do to take little steps out of this abusive relationship everyday?

    Start a list of things you need to do to get out i.e. contact lawyers, contact abuse center for safety & exit plans, install home security etc etc. What ever you need to get out…make that list!!!

    Then each day or week complete something on the list. Ask your most trusted family members & friends to help. One of the things that abusers do is isolate their victims from their friends & family so they feel alone bonding them more to the abuser. So reach out and ask for support.

    Today I was thinking about one of your post where you stated that you have not read anyone story that is similar to your husbands behavior.

    What about Tiger Woods?!?!?

    Look how many woman he had hooked into his sick dysfunctional world! Thank goodness his wife found out part of the truth. Clearly there was more that was not exposed by the media but it was enough for his wife to escape his “sex addiction” sociopathic dysfunction.

    You stated:

    “..He never has called me names (just ignored me), always has kept a steady and actually thriving career/financial income, never used me for money/a place to stay..”

    Do you realize he did use you for sex & a cover?

    Just like Tiger Woods used his wife & children!

    He used you hon. Maybe not in the way you think. But he used you & your children.

    Also are you sure he has a “driving” business?

    He was paying for hookers for his sex ADDICTION…how much did that cost him each time? each month? each Year? Was he paying high end escorts?

    That can get expensive.

    Has he had a hidden bank account to cover these cash transactions so that there is no record of his dark double life? both from you & the medical board etc??

    Also Elliot Spitzer former NY State Attorney (job title??) google. He too paid for high end escorts throughout his marriage. Read up on him. Thank goodness his wife finally escaped him.

    People with addictions dont usually have a “thriving business”…yes it appears that way but once you pull back the curtains you realize it was all smoke & mirrors.

    You state:

    “…So why is his talk of change and 12 step program sounding so sincere? Ugh..”

    Hon, he has been conning you from day one to believe his lies. He knows how to manipulate your mindset, like all sociopath do, to make you believe anything he says!

    he has been selling you the Brooklyn Bridge since day one & you keep believe that he owns it.

    I did the same. Everyone that is entangled in a sociopaths web of deception does too!

    At what point do you say I draw the line in the sand and if he crosses this line thats it, Im filing for divorce?

    What are your relationship deal breakers in your marriage?

    You have been putting up with a HELL of a lot…lots of relationship deal breakers but you keep going?

    WHY?

    (ps I’m not a theapist…just someone that escaped hell, like you are trying to do now. SO many lifted me up in my darkest days after escaping hell by helping me sort out the nightmare. Im so grateful for the time of so many strangers on these support sites…so now I try to pay it forward)

    Hugs to you!💜

    • This reply was modified 1 week, 4 days ago by  Jan7.
  • #41488

    20yearswasted
    Participant

    Annette and Jan,

    Again, such wise, well-thought out posts. I appreciate the reference to Donna and the videos. Those are very helpful. I also appreciate the wisdom and experience you share. You are so right…strangers on the internet can have an amazing impact on helping us see it for what it is: abuse and manipulation. I am impressed you both got out and are on the other side. Prior to finding people in situations similar to mine (but not identical, though you make a good point about Tiger Woods) I kept trying to convince myself “it wasn’t that bad.” Or, that “he wasn’t that bad, just making mistakes but loves us” – oh the cliche of that thinking!! Ugh.

    I do have a long journey ahead because as you point out, yes I have made progress towards independence but he absolutely does not accept that it is over, and continues to talk to me as though “we” are a “we” and as though I am being stupid and stubborn for not spending time with him, dating him, going out to dinner with him, letting him come over and help me, etc. He wants to swoop in and “help me, show me how he is the husband I have always wanted.” All of the typical love bombing, but I like so many am left confused and wondering if it is real or just manipulation. And I will say it over and over…leaving him just sounds so difficult given we have three kids and no family or great support network nearby. I did what so many do…I let myself get isolated. Now, if you looked at my fb account I would look like a woman with friends, I look like a strong, put-together even happy woman….yet….I don’t have those types of friends I am comfortable to call in a moment of need. I don’t really talk about my situation anymore to people because it just sounds so far fetched and my husband is “sparkly.” He is handsome, well-liked (superficially anyway) educated and successful (so it seems….but yes he has spent over $10,000 on the hookers alone so who knows what else is out there). This image he has really makes it hard for friends to believe or understand all he has done, and he comes off as Mr. Fun, nice guy, family guy to the public. Behind closed doors…he used to always be angry or disconnected…never part of things. I used to tell him it was like he enjoyed orbiting around us (our three girls and myself) but not really interacting, just knowing we were there yet if we made too much noise, mess or disagreed with something…..the anger was unleashed. But…people never saw that side of him and even better friends of mine told me they just couldn’t see it. It was defeating, so I stopped trying to explain. When I got the restraining order (which isn’t an easy thing to do) and when two separate people contacted CPS about him….I still wasn’t really believed.

    Everybody (other than my family) is still fb friends with him, still invites him to things, and many even feel sorry for him that he was “kicked out” by big bad me. It is all so unfair, yet I feel I have to be careful broadcasting to the world his hooker obsession and other deviance because I don’t want to ruin his practice which in turn would make my life and my kids’ life difficult. So I feel so stuck…

    I always go off on tangents, sorry. As I type, I have a pit of anxiety because he is coming over soon to pick up my oldest daughter to take her white water rafting and has been begging me to go as well and “relax in the hot springs, go to a fancy dinner with all the kids, stay the weekend in a beautiful suite.” He is constantly dangling carrots of our old lifestyle, meanwhile here I am in my simple home struggling with my lawn, sprinkler system and landscaping (I used to have a company take care of the yard when I lived with him, so much of this is trial and error and new to me), struggling with fix-it projects that keep popping up, and so many other things. It is just about impossible to relax because there is so much work to do between full time job, three kids, and maintaining a house by myself inside and out (with some help from the teens). I find myself often fantasizing about going back to him just for the easier lifestyle – then I quickly shut it down and get disgusted with myself.

  • #41492

    elle
    Participant

    Good morning 20yearswasted ~

    I get it and I am sorry for all you are dealing with:(

    I married my H 36 years ago and am now in the midst of the ugliest divorce imaginable.

    These individuals, or at least the one in my life, have such a vengeance towards us when we take the distance we need and blow the whistle.

    The entitlement is alarming and the lies he spews without batting an eye are breathtaking.

    Reading this post has enlightened me so much and I am so grateful to Donna for her wisdom and those who have posted… providing this sacred place for support and education. My only regret.. I wish I found it sooner… but then again… I was immersed in trying to: understand the crazy making behaviors, protect my children,myself and yes. our animals… he is a very, very dangerous and sick man.

    Unfortunately, I danced as fast all those years, speaking up of course, going to therapy alone and with him… none of it worked except my own therapy.. yet my therapist suggested ways to engage him to see his behaviors and get help… WRONG… it only led to more madness and issues of power and control not to mention it kept me hooked to him and the disorder. YUCK

    64 years old and depleted… I can’t believe the years I spent trying to understand the dysfunctional and confusing behaviors, the cruelty, the lies and manipulations. I have 3 older daughters- 29, 31 & 35. He continues to distort and play the victim and does so with eloquence.

    My youngest daughter and I got a restraining order in 2014 and he has made it very difficult ever since and consistently manipulates 2 of our daughters with lies,playing the victim…. he uses them and plays rather PREYS on them.

    The very thought of my having had empathy for him in the early years as he was slowly ramping up his toxic behaviors, dysfunction and abuse is totally mind boggling not to mention infuriating to me.

    I understand how exhausted you are… I feel the same… BUT…. DO NOT GO BACK… it is a snake pit… the darkest hole I could ever have imagined being in.I have been there for FAR TOO LONG.

    I am slowly crawling out of this mess. I have over $ 19,000. of legal fees and the bills are still mounting.. of course I probably don’t have to tell you he has a PRO-BONO lawyer… these individuals are so slick!

    We head to court for a battle in September before a Judge for the one asset we have.. the marital home which I have paid for and supported throughout this ghastly marriage and my business is here… I have no money… and although I inherited over $ 900,000. in the course of our marriage…all this money went into renovating our home, maintaining our family and educating our daughters… yes he refused to pay for their college education.. of course behind closed doors…. his parents did not pay to educate him… so he wasn’t paying for their college education was his thought process.
    He wasn’t going to pay for any weddings either: “they could have a pot luck bar-b-que in the back yard”

    Ahhhh… such a hateful, cold hearted,manipulative,deceitful, mean spirited, selfish human being… but in front of them… mr fun dad, not a care in the world, no boundaries and no filters.

    IF THE COURT ALLOWS….. I WILL KEEP MY RESTRAINING ORDER IN EFFECT FOR THE REST OF MY LIFE AS WILL OUR YOUNGEST DAUGHTER.

    Your H dangling carrots in front of your nose is nothing more than more than just that… more disgusting manipulation. The abuses will not end there and from my personal experience… the abuse gets worse…. it got physical… when he figured out he couldn’t manipulate me anymore & that I have figured him out.. it was major DISCARD TIME… and the abuses worsened.

    Our daughter had to call the police one night because of his raging and out of control behavior. It was terrifying. When the police arrived… he lied to the detective and told him I kicked him in the groin…. I was dumbfounded and then the startling reality set in that I could have been arrested and charged for something I did not do. THANK GOD MY DAUGHTER WAS THERE AND WITNESSED THE ENTIRE EVENT. NEVER EVER…. will I ever be subject to his dysfunction and madness again.

    So please stay strong as hard as it is. I truly know firsthand how difficult it is. I struggle every day with the finances,the upkeep of this property, the heartache of my family being fractured and so much more… but I now recognize the seriousness of this disorder and these individuals do not change.

    The promises are nothing but more lies and manipulation to lure back in. Shine your light bright… even though it may feel as if it is just a flicker some days. Build yourself back up… one day at a time and sometimes one moment at a time.

    Give yourself some much needed self love and compassion.

    You deserve better… your children deserve better.

    This is one of the ugliest of betrayals I could ever imagine.

    I never could have imagined I would have to walk this path in my lifetime.

    What I know is this:
    I refuse to give up on myself, my life and my daughters. I do not own
    this disorder of his… it is his and his alone.

    I have NO CONTROL over him or his behaviors but I do have control over
    mine.

    I have made the conscious choice to do what I can to reclaim my life, to
    find peace and joy again. We all deserve that.

    With love,light and blessings~
    Elle

  • #41494

    20yearswasted
    Participant

    Elle,

    What a story. I also have three daughters, as you probably saw in my post. My youngest (4) adores him, the oldest (15) tolerates him but I think it is because she takes advantage of his “carrots” such as the new mountain bike, the rafting trips and other things she can “get from him.” Scares me in a way, but other than that, she doesn’t want much to do with him. Our middle daughter (13) goes out of her way to avoid him, refuses to accept even the smallest gift from him and just generally associates her dad with “yuck” regarding any interaction. It is hard having to navigate their three very different relationships and feelings towards their dad.

    Good for you for getting out! Is yours playing the victim to all on the outside, yet acting this way behind closed doors? I would be curious if he ever attempted to “get help” or “change” or even accept that he has a personality disorder and problem? Mine seems to be working so hard towards change yet as you and all the literature and experts say, they are master manipulators and mask wearers. I am not going back, but what I have been considering is delaying the divorce since he is willingly helping financially and that helps me so much. Because I have an education (MSN in nursing) and a job (assistant professor of nursing and 22 years of nursing experience) I have been told by 2 laywers that I won’t get much spousal support even though my income (teachers salary) is NOT GOOD and his is very high. Child support will be good but I worry when he realizes he “loses” (because it is win or lose and nothing in between with these disordered people) he will once again do something drastic. A few months ago when he heard I was going to my lawyer to move things closer to a court date…he spent $16,000 on that luxury resort “vacation” for himself – 2 months worth of high end resorts….then he claimed he would kill himself. Basically a big old selfish discard of his kids and our financial security. I intervened and his therapist talked him out of it, pointing out what a huge manipulation it was, which he agreed was true because he “just didn’t want to lose me, the kids, etc.” He can’t see that even if we divorced, he could still be a good parent if he wanted. He sees it as all or nothing.

    Mine (and his own father) is the SAME WAY as you describe. I call it “tit for tat” behavior. His parents didn’t pay for his college, so why would he pay for our girls? It will be the same attitude with weddings, I am sure. He talks about getting a car for our oldest (part of why she is tolerating him I am sure) but that has not happened yet. She has about 5 more months before 16 and getting her real license. He told her she could have his car (a sporty acura that is only 3 years old) but ONLY if “mom doesn’t divorce me, otherwise I won’t be able to afford anything, or maybe just an old beater.” He says stuff like that to her and the kids. It is ridiculous.

    I am happy to hear you are slowly reclaiming your life. My fear of divorce is definitely the financial destruction and also loss of help with logistics. I am way too busy with two teens and a preschooler and a full time job plus all that goes with home ownership. I don’t have any family nearby, but they are supportive…just 16 hours away!

    I don’t want to date so I don’t have that motivating me to “hurry it up.”

    Elle, the fact that your almost ex husband lied flat-out to police to try to get out of it is very scary. It tells you he will always throw you under the bus to protect himself, despite the truth of the situation. They are always out for themselves first. Mine used to slander me horribly to his employees at his medical practice! I actually put a recorder in his work bag because I wondered what he said about me, and I was horrified! He was serial cheating, abusive in all ways, leaving me to handle the kids, house and everything else…yet he left all that out. He described my reaction to him (my anger, my disgust, my wanting him to move out). He made it seem like I was a spoiled ungrateful entitled person (much like him) rather than the sacrificing, exhausted, emotionally broken, betrayed wife. It infuriated me. Now all he says about that is “I don’t do that anymore. I have changed.” GRRRRR….. I felt so betrayed on another level besides the hookers, and never imagined he would say that stuff about me. I also found a legal pad he wrote out notes on for his lawyer, and he said much of the same like “I enabled her for far too long.” (What?? How? I enabled him as he had no responsibility other than financial support!!). He said “She came to the marriage with nothing, I paid her school loans off.” (This was 21 years ago!!! I had just turned 24, of course I had “nothing” but typical college debt like many that age. He didn’t have anything either other than a new job as a doctor with a good paycheck, but he too had his own loans so we weren’t exactly living the high life he claims.). He said “I gave her nothing but love and support all these years.” (This one made me really angry…so far from the truth…he gave me nothing but cold shoulder, disconnect, no emotional support, abuse and TONS OF CHEATING, raging porn addiction, etc.) Of course, he wasn’t planning to mention any of his deviant behaviors to friends, employees or his lawyer and in my state it is no fault so most of it can’t be used anyway. Infidelity doesn’t matter.

    Good luck to you with your huge September battle, Elle. I hope you get a great settlement! You deserve peace and happiness!

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