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August 28, 2018 11:49 am  #1

Hi, I'm new on here and need advice Please

Hi all,

I have lurked on this board for a few years.  I just posted my story under the story section.  Took a couple of hours, but felt really good to put into words.  So please read before replying on here.  The stress is killing me, I am going to see my Step-Father (who was really my Dad) this weekend.  I have not seen him since leaving my ex-husband (he took his side and refused to believe anything I had to say).  It was a drastic story.  I still love my step-father and miss him in my life.  He is older and I honestly don't know if he is capable of comprehending what my marriage was and why I had to leave.  I just recently re-married and he refused to come, saying we still have things to hash out.  I don't know what he wants to hash out, and like so many others, I'm tired of trying to explain what my secret life was and how I hid it from everyone (including myself).  I'm tired of trying to explain how it took me 22 years to figure out that I was not what my ex-husband needed or wanted.

Advice?  Thanks 


August 28, 2018 12:28 pm  #2

Re: Hi, I'm new on here and need advice Please

Welcome 4ever. 

I read your story and I'm shocked at how confrontational and violent that man was with you.  That is just awful. I'm so sorry for what you went through. 

I can also tell that you are an incredibly strong woman.  It sounds like you have done a great deal of research, therapy, healing and self-confidence building.  Congrats on your new marriage and the great future you have in front of you. 

It sounds as if your step-father is the one who reached to you, which means he is likely the one with an "agenda" to communicate to you.  He may want to apologize to you.  Perhaps he's found out the truth for himself and wants to let you know that he understands.  Or it could be that he still wants to defend your ex and thinks he can try to patch things up.   Regardless of which way it goes..  speak the truth.  It doesn't matter if he wants to hear it or even if he's capable of understanding it.  Just tell the truth.  You don't have to craft a story.  You don't have to coddle him.  You don't have to help him understand how you felt.  

In the end, you can't control him or how he thinks.  That means you don't have to stress over it.  

Let the conversation come natural.  See what it is he wants to communicate.  Then tell him the truth.  

For what it's worth.. I miss my father-in-law quite a lot.  I have some infrequent contact with him from time to time, but have never had a deep conversation with him.  I'd love to have that chance, but he's an avoider.  He will never want to know the truth or talk about it.  So i am stuck missing out on a quality relationship.  But I can't control that.. so it is what it is.. 

Please stick around.  I'm so glad to have you here.  I think your story is amazing (and awful) and I feel like you are a person who has a lot to offer to help others here.  

-Formerly "Lostdad" - I now embrace the username "phoenix" because my former life ended in flames, but my new life will be spectacular. 


August 28, 2018 12:59 pm  #3

Re: Hi, I'm new on here and need advice Please

Thank you Phoenix,

I'm sitting here crying.  I am happy that I finally posted.  Your comments are right on the money, as far as what I have been doing for self recovery.  Thank you for posting.

I'm the one who has been reaching out to my step-father.  It has been such an up and down with him, (I'm not sure, that he doesn't even have dementia).   At times he would talk to me and then at times he wouldn't.  When it came to my wedding, I offered to buy his plane ticket and hotel room.  He refused to come, saying "we still had things to hash out and now is not the time".  I responded, "OK, but I need honesty here, have you just written me off as crazy and want nothing more to do with me"? (I'm over being lied to). 

 Would you even meet me for dinner if we came to (where he lives).  His response was, off course I would meet you for dinner.  So, I let it go and we did not speak until just after the wedding.  I said I would like to come and see him and he said he would meet us for dinner.  It's costing quite a bit of money to fly and visit him for one night.  But I need to see him face to face.

There has been so much drama since my Mother died six years ago, then the divorce put him over the edge.  I can deal with talking about all that.  What stresses me, is my fear that he wants to push the gay thing.  I just don't have any desire to discuss 22 years of extremely personal marital details.  Things I haven't even told my new Husband, it's just nobody's business.  But I'm tired of being called a liar.  I think my Step-Dad, holds onto the fact that my ex is with a new woman.  He doesn't want to understand that my ex is almost 60 years old.  I understand it, he had a very MALE Father.  He falls under the "typical" 60 year old who has spent his life denying and hiding".  When I left him, I knew that he might never come out of the closet.   And then what happened at the end, how can he?  That would validate me and like I said, I really don't care.  He is out of my life, his demons are his and mine are mine (only he and I know the truth).

But I've had three years of "How could you not know?".  It's insulting to me, you either love me and are grateful that you didn't go to my funeral or you're not.  As far as I know, my step-father has no relationship with my ex.  As soon as he wouldn't help my ex buy me out of my house, my ex dropped him.  I think it's more of a male machismo cop thing (step-Dad was a cop too) and my guess is, that he can't accept that he didn't figure it out.  Heck, he was even friends with my ex's lover or obsession, whatever he was.  My ex screamed all through the divorce that he never cheated on me, but then still told me that I needed to be checked for HIV.

So where do I draw the line?  Do I really get into the gory personal details of 22 years?  Do I really have to go into the true depths of denial on my part?  Or do, I hold firm and say, this is my truth.  you can either accept it or not, but your bigger decision is can you put it behind you and still love me anyway, even if you don"t know what the truth was?


     Thread Starter

August 28, 2018 2:06 pm  #4

Re: Hi, I'm new on here and need advice Please

4everdamaged wrote:

Or do, I hold firm and say, this is my truth.  you can either accept it or not, but your bigger decision is can you put it behind you and still love me anyway, even if you don"t know what the truth was?

^--  THIS!!!

Sorry I assumed that he reached out to you.   So it was in fact you that reached out to him.  And your goal is to try to reestablish your relationship with your step-father.  
You don't need to give him all the gory details.  Even if you think it would help convince him, those details would be uncomfortable for both of you to talk about.  So stick to the basics and tell him your truth.  

I know exactly how awkward it can be to talk about why you didn't know your spouse was gay.  This is something that nobody can understand unless they have been through it.  They don't comprehend how well a person can fabricate their identity to hide the truth about themselves  They just wouldn't believe how a closeted gay person could become a professional liar to hide that secret.  They don't understand how being in love causes you to see the good in people and ignore the bad.  They don't get that none of us were trained to even consider that our spouse might be gay.. especially 20 or 30 years ago.  Just accept that most people don't understand this and cannot because they haven't lived it.  DO NOT ever feel guilty about not knowing.  

I hope he will chose to love you and not let his confusion over your past stand in the way. 

-Formerly "Lostdad" - I now embrace the username "phoenix" because my former life ended in flames, but my new life will be spectacular. 


August 28, 2018 2:28 pm  #5

Re: Hi, I'm new on here and need advice Please

Thanks Phoenix,

I feel paralyzed right now.  It's sapping all my strength and energy.  Bringing back SOO many memories that I have worked so hard to try and forget the last few years.  But it's consuming me and I just don't have anyone to talk to about it.  My new Husband is supportive, but he is working long hours right now and let's face it.  He loves me and understands, but I think it might be hurting him, that I'm just not "happy".  He has been a big supporter, encouraging me to go see my Step-Dad, because he knows I need closure with it, one way or the other.  He also knows that although I have worked hard to "overcome" and not be a victim anymore.  He also knows that I am seriously damaged emotionally and physically.  That there will be good days and bad days the rest of my life.   But like you said, I am a strong woman and my new husband knows it.  Probably one of the things that amazed him as he got to know me, lol.  

And it is kind of a closure thing for me.  It' just still "out there".  I don't know if this will be the last time I ever see him or not.  But at least I want to try while he's still alive.  I already have a lifetime of regrets that I can't change, so at least I won't have this one, that at least I didn't try.  OK, I'm going to log off and try and do something productive.  I'm sure I will be logging on daily through Friday night.   I guess finally coming on here, is comforting to remind myself that I am not alone.  I don't feel guilty for "not knowing"  I think that's what makes me so mad at the ones who refuse to understand.  I absolutely own my part,, in every good and bad choice I've made.  I'm not ashamed, but there are too many who want to shame me.  I think as beautiful as my recent wedding day was, putting together photos has been a reminder of how much I've lost.  So, guess just words of encouragement from you who understand is all I'm looking for.  Thanks Everyone!

     Thread Starter

August 28, 2018 5:29 pm  #6

Re: Hi, I'm new on here and need advice Please

Wow 4 ever your story was incredible and I believe every word of it!  I'm so sorry you had to suffer and are still suffering from all this. What these men will do to hide their filthy little secrets is amazing. As I was reading your story and you mentioned the step father and his issues with you, the first thing that came to my mind was,'I bet her stepdad is an ex cop too, that's why his loyalty leans more toward the ex'. I actually made a mental note to ask you but then you confirmed it in a later post.
But then in the same post when you said he's even friends with your ex's suspicious lover, some other red flags came up.
Is it possible your stepdad has some 'issues' of his own? I hate saying that and not suggesting he acted on anything but if there's two things I can be sure of; most cops stick up for each other even when one is in the wrong.. Although you were a cop too, for men it's like an FN blood brother pact. But even worse than the men of 'shield' the men of the 'closet' will stick up, cover, kill, die or do whatever it takes for each other. It's the worse and one of the biggest most secretive clubs out there.
Now put the two together; manly cop closet case types and you have a breed you will never understand. But you better watch your back in case they feel threatened that your going to out who's ever part of their little club. 'To serve and protect' takes on a different meaning and you or anyone else that threatens to expose them will not be on that list to serve. But you can only guess who will be.  
I wish you all the best sweetie. Tread careful with dad. He may just have had a liking to your ex as if he was a son to him but the loyalty seems a little askew.
Remember you owe dad no apology and nor should you feel you have to go anywhere soon to 'hash' out anything. Sounds to me he owes you one. Don't rush this trip. Take time to heal yourself before getting triggered with all those horrible memories. I wish you all the best xoxo.

Life is like phases of the moon.... We really only see it when it's beautiful, full and in our face. 

August 28, 2018 6:03 pm  #7

Re: Hi, I'm new on here and need advice Please

Thanks Scrupulous,

I did log off for awhile and went back to one of my first coping techniques (ok what do I have to do), so I made the bed, did some dishes etc.

I know, part of me wants to cancel this trip.  But it’s just a few days away and I’ve been letting it get to me for months (new husband said, we’ll go see him after the wedding ).  I’m going to get myself together and go to one of my support groups tonight (they don’t get this part of my life but they understand what living with an addict did to me). 

So this day is almost over for me, just need to get through the next three days.  I really do have a deep need to do this.  But you’re right, the male cop thing.  My step-Dad was hateful. Said I didn’t deserve a thing.  Somehow the fact that I had worn his badge for over 20 years and actually made more money then my XH (spousal and child support) for half the marriage didn’t seem to mean anything.

Ok deep breath , go get dressed and meet with other human beings tonight will be good for me.  I tend to be very isolated which sucks.  But living in a new small rural town, starting a new life, is not easy to say the least .  New DH and I both moved , I would not move to where I had lived.  Never wanted to see XH again and didn’t know if he was still coming to his pot farm!  Thanks

     Thread Starter

August 29, 2018 10:20 am  #8

Re: Hi, I'm new on here and need advice Please

Hi 4ever -

I'm sorry for all that you've gone through.  That.sounds.awful.  I'm glad that you've found love again, and wish you the best in your new marriage.

Your ex has most likely lied to your family - including your step-dad.  It'll be up to you to go figure out what he's been told, and then tell him the truth.  If you feel that he's limited on the ability to understand everything, then it's very important that you find out his thoughts first (otherwise you don't even know what you're up against), and that you tell your sd concrete, broad truths.  You don't have to tell him the entire story on everything - just the highlights. Your ex was gay the entire relationship. You found out that he was cheating on you with multiple women, but you also found tons of gross gay porn. Your sd knows you were sick - you can tell him that your ex made that worse by trying to twist the truth so that you thought you were crazy, and you truly believe that your ex wanted you to get to the point where you would kill yourself. That that way, you'd be gone, but your ex would be blameless to everyone. Tell him you moved out into a hotel alone, even as sick as you were.  Tell him that you checked yourself into a mental health facility because you needed to get better - and that the reason you refused leaving when he offered is because you felt that you needed the kind of help only a mental health facility could provide. You were very sick, physically and emotionally, and you wanted the experts to help you.  Tell him that when you went back to get your things, your ex stalked you and beat you with a shotgun, slammed your head repeatedly against a wall, and tried to choke you to death. That you're lucky to have gotten away with your life. That there is no way you would EVER go back to your ex - even if you hadn't met your current husband. And that you're happy now with your current life.  That you're still healing physically and emotionally from the abuse that your ex visited upon you, but you are slowly getting better and healthier. And that you love him (your step-dad), and hope that he can be supportive of you - because that's all you want from him is to have his love back.  That you miss him, and want him back in your life.  That you are his daughter, and you need your dad right now.

Your sd may think that because your ex is once again with a woman, that it might be proof that he's not gay. Tell him that he was married to YOU and he was gay and cheating, so you don't believe that.  But that ultimately, it doesn't matter - him cheating on you with women and trying to KILL you is enough for you to have left.  Your ex DID all those things - it doesn't really matter if he's gay or not. He didn't show you love by his actions, he made you fearful, and then he proved why you should have felt that way. That he does NOT love you - love doesn't do those things.  What's most important to your ex is looking good to everyone, not BEING good.

If that doesn't do it, nothing will.  I wish you all the best, hon.  You deserve it.


Last edited by Kel (August 29, 2018 10:23 am)

You are not required to set yourself on fire to keep other people warm.

August 29, 2018 11:56 am  #9

Re: Hi, I'm new on here and need advice Please

Thanks Kel,

I love your tag line by the way.  I set myself on fire most of my life keeping other people warm.  SD included.  Your right, my plan is to try and listen to what he wants to say and go from there.  And totally right about my XH, he was just top of his con man class!!  I wish I had kept all his crazy emails, including the one threatening my therapist when I first left him.   

I’m just trying to practice self care at the moment.  Part of me wants to cancel this trip, as far as I’m concerned it’s all been talked about already.  BUT there is something to seeing someone face to face.  If he wants to look at me now and call me crazy, he’s the last person to invalidate me.  There was a lot of crazy that he did witness from my ex, hoping that if necessary, I can jog his memory of the things he did see.

Group last night did help and I’m getting out of the house today for a little bit. 
Thank You

     Thread Starter

August 29, 2018 12:31 pm  #10

Re: Hi, I'm new on here and need advice Please

You need to go with the HOPE that you can restore your relationship, but the reality that maybe you won't.  But sometimes, you want to give it one last college try just to make sure you tried hard enough before putting a toxic relationship down and walking away from it.  If you can get to the point where you are able to restore things, you should probably let sd know that you don't intend to keep re-hashing all of this in the future.  That you've moved on (despite having no support from anyone else in your life but your current husband), and you don't want to keep re-hashing it endlessly.  You understand that he may have questions, but... the situation is what it is - your ex was cheating and abusive.  Beyond giving a few examples this time when you go, you don't intend to keep justifying yourself and your actions and decisions.  You are free from that toxicity now, and safe. If he can build from there, great.  If he can't, then he can't.  Period.


You are not required to set yourself on fire to keep other people warm.

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