Part of trying to heal from infidelity is therapy. Before my husband’s affair I had never been to a therapist but I do believe in good therapy. A friend of mine recommended her therapist to me and after we called multiple therapists listed on-line, I found her therapist was the only one who returned our phone call. Our first appointment was a week and a half after D-Day. We both felt like our therapist was easy to talk to and asked the right questions and said the what we both needed to hear. She gave us suggestions on ways rebuild our relationship and heal from his affair.
In my life I have always taken on the role of the friend who is everyone’s safe place to open up and let down their guard. So it only makes sense that after D-Day, once I had wrapped my head around the the fact that my amazing husband had cheated, I dove into the how, the why and the how to make sure this never happened again. I read books and blogs about infidelity–just like all of you. Like most of us, my story wasn’t quite the same as anyone else’s story. So through our therapist and my listening skills, we discovered some comments from my husband that were red flags. Here are the comments we’ve flagged:
- The friendship progressed so quickly. I felt like we went from strangers to best friends in less than a month. I figured that meant something but I didn’t know what.
- She was constantly showering me with flattery, affection, adoration and gifts. I felt like she was so attentive to me–she really listened to me.
- I can’t tell you much about her–her hobbies, interests, birthday, her age–I don’t know any of it. Everything she told me were things she said we had in common.
- She claimed her ex-husband abused her emotionally. Yelling at her all the time. The end of their marriage was all his fault. She was a good wife and mother, he was the horrible one. [Yet every encounter my husband had with her husband never revealed anything of the sort. In fact, her ex-husband recently stopped by to ask my husband to treat him and his kids like everyone else if they run into each other. Their conversation was almost amicable, if you can believe that.]
- She told me over and over that God put us in each other’s lives for a reason. We were meant to be together. We were soul-mates. It was odd.
- I wasn’t physically attracted to her. It was her charming and charismatic personality that drew me in. I’d never met someone who was so caring immediately–from the start. She cared about me so quickly and everything she said seemed so genuine. Who would give you that much attention if they didn’t truly care?
- I felt like if I didn’t have sex with her I was going to lose the relationship. I told her sex would ruin our friendship but she insisted on our relationship becoming physical. I never felt inclined to have sex with her throughout the entire affair. I guess I did it because she offered it to me and I felt like I didn’t want her attention for me to end.
Now here are things I noticed:
- In just one year she sent my husband 720 emails to his “secret” account. We are talking page-long, five & six paragraph essay style emails. She also sent daily emails to his account I have access to on a regular basis. When checking his cell phone bill she called him 145 times a month. Speaking to him for about 1000 minutes a month. Sending him 350 text messages a month. Constant contact. And, I will note that nearly all the communication was done DURING normal business hours.
- Two weeks before their relationship became sexual she told my husband in an email:
You are going to have an affair with me. Our story is like a Hallmark movie and this is meant to be.
- She wasn’t shy about telling him what he was going to do. Despite him telling her that he didn’t want to have a sexual relationship.
- When I discovered the “secret” email account I emailed her asking her if she really cared about my husband how could she do this? How could she ask him to risk his family and relationship with his children, parents, etc? I told her to tell her husband before I did [I was unaware of their separation/divorce]. My email was brief but came from a place of pain and that was clear. Her response to me was short and simple:
I am divorced–I’m not married anymore.
- She had no remorse. I never got an apology–not that I expected one.
- She emailed me a month after D-Day asking ME not to contact her ex-husband with details from the affair. [I had texted him the day after D-Day to tell him of the affair.] She told me to delete all the emails in the secret account because her ex was relentless and would find the emails. What’s funny? I deleted them that night. Not because of her ex–because I was done going through them and hurting.
- Her resume/work history is impossible. She is 36 years old with over sixteen years of professional work on her resume plus four years off to have babies. She earned two bachelors degrees from a university in two years. One of her listed degrees is not offered by the University and the other one does not allow double majors.
So was I surprised when it was suggested that my husband may have been a target? No. Was I surprised when our therapist suggested my husband read more about personality disorders, specifically, sociopaths? Yes.
Last night I began reading a book online about sociopaths entitled, Red Flags of Love Fraud, and my husband was silently listening to me read to him. His affair partner fits the profile in 8 out of 10 categories. In fact, their relationship is a text book example of the way a sociopath creates a relationship with a victim. In fact, he recognized the patterns in other relationships in the OW’s life too. Her first husband told my husband they never should have married or had kids but she pushed for it, mandated it. They didn’t date long before they married each other either. The weren’t married long before she insisted on having children. He always knew that he shouldn’t have married her.
What does this really mean though? My husband still had the affair. He still had a choice and none of his actions are dismissed even if she has a personality disorder. In fact, it worries me that he let his guard down so easily. I thanked him for inviting a sociopath into our lives. Wtf.