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Would you tell them all the truth? Or is vengeance a hollow win?

(59 Posts)
tellnobody Sun 09-Aug-15 16:22:08

At the time of my split with DH a couple of years ago, I was manipulated into taking the fall for the whole thing.

We had an unusually happy marriage and the divorce was a bombshell. I was taken by suprise and was in such severe shock for a while that I was not eating and actually needed medication to sleep etc.

Anyone who has read the midlife crisis script on here: it was that exactly.

Dropped out of nowhere by a particularly loving and devoted DH. Blamed, told it was my fault, history re-written, devalued...thrown out with the trash.

I had no time to realise that my beloved DH had done all the hard work behind my back of telling mutual friends, my BELOVED inlaws and the rest of his family and his children (who I raised) that the divorce was my fault that he was the victim and he gave complex and completely fictional reasons.

While I was holed up for several months on my sister's sofa having thrice weekly therapy and trying to figure out why my absolutely lovely DH had turned into satans spawn he was busy calling friends and his family in tears, telling them all the stuff I had done to drive him to leave me and they actually felt sorry for him.

All of it was absolute total and utter bull shit, but nevertheless, they only heard the lies because I was too devastated to speak up and to be honest - could not fully believe he was not on my side.

It has taken me two years to get REALLY angry. Up until now, I think the shock, trauma just prevented me from connecting that that side of it. I just laid down and died. Let him destroy me and did nothing.

I was wondering if anyone felt that there was any point in standing up for myself now?

Is there any point?

I could easily send evidence of the real truth of why he left and did what he did (the sex with prostitutes, i have screen shots of his emails to them and his letters to me where he admits to lying to everyone because he is a coward) and I was wondering whether fighting back would make me feel better or worse?

I'm not one for vengeance, but I am just so angry. His parents in particular really, really hurt me. I adored DH and riased their grandkids as my own and I was cast out by all of them because he fancied fucking someone else - yet he told them lies to make them think it was me.

Would you do something? Or would I just hate myself worse? Leave it to karma? Showing anyone the evidence I had would destroy him completely.

PatriarchalHandmaiden Sun 09-Aug-15 16:29:36

The way he treated you means he has no right to expect loyalty or respect from you but your main concern should be to do with how this could impact you.
If it might bring you some sense of closure then it might be worth doing but if it's only going to make you feel like a horrible person then you shouldn't do it.
In your situation I probably wouldn't as I believe in leaving the past where it belongs, in the past.

Gabilan Sun 09-Aug-15 16:31:30

I think you may find it backfires on you. As tempting as it is to tell the whole world, IME people often believe what they want to, in the teeth of all the evidence.

Tricky. Certainly I would tell the people I know best. If you do tell people to whom he is close, just be prepared for the fact that you might still end up being the bad guy.

FredaMayor Sun 09-Aug-15 16:46:44

Dear OP, I was also on the receiving end of almost all of what you describe. Some therapists call it Abandoned Wife Syndrome. Rather than go over what happened (and not wanting to out myself by pointing out the similarities in mine and many other cases like this) I would like to say to you that You Must Fight Back. If you say nothing people will think the propaganda your ExH had spread must be true, sadly. Give your version, shout it from the rooftops, it will help you resolve your feelings a great deal, IME. Most people understand very well that there a two sides to every story anyway.

The reasons this happened to you? Well, in my own case (which was AWS to a T) ExH has always had a desperate need to be worshipped liked, and parents who supported and bankrolled what he did because they had never liked me (they thought I was at the same time both arrogant and smarmy confused even though I was always nice to them). In your case I'm sure ExH was thinking only of himself, as if he was some golden baby boy that must have whatever he wants - because we all deserve to be happy, right?? Damn the consequences for you, for all he cares he might as well take into account the feelings of next door's cat. Entitled barely begins to describe it.

Be angry now, reclaim who you are and stop taking this crap, and most of all stop caring about him. He has shown you what a snake he is by casting you as the villain and it's time for you to fight fire with fire. (Snakes hate fire they say). Start with the emails you copied. Your overall goal, I want you to believe, is to heal yourself and stop caring about this undeserving person.

PS. Hooray for your sister, mine was the same - an utter gem.

pocketsaviour Sun 09-Aug-15 16:59:45

Hmmm. Yeah I'd probably drop the bomb, although with being 2 years later he's probably had a good chance to make up some bullshit, like "She's a photoshop wizard and she doctored my emails!"

GatoradeMeBitch Sun 09-Aug-15 17:00:43

Yes, why not?

ProjectPerfect Sun 09-Aug-15 17:01:00

Firstly Its important to remember that most people (parents aside) honestly don't care how one adult behaves to another- short of very serious abuse people are generally forgiving, especially where friendships have been long and happy. Therefore whatever you do, don't expect anything external to change.

If it was me I think it would depend on how serious the lies he told about you were. So if for example he "just" claimed you were a spiteful harridan who yelled at him and refused to cook his dinner and iron his shirts, I'd leave it.

If however he told lies that were so serious that they could impact on you professionally or were such that no decent person could bear to be in the same room then I would consider disclosing his awful behaviour.

For example I might write a very short and kind letter to your in laws saying my how sorry you were to lose contact, but that in light of the disclosures that ex was sleeping with postitutes etc you were too shocked and humiliated to speak with them. You regret now that you didn't and are sure that has they been aware of his horrific behaviour they'd have wanted to support you...(obv I paraphrase)

If nothing by else you'll be pleased you got it off your chest and it'll give them food for thought.

whateverloser Sun 09-Aug-15 17:02:40

I have been through similar to you and am facing a very similar dilemma. For me it is 15 months since our split and depending on my mood, I agree with both sides of the argument. I heard a saying once that I try and remind myself - if you want revenge, dig two graves. I think sadly it can backfire. We need instead to focus on building our own positive lives. That is so much easier said than done, but it is possible. I decided that anyone who thought I was a liar, I would remove from my life. My delightful x pays no maintenance for his five children. This is in hand with the cms, but they seem powerless. I have toyed with telling the world about this as it disgusts me so much, but he is a phenomenally convincing liar, that he would still twist this. As someone else has said, people believe what they choose to believe. My ethos was 'if you are not with me, you are against me'. I viewed his family who believed his lies over the facts as toxic individuals who would do me more harm than good. Would it help you in any way to have them back in your life? Unless you email them and explain there are two sides an if they are interested in the proof then you can forward it? I offered to do this with the in-laws but they weren't interested. Ironically, without having to do anything, they are starting to come round and change their tune. The truth will out eventually and when it does, you won't care, because you will have moved on. Sorry if this is garbled, but I'm trying to get it all down as it is so similar.

goddessofsmallthings Sun 09-Aug-15 17:03:11

As Satan's spawn got in first, there's a danger that giving your account now may be seen as being a vindictive on your part which will add further credence to his pack of lies.

I would suggest that in any situation where the conversation turns to your marriage to/divorce from Old Nick's son, you coolly and calmly state the facts and produce the evidence you've referred to while emphasising that you were so shell-shocked by his behaviour it didn't occur to you that he wouldn't be honest with others.

Such is human nature, you'll only have to get the story out to one or two of key individuals for it to begin to circulate, but if you're hoping it will influence his dps/dcs it's probable that they will continue to stand united against you (if that's what they've been doing).

That said, regardless of whether you act or not, I don't doubt that sooner or later one or more of them will break ranks and offer you some words of comfort, albeit under conditions of strict secrecy.

If you do decide to distribute an evidentiary package, so to speak, it should be accompanied by a brief missive stating that you trust that any hurt caused to the recipient by sight of the contents will not approximate to the hurt that you've suffered due to being unfairly judged by those you loved as if they were your own.

As to whether you should leave it to karma, it occurs to be me that a human hand is occasionally required to set the train of retribution in motion and, if you decide to give fate a shove, you're best advised to be ultra careful not to get your hands dirty in the process.

CloserToFiftyThanTwenty Sun 09-Aug-15 17:04:08

What would you want to get from telling people?

ImperialBlether Sun 09-Aug-15 17:06:40

This sounds horrific. What was he giving as the reason for the divorce?

Bogeyface Sun 09-Aug-15 17:11:09

I would yes, but I would do it in such a way so that it doesnt get turned around as further "proof" of your unreasonableness.

Who is the biggest gossip you know? One that knows at least one member of his family? Get to know them, "confide" in them all the salacious details and make it clear that you dont expect them to keep it a secret "after all, no one would believe me anyway" - cue crocodile tears.

Word will get round, believe me. Better still if you know the local pub that any of them drink it, it will be round the place within 10 minutes of you leaving.

whateverloser Sun 09-Aug-15 17:27:21

The problem is, if he is a narcissistic liar, as my exh is, he will wriggle out of it and you will look like the bitter,sad ex who couldn't move on. Or he'll be so devastated by you outing him, that he will still get the sympathy. They are highly manipulative and persuasive.

hollieberrie Sun 09-Aug-15 17:41:23

The problem is, if he is a narcissistic liar, as my exh is, he will wriggle out of it and you will look like the bitter,sad ex who couldn't move on. Or he'll be so devastated by you outing him, that he will still get the sympathy. They are highly manipulative and persuasive.


I tried to tell everyone what my ex had done but he is so charming & manipulative that hardly any of our mutual friends believed me and i was painted as a crazy, jealous bitter nutcase who couldnt move on. I would advise against it tbh. Try to let it go and focus on you. Easier said than done i know, but with hindsight i wouldve behaved differently.

Good luck OP.

Joysmum Sun 09-Aug-15 17:43:49

If the subject came up, damn right I would!

Yes there's all sorts of reason not to, but I'm a bitch grin

rollonthesummer Sun 09-Aug-15 17:46:44

I wouldn't. Most people so t care and his parents will just think you were a cold, miserable harridan who wouldn't sleep with him for 10 years so he was forced to sleep with prostitutes.

tellnobody Sun 09-Aug-15 17:48:37

Freda Than you so much for that post. Yes, I read about AWS and mine was exactly that too. He also had a pathological need to be seen as a nice guy - although I saw quite often behavior from him that was not "nice", he had a very clever way of playing the victim. I never saw in that way before but see it now.

Example: he cheated extensively on his first wife and when we met he twisted this around to make is seem quite convincingly like he was the victim of a cold, heartless bully of a woman and I lapped it up. I am not a stupid person but when someone is very adept at phrasing things right (he always defended the ex when I got angry for example) he absolutely had everyone around believing he was the victim. He was so good at it, it's difficult to explain.

First wife left him for someone else, and absolutely everyone he knows (friends, his family) literally hate her - because none of them know he cheated. He played the "poor me" role like Meryl Streep and he's gotten away with it twice. for what is in it for me? Of course there is that human need for justice, for truth, for fairness but I think Freda said it best. I feel like my truth has never been spoken, like my power was taken from me. I feel like I have laid down like a dog and taken a beating and a part of me wants to fight back. I kind of know his family won;t want to hear it or believe me but it makes me angry.

As for the lies; they were not "she pushes drugs" or anything personally damaging. It was along these lines:

1. He told everyone I had a money spending problem and drove him into such bad debt that he was being treated for anxiety related illness and that despite begging me to control it and us arguing over it for years, I continued.

This is utter fiction. Not a shred is true. He was the spender, and I was the sensible one. We had no debt and had never once argued about money.

2. He told everyone we had been arguing for a long time, that it had been a long time coming and that he had done his best.

Utter fiction too. I was so absolutely shocked by his departure it is hard to find words to describe it. He had never, not once mentioned being unhappy in any way to me. Not even hinted at it.

3. He told his children I left them and didn't want to see them.

Fiction. I begged to see them, sent them gifts. He cut me off and told me it was easier on everyone for me to disappear.

4. He told them I was hard to live with, that he had been a saint to put up with me.

I have no idea what he was talking about. He told me every day I was the best wife in the world. the first I heard of me being hard to live with was after he left and he could not give me any specific reasons.

So while none of those lies are maybe that bad...try and imagine how it feels to devote years of your life to someone. Help raise their kids, love them every day, be totally loyal and then to be vilified for all these lies and have people saying behind your back "poor him, for putting up with her".

It's awful. And part of me feels like being trapped in the lies holds me back from moving on. At the same time I worry he is SO good at this that I would end up loking even more hysterical and foolish.

He left me, very simply, because I was ill at the time and he didn't like the idea of looking after me or of the potential expense of it and because I had a personal financial situation crop up that he did not want to have joint liability for (NOT a debt, an expense to do with my family) and he cut me off cut-throat style because it was better for him to do so.

He was also habiltually sleeping with prostitutes and on about 5 casual sex hookup sites. To say that people would be shocked by this is beyond an understatement. it would be a scandal. He is considered a pillar of the cummunity and I have photos of him that I took from online doing things that would turn your stomach. I only found all this after investigating him - which I only did seeking an explanation.

It's a shame because even as I write this, I know I won't do it. I have always believed "what goes around comes around" and I do feel like that suits who I am a person and being true to ME is more important than teling the truth.

Actually when I did threaten to expose him, he laughed in my face and said I'd never do it.

rollonthesummer Sun 09-Aug-15 17:51:43

You found photos of him online doing weird things??

tellnobody Sun 09-Aug-15 17:52:46

Ps: I also have written letters from him confessing to cheating on the first wife!!!! In very in depth detail.

His Mother thinks he is a golden boy. I'd love to see her stupid face if she knew the truth of the scum she raised.

That woman was awful to me. Cut me off for dead as if I had never known her, and I geninely loved her like she was my own blood.

Makes me so angry!!!!

But at the time, yes, he was charming and calm and oh-so-down and I was crying and shaking and hysterical and he made me out to be crazy and I actually cemented his story about me being a nightmare.

People must have been thinking I was mad, but he was me act like that!

tellnobody Sun 09-Aug-15 17:53:41

Yes...I copied his internet history off the computer and found him on many, many, many websites. Doing fetish like things in photos. I don't think anyone could say I photoshopped that, and I took screenshots of all of it.

cozietoesie Sun 09-Aug-15 18:06:05

Start writing a memoir/book about your divorce and drop that new activity carelessly into the conversation if you ever have cause to speak to him again. It would be good for you to have it all written down and collected in any case I think. You don't need to publish/use it if you don't want to.

I don't believe in vengeance - but acting as an instrument of retribution? Now that's a different matter.

Dinneratbrinkleys Sun 09-Aug-15 18:06:39

I could have written your OP word for word. I tried telling the truth to one mutual friend, with evidence etc, and all she did was tell him, and he then started emailing me abusive emails telling me he was going to take me to court for libel/slander/whatever.

Basically, whatever attempt I made to give my side, he made 10x that attempt to crush me.

He was always more outwardly charming than me. I was never able to grit my teeth and pretend I felt something I didn't. But I watched him do it with everyone. And he has just employed that ability to be a charming phoney and I don't feel like I can get my truth out there now.

FurryFanny Sun 09-Aug-15 18:08:56

I'll be shot for saying this but...

I would blow that fuckers world wide open and unleash a world of shit on him that would make his worst nightmares seem like Disneyland.



ImperialBlether Sun 09-Aug-15 18:10:19

One thing I would do is to show any evidence of his infidelity to his ex wife. That may well make a tremendous difference to her mental health.

Gabilan Sun 09-Aug-15 18:12:52

"Example: he cheated extensively on his first wife and when we met he twisted this around to make is seem quite convincingly like he was the victim of a cold, heartless bully of a woman and I lapped it up. I am not a stupid person but when someone is very adept at phrasing things right (he always defended the ex when I got angry for example) he absolutely had everyone around believing he was the victim. He was so good at it, it's difficult to explain."

I get that. I have an ex who in a minor way is a bit like that. He had a string of exes who somehow had always been mean to him. The failure of his previous relationships was always the woman's fault. And yes, I was daft enough to fall for it. It was only when he dumped me, and the circumstances surrounding that, that I realised that all his exes had a point. He was indeed an utter cunt, a coward, and a selfish little shit.

OP, maybe write this all down. You have the evidence, get it all together. Have that there. You are right, and he is a manipulative shit. You know this. The people who matter know this.

But just be aware that if you share this information more widely, he may well be two steps ahead of you and may have warned people what to expect. Revenge fantasies are unlikely to play out IRL the way they do in your head.

Revenge is indeed a dish best served cold. Wait and watch. At some stage he will probably trip up, and then your story can come out. He's done this at least twice, he'll do it again.

But I hope for your sake that by the time it does come out, you've rebuilt your life and moved on.

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