Need advice...serial flirt or much more? - Talk About Marriage
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post #1 of 88 (permalink) Old 08-17-2019, 07:39 AM Thread Starter
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Just introducing myself. 40 year old female with him for 20 years, 2 teenagers. Over a year ago i caught him with a second phone and he was flirting and getting sexy pics from other women. I immediately kicked him out. He (supposedly) smashed the phone and showed it to me, deleted facebook (was flirting and deleting stuff on there too) , made a job change to leave the environment and the girls he was sexting and began IC. Also put a tracking app on his phone at the advice of his counselor so i alwats can check where he is. After 8 months he seemed to be doing everything right so i allowed him another chance. This is not the first time he has engaged in this behavior but i have no proof of PA, just flirting.

Anyway things have been going well i thought until i realized this is actually a false reconciliation. Although things seemed ok i started to get a gut feeling that something was up. He assured me nothing was going on. Reminded me he got rid of the second phone, did counseling, deleted fb etc. But i didnt trust it. He was defensive and no longer showing remorse just impatience for me to get over this already. I found proof on his ipad that he still had the phone last September. A girl texted him on his real number and he replied “don't text me on here my wife checks this” and gave her his second phone number! So i confronted him and he lied again. He said “sorry, i still had the second phone when you took me back, didnt really smash it, but after working with the therapist all year i finally was able to understand why i need this other attention and work through it then get rid of the phone”. He said he didnt tell me because things were going well and he didnt want to rock the boat. I judt knew he was lying.

So I went digging and discovered he still has the second phone and is still texting other women. NOW! He lied to my face multiple times about it. I cant find the phone or see what's on it (keeps it at work im guessing) but i texted the number from an app pretending to be some random girl and he answered and gave details that allowed me to know 100% it is him. Nothing sexual yet.

Anyway im keeping this info to myself for now so i dont do the whole blow up and then kick it under the carpet thing. What is my next step? How can someone be so sneaky that they do everything that looks right but still be keeping this second phone and lying? THE WHOLE TIME! He treats me well, our relationship seemed solid, seemed remorseful at first not now; and everything is good EXCEPT it seems its all an act! I always know where he is (well i know where his real phone is but he could be elsewhere with the other phone im suspecting ). Is he a serial cheater, narcissist or something? Am i that oblivious? I feel crazy. He has lied, gaslighted me, trickle truthed etc. I love him but obviously have ZERO trust in him and ZERO respect for him. I think i have to leave him for good but its hard because my life seemed so good. All lies though...

Last edited by Reeney; 08-17-2019 at 08:20 AM. Reason: Added details
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post #2 of 88 (permalink) Old 08-17-2019, 10:30 AM
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Re: Hi

Welcome to TAM.

Sadly, you've caught this guy up to no good numerous times over the years.

A year ago when you caught him, he put on this big dog and pony show of cancelling accounts, supposedly smashing his 2nd phone, changing his job, putting GPS apps on his phone, and mostly just lying through his teeth over and over and over until you actually believed him. And because you didn't want to leave him, you once again took a huge bite of the **** sandwich he's been serving you for years. I get the impression you've dealt with suspicious behavior from over the years but it's only been in the last year or so you've had actual hard evidence to back it up. Trust me when I tell you, those other times in the past, the odds are 99.999999% that you were right in your suspicions, you just lacked the smoking gun evidence is all.

And now you're right back to square one - you've caught him yet again and you're getting the same bull**** you got last time - that he's a good guy, he's never gotten physical with anyone, you're imagining most of it, his therapist said it's because he needs attention (you're PAYING for some hack to tell you that? I could have told you that for free), and he's telling you all the other lies he always tells you to get out of the doghouse.

Wash. Rinse. Repeat.

Sadly, you're attached to a lying serial cheater who will always cheat on you. And serial cheaters have no clue what remorse is; the big crocodile tears they cry are simply part of the dog and pony show they put on for you each time they're caught. If he were REALLY remorseful, he wouldn't be a serial cheater, so that answers the question about remorse.

What is my next step?
Well, you have a choice. You can continue dining on the never-ending **** sandwich this cheater is constantly serving up to you, and you can continue self-deluding, thinking this lying serial cheater is worth investing one more second of your time. Or, if you're wise, you'll call your lawyer today and start the process of ridding yourself of this toxic waste from your life once and for all.

I'd personally choose the latter.

Once you start seeing your worth, you'll find it harder to stay around people who don't.

Last edited by She'sStillGotIt; 08-17-2019 at 10:58 AM.
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post #3 of 88 (permalink) Old 08-17-2019, 10:33 AM
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Re: Need advice...serial flirt or much more?

So so sorry for you. Your WH is definitely a serial cheater and could even be a narcissist cause he doesn't empathise with the pain he has caused you.
You should act normal but start making a plan to get rid of him and exit from the relationship.
Do not put him on notice, start building up your finances (I hope you are married, you did not say). Are you working? Go and see a lawyer to see what your options are. I would also VAR his car to catch him in the act of talking to these women.
How old are your kids? Confide in close family or friends as to what he is doing. See a therapist for yourself so that you will be strong enough to walk away. This man will never change and you will live a life which is not real. You need to escape from him.
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post #4 of 88 (permalink) Old 08-17-2019, 10:38 AM
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Re: Need advice...serial flirt or much more?

What are you asking?
Heís a lying, cheating, manipulative ******* but you know all this and youíre still there.
He lied to the counselor and you know this as well and youíre still there.
Heís ďflirtingĒ with other women and you know this but youíre still there.
He has another phone and you know this and so on and so on.
You have never actually done anything about his cheating and he figures you never will.
And so far heís right.
Why are you still with him?

When someone says itís not the money itís the principle,itís always the money.
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post #5 of 88 (permalink) Old 08-17-2019, 10:52 AM Thread Starter
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Re: Need advice...serial flirt or much more?

I have done something... I legally divorced him the first time this happened and we were apart for several years. Found our way back to each other. Thought we were happy for a long time until the incidents a year ago and I promptly threw him out again. Took him back 8 months later because he did ďall the right thingsĒ. I donít know what Iím asking...I guess I just need the blunt truth like you guys gave me. I donít understand how or why a person can on the surface do everything that was asked but still be lying the whole time. Character disorder I guess. He maintains it was only ever flirting because he needs a lot of attention and that he didnít cross any physical lines. But the lying itself is a dealbreaker I think.
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post #6 of 88 (permalink) Old 08-17-2019, 11:03 AM
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Re: Need advice...serial flirt or much more?

It's not just the lying. It's the cheating, too.

Some people are masters at both and have their SOs completely fooled.

You've been given the gift of sight. I would act on that. Stop trying to talk yourself out of the truth of his behavior. What you know is just the tip of the iceberg. He's only flirting? Sure, and I have a bridge in Brooklyn to sell you.

Kick him out and start detaching. Look up the 180 and implement the steps. Once you detach, your own love goggles will disappear and you will see the truth of him.
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post #7 of 88 (permalink) Old 08-17-2019, 11:04 AM
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Re: Need advice...serial flirt or much more?

Just remember that it's much easier to focus his bizarre behavior than to focus on your own.

To bottom line it, it doesn't really matter why he does what he does. You're not gonna get satisfying answers to that.

As Andy alluded, it'll be much more productive for you to take the time to figure out why you keep interacting with him.
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post #8 of 88 (permalink) Old 08-17-2019, 11:13 AM
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When someone says itís not the money itís the principle,itís always the money.
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post #9 of 88 (permalink) Old 08-17-2019, 11:30 AM
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Re: Need advice...serial flirt or much more?

The guy is 40 and this started a year ago. You mentioned you divorced him, and we're apart for years? Was that a typo and it was months and not years?

If this started a bit before but before he turned 40, then this man is going through a midlife crisis. My X was a loving, loyal spouse until he turned around 38 and started feeling old and depressed. To feel better and younger, he started fantasizing about other women and at 40 he had a full blown affair with a 27 year old prostitute. He had no idea she was a prostitute, but the truth later came out. He has never been the same since then. He lies and is a horrible partner to any woman he has a relationship with. Serial cheater indeed.

Forget about how wonderful your WS was. That person is completely gone and has been replaced with this selfish, lieing, deceitful human being you don't want to be around. Get away and stay away from him for your own sanity and peace!

It has been 15 years since my X displayed those awful crisis traits and he is still deep in the muck. He is one of those that got stuck. Yours is probably the same. Let him go and don't look back! He will not get better, but he certainly will get worse.

Good things come to those who wait...greater things come to those who get off their a$$ and do anything to make it happen.
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post #10 of 88 (permalink) Old 08-17-2019, 11:47 AM
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Re: Need advice...serial flirt or much more?

I'm sorry you're in this mess again.

Every spouse deserves to feel 100% safe from infidelity (including safe from risky and/or flirty behavior). He has failed you and continues to fail you.

Among other things, the personality characteristics that enable him to behave inappropriately are: selfish, entitled, deceitful, and lacking in empathy for you.

Whatever he learned from the divorce and/or IC he's still letting the above characteristics control his decision making.

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post #11 of 88 (permalink) Old 08-17-2019, 01:38 PM
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Re: Hi

Now you know all the stuff you tried didn't really work. He just got more careful because he wants his fun on the side but he doesn't want a divorce. You can't control his actions so that leaves you with the option of either staying and putting up with whatever he does or moving on and creating a new life without him because he obviously doesn't plan on changing. Which is it going to be?
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post #12 of 88 (permalink) Old 08-17-2019, 01:44 PM
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Re: Hi

You love who you thought he was but the truth is that the lying and sneaking around is who he really is. Ask yourself if you really want to spend the rest of your life living with someone who can't be trusted. I lived that life for decades and it isn't fun.
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post #13 of 88 (permalink) Old 08-17-2019, 02:18 PM
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Re: Need advice...serial flirt or much more?

It's not flirting. It's cheating. And it's who he is. You either accept this is your life with him or you move on and finally get him out of your life forever. It's all up to you because he's not changing.
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post #14 of 88 (permalink) Old 08-17-2019, 02:24 PM
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Re: Hi

Life is good, but you know it's all lies. You don't know specifics, but you do know he has lied about many things, has lied many times, and you know that he is still doing all those same things. You know he cannot be trusted. You know he cannot be respected.

I'm not sure what more you need to know. What you do know already is more than enough to divorce him.

When a person shows you how they are, believe him. Stop hoping for specific evidence when all the evidence you have shows your husband's true self. And shows he is never going to stop being his true self to suddenly turn into the man you wish he was. He treats you well to keep the wool over your eyes and in a state of confusion. Your relationship seems good to keep the wool over your eyes and in a state of confusion. That man of yours is diabolical, and you live the disgrace. How much more of this could you possibly want? It's time to see your reality for what it is, as opposed to what you wish it to be.

Last edited by StarFires; 08-17-2019 at 02:46 PM.
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post #15 of 88 (permalink) Old 08-17-2019, 02:24 PM
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Re: Need advice...serial flirt or much more?

Some believe that anything less than PIV is not cheating. Apparently he's one who believes that -- or at least that's the story he's selling you. You've taken him back twice now and he's still doing the same thing? What does that tell you?
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