The letter to Robert’s brother, Joseph. A sex addict who worked hard to not be one and continues the work.
I thought that you, more than anyone else, may one day get through to Robert that what he has done to me is wrong and was horrific behavior. He has irreparably damaged me. And, he does not see what he is doing to himself. To his soul. I am crawling away from this marriage because that is the only thing I have left. My soul. And, I cannot allow him to suck that out of me too.
This inevitable separation is the hardest step ever taken by this girl who continued to believe her husband’s cold lies. I hope you can get through to him, but Joseph, you are not a sociopath, nor a narcissist like he is. You changed your behavior because it was the right thing to do. You were remorseful for the pain you caused others. You feel empathy. Robert only knows how to mirror it. And, he is a damn good actor. This is coming from my 30 years of experience and a dozen years of watching his incapacity to empathize with the many people either close to him or peripherally that he has hurt. He remains remorseless. And seeing that he feels nothing for what he did to me is finally what fueled my exit.
Our marriage ended not due to a mutually toxic union as he told you. It ended because your brother is an unrepentant serial cheater. The only one suffering any consequences has been me. And, they have been catastrophic. Mentally. Physically. He has turned emotional abuse into an art form and I am his project.
If he had any unhappiness during our marriage as he has claimed, there was zero communication to his partner on that. Zero. That is all on him. He has composed a generic explanation he thinks is acceptable instead of admitting that the choices he made throughout the marriage were mother fucking wrong. It just sounds like he has no balls to speak up for himself. I think we all know, not voicing his opinion, is not part of his make-up.
We all have choices. You can have a tough conversation, but respect your spouse enough to talk about it, respect your spouse enough to suggest a divorce, if you are so damn unhappy. Especially to one who has provided such a long ass leash of trust from the get go. Never was it expressed as, “are you okay if I head out for a run now?” or “the gym now” or a “ski trip now?” It always was “I AM GOING FOR A RUN NOW,” or “I AM GOING TO THE GYM NOW,” or “I AM GOING ON A SKI TRIP NOW.”
I don’t really care that he did what he wanted, I wanted him to have those outlets, I wanted him to be happy, I am just pointing out that he had a lot of freedom and he showed his appreciation for that long leash by whoring around while parading to be a family guy. I am not talking about one indiscretion, but years of an evolving pornigraphic lifestyle under the very believable mask of a happily married father of 3.
He put his integrity into a Tupperware container and convinced himself that it doesn’t run into other parts of his life. He became incensed if I suggested that his cheater choices display a lack of character, or integrity. If I suggested it was cutting into his efforts to support his family he became outraged. I still scratch my head at his reaction to accessing his email accounts. Upset that I invaded his privacy? WTF?!
Cheating is an unacceptable solution. The secret was not Robert’s unhappiness, the secret was his cheating. It has been profound. His shameful secret has been that he is a cold, remorseless cheater and mine has been that I stayed married to one. He once described his pile of lies, betrayal and deceit as a mountain. Up until the very end, I thought that he would hit rock bottom and change. I was a fool till the end. For him to hit, I guess I would be waiting a lifetime. I hit rock bottom instead. I am the one who changed. I always will be baffled at how I can love someone who would treat me with such disrespect and total lack of caring. The guy who was supposed to have my back.
I left because he never was going to change and I became increasingly embarrassed and ashamed of what I had become. Of what I let him continue to do to me all because I believed in him. A pathetic chump who let herself wake up next to a fake husband of endless betrayal and lies. I didn’t think I could live without him. And, I am still wondering how I will do it. With him, he was killing me emotionally while constantly and nonchalantly jeopardizing my physical health. Without him, I am lost. I carry around the massive grief of losing someone who really didn’t exist. I am carrying around a big ball of lies and deceit and it takes up more space than any of my meals. It goes with me everywhere.
He had multiple relationships, some of them long term. Relationships that he assured me were over. I believed him because he was so sincere. His tears continued to move me. I was enough for him and “all that” was behind him…again.
2011 I become suspicious. I check his PC and yep, he is doing some things. Broadcasting a masturbation show and soaking up the accolades from his chatroom friends. He is meeting people for anonymous sex. He had some special bookings that I assume were fee based. That is all I know. Nothing was confessed. I only know what I noticed. I imagine he was pretty pleased about that. But, I was new to this being cheated on thing. Correction. I was new to knowing about it.
I confront him, he apologizes, “we” work on our marriage. I saw it as a wake up call. After that Discovery Day, I made every effort to make him feel wanted and I truly believed that our marriage grew stronger (cheaters love that angle). I never threw his infidelity in his face. It was hard, but I just did not think it would be a successful reconciliation if I did. And also, I willingly stayed. I wanted to move on and thought we both were back in a good marriage.
2014 Suspicions. I dig. I remember how my heart pounded, and my throat went dry when I discovered that he has a girlfriend. I asked how long, he tells me since 2012, 2 fucking years. I was devastated. I considered divorce. He seemed truly sorry. He said it didn’t mean anything. I was deeply hurt and felt beyond stupid. I thought that our marriage had grown stronger and better than ever.
A line I would hear again and again and humbly delivered with big green wet eyes, “I know I have no credibility, but I will not cheat any more.” Now, upon my request, he made ANOTHER promise to me. If EVER he felt the urge to stray from here out, he would tell me and we will split. He promised to NEVER PUT ME THROUGH THIS AGONY AGAIN. Don’t fucking convince me to trust you and fuck me over again. He seemed to really get it this time.
The next few years, I again thought my marriage better than ever. Everything better. Better times financially (though still pretty horrendous), better in the bedroom. I literally thought wow, we have been through so much together. We have a rare, great beautiful thing here. I felt my marriage was better than any other on the planet. Often I would say, what is success? I have success. I have a great husband and family and nice home and I am so damn lucky. Still I carried the pain of betrayal, but I had to accept that pain would always be with me. May be even a fair trade for the shiny new promise that he made to me.
I did my best to keep the communication open. “How are we doing Rob?” “Oh I think we are doing great, don’t you?” “Yes, but I thought we were doing great before, but then found out about your girl, so I really need you to be honest with me.” He kisses me and tells me “we are doing great!” He was going to be transparent. Do what you need to do to earn the trust back. Look at my phone, email whatever you need to see that I am honorable. And, I did that with some regularity. But, he has been at this game for a long damn time at this point.
2016 Over the next few years from the 2014 Discovery Day, there were some red flags that I noticed and each time I would confront him. Trust is not easy to repair to 100% and clearly I have been fooled before. These flags were very real, but he is a master gaslighter. I had some totally legit observations and he was able to convince me it was an overreaction or simply not what I thought that it was.
I did want to believe that what I had noticed meant nothing. His favorite line which was so belittling was “This is never going to end.” Like it was such a hassle for him to have to deal with this insecure girl with these absurd inquiries. I found myself agreeing to pretty much everything…paint colors, his opinions, I never wanted to cause any heated discussion, all meals perfect, I was afraid to express any opposing opinions or it would make him go fuck someone somewhere.
I never accepted any trips with my friends. As long as I was with him, he cannot cheat. As long as I don’t make any waves, disagree with him, he will not fuck around. I was a shell, but I was married to the guy I wanted.
Gradually I became more and more doubtful. I was haunted by the thought that we had a strong marriage in 2014 to find out he had a girlfriend during that time, so I kept wondering if we were real or not. I continued to think about the red flags that I presented which were dispelled as nothings. These were notions that kept creeping in, but I had a lot of other concerns at this point. At this time our kids all were in high school and a lot was going on around me. No different than anyone else really. I just did not want to think about the red flags and clues 24/7 though they were looming. My suspicions were not only looming because of the flags, but because things were soooo good. That always has been one of the biggest and sneakiest clues. Things are just too fucking good right now.
2017 while getting ready for work, I asked Rob for his phone to check Bank of America… A notification of an email subject displays and disappears… “Your TextNow number is about to expire.” I asked him about it. More gaslighting. Before I handed him back his phone I emailed the notification to myself, called their tech support and confirmed what I knew already. He is still at it. I was so fucking disappointed and I guess when you are emotionally abused for so long, you want so badly to confirm that the sky really is blue and that you are not crazy.
I start digging. I determined that he had a side dish. I want to know who the fuck she is. While trying to find out a little about this one, I literally stumble upon ANOTHER side dish. And I fucking lost it when I learned that the 2nd girl is the SAME girl from 2014 and that she had not be in the picture for 2 years as he told me back then, but had already been around for 5.
That relationship never fucking ended and at this point they were at a steady, never skipped a beat 8 mother fucking years. 2020 made 10. He claims they made it to 9, “We had a good run.” he said. Married mother of 3. Community Volunteer. Blecht. I don’t know if it’s over or not. I hope it’s not. I would love for those 2 Narcs to end up together.
By Late 2017 I am a mess, I didn’t confront him until October 2017. I found out about the relationship that never skipped a beat just before you guys came to visit. I was completely distraught and had a very difficult time controlling my emotions. I remember being really embarrassed when I was speaking to Maureen about nothing, maybe a washcloth, and I just started crying. It looked as though I was crying about linins. I could be anywhere. At work, the gym, home, my car, a store, walking down the hall and the tears just kept coming. I confront my abuser (this is what he is to me now)…More gaslighting. There’s nothing going on. Prove it he says EXACTLY like Don Draper. Exactly. And I am Betty. I was crying, he was unmoved. He denied everything. Walked past me to his car singing a Tom Petty song. I cry, he lies.
It was cold. Cruel. And, I took him up on his challenge even though I had tons of proof. The sky still not blue to me. I talk to him again. More lies. He admits to some stuff, “Maybe this will make us grow stronger.” Well it probably does make him stronger.
He leaves for a trip to Tampa and I asked him to please think about what his behavior is doing to me. What he is doing to his family. He said nothing. Like he didn’t even hear it.
2018 More shit comes to light. By now I have zero dignity, 25 lbs under weight and tell him I want the truth. I have half a dozen email accounts on this paper and I want the passwords to all of them.
By August of 2018, I really didn’t think I could learn anything worse than what I already knew by accessing these accounts, but still to someone who has been psychologically abused, it helps. At least I believed that it would help me. It did not.
Beyond learning that he has a real talent for tearing up on demand combined with a damn good act of contrition, was that I was married to a devout serial cheater. An unrepentant, cold, man who didn’t understand the pain he has caused me for a very simple reason. Very simple. He does not care.
The emails revealed not just chit chat, but 100% bonafide confirmation of the hot sexual encounters and plans made for the next.
Thousands of emails from 2010 on. His CL account had 2000, yes 2000 ads from 2010 to March 2018…Right up to the day that CL discontinued their personal ads. He could probably tell you that exact date to this day. It proved to be most inconvenient for the prolific ad writer.
I learned that from the hours of 10 to 3 pm, Monday thru Friday, in between taking loan apps and attending closings, my husband was fucking anyone he could stick his dick into and at any “venue” he could do it in.
I learned the painful lesson that his tears masterfully hid the reality that he had no intention of changing his behavior. From 1996 until now, I was just one trusting idiot and he enjoyed playing me. It is clear now that each of my inquiries was used constructively. My confrontations were used to improve upon his gaslighting skills. The red flags I discussed with him served as an aid to revise and perfect his deceitful game, hone his cheater skills, and go deeper underground with his nasty nasty lifestyle.
I cannot tell you how many times I have heard his bullshit mantra of “family first.” Parading around like a family man. He still does not understand why my family members and our dear friends, Vicky and Linda are so pissed at him. I guess he just figured, shit it’s just my worthless wife, she’s just an assumed casualty, but what are all these other people pissed off about?
The emails informed me of his not so family first activities which included “play dates” as these wholesome folks like to call them where they took place in mid size cars, family restrooms, parks, hotels, motels, apartments, condos, homes, outside in parks bad weather is not deterrent, pay at the door gang bangs, glory holes, oh and of course good ole fashioned road head. He had special arrangements with a fuck buddy where he and his gf could fuck in this person’s apartment when I suppose they were bored with the car play, or family restrooms. It was not exclusive with just the GF though. He would play with others there when the apartment owner was away. She probably was at work, like his wife.
When I suggested that he had a problem, he was very clear. I do it because I can. I think I stuck around another couple of years. What a pathetic excuse for a woman I have been. I learned that on June 8 he fucked someone during lunch and then took me out to dinner for our anniversary.
He fucked people and then took their loan application. No one was off limits. He has his charm and his teary eye routine. No telling how much action he gets from sharing with prospective holes that his marriage has been soooo horrible. He is sooooo misunderstood. Poor thing. Now suck my dick while I drive around. I wouldn’t be surprised if he goes out with his wedding ring on. Guaranteed NSA action.
He became friends with one of his girlfriend’s neighbors who helped out the married cheaters by coordinating their booty calls. Who thought it would be so easy to find another low life so conveniently located. She would contact him by phone or come into the bank drumming up a booty call for her esteemed pal. Doesn’t everyone have a friend like that?
I uncovered some horrible happenings way beyond this abridged mentionings. More terrible. More deceitful. He has zero remorse for any of this.
He has never ever apologized to me. He does not think he has done anything wrong. But what is an apology when you are remorseless? It is as empty as I have become.
I have learned there are actual terms for all the shit I have endured. There is a name for nearly all the crap he did to me and a term for why I took all the crap I took. They are a far cry from words like honor, code and loyalty. The are words like betrayal, narcissist, sociopath, trickle truth, emotional abuse. They are words like serial cheater, cognitive empathy, cognitive dissonance, trauma bonding, gaslighting. They are words like evil and callous.
This is just a mere snippit of what I know. I provided a continuous but abbreviated and a little blurry summary of the timeline and the shit sandwiches that I have consumed ad infinitum. And, I will never tell Robert or anyone what else I have learned. I will keep that for myself to validate my decision. Not, that I need any more shit on top of Robert’s Mountain.
I will never give Robert another morsel of gaslighting pleasure. Not a fucking spec.
I will never believe anything he says for the rest of my life even if he tells me he made Tillis Carbonara for dinner last night and I am staring at those leftovers in the fridge. I always will know what else is in that Tupperware container.
I wake up alone, still with the grief, but I wake up with my soul intact. Someone else can play his heartless game now. Meanwhile, I have a shit ton of healing to do.