When All Signs Point To Cheating

I have no doubt the ex cheated on me. There I said it. Or wrote it. There it is – in black and white. And I feel non-plussed by it. There’s no emotion behind it. Except that he’s a lying dastard. But back then, I didn’t know what a narcissist was or how they worked. I was clueless and in love. When things didn’t feel right, and I would question him, he was so smooth with his answers or he ‘gaslit’ me (made me think I was crazy to even had put 2 and 2 together to make 4 or 5??).

Oh the conversations we had that went round and round. He would expertly manipulate me and suddenly, we’d be on a whole different subject (one where I was the bad guy) and I’d be defending myself for some BS that had nothing to do with the subject at hand, which was me asking him something that, if he had told the truth, would have been that he’d been cheating.

He’d use the word salad tactic too – example – just talking was unrecognizable through his increasing circular conversations and repetition. He used a lack of logic, sweeping generalizations, and words that were disjointed or unrelated to context and even contradictions to leap into other subjects that would toss me onto another lane of thought. The slight of hand was extraordinary and I was utterly unprepared and gobsmacked.

I know you wonder how the heck I could have been so clueless, but I loved him. I wanted to believe him. I wanted to see the good. I had a lot to lose if we broke up and I thought we could make it work. God, I was so innocent and naive back then. I wouldn’t let myself think that it could be true that he was cheating. I mean, I’d question things. I remember talking with girlfriends and them agreeing that he was probably cheating, but then he’d do something nice and I’d try to forget about what was staring me right in the face.

As my mom would say, I didn’t read the handwriting on the wall. It was all there, in black and white. I chose not to look or to read it. By the way, these happened over the years…not all at once…and they’re not in order.

Because I thought the blue pills in his suitcase from business trips were Advil. They were in a plastic baggie and the ex-MIL popped them like tic tacs so I thought they were from her. I didn’t buy Advil, but she had gobs of it and was always giving him a baggie with some. (FYI: they were VIAGRA!)

How did I find out about the Viagra? It was on his credit card statement. He bought it from some company in Canada. I actually sleuthed and called them to ask where the shipment had been delivered as it hadn’t been mailed to our home, but they refused to tell me. I did find out how he got it though – fill out a form online and pay with a credit card. No questions asked..lovely. When confronted, he told me that he was getting them for us. Red flag…He NEVER used them with me.

Porn addiction – enough said. Although he started to watch it during the middle of the day and the kids almost caught him before he left our home as he was ‘engaged’ watching it in his unlocked office and I walked in on him. Whoops. I did it on purpose to ask him what he wanted for lunch. I had a feeling and I was right. But by then, he had already told me he wanted out of the marriage.

Telling me that wearing a wedding ring on business trips was like catnip to women. At hotels, they all wanted to have affairs with married men. (WHAT??)

Suddenly brushing his teeth for long periods of time. Caring about his appearance in ways he’d never cared before, buying expensive eye creams at high end stores, having his teeth whitened, wearing his clothes even tighter than normal. Taking propecia to keep his thinning hair. Convincing me to let him use his work bonus for hair replant surgery and taking him to do it. Yup. By the way, he’s still balding in the back. It didn’t take…except for the $$$ that it cost.

Being invited to a wedding without his wife. Because the couple didn’t know he was married. And he wouldn’t tell them. Obviously, I didn’t know them.

After coming home from a business trip, we went directly to a soccer game for one of the kids. After the game, we got in the car and suddenly he realizes his wedding ring is gone! Oh no! He must have lost it on the field, as he’s been losing weight. But the field is too big and the kids are hungry, so let’s forget about going to look for it. He’ll just buy another one.

His incredible anger.all.the.time. I walked on eggshells so as not to upset him because that was worse in my mind. It happened over time, little by little, he seized control and I relinquished it. Too tired to fight him all the time. I needed and wanted peace in my life.

Coming home late at night after hanging with friends – part of the same group from the no wife wedding invitation – inebriated – he’d been at a gay bar for one of the guys birthdays – Did you know it was a gay bar? I didn’t at first. But don’t worry, we sat in the back. Did you have fun? Oh yesssss….and then he promptly fell asleep.

These are just a few examples of my turning a blind eye. Don’t misunderstand, I was angry and hurt and when I did confront him, he had excuses that sounded ridiculously plausible at the time, but I wanted to believe him. The gay bar happened 2 weeks before he left which is why I never asked him to stay. I figured he’d gone off in a different direction.

And yes, he’s dating women in public, ridiculously mauling girlfriends in front of family (ie affection overload in front of his kids – making out with tongue at the dinner table in front of his family, always having his hands all over her body etc) – the kids were disgusted by it, so that’s how I heard about it. But I believe perhaps thou dost protest too much because on the down low, I’ve been told he was with an acquaintance’s ex-husband. Actually the acquaintance told me that our now ex-husbands were ‘together’ for a time. And guess what? It doesn’t really surprise me now. But that’s a story for another day.

I’m sure there are more examples, but I’m feeling a bit sick now after sharing these. However, my point is: If you think it could be cheating, it probably is….

Your intuition is smarter than you are.

Don’t waste your good years like I did.

Let me be a good lesson for you.

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20 Responses to When All Signs Point To Cheating

  1. Becoming Shakti says:

    I haven’t been too active on my site while I was gone and on my first day back, I see your post and HAD to comment. So many similar red flags, right? Sheesh. We can’t blame ourselves for what we didn’t know but we did the work and learned the lessons! For a minute, I thought you were talking about the ghost hahahaha. Take care, have a lovely Christmas and rejoice that someone else is now his beard.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. scr4pl80 says:

    Wow. Just wow. How are you feeling otherwise, Janie? Everything going okay after the surgery? Hope you can have a wonderful Christmas with the kids.

    Liked by 1 person

    • janieleeds says:

      Hey Janet! Good to see you! Otherwise I’m ok. The heart is having some issues, but I’m dealing with them. Just hard at times, but getting better slowly. 🙂 I hope you and yours have a wonderful Christmas too! I hope all is well with you too! 💕

      Liked by 1 person

  3. Dwight Hyde says:

    Big hugs, Janie. Look toward 2023 by moving on from the Ex once and for all. No more letting his world come into your world. Leave it and stop dancing with all his nonsense. 🤗

    Liked by 3 people

  4. petespringerauthor says:

    I think it’s human nature for our minds not to want to believe these things. We don’t think our partners are capable of such behavior. Then, after the fact, it may seem obvious. I know it’s easy to say from the cheap seats, but try not to beat yourself up for not seeing it. He’s the one in the wrong.

    Liked by 1 person

    • janieleeds says:

      Thanks Pete! Hindsight has been a huge helper as well as sitting back and observing. I can put my head peacefully on the pillow every night because I didn’t cheat. Frankly, it’s his issue, not mine. But deep down I knew it on some level. I just didn’t want to see it. And that’s my point…I don’t want someone else to ‘waste time’ being gaslit when they intuitively knew but didn’t want to look at it.

      Liked by 1 person

  5. This was so hard to read for me. It rings true with the last twelve months of my life. Ultimately, I found proof that confirmed my worst fears. However, I was being gaslit until I had proof. It was all in my head until it wasn’t. Sending you lots of love.

    Liked by 2 people

  6. Barb says:

    Your years weren’t wasted lovely. You were receiving an education to help others. The best years are in what lies ahead. 💖

    Liked by 1 person

  7. LA says:

    It’s funny but my journal prompt this week is intuition….good post for you to articulate

    Liked by 1 person

  8. Ainsobriety says:

    I am 100% glad I never ever once considered my ex might have cheated until the day he was caught.
    And that was the end.

    I did think back for a while and wonder, but I stopped. What’s the point? There are a few old female friends of ours who I no longer trust…and I assume anything is possible, but it doesn’t matter.

    I did all the sti tests. That is a must for anyone with a cheater. And then I slowly moved on.

    It was just 4 years since we split. I never even thought about it…He really is just an acquaintance now. I like my single life. We lasted 25 years. I think that was enough for me anyway.

    Good riddance to people of poor character.


    Liked by 2 people

  9. Easy to recognize, but hard to commit to the truth. Especially because some partners are really good at gaslighting. I wrote a piece about this, and it’s horrible behavior.


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