Cheaters Come In All Shapes & Sizes!
Leaving a sociopath (or close)… a man’s perspective
On one of my first nights out into the wild world of “socializing as a single woman,” I randomly struck up a conversation with a few people at a table. None of the three (two women & and a guy) really seemed to fit and I actually thought that one of the gals was just a random person who happened to be overhearing the conversation that was going on between the other two. She kept rolling her eyes at nearly every comment that the other women made, but I later discovered that they were friends from way back when and had reconnected that night for the first time in a really long time. Anyway I came to find out that one of the women was out on a first date with this man whom she had met on Zoosk. Clearly somebody’s info and pictures were not truthful because those two did not appear to fit - not even a little bit!
As we talked, one of the women brought up that D, the guy in this trio, had quite the story to tell about his ex-wife’s behavior in their marriage, specifically mentioning “Ashley Madison!”
As usual, I was the sober one and always loving to chat with people, I was curious and asked for more info, but the woman was quite drunk and aggressive, so I decided to let it go. Later that evening, I ran into them again at another location. I spoke with D for a second and he offered to share his story at a later date, giving me his info.
I had heard about Ashley Madison, but really wasn’t sure what it was - D’s description was exactly as the webpage says, a place where married people go to have an affair!
You can call me a prude but I seriously can’t believe that in America, this is even a thing and a big business at that! After a few attempts at trying to get the story, D & I finally were able to connect. Here is his story:
Let me tell you about my friend D…
He seems like a normal, funny, attractive, good guy! I must say that he put up with way more than I ever could have and for a really long time. Here is his story.
He and his wife met when she was 18 and he was 22; he had just completed his 4-year stint in the Navy. They dated off and on for 9 years and had the typical big wedding thing, ended up with the big house in the nice area, nice cars & toys etc., Three amazing kids and a great life!
They didn’t really ever fight or even raise their voices. Naturally, there was the occasional argument, but he tended to capitulate most times to preserve the peace in the household. They appeared to have a normal marriage; at least that is what he thought! They had 23 years of marriage and 3 beautiful children under their belt; and then one day something seemed off. He and his wife passed each other walking down the hall. She didn’t look up, she didn’t acknowledge him or say anything, she just walked right past him. Later that day, they were taking their daughter to a soccer game, they had to get there an hour early so they dropped her off and went to park the car. When D pulled into the parking space, he did not turn the car off, instead he sat for a second, turning to his wife asking, “Do we have a problem?” She looked at him and said, ”Do you really want to do this right now?”
He said “yes!”, and explained that he had noticed she had grown very distant and uninterested in most things; that he had been looking for an opportunity to speak to her about their relationship but there never seemed to a good time to approach the subject, so yes!
She proceeded to unload all of the pent-up issues that she had with him and about him: he worked all the time; he didn’t pull his weight the kids or seem sufficiently engaged with them, etc. Seemingly common issues that could be fixed – enough already D thought, but he knew there was more. He immediately felt sick to his stomach as he realized things were much worse than he had thought.
Certain things started to make sense now. Prior to the discussion in the car, D had proposed a "staycation" getaway for the Valentine’s Day weekend for some time together. She hadn’t been interested, opting instead to go out with friends. Their anniversary was coming up soon after and instead of spending it together on an out-of-state trip with her daughter to play soccer, she decided to stay home and spend it with her friends (again) and D and his daughter went to the 3-day soccer tournament without her. This seemed strange and D took it as yet another sign of a growing problem.
She seemed very distant and was going out more and more often with “her friends.” He really wasn’t sure what to think, but he was smart enough to recognize that they had a problem and he wanted to do something about it. He reached out to a psychologist friend who agreed to see them as a couple. She did not want to see them individually, only together. He mentioned to his wife that he had made an appointment and she agreed to go.
It was interesting because he really thought that the therapist and his wife were closer than he was and he was concerned that this wasn’t necessarily going to be a fair assessment of this relationship, but because of his commitment to the marriage he went anyway.
In the first therapy session, D had a few questions that needed to be answered immediately… “Have you ever been with anyone else since we have been married?” and “Are there any divorce proceedings that you have started unbeknownst to me?” She looked straight at he and the therapist and said, “NO!”
They attended the two-hour therapy sessions pretty regularly and after the session ended, they would typically go across the street and have dinner together, continuing their conversation, sometimes for hours. This became a pretty regular routine and they seemed to be communicating much better than D was expecting, although he still remained highly suspicious and began snooping around when she wasn’t home.
Let me remind you that these therapy sessions started in early March.
After being in marriage counseling for a few months, some family came into town for a graduation; everybody was in a big group in one room and D happened to be in the kitchen where his wife’s phone was charging. Sometimes fate takes a hand in our lives, whether we like it or not. Something prompted D to take advantage of that moment with just he and that phone and he used her password to open her phone. (He knew the password only because he had watched her put it in over and over sitting next to her at all of those soccer games etc.) Immediately upon opening her phone, he found an unsent email that obviously she had not had a chance to complete or send. What he read changed his life forever!
The email started off with ”hey handsome, I didn’t know you were going out of town this weekend….” The email was to an email address associated with the Ashley Madison website! He said that the hair on the back of his neck stood straight up. He thought he was going to throw up! He remained (mostly) calm and decided that he would do some investigation into the situation and try and find out as much information as he possibly could before confronting her.
Three days after the graduation, he was leaving town on a 5-day trip to the East coast, having to leave at 4 AM to catch his flight. He got up early enough so that he could grab her cellphone, look for any and all emails that he could possibly find and email them to his phone! He wanted to read them on the plane; he wanted to educate himself about what had really been going on and with whom! From the emails that he could find, he knew that she had been having an affair with at least three men and since at least February, and all of them were from the profile/photos she had posted on the Ashley Madison website. These emails were really hard to read, they are graphic and disturbing! I saw them myself and it was hard for me to read them!!! I can only imagine how he felt!
In my opinion, this was not your typical affair. Again, I know I am a prude, but if you are going to have an affair like this, you might as well get paid!
This really is like prostitution - it is purely for sex! There is no emotion, there is no commitment, and you don’t even know with whom you are meeting!
While on the trip, he decided that he would sign up for Ashley Madison using a fictitious name, photo and bio to see for himself what her profile looked like to the hundreds of married men looking to commit adultery with another man’s wife! This was actually when he learned of the texting app called “KIK”; this is where many AM.com members do their texting so the texts are password-protected and harder to get to. He had found a text to one of her girlfriends telling her that her username was “PlayDate”, which is pretty sickening all by itself. He set himself up on KIK and texted her, “How was your weekend?” The message she received came from “DH” his actual full name! He is not so tech savvy! Not certain that it was actually him, it scared her enough that he might have been onto her, that she told her boyfriend(s) to stop using KIK. She thought that he had probably hacked her account and could read their messages so instead they started using AM.com and Yahoo for their emails.
Ok… again I am being the judgy one, but seriously if you thought that your husband was on to you, wouldn’t you, at a bare minimum panic and stop??? Nope, not her, she just changed her mode of communication! I would have felt so much guilt!!!
Being the committed husband, yet being in total shock and desperate to change things, once home, he even went as far as to read a book about, “Why Women Cheat”. He was really giving it a valiant effort to understand why this was happening and what could possibly drive a woman to risk everything like this. He wondered if it was widespread, if there was something he did to cause this and was there anything he could learn to try and salvage the relationship or if it was complete loss at this point?
The reality of how humiliated and betrayed he felt started to set in… he started to think, “What now?” He had to prepare for the worst: divorce, the furthest thing from his mind when he started this journey. He consulted with numerous attorneys, he set up a separate bank account, he got a PO Box, and he hoped the end wasn’t inevitable but prepared himself mentally.
Feeling so manipulated, his gut instinct told him to start searching for more physical proof or evidence. Unfortunately he found a lot; he had hoped that he was wrong, but this just confirmed what he already knew and suspected!
He really didn’t know how or when he was going to confront her, but about three long weeks after he returned from the trip, she knew that he knew. She actually initiated a conversation, simply saying, “What are we going to do?” His response, “Get a divorce!”
They spent the next 5 hours talking. She confessed most everything, she answered most all of his questions, he told her everything that he knew and had read or seen. There really was nowhere else to go “together” from here. How does any couple recover from a thing like this?
This was just the first on many in-depth conversations that took place over the weeks following his discovery!
It wasn’t long before he insisted of having a meeting with the therapist again. He wanted vindication and validation. He deserved that! She had been lying to both of them! She had been lying about it all and to both of their faces!
The therapist was furious. She asked her, “At what point was any of this ok?”
Her answer or explanation for lying was, “She didn’t want to hurt him”; “She still cared about him!” The therapist called BS on her, NOT allowing her to use those excuses for any type of justification for her behavior! It was bad for him, but the therapist made it worse for her!!!
Sadly, D had been forced into becoming quite a detective, finding out way too much information on a couple of the guys that she had encounters with! One of the guys that she was having a thing with was a local guy that lived only about 10 minutes away. D was able to stalk him a little bit on Instagram, and he soon learned his name and a lot of other information. The funny part is, is that when D was trying to zoom in on a picture on this guy’s Instagram, and because D is a totally normal 50-year-old person, who fortunately has better things to do in his life than to be totally social media savvy; he accidently “LIKED” the post! OOPS!
Unfortunately, D ran into this guy at the gym once and managed to hold it together. I think most people would share my reaction and absolutely would have confronted him! The worst part was that D was with his son and his son asked this man a question, which although it was nothing, the fact that there was any interaction at all with his kid felt so violating!
Having read some of those XXX emails, knowing what this guy and D’s wife had done, there is no way that I wouldn’t have confronted him - D is a way better person and significantly more rational that I!
One night D followed this guy home. He was able to figure out what this guy did for a living and he was able to find out his phone number. I would have called the wife - I think that she deserved to know.
Note to all of you cheating cowards:
Nothing is private and although you may think you are getting away with something, your day will come! The internet may seem anonymous but everything on it has the potential to pop up whether you want it to or not.
It took about a year for D to get his “plan B” set before he finally moved out.
Today her comfortable little bubble has been shattered. She has aged terribly, she is on the verge of an emotional breakdown, her relationships with her children are fragile and all for what??? This cowardly choice to partake in this anonymous, secret, disgusting world, cost her almost everything. I am sure that she never thought that she would ever get caught, but I can’t imagine she would make the same choices if she could go back in time.
It is very easy to be someone else, living a lie written on a keyboard!
D took the high road with his children doing everything he could to shield them from knowing all of the gory details, but as with all narcissists or sociopaths, she had to manipulate the situation - lying not only to the kids, but other family members as well about what actually happened. She twisted the truth, putting the blame on him, never admitting to what she had done. Ultimately, with his three children, the truth came out and has tarnished their relationship with their mother. Hopefully someday the rest of the family will see the situation for what it is, but until then, D is moving forward!
Today, D is adjusting to his new normal. He has his priorities straight - he is committed to his relationships with his children, he has regained his self-confidence, is spending lots of time with friends, and is looking forward to enjoying the next chapter of his life with someone who has the same values that he has.
There is hope and D is seeing the light at the end of that dark, terrifying and painful, tunnel!
Anyone can be 50, fabulous & finally free!
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