Blogging, Life, They can't all be funny

Your Partner Is Cheating In A Long-Distance Affair. Does That Make It Okay?

e460f9c8dc0120addaa000b151b8cb1aSounds like the title for a trashy novel. Or a poorly scripted “Lifetime Movie.” Sadly, the story I’m about to share is not fiction. It’s real and it’s painful. I went back and forth about whether I wanted to put down in words what’s been happening in my life the past few months. My first reaction was to set this blog to private, close down my Facebook account, curl up and whimper.

But then I thought…why do I have to give up something that’s given me so much enjoyment over the years? What did I do that my first instinct was to shut down and hide like I’d done something wrong? That makes no sense but it was my response to the pain of betrayal.

On June 30th, I discovered the Mister has cheated on me and lied about it for over a year and a half. He’s been having an emotional affair with the wife of a couple we met traveling in the spring of 2013.

This affair was online, with emails, texting, Skyping, and long distance phone calls. When we met up with this couple in Sicily back in April, the Mister and this woman left for a two-day cooking course, and now I know that the plan all along was to spend time alone together. And then we shared a condo in Copenhagen for a week and then travelled with them to their hometown for another week. Where the Mister and her spent all their time together under the guise of planning meals and going for early morning walks, while her husband and I slept in. She and the Mister made a fool of our respective relationships and our trust in them. It makes me sick just writing this as it’s bringing back all the things he said to me over the past two months.

When I first made this discovery I thought there was hope for our relationship. But as we talked and more of the truth came out, I realized I’d be making a huge mistake if I allowed someone like this to stay in my life.

This is a man I thought to be perfect. My perfect match. The man I’d happily spend the rest of my life with. But how do you continue to live with someone who expresses no remorse for his actions, shows no empathy for the pain he’s caused, and refuses to stop the affair in the hopes that I will come to accept this relationship if I want to stay married.

That is seriously fucked up thinking. But wait, there’s more. Here’s an excerpt from an email he sent to this other woman days after agreeing not to contact her until we had a chance to figure out what we (him and I, not him and her) were going to do. It’s not very nice so imagine how I felt when I read it:

“My love if I have a plan it is to give her time to recover from the shock to hope that some semblance of reason prevails. And in that time talking but at the same time clearly declaring that I will not give up my friendship with you…the theory being that if I remain steadfast that she will see that to keep our marriage she will have to change her approach. ..which currently is an unequivocally demand to end our friendship…I am not really sure how long that approach can last perhaps only days perhaps longer…I just do not know…If that does not work the only other option I am contemplating is her moving out.  I know the other option of capitulation is there in the background but I block it out my love…”

Frankly, it’s disgusting that he’d ever think I’d agree to anything like this. And what normal person would think their partner could get over this kind of betrayal in a few days? The man has no moral centre. Actually, no morals whatsoever. What normal person would think that it’s acceptable to put their partner through this kind of pain and suffering? It’s emotional and mental abuse, and a clear sign of serious ego issues.

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The Mister said he thinks he’s only got 10-15 good years left. (The man’s 63 *eye roll*) He said “he didn’t want to be on his deathbed and say that he’s proudest of the fact that he was faithful to his spouse.” That is a direct quote from a note he wrote about why this affair happened. Funny but I’d be damned proud to be able to say that on my deathbed.

Throughout all this, he never once apologized. For anything. Not even to say he was sorry for hurting me. The closest he got was to say he knew this was going to be hard on us both. Translation: financially. And that’s when it really got real for me. Understanding that his only concern was to come out of our relationship with as much of his money as possible.

And what about this other woman’s husband? In an email to the Mister he said, “I can’t understand how you can live with someone so distrusting.” My husband is having an affair with his wife and he finds me distrusting? I asked the Mister if the husband knew. Over the course of three days, here’s the progression of lies:

Day One: “he doesn’t know we’re having an affair”

Day Two: “I think he knows we have a close friendship and he’s fine with that”

Day Three: “he knows about our affair and he’s okay”

What does that tell you? It tells me that this man knows nothing about what’s going on. And get this…this woman is a former therapist. Who is, in the words of the Mister, “devoted to her husband and will never leave him so why are you so upset if we have a relationship?” Cue flying monkeys and crazy talk. Because how can you say you’re devoted to your husband then have an affair and think that’s even close to being okay? How can you be devoted to someone and yet actively participate in the breakdown of another person’s marriage? Another person you pretended to be friends with for over two years? Yeah, like I said, crazy talk.

Many people have asked me why I don’t share the Mister’s emails with this man. But that’s not who I am. I’m writing this one post as a way of purging and moving on but I would never do something to hurt someone else as a way of hurting my husband. And being the type of man he is, if I did do something like that, he’d figure out a way to make it my fault that he’s having an affair with your wife. And while I find it totally foreign to me that a person could even contemplate blaming others for their mistakes, I now know this is exactly how my husband operates.

People are finding it hard to believe the Mister is the sort of person who could behave this way. He’s good at hiding behind a mask of Mr. Charming, Mr. Helpful. He’s the guy who will do anything for someone else. Except for the one person who should have been most important in his life. But I’ve discovered that this persona is really not because he wants to help. It’s because it makes him feel good when people tell him how helpful he is. It’s an ego response and one of the classic signs of a narcissist.

Except the Mister is not just a narcissist. He’s a covert narcissist. Covert narcs come across as charming, caring, do anything for anyone. All the while they are plotting how to get the most adoration and sympathy from you. If something goes wrong in their lives, they will move heaven and earth to make sure you know IT IS NOT THEIR FAULT! It was their boss, their wife, their child, the stranger at the gas station. It’s never them. Because, after all, they are perfect so how could it be in any way their fault.

In a typical case the only person who realizes that there is a problem is the person who is closest to the covert/stealth narcissist, who is usually unwillingly forced to suffer covert narcissistic abuse (very subtle emotional blackmail, mental abuse and psychological manipulation). Narcissists end up obscuring the truth and twisting literally every little detail back round onto the victim. They expertly mix the truth with a lie in order to distort the truth in their favour.

This abuse is so well hidden within the communication dynamics of the relationship that the victim often doesn’t pick up on it and is left scratching their head wondering ‘is it me?’

The last two months have been a real education. I’ve learned so much, most of it bad, about the man I’m married to. I’ve learned I have a people-pleaser personality. Translation: co-dependent. I want everyone to get along and to make that happen, I put aside my own wants and needs. I’ve been a doormat in many areas of my life. And while that is hard to admit, it’s also freeing. Because while I’ve made mistakes, I can own up to them and acknowledge where I’ve gone wrong. I’m also willing to put me first for a change.

I’ve never had boundaries…never felt I really had the need. Because the man I married was perfect. He’d never intentionally hurt me. Or so I thought. Shows you how wrong you can be when you live with someone whose natural state of rest is to lie and who hides his insecurities behind a mask.

I was in a toxic relationship and didn’t know it. But his mask slipped and now I know what he never wants the world to see. A man who, deep down, doesn’t think very much of himself. He knows he’s a bad man who does bad things. The really sad part is he knows this and yet chooses to continue to live a lie. He chooses to lie to himself and those around him.

Narcissists ultimately know the difference between right and wrong and good and evil but deep down inside they just simply don’t care – protecting their true (and self-denied) emotions is essential.

A covert narcissist may make it clear to the person closest to them that they understand they have a problem, that they simply don’t care that they have a problem and that they are not willing to do anything about it even if that means losing the people closest to them in their life.

And he’s not done with me yet. The more I talk to friends and the more I discover about his behavior, the more I uncover about what he’s been saying about me to friends and family. He’s building a wall of lies and half-truths, and taking things I’ve shared with him in confidence, to try to garner sympathy and support.

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He’s a sad and lonely man. I feel sorry for him and the pain he’s going through. But what’s gotten me through to a point of acceptance and, yes, relief, is knowing that he will never admit he’s at fault. For anything. It will always be someone else’s fault. It’s never him, it’s you. Because to admit that he’s not perfect, that he is a flawed human being, like we all are, would mean revealing the truth about who he is as a person.

For me, the truth has set me free. For him, the truth is a prison and he’s locked inside without the hope of ever finding the key.

I am genuinely sorry that he decided to end our marriage. That he wasn’t the man I thought him to be. But every day that passes I get more and more okay with that. There is life after betrayal. And it’s going to be fabulous.

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34 thoughts on “Your Partner Is Cheating In A Long-Distance Affair. Does That Make It Okay?”

  1. He’s so typical of the cheater personality type. Charming and ruthless. There are open marriages out there so he probably hoped you would turn into a “swinger.” I’m glad you cut your loss. All this evidence has got to add up on your side.
    You are strong, smart and funny and have your life ahead of you. Good riddence…

    Liked by 1 person

    1. And you know what? Nothing wrong with an open marriage. If BOTH agree that’s the type of relationship they want. There’s been a lot written lately on cheating and about how it takes two people to make a marriage work or to break it apart. What many don’t talk about is not so much the sexual side of cheating but the emotional side…the betrayal of trust. That’s what is so difficult to get my head around. I would have had some respect if he’d said the marriage wasn’t working and wanted out…it’s that he choose to be emotionally intimate with another person, thinking that’s okay. That he chose not to participate or even say anything was wrong, to pretend for all this time. It’s a real head-shaker of a situation.

      Every day, in every way. It’s getting better. *grin*

      Liked by 3 people

        1. Yes, he was married. I was separated from my first husband and he told me his marriage was over. My split with my ex was very amicable and for the best for both of us. With my current husband we fell hard (or so I thought) and he seemed to be totally committed to our relationship. I had no clue but looking back there were signs. Signs that I only see now. How overly flirtatious he is and how a lot of friends are woman. How life it really only about him. But stupid me…I indulged this behavior. For that I will take blame. For the affair and how he’s treated me the past few months? Nope.That’s all on him.

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          1. Have you heard the expression, “When a person shows you who they are …believe them”? Did he ever “show you who he was?” Perhaps you didn’t believe him.
            How did his previous marriage end? When he told you his previous marriage was over was he divorced, living on his own, visiting children etc.? Was he still in his marriage? Was anyone else involved? Are you sure? How did he talk about his previous wife? With respect? Affection? Regret? Men tell a lot about themselves by the way they talk about their previous “Lovers”.
            He might be to blame for what has happened in your marriage but think about it all so you can truly believe you are better off without him.

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            1. I didn’t see that expression until all this happened. And like many quotes I’ve come across over the past two months, this one rang true for me. After much internal thinking and looking at the reality of our relationship instead of how I through it was, I know now that I am better off without him. What he did to me was abusive. Full stop. I don’t need people like that in my life. Thanks for stopping by with some positivity. Much appreciated.

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  2. I dropped you a note with my sincere thoughts. (I preface this comment so people won’t think I’m a total jackass.)

    I’m starting a Kickstarter project to hire Ken Burns to produce a documentary based on this post.

    “My dearest Clara: I write to you with my heart fluttering in the wind just like the tent flap listlessly dancing in the shadows of my slowly dying oil lamp. The deed is done. After a fortnight of hunger I ordered the men to track and kill the beast we’d seen for weeks hovering on the horizon. The same beast the men had nicknamed Love. It’s currently roasting on a spit, the rendered juices causing a most delightful sizzle. I must go now as the men have set aside for me the heart. O! Bitter irony! I remain, as always, your faithful servant. Until we meet again, I beseech thee to remember me in your thoughts. –Your Beloved, Benedict Arnold.”

    Now I ride off into the sunset…

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Oh, the visual imagery you cast with your pen of pomp and poopery. I woke up this morning knowing it was going to be a FabWow kind of day and look at you…delivering it right to my doorstep.

      Of course, now I’ll never be able to be involved with a man named “Ben.”

      Liked by 2 people

  3. I don’t know what the problem is. He’s just standing firm in his resolve to defend “friendship,” as he says twice in his email. Surely that’s a good thing? Oh, and by the way, Merriam Webster just officially redefined “friendship: Sneaking around on your spouse so you can snatch a few minutes to screw somebody else’s spouse.”

    The good thing about this is now your soon-to-be-ex-Mister has the comfort of knowing that on his deathbed he can look back and say he was proudest of NOT being faithful to his spouse. Huh?

    All kidding aside, I’m so very sorry for all of your pain, disappointment and turmoil. You may know intellectually that you’ll be better off without him, but that doesn’t make it hurt any less.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. It’s been through the humor and reaching out from blogging friends, like you, that’s allowed me to get on with my life in under 3 months. Because as of today’s post, it’s official…I can see the funny, both the ha-ha and the strange, of what’s happened. Life’s too short to spend living it with a cliche. Because boring. *nods head while dancing around the kitchen to seriously funky funk*

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  4. I didn’t want to like this…in fact, I wanted to stop reading about 1/3 of the way through. But I wanted to know that you were okay.. I’d say you are more than okay.

    I’m sorry this happened. You gave 13 years to someone who clearly didn’t deserve you. I’m thrilled, though, that you did not try to claim any responsibility for the cluster you found yourself in…no guilt and no self recriminations. You placed the blame for the betrayal, the deceptions and the lack of remorse exactly where it belongs.

    I’ve never wanted another woman’s husband (in fact many days I don’t even want my own). I hope they are all happy and that they all get toenail fungus AND Herpes. (Wonderful app: Voodoo My Ex). I’d say their toes are beginning to tingle and that….well….never mind.

    I’m glad you can see the funny and the strange. As my grandma would say…keep your chins up.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Hey there. Liking it’s okay. But maybe WordPress should come up with another button option for stories like this one. It’s been a riot of emotions the past couple of months and thanks to a lot of YouTube video watching (Richard Grannon in particular) I realized I didn’t deserve to spend my life with someone who didn’t deserve me. Spending my life with someone who acts like they are eight years old is not something I’m remotely interested in. Besides the betrayal of trust, it’s not a very good look for a guy. *breaks out another bottle of antibacterial hand -wash*

      Liked by 1 person

    1. Maybe one day I’ll share with you some of the other things he wrote over the past couple of months. Like I said to K8edid, the man’s like an eight year old.

      I’ve had more support from online blogging friends and from people I’ve never met in person than I ever did from my own husband. What. A. Cliche.

      So, yes, you have my back. And my back is glad to have you. *grin*

      Liked by 1 person

  5. Wow….this sounds like a lot to work through in just a couple of months and one purge post. Your blog community adores you, so that’ll be good. I hope you have a good support system to take care of you and to help you take care of yourself. Which you should do, because . . . wow.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I decided not to be one of those rocks that gather moss because they don’t like to roll over their problems. Once the reality of what was going on sank in, I had two choices…let this defeat me or find the strength to move on. I chose to move on. I still have my moments of regret and heartache but each time I falter I reread his words and BAM! I feel stronger. As an introvert person with an extrovert blogging style, I don’t have a lot of close friends but the ones I have are solid. And my family has been amazing. Especially my daughter. She rocks and is my hero. Thanks for your kind words…they make a world of difference. *high five*

      Liked by 2 people

  6. Keep on keeping up and when a day feels especially $hitty, call in, The Squad.” We gotcha covered. I’m especially good at betrayal bullcrap. I got dumped right smack dab at the Christmas party. Kept my cool and rocked a steady face until the drive home. Still live with the man. What’s half is mine, especially this side of the house. I’ll make my move when I’m ready. His little hussy found herself FIRED.
    Don’t mess with Texas, we don’t like trash. 😉

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    1. Oh, man. What is this? Some kind of cheating epidemic? Good idea for a post, though. How can a normal person break up with someone at a party, in public, never mind at Christmas. And you’re still in the same house? We did that for 2 months and it almost killed me. Stay strong and when you’re ready to make your move, sing out. We’ll have a virtual online party including “Pin the Tail on the Hussy.” *big grin*

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  7. That is so you know you are loved, know you have support and know you have a trampoline to bounce on when necessary.

    That is so you know curling up in a self-imposed cave, while an option is not a great one. The things you love, this blog and any other social interactions will act as a support. This is true whether you talk about the painful process of untangling your life from his or anything else. It is true whether you find you need more than one purge post, or you decide to write about kittens and puppies.

    That is simply to let you know his bad behavior, he owns it all. He will tell lies, whether they are half-truths, full on lies or hero stories where he simply changes the names to smear the innocent, that is the mode of operation. He sounds like he might be related to my ex, hmm the gruesome and terrible. Emotional affairs are nearly always more hurtful, they don't have the substance of daily grind, they don't include farts, snores, stinking bathrooms, wet towels on the floor thus both parties can paint a glow around the other with no basis in reality.

    To this day, I refuse to defend my actions in the face of my ex and his accusations of my terribleness. Those who know me, do not question or doubt where the problem lay or who caused it. Those who knew us both have finally stopped asking but have formed opinions based on how we have moved forward. Those who only knew him well (family and a few friends) interestingly have formed opinions that frequently do not align with his world of fantasy and evil witch fairly tale. Of course it helps that his floozy made the mistake of admitting they had been together since before our separation (oops) and now he can't play innocent victim.

    ❤ ❤
    You are going to do just fine. Yes, it will be hard but you are going to do just fine.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Your words…they mean the world to me. For some reason I missed this comment and I can’t believe I’m only seeing it now and replying. It’s been difficult, especially the self talk, where I keep going over and over in my mind the things he said and the expression on his face when he said them. Which most of the time was a blank stare. Totally disengaged. It was like talking to someone without a soul. No remorse, just childish deflection.

      Every day it gets a little easier. Now I wake and my first thought is of me, not him. I call that major progress and I say BRING IT! *grin*

      I don’t think I need another purge post. I’d like to write about the benefits of being newly single. And I discover a new one every day. *big grin*

      xo

      Liked by 1 person

      1. Funny, the world works in perfect ways sometimes. You saw it when you needed to see it. That happened to me often the first year. Soon I will hit year two, sometimes it still hurts. Sometimes, being alone still hurts. Most of the time though, it doesn’t.

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  8. Yep, there is life after this and it will be fabulous, just like you, BD. Two of my brothers went through horrible divorces in the past few years. Both of them were cheated on by their wives for several years, but now that the pain and rawness of these shitstorms have faded, they are both content with their lives again and yes, happy. So it will be for you.

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    1. Thanks for sharing about your brothers. I can so relate and every day it gets a bit better. Although some days I wake up and it’s like I’m experiencing it again for the first time. In some ways I’m still trying to figure out what the hell happened. But time heals all wounds. And time wounds all heels.

      Like

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