Leigh1159

Hi everyone! 


I’m new to the forum, but have been heavily utilizing the resources on the website, the podcast and the book. I am 31 and have been with my fiancé since we were 15. Over the past year, he’s had an on again, off again affair with someone across the country, however since July, they were flying to see each other once a month and he was leading me to think we’d work it out each time I’d catch him. It came to a breaking point on thanksgiving when he decided to get an apartment with her out here where we live and break up with me. A few days in, he reached out to me saying he made a mistake and wants to come home, that he realizes he needs to be in therapy. Long story short, I took him back and at first he was fixing up the house, talking about future plans involving me, and then after a week, he became very distant, only talks when he’s comfortable and it’s little trickle truths and confessions. I never get the opportunity to share my hurt or experiences and he now refuses to go to couples counseling. He denies all attempts at affection.  Since then, I went to visit family for Christmas and he started acting oddly while I’ve been away (no phone calls, taking hours to text back, providing vague responses when trying to start a conversation with him). The other day, a call came through his phone and he acted very oddly, and said it was a customer call. 

these behaviors trigger my anxiety and I begin snooping — which he says hurts our relationship but my suspicions have always became true! While here with my family, I couldn’t shake the feeling he was with another woman. I search through his Instagram and find a woman that likes ever single picture of his — look on her page, and they’re together, in his car. I confronted him about it, and he claims it’s his friends friend and he’s never met her until today. I’m shaking with anger because I thought we were through this. This is the second woman he’s picked up through Instagram. 1) am I wrong for snooping and 2) am I overreacting? 


thanks for the feedback! 

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ThrivenotSurvive

No, you are not wrong.  And you are not overreacting. Once someone has proven to not be trustworthy the onus is on them to earn your trust back.  He’s trying to bully you into trusting him.  There is a reason he doesn’t want you snooping - and it is that he doesn’t want to get caught.  

You are not yet married or have children. While this does not diminish the love you may feel, it does provide you with a cleaner getaway.  RUN.  His behavior and patterns are that of someone who will  cheat on whoever is unlucky enough to be his GF at the moment.  Until HE gets therapy for himself and figures out what the heck is going on with him he is not fit to be ANYONE’S significant other.  I know you love him and have been with him for a long time - but you need to pull a HARD 180 and begin building a healthy life without him.  

I had a friend in a similar situation.  The guy was cheating even before they got married - he said marriage would “change” him, he was WORSE after they married.  About the time she finally decided it was killing her (and her health) to live this way - she found out she was pregnant.  She lived with him 5 more miserable years while he repeatedly said he was “sorry”,  go to one or two therapy sessions, decide he was cured and then start up again.  She developed numerous autoimmune disorders from the stress and while she adores her daughter, wishes that she could erase him from her life... but she can’t fully because he’s her daughter’s father.  This is a long way to say that I would not continue to commit myself to someone who clearly has SERIOUS issues.  If he’s this bad now can you imagine what he’d be like going through the huge life stressors of being laid off, health issues, child rearing (if you hope to have kids), death of a parent, etc?  

While many of us on this site, myself included, have chosen to rebuild our marriages after infidelity, our reasons are varied.  Some have stayed because the vast majority of their marriage was really good, loving and supportive, some for kids or for financial reasons, others for a combo of the above or completely different ones, etc.  I, for one, am actually really happy I stayed with my husband.  We are happy. 

But I’d be surprised if you’d find ONE person on this site who has gone through the tough work of reconciliation who would be willing to bet on your fiancé for a future relationship.  Getting over infidelity and building a loving, trusting, fulfilling relationship is insanely hard.  The more times they’ve broken that trust, the more lies and gaslighting, the harder it will be.  You need to have HUGE reasons to even try.  

Plus, he’s not even TRYING- he’s continuing to lie and gaslight you (making YOU feel bad for looking even though it always reveals things that are not right.)

You might want to consider doing some personal therapy for YOU and focusing on whether you really want this man.  Sometimes we want something when it is taken away without really looking at whether it is actually good for us.  I think if you could stop and look at him and the way he is acting as if he was a stranger, you’d be horrified and wonder why someone would even WANT to be with him.  

I know you are hurting right now and I am so sorry. But this has NOTHING to do with YOUR desirability, how lovable you are or anything else.  You are enough.  There is some lack in him that he is trying to chase.  But you can’t fix him.  Only he can fix himself.  And he has to want to do that - otherwise you are signing up for years, possibly decades of pain. 

BS - Female
Married 27 years, one adult child
DD May 2016

“When we are no longer able to change a situation, we are challenged to change ourselves.” - V Frankl
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AnywhereButHere
Hi Leigh,

The only point at which  you are 'wrong' is staying with this man in the anticipation that he will change. If you marry your fiance', prepare yourself to accept a marriage that will be as fraught with secrecy and betrayal as your engagement has been. At that point of acceptance, you can then relinquish snooping, resigning yourself to having a marriage that 'is what it is'...and isn't very good.

Or you can take Thrive's advice and RUN like hell. What we've described is not a life anyone should choose for themselves.
BH, 5+ Mo EA, DDay 3/8/18
"...regarding all as God after God."
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Leigh1159

That was incredibly validating because when I confront him, I start I feel like I’m a crazy, overbearing and invasive significant other. Thank you for your time to reply. He refers to this behavior of mine as “being the FBI” and this, is why he doesn’t like me.

During this “rebuilding phase” he feels it is totally appropriate to be out of the house for 8-9 hours saying he is “shopping” and if I ask any questions like where, and when will you be home, he becomes defensive and tells me if I keep “not allowing him to breathe” then this will never work. He will tell me he’s on his way home and then 2 hours later, isn’t. I’ll ask if he’ll be home for dinner and will reply he’s still out. He always has to be in charge vs giving me any opportunity to share what would help me feel safe. I feel that I’ve been the only rebuilding, initiating affection, trying to talk about future plans, make fun plans, etc. I have bought yearly passes to the parks in Orlando, paid for a snowboarding trip and even offered to take a trip to Mexico on me and he has been avoidant of choosing dates.  He now tells me that this is backfiring and if I see he’s not ready, why do I keep pushing him? I don’t understand why he came come if he wasn’t ready. I feel like I’m wasting vital years of my life at 31 — I’d like to have kids eventually. It makes me feel like this was a business decision rather than one from the heart (I own a successful business, and the OW was 21, uneducated and no job). He is overall, financially motivated in all areas of his life. 

As regards to this other woman he was with last night, he claimed it was his friend’s friend, but all of their social media’s say otherwise. He told me it’s because he prefers hanging out with woman vs men. In my opinion, being in relationship there shouldn’t be friends of the opposite sex that the other doesn’t know about. 


He has now told me we are no longer together because of my snooping and to leave him alone. This, of course is not the relationship I want but am so attached due to our history and am concerned for his mental health. However, it seems that this is common behavior among those who are unfaithful. 


I hate these waves of anxiety that something is wrong, anger that I’m putting up with it and sadness for being treated this way by someone you love.

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triplehooks
Absurd.  ABSOLUTELY Absurd.  “Honey, I’m making dinner, should I make a plate for you?”   “Stop asking me where I am all the time!! I can’t breathe with your need to know where I am!!”  We both know why he can’t breathe when you ask that question.  He’s sitting there probably naked with this woman when that happens, constantly checking his phone, paranoid that you will message because — SHOCKER — you’re his significant other and you have questions throughout the day which most often have to do with including and accommodating him in your life/plans.  And, yeah, it’s SUFFOCATING to have your little cake and eat it too bubble popped with the reality of your (his, I mean) low integrity.  

There’s nothing to work with here.  

The good news is “no kids”, right?  He’s giving you the gift of a lifetime — a lifetime without him.  Try really hard not to think of it as a loss (although it is...16 years is a lot to walk away from, it’s a HUGE investment of yours that he baited you to make and then invalidated).   That’s a backward looking analysis we are ALL guilty of practicing (me too, specifically).  You have to look forward and ask your self “if I have another 50 odd years on the planet, do I want to spend it with a gaslighting, blameshifting, rationalizing, minimizing cheater?  Or do I want to dump him, fix whatever wounds allow me to find his abuse ‘acceptable’, and then go pair up with on of the billion or so faithful people of integrity the planet has waking its surface?”

“Losing” a cheater is the emotional equivalent on your heart of what “losing” a spendthrift is  financially in your joint bank account.  Both become “fuller” (your heart, and your bank account) over time.   

50 years Leigh.  That’s a long time to suffer this kind of indignity.  

8-9 hours at a time this guy disappears (presumably not for a work shift) and won’t give you the courtesy of explaining his whereabouts?  THAT’S abnormal.  THAT’S CIA/KGB level secret keeping.  THAT’S relationship ending behavior.  THAT’S absolutely NOT marriage material.  

The title “fiancé” should ONLY be given to those that show PROMISE as a POTENTIAL marriage partner.  This guy shows DIRECT EVIDENCE OF BEING A BAD PROSPECT for marriage.  

Strip him of his title.  

8-9 hours is plenty of time to pack your things and ghost him.  

I recommend you do that...with no explanation.  No note, no text, no call, no email.   That would be symmetrical to the treatment he has given you, and a fantastic thing for him to experience.  Let him feel what that’s like. 
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ThrivenotSurvive
Leigh1159 wrote:

During this “rebuilding phase” he feels it is totally appropriate to be out of the house for 8-9 hours saying he is “shopping” and if I ask any questions like where, and when will you be home, he becomes defensive and tells me if I keep “not allowing him to breathe” then this will never work. He will tell me he’s on his way home and then 2 hours later, isn’t. I’ll ask if he’ll be home for dinner and will reply he’s still out. He always has to be in charge vs giving me any opportunity to share what would help me feel safe. I feel that I’ve been the only rebuilding, initiating affection, trying to talk about future plans, make fun plans, etc.

You aren’t rebuilding.  Rebuilding takes two people actively working together, with typically the WS (wayward spouse/partner) needing to do a LOT OF THE WORK.  What you are doing is placating him, hoping to “love him” into being a kind, considerate partner.  It will not work.  It will allow him to lose respect for you and use you until you are a shell. 

I feel like I’m wasting vital years of my life at 31 — I’d like to have kids eventually. You are. 

It makes me feel like this was a business decision rather than one from the heart (I own a successful business, and the OW was 21, uneducated and no job). He is overall, financially motivated in all areas of his life. 

I don’t know what hIs reasons are, but they are clearly selfish and have nothing to do with improving the quality of your life.  When we love someone we should put their needs equal to, and at times above, our own.  He is not offering you that.  He’s offering you a lifetime of being controlled, belittled and used.  

As regards to this other woman he was with last night, he claimed it was his friend’s friend, but all of their social media’s say otherwise. He told me it’s because he prefers hanging out with woman vs men. In my opinion, being in relationship there shouldn’t be friends of the opposite sex that the other doesn’t know about.  

Behavior that is justified will be repeated, he’s telling you that you can expect him to continue this behavior whether it makes you unhappy or not.  Your pain and discomfort are not a good enough reason to inconvenience him. 

He has now told me we are no longer together because of my snooping and to leave him alone. This, of course is not the relationship I want but am so attached due to our history and am concerned for his mental health. However, it seems that this is common behavior among those who are unfaithful. 

No one can “ fix” someone else. And he clearly thinks there is nothing wrong with him.  He is a dead end alley for you, as is this relationship. The time you have spent with him is not a loss though.  

He has shown you exactly what you DO NOT WANT.  Unfortunately over time, he’s also slowly but surely undermined your self value to the point that a part of you questions whether he’s right and there is something wrong with you, your needs and desires. This is a very unhealthy relationship and you need to let him go, get into some individual counseling (IC) and learn to value yourself enough that this is 100% unacceptable to you.  If you drop him like the bad habit he is, get some counseling to rebuild your self-value and learn how to create healthy boundaries - in a couple years you will be MUCH happier than you’ve been in a long time.  

I hate these waves of anxiety that something is wrong, anger that I’m putting up with it and sadness for being treated this way by someone you love. 

You are feeling that anxiety for a reason - your heart, your mind and your soul know this relationship isn’t good for you.  They are trying to tell you it is dangerous - because it is.  

There isn’t a soul on here that doesn’t know exactly what you are feeling.  But we also know through VERY hard won experience the behaviors that show someone MIGHT be worthy of a second chance.  While no one who has betrayed someone DESERVE a second chance, there are those who seem humbled by the devastation that they have created and want to do the hard work to repair as much of the damage as they can.  In those cases, their partner might choose to offer them a chance (grace) to rebuild.  

Your fiancé shows NONE of the traits/behaviors we look for.  Not one.  He doesn't deserve you and is no where near the man you are hoping he is.  And the only way you are going to find that man that can build a family and future with you is by getting this guy out of your system.  Love dies if we don’t feed it.  You need to get him out of your life so you can stop feeding it - and start feeding YOU.  

BS - Female
Married 27 years, one adult child
DD May 2016

“When we are no longer able to change a situation, we are challenged to change ourselves.” - V Frankl
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Leigh1159

I never could have imagined I could receive this amount of support, validation and insight from a forum.

I am incredibly grateful of everyone who has taken the time to respond. It’s so easy to get lost in your own thoughts, or clouded by others in your personal life who haven’t been through this experience.

i have started with my own IC however I have been traveling for the holidays and have one more week before I go back for my second session.

he has recently asked me to be his “roommate “ while he feels “100% with himself”. This is just beyond me. Thank you for everyone’s support again! 

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triplehooks
Wow!  It’s your house too?!?! I’m respecting this idiot less and less.  Regarding your letter, I think that’s more than you need to say/he deserves as far as an explanation goes.  What he is doing is OBVIOUSLY selfish and he knows it.  It’s not that he can’t see that, it’s that he feels entitled to it.  You can’t explain that out of him. 

You are away for a week?  Just tell him he has a week to move his stuff out.  He doesn’t deserve to water torture you into accepting less and less, and that’s what downgrading from committed partner to roommates is.  Don’t accept that. Just tell him it’s cool you don’t want to be committed anymore, but don’t expect my financial support, which is what letting you stay at MY HOUSE is. While you are “figuring yourself out” you can get your own place to live and pay your own way in life.  I will be figuring my stuff out too and thats likely to include new relationships since you’ve turned yourself into such an entitled a$$.   

...or SOMETHING like that.  
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ThrivenotSurvive
Triplehooks and I are on the same page on this one.  Every time you add an update, I find out new info that makes me think less of this guy (which is remarkable given that he started pretty low.)  The fact that he's hoping to LIVE with you while he "figures himself out??" Are you kidding me?  He can move in with his friend, his side-chick or his parents... but NOT YOU.  Lord, that is some next level selfishness there.  
BS - Female
Married 27 years, one adult child
DD May 2016

“When we are no longer able to change a situation, we are challenged to change ourselves.” - V Frankl
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AnywhereButHere
Hi Leigh,

On an edited version of your post, you wrote: "I will be putting focus into rebuilding myself from here on out..."

Yes...please make this your focus. Here is a link to a short article that had some good points to make regarding 'detaching' and moving on: https://www.affairrecovery.com/newsletter/founder/infidelity-recovery-three-methods-to-get-moving

BH, 5+ Mo EA, DDay 3/8/18
"...regarding all as God after God."
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Leigh1159
Thank you everyone. Your comments have put things into prospective for me!
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Fionarob
People who cheat are often very good at making the betrayed look like the bad person.  That way they can distract from the awful things they are doing.  It's an extremely low tactic, but one that my ex used constantly.  Best advice here is what everyone has said, leave him and don't look back. 
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Keepabuzz
Leigh1159 wrote:
Thank you everyone. Your comments have put things into prospective for me!


I 100% agree with others here.  BOOT HIM OUT OF YOUR HOUSE POST HASTE!  This is such a blessing even though it doesn’t feel like it. Not married, no kids, cut the cord. 
Male BS, D-day July 2015, trying to stay out of the dark.....
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jasmine
Can’t add much more, other than to say YOU NEED TO BE FREE OF THIS GUY. He’s a user and a parasite. Any future with him will be a vale of tears. You’re only 31. Value yourself, because he has systematically devalued you and is demolishing your self esteem. Sometimes it’s not possible to see the damage to your emotional health until the abuse stops. Ending this relationship will stop it, staying in this relationship won’t. I’m sorry if that sounds harsh. You are worth more. 
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Experiencethedevine29
Run and never look back...

ETD🌻
‘I will remember and recover. Not forgive and forget’
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