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Men can compartmentalise much better than women. Stop over-thinking this. Go and do something totally frivolous just because :-)


3 adult children
Divorced - he was a serial adulterer
Now remarried, thank you MB
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I find myself thinking the same thing, Chalk. I seriously dont know how WH lives with himself. If I did the things he has done I think I would be suicidal.

I think it is like explained in SAA. WS's do have moments where they see themselves for what they are and are horrified by it, but the addiction is so strong it pulls them back. I do think my WH has alot of those moments and I have realized it just puts him in a deeper hole because his affair is with a married woman so I'm sure they soothe each other by saying "we aren't bad people." In one of my two Plan B break conversations with WH he was crying and kept saying "I'm not a bad person I'm not a bad person." I said you weren't, but you are now in this affair.

You are so right about them focusing on transient small things to make themselves feel better. During the affair my WH started going to church again and stopped drinking alcohol. A big signal to me that something was going on with him was when he drove 2 hours to visit his grandmother in the hospital after she had a minor surgery when he hadnt seen her in 3 years and hardly spoken to her. Afterwards, his whole family texted saying what a great guy he was for taking the time to do that. Now I realize all of these things were his attempts to feel better about himself.

I dont know at one point (if ever) that any amount of shame or disgust they feel about themselves motivates them to change. I actually think that after a certain point the shame is all consuming and sucks any strength from them to change.


BW (Me): 39
FWH: 39
DD: 5
DS: 3

D-Day 1: 5/8/17
Plan B started: 6/19/17
For real: 11/13/17-4/3/18
Affair ended: 3/25/18

DD 2: 2/14/20

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Originally Posted by amac
I find myself thinking the same thing, Chalk. I seriously dont know how WH lives with himself. If I did the things he has done I think I would be suicidal.

I think it is like explained in SAA. WS's do have moments where they see themselves for what they are and are horrified by it, but the addiction is so strong it pulls them back. I do think my WH has alot of those moments and I have realized it just puts him in a deeper hole because his affair is with a married woman so I'm sure they soothe each other by saying "we aren't bad people." In one of my two Plan B break conversations with WH he was crying and kept saying "I'm not a bad person I'm not a bad person." I said you weren't, but you are now in this affair.

You are so right about them focusing on transient small things to make themselves feel better. During the affair my WH started going to church again and stopped drinking alcohol. A big signal to me that something was going on with him was when he drove 2 hours to visit his grandmother in the hospital after she had a minor surgery when he hadnt seen her in 3 years and hardly spoken to her. Afterwards, his whole family texted saying what a great guy he was for taking the time to do that. Now I realize all of these things were his attempts to feel better about himself.

I dont know at one point (if ever) that any amount of shame or disgust they feel about themselves motivates them to change. I actually think that after a certain point the shame is all consuming and sucks any strength from them to change.

Hi Amac, it is really reassuring to know you are thinking the same things. It's almost funny to hear what your WH is doing in an effort to make himself feel better about his choices! I think mine has been living this life for so long, he doesn't feel bad at all - just angry that I have the cheek to try to stop his fun.

I guess they might want to change eventually if something really bad happens that means they are suddenly no longer able to keep their heads in the sand, or the "fun" somehow gets less fun (i'm thinking an HIV diagnosis? multiple pregnant OWs? unemployment?). But there is a difference between changing the way they interact with other people in future and being brave enough to go back to the family you betrayed and do the work to fix it. I'm not sure how many cheaters (or other addicts) ever work up the courage to face the people they hurt the most. But it can't be very many.

Last edited by chalkncheese; 09/15/17 03:43 AM.

BW (me) 40
WH, serial cheater, 41
Four children:
DS1 8
DS2 7 (from one of WH's previous affairs, lives with me)
DS3 6
DD 2

D-day Jan 4 2017
Plan B (first attempt) Feb 21 2017
Plan D Aug 28 2017
Plan B (properly) Aug 31 2017

"If you can keep your head when all about you are losing theirs - and blaming it on you....or being lied about don't deal in lies..." IF, by Rudyard Kipling https://www.poetryfoundation.org/poems-and-poets/poems/detail/46473
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Originally Posted by living_well
Men can compartmentalise much better than women. Stop over-thinking this. Go and do something totally frivolous just because :-)

Thanks LivingWell. Yeah, I guess you are right. And he has been like this for years. It is only new for me. Just booked a spa day with a friend from work smile


BW (me) 40
WH, serial cheater, 41
Four children:
DS1 8
DS2 7 (from one of WH's previous affairs, lives with me)
DS3 6
DD 2

D-day Jan 4 2017
Plan B (first attempt) Feb 21 2017
Plan D Aug 28 2017
Plan B (properly) Aug 31 2017

"If you can keep your head when all about you are losing theirs - and blaming it on you....or being lied about don't deal in lies..." IF, by Rudyard Kipling https://www.poetryfoundation.org/poems-and-poets/poems/detail/46473
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I guess I really am in Plan B properly if I don't have anything to update my thread with!

Work, home and kids all doing fine. WH has started calling the kids every evening on Skype again, so I put my laptop in their room so I don't have to hear the calls. I started going to the gym and focusing on trying to get enough sleep to resolve my infidelity-related eye bags smile. The only slight stressor at the moment is the unresolved maintenance issue. But I feel confident we will get it sorted out in the next couple of months. All in all, feeling positive and happy.

WH has a deadline of Friday to hand over OC's passport to my lawyer, but I am 100% confident he will not do it. We then have to wait until October 12 to find out if he will contest the court order over custody and visitation of the children. But I suspect he won't respond to that either. Response would mean paying a lawyer and since guarding his money (so that he can throw it around in front of OWs and impress them) is the most important thing in the world to him, I can't see him forking out for something as non-fun as a lawyer. He seems convinced that if he keeps his head down and stays in his own country, the justice system of this country can't touch him. That's not true, but it is helpful to me if he thinks that. So I am continuing in this legal stuff unopposed, which makes things a bit easier.


Last edited by chalkncheese; 09/19/17 12:56 AM.

BW (me) 40
WH, serial cheater, 41
Four children:
DS1 8
DS2 7 (from one of WH's previous affairs, lives with me)
DS3 6
DD 2

D-day Jan 4 2017
Plan B (first attempt) Feb 21 2017
Plan D Aug 28 2017
Plan B (properly) Aug 31 2017

"If you can keep your head when all about you are losing theirs - and blaming it on you....or being lied about don't deal in lies..." IF, by Rudyard Kipling https://www.poetryfoundation.org/poems-and-poets/poems/detail/46473
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I've read on other threads how we Plan Ber's tend to get silent when Plan B is going well - but I think its reassuring to hear when its going well for others, so thanks for posting smile

I'm glad for your kids sake that WH has resumed the skype calls.

What has to happen for your divorce to be final?


BW (Me): 39
FWH: 39
DD: 5
DS: 3

D-Day 1: 5/8/17
Plan B started: 6/19/17
For real: 11/13/17-4/3/18
Affair ended: 3/25/18

DD 2: 2/14/20

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Originally Posted by amac
I've read on other threads how we Plan Ber's tend to get silent when Plan B is going well - but I think its reassuring to hear when its going well for others, so thanks for posting smile

I'm glad for your kids sake that WH has resumed the skype calls.

What has to happen for your divorce to be final?

Hi amac, yeah, I've been surprised how quickly plan B has made me feel calm and happy. I was really down for the first week or so, but feel fine now.

I think the divorce is going to take YEARS. But that's OK because there are some legal options to get interim maintenance sorted out, and since I have all the family assets, I am in no rush to get to the point where they have to be divided. WH is currently hiding in the false belief that the law of this country does not apply to him, so he can save himself hefty legal fees by just ignoring everything that is served on him. I think if he continues to ignore all of my lawyer's efforts to contact him for more than a year then the court will grant me a divorce without his participation - which would also mean he forfeits his right to half of the assets anyway. Anyway, as long as I get an interim maintenance order (which I am going to court for on Oct 3), and a subsequent garnishment order forcing his employer to pay me before they pay him (standard debt collection practice here), then it won't matter to me whether the divorce is actually concluded or not.


BW (me) 40
WH, serial cheater, 41
Four children:
DS1 8
DS2 7 (from one of WH's previous affairs, lives with me)
DS3 6
DD 2

D-day Jan 4 2017
Plan B (first attempt) Feb 21 2017
Plan D Aug 28 2017
Plan B (properly) Aug 31 2017

"If you can keep your head when all about you are losing theirs - and blaming it on you....or being lied about don't deal in lies..." IF, by Rudyard Kipling https://www.poetryfoundation.org/poems-and-poets/poems/detail/46473
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I have heard back from OC's mum after i contacted her. She didn't have a clue about anything that had happened, so WH has obviously not been sharing information (despite getting his lawyer to write to mine claiming that BOTH OC's biological parents were against his continued residence with me). She doesn't seem to understand anything at all and seems more concerned with the fact that I sent the translation of the court documents to both her and her twin sister (because she hadn't read the message two days after I sent it), than anything about OC. She has not asked any questions about him, where we are living or how he is and has not asked to speak to him.

In anticipation of the possibility of renewing regular contact with her, I talked to OC about how he would feel about speaking to her on the phone a couple of times a week. He burst into inconsolable tears saying he doesn't want to speak to her and doesn't want to be different to his brothers. He doesn't want to have two mums. He just wants one mum. I have contacted our social worker to advise me on how to act in his best interests for the future and ensure that I don't damage his emotional security by forcing him to confront his "difference" when he is still so small - and also avoiding creating a situation where it seems like I am obstructing contact from his biological mum. I feel a bit overwhelmed at the challenge of all of this. I just want to do what is best for him.


BW (me) 40
WH, serial cheater, 41
Four children:
DS1 8
DS2 7 (from one of WH's previous affairs, lives with me)
DS3 6
DD 2

D-day Jan 4 2017
Plan B (first attempt) Feb 21 2017
Plan D Aug 28 2017
Plan B (properly) Aug 31 2017

"If you can keep your head when all about you are losing theirs - and blaming it on you....or being lied about don't deal in lies..." IF, by Rudyard Kipling https://www.poetryfoundation.org/poems-and-poets/poems/detail/46473
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Have you written Dr. Harley to ask about OC? He has so much experience dealing with OC situations that you should contact him.


FWW/BW (me)
WH
2nd M for both
Blended Family with 7 kids between us
Too much hurt and pain on both sides that my brain hurts just thinking about it all.



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I am no expert on this field, but feel your heartache for OC and being overwhelmed at this big challenge. Hugs

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My suggestion is that if OC's bio mom does not show interest in him, or ask to speak to him, and he clearly shows no interest in her right now (which is odd and slightly disturbing since he just spent some time with her...), I would just let it be.

It is not your job to facilitate a relationship between them, you have been MORE than generous with how you have handled this whole situation with OC and if I were you I would take OC and fade into the shadows right now.

In my unexpert child psychology opinion, it seems best for OC to be in the place where he feels safe and loved, which is with you and his siblings and without influence from his bio mom or dad who seem to not really care that much about him anyway frown

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Originally Posted by BrainHurts
Have you written Dr. Harley to ask about OC? He has so much experience dealing with OC situations that you should contact him.

Hi BrainHurts, yes I did write to Dr Harley about this issue. He advised me to divorce my husband (check!), and then he thought I might be able to establish a good relationship with OC's mum with my husband out of the way. But I think that advice was contingent on OC's mum exhibiting and responding to normal maternal instincts, which I now suspect is not the case.

I am having a consultation with a social worker next week to get her opinion on how I should act in OC's best interests, but I think after that, as Unwritten suggests, I should just leave it at that and get on with raising my kids alone.


BW (me) 40
WH, serial cheater, 41
Four children:
DS1 8
DS2 7 (from one of WH's previous affairs, lives with me)
DS3 6
DD 2

D-day Jan 4 2017
Plan B (first attempt) Feb 21 2017
Plan D Aug 28 2017
Plan B (properly) Aug 31 2017

"If you can keep your head when all about you are losing theirs - and blaming it on you....or being lied about don't deal in lies..." IF, by Rudyard Kipling https://www.poetryfoundation.org/poems-and-poets/poems/detail/46473
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Originally Posted by unwritten
My suggestion is that if OC's bio mom does not show interest in him, or ask to speak to him, and he clearly shows no interest in her right now (which is odd and slightly disturbing since he just spent some time with her...), I would just let it be.

It is not your job to facilitate a relationship between them, you have been MORE than generous with how you have handled this whole situation with OC and if I were you I would take OC and fade into the shadows right now.

In my unexpert child psychology opinion, it seems best for OC to be in the place where he feels safe and loved, which is with you and his siblings and without influence from his bio mom or dad who seem to not really care that much about him anyway frown

Hi Unwritten, thank you for this. I also can't understand her behaviour at all and can't understand what might be driving it. Anyway, I think you are right. Let me just get on with raising my kids as happy, confident and secure individuals. I won't keep secrets from them. But they will all know that they have a place where they belong, they are loved, and at least one parent who is willing to fight for them no matter what.


BW (me) 40
WH, serial cheater, 41
Four children:
DS1 8
DS2 7 (from one of WH's previous affairs, lives with me)
DS3 6
DD 2

D-day Jan 4 2017
Plan B (first attempt) Feb 21 2017
Plan D Aug 28 2017
Plan B (properly) Aug 31 2017

"If you can keep your head when all about you are losing theirs - and blaming it on you....or being lied about don't deal in lies..." IF, by Rudyard Kipling https://www.poetryfoundation.org/poems-and-poets/poems/detail/46473
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Originally Posted by Candy_Crusher
I am no expert on this field, but feel your heartache for OC and being overwhelmed at this big challenge. Hugs

Thanks Candy. Yeah, it is tough thinking that the decisions and actions you take now can influence your children's happiness and success in life many years later. Scary!


BW (me) 40
WH, serial cheater, 41
Four children:
DS1 8
DS2 7 (from one of WH's previous affairs, lives with me)
DS3 6
DD 2

D-day Jan 4 2017
Plan B (first attempt) Feb 21 2017
Plan D Aug 28 2017
Plan B (properly) Aug 31 2017

"If you can keep your head when all about you are losing theirs - and blaming it on you....or being lied about don't deal in lies..." IF, by Rudyard Kipling https://www.poetryfoundation.org/poems-and-poets/poems/detail/46473
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WH has not responded to the court papers again (urgent application for money pending finalisation of divorce - which could take 3 years), so I will now be in court unopposed on Tuesday. It is so bizarre. He must really believe the law of this country does not apply to him.

I have been preparing myself for a long, drawn out and nasty legal battle, so it is really confusing to face no opposition at all. But I guess it is good for me, so I will try to not spend too much time focusing on the weirdness of the whole situation.


BW (me) 40
WH, serial cheater, 41
Four children:
DS1 8
DS2 7 (from one of WH's previous affairs, lives with me)
DS3 6
DD 2

D-day Jan 4 2017
Plan B (first attempt) Feb 21 2017
Plan D Aug 28 2017
Plan B (properly) Aug 31 2017

"If you can keep your head when all about you are losing theirs - and blaming it on you....or being lied about don't deal in lies..." IF, by Rudyard Kipling https://www.poetryfoundation.org/poems-and-poets/poems/detail/46473
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Originally Posted by chalkncheese
Originally Posted by BrainHurts
Have you written Dr. Harley to ask about OC? He has so much experience dealing with OC situations that you should contact him.

Hi BrainHurts, yes I did write to Dr Harley about this issue. He advised me to divorce my husband (check!), and then he thought I might be able to establish a good relationship with OC's mum with my husband out of the way. But I think that advice was contingent on OC's mum exhibiting and responding to normal maternal instincts, which I now suspect is not the case.

I am having a consultation with a social worker next week to get her opinion on how I should act in OC's best interests, but I think after that, as Unwritten suggests, I should just leave it at that and get on with raising my kids alone.
I agree that I think you should just raise the kids and not involve her.


FWW/BW (me)
WH
2nd M for both
Blended Family with 7 kids between us
Too much hurt and pain on both sides that my brain hurts just thinking about it all.



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I am starting to feel like my entire marriage was a figment of my imagination. I cannot grasp one single memory of genuine affection, care, or authentic love from my husband. All the memories of major events - moving countries, pregnancies, births of the children, job changes, even "our" wedding ceremony - are all notable for the total absence of real participation from my husband. Sometimes he was there, mostly he wasn't. But even if he was physically present, he didn't seem to be present in spirit. Stuck in his own reality and life course, without sharing anything properly with those around him. This is such a bizarre process I am going through now. I feel like I am waking up from a dream. I was married to a ghost. None of us, not me, nor any of the kids, even the dog, seem to have anything concrete to "miss" about him. There is ZERO emotional fallout from his leaving. It is as if his presence in our lives for the past decade left no footprint at all - apart from the last few months where he made his anger at being thrown out so clear to everyone. And now he is totally gone. It's so weird.

I guess the evidence of four beautiful children shows it really wasn't my imagination, but, if they weren't there, I would seriously be questionning my grasp on reality. Is this the after-effect of a decade of manipulation and gas-lighting? Or the confusion that goes with ending a relationship with an extreme narcissist? Or am I just really emotionally detached?

I think it might be because he didn't provide any of us with authentic love or connection. And I think we all now see there is nothing to miss when that pretence is no longer there because 100% of the real love, the kind that builds emotional security and strong bonds, is still here because it has always come only from me.

Last edited by chalkncheese; 09/27/17 02:20 PM.

BW (me) 40
WH, serial cheater, 41
Four children:
DS1 8
DS2 7 (from one of WH's previous affairs, lives with me)
DS3 6
DD 2

D-day Jan 4 2017
Plan B (first attempt) Feb 21 2017
Plan D Aug 28 2017
Plan B (properly) Aug 31 2017

"If you can keep your head when all about you are losing theirs - and blaming it on you....or being lied about don't deal in lies..." IF, by Rudyard Kipling https://www.poetryfoundation.org/poems-and-poets/poems/detail/46473
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I too I'm surprised that there is no gaping hole in my life or my children's without WH. I first noticed it when he moved out. Even with all of his things gone, it didn't look like someone had left. It was like he was never here. It was also strange to me that my daughter hardly talks about him, and never once asked where he went or called out for him in the mornings when she wakes up like she used to.

I think we need to be careful though, just as WH rewrite our history to justify their actions, with what we are going through I don't know that we can trust our view of the past either. Its hard to believe that there are people that are truly incapable of authentic love and care for another, but I guess psychologists would say they exist. Your WH could be one, but I doubt it.

At the beginning I was so desperate to save my marriage because I truly believed that my children needed both a mother and father in their lives to get the emotional security that you are talking about. But like you, I am seeing that I alone can provide that for them, and have all along. I don't think that means their fathers didn't contribute something, but as one of my friends said to me, it is better for our kids to have 100% of us, then the small percentage they get from their fathers minus what the wayward father takes from us.


BW (Me): 39
FWH: 39
DD: 5
DS: 3

D-Day 1: 5/8/17
Plan B started: 6/19/17
For real: 11/13/17-4/3/18
Affair ended: 3/25/18

DD 2: 2/14/20

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A little update. I have seen a social worker about OC and she has recommended a child psychologist. She thinks he is probably experiencing quite significant feelings of rejection by both biological parents - and his enthusiasm for me is a clear sign of that. So I will take all the kids along and just make sure they all feel emotionally secure and know that I will never leave them, regardless of what other people do.

Legal stuff is progressing. WH still not responding to anything. I was in court last Tuesday and the judge said we should give WH one final chance to respond and explain why he hasn't responded to anything up to now, and make clear to him that failure to respond, and failure to do what the court order says he should, will be contempt of court. His deadline is Friday this week to respond to the court order about OC guardianship and explain why he hasn't handed over his passport.

Then I will be back in court on Tuesday next week for maintenance stuff. Not paying court-ordered maintenance is a criminal offence. I cannot comprehend what WH is doing to himself. He is from one of the least developed and most unstable countries in the world, and is now in the process of getting himself into legal trouble that will prevent him from being able to get visas for any developed country - including the US where his employer is based. He doesn't cross my mind that often anymore, but sometimes I just think "why?!?!?!?!"

I learned from the children that WH has been telling them it is my fault he can't visit them because I haven't sent him copies of their birth certificates so he can apply for a visa. It is true I have not sent him the documents so he can't apply for a RELATIVE'S permit (i don't want him to have the children's birth certificates because I am nervous about him getting them passports for his country and finding a way to take them across the border), but he has other family members and friends in this country, so could easily get an invitation letter from someone else and apply for a normal visitor visa. I have told the children that what he has told them is not true. But I feel like I am engaged in a constant battle to enforce the real reality. It feels like the same gaslighting I was living with for years. The children have also been telling him they want him to come home and they want him to break up with his girlfriend. But he responds to them with extreme anger. Should I tell them not to say things like that to him? I don't tell them what to say or what not to say, but I don't want them to be hurt by his anger.

He wants them to think that we have split up because of some "complicated adult problems" - but that is so untrue and morally confusing. However, I feel uncomfortable countering what he says because it is very difficult to not seem like I am insulting him. At least they go to Sunday school and have been learning about sin and the armour of God, so my lessons to them are not just like a "he says, she says" thing. But it is tough.


BW (me) 40
WH, serial cheater, 41
Four children:
DS1 8
DS2 7 (from one of WH's previous affairs, lives with me)
DS3 6
DD 2

D-day Jan 4 2017
Plan B (first attempt) Feb 21 2017
Plan D Aug 28 2017
Plan B (properly) Aug 31 2017

"If you can keep your head when all about you are losing theirs - and blaming it on you....or being lied about don't deal in lies..." IF, by Rudyard Kipling https://www.poetryfoundation.org/poems-and-poets/poems/detail/46473
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Originally Posted by chalkncheese
A little update. I have seen a social worker about OC and she has recommended a child psychologist. She thinks he is probably experiencing quite significant feelings of rejection by both biological parents

Makes sense, OC may miss his father even more than the others do. You might also want to make sure he knows that his birth mother gave him up because she loves him. That was a very important thing for me to hold onto as a child. My birth mother could not keep me. Of course when I met my birth parents I found that the reality was a little more complex than that.

Originally Posted by chalkncheese
Then I will be back in court on Tuesday next week for maintenance stuff. Not paying court-ordered maintenance is a criminal offence. I cannot comprehend what WH is doing to himself. He is from one of the least developed and most unstable countries in the world, and is now in the process of getting himself into legal trouble that will prevent him from being able to get visas for any developed country - including the US where his employer is based. He doesn't cross my mind that often anymore, but sometimes I just think "why?!?!?!?!"

You do realise that the visa problems will be all your fault too don't you? lol

Originally Posted by chalkncheese
I learned from the children that WH has been telling them it is my fault he can't visit them because I haven't sent him copies of their birth certificates so he can apply for a visa. It is true I have not sent him the documents so he can't apply for a RELATIVE'S permit (i don't want him to have the children's birth certificates because I am nervous about him getting them passports for his country and finding a way to take them across the border)

Can he get them replacement birth certificates?

Originally Posted by chalkncheese
The children have also been telling him they want him to come home and they want him to break up with his girlfriend. But he responds to them with extreme anger. Should I tell them not to say things like that to him? I don't tell them what to say or what not to say, but I don't want them to be hurt by his anger.

Teaching children to tell the truth is never wrong.

Originally Posted by chalkncheese
He wants them to think that we have split up because of some "complicated adult problems" - but that is so untrue and morally confusing. However, I feel uncomfortable countering what he says because it is very difficult to not seem like I am insulting him.


Keep it short and factual.


3 adult children
Divorced - he was a serial adulterer
Now remarried, thank you MB
(formerly lied_to_again)
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