The kickass survival site for anyone who's ever been lied to, cheated on and left for dead.
Part one: I discovered your site four years ago when i received an email at work from a woman telling me that until the day before she been having an affair with my husband. For the past two-and-a-half years. She lived in a different city and my husband travelled often for work and was able to see her as often as he wanted. I did not suspect, although i knew something was very wrong with our marriage. I had teenage children entering the important years of their high school studies and, having read this and similar sites, decided that i would see if we could work our way through things. We did have counselling, but my husband refused to be open with me about technology use etc. which was difficult as distance meant the emails and text were their key ways of communicating and his mistress sent me many, many emails he had sent her which were extremely hurtful. That was May - around October/Nov my husband was in the shower when his phone started vibrating beside his bed. I didn't realise it was his phone, but when i reached over to check what the noise was i found texts that were intimate. We were then both made redundant as a result of the recession that followed the GFC. I found other work quite quickly and my career has been fine since then; he could not and after six months accepted a two year contract in a country on the other side of the globe. He had managed all of our money - i had always earned much more than him and thought this was a way of evening up things. Over the next 12 months he pretty much emptied out joint account - including a large sum of redundancy money i had received - and in the end i had to go to the bank and block the accounts and open new accounts in my name with the little money left. He refused to ever explain what had happened with the money. I had to threaten to go to social services before he agreed to start contributing to the costs of the two teenagers still at home.
Part two: Over the past 12 months i have scrimped and saved and got my bank balance back to something that doesn't keep me awake at night, but its been really tough. About six months into this new regime he came home for a break. The day before he arrived i was tidying up the house and found an old visa bill which showed he had spent more than $1000 in one day on lottery tickets and flowers. I suspected these had been for his mistress, as he was in her new home town, but he denied it and said that he had bought the lottery tickets because 'he was the lowest he'd ever been' and the flowers were for a friends mother. He stayed in the spare room, but he was so charming and the kids were so happy to have dad home that i relented.....a few days later he had friends over as it was the last night of his break. I happened to walk across our family room and found a phone - which i realised was his - and it was flashing with new messages. From another woman. I was beyond furious - he said it was because of the upset over the money and i had been cold towards him. My teenage daughter overheard the argument that ensued and my anguish. It was horrible. He then left and flew away. How convenient. He swore he had ended the relationship when he got back but i have no way of knowing if that happened, and tried a little harder to stay in contact. In the meantime i had a new, really senior role, and was relishing the professional opportunities it provided. He made one more short visit before the end of last year and was due to come back permanently next month. As i started thinking about having him back in our house and my life and started feeling anxious and scared. He'd had two affairs that i knew of, cleaned out our savings and had no job to come home to. I tried to find roles he could apply for and event got him an interview through a contact but it didn't progress. In the meantime, i started not being able to sleep and it was affecting my relationship with my kids so i started counselling again (I had gone to see the same woman when the money issue blew up). After two sessions i had a nightmare which involved my husband sitting in a towel at what looked like a night club while somebody read out all of the things he had spent our money on. On the other side a young woman who was like a Shakespearean actor speaking off-stage but telling me of all the other affairs my husband had had that i didn't know about and how he had boasted to others of taking advantage of me on numerous occasions. I woke up at 3am with a sense of dread and realised that i couldn't go on in the marriage. I had a counselling session that day and the next day sent my husband a text in the other country to say that the marriage was over. I only feel a sense of huge relief and sadness at the time i have wasted giving him so many second chances. I wonder if your advice re keeping on trying is always the right one - i don't say this as a criticism and in the first few months after finding out about the first affair they were a life line, but i do wonder now if i would have been better to cut my losses then and their not waste so much precious time, and lose so much money, for somebody who does not deserve to have a relationship with me...
Anonymous,That huge sense of relief is clearly evidence that you've made the right choice. Be prepared that you might not feel it all the time. You might still have moments of doubt. But come back to it...and remember how good it feels to not have his crazy in your world.I'm sorry for all you've been through. I do, however, want to clarify that I never recommend one course of action over another. I honestly don't think I could ever know what's right for one person. I know what worked for me and I don't regret my choices. But I'm constantly aware that I'm only getting one side of every story...and that I don't have all the details. Even if I did, I simply can't know what's right for anyone but myself. So I'm certainly sorry if you interpreted anything I said as a recommendation to stay and work it out. I'm glad, however, that you feel clear on what your next steps are. It doesn't sound like he deserves a relationship with you. You're wise to recognize that his attempts to blame you for his cheating are total bullshit. And I wish you all the best going forward. I hope you'll keep us posted.Elle
Thanks Elle - I have read some your blogs and advice again and you are remarkably even-handed with your advice. I just wanted my family to stay together so much I pretended to myself that his failure to try and change was ok. Even now he has not given me the respect of responding to my message about wanting to end the marriage. He wants the kids to blame me for ending things which is the ultimate crazy making trick his his very large arsenal....
Your desire to keep your family intact is completely understandable. And betrayal is shocking -- it takes us time to really wrap our minds around what it means for us. But when one of the partners continues to be dishonest and disrespectful, it forces your hand to, at the very least, create strong boundaries. Nobody should tolerate that. Your job is to treat yourself with respect and demand that others in your life also treat you with respect. It sounds as if he's going to challenge your strength in this. Stay firm. Do not let him use the kids as pawns, though you may have to do some de-programming with them. Don't bash him, though it will be hard. I hope you have a therapist who can help you work through all the nonsense he's putting in front of you and your kids. Elle
I've been reading these letters and crying. I am so ashamed of my stupidity. I have suspected my H of cheating almost our entire marriage. But when I confronted him he always reacted so hurt, crying, saying I was the only thing he lived for, couldn't believe I doubted him, would do anything to prove how much he loved me, he must be a real screw up to make me think he had cheated on me, etc.............I would cry too and beg him to tell me the truth. But, I always gave in and tried to believe him. But, things kept happening to make me suspicious. He treated me fairly well, That sounds terrible. He was never mean, but just seldom made me feel loved, often seemed bored with me. He always worked and would say that working to take care of his family was all he cared about. It all seems so crazy now. About two months ago something else happened to make me suspicious, and I decided I had had enough. I stopped talking to him. I was trying to decide what to do. I had never done that before. I had always confronted him with my suspician. He knew something was terribly wrong and after two weeks he confessed that way back in the past he and a friend had picked up two women at a bar and had sex with them. He said he was so ashamed, and that he hadn't told me because he didn't want to hurt me. I told him to tell me the rest, and he said that was the only time. I said I didn't believe him and he put on the same old show. After a few days he suggested we see a counselor. He continued to lie to the counselor and after two visits he asked to see a different counselor (the first was a woman, he wanted to switch to a man). After a session with the second counselor, I told him I didn't want to continue because he was continuing to lie. That night he told me about several other incidents, which he said was all. When again I told him I knew there was more, a few hours later he told me about one more. He says the last time was 20 years ago. I know there is more. But it has been over a month and he still says he has told me all there is. We have been seeing the counselor but he just encourages us to talk. I can't work on this unless I know what I am dealing with. I now trust my instincts and there is no doubt there is more. He has been crying a lot during the past two months. I couldn't take his pain and deal with my pain too, so I asked him to leave about three weeks ago. He has rented a house about three miles from here. He went to his PC who prescribed Xanax, which has made him alittle less emotional. I didn't go to the last couselor meeting. I told him he needed to work on his problem before we could even start working on our relationship. We were together 45 years. We have children and grandchildren. I still love him and care about him. It hurts so bad to think our marraige is over, and we may never have the retirement we planned together, and it was so hard to tell our children we were seperated. I am beginning to feel better. I am actually much better when he is not around. I just go back and forth trying to decide what to do. I still cry often. I don't think he will ever tell me the whole truth.
Please, please stop telling yourself you were "stupid". You weren't stupid. None of us were stupid. We were doing the best we could. Your instincts were right, though, and that's important to notice. Begin to pay more attention to them. And you're also right in that, until he can come clean and be honest, there's little point in trying to rebuild a marriage. Some guys can do it; others can't. But while he figures out which guy he is, you need to start moving forward in a way that ensures you will be okay no matter how this turns out.Give some thought to whether you're grieving the loss of the dream of the rest of your life, or whether you're actually missing the man himself. The separation is a good thing, I think. Gives you the chance to focus on yourself and makes it clear to him that you're no longer putting up with his idiocy and lies.And don't feel like you have to make any decisions right now. Most experts recommend waiting for your emotions to settle down first (six months to a year, most say). At that point, you just might find that it's obvious what you should do next. At the very least, you've had time to figure out what this means for you financially and practically (housing, etc.).Hang in there. Whether or not there's more to come (and I'm sure you're right that he hasn't disclosed everything), you're going to be just fine.Elle
My husband still insists that he has told me everything. I still don't believe him. He has been crying every time I see or talk to him. He has been crying for three months. I asked to talk to the therapist alone, and I asked him if this was normal. He said "no". I asked him if he might be so upset because he is still hiding something. He said he didn't know. Then he said I should move on. My husband has been doing everything I have asked him to do to make things right, but I still thinks he is lying. I thought I could handle leaving him, but what the therapist said ripped my heart out. Things have not always been good, and he did cheat on me multiple times, but he has also been my best friend and always there when I needed comforting. and now I am falling apart and I want so much for him to hold me. What he did hurts unbearibly but leaving him hurts just as bad. I thought I was getting strong, but now I am in such deep dispare I don't know if I can bear it.
Hi,I am about to marry a man who has cheathed on me. Once, twice maybe 3 times. I always find out by checking his phone when he gives it to me to pick up a call or reading his facebook messages when the iPad we share has him logged in. I do not spy on him but since the first time I realized he was cheating, I do not trust him.2 days ago, I caught some sms on his phone to the one he had cheated on me with last year. He was telling her about his plans this summer (we may need to separate and live in different cities due to work reasons) and making plans to meet up with her. When I confronted him, he just said they were only sms but he was not planning anything seriously. She is a married woman stuck in her unhappy marriage but does not even think about divorce. My partner says he is not looking for any relationship, and accepts that he likes playing but does not want to hurt me. He says he is sorry but would never accept opening his email or phone to me. His privacy is very important to him. He tells me the stories half way. I can feel when he is lying and when he is being honest. I know we love each other very much and we have gone through a lot together so when he asked me a couple of months ago I did not think it twice and I said yes, let's get married. I do not want to lose him because he is a wonderful person but like all, has his weacknesses. He keeps on saying he is sorry and he is even more sorry that I am being hurt but I am not sure how is this going to stop. Yesterday he accepted to seek for professional help but he acts as if nothing has happened and tells me that I am the one who needs to build the trust again. He makes it sound as if I was the one who needs to do the work and not him. I am very angry and feeling a big sorrow inside at the same time. I can forgive him but I can not forget and I am not sure if taking a bit of time apart from him will help at all. I guess, end of the day, I am even more scared this happens again the day we have kids as we are already planning to form a family. Will I be able to move on? Are we, women, too dump that we accept the partners we are with even knowing they cheat on us? Is this a weakness or do they take advantage of our condition of woman? Thanks for your help.
This man has shown you very clearly who he is, someone who cheats on those he professes to love. This won't change. He's not remorseful, doesn't think there's a problem (except in you) and will lie to avoid dealing with things he doesn't want to deal with.To marry this man thinking life is going to be any different than it is now (except worse, especially when you have children) is a huge mistake. This isn't about "women" and "men". This is about someone who is dishonest and a cheater. And about someone (you) who is essentially saying, by marrying him, that this is okay with you.We teach people how to treat us. You're showing him very clearly that he can continue to lie and cheat and there will be no real consequences. Would you allow your child to lie to you without consequence? This is about you needing to have enough self-respect to tell him that you will not marry him unless he seeks help for his issues (and they are HIS issues, not yours). To be honest, I'd get as far away from him as possible. Will it hurt? Absolutely. But it will hurt for now. Marry him and you can count on hurting for a whole lot longer.Elle
Hello and thanks for your tough reply. I agree that going ahead with the wedding is not a good idea and I am pretty decided to call it off but I also think I need some time and space to think this through. I have been living in my partners country for the last year and he has always been extremely caring of me (I do not speak the local language). As I mentioned in my previous message, he has also agreed to seek for help (he does not deny he has a problem but he wants me to forget and move on, hard to explain). He has also agreed to call the OW in front of me to tell her this is totally over (let's see if he does it but these are my 2 conditions to start with). He talks of us in the future as if he did not want to believe that we may not be together anymore. I am not sure how to read this. I am just sure that everyday that passes by I need more from him to make this work and I can not act as if nothing had happened like he does. I think he is ashamed. He finds it hard telling me what he has done and has not because he is embarrased. I am not trying to defend him, I am just trying to say that he is vulnerable and probably a coward but he has made me very happy (and very unhappy at the same time) and I do value the effort he has put in the relationship. But we need to work hard on this (and I write while my tears are rolling down like mad) and for now I have decided to go away for a few days. First time we are going to be apart in the last year as we currently work (from home) and live together. This is hard as one feel lonely when has noone to share these things with. Thanks all for allowing me the space to share my sorrow. Thanks Elle for your thoughts. If I decide to stay in this relationship I will blame myself, and only myself in the future if he does it again so whatever it's the final decision it will be my stupidity I guess.
I think you're wise to give yourself some time. You're clearly not stupid. And what your boyfriend is doing is extremely common -- wishing you wouldn't talk about it, the shame, the confusion. He's looking for something outside of himself to fill a void inside himself. It's probably issues from long ago that have nothing to do with you. But by cheating it DOES have something to do with her -- it causes you pain. He needs to address those issues to figure out why he's risking something that he wants (you). Until he can get clear on that, he'll likely continue to behave in ways that are so painful for you...and ultimately self-destructive to him. So don't let him sweep this under the rug. It's too important. It's the rest of your life. Insist that he deal with this. He's lucky you love him enough to give him the chance to be his better self. I hope he sees that...and does what he needs to do to deserve you.It seems confusing but the best thing you can do for yourself AND for him is not back down on your insistence that he deal with this head-on.Elle
Part 1: First of all, I want to say that I am really happy that I found your blog. It's very helpful. My husband first cheated on me before we were married. At the time, he had 2 one-night stands with different women that he'd picked up in bars. He swore up and down that he had cheated because he was actually not serious about marrying me - and wanted to see if he could find the same chemistry with other women. He was ashamed, he cried, he begged me to take him back (it had happened months before I found out) and once it was over he realized that he actually did want to marry me. It was a lame-ass excuse but I believed him. I believed that once we were married, he would stay committed - even if not for me, then at least for his faith in God (which he is actually a religious guy - sometimes). Fast forward 14 years, and 10 days ago, I now found out that he has been addicted to porn and dating websites for about 4 years. In December 2012 he finally cheated for the first time (since marriage), and again twice with a prostitute, and another time with another woman he met online - this one was in August of 2013. I find out by accident because I came across a recent email where he was trying to set up an appt with the same prostitute again, and several replies to craigslist ads. I am beyond devastated. Actually, I'm experiencing just about every emotion that you describe in your blog. Like so many women I thought I would kick him to the curb, but it's just not that easy. I can't imagine a future without him. He swears he's so ashamed and has vowed never to visit another dating/porn style website again. He's started praying again religiously (which he'd stopped for a couple of years), although it's hard to say if that will continue. I hope it does. What hurts the most is that after finding this out, I've been digging in to every website that he had become a member of, and finding old transcripts of chats with these other women.
Part 2: I can say that based on the chat histories that I have read, he has pretty much come clean about every encounter that he's had. He chatted a lot with both online women about the possibility of meeting again, but they both cancelled a few "dates" on each other, so he never met either women more than once (only the prostitute that he saw twice). I know I probably shouldn't be obsessing about the chats, but I can't help it. Every day I keep reading the sexting history between them. One of them is more painful than the other. One of them, they sexted like crazy before their first date, and after that they were barely cordial in their texts to each other. But the other... they kept reminiscing about their "hot" day together, and he frequently made snide remarks about me - how boring I am, how he has to beg for sex and whatnot. Yet, I have reminded him, that as much effort as he put into chatting and flirting with those women, he didn't put ANY effort into chatting with ME, flirting with me, buying me gifts, complimenting me, NOTHING. How am I supposed to be all excited for sex with a guy who doesn't have a nice word to say to me most of the time?!!! Ironically, as pissed as I am at him, I'm also experiencing "hysterical bonding" - after four days of crying and being completely pissed at him, we've been having amazing sex. But I'm still hurt and still suffering and even though d-day was only 10 days ago, he's already asking me to please stop obsessing about it. So I shared your "letter to husbands" blog with him and I'm hoping that it helps him to understand why I can't just "let it go" while I'm still reeling from the pain. Unfortunately, because I've made the decision to work it out with him, there's not a single one of my friends that I can talk to about it. I don't want any other person to judge him or me or our continued relationship in spite of his betrayal. So that's why I'm sharing my story here.... because I appreciate the moderate and insightful tone of your blogs, and I just needed to tell SOMEBODY (other than my husband) about how much I'm hurting right now. Thanks so much for being here.
I'm glad you found us too. It's crucial to have a safe place to share what you're going through, find support and compassion and get clear on your feelings around what want to do.Your husband sounds like a sex addict. The high of sexting/meeting, the need for "chemistry". It's less about the sex than the seeking of sex. It would certainly be worth looking into by both of you to see if he fits the mould. But it sure sounds familiar.You're in for quite a ride. For starters, he doesn't get to decide how long it will take you to stop "obsessing". This is trauma for you. It will take years for you to fully process. That doesn't mean you'll be thinking of it constantly for years...but it does mean that the healing timeline is really, really long.He needs to seek help (and praying doesn't count) from a professional. And I would urge you to, as well. Once he's clearer on why he did what he did, over such a long period of time and risked his marriage, then marital counselling comes in. But first, I think he needs to be willing to examine what the hell he was thinking. He jeopardized your health (I certainly hope you've both been tested...and are using protection until tests come back negative), your emotional safety, your physical safety, your relationship. To rebuild that takes a long time, and a huge commitment on both your parts to do what it takes. It's quite possible to rebuild...but his lack of compassion for your pain doesn't help.Elle
It has been three or four weeks since I found out--I'm not sure. Is there something wrong with me that I don't remember the exact date of "D-Day"? All I know is that I feel like I can't breathe and it's getting worse. I cannot cry. I cry a little bit here and there and it's gone. I feel like a ticking time bomb. I have tried multiple times to get in to see my counselor, but she's busy. Today I actually began to feel a heavy weight on my chest. I am falling apart and I don't know what to do.I have this entire story welling up inside of me that I need to get out and I just can't--It's too overwhelming. I have started to write and stopped a dozen times. I know I need to talk, but the words don't come. I've been reading what I believe to be "healthy" insights online at various websites, but right now I just want to fall apart. I'm trying to fill my mind with "positive" things, but nothing is helping. I just want to curl up into a ball in the corner of the room and never get up again. I am aching inside and it feels like I'm going to die. Maybe I never want to wake up again, I don't know. Don't worry--I'm not suicidal, although this is one of those times when I almost wish I were. I am a very strong woman and always have been, but somehow my strength has been completely stripped from me, along with dignity, respect, love...all of it. There is nothing left. I am empty. I said I couldn't cry, but the tears are rolling down my face as I type. Somebody help me. I don't know what to do next.
What you're feeling is completely "normal"...under the circumstances. You've experienced an extreme shock, not unlike a car accident or even rape, in terms of your body's post-trauma reaction to it. "Trust violation", which is what psychologists call a betrayal like this, is incredibly damaging to us. It threatens our sense of safety in the world, it threatens our sense of who we are, it threatens our belief in what's "real". Trust that you will get through this. Breathe in, breathe out. Focus on something that can allow you to escape this feeling of downward spiral. Sometimes you can focus on breathe, sometimes it's about looking at a candle flame. Anything that you lift you out of that horrible feeling that you're going down. You're not. You're fine. You're here. You're in pain, that's all. And it's not a pain that will last forever. Remind yourself of this. You will get through this. You will emerge stronger. You will emerge wiser. When you catch yourself telling those stories, stop it. Bring yourself back to your breath. Bring yourself back to only what you absolutely know to be fact, which is that you are still here. That you can handle this. You are strong enough, even if you don't yet know it. Your strength is still there, along with your dignity, your respect, even your love. But it's time to give it to yourself. To allow yourself to feel this pain, trusting that it won't wash you away. It will wash over you, but it won't take you away.It wouldn't hurt to put in an SOS to your therapist, telling her (him?) that you really need even a phone call. You can also visit the Web site on the latest guest post on this site. You can contact someone there who can help you through this. You are so NOT alone. There are a lot of us. And we're strong and compassionate and support you through this. We've been where you are. But we're not there anymore. And the day will come when you're not either.Elle
Part IThank you, Elle. I will follow your advice. I'm hanging in there, just getting by right now. I have been able to cry a little bit which I thought would be a relief, but turns out it's just more pain. It's that awful pain that rocks you through to your soul. The kind of pain that just makes you want to curl up in a ball. It's awful.I've been married 26 years this past April 30th. There was no celebration on our anniversary--just emptiness. I'm sure you've surmised by the category I chose just what happened. I have read many stories on your blog. They all sound familiar. In fact, I couldn't choose which category to write under--they all rang true for me.The funny thing is that I knew. I knew what was going on and I asked him many times, but he lied. He didn't just lie about what he'd done, he went the extra mile to make me think there was something wrong with me for thinking such a thing. The lies and deceit and manipulation...I cannot imagine living that way and doing those things to another human being. It wasn't just one affair, it was two (that he told me about and it was like pulling teeth to get that information) and the second affair lasted five years!!! What's worse is this woman was his best friend's wife. She pretended to be my friend just to get close to him. In fact, she told me that my house was the house she was supposed to get and she wanted my daughter and my grandchildren. My husband wasn't enough for her--she wanted my life! It sickens me when I think back about how my husband invited them into our home and had me cook for his mistress! They invited us over for a barbecue and I'll never forget how she rubbed herself up against him and the look on their faces. He denied it, of course, and pretended like I was a jealous wife. I knew I wasn't a jealous wife--I have never been jealous. But my intuition was working overtime. I KNEW! It certainly wasn't rocket science. It was written all over them.
Part II My husband is in sales (traveling sales--surprise, surprise!) and we've been transferred all over the country. Everywhere we went, I pulled up roots and went along with him, smiling all the way. It was very hard to move our children and get them settled in somewhere else, find a new job, restart our lives. Not to mention how horrible he was to get along with until he began to make friends. I put up with so much over the years and now that our kids are grown, this was supposed to be our time to be together.He says he will never do it again and he says he wants to stay together. But I asked him why I would make a choice like that?? What's in it for me?? He has been completely selfish our entire married lives and he deliberately threw me away every single time he slept with these women. He took advantage of my love and kindness and then humiliated me on top of it. And it makes me sick to even admit that I love him. I am so angry and so upset and so shaken by this--there are no words to describe the darkness. Right now I just want him to hurt as much as I am hurting. But he doesn't, of course. I am paying the price for his indiscretions. After taking inventory of our marriage, I have realized that I am the only one who has been invested all this time. I have been invested in our family and in him. I have always been by his side, helping him climb the corporate ladder, accomplish his goals, etc. He was never there for me. In fact, if anything, he made my life harder by telling me I couldn't do things. I never listened to that--I always did what I set out to do, worked hard and took my career as far as I could.But then I came down with lupus. Within a year of my diagnosis the doctors found ovarian cancer. I had a radical hysterectomy and just afterward we were shipped off to yet another state for his job. That's where he met this woman. And she was an RN of all things!! I'm sure she thought she was "saving" my "poor husband" who was feeling so sorry for himself that he was married to someone who was "sick".
Part IIIDuring that time my husband even said to me, "I'm sorry--I can't do this" referring to my being sick. Then he asked me for a divorce. For the first time in my life, I begged someone to help me--I begged my husband not to leave me when I was so vulnerable. He didn't leave, but he was reluctant. This was all during his five year affair, although he conveniently tells me he "doesn't remember" asking for a divorce, which is a major slap in my face. He conveniently "doesn't remember when I ask him anything about the affair. He has only told me exactly what he HAD to say and nothing more.My intuition was reeling and I knew what was going on. I fired my doctors and hired new ones. I weaned myself from most all of my medication and worked with a new doctor until the lupus was stabilized on the minimum medication possible. I no longer wanted to take anything that made my mind "foggy". I wanted to be aware and alert. I wanted to improve my quality of life. Then I asked to go to physical therapy and worked my rear end off until my body was strong again. I pulled myself together as fast as I could and I fought for my husband and my marriage. Then another transfer came up. I told myself that I would forgive my husband and move yet again to "save my marriage". Now I'm asking myself what for??? What the heck was I thinking? This man doesn't love me or respect me and he never has. I have been in this relationship and this family utterly alone. I have been carrying the full load this entire time. There has never been anyone to take care of me. When I needed his support, he was out screwing someone else!! What the heck was I thinking?? He's a complete jackass!There is far more to this story, but I'm exhausted and I just cannot think about it anymore. I'm feeling overwhelmed. I just keep thinking that I'm 54 years old and my youth and beauty and life are gone. I didn't want to have nothing to show for all the years I have spent loving a man who didn't love me. I never thought I'd be here at this point in my life. But as I write this to you tonight, I can't imagine how I could have expected to be anywhere else--it's all so clear to me now.Thank you for listening, Elle. Thank you for your blog. I appreciate what you are doing here and I have the utmost respect for you in this endeavor. Thank you for responding to me--thank you for being here.
"Just getting by" is huge right now. That's all you need. Minute by minute. Give yourself time to just sift through everything. Most counsellors recommend not making any big decisions for six months (even a year) because our emotions are so erratic. Kudos to you for all you've done to take control of your own health. That single-minded determination and preservation will serve you well. Though the thought might exhaust you right now, the time will come when you'll have the strength to figure out what's next...and take whatever steps necessary.My own husband's cheating was as old as our relationship. I had no idea because I'd never known him otherwise. Though his "affairs" were mostly one-night stands so there wasn't much for me to know. He was an incredibly messed up guy. Sadly, there are a lot of them.Keep "just getting by." We're here. There's lots of support and wisdom from others in these pages. Elle
And I can honestly say that I knew too. And when I asked him he also lied & went the extra mile, trying to make me feel bad for snooping, invading his privacy. He would say things like she's married or she has children. That's called gas lighting, where they make u question urself. It's a very common defense mechanism. When I say I knew, I did know. That's why I kept snooping, which my husband doesn't really understand (I don't really either). And I told him I will keep snooping as long as I suspect something more than he says is going on. In August first I found out about sexting, which he minimized as he was just doing it to get naked pix of women sent to him. I suspect though that he was sleeping with 1 of those women, although he hasn't admitted that one yet. With this discovery I was devastated & wanted to kill myself (only once and for about 30 seconds). But I didn't want to leave my 2 kids. About a week later I read an email that he had written to a woman 3 years ago admitting to sex. He minimized that one too saying they slept together only a handful of times. Although I wasn't really over that one yet, I thought our marriage was much improved, he was being honest and disclosing whereabouts etc. he apologized said he would never cheat again, that she came on strong & he was being opportunistic because he knew she would be moving our of state but he never wanted to leave me; he just wanted sex with a different person.Then 4 days ago I heard a whole series of voicemails from 3 different women telling him they loved him, with 1 of them saying they were naked in the pool together & another message from the same woman talking abt the last time they had sex. When I confronted him, first he said the messages were for someone else. When I explained how I heard the messages he gave that one up. Then I said she talks about being naked together in the pool & his response was that doesn't mean they had sex. At which point I said a man & woman Aren't going to be naked without having sex. When I said she mentions the 2 of u making love in the message he gave up trying to deny that one. Years ago I found a card from this woman wishing him a happy anniversary & he said they were drunk 1 night & made out. And I dropped it. So u weren't the only one feeling stupid, that u knew but accepted his lies. What adult married woman gives someone an anniversary card for a kiss? What is this middle school?Sam
Part 2:And although there are 2 other women leaving messages not specifically referring to sex I now see that the 2 women I thought he cheated with he did, I'm sure these other 2 I suspected him cheating with he did as well. One woman was when we wer engaged. And when I think back, I hunk there was another one while we were dating. So I was "stupid" too, in that I knew but chose to "believe" his lies. After the discoveries in August, he actually tried blaming me for snooping, saying the 2011 affair was over and in the past & I dragged it out. He said I never would have gotten hurt if I hadn't found out. I told him all those years I suspected I was hurting. He started doing the same thing 4 nights ago but this time I knew it was coming, so I headed it off immediately where I started off by saying don't even tell me this is my fault for snooping. I said the messages shouldn't have been ther for me to find. We haven't really discussed anything yet & he hasn't admitted to me what I already know but want to hear aloud. He has said he was an idiot, won't so it again, loves me, & wants to make it right. I said I need closure on the last 20 years before I can look ahead. I said we need to talk tonight & why doesn't he want to talk about it is he afraid it will upset me? He said no it will upset him. At that point some compassion appeared. Call me soft but at least he is ashamed. It's something. At least it shows he feels bad about what he did & doesn't want to remind himself. So don't think ur stupid. Many of us have done what you did & feel just as stupid. That's why were in this club. And you should read after the affair, not just friends, and Peggy Vaughn's books. They have really helped me see that I am not alone. And neither r u. At 54 u have so much life ahead of u. U sound like a resilient goal oriented person. U should consider trying something new. I started piano lessons & I love it. It was a constructive distraction and calming force in m the turmoil in my life.Sam
Part IThank you, Sam. Thank you for sharing good insights with me. I will definitely look for the books you suggested and I will also try something new. I'm not sure what just yet, but I will begin to think about myself when I feel able. And thank you for sharing a part of your very personal and painful journey. My heart is aching for you and everyone else here as I can so easily identify with your lives. We all share something very personal. Reading your story and the stories of others is like reading a page right out of my own diary. Some of the details may be different, but the damage done and resulting pain is all the same.Today I am mentally exhausted. My husband and I had another talk yesterday that lasted well into the afternoon. His stories continue to change. He is notorious for "not remembering" details, events, etc. I am trying to discover a timeline which keeps changing and I am also trying to decipher what kind of relationship, if any, transpired between these two people during the five year affair, as well as the affair he had with his coworker prior to this one. He has maintained that it was entirely sexual up until yesterday, when he admitted that he was in love with her. However, later on he changed it to merely “having feelings” for her. Who knows the real truth?? If he can’t identify his feelings, I sure can’t. That’s all a part of the denial he’s in. He doesn’t want to think about it so he doesn’t have to experience the pain.I guess I'm grasping at straws to try to assemble some kind of puzzle in an effort to gain some clarity. I think to myself that if I can establish the true reason for his behavior, perhaps I can figure out if this is "fixable". The truth is that I don't care much about what they did in terms of sex. Sex is sex, plain and simple. I'm interested in his mindset and whether or not there is some type of instability that can be addressed somehow. If I can establish a "problem" then perhaps I can find a solution, right? Except for one thing...it's not my problem to fix. These are HIS responsibilities—not mine. If he truly wants to go forward from here, whether we are together or apart, he needs to address these issues by himself. He needs to have the motivation, the drive and the wherewithal to go the distance.I have spent too many years carrying the load for everything—our family, our relationship, our marriage, our problems. I realize now that I have been in this marriage alone. Do you want to hear something really sad? I asked him what my favorite color is and he had no clue. He hasn't even invested himself in this relationship enough to know his own wife on a slightly intimate level. And there are many other personal questions about myself that I asked him—easy questions to which he should have known the answers—and he knew none of the answers—not one. I have been in this relationship utterly alone. What a wake-up call for me.
Part IIMy husband insists that this part of his life is over and he will never, ever be unfaithful again. But I see this as far more than just having sex with another woman. Whether or not he's seeing someone doesn't even begin to touch his inability to be intimate. I suspect his infidelity was in an effort to escape intimacy, especially since our lives had become difficult with my illness. Pain is not something he does well. He has always relied on me to handle anything remotely painful. However, with my being "out of commission" so to speak, suddenly he found himself in a position where the responsibility fell on his shoulders and he ran like the wind. He was never there for me. He was only ever concerned with himself. There is only one thing that nags me about this...what was his excuse when he slept with his coworker?? I wasn't sick then. I was young and vibrant and beautiful—what was the underlying issue then??I've been doing lots of research on these issues. I know there are many reasons behind infidelity. I used to think that infidelity was merely a symptom of an already existing problem within the marriage. Now I know that I was wrong. It is a symptom of an already existing PERSONAL issue and our marriage suffers as a result. My husband has low self-esteem. I have always known this and have tried to help him with it, but I cannot give him self-esteem. That is between him and God. Self-esteem comes from living a good, healthy life—a life of integrity. The more you do to live well, the better self-esteem you will have. However, on the other hand, as you do things for which you are ashamed, your self-esteem goes down the toilet, right along with your life. I know that I am accountable for my contribution. I am accountable for assuming the responsibility for his part AND my part. I know this. It is my fault for not expecting him to carry his weight. It is my fault for not requiring him to be invested in me, in the marriage and in his family. I get it and I am no longer participating in this unhealthy dynamic. I wish I would have done something a long time ago to break the cycle.I know my husband didn't "DO this TO me". But it sure feels personal. I know he has personal issues that need to be brought to the forefront and addressed. But with that said, because we were married, I am suffering the consequences of his actions. My life is falling apart due to his actions. I know I have done nothing for which I should be ashamed, but I am still ashamed—it is a shameful thing.We have several friends with whom we had fun—many of which live right here in our neighborhood. I have been avoiding them all and I'm sure they are wondering why I am not returning their calls. I don't want to talk to them because I know they are calling to invite us to do something as a couple. I do not want to walk across the street with my husband, much less socialize with our friends. I cannot pretend to be a happy couple for one more minute. At the same time, I live far away from my family and I really, really need some friends to confide in or even just enjoy a day out. But I haven't told anyone here because I'm so ashamed. I don't know how they will respond. My guess is that they will feel uncomfortable around me and I just don't think I can deal with that right now. I don't want to hurt anyone's feelings, but I have enough on my plate right now and I don't have the energy to deal with everyone else. I am barely keeping my own head above water. I don't know how to handle this situation. I feel isolated.
Part IIIElle, I did finally get in touch with my counselor and she will see me this coming Tuesday morning. She will see my husband, as well, but we will be seen separately. I think he needs some privacy in which he can hopefully speak the truth, although I'm not sure his denial is going to allow for the truth. But that’s his business. I need to be able to bear my soul in a safe environment. I do not feel able to do that with him present. My trust for him is gone and I do not feel secure enough to break down in front of him. He has already caused me enough pain and I need to protect myself. It sounds terrible, doesn't it? But it's the truth.Well, this is all I can say for today. I'm empty and tired and I think I need to lie down. I'd like to hop on the first plane to a destination as far away as I can get, but that's not realistic. I know I need to face this head on. Running isn't going to help me. That would be my husband's MO.The bottom line is that I would never have done this to him--not when he was sick or otherwise. I couldn't be so cruel to another human being. I don't know who this person is that I'm married to—he's certainly not who I thought him to be. People will tell us who they are if we'll just listen. I guess I wasn't listening.
Anon,I hear such exhaustion in your posts. And this is exhausting. It sucks us dry.But I also hear you being very hard on yourself. We all contribute to a marriage, whether in a good way or not. But it sounds as if you were doing the best you could under the circumstances. When we know better, we do better. But please don't blame yourself for not doing better when you DIDN'T know better. Whether or not your husband can face what he's done and is willing to work hard (really hard!!) at being a better man, you can nonetheless stand proud for who you are. And I know how isolating this is. Can you let your friends know that your marriage is going through a tough time (no need to disclose details unless it feels safe) and that you're just not up to socializing right now. People might figure it out...but is that a bad thing? I suspect most of them have weathered some sort of marital crisis, or they will. It can help to not have to wear the "happy face" all the time.Elle
Part IHi, Elle. It's me again writing to update on my situation and to ask some advice. It has been about two and a half months now since I found out. This thing has shaken me so hard, it feels like it has stripped me of everything. For the first time in my life I don't have a plan; no direction whatsoever. I don't know where I'm going at all. I feel like a blind woman walking through the woods with snakes and bear and wolves all around me. I'm afraid and I'm lost and I don't know which way to turn. I keep praying, but I don't even know what to pray for anymore. I'm just asking God to point me in the right direction. If I need to experience pain in order to heal, then help me bear the pain and stay by my side so I'm not alone. I'm asking Him to provide me with whatever I need to get through this because I really don't know what I need. It is so hard...it feels like I'm alone--so alone. I'm afraid--I am. Where do I turn? What do I do next? How do I protect myself? The hard fact is that I can't protect myself from this--it's here and it's tearing me apart. Even though I suspected what was going on, it still blindsided me. I didn't see it coming. I thought it was about to happen or had maybe happened once. I was really taken aback when I found out it went on for years and there was more than one woman. That's what blindsided me. It really shocked me. What I thought I knew was nowhere near the reality of the situation. It didn't even begin to scratch the surface. How can you protect yourself from something like this? How can you pick up the pieces? How can I ever feel anything ever again? I feel crushed...really crushed. I'm having a really bad day. The pain is so severe, even my chest feels heavy. I have this terrible emptiness inside. Elle, you and other women talk about how you've managed to have an even better marriage as a result of your husband's infidelity, but I can't imagine how that could be possible for me. What about trust? What about self-esteem? How can I continue to love this man while staying true to myself? That just feels wrong to me on so many levels. I just don't see that happening here. It's not about forgiveness--that's the easy part. I can forgive him, but that doesn't mean I want to share my life with him ever again. I don't hate him. I wish him well, I really do. But that doesn't mean I'll ever trust him again. How can I? Growing old together means that you really and truly care for one another. It doesn't require perfection in either human being, but it does mean that you trust each other to make decisions on your behalf when you aren't able to do it for yourself. It does mean putting each other first--above yourself and all others. It encompasses so much responsibility and so much love, and my husband has completely torched our entire foundation with his selfish, self-centered, destructive behavior. I just don't see how these things could ever resurface after such devastation. In place of trust, I feel the need to protect myself from him in every way. However, having said all this, at the very core of my being I don't want my marriage to fall apart. And then I ask myself what is wrong with me--why would I want to remain with someone who has disregarded me and disrespected me in every way possible. I just don't know...
Part IINothing makes sense to me. I am searching for some kind of understanding--anything--and there is none. My whole world has come tumbling down around me and this time, I just don't know if I can pick up the pieces. I'm tired. I have spent so much time asking questions and trying to figure out why or how he could do such a thing...it's exhausting. There is no "fixing" this; no erasing it; no making it right ,and no sweeping it under the rug. How can I accept something I can't understand, much less accept it and move on with my life--with or without him? I just don't know how to do this. It is so very personal. Even though I didn't do it, I'm not responsible for it, it wasn't done "to" me or done "because" of me or even because of some shortcoming of mine. Even though I am aware of all of this, somehow this is still as personal as anything can be. I am devastated. I know I'm a good human being. This is not shaking me as a woman--at least I don't think it is. But it is shaking the very ground I walk on. It goes beyond not being able to trust him. I don't feel like I can trust anything. Everything I have believed in is gone. Our love story, our relationship, our marriage, our family, our entire lives--gone in one fell swoop. Basically everything that made me feel grounded and safe. I trusted in all of it. I built my life around it. I lived for it. And it was all an illusion. How does one "move on" after this kind of personal devastation? I feel completely overwhelmed just thinking about it.To make matters worse, I still haven't told anyone. When people call--family, friends, etc., I pretend everything is fine. I try to laugh and act as though life is just fine, yet all the while I am hiding this terrible, shameful secret. I'm not protecting him--I just can't talk about it right now. It is enough to get myself out of bed, get dressed and live and breathe each day. I just cannot deal with friends and family right now. I can't answer questions--I don't want to talk about it at all. I can't even think about seeing the expressions on their faces--shock, disgust, or worse--pity. And then comes the question, "So what are you going to do about it?" I just can't go there right now, so I haven't shared this with anyone except our daughter. And even that is very difficult. Even though she is an adult in her 30's with a husband and family of her own, it is so hard to hear the pain in her voice. I question whether or not I should have told her at all. Perhaps I was selfish by leaning on her? Perhaps the "right thing to do" would have been to spare her this news. I guess I wasn't thinking of her at all--I just needed someone to talk to and it all came flooding out one day because I couldn't hold it in for another minute. Now she's devastated, too, and I'm responsible. I didn't do this terrible thing, yet I'm responsible for breaking the news to others. I didn't throw our lives away, yet I am isolated because I can't get past the shame or the burden that comes with explaining it to everyone. I can't even take care of myself, I sure can't take care of others when they hear the news. My responsibility is to myself right now and no one else.
Part IIIThank goodness I have my counselor. I am not seeing her with my husband present--I can't do that right now. I need some space and some privacy to mourn in a safe environment. He sees her separately. As you have said to me, Elle, my counselor continues to tell me that I just need to take care of me right now--not to worry about anything else. She advises not to look for answers, nor to try to make sense out of it; just allow myself to feel the emotions that are washing over me. So I'm getting up each day and going about things quietly, trying not to push myself to "get better." There is no getting better. I'm still doing things around the house as I always have--cleaning, cooking dinner, taking care of the laundry, etc. These are the only "normal" things I have left in my life, so it somehow comforts me to do them...for a little while, anyway. My husband moved into another bedroom. I still cook for the two of us and I still do his laundry, etc. My daughter wonders how I could still do these things for him. My response to her is that we've been together for 26 years--I find it childish to cook dinner for myself and not include him, or to sort through the laundry and pull out only my things to wash. That just doesn't make a lot of sense to me. After all these years it seems to me that I can be civilized as much as possible through this traumatic time in our marriage, rather than add further fuel to the fire by doing passive-aggressive things to hurt him. I need my life to be as "normal" as possible right now, and as crazy as it may sound to someone else, doing these trivial things around the house gives me some semblance of security. I think I'm functioning on "auto pilot" right now as I heal my heart.Elle, can you give me some direction as to how I can best take care of myself during this phase of my recovery? What exactly does it mean to "just take care of you?" The only thing I can think of is to write about my feelings and to pray...a lot. Other than this, I feel like a walking zombie going through the motions of life, waiting to feel something other than pain and emptiness. Any suggestions would be helpful.I'd like to apologize if this post is dark and depressing. I'm not a dark and depressing person by nature, but for now this seems to be who I am. My moods are up and down and all around like a roller coaster. For a moment or two I might even forget about it, but then it's back again--with a vengeance. One minute I am hopeful that we may work things out and the next I feel it would be utterly impossible. For the first time in my life, I have no plan and no direction and it frightens me. I sure hope this doesn't last forever. Thank you for listening.Lost in Grief
Merilee,You don't ever have to apologize on this site -- or in real life -- for expressing your deep sadness and grief. Ever. We've been there. We know how it feels. We know how it feels as if we're being swallowed by it.You ask what it means to "take care of myself": It means exactly what you're doing. Waking each day, doing things around the home, remember to eat something healthy, sleep when you can, avoid toxic people and toxic substances. You mention you pray a lot. And prayer is about faith. It's about trusting in something even when you can't see it or feel it or touch it. It's about letting go of control and allowing life to unfold. It's also really tough, I know. We're a culture that loves control. We want deadlines and promises. But healing doesn't work like that.Your mind and your body have experienced a massive shock. Be gentle with it while it recalibrates with this new information. But trust that healing is taking place deep inside where you can't yet see it. Trust that those of us who've gone before are telling the truth when we insist that you'll be okay, that you'll come out the other side.Whether you choose to stay or go is less an issue than whether you choose to heal or stay wounded. Choosing to heal, which you are doing by not hanging on to bitterness and fury, means that, with him or without him, you're going to be just fine. Time. That four-letter word that works magic. This is all still so raw for you. Each day you're getting incrementally stronger. Trust that. The answers you want will become clearer. Trust that too.Elle
I can't speak to his not being there for u when u were ill, but I can tell u from everything I've read affairs happen even in happy marriages. I couldn't understand that because in multind u only have an affair if u don't love ur spouse. But that's generally a woman's perspective. Most men justify affairs because it was only sex they still live their wives & never intended to leave. Most women justify affairs bx they say they love the affair partner & don't love their husband anymore. That's where reading helps-- it let's u see from the male perspective. My husband thought that with both women he slept with it was going to be sex with no strings attached because they were both married with children. But both of them were using him as an exit affair to leave their unhappy marriages (which by the way I could have told him as a woman but he never saw coming as a man).As for ur husband loving her, they love their reflection in the lovers eyes, not the partner themselves. It's easy to love without the responsibilities of the real world, which is what their actual spouse represents.We also have told no one & are not going to therapy because I think my Husband was afraid the therapist would tell me to leave him. So we are talking a huge amount, he is doing everything possible to account for his whereabouts, & I am reading a ton.Don't be so hard on urself. The more u read the more ull see u r not alone & r not to blame, even if as u say u didn't hold him accountable in ur marriage. I could say the same for myself. I assumed most of the responsibility for the kids, most of the house related tasks, ran all of the errands, did all the shopping, etc. that all means nothing. He would have cheated anyway. Now is ur time. It's time for u to be a little selfish & take care of u. Find something u want to do & do it. It will make u feel better, will distract u from moping around & perseverating.Sam
PART 1 Thank you for this blog. Reading it really helped me. I was beginning to think that I should be over this by now, but reading all of these posts has made me feel a little less crazy for still thinking about it every day, obsessing over what happened and what he did. It has been 18 months since I found out my husband had multiple affairs over our 26 year marriage. I suspected he was having an affair 20 years into our marriage. He is a prof. and convinced me to let a female student come live with us (she was 23 years younger than him). I cooked with her, watched her interact with our three children. I started to suspect that she had my husband wrapped around her little finger a few months after she was living in our home. He started talking to me about not wanting to be married, getting his own apartment, etc. but any time I asked about him having an affair he denied it. I thought he was just having MLC and knew we were unhappy. Finally I couldn't stand it & told him if he wanted to stay in this marriage she had to go and we needed to go to marriage counseling. He got her put of house and then made excuses to get out of going to counseling. I let myself fall for it. Fast forward six years later and he starts talking to me about wanting to leave again. Doesn’t come home most nights. He makes it so obvious and then denies it to my face when I confront him. Swears its not true. After coming very close to a nervous breakdown, I found out on my own that he was not only having an affair that year, but I was right about the one six years ago and that he had this problem for 25 years. It was like being run over by a bus. Then it was like a vale was lifted from my face. I realized that he had taken his wedding ring off the second year into our marriage telling me it didn’t mean anything. He never came on family vacations, never wanted to go away with me when I asked. Yet, I never suspected a thing until that first one, 20 years into our marriage. I found out he took these women to places I asked him to take me but he always said no to me. I found out he was with this latest one on our anniversary and then took her away that weekend. He went back to her after I kicked him out. Lived with her for a while and then tried to come back in the house by showing up with his suitcases unannounced. When I wouldnt let him come back, he got an apartment right in the same complex as her. HE keeps begging me to let him come back home, has told me he is sorry, that it was a big mistake. That he blew all of these relationships with younger women because he loves me. Wants to go to counseling and meet with me and for us to finally deal with this because we have never been honest. I still thknk he is lying to me. He obfuscates, changes the subject, turns it around to what I didn't do, also tells me that I have not dealt with my anger, that I am not looking into my own part in this, etc. Meanwhile I have gone to therapy since day one but he refused until recently. Now he is in therapy and wants me to go to marriage counseling with him, actually he just wants us to start meeting alone on a regular basis, dating and seeing how it goes. He has admitted for the first time, an affair that he had that I did not know about. When I insist on not taking him back He starts Telling me that I am burning down the house, I am the one who is driving this divorce, he does not want it, etc. I am pretty sure he is a classic narcissist. He fits the bill completely. Even my therapist thinks so.
PART II - THE QUESTIONS…..The thing is, that everything he says gets to me still. I think, wow, 28 years, am I just throwing that away? Our finances would certainly be better if he came back, but is that a reason to stay? I read about all the women on this site and others who worked to save their marriages and I wonder am I just being a coward? Am I being a conflict avoider? Why does he get to pin it on me? Then all the memories of what he did, bringing a woman into our home and having sex with her downstairs in her room while the children & I slept upstairs. Why would I let someone back in my life who could do such a horrible thing to me, treat me with such disrespect and disdain? What does that say about what I think about myself? What message does it send to my teenage daughters? (they know he had some affairs, but don't know details). I think I know the answer. Recently we had another of our texting bouts. I come out feeling beaten up by him. He says wonderful, loving things promises me the world and then blames me and then doesn't answer my questions and contradicts himself from previous emails all at the same time and it makes my head spin. When he leaves me alone I feel strong, happy (except when I start reliving all of this in my head, which still happens on a daily basis but not as strong as it used to and I don't always cry). I even start feeling less hatred and more like I can get to a place where we can be at our kids events together and I can even be nice to him. I recently spoke to him when his sister was very ill because I knew how close he is to her. I guess that means I still care about him, but I don;t think I love him anymore. That statement really scares me! I have agreed to meet with him with his counselor, but I don't know why or what to say. I really feel like I want this marriage to be over, to be able to heal and grow strong on my own (I have an amazing support system of friends and family who have kept me propped up through all of this - including his own family!) Anyway, one minute I feel strong, the next I am thinking about everything he did and how he has reacted and my blood boils and then I am crying and then I feel emotionally drained and then I start thinking what if I am wrong, what if he really has changed, really could change, but then I don't believe it…..I go round and round like this most days. It is driving me crazy!!!! I think I should listen to my gut instinct which says RUN as fast as I can!!! but am I wrong? HELP!!Feeling Crazy!
Feeling Crazy,We've all been there. What's interesting though is that I don't think you do feel that crazy. He's making you crazy. You said, "when he leaves me alone, I feel strong and happy."You're not the problem, he is. Of course, it's not easy to walk away from such a longtime marriage. But as you note, it was never really a very fulfilling marriage for you. So what, really, are you giving up? Sounds like you're getting a whole lot more.He's the father of your children so you owe him respect in that role and it sounds as if you're willing to work for a future in which you can care about him in that capacity. That's pretty amazing. And he's lucky you're willing to do that much.I think you need to listen to that voice in your head/feeling in your gut that knows exactly what you want. Don't expect that walking away from so many years will be easy because it won't. But that doesn't mean it's the wrong thing to do. And of course there will still be residual pain. But you'll get through that too.I think you're going to be absolutely fine. I think you're one of the least crazy on this site! Go out and live your life. It's going to be amazing.Elle
Elle -Thank you so much! Everything you wrote is so meaningful to me. I am so glad I found this site. It really helps to feel validated, especially during this time.Feeling Crazy
I am here because I'm struggling. My husband has not been faithful since before we married right out of high school. I always suspected other women but never had proof until we separated in 2007 - just before our 13th anniversary. I asked him to leave because I was tired of him staying out late and coming home drunk. I found out the next week that he was having an affair. We lived apart for 6 months while he continued the affair. He came home when I hired a divorce attorney. He decided we could work on things. He talked to her a few more times after he came home but eventually it died and I thought things were better. I stopped checking his phone records. I began to enjoy our time together then things changed again. Last July things seemed off. He wasn't happy and I began to feel resentful. When he said we needed to talk I was ready to accept we were going to be divorced because I thought we had just grown apart. I'm not sure why, but I didn't suspect another affair at first. Then something began to bother me and I checked his phone records. I found out he was talking to his old high school girlfriend. The girl he thought he was going to marry. The betrayal was too much but I was willing to go to therapy and work on things. He wasn't sure he wanted to do that. He considered moving out. During this same time he was in contact with the woman he had the affair with in 2007. That was the last straw for me. Everything in me that was willing to try to work on our marriage died. And surprise - he decided he wanted to try again. We have three daughters. I said I would go to therapy with him. At this same time I started going to therapy on my own. My husband missed appts - most of the time canceling with me at the last minute, one time simply forgetting. He went to counseling on his own for a couple of appts but then quit going. I could see that he wasn't committed to me. In January I told him I thought we should separate. He didn't like the idea. He said he was blindsided. In April I moved out because he would not. I resent that I am not in my home - even though I am the one who left and even though my apartment is fine. I resent that he is with my children more often than me when I am the one who was with them 90-percent of the time prior to moving out. I resent that he suddenly knows how to keep the house clean and do laundry when he didn't help me with these things very often - and never without expecting a pat on the back. More than anything, I resent that my children don't know that he had an affair and that my middle daughter resents me for moving out. I am second-guessing my decision to leave even though I know in the end - us being apart is the best thing for everyone in our family. My girls are getting the best of their dad right now. He makes sure he is home to get my middle daughter from school. He is more present than he has ever been. I hate that I resent that and that I keep wondering how long he will keep it up. I resent that I feel bitter and small. I feel like this is his fault and yet I am suffering. That feeling makes me feel guilty. I don't have contact with me family (child abuse placed a wedge). I don't have strong friendships because I've spent the last 20 years being a mom 24/7. (One of the reasons my husband says he had affairs - I was too devoted to them and not devoted enough to him). I feel like I am going to break. I want to feel loved and wanted. I don't feel loved or wanted by anyone in my family. I feel like they are all getting along fine without me. I'm glad they are all fine but it hurts. When will it stop hurting? How did you come out on the other side? Did I make a mistake by moving out of our home? It's suppose to be a trial separation but I don't see any positive moves that will end with use being together. He didn't part 1...
part 2 show up for our counseling session on our 20th anniversary - said he would feel bad if he left his guys friends who were working with him on a volunteer (but paid) job. Last week he complained that we aren't intimate so I invited him over one night and he said he had plans with his friends. It feels like it's all a game to him. In our last session he said he wants to save our marriage but not if it means compromising who he is.... I don't think he takes any personal responsibility for what has happened.(He told our middle daughter that I moved out because I never had the chance to live on my own) I want him to feel accountable and willing to make changes that will build trust. His MO is to justify and make excuses. It's never his fault.When I am feeling as bad as I'm feeling right now I think I need to give up and tell him I want to meet with the mediator and begin the divorce process (something we discussed when he was ready to leave last summer). Sometimes I have that thought even when I'm feeling particularly good. I don't know what is right but I know I can't keep doing what I've always done. I can't bend to meet his needs when I feel like I am not valued or respected. I've seen my oldest daughter make decisions in her current relationship that are reflections of my relationship with her dad. I need to set a better example for my girls. I'm hurt, scared, mad, and hopeless when I think about my marriage. I'm all hurt, scared, happy, and hopeful when I think about a future without the man who says he wants to stay married but who's actions don't match those words. Not being with my children everyday makes me feel confused and guilty. I don't know what's right.
Sweetheart, you know exactly what's right. And please allow me to tell you I think you're an absolute superstar. I also think, however, that you've spent entirely too much of your life allowing other people (i.e. your husband) to dictate what you do. You've got a moral compass. He does not. You therefore get to determine where you go from here.And where you go from here is to draw up a separation agreement. Get thee to a lawyer, outline what you've done so far (leaving probably wasn't the best idea, but I completely understand why you did it), and see what you can do to ensure that you get equal access to your girls and the home. And, perhaps with your counsellor, figure out how you're going to navigate what your girls know. Allowing them to believe something about you that isn't true (and might feel like something of a rejection of them) isn't serving you or them. While I understand your reticence to give them the salacious details of their father's cheating, you certainly don't need to allow untruths to be told about you. He's the reason you're in this mess. He can darn well start living with the consequences. Again, talk with your counsellor about what's appropriate to share with them. But please, always ALWAYS treat yourself with respect. As you so wisely point out, they're learning how to be women in this world by watching you. It's time to show them that women don't put up with other people's disrespect. None of this is fair for you and your outrage is justified. Channel that outrage to ensure you get a fair separation agreement and divorce. Unless he's willing to take FULL responsibility for what he's done (and it sounds like that's a long shot), you can't stay married to this guy. You know it -- you also know that without him your life will be calm and sane and healthy. Getting there might be tough because he's not going to make it easy. But that doesn't matter. You're entitled to what you're entitled to (talk to your lawyer). And you're going to continue to set an amazing example for your daughters. Calm, respectful and with very clear boundaries.Hurt and scared are normal under the circumstances. Once you take back control of your future you'll feel less scared. The hurt will take longer. You've been deeply hurt by the person you trusted. But, honey, that's on him. He didn't deserve you. Right? You know exactly what's right. Start trusting yourself. And respecting yourself.And, please, let us know how you're doing. I think you're going to do great.Elle
Thank you, Elle. Thank you for responding. I feel incredibly blessed to have you and your blog to turn to during this time. I am finally able to cry. It is incredibly painful, but a release at the same time. Little by little I am allowing myself to feel this pain a bit more. I have always believed that everything happens for a reason, if we can only find the strength and courage to open our eyes in order to learn. Opening our eyes means suffering the pain and that is difficult, at best. To admit that I am afraid is also very difficult. It's not that I don't feel fear on a regular basis. I just have never allowed it to stop me in my tracks. This time there is no moving forward. In fact, I can't move at all. I have a sneaking suspicion that I need to surrender to it fully before I will be able to take baby steps in the right direction. I suppose this is where my faith comes in--"trusting in something even when I can't see it or feel it or touch it," as you said. I am hearing you and trusting that God sent me to you and your blog for the help I need, as well as to my counselor.I will stay close, continue reading your blog and doing my part as best I can. I will be back to write to you again and to update you on my progress.Thank you again for listening and taking the time to respond. Sincerely,Merilee
In January of this year, i found out my husband of 28 years having an affair (emotional, sexual) with his elementary school friend for last 8 years long. My whole world came down on me as i was reading their text messages. In spite of all the anger, betrayer, devastation, i tried to save our marriage. Didn't want to lose all the memories we built together for last 3 decades. However, end of April, i found out he had an another affair with his ex-girl friend back in 2004-2005 and on and off until 2012. He was having love affairs with two different women for last 10 years simultaneously. His ex-girl friend is a married woman. And, my husband is a church pastor who should be an example to all people. I thought my story was bad enough, but after reading all other stories, i am not the only one in a hot spot! I am now getting professional counseling and reading lots of books related to affairs. With the reading, i found out my husband has a personality disorder called narcissism. According to the books, people with his characteristics -- self-absorbed, self-centered, irresponsible, lack self-discipline, lying -- seldom have conscience; therefore, lack guilt and empathy. Although, he desperately wants a second chance with me, he does not show genuine remorse. Therefore, i have decided to move on. I finally feel relieved and feel a major peace in my heart. For me, i know, this experience will be a blessing in disguise. I wish you, all the hurt ladies, the best in this devastating predicament. Pray God will heal your pain as He heals mine!
I'm sorry for everything you're going through but heartened to hear that you feel at peace with your decision to move on. I don't know much about narcissistic personality disorder, but from what I do know, the prognosis is not too great. In other words, they often don't change. So I think you're wise to move forward. Thank-you for your kind thoughts. Elle
Hi,My husband has been having multiple affairs for the past 3 years. The realistic count is 3, but lately he's been dating multiple women. We had a terrible time in our life, the other woman broke it off because she sensed that our marriage is not going to be broken, and their relationship will get nowhere this way. We were happy for 2 months, then he began to visit his fantasy land again. I was depressed for over a year, and just coming to terms with reality, and went back into the whirlpool again. This time I am clear I am going to move out. Deep inside I want to save the marriage. But I read in many sources that to save a marriage, I need to heal myself first. I need to be strong enough to face - either married (if reconciled) or single (if D). Don't know why, the word D just makes my brain nerves shiver. But that's the final stroke I am going to give him. I hope my journey towards healing myself will succeed and hopefully I can save my marriage from breaking.
I think you're being wise to heal yourself on your own. Until he's ready to break off any and all contact with OW and agree to figure himself out, you simply don't have a marriage worth saving. I'm sorry for all you've gone through. But I've no doubt you can get yourself to a far better place.Elle
I should consider myself fortunate. The women's blogs I juat read above chronicle men without remorse, who pay lip service to reconciling but don't put actions behind their words.My husband seems truly remorseful. I have found out about 2 affairs, 1 from 10 years ago that he says lasted 1 year but I think probably 2, & the second from 3 years ago that lasted under 1 year. (Although the emotional aspects of both affairs lasted longer). They were both with coworkers, 1 a nurse & the other a resident. He is really trying to make amends & I do feel we are making progress. Before if I complained about him flirting or having inappropriate friendships with women he would poo poo me, say they are just friends. & that he could control the relationship. Now he admits he can't, that aggressive flirty excessively flattering women are his weakness & he agrees he has to stay away.10 months post 1st d day I feel I am much better. Although I think about his affairs & OUR relationship almost every waking moment, the sobbing has stopped. I guess I'm getting used to the idea. But I now have 2 problems: 1. I still think or am simply afraid that there were 1-3 more affairs (certainly he has admitted they were emotional). At this point does it really matter? As I have written elsewhere if I didn't divorce him over these 2 am I going to divorce him over other offenses (all in the past)2. Although he says & does all the right things, I can't gat past the fear that he will do it again. & I'm afraid this time I won't know because he will know how to better cover up-- deleting texts, sex in on call rooms at the hospital (even if I were to follow him I'd never be able to figure that one out). How do I get past the doubt?Sam
The eternal question of whether to stay for the sake of the children is really a hard one. It depends on the ages of your kids and whether you can forgive him at some point. When I decided to stay, my kids were very young and my husband traveled a lot as a pilot. That helped because I could get my space to just heal without him around. And my counselor said that we tend to marry the same kind of person over and over again unless there is a lot of therapy. Bottom line for me was I didn't t think I would ever find someone to really care that much about our kids as my husband did. He was very remorseful which helped but my getting an STD which May have caused cancer later on hasn't really helped me forget any of his affairs. Our children are really good people but it wasn't the family I wanted to raise them in. They do carry the models of what they grow up in into their own marriages. No doubt about that.
More thoughts on "for the sake of the children". This is an amazing blog and one of the best I've read and only wish something like this had existed 25 yrs ago. Amost 27 yrs past D- day and there are still shadows from my husband's affairs with two flight attendants. It's old news and full of cliches, but the most important element is the HPV I got. Whether it caused the Head &Neck cancer I got, no one knows but anyone going through this should ask for a specific test for HPV and not just the general battery of tests they run for STDs. There are different strains and HPV can live in your body for years before it does harm. Most people (80?) percent of the population has it but people can develop an immunity. I'm no expert but if you think you have been exposed , do the research and see a doctor. There are consequences for every conscious decision and they're not always known right away. When my husband was a good looking young Captain, he would go out drinking with the crews after a flight and the couple of flight attendants who got too close we're just random women. He sees how he got sucked in after the fatal attraction FA brought a suitcase (pilot's) kit bag full of affair souvenirs to our front Dort. The suitcase from Hell was full of her nightgown, pictures, and a letter detailing juicy facts in her letter plus the significant news that there had been another FA two yrs before her. Whether to go or to stay was the eternal question for five years. There was a lot of damage, shattered innonce, and what my therapist called erotic injury. No doubt about it. The atmosphere of the family was entirely changed and 14 years of marriage shattered. So now here we are with the children gone living side by side. Ask yourself to see your life after the children leave and what it will feel like to coexist. And if you need a really good book to read in the dark of the night, try Frank Pittman's Private Lies. It was like my bible and helped in so many ways. Also, try renting Ruby Sparks. Would I stay or would I go knowing what I do now? Definitely stay because my children were better with two parents than one. I didn't want the other woman raising my children and there were things my husband could do for them that I couldn't. But we were ever Ozzie and Harriet but you might have thought so. We were more Ordinary People. Feelings change. What you feel today you might not feel tomorrow was something my therapist also said but he never advocated staying for the children unless I could move on. Good advice.
Pilot's Wife,Thanks for sharing your story. I'm so sorry you're dealing (potentially) with the physical ramifications of his affair.I'm curious what brings you to this site so many years post-betrayal. Has something changed recently. Are you feeling reflective? What advice would you give your younger self? I certainly stayed in the beginning "for the kids". At that stage, I thought I was just protecting them until I was emotionally stable enough to make an actual choice. I didn't want them feeling unsure until I knew exactly what I was going to do. By the time I felt that stability, I had made the choice to stay. The kids were certainly part of that choice but I don't think I could have stayed if I hadn't also decided that my marriage was itself worth saving. I'm also curious about the term "erotic injury". What does that refer to? I've become interested in the idea of "sexual trauma" and I'm wondering if it's essentially the same thing -- an altered sexual life because of trauma associated with sex/infidelity/abuse. Hope to hear your thoughts.Elle
I, too, am interested in hearing more--especially pertaining to sexual trauma. It's true, I am only four months post D-day, but at this point I don't ever see myself having sex again--with anybody. I am completely turned off and I don't even want any man looking at me in any personal way whatsoever. It makes my skin crawl.
Part IIHere is my letter:You are right. My smiles are only fleeting moments of happiness until the painful truth of our situation slaps me back into reality.It is vitally important for you to listen to my heart and really feel what I am conveying. But I want you to comment--not to be quiet. I want you to tell me you've heard me. I want to you share in my pain. If you just listen and have no response whatsoever then you aren't participating, which means the conversation has become a lecture and, more importantly, it tells me that my thoughts and feelings are meaningless to you. But please don't defend yourself, because that means you aren't hearing me, but that you are only concentrating on your own pain.We need to be able to talk about things, whatever they may be. Whether they are painful things and, as such, make you feel pain in your heart; or when they are pleasing and make you feel happy in your heart. I want you to share how you feel, as well--even if it is painful for me to hear. That's okay. It is okay to talk about painful things. That's what marriage is all about--sharing what's in your heart. If you are feeling low, sharing that burden with another person somehow helps. Sharing my fears with you somehow lessens my burden. It doesn't magically make them disappear, but somehow knowing that you are here, listening, ready to help, and fully engaged lifts the burden from me and is now a burden shared by two. Everything between a married couple should be that way--whether it is happiness or sadness, pain or joy. That is what is meant by married couples "sharing their lives" together.In the same way, sharing your heart means that you say things even if they make you feel vulnerable. When you feel something, you should say it. If you feel wonderful and loving feelings toward me but you aren't sure I share those feelings, say them anyway. Make yourself vulnerable in every case. Yes, there is certainly a chance you could be hurt in the process, but it is always better to give love and risk being hurt, than to let the moment pass you by never having said a word, because each of these moments will never, ever return. The same goes for conveying things when you are hurt--another vulnerable moment that also comes with the added risk of an argument. But that's okay--say it anyway. Convey your feelings in the moment, not a month or year later. Say what you feel, always being honest and upfront. I will respect you as a man and as a human being, and I will also learn to trust you when you reveal the truth about yourself and allow yourself to be completely vulnerable. Because hiding your feelings means not only that you are living in fear but, and perhaps more importantly, it means that you don't trust me to share your innermost thoughts and feelings. And when you don't trust me enough to share and be vulnerable, then I begin to wonder why--what you are up to in your own life that you mistrust others?
Part IIII know it is very hard for you to hear about my broken heart, mainly because you are the one who inflicted this pain. Constantly hearing about it makes you feel uncomfortable and causes you to relive your own guilt and pain. But this burden of pain you've put on my shoulders is too much for one person to bear. Essentially, you brought two other women into our marriage. You did things with them that were supposed to be sacred to only you and I. You had sex with them which was ours alone to have; you shared personal relations with them which was ours alone to share; you broke our sacred trust between us; and you let strangers into our sacred bond of marriage. By doing these things, you threw me and our marriage away. Then, when you finally confessed to something I've always known in my heart, you put the weight of four people squarely on my shoulders. The sins of the three of you are now all on my shoulders to bear...utterly alone. I can't bear this pain alone. If I try to bear this alone, it will surely ruin us for good.This is why I need you to listen to me with your heart and acknowledge my pain. Don't make excuses or try to deflect your pain back onto me. And especially don't try to deflect your pain by creating yet another topic to argue about. These are petty, juvenile attempts to lessen your own pain and, in so doing, you completely disregard mine. These tactics, whether you realize you are doing them or not, are entirely selfish and in no way put the needs of your wife above yourself. All you need to do is just listen to me, and talk to me, and care for me. Acknowledge my feelings and share our sorrow openly. It won't take the pain or burden away, but maybe someday it will lessen my pain. I don't know when that will be, because right now I can't imagine my pain will ever lessen, but all I know is that I cannot bear the weight of the sins of you and two other women all alone. I am heartbroken and feeling depleted.Thanks for listening, Elle. If you have any advice or encouragement, I would sure like to hear it.Sincerely,Meriee
Meriee,That was absolutely beautiful. You have such deep understanding of yourself, of the situation, and of your husband. Please know that the pain will lessen. If your husband can hear what you're asking of him, then it will lessen more quickly. But no matter how he responds, your own wisdom and compassion will move you toward healing.Elle
Thank you, Elle. It has only been four months and I'm trying very hard to pick up the pieces. Things are better than they were, but still very raw. I hope it gets better soon, but I know it will be a long road to happiness. I still don't know if my husband and I will remain together, which is a very sad scenario given our 26 years together. So much history in those years. Only time will tell.Thank you again for this website. I am so very grateful. You have saved me.Sincerely,Merilee
This past weekend I very calmly asked my husband about his 1st affair 10 years ago. The second one 3 years ago was at a time when our marriage was in a rut. He was working long hours and I was forever resenting him for it. The first one was when we had been married for about 2 years, although we dated for about 9 years before getting married. I asked if there was anything I could have done to prevent it, could I have been more available to him, more attentive. He replied it really had nothing to do with me or our marriage; it had to do with him and his own insecurities. 11 months ago this statement would have meant nothing to me; now after reading countless books, articles, and blogs all saying the same thing I believe it. Inch by inch we are making progress. Sam
OMG today is such a bad day (again). After so many good days why do I do this to myself? Why do I ask him questions when the answers only upset me? I feel like I'm repeating the same grieving process over & over again; every time I find out a new tidbit the cycle of anger & depression starts anew.Last night when I asked him what did they fight about, the answer was me; it was always that she wanted him to leave me so they could be together. Instead of being happy about that I continued to ask questions. Initially he said they didn't go anywhere together except the park and for ice cream. Last night he admitted to going to the movies and to dinner. At least the movie was about 3 months after my son was born. I don't specifically remember thinking this at the time that movie came out but since then so many times I longingly watched as movie trailers came out thinking I wish WE could go. It really hurts that he went with HER and never even thought to ask me. Which of course means it wasn't just sex; it was also companionship. Yes I know it still wasn't about me; it was about him enjoying the fantasy relationship, the high of a new relationship; the flattery of someone who is all over him (the way it was in the beginning of our relationship too). And yet I feel sooo rejected. This is ridiculous. They slept together; what the f**k does it matter if they went to see a movie together.Sam
Sam, I know exactly your anger. And I suspect much of your anger is about having been left to your devices with the kids for so many years -- something you agreed to do because he was so busy carving out a (ahem) career -- and to find out that he was able to find time for these other women while you were the martyr at home is infuriating. I had exactly the same situation. And I was livid. I had spent years eating dinner alone with the kids, trying to get three kids into bed, into baths, into their pajamas, dealing with their meltdowns, and on and on. His "work" was always more important. So when I found out it wasn't always work, well...the proverbial shit hit the fan. If things hadn't changed -- and fast -- I think I'd still be angry. And I highly doubt I'd still in the marriage. That was one of my main demands: that he make his family his very first priority. He claimed it always had been, blah blah blah. He needed to SHOW that his family was his first priority. That meant leaving work for school concerts, volunteering at least occasionally for school trips, getting up to deal with sick kids, and so on. No more me playing the martyr because his career was so f-ing important.Anyway...back to you (clearly this topic gets me rattled!): I think this is one of your main issues, given what you've written on this site. I think you, justifiably, have a lot of anger over having felt taken advantage of, taken for granted, treated like a babysitter/nanny/housekeeper, etc. You are his partner, not his staff. Once he really begins to recognize that (and it sounds as if he is) and treating you with not just respect but sincere gratitude for all that you did in support of his career and children, then I think your anger will begin to dissipate.
You are so right. This morning he said to me, "what is it you think I was trying to do, do you think I was trying to replace you?" I said no, maybe supplement me. He said no, I was trying to supplement me and my inadequacies. I told him I was projecting my own insecurities into the situation, always thinking (back then, because he has made it a priority now to spend time with us as a family and with me alone) that I was good enough to take care of things at home but not fun enough to spend time with on the outside world). It kind of did work out that way, as it seems to have for so many other women too, although not intentional on his part. But it did help to get it off my chest, both by writing it here and having it echoed in so many stories by so many others, and by discussing it openly with him.Sam
This hits so close to home. I do the same thing- cycle in and out of asking questions that I know will upset me or upset him- yet each time I know that I get a little more information that helps me makes sense of an illogical situation. I also think she was a "supplement." I was ok to be married to, to handle all the horrible stuff at home during that time, but she was more important than I. She needed help, apparently I did not, even though stress was through the roof at home and he knew it. I also think I ask these questions, because, frankly, I do not know who he was (for 10 years!), and I have to know who he was and why he felt she needed his attention and I didn't. Why she needed presents and I didn't (even during recovery from surgery). Why he didn't talk to me, why he didn't go anywhere with me-even when I asked, etc. But he was all hot to trot to talk with her for hours, to shop for her for hours, to go somewhere with her. I wasn't good enough, I guess. And yet, I know this wasn't about me- it was about him.The picture I get now of my husband is not a pretty picture. He runs away from problems, finds a new situation that will distract him from reality. Is unable to deal emotionally with difficult situations. How many times I wanted to run away, but I couldn't...and he did. I had no idea he was like this and now I have to reconcile this husband with the one I thought I was married to. I only hope that this is his story- the other one rattling around in my head is less pretty- that he was bored after retirement and needed something to do during the day (while I was at work). I hope it's not that, but I'm preparing myself for it.I only hope that he now realizes what he lost during that time- how responsive I would have been to some attention. How he screwed up. That may be the only justice I get out of this. I will continue to ask questions and force him to face himself. It's all I can do while I wait for him to get through enough counseling for him to be able to tell me why he did this stuff. The more I read here, the more I think what we're doing is perfectly normal, so I say, the only way through this is through it- keep asking questions, get your information, try to make sense of this, even though it makes no sense. Good luck to all of us here.
Thank u for ur response; I'm glad I'm not alone in this. Both MBS & pilots wife have said the same-- that they were left to take care of the kids while their husbands went galavanting w other women.I almost feel like I'm crazy sometimes, because it seems this aspect of it bothers meore than the actual sex. But I'm glad I'm not alone it that feeling.Yes he has done a 180. We have done more together as a family than ever (we always took 1 week of vacation to go away as a family yearly, but now we go to the aquarium, the zoo, have picnics, etc. he has been to every parent teacher conference since d day. We have also spent some alone time together (not much, but certainly much more than in prior years).I just have to keep telling myself how much things have changed. There really is no point in perseverating over what he did, as long as he has changed that's what matters.Thank u to all the women who share & help all of us in feeling that no matter how crazy we feel, we are not alone.
Sam, I think once he begins to invest himself emotionally in the family then the payback is so huge that it, literally, will change who he is. My husband began to feel more competent as a father (I absolutely had to let go of my own need to "manage" the family and acknowledge that my way wasn't the only, or even necessarily the right way to do things), which in turn boosted his own self-esteem and made him want to do even more with the kids. Made a huge different in him personally and in our family dynamic. He was so detached from all of us. Now he knows exactly what he'd be losing if he screwed up again.Glad to know things are changing for the better.
Elle,You asked why I'm on this site so many years after my husband's affairs. Reflecting on life as you begin retirement certainly is one and constantly dealing with the side effects of cancer treatment is another. Maybe just sharing my story of what HPV can do later on in life is a good one. And at the time I was healing from the explosion of Dday, the distraction of raising children and teaching allowed me to shove a lot of stuff under the rug. How many people actually live the life they planned on? Not many I suspect but the legacy of how I hope my children will remember us is that we were good people, just not very good at marriage. And most of all as Pittman writes, " these kinds of things(affairs) do happen in families, they should not, but when they do they should be forgiven". There will be problems in every family, they are layered like an onion, and when the layers or secrets are eventually let out that is when healing begins. For too many years, I hid these affairs as if it were my fault because I came from a shame base faily. So thank you for creating this website for me to share my story. At the end of the day and maybe as wives go through it, they will come to realize that betrayal should not define who they are anymore than cancer or any other dreadful thing that happens in life.
To pilots wife, if you don't mind me asking,How has ur life been since finding out about the affairs? Did he eventually stop? Did u look away, as so many women do? Now that the kids r gone, how r the 2 of u getting along?Sam
Like many women here, I was totally shellshocked when I found out about the cheating. Blown out of the water, blindsided, you get the point. A lot of it was due to finding out about the first flight attendant from the second FA. Her suitcase was filled with her nightgown, pictures, and a letter giving me the juicy details including news of the first affair. Did he stop? Sure did after that! He felt soooo betrayed by her. Funny. Except it was more like black comedy. I was so trusting before that but not after tho he did everything he could to make amends. And to his credit he has done much except change his huge ego. Goes with his job. So now that he's retired he is doing consulting online which is pretty much like his cockpit. He lives on it cause it's a form of escape. Hard for him to face the shame when he thinks of what he did he says. We both are more comfortable with space between us. There's no fighting, just space. Families teach. That's a favorite of my therapist. You learn behaviors in your family and tend to repeat them in the family you create. If anything, I grew too comfortable in playing the role of victim. So in my later years, I've tried to be less passive, say what I think, and just try to find some moments of happiness in the day. Retirement after affairs may be the most challenging chapter yet. While you may have forgiven, you don't forget the pain from them. And I do have chronic pain from my neck dissection and radiation that makes me wonder what if Inhad never gotten hpv. Would I have escaped cancer? Who knows. But it's a lot of trauma. If any good comes of me posting, I hope it will be to encourage people to have their teens get the hpv vaccine. Think of my story. I never smoked, I never drank, and I never slept around and I ended up with hpv due to my husband's affairs. Michael Douglas made light of his oral cancer but trust me, radiation isn't funny. It's the gift that keeps on giving especially if it's on your head or neck.
Hi Elle- I was on here about a year ago and I had found out my husband had an affair. Well, I thought things were OK. Every relationship has their highs and lows. But you guessed it...He did it AGAIN! This time only 6 months after the last. He says THIS TIME was an EYE OPENER? We have a very interesting story and the first time affair made sense...if that makes ANY sense, but this time....I have no flipping clue. He is still in my house as I am taking my time making a decision. I told him I do not consider us married though he still wears his ring and SWEARS AGAIN up and down he will never do it. I feel like an idiot. I feel like I want to kick him out but there is a part of me that is hanging on. 13 years is a long time to invest, but is he vested? I can only assume no. He is like a scared little boy with no where to go. I haven't told ANY of my family, but I have two very close girlfriends who I told. Long story short, One friend asked me if I had an ETA of when I was going to divorce my husband? That she needed to know...FOR HER? Excuse me? Since when did this become her problem? Anyways, I did not feel it was right for her to pressure me.I think of this woman as my sister, but she apparently is tired of hearing about the drama. My husband witnessed some very ugly moments yesterday while I was conversing with this woman. For a short time, I thought I had lost my friend. HE IS TO BLAME for all of this! NOW I'm losing my friends over it? Has anyone else experienced this type of thing? I don't know what the heck I'm doing. My husband is a SICK man and he is back in counseling. I may still divorce him as I may not be able to get past this second offense. I know it's not right. I know there are others out there. I'm 35 for God's sake. Am I alone in this? I feel alone. I feel as though I am being judged. I feel like I'm taking ANOTHER risk against my better judgement. HELP!!!!Queen B
Queen B,No you are most definitely not alone. One of the sad casualties of our spouses' affairs are sometimes our friendships. It takes a strong person to be with us in our pain and not impose his/her own issues on us.I've heard similar stories from people dealing with a frightening health diagnosis. It scares people ("that could be me!) and they just want us to deal with it, be strong, and show them that everything is A-ok so nobody needs to feel uncomfortable or threatened or face any of their own icky stuff. It's those who can simply be with us in our sadness who are true friends. Those who can allow us to feel it, and trust that we're doing the best we can with what we've got. As for judgement...we tend to get that in spades, too. Which is incredibly unfair. But, again, it says far more about the judger than about us. Infidelity make people really uncomfortable and we all have our own ideas of how it should be handled. Then it happens to us...and we realize that we're flying without a map. You can try and tell all this to your friend, and I hope she can really hear you. But brace yourself. Cause plenty just can't.Elle
I like that "Flying without a Map" cause that fits me to a T right now. Queen B
Don't assume ur husband is not vested because he did it again, like an alcoholic falling off the wagon setbacks can happen. Also, someone lease posted that more than 1 affair can still be considered 1 if it's part if the same event (such as a midlife crisis). Sam
Part IHi, Elle. I am writing to update you on my progress. I am almost at the 6 month point. I seemed to be making progress for about a month or so. The fog was beginning to lift and I found myself able to live again. My grandchildren came to stay over the summer and my husband and I each did our own things separately with the kids. We went out to dinner a few times together as a family, but mostly we kept apart to a certain degree. I don't think my grandchildren realized anything was wrong. We are not fighting--just making do as best we can. The only thing that my oldest granddaughter noticed was that Papa was sleeping in another bedroom. I made light of the situation, using his snoring as an excuse.It was good to have the kids here visiting. I needed a distraction and I also needed the love of my family around me. This kind of devastation leaves you feeling stripped bare of love and affection, so the presence of my sweet grandchildren was a gift for me. They came at the perfect time…a time when I didn't know if I would survive.The mood lifted for a while even after the kids went home. I was beginning to wonder if reconciliation really might be possible. That is, until now. My husband has a new client list and will now be traveling back to where we once lived--our home town. And, strangely enough, he will be calling on a new customer--a company he worked for many years ago. He was married to someone else while in this company's employ. And, ironically enough, he had a one-year affair with a woman while married to his previous wife. This woman was a fellow employee of the company. Recently when he called on this company as his new customer, low and behold, he found that his old "flame" still works there. Her marital status has changed since their affair--she is now single. She apparently wasn't at work the day he visited. The company's buyer took the liberty of filling my husband in on all the details concerning his old flame.
Part IIAfterward, we had a long, long discussion about the affair he had with this woman while married to his previous wife. Oddly, it felt very personal to me. Most of the details were the same--it was simply a different cast of characters. I learned a lot about my husband during this conversation. I learned a lot about myself.First of all, I now know without a doubt that all of the affairs my husband has had—both past and present--were due to my husband's issues alone. He is the only constant in this--the only one who continues to reappear in this saga. All the rest of the players seem to be interchangeable. Replace the names and faces and you've got an all new cast--except for the starring role, of course, who never seems to change...and therein lies the problem.I don't think I have to tell you that this opened a whole new can of worms with me. Any progress I seemed to be making quickly vanished and I now find myself starting from scratch at the very beginning...all over again. The wound has been reopened.I do not want my husband visiting this customer. I do not want my husband to come into contact with this woman at all. And, yet, at the same time, it angers me to be put in the position to dictate what customers he can and cannot see. I have never been involved in such things and I do not wish to begin now. I do not wish to behave like the jealous wife; yet, at the same time, I feel an urgent need to set firm boundaries.
Part IIIMy husband insisted that I no longer need to worry about such things. He has (miraculously) turned over a new leaf, and even though he hasn't seen this woman for 30 years, he's certain there will be absolutely no attraction between them. So I asked him a few questions: First of all, what has he learned from counseling and from his life mistakes; and, secondly, how is he applying those lessons in his present day life? It seems to me to be common sense that unless he has been able to identify his personal issues and then devise a plan to apply these lessons in his present life, he hasn't got a prayer of hope for not going right back to his old ways. Of course, when I asked him these questions, he looked at me with glazed eyes and that all too familiar blank stare on his face. He had no idea what I was talking about.This makes me wonder what the hell I am still doing in this situation?? Am I a glutton for punishment? He can insist and promise and swear all he wants in order to profess his newfound love and commitment for me, but without looking deep into his own soul in order to find answers and ways in which he can change his present path, I see no hope. Am I wrong??In my own counseling (we are seeing our counselor separately), I am working on my own issues which are many, of course. Due to my childhood and lack of relationship with my father, I have always had issues trusting men. I wonder if I will ever be able to open my heart and trust again? I ask myself whether or not I have forgiven him. I honestly don't know. Perhaps I have not. Will forgiveness ever come? The thought of merely "coexisting" with my husband for the rest of my life certainly sounds like an empty way to live. I just don't know...I don't feel anywhere close to being capable of making an informed decision here. His progress appears to be minimal and we cannot come together until there is significant growth. I am living in fear--fear of a broken heart, fear of his relapse, fear of the instability in our marriage, fear of uncertainty. This fear will not dissipate without the ability to trust. But without solid knowledge, understanding and clear goals on his part, trust will never come. Do I prepare myself for the worst-case scenario? I feel lost...
Merilee,I'm so sorry you find yourself in this muck. I absolutely agree that he needs to understand what has made him so vulnerable to others' attention in the past and how he plans to fill that hole to ensure he doesn't jeopardize his marriage again.I'd be curious, however, if he simply doesn't understand how to answer your questions. I say this because my husband struggles to communicate about feelings when I ask him about it (the old guilt/shame/I'm in trouble feelings surface), and yet, when he's not feeling like his back is against the wall, he can routinely explain what he's learning. I wonder if your husband is similar.That said, his insistence that he can handle this situation does sound alarms. He shouldn't be quite so sure at this point. And he clearly doesn't recognize just how difficult and hurtful this situation is for you. And that should be his biggest concern -- how to make this situation as easy for you as possible.It's up to you, of course, whether you give this one last kick at the can. If so, I would suggest couples counselling in which you come up with a plan to handle any situations like this -- to begin working as a team to support each of you move past. No guarantees, of course. But if he's truly committed, then starting to work together will go a long way toward helping you rebuild trust. You'll see that he's willing to do the hard things necessary to keep you safe.That feeling of "lost" is your clue that you're feeling unsupported and alone. Unless he's willing to take steps to remedy that, then I think that feeling is your guide toward what to do to keep yourself safe.
Ten years ago i found out my husband was having an affair with an ex friend. He promised me it was over but two years later she came up to me and told me they loved each other and i was in their way. We split up but he wouldnt go to her. After an absolute age we decided on marriage counselling to help repair our marriage and after that everything seemed fine. I spend a lot of time at horse shows with my daughter and this year she started going too. I felt awful every time i saw her and went home cross with my husband. I felt it had ruined my summer. This week my sister told me that she had been approached by someone who asked if we had got back together again. We have not been apart ! When i started digging deeper i found out that he had gone back to her and they had resumed their affair. I am absolutely devastated as i have always really loved him. I cant bear to see him as i just want to be with him when i am around him. Outwardly i am being very calm but i cant sleep and am very stressed inwardly. I know i didnt have the perfect marriage but i thought we were fine. I just dont get him. I am talking to his sister and my sister and obviously getting conflicting advice. I suggested to him that her should just go and live with her but i think she is his escape. I definitely am not having him here but i have a 10 year old who wants to know where her daddy is. Any advice on telling her or how to get over this would be greatly appreciated. Am staying strong for her on the outside.
Ella,I'm so so sorry for the roller coaster you've been on. I urge you to find some outlet for your feelings (even this site!) because carrying on as if you're "fine" will take its toll.Tell your daughter that sometimes moms and dads have problems and need some time apart to get clear on how to move forward. I hope he will spend regular time with her. She will, no doubt, be feeling quite frightened but her major concern will be how this will affect her. Protect her from the details but not from the facts -- that Dad will be living elsewhere for the time being but that both parents love her very much and this is an adult problem. If you move forward with a divorce, at that point you'll share more information about living arrangements. If she questions what happens, I think it would be fair to say that Dad wasn't being honest and one of the important parts of any relationship with honesty. The rest is "adult stuff". In the meantime, however, I hope you'll get yourself a counsellor who can help you through this. You won't "get over" it, but you will get through it. The key is get through it with your self-esteem intact and with confidence about a bright future.
Hi Ladies...have a question - after you discovered the affair and confronted your husbands...would they admit to all their crimes or would they deny it all and get cross with you? I'm in a situation when my husband would first deny and then when I would show him the proof he admited but still with anger as if I was the one who did something terribly wrong.Now, he is a pretty stubborn person, and I'm trying to (as much as I can) stay calm so that I do not say anything that I'm going to regret later on. It's tough but at least I'm not loosing my self respect. I would expect that man who cheated, when given a second chance would really try hard, that is why I find it difficult to understand why when I tell my husband things that I need (like do want to see this OW gone from his contacts list on some of web portals) he does not do it straight away..I get a feeling that he is scared she's gonna go crazy or something. I seems pretty cowardly...as he did not think twice before doing something that would make me go crazy and upset.It looks like as if he feels forced to do certain things, because I keep bringing such things up and feel reluctant to do that. He's been always like that - like to do stuff in his own pace..but wtf - it's a different situation....I just would like to hear from you...do your husbands support you all the time, or do they get angry with you when they see that you have a "sad & bad" day again?
Sadly, it's pretty common for cheaters to deny everything until they're faced with proof, then downplay it, or respond with anger. Anything to get you to back off. And sadder still, it simply exacerbates the pain we're already in. What we need more than anything is a spouse who takes full responsibility for what he did and is willing to do what it takes to minimize our pain. Rarely do we get that.You might need to give him an ultimatum (assuming you'll stick with it) that he either fess up to everything or move out/sleep on the couch/whatever. And that means EVERYTHING. It's horrible to have what's called the "trickle truth", where bits and pieces of info are released and each time it's like another knife in our hearts. If he wants you to even consider rebuilding your marriage, he needs to establish no contact with this woman -- copying you on any e-mails or allowing you to listen in on the phone call. No last good-byes. No "just one more meeting". Short and sweet: "I can't see you anymore. I'm committed to my wife and to making up for the pain I've caused my family."Are you in counselling either alone or together (or both?)? He needs to understand that while he can't undo the horrible mistake he's made, he can take steps now that will go a long way toward helping you heal.
He said that he does not have contact with her, however he does not want to delete her from his contacts, as he does not want for her to react with anger and do something stupid- hey, what about my feelings! yes, we are in counselling togehter, and I can feel it's helping...I feel better now, I do not want even think about how I felt when I discovered...but I will never forget it. I try to act with dignity...but find it difficult to understand why when I ask some questions - he sometimes gets angry....because it's probably 10th time I asked about something that we have already discussed.Did your husband sit down with you and talk about it - my says that I do not need to know all the details, and in a way I do agree...details I know are making me so sad...and I keep thinking about stuff that I know and feel like I'm going to puke
I call bullshit on his refusal to delete her from his contacts. I would insist on it. Her feelings should not matter to him nearly as much as YOUR feelings. If he wants to rebuild his marriage, it starts by him completely shutting her out for good.As for the questions, you might want to give your husband this post to read. http://betrayedwivesclub.blogspot.ca/2014/04/my-letter-to-husbands-just-talk-about.html
I wanted the details and my husband was closed lipped. When the second FA brought a suitcase full of affair souvenirs ( pictures, nightgown, & a letter full of details) and left it on our front steps, I went into shock. There were way too many details and I used to go over them much like a young person who cuts. Kind of emotional numbing with pain. My therapist used to tell me to stop hurting myself with the mind pictures. So I get your obsession but realize it can make you sick or as you said wanting to puke. There is no going back once you uncover something but if you need it to heal he should tell you. In my case actually, tho actually very painful it helped him he she was really an evil person. Good luck to you.
The problem is that he is scared as they work in the same company..and that him doing that may let the monster out...I do not know, sometimes I feel stronger, and sometimes I feel so tired of this all that I do not feel like insisting...as do not want to go through this discussion again. I feel bad, that I need to even mention that for 2-3 times....as if he wants us to heal his way...I feel so bad today.....
I can understand that. But she would have something to lose too if the affair became public. There's no harm in simply saying that he wants no contact going forward as he's recognized the pain he's caused his family and wants no part in exacerbating that. However, I completely understand your desire to just get past it. It does tend to feel like picking at a wound.
Elle,Our first DD was late Sept/2013. My WH had a 4-month EA/PA with another woman and he was "caught". When caught, he went NC immediately but TT was a serious issue for some time. Minimizing, etc. Just this past weekend, we were going over a few details again, and an outing with an old coworker from last year came up. We discussed it over and over but it just didn't feel right. After a few days, my WH confessed that he had been having an affair with this coworker since before we were dating! Over 20 years! He says that it was the type of situation where they would see each other once every year or two with nothing in between. Since they no longer work together I do believe that to be true. It seems that when they were able to cross paths, they would arrange a "get-together" that would sometimes involve just kissing after lunch or a day in a hotel room. Then they wouldn't see each other again for anywhere between 1-3 years. But our WHOLE MARRIAGE!Can someone please tell me if this marriage can even be saved? I thought we were making such great progress towards R. He hasn't seen or been in any contact with either woman since last September but how do you get help for a problem like this? Am I a fool for even considering staying?
Ugh. I know your pain too well. My husband's sex addiction (which steadily got worse) began before he met me...and continued until I discovered his affair with a co-worker.The short answer is "yes, it can be saved". The longer answer is that it takes a long time. And the even longer answer is that it can only be saved by two people who've determined that they want to rebuild their marriage from the ground up by seeking plenty of help to learn how to be together with total honesty and transparency...and find ways to create trust.Your husband's deceit isn't just a one-time thing, it's a lifestyle for him. And I suspect it spills into other areas -- white lies to his boss, to his parents, etc. He believes that lying "protects" people while he gets to do what he wants. The question is whether he's a sociopath with no regard for others' feelings, or someone who learned early in life that lying was preferable to others' disapproval or judgement. In the first case, he has no feelings, in the second, his feelings are overwhelming to him.
Elle,Thank you for your reply. I "think"that his feelings are overwhelming to him. He truly seems overwhelmed and it's so difficult for him to do the "hard" things so he avoid conflict. Even though I believe he has been NC with both of them for 11 months and has been in IC, he never told anyone about the LTA. He said he didn't plan on returning to it (although I think he would have the next time he needed his self-proclaimed "fix") but figured that if he told, everything was over. Yes, lies (usually just not mentioning something but occasionally more direct lies) to avoid conflict are standard for him. I have health issues which make it difficult to return to the workforce. I feel despair over my choices and for my children.
Are you in IC? It's a horrible to feel caught between a rock and a hard place. That any "choice" is a lousy one. IC might help you sort through your own feelings on this and help you feel more conviction about your choice, whether to stay or go.Sometimes it comes to whether or not he's a good guy with some screwed up ideas or whether he's a not-so-good guy who got caught.
I also thought we were progressing one year after DD1. Although I knew I hadn't been told everything I was stunned when my husband confessed to a very similar on/off affair with the same ex girlfriend for nearly 20 years. Again it was sporadic contact and sex when to opportunity arose , which wasn't often as she lives at the other end of the country. She got married during this time and is still married. He admits thinking it didn't count as I would 'never find out'. The emotional connection through the continued contact is the hardest to deal with, contact during most of the important times in our marriage, anniversaries, illness, etc. I feel I am not allowed memories any more as they remind me and cause triggers. We are again progressing and things are improving but I know this will take a long time and will never completely go away. This site is valuable to me as I am comforted and guided by people who have similar experiences and let me know I am not alone or that our pain is not unique.
I am so glad I found this site! I'm posting under a fake name, as to not let our story out to people in our family. This is my 4th affair in this marriage. I know before you even say it, I should have left years ago. We've only been together 9 years though, married for 8, so a lot of our relationship has been dealing with lies and cheating. The thing is though, my husband has never done anything physically with any of these women. 2 were online and 2 were with co-workers. The only times he actually took his clothes off were for the 2 online ones. The first time, was a girl he worked with at a local restaurant, her name was Michelle and they would text their plans to meet up back and forth on nights he worked. I never once saw any of these texts. Someone actually ratted him out. Eventually I got the whole truth from him (with the threat of a lie detector). He said he backed out at the last minute before he was supposed to go to her house (she confirmed this and timelines matched up). The 2nd one was a woman from Wisconsin, Sara (Chezara), that we played an online video game with. She would flirt with both of us and she was my "friend" or so I thought. I worked until about 4 am at that time and apparently while I was working, Sara and my husband were taking their clothes off and playing on Skype. I found their conversation when he changed his password on Skype and didn't delete the email. She was immediately cut out of our lives. The 3rd time (July of this year) I found out he had an alternate email that he was using to find women on Craiglslist in our area. He says that he was just looking for pictures of real people. He also was using Snapchat to communicate with a girl (her username was Roxy-something) and send naked pictures to which then turned into email when I found out about snapchat. After this one, we had a period where I decided if ya can't beat'em, join'em and we would play online together. That didn't last very long as he didn't like it that other men could see 'his wife' so we stopped it. This last one (September of this year) was with a girl he worked with (Leah Eckstein) and it is by far the most painful. I am literally at the end of my rope with him. If I catch him in one more lie, I don't care if it is a small lie about if he let the damn dog out, I'm done. I posted the entire last story on my own blog (I just started a new one to get this off my chest and talk about it) if you want to read it. I haven't read all of your stories yet, but I plan to.
Nadia,I'm curious why you're giving him a fourth (fifth?) chance. What are you waiting for? I think it's time to either both of you commit (ie. therapy) to rebuilding a marriage based on honesty and healthy boundaries, or to cut your losses and move on. He's got serious issues. He's been caught, been caught again, been caught again...you get the picture. What the hell is HE waiting for? I hope you don't interpret this as being dismissive of what you're going through. I don't fault you at all. I've overlooked far too much in my own life. I'm just challenging you to figure out what you want your life to look like...and how to achieve that.
I have been cheated on my entire marriage of 38 years! He had numerous affairs. The women always call me...same story he wS going to leave me for them.I finally told him one more call and I am divorcin him! So basically I am preparing for divorce e. Once a cheater always a cheater. Financially it sucks....built so much together in all those years...some other woman will certainly reap the financial benefits of my hard work. I always made more money then him. Starting over at age 60....how sad. Always kept myself attractive and in shape. No self esteem left here anymore. Always feel so alone. What makes the other woman think she is the one he will leave me for?
Nadia I agree with Elle, esp if u don't have children. My story is a lot like urs with multiple affairs at least 2 physical. 2 he claims were emotional. Then there were 2 other women who would text him naked pix of themselves. Both sets if texts I read, 1 woman was only sexting but I'm pretty sure the other was a physical affair too although he won't admit it. Once I saw everything in black & white he stopped it all. In that we are different. However, this all went on for 10 years (we have been married for 12, together as a couple for 20). So for half our relationship but almost all of our marriage he has been lying & cheating. Me finally finding out & him living thru the pain he has caused & having to say it aloud & acknowledge hopefully has changed him. Ur husband sounds like he isn't there yet. Maybe if u separated & he sees what he stands to lose that will do it.Good luck.Sam
My husband is 20 yrs my junior. The red flags were there during our brief time dating before marriage (inappropriate e-mails to other women). I forgave and excused as youth. 4.5 years later, I have uncovered secret dating sites, 2nd phones, and recently had a PI follow him for 1 week when i was out of town. He met with 3 different women in one week and slept over at home of one of them. I filed for divorce when i returned home and learned from one of the women he was sexually involved with that he used an alias name (didn't even use real name). I made him move out and trying to wrap my head around this sham marriage riddled with secrecy, lies, and deceit. I have been the one to reach out to him to sign legal papers, but otherwise, I never hear from him, he says he's happy being alone, cheated because he wasn't "happy" (though cried and pleaded to tell me what is wrong on numerous occasions), doesn't want a relationship with anyone, says he loves me as a "friend" and now basically treats me with distance and like a stranger. I feel disregarded, betrayed, and used. How do you heal from a husband who lived a double-life literally most of the "marriage"?
I think your healing begins with the recognition that his cheating has NOTHING to do with you. He is one lost soul.Your task is to heal yourself from the pain and to understand what allowed you to overlook the signs, to not trust your instincts that something was wrong. "Youth" is no excuse for poor boundaries (I'm assuming he was an adult when you began dating) and completely disrespecting his commitment to you. You will heal from this, though I know the pain is excruciating. Give yourself lots of self-care, lots of compassion and time.
My husband and I had been married 20 years when my world was turned upside down. Let me first say that clues of his problem had been prevalent throughout our marriage. He had called a 1-800-sex number, been caught watching porn and hiding it from me and had hid some incidents of texting other women. I had explained after each incident that I felt betrayed and that him hiding things from me intentionally made me feel he was cheating on me and asked and begged that he not continue. Then on that one day in May, 2013 I had my world rocked. I discovered that he had been having and emotional affair with a beautiful 24 year old girl he worked out with at the gym (We are in our early-mid 40's). He promised and still promises that this was only an emotional affair. The affair had been going on for about six months. He swore that there was no physical betrayal, and that it was basically just a friendship. He did admit to me that she had told him that her door was always open to him if he ever wanted it to be physical. Of course after discovering that he had downloaded an app on his phone to hide her texts, I went into investigative mode. I obtained his cell phone records and discovered that they had multiple daily texts and several very late night texts. He on a few occasions would text her until 3-4am. Again he insisted that it was only a friendship and nothing physical ever happened. He insists that all they talked about were the daily workouts and work. Still very hard for me to believe. While doing the phone record investigation, I discovered another phone number that he texted all the time, also very late at night. He also would received numerous pictures from this number. We reside in Kansas and this number was from Maryland. To my surprise when I googled the number it brought up an escort in Denver, CO. He had been texting this number for at least a year and a half. Again, I am still in shock and devastated from discovering the affair with the local 24 year old. When I confronted him about this, he made excuses. Said it was a truck driver who was trying to make deliveries to our business at all hours. He explained that the pictures were of the product that was trying to be delivered. He continued with this story for about a month. I was in mental craziness at this time, still dealing with the shock of the local 24 year old affair. But I kept investigating. I found a pattern of when either I was out of town, or he was out of town, he would call escorts. Again, devastated I confronted him. He finally broke down and admitted that he had been having an emotional affair with the escort from Denver for a year and a half. Yes - again this is an escort. We had been treated to a trip to Las Vegas in Dec 2011 by a rep who we do a lot of business with. Apparently the men had a private encounter arranged with strippers at a club while the women went to the spa one day. This particular escort from Denver was doing a stint in Vegas at the time and this is where my husband met her. He got her number and swears that there was nothing but texting and a few phone calls of the year and a half relationship. Please understand that they would text each other approximately 100 times a day and she would send numerous pictures to him. It's really hard for me to believe that she didn't want anything out of him. Her business is to sell her self for money. I find no evidence of money missing, but he had access to large amounts of cash that I would have not account of. When everything came out he also admitted to going to several "Happy Ending" Asian Massage parlors during this time. He did physically betray me during these encounters. Here it is a year and a half later and I am still in shock and devastated.
I didn't marry this man. The man I married had morals and ethics. He admits he made a mistake and was unhappy in our marriage and made very bad decisions. I still have a hard time believing he has been totally forthcoming with me. He pushes everyday for me to move on but the pain and devastation is unbearable.
My husband and I have been together 10 years now. We married after a year of dating and divorced four years later due to affairs and him not wanting to be honest about it. I thought, if only he was honest we could have worked through it. We divorced, and reconciled the next year. We married again and last year I found out that he was cheating again and had been basically since we have been together (now for 10 years). Initially, last year when I found out, I had so much compassion and love. I fasted, I prayed, and believed and stood by him believing that he was ready for the change. Over the next few months, I forced myself to forgive and not hold him in condemnation. He did not want counseling or to be held accountable and yet and still, I felt that I had to trust him at this word. Well, two months ago, after almost of year of believing that he was really serious about change, I found out that things did not end. He claims NOW that they really ended earlier this year. I've never felt so numb and so cold. Now, it doesn't even matter to me anymore. I have so much hurt from the deception. Now he wants to open his phone, deactivate facebook, and etc. and I told him none of it was even necessary. I feel like no matter what he does or says, nothing will convince me that he really is done. I have even agreed to stay for the 3 small children that we have and that he just continues to do whatever he does. HOWEVER, he tells me that if I cheat, and he finds out - then it's over. I was honest with him about my feelings of not being committed or faithful. And now I feel like no matter what route I take - it's all on me. I want to stay for the kids but I don't want to be with him. But I don't want to leave and tear my kids security apart. Not to mention the financial aspect because I basically trusted him in every aspect. I don't know how to get "over" or even feel what I need to feel. Yesterday, he told me that if I was still in the same state by the end of next month that he would make the necessary steps to leave. I'm in a constant battle. I don't know what to do, when to do it, but I know that I'm so far out of my element that I just can't focus. I don't feel like I should just accept and be ok with the fact that he's going to be unfaithful but that's where I am. As I searched for help, I came across this blog. The thing that really bothers me is like this is something everyone goes through. And if that's the case, I just wonder why stay and trust that they will be faithful or why leave and expect another man that won't do the same. *sigh* On top of all this, we're both dealing with trying not to turn to substance abuse and then he can be very controlling. I have horrible thoughts of just wanting something to happen that will release me from this bondage that I feel that I'm in.
You need to set the boundaries that you need to feel safe in a relationship. If those boundaries include no other people, then that's what you need to honor. Those of us who stay and rebuild a marriage aren't doing it on hopes and prayers. We're doing it through the hard work of honesty and respect and sifting through the wreckage to see what can be salvaged. A marriage takes work, even the best ones.
Elle,I think I've read on your website something to the effect of discerning whether "he's a good guy who screwed up or a bad guy". My husband is a newly diagnosed sex addict with everything from affairs to craigslist anonymous encounters, porn, online chat rooms, etc. HOW do I know if he's a "good guy" who needs lots of counseling or a bad guy? He said he was sorry for a while after I found out about one affair and he did end it but continued to lie about other past affairs for quite a while. Does that make him a bad guy? How does one know? Yes, I am in IC and I feel as though she's pushing me to divorce. He's in IC as well with a CSAT. He has passed a polygraph after the horrible, horrible disclosure.
It's not quite as black and white as perhaps I've made it out to be. What i mean when I refer to "good guys" and "bad guys" is looking at the guy's overall character. In my husband's case, he was an honest businessman, a good loyal friend, a fabulous father, a devoted son and brother. The only area in which he turned into a different person was with sex. He was compulsive, dishonest, and willing to risk his own health and mine to achieve it. Does that help?
My husband met a woman at a bar and began a three-month affair with her. I was 5 months pregnant with our first child when it began and 8-months pregnant when I found out. This was 7+ years ago. I started noticing odd calls on our phone bill - 40-minute phone calls over lunch breaks and when I knew he was commuting home from work. I confronted him and he lied (badly) over and over, so I discovered the truth myself and finally spoke to the OW by phone, who didn't even know his real first name or that he was married with a baby on the way. He'd lied to us both and she told me the truth about their relationship. She lived in a different city, so they'd met up 3 times at cheap motels, but otherwise just talked on the phone a lot and she was in love.We went to counseling, because he was desperate to stay together, even though I was prepared to be a single mom at that point. He broke his phone in half (flip phone days) and told me he'd never contact her again and I believe he hasn't. A couple of years passed and things seemed to be on track, though I still struggled to trust. One morning he had bruises on his neck and it turned out they were hickies. Again, I had to find out the truth myself. I was able to determine where he'd been the prior evening and went there to talk to staff. He made out with a waitress at a sleezy nightclub and wanted to have sex with her in his car (even offered her money), but she refused because her cousin needed a ride home. Her cousin confirmed this story for me separately. Counseling again and a clear message that if it happened again, we'd be done. Things were better for a couple of years and we had our second child 2 1/2 years ago. Jump to last month and I stood up at the PTA meeting, feeling like something was wrong and went to the ladies room. I had blood rushing down my legs and huge clots. I thought I must've been having a miscarriage for a pregnancy I didn't know existed, because the bleeding continued so heavily for two days before my Ob/Gyn sent me to the ER. No pregnancy. After two days in the hospital, having sonograms, blood tests, CT scans and being poked and prodded with pelvic exams, they began treating me for two possibilities - leukemia/blood disease or a major infection. Turns out, I had pelvic inflammatory disease as a result of untreated gonorrhea. I was tested for everything when pregnant with my son and my only sexual partner for 10 years has been my husband. He confessed to having sex with a woman in the parking lot of Walgreens when he went there to by Pull-Ups for our toddler. He paid her $40 and they didn't use a condom. I had to take 21 days of hormones and two weeks of super-strong antibiotics on top of an antibiotic injected in my hip, all because he fucked a hooker in a parking lot. I have a 7-year-old daughter and a 2 1/2-year-old son and since they sometimes climb in the tub with me, share towels, and we change diapers (close contact with my son's genitals), they both needed to be tested for gonorrhea too. I don't know that I'll ever be able to forgive my husband for having to take my daughter for her first pelvic exam at 7 and the shy, awkward, nervous giggle as she held my hand when the doctor examined her. Fortunately, both the kids are okay and results came back clear. I don't know what to do. I feel so stupid for trusting him again. At this point, I don't know that I can ever trust him again, no matter how many empty promises and pleas for forgiveness he makes. He went to a counselor on his own today (I don't want to go with him, so I'm going to a therapist for myself right now), and he was told that he's a sex addict and should start attending SLAA meetings. He doesn't believe he's a sex addict since he's only done this "a couple of times" in 7 years. I don't know what to think but he needs to stop once and for all. It may be too late for me to care. Heartbroken again.
I'm so sorry for everything you've gone through. That's got to be one of the saddest stories I've heard. Kudos to you for being so strong for yourself and your children.Whether or not you can forgive him for all of his is clearly up to you. It will take a whole lot of time and hard work.The fact that he's STILL in denial about an addiction (it's hard to believe it's anything BUT a compulsion when he seeks it out so desperately) doesn't exactly install confidence, does it? It's not the number of times, it's the element of losing control. It's when he's driven by a compulsion stronger than his ability to talk himself out of it. At the least, I wouldn't be having sex with him. He simply can't be trusted right now. I would be inclined to separate too, at least until he's willing to take a hard look at what he's done/doing. Anyone who can put his wife and children through what he has...and minimize it based on the number of times it's happened, is pretty messed up.Hang in there. You're a strong, smart woman. Whether he's smart enough to get help for himself remains to be seen.
Hi everyone. I am so glad I found this site. First off I did cheat on my fiancé. We had been together for 3 years and things were very bad between us. I had the baby blues from our second child and he was out of work and it felt like everything was falling down around us. He found a job but it was in another state and he went even though I begged him not to go. Well I made a mistake and befriended another man and let myself become involved with him. I confessed to what I had done and worked very hard to win back his trust. Everything he asked I done. He found another job and it was so much better for a while. I found out he had been talking to another woman. I called him out on it and he told me he had done it to hurt me and get back at me for hurting him. I could see his point of view and agreed to move forward and work together to a better future. Fast forward an I find out he is again talking to another woman. He gives the same explanation. No physical contact just texting. I forgive him again. I found out again he was talking to not just 1 but 3 other women texting and over the phone. He have me the same explanation as to why he was doing it. And finally I found out Nov. 10th 2014 he was having a full blown physical affair that had been going on for months. I am still in shock and so so angry. We have two children aged 9 and 7. I thought things were better between us we talked an spent more time together. I asked for a reason and he said he wanted to feel good about himself. We have been together for 10 years now. Where do I go from here??
You go straight to a couples counsellor and figure out how to communicate directly with each other, how to handle difficult feelings (loneliness, insecurity, etc.) without looking to other people, and how to be trustworthy.
Hey Anon,I am so sorry. After you can regain your ground (and get tested for stds)--because this is like a bomb blowing up--check out sex and love addicts anonymous. Serial cheating point to out of control behavior, addiction.This stuff has can't be fixed by just fixing the marraige. If someone doesn't feel good about themselves, nothing--not a better marraige, a better partner, not multiple partners--will help them feel good about themselves. I also am just reading Wendy Plumps book, Vow. I thought alot about you. Hers is a cautionary tale because she cheated early in the marraige only to discover that he had a long term girlfriend... and a child. They never addressed the underlying issues. They just moved on and "forgave." But if you don't get to the root, then you are growing your marraige on sand.
I just found this site and happy I did. I have been feeling so alone. I need to tell someone that is in or has been in the same situation as me. I have been with my Husband for 11 years, married 8 of those years. I had recently found out that my Husband has been cheating through out most of our relationship. He confessed to me 3 months ago but for the past 4 years I knew something bigger was going on. By 2011 we had our youngest, a mortgage and he was working out of town, coming home on weekends. We shared an email account and one day I seen two conversations from Facebook about him wanting to meet up.When he came home I asked him about it he said he didn't know why he did that but he never met with anyone.I told him that things like this were not ok, that he should not be talking to other women like this and that is how affairs can start. He said that he wouldn't talk to them any more and deleted them from his Facebook. We never talked about it again.A year later just like before I was checking our email and seen two messages from different woman but this time I knew who they were( I know them but we are not friends) one giving her phone number and saying she is single, the other giving her address and saying do you want to cuddle. I started crying thinking he is cheating on me. When I asked him said he didn't know why they were messaging him. Which I didn't believe.I became a detective. Looking through the computer, all his stuff(papers and what not) we didn't have cell phones. I found all kinds of things on the computer. There was a lot of porn, retrieved deleted email conversations(he was answering personal ads) all the conversations were of him asking to get together but once they asked for a picture or phone number, the conversations stopped. I did email one of the women and asked I he has ever met with her. I thought she probably won't answer me back but she did. She said that they have never met up. I checked his Facebook and looked through all messages.When I brought all this info I had to his attention, he still claimed that he never met with anyone, that he didn't know why he did that and then a few days later he told me that it was wrong of him but just the thought that they would want to be with him was enough and that he would just pleasure himself with that thought. We went to counselling for a year. But he never seemed to open with the counsellor. I had this feeling that he wasn't telling everything. Our counsellor told me that I just have to trust what he is telling me. After a year of that she said that she felt that we really loved each other and that we would be ok.Between then and now we had our ups and downs with his behaviour. Catching him looking at porn or deleting the history on the computer. We both agreed that he would close his Facebook account but he never did. Finding a phone number in his wallet with no name, hid behind a card. Finding out that he wasn't where he said he was and pressing him for where he went, a few days later telling me that he went to the strip club. This what he would do, he would lie when I asked him something, but it not making sense I would keep asking him.It would take a few days but he would finally come out with it. This is how I found out about the cheating. He went to an employee appreciation dinner and after
He went to an employee appreciation dinner and after it was done he texted me(we just recently got cell phones) saying some of the guys are going to the bar to play some pool and can he go. I told him he could. A few days later (I know this sounds silly but I had a dream he was cheating) that whole morning I had this uneasy feeling in the pit of my stomach. I decided to ask him if he was keeping something from me. He said like what? I said the other night did you go to the bar or to the strip club? He said he went to the strip club. I was hurt and mad. Told him I had enough that he keeps lying to me. He panicked and started telling me that he loves me and he was sorry. I told him if he loves me as much as he says he does then he needs to tell me the truth and I asked him if he has ever cheated on me. He said that he has.My heart sank but I was extremely calm. I asked him who. He got all panicky stood up and said I don't know if this is good for you. I asked him again with who. He told me with the two women that I knew, a woman he picked up at a corner store gave him oral sex, and six months ago he picked up a woman walking down the street. I became so upset, started crying, asking him why he would do this to us. He was crying and saying he was sorry, while trying to hug me. I didn't want him any where near me.We have been talking a lot over this past 3 months and have both starting going to counselling once again but this time it's a different counsellor and we go to her individually for now and then later will see her together.These past three months have been very hard. Trying to figure out what has happened, why it happened, coming to terms that it did happen. For a few weeks feeling shocked(I don't know why because it was something that I suspected). Having my whole idea of us shattered to pieces. I thought that we were a good couple, we don't treat each other badly, we discuss everything with each other first before we do something, nothing is what's mine is mine(especially when it comes to money. He works and I stay home with the kids), we tell each other everyday how much we love each other with our words and actions, he would do anything I asked of him and I the same for him, he is an excellent father and what I thought the best Husband ever.Then I started to think I have no idea who this man is. Could I have been so wrong about someone, I must be since I picked a man that would do something like this. I started second guessing our whole relationship thinking that I must have done something or didn't something to make him do this.The started feeling insecure about my body, looks, how good I was in bed or maybe he couldn't feel anything because I have had so many kids.My insecurities have diminished but are still there sometimes. I know that is an unhealthy way to think and I try to redirect my thoughts.We have talked countless times and he continues to say that he doesn't know why he cheats. Which I think is total BS.
We have talked countless times and he continues to say that he doesn't know why he cheats. Which I think is total BS. He says that it has nothing to do with me or our relationship. He just doesn't know why. He says that he is a weak and sick man. That he loves me and if I stay he will never do something like this again.The other night we were talking and he told me why he cheat(finally) he said that he doesn't feel good about himself, that he feels inadequate, that he wanted to feel wanted, that I do make him feel wanted and loved but he doesn't know why that wasn't enough for him. After he told me this I kinda felt at ease. That I finally know why he did this. But now brings with it so many other fears. Will me wanting him ever be enough for him? When he is feeling this way will he come to me? How did I not see this about him? How do you help someone with low self esteem? If he doesn't believe it himself how can he believe it from me?Is that all it is or is he a sex addict? The porn, chatting with other women, and going to the strip club got progressively worse over time, like he could help himself. He said he knew it was wrong but couldn't stop himself. We are not church people but that when he would watch porn or chat with other women and then pleasure himself or cheat physically with someone he would cry and pray to God to not let him do it again.I just hope that he has told me everything and isn't leaving something out. I do love this man, but I am scared to be hurt again. Thank you for listening to me. Sorry it is so long and I had to post three times but I felt like I need to get it all out to someone that has been there before. Thank you again so much.
I feel your pain. You are almost writing my story too. I just found this link through her blog...http://www.sexhelp.com/am-i-a-sex-addict/sex-addiction-testit might help put things into perspective. HUGS
Thank you for your support. It made me feel good to know that someone has read my post. I have asked my Husband to take the survey and he didn't fight it. He is doing it right now :)
Anonymous, I could have written your post eight years ago. My husband also cheated throughout our whole relationship...though I had no idea. Online porn, chat sites, anonymous meetups. My husband realized he was a sex addict before I knew about everything he'd been doing. He found counsellor who was helping him...and then he told me everything.Your husband is probably being honest in that he doesn't understand why he cheated. A compulsion/addiction doesn't make sense until we peel back the layers and uncover those feelings we've been numbing/avoiding with the behaviour. He likely has trouble dealing with hurt, or fear, or loneliness, or even boredom. He likely has deep pain that he's terrified of exploring. He may have spent so much time/energy avoiding it, he's forgotten it's there until something triggers it and he reaches for the computer mouse. And then it becomes a habit, like chewing a fingernail. Crazy to the rest of us, "normal" for them.Continue with counselling yourself. You're going to need a lot of support through this. But you WILL get through this. I promise.
Thank you Elle, you give me hope with your words of wisdom on the matter that I will get through this. I know deep down I will too, it is just so fresh that fear and sadness steps in and takes over that this will never end. Thank you for your support it is very much appreciated, as I am sure it is for every woman on this site.
I have no one to talk to about this. I'm hoping someone sees this. I met my husband 10 years ago. During the first 4 years, I caught him making calls and text messages to several ex girlfriends, caught him signing up to sex hook up sites, and later found out he was sleeping with one particular ex gf. She is a psychopath that she would call me constantly and say she just got done having sex with my husband (then bf). I had no idea she was telling the truth. We almost spit up and had lengthy conversations of him not cheating/doing anything inappropriate. He continued to look up craigslist personal encounter ads but told me it was just for the pictures. We fought about that. I got pregnant with our 6 yr old daughter right after taking a new job that sent me out of town for a week at a time with training. I found out during this time he had met an much older lady (he was 37, she was 50 something) on a sex site and was calling her all hours of the day and night having hour long phone sex. During this time he was home with my 2 children from a previous marriage and 1 from a previous relationship of his. Again he agreed to stop. A year ago I found in our business email account a reply email he had responded to a craigslist sexual encounter ad. He denied it but disclosed that in the last year had indeed met with a stranger of craigslist and hired a hooker to meet him at an out of town overnight trip. This was all revealed to me through a text message. I sank into a terrible depression and we went to marriage counseling for 6 weeks. He agreed to never do anything again. We got married 3 months later because I was pregnant with our 9 month old. Monday morning I tried to take a shower with him. He wasn't interested which upset me. He later texted me that he had masturbated before he got out of bed. Our 6 yr old daughter had slept with us and was still asleep in the same bed while he did this. I live in fear of what else everyday. I live with all of what has happened everyday. We haven't spoke since. I don't know how to approach this anymore.
I'm so sorry for all the pain you're going through. Your first responsibility, of course, is to the children. To ensure that they're safe (though I'm not suggesting your husband is a pedophile, masturbating in bed with a child sleeping beside him certainly shows that his boundaries are fucked up). He needs help. He's been behaving inappropriately for years...and you've, on some level, been dismissing it as relatively harmless. It's time for YOU to make it very clear that cheating of any kind (online, phone sex, whatever) is absolutely unacceptable...and then you need to figure out what the consequences are if he violates that. And that's even if you want to give this guy a second chance. I'm not sure he deserves it unless he makes it VERY clear that he's willing to do anything and everything to sort through his own issues and stop cheating in any way. I would also urge you to get counselling for yourself to determine what your own boundaries around what you'll tolerate from him are so...fuzzy. You deserve better than this. You deserve respect and honesty. But you need to believe that yourself first before you'll demand it from other people.
I'm so sorry for what you are going through. This sounds very overwhelming. Has your H ever been to individual counseling to understand why he needs this type of gratification? I caught my H sexting other women and getting them to send naked pics of themselves. I insisted on marriage and individual counseling. He agreed and he learned why he was doing this. Most H's know they shouldn't, but don't get the help to understand what makes them want to. If he truly wants to stop he needs to get to the root cause of why he does this. It will help you to understand him better as well. Then ask yourself why you want to save your marriage and is it worth the fight. We have all had to ask ourselves that question. Remember you are important and worth fighting for. Talking to a counseling can help you too. I asked my H if I had done the same could he have forgiven me. He did not have an answer and did not want to even think about that possibility.
Oh my. You have a serious sex addict on your hands and one whose behavior has put a child in danger. This is behavior that is reportable to CPS.Are you still in the home? Are you sure your child was not conscious ? You need to get some boundaries down NOW. You have tolerated some intolerable behavior in your relationship. It sounds like you are not sure how to go about protecting yourself and your children from his behavior. But there are ways. Are you afraid of leaving or of him leaving you? Are you able to put up boundaries?I urge you to look into a group for partners of sex addicts (cosa-recovery.org, is one). He certainly needs to go to a group for sex addiction or see a therapist for sex addiction. 6 weeks of marriage counseling is like taking a tic-tac for HIV. He and you need long-term recovery plan. You have choices and you need to start making them or looking for ways to get the strength to make them.
I understand how you feel. Here is a site that I found yesterday www.sexaulcontrol.com which rings true in my relationship with my husband with his sexual addiction. He has a book that you can download for free. Hopefully you can get some help from this site and his book for you and your husband.
Thank you Elle for saying what I was thinking but in much more compassionate gentle way. Anon, what Elle says is what you need to hear.You really need to look at yourself in this picture and how you want to respond to his behavior. He is out of control and it sounds like you know it. It is up to you to make decisions about your and your children's safety. Please get some help for yourself. You are not able to control his behavior but you do have choices about whether you allow him to expose you and your children to his acting out.You can find the strength to do this.-MBS
Wow, this sounds truly awful! I am so sorry you're having to deal with this. Is there any way you can get support through family, friends, or a therapist? This is total abuse in my opinion and if I were you, I would make a plan to either leave or to tell him to. Sorry if I'm over stepping but him masturbating with his daughter in bed is just plain icky. And certainly not what sane mature fathers do. Good grief, what if she had woken up?! Honestly, he just doesn't sound like a father at all but an immature maybe sex addict. Protect your children, that is your number one thing to do and try to keep yourself together. Wishing you some good answers from Ell and others.
I found this site a few days ago and what a God send it has been, I was beginning to think I was crazy (glad to see we are all a little crazy). Today has been extra hard and I feel like I don't know how to make progress.Here is my story...My husband and I met in our early 20's got engaged after 7 months, found out we were pregnant at 10 months and married after a year. I knew prior to the marriage that he had some self esteem issues that led to lust with women to make him feel validated and found out about his porn 'addiciton'. We did pre-marital counseling because I believed (and do believe) he is my soulmate - the love of my life. After married, things were wonderful for a while. Our daugther was born in May but in August I felt a distance and say a womens intuition. Note, my husband is a musician and in the entertainment industry making this that much more difficult! Anyways, he had been working with a singer and I had a feeling so I did some investigating and found out sure enough, there was a clear EA going on. Lots of text messages about wanting to be with her and spend time with her etc... I called him out on it and we went through a whirlwind - first he loved her, then he didn't, then he left and came back and through it all had a manic episode that ended him in jail for threats. During the few weeks he was in jail, he was diagnosed with bi-polar disorder which doesn't surprise me since he grew up in a very emotionally abusive home. We reconcilled, did months of marital counseling and things got better. Fast forward 4 years, a new state (moved for his job) away from home and I get a new job (same situation as 4 years ago). My job is great, a big promotion for me but then I get my woman's intuition and know that he has recently started working with a new singer. I find out that they have been messaging through email and IG because she is a child (19 years old) without a cell phone. These messages are emotional and he is telling her that since she can't be his wife he want to make her a star, she is his queen, he loves how she holds him, and he loves her. These are daggars through my heart, I can't breath or think. I call him and tell him I won't do this again, I can't! My heart has been through too much, if that is what he wants fine, he should go I won't hold him here any longer. He says it was a mistake, he wants his family, etc.. I demand all ties cut and that is hard for him because she has potential in the business to help his career succeed but that is the price to pay if he wants to keep his family. Just telling the story makes me anxious and crazy all over again. We talked, cried, he said he feels that we don't get enough time together and right after we were married we had our daughter and didn't take the time to continue building our love when we put our relationship on the back burner to raise our daughter.
Part 2... I am broken. How can the man I love with all of my heart have these feelings towards someone else? Doesn't he think of me when he is saying these things? Is it that I am not good enough, pretty enough, etc... Then I have to think NO, I am good enough and he should see that, but why can't he? Why revert back to old ways after we made so much progress! My eyes burn just thinking about it, I can't eat have lost 15 lbs from the stress. Last weekend was my birthday we had a WONDERFUL time as a family and he showed so much love and appreciation for me. He says he understands now what it is to be a man and that he has to grow up. He says all he wants is for our family to succeed and become all that we have ever wanted. Then today, I get a feeling - that one we all know too well and I just don't know if it is because it is all so fresh or if I should really be worrying again? I need constant reassurance but when he leaves or I hear his phone go off I always wonder if theres 'another one (woman he is talking to)'. There have been other fliratations here and there I have seen and we have talked through but the two big ones which I would consider true EA are here.HELP! Does anyone else feel crazy? How did my life end up like this? I always said if he cheated I would leave but I am still here fighting - but my fight is getting weak. Can we ever get past this or will I be in the same spot 5 years from now?
Yes, we all feel crazy in the early days of finding out about betrayal. Some of us do get past this but it takes a whole lot of hard work on our part to heal. Whether we get past this WITH or WITHOUT our spouse generally depends on a lot of things. For one thing, he's told you before it wouldn't happen again and it did. So he needs to tell you clearly and with a plan just why it's never going to happen again and just why you should trust him. What does he plan to do about this? How will he handle things when he feels tempted again? He's obviously using these women to deal with is own issues -- insecurity, failure, loneliness, whatever. These women are an escape. He's seduced by the image of himself he sees in their eyes. Whether or not you give him a second (third?) chance is up to you. But you need to ask yourself why he deserves it. What is he doing RIGHT NOW to show you that he will do everything it takes to become someone who deserves that chance? Maybe he needs to stop travelling. Maybe he needs to stop having female singers in his band. I don't know. But right now, his life choices are not healthy for his family. And if his family is his priority, then he needs to figure out how this is going to work.I'm so sorry for what you're going through. But please know, absolutely and completely, you are enough. This is not about these women being "better" than you. It's about them distracting him. It's about fantasy. It's about escape. I often remind people of the zillions of gorgeous women who've been cheated on -- Halle Berry, for heaven's sake. The woman is a goddess. So it's not about looks. It's about a weak messed up man looking outside the marriage for something he lacks inside himself.
When we were engaged and about 9 months before our wedding, I saw something on his phone that looked weird. I asked him about it nonchalantly 2 or so times, but he played dumb. Eventually, I tried to figure it out for myself while he was asleep, he woke up and still lied. Then I told him that he had 2 days (or something like that) to tell me the truth. That I wasn't dumb and knew something was going on & that, if he told me, maybe we could work though it, but, if he didn't tell me by the end of the 2 days, it'd be over. [I did this early on in our relationship when I found a woman's item & he admitted that he'd still been dating his ex when he met me despite telling me that he was single. He said that she'd cheated on him, but he stayed in the relationship while knowing it was doomed for about the first month or 2 of dating me.] Anyway, for the thing I saw on his phone- he admitted that it was a sex meetup app (sex, not dating). He showed it to me and let me look through it fully. There were dozens and dozens of women he was having convos with, exchanging pictures, talking about mtg up with, for months and months, and a few transgender women (who had been born male). At first, he said that he started doing this because he was bored when unemployed a couple months earlier. He said he'd never met up with anybody in person (because most ppl worked during the day & he was usually w/me at nights/wknds), but he admitted to getting their pics and skyping while doing stuff. He said that he sent them pics of other men's parts instead of of his own (but he'd posted pics of him at the pool including pics of him w/some of his married guy friends on the site). He said he had to pretend to want to meet up w/these ppl in order to get pics. That it was just part of how ppl talked, but that he'd never do it. I asked how he knew about some of the sleezy motels he was suggesting- he said that he'd done this years & years before me when he was single. He said he'd stop & give me access to his computer, phone, everything.
I was in a whirlwind. I had no clue & didn't expect it at all. I told him that I didn't know what to think or how to process it. I mentioned it to a few friends. We're in our early/mid-30s if it matters & I'd been very clear about requiring & needing honesty above all else & he was fine with that from the beginning of our relationship. A few months later (5 mos before our wedding date), he still hadn't given me full access to tracking his laptop, but I saw that he'd looked up a motel nearby on google maps. I asked him why, he eventually admitted that he'd been looking on craigslist (that he never stopped & got carried away looking) & thought that was different than the app (meaning that it'd be okay with me- just lies). He said he played a "game" out of curiosity of looking at craigslist sex ads, seeing where they were if there was a location provided and trying to guess if the person was a prostitute (sex for money) or not (sex w/random strangers for free). He claimed that he didn't think it was a problem. He also eventually admitted that he'd been using the app and mtg up w/women for sex since before he knew me, while dating other ppl, and during the whole time he'd been dating me (over 2 yrs at that point)- not just in the couple months that he was unemployed like he'd said before. He said he did it anytime he could- whenever i was out of town, visiting my family, or even out for a while doing errands/at the gym. I had thought he'd been physical w/them when I found the app a few months before, so it wasn't the hugest surprise, but it was still insane. I'd always (before finding any of this out) thought of him as somewhat shy and completely and utterly devoted to me. He'd spent tens of thousands on my ring and our wedding. He eventually told 2 close friends about it (because I insisted that he talk to some ppl abt it, not just our counselor) and he was fine w/me telling anyone I wanted to. I still just didn't know what to think or if I could ever get over it. We went into counseling and he went to sex addicts anonymous for a few months (maybe 6 or so). The day before our wedding, he told me that some of the guys had called an escort/stripper to come over to the bachelor party house the night before. He said he was asleep and didn't find out til he woke up. I'd been so very clear that I wanted no strip clubs, strippers, or women involved at all, and I didn't know if I could believe that he'd been asleep at the time and, even if he was asleep, I was devastated that he hadn't been unquestionably clear w/the guys in advance that no women paid or free could be in the bachelor party house - if the guys wanted that- they could rent their own room elsewhere or go to the girl's house, but I was so disappointed that he hadn't made clear that any woman up in the bach party house would jeopardize our marriage happening. We could only talk about it for about 20 minutes because we had wedding events and we talked about it once after our wedding - he still insists that I should just get over the escort/stripper at the bach party house and that he shouldn't have had to tell his friends anything about no women being allowed in the house. We got married (but I still told him that I wasn't 100% sure if I could get over his rampant, dangerous cheating).
I don't know if he's a sex addict, but I was raised by 2 parents with other addictions, and I don't want to be married to an addict myself and I have no interest in having or raising children with an addict of any kind. We haven't been married a year yet and it's been a bit over a year since he admitted he was physically cheating on me the entire time we were together and since he claims that he stopped. I'm not over it. I've never really regained my spark for him- it's hard during the act not to think of how many other women he cheated with or to think of how much he burdened me with trying to improve his desire while he was cheating on me (when there's no way I could compete w/the excitement of random stranger sex and porn). There have also been other problems with him randomly (and not connected to cheating) screaming and raging at me over nothing. He's reluctantly agreed to postpone trying to have kids for a year or 2. Between the infidelity/lack of trust and his screaming, I just can't do it yet and I'm not sure our marriage is on firm enough ground for us 2, not to mention pregnancy and kids. I am just so lost and reluctant to break up our life, but I don't know that I can trust him to come to me w/problems (after so much lying), I don't know if he'll start cheating again or how I'll recognize it if he does, and I don't know if I can/should/will ever have a spark for him again. If this can't/shouldn't/won't work out, I want to figure it out soon so we can both be on the road to happiness and hopefully build families.
Oh sweetheart, I'm so sorry for all you're going through. I think it's important to take a look at what you know: He's cheated in many of his relationships. He's cheated on you for most of your relationship. He's disrespected your very clear requests. He's lied repeatedly. He minimizes. He doesn't follow through. In the meantime, you don't respect him. You aren't physically attracted to him (thanks to his multiple partners). You can't trust him.Now...assuming you eventually have a daughter and she comes to you and gives you this laundry list and asks you whether or not she should have children with this person or even stay married to him. I have a really hard time believing that you would tell her to stay and work it out. There's absolutely nothing about this guy to make me think that he has any dedication to getting help for his, likely, sex addiction (or maybe he's just an asshole with no regard for you or women in general, or marriage).Your dreams have been absolutely dashed. Your fantasy marriage with a gorgeous ring and beautiful ceremony and friends and family have been a sham, thanks to his absolute disregard for your simple and quite reasonable request re. strippers/escorts. Honey, my advice is -- and I know this won't be easy at all -- cut your losses and move forward. You're young. You don't have children. Marriage is really REALLY tough even when you don't add in infidelity, lack of trust, lack of respect. It's even tougher when you add in children. It's one of life's little secrets. Nobody talks about how REALLY REALLY HARD it is to have a healthy relationship with one person your whole freaking life -- with ups and downs, disappointments, death of parents and friends, scary diagnoses, ill-tempered teens, menopause, mid-life crises... You need a partner who's absolutely there for you. Who will talk to you about his inner life. Who wants to know about your inner life. Who you can trust. THAT's what marriage is. And that is what you deserve.Get yourself therapy to support you through this. And to ensure that, next time you get involved, you're not dragging the baggage from your addict parents and addict ex-husband along with you. You will get through this. It will be, possibly, the hardest thing you'll ever have to do. But you can do this. And I promise you, the day will come when you will be so glad you did.
Just to clarify- these last 3 posts above were the 3 parts of my story (not separate stories from different posters). -Lola
Anonymous,This is painful, but if I were you I would run for the hills and not look back. Sorry, but I don't think this guy is stable or parent material. Addictions are hard to turn off and just make life crazy hell. That's said from the point of my living with a schizophrenic father. Children get only one childhood, mine was stolen, and my mother didn't protect me. Do you want to raise a child having to walk on eggshells just so they don't upset dad or watch you crying cause dad was cheating? Walk away before there is collateral damage namely kids. But of course only you can decide this.
I just read this and it blew my mind so hope I can post it here for all of us especially dealing with compulsive sexual acting out. It's the lies and deceit!‘Sexual Sobriety’ Leaves Victims UntreatedBy Omar Minwalla, Psy.D.March 31, 2015‘Sexual sobriety’ leaves victims untreatedThe focus of traditional sex addiction-compulsivity treatment models tends to be on diagnosing and stopping specific sexual behaviors, termed “sexual sobriety.” From a treatment perspective, it is correct and necessary to implement behavioral containment and stop destructive or problematic behaviors.However, this is where most treatment ends, rather than also treating the other patterns of abuse of human beings and violations of human rights, termed “sex addiction-induced perpetrations” (SAIP).The problem is sexual acting out disorders are not just sexual behaviors but are also abusive conduct patterns and complex pathologic systems, which often include elaborate deceptive compartmentalized sexual-relational realities and systems of abusive covert management.These are patterns of methodical planning over time, careful construction of manipulation of others and cognitive schemas well maintained in order to keep a compartmentalized reality protected from discovery. It takes pre-planning to sexually act out in many instances, sometimes requiring days of strategizing against the integrity of vital relational stability and family infrastructure required for health.Maintaining a compartmentalized sexual or relational reality within a family system and relational intimate life takes profound energy to orchestrate and maintain, requiring careful and skilled methodology. This is not simply impulsive or compulsive sexual behavior.A disorder of chronic lying in a family system is pathology and requires treatment, regardless of sexual acting out or not. Chronic patterns of establishing and maintaining a deceptive, compartmentalized sexual-relational system in an intimate relationship or family system, is pathology and harmful, which is more accurate in description then simply “compulsive pornography use.”The process of gaslighting an intimate partner – the intentional psychological manipulation of victim’s reality over time – is a form of emotional and psychological abuse and torture, eroding and damaging the victim’s survival instincts and intuition, regardless of sexual behaviors. Clearly, there exist many symptoms of pathology, beyond the single symptom of “lack of control of specific sexual behaviors” or “compulsivity.” Sexual sobriety alone is an inadequate treatment model.
Sex addiction-induced perpetration (SAIP) is clinical pathology. However, within traditional treatment models there exists no established diagnostic or clinical formulation for SAIP and no treatment, methodology or clinical paradigm that accounts for and treats SAIP. This is a serious omission in the field and in clinical practice.The reality here is that the preoccupation with diagnosing and treating these complex pathologies as simply “compulsive” or impulse control disorders and focusing on treating sexual behaviors, while avoiding and omitting the proper diagnosis of abuse and covert violence, leaves dynamics of serious pathology untreated.This also means that the people harmed, the victims of these dynamics of abuse, are rendered invisible. Their trauma and experiences are not being accounted for in clinical treatment models and their suffering is being dishonored by the complete omission, silence and denial that pervade existing treatment models. They are dishonored by the professional practice of being satisfied with simple behavioral control over specific sexual patterns (sexual sobriety) as the primary objective of treatment.Victims need recognition of the patterns of harm and abuse they experience and have endured, which goes way beyond the Pollyanna descriptions of “hurt and betrayal” caused by specific sexual acting out behaviors. Furthermore, female victims are violated further by being labeled “co-sex addicts” routinely by professionals and “educated that they have a disease of self-perpetration” rather than being afforded therapeutic intervention for abuse and assessment and treatment for consequent acute and complex trauma (C-PTSD).The Sex Addiction-Induced Trauma Model (SAITM) accounts for the clinical management and treatment of both sexual behaviors and SAIP. According to the model, sex addiction-compulsivity disorders are defined as “a complex system of sexual, personality and masculinity pathology, which may include the maintenance of a deceptive, compartmentalized sexual-relational reality, sexual-relational acting out behaviors and other patterns of perpetration, abuse and violation that causes serious PTSD and CPTSD (SAIT) in victims.The model proposes clinical management that includes assessing and diagnosing sex addiction-induced perpetrations and providing appropriate safety, stabilization and clinical de-escalation for victims. Clinical management would also provide methodological treatment for perpetration-focused management, clinical resolution and psychological integration. Clinical treatment would also include relational, family and social considerations, as indicated, in a perpetration-victimization and post-traumatic clinical context and conscious framework.The American Psychological Association’s Intimate Partner Abuse and Relationship Violence Working Group concluded: “We suggest that those involved in partner violence have specialized treatment needs and that those who treat them must do so with sensitivity and from a base of knowledge that comes from specialized training. Psychologists who do not have the requisite training potentially endanger their clients, and likely commit an ethical violation. Those who are teaching psychologists-to-be but who do not teach them about partner violence are abrogating their responsibility and risk perpetrating the conditions which foster this problem.Take the CE QuizTake the CE Quiz NowPerpetration requires treatment and appropriate clinical intervention, not defensive denial, silence and professional avoidance. Clinical pathology that contributes to serious harm and violation of others and human rights requires an organized clinical methodology and direct clinical management, not undefined, underdeveloped or squeamish clinical approaches.After all and in fact, it is these dynamics of sex addiction-induced perpetrations that often “induce trauma,” do more human damage and accrue more human cost than sexual acting out behaviors alone ever possibly could.
Ok - I found out about an affair in late December, but found out that my husband is a sex addict and that the affair was much more involved then I originally was told. I am still reeling. Here is my unsent letter to the OW which helps capture what I am feeling at the moment:Dear OW,When I found out that you and my husband were having a sexual and pseudo-emotional affair for 6 months, my world was shattered. My understanding of my marriage, spouse, family, and life, were destroyed.There you were, a woman regularly in my home, who cleans my things, and dusts my wedding and family pictures, and scrubs the shit from my toilets. And you were meeting with my (lying cheating) husband regularly, right under my nose, just before coming to my home, and regularly fucking him in local hotels. You committed a grave offense against another woman. I believe that you would attest that you have no prize of a husband, who has cheated on you and betrayed you. So in your own misery decided to open your legs to my husband, when he was desperate for a fuck buddy, to help him escape from his own emptiness and resentments and demons. I believe that you wanted to believe the lies - you told yourself you loved him and that he loved you and he has admitted that he considered you a ‘very good friend’ which makes me want to vomit. It boggles my mind that he could help his ‘very good friend’ cheat on her own husband and family. How could he sweet talk a friend into an ongoing sex meetups by pretending he loves her. Your and his actions disgust me. I hope the f*#ks were worth it once your husband found out.I am trying to let go of my anger here and clearly it isn’t easy. It hurts to know that my husband held you and caressed you and told you you were beautiful and that he loved you, while not doing the same for me for those months (and a good year before that because by-the-way he was with prostitutes before you – surprise!). At the time of the affair, he no longer saw me as a friend, at all, – I was some sort of bad mother/shrew/roommate in his mind that he had conjured & inflated. That must have made his cruelty towards me easier to justify to himself. So, somehow I have to forgive you and find compassion for you. I recognize that you were a hurt woman, betrayed by her own husband – you went with the option of distraction/illusion to make yourself feel better. You decided that the attention & sex equated to love, because you have been missing it from your own life. I read somewhere that I should imagine you, serene, bathed in warmth and compassion, and wish you your own healing and recovery. I can handle doing that for about 1 second. I will try again tomorrow. I will keep trying til I can sustain the image for a good while longer.Good luck to you and your life. I hope, for you sake, and for the sake of your children, that you can find some peace and happiness within yourself. In the meantime, stay away from married men. Especially the sex addicts.....-Mary
Thank you for the site. I am struggling to come to grips with learning that my husband has been having sex with men for the last six years of our 20 year marriage. We do love one another very much and come from very different family structures. We have experienced alot of pressure with work, finances, miscarriages, husband working away and moving over the past 10 years and I can't help but feel that some of this in part has contributed to his decisions. We have young children involved and there's so much at stake for us to part. We are very good friends and he is not sure if he is gay or bi. I think personally that he has become addicted to male sex. I've never experienced the utter sadness and grief like that has welled up in me the last few months.
Anonymous,I just spotted this post. I'm so sorry I missed it. If you're still on this site, please post on one of the more recent blog posts on the "home" page, where you're likely to have your post seen. I'd love to hear an update. I hope you've found some clarity.
Anonymous,I am so sorry to hear what you're going through. Please get individual counseling and don't put your head in the sand in denial, your life may depend on it. Too many closeted men have high-risk sex, catch diseases, and infect their spouses. I have seen multiple women find out that their husband is gay only when a disease or STD gets so bad that it requires hospitalization. At least get tested yourself and consider not having sex with him until this is fully resolved. For your own safety and peace of mind because he likely did not use protection during this six years of cheating. You are probably right that your husband is "addicted to sex with men". because he is probably gay. In this society, a straight man isn't having sex for 6 years with men. Not happening. He is gay- he is likely not confused at all, but just doesn't want to admit it. Him being away makes it easier for him to have sex with other men. If your husband was straight (instead of being gay), he would have cheated with women, not men. My husband cheated with both and is in denial about his sexual orientation. I have known at least one couple where the husband (now divorced) used traveling for work as a cover to have sex with men. He kept trying to convince his wife not to leave him when she found out. He kept trying to convince her that he just liked sex with men, but wasn't gay. She knew better and divorced him and now, 2 years later, he's happily out and has a boyfriend. I wish you the best of luck in this very awful and difficult situation. I hope you continue to post and please talk to your family and friends about this and to good counselors.
My husband got a new job over a year ago. For 10 yearshe has been in Sales and Marketing, which requires lots of travel. A few months after he started this new job we had to move to a new state. This would be our 4th move in 6 years for a new job. His desire to make a million and become a CEO. We moved that summer when our 2 kids finished 2nd and 5th grade, June. He was traveling every other week. I trusted him 150%. I knew my man would never betray me like that. He was a good man. He respects me. Yes, our relationship was going through some hard times. the 6th move was difficult. In Oct I found a text message that was on my daughters phone. Our iphones tend to link together on occasion. It was a very intimate conversation. I confronted him on it and he admitted to sleeping with a woman twice, while on business. My gut told me there was much more to the story. I dug deep into emails, Facebook. Skype, text messages, phone bills, visa bills, bank statements. By Jan. I discovered the affair lasted 8 months. He broke it off with her the day I found out. It has now been 8 months and I just discovered that he had an affair with a friend of ours 9 years ago, while traveling for business. They had 3 encounters, sex once. "The second time she was on her period and the third time it just did not feel right." He admitted to pursuing his old girlfriends recently but only one took the bait.We are trying to work things out. I do finally feel he is finally being honest and open. I do not feel he is hiding anything. All I can say is to trust your gut and look for answers.We are going to go to counseling. I am not sure I believe he can leave that life behind him. 9 years is a long time to carry guilt and 8 months of a totally different life, living like a wealthy bachelor with a sexy sex kitty always ready for him when he got off the plane. I am very boring compared to that. Can he be happy with me after all that. He has agreed to cut his friends out of his life. For 20 years they have all been encouraging him to live this other life, they have pushed him to have other affairs and make destructive decisions in his life.
Oh Anonymous, So many of us know your pain. Many of these guys are actually glad to finally be caught because it's never really given them the satisfaction they're looking for. It's an escape, a way to avoid feelings they can't handle -- boredom, loneliness, growing older. Some, of course, are just total dogs. But it sounds as if that's not your husband.I hope you'll keep us posted. And I hope this is a wakeup call for your husband.
Hi, I am happy I found somewhere that I can express how I feel in exchange for advice and not judgement. My husband and I have been together for 10 years. He has cheated multiple times but I found out the severity about 3 years in. Afterwords he pleaded with me to stay and I did, we eventually got married and had 3 kids. Last year after being married for 2 years I found out that he had been cheating again and told him if it ever happened again I would leave. Well..two days after 10 year anniversary I found a message that upset me. He wasnt having sex with the girl but had kissed and let her give him a hand job. This is what he tell me at least. I told him we are done and he has been begging saying he had a small slip but didnt want to loose me....Im not sure if I should forgive and stay or move on. I love him and he is the father of my kids and I dont want complications for them but I feel like I have fallen out of love.... What do you guys think? Divorce is a really hard option but I feel kind of numb. He suggests counseling but I dont want to be let down or hurt again.
Anonymous,That's a whole lot of cheating he's asking you to forgive. In the short term, I would insist that he seek counselling to figure out what he can't stop cheating, even when he's risking losing what matters to him. I would make that non-negotiable. He either goes and gets treatments or you're gone right now. If he does get treatment, you can take some time to figure out what you really need going forward. Divorce is tough but so is staying with someone who won't stop cheating.You don't need to decide right this minute what your future holds. But while you're deciding, he needs to show you very clearly just what he plans to do to ensure he NEVER does this again.
My husband is also a serial "emotional affairs" person. A month ago I found out about this latest one, and old girlfriend from 30 years ago who found him on that damned FaceBook. And he starts this up WHILE we're in counseling for the LAST one in 2013-2014 he was having with some chick at work!I am really on the edge of divorce this time, after 10 years of marriage. He is on the couch and in counseling with his own counselor, I am seeing a different therapist, and taking steps to separate the finances, etc, in case I decide to go the divorce route.I would like to recommend an e-book you may or may not have heard of....it's called "the Most Personal Addiction" by Joe Zychik. I think it would be helpful both for the men who claim to want to "work on " the marriage and to us women. He takes a personal responsibility approach called "volitional honesty" that makes much more sense than blaming some addiction (the disease made me do it syndrome). The counselor we WERE seeing when all this came to light was demanding that I "make a decision" by the next time we came in...I have to move at my own speed,Anyway, glad I found this site, and one question I have for you all is this: HOW in the WORLD do you EVER let him touch you in a sexual way again????
Anonymous,It sounds as if you're doing a lot right. Let him manage his own recovery while you focus on what you need to feel safe, financially at least. As for your last question, I think that comes when you once again feel emotionally safe in the marriage. I don't think it's possible to have true intimacy without vulnerability and that's only possible when each partner knows that the other has their back, so to speak. That each is safe and truly seen. It can be one of the silver lining gifts of this experience -- the chance to really understand true intimacy. But it takes a lot of healing to get there.
I waver between wanting a divorce and trying to work it out. I don't know what to do. This is the 2nd time he cheated. I told him if he ever did it again I would leave because I deserve someone who would never even consider or want to be with anyone else but me. He did it anyway 4 years later after 2 kids. Who knows how many other times he's done it? I'm afraid to ask. My first instinct was to leave, but I didn't want to make a rash decision due to the kids. He is remorseful, says he has a sexual addiction but did not use to that to justify the cheating only to explain it. He has given me space, answered my questions, took real steps to overcome his issues. We have come up with many ideas on how to improve our relationship so this will never happen again and have taken steps to set up couples therapy. I do want to work it out, for our kids and for us and because he seems so sincere, but he was sincere the last time too and it still happened again. although I made him work to win me back, I don't think we resolved some of our underlying issues and never sought counseling the first time. Though part of me wants to work it out and thinks maybe just maybe we can make it -- even after this double betrayal, I guess what holds me back from deciding to work it out is that I told him I would leave if he did it again. I want to be a person of my word to myself and I said that for a reason the first time because I deserve to be treated much better. How can I retain my dignity if I stay? He wants another chance but will he really respect me if I stay?
Long story short (and it's really a very long story), after 20 years and many resentments, hurts, and failed connections, I discovered my husband had cheated on me in our home. I found an empty condom wrapper next to the bed. He had brought an escort home while I was visiting family with our two children. After returning we had sex on the same sheets, which he didn't bother washing. He left for a week, I did some soul-searching and then called him home to put our marriage back together. We have done that, and he is remorseful and devoted now, but it has not been that simple. Over the last year I have discovered a web or deception I never dreamed possible. He had over three different email accounts, secret phones, dozens of online cheating/fetish/sugar daddy profiles, and spent tens of thousands of dollars on escorts. He took women on business trips, took them to our house, and started actively pursuing affairs 10 years ago. I have read emails, online escort reviews he posted, and forum exchanges with other men in "the hobby." It goes on and on. I don't know how to go on. I am so glad to have found this site and to know I'm not alone. I just wish I could find a way to reconcile how the man that makes me so happy NOW is the man who betrayed me so deeply. I have lost all respect for him. I admit our marriage was empty, and lonely, and more like a friendship than a love affair, but wrong is wrong, no matter the reason. Still I can't stop blaming myself.
Ellen,There is NOTHING you did to cause your husband to betray you so profoundly. In fact, I would venture that his compulsive need for sex or to focus on sex is a huge part of why your marriage was lonely and empty. You can't have a healthy relationship with an unhealthy partner. So, please, don't accept blame for something you neither caused nor knew about. This is entirely on him.You've got a lot of shock to absorb. Give yourself time to digest it all. And it will take a lot of time. Don't think about making any decisions for at least six months to a year. You want to be sure you're making a choice and not simply reacting. That will give you the time you need to really figure out what's the best step for you and to see how he's responding to this. Even if you want to rebuild a marriage, you need to see that he's willing to do the incredibly hard work of figuring out why he went to such lengths and expense to cheat on you. Might be sex addiction, or it might not. But it certainly speaks to an unhealthy attitude re. sex and intimacy.Hang in there, Ellen. If you don't already have a therapist, please find a good one who can support you through this. And please don't hesitate to post here. The main blog posts tend to be where most people respond so feel free to write there too.You'll get through this, Ellen. It will be tough but you'll be surprised at just how tough you are.
Thank you, thank you, thank you for your reply Elle. I have felt completely alone and have only one or two people I can talk to about this, none of whom have experienced what I am going through. It has always been my default pattern to take blame for anything bad that happens, and with therapy I'm trying to change that. We have a marriage counselor who will also see me separately, but it is expensive. I can't write much more now, but I will definitely be back soon and will learn as much as I can from you and all of the other women here.
Ellen,A good counsellor is money well spent.Glad you found us too.
So true! We do have a good one, though I do think he spends too much time trying to discuss my father issues, which I have delved into extensively. However, he really got my husband to open up last time we went and it was helpful for both of us. What keeps me going is how hard he has worked and tried to make amends. I do wish that he would have just spilled it all from the start, rather than forcing me to dig for answers over months and months. That makes it hard to believe that the truth is really out. I don't know. I suppose it really doesn't matter anymore. It would just be another drop in an already flooded bucket. I will say though that we have done a lot of hard, painful work on our relationship, and it is so much deeper than ever before. He had opened access to his phone, computer, all devices in fact. He texts his whereabouts, I can track him through messages, and he calls back any phone call that comes in and generally makes sure I know what's going on. I know he can do it, and I don't want to keep beating him over the head with my own pain, but it's so hard to keep my feelings to myself. Any thoughts about that? How do you straddle the line between being honest and being vengeful?
Grr. I'm making a mess of this site. Tried to post on Part 3, only half posted, you replied, I replied and tried to repost the first part of my story, then it all disappeared. Anyway, thank you again. I'm trying very hard to stay focused on the now and not worry about what I will/won't do. Today, I stay. Tomorrow, who knows?
Ellen,How to straddle that line?: You check your motivations. You need support as you express your pain. But pain can be expressed without humiliation or cruelty. Talk to him about how to discuss that. Perhaps you could have a code or something that you use to let him know that you're having a tough time, or you've been triggered by something. Perhaps, if you SEEM down, he can just assume you ARE down, given the circumstances. But I think it's important that you feel safe to let him know when you're hurting...and that he can acknowledge your hurt without turning it into all about him.Cactus Flower, I responded on the other thread. I hope you see it. No worries re. the site. The Blogger platform is sometimes wonky.
I found out a little over a month ago that my husband had been cheating on me while we were engaged (I found out a week before our 2 year wedding anniversary). I found out about one woman so I confronted him. He swore up and down she was the only one and there was NO ONE else. I had suspicions about another girl and asked him about her and he denied it. I told him if we were going to "work through this" he needed to come clean about all of it; he still said no. Two days later I worked up the courage to ask the other girl. Of course she admitted to all of it. She, like the other woman, told me she had also been in my home, in my bed, at least 4 different times. He has also had a threesome and slept with two other woman while we were engaged. I have no idea if he's been with anyone else while we've been married (he obviously denies it) but I have caught him deleting messages and lying to me. He also used to log out of snapchat every night and told me it was so I wouldn't "snoop". I tried to make it "work" for my daughter but I left yesterday. He told me if I "can't get over something that happened years ago we were destined for divorce", and that he "wasn't going to live life miserable because I can't be happy." At least he made my decision an easy one....
Anonymous,I think the "destined for divorce" has a WHOLE lot more to do with his inability to keep it in his pants than your refusal to put up with it. I know it hurts like hell but the day will come when you will breathe a sigh of relief that you're not with someone so incredibly self-centred and entitled. I hope you'll use this time to heal yourself from his betrayal so that, when the times comes, you'll be able to enjoy a healthy relationship with someone else. With a daughter together, you'll need to also figure out a way to have a co-parenting relationship with this guy...and that will take work. This guy sounds like an ass. Please take care of yourself as you heal through this. The decision might be "easy" but healing from betrayal never is.
Wow....just reading through all the stories has been so triggering. I was married fro 25 years.....to a man I thought loved me completely....whole heartedly....and faithfully. I only found out about his sex addiction upon his arrest and even though only through digging and eventually uncovering all of the story....there was a four year affair....that he lied about.....multiple women, men, etc.....ugly, ugly horrible things! He and I went to counseling, endured a public trial, and I thought he was trying to recover. But he never was broen enough to come out, come clean, repent and be honest. It has been so difficult to grieve all the wonderful things I thought I had and now have to go back and insert all the horrible things he was doing in secret! It has made me feel crazy, and there are days when I wonder if I will ever have joy again...ever trust a man again....ever be able to give my heart to anyone again. It makes me worry that there are no god men. Ugh! There are so many stories......(mybeautifullybrokenlife.com)
LeslieIt's important to do exactly what you're doing -- to grieve the loss of all those dreams, the loss of the future you thought you had. But it's also important to note that you've got a future ahead of you that's yours to create. You can choose joy. It's not easy when we feel so shattered...but each day you can choose to focus on the little bits of joy that show up. Make a list of things that make you feel joy each day -- maybe it's the first sip of a good coffee, maybe it's fitting into skinny jeans thanks for the infidelity diet, maybe it's a cloudless fall sky. But pay attention to them. You've been through hell. But you're not there any more.
I have been reading this blog since July of 2015. DDay #1 was July 13 two days after I thought I was going crazy because I thought he was texting with someone while laying next to me in bed. That night I asked him if he was having an affair and he denied it, suggested that he finally get some help for the serious depression I had been begging him to get help for, and we decided that no matter what we would get through this rough patch together. Two days later, on the 13th, that nagging voice inside my head propelled me to search phone records. I didn't find anything except a lot of calls to a woman who worked for him--which was nothing new, I knew they talked a lot about the huge project they were both working on. But, something then propelled me to dig a little further and I found what'sapp chat transcripts that he had sent to his email account for some reason. I read about how much they loved one another and also saw their squabbles about the nature of their relationship. I fell to the ground in panicked disbelief. Because he has been working out of state for 4 days a week he wasn't home for me to confront. He did realize that something was up after I stopped communicating with him by text that day and he changed all of his passwords and pretty much went dark. I didn't know if he was ever going to come home to me and our two kids, but he did, three days later.
Part 2:We talked incessantly, him remorseful and willing to get counseling, see a psychiatrist, and begin to help me heal--as much as he could in those days, he was a wreck, as was I. I wasn't sure if I was going to stay with him, but knew that I wasn't ready to make that decision yet. In the last 90 days I have had all the PTSD symptoms and yet have been stronger than I thought I would be (I have been in therapy for the past year and a half to become my best self, which I think helped land me on my feet faster). We had hysterical bonding, ups and downs, and I had been checking his accounts, phone, etc. all seemed as well as it could be. Not perfect, but moving forward--I have been setting and holding good boundaries and doing everything that I have learned to do through reading books, blogs, forums. Two days ago I had a nagging feeling and some strange indications that something wasn't adding up with a journal entry that he wrote and I put a spyware on his computer. Well, today I checked it and saw that he had been chatting with people and spending time in private chats on a porn chat site. I rushed home and confronted him, he first cried out in a little boy voice 'I didn't do anything! I didn't do anything!' Then blamed me for putting spyware on his computer. After screaming at him and then talking calmly I asked him why he checked Skype today as well since he stated he didn't have an account set up. He denied that too. But my information actually showed me his username and password. When I tried to log in, I first asked him to give me the password and he refused again and again. I did log on and he yelled at me "I'm leaving, I'm done with the marriage!" I saw two days long chats from the last month (October 2015) he had with two women on skype that were extremely sexually explicit and he did admit that he opened up the camera for the money shots each time--indicated by their responses. My husband admitted on DDay#1 to using porn and then webcams starting four years ago which I believe led him headlong into the 10 month affair. He has been working on family of origin issues with a great therapist and working on healing from childhood sexual trauma in the last 3 months. But today I really saw the monster. I hadn't seen it yet since he came home from the affair somewhat broken and contrite. Little indications of lashing out at me in the last two weeks but also sharing with me what he's working on and how hard it is for him had led me to believe that he was struggling, but I definitely didn't think, after so much talking about the devastation this all caused and even talking about the insanity of how people could continue the devastating behaviors after seeing the person they love decimated by the affair, that he had it in him. I'm not sure of what I will do...he is a very sick man who seems to want to hold onto the sickness rather than truly change his ways. I still don't feel that he has hit rock bottom yet and don't want to know what that would look like. I've been up for almost 24 hours now with this and am back to the beginning. I don't know if I can live with him anymore...any support and advice would be welcomed. As a side-note, I am a trauma therapist and have worked with addictions and mental health for a while. Now I feel like my understanding of addiction and trauma is a detriment to me being able to truly see his behaviors without looking at them as symptoms--I'm worried that my compassion for that is clouding my judgment on what is best for me.
Anonymous,That's where your own therapist will help you -- to see clearly what is best for you and not let your vision be clouded by your emotions toward your husband. I'm so sorry for all this. I know first-hand how shocking it is to think you're dealign with an affair only to discover it's so much more than that.I think, short-term, your focus needs to be on protecting yourself and your kids. See a lawyer to ensure that you're financially protected. When guys are spiralling down, they can do some pretty stupid things. And then...give yourself time. Be gentle with yourself. Grieve. Try and sleep. Eat as well as you can. You know, better than most of us, that we can survive this. But that it takes time and support.
I am the writer of the last two posts and want to give a few more important details--we have been married for 17 years and have always been one another's confidant and best friend; somewhere this stopped being true for him. This entire situation has completely rocked my world. I've lost my belief that I ever really knew him and that I could ever really know him even if he and I try to create a new marriage. Does the lying ever stop? Elle, I've read that your husband had some setbacks after he recommitted to the relationship and the two of you were working things through. How did you handle them and what were your bottom lines?--Nikki--
Nikki,My husband didn't have setbacks (in that he was still involved with anyone) so much as he would get scared that I'd "never" get over this and that he was going to be stewing in shame the rest of his life and then he'd want out. I tried, as best I could, to let him work through that stuff with his therapist (he had a freaking team of them at one point!) and I worked through my stuff with mine. Like you, I wondered if I ever really "knew" him but, with time, I've realized that his ability to compartmentalize meant that the him I didn't know (and that others did) wasn't someone I wanted to know. We're all different people under different circumstances. I can be philosophical about it now. I'm different with one friend (with whom I might pepper my conversation with a few expletives) than I am with another (who might be shocked to discover I swear, for instance). Of course what our husbands did goes far beyond that...but I think you'll come to realize that this shadowy husband of yours was someone struggling with his own demons. And he can learn to incorporate that shadow self into who he is with you...so that he can talk openly about things instead of sneaking and hiding. All this is a long way of saying that, with the hard work of therapy to understand why this happened and where you both go from here, it will become much clearer.Re. my bottom lines: I made it clear that I was giving him a second chance to show me that he deserved it. If he made it clear, in any way, that a second chance was a stupid choice on my part, then I was done. Thankfully, it never came to that.
My husband and I have 4 kids together. We were college sweethearts. Now married 20 years. We had been married about 5 years, our first born was about 7 months old when I found out my husband had been cheating. It was not a "run of the mill" affair. He was a high school teacher, and was sleeping with one of his students. I was beyond devastated...but the real kicker was that he got caught by the school, and was arrested. The media picked it up. TV station vans were parked outside our home. I bailed my own husband out of jail. About 6 months after the affair went public, my husband in an effort to gain a new career, talked me into moving to another state so he could go back to grad school. I went along. He was in mandatory weekly sex-offender counseling and it took every dime we had to pay for it. It left nothing for us to attend any sort of counseling together. Eventually the pain subsided and we moved on....having 3 more kids together. Fast forward 15 years to today. I had been suspecting that he was cheating again. He was secretive with his phone and short tempered with me and the kids. I felt like we weren't living up to his expectations. I got up in the middle of the night to let the cat out, and his phone was on the hall table. He usually kept it in his vehicle overnight using the excuse "I don't want my phone to interfere with family time". So I snooped. I found texts and pictures of a woman. I got online and looked up the phone number using a reverse phone number site. It just so happened to be the same "girl" who was now a woman that he cheated on me with 15 years prior. After digging, I have discovered that this has been going on for the past 10 years. She found him through an ad on craigslist. He has flown back to our old state to "have dinner" with her. He actually thinks that I believe that they only had dinner. DD was July 3 of this summer. I'm still not sure what to do. He blocked her phone number and stopped communicating with her. I'm torturing myself daily over this. I don't want to leave, but some days I do. I am so torn. He says he wants to be with me. He says he loves me. He says all the things he is supposed to. But I can't get over it. I'm severely depressed.
Mom of 4,I'm so sorry for what you're going through. That is brutal! You don't need to know what to do right now. But what you do need is to find someone you can talk to regularly -- a therapist -- who can help you figure out what you want to do. This guy has put you through a whole lot of hell and, from what I can gather from your letter, there's little evidence that he's going to stop putting you through hell. I don't care if he had dinner with her or had sex -- he met his former sex partner/student without telling you. That is a massive betrayal. But Mom of 4, right now you need to keep the focus on you. "Severely depressed" is understandable but not okay. Please find yourself a counsellor who will help you through this. And please don't hesitate to continue to share your story and your thoughts on this site. Just talking with others who know the pain you're in can go a long way toward helping you get clear on what your next step is. You need compassion and support and reminder that you will get through this.
I have been crying for days now. I found my husbands old cell phone this past weekend when we were looking for his lost set of work keys in his truck. I grabbed the phone and put it in my pocket without him realizing it. I powered it on, and looked through it. More text messages from his past affair, which were hurtful but not surprising. Worse though, I found text messages between him and one of his employees from this past March. 8 months ago....The text messages that go back and forth are discussing a plan to meet at our house, because I was at work and the house was empty. It went on to explain how they would meet at a nearby store so that her car wasn't seen in the driveway by the neighbors.The last text exchange asks, "are you coming" and she replies "just left the house, i'm on my way"I found those and had a fit. Loud yelling, screaming, crying. etc etc. He of course says nothing actually happened. They never actually met, he thinks she is gross. etc. And since I found this betrayal, I looked even harder. I called the hotel that is part of the property where my husband had dinner with the first woman. I simply pretended to want to book a room, and told them my husband had stayed there before. So they looked up his profile, and sure enough, there was a record of him being there the night he had dinner. I confronted him with this evidence too. Now he admits to sleeping with her that night. Says he lied to spare me more pain. I haven't been able to really eat anything or sleep since Saturday. I'm at work right now, and I can't get ANYTHING done. I'm considering having him take a polygraph test. Not sure that will have an impact on my decision to stay or go, but I just need the TRUTH! If I'm leaving him, I need to know what all happened, If I stay, I should be able to build our relationship back on a base of truth. I sound so ridiculous when I even talk about trying to work things out with him, I realize that. I am having so much guilt over the idea that our four precious kids will suffer through a divorce. I sat on the phone for over 20 minutes just now trying to book a counseling appointment, but can't get through. Going to try again when I'm done typing this.Has anyone else had their spouse take a polygraph test? What do you all think about using that as a tool to find the truth?
Elle, thank you for your reply. I'm sitting in my office right now bawling like a friggin baby. It helps to know there are others who know what I'm feeling right now.
Update for my situation: Last weekend I came across my husbands old cell phone from his last upgrade. Of course I snooped. Of course I found a bunch of shit.Not only was he involved with this OW, but there were others. I found text messages between him and one of his employees. They discussed meeting at our house while I was at work. The plan was very well thought out, to the point that he was texting saying "are you on the way" and she replied "just leaving the house, on my way".He tells me that they never actually met. It was just flirting. Why does he think i'm' so stupid?I kicked him out that night. But the kids were distraught, so he came back and slept upstairs.Several nights went by and I figured I better do more snooping. I called the hotel where my husband had dinner with OW#1 and acted like I wanted to book a room. So, the reservation guy pulled up my husbands name because he had stayed there before. DUH. I went to the doctor on Friday because I became suicidal. They put me on xanax. I also got tested for every STD on the planet. Still awaiting those results.Not sure where to go from here. The xanax is helping, but it's also just turned me into an numb robot. I guess that is better than the alternative.
Mom of 4,He doesn't get to pull the "I want to spare you more pain" bullshit. He either comes completely clean about everything and you then decide whether you can even consider giving a second chance or you show him the door. Assume that if he won't tell you what happened or if he's being evasive, then there's a whole lot more to the story.If you're even considering trying to rebuild, get to a counsellor who can mediate a "full disclosure" session, in which your husband comes clean. It can really help to have an objective person there. And yes, enjoy the numb robot stuff right now. It will keep you functional while you take the time to figure out what's next. With four kids you want to keep drama to a minimum.Sweetheart, I'm so sorry you're going through this. But please know that we've all been where you are and you won't be there forever. You will get through this. For now, focus on being gentle with yourself. Find some time to just be alone and cry. Journal all your rage and pain onto the page. But know this is temporary. However this turns out, the pain will abate.
Well the betrayal just keeps on......the more I look, the more I find. Turns out he was having sex with his employee. Multiple times...not just once. He has brought her our to our house while I was gone. I discovered another affair too...which makes the grand total "3" women so far. He has stated that he never slept with the 3rd woman. HA. HA. HA. It's insulting how stupid he thinks I am, or how good of a liar he thinks he is. I'm not sure which. They spent the night together at her house. He slept on the couch. hahahaha.I got tested for STD's. One came back positive. Only problem is, he has no idea which woman he got it from!!!!!!!!!!!!! Isn't that great!? Now his infidelity has caused Physical repercussions as well as emotional scars that will never heal.
Mom of 4,What is he saying about full disclosure. I really urge you to create boundaries around reconciliation. Start by seeing a lawyer to make sure you're protected financially, etc. And then lay down your ground rules. They start with full disclosure of everything he's done. No contact with ANY of the OW. He seeks counselling to understand why he risked his marriage for this. He commits, when you decide the time is right, to marriage counselling. He gets tested for STDs. And so on. As Steam says on this site, YOUR HEARTBREAK, YOUR RULES.
He claims he has already given me "full-disclosure" which i don't believe for one minute. I just discovered inappropriate texting with one of my co-workers, who was my previous boss. He had her name saved as her initials in his phone. I read through the old text messages that I pulled from his phone using a program that retrieves deleted messages from cell phones. I only have a couple of texts between them, but really there would be absolutely NO reason for them to text, ever. She is not a family friend. She has been my boss, and is now my co-worker/friend. The text messages are flirty, and reference how when she runs into him at the store, it makes her smile. It's sickening. He is angry about it, and so that's how I know there is something there. He doesn't want to talk about it, and gets really mad when I bring it up.I have to work with this woman.I have discovered that I'm really bad at setting boundaries with him. I moved upstairs. He tries to come upstairs and be with me. Sometimes I let him. I fall prey to his words of comfort. I know he knows how to manipulate me and "work" me. I see my counselor tomorrow and I want to work on setting boundaries and finding the words I need in order to stick to them. I cave so easily. I get mad at myself when I do, but I continue to allow it to happen.I have come to the realization that I will most likely never know the full extent of his betrayal. I am not sure how important it is for me to know. I suppose I know enough to decide if I want to stay or go. Does it make a difference if it is 3 women, or 10 women? Sometimes I think it doesn't, but then sometimes I worry that it's letting him off the hook if he doesn't have to tell me.What do you think?
Mom of 4,It isn't the details necessarily that matter -- it's his refusal to be honest with you. THAT is the problem. He's giving you absolutely no indication that he's willing to completely own what he's done, including flirty texts with your co-worker. That is NOT okay. It's crossing a line. It's disrespectful to you and to your marriage. THere's a complete power imbalance in your relationship whereby he decides the rules with absolutely no regard to vows he's taken and respect for you and his children (not to mention himself). That's where you need to get clear on your own boundaries. What are and aren't you prepared to accept. At this point, you're essentially telling him that he can cheat on you, lie to you about the cheating (how much, where, with whom) and that you'll be mad at him but that's pretty much it. In essence, you're accepting a marriage in which this will undoubtedly continue. Separating (ie. him sleeping downstairs) only works if you keep your boundaries clear. He doesn't get to talk you into anything until you see clear evidence that he's completely remorseful and willing to whatever it takes to earn a second chance with you.
Just wanted to check in. Still struggling to keep things together. Some days are better than others. He is trying....I will give him credit for that. He still works with the OW #2, but I believe him when he says they don't even look at one another when they pass by each other at work. I find myself looking at ads for homes, wondering if I would be happier alone. Raising my kids alone. Most days I think staying would be best, but some days it sneaks up and hits me like a truck from behind. I still have days where I don't even want to get out of bed. I still don't think he has told me everything, and for the most part, I've stopped asking. I certainly don't play the role of investigator any longer though, which is a huge burden lifted. I have decided that he betrayed me enough to justify leaving if that's what I decide to do. I do believe that he loves me and he wants to stop this insane behavior....but I am terrified that even though he wants to be a better husband, when temptation comes along he will not be able to ignore it. I don't think he has the will-power. He is in counseling, separate from my counseling. I'm just hanging on, day by day. Hoping that each day gets me closer to a decision...one that I feel is right, and one that I know I can live with. I do still love him. The other day when he was leaving for work I imagined that I was saying good-bye to him as he left to go to his own house, separate from mine. It made me so sad. It was a good realization that I'm not ready yet to let him go. That might change in another week, or month, or ??? but for now, I'm hanging on.
I'm glad you checked in. Sounds like you are hanging in there...but I'm glad you realize you have options. Take each day as it comes. Let him manage his own healing while you manage yours. It will become clearer...
It's amazing what a difference a week can make. Today I confronted my husband and he finally admitted to more infidelity. I had continued to feel that he was lying. I trusted my instincts. But he continued to lie. Finally today, after letting him know that I had found more evidence, he told me the rest of the story. He told me that he had slept with my old boss. (ow #4) as I like to refer to her.... and spent the night at her house several times when I was out of town visiting my family with the kids. During that same trip, he had two different women over to our house and screwed them on our couch. He was very very busy that summer. Only 30 minutes after confirming that he had indeed had sex with my old boss i had to go sit in a work meeting with her. Right next to her! I sat there for 2 1/2 hours. I have no idea how I managed to not kill her. I really don't think I will stay now. I have lost so much respect for him. I was out of town earlier this week and he told me how much he missed me, and I actually didn't feel the same way. I didn't miss him at all. Maybe that is a sign that it's time to move on. He seems so desperate. I have been numb all day. I have no idea how to even make it to the next minute. I wish that I was one of the ones who could make it, but at this moment, it seems that I will become a statistic instead.
Mom of 4,You will never be just a "statistic". Your are a brave, strong woman who was able to fight the urge to kill your boss when, frankly, she deserved it. That's heroic.And you're an incredible woman who took the time to really consider whether or not her marriage was worth saving. Now you know. What's more, you trusted your instincts, which will continue to guide you forward. Be kind to yourself, Mom of 4. Be proud of your integrity. Be aware of your strength. You're going to be okay.
Thank you Elle. I don't know you are in real life, but you are a life line for many of us who are in so much pain that we don't see a way out. My husband is finally so desperate to make it work. The hard part is now he feels relief for coming clean....and in turn I'm so so devastated. This is a pain that no one deserves to ever feel.
I called a divorce attorney. It can all be over in less than a month if he doesn't contest the divorce. I can't believe I'm at that place. I realized this morning, that over 20 years of marriage I have no idea what it's like to be the ONLY woman in my husband's life. I don't know what it would feel like if I were the only woman he focused his energy, attention, love, affection, sexuality etc on. What would that be like? I can't even imagine.......because I've never known it. That makes me incredibly sad. I know now that I deserve so much more.
Hello Elle,I'm glad I came across this blog. My fiance and I have been together for 5 yrs. We have a 1yr old son and are expecting another baby in April. I found out my partners affair a little over 2yrs ago with a married women he worked with. I had no idea, at first he told me it was only one time which after 2 counseling sessions he admitted was actually physical for 6mos. He husband had found their text and confronted her at work. My partner had assured me it was over between them...4 months later I found emails they had been secretly sending, they hadn't met but expressed missing each other and trying to move on. I then found out I was pregnant and chose to stay. He became very attentive, he was very open about his whereabouts and left his phone laying about, he dropped a few things he was involved in to spend more time with me and to be a father to his son. Things seemed better, he received medication for his depression and anxiety which he had been battling with since his teenage years without medical intervention. Everything seemed fine, we argued from time to time. We found out we were expecting a few months ago and he was excited. However in our relationship things seemed to be falling flat as of late, he would get irritated with me over little things, he would talk to me like I was a child and we had sex maybe 1 or 2 time a month. He became obsessed with his phone. So one night I decided to snoop around, I had a gut feeling. Soon on his laptop that his phone is synced with, I discovered messages between him and another women.
Pt 2......Mostly sex stuff, not really emotional or deep. He admitted to it upon confrontation. The OW has had a crush on him for a while, which I had been told by communitu members. He seemed to be lost for words, he didn't say much just. He answered all my questions. He has been doing this for years, his father also did this to his mother and many other woman. I simply told him we were over and that he deserved more then to settle for the life of hurt he's setting himself up for. He is a very caring loving person, he cares deeply for the people around him. I've always known he had low self esteem, he was the football jock who had a bad case of acne which left horrible scars. Later that night he came in the room and said he knows he needs to fix himself and he doesn't want to lose me or his family. He asked me to stay. I left for a few days. He also has a daughter who lives with us, so I felt bad for her too because we built this family and to see it fall apart...for all our kids...its tough to think about. I came home and we've tried to be civil. He follows me around, tells me where he's going and has tried to help with the baby to give me time. I want to have faith in him that he can change. I know I could walk out the door and start over, I could take the chance to meet another man in time...but there's a part of me that wants to keep our family together. When I look at my partner I see a good man. When I ask him for more time, he gives it, when I ask for help he gives it no questions asked. He says he is very happy with me and that it's a flaw he needs to face on his own, he admits that he is embarrassed and ashamed of himself. I just feel lost now...I was set on leaving but I want to give him a chance...I'm afraid though...afraid that I'll be ashamed of myself if I do. We set up appts for couples counseling and I have set up individual therapy for myself...he says he went and saw a counselor and plans to continue with individual therapy. Its so hard, I want to have faith in him and I feel bad for saying this but I don't want to hand over my family and everything we worked so hard to build to another women. Before I had met him he had lived with his mother for 8 yrs...had custody cases up the butt...today we have a family he has custody of his daughter which he never thought was possible and we built our home a year ago...the women he was sleeping with told him "I like you cuz you have it all...a food home..a good job your not like other men here...any women would be lucky to have a man like you"... And all I can think is " YEAH I KNOW! Because I'm the one who stood by his side and built it all!" I just don't want to give it all up to HER! I love him...but is it enough anymore?
Unknown,Only you can decide whether to rebuild something with him or to let it go. But please don't let what other people might think (re. your mention of feeling ashamed for staying) affect your decision. The vast majority of married people who experience infidelity don't divorce -- they just never talk about it, which means the rest of us don't really have a blueprint for how to rebuild a marriage. Ultimately you have to live this life so you need to figure out what you want that life to look like. What your husband has done is, sadly, not uncommon. A lot of people "medicate" their depression/anxiety by distracting themselves with either emotional or physical affairs. And when they suddenly realize they might actually lose everything that matters, they wake up. Your partner needs treatment whether you stay together or not. I hope he gets it. In the meantime, take time to figure out what's next for you. You don't need to act immediately. Set the boundaries that feel right for you.
Thank you for your words. I have thought on it and have decided to give it some time. We've had our first counciling session and it went well. He was very open and honest which I really appreciated. I know I need to take some time and focus on myself. I can feel a wall between us that I don't know will ever really come down. I'm glad he's getting the help he needs, I know that I can only change so much before I become lost and I'm not willing to do that. I know I am a good person and deserve happiness. It's tough, I am afraid to see the OW, we live in a small community so its inevitable. I just hope I can carry myself with dignity and respect when that times comes. I'm also trying to figure out how to handle when people start asking why I'm not wearing my engagement ring. I've set it to the side for now with the band I was suppose to wear on my wedding day, I don't feel right wearing it. I'm really happy with the couples counciler, she was wonderful. I feel no need to bring up the affair, which is a relief since the last time I couldn't stop thinking about it. This time I feel like it'll only cause an argument... Probably best to discuss during our appointments I think. Overall I stand back and I realize that in that moment of "Now I have to start over" I thought "I can do this...I'm strong I'm beautiful and and a good mother" having my familys support also helped...so not everything has been horrible. I've been able to refocus and realize that maybe there are things I would like to change too. Ive noticed I've stopped doing things I enjoyed as well and now I have the opportunity to do those things. It's kinda nice too because he does see that he needs to help more with our son...so thus...I get more time to myself. These things may have never happened before I found out...now I can see things a bit clearer and I feel more able to ask for those things. So again thank you for your kind words. This site has shown me that I am not alone and I don't need to go through this alone either. Reading the stories above has been so eye opening for me. Thanks to all the women for sharinf your stories, I wish you all exactly what you deserve...the BEST!
I really have no idea what I'm doing. I am just trying to reach out for help. I don't want to publically Bash my husband. I am married, young, and feeling completeyly lost. I need help and I have noone I can really turn or talk to. I don't even know where to start. I just need some help and advice. Do you think you can help? Oris this the wrong place for someone who wants to stay with the person who hurt her and to try and rebuild...if that is possible?
Lost At Home,Many, many of us are here because we're rebuilding a marriage with the person who betrayed us. The stories are varied...but the same. Please know that there's much support and wisdom here when you're ready to reach out.
Since it is so late, I will just share a topic tbst has yet to be mentioned on this multiple affair forum and one that has been a part of my life since Sept 3rd. I will elaborate on the story tomorrow. Since June of 2009 my husband has been a swinger in three-somes "cuckhold" style, where the husband watches him screw his wife. He says his affairs ONLY number into the 30's but after 6 years, that's a load of crap. Even once per month is 72. Plus I know the in between "dates" times were spent on 5-10 hours of porn per day & masturnation. Pre-three somes he got a few hand jobs at strip clubs and his first "sex-away-from-home" was a a massage parlor. I no idea, we were good. Ashley Madison was hacked and BOOM he came and told me he was a sex addict. YA YHINK???!!!! After a series of Ddays over one month, I now believe I have his full disclosure. How is that for shocking? I will give you the rest of the story and let you know where I am in all of this soon. To be continued.......
I'm so sorry for what you've discovered. If you're still on this site, I'm sorry I missed your post. Please know you're among friends here who know your pain.
I'm pregnant, 21 weeks and my husband and I have a 2-year-old son. We're together since 2011 and after a year of relationship I got pregnant. He is 9 years older than me and I was not ready for starting a family life at all. But he was and he was so encouraging and always there for me and we spent really all our time together. My husband was always very serious and mature. But after our son was born he turned into a control freak and completely turned away from me describing me as a messy, untidy, incapable and irresponsible mother. I admit that I was not prepared to be a house wife and found it difficult to settle, but my husband stopped showing any physical attraction to me and we almost never stopped fighting. We had sex every once in a while and most of the times it was not satisfying for me at all. He was so extreme that he gave up his job a week after our son was born in order to stay home with me to help me because I had a hard time after the birth. When we spent all of our money we decided that it was best that I go back to work, although it was clear that this was not what I really wanted. He is home since then and I am working. A year ago we moved abroad to try to find better conditions for working and living. Since then he is at home with our son and he fell into a deep depression because he had no social life and had only problems with me because I am so irresponsible in his opinion. Nothing of this would kill me but a few weeks ago, when he went outside, he left the laptop on and I saw an open folder with the mobile app viber. I opened it and there was a conversation with a woman. It was a clear cyber sex conversation with pictures from this woman's vagina and stuff like that. Very soon he came back and as I was out of my mind and entirely shaking I confronted him immediately and he said that he does not know anything about it. He looked surprised at the conversation and said that I must believe him that this was fake and probably some virus bla bla hacker something. I believed him truly and moved on. 2 weeks after that I was next to his cell phone and he got a viber message again from the same woman. Again he said that there is something wrong and the same stuff as earlier. But this time I wanted to check his phone and asked him to give me his phone. On viber there was nothing but when I opened his messenger I saw a conversation with a facebook friend of him. It was a cyber sex conversation again and I started shaking. He took the phone and looked at it and said that this is the wife of his friend and that he had nothing to do with this sex messages, that he did text her about some things and that they know each other (I don't know them) but that this must be facebook mixing up messages from someone else. I insisted on reading it all and I cannot imagine that it is fake or mixed up. They talk about real sex that happened last year in summer and on a photo that came from him was a penis on a sheet that looks exactly the same as ours. He still did not admit. I wrote her a private message from my own account without reply. But then I hacked his facebook account and wrote her messages as if I was him and she replied with: "hey, I saw that you had to delete me, I understand, dont worry, here is what she texted me." And she pasted him my message. Then I tried to get her to say some more so I wrote that my wife (me) is in hospital after she read all the messages and that she would tell her husband as well. She said that she was sorry for what happened and asked if I knew the facebook name of her husband and if not that I cannot find him hahaha.
Part2Then I added her again on his facebook and she asked if I wanted to wait a few days until things settle down a bit. I just asked her for another nude photo and she promised for that evening. After that I could not wait and confronted my husband whit what I have done. Still he said that this is no proof and that he never betrayed me with this woman. He was angry at me for not believing him and talked about all that he had done for me I that I have forgotten about all of it. Normally, I would never ever think of him as a cheater. I could have never imagined. And if this is true I can only think of him as a complete psycho and someone I do not know at all. The first day I instantly told him that I want to divorce him and he said that he agreed and threatened to take the children, which he did several times before in other fights. After that I decided to forget about that because it was killing me and stressing me out so much that I feared losing the baby. I decided to save my marriage. I started having sex with him the next days and he showed more affection during the day. Yesterday he said that after he sent a picture to his sister via viber, suddenly a genital picture popped out to be sent to his sister as well. That made me believe that his words might be really true. But today we had such a fight again and he did not have any mercy for me being pregnant. He kept on talking to me like he always does and he knows that it is stressing me out and freaking me out. I was just crying all the time and trying to explain my feelings but all he did was criticizing me and blaming me for being irresponsible to my pregnancy and the baby and our son. The fight started because he snapped at me after I said to him "why don't you come and hug me?". He said that that ruined his day and I went mad at that because I feel like he is trying to make a lunatic out of me. I feel like he is totally manipulating me, he is very dominant and verbally aggressive in conversations. I cannot cope with that. I am so lost and f***ed up at the moment. I wonder if anyone can even understand what I am writing. I feel like I'm in a nightmare and I can't wake up. He only repeats that I'm not thankful and that he had done so much for me that I'm a peace of shit for questioning his love and devotion for me. And he keeps repeating that I haven't done anything except thinking of myself. I'm devastated, people, and I have absolutely nobody to talk to.
Sweetheart, you have us to talk to. And you're far FAR smarter and capable than you give yourself credit for. He is abusive. He is manipulative. And I would strongly urge you to see a lawyer as soon as you can to figure out how to legally separate. He is lying to you about this OW. He is cheating on you. His anger and abuse when you accuse him is intended to get you to back down. Don't let it work. If you fear for your safety, then seek out a safe place such as a shelter or an abused women's hotline. I don't know where you are so I can't suggest anything but please do NOT tolerate this. You and your children don't deserve any of this. You are NOT crazy. It is incredibly common for these guys to make it seem like we're the lunatics. You know exactly what's going on. He's responding with fear and anger because he knows what he stands to lose. So...come up with your plan. Start with a lawyer, though I wouldn't tell him. If you want to give him the chance to come completely clean, then do so. Otherwise, find a safe place for your child and you to stay if he won't leave. You need to focus on yourself, your unborn baby and your son. Staying safe is the most important thing.
Hello.... I was amazed women had such support group for us to vent our frustration and talk about what we are going through. My husband has cheated on me several time. He just won't stop. He's even even done it with my a friend of mine. Just last Friday I was at work when a lady called an introduced her self and told me my husband was cheating on me with her sis. He has even promised to marry her and told her that he is in d process of divorcing me and once that was over he will marry her. This lady's family has done some checks to the extent that they even went to my family home. She knows where I live and where I work. Everything she said point to d fact that yes indeed my husband is cheating on me with her sister. I was devasted and cried all the way home. I haven't been able to ask though cos I am thinking the our woman will tell him they have spoken to me. He also up till now hasn't asked me anything. As the days go by the urge to ask him reduces and the desire to fight for my husband get stronger. What do u think. Am I crazy. Should I ask him. Help
Sweetie, I think the time to talk to him is long over. He has cheated on you repeatedly and for some reason, you're still with him. What's that about? Why are you still there? I really encourage you to find a counsellor to support you through learning how to stop tolerating this total lack of respect for you. You deserve so much better than this behaviour. Nobody needs to endure this much pain from the person who promised to love us. It's even possible to rebuild your marriage but that can't happen until he stops cheating on you.
Hi Elle, nice to find another site that can help us woman :) My story is the same as most I suppose. I have been married for just under 4 years and in that time my husband has had two affairs (that I know of). The last one was last July. We have decided to try and work through it and stay together, mainly for the sake of my 16th month old daughter. I feel like a fool sometimes for staying and putting up with this. A part of me (the stupid part) maybe just doesn't want to deal with it. My question to all woman who have been through this, can you ever trust again after multiple affairs? And does the obsession end? I find the thoughts of her, him, them etc consume me every day. I am constantly checking his phone, emails etc. I feel like a deranged person :( He travels a lot for work and is often in contact with single woman and I know he has been in the same conferences again with both these woman. This is the hardest thing I have ever done, trying to work through so much hurt and betrayal.
Unknown, Yep, it's excruciating. And yes, it's possible to work through it but it takes both of you working incredibly hard. He needs counselling to really get to the root of why he's cheating. And you need support to help you process the pain of his betrayal and learn how to set healthy boundaries so that if he cheats again, you've got consequences in place that keep you safe. You should have total access to his phone, computer, passwords, etc. There needs to be total transparency in order for you to rebuild trust. His word is worth nothing. He needs to show he can be trusted because simply asking you to trust him is ridiculous.There's lots on this site to help you understand how to heal from this and to help you understand why men cheat in the first place. It's not about you. It's about them. It's about looking outside the marriage for what's missing in themselves. Hang in there, Unknown. Your focus needs to be on you and what you need to heal.
My H and I are separated and talking about divorce due to his womanizing, and he says he doesn't want to be married anymore because he's not a good husband to anyone, he is going through mid life crisis and many other things. I am wife #2. He did the same thing to first wife. He sends me text messages regarding sex. Is he mentally ill? Am I mentally ill for even thinking about it, considering it? He invited himself over bringing lots of champagne. I even cooked his favorite meal. When he arrived he was very touchy feely but I just removed his hands and said lets watch a movie. I had mixed emotions knowing I wanted to be intimate but also feeling he was crazy to even want to come to my home and eat food I could have poisoned his stupid butt with. Needless to say we did not have sex and he was begging. I did not understand this behavior! Once a week he would send a sex message I would ignore. When he realized (until he changes his lifestyle) he was never getting my body again he asked if he could sleep in one of the bedrooms instead of driving back to his place. I agreed. The next day he text me (which I hate) and asked me if he could buy the herbal Viagra from me that we used to use sometimes for more ecstasy I was furious and told him never to contact me again and that if he does I will block it or change number. I hate him as much as I loved him. Why do I still have feelings for this fool? He will never know again, I don't believe. He is the craziest man I've ever known. We got married too soon back in 2005. I could never seem to be perfect enough for him. He always had money problems. I was making good money at the time so sharing bills in the home was not a problem at the time. His loco behavior was not seen when we dated for a few months. I need to divorce him. How do I let him go for good?
Anonymous,yes, this guy is crazy. And you're better off without him. He wants anything he can't have. When he can have it, he wants something else. Cut him loose.You're expecting your emotions to change more quickly than they can. You've got a lot of hurt and disappointment and betrayal to process. That takes a long time. But in the meantime, moving on without him is the smart thing to do. Your feelings will catch up to your actions. With time, you'll be able to see him more clearly as the manipulative fool he is. But for now, just focus on doing the smart thing. You'll start feeling the smart thing with time.
Part 1I need guidance from someone who has been here. My D-day was Oct 23rd/ I was driving my 16 and 12yr olds to school, when they found their dad's cell in my van. They unlocked it(yes the stupid ass did not change his Pass code) and started looking through the pictures. They kept asking me why their dad had so many selfies, when he did not like pictures. Then the ugly thought crossed my mind, while my daughter is saying hey Dad has mail. I snatched that phone away so fast. My heart was pounding, I was nauseous. I dropped the kids off at school and went and found a place to park, and I opened up his mail. I had never thought to do this before. This was the man I have been with for 18yrs married 15. Who I was standing together with through all our problems, who said our love is no death do us part because in death we still love(yes I had the marriage plaque he gave me 6 yrs ago). First ne was of a woman he had me 2 times already and was planning on meeting that weekend. My heart shattered. I was shaking so bad, I could barely drive home, but not before I changed his password with no account backup for password reset. I took control f his fake name account. We were supposed to have breakfast that morning. I walked in handed him his phone and went upstairs to our room. He came up to the stairs only. He asked if I was ready to go. I said no I have some things to do, but you could call Chelsey and get a fucking hotel room again. He froze and all he could say was no. He walked out to his jeep. I went to watch him from the bathroom window. He started crying and was getting on his phone. I was so pissed, angry and hurt. He did not even bother to come in and talk to me. I grabbed my wallet and phone and out the door I went. Going off when you are not thinking can hurt. You do things without realizing what you are doing and regret it. I had just retired in Feb. I had a beautiful shadow box made for my devoted wonderful husband 's flag for standing by me. I went to the dump and it was gone. The kids were mad at me when they found out. was hurt, betrayed by the one who said that he would never do something like this. He promised our son when o son asked because many of his friends were going through this. He swore on our kids' and his mother's lives that he would not do something like this. We had a problem with sex. He seemed to have lost that loving feeling. He would touch me like a husband touches his wife that he loves, he was distant for many years. My body would not want him. I went through all kids of things to try. Wondering what was wrong with me. My Husband had a heart attack in Jan 2012. He said he was lying in bed thinking about us and then of all the things he has not done sexually, go figure. Our sex smell started changing, my girlie started to smell different. The doctor said it was probably stress from everything going on. A couple of months ago I remember saying that to my husband again. I had told him about when two people are together they have a signature sex scent. It changes when others get involved. He asked how long have I been smelling different. I told him a few years. That is also when sex got really bad between us. I would get the urges, but when I came in contact with him, she went numb and bone dry. should have listened to my body better. Back to the confrontation. I had not talked to him for 2 days trying to figure out how I was going to tell the kids we were divorcing. He came into the room I was staying and started crying begging for us to get help. I snapped, and I back handed him so hard. I backed up went and put my running shoes on, and told him he was going to tell the kids we were divorcing and why. And, I left. My son called me within 10 min pleading with me that is was not true, that his dad did not do something like this. I came home and we all sat in the living room together. He said it was half a dozen times in the past 1 1/2yrs. I came to find out later that it was over 3yrs and multiple, people from craigslist, backpage, adult friend finder, many sites.
I just want u to know u arent alone my girlie smelled diff too ... continual infections ... smell ... multiple dr visits creams and testing like wtf is going on. I too chalked it up to hormones. Stress. Diet ... u name it. My h affair long term too ... it mind boggling and i 100% know their relations was the cause ... contact stopped for awhile then my h fell back in for 1 last romp and within 2 days yet again an infection ... since theres been no contact guess what i have not had any issues down there. Now i know im normal ... really it was him fucking my body up which still irks me gosh its hurting to cheat but for god sakes use protection dont bring the cooties to me! U are stronger then u think and beautiful inside and out.
Part 2 He worked out of town a lot as well. He has been in so many cities in SC, NC and VA. I cannot walk out of my house without my heart racing going which one are they? He has had multiple here around where we live. The shit hit the fan on 26 Oct. He was getting ready for work, I was looking through his phone. I found e-mails and texts from men. I confronted him about being bisexual. He went off the deep end. He said something that had happened to him when he was young. Then He said to take care of our babies. I forced him to call in sick and sit and talked with me. He was going to kill himself rather than face everything he had done and why. That was the moment that he said he was released. He became a new person after telling me his dark secret. He said he had felt numb for so long and had not loved me for years. He said he did not feel loved. From all our talks he figured it started for him when I asked for the divorce. He said he felt everything was good up until that point, then he slowly lost everything. There is nothing like being told that your husband has not felt love for you and has been lying to you. If I thought my heart could not shatter any more when I found out about the cheating, I was wrong. I had to put aside the betrayed wife and bring forth the best friend at that moment to help him through. He cried most of the day as we sat and talked. He said he did not want to lose us. He was so sorry for what he has done to our family to me. He sees now what he was blind to before with the love I have given him. This is where I have confusions. How can I still love this man so much, and hate him just as much. How can I agree to go to counseling to work this out. Why do I now still after all this time want to run away, but my heart hurts so bad thinking that I will never grow old with this man. I think damn. I thought I lost him when he had his heart attack, but his is worse. I lost him again, my best friend, my soul mate. I go through fits of incapacitating hurt and confusion. And I see it is killing him and what he has done to us. He sees it in our eyes. We had our first session last week. She said we had already taken the first steps in moving forward, whether it is as husband and wife or friends, she said time will tell. I do not know if I can do this. It is on my mind every day. I pass by their houses and his hotels all the time. It is a constant reminder. We cannot joke like we use to, we no longer have a song (it was remember when by Allen Jackson) I no longer wear a wedding band. I do not know what to do for our no longer anniversary in Feb. I feel like I am becoming numb. I constantly cry and then lash out with anger fits at my husband. I hate that my kids see me like this. I do not want them to think I am weak for not being stronger. I have only told one person what is going on. My husband is a good father, man, and friend to everyone .He just was not to me. The one family that knows treats him different now. I do not want that for him or for the kids. Then I get to feeling so enraged I want to blast him all over the internet and facebook. I am starting a journal like one of the ladies suggested on this site. I have to try something to get me back. I know no one can tell me what to do or to think, but I am hoping someone can offer their guidance on what helped them in which ever direction. I do not know how to start to take that one step forward to forgive and to know can I do this. Or, do I stopped my constant everyday pain from when he comes to me and tells me he is falling in love with me all over again, more every day, and thanks me for helping him and being with him. I had always told all three of them that I love them more than they will ever know. But, is my love going to be strong enough to get us through this?
PART 2He worked out of town a lot as well. He has been in so many cities in SC, NC and VA. I cannot walk out of my house without my heart racing going which one are they? He has had multiple here around where we live. The shit hit the fan on 26 Oct. He was getting ready for work, I was looking through his phone. I found e-mails and texts from men. I confronted him about being bisexual. He went off the deep end. He said something that had happened to him when he was young. Then He said to take care of our babies. I forced him to call in sick and sit and talked with me. He was going to kill himself rather than face everything he had done and why. That was the moment that he said he was released. He became a new person after telling me his dark secret. He said he had felt numb for so long and had not loved me for years. He said he did not feel loved. From all our talks he figured it started for him when I asked for the divorce. He said he felt everything was good up until that point, then he slowly lost everything. There is nothing like being told that your husband has not felt love for you and has been lying to you. If I thought my heart could not shatter any more when I found out about the cheating, I was wrong. I had to put aside the betrayed wife and bring forth the best friend at that moment to help him through. He cried most of the day as we sat and talked. He said he did not want to lose us. He was so sorry for what he has done to our family to me. He sees now what he was blind to before with the love I have given him. This is where I have confusions. How can I still love this man so much, and hate him just as much. How can I agree to go to counseling to work this out. Why do I now still after all this time want to run away, but my heart hurts so bad thinking that I will never grow old with this man. I think damn. I thought I lost him when he had his heart attack, but his is worse. I lost him again, my best friend, my soul mate. I go through fits of incapacitating hurt and confusion. And I see it is killing him and what he has done to us. He sees it in our eyes. We had our first session last week. She said we had already taken the first steps in moving forward, whether it is as husband and wife or friends, she said time will tell. I do not know if I can do this. It is on my mind every day. I pass by their houses and his hotels all the time. It is a constant reminder. We cannot joke like we use to, we no longer have a song (it was remember when by Allen Jackson) I no longer wear a wedding band. I do not know what to do for our no longer anniversary in Feb. I feel like I am becoming numb. I constantly cry and then lash out with anger fits at my husband. I hate that my kids see me like this. I do not want them to think I am weak for not being stronger. I have only told one person what is going on. My husband is a good father, man, and friend to everyone .He just was not to me. The one family that knows treats him different now. I do not want that for him or for the kids. Then I get to feeling so enraged I want to blast him all over the internet and facebook. I am starting a journal like one of the ladies suggested on this site. I have to try something to get me back. I know no one can tell me what to do or to think, but I am hoping someone can offer their guidance on what helped them in whichever direction. I do not know how to start to take that one step forward to forgive and to know can I do this. Or, do I stopped my constant everyday pain from when he comes to me and tells me he is falling in love with me all over again, more every day, and thanks me for helping him and being with him. I had always told all three of them that I love them more than they will ever know. But, is my love going to be strong enough to get us through this?
Your love is going to be strong enough to pull YOU through this...and that will be enough.Your story sounds a lot like mine. And I can remember the hellish days/weeks/months after finding out about everything and everyone. I couldn't imagine ever feeling good again. I honestly thought that my life was over and that all I would be doing was putting in time and trying to feign normalcy for my kids until I died.And it does feel like that for a long time. But...if you are both willing to just stop thinking about tomorrow and the day after and the day after and simply focus on today -- right now -- you can get through this and rebuild a marriage that feels rich and deep and fulfilling. You will never forget this but you can weave it into your life together so that it's a chapter and not the whole story.Your husband needs help in order to help him stave off any thoughts of suicide and to provide support as he faces down his demons.You need help so that you can continue to mother your kids and nurture yourself and heal from the trauma of betrayal.It sounds as if you already have a couples counsellor, which can be wonderful but I would emphasize each of you doing individual work if you can't afford counselling for each of you AND couples counselling. And...it wouldn't hurt to provide someone for your kids to speak with. This is terrifying for them at an age when they've got one foot in the adult world but still very much need the solid ground of their parents. Allowing them the chance the express their fear and anger can teach them a lot about life and love and compassion for self and others. I know how hard it is to believe that you'll get through this but I promise you will. Focus on today. Try and find joy wherever you can. Pull together with your kids while honouring their need to work through this in their own way. And be gentle with yourself. It feels like the end of everything but ends always bring new beginnings.
thank you for your words of encouragement. I have been trying to navigate this website. I apologize, but I cannot find your story. A lot has happened since my post. My mother in law passed away. She was a wonderful woman. My H was remorseful about coming so close to putting us through a funeral for him. He seems to be going through a lot of begging for forgiveness, getting help for himself, finding answers, and trying to rebuild us. He says he has fallen in love with me again. He communicates with me more than he ever has but, he is still scared to talk about all that he has done. I do not want to know all of it just yet, but I do want to know a lot. No secrets. The more he prolongs answer, the more I feel myself backing away from a man that I once loved with all my heart that is now shattered. He is not the man that I fell in love with. They never are completely, but we were supposed to change and grow together in our life. I am so dissappointed in who he has become. I love him so much. But, I deserve to have that love returned unconditionaly. Not a reminder of what a weak coward of a man who was confused, but NOW knows what he wants when he was going to lose everything. I am so ready for my new beginning. Ladies be ready to sing! My favorite motivating song "I get a little bit stronger" by Sara Evans. Cry, then sing even louder.
Posting this is hopefully the cathartic release I need to move forward. My husband and I have been together close to 16 years. We have two children together and I have two adult children from previous marriages. Both exs cheated on me and I walked away no questions. Just left with my clothes and kids. I'm only 43 and feel defeated by marriage. During my current marriage my husband had several affairs. I found out about one online affair in July of 2014 and the revelations just keep coming. He had a three year relationship (he claims no sexual intercourse) with our neighbor and friend. He also had several only sex in counters with a couple ladies. The problem I'm having is instead of revealing them all at once they keep trucking in and causing relapses in the healing process. The latest one I just found out about and he is like oh I thought I told you. WTF I am sure that wouldn't escape my mind. The other girls I've confronted and talked to this latest one recently died of brain cancer. She had given my husband a blow job while he was standing there talking to his brother. For some reason this one is like the straw that broke the camels back. It has been such a long hard road. Now my husband is working with a woman just him and her all alone. They ride together and hang out after because of all things we live in an Island so they wait for the boat together. I accused him of building a relationship with her and having sex with her. He is adamantly denying both. Saying how he learned his lesson yada yada. His best friend is her brother-in-law so convenient. Yet her husband is accusing her of the same. They talk sbout how she is concerned with her husband tinder account and other personal stuff. Who shares that much intimate information if they aren't laying the groundwork? The trust just got blown out of the water with the latest revelation and I'm finding it hard to stay. My brother and his wife want the kids and I to move there with them. I'm at a loss I just want to be free of lies and deciept. Time on this earth is too short and precious to be wasted. I'm a Reiki Practitioner and Life coach i am applying the tools I share with my clients but this constantly getting hit with another blow is exhausting. Yesterday we had a conversation and he said his heart is closed off and all he is focusing on is himself and he doesn't care about anything or anyone.
I am married for 6 years and my husband and I are both 35 years old based in Singapore. We were high school sweethearts and knew each other since we were 16. He is my first love and so am I to him. I fell in love with him for two main reasons; he is very shy with girls unlike my other guy friends and religious. We both went off to universities in different states. I remain totally loyal to him despite being famous in the university and had many proposals by guys with better look, money and future. I was madly and deeply in love with him until reality hits me. I discovered he was cheating me with few girls from his university. I discovered the extent of his cheating bit by bit. I discovered he choose to lose his virginity with a slut rather than me. He slept around with two sluts and we had a very rough situation. Fighting and break ups and getting back together. While this happening, he had a relationship with another new girl. I wanted to break up, but loved him too much to let go. I trusted his words and believed his tears and he swore on me and his mother that he is a changed man. Fast forward, we got jobs in the same city and I tested him once using my mum’s number and he entertained “the girl” without knowing it’s me and went to the extent of meeting her at the agreed place. He got busted and again the drama of crying, begging and asking for my forgiveness happened. And I again stupidly believed him, all because I still love him so very much.Moving on, we got married and had problem in conceiving baby. It took us 4 years to conceive and docs said it was his problem. I was happily married despite the occasional regrets of why he cheated on me and the occasional cries in the shower thinking about the past despite in has been 10 years since it happened. I do at times reminds him the pain he had caused me and he will confidently brushed it off saying it was before we were married and he is a loyal husband now. That he has never ever even think of cheating on me since we were married. He always asks me if I have any regret in marrying him and I always will answer him I am happy with him, coz that’s what I felt. I was happily married to my first love and glad I gave him a second chance. That was what things were until the day I discovered the truth, about a year ago.
It was the day we returned from a week long family vacation, my husband, the 7 months pregnant me and our 1 year old son. He went for a company lunch party that day and later at night I accidently discover from his WhatsApp messages the conversations he had with few women. It was all sexual and asking for a quick meet up for sex that day, and he did that while he was at the lunch party. I still can feel the chill I had that moment while reading the messages. I refused to believe it. The next day, I used a new number and contacted him as a random slut. Instant replies and non-stop sexual conversation. Few days of chatting and arranged to check in to hourly hotel for mutual sex. There I was with a 7 months pregnant belly walking towards him and caught him red handed waiting for the “slut”. I cried, screamed, begged, throw tantrum, hit myself in front of him. Wish to die but I was carrying my baby in me. She saved me that day. He confronted to me he had only slept with a GRO once since we were married. The rest were just online sex chatting, video calls and few casual meet ups that didn’t end with sex. It has been happening all the while, before and after we were married. I came from a very conservative family and society. I personally believe divorce will ruin a child’s life. And I will never ever want to be the cause for that to happen to my two innocent babies. He saw how tortured I was and begged me by holding my feet not to leave him and not to take the babies away from him. He confronted two of our guy friends and they were utterly shocked and advised him to change. He swears on my unborn child that he will never ever do it again and to give him 1 final chance. He told me to leave him if he ever does it again. With only focusing on my baby son and my unborn daughter, I sucked it up, all my pain and misery and stayed on. Went to my parents place for confinement. Was reminding him all the time on the promises he made to me. Was away for 2 months at my parents place. He would visit us every weekend. Came home after confinement and in just 10 days discovered more dirty secrets. I discovered deleted chat history with an Indonesian maid. The conversation is about asking her to have sex with him AGAIN. It was so disgusting to read what he wrote to her. Confronted him with the proofs in my hand. Managed to make him tell me everything he had done. He finally admitted of cheating me all the while and even NOW. I was shaking and shivering as he told me all this. He was with me in the labour room two months back and witnessed the pain I went through delivering our daughter. I had bad stiches and was in terrible pain, both physically and mentally. Was telling him everyday how painful it is. And now to realise he knew and saw what I’m going through and yet choose to hunt for women and managed to have sex with 2 women for few times while I was going through hell. All this happened only 2 months after all the promises and begging. I can’t describe my pain.
He told me he has been going to prostitutes and massage parlours that offers sex services, before and after marriage. Told me he would have slept with more than 25 prostitutes excluding the massage parlours. He had been using MSN Massager all this while for sex chats and video calls and switched to Wechat 3 years back. Since using Wechat, he managed to meet women from all walk of life and ethnicity for sex. It includes dates which didn’t end up with sex and first meeting set in hotel rooms for sex. He admitted of having sex with single mother aged 23, few Indonesian and Philippines maids, a married woman who is 5 years older than him. This is mutual sex and he doesn’t need to pay them. He only spends on the hourly hotel rooms. I even called some of them using the number I retrieved from his phone and true enough it all happened. The worst is, he had sex with some of them without condom and ejaculated in them!All this happened during office hours as I will be stuck in my office and his job nature allows him to go wherever he likes. He drives me to my workplace and picks me after office. Never ever spend the night or weekends out without me. Which wife will ever suspect a husband who goes to work at 8am and back home at 6pm and never goes out at night without me? This confrontation happened 8 months back, in July 2015. I was numb, beyond feelings I can describe. Wanted so so badly to die. But I’m still fully breastfeeding my daughter. I need to be alive for my babies. I need to give them the perfect family to grow up in, like the perfect happy family I grew up in. My husband seems sad for few weeks, promised me all kind of things, told me he needs help, that he is addicted and can’t control himself despite knowing the consequences. He went to SLAA meeting only once and said it didn’t suit him and feels counselling is not helpful too. As months went by, he seems to be happy with life. I on the other hand, nothing changed in me for nearly a year now. I still cry every single day when I’m alone. I feel like physically hurting myself when I’m alone. I’m very very broken inside. Finally, my love for him is not as it used to be before. Everyday I wish all this is just a bad dream. The picture of him being intimate with all this women plays in my mind non-stop. Yet, no one knows what I’m going through. I smile, laugh and act very normal to every single person who knows me. But, at the very moment, my heart and soul feel tormented and no way to run. I feel dead. I just don’t know how to explain my pain here. He still swears he loves me and only me and can’t live without me. That all the other women are only to fulfil his lust and can’t match me. Why the person I love and trust the most in this world is doing this without mercy to me?